Happiness vs Joy

Have you ever pondered the difference of certain words often used interchangeably? Or, what that difference, or obfuscation of difference, might mean?

There seems little doubt the art of subtlety is being systematically erased from human consciousness.

One coy glance to move a man, or your entire derrière in the air?

If this is a natural phenomenon resulting from the rise of systems thinking, or a top-down control mechanism, or desensitization gone amok, or devolution, or democratization, I can only speculate. And stay open to suggestions.

But I do find it to be a personal goal and an evolutionary imperative that we don’t let subtlety die in the nebulous gray zone.

I kind of relate it to the difference between American cheese and aged chèvre. And the difference between emotions, feelings and sensations.

Our culture has become increasingly sensationalized. It’s become a gamers’ world of goal-oriented stimulus that must be fed on a constant basis.

Fleeting hits of happiness have all but replaced the finer nuances of lasting joy. Considering absurd comments like Hilary Clinton’s ‘Americans have a happiness deficit’ I can’t help but consider the context conspiratorially. She is not blind, or dumb. So she must be bullshitting on the commands of her handlers.

Do a quick search on ‘Americans and Happiness’ and it’s clear this relationship is not only Big Business, but Big Science, as well as Big Politics.

“Further complicating matters has been the bias critics have shown when examining happiness. Sociologists have viewed happiness through the lens of society, psychologists the mind, physicians the body, preachers one’s faith, politicians the government, and so on. This has made the field a jumble or hodgepodge of viewpoints, more so I believe than most other subjects. As well, all sorts of experts have attempted to control or take ownership of happiness in America in some way, this too contributing to the scattered nature of the subject. Businesspeople, government officials, and religious leaders have seen themselves as arbiters of happiness and have assumed responsibility for delivering it to Americans in order to solidify their own power. Likewise, politicians from each persuasion have often claimed to be the greater instrument of happiness than their competitors, making it appear that the emotion can be bestowed rather than earned.” The (American) Pursuit of Happiness | Psychology Today

Is happiness an emotion? Indeed, it is not. Joy is an emotion. Happiness is a mood. A sensation. Have any of the mainstream consensus trance defenders bothered to notice that?

Joy is bound to life itself, its opposite is pain. Together they create a kind of ‘trauma bond’ that keeps us engaged and inquiring incessantly into others and the world around us. It comes from the well-spring of the eternal natural world. Or, God, if you prefer.

Happiness is a day at the games or a fine concert or great sex. I’m not knocking it! I’m just saying, there’s far more to life than that, and if you can’t taste the difference between American cheese and aged chèvre, then perhaps you should not be speculating on the condition or the ills of the American culture.

Sisyphus Today

Hubby, in a moment typical of his wry wit, said to me the other day:

Your persistence could be confused with masochism.”

“HA! Wouldn’t that make a good meme” I replied.

But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I remembered the story of Sisyphus.

For those unfamiliar with this character in Greek myth, here’s a few select quotes from Wikipedia:

“As a punishment for his crimes Hades made Sisyphus roll a huge boulder endlessly up a steep hill in Tartarus.[8][18][19] The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus himself. Hades accordingly displayed his own cleverness by enchanting the boulder into rolling away from Sisyphus before he reached the top which ended up consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration. Thus, it came to pass that pointless or interminable activities are sometimes described as “Sisyphean”. Sisyphus was a common subject for ancient writers and was depicted by the painter Polygnotus on the walls of the Lesche at Delphi.[20]”

“In experiments that test how workers respond when the meaning of their task is diminished, the test condition is referred to as the Sisyphusian condition. The two main conclusions of the experiment are that people work harder when their work seems more meaningful, and that people underestimate the relationship between meaning and motivation.[25]”

My introduction to the myth came through Albert Camus, one of my favorite authors while at university. Again, from Wiki:

“Influenced by philosophers such as Søren KierkegaardArthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd. The absurd lies in the juxtaposition between the fundamental human need to attribute meaning to life and the “unreasonable silence” of the universe in response.[1] Camus claims that the realization of the absurd does not justify suicide, and instead requires “revolt.” He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. In the final chapter, Camus compares the absurdity of man’s life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythologywho was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.

The essay concludes, “The struggle itself … is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.

What absurdity we have witnessed these last few years! How many of us have become Sisyphus in so many ways—whether trying to open the eyes of our friends and loved ones and wider community, or trying to navigate the New Normal, or make sense of the media and political shit show?

Some advice from Camus? Maybe, maybe not. He wasn’t too big on Hopium.

“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.”

And how about this clever little cartoon as a modern-day Sisyphus myth?

How Lies Land

With all the obvious lies flying around the entire Mediated-Sphere, I got to reminiscing about my former best friend at university who was an unrepentant liar.

The story of the end of our friendship still hurts to recall, 30 years later. I lost not only her friendship at that time, but that of the circle of friends we shared as well. A double whammy, if you will.

While I understand there are always (at least) two sides to every story, I haven’t spoken to her since those days, so how she recalls these events, or if she recalls them at all, I don’t know, and I don’t care.

I’m recounting this story now because I see in the public in general there are FAR too many who are too hesitant to tear themselves away from liars and the clearly corrupt institutions they are running, which I know will be to their detriment in the long-term, as well as to the detriment of us all.

The longer you wait, the more entrenched, and accepted, the lies become.

I share this story as an appeal, yet another one, and a warning.

My little story is inconsequential to everyone else but me. But it does have an accompanying lesson from which anyone could benefit.

This friend and I were so tight we shared a studio apartment and were nearly inseparable for several years. I met her at the beginning of my freshman year, not long after I met my boyfriend.

To make a long and dramatic story short and succinct—she was sleeping with my boyfriend all those years behind my back. After he and I broke up, she still didn’t tell me about the two of them. Then she got pregnant by him, but I still didn’t know. She asked me to borrow money and I asked why. She became very secretive.

I heard from another friend she had been reading my private journal, because she wanted to find out if I was still in love with the ex-boyfriend. I got suspicious and tried to talk with her several times about it all, but she waved me off each time. I refused her the money and she got livid. We got into a screaming fight. I was still baffled by it all because I didn’t know the real issue—that she was pregnant by my ex-boyfriend and wanted the money for an abortion.

Even after all that, I would’ve forgiven her, if only she had come clean. She never did. I wrote in my journal, which I knew by then she was reading, that it’s not the lies that break trust so much as the refusal to face them even when confronted. The cover-up was worse than the initial lies.

Why? Because that’s where I learned every single person in our circle of friends knew about their liaison except for me. For years.

It wasn’t about the boyfriend, either. I’d have handed him over with pleasure, had she ever asked. But then, that’s the whole point for a narcissist, or someone intent on winning at any cost—it’s not as fun if you don’t steal it—fair and square.

She deflected, made excuses, minimized, tried to turn the tables. She showed no remorse, would take no accountability, refused to apologize, or even to listen to me, or show me a shred of compassion.

You might think it was the humiliation, or the betrayal, that caused me so much pain and that guided my decision-making after that point. But as painful as those were, that was not my breaking point.

No. My breaking point was being honest with myself about the content of their characters that had become glaringly obvious at that point, so much so that I could no longer stand to be around them. Any of them. They could not look me in the eye. They would not show an ounce of remorse or try to understand my pain or my position.

It was really, really hard, but I walked away.

I wish I could say that was the last time I made such a mistake. No again. It took another couple of decades for me to correct this issue. It took until the point I realized that it was my fault.

Of course I don’t take any blame away from her, her behavior was deplorable. But, I also knew her moral standards were low. I knew she’d done similar things to other friends. I just thought, because I was more loyal to her, a better friend, more honest, more committed, I could inspire her to not play me that way. I should’ve known better.

Giving such people the benefit of the doubt, and second chances and third chances, is not loyalty, or strength, or courage. It is enabling liars and it is highly damaging to self-respect.

She went on to become a pharmaceutical rep. I have little doubt she has still not done enough soul searching to realize or regret yet another move down the low road.

And this is where we stand in America. We are being lied to by those all around us, by those who have positioned themselves as our betters, our leaders, our trusted officials, our media.

They are lying. The time for excuses is over, already decades ago. The problems we need to face will not be fixed by voting for the next Liar In Chief. To continue on with the charade at this late date makes you a collaborator by every definition, no longer able to claim innocence or ignorance.

LIVE NOT BY LIES
“On the day Solzhenitsyn was arrested, February, 12, 1974, he released the text of “Live Not by Lies.” The next day, he was exiled to the West, where he received a hero’s welcome. This moment marks the peak of his fame. Solzhenitsyn equates “lies” with ideology, the illusion that human nature and society can be reshaped to predetermined specifications. And his last word before leaving his homeland urges Soviet citizens as individuals to refrain from cooperating with the regime’s lies. Even the most timid can take this least demanding step toward spiritual independence. If many march together on this path of passive resistance, the whole inhuman system will totter and collapse.”

by Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney, The Solzhenitsyn Reader

Still This Love Crap

Have you ever experienced unrequited love? Ever love someone who was so out of your league they didn’t know you existed? Ever been horribly, unfairly, unceremoniously jilted by a lover? Ever love someone for years who treated you like shit most of the time? Ever love someone who turned out to be completely different than the one you thought you fell in love with?

Ever tried to muster up feelings of love for someone or something you did not, could not, love?

And yet still, despite its ephemeral nature—from its meaning, to its translation, to how it is individually experienced—some of our greatest thinkers, philosophers, social critics, poets, not to mention a good chunk of pop culture, still repeats “Love is the answer.”

We should love everyone and especially nature. That’s what’s wrong with the world, they insist, not enough love. And every time I hear this, I roll my eyes, even when it comes from someone I love.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b08njtjg

Most recently I heard it in an interview coming from Wendell Berry (link). How someone so inspiring, who has led such a charmed and wholesome and respectable life, who now at an advanced age seems so wise, could repeat such nonsense confirms for me only one thing: “We don’t see things for what they are, we see them for what we are.”

Love is the answer to the West’s problems, they say, because you take care of what you love. And the younger thinker and social critic Paul Kingsnorth agrees with him.

How lovely.

Now here’s a homework assignment I’d love to give to these fools. Kingsnorth likes to study tribal cultures, which I think is really cool. He likes them because they have a solid home in nature, unlike Westerners. And I agree. So, I think he should ask all those tribal folks their opinions about this ‘love’ solution so many Western thinkers keep harping on about.

My bet is, it doesn’t translate. At all. I bet he’d have to write an entire essay for them about what he means by love in the first place, let alone how he expects that will solve anything.

How do you make someone love you? Or care about you? I have a difficult time imagining a more monumental task. And yet, somehow those who care about nature are tasked with getting those very great many, like the Technocrats and their vast entourages, to not only love it, but to respect it, to care for it, to nurture it even. Seriously?

What a debilitating delusion they are spewing. And not just once or twice out of an understandable desperation. But constantly, for decades now.

Yet to call it out for the obvious shallow fantasy that it is, I become the bitch.

Well then, so be it. Let me play that role for a minute or two right now.

Imagine Mother Nature is your very own mother. Maybe you love your mother, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt. You love her, but your sisters love her more. And your mother and your sisters are screaming at you—“You don’t love me!” “You don’t care about me!” “You are exploiting me and you must stop!”

How will you respond to their shrieks and demands of love and care? Deny your lack of love, perhaps? Maybe yell back that they are all wrong about you? Maybe ask what they mean by that?

You might be so sure of your love that you ask what you can do to prove it?

Maybe Mom replies she wants you to write her a poem professing your loving feelings. So you do. You go even further, and you write 10 poems and throw in a tediously long essay to boot. And you’re very proud of your efforts and you feel you’ve really captured the intense love you have for her.

And she says she likes them, even the tediously long essay. In fact, everyone who loves her also agrees how perfectly you’ve captured those feelings of love through your words. Astonishing.

But, after all, those are just words, and you said to love her is to care for her, so she wants to see some action.

So with the same zeal you wrote the ten poems and tediously long essay you tackle the part where your loving words become caring actions.

You chop wood and carry water for her. You refrain from any negativity in her presence, because she doesn’t like it. You insist that everyone in her company, through shame or coercion or even force, abide by her rules and preferences.

At long last, she is satisfied with your efforts. You can feel the power of her appreciation filling your heart and coursing through your veins.

She tells you, “Child, you are a true master of loving care!”

“Except, you see, there’s so many children over there who don’t love me. And their lack of love for me is upstaging your love. Their lack of love is demonstrably more powerful than your true love. What can you do about this?”

And you reply, “Great Mother, don’t you worry, I can make them love you like I do!”

Really? Can you? What makes you so sure about that?

You read them your poems, and they smirk. Then they read your tediously long essay and shrug. You show them your admirable work in fetching wood and carrying water for your Great Mother, and they respond by clear cutting your forest and damming your river.

Then they tell you their favorite joke, laughing all along.

The joke goes like this: There were these three dudes on a yacht. One was an American, another was Russian, and the third one was Mexican. They were all drinking and getting boastful as drunken men like to do.

The Russian said, “In my country, we have so much vodka we can afford to throw it away!” And he takes a full bottle of vodka and throws it into the ocean.

They all laugh harder. So, the Mexican says, “In my country, we have so much tequila we can afford to throw it away!” And he takes a full bottle of tequila and throws it overboard.

And they all laugh harder still. Then the American says, “Well, in my country we have so many . . .

And he picks up the Mexican and throws him overboard.

The Russian and American look at each and howl with laughter. And the American blurts out between guffaws, “Tough love!”

To The Holy Spirit

O Thou, far off and here, whole and broken,
Who in necessity and in bounty wait,
Whose truth is light and dark, mute though spoken,
By Thy wide grace show me Thy narrow gate.

Wendell Berry

Eye-Opening Quotes: R. Hutchins

“The countries of the West are committed to universal, free, compulsory education. The United States first made this commitment and has extended it further than any other. In this country 92.5% of the children who are fourteen years old and 71.3% of those between fourteen and seventeen are in school. It will not be suggested that they are receiving the education that the democratic ideal requires. The West has not accepted the proposition that the democratic ideal demands liberal education for all. In the United States, at least, the prevailing opinion seems to be that the demands of that ideal are met by universal schooling, rather than by universal liberal education. What goes on in school is regarded as of relatively minor importance. The object appears to be to keep the child off the labor market and to detain him in comparatively sanitary surroundings until we are ready to have him go to work.

“The results of universal, free, compulsory education in America can be acceptable only on the theory that the object of the schools is something other than education, that it is, for example, to keep the young from cluttering up homes and factories during a difficult period of their lives, or that it is to bring them together for social or recreational purposes.”

“Education is supposed to have something to do with intelligence. It was because of this connection that it was always assumed that if the people were to have political power they would have to have education. They would have to have it if they were to use their power intelligently. This was the basis of the Western commitment to universal, free, compulsory education. I have suggested that the kind of education that will develop the requisite intelligence for democratic citizenship is liberal education, education through great books and the liberal arts, a kind of education that has all but disappeared from the schools, colleges, and universities of the United States.”

~The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education
by Robert M. Hutchins, 1952

More by Hutchins . . .

“Because of experimental science we know a very large number of things about the natural world of which our predecessors were ignorant. In the great books we can observe the birth of science, applaud the development of the experimental technique, and celebrate the triumphs it has won. But we can also note the limitations of the method and mourn the errors that its misapplication has caused. We can distinguish the outlines of those great persistent problems that the method … may never solve and find the clues to their solutions offered by other methods and other disciplines.”

“Liberal education was aristocratic in the sense that it was the education of those who enjoyed leisure and political power. If it was the right education for those who had leisure and political power, then it is the right education for everybody today.”

Zuckerkandl! a comic book Hutchins published in 1968, later made into a cartoon short, narrated himself. It’s about disentanglement and living guilt-free and is said to be a parody of Freud.

Is It Life, Or Is It Politics?


Money sucks the life out of Life.

While folks argue about what is life, Life has become a fucking clown show.

It’s the conquering aristocracy who calculate their conceptions to the sky clock.  

Normal folk had sex. And had sex, maybe even daily, maybe even from puberty to death.  And the women drank tea each month until they decided not to anymore.  Then they had a baby.  Worked for centuries.

Then came in The Nobles.  The Church. The State. The Medics. Not necessarily in that order.  All there in order to provide protection.

That is, each from the other.

When the nobles, the church, the state, the medics, decided the peasants were having too many babies, or too much sex, or too much leisure, they stepped in.  In order to provide protection.

And then when they needed more soldiers to fight in their future battles, or more souls on the lands they just conquered, they dictated to their peasants, “Have more babies for our nation’s-religion’s-tribe’s greatness!”  

And when they decided once again there were too many babies they dictated to their peasants, “Your babies will be cursed with the plague!” That’s the modern equivalent of “Your babies must be sterilized!” Or, “Your germ-factory children are killing Grandma!”

Or, “Global climate change is caused by overpopulation!”

In the meantime they kill off all the witches who know all the safe brews.  Always, in order to provide protection.

They cry about the horrors of unplanned pregnancy!  Or, the horrors of killing God’s creation! In tandem. In concert.

They leave out the facts.  A woman could potentially have approximately 1, 233 children in her lifetime, according to God.  That’s an approximation, of course.  

A man, good heavens, we’d need a mathematician to calculate that! Harems exist for a reason.

Everything we know about human reproduction originates in animal husbandry.  And it’s absolute nonsense when science and culture claim that all women in a tribe will cycle together with the moon.  

What sort of evolutionary sense does that even make?

The ‘Red Tent’ was always about the tea.

A Stranger in a Strange Land

Just what are the Globalists and their minions taking from us, really?

They are stealing our wealth, that much is very clear. In that move they are accumulating enormous power, those two go hand in hand. They are creating a monoculture—their ideal “One World”—which on the surface to a great many around the world sounds like a nice thing.

These folks, mostly the young and those of ‘aspiring’ economies, expect to see more opportunities, a more equal distribution of resources, better access to education, a higher standard of living.

I want those things for them too.

This doesn’t sell as well in the U.S. and other Western countries. Our standard of living is already quite high, relatively speaking. So the promotion angle of their scheme is different with us. We get verbally spanked for being too successful.

We get optimal inflation and free training in resilience and a taste of tyranny and are expected to be grateful for it.

Whether you buy into the Globalist socio-economic vision or expect to benefit from it is the crux of most folks’ concern—either for or against—if they are concerned at all.

But what’s really being stolen, the root of the issue, as I see it, is much more serious than material gains or losses, or more convenient global commerce. Or mass immigration. Or even a totalitarian takeover.

Both Hubby and I were avid travelers when we met, and continued in that vein for many years afterwards. Most of this was before widespread use of the internet, when traveling alone was really traveling alone. If you got homesick you waited two weeks for a letter, or stood in line at the pay phone, or just suffered through it.

Mark Twain has supposedly said, “Traveling makes you humble.” I believe he meant the real kind of travel, not the group tours through Europe hitting ten capitals in ten days brand of modern tourism. No military base or corporate job or trust fund to cling to either. Those types are real traveling about as much as glamping resembles real camping.

To be a stranger in a strange land is a consciousness altering and life changing experience. When I saw McDonalds and signs in English and waves of expats, I got my fill of nostalgia quickly, and moved on. I experienced lots of loneliness. LOTS. I was scared sometimes. I put myself in some compromising positions, which I then had to navigate without the safety nets of language, cultural familiarity, kinship, or commraderie. “Travails” —that is the deepest purpose of travel and what separates a traveler from a tourist, or an occupier.

When I see signs in this country in Spanish or Chinese I feel sorry for those travelers, or immigrants. They are missing something essential through our obsession with making everyone feel safe and welcomed.

They are missing the life-changing opportunity to become ingratiated to another, in testing their own metal, in developing their own personal resilience and emotional fortitude. And ultimately, their ability to adapt to an environment, and to transform themselves.

We are not doing them any favors by denying them these opportunities and calling it welcoming and inclusive.

What we are actually doing is fostering weakness and projecting our own sheltered materialism onto all those who come here in order to experience cultural strength and conscious, courageous individuality—in us—and in themselves.

Eye-Opening Quotes: M.Tsarion

Excerpted from the article: Deep Peaks – michaeltsarion

“Patients no longer complain of inferiority feelings or sexual frustration as they did in the age of Adler and Freud. Today they come to see us psychiatrists because of feelings of futility” – Viktor Frankl

“Daft sensational types have no problem thinking of nature as one big theme-park, there expressly to satisfy their every tawdry infantile desire. Their interest in nature’s welfare is insincere and supeficial. Most people’s attitude toward nature (umwelt) is gnostic in complexion. Nature is not to be loved and understood, it’s to be escaped. While we are here on the planet, we might as well have fun at nature’s expense. We’re on our way somewhere better, where happiness is guaranteed. Nature denies us a lot, and makes us suffer. God grants all my wishes and bestows eternal pleasure.
Millions of people have this outlook. It’s the main reason they do what they do, and accounts for a great deal of the irrational nonsense going on in the world. Delicate senses are taxed and sullied by the incessant irrational demand for “more.” In the end one prostitutes themselves to the senses and pays dearly for doing so. One becomes decadent, discontented and compulsively outer-directed.”

“Like spoiled brats we just can’t accept that the ride comes to an end. This is why we aren’t satisfied with one or two versions of any product. There must be hundreds of brands and dozens of flavors and alternatives. We’re never satisfied, but rarely ask why? We never inquire into what sensations are, or that maybe it’s a good thing we’re not in a world of constant sensual edification. What kind of beings would we become if it were otherwise? Are we to take it that we, as humans, simply wish to have pleasure and avoid pain? Or is it more accurate to say that without opposites there can be neither pleasure nor pain?”

Are Anarchists Evil?

A proper tongue-lashing for Covidian cultists and other State-teet suckers.  And, a prime example of the ‘divine masculine’ that too many will mistake for ‘toxic masculinity’ because the truth is not there to make you feel even more cozy and comfortable than you already are.

Forgiveness must be earned before it is bestowed.

And, another glimmer of hope from Academy of Ideas!

When’s the Anger stage?

Or did we already move right into acceptance, bypassing anger totally?

If anyone is still doubting how serious it really is—this global coup-d’etat happening right now, right under our noses—then this is the video for you!

How the World Economic Forum Is Getting The ’Great Reset’ Done
https://odysee.com/@neverlosetruth:0/wef:e
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