Some iconic lines in films imprint on the psyche collectively and I know you could think of one right now that instantly crosses several generations and continental divides.
“You can’t handle the truth!” Name that film, name that actor. Could you even name his co-star in that blockbuster?
Somehow, somewhere, as a collective, we’ve given ourselves over to worship and celebrity and fantasy and distraction in the most destructive ways. I am not resolved from that influence and never will be. I watched TV constantly for years in high school, only to give it up for years later in exchange for an exhaustive social life, only to give that up more years later for work I found most of all, exhausting.
I had/have this secret fantasy I’m going to share right now (again). After hurricane Katrina, right after, when I heard on the news the city was more or less safe, and me many hours away in a quaint bed and breakfast drinking wine with lunch, the hurricane widely reported as much less dangerous than anticipated, but that residents would need to stay away for a few days at least for safety precautions, I was glad. Nearly giddy, and not from the wine.
I had just started a new position at Tulane university and already I didn’t really want to go back. It took a day or so more before all hell broke out and select areas of the city flooded terribly and all residents had to stay out indefinitely. In our case, we were allowed to go back after two months. For some, it was never. We lived in a trendy and relatively upscale area right on Audubon Park. It was a beautiful spot, both before and after the hurricane. Some were far from so lucky and they’d been there many generations, not just two weeks, like us.
I do hold shame for this secret fantasy, because I still feel it. When I dwell, necessarily, in the dark places of my life and the world, I know there is much sickness, far too much. Far too much destruction, voluntary and deliberate and needless. Still, I have dwelt in destruction.
And there is too much wind, dammit, all around me lately seeming to get worse every year. It’s bloody annoying! We had no winter and now no spring. The plants and animals struggle with it far less than I, but still, I know, they do.
Wind is really stressful! This makes me smile, because there was a time I lived in Chicago and worked downtown and yes, the wind was legendary, but it was mostly something I peered at from the window and got annoyed at how it affected my hairdo.
But the wind is far more powerful and penetrating than I had, and I think most, ever realize. Is that not what blew down the house of each of the three little pigs?
They are blowing, those wolves, our weather right now is as manipulated as the currency market. And in my secret fantasy I sometimes can’t help but wonder—would we all be better off in the long run if they would just blow it all down? Roses blooming at the same time as the dogwood?! It just ain’t right.
This week’s breadcrumb, I’ve got so many I’d love to share this week, but this one is so essential it needs to stand alone.
Unslaved podcast, exploring the self in the work of Ayn Rand and others.
As the world reboots, this is where the rubber will meet the road.
When I set out on this ‘path of the fool’ most readers would probably not recognize I was referring to the Tarot cards. Each post number in this series has corresponded to the number of the Major Arcana from which that post was inspired. The last one was 13, that’s Death, before that, 12, the Hanged Man, number 11 was Justice, and so on.
14 is Temperance, one of most favorites. I have a map, you see. It may not be a good map, it is terribly old after all, and I may not be such a good map-reader, but I find it’s better than nothing. That means with this map we go to 21. I hope a few of y’all can bear with me that long.
If nothing else, even a bad map can help at least to name something. What is the very first thing we are driven intellectually to do? We name it. This goes as much for the name of the birds to the notes they sing. Material things, concepts, countries, emotions, principles, processes, everything, we are name-making creatures before we are meaning-making creatures.
It’s just like with my “gravity-free icicles” photo that had me in such a head-spin. Until I had the name for it–ice stalagmites–I had hardly a clue how to move forward, how to begin to understand the phenomena behind their formation. Just learning the name felt like a little triumph. (Thank you, Yamakawa!) I may never fully understand it or see its likes again in my lifetime, but at least I can refer to it by name.
There is an immense amount of power in naming something. It’s why tyrannical types rename the streets and cities of the regions they conquer. Scientists and explorers immediately lay claim to their discoveries by naming them. The weathermen and weather manipulators name storms and systems and in doing so give them an air of normalcy. Everything seems more normal, more credible, more acceptable once you can name it.
Positive psychology is such a name, invented to explain and explore constructs of our modern age. Simple-sounding and reassuring, it is in fact the rails guiding this speeding train right over the cliff’s edge.
Did it start with the hippies of the 60s? I can’t say, but there’s plenty of folks who noticed it a long time ago, like Barbara Ehrenreich. In her book Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America she names the culprits quite clearly.
“Those who set themselves up as instructors in the discipline of positive thinking—coaches, preachers, and gurus of various sorts—have described this effort with terms like ‘self-hypnosis,’ ‘mind control,’ and ‘thought control.’ In other words, it requires deliberate self-deception, including a constant effort to repress or block out unpleasant possibilities and ‘negative’ thoughts.”
The tolerance pushers and cult of positivity types would rather bury their heads in the sand than ever admit anything is wrong in the world or with themselves.
They act like this is something new, with their new age credos of ‘love conquers all’ and ‘fake it till you make it.’ Those who point out evil are as evil as evil itself in their twisted candy land. They have adapted what Ehrenreich calls a “reflexive capacity for dismissing disturbing news” They don’t recognize their convenient beliefs are cowardly, because in them they are supremely self-righteous.
“You’ll never change anything without a positive attitude!” they chant. Really? So I guess Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and lots of others must have been remarkably positive people, because they changed loads of things.
In their lily-livered lust for “peace” they’d happily turn everyone into slaves. I know far too many of these folks, considering how annoying I find them. They whine that those in the ‘alt-right’ are Nazi hate mongers in the same breathe that they praise the usurpers of Western civilization. They mistake their pity for compassion, their immaturity for innocence and their gullibility for adaptability. I do not particularly like the alt-right, but I’d side with them in a heartbeat over these so-called progressive nitwits constantly harping on the importance of being ‘heart-centered’ and ‘vulnerable.’ These are certainly lovely sentiments, the world could certainly use more of them, but before we can start spreading the juicy love bombs of permanent global abundance in blissful Utopia, we must first have a reality check.
Reality check: How can you best mask your own lack of ability and capacity to fight for anything? Preach that fighting is beneath you.
We are not Bonobos. No amount of social engineering or genetic tampering will change that, though the string-pullers are still trying their damndest. Those who are begging for a one-season world are attempting to live life in complete contradiction with nature. They can “think positively” and like magic the cancer becomes a beautiful life lesson, the child abuse too. Every human misery is reduced to a “growth opportunity,” and “character builder.” “It’s the only way to get any traction,” they claim, therefore minimizing true victimhood and excusing by default every perpetrator and predator.
What these folks really want is an excuse to bypass reality and someone to take care of them, cradle to grave. And they need to believe that care-taker is benevolent beyond all reason. They want to feel free to fully express their vulnerabilities, even to an enemy. They don’t want to have to face their own dark side, let alone the dark side of the most evil among us. Because they cannot fight their own battles they preach that no battle is worthy of a fight. Should one dare to point out to these folks that their perpetual clinging to ‘Christ consciousness’ is a pre-programmed master/slave directive dished out by the greatest tyrants in history, as I have done, be prepared for a deer in the headlights stare followed by more coos of moronic, placating nonsense.
Reality check: How might you ensure your own extinction? Keep turning the other cheek. Surrender to the collective. Keep empowering the tyrants. Extol the virtues of selflessness and compassion at all costs. Forget authenticity, forget mental and physical fortitude, go for the pharmaceuticals instead.
From the stoners, whose favorite expression is “It’s all good!” to the charlatans who earn their money telling the gullible, the confused, the traumatized and the down-trodden exactly what they want to hear and call this mercy and compassion, to those constantly virtue signaling and endlessly boasting and victim-claiming on social media, y’all need a swift reality check.
Ehrenreich again, “The truly self-confident, or those who have in some way made their peace with the world and their destiny within it do not need to expend effort censoring or otherwise controlling their thoughts.”
This week’s breadcrumbs:
Amish farmer faces Federal trial for mislabeling his homemade product.
I said with this series I would reach to the origins of science–that is alchemy–and I have been trying, but it requires a way of thinking quite out of the ordinary for most of us, myself included.
I’ve had to go back to dreams and very early memories and listen to ordinarily-ignored impulses coming from within and without. I have slowed way down, day dream often, meditate, stare into space a lot. I have not only had to open my mind, but allow it stay open for far longer periods than I have before–continually circling back to wherever a gap first appears, focusing there, and not clinging to ‘logic’ the first time I can find it, or at all, as the case may require.
I’m in an ideal situation to make such a mind-shift; I have positioned myself deliberately thus. No one, save Handy Hubby and our critters, relies on me. I’m unemployed, with no children, very few friends, surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest. I love it here. I feel more often than not I’ve hit the jackpot, yet I know in other ways it was not just fortune that made it happen, it was co-created oftentimes by multiple and conflicting sources.
I have been highly critical of science and technology these last posts, but for the moment I’m letting up a bit, because I see now the uproar and outrage all around me. Even the controversial President Trump has his eyes on vaccine fraud. Now that’s a pebble resonating in a mighty big pond!
I’ve seen others too, not just wishful thinkers, but folks getting their hands dirty, learning the tricks of the trade and playing a mean round of Aikido with the powers-that-shouldn’t-be. I will leave these reigns temporarily in their clearly capable hands as I wind down more esoteric avenues.
Could it be I’m obsessed with our current weather craziness because I’ve had a past-life as a Wolkenschieberinnen? A ‘cloud-pusher’—weather shamans and various monstrous storm raisers. (We were after all in two 100-year hurricanes in just three years living on the Gulf of Mexico–first in New Orleans, then in Galveston.) Or maybe I was a Schauerbruterinnen (shower-breeders), Wetterkatzen (weather cats), Nebelhexen (fog-witches) or even a Wolkentruden (cloud spinners)?!
The fact that these witch/shaman have names demonstrates the control of the weather has been a major alchemical past-time. I appreciate the factual approach of Jim Lee’s History of Weather Modification, but I suppose he could’ve gone back another few hundred years, at least!
“Naturally the Celts and Germanic peoples also had weather-making shaman women who performed their rituals in an ecstatic state and ritualistic nakedness.” (I have been known to such habits and whether the weather notices at all, Handy Hubby does appreciate me in those moments, I’m sure!)
“Because those who control the weather also control the harvest, and thus also control the heart and spirit of the people, the weather-disir were considered particularly dangerous. The Indiculus sperstitionum et paganiarum, the previously-mentioned handbook for religioius informants, has heavy penalties for such tempestari. The synod of Paris (892) judged: ‘When men and women who have committed such crimes (causing storms and hail) are discovered, they must be punished with unusual harshness, because they are not afraid to serve the devil completely openly” (Habinger-Tuczay, 1992: 2780.) Witchcraft Medicine Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Muller-Eberling, Christian Ratsch, and Wolf-Dieter Storl
Returning to this space-time we have some magic of our own happening here on the wee homestead. A herd of wandering cows appear, and then disappear again. And just this morning a white duck joined our little Muscove flock from somewhere out of the ether.
This week’s breadcrumbs, full of oddities and magic.
“The Sun hasn’t risen over its horizon for more than two months yet at a balmy -6C +21F the North Pole was yesterday warmer than parts of the South of France, Italy, Greece Turkey and Syria.The North Pole was actually yesterday 34C or 93F warmer than the average temperature for the time of the year and it’s been like that for most of the winter which is incredible when you realize parts of Greenland and Russia have had regular temperatures as low as -57C or -71F. Today most of Europe is witnessing sub-zero temperatures as the big freeze continues.”