Some Myths About Emotion and Relationships for ESGs

by Bud Nye

While recognizing the many mental and physical health benefits of their primary emotions, such as grief, fear, shame, loneliness and so on, emotion focused extinction support group (EF ESG) participants work hard at not allowing secondary reactive emotions to guide their thinking, feeling, and behaving. They also work hard at not avoiding the primary adaptive emotions they experience related to the high probability of near term human extinction (NTHE). This avoidance often occurs through many different kinds of defensive, distraction, and intellectualizing processes. (For much more about primary emotions, reactive emotions and defenses, see my essay titled “Primary Emotions, Reactive Emotions, And Defenses” found here It seems obvious to me that how we relate emotionally to one another in our relationships has great importance, especially during our few remaining days. Assuming that others agree with me regarding this, EF ESG participants should find learning about the following myths concerning emotion and relationships helpful:

Myth: Emotions occur in irrational ways. Many people have the idea that emotions occur in a fundamentally irrational way, but the situation has much more complexity than this. Usually, what we refer to as “irrational” involves someone’s having a secondary, reactive emotional meltdown. For example, Jill finds her partner, Jack, in bed with someone else, goes berserk, loses her temper, and does something stupid, possibly hurting someone. That does qualify as “irrational”.

When we refer to an emotion as irrational, we usually point to someone doing something stupid while awash in a pool of reactive secondary emotion. To say this in different words, when we react to something deeper while not knowing about that—some kind of primary emotional pain out of our awareness—then we respond with a secondary, reactive emotion, this reaction often occurs in an irrational way. These reactions do often seem irrational, but we should not blame that irrationality on emotion.

Importantly, we can trust our primary emotions. In about one-fifth of a second they give us extremely important information about our environment and our needs for survival. When we ignore these signals and instead react based on reactive, secondary emotions, we get ourselves into trouble. Most people mean this when they say “emotion is irrational”. If Jill had the maturity to listen to her primary emotion when she saw her partner in bed with another woman, she would have slowed down and felt her anger—and for good reason! But she would have also realized that she felt a huge amount of attachment-related hurt and fear too. By slowing down and listening to her primary emotions she would have allowed her thinking to catch up with her primary emotions, and she would have stopped herself from charging in and playing the fool. People behave in nutty, irrational ways; not their primary emotions!

Myth: Men experience much less emotion than women do. Well, no. Even though our society teaches this idea to many boys at a very early age, decades of research by John Gottman and colleagues at the University of Washington make it clear that men have stronger emotional reactions than women, and their physiological responses last significantly longer. Still, we hear statements like “Boys don’t cry”, and “Don’t be a sissy!” Believing these ideas tends strongly to place a man on a trajectory of dissociating from his primary emotions, thus making it difficult for him to relate well to others in his various relationships as an adult. As men learn the truth about the importance of emotion, and as they begin to tap into their own emotions, they often feel stunned to learn that an entire world exists within themselves and others that previously remained outside of their awareness.

Meanwhile, the socialization of girls and boys usually occurs in very different ways, and women often do not understand the lengths to which some men will go in order to avoid their own and other’s emotion. Listening to and trusting primary emotion can provide men with an entirely new language and perspective on relationships. With learning and effort, men can develop their awareness of their emotions and integrate them into their daily lives. But in this process, men must learn to integrate their emotions instead of trying to change them, as suggested by the emotional intelligence proponents. We need to learn well the important differences between primary, adaptive emotion and secondary, defensive, reactive emotion.

Myth: We find women born with more sensitivity than men. Yes, women do often get socialized for more emotional sensitivity and awareness than men, and researchers have consistently found that even young girls have many more concerns about how others feel than boys do. Boys have greater concerns about competing. But a person born female does not automatically have more emotional awareness. Many women struggle with effectively integrating their emotions, and everyone—men and women—can learn to better integrate emotions into their everyday awareness. What people think of as greater female sensitivity to emotion, compared with men, more often involves their feeling more in tune with their emotions.

Myth: Emotions get in the way of making good decisions. This idea comes from not understanding the different layers of emotional processing. When people make statements like “Don’t be emotional when making decisions” they usually refer to secondary emotional reactions like anger and frustration. When we bring primary emotion into our awareness we get clear on our needs and wants, and we get this clarity when we sense others taking advantage of us or a business decision will not work well. We can streamline these gut-felt responses or intuitions into our immediate awareness and use them to guide us. We do not need to “control” our primary emotions. Just the opposite: we need to learn to let them guide us more. We have our primary emotions, and they have remained with us across time, for that reason: to help and guide us. We ignore them at our peril!

Myth: We should avoid bad, painful feelings. Actually, painful emotions help ground us in reality—if we do not run away from them, refuse to feel them, and refuse their messages to us. If we allow ourselves to feel painful emotions, they remind us of what has most importance for us in our lives. When we hurt emotionally we feel firsthand what has most importance to us. We do not get sad and cry over something that does not matter. If we say something we regret to our partner or someone else, for example, it begins to emotionally tug at us. As we feel emotionally disconnected from the other person or people, our primary emotions of hurt and loneliness emphatically tell us about our poor current state. The pain compels us to do something about the situation, to find resolution and reconnection. If we can do this our pain gets washed away by equally powerful emotions of happiness and joy that come from acceptance, connection, and emotional resonance with others. On the other hand, if we refuse to feel our pain deeply, we also make it impossible to feel our happiness and joy deeply. We simply cannot have one without the other. We know this in psychology as “the figure/ground effect”. A meaningful figure cannot emerge without a contrasting background. Anyone who has experienced “whiteout” conditions in the snow—or a totally black room with no light!—has a strong point of reference for understanding this. We cannot conceive of “up” without also having “down”. We cannot experience feeling “good” without also feeling “bad”, and to the extent that we eliminate one, we also eliminate the other.

Myth: Our thoughts control our emotions. If someone says that we can control our emotions with our thoughts, they simply remain unaware of mounds of neuroscience research—or perhaps they have too much personally invested in the myth to let go of it (a secondary, reactive emotional response). We now know that emotions set up our thinking. They occur within one-to-two tenths of a second after an event and set the stage for our later-occurring, much longer-lasting thinking. When in danger, for example, we simply do not have time to think things out. Our physiological emotional systems read the situation and send us signals to fight or flee long before we can consciously think and reflect on the situation. This short-term emotional priority obviously had, and continues to have, great survival value for us.

To function over the long term at our best we need both our emotion and cognition. But especially beginning with Rene Descartes in the early 1600s, we have so overemphasized cognition in comparison with emotion that many people do not understand, allow, and use their emotions in adaptive ways. Many people “know” how they should think and behave differently, for example. They often report “I know what I should do in my mind, I know it, but I just can’t do it. My emotion is too strong. It stops me.” Our emotions have great power. When we ignore them or push them away, they can leave us paralyzed and unable to behave in ways that we know we should. That often happens because we do not clearly experience what our deep, primary emotions try to tell us. We don’t receive the clear message from them. When we do get the primary emotion message, we get clearer in our heads too, and our primary emotion moves us to act instead of remaining stuck in fear and worry.

Myth: Experiencing an emotion makes it worse. People often think that if they let themselves feel their painful emotions, doing this will make the situation worse and increase their pain. In extreme cases these people may turn to alcohol and/or other drugs to avoid or numb their emotions. Actually, the opposite of this remains true: When we face and fully feel our emotions, they get their message across to us and they begin to dissipate with their mission accomplished. It works something like putting iodine on a cut. When you first apply it, it hurts a lot, but the stinging soon goes away and the now disinfected wound heals more quickly. If we ignore our emotion, just like refusing to disinfect a wound, the pain only grows and returns another day, now with more strength. Our primary emotions occur to get our attention and to let us know what has importance for us. We need to fully experience them.

Myth: Emotions get in the way of making good business decisions. When people say something like “Don’t’ take it personally. It’s just business”, they usually refer to someone’s having a secondary reactive response of aggression or defensiveness. Yes, we can find someone caught in reactive emotional responses difficult to work with. And we would best not make decisions when we feel the effects of secondary emotions like anger or frustration. But this does not help in our close relationships. Having an awareness of our own and others’ primary emotions serves as a great asset when we make business decisions and for our effectiveness as a leader. Effective leaders who earn the loyalty of others most often have good attunement to their own emotional worlds and those of others. People can tell that they care because they display empathy, which one can do only by demonstrating emotional sensitivity.

Myth: In happy relationships people don’t argue. John Gottman, a leading couple researcher, found that even his “master” couples who stayed married over many years argued with each other. Couples who divorced also argued. The only couples who did not argue had become quite distant from one another, and even though they never argued, their relationship usually ended in divorce. The critical difference between happy relationships and those that end involves the way they argue. In happy relationships people argue without criticizing each other’s character. (People who comment at places like Nature Bats Last might pay special attention to this point.) These people do not fall into the extremes of what Gottman calls “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling (all of which often happen very frequently at various blog comment sites). Gottman found that extremes in these categories reliably predict divorce (just as they reliably predict people ending their commenting at many online sites). Importantly: arguing itself did not occur as a factor in divorce. The “master” couples Gottman studied for over two decades had the common trait of arguing without falling into “The Four Horsemen” categories. Indeed, he noticed that some “master” couples argued about exactly the same issues 20 years after he first interviewed them!

Myth: Anger always causes trouble. Just as with all primary emotions, anger occurs as a signal with a message. It tells us when something has gone wrong and it prepares us to make it stop, to protect ourselves. We experience anger because in some contexts we need it. When infringement of our boundaries occurs, we get taken advantage of, and so forth, anger immediately organizes us to protect and assert ourselves to stop the intrusion. In this way, anger in and of itself helps us.

How we inappropriately respond to our anger leads to the myth that anger always causes trouble. If we get out of control in our anger, this does not help us. On the other hand, if we use our anger to assert our proper boundaries or to let others know when their behavior causes us harm, then we use our anger in helpful ways. People can learn to recognize their anger with each another and discuss it without attacking each other’s character. (Yes. Even people who comment at Nature Bats Last can learn how to do this.) A goal of removing anger from a relationship remains an impossible one. Often, just naming the anger as it happens (“I feel angry right now”) can help us contain it.

We need to keep in mind that our emotional processes occur as physical processes. Our body responds when defensiveness and tension rise in an argument. We need to slow down. If we can notice our bodily responses, this increases our awareness and helps us identify what we experience happening in the moment. If we can recognize our triggers and responses, we can begin to slow the process, stopping a “Four Horsemen” cycle before it takes over. Anger itself does not cause us trouble. On the other hand, our secondary, reactive, angry response to our own or others’ anger, fear, shame, or other primary emotion often does cause trouble.

Myth: I should show my strength, not my emotional vulnerability in my most important relationships. Typically, the emotional alarms that set off a cycle of secondary reactive emotions involve fears that we have lost, or will lose, something we need. This may involve the need for recognition, reassurance, or simply understanding. The underlying questions people have touch on basic questions of adequacy and value for others: “Am I lovable?” “Do they want me?” Taking time to acknowledge these underlying needs can stop a destructive “Four Horsemen” cycle and help us more effectively respond to a critical concern in our relationships.

Acknowledging our needs means opening ourselves in the most emotionally vulnerable ways. Safety and trust within a relationship make this possible; lack of safety and trust make such opening very unlikely. We need to keep in mind that our ability to focus on the other person, thus building safety and trust, has just as much importance as the content issue we face. Our willingness to listen deeply and to respond to the other person’s needs increases the emotional security in your relationship. Often what we need most in difficult times involves knowing that another person hears us, cares about how we feel, and cares about what we have to say: empathic listening. We can ask about the other person’s needs. Showing our availability and responsiveness can open the door to others’ vulnerability. People sharing their vulnerabilities builds relationship bonds. Not sharing vulnerabilities maintains walls of anxious disconnection and alienation.

Myth: People don’t need emotional attachments to others. Actually, the first and foremost instinct of humans involves neither sex nor aggression, but to seek contact and comforting connection. John Bowlby proposed that we find ourselves designed to love a few precious others who will hold and protect us through life’s difficulties. This works as nature’s plan for the survival of our species. Sex may impel us to mate, but love assures our existence after birth. We do not learn this drive to bond; it occurs innately, and without those attachment bonds we die. Adult love works as an attachment bond, just like the one between a mother and child. Our need to depend on at least one precious other, to know that when we “call” we will find them there for us, never dissolves. It endures, as Bowlby put it, “from cradle to grave.” As an adult, we just transfer that need from our primary caregiver to our partner. Emotional dependency does not occur in an immature or pathological way; it occurs carrying with it great survival value and strength.


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

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


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, Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Avenue, 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.


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

  • .
    So, The Solution is for 90% of Earth’s people to die, soon. But, before they go, they must help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization. And, then, the survivors must live in harmony with Nature: plant no crops, build no cities. Eat only that which falls from the trees, kill nothing. Sleep on the ground, drink from the river.

    I would willingly join the effort to implement The Solution – if you want to use my body as a sandbag on a nuclear plant, I volunteer.

  • Oh Sweet Jesus, it’s Bud Nye with more clinical psychology woo!

    Bud’s title is backwards; it should read; “The Myths of Clinical Psychology.”

    Bud Baby, life is short & getting shorter by the day, & you want to piss away our limited time left with your dense hokum?

    Have you any respect or basic empathy for your fellow man, as we all descend into heat death?

    Long suffering sorcerer, John Gottman, is a “trained clinical psychologist,” who suffers from severe brain damage caused by a lifetime in the suffocating swamp of psychological woo

    Gottman also practices fundamentalist Talmudic Judaism.

    Who would listen to sorcerer Gottman, if he were an avowed fundamentalist Bible thumping Christian or a fundamentalist Muslim?

    Gottman is a genuine “terrorist” in drag.

    John unabashedly sells his “The Art & Science of Love” workshoppes designed to train more extortionist therapists committed to causing brain damage in innocent fee paying bewildered pilgrims.

    You can belly up to John’s psychology bar, & get a weekend of woo for only $750.

    Then you can “heal” couples of their anger, emotional foolishness, misdirection, selfishness, back biting, & pestilence, etc.

    Although trained to heal all wounds, these therapist/healers won’t be able to heal anybody from the compound interest slavery that is a primary variable in the paying pilgrims suffering, anger, & frustration.

    Paul Eckman is another “darling” clinical psychologist sorcerer known for studying emotions & facial expressions.

    Sorcerer Paul tried (he may have succeeded?)to market his woo/sorcery as a tool for airport screening for “terrorists;” as in panty bombers, mad dog twisted humans, & suicidal/homicidal Islamists hell bent on harming innocent Mericans for no good reason, etc.

    Former homeland security boss, lawyerfish, & Israeli citizen; Michael Chertoff controls the lucrative airport screening market, so it’s really up to well connected Michael Chertoff as to what “constitutes” a terrorist face/facade/fraud.

    Big dog of the academic status game, prestigious Stanford U, totally abandoned clinical psy as UNscientific woo about 20 years ago.

    The faculty Senate demanded proof from the professed therapy marketing clinicians that they could help anybody about anything.

    The old proof with evidence game w/o mystifying relativism.

    When the pompous clinicians couldn’t demonstrate/prove anything with their mystical woo & fee generating double-talk, they were summarily drummed out of the academic game.

    from the Psychology Dept home page at Stanford;
    “We do not offer programs in Clinical, Counseling, Industrial, Organizational, or Para Psychology.”

  • 10 Careers With the Most Psychopaths

    1. CEO (especially in Oil-Qaeda)
    2. Lawyer (especially pro-torture lawyers)
    3. Media (television/radio) (especially presstitute warmongers)
    4. Salesperson (especially drug salepersons in Oil-Qaeda)
    5. Surgeon (especially ones with itch fingers)
    6. Journalist (especially presstitutes and warmongers)
    7. Police officer
    8. Clergy
    9. Chef
    10. Civil servants (especially those who help destroy the Earth)

    (10 Careers With the Most Psychopaths).

    Remember, you can’t destroy an ecosystem and bring extinction to humanity without expert psychopaths helping out.

  • Gerald,

    So, if I understand your 100% ad hominem, character attacking comment correctly, for you, how we relate emotionally to one another in our relationships during our few remaining days has little or no importance. Indeed, such concerns have negative value in that you wish to do your best to maximize the negative emotional responses among others around you—certainly including those who read and comment here at NBL. Okay. You have a right to have and to express your opinions, even if blatantly, socially destructive, and even if they rise to a level no higher than childish, abusive character attacks on me and hundreds of psychologists and neuroscientists throughout history. Meanwhile, your comment serves as an excellent example of (1) a highly defensive, secondary, reactive emotional response almost certainly completely out of touch with the underlying primary emotions, and (2) how NOT to promote love and encourage mutually supportive friendships during our collapse toward NTHE. As I wrote “This avoidance often occurs through many different kinds of defensive, distraction, and intellectualizing processes.”

    I wish you a good life, Gerald, as you do your best to cause others to have their worst possible lives during our death and dying processes. (But something tells me that, far more likely than not, you live for the most part in great emotional and relationship pain.) Regarding all of this, I do wonder: why do you not as viciously attack Guy’s character regarding his “woo-woo”, emotion-focused, “only love remains” theme as you do mine and thousands of psychology-related scientists’? I do not pose this as a rhetorical question. I, and I expect many other readers here as well, would greatly appreciate a thought-filled response to this question.

  • .
    Maybe we should invite Gerald to dinner…
    When was the last time Spiritual leaders attempted to emulate behavior of their Savior? How often do they try to actively minister to racists, child molesters, and drug dealers? Some do, certainly, but in most cases sitting down to have a friendly meal with such people would cause a scandal in their communities. Imagine if a registered child molester moved into a neighborhood and they visited to have dinner with him — or invited him to their own house for dinner. It’s hard to think of something like that happening, isn’t it?
    First there has to be remembering
    then forgiving
    and then healing
    Yes, there is no point in discussing survival much less planning for it – we are toast.

    Still, I wish the survivalists (from the right wing anti-government militia types to the left-wing hippie types) would embrace the true core issue: Civilization killed us! Dismantle Everything! Tear it all down!
    Plant no crops, build no cities. Roam the Earth as wild animals – eat only what falls from the trees, kill nothing. Sleep on the ground, bathe in the river, and run naked through the forest.

    My soul aches.

    Just sittin’ 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.

  • Here is a thought filled response with a powerful visual.

    Two sinister careerist psychopaths gleefully guffawing as they advocate the preemptive murder of innocent Iranians.

    Since both are trained elitist establishment lawyerfishes at the top of the Merican power pyramid, we must consider that they both are on retainer to Israel & Israel’s Oded Yinon Plan.

    Israel’s Oded Yinon Plan is designed to steal all of the original land between the Nile & the Euphrates Rivers for the ultimate triumph of the land stealing expansionist state of Zionist Israel.

    As Israeli lawyerfish & mainstream Israeli politician, Tzipi Livni, says about the genocide of the caged indigenous Palestinian People;

    “We have to get rid of them.”

    Hillarious’s diabolical murdering laugh tells it all, & it sure isn’t filled with the art of love;

  • I hold no special degrees in the field, but the School of Life has demonstrated that our emotions are as much a part of us as our instincts, intuition and intellect, often in intermingled and sometimes opposing ways. Their value is to inform us. If they mindlessly rule, it often leads to trouble. And in the center of the storm, and also outside it, sits the ever-present witness.

  • **Maybe we should invite Gerald to dinner…
    When was the last time Spiritual leaders attempted to emulate behavior of their Savior? How often do they try to actively minister to racists, child molesters, and drug dealers?**

    Nice compliment to the Bud Ney strawman ruze — guilt by association – certainly if GS disagrees with Bud, he must be in league with racists, child molesters, and drug dealers? Bud has taught you well.

    Bud, which part of Geralds post do you consider “vicious”? And why would you consider criticism of psychology as “a vicious attack”

  • “And in the center of the storm, and also outside it, sits the ever-present witness.”

    The Witness (sakshi): the Consciousness (chaitanya), the Void (sunyata), the Boundless Void (ain sof). Infinitude inclusive of but unconstrained by the mirage of all individual identities.

    “Maybe we should invite Gerald to dinner…”

    Brilliant idea!

    The Core Emotional Systems of the Mammalian Brain

  • The Titanic is sinking.
    Bud Nye is trying to get everyone to sing Kumbaya in harmonic rounds.
    Gerald is ranting about the lyrics and how over-emotional everyone seems.
    Pat is already treading water and holding a sign that says ‘the end is here’.
    Lydia is examining the health of the barnacles on the side of the ship.
    Mo is offering hits of dopamine and serotonin to everyone.
    Paul and Mike K. are leading an advanced tai-chi long form class on deck 2.
    And I’m in the kitchen with the tombstone blues.

    From wikipedia:
    “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”
    To whom it may concern:

  • My emotional circuits got severely overloaded, and then burned-out many years ago. Living in an industrial empire in which justice, compassion, respect and intelligence (to name just a few) are looked down on had a lot to do with it.

    Meanwhile, in the real world:

    Little precipitation fell from the Rockies westward to the Pacific Coast last week. Overall, there was little change in conditions except along the northern tier of states from Montana westward through Washington and Oregon. Continued dryness and exceptionally hot weather kept dryness and drought increasing most significantly across eastern Washington, central and northern Idaho, and western Montana. The entire state of Washington is now covered by D0 conditions or worse, and D2 was pulled northward along the Oregon coastline, and expanded across a large part of central Idaho and adjacent Montana. These areas recorded generally 6 to 12 inches less precipitation than normal in the last 6 months, and less than half of normal amounts in the last 60 days. In contrast, recent heavy precipitation in west New Mexico and adjacent northeast Arizona led to additional improvements in these areas despite the dry week.

  • good stuff Bud, I try to not feel stuff, I try to believe in nothing, but fail at most. The list of myths caught my eye. great work, i usually just ignore this kind of stuff. i have 2 feelings, one good, the other not. i’m pretty shallow that way.

    About NBL

    In this article link, you’ll come to understand Guy McPherson more. it describes how scientists are paid to shut up and be conservative. Well, now that Guy is not paid, he can finally shoot straight and tell it like he sees it. Congratulations Guy, must be liberating, sorry about the rest but, I for one am glad you made that decision. myself, i would toot my own horn if i were you, but i’m a bit of a blow hard that way for sure.

    Climate is only one of three massive tidal waves zeroing in on the shores of extinction, while floating underwater down the slope of that wave you may feel panic with just a hint of relief it’s all over because long before the seas and temperatures rise, civilization will collapse. Civilization will not collapse because of climate change, we will collapse from food and water shortages within 10 years or so, climate change is just the bubble’s pin prick that advances the start of the inevitable. We can’t be greedy, selfish pigs forever inconsequentially. Collapse is a long and painful death for you in the briefest blink of Gaia’s eye. Good luck staring at those belly buttons.

  • Pat,

    You wrote: “Maybe WE should invite Gerald to dinner”. Firstly, who is WE? Do you send invitations for others on this blog? If so, some are already ‘out to lunch’ .

    Your positions are somewhat problematic for me. ::::
    “There is no point in discussing survival much less planning for it – we are toast.” ……….
    Well, there is a point. Otherwise, why would you write to the flock?

    “Civilization killed us!”…. Really, if it wasn’t for oil you would not exist. So in fact civilization created you, not killed you.

    “Dismantle Everything! Tear it all down!” … Does that include dismantling your computer? In your case that might be a good idea.

    “Plant no crops” ….. MMMmmm! What have you been eating lately, Weed?

    “Roam the Earth as wild animals”…. Nothing new there, We’ve been doing that ever since we left our forested abodes. Where have you been?

    “Eat only what falls from the trees, kill nothing. Sleep on the ground, bathe in the river, and run naked through the forest.” ……
    Without bees, nothing will fall from the trees. Everything we eat has lived or is living. What’s on your menu these days? There may be no rivers soon, which will make bathing somewhat of a challenge, and if I want to scare all that lives, I will gladly run naked in the forest.

    “My soul aches.”….. I can vouch for that… Looks like we’re in the same book on that one.

    “Thou shalt not procreate.”…… Good thing your parents didn’t read that book.

    “Save the planet, kill yourself.”….. Sound advice for some maybe, but I doubt you would have a lot of followers on that advice.

    On the other hand, if by chance we humans make it through until the next decade or two, there are encouraging technological developments on the horizon, providing they are genuine, that would literally knock your socks off… Well! not yours because you don’t wear any.

    Who knows! There are worse scenarios… i.e., yours.

  • @Robert Callaghan, I want to echo your praise of Guy’s forthrightness in addressing our predicament. Telling the truth about the situation is the only thing that makes any sense. Lying about it isn’t going to change reality! That’s childish.

    I can’t understand how folks like Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, etc. can keep sprouting all this gibberish about getting back to 350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, or cutting CO2 emissions by quickly dismantling capitalism. It’s already too late. The only question now is just how quickly the end will come. I suspect Guy’s prediction won’t be too far off the mark. While I morn the loss of Earth’s other life forms, I don’t mind homo sapiens going extinct. However, I do dread all the suffering that will entail to humans and others as this horror show plays out.

  • Hi Lidia, Thanks for your reply a few days back. I have the greatest respect & admiration for Dr. Mc Pherson’s work collecing the research and passing it on in understandable terms. Today there is a report from NASA satellites about weakening magnetic field currents. Many things are happening in conjunction with climate change. Yet plain old pollution & radiation sort of strike my heart as I continue to feel connected to Sabine in her lovely garden. I miss Satish. I admire Ram & Cherfuka. I get a fun kick out of Mo. I personally would like to visit OGF next month when I go up to Alaska….but most of all this is the only place I ever dare to comment on any web site my view point from here inside the Dept of Energy. To some degree it is amazing what our highest sciences could acheive if we were on a better track long ago. Some of the inside info I post is because I think the proposals and funding them is crazy. But wow what daring dreams & complicated science goes into prospects that will collapase. I think I’m the only Washington D.C. administrator active on NBL. (Which forces the NSA to monitor me and pay more attention to the wise words from others here) Many know the dire data most keep putting energy into future grand plans. I guess “they” are worth sharing because they do have an element of creative amazement – EVOLUTION potential – but I do not approve of any of the most advanced “H+” at the cost of destroying any single thing. If only the science priorities included care first.

    DARPA is working with partners on a “Google Maps of genomes” tool-king, called DTA GView, which could be used in the future to engineer organisms that could then be used on a planet like Mars for turning it into a human-friendly destination.

    “This torrent of genomic data we’re now collecting is awesome, except they sit in databases, where they remain data, not knowledge. Very little genetic information we have is actionable,” deputy director of DARPA’s new Biological Technologies Office Alicia Jackson said on Monday at a biotech conference hosted by the agency. “With this, the goal is to, within a day, sequence and find where I can best engineer an organism.”

    Lidia – Satish & others know that I own a large amount of Epimedix Inc. Yes I am invested in the EPI-GENETICS sciences….but only for the reason of cures. Longevity. Applied Molecular Evolution with a deep wish for a much kinder gentler caring future world. Another planet where people who have learned from the mistakes of the horror of greed, & desecration. Sadly I understand that NTE will end all delusions of space, DNA evolution & species spirit progress. Only a lot of radiation will remain for certain. All my very best till from here till the end

  • Kindergarten food fight? I think Bud is onto something. Of course those who don’t care how they relate to others don’t care how they relate to others. Where’s Jesus when you need him??

    I was going to leave it at that, but seriously our only chance is to learn to share, be nice, don’t call each other names or hit each other, and learn to extend universal love to all Beings. It’s pretty simple really – stuff we should have learned in kindergarten.

  • pat ~ comment deleted. see Moderation Reminder: The New Two Post Rule in the previous thread….

    (or see it right here: as noted previously, all posts in the current/main thread over two in one day (as marked by the timestamps on these comments) will be deleted, with no exceptions. all overflow posts must go in a previous thread).

  • Mark – Isn’t it interesting how our society has created an infinite pool of folks eager and willing to spy on their neighbors, build weapons of mass destruction, work in torture sites, be drone jockeys, sadistic prison guards or cops, professional liars ( huge PR industry or media propagandists, chemical workers poisoning the planet, farmers killing the precious topsoil, scientists developing ways to kill and enslave millions, killers willing to go to foreign lands and murder anybody in range, the list just goes on and on. Hasn’t anyone here heard the Buddha’s call to practice right livelihood? Don’t they know the stuff they are doing is evil and contributing to destroying all life on this planet? I guess nobody ever told them that, and they are incapable of figuring it out for themselves. And that’s why we are living in 1984 – only worse, much worse.

  • mike,

    When the Buddha was teaching the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, there were less than 100 million people in the world. It’s a lot easier to feel kindness towards your fellow man when he’s not stepping on your toes all the time. Now there are 70 times that many of us. The lack of kindness – the aggression, selfishness and contempt – seem to be dysfunctional attempts to preserve some shreds of privacy and self-differentiation in a world that has all but eradicated that possibility. It’s the shadow side of boundary-setting.

    Now fuck off and leave me alone! 😉

  • Paul’s right. Put too many rats in a cage and they’ll fight. Humans aren’t as far removed from rats as some would like to think. In a lot of ways we’re worse.

    As to Buddhists dealing with the pressures of today’s world, one need look no further than Tibet where countless Buddhist monks and nuns have chosen self-immolation over living under Chinese oppression and cultural genocide. Memo to Gerald Spezio — oppression isn’t limited to Israel. Every country/ethnicity has its ugly side. Unfortunately it’s going to get progressively uglier as events play out in the Endocene.

  • gerald, i enjoy your scathing critiques of ‘lawyerfishes’ and ‘woo’.

    ‘Plant no crops, build no cities. Roam the Earth as wild animals – eat only what falls from the trees, kill nothing. Sleep on the ground, bathe in the river, and run naked through the forest.

    My soul aches.

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window…’

    pat, i know it’s cold consolation, but i’m with u, bro. too bad it will take the collapse of civilization to create the conditions whereby any human survivors shall be able to live an ‘idyllic’ life of untamed ‘freedom’ (constrained only by nature’s iron laws/whims, not by artificial laws ), by which time it shall be highly unlikely that u or i shall survive. in the meantime, it is ‘soul’ death to have to live a domesticated life of dependency, subjection, despair, and resignation (sigh), made exponentially more difficult by social alienation and isolation. perhaps the best we can do is try to arrange our trip to make it’s scenery as pleasant as possible, prior to the final destination. and keep our minds/psyches engaged along the way, facilitated by blogs like this one.

    ‘We can’t be greedy, selfish pigs forever inconsequentially.’

    ain’t that the sad and bitter truth, mr. robert callaghan, or rc.

    ‘Collapse is a long and painful death for you in the briefest blink of Gaia’s eye.’

    poetic, and likely true, unless one has the good fortune and fortitude to curtail personal suffering by timely suicide.

  • 6-25-2015 Thursday

    I do have other peeves. Most people focus on my comments about racism but the above is a story that really bugs me mainly because Mr. Guru, Paul Craig Roberts, is a denier of the facts re: Pinochet & Argentina. He admitted it in a comment exchange with me because I said something that released venom in Mr. Roberts and thus exposed his extreme lack of knowledge, or, wanton, purposeful, lack of honor and integrity. This is why I detest politicians as well as racism. They are , of course, tied together, so I guess you could say I’m a one issue person. It is probably enough that Mr Roberts still deems Ronald Raygun an intelligent, honorable and perfect leader, for the people. But it shows the real character of the man to deny the suffering and death that occurred in Santiago, Estadio Nacional, because of the USA and the puppet Pinochet and that Pinochet was anything more than a despicable bastard. These are indisputable FACTS.
    The story is wrenching. It was told to me by a Carmelite Nun, Megan McKenna. One of the few individuals in this entire world that follows Christ, to the letter. NO deviation. A remarkable woman that introduced me to Liberation Theology.

    And this:

    Two hundred years ago, it is quite likely that Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African who managed to purchase his freedom and co-found the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, met in the relative safe space of that church to plan the slave rebellion that marked his entry into history.  Set for June 17, 1822, his audacious plan was to free as many Africans as possible, commandeer a ship from the Charleston Harbor and set sail for the free territory of Haiti, which had defeated Napoleon’s army and established itself as the first African republic on the planet. After Vesey was betrayed and his plot uncovered, local whites burned the church to the ground, only to be rebuilt again by the Africans of Charleston.
    In what can be seen as a metaphor for the African American experience in the U.S., almost two centuries later, Dylann Storm Roof, a militant white nationalist, stood up in the sacred space of Emanuel AME church on June 17, the anniversary of Vesey’s planned rebellion and unleashed a murderous attack on a small gathering of Black worshippers.

  • To Pat who took me off on a tangent.

    Saviours do not minister, they just are. Being somewhat of an anarchist at heart, I don’t know about spiritual “leaders”, but I do know about people who make changes in their lifestyle and environment that closely coincides with a change in their spirituality. And it is kind of a chicken and egg thing, which comes first, but for me it involved stopping (merely stopping) drinking and then reading The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer.

    There are these folks out and about called Catholic Workers who are often not either catholic or possibly not workers – or neither. Just another flavour of anarchists usually. Sorry to not mention others who also do this, I scribe what I have seen.

    Having supper with, drying dishes, breakfast, hell – actually living with homeless child molesters, racists, drug addicts and saints (there were a couple along the way). It’s not that big a deal. But it is.

    The time the mid-80’s in a state where the presidential candidates flocked and for our guests the vast majority and the ones we had longer term were chronic alcoholic Korean war vets and non-drinking mentally ill Vietnam war vets. (Rule of thumb – you can not mix the chronic alcoholics with mentally ill sucessfully in a dry house. Our house was wet once you went off of our property.)

    In three years I did not have to call the police once. The police did stop by semi-frequently to drop off people with no i.d., many from Central America. The war refugees never stayed with us more than 2 weeks, and were the only ones who weeks later would come by with meat to flavour our beans or out potato casseroles as thanks.

    That has been quite a long time ago, I changed gears along the way to live with the mentally challenged, 13 years, and now in my own crib things remain the same, and they are different. I evolved into a buddhist, but the things I read (past tense) of Hasidic rabbis Buber and Heschel (who walked with King to Selma) remain with me. Each day is a step in a spiritual path. And the true dawn is when we wake up and have enough light to see that “the other” is our sibling.

    And yes, for me it is enough to know how many spent nuclear fuel pools there are to know with certainty that there is no chance of our grandkids seeing their grandkids. All the other anthropogenic toxins are in a synergistic race to spark the most efficient of all fires of the most pyrophoric element (Ur) temporarily quenched in water. . . .

    Martha Hennessy come from a long line of CW’s and often times imprisoned Kathy K. is truly a saint. nice article at

  • Shep,
    You are correct about Pinochet. As an observer,it is amazing to me how the USA has treated the countries of South America,and has assumed the right to remove or destabilize governments there. Well,I was amazed at one time. I’m more cynical and resigned these days.

  • Pinochet was also great pals with that other psychopathic (‘There is no such thing as society’) fascist,margaret thatcher.

  • “Maybe we should invite Gerald to dinner”

    I’m talking for myself here and yes, I would invite you to dinner Gerald. I like a bit of a rant and agree with you on calling the “Art “Science of Love” woo (a new word for me).
    It’s your opinion, not an ad hominem attack – it’s mine too.
    I find most things humans get up to now utterly absurd (insane). You rant, I laugh. My sense of the absurd gives me no choice but to laugh. “Ranting” and laughing provides the perfect atmosphere for dinner party.
    Great idea Pat!

    Bud, you need this, I know and respect that but it’s not the only way of coping/accepting NTE. You know that too. We all have our own ways, and you don’t have the solution. There isn’t one because this is not about solutions. This is about coping with a conundrum – and you know that too.
    Some people will always find your “way” a good one, and some will find it risible, you know that I’m one of the latter.

    We’ve talked about this before so many times but you keep pushing your “balm” which will “heal” only certain people. This is your right but you still seem surprised when somebody doesn’t agree and call a different opinion an ad hominem attack. It’s not against you personally, it’s just not agreeing with what some people consider junk, that’s all. It just happens to be that you are pushing this point of view, not anybody else. Can you not see that?
    You should be used to this by now as you’ve had plenty of time here to develop a bit of a thicker skin.

    My advice is, get out there and connect with the non-human world while you still can. Or is that impossible? Are you aware of the pain out there or is that too overwhelming?
    Practice a bit of biocentrism instead of the usual anthropocentrism.
    You’ll be surprised how healing that can be.

  • James Hansen says 2 degrees C is bullshit. and that sea level rise will be 20 feet in 50 years. Peter Ward points out that our largest, most productive food growing areas would be swamped. Throw in a little drought, flooding, soil and fertilizer loss and presto! The crazy monkeys will lose their shit.

    When I try to advocate for a 100% private carbon tax, people think I’m whacked out on drugs, which I am, but this is James Hansen’s idea. I only think it should be in the form of a new world electronic currency. I know that even this action will not be enough in time, what amazes me is that we too chicken shit to even contemplate solutions that aren’t complete fantasy.

  • What the fuchk was I saying in my previous post? An equitable carbon tax dividend is a 100% complete fantasy, where’s my weed?

  • Hey Mark, are you involved in any DARPA program (grant) management? We have a proposal out for developing new technologies for host resilience. In any event, the deputy director needs to sell her program, but people in the field have known about the problem and have been working on making genomic data useable in different ways. The precision/personalised medicine meme is all about that. There have been some successes and even some therapeutics developed in clinical trials but with a lot of initial investment (Eric Schadt’s work comes to mind). In fact, back in the late 1990s, my mentor (who shared the Nobel in Chemistry in 2013) was funded by the DOE or DARPA (I forget) to look into engineering organisms for bioremediation purposes. Some of the infrastructure for the work I did with him was enabled by that grant.

    A while back, I had a discussion here about what humans could do as they become more desperate as they cross the different planetary boundaries ( Some of the things on the table are constructing biospheres to live terrestrially, underwater, or in space (we’ve not cracked this problem), and germ line genetic engineering of our offspring.

    All will be tried, and most will fail. But it’s the process that matters IMO. Regardless of NTHE, our life is finite and living is what matters.

  • Bob S. – thanks for your concern; i’d drive an hour to meet up with you for a beer and some conversation if you’re at all interested (you’d have to drive south for an hour). Guy can give you my e-mail address upon request. As far as i know, the only other person who occasionally comments here that lives ‘nearby’ is Gail @ Wit’s End in NJ. i’d love to meet and speak with her too, before the big crash in the fall.

    cuntageous, Sabine, david higham, Robert Callaghan, mrogness, shep, tvt, pat, mo, mike k, Paul, Mark Austin, Gerald, Dredd, Wren, Robin and kevin moore: thanks for your comments, they resonate with me.

    The Economic Collapse Blog Has Issued A RED ALERT For The Last Six Months Of 2015

    [quote, mirroring the ecological-reality]

    It is my contention that we are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that has been happening for many years, that is happening as you read this article, and that will greatly accelerate over the coming months.

  • **germ line genetic engineering of our offspring**

    Hmmmm… so in one room we have fat white guys smoking expensive cigars sitting around trying to figure out how to kill the most folks at one time — and two doors down are the fat white guys smoking expensive cigars trying to figure out how to build a *better* humans to replace the *inferior* riff-raff we kill.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Here, here…

    War is Peace.
    Slavery is Freedom.
    Man is woman.

  • Hey Mo,

    Anyway to make the type any bolder. Mine comes up so thin it looks lime green to this blind fool.

  • #2 and out:

    Just above, if you even got this far, is an article that needs to be read and understood. No more heads in the sand.

  • Tom,

    re: the economic collapse mirroring the ecological reality –

    Society is wholly dependent on the economy, and the economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ecology. Of course they’re all going down together.

  • .
    Today’s Installment of “Why We Need to Feel Bad All Over:”
    Beirut (AFP) – The Islamic State group on Thursday sold 42 Iraqi women it had abducted from the Yazidi religious minority to its fighters in eastern Syria, a monitor said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the women were being treated as “slaves” by the jihadists and were sold “for between $500 (447 euros) and $2,000 dollars (1,785 euros)”.

    The women were kidnapped last year in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq where IS had launched a wide offensive, the Britain-based monitor said.

    Earlier this month they were brought to the IS-held town of Mayadeen in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province.

    “Some were abducted with their children but we do not know their fate,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

    The Yazidis, a religious minority which lives mainly in Iraq’s Sinjar region, are neither Muslims nor Arabs and follow a unique faith. They are considered infidels by the jihadists.

    In 2014, the jihadists massacred Yazidis, forced tens of thousands of them to flee, captured thousands of girls and women as spoils of war and used them as sex slaves.

    The UN has said the atrocities committed against the small community may amount to genocide.

  • Bud, your “Individualistic” self serving psychology can be described as being invited to dinner by a well meaning breathairian; but. of course, there isn’t any food.

    Although they don’t have any “real” food, the breathairians sit at a table with plates. bowls, & utensils.

    They all talk about real food, as in a classic cargo cult.

    Archeologists never find psychologies or psychological ideas, but they find lots of kitchen middens – bones, bowls, water jugs, & utensils, etc.

    Just vulgar materialism to psychologists where all is mental?

    Most psychologists, cognitive anthropologists, & cognitive sociologists are still focused on the all causative ideas in peoples heads w/o ever asking how those asserted & all causative ideas got into their heads.

    “The Origin of Species” answered many critical questions, but the Origin(s) of all causative ideas remains the Great Mystery for cognitive idealists.

    If ideas cause everything, what causes the ideas?

    “The spontaneous generation of all causative ideas has reached the same know nothing stage as the spontaneous generation of maggots.”

    Some of what you type, such as we all need others as compatriots in our lives, is very reasonable, & who could possibly disagree?

    But the best of your deep “psychologizing” amounts to continually asserting that “cows eat grass.”

    What is deep & profound to you is NOT at all deep & profound to many others.

    In fact your repetitive mentalistic “assertions” are a real insult to my cultivated intelligence.

    See; FOLLIES OF THE WISE, by Fredrick Crews.

    You are very similar to the vociferous preacher, who continually asserts that Jesus really walked on water & salvation is right at hand, if only the unknowing sinners will grasp his profound message.

    The sincere preacher never considers that others, who are struggling along as best they can, do not want or need your Gottman “brand” of psychological subterfuges, personal escapism, & linguistic salvation(s).

    I consider John Gottman to be a complete poseur, charlatan & utter fool.

    The influence of Freud & Freudianism on 20th century culture with its twisted sex-bespattered nonsense has been a gigantic cultural catastrophe.

    The second law of thermodynamics is a profound message too, but many don’t even know it.

    I would wish that everyone, including the spiritually & psychologically inclined, accepted the “mandatory” message of the second law of thermo.

    In like fashion to you, I wonder why they miss such easily grasped profundity.

    I claim that the bewildered pilgrims are too consumed with themselves & their psychological problems & bewilderments.

    Werner Erhard, aka Jack Rosenbaum, took the culture’s narcissistic pulse, fabricated EST, & made millions by milking the culture’s rampant self centered narcissism.

    In short Bud, you are a very naive & superficial “psychologist.”

    You expose yourself by putting it in print.

    All your psychologizing blather is mostly pure wind.

    And maybe, just maybe, cows eat grass to get the idea of milk & yogurt.

    It won’t help any of us, when we are soon confronted with the material deprivations on the near horizon.

    I know Bud, there is always a mystical heaven in our minds.

  • To Guy and the whole gang here at NBL:

    My hut isn’t quite six feet across
    Surrounded by pine, bamboos, and mountains,
    An old monk hardly has room for himself
    Much less for a visiting cloud.

    – Shih-wu (1272-1352)

    Thanks for being part of the surroundings. [ie. existing at all]

  • Mo – I love the places your mind goes. I also love that there are some others commenting who are willing to step outside the scientific/materialist box. Don’t worry materialists, nobody is trying to take your truth away from you – we just want to explore the vastness beyond the boundaries you have set for yourselves.

    A free translation of sat-chit-ananda: Being Love Consciousness.
    Biblical equivalent: Be in that (loving) mind that was in Christ Jesus. In our deepest Reality we already always are That Supreme Loving Consciousness. In our unawareness we feel distant from That Reality. True spiritual Paths are the means to recover consciousness of who we really actually are, our authentic selves.

    ALL the problems we are facing are solvable with Unconditional Love. None of our problems can be solved without it. For God’s sake listen to this truth and find your own way to understand it and realize it in action – before it is too late.

  • @Mark and Ram, I can’t imagine anything more horrifying at this point than being involved in human-life-extension projects, attempting to make the cancer more cancerous. Is this really right livelihood? As we occupy 90-somthing percent of the biosphere, do you really feel that somehow that is still NOT ENOUGH!??? Gaaaaah!

    “All will be tried, and most will fail. But it’s the process that matters IMO. Regardless of NTHE, our life is finite and living is what matters.”

    The process of grasping? The process of denying death? While living is certainly about death-avoidance, is that the only thing worth doing?

  • @mike k at al,

    Speaking of stepping outside the materialist box, I find myself in a very interesting position as a result of my recent opening to the world outside that box.

    I spent most of my life (about 60 years all told) as a hard-core materialist. That part of my psyche is so deeply ingrained that I totally understand Gerald’s rants on the subject, and even share many of his judgments. However, that worldview draws on a personality type that I’m not all that comfortable with, because I adopted it from my parents.

    By that I mean that I overlaid my native psychological inclinations with those of their scientific materialist personalities – a style that I learned to emulate very early in my life. Given that I now understand that my core personality has a much different style, it’s no wonder that operating out of this learned persona has often left me feeling disconnected, alienated and conflicted.

    However, now I’m encouraging the intuitive, feeling-based style of my native personality to unfold. Needless to say this feels very liberating, and gives me a way of seeing the world that has a sense of inherent rightness to it. Dependent origination, consciousness being the only thing that “really” exists, the truth of synchronicity rather than coincidence, and the realization that “I” do not exist – all those ideas arise within this worldview.

    On the other hand, my materialist tendencies feel similarly natural. My investigations into the thermodynamic foundations of collective human behaviour; the idea that consciousness as most people think of it (and consequently free will) doesn’t exist at all, but is simply an artifact of human neurological structure; the idea that human belief systems are more explanatory and accommodation devices that arise from our behaviour more than they guide it, as per Harris’ Cultural Materialism – all those materialist ideas still have a strong sense of rightness to me.

    while I’m no longer personally conflicted about holding both points of view, there is the residual question of how these two worldviews (I think of them in terms of hemispheric tendencies) will dance together over the long run. Their rapprochement will take time, deeper understanding and compassion. I’m just relieved that I no longer feel compelled to make Sophie’s Choice about these sibling perspectives.

  • Lidia: Right livelihood, hmmm, yes.
    Came across this place decades ago. Used to use it with my students as a “talking point”. Used to drive the religious ones up the wall when we discussed where the soul might be during the body’s, erm, “hibernation?”.
    Last time I did any reading about it they had two “plans”: the regular full body plan and the brain only plan. An article I read at the time said that they were having some problems with the brain only plan, after long periods of cryo-suspension the brains were cracking.
    Ever looked at a steak that has been too long in the freezer?

    Alcor Life Extension Foundation:

    And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. (T.S. Eliot)

  • I’d agree with one poster here to look to nature for help. For simplification I sometimes use the term landscape–earth, sea, sky–instead of nature. Sometimes just the term land is enough. If I consider that the land is alive (and is, in some way, the foundation for human life) then I try to feel what it feels. (I know it wouldn’t have human feelings, but still it would respond differently, and be sensitive, to kindly or to cruel treatment…and refusal to understand that would be a serious failing, IMO.) If the wellbeing of the land becomes our guide, there then is less space for many of the human conflicts that now consume 99% of our attention. It’s not about us; it’s about the land. And if we take that seriously, we’ll do what we must to work together to protect the land. Some societies do that better than others. So how do we come to a planetary consensus on how to put the feelings of the land first? Rhetorical question though that might seem.

  • shep ~

    all browsers have a zoom function. zoom in is (probably) Ctrl + on windows. Command + on mac. then Ctrl (minus key) to zoom out, and Ctrl 0 to reset to defaults. we are looking at a NBL website redesign at some point soon, and making the default font size larger/clearer is one thing to look at. the current default font appearance has always somewhat bugged me, too.

  • Pat, Your post says a lot. Like you, I wonder how the human spirit can sink so low. How can men actually think of themselves as men, actually think period, when they wake up every day feeling that females are actually so different that they must be subservient to their manhood. If TV didn’t exist, I would be unaware of Jihadists, of Muslim fundamentalists, and the rest of the bunch. I just don’t get it. Is religious ideology so strong that it defies any semblance of what I perceive to be our humanity?

    The subservient attitudes towards females boggles my mind, although beheadings, a condition which I thought may have existed a few billion years ago, also comes close to obscuring any thought that humans are indeed deserving of decency. When the penalty for not believing in Mohammed as a Muslim is death, is it any wonder that the fastest growing religion is Islam? Public lashings, dismemberments, honor killings and stoning for infidelity leaves one to believe that humankind is indeed a species that does not deserve to exist.

    Just thought I would reinforce your statements as I too find these conditions unworthy of humanity, yet there they are, very well alive in this 21st century, an era in which humanity has supposedly emerged from dark ages. If it is possible to save our butts, would it be racist to leave out a chosen few?

  • When we discover and follow all the dark threads that spell doom for human culture, there comes a point where we have painted ourselves into a corner into which light if it existed would have no chance to penetrate. From there we have quit looking for a way out – our hopelessness has become a refuge. If an Angel of Light approached us promising a formula of deliverance we would tell it roughly to get the hell out and quit tormenting us. Hopelessness is our only safety now from the torments of what if? We are the lonely custodians of an ultimate fundamentalism of doom, from which all questions and uncertainties are banned. We have died before we have died. Our shroud is self-woven, our tomb built block by carefully laid block, our reasoning is flawless and permanent. Now there is only the waiting for death.

    Ram S – Maybe DARPA should do a study to determine if intellectuals and scientists are insane, and prostituting their services to projects that are destroying our world? Ooops – I forgot, that is DARPA’s mission.

  • @mike : “ALL the problems we are facing are solvable with Unconditional Love. None of our problems can be solved without it.”

    Mike, none of our material problems can be “solved” AT ALL, love or no love. That is the message of this blog, if I am not mistaken.

    *MAYbe* you can resolve your own personal psychological issues by pursuing whatever intangible concepts you prefer, but.. the planet and the universe do not really care.

    You wrote to me about being “negative”. If you are needy, then the description of an uncaring universe may seem like a personal attack. If, like me, you don’t have particular expectations in that arena, then this is not a negative message: it’s just neutral. Realism only = negativity if you are invested in a world different from the one in which we actually live.

    @Woodwose, nice quote!
    Yeah, freezer burn would be the least of your problems, really. I just assumed at some point the corporate dudes would get sick of paying the electric bill, and dump the “clients” out back of the shed…

  • @Jean Turcot: “Public lashings, dismemberments, honor killings and stoning for infidelity leaves one to believe that humankind is indeed a species that does not deserve to exist.”

    And you’re the one who want humans to reproduce like rabbits?!? The more resources are depleted through overpopulation, the greater the atrocities and hardships will entail. To bring a child into the world now, when there are only a few years left, with much suffering in store, it simply unconscionable.

  • Near-term extinction and ‘how to avoid it’:

    Episode 775

  • Lidia said -Realism only = negativity if you are invested in a world different from the one in which we actually live.

    This reminds me of something I once heard Kunstler say – He described himself as an “actualist” -someone who responds to the world as it actually is.

  • mike k ~

    we have a cat, or 7.2 billion cats, who have each walked behind the washing machine.

    they walk into the narrow, dark pathway, curious, and keep going.

    some cats, seemingly only able to walk forwards, say “hey, this must be thermodynamics at work! I can only move forwards. it is some kind of Law of Nature. now I’m stuck. well, that’s just dandy. what an uncaring universe.”

    sometimes the cat just wanders in, deeper into the corner, thinking “hey, I’m only following my cat nature. any cat would do exactly the same thing.”

    some cats live at the very deepest end of the dark path, and survive by eating all the other cats who have walked in. these very dark cats are the most stuck of all, but they always encourage new explorers, “hey, it’s really nice down here! come on in. and if you don’t come down here, bad things will surely happen to you.”

    a very few cats see the dark path, and before even entering, say “no way am I following the rest of you guys. that path is bad news.”

    sometimes a well-intentioned being will reach behind the washing machine, to try and extricate a cat. strangely, that being will frequently end up with a shredded and bloody hand, and no cat.

    sometimes, a stuck cat who was fighting back that invading hand will eventually get exhausted, and let himself be dragged out.

    other times, a cat will start meditating, and somehow the otherwise unrealized concept of walking backwards will dawn in the cat’s mind.

    sometimes it then takes a while to trust this new idea, and actually walk backwards.

  • Mr. Ram Samudrala. I’m impressed by you well written proposal. I am interested. I will contact you privately next week. Per the link you provided I am familiar with both Sarah Cornell & Johan Rockstrom.

    All our Depts are Inter connected to many projects. My specific project is Nuclear safety. We are always hiring the best talent.

    If the electric power grid fails for an extended period because of a natural or manmade electromagnetic pulse (EMP)-or from other threats such as physical or cyber attacks, the nation’s nuclear power plants are both A serious additional hazard to all Americans if not protected.

    Over the past couple of years, I have written often about how well-justified programs to defend America from Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) attacks have ignored such existential threats as:

    Our total vulnerability to attacks from North Korea or Iran via satellite-borne nuclear weapon carried over the South Polar regions to create an EMP over the entire United States.
    Our serious vulnerability to ballistic missile attacks from off our coasts (particularly from the Gulf of Mexico) by North Korea, Iran or even terrorists to create an EMP over the entire United States.

    Any such ballistic missile attack would no doubt be coordinated with advance physical and cyber attacks. Any and all these attack strategies-each alone and certainly in combination-could take down our currently unprotected electric power grid for an indefinite period of time. As often reported, the societal chaos from the consequent loss of electricity would lead to the death of most Americans within a year.

    The Threat to the Electric Grid Is Real!

    Just consider the reality of this combination of existential threats:

    Following the terrorist takedown of the Metcalf Substation near San Jose, California, former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff a year ago reported that concurrent physical attacks on only nine key substations could cause the loss of the entire grid for eighteen months.
    Admiral Michael Rogers, the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) testified last November before the House Intelligence Committee that he expects a major attack on the U.S. power grid by China and/or others-and that we are unprepared to deal with it.
    China has long conspired with North Korea and Iran-so to imagine that such a conjunction exists to threaten us is not a great leap. Indeed, North Korea executed such a widely reported attack on Sony to which President Obama promised a “proportional response”-lost in the noise of other unfolding foreign policy failures, particularly in the Middle East. What would be the proportional response if North Korea or its oft-partner Iran took down our entire grid with a combination of physical and cyber attacks? The Cylance Report referenced in my December 8, 2014 message, noted that Iran in the “New China” in terms of significant cyber warfare capability.
    Whatever deterrent value is given to the role of our ability to retaliate with nuclear weapons following such attacks, consider that Iran may not be deterred, given the Mullahs’ ideological predilections regarding destroying the Great Satan America as an “end-times” hastening of the return of the Mahdi. And terrorists, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have demonstrated that they are willing to commit suicide just to kill a few of their enemies in the Middle East-what if they had a real chance of killing millions of Americans? The FBI Director reported they are currently watching ISIS developments in all our states except Alaska.

    I work with Ambassador Henry Cooper for International Corporate funding mixed with National Security funds.

    TOM – Thank you. I also understand Bob S. point of view.

    MIKE K. always appreciate you since we were friends on Satish web site. My heart goes out to PAT for being willing to get on the sand bag frontline to stop nuclear meltdowns. PAT You are one of the many reasons the universe might be more than a cold dark nothing. A form of “spirit” does exist in the realm of quantum physics. Being like Robin Datta or MO FLOW is sure a nice way to go since we each choose our feelings. Thank You Bud Nye because each of us has a bit to express in this vast cosmos. UNCONDITIONAL love for our little blue dot in space would have avoided all this mess in the first place.

  • Lidia: to answer your question directly, I think people who desire to live longer are not content with their lives. I myself could die any moment and I’d die happy and I’ve been this way (extremely content) definitively for the last decade at least and was generally content even before that. I however want to be as healthy as possible until I die—I dislike physical discomfort that is not of my own choosing and if I can figure out a way to avoid it, I almost generally will. In case there’s been a misunderstanding, I am not working directly on anything that is related to human life extension (though our work is so basic it applies to a lot of biology and biotechnology) even though I’ve been approached by such companies to consult for them (a long time ago).

    I wasn’t making a judgement call with my comments – I was making a prediction. I said it will be tried, not it should be. My view is that people will be so desperate they they will try everything and anything to personally survive and even more than that, the survival of their children and grandchildren (which is what germ line genetic engineering is about). DARPA’s call was genetic engineering for terraforming purposes which is related to this idea. I also think from an evolutionary perspective, it’s inevitable, just as random tangential forks that lead to complex multicellular life as a result of bacterial evolution is inevitable (the latter is Gould’s argument, which I generally agree with).

    As far as judgement, there’s a reason we ourselves do only simulation instead of wet work. My passion is learning. I want to be able to model it all (yes, every atom, every quanta), but specifically biological systems at the atomic level. Working on this problem makes me happy, and that’s what matters: the process of doing something you love. To the extent I’m interested and involved in any application, which I am primarily as a means of falsifying our models, it is about quality of life (not just human life, and not even just biotic life (hey Dredd!)), not quantity. Aside from those parametres, how our work is used is up to our collaborators. I’ve said as much here before.

    Having said all that, I don’t support this whole “let’s treat aging as a disease” meme that has been making the rounds, or ego driven science, which there is a lot of. But we’ve already established humanity in general is not wise. The thing about germ line genetic engineering (which I don’t advocate being tried either, but I’m saying will be tried for various reasons, including desperation) is that eventually it will lead to the extinction of H. sapiens also, which is as it should be, since nothing lasts forever. But people will do it to “save the children.” I can understand that. The poster imagining old white men smoking cigars and making plans is apt here.

    Mike K. There’s a quote attributed to Ambrose Bierce: “All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.” (Or an “intellectual” or a “scientist”, take your pick.) The die was cast before I was born (Limits to Growth was published in that year). Furthermore, DARPA’s hand is in a lot of things that most people utilise, including the creation of the Internet (at least its precursor). It’s an interconnected world.


  • So I watched all four days for at least a portion of the U.S. Open golf tournament. It was set a little more than half way through the month of June in Washington state, and the course was covered in non-green grass. I thought Washington, just like my adjoining B.C., gets a lot of rain in the spring to keep the grass green. But no, the course was yellow mostly dead grass.

    Now insiders know the yellow grass in Washington state in mid June isn’t normal. And this shift from normal is a manifestation of climate change, with the northern jet stream losing some west to east energy playing a big role in this case.

    But not once did any announcer or local official say, “the lack of green here is not what we knew 6 or 7 years ago.” Such a statement says, “This might be due to climate change.” Possibly something main-stream media, owned by the ultra rich, might like you to not say.

    For me, in southern B.C., a heat and a dryness has arrived that is profoundly different than we used to get in Spring. Spring meant a lot of rain, water that would seep into the ground, and would later be used by them to get through the dry summer. I feel sorry for the wild plants in my territory that are going to start to struggle when the soil deep down starts to dry out. And of course there are many wild animals that will suffer due to the dryness.

  • “In our deepest Reality we already always are That Supreme Loving Consciousness.”

    Neither a “That” nor a “This”: unconstrained in spacetime. Not “Supreme”, since there is no “other” to be non-Supreme. No “Love”, since there is no “other”to love. However, YMMV.

    “True spiritual Paths are the means to recover consciousness of who we really actually are”

    Consciousness is not subject to recovery or otherwise. Sunshine does not quit when the window is closed.

    “For God’s sake listen to this truth”

    There ain’t any “God”.

    “Dependent origination, consciousness being the only thing that “really” exists, the truth of synchronicity rather than coincidence, and the realization that “I” do not exist – all those ideas arise within this worldview.”

    – Purusa

    “On the other hand, my materialist tendencies feel similarly natural.”

    – Prakriti

    “I’m no longer personally conflicted about holding both points of view”

    – Purusa & Prakriti

    “where the soul might be during the body’s, erm, “hibernation?””

    There ain’t any soul.

    “arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”

    Eternally new, yet eternally primordial.

    “although beheadings, a condition which I thought may have existed a few billion years ago”

    Development of a head was preceded by multicellularity, about 600 million years ago. The next stage was Bilateria, with bilateral symmetry, and a preference for locomotory advancement is one direction. Thereafter, gustatory, olfactory, auditory and visual organs located in the vicinity of the advancing end, as was the intake of the dicestive tract. Even specialised tactile organs such as antennae and vibrissae developed there.

    Prior to these developments, there was no head and no beheadings.

    “our hopelessness has become a refuge”

    Hoplessness is a characteristic of those who hawe taken the three refuges. It is not to be confused with despair.

    The refuges:
    First: Buddha = Purusa
    Second: Dharma = Purusa + Prakriti
    Third: Sangha = Prakriti

    “Now there is only the waiting for death.”

    As in waiting for one’s next breath.

  • Dear Lidia, I wish you the best health and medical care as I did read about your treatment process last month. Some scientists who come from a medical background truly have their hearts involved with helping people. Finding cures or at least reducing pain. I LOVE plants, animals, coral reefs, arts…even dumb TV talent shows for a laugh. – yet – On a global scale too much of life is a horror show. Personally I’m all for a planet with a very small population of kind people. Kindness is much more important than any scientific mind. I was a volunteer park ranger in a Costa Rica rainforest where the monkeys were smarter than myself. And the down to Earth Tico people were about as nice as it gets.

    RAM – said it much better than myself. “I myself could die any moment and I’d die happy and I’ve been this way (extremely content) definitively for the last decade at least and was generally content even before that. I however want to be as healthy as possible until I die.” ALSO; “My passion is learning. I want to be able to model it all (yes, every atom, every quanta), but specifically biological systems at the atomic level. Working on this problem makes me happy, and that’s what matters: the process of doing something you love….. ME 22222

    My heart goes out to PAT for being willing to be a sand bag to stop nuclear meltdowns. PAT You are one of the many reasons the universe might be more than a cold dark nothing. A form of “spirit” does exist in the realm of quantum physics. We now very little about what is across our own galaxy. Nor can we look inside every grain of sand. Way to much to ever know or see on macro or micro scales.

    Just for fun in all of infinity I’d sure spend one time spectrum with MO FLOW on some Mount Shasta stream. Like Satish once taught all of human development involved a collection of collective stories we digest. Even science data tells us a story. Math is a language. Fractals & facts forever evolving. Maybe there is a lesson in our big mistakes.

  • Cuntageous, You wrote that I am the guy who believes that we humans should reproduce like rabbits…. MMMmmmm? I never wrote ‘rabbits’, but ‘hares’ might fit, like krill maybe, except of course bros who like to behead people… which you apparently also quoted but failed to comment on… Gee,, what a surprise!

    If by the way you feel so strongly that there are too many of us, as I suggested many times on this blog, you can always “Be the change you want to see in the world”, but then you wouldn’t see it would you?

    What do you think of homelessness and/or malnutrition Contageous? Strange question eh ? Please indulge my curiosity….

  • Andrew…..
    I also live in the southern interior of BC. I can only agree with you on all that you felt about the temperatures. I’ve been living here for about 30 years, and have never felt anything like the weather in the last few days, 40 degrees C. which is predicted to continue for at least 10 days…. It’s about as worrisome as any I’ve ever encountered. Without A/C the heat is absolutely unbearable. There is actually a tennis tournament that will be played in the next week here…. I just can’t imagine playing tennis in this heat.

    This is my second post for the day, and so feel free to use your axes if you have any to grind….

    Cuntageous, actually no need to answer my question above about what you think of the homeless…. I really don’t give a damn about what you think. … I have a few choice words which an old prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, was quoted as uttering when he was asked to repeat what he said under his breath when faced with an admirer of your kind…. He replied his now famous phrase ….”Fuddle Duddle”… To this day, no one has yet been able to decipher its meaning. Can You ?

  • Everywhere I go I find Hindu footprints ahead of me. As Robin so astutely points out, what I’m describing in my last comment is a manifestation of purusha and prakriti. Roughly speaking, purusha is the concept of unchanging Consciousness or the Universal principle, while prakriti is changeable Nature.These concepts are roughly equivalent to the idealist/materialist duality I describe in my own worldviews.

    My reference to Myers-Briggs in this note is not to be read as any kind of general endorsement of this personality typing system in comparison to others. Every system has its utility, and different people will feel comfortable with different systems at different times – and there are hundreds to choose from as far as I can tell. I talk about M-B here because it was instrumental for me in this breakthrough.

    I’ve had experience with some other systems such as the Enneagram and the Big Five. They all say different but equally valid things about my personality.

    For me the question of how valid these models are in absolute terms is less interesting than what each of them can tell me at the moment. All maps can lead to treasure if the explorer is earnest and able to recognize treasure when she sees it.

  • mo flow,

    I love your musings about cats.
    Well observed all round. But I shouldn’t forget that that’s something you’re good at. I mean it!

    I imagine you a bit like a cat, flowing in and out on different levels…
    Cats seem to be naturals there.

  • Mark – I have reread your last post to me, and also looked into Morton’s stuff. My outlook remains that if there is a reasonably good way out of our human impasse it is not through better technology or highly complex philosophies or understandings. I think what we are looking for will be very simple – within the understanding and doability of most ordinary people. One reason I think this is that our problems are so universal, obvious and easily stated that it is confounding that we can complexity and mystify them to the degree that we can’t see them at all – even with them constantly right in front of our faces!

    Care for each other. Share. Reduce your numbers by limiting reproductive sex. Consume less energy and stuff. Stop war. Live simply and create a beautiful culture. That should do for starters.

    Why don’t we see this? Why don’t we do these things? Because we have created and been conditioned by a culture that has grossly violated every one of these simple principles and realities. We live in a culture of make believe that is far from the simple realities of how people need to live together on this planet. Is complex technology or deep philosophy necessary to do any of these simple things. No.

    OK that leaves us with the problem of how to exit this phony dream of culture which has become a nightmare. How to do that: reeducation. Metanoia – a new way of thinking and feeling. My idea of how to accomplish that is in small groups dedicated to that process, and also multiplying to include more and more people, developing methods to accomplish their goals through experiment and experience.

    That’s the short version – Occam’s razor if you will. I can flesh it out and argue for it’s accuracy of diagnosis, and existing models of such processes successfully in action if need be. But if nobody hears this simple call, then as Gurdjieff said it will be like shouting into an empty barrel, or pouring from the empty into the void….

  • Bud Nye – I think it is going to take something a lot deeper than your psychological tactics to get people to love one another and this beautiful planet. Also, you base your approach on a negative premise: that people are and will be the powerless victims of an unstoppable extinction. I guess that’s one reason you are posting on NBL where many NTE believers hang out. Your premise fits with the general tendency of psychotherapists to cast their paying clients as being helpless to solve their problems without your supposed psychological expertise. This is a very disempowering assumption. Some seeking your “help” might conclude that access to some effective opiates could help more than your psychological first aid kit and its dubious band-aids. If your stuff really worked it would just enable folks to remain a while longer in denial when TSHTF. Maybe folks need a jolt from the traumas coming to wake up from their self-protective blanket of avoidance and denial?

    I have the impression that you are well meaning and trying to help, but that does not mean that what you are trying to do is what is really needed. There is no personal attack on you in this post. I am just sharing my thoughts about your ideas. I wish you well, but I think you may be on the wrong track.

  • Bud Nye – Another thought. Your treatment for the NTE blues is like chemotherapy for cancer. People are generally willing to poison themselves following their doctor’s advice, but they blind themselves to the very few months it might gain them – living in increased misery for that time with now little chance to change course, due to destroying their immune system with poison. This desperate clinging to life only ensures them horrible quality of life, more like miserable suffering. It is an attachment complex they need to let go of.

    The only conceivable rationale for such madness is the assurance by cancer establishment doctors that there is no other valid option. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are all sorts of valid, proven ways to treat cancer. One has only to have the courage to look into them. Linus Pauling said, “The war on cancer is largely a fraud.” Words of one of the rare men to win two Nobel prizes. Again I think your “solution” is overrated and designed to lure people into giving up without a fight. I don’t know what your estimate of a timetable for human extinction is, but I do know that you do not have a date certain – and that leaves room for a lot of things to happen, and a lot of life to be lived without abandoning hope – or is that word poison in your understanding?

  • Lidia you are incorrigible. Don’t go away, we need you.

    My name is Lidia

    And I wanna

    Get rid of ya

    Your woo woo woo

    Isn’t new new new

    I’ve heard that

    S h i t before

    Please hit the door

    Before it hits you!

  • Well Robin, here is the (not) long awaited (not) scholarly paper (note) tentatively titled Escapist Trends in Traditional Indian Philosophy:

    It turns out that philosophers and would-be mystics are a lot like ordinary people. That is, they are acquisitive, competitive, status seeking, ignorant, and afraid – just like the rest of us. However skillfully they attempt to cover up these all too human traits – and some are real wizards at doing so – the truth bleeds through to any unbedazzled observer.

    In the old days (this is the “traditional” part) it wasn’t any different, although folks in today’s world might wish to project a golden age glow back on these sages. In fact there was a sharp and continuous competition then as now on who was top dog with the philosophy, vision, or theory that trumped all others and could pretend to be just about the final answer to every possible question.

    Now given that the ancient world was just as screwed up and aggravating as it is today, someone who could come up with a philosophy that explained the whole deal, and offered a way up and out could easily gather an audience. As Baudelaire put it in his famous poem “anywhere out of this world” had a lot of attraction as long as those accommodations guaranteed freedom from suffering, and maybe even the possibility of eternal bliss. Now it must be said that India was not the only locale where such ideas were bruited and found eager listeners – the so-called west had it’s own popular versions.

    Perhaps we can now glimpse through the famous, revered, sage so-and-so’s cloud of PR and popular delusion why some of these dudes (they were all men if history is complete and true, which it is not) why they would go to such lengths to pretend that they had final answers to the most vexing questions mankind has asked itself, and why some form of ultimate detachment/escape was so often the bottom line of their prescriptions. It gave them a magic trump card to supposedly flatten any opposing views whatever, and enjoy a delicious feeling of one-up-ness to boot. You could not discuss anything with these folks that they would not immediately shoot it down with the magic bullet of their assumed omniscience.

    Our would be Wizards of Ultimate Truth were in fact not open to any view whatever that might challenge their omniscience. They lived in uncaring bliss among the many different views that continued to struggle for supremacy, untouched by the possibility that anyone could ever say anything that they did not already know better about. And of course they had many followers who basked in the reflected glow of their status and parroted their ideas.

    And there it is. If you are merely a humble seeker of truth, try to put presumed wizards in the proper context. Their egos are not so different from yours. You share one thing with all of them – profound ignorance. And sorry – the only way out of this world while you are still in it is to go more deeply into it and struggle to understand it and do better at living it. If you do so, you may find as I have that final complete knowledge is not all it’s cracked up to be in the journey of life….

  • (The following disclaimer must be attached to the above essay – in light of the penalties of cosmic law regarding partial truths which the unwary might take to be eternal laws.)

    Detachment has its essential and marvelous roles in our search for truth and a better life. It was only it’s excessive use as an escape mechanism that was criticized above. Wrongly employed detachment morphs into dissociation – a psychological ploy to avoid reality.

    It is also true that there are and have been very wise and good teachers of ultimate values throughout history. Not every guru is an egoistic phony, and the line of truthfulness is not always so easy to discern as I might have implied above. So, did I really say anything of value above? Good question. Keep asking things like that. I try to….

  • Great thoughts MIKE K. – I have also returned to goingkuku where more personal stuff is safer to say.

    Mike you are right, We live in a culture of make believe that is far from the simple realities of how people need to live together on this planet. Is complex technology or deep philosophy necessary to do any of these simple things.

    Till the end of this year I am sort of like a nuclear firefighter. I could pretend the nuclear problem did not exist, but it still bugged me for 2 years even though I was way off the technical grid in Costa Rica.
    losing 80-percent of the nation’s electricity for an extended period would be disastrous since nuclear plants must be kept cool, that calamity would be nothing compared to the existential threat of losing 100-percent indefinitely-which could happen if we are unprepared.

    If you are merely a humble seeker of truth, try to put presumed wizards in the proper context. Their egos are not so different from yours. You share one thing with all of them – profound ignorance. And sorry – the only way out of this world while you are still in it is to go more deeply into it and struggle to understand it and do better at living it. Ahhhh the lovely journey of life. Might as well love the complexity if you are given the keys to deep chambers of DARPA labs & Pentagon energy NASA top secrets.

    Or equally love the peace & simplicity when you can return to nature. LOVE of the experience. Love of the adventure. Love of not being in denial of grave dangers = love of the gift from much higher sources to channel scientific insights for safety applications. Love for accepting the very big and the very small. Love for the future where a return to simplicity will prevail. And maybe some funny ranger shaman nobody knew…will help ten thousand years of future Earth evolution be a bit less radioactive. Mutant evolution is as messy as litter in my former wildlife park. Sadly this form of clean-up is a bit more complex than pretending we did not build all these reactors. In my next evolution I promise I will simply just say NO to splitting atoms in the first place. All my very best.
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  • @mike k

    I’m glad to meet you again on this hot and dry beach at the end of the world. Yes, I’ve been here all along, wheeling above this beach all the time, observing the Purushas and the Prakritis in their neverending battle. Yeah, it looks like a horrendous, bloody battle from below, but when one rises with the updraft by letting go, it seems more like Dantes Divine Comedie, like a shivery Dance and it’s hard to distinct Purushas from Prakritis from a distance, they actually seem to be One, like brothers embracing eachother, like One Purushottama. Isn’t it the very same Fire, the same Duende that burns in Heaven and in Hell? Well, let’s drink up that Sacred Cup of Met bravely and with passion!

    It’s such an inspiring and beautiful incidence to meet soulmates like you in the vastness of the internet. I’m thankfull for all the inspiring sand-pictures you paint onto this hot and dry beach as a consolation, as a cool drink for the thirsty, dried up soul, thou Angel of deep Spirit and Beauty…

    Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic
    Orders? And even if one were to suddenly
    take me to its heart, I would vanish into its
    stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but
    the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
    and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
    to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.
    And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry
    of a darkened sobbing. Ah, who then can
    we make use of? Not Angels: not men,
    and the resourceful creatures see clearly
    that we are not really at home
    in the interpreted world. Perhaps there remains
    some tree on a slope, that we can see
    again each day: there remains to us yesterday’s street,
    and the thinned-out loyalty of a habit
    that liked us, and so stayed, and never departed.
    Oh, and the night, the night, when the wind full of space
    wears out our faces – whom would she not stay for,
    the longed-for, gentle, disappointing one, whom the solitary heart
    with difficulty stands before. Is she less heavy for lovers?
    Ah, they only hide their fate between themselves.
    Do you not know yet? Throw the emptiness out of your arms
    to add to the spaces we breathe; maybe the birds
    will feel the expansion of air, in more intimate flight…

    R. M. Rilke, Duino Elegies

  • A dedication to this beach of doomsday prophets:

    On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
    The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.
    They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.
    They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.
    The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
    On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • Beautiful food for the soul Curious. Gurfdjieff said that more important for our challenge to become truly human than substantial food for our bellies, is the subtle food of impressions – a smile, a beautiful flower or face or tree at sunset, deep sweet penetrating poetry or conversation, a song – the singer lost in the poignant moment of singing beyond herself deeper into herself, a quiet body of water reflecting the world, anything seen for the first time, moonlight simply being, you, me, our tragic beautiful world dancing carelessly on the sharp edge of forever, anything seen with eyes of love or sadness or celebration, a fleeting recognition that every moment is the precious gift of a Power beyond our understanding, and just simply being and knowing being and beyond knowing, not knowing and letting go into not knowing, trusting, surrendering, letting the dance take us wherever it will….gladly surrendered to infinity…

    As Jimmy Joyce said – whirled without end. The climax exercise of the Sufis – whirling, letting go of everything, joining the cosmic quadrille, everything approaching and going away, circling seeking each other then pulling away in a mad happy scary movement into the unknown’s mysterious embrace deliciously offered and refused, offered and refused finally released into, accepted, drowned in that love, lost in that love, lost, lost, lost…….

  • **subtle food of impressions – a smile, a beautiful flower or face or tree at sunset, deep sweet penetrating poetry or conversation, a song – the singer lost in the poignant moment of singing beyond herself deeper into herself, a quiet body of water reflecting the world, anything seen for the first time, moonlight simply being, you, me, our tragic beautiful world dancing carelessly on the sharp edge of forever**

    or, the asshole stepping on your feet at the DMV — or the guy that just cut you off and flipped you the bird — or when your car dies on a dark night and your cell phone is dead.

    It’s easy to get to heaven when you’re **riding a unicorn through a huge corn maze inside a snow globe.**

  • Tagore’s picture is so clear to me, so true of our tragicomic reality, a snapshot that tells it all about us in simple truth. Rilke is more reaching for something beyond, something almost impossible to say, something precious he is reaching for while not knowing what it is. Like we mostly are. Putting the two poems together says we know where we are but we also don’t have a clue and need to search and yearn and reach for something beyond our understanding. We are always at home, but not at home at the same time. We have it, but it is not in our grasp. There is never any doubt, but we continue wondering. Like children playing hide and seek we know but we pretend not to know so that the game can continue. If only our self created plot devices didn’t cut so deeply! We just need to learn to play more gently with each other….

    Bob – That assshole who stepped on your foot might have been a messenger from God! I watched the TV show Joan of Arcadia for a few episodes. Kinda an updated version of Bro. Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God. Teenage Joan began to feel that whatever encounter or event that happened to her was a tweak from the Higher Power. Interesting premise, especially when Mr. Scratch made his appearance.

    Seeing things that way could make life more interesting. After all we all see life through inner filters and overlays that give events our own self-created colors and significances anyway. I used to see everything in black and white, and I didn’t realize there was any other way to see it. When la vie en rose began happening it took a while to get used to it….

  • When you give us **the world according to mike** while name dropping Mr. Gurdjieff and Osho — you have done us no service. If you are moved by Mr. Gurdjieffs teachings – perhaps it is **more better** to direct folks to source than to use them to impress the peanut gallery.

    Even 5th graders know what happens when we try to pass information from one to another — each *pass* introduces distortion until the real message is lost.

  • @Bob S.

    Yes, where there is light, there must also be darkness, where there is joy, there must also be suffering, the more light, the more darkness and shadow come up, the more joy, the more suffering, complementing eachother like two sides of a single coin, like lovers, embracing eachother in a shivery dance, “ mysterious embrace deliciously offered and refused, offered and refused finally released into, accepted, drowned in that love, lost in that love, lost, lost, lost……. ” in a cosmic, whirling, infinite dance… yes, and every Angel is dreadful…

    Have you ever been dancing in the Fire that burns in Heaven and in Hell? It is peerless, it is like crying and laughing at the very same time, it is Tears of Joy, it is Soma, it is Met, it is the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

    Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

    William Blake

  • @mike k

    Yes, I can feel you, every single word, every single impression, just like my very own breathing, my very own heartbeat. When I look at the trees in front of my window, I can see you, when I look up to the sky, I can see you, when I hear the yelling and singing and laughing of the children in the yard, when I listen to the singing of the birds, I can hear you, whirling brother, I guess I know you from a former life, I know you, yes, your are me, I am You _()_

    Like children playing hide and seek we know but we pretend not to know so that the game can continue…

    Oh Yes, and I really can see Tagore and Rilke and You and Me playing at the very same beach…

    Let’s see how Rilke goes on…

    … Yes, the Spring-times needed you deeply. Many a star
    must have been there for you so you might feel it. A wave
    lifted towards you out of the past, or, as you walked
    past an open window, a violin
    gave of itself. All this was their mission.
    But could you handle it? Were you not always,
    still, distracted by expectation, as if all you experienced,
    like a Beloved, came near to you? (Where could you contain her,
    with all the vast strange thoughts in you
    going in and out, and often staying the night.)
    But if you are yearning, then sing the lovers: for long
    their notorious feelings have not been immortal enough.
    Those, you almost envied them, the forsaken, that you
    found as loving as those who were satisfied. Begin,
    always as new, the unattainable praising:
    think: the hero prolongs himself, even his falling
    was only a pretext for being, his latest rebirth.
    But lovers are taken back by exhausted Nature
    into herself, as if there were not the power
    to make them again. Have you remembered
    Gastara Stampa sufficiently yet, that any girl,
    whose lover has gone, might feel from that
    intenser example of love: ‘Could I only become like her?’
    Should not these ancient sufferings be finally
    fruitful for us? Isn’t it time that, loving,
    we freed ourselves from the beloved, and, trembling, endured
    as the arrow endures the bow, so as to be, in its flight,
    something more than itself? For staying is nowhere…

    R. M. Rilke, Duino Elegies

  • Whose translation is that Curious? So smooth and flowing and beautiful…. Such a blessing Rilke, softening the hard edges of life to make it sing and kiss us lonely frogs into magical understandings.

    No need to prickle among friends Bob. Your precious inner reality is safe from any violation. Gurdjieff is just a calling card dropped on the plate of an unknown friend, who might be curious and look him up. Someone dropped it on my plate and I ended up in a group seeking to know more of his mysterious teachings. There is no worldly recognition to be gained by mentioning his name – quite the contrary. Being totally ignored or taken to be a fool is more likely. Little seeds like that have an uncertain destiny – friendly soils for certain plants are rare….

  • @mike k

    The translation of Rilkes Duino Elegies is by A. S. Kline:

    Yes, Rilke is blessed, poets are blessed, for they brake up the stiff corsett of spoken words and conjure songs out of it. Jesus must have been a poet and sometimes I do even think that I hear poetry in some discourses of the Buddha. After all, life is poetry, language is music, music is language. There must have been a time long ago when both, singing and speaking were one, the time, when The Cosmic Spirit took refuge in the human beeing and turned the human mind into an offering to the burning, sacred fire within, into ecstasis for the first time…

    Poetry must be the dim remembrance of that time. Let’s remember the first time, the ancient time, when The Spirit, the Agni Fire for the first time entered human, mortal flesh and burned it down in ecstasis. Isn’t this Fire the cause that the flesh has to die for it cannot stand the Fire burning within? No thought, no emotion, no idea, no religion, no temple, no body can stand that Fire. Whoever wants to embrace God, whoever wants to get immortal, must die and be born again. Let’s die and be born again every evening, every morning, every breath, with poetry and music in our minds, for this ancient Fire is still burning within us, brother. Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté. Bodhi! Svaha!