Conscious apocalypse: outliving our ruling institutions

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One recent inversion is GOP children in the house that used to not play and took their ball home are now the ones playing, and the senate gop is throwing tantrums and threatening to sleep in the senate chambers.

For story telling, I did bedtime stories while laying with my kids in the dark the same way my grandma told me. I even sort of copied her style. I told stories of Tom and Becky, with Indians, rafts and canoes. I mixed in a little Keel Boat Davy Crocket setting but with Tom and Becky always front and center. Always rivers and woods, and tree houses, never an electronic reference at all. I didn't purposely omit them, I was in the story and adding events from scratch, with sound effects, and Indian language [grunts always got a giggle]. When Amy grew out of them, she was laying with Steffi one night, and prompted her "This one is really good!" and the story rolled on.

btw, we got Amy a canoe, and she and her friends used it all the time. Steffi goes with her friend (that owns a boat)and cousins (canoe and kayak).

For the Apocalypse, try to muster a Lee Strasburg method acting technique and be Nero. China thinks the US is less consequential now.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp:

Freedom is what? A definition by whom? People throughout history have gone to war for tyrannts and dictators to protect their "freedom".

I refer to your oft quoted line, "The map isn't the territory".

Some people seem to think freedom can be defined for everyone in an objective way. After some years of effort on my part to come to a clear understanding of the term, I now suspect that anyone who tries, in a very serious and in-depth way, to define freedom discovers that it's ultimately subjective and relational, either as a passive concept in a sentence, such as freedom from oppression, or as an active relationship, as in freedom to speak one's mind. I'm convinced that in the end of such a search, each of us determines our own meaning.

Those who don't bother to search for its meaning in the first place, or give up after trying to achieve the perfect objective definition, may surrender its meaning to the PR mind masters who will steal their language and use it as they do all stolen or surrendered language to manipulate the unwitting to do their bidding while cleverly leaving them to believe the idea to do something was their own.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Probably our 4th of July celebrations provide an opportunity to re-write the story of what freedom entails

It's one of our few remaining "rituals".

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Probably our 4th of July celebrations provide an opportunity to re-write the story of what freedom entails

It's one of our few remaining "rituals".

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Possibly.

I don't see the 4th of July as a ritual of inversion. To me it's more like the celebration of a successful ritual of inversion gone to the extreme of war after which a society organized itself in a way it deems successful. It's more like a ritual of arrogance and national importance, otherwise to me known as a celebration of patriotism. Maybe that's not how other people envision it.

When I studied this inversion phenomenon as it was identified in a number of different societies, I discovered that one of the key characteristics that makes a ritual of inversion effective as a balancing ritual in any given society is the sense of being able to take part without coercion, and the sense that going back to one's role is also voluntary.

Without that, the balancing aspect cannot occur. Without that, it's not really a ritual of inversion, it's something pretending to be.

The idea is that the ritual opens up an alternative way of thinking, much like these techniques for creative, lateral thinking that doug references in his recent posts through references to figures like De Bono, and by willingly taking part in the ritual, people have an opportunity to see their accepted way of life from a different perspective. For some that may even open a door to new questions. If that perspective reveals that a society's order is seriously flawed, then people will also discover that they are not set in their role as, for instance in drc's example, a slave to a master.

If that discovery is not possible, as it may not have been for the slaves drc refers to on that Gone With The Wind southern plantation, then no true ritual of inversion is needed or even likely to occur. In fact the last thing a plantation owner would want is to expose the fallacy of their role to the slaves. Only in a relatively healthy society (and of course that is not a concept to take for granted, thus it could be worth trying to give it meaning) can people appreciate the affirmation of a ritual that turns their world upside down for a brief period to demonstrate that everyone is taking part in something because they want to, because they respect each other, and because their arrangement with each other is a good one for them all.

I want to suggest that within this spectrum of social inversion I'm trying to describe, we here in our society have power inversion actions like street demonstrations. Back in the sixties and early seventies many of us had a chance to play a part in those, and we had a chance to see that they had a kind of script that the actors followed where the inversion of power was played out. More recently this inversion took the form of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, which then moved accross the country in major cities as an abbreviated Occupy movement following the OWS script. From reading all the different perspectives on that movement it appears that it revealed to many some flaws in the structure of our society. If so, then, without really having to go into deep analysis, we can predict that a flawed society will result in more spontaneous inversion rituals in the future. If there are no serious flaws, then society will settle into long term stability.

I'm just trying to give the ritual of inversion concept a general logical structure to work with.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

The 4th of July isn't a ritual of inversion...it's a celebration of "freedom". It's perhaps, an opportuntity to re-write what "freedom" actually entails.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

The 4th of July isn't a ritual of inversion...it's a celebration of "freedom". It's perhaps, an opportuntity to re-write what "freedom" actually entails.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

I'd be happy to entertain a new narrative to that effect. It's been many years since I went somewhere to watch the symbolic act of war that ends a day of getting together with friends, cooking and eating some wonderful food, and not thinking a thing about why working people take the day off from working at some institution involved in destroying the planet.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote drc:

We might begin small in our attention to rituals that need refreshing for apocalpytic consciousness and good thinking, like getting the celebration of war out of Memorial and Veteran Days as well as out of our football telecasts. There is a perfect example of how what is needed for transformation has been captured by the Empire to become a tribute to American blood spilled in the defense of freedom, blah, blah. No it was not. It was wasted in the racket of war and shed by people who were sent to do what should not have been done. All our post WWII wars fit this bill, and most of the ones that went before do as well. WWII has a mixed enough history to undercut any triumphalism and call us to serious peacemaking, but you don't see it.

As with poly's suggestion about revising the meaning of freedom on the 4th of July.... along with some of my fellow vets who consciously work at taking war out of our lives forever, I've personally been sharing my own attention to the details of changing attitudes in those war rituals on those days. I may have had some effect on close acquaintances, or they may just change their behavior to match my attitudes when they are around me. Hard to tell. I've been doing it for about forty years. We hear, if we bother to listen, same speeches by any given sitting president on those days honoring the brave and the fallen who fought for "our" freedoms, we hear the same scripted sacred words honoring and thanking on the main stream media, and anyone who dares a question risks at the very least a symbolic public lynching. I have no idea how to change these institutionally legitimized rituals on a national level. Do you?

I think conscious apocalypse is pretty much a local thing for a few people. I have little hope that 7 billion people are going to outlive our ruling institutions through some kind of change in mass consciousness at a mass level. I don't see the logic in using mass hypnosis to cure mass hypnosis. I stopped taking hopium for my highs many years ago.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote drc:

What I am saying is that we live in this story all the time even if you live in the woods and don't watch tv. Have your own strategy for dealing with it, as you do, but you know that the apocalypse will not be selective and avoidable, it will only require being ready and prepared to take a wild ride. All the wild rides in our movies operate in entropic time and space. Or they get really lame about how the aliens will welcome us, etc. I like the idea that exciting and interesting times are exciting and interesting even if the Chinese are right.

Yes, "we" as in this industrial civilization culture we. My actions to invigorate my own consciousness are insignificant when it comes to invoking any larger change of consciousness.

I see that getting ready for an apocalyptic change "require(s) being ready and prepared to take a wild ride." In fact, I saw it long ago. From that possibly paranoid point of view, I began to get involved with teaching survival skills like the ones involved in those now ancient Outward Bound programs back in the sevenites. Those programs have even sparked a new psychological movement now being formally called ecopsychology. I've done threads about it here at Thom's. Got some interest, some ridicule from some of the same trolls or types of trolls we have on these threads today.

It does take some effort for anyone involved with modern life, their work, their careers, paying bills, trying to buy a house, cars, many "needed" things like the latest tablet or iPad, to add one more thing to their busy schedule -- a new something that involves a whole new attitude towards the earth; an attitude that will get them prepared for a wild ride that may or may not be on the way. An attitude that has no relationship whatsoever to what they see on television storytelling, what they listen to concerning the latest political issues on talk radio, what issues they read about in whatever corporate media they "consume" for news. There are of course exceptons that can be sought out, for those who want to.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

You and I talk with some people about this, and we find people agreeing, or at least I have been finding a lot more of it lately. I think that is part of the process, because we are not alone. Our collective contribution can expose the rituals of war. Where does it become a movement? When do schools and churches pay attention to peacemaking and economic justice again?

At this point, we could begin some peacemaker protests of "patriotism" when it praises these bad wars. We could add real community care for the victims of war coming home because it is morally good and politically effective in its effect. When Johnny Came Marching Home Again, again. We are sick and tired of war and need to express that in public, and rather than rage as the story on tv, how about healing and rage turned to passion for peace and compassion for its victims.

What we ever do about the war criminals and warmongers, I think this would help change the story in the media and begin to demilitarize our war memorials and rituals.

Hope does not have to be "expectation," and should never be confused with "hopium." The word suffers from a lot of abuse. The real thing is there in your living commitment to care about this conversation and living every day as you have described it. It is not dependent upon your knowing or even believing that institutions can or will come to embody justice and peace as real and powerful in our real lives and real world. It shines forward more than it requires looking backward.

"Great Awakenings" describe renewal events in American history. They reflect a need for relevance in the place and in the here and now. "Backwaters and boonies" need to get out of the narrative in which they are devalued and live at a distant from the capitals of culture. Those who needed to get out of Dodge had to find the center of the Big Story moving with them. At the very least, "real men" would prove themselves in the West, and seek their fortunes on the frontiers. Redefining how meaning and purpose were found was the creation and recreation of myths; and myths can reveal truths or hide them.

The myths we can believe in are those that free us from what has worn out and become dystopic. Rather than hypnosis or narcotics, awareness is a great high. My historian self wants us freed from hagiography and narcissism so we can be in our moment, not so we can feel bad about who we are. I don't find very many good myths around, and being myth weary the nation has turned up the level to see if that makes it better. It doesn't, and we talk and share, and work, and play and so do others. Being aware can include being aware of love and joy, and depression is not a great place to work from. Peace, joy and love to all.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

I think what you are calling "myths we can believe in" are ways of thinking that people do not consciously seek out. When someone is watching a television show that I see embedded with modern day myths, like the heroic loner myth that plays such a strong role in those pyrotechnic-filled action stories that now seem to require the inclusion of the modern version of Cosmopolitan beauty -- that is those slender female comic book to screen heroes with martial arts skills capable of taking down a hulking middle line backer type male -- I doubt they are seeing the modern day versions of those mythical John Waynes seeking their fortunes in the West as they fight those wild indians. Myth is merely an abstract structure and it can be filled out with just about any figure to tell the story of a culture. Not everyone pays attention and becomes aware of the structure. Especially when the story is so entertaining.

Awareness is a great high. Various drugs people take to get high are, for me, impediments to awareness. Awareness is natural and the more you get into it, the easier it is to get high. And I can't tell you how many of my many acquaintances over the years have tried to convince me there is something better from outside, and I can ingest it. I have friends who are in their sixties and seventies today who celebrate the legality of pot here in Washington state, not that they ever stopped using it from their hey days in the sixties, and want, even expect me to want to share in their celebration. Like other forms of individual awareness in groups, It distances us; but I don't condemn them in any way, I just can't share.

I seem to get off on something my body produces naturally, which I only found out about recently. It's the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It appears to enhance attention span and long term thought processes. It's most enhanced in a kind of meditative state of calm observation. It does not seem to go well with people high on pot or other drugs, including alcohol. They don't notice their attention span is to me erratic and splintered, and that's fine for them. They get through the day just fine. It appears to work well with those commercial interuptions in a television program, because I don't notice them getting at all disturbed by something that eventually causes me to leave in frustration.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

My first hints that myths were worthwhile as more than ancient stories came as I studied the history of the search for the historical Jesus and its program of "demythologization." That program did not work out well because the authors of the Bible did not have our modern interest in historicity v. a truth telling story, and that included myths and incredible metaphysics.

I say "incredible" in the sense that they have to be "imagined to be real" rather than shown to be so through science or historical and archeological evidence. But, within the constructs of cultures, these stories have a reality that is palpable and "meaningful."

Later, I would find the American Century working as a mythic story, fleshing out our Manifest Destiny and presumptions of exceptionality in the presumed moral story of America with Noble Founders and a vision of human liberty and justice for all. Obviously not what history reveals. Also not a reason to trade in childish illusion and hagiography for despair. Knowing our history has not decreased my interest in avoiding repeating it, and it is strangely encouraging to know that we have not fallen from grace so much as come to a tough place on the road. Maybe this time we will get on the right road.

Our tv escapism tends to be the Brit mysteries on PBS. They do not have commercial interruptions. My wife watches Rachel so she can talk with her mother about it. Her 92 year old mom lives nearby now, but worked for the Whatcom Dems up until she moved this year. I have found that the ability to delay and record allows me to skip through the ads and keeps the annoyance down. I also have a guilty pleasure in sports which is marred more by the impact of money on the games than by the ads I can skip past.

I had to give up watching crap dramas as a cultural pathologist because I wasn't learning anything new and they were dreadful. Thank God for the Coen Brothers! Colbert also keeps on telling like it is and making it funny. It helps when I read the autopsies from Hedges, et. al. But thank God for Chris and his moral and intellectual integrity, and for how he lives it out. For all who are living it out, from Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden to the Dreamers and Nuns on a Bus and the list can be very long, can't it?

Authors talk about how the story comes to them and the characters they create go in unexpected directions and rewrite their own parts. Putting our working stories together can supplant the plastic hagiography and religious narcotics needed to endure its soul sucking environment. Having benefitted from the pain relief I have needed due to sciatic pain and some other issues that resisted medical treatment until I found information they still rarely know, as well as one great surgery, I have a more positive view of weed. It is also not a problem for improvising jazz, but more than a little wine or beer is. When it comes to awareness, that is a zone that meets all the descriptions of what the mind is doing when we let go and enter into it. It is not automatic, of course, and is the same as faking being in the zone in other endeavors. Spiritual disciplines also require more than effort and often that effort be reduced or abandoned.

The larger point here is that creating a new collective narrative or consciousness of the apocalypse with hope to avoid its catastrophes and build on its new light and possibilities, we can let go of expectations and be open to the serendipity when it shows up. If we do what we know needs doing and build connections with others doing what they know is needed, a story begins to be created by the characters in it. If there is ever an author to identify or to have stand for a bow, fine. But I think we will find more leading characters taking those bows and thanking the Invisible Author who inspired them rather than pointing to themselves. And, at some point, we will all get how it works for us and it will be our Great Awakening.

At least, that is how I think it has gone in the past in terms of this gloss of the details.

Good writing is always a pleasure to encounter whether it is in essays and prose or novels. Having a story that engages our minds, even if it is a well-written and plotted mystery and not a contender for the Great American Novel is essential for me. Having it be funny is better. Grim serial killer stories can always use the humanity that a CJ Box can bring out. It is never about the gore, but it is about the fear and the demonic possession that makes human beings into 'monsters' who are not alien to us. Some people prefer not to go there, and I can understand why. But, these are deeply moral stories, and that is what makes them worth reading. Along with not having to actually deal with Wyoming in the winter.

I found Chalmers Johnson easy to read and well worth it. I have mentioned Hedges, and Black Liberation theologian, James Cone, is also a writer I find congenial and eloquent rather than academic. His material rocks in "the Cross and the Lynching Tree."

A wise man in Hawaii recently reminded me that we should avoid learning what we are not ready to use in order to avoid cluttering up our minds with baggage and hoping that it will become useful. It is worth being reminded that building our mental library could use some focus and purpose. Elijah goes to the cave to listen to the still, small voice. It tells him to get his ass back into the action and out of the cave.

He did not go back to join the boys on the couch who take the commercials as part of the given structure and participate in the self-hypnosis and narcotizing. Your appetite for better fare may cause you to leave some venues, and that is just fine. You may be a leading character but there is no way to know how it will play out in the big picture, so you are the leading character in your part of the writing. Enjoy it. I like this character a lot.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Hagiography. Even better, your plastic hagiography. People interested in decoding culture through myth might want to look that word up. They won't likely hear it in casual conversation.

On the larger point of awareness... I have neither a positive nor negative view of drugs. I wasn't trying to put them down as a way of getting to awareness. I was just commenting on what it is for me. But did you know that consciousness can occur without voice? Even without that still little voice that Elijah found in the cave? Consciousness with intent tends to distort, and it does so with voice, even a deep voice from within the darkness of the cave. Consciousness to be used is not really that voiceless consciousness. Nothing more than that from me on this. Not saying there's anything wrong with using consciousness. This thread is merely about consciousness. I had no intention of prescribing a conscious apocalypse. Not that such prescriptions aren't likely to come about. I think that's a natural occurrence.

Playing around with character in literature is very much about playing around with voice. In fact, we talk about the writer's voice a lot in that regard. Which brings us to a writer's choice of point of view. And different ways of employing it for awareness, which is how awareness can be shared with a reader. That's why it can be so enjoyable to read sophisticated writing. I find it hard to come across modern writers whose sophistication compares to those great writers I've read in classic literature.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

One way of looking at the futility of the institutionalized myths and failures of the institutions themselves is to look outside of the local narrative. Where are examples of success? Look at the number 6-7 video rachel-maddow-show for a success. There is even a tea party type in the video. America has no monopoly on assholes no, the patent expired and generics are around.

Video 2-3 of the economist from The Earth Institute supports my 6 degrees of Reagan theory where all current ills can be traced or linked to Reagan within 6 connections if not less.

Other solutions that are impossible in the greatest nation in the world [because greatness means you don't need to change, everyone else needs to change or we will show you how great we are]

Germany[edit]

In 2009, the German legislature passed a technology waiting law that would eventually require all German manufacturers of weapons to only make smart weapons, once an acceptable technology existed anywhere in the world. In addition, the German law would require the retrofitting of all existing German weapons with smart gun technology. Should other European countries follow suit with similar legislation, some of the world's most advanced weaponry will be required to incorporate smart gun technology.

European Union[edit]

Also in Europe the way towards a personalization of firearms seems to be taken. In October 2013 the European Commission published a document by commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in article 4.2 comprising: "The Commission will work with the firearms industry to explore technological solutions, such as biometric sensors where personal data is stored in the firearm, for ensuring that purchased firearms may only be used by their legal owner. It will carry out a detailed cost-benefit analysis on the question of making such 'smart gun' security features mandatory for firearms lawfully sold in the EU."[16]

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote drc:

A wise man in Hawaii recently reminded me that we should avoid learning what we are not ready to use in order to avoid cluttering up our minds with baggage and hoping that it will become useful. It is worth being reminded that building our mental library could use some focus and purpose. Elijah goes to the cave to listen to the still, small voice. It tells him to get his ass back into the action and out of the cave.

It was late in my energy curve yesterday when I made some comments about the post I drew the above quote from. I was commenting on consciousness, just being conscious in writing, and I didn't really give this specific concept of learning with purpose the full weight it really has in my own sense of awareness.

One of the problems with which the big brained individuals who struggle with issues like philosophy of science have wrestled is the relationship between human awareness and human capacity for objectivity. This no trivial problem. It's especially not trivial when we talk about complex issues like love, which entails the whole mind and body experience, not just the compartmentalized rational logical mind that sets off to a positive objectivity and pretends while doing so that it can divorce its inherent subjectivity from a problem.

The creation of the computer can be seen as an example of an effort to create a pure thinking-without-emotion machine in hopes of removing that mind-body subjectivity from the effort at achieving an understanding of objective reality. Then we discover that computed results create all sorts of new problems about understanding the world, because no matter how clever the program, the things are still dependent on human input and human interpretation. Is it even possible to avoid the creation of new problems? It would be nice if it were, perhaps we could finally achieve certainty.

Anyone who has paid very serious attention to the evolution of the revelations of physics during the Twentieth Century is aware of the wrestling match over a serious problem that arose with trying to prove the very notion that human beings can be objective about knowing what we believe to be the "real" factual world, even common sense facts like the force we believe causes apples to fall from a tree. Anyone who hasn't paid attention and who hasn't grappled with the problem of human perception and subjectivity will have great difficulty taking part in a conversation about that problem with those who have. That very awareness sets the stage for the conversation.

In that regard, letting go of a belief in their potential to achieve the security of certainty of knowing is one of the more difficult actions for many humans to take as part of the complexity of their awareness of the world. And of course, in our English language-based culture, the troublesome grammar with the inclusion of various conjugations of the verb 'to be' can conjure up a sense of certainty by merely creating it with a statement. This is something anyone can observe by watching people interact, with that observation process itself goes the observer's inherent dependency on what perspective one has come to for oneself about this problem of perception and objectivity.

With that little scenario in mind -- which I just made up in the moment, and I didn't go to a library in my mind to get sources, it came out of my own a sense of awareness that is uniquely cumulative for me from my own lifelong efforts to make sense of the issue -- how would anyone decide ahead of time to selectively decide not to learn something that it has no purpose and will clutter the mind? George Lakoff introduces a similar problem in the context of American politics when he writes: Don't Think of An Elephant. (George P. Lakoff (/ˈlkɒf/, born May 24, 1941) is an American cognitive linguist, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena.)

I mean, does anything we perceive actually clutter a mind? Doesn't the mind take whatever it comes across and integrates it into a narrative in some relational way? If it doesn't fit the narrative, what happens to a perception?

The very problem of objectivity relates to our human mental characteristic of selectivity and its tendency to select what it wants from the small range of what it is capable of perceiving in order to arrive at a state of certainty that some thing is true. Problems arise from something almost ungraspable by our senses, something we can only imagine, an imputed connected wholeness of the universe that we cannot ignore without losing meaning. And while at least some humans are able to imagine the possibility of that infinite connected wholeness, we are very likely incapable of actually using our given senses to perceive and measure it so that we can portray all of it with one of our codifying systems, like language, of which mathematics is but one special element, as are those artistic renditions we love, the earliest of which we've found rendered by our ancestors in caves perhaps 32,000 years BP, and of course there are the many wonders of music, yet more mathematics in instrumentally voiced language.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote douglaslee:

One way of looking at the futility of the institutionalized myths and failures of the institutions themselves is to look outside of the local narrative. Where are examples of success? Look at the number 6-7 video rachel-maddow-show for a success. There is even a tea party type in the video. America has no monopoly on assholes no, the patent expired and generics are around.

Video 2-3 of the economist from The Earth Institute supports my 6 degrees of Reagan theory where all current ills can be traced or linked to Reagan within 6 connections if not less.

Other solutions that are impossible in the greatest nation in the world [because greatness means you don't need to change, everyone else needs to change or we will show you how great we are]

Germany[edit]

In 2009, the German legislature passed a technology waiting law that would eventually require all German manufacturers of weapons to only make smart weapons, once an acceptable technology existed anywhere in the world. In addition, the German law would require the retrofitting of all existing German weapons with smart gun technology. Should other European countries follow suit with similar legislation, some of the world's most advanced weaponry will be required to incorporate smart gun technology.

European Union[edit]

Also in Europe the way towards a personalization of firearms seems to be taken. In October 2013 the European Commission published a document by commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in article 4.2 comprising: "The Commission will work with the firearms industry to explore technological solutions, such as biometric sensors where personal data is stored in the firearm, for ensuring that purchased firearms may only be used by their legal owner. It will carry out a detailed cost-benefit analysis on the question of making such 'smart gun' security features mandatory for firearms lawfully sold in the EU."[16]

I'm not following how you go from looking "outside of the local narrative" to "examples of success." I'm first of all not sure what you mean by "examples of success." In trying to use your example for context in hopes of getting to your meaning, I then become unsure of where a political pundit like Rachael Maddow fits into your suggested notion of "local narrative" along with relating her commentary as an example of success. I also couldn't be sure if I figured out what "the number 6-7 video" was in all the possibilities I found at your link. Could you be so kind as to do a little more to make those connections for us? (or at least me, maybe others quickly grasp the obvious of what I can't see)

Maybe this would be a good place to revisit the relationship between consciousness and apocalypse that I introduced in the first post just to try to keep the thread visible in these sometimes meandering drifts into free form lateral thinking that come up, as is normal in any discussion not intended to be constricted to a preconceptual ordering of thought.

Under Dr. Chalquist's linked video I found his brief summary of why he posted this slide presentation, which, as he explains in the video, follows from a lot of questions he's been getting from his work as a teacher and adviser in academia:

Quote Craig Chalquist:

Although zealots have maintained for centuries that the world is about to end, is there nevertheless something apocalyptic about global warming, mass extinction, and even fanciful "news" about rampaging zombies? Why are all our key institutions failing us? What is the difference between conscious apocalypse--facing the Underworld as an initiatory rite of passage--and the unconscious apocalypse unfolding so destructively all around us? What tools and practices might guide us through a time of global rupture into the era of renewal beyond it?

Also, though I've based this thread on the structure he presents in the video, I must rely on others to take the trouble to listen to the entire presentation, which is obviously problematic. I so far can't find a transcription of his presentation anywhere, so I'd like to present just a little from the introduction to help present the thread I'm weaving through my own discussions, which I will transcribe myself. Please forgive any mistakes:

Conscious Apocalypse

Craig Chalquist: I put this slide show together to respond to a question that I'm asked more and more in my capacity as a depth psychologist trained in the traditions of (he goes through a long list, you can listen if you want to know). And the question is, what archetype to I feel that we are living in collectively in this time in human history, and my response is that I believe we are all living in the archetype of the apocalypse. So I thought it might be useful, given all the apocalyptic happenings of our day, from global warming to mass extinction to ceaseless warfare and the collapse of really key institutions in many different cultures, I thought it might be useful to explore what it means to live in the archetype of the apocalypse, and what it might mean for us if we did it with more consciousness.

I don't know about anyone else but Chalquit's introduction has already introduced a number of problems that leave me hanging, not the least of which is: what does Dr. Chalquist mean by consciousness when he can imagine measuring it and adding or subtracting whatever consciousness might be to him from his topic of Conscious Apocalypse. I'm not entirely sure I'm satisfied he answered those questions for me, but I did find that raising them left me greatly intrigued, still does, and so I brought the topic here in case anyone else might be intrigued. I suppose it could have fit into other forums, but I felt the information and discussions we bring to bear on this Environment forum regarding the topic of global warming and details of environmental destruction seemed as good a basis as any for the topic.

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.ren
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I guess the difference is between a bag packing curriculum of knowledge "one will need later on" and "taking it all in." Being able to focus or live in a narrative of discovery rather than as a particle in space comes with being involved in a life in moral context. The retreat to a monstary to be silent and quiet the monkey mind provides a taking it all in focus where one becomes more in touch with oneself as oneself is more in touch with the world and others.

The participatory nature of the quantum view of things helps break us out of the myth that we are outside observers just because of our individuality and need to air out our minds. And to connect them to our bodies in wholeness rather than strife.

I hear about cluttered minds all the time. Multi-tasking and trying to keep up with computer info crunching world, and the rat race. People are sold "the skills they need" to make money in these "good jobs" but are not asked whether the work is interesting to them. I know a lot of people who have learned a lot of those skills and do not use them now. They really don't even use the transferable skills that were part of that past, but we also always learn from the whole journey.

What bugs me is the curriculum of skills that ignores the curiosity of the student and his/her own story. My learning theory is based in feeding that curiosity and building one's own story/journey from early childhood education on. It is like learning all the dates and names in history instead of getting into it as a story one gets to rewrite/must rewrite instead of "accepting." One of the best academic performers I encountered was a historian who could do a lecture making Luther sound totally convincing and follow it with a lecture making someone on the other side totally convincing. There was no pleasing the prof and parotting back what He said. You had to make some choices.

We have talked about technocratic and mechanistic training and institutions, and I consider that training as a way to clutter minds and avoid reflection. I know of no more powerful clutter than the neocon economics taught in our Biz School catechetics and am amazed at how easily this nonsense clouds the minds of otherwise intelligent people. I guess we could add the empire and whatever it is that is making people think of it as a good investment, but for pure wasted space and scholasticism, it is hard to beat economics according to the Chamber of Commerce and Heritage.

I would never want the idea of focus and a curiosity driven engagment in one's own unfolding story to blind us to that unexpected and out of place detail that unlocks the box and reveals what has been hidden in plain sight. Open-minds are not blank slates, however, and we do not evaluate things 'afresh' as if there was no base of experience or categorization from past learning. But, in the words of the Dude, "new shit has come to light," so get ready to shift your thinking. Expecting the unexpected and planning for serendipity are cute ways to square this circle linguistically without closing the borders.

Focus is supposed to help us examine the fine print of our assumptions and see where the holes are, and I can distinguish it from polemical driven investigations where we are out to prove something. In fact, the more certain we are about something, the more reason to give it a fresh going over.

Thanks again for thought provoking and thought nurturing posts.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

The key to the video index is to the right of the screen currently running. The 6-7 is the last segment of the show with a subtitle 'We can do more to protect our kids'. Toomy/Manchin bill was local and a failure. 21 votes representing 12% of the population can filibuster and prevent measures that 90% of the country want. The video Rachel was presenting was the Netherlands switching from automobile centric [that was killing children on bicycles] to bicycle centric that saved children's lives and got adults riding, and pedestrians walking, and fighting for parking spaces became a thing of the past. The saving children was the motivation for the Netherland switch. Children being shot because 12% of the country don't care about the 90% that value children's lives more than a 180 second delay in their handgun purchase was the relation of the two.

I think you were refering to the Kuhn vs Popper issue with regard to observation and objectivity.

Perspective is one value I personally emphasize for perception.

Drc2, focus is not bad but if you are focusing on the wrong part the gestalt will look out of focus. the-universal-traveler identifies parts to problem solving, and definition is one part. Mis-defining the problem is not misunderstanding the problem. One professor told me that some choose a solution that just won't solve the problem. He warned that becoming in love with the solution prevents you from redefining the problem.

Is-Other-Secret-Metaphor-Shapes

Essays for the left hand

The-Doors-Of-Perception- Aldous Huxley

drc2, the selective study so as to not clutter the mind is not for me. I kind of intake Jackson Pollack style. One small bit triggers another venture seeking something new and it might return me to the first or it might not. Life is a Mobius Strip for me, and my learning puts me at varying places on the strip. James Thurber wrote only short stories but he was always writing, and doodling. Those were the comics that accompanied his pieces in the New Yorker. One time he was doodling the stairs with an image of his wife, naked at the top, but it came out shelves of a bookcase instead of steps, so his naked wife was on the top of the bookcase in the living room. The caption went "That's his first wife", what it meant was anybody's guess but the editor ran it.

INTERVIEWER

You say that your drawings often don’t come out the way you intended?

THURBER

Well, once I did a drawing for The New Yorker of a naked woman on all fours up on top of a bookcase—a big bookcase. She’s up there near the ceiling, and in the room are her husband and two other women. The husband is saying to one of the women, obviously a guest, “This is the present Mrs. Harris. That’s my first wife up there.” Well, when I did the cartoon originally I meant the naked woman to be at the top of a flight of stairs, but I lost the sense of perspective and instead of getting in the stairs when I drew my line down, there she was stuck up there, naked, on a bookcase.

Incidentally, that cartoon really threw The New Yorker editor, Harold Ross. He approached any humorous piece of writing, or more particularly a drawing, not only grimly but realistically. He called me on the phone and asked if the woman up on the bookcase was supposed to be alive, stuffed, or dead. I said, “I don’t know, but I’ll let you know in a couple of hours.” After a while I called him back and told him I’d just talked to my taxidermist, who said you can’t stuff a woman, that my doctor had told me a dead woman couldn’t support herself on all fours. “So, Ross,” I said, “she must be alive.” “Well then,” he said, “what’s she doing up there naked in the home of her husband’s second wife?” I told him he had me there.

INTERVIEWER

But he published it.

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douglaslee
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Thanks doug, for making your previous post make more sense to me. Your links are superb. I especially appreciate the confirmation I get for my own assessments of how I think from sources like: Is Other Secret Metaphor Shapes. As anyone who takes the trouble will see, the world of "secret" metaphor and how it shapes our thinking is not so secret or even so difficult to find. One just needs to be interested. Consciousness about the potential for being immersed in an archetypical apocalypse time must include an in-depth investigation into how we think ourselves into believing what we believe. I think we are on the same course here, so it's developing into a good thread in that way.

Drc, as ever, thanks for your personal assessments about teaching/learning and especially for how you relate it to developing a personal narrative. I think you help illustrate those key liminal thresholds where culturally shared knowlede and the individual who puts it into play meet, and where theliving, daily action for each of us begins.

Perhaps I'll be back with some thoughts later. I have more thoughts about your posts.

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.ren
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ren, Another Fine source (also in kindle).

You've used the 'map is not the territory' analysis and synectics is related to that. How is this like that ? and how can it change our viewpoint or perspective?

The-Metaphorical-Way-Learning-Knowing

Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not by me is by the reviewer in London Review of Books that covered Cordelia Fine.

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douglaslee
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Quote douglaslee:

ren, Another Fine source (also in kindle).

You've used the 'map is not the territory' analysis and synectics is related to that. How is this like that ? and how can it change our viewpoint or perspective?

The-Metaphorical-Way-Learning-Knowing

Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not by me is by the reviewer in London Review of Books that covered Cordelia Fine.

Nothing more provocative to raising consciousness than to break through the sexuality walls that the normal people in a society use to stabilize their definitions of self and into the liminal realm where we discover the confusing differences between gender definitions and sexuality. My own consciousness raising came from those folks in anthropology who delighted in discovering cross cultural differences. Margaret Mead and the already referenced in an earlier post, Ruth Benedict, were among the early wall breakers on that easily threatened topic of sexual identity in that field. I was later myself delighted to co teach the topic of sex and gender as a TA in graduate school. Your Cordelia Fine link to her Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference would be a fine read to that effect for anyone trying to develop a consciousness about an time of archetypal Apocalypse. Fits right in with point three on that list in the OP:

Conscious Apocalypse:

  • Letting go of failing institutions

  • telling and sharing new stories

  • welcoming what has been cast out

  • appreciating Earth's beauty

  • reinventing energy and transport

  • trusting the order of the world

  • strengthening community

  • reconnecting with nature

  • smart networking

  • transrevolution

  • terraspiriturality

My oft borrowed "map is not the territory" phrase comes from an area of study that Alfred Korzybski coined general semantics. While one can imagine a loose relationship, the intentionality of study in Korzybski's general semantics and that which we find in synectics differs. One is more along the lines of an area of study in the then early emergence of the field of cognitive linguistics and psychology, in which well known figures like Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff have made their marks, while the other is more along the lines of a purposeful focus on developing a methodology related to enhancing problem solving. Noticing that distinction may seem irrelevant to someone in high gear trying to solve problems, but attention to detail and distinctions of intentionality matters to me, so I'll note that I do notice that a nexus of similarity might be found where general semantics and synectics recognize the importance of the mind's capacity to use structural concepts (maps) to make sense of the world.

Here's a brief description of how Korzybski tried to wrestle with describing the self limiting actions of making an abstraction into a believed reality and thus hardening the notion of what the world around us actually is into a concept, eventually even into a group of concepts that poly notes can become a disease, an ideology:

Abstracting and consciousness of abstracting

Identification prevents what general semantics seeks to promote: the additional cortical processing experienced as a delay. Korzybski called his remedy for identification "consciousness of abstracting." [14] The term "abstracting" is used ubiquitously in Science and Sanity. Korzybski's use of the term is somewhat unique and requires study to understand his meaning. He discussed the problem of identification in terms of "confusions of orders of abstractions" and "lack of consciousness of abstracting." [15] To be conscious of abstracting is to differentiate among the "levels" described above, levels II-IV being abstractions of level I (whatever level I "is"—all we really get are abstractions). The techniques Korzybski prescribed to help a person develop consciousness of abstracting he called "extensional devices."

What I find related to that in Synectic theory comes from one of its founders, William Gordon, where he

emphasized the importance of "'metaphorical process' to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar". He expressed his central principle as: "Trust things that are alien, and alienate things that are trusted." This encourages, on the one hand, fundamental problem-analysis and, on the other hand, the alienation of the original problem through the creation of analogies. It is thus possible for new and surprising solutions to emerge.

I think anyone who loves literature and who has entered the realms of literary criticism can recognize the process of using metaphor to "make the familiar strange and the strange familiar."

Any effort to explore what it means to be living in "the archetype of apocalypse," as Chalquit puts it in his slide presentation -- a time that will likely include fluctuating inversions of familiar and strange -- could very well be enhanced by the discoveries about the brain processes that we find in general semantics as well as discoveries of methods of enhanced awareness about our capacities for problem solving in synectics.

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.ren
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Quote drc:

I hear about cluttered minds all the time. Multi-tasking and trying to keep up with computer info crunching world, and the rat race. People are sold "the skills they need" to make money in these "good jobs" but are not asked whether the work is interesting to them. I know a lot of people who have learned a lot of those skills and do not use them now. They really don't even use the transferable skills that were part of that past, but we also always learn from the whole journey.

What bugs me is the curriculum of skills that ignores the curiosity of the student and his/her own story. My learning theory is based in feeding that curiosity and building one's own story/journey from early childhood education on. It is like learning all the dates and names in history instead of getting into it as a story one gets to rewrite/must rewrite instead of "accepting." One of the best academic performers I encountered was a historian who could do a lecture making Luther sound totally convincing and follow it with a lecture making someone on the other side totally convincing. There was no pleasing the prof and parotting back what He said. You had to make some choices.

We have talked about technocratic and mechanistic training and institutions, and I consider that training as a way to clutter minds and avoid reflection. I know of no more powerful clutter than the neocon economics taught in our Biz School catechetics and am amazed at how easily this nonsense clouds the minds of otherwise intelligent people. I guess we could add the empire and whatever it is that is making people think of it as a good investment, but for pure wasted space and scholasticism, it is hard to beat economics according to the Chamber of Commerce and Heritage.

Those are some astute observations from your post #67. I have a few related thoughts.

I'd like to start with our society's obsession with measuring intelligence and the deep-seated effects of doing that throughout our institutionalized education system and then on to the various social institutions that make up what has become a "technocratic and mechanistic" society, as detailed by such analysts as Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society). With that observation goes a logical recognition of the place people get assigned based on the abilities and skills they develop related to this insipid measuring process, a process that my teaching friends tell me has taken over the art of teaching finally to become a process that includes the measuring and sorting out teachers themselves in the "No Child Left Behind" program instituted during the Bush Administration.

I suppose in one sense it can be seen in a positive light -- that is, in that our effort to refuse to recognize the existence of the old European class structure in the United States, where class itself supposedly does not limit one's ability to become something our society deems "successful" defines the supposed notion of freedom and opportunity this form of society offers an individual. Any casual observer can recognize that without that discarded distinction of class, an individual with the luck of being measured and recorded as having a high IQ by this system can do supposedly anything with regards to placing oneself well within our institutional structures. I don't think I need to go into all the ways that particular individual characteristic is recognized as an advantage; we all know about it to the point where it's clichéd.

But I have a tendency to step back and note that the very act of measuring people is part of a larger process that defines our idea of humanity within this system. It's a process that I believe you've also addressed in a less flattering way when you introduce the notion of cluttered minds and then recognize such on the job behaviors as: " Multi-tasking and trying to keep up with computer info crunching world, and the rat race."

If we recognize, as Jacques Ellul did in his notion of sociological propaganda, that modern industrial societies enculture people into ideologies of certain patterns of belief, and in that enculturation process the very notion of propaganda becomes a commodity disbursement process that we now call advertising, or the more benign term invented by Eddie Bernays (an American figure that Joseph Goebbels idolized and followed in his Nazi propaganda schemes, I hope the irony isn't lost), Public Relations (PR). With that level of recognition of enculturation, I find your following observation appropo: "People are sold "the skills they need" to make money in these "good jobs.""

In this endemic social sales process people are also enculturated to see themselves as commodities within this system. Somehow now abstractly and objectively measurable, thus scientifically identifiable and slottable, and no longer restricted by membership in some kind societally defined family class structure. Individuals can now be valued in a measurable process accepted and legitimized within an institutional system. Only now we are beginning to discover those institutions themselves may be failing us all.

How does a conscious individual separate from that life-defining and life-directing social ontology? I had one libertarian-oriented free market conservative tell me once that I am my own capital. Therefore I am a capitalist. Not that I was sold on the idea, of course. I actually feel a little sorry for people so unconscious about their own society as to believe such logical, rational lines of reasoning.

Is becoming aware of those processes in society what Chalquist meant when he talked about becoming "more" conscious in an archetype of apocalypse time? I doubt if "more consciousness" of that nature can be quantitatively measured on a test, though I don't doubt there are plenty of those in our institutions who would try.

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It seems to me that the entire society is entering a "liminal realm"...on the cusp of embracing a "trickster", or letting go of failed institutions/modes of thinking and embracing new ones not yet seen.

I note that promises of a better future...a utopia of sorts, weren't limited to the tyrannies of Communism/Fascism. "Hope and change" is endemic to all tricksters. Politics in America thrives on "hope"...something better later.

How we come to believe what we believe is a fascinating topic. If people would delve into that, they may come to the possibility that what they "believe" is in error rather than each individual digging in their heels proclaming what they "believe" is an absolute truth. A conscious apocalypse might arise out of a willingness to question one's own beliefs...some shared, some not.

Social truths are subjective...and may have absolutely nothing to do with what is actually so. Do the "truths" that lives and societies are built upon work...or not work... are seldom questioned even when they unravel. The usual course is to attempt to make something that doesn't work, that can no longer work....work. Enter the "trickster".

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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What is a trickster? What would be the role of the trickster in our drama and ongoing narrative we call society? Are tricksters among us? How can we identify them?

Here are some easy to access answers from people who've asked such questions:

The Role of the Trickster

What are the Roles of Tricksters in Mythology?

The Role of the Trickster

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.ren
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Parabola_(magazine) covers the trickster, it also covers the fool [vol 26, No 3, Fall '01]

THE TRICKSTER
VOLUME 4 NUMBER 1

Spring 1979

Who will teach us to discriminate, and are we ready to be taught? The true trickster, mixing up everything in impossible contradictions, shocks us into a greater clarity; the false trickster makes us believe that the opposites are the same. Jones of Jonestown, the leader of the People's Temple which came to its macabre end in Guyana, trained his followers with a frequent ritual potion of fruit juice to drink cyanide when he bade them. But the holy trickster makes it impossible for us to follow him blindly; he shakes us awake to stand on our own feet and make our own decisions. Yet without his help, we never could have made them. --from the editorial Focus

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American Indian myths include Raven and Coyote, both "tricksters." Shapeshifters is another form, and I like the way they reinforce the mystery and sleuthing, or watch out in general avoidance of the wrong form of certainty. Confidence in being alive and moving is not the same as needing a fixed point or a world or mechancial morality.

I have posited that the difference between "the saved and the damned" is being in on the joke. I hope Raven and Coyote chuckle with me on that one. But, if you are going to love other human beings, it really helps to have that compassionate equality of human nature not quite being measured in that linear and literal Enlightenment metric. You have to love the sheeple, not scorn them. They are part of the joke, and helping them get in on it with you instead of being the butt of it matters.

drc2
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doug. Being in love with "the solution" is always a problem. I think we are singing from the same score even if we have been doing some concerto dialogue. Good comments!

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

ren has used 'the map is not the territory' as acknowledged earlier. A few years ago I had some posting discussions with Kate in which I posited that we are all actors in this play [of life], whether it's a Greek tragedy or a comedy. I even had to distinguish between being a spectator in the theater or a major character hitting cues on stage, or just part of an an ensemble. Even a spectator has a role in some productions.

Historically writers have roles in many significant events. Some were messengers, [Jonathon Swift] some were chroniclers [Arthur Schlessenger jr] that actually affected the narrative by influencing the subject. Some were entertainers and predicters through their fiction [Ray Bradbury, Jules Vern].

In the slide show at the beginning of this thread and the breakdown of institutions referenced he touched on myth and we just did with the trickster.

Metaphor was also mentioned as not only a social tool under the radar but a way of thinking and communicating. The slide presentation covers spiritual [writers did that too, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John].

Writing can be cathartic, or problem solving by forcing a deeper understanding of the subject, and editing.

I said James Thurber wrote prodigiously and he did. He also wrote whenever. At parties he could be found scrawlling something when his wife was looking for him. He didn't retreat to privacy, he wrote standing up if he had to because he enjoyed it, and his doodling was just as much a common everyday thing whenever and wherever.

Another writer that loved it so much he wanted to share a process or thought pattern so anyone could do it for pleasure.

Zen-in-the-Art-of-Writing--Essays-on-Creativity- is a pdf file of 11 essays. I haven't read all of them yet, so how it fits in here I can't say, but I think it will.

One other writer, Carl Sagan, brought the Cosmos to many by tackling a not so simple subject with a love of the subject that came through in his writing.

btw, I have a better download site than that one, I have to find it. There are many free versions.

Zen in the art of writingFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Bradbury, Ray, 1920—. Zen in the art of writing. 1. Bradbury, Ray, 1920- —Authorship. 2. Creative ability.3.raybradbury.ruraybradbury.ru/stuff/zen_in_the_art_of_writing.pdf

raybradbury.ru/stuff/zen_in_the_art_of_writing.pdf Another writer kurt vonnegut "armageddon in retrospect" represents another type of writer, commentary? or as mentioned earlier, one seeking to understand a subject better, writes to make clear in his own mind said subject. Vonnegut might be a forensic writer. He wrote of one assignment he was not interested in. I think it was for a sports section or magazine, and the subject was a race horse that had jumped a fence and gotten away . He had the paper in the typewriter for a very long time. Eventually he had his article "The horse jumped over the fu#king fence".

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douglaslee
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Quote douglaslee:

Zen-in-the-Art-of-Writing--Essays-on-Creativity- is a pdf file of 11 essays. I haven't read all of them yet, so how it fits in here I can't say, but I think it will.

I'd say so. For one thing, for me, writing has been my way of listening to my own subconscious, discovering what it has to say by allowing it to voice itself without conscious preconceptions. In his essay that reflects the title of the eleven essay collection Ray Bradbury shares thoughts similar to the ones I'veI had many times while struggling with my own desire to write:

Quote Ray Bradbury:

Let me stop here a moment to ask some questions. Why is it that in a society with a Puritan heritage we have such completely ambivalent feelings about Work? We feel guilty, do we not, if not busy? But we feel somewhat soiled, on the other hand, if we sweat overmuch?

I can only suggest that we often indulge in made work, in false business, to keep from being bored. Or worse still we conceive the idea of working for money. The money becomes the object, the target, the end-all and be-all. Thus work, being important only as a means to that end, degenerates into boredom. Can we wonder then that we hate it so?

Simultaneously, others have fostered the notion among the more self-conscious literary that quill, some parchment, an idle hour in midday, a soupçon of ink daintily tapped on paper will suffice, given inspiration's whiff. Said inspiration being, all too often, the latest issue of The Kenyon Review or some other literary quarterly. A few words an hour, a few etched paragraphs per day and—voilà! we are the Creator! Or better still, Joyce, Kafka, Sartre!

Nothing could be further from true creativity. Nothing could be more destructive than the two attitudes above.

Why?

Because both are a form of lying.

It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by money in the commercial market.

It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary group in the intellectual gazettes.

Do I have to tell you how filled to the brim the literary quarterlies are with young lads and lasses kidding themselves they are creating when all they are doing is imitating the scrolls and flourishes of Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner or Jack Kerouac?

Do I have to tell you how filled to the brim are our women's magazines and other mass circulation publications with yet other lads and lasses kidding themselves they are creating when they are only imitating Clarence Buddington Kelland, Anya Seton, or Sax Rohmer?

The avant-garde liar kids himself he will be remembered for his pedantic lie.

The commercial liar, too, on his own level, kids himself that while he is slanting, it is only because the world is tilted; everyone walks like that!

That revealed process itself speaks to my own triggered sense of exploraion when I read someone talking of recognizing an ongoing phenomenon, a time of (gasp!) potential sharing -- that is, an archetype of apocalypse with all its varied, even mythological character(istic)s, thus a conscious apocalypse for those who want it to be, who pull their heads out of the sandy beaches of lies, and who take the trouble to allow revelation to come forth from within like a rising tide.

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Quote drc:

I have posited that the difference between "the saved and the damned" is being in on the joke. I hope Raven and Coyote chuckle with me on that one. But, if you are going to love other human beings, it really helps to have that compassionate equality of human nature not quite being measured in that linear and literal Enlightenment metric. You have to love the sheeple, not scorn them. They are part of the joke, and helping them get in on it with you instead of being the butt of it matters.

The trickster is a liminal figure in nearly every cosmology.

The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects (though the trickster's initial intentions may have been either positive or negative). Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer.

(Trickster - Wiki)

If there is a joke involved, it could be a joke of compassion or something much more cruel, utterly lacking in empathy. Jokes can be tricky... of course. Some jokes require a butt, a fool. In such an instance, being "in on the joke" means someone may in fact not be, and in that instance society is playing a cruel trick on one of its members. Someone is being cast as the outsider, the rejected one. But sometimes the outsiders are shamanic seers, and those in on the joke are the fools.

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.ren
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So true, and "being in on the joke (with God)" is about that Cosmic sense of belonging where the joke is redemptive rather than a dump on the scapegoat or target of bullies. If the joke is always "on us" as well, we can laugh together at the funny business of being human, even when we find ourselves doing things that are not funny or nice. Our own shame, and grace reminding us that we have been fools. It is not a bad place to start, btw.

I wish people in power could realize and embrace their own foolery so they could stop hiding it, as if they could. Stewart, Colbert and Maher live on the hubris and foolery of people in power. The Naked Emperor is emblematic of positive ridicule revealing what is trully ridiculous in "our leaders."

It also can be laughing to keep from crying or to balance the tears, and Job is not a psychologically sound story. There is nothing funny at all at the devastation "God" uses to win a bet with Satan. Fortunately, that is not what the story is about in its context. It is a send-up of the established piety and repentence formula of rote religion. It takes down the Deuteronomic "do good and good will come to you." Even if you can beat the odds that way, really bad stuff does happen to really good people. How do they survive?

That great line from Sarajevo, "we must save despair for better times" tells me that humor does not lose its power in tragedy, but it surely matters whether it reinforces cynicism or sparks a light in the dark. Even when the principalities and powers of this world are on the other side, they bring no soul power or humanity, and humor is deliciously defiant.

"Put down" humor is only appropriate for the puffed up with power or status. Reminding the banksters that they are human way down deep is good for them even if they howl like wounded animals at being the butt of our jokes and satire. Look, however, at the differences between ridicule of Obama and hate dumped on Obama and why the Jungle Bunny stuff is ugly and not funny at all. SNL does some ridicule that is funny, and there are others who get it too.

I am not sure where the good drone joke or skit can be found, but for pure irony, Obama's speech at the Mandela Memorial might be a sign that he is seeing himself in the mirror as judged by Mandela rather than as a fulfillment of his vision. A Leftie friend says Obama is on the way to be the Greatest Ex-President ever. In any event, I got through the Bush/Cheney years on a dose of rage and humor mixed to avoid wasting anger and to get my full benefit from my taxes. The characters were priceless and the skits so full of amazing acting out that the whole world was laughing at us in derision. I was laughing with them, and I remember a great conversation in Italy where my Italian friend was apologizing for Berlasconi while I kept pointing out that Bush was a far more damaging individual. Berlasconi did not have much to do with life at the local level in the weirdness that is Italian politics. The point is that we were laughing together as we shared our misleaders as public jokes on our countries.

The Naked Emperor can also humanize rather than demonize our response to the fools on the hill. Instead of wanting to kill them in a rage of moral 'righteousness,' we can be satisfied with bringing them down to earth and to being human. To being in on the joke with the Mystery of Reality and linked in compassion and grace as self-aware fools!

drc2
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The architect of the slide show in his recap had the first line 'What will we/I give up' because it's outdated, or not necessary, or is there only because it has always been there. I didn't know it or think about it in those terms or that context, but I have already given up parts of my life, routine, or plan that were completely unnecessary. I gave up driving, and use a bike, bus, and walk. I also buy small quantities at the market for two reasons, small is easier to carry and secondly it forces me to go almost daily for the exercise. I had given up my birth country for residence 17 years ago, but it's permanent now, my decision. I had given up TV a long time ago, a little more smoothly than you did, ren, but hardly a sacrifice. I gave up inches, miles, fahrenheit, ounces for both volume and weight, and probably more that I've forgotten about because they aren't missed.

I also gave up suing my former employer, but I'll not do a Mandela and forgive. Some hatred is healthy, especially for criminals, criminals that can be excised (or exorcised) from your life.

One more thing about writing, the slide show had a place for it, whether for messaging, recording, communication, inspiration, referencing, or venting [he might not have said that, but it is a benefit].

When he referred to order, I was thinking about some images of snow flake crystals I had posted a couple of weeks ago. Chaos theory challenges old notions of order. Economic order or equilibrium always had diminishing returns [negative feedback] opposite increasing returns [positive feedback]. Supposed maximum net revenue or most profitable output due to unique combinations of input also led to static input and output because changing anything could upset the equilibrium and cause a loss of stability. Chaos implies there are many equilibrium positions, or nonlinear feedback. The divestment strategy at the behest of Mandela was a unique influence on market forces and unique force for social change. There could be divestment in the domestic US market. Norway has in it's charter for sovereign wealth investment [their surplus invested in international equities for future infrastructure needs , and healthcare and retirement needs] human rights. Human rights violations means that company has no place in Norway's portfolio. They divested from Walmart over that issue. 18th century UK was a static economy and diminishing returns. France however had increasing returns, they had projected long term profits and invested. China is similar to 18th century France, economic textbooks don't teach that. The wait to invest and short term concerns is the opposite of planning. Norway's infrastructure is maintained and future costs are accounted for and paid for, they are like 18th century France. France today is on a different long term footing than the US. Canada is on a different long term footing than US. Their banks have never ever had a crisis. No S&L [caused by Reagan], no 2008 meltdown, and no medicare shortfall.

The next thing I give up may be US markets. I'm about 20% international now, no US bonds.

One thing all the fixed, static systems and lack of planning have in common, conservative is the term . No change, an ideology failed in the past, failing now, and if not jettisoned, failure in the future. That failure will likely be a disaster. The positive feedback vs negative feedback fails to consider nonlinear feedback.

http://discovermagazine.com/2002/oct/breakdialogue covers Robert May. In the 70s he discovered bifurcation or nonlinear feedback forces in the environment, thus affecting animal population growth, migrating and documenting of them. Biological systems are governed by nonlinear mechanisms. Animals in the lab don't act chaotically, they are linear, but in reality animals interact with each other and so many other variables that only a computer model can account for them.

One other thing in the slide show, the extinction or withering of units that do not change, like conservatism and gop. That is another part I will not miss, as a matter of fact I am doing quite well without it.

For humor in the face of tragedy yakov-smirnoff-remembers-the-soviet-department-of-jokes.

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douglaslee
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Answering the question of what to give up offers a fertile topic for hunting and gathering new mental food for our future journeys, doug, and I want to get back to it. I haven't developed all my holistic impressions about tricksters yet.

Before I go on, while it's fresh... regarding your comment on my somewhat violent act you interpret as me giving up television, the story I've told, that I'm sure you remember given your comment, was more like me acting out my PTSD after Vietnam on Nixon's lying face on an old black and white 17 inch television set I'd found left behind in the off campus apartment I'd rented when I got back to college. Can't say I really cared much about television or the set I destroyed. It wasn't really a giving up of something story, because I didn't watch much television as a child and teenager before military service, and it was clearly something I didn't care much about afterwards. I do see see that aspect modern media as something worth studying, though. Especially when people talk about "giving it up."

I see modern technological society, with its elements of commodification of both consumable items and of commodified, consumable people as replaceable parts in the production of consumables -- a characteristic of such society that leads to alienation and a rather new form of desocialization (See Erich Fromm's Escape From Freedom for a more indepth discussion -- as the ecology of a ripe environment for trickster techniques. Speaking from actual hands on, or rather mind and fingers on experience as a freelance writer, I can see how one of the richest social fields for the employment of those techniques on a kind of grand societal scale can be found in the marketing and sales elements of distributing both the ideas and their related products in society. So as inhuman, psychopathic and machine-like as our institutions may be, the trickster still has a place.

Aside from those television comedians mentioned by drc, modern institutional tricksters might include such well known figures as Frank Luntz (winner of the Lie of the Year award in 2010) and Karl Rove. Those who precede them and who developed the framework for institutionalizing tricksterism into a mass marketing form would include Eddie Bernays and Joseph Goebbels.

Becoming conscious of these forms of tricksterism would seem to me to be a natural occurrence with a conscious apocalypse. If you really are in on those jokes, the act of giving up that doug talks about may come easier, even more naturally.

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.ren
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A recent trickster was Romney. I saw through the misleading statements that technically were not lies. His tax proposal always had a clarification statement, "My tax rates will not go down under my plan" He paid no income tax, so his rate of zero would not go down. He paid capital gains, not income tax.

One of the changes needed is the economic model. economic-model-failed-in-2008-says-greenspan- antifascist, you and I were discussing the rational actors in economic models vs herd mentality a short while ago. Umberto Eco was touched on too. Either his semiotics or anthropology, I can't remember but we were all discussing social or behavioral economics around 2011, I think. Greenspan is just slow catching up to us.

Looking at trickster's professional work is interesting trying to pick the coded iconic message vs the non-coded. Identifying the parts and the manipulation behind it is easier if we know the source. The Citizens United purposely allowed hidden sources but the topic is easy to trace.

David Gregory is a farce of an unbiased journalist. I posted his obvous bias on the Gregory is an Ass thread. I also tipped media matters by e-mail. I have dropped a dime on others before. cjr.org has a few review categories, one is the Audit, to critically evaluate press articles from various sources. They give kudos when due. WSJ got praise when doing Medicare Fraud investigation, and a TX surgeon that does unneccessary procedures by an overwhelming number, some on the same patient 3 times in a row, and a significant morbidity rate. Why the TX medical board allowed it was not questioned though. Your linguistic studies and references have been a help to me seeing what is supposed to be news is really Manufactured Consent. I am teaching my daughter this, too. She has to write papers from one side or another and others in her class do the other side. Establishing supporting data and discrediting opposing position is something she now enjoys. I edit her stuff when asked, and always have links to add as footnotes.

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douglaslee
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In a tangential tie-in re:thought processes and a way to shed light on one's personal processing.

Google had a question they asked of job applicants in job interviews of potential employees. "Assume you are a perfect tight rope walker with no risk of falling, where would you want your tightrope to be?"

I thought of an Amazon Rainforest canopy that hit the peak on top and spanned into the layer of the canopy that offered shade from the top and a view of the rainforest ground. You get diversity and exclusivity at the same time. Few have access to rainforest trees at that height and depth, and the mini-ecosystem must be an amazing sight to behold. The smells and sounds would be just as unique.

I didn't know somebody beat me to it /rainforestweb/canopy/ with walkways.

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In reply to douglaslee's post #84: doug, your comments support and confirm my earlier observations: modern industrial societies form a basis for a social ecology that's ripe for tricksterism. Of course politicians can be found among the tricksters of society The institutions involved in mass politicking acknowledge it and even give out awards...Obama Wins! ... Ad Age's Marketer of the Year

The institutions involved don't show any indications they recognize any need to use an Orwellian form of Newspeak to disguise their place and purpose in modern industrial society: Advertising Age & Marketing Industry News.

If industrial society's feudal subjects weren't so easily programmed, weren't sleepwalking through the obvious of an approaching apocalypse, these trickster-oriented industries would face much greater challenge in designing pro neoliberal trickster messages.

A larger and growing awareness, necessary to compose a conscious apocalypse, would raise the stakes in maintaining a disciplined population (a Chomskian concept for the results of Manufacturing Consent).

As more subjects become aware (as did many of those in the recent OWS movement), the more they can share the farce, and thus the joke that they do little more with their participation in modern politics than legitimize the managers' (Chomsky likes to call them the Mandarins but one must at least be minimally literate to catch meaning in his often dry delivery) position in society.

It's then that members of the demos have the potential to become conscious that they unwittingly comspired with a system they willingly believed to be democratic -- and of course it is, it's the best democracy that money can buy.

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.ren
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I saw Harold Ford spout some nonsense statement that leads to a conclusion without any consideration of complete facts. "People's premiums going up is going to be a problem". Did premiums never go up in the past? When did they last go up? How much did they go up? How much have they gone up this year? How much did they go up before 2009 2010 when ACA was passed? How much since 1994 when Hillary Care was killed? "Do you believe this Harold, or do you always ignore inclusion of in depth data before issueing a blanket statement".

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douglaslee
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Yes, doug, all marketing can be deconstructed to reveal the incipient tautologies and misleading implications. It's easy to find examples. That's why I go to underlying fundamentals of the tricksters that design misdirection for their various industries, whether public or oligarchic. If one bothers to pay attention, one sees people who are almost disdainfully honest about their techniques, be it Eddie Bernays back in the twenties (Propaganda, 1928), or more recently, Frank Luntz (Words that Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear 2007)

--"When Frank Luntz invites you to talk to his focus group, you talk to his focus group" -Barack Obama.

It's not easy to get into their institutionalized minds when they are so up front with their methods (I mean, aren't tricksters supposed to be tricky?), but it's likely these figures assume that the general public won't bother to read up on the tactics being employed by their Mandarins (both elected and the private tyrannical corporate versions) to manage their minds, or if they did they simply wouldn't comprehend them. You can rest assure the corporate-owned media won't be presenting educational programming on these very available methods.

Or, consider that the Mandarins are so arrogant that they assume their accepted industrial media tactics combined with an institutionalized education system geared to indoctrinate the population into gratefully taking their place in the system (increasingly teaching to Federally nationalized and funding-supported standard tests rather than to increasingly non funded principles of learning to learn that I was exposed to with a more liberal and classically oriented education "back in the day") are so psychologically powerful, that it won't matter.

So far it's not obvious they would be wrong if that's what they assumed.

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.ren
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Since there would be no test section for psychology the manipulation and deceit can't be taught in high school. Product placement will not be addressed either. A tv assignment for how many products are placed strategically in your favorite show, couldn't hurt. Look at the dates on the dairy at your grocery, then look at the dates behind the front row. Look at eye level products, now look lower, which is cheaper? Notice any smells in your shopping trip? Where were they, what scent did they have, and what colors were the display where you noticed the aroma? I was covering this with my daughter in her psych class.

The store was offering coffee? Did they ask if you wanted a coffee or did they ask "do you take cream or sugar?" If it's the latter, the decision is already made for you, not cream or sugar, but whether you really wanted coffee.

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douglaslee
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My Representative in the House across the nation in DC is a young Republican woman, Jamie Herrara Beutler, who has a degree in communication, not law. She's involved in designing the laws of this country but doesn't need a law degree to be able to do so. A degree in communications is sufficient.

They teach Frank Luntz's neurolinguistic techniques (see Hartmann's Cracking the Code for another expert's background in this technology), found in his above referenced book, in college communication departments these days. I doubt if they bother with it in high school, they are so busy teaching to nationally standardized tests and removing the maverick teachers who want to teach learning to learn.

It's by no means considered immoral in an industrialized neoliberal society to teach those techniques. You could chalk it up to the oft-quoted market ideology that assumes the buyer is responsible to beware, that follows market ideology's version of democracy by bringing choice back to beleaguered individuals trying to survive by maintaining their jobs.

Any other societal notion that requires an implied trust in the morality of those doing the institutional marketing can be easily dismissed as monetarily wasteful government interference.

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.ren
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When a journalist arrives and distinguishes themselves [to me anyhow, not professional evaluators referred to in the 'Zen in Literature' essay] I seek them out and pass their work on: rumsfelds-war-and-its-consequences-now/.

Rumsfeld would offer the “creative” plan for the Iraq invasion that his president had requested that tearful evening in September 2001, one that envisioned a relative handful of troops—150,000, fewer than half the number the elder Bush had assembled a decade before for the much less ambitious Desert Storm—and foresaw an invasion that would begin in shock and awe and an overwhelming rush to Baghdad. As for the occupation—well, if democracy were to come to Iraq it would be the Iraqis themselves who must build it. There would be no occupation, and thus no planning for it. Rumsfeld’s troops would be in and out in four months. As he told a then adoring press corps, “I don’t do quagmires.”

It did not turn out that way. Having watched from the Oval Office in 1975 the last torturous hours of the United States extracting itself from Vietnam—the helicopters fleeing the roof of the US embassy in Saigon—Rumsfeld would be condemned to thrash about in his self-made quagmire for almost four years, sinking ever deeper in the muck as nearly five thousand Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. He was smart, brash, ambitious, experienced, skeptical of received wisdom, jealous of civilian control, self-searching, analytical, domineering, and he aimed at nothing less than to transform the American military. The parallels with McNamara are stunning.

And month after month in his arrogance and tenacity he would deny an insurgency had taken root. Month after month, as the shortcomings of the army he had sent into Iraq—too small, too conventional, not configured or equipped or trained to fight an insurgency and thus fated in its impotent bludgeoning to make it ever worse—became impossible to deny, he would go on denying them, digging in his heels and resisting the change he had to know was necessary. And even as it became undeniable that Rumsfeld’s war, far from deterring or dissuading prospective terrorists, increasingly inspired and fostered them—that the image of strength and dominance he sought had become one of bumbling and cruelty and weakness—the power of his personality and of his influence over the president meant that for month after month, year after year, he was able to impose his will—and define the world we still see around us

And as Nixon learned, Rummy's fingerprints aren't on this mess, he doesn't do quagmires in his own name is a better quote.

btw, a review of Nicholson Baker's new and past works were in a recent issue, but with a lock. He has an interesting style, he says he doesn't like cargo box plots. Dirda reviewed them.

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douglaslee
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Fred Field/The New York Times/Redux Nicholson Baker, South Berwick, Maine, 2008

While Nicholson Baker may have started out as a somewhat lighthearted literary microscopist, genially teasing out the overlooked yet fetching particularities of the world around us, he’s come a long way since The Mezzanine (1988) and Room Temperature (1990). Over the years he’s increasingly assumed a far more iconoclastic and contentious presence on the cultural scene—producing tracts as well as novels, breaking taboos, celebrating both erotic and domestic forms of the Earthly Paradise, attacking orthodoxies and bureaucracies and governments, bucking the system. His latest novel, Traveling Sprinkler, isn’t just a further report from the sad sack poet Paul Chowder (narrator of 2009’s The Anthologist), it’s also a political jeremiad and a plea for what the book calls “lovingkindness.”

Back when Baker first began to publish, he seemed just a delightful, slightly show-offy aesthete. Setting down the thoughts of a young businessman on his lunch hour in The Mezzanine and the reveries of a stay-at-home dad while he feeds his six-month-old daughter a bottle in Room Temperature, Baker deliberately eschewed what he once called the “clanking boxcars” of plot. Lacking significant action, the two books instead offered lyricized info-dumps, gardens of forking paths appealingly littered with paper clips, gel pens, and shoelaces, digressive prose poems celebrating the delicate and remarkable beauty of the seemingly unremarkable. Baker’s mock-epic minutiae captivated readers:

Perforation! Shout it out! The deliberate punctuated weakening of paper and cardboard so that it will tear along an intended path, leaving a row of fine-haired white pills or tuftlets on each new edge! It is a staggering conception, showing an age-transforming feel for the unique properties of pulped wood fiber. Yet do we have national holidays to celebrate its development? Are festschrift volumes published honoring the dead greats in the field?… Why isn’t the pioneer of perforation chiseled into the façades of libraries, along with Locke, Franklin, and the standard bunch of French Encyclopedists? They would have have loved him!

When Baker brought out his third book, U and I (1991), an apologia for dandyish bespoke prose in an age of sweatshop ready-to-wear, people began to say: this guy’s really an essayist. Maybe. Not that it mattered one way or the other. You didn’t read Baker for plot turns or the careful delineation of character, or even for ideas. You read him for sentences and similes that would take your breath away, for pages of description more exciting than any James Bond thriller. In an age of “transparent” journalistic prose, Baker’s every line shouted, like the Cat in the Hat, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW!” How else can one account for his description of his first novel as nothing less than

a veritable infarct of narrative cloggers; the trick being to feel your way through each clog by blowing it up until its obstructiveness finally revealed not blank mass but unlooked-for …

Koyaaniqatsi deals with conscience and obvious apocalypse and need for change

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douglaslee
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My small point is that our comedic tricksters reveal the truth while our media manipulators and experts in "messaging" hide it.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Another trickster reference, and coming back to environmental aspects of the topic, the following site is a favorite spin machine for the AGW denialist set:

Watts Up With That.

Marketing his site as "the most viewed site on global warming and climate change," college drop out/meteorologist Anthony Watts, with absolutely no bonafide science credentials, hosts the spewings of recognized AGW denialists like Christopher Monckton. Despite its deviance from objectively peer reviewed science and despite its owner's lack of actual science credentials, his site managed to garner a Weblog Award for "best science blog." It might be worth looking into how those awards are judged, just to get a better understanding on how credentialed legitimacy is tricked into the public mind, kind of like giving out a Nobel Peace Prize at the beginning of a President's term in office.

The blog has been characterized as highly partisan and untrustworthy. Others are even more descriptive of the trickster methodologies Watts employs as a pretense for what in science is always legitimate, skepticism: Watts "risks polluting his legitimate scepticism about the scientific processes and methodologies underpinning climate science with his accompanying politicised commentary." Those "accompanying politicesed commentary's and scientific innacuracies of course have no influence on the denialists who tarket posts on this forum and use them with their visible "ROTFLMAO" or "LOL" guffaws to ridicule the science (and by implication the messengers who bring it) that we try to bring to the public eye.

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.ren
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Prophets rarely win popularity contests.

drc2
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Quote drc2:

My small point is that our comedic tricksters reveal the truth while our media manipulators and experts in "messaging" hide it.

As I pointed out earlier about the trickster archetype:

The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects (though the trickster's initial intentions may have been either positive or negative). Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer.

(Trickster - Wiki)

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.ren
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Quote drc2:

Prophets rarely win popularity contests.

It doesn't do any harm to be able to differentiate between a troll employing trickster tactics in response to prophetic revelations from science and the response by the general public regarding acceptance of apocalyptic prophecies. One is a further attempt at spinning the spin, while the other would be a reasonable fear response to the implied need for a very complicated process of change, that will take the willing participation of that general public, once they accept the necessity.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

neurolinguistic programming

also has Dave Berry enrolling [scroll down] to write first hand . Undercover? I don't know, but I don't think they knew him because the people he describes are very much like MLM [amway] crowds or tri-corner hat crowds buying into the latest cult. Humorists identifying tricksters get some degree of fame, and respect.

Clinton had Robins over, for what I don't know. Maybe that's why his "I did not have sex with that woman" was convincing. Picture Bill and Tony doing Tony's trademarked jumping, and Bill repeats after Tony "I am exceptional", Hillary walks in and asks for a cigar.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Nasreddin Hodja is Turkey's most well known trickster, as the Parabola Article pointed out there are holy tricksters.

The Smell of Soup and the Sound of Money

A beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.

Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.

"I took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."

"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.

The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him before the qadi.

Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.

"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized the Hodja after the hearing.

"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.

"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."

Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.

The Slap

Nasreddin Hodja was standing in the marketplace when a stranger stepped up to him and slapped him in the face, but then said, "I beg your pardon. I thought that you were someone else."

This explanation did not satisfy the Hodja, so he brought the stranger before the qadi and demanded compensation.

The Hodja soon perceived that the qadi and the defendant were friends. The latter admitted his guilt, and the judge pronounced the sentence: "The settlement for this offense is one piaster, to be paid to the plaintiff. If you do not have a piaster with you, then you may bring it here to the plaintiff at your convenience."

Hearing this sentence, the defendant went on his way. The Hodja waited for him to return with the piaster. And he waited. And he waited.

Some time later the Hodja said to the qadi, "Do I understand correctly that one piaster is sufficient payment for a slap?"

"Yes," answered the qadi.

Hearing this answer, the Hodja slapped the judge in the face and said, "You may keep my piaster when the defendant returns with it," then walked away.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

This is street wisdom literature. We go back to the power of stories to square the circles of our systematic theologies and to puncture the conceit of our projections of our moralistic pieties. Moral reality rises to slap down dogma and the smug pride of the top dogs. How the rich love to dictate what others need. How deaf, dumb and blind they are to what is going on in the streets.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Great stories douglaslee! Also a great topic Ren! I only listened to the first three minutes of the video you posted at the opening of this thread but I'm hooked;) I'll listen to the rest in the nest few days.

Just finished re-reading The Fire From Within~Carlos Castaneda. A great re-minder of the process of ...shifting our assemblage points. Also the value and real function behind ritual, incantations and sorcery.

..."their worth is indirect for their real function is to make the assemblage point shift by making the first attention release its control on that spot.....their pourpose is of luring your first attention away from self absorbtion, which keeps your assemblage point rigidly fixed.....obsessive entanglement of the first attention in self absorbtion (self importance) or reason is a powerful binding force..." ..."ritual behavior because it is repetitive, forces the first attention to free some energy from watching the inventory, as a consequence of which the assemblage point loses its rigidity" ..(don Juan)

We seem to be rapidly approaching the "hundreth monkey" in the evolution of human consciousness. the shift may be more sudden than anyone can imagine. the old world will will be difficult to even grasp.

ok, now I need to finish listening to the opening video you provided;).......great thread, great participants.

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bamboo
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America: Meet Your Overlord Rupert Murdoch...

Thom plus logo The main lesson that we've learned so far from the impeachment hearings is that if Richard Nixon had had a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch with a television network like Fox News behind him, he never would've resigned and America would have continued to be presided over by a criminal.
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