Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Renaissance of Thought, Speech, and Association: The Paradoxical Gift of Radical Islam and the SJW Movement

Hello and welcome!

I noticed this morning some overt signs of a trend that appears to be emerging in our collective social dynamic. It seems to be arising in response to a culture of rabid divisiveness, group identity politics, and, particularly from the regressive left, contempt for the universal right to think, speak, and associate freely.

People are getting fed up with being labeled, put in a box, invalidated, attacked, cut off, and silenced for daring to have and express their own thoughts and ideas that don't conform to some supposed standard. This attitude of intolerance has been most virulent and visible in the SJW movement, which is now the laughingstock of YouTube thanks to its juvenile tactics and ridiculous lack of realism and reasoning ability. The toxic, malignant front of ideological dogmatism and us-versus-them herd mentality has become so perfectly crystallized in the SJW movement that it is provoking a serious backlash among free thinkers of all stripes.

These entropic tendencies are certainly not exclusive to the group I'm pinpointing. The point is that this group, aided and abetted by mealy-mouthed cowards and wolves in sheep's clothing in politics, academia, and the media, exemplifies them to a degree that pushes the rest of us up against the wall. We are literally facing a threat of totalitarianism that could extinguish what remains of the light of Western society if we don't unite and push back.

People often express bemusement at the cognitively-dissonant alliance between the social justice movement and Islam, the latter being the epitome of inequality, intolerance and hate in our world today. But the alliance makes perfect sense. They share a common enemy. The intellectual dishonesty and fevered unconscious projection of the cult of post-modern, cultural-Marxist orthodoxy mask the fiery hatred and thanatotic self-loathing at its core. This core, I suggest, is of like emotional frequency with the distress that underlies radical Islamic fundamentalism. Both embrace violence as a final solution. Both are expressions of a mind-virus that knows no peace but the vision of a tightly-enforced uniformity that can never be achieved and will never result in real peace.

The manifest pathology of these two factions, embodying as they do some of humanity's most destructive psychological distortions, holds up a mirror to the rest of us. Their campaign to wipe out and colonize their enemies is so clearly a path to spiritual, cultural, and even physical extinction that we who oppose that campaign are forced to confront the demons they represent, first within ourselves, in order to be able to counter the destructive frequencies of consciousness that assail us from within and without.

We're beginning to see that we can't afford to remain cloistered in our islands of ideology, lobbing cheap shots at each other for the approval and amusement of our fellow islanders. These islands are illusory to begin with. We must see that there is only a web of humanity composed of individual nodes, all intimately interconnected yet distinct universes, and that that shared fabric of society rises or falls as one.

We're beginning to realize that we can't afford to maintain the barriers that keep us from engaging in civil discourse with people we disagree with. That disagreement itself is a natural thing that need not overshadow an underlying sense of unity, of being ultimately on the same side as human beings.

We're starting to see the need to reach out to and support others regardless of ideological differences. We're seeing that openness, critical thinking, and diversity of opinion and perspective are what keep us vibrantly engaged in a robust evolutionary process of growth and refinement leading to synthesis, integration, and true enlightenment.

We're being called to arm ourselves with knowledge, to develop the maturity and learn the principles and skills needed in order to have fruitful, meaningful discussions. To learn to think clearly and formulate well-considered positions. To smelt the ore of information, separating the dross from the valid and useful.


Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom: The Trivium




Those of us who were never taught the Trivium in school, who were cheated of a real education, must now take remedial steps to educate ourselves. This intellectual foundation is indispensable for a free and functioning society, and developing it is a lifelong journey for each of us. The way we do it is by practicing these elements in the real world of our day-to-day issues and interactions, right down to the personal level.

The other area for development, which I alluded to already, is the emotional realm. We can't be intellectually honest or truly civil without also resolving our emotional wounds and attachments. It takes courage to face the monsters we've buried, but that is what we must do. To kindle and act on that courage is something we all have the ability to do. It takes a critical mass of danger and discomfort to push us over that threshold, and we can thank the new inquisition for doing their part to provoke our innate immune response.

Remember: healing in the body only takes place when there's enough serotonin and other "feel-good" neurochemicals in the system and when levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, are low enough. That means the key is to consistently make choices that make us feel deeply better inside, more whole, at peace, and energized. Each of us knows what those choices are if we just listen closely to our real inner voice.

There is hope. We have what we need to pull through and create a renaissance together. We just have to step up and do our best. I believe in myself. I believe in you. I believe in all of us. Let's do it.



~



Here are the videos that prompted me to write this post today:



You Can't Sit With Us! | Purity Spirals & Group Cannibalism

"Why do groups demand perfect ideological conformity? What does it lead to and how can we avoid purity spirals, ingroup fighting and cannibalism?"




Huge Win in the Battle of Ideas

"We're taking back the narrative from people who use buzzwords and outrage to silence the rest of us who are trying to have meaningful conversation."




Why Free Speech (even Hate Speech) is the best friend of the Oppressed

Jonathan Rauch makes a passionate argument in favor of free speech, and tells an inspiring story of Frank Kameny using his free speech to overcome bigotry and discrimination.



Friday, March 31, 2017

Back to the Real feat. Dog Poet, Aug Tellez, Gaia

Hello, friends!

I have some wonderful materials to share with you today. Oh yes! I'll just list them off here without further ado:

First we have a piece of Visible Origami, straight from the muse of our one and only Dog Poet Transmitting...

... Aug Tellez gets deep, lucid, and real in this half-hour impromptu podcast called "Biological Consciousness and Soul Awareness, Technological Immortality, The Illusion of the Self"...

... and a voice that brings so much flooding back, the radio transmissions of Gaia herself.



Please enjoy, and pass it on!

Moments, hours, eternities – and Isness – of our journey into Phi

Tyranny, rebellion, victimhood, blame,

playing our false games of power,

fearing and hating Kali the Destroyer,

marshaling our forces against Her

to stave off our impending doom,

forgetting that she is Mother Gaia herself,

even while we yearn for the End of War

and the experience of the eternal, flowing Dance of Timelessness and Time,

but we have forgotten the only truth that matters:

that we know not the hour of our death,

nor will we be spared pain,

but that the deeper we dive into clear and empty Stillness,

the more we settle into Being

and the more purely, joyously, and valiantly we can shine for her

in thought, word, and deed
 

the more beautifully She reflects back at us

what the unified Will of Love has wrought!

She gives birth to form

yet form is a dream

a shape for the shapeless

a sound for the silent

which, for as long as we remain ignorant and desolate,

remains a nightmare, a living death

hunted by our fears,

haunted by our hurts;

a tragedy,

a hollow circus,

the grinding wheel of karma,

a puppet show;

a drama of duality,

a game,

a school,

a stage play;

a healing opportunity

and an ever-present Now,

blessing and blessed, through and through.

Illuminating shadows, facing fears

expressing freely

nothing to gain or lose

except for Soul, the one thing at stake;

expressing will

passion aflame (fire of the gods)

Knowledge revealed

finding Courage and Steadfastness

Patience and Humility;

Reconciliation,

witnessing the Miracle;

Balance and Peace;

Gratitude,

Surrender;

Yes to the Yes (to the no to the maybe);

Levity, Liberation, Release;

tears of Joy and Gladness,

Nakedness,

Connection,

nothing on the agenda but Love

inspiring us to kinship, cooperation, community, compassion, equality, respect for nature, giving our very best,

working together to manifest a new and bolder vision of reality,

one responsive to our true desires,

an adventure into the unknown,

a collective fractal work of art

forever coming, forever going,

existing Now.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

McMasters University activists shout down visiting professor Jordan B. Peterson; professor makes it a teaching moment


What some on the far left (and the far right as well) fail to understand is that the alternative to civil discussion and debate is a descent into uncivilized behavior: shouting slogans, slinging weaponized words, attacking ad hominem, denying a platform to those you disagree with, abandoning the level playing field of ideas in favor of animalistic noise-making and shows of strength. They may not have fully considered where that path leads.

If your ideas are worth considering, then they are worth formulating and presenting with care and civility and arguments to back them up. Let them loose on the level playing field of free speech where they can be tested on their merits. If you arrogate to yourself the right to shut others down, you place yourself in a value system, in an arena, where someone with more brute strength than you can shut you down as well. Two sides engaging on this level set off a cycle of escalating conflict that can only end tragically.

Healthy public debate isn’t a death match between colliding interest groups. It’s the way we reach consensus as a community and more whole understanding as individuals. It is a natural and peaceful mechanism for achieving wisdom, balance, and inclusion in our collective decisions.

We need not fear each others’ voices. In fact, we desperately need to hear each others’ authentic voices so that we can see where we agree and where we don’t and A. build bridges of understanding and acceptance, B. approach the truth together, and C. determine the path that will best serve us going forward. This requires open, free, intellectually honest exchange between individuals based on a shared sense of unity (our common humanity), allowance for diversity (the breathing space for everyone to be, express, and develop uniquely), and a common interest in discovering truth (humility and openness to being corrected as well the integrity to stand up for what we directly perceive as truth).

When we engage in true dialogue, we are tuning the instrument of our mind to resonate with truth. That means changing our ideas when they come into conflict with what is demonstrably true and holding steadily to truth in the face of what is demonstrably untrue. Post-modernism repudiates the very notion of truth and therefore represents anti-logic. It is based on self-referential, circular reasoning that collapses in the face of logic.

In this video, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson calmly explains why we need free speech and why the best thing to do about the anti-free speech activists is to let them play out their tactics while we keep speaking our truth to the best of our ability and defending everyone’s right to be heard.

The activists speak. We let them speak and make their positions known. We weigh their ideas on the impartial scales of truth along with every other idea. We let their behavior speak for itself as all behavior does. As long as they do not engage in debate, they render themselves irrelevant to the debate. You don’t debate a child who’s throwing a tantrum. You can’t. You stand calmly in your truth and don’t budge for any manipulative, bullying tactics. Don’t give them the response they’re trying to provoke. Don’t feed the monster that’s acting out through them by answering in kind. Feed their better angel by setting an example through your own behavior.

As Matt Kahn advises, when faced with the fevered, conflicting energies of a turbulent, fractured mind, we can consciously choose to respond with the opposite vibration. Peterson does an admirable job.




Activists chanting: “You are not a victim!”

Peterson: “That’s true. I'm not a victim.

“Once you start to regard yourself as a victim, you look for a perpetrator. And the thing you look for in a perpetrator, you look for someone that it’s OK to hurt. It’s really not a good thing.”

Activists chanting: “Shut him down!”

. . .

Peterson: “As far as I’ve been able to determine, this kind of protest is an expression of a philosophy that’s grounded partly in post-modernism and partly in Marxism. Now, the post-modern element is basically this: there’s no such thing as genuine individual identity. What there is is group identity. And you, like it or not, only have the interests of your group. And the whole world is nothing but a battleground between groups of different interests. There’s no dialogue. There’s no possibility of talking between the groups. It’s just a power stage where combat has to take place.

“And so the reason that speakers with whom the radical post-modernists and the Marxists don’t agree are denied a platform is because those people do not believe, from a philosophical position, that dialogue can bring consensus. And all that’s left, if you forgo that particular principle, is this. [Indicates the protest.] And this is only where it starts.

“You know, the fact is that you’re all pretty damn civilized. And thank god for that. Because if there were enough fools in the crowd, especially those who are intent on violence, this would turn out very differently. We do not want to go down that pathway! It’s a big mistake. We’ve been down that pathway many, many times.”


. . .



Peterson: “The question was, had we called the police and had them removed, would that have been a failure?”

“I think the answer to that is there’s no point in it. There’s no reason to assume that this [protest] is a bad thing. It’s noisy and it’s annoying, but that’s fine. You gotta let things – you gotta follow what you believe to be true. Right? And don’t worry about it, and let things happen, and see what happens. Because it’s perfectly possible that if you’re trying to do the right thing, you’re trying to speak properly, that whatever happens around you is [partially a] consequence of that and it’s a good thing. So we’ll see. We’ll have weeks after this event to analyze its consequences. And so far, all of you that are there to listen to the talk, you’re peaceful and reasonable, and you got a chance to show that to hundreds of thousands of people. So, good! This is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

. . .
Peterson: [Repeating a question from the audience] “How do we get these people to understand that dialogue leads to consensus?

“You cannot make people who don’t listen, listen. You can’t. They have to decide to listen on their own. But you do that by listening. You show them. You engage in dialogue yourself and [seek] consensus among you. You lead by example. Because there’s no getting through this. [Indicates the protest.] It’s an ideological wall. And the harder you push against it, the larger it’ll become.

“Don’t worry about it. But don’t get pushed around. And don’t let people indoctrinate you.”

Friday, March 10, 2017

Epica – In All Conscience

Today I want to share a song that has touched me deeply. Its emotional resonance for myself comes from my experience breaking up with my wife. Some of the lyrics don’t necessarily relate to that, but many of these words have impacted me powerfully.

Can you imagine feeling and knowing a love so full and perfect and timeless and pure – the stuff of heaven – expressed directly from the heart of a person with whom youve shared intense years of trial and tribulation, to whom youve wanted to commit your all, someone who actually needs a good, strong, wise person by their side to defend and help them. . . only once youve become aware that your marriage with them has been built on sand, is hopelessly dysfunctional, and is keeping you from your own true path?

The freeing revelation has been that that love is not just with that one person: it is behind, inside, and around everything. It is the stuff of life itself! It doesnt bind you to that particular person or to any set path. And it doesnt make the pain and sorrow go away. It allows you to embrace the pain, to embrace yourself within the experience of the pain, just being there, present, for as long as the pain wants to express. It allows clear sight, forgiveness, acceptance, letting go.

I am learning to listen to myself – to feel what my body is telling me – and to be honest. I want all of my relationships to be balanced and free. I want to go through life with a light touch, no twists, no baggage, no holding back. I want to give myself permission to feel every twinge and torrent of sorrow, regret, injustice, unfairness, outrage, and anguish. I want to feel connected to life. I want peace.

(For every statement beginning withI want,” take away the “I” – thats ego – and “wantthats desire – and you’re left with the thing itself. Yay Zen aphorisms!)

(Embedding is disabled on these videos, so I’ve hotlinked them for you below.)

Enjoy!






The Quantum Enigma – Bonus Track



Allow me to write my final words
I can’t stand this anymore
Hold me when the time has come
’Cause I don’t want to be alone

In my heart you’re still here, it’s the bond that we share
I can feel you’re around everywhere
Even though you are gone our spirit is strong
We’re honoring all the work that you’ve done

When there’s no chance for a defense
I’ll have to bend and give it all
(Each angle will give a new view)
All that I’ve been standing for
Was an illusion after all
(As both sides should always be heard)

In my heart you’re still here, it’s the bond that we share
I can feel you’re around everywhere
Even though you are gone our spirit is strong
We're honoring all the work that you’ve done

I’ll see you somewhere again
Away from all the insanity
We can’t beat injustice now and for all
I’ll see you somewhere again
Away from humanity
We can’t beat unfairness now all alone

Even though you are gone our spirit is strong
I felt you all around alone
In my heart you’re still here, it’s the wound that we share
I can feel you’re around everywhere
Even though you are gone our spirit is strong
We’re honoring all the work that you’ve done

I’ll see you somewhere again
Away from all the insanity
We can’t beat injustice now and for all
I’ll see you somewhere again
Away from humanity
We can’t beat unfairness now all alone.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Self-Correction: Return to the Breath of Life

I am very reluctant to share my weaker, more vulnerable moments even with people who are close to me. I have times when I withdraw completely into my shell. I have been in that state now for four days: not leaving the house, not talking to anyone, just keeping myself occupied with mass Internet / movie / TV intake and drifting on a sea of inner turbulence while doing little or nothing to steady it, find my anchor, get back on the horse. Powerful thoughts and emotions arise, but am I channelling them in a healthy way? I've been running from myself in a manner all too familiar from decades of mental and emotional fragmentation. I get the high highs and the low lows. Been psychiatrically assessed as borderline bipolar, just shy of a clinical diagnosis.

I need to find a way to self-correct these wild swings. Something deep inside me has yet to stand up and invite the warring inner factions to a round table where all can be heard and accepted. Trying to rule one's self as a dictatorship leads to disaster. It's just one persona after another setting the agenda while the others wait for their chance or plot their coup.

I fear both success and failure. I fear both life and death. Sitting in this black hole of fear and self-inflicted misery seems easier than manning up. Is there a way out? I intuit that the only solution lies at the center. Inward. Where everything meets and relative truths implode into the singularity of consciousness.

The world is in crisis. We who feel that crisis on a personal level are responsible for our part in resolving it. But to attempt to resolve it without first resolving our root conflict is a circular path. The linear notion is that this is something we will do once and everything will be peachy from then on out. No. The quantum understanding says that there is no incremental path to peace, no future time point of resolution to hope, wait, and prepare for. The only peace is the one we already have within, timelessly waiting for our wandering attention to stop seeking it out as if it were beyond us, as if we lacked it, to just settle in and make contact.

This is it. This is all there is. Just the now moment and the eternal choice to accept or reject. To abide in peace or perpetuate war. To let the current of life carry us or seek in some way to control it.

Stop.

Breathe.

We are Breath. Rising, falling. Expanding, contracting. Ever new. Ever present. No agenda. Just in and out. Rhythm. Pulse. Zero point extending in time and space in a dynamic designed for one thing: the exploration of experience. To have our experience rooted in the knowledge of what lies beyond experience, we are called to go ever deeper into peace, into breath, into Being.

Into Life.

Thank you for breathing with me. We are separate in form and experience, but one in the great Breath of Life.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Going Home

This text was born of my response to a thread on facebook. I owe the inspiration for it to many dear souls, but mainly to Irina, whose words are a spiritual depth charge of mystic, numinous insight.

When I connect with my deeper self, I know only a Love that surpasses all understanding. This tells me that evil is not an absolute reality, but arises within relativity. I would characterize it as the result of progressive layers of distortion overlaid on the mind’s codec (coding/decoding software), affecting its perception of base reality-as-it-is to the point where identity becomes a false construct and authentic connection is lost. The notion of an isolated “I” within a fundamentally uncaring or hostile universe supersedes the base reality, creating the need for an arsenal of defense mechanisms and control schemes. By degrees, the sublime music of the spheres is twisted into a cacophony of chaos and confusion. Meaning is hidden from view, vitality withers, divine evolution gives way to spiritual diminishment and degradation. The virus of narcissism and fear insinuates itself into the structure of our being on every level. Every choice in favor of truth, forgiveness, liberation, and growth (for oneself or another) is a choice to reclaim a truer experience of our divine self and repudiate the programming of the virus.

I see the regions of the multiverse infected by the virus as dark, dense, chaotic disruptions/interruptions within an otherwise clear sea of white light. This visual-tactile-auditory-gustatory impression was a familiar one to me in childhood fever dreams. There was a nasty roughness to these dark regions that contrasted with the silky, frictionless, infinitely permeable liquid smoothness of the white light. The vibrations were intense and low compared with the sublime peace of vibes that were so high in frequency as to disappear entirely.

We are developing spiritual antibodies every time we recognize and “flag” a viral distortion within our perception without identifying with it or attaching to it with guilt or loathing. Blessing and releasing it severs the energetic cord binding us to it. Even the virus – though it lacks a life of its own independent of the host consciousness and has no free will the way conscious beings do – is an equal in a world of equals. It behaves according to its nature and all we can do about it is choose not to partake of that nature.

My concept of Christ is influenced by Philip K. Dick’s VALIS trilogy. I see Christ as unbounded consciousness that has walked the path we are on and possesses full immunity to the dark that is only a passing shadow, a momentary nightmare within the grand, exquisite dream of God. Since our nature as Christ exists beyond our limiting construct of linear time, it has access to and is theoretically accessible from any point within time. Perhaps certain time frames within cosmic time – such as the astronomical alignment we are in now – facilitate access both ways. This is an in-built “weakness” in the viral construct, an “escape hatch” for beleaguered souls yearning for Home. But since Balance is a universal law, there must then also be an equal opportunity for the dark to make its own harvest of souls, claiming those that have become so karmically heavy and committed to evil, so steeped in the worldview of narcissism and fear-based hierarchy – so possessed by the virus – that they “pop” through the membrane separating this battleground Middle-Earth from the negative 4D realm.

The realms of Light are far greater and vaster and more varied than those ruled by the morbid themes of shadow. The realms of Light allow free rein for all creator beings to bring forth whatever they desire, solo or in tandem or in groups. Respect for free will is unbreachable. Trust is absolute. Learning and exploration and fun and beauty are pursued. Evolution happens with elegance and grace. The existence of an inimical alternative, of the possibility of evil, lends these realms a preciousness and poignancy that enhance the experience. We don’t fully appreciate something until we’ve missed it.

We’ve been here a long time. The amnesia is so thick, there’s no telling how long, how many lifetimes we’ve wandered here in this twilight zone. But we have a chance now to return to our precious Home. To take steps toward the Light. To heal all sin and shame. To embrace and be embraced in the arms of Love.

Our hearts have been calling out to Home, to the brothers and sisters and loved ones we left behind, and Home is calling us just as dearly and longingly. May we of this battle-weary diaspora of hardy souls now forge new alliances, combine forces, pool our talents, and work together to close the final gap and pierce this nightmare veil, blazing a shining path for millions upon millions to follow if they choose. We call them with love to follow us in orienting ourselves with the True North Star. We will help and guide and inspire them in turn as we have been helped and guided and inspired ourselves. May the lost return and may God protect every one of us until we reach the destination.


Take heart, dear brother and sister. We remember you. We are always with you. You are God’s own child and we love you just as you are. Peace eternal be with you. OM!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Polyphia – LIT




Audiovisual onomatopoeia of some highly tuned-in, full-blast, intricate, high-bandwidth feels. Energy sketching with the latest in tools and cutting-edge inspiration. A feast and a challenge for a (relatively) old guy like me to take in. (Besides my age [32 Sols], I was raised mostly on music that was either upwards of a hundred years old or exhibited a clear, tightly-buttoned-down lack of groove. I only started freely listening to whatever I actually wanted when I was 23.)

These kids are amazing. The band released its first studio album in 2015. We’re talking demigod-level talent and creativity. If this is the direction music is taking, I’m all for it!

The whole genre is new to me:


“Djent is a style of progressive metal, named for an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound first employed by Meshuggah and SikTh. Typically, the word is used to refer to music that makes use of this sound, to the sound itself, or to the scene that revolves around it.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djent

The song in the video is “LIT, a remix of the song Light, the second track on Renaissance. The remix presents melodic guitar and bass tracks over an EDM beat, presenting the mixture of their genre and their inspiration of Rap and Hip-Hop.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphia

I stumbled upon this video through the Facebook timeline of another artist, Beyond Infinity, whose work I discovered by searching YouTube for “progressive ambient metal” just on impulse to see what turned up. He’s a no less talented one-man band with some daring, fresh material that has teased and expanded my sensibilities as I’ve listened. So good.

Stay lit up inside, friends, and don’t forget to party!