Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Reflection: Beyond Belief

One showman, one journalist, two field trips: While Bill-O was off visiting Gitmo and, as is his wont, arriving at the most violently bipolar and ill-targeted conclusions; Bob Herbert was visiting another detention and torture center, and he came back with some truth for us. I hope you don't read the blog over a bacon and egg sandwich.

Meanwhile, on the heels of Bobby Kennedy's expose for Rolling Stone on the rigging of Ohio in the 2004 election (video interview here); a geek magazine has found more evidence of ballot box skullduggery—this time (again) in Florida. (There are some excellent points made in that piece, if you can overlook the spelling and grammatical errors. I work with geeks, and I know they're not the best writers, our own Nearly Redmond Nick being the exception to that rule).

Yet, as Alterman reminds us, the so-called liberal media are once again gushing their approval of the continuing nightmare visited upon us by the inept tyranny of the Bush junta, all because of the death of Al-Z and the etonne trip to Iraq by the Crawford Cashew. I present Dr. A's conclusion on this Romper Room scenario without further comment:

Really, it’s too dumb to have to even discuss; One day the media is all excited about a phony turkey; the next day it paints lipstick on a real one.


Now that we've digested our fair share of ideological pulled pork, it's time for a Friday Reflection.

Go're going the wrong can't do just don't get it...won't you ever learn?

Sound familiar? Perhaps you've heard this refrain all too frequently in your life; maybe from a husband or wife; a boss or co-worker; a parent or teacher.

It's the pervasive mark of our culture, the impulse to control, criticize, compartmentalize. It's the positive pole of the bipolar cult that's ruling our government, media, and pedagogical institutions (the negative pole being the impulse toward victimhood that is the response to the impulse toward manipulation—it is so pervasive that it goes on internally, within the individual psyche).

We've gotten so good at this that it seems as if it's the only thing we're good at anymore.

How do you typically respond to it, whenever this petty aggression points its gunmetal dart shooter at your heart?

Well, you fight back, right? Well...wrong.

Fight evil, and you empower it. Swing the sword of rectitude, and you will be struck by it. Attack whenever you feel assaulted, and you will be trapped in the dance of everlasting death.

This is the culture at work on your soul—claiming it, controlling it, killing it. Fighting is deemed bravery, no matter how dull and incessant it may be; while retreat is always labeled cowardice (the opinions of the greatest military strategists of all time notwithstanding).

But think how brief it is, the time of your life. Compare it not with the breadth of eternity, but merely with history—the history of your society, your nation, your personal ancestors. See how ephemeral it all is: your spark will glow an instant before it sputters and is extinguished amid water and ashes.

How could such a moment be lost in belief, hidden behind a mask, buried under a psychotic monument of Law? When you realize how brief it all is, how soon it will burn out and return to its Source, then you can see clearly that there is really no time for falsehood to your self. There is no time to waste on the treadmill of hatred, casting the boomerang of enmity.

Indeed, there is barely enough time in a human life to approach and touch your natural destiny—how can there be a minute to spare for ego and its monuments made of shadows?

So what if we all dropped the impulse to control—just let go of it and walked away? What would be the result of that?

Chaos, right? Without law and order; without the fear of God; without the threat of punishment and the tools of manipulation, we would quickly descend into disorder. This is what we are told, from our earliest childhood onward.

Maybe that's true, I don't know. But would it be worse than the "order" that we have today? The order that we've been trained to acknowledge in a spirit of subjection, and which we impose upon one another in every corner of our lives—would giving up on control drop us into a pit any deeper than what we're sinking into at this moment in history?

Fortunately, your life is only one among billions. You can try dropping the bipolar impulse of control and victimization, simply to see what it brings you.

If you wish to conduct this little personal experiment, consider this possibility. Spend more time in contemplation, and your actions will be better guided. That is, more efficient, using less energy to accomplish things. Action led by clarity gets things done swiftly and enduringly; and clarity is the result of contemplation—the inward-turning of the self that has learned to ask the right questions of itself and its world.

Logic, reason, and the algorithms of deduction are wonderful; Visio charts and decision trees have their place as well. But if you haven't felt your way through a task or a challenge, then you aren't ready to act on it.

Try this approach: take two similar tasks and approach them with only one significant variation. Think one of them through and find the most rational way to action. Then, for the other one, spend time in meditation, perhaps with a simple, conscious request that you be helped to clarity, a sound perspective, a rounded plan, and well-directed action.

See how each situation turns out: lightly compare the results, both in the short and long term. There is no need to microscopically analyze the respective outcomes; just use your common sense in appraising them, and then let go.

This is science performed on the personal plane. It is the choice of experience over belief; of feeling over faith; of lived reality over a dead and derived acculturation. To live a life of personal science is to accept risk in the pursuit of truth.

The alternative offered by the forces of belief has failed, and continues to fail. The risk implied by a retreat from the battlefield of contention is an illusion perpetrated by the followers of warfare. Be guided by your own light; test every idea and action in the crucible of your inner truth, and though you will make errors, you will never fail.

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