Law of Attraction, Part 13: The Pure Brahman of Consciousness

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The legend begins with a Brahmin monk and his disciples making their way down to the Ganges River to perform their ceremonial ablutions, when they happen across a Chandala walking towards them on the road, leading a pack of four mangy dogs. A Chandala was an Untouchable, the despised class of people who didn’t belong to any recognized varna or caste. Their only allowed participation within Hindu society was to be maintainers the funeral burning grounds or other equally detestable work. When the Chandala refused, the Brahmin became indignant and he instructed the out-caste to stand aside, for a holy man of Brahmin birth could never permit himself to be polluted by even the shadow of such an offensive being. The Chandala stood his ground and demanded that the Brahmin explain himself.

The Chandala said, “You preach to others that the atman and the Brahman are the same, that all distinctions are barriers against the realization of that supreme truth. If there is one Absolute Brahman in all, then why do you accept caste and creed? You teach that there is only one Absolute Brahman in all things, yet you acknowledge differences between man and man. How can this be consistent with your teaching of Advaita ? To whom do you address? The body which is transient, or the soul which is eternal?” Admonished in this way, the monk realized his error and prostrated himself before the Chandala, proclaiming that anyone who could show him the truth, Brahmin or Untouchable, that one was his teacher.

The name of that Brahmin monk was Adi Śaṅkara, founder of Advaita Vedanta, and considered one of the greatest religious philosophers in Indian history. Those of us in the West may have never heard of Śaṅkara, but 1200 years ago, he established a religious movement that has lasted to this day. Śaṅkara achieved fame and notoriety for traveling on foot across the four corners of India to debate other monks and scholars and setting up monasteries to promulgate his teachings, before dying at the age of thirty-two.

The major tenet of Advaita is that of Universality – that “all is God, and God is all and everything is the manifestation of Brahman.” This absolute monism claims that only the Brahma, the ultimate reality, is the Only Reality. All forms are just manifestations of Brahman.

The world of differentiated objects, or the variety of forms, like a water drop and the ocean, are ultimately illusions; everything in existence are but the thoughts of Brahman . This Brahman was totally uninterested and absolutely removed from the happenings at the level of human beings.

However, Śaṅkara’s absolute monism ran into the same contradiction that the ancient Greek philosophers were pressed to resolve: how could an unchanging, unmovable, uninterested, undivided and utterly transcendent Universal Principle have any relation to the affairs of the world?

Śaṅkara solved this problem by stating that the Brahman was both wholly transcendent and pervaded all of existence. The being who achieves knowledge of the Brahman within his soul, or Atman, achieves liberation from the world, and becomes one with Brahman. The end result of this process is termed, the “Higher Self,” which is the pure self of consciousness, free from ignorance and impurity and liberated by its knowledge of its awareness that all distinctions are false.

According to Śaṅkara, The “lower self” is subject to ignorance and deception, which causes the being into believing that polarity and the differentiation of objects are real. The minds of those beings that are ignorant of Śaṅkara’s Brahman will only form a projection which stands as the personal god the devotees pray to and worship.

This projection is the “Lower Brahman” whom Śaṅkara called, Ishvara, who possesses human qualities such as Love and Justice. Although these projections of the human mind are broadcasted through ignorance, Śaṅkara claimed it was better to worship the projection than to worship nothing at all, because Isvara, even as a projection, is the closest thing to the Higher and pure Brahman of consciousness.

Critics have labeled Śaṅkara’s doctrine as moral skepticism, charging that it implies that one risks enslavement to rebirth and ignorance by following moral codes of dharma and caste – when the unrealized self-will be seduced by differences one sees in the world, while believing self-identification is real – when all of what is seen, is illusion. Śaṅkara claimed that while all things in existence are the mere thoughts of the Higher Brahman – the Higher Brahman Itself, is devoid of attributes, thus “qualities” like individuality and polarities like “good and evil” do not exist.

Yet, Śaṅkara was forced to recognize that apparently, the people always suffered the consequences of evil actions.

Śaṅkara employs the line of reasoning that Evil cannot be created by God because in the allowance of evil, God’s qualities of goodness would be negated, and God would be in truth open to the accusation of extreme cruelty “abhorred even by a villain.” Śaṅkara reasons that since the Higher Brahma has no qualities at all – He cannot be the author of evil. Thus evil is the ignorance that deceives the human mind, which is geared to self-interest and abuse against others in this world.

The seeming duality of “good and evil” and “light and dark” are relative only at a certain level of reality. Śaṅkara compared the Brahman’s position to the polarity of good and evil to that of the sun producing both day and night. The sun itself is not subject to day and night, but the world rotating on its axis produces the effect. It is the characteristics of the Earth and its relation to the sun and the ignorance of the observer that appears to cause day and night. The same design holds for the apparent distinction of good and evil.

Śaṅkara used the analogy of a magician to illustrate his point about Brahman ‘s relation to the illusion of ignorance. When the magician pulls off a magic trick through sleight-of-hand, the ignorant viewer is taken in by the magician’s creation of a perception, like pulling a live rabbit out of a hat. Those in the know are not fooled, because they have knowledge that the magician has used an illusion, and they know how the illusion works. The magician, who stands as Brahman, is not confused by the illusion of the magic trick.

Anyone familiar with the workings of the Law of Attraction will recognize the role Brahman as pure consciousness plays. The idea with the Law of Attraction is to consciously draw to yourself prosperity and wealth, which is considered an indication of one’s self-realization and spiritual growth.

Śaṅkara’s Higher Brahman stands as the point of absolute Universal Consciousness, or Divine Mind, which pervades the essence and substance of existence, and is the conduit of the magnetic attraction that brings one’s desire to fruition. The concept was transformed in the West as the starting points of the new religious movements led by the writings of Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Rudolf Steiner, who were all instrumental in forging the design of the spirituality of modern Hindu and New Age philosophy.

 

Next: East Meets West: Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

 

Sources

The philosophy of Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta by Shyama Kumar Chattopadhyaya, 2000

Self-realization (Brahmaanubhava): the Advaitic perspective of Shankara by Vensus A. George, 2001

Parallels in the Philosophies of Madhyamika Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, and Kabbalah,”Ira Israel. March 26th 1999. Religious Studies 257

Hindu Philosophy by Shyam Ranganathan, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Isvara.” New World Encyclopedia. 23 Jun 2008, 23:44 UTC. 20 Jan 2010, 13:07

Shankara and Indian Philosophy” by Natalia Isaeva. State University of New York Press. 1993

The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta” by Arvind Sharma, Penn State Press, 1995

Law of Attraction, Part 6: The New Age

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When the New Age Movement came into prominence during the late 1970s, nobody knew that by the end of the 20th Century, the New Age Movement would become the third largest religion in America. The New Age’s allure and appeal stem from the perceived breakdowns of the economic, political, cultural and religious systems in the world, underscoring the great disappointment in the promise of the various systems that were born in the Age of Enlightenment. Pollution, wars, economic downturns, military repression, the failure of Democracy, has forced people to re-evaluate their lives by taking a look at alternative spiritualities.

 

Even in its earliest stages of development, New Age Movement has been linked to the New Thought Movement of the 19th century as well as the mind cure and Human Potential Movements which saw increasing popularity in American culture with the advent of various self – improvement courses related to prosperity building (such as the Dale Carnegie courses) or releasing one’s inner power and ability (such as L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology crusades or Werner Erhard’s EST).

 

Central to the New Age belief system is the notion that human beings no longer have to search “out there” for the divine, because human beings are divine already. Praying to God is no longer necessary since humans are all “gods” that share the same divine essence. Reincarnation, creating one’s own reality, meditation and attaining higher consciousness are the main preoccupations of those participating in the New Age Movement.

 
The New Age message descends from a variety of sources: Neopaganism, Spiritism, Theosophy, New Thought, Ascended Masters Teachings and so forth – therefore it cannot be defined into a single doctrine. There exists no single defined set of New Age belief, Articles of Faith or a centralized administration. Truth and authority are located within the charismatic leadership of authors, channelers, healers and motivational speakers.

 

As far as channelers are concerned, New Agers attach great emotional and spiritual significance to the messages these entities speak and write through human beings, evidenced through the popularity of books by Jane Roberts, J.Z. Knight, Neale Donald Walsch and Jerry and Ester Hicks. Which brings us back to the Law of Attraction. A chief feature of the New Age version of the Law of Attraction is the same as ritual magic of old; empowerment. The leaders of the New Age have marketed this desire for empowerment by treating the Law of Attraction as a marketable commodity. There is much to choose from in the wide variety of books, courses and seminars that present the law of attraction as an empowering tool for self-realization.

 

Channeled Sources of the Law of Attraction

 

During in the 1960’s, Jane Roberts allegedly channeled a being named, ‘Seth,’ who claimed that reality and the mind did not exist independently of each other, thus consciousness has a real effect on one’s own reality. Seth presented the famous New Age maxim of, “You Create Your Own Reality” through your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

 

A Course in Miracles, is a classic New Age tome allegedly channeled from ‘Jesus Christ,’ teaches that spirit, mind, and body are interrelated, and “proper” mental attitudes will help one become more effective with their life. This type of “reality manipulation” has been spoken about before in the 19th and 20th centuries in the writings of Quimby, Atkinson, Hill and Bailey. Thus the trajectory of the human search for empowerment has come a long way from the old days where ritual magic and incantations were used to manipulate natural and supernatural forces – which finds its fullest expression as the New Age principle of reality manipulation within the Law of Attraction. As divine humans, we are to use our divine mind, which is the only creative force in existence.

 

The Secret 

 

In 2006, Rhonda Byrne created a colossal marketing tsunami with her hit DVD, The Secret. Appearing on Oprah drove in book sales as well, as you could not visit your local neighborhood bookstore without seeing a gaudy display of The Secret near the cash registers. Promoting The Secret in a documentary style that mixed conspiracy theory, self-improvement and motivational speaking, made The Secret irresistible to many people.

 

The ‘Secret’ that changed Rhonda Byrne’s life was, of course, the Law of Attraction. She came across Wallace Wattle’s book, The Science of Getting Rich during a difficult time in her life and to her credit, turned her inspiration into a worldwide marketing sensation after an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Byrne’s “secret” was that she just recycled earlier New Thought and Theosophical teachings, placing it in a shiny wrapper and made a fortune. In the DVD version of The Secret, Byrne presents a roll call of “philosophers,” entrepreneurs, “visionaries” and self-help gurus who tell the viewer that The Secret can be revealed to anybody. Bob Proctor, one of the “philosophers” on the DVD, appears and announces that you can ‘get anything you want’ health or wealth – with The Secret.

 
So, what is The Secret? It’s the Law of Attraction, of course – “the Greatest Law in the Universe.” “It always works,” claims one of the Law of Attraction gurus featured in Byrne’s production. They adamantly assert that thoughts emit a magnetic field that draws events to you. Add intense emotional charge, and what you attract happens faster, and it doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative events. Feeling Good, is your duty. Feeling bad, well, that’s verboten.

 

 

Abraham and Esther Hicks

 

 
One of the featured narrators on The Secret DVD is Esther Hicks, who channels the non-physical entity “Abraham,” who Hicks describes as an “infinite intelligence.” Hicks appeared in the original release of The Secret, but later had a falling out with Rhonda Byrne, and she was edited out of a new version the next year. Hicks was the only self-help presenter on The Secret who was paid for her appearance, receiving $500,000, according a New York Times interview.

 

 

According to the Abraham-Hicks official website, husband and wife team Jerry and Esther Hicks describe themselves as “living a fairy-tale life.” Jerry suffered from poor health as a child and lived in extreme poverty. His life turned around after reading Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

 
The former acrobat and stunt man became a very successful Amway distributor when he met Esther during one of his Amway presentations and later married. Esther spent a period of meditation for nine months, after which ‘Abraham’ appeared in Esther’s consciousness and began communicating with them. Abraham has been described as a “nebulous mist,” “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension,” “the great masters of the universe,” and so on. The Abraham-Hicks site claims that the modern teaching of the Law of Attraction “all started here!” But various points of the Teachings of Abraham can be traced back to other sources besides those found in New Thought and Theosophy and in New Age. It’s clear that the main features of the Law of Attraction hasn’t changed much since the earlier proponents Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey said much of the same things.

 
But as the most well-known advocates of the Law of Attraction, The Hicks have taken their Abundance message to the world while traveling in true rock star fashion in their one and a half million-dollar tour bus. Even the death of Esther Hicks’ husband, Jerry (in November, 2011) has failed to erode or tarnish the Abraham – Hicks’ popularity.

 

 

The Dark Side of The Secret

 

However, there have been a few beings who may have followed the Law of Attraction too closely, and have taken great risks in doing so. Consider the case of one of the Self-Help Gurus that appeared in The Secret, James Arthur Ray, a frequent guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Ray held a Spiritual Warrior seminar in Sedona, Arizona, charging nearly 10 thousand dollars a head to attend a “Break Your Boundaries” workshop. At the end of a physically and mentally taxing five-day regimen that included intense fasting and a “game” where Ray reportedly donned white robes and played God, Ray conducted a sweat lodge ceremony where approximately 55 people were crammed into the steaming hot for hours. Law enforcement officials say that when people became ill and began to pass out, Ray coaxed them to stay inside, apparently to move beyond their discomfort and to “break their boundaries.” As a result 3 people died and 18 were hospitalized in the sweat lodge catastrophe. Controversy ensued when it was reported that Ray fled the scene before talking to authorities.

 

Ray was later brought to trial for manslaughter, but was only convicted of felony negligent homicide. Ray served nearly two years before being released in 2013 and is presently conducting seminars on dealing with personal crisis.

 

The Law of Attraction holds out the promise of wealth, health and happiness. The message of “Creating Your Reality” and “Everything Is Yours To Have,” has given people who same sense of empowerment Attraction Magic gave the ancient Mesopotamians thousands of years ago. It’s been a very long road through the centuries and eras that we’ve traveled, but the trajectory of empowerment that is the principle of the Law of Attraction – which appeared in various forms such as the ritual magic prayed and performed to curry favor from the Gods of the ancient Sumerians  – to the postmodern proponents of the Secret, who beseech the Gods who reside within the human mind – has been completed. According to the Law of Attraction, we have finally met the Gods that we used to worship. And they were us!

 

 

Next: The Eastern Roots of the Law of Attraction 

The Law of Attraction: A History of Belief, Part 1.

 

LOA 1

 

There has been much talk about the Law of Attraction during the past few years ever since the now-famous marketing tsunami called The Secret – embedded itself into the pop culture consciousness of people everywhere. But what exactly IS the Law of Attraction, and why are people so enamored by its message? Simply, the Law of Attraction is a belief that says that prosperity and health can be yours if you follow a few simple rules. People pay a lot of money to attend seminars, enroll in online courses, and buy all kinds of books and movies learning how to use the Law of Attraction to attract wealth and abundance.

The main principle about how the Law of Attraction operates is simply this: what a person thinks about manifests in their daily life, whether the person is aware of this or not. Thus, the proponents of the Law of Attraction claim that the keys of abundance and prosperity are fostering a positive attitude, intense emotional desire, creative visualization and most important, avoiding negative people. Extracting yourself from negative people is strongly encouraged because they will only infect your positive attitude by bringing you down, or worse, make fun of you so much – that you will want to give up.

The operating idea of the Law of Attraction is that like attracts like. The proponents of the Law of Attraction tell us to only focus on the positive because what your mind is focused on, you create in your reality. Attracting positive experiences by only focusing on the Good is what you want. Attracting negative things to your life because of a bad attitude is what you DON’T want. By dwelling on the negative, you’ll just create more negativity, thus creating more misery in your life for yourself and everyone else. Within this document we will present the fascinating history of the Law of Attraction – how it changed and developed throughout the centuries, how this knowledge moved with the times to fit the perceptions of those who practiced it; and we will be looking at the main players who supplied the knowledge necessary to formulate and articulate the Law of Attraction.

Magical (Magnetic?) Attraction

The knowledge and practice of the Law of Attraction has existed in many forms throughout history, probably even before recorded history. It might surprise you to look at this way – but the oldest and still most widely used expressions of the Law of Attraction have been… Magic and Prayer. Prayer has been practiced in all civilizations all over the world. The earliest form of Prayer seems to descend from prehistoric times in the form of rituals, hymns, heroic stories and magical incantations. The main focus of the magical incantation is empowerment.

Archeological artifacts that have come down to us from ancient times indicate that a Human being needed a lot of help in dealing with hostile forces that existed in the world. The use of words in certain combinations was thought to influence natural forces, ghosts and demons. In the ancient Mesopotamian cultures of Sumer, Babylonia , Akkad and Assyria, magical rites were a part of everyday life, as one had to be on the constant watch for Demons, evil spirits, bad omens, bad magic, illness and even demonic possession.

Demons, for example, were believed to live in the mountains, deserts, lakes, the wilderness, etc. and were liable to attack at any time. Forgetting to pray to a certain god at a certain time could make for a very bad day. Thus magical rites and incantation were a summons of supernatural or demonic assistance to help in healing, divination, exorcisms and protection. Along with magical incantations and ritual acts, one could make use of various accessories to assist the pious supplicant or the friendly neighborhood shaman. Curse tablets, ritual meals, magical bowls, binding spells, protection from binding spells, chants, phylacteries and even sacrifice – plant, animal or human, were used to stave off misfortunes caused by demons – or to ask for Divine Intervention.

The Sumerians also employed symbolic acts such as pouring water over a pile of dates, for instance, to bring rain. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Hittite army was famed for being one of the best of that era, holding their own against the military might of the Egyptians, Assyrians and the Babylonians. How did they manage to keep their armies and their civilization together? Through the use of Magical rites and incantations which were a structural part of the Hittite’s army. The Hittites developed incantations, rituals and rites for something they called, “Attraction Magic’ – where the idea was to draw and harness the Divine Power of the Gods to the people. So The Hittite army thought it best to conduct endless sacrifices and rituals every step of the way during their travels.

Inscribed in cuneiform tablets that have come down to us, are curses towards a Hittite warrior, should he break the oath he made to the gods – for instance, that he shall become a woman, that his belly will swell up with water and the deities of the oath consume his children. Now that’s an offer a Hittite warrior couldn’t afford to refuse.

We’ve talked about incantation – but what is the difference between incantation and prayer? An incantation assumes to influence and control supernal or demonic powers while prayer respectfully requests the Gods or Saints for something we desire to come our way. God may say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and that’s the end of it, but there is no harm for trying. Some scholars and most of the clergy see the shift of primitive cultic magic’s evolution into religion as – the “evolution of correct worship and respect of the spiritual.”

We do not know how this transition from incantation to prayer came about, but incantation and the magic arts still exist today alongside established organized religious movements thru ritualistic practices such as Voodoo, Neopaganism, modern witchcraft, Shamanism, Satanism, Obeah and Santeria, to name a few. Despite the rise of technology, globalization and science, the focus of ritual magic remains the same as in the days of the ancient Hittite – to become a more powerful being through the attraction of the divine. The Law of Attraction works in a similar fashion, using ‘affirmations’ and visualizations to align to the vibrational forces within your mind that creates your reality.

Next – Part 2: Early Accounts of the Law of Attraction

 

 

Demons of Folk Friday Tune of the Week: Dreams

6 Dreams

 

 

If you dream in color, then you probably watched a lot of color TV growing up. According to research from the first half of the 20th century, it has been suggested that most dreams were observed in black and white. However, studies from the 1980s show that more people began to dream in color, with up to 80% reporting that they dreamed in color.

What the studies suggest is that children are affected (or maybe… “programmed“) by the media during early childhood – which further suggests major programming of the child’s dreaming experience via the media. This indicates that during our formative years as children we are very suggestible at that age to visual programming that is retained at different levels of consciousness.

 

 

8/11/2013. The Big Man

That’s what I called Bernard. “The Big Man.” I liked to tell Andrea, “Can’t hang out with ya, hun. Gotta go into town with the Big Man.” It was due to the fact that when I first time I ever laid eyes on him I was surprised how large he looked. It was evening time, September 29, 2008. After being picked up at the airport I arrived in the darkness of night to the farm and strode through the front door of the main building. I had been invited to the farm by Bernard. I had only contacted him via email and chats on the Internet. On a whim, I decided to take him up on his offer. In an email to me he said, “You won’t want to leave.” I didn’t even know what the man looked like. It was strange that I was even on another continent placing my safety into the hands of a stranger.

Bald and stout, Bernard meets me inside the door. We embrace and then he takes me into the kitchen where he suggests that I would like some coffee. We exchange the polite, customary pleasantries. Bernard pulls out a cigarette and says, to no one in particular, “How long will Darryl continue to wait?” Bernard often asked questions that tended to freeze you in your tracks. I had a wonderful time there at the farm. I extended my stay.  By the time I left, which was months later than the 4 weeks I originally planned, the Big Man was not only my firm friend, he had also become an unbelievable example of unshakable integrity. He was right. I didn’t want to leave, but I felt it was time for me to go. And the night before I left he said, “When things get tough, don’t forget to breathe.”

Well, what do you know. Things got really tough when I returned Stateside.  Three days after staying with my best friends I was kicked me out onto the street in the dead of winter. I was afraid my truck would be impounded because my insurance lapsed. I spent the night in sub-freezing weather wondering how I would get through this ordeal, wondering what I had done to “deserve this.” I kept breathing. I survived. I was offered a place to stay until I could get back on my feet. I just had to move to North Carolina. Luckily, I had just enough cash to make the journey. But that episode did not fare too well, either, and I found myself back in Bernard’s living room once again. When he saw my haggard face (I’d been through a lot), he just grinned and offered me a cigarette.

The last time I saw Bernard was when dropped me off at the King Shaka airport,  August 4, 2010. Esteni was also there and we all embraced warmly as he said to me, “You will be back here in 5 years to stay.” And he smiled. It sounded like one of his ironclad promises. I turned and headed into the airport, fully expecting to see him again. But I heard the news today. Such a reunion is now impossible. Bernard’s gone. I heard this morning that it was a fatal heart attack.

I feel strangely quiet inside writing this, but it has been an awfully long day. Maybe I’m still in a bit of shock, maybe I’m just being calm.  Maybe it will hit me later. I’m sure there are many hugs and tears to go around. But life goes on. The Desteni Group lives on, and this Group will not wimp out or fragment or disappear. Sorry, haters, but the shit just got real.

Over the years, there has been many blogs that I have written that were pretty hard to write. While this isn’t one of those instances, I must confess that there’s an existential void Bernard left that is destined to be filled with our focus, determination, fearless purpose and integrity of the Desteni Group. Meeting, knowing  and living among so many Destonians makes this day a lot easier to walk through. To everyone on the farm; Esteni, Sunette, Andrea, Cerise, Leslie-John and all the others – I love you all. And I am grateful to have lived, worked, sweated and wondered on the land that existed under Bernard’s feet.

(From the Diary. There are so many stories about hanging out with Bernard that I could relate, and I may write about them later, but If there is one event from my time spent with the Big Man that encapsulates how my life was forever transformed, this would be as good as any).

October 7, 2008

LJ asked if I could help with the planting. I booted up and put on my Indiana Jones hat and made my way to the patch where the guys had plowed the day before. I’m given instructions by Fidelis on where and how to plant the seeds into one of the two plots that had been plowed. Okay, so this will be cool. I’m planting seeds into the dark earth. Watermelon, corn, squash, tomato. Rain had been falling over the past few days (it’s the raining season here in South Africa). But today was a good, warm day. The flying ants were out and the entire valley was buzzing with millions of the things. We planted into the afternoon and took a break to re-hydrate. Gian and Jesper jumped into the pool while I was playing with the dogs,  and I said to myself, “Yeah. Good idea.” The water was cold, but felt okay after a while.

Leslie-John called us back to the field and we planted more seeds into the earth.

After we were done, I returned to the house and sat in the lounge to cool off. I was feeling very frustrated for some unknown reason. Very frustrated. Slowly I came to see that I was frustrated with myself. I was so happy being in such a place where support and understandings were coming left and right. But it felt I wasn’t moving fast enough. What was it? I was still shaking. It had been with me all day. Bernard pointed it out first thing in the morning. “Shaking,” he said. All day out in the field planting seeds, I felt it. A miasm that was showing me that I am slowly dying. Here I am in this beautiful, life-affirming place where I am being supported, fed, housed, given understandings that I never had before. And each tremor reveals that I’m slowly dying. Nothing’s changed. I am still the same loser that I have been my entire life that nobody cares about. I’m still the same old ridiculous fool, everybody’s favorite punching bag. To come this far in my life where I could finally see myself being of some use to myself and the world only to be one the losing end of the stick once again, this was just too much to bear.

I am useless.

I felt I was ready to walk. I was tired of doubting and wanting and waiting. I saw that nothing in this world was of any use and I was ready to be counted on.

Was this some kind of joke? Is this where self-honesty has led me? With cosmic egg on my face? How did I allow myself to be used and allow myself to waste my life – to have it turned to shit? To accept living in the teeth of a nightmare?

Because I allowed it. The blackness of that moment of realization was heartbreaking.

Bernard pointed to one eye and said to me, “Darryl. See.”

And I saw.

I saw that nothing will ever change for me because I still carried who I am that has existed from the past. I still claimed this self-image that I had painted on the canvas of my life. And that painting was finished. It would last for eternity.

And then I saw something else. I saw that I do not have to carry that painting any longer. I could release it and paint another self and walk as that!

One that was effective, self-directive. One that stood one and equal with the entirety of existence and did not doubt or waste his life in senseless, useless time loops. One who trusted himself. One who would never ever, ever quit. A self that would stand the test of time.

Could it be that simple?

Could it be that instead of waiting for change to be thrust upon you, or given to you from somewhere outside yourself, you could change yourself in one moment? In one breath? Just by releasing the past? Just by literally seeing yourself integrate all that is, equal and one? Just by seeing that what passes for ‘life’ in this existence has no honor and here, it stops. I took a breath.

I noticed that the shaking stopped. Tears filled my eyes. Bernard, with cigarette in his hand, asked, “Do you get it?”

Yes, I got it.

I could walk.

Darryl and Bernard

6.9.13: Human Right #3. Safety and Security for every Child

baby

3. An Equal Right of Safety and Security for every Child, so that a life free of fear, insecurity and trauma is assured, a life in which parental guidance is balanced with freedom of expression and lived within an environment of creativity and joy so that every Child grows into his or her utmost potential as a unique expression of Life Itself.

It is a commonly held belief, that “all men are created equal.” There is also a counter-argument that cuts against the former: people have differing strengths and weaknesses, talents and deficiencies, thus any talk about “equality” must be utter foolishness. There is, however, one point of equality that cannot be denied. All human beings come into this world with a legacy of dependence. Babies cannot care for themselves, and are completely helpless beings immediately after ending our world. Doesn’t matter if you are a dumpster-diving commoner or a blue-blooded aristocrat, infants depend on others to keep it alive.

It is in this state of innocence and dependency that most parents can appreciate. However, not all parents can offer their children the protection and support they need to grow into effective beings free from fear, sickness or abuse. These unfortunate babes are destined to never reach or discover their potential in this world. They have been cut off. Truly, their births were in vain, wasted and dishonored simply because of the black hearts of too many adults are filled with too much hate to ever get along with others. So wars are fought with child soldiers. Mass starvation on a criminal scale decimating poor countries because of investor greed, trickery and fraud. Intentional maiming and disfiguring of a population’s gene pool  with depleted uranium to keep certain nations weak and unable to stand up for themselves. It appears that adults, who know how to take care of themselves, are forever attempting to destroy other beings who can’t fend for themselves. In the pages of history one can read about the extensive use of child sacrifice as a religious sacrament and ritual in ancient cultures. In more recent news, it seems that reports of child sacrifice are increasing.

Human Right #3 demands that it should be obvious that the safety and security of each child is right, proper and just. Since children are innocent and weak, they become targets of the strong and cruelest of beings. Not recognizing that the right of children to be sheltered and protected from those that would love to destroy them means that these beings are enjoying the right to destroy everyone in their way. Has it really come down to this? It is the 21st Century. We no longer have to act like superstitious barbarians who sacrifice the innocent for our sins. The time to stop allowing the potential of children to be erased from existence is now. The Equal Life Foundation has been convened to end this assault on the innocents.

 

Fear of Equal Money, Part 1. 03/22/2013

Would the Equal Money System confiscate personal wealth?

If history shows anything, it is that there’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence, to make such relations seem moral, than by reframing them in the language of debt – above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.

-David Graeber

This question appeared on the Quora board and I was asked to answer it.  It was asked by “anon user,” the now – infamous paid internet troll who suffered a massive literary beatdown at the hands of Sunette Spies (see previous post). I wasn’t going to answer it at first, but upon reflection, why the hell not? Others (without an axe to grind or a paycheck to collect) probably ask the same question. So I won’t acknowledge the p.i.t. on Quora, but I will answer it here (and dare anon user to play his game in my back yard).

Pretending that this question comes from genuine curiosity, I will say that I do not know everything that will happen with the installation of an Equal Money System. I do foresee it being installed in successive stages, over a period of many years, maybe decades, I don’t know. The current system would not accept such a shock if EMS were to be delivered all at once. But I want to discuss the overarching concern embedded within the question: “what will happen to my personal wealth?”

 This is part and parcel of the fear of loss attached to a change from the current economic system. A system where the winner takes all, and is perfectly represented in the image below:

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Within this equation the question must be asked, what if your personal wealth directly contributed to the suffering of countless others? I won’t even apply any rationality or morality to the question, because it’s been exploited to death. And the cheap trick about morality and rationality is that one can set up a premise based on any foundation along a causal chain of events and attach any moral or rational “cover” or significance that can prove or justify anything, no matter cruel or unjust. MY personal wealth is to be considered the most important thing in my life because I have given it so much value that it justifies everything I had to do to get it and keep it. I’ve given so much to this that I have identified this value as myself. So the fear of my wealth being “confiscated” is really the existential fear of having my valued personality taken away from me.”

Has our questioner ever considered to what extent the personal wealth of those who have to be stripped of all worth, economic or otherwise, to line the pockets of those in command of the system? [1] I really doubt anyone has. Because if one had even first considered the inner dimensions of such a question, it would have failed to leap from one’s mind. Then again, it could be the rank ignorance of an appalling nature. In America we have wealth “confiscated” by others every day in the form of banking fees, interest and other charges and subsidies commonly known as “corporate welfare.” That last item “confiscated” the wealth of US Citizens to the tune of $100 billion dollars in 2012. [2] The questioner may not be aware of such confiscations of wealth currently at work in Capitalism, but more likely, the question was merely a cynical trap to engage in pointless troll dickholery, which I mean to say, it may be a good question, but considering the source, it is only a question presented with a dubious malice submerged within a veneer of civility.

Critics uniformly draw lazy comparisons between Equal Money  and Communism, and often with a weak command of either subject. Of course, we have already diagramed that fear of Equality will cause one to succumb to unreasonableness – and even hostility – when presented with the notion of economic egalitarianism, and at the same time, fall into silent denial over the fact that the current system has taken so much more than Equality ever could.

Fear of Equal Money is a fear that radiates from a center of unenlightened self-interest, a sense of entitlement and a perverse need to justify the unjustifiable. Remember, it was less than a century and a half ago that human slavery  – the legal, religious and economic confiscation of a colonized people’s treasure of blood, labor and tears was abolished. And it took a bloody civil war and a 150 years of lynchings and disenfranchisement since then to nearly settle the question. Nor does the question even begin to explain,  acknowledge or bemoan the attempted extermination and confiscation of land of the Indigenous Peoples in the United States. Yet, any talk of “reparations” sends these Randian Individualists into paroxysms of rage. They will archly reply that they shouldn’t be held accountable for the sins committed in past centuries, yet they will be slow – or unwilling – to forswear any wealth or advantage gained by those same sins. This is what I meant by the “cheap trick of rationality.”

So, back to the question – I simply do not know the answer, because that chapter in human affairs is still to be written. Whatever happens will be agreed upon democratically, which would be the best method to set up the EMS. There will undoubtedly be a transition phase – and many people will be surprised how relatively easy it all could be done. But any discussion about the redistribution of wealth should not be made within cynical, jaded and lazy comparisons of what has happened in the past, but with due consideration of what is best for all. Which leaves me with a question for the critics of Equal Money: What would be better for everyone than having everyone’s basic needs in the world taken care of?

NOTES

[1]  For some perspective how the US government has colluded with the US banking system in taking public money to give to the banks, please read Ellen Brown’s excellent Internet article for Global Research, “Financial Meltdown: The Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History; How to Reverse the Tide and Democratize the US Monetary System.

[2] From the Libertarian Cato Institute report, a think tank as neoliberal as they come; Corporate Welfare in the Federal Budget .