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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Regeneration and Christmas


Now that Saturnalia is behind us …

“The ancient Roman seven-day festival of Saturn, which began on December 17.”





I’m comfortable writing a few words about Christmas.

The parties that many attend this year and every year … these are for Saturnalia. It’s an orgy of drinking and overindulgences in food, for some; and for other an excuse, at office parties, to speak one’s mind under the influence or with tongue’s lubrication by alcohol.

Each year a growing number of mislead people come to believe that Christmas was created to convert pagan masses during the Roman era, after Christianity became the singular sanctioned religion of the Roman Empire.  For these believers, Christmas is Saturnalia with a mythological Christ at its center. Thus, they often assert, the Church found a way to continue pagan traditions under a sanctioned roof, so to say.

Truly, Christmas is not Christmas without contemplation of the deeper mysteries of birth, death and regeneration.

Saturnalia was, in its time, a religious celebration designed to influence the Roman god Saturn, and came at the time of year when days were becoming shorter, and nights longer. One of two things would happen. Either daylight would diminish altogether some months in the future, or days would once again grow longer, and the warmth of the sun return. By honoring Saturn, Romans and others believed that their god was pleased and bestowed longer periods of sunlight upon the Earth, by which crops would once again flourish, and grapes for wine would likely grow aplenty. Drink up and be merry.

No matter how poorly we eat, humans will never be plants.

This is to say, the regeneration that Romans and others hoped for during Saturnalia was a regeneration of sunlight, the length of the day, and plants that sustained animal life, including of course their grapes. Timing of the festival worked in favor of those Romans. After the winter solstice around December 21 each year, their prayers were answered. Those who celebrate Saturnalia in this century also know this, and reasonably predict that daylight hours will lengthen, etc.

Just as many people these days don’t want to know what really happens in the world, or that the money they worship and cherish is bogus, or that the votes they cast are meaningless, or that the money they send to nonprofits to feed starving children is not spent to effectively end hunger …  people don’t want to contemplate the essential meaning of Christmas. That is, the contemplation of the deeper mysteries of birth, death and regeneration are largely taboo in this modern era.

There is a debate, if not a vehement argument ongoing about a war against Christmas.

Here is one view: War on Christmas?

And here is another: http: Fox Says War on Christmas has been won.

It appears obvious that this distinction is a moot point. The Christmas that is argued about is more of a non-Christmas celebration than it is a contemplation of the deeper mysteries of birth, death and regeneration. Why argue about Saturnalia?

The Government  policy is reflected her: Don't Say Christmas Soldier.

Santa Claus, most seasonal songs and a Yule tree are exceedingly banal and superficial. Enemies of true Christianity would have it no other way. And to argue over banalities pleases this group quite merrily, under both connotations. 

If Christmas were in essence a celebration of inanimate lumps of clay, salt water and minerals coming to life as a newborn human being, that would be remarkable. Such a life would be miraculous, and deemed precious. Who or what breathed life into that mixture would become the question of the year.  How it was done would be the scientific mystery of the century. Just as the code-writer for the human DNA molecule is an imponderable mystery, so is the mystery of human life in all its complexity. How and where did a human DNA molecule originate? 

We are those lumps of clay, salt water and minerals with an unfathomable essence of life "breathed" into us. "The Bru~ah, the Wind, did it." Hence, we should listen to that Wind because it has done so much more.

To me, the whole of Christmas essence is summarized in the title of a song,  Silent Night.




Real Christ Mass is, after all, one Holy Night


 



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Regeneration and the Family Farm


Everyone knows that our bodies need food in order to survive. As science progresses we learn more about what defines real human food, and what qualifies as fake food.

The Free Dictionary by Farlex offers this definition: 

Material, usually of plant or animal origin, that contains or consists of essential body nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to produce energy, stimulate growth, and maintain life.

Whenever I make a journey up and down grocery store aisles I find many things other than real food that meets this definition. Processed and stripped of those essential life-giving ingredients. It’s filler but not food.

Of course the Federal Department of Agriculture permits a certain amount of once-upon-a-time real food material into processed foodstuffs. Cowing before big business, this federal agency doesn’t mind these substances being passed along as food simply because they determine, often with the help of businesses with vested interests, that those fillers do no harm in themselves. 




One of my favorite and enlightening quotes comes from Harvey G. Cox, Jr. in his book The Secular City. Written almost fifty years ago, Cox points out how human engineering was so advanced at that time that it is a matter of routine to manipulate masses of people to perform as organizations want them to. That is to say, thirty years after the Nazi propaganda minister, Paul Joseph Goebbels, rose to power with Hitler, propaganda advanced to near perfection as a means of controlling populations through desire and artificial rewards. The old carrot and stick approach works. 

Manipulation is easy. Television programs and movies do it all the time. The secret is in sound. It’s the soundtrack, Dummy.  Loud music stimulates emotions, and emotions stimulate appetite. Follow that manipulated emotional experience with images of double-bacon cheeseburgers and smiling faces, and you’re ready to consume. You might even want to crawl into your car at this point, to head for that drive-through window. Just the thought of it makes you warm to the idea of upgrading your vehicle. Then those images of shiny new cars and trucks flash across the screen, with more uplifting music filling the brief interludes between seductive verbiage. You’re ready to buy or lease that new vehicle … as soon as you drive away from the fast-food place.

What does this have to do with family farms?

The answer is also simple. Small family farms are generally the source of real food. Large factory farms are the starting point of mostly processed foods.


The expense of processing food in factories, often requiring an investment of millions of dollars, necessitates large-scale production. Massive amounts of raw foods go in, and truckloads of processed products go out. If this system allowed for nutrition to be retained in those foodstuffs, it would be great for humanity. Large quantities of food would be produced and sold cheaply, yet still make a decent profit for the producers. And there would be enough to feed the starving in this world (there is actually more than enough). Another way to view this problem is: the foodstuff that comes out of those processing factories is so bad that it takes persistent manipulation of the population to keep selling the fake food. Because this fake food leaves eaters hungry for real food, they consistently reach for more, and undernourished appetites respond predictably to manipulation. Producers sweeten the deal, literally, with huge amounts of high-fructose corn syrup, the number one cause of obesity worldwide.

Gardeners who grow their own food know “how sweet it is” to eat from their self-assisted harvest. Small farmers who grow organically also understand how blessed they are to eat of their naturally processed soil; sunlight, water and mineral-rich dirt combine to process raw materials into wonderfully flavorful and highly nutritious edibles. Participants grow healthier bodies, not obese ones.

In a healthy body, regeneration of cells takes place readily. As long as the right ingredients are added in, new cells replace those used up. If the basic ingredients are missing, this natural regeneration is slowed or does not take place at all.  Cells die off or are used up but not replaced. When this happens in our vehicles, most people understand that parts have to be replaced or the car doesn’t function. It should be that simple when “driving” our bodies. Worn-out cells need to be replaced or the body fails.

Small organic farms are the key to regeneration of healthy bodies. We all need what these farms produce. Our lives depend on nutritionally loaded food, and the only source of nutritionally loaded food, containing all the essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids, is organic produce.

It should go without saying that health care is not something bought from an insurance company or a medical facility. Health care comes from what we eat and drink.

Goebbels wrote:
Peoples do never govern themselves. That lunacy was concocted by liberalism. Behind its "people's sovereignty" the slyest cheaters are hiding, who don't want to be recognized.

Rather than look to others for a solution to what ails you or society, contemplate these words from Harvey Cox:

What we are seeking so frantically elsewhere may turn out to be the horse we have been riding all along.






Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Regeneration Instead of Revolution

Tea Party members and sympathizers might consider themselves part of a "tax-revolt revolution" just as those who participated in the Boston Tea Party of 1773 did. The Tea Party facts

We have seen others, such as Timothy McVeigh and his associates, who believed that his actions were revolutionary. Others, including the Wackos at Waco, Texas, have thought of themselves as religious revolutionaries.

Revolution as a religion has its various sects in America. Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Black Panthers, Aryan Nation, David Duke followers, Libertarians, the Coffee Party fellows, and Constitutionalists are but a few of these revolutionary sects. Most, if not all, are considered "terrorists" by the official federal government controllers.

One important thing to know about these sects is that they will never unite as one, or come together to fight a revolution against their common enemy, yet a common enemy they do indeed share.

Participants of the Ninety-Nine Percent, or "99%" protests had correctly identified its common enemy: the .04 percent (.04%) who own fifty percent (50% ) of all paper and hard assets in the United States ... most of which has been acquired at the expense of the 99.6% outside that inner circle of asset holders.

There happens to be a similarity between revolutionary sectarianism and the fractured community of Christianity, or Christian sects within Protestantism. Despite having a common "enemy" defined loosely as "the world," or the worship of any and all things material, Christian sects are divided by minutiae that has nothing to do with its purpose. Enemies of Christianity want it this way. And because of these disagreements on which approach, or set of rules, is most appropriate to achieve the common goal of freedom from corporate hegemony and increased participation of ownership in material resources, there will never be unity of purpose. There should be, in both "revolutionary" sectarianism and Christianity. Essentially, both are purposed to attain the same end.

Each group, or sect, has its particular Ego that defines it. Just as human beings are separated by ego, so are sects, whether religious or political, or economic.

Divide, with money, and conquer.

That infamous 04.% routinely floods each political and economic sect with sufficient funds to denounce its rivals in various media. It pays each to remain separate and competitive, and antagonistically divided. This assures there will be no viable, unified revolution to overthrow the status quo.

The well-funded, paid-in-full divisiveness precludes essential unity. and this unity is a product of timing -- reliant upon simultaneous events converging.

The one factor that would lead to achieving the aims of a successful revolution is spiritual awakening that unifies masses of people within a short time period. For decades, since the musical "Hair" burst onto the stage and "Consciousness scene" of the Nineteen-Sixties, millions of people have, at various times, believed in and anticipated the arrival of such a spiritual mass-awakening. The Age of Aquarius has been imminent for five decades. It was to be the event, or the turning point. Unfortunately, well-funded and paid-in-full mass-media campaigns have hijacked this spiritual awakening under the banner of New Age "enlightenment." A contradiction? Not at all. This New Age religion as mass-marketed (Oprah Winfrey has been a salesperson) emphasizes individual and group Ego in lieu of essential humility required of any genuine spiritual awakening.

It takes humility to achieve a unified goal of equality for all. New Age philosophy has, at its core, the proposal that each of us human beings can and should become our own god. Seven billion gods populating the "99.6%" is no way to conduct a spiritual revolution.

The simple truth is, none of us are gods and we cannot become one.


What we can do is recognize that each of us are the same, like trees in a forest. None is its own god, or superior to others, and all trees in the forest rely on the same basic circumstances to live, grow, and sustain life. A disease that enters one tree can kill the entire forest.

If we are ever to overcome the present conditions of inequality and lack of equal access to Earth's resources essential to sustaining human life on this planet, then we must take the humble approach, and recognize that this is a common fight shared equally by all. Everyone brings unique talents to the struggle, but none are so insignificant that we do not matter in the larger scheme of life and the struggle. In fact, each tree that dies in a forest yields its biological matter to billions of other organisms so that new life is regenerated from death.


Those who presently control the vast array of resources of this planet will not easily yield to a few scattered voices who scream for them to step aside and relinquish control. Those shrill voices are humorous to the few who hear them, and ludicrous.

Silence and death are weapons wielded daily by those in control. The masses, in disunity, are conveniently silent. For those who act out in desperation, death is the antidote to raising consciousness, and consciences. Money buys both silence and death every day, every hour.

Yet Truth cannot be silenced forever. Like life contained hidden within soil and seeds, it finds its moment to regenerate and spring to life. Regeneration is the essential factor in the revolutions that many anticipate and desire. It's a matter of time, and timing ... long anticipated and often postponed ... Truth will emerge from darkness, and many will realize that our fellow freedom fighter is not our rival, and that the way to attain our common goal is through humble service to each other.



     

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Natural Inclination to Avoid Admitting We’ve Been Conned


Recent experience has reminded me that we all share a natural resistance to admitting, in spite of overwhelming evidence, to ourselves and to others, that we’ve been conned. We’ve been “had!”

We all know to be wary of used car salesmen. Lawyers have their own genre of jokes based upon a common dearth of honesty and integrity. These two words prompt snickers when associated with the legal professions. Still, millions of divorcing couples allow themselves to be emotionally railroaded into exorbitantly expensive divorce proceedings. Stimulated by the heat of negative passions, men and women are easily conned by their own lawyers. Their children suffer permanently; their banks accounts temporarily.

Advertisers are masters of the con. Trash dumps are filled with low-quality junk that seemed promising up to the time of purchase. Slick advertisers capitalize on knowing that the junk they sell won’t be returned by a large majority of disappointed buyers conned into believing “too good to be true” or ordinary sales diatribes. Millions of us have grown accustomed to putting our money, in the form of spontaneously purchased goods, into a trash bin rather than admit we were fooled and demanding a justifiable refund.

So prevalent is the con in our society that millions now resort to background checks for prospective dates.  

I’ve been given to understand, that those conducting job interviews, as a rule, assume that every resume contains at least one lie, usually in the form of exaggeration, and sometimes boldly outrageous.

Year in and year out, politicians con voters on a grand scale. Pretending that the whole electoral process is not an enormous con game, voters not only continue to head to the polls but also donate billions of non-tax-deductible dollars to perpetuate the con. The voters pay to con themselves rather than accept that the entire system is a scam … so strong is the natural inclination to deny we’ve been had.

So entrenched is our reluctance to admit the simple truth, that we are being fooled by experts and amateurs alike, we pay enormous sums of “good money after bad” to avoid eating crow.

Even journalism has had its share of cons. Some infamous writers include Clifford Irving and the Howard Hughes Autobiography Hoax. See this article about that: The Autobiography of Howard Hughes

Other journalists have ruined their careers in various ways through hoaxes. A listing of fifty-seven such personal debacles is found in this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Journalistic_hoaxes


Included among those who confiscate money from victims through “confidence games,” a certain percentage is sociopaths. Some argue that most lawyers and all politicians are inclined to become one of this ignominious menagerie of human beings. Keep in mind, if you will, this is not “name calling” but rather technical labels invented by psychologists. It’s professional jargon.

The typical sociopath will often resort to habitual manipulation. Sometimes, as personal experience and observation teaches, manipulation by a sociopath becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end such as money or power. Successful manipulative ploys are carried out for their own sake because a sociopath accepts results as “proof” of personal superiority over the victim. 

{Some interesting videos on narcissism can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin?feature=watch }

This is to say, for some “confidence gamers” the means becomes more personally rewarding than the prize to be gained, the profit from a sale or the power of an office.

This is the case with the only incidence I’ve personally ever known in which a man used manipulation, coercion, and threat of personal injury to gain control over a manuscript for a book he did not create. In the process he demanded that a copyright was altered to exclude the rightful owner, yet allowed it to be changed back before he went on to publish the book and profit from it. The process of obtaining complete control through those nefarious means was replete with bizarre theatrics that served no other purpose beyond delivering “narcissistic juice  -- a chemical intoxicant produced by our brains – to the manipulating, narcissistic would-be author. Those theatrics were coincidental with his confiscation of the book, which itself was a prelude to what followed its publication. This man who had barely ever read a book wanted desperately to claim a new identity as “the author of …” Strip away all the “show” and “bluster” and we are left to perceive the naked narcissism for what it is. 



The moral here: it’s not always financial gain, or a seat of power, that motivates a person habitually drawn to fool, or con, others. Sometimes the biggest, most irresistible motive is the intoxication derived from fucking someone else over, and the pure, unadulterated dose of EGO that a narcissist perpetually and desperately needs.

This is why our society is overpopulated with confidence men and women. Aside from the typical politician or greedy scammer, there is that certain number among us who happen to be predators seeking boosts of narcissistic juice. For these, ego is more important than money or power.

And this leads us back to the beginning. We hate to eat crow and admit we’ve been conned. Perhaps six hundred or more people bought a copy of the purloined book in the example above. If or when they are given the truth, that the person claiming to be the book’s author was in fact an imposter … the chances are that they’ll prefer denial of this truth rather than accept that they were conned.  



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Boy Scouting versus The Knockout Game

Change is in the air these days, and it isn't good.

Change is nothing new; neither is hope.Every moment, this universe is in flux. We change with every choice we make, with every breath we take. Life is perpetually in hope of continuation.

Some change is deliberate, and toward a definite aim or direction. Other changes are directionless, as most young people, or those under forty, are today. This too is indicative of major societal changes.

When my father was a boy he joined the Boys Scouts of America near this organization's Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation national training center, which he said was "within walking distance" from his home in Plainfield, New Jersey. During the 1930s, so it seems, a ten, fifteen or twenty mile walk was common, and considered no big deal. Reading Kit Carson books and the early Boys Scout books were favored over school work; scouting activities in the wild were also more interesting than sports. Both had more appeal than academics because these learning activities were something that he could feel and sense his abilities grow as he took on new experiences. Learning new skills led to confidence in his abilities as a boy, then as a young man with direction and purpose. The Scout Oath made this purpose quite clear:


"To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

Based on these experiences, like millions of other American youth of his generation, my father entered the Second World War fully prepared for what he would face in Belgium and France, and later in Germany, Italy, and Austria. At the commencement of the Battle of the Bulge, on December 16, 1944, Sergeant R. M. Nagy was leading a patrol squad of ten soldiers and a corporal in the Ardennes region near the French border, in Belgium. Suddenly he found his unit behind advancing German lines as a full offensive cut him off from the main Allied Forces. Skills learned in Scouting were absolutely essential in keeping himself and his troops alive for two weeks of bitter cold and starvation in the dense forest, surrounded by enemy troops within hearing distance. Still, he had to witness several of those troops die from exposure, three from dysintery. Winter camping as a Boy Scout in New Jersey was key to survival. He found his experience of living from the land in winter camps, with a day's food, one knife and a hatchet had taught him what to do, and how to remain undetected for more than two weeks. Still, some things could not be avoided, such as frostbite; everyone who survived suffered from this during the nineteen days and nights beyond a safe line of friendly forces.

As a good friend likes to remind me often, "There are no atheists in foxholes." Reflecting on my father's expeiences in two wars, and in life, I'm reminded of these words of James West, an early Boy Scout leader ...

"Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God."

Seventy years later, 2014 will see another war that is not declared, yet millions of Americans will be participcating. This war has begun, and it seems inevitable that it will grow.This is a much more a war than a game.

Commentary on the Knockout Game

This is another indication of a war on values, including those values espoused by Boy Scouts, as they once were famous for. Today's Scouts, so it seems, are far from those known by father's generation and my own. Rather than teach woodcraft and survival skills, it seems that Scouts have succumbed to pressures from Progressives and modernism to water-down moral values while opening their leadership to feminization of boys. For good reason, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts had always been separated into different and distinct troops, in exclusive organizations. With recent changes in policy forced on the Scouts, despite a historic Supreme Court decision regarding memberships, Scouting is now open to allowing gay and questionable gender persons into many organized troops. [Will we see a merit badge for applying eye-liner and makeup in the near future?] The point to be made is that skills at video games and feminized activities for boys are far astray from the essential woodcraft and survival skills that are still quite important to know and practice in today's world.

In addition to many valuable skills and benefits of a wide variety of expereinces, Scouting teaches its practitioners to "Be Prepared." 

As this world becomes increasingly violent for no reason justifiable by common moral values, each person has this to be conscious of, the necessity to be prepared for nearly any eventuality. To survive on streets and public places in America, it makes a great deal of sense to be prepared for outbreaks of violence ... in a shopping mall, in a convenient store hit by a flash mob, or driving on a well-lit roadway. How a person does this will depend on one's moral values and accrued experiences. Most of us will not be prepared when danger, or a stranger, strikes.

Some might argue that these words are "hate speech," and that I should be more trusting of the goodness of human nature and our common desire to lead peaceful, prejudice-free lives. Typical delusions of many Progressives, this sort of thinking ignores the reality of this world while painting a idyllic picture of humanity that does not belong in anyone's collection of concepts. This is not to say that some, or most, of us are not peaceloving and kind at heart. Rather, it is to stress that random violence is now a part of life in society, and that everyone in our mobile, densely populated cities will be effected by random violence in some way, directly or indirectly.

When the Scouting movement was initiated in the early Twewentieth Century by men such as Lord Robert Baden-Powell, W. D. Boyce, Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, Gifford Pinchot, Edward S. Stewart and Stanley D. Willis, and populaized by George S. Barton in Boys Life Magazine, this world was exceedingly different. These men recognized the need for young men to have positive direction and leadership in order to grow into outstanding leaders of the future. We are living in that future today. And this is a world that is adjusting to spontaneous violence against fellow citizens and neighbors, taking place in a moral vacuum created intentionally by modernists and Progresssives. Dominant media perpetually teaches populations to be complacent and to rely on government and corporations to provide economic and physical security rather than to develop skills taught by those men and women who founded the Scouting movement. Their answer, to depend on an increasingly militarized police network to provide protections that creep daily toward martial law. At the same time, we are expected to ignore the fact that moral leadership is dead within those who have taken control of our lives.

It follows that the death of moral leadership has been a major contributing factor to this recent development of flash mobs and knockout games. The inevitable result has been our devolution into a new Cold Civil War pitting neighbor against neighbor, Progressive against Conservative, native-born against immigrant, LBGT against anyone religious, and so on throughout the spectrum of divisions and divisiveness.

The less-than-glib Governor Rick Perry of Texas was right. We need to live more earnestly with Boy Scout values to work our way out of this mess we're in.

On My Honor by Rick Perry