Presentation on Bainbridge Island, Washington

I delivered a presentation in the public library on Bainbridge Island, Washington on 18 June 2015. The result is embedded below, with big thanks to Elisabeth Robson, Robyn Wagoner, and Paul Marcotte.

Seeking to connect with folks in San Francisco (or nearby) to bring Guy to the Bay Area. Please contact amyvegan@gmail.com

Also seeking vegan folks to brainstorm the creation of 100% vegan urban community in or near Portland, Oregon along the light rail line.

______

To support my ongoing tour in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and also southwestern Canada, click the donate button below. Alternatively, click here.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

22 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Traditions Cafe, 300 Fifth Avenue SW, Olympia, Washington

24 June 2015, 3:00 p.m. book-reading and -signing, Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, Oregon

24 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1685 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon

25 June 2015, 6:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Community Library, 901 C Street 98660, Vancouver, Washington

26 June 2015, 6:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Portland City Club, 901 SW Washington Street, Portland, Oregon

______

Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To catch us live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 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.

Mike hosted the show last week. This week I’ll converse with Pauline Schneider as my current speaking tour winds down.

______

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.

______

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.

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.

Comments 77

  • Another great presentation, Guy!

    Meanwhile, in another part of the world:

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/ecuador-selling-its-rainforest-to-china-2013-3

    Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies

    [oh, that’s great – should fix everything]

  • @ about 4:00: recent rate of decrease in ice extent in one day would be called a 300 year event in Arctic

  • I don’t have hope
    however I do have doubt
    it may get worse than I think

    My glass is indeed
    half mt

  • I posted this as a reply to mike k a few threads down, but I thought that in light of the unfolding response to the Pope’s encyclical it deserves a place closer to the sun.

    Drawing a link between Paul Hawken and the Pope

    In 2007 the environmental activist Paul Hawken published a wonderful book called “Blessed Unrest”. It told the story of the groundswell of independent grass-roots environmental and social-justice organizations that are springing up spontaneously around the world in response to the distress calls of the biosphere and society.

    I found out about the book when Hawken came to speak about it in Ottawa just as it was being published. It was the first thing I’d found since I entered the Shadow of Collapse in 2004 that gave me any reason for hope, and I clung to it like a drowning man. Ultimately the waves of thermodynamic absolutism, evolutionary psychology and genetic determinism proved too strong, and ripped it from my grasp. I cursed it as hopium dream for years afterwards.

    Now my inner landscape has shifted. I’m beginning to understand that, solution or not, such ideas are stations on the path of right action. There’s a fine line between seeing something as a forlorn hope and realizing that whether or not it is forlorn is beside the point. Yes, human beings are at least quasi-deterministic products of evolution, environment and history, but we are hardly standard products of that process, if you take my meaning.

    The flag-bearers of collective determinism (Guilty as charged, yer Honour!) may be called by their worldview to discount the influence of concepts like personal conscience and nobility. However, that does not mean that those who hold down the other side of the yin-yang circle must follow their lead; quite the contrary, in fact. And for those lucky few who have one foot in the shadow and the other in the light, the poignant awareness of probable failure only adds to the liberating joy of doing it anyway.

    This is why I’m so encouraged by reactions to the Pope’s encyclical. Certainly, changes to our personal consciousness and behaviour in response to such a clarion call may be seen as a forlorn hope in the face of the unfolding global ecological catastrophe. However, such making such changes anyway speaks to a fundamental goodness lurking in our natures.

    In my opinion Paul Hawken and Pope Francis have both touched on something very important – the nobility of the individual human spirit. It will noty kill us to listen to them.

    *****************************
    http://www.blessedunrest.com/

    Paul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice.

    From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location, and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media. Like nature itself, it is organizing from the bottom up, in every city, town, and culture. and is emerging to be an extraordinary and creative expression of people’s needs worldwide.

    Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and hidden history, which date back many centuries. A culmination of Hawken’s many years of leadership in the environmental and social justice fields, it will inspire and delight any and all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself. Fundamentally, it is a description of humanity’s collective genius, and the unstoppable movement to reimagine our relationship to the environment and one another.

  • Heard a political comment today on NPR from one of the morons (aint they all) running for Prez. “There is something more important than climate change: the flat tax.”

  • Paul, imo Hawken is anything but noble.. I see him as just another green-washer.. no, he’s really one of the king grifters of greenwashing. Under the banner of “sustainability”, nothing he has ever been involved in is sustainable, but are just smokescreens behind which capitalism can proceed as usual: yuppie mail-order (mostly)junk, mutual-fund rating company, spray-on solar tech…

    He is, though, quite like the pope in that he remains utterly blind to one or more key aspects in this catastrophe. Hawken and the pope are both cornucopians of different complexions. Another similarity is that they have followings of people who need to sin, confess and sin again, but still receive a message of hope.

    Humanity does not have a “collective genius” (LOL!!!) except in the eyes of those who wish to think themselves geniuses. But what other message than a self-congratulatory one might we expect from either secular or religious humanists?

  • shep, that’s pretty damn funny! Do you remember who it was?

  • Lidia – If I divide people contemplating NTE into three categories: those who are 100% certain all humans will be extinct very soon, those who feel 100% that we will be around for a very long time, and those who are not sure how long we will continue (agnostics) – and you believe it’s a 100% done deal we’ll soon be toasted – what’s your guess at how long we’ve got left? (My thumbnail version of RE’s survey.) I’m not trying to pressure you or trap you so I can pounce on your answer. I would really like to know you better, and I think an answer might help me do that.

    Paul C – Thanks for the comment on Hawken’s book. One would really have to read it to make an evaluation of his thesis, which is masterfully expounded. The part about the Axial Age around 500 BCE was especially fascinating. Of course if one is wearing very dark glasses that transform everything into a hopeless gesture to deny the inevitable – then there is no point reading this or anything that offers an alternative vision….

  • World Poverty Next Year
    World Hunger In Ten Years
    Runaway Extinction In Twenty Years

    Right now, 1 billion people walk a mile each day for water.

    http://www.wateraid.org/us/the-water-story/the-crisis/water

    In 10 years 4 billion people will be without enough water.

    In 10 years 2 billion people will be severely short of water.

    http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml

    Ground water depletion has gone critical in major agricultural centers worldwide.

    http://mashable.com/2015/06/16/groundwater-aquifers-depleted/

    http://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/take-5-alarming-droughts-around-the-world/droughts-global-warming-water-shortage/c1s19067/#.VYGtolVVikq

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/uoc–at061615.php

    The world’s rivers and lakes are drying up.

    http://www.worldpreservationfoundation.org/topic.php?cat=climateChange&vid=48#.VYHzqfm4S1s

    http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/photos/rivers-run-dry/#/freshwater-rivers-colorado-1_45140_600x450.jpg

    Drought is spreading across the earth.

    http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/climate/world-maps/world-drought-risk.html

    In 35 years over 2 billion people will move to cities.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/world-cities-home-to-most-people-to-add-2-5-billion-more-by-2050/

    75% of the infrastructure they require does not exist.

    http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/75-of-the-infrastructure-that-will-exist-in-2050-doesnt-exist-today

    We passed peak growth-rate for food production in 2006.

    http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss4/art50/

    In 60 years, human agriculture will stop because of soil loss and degradation.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/

    We add 1 million more people to earth every 5 days.

    http://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/faq

    We have to grow more food over the next 50 years than we grew in all of the last 10,000 years, combined.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/aug/31/climatechange.food

    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/have-we-reached-peak-food-shortages-loom-as-global-production-rates-slow-10009185.html

    We will need 12 million acres of brand new farmland every year for 30 years to do it.

    We are losing 24 million acres of farmland every year.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life

    We will run out of easy access to 2 critical fertilizers.

    http://www.nature.com/news/be-persuasive-be-brave-be-arrested-if-necessary-1.11796

    In 2007, the IPCC told us emissions must peak by 2015 to stay within 2 °C of warming.

    In 2015, the IPCC told us emissions must peak by 2030 to stay within 2 °C of warming.

    The IPCC says we can do this because of negative-emissions bio-energy. No such technology exists and the kicker is that they say we will need 1 billion acres of NEW farmland by 2100. The acronym for this fantasy is BECCS. The real acronym is BS.

    http://www.nature.com/news/policy-climate-advisers-must-maintain-integrity-1.17468

    Our crop lands and pastures are to blame for 80% of all recent land vertebrate extinctions says Anthony Barnosky.

    http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520274372

    In 20 years we will pass peak energy and minerals.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378011001361

    This will happen when all our new solar panels and wind mills stop working and become expensive junk we can’t afford to replace or recycle in times of shortages in water, food, energy, minerals and civility.

    http://energyinformative.org/lifespan-solar-panels/

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148113005727

    Lots of guns and no food, water or energy makes Johnny a bad bad boy.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392190/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

    After all the violence, then the bad news starts. Never mind that magnetic pole reversal could cook the surface of earth for several hundred years…

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-s-magnetic-field-flip-could-happen-sooner-than-expected/

    …because in 25 years earth will go into a planetary ecological state shift and enter into runaway, irreversible, unstoppable mass extinction. The good news is that know knows exactly when we will pass the tipping point for when mass extinction goes into runaway mode until it is too late to do anything about it.

    Collapse Data Cheat Sheet from collapse

  • Paul Hawken’s breathless 2007 new age entrepreneurial hype, “Blessed Unrest,” has been proven abjectly false.

    “Blessed Unrest” is obscene literary bullshit, & you should be ashamed to suggest it.

    It is filled with coming radical transformations, entrepreneurial spirits, thresholds of great social changes, empowerments of the people, & calls for political transparency.

    A disgusting new age excerpt;

    “There are insistent calls for autonomy, appeals for a new resource ethic based on the tradition of the commons, demands for the reinstatement of cultural primacy over corporate hegemony, and a rising demand for radical transparency in politics and corporate decision making.”

    There is real suffering in the world now, & it ain’t blessed.

    The besieged caged Palestinians in the Gaza Concentration Camp are homeless, cold, hungry, & thirsty.

    The Bangledesh people are drowning.

    Pacific Islanders are looking for a plot to piss in.

    The Holy Pope’s mentalistic sermon calls it a “problem of ethics,” but didn’t have one concrete prescription.

    Ethics schmethics …

    You insult my intelligence with your nonsensical pie-in-the-sky horseshit.

    Harvard business professor & psy-ops double agent, David Korten, pulled the same obscene bullshit with his 2007 farce, “The Great Turning.”

    Korten told his new age flock in 2007 that a Goddess was coming SOON to cure the fucked up world by “changing the stories we live by.”

    I listened to sumbitch Korten bamboozle the entire community of Willits, CA with continual references to Muslim basher Riane Eisler’s preposterous feminist nonsense, “The Chalice & the Blade.”

    As I listened in shock to Korten’s canned delivery, grown men & women, many with college backgrounds, pissed their pants in approval of Korten’s prophesies of great transformations & Goddesses coming any day.

    Obama’s yuppie peeyar hacks later milked Korten’s repeated buzzphrase; “We are the change you’ve been waiting for.”

    Great transformations are coming alright, & they will drive us all to extinction in short order.

    We are physically murdering the innocent children of the world as we philosophize & preach about transforming world wide mind changes.

    Love & kisses, especially to new age mind changing gurus.

  • I like the way you speak from the heart Dr Guy

  • A woman in the audience raises her hand.

    Guy asks what is her question.

    She asks Could you speak a bit slower please.

    He says, weed is legal here isn’t it?

    I could smoke some weed and you could take some speed and that should do it.

    (paraphrased)

    Formula:

    a = v^2/r

  • It seems to me that Lidia and Gerald are spot on and that, if the situation is clear to me, than someone like the Pope should be helping to prepare people for the coming extinction. I mean, that with the Pope’s information resources, he should know by now that the pastoral thing for him to do would be to begin a dignified transition of his flock through NTE. He should be listening to people like McPherson, not Hawken. The Pope has the possibility of comforting people as the future looms more and more dark. He should reject hopium and meet us here, at the Beach of Doom. Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of the dying.

  • Paul Hawken is a huckster, He promotes the notion of “natural capitalism,” a term which tries to make the social relation known as capital into some sort of natural dynamic, instead of a human construct which in fact hasn’t been around more than a few hundred years. Hawken is a promoter of one the worst s of all illusions , the idea that capitalism can be made sustainable and hence compatible with the survival of humanity and the eco-system. Isn’t it interesting that someone who counsels us to do nothing about the state of he world likes him?!!

  • @Kirk, not only is the Pope not preparing folks for NTE, in his celebrated encyclical on climate change he noted that that over population wasn’t a problem. Really? 7.2 billion humans (and counting) isn’t a problem!!! Even if climate change induced NTE wasn’t in the offing, human overpopulation — and all the ecological problems that stem from it — would still be causing countless species to go extinct through over harvesting and destruction of their habitat.

    The Pope’s heart is in the right place and I’m glad that he’s mentioning climate change, if for no other reason than watching Rick Santorum and others of his ilk squirm, but he clearly doesn’t grasp the enormity of our predicament.

  • Lidia ~ thank you for your note and your extensive response to Mike in the Forum.

    mike k ~ please see: Lidia’s response in the Forum.

    RC ~ two comments of yours deleted from this thread. all additional comments over two per day in the current/main thread go either in previous threads, or in the Forum. thank you.

    cheers,
    ~ mo

  • After reading the article Robert Callaghan posted above from Truth Out “The Chinese Communist Party is locked into a death spiral ” the statement from the last part of the news item make me think it’s time to add War with China over all the remaining stuff, the equal of abrupt climate and heat engine collapse. The peoples pride,The methane monster, The peak of civilization, not to be continued. Long,Love or Peace

  • Lydia,

    No I cannot – dementia is progressing!

    Hey, u crazy Pope complainers, this is the best Pope ever.

    Finally, a decent human. He will not last long and that is a really bad thing. The Curia is nothing but a mafia. I would not be surprised if they dressed up in sheets.

  • Robert Callaghan Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    “Here’s The Big One
    china-s communist-capitalist ecological apocalypse (with URL)”

    That article is a perfect example of how the American “left” doesn’t get capitalism and thinks that China and the former Soviet Union have/had something to so with “communism.”
    http://www.dailybattle.pair.com/2010/american_left_doesnt_get_capitalism.shtml

  • @Robert Callaghan June 21st, 2015 at 2:49 pm;

    Here’s The Big One

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31478-china-s-communist-capitalist-ecological-apocalypse

    >>>

    Well, that’s it for me. No more Chinese take-out. I’m walking away from Empire.

    And now, in response, a poetic offering, for the old-school reds in the crowd:

    THE CHINESE CONUNDRUM

    If only the Communist Manifesto
    Could magically work – Change-o, Presto!
    But it seems yellow people
    Are just corrupt sheeple
    Hungry for power and pesos.

    Finally, for the merry band of doomers (you know who you are) about to decamp to Belize, make sure you bring plenty of “walking around money” for the locals. You’re gonna need it. They’re still burning “teh gay” at the stake over there.

  • The British Foreign Office, Lloyds of London and assorted banks agree that civilization will collapse by 2040, which means 2025 in human speak.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-21/uk-government-study-finds-if-nothing-done-expect-civilizations-collapse-2040

  • There are 3 things you should never trust, people who write ecological books, guys who wear pointy hats and website moderators.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Vicars-Christ-Dark-Side-Papacy/dp/184223000X

  • Re Paul Hawken.

    I had never heard of this particular saviour but, after looking him up briefly, he seems to be one of the “neo-greens” who call themselves “Ecomodernists”.

    Read all about them here.

    http://www.ecomodernism.org/manifesto/

    Just like the pope, they see the “danger” but only in the context of what it might mean for humans. After all, they invented words like “eco services”. They also call themselves “eco-pragmatists and “work” and “innovate” to solve our “problems”.
    Please take the time to read all about them because the words and sound bites they’ve invented will become more and more popular with the powers that be. The Paris talks will buzz with them.

    To imagine that everything apart from man might have the right to be self-willed and exist entirely for its own ends is a step too far for these ” green pragmatists”. Better to speak for all of humanity, try to make it better, appeal to its inherent goodness (I would never deny that, by the way)and put the species’ hope into a compromise which will work to keep “better” humans in charge. We geniuses can do it!
    How annoyingly native.

    I bet that the pope would agree with the above manifesto. Lidia rightly called him a religious humanist. After all, what else could he be? For all the reasons we know about, his mission has a humanist agenda. Could this ring true for some people here?
    It just makes me want to cry!

  • 1. First of all, it seems that the weather is very close to kicking into run-a-way. This makes me happy BUT I’m scared shitless.

    2. On another front: the massacre in Charleston, S.C. is equivalent to thousands of other incidences thru the years and NOBODY in a position of power has ever done one fucking thing AND they won’t in this case. It is blatant.

    I know how to help solve the population problem. Invent a machine that reads the minds of individuals, yes girls and boys, and if they are racist, they fucking disappear, instantly. Let them meet their precious Savior and find out what circle of hell they will occupy.

  • I’m the guy who advocates for thermo-genetic determinism leading humanity through a cycle of unbridled growth into dissolution and collapse – remember? I have not abandoned this worldview. And yet, this is not all there is to the human experience. Do we not have the right to look at both sides of the coin? Or is that desire faintly (or not so faintly) disreputable?

    I’m not asking anyone to accept Paul Hawken or the Pope as a saviour. I’m suggesting that we take a look into our own hearts, and acknowledge everything that lives there: the despair and anguish; the contempt, anger and hatred; the sense of self-righteous superiority; the childlike voice pleading for it all just to go away; the muzzled and disowned hope; the feeling that “I am better than I even know”; and especially the urge to follow forlorn hopes for the sake of showing up and staking a claim to our place in the universe.

    If we cannot look unblinking into our own hearts, what hope do we have of seeing the world as it truly is?

  • **There are 3 things you should never trust, people who write ecological books, guys who wear pointy hats and website moderators.**

    You forgot #4, disrespectful blowhards that whine like children when they can’t have their way.

  • The sixth mass extinction on Earth has already begun and humans are the driving force behind it, warns a new study.

    According to the study from a group of American scientists, species are disappearing at a rate 100 times faster than would normally be expected.

    Experts predict that within three generations, humans will be affected by changes in the global ecosystem such as reduced crop pollination as insect species die out.

    The study published on Science Advances, warns that 75% of the species currently on Earth could become extinct within two generations. The authors explain:

    “The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history.

  • When I used the words “saviour” I was mocking a little. Mocking is a nasty characteristic, I know, but unfortunately one that I can’t banish.

    This is the kind of misunderstanding only possible in an online relationship and, of course, a lot to do with the sense of humour (absurdity) you’re exposed to.

    I’ve lived in the UK for more than 40 years. Certain things “rub off”.

    The British might “whinge” a lot (after all, the Australians call them whinging poms) but mostly, they do not take themselves too seriously or, to put it another way, know what to take seriously. IMO, Kevin is a good example.

    My heart: I have always looked unblinking into my heart and don’t know another way to live.

  • .
    .
    How do we survive in a world where our worth is only determined by our last paycheck?

    That reminds me of the famous line by Charles Bukowski:

    “How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6.30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so”

    How in the hell did we end up here? I wonder too. We shall continue to be willing and invisible participants in the mission to screw ourselves and our world over (and to what end? We already know the answer). We have done a pretty great job of it until now.

    This is a guest post by New Delhi-based social media consultant, Kartik Dayanand.
    .
    Drug overdose deaths exceeded motor vehicle-related fatalities in 36 states, it said.

    Injuries, including car crashes, homicides, suicides and traumatic brain injury, resulted in nearly 193,000 deaths and are the leading cause of death for Americans ages one to 44, the report said.

    .
    .

    Looking forward to war, famine, and pestilence.
    .

    Just sitting on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    “…thou shalt not procreate.”

    The Church of Euthanasia
    “Save the planet, kill yourself.”

  • From today’s Yahoo News.

    Notice the tremendous “explosions & smoke.”

    Glaring Israeli propaganda as “news.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/gaza-militants-fire-rocket-israel-225422351.html

  • Gerald – I am finally fed up with your fascism, bigotry, lies, hate, and violence. Mo was right to confront you, and I should have done so a lot sooner than I am now. I was aware of the truth that “the only thing evil needs to triumph in the world is for good people to remain silent.” Now I say to you directly that I am going to oppose and speak out against every lie you put in print. Some people may be asleep to the fact that a big part of fascism’s success depends on people’s rightful respect for free speech giving the hate mongers freedom to preach doctrines which if believed in and put in force would abolish free speech completely. The fascist sees free speech as a weakness to be exploited, and regards those who permit his rants to be foolish and revealing of their weakness to let him do so.

    It is interesting that the people you revile the most are those whose values are the exact opposite of yours. For myself, I would not like to be the exact opposite of the Dalai Lama or Gandhi – two among many of the good people you have attacked with your slanderous lies and contempt. That is enough from me now, but be advised that I intend to respond to every post you make from now on. And btw Gerald, I do not hate you or condemn you – I used to have a lot in common with you in my own way. But I did a one-eighty, with a lot of help from people who knew how to extend it. I do not condemn you, because I know from my own experience and many others I have come to know, that it is always possible to change, and I pray for you that such might transpire. But I am also a realist in my own way, and let’s just say I’m not holding my breath waiting for your transformation.

    PS – My next rant will be on guilt by association – the root of bigotry. Stay tuned, don’t miss it!

  • ed Says:
    June 21st, 2015 at 11:48 pm
    “@Robert Callaghan June 21st, 2015 at 2:49 pm;

    Here’s The Big One

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31478-china-s-communist-capitalist-ecological-apocalypse

    >>>

    Well, that’s it for me. No more Chinese take-out. I’m walking away from Empire.

    And now, in response, a poetic offering, for the old-school reds in the crowd:

    THE CHINESE CONUNDRUM

    If only the Communist Manifesto
    Could magically work – Change-o, Presto!
    But it seems yellow people
    Are just corrupt sheeple
    Hungry for power and pesos.”

    Excuse my French, but you don’t know WTF you’re talking about. This has nothing to do with Chinese people, the critique offered in the article i linked to is just as relevant to the Soviet Union as it is to China, “race” (a total social construct) has nothing to do with it. And the “Communist Manifesto” was one of Marx’s very first writings, he went WAY past it both in understanding of capitalism as well as in his notions of what was to replace it. Thanks for another illustration of just how ignorant most Americans are about capitalism and communism. If you had bothered reading the article, you would have seen absolutely no sign of “old school reds” in it. But then, this forum is increasingly a hang-out for know-nothings.

  • mike k, it’s good to know that you are on the watch for hatred, bigotry, lies, violence, & political propaganda & distortion.

    Here is the identical photo of the same “explosions & smoke” with an explanation that it is from an Israeli attack on Gaza.

    Those media peeyar yuppies aren’t too careful with their hatred & lying, & distortions – just get the Israeli Zionist hatred & lying out for the Goyim.

    Get to it before the peeyar yuppies pull it.

    http://news.yahoo.com/un-report-gaza-both-sides-may-guilty-war-113430345.html

  • **Notice the tremendous “explosions & smoke.”**

    Yes – the unguided rockets fired at Israel mostly land in the desert and do little damage even when they manage to hit something.

    The explosion in the video looks more like when Israel bombed the UN school where they killed a dozen and wounded 200 (mostly women and children).

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/24/israeli-strike-un-school-gaza-kills-women-children

  • What a miracle that our precious little planet has once more reached maximum tilt toward the sun, now pauses to consider, and then begins the balancing journey back toward equilibrium. Stand out under the stars and feel the intoxication, the rush… It’s kind of like a long slow kiss:

  • @mike k

    When I read posts like Gerald’s my preference is not to bother countering them. There are so many of them on the Internet, and lacking moderator privileges any response I make would simply incentivize the vituperation. Leaving such posts alone lets them swing solo in the noon-day glare of public opinion.

    I also use my reaction to them as a barometer of how I’m doing, equanimity-wise. That way Gerald becomes another element of my karma yoga practice…

  • mike k ~

    I support your efforts to keep a flashlight on the water bug. keep in mind, you are dealing with someone who idolizes Hitler, thinks attacking people like the Dalai Lama and Gandhi is the way to go, and loves standing on the backs of suffering Palestinians and Bangladeshis in order to shout inanities to the wind, at the top of his voice.

    in other words, as Paul mentions, we have your typical internet nutter.

    my only concern is he doesn’t spread his diseases around this particular corner of the internet so much that it has an overall detrimental effect. so, yes, keeping an eye on the bug is appreciated. I’d really hate to wake up one morning and find him crawling around on my toothbrush. eeewwww!

  • Dr. Mc Pherson I admire your constant valuable research. Often I wish I could give you a personal tour of our Dept of Energy labs. Although many of us in Washington D.C. will not admit it we know the truth of your message. Thinking of Satish M in Silicon Valley as I have received a huge ENERGY request from Google.

    The Energy requirements to maintain complex cooling systems for massive computer systems (Kurtzwell Transhuman H+ project) is staggering. Almost beyond CERN.

    Below is an abstract from their communication which is the exact opposite of NTE data/facts. I wonder what Mo Flow thinks of the ultimate other end of the NTE future spectrum????
    ——– —— ——-

    Environmentalists are right to insist that the status quo is unsustainable. As a matter of physical necessity, things cannot stay as they are today indefinitely, or even for very long. If we continue to use up resources at the current pace, without finding more resources or learning how to use novel kinds of resources, then we will run into serious shortages sometime around the middle of this century. The deep greens have an answer to this: they suggest we turn back the clock and return to an idyllic pre-industrial age to live in sustainable harmony with nature.

    The problem with this view is that the pre-industrial age was anything but idyllic. It was a life of poverty, misery, disease, heavy manual toil from dawn to dusk, superstitious fears, and cultural parochialism. Nor was it environmentally sound – as witness the deforestation of England and the Mediterranean region, desertification of large parts of the middle east, soil depletion by the Anasazi in the Glen Canyon area, destruction of farm land in ancient Mesopotamia through the accumulation of mineral salts from irrigation, deforestation and consequent soil erosion by the ancient Mexican Mayas, over hunting of big game almost everywhere, and the extinction of the dodo and other big featherless birds in the South Pacific. Furthermore, it is hard to see how more than a few hundred million people could be maintained at a reasonable standard of living with pre-industrial production methods, so some ninety percent of the world population would somehow have to vanish in order to facilitate this nostalgic return.

    Transhumanists propose a much more realistic alternative: not to retreat to an imagined past, but to press ahead as intelligently as we can. The environmental problems that technology creates are problems of intermediary, inefficient technology, of placing insufficient political priority on environmental protection as well as of a lack of ecological knowledge. Technologically less advanced industries in the former Soviet-bloc pollute much more than do their advanced Western counterparts. High-tech industry is typically relatively benign. Once we develop molecular nanotechnology, we will not only have clean and efficient manufacturing of almost any commodity, but we will also be able to clean up much of the mess created by today’s crude fabrication methods. This would set a standard for a clean environment that today’s traditional environmentalists could scarcely dream of.

  • “On another front: the massacre in Charleston, S.C. is equivalent to thousands of other incidences thru the years and NOBODY in a position of power has ever done one fucking thing AND they won’t in this case. It is blatant.

    I know how to help solve the population problem. Invent a machine that reads the minds of individuals, yes girls and boys, and if they are racist, they fucking disappear, instantly. Let them meet their precious Savior and find out what circle of hell they will occupy.”

    I’d reserve the harshest treatment, not for racist thoughts, which I think we (mostly) all share, me perhaps more than most. I’d reserve my harshest punishment for those who are racists but can’t admit it so as to move on (or at least to keep racist thoughts from doing harm to others).

  • “Below is an abstract from their communication which is the exact opposite of NTE data/facts. I wonder what Mo Flow thinks of the ultimate other end of the NTE future spectrum????”

    An extremely hot pile of dung.

  • An extremely hot pile of dung.

    well… yes, we did eat the nuclear Wheaties. don’t worry though, we won’t forget to flush.

  • The Science of Your Racist Brain
    Neuroscientist David Amodio on subconscious racial prejudice and why we’re still responsible for our actions.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/inquiring-minds-david-amodio-your-brain-on-racism

  • Hi Lidia – I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. You are a thoughtful and intelligent person, and I sense that you have a good heart to boot. It’s only fair that I answer the question that I asked you from my own point of view. But first let me respond to a couple of things you wrote….

    …“but you cannot imagine a planet that just gets too hot for human life and that’s that! End of story!”

    Actually, I can not only imagine it only too vividly, but I feel that it is entirely possible.

    “Your own recounting of your state wherein you queried an entity who (you said) was “reading your mind”…”

    Wow – I never thought anyone would think that “really happened.” I wrote that little whimsy in response to someone (can’t remember who now) who had a piece just above a bit on the thread which was pure fantasy. When I got into it, some imp made me begin writing it in the faux realism style of Carlos Castaneda, including the picture of the beautiful Buddhist poet at the end. Sorry for the misunderstanding – I probably should have put a note at the end – “or so I dreamed…” See – I do have a touch of imagination. Maybe sometime I will share the story of how I was (mis)diagnosed as a shizophrenic on the basis of an ink blot test that I “overachieved” on.

    “*Notice how spirit animals are always “cool” animals, like wolves or eagles.”

    Yeah. That’s true. Probably because you are suggested to accept whatever shows up in your trance, so deeper levels of your mind play a part in all inner experience. Who wants to ask guidance from a snake or tarantula when you are not friendly with those fellow beings? I had sessions with three different teachers who each had their own take and traditions for using spirit animals as guides. The American Indian lady’s lengthy medicine wheel meditation gave me a very valuable insight into myself and my journey.

    “The way I see it, you folk are telling stories to yourselves. Great, have at it, but please don’t pretend it is real, or anything outside of what your own mind conjures up. The Actual World Does Not Care.”

    Lidia, please understand that I am not sharing with you to convince you of anything, or change you in any way whatever. I accept you exactly as you are. I am sharing with you to reciprocate your willingness to share who you are with me. That’s all. No argument, no criticism of you and your ideas.

    For me, I have learned a lot about myself that has helped me change my story in ways that have mattered to my real actual self, and have been helpful also to the real actual people who have had to deal with me – which was not always easy, to understate the truth. Telling our stories and sharing them with others in a healing circle has made real positive changes for a lot of people in AA – which is only one circle I participate in. It’s a practice that has been there way back in our human history. Those of us gathered around this little fire on the beach of doom are here telling our stories and stories of the great unraveling of our common world today. I am getting quite a bit from this circle, and I hear from others who are learning and getting support from it too. If you don’t know your story, do you really know who you are?

    “When I am confronted with folks of a religious nature, I have the opposite reaction of that which you claim (https://guymcpherson.com/2015/06/edge-of-extinction-faster-than-expected/#comment-160704) . Your statement was quite harsh: “The arrogance of presumed ultimate knowledge is boundless and incorrigible.” I do not take the religious to be humble, instead, in them I see the supreme arrogance…”

    If you read that post again you may discern that I plainly said exactly what you did in the above quote, perhaps in different words. I’ll let go of my feeble attempts to explain myself now, and give you my take on NTE. I have really no idea how long our species might survive on this planet. I think we are
    in a world of trouble right now. A gamma ray burst from a nearby star, a sufficiently large meteor/comet impact, an all out nuclear exchange – and we could be gone in short order. My own feeling is that if our human world continues further into the dystopian nightmare it is already enacting, I think we would do the universe a favor by just going extinct. In other words – survival of what? is the key question for me. Survival of a world of mutual torment and escalating evil is not worth holding onto in my opinion.

    Thanks again for sharing Lidia – it’s been a blast. I just keep trying to learn from everything and do as little harm as I can, and keep growing in love and compassion. Gotta do something on the beach, or it just gets too boring….

    Paul – Your advice is wise and much appreciated.

    Mo – Same thanks to you, and your humor cracks me up!

  • In respect to Kevin Moore’s posting of Alex Jones article,
    The rich people are not done with us until they extract
    the last resource of fuel in fact any type of fuel for
    their self preserving evil minded way of life. They are
    not done with us yet there is still much profit to be
    made from humane suffering.

    This is my own philosophy on the demise of the human race
    it started before controlling the land, before the discovery
    of fire, the axe, etc…, I believe it started when we found
    out how to control each other through intimidation and fear.
    So in conclusion as you can see in today’s society these basic’s
    of control are still in place.

  • “Perhaps far more common are cases of so-called “implicit” prejudice, where people harbor subconscious biases, of which they may not even be aware, but that come out in controlled psychology experiments.’

    Artleads,

    “…may not even be aware”, bullshit. Not to be contrary, but I, personally, do not believe this for a measly second. They are hiding it on purpose. Hell, they have believed this for years so why change now all of a sudden. The fools are LYING. How the hell are you not aware of the Emmitt Tells and all the outrages of yesterday and today. There are thousands of them.

    The early settlers, who were not restricted in any way, simply called them savages. We learn subterfuge because we know it ain’t polite.

  • Gerald, I second your diatribe on the world supposedly coming to a paradigm shift of enlightenment, a social transformation of sorts, as the bullshit that reigns supreme in human enclaves continues to stink as much as it ever did. In the ‘Aquarian Conspiracy’, Marylyn Ferguson suggested some 30 years ago that there were changes in the air which hinted that a social transformation was about to emerge within the human condition and that a spiritual renaissance was just around the corner. Sorry Marylyn, but that time never came, has yet to come, if ever. A coming-of-age time that will bring about peace among humans seems like a dream.

    Peace was almost a perceptible condition in the flower age… It was a moment of genuine hope that humankind could live together in peace and harmony… But then, as time once again proved our undoing, the two finger sign lost its index, and the bankers who were lying low son emerged in force to dictate who would be the next generation of slaves, (you and me).

    Thus, as Einstein suggested, we keep on drifting towards an “unparalleled catastrophe”, not only of the nuclear kind but of a kind as yet unknown, a kind which in Einstein day didn’t even register on the catastrophe scale.

    The pope apparently said that the numero uno issue in resolving global warming is to eliminate extreme poverty. I agree. In my view, it doesn’t have to be eliminated, but homelessness and malnutrition must be eliminated. In a world where many seem to think that reducing the human population will resolve our problems, homelessness and malnutrition are not really bad from that respect… i.e., the less the better, but in the end, if the dire consequences of poverty are not eliminated, that will prove to be the undoing of everyone. Guaranteed!

  • Northern lights tonight! If you are lucky enough to see them, perhaps it will help put our earthly struggles in perspective if only for a brief time. For those lucky enough to see them—– may you find joy, peace and awe courtesy of this G5 geomagnetic storm that is taking place right now!

    In the meantime Scribbler keeps cranking out the excellent articles, the latest re: California/Alaska fires. Dave Alvin sang it in 2009:

  • I’m not a Jew hater, but I find it really creepy that some people here defend the persecution of the Palestinians. Like, seeing that I am ashamed of my country, America, for what it has done to weaker peoples, I’m absolutely sure that if I was Jewish, I would be very ashamed of what the nation of Israel has done to weaker peoples. It rots my socks to see Jews being among the most raciest people of all time. They are no different toward the Palestinians than the U.S toward the natives or the Nazis toward their own persecuted Jewish dead. To defend that is laughable!

  • For those who have questioned stats on the rate of species extinction, there’s a pretty new (2 days ago) item on Climate Summary and Update about a new report (came out on the 19th) from a Stanford U team of scientists which verifies we’re in a 6th wave of mass extinction, even if super-conservative assumptions are made. You can find it by going to the update and searching for the ** which marks new items.

  • Time to throw this out again.

    “I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that shouldn’t exist under natural law… The honorable thing for our species to do is to stop reproducing and walk hand in hand, brothers and sisters, into extinction — one last midnight.”
    ~ Rust Cohle, ‘True Detective‘

    The best argument for abortion: People who have children.

  • @Artleads: “On another front: the massacre in Charleston, S.C. is equivalent to thousands of other incidences thru the years and NOBODY in a position of power has ever done one fucking thing AND they won’t in this case. It is blatant.

    I know how to help solve the population problem. Invent a machine that reads the minds of individuals, yes girls and boys, and if they are racist, they fucking disappear, instantly. Let them meet their precious Savior and find out what circle of hell they will occupy.”

    I’d reserve the harshest treatment, not for racist thoughts, which I think we (mostly) all share, me perhaps more than most. I’d reserve my harshest punishment for those who are racists but can’t admit it so as to move on (or at least to keep racist thoughts from doing harm to others).

    >>>

    I hear you Artleads.

    Having some sort of pleasurable fantasy of punishing someone for something gives many people good reason to die another day.

  • And Now For Something Completely Different:

    The Pod People appear to have taken over OFW.

    Anyone else notice this?

  • Oh yeah, Fast Eddy on OFW is a liar. James Cameron set up in the Wairarapa not the South Island. Why? Interesting isn’t it.

  • I’m not sure about Homo Sapiens being labeled as the bad guys of life. While we are indeed screwing things up, there will always be elements of hope drifting around some galaxy to instill notions that life is the mystery that deserves the accolades that many here attribute to its forms.

    As such, there exists deep philosophical thoughts in this blog but are we really aiming at the hi8ghest targets of existence? We are all in this together, but somehow together is not a very comfortable place. Beheadings for one characterize the insanity of religious perceptions, while the economic agendas of our social systems trump all attempts at creating the compassion the Dalai Lama suggests we develop.
    In humanity, the creators of waltzes on the Danube carry us to our infinite possibilities, there is beauty everywhere we look, especially up in the sky on a cloudy day with a thousand changing shapes drifting along overhead, mostly unnoticed except by those whose moments on this planet are purposely set to observe their passing. The breezes that drifts through our hair remind us that somewhere there is a rainbow to be imbedded in our soul.

    Within our soul lies the creation of more than there is. There are extremes of beauty and love all around, and beyond. I well remember a story of two lovers whose love for each other was so intense that they decided to end this life together so that the perils of living together in this world could have somehow separated them, hence they are now together for eternity.

    The oppressive conditions in Mother Nature were not of our making. Like every other creature that lives under its natural canopy, we spend our lives doing as best we can with the survival tools we received at birth, and from our parents. To think of nature as a benign realm is dreaming of a color that does not exist. The only reason other creatures haven’t destroyed the environment is because they can’t. If they could, given the survival of the fittest syndrome into which all living things are born, they would be no different that Homo Sapiens…. the loving species as Guy suggests.

    This universe, and perhaps a few trillion others, are waiting for a species just like ours to make its appearance. We have the tools to explore unseen beauty, but not the will, at least not yet. It may well be that our destinies are already sealed, and that the future of life on Earth may well be in jeopardy. But in the end, if life itself has any say in its existence, and even though some of the intelligence of its Homo Sapiens hosts is sewing the seeds of its own destruction, there is little doubt that creation is just waiting for one of life’s dimensions to establish a beachhead from which the exploration of all that is beautiful and lovely will win the day, ‘hopium’ notwithstanding.

    The exquisite existence of existence itself beckons, and if we’re smart, we can still discover the reason why we are here.

    Sorry if the above sounds a little nuts, maybe it is.

  • Jean Turcot

    The intelligence latent within us is not ours.

    I was building up to something profound when i realised i couldn’t do better.

  • Excellent video.

  • I’ve posted the latest edition of Edge of Extinction. Catch it, and more, here.

  • Shep,

    I didn’t write anything about subconscious racism. Were you referring to Apneaman’s link on that subject?

  • Jean Turcot,

    Your comment doesn’t sound any more nuts that most of what’s on here, and quite a bit saner than some of it. As I read it a few thoughts popped up that I thought I’d inflict on everyone.

    Life “per se” may or may not be special. I suspect that given its thermodynamic origins it pops up across the universe very frequently. Being alive certainly feels special to us, which leads straight to what I think is exceptional. IMO there is something very special about self-reflective consciousness, but every time I try to describe objectively what that specialness might be, I fail. The degree of self-reflection exhibited by some humans is far beyond anything we know of in the rest of the living world, so that alone makes a good claim for treating it with some respect. We seem to be capable – on our good days at any rate – of something approaching apotheosis. On our bad days, not so much – as many comments here have noted. Now, I admit that my feeling that self-reflective consciousness is special may be an unwarranted exercise in generating meaning out of nothingness, but humans seem to be meaning-making critters and that’s where I choose to make mine.

    The “oppressive conditions in Mother Nature” are what put the selection in natural selection. I prefer to celebrate them, in the knowledge that this oppression is what has opened the path for us to become what we are, for better and/or worse.

    Whether there are billions of other universes, or what the future of just this one may hold – for consciousness, human beings, and life in general – is now pretty much immaterial to me. We are here, self-aware, right now. That’s good enough for me to build a life around, as it has been for many others in far more straitened circumstances than mine.

    My desire is to make the best of each moment – whatever the idea of “best” means to me at the time. Right now that requires of me a full awareness and acceptance of what has happened, is happening and may soon happen. It includes being aware of the myriad of social, psychological, historical and physical contributors. It requires me to assemble a personal worldview that is as explanatory as I can make it, within the bounds of my own personality and my moment-to-moment definition of truth.

    I have come to realize that the key ingredients in my worldview must be kindness and compassion. “Objective truth” plays its role of course, but the notion that there is such a thing, let alone what it might consist of, seems to me a far slipperier concept than the softer human absolutes of kindness and compassion.

  • Yeah, that’s right Artleads.

  • .
    .

    Looking forward to war, famine, and pestilence.
    .

    Just sitting on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    “…thou shalt not procreate.”

    The Church of Euthanasia
    “Save the planet, kill yourself.”

  • Jean ~ I really liked your most recent comment here.

    there is little doubt that creation is just waiting for one of life’s dimensions to establish a beachhead from which the exploration of all that is beautiful and lovely will win the day

    for many reasons, I am sure that life has established beachheads, in many places just in this Universe, with zillions of forms that have the special quality of self-reflective consciousness that Paul is talking about.

    yes, “hopium notwithstanding” it would be my personal preference that the particular form of this consciousness that humans exhibit would be able to continue on, here, on earth, in some fashion that can truly thrive in harmony with the rest of creation. but that is just a very personal preference.

    my feelings are that this preference is best served by exactly what Paul is talking about:

    My desire is to make the best of each moment – whatever the idea of “best” means to me at the time. Right now that requires of me a full awareness and acceptance of what has happened, is happening and may soon happen. It includes being aware of the myriad of social, psychological, historical and physical contributors. It requires me to assemble a personal worldview that is as explanatory as I can make it, within the bounds of my own personality and my moment-to-moment definition of truth.

    we can only be alive in the Now, and we bring the best possible energy into creation, the best kind of energy that serves us, and all the rest of creation, when we know, live, and share kindness and compassion, with as much awareness and acceptance as we are capable, knowing all along that we are living in a moment-to-moment, ever-changing, flow of experience.

    IMO, this is the true basis from which we can explore “all that is beautiful and lovely” in whatever ways that are still possible for us, for however long this may be possible.

  • Enjoyed watching Dr. Mc Pherson answer the questions after his presentation. Guy you are amazing!!! Also read all comments back to Early May. This site reads like a Book of Life. Wow to Paul Chefurka tearing his heart out like an Aztec in a brilliant post further back.

    Maybe a quick extinction by an accident with Cern will be the only way out of a ten thousand year radioactive Earth since I can never make enough progress on 447 nuclear plants. Even if we have a San Andres size chain of Fukishima’s & public demand for full Germany style decommissioning we can’t get it done at the rate we are currently going with the Zion plant in Il.

    Not only would a black hole accident eliminate a radioactive Earth waste land. All human DND would get destroyed or at least long term contained in the resulting singularity. No chance of the human cancer getting out of a black hole. Otherwise we proceed with Nuclear War and horrible mutated aftermath.

    CERN produces extremely luminous amounts of x-rays, the brightest light in the universe. It goes down at the quantum level. It sees the original building blocks; the Higgs Boson, gluons, quarks-gluons, and all these particles at the sub-atomic level and create alternative DNA to their liking by modeling known as protein folding. They create 3D models in the computers as well as print out 3D models of the human protein-DNA information part and partial to the Human Genome Project. Human DNA was mapped, and then the X-rays were used to look at them at the quantum level, an outgrowth of the Human Genome Project.
    The Particle accelerators used for DNA research, DNA manipulation and the creation of hybrids and the ascension of man to a higher level of existence. It’s not just looking for the God particle; it’s playing God.
    The purpose is to understand the building blocks of DNA and to create an artificial 3rd strand of DNA and then use it to grow a new body, a hybrid with 3rd strand DNA. This 3rd strand of DNA comprised of silicon and other artificial material coated in a Nano thin coating of gold. The Gold allows for the imparting of digital information because this digital information is it will allow for internal modification into the human body, including our minds. This 3rd strand will be injected or imparted, but will also allow that person to be manipulated and controlled utilizing microwaves or other frequencies along the electromagnetic spectrum from an external source

  • Mark, you’re saying that there are actual scientists who believe we (they) can, in the foreseeable future, INSERT AN ENTIRE EXTRA STRAND OF DNA INTO THE HUMAN GENOME, increasing it by 50%, in a way that is consonant with life and human existence (to say nothing of achieving the additional bizarre ends you describe)?

    I don’t know what world you live in, but this is absolute bullshit.

    I have no doubt there are many Strangelovians wheeling around the vertices of power. I personally know “serious” credentialed scientists who think things like head transplants will be perfectly normal (and, more frighteningly, desirable).

    I’m having a hard time following your writing here: “It sees the original building blocks; the Higgs Boson, gluons, quarks-gluons, and all these particles at the sub-atomic level and create alternative DNA to their liking by modeling known as protein folding.” Who is “it” and who is “they”?

  • @mo, nothing that is “beautiful and lovely” exists without what is “ugly and hideous”.

    Maybe this does not apply to you, but I don’t understand how one can reject dualism and yet maintain the sophomoric attitude that all will be sweetness and light if only we XYZ.

    What if we HAVE “self-reflective consciousness” and it tells us that we are stone-cold predators, who will pick the bones of our grandmothers clean and not hesitate to mop up the gravy?

    http://www.academia.edu/1403683/Cannibalism_in_the_Linear_Pottery_culture_at_Herxheim_Palatinate_Germany_

    Do you consider this, ever, or do you reject it out of hand for personal psychological or ideological reasons?


    I’m certainly not the first person to wonder what leads to such a tipping point. Short of starvation, what led Rwandans to turn on each other? You hear a few radio programs and then you go out and buy a machete and chop your neighbor to bits? On the scale of hundreds of thousands, up to a million people over the course of a couple of months…??

    That’s apparently what occurred. We in the US wring our hands over various shootings and bombings, killing five people here and ten there.. but THINK ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO WIELD A MACHETE AND CHOP YOUR NEIGHBOR or even a family member INTO BLOODY BITS. And you keep doing this for weeks and months.

    It is not easy. It’s physically difficult but incredibly intimate to chop someone to death.

    This behaviour is just as “human” as all your self-indulgent and self-reverent astral projections.

    All this “looking into the heart” has to look at this as well.

  • Lidia ~

    nothing that is “beautiful and lovely” exists without what is “ugly and hideous”.

    erm… so, in the last dozens of millions of years (or whatever) for every thriving estuarine ecosystem, there was also one that was full of chemical toxins, deadly radioactivity in a hundred flavors, and generally existed as a lifeless cesspool?

    not really sure I’m following your logic with this statement.

    if you are more on the idea of “big cats bite into antelope’s throats” and “for all birth there is death” and “casual Fridays exist” then I am more kinda following.

    ~

    check out the history of Rwanda, the region, and the Tutsi and Hutu. lots more behind the genocide than a couple of radio broadcasts and the local Walmart having a bogo on machetes.

    ~

    self-indulgent and self-reverent astral projections.

    are your nighttime dreams self-indulgent and self-reverent? they might be, sometimes. how about your everyday run of the mill mental processes? maybe. maybe not. how about big cats and antelopes? also self-indulgent? maybe. cats really seem to enjoy themselves a lot. self-reverent? I could see that also. especially with cats.

    whatever “astral projections” are, they are merely another state of existence and experience. they exist in all kinds of flavors. some experiences are horrific. just like dreams sometimes are. just like everyday waking reality sometimes is.

    ~

    All this “looking into the heart” has to look at this as well.

    yes, look deeply.

  • @mo, but you’re not selling the complete package. You seem to have been promoting some sort of positive transformation/evolution of the human soul or transcendent ultimate Voyage, and that just befuddles me at best, and makes me think of hucksterism and self-delusion at worst.

    In the last dozens of millions of years (or whatever) for every thriving estuarine ecosystem, there was also one that was full of chemical toxins, deadly radioactivity of a hundred flavors, and generally existed as a lifeless cesspool? …not really sure I’m following your logic with this statement.

    Well, that may be because that isn’t my statement; it’s something you yourself made up.

    if you are more on the idea of ‘big cats bite into antelope’s throats’ and ‘for all birth there is death’ and ‘casual Fridays exist’ then I am more kinda following.

    The two types of scenarios you paint, above, are on some levels substantially the same, aren’t they? [I don’t really get the “casual Friday” reference, however, unless you are understandably cursing the plague of Dockers®™.] CO2, O2, H2O, NaCl, N .. many many elements and compounds… are life-supporting and toxic at the same time. We just happen to be here in a fading sweet spot of interesting energetic and chemical expression.


    My night-time dreams are neither self-indulgent nor self-reverent. Maybe you don’t know what the words “indulgent” and “reverent” mean? Mostly, I don’t remember my dreams. When I do, they are generally wildly-complicated rocambolesques on par with something by Terry Gilliam, which evaporate within minutes of having awoken.

    “Indulging” in dreams, anyway, doesn’t make sense: the very fact of falling asleep gives one a permission that cannot exactly be rescinded. In everyday waking life I am certainly self-indulgent but not at all self-reverent.

    I don’t think humans have a special place in the cosmos just because they would like to think they have one. I can easily see how a few hours or a few days of steering one’s thoughts in that direction could lead one anywhere… and of course most have undergone a whole lifetime of brain-washing about how ‘special’ we are… but I don’t see any of that as particularly positive or healthful. Humans are deeply susceptible to fantastical ideas, especially ones in which they are heroic protagonists.


    Whether there is “lots more” behind the Rwandan massacres (I didn’t say there wasn’t, and your flip Wal-Mart comment doesn’t exactly help matters..).. the point is, pretty regular people—not a tiny minority, not a few “terrorists”, not the twisted souls of Columbine or this latest slaughter in Charleston— were able, from one day to the next, take up close arms, even against friends and family. This is what humans are very easily CAPABLE of, is my point.

    We mostly don’t love each other and as creatures we are not particularly loveable. I see all the talk of love as somewhat desperate and forced; I don’t hear it ringing particularly true in most of the voices that raise it… it’s as though they are trying to convince themselves of it.

    Disconcertingly, though… if one is not “pro-love”, one opens oneself to accusations of being pro-hate, which is the furthest thing from my mind or my intention. The outlook that feels most natural to me is that of an Observer.

  • Mo & Lidia –

    Rows and flows of angel hair
    And ice cream castles in the air
    And feather canyons everywhere
    I’ve looked at clouds that way

    But now they only block the sun
    They rain and snow on everyone
    So many things I would have done
    But clouds got in my way

    I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    It’s cloud illusions I recall
    I really don’t know clouds at all

    Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
    The dizzy dancing way you feel
    As every fairy tale comes real
    I’ve looked at love that way

    But now it’s just another show
    You leave ’em laughing when you go
    And if you care, don’t let them know
    Don’t give yourself away

    I’ve looked at love from both sides now
    From give and take, and still somehow
    It’s love’s illusions I recall
    I really don’t know love at all

    Tears and fears and feeling proud
    To say “I love you” right out loud
    Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
    I’ve looked at life that way

    But now old friends are acting strange
    They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
    Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
    In living every day

    I’ve looked at life from both sides now
    From win and lose and still somehow
    It’s life’s illusions I recall
    I really don’t know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

    “The outlook that feels most natural to me is that of an Observer.”

    I attended a weekly group for years that met at the country home of a married Catholic priest who was also a psychotherapist. One day he confessed to me and a psychiatrist friend that he was becoming depressed. A couple of months later he declared to the group that he had decided to turn his back on everything negative, and only consider what was positive. In spite of this some in the group, including me, continued to bring up dark stuff about the world and their own experience. This group btw was not formed as a “therapy group – but as a setting where people could share their spiritual journeys, including whatever was going on with them.

    A couple of months later the psychologist/priest declared he could no longer host the group due to the amount of negativity some were sharing. Our group now has continued meeting elsewhere minus our friend who hosted it previously. I had various reactions to his departure, including that he was just ducking the truth. I felt – and still feel – that working on facing the dark side of the world and ourselves is essential to having a real and inclusive outlook on reality, and is the basis for making true evaluations and decisions in one’s life.

    I later learned that my friend had developed serious health issues, and his decision began to make sense to me. He was close to eighty years old and had tried to help people in therapy for a lot of years – and he just got tired of the constant negative material he had to listen too. He made a conscious decision to look on the bright side only, and to this day it ha worked for him. His move has made me take another look at my preoccupation with the dark side of myself and the world. However my response has been to moderate and be conscious of my preoccupation with bad stuff, but continue to look at it and not hide from it or pretend to ignore it. Only in the spirit of the Delphic maxim “nothing too much.”

    As to the witness position, this is different from the witness state of consciousness that arises after practicing meditation for a considerable time, usually a few years. That would take a much longer post to explain. But the conscious decision to look at one’s involvement in negative considerations and feeling states is to me a wise and fruitful way to go. Don’t just drift unconsciously into a dysphonic state – it’s hard to exit that without being conscious of it.

    That’s my two bits for now….

  • mike k, your last paragraph rang my bell hard. Witness position vs witness state is a great observation. I’m going to look and see if such a confusion may have clouded my own perceptions.

    The dysphoria that rides on the coattails of deep knowledge about the state of the world is unbelievably hard to shake. This may be because it activates our personal Shadow, which is armed with all the self-defense mechanisms the unconscious can bring to bear.

  • Jean T – A couple of quotes from your post re: population: “It’s not our numbers that is the problem…” “ Paul Ehrlich has always maintained a too many scenario ever since he saw the light of day. He was wrong, and still is.”

    Our numbers are a HUGE problem. Paul Ehrlich made a losing bet on population trends, and lost. This in no way disproved his basic understanding that we have too many people on Earth.

    Jean you have opined in your previous posts that population is not a big problem. I have a different opinion. Nothing personal.

  • Paul – Witnessing is a fascinating experience that I have enjoyed a few times. It is hard to describe because it is so different from our ordinary way of being and seeing things. Usually it is one result of long consistent practice of meditation. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explained that the stages experienced over time by meditators are really deeper and deeper levels of silence. When a radio telescope was able to detect the cosmic background vibration still there since the big bang, it was due to it’s being able to filter out all the static of other vibrations obscuring it. Just like that, when we can reach levels of inner silence in our minds, realities which were always there are experienced. In fact, we are moving in this way to things which are very precious and deeply meaningful. To maintain these states effortlessly and continuosly through all our ordinary activities is a major goal of meditation practice.

    More later – too many mouse clicks has got my hand sore…

  • Lidia ~

    but you’re not selling the complete package.

    details, details. in response to this comment from ogardener:

    “I’m tired of hearing about the Jewish holocaust. If someone wants to discuss the Native American Indian holocaust where a great deal more than six million (12 million by some estimates) lives were lost due to manifest destiny and colonialism, then I’m all ears.”

    I wrote this comment:

    Presenting in Rhode Island

    my comment begins with this: “the only possible honest answer, I believe, is to see all of it, with eyes wide open.”

    I am talking about seeing the complete package. the human race is a package deal. that is what I always talk about. I have only mentioned here a about a zillion times my total awareness of the picture as detailed by Guy.

    this was my first comment on NBL:

    once an atheist, once a cornucopian, too.

    now I know: the world is the smallest sliver of the real, and NTE is solid gold.

    I seek no escape in delusion. I know the true horror in store.

    wonderful science, bringer of truth. fallible scientists, minds caged.

    terrible awakening, the abyss is coming. certain death, rushing onwards.

    my complete package simply includes many more things that yours does not. but nothing from your package is excluded from mine. of course, if your package insists on certain facts, like the idea that we are purely physical beings, with no conscious existence beyond physical death, then your complete package is simply different than mine in that respect.

    ~

    as I mentioned already, in my linked comment above, “there is a long, long list.” the Rwandan genocide is of course on the list, as are so many others.

    You seem to have been promoting some sort of positive transformation/evolution of the human soul or transcendent ultimate Voyage…

    yes, i am promoting the same thing that has been promoted for eons, by many. the path of awareness and enlightenment. this is nothing new. I refer to one version of that path in my linked comment:

    The Four Noble Truths: all life is suffering, the cause of suffering is ignorant desire, this desire can be destroyed, the means to this is the Eightfold Path.

    the “positive transformation/evolution of the human soul or transcendent ultimate Voyage” has been underway for a long, long time. I have no idea where it will lead. I do know that if the human animal species ends on earth, that is most definitely not the end of the “human soul” energy that we are. it will have to move on, elsewhere.

    Humans are deeply susceptible to fantastical ideas, especially ones in which they are heroic protagonists.

    you are perfectly free to think of any or all of these ideas as fantastical hucksterism.