What Is Your True Self

We choose a president who chose a cabinet which is robbing us every single day of things which offer popular support – to give tax breaks to the obscenely rich or great profit to equally powerful corporations. Did we not know this when we voted?

I would say yes and no. We saw a scheming television personalty who promised not to take away Medicare, Medicaid, health care and on and on…. All of these now are on the chopping block. The TV stations went crazy for him because his appearance sold a lot of on-air products. They pretty much ignored everyone else, especially Bernie Sanders.

His reputation for not paying almost everyone who worked for him was not mentioned by mainstream media but seeped into the news elsewhere. Why did we choose to fall into the trip of deceit? Probably because we already were there. People most easily scammed were raised by parents who both terrified and took away their right to think for themselves. These child-minded adults saw the candidate as a powerful figure who could harm them. They chose to accept his words of self-glory as well as promises of help, jobs, etc. that he would not keep. The child within is too frightened of severe parental mistreatment to do otherwise.

But how are we who had a terrifying childhood and, as a consequence, a terrified inner child to move away from our submissive persona and become a free and  and powerful self? That is what this column is about.

I set myself to thinking about people I’ve seen who live in the adult self. I remember going to a NY library to research documentary films because I was about to film one myself on the mothering practices in the Venezuelan Amazon. To my surprise there were few of them. I guess corporations that fund television do so to sell their toothpaste, bombs and bullets through adult educational programming. They are certainly not interested in a tiny bunch of people living off the land. I saw a pygmy family, beautiful small people sitting in an igloo of leaves and branches. It was the rainy season and it sure was raining. There seemed to be some complaining and pointing to the roof until Dad went out and got a few more leaves to cover the holes. Then he sat down next to Mom, next to their older boy child, a boy and a younger child leaning against them, and began to sing to to sing. Momma sang. Daddy sang. The older boy and the baby sang, mouth wide open, not yet quite using words. The melody was beautiful. The harmony even more so- not just the music, but the family itself. Everyone unselfconsciously joined together, entranced.

I then looked at another film of a small group of people, several families on an Indonesian Island. I heard from them that the children never fight. something we in the west call normal. These people gather food from nature around them including mussels in the stream. They leave no imprint on the world.

They too sang. They sometimes sang together, sometimes alone. Even a child would sometimes sing alone. They sang on camera and the tune was beautiful. They sang to celebrate life. They asked the embarrassed and cornered anthropologist to sing. He croaked out “Old McDonald…” They smiled and made happy noises as they were a kind bunch of people.

So this is the image I use for an adult self-singing together, all included. Any “leader” who shuts out certain singers as unworthy, evil, like the Muslims, African Americans, Latinos, are Jews, women, are not singing the song of self. The true self is inclusive. Martin Luther King Jr., made that point. To love all is not to like their aggressive and destructive deeds. A true self feels unity with the living planet which that person will not and cannot despoil.

So find a group in which you can sing your song. Your music needn’t be one of sound. It can be selling solar power, teaching creating. It can be inventing, writing poetry, preserving species, leading hikes. It can be anything in which your spirit sings, so long as you sing with everyone – a beautiful harmony of the human family; more than that, the family of life.

 

 

 

Return to the Garden

Mother Earth is beginning to shake us off like a dog does to mud and water and fleas.

What we do is causing Earth’s shaking. We call these self-created incidents unintended accidents although we are deluged with facts which say differently.  We refuse to connect this with that. We ask the engineer to correct our designated “mishaps” rather than change the basic notions of how to live.

We are not horrified at being labeled “consumers.” Our ability to adapt to the impossible has consequences. It was eating the forbidden apple that caused God to throw us out of the Garden. What was in that apple? I imagine the ability to detach ourselves from life so that we can consume it. It is the hungry consumer’s “mouth” which banishes us still.

The Gaia vision shows that all things are interconnected. We nix that. We treat Earth’s living parts as “things.” Destroying the part unravels the whole. All life is connected.  One energy. As a result of our incursions, life is held together by fraying strings.

Let us look at a few of our attacks on the web of life. We bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to impress the Russians. Now Fukushima, victim of a tsunami is spewing radioactivity into air and ocean but we refuse to discuss it. We fear our knowing “fear” itself as well as a reprisal for speaking the truth by the nuclear industry. Our silent mouth destroys us. We napalmed the Vietnamese which poisoned their land for generations. We poisoned the soldiers who dropped our napalm and then refused them medical care. People who do our catastrophic bidding are treated as “things.” War is a tremendous money maker. Those who sell war stuff create catastrophes to alarm the citizen who is minding his own business to go out and fight.

Consider what we eat. Our national food is burger and fries. We kill cows raised in the suffering of a factory. They do not wander the fields and eat grass. We unthinkingly devour them. In our mind, the beef on our plate never lived. Trees in the Amazon are cut down to plant grass for McDonald’s. A couple of rainy seasons and is all is dragged away by the seasonal flood. McDonald’s should have the logo of a desert flying over her inviting doors.

We frack for gas which poisons the water and causes landslides. What we inject in the earth is unknown. It is a corporate secret. We accept a gas pipe being laid alongside the spent fuel pools at Indian Point. In a school where performance counts, someone with this idea would be left back. Instead, we gamble away our safety and secretly accept the death of millions to save a few bucks. Eyes on the prize, we are harbingers of death.

The methane pouring out of the heating up of tundra in Russia which holds onto heat adds to the heating done by gas. All is setting the world on fire. Mother Earth is growing angry at the shredding of Gaia by folk who do not use the enormous energy of the tides and the lesser energy of sun and wind.

Mother Earth is shaking us off with landslides and tornadoes and droughts and floods, with new diseases brought on by its being too warm, too wet by starvation because it’s too dry. Animals and plants die in the heat. Roots rot in the flood. Food is disappearing. Life is clinging but losing its grip. But still we kill our animals to gorge on life; still, we buy clothing made by slaves in China. We grossly overpay our CEO’s and conversely underpay our teachers. We wait for a better tomorrow rather than change our ways today.

Earth will shake us off as a failed experiment. Gaia will recover over millennia. Time means nothing to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Need A Commons

The Indian nations at the Sioux Standing Rock anti – DPL encampment, state they are there to peacefully protect the water. They call water the basis of life which it is. Astronomers scan the universe for signs of water. Unstated and possibly not admitted, we all seek the source of life from which we come and the planets are our nearest destination.

The Missouri River which flows into the Mississippi is the water that the DPL wants its pipe to cross. Currently,  the number of planned crossings is 5. This company which claims safety has had at least 200 recent pipe breaks. These breaks leak oil in huge quantities. Underwater leaking is hard at first to see and harder to fix. Newspapers claim that the Sioux are concerned about drinking water for their reservation. This representation is dismissive. It eliminates the 18 million mostly non-Indians who live downstream.

There is an American Indian saying that one should look into consequences of one’s action up to the 7th generation. The 7th generation is not to be taken literally. It means for the good of all who follow. This expresses the meaning of the Commons, land owned by none and there for all.

To dig up what can be sold and which seriously pollutes  is a short-sighted and extremely destructive philosophy. The  natural gas liked by Hillary stimulates earthquakes. The frequently stated, even by Obama, “clean coal” is never is clean. People who breathe dust-polluted air develop asthma and other diseases. Miners develop pneumoconiosis from coal dust which destroys their lungs. People living downhill from the mines drink from sludge-polluted streams, their homes beset by landslides. To the corporate mind, these consequences are unintended so do not count. What counts is, “how much are you making?”

Companies fear they will be tossed aside if we switch to biodegradable sources of power: to sun and wind and geothermal and waves, so are fighting to keep control. They know that a switch to biodegradable renders their not yet extracted produce worthless. They get congress to endorse wars to get more of it. They pay for propaganda to keep people’s allegiance to their produce: e.g. wind and sun can’t do it and other manufactured lies.

The idea of an individual or even worse, a company owning land is anti-life. Chief Leonard Crow Dog at the DPL, responded to soldier’s representative Wesley Clark, Jr’s. request for forgiveness for all the damage done to the Indians, first said, “World peace,”  then said, “We don’t own the land. The land owns us.”

This is the meaning of the Commons: all life cared for,  the young and the old,   pure water, plants to eat, for herbal medicine for beauty, for their own sake, shading trees which create oxygen; no harm done.

We do not think this way in a society based on the profit  of extraction. As long as we live in terror of our stock losing value, our lives are increasingly at risk. The 6th great extinction is happening. For the first time, the young are living shorter lives than did their parents even though they have more “stuff.” Stuff does not create life. Stuff devours it. Being hypnotized into feeling we lack something leads us.

Instead of buying or planning to buy, especially on credit, we need to make music, to tell stories, to farm together, to share the cooking and eating as a festive event. Our current religion seems to be going to the mall. Instead, we need to care for the Commons, to make that our church.

The Commons is about living and sharing. You can have that now.

I Identify With the Underdog and I Am Glad

I hear about a terrible childhood, a child abandoned, mistreated, raped, starved, tossed out into the street, to a life of begging and prostitution; or the opposite: I hear of a child endlessly pushed to be better than everyone else at something or at everything, the child’s inner person disregarded, the child pushed out of a sense of self, and I am sad for both of them.

Sometimes I am angry at the ignorance which keeps us digging a ditch in which to throw ourselves. The philosophy of that ditch is ignorance of the manufactured necessity of things the corporations want to sell us. I see the philosophy of ignorance as based on fear.

Like yesterday in the elevator. An elderly woman spoke against the winter rain and coming snow. I said  I hoped for rain and snow. “Oh no,” she exclaimed, especially against the cold of snow. I said we need the water. New York State is in a state of drought, hot on the heels of California which is returning to desert. Another woman spoke to me with an air of disapproval, “You think that?”

Having just written a short essay on needing to return to the Commons, nothing owned, all life taken care of, I had a fierce reaction. I loudly exclaimed: “Drought is not something I think. It is a scientific fact. ” The woman dropped her eyes and scurried away after the elevator door opened. I hurried to her side and said, “I hope you aren’t offended by what I said.” “I’m not,” she said meaning “I am” and walked away faster still.

But of course, she was offended not only by my tone but by my words. She did not want to know that my speaking of local drought had reality behind it. I criticized myself for being speaking with anger, since the way I spoke helped her closed the door of learning. Defensively, I said to myself, but what about my anger over those who disregard emergency? I said, does your anger help? I felt that what I did was wrong but my angry child held on to fighting. We all of us have to deal with the ambivalence of feeling versus knowing.

The part of me that identifies with the underdog was outraged. I was angry that she did not allow herself to see the painful death that is fast approaching. It is said that by mid-century, 50% of all wild creatures will be dead. Rather than having centuries to study our criminal neglect, we humans go with them. I was angry at her for needing not to know. I was angry at her for the weakness that we share.

Anger has to do with feeling helpless and ignored. It has to do with feeling the pain of life bumping against the ignorance of those without knowing, attack Mother Earth to have more of something trivial. Anger is a defense against feeling overwhelming pain.

I tell myself I need to learn to curb my temper in order to have a good effect. I tell myself that I have to learn how to gracefully fail.

Please buy my book Unloved Again,”  Paperback ($16 including shipping, Squareup.com/store/elangolomb

 

 

 

Life Is Calling You

Survivors of concentration camps were the ones that were motivated to get through great hardship in order to tell their story the starvation and freezing and cholera and typhus, typhoid, and diphtheria; the murder of parents and siblings and children. The weak ones were chosen to go first, the strong ones consigned to back-breaking work half clothed in freezing weather until they succumbed. Some were shot in groups after digging their graves, many perished breathing poisonous gas after supposedly cleansing showers. The survivors see themselves as griots, who sustain their lineage by telling its history. Not knowing your history keeps you from knowing what makes you who you are.

What kind of history created this Anthropocene era, leaders pulling the masses into a murderous spree in which we use up everything possible , consuming all of it now as if there is no tomorrow in which we may need some more of it, no consideration of that object’s right to exist; we kill as an act of power over those we want to subdue like knocking off most of the buffaloes even from train windows to subdue the natives. Currently, we see economic value which turns an earth-object,mineral, animal or plant into money. We exterminate whole species of sea life, as a necessary byproduct of using gigantic nets to harvest certain fish, dumping the rest all dead, overboard, the turtles and sharks and porpoises and….We transform sensate beings and living plants into inanimate objects. We turn everything into nothing.

Since Congress said that money is a form of speech and that corporations are people, everything is for sale. Protective fences can be removed by those who claim ownership often at the point of a gun. The corporation or corporate man buys the local “commons” so that the local dwellers  can no longer graze their sheep, later sheer them for wool which is woven and made into clothing. The man is deprived of the land he needs to raise what he eats. If he buys instead of inheriting his farm, bank interest makes it impossible for him to keep it. He cannot control his destiny. Has no place to call home.

We who argue for the preservation of life have insufficient funds to “persuade” elected officials to support it. Greed and stupidity rule them (rule us as well if we believe what we are told about the wonderful advancement that will soon be ours if we give up our land connection. Greed and stupidity  are driving us all to extinction.

How important are trees in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, trees that hold onto shallow top soil with their roots and create oxygen from their leaves? Not as important to the “modern man” who wants to raise cattle to sell to McDonald’s. The man is rarely native. He does not love the earth and his connection to it.  His only connection to it is his need for wealth. He and his gang kill natives who object to losing their home and garden; either that or allows them to work as near-slaves. He cuts down every tree in order to plant grass. It is not long before the rainy season washes away the topsoil with its grass. Nothing grows there now. Cows without grass become stringy and unsellable. The cattlemen will have to move on, to destroy a new section of the forest and leave behind a growing desert.

Why are there no magnet-powered trains which can take us to every little town? How did the auto industry take over so that now we only can travel by car on endlessly expanding roads? Corporations that build cars, dig roads, extract, refine and sell gas, have purchased Congressional votes. Lawmakers go deaf whenever a natural approach is mentioned. Those who want non-polluting trains have insufficient funds to get the ear of Congress. Humans are amazingly repetitive. Once some process has been installed, it becomes the only way to do it. Money is the glue for this. A terrible fear of poverty annihilates the possibility of change.

Environmental solutions are called “romantic” by those in power by which they mean unrealistic and unimportant. The Anthropocene “extractors” have the fantasy of a future solution to the damage they are causing. They have no sense of time, no idea that time is running out. Anthropocene means man-created disaster.  If we admit to harming the earth and all its dwellers, to what extent have we come to think our destruction is inevitable? Such an idea is a severe narrowing of vision. The “use-it-up” society is mentally myopic.

Corporations exist in the present. They have cash registers in the place of hearts. Congressmen are on a short leash. When environmentally sensitive people argue against turning trees into paper/plywood; or cutting them down to plant coconut trees for coconut oil, they turn away. Who can convince them of our need for the multiplicity of living things instead of making a profit? The Anthropocene mentality regards the market as its god. All living things which suffer from corporate “taking” and are disregarded.

We feel our loss of a clear sky and pure water, of bird song. We react to starving iceless polar bears and emaciated baby seals and …. How are we to react to these losses? Hopelessness guarantees permitting more destruction especially by denying its existence or its size. Unable to handle hopelessness we give up our morality. Shades fall down between our sense of self and our painful feelings. We become robotic. Or we accept the market mentality, a join them if you can’t lick them approach. It is OK to devour nature.

Indifference is the attitude of those who have given up. They are dead before their body falls. A spirit disconnected from life is into dying. I say no to that. What is our tax money going for? What do we want our government to provide? We want free schools and free medicine, woods to walk in, bird song in the spring, clean air to breath and clean water to drink. We want a living world.

We are told that the great extinction we are causing is a natural thing and that some animals will adapt to their loss of habit. Lies. Feel your pain. Your anger. What are you going to do about preserving life?

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomb@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover ($25 including shipping) and Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb) .

Humor Lifts You Out of Acquiesence

Make a joke of it. Laugh yourself right out of being mired in your culture’s negative perspective, your neighbor’s mindless receptivity , your newspaper’s acceptance of the inevitability of something totally bad  happening as if we have no relationship to the cause. We need to reject, to  fight against submitting to the destruction of all things. We have an important device to do it. It is humor. We can laugh at newspapers which try to shade the truth to the benefit of the owning corporation. We can laugh at the advice (not necessarily to their face) given by frightened  and biased Mom and Dad, laugh at the whole damn world telling  you to join them in an unstated suicide pact when you need to opt out.

The insight about the role of humor came to me last night. I was feeling very sad and helpless upon learning about the disappearance of Julian Assange of Wikileaks from the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain. I feared that he had been captured and possibly killed, possibly tortured  to get him to reveal and submit. The subsequent news silence about where he is either damns or supports hope for his survival.

Then I read about the mistaken spraying with a bee-killing spray of bees in 2 US states. The staff wasn’t supposed to spray infected trees by day when bees are out gathering pollen. But whoever was in charge of spray timing did not know,  did not remember or did not bother to tell the workers so they merrily sprayed by day and spread enormous death. How can we as a group be so stupid, killing those animals on which our food source depends?

Is it due to jobs being made automatic, transformed into parts done by strangers who are not plants lovers, farmers, workers who do not know, see, feel the consequences of what they do? We cannot do it right  by Mother Earth after disconnecting from her. We have to be/feel part of the family of life in order to sustain our “right action.”

US companies are using neonicotinoids,  an insect-killing poison known to kill bees. Neonicotinoids are currently forbidden in Europe where natural survival  is honored. But not in the US where the congressional members get money to run for office from neonicotinoid selling corporations and in turn have to do their bidding.  Congress is not part of the family of life.  It is now a business connected to the living world in terms of power and money.

So they/we are killing bees which spread pollen that fertilizes plants which keeps the plant world growing. Does our education deliberately miss understanding pollen as an essential part of our existence?  Or is this oversight due to ignorance? The bee world is dying due to our propensity for using killer chemicals  against whenever we fear “out there.”  We treat nature as our enemy rather than as our Mother. We believe ads which tell us to that the chemical is not dangerous. We make choices without knowing. We  revert to childhood with frightening parents we had to obey or else. We keep ourselves from seeing the result.

When I originally studied psychology, Freud was said to have theorized 2 basic forces in man, a life and a death instinct. The life instinct leads to sex and procreation, to being social and enjoying life. The death instinct leads to harming/killing others as well as to harming self over and over and over again. We call this the “repetition compulsion.” It is a choice of death.  But why would we choose death over life? Why would we choose to be enemies to ourselves? All matter  is vibrating.  We vibrate. Do we need to re-emerge into the whole and abandon the self as a seemingly separate part? Does energy need to leave its temporary fleshly abode? The why of it, so basic to life should be studied.

I was reading a bit of Krishnamurti, who said that the only thing that will keep us alive is love. It is a matter of what moves us, either love or hate; love or death. Our current leaders are in the pockets of the war machine. They make money by selling war toys and by using them. Every invented object, like small nuclear bombs created to “protect  us” will be used. Children play with their toys.

Armaments make money when sold to others and by us when used to steal other countries natural resources. Corporations have a single objective which is to make money. They go for making more  of it even if the consequence is death. They do not weigh consequences. They are a programmed machine for which humans are treated as pawns on the chessboard of life. Unintended death is “collateral damage.” There is no feeling, no flesh and blood reality to a machine.

I was asking myself how to emerge from my emotional paralysis. I had an inspiration, not for the first time. We often discover the same thing over and over, pushed out of our consciousness by our need to fit in. I thought we need to laugh at what plagues us. We need to laugh at our collective and individual life-destroying behavior. Humor creates a needed separation from our frightening objective. Humor is the basis for our saying, “no.”

When you feel down, defeated and isolated, find a humorous way to depict your plight and then  share it.  Another person laughing with you empowers your separation. It is humor that says “No problem.” It is humor says “keep your madness. I’ll have none of that. ” It is humor that says “…calling me names is a baby act that proves nothing.” Humor leads us to new ways to look at and handle problems.  Humor sets us free.

Afraid to Change

Now we are peering at an edge over which we must fall . We need to move  totally away from it, not  just to give the appearance of making constructive change without doing something that can be undone in a flash.  We need to not be taken in by advertising. Pseudo change  come from corporations whose paid-off politicians mouth imaginary benefits including jobs, jobs, jobs! this repeated by corporation-owned newspapers and teachers who are ill-informed by all of  the above as well as fitting in so as to not lose their jobs. Fear is not a good attitude to have when learning about what is.

Biased news sources threaten us with death or some kind of horrible existence if we move away from the corporate plan. Fear is used to close the minds of those who are needed to submit. Where is that part of us which wants to be self-sufficient? The child happily dwells in a world devoid of oil and fracked gas and overly hot seasons, a world free of flood and drought, of  drug-inoculated animals whose drug-resistant bacteria enter our bodies once the carcass is eaten to cause disease in us. These surviving bacteria cannot be eliminated by antibiotics. The world of treating infections with antibiotics will soon be over. We are creating our world as a place where antibiotics will not work. The child is not enlivened by the so-called civilized institutions which destroy life.

A self-sufficient life is frowned upon by those who would make us dependent on products they can sell. The banks are against farmer’s independence  They underprice vegetables to force farmer’s into unpayable loans until they cannot pay the mortgage and give up the farm. They chemically spray and poison underpaid factory farmers. They cause factory farmers to work at a pay-level which turns them into slaves. They poison all the vegetables and fruit and legumes and milk and meat with insecticide and growth hormone the general public will eat.  We live in a poisoned world. Is this our choice?

The American Indians were removed by the European invaders because they were spiritual beings who functioned as a group. They did not think anyone owned the land in which they dwelled. This accounts for the newly arrived starving and impoverished white men’s misunderstanding when NY Indians accepted  their offering of beads as a gift and not as the sales price for New York. it didn’t take long for the white men to discover that violence worked better than petty gifts or even phony treaties.

We are made to be dependent on outside forces but don’t want to see it that way, a false supposition which keeps us passive. We claim ownership of that on which we lean for support. The more unnecessary imposed support we seek, the more we become addicted to crutches that take away our lives. What will we do if there is another power failure? No refrigerator to maintain our food which  spoils in days and no food to be delivered. The farmer’s trucks lack power from gas pumps that do not suck oil.  No water in your tap to wash your hands or to flush your toilet. What will we do when the absence of power ends the flow of cooling water over the water pools filled with “discarded” nuclear rods at New York’s Indian Point or any other nuclear reactor?’ “Hello Fukushima.

After the explosion of the Trinity atom bomb, Robert Oppenheimer said,  “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” We dwell in the sin of Adam who ate the forbidden apple so that God threw them out of the garden. What is that apple? Is it the apple of ownership? There is hope if we renounce a take-it-all and spoil-it-all society and live in a loving relationship with Mother Earth.

You may say we can’t go back. Got to have cars and TV and I-phones and pollution and spoilage until death. But the idea of permanence is false. There is no back and no forward. Everything is moving and changing. It is a flaw to worship the components of our current life as the only place to be. Survival has to do with moving into what supports life.

There is power in wind and sun and geothermal and tides and… There are extremely small and extremely large things to be discovered. The more we know, the more we see how little we know. There is seeing and feeling the beauty of the wild. Do not believe those who would make you afraid of change. Their motivation is short-sighted and usually selfish. We can share work on a farm or commune, can share our gifts and talents and not fall into the exploitative need for money. We can choose a place with a good water table far from leaking and exploding nuclear reactors. We share our work and talent, have more time for fun. We can bring out our instruments, drums, and whistles to play a tune. We dance and sing, write music and tell stories. We can lead a life that does not threaten. We can love.