Only Love Remains

Most people would say I’m not religious. I’m not spiritually religious, although I exhibit some behaviors in a religious manner. I refer to myself as a free-thinker, a skeptic, and occasionally an indifferent agnostic or a militant atheist. So the apparently spiritual title of this essay would seem out of character for those who know me.

I’ll not wander down the road of knowing me. Even after five decades of study, much of it characterized by the serious introspection allowed those who pursue the life of the mind in the halls of academia, I barely know myself. And I know too little about love. But I’m pretty certain it’s all we have.

I’ve tried turning my back on my own emotions, and those of others. I’ve been a rationalist most of my life, and my entire career was spent as a scientist and teacher. My laser-like focus on reason precluded the expression of feelings, an attitude reinforced by the culture in which I came of age, a culture in which the only thing worse than having feelings was expressing them. For most of my life I’ve been mystified by public displays of affection and people who mourned the loss of individual lives.

After all, as I’ve known for a long time, birth is lethal. Nobody gets out alive, a notion that applies to cultures and species as well as individuals. My perceived lack of empathy led some to conclude I was a sociopath. Or a psychopath. My two-sizes-too-small brain can’t customarily distinguish the two.

Long familiar with his talent as a guitarist, I didn’t think the words of Jimi Hendrix applied to my world: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Recently I’ve begun to question my earlier sentiments.

Heartbroken, again and again

I keep believing I’ve worked through each of the five Kubler-Ross stages of grief. And then, just when my rational side seems to get the upper hand, I’m overwhelmed again and thrust back to the lobby of my own personal Heartbreak Hotel.

A decade ago, as I was editing a book on climate change, I realized we had triggered events likely to cause human extinction by 2030. Notwithstanding neoconservative talking points (aka lies) to the contrary, burning fossil fuels that accumulated over millions of years within the span of a couple centuries is having expectedly horrific impacts on the environment we share with millions of other species. Recognizing the horrors we’ve triggered, I mourned for months, to the bewilderment of the three people who noticed. Shortly thereafter, I was elated to learn about a hail-Mary pass that just might allow our persistence for a few more generations: Peak oil and its economic consequences might bring the industrial economy to an overdue close, just in time to allow our species to persist beyond another generation.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride since then. Oil priced at $147.27 back in 2008 nearly sent the world’s industrial economy into the abattoir. Close, but no life-ring. Even as increasingly dire data, models, and climate-change assessments roll in, politicians and central bankers have kept the wheels of industry churning. Although we’ve been in the midst of an economic depression for several years, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels keep rising to record-setting levels each year.

Finally, I surrender. We’re done. Homo colossus has tripped several positive-feedback triggers, any one of which leads to near-term human extinction. The combination is truly lethal.

Now what?

I abandoned the luxury-filled, high-pay, low-work position I loved as a tenured full professor to go back to the land. I led by example. Vanishingly few followed. I’m reminded of the prescient words attributed to American existential psychologist Rollo May: “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.”

My new path presented tremendous challenges for a life-long academic who could barely distinguish between a screwdriver and a zucchini. I learned new skills, including rough carpentry, plumbing, masonry, gardening, and animal husbandry. Learning by doing, my naivety produced injuries to my body and my psyche. Even before I broke my ribs and suffered numerous minor scrapes and bruises, most of my colleagues concluded I’d gone insane. This conclusion was shared by many of my friends and family.

I no longer communicate with most of those colleagues, friends, and family. It’s too difficult to justify the occasional conversation.

As an academic conservation biologist, I’ve long recognized that the living planet sustains our species. I was pointing out the dark underbelly of industrial civilization even as we were driving some 200 species to extinction every day. But I was ensconced in the underbelly, too. Living at the apex of empire, a large city in the southwestern United States, meant compartmentalizing my life. Even as I was teaching the horrors of how we live, I kept living in that horrifying manner.

Through years of intrapersonal conflict, love rarely crossed my mind.

The tide rises

I miss teaching, of course. I miss the honors students and inmates with whom I regularly worked. We sought meaningful lives of excellence, and I committed my life to service, primarily to people too-often underserved by an irredeemably corrupt system. Along the way, I learned empathy and love from my students. I suspect some of them learned, too.

But I could not continue to enjoy the city life and face the mirror each day. Such are the hazards of knowledge. Ignorance is bliss but, contrary to the daily choices of the typical American consumer, bliss is overrated.

Eventually, I began to remove the cultural shackles that bound me. Living and working in a sparsely populated rural area these last four years has provided ample time to think, and think deeply, as I have developed new skills and a new perspective. Surrounded by Earth’s bounty and beauty, transformation befell me. Four years after I moved out of Tucson, Arizona, only a few hours in any city induces depression.

Now my wife and I share a small property at the edge of empire with another couple and their young son. We raise chickens and ducks for eggs, and goats provide our milk and cheese. A large orchard complements several large gardens near the off-grid, straw-bale duplex we inhabit. We are committed to working with other members of our human community as we muddle through a future characterized by collapse on all fronts, economic, environmental, and climatic included.

This is not an easy existence, especially relative to my life in the hallowed halls of academia. But it has its own rewards, foremost among them immersion into the real, natural world and an appreciative, loving human community.

The high tide of love

Finally, more than a half-century into a largely unexamined life, I have come to love humanity and the living planet. The wisdom of Jimi Hendrix, long hidden beneath the cultural programming one would expect in the backwoods, redneck logging town of my youth, nags at me.

The living planet and a decent human community sustain each of us, whether we realize it or not. Our years on this most wondrous of planets, regardless how numerous they are, are to be celebrated.

After all, we get to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. It means we get to live.

Our knowledge of DNA informs us that the odds against any one of us being here are greater than the odds against being a particular grain of sand on all the world’s beaches. Indeed, the odds are much greater than that: they exceed the odds of being a single atom plucked from the entire universe. As evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says, “In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I that are privileged to be here, privileged with eyes to see where we are and brains to wonder why.”

The privilege to be here, on this life-giving planet at this astonishing time in human history, is sufficient to inspire awe in the most uncaring of individuals. At this late juncture in the age of industry, at the dawn of our day on Earth, we still have love: love for each other, love for our children and grandchildren, love for nature. One could argue it is all we have left.

Those who pull the levers in this life-destroying culture care about power to a far greater extent than they care about love. This culture will not know peace. It is much too late for love to extend our run as a culture or a species — too late to employ the wisdom of Jimi Hendrix — but love surely offers redemption to individual humans.

Will we, as individuals, know peace? That’s up to us. I suggest most of us will know peace only when we find ourselves lying helpless in the broken arms of our doomed Earth.

Video version of this essay is embedded below, courtesy of Pauline Schneider. You can support her work here.

Guy: Falling in love again from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.

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I submitted this essay, upon request, to David Icke’s website. After a few weeks and several inquiries about the status of the essay, I was informed it was not relevant to Icke’s website. I was advised a relevant essay would address “the topic Conspiracy theories controversial news and would include the keyword: Illuminati” (bold in original). I declined the $40 offer and am posting the essay here. Return readers will note redundancy with prior essays in this space.

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This essay is permalinked at Island Breath, Ukiah Blog, Plan B Economics, and Transition Voice.

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I will be presenting a free webinar on Tuesday, 9 October 2012 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (6:00 p.m. Pacific), Webinar will be hosted by Institute of Ecolonomics. Please register here.

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The latest trailer from Mike Sosebee’s forthcoming film is embedded below. Follow all the updates on Facebook by clicking here.

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I’ll be interviewed next Monday, 8 October at 2:00 p.m. Mountain time by Kevin Barrett. You can listen live here, and I’ll post a link when the show is archived.

Comments 465

  • At this late juncture in the age of industry, at the dawn of our day on Earth, we still have love: love for each other, love for our children and grandchildren, love for nature. One could argue it is all we have left.
    YES
    Will we, as individuals, know peace? That’s up to us. I suggest most of us will know peace only when we find ourselves lying helpless in the broken arms of our doomed Earth.
    YES

  • Hahahaha, rejected by David Icke ? That’s funny. You should take it as a great compliment !

    I’ve trawled through his forum, finding wonderful stuff about how the real Paul McCartney was murdered and substituted by a mind-control clone, as proven by many photographs of different McCartney ears. Icke is excellent in a few areas, and full of crap in all the rest, the worst being climate, where he is totally clueless regarding statistics, and tells blatant untruths. I do have some respect for his challenge to the authorities, but, (a bit like Suzuki in previous thread) someone dug up some secretive connections to some extremely dubious funding… I mean, he’s a football player turned celebrity and book author whose main agenda is plugging David Icke…

    Love ? Peace ? Spiritual stuff ? it’s easy when you start to see how it works, via meditation. Breath control can be used to control all the rest of the mind-body, and provides what appears like a miraculous release when first discovered… it’s so easy and obvious, yet so hard to find…

    Fix everything, be totally still and totally empty… what is this ?

    Zen monastery was being attacked by soldiers, killing the monks, the leader of the soldiers confronted the abbot in the centre of the courtyard.

    The abbot commanded the general to tell the soldiers to leave, the general roared at the abbot, ‘Do you realize I can behead you with my sword without batting an eyelid ? The Abbot roared back ‘Do you realize I can let you behead me without batting an eyelid ?’

    The general backed down and the soldiers left…

  • Guy McPherson,

    There’s a lot in this essay to unpack here, but first things first.

    I’ve tried turning my back on my own emotions, and those of others. I’ve been a rationalist most of my life, and my entire career was spent as a scientist and teacher. My laser-like focus on reason precluded the expression of feelings, an attitude reinforced by the culture in which I came of age, a culture in which the only thing worse than having feelings was expressing them. For most of my life I’ve been mystified by public displays of affection and people who mourned the loss of individual lives.

    After all, as I’ve known for a long time, birth is lethal. Nobody gets out alive, a notion that applies to cultures and species as well as individuals. My perceived lack of empathy led some to conclude I was a sociopath. Or a psychopath. My two-sizes-too-small brain can’t customarily distinguish the two.

    Hmmmm. Not to pry too deeply, but your self-description suggests the possibility that you may have a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. Have you ever bothered to check?

    BTW, as an aside, I agree with ulvfugl. Meditation helps a lot wrt dealing with life.

  • Guy,
    you would have to be an Aquarian, yes?

  • ulvfugl and Arthur Johnson, I’ve been meditating regularly for many years. I still don’t sleep. I still suffer because of what’s in my head.

    Arthur Johnson, I haven’t bothered to check about Asperger’s Syndrome, although I almost certainly have PTSD. I suspect those who know me would conclude I have no difficulty interacting “normally” with other human beings. I was an award-winning teacher and researcher for a long time.

    OzMan, I assume you’re referring to an astrological sign. I wasn’t born between 20 January and 18 February. Would you care to guess again? 🙂

  • Guy,

    with respect to Arthur Johnson,
    you don’t need to be an Aspergers sufferer,(or be-er), to be thus or thus with the feeling side. It’s just your expression, and it has come it’s course. As you write only love remains.

    Also, I too find cities affect me now. Only stay as long as I have to.

  • Your gonna make me guess all the way through the signs, serves me right bringin it up. Only one more then I give up
    Virgo?
    But I’m never any good at guessin anyway.

  • OzMan, I was born 29 February 1960. I celebrated my 13th birthday earlier this year.

  • Geez Guy, i didn’t realize you and i had this “coldness” problem in common. i’d been aloof for far too long myself (through a first marriage and divorse), losing jobs, losing respect for myself, losing a business – all because none of it made any difference to my worldview (that all of this was a GIANT waste of time). The problem was to discover what it was that gave me this impression – and lo and behold, it was the culture i was “indoctrinated” into via school, job, associations, tv, music.

    i went the tai chi, yoga, meditation route at the same time as i began exploring what to do (right livelihood) and decided that at this point the specific job didn’t matter all that much (money was not a concern because early on i realized i’m not ever gonna be “rich” economically anyway) so long as i was committed to do it to the best of my ability and enjoy it (which i do) but that what did matter was getting involved with as much as i can to fight for Mother Earth.

    It’ll be great to go down fighting for Mother Earth. This gives me a sense of purpose and my life a sense of meaning, though i know it’s all in my head (my attitude) and doesn’t matter a whit to anyone else or in the great scheme of things. i’ve become warmer to others over this long trip and mellowed in my cynicism and caustic feelings toward humanity. i really enjoy gardening and just being here now. My entire life has become a vacation. i work a part-time job, barely make ends meet, smile a lot (and feel it), and continue with the relationships that feel good – like making 2 barrels of wine last weekend (and this one too) with my brother, his family and 2 of my 2nd cousins. It’s good to laugh (through your heartbreak) and “do stuff” rather than sitting around wondering how much longer we have. i’m just living everyday in this circus waiting for the collapse that’ll happen all of a sudden someday (probably within a few years) and want to enjoy as much time as i have left.

    All the best to everyone here, whose comments and links i truly enjoy. Hell, i even liked the arguing! You people are wonderful. i feel so lucky to have found this site of kindred spirits, most of the time trying to help each other out with good suggestions, counterpoint, humor (love those limericks), gardening, science, poetry, questioning and rebuttal.

    Keep on keepin’ on Guy!

  • “ulvfugl and Arthur Johnson, I’ve been meditating regularly for many years. I still don’t sleep. I still suffer because of what’s in my head.”

    I hate the idea of pathologising one’s experience with some sort of medical label.

    Meditation isn’t an anaesthetic. If what we believe to be happening, or anyway, what I believe to be happening, the death of the biosphere, this is the WORST thing that could possibly happen…

    We just are not equipped for horror of such magnitude…

    You know, the death of one beloved child is a life-scarring event, but the death of 100 unknown children somewhere else is just a statistic… we simply are not built to magnify up the grief over on child time a 100 or a 1000 or 10,000… our emotional machinery doesn’t have that sort of capacity…

    None of the great spiritual leaders from all the cultures of the world have ever had to confront a crisis of this magnitude… it’s like we all get to be crucified by it, if we care…

  • Beautifully poignant, and oddly satisfying, Guy, thanks.

    Love,

    T~

  • So you are the fishes, now we are making sense, real sense. One would not want to generalise, so I wont, but all I will say on camera is it take one to know one.
    Off camera, well see.

  • Arthur you wrote “Hmmmm. Not to pry too deeply, but your self-description suggests the possibility that you may have a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome. Have you ever bothered to check?”

    I think it is a form of courtesy to not try to diagnose anyone on blogs. You do not have enough information. I find that whenever someone has tried to diagnose me (you say thus and so because of your family or religious history etc.) they have no clue and it usually comes at the end of an argument when they have nothing more useful to say so they make it personal to try to make points, or in this case perhaps to avoid talking about the reality that Guy has so bravely faced and named.

  • Guy

    Can you elaborate on the headaches? Insomnia too?
    What age did it begin? I’m not going to do TRDH’s work for him, just interested.

  • No headaches of significance, until the cluster headaches began in about middle age (inherited, no doubt, from my father). Insomnia since August 1979, as I’ve described previously in this space (most recently, here).

  • Aah, the Unconscious mind can be manifested symbolically as the sea, the ocean, so dive in, become fish, become ocean, and go to the bottom of the deepest ocean trench and hover there, safe, unknowable, untouchable, whatever happens above… that’s the shamanic flight, like the shamans say they can travel to the Moon or the Sun and look back at all life on Earth from that perspective… there body becomes molten, flesh torn away from bones, brain sandblasted out of the skull, and nothing remains… it takes courage to be a shaman, the toughest job anyone ever had…. hurl yourself into the flames and keep on going….

    Hendrix understood that, his grandma was Cherokee, he could go to Mars and look back at all this…. the guitar talks about the journey…

    My cluster headaches are about 8 every twenty four hours, the effing medication is useless, I burn in Hell for an hour at a time, I have no choice but to leave my body, and find refuge elsewhere, the deepest ocean is a good place for that, dark, cold, relief of nothingness… strange squirmy things will survive whatever humans do to the planet…

    Then it’s over and I’m reborn back here… exhausted… drained… what else can I do but laugh, trying to understand it is pointless…

    Waiting for the effing doctor to phone me back and try some other chemicals…

  • Guy,

    Thanks for this post, beautifully expressed and heartfelt too. Others may dismiss it as depressive gloom and doom, but I don’t see it like that. What depresses me is the widespread denial and superficial optimism as to the true state of this world that I encounter in daily life, both in the flesh and across cyberspace.

    I do of course feel a deep sadness and grief about what our collective presence as a species has done to this incredible, beautiful living planet–which could be the only planet in the universe with complex life on it.

    It is far more healthy for the mind and soul to be cognizant of the reality of our situation, as dire as it may be, than it is to go blissfully into the long dark night of extinction believing all is well up until the moment when it is glaringly obvious to even the most persistent optimist that we are at the end of all things. When the growing and converging crises reach a point that even the most delusional can no longer deny. But then it will be far to late as panic, horror and terrible despair will overwhelm those who hung on to the wistful delusional optimism and believed the B.S. of the powers of this world.

    Now is the time to prepare and find some spiritual/psychological ballast to prepare for the storm that is certainly coming.

    Thanks for continuing to share your lucid observations and insights as to the true state of the world. It is a bit of sober sanity in a world that is descending rapidly into madness.

    Dave

  • Kathy C

    I go along with that.

    Fishes are usually in shock for the first 45 years or so. It sounds about right that industrial civ FUBARs the internal radar. Time to heal the whole world one needs.
    No one’s pathologising anyone I hope, least of all Guy. What a huge heart the man has.

    Off topic:
    $40 bucks aint much?

  • $40 bucks aint much?

    I thought that too !

    Jeez, it’s hardly worth one good sentence….

    Nobody ever paid me to write anything. I’d hate it if they did. It’d be ‘work’, and I’d worry if it was good or not…

  • Well, since you believe population overshoot is the problem, as you explicitly noted on the last thread in support of TRDH, you could off yourself and make it one less useless eater. The strength of your convictions, and all that. I’m not saying I want you to do that, but if you believe it as emphatically as you stated it in the last thread, then what’s stopping you, especially when you consider that you’re obviously suffering?

    They call it Suicide Headache, kid, because so many sufferers go that route…

    I can’t go that route because i have a dog and birds that depend upon me, amongst other things…

    And I aint a coward. Every minute is precious. I am not willing to be pushed out of my life by anything, not any degree of pain, until I’m ready, and then, like any good zen master who knows their stuff, I’ll leave at a time of my choice and in my own way….

    I am so fortunate to be blessed by having such an appalling adversary to wrestle with every day….

    That answer satisfy you, clueless one ?

  • Today’s LOL moment for me:

    ulvfugl

    “I am so fortunate to be blessed by having such an appalling adversary to wrestle with every day…”

    Very dry, and embracing too!

    Guy, don’t forget to pay youself the $40 bucks.

  • Dear Guy,

    I empathize and can certainly relate to the 5 stages of grief. I mourn for us all.

  • Oh, another thought. Why worry about not sleeping ? I know the orthodoxy amongst medics is that sleep is essential blablabla, but that’s for ‘ordinary’ people… ordinary people don’t get troubled much by the stuff we discuss here, their worries are different…

    There’s ninja and tibetan tantra and other esoteric schools, developed techniques where you don’t sleep at all for very long periods, with no harmful or distressing effect, you use certain meditation techniques, and continue them whether walking, sitting, standing, laying down… the mind uses so little energy it doesn’t get fatigued… I practised that stuff years ago… I forget where I found the best details, I think it was a Shingon Shu teaching, it’s very powerful stuff… don’t know if it’s online anywhere, but these are the guys who know about it…

    http://theindexer.hubpages.com/hub/Fasting-and-meditating-for-100-days-Part-1

  • I love you, Guy.

  • Thank you for illustrating that in a person’s life, there can only be one path. Trying to follow two will tear you apart. I have been there. Indeed, heartbreak, despair, insomnia, PTSD, depression, chronic migraines, all symptoms of being aware.

    To suggest suicide as a cure for the headaches-HA! Every migraine sufferer has already contemplated such, and I feel confident in speaking for the entire group of said sufferers. Cluster headaches are in a league of there own. I highly recommend “Migraine”, by Oliver Sacks, which some here have likely read. It helped me accept the migraines for what they are-an enigma. They are not easier to get through, but I understand that they likely serve a valid purpose.

    I have small children now, so dealing with psychic pain is tricky. My life has become a series of small compromises, some larger than others, I guess. I no longer make art, which rather than being an outlet or release, often amplified my struggle, as it became a wrestling match between my head and heart. When there is more time, I will try again.

    For now, I have to tend to the little ones and help them navigate the world. It is a bittersweet endeavor, because I can see that they are vulnerable to the swirling confusion embodied in everything/everyone, and I don’t know how to protect them from that, as I am overly sensitive to it as well. If anything, they are expert at finding the wonder in everything and doing everything to the extreme. It is hilarious to watch a 1 1/2 yo running around exclaiming, “I did it!”, “I got it!”, and “I win!”. Life is mostly good, if not better than good.

  • “I realized we had triggered events likely to cause human extinction by 2030.”

    When I read things like that, it really trips me up. True especially because I have sons that would be 36 and 34 year olds then. Trips me up because with 8 billion people, a whole lot of dieing would have to go on before that. And I think you could be optimistic with your year. My strongest desire is to protect them from whatever bad things are coming their way. Not realistic, but I can at least give them experiences now that they can turn their minds back on in the future. Loving experiences with nature, family, and a handful of close friends. You say “only love remains”, but “it is really all there ever was”.

  • Help! Where is my sarcasm font?!

    Must feed lunch to the little ones and myself now, which is likely slow homocide/suicide seeing as nothing is safe to eat/drink/breathe. All while having my 5th migraine this week. Life is pain, but I have other responsibilities.

  • You conceited narcisstic fool, MB

    “Oh, and I don’t think of you as an adversary, but it is interesting that you think of me as one. It that Zen philosophy, I suppose. So full of peace.

    You assumed I was talking about YOU ? Vain, self-centred idiot ! I was talking about the ILLNESS I have, where I have to endure, at the moment, about an hour of pain, 10 out of 10 on the pain scale, acknowledged by the medical profession as probably the most painful disease a human being can have, 8 times in 24 hours ! Comparable to giving birth to a baby every couple of hours… and I have to take overdoses medicine which can be lethal, so I risk my life on top of the suffering from the pain….

    And you think I was talking about YOU ? Incredible ! totally amazing. What does that say about your character, eh ? Reflect on that…

    You’re not any kind of adversary to ME, just a confused immature attention seeker who has never gone through a rite of passage to attain adult dignity and self-respect, you feel compelled to shout your mouth off, every opportunity, when you don’t know shit about shit, but you’ll have an opinion with no knowledge to back it up… I have no respect for that ! If you want my respect, you earn it, otherwise you’re just the fly that lands on my hand and is brushed away, no significance…. A twit.

  • I really hate to see this…not because I feel insulted for it, but because it unnecessarily maligns children.

    Oh, ffs, grow up, MB, stop evading your responsibility as a human being, there’s appropriate conduct for kids and there’s appropriate conduct for adults…

  • Pay closer attention next time, rather than seeing things you want to see that are not actually there.

    That’s hysterical ! What bitter irony, spoken by the man who has just assumed everyone thinks he’s so important and central that they simply MUST be referring to HIM… when was talking about my headache… jeez, for shame, show some insight, please, MB, and stop embarrassing yourself with your over inflated ego…

  • Hi BadlandsAK,

    “To suggest suicide as a cure for the headaches-HA! Every migraine sufferer has already contemplated such, and I feel confident in speaking for the entire group of said sufferers. Cluster headaches are in a league of there own. I highly recommend “Migraine”, by Oliver Sacks, which some here have likely read. It helped me accept the migraines for what they are-an enigma. They are not easier to get through, but I understand that they likely serve a valid purpose.”

    Oh MB is just your standard idiot who feels entitled to blurt out whatever comes into his head and thinks the whole world must be hanging on every word… it’s a sort of illness in its own right, and one I’m glad not to have. Pity the poor ignorant wretch and hope he’ll learn wisdom some day 😉

    Yes, I’m glad you understand something about migraine, according to the neurologist,( who is no great authority on the subject ) I have chronic migraine and chronic Cluster Headache, which is a hard row to hoe… especially for the last few days when the medication stopped working…but hope is on the horizon, following Guy’s suggestion, the doctor is sending Prednisone and considering a list of other suggestions I gave him, so maybe relief is in sight soon 🙂 It often gets much worse in October, November…

    I have had to give the CH my own version of its meaning and purpose, I’ve had it all my life, just that it got worse and more frequent as I aged, until it’s been every single day for about 10 or 15 years…

    It’s made me very strong ! I’m grateful to have it ! I send some of my power and strength to you, to help you endure ! Blessings !

  • It’s precisely what I anticipated your response would be, but I don’t know if I’d call it satisfying. It’s alright if you’re selfish. I mean, over population is the problem, you said it yourself, but you’re not willing to be the example that’s the solution to that problem. Fine, I can accept that. This Zen stuff is some weird shit.

    It is precisely because you come up with such garbage, and understand nothing, that I call you clueless one, whilst hoping someday you will get a clue…

  • If you’re a Zen Master, I’m glad I never pursued it. Crikey, what a philosophy it must be if you’re the shining example.

    Hahahaha, what an idiot ! First, it’s an anti-philosophy, as I explained to you before, but you’re too thick and conceited to learn anything, Second, where and how would YOU pursue zen ? As usual, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but are compelled to shout your mouth off to the whole world anyway, your jabbering monkey brain cannot help itself…

  • I have come to the conclusion that our political leaders, including most district local councillors and senior council officials, are worse than the worst of Nazis: although Nazis did terible things to Jews, Gypsies and political opponents etc., they did at least love their own children. The current crop of politicians and burearocrats apparently don’t even love their own children enough to want to provide them with a future; they are more than happy to see entire communities devasted by debt slavery, huge sectors of the population poisoned and made ill by toxins released by the industrial-military-financial complex, and entusiasticaly promote a system which will render the Earth largely uninhabitable for most vertebrate species in a few decades. I look forward to telling a few of them so.

    When I wrote ‘Burn Baby Burn’ over a decade ago it was to promote informed public debate: there is none. We are now at the point of the Burn baby Burn scenario, burning the next generation’s future. And sill most people don’t know and don’t care.

    I have been absent from this blog for many weeks because I have been busy converting the computer dogits I have into improvements in energy efficiency and food production before ‘the ship goes down’, spending 12 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not only have I lost the excess weight I was carrying but I have increased my level of fitness and stamina substantially.

    The idea of being fit and healthy by working on the land seems to be an anathema to most people.

    I also conclude that most are going to learn the hard way quite soon.

    Keep at it, Guy. Your efforts are much appreciated by the 0.1%.

  • Okay, excuse me folks, while I suffer another attack, the fifth today, another hour of hell… i’m glad there’s nobody here to see me whimpering and pacing the room sobbing…

    There was an old zen monk from Honshu,
    Whose limericks always stopped at line two…

    Top that, while I’m indisposed, MB.

  • Go fuck yourself, Morocco Bama.

  • Normally I just lurk in the background and read.

    Guy says love is all that remains. Lierre Keith says love is a verb. What shall we make of that?

    On headaches: I get migraines. Normally it is about once a week although I occasionally go a month or two without a flare-up. Everyone has my sympathy. My sister on the other hand had chronic, constant migraines, every single day. She once went two-weeks straight with one headache and had to be hospitalized. She got a neural implant and has now been headache free for two months. It was extreme, requiring two operations to install the thing and then a third to deal with the complications, but it appears to have worked.

  • Many cluster headache patients have told me of suicidal thoughts at the prospect of more headaches. Unfortunately no medication is uniformly effective preventive treatment. And due to the frequency of episodes in a cluster, narcotic analgesics are problematic as well. Migraines can be just as bad, but every emergency department has its quota of frequent fliers claiming a migraine seeking another fix. It gives a bad name to genuine migraine sufferers.

    Be careful with that knee, Kathy C!

  • This just adds to the dismal projections for the future. Nice, create a potential problem with vulnerable nuclear power plants, and create the technology to deal with problems AFTER they occur.
    Top Nuclear Experts: Technology Doesn’t Yet Exist to Clean Up Fukushima
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/fixing-fukushima-is-beyond-current-technology.html

  • What’s next, a LiveCam for the audience to keep track of your running illness?

    You’re a know-nothing egotistical fool, MB, you resent anyone taking your limelight…

    You dare to talk to me about LOVE ? I’ll give you LOVE, I’ll take all the pain from everyone who ever reads this thread, I’ll take all the pain from the whole 7 billion, all on my head, along with my own, and give you all bliss and joy instead, if it helps anyone anywhere… I’ll happily give my life and burn in hell for eternity if it’d do any good for this Earth, if it helps Guy to sleep, if it helps Badland’s migraines, and dweebus’s, and if it eases the agony of women and children who are traumatised by killing and bombs and bullets and horror… Give me ALL the pain and grief, and replace it with serenity and equanimity and a happy smile…

  • K Scott you wrote “Trips me up because with 8 billion people, a whole lot of dieing would have to go on before that”

    The way I deal with that is simply remembering that all those people are going to die anyway because as Guy notes birth is lethal, only those born die, and all who are born die. The difference with the changing scenario is that they are likely to die sooner than expected, in different ways than expected, and not leave progeny. The sooner the dieoff begins the less who have to die, because dieoff will reduce new births. As far as how we die, many in the first world die lingering deaths from cancer and lonely deaths in nursing homes. Many in the third world already starve. Collapse gives us the opportunity to die from bullet to the head or knife in the back when someone comes to take the resources we have stored up for bad times. Scary but quicker than many deaths today.

    Myself, I hope to go early in collapse. No amount of extra time is worth walking over the dead bodies of others.

  • Robin, knee is fine now. That is one diagnosis over the web I appreciate 🙂 But I am careful with it, don’t want to go there again.

  • The place was beautiful, deep in the mountains and forest. The course was called Buddha Breath, Buddha Mind and was led by a bald-headed woman. Instead of an orange robe she wore blue jeans and a sweatshirt. She said first we were going to learn how to breathe. I thought, What have I got myself into?

    We spent an hour just breathing in and out, and you know, it turned out to be pretty interesting. When thoughts came up, we were supposed to just nod to them, then let them go and return to our breathing. Thoughts and breathing, thoughts and breathing, and then as I kept doing this, I noticed something more, some part of me that I hadn’t known before, that was watching all this going on, a quiet, wise old part who was just looking at it all and nodding OK. He’d been doing that all along without my knowing it. I thought of him as an old guy with a white beard. But he was me, that was my Buddha mind.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/hathaway041012.htm

  • Love is what’s left? Or maybe it’s the only constant?

  • “My Gawd, is this an Alternate Reality Game, cuz if it’s not, this is insane. If you’re an example of Love, Sweet Mother of Jesus, save us all. Please, keep your Love if that’s Love, I don’t want any of that. I guess I’m not very Loving.

    Love is not what YOU think it is… I’ve yet to notice that YOU know anything about anything, let alone any insight into love.

    Sweet Mother of Jesus indeed… what a telling remark that is… says a lot about your cultural conditioning, considering you more or less told me to go and kill myself, Santa Muerte would be more appropriate, go ahead, blaspheme her name as you just did the Mother of Jesus…

    http://www.brujonegrobrujeria.com/page/page/2215114.htm

  • Let me clarify my comments on diagnosing over the web. I have shared some of my family history and my journey away from religion. Several times people have pointed to that and said or implied that the abuse in my home or my bad experiences with religion are responsible for my (false) beliefs. It always seemed to me that those comments came out after I had made some rather good points and my open sharing was used to discount my ideas and beliefs.

    I felt like the comment about Guy having Asperger’s syndrome was perhaps a bit of the same sort – rather than deal with the truth of his words an attempt is made to find something that might explain away that truth. I perhaps judged the comment too harshly. However I myself have similar feelings of being mystified at the emotions others express that I do not feel. It didn’t make me a sociopath, it made me a very good Hospice volunteer for I could be there at the end of life for someone, become attached, and be sad but not overly upset when they died. In fact I find that too often overly emotive people lack real caring. I don’t cry when pets die, but I take a whole lot better care of them when they are alive than some of the highly emotive people I know. I also have never made a pet suffer a long painful dying because I didn’t want them to die when a needle from the vet could give them a quick release.

    Just watched the movie My Name is Kahn – a really lovely movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1188996/ about a man with Asperger’s – watch the movie and you will see that Guy is a long way matching that diagnosis.

  • Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.[1][2]

    There is also an excellent movie about Temple Grandin (by the same name) per wiki “Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the squeeze machine, designed to calm hypersensitive people.

    The subject of an award-winning biographical film, Temple Grandin, in 2010, she was listed in the Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the “Heroes” category.[1]”

    There are also a bunch of youtubes with the real Temple Grandin on the web. She is an amazing woman and the movie does a very good job of telling her story. Here is one speech by her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoNErsJNPzw&feature=related

  • kramertech’s comment on the previous essay, here, seems relevant to this thread, too. Of particular note: “Instead of intelligent discussion …, it has devolved into petty arguments, insults, and commenters veering way off topic. But that’s the Internet for you.”

  • I think a much better model for this piece quoted below, and of Guy’s self analysis, is the left brain/right brain thing. Left brain is great for logic and reason, but useless for love and empathy. There’s techniques for moving one to the other, and for integrating them into a more harmonious relationship.

    This power of the heart is what is specifically designated by the word himma, a word whose content is best suggested by the Greek word, enthymesis, which signifies the act of meditating, conceiving, imagining, projecting, ardently desiring–in other words, of having (something) present in the thymos, which is vital force, soul, heart, intention, thought, desire…(Henry Corbin, qtd. in The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World, by James Hillman, p. 5).
    It is this power of the heart, this intuitive thinking, that is in reverential awe of Nature, and is in touch with spirituality and mysticism. It is this mode of thought that brings forth wondrous symphonies, poetry, art, and literature that deepens our awareness of Soul; and it is this mode of thought that will save our world.

    Souls think because Souls are bodies and bodies are Souls. Soul is not located in any separate part of the body, as Descartes believed (the pineal gland). Soul and body are one undifferentiated mode of Being.

    We need to restore this animaterialist mode of thinking. Our world is in dire need of it. James Hillman wrote,
    …philosophy begins in a philos arising in the heart of our blood, together with the lion, the wound, and the rose. If we would recover the imaginal we must first recover its organ, the heart, and its kind of philosophy The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World, by James Hillman, p. 6).
    Let us develop this mode of thinking in ourselves. The more of us that do so, the better chance our world has of surviving.

    http://www.soulspelunker.com/2012/10/animaterialist-thinking.html

  • “But that’s the Internet for you.”

    That’s human beings for you. I think we have to accept them for what they are, warts and all, no exclusivity.
    This arose on the DM Unciv forum. Some people want to consider themselves superior, a class above. I don’t think that can work. I want to talk to everyone, including the demons and hungry ghosts, feet in the muck, head in the stars….

  • ulvfugl-

    Crucifixion indeed. I think any sane person would take the deal. Take it all on if it could spare creation. The shit of it is, of course, we cant. We just get to watch as the train we’re on flies off into the abyss.

    For those who believe in that sort of thing, this deal was already done once. I guess our culture rejected the offer and the moral teachings of compassion, moderation, justice, and love that went along with it, just as they rejected those same lessons from other traditions. And so here we are, when it could have been different.

    BTW how are the rheas?

    -D

  • Stinking more when stirred
    The humanure bucket
    Left still to fill will compost

  • You’re really dishing it out, ulvfugl. I think you could show a little more sensitivity given the nature of Guy’s post. Also, that remark you made on the last thread about Jung being a sort-of Nazi was highly irresponsible. He was nothing of the kind.

  • Sorry if you’re offended, Martin, you seem like a nice enough person, but I can’t go along with this ‘politeness’ and ‘restraint’ stuff. We’re talking about the death of everybody, Global Death, Extinction, you expect me to be dispassionate and show good manners ? Sorry, I don’t think that is appropriate, it’d be like ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’, a gross deceitful hypocrisy…

    Have you actually read up on the case against Jung ? The argument has been very bitter and acrimonious, that’s for sure, but nobody can deny the debate has taken place, which ever side you support…

    Though the field of psychoanalysis was dominated at the time by Jewish practitioners, and Jung had many friends and respected colleagues who were Jewish, a shadow hung over Jung’s career due to allegations that he was a Nazi sympathizer. Jung was editor of the Zentralblatt fŸr Psychotherapie, a publication that eventually endorsed Mein Kampf as required reading for all psychoanalysts. Jung claimed this was done to save psychoanalysis and preserve it during the war, believing that psychoanalysis would not otherwise survive because the Nazis considered it to be a “Jewish science”. He also claimed he did it with the help and support of his Jewish friends and colleagues. This after-the-fact explanation, however, has been strongly challenged on the basis of available documents. The question remains unresolved.

    http://www.crystalinks.com/jung.html

  • Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I check you out multiple times a day, reading every comment. I feel like I know you people. If you want to know anything about me, check out www. Igotsomethin.wordpress.com.

    Love is something I really struggle with, as in love of humanity. We’ve totally screwed up the planet, killing everything in our wake. So no, I don’t love people as a whole. I love individuals very much. I love wild things. I love our domesticated animals. But people? I think the coming extinction is a good thing. It’s only downside is that we take everything else alive with us.

    And, Guy, I know you don’t think you’ve had much impact, but you certainly have in our household. If nothing else, this here is a community.

    wildwoman

  • You don’t have to be defensive, ulvfugl. It’s just that someone who only a moment ago quoted James Hillman and who otherwise seems well versed in Jungian thought could have done better than perpetuate the misunderstanding. You are quite correct that Jung’s supposed sympathies with Nazism was bound up with the idea of psychoanalysis being a Jewish science and that makes things very difficult. But you are mistaken that Jung endorsed Mein Kampf. That came about because Goring took the liberty of adding Jung’s name, without his permission, to the document proffering Mein Kampf as required reading for psychoanalysts.

  • Hi dweebus, nice to see you around… hope you’re coping…

    BTW how are the rheas?

    Last two died this week, they were old… so that’s the end of that chapter… one less reason for me not to commit suicide, eh…

    I’m truly sorry if I offend people, but I have this gripe, I just cannot stand any more of the ‘polite gentlemanly good manners crap’ that is so important to Kingsnorth, Hine, Monbiot, Goldsmith, etc. I find it nauseating. It’s like we can witness the utmost horror and obscene depravity and it’s all okay just as long as we keep a stiff upper lip, suppress our emotions, and behave courteously…

    No.

    Love and RAGE ! Dammit.

  • Fair enough, Martin. I studied Jung for many years before I came across that stuff, then I had to decide if I cared, if it mattered. I don’t think it does, personally. Same as for Heidegger. Nazi Germany was extremely complex and to overlook that and jump to simplistic conclusions is to do everyone involved an injustice. I have to say, he did have the option to leave and disassociate himself completely.

    Actually, my main criticism of Jung is something entirely different, that he was cowardly, because when some wild African dancing was going on, he held back, terrified he might lose control and be drawn into something wild and uncivilised that he didn’t understand… I know from personal experience, how to throw away all caution and trust the Universe. People who don’t know how to do that are simply not in my league.

  • This song, What is Love?, is dedicated to David Icke for rejecting Guy’s essay on the subject.

    And, yes, life is a killer, especially in these prison walls of agricultural city-Statism (civilization.)

  • Hi wildwoman, I can’t access your site. GoDaddy is dodgy, disreputable, no ? They ripped off my credit card details once, and refused to assist in any way.

  • Ok, I’m tech impaired. Try http://Igotsomethin.wordpress.com

    If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to say. Is WordPress a godaddy site? Ick.

    wildwoman

  • Well, leave it to a 4 year old to strike up a conversation on the metaphysical on the way to preschool.
    Him: Why can’t you see your own face?
    Me: Oh. You mean with your eyes?
    Him: Yes. How come I can see you, but I can’t see myself?
    Me, rushing to get babies/toddlers out of carseats, and him to class on time: Well,…(the saying “we are looking for our head with our head” comes to mind) I guess because you are there and looking out into the world, hmmm…(trailing off)

    I have what you call mommy brain.
    #1 it turns your mind all mushy and
    #2 though it would seem otherwise, it actually allows one to turn off the emotional faucet, meaning, when I feel like I could drown in the amount of suffering in the world, I’m able to take myself out of the equation in order to function for the sake of the little ones. I guess that doesn’t make sense. I used to allow myself to reach a point of hopelessness and despair, to the point where I was frozen, unable to take any action.

    A good example is watching my son go into anaphylactic shock. I am able to step back, assess the situation, make a decision to use the epi-pen, and go into action. The mom part of me that has watched him nearly die & that wants to panic has to step aside.
    So I guess my point is that I’ve had to harden myself just enough in order to be of any use. When I allow the whole picture in at once, it is overwhelming.

    Thank you for your kind words, ulvfugl. I think the migraines are cyclical and the weather seems to be a major factor. It was 90 on Tues and 45 w/high winds yesterday. Sorry you have to suffer with the cluster headaches. I would be interested in hearing how the prednisone does. My son & I have both had to use it for asthma, but I’ve not heard it mentioned for migraine prevention.

  • Guy,

    The asters are in bloom here, and will blossom until the frosts come. The bees and wasps are busy taking the nectar into their winter plans. Their huntress, the phoebe, who should have left by now behind the swallows, is still here, flicking her tail upon a naked maple branch. As though she has a premonition that winter isn’t coming.

    peace,

    Anubis Bard

  • Got it now, wildwoman, seems good…

    No, WordPress is okay, but can be run on different servers… my browser gave me a warning and refused to connect me, showing a red danger thing with GoDaddy on it,
    I’ve read a lot of bad stuff about sites that GoDaddy hosts, they seem to have a policy to take anyones money, for frauds and scams, and then fight off the consequences with a heavy legal department, my bank refunded my losses from someone stealing my card details from a GoDaddy site. GoDaddy just told me to f*** off. Whether the bank had any success getting money from them, I don’t know

  • badlands : “So I guess my point is that I’ve had to harden myself just enough in order to be of any use. When I allow the whole picture in at once, it is overwhelming.”

    I think it is very hard to deal with. I once met a nurse type person whose speciality was attending critical emergencies, with bits of people laying around, kind of thing… she explained how she kept calm and focussed.. but I think I’d be hopeless, just one such scene would haunt me… she had great pride in her work and skill, she’d have a couple of minutes to decide how to keep someone alive, or give up and attend to someone else… heck, just thinking about it freaks me out 🙂

  • Good one, Guy. Science without love and passion is the pursuit of technology for the sake of . . . ? This one’s for you.

  • I am not nice, ulvfugl, as Robin Datta will attest. I have been beastly to him in the past, because I suspected him of hypocrisy. But Robin is a very elegant gentleman and possessed of a preternatural intelligence. He can be a bit obscurantist at times, the bastard. Only joking.

  • Martin I am not nice, ulvfugl, as Robin Datta will attest.

    Good ! 😉

    Robin Datta knows that if he says one wrong word, I will surely eat him, dead or alive 😉

    Namaste 😉

  • And for the record, I never called anyone a name in this thread. My initial point that a certain someone took as an insult was just that, a point.

    Address me directly please, I dislike these oblique passive-aggressive side swipes, MB

    You posted Hendrix’s Born under a bad sign, and for that I can forgive your thinly disguised wish that i should f**k off and die… and some of your other indiscretions…

    Hendrix grandma, i believe was Cherokee, I checked out their music, I found a CD by an old Cherokee guy, I think in the Smoky Mountains in Carolina ( I don’t know USA well ) and I bought his handmade CD, it had banjo riffs, that Hendrix used, but it was old Cherokee medicine stuff. This old guy had learned old Cherokee shaman stuff, and was trying to teach youngsters who weren’t much interested, he was hidden away deep in the mountains, long way from anywhere. He had some real power alright, he’s probably dead now, it was a long time ago.

    Pura Fe does some great Indian music,IMO.

  • Well, I might try to explore the use of the term “love”, but there seems to be a call to explore the concept of “self”.
    I’d like to explain more, but “I” don’t exist as such, therefore “I” am trapped in something like the Epimenides Paradox.
    As soon as the concept of “I”, and indeed, we can see it as a concept, and not an accurate representation of reality, at least as it pertains to “others”, dissolves, the paradox ceases to exist.
    Freedom is the result, so it is said, maybe “love”, to, but without that tricky subject object thing. How to verb without subject and object?
    there are meditative practices of love and compassion without subject and object.
    They cannot be “objectively” studies.
    Aaummm…..

  • I wasn’t aware, ulvfugl, that Jung had held back when confronted with African dance in what you describe. I can’t imagine that Jung was cowardly, though I suppose this is possible, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m not greatly impressed with this accusation, especially not in these times, when instances of bravery are routinely called cowardice.

    Jung thought that the only reason that Europeans had made something of themselves was because of the (all-too-brief, we now see) intense discipline they imposed on themselves. Otherwise, said Jung, Europeans were little better than ignorant oafs, for all their Graeco-Roman inheritance.

  • Photos: Wildfires Rage In Washington State
    The wildfires raging in Washington have charred 130,000 acres and the weather could make things worse. The fires were among a cluster of blazes raging in the U.S. West.
    http://photos.denverpost.com/2012/10/03/photos-wildfires-rage-in-washington-state/#name%20here

  • Wildfires in Washington State
    The summer of 2012 will unfortunately be known as the “Summer of Devastating Western Wildfires” and practically not one state out west was spared. Washington State has been hardest hit of late. This satellite image shows a rash of wildfires currently burning in the middle of the state
    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/fires/main/usa/20120920-wash.html

  • I wasn’t aware, ulvfugl, that Jung had held back when confronted with African dance in what you describe. I can’t imagine that Jung was cowardly, though I suppose this is possible, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m not greatly impressed with this accusation, especially not in these times, when instances of bravery are routinely called cowardice.

    I think it was somewhere in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. I gave you my personal assessment. Not sure what you mean about ‘these times…’, but it doesn’t matter, you can take your own view, I’m not interested in trying to persuade anybody. Dogen calls it ‘jumping off the hundred foot pole’. Jung was afraid to take that leap into the dark.

  • “Only you can wake up. The organs of the American Nightmare can’t and won’t do it for you, and this includes the colleges, including, increasingly, the liberal arts ones.
    But of course the fundamental impetus to awaken has to come from outside of the system, which categorically and inherently cannot generate the awareness of its own deathly dreamlikeness, nor the desire to awaken from it. That system includes your own self, your own psyche, your own personal cosmic order. For any of us to recognize or seek anything more and better, it’s necessary for something to enter from the relative “darkness” lying outside that shell of personal identity. We require some sort of extra-cosmic call to a way of being that is better than, or at least different from, our current one, a kind of bolt from beyond that drives home the realization that what we have now may essentially be a good facsimile of hell.”

    http://www.teemingbrain.com/2012/10/04/awake-inside-the-american-nightmare/

  • Guy McPherson,

    ulvfugl and Arthur Johnson, I’ve been meditating regularly for many years. I still don’t sleep. I still suffer because of what’s in my head.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever worked with a meditation teacher? The reason I ask is because what you say here suggests that you haven’t stably achieved meditative quiescence, even after many years. Under normal circumstances, quiescence should be achievable after a year of consistent daily practice. A meditation teacher may be able to help you figure out why you’re not achieving that.

    Arthur Johnson, I haven’t bothered to check about Asperger’s Syndrome, although I almost certainly have PTSD. I suspect those who know me would conclude I have no difficulty interacting “normally” with other human beings. I was an award-winning teacher and researcher for a long time.

    I assume the PTSD is a result of your experience with the explosive forest fire when you were 19? As for Asperger’s, in a mild form it often doesn’t interfere much with career success, particularly if attention to detail and a “laser-like focus” are essential to the job. But it can have serious social consequences, particularly when others misread Asperger’s symptoms for “sociopathic/psychopathic insensitivity to other’s feelings”, as can happen.

    More importantly to my mind, have to talked to anyone about the PTSD? Or have you been trying to self-manage it for the past 30 years? Have you every felt that it interfered in any way with your ability to function? Speaking as someone who has had to deal with clinical depression, anxiety, and their social and professional consequences, I know from experience that talking to a counselor or trained psychologist helps a lot.

    I just thought I should give you a different perspective. Well, enough on that. Back to the main content of your essay…

  • Martin, i wouldn’t want to give an impression of discrediting Jung. I got a great deal from him for many years. A friend had his complete works in leather bound editions covering a whole wall of shelves. That was rather a magnificent achievement, and I’d like to honour what he has given us all. But as so often, the 99% that is good gets changed by the 1% where I found the ‘Ah, so that’s as far as he went, and dared go no further’. One could speak of it as mapping the Unconscious, or any of the synonymous terms from the many other traditions. So that was where I left him, and moved on to other teachers with other maps.
    As T. McKenna said, It’s not about how far out you can go, it’s about how far out you can go and still return in a relative sane and coherent state and know where you’ve been.

  • When i was a senior in high school (geez, 48 yrs ago) i wrestled for the school team. i had an undefeated season going into the various meets leading up to the state tournament. i was supposed to “walk through” the competition at the earliest tournaments, and indeed i did very well the first few matches. Come time for the final match in front of parents and friends and i got myself pinned. i was devastated.

    Two years later i’m driving home in the dark from college in the pouring rain and see a guy thumbing a ride. i pull over and he gets in. We start driving and he says “You don’t remember me.” i look over at him – it’s the kid i lost to that night. i couldn’t believe it. He said he lost the very next match and felt bad that it turned out that way. i was so dumbfounded that this could even happen – i actually laughed about it. We talked for about 45 minutes while i navigated us home. When i dropped him off we had gone through to the other side (reminising about our various sports and life experiences) and left it at that. Life can be wondrous at times.

  • Guy the collapse you hoped would save us is probably too late – but your prediction for collapse this year may yet come true whether it saves us or not. Never know just what might trigger the whole ponzi to come down…

    Wholesale Gasoline Shortage In California Causes Gas Stations To Shut Down:
    Hoarding Next?
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/04/2012 14:54 -0400
    “The squeeze is on, and people are doing desperate things,” is how one
    independent described the situation in California. As Bloomberg reports, a
    shortage of supply along with drastically higher wholesale prices of gasoline has caused ‘mom-and-pop’ gas stations to close down as their margins are destroyed. Even larger firms, such as CostCo, are closing sites due to the shortages as Los Angeles and San Francisco gas prices jump 30-45c in a few days.

    As one owner noted: “I can get gas, but it’s going to cost me $4.90 a gallon, and I can’t sell it here for $5,” and another added that “we’re going to start shutting pumps Friday, as gas is costing me almost $4.75 a gallon with taxes. There’s no sense in staying open. The profit margins are so low it’s not worth it.
    Rest at
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-04/wholesale-gasoline-shortage-california-\
    causes-gas-stations-shut-down-hoarding-next

  • RE: PTSD

    Kirkpatrick Sale in After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination addresses the PTSD of which I assume Dr. McPherson speaks in his second note of chapter one.

  • Hi Tom, nice story. I had an extremely intense email argument that went all over Christmas holidays into the next year, many exchanges each day, it started concerning global warming moved on to taoism and other matters… I slowly got to know the guy i was arguing with, in USA, was a very advanced martial arts champ in several different disciplines, did sky diving, other extreme sports.

    One day something inside broke, and he became terrified even to go out of his house, Something to do with all the overloads of adrenaline and stuff. He spent a week gazing at his guns, trying to decide wether to do it or not, because he was condemning himself as a coward. He was really smart too, IQ way up towards 200. he made it past that hazard.

    Reminded by your cool story above. He was fighting in competitive championships, doing karate and aikido. He knew he could easily win the last fight. Then he looked into the other guy’s eyes, and saw how desperate he was to win, and he thought, I know I can win, and I really don’t care, he’s me and I’m him, I don’t need it, let him have it…

    I thought that was really a fabulous victory of a superior order… and what aikido is really about… 🙂

  • Arthur you wrote “Speaking as someone who has had to deal with clinical depression, anxiety, and their social and professional consequences, I know from experience that talking to a counselor or trained psychologist helps a lot.”

    Speaking as someone who has had to deal with clinical depression, anxiety and the consequences I know from experience that talking to a counselor or a trained psychologist doesn’t do a damn bit of good. Cognitive counseling (rational emotive behavior therapy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_therapy )perhaps helps some – in the words of Albert Ellis, loosely rephrased, it can’t guarantee to make you happy but it can prevent you from being desperately unhappy. Except in its lists of irrational statements and their rational counterparts is no statement that says life on this planet is going to go extinct in several decades and I can’t stand it. The rational counterpart, is that you are standing it now and you can stand it (that is until you become part of the extinction). Heck a cognitive therapist would just label the possibility of human extinction as irrational to its core so what help could they be.

    We are not dealing with issues that psychologists have any way to deal with. How many psychologists spend time understanding climate change, peak oil, the reality that when the grid goes down 400 plus nuclear power plants are going to go Fukushima RIP.

    I took Paxil for a while after I came back from Haiti. I was depressed because I knew that I could no longer name what good was. Good was saving children’s lives wasn’t it. But was it good to save lives in a country overpopulated and over exploited. I saw one mountain that looked whole from one side. When you drove past you saw the whole other side of the mountain gone – mined for whatever was in it. No doubt the rest fell in the earthquake killing many and giving PTSD to the rest around the area.

    So while I was taking Paxil I did an inner inventory. I did feel less depressed for sure. That was nice. But what about those realities I saw in Haiti and knew about in other parts of the world. Did I feel better because I had decided those were wrong perceptions, did I change my thoughts. NO I didn’t change a bit about my world view. I just didn’t care any more.

    I decided I liked caring and hurting rather than knowing and not caring.

  • Another funny one about winning and losing. I think we are sort of socially programmed to look around and get some guidance how others are judging us, as social primates.
    I know someone who did top class three day event horse riding where they hurtle around a cross country course jumping over all kinds of crazy stuff. So she’s competing against all these mega rich folks with fantastic horses.
    At the end of the whole thing, results are announced. One judge put her as first out of 200. The other judge as 200th out of 200…. weirdness happens, eh 🙂

  • I adore this man ( pity the sound quality is poor, you have to listen intently and sometimes rewind maybe ) i think he’s one of the greatest masters of our time.

  • Good job Guy!! Love your site. You think its hard to tell anybody anything down there,try going down to the Elkhorn bar in Weippe and try telling someone that a 8000 acre clearcut around the town is a bad idea.Or that cutting 35 million a year on top of that,when they are only growing about 12.My brother Scott sent me your book. Hows your mom and dad? Keep up the good work,there seems to be a lot of dumb ass’s out here.Someone needs to tell them,I dont have much luck at it!!

  • Guy, thanks for your essay – worth way more than $40. 🙂

    You may recall that I’ve described myself in this space before as a Christian Atheist. One of the things that always kept me interested in Christianity in some form was the concept of love (I know, they don’t have a corner on that market, but supposedly, the core of Christ’s message was love.) and the sense of community that can be found in some Christian groups.

    My favorite quote from the Bible comes from I John 4:7-8. I paraphrase: Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God for God is love.

    In my mathematical/logical mind, the word “is” means “equals”. So for me, god has always been love. When two people love each other, that love is god. When a man loves his dog, god is in that experience. When a woman loves her chickens, that is god in action.

    I suspect that one reason that love has always been so important to me is because my parents always gave me such unconditional love. My father, who in spite of being a Southern Baptist preacher for most of my life (or perhaps because of), was the embodiment of love.

    I doubt that means anything at all to anyone else, but to me, it’s meaningful.

  • Tom, great story! Thanks for sharing.

  • Just came off of three 12 hour clinic days and I’m whupped. Physically and emotionally.

    Depression is one of the most common conditions I encounter. It seems to be increasing exponentially. In terms of industrialization, that makes sense; unemployment and financial stress commonly lead to depression and anxiety. In terms of nature, it’s a wonder we don’t see even more of this disease. The farther we separate ourselves from the natural world, the more depression I believe we will see. Combine that with the collapse of industrial society and explosive conditions will be in place.

    One of the most common pieces of advice I give to those who are willing to listen to anything other than “here’s your prescription”, is to get outside and spend time in nature. Take a walk, go on a hike, go fishing, plant a garden. Very few actually take me up on it, because like so many of us, they don’t have time. They have to get back to earning money so they can pay for all that stuff they had to buy so they could feel happy.

    It is truly amazing that we haven’t had psychological collapse decades ago.

  • I hope maybe some people here can pick up on that aikido teaching. It’s violence, self-defense, that springs from love. If you don’t understand profound universal love for all that exists, you can’t master it. There is no opponent. Everything is one, or One, or God, or the Universe, however you want to think of it. And it is effortless, although that takes years to achieve.

    But you don’t even need to do physical aikido to understand the principles involved. Every interaction with anything that exists is a kind of aikido, whether it is fighting, making a chair, painting a picture, making love to someone, tending vegetables or animals, it can all follow the same principles, effortlessly expressed.

    There is no one doing it, the Universe does it… it’s kinda love in action, not any sort of idea of love, but practical expression of the principle of love. I think this is a very high achievement for any human being to attain.

  • ulvfugl
    You wrote to MO:

    “You assumed I was talking about YOU ? Vain, self-centred idiot ! I was talking about the ILLNESS I have, where I have to endure, at the moment, …
    And you think I was talking about YOU ? Incredible ! totally amazing. What does that say about your character, eh ? Reflect on that…”

    You fooled me too, but this was even better LOL moment. Bravo both of you.

    Morocco Bama

    C’mon admit ulvfugl got you good and propper there.
    Re your Section controller comment. Did your controller authorise that comment or are you allowed to add lib occasionally when she/he is in the head, you are on a Sub arent you? I’ve notorised all your time stamps and they fall well into the normal duty schedule for a Sub resident, even the required coffe breaks, love them Subs, so regimented.
    Can you immagine if they werent so:

    Commander: Down to 350 meters and level off, Mr Downey, Pilot Master, if you please!
    Pilot Master: (legs up on the steering console, fag in mouth) Yeah, sure Cap’n, just gonna finnish met ciggy and read a few more pages or Red October.

    Wouldn’t really be the saame.

    Anyway, I have my suspicions that many adversarial relations on blogs are just the one Agent dialoguing with themselves, different handles emails on the box at the bottom etc., easier that way, a lot less chance of losing track, or even getting into a real argument by mistake, eh? Wow, they would have to be screening there for wayward sub-personality conflict there at Hali-b–ton I guess.
    Of course it is easy to see the high functioning agents, they stand out from the crowd. ‘Axis’ is a newbe, that’s easy to spot too.

  • “I no longer communicate with most of those colleagues, friends, and family. It’s too difficult to justify the occasional conversation.”

    I can identify with that thought, Guy. Though I haven’t gone as far as not communicating with friends and family (I have to communicate with colleagues, as I still have a job, at the moment), it is difficult communicating at the same level as most want to, because most conversations are trivia, in the midst of our predicament, which few want to talk about deeply. That is not to say that trivial conversations are bad or cannot be enjoyed, but the background is effectively denial of the myriad challenges that face us, challenges that could mean the extinction of our species within our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes.

  • ulvfugl
    You wrote:

    “You dare to talk to me about LOVE ? I’ll give you LOVE, I’ll take all the pain from everyone who ever reads this thread, I’ll take all the pain from the whole 7 billion, all on my head, along with my own, and give you all bliss and joy instead, if it helps anyone anywhere… I’ll happily give my life and burn in hell for eternity if it’d do any good for this Earth, if it helps Guy to sleep, if it helps Badland’s migraines, and dweebus’s, and if it eases the agony of women and children who are traumatised by killing and bombs and bullets and horror… Give me ALL the pain and grief, and replace it with serenity and equanimity and a happy smile…”

    I realise this is in ‘heated debate’ with the illusory adversay MO, but can you do it?
    I think you can’t, but the sentiment is obviously deserving.
    My comment on this is not personal, but I feel nevetheless useful.

    All

    This is the Messiah Syndrome of self realisation or the way to the kingdom of heaven.
    The messiah takes the suffering of all beings and replaces it with love. Great, sounds good. All fixed, even if the Messiah is left in a room eternally suffering, it was her/his/it’s enlightened choice and she/he/it has Siddhi powers to manage it, so, all good. But it isn’t all good. There is no ordeal of moral or ethical restitution or remediation, just a ‘pill’.
    The true spiritual process relies on remediating present adaptations that are causing the self inflicted suffering, and as that takes place over time, the spiritual master assists in cleaving the ‘ego habit’ from the karmic vehicle, the bodymind, and replacing ‘it’ with experiences of bliss and love. Crisis come and subside and new adaptation come in.

    In certain sacrificial moments of love, the spiritual master will take an individual’s trauma, largely locked away in thier unconscious, and if the devotee is in right disposition of surrender the spiritual master will take on the trauma and pain, fully experience it, live it and destroy it, throw it in the trash.

    That is a special Siddhi power, even a central one, of the awakened being, to destroy Karma, (like ‘Kali’ in the Hindu tradition), but it will not happen to egobound beings who are neither prepared, by practice and discipline, nor disposed to submission to a loving being or agency/circumstance.
    That is why the Messiah Syndrome is a fake, even though some individuals have some small capacity to move in this unusual field.

    One must be in the ‘knealing posture’, and Westerners, in particular North Americans, with their ‘inalienable rights’ of constitutional freedom guarenteed,(what a hubris, even the Romans served the gods with tribute), are not culturally educated nor adapted to the finer points of humility and ego submission.
    On the contrary, their world economy relies on this inability!

    BTW, this is one sobering reason the West has problems with Islam, because there is a REAL requirement within Islam to submitt to the devine relationship at leasst 5 times a day. Unlike Christianity, only on Sundays.
    So it wont work.
    A useful read on authentic ego submission is ‘The Knee of Listening’, the Spiritual Autobiography of Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj, born enlightened in 1939 in Jamaica, Ney York, as Franklin Albert Jones.
    You wont find any cool u-tube if you search ‘The Knee of Listening’, because it is too sacred to be offloaded in that way. You can find details of it here, however.

    http://www.kneeoflistening.com/

    A quote:

    “The Knee Of Listening has transformed the lives of thousands of secular and religious seekers since it was first published in 1972.

    Avatar Adi Da’s Spiritual Autobiography tells the miraculous story of His unique Incarnation and Revelation in the West for the sake of Liberating all beings.”

    I have the 1992 edition, and an earlier one, but the newest edition, much expanded from the first, includes:

    “- Adi Da’s Autobiography from His birth to His
    Divine Re-Awakening
    – The secrets of Adi Da’s “Pre-History”
    (before His birth in 1939)
    – Revelations about the Spiritual Work of the great Realizers in Adi Da’s lineage, and His unique Demonstration of Most Perfect Divine Enlightenment
    – The profound events of “Yogic death” (in 1986, 1999, and 2000) that occurred after His Divine Re-Awakening (in 1970) — events that completed Adi Da’s process of Incarnating the Divine Conscious Light”

    As I have posted frequently, ‘my search’ has not only been for my own concerns, to come to some understanding of my particular suffering, (like everyone has), but to answer the questions of how we got into this mess, and as an early adaptive Introvert, I have posited the root of these problems is in who we concieve ourselves to be. So I post these things, not in a bleeting fashion, nor to copy my views socially, but to benifit others from my findings. Yes, just an ordinary guy’s findings.
    At this stage pointing the way is the best I can hope to do, and follow my own pointing too, of course. Walk the walk.
    As someone once wrote, you need sharp tools to accomplish precise accurate ego-dectomies, and the question, ‘who am I?’, Ramanna Maharshi’s central practice, is a very sharp one to get anyone started. BTW, if you do ask yourself this, seriously, and your own incessant answer is, in sum, is your own name and that is all, keep asking, and keep asking… That’s how its supposed to begin. Put another way, I have heard it repeated, “I am not just this meat-body, I am not just this meat-body, I am not just this meat-body…”
    Down and dirty mantra for the post collapse age…Ha!

  • One of my favorite passages on love.

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
    it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor. 13:1-7

    Incidentally, this doesn’t mean you can’t confront untruth or injustice with passion, fury, and yes, rage. This is one of the things that attracted me to Guy’s writings. He writes with a prophetic voice. I do not mean that in a namby pamby sort of way, but rather that I see a warning of consequence, an anger at the damnable stupidity of it all, and a deep lamentation for the loss.

    Hi ulvfugl,

    I am coping as well as can be expected. The weather went to shit out here about the end of May or the beginning of June. Luckily this year the well didn’t run dry, but I had to let the garden go. My eldest girl got asked to Homecoming and got herself a boyfriend, guess it’s all downhill from here.

    Sorry to hear about the rheas passing, I know you were awfully fond of them. Hopefully you still have plenty of reasons to remain in the land of the living. Otherwise you wouldn’t be around to bedevil hapless posters on forums and blogs, in which case the interwebs would become a bit boring. 😉

    Regards,

    dweebus

  • dweebus

    A great saying I found from a friend years ago, which helped me understand Love’s processes wiyhin was:

    “Love shields us from nothing”

    Love is not a shield.
    it operates in the opposite mode.
    I came up with my own corrolory after a few years.

    “Love shields us from nothing,
    It opens us to all”

  • Morocco Bama

    You wrote:

    “There’s a lot of talk about love and what it means, but very little of it to be seen anywhere, including here. Let’s face it, on the whole, most here are not a very loving bunch. If I had to rely on you all for love, I’d be dead. It’s not to be found here. It won’t be found online. This is a cheap imitation. It’s not the real thing, not even close. Those without a spouse and children will never know real love….ever. Not to say that some of those with a spouse and children do know love, because there are quite a few who don’t, but if you don’t have a partner and/or children, then imo, you’re incapable of it, and if you can’t admit that about yourself, it’s even sadder.”

    What are you on? That is not a legal question. But rhetorical. I don’t see what you have a beef about it beeing a Love desert here or everywhere. And how you think everyone else could be relied on for love is how a child mind views love dispensation, like food, from mum and dad.
    Can I offer a differnt view? Love is what passes between apparent separate entities, in this case we are referring to people, when the illusion of separation is gone.
    Love is your real condition of heart existance, a deep and exalting bliss. Internet and even loose associations like here, may not give you that direct experience, but you have enough brains, no,very high ability brains, to see that our discussions here, disputes even, are the typical round of debate.
    Love may be lurking, clothed in the reepers cloak, but love is impossible to bannish from our lives because it is our essence, and all the duststorms you refer to, with my metaphore I concede, are just the blow off.
    You are far bigger than those comments MO, I have a great respect for your critical abilities and generosity of spirit, and much more. Without you, as a foil to all the shams, we would be LOST.(followed by a soft popping sound)You may feel we are lost. Maybe.
    I wish we could all meet up at a pub! A few fisticuffs and some ale, and weed be singin along.
    I’m on for the Winebar.
    The life cycle of Luke Skywalker is instructive for the proto-Zen training,(for a $10 buch fee). Yoda’s advice was spot on. “Fear, Anger, Aggression, these are the way to the dark side”.
    You have much love to give MO, and I know you know all I just said, even if you are going to disagree on some point(s).
    But the key to love is to give, and in the effort to undo your knot so you can, those of knots on the reception of love side are loosened too.
    What is your fav. poison..er…er…I mean …drink…booze ?
    Coming right up!

  • @ Kathy C, thanks for that last comment. I’ve seen the crueler side of life within my own country rather than needing to travel far to see physical manifestations of lack of love (lack of empathy), although I’ve done that too. In fact I find it more worrying that someone in a privileged position such as middle class Britain can so lack feeling that they use fellow humans without regard for their needs, than that those in more desperate conditions resort to desperate actions in order to survive, and even more serious, for me, is that so many ‘do-gooders’ are ‘doing good’ as simply another form of materialism; another means of serving ‘self’.

    My personal despair has been prompted by confusion about how others can behave as they do/have in general but through experiencing it directed towards me. ‘Therapists’ have been confused that I don’t ‘do’ self-pity, commenting such – and others have invalidated and (mis-)interpreted it as self-pity. Apparently, somehow, as someone who (used to) have somewhere to live, achieved a high level of education, was popular (because of being useful and kind), and well-spoken, I ‘shouldn’t’ be unhappy.

    However, my understanding is that all the addressing of someone’s happiness by for instance going to therapy or doing meditation only works if coming from a narcissistic perspective; if the unhappiness arises from selfishness. In other words, when therapy helps a person feel happier it’s because the therapist is helping the client find reassurance about themsSELF that that SELF is really ok – when for many of us commenting on this thread, our SELF (sorry for caps – not sure how to do bold) is irrelevant wrt the said happiness/unhappiness except that we wish it could somehow be effective or more effective at ameliorating the wider suffering – which is something these therapists can’t address because of the dualistic perspective from which they approach everything, even the judgment that unhappiness is ‘wrong’ arises from a dualistic perspective, and (imo) is a large part of the cause of our problems; we have been attempting to protect ourself from emotional discomfort, which we have been judging wrong, and due to a false sense of power-over, ‘we’ have been able to disconnect from challenges, ignoring them rather than engaging with and addressing them. So they’ve stored up.

    We have a notion of ‘success’ which is based on domination – of nature, other people, and… our feelings. Spiritual teachings which I always interpreted nondualistically, have spread around the world with insidious dualistic undertones. For instance, Buddhism refers to equanimity with regard to outcome and experiences, but many interpret this as meaning that we shouldn’t experience uncomfortable emotions in response to pain/struggle/injustice (including with respect to the natural world). That is just disassociation under a different guise – imo it’s a form of PTSD! It’s PTSD related to the shock of being taught that we are separate, distinct, disconnected from our context, which for many is ingrained as a small child.

    For those with the power (whether that be status, gender, class, wealth, or simply health), it certainly may be possible to disconnect from those emotions, whilst one holds onto that supposed ‘power’, but whilst others are feeling the effects of the actions arising from the disconnect and struggling/steadily dying off, there is less to support that ‘power’ and it is lost – then those who smugly claimed that their position of ‘happiness’ arose from being more ‘right’ discover they have nothing left on which to survive, and die physically (having long ago abandoned their emotional body).

    I am horrified at how those following Eckhardt Tolle use him as an example to supposedly prove that it is possible for anyone to be ‘happy’ and ‘successful’ and ‘spiritual’, when (imo) he’s just disconnected. I read quotes from him here and there and did listen to a bit of his teachings long ago (and found them very ungrounding). From my perspective they just reinforce the narcissism of the ‘seeker’, attached to ‘being’ spiritual – and justify lack of accountability (being ‘in the now’ is very handy there). He discusses nature, but still with ‘man’ as separate – ‘you’ vs nature – idolising nature as something ‘else’/’other’, rather than experiencing connection with it and the natural love (desire to connect and collaboratively co-create) which arises from this. That he supposedly rose from being homeless to his current situation only confuses many, into thinking that somehow the world magically looks after people who disconnect in that way, but they fail to notice that he rose on the back of others who are exploiters – who are parasites – and probably because he conveniently justifies their attitude in life.

    Lately I have even come to wonder about Buddha. You see he came from a privileged background. One can give up all possessions but that is different from lacking them/having them forcibly taken; one is still, in a sense, in control and so it is relatively easy to remain intellectualising experience rather than feeling it. As for power, think of ‘The Million Dollar Man’ – along related lines, Buddha may have given up worldly possessions but he was still who he was born and his peers knew that. Considering empathy and compassion, I now have serious reservations about the health of ‘compassion’, because of the way I notice it being used in a ‘them and us’ way – that the person experiencing it is disconnected, coming from pity (and thereby projection), rather than connected and therefore inspired to act from that sense of (embodied) unity – love.

    So all these supposed ‘enlightened’ beings? I wonder if they are only enlightened relatively speaking – relative to other ‘privileged’ (disconnected) peers, and that some of these supposed great ‘insights’ are only obscured to those initially disconnected – unaware of the implications of interconnectedness – that for those living a more interconnected life, they are obvious and natural.

    My conclusion has been the same as Guy’s for some time; love is all that is left (and ultimately all that matters anyway), but how do we love? In order to be love outwardly I believe we must experience it inwardly, and in order to love we must be FULLY present, which means feelings and all – whatever those feelings – we need to to connect and that is part of it.

    We can’t be present with feelings in another with which we aren’t able to be present within ourselves, and we can’t address any problem comprehensively or effectively, without considering it in it’s entirety, so unless we can be present with all aspects of a situation/dynamic (including the parts which trigger uncomfortable/painful feelings), we are likely, ultimately, to be acting only to feel good about ourSELVES (to feel effective/powerful over something which we fear), rather than acting in the highest interest of that greater whole (and that action can often be doing ‘nothing’ other than bearing witness). This is because there is nothing we can do beyond love – beyond experience connection – because it’s only out of that which the most appropriate action can naturally arise. When there is struggle this IS painful, regardless of what any teacher or therapist might like to con you into believing otherwise ‘should’ be the case.

    I do go further than Guy though (or so it appears), in this specific instance; I am exhausted from having given all I had to give, over and again, over many years, believing that it must be me who was somehow at fault that I was unable to succeed at engaging with others in order to collaborate in truly creative (at a living systems level) action.

    I believed that ‘people’ cared, finding that when I explained an issue, eventually they would ‘get it’, and they supposedly understood the importance of whatever it was and wanted to help, so I assumed that failure to achieve appropriate shift was also just a matter of misunderstanding and that if I studied hard enough I would find whatever key was necessary so that we would be able to collaborate effectively – because folk *said* they cared. Only relatively recently did I finally grasp that all this supposed caring, on most people’s parts is a narcissistic exercise – ‘caring’ because they believe it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, ‘caring’ to BE good, ultimately ‘caring’ as a gesture to feel better/good about themSELVES rather than because the desire to act arises from a sense of connection with that for which they supposedly care.

    Ultimately (imo), it’s these people (or these aspects of ourselves) who/which need most healing/love, because of the inherent level of dishonesty – lack of authenticity. This version of ‘caring’ arises from judgmental attitudes, which are judging them insufficiently ‘good’ without doing this ‘caring’ – which can only arise from the sense of separation from other/context which promotes narcissism (another person’s comment about early exposure to the concept of ‘I’).

    ‘I’ feel immense sadness that ‘I’ have only realised too late – now that my health is non-existent – just what is going on. ‘I’ used to get called an old soul and all that and would see solutions/ways through things where others couldn’t regularly, and people would (and do) comment about me being enlightened/awakened/bodhisatva, etc. – but none of that made sense to me because enlightened/awakened people were supposed to be happy and content, and have solutions to everything, weren’t they?

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to understand that perception ‘I’ assumed normal was certainly not, at least for those in educated/western circles. Seemingly (from all I can make out according to definitions), I experienced ‘satori’ at an early age whilst spending time in nature, and never realised it was unusual to perceive existence in this way – so assumed ‘I’ was missing something when unable to connect with others at this level. I do wonder if this awareness is ‘educated’ out of people though (as well as a result of living in lifeless systems where one never experiences the true limitations of oneself) – and I am sad that people in less ‘wealthy’ cultures seem to think that the reason we have so much more than them is because we have got something more ‘right’ rather than the other way around (as ‘we’ seem to believe too).

    This year I came across a guy called Robert Forman, who recently wrote a book called Enlightenment Ain’t (I haven’t read it though) – and I went to a talk he did and had a chat with him down the pub afterwards. He is an enlightenment ‘scholar’… (an academic in consciousness). He had come up with part of one of the ‘keys’ I identify as being crucial in love (presence), but what was so reassuring was hearing him define and discuss enlightenment according to the old scriptures etc., explaining that yes, that experience of vastness is what is defined as enlightenment, but the belief that it automatically puts us in a happy state and removes conflict is a fallacy, pedalled by spiritual ‘teachers’ for whom claiming such is convenient; after all isn’t it convenient to belief that it is possible to *feel* good AS WELL AS ‘be’ good?

    Robert Augustus Masters has finally written a book called Spiritual Bypassing too, which starts to address what (imo) is really going on when disassociation is confused with spirituality. Spiritual Materialism and Spiritual Narcissism will also throw up discussion about this if you search them on the web.

    I’m far from a Wilber groupee, but there are many quotes which resonate for me in the ‘integral’ circles – KW’s comment that as we develop, our perspective on ‘pain’ is that it ‘hurts more; bothered less’ is one, and I think this is true regarding our relationship with not only other humans but the earth in general. For instance, I can reach deeper despair, yet be unperturbed by it – yes it hurts like hell and I regularly wish I were not here (mostly because all I can do is sit and watch, powerless, and without even a witness to my witnessing), but I am present with that despair and choose to be. In other words I am able to experience sufficient love that my inclination and inspiration is to feel what is necessary to remain present with whatever is, including the pain.

    Sure – that may seem contradictory in light of my wishing I were not here, but… there’s another layer.

    Too long? Maybe – sorry. First though, (imo) Marshall Rosenberg with his NVC holds the rest of that first ‘key’ – with empathy, first of all for self.

  • Morocco Bama

    You wrote:

    “…for the most part, I wouldn’t call what I’ve seen in this thread, love. Far from it. I see bitterness disguised as caring…..
    The higher the I.Q., the greater that void, if only because you’ve become trapped inside your mind and are forced to confront the inevitable fact that you’re a miserable wretch.”

    That’s your ego writing.
    Ego + Void = – Love,
    but – Ego from both sides, and ego being only a whimper in Love, therefore
    Void = Love
    Void is based on no Love percievable, so take Void from both sides, therfore…
    Only Love Remains….I heard that somewhere recenty…