Category Archives: compassion

How I got from There to Here

[  ~burning woman~   explains herself]

In which I explain myself because I sense the necessity of doing so.

To begin: Lo those many years ago, in a different age, (well, about 4 decades ago actually!) I became the recipient of information from a world quite other than this one. I got visitors from far out, outer space; indeed from outside the confines of this universe. These people, there were eventually three, took on the task of helping me change my mind about many things, including how things work here on earth. Most of what they taught me I already knew, but not in ways that were empowering, or could be of much use to anyone else. I only knew how to propagate ideas through channels acceptable to the powers that be. The death trap of all change agents.

Such methods, as we all know them so well, consist of getting together a group of like-minded individuals and registering such group with the proper authorities, usually under the societies’ act. That done you would then proceed to the most important task of fund raising through your ways and means committee. Bottom line, if you wanted to do anything of any significance within the system, you had to be an adjunct of said system or you were anarchists and if you ruffled the wrong feathers, you were considered enemies of the state. To guarantee you stayed within the acceptable bounds, you were held to account by your need for money and recognition, either from notoriety or celebrity.

One thing you could be sure of, there were no “independents” operating within the hegemony of the system because even “independents” so-called received money from entities who had their own agendas, and who operated as part of the greater system. They wanted to be sure their donations were to a registered party to claim their tax credit. That’s how the system stays in power.

That by way of introduction to the following, which may, or may not, be of interest to many but which explains the “method” I have been using to communicate a single idea. That’s right: one single idea.

The first thing I had to learn was, nothing is ever truly accomplished through collectives and organizations. By “nature” all groupings, from the husband/wife/nuclear family to an empire, belong to an umbrella power organization called variously, the Matrix, the Establishment, the Illuminati, the Military Industrial Complex, the Status Quo and more commonly, the System. Therefore whatever these groupings or organizations seek to accomplish, if it goes contrary to the goal of the umbrella organization (UO) it will never, ever, attain its goal. If the group is powerful enough, driven enough; it will be allowed to proceed with its revolution until enough corruption has been inserted in it that it can be turned 180 degrees to serve the UO once more.

The Teaching was straight-forward. If I would be a change agent, or agent of change, I would have to divest myself of all connections or attachments to any organization, from marriage and family, to religious, political or other organizations. Divest completely. Stand alone. Become an individual and if it comes to fighting, fight alone. That means self empowerment. That means thinking my own thoughts. That means bootstrapping myself from the ground up. That means reshaping everything I had been taught; everything I knew or thought I knew and bringing it to bear upon one single purpose for my life. Complete detachment, no compromise.

No compromise. I wasn’t sure at first what that entailed but three times in divorce court certainly made the concept perfectly clear: a self empowered individual is not a comfortable person to hang around with, let alone sleep with. I did learn. I discovered that what I had grabbed by the tail was real enough whereas what I had been living before was one of millions of soap operas people live comfortably (or not) with because they cannot conceive of a different life, or way of life. I had been asleep.

The point of the exercise was simple enough: become an agent of change; a catalyst for change, without the corruptible format of any collective aggregation. Simply put, only the “go it alone” method has any chance at all of creating real change within the all-encompassing UO. Only a self empowered, completely detached single individual can penetrate the workings of the machine undetected, unobserved, and bring about totally unexpected change.

The UO doesn’t usually acknowledge an individual working alone. It only gets alarmed when such individual takes the fateful step of creating an organization of her or his own shaping; makes the decision to “form a power group” that would oppose the working of the machine, the status quo.

The Teachers (YLea, El Issa and Phaelon as principal three) had no difficulty convincing me of this. I knew enough religion, politics and other aspects of history of earth to realize the fallacy that power units or collectives can force ever-positive change within any greater system. It had never happened. When something has a one hundred percent negative result for accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish, it’s not difficult to say, “Well, that didn’t work, did it.”

For example, one of the greatest fallacies of all time: World War I: the war to end all wars. Imagine the amount of collective force and organization that went to fight that war. Imagine the level of propaganda used to convince millions of the absolute necessity of fighting that war. So pervasive was the propaganda that “Armistice” is still celebrated to this day. That so many died isn’t a joke but to celebrate such useless carnage and such a blatant lie… really!

I knew the “why” then. What I did not know was the “how” and that, the Teachers pointedly avoided giving me. It was something I would have to work out for myself, based on some seriously “deep” thought and successful completion of a few difficult assignments. I have written about those before so won’t repeat the history here, just the highlights.

There were three major assignments: Forgiving enemies without equivocation; offering my life in exchange for that of another, a total stranger I would never meet; having my “soul implant” legally removed.

Upon completion of these tasks I then had to choose a single life purpose to which I would give myself unreservedly, irrevocably. There were many tempting choices. I went through the mental market of interesting goodies a change agent could use and having learned some of what works, what doesn’t, I rejected all of them.

The catalyst I needed had to be incorruptible and one that had never been seriously tried. There was only one: compassion. I didn’t find it in the market place of catalysts; I found it in my own mind quietly waiting to be awakened. I began exploring the concept and saw that it had never been considered as a force, or power that could change a world and over which the Matrix or UO had no power at all.

It was the Force that sustained and changed a self empowered individual. That would suit me and I gave myself to this Force, much as a Jedi gives itself to the Force in Star Wars. The difference between compassion and the Force of Star Wars, as I have alluded to before, is that compassion does not have a dark side. It does not emanate from the duality principle that rules this universe. Therefore it is correct for the compassionate to speak of “no compromise” because all of duality operates through compromise.

Perhaps that is a perfect ending. No compromise. No dalliances with any aspect of the Powers or the UO. The goal is to become.  Having lived long (enough) without compromise, what use then is one’s dualistic human nature? I will become compassion, of that there is no doubt. I will not know myself in any other form. That is both, the price to pay, and the gift to receive.

And that pretty much explains me and my choices.

Thank you for reading this.

~ burning woman ~ 



Revolt of the Robots –

Revolt of the Robots –

Some great and positive thoughts from George Monbiot about the benefits of volunteering (and not incidentally also another “warning” about the growing “evil” behind the Amazon corporation run by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world at $90 billion)

Revolt of the Robots

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 01:01 AM PST

How we can find meaning, purpose and pride when the workplace no longer offers them

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 7th February 2018


Why bother designing robots when you can reduce human beings to machines? Last week, Amazon acquired a patent for a wristband that can track the hand movements of workers. If this technology is developed, it could grant companies almost total control over their workforce.

A fortnight ago the Guardian interviewed a young man called Aaron Callaway, who works nights in an Amazon warehouse. He has to place 250 items an hour into the right carts. His work, he says, is so repetitive, antisocial and alienating that “I feel like I’ve lost who I was … My main interaction is with the robots.” And this is before the wristbands might be deployed.

I see the terrible story of Don Lane, the DPD driver who collapsed and died from diabetes, as another instance of the same dehumanisation. After being fined £150 by the company for taking a day off to see his doctor, this “self-employed contractor” (who worked full-time for the company and wore its uniform) felt he could no longer keep his hospital appointments. As the philosopher Byung-Chul Han argues, in the gig economy, “every individual is master and slave in one … class struggle has become an internal struggle with oneself.”

Everything work offered during the social democratic era – economic security, a sense of belonging, social life, a political focus – has been stripped away: alienation is now almost complete. Digital Taylorism, splitting interesting jobs into tasks of mind-robbing monotony, threatens to degrade almost every form of labour. Workers are reduced to the crash dummies of the post-industrial age. The robots have arrived, and you are one of them.

So where do we find identity, meaning and purpose, a sense of autonomy, pride and utility? The answer, for many people, is volunteering. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the NHS, and I’ve realised that there are two public health systems in this country: the official one, performing daily miracles, and the voluntary network that supports it.

Everywhere I look, there are notices posted by people helping at the hospital, running support groups for other patients, raising money for research and equipment. Without this support, I suspect the official system would fall apart.

And so would many of the patients. Some fascinating research papers suggest that positive interactions with other people promote physical healing, reduce physical pain, and minimise anxiety and stress for patients about to have an operation. Support groups save lives. So do those who raise money for treatment and research.

Last week I spoke to two remarkable volunteers. Jeanne Chattoe started fundraising for Against Breast Cancer after her sister was diagnosed with the disease. Until that point, she had lived a quiet life, bringing up her children and working in her sister’s luggage shop. She soon discovered powers she never knew she possessed. Before long, she started organising an annual fashion show which, across 13 years, raised almost £400,000. Then, lying awake one night, she had a great idea: why not decorate her home town pink once a year, recruiting the whole community to the cause? Witney in the Pink has now been running for 17 years, and all the shops participate: even the butchers dye their uniforms pink. The event raises at least £6000 a year.

“It’s changed my whole life,” Jeanne told me. “I eat, live and breathe against breast cancer … I don’t know what I would have done without fundraising. Probably nothing. It’s given me a purpose.” She has acquired so much expertise organising these events that in 2009 Against Breast Cancer appointed her chair of its trustees, a position she still holds today.

After his transplant, Kieran Sandwell donated his old heart to the British Heart Foundation. Then he began thinking about how he could support its work. He told me he had “been on the work treadmill where I’ve not enjoyed my job for years, wondering what I’m doing.” He set off to walk the entire coastline of the UK, to raise money and awareness. He now has 2800 miles behind him and 2000 ahead. “I’ve discovered that you can actually put your mind to anything. … whatever I come across in my life I can probably cope with it. Nothing fazes me now.”

Like Jeanne, he has unlocked unexpected powers. “I didn’t know I had in me the ability just to be able to talk to anyone.” His trek has also ignited a love of nature. “I seem to have created this fluffy bubble: what happens to me every day is wonderful. … I want to try to show people that there’s a better life out there.”

For Jeanne and Kieran, volunteering has given them what work once promised: meaning, purpose, place, community. This, surely, is where hope lies.

So here’s my outrageous proposal: replace careers advice with volunteering advice. I’ve argued before that much of the careers advice offered by schools and universities is worse than useless, shoving students headfirst into the machine, reinforcing the seductive power of life-destroying corporations. In fairness to the advisers, their job is becoming almost impossible anyway: the entire infrastructure of employment seems designed to eliminate fulfilling and fascinating work.

But while there is little chance of finding jobs that match students’ hopes and personalities and engage their capabilities, there is every chance of connecting them with good opportunities to volunteer. Perhaps it is time we saw volunteering as central to our identities and work as peripheral: something we have to do, but that no longer defines us. I would love to hear people reply, when asked what they do, “I volunteer at the food bank and run marathons. In my time off, I work for money.”

And there’s a side-effect. The world has been wrecked by people seeking status through their work. In many professions – such as fossil fuels, weapons manufacture, banking, advertising – your prestige rises with the harm you do. The greater your destruction of other people’s lives, the greater your contribution to shareholder value. But when you volunteer, the respect you gain rises with the good you do.

We should keep fighting for better jobs and better working conditions. But the battle against workplace technology is an unequal one. The real economic struggle now is for the redistribution of wealth generated by labour and machines, through universal basic income, the revival of the commons and other such policies. Until we achieve this, most people will have to take whatever work is on offer. But we cannot let it own us.

Jeanine Winslow

[short story  by Sha’Tara]

Devon avenue is an old street with old trees, old houses and old people. This is where Jeanine Winslow lives, with her old cat. She is a widow now, her old husband died about two years ago, but no one remembers that except Jeanine and the Revenue Service. Jeanine’s house and home is one of the most decrepit small bungalow type houses on the street.

Today is a grey day. It’s raining, a cold, miserable rain that hits the skin as frozen needles. Jeanine’s arthritis is bad today, that being one reason she has been unable to go to the corner store. The other reason, of course, is that as usual the month outlasted the pension and there is not one red cent left in the house. The cat is the fortunate one, he can go outside and hunt mice. There are lots of nice fat mice in his neighbourhood. Yes, it’s his neighbourhood, he’s a cat.

There’s a steady tinkling sound in the small dining room, just behind where Jeanine is now standing and contemplating her situation.  There’s an old, rusty water can on the floor to catch a steady drip from the ceiling, a drip that keeps wandering as the drywall gradually sags lower from the water coming through the old worn out asphalt shingle roof.

A knock on the door takes Jeanine out of her circular thinking about a situation she has no control over. Wiping her tears, she goes and answers the door. On the rickety old porch, long without a roof, two very well dressed young men with briefcases smile at her. She smiles back and politely invites them in. They come in and begin their spiel.

They’re from the local “Tabernacle” they say, and they are collecting funds to finish the inside of their church, and inviting their neighbours to participate in the services.

The tinkling continues as Jeanine, sitting nervously on a small stool, the only two chairs taken by the young men, listens politely. One of the young men stares at the drip in the can, then follows it to the sagging ceiling. It impresses itself on his mind as his father is the owner of a local lumber yard and he’s done some construction himself. He understands this lady’s problem but says nothing, letting his partner do the talking.

Finally the spiel is over. They stand, realizing that this woman was certainly not made of money and perhaps they’d have better luck on another street. They make to leave when suddenly Jeanine finds her courage and her tongue to say something to these nice young men. She does not berate them or call down their religion, or their God. Far from that. Jeanine is a very kind lady. But there is something she needs to do.

She grabs the coat sleeve of one young man and say, “Please, don’t go yet. There is something here I need to show you. Please follow me?”

They follow as she leads them deeper into the old house, through a short, dark corridor. She opens the door to a tiny bedroom and in the bed, two small children, obviously a boy and girl and obviously siblings, sleep, the little girl sucking her thumb, the little boy having his arm over her in a protective way.

“I found them downtown five days ago, she says. They were crying and hungry, abandoned as so many are. What could I do but take them home, feed them, wash them and provide them with a bit of warmth and the comfort of a few sheets and blankets? I have nothing to dress them in and their own clothes were nothing but dirty rags. Now… I have nothing left to feed them. I just wanted you to know that it is not because I’m stingy that I didn’t give you anything, it’s that I don’t have anything… nothing. I’m sorry.”

The two very nice young men looked at each other and something flashed between them, some thoughts that found agreement. The oldest of the two, the one who had done the presentation, spoke then.

“We’re sorry too, very sorry. Look, here’s forty dollars that I have on me. Take that for now, and I promise we will be back.”

The younger searched his own pockets and came up with another fifteen dollars and some change. He also handed that over.

With a trembling hand, Jeanine took the money and the look on her face showed all the gratitude that words could never express. The young men left and Jeanine, knowing the children could be trusted to stay in the bed, got dressed for the cold and wet, painfully put her winter boots on and went shopping, slowly dragging her old two wheeled cart and counting her steps as was her habit.

Two days later, early morning, the storm having passed and the pale winter sun having made his appearance in a bright blue sky, a construction truck loaded with roofing materials and several cars pulled up along Devon avenue, close to Jeanine Winslow’s cottage. One man walked up to Jeanine’s front door while the rest, a crew of some seven men and three women, began to unload the truck and wheelbarrow the materials to the house. Ladders came next.

The “foreman” whose name is Jason Farnham and none other than the owner of the lumber yard, had gone to speak to Jeanine and got her shocked OK, for the work to proceed forthwith. The old roof was quickly peeled off and the happy pounding of air nailers and commands hurled back and forth filled the yard. Two women, one a strong teenager, the other, middle aged, went into the house and after moving the meagre furniture and spreading a tarp, pulled down the damp drywall. While finishing they explained to Jeanine,

“We’re sorry about the rush but the drywallers are only available tomorrow. They’ll start at 10:00 AM sharp and they’ll be done the hanging by noon. We’ll be back to finish the taping and mudding tomorrow afternoon. Any mess, we will clean up and we’ll paint next week. Is all this OK with you, Mrs. Winslow?”

“I… Yes, of course, yes…” She sat, small and quiet, with her big tomcat in her lap, her face in her hands. She didn’t know what to make of all that was happening. She thought, maybe she should just let it happen. And that’s what she did: let it happen. She went to the children’s bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed where they were occupied drawing and colouring. They looked up at her and smiled and her heart nearly burst with joy.

The small, basic roof was completed in record time and while the roof crew was cleaning up and running the magnet along the walls for stray nails, the foreman went back in the house, expressed his satisfaction on the removal of the old damp drywall then addressed Jeanine.

“Mrs. Winslow, I must apologize for our brisk performance but we just wanted to get this done in the shortest time while the sun was shining. We didn’t want to leave you as your situation was described to us so we put our emergency crew together, gathered the materials and soon I promise, your life will be back to normal, minus the roof worry. We will also put a new roof on your front porch. That, and new steps, comes later this week. I would have called you, and certainly we should have sent someone to warn you, but you don’t have a phone and we didn’t think there was any option either for you, or us so we decided to act instead of debate. My son Steve, whom you’ve met, was very persuasive and quite insistent.

“We will need to talk about the two children you are harbouring. The situation will have to be, shall we say, legalized? We have a couple of very compassionate people who we rely on to discuss these situations. Would you agree to meeting with them?”

“Yes I very much would. I know I can’t keep them but I need to know they will be sent to a good home. They really are wonderful kids, you know? I wish I could have them meet all of you but I’ve got them wrapped up in old clothes of mine and my husband. I haven’t been able to go shopping for children’s clothes, I’m sorry.”

“Did you get that, Leona? The kids need clothing. Could you leave the clean up to the rest of the crew and go get some children’s clothes from our good will box? If you can’t find anything there, please go and buy em.”

“OK, sure Jason. Be back shortly.”

“Leona’s my wife, we’re a team! I’ve got to go, Mrs. Winslow but there’s a couple of things to settle yet. First, here’s a check for $500 to help you get through this time. Second, and most importantly, everything we did, or will do, for you, is our choice. You owe us nothing and we certainly do not expect you to join or attend our church or any such thing. You will not be embarrassed by having to give any testimony. When we’re finished, we’re finished. Certainly, should you need further help you are welcome to get in touch with us – use the lumber yard – but that’s it. We are very happy to have the means to help you and others like yourself. Is that all OK with you then?”

“Yes Mr. Farnham. Yes it is. Thank you.”




The Garbage Man – Part III

Continuing with the story, “The Garbage Man”.  What was to be a short story has taken off on me and is well on its way to becoming another fantasy novel.  No idea where it is going either.  I hope you do enjoy it.  The title will eventually change and Lotharic, you will discover, will return to his earlier name, Edgar, not only by popular request but because Beanna prefers it.  Oh, and the name, Allay is pronounced “Ally.”  And typos may be lurking where least expected… Otherwise, let’s see what dreams may come.

CONTENTS DELETED.  If you need this section for reference, please contact me via email:

{start of part III}

“I feel so terribly cold…”

Lotharic brought Beanna out of the transition trance and explained: “I took you between worlds and it was your body that felt the cold of abandonment. We cannot travel thus physically. Whenever we enter the astral worlds we must leave our physical bodies behind.”

“Put the sword away, Beanna. What happened here, none of it was your fault, or even your doing. I manipulated your thoughts and feelings to expose your darkest side. It was necessary. Now, together, we will work on bringing out the compassionate, caring, loving Allaya. We will transform you. But again, let me emphasize: you needed to see for yourself; to experience, the depth of evil you are capable of as a human being. What you saw and did today is true for your entire race, or species. It is who and what you are. Some of you, particularly women and children hide it well from themselves, but the “good” among you are the exceptions and your goodness is always artificially produced. You are not naturally good, but rather always bend towards evil. Soon you will understand and fully accept that. The Allay and Allaya knew this fact about Earthians before they agreed to come here. We thought we understood the risks of course.”

{End of Part III – 180113}


Follow up to that Anti US-MIC List

[today’s thoughts – Sha’Tara]

When I came home tonight I was, I felt, tired. The strange thing is, the more tired I feel, the more I “feel” what goes on around me, and that is by most standards, a pretty wide area. Also not so unusual, I began focusing more directly on my personal chosen life purposes and goals. Which quite naturally led me to once again, to think about the concepts of compassion, and empathy.

That brought me to mentally review the recent post comparing US military incursions in other countries, versus the same of Iran and North Korea. I chose those two because, according to the MIC (military industrial complex) these two nations are the bane of the planet. Statistics, though not always totally reliable, prove otherwise; that the nation most likely to drag the world into nuclear conflict, and most likely to cause maximum harm to essentially unarmed nations and their millions of helpless civilians is none other than the US of A. Not that this hasn’t been known by most people in this world for many endless decades.

Now to write about the purpose for posting this comparison list. I’m not going to claim that I would never post such statistics out of hate of the US MIC. If there was a stronger word than hate, I would certainly use it. But that wasn’t the reason I posted that list. I posted it to remind myself that people, as a general rule, are not empathetic. That they will always put their favourite “system” – however evil, however corrupt – ahead of any concern for how that evil and corruption destroys people’s livelihood and lives.

I got my answer, though not many responded. As I experienced when I did “church” those people within the ranks who perhaps one-on-one would question some aspects of their institution, immediately closed ranks when that institution was openly and statistically challenged for being utterly hypocritical; when it’s leaders were called on the carpet for their lifestyles diametrically opposite to their teachings.

Patriotism is, of course, a form of religion. It is a belief system that does not require proof, just faith. The people who responded to the list predictably demonstrated this faith. There were no actual proof given to contradict the list, but a defensive stance was taken simply by saying, well, the US were NOT THE ONLY BAD GUYS, or NOT THE WORST OF THE BAD GUYS.

The argument was changed, as it always is when one’s faith is challenged and there is no real come back. Always the same: if you’re going to make my “god” look bad, I’m going to say that their “god” is as bad, or worse, thereby hoping for some sort of balance and my acquiescence.

What I was looking for, and found, was that all those lives lost, all those millions (!) of victims of the US MIC since World War II, didn’t matter in the least. They weren’t felt at all in the responses. Systems matter, individuals don’t. No empathy. The chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals was quoted as saying, “I was shocked to realize that these men are devoid of any empathy.”

Sadly, that is basically the case for Earthians. Overall but for exceptions, they really have no empathy. Sure they can talk miles about it, and they love to point to certain “do gooders” along the way who demonstrate both, empathy and compassion. But that’s really good enough. Heaven forbid that all of them should decide to become compassionate, and allow themselves to develop empathy as a way of life. Hell’s bells, that would simply bring the whole crappy, murderous, corrupt, greedy, insane predatory capitalistic system to its knees and then what good would any sort of faith and patriotism be? Can’t have that.

So now I know: defending the establishment is de rigueur. When it comes to choice between separating oneself from a criminal system and siding with its victims, or finding some way, any way, to justify that system’s crimes, the Earthian will support the establishment and justify the deaths of millions in the process.

Earthians, even the best meaning ones; even the ones who believe themselves to be “good” people (as opposed to evil doers) have no empathy. They have never defined the term for themselves so as to live with its actual meaning.

Seven and a half billions of Earthians now crowd a small planet of finite resources and space with no options left but to learn to coexist in peace and harmony through compassion and empathy.

Compassion empowers sharing and empathy ensures that “I” will never, not ever, cause “YOU” any kind of avoidable harm. In fact it will ensure that rather than cause “YOU” harm, I will choose to give up my own life as the proper and correct response in such a situation.

Too drastic? Too utopian? Let me tell you this, and I got it from non-Earthian sources: you (and I) are way past the critical point when we were expected to develop full compassion and empathy. Nothing is ever too late, but before that can be implemented now, there must be great suffering in our immediate future. That “great suffering” was completely avoidable, but for faith in obsolete systems. I gave up that faith years ago and thus I know it is quite possible to live without it. Ask me to take sides; as me to join any sort of collective, see what happens.







[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara

Wisdom does not come with age.

It is not enough to have lived a long time.

It is not enough to have seen much.

It is not enough to dream.

Wisdom comes from observation.

Wisdom comes from experience.

Wisdom comes from analysis.

Oh, and one more thing:

Wisdom can never be wisdom

unless contained within Compassion.


Society, the Homeless and Bleach

 [Thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]          

Certainty precludes certainty.  [Synopsis of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty]

Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. [Robert Heinlein]

The realm of the possible is infinity; the realm of the likely is confined to pre-existing conditions. [Sha’Tara]

Become a believer and you no longer have to be an achiever.  Become an achiever and you no longer need to be a believer. [Y-Lea]

Love is a feeling.  Like all feelings it is an effect requiring a cause; is short-lived, easily perverted and burns itself out as emotion. [Erin WilloWitch]

Corollary: If it is true that “God is love” we have the answer to the toughest question regarding God: The Great Silence.  As “love,” God is an effect, not a cause.  The effect was experienced when nature required its presence as creator, mover, judge and ruler.  Man has arrogated divine prerogatives in all these areas thus annulling the God effect.  Strictly speaking, “God” has become an idol for those who need to believe in something greater and external to themselves, external to human powers, external to nature and the human mind, external to everything they can conceive.  Now ask yourself: Is it any wonder no one can agree on what “God” really is?  Who could ever agree on what’s external to “me”?

I woke up angry this morning.  Good angry.  Dreams can do that.  They can toss you around, flip you, leave you begging for mercy.  Dreams can be terrible reflections in the mirror of the mind.  What brought on the anger?  The growing “problem” of homelessness in this burgeoning and mushrooming area.  The growth boom is attracting many people to Canada’s concentrated, cooler, wetter, socially dysfunctional version of California.  As always, a growing society also grows social “problems.”  That’s how it is.  Gradually, a population boom leads to overpopulation.  But it’s a  comfortable disease, one that kills the body in time but for the moment brings many benefits — or should I say gratification — at least for those who hope to profit by it. 

Human society has always been a sick animal.  A mindless predator that feeds on parts of itself for its own survival.  It’s the nature of the beast and nothing any dis-empowered individual can do about it.  Since it’s made up of individuals, individuals provide society’s fodder. Society is cannibalistic (it can also go ballistic, but that’s another topic.).  So in a greedy and narcissistic aspect of society you end up with those elites who are served and those teeming numbers who serve them body and soul because they don’t know any better than to stand in front of the steam roller when it comes to town. 

Enter the homeless.  Which are they?  Interesting question.  At first glance they appear to be victims of society.  A deeper look says, “No, they are not victims.  They are that ugly image of what a selfish and self-centered society portrays to itself in its mirror.”  Metaphorically they represent a cancerous zit showing through society’s cheap make-up.

The real victims of society are those who are truly helpless, sucked dry to serve the higher needs.  The sick who become the guinea pigs for the medical “profession” and legal drug lords.  The part-time, less than minimum wage drones in the fields of dollar store commodities, shoes and clothes, fast foods, accommodation, travel and the vast network of the underpaid so-called service industry.  The expendable and starving poor, those who happen to subsist on lands that contain resources the greedy desire.  These are the real victims of society, the slaves and martyrs who make society “viable” for those on the higher rungs of the ladder.  This is a real societal problem and for this there is a very simple solution available.

But homelessness, the kind we see in the affluent society, is different.  It has no apparent solution because it’s not actually a problem per se.  Homelessness results from society looking at itself in the mirror.  When you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, the solution does not lie (!) in the mirror.  Nothing you do with, or to, the mirror, will change that.  The “solution” lies with you.  If you cannot do anything about the way you look, then maybe it’s better not to look in a mirror.  Turn it to the wall, break it, remove it.  Whatever.  What confronts you in the mirror is not a problem, it’s an image. It is you who is the problem.  

It’s easy to look at a negative situation and label it a problem.  Once that’s done, society can create another bureaucracy to look into the problem, and another to solve the problem.  Enter a new government department.  Enter the “benevolent” organization.  Enter another curse upon society, another tax burden.  And who notices that as the costs of government and benevolent societies mount, so does the so-called “problem” these were set-up to resolve?

Were I installed as dictator tomorrow and the problem of homelessness brought to my attention, I would, as absolute ruler of said society, dictate the immediate round-up of the homeless to be forced into shelters (using currently vacant buildings with proper heat and sanitary facilities installed.)  I would dictate that they be fed properly and given necessary clothing, etc.  Then I would dictate that since society is looking after them, their time belongs to society.  They live by rules as applying to everyone else, and they are put to work in areas now lacking workers due to lack of funds.  Case closed.  The  problem is not solved since it wasn’t a problem, but the situation is resolved.  And I don’t want to hear about this again.  Next?

As an individual, which thankfully I am, and not as dictator, I have a solution to the situation of homelessness.  Since it is a mirror image of a selfish and decadent society, let’s change what is being reflected, not the reflection.  Let’s deal with the real problem, not the symptom. Let’s change “us” as individuals.  Let’s turn from our narcissism and selfishness, our sickening greed, and teach ourselves to look at our neighbor with compassion. 

Lets no longer accept that “God’s in his heaven, the CEO in his penthouse, the bankster on the phone with the CEO, the President robbing the poor to pay the rich, and all’s well with the world.”  The self-centeredness creating that ugly image in the mirror has to go.  We want beauty to reflect back to us, so let’s become beautiful, in our hearts and minds.  The rest will take care of itself.

It only seems impossible because it hasn’t been done.  Let’s move from the realm of the “likely” into the realm of the possible.  By doing it.  Now.  If we become achievers, we won’t have to be believers.  Another relief.  Another burden removed from society as a whole.

Speaking of God, a downtown church’s billboard proudly announces that God is like bleach because he removes the toughest stains.  Which tells us that God has a name: Javex.  Makes sense, that being the Modern Greek translation for the old Israelite name of Jehovah.  I have used a lot of God in my bathroom and laundry over the years without ever realizing we were so close.