Sunday, January 22, 2012

Optimism in a Seemingly Hopeless World???

Moab City Council: Resolution Abolishing Corporate Personhood and Money As Speech
Since I’ve been house-sitting in town most the winter,  I’ve taken advantage of it,  changing my tune a lot, from my usual contemplative philosophy, to getting involved in activist movements (like Occupy Moab).  Our latest endeavor is a petition to the City Council of Moab, Utah to pass a resolution that declares corporations not people and money not speech, as part of a nation-wide movement to amend the constitution  [Move to Amend].  I made both a paper non-official petition and an online one for us to present to the Moab City Council this Tuesday, January 24th.  I made the online one, intended only for locals who couldn’t sign the paper one, but it turns out some people in various parts of the world are signing it!  Oh, well, I thought, that’s good, too, because it shows Moab the world is watching.  What the heck, now I might as well open up the petition for everybody (like you) to sign, right here: 

Moab City Council: Resolution Abolishing Corporate Personhood and Money As Speech

 Let Moab know you’re watching us!  


Now... for my brainstorming-philosophizing:  Somebody recently emailed me about finding it hard to be optimistic in such a tragic world.  What to do?  

Optimism is Faith, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Pessimism is Faithlessness, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

I keep coming back to Spirituality, because the most powerful and successful movements for social change, whether for good or for bad, have been religious.  Religion is usually bad. But let’s focus on the small bit that’s good, because, as you will see if you read on, small good minority overpowers big bad majority.  I'm not talking religious denominations or institutions, I'm talking states of mind.  

Life's principle is to focus on the one sperm that makes it to the egg, not the millions of others that are doomed. 
Thus, my focus here is on the tiny minority, the True Triumphant. 

Harriet Tubman
Mohandas Gandhi
Look at the leading Abolitionists, like Harriet Tubman.  Look at Gandhi, Martin Luther King, George Fox.  Look at the movement against Apartheid in South Africa and Poland’s break from the USSR.  What motivated them? 

True religion is, by its very nature, unshakeable Optimism in the face of seemingly infinite Pessimism. I'm not talking fake smiles and bury-head-in-the-sand ignorant bliss of false religion. 

Spirituality is the Faith of the small against seemingly impossibly-large odds.  Faith is Optimism.  Faithlessness is Pessimism.  No movement, no revolution, can succeed for long without this Optimism.   Without Optimism, a movement is spineless, cowardly, pathetic.  Nothing succeeds without Faith. Faith is even the very essence of all scientific discovery.  Even so, such Optimism always appears foolishly naïve and childishly small to everyone but the Sprititual Mind, and this seemingly small childishness against the immensity of Pessimism is what makes the triumph of this Optimist so splendid when it happens.  This Optimist plays out our deepest yearning, our cultural mythology. 

Yes, this Optimism is the Essence of our most valued myths and fairy tales in every culture in the world.  My cynical Pessimist self thinks myth and fairy tale is silly fiction, and uses this as argument against my Optimist self.  Little does this Pessimist know he is only adding to the splendor of the Optimist in her potential triumph!  

Yes, the Spiritual Mind knows Myth and Fairy Tale express truths too deep for any pragmatic science to ever grasp.  This is because spiritual understanding is not theory, but direct experience, direct knowledge, beyond thought (beyond symbol, beyond words, beyond images).  Because it is beyond symbol, the symbols (stories) that point to it appear fantastic, as fairy tale!  Scientific theory is wonderful, but it can only be theory, can never go beyond thought (symbol, words, images), can never be direct experience, can never truly be knowledge (gnosis), direct understanding.

Examples of Humanity's Ancient Mythology:
Our Power to Overcome 
(you will recognize them, because they are our shared humanity): 

(1) The small, insignificant peasant turns out to be the Prince in disguise who comes to rule.  There are countless variations of this myth/fairy tale all over the world. 

(2) “The stone that the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone (or Capstone).”  Jews, Christians, and Rastafarians readily recognize this one.  

(3) The unassuming pauper goes through unfathomable trials, beating all his strong and glorious competitors, to triumphantly win the hand of the Princess.  

(4) The little guy (eg David) slays the Giant (eg, Goliath). 

(5) The unassuming man slays the Dragon  (this is one of the most common and ancient and world-wide)  

This mythology is the very manifestation of our biology and physics, the very principle of all of existence:
Cottonwood Seeds


1) A cottonwood seed, so tiny it floats in the air, flies on random currents with no plan, to then fall into the ground as dead, and resurrect as a giant cottonwood tree.

(2) One single bacterium or virus can enter the body of a giant and conquer it.

(3) One single spark can mean the flaming end of an entire forest.

(4) One split atom has the energy to blow up a city. 

(5) One single sperm cell, against millions of competitors, goes through incredible odds to reach the egg to become a life form unfathomably greater and more complex than the original sperm cell.  And you, yes you, were one in millions who made it to the egg!  And you were the egg!  

Yes, the Sperm Cell journey is the eternal myth of the Pauper going through trials to win the hand of the Princess, the Egg.

Now my Pessimist side, void of Intuition, can only calculate. He can take several samples out of millions of sperm cells that are headed to the egg.  And each of his samples can contain thousands of sperm cells.  He can scientifically prove that every single one of those thousands of sperm cells are destined for death, doomed.  Why?  Because none of his many samples happens to include that one and only sperm cell out of millions that will reach the egg!  He can with full self-assurance say that he statistically and scientifically proved that all sperm cells are doomed and life is hopeless! 

This is the comical trickery and essence of all of Life:  Tiny Optimism triumphs over seemingly impossibly huge Pessimism.  Life would not be life without seemingly impossibly huge Pessimism! 

Optimism is Faith,  
Pessimism is Faithlessness:  
Both go together   

My little person is Optimism, the Very Essence of Life.  My Big Tyrant is Pessimism, the Very Essence of Death.  But Optimism can’t be Optimism without Pessimism.  Life can’t be life without Death.  The Stone that the Builders rejected can’t become the Chief Capstone without being rejected!  This is why the Stone says, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  All Life and every particle in the universe is playing out this One Myth, this One Drama, the essence of every story we tell, every movie we watch!  Little Optimism faces off Big Pessimism and triumphs.  This One Myth touches our “interesting” sensor more deeply than any other story.  The Small is the Divine in disguise, and even appears to be defeated, even to the point of death, only to resurrect to overcome the Big in the end.  Then we all clap our hands and cheer with tears in our eyes!  You know exactly what I'm talking about.

I once told a religious person that gay people were “the stone that the builders rejected,” in the same way that African Americans, or any oppressed people, are the stone that the builders rejected, eventually becoming the Chief Cornerstone.  This person was appalled I could say such a thing, telling me I was blaspheming, because, he said, this “stone that the builders rejected” refers to Jesus, who was rejected, killed, buried and resurrected as King.  But, according to this person’s own logic, if he really believes, as he says, that Jesus is God and God is Omnipresent and non-changing, wouldn’t Jesus be Omnipresent, the Non-Changing Essence of All Life and All Creation?  Doesn’t his same Jesus say “I was hungry and you did not feed me” or “I was in prison and you did not visit me”?  Isn't his whole point that he is right in front of your face and you don't recognize him?  

Mother Theresa
holding real, live Jesus in the flesh
The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved:
they are Jesus in disguise.
--Mother Theresa

Not knowing my transcendent nature as Sovereign Lord of all beings, 
fools condemn me as a man 
(Bhagavad Gita 9:11)

Viewing all things with equal regard
he beholds the Self in all beings 
and all beings in the Self.
He who sees me everywhere 
and sees everything in me,
to him I am never lost.
The yogi, anchored in unity, 
worships me abiding in all beings 
lives and moves in me, 
no matter how he live and move.
He who, by likening himself with others, 
senses pleasure and pain for all as for himself,
is deemed to be the highest yogi. (Bhagavad Gita 6:29-32)

The person in me who can’t recognize that an oppressed Mexican immigrant or  gay person or an abused puppy or a Third World sweat-shop child are Jesus also can't recognize that Jesus is a piece of rock that becomes the Chief Cornerstone.  

And he cannot recognize that Jesus is the Buddha and the Krishna and the Muhammad and the Lao Tzu that he rejects. In fact, his own religious dogma that appears to be pro-Jesus, his religious intolerance, is the very spirit that crucified the Jesus he claims to honor!  

An adult who abuses a child loses all conception that that child grows to an adult to haunt him, the stone he rejects becomes the chief cornerstone. His intolerance of Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, and Lao Tzu is his inability to recognize that Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, and Lao Tzu are actually one and the very Jesus he claims to honor.  

However, it is his intolerant mentality, his Pessimism, that makes Optimism Optimism, his Death that makes Life Life, his Battling that makes Triumph Triumph.  Again, the one who rejects the stone is the one who pushes the stone to be Chief Cornerstone. 

What is Interesting Is Truth, What is Boring Is False.
What Is Good Tastes Good, What is Bad Tastes Bad.

Now you might think that by Truth I mean our usual definition of fact, which is idea.  No!  By Truth I mean Principles.  No brain on earth can ever know facts, only theories that parade as facts!  Science imparts theories parading as facts.  Myth imparts Principles.   Theories can only be believed.  Principles are known, directly experienced.  This turns around what we've been taught all our lives, that science is fact and myth is belief.  If you meditate on what I am saying here, you will know the truth, the Principle.   

Even if you define myth as fiction, I say that fiction, by the very fact it is interesting, is proof that it is Truth, imparting Principle.  If fiction didn’t convey eternal truths, it wouldn’t be interesting, wouldn’t be a good story.  What is not interesting is not Truth.  

In the same way nutritious grass tastes good to a deer and toxic plants taste bad to the deer, so we, in our natural state, know that what is interesting is good for us.  In our natural state, good food and truth tastes good and bad food and falsehood tastes bad.  Truth is interesting and falsehood is boring.  Do you get bored in Church?  

Now when we depart from our natural state, entering addiction, we start thinking crappy commercial fast food is good and mind-numbing corporate TV and malls and megachurches with slick manican ministers are "interesting."  We think they are interesting, but we don't experience that they are interesting.  But if you really know yourself, you know that you never enjoy food you are addicted to.  If you enjoyed it, you wouldn't be addicted to it!  Addiction is grasping for an idea you think about food or drugs that you once experienced or want to experience.  Your mind is never on the food you are addicted to, never enjoying it.  You know what I am talking about.

How Did We Get Into This Addictive State?

This brings us back to our myth of our Fall From Grace, taking on the Thought of Credit and Debt (Good and Evil), which I talk about in

The Serpent in Eden, giving the Fruit of the Thought of Credit and Debt.  And he grows into the Huge Seven-Headed Dragon of Commerce, his Kingdom of Babylon controlling the whole world.  He seems impossibly, infinitely powerful.  Just looking at him fills you with Pessimism, hopelessness, because he is Pessimism Incarnate.

Now We're Back to the Myth of the Little Hero Slaying the Impossibly Powerful Dragon!

Ugaritic depiction of
Baal vs Lotan
(who becomes Leviathan in the Bible)
Yes, we’re back to the Seven-Headed Serpent, the Dragon of Commerce.  The Dragon of Pessimism who gives birth to Pessimism in your very soul.  Is it hopeless?  Or is this another replay of the infinite Myth of little guy Optimism conquering impossibly huge Pessimism?  

Yes, hark back to the cottonwood seed becoming the tree.  Hark back to the spark creating a forest fire.  Hark back to the one sperm among millions reaching the egg.  Hark back to David slaying Golliath.  Hark back to the ancient world-wide myth of the little guy slaying the Dragon. 

Hercules vs the Hydra
Little tiny you is up against the seven-headed Dragon, World Commercial Corporatocracy of Addiction and Oppression, which poisons and kills everything it touches.  Now you must decide if the ancient Myth of the Dragon slayer is just a silly story or not.  Or is it Eternal Principle?  Now you must decide if the essence of Biology is a lie or not.  

Okay, I admit, I have a part of me that doubts, too.  That's what makes this so damn scary and exciting, what makes it so interesting!  If we knew for certain, this Drama wouldn’t be so on-the-edge-of-our-seat so scary and exciting, would it?  Which do you choose, Optimism or Pessimism?  Either one you choose, you are part of the Grand Drama.

Arch-Angel Michael
vs Seven-Headed Dragon

The Seven-Headed Naga Subdued,
no longer being served,
but being servant to Vishnu:
the sign of Enlightenment

Revelation's Queen of Heaven
vs the Seven-Headed Dragon

The Seven-Headed Naga Subdued,
is no longer being served,
but being servant to Buddha,
the sign of Enlightenment



Tuesday, January 03, 2012

How to Become Free From Debt II

This essay is from the website, which itself is a clarified revision of my blogpost of October 10, 2010.  It's critical that I re-publish it here.  Banking is not the root of all evil, but it is a manifestation of the root of all evil within our own thinking.  This is about a simultaneous ending of both what's inside us and its outward manifestation.  This is Occupy Your Heart and Occupy Wall Street, simultaneously.  Both must happen, simultaneously.

To state the obvious: people all over the world are dealing with endless debt, slaves to banks, slaves to their own promises. I get lots of emails from folks wondering what they can do. Debt puts us asleep to reality and blinds us to gratitude, compassion, and abundance.

It begins with freeing our minds of debt

Debt is attachment, sense of guilt, grudge, sense of vengeance: otherwise called thought of credit and debt, which physically manifests itself in the world as banking and commerce.  Obviously, I'm saying nothing new here: We can never be forgiven of debt if we cannot forgive others.  We cannot forgive others without simultaneously forgiving ourselves. 

Thus, before reading on, do a mental inventory of everyone you hold a grudge against.  When you can find forgiveness for each and every one of them, when you completely let go,  you've cut this noose around your neck.  Then you can come back and read the rest of this, about banking.  Why?  Because then you will see that banking is unreal, an illusion, and what I say will confirm what you already know.

We must be responsible.
We naturally have a sense of responsibility to pay our debts.
Banks take advantage of our natural sense of responsibility, and this is how we get under their control.
But if you understand the nature of banks, you understand to whom you are truly responsible.

Are you obligated to pay a bank "back"?

If you asked me for a loan and I wrote you a bad check, would you be obligated to pay me "back"?  
Yeah, let your mind go wild: imagine you asking moneyless me for a loan to buy a house! I then write you a bad check for $200,000 and tell you to not only “pay me back,” but with interest!  Sounds unbelievably absurd, huh?  But this is the very nature of fractional reserve banking and fiat money.  But the absurdity doesn’t stop there.  If you don’t “pay me back,” I get to “re-possess” the house you buy with the “loan.”  Ha!  “Pay me back,” as if I ever lent you anything!  Ha!  “Re-possess,” as if I ever possessed the house in the first place!

Funny how it sounds not only bad, but totally stupid, if I, as an individual, write you a bad check to buy a house, huh?

An individual who counterfeits a few dollars one time is guilty of felony, a federal offense, and will go to prison. An institution that counterfeits billions of dollars every day is called a bank, and its CEO and board members even get to be in the halls of government, as they are this very day!  They get to be the government! 

But this system has been the foundation of our civilization for centuries, so it must be okay, huh?  It's tradition, after all! 

Let's look at simple reality. You never had a debt to me in the first place, and I never gave or even lent you anything but a bad check! Ask yourself this: how can it be moral to even consider paying me “back”?  But you must also consider it was foolish to ask me for a loan in the first place. You must now find out what responsibility and reality is and to whom you’re really supposed to pay back.

We've  known these principles since civilization began

The ancient religions (Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam) and philosophers did not talk about reducing interest. They spoke of abolishing interest! They saw the obvious: making profit on nothing is criminal.  It will invariably evolve into fractional reserve banking, counterfeiting, as is rampant right now. 

Be Responsible

I'm not talking any hidden conspiracy theories here.  Every banker and economist knows, logically, mathematically, that your loan did not come from any bank.  Your loan came from the backs of the working class, from the poor, and it came from your natural environment.  If you erase the illusion of money and simply look at goods and services, this becomes crystal clear.  

Let me state it more simply:
You did not borrow any goods from the bank. You borrowed goods when you purchased goods with the bad check given to you by the bank.  You traded nothing for something.
Thus,  this is your responsibility: you must pay back your loan to those who have less than they need. 

Forget money and banks, which are literally nothing, and simply look at reality:
Anybody in the world who has more stuff than they need is in debt to those who have less than they need.

When you accept the reality that you own nothing, then your debt is gone.
This is the Reality:  you are defaulting on the loan you took from real, living beings when you pay anything "back" to a bank.  A bank is not a living being.  It is a fiction and lent you fiction.  How can you default on a "loan" from the bank when the bank lent you absolutely nothing?

Excuse me for stating common sense:
it is totally irresponsible to rob the poor to pay the rich. 
It is totally irresponsible to rob reality to pay illusion. 
This is sacrifice to idols (illusions).

All our ideas to heal the world, our social programs, and our activism are futile, in the bigger picture, if we continue to practice interest banking, either as lender or borrower!  It makes no sense to fight the dragon while secretly feeding him at the same time, unless you enjoy perpetually fighting the dragon.

The proof has been all around us for centuries: interest banking causes goods to flow from the workers to the non-workers, from the poor to the rich, and is the cause of the bulk of world poverty, debt, environmental degradation, and mental anxiety that you are likely experiencing right now.  Just your own mental anxiety is proof enough, if you don't have eyes to see the world system. 

Is It Okay to Break Our Promises?

I’m a strong believer in keeping our word. This is why I don’t believe in making promises, because making promises is a guarantee that we will break our word and become liars. Making promises is boasting for tomorrow, the work of ego. When we make any kind of promise we put ourselves in debt.
However, if we do make promises, we must keep them if it’s in our power. But sometimes we simply cannot keep our promises.

Are there situations in which it is not only okay, but mandatory, to break our promises?
Let’s use an extreme example to drive home a point. Sometimes people make promises in an irrational fit of vengeance to do something horrendous, like a mafioso or gangster swearing vengeance upon somebody in a blood oath. If you promise to kill somebody, is it a “sin” to break your promise?

We in modern culture are making promises in an irrational fit of faithless anxiety and fear, faithlessness that everything we need is not in the present.  We are making promises to a Mafia. 
Both the "conservative" and "liberal" American public are finally waking up and seeing this, after years of being pitted against each other by this very Mafia that doesn't give a gnat's ass about liberal and conservative, religious or non-religious.  The profiteer cares not where profit comes from.    

In Sum: Steps to Becoming Debt Free

1. We must establish that it was bad judgment to take out a loan in the first place. We lost faith that everything we needed was available in the present, as it has been for zillions of years in nature's balance.
2. We must acknowledge that we made a promise to pay back what we borrowed, and we want to be responsible and keep our promise.
3. We must also acknowledge that our promise was more than a simple “yes” and “no," because we signed a contract promising we would pay back our debt. We must realize that going beyond a simple yes or no comes from a corrupt mind and reasoning. A lie is a lie, and to sign a contract is to water down truth.  How is telling a lie "under oath" any different than telling a lie not "under oath?"  Both the mind that requires us to sign a contract and the mind that signs the contract are equally corrupt: both are lost in faulty, irrational thinking.  Now that we've acknowledged this error, we forgive ourselves and move on.
4. We must now ask ourselves where our loan came from so we can pay it back. Again, every banker and economist knows that a bank does not lend us what belongs to the bank. The bank wants you to think it is lending to you from its own reserves, but it is lending nothing.  Not only that, the bank has the audacity to charge you interest on nothing, creating more illusion of something from nothing. Every banker knowingly practices this deception. But every bank justifies itself, not because it does not know that what it is doing is deception, but because what it does is tradition, and all of commercial civilization depends on this tradition! The bank, however, does deceive both itself and us into thinking life will end if it does not practice this deception.  Faithlessness is belief that everything real will fall apart unless you practice a lie.  Faith is belief that everything real will succeed if you are completely real, totally true.  Faithlessness is pretense.  Faith is sincerity.

It is true that everything that is false, the bulk of commercial civilization, would collapse without interest banking.  And it must collapse if we and other living beings are to survive.
5. On realizing we have entered into a knowingly-deceptive contract, our contract is invalidated, freeing us from any responsibility to the contract. The fact that most all the world uses deceptive contracts does not validate any of those contracts. It is, in fact, irresponsible to hold to a corrupt contract in the same way it is irresponsible for a mafioso or gangster to hold to a blood oath to his peers!
6. We must not stray from our integrity, from our responsibility to pay back our debt! Thus we must ask ourselves where our loan truly came from!   When you erase the illusion of money and simply look at goods and services, reality becomes clear.  In the greater world economy, we see, obviously, that goods and services flow from workers to non-workers, from the poor to the rich, from the creative to the non-creative, from the productive to those who produce only illusion, from the givers to the moochers.  The bankers take, and do not borrow, from the world’s workers and creators, and they pay nothing back. By doing any business with the bank, you have become an accomplice to theft and you must reconcile it. You have taken an illusion, fiat money, from the bank, and used it to trade for actual goods created by the world’s poor, causing goods to flow from the poor to the rich, from those who need to those who do not need.
The bank may turn you over to a collection agency. But if you have already returned your stolen goods, the bank has no more power over you.  Perhaps in many countries the bank can jail you.  This is where you must have faith in the Power of Truth, giving you joyful power to shine through Persecution, as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Jesus demonstrated.

There is talk of getting banks to forgive debts.

We could talk about regulating crime, reforming crime, or we could talk about ending crime altogether, refusing to do any business whatsoever with crime. 
Some people in the world are talking about reviving the ancient concept of Jubilee.  Jubilee is a concept in the Torah, where Israelites would forgive each other's debts every seven years and every  49 years.

But let's go back to me "lending" you a bad check to buy a house.  Now how can we talk about me forgiving your debt? It’s like asking a rapist to forgive the victim.  It's like talk of getting banks to blow themselves up. 

Jubilee was created for families, friends, and neighbors.  People lend to family, friends, and neighbors with zero profit motivation.  But the very nature of a lending institution is profit from nothing.  A lending institution simply cannot be moral and simply cannot look out for the good of the borrower, despite appearances.  It cannot forgive and cannot be forgiven, not in this life or any life to come. A bank runs on unforgiveable sin (debt).  Its very nature and lifeblood is willful sin (debt).  To end willful debt is to end banking.