The media’s use of descriptors such as “surge”, “breakout”, “runs rampant”, would lead a person to believe that people are succumbing to COVID in incredibly large numbers.
Take a breath.
Here are some figures from the mainstream sources who claim to be tracking COVID. Let’s start with getting some perspective, the population of the U.S. is officially, as of today, August 31, 2021, is 328,240,000. That is three hundred twenty-eight million, two hundred and forty thousand people. That is us, the residents of the United States of America. Among us, cumulatively from the beginning of COVID hitting our shores, 39,343,501 of us are confirmed as having, at some point, contracted COVID. That is 0.1198% of us as a whole. In reality, a very small percentage of us. Further, this isn’t the number of people who got so sick that hospitalization was needed, this is just confirmed cases. Of this small percentage of us who did contract a confirmed case of COVID, just slightly more than one/tenth of one percent, 1.647%, or 648,051 of us, officially died of COVID. That means that out of the entire population of us, 0.00197% of us have died of COVID. Or less than two one-thousandths of a percent. When it comes to the media’s sensationalism of COVID, we are being sold a tempest in a teapot.
Are around six hundred and fifty thousand deaths from COVID a good thing? No. But is it a catastrophe that warrants closing small businesses, does it warrant millions of people losing jobs, incomes, housing, educational opportunities? Does it warrant the rise in depression, addiction and suicides which are taking place in the nation? Does it warrant the loss of individual rights which is taking place throughout the U.S.? I don’t think there’s any question that countless more lives have been hit with tragedy due to the mandates which President Biden, Anthony Fauci and numerous Governors have waged than have been tragically affected by COVID.
Time to get some perspective and restore the freedoms, of livelihood, of education, even of the ability to choose the medications we, as individuals, would like to use if we face infection. Right now the U.S. has the highest mortality rate, small as it is, from COVID from than most, if not all, other countries in the world. Many other countries, India for one, have benefited greatly from the use of Ivermectin, others are reporting positive results with Hydroxychloroquine. In the U.S. it seems these effective medications are being withheld. Recently I calculated the mortality rate within ten countries using the official figures. I see very little difference in the rate whether a country has vaccinated a lot, or a little, of their population. As mentioned above, the U.S. has the worst rate of those I checked. I invite you to check a few more. Post your results in the comments to this post.
So here we are, the good news is we’re facing a very beatable challenge. The bad news is we’re being misled into believing it’s much more virulent than it is and that it is an all but unbeatable challenge. The draconian measures being put forward by those in positions of political power like being (figuratively) asked to cut off our limbs as a precaution, and we’re doing it. This is much more related to the power of the press than the reality of COVID.
For my entire life pervasive, unqualified, “freedom” has been being presented as the antithesis of tyranny. It isn’t. In fact, tyranny can only arise in situations in which it has been given the freedom to do so. Freedom is, in fact, an essential precursor of tyranny.
For example, let’s look at an orchestra. An orchestra is only a thing of beauty when everyone in it is playing together as a unit, in harmony. Yes, some orchestras may present musical pieces featuring dissonance as an experiment, or as a change from their standard presentations. However, how many people would regularly attend performances to subject themselves to two or three hours of dissonance? I believe anyone doing so would be placing their mental health in serious jeopardy. If an orchestra were operating with total freedom. Imagine if every musician would show up and play something detached from the whole, something that they, as an individual, whimsically choose. It would be dissonance, chaos. Maybe the instrument capable of the most volume would dominate the scene. Or the physically strongest musician might coerce all, or most, of the others into playing what they want. That would be tyranny.
The antithesis of tyranny is cooperation, harmony. It requires the collective recognition of the importance and needs of both individuals and the “whole”. The balancing of efforts in service of a successful collective experience. This can only be truly accomplished when we, as individuals, recognize our interconnected, interdependent reality and subsequently dedicate our lives to living within a paradigm which nurtures and supports this essential nature of our reality.
In a world in which all (or at least the vast majority) of individuals, have the knowledge and wisdom to to realize and honor the mutuality, the interconnectedness of ALL of our lives, then freedom, in concert with such knowledge and individually assumed responsibility, is an essential aspect of a satisfying life. Freedom tempered with wisdom, self-regulating one’s behaviors to operate within parameters which sustain wholesome living conditions. Otherwise, freedom becomes the banner under which all manner of perversity and corruption finds expression. Imagine a body in which all the cells decide they want the freedom to act independent of, or maybe even contrary to, the good of the whole. That body is doomed.
The Noble Failure is a character in American politics which has been showing up with increasing frequency. The Noble Failure knows what people want. When campaigning for office, the Noble Failure speaks to the needs and wants of the people, and does so convincingly. The Noble Failure will emote, inspire, speak of noble aspirations and a better, fairer, more equitable world. People will be led to believe if only they can get the Noble Failure elected, things will improve. The thing is, that is all just part of the show, the main attraction. It is intended to draw voters, and the reality of Presidential elections last few decades show it works. Why wouldn’t it? People aren’t going to vote for what they don’t want to hear.
However, the promises are never, not from day one, meant to actually be fulfilled once the Noble Failure is elected. Once in office the excuses are pulled out of the closet. “The Legislature won’t get on board.” “The projects can’t be funded.” “We need to first increase the military budget.” “It’s not a good idea to increase the national debt.” “We need to infuse cash into our big corporations to compete internationally.” “It’s the damn ________________ (Democrats/Republicans, liberals/conservatives).” “We need focus our energies on attacking _______________ (fill in the blank).” Or, maybe, the new standard: “It would be a socialist program.”
So, the Noble Failure puts forward the face of grief, of sorrow, maybe even of having been betrayed. They bemoan the inability of others in power to appreciate the vision they sold to the American public. They may villainize those identified as obstacles to their stated campaign goals. This is the 21st century American Presidential/political reality. It didn’t begin in the 21st century, but it’s the only one we’ve had since the turn of the century. It’s the contemporary script: align your stated goals with what the people want and need. Make a few gestures toward fulfillment, then blame someone else for the failure to produce. Repeat in the next election cycle. The only people who don’t get excuses after the election are the 1/10th of 1%’ers who always come out ahead. Sometimes more than others, but the national wealth, the wealth resulting from the work of millions of people, just keeps flowing into their bank accounts. Policies keep coming which support their goals.
At the end of the day, the key players attend their private clubs, extravagant parties, concerts, events, have a few drinks and pat each other on the back. Maybe arrange to give each other official accolades and medals. Or, quite possibly engage in some dark rituals or forms of entertainment. A troupe of Machiavellian actors showing up for the after show reception.
It was the script from the beginning of the campaign, as it has been for several decades. It’s one reason why control of the White House, and the Legislature, cannot be allowed to slip from the control of a small circle of people. A pervasive control that has been jealously guarded since 1963.
What does the general population get from all this? Frustration, disenfranchisement, increasing debt and poverty. One thing we can see from all this is that when the majority are not able to see the issues that are negatively affecting their lives addressed at the source, people will turn on each other. Like an animal caught in a trap. The animal can’t open the trap, so in order to escape, it chews it’s own leg off. “We the People” turn on each other, divide and be conquered. And those who occupy the seats of power and control the monopolized media are all too ready to throw some fuel onto those fires.
The difference between us and an animal caught in a steel trap is we that have minds capable of finding better solutions. We need to stop inadvertently, or as “wannabes”, cooperating with corruption, the disease, that is destroying the dream of a society that work for all. Quit turning on each other. Quit buying into the incessant fear being mongered to keep us distracted and paralyzed. Treat each other right; personally, economically, and in every way. Not just within the United States, also internationally. Create a culture that doesn’t have to kill and conquer in a misguided attempt at creating international “cooperation”. Create a culture that others want to emulate because it works and works well. A culture with the organizing principles of human wellbeing, reflecting our mutuality rather than fear and greed. Stop blindly following, believing in, the proclamations of those whose goal it is to keep us distracted, disorganized, fearful, and subservient.
Circulation. Everything that keeps humanity alive circulates. From what we know at this time, it seems that everything that supports life in the entire universe, circulates. What happens when circulation is hampered? Stagnation, toxicity, starvation, illness, death. Without the proper circulation of the blood within our bodies, our cells will begin dying from starvation of oxygen and life supporting nutrients. Then our body as a whole will die. Without the circulation of the air and water upon our planet, our planet will lose it’s ability to sustain life. Within our cells, if the processes of life, of replenishment of nutrients and the disposal of waste were to stop, the circulation of the materials which sustain our bodies, the cell will die. On every level, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, circulation is an absolutely essential feature of the maintenance of life. Quite possibly of the existence of the universe itself.
Turn on the circulation of electricity through a light bulb and the light comes alive. Turn off that circulation and the light goes dark, dead. That same principle applies for the circulation of every life giving, life sustaining substance that there is and the existence of human life on Earth.
The awareness of this inescapable truth within the natural world leads one to ask whether this same principle applies to the realm of human creations? For those versed in metaphysics, it calls to question whether the axiom “As above so below; as below so above.” applies to the essential nature of the circulation of life sustaining resources. First, we must define what is a human, rather than a nature, created resource which is essential to the sustaining of life in the world? To the very best of my knowledge, there is only one: money.
This may be argued by some. Some may present that a person living simply off the land (first you must have land) which is blessed with the resources of water and temperate climate suitable for agriculture, can live quite nicely. In fact, there still are a few primitive tribes which live in such a fashion. Of course that means doing without all the conveniences and the assistance which modern technology and medicine offer. While I tend toward the simplification of life as a general proposition, there are limits beyond which I find myself reticent to venture. I like a number of the medical and technical benefits we receive from our collective human ingenuity. In fact, without some of those, it is a salient question whether or not I would still be alive in my current incarnation. Certainly I would not be writing this essay on a computer.
The reality for the vast majority of people alive on Earth today, is that money is an essential resource for the sustaining of life. Of course this is made a truth by the systems of commerce we have constructed within our societies. We have made money an intermediary, a regulating agent, between us and the, more or less, natural resources we inescapably require. Resources such as food, shelter, fuel and even water. I am quite sure that there are people, at this very moment, trying to figure out how to make us pay for air. While, in our modern world, there is often human effort required in the manufacture of what in earlier times were more purely naturally occurring resources, the fact is, ALL material substance comes to us via the beneficence of the creative forces of the universe. Humankind can manipulate these naturally provided resources to better suit the needs, or wants, of any or all of us, but the raw materials, the substances required, are all provided, free of charge, by the creative forces, the creative intelligence, underlying and within everything we see and are.
All the resources, all the life sustaining substances we rely upon are in circulation within the universe we exist within. All of them. From the most fleeting to what we perceive as the most stable, the most solid. Everything, including planets, stars and galaxies, is in circulation. Everything material comes into being, exists for however long it exists, and then ultimately is recycled back into the primordial stuff from which it emerged.
The rate of circulation conducive to the healthfulness of various substances under different conditions can vary. “Healthfulness” being relative to human life. Why would we measure it in any other terms? For instance, water, when frozen for centuries, can still retain the healthful qualities necessary and conducive to human life. However, if water sits for much less time, relatively motionless, within a pond or a puddle, it is most likely going to be stagnant. Stagnant, anaerobic, and possibly/probably containing substances toxic to human life. For us humans, the value of natural resources exists primarily in the value of that resource in sustaining our own lives.
That being said, how we manage that resource can depend a great deal upon how well we understand the interrelatedness of the world, the universe around us. For instance, to primitive humans the value of trees may have been exclusively their usefulness in building structures and making fires. Later we came to understand that trees and other plants are responsible for producing the oxygen we require for life. Now, a living tree has value where previously it’s value was realized only after it was chopped down. The value we place upon the resources, the “things” that exist around us, is dependent upon how well we understand the function of those things in relation to the interdependent web of existence, of which we are a part.This reality of how we place value extends to every person being born on Earth. We have no idea, no matter how inauspicious the circumstances of their birth may be, what contributions a person, newborn or elderly, may make to our communities and to our lives. It is a fault which surfaces frequently with us humans that we tend to judge the value of a thing, or a person, using the particular criteria the society we live within espouses. Often, if not always, in the greater scheme of things, that criteria is liable to be narrowly defined and hampered by lack of awareness of the interconnected realities a particular society does not yet recognize.
Which brings us back to essential circulation, resources, and the essential human-conceived resource; money. While the concept and reality of money is a human thing, the fact that money, in it’s practical application, has to do with the acquisition of the natural resources one needs to live, makes money, by extension, a critical aspect of life on Earth. The excessive withholding, hoarding, of money from circulation within communities, among citizens, has every bit the stagnating and/or deleterious effect upon life as would the withholding of the air or water from circulation upon the Earth. This is a lesson we must learn from our own bodies. We need enough. Too little, or too much, leads to unhealthful conditions within the body.
The viable management of all resources, including money, is a task which is all too easily sabotaged by the human ego. The challenge we all face is the cultivation of true humility, to recognize one’s genuine place, and role, within community. None of us are “all that”. And none of us are nothing. We exist as components within a spiritual/organic system. We are all dependent upon that system. For any of us to think we can co-opt the balance, the viability of the system for our own purposes is a symptom of a spiritual/mental illness within that individual. When we learn to act within a spirit of love, in our contributing to and taking from the collective wealth which has been developed by collective effort, we will find ourselves facing a present, and a future, wondrous enough to meet, and exceed, our most cherished expectations.
We are hearing and reading a lot about “the science” these days. When it comes to the Covid-19 phenomenon, we are constantly being urged to trust the science. There seem to be many who believe that trusting the science is a knee-jerk type of thing. If it’s science, trust it, enough said. Without belaboring the point, that same unquestioning trust used to be expected by religion. Those who refused to offer up a show of obedience (trust) frequently found themselves facing harsh consequences, possibly death. But we’ve outgrown that type of thinking, right? Have we?
There seems to be a mind-set in the world the carriers of which truly want (need?) there to be an ultimate authority. A worldly parent (god?) figure, or institution, which can answer all the most difficult questions and protect us from that which we don’t understand. This mind-set is to be found within people of all ages, races, genders, ethnic groups and political persuasions. If you spend much time among people who want to dig for their own answers, those of this aforementioned mind-set are frequently called by derogatory names: sheep, cattle, or other such terms. I think using such terms just serves to muddy the water between us as human beings. Beyond a shadow of a doubt there are people scattered around the world who are more developed, in various areas of knowledge, than others. I tend to think we humans are spiritual beings, in search of a harmonious physical existence, and some of us have been around longer than others of us. We all most likely fit somewhere in the middle of an infinite spectrum of knowledge and development. So let’s be a little kinder with each other, okay?
Getting back to the original topic, in order to “believe in the science”, don’t we first have to know what science is? If you’re expecting a long, technical, complex explanation, don’t, it doesn’t take all that to define “science”. Science is just a methodical, systemized way of looking at things, or working with things. Good scientific methods can give us answers to our questions about the world which can be relied upon to be provable and consistent. And when they do that, it’s great. They don’t always do that however, sometimes the answers we find mostly give us more questions. But that’s okay too, because it means we’re in the process of understanding whatever it is we’re studying. When we’re using scientific methods in our efforts to produce a thing, those methods help us track and understand our efforts, and insure that if we are successful once, we can, most likely repeat the process and be successful again.
One of the great things about science, is that when we’re using it to understand things, or to create things, it almost always is an evolving process. Just think about all the things we humans were sure we knew at some point in our history, only to learn we missed something. Then, after a sometimes long and violent process of change, we again became sure we knew it for sure. Only to again find we needed to refine our thinking. I think it’s a safe generalization that the more complex the question being studied is, or the thing we’re attempting to produce is, the more likely it is that we are going to find ourselves facing many revisions over time. And that’s okay, because, again, science is a process and being involved with it is better than not.
It’s when we start thinking we have the ultimate answer, that we know it all, that we setting ourselves up for a fall. And that is a big problem when we have concurrently developed a culture that expects perfection. As with religion in medieval times, today people expect “science” to be infallible. It isn’t, and it never has been. It is a dangerous proposition to pressure scientists to be infallible. What that is likely to mean in a significant number of cases is that there will be a lot of effort put into defending the indefensible.
Which isn’t to say that scientists don’t ever get it right. The point is, it is often (always?) in our best interests to be circumspect when it comes to the “facts” and products brought to us by those professing to be utilizing science in their methods. The ethical position of “first do no harm” (meaning “…your actions should not cause injury or injustice to people“) is a position we should expect, if not require, from those developing new ideas and new products.
Science, scientific methodology, has no inherent ethic or morality. The positive motives and practices within scientific endeavors are there because the people involved brought them. There is nothing in our natural world, nothing in the human mind, that prevents those who may wish to do so from using scientific methodology (science) to produce things, even products which they may market as medicines, which are harmful to us. Some of the malignant things brought into the world by intelligent, highly trained, scientists include: DDT, water fluoridation, Zyklon B, the atomic bomb, microwave weapons, and many other devious means of incapacitating, enslaving, and killing our fellow human beings. Science is a method, not a product. The quality of the products produced by scientists is dependent upon the goals, the ethics, those scientists bring with them. Science is a tool, that is all. As with other tools, it’s utility is only as benevolent as the methods and goals of those applying it.
I’m not going to try to introduce Dr. Delores Cahill, she does a much better job of it in the video and whatever I might say would just be redundant. I hope you’ll take the 70 minutes it takes to view this video.
Mystification is the state we’re in after we’ve been mystified. According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to mystify is to: 1: to perplex the mind of; bewilder 2: to make mysterious or obscure. I venture most of us have been mystified at some time by the performance of a magician. When it is done for entertainment it can be enjoyable and leave us appreciative of the performer’s skills. Sometimes a teacher may mystify us as a means of introducing us to a subject. Once the teacher has caught our interest, they can proceed to instruct us in the discipline involved. Perhaps, this is the most common method of education in the natural world. However, the act of mystifying people isn’t always done with such a benevolent motive or positive results. Sometimes, in fact quite often these days, when we’re being mystified it is being done with a predatory motive.
First, it is important to understand that we, as human beings, all love to play. We love to be entertained. When I was young I was introduced to the axiom “Work before pleasure.” That guidance has undoubtedly sustained humankind throughout the centuries. However, it is often through play, during leisure time, that we reap the benefits of new ideas, creative thinking. We know that it is stimulation that leads our bodies, including our brains, to develop fully. Often during play, or leisure time, we follow the flights of fancy that one stimulation, or another, may have given birth to within us. Sometimes it is just a moment’s enjoyment. However, sometimes we find ourselves positively mystified by something we’ve experienced through our senses or within our imagination. I say “positively” because these are the times we are caught by an idea which we want to follow up on. An idea about how to do something in a more efficient manner, or about creating something. Possibly a tool, or perhaps a work of art. Sometimes mystification, followed up on, can lead us to positive, culture changing discoveries. I wonder if all new inventions and works of art begin with a person being mystified by something?
In fact, mystification has played such an important role in human development, I venture that we instinctively appreciate it and seek it out. In our earliest memories we find ourselves being mystified by about everything. To a very young person, even the actions of walking and talking are mystifying experiences. We are mystified, we learn, we accomplish. To our minds, in it’s most wholesome manifestation, mystification is akin to our bodies experiencing the aroma of a fine meal being prepared. First the tantalizing promise of a reality, then, with the application of disciplined effort, the realization of the promise.
We have, through time and personal experience, come to value mystification for it’s ability to lead us to new visions, new understandings. However, within the predatory business model which currently dominates commerce worldwide, the reality that mystification has a value has not been ignored. Today several entire industries utilize mystification routinely in their marketing and as a lever in their all too predatory pricing practices. Contemporary industries which strongly rely upon the public being mystified with their product in order to both attract customers and demand inflated prices include: communications technology: cellphones, computers, and related devices, many other high-tech industries, pharmaceuticals and many other medical devices and practices.
In the middle of the 20th century the use of mystification as a mass marketing tool was possibly pioneered by the movie industry. But over time, increased familiarity with the product and it’s means of production, have resulted in a general demystification with the movie industry. However, a good story, well told, can still draw an audience.
From a developmental perspective, a major problem with the way mystification is being used by industries today is that unlike the process in which it occurs within nature, as a part of process of benevolent development, within many industries mystification is being used as a component of an extremely predatory business model. There’s no developmental “payoff” included nor intended. Just an ongoing demand for exorbitant prices on the part of the industry.
Which brings us to possibly the most culturally damaging effect this use (misuse?) of mystification is having in the world. Like the addicts who pay extortionate prices to illicit drug dealers for a fix, we are paying extortionate prices to the industries who have mystified us with their products and the short term satisfaction we often get with their use. I say “short term” because that’s what it is. Whether we’re referring to the instantaneous stimulation we get from video games and various electronic technology, or the temporary immunity offered by vaccinations (versus the permanent immunity from a naturally occurring immune response). We’re apparently transfixed by these products, their complexity, their mystifying actions (and the promises our subconscious infers based in evolutionary history). So we keep paying, and paying and paying to access them. We pay extortionate cable fees, internet fees, game rentals, equipment costs. As far as pharmaceuticals go we often pay exorbitant costs for the product’s development and then the extortionate costs demanded for the product.
It must be noted these aren’t the only products which have managed to mystify great numbers of people resulting in demands for exorbitant prices for the products. Some others in the U.S. include professional sports/athletes and “superstar” entertainers. Also Las Vegas and other extravagant, mystifying gambling houses. All of these enterprises rely upon mystification in the marketing of their products.
So what? Isn’t it just the way it is that businesses charge as much as they can? What’s wrong with that? What are you, some kind of idealist?
There is a concept that is important to grasp. It is the concept of a body working in balance, in harmony, as opposed to a body in which the various components of the body are fighting with each other for vital resources. If an organ, or group of cells, within our physical body goes on a campaign of inordinate growth, that is often a case of what we call cancer. Left unchecked it will result in the demise of the body it is occurring within. What is important, vital, to grasp is that the same principle is at work when we increase the scale we are looking at. The same principle applies when we’re looking at families, cultures, nations. Balance and harmony indicate a healthy body. Whether that body is a tribe, town, city, nation or planetary culture. If some component of the whole begins working to acquire inordinate amounts of the vital resources required by all, that is a symptom of a condition of disease and left unchecked will result in the demise of the body it is occurring within.
As with other aspects of what it is to be human, such as pleasure, mystification is a vital, important part of our lives. However, if we allow an inordinate amount of our personal time, energy, and material resources, or our collective time, energy and material resources, to be captured in a single minded pursuit of mystification, other vital areas of our lives, we ourselves, are going to suffer for it. On a cultural level, other professions are going to find the vital contributions they make to the sustaining of our lives, our communities, going undervalued, or ignored. Farmers, teachers, janitors, construction workers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, store clerks, restaurant workers, sanitation workers, police, firefighters, healthcare workers of myriad disciplines, all these contributors to our personal and cultural wellbeing and more, will find, are finding, their ability to earn a decent living increasingly diminished. Diminished because we are allowing a few to acquire too much of what is needed for the good of the whole. In part because we are captured by the mystification we experience when accessing their products.
I woke up in the middle of the night, my mind filled with thoughts of how disorienting, how contradictory, how hostile, the world can seem right now. Around this genuinely beautiful world there are people of all ages, genders, educational levels, people with sometimes vastly different experiential realities. We all want to live, we all want to love and be loved. I also believe that, if we are in touch with our core, innate being, all of us genuinely want to be contributing to a world which, in return, sustains us with the material requirements of a whole and healthy life.
However, many of the prevalent societal models humans are endeavoring to live within (all?) contain some degree of short-sighted, ultimately non-survival oriented reactions to the challenges we all mutually face in this world. Reactions which can and do become internalized, and go on to become manifest within the lives of people attempting to formulate a healthy life within our respective cultures. Short-sighted, ultimately non-survival oriented reactions which, in truth, stand in the way of our achieving the criteria needed to be genuinely whole, healthy individuals. Whole healthy individuals which, in turn, are needed to constitute whole, healthy communities…and cultures. Collectively, around the world, there are many cultures filled with, being run by, people caught in such ultimately self-defeating reactions. Reactions which are in their nature, circular, self-reinforcing, and which we need to escape… in order to save ourselves.
How do we know if such ultimately self-defeating, short-sighted reactions to the world, are widespread within the culture, the society, we live within? Does the culture have extreme poverty? Is there an extreme imbalance of wealth within the culture? Are the emotions jealousy, anger, envy, fear, hatred, even contempt toward one another common within the citizens? Does a person have to work long hours every day and still find themself unable to afford a decent material livelihood? Do people spend time and energy judging each other’s worth/value as human beings based on either superficial physical characteristics or what amount to culturally imposed inequalities of wealth and education? Is one’s ability to compete with the others within the culture seen as more important than one’s ability to cooperate with others? Is depression, apathy, isolation a common experience among many of the citizens? Is complacency common among others? These feelings and behaviors are all symptoms of ultimately self-defeating mental/spiritual reactions to our world. Reactions often reciprocally fueled by, and resulting in the emotions listed and italicized above.
In reality, there are so many combinations of emotional/behavioral, individual and cultural self-defeating reactions, thinking and behavior patterns, one could spend one’s entire life studying them, categorizing them, and still not encounter all of them. In an infinite universe, there are probably infinite ways to get it wrong. However, ultimately, having a detailed understanding of all of the errors possible in understanding and behaviors still doesn’t necessarily mean we are equipped to “get it right”. It’s time to rein in our worldwide busy-ness with all the self-defeating, nihilistic reactions which occupy us. The people of the world need to all stop, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves “how is this working out for me”. In the vast majority of cases, for the genuine health and well-being of most lives, it isn’t. Most people in the world are economically “treading water”, if that, while a relative few are hoarding the resources needed to revitalize the cultures of the world.
That being said, what’s needed right now among the people of the world isn’t primarily the assignment of blame. What is needed is correction. Which, in a strictly material sense, is a simple matter. However, within a human psyche writhing with various obsessions with personal wants, desires and grievances, it can be anything but simple. It will only be when we learn to think substantially in terms of “we”, instead of limiting ourselves to “I”, that humankind will have a chance at achieving a harmonious world that supports all humankind. A world in which our ongoing, innately present, desire to enjoy our lives and to realize all of the incredible potentials which are present in every human being can actually become manifest.
The goals of “making a killing”, or putting all of those ________________ (fill in the blank) in their places, or of being the first and/or the only at anything, need to be shed like a snake sheds a skin which has become too small. We need to look at the world with fresh eyes, realizing that poverty, sickness, hunger, homelessness anywhere is decreasing the health and the well-being of the entire world. We need to devote enough of our time, energy and resources to lifting up, healing, educating, the downtrodden to bring this world into stability and vitality. Prophets and sages have been saying this, in myriad ways, for centuries. It’s time we listen and take it to heart. They have been right all along. With all the knowledge and resources we as a species possess in this world, it does appear that all that is missing, all we need, is love.
Where to start? One of the gems of knowledge we already have has come to us via Abraham Maslow. With his hierarchy of needs, he gave us a blueprint of how to go about it. Some of the hierarchy, particularly those pursuits nearer the top, are pursuits which are more dependent upon our own, individual, efforts. However, particularly the issues present on the first two tiers, the most basic issues relative to human life, are issues which ultimately require our cooperation with one another to fully achieve. If we encourage a competitive culture, even the attainment of meeting those requirements is always tentative within our lives. And if our attainments are tentative, they are continually taking time and energy from us in order to work at reinforcing and protecting them. Time and energy which we then do not have to devote to the higher, more uniquely human and at the same time more divinely miraculous aspects of our being.
One of the biggest threats to human well-being in the United States, and the world, today is the number of individuals who occupy offices entrusted with overseeing critical aspects of our culture, but who have a vested financial interest in whether our perceptions and actions follow one path as opposed to another. Further, the path which may offer them the most financial gain is often (always?) one at odds with the well-being of the general population. “Conflict of interest” is the often heard description applied when such a situation exists. But something has happened within the consciousness of the American public. Possibly the consciousness of people around the world. We have stopped taking such a situation as seriously as the possible negative consequences warrant. As a matter of fact, conflicts of interest on the part of those occupying elected office and those working within governmental agencies, even agencies mandated to oversee public safety in some critical areas, have become so commonplace they seem to be accepted as business as usual.
How pervasive is the reality of public office holders with conflicts of interest? We frequently hear or read about the “revolving door” between governmental office holders and private industry. We increasingly see persons with a history within an industry which comes under Federal regulations show up working within the regulatory agency overseeing that industry. Possibly even directing it. And then there is the reality of elected officials, and others employed within governmental agencies, who are invested, via stocks or other investment, in private industry and so have a vested interest in seeing that industry being profitable. Thirdly there is “Citizens United” which has, in effect, turned elections into dueling bank accounts. For a candidate to have a chance at being elected all seems to commonly require their becoming beholden to private interests.
People with “a foot in both worlds” would have us believe they can simultaneously maintain objectivity about the good of the public and the profits of an industry they have a vested interest in. You know what? Bullshit. What we are seeing in practice is that far too often the special interests of private industry, and the correlated personal financial benefit of the individual, will take precedence over the good of the general public. We, the people of the United States, and of the world, need to be taking such conflicts of interest way more seriously than we have been.
It is not enough that an individual who aspires to public office, or who holds public office, fills in some sort of paperwork declaring their conflicts of interest, or (supposedly) turns their private interests over to someone else to manage for them while they hold public office. In order to preserve the intent and the integrity of functioning of our public offices, of those who are entrusted with the governance of our nation, of our lives, we need to disallow any person from holding elected office, or to hold a position within a regulatory agency, who has even the shadow of conflict of interest about them.
Right now, with the information and mandates being handed down around Covid-19, here in the United States and in many other countries, we are extremely vulnerable. We are led to believe that the people handing down the mandates, making the decisions, are doing so in order to protect the health of the people. People, in general, want to trust those holding positions of authority within our government. We want to believe that individuals who represent regulatory agencies, or agencies mandated to look out for our health and well-being, are performing that task in good faith.
Yet what we currently have are individuals with a foot in both worlds making decisions which, depending upon the direction they choose, potentially stand to personally profit greatly. And in reality, we are seeing some private enterprises reaping windfall profits during this time, with promises of more to come. The pharmaceutical industry for one. Then there are the large corporate retail concerns which are taking in record profits during the same time in which millions of small businesses, individuals and families are experiencing devastating financial losses.
What is going on right now; the policies and mandates taking place around Covid-19. cry out for independent investigation. There is too much conflicting information being put forward by medical and scientific sources. There is too much glaring illogic and inconsistency in the specifics of the mandates coming from both State and Federal governments. It is all but impossible for a person thinking critically and examining the opposing points of view, to simply accept the mainstream narrative on Covid. It is equally, if not more, difficult to see the mainstream narrative as having anything to do with the well-being of the public.
Yet who would conduct such an independent investigation? The fact is, we have allowed so many persons with conflicts of interest to occupy the halls of power in our land, there seems to be no one. At least no one is yet stepping forward from within the halls of power. We must look out for ourselves, as those wielding power at this time are looking out for themselves. The demands, the pervasive intrusions into and upon our lives, our bodies, being inflicted upon us behoove us to busy ourselves searching for all the information we can access regarding what is going on. We cannot trust those in the governmental or industrial positions of authority to be completely honest with us. If an individual who represents themself as a medical or scientific authority, such as Bill Gates or Anthony Fauci, has a vested financial interest in how things play out, and they do, we must consider that heavily when we are deciding what medical and scientific authorities we are going to place our trust in. As mentioned before, there is a lot of information which contradicts the mainstream narrative coming forward from reputable professionals in the field of medicine and related sciences from around the world.
If the magnitude of the events taking place lead us, as a nation, to engage in an overdue and serious examination of the criteria we use to scrutinize those to whom we entrust our public offices. If such scrutiny leads us to demand a much greater singularity of purpose on their part, that will be some good to come out of these times.
The twentieth century was rocked by devastation stemming from the arrogance shown by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, along with the Japanese Empire of the day. It would be easy to believe, and I think many do, that a nation which played such an important part in defeating these two arrogant, abusive, murderous regimes would have an innate immunity from taking such an attitude itself. Yet somehow, it has happened. The behaviors of many American industries and the United States Government in relation to the people of many other countries, and, in many cases, to the citizens of the U.S. itself, demonstrate at least an equal amount of arrogance as that shown by the leaders of Germany and Japan prior to WWII.
As of this writing, within the U.S.:
There is a higher percentage of citizens imprisoned than within any other country.
Many of the prisons are being privately run for profit (slave labor).
The attention and the energies of the Government are being inordinately spent in the service of the wealthiest small minority of citizens.
Poverty, homelessness, and hunger are widespread and on the rise.
For decades the U.S. has been spending trillions of dollars not on infrastructure and well-being here in the U.S., but on destroying lives and infrastructure around the world. Often further enriching the already economic elite in the process.
There is a nationwide infatuation with stock prices and “profits” rather than genuine well-being.
Millions cannot afford routine healthcare.
Citizens are routinely and grievously fed information which is an outright lie, and if it is not an outright lie, often it is partial information presented in such a way as to mislead those exposed to it. This is done by the elected officials within the Federal Government, the CEO’s of many major industries, and too often by spokespeople for various governmental agencies.
The press, the “fourth estate” has too often become little more than parrots of the misinformation put forward.
For an elected official or other prominent business or entertainment personality to be linked in an incriminating manner to people engaged in human trafficking has become so routine it hardly raises an eyebrow.
The pursuit of money has come to be apparently accepted as an excuse in and of itself for grievous abuses of people and our environment.
“United we stand, divided we fall” has come to be replaced by “fuck you, I got mine”.
When faced with the abuses and the increasing cries of outrage, millions of Americans apparently accept it all with a complacent “it can’t happen here” attitude. Today, too often, being a proud American has come to mean being an arrogant American. To say this trend doesn’t bode well for the well-being of the U.S. is a horrible understatement. If the U.S. stays on this trajectory, the U.S. has nowhere to go but down.
I was born in the U.S., raised in the U.S., and live in the U.S. I have traveled a lot around the country. I have witnessed and experienced love, stimulating intelligence, positive human thoughts and attitudes and just plain human decency everywhere I have been. I cannot believe the greed, the callousness toward human life, the short-sightedness toward our environment and well-being, which are too often embodied and grievously displayed by those in prominent positions within government and various industries, and which are prominent within many of the ongoing policies and practices within the country, truly represent the heart and soul of the American people.
America desperately needs a reorganization of it’s operating principles. We can no longer sustain a country organized around what is good for mega-corporations and the wealthiest 1%. We need to prioritize the nation around what is good for human life, all human life. This includes fair wages, fair prices, affordable health care, affordable education, secure housing, clean water, nutritious food and a healthful environment.