Author Archives: fezziwigg

You Will Not Find Me On Facebook

I have no Facebook account.

I will never have a Facebook account.

For years I’ve inveighed against what I sincerely believe to be the blatant immorality of Facebook’s business practices, which, true to capitalism’s two primary goals, seem to be:


Make as much money as you can, any way you can.

Grow as big as you can, any way you can.

Custom, tradition, ethics, law, morality, authority of government, common decency, the health of local or of global environment, or any other considerations are, as far as possible, to be disregarded or neutralized as restraints on the monomaniacal pursuit of maximum profit and of maximum growth for growth’s sake.


Facebook thrives on attention.

In general, the larger the audience the more effective the advertisement, which justifies charging high advertising fees.

So…how to generate a large audience?

So simple…let anybody post damn near anything, especially negative things, because negativity has been proven to draw larger attention than positivity.

This practice damages political processes, social cohesion, and the psychological health of large swaths of the human community.

These consequences are, I believe, acceptable to Facebook so long as it profits.

I sincerely believe Facebook to be a poisonous presence on planet Earth.

There are others who have concerns about Facebook’s impact on our quality of life.

Please see below.


First, a link to a recent Vox article.

https://www.vox.com/recode/22677911/facebook-scandal-research-teen-mental-health

Next, an article recently published by politico.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/21/facebook-paid-billions-extra-to-the-ftc-to-spare-zuckerberg-in-data-suit-shareholders-allege-513456

Finally, a document published in 2019 by MIT Technology Review, and republished recently by Pocket.


Click to access oct-2019-facebook-troll-farms-report.pdf

 

Wisdom From 1400 Years Ago

“Attend to these instructions.  Listen with the heart and the mind;  they are provided in a spirit of goodwill.”

“These words  are addressed to anyone who is willing to renounce the delusion that the meaning of life can be learned; whoever is ready to take up the greater weapon of fidelity to a way of living that transcends understanding.”

“The first rule is simply this: live this life and do whatever is done in a spirit of Thanksgiving.”

“Abandon attempts to achieve security, they are futile.”

“Give up the search for wealth, it is demeaning.”

“Quit the search for salvation, it is selfish.”

“Come to comfortable rest in the certainty that those who participate in this life with an attitude of Thanksgiving will receive its full promise.” ¹


¹ A modern paraphrase of the beginning of The Rule of Saint Benedict, by John McQuiston II, in Always We Begin Again, ISBN 0-8192-1648-8

Our Shadow Sides

“Unless we come to terms with our shadow side, we are condemned to become its unwitting victim.”

                —Carl Jung

Once again I’ve been dealing with a disruptive work schedule and ongoing health challenges which sharply limit time to research and to post.

In an effort to post regularly during these episodes, I offer a link, this time to an article offering insight into development of personality.  

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/make-peace-with-your-unlived-life?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

More On Masks

A Public Service Post

Wearing masks as a public health practice has been accompanied by much disapproving hullabaloo and shouting by some private citizens.

Some politicians, seeking to curry favor with voters, have added their voices to this protest.

In an effort to dilute ignorance with a dose of rationality I offer the following re-post: ¹


Concerning The Effectiveness Of Masks

This sign, displayed in a local food store, seems worthy of consideration:

  ” A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of the flu indicates

that if 50% of the population uses a mask, virus transmission would be cut in half.

If 80% of the population uses a mask, the virus would essentially be eliminated.” ²


¹  beewhatyouiz.com, 09/02/2020, Ref: Covid19, Flu, and Similar Annoyances

²  (Yang, Jin, et al. Modeling the Effectiveness of Respiratory Protective Devices in Reducing Influenza Outbreak. Wiley Online Library, Risk Analysis, 19 September, 2018. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/do/full/10 1111/nsa13181.)

Note the year of publication—2018—two years before the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic.

At that time, no one was interested in bending the public mind in any direction regarding covid-19.

The study deals with flu, caused by a virus.

To state the obvious, covid-19 is also caused by a virus.

To my layman’s mind, if a mask, worn correctly, is effective at blocking transmission of a flu virus, it is effective at blocking transmission of a covid-19 virus.

If, as some claim, masks are useless / dangerous to wear, then why are surgeons, surgical nurses, and anesthesiologists required to wear masks in operating rooms round the world, a present-day practice dating from a point in time far back into the last century?


For a  thorough discussion of masks, with no hype, see the following:

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/08/16/face-masks -what-makes-some-better-than-others-against-covid-19/5535737002/

A Trip Down Memory Lane

In early childhood I once fell in with naughty little boys behaving in naughty little ways, with no great evil resulting from our juvenile pranks.

Nevertheless my mother could see that first steps had been taken on a road that could in future lead to more seriously negative results.

She admonished me gently, noting that although it might seem easier to do wrong than to do right, always choosing the hard-seeming right over the easy-seeming wrong was the best way to live.

“Why, Mommy?”

In essence she replied that although I was too young to understand, she wanted me to trust her, and always to choose the hard-seeming right over the easy-seeming wrong.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered years later that no less a luminary than Maimonides, (1135-1204, Spain),¹ wrote in a way that closely harmonizes with my mother’s admonition:

¹ “Prefer the truth and right by which you seem to lose,

  to the falsehood and wrong by which you seem to gain.”


For your wisdom, Mother, across the grave, respectfully, I thank you.

 

Mental Housecleaning

Last week’s post didn’t happen, swamped as I was with a combination of work and health related pressure.

This week is a bit better.  I have time to squeeze in a brief post.

That having been said, lets talk about negative thinking, one way or another a subject of discussion for literally millennia. 

Instead of rehashing ancient commentary, I offer discussion from the viewpoint of modern neuroscience which you can read by clicking on the link below.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-neuroscience-of-breaking-out-of-negative-thinking-and-how-to-do-it-in-under-30-seconds?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Capitalism (8th)

A prominent economist, (Milton Friedman, I believe), once declared that the whole “social duty” of a corporation is to make as much money as possible for the owners.

Here’s a different viewpoint: “Corporate social responsibility is measured in terms of business improving conditions for their employees, shareholders, communities, and environment.”

“But moral responsibility goes further, reflecting the need for corporations to address fundamental ethical issues such as inclusion, dignity, and equality.” —Klaus Schwab

Which do you prefer?

Living the Indian Way

With the exception of certain documentaries its fair to say that Hollywood productions are unreliable sources of accurate information about almost anything, particularly indigenous cultures found anywhere in the world.

Having for years been steeped in Hollywood representations of American Indians, imagine my surprise when, as a young adult, I discovered writings by highly literate, acutely perceptive Native Americans, describing their histories, cultures, traditions, religious beliefs, and more.

Cultural differences notwithstanding, it seems that at one point in recent time, an inter-tribal council of elders agreed upon a code of ethics suitable for Native Americans of whatever tribe. ¹

The main points are presented below—


1- Each morning upon arising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you, and for all life and for the good things the Creator has given you and others, and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day.

Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strength to be a better person. 

Seek for the things that will benefit everyone.

2- Respect—Respect means ‘to feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something with deference or courtesy.’  Showing respect is basic law of life.

  • Treat every person, from the tiniest child to the eldest elder with respect at all times.
  • Special respect should be given to elders, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
  • No person should be made to feel ‘put down’ by you; avoid hurting others as you would avoid a deadly poison.
  • Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially sacred objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.
  • Respect the privacy of every person.  Never intrude on a person’s quiet moments or personal space.
  • Never walk between people that are conversing; nor do you interrupt people who are conversing.
  • Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of elders, strangers, or others to whom special respect is due.
  • Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).
  • Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.
  • Treat the Earth and all her aspects as your mother.  Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world.  Do nothing to pollute the air, the water or the soil.  If others would destroy our mother, rise with wisdom to defend her. ♠
  • Show deep respect for the beliefs and religions of others.
  • Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless.  Listen with your heart.

3 – Respect the wisdom of the people in council.  Once you give an idea to a council or a meeting, it no longer belongs to you.  It belongs to the people.  Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail.  Indeed, you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if  they are quite different from the ones you have contributed.  The clash of ideas brings forth the spark of truth.

  • Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided.  If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

4 – Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

5 – Always treat your guest with honor and consideration.  Give of our best food, your best blankets, the best of your house, and your best service to your guests.

6 – The hurt of one is the hurt of all; the honor of one is the honor of all. ♠

7 – Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family. ♠

8 – All the races and tribes of the world are like the different colored flowers of a field.  All are beautiful.  As children of the Creator, they must all be respected. ♠

9 – To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, or the world, is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created.  Do not fill yourself with your own affairs, and forget your most important task.  True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others. ♠

10 – Observe moderation and balance in all things.

11 – Know those things that lead to your well being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

12 – Listen to and follow the guidance given to you your heart.  Expect guidance to come in many forms: in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise elders and friends.

Not bad for supposedly ignorant savages !


♠ The following Shinto saying dating from 6th century Japan hints at a similarity of world view across ancient cultures:

“Regard Heaven as your Father, Earth as your mother,

all things as your brothers and sisters,

and you will enjoy the divine country that excels all others.”

It seems also to hint at harmony with a finding of quantum physics—that everything is interconnected—that everything affects everything else.


¹ Sacred Tree – Reflections on Native American Spirituality, ISBN 0-941524-58-2, is the source of the code of ethics.

 


Disclosure statements: 

I am not a Native American.

I have no financial interest in any publication cited anywhere on my blog.

Reality Check (13th)

In the early 20th century, a couple traveling by car on a rural road discovered that they were about to run out of gasoline.

At that time, gas stations were few and far between unless you lived in a city.

One could travel for miles without seeing a house, and telephone service in rural areas was spotty at best.

The situation they faced was thus fairly serious.

They decided to practice what they had learned in lessons offered by a metaphysical school to the effect that “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

They held steadily to the thought that “Divine order is at work in our lives, bringing forth perfect results in perfect timing.”

They drove on. And on and on. The gas gauge reached empty.

It stayed there.

As we say, the car was running on fumes, and continued to do so long after anyone could reasonably believe there was still gasoline in the fuel tank.

Eventually they reached a gas station and weren’t surprised to find that their fuel tank was empty.

Having refilled their tank, they finished their journey, resolving to tell their metaphysical school teacher about their successful demonstration of the power of right thought.

The teacher smiled, was silent for a moment, and then asked, “Why did you stop?”

The couple had an experience of higher consciousness.

For a time they were free of the limitations of mortal thought regarding quantities and values.

The sight of the gas station triggered their old beliefs and habits of thought, and they jumped right back to a lower level of consciousness.

Anyone sincerely walking a spiritual path will sooner or later have experiences of higher consciousness.

This is only to be expected.

The trick is to become stable in that higher consciousness.

“Excellence is not a gift given but a skill perfected. The key is self-discipline.”

Quotation from a motivational poster seen in a variety store

Concerning Integrity

Commonly, integrity refers to someone’s honesty—to the fact that his or her word can be trusted.

Integrity can also signify that a person’s values and life style form an integrated, harmonious whole.

No conflicts.

No inconsistencies / conflicts among beliefs, work, diet, politics, relationships, use of money / free time, goals selected and pursued, any part of life.

For most of us, this is a tall order, requiring persistent self-examination, self-correction.


Regarding the above…

“Patience obtains all things..”—Ancient Egyptian wisdom

“There is no defeat so long as there is effort.”—Eastern wisdom, specific source forgotten.

“Excellence is not a gift given, but a skill perfected.  The key is self-discipline.”—Motivational poster seen in a variety store.

“Do you have yourself in your own power? Than truly you are more powerful than the one who conquers a city.”—Source unknown

A common definition of courage—aggressive self-assertion.

An uncommon definition of courage—absolute self-control.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”—Mahatma Gandhi

Politics (8th)


Concerning Liars

The disinformation promoted by various political, business, and media liars for their own power-  and wealth – seeking motives is an unarguable threat to democratic government, a fact noted numerous times, of late, in various writings, with varying degrees of precision.

Of all of them the quotation below is one of the most concise.

“It is a form of coup, but with a loud nationalist hyperbole disguising the threat to democracy.”

“To hold power, or challenge it, in a democracy, requires continual argument and discussion, the precondition of which is a commitment to truth-telling and a shared acceptance of facts, however differently they may be interpreted.”

“Trash these preconditions and we inevitably slide into a universe of division and distrust, impervious to rational argument.”

“We are all belittled.”

—Will Hutton (an Observer columnist quoted in The Guardian)

During the 2020 campaign, I posted the following, which, now slightly altered, bears re-posting.

Many citizens are distressed by the shabby state of political debate, characterized by lust for political power to be gained by telling unending lies.

The level of pure, unadulterated falsehood is arguably equal to that displayed by any totalitarian state propaganda rag in existence.  

How did such blatant disregard for simple truth become such a popular tool for manipulating voters?

Presently I have no explanation to offer, and it’s true that politicians throughout time have never been noted for squeaky clean conduct—the only known rule of politics being that there are no rules.

That having been said, I find the present level of disregard for simple truth to be as extreme as anything I’ve ever seen in a communist party newspaper.

It’s worth considering that polling consistently indicates we are much more tolerant of lies told by our preferred party than we are of lies told by another party.

Such polling results have led operatives of all parties to the same conclusion:

Whoopee!  We can get away with this!

“We the people” are therefore partly responsible for this situation, which will improve when we care enough to penalize any and all parties for their part in such shameless bastardization of our political process.

Democracy is much like farming—cultivate carefully or shut up about the weeds!


End note—Last week’s post, Is God a Verb? has been extensively reworked.

Is God A Verb?

This post, likely to rank as the most abstract, theoretical effort so far, is an invitation to read, draw no conclusions, let the contents rest easy in your mind, and see what comes to you.   

All major religions agree there’s no limit to The Almighty.

No limit = beyond all categories because any category implies limit; if you’re tall, you’re not short, if you’re rich, you’re not poor, if you’re unconditional love you’re not judgement and hate, etc.

Stating that The Almighty is infinite means not merely “beyond all limit”, but also that The Almighty is everything.

So it would be true that what we call “God” is both noun and verb, more accurately all nouns and verbs. 

Equally true, “God”, (“The Almighty”, whatever you want to call “it” ¹), is all cause and all effect, as well as the Creator, the creation, and the container of creation.

If you really want to torque your head, try this:  If “God” is beyond all limit, then it logically follows that “God”, (“The Almighty”, whatever,) is both limitless and limited, simultaneously. ²

Parts of various scriptures, philosophical writings, and some poetry seem to hit all around this notion of God as The All without scoring bulls-eyes.


If history reveals anything it is that dissolution and growth have been aspects of the same phenomenon.  Growth has not occurred anywhere without involving dissolution.  Every major cultural change throughout history has involved the two-fold process of death and emergence.” ♥


“Die and Become.

Till thou hast learned this

Thou art but a dull guest

On this dark planet.” ♠


“The seed that is to grow

must lose itself as seed;

And they that creep

may graduate through

chrysalis to wings.

Wilt thou then O mortal,

cling to husks which

falsely seem to you the self?” ♦


“A death blow is a life blow to some

Who till they died, did not alive become;

Who, had they lived, had died, but when

They died, vitality begun.” ♣


“Oh, let the self exalt itself,

Not sink itself below:

Self  is the only friend of self,

And self Self’s only foe.

For self when it subdues itself,

Befriends itself. And so

When it eludes self-conquest, is

Its own and only foe.

So, calm, so self-subdued, the Self

Has an unshaken base

Through pain and pleasure, cold and heat,

Through honor and disgrace.” ◊


“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: ³  I the Lord do all these things.”


¹ If “God”, or “The Almighty” or whatever, is everything, then labels such as He/She/Father/Mother, all limiting, are all equally inaccurate.  On the other hand “it”, while gender neutral, strikes English speakers as insultingly disrespectful.

On the other side of the world, Indians have a similar attitude.  Both cultures choose respect over strict accuracy, assigning masculine pronouns to refer to an Ultimate Reality freely acknowledged to transcend all limiting categories.

² Paradox—A statement that seems contradictory, unbelievable, or absurd, but that may in fact be true.  So…”The Almighty” as resolution of all paradox? Make up your own mind.

³ Tanakh, The Jewish Bible, reads: “I make weal and create woe…”

Bernard Eugene Meland—1899- ?, American philosopher, professor of religion, from an article in The Personalist.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—1739-1832, German philosopher, poet,  in Selige Sehnsucht

Wu Ming Fu—Chinese philosopher, poet, in Patterns in Jade

♣ Emily Dickinson—1830-1886, American poet.

Bhagavad-Gita—The “New Testament” of Hindu Scripture, first century B.C.

Old Testament, KJV— Isaiah 45:7

 

Environment and Fertility

No More Sperm = No More Us

Shanna Swan,¹ in her book Countdown, notes that sperm counts have dropped about 60% since 1973.

If that’s not an emergency I don’t know what is.

Her research suggests sperm counts might reach zero by 2045.

Zero sperm = zero babies = bye bye us.

The cause—so-called “forever” chemicals, aka PFAS ²  don’t break down in the environment or in our bodies.

They hang around, steadily accumulating and doing ever more damage, harming sperm production.

These chemicals have been correlated to “reduction of semen quality, testicular volume, and reduction of penile length”. ³

Pollution by PFAS is literally everywhere!

No part of the world is free of these forever chemicals.

Please click on the link below for more background on PFAS. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/25/us-military-toxic-chemicals-us-states


¹ Environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

² Synthetic carbon fluorine chemistry now classified as per- and poly- fluorinated compounds.

³ Shanna Swan as quoted by Erin Brockovich

.

Symptoms and Causes

”   If you have made many efforts, as you probably have, to set things right, but without any real success, the reason is to be found just here:  You have been tampering with symptoms and leaving your mind, the real cause of the trouble, untouched.

     You have been wrestling with circumstances, with people, with things, and leaving your mind unchanged; and it is just this mind of yours that is causing all the trouble all the time, and will continue to do so as long as it remains in its present state.

     You have been struggling to transform yourself by renewing your conditions, whereas the Law is that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

     If you want perfect health; if you want abundant prosperity; happiness, a good home, congenial friends, beauty, joy and thrilling interest in life, you can have them, if you really want them; but you must want them enough to take trouble enough to find the only way to get them.  You must want them enough to take trouble enough to learn how to think, because thought is the only cause! ” 

                      —From the writings of Emmet Fox

Thoughts on Abortion (2nd)

Is some of the uproar over abortion, birth control, etc. an attempt to regain lost power and influence?

These days religious freedom, that is, freedom to practice one’s own religion, does not give one the right to tell others what to do.

T’was not ever thus.

In past time, conservative religious groups held considerable power over the population as a whole, as well as over their adherents.

Consider these examples of power lost:

   ◊   Control of family life by banning abortion and birth control.  In disagreement, many people, and not just the irreligious, quietly, (or not so quietly), ignore the bans.

   ◊   Control of family life by banning or penalizing divorce.  In disagreement, people for the most part pay no heed to this.  They divorce at will for reasons such as infidelity, infertility, or infelicity, among others.

   ◊    Control of society through imposition of their views on human sexuality, which were encoded in secular law, which punished perceived moral infractions, and/or sexual activities that religious dogma found to be sinful, such as homosexuality.

   ◊   Let’s talk about influence on culture in general.  For long years conservative religious groups had sufficient influence to dictate what literature, movies, stage plays, and elements of fashion and even of speech were morally acceptable.

Exercise of these powers was defended with reference to perfect (?) infallible (?) sources of divine guidance: sacred books, sacred persons, etc.

On the other hand, exercise of these powers can be described as coercion of conscience—and as an example of spiritual pride—the notion that The Almighty, however understood, speaks exclusively to one’s group.

Exercise of these powers seems to be based on an assumption that freedom to make personal moral decisions, (and to live with the positive/negative consequences thereof), exists only to the extent that such decisions align with certain groups’ notions of right and wrong.

Is this real freedom of conscience? ¹

Some conservative groups seem to pay lip service to freedom of conscience, while denying it in policy and practice.

Is this hypocrisy? ¹

Does great moral urgency ² ever justify coercion of conscience—that is, compelling people to live their lives in obedience to someone else’s moral standards?

I sincerely believe that practice of one’s particular religion does not give one the right to tell others how to behave, still less to use any means, overt, covert, direct or oblique to compel specific behavior.


¹ These questions are not sly propaganda designed to lead readers to a specific conclusion. Make up your own mind.

² As found in the “pro-life” position, for example.

Thoughts on Abortion (1st)

Being against abortion means you’re pro-life ?

Consider the following:

I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life.

I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.

And why would I think that you don’t?

Because you don’t want any tax money to go there.

That’s not pro-life.

That’s pro-birth.

We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is. ” ¹


The crux of Chittister’s ¹ point is that there’s a difference between advocating for birth and advocating for that child’s entire life.

If antiabortion proponents are truly ‘pro-life’, then those same legislators would not argue for defunding programs like those that provide school lunches or health care.

Many people who oppose abortion also oppose access to contraceptives (!)

Antiabortion congressmen have consistently also advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides women with birth control options.” ²


¹ Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, is an international lecturer, and award winning author of over 50 books.  Her multiple degrees include a doctorate.

² Quotations in this post appeared in:  https://www.popsugar.com/news/Catholic-Nun-Quote-Abortion-43096831 Author: Eleanor Sheehan—first published 02/01/17, republished 05/17/19

Capitalism (7th)

If, while drafting last week’s post—Capitalism (6th), I had been seeking evidence that free-market capitalism must in some ways be reined in I could hardly have done better than this:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

See below for a closely related topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/25/us-military-toxic-chemicals-us-states

Capitalism (6th)

More on Corporations

I keep waiting for the day when a corporate president expresses shame for a corporate transgression against the public or the environment.  The statement would go something like this:

‘ On behalf of my company,its management, and its shareholders, I wish to express our grief concerning injuries suffered by people living downstream from our factory, along the Green River.  We are ashamed to admit that, over the years, our poisonous wastes have found  their way into the river, putting the community in peril.  We will do anything to relieve the suffering we have caused.  We are also concerned that safe storage for such potent chemicals now seems impossible, and so henceforth we will only use our facilities for safer forms of manufacturing.  Under no circumstances will we give thought to abandoning the community or its workers. ‘  

No such statement has ever been made, nor ever will be made by a publicly held corporation in America, for several reasons.

No corporate manager could ever place community welfare above corporate interest.  An individual executive might personally wish to do so, but to make this sort of admission would subject the company, and the individual, to legal action by local, state, and federal authorities, as well as to damage suits by victims.

It could also open management to lawsuits from its own shareholders.

U. S. corporation law holds that management of publicly held companies must act primarily in the economic interests of shareholders.  If not, management can be sued by shareholders and firings would surely occur.  So managers are legally obliged to ignore community welfare (e.g., worker health and satisfaction, and environmental concerns) if those needs interfere with profitability.  And corporate managers must also deny that corporate acts have negative impact of any kind, if that impact might translate into costly damage suits that hinder profits.

Though corporations may enjoy many ‘human’ rights, they have not been required to abide by human responsibilities.

The most basic rule of corporate operation it that it must produce income, and (except for that special category of non-profit corporations) must show a profit over time.

Among publicly held companies there is another basic rule:  It must expand and grow, since growth is the standard by which the stock market judges a company.

All other values are secondary: the welfare of the community, the happiness of workers, the health of the planet, and even the general prosperity.


The above quotations, while unflattering, aren’t meant to be condemnatory of free-market capitalism.

My stance in this series of posts (Capitalism 1st – 6th) is that we can do capitalism better by determinedly eliminating its more glaring flaws, one of which is discussed above.

It seems reasonable to require that private profit be pursued within a matrix of government policy, law and regulation designed to stabilize or improve the quality of life for all persons, as well as preserving local and planetary environment.

All quotations from: Mander, Jerry—In The Absence Of the Sacred ISBN 0-87156-509-9

Disclosures:  I have neither formal training in law nor a financial interest in any book cited anywhere on my blog.

 

Concerning Evil

Philosophers have consumed much air and ink expounding on evil—likewise theologians.

My take on evil is that it’s not an objective reality so much as a misperception, the direct result of individual and mass ignorance.

Ignorance of what?

Glad you asked. 

It seems that we humans are in the midst of a paradigm shift.

A paradigm is the totality of how a person, a group, or an entire culture views reality.

A paradigm shift occurs when previously unnoticed truth is recognized.

This truth isn’t new.  It always existed but was unrecognized because purpose and attention were focused elsewhere.

I nominate Newtonian philosophy as our “about-to-be-replaced” paradigm, and quantum physics as the “previously unnoticed truth”, the discoveries (and practical implications) of which are working their way into the mass consciousness at an ever-accelerating rate.

“The Western scientific community, and actually all of us are in a difficult spot, because in order to maintain our current mode of being, we must ignore a tremendous amount of information.”

                   —Cleve Backster, plant researcher and former CIA agent

“To be a true explorer in science—to follow the unprejudiced lead of pure scientific inquiry—is to be unafraid to propose the unthinkable, and to prove friends, colleagues, and scientific paradigms wrong.”

                   —Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to usit rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.—(italics mine)

                   —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

Let’s talk about this field of intelligent energy.  It “…rearranges itself in the presence of our heart-held feelings and beliefs…”

To what end?

Ancient wisdom states that “moment by moment, the Almighty / The Field ? is taking shape in (our) lives according to the exact pattern of our thoughts, words, and deeds.”

Continuing…many people believe that The Almighty is opposed by Satan.

Said another way, many people believe in two opposing forces.  We might call them spiritual dualists.

Others believe that “there is but one Presence and one Power in all the universe; God the Good Omnipotent.”  We might call them spiritual monists.

If The Field / The Almighty ?, makes our sincere beliefs manifest in our lives, the answer to the question, “which of the above two positions is right” is astounding.

From the viewpoint of The Field / The Almighty, both are right.

The Field makes our true, sincere beliefs manifest in our lives unconditionally—the exact pattern of our thoughts, words, and deeds, whatever it may be, no exceptions.

So everyone is building his/her own world/experiences knowingly or unknowingly, simply by thinking.

Now, finally, back to evil.

If we believe that people are out to get us, or that everyone is dishonest, or that life’s a bitch and then you die, or that all cops are corrupt, etc., that’s what we’ll experience.

We make the good.  We make the evil.  Our world exactly mirrors our thoughts.

Our ignorance of this process causes our belief that evil has objective existence, because bad things happen to us and we don’t know why.

Whatever we experience of “good” or “evil” is somehow first birthed in our minds.

Truly, what we birthed we can kill.

Said more mildly—change our (sincere!) beliefs = change our world.


“There is no such thing as destiny.  We ourselves shape our own lives.”

                  —Casanova

Concerning Breath (3rd)

Navy SEALs and oriental monks agree…?

“Most of the workings of our bodies are driven by unconscious intelligence. . .With the breath however we discover something of great importance.  While breathing can well be a completely unconscious process,. . . it  is also possible to consciously control the flow of breath.  This unique quality of the breath—that it can be both conscious and unconscious—makes it a link between the conscious and unconscious aspects of our being.” —Breathing by Michael Sky, pages 21-22

Breathing, something we take for granted, has been the subject of much commentary in past centuries.

Monks / Nuns of various religions have discovered much about conscious breathing which remains, for the present, under-investigated by mainstream Western science.

While digging into this topic, I chanced upon a discussion of “box breathing”—a stress relief technique practiced by United States Navy SEALs.

SEALs ?  That pack of cast iron hard asses relieve stress using a conscious breathing technique that could well have been developed in a Hindu / Buddhist monastery?

SEALs are too strongly results-oriented to pay attention to something that doesn’t work.

For skeptics, that might be an incentive to take the whole topic of conscious breathing seriously.

Click on the link below to read a discussion of “box breathing.”

More on breathing later.

Navy SEALs Use a Technique Called “Box Breathing” to Relieve Stress and So Can You