Friday, June 29, 2007

The Crime of Sex

Genarlow Wilson, probably never thought he would find himself behind bars at the age of seventeen for receiving a blow job, and two years into a ten-year sentence, his future is gray; especially with the Georgia State Attorney General, Thurbert Baker vowing to appeal a court decision to overturn the felony charge into a misdemeanor. Baker sees the world in only two colors, without which there is a steady dissent into chaos. "As attorney general, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this state," Baker said during the news conference he called to explain why he is appealing a judge's order to free Wilson. "And in taking that oath I don't have the luxury of taking the law into my own hands, or picking which cases to defend."
Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation, despite the consent of the 15 year old girl. And although the law which put him in prison was changed last year, Baker said the Monroe County Superior Court judge overstepped his authority Monday when he granted Wilson's appeal.
But we DO need to review the human laws- there is a deeper, more complicated world that exists beyond legislature- the wild, the primitive, the unconscious- the very places these laws try to control and manipulate. They aim to not only castrate but alienate our machines from our deeper impulses.
The awakened state one can experience during sex is powerful and sacred. Most humans feel something incredibly powerful with the sexual energy- perhaps most don’t understand it or know how to use it- but its power is evident. The laws that punish sex acts (especially among consenting partners) could only have been designed by machines fearing the Wild. Indulging and upholding these laws, prosecuting people despite all reason or rationality does not even whisper at safety. Attorney Bakers is responding mechanically to his perceived threat, the threat of chaos, of sex…and he holds tight to his illusion that laws are meant to be obeyed, not questioned.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The desire for human safety holds tightly to its delusion, struggling to look away from the edges of darkness that beg to steal us away.

Death is the end result of this body.

"Keep us safe!" they scream.
A child has drowned in a backyard pool, one of the 260 under the age of five to die in the same manner. "Keep us safe!" they scream.
The willful 4 year old managed to climb over his child-escape door gate and then over the 4 ft high fence surrounding the pool. Despite the gate, intended to prevent accidental drowning, the parents of the boy hope for new legislation; a bill that would require the installation of pool alarms. Safety advocates have accused the pool industry of downplaying hazards and resisting regulation to avoid worrying consumers.
"Every single death is preventable," said Alan Korn, the public policy director of Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit group
based in Washington.When has death been preventable? Squeezing every last breath out of the elderly with medications and technology…safety features in every car and gadget, we are a country desperately seeking safety…keep us alive, we scream. Politicians oblige, milking our fears. They keep writing and passing laws, but we just can’t stop dying.
"Safety advocates recommend a variety of measures besides fences and alarms: weight-bearing pool covers, self-closing and self-latching gates, anti-entanglement and drain-release devices for hot tubs, rescue equipment and training, swimming lessons and Coast Guard-approved life preservers."And when we have covered ourselves in knee pads, wrist guards, helmets, and all the latest technology has to offer, we will still not be safe.
You are not safe…death will claim your body, pain tempts to take you under. There will never be enough legislation to prevent our humbling. All the organizations, systems, strategies, the seeming order and structure of it all…nothing is safe; and perhaps if you cannot see that now, you will understand it in the seconds after you have taken your last breath.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reason and Fear

We work with the machine. We work with care and diligence to blend all aspects of the machine: the emotional center, the intuition, the intellectual center. All aspects have their relevance and function, lending themselves well to each other, and when all is working properly, making each aspect more finely tuned and perceptive…ripe and able to Awaken.
All our aspects can work for us. Our intellectual center has its purpose, although, like anything, it should not be allowed to take over.
In his recent book, The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, argues the opposite: That most Americans have allowed their intellectual center to be muted and numbed…ignoring reason and logic and replacing it with blind faith. Faith in leaders and authority. Faith…trust in the military, in the president, basically, anybody but ourselves.
Gore says:
"The point of this book is that our nation is so shockingly vulnerable to such crass manipulation. Whether it’s New Orleans or Iraq or the climate crisis. And it's happening over and over again – the censorship of scientific warnings about the climate crisis; the warrantless mass eavesdropping on American citizens; the overturning of a prohibition against; and the fact that there is so little protest or outcry points to the much deeper problem not of just the culpability of those in the White House at the present moment, but at the fact that we are so vulnerable to these mistakes and that we allow them to occur with hardly any impressive outcry of resistance or protest."
The "why" of this interval is complex, but the first example is our culture of fear.
"Our systematic exposure to fear and other arousal stimuli on television can be exploited by the clever public relations specialist, advertiser, or politician."
Most Americans watch more than two hours of TV a day. Subjected to the latest news of murders, accidental deaths, terrorists, suicide bombers…a world out of control and we want safety. We have given up many rights for this image of safety…even our ability to reason has gone out the window. We are more likely to be struck by lighting than be killed by a terrorist attack, yet, despite the logic, in recent years, Americans have hardly peeped while right after right has been stripped away in the name of safety. The intellectual center has given way to the primal desire for survival, the most basic machine tendencies are now in control. The lizard brain is in command of the ship.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Paris finds God

Like little leaves in the wind, flittering into gutters…a yellow ginko leaf, a bright green maple leaf…the color, the shape don’t matter. The wind just blows and they move, with no order or purpose.
And why…the question that conscious thought has been trying to answer. Humans have given this "why" a name. In a world where people look like leafs, seemingly out of control in a place of chaos, we have attempted to grasp at meaning.
Most humans believe in "god," they change the name and attributes, but basically, it helps explain existence. With stories, myths, and laws…religion attempts to give structure and meaning. When we find ourselves in situations that hurt our hearts, we need explaination…we need meaning or this whole earthly experience makes no sense.
Why? Why here? What for? God provides the answer.
Paris Hilton must have been asking these questions in her jail cell when she "found god," according to a telephone interview with Barbara Walters. It is the machine attempt to find safety, to feel stability and a sense of control in a universe that cannot provide it. It is the underlying fear of most humans, the fear of meaninglessness, the fear of the unknown.
She said, "I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance."Once all the distractions are taken away. When you lie in a cell all alone, with no cameras, clothes, parties, friends….the painful reality can not be ignored. Without any other knowledge or apparent paths, god is the easy choice for explanation for the machine seeking control.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bartlett Leaves Bush

Machines, by their very nature are devoted to a particular image. Perceptions, belief, concepts of right, wrong, morality; all of these add to the image. What we have come to see as our identity and goals, career, reasons for living, all are images.
To avoid disruptions in the image, we generally need the help. The machine wants to be around people that share similar beliefs, hobbies and ambitions. This helps reinforce the belief that we have found the true religion or important career, that we are good or talented…all the ideas machines would like to hear.
President Bush has the image that he is a war president; perhaps sincerely believing he can spread democracy to the middle east and around the globe; liberating people from the perils of dictatorship. Believing in god, he trusts his instincts and will not back down, despite mounting evidence of failure.
For years, he has surrounded himself with advisors that share his faith, doctrine, and morality; valuing loyalty, he created an impenetrable circle…sealed to the trickle of dissenting ideas and intelligence in the White House.
Dan Bartlett, an advisor to Bush for 13 years, has just resigned, choosing to leave before the term is completed. To the press, he explained he is leaving to spend more time with his family, but it may be that, as all reports portray a devastated and violent Iraq, many people, even Bush’s closest advisors, are choosing to distance themselves from the president and his image of reality.
Surrounding ourselves with clones does not motivate machines towards the waking state. To push through the tendency of our machines, we must work with very different machines, people we would not normally want to be around. Perhaps listening to music "we" do not especially like, reading articles or books that have other viewpoints, listening and analyzing the other points, morals, views, beliefs, etc. These other machines can help us shatter our images- our inner images and the images of the external- and push us into uncomfortable realms where all we have ever understood is shattered. With this anxiety and tension, we may begin to Work.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Backing Down

"Will" must be Worked on, it must be cultivated carefully. Our machines can stand in the way of our will, so goals, intention and activities must be clear and unrelenting.
Since the Democratic takeover of the House in January, Democrats have seemed to be adamant about troop withdrawal and bringing the war to a close. The proposed Emergency war funding bill would have imposed specific dates for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Democrats knew they were up against a presidential veto of the bill, but they appeared resolved to push the measure through, knowing their base is anti-war. But when President Bush did veto the bill, the Democratic Will did not take them to the next step, it was not strong enough to push beyond the hurdle and move through the resistance. Instead, the relented, creating a new bill that gave the president more money than asked for, without any provisions for troop withdrawal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "But make no mistake: Democrats are committed to ending this war."
This event was the antithesis of Will building. The Democrats appeared to have a clear objective: timetables for troop withdrawal, and after much media coverage and sound bytes; when they faced an obstacle, the presidential veto, instead of taking it to court, they relented.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer indicated that the next bill will include benchmarks for Iraq. But their will has already been degraded. The next time…a great excuse for the sleeping machine, but the president is likely to veto other similar measures. Without a strong collective Will to end the war, the Democrats could always end up backing down, never developing their strength, will, and never taking the step to end this war.
Because they have shown themselves to be easily dissuaded, their words hold no weight. Words must be followed through by action; the Will must push you through. To develop Will, you cannot back down at the first sign of resistance. There will be thousands of obstacles: your machine desires, the pull of the sleeping state, societal conventions, people, TV shows, friends, family…there are bountiful opportunities to submit and back down, especially for the most meaningful actions... The Work.
So to develop Will, we must be clear and precise with our intentions, then move through the obstacles that come before us, they come from the outside and within.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Word: Terrorist

We all have different associations with words, depending on our culture, upbringing, religion, society, habits, memories, experience, etc.
One of the most charged words in recent years is the word "terrorist." For many in this society, we have come to immediately associate this word with middle eastern men, willing to die and kill for their religion. They are people who wish to bring down our great civilization and destroy democracy, take us "back to the Stone Age," as my father would say.
As defined by the dictionary, terrorism is the "political use of violence or intimidation."
In post 9/11 America, the collective definition of terrorism/terrorists is Islamic extremists. They are suicide bombers who wish to kill Americans.
Americans have come to associate the word "terrorist" with people from the outside. People that come from the Middle East, worship Allah, people that are different from us.
When Rosie O’Donnell asked the question: "655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?" there was an outcry from many Americans. So used to the meaning of terrorists as "other," they are unable to critically look at themselves, our army and our policies as terrorism.
Simply stated by definition, terrorism is the political use of violence or intimidation. By taking a step back, by de-identifying, it is clear that our policies in Iraq are political and we have used military violence. Aren’t our prisons a form of terrorism, isn’t our practice of torture on detainees terrorism?
Terrorism is simply a word…with a lot of political power. It has been used by a president and his administration to go to war, it has been used to create Big Brother legislation, it has been used as an excuse for torture in Guantanamo and other prisons. But in Iraq or Palestine, or any other part of the world, their common understanding of (the common usage of the word) terrorist is most likely completely different.
Is either usage correct or incorrect?
Or are words just empty shells to be filled with power in the service of other hidden purposes?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Supressing the Energy

Suicide: the last attempt at quelling intense energy. There were medications, supposed to suppress, calm, remove. There were counselor visits, appointments…all were attempted ways to deal with energy.
According to some counselors and UC officials, there are more young people going to universities with mental issues than ever before. More students are requesting counseling, many are coming into the system with a prescription history of Prozac, Wellbutrin, etc.
Medicalizing these young people is the only way this society can deal with them. Pills and psychological chatter attempt to ease individuals into a lifetime of complacency and market consumption. It is the attempt, by all parties, to remain asleep.
The medications help ease the uncomfortable, the anxiety-like sensations, the intense energy that the machine has. This culture is fearful of the uncomfortable, it fears awakening…and one of the first steps of awakening is understanding and utilizing our energy.
But this is not a culture or society that encourages wakefulness and thus, there are companies and entire professions dedicated to quelling our energy, turning the energy into a medical problem needing treatment.
And everyone will remain asleep…the energy will be subdued, the counselors and officials will argue about funding, there will be debates over the source of mental problems in young people….and everyone will stay asleep.

Friday, June 8, 2007


They are studying the machine. Researchers working with control groups and subjects, it is all clinical and scientific, papers will be published and new theories will be formed.
How long must we talk? How long will I be in therapy, remembering the pain of childhood, the events that created a fear of abandonment, the feeling of isolation?
For years we can live in the cycle of remembering, reliving, repeating, trying to make sense of the past; trying to understand the people we have become.
The clarity of "who we are" has been lost. We have all become identified with the lives of our machine. Is our being Christian or Jewish or Mexican…is our being a football player or ballerina…is our being a photographer or a poet?
It is the machine that felt disappointment from a failed relationship, it is the machine that felt embarrassed or ashamed from an experience, it is the machine that felt isolated.
The being has become identified with the machine, perceiving itself as being the same as the machine. Perceiving the life events of the machine as its own….the being is trapped within this way of identifying. Psychotherapy only adds to this confusion, rehashing life events over and over, using the past as a way of understanding the current state of the machine, not moving beyond the experience of the machine, always remaining trapped.