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:

580896_228245620652039_1605345544_n

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 .

Fear of Equality, Part 2. 03/03/2013

survival

People fear equality because we fear each other within the competition of survival

The Belief that Man (and Earthly existence) is Inherently Evil (Original Sin doctrine).

This notion was codified in the West by Augustine of Hippo and was expanded upon by Christian theologians through the centuries and accepted as a “truth” ever since. The opinion of Augustine was that human sexual desire was the engine that made Man into a depraved, immoral and hopelessly sinful creature that needed the salvific  intervention of Jesus Christ to be saved from eternal damnation in Hell. In this teaching Augustine traced the fallen state of Man to the Fall of Adam and Eve after they “sinned” against God in the Garden of Eden. [1]

Running along this cultural stream is another complimentary or competing idea that the evil in the world is necessary because of the existence of Free Will in humans, which allows and justifies evil within a scheme of metaphysics that claims salvation comes in choosing the good over the evil, thus following the example of Jesus Christ and earning one’s way to Heaven.

Due to our so-called “fallen nature” combined with “free will,” Man is thus free to commit any act he wishes, regardless of the consequences an act may have on one’s self or others. People are intimately aware of their own inner demons and destructive impulses, so we are certain others are aware of theirs and our own, as well. The question is always present when we enter into any relationship – who can be trusted?

Equality is feared because somehow there exists a belief that such a state will increase MORE suffering and misery for people  in the world. The person I encountered in the previous blog on PolicyMic held such ideas. Mr. Green stated;

Once perfect equality is achieved it will soon dissolve by human nature and talent within hours, to maintain equality for a longer period requires totalitarian force and oppression while leveling down the lifestyle of some to starvation poverty of others. Your equality comes down to petulance of wanting others to suffer, somehow your hatred of those wealthier then you will be abated when this occurs? What will you an internet user do when your opulent lifestyle needs leveling down too?

Reading between the lines reveals a nightmare for those who fear Equality as an existential, authoritarian and human destructive force where freedom of choice, and more frightening, loss of privilege will wipe out human initiative, and more important, degrade the current lifestyle of those who now benefit from inequality within the system today. This fear of degradation of the current lifestyle is the major concern here, although it seems to float upon Green’s subconscious. I don’t know if he aware of the ramifications or the implications he’s made in this comment.

Why does Equality conjure up in the mind of such frightening images of nameless, existential ” totalitarian force and oppression?” Because we are so distrustful and fearful of each other, we consider ourselves so depraved and hopelessly evil, that this belief has become hard – wired into our brains: Equality can only be achieved through militaristic and draconian measures.

By the way, the same can be said to accurately describe the current Capitalist State. Competition (over diminishing resources) is seen as the smarter choice than cooperation. Logically, one could map out the consequences of the destructiveness and  irrationality of this kind of thinking. However, it is more important to maintain the status quo of near-immediate gratification for those who can afford this, and so the consequences must always remain incoherent, unexpressed and exist in some untouched future for others to deal with. Equality is a direct threat to the status quo and will be pushed back, not through superior logic or intellectual power, but through emotional expressions of greed, fear of loss, hatred and mistrust of Man against Man. When John Mackey complains that Capitalism has been under unjustified attack by intellectuals, his response is likewise a feeble emotional romanticism of a mythical Capitalism that is making the world a better place for everyone. This form of Capitalism obviously only exists within his mind, and yet, because he has systematic value (wealth), he’s going to influence others to adopt his religion of “compassionate” Capitalism. It is unfortunate, and another obstacle to overcome as we spread our ideas of Equal Money and Equality to the world.

NEXT: FEAR OF EQUALITY, PART 3: The Myth of Liberty

NOTE

[1] Augustine based his teaching on his interpretation of Paul’s Letter to the Romans 5:12-21

2012 Mayan Endtimes Prophecy. Day 6 and Counting…

doomsday 2012

So 6 days until the biggest day of the year. 7 days if you count the day AFTER December 21, 2012. Perhaps we should make December 13 a Holiday! I can see it now, December 23 parties, December 23 trivia games, December 13 greeting cards, and we can do it every year forever! December 23 will be the next great American holiday, right there with President’s Day and Arbor Day. T-shirts saying, “I made it past the Mayan Doomsday 2012, but all I got was this shirt!”

6 days to go. Will YOU be READY for Ascension on the space pods?

 

 

 

2012 Mayan EndTimes Prophecy. Day 8 and Counting

the_mothershipx

NASA is at it again. The American Space Agency has released a video meant to be a Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah video allegedly to be released the day after the Mayan Apocalypse! The social networks were less concerned about the content of NASA’s video and focus more on why the video was released 10 days early.  With only 8 days left to the planet, it seems the blogosphere is getting quite antsy. At the beginning of 2012, this blog foresaw the ridiculous antics that would emerge as the hallowed date drew nearer and nearer. So, submitted for your approval:

IT’S not the end of the world, but it is embarrassing.

NASA scientists are so sure that the Mayan Apocalypse won’t happen, they’ve made a video saying “We told you so”.

Only problem is, they released it 10 days too soon.

The video looks like it was meant to be aired on December 22, the day after the Mayan Apocalypse.

Titled The World Didn’t End Yesterday, the four-minute clip explains how the idea of the Mayan Apocalypse is a huge hoax and how the rumours began.

But, as several bloggers have pointed out, if the video was meant to be seen on December 22, the day after the Mayan Apocalypse, why release it 10 days early?

Was it a genuine mistake? Or are the NASA boffins unsure about whether anyone would be around to see the video on December 22?

2012 Mayan Endtimes Prophecy. Day 16 and Counting…

 

end of world

 

16 more days until the end of the world. I’m sure that everyone is excited and awaiting the Endtimes with expectant enthusiasm, although I’m sure there exists doubtful minds that consider the Mayan 2012 Endtimes prophecy as a farce and a deception.

Which of course it is. Think of the Mayan 2012 Endtimes Prophecy as the New Age’s version of the Christian Rapture. The rapture in turn was another metaphysical speculation based on passages of the Book of Revelations.