Category Archives: essay

What’s the good of Freedom to the Ignorant?

                     [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

“What’s the good of freedom to the ignorant?” (Ursula K. LeGuin, “Powers”)

A critical question that should be endlessly considered by those who claim to live in freedom; who claim to live within democracies.  Are these people intelligently educated, and are they, in fact, free?  To the intelligently educated, the word “freedom” conveys an endless number of meanings, and shades of meaning, constantly being internally debated.

But what does it mean to an ignorant lout?  A redneck?  A “fool” who lives at the beck and call of guts and brawn?  To the consummate shopper?  To the assembly line worker mind-numbed and beaten by endless, meaningless labour? To the denizen of the computerized cube farm? 

Raised in “relative poverty” (Canadian style, meaning we almost always had enough to eat, and enough clothing and housing to survive the harsh elements of a northern clime – nobody froze to death) I remember only too well having to interact with braggart, illiterate ignorance in grade school.  Later, standing alongside never stopping feed belts in canneries, numbed by the repetitiveness and clanking, hissing noise, checking, adjusting, clearing, stacking… I remember my quickly fading choices.  Was this back-breaking, brain-numbing work going to be my life?

To the ignorant, such situations call for camaraderie: misery loves company, and there was a lot of company; too much company.  These are also great opportunities for ass-kissers and bullies to rise quickly to their own levels of incompetence, loved by higher levels of managers because they consider this loyalty to the company, hence to themselves.  These are the people who snitch and prevent rebellions and talk of unionization, or who management encourages in seditious talk against unions to other employees in hopes of de-certification.  

And so, the ignorant are the great base, the pedestal upon which the masters wine and dine themselves, taking, taking and taking, never having to give any account to anyone because they have their ignorant base to walk over; to dance on. 

In America, the world just witnessed the “election” of a thorough boor, elected and to this moment, supported, by the ignorant masses who fear freedom above anything else, because they know that freedom entails responsibility and responsibility demands the kind of commitment they aren’t willing to put their minds into.  The chains worn by the consumer society do not seem so onerous to bear.

“The wall of forgetting was down.  I was able to think, to speak, to remember.  I was free.  Freedom was unspeakable anguish.” (Ursula K. LeGuin, “Powers”)

In such a morally depraved civilization as this, if “it” is making you feel safe, comfortable, happy, “it” isn’t freedom.  If it is making you rich, with power over others, “it” isn’t freedom.  If if demands that you arm yourselves to the teeth to go and oppress and exploit others in their own countries, to force them to your ways and to take their resources and labour, “it” certainly isn’t freedom.  Conversely, if “it” is dispossessing you; pushing you into deeper debt; into poverty; unto the street to survive by begging or crime, then obviously “it” isn’t freedom. 

Freedom neither gives, nor requires, any of those things.  Freedom can only be given, and shared, freely between willing participants.  This is what the promoters of “freedom and democracy” western style fear anyone learning about. 

To forestall such a thing becoming too common knowledge they invented the now practically global public school system, unofficially known as Official Brainwashing.  At the end of twelve years, give or take, of this waste of youthful years ooze the drones: workers, believers, consumers, hoarders, spectators, whiners, bitchers, complainers, addicts, gamblers, inmates and voters: the entitled to freedom, western style. 

For those who continue seeking after greater official ignorance comes Academic Higher Ignorance.  At the end of that, degrees indicating successful completion of various courses in Official Master Ignorance are handed out.  Having proved themselves adept at rising to their own level of State Approve Ignorance,  these may then be able to go into various channels of rip-off industry, including banking, politics, drugs, medical business, law, corporate engineering, technology and scientific research and through it all, the military, or Official Murder Industry.  Less prevalent today, but always eager to make a sudden come-back is Religion.  It too demands its slate of Officially Mandated leadership in Statutory Ignorance. 

To ensure only a minimal number ever wake up long enough to realize the massive scam they’ve been led into,  the System saddles their Worthy Ignorant with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of “student debt”, another euphemism for the slave collar. 

You can’t be rebellious when you need a position to repay your debts, buy a house, and try to match the lifestyle of other Officially Ignorant in your line of pretend expertise.  And if you are not rebelling, you are acquiescing, and if you are acquiescing, you are supporting, and if you are supporting, you are a slave along with the others in your slave quarters.  And your greatest curse is that a part of you is always aware of this fact; a fact that can only be borne by an endless stream of distractions.  Enter the entertainment, news and social Media, organized Sports and spectator politics.  And war.  Ultimately, was is the greatest distraction of them all.  That’s why it’s unofficial title is The Endless War.

Freedom?  Of course I’m free.  I’m free to be an ignorant slave.  No anguish; no moral issues; no agonizing conundrums; no worries.  The “House” will take care of us and all our needs, for the “House” owns us all, amen!  

This n’ That and the Wisdom of Frank Herbert

                             [thoughts from  ~burning woman~   ]

Let me see, now: there is work, rest, and somewhere in between, everything else, the jumble of life.  I’ve been very tired these last few weeks, mostly due to work, I realize that, but we also experience a deeper tiredness that comes from an accumulation of worn out time, year after year after year, “time passes” and to the observant, it produces a strange, disquieting litany of thoughts that run over the sands of the mind, like runnels of sand blown off the top of dunes and sliding down the sides to settle, but never for long, at the base.  The wind changes direction, comes again, picks up the sand and flings it into a sky already filled with brown dust.  Somewhere in that floating, parched wildness my thoughts float, forming a part of it, and somewhere further, as the future chooses, some of those thoughts will again form the uncertain and ever-changing top of another dune.  The wind “dies down” then the wind returns and the dance of thoughts begins anew.

I like the imagery.  Somewhere in a dimmed, distant past, beyond these times, in another galaxy, a different world, I existed on a desert planet.  I sense this more than I remember it.  The awareness of sand, not only as a symbol but as gritty reality, is as much a part of my life as is the beating of this Earthian heart.  I think of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece science fiction series, starting with the book, “Dune” – the sand and rock desert planet that would have remained unknown to the Empire were it not for the fact that it produced a substance known as “Spice” which prolonged life and allowed individuals to see through space and time.  All imperial space traffic depended on the spice, hence Dune, like Earth’s Middle East, was a planet constantly being fought over for its one and only resource, a resource without which the Empire could not hold.  Ah, but Frank Herbert was a great prophet and few realize it even today.   I will return to this thought.

Terrible, horrible man-made events are taking place all over this world.  Some of us, the ones lucky or unlucky enough to have been born with, or somehow developed, the sense of empathy, feel these things, perhaps too deeply.  They are more than troublesome, they are life-destroying.  Now thinking as an intelligent, sentient, being: is there a greater crime than that of destroying life?  I cannot think of one and yet it is a crime that Earthians have always indulged in fully, and continue to plunge themselves into in a never-ending cycle of bloody violence fed by greed, fear and lust.  A global Madness but since 99% of the asylum’s denizens are certifiable, then their madness is what passes as the norm.   

I should not be the one feeling tired from being immersed in this madness.  Surely every single ISSA (intelligent, sentient, self-aware) Earthian on this world should be equally tired, maybe even sick to death, of the bloodshed.  But no, those who are not actually cheering it on, or participating in it, are plunged so deeply into their own methods of denial that nothing disturbs them.  That remains utterly shocking to me.  Some whose conscience can still be tweaked with a shiver of awareness, blame their leaders, then return to their little, mindless motions, pretending to be alive.  

What I find so terribly sad isn’t so much the tens of thousands sacrificed daily to profit and pleasure, but the billions who are so brain dead, heart-cauterized and blind that they cannot honestly, without blame or self-justification, enter into the agony of earth and feel it burn.  Hoping it will not come to them, they ignore it and the closer it appears to their own doorstep, the deeper their head buries itself in the sands of oblivion. 

This brings me back to Frank Herbert.  Here are a few quotes I picked out of his third novel on “Dune” titled “Children of Dune.”

“If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments.  When you believe something is right or wrong, true or false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments.  Such assumptions are often full of holes but remain most precious to the convinced.”

“Because of the one pointed Time awareness in which the conventional mind remains immersed, humans tend to think in a sequential, word oriented framework.  This mental trap produces very short-termed concepts of effectiveness and consequences, a condition of constant, unplanned, response to crisis.”

“To learn patience [in the Bene Gesserit Way] you must begin by recognizing the essential, raw instability of our universe.  We call nature – meaning this totality in all of its manifestations – the Ultimate Non-Absolute.”

“Time is a measure of space, just as a range-finder is a measure of space, but measuring locks us into the place we measure.”

“The malady of indifference is what destroys many things.”

“It is said that there is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all the universe – that nothing remains in its state, that each day, each hour, brings change.”

And finally, “Every judgment teeters on the brink of error.  To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous.  Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.”

The Interpreter

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

Who wants to read this, hear this, I was thinking.  Then again, does it matter?  I need to write these thoughts or they will remain undigested in my mind and slowly poison it.

I’ve noticed over the last few years that when I sit with another person, or a few people, as they speak and as I listen, my eyes wander off, their line of sight moving deliberately away from the speaker.  They will lock onto some object and hold it.  I know it’s not the object they are observing but rather desperately trying to see that which is within, or behind, the object: that which is invisible, yet very much there.  This focusing effect is so powerful that often I notice everybody else turned and staring in the same direction I am.  “Nothing, nothing, I’m just listening,” I’ll say, because they seem convinced I am looking at something they all should be able to see.  If I told them I was looking at a chair leg shadow, or an upside-down book spine on a shelf, they’d think I was simply bored with the conversation. 

What is it that attracts the eyes thus?  I think I know now, and I have a new “name” or description for that invisible visitor: the Interpreter. 

When people speak, they speak of their lives; of events within their world; of information they have garnered, usually very recently, from the news media, or social media and supplying their personal interpretations of such.  Of course they are not speaking just words as if one were reading a book, or listening to a lecture.  They are telling a story that exposes who they really are.  Do they want to be heard on such a deep level?  Usually not.

Much of what takes place here is subconscious.  Usually we only listen to the sounds the speaker makes: her words.  Either we do not want to, or we do not know how, to listen to the real story.  Perhaps, we are afraid of entering into a space that will demand some personal commitment when we move past the hearing part to the listening.  Or we are afraid of the power to “read minds” as some call it, of intrusion, and we think, what if I’m wrong?

That’s where the Interpreter comes in.  

I don’t know if everyone is accompanied by an Interpreter or whether it comes only to those who seek to interact with their world compassionately.  I suspect the latter.  I suspect that most conversations remain on the purely physical level, with hearers focusing on the speaker, her tone of voice, her facial expressions, the movement of her hands, or entire body.  And of course there is often the sexual aspect coming into it, as the speaker morphs into a sex object to some.  Though usually vehemently denied, especially by women, that is often one of the effects the speaker wishes to achieve.  That’s the physically-centered Earthian species and no Interpreter needed on this level.

The Interpreter which the eyes desperately desire to bring into focus so it can be made a part of the usual façade cannot be so tricked.  If a hearer truly seeks to become a Listener, the Interpreter will take her into a sort of trance where the speaker’s true motives for speaking are exposed.  The speaker’s story is then heard on two levels: the shallow, normal word level, and the speaker’s life level. 

To listen this way is socially risky and one needs to learn to remain quiet as this very personal information is digested.  You can’t respond to the deep “stuff” directly, so you learn to respond to the surface expressions, keeping the deeper awareness for a later time… or for never, using it only for your own edification. 

That too, I file into the expanding realm of self-empowerment.  Unless it can be knowingly used for healing, or comforting, no one needs to hear what I learned of a speaker from the Interpreter.  It can remain on the observer level. 

 

Maybe life isn’t meant to be taken seriously?

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

I’ll start with a few chosen quotes…which I may use later to illustrate some points.

“Propagandists are experts at convincing clueless dolts it’s raining when their government is actually pissing down their backs.” (1EarthUnited-WordPress)

“It is not good for man to cherish a solitary ambition. Unless there be those around him, by whose example he may regulate himself, his thoughts, desires, and hopes will become extravagant, and he the semblance, perhaps the reality, of a madman.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Modern anxiety is expressed in the longing for what most people fear, even as modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.” ― Joseph Roach

There are connections between those quotes.  Who, for example, listens to propagandists?  Well, people who feel a terrible need to take everything seriously, like me, for example.  Only I go a step further: I go to all the trouble of rejecting their propaganda, which means that I had to first, listen to them, then make the effort to realize they are liars, then tell myself I was filling my mind with lies and I needed to exert extra energy to cleanse my mind of their lies.  Stupid.

Who but someone who takes things too seriously, particularly herself, would cherish a solitary ambition?  What’s the point of practicing the art of abnegation; of extreme unselfishness; of giving and giving until nothing remains but a husk when you know at the beginning of the exercise the more you give, the more you go along, the more you clean after, the more will be expected and demanded until a plantation field hand slave is richer and better cared for than you?

Let me paraphrase something I read in the Bible a long time ago.  In the King James version it said, “be anxious for nothing… your father in heaven knows your needs and as he takes care of the birds of the air, so he’ll take care of you when you serve him.”  I said, paraphrase, remember?  But that’s the gist of what I was taught.  I believed it too – I wanted to believe it, and as I was raised in relative poverty, often in a kind of hand-to-mouth existence, I needed to believe it because even as a child I saw many people much worse off than I, or my family, ever were.  Being raised very religious I thought I needed to understand God.  I never did – for the record. 

So I thought, well, maybe I’m supposed to be “god” – not in the fabulous (blasphemous) sense taught by all false religions, but in the giving, caring, understanding, helping and also the warning sense.  I should have written, to be “like” God – and that didn’t pan out either because the more serious I got, and the more ways I sought to maximize my personal efforts on behalf of the less fortunate, the less like God I became because the more I actually cared about justice and the less I cared about what people believed.

That brings me to writing about the greatest loss of my life: when I lost “God.”  As I quoted above, Joseph Roach said, “modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.”  That’s how it was: I grieved for the loss of something I never had, I just imagined (powerfully so) that I’d had it.  The mourning I experienced lasted years, and it returns time and again and I have to make a huge and deliberate effort to shake it off, send it away.  

You see, this loss I experienced was that of a comfort that gave no comfort, just the idea of it.  I had faith in an idea; my love was for an idea; an idea I idealized to the point where I expected “it” to empower me to live a good, righteous, selfless, basically “sinless” life and this ideal would make this life short enough that I could see it to the end without ever having time to doubt.  

That’s taking life seriously. 

In all likelihood I will continue to take life seriously… but not today.  Not right now.  I’ve been following the antics of “the world” as they spin off from Washington, the Pentagon, Wall Street and the very same “trinity of bull shit” in every other nation on the planet, trying desperately to make sense of something, and well, it would take even greater faith than I poured into “God” in the first half of my life to believe that in all this “information” pouring into my brain, any of it matters.

As of right now, until whenever, I’m saying yes, I’ve been taking life way too seriously.  Humanity is a joke.  A very bad joke, but a joke nevertheless.  It’s an orgy of dysfunction that is in love with itself and seeks to expand itself exponentially – and does. 

But listen, it isn’t just man that’s gone off the reservation.  All of life on earth is nuts – certifiable.  It’s not immediately obvious to most people because they don’t look at the tapestry from a certain distance, they look at it piecemeal.  They don’t see the dysfunction of a predatory system that rules everything here.  Were it not for the massive and on-going killing, everything would have been overrun long ago and earth would be massive dead swamps and deserts.  That’s the legacy of this world if its modus operandi doesn’t change.

Did it start as a massive joke from some long-gone “creators” for their entertainment, or did some programming go wrong?  Either way, it’s now laugh or cry, and today, I’m laughing!  A dysfunction of such massive proportions dwarfs the shenanigans of the Greek, Roman and Nordic gods.  Man doesn’t need gods, man is the gods.  Everyone is a participant in the final playoffs.  Whether it’s the Hunger Games or The Price is Right… enjoy the game.  Give yourself a great, loud belly laugh, today.  As Robert DeNiro so famously said, “Let’s worry about next time, next time.”

 A couple more quotes, to close.

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.” ― Alan Moore

  “We are not idealized wild things.  We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.” ― Joan Didion

Thanks for all the Likes and the Comments

Thoughts from   ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara

That reminds me of Douglas Adams’ book title, “So Long, And Thanks for all the Fish” only this isn’t about fish, it’s about pink elephants, but I’ll get to that.

OK, I’m not saying, “So long” – at least not yet… I like blogging, such as I do it, and learning day by day by following a lot of other blogs and practicing the great art of flattery which is imitation.

First I’d like to say, once again, THANKS FOR ALL THE LIKES, AND ALL THE COMMENTS.  Hopefully by watching carefully, and engaging periodic skirmishes with Akismet, (and no, I’m not talking about the conquest of Jerusalem, just the fight over spam) I get most of your comments, and comment back in turn.  If I don’t return a comment, let me know, or fire another over the wall, I might respond with more alacrity knowing I’m under siege…  

That being said of first importance, here’s a secondary matter that needs saying… again.  Some bloggers get frustrated with me.  I think it’s the way I state things as if they were facts, written in stone.  You spend enough time in politics, whether environmental or social, and certainly in organized religion, you develop a certain amount of “declared certainty.”  When you are making a point on a public forum you can’t afford to be wishy-washy about it.  Either you know what you’re on about, or you don’t.  Most of the time, I do know what I’m on about.  Or, I do, but it’s only MY PERSONAL OPINION, ALL OF IT unless it’s a reblog from someone else.  All of what I write is wide open for re-interpretation.

So listen here, before you lose any more sleep over my fiats, I’m not stating, or claiming, that I’m right.  Being sure isn’t the same as being right.  Stating something in a way it comes out as if it was a fact does not make it a fact and I’d be the first to laughingly admit that.  Actually I don’t care if what I say is right or wrong: there is no right or wrong here.  There’s just a point or two being made using words as props.  Unless I’m losing my mind and memory I don’t recall ever defending a point of view, ‘cause one’s point of view is either self-evidently “right” or it’s out in left field.  More often than not when it’s more philosophical than “factual” the same point of view wanders happily from left field to right field to the open fields without being in the least bothered.  That’s true freedom of expression.  

So no need, or point, getting one’s thong in a knot on this blog.  This is an opinion/rant place.  Not just for me, but for anyone who wants to just “Like” or agree or disagree.  Just give me (us) a good argument for or against, hey?  But let’s forget the right or wrong of what we think about something.  I’ll tell you this, I believe that Unicorns exist, as do flying pink elephants.  I’ve never seen either, but then I’ve never seen Donald Trump either (maybe I should be thankful from what I hear?) but the point is we can discuss things that don’t exist in some particular dimension if we realize that when we mention these non-existent “things” we bring them alive, but in a different, usually a private, dimension and context.  My Unicorns won’t crap on your birthday cake if you fail to fight for their non-existence.    

I say flying pink elephants exist.  You say they don’t exist.  Philosophy goes one better and says, can either of you use the concept, pro or con, to make your own life, or your world, a better place?  Does the idea of a pink elephant help or hinder your life’s goal, or purpose, or are you just being childish by insisting such exists, or such does not, cannot, exist?  That’s the bottom line, isn’t it.  All our ideas, thought, verbalized and finally acted upon, should they not all serve but one purpose: to make ourselves, and our world, a better place for all?

That’s where the “right” and “wrong” comes into play: my (your) interaction with others.  To help or to harm.  To protect or abuse.  To give or to steal.  To take responsibility or act irresponsibly.

As Forest Gump would say in his inimitable simple way, “That’s all I gotta say about that.”

 

Experiencing Wearing Down

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

When we’re young it’s basically impossible to consider life past, say, the age of 50.  Now so many of us live in what was then called “old age” in better or worse financial and health conditions.  I just watched “The Notebook” movie again – probably for the 5th time at least.  I’ll never get tired of that story, it’s so well told.  You’d think that a love relationship with such stormy and crazy beginnings wouldn’t have any hope of succeeding.  But in this story, it does, and it’s ending is wonderful and perfect.

I like a line James Garner says in the movie: “I’m experiencing wearing down.”  Many people feel that way in my age bracket.  We are indeed wearing down.  A whole gamut of emotions follows this wearing down.  For some it’s a blessing, for most, I’d say it’s never acknowledged, and for others, it is feared and fought to the end.  It does mean that we are approaching our rendezvous with death.  However poetically one phrases that, it is not a pleasant thought – honestly.

I am of those, perhaps having been raised quite strictly religious, who not only believes that life goes on beyond the body, but that it does so in full consciousness and “I” continue to live my life, replete with choices and destiny.  Later, when I overcame the need for religion, and the need to be totally dependent upon the caprices of some god, the inner knowing that life is eternal and infinite did not go away with my religion.  It was, in fact, the one thing from my religion(s) that remained true, if only for me.  (I think that in the realm of eternity, such choice to believe or not is entirely up to an individual, a sacred belief that no one has the right to either deny anyone, or force on anyone.)

Does that awareness make it easier to face the reality of death?  Not for me.  I don’t like the idea at all, even if, being of those who remembers past lives, I’ve gone through the process before.  It is the place where one, alone and helpless, faces the ultimate stripping of attachments to this life.  

For those who cannot believe in continuance, death is the end.  The termination of all awareness.  That, to me, would be unbearable.  I think one has to be incredibly courageous to meet death with such stoicism.  

For those, like myself, who “know” (as in some sort of unshakeable awareness) that life continues, the passage nevertheless is fraught with questions and trepidation.  I know, for example, of the many things I did (in this one life) that makes me a poor candidate for any sort of, shall we say, graduation to something better.  Countless thoughts, words and deeds must be there, ready to accuse me.  Is there some balance, some way that thoughts, words and deeds of the non-selfish variety can outweigh the others?  I honestly do not know.  There must be justice, that I know.

So as I inevitably wear down; as I come closer and closer to death (of the body) I ponder such things.  I don’t know what to expect, not exactly.  I have some ideas, some thoughts, on the matter but where are the facts? 

There aren’t any.  So what do I have to offer, if indeed some sort of judgment is in the offing?  Very little.  I can offer a changed life, from selfishness to detachment and self-empowerment in order to practice compassion and develop empathy.  I can offer forgiveness, certainly, that having been one of the easiest lessons to learn.  I can offer my personal commitment to my chosen purpose of a life lived to serve others – however much that effort remains wanting.  Beyond that, I have nothing to give in exchange for some sort of pass.  Perhaps that “nothingness” is what is needed?

Life is truly short and throughout its meteoric passage it never stops from asking us to make meaningful and life-affirming choices in all things.  If only we weren’t so spiritually and mentally deaf to the teachings we are given so freely, and all the time.  If only such would suffice to turn us from our baseless fears and selfishness that make us such bad stewards of our world and of those who need our compassion now more than ever just to survive.  If only… 

Quotes: 

“Throughout history, empires and civilizations have collapsed once they degrade the environment below its capacity to carry the human footprint imposed on the environment.” – Paul Craig Roberts

“When you are small, if you reach out, and nobody takes your hand, you stop reaching out, and reach inside, instead.” — Amanda Eyre Ward

“Nothingness is a sigh of eternity, a casual avowal of the infinite.” —  Edmond Jabès, The Book of Resemblances.

 

The Sense of the Greatest Emptiness

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

I know that most people have little time to engage another’s perambulations of mind in the worlds of various dysfunctions.  My own oft repeated inner voice says, ‘hey, come on, deal with it, don’t keep regurgitating it in your articles on your blog.’ and sure enough eventually I find that ‘enough is enough’ and I unfollow.  I can’t just “Like” something I really don’t like.

That being said, I’m going to do just that: talk about a feeling.  Here’s to hoping it isn’t just me, but that it will strike a chord with some who follow this blog.  If I do my job right, the words should express a communal angst, not a personal condition which I would not ask anyone else to share in, that in my opinion being a violation of another’s freedom.  If I feel “bad” while you feel “good” then that’s how it is.  I have no intrinsic right to impose “my bad” on “your good.”

Moving along, I gave myself a gift today: an entire day to blogging.  For a change, reading through the thoughts, articles and comments and attempting to engage honestly, commenting as I felt appropriate, and checking out offered links to related articles, blogs, etc.  I even ended up adding a couple of “Follow” to my collection.  Much was about our socio-political conditions and situations, specifically here in North America.  We could honestly say, “We have a situation here, please respond!”

The upshot of this engagement is that having “cleared” all my email traffic and blogging demands, I feel drained.  Empty.  Heavy, as if I’d been wrung out but not hung up to dry, just left in the laundry basket as is.  I remember going through the same feeling time after time when alone on the River, choosing to spend a longer than usual time between sunrise and sunset, or later, after sunset, to feel the changes in temperature; to hear the difference in sounds of the breezes in the coarse grasses and willows, or the wavelets lapping against the wet mud or sand of the shoreline; to notice changes in the calls of the gulls as they gather by the hundreds to flock upon islets to spend a night safe from marauding coyotes and other predators; to see the beavers emerging from their hideouts in the bushes and begin feeding along the river banks; to watch as the skies darken and high clouds dissipate so the crescent moon can shine…

It’s difficult to clearly express such a feeling.  It’s recognizing myself as a passenger on a ship; an alien and stranger made welcome but perhaps not entirely.  It’s recognizing I have no roots here, and experiencing, if only for a moment, that effect of alienation.  I’m a watcher; a collector of facts; an observer, not a resident; not a member.  A free lance journalist in a very foreign land entirely self supporting and at the mercy of local conditions.  This “land” doesn’t know I exist, or if it did it may well resent my presence enough to ensure I disappear.

It is more than that.  It is possessing something that the condition of the ship dictates I should not have packed with me: empathy.  Contraband, with its constant painful reminder that being empathetic on a world ruled by violence is not desirable.  It’s like a migraine headache combined with the flu.  To say it’s uncomfortable would be an understatement.

From Lisa Palmer,  The Otherhood of One, “Every time I tried to meditate, or lately sleep, I was assaulted with disturbing and/or terrifying imagery; “lost” strangers, animals suffering and dying, the Earth moaning under inconceivable destructive pressures, snipers taking aim at people, and most recently, babies being tortured.”

For the empath, this is what happens when we allow ourselves to absorb information without venting it out.  It creates a blockage within that translates as a bottomless pit of pain and would soon lead to despair if we didn’t deal with it.  Sadly there are many empaths captured within the densities of this planet who don’t know how to deal with feelings they have attracted to themselves through observation.

Earth as a destination of temporary abode is not friendly to empaths.  It’s not the actual planet, but it’s programming.  You have something here that is absolutely terrifying, incomprehensible and destructive to all empaths and of course to all victims of this thing.  It is called predation.  This world functions within an obsolete operating system that demands life for life.  Life on earth is split between being victim, as in food; and that which survives by killing and eating others.  Not only is man not immune to this but is the species that uses the concept more than any other.  Man is the king of predators.  Not only does he kill other life for food, pleasure, and entertainment, but makes a great show of killing millions of his own species for profit and often, for pleasure.  Sadly for the victims of the predator their only “defence” is to become prolific in numbers, thus exacerbating their eternal pain.

Any “starfarer” who happens to dwell for a time on this world would tell you this is a totally obsolete concept.  In fact deep down you all know this.  Yet it seems it cannot be shaken.  Somehow there’s always an excuse ready to be spouted to justify killing, whether it’s from the hunter, the “snagger” fisherman, the “farmer,” the butcher, or the spokesperson for the military industrial complex.  Predatory killing is part and parcel of this world’s modus operandi and those who rule it are not going to consider other ways as long as their way is profitable and feeds them power which they need not obtain through their own efforts.

For the empath, there is no comfort available anywhere on this world.  It’s sickness is ubiquitous.  The final solution is departure.

Meanwhile, one must process the information, store and divest the mind of its presence.  File and forget, day after day after day.  But in order to make sense of this before it goes in deep storage it is periodically necessary to stand and just feel.  Put up with the terrible discomfort of one’s mind residing temporarily in a small but intensely, excruciatingly painful hell.