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. In other words, through all the horrors of the human experience, based upon logic and experience, love is what we have left: love remains.

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

  • Morocco Bama

    Are you saying in a round about way, I have gone along with it too ?

  • Morocco Bama

    What the.. are you being deliberatly provocative, because I gave you some sincere praise? No shining on there ‘mate’, honest.

    I emplore you, please don’t turn on those who respect you. It is insulting to them and as you have succinctly put up, words are what we have here, and they get recorded and can not be taken back, barring heartfelt apologies.
    The Void = Love thing was a bit light hearted, but hell, the way you were writing, about no Love anywhere, excepting within parent/child/spouse triangles, I was just going into math for a sideways engagement.

    As you established some rules for our discourse on earlier threads, if I have dissed you ‘again’, let me know. That was why your last sputter about it issuing from my arsehole was a bit hard to fathom, especially since you just put up the demonstration about another poster’s ‘deplorable’ comments, (your word).
    That is your issue with another.
    Give me a sign.
    To be clear I am not offering some buddy alliance here, just good relations. Can it be..?

  • Morocco Bama, IMO, time for you to grow up and stop being an attention-seeking petulant brat.

  • MB, what exactly is your area of expertise ? Can you make windows and doors, or sail a boat, or train horses, or read Icelandic, or anything worthwhile at all, that would garner other people’s respect and admiration for your high level of achievement ?

    I mean, of what do you consider yourself a master ? In what field do you excel ?

  • NativeShaman

    Your comments were directed toward Kathy C, but I couldn’t help overhearing them.
    Much of what you wrote is great insight, especially IMO the tricky path a wounded person who encounters a ‘Therapist’ has to take to not get shafted.
    I had a close frind who had undergone some traumatic early life sexual abuse. These things and all life challenges never happen to people from a clean slate, it always matters how well they were situated before such fear and terror and pain descends. My friend had little support for some ensuing years and had well defines PTSD but a good many family and friends of hers observed simply poorchoice of partners and very low reasoning ability and social awkwardness. We were neighbours in my student days in Sydney in my tewnties. With this background, I have been appalled at the lack of wizdom, and yes compassion that she has encountered with trained therapists, not merely the hokey hypnotists,(adding …therapist to hypno… was a clever act in the 80’s, did anyone else spot that too?)she has encountered.
    I have been a better sourse of help to her over the years, even though we write, (letters) only infrequently these days. Her most shocking tale was with a female therapist who came highly recommended by other women from her new home,(she moved a lot ot get free of patterns, she said). After several sessions, my friend was beginning to open up to the therapist, and was unloading about a previous partner who had verbally abused her for about 6 years, (and finally left for a younger woman). Towards the end of this the 4th session, the therapist says to my friend, ‘You know, your not really a very nice person are you?”
    Bloody hell.
    When I wrote back and said, look, just go to that Buddhist temple, don’t bother ringing first, you are in pain, chances are they will know you are coming, she mentioned that this therapist was also, disturbingly, an integral member of the only local Buddhist group associated with the temple, and was a bit of a matronish presence.
    Other stories has made me clear minded never to go near therapists, and also to warn others that they can have a simmilar status as Priests of the old world, and look how that trust has been abused.
    I sometomes wonder how this world is still holding itself together when I find out shit like that happens, let alone the sleeping with patients epidemic.
    I have of late developed a very old(I’m told) system of interpersonal accountability. It is basically , you take people at their word, face to face, and you honour your own when given. if you don’t like what you see, dont give your word, and if it is unavoidable it is broken, you ASAP meet them and apologise and with sufficient explaination. I had to figure this out because I had no father around to teach me, or to model it.
    I came to it from looking at Hunter Gatherers, and figured it was good enough for me, because there is no middle woman/man to screw it all up, and it is basically how local people deal with each other re community activities anyhow.
    With a therapist, now that would be a whole different ballgame.
    Regarding the help and consciousness industry, an old cocjney emplyer of mine years ago would have just noted over his pint of lager:
    “Snake Oil”

  • Native Shaman, what an interesting story, of your quest.

    There’s those 7 billion people out there, and each one of them will have some tale of experiences of trauma and pain and suffering, of one sort and another, not so very different to your own… their hopes, their seeking, their disappointments and betrayals, but who can ever hear them all ? Even if you were to meet a few hundred thousand people in a lifetime, how many minutes can be devoted to hearing each story ?

    What can I say to you ?

    My way is very simple. Forget about Buddha, Tolle, therapists, forget everything, forget thinking…

    Between an in breath and an out breath, perfection…

    Between an out breath and an in breath, bliss and serenity…

    Gaze up into the sky for a few minutes, fathomless mystery….

  • MB : Go fuck yourself, Morocco Bama.

    Hahahaha, “…It’s stooping to the basest level, and it indicates that the person leveling it has NOTHING. “

    How wonderful ! Thanks for reminding me ! Yes, indeed, I have NOTHING. And the Tao is even in the piss and shit….

    MB, you complained that Dane didn’t reply to you. Please have the courtesy to answer my questions above.

  • @ Ozman: Apparently so; great insight but learnt the hard way (including being shafted (literally) by a therapist once I was so totally knackered from various other things that I had no capability of consenting or otherwise – only relatively recently have I realised that narcissists are incapable of comprehending this level of exhaustion let alone experiencing it because the only effort they make is for their ‘own’ ends, and of course despite my clarity otherwise the general assumption about these things was, as usual, that I must have somehow been responsible and wanted it, and all relevant authorities managed to totally fail me).

    Regarding your friend, for a long time I was persuaded that there was something ‘wrong’ with me for experiencing life the way I did, including being disturbed by the way my family operated and (at least as much) that no-one seemed bothered (hence how I ended up in the ‘care’ of said therapist who as a true snake oil peddlar was supposed to be helping me with my resulting immune problems). IMO PTSD is just a label, which I wore for a long time, and the wearing of which lead me in some *really* unhelpful directions (all contributing to said insight). I doubt it’s usefulness. I think that a lot of ‘therapy’ involves the narcissistic strata of society attempting to ‘fix’ others into their narcissistic perspective (which is also parasitic through implication). A lot of characteristics commonly labelled PTSD are also symptoms of adrenal exhaustion (which can lead to awkwardness simply due to lacking sufficient energy to ‘hold it together’), and this is only healthy/natural after severe strain. Of course narcissists respond to strain differently in that they are only concerned about how *they* appear through it – about the maintenance of their ego, so they will project onto someone suffering said genuine exhaustion that there is something ‘wrong’ which needs ‘fixing’.

    Finally, a few years ago, I realised that the symptoms which I spent literally tens of thousands of pounds on (over a period of decades), trying to be well, were just differing aspects of that exhaustion, which started in childhood. As someone who never knew the sort of relaxed ‘security’ and nurturing which is considered ‘healthy’, I don’t know what it is like to have ‘normal’ energy levels so I never recognised that lack of energy until it had reached chronic levels, but it still had it’s symptoms including compromised immunity. Trying to live what is a ‘normal’ life for a narcissist was too much to ask of my body, so things only got worse but I didn’t understand why so assumed something ‘wrong’ with me.

    Earlier this year I read a book which helped me see how it had all happened – the causal pattern through everything, which did at least relieve a sense of responsibility I held about it all (very convenient for the therapeutic community who want everything to be fixable – and if it isn’t, it’s your fault, because of course they are all powerful ‘healers’ and you must be standing in the way).

    Anyway, I hope that perspective might help your friend take a different and perhaps more helpful (to her) perspective. Once the confusion of mistaking the various manifestations of exhaustion with emotional/mental malfunctioning are removed, then one can appreciate that a person who has been through these ‘traumas’ can actually have very useful contrasting perspectives on matters; they just need extra support because they weren’t indulged in the way others were when they were younger – and understanding them takes more effort because of that different perspective.

    As for hunter-gatherers, well one of the few folk I find makes sense IRL compares his values and MO with them when examining his integrity. Growing up in a very isolated rural community (nearest neighbour 1/2 a mile away), I also think your living by your word ethos makes sense. I think aspects of life I saw as a child are rare for ‘educated’ types – although I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder whether her father would make it home alive after each of his drinking binges (and if so, whether with his vehicle or having left it in a ditch/on a hedge), I’m not sure many have faced the reality of being snowed in for 10 days without support. There’s a rawness about that sort of thing which leaves little room for the B******s of much of modernity; if you shaft your neighbour in that sort of instance (however crazy they might be – and are), then next time around it could be you needs water because you’ve run out.

  • ulvfugl: In sports, especially the martial arts which includes grappling (called the oldest of all sports – but i think it’s running), it’s like dance when you get good at it. It reminded me of that scene in the first Matrix where Neo confronts the three agents in the hallway and stops the bullets through will and the rest seems to go in slow motion as he watches himself dispassionately go through the motions, blocking all attempts to hit him with one arm/hand.

    Neat experience, but just another one along the road (after the loss made me question myself to the core and be brutally honest with the answers). Now i like growing things, tutoring math, teaching, being with grandkids, makin’ wine, me & my wife having a quiet conversation, pettin’ my dogs, a morning cup a joe readin’ your reply.

    i realize after all this time and experience that it’s we who find this all so fascinating – our consciousness of it all without regard to judgements. (Now there’s a deep hole to delve into!)

    http://www.sing365.com/music/Lyric.nsf/Fascination-Street-lyrics-The-Cure/77E5FA1FF1E6D45248256BC100278F2A

    All these rabbit holes to explore, but there’s so little time, and does any of it matter, but to be here at all, is the miracle of wonder just a walk down the hall, of the emotional funhouse where the ragged feelings live, where something decides whether i give in or give, or take it and break it over logic and thought, fraught with emotion and shut it all off. Let me alone, i said to myself, and then wondered about that as i walked like a zombie through half-a my life, as the strife took it’s toll – because it was all about me, and then come to see, it’s ALL me, and in fact it’s all you too and we’re all in this together, so what shall we do?

    (lyrics i just made up after listening to that)

    The REAL Dr. House: My youngest does perfusion work out in CA (i’m in PA) and has killer days like that, but fortunately it isn’t all the time. He’s told me stories of things that go on in hospitals . . . and said that burn-out keeps culling the herd of doctors (in his case, surgeons), nurses and perfusionists. He says stress is the breaker of most, be it financial, emotional, dependency, eating disorders, and of course being born “high strung”. Depression probably precedes and leads on to the emotional/mental breakdown in some. i’ve been a working depressed person for most of my life (until recently) – hid it well so that no one could tell (i thought). You keep yourself healthy and keep spreadin’ the wise advice (it’s like teaching in a way, we never know who’s gonna listen – we’re all so distracted).

    i gotta go do some work (i know, “why?”). Be back later. Thanks for ALL of the comments, with their drama and passion, intelligence and pain, links and anecdotes, music and video – i really enjoy this.

  • @ ulvfugl: It’s ok thanks; the trees do it for me (sky is too far away and IMO takes one away from embodiment), and actually I didn’t ask for your unsolicited advice (or sarcasm). If you’d understood what I wrote you’d understand that I have indeed realised that those who follow Buddha/Tolle may indeed be well-intentioned but the reason their actions didn’t add up was… for the reason I explained.

    Also, I’ve spent my life listening to others actually (no, not tens of thousands but thousands, yes – in order to help where possible and understand what I perceived I lacked); perhaps you could try listening – really listening – then you might respond in a more helpful way.

    I’m just spent – otherwise I’d still be doing what I were able to. However, I’m not going to ‘spend’ any more of myself on you (when I have energy I’ll use it to love what is around me, including the earth and land to which I belong, and people who are capable of accepting and experiencing empathy). Given your response I’ll assume you enjoy trolling and leave you to it – trollolololo…

  • Native Shaman : “…and actually I didn’t ask for your unsolicited advice (or sarcasm). “

    Sarcasm ? not at all. It’s the same advice I’d give to anyone, if they were telling me a story like yours. It’s the best I have to offer. You are free to reject it, just as you please. No problem.

    ” However, I’m not going to ‘spend’ any more of myself on you (when I have energy I’ll use it to love what is around me, including the earth and land to which I belong, and people who are capable of accepting and experiencing empathy). Given your response I’ll assume you enjoy trolling and leave you to it “

    What a strange conclusion.

  • Not only are all the nuclear power plants going to go Fukushima when the grid goes down, all the deep wells in use are going to go be abandoned without being plugged first. For that matter a lot more wells are going to reach the end of their useful life and be plugged and abandoned. But how long is that good for. We have seen what cost cutting has done concerning nuclear fuel storage. Will the wells be plugged in such a way that without maintenance they can be abandoned for centuries? This article http://www.slb.com/~/media/Files/resources/oilfield_review/ors12/spr12/or2012spr04_abandon.pdf says that permanently abandoning a well can cost millions.

    Containment ponds for mountain top removal waste will also be abandoned and dams will crack and give.

    We will leave not only a hot wasteland but also a highly irradiated and polluted one. Anyone not depressed is insane. The guilt of our civilization should weigh heavy on our shoulders.

  • Native Shaman …”Given your response I’ll assume you enjoy trolling and leave you to it “
    Ulvfgl
    “What a strange conclusion.”

    Funny I came to the same conclusion. Mainly because of you I have been truly tempted to just stop posting here at all.

  • Kathy C. Mainly because of you I have been truly tempted to just stop posting here at all.

    Is that so ? Well, i’m glad to see you are not easily put off.

    Anyone not depressed is insane.

    Why so ? Surely, the insanity lies with the perpetrators of the catastrophe, the ones who, knowingly or unknowingly are harming the biosphere. I don’t include myself amongst them.

    Why should I permit was is happening to depress me or else be insane ?

    I can’t what is happening, but I don’t allow it to destroy me, or depress me, or to make me insane.

    Yes, the suffering is going to become appalling, incalculable, beyond anything and everything that has ever occurred in history. I have no power to change that.

  • Sorry, that above should read “I can’t STOP what is happening..”

  • To Guy: I so appreciate your writing and that you dare to share your feelings. It is lonely out here and you make me feel a little less alone.

    To Kathy C.: Please don’t stop posting, at least not without sharing your email address with me first! I appreciate your posts and your insight. I find myself wishing we could visit over a cup of tea.

  • @Kathy C, RE: “The guilt of our civilization should weigh heavy on our shoulders.”

    How about guilt on Eve’s shoulders, as the Genesis mythology tells it?

    If it weren’t for human female fascination with penis size—which led evolutionarily to the hairless great ape having the largest penises both absolutely and relatively compared to body size among primates, with the ensuing male competition to attract females with silly frippery like the blue trinkets of Bower Birds—we wouldn’t have had to invent alcohol, obelisks, or nuclear power plants.

    Sic semper guiltmongerus!

    “I didn’t do it.” ~Bart Simpson

  • What a timely and resonant piece, Guy. I suspect a lot of us are on the long, sometimes painful, journey of liberation from the head to the heart.

    My story (which is not me, but it’s something to talk about on the internet) started with my choice of powerfully intellectual, scientistic parents. In order to ensure the receipt of their approval and love, my child-self adopted the protective coloration of my father’s persona, complete with his relentlessly analytical worldview and his utter contempt for all things spiritual. I was almost smart enough to pull it off, too. However, despite my relative success in the world, I could understand where the recurring, spiralling bouts of depression and my deep sense of being a fraud came from came from.

    When I discovered The Crisis of Civilization things came to a head in a bottomless pit of despair, and the choice was reduced to “check out or change”. I decided to try deconstruction/reconstruction first.

    In that process of self-exploration I finally discovered and removed the mask of my father that I had been wearing for over half a century, and was able to find something deeper and more authentic.

    It started with the realization the the me I thought I was, I was not. I had never been that passionately cold, sharp, hard, analytical, removed, reductionist image I so desperately projected to the world. In its place I discovered a mystic, a seeker, a holist, and a lover. As I stumbled down that unfamiliar path, the realization eventually dawned that even that was not “me”, until finally the understanding came that “I” was not.

    It’s a truism to say that you can’t love another until you love yourself, and this proved out in my case. A couple of years ago, at the age of 60, three months after I had finally come to rest within my own skin, right on cue – love finally arrived. It arrived in the form of a woman I’d known in my youth and then lost thirty years ago. After four attempts to find this place, it arrived on its own. With it came the final realizations that put an end to the seeker.

    Maharshi, Nisargadatta, Adyashanti, Lao Tzu and the Buddha – they all played a role in this journey. Now the rest is up to me. It’s still unfamiliar territory, this “Rumi’s field” of awareness that you are me, and that neither of us is; the paradoxical simultaneity of the “unity of love” and the “void of awareness” between which life flows.

    It’s been a hard change, but it beats checking out by a country mile.

    NativeShaman, thank you for your reminder about the distinction between pain and suffering.

    Thanks again, Guy. Nice piece, too bad about the $40…

  • “could never understand”…

  • Dawn, thank you. I will have Guy send you my e-mail info.

    IvyMike – actually I don’t think humans are really at fault – per Craig Dilworth in Too Smart for Our Own Good, its just the abilities we gained through evolution overpowered our natural controls for population size. Please don’t anyone attack my short summary here – read the book and then decide if you agree or don’t. But since most humans ascribe to the ideas that we can solve anything with our big brains and that we have free will, all those who agree with that assessment of humans should feel guilty. Feeling guilty is an emotion that evolution gave us to moderate our behavior as social animals. So feeling guilty is human and if we had free will we would be guilty as hell.

  • Stirred, stinks more
    Humanure bucket
    Leave still, let fill, compost

  • Morocco Bama

    I hear you. I take what you say seriously.

    I want to say first I was genuinely set back a bit by those comments put up with the ‘f’ word about you in a personal sense. It was not what I would do either.
    However, and that is not to detract from the previous acknowledgement, I’m finding an inconsistancy with your expectations here.

    On the one hand, you can dish it out well enough, not with the actual swearing and such, but the gusto and repartee, so I figure you are robust and edgy enough to stick up for yourself. I also don’t know the history of you two, and assumed you knew each other’s points so well it was a long discourse of sorts. On this same hand I have also you telling me you don’t want my respect because essentially it would cramp your style and make some obligation work its way into your posting. I get that and of course it’s how you desire it, so fine.

    Then on the other hand you are criticising me and I suppose others for not acting like good community members and censuring the offending party, by some means or other.
    You want your freedom and, in your words, you are never personally rude etc. It is my fault I suppose for falling into the trap of feeling that there are many ways to insult others and intellectual condecension is a very honed art in some areas of discourse. All I can say is that the one being condescended to is well aware of the meaning, regardless of the fact that cruder insulting actual words are not used. In normal face to face we know a disapproving look when we get one, and there is no text to prove it. It is in a similar way I have observed with your discourse, and I am ashamed to say I reacted to it on those two occasions which we have resolved earlier. I was too attached to the particular pionts of view I put forward, and in tossing them out with minimal thought, and trumping them with replacements, I was offended. I learnt my lesson, amd have apologised, lated in those posts, and I have assumed you read those apologies? I hope so.
    Further, it is a high order debating skill to understand when a debating opponent is overly attached to a viwpoint or argument, and considdered good form to score points by disturbing the argument of the other on those points with rapid dismissivness and minimal due considderation, with the hope of goading the other debator into over-reacting and getting personal, attacking the man not the ball, to use a sporting analogy. Its a sophisticated ruse called baiting, but baiting it is nevertheless.
    IMO, and it may be otherwise, this is what others are pissed off at you for.
    I’m willing to say it because I respect those clear and solid gifts you have, and I believe it is a drawback in what is otherwise a considderable, highly intellegent capacirty you have, and knowledge of politics, social sciences and literature, including the underbelly of same.
    So by all means I would not wish to place the burden of social expectation of ‘honour’ nor ‘respect’ on you if you don’t wish it, but conversly, I find it not consistant with that freedom, which is your right to claim, that you require me to stick up for you from the POV of a community of posters looking out for each other.
    I am disposed to do either as a service to you and others, but which do you want?
    Without distracting you further from considdering that final question, and please answer it, I could also generalise it to this:
    Is this a community of a kind, or is personal vitruperation OK?
    If you were expecting some support after those offending comments, and were hurt, disappointed or let down that it did not eventuate, then I am sorry I did not act in that manner. The codes have never been very clear here.

    (A sociologist may comment that these questions get asked, and considered, when a community wishes to form, beyond isolated bickering, and loose bonds. The impulses for immunity and freedom from social restrictions, social guilt and discipline meets the desire for both the safety and support, and belonging within community arise.
    Maybe an NBL momnet has arrived in the sandbox?)

  • Maybe an NBL moment has arrived in the sandbox?

    It is instructive to look at the archives and see how many people have commented here and eventually wandered away. Or been batted away like flies. Some are missed, like John Rember.

    If the collection of ideological carpetbaggers who comment here make up a community, it is likely to be transient.

  • @Kathy C, re: “guilt.”

    You and I are both in agreement with Craig Dilworth’s “Too Smart for Our Own Good” that humans aren’t really at fault; our predicament is just the human condition. The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly.”

    But most anti-civilization, anti-hierarchy folks place guilt and blame on men and “patriarchy;” (I am guilty of doing that myself.) Yet as the saying goes, most men think with their penis. They hunt to be “good providers” for females, they build race cars and jets (I fly jets myself) to prove themselves to the pretties; the toys and frippery of civilization is how they “do it all for you,” as Bryan Adams croons.

    The powered-down Daniel Suelo, “The Man Who Quit Money,” surely doesn’t have a bevy of females pursuing his favors, even if his lifeway is sane and sustainable.

    Sustainable just isn’t sexy.

  • Kathy C. said above :“Feeling guilty is an emotion that evolution gave us to moderate our behavior as social animals. So feeling guilty is human and if we had free will we would be guilty as hell.”<

    Okay, I'll accept that, and the same goes for other feelings and emotions and inner sensations we experience. But presumably they were meant for relatively small tribal groups where they had a clear use. Now with 7 billion, and I think nearly half on the internet, and the world going crazy as everything melts down into a mess, do these ancient responses have an appropriate place ?

    I mean, human species, as a collective, is abstraction, 'it' cannot have had free will ( if there is such a thing, that's a separate argument ) because only real solid eating walking sleeping people, individuals, can have free will, agency.

    I dont't subscribe to the 'collective guilt' thing. It wasn't me who enslaved Africans, or built nuclear bombs and power stations, or killed the last Great Auk or Dodo, was it. I can only feel guilty about some bad action of my own, or some non-action of my own, when I had an opportunity to act.

    I don’t see any reason for me to be depressed or guilty about the state of affairs we all face. I’ve kept my personal karma clean, kept my soul clean, I’ve been ‘green’ since a little child and I’ve been opposed to all the bad stuff I’ve seen going on, all of my life, and I’ve done everything I could to change things.

    The fact that my personal efforts have failed, as have Guy’s and everyone else who has been on the same mission, is not something to feel depressed or guilty about, IMO.
    Because we are a tiny minority with very limited power and influence.

    The guilt should be felt by those who willfully and deliberately chose this course that has lead to disaster, and who are still following that course. However, it seems to me unlikely that they will ever feel any guilt. They believe that what they do is the way to go, the normative route, the narrative that their culture has presented to them. I think they will get very frightened, upset, angry, destructive, etc, as it all falls to pieces. But isn’t that their problem to deal with ? I don’t see it as having much to do with me, unless real people in my vicinity appear to behave in ways which impact my actual real life ?

  • I’d like to explain more, but “I” don’t exist as such, therefore “I” am trapped in something like the Epimenides Paradox.

    When a tiny ray of sunshine comes into an otherwise dark room through a chink in the roof, the sun is lighting the room, or a ray of sunshine is lighting the room.

    Under normal circumstances, quiescence should be achievable after a year of consistent daily practice.

    More direct is the quest “Who am I”, recognised in both the Indian and Kabbalistic traditions as very effective and powerful.

    And then again, there are many other means, a readily available method being the right attitude to work (and every volitional activity in life): properly cultivated, the activities continue but volition drops away like a leaf from a tree in autumn. There is the path of devotion, that of careful speech, maintaining control (“unconscious stimulus/response”, the term some prefer) and awareness of breathing, and many others. Meditation was the first out of the starting gate when Buddhism headed to China.

    I know from experience that talking to a counselor or trained psychologist helps a lot.

    The greatest of all counsellors is the nearest. It is also the furtherest and both free and the most expensive. It is eternally and patiently waiting, just beyond the apparition called the “I”.

    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.

    If there is any perception whatsoever that you have travelled even in the slightest to get there, you haven’t been there. Likewise if there is the slightest perception that you have “returned” from there, you haven’t even been there.

    The messiah takes the suffering of all beings and replaces it with love.

    That is a heretical belief. The Mashiach does no such thing. It’s G_d’s bailiwick.

    Those without a spouse and children will never know real love….ever

    It should be told to the Christians when they talk about Jesus. But then some say that he was married.

  • Whoops, sorry I screwed up the tags, hope it’s still comprehensible.

    ““The Man Who Quit Money,” surely doesn’t have a bevy of females pursuing his favors, even if his lifeway is sane and sustainable.

    Sustainable just isn’t sexy.

    Completely untrue in my experience, Ivy Mike, just another ‘myth’.

    I knew a guy who lived in a forest in a tipi, catching rabbits, drinking water from a stream, cooking on an open fire, etc. He had a harem of eight wives who had freely chosen to share his life. I think it all depends upon the man, the kind and quality of the individual, their character. I do think a lot of the middle class ‘green’ males are a rather insipid boring bunch of people, very predictably fitting a stereotype, so for a woman looking for something original and exciting, they are possibly a bit of a turn off….

    Actually, I just remembered, I knew another who lived like that, but he preferred solitude in his camp, and so he visited a large number of women who had their own houses and cottages, on a sort of rota basis. When he died, he left eight large strong sons in their teens and twenties, who all considered themselves as brothers, even though they all had different mothers.

    I shan’t mention my own personal experiences in case I get accused of bragging ;-)

  • Detachment and Love
    (Non-attachment and Love)

  • Detachment and Love
    (Non-attachment and Love)

  • Robin : “There is the path of devotion..”

    Yes, I’ve met people doing Bhakti Yoga, who said that they devoted every word and action of their daily life to the divinity ( however conceived ) and I’ve met some Christians who were actually doing Bhakti Yoga with knowing it, by devoting every word and action to their own version of divinity.

    I think the selection of ways is great, because there’s something to suit all personality types.

    “If there is any perception whatsoever that you have travelled even in the slightest to get there, you haven’t been there. Likewise if there is the slightest perception that you have “returned” from there, you haven’t even been there.”

    I think you have misunderstood my remark, Robin. I agree with what you say above, however, that is kind of the Grail that is sought, and people often have to go the long way round to find it or arrive there, if they ever do… so what I was talking about was that journey, the exploration or quest, not the final arrival… so Jung’s path went all over the place, he left a record, a map, for others to follow if they wished.

    McKenna’s path also went all over the place, via S. American shamanism, gnosticism, alchemy, etc. along with all the drugs… he also left a map,for others to follow of they wish.

    I like both of them. But I also like many other maps from many other peoples and places.

    My personal preference, as you know, is zen. I like to throw away all the maps, because, in a sense, they are all cages, or can become so, if you let them…

    Great Liberation ! ;-)

  • ulvfugl Says: “The guilt should be…”

    “Between [should] and [shall] there is a great gulf fixed.” ~The Jefferson Bible, chapter 10, verse 24

    And now for something completely different, looking across that gulf of guilty:

    “We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt…it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man…Did you want to know who is John Galt? I am the first man of ability who refused to regard it as guilt.” ~John Galt (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

    The aggrandizers are familiar with guilt-assignment, and reject it out of hand.

    Can the meek and gentle and sensible biophiles love the aggrandizers into different behavior?

  • Just for Robin, Dr House, and any headache sufferers, after a very bumpy ride over last few weeks, when zolmitriptan stopped being effective, and I filled myself with methysergide, lyrica, and other crap, I’m now Prednisolone corticosteroid, as mentioned by Guy, and my doctor is considering various other suggestion I made, from info I gathered on the internet, so I may be taking other stuff soon when he has thought it all over. He is a wonderful individual, I like him immensely, but he is tremendously overworked, everybody wants him, because he is so good at his job, and so he can only spare a few minutes to each. I try to think through everything I want to say to him beforehand, so I have it clear and ready to say, so as not to waste his precious time, and then I have some time to listen to what he says to me. I really couldn’t wish for a better doctor, just wish that the people ( politicians ) who organise the system, would do so in way that the staff had a better quality of support, so they had time and were less stressed and harassed….

  • Ivy Mike : “The aggrandizers are familiar with guilt-assignment, and reject it out of hand.

    Can the meek and gentle and sensible biophiles love the aggrandizers into different behavior?”

    Interesting powerful question… Ran Prieur posted an interesting remark, re Ayn Rand V. The Pygmies, ( Oct 4th )

    http://ranprieur.com/

  • Many folks’ lives really sucked,
    Plus, we’re watching the world deconstruct;
    When you’re hot, you’re hot,
    When you’re not , you’re not—
    Most of all: When you’re fucked, you’re fucked.

  • devoted every word and action of their daily life to the divinity

    That is Karma Yoga.

  • The collapse proceeds apace, and squabbling reigns in these comments. I’ve seen MO poison other blog comment sections (notably Ian Welsh) and all of you keep him going with your responses. I’m reading about love in the post and hate in the comments. As for me, I believe both love and hate are epi-phenomena of biological DNA-based consciousness. Carry on as you like, but we’re all goin’ down. If you wish to pursue love or hate as the earth burns, it matters not. All options will be highly visible in your families, friends and neighbours as the civilization shackles come off. Since civilization will be seen for what it is – a mistake – then all the other wild-ass ideas will be trotted out like shiny racehorses for sale, ginger shoved up their asses, snorting and blowing. Don’t buy any of them.

  • “MB” not “MO”

  • Enjoying the lecture, Robin, thanks.

    So what do think is the main distinction between Bhakti and Karma ?

  • @ulvfugl, re: “sustainable isn’t sexy”

    Personal experiences aside, the research data shows that Jerks get the Girls, that is, the more schizotypy and creativity and the lower the agreeableness, the less conscientious, the more sexual partners.

    The “dark triad” traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism (manipulativeness), and psychopathy (callousness, lying, thrill-seeking) get those female hairless great apes all excited—and bred (in general over a large population.)

  • BC Nurse Prof : “I’m reading about love in the post and hate in the comments. As for me, I believe both love and hate are epi-phenomena of biological DNA-based consciousness.”

    Yes, roughly agree with that, reading the history of the peoples of the world, every culture struggles with all those epi-phenomena, not just love and hate, but the whole shebang, and tries to find cultural instruments to moderate and socialise their expression. Sorenson’s Pre-Conquest Consciousness has often been discussed in this context. What were we, as a species, like, before we got tangled with all this cultural stuff ?

    http://rewild.info/anthropik/vault/sorenson-preconquest/

  • Guy McPherson,

    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.

    Love–the intense feeling of deep affection–is important, but it is not enough. More will be needed to endure the coming bad years with grace and dignity. What’s needed is virtue, of which love is but one part.

    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 [
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”] — but love surely offers redemption to individual humans.

    Jimi Hendrix missed the mark, extraordinary guitarist though he may have been. The power of love never could overcome the lover of power. That is because it is not love, but virtue, that offers redemption to individual humans.

    Will we, as individuals, know peace? That’s up to us.

    Yes. But such peace–the peace beyond all understanding–does not come through love. Only through virtue.

    I suggest most of us will know peace only when we find ourselves lying helpless in the broken arms of our doomed Earth.

    This “peace”, OTOH, is nothing more than the peace of the grave. The grave of the fireflies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpeHc7h7CaE

  • I’ve seen MO poison other blog comment sections (notably Ian Welsh) and all of you keep him going with your responses.

    Hence the haiku.

  • BC Nurse – as always wise comments further echoed by Benjamin
    When you’re fucked, you’re fucked.

    Thats it folks. Its over for humans. Done. Finished. In a few decades we will be gone and none of these discussions will matter one iota.

    You wrote “I believe both love and hate are epi-phenomena of biological DNA-based consciousness.”
    After spending a good part of my life aspiring to true altruism I realized there isn’t any. Altruism is a program that we evolved to have being the social beings we are. Kin selection too. If you want to think that you love your child because they are especially wonderful, you can, but you love and care for your child because they share your genes. There are lots of children that are fine human beings, but the one you feed, gift, send to college is almost always your own. Traits get handed out in various percents – some hear well, some garden well, some saw well. Some love more, some hate more.

    That said if you find yourself in love with your partner or your child or nature, if you have a nice chat with a friend, whatever, go for it for you won’t have the time and energy to enjoy that feel good gift much longer once TSHTF.

  • Ivy Mike,

    Sustainable just isn’t sexy…the research data shows that Jerks get the Girls…

    Are you sure that that this preference isn’t just a peculiar affectation of American women? Any cross-cultural studies been done on this?

    Generally speaking, if a man follows the “matched opposite” concept as a mating strategy, he should get good results.

  • Morocco Bama,

    In here, I get treated like shit for being controversial and I don’t even get paid. Stupid, wouldn’t you say? Not to mention, I’m really not learning anything here.

    What did you think you might learn “in here”?

  • Adios

    Wafting odours abate
    Zen master’s stirring
    Ceases

  • MB : “..I get treated like shit for being controversial “

    I have not seen you being treated like shit, or being controversial, I’ve seen you trying to wind me, and others, up, being foolish and juvenile, being aggressive and provocative, refusing to answer, then throwing tantrums when something doesn’t please you.

    I see you as a confused self-centred person whom I find rather irritating because you cannot contribute an adult intelligent discussion, and constantly complain about other people, whilst flinging your own shit all over the place. Still, that’s you, and your responsibility, not mine

    This place is just an online discussion forum, comments on a blog, like a zillion others out there. Some have strict rules, some, like here, almost no rules.
    Personally I am only here, for one reason, and that’s because some of the people here ‘get it’, in that they see a catastrophe of unbelievable magnitude coming our way very soon – well, it’s already here, but that’s just the start – So, it’s interesting to discuss how we cope with this.

    Everyone has to find their own personal answers. I share mine as best I can. I think some people here understand my position suprisingly well, which is gratifying… I don’t want to list them, in case I forget someone and offend them, or include someone and outrage them ;-)

    I also see a lot of confusion and muddle, along with the obvious and appropriate distress, despair and heartbreak… all of which is natural and to be expected, isn’t it ?

  • As for me, I believe both love and hate are epi-phenomena of biological DNA-based consciousness.

    And that is exactly the way it will appear when looking at consciousness as an object among other objects. All perceptible objective evidence from which the presence of consciousness might be inferred will be found intimately entangled with matter. Consciousness can only be inferred as an object: direct perception is only experienced as “I exist”. There is no direct objective evidence of consciousness since it has no forms or attributes. Hence in the absence of an association with matter, for observational purposes, it does not exist. Thus the Sunyata (Void) in the Buddhist tradition and also the Void in the Kabbalist tradition.

    There is no way to disprove the assertion: “There ain’t no consciousness without matter!”

  • Kathy C Says (in previous Geoengineering thread):
    When a cancer patient says no more treatment, I know I am about to die, it is not giving up, it is giving space in their last days to be much more peaceful and time to say goodbye rather than being bombarded with ever more radiation or chemo for the sake of a few days more.

    Giving Up

    If I ever run out of grit,
    I might decide it’s time to quit:
    If too much hits the fan,
    I’ll have done all I can,
    So I hope you don’t give me no shit.

  • We have so little time left on this world – no matter if we live a “normal” lifespan or a shortened one. If I could wave a magic wand, I would be in a face-to-face community full of people who “get it” as ulvfugl states. Perhaps many of you would join me there. But, alas, I’m a mere muggle destined to live an imperfectly ordinary life without the benefit of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. So, I come here from time to time – not to “learn” or “teach”, but rather to share and be shared with; experiences and thoughts by others who think similarly. It’s not ideal, but it’s all I have for now and may be all I ever have.

    I’ve never connected with a group of online personas before so I can’t say if this group is typical or like “high school” or anything else. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. I get some sort of satisfaction from my participation here. Hopefully I am able to give that feeling back from time to time.

  • BenjaminTheDonkey:

    I have never mentioned that I really appreciate the witty writings you share here. They are quite good. My writing skills in prose are poor enough, but in poetry, they are abysmal, so I have great respect for those who can express themselves so wonderfully.

    Yesterday, one of my patients who is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered about a year ago when he was brutally mugged, gave me a little poem he had written for me. He still has lots of word finding problems when speaking and apparently also when he’s writing. His poem made no sense, unfortunately. Of course, it didn’t matter. He was trying to express the words he had in his heart for me and it really made my day.

    It made me think of you – yours always make sense, of course. :-)

  • The platitudinous love for humanity is just another cheap evasion of the horrifying truth. Our history is nothing more than a trail of blood and slaughter. About five thousand years ago we reached a level of social and technological complexity that eventually facilitated our domination of the biosphere. We have wasted little time in transforming this world into a collection of wage gulags, abattoirs, endless wars, endless frivolous idiocy (i.e. the culture industry) and strip malls. As Derek Jensen has said, we are carnivorous zombies, spiritually lifeless bodies addicted to unbounded consumption. So what’s there to love, other than our distorted self-aggrandizing fantasies? Collectively, we have become monstrous. Perhaps there are a few critical, self-reflective cancer cells in some dying patient’s body who realize how destructive they are and they wring their metaphorical hands because they understand that the death of their host spells certain doom for their kind. However, the end result of their activity (the playing out of their nature) is unstoppable. The higher consciousness of a few does not counterbalance the obscene murderousness (and the indifference to murderousness) of the many.

    Almost everyone I know, with only two exceptions, are meat puppets of the matrix; or as Zizek put it, “stupid people being happy.” They don’t give a sh**t about anything other than the continuation of the little party they are having in their heads. They are not poor, misinformed, lovable victims, they are the cancer itself.

  • Don’t go off, Morocco. Stay here and annoy ulvfugl. Somebody has to keep him honest. Or if you do go, come back later under another name. So long as you refrain from arbitrarily capitalising common nouns and being unnecessarily tendentious, you should be able to pass undetected. Probably the best ruse is to pretend to yourself that you’re a woman, and post comments in that spirit. Use a feminine handle if you think you can pull it off.

    I hope you are old enough to remember life before the advent of the internet. The free exchange of ideas such as on this blog would have been a very heady brew, to the point of life-changing, only a decade or two ago. We are spoiled rotten and have, I think, lost sight of how privileged we are to be able topiss off please people in Fresno andNorth Wales in a single evening.

    It is simply absurd that I can recall only a single encounter in pre-internet days when a person spoke, really spoke, directly to me, seeing my personhood, and inquiring after my happiness. And that was probably only because we were both on MDMA.

    Since we’re (apparently) constantly engaged in a testosterone-fuelled game of one-upmanship on this blog, I’m going to up the ante to an earlier comment regarding a therapist who suggested to her client that the client wasn’t a very nice person.

    Top this: in 1982, this psychiatrist told me I was a “nasty person.” I’m not, I’m NOT a nasty person, I cried, in tears and close to collapse. I had to be carried out of the consulting room.

  • I’ve always found your comments here well worth reading, TRDH, and my impression of you is of a compassionate, generous and thoughtful man, who is reassuring to have around.

    In a way, i see this horrible prospect facing us, as a good thing, if any of it can be ‘good’, a sort of flame thrower to burn away pretension and fakeness, getting to a cleaner, grittier human authenticity.

    I spent a long portion of my life as a member of a small tribe whose only bond and purpose and meaning was motorcycles. A lot of those guys were very violent, sometimes gratuitously so, in that they’d get drunk and stoned and then deliberately cause fights and mayhem. Some were into heroin and cocaine and other powerful drugs, and so did quite a bit of burglary and theft, so there was always lots of stolen goods floating about. Quite a few had mental problems and were in and out of psychiatric hospitals.

    The basic culture was 24/7 partying forever…which as a somewhat lost soul at the time, who also liked bikes and drugs, seemed reasonable to me. I mean, all my life I’d been told we can all be blown to pieces any minute by the Americans and Russians, which, if you can’t do anything about that, leads by simple logic to, hey, let’s all get stoned while we can !

    After a few years I had to reappraise my situation. I was hooked on alcohol and couldn’t get off, the guys kept killing and maiming themselves crashing their bikes, the stealing and violence was completely out of control, so we were in a major war with the police, nobody in the wider soceity liked us, they were all scared and hated us. Quite a few of those guys I loved better than my own kin, not to mention the girls. There were some really incredible amazing wonderful people in the mix. There was a powerful code of honour, bullshit, pretension, deceit, disingenuity were mercilessly punished by scorn and ridicule. Good jokes were revered.

    The initiation to join was pretty straightforward. If you had a good knowledge of motorbikes, from every conceivable angle, could fix them, and could overdose on cocktails of mixed drugs plus alcohol, and still hold your own after days and nights of that without sleep, you were ‘okay’. After that rank and status were constantly disputed in a sort of jostling match, like who swung the best punch at the fight last night, or who was found passed out asleep in a potato field in the heavy rain, and when his mates tried to help him and woke him up, told them “F88k off, what do you think you are, my effing mother ?”, which won high acclaim for machismo. That sort of thing.

    I mean, there were lots of crazies too, who liked taking shotguns to parties, and practicing lethal martial arts moves on each other, and burning down buildings for fun, etc. anyway, you get the picture… that was mostly during the Reagan-Thatcher time, when there were few jobs, and the State became heavily authoritarian and the police increasingly violent and corrupt, so in a way it was also a political rebellion, a refusal to accept ANY of the rules and norms being imposed upon us against our will and without our consent.

    One day, I just walked away, left it all behind, rode off into the sunset and started a completely new totally different kind of life…

  • @Arthur Johnson, re: “cross-cultural studies” about sustainable isn’t sexy

    99.999% of humans now live in a single “culture,” or more specifically, a sociopolitical typology, called “State society,” (Service, 1975) or more commonly, agricultural civilization.

    So I don’t think city-State (civilized) behavioral patterns are a particularly American problem, although it could be argued that Western Industrial Civilization is the most intensified example of civilization, and perhaps the pathologies are more intensified too. On the other hand, Americans didn’t cut down the forests (huge beds of charcoal for smelting found by archeologists) the Sinai and Saudi peninsulas.

  • Martin :

    Wow, that experience with the psychiatrist is something ! But hey, you point to just one thing anywhere that I said ever that is ‘dishonest’, and back it up please, if you going to slander my good name.

    And of you’re trying to piss me off, it’s not North Wales, it’s South West Wales. Please try and get your geography right.

    …when a person spoke, really spoke, directly to me, seeing my personhood, and inquiring after my happiness. And that was probably only because we were both on MDMA.

    That’s the thing. In that tribe I just mentioned, we were all acknowledged and recognised and fostered as real, everybody was everything that they were, a bundle of weirdness and features… I mean, you spend many evenings with 40 or 50 males and females sitting in a room in the floor, backs to the wall, passing bottles and joints and tabs and whatever… throwing conversation and insults and jokes around the room hour after hour, people were loved because of their crazy quirks and weaknesses, in a very lovely way that you’d never see in academia or corporate life or anywhere else I know of that I’ve been…

  • Happy accident, that should have read ‘sitting ON the floor’ but upon reflection, I think ‘sitting IN the floor’ is much better and a more accurate description of the reality ;-)

  • TRDH, thank you so very much! :) I’m not really a writer—there was a contest at LATOC a few years ago, and I just fell into it—with practice, it gets easier. They’ve become my rope to sanity.

  • You’re not dishonest, ulvfugl. I was being glib. Sorry about the geography mix-up.

  • Thanks, Martin, but no sorry was necessary, it was a gentle tease to keep my boundaries intact… ;-)

    Actually, I favour the Ninja policy on ‘honesty’, I mean, telling lies becomes an art form if you do it professionally or to save your life. I read an amazing ninja tract somewhere, years ago, based upon the idea of entering enemy territory as a spy, where everything you would be saying would be lies, so how do you ensure that your still know the truth and are honest with yourself ? I found it fascinating stuff. Highly sophisticated insights into human psychology, and attention to detail and acting that the Royal Shakespeare Company would be impressed by.

  • My husband and I started writing limericks back when Cheney shot his pal while hunting. Some site we were following had a contest. For months we wrote limericks just for our own fun. The Plame affair created opportunities as well. Got away from it but it is a great way to distract and hold on to sanity

    Benjamin needed a rope
    Before he ran out of hope
    He wants to stay sane
    But it is such a strain
    So limericks help him to cope

    So much easier with the Rhyme zone http://www.rhymezone.com/?loc=bar

  • Foaming at the mouth much, clueless one ? Take a pill and lie down, you’ll be over it in the morning, pehaps.

  • That’s really quite a fascinating comment from MB, who complained earlier that he wasn’t feeling love, and was treated like shit, and now this catharsis, spewing hatred and vitriol upon stereotypical fantasies of his own invention… spread the hatred, eh, MB, hate everyone, including yourself… now we see ‘the real you’ revealed ?

  • Alright Martin, you talked me into it.

    Waft of stench
    Bucket
    Shaken, not stirred

  • Kathy does things on a whim
    which is odd ’cause she used to be prim
    she wants to belong
    but her thinking is wrong
    and now she is out on a limb

    You’re right, Kathy, it’s fiendishly simple. :)

  • Ivy Mike,

    So I don’t think city-State (civilized) behavioral patterns [such as Jerks Get The Girls] are a particularly American problem, although it could be argued that Western Industrial Civilization is the most intensified example of civilization, and perhaps the pathologies are more intensified too.

    Is it possible that the all the Girls are trying to say is, Step Up And…

    ?

  • Ivy Mike,

    So I don’t think city-State (civilized) behavioral patterns [such as Jerks Get The Girls] are a particularly American problem, although it could be argued that Western Industrial Civilization is the most intensified example of civilization, and perhaps the pathologies are more intensified too.

    Is it possible that all the Girls are trying to say is, Step Up And…

    ?

  • central Canada today October 5
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/manitoba/2012/10/05/002-pannes-electricite-sud-est.shtml
    it is in French and says: bush fire, snow, no power for the coming week in some places (there is a picture)

    maybe when time ends
    it will be at dusk
    on a day like today

  • Waft of stench
    Bucket
    Shaken, not stirred

    Even in the shit and piss,
    Even in Auschwitz,
    Even in Nagasaki,
    For some people the sky is too high
    Even though it touches the ground.

    Nowhere where God is not…

  • I suspect that the overwhelming twin realities of imminent extinction of all humanity by 2030 and virtually all life by 2052 (see Arctic Methane Emergency Group for details) are beginning to sink in.

    The general tone of the comments is a dead (so to speak) giveaway.

    ;-)

  • Interesting, Arthur. These things have a sort wave form, don’t they, building slowly then exponentially, thinking back to the antinuclear movement, the activists were busy for years and years and nothing seemed to happen, then there was a massive press release with thousands of well known names, warning of nuclear winter, and suddenly the media hooked onto that idea and the public mood reached a critical mass for a proper debate. I think with the internet these things happen much faster today…

  • There is a new theory about your mind — about where your decisions and experiences come from before you are aware of them. This theory has solid science behind it, and it suggests that there is a lot more going on in your mind than you realize.

    Parts of this theory are familiar. Research has told us that brain events stand behind every thought we think and lead to them. And we have learned that many implicit psychological processes precede our experiences too, processes like subliminal sensations, stored memories and long-term values. These things aren’t conscious in themselves, but the unconscious mind uses them to help lead to whatever we do become conscious of.

    A difference about this theory, called “First Sight,” is that it assumes that a much bigger domain of unconscious information stands behind experience. This includes things that are beyond the reach of our senses — it includes the extrasensory. And it assumes that this reference to extrasensory information is not rare, but that it is continual.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-carpenter-phd/first-sight_b_1940728.html

  • My rhymes won’t fix what’s amiss,
    Or be read many times after this;
    I mainly elected
    That I’d stay connected
    Through them to avoid the abyss.

  • michele/montreal:

    Beautiful thought
    Reworded a little bit:

    At Time’s End
    Will it be dusk
    On a day like today?

  • Don’t know if any of you have read Poe’s Maelstrom ?
    I read it when I was a child, and had forgotten all about it.

    Last night I had a vivid dream, someone gave me a book, and I saw it was Maelstrom, but then noticed it wasn’t, it was some weird version, so I flicked through it, and then the dream changed, and all of the 7 billion were being sucked into something like the Maelstrom, but they were discussing it calmly in a detached sort of way, and then I overheard someone saying to a few others, ‘But that will mean we will be the last ones…’ and then I woke up…

    Inspired by the Moskstraumen, it is couched as a story within a story, a tale told at the summit of a mountain climb in Lofoten, Norway. The story is told by an old man who reveals that he only appears old—”You suppose me a very old man,” he says, “but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves.” The narrator, convinced by the power of the whirlpools he sees in the ocean beyond, is then told of the “old” man’s fishing trip with his two brothers a few years ago.
    Driven by “the most terrible hurricane that ever came out of the heavens”, their ship was caught in the vortex. One brother was pulled into the waves; the other was driven mad by the horror of the spectacle, and drowned as the ship was pulled under. At first the narrator only saw hideous terror in the spectacle. In a moment of revelation, he saw that the Maelström is a beautiful and awesome creation. Observing how objects around him were pulled into it, he deduced that “the larger the bodies, the more rapid their descent” and that spherical-shaped objects were pulled in the fastest. Unlike his brother, he abandoned ship and held on to a cylindrical barrel until he was saved several hours later. The old man tells the story to the narrator without any hope that the narrator will believe it.

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

  • BenjaminTheDonkey
    The darkness lit
    In metre and rhyme

  • thank you Robin, I am so not english…or it might be better to say, I am sooo french

    about love: the greatest love of my life is the Saint-Lawrence river and I dream of resting in her arms. She will have been so mighty and so beautiful.

  • I am so not english…or it might be better to say, I am sooo french

    Nor am I English. Many in African countries speak French natively. But at least partly because of Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, “I am what I am” – natively bilingual in English and Urdu, a native speaker being one does not remember learning the language: it was learnt at such an early age that one feels as if one always knew the language.

    My English is a result of the policies of the British Raj, which was to create a (small) cohort of brown Englishmen, to bridge the gap between the British and Indians, serving as middle management in the governance of India. More proximately it is because English was the primary common language between my parents (both could also speak Urdu – as a secondary language, but I never heard them talk to each other in it, and neither language was native to either of them). Might have done great in that “middle management”, but the passing of the Empire ended that world just before I was born.

  • On the other hand, there are still those who say that there’s a silver lining in every cloud. Close your eyes.

  • My apologies for the lateness of this comment, but ulvfugl, Morocco Bama, ENOUGH!!!

    God DAMN it, there are few enough oases of reason from our sick culture as it IS. We don’t need you repeatedly insulting and sneering at each other on THIS blog of all places given how few allies we sane people have at this point, and at this point, I really don’t care WHO started it.

    “You’re a fool, ulvfugl!”

    “You’re a child, Morocco Bama!”

    Christ, this is why the Left never GETS anywhere! It keeps self-dividing when it should be working together, while the Right constantly joins herds even if they disagree with each other, united against the Left!

    I saw this behavior back in undergraduate school, too.

    Let’s support the feminist movement; no, the feminist movement is a front for European imperialism over Islam! No wait, it’s the multiculturalists who are acting terribly, they’re rationalizing torture!

    Let’s support the environment! YAY! Now how do we do it? Oh, we need to change ourselves! What are you, a fool? The answer is to blow up dams! No, you’re an irresponsible terrorist, the true answer is to meditate on our capacity for mental violence! No, you’re being apathetic, we need to stop this culture…

    GOD. I am sick and TIRED of seeing the Left constantly divide into fights. This is why we can’t win.

    Jeez LOUISE…

  • Librarian,

    Yes. I come here because at least here, we know it’s all gonna be over soon enough. I like the lack of pretense about that.

    And like The Real Doctor House, I come here to share (even lurking). Yes, to learn too, but not to be “taught” so much as educated, if that makes any sense.

    And to laugh, like Benjaminthedonkey, because, like Joni said so long ago, laughing and crying, you know its the same release.

    And to track and report, like KathyC. And BC Prof Nurse.

    There a so damn few of us. We should enjoy it while we can.

  • “You’re a fool, ulvfugl!”

    “You’re a child, Morocco Bama!”

    Stirrer stupid, Bucket small
    Stink big
    Potent content?

    Christ, this is why the Left never GETS anywhere!

    Christ is why?
    And why
    The Right claims Christ?

    I am sick and TIRED of seeing the Left constantly divide into fights.

    This former card-carrying
    Libertarian voter
    Now anarchist

  • Robin Datta, I was just swearing, no need to take it literally.

    Seriously, I’m frustrated beyond belief. All our problems could be solved if we still had a concept of “basic human decency”, but even on the Left, we’re apparently more concerned with picking fights.

    On THIS blog of ALL places we should be above our American culture’s obsession with selfishness and cruelty and one-upping each other.

  • I was just swearing, no need to take it literally.

    Mere figure of speech
    Swearing
    Or with a kernel of truth?

    All our problems could be solved if we still had a concept of “basic human decency”,

    Now off the cliff
    Solving all problems
    Needs Wile E. Coyote’s genius

  • Librarian : “All our problems could be solved if we still had a concept of “basic human decency”, but even on the Left, we’re apparently more concerned with picking fights.”

    The Left v. Right is already a split of the kind you’re talking about, isn’t it ? Also you appear to assume that the traditional democratic 2 party system is valid and has positive answers. I don’t accept that. The 2 party system is entirely rigged and controlled by the tier above it. It’s a simple ‘divide and rule’ strategy which, ( in the UK anyway, which I know better, although the situation appears to be even worse in USA ) guarantees that nothing actually changes or threatens the guys with the real power.

    It’s just a kind of football match, with two teams, to distract the crowds and prevent them from noticing that the same people own both teams and the referee and the football ground. It has nothing to do with ‘the will of the people’ anymore, it’s a device to ensure that ‘the will of the people’ is contained and neutralised.

    In any case, have you not noticed that the concept of nation state is no longer relevant ? It’s just an empty shell. Real power has moved elsewhere, where nation states cannot control it, banks, transnational corporations, offshore tax havens, non-democratic unelected bodies like the world bank, IMF, etc, the elite 1% who have no ties or loyalty to any particular nation, etc.

    But, as a thought experiment, what if we could restore integrity to 2 party politics so that it was an authentic expression of the people’s wishes, and we all stuck to some common code of basic human decency, then what ? How is that going to solve the problems ? I asked you this in the previous thread and you didn’t really answer, so here’s my comment again.

    Even given a better political system, in every country, with a united Left, how would that provide solutions to these problems in any time frame that would be effective ? I mean, I’d be more than happy if there were some good answers, but I can’t see any at all.

    I agree with Dr House, re population. We can argue about the precise numbers, but a rough calculation gives a SUSTAINABLE global population as around 0.5 billion, without degrading the biosphere.

    That means we are 6.5 billion in excess, with another 2 billion ( = 2 x China ) on the way in the next couple of decades.

    Anybody got a solution for that problem ?

    We are acidifying the oceans 10 times faster than at any time in the last X 100 million years ( I forget the exact figure. Does it even matter ? ) which will mean most ocean life dies. We’ve already removed 90% of the large fish. The geological record shows clearly that similar rapid changes in the past have been cataclysmic for life on Earth.

    Anybody got a solution for that problem ?

    We’ve wrecked the global climate which enabled civilisation to develop. That era is now over. From now onward we get something much less hospitable. How can anyone grow crops when they have no idea what the weather will be like, other than it will probably be unlike anything they have ever known in their lifetime ?

    Anybody got a solution for that problem ?

    Most of the humans alive don’t even understand this situation and what has caused it, and many are actively obstructing any moves to try and fix it, and have been doing so for decades. THEY are responsible for this disaster.

    Anybody got a solution for that problem ?

    The disasters we have today, like vanishing Arctic ice and glaciers, are the result of CO2 emitted thirty odd years ago, we still have not stopped increasing emissions, and what we are doing today will not have it’s effect for another 30 years or so.
    Along with the burning forests, melting permafrost, methane emissions, etc, etc.

    Anybody got a solution for that problem ?

    This list can go on for pages, the Fukes, nuclear and chemical and biological war, etc, etc, etc…..

    We are upon the brink of a Permian-type Mass Extinction Event. Most living things on Earth are about to vanish forever. Including us.

    Nobody wants to face up to this.

    Who can blame them ? It is too horrible to contemplate without feeling ill.

    The WORST thing that could possibly happen, is happening….

    The only reason I am here on this blog is because there’s a handful of folk HERE who are not in denial about all this stuff… I cannot find anywhere else where that is the case.

  • BenjaminTheDonkey
    Can you write about those days at LATOC? I am interested in Matt Savinar and the journey he has been on, and the group who ‘formed’ around LATOC. Any info would be great to fill in the blanks.
    Cheers.

  • MB-

    Heavens to Betsy, you need to lighten up.

    So I get multiple digs because I make a tongue in cheek remark to ulvfugl, who I know from another space, a remark incidentally that was not directed personally at you as an insult or to start a flameout.

    Really?

    In a later post you say you find conduct this “deplorable”. Either your standard for said conduct is so low as to render the word “deplorable” utterly meaningless or you have a very thin skin indeed.

    As to my name, nerd, geek, dork, dweeb and dweebus are all schoolyard taunts leveled at someone who’s interest or appearance don’t fit into the mainstream. I wear the label with pride and that’s why it was chosen.

    Good Day,

    dweebus

  • I believe you, Guy … and, I believe in you. Thanks for the reality check. Sending mega love and colossal hugs your way.

  • Crisis coming soon,
    Oh, silly me, a buffoon,
    I neglected to say,
    It’s that rainy day,
    So get out your stores,
    Brush up on your chores,
    We’re in for the Mother of all destruction.

  • Kids freaking out.
    Massive lightening just struk to our house verandah, at 9:02pm AEST. More around us.
    Did I say crisis?
    Perhaps was is too mild a word!
    (No rhyming.)

  • Heavens to Betsy, you need to lighten up.

    Lighter till refill
    Less bucket content
    Rest spread wider

  • “Seriously, I’m frustrated beyond belief. All our problems could be solved if we still had a concept of “basic human decency”, but even on the Left, we’re apparently more concerned with picking fights.”

    That’s why I mentioned NVC (non-violent communication); ten years on from realising it’s use on a personal level I think the simplicity, non-doctrinal, practicality of it has probably the best potential around for enabling us to connect across apparent divides as well as hear ourselves sufficiently deeply that our cravings for consumption shift to faith in connection.

    No, at first this may not be apparent from initial readings about it, but practiced, especially in conjunction with meditation, it is the best shot I can see we have (regardless of eventual outcome), for connecting and experiencing that love which it talked about here through the time to come.

    There is much talk about love in many circles, but if everyone defines it differently and has different expectations we have little chance of sharing it. If we can find common ground through the sort of understanding and empathy NVC facilitates I really think we’re on the way to at least leaving this world more gently.

  • “The platitudinous love for humanity is just another cheap evasion of the horrifying truth. Our history is nothing more than a trail of blood and slaughter. About five thousand years ago we reached a level of social and technological complexity that eventually facilitated our domination of the biosphere. We have wasted little time in transforming this world into a collection of wage gulags, abattoirs, endless wars, endless frivolous idiocy (i.e. the culture industry) and strip malls. As Derek Jensen has said, we are carnivorous zombies, spiritually lifeless bodies addicted to unbounded consumption. So what’s there to love, other than our distorted self-aggrandizing fantasies? Collectively, we have become monstrous. Perhaps there are a few critical, self-reflective cancer cells in some dying patient’s body who realize how destructive they are and they wring their metaphorical hands because they understand that the death of their host spells certain doom for their kind. However, the end result of their activity (the playing out of their nature) is unstoppable. The higher consciousness of a few does not counterbalance the obscene murderousness (and the indifference to murderousness) of the many.

    Almost everyone I know, with only two exceptions, are meat puppets of the matrix; or as Zizek put it, “stupid people being happy.” They don’t give a sh**t about anything other than the continuation of the little party they are having in their heads. They are not poor, misinformed, lovable victims, they are the cancer itself”

    IMO this is a great piece of writing. Thank you.

    You know, for a long time I couldn’t figure out the “cup is half full or the cup is half empty” thing. I was such a literalist. In my mind 1/2 was 1/2, the rest was a bunch of crap. Now that the cup is draining fast I get a lot more out of simply appreciating what is left in the cup.

  • Kathy C. and everyone else here, two vids to listen to about the on-going bathing in radiation that we here in the U.S. are experiencing from both Fukushima and Bayou Corne (along with other info you might want to be up to speed on). Looks like that nuclear contamination we all think is a good ways off yet (since the electrical grid hasn’t failed yet) has been happening for the past 14 months and continues!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/dutchsinse
    (on Bayou Corne including connections to the BP Gulf oil spill, fracking and the New Madrid seismic fault)

    and


    (on Fukushima and how we’re all Fuked now)

  • When you say “the Jerks get the girls” does that mean the stupid hunks get the hot young women. If so let them have each other. Mature men and women find love regardless of age and physical attributes. Anyone fixated on girls needs to widen their horizons and find a woman instead (well and become the kind of man that a mature, intelligent, loving, caring woman would want).

  • Anthony (and depressive lucidity): absolutely – thanks seconded here.

  • Kathy C

    Ah, KC, in another life, it might have been….

    Off topic-

    How do you compose your vege garden soil?. I know you use Humanure, and probably the straw and Chicken ‘droppings’,(Ah such euphamisms), but can you explain briefly, and what are some of your foods you grow?

    Anyone else growing anything or got tips for soil fortitude.Mine compacts too quickly, so I think I need better compost and maybe some sand and sawdust in the mx early?

    I spoke to a guy who gave me a lift some week ago, and he said that those massive soils they found in the southamerican overgrown forrests, were from a large civilisation that was there when the Spanish came through. Those soils are at present the subject of a large research project, because they believe they successfullt fed hundreds of thousands of people, and they are 1-3 meters deep. The time scale is also what interests the world soil people, because they seem to have had them stable for many decades and even longer. This guy said he heard recently they feel Biochar was a key ingredient. Anyone know of something odf this or related issues.