Essence

by Duncan Charles Mason

In the final years before the “meltdown” dozens of apocalyptic, millennialist, rapturous and downright strange pseudo- and epi-religions arose as human ethnic, racial and national groups attempted to “bargain with the divine” to ‘save’ themselves from the impending agonies.
One example of such “god-bothering” was the religious group that arose in Texas (of all places!) and posited that because oil was the millennial deposit accrued from the deaths of millions, billions of plants and animals, that it was actually soul. That is, the black goo was what remained of the souls of the creatures from which it had formed. And they believed that the burning of this soul goo was causing (and I quote here from one of their pamphlets) “a rift in the psychic sheath surrounding planet earth, sending ripples of agony throughout the planetary sphere and a howling cry of pain into interstellar space.”

They also posited that gold was the spirit remains of these same creatures. It was surprising how many flocked to this rather recondite sect (and many other cults and sects, equally odd and innovative) in the final years when it seemed that mankind (what a misnomer) was struggling to escape the infernal triumvirate of fossil fuel induced climate change, militarized political repression and waves of starvation.

The triple-play meltdown of the arctic ice, the oceans and numerous nuclear facilities shut them all up. The nuclear facilities are no doubt still moving through various states of decay and disaster, the poisons spreading. The last bat, indeed.

We are lucky to be here far from any of them.

This valley. This last valley.

The people who live here call it Alpha, implying a new beginning. Although it seems to me to be merely a drawn-out ending. Nevertheless, what they have achieved is remarkable.

I stumbled in here ten months ago, damn near dead from frostbite and exhausted by “survivor games” in the foothills over the other side of this range. Over there those with the guns take from those who lack them – the full bore Mad Max scenario of all our worst nightmares. I lost my son. He decided to join a militia and use the survival skills I taught him in a pseudo-paramilitary outfit that he felt offered him a better chance of survival than just ‘tagging along with dad”. My wife died long ago, died of radiation exposure – she was one of those who had struggled on on-site to try to contain the inevitable. Her memory is with me to my dying day. I loved her so. Six weeks from first exposure to a horrible death – life and death measured in sieverts.

They get up early here. They work as long as there is light. Their evenings are lit by candles and diodes fed by hundreds of small-scale solar power collector/generators. Last year they harvested all that they needed from the valley floor in repeating cycles of growth, harvest and recycle. Nothing is wasted. Everything is either a foodstuff or an input for biodiversity and permaculture.
The children collect earthworms for the worm farms and the super abundance of earthworms that ensue are taken outside and given back to the soil, the dark liquid that collects in the bottom of the worm farms is mixed with grasses and leaves to form a compost rich in aroma and potential.
Spores are regularly spread throughout the forest and a surprisingly large bounty of mushrooms of many kinds is harvested – they form a substantial portion of their diet.

The winter was long and hard, a time of little outdoor activity but of much crafting: the making of clothes and tools (here there is someone skilled in stone flaking – a neolithic art valued once again).

The sun that passes over the valley each day, the rim of mountain peaks that surround the valley, create an ideal growing area protected from the strongest winds. So far the rain, though abundant and heavy, has not overwhelmed the crops carefully nurtured. They have been lucky so far. They harvest successive crops of grasses to feed their livestock. Each time the grasses are cut (with scythes, by hand) the ground nesting birds come to raise another brood. These people do not eat the eggs of the wild birds. Their every daily effort is bent on enriching the biosphere in which they live. You might almost describe their “putting back” as their religion. Beehives abound in hollow logs, tadpoles are harvested from every pond and carried in cups and cans to places where they have dug – by hand – other ponds. They are in the process of “seeding” the entire valley with every form of life that they can interact with. And because of their efforts the valley redounds with bird song, hawks and eagles soar overhead, the deer move in increasing numbers through the woods, the bears and wolves wander unmolested on the higher slopes: natura naturans.

Their food is the seeds, nuts and fruits they harvest, the fish they catch and dry, the milk they get from their goats and cows, the cheese they make themselves, the eggs they get from their chickens and quail. All are now, primarily (except for the eggs and fish), vegetarian; a kind of revulsion to the eating of meat has spread through this post meltdown community – and a revulsion to the accumulation of the ever increasing amounts of manure that would ensue if too many animals were kept here. They recognize this as something that would eventually choke this valley’s ecosystem as it has choked river systems, meadows, farmlands and the oceans across the planet.
However, they do recognize the nutritive value of meat for the older members of the community, the menstruating and pregnant women, the smaller children. All the meat is minced, however, and patties of meat and kebabs are eaten in the communal dining hall. No one wants to face roasted carcasses, bones, sinew on their dinner plates. Needless to say, a few dedicated souls skilled in butchering and rendering take care of this rather squeamish approach to the eating of meat. The wildlife is considered sacrosanct and the deer and the pheasants and the numerous other winged and four-leggeds are left completely alone.

Horses and donkeys and a few precious oxen provide the bulk of the heavy labour but as all of the dwellings are earth houses sunk ten feet deep into the ground and covered with several alternating layers of logs, moss and earth, there is very little “heavy construction” going on. And fires are lit sparingly.

Culture has become sharing. Those with medical experience teach first aid, those literate teach poetry, writing, reading, those skilled in the practical arts teach woodcraft, the making of clothes, pottery, the musicians share all they have. In a sense it is a mini-Renaissance, in that everyone is learning everything from everyone else. All gatherings, formal, semi-formal, informal, involve the passing on of skills. There is very little time spent in reminiscence, the re-hashing of old mythologies, politics, history. There seems to be a tacit acknowledgement among the adults that what is past is past and best left behind. There is a refreshing focus on moving forward not looking back. Those who were doctors, teachers, carpenters, crafters, continue to do what they were trained for but everything is scaled down, pared to its essence – a true attempt to pass on ‘what is of most worth’. The children and the environment surrounding are the paramount concerns – and of course the ongoing struggle to feed everyone.

Because of this, as you move through the community, you hear storytellers, singers, musicians, lectures in first aid and the various virtues of different kinds of wood, cord, leaves, roots, hides. It is a community of teachers and learners – a culture of essence.

There is one story that has arisen – no one seems to know who wrote it – but if any tale could be considered ‘the ur-myth’ of the community it is this short parable. There are two versions and they are identical in every aspect except one: if a girl or woman is telling the story it is related using feminine pronouns, and if a boy or man is speaking he uses masculine pronouns. It too, is a pared down message conveying essence, and everyone has memorized it.

The community accepts all religious and philosophical inclinations and all points of view are tolerated; however, as most have realized that what they once believed has led to the bankruptcy of 21c civilization and to this remnant of sanity in a global pandemonium, most acknowledge that essence is best, and that this story reflects a valuable essence. I offer the story here in its “female” form; if you were reading the “male” version of the story, it would begin thus: “He came home from work one day; it had been a tough day and he was feeling tired” and would be called Heaven & Hell for Boys.

Heaven & Hell for Girls

She came home from work one day; it had been a tough day and she was feeling tired. The weather had been lousy, the evening commute a chore, the food she prepared for her dinner was a disappointment.

She thought of herself as a good woman, she tried always to do the right thing. She watched the tv news and felt sorry for all the people involved in all the terrible things that happened each day in far-flung corners of the world: famine, earthquake, flood and war. She prayed regularly and she hoped that all would be well someday.

But the far-off day of peace never seemed to come and she often felt that her life was going nowhere. She lived a quiet life, but always felt that something was missing. She never felt that she was ever really ‘on her way’. Her disappointment in what she had made of herself sometimes overwhelmed her. She sometimes suspected that her life could have been so much more.

Putting her plate in the sink after dinner, she washed up, read the paper – more bad news – took a shower, laid out her clothes for work the next day, poured herself a glass of milk and went to bed. The usual routine, the usual time, she was a creature of habit.

That night she had a terrible vision. She was walking toward a cave entrance, and then she was moving inside the cave. At the back of the cavern there were two huge metal doors studded with bolts. As she approached, the great gates began to swing open a line of red light forming between them as they parted. She felt a blast of hot air and heard the sound of far off screams and shouts.
She felt herself moving into the tunnel, sliding down a hallway; she couldn’t stop herself, wanted desperately not to move toward the distant sounds but couldn’t help herself. It was as if the floor, sloping downward, was slippery, she couldn’t stop herself sliding toward what she now saw was distant flames.

A tall, beautiful angel with arcing white wings stood on one side of the tunnel. As she approached the angel held something out to her. She took the object and realized that it was a wooden spoon with a long handle.

Puzzled, she kept on moving forward and then came to a halt at the lip of an enormous cavern spread out below her, far bigger than any space she had ever seen before, entire cities could be built inside that cave. Her ears were assaulted with a roaring cacophony of screams and shouts and she realized she looked upon Hell.

Thousands of human beings were seething around an enormous fire in the center of the cave. They were climbing over one another, people were being trampled as they all tried to get closer to a gigantic cauldron that was bubbling on the fire. Flames roared all around the perimeter of the cavern, too, licking up the walls to enormous heights. Stalagtites and stalagmites were everywhere, in many places they had fused together forming enormous pillars up which the flames crept.

The people were bathed in sweat, their skin was flaking and peeling from the heat, red and shiny where it had been scalded by the flames. They all were intently focused on only one thing: the enormous cauldron. They fought each other, biting, punching and scratching, ever clutching their spoons as if their very lives depended upon them.

She saw that those who triumphed over the others, the strongest or the most ruthless, climbed to the rim of the seething cauldron, seemingly oblivious to the flames that seared their skin and smouldered in their hair. As soon as they had climbed and clambered to the rim they reached in with their long handled spoons to eat whatever was bubbling inside.

But it seemed their spoons were too short, for they drew them back empty from the depths of the cauldron. Every now and then one would draw a spoonful of liquid and try to swallow it; inevitably, the food would fall from their spoon before it reached their mouths. They would then roar with frustration and shove their arms back down into the cauldron. Sooner or later they would tire and another soul would push or pull them from the rim of the enormous cauldron; the usurper would then try his or her luck at obtaining some of the precious, seemingly unattainable food.

The noise was incredible, a howling mob screaming with hunger and anger and despair. Steam rose from the mighty cauldron, a cauldron so big you could have sailed a ship across the bubbling surface. The whole cavern was filled with steam and flame and the smell of sweat and fire and hatred.

The people kicked and punched each other, gouged out eyes, tore skin with their fingernails, used the spoons as weapons in their attempts to climb to the top of the pile of struggling human beings and reach the rim of the cauldron to strive, fruitlessly, for the hot food that lay simmering within it.

The woman woke suddenly from her sleep, bathed in sweat and full of fear. Realizing she was back in her humble bed in her humble room, she gave thanks that she was not in that terrible hell. She got out of bed and knelt down on the floor, full of thankfulness and asked in her prayers that all human beings currently alive be spared the horrors of hell, and that all those souls now in hell be forgiven and allowed to ascend to the heavenly heights.

She knelt motionless in prayer for quite some time and then, wearily, she crawled back under the covers and fell into a deep sleep.

This time her dreams revealed a flower-strewn, sun-dappled meadow across which a gentle river quietly meandered. Moving along the banks beneath the shade of willow trees she saw irises and bulrushes and yellow flag waving in the breeze. Beneath an enormous oak tree, she saw another angel with magnificent white wings gleaming in the sunshine. The angel offered her a wooden spoon with a long handle and pointed toward a grove of trees ahead.

A chill of fear assailed her, for even in her sleep she remembered the earlier vision of hell and the thousands of souls fighting to feed themselves from the enormous cauldron.

As she approached the grove of trees she noticed fruit and blossoms hanging from the boughs: apples and apple blossom, pears and pear blossom, cherries ripe and red clustering among pink blooms, peaches, figs, almonds among startlingly bright blossoms, oranges, lemons and limes. All blooming and fruiting together on the same tree at the same time.

Her spirits rose somewhat at the sight but she still felt apprehension as she tightened her grip on the long-handled wooden spoon. She saw a gap in the trees, a natural archway formed by fragrant jasmine. She moved forward and entered an enormous natural amphitheatre, a gigantic glade so large she could just barely see the misty blue trees on the further side, the arc of the nearest trees marched away to either side into the blue hazy distance.

In the centre of the meadow another gigantic cauldron soared up to a great height. The vessel had holes pierced in the side and a pale golden liquid poured forth in countless cascading waterfalls. The liquid fell into pools lined with a thousand species of flowering plants and flowed away in all directions in rippling streams.

Thousands of men and women and children clustered in groups, lying or sitting on the grass, near the pools or on the banks of the streams. Birdsong filled the air and some of the people had musical instruments upon which they played while others accompanied them with sweet songs carried on melodious voices.

No one was climbing to the cauldron, but every now and again someone would stroll to a stream or pond and dip their spoon into the streams of nectar that flowed from the cauldron, then they would carefully walk back, cupping their other hand under the spoon so that not a single drop fell on the ground. As she looked closer she noticed that this activity was ongoing and everywhere. There was a constant movement of people from the groups to the streams of liquid and back again.

And she then noticed that, upon returning to their group, nurturing so conscientously the spoonful of food, they carefully and reverently held the spoon to the mouth of another soul whose lips parted and who took the spoonful graciously provided.

None were feeding themselves; they were all feeding each other.

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6-30 April 2015, western Europe (additional details forthcoming, and follow the tour at guymcpherson.net and also on Facebook)

25 April 2015, 6:00 p.m., Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, “Climate Awareness Seminar”

European tour spring 2015

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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Comments 82

  • Mr. Mason,
    That is a very beautiful piece of writing. I have heard a slightly similar version of the “heaven and hell” section before when I was growing up and like the way that you have integrated it into your piece.

  • We’re having a heat wave here in South Florida. A/c usually starts for me on June 1st at the earliest. I turned ours on last Friday.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  • In my opinion, one can read a good, thought provoking article titled “Science In An Age Of Opinion”, here: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/science_in_an_age_of_opinion_20150311

    When I read this sentence, I immediately thought of many comments at NBL and other sites: “The weight of a social network post is not equal to a team of scientists researching for decades.”

    Why did I immediately think of NBL? Because a significant percentage of people clearly do strongly believe that the weight of their social network post—their opinion—DOES equate with the assessments and opinions of a team of scientists researching for decades. And this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “The past was a Golden Age, of ignorance, while the present is an Iron Age, of willful blindness.” —Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee

  • Jaded

    Surprised at the worsening trend
    Of horror to comprehend?
    Sure, everything’s wrecked,
    But it’s what to expect
    When the world comes to an end.
    ==

    You Say You Want a Revolution

    Perhaps you feel drained from feigning
    The niche social structure’s ordaining,
    But you’re not obtaining
    Relief from complaining
    Within the time that’s remaining.

  • Yeah, Bud. As if lots of ‘science’ out there, claiming years of research, isn’t put there to manipulate the masses. One sentence of propaganda can trump years of science, anyway, if it’s what one wants to believe. I respect almost all the posters here, especially the ones that speak from the heart. The heart is where the highest truth is found anyway. Many people who understood that NTE was just around the corner figured it out through simple, homely intuition long ago, and were sneered at, year after year, by all the Mr. Smartypantses, like you. We’ve been marginalized, ignored, interrupted, belittled and smirked at by know-it-all’s for so long that’s it’s a Heavenly release to come to NBL and be able to pour our guts out. Sure, we may be simple folk but this is our home so, fuck you!

    Here’s a song for you.

  • Duncan,
    Thank you. Beautifully written, moving and descriptive. I enjoyed it very much.

  • I was born smelling it
    at six I knew it in my core
    at twelve I understood the science behind it
    at eighteen I saw the Truth that it didn’t matter
    by twenty I wanted to kill them all
    two more decades taught me how to live with it
    now I’m just having fun with it
    and it’s having so much fun with me
    we can barely stand each other
    dying of laughter together
    just loving it

  • @ Red Fox

    You’ve come to this space claiming that others here have ‘endlessly’ disparaged other/Native American culture. I have asked you to name names as to who you think has done so, mainly because I believe you are dead wrong.

    So, where does that leave us?

    Well, either you can actually point out who has done this, or you can’t. If you can, I would very much like to know who you are referring. If you can’t then you were wrong to make such a claim. You can either admit your mistake, or you can continue to avoid it, which raises the question of the validity of everything you have to say if you are not capable of owning your errors of judgement.

    Now, the reasons for why you might be reluctant to admit your mistake, is that it queries a far more deeply rooted and personal question as to why you had a lapse of reason in the first place, which plays right into the narrative in which Bud has been pointing out–much to the annoyance of ‘the blame gang’–all along, and in my opinion, goes a little something like this: Those who are still needing to place blame on someone, are most likely still hiding from a far more ubiquitous and disturbing truth, which is that we are all to blame to a point that no one is, and that just because there are CLEARLY those who are far guiltier, it doesn’t absolve anyone from having consumed their share.

    And for those who are primarily motivated by the promise of social/environmental justice, as I have been for most of my life, that tragic realization just so happens to dissolves a certain degree of long held outrage. Initially, we find ourselves reflexively opposed to it, because it undermines not only our past perspectives on the history of social injustice, but the key identifiers as to who we are ourselves.

    It’s very easy to go through life blaming someone, anyone, for the mess we now find ourselves. It’s actually a relief to point at some other race, country and economic bracket and believe that if it wasn’t for ‘them’, the rest of ‘us’ wouldn’t be where we are now. It affords the blamer a reprieve from any responsibly of being a part of the dilemma, and in spite of all the despair and destruction around us, that can still be quite comforting in its own right.

    Even ‘white guilt’ is oddly comforting, because it allows whitey to feel that they’ve evolved beyond their soiled inculcation and have accepted that their peoples are responsible for everything. Though I’m quite sure a Dalit living in the slums of Calcutta might have a different opinion as who’s to blame for their misfortune.

    It might behoove you, as well as the rest of the blame gang, to realize that when confronted with the multiple choice question of who/what is to blame, where the list of options ranges from everything between agriculture to xenophobia, the best probable answer is simply ‘all of the above’.

  • Daniel,
    Thank you for your insights, observations and suggestions. However, on this occasion I will decline your offer to participate in an exchange as you appear to be more than capable of answering any concerns that you may have, for yourself, without the need for any additional input from myself.

  • An objective investigation of the world takes a “subject” and the object, the investigated. The “one who has the awareness at this moment” is conceptualised as the “subject”, the “investigator”. However, the concept is bereft of awareness: it has no awareness and will never have any awareness. Yet it is taken to stand in for “something whose awareness it purportedly represents”.

    That is the great shortcoming of the unrealised: the inability to distinguish the Self from the non-self, the awareness from the awareness “of”. This shortcoming is carried over into science, and seriously screws it up every time a concept is set up as an equivalent for awareness.

    From the Brihadaranyaka upanishad:

    •Unseen It sees; unheard It hears; unthought, It thinks; unknown It knows.

    •There is no other seer but It; there is no other hearer but It; there is no other knower but It.

    •That is thy Self, the Inner Ruler, the Immortal.

    •Whatever is different from It is perishable.

    It illuminates perception and cogitation with awareness, as sunlight illuminates the world. That is why the meat robot that one inhabits appears to be conscious; it is also why one projects the same property onto others.

  • -Dear Duncan,

    What a enlightening story. The underlying morality of the story is quite beautiful and full of mental pictures, very enjoyable. Your highly descriptive writing of both the heaven and hell scenes were riveting. It truly makes the human mind, I hope, think about the afterlife possibilities as well as possible spiritual destinations. The overall moral of the story is something we all should try to adhere to. It is better to give than to receive. It is more divine to help others than be filled with cruel, barbaric, and brutal selfishness as depicted in the burning hellish scene. Unfortunately as modern civilization engages in war after war, human brutalities after mass human brutalities, what all men(especially human governments) should adhere to is all “gone with the wind.”

    SPEAKING OF WINDS:

    HERE IS MORE SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE WHICH THE WORLD IS WITNESSING RIGHT NOW IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS. TO BAD THE WORLD GOVERNMENTS, (IN PARTICULARLY THE DIVINE “LIGHT UPON A HILL” AMERICA)(PUN INTENDED)WILL NOT TELL THE POPULOUS THE TRUTH:

    IT IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE, MUCH, MUCH WORSE.

    DR. JAMES HANSEN’S BOOK “STORMS” IS FOUNDATIONAL AND MORE THAN RELEVANT TO THIS FACT.

    *****ARCTIC NEWS BLOG*****
    “Strong Winds And Waves Batter Arctic Sea Ice
    As Earth warms, the intensity of storms is rising across the globe. At least eight people died in Vanuatu, as it was hit by Cyclone Pam. “It hit Port Vila at an incredible 340 kilometres an hour”, mentions a recent news report. The left part of the image below shows Cyclone Pam reaching speeds as high as 144 kilometers an hour (89.48 mph, green circle) on March 12, 2015, 1500Z, while three further cyclones feature on the Southern Hemisphere.” (CHECK OUT WINDS HERE)

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/–nd_amYWf9Q/VQVK_YCqo7I/AAAAAAAAP_Q/o6EElEwETgo/s1600/cyclones.jpg

    “At the same time, on the Northern Hemisphere, winds reached speeds as high as 101 km/h (62.76 mph, bottom green circle), 120 km/h (74.56 mph, middle green circle) and 112 km/h (69.59 mph, top green circle), as shown on the right part of above image. The image below shows strong winds moving from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean on March 13, 2015.”

    The video below, with cci-reanalyzer.org forecasts for March 13 – 20, 2015, shows strong winds battering the Arctic Ocean at both the Pacific and Atlantic ends.

    “Meanwhile, it more and more looks like the 2015 sea ice extent maximum was reached on February 25, as illustrated by the image below.”

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hRUd1E0e8lI/VQVakLl-1bI/AAAAAAAAP_g/zJlitkEOBxI/s1600/2015-maximum.png

    More Great Work by Sam Carana.

    -Dr. McPherson,
    I hope to see some of your presentations soon. Do you think it would be a good idea to share the above information with your audience? As I noted in an earlier post, I just don’t see how anyone can look past the absolute seriousness of an ice-free arctic, which is unstoppable and on the way. All these winds are going to add to the destabilization of the ice sheets and the Methane under the ice sheets. Maybe it is a connection people are not aware of. Now the winds will tell the true story as countries are demolished by unprecedented “Storms” just as Dr. Hansen have written in his book. I believe he even mention storms the size or countries or continents.

    The world is watching only the mere beginning of the devastation of the super storms that will appear year after year.

  • The superstorms,the superdroughts,the superfamines,the superheatwaves,
    the superocean devestation,the superdelusions,the superdie-offs

  • SADLY, MORE TRUTH.

    *****SEEMOREROCKS*****

    Cyclone Pam

    “There are live updates on cyclone Pam from both Stuff and Radio NZ

    This has been an absolute catastrophe for Vanuatu and the entire region. There was the expectation that Pam could vear off to the SE, or the worst-case scenario of it following a north-south trajectory.

    As we now know it followed the worst-case scenario, cutting a swathe of devastation through the islands of the archipelago.

    We know what the situation in Port Vila is, that has many concrete building, but still have no idea of the real extent of the damage and loss of lives throughout the other islands – but we know it will be unprecedented.

    Those of us who are willing to mention the elephant in the room, know that this is not the last time that this sort of destruction will be visited upon the Pacific. This is but the beginning of abrupt climate change that is going to be disastrous for the Pacific – and for us all.

    In the medium future, it looks as if these storms are going to give a nudge to the “weak” el-Nino and make a serious situation worse.

    For the real clues we need to look far to the north, to the Arctic.”

  • Duncan, your story was beautiful, thank you for sharing.
    Fiction is a door to perception that many will walk through, having willfully bypassed the doors of science which map a more direct route to the painful truth.
    As an art form, it sometimes acts as a precursor to acceptance on a level more grounded in reality for those less versed in science. Think of the effect of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. Screenwriters have intuited the situation, but most treatments that reach the big screen are abject failures. Even so, I see this as the general population’s way of dealing with what the future surely holds. Or not dealing with it, since those films give a sense of catharsis, a feeling of already having dealt with it by the time the film ends.

    Anyway, there was a short story published in 2010 by Robert Salsbury that struck me at the time as being prophetic… It won first place in short story contest in the Spokane Inlander, who, at a loss for how to categorize, called it a “satire”!
    Here’s the first part and a link if you want to read the rest:

    “Elder Jeremiah caught the boy stealing our No. 12 dog, a pregnant gray and black spaniel, in a grove of poison maples beyond our encampment perimeter. He beat the boy with an iron vent pipe, chained him to a post and left him for the Judgment. Elder Jeremiah cursed while carrying the dog’s carcass and the boy’s spear fashioned from an old mop stick and tipped with four splayed steel spikes. The dog will be eaten before the sun is down, although custom is breeder-dogs are not to be eaten until barren. Our clan uses statistical tables to calculate probabilities for survival when a successful breeder-dog is removed, and with blade-thin margins, it is a serious event to lose even one.
    As the Spokan-Palous clan’s Adjudicator, I will analyze the evidence. I will judge him. I will not determine the sentence — the Sentencing Council will. The boy appears to be 11 to 12 years old, with an emaciated frame splotched with suppurating scabs and boils on his chest. He wears torn black canvas pants, sandals of tire rubber and rope, and no shirt. He is pre-pubertal. His head is shaved except for a 50cm mud-caked blonde cord of hair plunging from his crown down his back and braided and banded with filthy scraps of leather. Inked into the left side of his head is an unknown clan tattoo — a red scorpion in a circle of flame. So many strange clans … our valley stinks of interlopers since the dying season grew to 10 months a year, the outlands desiccated of edibles, arterials coursing with the violent hunger of a thousand roaming souls……”
    http://www.inlander.com/spokane/resource-management/Content?oid=2133832

  • For discussion of the maximal arctic ice http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2015/03/mad-max.html#more and of course

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1112.0.html Neven is nice.

    Of course the heaven and sheol analogy with the long spoons is possibly 2500 years old. Anyone wishing for a “Pure Land” is welcome to utilize it and re-write it every generation and/or genre. The whole she/he duality is of course encapsulated in Guanyin/Amitabha/Tara, the ones who relieve and rescue the denizens of the non-sharing long spoon universe.

    The continuation of how many dakinis or angels or wood sprites can dance on a pin, i. e. when did “it” go wrong, what geograhical/historic grouping of people took “it” wrong, was there ever a chance to avoid NTHE, when did our Thanatic dance start and when did it turn scherzo – boring.

    The petty arguments above and previous when we have so little time left reminds me of the character Lev Grigorievich Rubin (the philogist) in “The First Circle.” One could possibly argue that many of us are presently in our own little sharanskas, the modern day first circles of hell.

    Hey Guy, might be a nice little article to compare the North American university system esp. the natural science departments with the sharanskas of the Soviet Union.

  • “You’ve come to this space claiming that others here have ‘endlessly’ disparaged other/Native American culture. I have asked you to name names as to who you think has done so, mainly because I believe you are dead wrong.”

    You, Gail, etc. et al. Pretty obvious really. For 3 years, meeting clear record of claims of sensible land stewardship and occupation of land base on the part of Indigenous North Americans, systematic rejecting (Genesis 1:28) “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”, personal accounts of non-totalist culture experience are met with
    (1) projectile vomit (<- actual words typed into keyboard".),
    (2) ad homs,
    (3) references to extremely problematic, citation and data lacking texts, like Keeley, Eslington, Harvard anthropolgy dept., etc.
    (4) Dr. Johnson single minded level of obsession with and contempt for Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality," 1754. Still trying to fight and win the French revolution 250 years later.
    (5) Gaslighting reality. Making wild claims about what is and what is not, with no concomitant willingness to stand back, question self or envision modesty or non-absolutism on claims and issues.
    (6) Completely over the head disconcern that any or all in dogmatic combination might, just might, come across as objectionable, irresponsible or even highly inflammatory, insulting and offensive. Thus necessitating a lighter touch, more respectful dialogue and openness to accommodating other analysis, experience and points of view.

    All amounts to authoritarian right wing mindset and political disposition. An insistence (again from the cultural imperial center)
    on casting highly controversial and self-serving definitions.
    To whit, you can’t and you ain’t gonna get this over, at least on me, no matter how many self-interested post toasties you all come up with. Although, sadly, I see no end in sight. Because, me personally, I require solid, consistent data over time, and not stories cherry picked to support a manifest destiny imperialist point of view.

    ___________________________________________

    To whit, Am tired of doing free psych work here. But unfortunately,I see this as some kind of intractable deterministic brain structure issues, like from the determinist crowd. No matter how much contrary evidence and variations in interpretation are presented, the fixed situation prevents anyone from cognating that they might be pissing up a tree until so much discomfort, pain, loss of life, or a methane fire ball lands on their head.

    So, I foresee y’all continue doing what y’all been doin’ until the last breath. ‘s the way it works. Because that’s what apple-pie American’s do, and that’s what American privilege, based on cultural, physical, and environmental holocaust and omnicide is all about. And that’s exactly what my old racist, reactionary, right wing grandmother did until she died. Unapologetically, untempered and unrepentant, no matter how wrong she was and no matter how much horror, pain and trauma were dished out along the way. She never retracted or apologized because she didn’t have to. {Get out of humanity free card} And I’d argue that it was exactly this fixed in stone for eternity Right wing, imperial, neo-colonial American capitalist ideological political system that killed the planet.

    And so we get “I believe you are dead wrong.”, because in America, (1) it’s all about belief and (2) anyone pointing these things out must be “dead wrong” because a fish will be the least likely grad student to do a thesis on water. You want a twinkie blanket for your miserable, upscale, boojwa, alienated self-identity? You will not get any from me.
    ___________________________________________

    And poor old Dan. So very sorry to hear about your misfortune of transforming from a young idealist into what’s going on now. Kind of reminds me of a variation on that Kafka story.

    And so, for all these reasons, all I can say is that everything is now informed, infiltrated and defined by immense, overwhelming tragedy.

  • Nonetheless, I have to wonder what purpose it does one, other than misty-eyed romance, to continue to look backwards to an era so far removed we can’t gain a clear picture of it.

    Objection One: The term “native American” almost exclusively means the Plains Indians, and not the Aztecs with their human sacrifices, the Incas with their weird rights and child sacrifices, the Eskimos who hunt whale, baby seals, and caribou. Every time “native American” is used, is almost completely ignoring that entire western hemisphere is AMERICA. There’s a North, Central and South America. It’s a huge land mass with lots of people on it.

    Objection Two: So that misty-eyed look is always for a very select people who were so thoroughly wiped out that it is impossible to fully know what they thought about anything. As much as we’d like to believe it, Chief Dan George in Little Big Man was not how all native Americans behaved.

    Objection Three: The path we’re on is forward into chaos, terror and death. Looking back to some idealized pre-1492 America is huge waste of time. It offers nothing. One would be better suited watching Star Trek re-runs so you knew how to deal with hostile aliens in space ships. If nothing else, it takes place in a world where all this bullshit is far behind us.

    Objection Four: There is every indication that we’ll be neck deep in shit a lot sooner than expected. Today is all that matters, your idyllic yesterdays and terrifying tomorrows need not concern you at all. Spend less time trying to score points online and more time embracing the day.

    Okay. Just a drive-by snarling. I’ll let you get back to it.

  • and that should have been “rites” not “rights” for the Incas. Oh for the want of an editing function….

    bye!

  • The ‘fire’ just got a little hotter: atmospheric CO2 is now closer to 403ppm than 402ppm.

  • Lidia and Bob S., regarding your March 15th comments:

    Emotion comes from a Latin word emovere, to move. We talk of getting “moved” by our emotions, we find ourselves “moved” when those we love show their deepest feelings for us. If two people connect, they indeed let their emotions move them into new ways of responding to each other. Emotions occur for us in three different layers: primary, secondary (reactive), and instrumental. Primary emotions occur at the initial, physiological, gut-level stemming from our immediate surroundings. Primary emotions have importance because they tell us what we REALLY have going on for us. Typical primary emotions include sadness, fear, anger, joy, shame, excitement, and surprise. The key regarding these involves slowing down and making sense of the incoming new meaning that the emotions suggest for us. Our primary emotional responses happen naturally for us for a reason: to provide us with important information!

    When most people talk about emotion, they usually refer to secondary, or reactive, emotions, which follow primary emotions. We have most awareness of our reactive emotions. Whereas primary emotion fires immediately and gives us helpful guidance, secondary emotions occur as a REACTION TO our primary emotions. Typical secondary emotions include anger, frustration, guilt, and defensiveness. Instrumental emotion involves what we SHOW but do not feel: emotions we use to manipulate and control others.

    Two signs tell me when someone has hit a raw spot within me. First, a radical shift occurs in the emotional tone of the conversation, or at least what I THOUGHT the conversation involved. For example, I thought my conversation partner and I had ourselves involved in a scientific dialog, but now one or both of us feel upset or enraged, or, on the other hand, aloof or chilly. I feel thrown off balance, as if the game changed and no one told me. One or both of us thinks something to the effect of “Now where did that come from?” Second, the reaction to a perceived offense often seems way out of proportion.

    These signs involve my primal attachment needs and fears suddenly coming on line. They relate to my deepest and most powerful emotions suddenly taking over. To really understand my raw spots, I need to take a closer look at the deeper emotions that remain key to my sensitivity and unpack them in a way that helps me to deal with them. If I don’t do this, I will speed right past them into a defensive response, usually either anger, at one extreme, or numbing, at the opposite extreme, and either of these responses will give my dialog partner(s) the completely wrong message. In insecure relationships, I disguise my vulnerabilities so that others never really see me. (You, Lidia and Bob S., may not do these things, but I do. I write here only for myself.)

    I will break down what happens when I find one of my raw spots rubbed:

    1. An attachment cue grabs my attention and turns on my attachment system: my longings and fears related to my relationships with others, including other species and Earth. An attachment cue works as a trigger that plugs me in emotionally. A look, a written or spoken phrase, a change in the emotional tone of an interaction with my dialog partner(s) can work as an attachment cue. These cues can work in positive or negative ways, bringing up good or bad feelings. An attachment cue that irritates one of my raw spots sets off an “uh oh” alarm and my brain tells me that I find something strange, bad, or painful approaching fast! My interpreting something you write about me as criticism of me might serve as such an attachment cue.

    2. My body responds. My stomach may churn and my writing or voice may go shrill. Or I might go cold and still and refuse to respond to you. Sometimes the only way I can know how I feel involves listening to my body. Strong emotion mobilizes my body. It puts me into survival mode with lightning speed. Each emotion has a specific, automatic, physiological response signature that I nor others have any conscious control over. When I feel afraid, blood flow increases to my legs; when angry, blood flow increases to my hands.

    3. My intellect, sitting behind my forehead in my brain’s prefrontal cortex, reacts very slowly in comparison with my automatic, physiological responses. Now it catches up with my emotional brain, my amygdala, and it goes looking for what all of this means (Lidia and Bob S.’s apparently negative comments, for example). Now I check my initial perception and decide on what the attachment cue supposedly tells me about the safety of our bond. Any catastrophic conclusions will roll out here right on cue.

    4. I get set to move in a particular way, toward you, away from you, or against you. I find this readiness to act wired into every emotion: Anger tell me to approach and fight. Guilt or shame tells me to withdraw and hide. Fear tell me to flee or freeze, or in real extremes to turn and attack back. Sadness primes me to grieve and let go.

    All this happens in hundredths of a second. Charles Darwin, fascinated by the power of emotion and its role in the struggle for survival, wanted to see how much control he had over his emotions. He used to stand at the glass wall in the London zoo that housed a giant adder and try again and again not to leap back as the adder struck out at him. He never succeeded. His body always reacted in fear even when his conscious mind told him he remained safe.

    The relational version if this might occur as the middle of a vulnerable moment, perhaps when I read someone’s critical comment about me. I feel my body freeze up. The registering of hurt and instant withdrawal probably took less than two-hundredths of a second (about the time scientist’s estimate it takes to register the emotion on another’s face). The vulnerable moment passes. Emotions tell us what matters. They orient and direct us, like an internal compass.

    Lidia (March 14th, 2015 at 11:19 pm), I obviously disagree that we presumably have nothing to gain from “wallowing in EMOTION. If people give themselves over to EMOTION, they will end up sniveling lumps of paralysed flesh to a greater degree than is already the case.” Neither do I agree that “EMOTIONS, these days, are a liability.” Our emotions served us critically to assure our survival for almost two million years but they have supposedly now become a “liability”, you insist? I don’t think so, but you remain entitled to your negative opinion about your emotions, even as they literally save your life many times every year. “Forcing ‘attachment’ onto organisms and processes which never really were set up with that mechanism in mind is foolish, to my mind.” you write. I think that you need to discuss that with biological evolution, Lidia, because evolutionary, biological processes forced attachment onto many mammals. If you consider evolution “foolish”, again, you remain entitled to your opinion, but I disagree.

    Bob S.,

    March 15th, 2015 at 1:01 am you wrote “It was my reply to the coffee spitting post preceding it where a poster compared two $29.95 self-help guru’s with Issac Newton and Albert Einstein !!”. Here, you obviously referred to a comment I made comparing John Gottman and Susan Johnson with Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein. Will you please help me to understand how/why you consider physics, presumably, a more valid or valuable result of using natural scientific processes than psychology and neuroscience? What makes those processes supposedly valid, when used by Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein for physics, but presumably, emphatically, NOT valid when used in psychology, neuroscience, and related fields? What, supposedly, makes it impossible for us to learn about love, as you insist, just as we have learned about gravity, energy, electricity, magnetism, and biological evolution? I don’t follow your reasoning about this at all. Please clarify.

    Meanwhile, I wrote nothing supportive of Tony Robbins in particular, nor popular psychology in general. Indeed, I have emphasized exactly the opposite: that the work of Gottman, Johnson, and colleagues does NOT fall under the heading of popular psychology. You wrote further that “We know the answers. We’ve had the answers for centuries. We know what to do. Now if we could only figure out how to do.” You state here that you wish we could figure out how to do it, I have claimed that we now know how to do it, and you responded that presumably it remains impossible for us to learn how to do it—at least, supposedly, not by using the same processes of natural science that Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein used in constructing knowledge about physics. This leads me to wonder, then, what process or processes you believe we should use to learn how to do it. And how did you come by the apparently certain knowledge that presumably “We’ve had the answers for centuries.” and “We know what to do.”? How did we come by this knowledge while NOT the knowledge of how to do it? I find all of this extremely confusing. Will you please clarify?

    Kirk Hamilton,

    Because I respect you far too much as a human, different from me and entitled to opinions that differ from mine, I would not consider using verbal violence toward you, writing something like “fuck you” to you when you disagree with me about something. Yet you obviously do not respect me in that way. I wonder two things about this: (1) How do you account for this difference in respect between us? (2) What did you hope to accomplish by writing “fuck you” to me? Why not write THAT to me, directly—telling me about what you wish me to understand—instead of a vague “fuck you”? Clarification please?

  • Grant S., the literature, cultural testimonies, records, oral histories, internal sociologies, cosmogonies, epistomologies and ontologies etc are there for those who are interested and seek them out. Kind of funny, this idea that en masse or something that they “don’t exist” or are too far gone to matter. Will not waste time with a rather extensive list from memory, but the claim that these are some kind of hazy-dazy, pie-eyed. romatic “mythology” is … as is to be expected….further part of the comforting foundational “mythology” of the golly-we’re-not-as-bad-as-all-that US empire, and just as objectionable.

    “Every time you open your mouth, all you are doing is confessing all the books you haven’t read.” – John Henrik Clarke

  • Dearest Kirk,

    Usually so kind, polite and insightful.

    But now I must thank you for loosing it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Duncan,

    thanks for your essay, what a haunting story.

    Daniel,

    People come here to pour their hearts out, as Kirk says in his comment to Bud.
    I think we’re all very lucky that Guy provides this opportunity for us on NBL. When I first found NBL, it was an essay of yours which I read first. I liked it very much, it also touched my heart.
    When I read your comments, I find that you pour out your heart too, nothing more, nothing less. And why not, this should be a safe place for it.
    People feel the need to look for reasons. That’s what we do. And looking for reasons doesn’t necessarily mean finding a group to blame, baddies. People just want to talk about what’s on their minds or better, what’s in their hearts and share that with other possibly like-minded ones.
    Everybody here realises how complex a web history really is, how everything necessarily grows from everything else, how events influence each other, how anything changes once it’s observed.
    But in order to verbalise anything at all, we have to choose. I do, you do, everybody does. This is the way I understand it, what’s happening here. So it’s about what we choose to say and how.

    We all know that it’s too late for multi-cellular life (as we know it) to carry on thriving on our Earth. The majority of us are quite clear on accepting NTE. As Kirk says, a few of us (me included) have intuited this for many years, even without the scientific evidence. That’s a bonus, ha, ha. And we understand that too. Intuitive people can learn to reason. I did. In Germany, where I come from, you couldn’t survive, have a conversation without employing reason. It’s one of the most important words in German. And look what happened there. But intuition and reason are not a duality, people make it so.

    For me NTE could have been an “I told you so” moment. Kirk would probably agree. We don’t need smartypants to tell us anything.

    Therefore, everything we write down here is elaboration.
    NTE is a fact to me as it is to you, so let’s elaborate and concentrate on what we love, what’s close to our hearts, including our idio(t)syncracies. I know I’ve got a few – but then, who hasn’t….
    I like to think that I’m like Wren or ilinda. We get outside experiening and loving while we still can, from season to season. And do no harm but try to heal. That’s all.

    Shep talked about his three lovers on an earlier post: his wife and his two Jack Russells Jack and Jill. All that in one sentence. And music, very important! Thanks Shep, you’ve got it in one. From the heart as Kirk says.

  • http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/steele-every-single-terrorist-attack-u-s-false-flag-egged-intelligence-services.html

    Intelligence Officer: Every Single Terrorist Attack In U.S Was a False Flag Attack … Or Egged On By the Government

    [begins]

    Robert David Steele – a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer

    Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.

    ***

    In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI.

    In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism.

    We’ve become a lunatic asylum.

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/03/aid-workers-arriving-in-vanuatu-witness.html

    Aid workers arriving in Vanuatu witness ‘apocalyptic’ destruction – ‘This is likely to be one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific’ – ‘Effectively the whole country is flattened’

    be mindful of how fortunate you are, for now . . .

  • and with every mistake, we must surely be learning .. .

    http://news.yahoo.com/china-considering-one-child-policy-changes-premier-095132450.html

    China considering one-child policy changes: premier

    https://robertscribbler.com/2015/03/16/accelerating-global-warming-nasa-shows-january-february-of-2015-was-hottest-on-record/#comments

    Interesting story Duncan. Nicely done.
    [i have issues with some of the underlying assumptions, behaviors and extremes, and mythic heaven vs hell paradigms but they’re my problems and i won’t be burdening the community with them, since they matter not.]

  • @Duncan Charles Mason

    Thank you for your contribution. This paragraph was particularly spot on:

    “They get up early here. They work as long as there is light. Their evenings are lit by candles and diodes fed by hundreds of small-scale solar power collector/generators. Last year they harvested all that they needed from the valley floor in repeating cycles of growth, harvest and recycle. Nothing is wasted. Everything is either a foodstuff or an input for biodiversity and permaculture. The children collect earthworms for the worm farms and the super abundance of earthworms that ensue are taken outside and given back to the soil, the dark liquid that collects in the bottom of the worm farms is mixed with grasses and leaves to form a compost rich in aroma and potential.”

    Nothing is wasted indeed.

    @Kirk Hamilton writes:

    “We’re having a heat wave here in South Florida. A/c usually starts for me on June 1st at the earliest. I turned ours on last Friday.”

    It’s still winter in my neck of the New England woods. Snow is slow to melt and temperatures have only begun to slowly moderate. Mud season is here along now with maple sugaring. Finally! On the plus side the abundant snow pack is melting slowly and no flooding has occurred yet. Additionally the slow melt will allow for ground water replenishment which needed a recharge after last autumn’s mini-drought. Snowfall amounts and temperature records were shattered all over New England during the course of this winter.

    don_key writes:

    “Surprised at the worsening trend
    Of horror to comprehend?”

    No. Although you seem to be.

    @Robin Datta

    Confucius say, “Short man who jump turnstile going to Bangkok.”

    The latest marsupial life form (Didelphis_virginiana) to make my acquaintance. It managed a smile once it knew the jig was up. The possum was playing possum on the branch of a Picea pungens var. glauca or Colorado Blue Spruce (to the uninitiated), about eight feet above ground level.

    @Wester

    “To whit, you can’t and you ain’t gonna get this over, at least on me, no matter how many self-interested post toasties you all come up with. Although, sadly, I see no end in sight. Because, me personally, I require solid, consistent data over time, and not stories cherry picked to support a manifest destiny imperialist point of view.”

    Amen Brother!!! 😎

  • Where can i find i list of all the self renforcing feedback loops like this but updated: http://www.carolynbaker.net/2013/08/19/19-ways-climate-change-is-now-feeding-itself-by-guy-mcpherson/

  • Anthropologist Ernest Becker (1924-1974) provides a very interesting perspective on the questions of morality and human behavior in his posthumously published book Escape from Evil. Becker used a psychoanalytic framework based heavily on the work of Otto Rank and Norman O. Brown, and concluded that men do evil because of rather than in spite of their good intentions. The elevator speech goes something like this:

    Humans are the only animals that are aware of our eventual death. This is terrifying to us, and in order to reduce the angst we do everything we can to ensure our own survival, either as individuals or as the social groups into which we project our collective selfhood. This urge to transcend our apprehended inevitable deaths causes us to perform heroic constructive acts in an attempt to achieve some kind of immortality. It also causes us to project any perceived risks to our survival outwards onto other groups or individuals. These acts of scapegoating and sacrifice have the unconscious intention of purifying the physical and psychological environment in which we live.

    Examples of heroic constructive acts abound – civilization itself falls under this rubric. Recent examples of scapegoating include blacks, Jews, Muslims and atheists, the CIA, socialists, capitalists – virtually every identifiable group has served as a scapegoat for some other group. Indigenous examples of sacrifice include ritual human sacrifice, ritualized feasting, “no prisoner” ethics in combat, and the potlatch (sacrifice of food and goods).

    Becker traces this psychological effect back throughout history, and sees its operation in today’s militaristic, disposable consumerist culture as well as in indigenous cultures.

    I still hold to my view that the origins of morality, especially in its specifics, can be found in regional histories and local biophysical environments. The moral choices the larger collective deems permissible seem to be constrained to those that promote the heroic death-defying belief systems as described by Becker. This bounded domain of the morally permissible is intertwined with the constrained set of growth-oriented choices that are permissible in the economic and social domains. The two appear to be mutually supportive.

    Such heroic moral and economic choices seem to require the existence of surplus resources in the natural environment as their starting point. In a paper published in 2003 (link below), Dwight Read and Steven LeBlanc observe that both conflict and growth in H-G societies are low when there are few available resources, as they state in the following quote:

    “Hunter-gatherer groups living in low-resource-density areas are more likely to display long-term demographic stability, and the higher the resource density, the more likely is the occurrence either of intergroup conflict or of Malthusian growth constraints such as disease and starvation.”

    I would also suggest that low-resource environments a primary factor in the development of various growth-reducing, Earth-honoring moral codes. This explains the progressive loss of this aspect of our morality as our access to the Earth’s resources has increased

    Unfortunately, Becker’s conclusions leave me even more convinced that the onset of global resource limits is going to prove psychologically damaging on a very large scale, as it becomes impossible to deny the imminent death of our primary in-group, Homo sapiens. This awareness will likely result in an orgy of scapegoating, and the leading edges of this wave are already in view. We will probably see a parallel orgy of sacrificial consumption, identical in psychological origin but far larger in physical scale to the iconic stone heads of Easter Island.

    http://www.academia.edu/819616/Population_growth_carrying_capacity_and_conflict

  • And my apologies for pooching the italic tag…

    mo: fixed.

  • Sabine,

    March 16th, 2015 at 4:18 am you wrote: “Dearest Kirk, Usually so kind, polite and insightful. But now I must thank you for loosing it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Clearly, you praise and support Kirk Hamilton’s most recent demonstration, here, of using insulting, in-group/ out-group verbal violence toward others, in this case, specifically, me. This raises a question for me. You praise and support this kind of behavior in a public venue wherein an allegedly “good” in-group emphasizes their alleged, peaceful, non-violent nature, which supposedly differs from an evil, hated, out-group of violent whiteys, yet you praise, support, and encourage this kind of verbal violence among members of the allegedly peaceful, and according to Lidia, hopefully unemotional, in-group. You will not write these things yourself, but you will support others who do write them. (Which, I suppose, puts you and keeps you in some kind of morally superior position in comparison with those who actually use the words in their speaking and/or writing?) My question: under what circumstances do you consider people using verbal violence acceptable, here, and when do you not? Apparently, you consider it okay when a member of your in-group does this with respect to the hated out-group, but not okay if/when the hated out-group does it when referring to your in-group? Do I have this right? Will you please clarify?

    Also, I must confess that do not understand why Kirk would consider writing “fuck you” to people, to me, as an insult. I find this confusing because, in my experience people, almost without exception, consider fucking good, not bad. Given this, if I wanted to insult you, Sabine or Kirk—which, unlike you, I have absolutely no intention of ever doing—wouldn’t I write something to the effect of “Unfuck you!”? Or, perhaps much better yet, “Rape you!”? Will you please clarify concerning this confusing use of “fuck you” as well?

  • Guy, I was shocked to hear about your pulmonary thing — and relieved to get the impression the thing is over. Immediately, I thought this might have to be with the strain of using the voice constantly in front of audiences (like all teachers, singers, politicians running for office, etc.). Plus various strains including constant traveling and being disparaged. I feared that you might stop talking, and I feared for your health if you did not slow down quite a bit. And this happening on the eve of a European tour with Paris 2015 looming.
    All I can say is very best wishes. Did you mention a 2-week Zen retreat with no phone under your zafu — not even one hidden behind a rock or a tree?

    Still

  • Tony B Liar’s political machinations seem to be coming to an end, now that he has been publicly labelled as having no credibility.

    He will, undoubtedly, continue his rapacious exploitation of people in order to acquire more computer digits in bank accounts.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/tony-blair-labelled-a-standing-joke-with-no-credibility-amid-rumours-he-will-step-down-from-his-role-as-envoy-to-the-middle-eastern-10110612.html

    We look forward to the war crimes trial.

  • Mr Nye,
    You of course are well aware of how the term “fuck you” was used by KH. But to clarify:

    “(idiomatic, offensive, markedly vulgar) Expression to show discontent with the other party, or to show contempt.” In other words, it’s the middle finger in your general direction.

    I can only assume that your provocative, faux non-comprehension, in fact the whole comment, is yet another device in order to gain attention. You are not alone in this.

    BTW, that truthdig article was a hoot and I immediately thought of your good self when I read the bit towards the end (after the quote that you pulled out), namely this:

    “Beware your sources and choose your high priests carefully.”

  • ‘We’ have just pushed through 403ppm atmospheric CO2.

    This has become front page news across the world, as ‘our leaders’ debate whether starting World War Three by directly attacking Russia and/or China will have a positive or negative impact on emissions, and debate the effect full-scale industrial war might have on have on our trajectory towards an uninhabitable planet.

    Whilst the effect of major military action on emissions is still being debated, there is unanimous agreement amongst politicians, bankers and the heads of corporations everywhere that there needs to be substantial economic growth before any proposals to limit domestic emissions can be considered.

  • Hotel California

    We’ll receive the increasing drought
    With increasing freaking, no doubt;
    We were pretty naive
    To think we couldn’t leave,
    But we’re all about to check out.

  • Dear Bud,

    Are you on the autistic spectrum? If you are, I understand that you don’t understand and that you’re confused and concerned, need explanations and justifications, that you can’t comprehend a lot of comments here.

    If I could see you, the way you move, your body language, I would know. But I can’t see you, so I have to go by your comments, and they are, well, I don’t know what to say.

    Yes, I support Kirk’s loosing it with you, but we’re neither of us in an “in-group”, as opposed to your “in-group” which would then be “our out-group”. Now that’s really confusing!

    But is highlights how utterly ridiculous such labels can be. They are only labels, categories, boxes to put real people into. Life’s not like that, and I’m not a lab animal to be observed. So please don’t analyse me according to Gottmann, Johnson or any other such social scientist’s theory. I really don’t care about them.
    You use these categories like a shield or like a platform from which to observe. This is precisely why people loose it with you. It’s tedious.

    I’m not in any silly “in-group”. I’m my own woman, as indeed everybody here is his or her own person. I just agree with some and not with others, and that often depends on the subject brought up. This is what humans do. What is so difficult to understand there? It’s really very simple.
    Just be your own man, and if you are, you should be able to take some flak. What about your sense of the absurd? Because this is totally absurd.
    Forget about all those theories and studies for once and relate to people as if they were flesh and blood, which indeed they are.

    Please try, and if you can, a whole new world will reveal itself, I promise! Real life magic…..

  • red fox,

    I have, of course, understood very well for about six decades that “fuck you” refers to “…(idiomatic, offensive, markedly vulgar) Expression to show discontent with the other party, or to show contempt. In other words, it’s the middle finger in your general direction.” No, I did not display a “…provocative, faux non-comprehension, in fact the whole comment, is yet another device in order to gain attention.” as you suggest. I pointed out the nonsense nature of this intended insult, given the positive and desirable nature of fucking, and you have not clarified anything about that common, nonsense use of it. So, I will ask again: If I wanted to insult you, or anyone else, wouldn’t it make MUCH more sense for me (childishly) to scream at you “UNfuck you!” or, better yet, “Rape you!”?

    Sabine,

    Sure, label me autistic if you wish. Thanks for clarifying that you do support Kirk’s using bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing here toward me. Now that we have clarified that, I have a few other questions: (1) What positive goal or goals did Kirk’s doing that, and your subsequently supporting him, accomplish for anyone reading here? (2) Do you also support the idea of people generally writing in bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent ways here? (3) If so, whom, and under what circumstances? (4) Why do you not write the words yourself instead of just supporting others who do? (5) Do you believe that your only providing support to others, not actually doing it yourself, absolves you of all moral, ethical, and/or practical response-ability regarding people’s emotionally abusive, bullying, verbally violent behavior here and the subsequent, spreading, negative social consequences? (6) If you found out that, indeed, I am actually an extremely, emotionally sensitive person and as a direct consequence of Kirk’s writing, and your support of him, I killed myself, what would you think and how would you feel about Kirk’s behavior, and your own?

  • There seems to be many “new age” religions or ways of thinking that have popped up in the last 50 years or so. Everyone wants to find a way to bargain with the “Divine” which to me is nature. Many figure if they ask the Universe, practice certain philosophies such as manifest what you want etc., pray hard enough, meditate or any number of things, that somehow the world will change. I think this is the bargaining aspect of grief come to think of it…I used to be a part of this as well because I think it’s easier to deny what’s really happening as everyone wants a future and all the trappings of a supposedly “good life” and for mankind to survive. To accept what is actually going on is not a good feeling at first because it means that hope is not a available means anymore. Eyes wide open forces us to look at facts but I think deep in the recesses of our minds we wish for another alternative.

  • Mr Nye,
    You wrote: “So, I will ask again: If I wanted to insult you, or anyone else, wouldn’t it make MUCH more sense for me (childishly) to scream at you “UNfuck you!” or, better yet, “Rape you!”?

    Good grief, let it go. Maybe spend some time considering why KH felt the need for an emotional outburst rather than dissecting the actual lexicographical appropriateness of the term used!

    PS I occasionally lapse into multi syllabic terminology so please refrain from dissecting my possible inappropriate use of the term lexicographical (it gave me some modicum of pleasure, not having used the term before. So please dont spoil my brief moment of happiness?).

  • Mr. Nye,

    I’m ignoring the last paragraph of your 9:28 post addressed to Sabine.
    To steal a line from John McEnroe, “You can’t possibly be serious!”
    …………

    Just before that fatal paragraph, there was this:
    My question: under what circumstances do you consider people using verbal violence acceptable, here, and when do you not? Apparently, you consider it okay when a member of your in-group does this with respect to the hated out-group, but not okay if/when the hated out-group does it when referring to your in-group? Do I have this right? Will you please clarify?

    Answering for myself only, I’m probably fine with whatever happens here w.r.t. what you term verbal violence. That said, your second and third questions seem disingenuous. Isn’t the second one basically just a restatement of your understanding of the typical conversational dynamics of people who think in terms of in-groups and out-groups, but with a question mark thrown on at the end ? (According to the rules I learned from mostly nuns with hair-trigger yardsticks, your second sentence would work just fine as a declarative statement if you switched the question mark to a period, so its status as a properly-formed question is a bit dodgy.)

    And, “Do I have this right?” Of course you do….as long as you’re willing to put to one side, at least temporarily, your antipathy towards using typical in-group/out-group conversational techniques.
    Does this often put you at a disadvantage here ? I’d guess so.
    ……………………….

    Almost-finally:
    In my opinion, John Gottman and Susan Johnson have done for relationships what Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, and Albert Einstein did for physics.
    Maybe it’s a little early to assess Gottman & Johnson’s predictive capabilities, but if you add Feynman, Schwinger, Tomonaga, and Dyson to your list of physicists, then after a suitable research study of Gottman & Johnson’s hypotheses shows fewer than one in a million relationships that are not amenable to G&J’s analytic methodology, I’ll buy the first round of whatever you’re drinking. Quantum-electrodynamics as laid out by those four scientists has a differential between theory and experimental observations at least that small. (I might be mis-remembering a Feynman lecture where he claimed agreement to about 17 decimal places, but six decimal places is such an immense hurdle that I’m not worried much about having to buy that first round anytime soon.)
    ………………..

    In general, your questions and ‘requests for clarification’ seem to me more like hostile ripostes trying to hide behind interrogative punctuation.
    Coupla nights ago I was at a jazz concert. Final number was “Tenor Madness” composed by Sonny Rollins. Toward the end of the piece the tenor sax player threw in a few bars of the theme music from “The Flintstones”. The other sax player was a visiting music professor from the USA, so after the show I asked him if that had been an improv move or if it had been part of the original composition. He explained that the cartoon theme was based on a chord progression usually referred to as “Rhythm Changes” (based on Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”) and that quoting it improvisationally was fairly common in jazz. I had asked because I thought I remembered hearing it thrown into another performance a few years ago while watching a Youtube clip (first link below).
    If you want the details, try “jazz standard rhythm changes” with Google and go to the link from the Canadian Broadcast System about 6 down from the top.
    I’d make the link clickable here but I’m planning to post two music links and three links still put a post into moderation limbo. Sometimes all it takes to get a lot of useful info is a simply phrased and sincere question. YMMV

    Here’s what prompted the question to the professor.

    shep,

    OK, it ain’t the Holy Trinity…just three giants.

    You’ll probably get a kick out of the first link, too.

  • Keeling Curve for the week ending March 15 is up.
    It is an astronomical 403.10.
    Last March for the same week = 398.09

    The yearly increase for March 2014 to March 2015 = 5.01 ppm CO2.

    We be gone, Man.

  • The predictive values in pseudosciences such as economics, psychology and sociology is so abysmal that their adherece to the scientific method elicits hilarity.

    How many kilograms is a cubic metre of love?

    “Everyone wants to find a way to bargain with the “Divine” which to me is nature.”

    That “everyone” is the everyone of a dualist inclination: “I” and the “not-I”, with any “you” somewhere in the “not-I”. For non-dualists (Advaita Vedantists, Buddhists, etc.) there is no “Divine” and “non-Divine”; so in the absence of two parties, there is no bargaining possible. That is the “One without a second” of the Sefer Yetzirah (1:7) and of the Advaita Vedanta.

    Reality does not stop at the boundaries of nature: it is not constrained by spacetime. Even the ancient Vedic narrations refer to it as extending “ten fingers” beyond the world.

  • Robin, that’s assuming believes in the ancient Vedic narrations. All I know is that when I am in the presence of nature and not the inventions of “mother culture” as coined by Daniel Quinn, I feel I am as close to the “Divine” is that’s what you want to call it than anywhere else. You and anybody else is free to believe what you want. I am not interested in making this a argument. Perhaps there should be another forum for that.

  • meant to say “that’s assuming one believes”

  • Black box recording of the cabin crew of a commercial U.S. jetliner that had just collided with a smaller plane near San Diego.

    All perished.

    “It’s bad, real bad – we’re goin down.”

    “Love ya, Ma.”

  • Anyway, and sorry for posting over the limit, I wish I could just edit. What the whole point is, is that the population of today, the industrial culture, is more interested in denying what is actually happening with climate change, nuclear power and it’s horrible side effects, the oil industry and the many other ways this culture is destroying the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet. Instead people want to believe that if they just believe in a miracle or do something like what I mentioned, pray, meditate, ask the Universe, etc. then somehow everything will go away, meaning all the problems. This is what I meant in bargaining with the Divine. Which leads me to my next point. The Divine to me is nature because there is no arguing or bargaining with it. It has it’s laws and if humans want to change them, then they live with the consequences which is what we are seeing now. I was trying to start a philosophical argument about religions.

  • Grrr meant to say I WAS NOT trying to start a philosophical argument, lol

  • Thanks Sabine! You’re a sweetheart.

    Sure was fun, if that’s an emotion…kicking Bud’s ass. Otherwise I was as calm as a baby’s sigh while writing what I did.

  • @ Teresa Says:
    March 16th, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    & amended…
    @Teresa Says:
    March 16th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    …I WAS NOT trying to start a philosophical argument, lol

    Nicely said and I tip my cap… except for the “lol” part! 🙂

    It’s highly commendable that you do NOT want “to start a philosophical argument” in this space as “philosophy,” or even a facsimile thereof, is utterly absent here, despite vehement protestations to the contrary.

  • Bud, thank you for one of your more readable entries. I agree with most of what you say in your numbered points. What I instinctively object to is the dissection of emotions to no particular end. You say that Darwin could never train himself to emote differently, despite his best efforts and understanding of the process, so what hope have we? If people feel raw, then.. okay, they should feel that way.. and if they shut down, well.. then they also have good reason. This just seems obvious to me and not worth all the blather accorded to it.

    My emotions tell me what matters is the exact opposite of sitting around in encounter groups in thrall to self-help gurus. I think people have been overly aggressive towards you and I’m sorry to have joined in with an earlier crude comment, but I just have lost patience on this score, and many others.

    I am out of patience with people trying to pretend that there is some “other” way of being, whether that is via encounter groups, nostalgic reveries with rose-colored glasses… or any other type of “religion”.

    All this is in the service of fooling ourselves as to who we really are: self-reproducing stomachs on legs who—to survive and thrive—will use whatever strategies of co-operation or competition present themselves as being socially acceptable, status-preserving or -enhancing, and pain-avoiding.

    We don’t have another way of being. We just don’t. I don’t believe that for one minute. What you see is what you get. You look at a “sustainable” society: the Kung!, the 18th-century Japanese, and they have one thing in common: they killed their excess offspring outright. Where does that fit in with your soggy theories of attachment and emotion, Bud? If people can routinely exterminate their own living, breathing, children with extreme prejudice, then things like the Holocaust, or the genocide of aboriginals, or drone-bombing folks in the ME is really no big deal in comparison.. on an “attachment” score.. wouldn’t you say?


    Despite everyone here universally “believing in” the scientifically-observed process of evolution (I assume), we don’t seem willing to apply this to ourselves or to the human species. Obviously, any group which kills it own offspring rather than aggressively expand its territory is going to be at a disadvantage when confronted with a group whose strategy is expansive and hyper-reproductive (Protestant Europeans in 17th-c. North America, Muslims in Europe today*). This inconvenient truth is underlying every sneering attack on Pat, our near-suicidal-but-not-quite friend. We can all nod our heads gravely about using up too many resources, but no one here is really doing what it takes to make a serious dent in that consumption, much less sacrifice ourselves or (for those who have children) kill our own living children such that the larger human race, nation, or family might carry on. Because that is what it would take (climate change notwithstanding, even). Killing most of our children at this point is necessary, but sadly not sufficient.


    Whenever someone comes around with what’s supposed to be the final word on human psychology or behavior or consciousness I always have to laugh, because it never seems deep enough or vast enough or serious enough to me.. it tends to reflect the preoccupations of a select group, most recently mushy West-coast liberals, but previously Teutonic druggies, Victorian imperialists, racist phrenologists, the princely hierarchy of the RCC, etc. They go to their conferences and synods and fret and nod sagely at each other while the world continues roiling—as it has always done—with human “depravity” (which comes from the Latin word pravus, meaning “crooked”, I found out).

    “Prestigious and powerful clinical training” with “research and clinical models of EFCT and GMCT” and “efficacy-based approaches to treating PTSD” with conferences and Powerpoint slides… it’s all part of the same bullshit. It seems the goal of “The Masters” (as they call themselves on their web site) is to make folks “well-adjusted to a sick society” represented by abusive and cheating partners and even greater trauma-inducing psychic assaults than that. In the context of your writings here, Bud, I don’t think you understand how off-putting all that therapy-jargon is, and while these people may be superficially well-intentioned—as I believe you to be also—we cannot mistake treating the symptoms for a cure: there is no cure, and these ministrations are just part and parcel of the same mechanism of energy-seeking and status-seeking.


    A blog I followed for a while was called “Crooked Timber”, the name being taken from Emmanuel Kant: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” That’s us, the crooked timber. Expecting us to be straight is like expecting trees to grow in nice straight lines with parallel trunks, which is to say, it is absurd. Trees twist and turn as they are buffeted by events and as they seek to capture energy. We just don’t see their aggressions (like exuding compounds that kill competing species) as being like our own. We are, as always, obsessed with our own selves and all this self-study leads exactly nowhere! All the training of all the religions in the world over thousands of years hasn’t worked to straighten our timber. Who (maybe Nietzche?) dares ask why our timber needs straightening? Which gets back to the Alexander Herzen question I have often posted, to which no-one here has offered a response, that I recall:

    “Why does everything else exist as it ought to exist, whereas with man, it is the opposite?”


    *http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2012/March/Belgistan-Sharia-Showdown-Looms-in-Brussels/

    CBN News asked Imran if he thinks it’s just a matter of time before Muslims are the majority in Belgium.

    “Of course,” he replied. “Even the disbelievers themselves — they say in 2030 something like that — there will be a majority of Muslims here in Belgium. Here in Antwerp in the schools, 40 percent of the children are Muslim, so no problem.”

    And Imran offered this advice to the white native Belgians who want to stop the coming Muslim majority: “If they want to push us back or something, I don’t know, maybe they can start by marrying four wives and have a lot of children,” he said. “Start with that and they will have a chance, but I don’t think so.”

    I’m aware the source here is self-interested and fear-mongering, but the facts remain. In the evolutionary game, he who breeds the most “wins” (until he doesn’t of course), and it has never been otherwise. It doesn’t matter if I reduce my energy consumption by 99%.. 100%! If my neighbor has ten kids, or even two or three, he “wins” and I “lose” because I don’t have any. I’ve demonstrated my ‘unfitness’ unless you can point to a social mechanism by which that renunciation benefits individuals to whom I am related (think of the many spinster aunts as family caretakers, or young men sent out as cannon/sword fodder, in times past).

  • Survival Acres Blog:
    Mar 15, 2015

    Expiration Date

    “For a long time, I thought we might have until around the year 2100 to cope with escalating disasters and mitigation efforts. But as time went on, I realized that none of the data actually supports this position. Then I thought that 2050 was much more accurate, but that adaption was not possible.
    …..
    Our expiration date is nigh upon us.”

  • @Paul Chefurka: Becker’s conclusions leave me even more convinced that the onset of global resource limits is going to prove psychologically damaging on a very large scale, as it becomes impossible to deny the imminent death of our primary in-group, Homo sapiens. This awareness will likely result in an orgy of scapegoating, and the leading edges of this wave are already in view. We will probably see a parallel orgy of sacrificial consumption, identical in psychological origin but far larger in physical scale to the iconic stone heads of Easter Island.

    >>>

    The Orgy

    The orgy of loathing and blame
    Continues (and so does the shame).
    So a hearty FUCK YOU
    Will just have to do
    Until I can blow out your brains.

  • Sabine

    This space is infested with in/out groups. First and foremost, you have those who refuse to accept the near term timing of NTE, and those who have. If you think these two groups are going to see eye-to-eye on much of anything where it concern the topic at hand, then you haven’t been reading very carefully.

    Then you have a massive divide between the concepts of resistance vs. resignation. You have those who look to this space as a source of commiseration and those who only look to continue to complain about what they haven’t any agency to change. There is empiricism vs. intuition, social justice advocates vs. nihilist, not to mention age disparity, economic disparity, cultural disparity and education disparity just to name a few.

    Now, what is the locus of NBL? It’s about how we come to terms with the probability that we’re all going to die miserably and far sooner than anyone ever thought possible just a few years ago.

    In my opinion, that qualifies as probably the most unprecedented event any group of people have ever attempted to communicate.

    And while I’m still at a lost as to how that conversation manifests, I’m quite sure how it doesn’t, and that includes continuing to look at reality through the same past precedence that preceded NTE.

    And there is a rather large contingency here who do only that. I call this group ‘the blame gang’ because they seem quite incapable of letting go of a paradigm that simply no longer exists except in their romantic minds, or they just want to go to their grave believing it could have somehow been prevented if only…..

    And given I’ve been a romantic idealist, radical leftist/environmentalist for most of my life; I can easily recognize my own, which is why I constantly antagonize Wester, who is NBL’s own private Robespierre.

    @ Wester

    For your sake, I certainly hope you are a young man, (which if is the case, I am very impressed with your veracity) for you very much read like someone who has much to say and hasn’t much concern or awareness of who he says it to.

    I was once like that, all the subtly of a lawn mower. The firebrand of moral indignation which lays its foes to waste is hard to put down, once one has cleaved an identity with it.

    But your missives are sadly entertaining nonetheless; it’s like reading my younger self, you trigger much nostalgia of a bygone era. Given your love for Wollstonecraft and championing Rousseau, I’m going to guess you’re still in your twenties, for only those who have recently discovered them feel compelled to drop their names at this late date.

    The radical left, can seem like a very old forgotten family, where the need to carry on the tradition is as inspiring as it is arresting.

    So I’m not surprise you’ve the character assessment of a young zealot, because……..considering I spent an enormous amount of time studying Native American culture in my youth, since I am a descendant of Crow/Choctaw/Danish/German/English and have had an utter disdain for every facet of western culture since I was thirteen, and I’ve been an anarchist for most of my life and have deliberately chosen to live well below the poverty line in practicing a gift economy long before we needed to name it, I’m afraid you are wrong on just about every account.

    I have never once disparaged Native American culture, nor would I ever think to. There isn’t a single word written by me here that supports such a false accusation.

    You just happen to be so blinded by outrage and contempt you can’t discern the subtleties of what you have yet to understand: That no one is innocent, they only look to be, compared to others.

    The seeds of our self-destruction aren’t in the hands of some mythical elite that has magically replicated itself for millennia, but then again, it’s not that they aren’t, but it’s the shit of the sycophants who allow them to grow wherever they’ve been sown. In other words, our family and friends.

    There is no them, for they truly are us.

    And given NTE is where the entire history of the sacred and thermodynamics finally clash, I have accepted the outcome to a point of no longer seeing any grounds to blame anyone for what couldn’t have been prevented regardless of how the human tragedy played out.

    But since you read like either a very young man or just an antiquated radial Howdy Doody doll who hasn’t a question he can’t answer with a 18th century quote, you could stand to update your voice box a little, so you at least don’t sound so damn orthodox.

    “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,
    you aren’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”

    Let go of the blame game Wester, it’s simply run out of time.

  • “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,
    you aren’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”

    >>>

    On the contrary, Daniel. Holding onto blame is a sure ticket to one or more of the many orgies that are taking place, and will take place as the sun sets upon us for the last time.

    Just decide who YOU want to shame and blame, and join in that orgy, and you’ll be orgasmically hooking up in no time at all.

    That’s the one thing that’s been proven here reliably, again and again. There’s plenty of end-time booty to be had. You just have to give the right sort of mating call to get you some – otherwise you’ll be cheerfully clawed to death.

    And people wonder why we can’t have nice things!

    Mebbe it’s time for another Deep Thought from our own version of Jack Handy…Robin “Do Wha Diddy Advaita” Datta.

  • Today’s essay by George Monbiot (monbiot.com) is worth reading.

  • The container is named after what comes out of it; what comes out of it is what’s inside it: e.g. a crock of $**t, a sack of potatoes, a treasure chest, a bag of gold, a tobacco pouch, etc.

  • The Orgy of Playing

    The orgy of playing the game,
    Loving life whatever the name
    Given to me or to you,
    Will just have to do,
    Until we know we’re all just the same.

  • One critical practice of the resurrected agrarian colony that was neglected in the parable: birth control.

  • The Monbiot essay I mentioned above is called ‘Ringbarking the Tree of Life’.

  • Thanks for the Monbiot link, David H. Everywhere, the war against darkness…

    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/03/12/ringbarking-the-tree-of-life/

    “In New Zealand until a few decades ago, ringbarking picnics were organised at weekends: people took their families into the countryside to kill trees for the good of the nation. They believed that they were doing the world a favour by destroying a dark and primitive wilderness. Cultural cleansing and ecological cleansing are driven by the same impulses, in some cases to serve the same ends.

  • Kirk Hamilton disrespectfully shits in the middle of the floor of our living room because he cannot tolerate someone disagreeing with some of his views in a respectful way. A big, brown, slimy, smelly turd. Sabine praises and supports Kirk for the shit job because she cannot respectfully tolerate someone disagreeing with some of her views. She does not mind people stepping in the shit and tracking it around, likes it, and apparently wants to see more of it. A putrid, yellow-green slime of justifications, rationalizations, and distractions oozes out of the walls and drips from the ceiling. While pretty much everyone ignores the turd and slime, I walk in, point to the shit, say “Kirk shit here”, suggest that it does not look or smell very good, suggest that people doing this threatens our health in a number of important ways, including utterly destroying any sense of emotional safety here, ask for an explanation of how the shit and stench presumably serve some useful purpose—and, just as has happened before, a number of people attack me for doing these things. No one wishes actually to respond in any serious way to my questions and concerns. Instead most prefer to ignore the shit, feed the slime, encourage more of the same, and change the subject. (Hmm. I wonder: who exhibits autistic tendencies here?)

    What an utterly fascinating social dynamic, especially among a group of people who loudly insist that they supposedly know all about emotions, love, peace, and how generally to promote love and peace among ourselves and others as our self-annihilation trap continues to unfold, sealing our tragic destiny. Yep. A third, extremely dangerous chimpanzee, threatening all life on Earth indeed.

    Sabine,

    March 16th, 2015 at 4:18 am you wrote “People come here to pour their hearts out….” Along with this, you (and a few highly vocal others) have also made it clear that you support Kirk’s using bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing here, as well as people in general doing that. So, PLEASE help me with this: How, exactly, do you see comments such as Kirk’s, along with you and others encouraging and supporting people generally using bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing here, as creating an emotionally safe environment in which people might risk pouring their hearts out? From many comments I have seen and heard, a huge percentage of people LEAVE this comment site, or absolutely refuse to comment here, precisely because it remains ANYTHING BUT a safe place for anyone even to comment at, much less to “pour their hearts out” as you suggest. Why does this not qualify as even a minimally emotionally safe place? Obviously, because of the bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing, such as Kirk’s, which you and others so passionately support. So, I do not follow your reasoning about this at all. Will you please help me to understand your views on these things, which seem pretty dramatically self-contradictory to me?

  • @Bud: No one wishes actually to respond in any serious way to my questions and concerns.

    >>>

    Hey, wait a minute there Bud. I responded seriously. I wrote a FUCK YOU limerick in honor of the deep discourse between Kirk, you and others.

    What could be more serious than that, I ask you?

    But seeing as you doubt me, here’s another, a hospice homage to the mother of all limericks to come:

    >>>

    A Hospice Homage: The Man From Natucket, Redux

    There once was a man from Nantucket
    Who said, “NBL? Oh Christ, fuck it!
    Every day the the same shit:
    Venom, bile, spite and spit.
    I can’t wait till we kick the bucket”.

    >>>

  • Another essay well worth reading is at resilience.org. Richard Heinberg,
    ‘Only less will do’.Too late,though.

  • Not sure why George Monbiot is worth reading?

    He apparently thinks climate change can be reversed and once, wonder if he still is, came out like gangbusters for Nuclear power to solve all the climate change problems, so, all his fancy *clever* metaphoric writings do not ring true for me.

    All science and engineering should all be banned at this point. (This way there will be no need for Bud-like beatings, or any fisticuffs for that matter!) Why not? We are all living longer now and what has that gotten us besides physical & emotional pain, great toys, and a look alike society driven by cosmetics.

    We should start a huge chapter of euthanasia advocates as well as ramp up on Marshall Rosenberg trainers to limit the suffering and terror to come, and soon!

    Meanwhile, turn on your radios or u-tubes for some soothing, up-lifting music to dance and sing along with as we turn to dust.

    Only Love Remains

  • Dear Bud,

    Kirk LOST it with you because you do go on and on and on.
    As I said, it becomes tedious, thus provoking certain human cussing outbursts like fuck. I only use such language very rarely,and then only spoken face to face (or to myself). Maybe because I came to it late, as an adult coming to England.
    However, I can’t understand at all why you think of it as a bullying word. Kirk just lost his patience. That’s not bullying, and I very much hope that a balanced adult can deal with that.
    I’ve been called a “fucking kraut bitch” before but it’s water of a duck’s back for me. And this was without provocation. I wasn’t being tedious or aggressive. The man was drunk. Often the real personality comes out when a person is drunk. And a lot of people bear real grudges which have their roots in prejudice and an “injured” feeling of superiority and entitlement. You know all that as well as me. But in Kirk’s case it was simply impatience with your going on and on. I could see that a mile off. It’s just a matter of reading people properly and not be over-sensitive. If I were, I could have never come to love a foreign country and make my home in it. Because people can be abusive without being provoked. I could quote plenty more examples because I’ve lived long enough to accumulate some baggage there.
    But no matter how many studies into human behaviour, that’s just a fact of life. I assume you’re a white man which,as you know is very lucky. If you are, at least you will have never been abused for having a different colour of skin, come from a different culture, religion, for being a woman, a blonde you name it. Lucky you! In other words, if you a Caucasian, you’ve had a relatively easy life. Please be grateful. The occasional “fuck you” shouldn’t phase you so easily. Not as a man with so many decades on his back… and obviously a good education and all the other privileges of living in our still protected human environment. Just like me.

    In my experience with the English language people say “Oh, fuck off/you” mainly when they are at their wit’s end with a person, when this person goes on and on.
    In German, the swear words used are mainly anal not sexual, as they are in English. A favourite is “Arschloch” which you Americans, through German language influence, have literally translated into ass hole. This “American” word was not used in “English” English when I came here in 1970. But now it’s quite common. After all, it’s a very expressive word, to the point. See the cultural difference? Even my very well brought up and gentle mother used the occasional “Scheiße”(shit) when she got frustrated with something. Swear words help people to dissipate anger, to calm them down. Unless you’re a person with a nasty agenda… But I can tell when a person has one, and Kirk is definitely not a person with a nasty agenda. I can tell that from his often insightful and funny posts. Yes, funny, he has a sense of humour, and I just like that in people. I would have never chosen my husband of 40 odd years if I didn’t think him funny. See, this is what I like about Kirk too. My husband makes me laugh several times a day – after all these years. Now that’s an art I really appreciate. And I bet that Kirk is a master artist too.
    All this comes from my life experience, not from books, studies, theories. You never talk about your life experience. Why not? This is what I meant when I said that you use those social scientists as a shield. There’s too much name dropping but nothing about you. Some people get tiered of the name dropping. I’m one of them, that’s all.

    I know you probably don’t agree with any of that. That’s not necessary, it’s OK with me I’m only mentioning it as part of a discussion. I don’t need people to agree, so, for me this is the end of this particular subject. I’m worn out.

    I replied once before to you that I thought you were well-meaning. I still like to think that you are. But too much well-meaningless can become tedious, even for the most patient person.

  • Al the wonderful thing in music that we have created will soon fade…

  • Evolution vs. Revolution
    ————————
    Adopt Or Die !!!
    If we don’t very, very, quickly, politically and eco-economically, adopt a world-wide financial carbon tax fiat, life on earth will die.

    I don’t believe science understands evolution any more than physicists understand the nature of reality.

  • Imagine a scientist stuck in an model test tube telling you how things work.
    The only things humans ever agreed on is Life After Death and Money, both of which are not real. Dogma and denial plagues all thought.

  • kill switch; Atomic. Grazi, I almost died w/o seeing & hearing these boys.

  • Yesterday at 3 PM I posted a powerful & world shattering number, 5.01 ppm CO2, above.

    If this rate of increase holds & then increases, as it almost surely must; we are truly on the edge of extinction.

    The message is both simple & glaringly loud.

    This precise scientific data is in our faces & then some.

    I am still mumbling & nodding my head.

    No comments of any kind yet.

  • I’ve posted a couple video clips. Catch them here.

  • “Meanwhile, turn on your radios or u-tubes for some soothing, up-lifting music to dance and sing along with as we turn to dust.”

  • Bud,

    I’m wondering how seriously to take this.

    ” Why does this not qualify as even a minimally emotionally safe place? Obviously, because of the bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing, such as Kirk’s, which you and others so passionately support.”

    I’ve been the object of extremely “emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing” here on NBL, but I never heard you say anything against that or the similar treatment of others here. We just labored on alone, letting the abuse gradually slide off our backs(although I can assure you that for me it was painful). I may not be too sensitive about other’s feelings, but am hyper-sensitive about my own. I take that to be a flaw, something I must work on and overcome. I’m a better person for all the battering I took. Not because I have changed my philosophy much, not so much regarding the what of it as the how, the way of thinking and talking about the what. I hope that in your own way you can find it possible to learn and benefit from “attack.” When you’re not writing about “science” you can be very eloquent.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Advantage in Numbers

    I will agree that larger populations groups overwhelm smaller ones. but that is not the end of the subject. It depends what we choose to see as our “group.” If one group adopts babies from another group, that could tend to blur the differences between those groups. If all interacting groups learn each other’s language, that softens edges between them. If two or more groups decide to define themselves by their shared land base, then the unifying concerns for that land base can be what defines them. If people learn to think more globally, seeing the global community as their group (I know, I know, very fanciful), that might also tend to blur the edges between former rival (and formerly competing) groups.

  • “We’re all gods.”

    “Will you please clarify?”

    “We’re all gods.”

    “Will you please help me to understand your views on these things, which seem pretty dramatically self-contradictory to me?”

    “We’re all slimy self-serving pieces of shit, orgiastically disemboweling and fucking each other, and destroying every innocent thing upon which we and all life on Earth depend.”

    “OK, got it. Thanks for clarifying. I feel much better now!”

    “Carry on.”

  • From Denver Post:

    Page 12A

    STUDY SUGGESTS KEY GLACIER IS MELTING – Antarctica

    Ice Is Eroding At A Rate 100 Times The Volume Of Sydney Harbor Each Year

    by Chris Mooney

    A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise. Meanwhile, 2015 could be the year of the double whammy — when we learned the same about one gigantic glacier of East Antarctica, which could set in motion roughly the same amount all over again. Northern Hemisphere residents and Americans in particular should take note — when the bottom of the world loses vast amounts of ice, those of us living closer to its top get more sea level rise than the rest of the planet, thanks to the law of gravity. The findings about East Antarctica emerge from a new paper just out in Nature Geoscience by an international team of scientists representing the United States, Britain, France and Australia. They flew research flights over the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica — the fastest-thinning sector of the world’s largest ice sheet — and took measurements to try to figure out the reasons behind its retreat. The news wasn’t good: It appears that Totten, too, is losing ice because warm ocean water is getting underneath it. “The idea of warm ocean water eroding the ice in West Antarctica — what we’re finding is that may well be applicable in East Antarctica as well,” says Martin Siegert, a co-author of the study and who is based at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. The Totten Glacier covers an area of 40 miles by 18 miles. It is losing an amount of ice “equivalent to 100 times the volume of Sydney Harbour every year,” notes the Australian Antarctic Division. That’s alarming, because the glacier holds back a much more vast catchment of ice that, were its vulnerable parts to flow into the ocean, could produce a sea level rise of more than 11 feet — which is comparable to the impact from a loss of the West Antarctica ice sheet. And that’s “a conservative lower limit,” says lead study author Jamin Greenbaum, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas. In its alignment with the land and the sea, the Totten Glacier is similar to the West Antarctic glaciers, which also feature ice shelves that slope out from the vast sheet of ice on land and extend into the water. These ice shelves are a key source of instability, because if ocean waters beneath them warm, they can lose ice rapidly, allowing the ice sheet behind them to flow more quickly into the sea. The researchers used three types of measurements during their flights — gravitational measurements, radar and laser altimetry — to get a glimpse of what might be happening beneath the massive glacier, whose ice shelves are more than 1,600 feet thick in places. Using radar, they could measure the ice’s thickness. Meanwhile, by measuring the pull of the Earth’s gravity on the airplane in different places, the scientists were able to determine just how far below that ice the seafloor was. The result was the discovery of two undersea troughs or valleys beneath the ice shelf that could allow warmer, deeper waters to get underneath the ice shelf, accelerating its melting.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • The only things humans ever agreed on is Life After Death and Money, both of which are not real.

    Robert Callaghan, this is hilarious! … so true.

  • Wonderful piece of writing, Duncan! You clearly prove that the same mind that can dream up untold horrors of pain, agony and hell can also envision a picture of untold prosperity, generosity and love.

    We enact the stories that we believe in. There is little in the way of fact or truth. We’re made up of stories. When we defend ourselves, we’re not defending ourselves as much as the stories that have taken residence in our consciousness. The stories that make up our personality can and do change over time sometimes. Sometimes they change slowly and sometimes quite suddenly.

    Your protagonist sees a picture of hell and a picture of heaven in the same night. What does it tell us? This is not fiction, oh no! You have hit upon the workings of a Universe where time is but a piece of fiction in itself. Thank you, Duncan. Can’t wait to feed you some delicious nectar in the blissful world that appears between thoughts.

  • Satish – Ummmm yes in the space ( ) between. was there Ummmm

  • Many thanks to all of you who responded to the story – sharing such gifts back and forth is, I think, what Dr. Guy is pointing toward when he reminds us to love. Those of you who took the opportunity to post petty examples of internecine warfare here and after other thoughtfully considered submissions from other bewildered souls who choose to find a little solace on this site with kindred spirits, well, I guess you will continue to do so. My website is ashaquila.com. Guy posted my story Red Coral last year which was about a final solution (of sorts) to our dilemma. I have other work (some for Beatles fans) on my website and at Behance.com.

  • reads like the hippy commune ideas of the 60s….might work too….except we’re fracked here and now.
    saddens me…had we been more aware in the 60s….we might have been able to at least mitigate some of the damage….but maybe not. people are not likely to change..until its far too late.
    sigh…
    but a pretty story