Monday, June 24, 2013

Stairway to Woohoo

"My hand was writing out the words"  - Robert Plant

Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant dropped the 'a' in the word 'lead' to prevent "thick Americans" from pronouncing it as "leed".  - Rocklopedia.com 

"If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Right.

Well.

I shall ramble on.

Look.

Yes, like Tom Buchanan in Teh Great Gatsby, "Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back."  That's me talking to this here Blog.  This will be the second time I've restarted it with intentions of keeping it going.  I just happened to stumble upon it while making my way for the Misty Mountains (metaphorically speaking).  I've been dazed and confused, seen good times, bad times, but I can't quit you, baby.  I've also been shocked to see people actually reading this thing.

[Didja see The Great Gatsby?  Wasn't it a glorious mess?  I'll blog about it soon, old sport.]

But in short, I'm back, I'll try and keep it going and we'll leave it at that.

I've had a mild obsession with Led Zeppelin lately, listening to the songs, digging them, thinking how they're widely considered the best rock band ever, while only really active for 12 years, while The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50 years of making music and wondering why they don't get as much love as they think they should and feel overshadowed by the Beatles (active for 10) and Yeshua, I've already started with the run-on sentences, awready.

When you're at the top of the mountain made out of Marshall amps, what is considered your best song, the song that defines you, that tune must be a humdinger.  And for Led Zeppelin, that song is "Stairway to Heaven," further referred to in this blog as "Stairway" or "Teh Song."  It's our topic.  I've had brekkie, two cuppas and a poo and I'm ready to examine this song and try to get some meaning out of it.  For your edification and mine.  Mostly yours, since my edification has come and still reverberates within the hypostyle halls of myself.  Wow, that was deep, eh?

Now, I'm not going to get into much of the history of the band, that's out there.  (I've said before that a lot of what I've got in this blog isn't revelations, but information out there waiting.  That information, the Truth, the Woohoo, it's the girl that seems unattractive sitting over by the wall who came without a date, but if you get to know her, she's awesome.  I've danced with her and I'll tell you all about it.)  But what I've found to be really OUT THERE are some of the dissections of Stairway that I've seen online.  Now we see a lot of things online, things that can't be unseen.  We're only a googearch away from something horrible and terrible and Republican.  But I've seen some autopsies on Stairway to Heaven online that make one wonder if that person ever listened to the song or read the lyrics with any consciousness involvement.  No, the "rings of smoke" line does not mean the forest is on fire.  My gawd. 

Now, the problem with Stairway is that it seems mysterious, interminable, weeeird.  The musicality of the song itself, which I find helps lead us to the meaning of the piece, can also detract from the lyrics since it's a finely composed song that builds and builds and displays the craftsmanship of the band.  But I feel, when we do get a little background, specifically where Robert Plant came from when writing the lyrics and the music and mindset of Jimmy Page, the occultist, that we can actually get a clear point to the song.  What I mean to do is tell you what I think the song is about, 'xactly, and let you take if for what you deem it is worth.  If I don't convince, you, that's nobody's fault but mine.

Let's go ahead and dispense with some silliness:  Yes, Plant and Page may have been higher than an orbital kite when the song was created.  But saying Stairway is a gibberish of LSD-enhanced themes/imagery is the talk of closed-minded skeptics, and we'll have none of that here.  And the song is occult enough without any backward-masking foolish talk.  So stop it, this instant.  John Lennon may have purposefully make lyrics that he knew were nonsense, and yes, there are some Led Zeppelin songs where the lyrics aren't that important, but it's clear that something important happened when Plant wrote this song, even though he himself has gone back and forth on it and may not himself get the full gist of the import.  And yes, saying that Robert Plant was only a so-so lyricist is a pretty dumb thing to say, in an attempt to wash any real meaning from the song.  I don't think the song is really that obscure, when you look at it piece by piece, face value and get where Plant's uber-curled head might have been at. 

My hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady is sure [sic], all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven'. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat." Plant's own explanation of the lyrics was that it "was some cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration. The first line begins with that cynical sweep of the hand ... and it softened up after that.  - From the Wikipedia entry for the song.

This helps us get started in our examination of the song and we'll check out where Plant was coming from real quick first before we start.  While both he and Page downplay their studies in occultism and mysticism these days, Plant was a fervent reader of myth and fantasy, a lover of Tolkien, whose songs are peppered with references to the Misty Mountains, Gollum, etc. as well as the mystic legends and magical history of Great Britain/Wales.  While there are a few songs from the Led Lexicon that have mystic/occult ties, they are fairly sparse.  Rush has more songs on spiritual themes than Led Zeppelin does, and "Mystic Rhythms" and "Animate" are even more "pagan" than Stairway to Heaven is, but in a more overt way than Teh Song explores similar themes.  What we are told here by Plant is that his hand was writing out the words, but it was like "automatic" writing, that he wasn't consciously writing that line down, that it came from inside/outside himself.

It is a truth that Truth never knocks down your door with a S.W.A.T. team and shouts at you in simple sentences with a bullhorn.  While some religions claim that only the few chosen can read their sacred text and understand its meaning, the Truth about Life is that anyone can "read it" and all of it teaches us, as all of it is sacred.  And the idea that Life used Plant to put a "sign on the wall" is fairly romantic and we'll say no more about it.

We only stray when we want to change what we perceive into something else.  We can all do the Misty Mountain Hop. so to speak.  The idea is also that the more subtler the way that Truth tries to reveal itself, the more potent that revelation is.  In short:  the most difficult thing is to realize yourself, your place in the cosmos, and anytime someone is selling you the secret in a few easy steps, you can dismiss it outright.  It's dishwater, and it tastes nasty because I was swilling that myself for 25 years and the aftertaste never quite leaves you.  So if Life has something to say to you, it might be a song, or a moment of synchronicity, a fleeting thought, a theme in a movie...it won't be on a pulpit thumping anything.

Back to Plant, tho.  He has a love of the "old ways," if only in a romantic sense.  He loves the Arthurian myths, the Mabinogion, etc.  Then when you couple that with Black Magician Jimmy, sometimes you're going to create a work that has Truth in it.  Now the whole "Black" title to Jimmy Page betrays the Western World's maintenance of the spiritual status quo, of the domination of Xiandom.  Any spiritual pursuit other than Xianity is outright condemned and painted black by those in charge.  I've mentioned before that the Western Logic Rule is to define sharply something.  For example, the exposure of the NSA's surveillance program is in one person's POV treason, and in another one's an act of a patriot, when it's really both at the same time.  Me, I love my country, which is why I hate it so much right now.  A deeper discussion about such modern problems is needed to solve those problems.  In other words, let's think things through.

...................................................................................................................................................................


There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold

And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.



Okay.  First of all, with a change in punctuation and an extra "ooh" here or there, there is a set set of lyrics for this song.  Yes, Plant will change them up when he sings them live, not counting goof-ups, and I refer to the lyrics as printed in the original release of the album in which the song appears, not released as a single, Led Zeppelin IV.  These are the ones I'll use.  You can go to 3 diff online lyric sites and see 3 diff versions.  The Truth mutates of its own accord when it speaks.

The first stanza speaks of a lady who is "sure all the glitters is gold."  Now that can have a double-meaning in that it is saying in her eyes, gold is the only thing that shines, that has value.  Which is a very disappointing worldview to have and makes you pity the lady.  But based on Plant's own words, I believe the line is saying more exactly that to the lady, whatever glitters, that seems of value, what makes an impression on her is gold...which means wealth.  That nothing else holds her interest, a person totally bought into the idea that stuff bring happiness.  It's about getting everything you want, with a focus on things.  And that if she buys things, the glittery things that are her gold, she will reach heaven.  Since the lyrics as printed in IV are all in caps, I don't know if heaven is meant to be capitalized or not.  We'll keep it a small h at this point.  Because I think the idea of heaven to someone with a materialistic point of view, someone who thinks that there is nothing blasphemous about a store called "Heavenly Ham."  Its a concept I've mentioned before in this blog.  In this spiritually incompetent culture, we seek to fill the *G*O*D*-shaped hole in our lives with stuff, which is like trying to fill the grand canyon with packing peanuts.  You'll be disappointed.

So the song starts out by setting the problem the song is addressing.  There is a lady, a materialist, who thinks satisfaction involves things, and when she gets to that point, even if "the stores are all closed" she'll still be satisfied.  This is actually a fairly common view of heaven, of a place of satisfaction, often involving material and spiritual.  A Baptist will say it's the end of material suffering, then get in his new car, go to a nice restaurant and then watch cable teevee on his big-screen and hope for heaven when all that misery can end.  This material obsession with even the most religious in Uhmurkah is why such folks seem obsessed with staying alive, because probably Yeshua will have better things for you to do than play video games there.  In other words, if you've been told you'll go to heaven when you die, if the Lord is calling you home, why would you call an ambulance?  HMM?

So we've got a woman, obsessed with stuff, gold, who is still seeking "heaven" and that it involves a stairway, which is perhaps a nod to the concept of Jacob's Ladder, or the Kabbalistic Tree of LIfe, but also grounds heaven into a place that is reached by a device and that it is elsewhere, above you, and that you can buy it with money/influence, etc.


  There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure

'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

 Now the "sign on the wall" line appears to be a bit mysterious because we don't know where this wall is.  The lady is "buying a stairway to heaven" so that is her activity, but where is she and where is this wall with the sign on it that she reads?  Now I'm going to reach a bit and say that this lady isn't in a physical place, but this sign on the wall is there for her to read, meaning she is conscious of this message in her life.  The sign is "posted" you see, on the wall, where she will see it and she is confronted with it's words.  And when we read "she wants to be sure 'cause you know..." seems to be saying that the sign is a warning, or a rule, or something that she should read/know for her edification and that she "wants to be sure" about what it says.  The idea that words have two meanings is both a hint to this songs' subtlety, and also to the lady's worldview of mistrust in words, she trusts in things.  

Which to me says she wants to interpret the sign the way she wants to read it so she can continue on her quest for stuff and a heaven that is her own personal shopping mall....which gives the reason for the next line transporting the scene to a setting of a tree by a brook and a songbird who sings.  Now the lyrics as printed in IV go like this:  Who sings sometimes/all of our thoughts are misgiven.  So does the songbird sing "sometimes all our thoughts are misgiven" or is it that the songbird sometimes sings "all our thoughts are misgiven"?  Based on how Plant and usually anyone else sings Stairway, (who excepting Heart is usually badly) it appears to be that it is: "sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven."  Which is basically the theme of my blog.  

Why the sudden shift to a scene in nature?  And why is it that a songbird has to tell us that sometimes our thoughts are wrong?  Notice that the line is not "mistaken" but "misgiven."  That's important.  I think it's clear to the lady what the sign says, but she gives herself a loophole by saying that words can have two meanings.  We really all know what is right and wrong, obfuscating that Truth brings suffering and sometimes a new pair of shoes can help with the suffering, but only for a while.

Right away after the image of the lady, we are put into a natural setting where a songbird, nature, is what tells us the truth about our thoughts and that sometimes these thoughts have been given to us, but wrongly.  Misgiven.  And to me, this is what the song is about.  And the rest of the song is the argument for the solution, for an alternative to materialism and seeking satisfaction in wealth, material success, etc.  Which may seem a paradoxical statement from a band known for their excesses and custom jet-planes.  If there's one thing I've learned in my own spiritual quest, it's that paradoxes soon dissolve when you don't have a vested interest in maintaining them.  The idea that you can't have material success AND also spiritual awareness is wrong, is "misgiven."  Remember, the lady thinks that ALL that glitters is gold.  The Truth is that everything glitters, even Adam Sandler.


There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,

And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.


Well now we're getting into some mystical imagery and Plant's own musings.  I mentioned Plant's love of Tolkien before and this stanza's imagery is right from it.  To us, the West means the Western World of Capitalism and Oppressive Colonialism and Warmongering and chocolate-dipped bacon.  To Tolkien, the West is the unspoiled lands across the sea of glass, a physical place but also a mystical place, like Avalon or the countless islands that Irish heroes visited in the Celtic Otherworld that are physical places but only able to visit under certain circumstances.  These are the places that shamans visit when they seek to talk to the ancestral spirits in order to intercede for their people, etc.  When Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf etc. get on the gray ship and sail into the West, the other hobbits at the dock know they'll never see them again, because you don't come back from there.  It's another way to look at heaven, at nirvana, arriving where you're supposed to be, at the end of the walk of life.  Here Plant seems to say when he looks to that West, his spirit cries out to leave the world he is in.  He'd like to go to the world of Tolkien and see the rings of smokes in the trees, which any idiot who's read Tolkien knows these are from the pipes of the people in the forest.  The voices?  Elves?  Those who stand looking can mean any entity who lives in that realm to the West, those elevated expressions of consciousness who either run the place, or those who traveled there in a gray ship to get away from a place that had already left them.  The lyricist here has mused over the lady who is interested with stuff, heard the songbird and wants to leave to a better place...and that place is a sylvan land of trees and nature, not obsessed with things.  Those "who stand looking" are maybe the gods, the elves, (be they Tolkien's or Terence McKenna's "machine elves") the gray aliens who you think built Stonehenge, whatever.


 And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune

Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

Again, subtlety...the Truth "whispers" to us.  And that Truth is that if we all "call the tune
" something something.  Now note that we ALL have to do it.  That's the tricky thing.  We're a species at its own throat right now, so that seems a remote possibility.  But I'm not here to bring you down, there is hope.  Now what does "call the tune" mean?  I've seen a couple of definitions out there.  I think "to decide matters of policy" seems to fit here.  Putting this into the concept of a song is a way of softening the reality.  Who "calls the tune" in your life is who has control of it  We can ALL decide that we control our lives and that we can make the best decision for all of us, rather than leave that up to an elite, elect few running the world and thinking that we're here to make their lives better, which is how the Western World is run right now.  If you're an American, an European, an Australian, etc. someone else has their hand poised to grab you by the short hairs if you stray from the road.  America was, supposedly, founded on the concept of Reason.  That a citizenry of informed, involved people can reason together and run the country without a monarch or an authoritative government and that elected representatives were to be nothing more than just that, representatives of the people, to take back with them the interests and voices of the people.  You can take a few minutes to laugh out loud now, if you want.  I'm getting a mist in front of my eyes, myself...and I want to paint it red.

Well, what happens if we all call the tune?  Well, if you've got any religious hysterics in the room (which also includes atheists)  you might want to chloroform them at this point for their own protection.  Because "the piper will lead us to reason" if we all decide on the right policy.  Who is the piper?  Hmm, could he be...SAAA-TAAANN???  Well, no.  Satan is an angel.  (Not fallen, neither.)  Right now, he's where-ever Yahweh is if Satan is not "going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it and his job is to be Yahweh's conscience.  Yahweh asks Satan a question about his servant Job because Yahweh knows Satan will challenge what he has to say, because that's his job.  Yahweh wouldn't throw Satan out of Heaven (big H) for arguing with him, that's what Satan is there for.  Satan is the prosecutor and Yahweh is the defendant and it's up to Yahweh to show Satan that Job is a faithful servant.  Now Job doesn't actually like the experiment and Yahweh has to go down in a whirlwind and give Job a good talking to, but...oh, go read the Book of Job.

How much influence Page had at this point, we can never be quite sure, but his own study and practice of magick surely helped this song slide into a more mystical realm.  At least, he could help Plant, if he needed it, on the direction the lyrics were going.  Page, who doesn't want to be burned as a witch (who does, really) has downplayed his interest in the occult in the past.  And I only bring him up now to make it clear that Stairway to Heaven is a serious song that has a mystic pedigree, influenced by the interests of both Plant and Page, at least at the time the song was created.  Morons can make off-the-cuff statements about them making a deal with the devil, and that's why they were able to make such great music...but then those same folks are forgetting that The Rolling Stones, the Beatles...well this blog is already going to be overlong without making a list...had interests, spiritually, other than the norm and also did some droogs.  Once or twice.  

Back to ol' Scratch...you can take pretty much any figure in mythology who lives in the wood who is a nature god and you know where the Xian image of the debbil comes from, horns, cloven feet, etc.  It's pretty clear the piper is the Great God Pan, or at least a similar deity of his ilk.  The Xians very early on tried to make forests and woods dark, dangerous places and make the deities of those places the most despicable in eyes of the Xian deity, who isn't Yahweh.  I'm not sure what god Xians worship, but he bears no resemblance to the Yahweh of the Old Testament.  But the reason for the woods being made into places to shun, is that is where the Celts of Europe went for a lot of their religious activities.  They had sacred groves that they felt where inhabited by the presence of their deities.  So the Xians cut the trees down, they were trampled under foot and they built churches over those spots and told us to be afraid of the woods at night and that is why horror movies like Friday the 13th and The Blair Witch Project and The Evil Dead that take place in rural/forested settings are a much buttresses to Xiandom as they are entertainment.  So when the Xians wanted an image of the devil, they chose Pan, Cernunnos, etc. in case the hayseeds in the trailer park didn't get the message. 

Pan/Dionysus was one of the more beloved of the Greek pantheon, and folks would go out into the forest to "commune" with him and he is a key part of ye olde Eleusinian Mysteries.  He would have appealed to Led Zeppelin, what with all the sex and drinkin' and teevee-killin' they were into.  So saying that the person who will help us is the piper matches Pan.  Who has pipes, even.  What is odd about this stanza, which probably has the atheists' getting this coppery-taste in their gums, is that a half-man/half-goat woodland deity is the one who will "lead us to reason."  If there's one thing I've tried to get through in this blog, besides that I don't like Adam Sandler, it's this:  We already had it figgered out, millennial ago.  We've forgotten what glitters, really, and we see gold and go "ooh, shiny" and we've only got ourselves to blame.  These deities I've been talking about are at least ideas.  And if enough of us focus on an idea, it does become real.  American Football is an idea but atheists don't go on about how it should be banned.  And if you don't like American Football, you wouldn't say that all sports are null and void, right?  This is how atheists respond to negative religions, throwing the baby Yeshua out with the bathwater.  Again, maintaining the paradox.

And when the piper leads us to reason, that being, letting go of our materialistic obsessions and trying to buy ski-lifts to heaven when we should just enjoy the reality of life, gilded with the glitter it already had, what happens?  A new day will dawn, for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter.  Getting all of us to call the tune is no easy task, but if we "stand long" the forests will (again) echo with laughter.  We'll enjoy ourselves.  I don't know anyone who has a brain, including myself, who isn't really miserable.  Ignorance is bliss, but still ignorance.  "Finding your bliss" as Joseph Campbell put it, is the important thing.  But it's not easy, it'll be hard, and we'll have to stand and wait long to get to that place, because we've got an entire infrastructure right now that keeps us from that.  The wealthy think they have bliss, but we see how fiercely they protect their wealth, because they think that's all they've got...that if you take away their gold, then all the glitter is out of life.

In the concert movie "The Song Remains the Same,"  Plant at the end of this stanza actually says "remember laughter?"  I mean, the people at the show are enjoying the concert, probably having a great time, and Plant asks them if they remember laughter, do you remember a time when we were really happy?  


     If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,

It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.


 Well, now the song begins to tie itself together, as the lyricist, who left the lady and her gold to think about his yearning for a better life and the whispered solution to the problem his world has, due to misgiven thoughts, now talks about another lady.  It gets into pagan/heathen imagery now.  The words pagan and heathen, while having different origins equate to:  "unlearned country-dweller."  The hicks in the sticks just won't get with the program, so let's call them names.  It was only natural for the cities of Europe to be "converted" to Xianity first, while the holdouts were the folks connected closer to nature, to the land.  The wisdom of the land and the ancients must be oppressed in the interest of a religion that came from an obscure Semitic people but meshed very well with a Roman Empire that wanted to go to version 2.0 and make religion and belonging to the state the same thing.  Because when heresy exists at all, that is mental/spiritual oppression, and when heresy is also treason, the journey to the Dark Side is complete.  

The idea with the last stanza is that as the "new day" begins to dawn there will be "sounds" that may alarm you, we all called the tune, and then, as the song begins to build up to a crescendo of celebration, we are told to not be alarmed, it's just that the Queen is coming soon.  

But then there's the hope.  There's still time, always time, to change.  It's a path, not a stairway.  And you can walk on that now, not try to reach it later on, when you're ready.

    Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,

The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

Now the song is in your head now, it's humming, and in case you still weren't sure, that's the piper calling you to join him.  And now, the lady with the shopping bag that you keep your heart in...can you hear the wind blow?  Can you respond to nature?...look, your stairway is insubstantial, it can be found on the wind that is whispering the Truth to you, your stairway is everywhere, it was there all the time and it is also nowhere.  


  And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll.    

Now, if you remember the song, or want to go ahead and play it now, the song builds to a flourish and it's more like a rock and roll song with Plant's vocals hitting the notes with intensity, it's the climax of the last few stanzas.  Spiritual revelation has arrived, we are on THE road.  And our shadows are taller than our soul, which is a nice poetic metaphor.  What does it mean?  Well, at sunset our shadows lengthen.  Maybe that's the imagery.  But what I take away from this line is that we are bigger than we think we are, in a world in which hundreds die somewhere due to flooding or war or natural disasters and the rest of us just keep on doing our thing like it never happened and so many humans seem disposable to the interest of politics or people who think heaven will be the most awesome shopping mall eva, we are expressions of consciousness, each of us are sacred, the worst of us...expressions of the cosmos.

Then here's where Plant preaches to you:  Look, there's a lady (not a male deity) that we all know.  She's the queen, the goddess, the consort of Pan, the male deity.  This is the divine female principle that the Abrahamic religions deny.  And the politics of the West and the East both are designed to keep women down, that if you keep a good woman in her place, you keep the good goddess down, too.  You wish, you hairy bastids.  The goddess is about nurture and nature, about family and caring, which is why it is a lady who thinks all that glitters is gold is the subject of the song...it's women who can rescue the world, through their influence...we can learn to care for each other and women are better at that then men.  So when a lady has become corrupted by materialism, that's a shame.  

The goddess shines white light, purity, the light of reason and she wants to reveal to us how EVERYthing still, and always did, turns to gold...that everything glitters.  We already have, from the bounty of the earth, what we need.  Including spiritual/mental satisfaction.  And the goddess has a whole lotta love.  

And then we come back to the present situation and Plant makes the altar call...that if you listen very hard (again, no one's going to hand you an easy salvation and be serious) then you can also hear the song, the piper's tune and on that day, All will be one and one will be all.  

You have to a rock, firm, strong and ready to stand long and not to roll along with what society, your church, your parents, etc. try to get you to "go along" with.  Because sometimes our thoughts are misgiven.

And then the song, after the flourish of the last stanza...


  And she's buying a stairway to heaven.

And this is a quiet, muted line as sung by Plant, the same manner as the first stanza, and the hope of a better way is still out there, but the singer, depressed, comes back to earth and he looks at the lady again...and she's still trying to buy her way to satisfaction.

Thank you for indulging me.  I want to say in closing that this is what the song means to me.  I don't insist that this is what Plant and Page had in mind.  Only the madman is absolutely sure.  But I'm pretty sure this is what was trying to be said.  So take this and go your way and whatever you think the song means to you...

The Song Remains the Same.

Selah

What's so Funny about War, Hate and Ignorance

"Life's hard.  It's even harder when you're stupid."  - John Wayne

“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.” - Chuck Palahniuk

[Note:  This was written a year and a half ago.  Never published, until now.  I've edited it a bit.  And I shudder to think that things have gotten worse since then and my disappointment today that I'm not in an apocalyptic wasteland is palpable.  Note, my next blog post will not be about Abortion.  It'll be about Led Zeppelin I think.  Now see below where I ramble on.]

Well, got another blog behind my heels a coupla days ago and the missus is out doing distaff things with other wimmin so I've got the bunker to myself right now so I might as well do a blog.  This here offering will hope to deal with the reality as to why the world seems to be such a screwed up place, why, as Pogo the Possum observed, we have met the enemy and he is us.  And why, it would be just what we deserve to have the earth wiped clean of our kind and let the cock-a-roaches run the place for a few millennia for a change.

As I go from day to day I am continually struck at how people seem to be stupid, ridiculous, generators of stress and generally a pain in my tater hole.  Think about your job...you could probably make a list of about 100 things that are wrong and get in the way of actually doing the job.  Think about how the government is run, especially at the federal level.  Think about your own life and all the might-have-beens and such of it.  Why is it that Life is Hard, and why are we are the ones that are making it that way?

Last blog I offered that we already had this Life Thing figgered out at least 2000 years ago, and really much earlier than that and we didn't have so much debate and confusion about some of the basic realities of life like we seem to today.  I remember reading Herodotus and recalling where he would talk about other cultures than his own and he didn't think those cultures were invalid or that their gods were all false, etc.  When he described the Egyptian gods, he could see their parallels in the Greek gods, but didn't think he needed to send missionaries to Egypt to convert the heathen.  No, their culture was their own, Egypt and Greece were playing the same tune, just with different instruments.  Now the ancient world wasn't the 24/7 picnic I might have been making it out to be...but what we do know is before the rise of the world-eating Xian Church, many cultures throughout the world had their own sophisticated level of civilization and they lived their life more directly than we do today and were basically content in that life, because they were more balanced.  Mainly because they were closer to nature, closer to the real experience of living, not distanced from the natural world as we are today.

Today most of us can shower each day, or as often as you want, and we have deodorant and other things that mask how we actually are supposed to smell.  We have ways of cutting our hair and adorning ourselves in ways that make us look less like biological things than storefront window mannequins come to life.  Consider Kim Kardasian...okay stop considering her right now.  But isn't that sort of person as far removed from how a human is actually supposed to look as a plush toy bear from the genuine article?  All these attempts in this modern age to change what we really are to some sort of ideal of what we'd like to think we are demonstrates that we have separated ourselves from what being human really is to some sort of fantasy about what we'd like it to be. 

Then when you couple the fact that we ride in autos with air-conditioning and heating and live in homes with the same and artificial lighting, etc. etc. etc.  it is no wonder that in the Western World, the Human Experience is a mystery open to debate about very fundamental things.  We make simple problems complex and try to make complex problems simple while we give grants to people so they can study whether or not eating bacon is good for you or not.  Look, I don't need someone to tell me that bacon has limited nutritional value.  We already know that.  Let's move on and deal with what we need to deal with and experience life directly.  Which is why when I discuss Abortion, (next time), I'll be looking at it bald-faced, and will be peeling away the layers of obfuscation about such an issue.  We really do know what is right and wrong...it is just that for various reasons, we are no longer able to distinguish between the two.

When the Xian Church rose to power as something only Doctor Doom could be proud of, it suppressed the knowledge of the ancients and only in the last few decades have really been able to change our minds about our more ancient ancestors and realize they had a lot on the ball and in some ways were smarter than us.  You see, we humans have basically been the way we are now, physically, including brain composition and mass, for the last 100,000 years.  The Ancients were also Us, and had all the intellect and reasoning power that we have today.  Then we had the Dark Age and it wasn't until the Renaissance that the world discovered that the pre-Xian ancients weren't just a bunch of knuckle-draggers that ate dirt and wore sheets instead of pants but that there was a wealth of knowledge that we could still glean from them.  The Library of Alexandria already contained a papyrus scroll Wikipedia database from what was already known about the world. 

So why is it that we humans seem to have purposely hamstrung ourselves many centuries ago instead of innovating, developing, inventing and generally evolving...and why don't I have the jet back-pack and the sidearm laser pistol that the comic books promised?  Why has America especially wasted its wealth on a military empire it doesn't, never did need; instead of using its resources to help humanity rather than putting a jackbooted heel on its neck?

I ended last blog with observing that Bill Cosby pointed out that parents just want peace and quiet...and they aren't that interested in justice.  And that an apocalypse would be the punishment that our "parents" would dish out because we weren't behaving ourselves and generally getting soap in each others eyes and blinding each other for liiiiiiiife.

However, what if the opposite is true?  I touched on this in a prior blog and it is part of my Theory of Woohoo that the reason for the Big Bang and all the discord that is upon the planet is basically...*G*O*D* gets bored.  I mean if you were even a god, and had been around for many millennia and for whom time and space didn't have the same meaning as they do for us, wouldn't you get bored and restless?  If we agree that consciousness/spirit is an energy field, and that energy cannot be created and destroyed then before the Big Bang, the potential for all consciousness and matter were both contained in that impossibly small/impossibly dense point.  With just that point existing, in a vacuum, there would be no thoughts, because there is no frame of reference.  In order to have some fun, *G*O*D* needed to open the front door and have something waiting on the other side to interact with.  That other side is of course what we have now...consciousness and matter spread throughout the cosmos.  Since we, as smaller expressions of consciousness, are cells or atoms of *G*O*D*, we would like an exciting life, too.  Which is why we seem to be dead-set on complicating life and making it difficult.  Because it's part of the plan.

Now of course you'd say...if we are hard-wired to wrassle, then why would we be "punished" by an apocalypse?  We'd be getting into free-will here, which I dismiss...the perception of free-will is great, but just an observation of life will demonstrate that we are playing our part in the drama, not that we are all making it up as we go along.  The whole free-will argument dismisses religions that say that your god will punish you if you don't do what he says, while also saying that this god is in complete control.  I speak of course about religions like Xianity. 

Let's go ahead and deal with this:  If you have no choice but to sin, then you can't be expected to be punished for that sin.  That makes zero sense and faith has nothing to do with splainin' that theology.  If I had no choice but to sin, then why would I have to face everlasting punishment?  Also, if your god is considered a god of love, then that god placing conditions under which he can demonstrate that love to you also dismisses him as being a loving god...because conditional love isn't love.  Love is something you give freely, not something given in exchange for a favor or a task.  "Hi, I want you to marry me, but you've got to also love my brother/son/cats/tv-shows/etc."  Doesn't quite work, does it?

Of course the answer to this puzzle is obvious...there is no such thing a sin.  What is and isn't a "sin" is completely arbitrary and is a cultural identifier, not a universal truth.  Take adultery/fornication for just one example.  Many would say this is a sin, but for some cultures, it is essential.  For example in some Inuit cultures there is the practice of "Putting out the lamps."  This is when various Inuit tribes/communities come together from different areas, people of both sexes "of the age" go into a tent, hut, etc. and the lights are turned off and they basically have an orgy.  They don't know really who they are rubbing (noses) with.  The point of this of course is to spread the genetic material around instead of having in-breeding within only one family group.  (The Uhmurkan South is agin forn'cation but not agin marryin' you uns cuzin, which is why we've got people walking around down here that look like something Lovecraft would be afraid of.  I went into a KFC restaurant in (city name deleted) in Tennessee and I thought I was in Innsmouth.  The old lady walking widdershins over and over again inside the restaurant while muttering "ia, ia, ia" completed the effect.)  Since no one knew who impregnated who after that Long Inuit Night, the different tribes can go their separate ways, raising new children within the group and there aren't any hard feelings.  Because, unlike our know-it-all culture...the community is engaged in the raising of a child, doesn't matter who da was.

I can give you many other examples of "sins" that aren't even seen as taboo in other cultures. And of course someone who is against Abortion may have no problem denying free health care to a child outside of the womb...or sending their own child to fight in another country for no good reason to either kill someone else or be killed.  So killing = "sin?"  Nope, just depends on your POV.

But back to the whole "free-will" issue. If we are part of a system in which basically we amuse ourselves by acting like the Six Billion Stooges all the time because we like drama instead of napping under shade trees...then why would we deserve an apocalypse?  Well, we wouldn't deserve it naturally, it would be just something that would occur when we were ready to move on to the next phase.

One of the reasons the modern world is so screwed up about what the human experience is, when we shouldn't have any questions at this time of day is because, as I mentioned last time, modern technology's purpose is basically to allow the sharing of information and ideas, worldwide, via physical and electronic communication.  We have, being materially over-competent and spiritually in-competent, allowed this modern technology to confuse and distract us from living the human experience.  Stuff is sexier than Spirit, and appeals to us in an immediate way...however these enjoyments of the senses, of physical gratification, are fleeting and unsatisfying.  And of course they are only arbitrary perceptions based on how our senses operate anyway, they aren't real.  What is real is what goes on in our minds.  But when our minds can't be still, are obsessed with things, stuff, our physical bodies and other mundane things, we find we become more stupid and ignorant.  Because we aren't dealing with what is real, we are dealing only with props and distractions.  Do you wonder why, when we are in an era in which our technology appears to have peaked, when we probably won't get to Mars in the next century, in which we just keep improving cellphones instead of really developing new technologies, when we already had a perfectly good lily and we keep painting layer upon layer of gold paint on it that drug use is rampant?  Technology wasn't created to make us smarter, or help us where we needed help...it's purpose was to try to bring us together, or at least not leave us with any excuse.  It is within ourselves, right now, to fix everything that is wrong.  But we won't/can't.

So, sigh...we still go "ooh shiny" and forget the meaning of life or what the human experience is supposed to be.  So what is the human experience?  Well, being human.  Just the act of being.  A direct interaction with reality...how we are to live based on what we are and what nature is.  Easy peasy.  Basically the key to this is realizing that you are not as important as They.  That your grudges, your ideologies, your POV, your hang-ups, your race memories, your record collection, these millstones are not as important as connecting with other humans and together enjoying life. 

I'm reading the Bhagavad Gita currently and just today a passage stated that all the people on the planet right now are the failures.  That the good people have moved on to Nirvana or wherever.  That the people here are the ones who are needing help extracting their head from the rectal area.  That we are basically a reform school.  And that is one of the reasons of course the the world is such a mess...only the losers are still here.  This the idea of the Earth as a nursery, where we kids learn our ABCs and are toilet trained and so forth.  Scientists are more and more leaning to the idea that life didn't spring alla sudden from a primordial soup, but that the earth was seeded with life that could have arrived via comets, asteroids and other expressions of cosmic litter.  Which would of course mean that life originated out there, and that of course that life would be exponentially more sophisticated than our own.  And then of course gods, Keebler Elves, UFOs, whatever name makes you comfortable for the other expressions of consciousness out there...these are our nannies checking up on us to see how we're doing.  But instead of learning our ABCs, we're just dirtying our diapers. 

Why do we seem to not care about the earth?  Why do we use up its resources without regard for the environment?  Why is that Truth...Inconvenient?  Because maybe we're the caterpillar that is just eating for the sake of eating and we can destroy the leaf because we know we'll soon be able to fly.  We have the information now to better ourselves, we have all the faculties of reason at our disposal.  But if we won't help ourselves, then someone else needs to come along and require us to change, don't they?  Japan created the Godzilla movie in which Tokyo is destroyed, because, deep down, they felt like they had it coming.  What monster will the US create...are zombies our punishment, in which the un-thinking, ravenous hordes will teach us a lesson?  Have we met the Zombies and are they Us?

While there is chaos and order in balance, life itself is fundamentally good, because it is life.  When one can stop placing his own interests above another's, then we can be free.  But the focus on "fruitive results" keeps us chained to the ground, because these are in our face, more readily available for sense gratification.  I believe that we can have technology and a healthy mental life.  But we won't really have that until we don't care about the physical aspects of life.  When we have mental comfort, physical satisfaction will be less important.  And this is what I think the ancients understood.  They didn't wonder about life or try to develop narrow ideologies about it and they didn't needlessly complicate it the way we do today.  We are minds, not bodies, bodies are just things, but our minds are more than things...they're the only thing.  And a thing is a terrible thing to waste.

Selah     

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Apocalypse Why?

“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”  - Soren Kierkegaard 

“I wouldn't mind if the consumer culture went poof! overnight because then we'd all be in the same boat and life wouldn't be so bad, mucking about with the chickens and feudalism and the like. But you know what would be absolutely horrible. The worst? ... If, as we were all down on earth wearing rags and husbanding pigs inside abandoned Baskin-Robbins franchises, I were to look up in the sky and see a jet -- with just one person inside even -- I'd go berserk. I'd go crazy. Either everyone slides back into the Dark Ages or no one does.” - Douglas Coupland


"Nuclear apocalpse - who do you need?  Actors are probably not top of the list.  What can I do for you?  I can pretend to be somebody who can grow you some nice crops."  - Christan Bale  




Once a week...right.


Well, maybe I'll make up for the great vacuum at my heels called the "No-Bloggy Zone" and get back on this pale horse.  It's not that I dread doing a blog about Abortion...because I do...but I want to take this blog seriously and I find the blog now as this big deal the same way someone is at the Everest basecamp and their breathing is already labored and the stew made from grass and radishes being heated over a fire made from the stool of the sherpas tastes like the best meal you've ever had because you think it might be your last and...meh...you guys go on ahead.


Which is why I've decided to be a yeller coward and not do the Abortion blog today.  I want to revisit my last, more cheery subject...the apocalypse.  However, if I pick up speed now maybe I'll crank out a brace o' blogs here in the next few days.  The problem with The 'bortion Blog is it will pretty much irk everyone and please no one but it will approach the subject objectively, rationally, morally, scientifically...which is what we're failing to do now.  And yes, it's all religion's fault...again.


However, I did want to...seriously...get back to this whole worrisome apocalpyse thingy and examine why we may need such an event in order to give our heads that non-invasive lobotomy.  Now I mentioned last episode that the apocalpse need not involve us having to row our boat ashore on rivers of lava, etc.  Will we need to eat our pets, and repurpose Bass Pro Shops as our new mead halls because there will be a devastating collapse of civilization due to an assortment of natural and manmade disasters?  Ironically climate change...which is at least in part exacerbated by human activity...qualifies to be in both categories.  Will it take tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, (and earthquakes that some scientists think are caused by hurricanes), drought, etc. to bring about the change in consciousness that we need to make this planet not a place where people compete and defraud each other but a place where people can figure out, finally, that if we all take care of ourselves, then everyone is taken care of?


Just yesterday there were at least two calls to our house by storm chasers.  Not the lunatics who drive a SUV that they turned into a tank close to tornadoes and stuff so they can try to "understand" tornadoes.  These storm chasers are like ambulance chasers.  Whenever the weather gets a bit rough, they call around to offer a free inspection of your house, shingles and whatnot.  Of course, these folks work for the roofing companies and are looking to get you to file an insurance claim.  These humans see me as a customer, not a person, and it makes it all the more evil for them to shine me with the spin that they're offering me a free service, while calling me on a Saturday when I'm trying to chillax.  These are the people who will not be missed.  If my house is damaged, I'll call my insurance company and we'll get it sorted out.  These are the same sorts of people who make the commercials asking you if your life has been turned upside down by a tractor-trailer accident...while they are smiling.  Insurance companies aren't evil, they're necessary.  But modern civilization may be a necessary evil.


And one thing  that will certainly help us get ourselves straightened out is to get rid of this whole modern "civilization" thing that has run its course.  In a past blog, and I won't regurgitate the whole idea here, but when we look, in the Western World, at how we're living now and think back just a hundred years, not to mention just five hundred years, there must be some explanation as to why technology has advanced so far, so fast.  Remember, everything we needed to have the sort of live we have now has always been here.  And the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, etc. were really really smart.  So why haven't we had iPads for two thousand years instead of not even two years yet?


Well, we have actually found out, through archeology, etc. that the ancients actually did make some important discoveries back then.  The Greeks for example did discover steam power.  They made a device that involved an apparatus...that...Don, give them the wiki-link, eh?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolipile


Thanks, Don.  As Madonna sez, "lookitup."  If you already knew the Greeks discovered the steam engine, I'd give you some Rice-a-Roni(tm)  (the San Francisco Treat), if we had the budget for it...maybe I should monetize this up in here.  So...why didn't they develop the steam engine.  Well, I think Terry Jones (director of Eric the Viking) had the best excuse...they were wondering what they would do with all the slaves that they wouldn't need?  You see...the Greeks, and other ancient empires like them, like the Persians who discovered battery power...Don, please...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_Battery


...thanks again, Don...you see...they already sort of had it all figured out.  And I mean...LIFE.  One of the funniest, and soul-crushingly sad, phenomenons of the present day is that there actually is all this discussion about life.  We've already been there and bought that T-Shirt.  The reality that there are all these strange, narrow, stupid ideologies out there is an indication of how much of a reboot we really need.  The Greeks and Persians and Egyptians and Mayans and Whohaveyou had sophisticated civilizations and when something like the Steam Engine (for crying out loud) came along, they said...naw, we'll pass.  We're okay without it, and besides, it'll put a lot of people out of work.  News flash...just because you can create a robot to make a car, doesn't mean you should, folks.


Now many folks today would say, they just didn't realize the potential, or they were backward, because hey...they believed in stupid things also like astrology, magic, they worshiped a lot of gods...all the things we think makes a culture backward and dumb.  And they had slavery, which we know is immoral and cruel.  Well, I don't want to do a blog on slavery and digress, but slavery then and the absolute evil slavery in modern times now were two different things.  Yes, slavery seems wrong in any light, but many Westerners are looking at their current situation in which they work for someone else, for a set number of hours a week in a strictly scheduled way, and are given a completely arbitrary salary that is not based on how much the company actually makes in revenue and that they have a mortgage that keeps them in that job, and in which the number of laws that restrict what they can and can't do grows every year and we're going...'ang on a minute...I'm really working on a plantation, too.


One thing the ancients certainly got right is that actors and musicians and entertainers in general should be poor and despised since they don't actually apparently have the faculties to do real work.  I'll have a blog about why we pay these slackers so much money to do not much at all down the road.  This will go for athletes, too.  My gawd, Tom Brady...git a reel job!


But seriously...the whole, "our ancestors didn't know any better and they were disadvantaged and miserable and I couldn't live now without my teevee" thing no longer holds water.  Currently in the Western World we are beginning, yes just beginning to see the cracks in Capitalism and Democracy...two great tastes that we thought went together, but we see have doomed us because human nature, currently, cannot be expected to be responsible enough to allow such an economic and political system to reach its potential.  The experiment of the United States of America, in which the states on the North American continent would unite in a political system of freedom, in which all men would be treated equal, and in which all men would have the freedom to worship how they please, to live as they please, with as little interference from a central governing body as possible...we can now stick a fork in it, can't we?  It has been a complete, abject failure.  The USA was the modern attempt at trying to do such a thing considering how human consciousness currently operates.  And it shows that we are incapable of doing such a thing as we are now.  It was doomed to fail...because such a nation with such high ideals was built on a foundation of genocide against the native population and slavery of an imported population.  It's like Adam Sandler playing Hamlet...it just wouldn't work.


Yes, the founding fathers had their heads on straight...they had sober ideas about things that baffle us today like religion and the rights of man and science and all the other stuff.  They were (Rush Limbaugh) dreamy-eyed intellectuals who had high ideas and they believed in mankind's ability to reason.  Many of them recognized the ability to reason as a sign of the divine within man and that when men can employ their reason, en masse, then you would no doubt have a nation that would be as close to utopia as possible.  And then we screwed the whole thing up and "invented" the steam engine and thought it was a really great idea and then came the industrial revolution and modern "civilization" and now we are hoisted on our own petard.  Which phrase basically means "we've belly-flopped on our own grenade."


You see...we may need a cataclysm in order to reset us back to a more simpler time when our material competence and our spiritual competence were more in balance.  Why didn't the Persians develop the Baghdad Battery?  They were satisfied.  Why didn't the Greeks develop the steam engine?  They were satisfied, content  Why?  They were more balanced.  They had material concerns just like anybody but they were balanced by spiritual concerns as well.  The great tragedy in the modern era is material overcompetence and spiritual incompetence.  I still scratch my head about people like Arthur C Clarke.  Clarke was a tremendous mind, a genius in some respects...and a complete waterhead in other areas.  He saw religion as just a necessary evil, not a way to examine areas of human life that science hadn't, or couldn't, explain.  Oh yes, atheists, you can explain away things like LOVE by talking about the drive to pass on your genetic material, hormones/pheromones, all the biological aspects of that...but you'll find that makes for a Valentine's Day card that will not impress your significant other.  Clarke, along with all the other atheists who are mesmerized by this materially-obsessed, scientific age, demonstrate material overcompetence and spiritual incompetence.  And if you replace "extraterrestials" with "gods" in Clarke's writing...he's really saying smart things.  Clarke's folly is thinking these two classes of entities have to be exclusive...instead of maybe just how the light catches the gem at a certain era in human history.


Now of course we do have the opposite...that of people who are materially incompetent and spiritually overcompetent (or they think they are).  These would be the suckers who buy into the New Agey stuff, y'know what I mean.  Recently a woman was cooked to death...yes...because she took part in an exercise that basically buried her alive in one of the sensory depriving rituals that are supposed to do something for you spiritually.  She is reported to have already paid out five figures in past such activities and retreats and services.  Lissen.  If you want to have a spiritual awakening, one place to start is just to go to a quiet room and sit in a chair and stare outward for a few minutes.  But such folks are trying way too hard to try and reboot their brains.  And of course the reality for many who say they are spiritual  is that they aren't, but are part of a culture that is hunkering itself down because it sees its religion coming apart at the seams in a changing world and they're either not able to change or scared to.  Of course many of these folks are quite entrenched in the world and are concerned about money and stuff and have bought into the culture of greed.  Only in the Western World would a group of people whose god has commanded them to love their neighbor as they love themselves would not do so but instead build a very large building for their Sunday Morning conditioning sessions while having the nerve to thank that same god for their blessings.


Yeshua bar Joseph and Benjamin Franklin are both right now beating their heads against a wall.  (Are there walls in Nirvana?)  Yes, modern civilization has run its course, it's served its purpose and we're ready to take the next step in our evolution and if we need to go back to wearing togas, then let it be so.


You see, my Theory of Woohoo...of Everything...sees Western Civilization as a virus (and Xianity as a carrier) and European conquest and Xian missionary trips to "convert the heathens" and basically conquer in Jesus' name is the means to bring about the spread of technology in order to bring about this current era of Globalization.  The increased communication between all the cultures and races and nations of the planet is to allow us, when the reset button is pushed, to all be on the same page, globally, and when we rebuild...we'll use technology to benefit us all, not "mess in our own nest."  Because we've seen how the industrial revolution has allowed the few to exploint the many and that technology should be used wisely, or not at all.  Xianity, with its idea that its god is the only god and that it is the only religion compels many of its followers to evangelize and spread their religion...and where Xianity goes, so does McDonalds restaurants and cell towers.  No, Clarke, religion isn't a necessary evil...but religions and small-minded ideologies that insist there is only one horse in this race unfortunately are...but not for much longer.  I hope. 


But this is why the spread of Islam scares the fertilizer out of the Xian.  What?  There's another religion that wants to conquer the world?  Didn't we already do that?  Well...I say let the Muslims have their turn.  Wrong for the Xians to have all the fun, innit? 


Will we need to have all our toys taken away for us to enjoy the sandbox?  Perhaps.  Of course there are some folks who think they will rule the sandbox and only possess the toys and so be able to ride out the apocalypse and be the guys sitting pretty on the pile of cinders.  Obviously we have seen how the wealthy and powerful seem to be more reckless than ever in accumulating wealth and power for themselves at the expense of the environment and civilization.  As I have touched on before...these folks have an inside track, through various means, including black ops and black magic, on how the chips are going to fall.  This idea was explored in the movie 2012, in which it is known in advance that the cataclysm is going to happen and a certain number of people are preparing to escape it.  A great number of very wealthy people are exploring technologies that would make them human/machine hybrids that would enable them to survive the next big change.  I defecate you not.  Of course, we need to all be reset back two thousand years, before the Dark Ages which were brought about largely by the Christian Church supressing the knowledge of the ancients, to have another chance at doing it right.  It would be very unfair for Richard Branson and a few others to be safe and sound watching the lava flows from their space station or whatever while they party like it's 1999.  No, the paradigm shift will take all of our lunch money.


Again...if we all take care of ourselves, we'll all be taken care of.  And stuff and wealth and politics are only tools to bring about that end.  The solution is for us to stop being tools, isn't it?  And if we can't figure that out, but we're supposed to, because that is the fate of life...to not be miserable or at war with ourselves or unloved...then taking away our toys and putting us in a timeout may be the answer.  After we've been spanked to within an inch of our lives, too.


You just wait until your daddy gets home.  Because as Bill Cosby said, what parents want is peace and quiet...unless he's wrong...which is what I'll touch on next episode.  Putting babies on spikes can wait.


Selah.





Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Taco Gospel..or Apocalypse When?

If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse.   G. K Chesterton

Morning Campers.  Yes, Pope Gregory returns with his blog and (AhhhhCHEW) there's a lot of dust around the sanctum sanctorum.  It's been almost a year since I cracked open the blog.  I've been busy.  Doing stuff.  Video games aren't going to play themselves, y'know.

Why start again...on New Year's Day?  Well, as Bono sang in the song by the same name, "Though torn in two/we can be one."  I stopped doing the blog for a few reasons.  The chief one was I didn't think I was very good at it.  The second chiefest reason:  Geez, pointing out everything that is dishwater wrong is pretty depressing to write and exponentially, I reckon, more depressing to read.  Better to just go eat a taco and hunker down for the apocalypse.  And shoot, anything I had to say has already been said or was being said by other people, (in better ways) so why bother?  There's nothing in my prior blogs that, I am certain, is novel...or can't be discovered by someone else if they put their ideology in their pocket for a minute and want to know facts...or at least become skeptical about the fictions that have become confused with facts.

So...why turn over the engine again?  Well, I had the occasion to participate in a Solstice ceremony this year.  My post-Xian years have been experimental in terms of spirituality but I had never had the occasion (or frankly the guts) to join hands in a circle while the candles are lit and etc.  While I was in that circle and the candles were being lit and we observed the time when the days cease becoming darker and we realize that the sun is becoming stronger, that the wheel continues to turn, the earth is beginning to wake up, the reason behind the season, ironically an old Xian children's hymn popped into my head:

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, I'm gonna let it shine...

So yeah...there may be a thousand points of light out there already...but the cosmos can handle a few hugglemuggillion of them...not to mention a thousand and my added ONE.  Yes, I will be pointing out some things that not all my readers will accept.  Or like.  I don't make the facts, I just hang them on the flagpole.  I'm also big on the words "maybe" and "probably."  I will speculate on some things which I ask you to suspend your disbelief about.  I will utter complete bullshit.  The problem is many of you won't know which is which.  Footnotes will be at a minimum.  I will try for one blog entry a week.  We'll see.  Now...before I start officially...scurry off and read all my past blog entries so you uns can be brought up to speed.  I'll be here having a taco in the meantime...

J/K  Here is a short primer for those who are coming in late (if you did read the prior blog entries you can skip this part):

I was a Christian/Xian for about 25 years.  These are my lost years.  So I'm really only spiritually about 17 years old.  These 17 years would comprise the early years before the indoctrination began in Sunday School and the last decade or so.  Currently I'm "other." 

Xian = a Christian who has X'd Christ out of his/her life.  They are the vast majority.  One test:  have they sold all their possessions and given them to the poor?  Another test:  if they have EVER been involved in the practice of loaning someone money and charging them interest and not repenting of it...they'll be taking turns applying Preparation H to Beelzebub's tater hole for all eternity.  Because if you think Yahweh Hates Fags he REALLY HATES USURY.  If you're a racist and f'instance refer to Barack Obama as a "lyin' African" you'll be inside the tater hole.  Yes, Yahweh does hate fags...but *G*O*D* doesn't...and he/she/it doesn't refer to them as "fags" anyway.  Shame on you.

Yahweh = a minor, pathetic, mean-spirited, jealous, bi-polar Semitic god.  Often described in this blog as the Hebrew God of Sheep Molestin'

*G*O*D* = Whatever a supreme god would be, whatever it would be, probably exists as a self-aware supreme consciousness comprised of all consciousness "collected together."  Imagine a couple dozen thousand separate individuals all with their own voice gathering together to cheer on their sports team...individual voices become one cheer.  But they still, mysteriously, are individuals while knowing they are also, at the same time, part of a crowd.

gods = Probably higher expressions of consciousness than us because we couldn't/can't relate to *G*O*D* because such a concept is beyond human comprehension.  We need smaller versions who have smaller areas of responsiblity and authority.  These would be the cheerleaders leading the crowd in the cheer.  Or the boos, as you would not want to invite just any god over for tea.  Hades for one is said to stink up the parlor.  Loki is bound to set fire to the parlor.  My theory is that humans, as high expressions of consciousness (Adam Sandler being human notwithstanding) are ourselves eligible to be gods.  The secret to Jesus' message to me is this...if he was the son of a god, and he counted his followers as his brothers and sisters, then it so follows...

atheists = Oh, don't get me started. 

Vigilantius = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigilantius

Taco = http://www.tacobell.com/

This blog focuses on religion as it is very important.  Politics orders our secular life, religion covers everything else.  And since we understand that all matter is really comprised of empty space, that physical reality is an illusion and we interpret the physical world based on our subjective perceptions of it, perceptions based on the limitations and subjective mechanisms of our senses, religion actually covers everything.  As C. S. Lewis himself pointed out...we don't have a soul.  We are a soul, we have a body.  Which is why atheists are pitiable.

Without a soul, all we have is a body.  And if we are only bodies, if things are ONLY STUFF, whether one enjoys tacos or not, not to mention getting out of bed in the morning, is completely pointless.  We are expressions of consciousness because are brains/nervous systems are receivers and transmitters of it.  So really religion is actually about everything.  If everything about life, including love and tacos, is just a biological side-effect explained away by hormones or what goes in the beef sauce, then nothing matters.  I enjoy love and I enjoy tacos...they matter...science doesn't have anything to do with it.  Knowing how a taco is made has nothing to do with my enjoyment of it, unless knowing about the process behind it puts you off...which is why I can no longer eat Chicken McNuggets.  An atheist imagines he knows the only reason why religions exist, and so religion in general puts him off...which is throwing the baby Mithras out with the bathwater.  It's like someone saying they don't like Taco Bell tacos so they will never eat another taco again.  (I told you not to get me started.)

The problem isn't religion...it is religions.  If there was one true religion, true for everybody, then we wouldn't need politics.  We wouldn't need an economy, we wouldn't need speed limits or seat belts or coffee cups with warning labels on them.  We wouldn't need swords, but plowshares.  We wouldn't need the United Way, or the Red Cross.  We wouldn't need religion, even.  Life would be one beautiful fugue of just living as we would all care for each other because we would recognize that all human life is precious, regardless of race, creed, color or whether or not you like Adam Sandler or not.  We would have personal responsibility, we would have love, peace and all the tacos we could eat.

The problem is when one place what makes tacos claims their tacos are better than another.  Well, the funny thing about a taco is there are rules about them.  You need a shell, you need a meat filler, etc.  Claiming your restaurant makes better tacos is wrong...people agreeing that we all sorta like tacos is right...and is the answer to mankind's...and the world's...ills.  If you like your taco, that's fine, eat your taco.  But trying to take away someone elses' taco and replace it with your own...against their will...is wrong.  The above is basically the History of Major Religions, in a taco shell.  Religion ceases to be important when we will no longer need it.  When will we no longer need it?  Maybe not until we reach our apotheosis (look it up).

This fundamentalist approach to religion...whether it is saying no religion is valid, or claiming that only your religion is...is basically trying to define a very mysterious Reality full of maybes and probablys into a narrow category so it is easier to deal with and then mistaking your POV for Reality.  While not trying to be outright insulting...it is abject, hugging your knees to the chest, blanket-sucking, please-Hammer-don't-hurt-me cowardice.  And just like the villagers who feared the creature, instead of staying home and urinating in their Thundercats pajamas, those who fear something usually wage war against it.  Which is why atheists attack those who are religious and are regularly very mean and condescending about it, and why Xians in Tennessee think the word "Mosque" is the codeword for Islamic Terrorist Training Centers.

Of course the moral of the story of Frankenstein is that the creature started out as an innocent, but was feared...then of course hated...and then became the monster that the villagers deserved.  Gotham City doesn't deserve Batman but Transylvania does deserve Boris Karloff.  If Mosques in the US do become Terrorists Training Centers, they'll have every excuse to do so.  Anyway, Xianity has ruled the world for the past several centuries, it's only fair to let Islam have a few innings, eh?

. . . . . . . . .

Which is why I hope the apocalypse does happen on December 21st, 2012, because we really need a reboot.  Yes, neighbors...according to the Mayan Calendar, there are only 354 more shopping days until ZE END OF ZE VORLD!    There's a problem with the Mayan Calendar...and that problem is...it's historically been infallible.  The Mayans knew what was coming before it came, including the end of their empire.  Not that they didn't try to stop it from happening, but that's human hope for you.  Yes, you can try buying flood insurance while rowing the boat, but you're unlikely to get approved for a retroactive policy.  I won't bore you with all the Mayan Calendar stuff here...you can find that stuff online or in old-fashioned paper books if you like.  You've got to be careful about that stuff out there though...a lot of folks are making a lot of money on the hype, the same way the ads on teevee say that the special meatloaf pan is in short supply.  (Trust me, I worked for five minutes for one of those outfits and often they don't even make the things until you order them, which is why it often takes 4-8 weeks before you get the item [and your valuable free gift].  In one case the thing didn't technically exist beyond a couple dozen that were used in the commercials.) 

The issue is with the concept of apocalypse in general.  Don, show them origin of the word, "apocalypse," won't you? 

Origin: 1125–75; Middle English < Late Latin apocalypsis < Greek apokálypsis revelation, equivalent to apokalýp ( tein ) to uncover, reveal ( apo- apo- + kalýptein to cover, conceal) + -sis -sis

 
Thanks, Don.  Now the problem with this word, apocalypse, is a pesky little piece of writing grafted on to the end of the Hebrew Bible called "The Apocalypse (Or Revelation) of Saint John."  Usually just referred to these days as "Revelations."   As you are aware, the idea of apocalypse, or an uncovering and revealing, also is now irrevocably (or almost irrevocably) tied to the cataclysmic destruction of the earth by an angry, jealous, vengeful  (but also extremely loving) god.  The idea is the return of Jesus, his revealing, is also connected to him judging the earth for rejecting him and only a few will be saved.  Yeah, just a few...Mitt Romney and some of his friends.  But "The End of the World" can mean many things.  Of course one meaning, since it is the Mayan calendar, after all, that the world is ending only applies to the very few people left in South America and elsewhere in the world that can still claim that ancestry.
 
But what "the world" is can mean very many different things, based on what your definition of the "world" is.  For comparison, if I say "the end of the Earth," well, that suggests the end of the planet.  But when we generally say the world, what we really should mean is, the world system, the current status quo.  Ax a Sociology Major.  The apocalypse in this sense (streets turning to lava and Adam Sandler winning an Oscar not required) is the end of how things are currently done, to be replaced by a different, not necessarily better, way of doing things.  In fact, those (reputable) scholars/journalists/etc out there who all agree we are in for a big change on 12/21/2012 do not agree it will be for the better.  But what folks do hope for...based on the current state of things...is that we hope it can be better.  Because so much is really fucking wrong right now.  (Oh yeah, you might see some profanity in the blog.)  
 
HOWever, before you soil your G.I. Joe sleeping bag, thanks to a few decades of science fiction and fantasy books, comics, teevee shows, movies, video-games, etc., when the apocalyptic change comes, we'll be ready for it.  There will be a general, "oh right, of course."  A dragon rises out of the ocean as Revelation describes...Godzilla movies have that covered.  Taco Bell beef is made not from beef, but from people...the movie Soylent Green has prepared us for that.  Adam Sandler is the Anti-Christ?  (Insert his last movie here) has us all ready to respond.  The problem is how will we react to this big revelation that changes everything we thought we knew about the world and forces us to react to it and change how the world operates.  
 
One example of apocalyptic change is seen via the superhero comic work "The Watchmen."  What if there was a Superman?  Well, we'd never be the same.  Even the concept of Batman challenges all we know about the idea of law and order versus justice and The Greater Good.  If an alien landed, we'd have to accept the reality of that.  Our religions and cultures would pretty much evaporate just like that.  We'd all live in the Gene Roddenberry world where all humans would unite together (but oh, we hates them Romulans!).   In fact, even now, at this time of day, the writer of The Watchmen, Alan Moore, is pretty much convinced that our culture, Western Culture, is "turning into steam."  Meaning it is itself already washing out due to globalization.  But the evaporation of the cultures that divide us is not turning the world into a beautiful note sung by a choir but instead it's the sound a hugglemuggillion cats make in a room fulla a hugglemuggillion rocking chairs.
 
(Some comic relief.  Saw this George W Bush joke on a greeting card recently.  Barack Obama:  I'm having the UN send 10 Brazillian advisors to help in Afghanistan.  Dubya:  Sounds good...how many is a "brazillian?")
 
But back to the depressing stuff...you see...the more you know about other cultures what you begin to realize is your culture is, in fact, not the only valid one.  Never was.  One reaction to this Truth is to buy that culture a Coca-Cola and a taco and if all cultures are having a party eating whatever brand of taco they like and enjoying their favorite soft drink, then yes, Rodney King, we can all get along.  However, this reaction is not the prevailing response to having everything you know challenged.  If you think your Southern Uhmurkan Culture Klub (S.U.C.K), for example, is the only valid one, and who can blame you, you've been told this since you can remember and your ancestors tried to destroy the USA to prove that point, then you have no qualms whatsoever thinking that all Mexicans are four feet high and oily or that black people look more like apes than apes do or that Islam is "more than a religion."  This is because you are afraid of the Truth and you've got enough people just like you whose brains have been washed clean of independent thought who think just like you do and you all meet on Sunday Morning to congratulate yourself for being such evil waterheads.  So Truth to you becomes a monster to be fought or at least, discredited, oppressed and otherwise discriminated against.
 
The real answer to us all getting along is to have no culture or religion (and of course no nations, which are more imaginary than gods might be) by only having one culture/religion/world system.  The problem is right now we see various cultures insisting theirs is better and this creates problems for us all.  In America of course, we have the issue of 1% of the population thinking the rest of us are here just to work for them and make them wealthy.  Of course in the worldview, America is the 1% and the rest of the world is the 99%.  We think we're better than THEM, for various reasons.  I'll refer you back to The Taco Analogy at this point.  Until there is no religions, no cultures, no need of them...we are unlikely to get along.  Sad, innit?
 
That's why the apocalypse has to be so big, so impossible to ignore, so in your face and palpable.  Because you can point out, f'rinstance, to a "Follower of Jesus" that pretty much everything about the Nativity Story, not to mention how many disciples Jesus had, all the way up to the sacrificial death and rising from the dead was lifted from the pre-existing Cult of Mithras (whose birthday was celebrated by the Romans on Dec 25) and you can show them the physical evidence, all the scholarship, etc...and they'll still explain it away and retain their "faith."  As I examined Christianity for myself, I found out all this history and eventually didn't have anything else to base my faith on.  And sadly, for many clueless Xians all they have now is faith without anything tangible at all to base it on, except cultural traditions.
 
I won't mention at all the controversial but interesting scholarship that suggests that since the major motifs of Jesus' life were plagiarized from the life of Mithras not to mention other more ancient deities like Osiris, Hercules, Dionysis who also share similar themes...coupled with ZERO archeological evidence that proves Yeshua bar Joseph ever actually existed...that "Jesus" was actually the codeword that the earliest Christians, the Gnostics, used to describe a psychotropic mushroom (growing under a manger?) that they ingested and allowed them to directly experience the divine via personal revelation, which is what the term "gnosis" means.  It was only decades after Jesus' death that people who never knew him (assuming he existed) began writing things down that later were deemed "on-topic" enough to be included in the Roman Empire's version of Christianity.  The early history of Christianity is that there were more than 31 flavors of it.  It took a few centuries before one particular version was officially made the religion of the Roman Empire and the New Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, conquered Europe and more in ways Julius Caesar could only fantasize about. 
 
Aren't you glad I didn't mention all that?
 
But you can see how entrenched some folks are in their ideologies, despite easily found, viable facts that invalidate their narrow worldview.  When a person insists that Jesus really existed and rose from the tomb and is now in Heaven getting the mansion ready for that person and that the Hebrew Bible is a collection of facts 'n' figgers...but isn't willing to accept that the current president was born in the US...you really can't reach these people short of an alien invasion or tap water turning to blood or Terminators roaming the streets.  Which is why atheists can discount Christianity so baldly.  The problem is Xianity has done such a good job relegating all other religions as null and void that most Westerners who reject Xianity have dishwater to go back on.  Say your ancestors came from Germany/Scandanvia...Thor may be a cool comic book character, but realizing, based on your Germanic heritage, that worshipping him instead of Jesus makes more sense is difficult for most people.  (Not that I worship Thor.  That's just an example.  I'm not selling any literature here.)  Which is why it somehow makes more sense to an atheist to just declare that for tens of thousands of years, we humans just didn't know any better and that oh NOW, we have it all sorted out.  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  It makes as much sense saying that tacos never existed if Taco Bell's drive-thru isn't open as it does to say that gods never existed because our science cannot prove their existence.  Of course science can't disprove the existence of gods...but science can prove that a taco shouldn't exist...unless they can find that damned Higgs-Bosun particle awready.  Better to have a true open mind and say maybe they exist and maybe they don't.  Hmm, atheists, no hard feelings?  Next round of tacos is on me.
 
Of course, distilling civilization down to a beautiful fugue state may be impossible "in the flesh."  The Story o' Western Civilization for the last few centuries, not to mention the last few decades where it's really gotten out of hand, has been an obsession with political power, wealth, materialism...the accumulation of stuff...because we keep trying to fill that *G*O*D*-shaped hole with something other than what can fill it.  Europe long ago realized it didn't have any real connection to this Semitic god imported from Palestine that their ancestors were forced to accept so it became obsessed with world domination...but kept the official religion of the state because it kept the 99% in line.  And when church and state are one, not only is not accepting the state religion heresy...it's also treason.  If you want to experience what Spain was like a few centuries ago, please elect Michelle Bachmann as president.
 
When we cease to obsess about the material and the physical, then maybe we can move on.  It's not maybe ultimately until we can pull our genders, our personalities, our individual distinguishing qualities down around our ankles and know ourselves as we are also known that we may be able to sing in perfect harmony...and eat the perfect taco.
 
(Sorry this is taking a while...it's the first blog of the year and I have a lot of flags to fly.  I promise, I'm running out of flagpoles...quickly.)
 
So...it WILL take a major, major shake up to wake up the world.  We may require lava running down the streets after all.  But the change is expected to come.  I'm not guaranteeing it, mind you.  But again...the Mayan calendar was never wrong.  You could fry an egg by it.  Better to be safe, than sorry.  Which is why I've chosen to start the blog back up again...hopefully by doing this blog, I may...in a small way, to the small audience this blog will reach...prepare us for when all goes tits up.  Quite a bit of realizing this quest will involve pointing out how backward and corrupt and outright stupid Western Civilization has become and how Eastern Civilization is failing its exams as well since it has to react to what idiocy we're up to.  I'll be picking things apart and examining them.  I'll be slaughtering your sacred cows.  I'll be eating your tacos and drinking your milkshake.  And just to show how far I'll go...my next blog will be about Abortion.  Fun fun.
 
Until next time...
 
Think outside the bun...and the box.
 
Selah