Thursday, December 22, 2011

This World We Live In

The Buddha taught non-violence, not pacifism. If we turn our backs on evil and destructive forces then we become complicit in their actions. It is up to each individual to look within themselves and decided when action is required to stop greater evils from occurring. My eyes are open and I am awake to the forces that work on this planet to destroy life and promote suffering. I can not sit by and say "this is not my problem, this is too big and I am so small". If I sit and stare into the face of evil and do nothing, then I become a part of that evil. This is not a call to arms for the rest of you, we each have our own path to walk in this life, but an explanation of my views and beliefs about the world. I strongly believe, no, I strongly know, the truth in the saying 'may all beings be happy'. If I am too seek my own happiness, I cannot allow it to be forcefully denied to others. I came across this interview that strongly supports many things I have seen and believed about the world we live in today. Who knows the way to conquer these evils or the paths that must be taken, but I know that my journey leads in that direction. I cannot sit on a meditation cushion while the world around me collapses. This is a journey into the unknown and all I ask is your support and understanding while I continue along it.


I have seen the good intentions that pave our
road to hell
Stood by its side
weary, downtrodden
between the siren pull of the forest
and the brimstone path to the abattoir
Though I wish to hide
deep in the sleeping belly of the earth
I can not turn my back
on the pavers
the travellers
the caravans of tired, lonely people
I cannot be complicit in their slaughter
and so I drag reluctant feet
ever onwards
as black smoke builds on the horizon.

bhavatu sabba mangalam

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Among Wolves


I've been at a loss for words lately, so here are a few more pictures. Sometimes less truly is more. There are so many people so eloquently writing about many topics dear to my heart that it seems silly to add another copycat. I'll let them keep on and find my own way of expressing myself into the world. Whether in pictures, poetry, prose or music.

Give them what they want.
Make them need,
over food
happiness (you are)
Rapturous masses
Caught up
Swept away
Washed (un)washed
This toothy grin always looked better from the inside.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Forget For-Profit, let's talk about For-People

Imagine if the worlds largest corporate entities existed as non-profits. Capitalism doesn't need to die, but the modern corporation does. The modern corporation is our new God. We live in a consumer culture because our Gods are consumers. They consume wealth. Wealth in the form of people, land, products, ideas and power. If we can kill off the modern Consumer God and replace it with a Producer God, we can create a producer culture. If we make it not a legal, but a moral and ethical crime to consume wealth, we can direct all the powers and energies of our Gods to doing Good instead of Evil.

Imagine you have a company that builds washing machines.
In our consumer culture, this company MUST do all it can to be the top dog in its industry. It must consume its competitors, it must consume all innovation in its field, it must consume the wealth of its customers, (if the customers do not have the wealth to purchase the product, it will loan the wealth, and it will consume its customers) and it must never stop in its quest for more and more things to consume. It MUST reduce its costs to increase its profits. It lays off employees, cuts wages and benefits, evades taxes, exploits cheap labor markets, cuts corners in employee safety, in costumer safety and in environmental safety. It is a machine of destruction. And those profits, those profits get doled out to the stockholders, the CEOs the Boards of Directors. An incestuous bunch of rich sociopaths; the sycophants of the Consumer God.
In a producer culture, this company has one only one imperative. To produce. It MUST produce washing machines, it must produce an environment that can purchase its product, it must produce an environment of innovation, it must produce healthy competition with its competitors, and it must never stop. It has no need to reduce its costs by exploiting the environment, or the labor markets, or the health and safety of its employees and consumers. It has no need for profits. It has a need to produce a labor force capable of purchasing its products. A labor force with a high enough wage and a high enough standard of living that it can afford the luxury of a washing machine. A labor force that is not buried in debt, that has no worries about food, shelter or medical care. The more the Producer God invests in its community, the more its community is capable of investing in its Gods. Strong schools, vibrant communities, healthy infrastructure and healthy people will lead to a stronger company.

The Producer God has a symbiotic relationship with its populace, the Consumer God has a parasitic relationship. We can choose which Gods we worship and which ones we cast into the annals of History. Now more than ever, we must look within ourselves, we must imagine the world we want to live in, the world we want to raise our families in, and we must create that world. We cannot ask for it, it cannot be given to us, but we must provide it for ourselves. If we worship a Producer God, if we strive to cultivate our self, our community and our environment (themes I will visit upon in greater detail later) we may finally have a chance to create the type of society we will be proud to pass on to our descendants. But if we continue to worship at the alter of Consumption, than we are doomed to perish from the face of this Earth.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


True leadership is using everything in your power to enforce the will of the people, not to force your will on the people.


Trickle-down economics, trickle-down politics, two failed ideas, yet the two driving forces behind American domestic policies. The Federal Government is the top of the food chain, with money trickling down to the states and the people. But just as the wealthy hoard their money, so does the government hoard its power. When little or nothing is reaching the citizenry, we have to accept that the Federal Government no longer serves a purpose in our lives. We can longer expect it to be there for us, to lend a hand when needed, or to provide even the basic services our civilization demands. So what do we do?

I have been toying with the idea of a silent revolution. We do not need to take up arms, it is most likely impossible that we can reform anything from the top down, so we need to rebuild from the bottom up. For one moment, imagine the United States does not exist. Imagine the city, county and state you live in provide the only forms of governance in your life. Even then the state is pretty far removed from your daily life. So take your county, your city, your neighborhood. The people, places and things you interact with on a daily basis. Now imagine what life could be like if We the People focused on the small issues in front of our face, if we didn't rely on some Big Government to provide solutions and answers. If we want clean energy, health care, healthy food, etc. maybe it is time we provided it for ourselves. Maybe it is time we banded together in our neighborhoods and our cities and fought for our own common good.

Why should someone in Seattle have to suffer the decisions made in DC? Why should the vast majority of Americans suffer at the hands of a few. If our government is going to promote a system of vast inequality, then we can no longer believe in or rely on our government. We must take it back, piece by piece, step by step. Changing the faces at the top of the ladder and expecting prosperity to trickle-down to us, is a strategy of defeat. But taking governance in to our own hands, while risky, difficult and dangerous, may be our only path to victory.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slippery Slope Pt. II

If you steal something from a company that engages in slave wage working conditions, and environmentally un-friendly practices, thus cutting into its profits, have you done anything wrong?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Way Forward

I think we have gone past the point of no return. Our environment has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm. We are running out of drinking water. Our food supply is polluted, diseased and oppressive. International governments have prostrated themselves at the foot of profit. We have a corporate controlled media. The police state is ever expanding. For those in the 3rd world, their terrible existence continues to get worse. For those of us in the 1st world, we are sinking into the 3rd. There may be a few isolated nations that have the programs in place to survive the coming decades (Scandinavia) but for the rest of the world that has been suckered into "Globalization" things will fall apart. Our house is infested with termites. Even if we rid ourselves of these pests, the damage has been done. The problems we face arise from the same issues that have wrecked all civilizations over time, only now this is on a global scale. The stakes have never been higher.

We cannot just recycle the same system. We cannot 'reform' the system. It is the system that is at fault, not the players. Unless we can breed sociopathy out of our species the only known systems of human civilization will continue to cycle. We will get a ruling class, they will steal from the people and the planet, they will support the rise of sociopathy, they will collapse, the people will rise up, a new ruling class will appear, forever and ever.

Now the perfect system would be a benevolent dictatorship, but the likelihood of that ever happening precludes me from expounding further on the topic. Theories are fine. But we need realities.

Is there a way forward? Are we doomed to cycle until the end of the times? Are we ushering in that end right now?

Mankind is the only species capable of consciously adapting to its environment. No other animal/plant can do so. We have the power to live and survive in whichever manner we wish. Just because things have always been one way, does not mean we have to accept that it is the only way for things to be. We can change our minds and in doing so change our lives.

I see three things as being paramount for the survival of mankind upon this planet and into the future. They require a changing of mind. If we choose to stand society upon a tripod, each leg must be equally strong and each leg must be made as strong as possible. The legs of this tripod are as follows: The Self, The Community, The Environment.

I will touch briefly on each and come back to them later for more detail.

We must work at improving ourselves, we must overcome our feelings of craving and aversion, our greed, our selfishness. We must embrace love, compassion and selflessness. The Buddha has shown us one way. There are others. Only through the constant improvement of ourselves can we hope to strengthen the other legs of the tripod.

Every action we make effects everyone else around us. We have to realize this. We do not live in self contained bubbles. We must all work together with this in mind. Not everyone can be a doctor, or a scientist. Not everyone can be a farmer or a cook. Not everyone can work in a factory or in an office. This is the great lie we have been sold. We are not equally capable. This is a good thing. This is what gives us such power as a species. We can fill each niche of our society with the most capable people. We can treat them as equals. We can share in our prosperity. We can be a community, not a collection of individuals.

This one is easy. If the planet dies, we die. We must learn to live as a part of our environment, shaping ourselves to live within the ecosystem. People living in the desert can not, should not, and will not be able to live the same life as someone living in the rainforest. Yet we try so hard to give everyone on this planet the same life. We must embrace the environment we live in, find out how to best use it's resources to aid in our existence. We must see it as an equal. For this, not the houses we live in, is our true home.

I have no idea how we can change the world, or how we can change peoples' minds. If we are to survive we must change. The world must be turned on its head, so we can set it straight. It may be tough, it may be painful, arduous, dangerous and improbable. But we cannot give up or give in. No less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Suggested Reading:
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Master and His Emissary - Iain McGilchrist

Saturday, July 9, 2011

We the People...

I had always thought the United States government existed to serve the people, not that the people existed to serve the government. Lately I have seen how wrong I was. It is time we turned it around and created/demanded a government that serves the citizens.
And FFS corporations are not citizens! I don't care what the Supreme Court says. It is disgusting. It reminds me of the arguments against same-sex marriage: 'If you let the gays marry, then what is stopping siblings from marrying, or polygamy, or a man marrying his dog.' Well if you make a corporation into a person then what is stopping animals or machines or hell! rocks from being made into legally recognized people. I would think the main defining characteristic of all this is that you need to be a human being in order to be a citizen and a person in the eyes of the law.

But to get back to the main point and another problem I see with the way things are right now.

If the US gov't exists for the people and by the people, then we all technically own this country. Our taxes bought and paid for all the land and all the infrastructure of this nation. And yet we have to pay property taxes! We are basically renting land that we bought from ourselves (the gov't) from the gov't (who should be serving us). I don't see how this is at all legal. I can't go to your house, sell you your TV and then charge you a monthly fee to use it. It is your TV, you own it! Even the TV you had to buy from someone else who previously owned it. (Retailer/Manufacturer) But the land... we already owned it. Private citizens bought land from the collective property of our citizenry, (also known as the USA) for their own use. Now that we have sold this land our gov't expects them to pay a monthly fee to retain ownership. If you stop paying your property taxes they can take your property. This just seems obscenely criminal on so many levels. I may be wrong though. This could all be ok, I don't have all the facts and would love to be enlightened from either side of the debate. I will admit I have a lot of personal bias after watching my mom struggle to pay her property taxes. My family bought in to a rural community 30+ years ago. We have always been middle class. Now this area is hugely developed and attracting a lot of upper class people. So the property value and taxes have sky rocketed. But my mom is still in the middle class. So now she has to pay taxes on a house she never could afford to buy today, instead of taxes on the house she did buy 30+ years ago. Insanity!!

Solving the Deficit

So with all this talk about the debt limit, and fixing the deficit and how the only way we can save the country is by destroying the safety net, I thought of a solution to all these problems. I like to call it: Soylent GreenEnergy. We just need to invent a way to turn people into fuel. Then we can take all those expensive elderly and those lazy poor and put them to some good use! Now we can eliminate Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It's a win-win solution. Well... it is so long as you are wealthy. But that is the whole point the Republicans have been pushing lately, that we need to sacrifice the poor to protect the wealthy. I'm sure I could get the Koch Bros. to help finance the research...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slippery Slope pt. I

Which is worse? The parent who hits and scolds their child in public, or the one who does it in the privacy of their own home while publicly denouncing the former?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Continuum

It is hard to to believe the insanity of the folks in Washington, DC these days. It beggars belief. I could go on and on about how dumbfounding the actions of our elected officials all. Whether the blatant sociopathy of the Republicans or the insidious complacency of the Democrats. It just seems too improbable that things have ended up this way. It got me to thinking, if we are living in an oligarchic plutocracy, where every law passed and decision made is for the benefit of moneyed interests, what better system could there be? I see it as a continuum. I wish I could make a chart to better show this, but it goes something like this: The Common Good - The Corporate Good - The Corporate Great. In this case, the Dems represent the Corporate Good and the Repubs represent the Corporate Great. The Repubs are standing incredibly far from the Common Good, espousing policies that will do incredible harm to our society and our environment, and bullying anyone who disagrees. From this perspective the Dems policies look fairly sane and reasonable. But the 'reasonable' alternative to insane destruction does not have to be good or smart. It just does not have to be insanely destructive. It can just be plain old destructive. In this way, our only alternative to utter destruction, is to be saddled with policies supporting the Corporate Good. Anything that would provide for the Common Good doesn't even get mentioned. When the Repubs win, they win big (see BUSH II) for the plutocracy and when they lose, and the Dems win, then it still is a victory for the plutocracy. In this way, we, the citizen, can never win. We can only choose between great evil and evil. What is seen as the sane counterpoint to crazed ideas, would seem insane if we started from the viewpoint of the Common Good. But since the Common Good is wholly ignored we become blinded to this fact. We believe that we are seeing a battle between the Left and the Right, between Liberals and Conservatives. When the reality is that we are shown a battle between what the rich and powerful want and what they believe they can get. Nowhere are our concerns addressed. It is time we shone some light on the Common Good end of the continuum. Hopefully if we can concentrate enough light over there, the Corporate Great end will go dark and the Corporate Good will gather shadows.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I am a Black Swan

You can never know what effects your actions may have. One small step today may have reverberations deep into the future. The only thing that one can control is the shape and volition of their actions. By acting from a base of Love and Compassion you can be assured of a positive change in the world around you. We owe it to the 13+ billion years of history that led to this moment to make sure that we do all we can to shape a future that will provide for all things. From the furnace of the stars to the mind of man is one continuous line of evolution. We cannot break that line.

I am dipping my toes into the stream for the first time, but I hope to send out larger and larger ripples of positive energies and Love. We cannot allow our society to be ruled by sociopaths. The brave and intelligent among us must rise up and reclaim our future for all mankind, for all life on earth and for the planet itself.

I hope to keep working my way into the world, bit by bit, but the time to stand by and be idle has passed.

Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam