Saturday, May 31, 2008

310508

Oh, lost and bewildered!

Listen! Listen! Listen!
Can't you hear it?
Can't you hear it?
Can't you hear it?

Of the thousands who listen for it,
Only one will hear it!
Of the thousands who hear it,
Only one will look for it!
Of the thousands who look for it,
Only one will find it!
Of the thousands who find it,
Only one will follow it!
Of the thousands who follow it,
It chooses only one!
Is that you?

Oh, lost and bewildered,
Listen, stop and listen!
Stop watching TV!
Stop all the distractions!
Stop what you're doing and listen!
Listen it It!
It guides and directs your life,
Even though you don't know
That you don't know (It)!

Oh, lost and bewildered!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

220508

We march to its drum!

How disappointing
This experiment in life,
The Ego the fife,
We march to its drum!

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Stranded in Suburbia

BERLIN

I have seen the future, and it works.

O.K., I know that these days you’re supposed to see the future in China or India, not in the heart of “old Europe.”

Paul, you must not now what's going on in the world! Don't look to China, they're 'apping' America! Everyone here wants a big, expensive (and black) SUV.

But we’re living in a world in which oil prices keep setting records, in which the idea that global oil production will soon peak is rapidly moving from fringe belief to mainstream assumption. And Europeans who have achieved a high standard of living in spite of very high energy prices — gas in Germany costs more than $8 a gallon — have a lot to teach us about how to deal with that world.

Get a bicycle! Not only do you save money, but you get from 'here to there,' exercising (very productive means). You also don't pollute (air and noise)! Of course, the lazy won't.

If Europe’s example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much.

Notice that I said that cars should be fuel-efficient — not that people should do without cars altogether. In Germany, as in the United States, the vast majority of families own cars (although German households are less likely than their U.S. counterparts to be multiple-car owners).

But the average German car uses about a quarter less gas per mile than the average American car. By and large, the Germans don’t drive itsy-bitsy toy cars, but they do drive modest-sized passenger vehicles rather than S.U.V.’s and pickup trucks.

In the near future I expect we’ll see Americans moving down the same path. We’ve already done it once: over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, the average mileage of U.S. passenger vehicles rose about 50 percent, as Americans switched to smaller, lighter cars.

This improvement stalled with the rise of S.U.V.’s during the cheap-gas 1990s.

Thanks to Reagun, and Ayn Rand. Greed is good!

But now that gas costs more than ever before, even after adjusting for inflation, we can expect to see mileage rise again.

Admittedly, the next few years will be rough for families who bought big vehicles when gas was cheap, and now find themselves the owners of white elephants with little trade-in value. But raising fuel efficiency is something we can and will do.

Can we also drive less? Yes — but getting there will be a lot harder.

Things will get harder, and the weak will succumb! Why? We've (America) is had it too easy for too long, the Tao now seeking the opposite!

There have been many news stories in recent weeks about Americans who are changing their behavior in response to expensive gasoline — they’re trying to shop locally, they’re canceling vacations that involve a lot of driving, and they’re switching to public transit.

These are the people that will survive!

But none of it amounts to much. For example, some major public transit systems are excited about ridership gains of 5 or 10 percent. But fewer than 5 percent of Americans take public transit to work, so this surge of riders takes only a relative handful of drivers off the road.

This needs to change, and of course will simply out of necessity!

Any serious reduction in American driving will require more than this — it will mean changing how and where many of us live.

I wonder if people know what 'clinical death' is? It's the inability of the body to adapt! If our bodies (minds) could continue to adapt we could live forever (which wouldn't necessarily be a good idea). Thus, those who can't adapt to an ever changing situation will succumb.

To see what I’m talking about, consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping.

It’s the kind of neighborhood in which people don’t have to drive a lot, but it’s also a kind of neighborhood that barely exists in America, even in big metropolitan areas. Greater Atlanta has roughly the same population as Greater Berlin — but Berlin is a city of trains, buses and bikes, while Atlanta is a city of cars, cars and cars.

I wouldn't live in Atlanta if you paid me!

And in the face of rising oil prices, which have left many Americans stranded in suburbia — utterly dependent on their cars, yet having a hard time affording gas — it’s starting to look as if Berlin had the better idea.

You bet! Even China, which has fallen in love with the Automobile (the most destructive invention in history) still has much public transportation.

Changing the geography of American metropolitan areas will be hard. For one thing, houses last a lot longer than cars. Long after today’s S.U.V.’s have become antique collectors’ items, millions of people will still be living in subdivisions built when gas was $1.50 or less a gallon.

I'm so old (68) that I remember buying gasoline in Tucson, Arizona, in 1957, for .19 cents per gallon. I could fill up my VW bug for $1 dollar!

Infrastructure is another problem. Public transit, in particular, faces a chicken-and-egg problem: it’s hard to justify transit systems unless there’s sufficient population density, yet it’s hard to persuade people to live in denser neighborhoods unless they come with the advantage of transit access.

And there are, as always in America, the issues of race and class. Despite the gentrification that has taken place in some inner cities, and the plunge in national crime rates to levels not seen in decades, it will be hard to shake the longstanding American association of higher-density living with poverty and personal danger.

Still, if we’re heading for a prolonged era of scarce, expensive oil, Americans will face increasingly strong incentives to start living like Europeans — maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of our lives.

Yes, we're heading into a 'prolonged era of scarcity,' (note the wrong use of 'scarce')! In fact, we're consuming the earth because we're over populated!

Just come to China to see!

F.A.Hutchison

in Xining, China

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

100508

At all?

A glance, entranced;
Romance!
It quickens the heart,
Reminds us of our part,
The play of life!

Memories flash past,
Until the very last.
But, were we here
At all?

F.A. Hutchison

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Monday, May 05, 2008

04a0508

What is the nature of humanity? (slightly updated version posted earlier, but now can't locate)
By F.A. Hutchison/from China

I ask myself this question in light of the current state of affairs in the world (April, 2008): conflict, violence, disasters and war everywhere on Earth! It's a time of crisis as far as I'm concerned!

One only has to have studied world history and be 'up to speed' as to events around the world, to wonder if we can survive ourselves? And if and when we have departed (become extinct), will we have 'been here' at all?

Let's address the first question: Can we survive ourselves?

This is what Carl Sagan said on the subject?

"Due to our own actions or inactions, and the misuse of our technology, we live at an extraordinary moment for the Earth at least—the first time that a species has become able to wipe itself out.

We have designed a civilization based on science and technology and at the same time have arranged things so that almost no one understands anything at all about science and technology.
This is a clear prescription for disaster.
We may for a awhile get away with this mix of ignorance and power but sooner or later it is
bound to blow up in our face.

We have found from modern astronomy that we live on a tiny hunk of rock and metal, third from the sun, that circles a humdrum star in the obscure outskirts of an ordinary galaxy which contains some 400 billion other stars, which is one of about a 100 billion other galaxies that make up the universe and according to some current views, a universe that is one among an immense number, perhaps an infinite number of other universes.
In this perspective the idea that our planet is at the center of the universe much less that human purpose is central to the existence of the universe is pathetic. Does life thereby lose all meaning, I think not. I think we make our lives meaningful by the courage of our questions, by the depth of our answers, by how widespread our understanding
is of the essential tools for managing our future, for how skeptical we are of those in authority and of our obligation to care for one another.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast
cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one
another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of those who derived their self esteem from dividing the dot into two hundred still littler patches. Our posturings, our imagined self- importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of
pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in a great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness their is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves, it is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling and even character building experience. There
is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. For me it underscores our responsibility, our profound responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot the only home we have ever known."

Yes, of course, we have a responsibility! But, only .01% of the world's population has any clue to this. That leaves six plus billion people in the dark, striving to survive anyway they can (even if it means violence)!
People always say the issue is 'education.' I say the issue is 'consciousness,' (a state of understanding). Of course, education is a part of having 'consciousness,' but doesn't necessarily lead to it? Do we have more 'consciousness' in 2008, than we did 5,000 years ago? No, maybe even less!

Education leads to knowledge, but does more knowledge help? Not according to Lao Zi, who wrote about this in his 'Tao Te Qing' 2,200 years ago. What it leads to is competition between people and cultures; basically frustration, envy, desire, mistrust, ultimately violence and war. The more we know, the more vulnerable (fearful) we become! Lao Zi essentially said that, 'Ignorance is bliss!' Note: This was the state of 'the Garden' before Eve ate (the apple) at the Tree of Knowledge.

I can cite myself: I have University degrees, read hundreds of books, travelled the world, have access to the Internet that brings me the world daily. But, am I happier for it? No! In fact, I crave to drop out of modern life and go live with the animals in a remote place! I'm not sure if this is possible at the age of 68-years, having grown up in modernity (20th Century), but I crave it!


I was once $ rich, but was I happy? No! It just led to much bizarre behavior! I don't know any rich (nee powerful) people that are happy. They smile a lot for the cameras, but I'll bet they're not really happy. Why? Material wealth doesn't compensate for mental health! It's an illusion!

Parents admonish their children to get a good eduction so they'll get a good job (financial security). But, does this lead to emotional security? No! People are led in the wrong direction! Capitalism brings out the worse in us, not the best! As my friend Toby said recently, 'We need more people living in caves, and eating air!'

Once you understand the 'nature of man,' that we are flawed (sinners the Christians call it) you begin to understand. Are we any better human beings than we were 10,000 years ago. I think not.

Man still seeks primarily for himself! Is this good? Adam Smith and Ayn Rand would say yes! Has it made a better world? I think not! Yes, some got rich and indulged themselves, but will they be remembered in history (if we survive ourselves)? I think not! Who cares about Ruppert Murdock, except his wife and children (wanting to inherit his wealth)? Nobody!

Is it possible for mankind to evolve and change, compromising in order to survive? We haven't in the last 10,000 years! The only thing I've concluded is that man is at the very beginning of his (potential) development. We're like infants groping in the dark! If we survive ourselves, maybe in another one million years we'll reach maturity.

So, why are we here, on this tiny blue dot? Is it just to seek for ourselves, destroying Mother Earth and ourselves in the process? Ignorance may be best (as Lao Zi knew), but I'm afraid it's too late.

The birth of ego consciousness, symbolized in 'The Garden of Eden' myth, was when all the 'trouble' began - and God lamented (according to the Christian Bible). This recognition of self (I am!) as distinct from others launched 'dual existence.' In Duality, no 'I,' no 'you.' No man, no woman (interesting that man blames woman for partaking at the Tree of Knowledge). No, God, no Satan! No war, no peace, and on and on, ad infinitum (for everything there is its opposite). We can't have one without the other.

And with such came 'I am good, but I'm not so sure about you!' (mistrust). Also, with Duality came the recognition of God as 'good' and Satan or the Devil as 'bad.' This is the nature of humanity! 'I am right, and you are wrong! If only you would be like me, believe what I do. My God is the only God, and if you don't believe what I do, I'm going to kill you!

So, why did this happen, this evolutionary 'progress' from 'living in The Garden,' to turning existence into a Hell (Duality)? Didn't God create us in His light, so we might perfect his species? That we must come from this darkness to know the Light? That we have to suffer to understand it's possible to evolve from 'ignorance' to 'enlightenment?'

The other significant 'Story' in recorded history is 'The Myth of the Holy Grail!' Not the simplified version that 'Hollywood,' exploits (for money), the literal version, but the symbolic version, the first secular myth in history (circa. 1200) that dealt with redemption.

In this symbolic (powerful) version, Gawain, the errant knight 'happens' upon the Grail Castle ('Heaven'). Invited in, he fails to pay the proper respect to the Fisher King, who is suffering from a 'wound in his side.' Gawain is thus banished from the castle. Alone, he spends his adult life 'wandering in the forest,' saving damsels in distress, righting (what he thinks are) wrongs, slaying dragons, many times suffering the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.' Then one day, many years later, he 'happens' upon the Grail Castle again. Again, he's invited in, but this time he makes no such mistake. Privy now to pain and suffering he notices the suffering King, and asks, 'What ails thee uncle?' With that simple expression of concern (for others), he earns the right to stay in the Castle ('Heaven'). He, having lived and suffered, now recognizes the pain of others, and is redeemed having sacrificed his ego! This could not have happened 'pre ego consciousness' ('The Garden of Eden').

The point of the Grail story is, you can't just pray or go to church, that living, failing, suffering, is the only way to develop empathy for the pain of others. And this 'annealment' the 'alchemy of life' is what purifies the heart and opens the door to 'Heaven.' This is the story of Jesus Christ! 'The Myth of the Holy Grail,' is just the secular version.

So why are we in the 'deep do do,' that we're in? Because the majority of us are still 'wandering in the forest!' Thrown out of 'The Garden of Eden,' (nee Grail Castle) we still haven't learned, we still don't understand! We take the easy way out and project evil onto others! We're still 'infants wandering in the dark.' I love the line that a man named Walt Kelly gave his erstwhile possum, 'Pogo' in his American comic strip: 'We have met the enemy and he is us!'

99% of the world is still wandering, lost in the forest, self-righteous in their cause, unsympathetic to others (as Gawain was when first in 'the Castle'). We still don't understand (unconscious: we don't know that we don't know!).

Organized religion (Communism included) distracts people into thinking their God is the only God. The Arabs know they're right against the Jews, the Jews know they're right against the Arabs, the Chinese know they're right against the Tibetans, the Tibetans know they're right against the Chinese, the Americans know they're right against the Iraqis, the Iraqis know they're right against the Americans, ad infinitum! The drums of war continue, the beat of suffering! (Note: I must say, however, that violence and war does help to keep the world's population down. This is the Tao at work.)

C.G. Jung said the only sin is unconsciousness! How right he was! We are still blind to the truth! That no one (group) is right, nor wrong, and that the only way to salvation is in, first caring for others, and ultimately sacrificing your ego (as Christ did on the cross)!

Since we haven't made much, if any, progress in terms of consciousness in the last 10,000 years, I pray for an event so huge we can't fail to pay heed. For example, I pray that the U.S. and China get into WWIII and half of the world's population is wiped out (in a nuclear exchange)! Or, a meteorite hits the Earth and wipes out a significant amount of us (as supposedly happened with the dinosaurs). Astronomers are predicting, sometime in the next 20 years, a 'close encounter' with a meteorite. How great it would be if it wasn't just 'close,' but a glancing blow scrapping off a continent or two! With any of these 'events,' we'd be plunged back into the 'Dark Ages,' just surviving a challenge! Certainly, anyone of these 'events' would get the survivors attention! Maybe this would cause 'metanoia,' a fundamental change in thinking, and humanity would have a chance of surviving itself!

Now, let's address the second question posed, assuming the above events don't occur and we destroy ourselves! When the last homo sapien succumbs, and humanity is extinct, will we have been here at all? Before you answer so quickly, think about it... It just might be that it takes our type of ('human') consciousness to recognize artifacts. What if the next species, if there are any, doesn't? Our artifacts might be like rocks to them, acknowledging their 'beauty,' or utilitarian nature, but not recognizing 'rock culture' (us). And if they don't... Did we ever exist?

At this point in history God must be very disappointed in us! He has given us a chance to perfect ourselves, and we are failing!

'It underscores our responsibility, our profound responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot the only home we have ever known.' (Carl Sagan)

I will leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein:

'A human being is a part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.'

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040508

I'm in love with a rock(et),
Oh, what a crock(et)
Of shit I'm in,
Or, is it in me?
The Heart Stone,
Going back and forth
Until we're lost in each other,
Not knowing
Which is which,
But, 'knot' really caring!

From Sisnaanjini,
This Divine Lover
Offering spiritual sex,
The union of compassion and wisdom,
Unconditional love!

I'm in love with a rock(et)!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

010508

It Doesn't Matter What!

Someone called me famous today!
No, I said, infamous!
Someone called me strong today!
No, I said, just trying!
Someone called me handsome today!
No, I said, you're blind!
Someone called me beautiful today!
I said, you must be kidding!
Someone called me intelligent today!
No, I said, you're wrong,
I'm just a thinker!
Someone called me a man today!
I said, no I'm a woman!
Someone called me talented today!
I said, maybe;
Maybe a poet!

My business is to create!
It doesn't matter what!

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