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A couple of things.

1. Being human is fundamentally uncomfortable. Incredible amounts of energy have been spent masking this from ourselves and each other. But it's there. A lot of it comes from denial of mortality, fear of pain etc. Almost everybody I know went through a period of swinging hard to the other pole, being morbid and self-destructive. Now, this does *not* excuse nihilism. Life is what we make of it, and so is self-image. This is a sort of game, and each of us has a sort of character, and character attributes can be tweaked in real time and indefinitely.

2. You are not *just* the character. You are not *just* the mind imagining the character, or the brain supporting the mind, or the body supporting the brain. There is a part of all of us, usually called spirit, that is so hard to define that thousand year wars are fought over the details. But here's the thing: if you stop listening to the tape loops installed in your survival system by life experience and learn to get very quiet inside, you will hear its voice and recognize its truth. Then, you will know how big you really are.

3. But wait, there's more, because we all have a share of spirit, and all of us connect at a level that is usually intangible. You won't see it much up here on the surface. You've got to go deep, deeper, deepest, until there is nowhere to go because you're everywhere. The surface is where the waves are, and without an anchor you're at their whim. We all have to make contact with the part of ourselves that is beyond the reach of circumstance and use it as a vantage point rather than the frenetic control freaks most of us have at the switchboard.

4. It's hard and it takes time. Yet it's simpler than it seems. When you get it, you'll wonder how it seemed so impossible. You'll lose it but you'll get good at returning to being it instead of chasing it. And don't let anybody sell it to you, because it's free, and your birthright.

5. There are plenty of dark human conspiracies that make the world seem like a meat grinder for souls, but the biggest conspiracy is benevolent. Life/God/spirit can't wait for you to recognize what you are, so it throws you clues, sends helpers, synchronizes events to make you think twice about the status quo script (you know, the meat grinder). Embrace vitality. It's yours when you want it.

#plantstho

I've heard many times that humans are meant to eat meat, and that it's natural. I disagree, but I mean, if folks who want venison can run down a deer, kill and eat it using only bare hands and face, and convince their stomachs to produce more acid so they can digest it raw before the bacteria lodge in 20 extra feet of intestine per person, who am I to stop them?

Our teeth are versatile but not ideal at all, our digestive tract is short and meant to run slow. We can't even digest meat without doing half the work in cookware. Actually quite a bit of the body's morphology is a joke for the job, but hey. If people can sort out how to do it without a shred of technology, I'll call it natural. Fair's fair. Go get em, Tiger. Do you.

But actually, to make it fair, we're gonna have to shut down all the slaughterhouses and farms. All that land will have to be reclaimed so the non-native "prey" animals can adapt and make it their habitat. We'll have to stop giving them grains and drugs, and we'll have to abandon dairy production since that hijacks the mammalian life cycle.

Damn, sounds like it might be easier to just not eat meat. Taking one step each as individuals seems more likely by far than making huge societal shifts, given that as a whole we are stubborn primates with delusions of grandeur and centuries of ingrained tradition.

OK, if we want to be technical, the use of fire to cook and the tools of hunting and eating were developed from human ideas. Adaptation can be argued as an outgrowth of our physiology since it makes use of the parts of the brain that appear unique. Technology allowed us to evolve physically far faster than mentally, emotionally, or socially. We can call technology an emergent property of consciousness, and other species display it on a more rudimentary scale. In the case of modern humans, what we have is a species that *can* do anything which has a strong tendency to do the new trick/play with the new toy without thinking about the long term. "It seemed like a good idea at the time" could be a one-line history of the human race, but so could "we always did it this way." People overwhelmingly choose to keep doing what they like.

Most people agree on the grimness of factory farming, though I would have to this extends to all modern animal agriculture. However many feelgood adjectives there are on the package, the facts remain. Meat comes from slaughter at the end of a truncated and unpleasant life. Confinement is unhealthy and cruel. Hens and cows aren't meant to produce milk or eggs in high volume (even in backyards) and it destroys them. These animals can and do only exist to be exploited in their current forms, at all scales of domestication.

Animal products tend to cause problems in people who overeat them, which is virtually everyone who does. No one in the developed world is in danger of protein deficiency, and there are many reliable plant sources, even leaving tofu and processed foods out, that deliver the protein without the saturated fats, pharmaceuticals, and so on. The same adaptability that gave us fire and knives allows us to survive on anything, so it's down to choice.

The thing is, on a grand scale, I know it's moot. Most people put their pleasure first in all aspects of life from food to family. I'm not here to turn the world vegan and I can't force anyone to change anyway. In this and many other areas, I've chosen to act as an individual. I aim for the path of least harm, which in this case, for me, means being vegan. I find that my life has only improved and I see no reason to participate in what I see as both unnecessary and unsustainable.

A few times a year, some new clue is found that lengthens and changes the story of human evolution. For hundreds of thousands of years, we did what we had to in order to fit into our environment and survive. Now, we can do what we want, and have the power to shift our surrounds to suit us instead. May we all learn to do it wisely, at this key moment of choice between exploitation in the service of illusory infinite growth and moves toward sustaining, thriving and redefining life on Earth.

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An Open Letter to the New Invisibles

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You know, I've sported a stealth tin foil hat for the majority of my life now. You take the shapes you need to to navigate this labyrinth. But I'm tired of accepting the stigma given those who question authority, official narratives, and complacency in the face of clear corruption. Everyone is aware on some level that we have deep problems on this planet, regardless of how aggressive their denial or how oblivious they are through circumstance. I'm less concerned with blame and more interested in solutions. From now on I'll wear my crazy like a crown.

A lot of people think all the high strangeness flickering across their screens popped out of a Russian data bomb in election season, but this goes back as long as people. International intrigue, political theater, blackmail and bogeymen are just the ripples on the surface of very deep water. These things are symptoms. Conspiracy is an emergent property of civilization, or at least, this one. Curiosity is innate among the living. The streams cross for many, more all the time. Call it what you want, it's here to stay. This is the time of unveiling. The world's closets are having a skeleton liquidation, and everything must go! Even the status quo can't avoid it, though the main stream is full of red herrings.

In these post-truth times of fake news and faker news and pageantry and public ritual, it's all too much for just about anyone, probably by design. Weary folk don't have the juice to fight until their backs hit the wall. It's no wonder then that people escape ever deeper into the portable data-mining virtual reality portals we call "phones." It's no wonder so many people are wearing their stress on their sleeves, in their voice, in the eyes that won't meet yours. Once you start to see the bones of this world, you don't get to stop. I can't blame people for opting out.

I've accepted that we're sleepwalking as a species, with our dreams being harmonized to corporate interests. Some of us do fall awake long enough to see the weather on the horizon and add it to the storehouse of situational awareness. Sometimes all you can do is know, and do your best to avoid adding to whatever phantom showed itself for an instant. Possibly because of a history of insomnia and a comical number of near death and baffling spiritual experiences I've had a foot in both worlds a long time now. It's old hat to me, though even a seasoned crackpot like myself is shocked at the currents that are flirting with visibility. One gets a certain vertigo when dots grow together in the clear light.

I came from the days when one's introduction to the fringe came in the form of being curious in dusty used bookstores and prowling the text based ancestors of the Internet over land lines and I'll tell you, I do long for that innocence and simplicity at times. Now there are things like communities encircling the pursuit of truths, but in the little corners where people whisper or shout about what they find between the lines, we're in the days of AI shilling, hashtag erasure, YouTube jail and Google memory holes. The hive is aggressive and does not appreciate autonomy, despite what it might tell you in car commercials.

There's too much data being sprayed at us and collected on us. Demographics have been replaced by psychographics. The old pillars of the press are riddled with cracks. The new delivery systems have different agendas. There's too much news, fake or otherwise (it's a trick question). People are exhausted, and can barely keep up with the omnidirectional information overload. The signal to noise ratio is painfully bad.

The alphabet studios seem married to the alphabet agencies and the strain you hear in the voice of opposition comes from the choke chain around its throat. We keep trying to become the media by producing rather than consuming, but the mold is really stubborn in this tenement. Since you could set type and put ink on a page some stiff was ready with a pail of whitewash. There's always a new form of the old game, which is always to squelch all opposition to the narrative. These are strange days in what could become the slave new world if we keep hitting snooze on the consciousness clock. As long as people have been trying to figure out the shape of things behind the curtain there have been stubborn pests: disinformation campaigns, fear mongering, and people making a buck off dread.

But what's also been here the whole time is a that still small voice that waits for us to shut up and hear it, that gentle pulse of guiding light toward hope. And I see it in the damnedest places these days and I love to catch it working through us. The meme wars are real, and ancient, and will be won in good time. The shadowsphere is aging poorly, and it's running out of tricks to pull. With every generation comes a population of mutants upon which the old trance won't hold for long.

Whatever happened to us as individuals to re-awaken the thrust and thirst for truth, it seems the Great Work has been taken back from the would be architects who corrupted it. It seems it's being crowdsourced to us, the new eyes and ears of The Search. This time, it's spreading to other generations, new populations, and it is finding its way around the familiar traps.

Perhaps this turn in the great game the veils will be shredded for good. Perhaps this time, all the walls between us will come tumbling down at last. What world will we build then? It's hard to guess. But at least we can see what has been built around us, and do our best to learn as we transcend the damage done.

I am driven to know, even if I never can. I went deep into many rabbit holes that will be familiar to some of you. At times I was overcome with amusement at the absurdity of what I found and at other times got very sad and very scared at what I found there, pregnant as it was with the gravity of unspeakable apparent truth. But in these pitch dark tunnels, I found that I could see in a new way. I had discovered how to read the signs and symbols by my own light, to do my best to discern and decipher.

I wager so have you. Here we are in a domain that allows us to compare our views. What a time! We have all come from different directions and seek to uncover paths that do not always cross. Even when we employ our better natures and avoid petty conflicts, discord is sown to disrupt or for malice's sake. But this won't work forever. We don't need to be the same to work together. We can stick apart and compare notes. It may be the best way to work around the old traps.

We all take turns being the darkness as we look for the light. But we can't allow ourselves to stay divided. We all have some pieces of wisdom to trade. We are all here to help each other. As we cross paths and build maps, I hope we will collaborate rather than compete. Best to each of you and to us all. Keep digging, keep pulling weeds, and keep growing this garden. Day must always dance with night, but out of darkness cometh light!

Knock knock

Today I complimented an older gent ("Bob") on his choice of hat, as we had the same style. His wife told me it was a "newsboy" cap, and I do occasionally feel like I'm in that role. Then he told me it was also once worn by "powder monkies," little dudes who got Naval cannons ready for loading/firing. We are in something of a war, and I like to think I occasionally write something that preps somebody's cannon.

So, a little free novelty and amusement just for saying hello in there. My advice to you is once you're old enough to sort out and avoid the creeps, talk to strangers, especially those who carry the old knowledge. Never a waste of time.

Thanks, Bob!

The you inside you

The air is never truly still. The breeze sometimes spins up into wind, and the wind sometimes blows hard. It makes a racket and stirs up dust and brings clouds. And now and then it will snap branches off the tall trees and it will seem very dangerous.

But the trees survive and grow back, for their deep roots and trunks built from years and even decades or centuries give them great strength.

And you are like this, even when you do not know it.

The clouds bring rain, and the rain comes down. It washes away the surface of the ground even as it penetrates to feed the roots of the great trees. And there are great stones older than time with stories older than language. Their stories are of endurance, for the rain erodes the skin of the great stones but never threatens the deeper layers. Like the trees, their power comes from years, even eons of survival.

And you are like this, even when you cannot feel it.

Fear not the wind, nor the rain, nor the many other kinds of weather in the mind and in the heart. For they come and go, and you remain, and you grow wiser and more powerful. There is no limit to what you are, and any limits prescribed to you by others or adopted by yourself and the patterns of behavior and circumstance that follow their imprints are like wind and rain. They are to be endured, and learned from, even nourished by. They are not to be worshipped or obeyed.

The you that is there while these things come and go is the you that waits to be reclaimed. You are powerful, and solitude can speed recovery from the chaos of existence, but in the end, no one is truly alone. The connection to everything remains, waiting to serve where it is welcome. And at our best, we each become this service, and are thereby lifted above the great stones, above the great trees, and to a place where it all makes just a little bit more sense from the view of the birds.

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Ok, maybe we are all a little crazy.

A lifespan's worth of endured/engineered PTSD will do that I reckon. The permafrost of the national heart set in about 70 years ago with "The Quiet Generation" and never let up. Food production moved to Hell, war became constant, drugs and other coping mechanisms became ubiquitous. The family withered, friendship became ironic, and the quality of everything faded. We fired God, stopped listening to the elders and tuned out our kids. The memory of how it was before we split the atom and hired the enemy to save us from the enemy became a hungry ghost. 

This period feels like what alchemists called nigredo, a putrefaction following death in the stage before new life comes from the remains of the old form. Let us hope this is so, and act as if it is. The way out is through. The way back is forward. Love is, despite appearances.

In a world overrun by parasites, you must become indigestible.

Everybody is caught in the habit of pretending all is well even if they are each dragging a chain of thousand corpses through the deserts of their haunted hearts.

Everybody wears a mask and our great privilege and delight is to see and share glimpses of each other's true faces. Everybody takes turns being halfway through the bowels of things we don't discuss in polite company. Given all that, let's try to be kind, despite habit, despite conditioning, despite the hip-gnosis that blocks true sight.

Human beings and human doings will swell your heart and wring it dry. Somebody is bearing a weight you can't imagine. Somebody is carrying the seed of incredible good works and every horror bears the potential for redemption. Don't let the machine hijack your limbic system. There are ways of living off the pain of others. As the ant farms the aphid, as we farm the other animals, there are those that farm our darkness and encourage this dark mess. Starve 'em, say I.

Life is getting more complex, more bizarre, and therefore more terrifying. The lust for control born in the fear of pain and incubated in the Verbal Hologram we all soak in makes us crazy and our "leaders" madder than we can imagine. The truth is it's all on shuffle, balancing itself, and we are only in charge of our actions and reactions. We need not sell ourselves to cardboard cutouts or put our wrists out for hungry manacles. Freedom will not come from bowed heads.

We are driven by a need for order, but undulation is the law. You will get seasick in the waves of chaos from time to time. When you're ill and low and feeling chewed up, remember that there is a part of you that cannot be turned into fuel by the unspeakable and invisible. Try to identify with that and in the meantime, try to remember we're all in it.

Sunshine kills infection. Be radiant. And when you can't, make amends and start over. Learn to return. Give the things that would devour you so much gas it won't be worth the trouble. Catch yourself, moment to moment, cooperating with your psychic tapeworms, and stop short of the well-worn path. Step up and out, from circle to spiral. That way lies freedom. It's gradual, it's tedious, it's exhausting, but it's the cure.

Starting now, stop being food. Start finding ways to feed.

 

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..and I feel fine.

Today, September 23rd, 2017, is the end of the world. I saw it on the internet, so it's true. Never mind that it wasn't true 2 years ago the last time it was predicted. Never mind that every doomsday date is wrong since ever. Never mind that the Bible itself says don't bother setting dates because it doesn't work. It's a pity the doomslingers don't read that bit. Bad for business.

Somebody is selling the doomsday du jour for clicks or attention, citing the return of Planet X, or spooky shapes in the stars predicted by astrology they don't normally believe in, or the internet becoming self aware and turning all the butt-scanning toilets into laser guns or whatever. I've heard the boy cry wolf before, and paranoia is becoming passé as my hair and patience thin. I know I'm getting old because even the apocalypse is in reruns. Yawn.

Here's my 2 cents on the matter, as an MP3.

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We aren't crazy and we aren't doomed.

Our rising cultural anxiety and depression isn't just random or as simple as biological defect. There's a dimension beyond what self-care prevents and relieves. We are more separated than ever as individuals in a technological hive that promises connectivity but delivers mostly tracking. Yet we remain connected beneath the surface, and empathy is rising so we are beginning to share the pain of other beings. Information continues to double and technology makes transmission instant.

 We are watching world after world end, or threaten to do so. Doomsayers besiege us from every corner of the media maze as we're herded into boxes for the benefit of the panopticon. Thus we are all afflicted to various degrees with "apocalypse fatigue," some more than others. We are aware of industrialized suffering and destruction, and we see the veils that dress it up as "how things were and are and need to be." We yearn for change.

The good news is that we can choose to embrace the eschaton, not with the death-urge that underpins current culture, but with a zeal for creating new worlds from the bones and ash of the one we're shedding. We already know how to make worlds, for we've always done it internally as a coping mechanism. We've been incubating in survival mode, waiting our turn. The call has come.

In the split seconds where we can see the whole picture, each of us will catch glimpses of how and where to displace horror with humor and abuse with compassion. No one is coming to save the world, but if we each take our corner, the whole thing gets done. Do not give way to despair, however great the load. There is always some space in which to move, some light to add. Go now in peace, and do the work your heart commands.