What is the Real Problem?

by Clive Elwell, who writes: “Any academic qualifications I might have gained have long since become meaningless. I have no position, no status in this world, neither do I seek any. Any images of myself that might come to mind are continually seen for what they are – projections of the mind. I am not a member of any group, and do not identify with any organisation, any ideology, any religious belief – and certainly not any nation. I am not claiming any authority, I have no pretense of having any special knowledge. So I ask you, if you are interested, to judge the article on its own merits, to inquire into the truth or falseness of the words without forming any image of the writer.”

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The World is on the brink, if not actually starting to fall into the abyss. Although one can never predict the future with absolute certainty, there is no doubt that there are a great many significant indicators all pointing in the same direction – the direction of the collapse of our present society, vast environmental destruction, the annihilation of most (and maybe all) life on Earth. I think we are dealing with facts here, not theories, and it is not worth questioning these facts. Not only is there there an overwhelming body of scientific research supporting the facts, our own observations of the world, both directly, what we see happening around us, and indirectly, through the global sources of information, paint an unrelenting picture of ever increasing deterioration in the world. I do not need to elaborate on this website.

These observations are not limited to environmental degradation. We can see the incredible violence of man against man, (including women when I use that term of course), we can see how man has divided himself into nations, into religious beliefs, ideologies, political parties, etc, and the bitter conflict engendered by those divisions. We see there is less and less security for everyone. We can see the indifference and denial in people around us, the lack of caring about the condition of others (beyond one’s immediate family), the passive acceptance of the vast inequality among people, the fierce holding on to destructive and meaningless tradition. We can see, in short, the lack of intelligence and rationality in people, which perhaps comes close to the real source of the problems. And the lack of love.

The things I describe are not of course new phenomena. They are a continuation of a trend that has been going on perhaps from the very beginning of man’s journey on this Earth. But this does not mean that these trends can continue indefinitely. One factor which has made man’s situation so precarious is his mastery of technology, giving him incredible power, including the power to destroy all life on Earth. So things very definitely cannot go on this way.

So it seems to me a number of questions naturally arise when we look at what is happening in the world. One is – and I know this is a major concern of this website – what is our own response to the chaos, the horror of it all? What are we to do? What CAN we do? And another obvious question is: What is the root cause of this insanity of mankind? It seems to me that unless we see clearly the root cause of all the problems – and there may be only ONE cause – we cannot act rationally, we cannot respond effectively. We will only be chasing phantoms, only ADDING to the confusion and chaos of the world. So the two questions are not separate.

But before we start this inquiry, I want to emphasise that it IS an inquiry. I am not being dogmatic, I have not convinced myself that I have all the answers. I sincerely wish to inquire with others, and it is hoped that the ‘comments’ following this article will not be mere commentary, or argument. Although not a very regular reader of the articles presented on NBL, I have read enough to see that often the comments degenerate into a conflict of opinion, each person  holding on to his or her conviction, belief. Surely, this gets us nowhere?

I think if we could actually question together, this would, in fact, have its own significance for the world situation. To hold a genuine dialogue is exactly what is NOT happening, not at the so-called ”United Nations” assemblies, not in the institutions of government and bureaucracy, often not in the very organisations that purport to be tackling the world’s problems. Not even in our personal relationships. Dialogue implies freedom to investigate, which is impossible if people are holding on to fixed opinions, if they have already convinced themselves of what is right action, that they KNOW what is the cause of the problems. So can we put that sort of think aside, and genuinely inquire together? And certainly not descend to the level of personally insulting others, which is a peculiar form of violence.

So can we step back for a moment from the immediate challenges of our personal lives, can we put aside any conclusions we might have drawn, and ask simply: what is the root cause of our problems? Why has the world come to this incredible state, why are we destroying the very planet that is our home?  Can we ask: “After all our experiences and sorrow, why are human beings still carrying on in the same pattern? What is wrong? What has happened to man’s brain and heart after these million years?”

And this is not a theoretical, philosophical exploration. We are actually investigating if change is possible. This is an enormously important question – and one, very strangely, that is hardly being asked ‘out there’. The stakes are very high. If we do not find a real answer, if we cannot bring about a transformation in mankind’s actions, there seems little doubt, as was said initially, that we are doomed.

* * * * * * * * *

I am not being dogmatic, and everything can be questioned, but it seems to me there is no doubt as to what is the cause of man’s problems. In fact it seems so obvious, so simple, that I feel embarrassed to write an article about it. But when one looks at the kind of solutions usually offered for the world crises, it is clear it is not generally obvious at all.

Man himself is the cause of his problems. It is the state of human consciousness that has brought about all this chaos. By “state of human consciousness” I mean thought directed by the self, the me, the I, the ego. I use all these terms synonymously. Just everyday meanings, not technical, not derived from any theory of psychiatry. We are selfish. We are greedy. We are divided. We are ambitious for ourselves and the things we identify with (which are still ourselves). We are fearful, We seek pleasure. We seek personal security. All these movements, and more, stem directly from the self. And it is these movements that have created the society we live in, that have created the global crisis.

If there are reactions to the above, I ask you to suspend them for the moment so we can examine what has been said. One is not condemning, one is not being judgemental, negative, or pessimistic. One is only looking at facts. And yes, there are other movements in the mind, movements of affection, of sympathy, of kindliness, generosity. But generally, love certainly does not “make the world go round”. Behind every human problem lies the self.

Why are we so materialistic, and so depleting the world’s resources? – because we are greedy, the self always wants more, and can never be satisfied, except momentarily. Why are we so violent? – because the self gets hurt, and reacts by being violent to others. Why have we divided ourselves into groups, with all the resulting conflicts? – because the human mind is divided in itself, and society is, and must be, a reflection of the human mind. Why do people destroy the environment? – because they are concerned with their own profit, first and foremost. Why are people so uncaring of nature and others – because it is the very nature of the self to be concerned with itself, no matter how blindly.

Behind every destructive act there is a self committing that act. Behind every corrupt politician and official there is the self’s demand for power and advancement. Behind every act of terrorism there is the sense of righteousness – the self feels right, justified, as it defends its own existence. Behind all human unhappiness and stress lies a self trying to fulfil itself at any cost – and being unable to do so.

So are there multiple crises in the world? Or is there only one – the crisis in human consciousness?

Surely, all the deterioration, the degeneration in the world is due to the deterioration and degeneration of the human mind? Surely the crisis is in thought itself, in our minds, our hearts, in our behavior?

* * * * * * * *

If we accept this as a fact, what is its significance?

If it was clearly seen that the root cause of all human problems lies in human consciousness, surely we would not uselessly chase after solutions elsewhere? Would we imagine that electing a different politician or political party will bring about change? Would we be convinced that we are in need of  a new economic theory? Would we chase after some new ideology, the latest pop psychologist? . . . . If we see the problem clearly, I do not think, in the hope of change, we will join any political party, any religion, identify with any country, any belief.

And we will not blame other. We will not think if certain people are eliminated, removed, then the whole social system will change.

In short, if we see that thought is the root cause of the world falling apart, we will not follow the solutions that thought offers.

Merely to be concerned with outer phenomena has very little significance. But that is exactly what we ARE concerned with, that is where the vast majority of our energy is gong. So we have hardly any energy, any space, any time, for investigating the issue that really matters.

I should add here that I am not telling anyone what they should do, how they should behave. If someone, for example, is moved to go and work with underprivileged children in the third world, by all means do so. Such work is admirable and necessary. However, such social action, although it may alleviate some individual suffering, will in no way solve the basic human problem. Inequity, poverty, deprivation, will continue, they will manifest in other areas, if the root cause is not addressed.

So by all means help the poor, protest injustice, try to defend the environment, save the whales, inform people of what is happening, if that is what your heart  prompts. But if I may suggest, do not deceive yourself that it is sufficient action, that one is responding completely to the state of the world, that one has taken full responsibility.

So what does it mean, to be responsible for the whole world?

But perhaps that question cannot be addressed until we understand our relationship to the world and the crisis it is in. Until we understand ourselves, in fact, how can we understand ANYTHING, since the self is the screen through which we perceive everything else? When the self is confused, as it is, surely any action it takes will only bring about more confusion? And that is exactly what we can observe going on, at all levels. And we see that when the self tries to solve one problem, it only creates more problems.

If there is any interest, I will continue this essay in a second part, and investigate more deeply some of the basic issues that have just been touched upon here. Meanwhile, I welcome a dialogue with you readers in the comments section, which is perhaps more important that the article itself.

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Please visit the DONATIONS tab. I’m open to non-monetary donations, subject only to your creativity. For example, I would appreciate your generosity with respect to frequent-flyer miles.
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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

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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”

Europe tour poster

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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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Tech note, courtesy of mo flow: Random issues have been appearing with posting comments. Sometimes a “Submit Comment” click will return a 404 Page Not Found, or another error, for no apparent reason. To ensure you don’t lose a longer comment, you can right-click select all, and right-click copy, in the comment box before clicking “Submit.” If that hasn’t been done, the comment text will likely still be in the comment box when clicking the back button, or the forward button — depending on the error — on your browser.

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Comments 155

  • Hi Clive – great essay – thanks.

    **What are we to do?** Know Thyself.

    **What CAN we do?** Observe yourself.

    **And another obvious question is: What is the root cause of this insanity of mankind?** Illusion.

    ======================

    You might enjoy P.D. Ouspensky – or Maurice Nicoll as they explore many of the very questions you have presented.

  • Another misanthropic rant, totally devoid of any historical understandings and context. Just what this site needs.:-)

  • Cogent, coherent and oh-so poignant, Mr. Elwell, well done. What struck me as particularly insightful is…

    If we see the problem clearly, I do not think, in the hope of change, we will join any political party, any religion, identify with any country, any belief.

    And we will not blame other. We will not think if certain people are eliminated, removed, then the whole social system will change.

    With just these two statements you have pretty thoroughly answered all your other questions… but I’m guessing you already know that. Believing that gravity does not exist, alone, will not enable one to float or soar above the ground. Nonetheless, I encourage all those believing such to go ahead and try it by stepping off the top of the tallest structure they can find. Divisiveness and inequality are the result of all belief systems despite their claims to the contrary. Deception and duplicity along with an abundance of obfuscation are the tools of all such inanities (insanities?). Thus, your second statement, cited above, is unequivocal as it is utterly impossible to simultaneously change the minds of so many to just stop believing.

  • Clive. No.

    ;The things I describe are not of course new phenomena. They are a continuation of a trend that has been going on perhaps from the very beginning of man’s journey on this Earth.’

    For most of human existence cooperation -especially with those in the immediate vicinity-was the key to survival

    What have been experiencing in ‘civilised nations’ has been a complete distortion of normal human behaviour, a complete distortion which has been foisted upon the majority by a tiny group of deviants -those with aberrant behaviour tendencies who ARE greedy, selfish, psychotic sociopaths, and would not have survived under normal conditions of hunter-gatherer existence.

    At this point of time governments are the prime drivers of destruction of societies and destruction of the environment, both locally and globally because governments have been hi-jacked by, and serve greedy, psychotic sociopaths. Please do not lump me in with them!5

  • So, then, let me get this right, and I have two posts a day, so will truly think my second one out, but I will be honest, this is just an ‘off the cuff’ response, but you think that the problem is that we ever got consciousness? That we ever became a ‘self’ because the self is inherently bad? Look, I understand that ‘borders’ and ‘races’ and other constructs divide us, but I don’t think the problem is that there IS an us in the first place, that we exist as thinking creatures. No, sorry, and I don’t think the solution is to become unconscous or a ‘no-self’ either. I think the problem is we need to start evolving our HEARTS more than our MINDS.

    And if I am going to speak my heart and mind as though it didn’t matter what others thought of me, I would say that yes, I believe in an ETERNAL SOUL and yes, I am SPIRITUAL, and no, it is just not in me to let go of Faith not believe in an afterlife, and so I don’t know what the purpose of all this is here, but I don’t think it was ever intended that all this suffering go on, or that it continue.

    And I don’t think that any being that EVER attained consciousness will have that end, nor should it. PERIOD.

    What do we do now? Shit, I’m realizing that everything is connected, and whatever goes on here is going on at other layers and levels and that everything is connected. So thinking that one person just doing the right thing won’t solve anything is hogwash. It’s all that ever does. The SELF.

  • blah-blah-blah… insignificant. useless.

    most (all?) human beings do not see further that their physical eyes can see, do not hear further that their physical ears can hear and cannot REALLY apprehend anything happening outside their physical outreach. All events or facts that we come in contact with through news, medias, etc. stay in the realm of immaterial ideas, fruit of the imagination, not really real. This, is the root cause of all our “problems”. we are intelligent enough to set the fire (fascinated with fire indeed) but not intelligent enough to extinguish it, because we did not think it would escape our hands so fast and become so big and so fierce, and we did not even have a bucket of water, just in case. Even though we have been told many times as we grew up: Do not play with fire

    So give us a break with all your blah-blah about consciousness and the likes. I would go deeper into my reflexion if english would be my first language, but this will have to suffice. The only thing left to do is to pray, whatever it means for you.

    I also want to say (from last thread)that I do not like cameras filming mothers eagles taking care of their babies, no more than I would have liked cameras surreptitiously filming me taking care of my babies. There is way too much pretense of “science”. All those devices + all the cities and planes and cars and EVERY thing is going to end up in the oceans who will be so filled with garbage that it is absolutely impossible to imagine what they will be like. A very very thick toxic soup in my visions.

    try to have a good day

  • I like this article because I think it brings out an important point. We see ourselves as a singular being, and not as a part of a larger group. We think as individuals, and not as a species. We put our religion/country/gender/politics/etc above being a member of the human species.

    We think in terms of what is best for me/my family and friends/tribe as opposed to what is best for humanity.

    I don’t know how to bridge that gap in thinking, or if it can even be done, but I feel that’s what this post is alluding to.

    Long time reader, first time poster. Be gentle, or don’t as you’re want to do. 🙂

  • A number of years ago I read Charles Eisenstein’s first book, “The Ascent of Humanity”. It contained what was, for me at the time, a thunderclap of insight. the problem, said Charles, begins from our sense of Separation. The sense that there is a me and a you, a me and a world, a me/us and a you/them.

    This made sense to me, but I had to ask the obvious question. Where does the sense of Separation come from? And the obvious answer is that it comes from our self-awareness – the Self-awareness that generates Other-awareness in a yin-yang balance.

    I still see the human root of the world problem as being our consciousness. But we have it and we can’t get rid of it. It’s a wonderful toy, so we might as well play with it.

  • Sunlight shows no colour or form, but will assume the colour and form of a flower or a leaf, revealing them. Likewise conscious awareness has no “of” but will assume an “of” to reveal it. Activities performed by the meat robot are revealed in conscious awareness by conscious awareness.

    Biochemical machinery organised as living organisms seeks to increase its biomass, whether microbes or empires. This requires the acquisition of resources, both material and energetic.

    Materials including sticks and stones modified to increase mechanical advantage go back 2.4 million years. Control of fire going back 800,000 years made indigestible sources of starchy carbohydrates digestible, providing access to an enormous food source.

    Technology is the harnessing and directing of energy to modify materials and/or release more energy.

    Harnessing extrasomatic energy from natural flows (sunshine, wind, water) and from sequestered forms (sunshine – fossil fuels, supernovae – nuclear fission) was a step probably unique to humans. Biological monocultures to feed human biomass have replaced much biological diversity. Limits imposed by disease and pestilence have been pushed back through specialised technology.

    The underlying imperative through all of this, is the increase in human biomass. It is nowhere overtly expressed, because it is programmed into our molecular cell biology, and hence needs no overt expression. It demands ever increasing material and energy requirements.

    Changing it will require altering molecular cell biology.

  • @ WarPanda Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 11:59 am

    We think in terms of what is best for me/my family and friends/tribe as opposed to what is best for humanity.

    I don’t know how to bridge that gap in thinking, or if it can even be done, but I feel that’s what this post is alluding to.

    Nicely summarized and right on the mark, especially regarding no known way to bridge that gap in thinking. The primary reason being that far too many persist in conflating belief for thought. Since the former requires no effort, so shall it be.

  • Clive,

    You wrote: “One factor which has made man’s situation so precarious is his mastery of technology, giving him incredible power, including the power to destroy all life on Earth.”

    Your essay, among other things, convinced me again the civilization has never known the difference between life and death or strength and weakness (Petroleum Civilization: The Final Chapter (Confusing Life with Death)).

    Until civilizations pass The Test they become extinct.

    As an unnatural, lethal mutation.

  • Clive,

    You also wrote: “the root cause of all human problems lies in human consciousness …”

    I fundamentally disagree.

    I see that notion as part of “blame the victim” blended with “Stockholm syndrome” psychology.

    Like Tonto said “what you mean ‘we’ white man …”

    I reply twice because you implored “If there is any interest, I will continue this essay in a second part, and investigate more deeply some of the basic issues that have just been touched upon here. Meanwhile, I welcome a dialogue with you readers in the comments section, which is perhaps more important that the article itself.”

    In a world of error there must be justice for the guilty, proportional to their guilt.

    Oil-Qaeda is more guilty than you are, assuming you are not of Oil-Qaeda (Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment).

    Now, I am going to read the comments above after having read all of your essay.

  • Clive…yes!
    Your essay mirrors my thinking a lot of the time as I scroll down the comments, here at NBL and most everywhere else I go online.

    The writings of J. Krishnamurti came to mind as I read through your essay, and as to what we do about our situation, I have to say that after fourty odd years of contemplation, it’s got me fucked!

    My solution is to cop out. I live alone in a beautiful natural environment and live as simply as possible. My feeling is that if more people did this, the world would have far fewer problems, but people can’t or wont do that, so we’re going where we’re going.

    And people…can we please have an end to the ongoing he said / she said as to if any group ever managed to live lives of harmony and co operation somewhere at some time. What the fuck does it matter NOW!

    The only question that matters now is…CAN YOU?

  • What if … nothing IS wrong?

    What if we just looked at the situation creatively? If the self is the root of all this “evil” we are perceiving (and things certainly seem dark and hopeless and apocalyptic and just-too-big-to-do-anything-about) it, the self, surely can also be the root of all the good we’d wish to manifest?

    In one wonderful book called The Immortal (www.freeread.com) J J Dewey communicates the answer to the eternal question “who or what are we?” which seems to essentially be the same question asked in this post. And while this abstract idea of the Self we are talking about here is intimately related to who or what we really are, we are not – in fact – this Self, but rather that which underlies this idea of “self”.

    As more people begin to realize we’ve been pissing into our own beds for longer than we should have (and each one of us can probably find areas in our personal life where that is the case) it may become possible for a critical number of individuals to say it’s enough, I change.

    While just *saying* it’s enough (the interwebs is full of this kind of meaningless babble) won’t bring about much actual change at all, acting in new, caring ways would certainly be helpful to induce transformation.

    Naturally, it would make sense to have structures in place (i.e. a morality of caring for other’s well-being and an environmental happiness economy index replacing a GDP obsessed economy) that allow for our natural laziness and playful character to be nurtured more, and our human condition of seeing constant reason for upset to be forgiven and loved more.

    But most seem to still opt for blaming others, refusing dialogue, blaming the system (which is in essence us, as without us there would be no “system”), lamenting history or just simply shooting whatever messenger of doom/salvation they can get a hold of.

    What ever happened to gratitude?

    Meanwhile on planet earth… the experiment continues.

  • Sabine,

    March 19th, 2015 at 3:15 am you wrote: “Dear Bud, Thanks for calling me (my reasoning) misplaced and backwards. That’s well analysed, and that’s exactly how I must be then – I’m obviously incorrigible. I bow to you superior knowledge. That said, there’s no need to refer to me and my shortcomings in any way, ever again. That way, you’ll be able to save a few lines in your long comments and maybe get out to enjoy the new growth all around, while you can.”

    Here, you appear to refer to my earlier 3/19/15 comment. In this comment, I did not refer specifically to you. Instead, I referred generically to “Some commenters here…”. I used those words because a number of people who comment here have expressed ideas just as you did: supporting and defending people who use bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent language toward commenters whom they disagree with—and then attacking me for pointing out the individually and socially destructive nature of this kind of verbally abusive behavior. Please know that if I thought that only you think and value in this way, I would not have bothered to comment about it. But, somewhat surprising to me, just as you did a significant percentage of people who comment here do strongly support those who write in those obviously destructive ways toward others. Yes, this seems dramatically backward to me. It boggles my brain that people generally support that kind of writing FAR more strongly than they discourage it. I sometimes wonder about the psychological mechanisms that drive this kind of passive acceptance of destructive behavior. (Among many other motivations, such as considering it a waste of time, I expect that many people fear finding themselves on the receiving end of a lot of anarchist attacks.)

    Months ago, I naively thought that if I commented on this destructive behavior, so common here and at other commenting sites, others would agree with me, and perhaps even join me in discouraging that kind of writing. I found myself profoundly wrong about that and, with only a few exceptions, then, as now, I found myself almost completely alone in my attempts to encourage people to write in respectful ways while discouraging disrespectful, bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent, personal attacks, whether driven by anarchist thinking and valuing, emotional immaturity, or whatever. I have had this idea, apparently bizarre and largely unacceptable here, that most people would find an emotionally safe commenting environment preferable to one where they might find themselves called idiots, shitheads, motherfuckers, and so on, and told to go fuck themselves when others disagree with them. I know: naïve me.

    In my naivete it seems intuitively obvious that as long as significantly more people encourage and support those who write in such ways than those who discourage it, that obviously destructive behavior will continue. Most of us obviously prefer to demonstrate that we don’t care, and/or that we will not do anything to minimize it. For the most part, we demonstrate a preference for cycling through our hurtful engagement patterns with each other, driven by our reactive, secondary emotions while remaining completely oblivious of our primary emotions related to our attachment needs that really drive us. It strikes me as tragically comical that we cannot even minimally manage how we treat each other at a comment site like this, where we have significant control, and yet we express great surprise, anger, and hurt over the much broader destructive nature of humans on Earth. To me, each situation nicely reflects a mirror image of the other.

    Sabine, I feel sorry that you have personalized my comments as you have, and still sorrier that you appear to have very intensely personalized them—comments meant mainly for a much larger audience. I did not mean to suggest that either your or their thinking generally qualifies as backwards. I meant only that the specific thinking and valuing that encourages and supports commenters using disrespectful, bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent, personal attacks on others seem backward to me: it seems like reversed priorities in thinking, valuing and behaving. I certainly do NOT consider you in any sense generally “backward” or “incorrigible”, I strongly hope that you do not either, and I apologize for writing in a way that led to your drawing those conclusions, which I definitely did not intend. Do you live as a fallible human being, just like me, with many weaknesses, and as a person who makes many mistakes? Of course! Just like ME and all other humans! I accept you with your fallibilities, just as I accept myself with mine. I do not judge anyone’s worth, neither yours nor mine, because it seems to me that I would have to have a God-like omniscience in order to do that, and I do not have anywhere close to that kind of knowledge and understanding. On the contrary: I remain profoundly ignorant—so I do not play the worth game that so often gets so many people into deep, deep emotional and practical trouble.

  • @ 44 south Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    & Dimitri V Frost Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Welcome and thank you both, most sincerely, for those refreshing perspectives!! 🙂 Do either of you, and Mr. Elwell, think our species can achieve a critical mass of similar thought to create a sufficiently tangential force that will preclude NTHE? If so, how do you imagine/perceive such a metamorphosis from BAU? That is the overarching conundrum, is it not?

  • Hi Jeff

    You wrote:
    “Another misanthropic rant, totally devoid of any historical understandings and context. Just what this site needs.:-)”

    I looked up the word “misanthropic”, being unsure of its meaning. I found this:
    “disliking humankind and avoiding human society ”
    I do not see where dislike comes into this at all. It is a question of seeing the facts, surely?

    I would be very interested to hear about this “lack of historical understanding” that you feel I exhibit.”
    regards
    Clive

  • In response to Colin

    Hi Colin

    Thanks for your comments. Would you not say that the only real answer to our questions, to our problems, would be a totally different world, where intelligence and love would be the basis of relationship? Verbal answers will not suffice, no matter how knowledgeable and sophisticated.

    I am not interested in trying to change the minds of others. What is my concern, my responsibility, is to change this mind, “my mind”. I use quotation marks, because it is not really “my mind” but the mind of humankind. Thus in changing myself,others also ‘get changed’. But I am not saying that changing others is a motive to change myself – if there is a motive, there is no change, because that is still the self in operation.
    Regards
    Clive

  • Clive,
    I think you are asking the right question: “What is the root cause of our problems?” I also think that you have partly identified those problems. I write partly because the problems may or may not be solvable. To solve a problem, it must first be identified. Otherwise, there can be no solutions.

    Perhaps the greatest observation ever made by any person was made by Charles Darwin. As a keen observer of nature, he was able to identify the problems that occur in nature, and which are basically resolved by the evolution of species. Unfortunately, ever since the day Darwin more or less tried to convince us that we are merely sophisticated apes, as opposed to the chosen creations of a God, we have let his observations sit on the shelf.

    For example, we have used Einstein’s theories of relativity
    to further our knowledge of the physical properties of matter and energy, but have yet to use Darwin’s findings in any meaningful way. The on-going debates which Darwin’s theories have engendered are almost exclusively centered on our ancestral beginnings rather than on what happens in nature and how it functions. This is where we are missing the basic premise of a great gift he left for us to use. If discussed at levels that are outside the boundaries of our origins, it would show, for one thing, that greed is not a problem, but that greed is really a very distinct form of survival. Anyway, I very much enjoyed your article, and look forward to part 2.

  • “Thus, all individuals should be respected as carriers of some quanta of the seed of intelligence required to pass The Test, lest a fundamental quantum of necessary intelligence be lost.”

    I can see (for the sake of discussion) holding on to each person for what each has to teach. But what about holding on to other species, given natural food cycles?

  • The question is whether there is an act that can bring about a fundamental regeneration in the human mind?

    I would differ on the root cause:

    Mind is not a problem
    Self is not a problem
    Ego is not a problem
    Thought is not a problem
    Separation is not a problem
    Fragmentation is not a problem
    Belief is not a problem
    Consciousness is not a problem
    Etc etc

    I would suggest that these are features- not bugs. Irrespective – the solution remains the same 🙂

  • hi WarPanda!

    so glad to see you. it sounds like you are fully prepared, so I will entirely skip the – actually nonexistent – introductory chapter of the manual, and just send a hearty welcome your way. 🙂

  • 44 South.. Wow! Thanks for the reference to J. Krishnamurti. Read a few quotes and will read a lot more… Quite remarkable indeed.

    The first quotes listed were the following:

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Although the quote is probably not that unusual, it’s nice to acknowledge that condition once in a while.

    “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Darwin’s legacy exactly.

  • I am an fierce opponent of what B. F. Skinner labeled, “mentalism.”

    Skinner attacked any & all mentalistic explanations purporting to explain human behavior.

    He rejected the rampant “appeals to mind”, and “inner causes” that purport to pass as science.

    He held; “The spontaneous generation of behavior has reached the same stage as the spontaneous generation of maggots in Pasteur’s day.”

    Skinner was making an analogy to the spontaneous generation of thought & ideas – thought & ideas that “arise ex nihilo.”

    Skinner’s revulsion against mentalistic concepts purporting to explain behavior in terms of thought & ideas is laid out very clearly in the first two chapters of ABOUT BEHAVIORISM.

    Philosophical Idealism/ideaism posits that thought & ideas condition behavior, but nothing conditions the “all powerful & all causative ideas.”

    These all causative thoughts & ideas arise ex nihilo.

    If the “root cause” is thought & human consciousness, what conditions the thought(s) & the all powerful consciousness?

    Just a smattering of your stated “thoughtful” all-is-consciousness position;

    “Surely, all the deterioration, the degeneration in the world is due to the deterioration and degeneration of the human mind? Surely the crisis is in thought itself, in our minds, our hearts, in our behavior?”
    ———–
    “If we accept this as a fact, what is its significance?”

    “If it was clearly seen that the root cause of all human problems lies in human consciousness, surely we would not uselessly chase after solutions elsewhere? In short, if we see that thought is the root cause of the world falling apart, we will not follow the solutions that thought offers.”

    You are clearly invoking the very same “autonomous inner man” solutions to our planetary peril. You are full of the very same changing minds, mentalism, & free will that Skinner scorned.

    Skinner contended;

    “The function of the inner man is to provide an explanation which will not be explained in turn. Explanation stops with him. He is not a mediator between past history & curent behavior, HE IS A CENTER FROM WHICH BEHAVIOR EMANATES. HE INITIATES, ORIGINATES & CREATES & IN SO DOING HE REMAINS, AS HE WAS FOR THE GREEKS, DIVINE. We say that he is autonomous – & so far as a science of behavior is concerned, that means miraculous.”

    The so-called Cognitive Revolution is a return to mystifying mentalism & its mystifying consequences are gigantic.

    Routinely, we are treated to dramatic mentalistic “changes in consciousness” or changes in morality as solutions to intractable social problems.

    New age gurus, & you appear to be one, are the worst – “Change your mind & change the world.”

    You are demonstrating Platonic mentalism & ancient Greek free will.

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

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

  • Jean Turcot, Darwin’s legacy is the exact opposite of Krisnamurti’s oft quoted phrase.

    Darwin’s legacy of observing in context of the hypothesis/theory is a hallmark of modern science.

    The statement of K’s that you quoted is what used to pass as the natural history method.

    Darwin ushered in much of modern science when he posited that our observations & inquiry must be for or against some position or another.

  • @ Clive Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    First, thank you for your considered response. You ask…

    Would you not say that the only real answer to our questions, to our problems, would be a totally different world, where intelligence and love would be the basis of relationship? Verbal answers will not suffice, no matter how knowledgeable and sophisticated.

    In my best(?!) effort to be clear, I would first have to attempt to establish mutually agreeable definitions to the terms “answer,” “question” and “problem.” Lest I be remiss, agreeable definitions for “different world,” “intelligence,” “love” and “sophisticated” would also be necessary. Note, I am NOT trying to cavalier, coy or glib, as when Wet Willie said “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” However, the nature and predilection of “our” culture/society, especially with regard to “politically-correct” speech, is way beyond question, true communication, i.e. agreement of terms, is doubtful. Nonetheless, assuming Merriam-Webster’s definitions for the aforementioned terms, I would suppose, as I did earlier, that YOU “already know that.” In other words, there is NO “answer” that would be acceptable to ANY “majority,” let alone “all.” To paraphrase a famous movie line, “It is first necessary to realize that there is NO spoon.” Words AND concepts have lost any congruity of meaning throughout the planet’s “human” population. The insistence by the clueless masses to not be “offensive” has resulted in the reduction of “communication” to irrelevant, obfuscatory, euphemisms, non-sequiturs and malapropisms to an extent where few, if any, have ANY idea what someone else is actually attempting to communicate. Moreover, due to incessant hyperbole everyone believes their perspective is the correct one. I have absolutely NO IDEA how to overcome or correct that. From a different “angle,” two centuries (give or take) BCE, Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth, i.e. he and others KNEW the Earth was a sphere. Then, along comes one or more religious beliefs that contradicted that and the pain and suffering that would befall any who dared agree with Eratosthenes was sufficient to sway their “opinion.” I, like Carl Sagan, shed at least one tear at the mere thought of what was lost in the destruction of the Library at Alexandria. All systems of belief and their “devotees” should be considered anathema to life and knowledge and be, at the very least, ridiculed and marginalized, if not exterminated, at EVERY opportunity. After all, L. Blankfein says “HE” is doing “God’s work.” If so, fuck a bunch of gods AND their supplicants.

    You go on…

    I am not interested in trying to change the minds of others. What is my concern, my responsibility, is to change this mind, “my mind”. I use quotation marks, because it is not really “my mind” but the mind of humankind. Thus in changing myself,others also ‘get changed’. But I am not saying that changing others is a motive to change myself – if there is a motive, there is no change, because that is still the self in operation.

    I apologize, but I find this string of sentences self-contradictory, perhaps tantamount to gibberish, no offense intended. However, it is not totally devoid of merit. First, trying to change the minds of others is, I’ve found, an exercise in futility and your effort and energy would be better applied elsewhere. Believers can not, will not, be swayed by any amount of “facts” or any other means with which I am aware… save for a more “compelling,” yet equally baseless and comforting, crock of shit. A “change,” by any measure, in the predominant, predatory species on this rock will not, can not, occur until utter oblivion becomes manifest and completely irrefutable. Alas, by then, 7+ billion “humans” will be committed to suffering such oblivion. TINA.

  • Amy Pike wrote:

    “you think that the problem is that we ever got consciousness?”

    No, sorry that I was not clear in my article. Consciousness is the very essence of everything. I think the problem is that the self has hijacked consciousness.

    As the brain developed in the evolution of human beings, thought became possible. Obviously linked closely with language. Thought was mankind’s evolutionary tool, like the cheetah had its speed. And an incredibly ‘successful’ tool it was, in terms of dominion over nature. But that very success now threatens our very existence. Because thought took the step (perhaps necessarily, perhaps not, I don’t know) of creating the thinker. That is, it developed a ‘permanent’ centre.( It actually is not permanent at all, it is as transient as the thought which creates it ). This thinker is the self, the ego, the me, etc.

    I think you are right, Amy, in saying:

    “ I don’t think the solution is to become unconscous or a ‘no-self’ either”.

    The solution cannot lie in ‘becoming’ at all, but I will not pursue that here.

    As I said, I feel consciousness is the very essence of us, and of the Universe (although we have to be careful here, people use the word in different senses). No, there is no going back to how things were. What is essential is an evolutionary leap, a complete transformation in human consciousness. That transformation need to be both of the heart and the mind, surely, so that they work together in harmony? But surely such a transformation is not possible as long as the self/ego is functioning?

    Yes Amy, I am not speaking from any belief system, but it is clearly insane, how human beings are living, what they are inflicting on the earth, on other people, and the immense suffering they create for themselves. Any thinking person, anyone who purports to have any caring in him, would devote all his energy to solving this problem. But as you know, very few do – instead they are tied up in self-aggrandizement., in trying to make themselves secure, as individuals. This is clearly impossible.

    So when, as you mention, the mind truly realises that we are all connected, are not individual consciousnesses, – TRULY realise it, not just a theory – then what is the state of that mind? Does it then ask “what should I do?”? Or is the seeing action in itself?

    Regards
    Clive

  • Sad. The trees are ALL DEAD here in VT. No birds. Its all dead. People are going to blame it on the cold snap because folks like you Guy will not speak out and just tell the truth, regardless of whether you care or not you can still open your mouth and say, “Yes, we are being exterminated like cockroaches and that is why everything around us is DEAD”. Enjoy your peace and acceptance blog, along with a huge helping of dead trees this “spring that will never come”. I am really heart broken over your silence.

  • Nicole, I assume you’re referring to my silence about chemtrails, which exist only in the minds of people uninterested in evidence. Please let me know if you are referring to another topic.

  • The native Americans, before embarking on any major decision, would consider at length, the impacts on 7 generations ahead! Chief Sitting Bull told the white men “when you have cut down your last tree and killed your last buffalo, then…you will know hunger” And lastly, whenever they killed an animal for food or, cut down a tree for shelter, they would thank the “Great Spirit” for providing the life they had just ended. Changing your thinking is possible but it is the hardest thing anyone will ever do!! And…most are just too damn lazy. As a Catholic priest once said, if I ever get to Heaven it won’t be because I was seeking it but rather because I was backing away from Hell.

  • “So when, as you mention, the mind truly realises that we are all connected, are not individual consciousnesses, – TRULY realise it, not just a theory – then what is the state of that mind? Does it then ask “what should I do?”?”

    no, the mind then asks, “what can nothing do?”

    and it allows it to happen, doing its best to stay out of the way, and knowing it makes entirely no difference if it stays out of the way, or takes over the whole damn show, or burns down the theater, with everyone inside, screaming like helpless lambs at the most evil inhumane slaughter.

    but – it’s exceedingly hard to burn down nothing, and get any kind of thrill from that, either, so then it decides maybe the show can go on, after all.

    and maybe the Director really can direct,

    the writer really can write,

    and hey, those actors are really starting to get in the groove with things…

    and maybe I’ll just let myself enjoy this show, and maybe something really will burn…

    or explode…

    or butterfly…

    and who is it directing
    exploding
    acting
    writing
    butterflying
    burning

    and what do I really want to do with all of that

    ?
    really?

    (maybe I need to
    work this out, in a little skit, and
    figure it out,
    in a bit…
    oooo this could be fun…)

  • Hi Milendia

    You describe the article “ as insignificant, useless” and ask “So give us a break with all your blah-blah about consciousness and the likes.” Well, this may be so, but I cannot see that you offer any evidence for your comments. You do not specifically refute any point I make. You do point to the lack of intelligence as being the root cause of the human situation, and yes, certainly this is one way of describing the problem, and I do not see it as being in opposition to my description.

    So why do we lack this intelligence? And what is the nature of intelligence? After all, we have tremendous mental capacity when it comes to science and technology. Why are we so blind to the human situation? We have to be so stupid to destroy ourselves. Why this apparent contradiction?

    Is it that self centred concern blocks the action of intelligence? As you say, we do not really see things as they are. We seem incapable of truly listening. Is it not the self which blinds us? Each person seems to live behind the walls of his personal psychological castle, and is overwhelmingly concerned with that little space he has created. Is this the root of un-intelligence?

    Regards
    Clive

  • Gerald Spezio,
    I quoted Mr. Krisnamurti’s comment : “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” and wrote that it was the essence of Darwin’s legacy. Darwin had the uncanny ability to observe the simplicity of natural selection. i.e., ‘If it works, use it’…or: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Sound familiar? Those deals still work today, as they always did. Darwin did not evaluate anything, he made observations from which he formed his theories.

    Your comments however greatly differ from both Darwin and Krisnamurti in the sense that their expressions about what they observed were clear and without doubt as to their interpretation, unlike the ones you chose to use. If I were to read a book in which the essence of your comments were to be intrepid in a million ways, such would not be a good basis for any theory. Darwin and Krisnamurtu write with simplicity. And that is what I was trying to convey. This does not imply that their observations were simple, just that they were simple to understand.

    In the post immediately before this one, regarding B.F. Skinner, you wrote: “The so-called Cognitive Revolution is a return to mystifying mentalism & its mystifying consequences are gigantic.”… Errrr!! What are you writing about ????

    You also wrote: “COGNITIVE REVOLUTION is MYSTIFYING MENTALISM” ????? Are you kidding me? What in the hell does that mean. From what I remember in Psyc 101 was that Skinner proposed that we all learn our Ps & Qs from our environment, and that we are mostly forever programmed to act out what we learned from our own ‘Skinner Boxes”.

    If Skinner wrote the comments you made above, it must have been in a course way beyond Psyc 101, cause I don’t recall reading anything so deeply mystifying. In my lexical domain, BIG WORDS mean nothing, except for those who try to impress as learned gentlemen, which I assume is your ‘hallmark’. You wrote that you are a fierce opponent of what Skinner calls ‘mentalism’.. So ??? I don’t know what mentalism is, or do I feel the need to know what it is, or isn’t. In fact, I tried to look up MENTALISM in my OXFORD Dictionary and even That venerable English language institution failed to include it.

    What I do know is that what Darwin wrote was simplicity personified, which the quotes from Krishnamurti also seem to convey. In his article, Clive also writes with simplicity, a talent which is my cup-of-tea… i.e., a spade is a spade… ?

  • The root cause of our evils is the fact that we are smart enough to contemplate our own individual mortality. Easy eh? Contemplation of mortality interferes with our ability to survive day to day. So our brains developed a contrarian narrative of life everlasting. This deniability developed to help us function in daily life. This is why religion is a common feature throughout all societies and history.

    The only 2 things all humanity has ever agreed on is Life After Death and Money. Both of which are unreal human constructs. We can fix money, but we are too greedy and fearful because, subconsciously, we know we are going to die.

  • “Do either of you, and Mr. Elwell, think our species can achieve a critical mass of similar thought to create a sufficiently tangential force that will preclude NTHE? If so, how do you imagine/perceive such a metamorphosis from BAU? That is the overarching conundrum, is it not?”

    Okay, I want to take a stab at this myself, and this is my second post for the day, and I do have a great many issues and thoughts, but am trying to stay focused, so will just as an aside say I love all, and Sabine, since I do believe, (however could be wrong, and frequently am) that you have Bud on ‘ignore’ want to let you know that you missed a really long post. 😉

    No, I do NOT believe that this material existence is all there is, I do believe that thoughts affect reality, that thoughts are reality, but no, I still don’t know how all that shit works, and am still trying to figure it out. One thing I do know,however, is that I don’t care what others do or don’t believe, and respect that others respect my desire to continue to search for answers. When I do, I leave nothing off the table at times, including the ‘woowoo’, for want of a better term, and I use that one because it is one that can frame a particular paradigm pretty well. ‘woowoo’ is the ‘unknown unknown’ to me..that which is or might be and cannot be explained by science yet or if it is, isn’t publicly known, or if it is, is discounted. That is part of my own definition of it, just so you know.

    I don’t know much about the site nor can I vouch for it, but I did find this to be some food for thought:

    “Epi means above; and, therefore, epigenetics is defined as control above the genes, i.e., a second genetic code that controls the activity of genes and programming of DNA. This new science discovered that environmental factors (energy connections, air quality, exercise, consciousness, diet, etc.) control our gene expressions and the ways we function. Yes, this means that we are personally capable of changing our gene expressions. Epigenetics encourages us to abandon obsolete beliefs that we are victims of predetermined genetic codes and explains how perceptions of our inner and outer environments shape our biology and behavior. Dr. Bruce H. Lipton (1), a cellular biologist, offered the following explanation:

    This new hereditary mechanism reveals how behavior and gene activity are controlled by an organism’s perceptions of its environment. The fundamental difference between the old DNA genetic code and the new epigenetics is that the former notion endorses genetic determinism–the belief that genes predetermine and control our physiological and behavioral traits–while epigenetics recognizes that our perceptions of the environment, including our consciousness, actively control our genes. Through epigenetic mechanisms, applied consciousness can be used to shape our biology and make us masters of our own lives.

    Dr. Liption’s statement reinforces the realization that our lives are controlled by perceptions of our life experiences, rather than predetermined and unchanging genetic codes. Genes do not make decisions about being turned on or off. They can be thought of as blueprints that provide potentials, and the human body is structured to develop and regenerate itself from gene blueprints. The mind can be thought of as the building contractor that adjusts DNA blueprints. In reality, we create our biology with our minds based on perceptions of our environments.

    This radically remodeled perspective of traditional biology necessitated corresponding shifts into the new supporting sciences of energy physics, vibrational chemistry, and energy psychology. Epigenetics may necessitate the development of new holistic healing perspectives, as well. Certainly, the immaterial mind and consciousness can no longer be dismissed as an epiphenomenon of a mechanistic body.

    Epigenetics and other supporting sciences are teaching us that the body is not a single entity and that its cells are members of a community, just as people are citizens of a community. It is a harmonious community of possibly 50 trillion cells, and each cell has every function of the body in it. Liver cells aren’t just liver cells. Each bodily system is present in every cell. All cells have receptors in their skin that are tuned to chemical and electromagnetic vibrations. Signals of the brain control the readout of the genes. Cells perceive the body’s inner environment and make bodily adjustments the same way the outer skin reacts to perceptions of its environment. The cells’ perceptions of their community environment change biology, chemically and electrically. Epigenetic controls select potentials from the blueprints and genes are switched on or off. Life is determined as it happens.”

    http://www.ozarkresearch.org/Site/epigenetics.html

    Everything can be used for good or evil..for destruction or creation..I myself have a choice..only insofar as what I believe determines what my actions are.

    I am no fan of Skinner myself either, because the man himself was evil, and because I don’t think he was right, but if you want to take a psychopath’s word for what reality is, go right ahead. MK Ultra is a word that will with some bring about rolled eyes, but IT DID EXIST, and anyone who thinks that the experiments ended at all is crazier than I am. ’nuff said on that subject. Do some research, and remember that according to many, this extinction we are facing is a ‘liberal conspiracy’ too. Yes, there is a great deal of evil in the world, and it is for that reason especially that silliness and play and goofiness and love is important, it is the most important thing there is. Right up there with being aware of what is going on; one can do both without having it be a paradox too. And remember, “work makes you free” IS A LIE.

    here is some more info on what is going on..as without..so within..and here too, we are playing with fire..

    “A group of 18 scientists and ethicists today warned that a revolutionary new tool to cut and splice DNA should be used cautiously when attempting to fix human genetic disease, and strongly discouraged any attempts at making changes to the human genome that could be passed on to offspring.”

    http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2015/03/19/scientists-urge-caution-in-using-new-crispr-technology-to-treat-human-genetic-disease/

    and..

    “Prominent scientists worried that new gene-editing tools are getting ahead of humanity’s grasp of the implications are calling for a moratorium.

    University of Utah geneticist Dana Carroll, a leader in genomic engineering, is one of 18 scientists, ethicists and legal experts who signed a cautionary paper published Thursday in the journal Science Express.

    The group met in Napa, Calif., in January to discuss and formulate their position, which calls for scientists to slow down, better understand the safety and consequences of engineering changes in human DNA and allow time for public discussion of the ethics.

    A new tool that is revolutionizing genetics and molecular biology, CRISPR-Cas9, gives researchers the ability to easily and cheaply “snip” DNA in a cell, using an enzyme called a nuclease, and either remove or rewrite genetic information.”

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/2310583-155/engineering-humans-utah-professor-joins-group

    oh and for the record, yes, the moon landing was faked. just so you know.

    http://uk7.valuehost.co.uk/17,O_mkfyta6OM/juegos/NOT-FOR-US-PUBLIC-TO-KNOW

  • Paul Chefurka wrote:

    “I still see the human root of the world problem as being our consciousness. But we have it and we can’t get rid of it. It’s a wonderful toy, so we might as well play with it.”

    Let us look at these statements:
    WE have IT
    WE can’t get rid of IT
    WE … play with IT

    Each statement put a ME as different from my consciousness. And this is the problem. This expresses the fundamental misconception of the mind. Not being personal here, Paul. This is part of the human conditioning, yours and mine.

    So what is this me that has a consciousness? Is there an entity separate from the consciousness? Or is there only the consciousness.

    Is there really any separation? This is a fundamental question. Not only do we behave as if we were separate from the natural world (and so can destroy it) we think and behave as if we were separate from ourselves! And obviously the two illusions are very much connected.

    Seeing this sense of separation in ourselves is false, then the question ”how do I get rid of it” looses any meaning.

    And when one ceases to try to act to ‘bridge the gap’, then is there that state of separation?

    Regards
    Clive

  • Robin Datta wrote:
    ”Changing it will require altering molecular cell biology”

    I am not sure what what mechanism of change you are talking of, Robin, but it has been suggested that insight is capable of bringing about a mutation in the brain cells.
    Regards
    Clive

  • What is this ??

    “all means help the poor, protest injustice, try to defend the environment, save the whales, inform people of what is happening, if that is what your heart prompts. But if I may suggest, do not deceive yourself that it is sufficient action, that one is responding completely to the state of the world, that one has taken full responsibility.”

    Again – this sounds to me like still more de-motivating schpiel from the imperial center, certainly aimed directly at people like me, who are actually in these kinds of situations, sounds like more reflexive rationalizations from persons of rather extensive privilege who are NOT ON THE FRIGGIN GROUND, in the Third World, where their mind tells them their body ought to be, day after day, year after year, through military coups, violence, assault, kidnapping, lies, torture, abuse, assassination, complicity, and on and on.

    And yeah – I am more guilty of being a brain dead moron for most of my life, and my worst wrath I reserve for myself. None of that even begins to alleviate my complicity or my attributed “white guilt”. Yada. The work is there to be done. One puts one head down and arm to the grindstone and does the work. Don’t expect any awards or hosanahs. The work will be it’s own reward. And at the end you will be exhausted, commiserated, humiliated and die a horrible, lingering tragic, lonely, painful death where nobody much even remembers your name, knows or cares who you are or what you did. And any and whatever progress towards a glimmer of Voltairian humanism, the basic reduction of suffering comes from this kind of work.

    And yet, this is “not enough” — to “solve the basic human problem.”.
    Is this more black hole nihilism? OK. Call me when you or anyone else has TRIED to put their own body on the line where their mind tells them they need to be. That is, in person, including their whole body and their every day life.

    Well now, if the goal is to SOLVE the problem, then I might suggest that a thorough political, economic and cognitive analysis militates direct action across the entire breadth and face of one of the central primary political, social, economic and environmental problems (read: holocausts) that manifests as The United States, and it’s “Americans”. My friend from up East came out with this last week:

    “Were the United States itself to genuinely challenge genocide and crimes against humanity, then it no longer would as the United States exist. It’s continued existence is thoroughly dependent upon such ongoing crimes. This is what is represents and for which it stands. This is the sum total of the complete fabric of its existence. It cannot exist independent of the very worst crimes imaginable, as the very worst crimes imaginable remain its foundation and sustenance.

    Those who hope to stop atrocities must destroy the United States.”
    _____________________

    If you are you are overwhelmed by the logical implications of Bella Eiko’s sensible and earnest wish, stated clearly at the Oakland City Council meeting, that everything should be “burned to the ground, except the houses, so that people would understand that they don’t need this wretched system.”, then I can’t help you.

    Pre-figurative political action is manifesting the change in behavior, concept and action you wish to see in the world is the concept.

    If we are all going to get sucked into the NTE black hole, then this kind of self-serving rhetoric to de-motivate from any sort of pre-figurative creation then what should it matter? After all, the game is lost, isn’t it? Why get out of bed? Why even try? Why reduce suffering or even do any work whatsoever to reduce the traumas fostered now, today, with kids who are being subjected to an NTE situation that is totally a creation of modern western civilization? Why run interference for them, instead of cracking a cold one, posting a toastie, catching the super bowl, or cruising the aisles at home depot for kicks?

    You do with your body what your mind tells you to do. I will do with mine what my mind tells me to do. Others can adjudicate just how well these strategies shake out.

    Cheers and good day.

  • West, Northwest and Southwest

    Precipitation did fall along the northern tier of the region during the week; however, aside from the highest elevations, temperatures were too warm to support much-needed snowfall. Degradation was made in Oregon and Utah due to low snowpack amounts that have plagued the west coast this past winter. Mountain snowpack across the Olympic, Cascade, Coastal Range, and Sierra Nevada is at least 25 percent below the 30-year normal. In the Sierra Nevada, precipitation amounts for the water year are 10 inches or more below normal. To exacerbate matters, average temperatures were well above normal. Temperatures in Los Angeles reached 90 degrees F for a March record four consecutive days. This just after California besting their winter (Dec-Feb) average temperature, set just last year (2013/14), by 1.5 degrees F. Washington State also had one of their warmest winters on record with an anomaly 6.0F above the 20th century average. The average temperature in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona was also record warm this past winter.

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

  • Clive,

    The following sentence contains the substance of your article.
    “Man himself is the cause of his problems. It is the state of human consciousness that has brought about all this chaos. By “state of human consciousness” I mean thought directed by the self, the me, the I, the ego”

    1. “Man himself is the cause of his problems”. This is well corroborated by the facts indeed.

    2. “It is the state of human consciousness that has brought about all this chaos”.
    With all due respect I beg to disagree. The way I see it you are positing a consequence as being the cause of our situation.
    The present form of human consciousness, or the me me me, did not, as per miracle, fall from the sky. It is something that formed over long periods of time as a consequence of:
    – the destruction of animism and tribal life (no me me me in there)
    – the slow emergence of power that gave rise to empires, imposition of ideology, and lastly the freeing of the genie of the self with Modernity.

    Tribal societies are “small groups” (see Dunbar number) that self manage with no need for any institution of power. It is their small size that allows them to avoid power and individualism.

    Once groups, or societies, grow larger they require power structures to reproduce. And once power structures are being accepted that means that the consciousness of the citizens has integrated the notions of inequality, differentiation, and the positioning of the self in that situation.

    About solutions.
    – I don’t see the possibility for humanity to find solutions to its problems.
    – solutions will eventually be imposed on humanity by the nature of things which now passes through collapse.

    In case after case history shows us that change happens as an answer to necessity. The path toward societal collapse that humanity is following unmistakably and by sheer necessity will unite the survivors in forgetting about “me me me” and impose the primacy of the group over the self.

    In the meantime, as a measure of mental sanity, we should strive for perfection in whatever we might be doing or thinking. I know this is not a solution to humanity’s problems but it is the only solution, I know of, to remain sane individually amidst our societal insanity by enjoying whatever we might be doing…

  • Ioadan

    There are solutions, we just have to get creative with the powers.

    Another question is will we do that in time?

    Lets just help it along by wishing it to be so

    😉

  • It might be a fundamental mistake to assume that there is one kind of “us”. A number of recent books have been written about sociopaths/psychopaths and how they thrive in corporate and militaristic organizations (hierarchies). It seems more and more clear to me that the sociopaths are running the show because they have clawed their way to the top.
    Even in the stories of Jesus, he says (in Matthew 27): “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” This is pretty strong language for a guy who spoke of turning the other cheek and loving your enemy (whether you subscribe to the belief system or not).
    We need a surefire DNA test to determine who is sociopathic and then prevent them from rising to positions of power – ’cause they don’t give a sh.. about the rest of us.

  • Four temperature records for March for four towns in western Queensland were broken yesterday.Birdsville reached 46.5 C.
    7.3 billion people,most of them wanting to consume as much as possible.An additional 80 million each year.CO2 levels inexorably rising.Physics doesn’t negotiate.A pope who thinks recommending a maximum of three children per couple is ecological literacy.Ecologically illiterate maniacs everywhere you look.The list goes on forever.Is your god going to intervene if things get ‘too’ bad? Only in your dreams.

  • For those who may wish to know about epigenetics, the appropriate starting place is The Histone Code. Also, every cell does not express every gene.

    Any mechanism of change to limit the tendency to increase biomass would have to disrupt the molecular organisation retained from over two and a half billion years ago, upon and around which have been built the molecular cell biology of every cell of all life on earth. It would be like trying to convert gasoline engines into electric motors.

    Sabine – you asked that you should not be used as an excuse to drop loads of crap in NBL. It didn’t work.

  • Hi Iaodan

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. You are suggesting, among other things, that I have confused the chicken and the egg, put the cart before the horse. This is very interesting. How are we to arrive at the truth of the matter?

    We are agreed that the I-consciousness did not fall from the sky. Put very briefly, my feeling is that something went wrong in the development of the brain, a sort of wrong relationship between the old, reptilian brain and the new, thinking cortex. The old brain cannot distinguish between the images created by thought, and what is really going on (this can very easily be seen in oneself). And the new brain has not yet discovered its true purpose, and relies on the old brain for direction – ie we are still strongly animal in our behaviour. (no disrespect to the animals intended).

    If I may politely suggest, your explanations of how things went wrong – and ANY explanation in terms of circumstances, events – do not explain why we lacked the basic intelligence not to fall into these traps in the first place. What do you say?

    Then you ask about solutions. We must ask, solutions to which problems?As I have written, the basic problem for me is the lack of understanding of oneself, which means one’s perceptions are distorted. The glass must be clean, if we are to see clearly. If we are confused – which we are – then our actions will only bring about more confusion – which is exactly what we see happening, both in the inner and the outer worlds.

    Regards
    Clive

  • Something more in response to your post, Iaodan. I honestly do not know if there WILL be any survivors. And you say “ by sheer necessity will unite the survivors in forgetting about “me me me” and impose the primacy of the group over the self.”
    But why do we not see the problems NOW, and act?

    It seems to me the idea that we ‘learn from experience’ is largely a myth. All those wars, and we plan for new ones. All we have learnt is to build more powerful weapons.
    Clive

  • Hi Dredd

    I was not writing about blame, or guilt. Once we start on those things, we cannot see clearly the facts.

    So what do you feel is the fundamental cause of man’s situation?

    Regards
    Clive

  • In an abstract sense, the root cause is: Fear. (Need I quote Yoda here?)

    The solution is: Love.

    However, the reductionists can say that both fear and love are chemical reactions and evolutionary features necessary for one particular context but we’re in the driver’s seat (sort of) of that context (i.e., we don’t need to fear so much and need to love more, particularly once we’ve fulfilled the lower rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but our brains are still dominated by instinctual reactions that are short term in their thinking and therefore aren’t evolving in a manner consistent with the environments we’re able to provide for ourselves). Now with genome editing made even more easy (it was possible before), I think this is where the solutions will go towards: self-directed evolution and transhumanism. A last ditch attempt to save the species before extinction: which will come first? I think the likely answer is clear.

    J Krishnamurthi is one of the few people I think who got it.

    Another answer, and what my research on complex systems points to, is that everything is a matter of chance. We’re here in an unfortunate place because of the luck of the draw. Throw another roll of dice at particular points and it could’ve been a completely different universe. Complex systems capable of achieving a sustainable long term equilibrium are possible only with certain (few) trajectories without any particular rhyme or reason. I can tell you what leads to failure (i.e., what seems to be necessary) but I can’t tell you what leads to success in any consistent manner (what is sufficient). What I’ve seen (say with bacteria or plants or just the cycle of life itself or simulations) is that self regulation is necessary, cooperation is necessary, and the rules for the system evolve bottom up rather than be enforced top down.

  • Hi Kevin Moore

    Yes, I was pondering recently that it was natural for early man to cooperate within the tribe, when one was completely dependent on it for one’s physical survival (actually we are still in that situation, but it is not so immediately obvious). Selfishness, if it arose, just would not pay, and would not be tolerated by others.

    But this spirit of cooperation was not extended, it seems, to others outside the group, to other tribes. Tribes were in rivalry, in conflict, and even though certain allegiances would have been forged, and tribes became larger – eventually becoming nation states – the intelligent way, that of everyone working together, was never taken. Why?

    I feel that identification, which is what the self essentially is, corrupted intelligence even in those early days. Identification is “normal human behaviour.

    Not making any personal comments about you Kevin, but is greed, selfishness the prerogative of government, of the rich? Is there not greed in all of us? Psychologically, are we not all the same? Do we not all seek pleasure? Are we all not competitive, each seeking success in our own way? Do we not feel fear? Do we not experience desire, anger? Don’t we all feel pain, loneliness, sorrow, and all the rest of it? Are we in essence different from others?

    Of course the social consequences of our actions differ. That is because we have created a society that is hierarchical, putting some individuals in position of great power. It is our common desire to be guided, to follow that has done this, is it not?

    We are touching upon extremely important questions here, and perhaps I will try and go into then in some detail in a follow up article.

    regards
    Clive

  • Colin asked:

    “Do either of you, and Mr. Elwell, think our species can achieve a critical mass of similar thought to create a sufficiently tangential force that will preclude NTHE? If so, how do you imagine/perceive such a metamorphosis from BAU?That is the overarching conundrum, is it not? ”

    Thought will not solve our problems. It never has, and it never will.

    Thought is always fragmented, and always limited, as it is based on knowledge, which is always incomplete.

    Regards
    Clive

  • Hi Diarmuid,
    You state that the self, the ego, thought, separation etc are not problems. I would be interested to learn why you are convinced of this?

    I think you are saying that they are all effects of a single basic cause, is that right? What do you think is that cause?

    Regards
    Clive

  • Hi Gerald Spezio

    I wonder why what was written is compared to what someone else said. Why is it categorised? Does that help understanding in any way?

    Regards
    Clive

  • Colin wrote:
    “ I apologize, but I find this string of sentences self-contradictory, perhaps tantamount to gibberish, no offense intended ”

    I had written:
    “““I am not interested in trying to change the minds of others. What is my concern, my responsibility, is to change this mind, “my mind”. I use quotation marks, because it is not really “my mind” but the mind of humankind. Thus in changing myself,others also ‘get changed’. But I am not saying that changing others is a motive to change myself – if there is a motive, there is no change, because that is still the self in operation.””

    And this is me now :-):
    I cannot see any contradiction in what I wrote. Can you explain where it lies?

  • Mr Elwell,
    A couple of brief comments:

    There is no “we” in respect of human beings. It is a certain culture(s) that took a “wrong turn”. This conflation of ALL humanity with THIS culture gets very tiresome. It is civilised human consciousness or lack thereof that I believe you are talking about?

    Human beings are not unique in possessing consciousness. They are unique in having human consciousness of course. To think that humans are unique is part of the problem that enabled this culture to get where it is now I suggest.

    Mr Nye,
    Before you spout off about anarchism you would be well advised to actually learn about what it is. But you wont. Just another tactic to try to bait people and attention seek.

  • The solution will be militaristic, bloody, violent and viciously brutal.
    Only, love will not remain.

  • Empathy started for me in late teens, reading Kerouac. I heard an interview with his priest, who was asked what made Jack a good writer. “Empathy” was the answer from the priest. That was the first I heard and really delved into it. Following that was Octavia Butler – “Parable of the Sower”, an incredible book about social collapse. The main character is a “hyper-empath”. Again, a first for me. And once I heard of it, I had to follow the rabbit hole to see where it goes, and develop my sensibilities as a hyper-empath.

    And the result, I have to say, was, at times, devastating and emotionally crippling. A catastrophe. To take on sympathy with the most despised, troubled and pained of the world nearly killed me multiple times. Physically, psychologically and emotionally.

    However….I wouldn’t go back and change anything at this point, and if given the chance would start earlier and work harder at it.

    __________________________________

    High-end Laos resort serves up illegal wildlife for Chinese tourists
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2015/mar/19/high-end-laos-resort-serves-up-illegal-wildlife-for-chinese-tourists?CMP=share_btn_tw

    “Piff has produced an intriguing, though controversial, collection of evidence that wealth and status makes a person more likely to act badly.
    The rich act more selfishly, break more rules, feel more entitled, and display less empathy and compassion, according to Piff”

    “What we’ve been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across [the US] is that as a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases,” said Piff in a 2013 TED Talk. “In surveys, we found that it’s actually wealthier individuals who are more likely to moralise greed being good, and that the pursuit of self-interest is favourable and moral.”

    Piff has not studied whether wealth decreases compassion for non-humans, though it’s not a big stretch to assume it would. On the bright side, Piff has also found that change is possible and such behaviours are never fixed.

    “In fact, we’ve been finding in our own laboratory research that small psychological interventions, small changes to people’s values, small nudges in certain directions, can restore levels of egalitarianism and empathy,” he said.”

  • Red Fox wrote:
    “There is no “we” in respect of human beings. It is a certain culture(s) that took a “wrong turn”. This conflation of ALL humanity with THIS culture gets very tiresome. It is civilised human consciousness or lack thereof that I believe you are talking about?”

    Well, I do not know. I have tended to think, as explained in other posts, that this ‘wrong turn’ was taken before mankind divided into distinct cultures. I have thought of it as being in the very structure of the brain itself, and I have always thought of the brain as the common evolution of all human beings.

    I freely admit I could be wrong in this. Certainly I read from people who have spent time in communities of – can we call them native people? – that they lead peaceful lives, in harmony with nature and each other. This might be a generalisation, however. It might indeed indicate that they had not taken that fateful step into “civilisation”. Is this what you are referring to?

    Hmm, I think perhaps I should have used the term “mind” rather than consciousness. I should explain that I use the term human consciousness as the sum total of all human experience, knowledge, memory. That is where we live, breathe and have our being.

    I would be happy to hear your response.5

  • To Red Fox

    Adding to my last post, the only consciousness I need to understand, to be aware of is this one, here, now.
    Clive

  • Clive,
    Thank you for responding. Re: culture. My impression is that the human population was so small and scattered prior to the end of the paleolithic that each band would, possibly (likely?) have had their own particular culture-broadly animistic I surmise.
    So, at it’s beginning, what is now civised culture would have been in just one of a number. Then of course…

    I think we are probably talking about slightly different concepts of consciousness which invariably happens. I just think of it as being self aware and the notion that everything has an indwelling lifeforce-again, broadly animistic.

  • Bud,

    I was just having a bit of fun. I know, my evil streak, but possibly a bit of British humour as well.
    I’m surrounded by this kind of humour on this island. If you don’t like it, never come to Britain. You’d be horrified. It suits me but, of course, not everybody.
    Self-deprecation and word games are very much a part of this special humour. From Iranians I know here, I hear that their humour is very similar. They are lucky to have it because when you live under a repressive regime, you really need this kind humour (especially if you’re a woman). No doubt it’s practised all over the world but particularly prevalent in some people (ethnicities).

    This kind of not taking everything so seriously or better, knowing precisely what to take seriously and what not is quite empowering.
    Our man-made world cannot be taken seriously in all its aspects, even you must agree there. And just think, laughing, smiling, mocking is something that our species naturally does (like singing and dancing, making and liking music).
    And believe me, it’s also good in relationships. In my experience, these human traits are part of the glue that hold them together – all kinds of human relationships.
    I can’t use laughter, smiles or mocking with my cat or plants, of course. And relationships with everything else alive are very, very important.
    With them I use soft sounds, touch, anything that transmits gentle affection, respect and regard, as you would with tiny babies (who needs lots of smiles too, of course). You just create the right atmosphere for them to thrive. And you do that instinctively, intuitively, as well-balanced mothers do with their new-born babies. Ideally, you learn this from example in your community, as humans have always done – I did. If you have to learn, re-learn this from books and theories, you’re in trouble. It will remain theory, a theory which you must always consciously apply. I feel that you tend to do just that. I might be wrong, of course… Doing it intuitively, you quite naturally do this unconsciously or not deliberately. You just do it, and you don’t analyse it!
    However, with human adults it’s a different matter. If they are well balanced, they should be able to respond to humour and reciprocate. Mocking, I’m afraid, is part of that, including mocking yourself. That’s very, very important, and it’s deliberate.
    I would consider myself quite unbalanced if I didn’t mock myself frequently, sometimes even using cussing words, playing word games with myself. Example: When I called myself “incorrigible” etc and taking you comment “personally”, I was mocking myself. Can’t you see that? Many people reading this would have picked that up in nano seconds, believe me.
    And, of course, there’s always some truth in mocking and stereo-typical behaviour. However, these are subtleties, not everybody is able to tune in. It’s like being partially deaf, you don’t hear the whole spectrum of sounds (audible to the human ear).

    You don’t experience life this way, I realise, and therefore it’s not fair to play word games with you. Please don’t tempt me anymore.

  • Clive,

    My bottom line is the same as Ernst Mayr’s: Intelligence is a lethal mutation. Everything else is just wordplay. Words are infinitely elastic. Reality is not.

  • Amy

    Epigenetics Lipton quotes: This makes sense to me up to certain point. But take a sentence like this, and then we get into mysteries beyond words:

    “Through epigenetic mechanisms, applied consciousness can be used to shape our biology and make us masters of our own lives.”

    The term “master of our own lives” makes only partial and limited sense to me.
    ———-

    But I didn’t stick with the moon landing video. I have no opinion about “the truth” of the matter, but it didn’t seem to fit with the bulk of your thoughts, which made a whole lot of practical sense–to me at least.

  • Kevin said:

    “At this point of time governments are the prime drivers of destruction of societies and destruction of the environment, both locally and globally because governments have been hi-jacked by, and serve greedy, psychotic sociopaths. Please do not lump me in with them!”

    I’m currently involved in a county update to the community plan for my small community. Of the two officiating county staff, one is new, and cares about the environment. The other has been with the county for around 20 years, and his brain has perhaps been reshaped to fit his job. Although I have no expectations for success, I want our group of citizens and county staff to do an honest job of contemplating the need for a paradigm shift in planning. The community folks are limited in their understanding (aren’t we all?)but I believe relatively progressive and caring, while the county may need to abide by the hidden dictates of the developer community and the need to boost taxes and maintain control. What potential for breakthrough is there, given different people’s understanding and status? (Rhetorical question.)

  • Commenters on this site truly enjoy all of the ethereal, metaphysical, spiritual, physiological, etc. ramblings surrounding humanities experience here on earth all of which is very interesting but all dances around the core issue that the OP is seeking.

    There are some irrefutable truths to start with;

    The #1 motivator for mankind is fear.
    The #1 fear is death.
    Without Money – You Die!

    Now I am sure most of you will argue the importance of any or all of these truths but these are universal and irrefutable.

    If people did not die because they didn’t have money, money would not have value.

    The only exceptions to this are so small as to not be relevant.

    We have allowed ourselves to be convinced to organize ourselves in a system that optimizes for the worst behavior man is capable of then we spend lifetimes and regenerate billions of reams of commentary pointing out how mankind behaves badly. Bad Mankind Bad!!!!

    People want to live cooperatively and are willing to do the work necessary to accomplish that but we are constantly told that without holding the threat of No Money=You Die over everyones head nothing would get done. It’s Bullshit.

    Without holding the threat of No Money=You Die it is impossible for individuals to lord over others and amass large amounts of money without actually having to do anything.

    Holding the threat of No Money=You Die over mankind’s head allows certain types of individuals to make everyone do what ever they want.

    The single biggest reason individuals and even Nations STATE out loud for not being willing to address AGW is because it inhibits the ability to make the money they need to LIVE.

    Nothing positive is possible until we end the way money works.

  • Clearly the root of our problem is population overshoot. We are at 7.35 billion people and counting. We’re adding approximately 200,00 + humans to the global population every day. Talk about unsustainability!

  • California, Here We Come

    This summer is going to be dry:
    We’ll sit around watching stuff die;
    Strangely, given this luck,
    People don’t give a fuck—
    Even more strangely, neither do I.

  • Pilot – The #1 reason that ALL entities state out loud for increasing population is for economic reasons. Even today there several countries that are advertising financial incentives to procreate. Declining birth rate is the biggest fear for TPTB as it translates to declining revenue.

    As all money is fiat we must keep adding more and more rows to the bottom of the pyramid or the whole thing comes tumbling down.

  • Human overpopulation is both a cause and an effect, as is the general case with all core elements of feedback loops. Thomas Malthus and Ester Boserup represent opposite sides of one example of Craig Dilworth’s “Vicious Circle Principle” as it applies to population growth. Population grows until it hits a limit (Malthus); hitting the limit prompts us to use our intelligence to figure out a way around it (Boserup); we resume growth until we hit the next limit; lather, rinse repeat.

    As I discovered in my thermodynamics investigations, the problem with looking for “root causes” in a complex system is that there tend not to be any. It’s all feedback loops.

  • Jef,
    Your statements regarding the holy grail of human existence i.e., MONEY, is refreshingly accurate. If all else fails in one’s pursuits, money will save the day. When I was 5 years old and the store owner suggested that I bring some moola if I wanted her candy, I should have learned then and there what counted in life.

  • ——–
    Anthropologist Marvin Harris spent his life opposing the rampant literary fluff that amounts to outright sorcery in anthropology.
    His career can be summed up as an attempt to further anthropology as a genuine social science.
    He is the most widely known as the 20th century’s leading scientific materialist.

    He called ideation the mother error of professed social scientists.

    Defining ideation, he wrote; “Indeed,from my cultural-materialist perspective, the emphasis on the proposition that ideas guide behavior, but not the reverse, is the mother error of contemporary anthropological theories.”

    Harris has given us a powerful scientific theory for understanding cultural differences & similarities – always emphasizing Skinner’s scientific behaviorism.
    His Cultural Materialism is a scientific subsection of Darwinian evolutionary theory & natural selection.

    Following both Darwin & Skinner, Harris vehemently posited that it is the physical & social environments that select for both behavior & ideas.

    Some tight excerpts below;

    The issue is not the operant status of mental behavior or thought—rather, it is the relative importance of behavioral versus ideological innovations in cultural evolution, and that is why the analogue of psychological cognitivism is best described as cultural idealism, and not as cultural cognitivism.

    The cultural idealist position is that sociocultural evolution is directed by ideological innovation – I refrain from saying “determined” for reasons to be given in a moment.

    Cultural idealists posit new attractive thoughts arising for some reason within the minds of certain individuals, which are propagated and transmitted. These thoughts become so-called templates for behavior, which is therefore allegedly modified to correspond with the revised ideology.

    Not content with spontaneous ideas as directives of cultural evolution, cultural idealists subscribe to the further complication of extreme relativism …

    But to come to the most relevant point for behavior analysts, cultural materialism holds that the direction of sociocultural evolution is probabilistically determined by the consequences of behavioral innovations with a cost–benefit for production and reproduction—the probability that an innovation which arises from the infrastructure or the structure or superstructure or ideological subsystem will be propagated or transmitted is determined by whether or not it results in a more favorable or less favorable balance of productive and reproductive costs as measured by the varying currencies previously mentioned.

    —————

    The first point to be noted with respect to the idealists’ paradigm is that it is essentially indeterminate, since it lacks any selection principle to account for why certain ideas rather than others are materialized and incorporated into a particular cultural repertoire at a particular time.

    Implicit in most idealist approaches is the conviction that cultural evolution is dominated by stochastic processes, such as the random appearance of great leaders or the arbitrary appeal to certain symbols, rules, and rituals.

    Historical narratives, however, cannot account for why particular components are present or absent in other sociocultural systems except by providing a separate narrative for each instance, thus, no predictions or retrodictions can be made, because there are no principles for making such predictions or retrodictions.

    ——–
    Complete article; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2223157/

  • Amazon’s carbon uptake declines as trees die faster

    “The most extensive land-based study of the Amazon to date reveals it is losing its capacity to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
    From a peak of two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s, the net uptake by the forest has halved and is now for the first time being overtaken by fossil fuel emissions in Latin America.”

  • Clive Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 3:19 pm
    “Hi Jeff

    You wrote:
    “Another misanthropic rant, totally devoid of any historical understandings and context. Just what this site needs.:-)”

    I looked up the word “misanthropic”, being unsure of its meaning. I found this:
    “disliking humankind and avoiding human society ”
    I do not see where dislike comes into this at all. It is a question of seeing the facts, surely?

    I would be very interested to hear about this “lack of historical understanding” that you feel I exhibit.”
    regards
    Clive”

    You clearly and repeatedly pin the problem as humans, as if we are “bad” due to our very genes.
    “Man himself is the cause of his problems. It is the state of human consciousness that has brought about all this chaos. By “state of human consciousness” I mean thought directed by the self, the me, the I, the ego. I use all these terms synonymously. Just everyday meanings, not technical, not derived from any theory of psychiatry. We are selfish. We are greedy. We are divided. We are ambitious for ourselves and the things we identify with (which are still ourselves). We are fearful, We seek pleasure. We seek personal security. All these movements, and more, stem directly from the self. And it is these movements that have created the society we live in, that have created the global crisis.”

    All this “we s*%t” (to quote Sweet Sweetback), as if there is no social context, as if there is no ample history of humans as hunters-gatherers NOT destroying the world, indeed of even settled humans who lived in relative balance with the earth, including the Mediterranean civilization associated with “the Goddess,” investigated by the likes of Marija Gimbutas and James Mellaart. As if “we” as a species have made the decisions which have brought us here, rather than a tiny number of people who have used extreme coercion to build up rapacious capitalism, using blatant force from the very beginning with The Enclosures. And no, societies before capitalism, while featuring some very nasty features, did not have a growth IMPERATIVE, i.e. a dire need to grow just ion order to not collapse.

    You seem to think that the cooperative ways which marked human behavior from the species’ very beginning and lasted 99% of its history just disappeared because people decided en masse to stop?
    “But this spirit of cooperation was not extended, it seems, to others outside the group, to other tribes. Tribes were in rivalry, in conflict, and even though certain allegiances would have been forged, and tribes became larger – eventually becoming nation states – the intelligent way, that of everyone working together, was never taken. Why?”

    Dude, that’s downright stupid and clueless. Humans are by nature cooperative, that’s the only way language emerged, OK? Sociality defines us as a species in contrast with other anthropoid species. And by the way, regardless of what uninformed idiots may say, MONEY was not a part f human existence till just a few years ago, in any way. And money was not a requirement to attain survival goods till the advent of capitalism with the Enclosures, when people were forcibly separated from the means of producing their survival needs. You truly lack any awareness of how things got this way, Clive, and seem to downright revel in your own ignorance. I could suggest you read the article by me which was posted here
    Resistance is the only ethical response to near-term extinction

    Resistance is the Only Ethical Response to Near-Term Extinction


    And see in particular the references to articles by Jack Straw re capitalism, but i doubt you will. The misanthropic know-nothing brigade here will provide you with lots of support, and the pattern has been that actual history is scorned on this forum in favor o unsupportable generalizing assertions about humans. It’s much easier for relatively well-off Americans to do that than to confront the reality about their social system, which might make them feel like they have to actually do something.

  • Clive Says:
    March 19th, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Dredd

    I was not writing about blame, or guilt. Once we start on those things, we cannot see clearly the facts.

    So what do you feel is the fundamental cause of man’s situation?

    Regards
    Clive
    =======================================
    Reminds me of a quote: “It is forbidden to kill therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” -Voltaire

    Is there blame for the murder of one human being, but not for the murder of every human being?

    Anthropogenic extinction is being done by murderers.

    Anthropogenic means “caused or produced by humans.”

    You use “we” promiscuously when you say “Once we start on [blame, or guilt.] we cannot see clearly the facts.”

    Speak for yourself, because that would mean that we can’t find any humans who are liable for global warming because we cannot see clearly the facts.

    Think 1% Oil-Qaeda as I said in my comment, and it may become less foggy to you.

  • PERSONALIZED OMNIPOTENCE—WITH NO VICTIMS

    Michael Parenti’s mandatory antidote for long suffering Clive’s muddleheaded new age relativism;

    Once we treat interior experience as all-important, it is but a short step to claiming a personalized omnipotence. As New Agers frequently say, “You create your own reality,” or “You choose your own reality.” Everyone is supposedly the author of his or her fate. Self-help inspirationist Buscaglia instructs us: “If you don’t like the scene you’re in, if you’re unhappy . . . change your scene. Paint a new backdrop. Surround yourself with new actors. Write a new play—and if it’s not a good play, get the hell off the stage and write another one.” [9] Social reality becomes nothing more than a matter of mind-set and self-will.

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

  • Jeff S.

    I use the term Constructed Ignorance a lot in connection with NPDC, my local council: council officers and councillors refuse to become informed about any of the basics which have determined our present condition, are determining our present path, and will determine our future. It can be argued that most of them are of too low intelligence to understand the basics but I do not accept that standpoint: most of this stuff is exceedingly simple. They avoid reading or looking at anything that might disturb the Consensus Bubble of Stupidity.

    Sadly, we get Constructed Ignorance here on NBL, not only from commenters but also occasionally from contributors of essays.

    Like you, I am not interested in opinions.

    Chris Martensen did an excellent job of separating facts from beliefs and opinions in ‘Crash Course’ (though Chris Martensen does not venture into the realm of what is truly sustainable, and still seems to have fantasies about humans living in some way other than hunter-gatherer and not wrecking everything that matters).

  • Kevon Moore,
    Yes! I do remember my first foray into NBL land in which Jeff S. did refer to my particular brand of opinions as being ‘sacred’. Thank God for that. But for the sake of it isn’t sacredness a kind of opinionated condition which has little to do with a Creator but rather with one’s ‘opinion’ of what constitutes ‘sacredness?

    Me thinks, therefore me is. Or is it the other way around, Me is, therefore me thinks.

    But you concur with the absurd notion that: “You are not interested in opinions ???” That is much like writing that you are not interested in thought. You cannot for instance give a statement about possible human extinction unless you first rely on opinions which would lend themselves to that possibility. All facts were originally opinions which, when the opinions proved to be true, then morphed into facts.

    That is my opinion….

  • 2015 appears to be stranger earlier. The Arctic saw its expected maximum in February, one day short of the previous earliest high. The drought in the Southwest is gaining apocalyptic momentum for the coming summer, as the drought in Brazil keeps apace for those thirsty beings. The Amazon is failing spectacularly, as noted above, along with mass deaths of marine life everywhere, and especially in the Pacific.

    Amy, was it you who wrote that people don’t think melting the world’s ice is noteworthy? I thought the same. I want to simply say, “We’ve melted the Arctic.” That should say everything. But the walking brain-dead just do their growly I-need-to-kill-more thing that they always do. They are dangerous.

  • Sabine,

    Great! I feel glad that you appear not to have personalized my comment as intensely as it appeared you had, after all, and you appear to have accepted my apology. I did completely miss your humor—just as Robin Datta obviously did, and I expect many other people did as well. (I wonder what he meant with his “load of crap” comment. Did he mean that he considers it desirable and helpful for people to write here in verbally abusive ways? Did he mean that people should not apologize to one another?) I do a huge amount of dancing and mixing with people socially, have become quite popular and in demand as a social dancer, and I often get complimented for my light, humorous, outgoing nature in that venue. People seem shocked to learn that I spent most of my life with quite debilitating social phobia. (Now I feel like a kid with a new toy). I also greatly enjoy playing word games with people, and I consider humor extremely important. Albert Ellis, one of my favorite and most helpful clinical psychologists, strongly emphasized humor. He wrote twenty-something rational humorous songs, several of which I memorized, and I used to sing these to my high school physics and chemistry classes. I often sing them to people today, and they always bring smiles and laughter as we make fun of our many nutty, human, thinking, feeling, and behavioral failures.

    In my experience, attempting humor usually occurs with many risks. A slightly misplaced timing, word, emphasis, context, tone of voice, cultural differences, and numerous other variables, can easily turn an attempt at humor into a completely misunderstood, embarrassing disaster, and I sometimes find myself explaining and apologizing profusely in an attempt to repair a situation I did not intend to create. (Happily, my briefly saying “That was just one of my weird attempts at humor” usually works fine.) As many advantages as writing has, it filters out huge amounts of important social information—which makes attempts at humor in writing, especially in a social writing context like this comment site and between different cultures, even more hazardous. I feel sorry that I missed your humor so completely. I may be slow, but I’m sure not fast! (Yes. That was one of my weird attempts at humor.)

    Related to all of this, I have copied here two paragraphs from Susan Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight:

    “A recent research project has further sharpened our understanding of relationship traumas. [It has recently occurred to me that a significant percentage of people experience comments made to them here as quite traumatic.] We’ve learned that they are not always obvious, that what’s important is not the events themselves, but the vulnerabilities they arouse. For some partners at certain times, a flirtation may prove more wounding than an affair. We’ve also found that couples can suffer multiple traumas, and that the greater the number, the harder it is to renew trust. The overriding lesson is you have to take your partner’s hurt seriously and hang in and ask questions until the meaning of an incident becomes clear, even if to you the event seems trivial or the hurt exaggerated. But the pain always makes sense if we relate it to our attachment needs and fears.”

    […]“

    “Understanding attachment injuries and knowing that you can find and offer forgiveness if you need to gives you incredible power to create a resilient, lasting bond. There is no injury-proof relationship. But you can dance together with more verve and panache if you know you can recover when you step on each other’s toes.”

  • @Robin Datta

    Thanks for posting the link to the disturbing article about the Amazon. So tragic. The lungs of the World has cancer. I’m seeing tree die off more and more everywhere I go.

    @Oldgrowthforest

    I whole heartedly agree in that the masses are walking brain-dead. I made my mortgage payment today at the bank, and the young teller was cheerily piping to me how great this warm and mild later winter is (in Minnesota). I wanted to shake him by the collar and tell him to wake up, but of course I didn’t. He’s just a 22 year old kid and hasn’t seen the changes over the last forty years that many of us have seen. And kudos to Public Televisions “The News Hour” for FINALLY reporting on the seal and sea lion starvation die off on the West Coast! Nobody seems to be reporting on this tragedy. The Lame Stream Media just doesn’t want to reveal the ugly truth as to what we are doing to our planet. Just my opinion, anyhow.

    For those who wish to track the daily Arctic Sea Ice readings, you can go here:

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

  • @Clive

    Krishnamurti used a similar line of inquiry/investigation as the one you are presenting. He spent 50 years traveling the world giving talks and near the end felt that no one had ‘gotten’ what he attempted to communicate.

    There is so much beauty in his writings and talks and one certainly gets the sense of someone whose experience is authentic but to my mind he failed to communicate something actionable- something we could actually ‘do’ that would bring an end to misery.

    Trying to get a person to see the falseness of the effects of the problem- division, fragmentation, separation, identification, the ‘thinker’ etc does not solve the problem ( if there is one).

    I suggest that the root of the problem is a context of fearfulness – an inference if you will- that says ‘I am at stake here’ , ‘I am in danger here’ -my very being is at stake. There is a movement of attention that infallibly snuffs out this context so that life can be lived naturally and fearlessly.

    Believing my proposition on the cause is quite irrelevant- the solution is equally effective. These days I spend very little time on any preamble and go straight to persuading, tricking, bribing , suggesting to people to simply try the act.

    The act is simply to look at yourself.

    To move the beam of attention into direct contact with its actual nature ( and know it to be you) for a split second.

    This act alone does the entire work of eradicating suffering, misery, aggression, antagonism etc..

    You are here and you know that with absolute certainty.
    ‘Taste’ that ‘hereness’ . look at that certainty for a nano second.
    It’s not hard to do – if you try you will succeed- I guarantee that.

    We sink or swim together. We have always been in it together.

  • A FAN letter to EVERYBODY, every comment here. Think how each of us has seconds when we can understand aspects of the most contrasting opinions. Each of us can imagine being inside the minds of anyone…even the thoughts of “others” that disturb us the most, have to be seen inside your mind. Before your words are formed to shout out against a problem – the concept of the problem is already contained in consciousness for your rapid identification.

    44 South & DIMITRI V. FROST both strike a cord. Duality is how everything in reality is composed of fine shades of + and – charges.

    Mo Flow might set the Theater of actors on fire – but others in the multiplex watching sports, dance, horror, romance won’t even know he was there. A massive expensive disaster with a limited audience is the worst for a director…I certain…In the 1980’s I worked for Spielberg at Universal. Poor Roland and his 2012 movie, couldn’t compete with the Superbowl. Geo-engineering, economics, fear of fear itself. “WHAT A SUSPENSEFUL RIDE.”

    Now I work for world leaders, contracting multi national corporations to design forces of potential destruction. Putin, Xi Jinping, Xiaochuan all very connected in the global deals…like children racing around the school yard tree of life. Can we teach a brand new Jolly Green giant STORY of sustainability overconsumerisum to 7.3 billion humans who are probably at a restless stage of evolution as a group species?

    I’m in the Capitol with Dan Utech. We are the direct climate/Energy advice team reporting monthly to the Oval Office. I do care. I’m reading you. You are connected to superpowers…but none of us are superhuman. Some of us are the same in spirit as ARTLEADS working on a New Mexico county update. BUD NYE please help us with any ideas on how to make 300 nuclear reactors safer in the case of large scale impact event. Dr. McPherson and many other experts point out how a multi-failure of our plants will = NTE. BUD NYE please apply you attention to detail over here. Be constructive. http://www.ready.gov

    BUD NYE – Satish – AMY PIKE a big radioactive nightmare is awaiting your planet. Use your creative brains. Be responsible. Help pick-up after the human race party. The future evolution of millions of plants & animals with suffer long term genetic effects from all the reactors. For the LOVE of Earth…radioactivity is also going to remain.

  • If You’re Going to San Francisco

    Bring flowers to wear in your hair,
    Cool shades for the sunshiny glare,
    And if fluid each day
    Keeps you feeling OK,
    Bring water to drink while you’re there.

  • Krishnamurti was teaching people how to unprogram there minds,to me he is one of the best if you really want to get to know your true self.Helped me probably more than anything else I have listened to.Now if you want action you need to get into something like the Zeitgeist Movement,they are trying to unprogram the minds of world to what would be possible if we all had a mindset similar to Krishnamurti or a Buckmaster Fuller.If there was to be any kind of chance of saving this spaceship that was it.

  • C. G. Jung tried to warn us of what you have stated as the root cause of our problems, we have failed to look at and integrate our shadow selves into a coherent approach for success as human beings.

  • Good, thought provoking essay Clive! Regarding your focus on root cause(s), as usual for the most part I agree with Ram Samudrala, Paul Chefurka, and kevin moore. I developed my thinking, closely related to your “What is the Real Problem?” essay, in my July 23, 2014 essay titled “What ‘purpose’ do I have?” (https://guymcpherson.com/2014/07/bits-from-reese-jones-and-bud-nye-and-an-idea-from-daniel-drumright/) After some private communication with Ram, if I re-wrote it today I would change a few wordings in order to clarify a couple of points of possible confusion, but I would not make any significant conceptual changes.

    Though you do refer in indirect ways to emotion and behavior, for all practical purposes your essay focuses almost entirely on cognition. Your statements that “Man himself is the cause of his problems. It is the state of human consciousness that has brought about all this chaos” summarizes this emphasis nicely. Just as Ram Samudrala emphasizes concerning Earth’s biosphere, I conceive of each person, also, as a complex system. As such, we interact with our environment with three, reciprocally interactive modes of behavior: thinking (cognition), feeling (emotions), and doing, and I don’t think it makes much sense to focus exclusively on one of these modes while leaving the other two out. Why? Because they interact in complex, reciprocally influencing ways both within and between people. Albert Ellis often emphasized this, even naming his approach Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). (Yes, I include all three of these modes, including thinking and emotions, under the major heading “behavior”. Cognition and emotions occur as hidden, internal behaviors. B.F. Skinner did not deny the existence and importance of these hidden behaviors, as popularly believed. He simply chose to focus on exclusively on studying more directly observable external behaviors, and he did this very successfully, yielding many powerful and important results. The power of those results explains the rationale for the existence of the many laws that control the use of behavioral methods: to help prevent their misuse and protect people.) Meanwhile, throughout the history of both psychology and clinical psychology, until fairly recently researchers have spent little time, in comparison with cognition and behavior, in learning about and applying emotion in helping people. Happily, we find this rapidly changing with the new emphasis on attachment theory and its application to children and adults.

    Paul Chefurka,

    You wrote “A number of years ago I read Charles Eisenstein’s first book, “The Ascent of Humanity”. It contained what was, for me at the time, a thunderclap of insight. the problem, said Charles, begins from our sense of Separation. The sense that there is a me and a you, a me and a world, a me/us and a you/them. This made sense to me, but I had to ask the obvious question. Where does the sense of Separation come from? And the obvious answer is that it comes from our self-awareness – the Self-awareness that generates Other-awareness in a yin-yang balance.”

    Here, somewhat like Clive, I think you may overemphasize cognition. Why do I write that? Because young humans, and many other animals, will die, very reliably, as a result of a lack of attachment even though they (presumably) do not have any self-awareness, as we allegedly do. (I write “allegedly” because I wonder just how much “self-awareness” many of us demonstrate, and I wonder if we really know enough about ourselves, the planet that produced us, and the larger universe to consider ourselves “self-aware”.) This includes animals other than the three or so non-human genera that demonstrate self-awareness. This strongly suggests deep, biological roots for separation trauma—roots that go much deeper, biologically and neurologically, than cognitive self-awareness, and it points to the ultimate ineffectiveness of exclusively cognitive, philosophical, religious approaches to managing interpersonal problems (as demonstrated in much clinical research).

    Marc Austin and Dennis,

    I have long since concluded that no technologically utopian escape from our self-annihilation trap exists—and I see the Zeitgeist Movement as blatantly technotopian. I consider myself, humans, and perhaps all other life on Earth, in hospice, and I think that the best we can do involves learning how to treat each other in loving ways in accordance with our biology. Thus my present focus on learning about and applying attachment theory in my own life and informing others about it. Marc, I would encourage you to do the same, as well as to start an Extinction Support Group and meet regularly, face-to-face, with other people, emotionally and socially supporting each other as the Great Dying unfolds at an ever-faster pace.

  • Paul wrote:
    “Intelligence is a lethal mutation.”

    I do not thin one can apply the word ‘intelligence’ to the behaviour of the human race. Intellect, yes. We are very clever, but that intellectual capacity has taken its own separate path, independently of intelligence and love
    Clive

  • @Marc Austin, I have no idea if you are for real or not, but your questions are ridiculous. “How” do we decommission the nuke plants? Just fucking do it.. an Executive Order. Somehow those can work to unleash billions in spending on drone assassination plans, universal domestic surveillance, and other spendy extra-curricular shenanigans, but they can’t be employed to Save Our Actual Asses from the nuclear elephant in the room?

    I read that private energy companies are looking at their decommissioning funds as a piggybank:
    http://www.fairewinds.org/decommissioning-stakeholders-fund-amental-rights/#sthash.zLEIDuJI.dpbs

    This could be shut down in a nanosecond if anyone in charge actually had balls. The privatization of the nuclear sector was the worst thing this country ever did (besides developing it in the first place).

    We should be on a WAR FOOTING in this regard.. instead we are PUSSYFOOTING, with the emphasis on the PUSSY (apologies to sensitive feminists). We can bail out the banks? Nationalize the car companies? NATIONALIZE THE NUKES AND SHUT THEM DOWN NOW. Just do it.

    People will piss and moan, but they’ll piss and moan a lot more when their skin is dissolving. Nukes were never safe. Never, ever. Any contractor with a sub-normal IQ can tell you what happens to concrete over time.. any random pinhead.

    You have to wonder what TPTB intended to have happen, frankly, because I’m not one of those people who attributes to stupidity what could be attributed to malice.

  • @Marc… and you ask US to “be responsible”.

    US, HERE?!?! on a god-damned BLOG?!?!?!?

    And not your powerful overlords?

    Bwa ha ha ha ha….!!!!

    FUck them and fuck you.

    I’ll be glad to see them incinerated, and you can tell them I said so.

  • “your planet”??? Marc, do you come from ANOTHER planet?

    Get in touch with mo flow.. he’ll know what to do.. mind-meld with you.. meditate or some shit and arrive in some other astral plane where the radiation don’t matter, where the beings eat radiation for breakfast like Wheaties.

    God damn, I’m pissed!

  • Bud Nye A little Krishnamurti would really help you I believe.If you can learn to live in the now it really puts your mind at ease. The part that may be tough for you, is if you try to hard you can never get there.So learn to relax a little post a little less maybe enjoy nature more.Get outside enjoy this great man made weather.

  • @Lidia

    “Get in touch with mo flow.. he’ll know what to do.. mind-meld with you.. meditate or some shit and arrive in some other astral plane where the radiation don’t matter, where the beings eat radiation for breakfast like Wheaties.”

    Could you be any funnier? (ROFL)

  • Clive,
    Intelligence is probably quite common in nature. It also depends on what one deems to be intelligence. If we don’t put our ‘intelligence’ to better use however, it may indeed prove to be a lethal advantage in our quest for survival. There is no question that most here would rather be human than not, at least with respect to the intelligence factors involved. Intelligence however is not necessarily compatible with wisdom. While it takes brilliance to make nuclear weapons, it also requires stupidity.

    In our quest to find an edge in our quests for enlightenment, we have advanced the theory that a God is responsible for all of this, and, According to polls, approx. 90% of humans believe in some sort of Super Deity which supposedly leads our parades. This is uniquely a creation of intelligent thought, but not necessarily rational thought.

    Our intelligence has provided us with enough knowledge to win our battle against our nature, which is an extraordinary ability to survive in the natural environments of the Earth. We can survive at the poles, at the equator, in the oceans and in space. No other living organisms can even approach that possibility, much less think about it. There are basic principles of nature however that we have tended to ignore, and they have to do with basic survival instincts. No matter how sophisticated we may be, the same basic survival needs are the same as for any other living organism on the planet. Chief Seattle said it best: “The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth”.
    If you must take aim at our intellect as a “lethal mutation”, perhaps you may want to read the comments from Diarmuid Galvin above, which give an entirely different perspective for our future, providing we have one of course.

    We cannot blame ourselves for our intellect. We did not create it, but it created us. Without human intelligence, none of us reading these comments would be here. And so if there are any chances that we could survive our innate stupidities, we will have to use our intelligence differently. Thanks for your article again…. looking forward to part 2.. Just an opinion….

  • @Diarmuid, no shit.. he says he is in touch with these folks, IIRC.

  • nlap, I had a similar experience yesterday at the grocery store. I needed to return something, and of course, one can no longer just take a receipt and item to a cashier. Everything goes through the customer service counter; what a funny title for that.

    The young woman was asking me questions that I didn’t understand, like what was the coupon I used for the dog chewie-thingies I bought. I asked what dog chewie-thingies had to do with the completely unrelated purchase. I was given some answer about some ridiculous in-store process that removes half a cent from certain items, blah, blah, blah. She then assured me that despite the lack of relationship between my return purchase and the coupon, for her it was an “easy” and “fast” system.

    I told her that at the moment she scanned things, yes, but if you look at all that was required to be in place in order for that scan to be so quick and easy, all the equipment, all the records, all the gross infrastructure support, we pay way more than everything is worth by a lot. It isn’t “easy” or “fast.” It’s a nightmare of gross inefficiency to everything.

    I know she thought I was just one more crazy, stupid member of the charming public.

    I hate dealing with perky, stupid young women.

  • Hi Jeff,

    I simply don’t want to use the word “bad”, with all its moralistic associations. The fact is mankind’s behaviour is extremely destructive; he is destroying the planet which has sustained him, he is bringing about untold misery. Surely these are facts, beyond judgement?

    I would accept the word ‘insane’. So my question is, and surely it must be the question of any serious human being, can this insanity end? We can endlessly and perhaps fruitlessly be occupied with the numerous manifestations of insanity, but surely this is the fundamental question, can this insanity end – in us?
    Clive

  • Dick says to Jane; “Let me tell you about my kinky sex in the space ship w/ the far out aliens.”

    Jane replies; “No, Dick!”

    Although chagrined, Dick says; “Okay, I’ll blog about it.”

  • Clive: you and your insipid New Age crap are beyond lame. You continue to blame “mankind,” as if the vast majority of that specie’s members have had much of a choice about their day-to-day activities. Again, It’s your passive aggressive way of evading the fact. As Utah Phillips said, “The earth isn’t dying, it is being murdered, by people who have names and addresses.” You can’t end an insanity when you refuse to admit its nature.

    And Jean Turcot has distinguished himself supremely by asserting that he doesn’t believe in human-driven global warming, and has no facts to present in support of that view, and doesn’t need to because his opinion is just as good as whatever anyone else says. Truly a marvelous theory of knowledge.

    And i love how he, Lidia, Bud Nye,….. consistently ignore the two posts a day limit, which has basically meant that they dominate the rap, even though they have nothing new to say.

    Beam me up, Scotty.

  • Jean Turcot

    I don’t know whether you deliberately misunderstood what I wrote or it was simply a misunderstanding.

    Throughout my adult life I have encountered thousands (maybe tens of thousands, I haven’t counted) of people who have had opinions.

    The point I would like to emphasise is that the vast majority of those opinions were based on misinformation, lack of information, lack of understanding etc., and were therefore valueless (other than to the person with the opinion, and in that case the opinion could easily have a negative value).

    “There’s planet of oil. Oil companies have capped wells and are waiting for the right moment to uncap them.”

    I don’t believe in global warming. It’s just scaremongering by ‘greenies’ to stop us enjoying life.”

    “Debts and deficits don’t matter.”

    Carbon dioxide is an essential nutrient, and the more there is in the air the better because plants will grow faster.”

    It’s all bollocks. But people believe such nonsense and spout their opinion widely.

    Just on more reason why there is no hope for humanity.

    By the way, people need to be very careful about the use of the word humanity in the possessive form. I have been seeing humanities instead of humanity’s.

    That does beg the question whether there is more than one humanity.

    I know for a fact that when I encounter grossly overweight people covered in tattoos, dressed in black, smoking, and discussing which corporate fast-food chain sells the best chips I find it hard to believe they are the same species as me. I might even go as far as to say humanity is dividing into a number of sub-species. But that is just an opinion.

  • Hi Diarmuid, Jean

    Krishnamurti has impacted hugely on my life. You wrote, Diarmuid: “There is so much beauty in his writings and talks and one certainly gets the sense of someone whose experience is authentic”. All I can reply is – yes. Yes, indeed.

    You said: “to my mind he failed to communicate something actionable- something we could actually ‘do’ that would bring an end to misery.” This is very complex, very subtle. What does it mean, to ‘do’ something, in the world of the psyche, of the spirit, if I may use that word? What does it mean, to ACT? The word is usually used in the context of making an effort. All such effort has a motive, and that motive is projected from our thought. So to do, to act, in this sense, is chasing our own projections, our own images, is it not? Furthermore, because there is a motive, the self is involved – one wants to achieve, to become something.

    There is no understanding in this process of becoming– although there may be understanding in watching the process, in seeing the significance of it.

    I am not being dogmatic with these statements, everything can be questioned – and I would be delighted if it was.

    So is there any other form of action, other than one one based on becoming, achieving? Krishnamurti has often been accused of being very ‘negative’. It is certainly true he never gave any methods to follow, any techniques to practise, he decried any form of spiritual authority. But what he did was to point to true negation. Which is to see, to see ‘what is’, and so negate, all that is false.

    This negation is pure action. Pure because it is uncontaminated by our conditioning, our prejudices, our wantings, our fears.

    Truth is what is left when all falseness is put away. The self is the essence of that falseness. There actually is no thinker separate from his thoughts, it is an illusion that thought has created. And this may be the ‘wrong turn’ that mankind took.

    So complete inaction, psychologically, is actually total action. And no, this does not mean sitting around contemplating one’s navel. It is pure insight which does bring about transformation in human consciousness. And thus it can ‘change the world’.

    So, am I going to be accused of being a new-ager after this posting? :-).
    Clive