The Best Possible of All Worlds

by Alton C. Thompson

The quote above is taken, of course, from Voltaire’s Candide ou l’Optismisme [1759].  But it was originally a statement made by philosopher Gottfried Leibniz—the purpose of Candide then being to satirize Leibniz’s philosophy.

Now, if that assertion was an absurd one to make in 1710 (by Leibniz), it is an insane one to make in 2015!  When one turns on the news, one constantly learns of robberies, shootings, and killings by police officers—of young blacks in particular (e.g., Dontre Hamilton here in Milwaukee)—etc., etc.

Tonight (May 31, 2015) the 60 Minutes television program had a segment on the water problem in California (especially), noting that there are actually two problems:

  1. Water is being drawn out of aquifers at rate greater than it is being replenished.


  1. As water is being extracted from aquifers, the land is sinking—as much as a foot a year in some places!—thereby endangering infrastructure and buildings.

Given that California has also been experiencing drought the last four years, and that that state produces about 25% of the food that we eat in this country, a continuation of California’s water problems would not only likely result in a mass migration from that state, but a severe food crisis for all of us in this country.  Sadly, such continuation is likely!

The water problems in California are basically man-made (a more accurate term here than human-made!), for:

  1. The excessive “drawdown” of water is obviously being done by people—males especially—who live in California.


  1. The drought, however, although it may seem to many to be an “act of God,” is also largely male-made (although females also play a role causing this problem!). Although an NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) report last year attributed the drought to “natural” causes, Stanford University climate scientists attribute it to the global warming that is occurring—and I find their conclusions more convincing than that of the NOAA.


Given that the consensus with climate scientists is that global warming is primarily anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused—mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation activities, and by population growth), both of the water problems in California can be laid at the feet of human activities (but not walking feet, of course!).


I am reminded here of a rhetorical question asked by Captain Vere (played in the movie by the late Peter Ustinov) in Herman Melville’s Billy Budd:


What hope is there for any of us?


Captain Vere’s words were spoken in a context very different from our current situation as humans, but if spoken today, would also need to be asked as a rhetorical question.  Needless to say, this is a somber conclusion to make, to be sure; but unless one is either ignorant of physical processes, or in a state of denial, it is a statement that rings of truth.  Not absolute truth, of course, because of the possibility that forces may come into play—of which we are not now aware—that will halt, and possibly even reverse, the global warming now occurring.  But it is best to “face the music” about global warming, and recognize the strong possibility that “the end is near.”


What especially makes this seem likely is that:


  1. As “greenhouse gases” accumulate in the lower atmosphere, their effects don’t become apparent until some later point because of the inertia that exists with climate systems. Put another way, there is a time lag between cause and effect with global warming (of about 40 years per one source).


  1. With the cessation of those human activities causing global warming and its effects, the effects will continue, and even intensify, for a time. The reason?  The greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere prior to the time of cessation will continue to be present in the atmosphere and, therefore, continue to have an effect.  As one scientist has put it, “the greenhouse gases we emit can stay in the atmosphere for decades, centuries or even millennia.  That’s why it’s so important that we cap emissions as soon as possible.”


The last sentence in the above quotation should be given special note, but there is a problem here:  Because the effects of emissions don’t become apparent immediately, by the time they do become apparent, it may be too late!  In fact, Arctic climate scientist John B. Davies wrote, in 2013:  “The world is probably at the start of a runaway Greenhouse Event which will end most human life on Earth before 2040.”  What makes this prediction plausible is that:


  1. As an Arctic climate scientist, Davies is all too aware of the fact that the Arctic is today’s “canary in the coal mine—one reason being that the polar regions contain a great deal of methane, a gas far more potent as a greenhouse gas than, e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2).


  1. Global warming is a process that “feeds on itself.” That is, as warming occurs, it causes changes (such as the thawing of permafrost, and consequent release of methane gas) that cause further changes—so that change begins to accelerate.

Davies, in stating that it’s likely that we are at “start of a runaway Greenhouse Event” was in effect asserting that it’s likely that “runaway” has already begun—suggesting also, thereby, that it is now too late to halt global warming.  (Many scientists would add that it’s “crazy” to think that we can engineer ourselves out of this problem.)

Given that our situation today, as humans, does not appear to be at all hopeful, the question that arises for individuals specifically is:  How should I respond to the strong possibility that there is no good reason to have hope for the human future?  That somewhere down the road—by 2040 CE, for example (per Davies)—our species will be no longer.  That because we may, at some future point, reach an Eocene Epoch level of temperature conditions, human life will be impossible.


It’s conceivable, of course, that some negative feedback mechanisms will “kick in” and prevent this from occurring.  But, in my reading of the relevant literature, I have discovered no mention of such a mechanism; and even if there is one, and it does “kick in,” there is no guarantee that it will do so in time to save our species.  Given especially that the other phenomena associated with global warming besides warming per se—such as increased storminess; an increase in the number, size, and severity of storms; and increased variability (hence predictability) in weather conditions—may “do us in” before the heat itself does.


The future that we should be planning for, then, is a future which will have a sad ending—my “we” here referring to individuals, rather than governments, for the simple reason that it’s foolish to look to governments for any actions of significance.  Few individuals now are aware of the threat posed by global warming, so it’s not surprising that few individuals are now thinking about how to react to it.  But when the effects of global warming start affecting one directly, different individuals will, of course, react in in different ways—and it’s likely that “survival instincts” will come to the fore.  That means that violence is likely to become common, with premature deaths resulting from violence (including suicide), along with disease and starvation.


Not a “pretty picture,” by any means, but the physical processes that we humans have set in motion point in that direction, and that direction only.


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.


14 June 2015, 1:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Island Savings Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan, BC

15 June 2015, 6:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Start Now Gardens, 1134 Bloomington Avenue, Bremerton, Washington

17 June 2015, 5:30 p.m. presentation and discussion, The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, Washington (dinner at 5:00 p.m., reservations encouraged)

18 June 2015, 7:00 p.m. presentation and discussion, Public Library, 1270 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island, Washington

19 June 2015, 6:30 p.m. presentation and discussion, King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comments 85

  • (Haven’t read this essay yet, will do it at leisure tonight. Thank you Alton)

    @Bob S.
    Re: Your message at the end of thread just closed.

    If I understand correctly your message, it is wunderbar! Yes and yes.

    Bob S. Says:
    June 13th, 2015 at 6:50 am

    “Intellectual curiosity brings us to the promise, to the boxtop we rip open to claim our prize. Most abandon the quest here – realizing there is no *prize* no secret formula or incantation to fast track them to nirvana. Some insist they found the *prize* and can now visit nirvana at will. Others claim they have discovered *shortcuts* which allow them to achieve with little effort what in fact requires a lifetime of superhuman efforts.

    IMO, most bounce off the truth like sunlight off the ice and continue to seek answers that more resemble **EURIKA** than a lifetime of work and sacrifice.

    Just my 2 cents.”

    I’ll have to read it again, trying to make sure I understand correctly your intention. But if I do, you are so f*** right on that I’m… shocked.

    Tagore said it, along the lines of… (my wording) been searching for God all my life, great search, painful, thirst, and then one day I heard him, I climbed the stairs slowly, hear his voice behind a door… (all of this is my rewording, maybe Tagore recounts it in a very different way)… And then… I slowly backtracked, tiptoeing as lightly as I could so as not to be heard. And I ran. Now I’m happy, I can continue my search and enjoy it. I just know I have to avoid that one place…

    My experience is the f*** same. I have found the correct meditation, after years and years, and so on. I sometimes do it, and it brings great “results”. Just doing that meditation as I fall asleep changes the quality of my sleep. Just doing it in the morning for half an hour finds me, later on in the day, laughing for no reason, even with the doom in the background or foreground…

    But yesterday night, I thought I should read that good book instead. I enjoyed a few paragraphs, two paragraphs. Then closed it and closed my eyes and meditated before going to sleep. Using the medicine I preach. But how often would I rather preach than sit silently with my medicine? Yeah.

    We / I so skilled at finding solutions AND not using them. The DO thing. At least I, for my part, do not think that not doing is the answer. I don’t think that not doing anything is the way to reach a non-doing space or state.

    I know that a lot of doing, a lot of it, is needed before one can come to non-doing as a state. And that then, the doing gets easy, not hard anymore.

    This is when the doing is so easy to do

    But also then that it is so easy to do something else, to avoid the slight doing that is needed.

    The last step before entering meditation is the hardest, not because it is hard, but rather because it is easy, so easy. So I just don’t do it.

    So, Bob, if I understood correctly what your message is about, then right on for:

    “IMO, most bounce off the truth like sunlight off the ice and continue to seek answers that more resemble **EURIKA** than a lifetime of work and sacrifice.”

    And your “2 cents” are a treasure.



  • Experience has taught me that the efficacy of “planning” has become more and more limited as options diminish and external impacts become more severe, both in socio-economic and physical realms. Recognizing that the vast majority of people, and especially the wealthy and powerful, pay little or no attention to or deny how consumptive & wasteful lifestyles contribute to the acceleration of our demise, I find the notion of “mitigation” to be quite meaningless, as in the saying “closing the barn door after the horse is gone.”

    Events in nature are random and unpredictable for the most part, although trends and anomalies can be observed and conclusions drawn. Human thinking is weighted toward short-term awareness, and long-term assumptions of linear and gradual change preclude envisioning the possibility of global catastrophe.

    Because we rely on all the support structures of industrial civilization, most of us believe (have faith) we will prevail no matter what extreme conditions occur in nature. This faith in technology is essentially hubris that perpetuates the notion that we are ultimately immune from natural forces.

    Even the obvious illogic of nuclear weapons and nuclear power escapes those who ignore limits and morality applied to the use of technology. Even the mass die-offs of species and the degradation of the oceans do not convince most people of the dire situation we face as a result of exacerbating our destabilization of the ecosystem.

    I observe that humans generally do not learn from their mistakes and they do not change their behavior to avoid making future worse ones. They only respond to impacts that are life threatening, and even then, they fail to discover the root causes and will only take the easiest path of dealing with superficial symptoms.

    These are reasons why we see an emphasis on renewable energy sources as a “solution” to climate change and “mitigation” through technologies such as geo-engineering. This notion that we will prevail no matter what happens in our environment has been an excuse to avoid making necessary drastic changes in lifestyle and support systems. Now we are reaping the whirlwind.

    The best planning I can engage in, at this stage, is based on uncertainty — that is, trying to be as flexible and unassuming as possible. To me, that means: engage with community in preference to pursuing money; sustenance not luxury; travel only when necessary and as efficiently as possible; stay informed but avoid rancorous confrontation with those who are uninformed; pursue activities that bring greater fulfillment rather than temporary gratification. When the SHTF, which happens multiple times in multiple ways, remain calm and avoid reacting hastily but don’t fail to help others in need.

  • Just a test post for me while there are few links to slow the process down
    the links appear to be the problem for my situation Mo as no problem with load or keyboard to screen response time this morning. Who ever decided a bloody touch screen was an improvement though!

  • Just wanted to add while I can that there have been some wonderful comments here lately and I’m so grateful you are all here. Love you guys.

  • “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” he told a meeting of social movements last year. “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”

  • Alton,

    “What hope is there for any of us?”

    Yes, as you say, a rhetorical question.

    It can’t be answered without the scientific knowledge which applies to it.

    I ran across a scientific paper (NASA GISS) which indicates that in the recent geological record is evidence of a 1m / 3ft sea level rise that took place “within a few years or less” (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

    It took place about “8,200-7,600 years ago” when early civilization was taking shape.

    The exact same conditions exist right now.

    The answer that should replace the smug nonsense on the nooz should be: “It is dicey” at best.”

  • Guy,

    While I agree that human civilization is bound for hard times and may destroy itself, a lot of mammals were alive and kicking in the Eocene, as hot as it might have been then. Since humans are particularly well adapted to survive in hot climates, I don’t follow your logic than humans per se (as another animal) cannot survive Eocene-type climate conditions.

    Also, geoengineering the atmosphere is not that difficult, unfortunately, as that it was has gotton us the warming in the first place. We should be able to arificially dust up the atmosphere, to get some temporary cooling and buy us some time (nothing is free) to figure a more lasting solution to our predicament.

  • Sorry guy’s iv’e been stuggling to get my focus on all this these last few days. I’ve been drinking a bit too much. By way of apology i give you a quote.

    “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

    Langston Hughes

  • Bob S. says, “Seems many have delivered the message of what is necessary for a man to recover from his “fatal nose dive into self-destructive madness.” Few are willing to make the sacrifice.”

    Right on. Exactly. There’s the rub for sure. We want our salvation on the cheap. This reluctance on the part of the afflicted to even acknowledge their part in this disaster, much less do the work to correct it is a major obstacle to getting it done. This is where reality needs to provide a shock to help awaken these sleepers, and provide them some serious motivation to act in order to save themselves.

    As things are unfolding now we can be sure that major jolts are coming; however shocks alone may be necessary but not sufficient to get the job done. There needs to be a group already awake to give the right kind of support and guidance so that the trauma can be put to good use rather than just causing fits of confusion, depression, self-pity, or undirected anger. The small group of folks already committed to major change in themselves and their society needs to be in existence and locatable to help the shocked ones navigate the major changes needed, and to give a new person with new ideas and understandings a chance to develop, and eventually extend this process to others by expanding the number of small groups dedicated to revolutionary inner and outer change. Transition Towns is a timid gesture in that direction, but lacks a stronger dose of realism about how bad it is going to get, and the depth of basic changes that will be needed to truly meet this unprecedented level of challenge.

    So obviously the time to form these groups is now. The creative work necessary to make that happen fortunately has historic models for such an endeavor to base itself on. To come up with a rough agenda based on those previous successful efforts would be a good place to start. Thus even the pioneers of the first groups could have some guidelines to build on and help them develop further. To make a working draft of such principles is what I may do when I can have a spurt of energy to overcome my innate laziness – which I am sooo addicted to….

    Still – Read your comment just as I was about to post the above. It’s so true, the road to hell is paved with our good intentions. As Paul said, I know what to do – I just don’t do it. Slipping off of a chosen path or practice sometimes happens with a bang, but mostly one just gradually forgets…. Until one day it has just faded away. As Gurdjieff noted, this is a key reason we need a group dedicated not only to awakening, but to staying awake. When one member begins falling asleep, others can nudge her gently to get back with it. Forgetfulness is our nature; to awake and stay awake requires continued efforts, vigilance, understanding, practice, self-observation. But it gets easier with practice, which of course opens up the trap you mentioned. Some folks on the path, any path -it could be a rookie in the NBA – fall for the illusion of self-confidence. “I can do this all by myself, look Ma, no hands!” …crash! We need help, we need each other. The very ego we are trying to transcend is always striving to regain control of our life. Without help, we set ourselves up for failure. Working with others facilitates our aim to learn to live together in peace and love.

    If you can’t find a meditation support group, go out and start one. Or find one partner to meditate with. When my wife is regular meditating it makes it easy for me, and vice-versa. If neither of those is an option, then just make a firm commitment to sit down and do it at a certain time every day. Thanks for sharing, All of us would be meditators run into this one way and another. Or you could create a collapse consciousness raising group – that should keep everyone awake!

  • What hope is there for any of us?

    “How should I respond to the strong possibility that there is no goodreason to have hope for the human future?”…
    “I know that a lot of doing, a lot of it, is needed before one can come to non-doing as a state. And that then, the doing gets easy, not hard anymore.”

    The sense of agency, “I am doing this”, is called kartritva. Its absence, “This is being done by this body-mind complex, and I am only an observer”, is called akartritva, and is one of the characteristics of realised beings.

    To get from the first to the second is a process called right action, one of the aspects of the Eightfold Aryan Path in Buddhism, Karma Yoga in the Vedic tradition.

    “an excuse to avoid making necessary drastic changes in lifestyle and support systems”

    Drastic: more than 99 out of every 100 humans must die before they can emit anymore GHGs, and without leaving anymore progeny. Collapse from the present 7+ billion overshoot supported by fossil fuels to 40 million, the planet’s carrying capacity without fossil fuels and soceital structure.

    “a 1m / 3ft sea level rise that took place “within a few years or less”

    Man, it would be interesting to see the emmeffs s**t in their britches. The Baltic Dry Index going to hell in a handbasket. No more 5,000 mile Caesar salads.

    “I only want at last to be free of it and swoon into the Divine Embrace”.

    “Lailahailallah! Say Allah and let the fools prate….”

    Leaving off the second part could get one’s head lopped off by ISIS. The complete staement is:
    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  • Contrary to the belief of many, the purpose of government in the western world is to facilitate and promote the conversion of fossil fuels into carbon dioxide, to facilitate and promote the conversion of limestone and sand into concrete and carbon dioxide, and to facilitate and promote the conversion of metal ores into metals and carbon dioxide.

    Governments will continue to promote rapid depletion of fossil fuel reserves and escalating atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations until they can’t. And will continue to lie to the general populaces of western nations until they can’t.

    Whether is will be fossil fuel depletion, environmental mayhem or collapse of Ponzi finance that brings the present economic system to a standstill is yet to be seen.

    Chris Hedges recently spoke of the need to bring the present system to a standstill for ‘our children to have a future’…..though he openly concedes it may already be too late.

  • “A lot of trees would die, and a lot of people would go out of business,” said Zolezzi. “We are not talking about a 25 per cent cut like imposed on urban. This is a 100 per cent cut, no water supplies.”

  • Gary McMurtry Says:
    June 13th, 2015 at 12:15 pm


    While I agree that human civilization is bound for hard times and may destroy itself, a lot of mammals were alive and kicking in the Eocene, as hot as it might have been then. Since humans are particularly well adapted to survive in hot climates, I don’t follow your logic than humans per se (as another animal) cannot survive Eocene-type climate conditions.

    Also, geoengineering the atmosphere is not that difficult, unfortunately, as that it was has gotton us the warming in the first place. We should be able to arificially dust up the atmosphere, to get some temporary cooling and buy us some time (nothing is free) to figure a more lasting solution to our predicament.”

    Another newbie who obviously hasn’t read “Climate Summary and Update.” I will say that your notions about geoengineering also show a very low level of understanding of the global climate system, which functions like an organism, not as a machine, doesn’t have knobs and switches which can be manipulated like a soundboard. Humans don’t even know all the variables involved, even many of the known ones can’t be measured with any degree of immediate accuracy , for one thing due to the lack of many instrument sites in the ocean, the amount of feedback is huge and contingent upon numerous factors,… The notion that you can “dust up the atmosphere” and thus cool it with any idea of predictability and knowledge of all the resultant effects is just plain human hubris and stupidity which demonstrates not a microgram of evidence of having learned anything from actual atmospheric science.

  • Not to mention the rate of temp change — humans might be OK if slow, but nothing except cockroaches and tardigrades can take the RAPIDITY that’s coming……

    Humans won’t know what hit them !!

  • We might as well get the quote correct.
    ‘In this,the best of all possible worlds…all is for the best’

  • Robin – I have over a hundred of Osho’s books. I cast my net wide in those days. There were a few gems among all the shards of glass. His books are molding now, probably too far gone for the used book store. Probably a trip to the landfill is indicated. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on… Poor Rajneesh, he sought to teach but ended up more besotted than his students. Like Da Free John his “divinity” went to his head and he crashed. They are not alone unfortunately… But zen birds always find some morsels in the remains.

    Osho’s story is false -like himself. The kiss of Real God, as Gurdjieff would put it, is never fatal – even if seeming so to the deluded mind. Surrender to that one is not death to the ego; the ego has it’s proper utilities when properly blessed. It’s the extreme Hinayana ascetics who long for the death of the ego. Mahayana and Vajrayana folks consider that a little excessive and unloving. The ego imho needs transforming not annihilating. This world is meant to be a Paradise. It is our task to find how to help with that. If we succeed then Earth will become a Sacred Planet. If not then we will be destroyed. That is the initiation we are facing.

    For the Mahayanist the acid test is: what will you choose if offered either eternal bliss in Nirvana, or a chance to remain in the world and help others to gain spiritual understanding? It kinda boils down to: who do you care more for others or yourself? I know – your realized being doesn’t care about anything, he’s outta this world….no ego, no self, no plans, no decisions – there’s just a meat robot shuffling along without purpose – kinda sounds like a zombie – a realized zombie, with nobody home – blew out the candle and split for nirvana – see y’all later, take care of the shell I left behind if you want, but it really doesn’t matter – nothing does, and you’ll grok that when you get realized….

  • “Contrary to the belief of many, the purpose of government in the western world is to facilitate and promote the conversion of fossil fuels into carbon dioxide, to facilitate and promote the conversion of limestone and sand into concrete and carbon dioxide, and to facilitate and promote the conversion of metal ores into metals and carbon dioxide.”

    Although I don’t know if this is absolutely true for every last western government (it very likely is), it’s true enough. And it’s helpful to have it plainly stated!

  • David, thanks for giving us the correct quote. I knew the word order was ‘best of all possible worlds’, but not the bits fore and aft. It’s a translation, in any case, but still…

    I have a friend who likes to quote Dickens (in the present tense): “It is the best of times; it is the worst of times…”
    And I’m like ‘Oh, really? Tell me how exactly it’s the best of times? I just don’t see it.’

    And yet I had a good and interesting day, playing some music at the memorial service for a friend, and talking with a bunch of people of about how we’re going to stop a proposed 30-story telecommunications tower from being plunked down smack-dab in the middle of our back-road rural place, where it will loom over our dwellings and flash it’s hideous lights into our bedrooms and living rooms, and be the main feature – a mechanical monster – in a sweet landscape of trees and meadows, woods and wetlands. Wish us luck…

    Our garden is growing well, the landscape is fresh and green, except for the many ailing tree, but in terms of bird-song it is the quietest spring/early summer I’ve ever hear – not quite ‘silent spring’, but getting there – and it used to be loud and raucous with lots and lots of birds of many kinds singing their hearts out.

  • Forgot to include this:

    But when you say western government, you probably are referring to China, India and the developing world as well.

  • Guy was in great fettle in Vancouver yesterday, and got in some good sound bites on the CBC Radio Vancouver morning show, CBC Early Edition. Latest show not posted yet.

    Quote from Guy “recycling is just an apology to the planet”

    Kevin Moore: purpose of western governments… not to mention plastic-filled oceans, other toxic chemicals and radiation.

    Article about the Bonn Climate Conference, which was help at same time as G7. A report on Arctic methane resulting from it, surprisingly ( At the end of the article ) Which maybe goes to show, the G7 leaders probably all know the facts.

    G7 say they will end carbon emissions by end of century. This is probably true, but not through the type of actions that most people might expect.

  • Artleads

    Yes, any government caught up in Ponzi finance and the nonsense of GDP growth.

  • lark,
    It is sad that the birds there are declining.We are on rollercoaster
    ride where the track ends in mid air. I have read about the loss of forests
    in the U.S. from pine bark beetle,drought,etc.The forest here is still in good condition and has recovered well from cyclone damage. (The two strongest cyclones to hit Queensland were in the last nine years,and we were near the centre of each,though as we are 60 kms.from the coast and at 900 metres altitude we did not receive as severe damage as the lower elevations closer to the coast)
    We greatly enjoy watching the birds here.We have two birdbaths near the verandah,and so far there is still plenty of birdlife here.This week the white-cheeked Honeyeaters and Bridled Honeyeaters returned after their seasonal absence.There are too many other species to list,some of the more colourful species to come are the Pale headed Rosella,Scarlet Honeyeater (syn. Scarlet Myzomela) and Golden Whistler,which you can google images of if you are interested.
    The recently elected Queensland Government has banned logging in the
    Tumoulin State forest near where we live to protect the Yellow Bellied Glider,a species of gliding possum. Hopefully they will also legislate to include it a more permanent protected zone.
    The longer term situation for everything is tenuous,as everyone on this site knows but which many of the general populace here,as in the U.S.,are either in denial over or still in a state of blissful ignorance about.

  • I know that some sharing on this blog question the relevance of the philosophical or spiritual concerns that some of us have brought up in our discussions. What needs to be understood is that the ideas and feelings people hold are largely responsible for what they do in the world. The mess we find ourselves in is largely due to what’s in our heads. So understanding our ideas and beliefs is crucial to changing our behavior. We see what people do, but why do they do it? Very often it is due to desires and thought processes in their minds. People with strong religious beliefs will behave in certain ways, whether those beliefs are founded in reality or not. People conditioned by cultural propaganda will do things that those free of that conditioning will not.

    If we want to change people’s behavior, we must find ways to change their minds. To counter the influence of propaganda we could promote counter propaganda. But a better, deeper way is to promote freedom from all propaganda in those we would influence, thus liberating them to think afresh and discover more real bases for acting and choosing how they will live and think. This process of getting people to think anew beyond their conditioning is crucial to undoing the fatal mistakes that are being perpetrated on the basis of unconscious conditioned behavior. If we destroy ourselves and much other life on Earth, it will be the result of what we think or what we fail to think. The human world is mainly constructed on the basis of what we think and feel. If we want to change our lives, we must change our thinking.

    Do everything with love….

  • Maybe what jars on NBL is hope. OTOH, I’ve found (paraphrasing) Robin’s saying–act in accordance with rational assumptions, but without expectations–to be helpful.

  • Artleads – Suppose one knows beyond any doubt or possibility that every human being on Earth will suffer horribly and be destroyed in the very near future, and there is absolutely nothing they can do to avert this fate. Why would one then feel impelled to alert their friends and anyone who would listen to this fact, knowing full well that this information would make those you love suffer terribly, whereas in their ignorance they may have been enjoying their lives? Misery loves company? Hey, I know something you don’t know? Why would anyone do that?

    On the other hand, if I feel there is a chance of our working our way out of our problems and mitigating the karma which is already certainly on it’s way to being fulfilled, then I have a reason to want to awaken people so we can join in discovering and enacting strategies that have a possibility of saving us from the worst.

    The first fatalistic belief renders me essentially helpless and hopeless. The second option gives me things to do, and the hope that they may have some good results – whether they do in future or not, at least being active will feel better than helplessly awaiting our doom. Hope in this case is like scientific faith – if we propose some hypotheses and do some experiments to test them, we might get some unexpectedly positive results. Let’s try it anyway, and see where it goes… Hopelessness forecloses all options and presumes a certainty which ignores our proneness to fallibility and error due to the depth of our ignorance. Paradoxically, hopelessness is really a form of arrogance.

  • @Mike K

    The beautiful Junayd quote you posted at the end of “Reframing Death” thread :

    — “I will walk a thousand leagues in falsehood, that one step of the journey may be true.” – Junayd] —

    It took me some time to find those extra posts, because although I was going back to the closed thread and although my browser was telling me there were now 113 comments instead of the 107 I was seeing, well… I had not thought of clicking on the NEWER COMMENTS link at the bottom of the page (I thought the page was endless…  hmmm… )

    @Mike K, again

    “Ok. I was just having fun with some of that above”

    Glad you added that in your post! 
    Because, you know, I was thinking,… I mean, I was trying to be “non-judgmental” there… but I was having very serious problems with it, until you clarified..

    @mo flow

    [in “Reframing Death” thread, June 12th, 2015 at 12:07 pm]

    “my overall feeling though, is still the same. even whatever smaller, incremental, real positive change can happen, or can be motivated or supported, is always “worth it.” (note we went through this just recently, and I am still aware of your objections there, as well…. :O)”


    @ Mike K again

    “Poor Rajneesh, he sought to teach but ended up more besotted than his students. Like Da Free John his “divinity” went to his head and he crashed. They are not alone unfortunately… But zen birds always find some morsels in the remains.
    Osho’s story is false -like himself.”

    No. Not with you there. Anyone who says they meditate or are interested in meditation or there might be some “use” in meditating (although meditating to me is getting out of the *usefullness* paradigm of western civilization) has to listen to the series of discourse Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (on the 112 meditation techniques of Lord Shiva – a book thousands of years old), easily found free on the Internet, and then *try* some of them. And see. See for yourself, the Buddha said. Don’t believe, experiment.

    A lot of things are said about Osho. But for this treasure, his comments on those techniques, I’m grateful more than I can say. See for yourself. Some interesting truths here

    But Mike, as I said earlier this week, I’m too humble myself. Self-deprecating. I meditate. More than I write in the above. But I wrote it as a mirror as well. I know the lapsing into laziness.

    Ego loves challenges. Great adventures. Give me a mountain to climb, and then a hole to dig, and I’ll find the sacred scrolls or whatever. But once it’s done, if the next step needed is go sit by a child and simply enjoy being there, then I might not do it. Ego is fulfilled by challenges, strengthened by great feats. Simple meditation techniques like the one I do (described as such in Vigyan Bhairav Tantra: IN ANY EASY POSITION GRADUALLY PERVADE AN AREA BETWEEN THE ARMPITS INTO GREAT PEACE – I think the translation was from Paul Reps’s Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, because he “listed” those 112 techniques at the end of that book, so my guess he did the translations, but not sure, and I don’t know if he himself commented on them)… the technique I do is so simple, so easy that is not ego-fulfilling.

    Ego likes it hard, tough. Not easy. A lot of great artists know it. Their talent and intelligence are so great that they (often) understand the danger it creates. Because so many artists are so full of themselves.

    Talking about meditation, I had to reflect on this. Am I, you know, playing an ego game here? I just did it spontaneously, always thinking it was the last time, maybe my last post. What’s the use posting with so much nihilism around? But then, “excellence”… So why not share? Why not say a few words, time is so short. The Web might stop being a link for doomers. So why not be excellent *now*?

    One thing I also learned, from Osho quoting Kabir, is about positivity and acting on the positive.

    This has been a hard lesson to learn, hard to integrate. The idea is, if you feel like doing something negative, postpone, wait, meditate, watch, watch the negative, it will pas, it will take time but it will. Wait. This is the one lesson Gurdjieff’s father gave him before dying. And Gurdjieff was true to the promise made that he would abide by it. You just watch… anger, sadness, thoughts, watch them run in the inner sky, watch the heat of anger. And wait, don’t act on them. Don’t throw your anger on others. If you’re insulted, go sit in your room and watch that heat inside. Don’t share it. But if you feel like giving, if some positive thought or emotion arises, then act on it, share. Don’t keep it to yourself.

    Had I never read Osho, I would not have learned those lessons. Which I am still learning, by the way. Not playing holier than thou, here.

    But no part of a meditation group. By myself is ok. I’ve meditated with others.

    My whole take on meditation, plus a bit of rant, is posted on the part of the forum called Guy’s Beauty Salon / aka: Hayduke’s Monkey Lounge, there

    I always thing this will be my last post. And it never is. But I almost write each as if it were the last.

    But I might be getting close to the last.

    I’ve talked a lot, and I’ve repeated things said previously. And I’ve read beautiful – or not so beautiful – posts. I have to apologize to all those whose posts or essays I’ve just skimmed or overlooked (or haven’t seen at all). With Guy touring, it is expected that this space will be more and more visited, which is great, but will make it difficult to read or at least scan everything. While I was participating actively, even if for a short while, I made it a point to at least look a bit at what people wrote. But as I slow down and post less often, I will also come and read less often. I want to thank you all in advance. And I want to say I was pleasantly surprised by the level of understanding that has been shown toward one that just wanted to talk about meditation while all this stuff is looming and falling. There’s still time, today, to DO something. When there’s no more time to be excellent, I will have no regret. I wanted to share some stillness with you, the stillness that only meditation bring, according to me. So now you have the key to my handle. The two keys.

    @ Kirk Hamilton

    Bear pepper spray! Never thought it existed. I remember walking around Johnson Canyon and shouting every 30 seconds, because we certainly did not want to surprise a grizzly. And at night, dark night there, when we heard some loud trashing about around our tent area (alone camped in a canyon where grizzlies had been reported the previous week), we though, “it has to be a horse, or an elk… or a grizzly!” And we quickly added a lot of wood on our fire. Would I go back again? I’d love to. I won’t bring bear pepper spray.

  • Hi Mike K,

    For me, it’s not a question of hope. It’s more about what I know. As in how a newborn knows and is attracted to kindness over cruelty. It knows the difference. Without science or education, one can know something. Often, it will take science considerable time and effort to catch up with this form of knowing. So what I know is primary and intuitive, and has nothing to do with what anyone else believes. Of course, I use reason and deduction too. Different ways of understanding fit together organically. You certainly are aware of this and more.

    If I’m in a place where what I know is not useful, needed, or even “understood,” I consider it best to keep it to myself.

    Beyond this, I couldn’t say more than what Still has so excellently imparted. It’s as though less is more, and relaxation trumps effort. And with you and others, I share the same proneness to egoism and error, the same lostness. Yet, what remains is the “knowledge” that is innate. That innate knowing helps me to take guidance when I stray, or to occasionally recognize what is the correct course.

    As far as I can see, hope and hopelessness are opposite sides of a single coin. There’s a time for each, I suppose. When I talk to my kids about the level of atmospheric CO2, or methane release, or species die-off, and they suggest that hard work and organization is the solution, I tell them it’s too late for any of that. But that isn’t all I know. I can’t share with them what I know beyond that, for they haven’t had the experiences to understand. I figure they have to pick that up through osmosis or by reading between the lines. I can’t help them there, other than to act on the basis of my innate understanding, and anticipate that they’ll make sense of the hidden messages eventually.

    Sorry about this vague rambling. What I’ll tentatively end with is that the distinction between hope and hopelessness is very subtle. Earnestness and insistence might well be a snare that upsets the delicate balance between the two. 🙂

  • Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
    Would not take the garbage out!
    She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans,
    Candy the yams and spice the hams,
    And though her daddy would scream and shout,
    She simply would not take the garbage out.
    And so it piled up to the ceilings:
    Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
    Brown bananas, rotten peas,
    Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
    It filled the can, it covered the floor,
    It cracked the window and blocked the door
    With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
    Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
    Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
    Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
    Pizza crusts and withered greens,
    Soggy beans and tangerines,
    Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
    Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
    The garbage rolled on down the hall,
    It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
    Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
    Globs of gooey bubble gum,
    Cellophane from green baloney,
    Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
    Peanut butter, caked and dry,
    Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
    Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
    Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
    Cold french fried and rancid meat,
    Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
    At last the garbage reached so high
    That it finally touched the sky.
    And all the neighbors moved away,
    And none of her friends would come to play.
    And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said,
    “OK, I’ll take the garbage out!”
    But then, of course, it was too late. . .
    The garbage reached across the state,
    From New York to the Golden Gate.
    And there, in the garbage she did hate,
    Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
    That I cannot now relate
    Because the hour is much too late.
    But children, remember Sarah Stout
    And always take the garbage out!

    Shel Silverstein, 1974

  • Martin,
    Thanks for the garbage poem. The last line “take the garbage out!” reminded me of a video I had seen a while back.

    Because with garbage there is actually no “out”,only somewhere else besides where it is now.

  • I dont think were worth saving

  • hey Martin ~

    I don’t enjoy deleting posts, but I am serious about being hardcore with enforcing the current thread two post limit. that’s not going to change.

    please feel free to use the previous thread for any additional posts over the daily limit of two. thank you!

    ~ mo

  • From Richard Wolfson of Middlebury, in the Teaching Company Course “Earth’s Changing Climate,” he says that negative feedbacks (the good kind) don’t have energy input to do more than mitigate just a bit the already catastrophic levels of energy already burned which was placed exclusively into manufacturing greenhouse gas on a super-hyper-industrial scale. Find now the multi-jillions of terratons of energy to pour into your negative feedback loops and we might have a chance. Now, where is that energy possibly going to come from? My guess is probably the most holy and benevolent Bot Orgt in the 7th dimension, so we all better start praying now.

  • Don’t forget the second pincer of the claw when it comes to climate disruption,which is the acidification of the oceans. An immense problem which no geoengineering scheme can address. Read ‘Earthmasters’ by Clive Hamilton if you doubt this.

  • do As mike says, kill the banker with love…then try a hammer. i understand a nailgun works pretty well too.

  • Claiming surrender to the unbounded Divine while holding fast to hope for the temporally and spatially constrained is the hallmark of a poseur. “Yeah, I surrender to Yah”, with reservations.

    The expectation that one’s actions and their outcomes will be congruent constitutes arrogance. Outright dumping that expectation is not possible: it fades away in the light of awareness. Such awareness is brought about by a process of purification of the mind. Some are at that threshold of REALisation of REALity, and others have a long path ahead of them. Those who have stepped past that that threshold, passt temporospatial constraints, are no longer “those”, being, among other characteristics, hopeless and fearless, hope and fear being two sides of the same coin.

    Thwarted hope is despair: desire (for the temporospatially constrained) remains held ever so fast, even when hope is utterly thwarted. Until one lets go of the desire, one will remain trapped in the Cosmic Monkey Trap.

    Acting with love is acting with attachment. Acting out of compassion in acting without such exclusionary attachments.

    Changing people’s behaviour cannot be accomplished by appeals to the intellect any more than one can direct where a limousine goes by attempting to persuade the chauffeur. The rational, verbal mammalian/primate brain, the chauffeur, takes its orders from the non-rational, non-verbal emotive and valuational reptilian brain, the brain of not only the darkest but also of the brightest values.

  • Interesting response that my suggestion for geoengineering the atmosphere is not considered factually based, the atmosphere system is too complex, etc. Well, humans are geoengineering the climate right now. The bad one is pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere-ocean system. The “good” one is aerosols introduction from airplanes and mining, manufacturing, energy production. The aerosol production is good only in the sense that it does dust up the atmosphere and helps block sunlight and therefore mitigates the effects of the greenhouse gases. So saying humans can’t geoengineer the planet is silly. That’s how we got into the climate change business in the first place.

    Now, we have many examples of how increased aerosols in the upper atmosphere cool the climate via volcanic eruptions. Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines is a more recent example. The problem with volcanoes is there is no way to control their output, so the climate can overcool to the point of widespread crop failures. Humans could at least control the output of dimming particulate production.

    It may involve rocket science, but humans conduct such activities all the time. Compared with a Moon or Mars program, this should not be a difficult task to conduct and monitor, especially when doing nothing (more than we already do) may have severe consequences.

  • Perhaps Gaia has just entered apoptopic phase?

  • oh its my fifty fourth birthday today, hokahay

  • Gary McMurtry

    ‘Compared with a Moon or Mars program, this should not be a difficult task to conduct and monitor;

    Not sure what you mean by ‘a Moon or Mars program’ but it is now perfectly clear to anyone who has examined the evidence that no humans ever went managed a round trip to the Moon and no humans will ever get to Mars alive. The so-called Apollo Moon landings were a hoax, a scam, a fraud, an illusion, a fabrication, just like practically everything else in ‘the Matrix’.

    As for your suggestion that humans can tinker with the atmosphere to control insolation, we might ask: what is the point? If the point is to dig an even deeper hole for humanity by allowing present insane arrangement to continue a bit longer I will remind you that every day that excessive CO2 emission are allowed to continue increases the acidity of the oceans and brings forward the ‘death of the oceans’, after which most life on land will suffer extinction anyway.

    If the point is to reduce the rate at which the Earth ‘melts down’ there is no point in attempting to block incoming radiation unless such a project it is accompanied by elimination of the fossil fuel sector..,.. which would prove problematic, since there can be no rocket programs without the industrial economy.

    The peaking of EROEI and the rapid slide down the EROI curve we are now experiencing suggests that that industrial cannot persist for more than another couple of decades whatever crazy schemes uninformed fools come up with to attempt to maintain industrial civilisation.

    Never forget: The chief source of problems is solutions.

  • I’ve posted anew. Catch the latest information dump here.

  • @ Mike K

    Just to correct a message to you – from which Smiley disappeared!!

    I was quoting you (from the “basement” thread, as you call it):

    [You] “Ok. I was just having fun with some of that above”

    Glad you added that in your post! [Smiley should have been here]
    Because, you know, I was thinking,… I mean, I was trying to be “non-judgmental” there… but I was having very serious problems with it, until you clarified..

    – I had typed that answer in a Word file and then pasted it in the comment field. But… Smiley disappeared, making me sound like I was scolding you. This needed to be fixed. Sorry about that. This is the only thing I have time for this morning here. I’ll come back to recent posts later… and now I see this will be reading a basement thread. Hope it won’t be a second basement one ! 🙂


  • happy birthday, Martin!! 🙂

  • Glad you are with us Martin. We need folks like you. Remember – don’t worry be happy!

  • mike k ~

    sorry, had to delete that last comment of yours in the main thread. thanks for the thanks, but two per day is the limit. :O)

    here are some more thoughts, as this whole thread of ideas of yours about a Great Secret is interesting, on many levels. for one thing, I am really not seeing how what I am saying is steering anybody away from discovering such a Secret (if it exists). the process of discovery is driven from the inside, on countless levels, and I don’t think it can be deterred by anything, when it is ready to move into the places it wants to move into…

    “a great secret that would explain the meaning of everything and bestow the power to design a world more to your liking”

    this whole thing was really prodding at me, and something was telling me that there was something, from my own very personal POV at least, that was seriously off with this communication.

    it just clicked. it feels like this is the common error that there is something “out there” that if given to one, will be “an answer” that will make it all better, or all “right.”

    the reason this is an error is that no being will able to hear an answer like this unless that being is already in harmony with the answer, internally, on the “non-rational” feeling level. (this partly gets back to the idea Robin was talking about recently: there isn’t any way of intellectually persuading or changing the direction of the chauffeur. the chauffeur takes orders only from the level of being where this “knowing-stuff” exists on a feeling, emotional, level).

    this is yet another reason why I insist that there is no external “meaning of everything” that can ever be given from an “outside of one’s being” POV. the meaning always comes from the inside of one’s being. no exceptions. that is truly the only place it exists, on any level that matters.

    as for “the power to design a world more to your liking” well, you have this power right now. we all do. and I don’t mean on a “positive mindset” way, or “power of attraction” way, or anything like that. we literally, as mini-One-Beings, have the same creative power as the One, on a smaller scale. but what is that smaller scale? it is actually gigantic. miracles on the scale of world-changing, right at our fingertips.

    but we do not use this power, because that is simply not the point of why we came here. we came here to pretend that we have no such power, and to slowly, incrementally, over thousands, millions or billions of years, rediscover this “gift” of Being-the-One, because we want to express Love in the zillions of different ways this process itself allows us, over eons of time.

    we all savor this Love-experience so much (when we exist in our actual Energy Being states) that we design experiences ~ incredibly, infinitely, bizarrely, beyond freakishly amazingly rich, exquisite experiences ~ where we can quite literally lose ourselves in the most astounding, and seemingly endless, journeys of rediscovering the Power of Love, and proving to ourselves that yes, it really IS just as awesomely great as we all already know it is. we want to test it, and display it, and shower it, and spray it, and just zoom it out into the heavens, again and again and again…

    it is just an insanely cool and impressive thing to do. the Ultimate Fireworks on the biggest Fourth of July. we want to “ooohh” and “aaahhh” for a long, long time, just reveling in this Presence, and ITs Supreme Loveliness, savoring it as absolutely long as we can make it last.

  • mo

    Love you

  • Mo –

    using adolescent jingos like “awesomely great” – “totally awesome” – “insanely cool” – “totally rock”, etc. while claiming to know more than all the wise men who ever existed is, well, a bit over the top. Feels more like a 12 yo girl explaining the meaning of life on a Fox reality show.

    Just sayin.

  • Bob S. ~

    shreddingly brilliant observation, dude!

    now, if I *did* know more than all the wise men who ever existed, that would be so far beyond totally cool! then the 12 yo girl and I could interview on Fox together. :O)

  • Still ~

    I love you, too!

  • Thanks again mo for sucking me into the vortex of my life’s obsession with finding how we can end this nightmare we are enacting like a lot of helpless puppets. This is not a bloodless intellectual search meant to adorn my ego, but a gut wrenching drama that began even before I was roughly thrust into this realm by birth. One of my means of coping with this tortured existence is to repeatedly make a gesture of accepting my discontent as a helpful spur goading me to continue seeking healing possibilities for our mostly self-inflicted agonies. I intentionally avoid getting too comfortable thru theories, beliefs, meditation techniques, romances, drugs, entertainments, sports, movies, books…… Although I continue to practice all of those except the drugs – which I way over used my credit card for long ago.

    Allen Ginsberg knew my story when I was younger…..

    “I saw the
    best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
    starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking
    for an angry fix,
    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
    connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking
    in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating
    across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
    who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw
    Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs
    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
    hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the
    scholars of war,
    who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing
    obscene odes on the windows of the skull….”

    It’s hard to try to understand our ideas without having a sense of who we are – where this stuff is coming from. So self-disclosure is necessary for the elusive chance of connection and communication. I am always grateful when people give me some ideas of who they are, what life has been for them – knowing them a little bit I can begin to grasp what they are saying. Of course contexts are infinite, and we have to settle for a few choice slices in order not to be drowned in TMI.

    Years ago I realized that Indian thinkers were right in discerning that each and all of us are involved in a vast long lasting play or epic drama whose detailed events were unpredictably unfolding as the story progresses, but whose broad outlines and basic plot vectors could be made out to some extent by those wise enough to look within in the right way. Seeing things through this lens made it clear that any good story would involve plot complications and suspense to stretch out the tale in time and space (which were there as basic props.) I compared these prolonging artifices to the carbon rods installed in the first atomic pile built in the West stands of Stagg Field at the U. of Chicago where I attended for a time. Those rods were designed to slow down the fissioning process, so that the damned thing wouldn’t blow up or melt down. (The negro streets I went down seeking an angry fix were in Chi)

    So also the process of Life developing and becoming intelligent and realizing it’s deep spiritual identity needed to be slowed down lest everbody flash to Full Realization and the show be prematurely terminated in the blinding Light of Perfect Realization with the curtain (Maya) coming down with a Crash! before the fat lady could even begin her final song. Some show! – a lot of the best parts would be never experienced because some hotshots poked a hole in the pervasive cloud of Maya, and everybody groked the little guy pulling the levers behind the curtain, clicked their heels and decided to bypass the trip back to Kansas and take the Starlight Express straight to Nirvana with no stops or delays – instant translation out of this world…

    And that would be one way what could have been a wonderful epic drama would conclude too soon. There is another way, and this NTE blog has that for it’s major focus. It could all end in incredible suffering with the triumph of Evil in it’s ugliest colors, and nobody ever really recovering their ultimate identity and celebrating that with all the other liberated Souls. Yeah a few would have had glimpses, but nobody can get all the way there until we all can sit down together at that great feast table in the beyond…

    In short, the Big Show can Flop – badly. If anyone should want to console themselves that this could not happen or that it is not happening now – it’s all an illusion anyway – or whatever escape hatch they imagine exists – be my guest. I don’t believe it. Ugly beyond imagination failure is a real possibility that is being demonstrated in spades around us every day. Look away or snuggle in your imaginary consolations if you wish, but I am going to accept that gruesome reality and continue to hope and seek and work to avoid that unfortunate premature and awful conclusion to the Greatest Show On Earth….

    (footnote) In days when I was more depressed I used to think of this Earth as a perfectly designed torture garden, with just the right amounts of hope and intermission of the torture to make it specially effective when resumed. This passage would then recur to me as applying to the Evil God who would create and enjoy such a painful world. I also thought of Gurdjieff who on being asked the purpose of this world answered, “It is a giant pain factory.”

    “What is a poet? An unhappy man who in his heart harbors a deep anguish, but whose lips are so fashioned that the moans and cries which pass over them are transformed into ravishing music. His fate is like that of the unfortunate victims whom the tyrant Phalaris imprisoned in a brazen bull, and slowly tortured over a steady fire; their cries could not reach the tyrant’s ears so as to strike terror into his heart; when they reached his ears they sounded like sweet music. And men crowd around the poet and say to him, “Sing for us soon again”—which is as much as to say, “May new sufferings torment your soul, but may your lips be fashioned as before; for the cries would only distress us, but the music, the music, is delightful. (Kierkegaard)

  • Thanks again mo for sucking me into the vortex of my life’s obsession with finding how we can end this nightmare we are enacting like a lot of helpless puppets.

    my pleasure! (wait… I think? who finds pleasure in getting sucked into this vortex…? :O)

    seriously mike, you are coming from a place that I have more commonality with than anything else. I will say that point blank. there are reasons you are in this particular place, and from your great post here, and many of your other posts, I know we share very similar reasons for being here, in this crazy place, together. it is an obsession for me as well. in my own way, but no less than an obsession.

    it would be very good to continue a more personal convo, if you wish, via email. feel free to get in touch: moflow at outlook dot com.

  • Mo – I like to share most of what I think on the open blog, but thanks for the email invite, I’ll keep it in mind. I’m trying to stretch my willingness to share openly. You are one of my friends on the path, and I am grateful for finding you. I have been a very private person for much of my life, and I am learning to “come out’ more now. What have we got to lose? My rep was shot a long time ago….

    Diarmuid – I used to consider myself sort of a connoisseur of smoking products – but that stuff you are smoking has got to be out of this world!

    Still – I need to get back to you about Osho aka Rajneesh. The 112 meditation techniques of Lord Shiva is a great document and Osho’s comments were deeply insightful. I learned a lot from Osho – having over 100 of his books might give a hint about that. But learning from him is a lot different from worshiping him and thinking of him as an infallible guide as many unfortunately did. If you look up objective reporting about the debacle he and his followers perpetrated in Antelope Oregon, its hard not to say he was a great teacher of other peoples writings on spirituality but a lousy ashram leader and a deeply flawed human being imho. I have compassion for Osho, but I wish he had done a better job leading a lot of young people, and on his own personal spiritual growth. If you feel gratitude for his teachings, I do too – with some reservations about other aspects of his behavior. A spiritual guide who hurts those who come to him bears a heavy karma.

  • [love those basement conversations]

    Hi Mike,

    There’s something frantic with the mind when it’s in the boss’s position. The mind is not comfortable there. It’s my take anyway. A restlessness. There’s a saying that goes sort of, “One fool can ask more questions than a thousand wisewomen can answer.”

    I’ve asked for help. You know about that as well. Maybe the help was different, and the condition slightly different. But the asking, as you said, requires humility.

    But we are dignity, so we should not forget that.

    Sometimes I need poetry
    Like a horse, a dog,
    Any animal needs
    To lean and drink
    At a pond or brook
    Just a basic need
    Nothing fancy really
    Nothing higher up, but rather
    Just like an animal bending its knees
    Or stepping in the moving water
    I just need to kneel or bend lower
    And bring water to my lips
    And let the rest fall from my hands
    Fall back, to the earth
    Carrying my thankfulness
    And then rise again under the sky
    Like a new man

    Sometimes poetry needs me
    And seeks me out

    – – –

    I guess I can call you brother after that

  • gorgeous poetry, Still…

  • It is everywhere
    But you don’t see it
    But you see it

    How you think it works
    Is not how it works
    But that doesn’t matter

    When it is time
    You will remember
    What you already know

    What you gain from it
    Will be your loss
    Entering into it you
    Will be leaving it

    Knowing it you will
    Be ignorant of it
    Your achievement of it
    Will be your failure

    Having that light will
    Leave you in darkness…

  • Me (Rod MacIver): Do you believe there is a God?
    Balbir Mathur: Who knows?
    Me: Does that mean no? You do not believe there is a God?
    Balbir: I cannot answer your question. I am not a theologian. I do not understand those concepts. I do not live in those concepts. I do not worry about what others have to say. I have simplified my life to just three principles, which I try to practice. I cannot say I have mastered them. I attempt. I fall, I falter and I attempt.
    This boat I travel in is called Surrender. I have nothing to achieve. Whatever comes is there and I enjoy it. The two oars that take my boat — one is instant forgiveness. I get angry, I get mad, but as soon as I remind myself to put my oars in action, I forgive. The second oar is tremendous gratitude. I am thankful for the experience of this life, for the opportunity to dance.
    Me: To what do you surrender?
    Balbir: The act of surrendering is so important that who you surrender to becomes insignificant. It is the surrender itself that is important. At different times you surrender to different things. Whatever it is, we will enjoy the moment the way it is. Call it God, call it Spirit, call it the Love Energy, call it by whatever pigeon-hole you want — but you surrender to life as it is, without demanding anything. If life is the master, I am the dancer. However I can serve, I do serve.
    Me: There seems to be a recognition that there is a spiritual force involved somehow.
    Balbir: Yes, but those that experience it need no words and for those that cannot, words will do no good. Why talk about it? Describing light to a blind man will not help the blind man. It is frustrating to put it into words — like trying to put the dance of a butterfly into words. You can only describe the beauty you see. People who wish to see it will see it. Trying to convert others is a violent act and denies the beauty of the dance.
    – Balbir Mathur, Director, Trees For Life, an organization that has helped rural villagers around the world plant tens of millions of fruit trees.

  • [tonight I came back to this beautiful basement thread, with several great posts]

    Mike – and mo flow, who also has been discussing the Great Secret,

    My way of asking was very logical (!) and was like this :
    My reasoning, I mean.

    If there is such a thing as a wider consciousness, a master, then it is a wider circle. So if I love + fear, this wider consciousness would be aware of that, and would not harm the little love I have. It would respect it, maybe nurture it.

    So maybe, maybe, it is safe to ask for a master that would help me on the way.

    – – – – – –

    I have been deeply touched when I was told that a “wider consciousness” cannot change me, cannot help me by changing me in any way (this “great secret” thing Mike has talked about), because “changing” me would mean not respecting my consciousness.

    If a master has special powers and uses them to “change” me, then it’s a manipulation – and it is somehow saying I have no dignity. Saying that in order to have dignity, I need it to be given to me by a master (or whatever cosmic consciousness you can imagine) who will manipulate my consciousness. Mike K was talking about “projections” of subtle bodies. I’m not interested in any such powers – my focus is on love and awareness. But such powers do exist.

    If a master used such powers to “tinker” with a disciple’s consciousness… that would be criminal, of course.

    Help cannot be given to others through manipulations, of any kind.

    Of course, I can imagine tricking someone in order to save their life, or that kind of thing, in a concrete situation.

    But really helping with consciousness can only be done through consciousness, discussing rationally, suggesting options, answering questions or asking some in the Socratic way maybe.

    – But no “magic” trick – the use of sidhis – can be of help. It is against freedom. It is against respect, against dignity.

    So somehow it is paradoxical. The master, even if they have powers to “tinker” and “give truth” or “pieces of truth” to an individual, even open to it, will refuse to do so. As if the only help you could give would be to affirm the dignity of the other by refusing anything that would be manipulative – anything that would be “taking the place of the other” or “doing it” in their place.

    It makes sense!

    So much for great secrets!

  • Still – I am busy today, two groups to attend. I love it that you think deeply about life and question ideas and realities. In our world as it is it’s hard to find folks to dialog with who are willing to question and be questioned and question themselves deeply. Socrates felt that a life lived without the ability to ask oneself and others deep questions was not worth living. He was like me – I would not know how or why to stay alive except for questions. My love of questions, finding out secrets and hidden, occult things gave me a reason to stick around when I was very much considering leaving this show. If solving riddles and increasing knowledge and consciousness capacities is a big part of why we are manifested and where we are headed, then I want to learn to enjoy this sometimes maddening game of Self discovery! More later….

  • Hi Mike,

    Take care, been enjoying the challenges you raise.


  • Still ~

    what you are saying above is so totally on target.

    but, I will clarify something, from my POV.

    and it is somehow saying I have no dignity

    yes, it is this, but it is much more than this. it is saying the One has no dignity. it is saying that Creation has no dignity.

    it is the heart of the hubris trap, whenever and however this happens. it applies everywhere. we are in Harmony when we are true co-Creators. we are in disharmony when we blindly manipulate, change, take, despoil or otherwise twist Creation to the whims and demands of our egos, in whatever fashion we do so.

    co-Creation is an act of Love. Ego manipulation is from fear, and however it may be sugar coated or rationalized, is expressed as hatred.

    we will learn this lesson, or we will pay the only logical price: extermination from a system that demands nothing less than Harmony, just by the Nature of what IT is, for all who wish to participate long term.

  • Still ~

    you certainly are talking about some seriously deep issues. there are many layers to this, as well. some of these things sound quite alarming when faced with these realities, but that just has to be known, along with everything else you are saying that is so right on.

    your higher self can give consent for experiences that your human ego self would find objectionable in all kinds of ways. potentially extremely objectionable.

    of course, this truth is open to abuse, but as Mike mentioned, this kind of abuse bears a heavy karma. any being who uses these ideas as cover for abuse is in line for a world of very harsh awakenings.

    this again, however, points to the reality of the ultimate need to reach for Harmony, through Love and compassion, to the absolute extreme of our abilities.

    we naturally grow in our abilities as we evolve, and some of these abilities include things, such as siddhis, that are there as outgrowths of our connections to a larger reality.

    if we have not put our desire for Harmony foremost, then we can only get sucked into ego traps, again and again. the call to Surrender is only an issue for the recalcitrant ego. our higher selves know Surrender is the gateway to living in harmony with Creation, and having the freedom to “drive safely.”

  • [mo flow — At the time of posting this, I notice you posted another one, which I’ll read in more detail tonight.]

    mo flow –

    “co-Creation is an act of Love. Ego manipulation is from fear, and however it may be sugar coated or rationalized, is expressed as hatred.”

    Let me first say I’m having such a great time here right now. You’re just crazy and I love it.

    That good time is… credit is due to a lot of people… or to the One… or to some that are not there physically. We’re not ambassadors. I talk for myself. But I feel a responsibility. This is a kind of no-bullshit site. So things can get… ah… nasty pretty rapidly because quite a few folks here won’t have any patience for fools or foolishness. Guy is very aware of that, I’m sure, and I’m sure he has know for a long time that “fuses” would be short when what we are facing is this. This creates an intensity. A charge in the wiring of NBL site. You’re role in that, in managing that, checking the current, etc., is invaluable. Paul Chefurka just wrote in the “Faster than expected” thread: [June 17th, 2015 at 9:22 am] “and kudos to mo flow for moderating this evolutionary shift in the blog’s Zeitgeist.”

    Those praises have been repeated, deservedly. Same as the thanks to Guy.

    It’s a “lucky” period for this site then. Because with so much energy, that can turn nasty pretty quick, I’m not sure I want to hang around.

    I’m reading a novel by Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins, published this year. A fair part of it is about crews in bombers flying from Britain to occupied Europe, Berlin, etc., during WWII. I’m not finished, and there’s going to be nasty stuff as well, I expect, kind of Dresden and other cities that were just, you know… terror war. But I just want to point to stuff that you know, hopefully not from experience, i.e. the rate of survival of those crews was very low. Very low. Flying a “tour” of 30 ops was throwing dices loaded against you every few days. So, there was no after, and I think a guy describes his feeling as a sort of carpet, unrolling a few feet ahead of him, not more than that. A few feet at the time. Only this is given, as far as present and future. A few feet of carpets to stand on. Don’t expect more.

    We have much more than that. Most, I hope, among us currently have more than that.

    In the post you mention as being “on target,” I just considered things from a personal point of view – that of a relationship between a master and a disciple. I did not come up with those insights myself. Not at all. I was told that. Not personally. But it was told to me. And when it was told, I understood it, and it allowed me to make connections, and to understand what respect is, and it just blows my mind.

    And it fitted somehow in this conversation about “great secrets” that Mike K had initiated.

    So… this intensity that is present. This no-bullshit that is ever present on this site (which might become a 24/7 thing with 100 times more people… who knows… within… think exponential… ) accelerates some “chemical reactions,” insights. For me. Engaging in those conversations with you and Mike K, mostly, I’m always in a mirror. Not that I choose it. The mirror just comes closer and closer. As I write, actually… at the moment of writing, now or in another now. The gauging of positivity-restlessness-drive-love-compassion-sharing, which at times pushes away the awareness of “I want to meditate,” “I know I want to meditate,” “I have no intention of sharing and ‘being positive’ with others if it means losing sight of this commitment to meditate.”

    This morning, doing the meditation I referred to before, from Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, peace became so real. Again. Not an idea. Just imagining peace in the area around the heart, that part of the chest, imagining that peace is a natural feeling there, and it comes. Right there. And I can just bathe and be refreshed by it. Not self-hypnosis at all, but rather a remembering something that is a natural state, but that has been buried, by civilization, education, putting mind in the top chair where it is just lost.

    It took me so long to get rid of theory and to come to action, and then to the action that fits for me… that I have to stay aware of any tendency to stray, be it for an intense chat with wonderful people.

    But compassion is a drive as well. Its “drive” is not restless as those of various emotions. So compassion brings me back here. Affirming dignity. Nothing more.

    Your being there made that possible.

    No kidding. Without you and you with such a level of consciousness, as a moderator, no way this car with no grip on its cars won’t end in the ditch.

    I have no time to argue. Or I will if compassion requires it. But no feel for it. But… a few feet of carpets. I never know. I never know what I will write. And I watch what prompts me to write… what’s the engine.

    “co-Creation is an act of Love. Ego manipulation is from fear, and however it may be sugar coated or rationalized, is expressed as hatred.”

    In the end, dissolution. As long as we are not willing to be dissolved in our meditation, the one that works for us individually, then we are in fear, and we will be at least a bit manipulative.

    I insist so much on meditation because I know that the right “attitude,” if it is of the mind, is worth nothing. It has to be from the being, from the higher. I focus on feeding the higher, supporting the higher, and I learn not to fight with the… pull of negative stuff, from childhood, all kinds of repressions, just learning to not give an ounce of energy to fighting any of this. Just supporting the higher, the positive, will leave all those regressions with no energy to keep going.

    I can say this to you. Of course, this is a public space. But without you to “bounce” such stuff from, it would not appear on the page. My fingers would not find the words on the keyboard.

    But back to responsibility. All this thing about respect, dignity and freedom, and the refusal of the master to tamper in anyway with the disciple’s consciousness became an incredible shower of understanding as far as my aloneness and my responsibility with my life and consciousness.

    The new rules of the forum, that makes the past threads an open space for longer discussion, create new possibilities. I would never type long stuff like that on the current thread. No respect. So, it’s interesting.

    It’s a pleasure.

    Let’s find some poetry to go with that… shuffle shuffle shuffle.

    Here is one I no longer understand. Some parts I still understand. But I swear I did understand the whole thing when I wrote it. This happens. But the end, I still understand very much. One of the most beautiful endings I wrote and felt. The very beginning came mostly for the sound. There was meaning to it, but most importantly a rhythm. Poems have a way of coming innocently, just one line I often think, and I will jot it down. Then a sister line comes. And then the whole thing.

    Can I be the day
    the time, the love
    the tear

    Can I be the time
    in your heart
    that space where
    heart is not enclosed
    and breathes as wind wills it

    This is strange, so strange
    Heart and freedom and
    the door opening
    only when will is surrendered

    Dignity immediately enters,
    gentle, and bows

    All those poems were written one shot no further change, and most just took the time needed to jot them down, let’s say a few minutes.

    The one you liked about a River. I wish I would come to you with a river. The first stanza came as I was laying in a tent, at the foot of Mount Albert in the Gaspe Peninsula. And there was a river there. No bathing allowed, just for the animals. Very fine with me.

    I remember the first time I came to the river it was so beautiful I almost wished it did not exist. This could not exist in such an ugly world. It was better that this not exist – it hurt too much. So, this is a dark side inside. The fear of beauty, of vulnerability. And nature is SO vulnerable. Birds. Rivers. We have such responsibility.

    So, first stanza written while laying in my tent, meditating that meditation for two hours in the early hours, then those few lines came : I wish I could come to you with a river, just the first stanza. I memorized them, thinking ok, I’ll jot this down when getting up. Thanks. But then more seemed to want to come. So I got up, sat at the picnic table, and cried all along while I wrote the rest. Never changed a line or a word. And I felt so light. She asked me, Are you ok? I said, it’s ok, I cry but I feel so light, really you should not worry at all.

    And at last, the last joke: Ten years ago, having realized I had taken up writing poetry again, and thinking I was going to write a collection, or let it come, I suddenly felt that I should write the purpose of why I write. I felt the moment was ripe, the spirit was there, I felt I had all my wits, that I was very rational, and so that this could probably be the time when the purpose of why I write could be put to paper. Took the pen, wrote a first stanza in a minute. Felt good. Then tried to continue, I mean I did continue, but the logical spirit that I thought I had sort of took the back seat and a poem arose. The first stanza was not meant to be poetry, but prose. The whole thing was meant to be prose. But poetry took over. So, when I read the poem, if I read it line by line, is seems logical, it seems rational. But if you analyze it as a whole, it just doesn’t work. It’s illogical. It’s one of the most beautiful I wrote, according to me. I love it. But to appreciate it I have to stay with the line I’m reading, or that one and the one just read. Staying with the sentence. But links between part have been tampered with by a heart that just grabbed the pen from my logical hand.

    So, as I said for those pilots, just a few feet of carpet ahead of themselves. Nothing more. Love to you, mo. Here is that poem.

    One Word About Writing

    The hand holding the pen
    has nothing to say.
    I am that hand.

    Whatever is said,
    if it has any worth,
    has nothing to do with the intellectual process.
    That process is just a tool.
    Like a bucket thrown in a well
    where night and light
    to fill it.

    My hand is that bucket.
    The few words that I let drip on paper
    talk about that source,
    not about my hand.
    Who cares about a decorated bucket?
    Its only worth is in what it can carry.

    But this is not completely true,
    because the tool, in fact, has immense worth,
    because by carrying water
    it participates in quenching
    the heart’s thirst.
    And because of that it is thankful
    to the water
    that graciously,
    accepted it as a temporary vehicle.

  • Rereading, I notice I should have punctuated thus:

    No kidding. Without you — and you with such a level of consciousness — as a moderator, no way this car with no grip on its tires won’t end in the ditch.

  • Still ~

    the water of my Soul knows nothing better than what you have just shared with me, what you have just given me. nothing better.

  • I remember the first time I came to the river it was so beautiful I almost wished it did not exist. This could not exist in such an ugly world. It was better that this not exist – it hurt too much. So, this is a dark side inside. The fear of beauty, of vulnerability. And nature is SO vulnerable. Birds. Rivers. We have such responsibility.

    we do. and because you know that, Still, I am not worried that we will fail.

  • mo flow –

    “this again, however, points to the reality of the ultimate need to reach for Harmony, through Love and compassion, to the absolute extreme of our abilities.”

    Some call it living on the edge.

    “…to the absolute extreme of our abilities”

    Sharpening the mind so it becomes commitment.

    “…to the absolute extreme of our abilities”

    To me, those words tell the story of zen.

  • [will see if this can be posted in parts — size seems to prevent it from being pasted as a whole from the Word doc]

    On Osho

    @ Mike K and mo flow

    – Addressing this message to you because we’ve been discussing in recently closed threads. And Osho has been raised.
    – Another issue that has been raised is the possibility that someone with special “powers”, often called sidhis, would “tamper” with some people’s consciousness, i.e. would manipulate them with special powers.

    Why raise this?
    Straightening things.

    I’ll try not to digress and remain on track, to be intelligible for people not acquainted with such.

    I will have facts wrong, or I won’t have facts to support what I’m saying. I have knowledge of facts. But my main knowledge is from the inside, in the sense that I used Osho’s meditation techniques for decades. And I have been reading his discourses, which were spontaneous discourses he gave, mostly in India. Most of them are available for free as PDFs or MP3 files. And also those of a later period are available as videos, but not for free, except a few on the Net. But even these facts I might have wrong. I just know of a free source,, from which I download PDFs and audio discourses when I want to listen to. It’s free for anyone who wants. No personal info is required. I mean just the basic that would allow any download to your computer. Oshoworld is the name of an Osho “commune?” (not sure the term is appropriate) near or at Delhi, or New Delhi, India. A lot of people will also be aware of the Pune or Poona ashram, now called a meditation resort, near Mumbai. But I don’t think you could get free downloads of discourses from their site. I think you have to pay, not a high price.

    – Anyone wants to say stuff about Osho should listen to a few of those. To have an idea who this is about. Mike K has read, or has in his possession, a hundred Osho books or so, and presents himself as knowing about Osho. I think Mike is wrong. I know Mike is wrong.
    – Look on the Net, wherever, in book reviews of Osho haters, etc. You’ll find plenty of stuff to substantiate, to support your claims that Osho is a God that Failed (I think I remember this is the title of a famous anti-Osho book), or a hoax, or much worse. Some claim he is a criminal. A lot claim that he is a criminal. And then there seems to be a kind of frenzy of adding more to the pile. Some said he had sex with disciples, with both men and women, if I remember correctly. And more.

    Those “charges” or claims were mostly written in the 80s. At the time, Osho came to the U.S., establishing a commune in Oregon, near Antelope. From 1982-1985, sort of.

    With hindsight, we can imagine the reaction of the U.S. Christian fundamentalists, quite a few of which had great influence in the Reagan government. I won’t name names, but some has been frequently mentioned. U.S. high officials who made it a point of destroying Osho, his work, his reputation, his commune, etc.

    I don’t know all the facts, but I know quite a few. But what I learned was a long time ago, and names, dates, etc. are not something that I know currently, except a few. I’m a meditator. My interest in Osho was for the meditation techniques.

    To get some facts straight, the following blog, which I mentioned the other day, is by someone with a scientific or legal approach. Meaning he substantiates what he says, and requires others to do the same. He calls liars, liars. I learned of this blog a few months ago. I read it, and was genuinely impressed, all the more so because this man says he is not a disciple of Osho and doesn’t consider himself one either. I believe him. His blog on lies about Osho:

    A great source of info about trials of Osho, the climate in his commune at the time, the attitude of judges, defense attorneys, fellow inmates of Osho, during the time the U.S. government did everything it could to destroy the man, you should read the book Bhagwan: Twelve Days that Shook the World, by Juliet Forman. Maybe it is available as PDF. I don’t know. I have the book.

    Hindsight, I was saying. Now that we have heard about NSA, Snowden, about Ukraine and the Russians not being such a good guy-bad guy thing as the mainstream media would have us think, it is much easier to imagine that in 1985, if the U.S. government wanted to destroy Osho, it had the means to do it in such a way that it would look the U.S. was clean. The Juliet Forman book is excellent. She gives sources, supports her claims, etc.

    Osho was not a criminal. I am sure of that. He was/is the most innocent man you can imagine. The most loving.

    This doesn’t mean I am comfortable with everything he said. He said things about homosexuality that make me cringe when I hear them. Osho was not there to make me comfortable.

    I asked a few gay friends who are disciples of Osho. I wanted their take on Osho’s statements on homosexuality. One, a good friend, said, “Simple. Osho was concerned with his commune. He knew that his disciples enjoyed sex, were very free with sex, and he was afraid that AIDS would just wipe them out.” Some STD like Chlamydia (how do you spell that baby, I don’t feel like looking it up) were widespread among his disciples. I mean, they enjoyed sex, and were not into “closed couples,” so asymptomatic diseases were a risk.

    Another guy, an older gay disciple, had a totally different take on Osho’s statements about homosexuality. He just laughed when I asked the question. He just was in love with Osho so much. And he had lost his companion at the time. But he told me that that companion of his was someone close to Osho. He had been an early disciple in India, and Osho was fond of him. You have to think that Osho, although a master, an enlightened being like The Buddha or Bodhidharma, was also a man, who loved certain things, certain music, certain authors. My take on his being a master and enlightened is that he is the genuine thing, as genuine as it can get.

    This older gay disciple said that when his [now deceased companion] went to Oregon, Osho asked for him to come and talk with him. And they discussed homosexuality. Osho told him that he should not worry about that, because between themselves – between the two gay companions –, they had enough male and female energy. So there was no problem.

    I’m reporting what I remember from conversations. But you get the idea.

    Two guys, two different takes on the topic. One saying Osho just said things to make his disciples afraid a bit. So that they would be careful with sex, and keep AIDS at bay. The other disciple with a totally different take. Just laughing and enjoying my questions to him about this topic that made me uncomfortable in the way Osho addressed it.

    All this to say… what Osho says doesn’t necessarily make me comfortable. He challenges.

    But there’s more. On that very topic of homosexuality.

    If you listen to the series of discourses called Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, you’ll notice Osho talks about male and female energies. He says stuff like: not all men are men and not all women are women, i.e. some techniques that are better suited to women might also be the best meditation techniques for some men. Osho sometimes joked that his male disciples were rather yin, and I think he said also that quite a few of his women disciples were rather yang. Or that all disciples were somehow receptive, had a female energy. But when discussing meditation he wanted people to choose one according to what best suited their “energy type.”

    So I think there is a bit of that in his views on homosexuality. But this is a personal opinion, mine. Osho, in that series of discourses, says that women (be they in a male or female body) have a positive heart chakra, and that men (be they…) have a positive sex chakra. So there can be an energy loop. Men being negative at the heart chakra receive the positive energy of women there. And women being negative at the sex chakra receive men energy there. But the important thing is the loop that is created. This is tantra. So sex should not be too quick – this loop needs to be established.

    That kind of things. I think, my opinion only, that Osho’s take on homosexuality takes into account his concern that people evolve, be it through meditation or through sex-meditation, or through love-meditation, or through awareness. At times he joked that the way people made love was more like a sneeze than anything else. He said sexuality had more value than that, could be sacred.

    Anyway, I think some of those concerns about the “energy” aspects of sexuality were part of Osho’s vision of heterosexuality and homosexuality. I never thought he was homophobic. And that encounter between that older gay disciple and him at his commune in Oregon confirms what I had personally observed when discussing or being around gay or lesbian disciples of his. He was no hater in any way. All considered him a lover. As Sufis consider the ultimate to be their beloved.

  • [second piece of it]

    Last thing, and it is a personal one. And it is the one that hurts. But let’s go.

    I’ve been cowardly.

    When Mike K, who lacks information, even if he has a hundred Osho books, wrote the following, I answered in a shameful way.

    [Mike wrote]
    “Poor Rajneesh, he sought to teach but ended up more besotted than his students. Like Da Free John his “divinity” went to his head and he crashed. They are not alone unfortunately… But zen birds always find some morsels in the remains.
    Osho’s story is false -like himself.”
    [To which I replied, on ]

    “No. Not with you there. Anyone who says they meditate or are interested in meditation or there might be some “use” in meditating (although meditating to me is getting out of the *usefullness* paradigm of western civilization) has to listen to the series of discourse Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (on the 112 meditation techniques of Lord Shiva – a book thousands of years old), easily found free on the Internet, and then *try* some of them. And see. See for yourself, the Buddha said. Don’t believe, experiment.
    A lot of things are said about Osho. But for this treasure, his comments on those techniques, I’m grateful more than I can say.”

    The last three sentences are a terrible mirror. Qualifying.

    “But…” and “for this treasure…”

    The truth is I am grateful to Osho, period.
    Not grateful for this or that.
    Grateful. Around him I discovered what gratefulness is. I learned what gratefulness is. The gratitude that I now feel today is unaddressed, i.e. it is not even addressed to Osho. It is unaddressed. Like a love becoming prayer, and just overflowing, from me as a center. Not addressed to a person or several. Or even to Osho, who helped this process tremendously, challenging me, inviting me to go into meditation, where I discovered gratitude.

    Now, how can I be thankful for thankfulness?

    This is what I owe to Osho. The discovery of gratitude. Not through manipulation of his, but through utter respect that brought me to DO what was needed to come to that point.

    Now… after all that, reducing my debt to him to “this treasure” made the “treasure” sound so small that it is a shame.

    I talked about mirror with Mike K and mo flow. Well, this is mine.

    Writing as I did:

    “A lot of things are said about Osho. But for this treasure, his comments on those techniques, I’m grateful more than I can say.”

    This is so cowardly I cringe.
    As if I were saying – not “as if,” I am saying – that I am grateful only for that.

    And saying that “I’m grateful more than I can say” is pretty cowardly.

    The qualifying. The devil is in the details.

    So you see, words…

    The truth is more accurately reflected by Tagore’s last poem of his English collection Gitanjali, where the last line says:

    Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee.

    – Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

    The image or cranes flying in gratitude to their home.

    In the same thread mentioned, while discussing the use of “special powers”, or sidhis, with mo flow and Mike K, I also wrote:

    “If a master has special powers and uses them to “change” me, then it’s a manipulation – and it is somehow saying I have no dignity. Saying that in order to have dignity, I need it to be given to me by a master (or whatever cosmic consciousness you can imagine) who will manipulate my consciousness. Mike K was talking about “projections” of subtle bodies. I’m not interested in any such powers – my focus is on love and awareness. But such powers do exist.
    If a master used such powers to “tinker” with a disciple’s consciousness… that would be criminal, of course.”

    Those I learned from Osho, where he explains them specifically in answering a disciple called Shunyo. His answer is part of the discourse titled The New Dawn. Osho discusses that when answering Question 2 of that discourse. The question was: BELOVED OSHO, WHAT IS SLEEP FOR YOU? DO YOU LEAVE YOUR BODY WHILE IT IS RESTING OR DOES SLEEP HELP YOU TO STAY IN YOUR BODY?

    Osho explains that he could leave his body and visit disciples in his sleep and tinker with aspects of their consciousness, but that he can’t do that, because he has the deepest respect for them and for their freedom, and wants any change that comes to them to be their own. So, even if such “tinkering” were to help, it would be of no use. And he also adds, if I remember correctly, that the disciple would feel it, would feel that subtle changes have been made to their energy – they would feel it as a slight tension. Osho says that acting thus would be criminal. Here is a direct quote from the PDF (which sometimes is slightly edited as compared with the audio or video format, because Osho’s spontaneous talks are by a non-native speaker of English – but the editing is slight, and done with great sensitivity):

    “Coming from the back door in your sleep and changing things, in the first place is a criminal offense – although nobody can see the crime or catch the criminal, because it is absolutely invisible. You will never know, but the change that will happen to you will always remain something foreign, as if it has been imposed on you, and you will feel a certain tension.

    I can make you more loving by coming to you in your sleep. And you will become more loving but your love will have a certain tension, it will not be relaxed, because you have not really changed; it has not come from your own understanding.”

    – This is to close that point I raised about imparting big secrets.

    Not much remains to be said. Or so much could. If someone raises question about Osho, I might answer or not. I’m no Osho scholar. And on the Net I’m sure you can find a lot of people much more interested in discussing him and his life and his vision, etc.

    Even among his disciples, by the way, there were some interested in discussing juicy stuff, who is sleeping with, who are the people around Osho, what are they doing, etc. And others just interested in meditating and doing their thing. There was/is not one vision common to all. Except maybe love and respect for the guy.

    But you can imagine what big money, not his but that of those who wanted to destroy him, can do. Now, with hindsight, you can understand better what can have been done.

    It has been asked why Osho came to the States. I remember vaguely reading he was convinced to do so by Sheela. Maybe it was so. She was a new secretary. Later on it was found out she was the leader of a criminal gang. It is because of them that Osho’s commune in America was destroyed. They gave the U.S. authorities the excuse they were looking for. And the only one they were after was Osho, not the criminals. They had their excuse. Crimes had been committed.

    Why did Osho come to America? Maybe part of the answer is that in India, where he was having trouble expanding his Poona commune, crowded, and the Indian authorities bent on destroying him – he had talked so much against all their saints, against Hinduism, saying India was a country where spirituality had been made the only goal, but where the body, the material, had been left behind, so the country was a country of beggars, had been since the time of the Buddha, the country had let all kinds of invaders come and make it their home, a country with no dignity to defend itself from invaders, just preoccupied with its “spirituality” and spiritual “heritage.” Osho had been thrown rocks in India. Attempts on his life by fanatics. He had compared Gandhi to Hitler, saying Gandhi was a violent man. A man that still had been needed to free the country from the British rule. He admired him, but also pointed to weaknesses.

    Osho’s “work” was blocked somehow in India, and Sheela, who was an American, but of Indian origin, if I remember correctly, said he should come there, start a commune, etc.

    Maybe so.

    I don’t know if this is true.

  • [third piece of it]

    My take is that Osho just did not give a damn about his own safety, and was willing to take on the Empire head on. Maybe he was aware that the earth was doomed with the way things were going on at the end of the 70s, and also aware that if a change of consciousness could occur in the U.S., which was wealthy, then ripples of that had a slight chance of avoiding the “sure thing” end of all things here. He often said that the fourth world war had already occur, in the sense that all the seeds had been sown and just needed to bloom their dark colors and we would go poof. We were dancing on the edge of chaos, he said. Nothing could be done, other than celebrate. Dance, he would say. Spread a message of joy, celebration, life. Disciples in red or orange or pink colors, with a necklace with his picture, what message can be more outrageous? How better to fly in the face of America? But he went farther. In his discourses in America, which he called the Rajneesh Bible series, then renamed the Osho Bible – just the title! – he said everything negative that could be said about christianity, about the pope, calling him the pollack pope, talking about Jesus, saying he was retarded, making jokes on sex. And he went against all patterns for a saint, driving Rolls Royce’s and saying he enjoyed driving. Saying in America money was the only god, so he wanted to confront that hypocrisy.

    Not a comfortable way for people who just wanted to be around him to meditate, to find peace.

    Christian fundamentalists reacted. They posted targets, you know, as for shooting, with his picture on them, etc. Plus, I can imagine, big money. Plus the open support from important officials, who said they just wanted to “protect poor Antelope people to be taken over by the red tide” or such statements.

    Weapons started to appear on the commune. Osho surrounded by armed people. Sheela’s gang took control. For security reasons. Sounds familiar?

    People learned to meditate around Osho while being watched by armed guards.

    Osho haters are legions. Osho didn’t care for his own safety. I think he did care very much for the safety of his disciples.

    Some people ask why Bodhidharma went to China. I ask myself the same question about Osho and America. Obviously, there were “political” problems for him in India. Even when he returned, later, people tried to bring him to court saying he was destroying their “religious values”, not respecting their religious values.

    It’s a koan to me. My best bet is he came to America to try a last-ditch effort in order to change consciousness in the wealthiest country on earth. If he thought there was 0.1% chances of it happening, then he tried it. He often said he was hoping against all hopes.

    Why would a loving man come establish a commune in Ronald Reagan’s America? With disciples in red, and driving Rolls Royce’s. And talking against Jesus. Crazy.

    If I had gone to a zen master, say Bodhidharma, or any other, I am not sure I would have been comfortable. Chances are he would not even have taken me as a disciple. Would have thrown me out the window, maybe. Or beaten me with a stick. Or left me to sit in silence outside for a full winter without saying a single word to me. And the one day would just have given me a small blow with the stick and pointed to the door, meaning go inside and sit with the others.

    Osho did not refuse disciples, if I remember correctly. But he found ways to get rid of people who stuck to their beliefs. First said great things about Jesus, Buddha, etc., then said Buddha was not open to women and only reluctantly accepted women as disciples. And so on. He shocked people. People left insulted that their “holy beliefs” were no more validated by Osho.

    So, a lot of haters.

  • [posting on behalf of Still, who is having trouble with this comment]

    Still Says:
    [fourth part]

    Maybe he said certain things to get rid of people who thought they loved him but just saw him as a “political” leader, who wanted him to support their leftist or progressive agenda. It is possible that he said certain things just to get rid of them, not to have them in his commune. He wanted people committed to their own evolution, repeating endlessly that in order to bring about change in the world, you need to make it happen inside first. But he was no fanatic. He was not against self-defense, and he often said so.

  • Still Says:
    [fifth part]

    How can you survive with such a message.

    He was poisoned while in the U.S. jails. Hardly noticeable poisons, and/or rays, so that he would die slowly, suffering a lot, but no trace would exist. You can find info on that. Read Juliet Forman and others.

    We talked about bad karma. Well, a country that poisons a buddha is in for bad karma. So I hope karma doesn’t exist. I’m not convinced at all it exists.

    Recently, I read an old Osho book, from discourses he said in Hindi in 1965. The book was translated sometime in the 90s, I think (don’t feel like checking). Can be found as a PDF for free online, although there are a few defects, a few characters that appear warped in less than 15 places in the whole book. But it exists in book form as well. It is called The Path of Meditation, and can be downloaded from there:

    This book is mind-blowing. Not sure you have it Mike. I read and reread it several times in the past few months. It is before all that, before Osho had a commune in India. It is talks given during a meditation camp led by Osho, at Mount Abu, I think. Mostly aimed at Indian meditators, since Osho did not have many Westerners as disciples at the time. The chapter that starts around page 62 (bottom numbering) is where Osho talks about nurturing the small rays of light we may find, however small, how to help those, and how not to pay attention to the negative while we are nurturing the positive. After 30 years of listening and reading Osho, I had not found that gem. This is probably because Osho said different things to Indians. They did not have the same psychological background. To them the idea of a master was not weird and one of belittling yourself. The idea of something divine in you was not foreign either.

    But just for that chapter, the book is worth so much. But, I’m careful about “qualifying”… The whole book is fantastic. The first 150 pages or so held great interest for me. Plus a section later on where Osho talks about acting only when you feel it is positive, and to postpone when the “drive” is negative. To postpone until your death if possible… Not to act on the negative.

    Somewhere else Osho said that, one day, when all his Hindi discourses would be translated, people would understand that he said different things to the Hindi audience.

    You can also download those discourses in Hindi (if you want to know where, just ask me, I’ll find the link, because the original Hindi series of talks was called The Dhyan Sutra – I wish I could understand Hindi; I’ve listened to those discourses in Hindi anyway, but understood nothing)

    No need to go on. See for yourself.
    But you can also just read the Osho haters, be it in reviews of books, in books, or all over. I call this “shopping one’s opinions in newspapers.”

    I talk about people who talk like newspapers.

    I know what the “papers” said. But if you want the truth, a bit more effort is needed.

    I think you have everything you need to make your own opinion. Maybe start with the blog mentioned at the beginning of this post.

    I was not true to Osho.

    I remember Osho telling a story of a Sufi master, and of his disciple who later became himself a master. But before that, when the master was stoned, the “now-disciple-future-master” was present when the mob threw stones at his master, killing him. The disciple could not remain in the crowd without doing anything… to validate the crowd.

    So he threw a rose to the master.

    The master said something, blessed him, told him not to worry. I don’t remember.

    But this is the story that came to mind these past few days after I wrote:

    “A lot of things are said about Osho. But for this treasure, his comments on those techniques, I’m grateful more than I can say.”

    This is so shameful.
    I have no problem with that.
    I’m ready to look in that mirror.
    I know Osho had forgiven me a long time before I wrote that.

    He was just thankful to his disciples. He said his trust did not depend on what they did. The trust was part of him. Whatever they did he trusted them.


    P.-S. This was written one shot not reread. I tried to be aware while typing in order not to let too many typos. Just drilled this during most of 3 hours, maybe even a bit more. I won’t come back and correct anything. I’ll read it again later. Unless something is really off I won’t come back to correct it or to add to it.

    Of course, this being so long, I don’t post it in the current thread. I’m not asking Guy either to allow me to post an essay. But I post it in the second or third “closed” thread (although still open), at the very end, so it won’t block the conversations people are having.

    I considered for an instant – as I realized this was just becoming too outrageously long – asking mo flow’s permission to post it. Because even in a “closed” thread, this is taking a lot of room. All for myself… But anyone with eyes to see knows that this is not self-infatuation.

    And as should be, I post it in the thread were I shamed myself.

    I’m not thanking Guy specifically for this. But of course, since I’m just correcting what I have broken, I take for granted that if he allowed the space for me to misstep, then he allows space for me to correct.

    Finally, mo flow and Mike K. Taking you as witnesses here. I know I have mo flow’s trust, so this helps greatly at the time of posting this. Mike K, whatever you think, you have helped me greatly to look in a mirror that I was not sure I wanted to look at. That of my own cowardice. Thank you for that, in all humility.

    Finally, I posted various poems these past few days.

    I owe a debt to Osho for those poems.
    In November 1985, when Osho was released from prison, a poem came to me, out of gratitude.

    That poem has been the seed to all those that came afterward. It brought water again to a dry riverbed.

    So… those poems I wrote afterward… I can take credit for them. But…

    Now, the question becomes, If you shower love on people, if you shower love on your child, are you “using sidhis”? Are you “tinkering” with their consciousness?

    And if you don’t shower love on your child… you are tinkering with their consciousness…

    So yes, the question becomes, “Am I willing to take responsibility for the gratitude I feel, as a natural state, a gratitude that is unaddressed?” Or would I rather say that it was sown in me by Osho and his love and compassion?

    Is my gratitude the result of “tinkering”?

    It’s a good joke to end a sad and joyful message.
    A good day to die, as the Lakotas said, or the Cheyenne.

    And until then I’ll live better.


  • [there was one paragraph that was supposed to go between fourth and fifth parts, but there is a problem “magic word” there. Still (the author) may try to replace that paragraph…]

  • [6HT AND LAST PART OF THIS LONG THING ON OSHO – Thanks for the help, mo flow!]

    – As mo flow mentions, one paragraph was blocked by spam filter, so I changed one sentence. So… 5th part was meant to have started with the following paragraph between STARS here :

    **Recently, listening to a discourse, I heard him say that he was against the family, as he was against nations, that people should live in small communes (I think he said elsewhere around 5,000 people was adequate size) where everybody knew everybody else, and where children were not a couple’s children, but the commune, and that he was against the family, which was only created to make women the property of men.**

    How can you survive with such a message.

    [.. and so on, as already pasted]

    – AND since posting the whole story, I read it once and would like to correct 2 things, as follows:

    In discussing Osho in the above, I made the following mistakes :

    . – . When discussing a particular question in the discourse The New Dawn, I should have written instead that that question was from chapter 20, or audio discourse #20, of the series titled The New Dawn.

    .-. In writing the following, I forgot the word WHOM.

    “Even among his disciples, by the way, there were some interested in discussing juicy stuff, who is sleeping with [WHOM], who are the people around Osho, what are they doing, etc.”

    I’d rather correct this, for fear someone might think I had missed including the word HE.

    Those 2 missteps. The rest is ok. A few typos and such, as normal in a first draft not reread other than spellcheck.


  • Hi still – Sorry to be late responding to your Osho stuff. I got lost and was only checking the thread just above. I’m not really a whiz about PC’s or modern tech.

    Sorry I stepped on your toes so to speak re: Osho. He was only one teacher in a long line for me. I’m glad you got so much from him. From what you shared I can see now that I rushed to judgment on Osho, and bought into the media stuff on him and the Antelope affair. Bad on me. I am open to rethinking that. I got things from Osho, but my path is to get what I can and move on. It would take a really long post just to list all the teachers I have had. But I also spent considerable time where the nectar was flowing, and feeding my quest. For the last 50 plus years every day has been spent on the quest. When I was not reading from breakfast to bedtime, I was in a spiritual group practicing with them. It is the same today. I have not had a job other than my quest all those years. A small inheritance and a home in the forest plus frugal living ( I like to say I shit in a wooden box and get my water off the roof to indicate my simple lifestyle.)

    I admire your entry into the inner life – it shows in what you have shared. And I am grateful to have a spiritual friend in you. You are teaching me already, in spite of yourself. I am attracted to those who have done some work in depth as you have. You could say people that don’t meditate or cultivate an inner spiritual life just don’t interest me. It’s not that I look down on them, but I just don’t spend too much time with them since I prefer folks who help me deepen my understanding and grow closer to that Light which all seekers are drawn to. May your growth be as rapid as your higher self makes possible for you, whoever your teachers and guides may be. Incidentally I have a stack of journals devoted to my dialogs for guidance from my Higher Self that is bigger by far than 100 volumes of Osho! I have been doing that practice for about 40 years now, on an almost daily basis….

  • I think a couple of short comments have disappeared here because of a database transition… but they weren’t relevant to the Osho discussion, only to the magic words.