Our unsustainable, schizoid, economic reality.

Photo: Ken Dunning

I was listening to a program on Public Radio this morning. The reality of refugee children, their usually traumatic, desperate life experiences were being detailed. I suppose, for someone living in the U.S. or another country which refugees are fleeing to, one reaction to such a presentation is to feel good that safer harbor is being offered. That is a good thing. However, that is not an ultimate answer to the problem which the current masses of refugees are a symptom of. The overriding problem is the creation of nonviable, unsafe, violent, often deadly conditions in the countries, cultures, and communities from which the refugees are fleeing.

I’m sure that some analysts can point to a myriad of reasons for the horrible conditions which are manifesting in country after country around the world. The Ukraine is the latest country receiving world wide news attention to be experiencing such a descent into hellish conditions. I am fairly confident that there are other countries, other populations, also experiencing such a descent at this time which are not receiving such wide news coverage.

Analysts can take a great amount of time and energy pointing at historical events, cultural proclivities, past wars, historical animosities, and assigning current ravages to such causations can all seem very convincing, and hopelessly complex and irreconcilable. I’m not saying that there are not contributing reasons to be found in such analyses. However, there are causative factors which are not so exotic, culturally specific, nor so perplexing and/or mysterious. There are factors which are common to all such descents into hell being experienced in countries, and among populations, around the world. These factors are:

  • A person or persons filled with lust for wealth and power.
  • Persons of similar mindset in wealthier, more powerful situations who support them.
  • A contempt for the lives and well-being of the general populations of the affected countries held by those involved in the quest for wealth and power and those that support them.
  • An inability, or unwillingness, on the part of the population to resist the depletion and/or destruction of their communities and lives. Sometimes segments of the population may support the cruelty and violence on the part of those in power toward other segments of the population. Thereby becoming accessories in the descent into hell of their country, and ultimately of themselves.
  • A desire and attempt to exact retribution/revenge on the part of the persecuted segment of the population toward their persecutors. This brings about the possibility of an ongoing cycle of violence, misery, and hell on Earth.

It is important to note that while material wealth and cultural/political power are the currencies of such situations, the driving forces involved are spiritual. The greed, lust, hate, contempt for the lives of others, that underlie all such situations are symptomatic of a toxic, ailing, spiritual reality. One in which all affected know no peace nor harmony with the world around them. In essence, the internal spiritual toxicity and sickness of those in power becomes expressed in the conditions of the countries and populations over which they wield power/authority. All the historical perspectives and other worldly factors are the stage settings for the existence and expression of this toxic, ailing spiritual reality. It is not required to somehow address all the historical and other worldly factors for healing to occur. What is required, all that is required, is for the persons in the here-and-now, the present, to recognize the destructive futility of such actions and to adopt life oriented, life affirming, egalitarian values and actions. To recognize the pervasive divine spirit of life that flows through and connects all life on Earth and throughout the universe.

It may present as a simple proposition, however, it entails people voluntarily, with dedication, entering into a monitoring of their own thoughts and feelings. Consciously transforming malevolent thoughts into benign, or even better, benevolent ones. Reorienting sometimes old thinking patterns. It is possible, it just takes dedication and work. I would suggest to anyone brave enough to enter into that discipline, that a place to start is in refusing to allow any thoughts or feelings which entail doing harm to others to continue without recognition, analysis and redirection. What on Earth could be a motive powerful enough to motivate a person to such a reorientation? The intellectual and felt realization of what the world can be if humankind can succeed in such a transformation. Studying the works of the saints, prophets, healers, shaman, can help provide material to aide in redefining, reorienting, one’s ingrained, dysfunctional, self-destructive thinking patterns.

So where does the “schizoid” aspect of it all enter in? Contemplate this: in the U.S. and some other Western countries, tax dollars are used, public money, to spend extravagantly on military purposes which will often be used in support of corporate agendas. Agendas which involve killing people and destroying infrastructure in poorer, often Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries. Sometimes it isn’t the nations’ militaries which do the actual killing and destruction, but wealth and power driven groups within those countries themselves. The thing is, those murderous, destructive groups are using arms and support paid in part or in full by taxpayers in the countries in which the arms are manufactured.

“We the People”, allow, subsidize and/or are the nominal driving force for much, if not most, of the murderous destruction that is taking place in the world. Then we have fund raisers and charities and offer refuge to the hapless victims of our enterprises. Band aid responses to sledgehammer blows. If that isn’t schizoid nothing is. However, then we citizens of the countries in which the persons, corporations, who are the actual driving forces behind all the carnage, may feel resentment to the refugees who take houses, jobs and other resources out of communities in which those resources are increasingly scarce.

I would say that often the general populations of the U.S. and other involved Western countries may well have an apathetic attitude toward it all, or even support the carnage while under the trance of the professionally thought out, compelling narratives, those most directly driving, and profiting from the carnage are broadcasting. And it gets even worse, The very same people and corporations that are driving and profiting from the aforementioned carnage are also driving and profiting from the policies and practices which are creating the aforementioned increasing scarcity of housing, jobs and other resources in the U.S. and other involved Western Countries.

Most of the work being done to support these wealth and power driven individuals and corporations is being done by people whose own lives, or those of their children, grandchildren are, or will be, negatively affected by the fruits of their labors. It is as irrational a situation as could exist.

We, the people of the world, need to come to our senses, stop aiding and abetting the madness, and treat each other fairly, with understanding and, when needed, compassion.

If you have to ignore world events to maintain a positive attitude…

If you have to ignore world events in order to maintain a positive attitude, you’re in trouble on two fronts.

1. As technology has given unprecedented access, for good and for evil, to nations, communities and people worldwide, isolationism has become obsolete. There has never been a time when personal involvement in political and economic affairs has been more important. Right now it may look hopeless because things have gotten out of hand, but that is an illusion. The Divine Creative Spirit flows through us all and through the entirety of our world. We are affected by it and we affect it. Our thoughts, our words our deeds, all these things create ripples thoughout our world. We are either acting consciously or unconsciously. It’s time we take back the creative processes of our world to thoughtfully form the world we want for ourselves and our loved ones. Even the thoughts we hold make a difference.

2. If internally you are overly vulnerable to the spiritual content of the individuals and groups who are engaging in hurtful, destructive, and maliciously manipulative actions, you are out of touch with your own, personal, source of strength and renewal. It’s time to get back in touch with the spiritual reality you are a valuable part of. The Divine Creative Spirit, God, is ever present, the strength and resilience of this Great Spirit, is available to all who seek it. There are many books, articles and videos made by others who are seeking and have found various valuable spiritual realities which they are sharing for the benefit of all. I have found “The Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East”, by Baird Spalding to be a source of strength. I’ve been told “A Course in Miracles” is also a valuable source. There are many, many more. And, there are men and women, ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, shamans, not all, but many, who also are personally in touch with the Divine Creative Spirit and can be valuable in offering information, suggestions and support to us on our path to a greater understanding and more enlightened participation in our own lives and in the world at large. Beware of any who claim to be a necessary intermediary between yourself and the Divine Creative Spirit! Embrace those who encourage and aid you in the development of your own personal awareness and connection.

How can the human culture, as a whole, establish and sustain dynamic viability?

Why do I use Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs so often in my articles? Because it informs us of a concept key to a successful life as a person or for a culture.

We are facing what happens when we, as a culture, do not manage our Earthly resources in the same manner our bodies internally manage resources. We have allowed individual people and small groups to acquire inordinate amounts of wealth which they are now using to impose their whimsical ideas of what humanity should do, and be, upon the world at large. They routinely ignore the knowledge which we, as a species, have acquired over centuries regarding how we can manage our resources to create and sustain a dynamic, vital, human culture on this planet.

Yet, if they are determined to control humanity, how can they not ignore it? For one thing, the knowledge base we have is so immense no single individual, nor small group, even with the most advanced computer systems in the world, can effectively draw on our knowledge base and appropriately apply it within all the various localities. How can a single individual or small group take into consideration all of the variables which exist, or can emerge, in all of the people or communities? It takes all of us, or at least the vast majority of us, working together, with the intention of cooperatively applying our knowledge, not our dogma nor individual fondest wishes, our knowledge, to make such a reality come into being.

It takes humans working together, who, collectively, have taken the time to become informed around the various areas of knowledge which apply to human wellbeing, who have the capacity to “read” the fine points, the subtle cues, of human existence to best know how to respond to human needs. It takes cooperatively communicating, sharing, listening, analyzing, considering the information available. We need to be creating interacting networks of caring people who share the same goal: the wellbeing of all of humanity and life on Earth, to work together. We need to look to our own bodies, to see a model of how a complex organism, such as the human culture, can successfully organize and operate around meeting our basic needs.

Doing this with the proper understanding and regard for our shared basic needs, and recognizing that as human beings we also have higher order needs which we must individually pursue, we can realize the potentials of our existence which currently too often go unrealized. We must keep in mind that no single human’s desires, nor small group’s desires, must be allowed to usurp or sabotage the management of resources for the meeting of the basic needs of the entirety of our human culture.

In order for humanity to survive, we must, without situational exceptions, pursue and express truth.

In his farewell address to the nation, President Dwight Eisenhower cautioned us: “…we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” We need to heed his warning and expand it to individuals and any small groups. We now can see that it is by the acquisition of inordinate wealth that unwarranted influence is acquired.

Vital, thinking human beings are not meant to be turned into mindless automatons.

A path in the beautiful North Cascades.

We are consigning children’s education to school systems which teach them to blindly trust and obey the people who occupy the governmental offices within our society.

For the survival of the human race, that needs to stop. Governments and the people who work within them are only beneficial to a society to the extent that their primary goals are the genuine health and well-being of the society which they serve. This necessarily means working within certain parameters. An essential quality which must be present within the parameters any and all governmental bodies operate within is truthfulness. Hand in hand with truthfulness is openness. Merely saying that the government is not going to allow it’s citizens to know what the criteria are that governmental officials are considering in their decision making does not meet those criteria. Not even close. Somewhere along the line, since the second world war, Americans allowed the Government to take the stance that America is on a permanent war footing and that the type of secrecy which was put in place during the war needed to exist on an ongoing basis. This culture of secrecy creates a fertile ground for corruption, lies, misdirection and unexplained actions. If we treat the whole world as a real or potential enemy, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I believe John F. Kennedy either intuitively or intellectually knew this. One of his primary goals was to take America out of the war-mindedness which had continued after WWII ended, and put America and the world on a course for true, sustainable, friendships and harmonious coexistence between all nations. This flew in the face of the aspirations of wealth and power hungry, militant, individuals who believed they saw a path to their desired version of the future. A path which President Kennedy firmly rejected. Having any nation, or group, especially any with predatory economic goals, act as an ongoing dominant overlord of the people of the world is not a viable, sustainable condition. It is clearly something most people in the world will loathe and reject if an attempt is made to force it upon them.

For sound mental, physical and spiritual health, people desire, need, to feel a vital, reciprocal, interaction with their environment, their world. That desire/need is an innate quality of being born into the human race. However, the connection to, the awareness of, this quality can be dulled. Through repetitive instruction from trusted adults and authority figures, a child’s attention can be redirected from this innate desire designed to support and sustain human beings throughout life, to a dependency upon the declarations of those aspiring to godlike power within the lives of others. However, this innate desire of humanity cannot be dulled indefinitely.

The first allegiance a person should learn is the allegiance to the positive human values we know work toward creating and sustaining healthy people and healthy communities: honesty, fairness, intelligence, analytical thinking, reason, compassion, ingenuity, resilience, strength, love and kindness.

It is time to remember our humanity.

Image (c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

Over the past 6+ decades “our” Federal Government has lied to us about the JFK and RFK assassinations. Also, the Vietnam war, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the first WTC bombing, MK Ultra, UFO’s, 9/11, WMD’s in Iraq, and more. Why are so many people so willing to blindly accept that we are getting the truth about COVID and the “vaccines”?To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a time, nor a set of issues, when so many qualified, independent, professionals have felt compelled to speak out against what the Government and media are presenting to us. Professionals from various medical, biological, other scientific and legal disciplines. They are putting their professional credibility, their livelihoods, on the line to speak out.

What is the reason for the “tunnel vision” that has gripped so many educated, caring people? The “masses” have blindly followed the directives to destroy livelihoods, to impose isolation, to deprive youth of educational opportunities, to witness dramatic increases in poverty, depression and suicides. To be complicit in coercing neighbors to be injected with a known hazardous substance which those people did not want inside their bodies. All this based in fear of a disease, which, if left totally untreated, has a 99.9% + survival rate. If the WHO had not unilaterally redefined the term “pandemic”, from it’s traditional meaning, during the time of the Swine Flu, what is going on would not be a “pandemic”.

It is time to remember our humanity, our individuality. It’s time to stop trying to force our own health care decisions upon everyone. The value and necessity of individualized care has been a standard within the medical field for some time. Right now, are people which the data shows to be highly susceptible to adverse reactions to the vaccines being truly given the benefit of informed consent? Again, to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a time when those at the top of the pyramid of the medical, political and media establishment in the United States have so diligently kept accurate information about a disease, and about treatments, away from the general public. And there has never been a time when the American public has been so amenable to such censorship.

Demonstrations, protests and riots are going on all over the U.S. Why?

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Why do I use Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs so often in my articles? Because it informs us of a concept key to a successful life as a person or for a culture.

In many important, essential ways, people, by and large, aren’t all that complicated.  Maslow knew this aspect of our reality and took the time to try to organize our needs by importance in relationship to our survival and well-being.  Of course we don’t always find ourselves involved with filling each need in exactly the order Maslow arranged them, however, if our needs aren’t met at one level, the more desperate the need we feel, the more we’re stuck on that level.

We need to keep this reality in mind when we are working to understand and/or figure out how to respond to the demonstrations, protests and riots going on in the U.S. and elsewhere.  What these events are, every one of them, are symptoms of unmet needs.  They are populated by people who can no longer stand idly by while feeling their innate human needs go unmet.  It might have worked for them at one time.  A time when they were, for whatever reasons, able to suppress their internal urges because they felt hope that a pathway was going to open up for them to pursue fulfillment.  But when that hope wanes, desperation comes in on it’s heels.

The “rugged individualists”, particularly the ones who have found themselves in comfortable positions, might say:  well it’s their fault, they didn’t work hard enough to take care of themselves, they’re lazy.  Maybe, to some extent, for some of the people, there is some degree of truth in that.  But there is something obvious that really flies in the face of that logic:  those “lazy” people are out marching in the streets.  They are feeling a need and somebody, or something, provided them with a direction.  When one is desperate, doing something, anything, even if it’s wrong can be preferable to doing nothing.  If a direction offers some degree of even blind, hope, it is going to have an attraction.  That’s how desperation works.

The fact people are out marching, protesting, even rioting, shows that, given a direction, they are willing to take action to do something, anything, to try to gain fulfillment for their unmet needs.  It is clear that what most people need in such a situation is direction.  What is being demonstrated in these events is raw, potential energy looking for a way to become kinetic, to provide what is needed to fulfill the unmet needs.

In a civilized society it should just be a given that we are working together to meet the needs of all.  Whether we privately own things, communally own things or work with a model that embraces the best method for the immediate needs at hand, as long as we have the mind that it is a combined effort for the good of all, we will be fine.

Have you ever been poor?  After two-thirds of the month has gone by have you ever found yourself wondering how you’re going to eat for the remaining third?  When you are in that position, and you walk into a grocery store, you want EVERYTHING.  It can seem that you couldn’t possibly buy enough to satisfy your hunger.  However, if you’re not poor, if you’re well fed and you enter a grocery store, it’s not that hard to be totally satisfied picking up whatever it was you came for.  People are like that, in more ways than simply regarding food.  When we are feeling an acute shortage of something, a deep-down need for something, we can easily find ourselves thinking we want it all.

No matter how absurd or grandiose the participants’ expressed demands in the heat of desperation may be, when the people involved see and feel their needs are being genuinely fulfilled, they will, however tentatively at first, begin responding favorably to whatever is providing, and shows it can continue to provide, that fulfillment.   To merely offer such a movement resistance is to stand squarely in the way of much needed hope and change.

A footnote:  This is not to advocate for a program of ongoing free stuff for all dissatisfied people.  In Maslow’s hierarchy, self esteem is a basic human need.  Working at a fair rate in exchange for what one receives is a part of healthy self esteem.  Sometimes a person’s being able to accept “free” stuff is needed in order to pull that person up when they are down, but it’s not a viable long term solution.

A house divided against itself…

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(c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

In our attempts, our efforts, at building a viable, vital society, we can learn much by observing and understanding the functioning of our own bodies.  There is a saying attributed to Hermes Trismegistus:  “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”   This is often shortened to “As above, so below, as below, so above”.  This concept, or the observation of the nature of our reality, provides us with an understanding, which, if applied to our efforts at creating and maintaining a human culture, can do much to guide us toward what will be in harmony with the natural world.  The natural world which we are working with and within and therefore toward a more vibrant, stable and enduring culture.

Our bodies are miracles of design.  They are self-repairing, self-renewing, and they offer us multiple senses, or avenues of interface, with our environment.  They provide us with much enjoyment and pleasure.  And provide us with discomfort and/or pain to let us know when we’re not supplying them with what they need, or too much of what they don’t need.  Ultimately what makes the whole thing work is the the organs, the cells, within the body work together to keep the body, the whole, alive and well.  One of the serious threats to the health of our bodies is the occasion when some cells become sickened and engage in a pattern of runaway duplication (growth) and a voracious appetite for energy.  One could say they get greedy for resources and want to take over.  They behave more competitively than cooperatively.  Of course, as our ancestors knew centuries ago:  Mark 3:25, Jesus states, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  

Now really, just think about that last statement for a minute, it’s not rocket science.  It’s something that immediately makes sense both intellectually and emotionally.  I think this is one of those truths that people just innately know, that comes with birth.  Yet it is one many people quickly turn their backs on when the world dangles some bling in front of them and says:  Go now and compete.  Within human cultures around the world that is the genesis of a cancer that is destroying our cultures with the same certainty that an untreated malignant cancer destroys a human body.  I can imagine someone thinking, but isn’t that just exercising personal freedom?   Yes it is.  And freedom is an essential aspect of a healthy human culture.  However, it is also just exercising personal freedom to take an automatic weapon to an elementary school and start shooting students.  Freedom is a double edged sword and is only an asset to humanity when it is combined with wisdom.  Such as the wisdom that if we aren’t all working together, cooperatively, for the good of the whole of humanity, the body of humanity, we are in the process of destroying that body.  And just as the cells of a body cannot survive for long once the body as a whole becomes unviable, no matter how adept a survivalist one might think they are, human beings cannot survive indefinitely outside a viable human culture.

All my life I have heard Charles Darwin exalted as one of the, effectively, high priests of the natural world.  I don’t think it’s possible to think of Charles Darwin and not think of the phrase survival of the fittest.  That is the phrase those most industrially disseminating information within popular culture have locked onto regarding Darwin.  But today those who are seriously researching Darwin’s ideas and adaptive strategies are saying friendliness and cooperation is the most successful strategy for survival.  This is just one more example of how spirituality and science are converging in the world today.

If we are to survive as a species on this planet we must recognize our oneness, our interconnectedness and interdependence.  Not merely within cities, or nations, but as global body of humanity.

The Lifeguard Principle: What it is, what is it good for, how to make friends with it.

Fotosearch_k22192444
(c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

I am realizing that many of us, me included, have a tendency to readily notice and respond to the things in the world that are blatantly wrong, or problematic, and that this may consequently mean we simultaneously are not giving enough attention to the things that are right. 

I first became aware of this tendency decades ago when I worked a couple summers as a lifeguard.  When I found myself in the lifeguard chair, looking at a large, crowded pool with lots of noise and activity, I had a moment of doubt.  I wondered how in the world am I going to see someone in trouble in this chaos?  I asked an older lifeguard that question and he replied that I just needed to keep my eyes on the pool and if someone got into trouble, I’d see it.  Sounds too simple, right?  It isn’t.  As it turns out our attention is drawn to the things that aren’t right.  Whether it is inconsistencies, differences in movement, sometimes the obvious shout for “help”, or some other more esoteric phenomenon, it is a reliably real thing.  I would always find my attention drawn to someone in trouble.  Sometimes a few seconds before they were actually experiencing the distress.  Of course it is also true that my mindset, my internal desire, was to see such occurrences.  That may be a part of the function at work.  I began calling this tendency to have our attention drawn to what is wrong “the lifeguard principle”.

While paying attention and looking for trouble was an explicit part of that job, I think it is something we all do to a greater or lesser extent.  It definitely is a survival trait in times of threat.  Maybe it’s a carry over from the days when we were walking through forests or jungles and we had to be aware of our surroundings to avoid being eaten.  It definitely is a behavior that is necessary in times of warfare, one person, gang, tribe, nation, attacking another.  I believe it is universal among humankind.   For those interested in looking into such things, there is some correlate in the functioning of our “exciting” and “calming” neurotransmitters.  Our bodies have evolved in a way that we deplete our “calming” neurotransmitters well before we are in danger of running out of “exciters”.  I suppose that would help keep us from just lying down and being eaten when being chased by a tiger.  But now, in the year 2020, for many if not most of us, the dynamics we face in our day to day lives are not quite the same as they have been through much our existence.

It’s not that there still aren’t some acute dangers in the world; in some places much more than others.  However, the dangers most of us face in developed nations are more of a chronic nature.  We don’t get pounced on and quickly killed and eaten by a tiger, we get killed more gradually by being slowly consumed by worries, fears, anxieties, and insecurities.  Just as the nature of the threats has changed over time, our reactions to the threats we’re facing needs to change also.  A sudden, pervasive startle, fight or flight reaction to all the, sometimes subtle, threats an average person may face during their day would certainly result in a person becoming overly stressed, burned out, and significantly more at risk for a plethora of diseases.

Sometimes we need to intervene in what direction our “autopilot” chooses and become more reasoned with our reactions to life’s events.  Having an innate sensitivity to things that are “wrong” in our environment can be part of an important survival system.  Our “lifeguard principle” exists for just that purpose, to help guard our lives.  This brings to my mind a book by Gavin De Becker:  “The Gift of Fear”.  It addresses the important role fear can and does play in our lives.  However, with both the “lifeguard principle” and “The Gift of Fear”, whether or not these innate aspects of our being serve us or sabotage us depends entirely on how we react to the input we receive from them.

In our complex, more populated, human culture primitive responses to what are often sophisticated situations become less and less viable.  As a culture, we need to get way more invested in learning more about what it is to be human and what we inherently, and universally, require to establish and maintain healthy, vital, lives.  When we learn to respond to human, social, problems in a manner based in seeking to solve those problems on by seeing needs met and lives stabilized, it will benefit us greatly.  We are going to find ourselves in a thriving, vibrant world such as we have only had glimpses of, during a few periods of time in the past 150 years.

Within the current available knowledge from the fields of psychology, sociology, physiology, and spirituality, we have all we need to have more than a good start.  It only requires our will and determination to do so.