Posts Tagged ‘esoterica’

School of Rock Returns … and other events

9 June 2021

When I finally found the School of Rock Elk Grove’s Facebook page, I learned that they were having a third big concert on Sunday June 6th. It was scheduled for Noon to 9pm. I arrived just after noon, and only stayed a little while.

“Backstage” above, and below, from the audience.

They were playing under an amazing young jacaranda tree that currently looks like this:

Meanwhile, in the park…

I usually don’t walk through at lunch time on the weekend. All the picnic tables were taken!

The live artists that I had seen earlier in the week had left this behind:

Did he really mean “You’re” instead of “Your?” Probably.

Elsewhere…

The next day I took my weekly grocery shopping journey and found these amazing day lilies in Folsom.

I spotted this stand-up paddler on the Aquatic Park lake. Some geese swam right by him.

AA

And I saw a young buck further down the trail. As usual, he didn’t really want to pose for me.

Santa Fe Super Chief engine

On my next visit to Old Sac, a new engine had appeared in the yard!

The man who was handling this engine and the switches told me (because I failed to recognize it myself) that this was one of the “Super Chief” locomotives, a famous and iconic diesel engine of a slightly earlier era. He told me that they have the air brakes working on this one, but not the motor.

With the help of an engineer, they used a working engine to push this one beyond the track switch that leads to the shed. This is a rather unique switch in that it is both 3-way and manual.

After the man switched the lead-in track to the middle stall in the shed, the engineer moved over to a half-length engine, coupled it to the Super Chief, then pulled it into its place in the shed. I suppose they will work on it there, and perhaps get the motor operational.

This engine had been sitting in a shed at the Railyards, which is way over on the other side of the Amtrak station, and just today had been brought over here. So I was very lucky to see it while it was out!

Should we blame it on the humans?

This message, chalked onto the sidewalk between DOCO and the Old Sac Tunnel, is worthy of some philosophical discussion.

Say you were in a super-advanced rat colony where the rats had developed a full civilization, complete with philosophers and politicians and police. Something like Animal Farm (Orwell, 1945).

The colony, after some time, found that it was not doing so well. There didn’t seem to be quite enough food to go around, and the bedding was getting considerably soiled and stinky. The politicians tried to correct this by setting stricter rules, which the police rats dutifully enforced. But some of the philosophers became convinced that, as rats were “just animals,” there must be something wrong with them that makes, them, ultimately, suicidal as a species. Thus, the situation was, ultimately, hopeless.

Only one rat was brave, quirky, or insightful enough to ask this seemingly irrelevant question: “What about the humans who take care of our cages? Don’t they figure into our problem somehow?” The rats, being proud as rats tended to be, did not want to admit to themselves that they were actually living in cages and were therefore under the sway of “higher forces” who “took care” of them. His idea to teach everyone how to live in the wild, then stage a breakout, was roundly condemned, and he was put on half rations, socially ostracized.

And so, the rat colony did, in fact, die out. Except for the one philosopher rat who, in the end, managed to escape and live out the rest of his life as a “free” rat, under the house of the rat keepers. This was, of course, little consolation to him. He had not even found a female rat that would agree with him, and so his ambitions for Rat Freedom died with him…

Blame versus responsibility

Those rats were in a bad situation, no doubt about that. And so are we humans, here on Earth.

But the primary problem for the rats was believing they were “free” when in fact they were living in a cage.

And that is the same problem that we, as humans, are having.

Fortunately there are I would say roughly 100,000 humans on the planet right now who do realize what the actual situation is, and are trying to get themselves up to the point to where they could actually survive as “free beings.” But, they want to take ALL the humans here along with them to a new life of freedom. And many of those humans (even me!) are not convinced that a slave life is really worth changing into a free life. It takes a LOT of effort to learn how to live free! To look at the entire job, all the energy and time it requires, is just too overwhelming, even for a human like me who is completely aware of the situation and the consequences of inaction.

The difference is the difference between blame and responsibility. A person who wants to be free has to accept the responsibility level – the causative approach to life – that goes with being free. The ones who want to be slaves can continue to blame others for the situation they are in. They can even blame the prison guards – if they ever figure out that they are in a prison! But that, of course, won’t get them out. And if they did get out, they would flounder around, not knowing what to do, and eventually find some new way to get trapped, probably.

So this is the big challenge for all those who want a better future for themselves and everyone else, too. They have to get their fellow slaves (prisoners) to realize they are slaves, then to take the responsibility to free themselves.

What If: Higher Education

16 October 2012

what they don't teach in school

What they don’t teach you in school.

My “What If” articles are meant to deal with highly speculative concepts.

This particular article was inspired by a job listing for a teacher for “disadvantaged youth.”

I thought: If those in charge really wanted us to know what we needed to know to “get ahead,” what would they teach us?

And I came up with at least three subjects that are not taught at most schools, but that have helped various persons make a mark on the planet (of some sort or another). These are:

  1. Esoterica. Mystical or Occult teachings and practices.
  2. Military Arts. Usually only taught to soldiers.
  3. Street Smarts. Stuff you pick up when forced to “live tough.”

If you can acquire some mastery of two or more of these subjects (I don’t know that these are the only ones, just what I thought of) and make good connections to some folks involved with those subjects, your career possibilities could open up substantially.

The accompanying diagram gives my rough estimate of what sort of “professions” education in these subjects would prepare you for. Not that I necessarily recommend going in any of these directions. But the fact is, people who seem to be doing quite well seem to know about this stuff, and “normal” people don’t seem to.

In the interest of seeing if this theory has any sort of validity, I looked up some biographies of some famous individuals on Wikipedia and extracted a few salient facts. Formal higher education played a major role in only one of these persons’ lives, and he is by far the lesser of these four personalities.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790)
Father: Maker of candles and soap.
Schooling: No higher education, learned via reading and apprenticeships.
Street smarts: Ran away from home to Philadelphia at age of 17.
Esoterica: Initiated into the Masonic Lodge in 1731.
Profession: Printer, polymath, statesman.
Criminal dealings: Had a son out of wedlock, and had to take his wife in common-law marriage, as she was previously married. But basically, he seemed to be an honest man.

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)
Father: Tobacco farmer and businessman. Slave holder.
Schooling: No university education. Got surveyor and military training.
Esoterica: Joined Freemasonry in 1753.
Profession: Surveyor and landowner, military officer, politician.
Criminal dealings: As a military officer, he killed native enemies of the British colonizers.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (23 February 1744 – 19 September 1812)
Father: Personal supplier of coins to the Prince of Hesse.
Schooling: No formal education is noted. Learned banking by apprenticeship.
Esoterica: There is a persistent belief that Rothschild financed the work of Illuminatist Adam Weishaupt.
Profession: Banking for royalty.
Criminal dealings: Imported goods across Napoleon’s continental blockade.

Johann Adam Weishaupt (6 February 1748 – 18 November 1830)
Father: Professor of Law.
Schooling: Educated at a Jesuit school and at university.
Profession: Professor of Law.
Esoterica: Founded “Order of Perfectibilists” in 1776, became a Mason in 1777 and developed “Illuminism”.
Criminal dealings: Writings of 1784 considered seditious by Elector (Duke) of Bavaria.

This sampling is not sufficiently broad to prove anything. But I’m really just trying to make a point. The guys in charge of the “education” system: They’re not going to tell you what you really need to know!