Illegitimi non carborundum

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At the university so many years ago, I was asking students to think. I was imploring students to ask questions. High standards for myself and others were not appreciated within the culture of mediocrity promoted by university administrators (a minor subset of the culture of mediocrity promoted within the entire set of living arrangements). As a result, the first administrative act of my final department head — who was hired specifically to make my life sufficiently miserable that I would depart — was to ban me from teaching in my home department.

After a few years of teaching poetry in the Honors College and several incarceration facilities, I made my ill-fated stand. I left active service at the university, of my own volition, to create a homestead on property my wife and I share with another couple. During my final year on campus, I was named Honors College faculty of the year.

The homestead was amazing within a couple years. Water comes from two solar pumps and a hand pump. Contrary to Internet-based rumors, we are in no danger of running out of water: The nearby Wilderness Area serves as the headwaters for a very shallow water table that has been stable for more than a century. Food is provided by extensive gardens and an orchard and, for a few years, from chickens, ducks, turkeys, a goose, and goats. Body temperature is stabilized by an off-grid, straw-bale house. The human community is the most positively amazing I’ve experienced in 55 years spent in numerous cities and towns.

Retirement didn’t suit me. I couldn’t stop working. I was never satisfied with my work. Paradoxically, high standards for myself and others led to adverse interactions in my personal life, which increasingly intersected with my unpaid professional work.

Although the pursuit of happiness is ridiculously acknowledged as a universal right for citizens of the country I inhabit, its acquisition is quite another matter. Happiness has largely eluded me. I suspect I’ll not find it before I reach my personal expiration date.

It seems the Constitutional guarantee is precluded by my own constitution. The irony is not lost on me. More importantly, the feeling of joy — a deeper, more persistent sentiment than happiness — has slipped through my grasp. Again, the irony is rich, particularly in light of my overarching message.

I’m posting below, verbatim, an essay from April 2008. It reflects my naive perspective and my ill-considered hope from that time. The title of the current essay matches the title of this one from more than seven years ago.

I love the Socratic aspect of academia, and it’s the part I do best. I supervise nine independent-study projects this semester, with a total of ten students. Most of them have spent a weekend at the mud hut, or soon will. Indeed, I’m just back from the mud hut, where I spent the weekend with one of the students, the poet in resident at the renowned University of Arizona Poetry Center. He called the trip “transformative.” I meet regularly with all the students, probing and pushing until they do more and better work than any of us thought possible. Ditto for the small, hard-working herd of graduate students I advised and mentored during two wonderful decades.

It’s a good thing I love highly individualized projects, because my department head banned me from teaching in my own department when she arrived two years ago. One of her very first actions was to prevent me from teaching a class I created and then taught for ten years. Apparently students were learning all the wrong things. Instead of focusing narrowly on production of livestock and other amenities critical to human well-being, thereby training students for jobs, I was educating them to lead lives of excellence. As you can imagine, the university administration put a stop to that nonsense.

If you’re keeping score, training is for dogs. Education is for scholars.

Then, of course, there is my scholarship, which has been reviled by my college dean and university president for years. My open letter to the president, which appeared nearly a decade ago in the morning daily because he wouldn’t respond to my individual requests, got his attention and helped save the final, tiny patch of desert in the center of campus from red pavers and fountains (the fountains, which were installed nearby, were turned off earlier this year as a cost-cutting measure). The situation has since eroded, while spreading well beyond the university president. I just kept asking the hard, but obvious, questions and, in exchange, I kept getting kicked in the head. Consider this exemplary exchange, in which I pointed out the dire state of our energy situation (albeit before it became apparent to the masses), to which the dean responded with “he’s not one of us,” and I forced him to admit his error (in return, I let him keep his job and I let the university keep money in their litigation coffers).

And finally, there’s my embarrassing outreach. Imperialists would rather ignore important issues than address them in a constructive manner. And there’s no denying the imperialism of typical administrators at any Research I university. Or, for that matter, the honesty and integrity of the typical inmate relative to the typical administrator. Why, the administrators plead, would I bother to work with criminals when I could be doing important work, such as justifying livestock on public lands and otherwise promoting imperial ambitions? Never mind that, last year, the United States became the first country in history to incarcerate more than one percent of its adult population. And it’s working so well, wouldn’t you say? By nearly every measure, we’re spending more and getting less from our “justice” system than any other country (well, okay, we’re not getting less violent crime … but less of the good stuff, if not less of the bad).

Teaching? I’m doing the best work of my life. Scholarship? Likewise. Outreach? Ditto. Obviously, it’s time for me to move along.

I never thought I’d give in. I thought I’d be holding administrative feet to the proverbial fire, forcing deans, department heads, and presidents to do right until the whole thing fell down. Illegitimi non carborundum: It’s been my rallying cry for 15 years, since one of my beloved graduate students explained the phrase to me.

Alas, the bastards wore me down. And, finally, out. My last day on the taxpayer dime will be 1 May 2009, twenty years to the day after I was hired. Fittingly, 1 May is a day of celebration for labor and laborers throughout the world. My department accepted my resignation with considerable glee, and the university granted me emeritus status so I can keep working for free. Stunningly, they didn’t offer a gold watch.

Perhaps I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face. But, as my brother points out on his blog, that’ll make it easy for me to stick my head up my butt. And I can assure you I’m terrified. As I abandon the ship of empire for my lifeboat, it’s difficult to see anything but choppy seas between here and the distant horizon.

In an apt twist of fate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started its current four-week rally the day I gave notice. That’s the power of one: I’m saving the industrial economy all by myself.
Next up: organic gardening at the mud hut, sans money. We’re all headed there soon enough.

______

Upon request for Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network, I provided an explanation for those looking to introduce abrupt climate change. It’s below.

We are in the midst of abrupt climate change, which will soon obliterate habitat on this planet for our species. This event has precedence in Earth’s history, and it’s irreversible at time frames that matter for humans. Civilization is a heat engine, and the planet is about to overheat. Our species, like all others, will go extinct. It’s later than you think. I’m not suggesting we “give up” in the face of certain death. I am, however, indicating that birth is a sexually transmitted disease that is lethal in every case. We all die. What matters now is how we choose to live. That’s always been the case, although we often lose track of the urgency.

______

McPherson’s latest book is senior-authored and illustrated by Pauline Schneider. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time can be ordered from the publisher here and also from Amazon. Trailer is embedded below.

Looking for San Francisco Bay Area folks to raise $$$$ to bring Guy to San Francisco. Please contact amyvegan@gmail.com if you are willing to donate towards Guy’s travel here.
______

McPherson’s first book published in 2015 is senior-authored by Carolyn Baker. The Second, Revised edition of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available from the publisher and also from Amazon.

Comments 113

  • Interesting, worrisome and to the point. Be well.

  • Guy,

    Firstly thank you for your integrity and efforts against empire.

    On your point of happiness, I suspect most people at heart are unhappy. However they try to mask this unhappiness from themselves by constant activity – they work and compete relentlessly for money, power and fame, and then use these to make themselves feel superior to others, whether than be through cars, homes, holidays, etc. And they fill their lives, when not working, with constant activity – sports, cinema, parties, alcohol and drugs.

    But they can never stay still – without doing anything – because then the underlying emptiness and sadness of life prevails.

    I often suspect that the wiser ones amongst humans will inevitably be the sadder ones – because they can see the misery of the self-inflicted competitive system, the evils of empire and the utter alienation of one human being from another.

    Whereas the vast majority are content to avert their eyes and simply follow the rules, chasing after the Maslow’s “self-actualisation”, never daring to question conventional wisdom, or should I propaganda. So theirs is a superficial happiness. I doubt you would find contentment in this!

    I live in the UK, and Labour Party grass root members have elected the first decent, non-corrupt man in decades, Jeremy Corbyn, to be their. But the media and politicians are in a frothing frenzy about this, ridiculing him for trivial things like his clothes, his unwillingness to sing the national anthem, etc etc. They are trying to totally discredit him before the electorate ever hear a word about his policy stands and before they get a real choice at the next election, rather than the pretend choice they have between one right wing party and another. I feel sorry for him – he is far better than the people deserve, since the majority are quite happy to believe the corrupted press.

    I suspect this is why Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu, shunned leadership roles, and preferred to leave ‘society’ and wander on their own. For they must have known that it is an impossible task to change the rottenness within the hearts of men.

    I think you have read Krishnamurti. If you can, please try reading “I am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj. You might find in there lies a pointer to peace.

    With best wishes,
    ven

  • “To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.” – Gustave Flaubert

  • My comment is only observation & additional information – not criticism.

    Guy writes; “If you’re keeping score, training is for dogs. Education is for scholars.”

    I learned the following from Catholic priest & social critic, Ivan Illich.

    Learning is a verb connoting physical activity & possible change, as in something that one does.

    Education is noun – something to be consumed, as in consumer culture.

    Getting/consuming an education in a culture where everything is for sale may have nothing to do with genuine learning.

  • Personally, along with almost everything else he ever said, Richard Dawkins’ point about how we “get to live” has never done a thing for me in terms of satisfying my need to understand human suffering in general, and my personal suffering specifically. But, other things have, including studies done with Buddhist monks and meditation.

    There have been a number of articles written about PET scans on monks with extensive meditation practice, a minimum of 10,000 hours has been indicated by studies, and the clear differences between their neurological patterns and those of other people who do not practice such meditation.

    Apparently, learned focus and intent affects biology as much as biology affects intent, at least in some areas of our lives, and maybe more than most people believe.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-worlds-happiest-man-is-a-tibetan-monk-105980614/?no-ist

  • Hoping that you find that joy in the continuing pursuit of that happiness that so eludes you partner.

    There’s no ghosts in the graveyard
    That’s not where they live
    They float in between us
    ‘what is’ and ‘what if’
    And cast our own shadows
    Before our own eyes
    You don’t get them up here though
    They don’t come up high

  • Ricard has PhD in genetics from a prestigious university. He’s no lightweight intellectually or in any other way, and he’s pretty big on Buddhism.

  • Dear Dr. McPherson,

    Not to be proselytizing on your site here, but the Lord Buddha addressed this very issue. It turns out that happiness is actually just the absence of suffering ( or stress ). In fact it was the core of his teaching as I understand it. Anyone can google The Four Noble Truths. Here’s one link which is not too in depth.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml

    As Old Growth Forest alluded to, Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion, since there is no object of worship or deity involved. It actually just employs reason and certain branches of knowledge that are not generally taught in the West, such as meditation. People are mislead in this culture to think of Buddhism as something mysterious, mystical or unfathomable, which I have found is not the case. It’s a very accessible teaching, but not conducive to promoting consumerism or glorification of the ego perhaps.

  • I prefer the philosophy of late U.G.Krishnamurti to that of Jiddu. Jiddu Krishnamurti claimed to have an important message, but U.G. always said that “I have no message to give mankind.”, and that: “We have set in motion irreversible forces. We have polluted the sky, the waters, everything. Nature’s laws know no reward, only punishment. The reward is only that you are in harmony with nature. The whole problem started when man decided that the whole universe was created for his exclusive enjoyment… Meditation is itself an evil… Buddhism has resulted in horrors in Japan… There is no way out…

    “Why bother publishing my conversations. It has not helped you, and it is not going to help anybody else”, said U.G., and all his books begin with these noble words: “My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody. U.G.”

    http://www.well.com/user/jct/

  • Guy, thank you for all that you’ve done.
    This is for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxLYOQ9-8qY&feature=youtu.be

  • Igor Semiletov is the “second” happiest man in the world because he is married to Natalia Shakhova?

    Natalia may be the happiest lady & most filled with integrity pilgrim with or w/o meditation.

    They do science together & are always telling the objective truth, no holds barred.

    They demonstrate the “goodness” of humankind, & the capacity of human culture to seek what is good.

  • I listened to the interview of Jennifer Hynes by Carolyn Baker. Jennifer Hynes has such a compassionate way of carrying the urgency of our situation and she is such an extremely loving, intelligent and interesting woman. But as to the question repeatedly posed by Carolyn Baker «how do you want to live the rest of you life», I admit that I have very little grip on life in general and on my life in particular (did not do enough spiritual-meditation-breathing exercises, stupid lazy me). In fact, I have NO GRIP AT ALL, being a cork tossed faster and faster in the flow-abrupt waterfall of life without ANY POWER AT ALL to alter even one nanosecond of my freefall in the void. Still, this life is not devoid of joy, because I am not yet in a refugee camp, or did not loose my house to flood or fire last week, and I have my INTERNET!!! It will be quite difficult to find joy when my medication is not available (if I live until that day), joy will suddenly become much much harder to come by.
    OK, I am going back to the oblivious crowd, the almost unbreathable air, the dying trees and my dirty dishes.

    p.s. With my limited knowledge of the english language, when I was younger, i thought the goal of the mericans (who by the way are a melting pot of nobody and everybody) was «the pursuit of a penis». Now, I am sure.

  • I liked the part about books! LOL!

  • Maybe I posted this before, I’m not sure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xBUXTVVDDw

    (My submit question is, 1+one=, let me think this through…)

  • The constitution guaranteed everyone’s right to the pursuit of happiness. Notice that it never guaranteed anyone would ever actually catch up to it.

    This is just more empirical carrot from those with a good grasp of human psychology. The notion promotes consumption by implying you need to search outside of yourself in order to find satisfaction.

    The hole can never be filled anyway, ever. So why not just close it? Generate your own happiness internally; happiness is a state of mind. It hasn’t ever really come from outside of ourselves, even though it may have seemed that way sometimes. Consumer culture has played a large role in telling us happiness comes from the outside-in. Reason and logic hasn’t helped much in that regard either, with it’s fixation on objective reality as the only truth.

    I too recommend meditation and also the eight limbs of yoga (not hot yoga of course … real yoga, such as the Sikh’s ancient ‘Kundalini yoga,’ for example.) Anything to shut off that silly, reasoning, lying, think, think, thinker … and with any luck permanently.

    Did Buddhism really result in horrors in Japan? I don’t think the most western of eastern states makes for a very good example. Maybe they, like American’s, just sit in a pew on Sunday, and then sin all week anyway, like it’s a social club.

    I’ve also found much value in a deep study of Taoism. However, China certainly doesn’t show any signs of practicing these tenets anymore itself, and probably hasn’t for a very long time. So, don’t look to them as any example of Taoism. The Chinese are just rationalists now, like nearly everyone on earth. After all, this is the age of reason; few even understand what it means to develop a symbolic perception of the world, one where reason and rational thinking are merely options available for certain circumstances, among the many other modes of perception. A person can learn to switch between these modes quite fluently with some practice. I think that’s where science went wrong. It’s linear, all or nothing thinking; it’s one way or the highway to science; either-or, all or nothing.

    I didn’t mean to imply a few threads back that I was against all philosophy. I’m just not in favor of mainstream, organized religions designed to be ‘opium for the masses,’ that’s all. That just supports empire. However, anything that promotes self reflection, self understanding, and reduces the ego and unites life forms in compassion, well, that I can get behind. And there are many philosophies out there that do this. Many, many of them.

    Nothing is guaranteed though. I also see a world stratified with varying levels of consciousness. Sorry if this sounds politically incorrect, but it’s just something I’ve observed over my lifetime(s). Some people are born with it, and some people just don’t ever seem to be capable of getting a clue their whole lives about self awareness. It really is an individual journey that everyone seems to travel more or less alone.

    Attachment leads to suffering. Close the hole. Meditation helps; it rewires your brain and is an amazing technology.

    Good luck. And, clench your buttocks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    .

  • Movement is one of lifes definitions so by my reckoning being relatively agitated shows you are ticking, the trick is to not take yourself too seriously.
    I recently discovered a simple measure to get my blood pressure into the normal range, which it was not although very fit – sleep more @ least 8 hours.
    My mood has improved also.
    In Chinese martial arts they teach that it is best to cultivate the soft forms of power as however strong you are eventually hard power will leave you.
    Compare the habitually balled fist of a todler with an older mans open palm.

    Hope that’s pause for thought, don’t get caught up in the ‘merican way of thinking i.e. if life has short changed you can get even by bowing out, barin

  • Great post !

    The mud hut is a great example for all of us.

  • Kirk,

    I saw Laurie Anderson about 8 years ago.

    Between songs she said that she had once asked Thomas Pynchon if he would be OK with the concept of her doing a musical version of Gravity’s Rainbow.

    According to Laurie, The Private One said he had no problem with her doing such an adaptation, “…as long as every instrument in your orchestra is a kazoo.”

    I’d post a clip of her Gravity’s Angel, but all of the live ones are gone.
    You can still watch the whole of “Home of the Brave” on Youtube, though.
    Well, I’ll post the whole show and anyone who wants Gravity’s Angel can wait for it or just skip to about 48:20 and hear it.

    Gravity’s Angel starts at about 48:20.

  • …baring unbearable pain / disability, the memory left in peoples minds would be a shadow that we would all attempt to erase as life goes on.

  • Sounds to me that after escaping a moribund career at an academy of idiots, you now get to live in a peaceful place and lead a near-idyllic life that most of the rest of us would kill for. Lucky you. So quit whining about it already. Teach poetry to your neighbors. Write a satirical novel about your last years at the university. Name names. Kick your ex-colleagues in the nuts with it. Enough with idling in paradise. Get to work.

  • @Guy, I wasn’t looking for anything to do with “intelligence”, but somehow I came across a link recently having to do with high IQ:

    Working successfully in society and business is limited by some really important social choke points. One of them is that other people, even if they are intellectually slower, must be treated with respect. Another is that even if you are correct you will have difficulty getting people to act on your insights until they understand why you are correct. A third thing is that most important activities are done as a team and so taking action requires breaking down your insights into something that your slower peers and employees can understand. If you try to blow past these choke points you will destroy relationships and even if you are right, your career will languish. I try to remind myself that being successful is not well correlated to being right.

    My career is going pretty well now that I’ve understood these constraints. It is possible to turn intelligence to practical life-advantage but our educational system doesn’t really give a blueprint for this. I left school thinking that it mattered that I understood things 5 minutes or 5 years before my classmates did. It doesn’t. Most people’s functioning adult lives are not spent solving tough problems. They are spent going through well established rituals and patterns of relating to each other punctuated by an occasional tough problem. In most cases, people can even skip the tough problems and still do okay in life. So how do you convert a parlor trick (like knowing the ending of a movie after 5 minutes) into something that will make you happier? Mostly, you don’t.

    http://johnsimonds.com/2013/03/20/what-its-like-to-have-an-extremely-high-iq/

    If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say that the most aggravating thing about being very intelligent is that you quickly see and understand things at a level of depth that most people don’t (or can’t), and it is very frustrating. You want to move on, you want to be pushed, you don’t want to spend time explaining the details of things you have already grasped, but no one else is caught up yet, so you have to pause. It is particularly painful when dealing with complex topics where the mental models involve feedback loops and non-linearities.

    But that said, I’ve learned there is much more to life than intelligence, and being successful is more about hard work and good communication skills than anything else.

    Others wrote that being smart was “alienating” and “a burden”, reporting the same sort of dis-satisfactions you wrote about here. People say “ignorance is bliss” for a reason.

  • For most of my life since my age of awareness (early-teens) I have witnessed TPTB make everything that matters worse.

    There was a time when I thought it would be possible to awaken the masses, and get them to understand that TPTB were making everything that mattered worse.

    Now I know it cannot be done. And we are so near the cliff there is no time to implement mitigation for anything of significance.

    I look on, in a peculiar state of simultaneous grief and astonishment, watching the circling of the drain, and wondering when the great sucking sound will commence. Even before that great sucking sound commences I see a plethora of people losing practically everything, or dying prematurely. As 44 south noted, Daniel Keighley was not old when he died of cancer.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/72204142/champion-of-kiwi-music-peace-and-community-dies

    But Anna Brown, a local singer from the 80s was just 53 when she succumbed.

    How about that poor 3-year-old, the youngest ever to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. A short life of misery, followed by premature death?

    Happiness? I’d be happy to have full use of my body again. Even though there is a degree of futility in most actions, action is the antidote to despair. And if there is enough action the endorphins kick in and happiness takes over. Oh, and a substantial quantity of digital currency would help sort out a few of the matters that are currently making several people close to me unhappy.

  • One cannot “change” anything. Change happens of its own accord. All one can do is realise thah one is an awareful witness, the unheard (and unhearable) hearer, the unseen (and unseeable) seer, the unthought (and unthinkable) thinker, the ear of the ear, the eye of the eye, the mind of the mind, etc.

    Awareness without modifiers (“of”s) is The Void, Sunyata, not ceasing even their absence. The Void, absent spacetime constraints, is the Plenitude, Satiety and Contentment that is beyond the transience of elation and dejection.

    This Awareness is independent of the senses, thought, emotions and intellect or intelligence, as direct a perception as the existence in “”I” exist”.

  • drum roll, please…

    We now present the reward to the best mediator
    (fuck the kids, fuck the old, fuck the stupid, fuck the poor…well, fuck everyone but us).

    The good news is
    YOU ALL DIE- think about that

  • “…if people know the facts, they’re not going to tolerate them. So therefore you have to prevent them from knowing. You have to indoctrinate them, tell them stories about how we’re really good guys, and if we use violence it must be for the general good because we represent the course of history. That’s the job of propagandists for power and violence. And it’s the task of populations to free themselves from those kinds of controls and domination.”

  • ‘Happiness has largely eluded me. I suspect I’ll not find it before I reach my personal expiration date.’

    sorry to hear that, guy. if it’s any consolation, i could say the same for myself. i suspect most others, or at least many others here who read this blog can do so too. but then, u also said this:

    ‘The human community is the most positively amazing I’ve experienced in 55 years spent in numerous cities and towns.’

    so it sounds to me as though your ‘ill fated’ choice to leave academia had at least one very positive outcome for u. that outcome is one that i imagine many of us, and certainly myself, is envious of.

    overall, another fine essay, doc. thanks as always for sharing.

    ‘“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.” – Gustave Flaubert

    that’s a funny one, mr. batman. thank u for sharing.

    ‘With my limited knowledge of the english language, when I was younger, i thought the goal of the mericans (who by the way are a melting pot of nobody and everybody) was «the pursuit of a penis». Now, I am sure.’

    another funny one, milendia! thanks.

    lidia, your comment re. the hazards of possessing superior intelligence, was much appreciated.

  • re. the flack that kevin moore has caught from some as supposedly ‘bashing jews’ for merely pointing out that enormously wealthy bankers, who perhaps coincidentally happen to be disproportionately jewish, have played an enormous role in the mess our world has become… kevin just posted a brief video clip featuring the venerated and highly respected critic of the political status quo, noam chomsky, which got me to thinking, the name ‘noam’, isn’t that jewish? turns out it is, according to wikipedia, noam comes from a middle class jewish family in philadelphia, usa. which simply suggests that kevin moore isn’t the ‘jew hater’ some like to accuse him of.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky

  • Milendia –love your posts and really appreciate your tree videos.
    You say:
    “p.s. With my limited knowledge of the english language, when I was younger, i thought the goal of the mericans (who by the way are a melting pot of nobody and everybody) was «the pursuit of a penis». Now, I am sure.”

    I would add the pursuit of “balls” too! How many times do you hear that extremely irritating phrase; “gotta get some balls” or . . “grow some”?
    I’ve even seen that stupid phrase used on seemingly “progressive” websites—- as if more sperm and testosterone are the key components to power and strength.

    @Kirk—-belated thanks for your hilarious links on previous posts. I —-like 44 South—-had tears of mirth running down my face!

    Geomagnetic storm taking place, those in high latitudes, might want to look up and north tonight.

  • Jesus fucking Christ!

    The words erupt from me involuntary.
    Yes I know I swear a lot,it is one of my many faults of character.
    I am listening to “the rape of Berlin” Radio N.Z.National 4pm Sunday the 20th. I suggest you have a listen.

    We have as a species inflicted so much pain on each other and all the other species, it is hard not to conclude we should just go.

    The snow did not eventuate, and the rain was minimal. So a bit more garden was weeded.
    Have I mentioned that a sustainable life is repetitive and tiring?:)

  • “We have as a species inflicted so much pain on each other and all the other species, it is hard not to conclude we should just go”

    Yep.

  • This is a wonderful, apposite clip, from one of Martin Luther King’s last speeches. As we descend into Empire’s convulsions to retain its power, blind to the inevitability of the climate/resource precipice, his words strike to the heart of living a life of excellence.

    http://www.budgetfilms.com/clip/18650/

  • The Poet’s Rape Of Reality
    ————————–

    English was never the best thing I was ever of. Sorry English.
    Here is my summary of the comments I’ve seen here over the years.
    Sorry commenters.

    Hunter-gatherers were peace-loving proto-hippies until Jews came along.
    Sorry Neanderthals, they must have just “died out” all on their own.
    Buddhists want to want nothing. Nothing paradoxical there. Sorry lust.
    Philosophy is the love of words over Life. Sorry life.
    Math is the poetry of unreality. Sorry reality.
    Reality is long, hard and uncut. Sorry philosophy.

    Signed, One Sorry Ass Motherfucker

  • I have a confession to make. There is no way in the world I trust Guy McPherson but, I do trust the overwhelming evidence he presents. His presentation of facts piles higher and faster than garbage that never gets taken out. This teetering pile of facts threatens to topple, not only our reality, but our lives. This plethora of facts is what inspired me to produce my Collapse Data Cheat Sheet posted here and on the Reddit Collapse site. I believe it was Guy’s fall from grace that grew him a pair of balls so big that he tires from dragging them around. Sorry about the weight Guy. Seems we’re never to old to learn. Thanks for all your help. You’re still a teacher at heart.
    As for all the wailing, renting of hair and gnashing of teeth? Well, who gives a fuck. Check out the McPherson posts on the Reddit Collapse put up today. Thanks for all the laughs and links commenters.
    Stare into the abyss long, and the abyss will stare back, and laugh.

  • To hell with your excellence Guy. Many of us mediocracies are dying refugees, or those not vetted for excellence (aka refugee status). Fuck you and your lame-ass followers in these end times!!!

    I am not an asshole!!!

  • Hi, I second Jim. Quit whining. We all do it. The past is the past and led to this present time. Use what you have and love where you are. You have a lot to give to those who want it. Quit looking back or else you will become a pillar of salt. 🙂 (Some of that stuff makes sense when you use it in a different context). Why are you wanting to live in harmony but regret being in disharmony? Obviously you left that life behind for a reason that maybe isn’t obvious YET. Keep going…life is never static although in our minds it sometimes seems that way. Look around, see what you have, however humble, and smile. Things could be better or things could be worse but right now they just are.

  • Positive emotional states are a weird thing to be seeking or expecting down this particular turnpike? Just off the top of my head, back in the archives you can find a photo of a living elephant with it’s face hacked off, and photos of birth defects caused by depleted uranium.

    The final justification for such horrors would appear to be that, far away from them, we can serve eachother cups of coffee with wi-fi. Some sort of spiritual discipline allegedly allows one to sail above the bad-conscience-inducing dissonance of such with detachment and equanimity, but you probably need to invest ten thousand hours, and guess what, from a standing start you probably only got time for a fraction of that now before it’s too late anyway. Above all don’t rush things, or you’ll have to deal with NTE with the superimposed inconvenience of having your chakras all out of whack and your kundalini going up the wrong channel..

    Buddha’s teachings were a coping stategy for a nasty situation which seemed interminable. The irony is that chances are he would have loved to get the whole biota within spitting distance of NTE, which, as an accomplished fact rather than a process, really would be the end of earthly suffering. Now that we are getting close, it seems all we can do is complain about it. Understandable- There’s no suffering like the process of ending suffering.

    I think our privilege is showing in ignoring the possibility that the long-suffering animals are just as disillusioned with incarnation as some of us humans are. Call that ‘projection’ if you like, but at least allow for the possibility that you yourself may be ‘projecting’ your own ‘love of life’ onto generations of traumatised critters who would just like to get the fuck outa here, despite their superficial appearance of contented frolicking?

    Back in the last thread, mt had a point about seperating empire from nature which I think bears investigation- if somebody can explain the qualitative difference between what, say, a Sparrowhawk does to feed itself and it’s dependents, compared to what an empire does, then I’m all ears..

    I can’t help but speculate that Ma Nature secretly loves and nurtures everything that is anathema to deep left/green ideologues: Corporations, fascist dictatorships, all manner of ugly extraction and infrastructure projects, clear-cutting, mountain-top removal, the works. For all we know, fracking is like colonic irrigation or something to her. How else to account for the fact that she allows it? You think she’s powerless to intervene? You think it’s just happenstance that the native americans were decimated by diseases from the old world? Wouldn’t it be more logical that the colonisers from the old world got decimated by diseases in the new world? Empire always wins because Ma nature favours it. She’s a closet authoritarian. Her contempt for lightly-living humans is almost palpable.

    Add to that the fact that, regardless of who’s been doing the colonising, the world has always been a place of torment for the gentle, sensitive, empathic souls, while being frankly a rollicking-good adventure playground for the psychopaths. By accident or design? Either way, to my mind, you have to be something of a psychopath yourself to lament the untimely termination of such a state of affairs.

    It’s instructive to at least attempt the arrogant and ridiculous anthropomorphic experiment of ‘thinking like a biosphere’, which, in my warped version, includes maybe a few million years of suicidal ideation. A few thousand years ago, Ma Nature put the barrel of the pistol in her mouth and pulled the trigger- we are just the bullet. Previous caveats about ‘projection’ still apply.

    You might not need my devil’s advocacy right now, but it may provide some (cold) comfort later on.. if all else fails..
    ’cause if you’ve got to bail out, it might be better to do so in the spirit of a schoolkid getting out of detention, rather than like a gambler with a wad of cash being dragged prematurely and against their will from the pony races, although it probably doesn’t matter much either way..

  • The refugee crisis in Europe today is just a flavor of what is to come, Billions will be displaced, we wont run out of greed before we run out of water

  • 18000days; It is difficult to select any of your direct & astute statements for emphasis.

    It’s all good with plenty of content & no fluff

    In Bahstin many would say; “That 18000 days is smaht!”

    I read your comment carefully three times. I don’t remember ever doing that with any other comment over the last 2 years.

    “There’s no suffering like the process of ending suffering,” is particularly astute, & we see ready evidence for your observation on this blog every day now.

    Gruesome times, gruesome observations, resignation, despair, emptiness, anger, frustration … what else?

    Some of us may be lucky enough to leave by our own design – “… in the spirit of a schoolkid getting out of detention.”

  • Some days it’s enough to be comfortable in my own skin. Maybe that’s all there is.
    One day I felt a rush of spiritual energy, a momentary blast of enlightenment. But it was fleeting and lost. To have that feeling full-time I would give up everything.
    Today, I am only frustrated that it left and I don’t know how to find it again.
    To know what’s possible doesn’t mean we can have it or even that we should have it.
    Still, I am grateful for that fleeting experience. For a brief time, I was allowed to know my true connection to “All That Is.”

  • “Ya got trouble. Ya got trouble with a capital T, & it rhymes with P …

    … & it stands for PERDITION …”

    “TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE …”

  • 18000days

    Very good point 18000days – “I think our privilege is showing in ignoring the possibility that the long-suffering animals are just as disillusioned with incarnation as some of us humans are. Call that ‘projection’ if you like, but at least allow for the possibility that you yourself may be ‘projecting’ your own ‘love of life’ onto generations of traumatised critters who would just like to get the fuck outa here, despite their superficial appearance of contented frolicking?”

    They too probably innately wish to “find happiness” & move on in their own journey toward….
    enlightenment(?). Two trajectories: empathy & entropy (the move upward to more perfectionment and its corollary & contrast).

    Even in the eyes of the happiest dog there is a certain forlorn quality. The Buddhists say that domesticated animals who spend time in quality relationships with human beings (basically spend time living with “their god”) take higher rebirth after they die because, I guess, their consciousness has been exposed to a higher level of conscious awareness (dog owner as guru?). Whether this holds water or not it points to a process, an upward movement in the development of consciousness which probably ends up with the consciousness of a planet, a star, a galaxy (which is an awesome – in the true sense of that much flogged word – thought).

    And given the way animals are being treated around here, I wouldn’t blame them for wanting to bug out, BOB or no BOB.

    Those images of the last few rhinos left here on earth echo those images I have seen of indigenous people who are the last of their tribe and the last speaker of the language of those people. Can’t imagine that kind of loneliness.

    I remember when I was a kid I used to love watching Jacques Cousteau and other programs about the sea. Whenever they showed those terrifying creatures that live in the abyssal dark of the deep oceans, I always thought that was hell – that those creatures were souls being punished by swimming in complete darkness and frigid cold on a life-long endless quest for food, food consumed in pitch black darkness. Some of those creatures are little more than a pair of eyes and an alimentary canal – certainly an apt description of some human beings I have met (hungry ghosts?).

    Namaste all,
    just went for a run around the lake across the road. Looked to the right and two raccoons on a moss covered rock were staring at me (juveniles). Looking for all the world like two masked bandits caught in some chicanery or other. They will be at the end of a night-long rummaging of gardens and garbage cans and probably want to finish the evening with a duck egg or crayfish, then its snoozing the day away.
    Love those raccoons.

  • The Music Man – “Ya got trouble …”

    Have a smile & maybe a laugh on the way out?

    Why not?

  • 18000days, AAA+ comment! Would read again!

  • 18000days, I, too, enjoyed your comment describing an alternate perspective of the world as a whole. In another place and time it would probably be a wonderful topic for discussion. Thank you.

    Lidia, thank you, too, for the link to the John Simonds article. I can, in large measure, relate to it and some of the comments (I’ve only read about 1/3 of them so far). However, what I find truly telling is an aspect absent in what I’ve read so far yet applies much more broadly. Just as Guy has abbreviated A. Bartlett’s “famous” line, The greatest failing of the human species is a failure to understand, period, there is no inherent ability or capacity to “understand” regardless of IQ. I’ll abstain from elaboration at this juncture. Yet, it’s always puzzled me, as one commentator there alluded, just WHAT is the purpose(?) of MENSA or being a member of that group. I’ve always thought that if one was so smart, one should be able to find better things to do with one’s time that sit around jibber-jabbering about it with allegedly like-minded people, pun intended.

    Otherwise, regarding a couple of earlier comments regarding “growing some balls,” I think it was Betty White that said (apologies for any paraphrasing or misquoting)…

    When people talk about getting “tough” why do they say “grow some balls?” Those things are fragile. If you want to get tough, grow a pussy, those things can really take a pounding! 😉

  • 18000 Days,

    Thanks for the advocacy.
    Nice to know someone is thinking in contrarian vectors.
    I’ll think of my possible exit strategy as forging a parent’s signature on a note excusing me from the rest of the school term.

    Here’s your bonus prize. #1 with a bullet.

  • There are people who claim that this realm is under the control of the devil and everything material that exists is what was ejected from heaven along with him.

    Given the numbers, 4% versus 96% it is a theory I have never totally discounted.
    Be a piss off if the christens were right eh?

  • 18000days,

    September 20th, 2015 at 6:02 am you wrote: “Empire always wins because Ma nature favours it.” and “A few thousand years ago, Ma Nature put the barrel of the pistol in her mouth and pulled the trigger—we are just the bullet.” Here, in about 33 words, you have very nicely summarized about 20 thousand words that I have written in several different essays, and a few hundreds of words Paul Chefurka has written in comments.

  • .

    @18000days

    I too enjoyed your post, it was great. Yes, I’m sure much of nature would like to get off this ride as much as any of the rest of us would. However, allow me to make a comment on your criticism of meditation as a possible beneficial resource to us in these times of anguish and adversity.

    The idea is not to become indifferent and sail above the problems in our world as if they no longer existed. That would be absurd, and isn’t what’s gained by balancing one’s mind. The idea is to dissipate crippling emotions so that they aren’t overriding and crowding out reason. This then allows one to remain in a place of service, instead of curling up in a ball of despair in the corner of your bedroom. That doesn’t serve anybody well, least of all someone as wonderful as Guy.

    Also, it doesn’t take 10,000 hours to achieve results. Instead, getting up at 5 am till 7 am and doing a well rounded practice of first some physical yoga, and then some meditations comprised of chanting, singing, and deep breath work for about 4 months should suffice to bring about a significant change in mental health. One would likely start to notice improvements long before that, but 4 months should suffice to really make big changes to one’s emotional perspective, to the point where most people (mistakenly) drop the practice because they feel so ‘new and improved.’

    Of course, getting your chakras all goofed up and your Kundalini coming up the wrong pipe are absurd notions, and I can only assume you’re being facetious to be funny. However, that needs to be addressed in case someone actually takes you seriously and thinks that’s even possible, which it isn’t. But, I chuckled along with you, knowing it was a joke; at least I hope you were joking. You were joking, weren’t you?

    Anyhow, I’ll restate that the point isn’t to become disinterested, sociopathic, or deluded. The point is to rid the self of crippling negative emotions, which just leave people curled up in a ball in their house possibly mourning over a happier past, which is not healthy or useful. That just blocks reason, which just blocks clarity and action, which just takes you out of service.

    Thanks for letting me attempt to clear up any misconceptions about the purpose of rewiring the old noggin. Guy is much too valuable an ally for us all to allow him to lose his great mind to mental adversity. Two hours a day, for four to six months, and he’ll be loving that mud hut again, and won’t be giving those ass-hats at the University a second thought (beyond maybe just to grin and laugh at their absurdity.)

    It’s a habit of mind to want to cling to their negative emotions as if they serve us somehow, as if to lose them would mean we stopped caring somehow. However, these emotions really just debilitate us, and block our ability to be of useful service. Getting rid of them won’t leave you indifferent or not caring. The effect is actually quite the opposite.

    Or … don’t.

    After all, it hasn’t been proven by the scientific method in peer reviewed studies. Although, that’s not the fault of the technology, is it? It’s not like empire wanted people empowered and conscious. Empire prefers you to be curled up in a ball and all disempowered by invasive negative emotions. I think it’s much better to be rid of them.

    🙂 (Ra Ma Da Sa … Sa Say So Hung)

    P.S. Ma nature doesn’t favor empire, that’s absurd. It’s just the simple fact that a house of cards is much easier to knock down than it is to build in the first place. It’s a pretty straight forward law of the Tao. Life is hard, death is relatively easy, but I don’t think I’d conclude that nature favors death over life. Nature is life. Just a thought.

  • LWA, what do you mean by “be of useful service” and, moreover, how do you define those last two terms, i.e. what constitutes “useful service?” Additionally, to whom should any of us “be of useful service?” Please, clarify and elaborate as you are able.

  • I hope it’s OK to create a third post to answer a request for clarification.

    @Colin.
    An example.
    Supporting empire = a useless service.
    Educating people and providing a gathering place for this community = a useful service.

    What’s a ‘useful’ service? I suppose anything that one is guided to do that seems useful in our current circumstances, even if ‘useful’ is a relative and debatable term. Possibly it’s the inverse of just rolling over and doing nothing, even if the outcome is inevitable anyway.

    Even if extinction is inevitable, Guy helps to people to cope. He validates what they themselves see, and who else is doing that? He’s also provided strategies for how to cope and ideas for how to face life in the monstrous reality we now face. It might not change anything, but it is an honorable service, and is of value, I think, to a great many people.

    To whom should we be of service? To nature, to the good fight, to positive intentions everywhere, to the Tao. Certainly not to empire (by rolling over and letting them beat us mentally.)

    It’s the idea that, on a cosmic level, even in the face of certain demise, that we ought to go on doing good just for the sake of doing good, right up to our very last breath. Do it for a tree, or a chipmunk. It is a philosophical notion, I realize that. But to just give up in defeat is just handing it over to empire and those fat cats without even a fight. That’s what we should be in service to; the good fight, even if that only exists in our imagination I suppose.

    Guy has already offered himself in service … to us. And, I hope he doesn’t stop. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Why? Just because. Just because. Then, they’ve won. Then, they’ve taken your soul.

    Flimsy, I know. But, it’s just a conviction I have. Illegitimi non carborundum.

    People’s mileage may vary.

  • Thanks, Carolyn And infanttyron! Given the lack of interesting stimuli in modern culture, it’s amazing that there’s still stuff out there to discover. I certainly do wish that my entire life could have been one of wonder and discovery and enchantment. But hey, it wasn’t what it wasn’t! LOL!

    I was in high school when girls wore their hair like this. We were on our way to Nam. We had friends to die.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgcy-V6YIuI

  • ven, a petty correction to your statement about that great little mlk clip u posted earlier. it wasn’t one of his last speeches. he lived more than 3 years longer, and made many more great speeches in that time. re, the content of this brief clip, mlk saying that one is already dead if one can’t stand up for the truth, it was precisely such radical honesty that got him killed. some other famous bard, perhaps shakespeare, once famously said that a coward dies a thousand deaths. i totally relate. seems to me either fate one ‘chooses’, one ends up dead. in the end, i’m not sure it surreally matters whether one becomes a coward or a martyr. i suppose a martyr like mlk would heartily disagree with me, if he was alive to do so.

    18000days, that was one awesome comment u posted 6:02 a.m..

    reading further down the comments, i see many others beat me to making similar praise. i hope it’s warm comfort to u to be so admired by some of your fellow phantoms of the opera (of life). might make u want to stick around a bit longer to endure yet more suffering. who was it that said ‘misery loves company’?

    mr. callaghan, u rock 2. for an asshole, u’re not so bad.

    time to eat. other’s loss is my gain. life isn’t all suffering.

  • ‘When people talk about getting “tough” why do they say “grow some balls?” Those things are fragile. If you want to get tough, grow a pussy, those things can really take a pounding! ?’

    Thanks for that, Colin.

    For me there are several really big questions that no one seems to be able to answer.

    One is: what is the instantaneous multiplier for CH4 compared to CO2?

    Another is this: why are testes not deep within the body, as ovaries are?

    I know the standard answer is that there is one basic body plan for females and males, and that sperm need a lower temperature than standard mammalian temperature to be generated and stored. Yet that answer seems entirely unsatisfactory, and even circular, to me, since fish do not have external testes, and there has been plenty of time for evolution to work out a way for sperm to be generated and stored within the body at mammalian temperature -surely better than having those rather silly, and very vulnerable, dangly things.

  • @twimc

    Pretty nasty fight brewing between Wall Street Satanists and Czar Putin.

    Pepe Escobar sums up below:

    http://thesaker.is/russias-ultimate-lethal-weapon/

  • But Empire is not winning. If it were, we’d not be facing NTHE. What you’re witnessing with NTHE is the way Nature (not to anthropomorphise) deals with Empire (extinction). You may not like it, but that is the way that has worked since life began (and perhaps before). Witness clades of organisms that have been around for hundreds of millions or billions of years. They’re not forming empires. They exhibit characteristics that I’d call “good” (sustainable cooperation). Life itself has been around on this planet for approximately four billion years and follows the same pattern (thus the food chain—placing ourselves at the top is an illusion and a mistake). We’re alive (allegedly) but hardly the end all and be all of evolutionary processes that resulted in: bacteria that have been around in some form or another for billions of years, plants for hundreds of millions of years, and even the dinosaurs which as a group existed for 150 million years or so (though a single species did not exist for that long). Homo sapiens also needs to evolve or become extinct. Simple as that. Empires are not conducive to this and in fact, completely go against it.

    Thinking you’re better than another person because you’re more intelligent in some ways is where the problem starts. We’re all created equal, and we die equal. How smart you are is irrelevant to this basic fact.

    –Ram

  • Ram,
    I didn’t think I’d be writing on this blog any longer, although There are still points of interests, as in NTHE, which I am most compelled to be aware of. But your comments above beg a few responses.

    You write, among other issues of contention, the following: “We were all created equal. and we die equal. How smart you are is irrelevant to this basic fact.”.

    In my experience, the above is as incorrect as it gets. A “fact” by the way is a word which cannot be contested, and statement can be contested in as many ways as I can think of. There are very few ‘facts’ which have any staying power, least of all facts which include elements of equality. But for the sake of your statement, we are anything but equal. In ‘fact’, the person who in my opinion wrote about the greatest theory ever conceived, ‘The Origin of Species’, proposed that in nature’s realm a ‘Survival of the Fittest’ condition exists for all living things. ‘Being born equal, at least outside the realm of religious tenets, would exclude any possibility of evolution. I don’t think there are many arguments that would seriously contradict his theory, with the possible exception of religious belief systems to which, in your comments, you have not referred.

    Your ending statement assumes I presume the idea that humans are exceptions to Darwin’s theory. In “fact”, everyone of us is born as unequal as it gets. Otherwise, none of us would be starving, richer than others, faster, smarter, taller…etc. etc. etc. Right? No contentious points there I will further assume. You somehow attribute the notion that some think of themselves as ‘better’ because of intelligence, but you confuse that premise with the additional notion that the above is somehow connected to being created ‘equal’ which immediately falls apart in as many ways as there are people.

    If intelligence were irrelevant, we would not be staring at the barrel of guns, or into the incredible abyss that will be our future if and when we ever use our 20,000 nuclear toys waiting in silos. It took a lot of ‘intelligence to build these toys, and so anyone who thinks that their “intelligence makes them better” has yet to realize just how stupid intelligence can be. I know a lot of people who could not build such infernal devices, simply because they are not ‘intelligent’ enough. And so your point is so far out of kilter with reality that it belongs only in a religious context, a context which I cannot even fathom, much less even consider.

    In conclusion, you state that “Homo Sapiens need to evolve or become extinct” But how can we evolve if we are all equal? To evolve there must be new ideas, or ways of thinking, that will propel us towards new horizons, so if we are all “equal”, which one of us would have the potential to evolve?

    From what I do perceive, (words are important) I will further assume that what you really mean is that we should all be treated as equals, which involves a completely different set of tools to resolve. If that is your premise, to be treated equally, then you have my endearing and unmitigated support, as intelligence, as you state, is not relevant to the overall perspective of that possibility.

  • Just for clarification, LWA, you are correct and the meditation-breathing, etc., that you mention will produce results relatively quickly. Nothing like trying it for oneself to know. The 10,000 hours, however, was what researchers found with the PET scans. Monks with 10,000 or more hours of meditation practice showed neurological activity far beyond that of monks without that much experience. Some of the monks who participated in the study had led ordinary lives prior to becoming monks. When interviewed they stated that the joy they experienced in meditation surpassed every other experience in their lives.

    If a person meditated an hour a day every day of the year, it would take about 27 years to achieve 10,000 hours.

    I’ve never been up to the task.

  • Kiwi kevin, You & I are focused on abrupt methane release as the lurking “Spaniard,” who will probably kill us very soon.

    ” … what is the instantaneous multiplier for CH4 compared to CO2?”

    Yessir, I agree. If we are about to take the final “pounding” from deadly methane, it would be wise/mandatory to have a precise number/multiplier for prediction.

    Carumba, an “instantaneous” multiplier of 86 is dramatically different from the accepted 25 -36.

    What are you using as the “best” number?

    I do not know how many hours of meditation will lead to nirvana, 65 – 72 % happiness, or free shoes for life?

    I would suggest that it is not written in granite that the “boy” should necessarily “pound” on the “girl’s” gizmo.

    Some practitioners treat the the other’s gizmo with respect & gentleness & even claim a degree of success.

    A wise lady opined; “What is with all this pump-pump-pump crap?”

    Laughter is a good defense.

  • All life consumes energy.
    We are the top predator of life.
    Our success is as predictable as our doom.
    We consume all energy from the past and present.
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32890-relentless-wildfires-water-scarcity-and-marine-die-offs-living-with-climate-disruption

  • More on Ricard – http://auromere.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/buddhist-monk-is-the-worlds-happiest-man/

    “The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — ‘never reported before in the neuroscience literature’, Davidson said.

    “The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, researchers believe.”

    I’m not entirely convinced that Buddhism ignores the supernatural, and the above comment about meditating on compassion reminded me of one of my favorite sayings of the Buddha:

    “Anyone who withdraws into meditation on compassion can see Braham with his own eyes, talk to him face to face and consult with him.”
    Digha Nikaya 19.43

    It is meditation on compassion that sends Ricard into the non-stop fly zone of joy.

    My son-in-law has achieved the same through the unhappy circumstance of experiencing a massive stroke a year ago that required three separate cranial procedures. He has never been the same insofar as his memory goes, but he is happy all the time now, and experiences tremendous joy and love. He is not a different person. He is still recognizably himself, with the same humor, the same insight into things, but the difference between his joyous self that he is now and the chronically unhappy, grumpy person he was prior to the stroke is, as the old saying goes, like night and day.

  • Being born into a profoundly violent,patriarchal, narcissistic society creates emotionally stunted individuals. Homeless 9th grade dropout or professor emeritus we are all emotionally retarded and are fundamentally clueless as to what love and happiness should look like. I’m sorry a Treblinka nazi practicing buddhism will never know love are happiness. I have only one suggestion. Try having intimate encounters with non humans in a wilderness setting. When your love and compassion truly extends beyond just humans you will be on a more sane path to experience some deep contentment in this short mean existence we have all suffered thanks to patriarchy!!!!!!

  • Ven,

    U must be a soldier for truth. The mlk film by budget films is stunning.

    He lived his faith.

    How many would march into a trap of dogs, billy clubs, guns, and angry vicious racists?

    I saw a documentary last night on Pope Francis. He apparently went through a period in his life when his mind reversed itself, totally.
    “Pope Francis – The Sinner” Documentary 2015 (Ga Public TV)

    Here are a few truths uttered by him. “We (the Catholic Church) are to reflect the light of Jesus. We do not have a light of our own.”

    “Power is Service”

    “Give the Church to the people.” (anarchism)

    Tks.

  • ROOS is at it again:

    http://arctic-roos.org/

    Are these the correct data? Seems like they might be having the same problem as before. Anyone have any info on them?

  • ROOS still a’int lookin’ good:
    http://arctic-roos.org

  • Jean, there are layers and layers of meaning to the statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” and likewise to my statement “We’re all created equal, and we die equal.”

    What do you think it means in the preamble to the US Constitution and what do you think it means today? The key words in my and Jefferson’s statements are “created” (and also “die” in mine—I could’ve said as well said “uncreated” but that didn’t sound so elegant but it is more accurate). And of course “men” needs to be expanded as well in Jefferson’s case. I’m not referring to what happens after the moment of creation through to the the moment of uncreation which is where the focus of your response appears to be.

    I do not think humans are exceptions to Darwin’s theory of evolution (largely), and indeed the fact of evolution itself (which is different from any theory of evolution, even one as good Darwin’s original or Neodarwinism, its updated and more complete successor). What I said actually is implying it. But my point is that ALL humans (and indeed all life) face the “forces of evolution” (lazy writing, sorry) equally at the moment of creation, and when they die: as a collection of atoms susceptible to their genetic make up and the conditions of their environment. Sure, the conditions of the environment and the exact genetic make up of every person is different from every other person (or is similar, depends on granularity), but I’m talking about the moment of creation (not spiritually, I mean physically).

    For argument’s sake I’ll agree to “creation” being the creation of the zygote or the successor cell but if you really want to get technical about language and say that the genetic codes are different, etc., we can get to the first atom or the first quanta. You’re created from an ocean of atoms and you die into an ocean of atoms. At these moments and at this level of granularity, you are equal to everyone else, and that is the fact. All the stuff you mentioned, all the inequalities that come later, are irrelevant to this fact. Therefore you should be treated equally (this is a statement whose logic can be disputed, but this is the conclusion to what I was saying) There is nothing to dispute about my statement about us being created equal and dying equal.

    –Ram

  • Gerald.

    As far as I can determine, the CO2 multiplier for CH4 was invented as a component of the ‘carbon trading’ scam, whereby ‘advanced’ nations could pretend to be doing something about reducing emissions whilst actually increasing them. Values are calculated on the basis of hypothetical decay curves, which trend to the value 1 as CH4 gets oxidised to CO2.

    The entire topic seems to have gone completely dead since I spent time highlighting it 2-3 years ago, when I proposed around 300 times CO2; Paul Beckwith suggested 250 time CO2 when I spoke with him on the matter. As far as I know, nothing has been forthcoming since, though I did see the suggestion of up to 1000 times CO2 (Malcolm Light, from memory).

    In the absence of any better number, I believe the Precautionary Principle requires us to use a figure of at least 300. However, we know that the Precautionary Principle -don’t do it unless you are sure it’s safe- never applies in ‘democratic’, industrial societies: if you are a corporation or an opportunist, just do whatever you like, and if it goes wrong the cost will be transferred to the commons and the taxpayer (and the next generation).

    At this point the official stance seems to be that CH4 will always decay quickly, and that rapid eruption of CH4 cannot occur, so no action (or even investigation) is required.

    I put such notions in the same basket as infinite economic growth on a finite planet, continued increases in the extraction of fossil fuels for decades to come, infinite printing of money with no consequences, population growth to 11 billion by mid-century and all the other bullshit that comes from officialdom on a continuous basis.

    ‘I would suggest that it is not written in granite that the “boy” should necessarily “pound” on the “girl’s” gizmo.’

    I thought the term was banging, as in ‘he banged her’, ‘they were banging away’. My mistake.

    None of this would have happened if our distant ancestors had stayed in the water 360+ million years ago.

    That’s progress.

  • what’s happened to google?

    most of what i learn these days comes from this blog, so it probably was from here that i recall seeing something within the past year or so about how the search engine google was going to be tampered with to make it more difficult to find stuff (and perhaps easier to find stuff we’d rather not find, like commercial propaganda). sure enough, a few months ago google was replaced by something called ask.com on my computer, and damned if it doesn’t suck. i can’t find a lot of relatinely obscure info. that i used to find with google. i’m wondering if others ‘out there’ have experienced/noticed the same change?

    ‘It’s the idea that, on a cosmic level, even in the face of certain demise, that we ought to go on doing good just for the sake of doing good’

    what’s good for the cat may be bad for the mouse. words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are relative terms, all depending on one’s point of view. to assume there’s a universal good (or bad), as the comment quoted above seems to do, is to err, imo.

    ‘Homeless 9th grade dropout or professor emeritus we are all emotionally retarded and are fundamentally clueless as to what love and happiness should look like.’

    i sure hope this is right. i suspect it is. i suspect the way we’re domesticated by our social institutions/customs is what makes us psychologically stunted, poisoned, unhappy and unfulfilled. not that such knowledge matters, considering collapse shall render all such matters moot.

    ‘My son-in-law has achieved the same through the unhappy circumstance of experiencing a massive stroke a year ago that required three separate cranial procedures. He has never been the same insofar as his memory goes, but he is happy all the time now, and experiences tremendous joy and love. He is not a different person. He is still recognizably himself, with the same humor, the same insight into things, but the difference between his joyous self that he is now and the chronically unhappy, grumpy person he was prior to the stroke is, as the old saying goes, like night and day.’

    interesting story. i’ve been wishing for a long time to discover or stumble upon (be traumatized by?) something that would change my outlook on life in a similar way. a long time.

  • The Virgin Terry (Response to your earlier post):

    Yes, of course Noam Chomsky is Jewish. He’s famously Jewish (where have you been?). Norm Finkelstein is, too (in case you didn’t figure that out yet). This fact has nothing to do with someone railing against the “money-lending Jews” that are “ruining the world.” And, by the way, both Noam and Norm (among many others, particularly those who oppose Israeli policy) already have to deal with the whole un-deserved “self hating Jew” moniker as it is. And virtually all of them cringe at the notion that their views would in any way be conflated with blanket “fact based” statements about those evil “money-lending Jews” who have “taken over the world.”

    You say poor old Kevin Moore (and Phil Morrison by proxy) is being lambasted for simply mentioning that the bankers “just happen to be Jewish.” Why mention that they’re Jewish at all, if not to imply that there’s something evil about being Jewish? Why not mention that most of them have brown eyes? I guess because “those brown-eyed bankers are really sticking it to us!” doesn’t make any sense, and doesn’t have the same resonance with peoples’ already underlying prejudices and stereotypes. No, there’s no other reason to mention their Jewishness other than to attempt to correlate their behavior with a wider segment of society- i.e. “those evil Jews are just here to undermine the rest of us.”

    By the way, most (if not all) “international bankers” are men. I mean, I know they just HAPPEN to be men, right? In fact, MORE of them “happen” to be men than “happen” to be Jewish, so let’s switch the narrative. I expect all mention of these so-called evil international bankers to now say “Evil MALE money-lenders.” But that would be absurd, right? Why mention their maleness unless I’m implying that their being male is the reason for their evilness (because we all know men are inherently evil)?

    Of course, since Mr. Moore has made it clear that he’s a New Zealander, it’s much more understandable now. Those kiwis sure are all ignorant, Nazi xenophobes.*

    * unfortunately, given the level of discourse and apparent (lack of) intelligence here, I feel the need to spell out the fact that this is a SARCASTIC statement.

  • “There is nothing to dispute about my statement about us being created equal and dying equal.”

    Contexts.
    Atoms, physics, physical chemistry: correct. Great insight.
    Biology, Sociology, society, community: A different paradigm.

    There is a saying in Urdu “Mullah ki dourdh masjid t(h)ak”: “The mullah’s jog is up to the mosque”.

    CH4 decay curves and forcing based on them are not applicable where repletion exceeds decay, resulting in a rising curve. Those with the requisite math abilities could compare the areas under the two curves to find a more reasonable estimate.

    “None of this would have happened if our distant ancestors had stayed in the water 360+ million years ago.”

    The coelacanth, an offshoot of that lineage, did. And another, closely related to today’s cattle, the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) returned to the water.

    Many freeware programs come with the option to install additionl programs, browser plug ins, and even the option to change the default browser search engine. All of these are checked by default, and if not manually unchecked, will be installed; with each installation of third party software, the freeware folks get a payment from the third parties.One can restore the Google search engine in a browser through its settings. Freeware that comes with its own separate installer is particularly suspect in this regard and should be rejected (by Windows users) unless one has some proficiency in manually editing the Windows Registry.

    CCCleaner freeware can clean up the mess; freeware installer programs can log every change during installation and undo them all.

  • @ Wren .. Thank you Wren and this is for you
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxLYOQ9-8qY

  • There is a very simple and yet powerful meditation from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that is a mind/heart self healing meditation. I use it on my cello retreats. It really helps people learn to create their own happiness from within, not situationally based.

    “Breathing in I feel _________________ ( fill in how your are feeling)

    “Breathing out I take care of my __________________

    After a time it will simple turn into: IN> (emotion you’ve named)
    OUT> Taking care of my __________________

  • thanks for the advice, robin.

    babajingo, i haven’t bothered reading phil morrison’s posts for a while now, so i have no idea what he has posted re. jews. i know spezio posts some outrageous stuff, holocaust denial, but i wasn’t defending him. kevin moore, on the other hand, generally strikes me as a very well informed, intelligent, and reasonable, if outspoken, sherson. and as apparently u’re aware of, the nation of israel is a militaristic bully with no regard for human rights, which thanks to the ceaseless favorable propaganda it gets in amerikan corporate media, is widely perceived in a much more favorable light, even among ‘progressives’ who should know better (one might wish), so that any criticism of it, or of any particular aspect of jewish culture, is often immediately attacked as being ‘anti-semetic’. this is what i think/thought might be going on with this blog, which is why i responded as i did.

  • The Virgin Terry:

    Therein lies the problem. Criticism of the state of Israel is a completely different thing. The state of Israel is not equivalent to “the Jews.” He wasn’t saying anything about Israel, he was talking about “the evil Jewish money-lenders who have conspired to run the world.” Such an old, tired trope.

    And with regards to human rights violations, I’m not sure Israel is any worse than the good ole U-S of A on that front…

    Sorry everyone, I realize this is my 3rd post to this thread…

  • babajingo does read well, doesn;pt read enough, jumps to conclusions, and gets it all wrong. As usual. Sigh!

    For the nth time, I have frequently distinguished between ordinary Jews (if there actually is such a thing as Jew) and the manipulative. mendacious maniacs who have taken control of most of the world via the financial system, and who also claim the same racial lineage.

    And babajongo clearly has not read enough for anything like long enough, otherwise he would not have put his foot in his mouth on that other matter. Sigh!

  • Kevin Moore:

    1) There’s no such thing as a Jewish “race.” Nor a black “race” or any other “race.” There is technically only one human race.

    2) You still don’t explain why you mention Jewishness when it comes to the “money-lenders.” What difference does it make if they’re Jewish? Since it’s so important to you to point it out there must be a reason. This is disregarding the fact THAT IT IS NOT EVEN TRUE.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_antisemitism

    3) This makes zero sense:

    “And babajongo clearly has not read enough for anything like long enough, otherwise he would not have put his foot in his mouth on that other matter. Sigh!”

    What other matter?

    4) Thank you for pointing out that I “read well.” Although I’m assuming that’s a typo.

    5) I am a she, not a he. Not that it really matters.

    6) You have mentioned that you are ill. I honestly don’t want to contribute further to whatever stress you must be experiencing so I’m going to drop this and refrain from commenting further about this particular topic. Plus, this is my 4th post and I’d like to at least attempt to honor Guy’s request of 2 posts per thread.

  • ogf, I’m happy your son-in-law is happy, because sometimes these things can go the other way and cause people to become more irascible and violent. Yikes! :-/

    What you’re essentially confirming, though, is that these states of mind are material ones. (I’m not saying I don’t think meditation can materially affect the brain; I think it can to some extent. What I don’t believe in are “spiritual”, “otherworldly”, or “cosmic” forces that might intervene in human consciousness.)

    ==
    @shep, “giving the Church to the people” is called Protestantism. But look what *they* did with it.. Luther and Calvin and them.. It’s not a very much nicer institution in their hands, that I can tell. Anything to do with monotheistic religion is pretty much automatically Authoritarian, as you must accept that A God Character is the (psychopathic and capricious) Author of your life. (See the “Kiss Hank’s Ass” video above.)

    Nothing about anarchism meshes at all with the Christian message. The bible clearly states in dozens of places that Christians are to submit meekly to earthly rulers.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. … “

  • @tvt, trying going to the site of “Duck Duck Go”, which is an alternative search engine that supposedly doesn’t track you. I get pretty reasonable results. It should have instructions for how to make that your default browser.

    Using Duck Duck Go you can type in your search with a “!g” at the end and it will give you the Google listings instead, and yes, they are different.

  • babajingo

    Your love of trolling, displays of gross ignorance and slinging insults quickly becomes tiresome.

  • “J.T.”… Nice work. A lovely blending of text, music and images, both moving and sensual.
    But pearls before swine and all that.
    Most of them are fucking Philistines.
    Which is why we live alone.

  • lidia,

    somehow i missed the ‘king ass’ video. can u resend?

    “Nothing about anarchism meshes at all with the Christian message.”

    My point exactly! The pope is way off course (but I interpret his messages to be socialistic and anarchist in the extreme so he can’t last too long (Wait until he drops some more word bombs in the USA.) with his antics or possibly his age (he seems really frail, and slow with the liturgy) The curia will get him. It has too because he is bursting their corrupt bubble.

    But, there is a pretty good divide between the Old and the New testament. Like night and day. Conservatives love the old testament wherein God IS a tyrant but they bypass the new where u find the beatitudes.

    BTW, I am a devout atheist having once been “saved”. Boy that was a trip. But, each to his own understanding. In the end it doesn’t much matter, does it?

  • Lidia, your biblical quote is a perfect demonstration of how Bush’s perverse peeyar yuppies coined, milked, & murdered in the name of the boogyman & “the evildoers.”

    Prompt cold blooded murder of Muslims & Muslim culture follows, as in the Zionist Oded Yinon Plan.

    Israel’s enemies topple as we watch the news.

    Onward Christian/Merican soldiers, but not-a-drop-of-Jewish-Israeli-blood.

    Iraq & Libya are utterly destroyed

    Syria’s complete devastation was caused by DROUGHT?

    Are you kidding?

    Remember Hilarious toiling for career & her paying Israeli client, & wailing; “Assad must go!”

    How many people know that Assad is a British trained OPTHAMOLOGIST?

    Goddamn anti-Semitism everywhere too.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. … “

  • This is a video version of a little skit that has bounced around in written form for a while. Not sure if it is the best, as there are others.

  • Thanks 44South and Etye.
    It got flagged for copyright issues, and the punishment was that they tagged an obnoxious ad onto it, so I took it down, changed the music, overlaid a birdsong track to change the fingerprint. Learning as I go, my apologies for the blank spot above. Amended version:

    I’m not following things here very closely, too much going on outside, plus studio work … the price for food, shelter, and solitude.

  • This is a Malcolm Light paper where he proposes a value of 1000 CO2e for CH4 global heating potential. He developed curves from anomalous high temperature and methane readings.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/p/global-extinction-within-one-human.html

  • Thank you, Lidia. I’m very happy for my son-in-law. I’m pleased that he will know some joy for the rest of his time here. You wrote, “What you’re essentially confirming, though, is that these states of mind are material ones.”

    See, I’m not sure of that, although I completely agree that the situation does appear to mean that consciousness is biologically based. Damage the brain in one place and certain functions are affected, and damage it in another and other things occur. Logically it follows that consciousness is material and only material.

    However, the studies on Ricard and other experienced monks indicate that purposeful awareness of thought – intent and focus – alters biology. There are other studies as well, in particular statistical studies, that indicate that consciousness is not in the least limited by materiality.

    Maybe my son-in-law’s biology got out of the way of something quite subtle that was always there and he just couldn’t experience it before. His brain was damaged by the stroke. It wasn’t that he experienced new, additional neurological activity, like the meditating monks did. He lost brain function.

    However, if it’s true that ‘these states of mind are material,’ then why does the entirely non-material act of focus and intent within the mind alter materiality. Why does just focusing on the concept of compassion change neurological pathways and connections in the brain? If you consider that the studies done with Ricard showed increases in awareness, memory, and learning, it’s more than just an emotional state that is achieved through his practice, he is off the charts in learning and overall awareness and memory recall, also.

    Where’s the material mechanism for the change in Ricard, and a number of other monks who have been tested in the same way? Sitting still repeatedly? Can we just throw everyone into a room for an hour a day and force them to be still, and they will come out aware, smart, and happy like Ricard? I don’t think that’s what would happen.

    How do these findings fit with the idea that biology dictates human behavior, when meditation – a specific behavior – alters biology and does so quite dramatically?

    Materiality doesn’t answer these questions for me. If it is an answer for others, then it is, but the perspective that consciousness is exclusively based in biology/materiality doesn’t answer these questions for me.

  • I am sure my comment will disappear in the sea of comments here, but whatever, I will post it anyway. I totally get you when you say you have not been able to find happiness or joy in this lifetime Guy, its been rare in my life as well and the few times I have had it, looking back I wonder if it was “real happiness” or if I just wanted to be happy so bad I gave into delusions. I have had to take a step back and focus on my own personal life and figure out what I can do to improve myself, in the end it is all that matters. Near Term Extinction does not matter to the dead and dying, and from all indications I can tell from the masses, it doesnt matter to the living much either. Peace to you Guy and I pray you find some real happiness before you breath your last.

  • In the 9/20/15 episode of Extinction Radio Guy talks about reaching the 7th stage of grief: “Fuck It” There may be an 8th stage: Celebrate NTHE to the exclusion of NTE. If I was dying of cancer I would not “love” my tumors.

  • “…find some real happiness”???

    “There is no such thing as happiness. God is the ultimate pleasure, uninterrupted happiness. No such thing exists. Your wanting something that does not exist is the root of your problem.” – U. G. Krishnamurti

  • @Ray Batman, re. wanting something that does not exist… Indeed! Very apt, thank you!

    @ogf, “entirely non-material act of focus and intent”, “entirely non-material act of focus and intent”.

    See, these are unjustified assumptions, though… that a brain’s cells and electrical impulses somehow are non-material or that they generate something non-material. When people are hooked up to scanners the electrical activity in different parts of their brains can be observed as they do just as you say: focus on one thing versus another.

    Something physical does happen when we choose to focus, so to me the monks’ transformation is not particularly mysterious. I believe you when you say that it is “not just an emotional state” (I believe what you *mean* to say, that is. I think emotional states are also material.) And it’s funny that you use the term “just” an emotional state, as though that were something lesser..? lesser than what? 😉

    When I practiced yoga for a while, I noticed as a side-effect that I became less knock-kneed. Why wouldn’t “purposeful awareness” of how one walks, sits, or stands not be valid for how one thinks?

    I’m not going to say that the brain is a “muscle”, exactly, but it is a plastic material that quite obviously does change as we exercise it. Think of the stupefying feats of memory practiced by ancient Greeks and other peoples, that no-one today could replicate, primarily for lack of trying.

    Reading Oliver Sacks (a doctor and self-described “old Jewish atheist”) is always entertaining as well as informative on issues involving the brain.

    I’ve never come across any studies indicating that “consciousness is not in the least limited by materiality”. Maybe you could post a reference.

  • Part Two of my interview for Radio Curious has been posted. Catch it here.

  • After awaking in the boondocks of Nicaraugua in 1989 w/o any hope of coffee & caffeine, I trudged down the dirt road & passed a burned out Samoza armored car.

    Finally I came upon a campesino’s simple hovel.

    Mr. Campesino was smiling outside his front door

    He was a very friendly fellow.

    “Buenos dias – necessito cafe”

    “Bueno,” & he took me inside where he introduced me to his lady & about seven-year-old daughter.

    It was dirt floor, & the coffee was heating/steaming in a giant pot on a wood burning stove. It had sugar & milk already added.

    Sometimes coffee druggies need it real bad.

    I trudged back to my shack & returned with my last small stuffed bear.

    I asked Mr Campesino; “Permisso.”

    Never having seen a stuffed bear, his smiling daughter screamed with HAPPINESS, joy, & pure delight.

    I can still hear her screams of joy 26 years later.

    I’ve never been happier.

    The best laid plans sometimes work out just as we hoped & planned.

    There is plenty of happiness left in this world.

    Before you die give a simple stuffed animal/bear to a poor child.

    You could experience happiness.

  • I don’t believe I stated that brain cells and neuronal activity are purely non-material, and I don’t think I would say that because it wouldn’t make sense. Obviously, brain cells are material objects, alive or dead.

    What I did say was this, “Why does just focusing on the concept of compassion change neurological pathways and connections in the brain?”

    The concept of compassion is not material. It is an abstract concept with no specific material form, however, it may have many forms when living beings display or experience compassion. No one, however, can go buy “a compassion,” or collect compassion, or store compassion. You cannot stock up on it, like you might be able to do with brain cells if you went around collecting brains.

    There have been many studies done on psychic abilities for decades by people that have been dismissed and discounted in mainstream academia and science, however the studies are out there, and the findings are statistical rather than mechanically reproducible. Charles Tart examines what he calls the “big five” irrefutable abilities that are not recognized within science and are not explained by a purely materialistic view of reality that have been established in numerous laboratory tests in his book, The End of Materialism. His references and citations regarding the studies are extensive. Those five abilities are telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing.

    This is an article about something that I’ve been reading about for a while regarding humans reacting to future events prior to any measurable material stimuli existing http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/new-study-scientifically-proves-psychic-ability/

    Sensational title aside, those tests are somewhat similar to tests done by Rupert Sheldrake on dogs knowing when their people are returning home even though the person was returning at a random time during the day. Dogs showed awareness of their owners’ return several minutes before the dog could have had any awareness of the sound of a car arriving, and there was no person in the home to give off clues that the owner would be returning.

    What Trebinka Nazi, and which Buddhist practice specifically is being discussed? What is the need for these kinds of absolute statements that throw away all context when discussing reality? Why is it that every fact gets turned into a statement of universal, absolute Truth, or conversely dismissed based on some entirely unsubstantiated absolute Truth that is little more than a complete sentence, like how some unidentified, unspecified Nazi wouldn’t be changed by something that science says can effect change?

  • This is a link to the website of Jessica Utts of Davis University. She’s one of the more interesting people I’ve read about over the years. Utts is a statistician who did her first research on PSI as a complete disbeliever (I purposely avoided the term “skeptic”) in anything psychic. Her own research changed her mind. There are numerous links to her work and what she has to say about research on evidence in connection with the whole mind-matter-causation-correlation issue. http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jutts/

    On the site is a link to her summary of numerous statistical studies, An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning. http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jutts/air.pdf

    Utts does not state that these abilities are proof of the existence of the non-material origins of consciousness, but she does state the current understanding of biologically-based consciousness *cannot explain the existence of these abilities,* which would be the correct statement of fact as things now stand. The importance of understanding the difference between these two interpretations of the data is essential when discussing these things, but other researchers like Tart do conclude that these abilities are proof of the non-material basis for consciousness.

  • .
    @oldgrowthforest

    You might find this series of lectures interesting, particularly the Friday night and both of the Saturday lectures. Considering your views about science, and your apparent open minded skepticism, I bet you’ll find it thought provoking. I make no claims about it, other than to say I found it interesting.

    .
    @thevirginterry
    I find it quite curious that you can make the claim that ‘good and bad’ are entirely relative, and therefore impossible to determine, and then go on to claim that other people in other threads are ‘wrong’ or ‘in error.’ You can’t have it both ways like that, can you?

    You don’t seem to be applying your logic consistently.

    If ‘good’ is relative, and therefore irrelevant, then so must be your claims that people are ‘wrong’ relative, and therefore irrelevant. 😉

    You may not be wrong, but you are being inconsistent.

  • what do the pope and the president have in common? they’re both full of shit! (it’s funny if u’re stoned and tvt) chuckle

    popes, presidents, police, and what else. oh yeah, priests, and, u can probably think of some others, i’ve run out of alliteration. all ‘authorities’. all full of shit.

    i’m getting near finished with a book about the militarization of amerikan po-pos (police) titled RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP by radney balko. it’s been blowing me away, detailing all (actually probably just a small fraction of) the incredibly abusive and terroristic shit they’ve been getting away with, what with SWAT teams rather routinely violently breaking into homes filled with ‘innocent’ women and children, along with the ‘bad guys’, tearing up shit, burning shit up, and of course terrorizing, abusing, and sometimes killing the victims of their raids, all, mostly related to the insane, corrupt, and despicable ‘war on drugs’. of course, the cops are only doing what they’re instructed, encouraged, and paid to do. they couldn’t and wouldn’t be doing it without the approval of the political/legal establishment, the corporate media, and a shitload of deluded vulgar sheeple who actually believe what they’ve been indoctrinated to believe: that the cops, like ‘authorities’ in general, are the ‘good guys’, protecting us from all the ‘evil immorality’, ‘criminality’, and terrorist boogeymen they’ve been indoctrinated to fear. a lot of sheeple with shit for brains (this is the kind of radical honesty that only a fool or a martyr would give u, i wonder which one am i? both!?).

    sigh

    makes me think and feel good that nature bats last. makes me think of this TOOL song:

    lidia, the ‘kiss hank’s ass’ video was/is great! thanks. almost rofl funny! now i have one for u. have u heard of christina rad? not as funny, but still great at refuting faith-based arguments and claims:

    wren, your video ‘the loons’ didn’t break my heart. u can’t break what’s already been broken.

    Jonathan W, i read and appreciated your comment, before it’s lost in the sea of comments here. i’d bet guy did 2. and many others.

    ‘There is no such thing as happiness.’

    there is. it just doesn’t last.

  • ‘You may not be wrong, but you are being inconsistent.’

    LWA, i’m often wrong and inconsistent. i guess i have something in common with the bible and ‘believers’ after all! thanks for the humility.

  • LWA, the astute observer should (have?) notice(d) that consistency from thought to word to action is in very short supply in this world, regardless of the forum or its participants. In fact, it is truly rare, indeed, for anyone to even perceive of such incongruity in others and rarer still for them to see it in themselves. Thus begins the nibble at the root of that which Pandora hath wrought.

  • Thanks, LWA. I’m 35 minutes into it and finding this really interesting. I remember reading about Tom Campbell when his book came out, but I did not look into it or him at any length.

    In the video right now at the 35 minute mark he is discussing how objective reality does not exist, and he mentioned it earlier in the talk as well. This is genuinely interesting. I’m very eager to hear what he has to say on this, and it’s something I often attempt to make a point about when I talk about the god-like and omniscient statements of How Things Are that we are all trained to compulsively express when we attempt to communicate with each other.

    If there is no objective reality, and we continually reject our subjective experience, including our intuition, our feelings and emotions, we are continually throwing away the only valid perspective available to us for something that is an illusion.

    I mention this frequently, but not in the same way that Campbell does. Instead I tend to focus on the language of statements. I yearn for the I and Thou of communication, instead of the religious-like offerings of How Everything Is.

    I may have to watch this video a couple of times to understand it.