Shadows, Projections and Some Old Bullshit

The aspect of the psyche being torn asunder because of too many responsibilities might be called neurotic. This is something I’ve experienced for the first time in a while, due to taking on two pet sitting jobs at the same time, while away from my own home and additional duties at the permaculture village.

It sounded like a good idea at the time but no one can be in three places at once. I paid for that ‘yes’ with a nasty summer cold, and missed out on another ‘yes’; a visit with family over the Memorial Day weekend.

One of the cats I was watching also went missing for almost 7 days straight — a first on my watch. He returned, after days of calling, emailing, flyer making; completely unscathed and looking healthy as ever. Sometimes, cats just go on walk-about.

It is funny when shit hits fans seemingly all at once. The universe just kind of forces us to take a seat. Not DO — because sometimes nothing can be done. I decided to just BE. While I was nursing my snot-filled head, I was assessing thoughts I’d put aside regarding recent goings-on geopolitically and in US media.

One of the pet sits is now over, and the space I’m in is quite serene.

However, it is Gemini season. The time of year when I find myself suffering from too much mind. When this happens, I don’t get much sleep and that’s when I tend to write. That happens more often when I have roots down, but I’ve traveled the last couple of summers. Travel is a past-time that alleviates a great deal of monkey-mindedness. This summer, I’m feeling roots going plenty deep.

It feels like time to compost some old thinking.

Some Old Bullshit

I watched this house 3 years ago for nearly six months. This was before, during, and in the aftermath of the last presidential election. I did major healing work within these walls covered in art, with a vast library of books at my disposal and surrounded by beautiful permaculture gardens. I appreciated it for the spiritual retreat it was. Now this house feels like an old friend who got me through a dark night of the soul.

I’m relieved to feel this grounded…a different experience than my last visit here. I’ve noticed that I am different. I return to this place healed from relationship wounds. I’m surprised to say some of that had more to do with politics than I’d previously imagined. I’ll sum up the karmic garbage with the title of a favorite Beastie Boy’s EP, called “Some Old Bullshit.”

The realization that I had composted this old bullshit — probably wouldn’t have come to light if I hadn’t spent the last 9 months living in an intentional community. I share common space, gardens and responsibilities with two women elders, both of whom celebrate and embrace crone wisdom. I have been given the title ‘proto-crone’ and the more I continue to learn from them, the more comfortable I find my 52 year-old Self.

We live among young people who are also dealing with some old bullshit, even if they don’t know they are certainly inheriting it. I’m consistently reminded of this and my compassion and understanding spring from that place. There are many joys I’ve discovered since choosing to live in intentional community, but the most surprising discovery has been learning more about myself and the kind of ancestor I am becoming.

It’s possible I lost my mind in 2016. And thank goddess! It wasn’t doing me much good at the time. I was working to get soul-centered. Balanced. I’d already felt that the country lost it’s mind long before the last election. Unfortunately, some folks lost touch with their soul, too.

60586442_1571596912971326_469241480783855616_n

Celebration of Individuality or Individuation?

The Tao presents itself beautifully when we utilize quiet time to observe our thoughts. To let them pass by, like the river that constantly flows and changes in each moment. It’s about flexibility and a large amount of non-attachment.

It takes practice and patience with yourself. In quiet self-reflection, I can reach a place of understanding and equanimity. This is an important practice in the age of too much information [distraction] especially for a Gemini sun/moon, with too much mind, like myself.

What I’ve discovered in meditation practice is something I’m noticing more and more in co-creative community. Possibilities.

The outer world has many treasures. How often do we allow time for inner exploration? It takes self-excavation to discover our treasures, some we may not have realized we had. Gifts that shine out and burn away vanity, the need to be right…even beyond notions of ‘right or wrong’.

Media, politics and religion love these rigid dualities. I’ve recently welcomed the idea of ‘right and wrong’ being viewed instead as sense and nonsense, as Carl Jung suggested. There is less weight in those words and they feel more playful than shameful. Nonsense invites us to at least have a good-natured laugh at ourselves — even if others aren’t able.

The need to be right creates a lot of nonsense and it’s everywhere you look now. I observed it in my family growing up, and I cop to my own nonsense in that arena. I still work on it. But the nonsense that desperately needs addressed, that I’ve observed most in my life has come from US media. This concern started during my early experience living in the UK for about 4 years in the late 80’s. I found their media [at that time] beyond arguments about religion and even sexual orientation because they recognized the need for sobering talk about the AIDS epidemic. It was a scary time! However, the information was direct, educational, and probably shocking to some sensibilities. It needed to be to protect the public and stop the spread of a disease on an island.

When I returned stateside, I was stunned by the difference in discourse. People were repeating US media fear-mongering and ‘othering’ the gay community. American media wasn’t educating or empowering anyone, gay or straight, to protect themselves and their loved ones. It was spewing divisive nonsense. An Indiana schoolboy, Ryan White, was harassed, ridiculed and not allowed back in school after having contracted HIV through tainted blood during a regular treatment for hemophilia. Even he was on the receiving end of homophobic slurs from the ignorant.

Information is not what US media offers its citizens. I don’t think it ever has.

In this current political climate, I overhear conversations and wonder, “Do people really think this or are they repeating something they heard?” It isn’t difficult to recognize patterns in language when you’ve studied media for 9 years. My early experience in the UK was a valuable lesson about what media can be as public service, while learning to listen to, and take into account many perspectives.

“Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering” ~ Carl Jung

I’ve always tried to counter nonsense with something sensible. The key word is try. Lately, I just try to keep my mouth shut. The reactions to even basic statements are akin to pearl-clutching, as if smelling salts might be required when simply stating that the current president is not the worst man who ever sat in the White House.

This is not an unreasonable thing to say. Based on some reactions, however, it doesn’t pay to say another word because emotions too easily override capacity for reason. We don’t have political discourse but hysteria, manufactured to control political discourse — or, it seems to me, to eliminate it entirely. Whoever paid for that got their money’s worth.

I ditched cable news because I prefer to listen to experience. Maybe it was the time I spent at my grandparent’s home in Virginia when I was little. I sat fascinated while uncles and older cousins debated current affairs and politics on the front porch. Sure, tempers flared sometimes — but the minute someone announced there was pie, the debate ended and it was all grins and good-natured laughs.

The point being that folks used to carefully consider issues and were able to have thoughtful debate without losing their damn minds. There was some decorum.

Adults cannot make informed choices unless information given to them is based on ‘what is’ rather than wishful thinking. Wishing is nice, but it is not how economies work. None of us can ‘wish away’ record debt from war spending. We’d do better to focus on the oikonomikos “practiced in the management of a household or family.” Getting out of debt is better than wishful thinking.

Wishing for peace also does not achieve peace. Not when the electorate is ignorant about foreign policy, the physical limits of growth, currency devaluation, and energy depletion; among other complex issues we’re facing as a human family. A great deal of damage occurred long before this president was elected. We need to concern ourselves with mitigating the damages coming.

We don’t have time for snark, eye-rolling, or pearl-clutching. It’s time to find elders or become one and take our place at the adult table. To start, I would suggest getting and studying a copy of The Constitution. People still carry pocket copies. Heck, order a pack of 10. Pass them around. Make discourse great again!

A fine elder, Chief Oren Lyons, addressed a panel during an indigenous UN forum on climate change in 2007. In the video link above, Chief Oren shared a simple phrase I’ve found helpful for many years, “Value Change For Survival.” [To clarify: Not to value change, but to change our values.]

33113910_1683645905046766_8628162347850006528_n

Who’s Writing Your Story?

Before I sat this house three years ago, I was talking through a rough break-up, trying to analyze my feelings when my Aunt said, “Oh, that’s just ‘Your Story’. Something you’re choosing to identify with.” I meditated on this. The second part of that statement was correct. I didn’t appreciate the dismissive tone of the former.

Of course I identify with my stories. I would like to understand, learn and not repeat the same mistakes. You know, unlearn them to avoid another go-round on the Samsara/Wheel of Suffering ride. My stories live in my bones and why shouldn’t they? I lived them! I can glean the karmic lessons from them and hey, I wanted to be a writer. Each experience was a life lesson – some good and some bad. That’s life! I have no shame about my healed pain. That’s precisely what made me the strong woman I am! Learning from stories led me exactly where I needed to be — and often.

Perhaps I just wasn’t arriving where others were expecting me to go? Expectations are often nonsense, like notions of perfection [unattainable], impossible to live up to because they are scenarios that only exist in someone else’s imagination — often not a reflection of our own reality. Even if a person knows everything about you, they can’t know your experience — or — the observer that is you.

I don’t mind advice. But some folks mind a great deal if you ignore theirs! The trick is to not take it personally and get on with what works for you. The idea of enlightenment is to become your own guru — not the actual Buddha — but a buddha. Western new age folk warp this notion with narcissistic ideas about spirituality, dispensing advice without listening to people who are seeking to actually heal their own suffering, braving it head on, not ‘putting on a happy face’ and pretending in order to make everyone comfortable.

That’s denial.

Acclaimed journalist, cancer survivor and author Barbara Ehrenreich said in her brilliant speech called Smile or die, “That is the powerlessness of positive thinking.”

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” ~ Robert Gary Lee

Long before I turned 40, I walked a few paths that were expected, i.e., the usual ‘meet-a-man-marry-settle’, ‘woman-workplace-glass-ceiling-career’ blueprints, but they never ‘stuck’. Once I did find and choose my own path, not much veered me from it — not a failed business, judgmental friends or my favorite mistake; a love attachment with an old friend that started as a beautiful distraction but ended with heartbreak.

I loved him dearly. Unfortunately, he came with pre-fab expectations that most folks are programmed with at birth in this country — the same ones I’d ditched long before I met him. I was patient, hoping for him to find the courage to stop complaining about his miserable job, miserable family, and make his own changes. He did have high expectations…just not for himself.

When it ended, he told me, “I didn’t fight for him.” Evidently, I was supposed to ‘save’ him from his miserable life by completely rearranging mine. What I needed in relationship didn’t matter. All that mattered was what he wanted.

Sense or nonsense?

He wasn’t mature enough to understand that I loved myself and my one precious life more. It mattered to be able to explore my own possibilities. And if he truly loved me, he would support that. Any friend would.

We had a great deal more in common than not — which is the damnable thing about it. He assumed I would sacrifice the freedom I found for a lifestyle predicated on debt and ‘stuff’. He later tried to shame me for frugal living within my own means, and without debt. He thought I would make sacrifices to be with him — without him saying where he saw himself in a year or two…let alone where he imagined us in six.

It took six years for him to make changes — most of them outward. I wasn’t going back into debt to ‘save’ a grown man from poor financial choices he made before I came along. Needless to say, our paths weren’t aligned for healthy relationship.

Putting people on pedestals is nonsense. Expecting people to ‘save’ you from your bullshit is also nonsense. I’m not better or less than, or want to be with someone better or less than. I want a partner who meets me halfway, and walks alongside. Being with him while he was miserable would have meant turning away from, or rejecting my self and choosing to be miserable. [It loves company, I hear.]

If someone truly loves you, they wouldn’t dream of asking you to be unhappy, pretending to be something you’re not. Like a movie in his head [or comic book] my role was somewhere between Cosmic Virgin and Wonder Woman: I could read minds! I had the magical ability to save miserable middle-aged men from their bullshit! Coddling man-babies, while never having my own life — and I’d better look like a million bucks doing it!

After turning 50 and raising my own child, I wasn’t signing up for that nonsense.

So who did he fall in love with? I have no clue. I’d imagine he still doesn’t have one. He didn’t fall in love with a person he was waiting or hoping would change without cluing me in to whatever fantasy was going on in his head. Why would he? He knew it was bullshit and was afraid to be honest about it. It wasn’t love but a fantasy.

Fantasies crumble when we lose the masks we wear. Underneath that is honesty, and the vulnerability to take the real risk that someone might love us for exactly who we are. I don’t regret taking that risk. It is regrettable that he couldn’t. Ignoring our humanity for unattainable notions of perfection is one thing. Expecting that from someone else is projection.

We simply can’t ask a human being to be something they’re not, without also asking them to hand over their integrity and self-respect. The strongest people I know understand that this is the fight hard won. I feel it’s the only real currency human beings have in an artificial age.

We will always repeat our bullshit in relationships until we ditch the masks and learn to love our flawed, beautiful, vulnerable, and brave selves first.

Patterns are important to notice in relationships. People in loving adult relationships will call you out on your bullshit, if it’s repetitive, and not ignore it and ‘hope for change.’ I’m a cards on the table, open book kind of gal. At 52, that book is definitely not about a saccharine-sweet Disney Princess, pining for another Prince with a mommy complex.

It’s crone time!

There are as many paths as there are books in a library. I’m unsure what the title of my book will be but the ending could be mighty dull if we’re censoring our own stories simply because they might make people uncomfortable. When we consistently choose to reject or ignore sense, we find ourselves eventually staring at a big ol’ pile of nonsense.

Hopefully, we wake up from the fantasy, see that pile and begin our ascent. If you feel buried deep in the pile of nonsense, grab a shovel and start digging. Unconscious projections are epic and show few signs of slowing. I don’t believe they will subside until we — either by circumstance or choosing courage — deal with reality.

I believe that America is approaching its own dark night of the soul.

18670897_1857896427798715_4009097973455317852_n

I’m new to intentional living, so I’m aware certain topics might be controversial and difficult to approach. Because of my past experiences, I’m extremely thoughtful about this. I adore my community and want to bring the best ideas, solutions and energy I can muster. Not my old bullshit. This means seeking quiet time alone, without distractions, where meditation has proven most effective for me.

Gnothi Seauton, proto-crone. Know thyself!

My name is Gabrielle. I’m a recovering media analyst.

I’m well-suited to work with many forms of media as a Gemini sun/moon. Double Mercurial. Communication. As a photographer, I appreciate both light and shadow. I enjoy humorous word play and language with filigree. My brain is a rolodex full of music lyrics, jingles, movie lines and yes, some old bullshit. Meditation turns the volume down on that. I work on three websites and write for two, including this one. I’m delighted to start work on a new archive project called the Crone Chronicles. I used to promote music. My tarot suit: swords. I’m a long-time cheerleader for the first amendment. It was put first for good reason. One of my favorite phrases: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Today I ask, “Is that so?”

Hearing of Assange’s charges under the Espionage Act, and the responses I’m reading about them, I am more concerned than ever about intellectual freedom. We’ve been warned many times by brilliant writers, journalists, activists, musicians, comedians, artists and our own history about where we are headed. Did we listen?

If we had — we would remember this is history we do not want to repeat. We’ve been desensitized to hearing hard truths, and we can’t heal soul pain without acknowledging it, so maybe this is just a painful lesson we’re going to learn the hard way…

Quotation-Will-Rogers-There-are-three-kinds-of-men-The-one-that-learns-24-93-93

The money behind the pen is mightier than most things, including our fragile democracy. That pen is a double-edged sword. It has blacklisted writers and censored novelists, beheaded poets in countries that never used to be allies [for damn good reason]. Then there is the ‘death of a thousand cuts’ to imprisoned whistleblowers and publishers interested in truth and justice. The noblest things remain elusive in a country that espouses them, even with Wikileaks 100% accuracy record! Many never speak of who wrote the damning emails, still more have never bothered to read them after freedoms were sacrificed for them to do so.

We’re content to shoot the messenger. I relate to Julian’s plight. His pain is my pain. It will be the pain for many of us if this bullshit continues unabated without some reflection about what it really means.

Disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed was a basic attitude of punk rock as a philosophy, if you can call it that. There’s more truth in the lyric insert of the Dead Kennedy’s album, Bedtime for Democracy from 1986 than all the corporate news in 2019. Journalism and music have always been constant companions; brain-food groups. A steady diet of radical because mainstream bored me to tears.

I miss Hunter S. Thompson’s wit and Kentucky wisdom. I bet he’s laughing his ass off at all the rubes. I’m also reminded of Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, John Lennon, George Harrison…my departed friend and mentor, Michael C. Ruppert and the best news man that ever lived, Edward R. Murrow.

‘In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’ ~ George Orwell

I’m no longer interested in news analysis because there’s nothing inspiring about analyzing bullshit. No one seems to care about integrity, journalism, democracy…just the next election cycle of bullshit. Seems to me there isn’t much left to analyze except the psyche…and permaculture principles. US media is a dull state of affairs compared to intentional [and international] work happening in permaculture. That word may not sound or look radical; a string of black fonts on a glowing screen. Break it down to its roots: ‘permanent culture’ — well, that sounds like fertile soil for story telling. Stories about the history of a place and its people; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The heartland of real stories and I’ve been thinking of it profoundly in terms of journalism.

To journal. To record history — like a field guide for future generations to have a sense of place, where mistakes are learned from, not repeated because they’re remembered. Repeating the same mistakes in a garden means that eventually, you do not eat. That’s reality.

Industrial culture is collapsing under the weight of under-reported greed and corruption. Historically important stories are regulated to the dustbin of algorithms bought and paid for by alphabet agencies in bed with big tech. That’s not a sustainable practice if we care to have a free press. Monocropped corporate media landscapes are poisonous, barren, and lacking nutrients that produce brain food. Idiocracy reigns.

Major print newspapers are becoming a thing of the past. Print a thing on paper, distribute it, and it becomes difficult to reel it back in to correct mistakes. The kind of error that takes time, integrity and requires personal responsibility to fix. That is disappearing.

Frankly, I think the internet has lasted this long because it is owned by alphabet agencies and DARPA. It exists to spy on us and create false news to weaponize it against its own citizens. We are a far cry from journalism in this not-at-all brave or new world of short-attention spans. We’re not just repeating history, we’re regressing back to the time the Espionage Act was penned.

If this is the information age, I’m not impressed.

I’d like to point out that the president’s Twitter account is quite unprecedented in the history of political media. It is the closest we’ll get to knowing an elected official’s thoughts in real time. No matter how we feel about the quality of those thoughts, we’re getting them uncensored. I find that fascinating from a media perspective.

But…

11188293_907927372603100_392256960391404491_n

I’ve looked down many streets and have seen results that cannot be unseen, after both conservative and liberal presidents held office. We’ve lost too many veterans to suicide. I’ve lost one too many friends to drugs and crime. I’m witnessing journalism die by the hands of those with the audacity to call themselves journalists, while the warmongers who pay their salaries push to indict a publisher for exposing the crimes of Wall Street’s war cronies — who created the results on those streets.

War. Is. A. Racket.

Corporate media sells it and America is buying it up, despite fake liberal hysterics about this president — they were happy to go to war with a nuclear superpower — as long as stock dividends keep paying out.

Phil Ochs nailed it in 1966.

I remember when Assange was a darling of the left…in 2010, when it was also politically convenient for them. I attended a march in D.C. against the war in Iraq during the George W. administration in 2007 and it was a beautiful sight. When Obama took office and began bombing countries [more than GWB], the call to organize peaceful anti-war marches was met by crickets. Folks on the left have since rehabilitated GWB and call anti-war activists ‘Putin-puppets’ without a hint of irony.

Since 9/11, we’ve been steeped in propaganda to sell never-ending war. That has been the goal of elites and remains the root cause of this country’s social ills. Only a corrupt media could sell the belief that one man who never held an office before 2016, is to blame for decades of bullshit. Pimping pharmaceutical ‘fixes’ during commercial breaks for the anxiety and neurosis created by their 24hr, 24/7, ‘fear and loathing’ news cycles. It’s the same template from the late 80’s when I returned from the UK. The only thing new? Only 6 corporations own 90% of the media landscape instead of 50, and pharmaceutical commercials didn’t exist then.

I’m choosing a principled path called permaculture. I’ll be glad to share a whisky bottle with those who understand this sane path, no matter their neighbor’s, friend’s or family’s political leanings. We need to remember how to build community and lean on each other.

That’s going to require a lot of inner work.

Yes, it’s uncomfortableIt is worth it.

I’m certain my grandparents knew about the bullshit, especially during the great depression. Government institutions and banks didn’t save them or their neighbors. It was the ability to grow food in a closed system that saved them and their community’s ability to do the same. My family wouldn’t be here — I would not be here — if my grandparents believed that Wall Street or political parties would put food on their table.

I learned from those stories, so I can’t make the mistake of wishful thinking. It seems changing my values for survival wasn’t such a radical undertaking. It was in my DNA.

As far as media is concerned, the only journalism I’m interested in will be birthed after the veils are lifted, hard truths revealed, the corrupt held accountable, and Manning and Assange set free — fully pardoned and vindicated — and news restored as the public service it was meant to be. Anything less is just more bullshit.

Now, if you’ll excuse my absence, it’s time for pie.
Good night and good luck. ~ G


Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 8.40.36 PM

“The Department of Justice just declared war––not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media.” – Edward Snowden

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 10.59.01 PM

Moment of Clarity: Breaking News That’s Actually 13 Years Old…

TRC contributor Lee Camp

  
US Government Found GUILTY Of Murdering Martin Luther King Jr.

Read more about it here: http://exm.nr/LA4AA6 or here: http://bit.ly/Wnn7Sy and watch a short video on it here: http://bit.ly/YP1AXn

The Eternal Library

TRC contributor, Christoper Weller

[This essay is lovingly dedicated to Carl Sagan.  Also, see Editor’s note at the bottom.]
image
“Present global culture is a kind of arrogant newcomer.  It arrives on the stage following four and a half billion years of other acts, and after looking about for a few thousand years declares itself in possession of eternal truths.  But in a world that is changing as fast as ours, this is a prescription for disaster.”

“No nation, no religion, no economic system, no body of knowledge, is likely to have all the answers for our survival.  There must be many social systems that would work far better than any now in existence…our task is to find them.”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Forty thousand generations of the human species have existed up to this point.  There have been many peoples that have risen and fallen. So much of our history has been lost along the way.  We are unable to recount the countless cultures who may have existed.  Our earliest histories were mouthed from generation to generation, an oral tradition that only survives as long as the story-telling culture does.  Paradoxically, the very culture that has culminated into the one which is on the verge of destroying us all, the culture of civilization, is the same culture that birthed the written word. Similarly paradoxical, the rise of our scientific and philosophical understandings of every characteristic of the world, the universe, and our minds began during the rise of human civilizations. Our technological advancements, an integral part of this evolution, have brought us miraculous advantages, yet simultaneously responsible for our pending self-destruction.
The culture of civilization from its beginning has taught us that our advances in knowledge and technology, as well as their unintended consequences, are what comes along with what it calls “progress.”  It is no wonder then, that the majority of us in modern, industrial civilization have built upon our psyche a well-reinforced sense of pride.  It is no wonder we have so easily adhered to the belief that we can, and will eventually accomplish all things.  “It’s just a matter of time.”  It is no wonder we are filled with a great arrogance about ourselves and our place on this planet.
It is what our belief in the right of dominion over all things has created — a belief that has only become reinforced by our advances in knowledge.  We have built up a “Library of Humanity,” but it only sits atop infertile ground, it sits atop the ashes of a history of failed culture — It is the failure of the culture of civilization.  It is no wonder that things have gotten to the point that they are today.  For, with all of our acquired knowledge we seemed to have gained no wisdom, no compassion, and have lost the connection to what is infinite and eternal in the Cosmos.
It is no wonder then, with the great tragedy of the history of human knowledge so plain to see, of its seemingly endless ascent and decline as it continues to adhere to the culture of civilization, that we believe it can only continue — that we will once again fail and lose everything, and upon the ashes attempt to build this Library of Humanity anew.
But what of us in the Transition Culture?  What about us, who have made it to the realization of how the world really works, and are fully aware of where it is headed?  And, in addition, why is it that there are so few who have been able to achieve our sense of existence and understanding?
Many of us have seemingly two polar positions when it comes to the collapse of industrial civilization.  We believe that the current global paradigm, and the evolution of human progress will continue along, devolving into a state of dystopia, with the majority of the human race in absolute slavery to a well — entrenched minority, until there remains nothing left to consume but ourselves. Or, we will end up in a seemingly post-apocalyptic wasteland, devoid of community, compassion, and a life of meaning, and possibly devoid of life altogether.  Either way, we believe we will eventually lose everything we have gained. But, when we realize we must abandon the culture of civilization to survive, must we likewise abandon the knowledge we have gained from it as well?
When most of us had awakened to the knowledge of the impending doom of the collapse of industrial civilization, we experienced a level of pain, fear, and dread that we had never experienced in our lives.  Many of us scrambled to find some way to prepare.  It felt as though the world became more dangerous than it had already been.  What seemed to have overwhelming effects on our lives was the thought of losing all that we knew to be safe and secure in our lives.  We wondered: Could it come to a point where we would lose everything?  Would we lose all that we had found to be sacred in the culture of civilization?  Would we lose all that we had gained?  Would we lose the very advancements in human thought, knowledge, and science along with the collapse?  Would there be a new dark age, where the human race would have to crawl out of the quagmire of desolation and misery once again?
image
Some have claimed that the fall of the Greco-Roman era, signaled by the fall of Rome and the rise of the Holy Roman Empire as being the dawn of what has been hailed as The Dark Ages.  The most significant event in this great paradigm shift that symbolized the collapse of the old order was the destruction of the great Library of Alexandria in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt, a center for culture of the ancient world for seven hundred years.
The Library inspired much of what we have grown to believe is common sense.  What we know of medicine began there with the likes of Alexandria thinkers such as Galen.  What we know of mathematics and geometry began with the likes of Euclid studying at the Library.  What we know of astronomy came from studies at the Library by Hipparchus, Eratosthenes, and Aristarchus.  The foundations of drama came from Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides, who wrote their tragedies in the Library.  It was a place where all human knowledge, from all cultures were welcome — from Arabia, Syria, the Hebrews, Persians, Italians, Gauls, and so on.
It is believed it held hundreds of thousands of texts, ranging from history, philosophy, drama, science, to some of the first writings of both the New and Old Testaments.  Scholars would come there from all over the ancient world to study, exchange knowledge, share ideas, and test their theories.  Ships would arrive at its grand port on the Mediterranean carrying elements of the cultures from which they had come, and the inhabitants of the Library would eagerly trade goods and supplies with the mariners for any samples of knowledge they had brought with them from afar.  They’d copy down the knowledge upon their papyrus scrolls, and thankfully return the precious documents back to the seafarers before they left port.
They had built nothing other than a true, complete “Library of Humanity.”  A place where knowledge became sacred.  As infinite as their gods, their pursuit of knowledge had no limit.  The dream of a human civilization built upon science and reason was coming to existence upon the Earth for the first time.  Nonetheless, their ambitions to create a center for human knowledge had but one major flaw. Equal to their advancements in knowledge was their arrogance.  They had locked out much of the cultures around them by not making an effort to bring their discoveries to the vast majority of the population of the ancient world.  The vast majority of those in their society were not only shut out from the rights to study there, mostly because of social class or status, especially those who inhabited the lands around the Library, but were mostly illiterate, and had not the ability, and hence the interest, to indulge in or even understand the blessings of the epistemological achievements that were developing inside the walls of the Library complex.
However, the paradigm had begun to shift.  The dominant culture which had controlled this civilization for centuries had begun to collapse, opening the void for a new dominant culture with very little sympathy for the old.  The Greco-Roman world was collapsing, and the new paradigm of the Holy Church of Rome was to take over the reigns of civilization.  The Library soon became a target of Church dogma, and a growing animosity began to develop rapidly around the city.  The Library became to be recognized as not only a symbol of the old order that Christianity had suffered under for so long, but it also came to be believed as a center of paganism and, most especially, a symbol of sin against the edicts of the Church.
Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria, began a fear campaign amongst his devoted followers that inhabited the city. And upon the decree by Holy Roman Emperor Theodosius I, in 391 C.E., paganism was declared unlawful, giving the bishop an open door to instigate a mob to attack and overrun the Library complex and its surrounding temples.  And, what had allowed for such animosity to be so easily gathered against the inhabitants of the Library was, ironically, their extreme arrogance which blinded them into believing they could not be harmed atop their “ivory tower,” especially by those who they saw as uncultured, illiterate heathens.
image
With backing from the hierarchy of the Church and the Emperor, nothing could stop them, and his followers and parishioners destroyed what was left of the Library, and burned whatever documents they could get their hands on, deeming them evil, sinful representations of the fallen, pagan Empire of Rome.  The Library was set ablaze, and what remained of the complex was turned into stables for animals.
Through this example of what can happen during the collapse of an empire, collapse of a culture that extended to half the world at the time, we can imagine the pain of the loss for those that had survived, and had gained so much, and knew how much was being lost forever.  It took centuries for humanity to regain the loss of human knowledge that was destroyed there — to rediscover what had already been known centuries before in Alexandria.  It was not until over a thousand years later, with the Renaissance, that the dreamed Library of Humanity was beginning to be built again.  It is no wonder so many of us in the Transition Culture have the belief, the dreaded fear of losing the whole of human knowledge as the Collapse becomes complete.  What we must contemplate in the Transition is why this had failed humanity?  As with other failed civilizations, why is it that much of what is gained is just as equally lost?
The answer becomes clear.  It is because of what drives the culture of civilization, then and now.  It is because it influences and instigates a sense of separation from the world into every human endeavor.  It creates an arrogance in all human pursuits, which includes the pursuit of knowledge and truth.  It corrupts our passion for knowledge by subsuming it with the belief that by achieving greater understanding of the universe we are somehow elevated above Nature herself.
We discover the mechanism of the stars and planets, but we don’t recognize them as part of ourselves. We understand the workings of our bodies and minds as no other culture has before, but we have ignored what true health really means — we ignore that our entire anatomy is a product of the Earth from which we sprang, and that as it is destroyed for greed, power, and pride of dominion, so do we destroy ourselves.  We can entertain the human mind faster, with more potency, and reach the entire globe in an instant with our works of drama, literature, and the arts, but we have forgotten the soul, we have forgotten what art really is for — to reflect upon the experiences of our time, whether it be progress or decay, happiness or tragedy, praise or judgement.  When our advancement in knowledge has no harmony or foundation with the natural world, when we have forgotten our heritage upon the Earth, when we have lost our connection to the infinite and the eternal nature of the universe, our knowledge will always be vulnerable to being lost forever.
Today, because of the culture of civilization, we are not only about to lose what we have gained since the Renaissance and the subsequent Age of Reason that followed, but also we are losing an even greater wisdom from the indigenous cultures of the world, slowly being pushed out of existence by the dominant culture — knowledge that had survived, and thrived, much longer than any other, only to be forgotten, many times intentionally, by the rise of the current culture at the reigns of civilization.
But what we are losing as dominant culture erases these ancient, indigenous societies out of existence, is the true Library of Humanity we have been seeking — that which we seem to have been pushed by the forces of Nature to find, the ultimate collection of knowledge.  Nature is telling us its secrets, all of its knowledge.  It is telling us to let go of the culture of civilization, and we will find the knowledge we seek.  Instead, we continue to ignore her.
We must not be the ones desecrating this true, eternal Library, burning its books, destroying our memories, our passions, our ideas, and our dreams, extinguishing them forever.  To do so, is to continue erasing the chance of learning the very wisdom of true existence and a life of meaning on this planet.  It is the wisdom and knowledge necessary to live in harmony, in absolute synchronicity with our Mother Earth.  Without taking this wisdom and knowledge with us through the Transition, we will never be given the opportunity, and the right to begin to fully understand the great clockwork of the universe, and for us there will be no time left.
As the rise of our knowledge expands the entirety of the human race, across the globe, and as long as it is held captive, just as we are, to the culture of civilization, it will continue to rise and fall, ascend and descend, be rebuilt and collapse, until all that is left of life on this planet is destroyed — all will be lost until our pursuit of knowledge lets go of the false sense of pride, the arrogance, and the belief in dominion.  We must come down from our ivory towers and be part of the Earth again.
What must occur this time, the final time, during this final paradigm shift, is for the knowledge and truth found through the beaten path of civilization and the sacred treasure of the indigenous knowledge, that which is found by listening to Nature, to both be taken with us through the Transition — for they are both part of our past and must be part of our future.  Only through a union of the ancient with the new can we begin to finally mature as an intelligent species on this planet.  Only through such an alliance can we conquer the fear, the pain, and the loss of what the pending collapse will surely produce.  If such a merger were to occur, they will enhance each other.  They will immortalize each other — one teaching us how to survive, how to exist on this planet, to be one with it, and the other teaching us how to understand it, to further develop the human mind, and give us a seat in the college of intelligent beings in the Cosmos.
image

 

“Those afraid of the universe as it really is, those who pretend to nonexistent knowledge and envision a Cosmos centered on human beings will prefer the fleeting comforts of superstition.  They avoid rather than confront the world.  But those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries.”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

 

With all the lies, trickery, and false promises of the decaying, culture of civilization, they are like a dying superstition about to be revealed as a grand cult of fear, scaring the world, abusing the world into submission, completely out of sync with the mechanism of the Cosmos.  It has held not only our minds, our bodies, and our souls as captive slaves to its dominion, but it has held captive the breadth of all human knowledge.  It has separated our science from our spirituality.  It has kept separate our love from our planet and from each other.  It has kept separate the alliance between human knowledge and human existence.  For to divide is to conquer.  But to pass through the Transition, we must let it conquer our lives no more.
Do we really have any thing to fear about losing the collection of human knowledge as we pass through the transition?  Will it really be lost forever?  Will a doctor all of a sudden lose her ability to treat a sick, dying patient when the money system collapses?  Will our pharmaceutical scientists suddenly lose the ability to design medicines when the stocks of their companies are finally reduced to nothing?  Will our astronomers abruptly lose their understanding of the vast magnitude of the Cosmos, of space & time when their funding runs dry?  Will our teachers lose their passion for educating the young when our governments fall?  Will our soldiers lose their courage and heroism when the wars of conquest & acquisition become obsolete?  Will our artists and dramatists lose their ability to interpret and express the state of the world, to inspire, and to entertain, once the entertainment industry goes bankrupt?  Will writers and essayists lose their ability to create great works of literature and satire?  Certainly not.  We will only be losing what has tainted it, what has corrupted it, and what has poisoned it.
Part of what it means to accept what is happening to the world and coming to welcome the Transition joyously is that we recognized that we have the opportunity to shed the elements of the dying culture that has plagued us for so long, once and for all.  But this doesn’t necessarily have to mean losing everything.  We will be astounded by what will come about in the world when it reaches the end of that which has corrupted and infected our society for millennia, when they are washed clean from humanity.
Advancements in science, philosophy, logic, literature, and the arts will no longer be valued through the marketplace.  They will no longer be driven by the greed and corruption of the sick, dying culture. These disciplines will be enhanced as they have never been before.  Like the chains of Prometheus upon Mount Olympus, they will be broken and we will be set free to explore the true limits of human knowledge and our minds, when we have no longer strained the limits of our planet, our communities, our emotions, and our souls by the destructive culture of civilization.  The totality of our human knowledge will no longer be attached to the fantasy of “growth” at all costs, but be a part of the development of the human mind, body, & soul — to the development of the world entire.
It will merge with the Great Remembering.  It will become the moment upon which we have finally matured.  Development will become wisdom as it should be.  The entire culture of Transition will lead to a point where the entire Library of Humanity will include us all and it will exist in every corner of the Earth.  For the Library had always existed in the hearts and minds of humanity, and its pages and scrolls existed all around us, written in the sky, water, land, air, and life of this planet, safely preserved in Nature, to be uncovered, rediscovered, and understood for eternity.
For human knowledge came from Nature and can be understood through Nature, because we are part of Nature.  And, only if we are a part of it can we learn from it.  Once the plague of the culture of civilization has been lifted from the pursuit of knowledge and truth, it will settle amongst all of the sources of wisdom in the world.  It is like that of the Phoenix.  It can be burnt, but through the fire of Collapse can be, once again, reborn anew.  Just as life can return to this planet if it is beaten down from the wrath of civilization, so too can the knowledge be gained from it.  It is like evolution itself. Once the species has shed its line of descent with that which limits its survival, its development on the planet, the species can then thrive.  What is lost is forgotten, and what is gained is embraced — it has become truly free to exist, free of its chains, once and for all.  Knowledge & truth are never lost, but are infinite.  The true Library of Humanity will finally be discovered.  It is the Eternal Library.
image
EDITOR’S NOTE:  When Christopher and I were discussing ideas for the next essay, I was promoting Banned Books Week — so when he mentioned this particular subject matter, I felt it was beautifully timed.  I would like to dedicate this post to my fellow Indiana native, Kurt Vonnegut, a man who understood disgust with civilization, not to mention savvy to peak oil, and also to Ray Bradbury, whose particular work, Fahrenheit 451 inspired me to share important works of unconventional literature throughout my life.  We can tell him We’re Remembering.
Christopher was interviewed on Michael Ruppert’s Lifeboat Hour radio program, Sunday, 9/30/12. We hope you’ll give the archived show a listen.  Many thanks to Mike. ~ Gabrielle

Women’s rights, Student Protests, Native American uprising / OWS Week 03-14-2012

Press TV’s new program; ‘OWS Week’ highlights 7 days of the protest movement’s happenings as viewed from American protesters’ eyes.
The program also examines the wide range of social issues addressed by the ‘occupy’ movement in the US.
Episode 8 sheds light on the 99 percenters struggle as expressed through Sacramento student protests against high education fees, Women’s rights rallies and the Native American dissenters.  Plus the OWS interview of the week, with journalist Gabrielle Price of The Refreshment Center.