In Heaven there is no beer
The following is a copied article from Tomgram (see links), there being no “reblog” button on that site. It is an introduction to a book that sounds very intriguing. ~Sha’Tara~
Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted
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[Note for TomDispatch Readers: If you’ve never read a book by Eduardo Galeano, believe me, your life has been lacking. Read his first book, read his last book, read something he wrote anyway. I offer you the Engelhardt guarantee: you won’t regret it. Start, if you wish, with his final volume, Hunter of Stories, featured in today’s post and then work your way back through a writer to remember. Tom]
I’m 73, which means that saying goodbye for the last time is increasingly a part of my life. Today, with the deepest regret, I’m bidding a final farewell at TomDispatch to one of the more remarkable writers I’ve known, Eduardo Galeano. I initially got involved with him in the early 1980s. I was a young editor at Pantheon Books and, on some strange impulse, decided to publish Genesis, the first volume of his Memory of Fire trilogy, based on no more than a few sample passages translated by the remarkable Cedric Belfrage. Call it intuition when it came to a book that had already been rejected by a number of U.S. publishers. (Admittedly, at the time I proudly thought of myself as the “editor of last resort” in New York publishing.) That modest decision launched me on the print journey of a lifetime.
This was back in the days many of you won’t remember when a book was translated and edited, often over long distances, without benefit of the Internet or email. Belfrage had been exiled to Mexico during the McCarthy years, so he and I worked together in the old-fashioned way: by mail. (I wouldn’t meet him until years later: a little grey-haired gent with a cane who — I was still young enough to be staggered by the thought — had covered Hollywood for the British press in the silent film era.) It took forever to produce Genesis, though the process had a certain beauty to it. That first volume came out to modest attention and reviews, but its life and influence and that of the whole Memory of Fire trilogy would continue to grow in a way that only books could in those years and perhaps even in these. Eduardo was the most dramatic and beautiful of writers and he caught history — the history of these continents and of so many of the half-forgotten figures who struggled for what truly mattered — in a unique fashion, often in little passages of hardly a page or more. (I can still remember reading some of the more wonderful of them to my children as they were growing up.) I once wrote of him, “You somehow take our embattled world and tell its many stories in ways no one else can.” How true.
It took me years to meet Eduardo, since I travel nowhere, though he voyaged endlessly. (A friend of his once told him, “If it’s true what they say about the road being made by walking, you must be the commissioner of public works.”) Never have I met a man of more charisma who seemed less aware of it. Being with him was an experience because people regularly approached him to tell stories about their lives that were… well, there’s only one word for it: Galeano-esque. I saw it happen.
I’ve featured his work many times at this site, always with the deepest pleasure. This, I suspect, is the last time for both of us. The passages below are from his final, touching volume published by Nation Books, Hunter of Stories. And so, let me take this opportunity, one last time, to say goodbye, Eduardo, and thank you for everything, especially for the worlds you captured forever in words. Tom
A Visit to Heaven and Hell
Mapping Planet Earth
By Eduardo Galeano
[The following passages are excerpted from Hunter of Stories, the last book by Eduardo Galeano, who died in 2015. Thanks for its use go to his literary agent, Susan Bergholz, and Nation Books, which is publishing it next week.]
By day, the sun guides them. By night, the stars.
Paying no fare, they travel without passports and without forms for customs or immigration.
Birds are the only free beings in this world inhabited by prisoners. They fly from pole to pole, powered by food alone, on the route they choose and at the hour they wish, without ever asking permission of officials who believe they own the heavens.
The world is on the move.
On board are more shipwrecked souls than successful seafarers.
Thousands of desperate people die en route, before they can complete the crossing to the promised land, where even the poor are rich and everyone lives in Hollywood.
The illusions of any who manage to arrive do not last long.
Saint Columba was rowing across Loch Ness when an immense serpent with a gaping mouth attacked his boat. Saint Columba, who had no desire to be eaten, chased it off by making the sign of the cross.
Fourteen centuries later, the monster was seen again by someone living nearby, who happened to have a camera around his neck, and pictures of it and of curious footprints came out in the Glasgow and London papers.
The creature turned out to be a toy, the footprints made by baby hippopotamus feet, which are sold as ashtrays.
The revelation did nothing to discourage the tourists.
The market for fear feeds on the steady demand for monsters.
In a community newspaper in Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood, an anonymous hand wrote:
Your god is Jewish, your music is African, your car is Japanese, your pizza is Italian, your gas is Algerian, your coffee is Brazilian, your democracy is Greek, your numbers are Arabic, your letters are Latin.
I am your neighbor. And you call me a foreigner?
Back in the years 1975 and 1976, before and after the coup d’état that imposed the most savage of Argentina’s many military dictatorships, death threats flew fast and furious and anyone suspected of the crime of thinking simply disappeared.
Orlando Rojas, a Paraguayan exile, answered his telephone in Buenos Aires. Every day a voice repeated the same thing: “I’m calling to tell you you’re going to die.”
“So you aren’t?” Orlando asked.
The terrorizer would hang up.
A Visit to Hell
Some years ago, during one of my deaths, I paid a visit to hell.
I had heard that in the underworld you can get your favorite wine and any delicacy you want, lovers for all tastes, dancing music, endless pleasure…
Once again, I was able to corroborate the fact that advertising lies. Hell promises a great life, but all I found were people waiting in line.
In that endless queue, snaking out of sight along narrow smoky passages, were women and men of all epochs, from cavemen to astronauts.
All were condemned to wait. To wait for eternity.
That’s what I discovered: hell is waiting.
Who was it that a century ago best described today’s global power structure?
Not a philosopher, not a sociologist, not a political scientist either.
It was a child named Little Nemo, whose adventures were published in the New York Herald way back in 1905, as drawn by Winsor McCay.
Little Nemo dreamed about the future.
In one of his most unerring dreams, he traveled to Mars.
That unfortunate planet was in the hands of a businessman who had crushed his competitors and exercised an absolute monopoly.
The Martians seemed stupid, because they said little and breathed little.
Little Nemo knew why: the boss of Mars had seized ownership of words and the air.
They were the keys to life, the sources of power.
Very Brief Synthesis of Contemporary History
For several centuries subjects have donned the garb of citizens, and monarchies have preferred to call themselves republics.
Local dictatorships, claiming to be democracies, open their doors to the steamroller of the global market. In this kingdom of the free, we are all united as one. But are we one, or are we no one? Buyers or bought? Sellers or sold? Spies or spied upon?
We live imprisoned behind invisible bars, betrayed by machines that feign obedience but spread lies with cybernetic impunity.
Machines rule in homes, factories, offices, farms, and mines, and also on city streets, where we pedestrians are but a nuisance. Machines also rule in wars, where they do as much of the killing as warriors in uniform, or more.
The Right to Plunder
In the year 2003, a veteran Iraqi journalist named Samir visited several museums in Europe.
He found marvelous texts in Babylonian, heroes and gods sculpted in the hills of Nineveh, winged lions that had flown in Assyria…
Someone approached him, offered to help: “Shall I call a doctor?”
Squatting, Samir buried his face in his hands and swallowed his tears.
Later on, he explained: “It hurts to see how much they have stolen and to know how much they will steal.”
Two months later, U.S. troops launched their invasion. The National Museum in Baghdad was sacked. One hundred seventy thousand works were reported lost.
Stories Tell the Tale
I wrote Soccer in Sun and Shadow to convert the pagans. I wanted to help fans of reading lose their fear of soccer, and fans of soccer lose their fear of books. I never imagined anything else.
But according to Víctor Quintana, a congressman in Mexico, the book saved his life. In the middle of 1997, he was kidnapped by professional assassins, hired to punish him for exposing dirty deals.
They had him tied up, face down on the ground, and were kicking him to death, when there was a pause before the final bullet. The murderers got caught up in an argument about soccer. That was when Víctor, more dead than alive, put in his two cents. He began telling stories from my book, trading minutes of life for every story from those pages, the way Scheherazade traded a story for every one of her thousand-and-one nights.
Hours and stories slowly unfolded.
At last the murderers left him, tied up and trampled, but alive.
They said, “You’re a good guy,” and they took their bullets elsewhere.
Quite a few years ago now, during my time in exile on the coast of Catalonia, I got an encouraging nudge from a girl eight or nine years old, who, unless I’m remembering wrong, was named Soledad.
I was having a few drinks with her parents, also exiles, when she called me over and asked,
“So, what do you do?”
“Me? I write books.”
“You write books?”
“I don’t like books,” she declared.
And since she had me against the ropes, she hit me again: “Books sit still. I like songs because songs fly.”
Ever since my encounter with that angel sent by God, I have attempted to sing. It’s never worked, not even in the shower. Every time, the neighbors scream, “Get that dog to stop barking!”
My granddaughter Catalina was ten.
We were walking along a street in Buenos Aires when someone came up and asked me to sign a book. I can’t remember which one.
We continued on, the two of us, quietly arm in arm, until Catalina shook her head and offered this encouraging remark: “I don’t know why they make such a fuss. Not even I read you.”
Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015) was one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers. He was the author of many books, including the three-volume Memory of Fire, Open Veins of Latin America, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, and The Book of Embraces. Born in Montevideo in 1940, he lived in exile in Argentina and Spain for 12 years before returning to Uruguay in 1985, where he spent the rest of his life. The passages in this post are excerpted from his final book, Hunter of Stories, translated by Mark Fried and about to be published by Nation Books.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, as well as John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Excerpted from Hunter of Stories. Copyright © 2017 by Eduardo Galeano. English translation copyright © 2017 by Mark Fried. Available from Nation Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, Lamy, N.M., and New York City. All rights reserved.
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Let’s dive in with this quote from D. H. Lawrence:
“Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.”
There’s so much being said in those two lines. Life and love are life and love just as a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets. We have a saying here, “a thing is what it is and it isn’t something else.” …and: Bingo! Love is love and it isn’t something else. Now then, can we define love? I think it’s very easy: love is an emotion. Therefore love is not any of those other things people (with agendas) “love” to drag love into.
For example, the biblical injunction to love your neighbour as yourself, or to go even further and to love your enemy, and one step more: to give your life for another because of love. Well, here’s why that has never worked and will, guaranteed, never work: you can’t force an emotion, you can only experience it after something else has happened. Love therefore is never a motivator, it is the result of something else having happened first.
I don’t see any problem with that; no difficulty in understanding it. So carrying this on, love then, can only be reciprocal: it manifests only as a result. It is dependent upon a cause. Whatever the cause may be, love will manifest and will carry on the nature of the cause. Hence, you can love your country and kill or be killed for it (a blatant contradiction to the claims made of love) because you first are a brainwashed patriot who has never asked: what do they mean by “my country?” What am I defending, against whom, for whom? In comes the enemy. Can I love my country, defending it against an enemy and love that enemy at the same time? Am I a spiritual contortionist?
Let’s briefly look at the most common type of love: romantic. Two people with the right combination of chemicals acting simultaneously “fall in love” and when this is acknowledged, desire flares up usually to sexual intercourse. It is called “falling” because for those caught in the vise, it is a falling, not a deliberate engagement to a carefully considered end. Certainly some relationships begun as love, continue, and end well. But to claim such are sustained entirely by love is giving “love” false credit. I consider this type of love as a form of suicide… 🙂
As there is no point to any emotion, so there is no point to love. Emotions are exhaust from feelings. We get feelings from a variety of sources, some physical, some mental, body and mind reacting to even more primitive or distant input. Feelings are analyzed and used or discarded. This process creates emotions. The main problem with the emotion of love is, people have been erroneously taught (for controlling purposes and to create guilt) that they can use love as a motivating force. Sure, just as much as you can use your car exhaust to fuel your car. Love is entropic. Love does not arise from deliberation, from rational thought.
Is it “love versus compassion” after all? Once more into the fray, let’s see if I can make this point: that love and compassion are not buddies but diametrically opposite. I hear people say, “with love and compassion we could…” That’s like saying, “with salt and sugar we could doctor our coffee.” Predictably, the result of such thinking, and it is global in scope, is that nothing changes or you have an inedible cup of coffee. In fact to the great dismay of those who promote “love” as the modus operandi for the world’s ruling agencies change goes from bad to worse… always. Yes, that’s always.
What then is the big deal with compassion? Compassion is a power, a source of energy. It is a stand alone program that can be used as an operating system for the entire spirit-mind-body that we call a human being. Compassion is there. I cannot choose to have compassion, I already have it, having been born an *ISSA being. It is part of me, of you, of all sentience. All an individual need do is choose to use that particular operating system rather than those offered by the Matrix, which translates as the status quo or the System.
Switching to compassion as our OS will mean a change of programming, naturally. If you’ve ever switched from Microsoft Windows to Linux you know what I mean. This new OS is lean and uncompromising. It will remove three of man’s most common virtues and foibles: faith, hope and love. Gone. Under compassion, you learn to live independently, as a self-empowered being. The choices you make now are not suggested, they are dictated by compassion. Your choices become non-choices because any attempt to use to old ways will result in an error message. For example, if you are thinking of using “love” in a particular dilemma the message will read: “The concept you are attempting to introduce is incompatible with your current programming.” Then you remember, and you return to your new nature and re-discover that compassion is all you need to approach your current situation.
Advantages of compassion over love: compassion is a part of you, love only manifests as emotion, a johnny-come-lately, meaning it is utterly compromised. Compassion is free of condemnatory judgments, i.e., free of any external input seeking to motivate choices. Love thrives on being told what to do. Compassion is self-motivated whereas love is always reciprocal. Those who speak of “unconditional love” really have no idea that they are speaking of a contradiction, a chimera. There can be no such thing as unconditional love. Can’t be found anywhere on earth, or in history. Compassion demands self-empowerment and detachment whereas love collapses under endless loads of dis-empowerment and attachments. Compassion is never found in collectives whereas, again, that is where love thrives, from the family unit or tribe, to the ends of the empire. You can become compassion by nature but you can never become love by nature. If you are, by nature, a compassionate being, compassion is your life, you don’t need to activate it, or search for it or hope it will be sufficient to meet any situation: you are it.
Love on the other hand has so many faces and levels of entropic energy it is guaranteed to fail at the most critical moment and you’ll have to fall back on other choices. Take that critical moment: you’ll pray, throw money at it, join with others against it, vote and hope, turn and run, sue, demonstrate, give in, change your mind, convert, put up. Whatever choice done in the name of love, if you lose you will experience the bitter taste of loss; you will know loneliness, pain and suffering. You will eat humble pie. Much of that suffering translates as physical ill-health or psychoses, followed by drugs, injections, hospitalizations, the rise of addictions and lack of self-control. Follow the trail left by dashed expectations.
The compassionate being, self-empowered and knowing both body and mind, living from spirit source, experiences differently. We become a bridge between a world’s joy and sorrow, feeling all, knowing all. By transmuting the worlds’ happiness and pleasures to joy, the world’s pain and suffering to sorrow, compassion makes it not just bearable but understandable. This leads inexorably to becoming an empath. Before that happens to me though, I want to be “outta here!” because then “I” would have to feel the world’s extreme feelings and emotions before they became joy and sorrow. Try to imagine what that would mean. Already I feel it closing in.
Nevertheless, due to programming there are likely millions of individuals who would choose to live a compassionate life but never see the dichotomy of love versus compassion and remain firmly trapped within the love morass, the love belief, having to make difficult and contradictory choices on a daily basis, choices which compassion would instantly make for them, equipping them to act in the moment rather that toss and turn the idea looking for some proper or logical outcome which can only exist in compassion.
If I were a teacher, I would emphasize this: remember, it is never love and compassion but always love or compassion. Then, if you make the choice to live a compassionate life, be prepared to lose everything… that you may gain yourself. Here’s a well known parable that illustrates seeking for compassion:
*”A long time ago an important man came to a Zen master seeking to be taught Zen. The master quickly realized by the tone of voice that this rich man was used to command obedience. He listened while the rich man said: “I have come today to ask you to teach me about enlightenment, about Zen.” The Zen master offered to discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea was served, the master poured a cup for his visitor. He poured and poured until the contents overflowed on the table and spilled unto the rich man’s robes.
“Enough!” cried the rich man. “Can’t you see the cup is full and you’re spilling tea all over?”
The master stopped pouring and said, “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.”
There is another saying that should be familiar to all Christians at least: “Unless you become as a little child you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
*ISSA: Intelligent, Sentient, Self Aware
*Story of Zen master borrowed from:
[a short story from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Leo thought himself well read and educated. He’d mastered history, myths and legends of Earth and at twenty three he was pondering his future. After so many years at the University however, becoming a professor didn’t have the appeal it once had. Travel he could afford but everything went too fast. Here today, there tomorrow and nothing in-between.
His doorbell rang. He ignored it and it continued until he was forced to answer.
“Yes? Who is it?” he called through the speaker phone.
“An old friend passing through. Have time for me?”
“Hm, and who would be this old friend, if I may ask? I don’t open my door to strangers, especially those who claim old acquaintance.”
“I am Thero. You know me from your lucid dreams, and visions, yes?”
Leo rubbed his forehead, then tapped his left hand on the door to ensure he was awake.
“This isn’t possible. Thero is a figment of my imagination…”
“More than that, Leo, much more. Will you let me in?”
Leo waited a few seconds and opened the door. What he saw shocked him to put it mildly: it was Thero, the very same character he’d come to know in some dreams and vision, the one he credited for giving him direction on his historical research.
“Come in… um, Thero; please come in. I apologize for my reluctance but I still can’t believe it can possibly be you. You… you’re a dream character!”
“Yes well, you got the “character” part right anyhow. Shake?” He proffered his hand and Leo shook it.
“OK, fine. I’ll allow for the moment that you look and sound like the Thero I imagined. Do you drink? I mean, alcohol?”
“Oh yes! I could use a glass of Chardonnay.”
“You also knew that’s my favourite wine and I always have some in the house, right?”
“But of course.” answered Thero while Leo got the wine from the fridge and dusted two tall glasses never used since he’d moved to the tiny house which his uncle Doug rented him after Doug’s wife took him to the cleaners and left to marry her masseur. Leo poured and filled both glasses, handing one to Thero.
“Now some serious talk. First, how did you know about my imaginary “teacher” Thero, and what he looked like?”
“Because I am he,” said Thero matter-of-factly, and smiled broadly.
“Oh cut the crap, and cut to the chase. I know you’re an impostor, so what do you want with me?”
“Look Leo, if you’re absolutely certain I’m an impostor, shouldn’t you be doing something like calling the police, or at the very least, throwing me out?”
“Granted, I’m ambivalent about it. Since I see no harm in playing this game, what is it you want?”
“As Thero you accept me as a Teacher, so let’s just say I’m here to further your education on the history of your people and your planet. Can you spare me some time to do that?”
“You know I could never resist a challenge when it comes to history…”
“Stop. You said, and I quote: ‘You know’ implying that you believe and accept I am your ‘imaginary’ Teacher Thero, is that not so?”
Leo stopped to ponder the question for a stretched moment then shrugged. “I’ll concede that you are Thero so we can carry on with this conversation. Is the wine to your satisfaction, Teacher?”
“That it is. A very good light wine. Now then, since this isn’t being done in a dream, may I suggest you equip yourself with some sort of recording device? Can your cell phone record our conversation?”
“I’ve got it on now. I’m ready.”
“Good. If you allow me leeway and don’t interrupt too much this should not take more than a few hours. I would prefer the dream method but I wanted this on the record, so to speak. Now then, let’s start with some remarks about the general social condition of your people.
There are things you do, as a species, that belie your claim to humanity; further, that put in question your claim to be an intelligent species. Some, like your exploitation and wars are obvious. Others, like your insistence on wearing clothes when they are not needed, expensive, cumbersome, ridiculous, sweaty and stinky, harbouring diseases, among other things, say much about you as a society. Already from these few comments you should detect distrust, greed, fear, judgment and a massive dose of control over others.
“The need to control is a form of psychopathy that leads to misogyny and racism, which in turn leads to violence of the absolute worse kind. Bottom line, despite all your glowing mission statements which you dub constitutions, you remain pathetically fearful and hate-filled and prone to commit mass murder over any imagined slight. You exploit from raw greed and oppress in order to gain power over others. You want to be rulers. You want to be gods in your own right and if you cannot do it as individuals then you come together in, or form, groups which you use to force your ways upon others. These power collectives are as old as your particular species. They began as families, then tribes, then collections of tribes which became nations and collections of nations which became empires.
“The goal of any empire is simple enough: to have absolute control over its sphere of influence, usually the known world. If your species was to be allowed space travel it would continue this pattern, spreading out to establish even more expansive, oppressive, war-mongering empires. Woe to any other sentient species that found itself in the way of expanding Earthian hegemony. Forced conquest would be endless. Entire worlds would be destroyed. All life encountered would automatically be deemed less than human and subject to exploitation, enslavement and/or destruction to make way for new Earthian civilizations. Only an already established, violent and war-mongering civilization on par or militarily superior to Earthian conquerors could hope to stop the onslaught. This would result in bringing the conflict to the Earthians’ home planet, resulting in its enslavement or complete destruction through the inevitable use of nuclear arms.
“That is how it is. We of the galactic races know this pattern having encountered it many times and having had to either destroy them in their advances, subdue them, or civilize them and make them a part of the greater galactic family of sentients. This is history for another time. I don’t want to wander too far from the point of this teaching.
“My dear Leo, despite your many degrees in historical and associated knowledge, much of which is due to our subtle input, you remain abysmally ignorant about what makes your particular species act the way it does. When you know more about us you will be able to compare and see how much of what you call your civilization is comparable to an insane asylum crammed with billions of crazies desperately feeding upon whatever the asylum is made of and on each other. You will see that the more sociopathic of your species are those generally entrusted to rule the asylum. Better to have a crazy ruler than none at all is how you put it and since you’re all more or less certifiable, why would you think otherwise? You fear and hate because you distrust one-another. You can never have true peace and safety for the same reasons. Earth, Leo, is hell. Now to explain.
“It isn’t just you, as a species, that makes this world a hell. It is the forces that inhabit and control it. One of your most “cherished” beliefs, apart from believing in your fairy-tale gods, is that your world keeps itself in balance due to an “evolved” concept called predation, or natural selection: the survival of the fittest. You can’t even begin to imagine a world where such an insane psychopathic system could not exist. You accept the horror and terror you observe in your “nature” to justify your own sick need to express violence against your world and the physically, militarily or financially weaker members of your own society. You “hunt” and “fish” for pleasure; for something to brag about when it’s nothing but abysmal shame on your claim to being human and humane beings. You go to war, commit genocide, enslave your own children, rape your own women, while comparing yourselves to the ruling members of a pride or pack of predators. Do you not, in your killing games and violent sports extol and emulate the qualities of your greatest predators?
“Have I made a point, so far, Leo?”
“Yes Teacher, you have. When you put it that way, it makes me feel pretty small and hopeless.”
“That was my intent. The first thing is to crush the ego; the pride. Now to continue. ‘Must we’ I hear you thinking. Yes we must. You need to understand the why of things or you can never, ever, hope to change any of it, including and especially, yourself.
“Mythical fact: your world is a “re-manufactured” entity. It has changed hands many times and gone through several transformations. The biblical book of Genesis points to at least two of those transformations. I’ll let you figure those out for yourself. Earth’s owners, the ones you’ve called “gods,” “divinities,” “God” or “alien visitors,” have come and gone from here over the eons, most of that barely suspected even by your most astute observers. They knew that “something happened here” but they could never know what because they lacked the broader perspective of time and space. Currently some of your observers and more spiritual people sense that nothing is as advertised; that “something is going on here” and speculations on what that is run wild on your Internet; in your books, magazines, movies or news and entertainment media. It’s always been that way: some always suspect but no one ever knows for a fact. Your religious leaders and many of your scientists hate being without facts so they’ve been manufacturing their own “facts” to suit their various theories, or to establish themselves within the status quo. This also is suspected and talked about, but again: no facts.
“How does one maintain absolute power? By dissembling. This is the basis for all successful political movements. Think of this: “As below, so above.” We use it this way to explain how to understand the political aspects of the universe. If you observe “it” on earth, it is safe to project “it” throughout the entire universe. It could not work “here” if it wasn’t the modus operandi every known universal “where” you can imagine. Earth may be a hell hole but it isn’t the only one. There are even worse ones “out there” if you can imagine. By the same token, the good you can observe on earth, percentage-wise, is the good you could observe in the whole universe… percentage-wise. This to force you to think universally now. Project your mind to the ends of the universe, Leo. Time for some serious lateral thinking.
“What I’ve been trying to point out to you is that the concept of “facts” was invented to force reasoning creatures into strict vertical thinking patterns so they would increasingly squeeze their minds into tighter and tighter areas to the point where they could no longer go out on a limb in their thinking. They would always need data, or facts, to justify their line of inquiry. They would learn to never trust their intuition or imagination.
“Nothing could be more deadly to the historian. History is not based on facts but on imagination and speculation. Ultimately what constitutes your current history is what the consensus has declared to be the truth. That consensual agreement is then taught to children trapped in “universal” education. Call it what it is: brainwash. The whole point is to have an entire reasoning species conditioned to accept “things as they are” and not feel the need to question it.
“Earth is one of trillions of worlds under the domination of certain forces in control of the universe. These forces came here long before this solar system existed. They systematically conquered and established control over most of the universe. Wars of conquest, wins and losses, go on to this day. Every part of the universe, every conquered galaxy exists in endless conflict. Not all of it is military, in fact very little is. The wars are fought in what we call the spirit realm, which extends down into the minds of sentients and their sentient worlds. If “evil” wins then the world, or galaxy (or parts thereof) become subject to the rules of such evil. The conquering, ruling forces are pathocratic and their subject servants (basically all of your rulers, whether you like to hear it or not) are sociopathic by conditioning.
“Now do you understand what you are up against when you study your history? You’re up against millennia of lies and fabrications. You’re up against endless “false flag” operations that have lead to horrors uncounted; to wars, enslavement and genocide. The whole point isn’t to gain control of this or that part of a world: of a nation or a people. The point is to foment violence. Any method is good but the one that creates the most pain and horror is always the best. I can assert that in your pre-historical (or pre-hysterical) past your world knew nothing of predation. In those times it was ruled by a benevolent, subsequently demonized, female entity called “Lucifer” – she who rebelled against the evil of those “Lords” who conquered her worlds and enslaved her and her people. The one who was “cast to the earth” along with a third of the contingent of “angels” or servants of the “Lords” who had learned from her and fallen in love with her people. Of course the story of Lucifer had to be recast to make the “god” look good and her the demonic rebel. So it was, so it is, so it will be, Leo, until some greater force can destroy the hegemony of those who call themselves the “Time Lords.”
“I’ve heard you speak of these “Time Lords” before but my mind refuses to accept that such a system exists; that such evil entities conquered and control most of the universe. It makes no sense to me. Why, if they are so powerful, do they hide themselves in the so-called spirit realm? Why can’t they be seen?”
“You’ve studied the myths, yet you ask such childish questions, Leo? Really! Think laterally, I tell you. Free your mind, Leo. Imagine encountering an actual Time Lord or a close minion while you are in the flesh. Imagine looking one in the eyes. Do you see what would happen?”
“Thinking freely here… I would go blind. My flesh would burn up and my body shrivel and become ash.”
“Exactly. ‘No one can see God and live’ remember that? The Bible is more than myth. It isn’t fact but it is history.”
“What must I do now then? Go teach lies to make a living? Quit all of it and… what?”
“It’s all lies Leo. You can only teach lies. You can only know lies. There are good lies and bad lies. Go teach the good ones and continue to search for “the truth” and eventually it will begin to reveal itself to you like a lover unveiling and disrobing herself for you. When that happens though, you will no longer be able to teach but you won’t care, you’ll have a treasure of greater value than anything the earth or its history can give you.”
“Is “the truth” then that greater power that can defeat the Time Lords, Teacher?”
Thero smiled and replied: “I sense that I haven’t wasted my time with you Leo. Keep thinking. Keep imagining. Keep living.” Thero got up and turned towards the exit. Leo, seeing his time was up, got up from his chair also and escorted the Teacher to the door.
“See you again, Thero?”
The Teacher turned, smiled broadly and replied enigmayically: “Perhaps.” Then he was gone.
Leo woke up with a start when the door bell rang. As he got up to answer he noticed his phone was set to “Record.”
“For our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12, the Bible, New Testament)
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
“History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That’s why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices.” ― Bill Watterson, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat.
When I wax philosophical in mind I immediately look around, within and without to discover the source of the unease. I learned over the years that thinking of a philosophical bent is neither natural nor normal. It doesn’t “just happen” because, say, you were born with a penchant for philosophy. There is no such thing.
What I suspect there is, however, is awareness. What is awareness? It’s that which most people have no concept of, no clue about and would consider a great inconvenience, much like discovering a conscience in an age of decadence and moral turpitude.
“Everything I like is either immoral, illegal or fattening.” That was one of those “cute” sayings of the 70’s. Looking back on it, it wasn’t a cute saying at all, but a prophecy of the coming end of civilization. Since that time it’s been nothing but a mad rush towards the abyss of inhumane and inhuman proclivities, particularly for the western world.
The western world has been a leader in many great things, like banking; like income tax; like false morality; like the making and breaking of laws; like the invention of chemicals to maximize monetary profits in, well, everything; like propaganda and advertising to make lies into tools of success and entertainment; like weapons of mass destruction and endless war.
Particularly, the western world has been a leader in decadence and the making of waste as well as the amazingly successful invention of state and personal debt, putting every nation on earth into hock (including the inventors, but let’s not go there right now).
I was raised within that unthinkable world of applied discipline, meaningful correction, punishment for breaking home and school rules. I was told never to waste food (and when you work on a homestead as a kid you learn what that means: that waste translates into serious loss which everybody feels – it isn’t loss transferable to unknown denizens of “darkest Africa” or Asian slave pools. We were our own slaves, and the “plantation” that grew our food was all too real; all too “in your face” and all too ready to turn on you and leave you destitute from one bad move or a turn of the weather. “Waste not, want not” was our motto. We didn’t have to like it.
Then came the miracle of corporate propaganda and purchased elections and elected representatives. Overnight, while almost everybody was sound asleep, all of the western world’s values turned over and were summarily dropped into a “Glad” garbage bag and dragged to the curb for disposal. America and its satellite states turned into national garbage dumps. Open waters no longer safe to drink. Foods that fattened and killed. Air that poisoned lungs. Anthropological climate change. Resource wars.
And, that was that. A few more years and a Donald Trump sat on the American throne spewing out his bile at the entire world and the people so dummied down over fifty years of living a complete lie, too stupefied to realize what had happened, or what should, or could, be done about it.
So this short rant is all about leadership, you see, because without leadership we could never have accomplished so much, and been such effective trendy leaders.
Isn’t it amazing what we have accomplished? And to think we’re hardly done yet. We still have coal, gas and oil to burn. Weaponry to unleash upon a shocked world. Bigger lies to spew. Legitimate regimes and governments to overthrow. Women to exploit, rape, oppress and beat up. Blacks to exploit, oppress, disenfranchise, jail and kill. We still have loads of immigrants who can be used, abused, enslaved, mistreated and deported when no longer of use as field and house slaves.
I can imagine all sorts of ways the western world can continue to lead by example.
Yes, we’re the West… we’re the Shit, man!
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Of late I have tried to be more open, more honest, nor only with those around me, but particularly with myself. Less hiding of unpleasant awareness (I dare not call it facts), however annoying that might be. It remains true, of course, that I am profoundly dissatisfied with life as I find it, or as it has found me and insisted on being my constant companion. Whatever some people may say, and people do say many things, most of which are more the effluent of emotions than truly thought out philosophy, life on earth is not beautiful. It isn’t wonderful. It isn’t pretty or sweet smelling or amazing. It certainly is not safe, nor is it predictable. It’s neither caring nor loving. I’d go so far as to say that earth life “is” and that’s about it.
I observe. That’s the first problem. I think about what I observe: problem number two. My mind’s the mind of a fixer and that is definitely problem number three. All of my adult life has been one of observation, analysis, reaching conclusions about this world’s mega problems (obvious to those who observe and who go so far as trying to understand what they are observing) and going about finding solutions to those problems. In this process I’ve done a lot of crazy things, not all of them “wise” in retrospect, but the consolation is that at least I was trying to do something positive. However tempted, I never blew up anything, or shot anybody, and yes, in small ways I have to admit to myself that once in a while I did make someone’s life better with my meddling.
That being said, I repeat, I’m increasingly dissatisfied with it all. This world, ladies and gentlemen (and anyone else in between, or crosswise) is a mess. It’s the kind of mess that spreads, like a disease, which it really it. It is the kind of mess that hurts people, many of those in extremely serious ways. It is the kind of mess that steals people’s right to a decent life, and often takes their very life.
I could look at that as so many do and think, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. How about this great Americanism: shit happens. Life explained in two words that need no translation or explanation. Once that wonderful two-word philosophy has been expressed, the next logical step is, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Sure, be happy. Why not, if nothing can be done about the state of the world?
Here’s a wonderful quote:
Imagine if suffering were real.
Imagine if those old people were afraid of death.
What if the midget or the girl with one arm
really felt pain? Imagine how impossible it would be
to live if some people were
alone and afraid all their lives. — Jack Gilbert, “Games”
Don’t let the sarcasm pass you by… hold on to it for a few moments of deeper thoughts. Imagine, for one moment, if all that pain deliberately manufactured on this world… was real. If children were molested, or slaughtered, mass-murdered in resource wars. Imagine if women actually didn’t enjoy being sex objects, or being subjected to rape. Imagine if being a war refugee wasn’t as romantic as you thought it would be. Imagine if having your home bombed, or burned down, actually was a problem. Imagine if having nothing to eat, and no water to drink was more than just a bit of an inconvenience.
Jack Gilbert says, “Imagine how impossible it would be to live” … and I paraphrase: if we had to endure what all these other people are enduring. Let me add this: imagine further how even more impossible it would be if we realized we were the cause of this suffering?
Being an empath on this world is a terrible curse. Imagine having to feel what other people feel, and not having the choice of feelings, whether they are experiencing torture, or the pleasure of an orgasm. That is the lowest form of hell, so when some spirit agent or angel or divine presence offers you this gift, let me warn you: think long and hard before you say, “yes.”
I’m now going to take you to a different world; a world inhabited only by empaths. It is not a very crowded world because these people need their space and they know how to keep it. Nevertheless we’re speaking here of several millions scattered over a world maybe half the size of earth. These empaths are also telepathic and their lifestyles are ‘in tune’ with their natural environment so they need very little technology to live the kind of lives any of us would envy.
I asked one of the residents from that world what happens there when there is violence; when someone is killed in a fight, for example. How does the justice system function? There was a long moment of silence, then the woman I was speaking to answered.
“Your question has no legitimacy on our world. May as well ask, what do you do when blue turns red? There is no violence on our world. We have no crime. There are no predators. Nothing is ever taken for all is freely offered. We have no government for we have no such need. We have no religion, nor money for the same reason. No one is ever forced to do anything against their will; no one ever imposes any belief system upon another though all are free to believe whatever they desire; whatever helps them develop their personal awareness of life.”
I insisted on pushing the point further. “What would happen, say, if a child died in an accident, perhaps a drowning, or from choking and no one was there to help?”
“Apart from the fact that such a scenario could never happen because we are empaths and telepaths from the time we are born, I can tell you what would happen. The entire world – millions of individuals, not only of humans, but animals, birds, all sentient life – would come to a shocked stand still. The enormity of the “crime” would be felt by all and nothing would proceed until the reasons for such a terrible tragedy taking place were understood.
“Then the entire world would mourn deeply.
“Then the entire world would come together to develop some way to prevent such a terrible thing from happening ever again.
“But remember, this is taking me back many millennia, to the beginnings of our empathetic and telepathic civilization, a civilization that gives equality to all sentient life and that respects and honours all of life.
“As embodied entities we are not free of needs. We do consume plants; we drink the water and we breathe the air. We have various types of shelters for those seasons when it is necessary to allow the weather to get colder, or wetter so as to balance and replenish the environment. None of that, however, is done without awareness of the energy flow between all of us, by which I mean sentients, plus the air, water, plants and soil. We are “us” – nothing is excluded from our awareness. A mountain; a flower, exists in my thoughts with the same intensity or “value” as my own child.”
That conversation took place a long time ago. In the intervening years I’ve compared the performance of Earthians (who claim to be human) with what the Altarians (Yes, the world I was writing about is called Altaria) have managed to accomplish through a reasonable observation of what works, and what can never work, rejecting what they observed had never worked and would never work. They didn’t change their environment, they changed themselves. They rejected the selfish nature by developing two hidden senses that all pseudo-humans possess: empathy and telepathy.
Earthians’ great failing (they have many!) is their obdurate choice of solutions to societal problems that can only make those problems worse. Tied in to this failing is to insist on regurgitating “solutions” that have been tried countless times, and failed abysmally in equal measure and equal number of times. That is not a sign of intelligence, quite the opposite.
Speaking of telepathy, man’s technology is in the process of forcing this upon the population of earth. It won’t be a gentle, open, joyful sharing of a people’s deepest thoughts, hopes and longings though. It will be an extraction of information. The information, by itself is pointless and meaningless, but that’s not the point of the surveillance police state. The point is to rape the mind. Do “they” give a damn whether you prefer to poison yourself at McDonalds rather than Burger King? That you support “the Broncos” rather than “The Colts” or whether you’re homosexual rather than hetero? That you pray to Allah and not Jehovah? No, of course not, but they will make you think that because it creates fear and anger. Fear and anger lead to endless anti-life aberrations; to violence, pain and death. Why would the Status Quo want that? Because that is how it manufactures power over life.
Yes, I long for my “transition” from earth to Altaria. I’ve been working diligently to qualify as a novice and trainee in compassion, empathy and telepathy on my chosen next world for many years now. I regret none of the time spent developing a mind that can understand and live on such a world.
The downside has been a gradual “separation” from the accepted, and acceptable; for my part, a pain-filled growing awareness of all the horrible crimes committed daily, mostly unawares, by people without feelings for those (human, animal, etc) they use, abuse and whose lives they destroy without any qualm, guilt or even a passing thought.
“Pass me those wings, will ya?”
“Git ‘er Dead” A sticker on the back of a pickup canopy advertising a type of bullet accompanied by the picture of a dead buck lying on the ground.
Cheering when more “boots on the ground” are sent by the President to some country the cheerers couldn’t find on a map.
By what right? By all those “rights” that are destroying this civilization day in, day out and none the wiser.
I’ll tell you this: there is but one weapon of mass destruction on this world: it’s its pretend humanity; every single one a weapon aimed at every other and the world they exist on without ever bothering to develop a life purpose. Aye, there’s the rub: no real purpose but to exist and die.
And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is my “close.” You may retire for your verdict but regardless of what you decide, I already know what will be the outcome.
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Let’s start with an interesting quote provided by Charles at The Vale of Soul-Making,
“Sometimes with the most intense pain a paralysis of sensibility occurs. The soul disintegrates–hence the deadly frost–the free power of the mind–the shattering, ceaseless wit of this kind of despair. There is no inclination for anything any more–the person is alone, like a baleful power–as he has no connection with the rest of the world he consumes himself gradually–and in accordance with his own principle he is–misanthropic and misotheos. — Novalis, from “Miscellaneous Observations,” Novalis: Philosophical Writings, translated and edited by Margaret Mahony Stoljar . (State University of New York Press; First Printing edition, February 27, 1997)
While this is going way beyond my own perception, there is an interesting parallel. There are people on this world who have become highly empathetic. To develop that sense “in the raw” on a world so full of violence with so much of it gratuitous and totally unnecessary, is to come face to face with a suffering, a pain, that never dissolves. The uninitiate plunged into this maelstrom of awareness will have her feelings torn apart. Everything will remind her of the many horrors taking place literally everywhere, and she will suffer the effects of those horrors in her mind, day and night. These effects will spread into the body.
The above quote speaks of someone who, like many who have been severely tortured, in order to survive has developed a “paralysis of sensibility” to the ever-present pain that must of necessity lead to complete despair. Those who cannot do that quite often commit suicide: it’s the only way out, unless one turns to drugs, alcohol or some form of institutionally established violence. It is easy to see how both, misanthropy (hate of mankind) and misotheos (hate of God or gods) can flow from this condition because it’s a blame place.
I’ll backtrack a bit: how does one become an empath? It’s dangerously simple: one first becomes a thinker, then a deeper thinker, then an absolute thinking force. Thinking, after all is the only real way to interact with life if we would be intelligent, sentient and self aware beings. Thinking is the core of the human experience. Those who do not, or cannot, think for themselves; those who fear their own wild thoughts, are not human. At best they hover a few degrees “above” the mental state of animals; at worst they are psychopaths. They can only feel their own needs and desires. Everything and everyone else is there to satisfy those needs and greeds. Not incidentally much of what passes for “love” on this world remains in that category-had to throw that reminder in…
Thinking about the “human” condition changes all of that for the thinker. It opens up endless possibilities hitherto closed to the mind. It frees the imagination so violently extracted from most minds in early childhood. This is all well and good, but if thinking makes one aware of the things of earth, that must include the blood-filled vat of violence constantly fed and religiously maintained on earth, and that must lead to despair, or to the frozen mind state and eventual self-consummation described in the above quote.
I can truthfully say that I am an empath. I arrived “here” through a persistent drive to know the why’s and wherefore’s of people’s need to express their lives through various forms of violence – some done to themselves, most done unto others. Prior to a fortuitous intervention by those I call “the Teachers” I had reached a point of mental trouble deep enough to force me to make a pact with myself that I would terminate my life. My mind was held in a vise of pain from negative awareness, and eventually that pain reached into the body, attacking its weakest parts. Being at least as strong minded as my mother (who not incidentally committed suicide at age 46) for the same reasons I was then experiencing, namely that life was unbearable pain, I decided to do the same. It was logical. I had seen her try drugs to ease her pain, to no avail. I hated drugs, and still do, so I would not go there. Came the fateful day. Came the unexpected intervention, rescue, and equally unexpected healing.
In a flash of understanding I realized the vise had been unscrewed, yet my awareness remained the same, even augmented. What had changed? I was given a chance to become a compassionate being. It was a whole new way to look upon the world. I felt my hate, my anger, gradually fade out, to be replaced with something totally new to me: Joy and Sorrow (deliberately capitalized here). Imagine how much thinking I had to do in those days to keep up with all of that; with the changes I was experiencing, and troubling everybody else around me with.
I need to make two points here. The first is that such a change made me anathema to my familiar society. Within a couple of years I was forced into a divorce, holding on to nothing except a job, which kept me from being on the streets. Old friends evaporated. Frightening, exhilarating, crazy, out of control life. Yet I didn’t mind so much, being busy experiencing a “new” healthy body and finding my newly awakened mind experimenting wandering through a much greater, ever-expanding cosmos.
The second, much more important point is about Joy and Sorrow. The usual understanding is that joy is just an aspect of pleasure. Sorrow is an aspect of suffering, or pain. This is more than a wrong interpretation: it’s a grievous error, as I hope to point out.
How does one discern that Joy and Sorrow are different from the usual layout of pleasure and suffering? Again, the same argument that says compassion is completely different from love: motive changes to selflessness. Where there be selfish moves or motives, there you will not find either Joy or Sorrow, though you will find their imitators a plenty. This is where some really deep seated lies of the Matrix can be exposed. Joy and Sorrow result from a personal choice to become a compassionate being, in other words, a selfless being. These three then become one, none of them being connected to the selfish “id” or “ego.” Compassion destroys the egotistic personality. From that point on, the compassionate person no longer feels the need to experience selfish pleasure, or to avoid personal suffering, but do note this: only in cases when such experience or avoidance would in the least way cause loss to another – for it is wise to choose pleasure over suffering, always and suffering is not a normal or natural part of living a life here, so it should be avoided. What is of crucial importance is that quest for pleasure and avoidance of suffering must in no way contribute to another’s loss, discomfort or pain. The reasoning for this, though quite obvious, is usually not understood by those who do not practice compassion. What sort of person always puts the needs of others before her own? The fully responsible individual.
The compassionate being is an empath. She does not operate from selfish motives but seeks to ever expand her behaviour into altruistic expressions. These expressions then become her very nature. Her goal in this is to meld herself into her choices becoming one with them, an avatar of compassion.
Allow me to “wax poetic” for a paragraph here:
The compassionate, the empath,
Joy-full or Sorrow-full
never resisting the currents
as the waves of the sea
respond to winds and currents:
a human bridge between light and darkness
that a new species of the human family
may take its first timid steps,
learning to walk between worlds,
neither fearing the darkness,
nor clinging to the light.
The more we seek to join with extremes, the more we must suffer the ever-present need of some form of violence within our emotions. Violence isn’t engendered in darkness anymore than in light – violence expresses from the need to experience extreme behaviour, whether directly or vicariously. Two things promote violence: fear and hubris. Two weaknesses the compassionate empath no longer encounters in her own mind, or heart.
Our type of life demands duality – we need to finally accept that because without duality there is no balance. Just as opposite poles of a magnet cannot be “reconciled” or joined together, so it is foolishness to speak of light overcoming darkness or vice-versa.
Why not abandon the endless, pointless quest for the high or the low; for heaven or for hell? We can become shadow beings, living freely and fully between opposite forces that are there but to maintain an in-between space for us – in perpetual balance. Two solutions to two major Earthian problems would immediately happen: end of war and maybe more importantly, end of misogyny. Would it not be worth a try, or even any amount of personal sacrifice, to reach this place?
I’ve said these things before, many times, and I know I will continue to say them until I no longer can. My point in all of this is to clarify some bits and pieces of the many misconceptions people hold about so many things. Might be worth giving it some thought. At this point in our failing civilization, what have we got to lose?
I tell stories, I’m not an advice giver – that never works. Having said that, secure in the knowledge that no one will follow it and later blame me when the proverbial doo-doo hits the equally proverbial fan, let me give you some advice (don’t you just love contradictions?). Let me give you a key to understanding the process involved in being a change agent.
When you go on to ponder a solution to a problem, or talk about it, or write about it, or even do something about it, keep this in mind, it will save you much disappointment: look back upon history and your own personal experience and ask, “has this been tried before? If it worked, is it still working? Is it gaining strength, overcoming the negativity it was set up to do?” If your answer to these basic question is a clear “no” then you need to come up with an entirely new solution. Warning: if you insist on fiddling around with any aspects of the old “tried and failed” solutions, no new way will show itself.
My sincere apologies for that “finger pointing” ending. I don’t know how else to communicate this point emphatically. In any case, only those so inclined will take it personally. Small consolation, but better than nothing…
“Energy medicine is powerful, all right. I had a magnetic healing session a few weeks ago and I was stuck to my refrigerator door for two days.” — Swami Beyondananda.