Friday, September 30, 2005

An Unsatisfied Hunger Of The Soul

It took me a long time to accept that some people have no depth. They live on the surface of everything and have absolutely no curiosity about anything that lives beneath their version of reality. To probe their souls is to run into a hard layer of indifference. They don't block entry out of fear, but from a total lack of interest of what lies beneath their surface. It has no meaning for them. It is a dead zone of cells and nerves and veins and bones and blood. Pure mechanics of being and little else.

That is what is the most astonishing about this realization; there are people who don't care, who have absolutely no desire to probe beneath the skin of who they are. Self-exploration is nothing more than skating on a frozen river. Sure, there is water underneath, but it is not ice, therefore they don't care to know it further. They care nothing about what makes one human, what makes one unique, what makes one a genius, or creative, or brilliant, or utterly and completely mad. They have only one dimension and it is defined by the simplest of truths. Anything complicated and it is rejected as irrelevant or mind chatter or woo-woo new agey crap.

I doubt it is an accident that such people are also generally self-centered and care little about anyone except themselves. Every story they tell stars them in the leading role. Everyone else is a minor player in their major dramas. Everyone else's role is to be the obedient, applauding members of an audience who worships without question their superior place in life. Every conversation eventually turns in their direction or they stop participating, or they throw tantrums, or they simply ignore that another conversation is taking place aside their own chatter.

I find such people excruciatingly boring because they are a repeating drone of noise that never says anything but the obvious, never explores anything but the most superficial of meanings, and have little to contribute because they are unaware there is anything out there but their own perspective. They consider too much soul-searching an indulgence, and those who want to know themselves as indulgent. And because they find nothing of interest in themselves, they also find nothing of interest in others. They read but don't absorb. Books are simply a collection of words they soak up as miserably as a dry sponge dipped in a few drops of water. They listen to music but never hear the complexities, the layers of sound and emotion. They feast on delicious bits of food and life and never taste the flavors. They are as empty as an old, discarded shoe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Life On The Compost Heap

We are living in a time of turmoil, both in our external world and also in the world that shapes us internally. Patience is no longer a virtue, but is considered an impediment hindering the already weak--the pathetic tortoises who plod along and don't concern themselves with the excruciatingly slow passage of time. The rest of us are dumping the old jobs, careers, husbands, wives, lovers, siblings, friends, and ideals in order to change into something new--without really knowing what that something new is or will become. All we know is the old center no longer holds us in place. We are literally flying off the edges of our previously and complacently accepted realities.

As disturbing as this may be to some, I am one of those optimists who believe change is a good thing, that it is a sign of a healing planet shaking off the last vestiges of a long sickness. Most of life is like a deep pond. In the peaceful and lazy Summer we dip ourselves into the cool stillness and stir the sediments with our physical bodies as our minds quietly sleep. When Summer is over, the cool winds of Autumn and the storms of Winter churn the depths and nurture the life growing deep in an organic stew beneath the surface. And in the Spring, new lives swim through the fresh and clean ripples of warming days and nights as a new Renaissance grows from the seeds of fresh beginnings.

This is the same process in every sentient creature. When it is disrupted, when it goes too long without making the transition from one reality to another, then stagnation occurs. Things begin to die. Life weakens. We lose our purpose. We become dank pits of rotting morality, ethics, and ambitions because the cleansing waters of the new seasons never come along to sweep away the sludge of sameness. Our lives lose meaning. Love becomes a burden instead of a joy. We make war because it is easier than working things out so we can live in peace. We hate because it is an emotion that requires little thought to maintain. We become as shallow and stagnant as a neglected pond.

But fortunately for us as a species, we are self-regenerating. If we stop long enough to listen, we will understand this ability comes from the part of us that we never managed to successfully cleave off from Nature, no matter how hard we tried. Inside us, the conqueror of the natural world and all its lessons of the senses, steps aside for the simple truth we could never defeat: change is inevitable. It occurs almost spontaneously when the forests dry up, burn and regenerate. It recreates itself from the eroded shores and devastated landscapes of hurricanes and tornados and becomes sand dunes, seawalls, and coastal ranges. It grows itself anew from the destruction of volcanic eruptions in a sea of fresh and fragile green clinging to dark lava-strewn landscapes. It is a natural process that compels us to discard our old lives and seek out something new every few decades, no matter how complacent we become. It is our salvation.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Silencing The Human Heart

Monogamy is an unnatural act created by the Religionistas to keep the population under its idea of moral control. It is unnatural because it requires suppressing desires, emotions, and love in order to experience desire, emotions, and love in a controlled environment. These cruel dogmatists who long ago lost touch with their hearts, further demand that we never deviate from the rules they arbitrarily set to further their own agendas. One of the worst things about such limits is that they impede our natural maturation process . It keeps us in an infantile state where things are reduced to mine and not mine. This fake innocence is ideal as a tool to deny all responsibility for one's own humanity, and it creates the perfectly mindless pseudo-human to manipulate as needed for meaningless jobs and wars. A person afraid to think or feel according to the rhythms of his or her own heart is no longer a fully sentient being.

I've heard all the excuses, all the pseudo-science that claims absurdities such as the male fights off all other males because he is "biologically" compelled to make certain only legitimate heirs inherit his valued property and other possessions, and that females seek out such barbarians because it proves his studliness if he comes after her like some damned caveman and bestows a whole litter of baby barbarians on her.

Such thinking dates from the time wives were considered property and is therefore especially offensive to women who presently consider themselves more than cattle. And if those whose narrow little minds profess such "science" truly believe this crap, then how do they explain cultures who, prior to DNA testing, traced lineage according to the mother because they were certain she gave birth to the child? They knew the father, more than likely, was a passing ship in the night, a lover that stole the heart instead of the house, or often, the secret desire that was socially unacceptable--anything but the sperm donor listed on the birth certificate.

With the advent of reliable paternity tests and nearly foolproof birth control, such excuses no longer hold. The cultural concept of "owning" another human being is offensive, yet the Religionistas would have us believe we must abide by their moral code in order to have a healthy relationship. The most depressing part of their insistence that we do so is based on denying everything we feel that is not sanctioned by their groups whose missions are based primarily on social control of the masses, and not for any personal concern for our health, sanity, and constitutionally guaranteed happiness.

How can a relationship be healthy if it denies the emotional reality of being human? In order not to love anyone but the accepted partner, we have to shut down our hearts. How can that be healthy? How can adults develop rewarding and spiritually enhancing friendships if they are prevented from following their hearts and minds completely? How do they ever develop a sense of self based in acceptance and worth if one partner, under the influence of the Religionistas and their slavishly addicted minions, seeks to control and limit what is allowed and what is permitted?

Jealousy, like hate, is not in the best interest of the human spirit. It doesn't feel good to give it or to receive it, so why does it even exist in our lives? Why can't we love more than one person? It's not that we are unable to or incapable of such a thing; it is that we have been told it is wrong and therefore impossible. So instead of bringing more light into our lives, we cut it off by choosing between one or another when more than one gets our attention. We bought the lie that we are limited in how much we can love, how much we can feel, how much of life we can authentically live before we catch the attention of those who have the power to pronounce "too much" with all the authority of some fanatic deity bent on human enslavement.

Are we so creatively deficient as a species that we must accept such rigid categories for emotional truths? Do we have such tiny little brains that we can't entertain different levels of love and friendship? Must all categories of human interaction exist solely on the level of teenage lust? And must that lust have value only if it is completely our lust and no one else's?

When will we finally be old enough and free enough to officially become adults and make our own choices based solely on the desires of our hearts and minds instead of marching mindlessly to the bleating of cruel Religionistas and other selfish cultists? When will we grow our own damn wings before it is too late?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Porcine Pleasures

All this attention focused on crazy christians and their mean interpretation of what passes for god inside their teeny little pea brains and cruel, miniscule hearts, prevents us from shining the light on what most people really worship: The Religion of Things, or as future Anthropologists will refer to it as--Walmartism.

This is the only light in the average consumer's mind. It compels us to accumulate just for the sake of accumulating. On the rare occasion when the guilt of too much creeps in, when we start throwing out still usable clothing, food, and other goods to make room for more, then greed becomes a valid substitute, and we chant "I have more than you do, nyah nyah nyah."

The inevitable byproduct of such a shallow belief system makes life cheap because anything we can't buy has no value. On a personal level, this devaluing of humanity makes friendships and other relationships transitory. We stay in them as long as they provide something of value: prestige, envy, sex, dual incomes. To stay together for any other reason loses all value in a consumer society. Relationships are interchangeable, something we can take back and cash in for a refund to "buy" something better.

Once this value has been diminished in the individual, then it becomes easier to sell the public on such concepts as loosened safety standards in the workplace that result in industrial accidents, dangerous vehicles, poorly maintained public transportation, and a crumbling infrastructure.

From there it is not a large step to disenfranchising entire segments of the population because they have little value. We turn these human beings into nameless cannon fodder, household servants, and lowly worker bees for the industries required to produce more crap and cheap food to stuff our already full mouths with until we nearly explode from greed.

And once humans are so completely devalued that we turn our heads so as not to see the homeless, the hungry, the abandoned, the dysfunctional and discarded because it makes US feel bad to see THEM, it is barely a walk across the street to convince us to sacrifice the young and poor in wars that are not fought for ideals or defense anymore. Our greed has grown so great that it now allows us to stand by in complacent, overstuffed approval at large scale looting expeditions conducted by those who already have so much, they have to invade entire countries, kill thousands of innocents people, to even feel the slightest thrill anymore.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

De-evolution Of The Species

I've been a Pacifist for most of my life because I prefer to feel a steady calm inside my heart instead of an anxious drumbeat of fear and adrenaline. It's why I pick spiders and other bugs up from drains and off my walls and put them outside. I don't do this because I have any special love for them, but because I feel that to kill them is to invite violence to take up residence inside my body. Anything you invite in, intentionally or otherwise, eventually makes itself comfortable, even if you no longer want to share your space with it.

I also refuse to waste my time with hate. That takes work. You have to get up in the morning and tell yourself convincingly enough to believe it, that today you are going to develop a seething, burning, stomach lining shredding hatred for everyone and everything. Then you have to exert enormous amounts of energy to keep it going, to maintain it at a certain level so it is genuine hate and not merely dislike or simple annoyance.

Inside each of us there still exists somewhere inside, all the good seeds we were packaged with: love, compassion, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, and a peaceful nature. We were meant to go through life paying attention and learning from what we saw so we could put it all to use and grow into complete and evolved human beings. We were meant to grow these seeds to help us open our eyes and hearts enough to become more than we were at birth, to excel at being human, to do something wonderful with our lives, and then leave behind gifts grown from that awareness to those who came after we passed on.

Hate detracts from this purpose. It makes useless people. It makes humans unable to accomplish anything but hatred and its by-products: intolerance, violence, war, loneliness, and disillusionment. It is exhausting to hate. It is a waste of time creating enemies to hate. It is a pathetic legacy to inflict on future generations who would prefer a much nicer gift. It is such a pitiful squandering of our true value. But most of all, hate is the product of people who have made a willful choice to nurture it instead of love.

In light of such an absurdity, it is clear that we are doomed as a species unless we make an equally willful choice to love. And if we refuse to make that choice, then it is only fair to the other planets that we take ourselves out by choosing war-mongering morons as our leaders before we do too much more damage. Such leaders will make sure there is nothing left of us to pass on to future generations. They will make sure there aren't even any future generations.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Of Life, Limbs, and Separation Anxiety

As much as I love technology and all the benefits and amusements that come along with it, I also lament that it further alienates us from Nature. The repercussions of this separation are all around us: hills gouged for precious gems and minerals, mountains stripped of forests, waterways polluted from the waste generated by our need to use, abuse and consume everything that doesn't use, abuse and consume us first.

But the biggest damage is inside ourselves. When we quit seeing Nature as an integral part of our own souls, we lost something precious and of more value than anything we can chop down or mine or reclaim for industrial use. We lost the ability to see ourselves as part of a whole, as an essential piece of the bigger picture.

In order to devastate a forest, we had to convince ourselves the trees were "lumber" measured in board feet instead of natural filters for human-made toxins, or even sadder, that aesthetics were secondary to profit margins. We might as well cut off an arm and use it as a walking stick for all the sense such reasoning makes.

We had to shut our eyes to the sick air we breathed and pretend it had nothing to due with rising cancer rates or skyrocketing asthma cases. This makes as much sense as letting a mass murderer move into your home and then shutting your eyes when friends and pets start showing up dead.

Our water is no longer safe to drink. Our food is full of chemicals and hormones and by-products of human and animal waste. We might as well move into a landfill and wait for our lost souls to generate enough heat to compost our ignorance.

But the worst illness we've created from the detachment with Nature is a never-ending supply of cruel and intolerant religions with meaner and stricter and more murderous deities leading the call to kill kill kill, hate hate hate, destroy destroy destroy, in order to go to a heaven filled with equally mean and intolerant people. Nature once filled this function by teaching us we were part of everything and everything was a part of ourselves.

Now all these new unholy intermediaries teach is how we are separate, how we are different, how we need to build fences and walls and divisions, how everything is outside of us---personal responsibility, accountability, freedom of choice. It's all someone else's fault. Someone is always doing something to us. We are perpetual victims just waiting for someone or something to abuse us some more.

If we don't start returning to our actual and metaphysical roots in the Nature that is left, if we don't relearn the lessons of the forest, we will reach the end of our evolutionary spin of the wheel in a much shorter time than it took to arrive here. What lies ahead is not the eternal city imagined by centuries of visionaries and dreamers, but instead, the same primordial stew we climbed out of once before. Only this time it will be so polluted, it will probably mercifully put an end us before we can do anymore damage.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Ark Ate My Homework

Today I talked to a woman who explained the existence of dinosaurs by claiming they were on the Ark.

In thinking about this, I see a solution to a whole lot of unexplainable phenomenon: we can just put it all on the Ark.

For example, say you've maxed out your credit cards because there wasn't one piece of mass-produced crap that didn't seduce your covetous little heart, and now the creditors are calling day and night. Instead of being responsible and admitting that you let greed be your guiding light...your GOD, shall we say? why not tell your creditors that their money is on the Ark. "Gee, I'd love to pay you, but hey...the Ark took my money."

Or say that your boss is really annoyed with you and threatening to fire you for incompetence, well you can cut short the threat by reminding him or her that you didn't really squander your day away on Minesweeper: your finished and perfectly completed work is stuck on the Ark. "I only set it down for a minute while I was petting the dinosaurs...and the damn Ark set sail! I barely got myself off!"

This could grow into a very convenient bucket. Think of the possibilities! Tired of your spouse? Tell him or her you left your relationship on the Ark. Don't want to take responsibility for that person you ran over? Tell the cop you left your glasses on the Ark.

When seen from such a perspective, I can finally understand that woman's fanatic adherence to her religion. Without it, she and whole lot of other idiots would finally have to take personal responsibility for their own stupidity. "Gee, I'd love to think for myself, but hey...I left my brain on the Ark."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Third Rail of Love

We don't form a relationship with each other. We form it with all the concentric selves of each other. If humans were allowed to be the intrinsically generous and tolerant creatures we were before the social training took effect, then this would not matter. We would embrace family, past lovers, spouses, friends with "privileges," and we would not be threatened by any of them.

But the reality is that no matter what we as a unit are like, we as a community must always deal with the lowest common denominator of past relationships. This most often is someone who is not only jealous and unreasonable, but more likely is highly insecure. Such a person will set conditions on the new unit that has formed.

If you share a past with such a person, you will also share the present and future because he or she would have it no other way. It will remain a condition of friendship that you honor and cherish their weakness in the name of loyalty. Eventually, no matter how much you claim that you will not, no matter how much you love the new person, no matter how much you love the old person, no matter how irrelevant in the relationship this person is, he or she will make you choose somehow.

And of course, you usually choose what has been in your life the longest because the devil you know is the devil who holds your dirty laundry stashed away in a corner of the room no one else will ever see. It is the bribe you pay for love, for friendship, for companionship, for fear of being alone. And because the puppetmaster will remain the constant in your life by default, you will cherish this person for standing by you, for never leaving you, for being your friend, no matter what.

No one should be subjugated by hatred and fear. Cut the strings before it is too late.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Psychopaths in Love

How can some people be so messed up? I know all the psychological and social reasons we are given, all the psychosomatic theories, all the socio-economic realities, all of those things are undoubtedly true petals in the fetid flowers of social misfits.

I will also accept that you just don't want to have some people be more sane then they are. While they are whacko, they are still at the mercy of getting caught and temporarily put away. But if they can minimally function and also have the ability to either escape from or buy their way out of too much scrutiny, then they get themselves elected president and we're all screwed.

I believe that we are an ill nation populated with millions of abused children who were victimized by alcoholics, druggies, too much tv, an overabundance of intellectual explanations for the meaning of life, and not enough emotional reaction to the absurdity of life.

The only deficiency most of us suffer from is a lack of love. There is no drug for this. There is no therapy for this. There is nothing for it really. Some just need more love than others, just as some people can sit out in the sun all day and others like the cool dampness of ocean breezes.

But to not have enough love, that is the ultimate mental illness because it eats at your soul, chews through the remains of your heart, tunnels through your brain and finally emerges as its own intellectual solution to life.

Most of my friends are refugees from dysfunctional families. We are still dysfunctional. There are times we are downright disgustingly dysfunctional. But we all know the secret carried by each and everyone of us: we brake for love, no matter how ill-advised, crazed, unsuitable, inappropriate--it doesn't matter. We drink it. We devour it. We bathe in it. We dig it up with our shovels of hope and bury ourselves in it and while it is good, it is very very good.

And because we are such optimists as is any fool who persistently, despite all odds, against all truth, against all reality and advice, continues to believe in love, we shower, rinse and repeat...forever.

Love and you will be loved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Demonic Masochists

America is a country obsessed with chasing its own demons. The problem is that so many don't choose their demons. They let unsavory sorts with more hair than brains who lurk in the shadowy corners and cesspools of true believerdom, choose for them. They make gods of these hairsprayed and tooth whitened televanglists, hate radio shit spewers, and mentally ill fake prophets who preach from the soiled sanctuary of church pulpits.

For a country that prides itself on hearty, rugged individualism, it comes off most of the time as a herd of sheep with bad attitudes waiting for someone with a far worse attitude to tell them who is to blame this week for the current sorry state of the world.

It is even more appealing to them if this bad-attitude, sheople gang wannabee preaches that jesus wants them to kill something or someone for him. That makes their religions accessories to murder and turns them into not too bright mafia families salivating over a godfather who demands they go out and kill to win his favor.

Surely there must be someone kinder to elevate to such a stature. Or maybe people just need to be kinder so they won't be drawn to such bad boys and troublemakers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Karmic Seasons

Lately it seems as if everything happening has its roots in something that grew when we were looking elsewhere. Things create themselves and grow without intent. A walk in the forest runs one headlong into a tree or over a log or onto our ass as we wonder how all that happened...and most importantly, why?

We always want to know why because it is the map we followed to get to where we are. But the problem with relying on such a map is that it was written after you became aware of its existence.

What good is that? The only people who spend an overabundance of time on hindsight are Philosophers. They always want to know why so they can tell you all the reasons why doesn't exist. They tell you why is a crutch, an excuse, a moral dilemma.

Humans want to know why for the same reason they created things like gods and deities and fairies and leprechauns and trolls and liberals. It gives them something to put their responsibility into, a sort of bucket that holds sins real and imagined. It gives them an excuse to blame something outside themselves for choices they've made.

No one wants to admit the dumbest choices they made in their lives were deliberate and completely thought out. No one wants to confess their most boneheaded mistakes were plotted as if they were some map leading to a mythical treasure that awaited the biggest fool in the world to stumble upon it and claim it as his or her own special reward.

But when things go right, when things just fall into our laps, when we walk out of the forest and collide with a butterfly that leads us off the map and onto an undiscovered path, then we say we are helpless, that we are following our hearts, that we are unhappy and this will make us happy, that we are happy and this will make us miserable, that every choice we make in life is going to make some people deliriously happy and it is going to make others desperately sad and it is going to make the rest mad as hell.

But none of it matters, does it, when you get right down to it? We make our choices. They make us. And the Philosophers argue it endlessly with little old blue-haired ladies over backyard fences.

Try Peace for a change.

Art of Mind

I've always believed that art must disturb something in the human psyche and hopefully shake it loose. If we assign this function to art on a full-time basis instead of allowing it to exist only in dank espresso bars of cities with lots of gray hues in their landscapes, then the really scary things like politicians, religion junkies, and psychotic therapists berating and humiliating people on Oprah in the name of "healing," will have to find honest work.

Love and you will be loved.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Love as a Superpower

One of the lies we are told throughout our lives is that love cannot change the world. This is so wrong! The truth is complicated, but at the root of it lies this: we have no patience and so instead of starting small, we try and do too much at once...such as bombing the crap out of a country to make it love us.

It is much more effective to start with the small little orbit of ourselves first. If we are to free ourselves from the abusive disorder that allows us to choose sociopaths and psychopaths to fill the positions of pack leaders, we must first stomp on those seeds in ourselves.

I'm not talking about getting all syrupy sweet to the point where we want to drown ourselves in a tub of self-righteous goo, but I am talking about changing the way we go through life a step at a time.

Be nice to people. It really is that simple. Just try it for a few days. Instead of being the total, inconsiderate, pig-headed, slovenly thinking, piece of bovine excrement that gets us through the day of bosses who double as idiot sons/daughters/spouses of the owner, or drivers who lack only those horrible spiky things on the Ben Hur chariots to complete their shredder attitude on the road, or the realization that our true love turned into the toad he was meant to be all along, or revealed herself as a princess who has perfected whining as a divine instrument of torture, why not shine all these cretins on as passing irritants--mere flies on the perfect windshield of the world. It's all they deserve. So why give them more?

Live in Peace and you will prosper.