Fixing the Problems of Our World

In this excerpt from his latest book, “The Bardo of Waking Life”, Richard Grossinger once again demonstrates how much our poet/seers have to give to our public policy debates.

by Richard Grossingerimage

Admittedly there are no solutions—not now, not in a hundred years.  All we can hope for is a change in consciousness, the sort tendered, for instance, by optimistic proponents of a 2012 harmonic shift (pessimistic ones warn of Armageddon then). 

I think it will take at least a thousand years to get real metamorphosis on this weird planet—and we may not have that much time; certainly the current civilization doesn’t.  I can’t imagine a fleet burst of percipience making life on Earth see the bigger picture*.  Yet, at the same time, human activity occurs on a stage so far removed from its unconscious source that we would hardly know whether present events portend a coming quantum leap or total anarchy and catastrophe. 

On the surface we seem to be getting worse, more violent and brutal, uglier and more destructive, further and further from enlightenment.  But conscious acts are not a measure of actual consciousness; they are the outcome of all that is working its way through unconsciousness toward a fugitive shimmer.  Often the most vicious deeds and avaricious regimes (see Rwanda and Khartoum) are veiled harbingers of awakening.  Beheadings and genocides may precede a breakthrough rather than apocalypse, for they let us experience as direct fact the impossibility of proceeding in this way.  They notify—not men and women, who don’t get it and don’t care—but the psyche, which, by definition, always gets it, and is capable of the most stupendous transformation.  And they blow out the shit, clear the unconscious of its compulsion to express every dreaded fantasy and corresponding guilt.

The impractical, privileged notions herein below cannot work.  They are guileless, preachy, petulant—but, in order to be ready for the changing of the guard, we had better start thinking about our lives and institutions in radical and errant ways, because for sure the guard is going to change. 

These are invitations to tease the barriers of our civilization.  Of course, they are wrong: dead wrong and relatively wrong too.  Simplistic and trite.  Yet we must express something—pipe dreams call them, utopian fantasies.  We must exercise our deepest imagination if we want to address—perhaps even survive—the tidal wave that is coming.

1.  The most basic, comprehensive consciousness shift that could improve the planet, and also is within our present grasp, is to end inheritance in every culture in every form—or at least put an austere limit on it.  This means no deeding of commodities; it does not affect personal heirlooms or spiritual treasures.  Inherited material advantage cannot be passed on to relatives and proteges.

The goal is to curtail dynasties and their hegemonies, to flummox long reigns of classes by lineage or adoption, Caesar to Caesar, Bush to Bush; House of Saud, House of Windsor, House of Trump, etc.  Give every newborn the benefit of discovering who he or she is without a bequest.  Make “earning your keep” a global maxim.  Put a taboo on inheritance and accumulated wealth such that the mere suspicion of it, like cannibalism or incest, is abhorrent.  That would a quantum leap from where we are now, as most people, especially wealthy ones, consider the deeding of property and rank their right (and even want to be able to do it untaxed), but at least it is conjecturable, whereas many of the other changes proposed below are an anywhere from dozens to hundreds of thousands of generations from plausibility.

I suspect that at least half the planets along our present time-space continuum have arrived at this resolution.  Either that or they, like us, are up shit’s creek without a paddle.

*Are animals included in the proposed 2012 shift?  It would be a powerful and intelligent jolt that could penetrate all human and animal psyches at once.

Yes, with all that estate capital pouring into mega-bureaucracies, corruption is inevitable, avarice being what it is—and any kind of wealth-distributing fund potentially sets up a communist government on a pandemic scale.
That people will also find other ways to control resources and manipulate power doesn’t change the fact that the automatic transfer of affluence and clout from generation to generation, usually within families, creates castes, underclasses, slaves, and refugees; it breeds a kind of profound resentment that graduates into institutionalized ignorance, wasted human potential, epidemic con artistry, and widespread self-condoned crime and bands of brigands; it fosters disruptive and anarchic modes of reapportionment: gangs, wars, jihads, revolutions, terrorism.  It also provides incompetent rulers.

If guardianship of goods is inevitable, better to valorize a Polynesian “big man” or Mohawk chief who will give away his wealth generously.  Goods will not motivate him; his ambition and pleasure are to achieve a lofty stature wherein the most powerful are expected to be the poorest in terms of material goods.

Opulence is merely a code anyway, a series of signs to which everyone assents.  Money is a symbolic place-holder, a version of “the Emperor’s new clothes,” as neither gold nor other metallic standards or currencies have any intrinsic meaning or province in real value or function.  As dominant as money is today, it can be dropped without the Earth’s atmosphere or oceans recording motion or the gravitational field flinching one iota. 

If people don’t even think to vouchsafe their assets to family and friends, if offspring have to start with clean slates, wind and water still get to play their game, living creatures still arrive to seek their destinies. 

2. You can’t turn all a planet’s rivers, seas, and oceans heedlessly into garbage dumps and sewers.  Cumulatively over time, there is going to be no fluid capable of breeding and supporting life.  It took water billions of years to filter its toxins and radioactivity and become an alchemical matrix—check out Titan or Venus for something resembling the starting point.  All the shit and rust and grease and discarded pharmaceuticals and industrials can’t just mix willy-nilly into a tea or the result will be not only noxious but sterile.  Right now the amount of water is huge compared to its contamination, but the brew is slowly thickening.
New Orleans should have been sealed off and quarantined to dry out in the sun.  Pumping back that water, bearing the chemicals of factories, garages, attics, and dumps, took at least 250 years off the life of the Gulf of Mexico.

(A less ecological but more socially practical alternative: in the months after the next “Katrina,” the nation should invite not just a few, but all the students on spring break, to secure and then scour the mess, grime pool by grime pool, nail by rusty nail, sheet rock by slab of moldy sheet rock.  Let them party big-time after serving humanity big-time.  It will feel good in a way that nothing since Iwo Jima has, not only to them but all Americans.  There will be less drunken foolishness, and, one way or another, egotistic lunkheads will morph into planetary citizens.) 

3. Population must be regulated, though not by the draconian bureraucratic model of criminalizing “extra” children and slaying infant girls.  On a psychic level it is dangerous to restrain progeny and push spirits out of a world.  It is more effective to address population regionally, requiring communities to be responsible for their young collectively. 

Getting zero population growth to work is a tall order, but the alternative is to chew the planet to a nubbin or run a global police state.  I suppose bird flu, contaminated sperms, or full-scale global jihad might depopulate humanity too; but it’s either one of those or a Malthusian spiral unless we solve the problem in-house. 

ZPG requires more equitable distribution of resources than the present free-for-all.  If you leave people with nothing else, they will have children, for this at least provides them with blood allies, workers, and soldiers, as well as someone to take care of them when they are infirm and old. 

We should entertain the disincarnate world on environmentally sustainable terms.  Everyone can’t get a body on demand.  The Milky Way is huge, and there are untold numbers of Milky Ways.  Spirits can hie elsewhere for now, unless the point is to overpopulate this place and then blow it into the next dimension like a runaway bus.
4. Cooperation must become our intrinsic guiding ethic.  The long war of nature must seek a tentative truce after a billion rugged years.  We are in this together, as consciousness, the lion, the mantis, the lamb.  A strike against any is an attack against all. 

But oh, how quickly ideals are forgotten once the action starts! 

5. Burn vegetable oils and feces for energy.  This can be as impromptu as driving to MacDonald’s or Burger King and fueling up with the dregs of used potato oils or walking to the Indian restaurant down the block and topping off a gallon jug from naan frying vats.  Yes, these establishments will continue to wreak more biological and meteorological havoc than they can repay in transportation ergs and freight (measured on some hypothetical comparative energetic table), but we can begin to bend our economic and ecological formulas in the direction of reuse and sustainability.  We can provide rituals and mantras for recycling as a fundamental act, as we have already begun with resources centers and regional pickups by anti-garbage trucks.

Take back what as much as possible of what was discarded and incompletely consumed.  Collect poop from domestic cats and dogs—convert it to gas.  If everyone saved all the shit and garbage in their households, packaged it sanitarily, and hauled it to the nearest retrofitted power plant or composted it in garages into fuels and fertilizer, we would begin to cultivate an understanding that energy is sacred, and we might stop dissipating it in wide-scale manufacture of junk or mindless missions by SUV.  There might then be less to reclaim.

The denizens of Frank Herbert’s post-global-warming Dune understood that planetary existence was finite and every drop of sweat had to be captured in wetsuits if they wanted to have any of it to metabolize or drink.  They recognized, as we will have to sooner or later, that water is the only true commodity, more valuable than gold, more beautiful than emeralds.  Water is us.  Bad water is a sordid commodity and represents profligacy and social disintegration, every creature for itself until every waterhole is a cesspool or desert.

Note too that any house, apartment building, or office, with its plane of solar absorption, baffle of wind resistance, gravitational gradients, dormant synthesis of the urine and fecal by-products of habitation, and general indoor breathing and metabolism is capable of producing far more energy than it consumes, of feeding rather than draining the grid.  Reverse the basic energy equation; change the direction of flow, and human intention will follow the new isobars.

We are transporting materials and citizens heedlessly all over the planet at tremendous cost in energy, taking them some place and then bringing them back, usually with their stuff.  Anything any day could wind up anywhere, based on whims and vain imperatives.  We must try to act efficiently, understanding that there is an energy cost to everything on the physical plane and also that anything in a new position will release quanta of motion, some of them redundant or exorbitant, most of them unnoticed and unwanted, many of them expensive beyond reckoning or measure.

No wasted crud, no joy rides, no labored breath.  Skateboards and surfboards over NASCAR, Harleys, jetskis.  Burning Man in lieu of RV armadas.  Dzogchen practice instead of Las Vegas slot machines.  Yoga, not business trips.

Assess the actions of this civilization each second and see what is being moved.  Question why.  We are neurotic and restless, our economy a displaced symptom of our pathology.  Let’s make businessmen (and –women) into serious stewards, not mere product barkers.  Let’s figure out what the Earth and its habitants really need to be happy and at peace.
6. Wheels are the core invention of our species from which all others are derived, transferring gravity and inertia into culturally applicable motion—wagons to clocks to computers.  We must let these circles turn smoothly, inertially, making use of their innate shape and receiving the natural bounty of the simplest disposition of matter and mass in gravitational fields.  Don’t unnecessarily hasten or override circles.  Let them spin at no cost to the atmosphere or non-sustainable resource base.

Creature-drawn vehicles—that is, metabolically powered rigs: bicycles, wagons, wheelbarrows, rickshaws, and shopping carts, one by one or coupled in long trains—are still the most energy-efficient way to move goods.

On this very day windmills and waterwheels blanket the most successful planets in the Andromeda system.  Throughout the universe wheels are turning without any evident impetus, moving economies and politics, flaunting eternal motion.

Our dilemma is to develop a global market in which homeless people and street citizens everywhere can be acknowledged as useful stewards, wheeling their vegetables, bottles, rags, papers, and recyclable garbage in shopping carts.  They are not an aberration; they are the basis of habitation and ecological transmutation. 

Poverty is a harbinger of a different form of wealth.

Bacteria, one-celled animals, bugs, and worms are running economies on their own native wheels which dwarf the macroeconomy by more than a trillion to one.

7. Keep all lineages of plants, insects, amphibians, mollusks, fishes, etc., alive and happy.  Every gene and genome will ultimately be needed.  This indigenous information pool is our only reserve of anything.  Our urbanized lives are based on the unexamined quiddity that the grasses and jungles, topsoil and silt, waters and air are populated, filament by filament, droplet per droplet, molecule upon molecule.  Extinguish this living fabric by neglect or gluttony and we might as well be walking on cinders in spacesuits.

8. Global warming has so many separate causes and accelerating factors that it is already beyond political control.  Even a worldwide Kyoto pact could not come close to keeping pace with the industrial expansion of one part of one province of India or China, to which one can add the deforestation of South America, the wringing of oil out of the sands of Alberta, the running of air-conditioners and hair-driers in Bangkok and Miami, roadside bombs and other incendiary devises and gratuitous explosions and fires, and so on.  Every piece of metal sticking out is a heat coil in the sun.

This crisis needs an unconscious shift at the same primordial level as the production of oxygen by bacteria at the dawn of life.  That one triggered a burst of molecular intelligence.  The world started under the canopy of volcanic ash and exhaled into a blue sky and clouds with singing worms and lizards. 

Are you listening, 2112?

Everything at a global scale is a collective manifestation already: hurricanes, nuclear bombs, ice sheets, war, coffee, cars, cigarettes, TV.  New forms manifest when we allow their oracle into our minds.
9. Incarcerating creatures for crimes, real or imagined, and enslaving them as cheap labor and commodities, are dangerous, futile exercises in dominion.  No group or category is ultimately controlled, yet the enforced custody imprisons everyone, innocent and guilty.  What is needed is a new wave of abolition, one that strikes at the real heart of the corporate human enslavement of other sentient beings.

Although it is a leap to syllogize from slave ships to jails to meat factories, in truth they are working gears of one world-view.  Prisoners are a kind of meat on ice, while a sentence of being turned into meat is an unexamined warrant imposed on animals.  We may not initially see the parity between a convict on death row and a cow in a concentration camp, but jurisdiction is jurisdiction, prerogative is prerogative, murder is murder, and consumption of body and consumption of soul come down to the same cannibal act. 

Legitimate stockades may have once protected tribes from their captive enemies and native renegades who meant harm, but the penitentiary system in the U.S. has evolved into a complex network of ruses to export blame and guilt, enforce class, punish unregulated use of hallucinogens and recreational drugs, house mental patients cheaply, and provide posturing points for politicians and cheap moralistic recreation for both the evangelical hoi polloi and the corporations behind 24-hour TV.  Jail is legalized slavery, commoditization of souls to serve a rapidly growing PIC (Prison Industrial Complex) made up of bureaucrats, contractors, guard unions, and all their service rackets.

In short, jail as mere punishment (not as protection for society or rehabilitation) has spiraled out of control in America.  It is not even a deterrent any more; it is an implement for the above-mentioned bureaucracies waging class warfare, pulling people out of their home communities and isolating them in cages to be abused and taunted.  More than half the prisoners in the United States are social victims and scapegoats, not real violators of life or limb or even property.  Young men are locked away for thirty years or more for selling marijuana or robbing a grocery store because their families were starving (Les Misérables to the thousandth).  Mere traffic mistakes or spaceouts can lead to decades of hard time.

In China, meanwhile, prisoners are executed so their organs can be extracted and sold.

Here is the bottom line: there is absolutely no justice or reparation in capital punishment—maybe a temporary safeguard against repeat offenses of hardened criminals and sociopaths—but no grand redemption, no practical punishment.  By the time most people are on death row, the actions that got them there have mellowed into something else.  These dead men walking are sorry specimens, zombies with their spells broken.  They often don’t even know what they did or remember why they did it.  The firing squad is aiming at mere men not the hated crimes.

And the death penalty doesn’t deter; at the level of the shadow it abets the very things it punishes.  By the simple physics of action/reaction, the ineradicable and scrupulous karma of each displaced deed activates the next.  No energy can be retracted or revoked; all deeds must find its resolution in an outcome.  To unleash institutional violence on a murderer neither avenges his act nor assuages the demon at its heart.  Killing is thrill-killing, all.  Liberate and transmute the energy inside the thrill, and people will find more useful things to do, more creative ways to transform violence or passion.

Our sentences invariably boomerang.  As we feed cycles of fear and guilt, we implant crimes again on an unconscious or voodoo level.  The acts of those executed by polities are given new power by the executions and take hold over the populace again, their impulse and thrill transferred subliminally to others.  Only the façades of these malfeasances are behind bars—to be electrocuted, hanged, lethally injected.  Yet even the corpse has renewed power; a dishonored body is turned into a dangerous ghost.
Since we are all potential thieves, pedophiles, murderers, embezzlers (look inside yourself!), we cannot suppress those expressions in society at large—so we must convert their energy into generosity and love.  After all, they are not what they seem; they are scraps of failed consciousness, suppressed graces yet unborn. 

In addition, incarceration or execution of innocent suspects is inevitable when the goal is not justice but ritual punishment or ritual murder. 

By then they are all the wrong prisoners. 

“All prisoners,” chanted Diane di Prima in her 1970 Revolutionary Letters, “are political prisoners: every Indian on a reservation, every junkie shooting up in a john, every pot smoker, the ancient wise turtle at the Detroit Aquarium, our own greedy minds, our own dull senses, our own tense bodies….”  That just about says it all.

We see video footage of a group of young black men in a New York State prison yard debating Machiavelli’s versus Rousseau’s views of natural man—high-school dropouts who have also been reading Hegel and Kant in German for homework in their cells.  I at least am moved to tears.

Ironically these criminals doing serious crime are taking college courses behind bars because, only after losing their freedom, do they realize what they really wanted to do with their lives in the first place.  They are just now being awakened.  Of course, society never really showed them when they were children—not really, if you think about the modus and decorum of the average grade-school classroom in America—and who could deny the righteous allure of the street and its simple justice and easy pickin’s.

Almost anyone can be humanized, and the thirst for knowledge and education are our only real tools for rehabilitation—of committed jihadists too.  Madrasas are merely the regional equivalent of recruitment of uneducated youth into Crips and Bloods and Aryan Brotherhoods.

With each sentence or execution, we enact our collective fate.  The lot of prisoners (including animals) across this planet is a warning.  As long as we are not a compassionate or a just species, no one is safe!  The mind that is unforgiving, greedy, and implacable, that punishes and kills for its own grim satisfaction, is a mind that can turn against any of us in the blink of an eye.  It is our mind.

Kafka got it right: the trial could begin tomorrow, the police arrive this very night.  Anyone—anyone!—can be arrested for any crime, real or imaginary, is susceptible to finding himself or herself dependent on others’ mercy.  Every moment we live rests on the quotient of compassion in our species, in ourselves. 

Those who provide mercy create mercy.  Those who spare others propagate forgiveness, for themselves too.

Murdering living creatures on assembly lines is one of the more brutal acts on any planet anywhere.  Earth’s slaughterhouses are insults to creation.

When we torture or butcher sentient beings, turn animal bodies into clothes and meat on an industrial scale, we are establishing the baseline of our own sentience and compassion, who we are and how we treat ourselves.  We are establishing the fate of all souls under our stewardship.  We are declaring the type of universe that we are willing to tolerate and live in.  We are sentencing ourselves, almost forever.

This is a profound one, and it will take a very, very long time to work our way through it.  Yet we might as well start now because time is a-wastin’ and there is nowhere else to go.  We need to learn to feel the pain of harried geese and mice as if our own.  We must make it unbearable to harm other creatures gratuitously, even oppressors and stalkers; it must be as if we were hurting ourselves.  Empathy is outright essential to our evolution, our very survival.  We have to feel, truly feel, the separate, autonomous existence of each creature, as a life relevant and internal to our own as much as “I” itself.  We must lance and drain the sociopathic boil in each of us. 

Let the ant live, let the duck fly!  This does not mean that the peasants should starve.  The duck doesn’t even seek this, nor does the ant.  Nothing in them bleeds or imparts that message.  It means that our inherent consciousness of the unity of sentient beings must transcend the war of nature that is almost as ancient.  If we kill for food, then kill with honor and gratitude, as tribes-people across the planet throughout the Stone Ages did implicitly.  Eat well, eat heartily, eat them, but do not debase our spirit; do not spawn superfluous voodoo that will feed off you and me and the rest of us for untold future generations. 

If we could take even the first steps of intention toward rehabilitation rather than imprisonment, toward respectful and empathic treatment of animals, even ones that we are going to eat, we would alter this planet at its core.  The glacier of our being would thaw toward what it must become.
10. The real test in 2006 Lebanon is not Jews and Muslims, is not Hezbollah versus the Israeli military establishment, is not by proxy neocons against mullahs, is not even war and truce, is not (sorry, folks) whether we are headed toward smuggled nuclear bombs and Armageddon or an international peace-keeping force.  It is not even finally a debate between the unconscionable Hezbollah use of human shields and the Israeli carpet-bombing of civilians.  It is nothing less than a test of what lies at the heart of this species, the human experiment.  Are we good or are we bad?

Wars are collective acts of hysteria against the “other,” attempts to change physics by razing forces in opposition to one’s own agendas and desires.  In the end, however, they generate karma and establish the direction and fate of everyone and everything on the planet.

Peace now doesn’t mean just—stop fighting and plan the next ambush, or seethe and plot in your corner.  It means peace at the core, something that never goes away.

Achieve real peace in your heart as opposed to slogans that ignore the source of all discord.  If we elevate rhetoric over action, Lenin is as much of a pacifist as Gandhi. 

Those most stridently pro-peace or pro-animal rights often express the same hostility as the war-makers.  Those who are pro-God and pro-life are unwitting agents of the one they vilify as Satan.  Their God becomes the henchman and lackey of their terror of the darkness in their own hearts, in all our hearts, the shadow that the entire material creation was breathed into being to address. 

What is passing for religion in most of the Earth now is its opposite: xenophobia and road rage.

11.  We must begin to utilize nonlinear paraphysical energies on their native planes—the mental, the psychic, the psychokinetic, the radionic—in sum, the noosphere.  Civilization is already—though few recognize it—a creation of pure mind employing raw molecules to erect a phantasm, to embody an ancient and archetypal dream.  It is also, of course, on a secular level an incremental, digital tinker-toy hoisted by lineages of Stone Age masons and potters, imparting their collective blueprints to guilds of chemists, physicists and engineers.  But that doesn’t mean that it is not a projection of mind into matter, a predisposition of atoms to the collective brunt of mentation.
The city and civilization of today are the unconscious realization of the Paleolithic shaman’s deepest magic, the blind projection of his most fervent desires, the invocation of his ghosts into concrete forms.
It was a long time coming, but he took a very long breath and quaffed out a profound conjury.  As he exorcised the beast, he put a spell on all society to follow.  But he did not get the heart of the beast; he did not even fathom it beating inside his ceremony.  That is the work left for the shamans of today: to complete his task.  A major part has been done; the city has been realized, and we dwell in it.

What we conjure now will be the planet of tomorrow.

Depending on human intention and invocation, anything could still happen—anything
If we put as much attention into mindedness and breath as we do into machines and metals, then we could transcend technology and—slowly but surely like cell colonies over the next million or so years—become creatures of light and love.  We could finish the shamanic work.

In simple terms, the wish of Stone Age man and woman was this: give me a method for turning signs into functions (that would be machines) and utensils with which to tame nature, to protect me from storms and cold and beasts, to feed me too. 

They dreamed shamelessly, without (of course) knowing it, of factories of steel and apartments of stone; of marts packed with fruits and fishes and cloaks and blades; of self-propelling carts to penetrate the incalculable forests as well as tractors and shovels to make trails through their brush and mow it down; of vessels to traverse horizonless waters; of wings to ascend to the realm of the hawk.  What we have are the unknowable shapes behind sorcerer’s dreams, the templates driving primeval tribes and life and Earth itself. 

It was the destiny of Stone Age hunters to have children who would have children who would realize these totems, who would wrench them out of absolute darkness by their lives, generation through generation, until now, at the pinnacle of the age of materialism, we inhabit fully the planet of the wizard and minx. 

There is another dream, as obscure in us as the dream of the city was for Pleistocene man and woman.  We can no more intuit it concretely than a Stone Age seer and hunter could imagine an apartment building or jet engine, but we know as well as we know anything that there is something, something different from this, at the bottom of our bottomless dreams, that there are objects, realizable forms, ways of living, on the other side of the abyss.  In the tragic vividness of what we see before us, we know only that there is an other.

We will have our children, and they will have theirs and, though they will suffer as ancient peoples did, through seemingly fruitless congresses and meditations they will gradually give birth to our obscurities, and it will be as vast and unforeseeable a civilization as this one.  It will be made of light and empathy and telekinesis. 
But the purifying jihad of the Vandals apparently comes first. 
12. Our local star is a brimming field of nuclear and meta-nuclear energy, bursting into the cosmos, overendowing Mercury and Venus with its wealth.  A few small flags in this Third Orbit capture quanta of solar wind and here and there photosynthesize local molecules, fashioning a garden favorable to life.

Electrons flow through gates that are open to do miraculous things.  Vide vegetation and its intricate blossoms.  These are unfolding of themselves out of chlorophyll lattices and light, without human agency.

In one day the Sun provides more than enough energy to run the entire civilization for its duration, with negligible contamination.  We don’t yet understand how to sip this river of light.  Quite obviously we don’t.  It rushes out into the Galaxy in torrents of pure nutrition, an unadulterated form of the thing we are.

The interior lei lines and batteries of the Earth—as well as its huge electromagnetic core—feed the old megaliths with a vast current that we neglect because we have no terms or measures for it.  We do not see it; we do not feel it; we run flimsy devices right next to ancient machines that are still operating, but for which we have lost the manual and cannot read the stones. 

Let a starship of extraterrestrials arrive in Earth orbit and scan the local terrain.  They will not long overlook that there are fueling stations everywhere.  The planet itself is a cornucopia, while its inhabitants fight and starve.  The visitors leave with “full tanks” but sorrow, as “ignorant armies clash by night.”**

The possibilities of light and gravity are boundless.  Energy is moving through the jetstream six miles up continuously at 250, 300 MPH.  Loops of rotating kites on helium balloons attached through carbon nanotubes to turntables and generators on the ground could transmit energy along aluminum or copper cables.  Drawing on these monstrous winds could provide power for civilization across this entire planet and still leave 99% of it free to dance and dissipate through the sky. 

In a single tide the equivalent of thousands of Katrinas roll down the Bay of Fundy, providing potential electricity and fuel for all of North America and Europe.  Niagara’s daily gradient fritters the equivalent of Asian civilization, by heat, evaporation, gravity, and friction.  Check out the many bays, lagoons, and cataracts on this planet, large and small, fractally imbedded in one another.  For that matter, every puddle and icicle is a battery.  You don’t have to move supertankers of oil to drive a civilization. 

We must build true power plants and open actual energy gates. 

Our minds are even more powerful than the Sun, and we certainly don’t know how to use them. 

There is unlimited untapped power in the world already, but we are addicted to only its crudest, most concrete forms.  We are not even trying to hone our most basic skills, our birthright as creatures graced with auras and luminous mindedness. 

We are as oblivious of real energy, as we are of the meaning of the night sky.

Move consciously like a chi-gung master.  Transport the invisible ball of cosmic energy.  Squeeze it, sip it, pump it, play with it, bathe yourself in it—paws like a cat.  Let it splash all over.  Splash it onto everyone else.  There is so much extra that we can be generous and lose nothing.

**Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) “Dover Beach”: credit him also with these lines that could serve as the epitaph for modern man and woman: “Wandering between two worlds, one dead,/the other powerless to be born.”

13.  The dead must be consulted.  The dead must not just slip away; they must be kept at hand.  The dead can no longer be neglected.  Despite what has happened to them they are still members of the community.

We cannot simply lose everyone just because we are too noisy and distracted to hear where they have gone.
This is the greatest failing of our species and in fact our planet of animas and systems, the central item we are evading.  This is the lost evidence that, when it comes, will break the stranglehold of all fundamentalisms and materialisms, the wakeup call that the rest of the universe wants to witness us receiving. 

We alone have the opportunity to heal the cosmic breach because in us it has been most fully incarnated and indoctrinated—jammed somehow into our genetic code.  Plus, we have wedged it in, subtly and unconsciously, all the way back to the first carnivorous eels.  Since then it has been ramified, fish by fish, cat by hunting cat—church after church and king to king.

The dead are not obliterated; they are transformed, even as the living were in order to get here.  Just as the womb is an elegant vehicle for papering and tattooing life energy, we do not see the real sarcophagus arriving; we certainly do not see it departing.  We tell ourselves we are playing a different kind of hide-and-seek. 

So we don’t understand suicide bombers or their radical cult of death at all.  They are conducting politics by other means—cosmic politics.  They are trying to blast open the bubble around this world and reveal the dimensions of all acts, political ones immediately, the rest later, because, at that level, there is no distinction.  Most of these self-immolating warriors, despite their ideologies, don’t have a clue why they are doing this because they experience it as something else, equally powerful but far more gallant and valorous than it really is.
Their sense of mission, the sublimity and the naïve conviction they express, the sacrifice they make, horrifically as it resonates through the present clime, horrific as they intend it to be, is meant to serve all of us, to carry all of us on the turtle’s back through the hole in matter.  Because they do not know how to be truly horrific, because they do not know how to do what they think they are trying to do, they ultimately effect the one thing they would renounce as blasphemy.  They are creating the future, beyond Muslim (or Darwinian) law. 

Yes, they are doing the work of the angels, but even the angels do not condone it.  Like us, the angels are appalled and disgusted by its inhumanity and callousness.  Yet the angels have no other choice but to turn it to their ends.  It is so barren and ingrate, so futile, that they guide it into the one meaningful radical path.  They must.  They must use it because it is what the Earth is giving them to work with—people throwing back the libations they were granted.  And anyhow—sigh!—it’s where humanity is at.  Revengeful, melodramatic, spoiled humanity—so-called King of the Beasts, image of the divine.  You can’t get where you’re going unless you start where you are.  You can’t wake us up to the dead unless you demonstrate what is actually being done by surrogate to the living. 

Despite themselves the suicide bombers are saying: “The universe in which you are conducting politics, are arbitrating the fate of peoples and nations, does not exist.  You cannot solve any of your crises of resources and territory unless you see what they really are, who we really are.  The winners are not really winners; the losers are not ultimately losers. 

“Here, now play this game.  You may not like it at first, but in the end it is the only one in town.”
14. The “United Nations” should rent the North Korean army indefinitely and deploy it in troubled areas like Sudan, Somalia, Iraq.  The Koreans historically play no favorites between Christians and Muslims, Arabs and Africans, Shi’ites and Sunnis: those idolatrous drama queens have been purged out of them by their own privations and strife.  Plus, they have a different fundamentalist theology, a Korean “koran/koan” as it were.

Kim Jong-il’s troops would have been disciplined and proficient in halting the slaughter in Rwanda—so transport them to Darfur at once and give them a mission and free rein.  They should have been airlifted to Indonesia after the tsunami.  They would have restored order and found the dead bodies in New Orleans post-Katrina faster than FEMA.  They could still be parachuted into the mountains of Pakistan to erect villages for earthquake victims.  They could stare down the narco-terrorists in Badakhshan, Cali, Juarez, wherever. They could enforce nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, break child-enslavement cartels and other mafias, guard the rainforest, and defend the Earth’s oxygen balance against vigilantes in the Amazon.  They could express their doctrinal purity for the entire planet rather than one delusionary and provincial cult.

I have a sense that this is what the North Korean leaders are pleading for the world to do—to save them from themselves.  They are building nuclear weapons to get us to force them to stop, stop the madness, stop it all, on both sides of the DMZ, to protect them and us, before it is too late.  In their own crude and demented way, they are already saying, “We are one.”

(Along these same lines Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and their minions are begging to be enlisted in acts of ferocious love and healing, even if they don’t realize it.  The jihadist servants of Allah know how to recruit and train and die selflessly for honor.  Hey bad boys, make it the honor of the whole planet, the defense of all sentient beings—and we will be alongside you, halfway home.)

The cost of renting Kim’s military would be food and medicine for the North Korean people along with investments and micro-loans to jump-start their economy. 

Maybe Pyongyang, presently outside the global economy, unsullied by either late modernism or New Age fantasies, could become the pivot for alternative technologies, the capital of ecological design.  They wouldn’t have to tear down too much infrastructure to substitute solar homes and wind factories.  And they would only have to invert—not renounce—their belief system to turn it into prana and psi.

Americans should recognize an achievement for what it is and not libel it prematurely or get deluded by their own ideological bias.  The truth is: the West would love to have such an army.  (The neocons don’t stand against North Korea; they would just like to be their own North Korea.  That is, they dig the sanctitude, the suppression of heresy, the well-drilled standing army in the service of the Idea.  They just don’t want it playing for another team.  Remember how neocon forerunners greeted and bribed Nazi scientists and then Soviet security experts once their polities collapsed: “Come right here,” they said, “and do the same stuff for us.”  Well, how about for the United Nations, at least until we found something better.) 

There is no Axis of Evil anyway, but there is axial power and it should be conducted toward the common good.  The Korean army has been created at enormous expense and consequence; it is a great military and industrial force in working order, trained and regimented, directed toward ideals.  Redirecting it toward the real mess in the world would be a blessing for everyone everywhere.
In any case, the world must use this engine to serve a positive goal while there is yet time.  Either we tame these warriors, or they will, sooner or later, erupt across the Peninsula, and beyond, in tsunamis of destruction.
15. George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Ehud Olmert, Sayed Hasan Nasrallah, and the various fascist hirelings in their thrall must be forced to compromise in a way that serves humanity rather than their macho pride, corporate ambitions, fascist ideologies, and inflated theocratic egos.  If they really want to assist God on earth, enough of the petty bullshit; let’s have it!

16. All the arguments and policies of the world are in language, which bends toward blatancy and sophistry and does not reflect the hard realities of people’s existences—e.g. when someone tells scallop-draggers that there won’t be any more scallops tomorrow if they keep using computers and scanning underwater topography, just as there aren’t any cod today, they won’t hear it—or they will hear it as something else. 

We are still reptiles, governed by fear and appetite in the brainstem.  Everything loftier is a projection of those emotions onto the cortex, a fleeting puppet theater.

From deep within, we still want, we hunger greedily for everything; we huddle in danger, ruled by fear. 
A man whose social and financial security is tied up in his boat is not going to give up dragging scallops because of a word.  A logger, however short-sighted his chain-sawing of ancient redwoods, is not going to stop cutting trees because of a speech.  Does he care that he is squandering good soil and polluting salmon-bearing streams?  Lip service aside, he doesn’t give a fuck.  He just wants to get through to the evening in one piece…and the next evening and morning..and so on. 
Salmon-fishermen and loggers in the Northwest spent five days in 2005 in powwow, talking past each other, but at least they were talking.  We should start with words instead of weapons, but it is going to take a lot more than words.  Reason always runs into rationalizations and counterarguments.  Change—lasting change—finally comes, usually when it is least expected, from the heart. 

17. The world must exist for some reason, innately and energetically, and certainly psychically—it is not about the accumulation of goods.  In that sense and that alone, the Rapture is what we are moving toward—not as Ascension or the Second Coming, but the ineluctable destiny of mind in matter.  This entire cinema projected in molecules is coming from somewhere, and we are either its lens or its dreamer.

There are no country clubs in the sky or male-privilege paradises.  How would such a place function anyway?  Over eternity, all stasis turns into hell. 

Quick, warn the mullahs and preachers: stasis is hell.  You don’t want those paradises you are hawking.

18. As badly as things are going here now, it is an honor to be part of it; that is, to be in a body.  In the great experiment of the universe to stream into matter and live out its primeval dramas, we are here, among them, on board. 

In the long run, the simple fact of placing spirits in bodies on worlds will win.  There is no other way for things to unfold.  Once creation got going in this fashion, ninety percent of the battle was over, though the rest of it will stretch over billions of years of the illusion we call “time,” and it will be a cliffhanger all the way because that’s what spirit in matter needs to encounter in becoming itself.





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