Thursday, December 22, 2005

Reflections On Being An American

I, like most thinking Americans, live in two worlds. I live in the world of the mind, where I can look at things critically and connect the dots of government behavior in order to complete the picture outline of what they are attempting to accomplish. In my mind's eye, I see the overwhelming power of the corporation, the false reality packaged and fed to the people via the television set and the already written play that the actors dutifully follow every two years in what we are supposed to believe are “free” elections, but whose outcome is predetermined and depends little on our participation. But I also live in America, where I am encouraged to forget what I know and play the game anyway. I am as weak as most people and do what I’m told, and in the end, my reluctance to do so means little.

It is the week before Christmas and we have sent out our packages to family members, filled with gifts purchased from retail stores. Every day, we are receiving boxes in return, stuffed to the top with gifts that we set underneath our Christmas tree. We are not Christians, in fact both my husband and I are atheists, but we succumb to the pervasive latent Christianity that we tell ourselves is nothing more than family “tradition”. If we lived in the world of the mind, we would surely stop using tradition as an excuse to celebrate a holiday we don’t believe in. If not to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Christmas only serves the interest of corporate America as we contribute to their yearly profits, most of which is made during the Christmas season. Even though we made phone calls to everyone before Thanksgiving, telling them we were going “light” this year on Christmas shopping and begged them to do the same, no one listened and even we failed to comply with our wishes. I wanted so much to make all our gifts this year, but instead of sending off gifts that were filled with my handmade love, all I have are a dozen or so half-finished projects to show for my efforts. I tell myself that next year will be different, but that is just another trick I play on my mind, a lie I tell myself in order to reconcile my inner and outer life.

The idea that the only way to fix a problem, is to go deep inside it and fix it from within is nothing more than a justification for participating in a system we no longer have faith in. It’s a false choice that we all too often fall victim to. It is a distinctly American slogan and I’ve heard it my whole life, “if you don’t like the way things are going, get involved and change it.” I am coming to realize that working from within the problem, just makes me part of the problem and that the only thing I can truly fix, is myself. How can I fix a broken system that I willingly take part in? By taking full advantage of the lifestyle provided me as a result of being a white woman born in America, am I not endorsing the idea that there is something special about both being white and being American? Yet I am told that to shun the advantages that I have been handed as my birthright is to insult those around the world who were born into poverty, who would surely prefer to walk in my shoes.

As Americans, we have been indoctrinated our whole lives into believing certain things about ourselves. We are rugged individualists, we are blessed by our birth, we are beacons of hope for others less fortunate around the world, we are thoughtful members of the global community and we believe that hard work will be rewarded. Even when we see with our own eyes that these things are not true, they are so ingrained within us that we are able to suspend our disbelief and carry on as if the distorted image reflected back at us is nothing more than the trick of a funhouse mirror. In order to honestly challenge what we see wrong in our country, we must be willing to challenge ourselves, which is by far the more difficult task. There is much to be proud of in being American and not all of our beliefs about ourselves are wrong. The trick is being able to claim what is truly ours, and rid ourselves of the rest.


Anonymous rkelly said...

My mother was raised with Jewish bull and my father was raised with the Catholic shit. This childhood brainwashing was quite enough religion for me, thanks and no thanks.

I am a slow but gifted learner and so it took me awhile to find my own path. But once I did, I discovered religion (NOT to be confused with virtues/mystical) is seemingly a brilliantly concocted human superstition.

Therefore, I simply consider myself one of ‘we’, in the infinite evolution of consciousness. Merely one of the human spirits, struggling to understand what it means to be a cosmic citizen of the Universe and at the same time being a practical citizen of planet Earth.

This feels like right action for me and I cannot see the logic in complicating it with a man made religion with lots of guilt, martyrdom, shame and a false sense of bliss. Believing in the supernatural as an activity in growing my imagination is great but turning it into a truism that is for the control of others who have their own inner truth, is an absurd insecurity.

When I think about the Universe and what it takes to be a citizen in harmony, with an obvious well-organized infinite environment -- cosmically so to speak -- I am mystified.

And, when I think about being a human living in harmony with nature as the necessary practical experience on Earth, these days most especially, I can only relate to being a conservationist or get a cosmic enema reality wake-up call by our Mother getting rid of any and all abuse by her critters too stupid to respect their home, our ‘nest’ environment.

When I devote time in contemplative thought it becomes crystal clear that there is no such thing in the scope of human understanding, as a true mystical/mystical experience, it has always been a human/mystical/human experience.

Even one of the greatest literary works of all time, the "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu is not a mystical/mystical experience.

Experiences are recorded by human beings and that is how we get our information, basically, for our practical, mystical, and/or "religious" decision making for "choices", wise or otherwise.

However, my intention is not to undermine, in anyway whatsoever, 'the' human/mystical/human, by any stretch of the imagination.

Just yesterday my youngest son and I were in the bank where there was a Baby Grand Piano playing Christmas music, electronically. It was an interesting experience because both my son and I found that we could not stop ourselves from anticipating the element of passion, which was to spontaneously appear and impregnate the songs with the power of genius, the spirit in the creation of music. Humans who can lift us up into an experience of mystical by playing the tool/instrument, the piano, as though we are only a “hollow bamboo,” is both cosmic and practical.

But the songs all perfectly played by the piano were perfectly boring, really. Beautiful piano and what fun to watch the keys playing Christmas songs without human fingers to tickle the ivory and ebony. Watching the keys play automatically was somewhat of a mystical experience, however, there was a definite lacking of spiritual fire.

My son and I simultaneously thought about it and we turned to each other and opened our mouths to speak about it, both at the same time. We laughed and agreed about how our mind kept inserting the human element of improvisation, the spontaneity of harnessing the ego into auto-pilot for the creation of art – whether it be with music, words, sculpture, drawing, painting, film, acting, plays, and so on – as it is with the human spirit, the mystical experience of creativity, the genius of human beings playing god.

The magnificent tool/instrument, the Baby Grand Piano, was fun to observe and yet there would be no human recognition of this inanimate object as truly great spirit-genius, creating unique works of art, individually or collectively, as ‘masterful’.

Both my sons, now in the mid and late 20s, agree that the path I took when they were still very young, in grade school actually, was the right action.

I convinced them that to be addicted to the Christmas consumer spirit, frothing around like pools of anchovies in the spring river currents, is not the highest and best use of time, energy, money and certainly NOT their creative genius.

Also, whereas more often than one would hope, many of the people driving automobiles are out and about, on the roads for the first time during the ENTIRE year, and it is the craziest of all times, the Christmas season!

Christmas time can be a scarey place in public places and it can also be a very dangerous adventure in many respects.

I heard someone call it the Christmas Demon the other day and I add to that and say it is the shopping hogs, unbridled energy, let loose to rage around and gobble as much as it can, in a whirlwind of frenzy.

The Christmas season has given new meaning to the speed of light. We have been brainwashed into thinking our economy shall fail should we not support it and the ghost cannot be satisfied no matter how many Christmas times come and go. Take a look, it has gotten worse instead of better. This should be proof enough that it is time to change it.

Damn the debt! After all, something magical shall disappear the ugliness of owing far too much money for Christmas stuff, which too often is just an automatic act of habit, brainwashing, not the conscious choice to give gifts of creation.

Why not push the imagination and find the poem that is sleeping inside the heart and mind and wanting nothing more than to be given as an unconditional gift.

No high interest rate to pay back on this creative endeavor, the poem.

I say Ba Humbug on all consumer based guilt. Especially since in January 2006, the credit card companies get to raise the payment on debt, not by double, but by triple and more.

This Nation has developed its character as one of greed and this can be seen in the direct reflection of consumerism during the Christmas "Holidays." Also, carefully look at credit cards and how much money these companies make, on interest.

It is a sad thought to think that during this cycle of the "Fourth Quarter," it could be, to far too many folks who earn their living selling, their income for the entire year!

How to stop the madness is the proverbial question. Do we make the conscious choice to "just say no to drugs". After all, its been said that Nancy Reagan was one of the world's greatest shop-a-holics and sadly, she is still a lode star to this very day for many brain dead Americans.

What is the difference -- a drug is a drug and unchecked consumerism has become the drug of choice for our US and we continue to doom ourselves with the Christmas habitual religious smokescreen.

Expressing the human spirit in creative genius is natural. Therefore, to manifest money is natural and rewarding human genius by spending money on creativity and creation is good. After all, money is only suspended energy and giving and receiving energy is vital.

So, why then should we not engage in a ritual that expresses these behavioral truths?

It comes to my mind that it is all about balance.

Unfortunately, as human beings, we have currently taken ourselves as Homo-sapiens, to a place which is now critical mass and it is a pivotal crisis point.

Our species and its balance is now questionable as to whether or not our future shall be either a nail in our coffin or feather in our ‘nest’. The choice is ours’s and it is NOT an easy one because to make or create money is fun, fun, fun and to spend it and enjoy all the creative imagination of so many humans, is even more fun.

The notion of living like Henry David Thoreau is not as much fun to imagine as it is to live like Bill and Melinda Gates. I want a private jet airplane to fly all around the globe in and see every walk of life and all the planet in its wondrous glory.

But then, not having a planet or universe to live and be and create in, is not fun to imagine. So dash the jet airplane until we get this situation of over-population handled and this could be awhile.

Knowing what is known about Global Warming and Peak Oil, December 2005, the Gates chose to fly in their private jet, to a remote place in India where their Foundation had provided loans to Indian women to start their own businesses. Of course, the Gates obviously believe that consumerism is the key to all people on the planet to be a happy modern peoples and the Gates are well indoctrinated into monopolizing and selling as many gadgets to as many people on the planet as they possibly can. This is rich, is it not?

We are children of nature, thus why cannot we simply be happy reconnecting to our roots and creating works of music, writing, poetry, sculpture, drawing, painting, and playing joyfully in life, with all the elements of nature?

How do we find our way back home, as human beings living on a finite form, Earth, in an infinite cosmic Universe?

First, we must stop the addiction of human doings, misconstruing the making of gadgets as works of art, which only distracts from our true inner genius and perhaps, the genuine "Evolution of the Gods".

Gadgets do not create bliss and they are not a mystical experience in the true sense of the word. Keep mindful of the absolutely beautiful Baby Grand piano that can play songs without the human and the missing soul to add the passion, creates no master work of art and is actually just a boring activity of pleasant noise.

It is obvious, Planet Earth respectfully disagrees with the human individual mind and the collective unconscious and conscious mind, as to the imbalance/balance of nature and the gift of life, which is every day and not limited to “Christmas”.

Earth is clearly communicating this to us and we are receivers of the free gift, choice, to either begin our commitment right now, today, or pay the consequences.

In the future, neither the Universe or the Earth is going away, but our species Homo-sapiens, cannot be so certain about our own life span, to-date.

I think of Goethe and his statement about boldness and commitment when I face the collective unconscious addiction to the insanity of consume, consume, consume. My new pledge of allegiance is that unless it is a life necessity, then I evaluate whether or not it is an act of intelligent, balanced conservation or unconscious, habitual consumerism and I therefore choose to make the wiser choice, which is in essence to do my small part in respecting the balance of life, all of it. This is not an easy path, however.

In closing, documented scientific studies report the fact that the Earths oceans are so polluted with plastic that for eons to come ALL life forms on the planet shall be forced to endure this tragedy - into a measure of unspecified time as our scientific instrumentation can prove - and only the mystical eye can see the reality of this current fact.

10:19 AM  

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