Seeking Comfort

Seeking comfort puts an end to growth. We are raised in a culture of addiction. Subduing pain is our primary focus. We ignore that pain is a cue to what needs attention. No questioning of cause. A cue tells us some part of our thinking, acting, or feeling is underused, misused, misunderstood, overfed. You name it.

That is the baby origin of of the pain. Then there is the current reality of  pain caused by being poor, overworked, unemployed, sick without necessary insurance of any insurance so no treatment is in sight, having, an unfed children, missing many of the basic necessities, in debt to your credit card, if you have one,  with no way out. There are the sexual outsiders, gay or trance people rejected by family and society. All of these individuals faced by problems they cannot solve, turn to addictive substances for relief. Is the issue for them getting off the drugs a “just say no” situation as Nancy Reagan once intoned? No. the drug taking will likely vanish if the government offers jobs and social services to help those who have accepted the worthless image.  

Those who extol the value of drugs do not want to deal with the facts. Many of them are supported by the drug industry which blinds or seduces them to underlying causes. oOur true dreams are ignored, dreams of becoming fuller people seeking what is meant by enlightenment, what is meant by loving. To get to that sacred place, we need to know our disowned and rejected and destructive parts, the buried places in self, created by a childhood lack of love. It is the child’s need to cover up the pain and fool the self which suppresses later growth. The grown adult self walks through an internal weed filled garden seeking the mystical gate. But there is no way around or out. The gate is not in some distant place. The gate is inside us and opened by weeding the garden and planting nutritious and beautiful and helpful growing things in whatever way you perceive it.

The idea that we should focus on avoiding or ending pain without getting to the root of it has a lot to do with money—not our money, but the money of those who sell pain relievers in many forms, especially the pharmaceutical industry pushing drugs to end anxiety, worry, obsession, fear, hallucination, addiction. The drug itself becomes addictive since our need for it grows as the underlying issue pushes into our awareness. Take a pill the manufacturers scream or beg, and your problem will end. But no, it resides beneath the chemical ice and reappears once you give up the pill even stronger than before due to the time you spent not dealing with its screaming need.

You were an unloved baby and now you act as if love is insignificant, so long as your consciousness is quelled by a drug. You feel discomfort when stopping. The drug industry and the doctors who are its foot soldiers insist that this proves you need even more if it.

Do not be seduced and distracted. You are detoxing, getting rid of the drug chemicals stored in the liver, the fat and elsewhere which harms you. You are disowning as a historical event, the way you as a child dealt with the unbearable. Don’t make a religion out of finding ways to cover up. The gold you seek is knowledge that will set you free.

Recognize A Lie

You cannot tell another’s lie if you are a liar. If you lie, you assume that everyone does it. The clarity of the  litmus paper of truth is stained by your falsehood so that you cannot see through. Blindness is caused by avoiding the rules of morality which bring us all together. If we lie, we believe that everyone is a liar and do not feel guilty for doing it. We come to have no belief except in the power of us versus them, our lying enemies.

Where do we need to feel the location of truth when testing our own reaction?  Is knowing the truth, a head operation? According to the American Indian (I forget which tribe,) we find truth in our heart. If what we think and do heals and feeds the “other” as well as self, it is truth. If decisions come exclusively from your mind, .. you are crazy which means out of touch with reality.

In knowing whether someone speaks the truth, ask who “who benefits?” If you or the party or organization is the sole winner, you/they/it lie. If your seeing and knowing are limited, if what you think, do and say is blinded by fear, is it a lie? Yes but not your fault. Your thinking has been corralled and distorted by the family, group distortions, by propaganda rained down on you thinking from childhood on.

Do the heart-designated lying words engender fear of the designated enemy so that you will use weapons to kill in order to protect self/family/nation, who/what benefits from this war? Never stop asking where goes the flow of money and power from your violence.

If you are pushed into feeling the false power of group excitement, you are lying to yourself. If you can stand on your own two feet and feel your connection with life around you, you are more in touch with truth.

With heart over head, see what moves you. Be willing to learn more and change in that direction. A heart response takes you out of the loneliness of egomania and false connection to ideas and movements which engender disaster.

Do not be taken in. Remember to always ask if it is a lie.

Homo Sapiens, Really?

Homo is defined as “man.”  Sapiens is defined as “capable of discerning.” We are used to seeing Homo and sapiens together without awareness of their meaning. Do we believe in the universal presence of  Homo sapiens when we shouldn’t?

How do we define and evaluate discerning? Our interests and motivating factors, our feelings and philosophy determine what we focus on, whether we enlarge or contract  perception of what we study. If we know a hell of a lot about an ever “object of perception” regardless of our tools, (a narrowing of vision), how do we rate our discernment? Rating  depends on the result of our perception, what we do with and as a consequence.  Discernment is not an abstract value like something floating out there light years away from contact.

Some think that a hugely contracted mind is extraordinary.  Even smallness makes connections All physical/energetic matter, no matter how small is part of the “whole.” Discernment on the highest level takes in the whole as best it can be currently understood. To see only the smallest part as unconnected  leads  to loss. Our society’s thinging of the world’s parts is all about making disconnected so our taking it and its dismemberment is regarded as insignificant. So it is with earth’s coal, oil, nuclear energy, oxygen producing trees, clean water flowing freely. Ignoring and breaking apart the world’s connection is destroying what sustains us.

Discernment is not an abstract notion. It resonates inside our bones. Discernment portends disaster. It picks up what is going on and says, “look out.” Discernment underlies our ability to survive. If we recognize and give a Latin name to some kind of rock but do not notice a tiger leaping out of the bush to devour us, the name of the rock can be printed on our tombstone. The discernment of many Homo sapiens, especially its leaders, is dominated by the need for power. The more powerful they feel the less they are able to see. Their field of awareness has a single frequency. Their philosophy is more.

The narrowness of vision is also true of those whose thinking is shaped by things focused on by TV and the written news. These consumers do not recognize that most TV stations and newspapers are owned by corporations which need to push their wares. The news offers information of which the corporation approves. Corporations own factories which make tanks and guns and bombs. In US society, most of those running for office need millions to buy advertising. Those receiving corporate money to pay for advertising will ready us for war with tales of horror and threat. Politicians, TV actors and those who write the news put forth what the corporation pays them to sell. Also, a fact rarely recognized,  TV and written news sell us to their corporate funders as consumers who will buy corporate products. News purveyors are selling us.  Selling newspapers does not make enough. Did you know  TV viewer and news reader, that you are for sale?

Discernment is narrowed by negative feelings. Fear stimulates greed which stimulates fear. Fear and greed tell us to hold onto our limited supplies, to keep what we’ve got away from “them.”  Greed tells us to take if from them first.  Advertising and corporate funded news tell us what to buy and who to fear. They engender fear which keeps us funding their weapons manufacture also to build jails against those who they claim “threaten.” With more people in jail than any other country in the world, jail is the US’s primary occupation, that and the building and selling of weapons.

The other day I saw a new invention, a non-polluting ball beloved by sea life which swims around it, lying so deep in the ocean that no boat can crash into it. The ball rolls in and rolls out with the tide. The energy created by its rolling is brought by lines to storage units from which Homo sapiens can draw power. The construction of this tide-moved ball is paid for by our taxes so the power it creates should be free. Discernment would see this invention as in tune with life, a worthy cause to fund and use. Will the politicians whose “running” is funded by environmentally destructive producers,  (fracked gas, nuclear, coal and oil), allow it to be widely known and purchased?

True discernment is exemplified by the Zen statement, if you meet Buddha on the road, slay him. Slaying Buddha means finding out the essential nature of the “all” through meditation not believing another person’s words. Many people are too desperate about survival to slow down and meditate as the newly “recovered” economy replaces jobs with computer-run machinery, if not by distant people, even children who work for far less. To put sapiens onto Homo, we have to open our eyes, ears, and mind, not to believe what we are told. If we give into the false security of believing messages which dim consciousness, destruction has to follow. If we separate from corporate-created ignorance, we will be out of the Homo anti-sapiens pack and probably anxious about our autonomy. Also more alive.

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Say No to Bread and Circuses

We’re in the throes of our current pre-election blather: how wonderful I will be for all of you or my selected group; what scurrilous things about your private life I can uncover to blacken your reputation. These statements can be interesting, draw us into emotional reactions which linger long after the election or are immediately forgotten. But remembered or forgotten, we have been snookered, taken in and distracted from our rightful role which is to remember and insist that the promises made are not forgotten once the person hoping for our vote has been elected.

Many of the things they say to win our vote were written by their speech writer whose primary objective is to sway  the voter. It is like a family drama on tv whose primary role is to sell soap or whatever product pays for the performance.

We fall into the role of cheering audience because that is what seems to be asked for which is a sign of our regression into childhood. The teacher wants us to sit quietly and raise our hand so we do it. Don’t want low grades and parental retribution for our failure. But we are not children and there is no reward for our acquiescence, for our hysterical cheering when “our” politician has won or even for endless grief when he/she but mostly he loses. Giving into the cheer or winning or the gloom of losing is a form of acquiescence. There actually is no win or lose here. That is not how post-election life proceeds.

All change (or almost all change) requires continuous hard work. If we evaluate ourselves in terms of whether it has an immediate  effect we soon give up. Those who featured bread and circuses to get out vote count on this response. Even President Obama said (paraphrasing), “… after I get elected, you will need to keep after me to get me to do what I promised and you asked for. But voters immediately forgot. They basked in the false triumph of electing a mixed-race man. In effect, they went to sleep. Words are cheap. Very few if any of his pre-election statements have been enacted. There always are excuses, blaming others and close the case.

In this and in anything we desire, we need to commit ourselves to long-terms action. We need to form an ever enlarging group to make demands. We need to not accept a sense of failure that the opponent’s first response is to ignore us, the second response to call it impossible. We need to devote our lives to what is important to us. The response we seek will eventually come, possibly not during out lives. We need to not regard the result in terms of personal achievement which is an aspect of possession. We need to see it as a reflection of our devotion to Mother Earth and the prosperity of life.





We Dress to Not Be Seen

I just spent a week in India with my friends Ansh, Pooja and their kids. I was surrounded by beauty, Yes, the New Delhi streets are full of people, far more than New York City could even dream of, but full of people you want to look at.

Especially the women. They are beautiful, rich and poor alike. A huge, dark braid falls straight down their back. Where does it end? Nothing like the wildly strewn hair currently featured in the west, like a matted lion’s mane. The Indian lady’s hair is tightly coiled and shiny, beauty parading.

Then there is their dress. Many of them wear saris, wildly colored, pink green blue yellow and every imaginable color and all kinds of designs. The front is aglitter with stones, flowers sewn down the front. They wear a blouse of pink of white or green often which exposes the midriff and then the sari goes over. Tying a sari is a complex job. It is not merely closing a couple of buttons. Some go to the tailor to get it done.

The women walk along like flowers, each in their own special bloom.

It makes me ask myself about my country’s fashion statement: so dark, dark, dark. Who decided that black is our magic color? Some say, “it goes with everything you know.” Black and brown and grey. It is like attending an all the time funeral. It is like Japanese Noh theater in which those chosen to change the scene wear black which indicates that they are not seen.

We are good at being invisible. When did Madison Avenue become a god of fashion which dictates what we wear? When was our color taken away and a new non-image imposed on all?

One friend said that we are a “nation of sheep” that we don’t like to stand out from the crowd. Black is the image of modern times and we wear it to fit in. Another person, a cynic said that the moment a country goes industrial, its people give up their culture which includes native dress and then wear whatever is deemed current. He said that is true of Japan, of China and soon will be true of India. People on the money train join the current anti-person trend. India is just not there yet. I said to him that India is a nation devoted to beauty. He insisted that so were Japan and China and every rural nation until the quick, the cheap and the easy become available.

The sixties was a time of color with the Stones and the Beatles and Janis Joplin and everyone wearing tie dye and beads, some with beaded noses, many earrings, ragged jeans not factory made, smoking grass and dancing and having sex wherever and with whomever they pleased, color ran wild.

I think that color is associated with the senses; not senses dictated by the cocaine crowd as part of one’s image. Color is part of the child within us all that always wants to dance. and sing. The child wants to express itself and to be seen. The child wants to join other dancers but not to lose itself by joining.

We need to think about choosing out own colors regardless of what is fashionable. Does wearing this color threaten my job? Would it threaten my job if everyone does it? Do we remain anti color joiners out of fear?

All change begins with 1, next year with 10 and the year after with 1,000. Who will be number 1?

Bullies Attract You

In our current world, falling apart due to the activity of “extraction” (oil, gas, fracking, coal), so-called leaders scream about what will happen to you if you do not fall in line with their plan. What is more bizarre than this? Where do our adult brains go? How come the one that yells the loudest and seems to have the most weapons is regarded as a leader? Our primitive brain, our amygdala takes over. We become impulse-ridden children again. It is fear that triggers this response. It throws us into a pit of childish terror. In that state, we can be easily manipulated. Our bully/leader gets us to do what we are told to save ourselves.

What creates a bully? There are many causes. One often noted is an unfairly punished, even tormented childhood which creates endless rage, which is later turned against new victims. Hitler is a prime example. He is reported to be the illegitimate son of a maid and a Jewish man. Perhaps he later turned against a denied part of self and regarded it as the cause. Six million Jews were killed. Quite an expression of blame and rage. Another source of bully-dom is a person filled with inflated pride. This person is always trying to prove he is as great as he claims. Because the underlying sense of his greatness is a hollow claim, the need for more public appreciation never ends.  Another creator of bully-dom is money. Into whose pockets goes the gold extracted from frightened tax payers? It goes to those who create weapons to destroy our labeled enemies. It goes into the pockets of those who benefit from the spoils of war.

This is a well-known fact: that “false flag” operations are contrived by the presumed victim. The audience of this terrifying spectacle is told that we have been attacked and must fight back. The idea that we have been “attacked” gets our ire up in reaction to our sense of vulnerability.  We do not ask to see the facts of the event as presented by those whose are not controlled or rewarded by the bullies.

After a serious “false flag” event, hatred gains a power of its own. We are swept into a fighting group which makes us feel more powerful. Group mentality is dangerous because it ignores the thinking adult. Instead of believing the necessity to fight, ask who benefits from it. Who or what receives the tax money now made unavailable for schools, health care, aid to the poor, support for the elderly, care for national parks we continue to own, etc.? After you see where the ax falls, you are not so easily fooled. There is a child in all of us, easily made afraid. We the adult need to hold onto our inner child’s hand and not let it assume leadership.


Is War Inevitable

Failure is remembered because it leaves a comma instead of period on the cite of a serious decision. That comma questions the way you handled something. It brings higher judgment into play. The mind, the spirit is haunted by that comma, an important task not completed.

I had an unusually rigid teacher for my first psychology class who failed me in a school which claimed to have no grades. The topic was “Is War Inevitable” which I answered using Yeats’ poem “Second coming” to outline my answer. He failed me because I broke the rules of presentation even though my painting teacher, Paul Feeley, begged him not to do it saying I would be greatly hurt. But the teacher was a man who worshiped format and his internal parent demanded punishment.

My failure in Psych One had three effects, the first one good, the second one better and the third one a question that still haunts me. First, I was rejected by the graduate school I would have greatly disliked. They asked me why I failed Psych one. I said I took Psych one again at your school and got an A. They disregarded this with a comment I should dance on the table. It was a distinct clash. End of that school. The second  effect was when I applied to a graduate school that relished creativity. They accepted me. I think the reasons I failed the course helped. The third effect is that I constantly reexamine the question.

A good friend described one band of baboons meeting another in the wilderness and immediately getting into a fighting position with lead baboon at the front. We have an animal brain operating from the start of our lives and a prefrontal cortex which is late developing. The prefrontal cortex often lacks power in the face of an emergency reaction stimulated by our the animal brain called the amygdala  which institutes fight or flight or freeze like a deer in the headlights. The amygdala responds to the emotion of fear as a survival feature which is why it is so powerful.

How much of our urge to fight is caused by our amygdala? How much of our fear is stimulated by messages from those who would have us fight? How much of our fear- stimulated aggression is supported on in the battle field by responses of other troops, some in leadership positions; how much of our aggression is a conditioned response learned in our training (or in early childhood)? Once set in motion, terror stimulated aggression is easy to maintain.

Why do we so easily shift from contemplative beings who are scientific and examine all the features of an event before we act? The answer is fear. Fear is the handle by which the pot of our being is lifted so that our physical and emotional selves are spilled into the fire.

What can we do about it? Our adult prefrontal cortex has to insist on primacy of decision making even when out internal child controlled by the animal brain is screaming fight, freeze or run. We have to know that the animal brain is a part of ourselves. To acknowledge its presence is a step in the direction of control. To disown puts you on the path of surrender. This is why adolescents who  commit anti social acts are not seen as entirely responsible for what they have done by the penal system. Their mind has not caught up with their feelings.

We, have to tell the primitive-animal part of our mind to be quiet before we make a thorough investigation. We have to learn not to listen to its frightened blather; also to not take the first piece of move-to-the front news or hysterical advice that comes our way. Part of having an adult mind is that it has the quality of independence. An adult does not immediately jump in line with its weapon or fist held high like a baboon. It appreciates time. It says “not now” to the internal child screaming at it to react. It looks at the consequences of acting, immediate and later. It makes slow decisions and regards new facts as they emerge. It can make a temporary decision and later change its mind. It makes no decision until its fact-gathering mind is satisfied.

The prefrontal cortex of adult man is essentially free of feeling-generated responses. The group thinker, the one who is propelled into fight or flight or freeze is controlled by an automatic reaction to something presented to the animal self as dangerous.

Yes, sometimes the automatic reaction does save your life. More often, in the big battles and long-lasting wars which kill thousands or even millions, it does not.

Where are your commas? What do you do when you feel afraid? How do you establish the dominance of your adult mind?

Don’t Want to Hear It

Ever noticed how when you bring up some fact, well researched by you which is distinctly unpleasant to another and even sometimes to yourself, because it sets lowers the other person’s comfort level, they shut you out by by saying, “I don’t think that” and walk away.

What can be more shocking to you than their dismissal?  There is no respect for a foreign opinion let alone facts and you mistakenly take it personally and suffer. You have been designated a weirdo, perhaps insane, at the least misinformed and dropped in the garbage can.

Is this the experience of all people who deviate from the “common path?” I would say yes. Does this help the survival of the group which has its mental shades drawn down? No. It keeps the group going on with its old thinking and rationalizations as if that these are of primary importance. Such thinking does not help adaptation to the “new” by its  members and all living things. It is scandalous and disturbing how a group clings to an old idea as representing all its members. it is a kind of surrender, as if each person has  become a baby sucking on its mother’s breast.

Both the speaker and reject-er  are hurt by this. The one who whose knowledge is so rudely cut off feels worthless, which is a big mistake. Gandhi spoke about the response of people to new ideas: first rejected and mocked, then attacked and finally accepted as if it was always so. The speaker of a foreign idea needs to know this.

The one who rejects a new idea as worthless, who cannot even listen is hiding in the familiar where they feel a kind of safety. They lose an idea which might help them. They lose a relationship with the speaker. The category of rejection grows ever larger by a process of association.

All new ideas are upsetting to people addicted to “sameness.” Repeating and living the same as was done before is treated by the group as a facet of survival even in changing times. If it seemed to work before so it has to work now. The primitive mind seems to have been outgrown by the adult but it always can return since the mind does not lose what went before. We must be aware of what we are thinking and from where it comes especially when it tries to impose restrictive laws as if inducing a hypnotic trance. It is a  kind of “go to sleep now, baby.  Mommy and Daddy will keep you safe.”


What makes people mistreat people in horrendous ways, trade their lives for a pocket full of gold or kill them because if is inculcated that you have to kill them first?

Fear usually motivates the growing crowd with greed standing half-hidden behind it. Are we naturally aroused by fear? Yes. It is the animal part of our brain which reacts, created long before homo erectus stood on his hind legs, ready to run, hide or fight.

But more important, are we naturally fearful or does something special have to happen including some kind of human stimuli – words and actions to get fear going?  The adult part of our mind is not willing to heed the rulings of its animal self but autonomy is thinned out when the media says you’re in danger and need to fight. Then the adult surrenders power and primacy to his internal “freezing  parent.” The “frozen child” screams in terror. The “frozen parent” gives commands . Common sense comes last.

The adult declares him/herself confused, inadequate, unable to take a stand. The child part of mind has not learn to explore in order to fully understand the situation before acting. The child accedes power to its internal aggressive parent. If the parent screams danger, the child  surrenders and does what the parent tells it. The adult part of the mind looks on in a kind of daze.

The “freezing parent” says it is ok to steal from people who have threatened you; says there are no consequence to your greed so let it run wild. Wealthy collectors will buy artifacts stolen from ancient temples, part of the spoils of war. Does the thief and killer notice the damage he is doing to a culture? Not while he acting the role of a child defending against “the enemy” and taking his just rewards. Guilt comes later.

The post traumatic stress disorder so prevalent in returning troops is the adult coming out of his daze. He looks around and sees. He remembers maiming or killing women, children, the elderly, destroying schools and hospitals. He stole valuable artifacts and sold them on the market to the highest bidder. By robbing, murdering, raping, destroying historic, religious, artistic cites, he is creating enemies who later will give their own lives in order to get even.

The once marauding adult knows that he has broken his spiritual and ethical code. He has surrendered his right to be considered fully human and rejoin civilized society. He tries to blame his leader for causing this but the adult will not fall for his own excuses. He is in an emotional hell with no solution.  He sees no way out of guilt and endless pain. He makes VA appointments which they take years to answer. They give him pills which turn him into a zombie and do not alleviate self-hatred. He becomes alcoholic. He beats up his wife who leaves him. He then gets to the last base of desperation and murders himself as do an ever increasing number of returned troops.

Your adult needs to not recognize that the frightened child inside his mind is not in touch with the truth; neither is the vicious internal parent (nor public parent figure) who parrots war. Proponents of war based on “some day attack” and “false flag” events caused by them and attributed to “the enemy” are under the control of their animal minds.  The adult does not join a gang which surges together to feel power. Gang power is a not individual power. The adult knows the importance of establishing relationships. He thinks, let the lions rest; send the tigers to hunt in the hills for smaller prey. Share the water with those that want to drink. Live and let live.