Archive for November, 2020

Before the Salmon Run

28 November 2020

Last year’s salmon run up the American River left a big impression on me, so I have been waiting impatiently for this year’s run to begin.

This shot is from 7 December last year:

The fish have not yet arrived this year, though both people and a crowd of fish-eating birds eagerly await them.

This hawk probably followed the crowd here, but most of the raptors are vultures, and there are thousands of gulls.

Though it was only early afternoon, the sun was low in the trees, and made them shimmer in a way that is difficult to capture on film.

Ever attracted to the female form, I felt compelled to capture an image of this woman, fully equipped for dressage, riding on the horse trail with a slow and contemplative air.

My journey home takes me past a water fountain where I usually stop to take a sip. Recently the older one was replaced by a newer model.

The fountain in this little mini-park survives from a bygone era. Some days it gets all sudsy, but today the water ran clear.

I’ve never seen a lion spit like this, have you? But it does have a sort of calming feel about it, and reminds me of what I should be thankful of this season – the (now) rare smile of a kindhearted woman.

Short Story

25 November 2020

Once upon a time, a boy and girl fell in love. They seemed perfect for each other. They enjoyed their times together in a calm and simple way that no one else seemed to notice or care about. He pledged to her that they would spend their lives together. But he was only a little boy. How could he keep this promise?

Sure enough, one day his parents announced to the family that they would be moving to a land far away, where Father had found work. The boy’s attention went off his friends as the excitement of the move filled his days. And then the family was gone from that place, and the boy found himself living in a new town, thousands of miles away.

The little girl wondered where her friend had gone, and cried. But eventually, the busyness of life restored her spirit, and she made new friends and continued on.

Meanwhile, the little boy had become fascinated and captivated by his new surroundings. The town he had moved to was older than the one he had left, and the climate there was much different. As the winter’s snows melted from the lawns of his family’s new house, the boy, aware that he needed new friends, made many attempts to play with the girls he met at school, as he had done where he used to live.

But the children here had been raised differently, and the girls he met all dismissed him. He did not get discouraged at first, but then one night as he slept, the face of his former best friend appeared to him, smiling calmly as she always had. And he realized that not only would he never see her again, but that he had not had a chance to say goodbye.

And so, lifetimes of unkept promises pressed their full weight upon his emotions, and he began to cry. He cried for what seemed like hours. At first, it seemed he was crying only for his lost love. But then it became more obvious that he was crying for all those unkept promises, indeed, for all the tragedies of his fragile world, and of all the worlds that had existed before it.

Sixty years passed.

Though his world survived, it showed it weaknesses at every turn of the planet around its axis. And a boy and girl again fell in love. The boy was, perhaps, the same boy. His body was bigger, and his skin had wrinkled. His belly had grown a bit too large, and his ability to run freely and laugh with his friends had diminished. And yet, he had, again, fallen in love.

He and his new friend spent many mornings together talking. Their concerns were now the concerns of “adults” and no longer the trifling concerns of children, made large and important only by their imaginations. These were real concerns of real importance. At least, that’s how they saw it.

And then a disaster befell the land, as will happen in our fragile worlds, and the two who so cared about each other were separated. Amid the distractions of the moment, the boy forgot about his new friend. He had assumed that she was safe and cared for, though he actually had no idea. But then a man who was part of his community mentioned to him that his friend had been sent away. Where had she gone? Was she in fact safe? How were her children doing? And her parents, brothers and sisters?

He guessed that she had returned to the place where her family lived. It was too far away for him to travel there, but this world had communication devices that made it possible to stay connected even so. And though he now regretted that his kind had, thousands of years ago, lost the ability to connect with each other directly, he used the tools he had at his disposal to try to find her and reestablish contact.

This was a difficult struggle for him. It involved many new tears, and he often wondered why exactly this seemed so important to him, and why he was crying so much.

And then one day, a message from her appeared on the screen of his device. He answered it impulsively, then sat in his chair and cried some more. She had promised to meet with him and let him know all that had happened to her since the disaster had separated them. When the appointed day arrived, he sent her a short message. But she did not respond. Later in the day, he left a voice message urging her to at least have a brief meeting with him. Still no response. He went out and walked around his neighborhood, as had become his recent habit. He found some cheer in the little children’s laughing and taunting of their parents, excited about the winter holiday festivities that were quickly approaching. And yet, his friend did not reply. That evening he sent another message, forgiving her, and reassuring her that he would be very happy to hear from her in any form, at any time.

That night the boy (man?) went to bed with a troubled heart. What was keeping him apart from his new friend? She seemed fearful of something. What was it? And then he recalled the friendship that he had broken sixty years earlier, through his own over-excitement in anticipating a new experience. It was his own carelessness that had ruined (had it?) the most precious friendship he had known that lifetime. And now he was prepared to put the responsibility for his difficulty at reconnecting on the shoulders of his new friend! What folly! He cried again, most heavily, realizing his own complicity in his own heartbreak.

He arose that morning weary, but ready to face the new day. He did indeed live in a fragile world. But that fragility, it seemed clear now, was of his own creation.

Intolerable!

21 November 2020

Here we have another excerpt from Dena Merriam’s epic work.

Dena as Gita, in India

This lifetime was lived in the early 1400s in the northwest of India.

The Delhi Sultinate was established in 1206. During that century its main work was to repulse Mongol raiders from the north. Immigration into India (Bharat) from war-torn regions to the north and west was almost continuous for several centuries. However, a Mughal Empire eventually took over in the north, in the early 1500s.

During Dena’s first lifetime in India the Sayyids were in power. Wikipedia reports that the rulers of that time attempted to live cooperatively with Hindus, but that is not the way Dena remembers it. In her region, at least, a systematic program was carried out – not by the ruling Sheikh, but by his ministers – to replace Hindu culture, in particular the temples, with Muslim culture. Temples were torn down and replaced with mosques. Hindu women were forced to marry Muslim men and convert to Islam.

Her name that life was Gita, and she was the daughter of a raja (king). He had married her off to a Muslim prince in exchange for peace. But the details of the agreement were not honored. Her brother, Govindas, was fiercely Hindu, and wanted to fight the Muslims. They probably would have lost, but in his mind they had lost anyway. She was also very devoutly Hindu, and in time organized a means, through rational discourse, to come to some level of reconciliation. This mirrors Dena’s modern interfaith peace work. She has visited India many times.

Gita returns for Govindas’ wedding after living in the Sheikh’s palace with her new husband for three years. She knows nothing of the Sheikh’s abrogation of their agreements until her brother, so angry he can hardly face her, tells is like it is:

GOVINDAS : Many, many temples have been destroyed. Mosques are being built everywhere. Our young women are being forced to marry and convert. The Sheikh has broken all the agreements. I hate him and his whole family. I want to go to war, but father will not let us because of you. You are my enemy now, Gita. You are preventing us from defending ourselves! They are seeking to destroy us, not by killing us but by killing our culture and way of life. It is intolerable.

He clenched his fists.

My Journey Through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death, and Rebirth.

The situation in modern India

In India, the modern Muslim-Hindu problem is most easily traced to the British “partition” of India into India and Pakistan in 1947. This partition went against the modern concept of a secular state which honors religious freedom. Modern India is officially a secular state. Modern Pakistan is not.

However, in present-day India, Hindu “nationalists” have reemerged as a powerful political force, and the Prime Minister there has been making concessions to them. Of the two philosophies, Hinduism has traditionally been the more tolerant. So what’s all this about Hindu “nationalism?”

One aspect of this is that lower Hindu castes could experience more freedom and respect for basic rights under Islam. Nevertheless, Hindus and Muslims had lived together with much harmony until the British arrived. The British were opposed by combined Hindu-Muslim forces in an 1857 revolt, and they became determined to undermine this alliance.

And so we find the Third Party in this story – the British. British strategists, then, supported various indigenous leaders to further this divide. The Partition was one result. The Partition displaced an estimated 20 million people, killing roughly 10% of them in the process, along with what is described by one writer as “pillage and rape.” In more recent years, separatist violence has returned to various contested areas.

A heightened “distrust” of Muslims, fueled by forces far from India, has led to various anti-Muslim actions taken in India. This, of course, only makes things worse.

A lesson for our modern world

Look: a modern American woman dug this ancient conflict up out of her Spiritual Memory. Do you know what that means for conflicts in modern times? Do you think we can do away with problems of this sort without massively addressing the effects that our Spiritual Memory has on the present life? I think not!

And so, as I lose another Facebook friend because I cannot convince her that she is being lied to, and she cannot convince me that I am being lied to, I ponder the conundrum that stands before me, and see its foreshadowing in this memory from ancient times, that happened in a place that seems so far away, but that is in fact so close.

I see the current situation as much more grave, in some ways, than was that of the Hindus as they watched the Muslims invade their lands. For one thing, outright slavery was not an issue then. All were to continue as free men, at least as free as was the custom in those times. The issue was culture. The invaders thought theirs was better. Sound familiar? Catholic missionaries to convert native Americans. Outright war, extermination, or economic isolation in other places.

But the Muslims and the Hindus back then were roughly evenly matched in culture and technology. There was no question of total conquest without much blood being spilled on both sides. A little like the North versus the South in 19th Century America. Or the Right versus the Left in 21st Century America. Remember, there was a Third Party in India!

I thought I’d pull these words out of the deep pool of Spiritual Memory, a few drops of which have been so ably retold by Ms. Merriam. Let them remind us of what it feels like to have all your basic beliefs and values invalidated and deemed worthless.

Do we really want to label half the U.S. population as “Nazi” or “White” and write them off as a bunch of hopeless criminals? Who BUT a bunch of hopeless criminals would desire such a thing? What irony!

Who has the power to put their messages directly into the minds of millions of Americans every day and night? Does it really make sense that they are all telling the same story when we know from this recent election that half of the population disagrees with it? Does that really make sense to anyone? I hope it really doesn’t make much sense to you. Because if it does, you’ve been touched by the mind of a criminal, and I very much pity you.

Out of Body

14 November 2020

In 2018, Dena Merriam, a spiritual adept connected to the Self-Realization Fellowship and a well-known activist for peace through religious understanding and work with women, published a book entitled My Journey Through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death, and Rebirth.

I am currently re-reading it, and typing her stories into screenplay form for my personal use. Though I would not publish such a document without her permission, I thought this segment was so compelling that I couldn’t resist. It is reproduced here in the form I typed into my screenplay. The dialog should be an exact match to what she wrote in her book.

Untold history

This is a piece of history, probably available in no other form than Dena’s retelling of it. The whole book is this way, and would read as a brilliant historical novel if it were not for the fact that these events actually took place.

This illustrates the potential power of past life recall in building a fuller understanding of our past. This story is as rich and full as if it had happened just a few days ago. Yet these events probably all took place sometime around 1836, now almost 200 years ago.

Elisabeth meets Ralph Waldo Emerson

A NICE HOME IN BOSTON

MY HOST: Mr. Emerson is giving a talk tonight. Before you leave you should hear him lecture.

The talk was being given in Cambridge. We went together in a coach.

LECTURE LOCATION, CAMBRIDGE

A tall scholarly man entered the room. I sat straight up, my attention firmly focused on the lecturer. He would have been around my age or a bit older. He had the demeanor of a pastor. I had no interest in religion, but I could feel that Mr. Emerson had an almost religious air about him.

ELISABETH: Is he a preacher?

MY HOST: (quietly) He is and he isn’t…I mean he was, but he has gone far beyond that now.

I didn’t understand what she meant.

As he began to speak, I listened with great attention. I was feeling very quiet and peaceful and so closed my eyes; my attention turned inward, drawn deeper and deeper as if pulled inside. It felt like I was falling into a great abyss, but it was a very pleasant feeling.

My body no longer seemed to contain me. I felt myself everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I was conscious, not of my outer surroundings, but of another world inside, a reality that was vibrant and beautiful.

I was aware of a mellow light, unlike sunlight. I rested in this light for some time, and then gradually the outer sounds returned and I could distinguish words being spoken.

Perhaps another thirty minutes passed, but I was still embedded in the inner world and could not return to the lecture. He brought his talk to a close. There was warm applause.

My host got up to leave, but I was unable to move, still basking in the experience.

MY HOST: You are very quiet, Elisabeth. Did you enjoy the lecture?

I could only nod. I had to speak with the lecturer!

I decided to postpone my journey home for a few days so that I could hear Mr. Emerson lecture again. We went a few nights later, but I could not recapture the experience. At the end of the lecture I again thought to approach him, but once more there were many waiting to speak with him.

I extended my journey home for another week. After the third lecture I decided to wait as long as it took to speak with him. Finally the group around him dispersed. I fostered my courage and approached.

ELISABETH: (hesitantly) Mr. Emerson, may I speak with you?

He paused and looked up at me.

ELISABETH: I’ve come to hear three of your lectures, and I find them very inspiring.

He nodded.

ELISABETH: The first night I came – it was last week – I had a very strange experience. I was carried by our words into another world, far different from the world we know. Perhaps you can help me to understand it?

I paused.

RALPH: Yes, go on.

ELISABETH: I don’t quite know how to explain my experience. It was unlike anything I had experienced before.

I fell silent, unable to find the words to go on.

RALPH: Most likely we will need more time than a brief conversation will allow. You may visit me tomorrow at my home in Concord, and we can discuss it.

He wrote his address on a piece of paper.

RALPH: Come at 2 p.m. … What is your name?

ELISABETH: Elisabeth. Elisabeth Beauvais.

RALPH: Miss Beauvais, I will see you tomorrow.

He smiled and with a nod of his head walked out.

I was left staring at the piece of paper. Perhaps I would make a fool of myself. Perhaps I had imagined the whole experience. But it was too late now. I had to go.

EMERSON’S HOME, CONCORD

A woman (Emerson’s new wife Lidian) received me with a warm smile.

LIDIAN: Miss Beauvais?

I nodded.

LIDIAN: Mr. Emerson is expecting you. I will show you to his study.

He was absorbed in writing when I entered. She motioned me to sit in a chair beside his desk. After some time passed, he looked up and noticed my presence.

RALPH: Ah, Miss Beauvais. I am so glad you have come. You wanted to discuss something with me, an experience you had during my lecture…Before you begin, please tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from?

ELISABETH: A small town in Louisiana. My family has a plantation that my sister now manages. I run a girls school there. I came to Boston to learn about the education of girls in the North and quite by accident was taken to your talk last week by my host.

RALPH: I see. Go on now about your experience.

The words froze in my throat.

ELISABETH: Mr. Emerson, I’m … I’m so sorry to trouble you…

RALPH: It’s no trouble at all, Miss Beauvais. I like to know how my lectures affect people…You know, I am the subject of much criticism these days, and I enjoy meeting those who think well of my words.

He smiled. I still felt nervous.

ELISABETH: How shall I begin…Mr. Emerson, I am not a religious person, not at all. I was brought up without any faith really…

RALPH: Perhaps you are fortunate in that.

ELISABETH: But I had an experience the first night I came to hear you that I can only call a religious experience. You see…as soon as you began speaking, your words became a background hum and I lost consciousness of the outer world. It was as if my body had dissolved, as if someone had cut me free. I was conscious of existing everywhere. I was far more than only this body. It was as if I existed nowhere and everywhere at the same time. It was as if the whole universe was contained in me, or rather as if I was contained in an ever-expanding space. I don’t have words for it really, but it was a very joyful experience, and I wonder if that was the soul I was experiencing, the soul that religion speaks of…I hope you don’t think me fanciful…

His attention was fully focused on me.

RALPH: Not at all, Miss Beauvais, please continue.

ELISABETH: I don’t know how long I stayed in that condition, but when I came back to the outer world, you were finishing your talk. I’m sorry to say I didn’t hear any of it. I came back again for your next lecture in the hopes that I would have the experience again, but I didn’t. I heard everything you said then, and again last night. (I smiled) I am glad about that. I was inspired by your words, but I am most eager for this experience again.

I looked at him inquiringly.

RALPH: Miss Beauvais, you are very fortunate indeed…I cannot explain your experience, nor can I take any credit for it. These experiences come upon us mortals every now and then to show us there is something more than our bodily existence, but they are very difficult to retain or duplicate. We are not the givers, only the receivers of such states. All I can do for you is to offer some reading materials in the hope they can provide some clarity. I have come across some books from the Orient that might interest you. I can lend them to you as they may be difficult to find.

ELISABETH: I would be most grateful. I will be back up north is a few months and can return them at that time.

The words tumbled out of my mouth. Until that moment I had no thought of returning to Boston.

RALPH: Take your time. If I am traveling, you can leave the books at my home. You have the address. Or better yet, come when I am in town so we can discuss them.

He was thoughtful for a few minutes and them went over to his bookshelf.

RALPH: Take this, the Bhagavad Gita. And here are a few others on oriental thought. (quietly) These books have had a great impact on me, and perhaps they can guide you.

ELISABETH: The Bhagavad Gita. Who is the author?

RALPH: It is one of the sacred texts of the Hindus. It is a conversation between God, in the form of the Hindu prophet Krishna, and Man, in the form of the warrior Arjuna. I myself have been reading the Vedas, the oldest of their holy books, but the Vedas are quite complex and difficult to access. Better you begin with this.

ELISABETH: (softly) The prophet Krishna. Who is he?

At the sound of the name, a subtle and involuntary tremor moved through my body.

RALPH: Krishna was one of the ancient Hindu prophets. There is much about his life that is similar to the life of Jesus, and he is revered in the East just as we revere Christ. Their civilization is a very, very old one. We would do well to study it. Have you heard of the book?

ELISABETH :No.

My mind was in something of daze.

ELISABETH: I have studied many subjects, but I know nothing of India or oriental philosophy. But there is something familiar in the sound of that prophet’s name.

RALPH: (smiling) Perhaps you will discover why.

ELISABETH: I cannot thank you enough. I am so enormously grateful for the introduction to these books. I will bring them back soon. I promise.

RALPH: Yes, do come visit again.

He rose from his chair and extended his hand.

RALPH: My wife will show you out. Miss Beauvais, I suggest that you record your experience. It may be useful to write it down; it may help you recapture something of it when you feel the need.

ELISABETH: I will try to do that. Yes, thank you.

RALPH: Miss Beauvais, few of us are so fortunate as to have such an experience even once in a lifetime. Do not trouble yourself it it does not return. Having experienced a state beyond the body, even once, you will not forget it. You will see that your perspective on life and death will change.

I left the house feeling that I had received more than I expected.

Eastern thought and abolition

These were the years when the abolition movement was gaining momentum, both in America and in England and Europe. By this time, many countries in Europe had already declared slavery illegal. Haiti did in 1804. But the American South and several other locations continued the practice.

Emerson was not the only Western thinker reading the Vedas and other writings from the East. It was a fashion sweeping the Western world at that time. And we can only imagine that it greatly strengthened the cause of abolition. To see that this ancient brown-skinned race cherished spiritual teachings far in advance of Western cultures must have helped convince all but the most viciously criminal that skin color or place of birth were certainly not important factors in determining the moral elevation of a human being. We could not enslave people who could think this finely upon the great questions of life. If not our equals, they were our betters.

A recreation of Emerson’s study just as it was in his time.

Groupthink

13 November 2020

“Groupthink” is a term that came into use in the early 1970s to describe phenomena of group behavior noticed by psychologist Irving Janis and others. This discussion of the subject uses data obtained from Wikipedia.

The term was coined 20 years earlier by sociologist William H. Whyte who had some success writing popular books about the effects of urban environments on human behaviors. He modeled the term after George Orwell’s newspeak, introduced in his now-famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is sometimes referred to as “group think.”

Janis described this behavior pattern in a rather satirical way, in the manner of C. Northcote Parkinson in his writings about bureaucracies (both business and government, but especially government) that were popular in the late 1950s and onward.

Janis attempted to apply the principle to executive groups thus: “…among the members of a policy-making ingroup” certain conditions will result in “…the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink…” resulting in “irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against outgroups.” (I have rephrased his original wording a bit to clarify my own argument.)

Too narrow a view?

In the fashion of the times, Janis wanted his work to be relevant to corporate and government decision makers. This did not, however, include the general public, although – in a democracy at least – the public must make decisions all the time; political, economic, and philosophical (or moral).

As it turned out, the phenomenon was more likely to show up in public opinion, entertainment and other consumer choices, and voting. This is because, I would suggest, in groups where good decisions are critical, trained and experienced decision makers are more likely to be used. And they tend to make better decisions than the general public, being less swayed by obvious irrationality or deception.

The general public, however, pressed as they are with the challenges of daily life, and not necessarily trained in decision-making, are seen to be swayed by persuasive lying, the omission of facts, and irrational or provocative statements. Psychology and sociology, prone as they are to ignore the role of sociopaths in public life, often attribute these public failings to the public’s lack of education, or prejudices. I find this a bit patronizing.

Three areas of public behavior mentioned in the Wikipedia article are:

  1. Behavior of users of social media, as well as behavior of the platform administrators.
  2. The tendency of “leaders” to tell the public, or their fans or followers, what they want to hear rather than what is true, and of fans or followers to only look at data that supports their beliefs or preferred narrative.
  3. The tendency in certain groups to coerce members into obedience or agreement. In particular, we have as examples various recent dictatorships such as Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. But more recently this type of behavior has shown up in universities (academia), and on social media platforms.

Shallow concepts of causation

Typical of “modern” psychology and sociology, attempts to identify and measure causative factors tend to be superficial.

The first and most obvious problem arises from their poor confront of evil.

We are for the most part looking at situations where a single criminal or a small criminal group is attempting to persuade a decision-making body to make choices that will benefit the criminals (and presumably not the larger group).

The tools available to criminals to accomplish this relate to the various reactive behaviors that are common in human groups. At the base of these behaviors is a “mental machine” that reacts based on stored experiences rather than on present-time actuality. It is a form of mental laziness that most people are prone to, particularly if they are tired or under unusual stress.

The criminals, then, only have to identify the most common “buttons” for the group they are targeting, and push them to get the desired (irrational) reaction. This response manifests as “group think” because everyone reacted the same way. The probable truth is that very little real thought was involved. The behaviors noted were due to “reactive thought.”

Ingroups and Outgroups

One great and favored way to generate irrational reactions is to create the appearance of conflict, even when the target groups might prefer peace. Thus, the psychologists talk about “ingroups” and “outgroups.”

Criminals have gone so far as to arrange for and fund violent events to make it appear that one group is an enemy of another. The only real enemies, quite often, are the criminals themselves.

Once violent conflict, or the threat of it, has been established, all groups that have been persuaded that they are part of the conflict can be incited to do things that they would only do to enemies or criminals and not to friends or potential friends.

The modes of persuasion include various forms of character assassination or black (false) propaganda leveled at leaders or members of rival groups. The exact accusations depend on the “buttons.” Thus, Trump is accused of being a “fascist” because the Left hates Fascism. And the Left are accused of being “communists” because the Right hates Communism.

The real criminals will identify with whatever ideology suits their purposes. They really don’t care about ideology. They only care about tricking others to give them what they think they require to remain operational.

Once group members are convinced that their rivals are all “nazis” or whatever, they can be persuaded to take actions against their rivals that would, under normal circumstances, be considered unlawful. This is the way criminals turn target audiences into accomplices in crime. Let’s be clear: To riot, spray paint public buildings, and destroy other people’s property is CRIMINAL. I hope that is clear enough.

Earlier examples

  1. Race. This is a perfect way to pit people against each other, as the identification process usually involves only hair and skin color. Very close to nothing told to one race about another race has ever been true or will ever be true. Yet these lies have resulted in more “groupthink” violence than just about any other strategy that has been employed.
  2. Religion. I am sure that 99.999% of what is said to Christians about Muslims (or to Muslims about Christians?) is false and designed only to incite fear or violence. Great conflicts such as The Crusades have been based on such lies. The damage from those conflicts persists to this day. I am particularly impacted by this ancient strategy, since the false rumor that my church is a “cult” continues to this day, and is only forwarded in the hope that my church will disappear, which I assure readers it has no intention of doing.
  3. Sex. Here is another way to cause conflict based on characteristics that are very easy to see. This gets very emotionally charged, as we all had mothers, didn’t we? Only a criminal could show true hatred for his own mother, and only true criminals forward the lie that the woman is in some way inferior or has secret powers that must be feared and suppressed. This is a very sad way of dividing us that I have seen many examples of.

More modern examples

  1. Mental illness. In most places, if you can successfully label someone “psychotic” you can have police sent to their home to pick them up and take them to a psychiatric hospital where they will be drugged or killed. I hope none of my readers think I’m kidding about this. It happens all the time. I DON NOT propose that we handle sociopaths (criminals) this way. They should be carefully tested for this trait, and if found to have it, labeled and disallowed from holding high positions in government or industry. They should have a right to appeal such a decision as many times as they see fit – without doing it in a way that is disruptive.
  2. Political correctness. This has now morphed into many variations. This seems to be the idea that any public speaker should be required to self-police his verbiage to such a degree that it will not offend anyone. Anyone known to constantly violate this mandate should not be given the right to speak in public. The fact that this dictum violates basic human rights is countered by the assertion that such speech incites violence, like Hitler did against the Jews. However, I have never seen it used that way in recent times. This is a prime example of modern groupthink.
  3. Emotionally challenging situations. By leaving almost an entire generation out to twist slowly in the wind of human life, with no practice or instruction in the fine art of sticking up for oneself or keeping calm while someone tries to push all your buttons, we have before us a group of young people who have become convinced that to say something to them that makes them blush or become slightly uneasy constitutes a form of violence. As such comments are the stock in trade of sociopaths, we have in this strategy the ultimate ironic turn being played against us by the criminals. Pretending to be psychiatrists or psychologists, they have somehow convinced us that we are destined to be eternal children, never sufficiently resilient to stand on our own two feet without the help of our parents, the state, or some therapist. It makes good money for bureaucrats and therapists, I guess. It has been a disaster for this planet.

Thinking versus reacting

Psychology, in striving to be right without looking at any facts that would help it to do so, has ignored the actual mechanisms of reactive behavior and grouped much of it with analytical behavior which of course it isn’t.

The fact that a person can come up with “analytical” reasons why he reacted a certain way does not change the fact that he reacted.

The skill of retaining rationality in the face of extreme pressures to react is a fine art. It is not easily learned on this planet at this time. And only a few so far have mastered it. Some day, I truly hope, there will be enough such people to stand up once and for all against the criminals of the world, and with great love, end their reign of terror here.

I certainly look forward to that day.

I am only here to be entertained

12 November 2020

Are you only here to be entertained?

Do you not find these articles sufficiently amusing?

What, would be more entertaining for you?

Do you think it entertained your mother to give birth to you?

Or to suckle you at her breast or find you a bottle every time you cried?

Did it ever occur to you that people sent you to school with the hope that you would GROW UP?

Did your parents, guardians or teachers never remind you that human life is only possible because of human beings producing and exchanging valuable final products?

Like food, clothing and shelter?

Would you rather not work and just play video games all day? Or leave it all up the girls, as they seem to be better at school anyway?

Does the idea of using a game controller to direct an armed drone to murder someone slightly appeal to you?

Would you find being trapped and starved to death in a concentration camp or prison entertaining?

Would you find being hacked to death or mowed down my semi-automatic weapons wielded by homicidal maniacs dressed up like soldiers entertaining?

Would you feel entertained while watching your planet slowly wither and die from pollution, extensive mining to produce the metals needed to make your smartphone, and industrial agriculture which produced crops and meats that are actually dangerous to eat?

Would it be entertaining to you to somehow find a way to live off the production of others by saving enough money so that you can own stocks or real estate, which ownership actually pays you for your consummate skill in hoarding?

Would you find it entertaining to supervise a group of slave workers, beating or killing the ones who give you too much trouble?

Would you find it entertaining to be a slave worker, subject to torture or death if you objected to being deprived of your basic human rights?

Would you find it entertaining to find yourself, after engrossing yourself in Cable TV, Network News and Memes on Facebook and Twitter for the majority of your life, picked up by the police and carted away for failing to adhere to the latest health regulation which you somehow failed to become informed of?

Would you find it entertaining to slowly lose every right and freedom that helped you feel alive, along with every happy friend or relative who was always there to cheer you up or hold your hand when you got discouraged?

Would you feel very entertained by being told that you were no longer allowed to practice the religion of your choice because God or Spirit was just a delusion and had no basis in reality according to “science?”

If you are quite certain that all the above situations are examples of perfectly acceptable forms of entertainment, then you have obviously reached Total Enlightenment and need read no further!

If any or most of the situations mentioned above don’t really sound very entertaining to you, I suggest you GET UP OFF YOUR SORRY ASS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

If your breath still shows on a mirror, you can get trained and learn to audit or otherwise help your fellow entertainment junkies to dump their habits, get real and get busy.

Maybe we can’t save this planet.

But that’s not all there is to save.

There is each of us as a being. There is this entire godforsaken universe. And there are all the other beings who live in it!

And most of them are worse entertainment addicts than we are!

Start!

A Conversation

9 November 2020

A young woman living in Africa sent me a friend request on Facebook recently. I decided to get in communication with her and see what it was all about. This is the conversation that resulted:

Me: Tell me why you want to be friends on Facebook.

Her: I’m new on Facebook. Just came across your profile…to message you just here to make new good friends and you…nice to meeting you.

Me: Are you interested in the subjects I write about?

Her: What subject…if you don’t mind to tell me!

Me: I do a lot of reposts from Scientology, for example.

Her: Good…so tell me you married with kids or you single?

Me: Hah! I see. I’m single. You look young – you’re probably single, too. But I am 66 years old. I could be little more than your teacher.

Her: That’s good…age is just a number to me…we can be good friends if you want to.

Me: How can we be good friends? Don’t you live in Africa or some far off place?

Her: I’m 35 years of age…single…lost my man in a car accident…have a daughter called Lissa. I’m from South Africa. My father is from Chicago…a old Navy now in Africa teaching…would be visiting my parents in the states soon as the lockdown is over!

Me: Wow, that is quite a life. But I think you could make much better friends by meeting people where you live or where your father lives. And you probably already know more than I do, anyway.

Her: No I don’t…just here to make new friendship that would lead to a relationship soon as I meet the right man to be with me!

Me: Then you should use a website for that purpose! Facebook is for people who are already friends who want to stay in touch.

Her: OK. What work do you do?

Me: I am retired. I used to be an electronics technician. That data should be on my public profile, with much more at my blog.

Her: Okay. Are you on Hangouts or WhatsApp so we get to know more about ourselves there if you don’t mind.

Me: No, I’m not on those websites.

Her: Would be happy if you try then too…I’d very good and simple to use too!

Me: But I’m not looking for a relationship. It is my time to be a teacher. That doesn’t mean I never chase girls…

Her: OK.

Left Versus Right

7 November 2020

I have already written about Liberals and Conservatives.

But Dennis Prager has reminded me that we also need to address the question of Left versus Right.

I should first mention that in France (where many American political traditions got their start), left is “gauche” and right is “droite.” And in French, “gauche” has the double-meaning of “wrong.” We are all familiar (I hope) with the several meanings of the word “right.”

And while the following discussion may seem to imply that there is something gauche about the Left, this does not mean that that there is nothing gauche about the Right!

Confused

In a similar manner to how some of us, when put on the spot, suddenly find ourselves unable to correctly identify our right and left hands, so the Right and the Left both have identity problems.

The Right identifies itself with tradition. In the U.S. this often means Christian Tradition. In Iran it might mean Muslim tradition. But in the U.S. it also means the “traditions” put in place by the Founders, which are Liberal traditions! In fact that tradition was then, and continues to be today, a revolutionary tradition! The more Right one leans, the more willingness one has to enforce “tradition” with a gun or a law or some other threat of violence. And so, at the extreme Right, the answer to the question: What is tradition? becomes ludicrous and insane.

The Left identifies itself with liberation from tradition. It sees itself as “revolutionary” but in this day would not re-fight the American Revolution, whereas the Right would (and is attempting to). When the Left has taken to arms in the past, it has been in the form of Communism in Russia or China or Cuba, or a bloody revolt against the “ruling class” in France in the late 1700s. Such revolts often attempt to actually exterminate the “ruling class” along with their “bourgeois” allies. The tendency then is to simply replace the old rulers with political friends, then continue the tired old political games, but with new language about “workers liberation” or some such. And so we get the “revolts” of the Left often leading to new tyrannies, making the Left actually more pro-tradition than the Right!

Tyranny is traditional

Tyranny wants society to run like a well-oiled machine. Totally predictable. No breakdowns that can’t be fixed by routine maintenance. No parts arbitrarily refusing to do their jobs. Calm, secure, safe (for the rulers) and enforceable by any means necessary. Sustainable. Cruelty free. Carbon neutral.

A careful study of “human” history (including our Space Opera past) discovers this operating basis to be the preferred and “traditional” operating basis for human (meat body) societies for thousands, millions, perhaps billions of years. Without the various techniques of past life recall to inform us, this finding might not seem that obvious. With them, it is very evident. And if Earth were a “traditional” planet, that’s what we would have here. But Earth is not a traditional planet!

Freedom is shunned by tradition

Freedom, of course, makes any society more unpredictable, more messy. The true liberal embraces this messiness and learns to love it. The conservative finds it moderately uncomfortable. For both the extreme Right and Left, it is intolerable. Their ideas about life are too fixed for that much freedom to exist. They are both “traditionalists” in the worst sense of the word. They favor various forms of tyranny to keep society more predictable; gladly (they think) trading the resulting slavery for the mental torment of a truly free society.

It is this shunning of both true (honest) freedoms, and false (criminal) freedoms that created Earth. Earth is a “waste basket” planet. A place where the rebels, delinquents and criminals from “traditional” societies can be thrown out, never to bother the trash collectors again.

The criminals here long for their favored positions in the tyrannies of their pasts (lost, perhaps, due to some sort of hideous excess which no one else could stomach). And the criminals here, left free to operate, as they have been, have devised ever more ingenious ways to make their dreams come true. And although there are large sections of the population (transported here in error, one might assume), who are willing to go along with the criminals in return for their promise of safety and a secure job as a prison guard or a spy or a farm worker, the would-be tyrants of this planet are up against a huge problem here, which presents itself in the form of the freedom-loving rebels that are also stuck here.

Give me freedom or give me death

Some earthly freedom lovers have actually said things such as the above! Is this not madness? Would there not be some compromise that could be reached?

To our most fervent freedom lovers, this answer is “no.” They will not compromise their freedom; they will defend it to the death. For death, after all, is the ultimate freedom.

Reconciliation

The only hope for reconciliation between the saner lovers of freedom and the saner lovers of tradition lies in the field of the spiritual. For both sides, this is an intellectual stretch which most, up to this point, have been unable to make. This has been discussed briefly above, but I will reiterate it here, as this explains the purpose of my work.

The Left believes Spirit is a lie used to trick people into aspirations that are unattainable, and thus delusional. The Left believes that real spiritual freedom is a hopeless dream. They are wrong.

The Right believes that all they need to know about Spirit is contained in their holy traditions (our most persistent liberation traditions have been the religions of Earth!). They are wrong.

But you can’t make a point by beginning with the assertion “you are wrong.” Have you seen anyone win a point that way? Only, perhaps, a torturer.

For me, the opening subject is past life recall. This subject has its followers in the various institutions of human society, where they hang on perilously against the atheism of the Left and the fundamentalism of the Right.

But this subject has the advantage of being advanced by sane people and of having its own religious tradition, which survives today mostly in the form of Hinduism. And so I persist in starting here.

I know that many will simply be unable to handle past lives as a reality of life. Yet it so obviously is a reality of life, that I feel its acceptance is eventually inevitable, at least among the sane.

From past life recall comes the recognition of Spirit. And from that comes Spiritual Memory. And from that comes a deeper understanding of ourselves. And from that come technologies which can remedy our past mistakes and return a greater sanity to us. And from there comes the possibility of a new “tradition,” a tradition of spiritual fun coupled with human survival. A possibility never before seriously considered.

To life!

David Gives a Psychology Lesson

5 November 2020

We need to talk

On the evening of 2 November, 2020, David Wilcock transmitted a video “livestream” from his home in Colorado. It lasted 3-1/2 hours. At the end he led a group prayer or meditation for the healing of the planet.

David started out, basically, as a social worker. But he was also smart and had psychic abilities. So he eventually got out of caring for the very bad off in society, kicked his own debilitating addictions, and started developing his psychic abilities, doing “readings” for the somewhat better off. He was reasonably successful at this, but his journey into the world of psychic phenomena, paired with his purpose to lift up humanity, and not turn his back on those who struggle, led to his keen interest in how the world was being operated, and how those operators were being influenced by off-world groups.

And so, on election eve 2020, he sat down with nearly 10,000 of his followers and talked to them about sociopathy (though he called it psychopathy, technically a broader category). He talked about how this type of personality is very real and how it affects personal relationships (which is what most people tend to worry about). But he also talked about sociopaths operating on a global level, and the effect they have on political relationships, particularly here in the U.S. He told us about how people become dependent on the sociopaths in their lives, and about the only known workable remedy: NO CONTACT.

A questionnaire

To illustrate his points, David found an online questionnaire with the title “Take the Sociopath Quiz.”

He found it on the website https://www.psychopathfree.com/ which is currently an uncurated website with all sorts of information about various forms of pychopathy.

He took the quiz, but answered the questions as if his “partner” were the group that seems to be running mainstream media and various other groups and organizations that have aligned their message to what is being pushed by the mainstream media. The result that he got was that his “partner” is acting like a psychopath. If he had looked deeper into sociopathy, he would have seen this even more clearly. This is because large institutions that have “gone bad” tend to commit criminal acts, not just make their partners feel bad.

But let me go through the 13 points, not as quiz questions but as characteristics:

  1. Does not keep promises. He promises health costs will go down; they go up. They promise your kids will learn more; school test results get worse. They promise to take care of us when we go to a hospital; one of the leading causes of death is mistakes committed in hospitals. They tell you giving up your religious beliefs will make you happier; it doesn’t. They promise you that Darwin was right, except that his theory of natural selection fails to pan out.
  2. Does not understand the feelings of “friends.” Lockdowns were imposed without regard to how people would feel about them. Blacks are called “white” if their political beliefs are “wrong” or upsetting. Nasty false rumors are spread about “friends” who disagree.
  3. Capable of great hypocrisy. They will tell people that public schools shouldn’t open yet, while sending their own kids off to private schools. They will tell people that hair salons should stay shut down, then arrange for a private visit to one. They will tell you to stay inside for your own protection, when the only real result is loss of human contact.
  4. Compulsive liar. They will deny any wrongdoing they are accused of, or if it is undeniable, will lie to justify it. If an enemy tells the truth, they will say he lied. If an ally lies, they will say he told the truth.
  5. Withholds affection. They are incapable of real love or caring, and show not real sympathy for the suffering of others.
  6. Makes a friend or partner feel bad or caved in or dependent. They will create – and extend – situations that put people out of work or deprive them of belongings, then force them to take handouts instead of helping them rebuild.
  7. They threaten to walk away from the relationship. They threaten to fire or censor people who don’t want to play along, rather than trying to work things out.
  8. Cannot be trusted. Their lying, backstabbing, and inability to follow through encourages total distrust, which may extend to the institutions they lead or in which they work.
  9. Creates drama when none is really called for, then blames the partner. They are constantly working to make bad things happen, so no one ever has a chance to focus on the real source of the destruction. Just for good measure, they’ll accuse you of causing it or letting it happen.
  10. They can’t handle boredom or calmness, but require constant excitement. They can’t accept the concept of peace and tranquility. Life must be a never-ending thrill ride. There must always be another sensational news story.
  11. They compare this relationship with past ones but don’t disconnect from past ones. The Democrats, for instance, used to harbor Southern racists and support the KKK. The mainstream media might accuse a social media personality of “fake news” one day, then take them seriously the next day. They operate on the basis of expedience, not allegiance.
  12. Acted infatuated in the beginning, then lost interest. This can be seen in the difference in behavior of candidates before and after the election. A lot gets promised, but little gets delivered.
  13. They treat “friends” carelessly, even threateningly. They are often patronizing and critical. Anything you do wrong can result in penalties or ostracism. And they can decide what you are doing or saying is “wrong” whenever they want to.

I’m not going to rehash what is going on now on this planet, though I’ve made mention of it in the points above. Much of this is covered in other posts. You may not be able to think of examples of all 13 of the above behaviors. But I can, and you probably could, too, if you thought a little more about it. These are contagious habits, and you can see “both sides” indulge in these behaviors. But pay attention to how much damage results. How much did the lockdowns destroy people’s lives, compared to the experience of getting sick? People get sick all the time. They aren’t forced out of work by their political “leaders” all the time.

Strange synchronicity

For months (if not years) now, I have been pushing the need for us to understand and confront the sociopath (or Suppressive Person). And now David finally comes out with what amounts to a several-hour course on the subject! The situation is painfully clear to him now; I wish others could see it so clearly.

Last year I met a young woman who turned out to be involved in a toxic relationship. She felt she had to separate from her husband, and finally decided to divorce him. And now here I see David characterize the current situation as an “acrimonious divorce!”

I was deeply upset about what happened to my new friend, especially after the lockdowns forced her to change her plans and disappear from my ken. I miss her and I am also concerned for her well being. What a tragedy it would be if this had been caused by a Third Party and could have been repaired using technology I am aware of.

Likewise, I have been deeply upset to see what has been happening to my planet and its people, particularly the younger people, and especially after the lockdowns forced them into dependent relationships with governments that are not very trustworthy, and may in fact be quite corrupt. I miss my younger friends at they used to be, and am very concerned for their well being. And in this case, this whole situation almost certainly WAS caused by Third Parties!

I write this with as much sincerity as I can muster. I hope those who read this can see some wisdom in it, and will use the resources on this blog (website) to educate themselves about what to do about the situation. I don’t prefer to get all heavy and dramatic; I would prefer to be lighthearted and carefree. But right now that does not seem to fit.

For more of my own writings on sociopathy, see:

https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/personality-disorders/

https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/09/15/what-am-i-looking-at/

https://lecox.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/reversed-vectors/

Project: Get in Communication

4 November 2020

A couple nights ago I was praying. It’s not something I usually do, but David inspired me (that’s a coming post).

I’m not a Christian, so I didn’t pray to anyone; I prayed to the Universe. I was basically talking to myself, but who knows who or what can hear one’s thoughts?

I asked the Universe to please help me get back into communication with someone I’d lost touch with. That’s what most of these most recent posts have been about. I felt so stupid letting yet another connection drop out.

But the Universe talked back to me! It said, “What about all those other people you’ve lost contact with? What do you intend to do about all of them?”

And I said, “…um, OK, I can think about that…”

My list

I had just written a little personal autobiography, only for my family, and all those people were very fresh in my mind. So, I thought I’d list them all out. That list is here. I got at least 60 names, and I know there are more, but I couldn’t remember all of them, and this felt like enough for starters.

This list focuses more on my female contacts. I can’t explain that to you. But you live inside Mom for about 9 months, right? So right off the bat, there’s going to be a thing going on with beings in feminine bodies. That goes without saying. I tried to limit the list to people I actually knew and interacted with. To people who made an impression on me through some sort of personal conversation. Love is a part of these connections, no doubt about it. Beyond that, the list serves to trace a lifetime.

Technical details

I decided to make this list using HTML. It’s not the perfect way, maybe, but I’m used to using it; I have code editors for it. So, I made it and then I used my browser to take a picture of it, and that’s what you see if you visit the page. I can update it, but not as easily as if I could make diagrams like that using WordPress.

Interconnection of the Dynamics

As a list of personal connections (1st Dynamic), this diagram holds some interest. But in adding a hint of context regarding how I made these connections, it also shows how the higher dynamics contribute to a life. Some of these connections came from family (2nd Dynamic) and others led to intimate relationships. Many of them came through all the different groups I have participated in (3rd Dynamic). And of course these are all a part of Mankind (4th Dynamic), something which would be even more obvious if I had photos of all of them and you saw what they look like.

An opportunity I had never considered

As I sat in bed feeling rebuked by the Universe for the arrogance of my request for its help, I realized something about this list: They don’t all know each other!

And while it is certainly not necessary or required that one person’s friends all be aware of each other, it seemed to me it might not be a bad idea to give them this opportunity.

Not that I could deliver on it, but it seemed like a cool idea, right? And it’s the thought that counts (on some level, anyway).

But I can tell you this – and I think this should be a custom among our people (unless it already is and I’ve been missing something all these years): If any of you who ever read this are interested in who any of these other people are (and they are all pretty much interesting people), get in comm with me and ask. And I will tell you what I know about them and let them know you would like to meet them.

This could possibly be a way to create new connections among people that could be beneficial or productive for them.

Many of these people are private people. So I tried not to provide so much data that it would allow someone to just randomly contact them. But because the are presented roughly in the order and context that I met them, you may get some small idea who they are and what their interests might be. I am no longer in comm with many of them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you couldn’t be if you wanted to.

Just another variation on Facebook?

I want to say a few words about what I know and understand about Facebook and other platforms like it.

First, it’s a private company. They all are. It used to be that if you wanted to stay connected to someone who you didn’t actually see every day, you’d have to get their address and write them. And then a government agency (the Post Office), with strict legal protections regarding privacy and security, would be responsible for getting that message delivered. Now we let robots do it all, and they are in the hands of Corporate and not well under any enforceable legal controls. Are these really the people you want handling your personal communications?

Second, “face books” were originally used by college students to help them get to know their fellow students (pick dating partners, etc.). This is the paradigm we want to build our system of social relationships around? Really? Are we sure about this?

Next, Facebook (and all these sites) remind me a lot of “slam books.” This is a teen and pre-teen cultural tradition that I read about in 1972 in Neil Postman’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity. His interest at the time was in how teachers could make the things students brought into class with them part of the learning experience. He wanted teachers to give their students more respect for what they already knew.

I never ran into slam books when I went to school. But Wikipedia has an article about them.

Some point to slam books as the analog precursor to anonymous trolling and negative social interactions on Twitter and Facebook. “Passing handwritten notes or ‘slam books’ has since been replaced with online tools such as IM, websites, blogs, cell phones etc.”

The Wikipedia article quotes here from an article in a New Jersey newspaper.

The article says they started as a part of black culture in the 1950s. Well, that’s a risky thing to say these days. But that’s what Postman was talking about. In some cultures, people “slam” others as a way of toughening each other up and testing their ability to control their reactions. These days that’s called a “negative social interaction.” Sounds kind of white, if you ask me.

Pushing each other’s buttons has its place (I know!). It should be used to improve social skills, not rip people mercilessly to shreds. But somehow, “slams” have become a way of life on Facebook and Twitter. And I think it’s been counter-productive.

I could use some help here but: What does Facebook do for you? Why do you continue to use it? For me it’s a way to stay connected. When someone shows me a giant photo of what they are about to stuff their face with, that is TMI, IMHO (too much information, in my humble opinion)! And when they tell me that if I don’t wear a mask I’m a murderer, that is way beyond slam. That is vicious sociopathic sarcasm.

But when they share a learning experience, a poem, a drawing, or a piece of data from an unconventional source, that can be helpful, even loving.

The issue of how people interact with their “friends,” or the world, is a matter well worth addressing. We should be able to speak our minds, and have “slap fights” if necessary, I suppose. But that should certainly not go so far as to get someone fired or their account cancelled. For most of us, that’s not really where we’re at. We just want to share without feeling trampled on. It’s a matter of getting the Auditor’s Code into practice in society…along with the Third Party Law.

I hope all this talk of connecting reaches some people. Doesn’t it seem to you like someone we should be doing?