Chicory & Daisies

    I

Lift your flowers
on bitter stems
chicory!
Lift them up
out of the scorched ground!
Bear no foliage
but give yourself
wholly to that!
Strain under them
you bitter stems
that no beast eats—
and scorn greyness!
Into the heat with them:
cool!
luxuriant! sky-blue!
The earth cracks and
is shriveled up;
the wind moans piteously;
the sky goes out
if you should fail.

II

I saw a child with daisies
for weaving into the hair
tear the stems
with her teeth!

William Carlos Willams was born on this day in 1883

What is the use of reading the common news of the day, the tragic deaths and abuses of daily living, when for over half a lifetime we have known that they must have occurred just as they have occurred given the conditions that cause them? There is no light in it. It is trivial fill-gap. We know the plane will crash, the train be derailed. And we know why. No one cares, no one can care. We get the news and discount it, we are quite right in doing so. It is trivial. But the hunted news I get from some obscure patients’ eyes is not trivial. It is profound.

Anna Kingsford: Doctor, Poet, Theosophist, Activist

Anna Kingsford, born this day in 1846, was one of the rare women to study medicine in the 19th Century.  She was an activist for peace, for women’s suffrage and for vegetarianism and humane treatment of animals, an early anti-vivisectionist.

She had ecstatic visions of the Christian God, which inspired her poetry.

REEDS in the river! reeds in the river!
All the long day through they tremble and shiver!
Men that go past, brush them down with their feet,
But the breeze that comes soft from the westerly sky,
Stirs them to melodies tender and sweet,
May be low laughter, or may be a sigh.

Reeds in the river! reeds in the river!
My thoughts and my rhymes are like reeds in the river!
Some that go past tread them down in disdain,
But the winds of GOD’S heaven that over them blow
Shall presently wake them to music again,
May be of gladness, or may be of woe!

Reeds from the river! reeds from the river!
O I bring you a bundle of reeds from the river!
Fresh smelling reeds, newly gathered and green:
I bring you a bundle of fancies and rhymes,
Though I know that my gift is but lowly and mean,
And fair are the flowers that bloom in our times!

Reeds in the river! reeds in the river!
O deep in my heart like the reeds in the river,
My thoughts grow in darkness, far down out of sight,
And over my life passes shadow and light,
Like sunshine and cloud on the breast of the stream,
But I sit by the banks of my river and dream,
For day after day, they grow silent and strong, ––
The reeds of my Syrinx, the reeds of my song!

She had personal experience with clairvoyance and precognition, but kept her experiences private to avoid compromising her reputation as a medical scientist.  From her Dream book, a dream apparently inspired by her experience with seances and mediums:

I dreamt that I was dead, and wanted to take form and appear to C. in order to converse with him. And it was suggested by those about me – spirits like myself, I suppose – that I might materialise myself through the medium of some man whom they indicated to me. Coming to the place where he was, I was directed to throw myself out forward towards him by an intense concentration of will; which I accordingly tried to do, but without success, though the effort I made was enormous. I can only compare it to the attempt made by a person unable to swim, to fling himself off a platform into deep water. Do all I would, I could not gather myself up for it; and although encouraged and stimulated, and assured I had only to let myself go, my attempts were ineffectual. Even when I had sufficiently collected and prepared myself in one part of my system, the other part failed me.

At length it was suggested to me that I should find it easier if I first took on me the form of the medium. This I at length succeeded in doing, and, to my annoyance, so completely that I materialised myself into the shape not only of his features, but of his clothing also. The effort requisite for this exhausted me to the utmost, so that I was unable to keep up the apparition for more than a few minutes, when I had no choice but to yield to the strain and let myself go again, only in the opposite way. So I went out, and mounted like a sudden flame, and saw myself for a moment like a thin streak of white mist rising in the air; while the comfort and relief I experienced by regaining my light spirit-condition, were indescribable. It was because I had, for want of skill, dematerialised myself without sufficient deliberation, that I had thus rapidly mounted in the air.

After an interval I dreamt that, wishing to see what A. would do in case I appeared to him after my death, I went to him as a spirit and called him by his name. Upon hearing my voice he rose and went to the window and looked out uneasily. On my going close to him and speaking in his ear, he was much disturbed, and ran his hand through his hair and rubbed his head in a puzzled and by no means pleased manner. At the third attempt to attract his attention he rushed to the door, and, calling for a glass, poured out some wine, which he drank. On seeing this, and finding him inaccessible, I desisted, thinking it must often happen to the departed to be distressed by the inability or unwillingness of those they love to receive and recognise them.

– PARIS, JAN. 1878.

Is Enlightenment Socially Irresponsible?

thefindersThe Finders, by Jeffrey A Martin, Integration Press, 2019

Jeffrey Martin calls it a “persistent state of fundamental wellbeing”, but for 2500 years, the Buddhists have called it satori, Hindus say samadhi, Sufis speak of fana, Christian mystics refer to the light of Jesus Christ, while Americans speak generically of enlightenment, once Nirvana came to be inseparable from Kurt Cobain. (Taoism views enlightenment as the natural result of seeing past our conditioning; I’ve been unable to find references to a corresponding concept in Hasidic traditions or the Kabalah. Please comment below if I’m missing something.) 

Martin and the religious mystics agree that enlightenment is founded in a shift in perspective to outside the separate self, and that it is accompanied by a loss of fear, particularly the fear of death. Most of us go through life with a background sense that something is deeply wrong, and we’re constantly solving problems, hoping eventually to address the Big Problem that is making us feel this way. But Finders, the enlightened ones, pass from moment to moment, day to day, knowing the world is perfect just as it is, that their lives are rich beyond measure; they are confident that their lives and the world will continue on their respective perfect paths, and they carry no fundamental anxiety.

In these religious traditions, enlightenment is granted via God’s grace, though practices of abstinence and focused attention may improve ones prospects. What is new in Martin’s approach is science. First he seeks to study the phenomenon of enlightenment in four subspecies, which he says characterizes about half a percent of Western people across lines of religion, class, and culture. More ambitious, he seeks to offer methods by which “anyone” can get thereor at least with a 70% success rate among those who stay to complete his $2,500 course. Oh yes—did I not mention? Martin is also a serial entrepreneur. Does he remind you of Werner Erhard?

The good news is that there’s been a sharp rise in the prevalence of Finders, accelerating over the last two decades. The good news is that this perspective outside the self is somewhat contagious and can be learned. Martin associates the rise in Finderhood with electronic connectivity.

The bad news is that enlightenment doesn’t necessarily make you a good person. Some Finders steal and kill. Some are addicted to alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Some deepen their personal relationships. Some report that they are committed to their friends and loved ones more than ever, but from the outside they appear detached and uncaring. Spouses of a newly Found partner may find that this is no longer someone they wish to live with. One (rare) Finder at Level Four looked across the breakfast table at his daughter and saw a specimen of humanity to whom he felt a loving connection, like all the others. Something in him felt this was wrong, and decided to retreat from Finderhood. 

This is an extreme case, but Martin reports that many Finders are arrogant, have little patience for non-Finders, or even people whose path to enlightenment was was different and unfamiliar. He doesn’t offer statistics about how many Finders devote their newly-liberated capacities to world peace or to preservation of biodiversity. But he tells enough stories that we may wonder if more Finders in the world is an unmitigated good.

Finders can experience a deeper truth or sense of reality that makes the physical world seem less important. This certainly doesn’t make caring for it a higher priority…What about morality and core values? Does becoming a Finder insure that you cannot lie, cheat, steal, or even kill? It doesn’t. There were a number of occasions during the research where blatant lies were offered up during interviews…A tiny number of participants were also accused of participating in criminal activity after the project had interviewed them. This involved allegedly stealing, cheating people in business deals, and similar activities.

Sounds like, “I’m OK—You can be OK or not OK and I don’t give a rusty fuck”. Can enlightenment be akin to sociopathy? Mystics through the ages counsel a long course of moral purification before a novitiate is ready to be groomed for enlightenment. Milarepa’s life is a thousand-year-old cautionary tale from Tibet. As a young man, he acquired magical powers from a Buddhist sorceror, and used them to avenge an encroachment on his inheritance by an aunt and uncle. He killed at will, and wrought unnatural disaster on entire villages before he matured into a saint who devoted the last half of his life to atoning for the first.

I have never met Jeffrey Epstein, but I have second-hand reports from a friend that he could be charming, thoughtful, and generous in his presented self. I have never met Dick Cheney, but I have second-hand reports from a friend that he cared deeply for his family and went out of his way to be kind to people who worked for him, even cooks and housekeepers.

Martin sidesteps the whole arena of political implications, both in the familiar sense of organizing for the communal welfare and in R.D. Laing’s usage in The Politics of Experience. To what extent is our persistent feeling that there’s something deeply wrong connected to the fact that fascist warlords have taken over America, and our media are covering for them? And we might fairly wonder if escape into Fundamental Wellbeing is an irresponsible step with a global ecosystem on the brink of collapse.  Perhaps Martin’s version of enlightenment is colored by our hyper-individualistic, capitalist culture, and other cultures might offer a version of wellbeing rooted in a welcoming communal family. 

To Martin’s credit, he gives his How To book away free. The gist is that different techniques work for different people, that you should seek a teacher who feels sympatico and then try a variety of meditation and other practices, keeping what works and moving on from what doesn’t. The how-to book doesn’t address the question, “how do I know when I’m getting closer?” however, and Martin makes it clear that it’s not a linear path for most people.

 

Où sont les syndicalistes d’antan?

An Irish immigrant to Chicago, Mother Jones was already well into middle age when she began her fight for safe working conditions for miners in 1897.  She continued a fiery advocate for labor right up into her 90s. “I have been in jail more than once and I expect to go again. If you are too cowardly to fight, I will fight.”

In the late 19th Century, Samuel Gompers had to fight for the very legitimacy of labor organizations during an era when strikers were violently assaulted by police, serving as goons of industry.

Joe Hill organized on the charisma of his singing voice.  He was framed, tried in kangaroo court, and executed because he was just too good at what he was doing.

In the 1860s and 70s, Pete McGuire brought us the 8-hour day and proposed the holiday we celebrate today as Labor Day, in addition to the Mayday holiday celebrated everywhere else in the world.

Eugene Debs fought in the streets and in the courts and continued to advocate from his jail cell for the union he led.

Nelson Cruikshank fought for social service programs during the New Deal.

Cesar Chavez organized the California grape pickers in the 1960s.

Could it be that our last charismatic labor leader is 25 years dead? In this time of soaring productivity accompanied by falling real wages, we need new leadership. We need social visionaries who are courageous and passionate and eloquent.

At a time when 43% of Americans say that socialism “would be a good thing for our country,” our voice in the media is vanishingly small, and we have no representation in government.

The time has come to rise like lions
We are many; they are few.

 

Anarchism is not what you think

Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. “To establish Anarchy, anarchy will be instituted.” But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.

— Leo Tolstoy, born this day in 1828

Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary,
it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. 

 

New Scientist The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere. Default Image
The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.

Ancient Egyptians channeled the 21st Century (Thoth’s Prophesy)

Graham Hancockm, Crossroads & Ancient Egyptian Prophesy

Do you know, Asclepius, that Egypt is an image of Heaven? Since it is fitting that wise men should not remain in ignorance of what is to come.  There will come a time when it will be in vain that Egyptions have honored the Godhead with heartfealt piety and service….

In that day, men will be weary of life, and they will cease to see the world as worthy of reverent wonder and worship….  Death will be thought more profitable than life.   The immortal nature of the soul and the journey of the soul’s development—all this they will mock.  It will be a time of wars and robberies and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the human soul.  The fruits of the earth will rot and the soil will turn barren and the very air will sicken with sullen stagnation….

Then God, the creator of all things, will stop the disorder by the counterforce of his will.  He will call back to right path those who have gone astray.  He will cleanse the world of evil.  And thus, he will bring the world back to its former aspect.  The cosmos will be deemed worthy once more of worship and wondering reverence.  Such will be the rebirth of the cosmos.

20120223-Pythagoras_Emerging_from_the_Underworld by_Salvator_Rosa.jpg

Pythagoras emerging from the underworld (Salvator Rosa, 1662)

We are a species with amnesia. We have severed our connection to spirit. But we have the power to bring the world back from darkness, and it will be done by millions of individuals acting faithfully in their own small domains.
— Graham Hancock

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers

This line from Shakespeare (Henry VI, Part 2) has been cited as evidence that people have been manipulating the law to cruel effect at least for half a millenium.  Could it be that America’s Founding Fathers also experienced this sentiment, and that they banished lawyers from government?  The story below is that there was a 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1819, and that the Amendment prohibiting slavery (1865) was called “Thirteenth” in order to obliterate it, though it had never been formally repealed.  Presidents who have had a legal background, as well as armies of Federal prosecutors, legal regulators, and public defendants, are all unConstitutional.

In the winter of 1983, archival research expert David Dodge, and former Baltimore police investigator Tom Dunn, were searching for evidence of government corruption in public records stored in the Belfast Library on the coast of Maine.

By chance, they discovered the library’s oldest authentic copy of the Constitution of the United States (printed in 1825). Both men were stunned to see this document included a 13th Amendment that no longer appears on current copies of the Constitution. Moreover, after studying the Amendment’s language and historical context, they realized the principle intent of this “missing” 13th Amendment was to prohibit lawyers from serving in government. So began a seven year, nationwide search for the truth surrounding the most bizarre Constitutional puzzle in American history — the unlawful removal of a ratified Amendment from the Constitution of the United States. Since 1983, Dodge and Dunn have uncovered additional copies of the Constitution with the “missing” 13th Amendment printed in at least eighteen separate publications by ten different states and territories over four decades from 1822 to 1860. In June of this year (1991), Dodge uncovered the evidence that this missing 13th Amendment had indeed been lawfully ratified by the state of Virginia and was therefore an authentic Amendment to the American Constitution. If the evidence is correct and no logical errors have been made, a 13th Amendment restricting lawyers from serving in government was ratified in 1819 and removed from US Constitution during the tumult of the Civil War. Since the Amendment was never lawfully repealed, it is still the Law today. The implications are enormous.The story of this “missing” Amendment is complex and at times confusing because the political issues and vocabulary of the American Revolution were different from our own. However, there are essentially two issues: What does the Amendment mean? and, Was the Amendment ratified? Before we consider the issue of ratification, we should first understand the Amendment’s meaning and consequent current relevance.  [source] [Read more from Robert Bows]

woodcut-1598-witch-trial

*CAVEAT: It is because lawyers and attorneys formally registered with the BAR (British Accredited Registry) that they could not be trusted to hold public office in the USA.  By implicitly pledging their allegiance to an entity of a foreign government, they could not be trusted to act in the best interest of the American Republic or its citizens.