Category Archives: entropy

The Dance of Death – article by Chris Hedges – from “Truthdig”

My short intro to the article, “The Dance of Death”

Have we entered into another “millennium madness” when the powers that be have destroyed society and we are about to plunge headlong into the terror that immediately precedes and follows the inadmissible truth: that society has lost it’s raison d’être and needs to destroy itself in order to begin again with a new modus operandi?  As the article below describes vividly, have we entered into the spirit of Thanatos, the death instinct of a global civilization?

If that is the case, what does one do, here and now? If society is going to commit suicide and nothing can stop it, is there any point in struggling against the elites’ madness which can only give them more time to enjoy their immoral pursuits purchased through every sort of illegal shenanigan and millions of deaths?

What would a truly wise person do, knowing this is indeed the case; having admitted that global society is in exponential decline and once again dancing the dance of death?

{Posting the entire article here to save you having to jump through the “link hoops” of web surfing…}

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The Dance of Death | Truthdig

“…Sigmund Freud wrote that societies, along with individuals, are driven by two primary instincts. One is the instinct for life, Eros, the quest to love, nurture, protect and preserve. The second is the death instinct. The death instinct, called Thanatos by post-Freudians, is driven by fear, hatred and violence. It seeks the dissolution of all living things, including our own beings. One of these two forces, Freud wrote, is always ascendant. Societies in decline enthusiastically embrace the death instinct, as Freud observed in “Civilization and Its Discontents,” written on the eve of the rise of European fascism and World War II. …”


Chris Hedges

The Dance of Death  (Chris Hedges)

Posted on Mar 12, 2017

Mr. Fish / Truthdig

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch. Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism. Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future. Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages. State repression is indiscriminate and brutal. And, presiding over the tawdry Grand Guignol is a deranged ringmaster tweeting absurdities from the White House.

The graveyard of world empires—Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Khmer, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian—followed the same trajectory of moral and physical collapse. Those who rule at the end of empire are psychopaths, imbeciles, narcissists and deviants, the equivalents of the depraved Roman emperors Caligula, Nero, Tiberius and Commodus. The ecosystem that sustains the empire is degraded and exhausted. Economic growth, concentrated in the hands of corrupt elites, is dependent on a crippling debt peonage imposed on the population. The bloated ruling class of oligarchs, priests, courtiers, mandarins, eunuchs, professional warriors, financial speculators and corporate managers sucks the marrow out of society.

The elites’ myopic response to the looming collapse of the natural world and the civilization is to make subservient populations work harder for less, squander capital in grandiose projects such as pyramids, palaces, border walls and fracking, and wage war. President Trump’s decision to increase military spending by $54 billion and take the needed funds out of the flesh of domestic programs typifies the behavior of terminally ill civilizations. When the Roman Empire fell, it was trying to sustain an army of half a million soldiers that had become a parasitic drain on state resources.

The complex bureaucratic mechanisms that are created by all civilizations ultimately doom them. The difference now, as Joseph Tainter points out in “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” is that “collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole.”

Civilizations in decline, despite the palpable signs of decay around them, remain fixated on restoring their “greatness.” Their illusions condemn them. They cannot see that the forces that gave rise to modern civilization, namely technology, industrial violence and fossil fuels, are the same forces that are extinguishing it. Their leaders are trained only to serve the system, slavishly worshipping the old gods long after these gods begin to demand millions of sacrificial victims.

“Hope drives us to invent new fixes for old messes, which in turn create even more dangerous messes,” Ronald Wright writes in “A Short History of Progress.” “Hope elects the politician with the biggest empty promise; and as any stockbroker or lottery seller knows, most of us will take a slim hope over prudent and predictable frugality. Hope, like greed, fuels the engine of capitalism.”

The Trump appointees—Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Rick Perry, Alex Acosta and others—do not advocate innovation or reform. They are Pavlovian dogs that salivate before piles of money. They are hard-wired to steal from the poor and loot federal budgets. Their single-minded obsession with personal enrichment drives them to dismantle any institution or abolish any law or regulation that gets in the way of their greed. Capitalism, Karl Marx wrote, is “a machine for demolishing limits.” There is no internal sense of proportion or scale. Once all external impediments are lifted, global capitalism ruthlessly commodifies human beings and the natural world to extract profit until exhaustion or collapse. And when the last moments of a civilization arrive, the degenerate edifices of power appear to crumble overnight.

Sigmund Freud wrote that societies, along with individuals, are driven by two primary instincts. One is the instinct for life, Eros, the quest to love, nurture, protect and preserve. The second is the death instinct. The death instinct, called Thanatos by post-Freudians, is driven by fear, hatred and violence. It seeks the dissolution of all living things, including our own beings. One of these two forces, Freud wrote, is always ascendant. Societies in decline enthusiastically embrace the death instinct, as Freud observed in “Civilization and Its Discontents,” written on the eve of the rise of European fascism and World War II.

“It is in sadism, where the death instinct twists the erotic aim in its own sense and yet at the same time fully satisfies the erotic urge, that we succeed in obtaining the clearest insight into its nature and its relation to Eros,” Freud wrote. “But even where it emerges without any sexual purpose, in the blindest fury of destructiveness, we cannot fail to recognize that the satisfaction of the instinct is accompanied by an extraordinary high degree of narcissistic enjoyment, owing to its presenting the ego with a fulfillment of the latter’s old wishes for omnipotence.”

The lust for death, as Freud understood, is not, at first, morbid. It is exciting and seductive. I saw this in the wars I covered. A god-like power and adrenaline-driven fury, even euphoria, sweep over armed units and ethnic or religious groups given the license to destroy anything and anyone around them. Ernst Juenger captured this “monstrous desire for annihilation” in his World War I memoir, “Storm of Steel.”

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A population alienated and beset by despair and hopelessness finds empowerment and pleasure in an orgy of annihilation that soon morphs into self-annihilation. It has no interest in nurturing a world that has betrayed it and thwarted its dreams. It seeks to eradicate this world and replace it with a mythical landscape. It turns against institutions, as well as ethnic and religious groups, that are scapegoated for its misery. It plunders diminishing natural resources with abandon. It is seduced by the fantastic promises of demagogues and the magical solutions characteristic of the Christian right or what anthropologists call “crisis cults.”

Norman Cohn, in “The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Messianism in Medieval and Reformation Europe and Its Bearing on Modern Totalitarian Movements,” draws a link between that turbulent period and our own. Millennial movements are a peculiar, collective psychological response to profound societal despair. They recur throughout human history. We are not immune.

“These movements have varied in tone from the most violent aggressiveness to the mildest pacifism and in aim from the most ethereal spirituality to the most earth-bound materialism; there is no counting the possible ways of imagining the Millennium and the route to it,” Cohen wrote. “But similarities can present themselves as well as differences; and the more carefully one compares the outbreaks of militant social chiliasm during the later Middle Ages with modern totalitarian movements the more remarkable the similarities appear. The old symbols and the old slogans have indeed disappeared, to be replaced by new ones; but the structure of the basic phantasies seems to have changed scarcely at all.”

These movements, Cohen wrote, offered “a coherent social myth which was capable of taking entire possession of those who believed in it. It explained their suffering, it promised them recompense, it held their anxieties at bay, it gave them an illusion of security—even while it drove them, held together by a common enthusiasm, on a quest which was always vain and often suicidal.

“So it came about that multitudes of people acted out with fierce energy a shared phantasy which though delusional yet brought them such intense emotional relief that they could live only through it and were perfectly willing to die for it. It is a phenomenon which was to recur many times between the eleventh century and the sixteenth century, now in one area, now in another, and which, despite the obvious differences in cultural context and in scale, is not irrelevant to the growth of totalitarian movements, with their messianic leaders, their millennial mirages and their demon-scapegoats, in the present century.”

The severance of a society from reality, as ours has been severed from collective recognition of the severity of climate change and the fatal consequences of empire and deindustrialization, leaves it without the intellectual and institutional mechanisms to confront its impending mortality. It exists in a state of self-induced hypnosis and self-delusion. It seeks momentary euphoria and meaning in tawdry entertainment and acts of violence and destruction, including against people who are demonized and blamed for society’s demise. It hastens its self-immolation while holding up the supposed inevitability of a glorious national resurgence. Idiots and charlatans, the handmaidens of death, lure us into the abyss.

 

The True Legacy of Living on Time

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

      I have seen immortality.  I have sensed it bouncing from the walls of time, and in my mind when I broke free from the induced trance and looked back, I have seen what the actual world of the immortals looks like.  It is a terrible thing to behold. 

     The following is an attempt at explaining how “time” came about; why we are trapped in its effects and why it makes us feel death.  

This is but an illustration:
    In the endless expanse of what is called space, one can look in every imaginable direction.  One can travel every conceivable type of path to every conceivable place.  When I looked in the direction I had wrenched my thoughts from, I saw a square box floating lazily in space, turning slowly, it’s surface glinting as mother-of-pearl but harshly (by comparison to other events out there) when light touched its surface.  That square box is what is known as the world of the immortals, or the gods.  It is the Time Lords’ artificial creation, or construct.  It is this universe and there is but one single purpose for its design: to control the flow of life by trapping energy and imprisoning the minds of sentient life forms within it.  Sentience is what they feed on.  If this universe is correctly measured in time at 14 billion years, then that is how long these entities have been “eating” life in this universe.   

    Way back before time, the entities we call “Time Lords” did not have such a baleful title then.  They came together as they traveled through the cosmos and came to believe themselves as the most powerful beings extant, therefore believing themselves entitled to guide creation.  Their concept, which Earthians so well know, was to develop a way of absolute control over the flow of life.

    When they discovered they could exert little control over the open Cosmos, and such control kept breaking up, they invented a system which they called “time” and everything within their system became bound by time.  To the Time Lords (TL’s) nothing that exists outside time is real.  Their invented reality depends entirely on time, using time to control space.

    In the beginning, before the “box” became a completely closed system, energy from the Cosmos flowed in and through the box relatively freely.  That is why you can still see events within the box that resemble those outside: revolving units of stars, gaseous clouds, galaxies, and you can sense that you belong within something called “the universe” but with a definite sense that such is “bound” to a return loop with a beginning and an end.  Seen this way it is easier to understand why “we” would “see” the beginning of this universe as a “big bang” event and why we can also predict the end of the universe.  These are not natural, but artificial events we are measuring and looking at.  

    You see, in order to control all events, from beginning to end, the “box” or “Time Universe” had to be closed off from new thoughts; from “infection” of radical free ideas floating freely through the cosmos.  To counteract their loss of infinite life the TL’s invented what they called “immortality” or the idea that physical / material bodies could be kept alive quasi-forever. 

    In infinity, the concept of immortality is meaningless as life flows in and out of things freely, unbound.  Infinity is an open-ended concept.  Immortality however, bears a major flaw:  the TL’s were about to discover the deadly effects of something that happened as an effect of an energetic closed system: the problem of *entropy.  What our time-trapped minds call “death.”

      It is true that no energy can be gained or lost within the time system.  It can only be manipulated until such “end time” when the system reaches its inevitable state of *entropy, the death of a closed system when all of its available energy has been converted and all movement ceases.  That is the eventual demise of the prison of time which will cause the dissolution of the Time Lords themselves.  When their power ends, they end, for they have inextricably bound themselves to their concept in order to control it and they can no longer escape it.

     Obviously, they did not know this in the beginning, prior to their madness, or they chose to ignore whatever warnings they may have received.  Just as obviously they are doing everything in their power to prevent this end.  How do I know this?  I was taught a very handy rule about how things work: observe and think, as below, so above.  All I need do is observe how this world’s major empires drive themselves into perdition in a vain attempt to hold on to their global hegemony; to their claim to the lion’s share of this world’s resources, read: energy.  A prime example of this today, the United States of America and its satellite slave states, particularly Canada, much of Europe, Israel and Australia.  This empire is drowning in a sea of debt, dwindling natural resources and anthropocentric climate change which it insists on denying.  To counter this deadly entropy it does what all great empires of the past were forced to do: launch more and more wars against a world that it has turned into an enemy.  The empire and its satellites now exist in a permanent, life denying state of war against nature and against all of humanity. Those wars will only end when the empire’s alliances break apart and it dies.   

     So it is in the universal empire of the Time Lords.  Their “security state” energy shields will break down from entropy.  Their kingdoms, their great halls, their heavens and their hells — all will “freeze over” to be re-absorbed as energy and transformed.  The great universal empire will break apart in truly apocalyptic events, turning itself inside-out and everything in its prisons, including its trillions of sentient slaves, will be released to re-discover freedom once again.  

“Time not important, only life important!” (The Fifth Element)”

“If you really want to stay the same age you are now, forever and ever, she’d be thinking, try jumping off the roof: death’s a sure-fire method for stopping time.” (The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood)

“…Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups. So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes…”  Philip K Dick, “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later,” 1978.

*Entropy:  a process of degeneration marked variously by increasing degrees of uncertainty, disorder, fragmentation, chaos, etc.; specif., such a process regarded as the inevitable, terminal stage in the life of a social system or structure – entropy always increases and available energy diminishes in a closed system, as the universe. (Webster’s dictionary)

A Star Dancer Speaks

Have you ever wondered what “listening to the voices of the dead” and “hearing the music of the spheres” have in common?

When you look in the night sky, what do you see?  Stars?  Yes, mostly stars for only stars emit enough light to travel those quasi-unfathomable distances of space to twinkle in this earth’s little firmament. 

What does that twinkling represent?  A sort of Morse code, yes?  The “spheres” talking to us, perhaps calling some of us back; reminding us that we are not utterly lost as we walk in weak finiteness on a dark non-star matter world that can only reflect a sun’s light.  For we are the star dancers, beings of eternal combustion, burning to give light, as did our ancient worlds of origin.

If you know yourself to be a star dancer, do you know the language; the music, from your starry worlds?  Do you remember any of it?  Do you know why you are here on this cold world in semi-darkness, the closest thing resembling your ancient home, that tiny ball of fusion in this world’s sky? 

Look back through your great remembrances and see the waves of migrations as your home worlds burned themselves out, leaving you orphaned, refugees scattering in the endless immensity of space.  Remember how you closed yourselves up and “died” to become seeds that would find homes – or not – here and there in the great vagaries of worlds in collision.  Remember.  Remember the unthinkable.

Eons later, through millions of transformations and mutations you find yourselves here, looking into the night sky.  It is filled with pin-pricks of light from your star worlds.  Do you hear them, their voices?  Their sad songs?  Do you realize now that what you are hearing is the voices of the dead?  Those lights, so many, are but the remnants of what were once our living worlds.  We were star beings living within our star worlds.  Then they burned out.   We did not.

We became the cast out.

We scattered, as seeds from a dandelion head, blown away in the fiery winds of their demise.  But our worlds’ light kept on its path through time.  These lights we see; these voices calling us, they are the voices of the dead, star beings; voices of our dead worlds, the wind whistling through tombstones and denuded trees in man’s graveyards.  We can never go back home again.  We must accept this. 

What we need not accept is that we are now permanent residents of cold material worlds.  We have seeded our wisdom and knowledge here and there throughout the universe.  We suffered more pain and loss than any language could ever reveal.  We re-created ourselves into semblances of quasi-intelligent life, not only to survive, but to teach.  We have seldom been accepted or welcomed; mostly doubted, held in suspicion, suppressed and killed.  Our role, if such it was, has cost us dearly.  Many of us to avoid martyrdom slipped into the predictable monotony of a matter-world’s life patterns.  We put our minds to sleep; we disconnected from our innate compassionate and empathetic nature.  We did not want to suffer anymore.  We wanted rest. 

We found death instead.

Look in the night sky again!  We are awakening!  We have a new power now, we can make new worlds suitable for us and all our kin.  We shall make those worlds to last forever.  When our children hear the songs and music of these new worlds they will be the voices of the ever-living. 

Come, let us prepare to leave this dying world and go home.   

“Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries — but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”  – Ransom Riggs

 

When or Where are Facts, Facts?

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

I’m expanding this thought from a comment I made on another blog about facts.  I want to demonstrate something here about discussions and arguments on the existence of facts.  I begin with the most common bone of contention between people: about God, religion, evolution… you know, the usual circular bitter arguments on whether God exists or not. I’ll put the “does God exist” argument and “when are facts, facts” in two simple categories, allowing for both “yes and no” being actually correct. 

Follow my line of reasoning and your wish for “peace on earth” so much bandied about at this time of year in these post-Christian worlds may come true!  This is an important discussion for all, but particularly for me since the “peace on earth” concept is imbedded in my make-up.   My chosen name, Sha’Tara means “Shalom ar Tara” (combination of Hebrew/Irish/French/English)  In Celtic Irish: Síocháin ar an Domhan; in Welsh, the closest translation to my own language, Breton: Heddwch ar y Ddaear.) In  English, simply “Peace on Earth.”  Finding that holy grail of peace on earth is my entire purpose for existence, my chosen purpose.  I don’t apologize for that though it may come across as rather presumptuous, there are worse choices.

That said, does God exist as a fact? 

There are billions of people who are convinced that she/he/it does.  More than do not believe it.  That makes the existence of God a philosophical and psychological fact.  This is the area where God exists as a fact that cannot logically be argued against. 

There are many (most) scientists and observers in the material realm who say there is no material/physical evidence for the existence of God therefore God does not exist.  That makes God a non-existent entity.  On this plane of observation God cannot exist.  Hence the fact is that God not only does not, but cannot exist “on earth.”  Another way of putting it, God is always transcendent, never immanent, get used to it.

A bit like Schrödinger’s live/dead cat experiment, don’t you see?  (Interested? Copy the name Schrödinger and paste in search engine – you’ll be buried under all kinds of explanations that in the end admit they didn’t explain anything.  Get used to that too!) 

This is the stance I’ve always taken about all things.  My personal balancing mental mechanism in dealing in facts is, all things exist, I just have to find their level of existence to determine whether their existence affects me (you, us) “in this dimension.”   

Do flying pink elephants exist?  Yes, in the realm of my imagination and creativity, they exist.  I can “see” them with my mind.  So far, no conflict.

Do they affect my physical/material existence?  No.  In this realm they have no substance because they cannot impinge power/energy upon it.  No conflict.   

It is my prerogative however to make myself into a complete fool to the point of introducing chaos and disorder by insisting, by whatever means available, that they exist here.  I can attempt, by such means to convince enough people that they exist in this reality so they join me in my delusion, thus increasing the tempo of entropy on earth.  Collective delusions create entropy, oh yes.  What is entropy?  Ask your search engine.

Despite my apparent success, having created a belief system in flying pink elephants, this plane of existence isn’t giving me a fact, all I have is a bigger, more powerful and dangerous delusion creating a growing wave of violent controversy.

Let’s push this a bit:  I believe that pink elephants exist in imagination.  I take that belief and force-feed it into physical reality through sophistry and demagoguery, by claiming that I can harness a pink flying elephant to my car and it can pull me across the skies, like Santa’s reindeer.  (In Internet reality using imaging programs I can even “create” flying pink elephants.  I bet someone’s going to post one on this blog: please do, I think they are incredibly cute!)

Now, I’m just itching to talk about UFO’s here too but that would open another can of worms I’ll keep closed for the time being.  

I can make people believe in the existence of flying pink elephants but in actual, observable fact, will it work in this realm?  No.  Observation dictates this is not logically debatable.

Here is a more practical experiment on facts existing on different levels that cannot be crossed.  Do fish exist?  I’m looking around the room here and I don’t see any fish.  At this point, having never seen a fish, for me fish don’t exist.  Someone comes to me and explains that in a watery environment there are fish if I care to go there and observe.  I go there and indeed I see fish: they exist, in water.  So I decide to bring some fish to live in my apartment.  They die.  My apartment has air, not water; not a suitable environment for the fish. 

Ergo, we need to keep our facts in their suitable environment or they become baseless.  The error wasn’t in whether the fish are a fact or not, the error was to attempt to bring a water-environment fact into a non-water environment.  The fish-fact did not become a non-fact, it just died.

There is a place where God’s existence is fact, and I can go there, by choice, at will, to worship or to query and castigate.  (Castigate, you say?  How sad!  Well, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but God and I don’t get along anymore and you probably don’t want to ask me why – you won’t like my answers if you’re a God trusting person.)

There is a place where God’s non-existence is a fact, and that’s the one I live in as a physical entity.  No conflict.  Religious people bring their God-fish into a non-watery environment, it dies, but they keep on insisting it is alive and active “here”  and that’s their great delusion. 

Facts are facts but the physical/material universe only accepts those facts that fit with its own nature.  When religious people insist on bringing their spiritual dimension facts into this material reality conflict is inevitable.  The Bible and the Christian New Testament are full of references to “the world” rejecting spiritual concepts and persecuting believers, or vice-versa, believers persecuting non-believers. 

Conversely, materialists take their materially observed facts to the non-material realm to try and impose those facts on its spiritual consciousness, or mental reality.  They get automatically rebuffed and instead of realizing their mistake, get angry, mocking and denying the experience as fraudulent. 

Oil is a fact.  Water is a fact.  It is also a fact that they don’t mix. 

Never will peace be achieved between these two groups of fact-followers because they are incompatible and irreconcilable.  No amount of legalism, political correctness, punishment, love, scientific observation and “proof,” acceptance or force, can ever join these opposites.  They are repulsive to each other, like two positive or negative magnetic poles.  They repel each other so that neither one nor the other can overcome and destroy the entire process we call life.  Conflict is not an inherent aspect of the cosmos but we need to know that it is very much an inherent aspect of this universe.  As universal beings we swim in an ocean of conflict.  

We can observe this violence, but can we learn from it?  Can we, as intelligent, sentient and self-aware beings take the next evolutionary step, wean ourselves from our little universe and its foibles and become cosmically-aware beings?  Can we take that next step that allows us to make peace with irreconcilables, not by trying to forcefully impose one on the other, but by making room within our minds for all of it?

From YLea, my Altarian Teacher: “Believe all things, believe in nothing.”  “When none of it matters it will all be yours.”  “Nothing is impossible.”  Let me interpret that last one, most people get it wrong.  It doesn’t mean that all things are possible, it means simply that nothing cannot exist!  And that fits in with the theme of this short article: whatever you believe, must, of necessity exist because you cannot believe nothing.  If it exists, then it is a fact.  You cannot believe in non-facts.

I cannot resist this last shot.  As the late great Harry Crumb (John Candy) master detective said, and I quote:  “Believe what you will, but don’t believe it here.”  

 

Unlucky Number – article by George Monbiot

While those of us with a social conscience are agonizing over the DAPL (Damn All Pipe Lines – my words for the acronym) protests, there are much bigger issues facing this planet.  Issues that leave those of us who actually do look at man’s effects upon this planet wishing quite seriously that we were not here to see or experience them.  I think that as a ruling species given an entire planet to “do our thing” upon, we’ve quite completely painted ourselves into the proverbial corner and no way out.

Mr. Monbiot warns that his article could be depressing.  I suppose it is but I like to look at the truly big picture when considering solutions to the woes of man and his world.  We can no longer be satisfied in looking at solutions to our own problems because such solutions will not have any effect on the overall situation.  In fact if some local problem is resolved, let’s say the DAPL project is abandoned, many locals will feel the job is done, go home and resume life where they left off.  You can’t blame them of course but that won’t solve anything overall.  Overall there is a systematic break down.  Our “old” civilization is no longer sustainable and failing, socially, morally, economically.  It’s a combination of too much having been taken; too high expectations from too many.  Our exponential growth has smashed its face into a cement wall called the finite.  We didn’t need “Dollar” Trump to build that wall, it comes with every finite physical world and it’s up to those who would rule that world to recognize in time that there are built-in limits to growth.  Well folks, “we” chose, crassly and by some belief in entitlement not to acknowledge this number one law governing all life in a material universe.  We have been extremely foolish and we are about to experience the real consequences of that foolishness.

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Here is the George Monbiot article, copied from an email

Unlucky Number

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 04:34 AM PST

We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.

By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 25 November 2016

Please don’t read this unless you are feeling strong. This is a list of 13 major crises that, I believe, confront us. There may be more. Please feel free to add to it or to knock it down. I’m sorry to say that it’s not happy reading.

  1. The next occupant of the White House will be a man who appears to possess no capacity for restraint, balance or empathy, but a bottomless capacity for revenge and vindictiveness. He has been granted a clean sweep of power, with both houses and the Supreme Court in his pocket. He is surrounding himself with people whose judgement and knowledge of the world are, to say the least, limited. He will take charge of the world’s biggest nuclear and conventional arsenals and the most extensive surveillance and security apparatus any state has ever developed.

  1. In making strategic military decisions, he has a free hand, with the capacity to act even without the nominal constraint of Congress. His national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, is a dangerous extremist.

  1. Trump’s team is partly composed of professional lobbyists hired by fossil fuel, tobacco, chemical and finance companies and assorted billionaires. Their primary political effort is to avoid regulation and taxation. These people – or rather the interests they represent – are now in charge. Aside from the implications for the living world, public health, public finance and financial stability, this is a vindication of the political model pioneered by the tobacco companies in the 1960s. It demonstrates that if you spend enough money setting up think tanks, academic posts and fake grassroots movements, and work with the corporate media to give them a platform, you can buy all the politics you need. Democracy becomes a dead letter. Political alternatives are shut down.

  2. Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, Britain’s attempts to disentangle itself from the European Union are confronted with a level of complexity that may be insuperable. Moreover, there may be no answer to the political fix in which the government finds itself. This is as follows: a. Either it agrees to the free movement of people in exchange for access to the single market, in which case the pro-Brexit camp will have gained nothing except massive embarrassment or b. the EU slams the shutters down. Not only is it likely to reject the terms the government proposes; but it might also try to impose an exit bill of around €50 billion for the costs incurred by our withdrawal. This would be politically impossible for the government to pay, leading to a non-negotiated rupture and the hardest imaginable Brexit.

  1. The Italian banking crisis looks big. What impact this might have on the survival of the Eurozone is anyone’s guess.

  1. Whether it is also sufficient to trigger another global financial crisis is again hard to judge. If such a thing were to occur, governments would not be able to mount a rescue plan of the kind they used in 2007/8. The coffers are empty.

  1. Automation will destroy jobs on an unprecedented scale, and because the penetration of information technology into every part of the economy is not a passing phase but an escalating trend, it is hard to see how this employment will be replaced. No government or major political party anywhere shows any sign of comprehending the scale of this issue.

  1. The Jean PingMarine Le Pen has a moderate to fair chance of becoming the French president in May. Whether this would be sufficient to trigger the collapse of the European Union is another unknown. If this is not the sufficient crisis, there are several others lining up (especially the growing nationalist movements across central and Eastern Europe in particular, but to a lesser extent almost everywhere) that could catalyse a chain reaction. I believe that when this begins, it will happen with a speed that will take almost everyone by surprise. From one month to the next, the European Union could cease to exist.

  1. If Le Pen wins, the permanent members of the UN Security Council will be represented by the following people: Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Theresa May and Marine Le Pen. It would be a stretch to call that reassuring.

  1. National climate change programmes bear no connection to the commitments governments made at Paris. Even if these programmes are fully implemented (they won’t be), they set us on a climate change trajectory way beyond that envisaged by the agreement. And this is before we know what Trump will do.

  1. One of the many impacts of climate breakdown – aside from such minor matters as the inundation of cities, the loss of food production and curtailment of water supplies – will be the mass movement of people, to an extent that dwarfs current migration. The humanitarian, political and military implications are off the scale.

  1. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss we have 60 years of harvests left.

  1. The extinction crisis appears, if anything, to be accelerating.

Enough already? Sorry, no. One of the peculiarities of this complex, multiheaded crisis is that there appears to be no “other side” onto which we might emerge. It is hard to imagine a realistic scenario in which governments lose the capacity for total surveillance and drone strikes; in which billionaires forget how to manipulate public opinion; in which a broken European Union reconvenes; in which climate breakdown unhappens, species return from extinction and the soil comes back to the land. These are not momentary crises, but appear to presage permanent collapse.

So the key question is not how we weather them but how – if this is possible – we avert them. Can it be done? If so what would it take?

I write this not to depress you, though I know it will have that effect, but to concentrate our minds on the scale of the task.

(Since writing this article, I have thought of three others: the debt crisis emerging in both China and the West; the global pensions crisis and antibiotic resistance. Just in case there wasn’t enough to worry about…)

http://www.monbiot.com

“Why worry about what can kill you tomorrow when so many things can kill you tonight?” 

(title is a remembered quote from the movie, “Lord of War”)
[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  through Airin WilloWitch, a.k.a., Sha’Tara]

I’m sure that title and quote is also a paraphrase of something else I’ve read somewhere in my travels.  It is a line however that I have often thought about.  What does that mean to me?  Does it mean, in the hedonistic biblical sense, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”?  Throw caution to the wind, live for the moment, and the Devil take the hindmost?  (Or the lion if you happen to be a wildebeest?)

While I completely disagree with the common politically correct phrase, “we’re all in this together” (which is obvious bullshit in spades when you think about it seriously for a split second) there is definitely one thing we all have in common: death.  Whatever we do to avoid it, and believe me that the amount of money people spend to try to avoid it is beyond staggering (well, OK, I don’t know how much, I just know it’s a whole lot more than that), we simply can’t.  Death is our constant companion through life.  We’re born to die, with a little lunch break in-between we call life.

No, I’m not trying to cheer you up, but I’m not trying to depress you either as both would defeat my purpose.  I haven’t (yet) said anything you don’t already know so if this feels uncomfortable, think of it as a reality check – and try to make sure it doesn’t bounce.  Hell hath no fury like the Devil holding a bounced check and you could be looking at a fate worse than death – but I’m ahead of myself here and I hate it when I have to keep looking back while writing, it’s so hard on the neck.

Two questions arise from the above: why worry?  And what is death?  And from that let’s extract this gem: is all of our worry concerned with the possibility that we may die, suddenly and inexplicably, or that we may be driven to death by any number of means or reasons: bankrupted into abject poverty; contracting an incurable, terminal disease; arrested for murder and though not guilty convicted of same in a death penalty state; accident?

So, why do we worry?  Why are so many people stressed to the max and depressed today?  What happened to the real, un-faked happiness, the verve, the “joie de vivre”?  What is this terrible darkness that is descending upon the planet and which seems to only increase every time some major man-made event happens?  Why can’t we have at least one major truly joyful man-made event of gargantuan proportions to celebrate ourselves within, as a species?  Why must everything of major import be sad, dreadful, horrible, hopeless, destructive, death-dealing, polluting with no end in sight when we are sick and tired of hearing all about it, or of experiencing it?  Or, why, if we are of the hopeful types, must what we hope for be forever out of reach, more often receding from our grasp than approaching it?  Why does the carrot always turn into a stick?

I think it all goes back to death.  Consciously we may choose to ignore the monster and try to live relatively normal, happy lives among those we love or the society we fit in, but subconsciously “it” is always there, just like *Joe Black, not always recognized for what it is but suspected, distrusted and feared; the entity with its own agenda over which no one has any control.  Death, the great equalizer it’s been called.  Well, I don’t know: I see a lot of death, I don’t see much equality arising from its presence, quite the contrary.  Death is like that bouncing ball that after it’s set a bouncing, every time it’s touched it bounces even more wildly and unpredictably.

In a moment of wild ecstasy I suppose, John Donne wrote “death thou shalt die.”  Literally or figuratively?  It really doesn’t matter how, it matters more when.  Until now man has been the slave of death and the certainty of having to face that executioner has caused man to behave in very irrational and contradictory ways.  For the average Earthian, the way to avoid death is to be the first to deal death to some whose existence is perceived as a threat.  This knee-jerk reaction is called war, man’s most precious invention.  The one he spends the most resources upon by far; his joy, his baby, his heritage.  Makes me want to write an ode to war, or a love poem: “O dear war, how I missed thee in the dark hours of peace and how I praise thee now that thee are back, filling that aching void in my human heart, O dear war promise, O promise me thou shalt never abandon me again, I could not bear it!”  Well, that’s a start.  Dark humour, but how far from the truth of the matter?  So we kill in a vain attempt to save our own life, a life that was forfeit from the moment we were conceived.

OK, so I’m not looking for rationality among the species, I know such a thing is anathema to man’s thinking.  I’m just wondering if there is a cure to worry.  Let’s spread the net.  All animal life dies, sooner than later, here.  Do animals worry about dying?  I don’t think they do, although many animals experience powerful emotions when one of them dies, some more than others.  They know about death; about the end of the body, but they don’t seem to be worried about their own coming death.  It’s only when the predator appears that they resort to their fight or flight mode.  And if they get sick they do not linger.  Either they can heal themselves or they quickly give themselves over to death without any struggle.

For whatever reason, Earthians are very different from the animals in the matter of death.  Animals don’t form armies to attack and decimate their enemies.  They may be territorial for logistical purposes but they don’t try to expand their “empires” outside limits set by the Alpha male of the tribe.  Those outside the limits are safe from attack and free of harassment.  Animals kill to survive, not to enhance their own personal power or “wealth” as the expense of others.  {Oh please God, make me into an animal this minute!  Amen!}  Animals do not cling to life when evidence shows the game is up: they gracefully surrender their bodies to the earth and very quickly no evidence remains of their passage.

It is foolish to worry, even more so to allow oneself to get depressed.  Depression isn’t a disease, it’s the dirty diaper of the spoiled and entitled modern bratty human who wants more than it’s willing to get for itself or share and give to others.  Depression comes from a “I want it, and I want it now” civilization whose technology provided a lot of stupid, unnecessary and polluting toys and that continues to promise even more toys while the natural resources that fueled that technology are being wasted by overuse and war or vanishing from the planet in waves of entropic energy like climate change.  Depression from not getting what one feels entitled to leads to worry about more serious things, like losing one’s home or having no money to buy basic necessities such as food or losing one’s children through violence… Ah yes, the list of things that cause worry is long indeed.

So, I choose to live by my first quote.  I don’t worry about what could kill me tomorrow.  I think about the things lurking in the night of my mind, the things tonight, that can kill me.  I think about the dangers of reverting back to being a common Earthians; of waking up tomorrow morning worrying about food, clothing, shelter, money, what’s been stolen in the night, etc.  I think about spiritual regression and mental devaluation from nightly visitations of “demons” from the darkness of the Matrix.  I think of the horror of discovering I’m no longer immune to the foibles of man but rather fully back in their clutches.  I think about what it would be like to lose my sense of self empowerment, of knowing what I am; of losing sight of my purpose… in the night.  And I shudder.  That would be worse than any conceivable depression.

Ah, but I’m a witch!  I have spells to protect myself from demons who would steal my self-made personhood:  “I think my own thoughts, therefore I am my own person.” And spells also to protect me from well-meaning Earthians who would also destroy me with their verbal weapons of mass distraction: “I Choose Me.”  And then I remember that death is a gift, my doorway out of this place and to another I know about and look forward to – and no, sorry, it’s not heaven!  And when does death die?  It dies for me when I kill it by transcending it every moment of every day.

*Joe Black: reference is to the movie, Meet Joe Black, with Brad Pitt as death.

 

 

 

 

CHAOS, ORDER AND BEING HUMAN

                                  [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]
 
“Being human is the struggle to bring meaning into a universe where order and chaos normally create meaningless patterns that resemble a balance.” (The Chaos Balance – L. Modesitt Jr.)

Perhaps that is why the “human spirit” has spread so rapidly throughout this universe, why we find so many “humanoid” type beings everywhere. Fulfilling a need to quickly put meaning where none existed.
 
Despite the claims of the Bible (many have no use for that book, but it is not the book’s fault, but those who misuse, misquote and totally misinterpret it) it seems logical that “creation” came on a whim and that much of what we now take for granted is simply the result of intelligence dis-incarnate, then incarnate, riding the wild winds of creation, inventing the concepts of time and space to mold this effusion of madness into some form of order.

And there’s the rub, for all of us. How much order can we infuse in the cosmos before it is destroyed? Certainly, in its wild chaotic form it is of little use for the likes of us. It does require some taming. But when and where do we stop taming it? How do we recognize the point of no return; the death factor known as entropy?

We are order-makers. That is what we are, and we do what we are. What happened to those who were supposed to channel our energy and keep us from “over-ordering” the created realms? Possibly they were seduced by our inordinate success and became enamored of order as well. Now indistinguishable from us, and equally powerless to change. We are, therefore, alone, having absorbed our creators within our innate selfishness. 
 
By endlessly seeking to put order into everything, we limit everything, including our own thinking, particularly that part we call imagination. We see the future as the faceless enemy to be conquered. Conditioned as we are to face the forces of chaos and tame them, we expect nothing but chaos to flow to us from the future. And we stand ready to tame it. By whatever means.

Those of earth are as trapped warriors who have conquered every known land and are sweeping over the world looking for some enclave, some valley, some mountain top that they haven’t yet subdued and brought under their rule. When they do not find it, they fear that their purpose may be at an end. In desperation, they turn upon their own works and re-create chaos so they will have something to do. But the chaos they create is artificial: it is mayhem, not purposeful chaos.  Its nature is entropic and entropy is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. 
 
By some twist of “fate” (I do not believe in fate, but what better way to put this?) Earthian humanity has evolved to this point of despair without the means to leave this planet. Billions of beings all over this world basically unable to fulfill their mandate and no one around to re-program them to do something else.
 
It seems that “God” (whomever that be) has abandoned man to his own devices after he so dedicatedly fulfilled his Genesis mandate to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen. 1:28)

Earthian humanity has arrived where it has because of an old covenant, a programming in their DNA that gave them their single-minded devotion to conquer and subdue. But what happens after that is done? If the program keeps running, if the switch isn’t turned “off” inevitably exploitation and oppression must follow.  Endless warfare. 
 
Perhaps it had been hoped that Earthian humanity would be able to change itself. But as long as resources were plentiful and there was no one to give account to for criminal activity, there was no reason to change. Thus the prayer of the Possum Lodge came into being: “We are men. We can change. If we have to.”  And… they did not have to, so instead of changing, the rulers of man chose to become increasingly conservative (order-driven – not the same as orderly) in their thinking. Which led to more oppression and internecine warfare. Men against women. Brothers against brothers. Children against parents. Race against race. Rich against poor.  Man against nature. 
 
Despite these moral and mental disabilities Earthians increase in numbers against all odds. Thanks to technology, though it is strictly speaking but a convenience that speeds oppression and feeds greed, most Earthians are kept alive because large numbers still serve some purpose. But obviously and increasing technology is being controlled to serve the elites. Costs are rising. Resources dwindling. Soon we will repeat the mistakes of the Dwarves of Moria (cf., Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien) delving too deep and too greedily. We will awaken the fire demon, the Balrog, the black soul of man. With no Gandalf to defeat it, it will come out in the open and lay the surface to ashes.  
 
Predictably, back to primordial chaos. And the earth human “experiment” will end. Will any survive? Perhaps, but not as we know them today. Everything will change. Everything. The old will not even be remembered by the remnants who will be neither human nor animal but a re-combination of both—the humanimal. Will that be an evolution, or a plunge into horror beyond anything writers of horror fiction have been able to imagine?