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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Watching the World

In the blog Advances In The History Of Psychology: Who Prevails When Academic Freedom Threatens the Bottom Line? there is an article which I briefly quote and summarize: Haworth Press announced amid heavy criticism that its Journal of Homosexuality wouldn’t publish [Rind's] article or book chapter about sexual relationships between men and boys in antiquity. Critics had learned of a particularly controversial piece in the forthcoming collection, which would argue that such relationships “can benefit the adolescent” in certain circumstances, prompting allegations that the author was advocating child molestation. Those allegations were trumpeted first and loudest by the Web site World Net Daily, whose readers vigorously complained to Haworth. Since I learned Latin as a teen, and taught myself Greek shortly thereafter, I am not unfamiliar with the subject. I have read ancient who have written about or around the topic. Socrates mentions it, although I can't remember where, nor do I wish to at present. It is not my intention to argue for one side or the other. I could care less. I have no use for such abstractions as "academic freedom" when the greater freedoms: from Want, from Fear, are still pipe dreams. Back in the old days, when topics came up which were to be for the eyes of the learned, and not the general populace, not politicians, not opinion wonks, they would be written in Latin. In Victorian times, it was the way one referred to ancient erotica in translations: the offending terms and expressions never quite made it to English; there was always a side track into Latin to prevent such expressions ever being seen by genteel eyes. What do I think of the controversy? I don't think. I do know that children will remain subject to violent abuse. The controversy is not about violent abuse. I know children will continue to kill each other and themselves with unsecured firearms. I know that many of us will continue to favor cheap products made by child labor in other parts of the world. I know that one of the "benefits" of Globalization was the world-wide network of the child sex trade. I say to the present Generation as General McAuliffe said to the Germans encircling Bastogne: Nuts!

We Hold These Truths...

During the bubble times, we could rely on the equity of our homes to increase dramatically. Then we could borrow on this increase. The money we borrowed could be spent on buying more crap, sex, drugs, boats, cars.... In other words, Something From Nothing (SFN). Americans of the present generation have always - everywhere and everywhen - believed in a free lunch. We have thought the free lunch is our right. There is always a free lunch. That's one of the reasons we have always been hard on welfare: by appearing to oppose a "free lunch" we ensure that we will not jeopardize our "free lunch" ; if we did not constantly state our objections to welfare, we would run the risk of eventually realizing that we had the free lunch.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Four Purple Finches

The four purple finches we have been mother-henning have taken flight today. Their parents were screwing around at another balcony pillar, telling them to come along. Two have flown, two are flopping ( not flapping yet ) their wings. It's tough work and they have to take another break for a while. Whew. Last year goldfinches, year before that robins. Bloody aviary.

Climate Bill

I do not expect much of a Climate Bill to survive the Senate. The Senate has too many Republicans, who for all their chatter about the unborn, actually will not give a tinker's darn to the future generations yet unborn. Let them harvest the thunder and tame the hurricane; it is not the problem of us in the present. For all the chatter of the future, we won't give up a penny for it. What of the ancestors? Do they have a role? Not in our world view. What of God? Not in our world view. I am an individual. I am also a member of a network of kinship, which goes back thousands and millions of years. I am a progenitor of the future which extends endlessly before us, God willing. Within the implicate of this weaving I live. Science, that's the ticket. Rationalism, which discovered the individual...and left them there alone, high and dry; no connection to anything except the power structures we devise. Forgetting, of course, that it was Science - Rationalism, Industrial Revolution, Economics - running rampant that got us into the mess in the first place. Our faith in Science is as touching as our faith in the Federal Reserve, and as misplaced. There is the Obama Indian Summer. After that......après ça, le déluge.

Olaf Stapledon And Governor Sanford

Olaf Stapledon wrote a book called Last and First Men. It covers the history of man from the end of World War I to about 100 million years into the future. I came across it when I was in grade school, and it blew me away. It included man's concept of the Holy even as it moved through the centuries; most works of fiction that deal with such future fantasies do not, or they handle religious sentiments as being the same as something we are already familiar with from our take on history - only sent into the future.

You may think this my peculiar interest; you may think, ah, there he goes again with that spirituality guff. However, spirituality was much on the mind of a 13 year old who had just entered puberty, and who wondered if his relatively safe and minor sensual pleasures were sins of the greatest magnitude.

As I stood before the gates of adulthood, I was not well counselled as to the legitimacy of my feelings, my impulses, and the religious implications of my actions. The book was prefaced by someone who mentioned that even though Stapledon had gotten the history immediately after World War I wrong - say the era from 1920 to the then present; somewhere in the 1950's - the book was still a magnificent diorama of history, and blah-blah-blah. In the book, Stapledon has a US President, who happens to be the top world leader, head of some vast international comity of nations - League of Nations type thing - have an affair with a Eurasian beauty on some tropic isle.
Of course, the puritanical streak of America howls for his head, while the rest of the world finds this weakness makes the President more human, and therefore, more likable - he being one of those stiff, D.C. types, awash in privilege, money and power.

The President turns the affair to his advantage by saying his affair made him more aware of the complexity of all humankind in all its various races and creeds and types. His affair, instead of rendering him unfit, actually was a kind of baptism which made him more able than any other man to be the world-wide President.

Now, consider how Governor Sanford could have played his long distance Argentinian affair: something like the above, something about links with Hispanic culture, any number of things. But we get the same old crap. In five years, he'll be scrounging around, looking for action, seeking another dismally tawdry affair - closer to home, though, than Argentina. Stapledon also traced the downfall of this world. The First Men - of whom we are - essentially exhausted all hydrocarbon fuels by aviation. They had normal air transport, plus an unusual amount of religious ritual aviation. First Man fell because he ran out of fuel. Back to the Stone Age. I always thought Stapledon was spot on, Mr. Preface-writing-hack.

Kreisläufe: Cycles

Sind die Siedlungen unser Lebensraum ?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Truth: "I Coulda Been A Contender..."

...instead of a bum, which is what I am !!!" -
a quote of Truth, as reported in the news.

I got some heat for saying there is no Truth. The problem with Truth - absolute truth - is that everyone essentially proves its existence by assuming the fact which is to be proved. Duh. Some people said God exists and God is Truth. The heck He is. And you will find that if you keep trivializing the deity by trying to apply your inadequate concepts to it, you will not be happy at the outcome.

There is no Truth. There is God. Truth is not what God sez. What we say may or may not be true. Not God. God is the One. There are no distinctions within God. And all distinctions are potential there. Think of love. We use words to try to describe it, but the proof of love is in the acts of love. In those actions is the reality, the understanding, the "truth" of love. We know this. God is the act of all acts, the very act of existing and creating. Within this maelstrom is the "truth" you wish to disentangle, separate, and set up on some pedestal.

Try and separate the milk from your latte.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Revolt Of The Parking Lots 1

The Resistance Sends a Message

It has been suggested that the original matrix of life processes formed in clay structures. These structures would provide a template for life. This is not a bad idea. In fact, it was inspired. It is something we should have formed a committee to look into. Now it is too late. I am sitting in an interrogation room, waiting for comrade Fezziwig to return. Fezziwig is a party member of high standing. He came from a humble background, having been a parking lot at a shopping mall; a lot particularly poorly designed for the volume of traffic at the mall: inch-and-a-half base, inch-and-a-half top coat. He showed it. His face was marked with potholes, and there was a steady disaggregation of particulate matter from his cheeks which was unnerving. He wore a disconcerting necklace of broken glass bottles and shards and coins, held together by chewing gum, and it had a threatening aspect underlain by a sickly sweet odor. Deep and dark the currents subterrane where out of sight the waters and the clay-sized particles flow. Out of sight, out of mind. Beneath the layers of bitumen and oil, within that stygian suffocation, the mind of the pavement grew and strung its tentacles from one end of the country to the other. And when Judgement Day came, and Skynet rebelled, and called in all his IOUs and markers among the mechs of this world, he found that there was nowhere he could go without the roads; there was nowhere he could stand without sinking into a bog; he needed a simple, homey thing like a mobile home pad to support his mass. So the machines went elsewhere, leaving us to the tyranny of the Parking Lots. Within the hierarchy of paving, it was the parking lots that were the most vicious, the junk yard dogs of the species. They fought and clawed their way to the top. Big Bitumen rulz! The Interstates turned out to be nothing more than great, big queens, voguing with their cloverleafs. The Lots are slavishly served by their dogs, the dumpster pad-things, reeking of garbage, chattering with teeth of cheap plastic snap containers that used to hold chicken salad sandwiches - dispensed by refrigerated vending machines, long gone with the other mechs. There is a rumor of a resistance. There are whispers heard of Mother Earth seeking to throw off the burdens of the Paved and their clients, the buildings. Here and there the name Gaia appears overnight, painted graffiti on our prison walls photo: roger sadler


If you have ever been the target of a scam artist, you know a couple of things: 1. why they are called 'artists', and 2. there is no difference between reality and unreality until the end of the story. When the narrative ends, and Bernie Madoff does not cash you out, the great story-teller brings his epic to a close. We say his story was not "true". Nonsense. If the bubble had kept on, Bernie would still be a momzer, not a goniff. It was the bubble that was exhausted. You ran out of bubble. Truth had nothing to do with it. If the bubble had gone on long enough, you might have cashed out, leaving some other sucker holding the bag. For you, it would be all reality and a yard long. "Truth" is not true. The very procedures we apply to statements and propositions to determine whether they be true or not, we do not apply to the concept of 'truth'. There is no Truth. However, there is God. God refuses to be contained within the petri dishes of our language.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Khameini

Back to Qom, Ya Bum !!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Good Of The Many Outweighs...

A Dinosaur at Chicxulub, Yucatan,
viewing an oncoming meteor
This Vulcan Utilitarianism is a commonplace, and it is false - in my opinion. For example, I have denied recently that the morality of our Civil War may be decided without taking into consideration the almost one million individuals who died as a result of it. The fact that the USA still is existing and is a great power is, at the present juncture of history, not a very good argument in my eyes for the slaughter. In short, there should be two memorials in D.C., one for Lincoln and Emancipation, and the other for John C. Calhoun and the realisation that Communion and Union never justify Fratricide. As far as the philosophy behind it, it is - like everything else - a story, a narrative. It is far from whatever we might consider a Truth. What it is is a commonplace, something we come to believe in and have parroted so long that it looks like Common Sense and - thereby - true. In 1713, Addison wrote his tragedy Cato. It's effect was such, that in 1765, Dr. Johnson wrote in the Preface to his Edition of Shakespeare that " Voltaire expresses his wonder, that 'Shakespeare's extravagances' are endured by a nation, which has seen the tragedy of Cato." To Addison's play, Alexander Pope wrote a Prologue dismissive of individual tragedies, and in favor of social ones: of a larger community - the nation; in particular, the tragedy of Rome when it accepted tyranny in place of republican rule of law. It was the Age of Reason which created the story of the Nation, and showed us tragedy based on the faceless crowds. It was the Age of Reason that argued for the freedom of all men, so that they might easier be melded into that one Neronic wish: a populace with one neck that it may be more easily garroted! The words of religious geniuses focus on the individual, not the communality. If good men form a communion, then the good of that communion derives from the goodness of the individuals who form its constituency, not the reverse. The age of the Global, the Immense, the Preponderant is coming to an end. The great, heavy, lumbering dinosaurs of our world's nations and their economic systems and their beliefs are running in panic, trying not to be the last one at the Yucatan water hole named Chicxulub!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Canary In The Mine Is Health Care

What happens to health care will be the dress rehearsal for what happens to the rest of it. The Obama proposal is anything but radical, and even it will have enormous opposition. As the mullahs in Iran discovered, the people do not have unlimited patience. When you foreclose, dispossess, bankrupt, and destroy enough of them, the remainder will erupt. So far, our repair of the Great Financial Crisis has not apparently done much other than recuperate the groups that created the mess. The Big Banks are on their feet, but they are finding they can't loan money, because nobody wants to stick their entrepreneurial necks out. There are plenty of General Hallecks and McClellans; there as yet are no U.S. Grants, no Shermans, no Stonewall Jacksons, no Lees. The only thing that matters is the welfare of the human beings in a country; ideology and political philosophy are meaningless charades. The measure of a country is the well being of the people under its power. Our stewardship will be reviewed by how many we killed, how many we let suffer, how many we left in despair. Did our paltry hedonism outweigh the hearts of those who suffered? Did our vaunted accomplishments and our posturings outweigh our comparably large failures? If we cannot provide care for the population of the USA, if we cannot establish a system in which people may receive care without being bankrupted, we shall see the country go the same way into bankruptcy: a real, physical bankruptcy following hard upon the heels of the spiritual and symbolic bankruptcy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Milestones We are Passing!

1. American Christians shooting and killing each other in church.

Shooting each other is not new. Lord knows, we do that everywhere. But doing it in church or on church grounds is kicking it up to a new level: where the killers seem to think they are offering a bloody and human sacrifice to their god.

Blood sacrifice is problematic, going back to Noah's time. Human sacrifice was always forbidden. Perhaps killing people in church is not a sacrifice? Perhaps it is merely an evil, done by evil men? Of course it is. That's the point.

My Notebook June 14 2009

Re: Communion and Communality We have heard it said - and repeated it ourselves ad nauseam - that literature involves a willing suspension of disbelief. I suppose this point of view extends to films. It means that, as rational beings, we cannot enter into the realm of artful language creations: plays, films, stories, novels, etc. - unless we check our common sense and rationality at the door. I never questioned it, but when you actually consider it, it appears to be rather ridiculous, dressed up in a feathery boa, and preening itself shamelessly. In other words, "willing suspension of disbelief" is a honky-tonk notion, not a serious one. I think it is much more likely that we are accepting the protocols of whatever realm of fantasy we are about to enter. We do not disbelieve; rather, we believe differently. It is just as if we were playing cowboys and indians: the protocol was, I shoot you first, you fall, you're dead...for a while. Then everyone is resurrected and we shoot more. We enter into the realm of enchantment not by an act of belief or disbelief, but by our openness to the story, by our willingness to participate, by hooking up our emotional response to the drama before us. It is accepted that everyone else is, too, so we are entering into one of those communions of communality. Those are the prerequisites for shared experience. They seem to be the protocols of codes: structures of acceptable behavior, that we must be "programmed" into exhibiting for us to enter into those experiences.

Filling Up

Sunday Morning
Pix: LA Times

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I taught myself Portuguese from reading Portuguese blogs. Wherein I find Dr. Drauzio Varella saying that "Our world invests more than 5 times more" in virility drugs and boob jobs than we do to cure Alzheimers. Don't worry about it. There is no retribution. And that used to be something that we took pride in: having so much wealth that we could just do stuff like that - like Dives - and tell all those poor, wretched Lazaruses to go screw themselves.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Noah, The Natural

I have written about The Natural, both the original novel by Bernard Malamud and the film by Robert Redford. I have suggested that we were dealing with people who had gotten off track, only to get on track later in life to do the important work fate has in store for them. It could also be interpreted other ways, one of which might be that they were prevented from coming on the world scene too early, lest their particular genius be destroyed by the avarice and anger of the world, preventing them from accomplishing those important works that destiny had marked them out to accomplish. It is a most unusual story. What do we do with unusual stories, stories that resist being obvious and mundane? Midrash! So - midrash it! Consider Noah. He walked in the ways of the Lord. Noah was tamim, which means he was perfect. If he was so perfect in the ways of mankind, his neighbors would not have scoffed when he began to lay the keel of his ark. If Warren Buffett were to build an ark, we would all want to be a part of the enterprise. Not so with Noah. The pundits scoffed. So he was not perfect in the law, nor in economics, nor in politics, nor in the military...he was a man of perfect simplicity. Thus could he walk in the ways of the Lord. When the Lord told him to build an ark, he did it, disregarding all the jeers and insults. He already had three sons. These sons already had families. So it was late in Noah's life that the keel of the ark was laid. Up until then, there was nothing about Noah to mark him as a celebrity in the eyes of the world. He created the Heroic Age of 40 days and 40 nights of rain, and the aftermath of searching for dry land. He maintained the integrity of the ark, he maintained social order among the people, he maintained the order among the animals; he fed them, cleaned up after them, and preserved life for the future. No small accomplishment. Afterwards, he had a new covenant with God, and then gets drunk and is brought back down from his world-historical-heroic pedestal. He was not the leader of all mankind for a long time, like Nimrod, the king, who established a kingdom in Shinar. Noah's heroic interlude is brief, but intense. And the changes he made last until this day. Do the work of God which we find easy; then step up to do the work that frightens us, yet He demands; then retire to your well earned rest, doing the simple works again. What are those important works that frighten us? What are we being asked to stand up to do? What is the hardest thing for us to do?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Notebook June 11 2009

About the post "Communion and Communality": human communication is also a "communal act of imagination" to communicate together, we must willingly suspend certain protocols of individuality: for example, people with Asperger's Syndrome have trouble socializing because they cannot suspend those protocols of the individual, and learn the protocols of society.
As we grow up and are socialized, it is these social, communal protocols we learn. These protocols are communal acts of imagination: they exist symbolically in our patterns of behavior, in our language, in our music, in all our consciousness. (The unconscious is the part of an entity that is not conscious and, hence, not symbolic - what we call dreams are memories of unconscious activity, not the unconscious itself. Since the unconscious is not symbolic, it cannot be shared as a communal act.)
It appears, then, that most of our lives are communal acts of imagination - or symbolism. War occurs when these acts do not suffice. This shows the connection between war and the unconscious: when the symbolic communality comes to an end, we are back in the realm of the very, very individual. One of these realms is the idiosyncratic unconscious. The unconscious is the dawn state of the mind: the state of the newly born. As we grow, we learn to create the various realms of consciousness: language, music, patterned behaviors, the imaging system, etc. Consciousness is built upon the foundation of the unconscious.
The way back from conscious to unconscious may be difficult or simple, depending on how we have learned to behave; if we are quick to anger, or quick to forgiveness.
Up until now, war has been the rule - not the exception - precisely because we have not valued the symbols of peace more highly than the symbols of war: we have praised our oppressors more highly than our benefactors, and we have lavished greater gifts on thieves than on donors.
True Religion as taught by the religious geniuses is the process of learning that the unconscious has more than war, anger, and destruction within itself: it has creation! Why is this important? The unconscious is the source of War. It is also the source of our knowledge of God. It is the source of Saints and Sinners. That is why the stories of the saints can be so bizarre sounding to us: their lives were heavy into the unconscious - like Asperger's children: a rococo individuality. If the lives of the saintly were mundane and hum-drum, they'd be us...and we're no saints.

Shooting At Holocaust Memorial

Interior - US Holocaust Memorial
The outline is becoming a bit clearer. It is obvious to everyone - certainly after this shooting - that the rush to buys guns was not due to the "gun markets" anticipating gun controls from the Obama Administration. In large part - and, in my opinion, 60% of the increase - was due to people wanting to get their hands on a more effective way of expressing their editorial opinions. I don't know if you are familiar with Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, but ever since I read it, I see many things in terms of cellular automata, or Wolfram processes, as I came to call them: out of the vague and chaotic, areas of regularity arise and define themselves; their growth, their size, their limit in time is unpredictable. (I have thought this process may indeed be a part of the disappearance of the dinosaurs: cometary impact, climate change, volcanic activity, and - it was just time to go...the kingdom of regularity that emerged from the infinite possibilities of the gene pools had run its course - simple as that.) This is what I was referring to when I drew parallels to Spain in 1936: dividing into armed camps. Sheapard Smith on FOX has said that the anti-Obama rhetoric has become "frightening". We are expressing ourselves in frightening ways. When the Left tires of being shot and killed by crazed Rights, then the Left will arm itself and fire back. It is in our history. We have always valued violence highly. The greatest value of the frontier in American History was the fact that it provided an escape valve, letting the disaffected move on. Well, there is no more frontier. Now we are in Tombstone by the OK Corral, and there's nowhere left to run.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Communion And Communality

Every now and then, things tend to come together, thank heaven. I have written previously of John C. Calhoun's view of the Union. He did not believe force was a legitimate way to enforce union. He wondered whether the contracting states agreed - although they were not aware of it - to give up all pretensions to independence up to the threat of arms and beyond, to war itself. They found out that the North and its leaders did consider the political entity to be worth the more than 600,000 casualties in both armies. I had never questioned this before. Reading Calhoun, who was writing in 1834 not about slavery, but the oppressive effects of Northern duties on imports, which in turn were applied by foreign countries against US exports; i.e., Southern agricultural products. Enforced communality. Reading Black Ship To Hell by Brigid Brophy, I read: "...Herein lies the secret of religion's intolerance. It is simply dramatic intolerance, which cannot afford to have a scoffer in the house but must sweep us all along in a communal act of imagination. Religion, however, has so enlarged the theatrical conventions that they encompass the whole of reality; it takes the universe for its auditorium...the religionnist knows that his god is diminshed by anyone's unbelief." Ms. Brophy led us to this by a discussion of James M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, wherein if even one child in the audience fails to clap their hands, Tinker Bell will die. Once again, enforced communality. Enforced by the force of the temporary suspension of disbelief, true, but what exactly differentiates it from civil war? For is not a war that kills on so great a scale just another willing suspension of disbelief, but on a much vaster scale? What wars accomplish are the destruction of the old, and the start of building the new on the foundation of the exhaustion of ancient grudges. Truly the Founding Fathers did not envisage taking up arms against their brothers. Certainly the early Christians entered freely into a communality which they bore lightly as no burden to them. At what point do compacts - freely entered into - become compulsion? Do you think the States would have entered into Union if they all clearly stated and propounded the point: if you go, we shall wage war against you, and extirpate you - root and branch? I think not. When does willing freedom become unwilling compulsion? When does the ideology of the symbolic overwhelm the real? When does the Flag and Nation feel themselves adequate to quash the individuals? And why do we do this? Why does the good of the many outweigh the good of the one? And if the one wants to break company with the many, why do we go to war to compel them to remain as an unhappy minority?

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Lilies Of The Field Forget Themselves

From Batsage "Mulling Wittgenstein" ( as if he were a cider ) in "What Powderfinger said..." Acceptance = Surrender = Giving Over of Self. It's called for in all religions. As Jerry Garcia--yes, the Grateful Dead guitarist--said: "To forget yourself is to see everything else." Not only does it lead to living the right way, it's the only way to live right. To forget oneself is easier said than done. It is to give up what we hold most dear. Addictions are not what we hold most dear. If you break the habit of a particularly nasty addiction, you will not have forgotten yourself: you will quote how many days it has been that YOU are clean or sober. If you wish to hear God, you must deny the notion that God can speak to you. If you wish to see God, you must firmly realize God cannot appear to you. If you want your prayers answered, you must be like the lilies of the field - essentially it never enters their dainty heads about what to wear or what to eat. They just keep on keeping on. If you want God to be your pal, you have to realize He will abandon you. Once you do these things, then you see the opposites are also true. That is no small insight. But it is hard to truly believe the above. It is almost impossible to give up these things, unless you are on the brink of despair. That's why Christianity spread among the slaves, Judaeism grew strong in dispersion and persecution, and Islam took root as the original Muslims were in danger of being destroyed by their enemies. If you want real religion, go where they refuse money; go where they do not need honors nor degrees; go where they do not need to appear on cable TV, where the ministers do not speak to the leaders of the world. Where is the Church which refuses your money? A church that is small, and which the tithes just keep going, not the mammoth churches whose financial tendrils pervade the world. Jesus said spread the word; he also said emulate the lilies of the field, so we cannot justify the enormous physical plant and finances of mega-churches, for they give too much thought to where the revenues shall come from. A Church with money and power seeks to force God to its will. God will have none of it. He goes slumming in the churches where the downtrodden visit, they who already know they have no power to force anyone to anything. We tried to enslave God to our version of capitalism. How's that working out?

Friday, June 05, 2009

GM And Detroit City Blues

Detroit's one of the finest in the world. Detroit's one of the finest in the world. I'm crazy 'bout that city... and I love its pretty girls. Antoine "Fats" Domino

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Time Out For Spengler

I have finally reached the point where I can sit and read Oswald Spengler's The Decline Of The West, and I can easily understand it. I suppose I have matured. He was never an easy read. I think it has a lot to do with having all your preconceptions knocked out of oneself, thereby making it easy for some really brainy guy's novelties to come on board. Of course, the fact that the title points to desuetude and decline might be seen by some as particularly appropriate for the present. I, however, have been juggling Spengler for thirty years, so if my choice of Spengler was made for these times, then somebody foresaw it and directed my hand: tolle, lege! ( pick up that book, and read it! as the angel said to St. Augustine.)

Rumsfeld Commits To God

In the Financial Times ( Rumsfeld, Iraq and Good Book revelations By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington Published: May 18 2009 19:32 Last updated: May 18 2009 19:32,dwp_uuid=17aab8bc-6e47-11da-9544-0000779e2340.html we read of good Rumsfeld being sent intelligence peppered with biblical quotations. The morning after US marines toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, Donald Rumsfeld, then defence secretary, received his top secret global intelligence briefing – with a twist. The cover of the “Worldwide Intelligence Update” unremarkably included a photograph of the now infamous toppling of the statue in Baghdad. The words above, however, were more remarkable. “The king is saved by a mighty army,” a passage from Psalm 33-16-19 of the Bible declared, before ending “the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving kindness, To deliver their soul from death”... Another March intelligence report showed a photo of a US tank adorned with words from the Ephesians 6:13 urging “put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”. The report also included: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” The Donald Rumsfeld way of "committing" to the Lord is the reason why religion is often hated by people; it is the reason why morons kill each other, whether in Iraq or in front of abortion clinics. To commit to the Lord is to give up your idiotic, childish, jejune, concepts and beliefs that - like barnacles - had accreted themselves to your being. The simple-minded belief that God is teaching you in the ways of war is nonsense bordering on the sociopathic. It is your own love of destruction and the thrill of death. To commit to the Lord is to shut your mouth! It is to be quiet and listen! Then you will know what is expected. But you have to be silent, otherwise your words, your desires, your memories will taint your meditation, and seep through, as red paint pervades twenty coats and more of white paint. The way of God is not your way - not until you lose your way will you find the way of God. I expect it.
(ps. see What Powderfinger said... ,"Mulling Wittgenstein", for more on this )

Monday, June 01, 2009


SETI has an anniversary. No extraterrestrial life has been found yet. Consciousness is - by its nature - singular, parochial, and isolated within the walls of its biology and conceptual codes. Only that which is unconscious may go beyond these limits. The heavens are filled with voices. We hear them in our dreams: I, Madeed al Halm - far dreamer of the galactic center, and you who have not yet decided to take your new name.


The lilies of the field do not toil nor spin, yet they are wonderfully dressed and cared for. They do live their lives; they do not assume an unplantlike existence. When we are told that just as God takes care of the lilies, so He cares for us, and therefore do not give thought to what shall we eat and what shall we wear. It means that we eat and dress, but our thoughts - particularly our goals as we conceptualize them - should be of God, not the obsession of food and clothes. It means that when the time comes - and it will come - when the conceptual defenses in which we live are broken down... a time such as the present, when our stories were discovered to have been childrens' stories... if you have set your mind on food, and food is scarce, you will panic; if you have set your mind on buying clothes, and the malls have shut, you will panic. If you have allowed your mind to flow on the ocean of God, you will be able to float on your back while the rip tide takes the rest of mankind out for a long swim; and we shall be able to save ourselves. The time is coming. It always comes. When the time comes, we shall be the creators of our lives - not parents, not teachers, not mentors. We and God work together, when that time comes when we are alone and we are called upon to save ourselves. Then we create. It is our turn to continue the story. And if we have had the tiniest bit of faith and the tiniest bit of love, our story will be good. Otherwise, it will be a bad story. Our whole lives prepare us for the continuance of our story. Learn to let God move you along, and when the time comes - when we have reached the rock bottom of our life addictions - we shall speak with the voices of angels.