There are inherent limitations to knowledge, and understanding those limitations allows us to take them into consideration when we must act, on knowledge which is, always, limited.
Can a hand grasp itself?
How can the mind grasp the mind?
Everything originates in Spirit and endures in Spirit.
The Void, the Source, the Spirit, which came first?
Chaos is the ultimate source of all freedom.
Spirit is free of all limitations.
Religion is spiritual cancer, the uncontrolled growth of faith.
Detachment is indifference to one’s own interests, making selfless action possible.
Altruism is a slippery concept because of the subtleties of ego gratification.
In my opinion, one of the greatest achievements of Christianity is the ending of animal sacrifice.
I participate in the tradition of Native Spirituality because it acknowledges the existence and significance of animal Spirit.
“To all my Relations”, the traditional greeting on entering the sweat lodge, acknowledges my blood relationship to every living thing.
Some of my native relations greet me “¿Cómo estámos?, How are we?”
(Religious) Morality says: “The means (doing God’s will) justify the ends (consequences)”.
(Medical) Ethics says: “The ends (recovery, cure) justify the means (therapy)”.
The present Pope, the former leader of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith, has recently deplored religious violence … I would presume that the Grand Inquisitor is knowledgeable in these matters. Of course, all members of Holy Orders are exempted from torture by the Inquisition, so no clergy ever risked violence against their own persons. “Do as I say, not as… This hurts me more than it does… This is for your own…”
“We have met the enemy, and he is us” (Pogo) : Cynical power politics results in the creation and nurture of political nemeses. For example, The Church and the Freemasons, the Third Reich and the country of Israel, the U.S. and the Taliban.
Have you heard anything about “moral relativism” or “situational ethics” lately? Neither have I. Not since 9/11, in fact. They were disparaging phrases used by the religious right for contrast to the supposedly superior “absolute” moral authority of religion. Now that the U.S. has taken a loss, torture is back in vogue, and you don’t hear any complaints from the churches. “They did it first/worse” justifies anything. What does it say about the moral fiber of a nation when a single terrorist attack sets back basic human rights by three hundred years?
If torture is not terrorism, what is?
Fundamentalists complain that humanism has become a religion.
But who institutionalized the worship of a human?
It’s not really difficult to agree on a definition of torture: just apply it to anyone who disagrees.
Roman Catholic Canon Law says that a priest must hide his sins from everyone but his confessor.
That same Canon Law exempts the Church from all moral law in self-defense.
Hypocrisy is the foundation.
Back when I was in Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys, I came to the conclusion that the priests would admit that a fish could feel pain, if the fish could say so in Latin.
The Inquisitor is busy! The Holy See has now presented us with a list of new sins. It has been uncharacteristically vague on some of the details, such as whether it considers nicotine and alcohol to be mind-altering drugs or whether destruction of habitat qualifies as a sin. I note with disappointment but no surprise that, once again, institutionalized pedophilia, misogyny, overpopulation and hypocrisy were not even in the running.
There was a hidden agenda at work in the educational system of my youth: Bore them out of learning history!
Crusader is a word in Arabic, denoting the same thing as the English word, but with a somewhat different historical perspective. It is even less of a compliment.
I don’t trust anything I hear (or read) in (only) English.
I am proud to be a Native (north-) American.
Loss of Habitat is the principal present cause of extinction.
The only remedy for habitat loss is (human) Zero Population Growth.
The most effective means of population control is the empowerment of women.
When I was five years old, I realized that everyone around me believed in the “double standard”, that little girls should be held to a different standard of behavior than little boys. From that time on, I never contemplated staying there. I understood that, even though my personal freedom would be far greater than that of a girl, both men and women lose a very basic and essential freedom in such a society.
Symmetry is beautiful, simple, and a spiritual guide. If in my mind I can hold up a mirror which reverses every aspect of my situation, allowing me to see whether there is something asymmetrical which, were my position reversed in the mirror, would appear as displeasing as I find it pleasing, it may allow me to perceive some injustice, inequity or unkindness toward another which I had not previously perceived. Fairness and symmetry are inherent in human perceptions and can be guided to relationships. Even infants and animals recognize unfairness.
Rejection of symmetry distorts relationships.
It was only much later that I, along with a conscious minority in my home state, began to contemplate the evils of racism, and only after I left could I begin to appreciate the effects of a segregated, racist, sexist, religious, society built on slaveholding capitalism. The attitude was feudal, in that each person was expected, and occasionally demanded, to identify with or “belong to” an ethnicity or religion (“Choose sides!”), and each ethnicity and religion socially excluded certain of the others, frequently violently, especially whenever sex was involved. The combination of racism and sexism is guaranteed to produce violence, and religion is always the ultimate defense for the perpetrators. How many times have you heard the phrase “sex and violence”, as though they were the same thing? I have had Christians argue to me that sex is violence, and it was obvious that they considered sex to be an extremely dangerous and disgusting activity, to be avoided if at all possible. What does “immorality” mean to a Christian? Murder? Torture? War for profit? No, “immorality” always means “sex”. A hidden agenda is hard at work here to confuse the public by controlling the vocabulary. Basically, there is nothing in the Bible or the history of the Christian religion to suggest that there is anything immoral about violence or torture per se. It was only the regicidal and godless French Revolution which set into law the principle that certain forms of punishment or torture are unacceptable in a rational and humane society, no matter how heinous the crime! For that matter of means, it is only since then that the concept of rape as a crime against women has developed, as opposed to the traditional punishment of women and, occasionally, men, for transgressing the patriarchal control of women and sexuality. Both torture and rape (attentat de la pudeur) were institutionalized as legal procedure and punishment in France, and elsewhere, before the revolution. To my knowledge, it is not even specified as a sin by the church. The consent of the woman tends to be moot to the patriarchs.
A society must have the concept of female consent, the concept that a woman might have a preference regarding sex, before it can develop a concept of rape as a crime against a woman. It is a uniquely modern concept, even in agricultural and European societies.
A tree farm is not a forest
A fetus is not a baby
Sex is not violence
Jealousy is not love
Extinction is worse than Genocide.
Genocide, if successful, eliminates identifiable genes from the human race.
The race goes on.
Extinction is forever, for an entire species. For us as well as for them.
Where is the example of successful genocide? We still have Armenians and Jews and Lakotas despite genocidal programs.
The Survivors can regenerate.
There are no representatives left of the true victims of genocide. Where are the Mission Tribes? Where are the Philistines?
If racism has led to genocide, and if that is evil, sexism has led to extinctions, which are no less evil.
The present prime driving force for extinction is a loss of habitat.
Human overpopulation is consuming habitat.
The predominant misogynist sexist attitude of the patriarchal cultures actively punishes women for any attempts to control their own sexuality or reproduction, and in fact for any move toward independence of action.
When cultures do change and empower women, a fall in the birthrate is the invariable consequence.
Only when there is the universal empowerment of women to make their own choices will it be possible to stabilize the human population without war, and end the extinctions.
Most western religions prefer war and extinction.
The Christian, European, Patriarchal Wasichu (Fat-Takers) say, “The earth belongs to us. God will renew it”.
The (Earth) Natives say, “We belong to the Earth. We must renew It.”
I personally prefer to avoid the company of those who deny the female aspect of divinity,
those who loudly worship only Yahweh, Allah, or God, Deus (masculine), Patris, (masculine) Espiritus (masculine) et Filius (Jesus, masculine).
I also prefer to avoid the company of those who act like dogs or expect me to do so.
Yahweh has his chosen people, the Hebrews.
Great spirit does not even have a favored species.
Pastoral societies have no historical experience with female political power. This is not true of some agricultural societies. However, most scriptural traditions have been revised and edited to obliterate all references to the female aspect of divinity.
And the sources burned.
The Old Testament is the Reader’s Digest of Hebrew scripture.
Graffiti on a Greyhound Bus station’s men’s toilet stall, El Paso, Texas, December 1968: “Christianity has killed more people than it has saved.”
I thank Great Spirit that I have no known blood ties to the “Holy Land”
(don’t they understand all Earth is Holy?).
The Jewish tradition of matrilineal determination of “Jewishness” originated for the purpose of disinheriting Ishmael.
Flavius Josephus is more forthcoming on this subject than the editors of the Septuagint. The twelve-year-old Ishmael and his Egyptian mother, Hagar, were driven out of the camp into the desert with the clear intention of their death, because Sarah had told Abraham, “It is not good that our son should have an older brother”. Abraham has twice demanded the death of a son. In fact, Hebrew and Arabic scholars alike are divided in their opinion of just which son was demanded by Eloh(im)/Allah.
I have never met a (self-identified) Christian or Jew who was willing to have a discussion of these topics from their own scriptures.
It’s all about choosing sides.
“God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son!’
Abe said, ‘Man, you must be puttin’ me on!’” (Bob Dylan)
Morality is conformance with God’s will.
Ethics is another matter entirely.
Even God is bound by Karma! (uncontrollable laughter).
I was very interested to learn that the founders of Reader’s Digest were in fact Nazis. It explains the militantly positivistic reactionary tone. They certainly had the propagandist’s genius for recruiting artistic talent and tailoring it to their political regime, editing out whatever might suggest that there was any middle ground between raging satyrs and smarmy deacons. You could always depend on Bob Hope and the Reader’s Digest to support any American war with folksy good humor and to viciously slam anyone who wasn’t with the program.
In order to understand the significance of the history of the Third Reich, I had to visit Germany, speaking German. I already knew that, largely as a consequence of the earlier practice of capitalism, much of the economic base of Germany was at that time owned by Jews, and I felt that German resentment of this had helped fuel the Holocaust. I could never find a Jew who would talk to me about this. Any attempt to analyze the historical origins of the Holocaust was treated as Nazi apologetics. What I needed to learn in Germany, from observation, was that the national inclination towards spiritual rigidity would continue to provide fertile ground for the next pogrom. I concluded that, without the laws criminalizing denial of the Holocaust (of Jews! Forget ten million Slavs, Gypsies, and homosexuals), der Glockenspielsinn (the clockwork Soul) of die Völker would grind out the old familiar genocidal optimization and move right on to the next ethnic cleansing.
Denial of the Female Aspect of Divinity has resulted in far more suffering than denial of the Holocaust ever could.
The antagonism, strife, and hostility between the sexes caused by (misogynist) sexism pervade every family, even in an ethnically homogeneous society.
I have read that the (semi-)humorous Pashto phrase for a husband who does not beat his wife is “man without a penis”. The corresponding American phrase disparaging tenderness toward women is “pussy-whipped”.
Basically, the Germans en masse (they are perfectly fine individually) present an extreme of a constantly recurring trend in Europe toward totalitarianism, first expressed through religion, and only later effectively enforced by a national government. The Calvinists were spiritual forefathers to the Nazis, in their literal-minded acting out of the logical conclusions of their religious doctrines, with total lack of compassion, and the original of the Nationalist Democratic Party was a Bavarian Catholic party. Pope Pius V was notoriously nonjudgmental toward the Nazis, to say the least. Spiritual rigidity makes a people more susceptible to mass control.
In 1976, I had dinner in a vegetarian restaurant in Zürich, at the top of one of the finest hotels in the downtown. Aside from the iceberg lettuce and ever-present kraut, all of the food was cooked to pieces. Ganz ist übergekochen! Only in Britain was I presented with an equally unpalatable fare. The Germans don’t seem to trust anything that isn’t cooked to death.
I think the undeniable distrust of the Germans toward other cultures, especially Latin, Slavic, and Gypsy, is due to the unpredictability of emotion, imagination and fantasy. I think the Germans almost trust the English to be dependably unimaginative.
I found myself passing from German to French regions and back, and even though I couldn’t speak French, the food and the atmosphere, in comparison with that of their Teutonic neighbors, cured me of my congenital admiration for the Germans, and I took the first step to joining the ranks of the untervolk, to becoming a Latino and identifying with my Native and Celtic bloodlines.
Nothing has furthered my personal freedom like the study of the true history of my bloodlines (as opposed to the official propagandist history).
Julius Caesar wrote that the (Celtic) Druids considered history and religion to be too important to write down. They had to be memorized. Consequently, the literary investigation of ancient Celtic history and religion requires much reading between the lines of only tangentially related material, as well as synthesis with other evidence.
The same can be said of the study of the history and beliefs of Native American societies which, although they used rebus writing or hieroglyphs to record their histories and legends, have been adjudged to be illiterate by Europeans.
An essential aspect of vision, or perception, is the point of view. One’s point of view inevitably involves a restriction of what can be perceived, but without a point of view, there is no perception. Incarnation restricts and allows physical perception. Spirit is entirely unrestricted, but physical perception can distract from spiritual perception. Since Spirit is without restriction in space or time, it would follow that restriction of the point of view is not necessary for spiritual perception. Understanding, however, involves more than mere perception.
Distraction from spiritual perception by perceptions on lower levels of physical existence is the reason for ascetic disciplines. The deprivation and suffering involved are beside the point, which is undistracted spiritual perception. The simplest technique, for me, is to simply stop consuming liquids. In a few days, all distractions disappear. A somewhat more sophisticated application of similar practices is a very effective tool for spiritual instruction. Teachers look for promising pupils and bestow spiritual lessons which cannot be received otherwise. In my case, it required rearranging my consciousness to include the concept of spirit.
I have personally always had a tendency to extremism and a refusal to accept anything, especially authority and received wisdom, at face value. I have heard Natives say that traditional healings usually involve some element of startling effect, achieving closure to the ceremony and leaving no doubt that a treatment has been applied. I have also heard the opinion that Natives need stronger medicines and doses than Wasichu. For myself, I am kind of like that Missouri mule that you have to hit in the head with a board first, to get his attention (an old joke from my part of the country, which hopefully has died). You have to damn near kill me to get my attention! If my teacher hadn’t gotten my attention first, I would never have learned.
Dualism says, “The flesh is the enemy of the spirit”.
I say, “The flesh is the vehicle of the spirit”.
Reader’s Digest Condensations:
The Complete Wit and Wisdom of George J. Gurdjieff
To understand someone’s state of mind, arrange the features of your own face in the identical expression.
In the city of Atlantis, there were three types of public buildings: temples for worship, buildings for the seclusion of menstruating women, and insane
asylums for homosexuals.
The immortal soul is produced by the prostate gland from retained semen.
“Th-th-that’s All, F-f-folks!!”
Ask a Native, “Who created man?” and the answer, if it is not “Creator”, or “Great Spirit”, will probably be “Coyote”, referring not to the animal, but to the spirit personified by the animal, the Trickster Spirit, who produced a helpless, naked, ugly creature, without the good sense of other animals, but with a great talent for causing trouble and throwing things out of balance. As long as we identify ourselves only as human until we can learn to laugh at our own ridiculous and obtuse humanity and aspire to something better, we will be locked into our blindness. We are the only animal without the good sense to limit our own numbers.
Location, location, location!
But timing is everything.
Don’t make your move too soon.
Never overplay your hand.
Keep that last laugh up your sleeve.
If you’re gonna roll them bones,
You better learn to lose.
I am a living being by virtue of the historically and scientifically obvious fact that I developed from living cells from other living beings, in an unbroken series of generations of life which developed by readily demonstrable natural chemical processes from the primordial environment, the ultimate origin of all life on earth. My genetic material includes viral, bacterial and animal components. I have been alive for a billion years.
Five Fits for a Fact
Man’s an animal! I say it,
And I feel it is a shame,
While our natures all betray it,
That we won’t admit the same.
“We are angels,” cry the faithful,
“Fallen from a higher sphere,
And the animal’s the hateful
Part of our souls while we’re here.”
But I can’t resist observing
That an angel’s a disgrace
To the God that he is serving
If his kind is like our race.
For those ascetes who would sever
Bestial nature from divine
By the prayer and scourge have ever
Been a scourge to humankind.
Thus I hold in what acumen
I possess that man would fall
somewhat short of being human
If he were not animal.
“Every dog barks in his own backyard” (Benjamin Franklin?)
Cowards take courage from numbers.
True courage is action indifferent to personal consequences.
I have been in packs of dogs and mobs of humans, but never a pack or mob of cats.
Each cat acts on its own authority.
There is a reason that a group of lions is termed a pride.
Cats are to dogs as hawks are to vultures.