The sane road home

Dr. Jordan Peterson is absolutely correct on his views about freedom of speech and how we need to remain free to honestly think out loud. Not simply because we may want to, but because psychologically this is how we process life and living. We think, we talk, we interact, we dispute and debate and ponder and have our thoughts challenged externally and then hopefully internally as we continue onward in processing and attempting to make sense out of life and living. This is an integral process that is non-negotiable for our individual and collective well-being.

This is precisely why our forefathers encapsulated freedom of speech (and to assemble and to disseminate information via a free press) in the very first amendment of our U.S. Constitution, clearly establishing their recognition of this as a primary natural (inalienable) right extended to us from God (meaning extended from outside of mere human jurisdiction), essentially stating that no government should be tolerated to trespass against us in a manner that interrupts/disrupts our freedom to SPEAK and exchange ideas and associate with one another. They did not conjure up this notion out of their own baseless wishful thinking — they discovered this to be an incontrovertible Truth (as likely others who came before them had as well).

This is where we run into the concept of Objective Truth — that which (inescapably) constitutes the substratum for Reality. Meaning it is elemental, uncompromising, and thereby independent of any predilections or social constructionism convictions we might like to overlay and toy around with. All that we humans are capable of perceiving and experiencing rests upon a primordial foundation of such Objective Truths (however many there may prove to be); and consequently, all human endeavors rejecting this prerequisite understanding are destined to fall apart and turn wickedly insane (i.e. non-life-affirming for our species).

(Skeptics and naysayers obviously remain free to investigate such claims about renouncing Objective Truth/Reality and to discover the fruit borne as a result, as untold numbers of people already have and assuredly forever will — it being in our natures as human beings to relentlessly test boundaries.)

Whatever else may appear true down here on the ground among us squabbling humans remains more of a mystery and is partially determined through our clashes against one another and within ourselves, also partially uncovered as Life perpetually reveals itself and shows us the way (most often via demonstrations of what won’t/can’t work, what leads into dead-end abysses from which we can’t escape, what generates tremendous pain and misfortune with little or no subsequent benefit to humankind, etc.). Articulation of thoughts and ideas is an indispensable means through which we parse what we consider to be reality, disregarding what the conversation or argument in question at any given moment between us might be.

The reason we in the United States of America historically place so much emphasis on the First and Second Amendments of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights is precisely BECAUSE such incontrovertible Truths are necessary to accept if any nation is to remain functional (or, for that matter, if any group of people wish to remain intact anywhere at any point in time). Meaning it’s not a choice for us human beings. Rather, it’s a Fact of Life. We must remain free to speak and assemble and share information BECAUSE this is what it means to be human. Remove that capability and watch horrific chaos ensue. Such leads to finding out about ushering in hell on earth by way of distorting our understanding of Reality, disconnecting us from It as well as from one another, twisting our psychologies against our inborn Free Will and any alignment that may prove possible between ourselves and that which we call God.

One only has to look at fairly recent history to find numerous examples where humans’ ambitions led them to create hell on earth: a primary case being the totalitarian Soviet Union of the 20th century (as Dr. Peterson has brought to many of our attention). Also Mao’s China (heck, to an extent even China of today). These systems weren’t bad simply because they were communistic (as many harp on about); they were dangerous because they required control over people’s speech, thoughts, organizational pursuits and media in order to maintain and expand power. ANY SYSTEM that attempts to do the same, regardless of ideological underpinnings, will suffer a similar fate. Doesn’t matter if it purports to be capitalistic or socialistic or theologically-driven. Same difference.

The importance of our 2nd Amendment was to maintain power in the hands of ordinary PEOPLE so as to check our government if ever it turned tyrannical, specifically in regards to tampering with the 1st Amendment which all else in a civil society depends upon. Some like to pretend to not comprehend this concept or dismiss it as archaic and of little or no modern value, yet these people are fools who willfully abdicate their own power under the mistaken belief that those who do rise in the ranks within our System will sustain dedicated interest in the general well-being of the citizenry and upholding our Constitutionally-protected rights, despite repeated evidence to the contrary.

The willfully blind and ignorant seek to place newly-minted legal restrictions—effectively handicaps—on their fellow humans in an effort to bolster the power of the State that so many have grown thoroughly dependent on. This is by design a trap that we humans orchestrate against one another time and time again, learning only when it’s too late what it is we’ve sacrificed and what such folly truly served in the end. That points back to a character “defect” within us born out of fear of embracing personal responsibility — essentially a “failure to launch” in terms of actively engaging one’s own individuation process while struggling within the context of broadly collectivistic (and evermore complex) social dynamics, further complicated by witnessing (and feeling complicit in albeit rendered unable to effectively resist) modern experiments with empire-building and the emergence of globalized centralization projects.

Today so much is commonly framed in a LEGAL context, as if only that which is made lawful is of any real relevance in modern times. Laws are mere codification of that which is deemed customary and necessary in a functioning society. But where do the content of laws spring from? Some from exercises in dispute resolution and imparting justice, but others are not of our direct making, as discussed above. Higher Truths matter regardless of what any law might say. They exist beyond, and cannot be constrained by, any legal code devised by man. We are wise to take into consideration these Truths and to incorporate them into any system (legal or otherwise) we might wish to preserve as functional. Though, unfortunately, laws have a way of becoming jumbled in the minds of people over time, causing difficulty for us to discern between them in terms of status and inevitability. Over time, one law comes to be viewed as equal to any other law, meaning just as modifiable, overturnable and discardable. This is where we go wrong, and soon enough we’ll be shown why.

Turns into an unavoidable lesson on separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. It appears we humans are destined to contend with these vital lessons again and again and again, immemorially. Then, this goal is further frustrated by never quite figuring out how to impress the significance of these revelations on the minds of successive generations. So each generation winds up fated with facing the challenge of re-learning what was lost before.

Here we are yet again. Confronting this age-old problem once more, this time in the 21st century. Surrounded by dazzling technologies, connected to people from all over the world online, debating and discussing an infinite number of topics with one another, all while centralizing political and economic schemes unfold across the world in the backdrop. It’s a surreal time to be alive. Also troubling due to countless distractions and information overload accompanied by a deluge of sophisticated (and academically aggregated) thought exercises. A sea of theories and ideas swirl around us. Some better than others, but all requiring our mental energy to suss them out and to try to make sense of their potential relevance. So much is being taught to us, both by teachers and popular personalities broadcasted across societies. Is it any wonder that while living within such bustling, busy times we so often lose track of what’s fundamental?

All comes to appear as little more than just another thought experiment. Politics, legality, ideology, religion, culture, individuality, philosophy, science, psychology, sociality, technology. We rank each according to our personal priorities, regarding such assessments as relative. Most are. Yet fundamentals still remain.

At some point, a society is destined to turn on itself and to lose sight of whatever it was intended to be and originally founded upon. We the people grow too distracted, too casual in our valuations, too soft thanks to comfortable living, to where we no longer can properly discern what is truly fundamental, unable to tease it away from the rest of our preferences and wishful thinking. Progress leads us to thinking that whatever we might dream up can (and should) be somehow brought to fruition. If only we press hard enough, if we “educate” others to see things our way, if we pressure laws to be changed to suit our ideological leanings and visions for the future. We begin looking at ourselves and one another as belonging to teams, political or otherwise, and resort to competing over the most banal matters.

Eventually, we get lost.

Tyranny depends on a confused and disoriented populace. Hence why it sows divisions among us. All serves to distract and keep us busy so that we don’t react against the powers-that-be. Those powers shift and change over the Ages, but always they play a similar game. Who are they? Mere humans. What do they strive for? Power, control, wealth, and a God-like stature that enables them to usher in their particular vision for humanity. Why? Because that’s how human nature works when ambition and greed is allowed to run amok for too long unchecked. What do we do about? Very little considering how tasked we are by our day-to-day obligations and triflings, compounded by our various disputes of however much substance that undermine our ability to unite with one another to launch an effective response (as would be needed to go up against the scope and ferocity of powers at play today). Often we talk about what is wrong with the world and what we ought to do about it. Yet, here we are: watching, listening, waiting, wondering. Feeling pressed. Wishing to stave off conflicts that appear more inevitable with each passing year, hoping our luck will hold out, nevermind future generations likely being left to contend with it on their own (despite their utter lack of preparation to do so).

I get bogged down by these considerations on a regular basis. What is one to do with an outlook such as this? How does one defend against a Leviathan that’s been allowed to grow this massive and powerful? How does one form bonds with their fellows when we’re all so divided and seemingly incapable of coming back together anytime soon? What is one’s individual role in response to this then?

Lots of questions arise, begging for answers I do not know. What we do know is that we must remain free to think and speak honestly if ever there will be a chance of sorting any of this out.

The pondering rolls onward…

Pondering on transhumanism, esotericism & the future of humanity

Something that’s been on my mind lately as I’ve been delving into learning about the so-called “esoteric arts” and whatnot is this question of hate. This is a term popularly tossed around in political discourse these days and is intended to denote a sense of self-righteousness, superiority, vulgar mistreatment of others, etc. Though it’s now commonly being tossed around so haphazardly in response to differing opinions that it’s losing its meaning and is regarded by many of us as merely a dismissive gesture toward opinions one doesn’t care to wrestle with or take seriously.

But the notion of hate runs much deeper than that. It used to be said that hate counters love, but over time it makes better sense to me to see hate and love as passions that are countered by indifference (apathy) at the opposite extreme.

When it comes to the esoteric traditions, however, the word hate takes on a different meaning altogether. Not sure how deep I care to get into my thoughts on this subject today, but I’d like to at least touch on the topic for a while here, because it’s troubling me and thereby forcing me to continue conducting research so as to gain a better understanding of the traditions of old and to question my own social conditioning and how that actually might be misleading me (and others in society).

There’s a theology of sorts referred to as Luciferianism. I won’t claim to be terribly familiar with it yet, but Lucifer (the fallen angel, also associated with the Devil) is historically understood to be the “light bringer.” Now, if we back up and consider biblical scriptures of the Old Testament, we are aware that the story of Adam and Eve centered around them eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, presented to them by the serpent. Knowledge — that being the key point there. Expanding human awareness.

Another biblical story that keeps returning to mind lately is that of the Tower of Babel, in which humans somehow united to where they shared a common language as well as technologies available at the time which they then used to construct (presumably metaphorically) a tower that reached to the heavens. In essence, this appears to be about human ingenuity reaching toward God-like status. And this was achieved through the unification of various peoples throughout the land, hence why their punishment (again, best understood metaphorically) was that they were all scattered and given different languages and essentially knocked back into dark ages, effectively destroying their chances of attempting such a feat again anytime soon. Literal interpretations of this story tend to obscure the real danger being pointed to here: the great proclivity within human beings to strive to come together and to create societies and/or institutions and/or technologies that might rival that which we call God.

So often we hear people speak almost childishly about such stories, proclaiming them to be mere testaments of how jealous the Christian God of the bible is. But that’s a distracting way to look at it, in my opinion. Because I see us now striving to create just that same sort of “tower to heaven” once again. And we’re being instructed to unite and to love one another and to see past our differences, all of which sounds appealing on the surface. But what if we’re actually being encouraged to go against our natures in a way that isn’t ultimately beneficial in the ways we might dream it could be? What if, perhaps, we’re actually serving an ideology that has trans-humanist ambitions that would wind up eradicating all that we value in human life?

Probably sounds like a stretch, and I would’ve thought so too not that long ago.

Food for thought (exhibit A):

The topic of tribalism keeps returning to my mind also these days. Partly because of racial/cultural conflicts here and abroad. Partly because of events in my own life that have been forcing me to reckon with the very real need for us as humans to identify with and belong to some sort of tribe (though not necessarily in accordance with racial divisions – in fact, I believe it’s distinctly ideological/cultural). This does not appear to be a proclivity we can overcome nor that it will likely prove beneficial for us to attempt to do so beyond a reasonable extent. Why? Because this is how we as humans function psychologically and socially and it’s where meaning is derived in our lives. We function best when trying to solve problems and overcome obstacles and while preserving and protecting what we deem sacred.

Everything melding into everything else is the opposite of that. When lines and boundaries become indistinct and relativity undermines all morality and cultural differences, we cannot help but lose our sense of self.

But, new-age movement people might say, that is healthy for us since we should be striving at this point in history to overcome our ego identification and instead to see ourselves as part of a greater unity. Yes and no. There’s value in examining both sides of that duality, but we humans indeed must live with duality. The oneness some are placing on a high pedestal these days isn’t a place where humans can live, thrive and continue to function day to day as what we are. Hence why this proposed “upgrade” requires us to be biologically and technologically enhanced so as to accept it. Lest we simply go mad in the chaos it cannot help but usher in when all values are destroyed.

Why do we strive toward such an idea? Why has it become so tempting? One reason is because it has been sold to us as the pathway toward peace. BUT, considering that such a transition is trans-humanistic to the core, it’s essentially calling for our destruction as human beings. We must cease to be what we are in order to move forward into this vision for the future. And in this vision that some are celebrating (see the video above), artificial intelligence and other man-made technologies are what become idolized. Are these not false prophets and idols? Not because a jealous God might proclaim them to be, but because our faith in our own ingenuity can’t guarantee this game will play out as hoped. I am willing to bet everything that it will not lead us to the paradise we seek. Unless by paradise we simply mean death, and yes, in death there may indeed be peace. Perhaps.

I get conflicted on this subject, wondering if maybe this is truly the next frontier that we humans will be forced to reckon with, whether we want to or not. That maybe this is some sort of “natural” trajectory, if only because our species is prone to fall in love with its own creations and discoveries (albeit while demonstrating repeatedly a severe shortcoming in terms of long-term foresight). We are dreamers, and this is the new dream for some among us. They wish for us to believe a more centralized world where virtual reality can replace the hardships of actual reality will be a worthwhile escape for our species.

In this I see extinction. I see death. I see arrogance and pride and greed. I see an unwillingness to grasp the blessings we have already, even if they must be hard-won through suffering and introspection and pain. The dream to transcend this reality strikes me as a foolish nightmare where I cannot follow. But perhaps enough others do wish for such possibilities to come into being, and who am I to try to stop them? Wouldn’t do any good if I tried, most likely.

Still, I look back on what historical records we do have access to and see this is not entirely a new trend. Human folly has a way of circling back around and renewing itself over time, that much is a given. Interesting to learn about though. Probably the key takeaway in all of this pertains to the need to work on and save oneself. Might not be able to ever change the minds of others, and certainly we can’t draw others nearer to us and our worldview without showing them that this reality and humanity as a whole isn’t so terrible, that attempting to transcend it isn’t really the better option. But how do you show that in this day and age when so much indeed is terrible? When politicians on all sides are woefully corrupt, when major businesses invade our privacy and mold our thinking, when there are so many divisions that have been sown and we drive one another nuts on a daily basis?

I don’t know. Am thinking there’s no real way out of this conundrum since I’m pretty damn sure humanity is heading in the trans-humanist direction because they believe that dream might prove better. So there’s your apocalypse on the horizon. Artificial intelligence embraced worldwide appears to be what the bible refers to as the Anti-Christ. The reason it is Anti-Christ is because it is anti-human. Christ was first and foremost our Brother, and this new era seeks to transcend Him and us and all that we ever were or otherwise could be.

Not speaking as a Christian here, but I do have an admitted fondness for Jesus. His story confuses me at times too, though, seeing as how he encouraged us to love one another, yet it’s not terribly clear where we should draw lines. Make a scene in the temple and disrupt the usurers, yes — but now we live in the land of usury. Love all as if our neighbors and kin, sounds good — but also we’re instructed to hate the sin. The bible is a very confusing and complicated text that seems to contradict itself throughout. What does it mean to love in the way Jesus intended? To show mercy, yes, but what about justice? Why has justice been downplayed? So that those currently in power can get away with their crimes, of course. Why were we humans instructed in the bible to behave as lambs? Are we to understand that to mean we should be so docile that we become prey? Are we to be pacifists? How human is that?

Back to the notion of light and knowledge — what is it we’re trying to illuminate here? Humanity’s capacity for good and evil? Surely we will get to see plenty more of that. Why is Lucifer, the bringer of light, considered the bad guy of the bible, the Devil? Are we to take that to mean we’re better off ignorant? Or is it simply pointing to the reality that knowledge is a double-edged sword? That seems to be it. Is it possible that the greater the dream, accompanied by the technologies capable of possibly manifesting such a dream, then the greater the consequent fall? I think that sounds about right also.

Perhaps we’re incapable of turning away from such dreams once they’ve sprouted in our collective imaginations. The desire to know where a path leads overpowers us, engages our curiosity and tempts us into believing we can resolve our worldly problems. Nevermind that there are very powerful people behind the scenes pushing this agenda. How might they plan to benefit? Is what they’re selling to us the full story? Do you really think those who’ve grown most powerful across the world are looking out for all of humanity’s best interest? Do you believe this to be an altruistic ambition on their part? When always before they have acted in ways that lead to them accruing greater power, wealth and control, always greater gains for themselves regardless of how much blood must be spilled in that pursuit.

Seems to me, whatever those belonging to old, wealthy, powerful families and institutions are pushing for, we’d be wise to go the opposite way.

When have they ever led us somewhere truly beneficial that hasn’t come with great pain and a high price to pay in exchange? But perhaps that’s just the way of people and of life and maybe it cannot be helped.

I get to thinking lately that being knocked back into a stone age might actually be a better place to wind up than to allow ourselves to be permanently genetically, biologically, and perhaps even technologically transfigured. Though contaminants in our environment are already altering us hormonally and likely genetically, so I guess the process is underway whether we like it or not. That’s a cost of living in the type of world we have right now, leaving aside for a moment whatever the future may hold in store.

Crazy times. So much to ponder on. But this Luciferian thing, and its rise in popularity that even celebrities appear to be embracing (at least symbolically), is a very strange trend.

More food for thought (exhibit B): The Lucis Trust.

Light, love, unity, and the future. I don’t know what to make of all of this yet. Basic speculation on my part, and I don’t have an extremely firm position on any of this one way or the other.

Pedogate?

Weird time to observe the internet fallout over concerns about pedophiles in Hollywood and in our government. Some of it’s been confirmed, as in the case of Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert being charged for molesting children:

Observe the paltry 15-month sentence for a man entrusted with the responsibility of upholding the law. After DECADES of having gotten away with it…

A little more information on Dennis Hastert and why his case wasn’t blown wide open:

Turning our attention now to Jimmy Savile of the BBC, another prolific sex offender who got away with his crimes for DECADES:

Observe that he was well-known as a campaigner for children’s charities. That trend turns out to not be uncommon among these types.

That last video goes into the UK coverup of MP Cyril Smith‘s crimes (that allegedly spanned DECADES as well), which then goes on to implicate various other high-ranking officials for sexual offenses in that country (further material on those allegations can be accessed here).

Another important mention in that last video is that of the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, close friend of the Clintons. Many of us are familiar with his name by now, having already about his island trips accompanied by Bill Clinton where underage girls were present and allegedly sexually abused, one of which claiming to be kept there against her will.

Then there was the Netherland’s Joris Demmink, accused of sexually abusing boys from Turkey since the 1990s.

Then the Lithuanian government pedophilia story:

Returning our attention to U.S. cases, we can’t leave out the Franklin cover-up scandal involving Lawrence King and implicating high officials in Nebraska and elsewhere in the nation (on up to the White House), as well as Boystown where these youths were procured. That case hits close to home for me personally, having once known a guy who lived at Boystown during the late ’80s who, while never mentioning the Franklin Credit Union scandal specifically, did discuss other forms of corruption occurring there where adults engaged in sexual behavior with certain youths. I have absolutely no love toward Boystown and consider it a serious offense for any parent to send their child there — that has been my firm opinion on the matter for nearly 15 years now since being told about the place firsthand.

Kakistocracy — remember that term. It means a system of government which is ruled by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. James Corbett and his guest did a good job explaining how that may be at play here alongside psychopathy, and when they discuss psychopathy here they acknowledge how most psychopaths aren’t geared toward ruthless violence and/or able to maintain a veneer of respectability in front of the general public, so the goal under these circumstances is to 1.) attempt to create such people through early abuse and trauma, and 2.) to encourage involvement in abuse and traumatization of children (and others) in order to demonstrate one’s willful ruthlessness while submitting to blackmailability that proves one’s loyalty to the kakistocracy one wishes to rank within and be further enriched and empowered by. In short, it’s a corruption cycle guaranteed to spiral toward deeper depravity due to the nature of the game being played by those involved.

Now, let’s shift focus to the so-called PizzaGate scandal that surfaced over a year back.

While it’s commonly dismissed as little more than a baseless conspiracy theory, some of the information disclosed around that time and since has proven very noteworthy. I looked into aspects of that case and documented it on here already, so not wishing to fully repeat myself — go look there too. All I’m wanting to say right now is let’s not be so quick to dismiss it all as nonsense since some of the people showcased therein are unarguably VERY STRANGE and yet remain tied in with high-status politicians and celebrities, causing me to wonder why on earth any politician looking to be taken seriously would choose to affiliate with company of that sort.

Immediately springing to mind is Marina Abramović, which many are already familiar with by now and her “spirit cooking” art. Other artists whose works were displayed in the homes of Tony and John Podesta‘s homes also prove quite puzzling. Again, these are high-ranking officials with top ties in Washington D.C. who choose to partake in purchasing art of a highly questionable nature and to keep the company of very weird artists, one of whom notably likes to use blood and semen in her artforms, as is by now well-documented. Blurring the lines of respectability occurred when leading Democrats like the Clintons chose to include such people in their campaign financing endeavors, which can’t help but turn plenty of us off out here in the heartland. Many of us expect our political leaders to be of good moral character and to possess reasonable judgement, and these associations completely fly in the face of that expectation, leaving us wondering who the hell these people really are and what it is they’re really up to. Like it or not, our associations do reflect on our own character. Our art selections—like those depicting children in unnerving ways as proudly displayed by the Podesta brothers—do serve as indicators of WHO WE ARE. It’s showing what we’re attracted to, what we find pleasing to look at repeatedly, what artists we wish to financially compensate for their creations, etc. We know this. Let’s not pretend as if our art purchases have no bearings on us and in no way showcase our personalities — that’s ridiculous since that’s the entire purpose of purchasing or producing art in the first place.

So, there are the “artists” these people choose to buy from and befriend and invite to campaigning events. Then there was the Comet Ping Pong and Pizza shop that was used for hosting campaign rallies. Is it strange as hell? Yes, it is. And yet it’s also said to be very popular. The owner, James Alefantis, posted up some very weird and uncomfortable pictures and messages on his social media platforms that have widely been circulated that, again, call into question the Clintons’ choice in associations. Wouldn’t think that being affiliated with such extreme people would be viewed as a safe play for a woman hellbent on being elected president, but oh well — she chose to go that route anyway for whatever reasons. And the public reacted very badly as a result, as to be expected by any sane person giving the matter any serious thought. This information came to light thanks to emails first leaked by Wikileaks, allegedly provided to Julian Assange by Seth Rich when he recognized the DNC scandal occurring (he having since been killed — that being a topic for another time).

Comet Ping Pong and Pizza still deserves attention, if for no other reason than that it hosts not only Hilary Clinton’s campaign fundraising events but also much darker, definitely adult-only events such as this one captured by an attendee:

I have some strange friends, but we’re nowhere near as strange and crazy as those folks appear to be. Not my kind of people at all.

Is being strange a crime? Not claiming it is, but we do choose who we willfully associate with. These are people the Clintons willfully choose to associate with and befriend for many years. That’s a known fact by now.

Another case-in-point that’s hard to forget about, Anthony Weiner:

Such associations are unlikely to help anybody get elected when the news comes out as graphically as this all did. Because most of us Americans aren’t into this shit. Many of us don’t wish to be associated with such degrading crap, immoral as we might otherwise be. There’s a line drawn somewhere, and it most definitely cuts most of us off from finding the sexual mistreatment of children funny or artistic.

Which brings me to the latest news that’s set Youtube ablaze, that being the firing of director James Gunn by Disney for his pedophile-esque tweets posted approximately a decade back (which some claim he previously apologized for, yet he still opted to leave them up all this time since and now is shocked that much of the public doesn’t share his sick sense of humor):

Following that, Dan Harmon’s idea of pedo-esque “satire” was uncovered from a few years ago and that hasn’t gone over well either:

Noticing a trend here?

Some claim that it appears like pedophilia is becoming normalized in our society…

…and that the Hollywood elite are (and arguably for many years have already been) injecting pedo jokes and content into the mainstream movies and television shows either in attempt to get us on board with this brand of “humor” or perhaps simply because they’re choosing to display their true colors and figure there won’t be repercussions since there haven’t been many thus far. Or perhaps they’re just a bunch of idiot savants of some sort. I don’t know. Won’t claim to know either. I just know that this shit is disheartening, though it isn’t new on the scene. Maybe as I’m getting a bit older it’s dawning on me more and more how much perverted shit I’ve been exposed to throughout my life, much coming by way of the mainstream venues (plus the internet). And maybe I’m ultra sensitive to this in light of my own history and the stories told to me by numerous friends over the years that I still harbor in my psyche to this day. Causes jokes about sexual mistreatment of children to just not be funny. Not funny at all. Not one fucking bit.

Rather, it makes me hold the line and resist further affiliating with or otherwise giving money to such characters. I don’t wish to perpetuate that bullshit, not in actual deed or in spirit.

There’s so much creepiness in the world…

Perhaps it’s always been this way and now it’s just televised and mass-marketed? I think it leaves its mark on our minds regardless. All that is seen can’t be unseen.

Case in point, Brooke Shields being sexualized via mainstream venues at 10-12 years old:

Are we cool with that? That the kind of world we’re hoping to create here? All that can be done should be done? Nothing left to stop us anymore, no moral constraints that draw a firm line to protect vulnerable interests. Just pure nihilism. A death spiral. Observing for the sake of doing so, just because we can. Anything that can be sold for money ought to be sold for money, because muh capitalism. Don’t tread on my free market, bitches. Right? But it seems to me that we conveniently like to forget that Adam Smith was a moral philosopher first and foremost and that a free market only functions sustainably when we properly govern ourselves. A mindless descent into decadence and nihilistic exploration doesn’t strike me as the most productive path forward, though perhaps we needed to go this deep to realize the importance of values. This path we’re on leads to nothing being sacred: not family, not youth, not love, and certainly not peace and community-building. No, it’s a psychological wasteland, folks, and I think we’re bound to figure that out in the not-so-distant future.

Though, I’m not arguing for the bubble-wrapping of society either. Not claiming that all must be geared for the greater good of the children. No, we need adult-only spaces where we can speak freely. Just saying that it’s high time we do a better job of voting with our dollars if we’re not interested in promoting those who find child porn hilarious. Me personally, I’m not a big fan of the idea of bringing more kids into this quagmire we call modern life, but the rest of you will do as you please obviously.

On the Intellectual Dark Web | Glenn Loury & Bret Weinstein [The Glenn Show]

An excellent conversation between two people I admire:

Also, Bret Weinstein’s perspective on Trump’s Hitler-esque strategy was interesting. His general political views are somewhat in line with my own, although his are more liberal or Left-leaning, but I do grasp how there’s something very wrong with our political system on both sides of the partisan aisle and agree that Trump isn’t necessarily a special indicator of how off the rails it’s all gone. Trump is just one more in a long line of people who should never have been elected, but Hillary Clinton was certainly no better option, and that in itself is the problem: the choices we’re being presented with are shit and have been shit for a long, long time. Guess it’s difficult for me to be strongly distressed over Trump they way some of my fellow Americans are since I felt similarly about Clinton, though neither option were worth a damn.

But, then again, we get the System we’re willing to tolerate. I vote 3rd party while others scoff, but I don’t see any benefit in playing into the duopoly game. Not in my lifetime anyway. Observing the Political Left losing its shit over this most recent election is somewhat amusing, though also kind of unnerving how animated they’re all becoming, particularly in the mainstream media. Some do indeed seem to be angling toward stoking a civil war, and that’s not likely in any of our best interests. But whatever will come will come. Can’t probably stop that train, try as we might. Good to keep the channels of communication open though and to prod one another to think more deeply about all these topics, including what elements of society we think we’re aiming to recreate and/or preserve.

Thoughts on loneliness and superficial living

This:

Not exactly certain what recent posts I’ve made public or kept private, but the topic expressed in the video above has generally been weighing heavy on my mind once again this year. Perennial concern I might as well consider it by now. Loneliness, lack of tribe, superficial social connectivity (e.g. bar pals, association via job alone, association purely for the sake of entertainment without bonding, etc.), isolated living and losing a sense of purpose to our lives seems to be a hallmark of modern life in what appears to me to be a failing civilization project.

It’s such a queer inquiry since, on one hand, we have so much to appreciate modern life for (such as certain technologies and medicines and comforts that enhance our quality of life), yet, on the other hand, we’re rendered less whole and less capable of functioning in a psychologically healthy manner as a direct result of several aspects of how life is being structured nowadays. Plenty still prefer to argue against this point, claiming the problem ultimately resides in us individuals who aren’t adapting properly, but I’m wondering if perhaps we’re expecting too much out of human beings when we assume that proper adaptation (whatever that means) is possible or that it itself doesn’t entail some very antisocial features.

On that last point, antisociality appears to be becoming normalized. For example, the individual who lives alone, works alone (or works remotely via computer), and who expresses disdain toward his fellow humans, preferring to not engage with the rest of us as much as possible (at least not in person) — is that not becoming more common these days? And are we not treating it as if it’s no big deal, dismissing it as harmless introversion and showing little to no concern so long as the individual in question remains gainfully employed and therefore contributing to our modern (primarily economic) perception of the common good? We call it a choice and like to regard it as a rather benign choice at that. But is it really? No consequences to this trend as we all go forward as a society?

Then again, I shouldn’t frame it as if we really care all that much about future sustainability for society since it seems clearly obvious by now that most can’t (or won’t) imagine beyond the next quarter or year and more rarely beyond our own lifetimes, children and their future progeny be damned. Might as well be honest about it. Mostly we pay lip service to giving a damn when really we care more about scoring points in our arguments today, wishing to come across as intellectual and morally righteous and forever inclined to cast the blame on that other group over there for whatever future problems may befall us as a people. Never our problem here today, especially not my own. But, in all fairness, we were all born into this and arguably are just trying to find our ways in the maze as it’s been constructed. Though I’d also argue that we’re co-creators of this societal maze since it has evolved throughout our lifetimes as well.

Anyway, antisociality is real and expresses itself in various forms. One currently popular form is preferring pets over people. We see it more and more, and no one seems the least bit taken aback by folks announcing such a preference. It’s treated almost playfully and humorously, yet some of us get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes reality and are aware of a growing number of individuals who live alone (or in what appear to be strained/empty marriages) and center all their (non-job-related) attention on their pets. And we hear these people speak of their fellow humans as “not worth dealing with,” contrasting the cruelty of humankind with the sweet naivety of animals. They’ve undoubtedly been hurt by people in their pasts and are retreating into the comfortable company of pets as an alternative, and I can see why that may seem harmless and even necessary in some cases. But the trend keeps mounting along with the attitude that likes to accompany it, declaring we humans to be jerks and monsters while Fluffy is immune to such evils. What worries me is the level of fantasy and escapism that is increasingly appearing bound up in that outlook. Do you imagine these people, despite their furry companions, are less depressed and/or anxious to where they’re at least less inclined to take prescription pills for managing their moods and worries? I’d like to see a study on that and am willing to bet that the comfort of pets still isn’t enough to overcome their sense of restlessness, purposelessness, and alienation.

Another form of antisociality that I am very familiar with is that which can come by way of frequent reliance on alcohol. Though here perhaps the primary goal is to escape our own selves, to get out of our own heads for a spell via temporary chemical lobotomization. And many of us would argue that alcohol can (or at one point seemed to) enhance our sociality, allowing us to more easily mingle with strangers and laugh and carry on. Problem with this strategy is it eventually proves addictive, as is the case with any dopamine-stimulating drugs. AND there’s a thin line between buzzed and outright drunk, the latter condition in no way proving beneficial for socializing over the long term. While we try to escape ourselves by checking out in this manner, we also manage to tune out from others also. Sure, we might go home and fuck them, but it’s not quality companionship and social bonding in most cases. The sex itself in these instances can be viewed as yet another form of escapism whereby we’re using the other person for our own personal sensual pleasure and to experience a temporary social connection without the formations of bonds or the acceptance of social expectations like further contact. In other words, it sets up shallow connectivity between chemically-altered persons who don’t give a damn about one another, which both tend to recognize the day after. Yet it’s oh-so-common, probably because we are lonely and this is one way to achieve physical contact and potential stress relief and a sense of comfort, however temporary.

Setting the sex aside, the barscene unto itself is problematic because of the culture common to it. No discussion of topics in real depth, particularly on matters pertaining to one’s spiritual journey or worldview. The name of the game there is entertainment, even if that means listening to horrific karaoke sung by sloppy drunkards-without-a-clue while overpaying for the supposed privilege to be there. Many of us have regretted our decision to spend so much time and money in such joints, yet we keep doing it because it’s a social venue we can easily access, especially in the late-night hours when our apartment walls threaten to drive us into comas of boredom. We’d rather go sit among a bunch of others and drink concoctions that rob us of our memory and ability to care much about one another. Can’t recall who said what and can’t really know one another, despite what emotionality may pour forth as the night wears on. Fake bonding that can’t be remembered clearly occurs. Superficial and relatively pointless, yet accessible more than practically anything else for those of us lacking tribes and families to turn to instead.

Then, drunks tend to engage in the next antisocial behavior so common to that lifestyle: we drive home in our altered states of mind. Demonstrating how much of a damn we truly give about one another and ourselves, numbed off to the fear of consequences (even after having experienced one or more O.W.I./D.U.I. or car accidents already). We cease caring about you or your laws or the future. Carefree living in the moment…

Also, it’s not uncommon for some to grow disenchanted with the overpriced barscene and to prefer instead to turn toward drinking at home so as to save money and be free from the idiot buffoons typical in that atmosphere. And that can easily turn into an antisocial situation itself, not only through avoiding people but by creating a situation where we can drink a great deal without checks and balances from others or cops. We can create a cocoon-type atmosphere when we drink alone, and that can unfold for years and turn into a very ugly situation in its own right.

Drinking and preferring animals over people are just two popular ways in which antisociality is manifesting these days. Not that alcoholism is a new trend, though us living alone opens up new possibilities there, new ways to conceal our problem from others and avoid detection from otherwise limiting factors.

Some might argue that intense video-gaming is another form of antisociality despite its social component since you’re each hidden behind screens rather than interacting face-to-face. Basically like each interacting from his or her own pod. Probably not all that different from the last several decades of people sitting glued to television screens, observing life unfolding as it’s been presented to us via those who wish to sell us products and propaganda. Then I get to thinking about people coming out about their porn addictions and how that negatively impacted their ability and willingness to pursue real, in-person sexual connections with others.

Then I veer off and get to thinking about all these people working jobs they don’t particularly like so as to buy stuff they don’t need, warehoused in houses they paid too much for, and all for what? Because that’s the prescribed way of life these days. THAT is commonly touted as success. Materialism over nearly all else. Slave to the economy. Is that way of life necessarily antisocial? No, but it possesses antisocial features as well, such as prizing economic interests over all else, particularly when it comes to one’s political outlook. That can’t help but impact society in various ways, including giving the impression to others that those disinterested in pandering to profit motives are useless bums unworthy of being brought into certain social folds.

A topic to continue on with another day.

AI, big businesses, and the future

Some food for thought:

We’ve all probably watched videos like these countless times in the past, yet many are prone to laugh off such information, or to opt to ignore it since it makes them feel uncomfortable. One hope is that such a transition will occur far enough in the future that we might not have to live to see much of it. In other words, let the future generations contend with that. Not our problem currently. Isn’t that what most tend to say? To say much else is to likely wind up dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist,” isn’t that also true? And nobody wants that since it’s then assumed that you’ve flown the coup and aren’t one to be taken seriously.

And yet, information keeps rolling in and questions continue popping up that we seem afraid to entertain. Or, instead insist on focusing on more “optimistic” positions, as if only one side of the coin could exist without its potential consequences.

That last clip was a TED Talk by Marc Goodman, former law enforcement officer and author of the book Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It, which I highly recommend. Listened to my own copy in audio format through Audible and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking books I came across in 2017.

Facebook weirds me out. Glad to no longer use that site. Though surely plenty of others might be just as bad — namely Google.

That’s enough for one post.

Hey slave

Isn’t it odd how much we’ve outsourced of our personal lives in modern societies? Our personal needs. We pay someone to massage us. We pay someone to listen to us (as in a therapist/counselor). We may even pay someone to have sex with us and/or to provide other forms of erotic pleasure. We procure pets who require a great deal of attention so as to pet in order to feel better, to give our lives a little more sense of meaning. Pet them and feel a bit better, all while we pine for contact with one another.

Seems almost a crime when one really stops and ponders deeply on it.

What are we doing? In what ways are we becoming damaged psychologically in this day and age, and why? Is it required and necessary that we endure this? Maybe the path must go through nihilism on its way — I won’t claim to know.

But look at us. LOOK at where so many of us stand currently. And only rising.

Now what? What then? What are we to do?

What’s a better approach forward? Where better to go from here?

Seems accurate that the best way to save others is to first save oneself.

Has the perfect storm resulted in an inevitable societal outcome, unchangeable by us regardless of what we individually and even collectively may attempt? Have we already gone too far? I don’t know. But I’ve come to think there will be a good bit of hell before we might arrive at some approximation of heaven on earth.

Some call that outlook pessimistic. I call it a realistic probability. And I have to contend with whatever life is bringing. Anything else is living in delusion. How can it not be?

Millennial bizarreness (early morning journaling in March)

It’s been a weird week overall. Good in some ways, odd in others. Last night proved a bit irritating thanks to two people walking out on me, one being a man I agreed to meet for a drink from a dating site who got bent out of shape immediately because he didn’t like my choice of bar to meet at (in his neighborhood, attempting to accommodate him — my bad — complained that he was the only white man there) and then took issue with my stating that I had met a couple other people as well and had prospects in mind. Should’ve just texted and called off the meeting, he said. Okay, fair enough, though I clearly stated beforehand I’m mostly looking to meet new friends and to see where things might lead thereafter. He then told me how his last date went a year back where he and a woman went out and got drunk, he took her to his home where she fell in his bathroom and broke the toilet and later didn’t offer to pay for the repairs. That sounds like a shitty date. Then he got up and marched out, all within about 12 minutes of us meeting. Kind of odd, but oh well. Yeah, I had a weird gut feeling to begin with and probably shouldn’t have agreed to meet in person. Was just an awkward and pointless outing with a middle-aged accountant — chalking it up to “nevermind that.”

But afterward I had agreed to meet up with a barpal I’ve been getting to know a bit (totally platonically) over the past month. That guy is 30, formerly in the military and currently a student, and the times we’ve met up before we’ve discussed religion, politics and philosophy (and played a little pool also). He had texted me to invite me up to the local tavern, and since that other meeting went so poorly, I figured sure, why not? My phone was doing some weird stuff that got me wondering if it had gotten infected (pop-ups pertaining to TouchTunes despite not using that app that day), which I was trying to sort out upon arrival. Not in the greatest mood starting out, looking forward to relaxing and engaging in interesting conversation with someone I’m already somewhat familiar with. Great. Well, the energy started off feeling awkward and uncomfortable, partly due to my mood since my technology was acting up and that accountant had seemed offended that he wasn’t the only person I had agreed to meet with from the dating site (which kinda boggled my mind), but also partly due to this barpal’s mood. He’s normally pretty high-strung and a bit argumentative, but in a quiet bar we’ve managed to converse and have it feel fruitful, so I figured we’d each calm down and the night could mellow out. But the music was loud and he was talking a mile a minute, starting off with military topics before abruptly turning the conversation to sex.

Not sure how or why that conversation came up, but I was only 2 beers into the evening by that point, so we’re not talking about a natural evolution of the conversation over the course of a long night between two drunks. No, we were talking about SJWs and their propaganda, and then I mentioned what happened that evening and also how my dating life was going, and right there he brought up anal sex, at first seeming to be joking but then refusing to let the topic go. He apparently wanted to get across his opinion that anal sex is important in all relations, even hetero relations, and that we women need to get with the program. I stated that that strikes me as an opinion influenced by porn viewing and that not all of us are into that sort of thing. He kept cutting me off and really trying to drill home his point that too many men are “homophobic,” that being their reason for not being open to the practice. He also took issue with my reference to anal sex as a “kink,” a word he seemed to be offended by. He kept bringing up homosexuals and jabbered about changing norms and spoke rather derisively about “the vag” (as he put it).

Admittedly, my head started to spin since he’s so talkative and interrupts constantly and came across kind of aggressively on a topic that I just didn’t care about and had no real interest in discussing further. Told him that I don’t see the big deal, that when it comes to people’s sexuality it can’t help but be subjectively assessed, that our personal preferences are our own and so be it. To which he then bizarrely mentioned how racist views are personal preferences too, as if that in any way related to the topic. Like, what? I didn’t understand why this seemed to matter to him so much and why he seemed so offended that I took a different view of the matter. It’s not as if I was pulling out my pitchfork and castigating him for his views, yet he was taking issue with my “vanilla” ones, in a neighborhood pub early on a Thursday evening. Turned to him and point-blank said: “You do you.” Find someone who’s into that and that’ll be cool. No worries. But it’s not for everybody. We don’t all have to see this the same way. Beyond that, the music is loud and I can’t hear what all he’s saying well enough and I don’t wish to keep on discussing this in a place where others are around and my voice has a tendency to carry. He kept on, so I then stated that I don’t find this conversation interesting. He then got up, looking pretty irritated, and said something about how I seem to be getting upset and turned to walk out. I requested that we step outside where it’s quieter and I can smoke so that we can settle whatever this issue is, but he acted pretty smarmy and walked away instead. Okay. That too was weird.

Wasn’t sure what to make of that. This young man was upset because I wasn’t receptive to the type of sex he’s into? All right, but he and I are not lovers, nor have we ever even flirted. I thought we hung out so as to chat about ideas and to tell one another about things we saw or read online primarily or to talk about atheism. Beyond that, berating someone over their sexual preferences is no way to entice them to lean toward your own. Struck me as a strange tactic. He kept referring to my claim of different sexual preferences being okay as a “logical fallacy,” which he wouldn’t elaborate on. Was such a weird topic that I couldn’t understand what he was driving at. What was he hoping to accomplish with any of it? Who cares if someone else isn’t into anal sex the way you are? And just because other men may not be doesn’t mean they are automatically “homophobic” or repressing their desires.

Quite frankly, it was like talking with an SJW of another stripe. My way or the highway. Agree with me or I’ll walk. If your views differ, your views must be ignorant. He had kept implying that I lacked sufficient experience with anal sex so therefore my perspective wasn’t as valid as his. That’s a very strange take on the matter, IMO. Must one engage in a behavior however many times in order to form an opinion about it? I guess I don’t grasp the hang-up here or his intensity over the topic. What does it matter? Again, we’re not lovers and I’m not condemning him for his own preference. I just don’t happen to share it. That’s reason to get up and abandon one’s beer and walk out?

Left me scratching my head on all that. Didn’t make any sense. Not sure what the hell was up with yesterday evening, but what a waste of time applying makeup to come out to deal with all of that. Finished my own drink and headed home, calling it a night. My bartender lady-friend assumed he wanted something I made obvious he wouldn’t receive from me, but his approach sucked regardless. There’s no shifting hearts and minds with that attitude. Though, no, I’m not the one to target for such fetish play. Call it whatever you want, it’s a kink to me, and that’s fine. You all can do whatever you’re going to do, but the rest of us don’t have to follow suit.

What’s up with this idea that because people’s preferences differ that that somehow is a threat to your own? Can it truly be offensive that someone else says “to each his or her own”? I told him that what adults choose to do is between them — I don’t care. What’s the problem with that?

See, what gets to me here is this notion that people are no longer satisfied with their preferences being merely tolerated — they now feel the need to impose them on others, to try to pressure you to adopt their own. That’s so weird to me. Why do that? You have your freedom, now go enjoy it. I’m not trying to stop you. Not even trying to talk you out of it. So, again, what’s the real problem here? The need for validation? That’s not my concern. He seemed to be trying to frame the matter as if I’m sexually naive and/or inexperienced, which just goes to show he doesn’t know me that well and is operating with erroneous assumptions. Beyond that, a person doesn’t need to experience everything to a great degree before recognizing their limitations and comfort levels. THAT is where some millennials and I part ways since there does seem to be this huge hedonistic push for us all to take everything as far as possible. But why? I took things far enough to grasp that that orientation toward life and living actually comes with drawbacks and unforeseen consequences, and that too is a valid perspective that I have earned over time. He kept saying the word “taboo,” as if anal sex remains so terribly taboo by this point in our society. It’s not the taboo that impacts my judgment there, as stated to him, it’s my own desires. That is a valid assertion because this is a subjective matter. I get to determine what I like to do with my own body. How is that difficult to accept?

That topic came up after he had talked about the military’s “SJW propaganda” whereby the male enlistees were instructed about how a woman saying no early in the evening cannot and should not be reversed into a yes later in the evening after the female consumed much alcohol. While I agree with him that we women do possess agency and probably shouldn’t drink ourselves blind drunk around people we don’t trust to care about our best interests, he was really angry about that topic. Yes, sexuality is tricky terrain, both in and out of the military. There are no clear-cut easy answers there that can be applied universally. Very much a situation one has to feel out for him/herself in every encounter. And yes, alcohol can and does lead to some bad decisions and then consequent regrets the next day, particularly among young people. Do we not see this clearly by now? He seemed angry that women get to change their minds, and I took the position that we all are entitled to change our minds throughout the evening. If I say yes earlier on, but then decide no, stop, no further, I retain that right. Though I should work hard to not put myself in such positions as that since, again, you’re dealing with very tricky terrain, especially when alcohol and sexuality is involved. None of which I was able to thoroughly elaborate on since he kept interrupting everything I tried to say.

Hmmm. I have some odd conversations with some odd folks sometimes. Not terribly uncommon. Gotten used to them over time, but they still do leave me wondering about humanity. As in, where is this all heading? What are our priorities here? What’s the goal in pushing these boundaries? Just to do so? How little do we even care about one another? Is this just another manifestation of our sense of alienation? I said the word “intimacy” last night and he abruptly stopped me and asked what that even means. That strikes me as rather sad if that was intended as a serious question. Have we lost our way entirely by now? Do young people truly struggle with the concept of intimacy? Is that too becoming a relic of a bygone era?

Dumb bar conversations probably shouldn’t consume this much of my mental energy, but it can’t be helped. Humans confuse me — always have and likely always will, in all settings. I can’t help but ponder this sort of stuff, which is probably why I’m better off finding more productive things to do than getting wrapped up in seemingly pointless conversations with bewildering people. But I like to think that conversing is key, that we must communicate with one another in order to make better sense of life and living. But…some days it feels like a lost cause and like we’re all already doomed. Pessimism on my part, sure, but I can’t see where all of this is heading anywhere worthwhile, at least not during my lifetime. Push, push, push is all we seem to know how to do anymore. Argue and pressure and deride and sarcastically and passive-aggressively agitate one another appears to be all the rage. Why can’t we be satisfied with exploring our own freedom instead of constantly worrying with what everybody else is doing? Why do we feel the need for others to join in and to do as we do? I take it as a sign that individuality hasn’t taken root deeply enough, particularly for the youngest among us. You do you. You don’t need millions of others doing exactly as you do. Hell, I wouldn’t advocate for others to follow in my footsteps — in some respects quite the opposite. Because not all lifestyles can be universally appreciated or experienced in a healthy manner. C’est la vie.

An introduction to the Frankfurt School (Philosophize This!)

Don’t expect any mention of Erich Fromm in this podcast though, unfortunately. Fromm being the Frankfurt School author I’m most familiar with. But it’s still an interesting podcast to listen to, especially recommended for those who have a knee-jerk reaction against anything relating to the Frankfurt School.

Part 1, “Introduction”:

Part 2, “The Enlightenment”:

Part 3, “The Culture Industry”:

Part 4, “Eros”:

Part 5, “Civilization”:

Part 6, “Art As A Tool For Liberation”:

What is referred to therein as “monopoly capitalism” sounds to be the same as what I generally refer to as Corporatism and/or oligopolistic capitalism. The difference being that the market situation has grown and expanded through the domination of sectors by key major (and increasingly global/multinational) corporations that wind up working in tandem to shut out competition from smaller businesses and upstarts (whether via political lobbying efforts or through technological strangleholds, etc.). To me, calling it monopolistic at this point oversimplifies the reality we’re confronting, though I can understand why Marcuse would use that language in the 1970s.

Part 7, “The Great Refusal”:

Pausing at 4:55 in that last clip…yes, and it’s precisely that concern which drives my own interest in the arguments and ideas put forth by people like Dr. Jordan Peterson. Though Peterson is well-known for criticizing neo-Marxists and those he refers to as “postmodernists,” he’s still absolutely right about how one needs to “clean your own room” before attempting to engage too far in the process of attempting to overhaul society. Why? Because “cleaning one’s own room” is about more than just literally doing domestic chores — it’s about developing our own individual selves, grappling with our own limitations and shortcomings, and taking more time to study history broadly so that we can have a better handle on what all has come before and why we humans find ourselves where we’re collectively at now. These are complex matters, not simply bumbling errors brought about by idiot, racist/sexist/”traditionalist” predecessors who gave too little thought to life and living or who were all so blinded by their own destructive agendas that they gave no shits for the fate of future generations. That’s too close-minded and uncharitable of an interpretation of the unfolding of history and the motives of people in the past and the institutions they designed over time. We have to step back and really take time to think deeply about what we’re confronting here today and how it came into being incrementally over the course of the rise of civilizations. Not any easy task. Requires a great deal of personal reckoning as well, due to our own individual biases and wishful thinking and brainwashed programming delivered via mainstream sources, educators (even those who were well-intentioned in their own right), and the wider culture and the narratives it depends on in order to survive.

The further I’ve gone down this rabbit hole over the years, the deeper I recognize the rabbit hole to be. There are no simply answers here. Not even that many clear-cut enemies necessarily. Just a bunch of us humans trying to make sense of reality and to play the games according the rules we understand (or rebel against them if that’s our bag). Domination and power certainly do factor in to the lived human experience, but so does SO MUCH else. It’s not so simple of a matter as destroying hierarchies and we’ll all eventually be free to live in peaceful equality with one another. No, that’s just begging for the creation of a power vacuum which will be filled by the ambitions of other groups of people operating under their own ideologies that will very likely prove even less effective than what’s currently in place. It’s a precarious situation at present, compounded by so much idealism in the hearts of protesters who like to imagine themselves as having the magical, never-before-tried answers to what plagues humanity. And many of them are blind to the lessons of history as well, largely due to ideological obsessiveness and the narrowing of focus that commonly entails. They will not prove to be saviors either, I’m willing to bet.

That doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands in the air and accept the current status quo as the only game worth playing because all else (like communism) likely will prove even more fatal. But it does ask of us to be careful and cautious in moving forward, to pay closer attention and to not be so arrogant as to assume we ourselves and those we politically/socially identify with have discovered ultimate answers to these complex problems and issues. Humility is absolutely essential here, lest history just keep on repeating (or rhyming, rather) in a downward spiraling fashion (thanks, in part, to new and powerful technologies coupled with greater centralization than the world has ever known before). Power available today is like that of no other time in history — be heedful of that fact.

Many of us want to see change be brought about, for human societies to become healthier and less dominated by economic interests solely. Plenty of us grasp the alienating features of modern life and what that can and does do to us psychologically and socially, and how that then spills out to impact all other aspects of society. But the way to bringing about change indeed isn’t going to come through simply protesting in the streets or certain interest groups vying to dominate within academe and the corporate and political world. That’s just a recipe for more disaster, so far as I can tell. I lost all faith in that approach. It’s become more a question of individual development and social evolution, of working with what is within our direct control and making decisions that allow us as individuals (and the communities we choose to devise or partake in) to live more in alignment with the values we claim to hold dear. Not trying to force the hands of others, since that won’t work. Better to find ways around the perceived obstructions and to test our own mettle than to attempt to overthrow society as a whole, especially when no better game plan is yet afforded to all of us on a society-wide scale.

People don’t wish to hear this, because it sounds harder. Much easier to instead try to push for change in the streets or by screaming at people in lecture halls and pulling down audio equipment so as to disrupt speakers we dislike. Much easier to behave destructively, rebelliously, than to take the time to comprehend our own inner tyrants and the consequences that produces in a reverberating fashion across society and on up through history. Much easier to blame the “other,” somebody else, than to recognize our own part played in this due to the human nature we share. Doesn’t matter that we were just born into this and didn’t ask for this. Nobody originally ever asks for anything, and all were born into it. That’s no excuse for refusing to do the heavy lifting required in this life. Turns out that giving in to such destructive tendencies and acting like rebels without a clue winds up doing more harm than good oftentimes, especially to our own selves, though it’s usually years on down the road before we can recognize it for what it is.

There are no easy answers here, and there likely never will be. It’s just us and our strivings and our need to learn to communicate more effectively with one another about our conflicting points of view. And that’s okay. This is what we have to work with. There was never a rose garden back before, no ideal worth returning to necessarily. Just the movement and expansion of Life in all its complexity on up through time. Never perfect, at least not in the rational sense that we humans like to dream about, nor will it ever be. But we co-constructors of this reality, particularly in terms of our own actions and choices herein. So we start there, inside oneself, that being where we have the most control and are capable of reaping the greatest benefit in our lifetimes.

Simple, yet not easy. C’est la vie…