A friend posted a topic for contemplation on social media today regarding the effect speaking in our native language has on us versus our second or third language. It had many of us thinking.
When I heard my first Brasilian song, there was no easy access to the internet yet, and no mention of “where” the artist was from on the CD cover. It was a world music compilation. Just showed his name. Jorge Bem Jor. I didn’t know what i was listening to but I was transfixed! I was moved in a way I hadn’t ever felt before. I listened to the song over and over and over again.
I was already working on achieving one of the 5 Personal Primaries that we are encouraged to come up with and create from my first avatar course, “I speak and understand many languages fluently”. This was an intuitively strong desire I had. So i had already started studying several languages, and thus I knew this song wasn’t in spanish italian or french. But it sounded like all of them. It had the lyrical melodicism of Italian the softness of French. As if both had been combined.
Eventually I met a girl who heartily and casually laughed while telling me that that song was a big hit in Brasil, where she was from, and the language was Portuguese, her laughter based on the fact that I, not understanding a word of it, had this perception of the song being this incredibly romantic expression of passion and emotion, and it IS… BUT it’s about a soccer player and an incredible goal he scored in a tournament!!!! I was dumbfounded at first. Like “what the heck?!? Soccer?!? This song is about soccer?!?” LOL! Mind blown.
Of course that song is the classic “Fio Marravilha”. A song that is as commonly known in Brasil as “Let it be” is in the United States.
(Jumping ahead a bit, one of my first favorite words of spanish was “baloncesta”. Say it out loud. It’s a beautiful word. It feels great coming off your tongue. It sounds as if should mean “poetry” or signify a particular dance. But it means basketball!!! Literally. You just never know…)
Of course I soon enrolled in a language school here in the states to learn Portuguese and eventually ended up going there to live and study the language and the music more deeply and become one with it. It was something I needed to do. Beyond logic or intelligent strategy. Purely motivated by passion.
In regards to the specific social media query, yes at first I had a lot of attention on WHY did this language MOVE me so much…. It made my heart palpably more charged, my chest filled with emotion, a deeply profound longing I was unfamiliar with. Pulled to or called by the language.
At first, because I was young and naive and a hopeless romantic perhaps, I assumed it must mean “my true love” was from Brasil. I searched for her. She wasn’t there. Turns out she was Persian! (What? Where’s Persia? Hah!) Or perhaps I was Brasileiro in a past life. Who knows…
Eventually I stopped focusing on and contemplating the WHY and just went with it. Acceptance of the incredible phenomenon began to set in.
Through the years I did the same thing with many languages. I tend to do everything to the extreme some say. I prefer to view it more like I just like to do things as fully and completely as possible.
In each instance, when learning a new language, there’s a CLICK, a trigger moment, perhaps when you learn a phrase that doesn’t exist in your native language, an aphorism or an expression of consciousness that is entirely different than anything you’ve experienced, and KABLAM you’re IN, the language enters you. You enter it. You begin to unite with it.
Your mind begins to “get” the people and the culture that created and uses that language, to truly understand where they’re coming from. Because after all, the language is nothing but a reflection…. a symptom of WHO and HOW these people are in their hearts and minds. And in a very real sense, every people, every tribe, is completely different than everyone else in how their minds choose to express the same ideas and feelings that we all innately share as human beings.
And we can’t get that experientially until/unless we learn their language. It’s observe and extrapolate versus BEINGness. The two states are very different.
Now to be clear, I am American. But I was raised very Italian and English; both were stressed over “American”. So when I went to italy to more deeply learn Italian, it inspired a very moving emotion in me. It was primordial. My grandparents primarily spoke Italian in the home. So being there in Italy, speaking the language with “natives” affected me as if it were happening genetically.
Walking to lunch with one of my teachers, she passionately shouts to a man on the street “Caffone! Scachar!” (You don’t want to know the translation…) and it felt like someone hit me in the head with a 2×4! I heard those words millions of times growing up as a child. But never understood the context. Until that moment. BAM! A weight seemed to melt off my being….
I wrote about it profusely in the Transcendence Diaries (circa 2003), amazed how intensely “DNA” the feeling was, profound, kundalini depth, eye opening and ultimately very transformative and healing as longtime readers will remember.
Of course we know now that it is very much a genetic thing…. So the phenomenon makes sense. We can begin to understand the mechanics of it better.
Interestingly, once you gain a handful or two of languages in your arsenal you begin to realize that certain ideas or feelings are best expressed with certain words or phrases better than any other language. Regardless of which language(s) you happen to speak natively or day to day, that word or phrase just works “the best” for that purpose. Right? Many people are familiar with this peculiar paradigm.
Even the staunchest unilingual Americans are familiar with the phrases quid pro quo or c’est la vie or hasta la vista. Certain phrases seem to sum up a feeling or idea better than any other, despite the language they’re in. But deeper than that many of us who are more intimate with a foreign language or two being spoken in our home can readily acknowledge that there are certain phrases we just tend to use on a daily basis which are not in the language we tend to speak regularly. It’s an interesting side effect of this paradigm…. language runs deeper than just where we are born or what country we grew up in.
Perhaps that sums it up better than anything else.
– Posted by The Ambassador as Ed Hale using BlogPress on an iPhone
We’re actually in the process of exploring genetics and ancestry more deeply at the moment, as a family, through DNA testing. Should be interesting. I hear they usually are.
For a long while, years and years, I studied our ancestry. Hired an expert in the field to do research for me, to augment my own. Learned a lot. Was able to extend our family tree back hundreds of years into the past. And then took a series of trips to my ancestral homelands in Italy and England. Traveled to each of the little towns and villages where my ancestors were from. This is something I wrote extensively about here in The Diaries during the process. Circa 2002 to 2004.
Without repeating too much, I can honestly say that yes you can absolutely FEEL physically your connection to these geographic locations and the culture and the people when you (re)visit them. Better put, to be more clear, even though you may have never been there yourself in this physical lifetime, the DNA inside of you has. Either through your parents or grandparents etc., you can feel it. Through being there, through the smells and the sights and sounds. It FEELS like home. It feels familiar.
I experienced it. And yes there is something undoubtedly phenomenal about it.
An interesting side note ?. On my first avatar course I remember this moment sitting on the floor in the living room of my master, may she be resting and playing in a loving joyful peace, and I was a few days into an exercise you learn called Feel Its by then. So i was just flying. Floating in a lighthearted rarified spacey expanded state of awe. After a long day and then some dinner, just quietly sitting there doing as she had been instructing me for days — feel something, become it, label it and then move on to something else. Repeat. I was TRIPping by this point. It was (needless to say) mind-blowing to me at the time.
Thinking would come and go. Thoughts would enter into consciousness and gently float by… They often made me laugh. Occasionally a thought was interesting enough to compel me to examine it a bit. But Joy (my master) encouraged me to “just label those too. Thought. Idea. Belief.” So that’s what I was doing.
In the specific moment I’m remembering, because at the time it was so profound that it’s still a standout moment, a touchstone of that whole experience for me, was when it suddenly occurred to me that so much of the alleged “scientific theories” we held about “humanity” and “the mind” and “the soul” etc were all just man-made ideas and concepts not necessarily rooted in truth as much as just thinking and theory. The need to resolve and conclude. Resistance to mystery or the unsolved.
(Bear in mind I’m about 20 to 22 at the time… so pardon the naivety / simplicity of this “mammoth realization” (as i labeled it)).
I had invested much into study and learning and facts and figures, and took it all very seriously still. Science and truths and facts were gospel still.
And then suddenly these ideas of “the ego, the ID, the subconscious, genetics/hereditary” all seemed so random transient arbitrary, even silly i.e. contingent upon where and when we lived, in space-time, in history, politically, geographically, etc. At the time I was still quite bound by beliefs based on “the subconscious” or “genetics” etc. — they seemed to be so big and established and solidly true that they were bigger than i was in terms of the influence they had on “who we are”, things you not only cannot control, but don’t even question… whether I labeled them as limiting or empowering or not important, they were, up until that moment, outside of my reach, “truths we take for granted are true”.
And then KABLAM! The tipping point. The trigger moment. I just felt them, labeled them and started laughing. I started saying them out loud, “the subconscious”, and then start laughing. Weight lifted off of my body and being. Palpably. Then “the ego”… “the ID”…. and more laughter and then more lightness of being…. , “it’s genetic… it’s hereditary” and more laughing…. More weight / heaviness / chunks of thought-beliefs manifested at some point or over time as physical masses/entities lifting off of my physical being…. lightening my heart and mind and body. Hysterical laughter at times with intermittent tears.
My master walks in from the kitchen to check on me. The other students are laughing as well. I look up at her with those puddled puppy dog eyes of a newborn avatar and we lock eyes and I say “the subconscious” and then laughed. She let out this big smile, eyes twinkling, and nodded and softly replied with her characteristic “hm mm” and chuckled. Then I said “It’s hereditary”, as if i had mischievously stayed some secret inside joke…. and more laughter.
It was the moment when we realized the reality or truth of all the avatar materials we had been reading up until that point and we actually GOT IT, as opposed to just intellectually understanding it. The reality that ideas like those would never be “true” again, nor ever affect me in any way, unless I decided I wanted them to had begun to sink in.
Consciousness was HUGE. Not limited by ideas and theories about the brain or the mind or the soul or genetics. It transcended it all. And WE are even bigger than that?!? Pure Awareness?!? Of even Consciousness? My lord…. This. Was. Just. Mind blowing. Yet made very real in that moment. A physical realization. Not just a mental idea.
She wasn’t messing with me. It wasn’t a ruse or a scam. It wasn’t yet another theory that sounded cool but had no measurable provability. It was real. My God….
I laid in bed that night chuckling and laughing every time I contemplated all these myriad ideas and theories we had studied so diligently and sought out so passionately in school about psychology and biology and philosophy and… “the mind”…. I remember deliberately deciding I would no longer ever be bound by them, let alone even consider or contemplate them seriously again. We were done with all that. The beginning of a big adventure.
– Posted by Ed Hale as The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone
So I decide to watch this documentary Netflix Films put together called Trump An American Dream, which alleges to span over 50+ years and feature a wide sweeping collection of people who knew and have known Donald Trump the man forever, friend’s family coworkers employees, people on both sides of the political fence, and from all walks of life.
(Like most American men I can only watch it when my beautiful wife isn’t around. That’s just America circa 2018, and could certainly warrant a whole post unto itself.)
I admit it took me a few weeks to feel up to it. Even for us Independents, Trump is a disturbing presence in the American landscape. But I wasn’t feeling masochistic as it may seem to some, but just sincerely curious. Thought it would provide more context, more data and insight, in order to be able to formulate an honest objective opinion about the man. Didn’t know much about him except for the last few presidential campaign years. Deliberately most of the time he has just been one of those things I dont regularly encounter. Something that is ignored.
So i was hoping I’d learn some things about him that could help shed light on anything even remotely noble or admirable or at least not compromising or lacking or distasteful.
The film goes all the way back to the beginning. And you do learn a lot. You meet everybody in the Donald j Trump world since the 1950s. One just assumes they’re going to hear some incredibly inspiring rags to riches story about an incredible human being. I did at least. I actually watched it partly just for personal inspiration, as well as for information.
Clearly I was in for a big surprise.
WOW. The inspiration i was hoping for does not happen. Not ever. From the very beginning you are bombarded by stories about a shockingly unscrupulous mean spirited venomous duplicitous bully of a person who literally cannot tell the difference between the truth and a lie. By everyone who knew or worked with or for him From the get go. Like right out of college.
The man who actually wrote the book The Art of the Deal, and came up with the title as well, spent hundreds of hours with Trump in order to research it.
He said this about the experience: “It was difficult to be around him. He lied constantly. To everyone. About everything. Maybe he thought i wouldn’t notice. Maybe he honestly cannot distinguish the difference between a lie and the truth. I don’t know. But I thought he was a sociopath. His values? That’s simple. He is value free. Has absolutely no values. No fathomable idea of right or wrong. No human moral compass. It was disturbing and sad. I never worked for him again. Never will.”
What?!? There’s NO way this guy can be this bad, I’m thinking. I honestly believe him sometimes (presently) when he says the media treats him biased and unfairly. So I’m looking for proof of it in the film. But instead I see him in THE SEVENTIES as a young man savagely maliciously attacking intelligent sincere journalists for writing the truth, but just not a truth he likes. It’s shocking and unconscionable. Especially back then when the world still had a semblance of respectability.
And then he blackmails the companies to get the journalists fired or he will sue them. And he does this repeatedly. Using a repulsive disreputable lawyer named Cohn whose sole clients are the five mob families of New York and Donald Trump. It’s sick. But not the good sick. Like gross. Disgusting. He makes Bill Clinton seem honorable. Makes George W Bush seem quaint.
He was raised with a lot of money, but he displays absolutely none of the class that one might expect, no sense of decency or respect for others, and instead acts more like an ignorant, uneducated, barbarous Viking from the 9th century.
I’m still in disbelief. So I keep going. And we scour his history through the 70s then the 80s then the 90s and by this time you’ve heard hundreds of people talking about him and you just can’t catch a break. “One of the biggest liars I’ve ever known. Probably the worst.” “My first thought? Boy this kid is full of himself. Prone to exaggeration and hyperbole that’s so over the top you think he has to be joking, getting a laugh. If not then he’s the sleaziest conman you’re ever going to do business with.”
It goes on and on and on…. I just spent three hours with my mouth hanging open and my heart beating fast. Total shock. At one point, after his first wife cheating scandal (there will be many) in the early 90s he gets caught on tape impersonating a “PR guy” named John Miller doing an interview with People magazine about himself, but it’s HIM trying to disguise his voice! But he’s talking just like himself, constant digressions and complimentary asides, bombast and bluster about imaginary scenarios that never took place and full of crazy sounding flattery about HIMSELF. But pretending to be someone else. It’s insane.
The journalist of course is like WTF is wrong with this guy? Is he a psychotic? She kept the tape. It’s funny, but of course also super sad.
The problem with this poor guy is that not even the people at the bottom of the ladder who worked for him for years have anything good they can say about him: You can’t trust him. He takes all the credit. Egomaniacal. Mean. A soulless heartless showboat. Doesn’t appreciate others. No moral values. Doesn’t read. Has no respect. Isn’t polite. He’s a bully. Cheats in every aspect of his life and work. Has no sense of chivalry. Doesn’t pay employees or contractors if he can get away with it.
It’s an endless litany of the worst human characteristics imaginable…And after a few hours you realize this is no American dream story. It’s more like a Charles Manson documentary, or some other lunatic serial killer. The guy is totally nuts.
Okay. So yeah…. that happened. Wow. Mind blown. That’s the current POTUS. And people really did vote for him. We know some. The question is HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?!?
I would LOVE to blame it purely on the corrupt DNC stealing the nomination from Bernie for Hilary. Trust me. That was criminal and shameless what they did. And it just goes to show how little respect they have for the American people. But that’s too simple.
The RNC also needs to take some responsibility. They allowed themselves to get bullied by a psychopath and they literally had some decent candidates. John Kasischke was awesome.
But most of all so too do all of us need to take responsibility for this never ending waking nightmare. For in the end it is we who permitted it to transpire by never putting our foot down to demand better. It’s time for a good old fashioned American Bastille Day. This just isn’t us. It’s time we stopped pretending it is.
– Posted by Ed Hale as The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone
Leslie Ann Bohane I promise you I try to be objective. And i sincerely understand how difficult it is. It seems almost inherent in our instinctive nature to want to choose sides when everyone around us appears to be. But I can assure you it is not impossible to let go of that impulse. Our intuition almost always guides us towards a widened back and detached, though compassionate, objectivity. True objectivity, from the Observe Mode of consciousness. It is possible. As well as being a great place to live in whenever possible.
And as most know, I’ve never been pro dem or pro repub, nor anti dem or repub. I dislike the slimy politicking favoritism scheming and backroom dealings of both groups that comprise that duopoly that controls our Government equally. I want them both to slink away, or at the very least a few new VIABLE parties to be allowed to rise up and compete against those two giant corruption machines, so the American people can believe in true democracy once more. It is time.
A quick scan of my online presence clearly shows I have posted plenty of positive things about DJT in the last year or two when it felt appropriate, much to the chagrin of my family and friends who don’t agree with my views on this matter.
Just as I was sometimes hard on certain policies or actions taken by president Obama. I didn’t like his more-globalist leanings, nor his close ties with central bankers, and i honestly felt that, though admirable, he may have been pushing America toward the political correctness of the future too quickly for comfort for many middle Americans. That worried me.
Of course in retrospect we can observe now that my concerns were justified. As is usually the case, the country reacted with a very quick bounceback to the opposite extreme due to the displeasure and discomfort experienced by those same middle Americans I had been worried about.
Progress takes time to evolve. It cannot be forced upon a people. It takes readiness and revelation. And clearly not everyone was ready. So I feel you.
So here we are. Back in a strangely familiar yet frightening post World War II 1946 America-first styled nationalism, building fences and walls, deporting anyone not white or American seeming, slapping tariffs and starting trade wars as if it were the 1890s, unilaterally issuing sanctions aka economic terrorism on anyone who won’t play ball with us, challenging and picking fights with other super-powers, beating our chest and bragging about the “deadly Power of our nuclear arsenal” (in TWEETS no less?!?! Is this kindergarten?!?), forcing patriotism on our citizens instead of inviting it and demonizing the free media.
It’s not a pretty picture. So forgive me if I do not readily hail the thief at the moment as eagerly as you seem want to do.
But i digressed. I do still try to stay objective Leslie. I’m just starting to realize that objectively it’s very challenging to find any redeeming qualities in this man-child who occupies the office so respectably and admirably held by his predecessor. BUT I’m looking. And open to hearing them if you have any you’d like to offer up or share. You can’t claim I don’t have an open mind about this.
Last Screening: On a lighter note, BLACK PANTHER is surprisingly good (the comics turned movies genre is not usually my cup of tea). But Panther is very well done, unique and creative, visually stunning, definitely not boring, thoroughly interesting entertaining and engaging. It features an incredible cast who give it 110%, doesn’t sacrifice plot and story for long boring CGI fight scenes or high speed chases, and in a few subtle ways it is quite a prescient metaphor for deeper issues and questions about the world we live in today. See it when you can.
(Thanks to Naila Meyers for the recommendation)
– Posted by The Ambassador as Ed Hale using BlogPress on an iPhone
Hey John. Yep, me too. I heard yanny at first as well. But I never doubted that fact. I knew I heard what i heard and honestly didn’t give it a second thought until a few hours later when I heard laurel (just as clearly) played a few times on TV. I assume (perhaps naievly? Not totally sure on that…) that most musicians felt the same way about not doubting what they believe they heard. So at first I just dismissed the whole debate as typical internet clickbait crap, as one does with 99% of the stuff that we see or hear about post-internet age.
But then I heard the exact same thing being discussed at (of all places) the daily congressional press briefing. Weird. And Paul Ryan not only addresses the thing, but gets seriously hot and bothered about how insane it is that everyone is NOT hearing laurel. What?!?! What link did HE click on? Laurel? That doesn’t even make sense I thought.
So from the get go I started to suspect that there was some trickery at play. Sociologically this simple slight of hand, despite how innocently it may or may not have begun, could end up becoming an ingenious experiment in human behavior, revealing how vulnerable most still are to the myriad phenomena associated with the internet’s ability to generate or spread “fake news”. We are after all still reeling and drenched in much of the drama associated with this new phenomenon at present, with every other word coming out of the White House having something to do with “fake news”. It’s still very much “a thing”. (Judicial investigations into “Russian meddling” in the presidential elections of the United States..? Seriously? Yes… Seriously. It sounds nuts. But it’s very real. Though in reality very few people actually talk about it unless they’re heavily leaning in one direction or the other politically. And honestly I’m not 100% sure that’s necessarily a “good thing”…)
Then I saw aforementioned Paul Ryan on TV claiming “it’s clearly laurel…let’s get that out of the way. How does anyone not hear that?” he says. What?!? In a congressional press conference?!? He’s talking about THAT? This is crazy. Okay… so now we know something is off. Paul Ryan may be a partisan politician and sure that has certain immediate implications in terms of one’s perspicacity…. and no he’s not a musician that we know of. BUT, one, the guy is clearly not mentally challenged (at least no more than anyone else in D.C….), and two, no one has any reason to believe that he has hearing problems. So what was up? And why the hell did he care so much either way?
It took me a while to figure it out… Honestly I didn’t pay much attention to it until I heard the second news network a few hours later claiming to be playing the same audio clip and literally heard an entirely different word than the previous network. It just made no sense. As clearly as I heard Yanny on the first network and on my phone and laptop etc. I then heard laurel. Trippy. And most likely also tricky. So I too became fascinated by the apparent discrepancy in how clearly each group of people were claiming to hear the words they claimed to, despite all allegedly listening to “the same thing”.
Though I never doubted that i was hearing the word I thought I heard. In all three instances. It all just depended on WHICH instance I heard it… The problem was that I also didn’t doubt those who were claiming to be hearing Laurel instead of Yanny or Yanny instead of laurel. Sure, most people are simple. I get it. They kill each other in mass shootings almost daily now and spend entire days watching complete strangers get married on their televisions and computers and phones even. (And crazier still, they watch these strangers’ weddings because they’re told they’re “royal” and they believe there is such a thing. It’s totally insane. Noted.) But still, that doesn’t make everyone hearing challenged or liars or THAT biologically different from each other suddenly. if people were claiming to hear the word Laurel or Yanny, my first reaction was to believe them, and not just assume that they were wrong or mistaken or just stubborn.
Frankly none of that actually occurred to me. Until I started seeing the mass hysteria popping up all over the internet regarding “who’s right and who’s wrong?” When it turned into a legitimate debate… Similar to the White and Gold versus Black and Blue Dress debate from a few years back. (More on that later….) To me the most logical answer was most likely “Everyone is right. People are hearing both words at different times and just not recognizing that this is a prank.” That started becoming more and more obvious as the day wore on. You could very clearly hear both words repeatedly depending on which website or TV or radio network you scanned. Both words were being played at different times depending on when and where one clicked. Everyone was right. And nobody was wrong.
But the meme had already spread from coast to coast and everyone had already jumped into their respective boxes, hunkered down and were ready to defend their position to the death. Many even jumped from one box to another and then back again in the span of one day, constantly doubting themselves and claiming to be “baffled” by their own ears. It was Democrat versus Republican, atheists versus deists, Israel versus Iran…. hysteria played out in real time all over big and small media regarding something completely irrelevant and inconsequential. Or so it seemed at first.
Eventually smaller minded “media outlets” started jumping on the story, attempting to explain it “scientifically”…. And this is when one could claim that the experiment started to become genuinely disturbing. Or at least surreal. And perhaps even important.
Then the pseudoscientific psychobabble started… Millions of people started reading — and sharing — these alleged articles purported to be authored by revered scientists. And many started to sincerely believe all these crazy pseudo-scientific explanations, instead of just trusting their own ears or their own better judgment. It was astonishingly easy to compel people to doubt themselves and their own senses, and at the same time doubt the sensory abilities or sincerity of those around them. Even within the same families people were fighting over this thing. Not kidding. Mass hypnotic insanity. In a matter of just a day or two. If you’re in the future, look it up. It’s mind boggling I know. But true.
As the debate waged on, bigger and bigger media began to step in, purporting to deliver sharper smarter more technologically advanced scientific explanations of “the phenomenon”. Even the New York Times jumped the shark with this one. More than once. Not kidding. <a target=”_blank” href=”https://mobile.nytimes.
Tons of hubbub about “our ears hear different words depending on the soundcard in the device we’re using” or “based on frequencies the human ear is accustomed to hearing or based on the age of the listener, people can hear words differently or even hear words that aren’t even there…”. Much of it sounded silly if you’ve spent the majority of your life working with sound and music. But maybe it really did fool non-musicians…. (?) It’s hard to tell. It seemed to. Because it became a “thing” so quickly. It easily carved out it’s fifteen seconds and then some. But were people really being fooled? Or were they just eager to be fooled? Or perhaps just eager to choose a side about something, anything, and vehemently fight over it? It was hard to tell.
The mainstream may never take the time to research and establish that a few lines of code could create a simple program that had two completely different sounding words play randomly to different groups of people and once you accepted one of them into your browser’s memory, that word got locked in. It didn’t matter how many times you listened to it. There was no way you were going to hear “the other word that “other people” claimed to be hearing”…. because your browser was set. As too was everyone else’s. Along with all the browsers being used by all the various television and radio networks that ran the story.
One thing became clear though, through all the techno-chat. The origin story about the actual piece of audio that everyone was fighting over kept changing every few hours and every new day. New data. Different data. Changed data. The story never really took hold and found a basis in reality. Still hasn’t. And surely that’s half the fun of it.
In the end all anyone had to do was clear the cookies from their browser in order to hear the other word. A simple fix. But that train had already left the station. Answers to that particular mystery were no longer important as the public’s attention quickly abandoned the debate and shifted to yet another mass shooting in an American public school, sadly, and then on to a wedding of some random member of a so-called “royal family” in England (which yes is an equally mysterious and disturbing social phenomenon to be sure).
Looking back, it seems a really simple and some might say a pretty lame trick in the bigger picture. Two or three lines of code and a disciplined commitment to shutting up for a few days about it? But nonetheless it turned out to be a deceptively simple but elegant illustration of how easy it is to split a population in two using this new “fake news” phenom that the internet has suddenly enabled. (Yes, that DOES beg the question as to why NOW? What happened to suddenly shift the entire species into being so easily duped by totally bogus crap? Was there a trigger moment in mass consciousness that we can look back on? Fascinating to ponder…) And it did have people literally doubting their OWN EARS and their own reason, judgment and sanity at times. No doubt about it. That’s as incredible as it is disturbing. Perhaps an historical landmark moment when we look back in future years on the event in terms of the bigger picture ramifications of it.
There’s more…. As there almost always is. Which I began to discover and contemplate toward the end of the evening. If it was indeed a prank, see above. If it was not a prank and indeed ONE WORD was used and one word alone is what is floating around on every link out there, then it speaks volumes about not just a very real Cultural Relativism (reality being subjective based on indoctrination and beliefs…), but also perhaps even a Biological Relativism (measurable qualitative and quantitative differences within a species creating perceived reality…) that could be responsible for many of the most heated and hated debates and disagreements in human history.
There’s a lot there. I know. But I’m tired. Will explore it more tomorrow. Until then.
– Posted by Ed Hale as The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone
So there it is. Another Sunday waving goodbye. I’ve come to enjoy this ritual of ending the day w/ an episode or 2 of Little House On the Prairie. Purchased the entire Season 1, as I’ve never seen it. What comes to mind most often while watching it, along with hundreds of other thoughts, is just how much society, hence collective consciousness, has changed over the last 40 years.
The show depicts sincere straight forward simple stories about living and being alive. No irony satire sarcasm or cynicism, all so rampant in today’s model of entertainment — i.e. no fear of being judged or criticized for being real or kind or honest or good — the fundamental thoughts and feelings beneath aforementioned irony cynicism satire and sarcasm, fear. Instead the benefits of virtues are emphasized; ideas long lost at some point along the way in modern times such as kindness, hard work, honesty, fidelity, connection w/ the divine, family values and the like are not only explored but downright encouraged. Straight faced, without a nod or a wink or a tongue in cheek. One couldn’t find anything even remotely similar to it today.
Of course Little House portrayed life in the 19th century, understood, when life was simpler and civilization had not yet reached a state of excess — thus greed and self-centered pleasure-experience seeking had not yet boroughed it’s way into mass consciousness as a main priority. Those things would come later, when surviving became all but guaranteed — this is after all the natural flow of the evolution of all sentient being civilizations. And yet lest we forget, Little House aired during the 1970s, long after the industrial revolution, when survival was indeed by all accounts all but guaranteed. Yet it somehow managed to still find an audience that could not only relate to it, but sincerely welcome it.
The question begged now is what changed in the last 40 years?
No blood gore violence crime murder CSI vampires zombies gratuitous sex adultery lying and deceit taken for granted billionaire playboys shallow busty airheads like Snooki or KK, no drug kingpins villains disguised as heroes vulgarity or nudity. Just simple stories extolling the virtues of being a good person and doing your best for yourself, your family and your neighbor. As far away from what passes for entertainment in today’s world as can be imagined. One would be hard pressed to believe that anything remotely similar could find an audience in modern times.
But why? Again…what has changed? What went missing? Or what got added in consciousness to create such a stark drastic change in such a short period of time?
It’s worth pondering…
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone
Tonight I was gently coerced by a younger friend into watching something called WHAT? by Bo Burnham, a young twenty-something Millennial doing his idea of a fresh take on a standup comedy routine.
At first I did my best to stay busy enough doing other things to pay only as much attention as was necessary to quickly get how immature the routines were and still manage to appear to not be totally ignoring the show, just so as not to be rude. It was exactly what you’d expect if you took yours or anyone else’s teenage son nephew or cousin and allowed them to jump up on a stage in front of a bunch of other twenty-somethings and told him to goof off for an hour. Stupid, inane, foolish, sophomoric, goofy, dorky, insulting, immature, extremely boring and chock filled with a heavy dose of childishly gratuitous dick jokes, sexual innuendo and locker room humor. In other words, it was unbearable for anyone with a brain older than 12 to 16 years of age unless said brain was perhaps extremely high or sadly disabled.
But then something strange happened. The show kept going and continued to slink sloppily downhill minute by grueling minute. The half hour of mostly gay bashing, sexist and misogynistic girl bashing and masturbation jokes continued — and in between he attempted to throw in the usual “I’m so smart I compare myself to God but not really” meets “God does not exist” meets “God doesn’t care about us” sophomoric philosophical banter typical of young Americans raised on too much money and material possessions and not enough of things meaningful or important. He then threw in plenty of college-age psycho-babble about that favorite subject of lack of self awareness and the obsessive need for self analysis exactly as one would expect from a 16 to 22 year old.
But despite his best attempts to create a jovial atmosphere and an ah fuck it entertaining comedic routine, the primary message being put forth over and over again, out into consciousness, minute after grueling minute, was just how shallow empty hollow and meaningless this strange generation processes and feels about life — as if the gift of life, given so casually and idly, easily and randomly — is not only taken for granted and not appreciated but completely overlooked, and perhaps even resented. Life isn’t something to appreciate or feel blessed by or even to philosophically or intellectually explore, but rather it’s more of a lame nuisance to be made fun of and denigrated, desecrated and profaned.
I am too tired to do the subject justice this evening as it is well past midnight. But as the show –that was no more than an hour long — dragged on, I as an audience member and as a viewer into this frightening sad and ugly world, became more and more disheartened and discouraged about this strange group we casually label “the Millennials”. What went so terribly wrong with them that was so different than the rest of us that created such a disconnected disheartened unconcerned shallow and heartless generation of human beings? So seemingly lost AND so blatantly and casually unaffected by filth violence and vulgarity that literally nothing seems to affect them? And not only are they entirely unaffected by these normally traditionally perceived atrocities, but they also now bare the unique badge of honor of being the main purveyors of these things in our shared culture, whether through their music, their inane tween fiction, their alleged viral videos, blogs and vines or in this case their strange brand of one man shows meet comedic standup routines.
Plenty of reasons come to mind as to what could have caused this….how a whole generation of young people could be so tossed aside by a society that no one bothered to notice that they have literally nothing to believe in, so in place of shouting their noblest ideals and dreams from the rooftops as their predecessors once did so valiantly yet just as naively, they are instead making a living, or choosing not to, from denigrating being alive in the first place.
Forget for a moment that they hold one of the rarest distinctions of any American generation in our history, that they are growing up in not only one of the most peaceful times in history, not only one of the most financially prosperous — where economic opportunity is afforded to anyone with a good idea and the fortitude to turn it into a business or commodity and can strike it rich faster than ever before in human history, but also one of the most free and liberal, open minded and tolerant societies in the history of the human race — where everything from equal rights for women and minorities are shared right along side the LGBT community — and let’s be honest: 20 years ago there was and could never even exist an open community with such a name; euthanasia is becoming a legal right just as abortion has been for nearly four decades, right along with the religious freedom to freely be an atheist or a Muslim or a Tibetan Buddhist or a Rastafarian and still work side by side each other and yes even the right to smoke pot for no other reason than recreational purposes is now becoming commonplace. This newest generation seems completely immune to what an incredibly free healthy and easy time it is to be alive. A time to celebrate and cherish and create, not destroy and devalue. How have these achievements been lost on this sad lot? (One clearly sees that we can no more over generalize about every single member of the Millennial Generation than we can any other; for there are certainly some heroes among them as there are in all. It’s more about the overall vibration of the group itself and their attitude and message, which at this point in their evolution seems to be “fuck it” more than anything else…)
Was it the seemingly countless endless and meaningless wars they’ve grown up with over the last 14 years? Is it the constant corruption they observe in all areas and at all levels and positions of service and leadership in government? Has the haunting horrendous and obvious fact that our King has no clothes finally become so immersed in our collective consciousness that nothing of our once noble ideals of self and enlightenment exists at all in this newest group of young Americans? Do they truly hold nothing sacred? Do they truly not care in the least?
My heart sank as each minute wore on. I was more grieving than annoyed. And believe me, annoyed was the main feeling I was left with. And yet….there is clearly a problem here that is bigger than just some annoying brat playing the fool. I walked away deeply saddened. More needs to be said. More needs to be explored. In time.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress
It is illegal for TV networks to raise the volume of commercials higher than the shows they air. For obvious reasons. (It wouldn’t be fair to the TV shows, giving the commercials a higher priority would lift the disguise that television networks exist to entertain rather than generate profits for shareholders.) So what they do instead is flip on a compressor during commercials, for an extra fee to the sponsor — guaranteeing a louder commercial. Theoretically the network is not “turning up the volume”, but the effect is a much louder fuller more annoying volume for said commercial. Which anyone who watches television even infrequently has surely noticed. It’s a technicality. It bypasses the law while pretending to still be abiding by the law. This is a common practice at every network and is common knowledge in the industry. But no one gets in any trouble for it.
This should come as no surprise. Americans are used to these kinds of practices by the powers that be. There is a boldly glaring double standard and hypocrisy that Americans live with everyday and accept as “just the way it is”. Anyone and everyone with wealth or in power breaks the rules or breaks the law however and whenever they can and somehow always manage to get away with it. Rather than jail time or a reminder of the rules laws or regulations they’ve broken, and certainly rather than any kind of substantive punishment, they find a technicality or at worst a small fine at the end of their rainbow of a trial, IF they even get that far. Usually these rules and laws that the common people are forced to be bound by are easily able to be skipped entirely by the elite; corporations and government officials included.
It is THIS kind of blatant disregard for the law, much less the desires of The People, that has now become the norm in all arenas of American life. Banks hospitals insurance companies drug makers stores police departments cable and internet providers giant tech companies like Apple and especially government. It is capitalism run amok rampant and extreme, arrogant and crass –creating the highest profits for those who can pay and causing the most harm and suffering for those who cannot.
In the United States we have reached the peak phase of the capitalist cycle, just before The People revolt and demand fairness justice and balance. This is usually a sloppy messy bloody affair, a no mercy and no quarter for those in power scenario gets created. Many perish. In a very short period of time regular everyday working people will be shooting at and arresting not only the hundreds of thousands of crooked police officers of the country, but any and all who work in government or in large greedy corporations who’ve raped one too many trusting unsuspecting consumers. In these revolutions the people rise up against the powers that be not just because they are angry — for it is safe to say that Americans are far beyond anger at this point, but because they feel it is their duty to take back a country that all of us once dearly loved respected and cherished. But only the most simple and foolish among us now feel any sense of love or respect for what America has turned into over the last fifty plus years. Not through any fault of our own and not without desperately trying to turn things around. No one can say that the people didn’t try. But clearly our hands have been tied, in red tape, bureaucracy and bullshit for decades.
The government of the U.S., already seeing where we are historically in the capitalist cycle, has prepared for this inevitable cultural shift. Hence the gradual but rapid change into the police state we now live in. It is all of our wishes that the state local and federal governments of our beloved country realize and accept that although we will rise up en masse to bring this system down in order to create a more just fair enlightened and equitable society REGARDLESS of their opinion or any actions they may decide to take, we do NOT wish to hurt or kill anyone, nor do we desire to do away with our free enterprise system. No one is crying out for communism or any other extreme social reforms. Only truth. We only wish to stop the blatant lies, deceptions and manipulations of the law that we have all come to begrudgingly accept and take for granted as being an inherent aspect of the world we live in.
We understand full well, just as the government does, that it does NOT have to be this way. After all, our government officials and the mainstream media who do their bidding act and speak as if they live in a completely different world than the rest of us; they speak of “American Exceptionalism”, a land of the free and home of the brave; they never out the president of the United States for his incessant lying and bending of the truth; they never mention the heartbreaking irony that the U.S. is by far the most powerful terrorist force and the most feared and notorious killing machine on planet earth when they report on “terrorism” on the nightly news; they don’t speak of the fact that the alleged elected government spends billions of dollars a year giving it away in bribes or blackmail schemes to hundreds of other countries around the globe but turn around and claim that they can’t afford to feed the hungry or starving right here at home, nor afford to educate them; they don’t mention that the United States Congress exists now almost solely to provide cushy jobs for power hungry, egomaniacal greed-hounds whose job it is to provide favors, loopholes and profit opportunities for the large multi-national corporations who now completely run and control the country. If one listened to the media they might believe for a minute at least that the members of congress were being elected by the people to work for the will of the people — until reality snuck back into the conversation and everyone landed back on earth acknowledging the ridiculousness of that erroneous idea. It’s been a long time since any congress has been able to list serving the people as a line item on their resume.
So there is no excuse for how unbearably inexcusably bad things have gotten in America. The dichotomy between how the government and media speak about the United States and how it actually is in reality is as wide as the Grand Canyon. So it’s no wonder that people are beyond mad. Everyday the harsh reality of the wickedness that surrounds us, all the while with the arrogance and audacity to dare call itself good, is thrown in our face. At the same time not a man woman or child in America is unaware of how dangerous or life threatening it would be to dare break a law themselves. The peoples’ job is to obey the laws, pay the taxes and say nothing while watching those in control break the laws, profligately spend the peoples’ taxes and say and do whatever the hell they want to regardless of how illegal criminal or immoral it may be.
This is no secret. Unlike in times long past this is the topic du jour in almost every home, office, school and community from coast to coast. The disapproval, the disgust and the outrage spans all age groups, all income brackets except the very rich perhaps, all races, all genders and everyone else in between. The powers that be are just as aware of this reality as the people are. Both sides pretending not to notice the other’s disdain for the system that both have created. One through sheer force of will selfishness and greed, the other, the people, through fear and resistance to accepting the cold hard truth that the kingdom is not royal nor noble, but rotten and wicked. Even the worst offenders are now having a tough time keeping a straight face. Somewhere along the line America lost itself. Forgot it’s mission. And it’s been spinning blindly madly out of control ever since.
Which is why in the long run it is inevitable not only that we the people WILL rise up soon but that WE will win. It would be in every one’s best interest if this idea were accepted sooner rather than later by the various branches of government throughout the nation. If they act in time, with sincerity and effectiveness, a full scale revolution of the magnitude described above might be able to be avoided. But it needs to happen fast. The confusion and frustration of even the common working person has now turned into cynical bitterness, anger and rage. In a country of 350 million people all fueled by these shared emotions, no sitting government, no matter how powerful they think they are, stands a chance of survival. Our revolution will make the Civil War seem like child’s play.
It is important that every man woman and child who lives in and loves the United States of America shares this message with their elected leaders. We may not owe it to them. Lord knows they’ve done nothing to deserve our humanity, having done nothing for us in decades and would certainly not extend to us the same courtesy. But it is more in line with the kinder, more just, fair-minded and enlightened society that WE wish to create.
The deadline for serious change is fast approaching. Consider yourselves warned. The people are beyond angry. They are incensed and inflamed. And the myriad distractions once so effective no longer distract. Instead they only add more fuel to the fire. The people, feeling helpless to effect change through democratic means and thus backed into a corner with nothing left to lose are not only ready for war. They are preparing for it. You have been warned.
– Posted by The Ambassador
I’ve said it before and will continue to say it until the majority realize it: atheists are just as zealot, just as religious as religionists such as Christians or Hindus or Muslims. They have no proof for what they believe. Only an idea of the absence of proof on the other side. Therefore their entire belief structure is based on faith.
The biggest misconception that both atheists and religionists have is this ignorant and stubborn idea of exclusivity, assuming if one belief is correct then another is false. In reality the universe is nothing but consciousness, and as such it is large enough to hold all realities as true simultaneously. Therefore what happens to a person after death is entirely up to them. Whatever they believe will happen happens. For those still pondering what the afterlife is like, they should look no further than their own personal beliefs. Some will choose heaven. Some reincarnation. Some will choose hell. Some will choose complete disintegration because they don’t believe in an afterlife. Some like myself may choose to “stay open; surprise me!” and that’s precisely what they will experience. Their experience of the afterlife will be determined based on an amalgamation of ideas that ring the most true or real to their own belief system.
Down deep within us, within our own consciousness, in that special place where very few others have ever been permitted to experience, is our own personal treasure chest of truths, what we really believe without pretense fear or conceit. Sometimes they are closer to hopes and desires rather than pure beliefs (a pure belief being something one claims is true that ranks very high on their conviction scale). At times a belief can be less solidified and feel more like a strong desire or hope. But if there is less resistance to it than desire for it then it will ring true for that individual as a belief. In that place where we hold these most cherished ideas and ideals lay some of our most important beliefs. Even though consciously we prefer to claim something else — such as “I am not sure what happens to us after death” — most of us have already crafted a very precise narrative and framework for what we desire or hope the afterlife will be/is like. It is from there, with the beliefs that compose that narrative, that framework, that the reality of our experience of the afterlife will manifest. So even if our conscious idea is “I am not sure what it will be like”, down deep we have already formed an idea of it. More than an idea as mentioned.
While it is true that we may be more prone to a vectoring of several different cosmological ideas — both a heaven AND the possibility of reincarnation if we so choose but ONLY after we meet and converse with something that “appears to be Divine” based on our preconceived notions of what Divine means to us — compared to someone else who is more certain of one possible outcome, i.e. “I will go to heaven” or “I will turn to ashes and nothing shall remain of me for I have no soul”, but we will still experience exactly what we believe we will experience. For as soon as consciousness gives something thought, it appears to give it life; or at least the possibility of life, whatever that reality happens to be.
Of course there are those who will claim that this is impossible. That they could easily create a world in the afterlife comprised of dancing pink elephants and jellybeans who rule this world and that they don’t believe that reality would manifest for them. And they would be right. Because they are just talking, thinking, pontificating, playing with ideas. They no more believe that scenario than anyone else. There is a difference between what we “really believe” and what we discuss academically when playing in thought or imagination. That is why it is important to have a system with which we can access our deepest i.e. most seemingly true beliefs. Not just so we have a means to explore who we are –for what are we but the combination of everything we believe –and to communicate that to others sincerely rather from pretense, but also so we can deliberately change who we are based on changing these beliefs when we so desire to.
The operating word being “choose”. For the choice is theirs, based on what they choose to believe. The only problem is that most people still desire for everyone else to believe as they do, wrongly believing that there is only one potential reality post-death, one truth regarding the spirit, when in reality there are infinite possibilities, just as consciousness itself is infinite.
The question that boggles my mind still quite regularly is how long is it going to take humankind to get to the point where the majority understand this? For surely as soon as this idea is accepted as truth then we can all get to the business of repairing the world and stop fighting over which religion or religious viewpoint is right or wrong.
This is the latest, and the most succinct manner in which to describe it, re cosmology that has come to me. More later.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom
That time has come, as we all knew it would. But it seemed like only yesterday that we were still a family sitting around the dining table talking about things like “college” and “boys” as if they were mysterious visions of a future far far away. First our oldest went off to college. Two years ago. It was a change to be sure. But it didn’t have as big of an impact as we expected. As the oldest always does she simply carved the path ahead for the young, but the family unit still remained… Things still continued as they always had in the “home”. There are reasons for that. But now two years later we face our youngest leaving as well. Of course Princee Little Tree and I are still in the process of having more children… That’s an entirely other chapter of entries unto itsellf. But suffice it to say that though these are her children biologically and not mine, and I still long to have children as much as I’ve longed for anything, these girls feel as though they are mine. I love and care for them as though they are. And with our youngest leaving us now to venture off to college…. with us here alone in this giant house for the first time, it puts life in an entirely new perspective.
For one thing it amazes me how going through this process makes my going to college seem like just yesterday. All the actions and rituals are exactly the same. It prods into seeing once more that life is indeed short. (No matter my usual assertions that “life is LONG”…. It all depends on the circumstance…) Our family’s time together seemed both long and short. Though we may appreciate having more alone time now, or being able to sleep in, or even the peace and quiet afforded a home without the loquacious rambling of youth, words cannot describe how much we miss her presence; and she’s only been gone for a few days.
For the last 7 days our youngest has been going through something called “rush week” i.e. a detestable series of activities designed to carve out every last bit of individuality a person may have in order that they might try to get into a sorority. If not for the sheer unadulterated joy she is experiencing now that’s she’s gotten “in”, I would proclaim this tradition to be one of the most mentally & emotionally cruel & harmful things I’ve ever witnessed in human society. Number one because it is all so completely superfluous & unnecessary. Yet it deliberately and inherently breeds a blatant exclusivity and conformity; where all are encouraged and intimidated into acting dressing looking and talking the exact same way. It’s the ANTI-Ambassador program. Take the archetype of Ed Hale. Now create something exactly opposite of everything he appears to represent. And that’s this sorority system in a nutshell.
If you’re thinking “Well my kids will never do that”, THAT’S the thing: that’s exactly what WE thought! 3 months ago I would have sworn that we did NOT raise “sorority girls”. I could never see our eldest doing anything like thhis. She is far too unique, bull headed and creative to try so hard to fit into a preconceived box that a group of others have already carved out for her before her arrival. But you just never know… Our youngest for some reason just really wanted this. Why I still don’t know. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not against it. And obviously very happy for her. She seems super happy. I’m just more stupefied, shocked, stunned and a bit horrified by the whole process. She transformed right before our eyes — in one week! Her speech, her clothes, her mannerisms, the activities she now believes to be appropriate. She walks around acting like she’s in the Girl Scouts again. It’s more than odd. And what about the girls who DON’T get in? The ones who are just too different? Too unique? Too non-white/skinny/wealthy/Christian/normal/mainstream/etc? How do they feel? How do they fit in?
Sororities are a very exclusive little niche at otherwise very large universities one soon learns. They claim to pride themselves on “diversity” publicly; but in reality their goal is to breed a small army of exact replicas, little American dolls, each not too different than the one standing next to her. Their schedules are already created for them, from sun up to sun down. So too is their favorite flower, color, music, motto (who has a favorite motto for God’s sake?); their dress and attire is dictated by “what everyone does”. I cannot recall how many hundreds of times we have heard that phrase in the last two weeks. “that’s what everyone does”. And by “everyone” she means only the 80 or so girls who are in her sorority. These are not the innovators of the future. They are the hhousewivces, mothers and worker bees. And perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. I just didn’t think that we were raising one of them.
Lest we forget that all those years ago, for those who remember the Adventures of Fishy series…. Ducky and Madelyn O’Ryan were both part of the sorority system — AND “little sisters” of some dumbass frat –before I got a hold of them in the summer after our freshman year and showed them a new way of looking at life, introducing to them a different way of approaching our college years — a life filled with individuality, self expression, deep contemplation and intellectual yearning. Along with a fair share of hallucinagens, good books and great music. They never returned to the so called “Greek life” again; because instead as intellectuals we explored the actual Greeks and not some contrived fraternal system of autonamatons. So it’s not as if I am unfamiliar with the system. More just stupefied that our little one has decided to tread into these not so dangerous or challenging waters.
For the record I do not love her any less. I will just be happy when this phase has fully left her system.
Yes I must admit that I have been completely shocked and more than slightly disturbed and concerned that this girl, this young mind who I spent so much time with, helping to shape and form into an intelligent self reliant individual, so quickly and voluntarily transformed into the prototypical TV/movie type sorority girl. But then I saw her IN the sorority. At the sorority. With the rest of the girls. They are all SO young. So innocent. So lacking in life experience. She was so happy to be there. Felt so secure and protected. She won’t be all on her own in a big college town. Instead she will have a group of 80 or so other girls — who all call themselves “sisters” –with her along for the ride. And as childish and immature and conformed and group-think as it seemed, it also felt safe fun secure and joyful. As people who love and care for her more than anyone else on earth what more could we ask for her? She seemed truly ecstatic yesterday. She was so excited to show us her new “house” and introduce us to all her new “sisters”…. How could we feel anything BUT joy and appreciation?
It was an experience that yet again reminded me that NO belief, no matter how convicted we are of it, is 100% solid or permanent. Even if it belongs to “I”.
As we rolled up into the driveway this evening after a full day of moving our youngest into her new college home it really hit me how utterly different our lives will be now; both girls now gone for good. At least for the time being. It’s a surreal feeling that slowly creeps up on you. The reality of their permanent absence and all that is lacking in our home now because of it. There is so much you find yourself missing, the smallest and most mundane little things. It feels like a small piece of you has been cut out….even though of course that’s not the case. The Princess takes the occasional break between crying to eat a meal or speak on the phone, understanding full well that the integration of this major transition won’t resolve or go away overnight. She cries and she cries and she cries….
Besides our plans to have more children, in whatever form they manifest, we are both very happy that the girls are so content joyful studious and healthy; one couldn’t ask for more. And we are keenly aware of how blessed we are by their beauty, and their station in life. Their success reminds us that we made plenty of mistakes along the way but must have done a few things right too. Today more than ever we are happy that we’re already completely packed up here and ready to return to New York full-time as soon as the house sells. Today it really hit home. We did good. But our work is done here. It is time to move on to the next adventure. Love. Is an amazing thing. And by her not so subtle absence, we are made very aware of how much we love her.
Cigar of the Night: a Flor De Las Antillas, sun grown wrapper, robusto. Voted Cigar of the Year this year by Cigar Aficionado Magazine, a ridiculously competitive and prestigious honor. Frankly I have no idea how they are able to choose such a label for only ONE cigar now that the craze has come and gone and the field is so over-filled with such an overwhelming amount of better than great cigars. How do you choose? One assumes they just stick with the numbers, as in which cigar had the highest overall rating all year round in their various different tastings throughout the year and from there they aim for consistency. Which cigar continued to rate high at every single tasting regardless of size. Many so called aficionados don’t realize that all those different names just represent different sizes and nothing more. The cigars themselves are the same. Same wrapper, filler and binder and even label. Just a slightly different length and diameter. It always amazes me when you ask a guy what he’s smoking and he’ll say a Montecristo and then you’re like “which one?” and he’ll rattle off something like “it’s a robusto.” Well yeah buddy, I can see that from here. But WHICH Montecristo are you smoking? They make about five different cigar lines. At least. Robusto of course just refers to the size of the cigar. Which by the way nine times out of ten happens to be my favorite.
So what about this one? Cigar of the YEAR! A huge achievement. I’m not sure I’d go so far as calling it that quite yet. I can think of other cigars I’d rather be smoking right now. Davidoff Milleniums are always amazing. Diamond Crown. Opus X. A cuban Cohiba of course but that isn’t fair. And of course the Anniversario by … can’t remember at the moment…but you know the one. Those could be my absolute favorites if I had to choose.
Luckily we don’t though. Have to choose. So on occasion I like to try the new ones. This Flor de las Antillas is strong first off. Yes it’s a tasty sun grown, which has replaced maduro as my favorite wrapper. But this is no Chateau Fuente Sun Grown. It’s just way too strong for that. Too much bite. Definitely an “after a large meal at the end of the day” smoke. It’s smooth — don’t get me wrong — but it’s still pretty harsh compared to other more elegant sun growns out there. It did have a great start though. Very tasty. Raisin. Chocolate. Cocoa. But a harsh finish. All charcoal and tar. Definitely one you put out early rather than smoke till you burn your fingers. That’s something I dislike very much in a fine cigar. It should be as delicious on the final puff as it was on the first. A difficult achievement. And one that this Best Cigar of the Year did not pull off for me this evening. But there is always tomorrow. They rated it a whopping 96! I’d give it a 92. Still damn good. Just not incredible. And that’s “taste and opinion” in a nutshell. No accounting for it. It just is. Up to each individual.
A group of wide-eyed young Mormons stopped by the other day. I couldn’t help but come into contact with them, for I was already outside, doing some writing and enjoying a good cigar. They seemed like nice enough guys and there was no way I was going to get away with not at least having to say hello to them. They come through our neighborhood at least once every few weeks. From the outside they seem like just about as normal and average American youth as you can get. Well-attired, clean cut, polite and friendly. Regardless of what I was doing, and no matter how much I really didn’t want to engage with these kids — for I was deeply immersed in what I was doing at the time, there was just no way I was going to get away with not at least saying hello to them. And so I did. Though I didn’t look up from my laptop, figuring that might be an easy fix to not having to engage fully with them for an extended period of time. I am well aware that the majority of people these pubescent traveling missionaries come into contact with on the streets and in the neighborhoods of modern America avoid them like the plague, and though I get that — no one invites them into their space; they are by all accounts unwelcomed invaders into our personal space in this very modern world — I also see the advantage of unplanned spontaneous person to person contact with strangers now and then. We just never know when the universe is going to drop some unexpected miracle into our lives. How else would we know of it unless we stay open enough to allow such occurrences to transpire occasionally?
So rather than shoo these short haired, short-sleeve starched-white shirt wearing boys away as most people tend to do, I felt the least I could do was be polite, say hello back to them & listen to what they had to say. I did warn them that if their intention was to stay committed to the faith of their upbringing that speaking to me would be the last thing in the world that they should probably do. But they laughed off my warning and came over to where I was sitting. Frankly once we were past the uncomfortable tension of me calling out how ridiculous the very foundation of the Mormon religion is, I enjoyed our ensuing conversation and their company. I was intrigued and impressed with their youthful vigor and their eager longing to proselytize what they take to be the “Word of God”. The whole time of course I was very very aware that in reality the beliefs and so called doctrines of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (it’s formal name) is nothing but the word of a shameless, ego-maniacal huckster pathologically addicted to not telling the truth, the infamous Joseph Smith.
If you aren’t familiar with this particular “religion”, do yourself a favor and check into it. At least enough to know what it is and what it’s about. It’s important. Even if you aren’t a religious or spiritual person, remember for a moment that former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon. So too is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Mormonism, or LDS as it is called for short, is a surprisingly widespread and popular religion in the United States, especially in the West. If it were your average run of the mill Christian denomination, with a shade or two of different colors splashed here or there for texture, ala Methodists or Baptists, one might not feel that it would matter that much. America for better or worse is still largely a Christian nation (albeit with plenty of dissension and “texture” to be sure), and we assume that no matter what one calls it, it still falls under the Judeo-Christian-Muslim monotheistic God category. There’s a certain safety in that I suppose — (but from a larger perspective, considering how much pain and suffering Christianity has caused humanity through its history, I’m not so sure that this safety is implicitly warranted…) But there’s a certain safety even in finding out someone is a self-professed atheist or agnostic. At least we know where they stand. We know they’re intelligent and that they’ve got their head on straight and can think for themselves.
But here’s the rub: Mormonism is no average, run of the mill Christian denomination. In fact, it’s not even a Christian religion. I had always heard rumors. Attempted to read the Book of Mormon a few times. Found the basic premise of the first few pages ridiculous, so I always put it down rather quickly. But this time, I was so moved by my encounter with these young men and their sincerity, I promised them that I would look into it more. And look into I did. I easily spent 40 hours researching the Mormon faith, it’s history, it’s dogma and doctrines. They seemed so absolutely sold on it. Maybe there was something there I thought…. As always I left no stone unturned. But what I continued to find was shocking. A far more complicated and convoluted belief system than your average Hollywood SciFi movie frankly. All sorts of gods living on different planets with strange made up names roaming through space, each taking multiple wives. Real crackpot stuff. Similar to both Scientology and the Jehova’s Witness organizations. Fantasy stuff. But with one difference: it is said to be and purported to be “the word of God”.
[With Mormonism this is an oxymoron, because they don’t actually believe in ONE god, but many gods who at one point “created” the one god most of humanity is familiar with, Elohim. SO this is clearly not even a monotheistic religion number one and therefore they cannot purport that their texts are “the word of god”. We would constantly have to be asking them “which GOD is this the word of?” The other problem here is that we know academically, based on the etymology of the word “Elohim”, that it is a plural word and was originally meant to describe multiple gods, not just “one” god. Going all the way back to the Sumerian culture. This is THE basic problem with almost all things Mormon: the large majority of it’s doctrinal beliefs stem from supposed visions that their “prophet” Joseph Smith had back in the 1830s when there was no internet and well, you could possibly fool some of the people all of the time…. But in this day and age, scholars have discovered that nearly everything Smith claimed was just flat out wrong. He was either a really bad guesser or an unscrupulous liar. For example there’s a good chance that young Smith used this word “Elohim” to describe this “new god” that the other gods created and didn’t even know the real definition and origin of the word as we do today. This is just one of hundreds of examples of historical and scholarly facts that Smith got wrong and that prove without a shadow of a doubt that he was certainly no prophet.)]
Instead what we find is a man so wanton in ethics, morals and scruples that it is hard to believe that he even existed. History is challenged to find examples of people so overtly willing to make things up and pretend they’re true as this guy was. Yet an entire religion is based around his silly books. It’s astounding. He seems more the stuff of legend, rather than real life flesh and blood. Historically this is a man whose entire life from start to finish was a fraud, nearly everything he said or wrote was either plagiarized or just made up BUT passed off as (not only) his own works, but the “work of God translated through him”.
I spent about fifteen to twenty minutes in total with the young Mormon missionaries. I shared with them my own experiences with The Divine through the years and what a marvelous and miraculous experience it is indeed. I also encouraged them to continue to study and learn on their own and to not take anything related to God or the Spirit from the mouths of other men or from books, but instead realize and accept that God has the ability to and does communicate with us if our heart is longing for it (and sometimes even when it’s not) and that He/She/It will reveal themselves to us if we focus on that intention. I also shared with them my view that God, The Divine, is plenty large enough to encompass ALL of the various inventions of “God” that humankind has come up with through the millennia. This is something I wholeheartedly believe — that for the most part, human beings are safe in regards to how and where they were raised, that God’s love is infinite for us all — for are we not all but little pieces of Godness in the end (physically speaking)? As well that God would also be infinitely intelligent: He/She/It is smart enough to accept and encompass ALL the various incarnations of “God” that humanity has ever or can ever dream up — meaning that no one has to worry about there being “one true god” or “one true religion” in the end, for in the end God will sort it out and accept every soul with an equal amount of love and adoration.
But I must admit, this Mormon cult is one frighteningly crazy group. One of the strangest belief systems I have ever studied, period, or even heard of, (Scientology included). Just out of this world cuckoo stuff. I really don’t get how people are led this far astray out there into lala land. I found myself wondering just how open God truly is when it comes to Mormons… I suppose if we stick with the basic premise that God is unconditional love and forgiveness and truly understands the heart of all humankind (and even all conscious or sentient beings, human or not), with the same love and understanding that we tend to give unto ourselves, that he will even find compassion and understanding and acceptance of Mormons — especially if they’re heart is in the right place. (Not that I personally believe that is a prerequisite to receive God’s love. I don’t. But that’s another story.) But what of the LEADERS of the Mormon faith? The ones who KNOW and fully understand how full of shit it is? Does God afford them the same forgiving heart? Give them the same benefit of the doubt? I wonder.
The same thing happened to me when I researched the Jehovah’s Witness religion. Again, we are led to believe that they are “just another protestant denomination of the Christian faith”, but that is far from the truth; it’s utter rubbish. A scam perpetrated on the masses who just never bother to check it out. Jehovah’s Witnesses is another one of those non-christian cults disguised under the flag of Christendom just to easily gain followers who are familiar with or grew up with “Christian” values and ideas. When studying the beliefs and history of the Jehovah’s Witness organization I was so taken aback by the horrendous nature of their twisted views that I found it very hard to believe that such a thing even exists legally as a religion. A science fiction or horror film? Okay sure. But a legal religion? Not possible. Yet it is.
So repugnant and so skewed the Jehovah’s Witness ideology is that as I studied it I was overwhelmed by a treacherous feeling, something truly evil lurking in the room, or at least in consciousness. I don’t say this lightly. It was palpable, something dark, heavy and wicked. I decided that I had learned enough and put away the need to learn anymore. I felt very uncomfortable, as if I was slowly being absorbed by some kind of dark evil force. True story. Perhaps I was just tired and my imagination was getting the best of me. But so what? Something either is prone to make us feel good, or make us feel bad. In all matters we should attempt to set our sights and our attention on the things that make us feel good. In turn we will have that same effect on the world around us.
Consider for a moment that the whole Jackson family were and are Jehovah’s Witnesses…. Poor Michael, if he were raised with those kinds of ideas, didn’t stand a chance at feeling the joy of God’s love, which is a very sad thing; considering what a beautiful soul he seemed to be at times (despite his alleged various weaknesses…). I wonder what life might have been like for him had he known the kind of love and support that I myself have experienced through the years from the Christian faith…
Being The Ambassador carries with it a natural inclination to feel very open minded when it comes to people of all cultures and faith traditions. I must admit that I am not often turned off or offended by, nor critical or judgmental of people who don’t have the same beliefs that I do. If anything I find this interesting, intriguing and life affirming. But I just can’t help but feel critical of the founders and present day “leaders” of the Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness faith traditions now that I have sat down and learned about what they actually believe in and teach; for not only are they flat out crazy and ridiculous and fantastical, but they are also blatantly false, fallacious, erroneous and fraudulent. Worst of all, this practice of spreading these kinds of rigid rules and laws that govern the whole of a person’s life based on the destiny of their very soul is flat out dangerous. Instead of being helpful and life affirming it seems downright harmful and often times life-denying. This is not what we commonly associate with Christianity. Nor with any religious belief system usually. Think of Judaism, one of the most life affirming religions we know of. But with Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses there is a lot of suffering, heavy indoctrination and brainwashing, a strong intimidating corporate hierarchy in place to frighten and control. These systems are not in place to love heal and protect. But rather to frighten people into submission. We just don’t realize it if we’re on the outside of them, because they are trained to NOT tell people what they believe and to try to “act as normal as possible” when in the company of non-Mormons or non-believers. I’d submit that if you have to act in any way that is different when in the company of strangers than you would act when with your own kind that something is wrong from the get-go.
I have no problem if people choose to believe crazy myths and outrageous legends — think of all the lunatics there are out in the world, with their Matrix-like lifestyles or their Renaissance Fair get-ups, etc etc… even if it’s just for fun or the experience of it. But not if they start acting as if it’s “truth” as in “the word of God”, knowingly doing so in a belief system that has already proved to be made up, or stolen from other works, fraudulent or downright dangerous; especially to the good folks they most likely know are being taken advantage of through the perpetuation of these myths and this system. That’s no longer for “fun or a good laugh or a cool experience”. It’s just plan evil. This Church of Later Day Saints as well as the Watchtower organization that controls the JWs seem a very wicked thing. It makes me wonder how the people in it’s leadership are able to continue to defend it or practice it or promote it in good conscience.
I would say that I am flabbergasted that the government allows such things to exist given how dangerous they are, flat out life controlling cults… but I understand that we are very lucky to have a constitutional right to freedom of religion in the United States; think about that for a moment…. In the United States a person can create ANYTHING they want to and call it a religion. One could turn the work of J.R. Tolkein or Game of Thrones into a religion if they wanted to and open up a church and worship a pretend God or anything else they came up with; they could have followers and a congregation and raise as much money as they want to under the pretense of being a “religion” — no matter WHAT they believe. It’s insanely liberal when you think about it. So it’s no wonder that crazy-assed cults like Jehovahs Witnesses and Mormons exist here. And all of this is perfectly legal and protected by law. So the government can’t really do anything about people passing off fantastical science fiction stories as religion and becoming rich beyond measure by doing so. It’s too bad in a way. It feels like we are giving up one thing — protection from being duped, to keep another — protection from religious persecution.
Perhaps it balances itself out in the end. For those of us who have a level head enough to not fall prey to these dangerous ideologies, it probably does balance out. But for those poor folks who do fall prey to them, it’s concerning. Any compassionate person would be greatly concerned about the health and welfare of those who are raised under the chains of these strict and insane belief systems, or even those who come to them later in life, perhaps out of a momentary vulnerability or a sincere longing to have a closer relationship with the Divine. One ponders if we might not be a better society by having some sort of protection mechanism in place. A one stop shop for religious shoppers where they can compare beliefs, ideas, doctrines of faith, testimonials from others, legal records. A health.gov or an Angie’s List for religions. Perhaps that might help people not get sucked into these things so easily and at the same time protect the religious freedom that we enjoy here in the States. The thing is that no matter how good of an idea this is, the religious powers that be in the US would never allow it. They’re so damn rich that they will continue to contribute as much money as is necessary to prevent such a thing from ever becoming even possible, let alone the law. For better or worse, religions still have a huge influence in America. Can’t say I believe that to be a healthy thing.
There is more of course. There is always is. But for now this is enough. If you’re like me, you’ll want to learn more. I’ve embedded a few videos below that will make that easy. Fair warning: frightening stuff. You may never look at these religions the same way again. But that’s a good thing. Consider yourself lucky.
In regards to comments flying around online and in the media about black people over the last few days, I must confess it does lead one to come up with one conclusion more than any other. And that is that as a nation America just doesn’t care that much about black people. Or put a different way, most people in America just don’t care about black people. There I said it. Someone had to. Im not the first and I certainly won’t be the last. People are saying it all over the country at the moment. At least those who are paying attention. And that’s the key to this whole thing: America cares so little about black people that not that many people are even discussing this issue. Most of the people who are are black. And that’s insane considering that not just one but two unarmed Americans were killed in cold blood by cops in the last 30 days.
Just compare the response to these last two murders of unarmed black men by police to almost anything else going on around the country or the world… Those are the last things anyone is thinking about. The american media and the people are talking about the protests in Ferguson Missouri more than they’re talking about the actual cause of the protests. It’s a nightly public spectacle akin to a circus, everybody tuning in each evening to see what those crazy people down in Missouri will do next.
American citizens murdered in plain view by police. Yet no one cares. Just imagine if Erik Gardner — strangled to death by four cops in New York City last month — would have been a WHITE husband and father trying to make ends meet… The response would have been catastrophically different. It would be front page news all over the world! “New York Police Strangle Unarmed Father of Five To Death!” But because he was black… That’s a different story entirely. The truth is that NO ONE EVEN KNOWS WHO ERIK GARDNER IS.
Remember Jon Bennett Ramsey? That cute little white beauty queen girl who went missing 20 years ago? The country went crazy! That drama and saga went on for decades and prompted countless fortunes for countless people, the media, the family, people writing books about it, TV specials, etc etc. Erik Gardner — strangled to death on the street like an animal by four cops live on a camera phone?!?! NOTHING. Except protests from the black community. It might as well not have happened.
I think it’s something that we just need to face about America. Black people are at best an endured leftover from days gone by… A former means to end but still around. Americans needed them, so they used them, and then when they no longer were allowed to use them as they needed, they set them free and said “alright we’re done with you. So go on and get out of here. But there’s no law that says that we have to CARE”.
And since the great Emancipation Proclamation that’s how it’s been. A very small freedom where they’ve had to fight and claw and struggle for every new right, law, liberty or privilege they’ve begrudgingly been given by the white powers that be. We must remember that the Civil Rights Act didn’t come with any law that said that America had to care. They just weren’t allowed to hang black people up on trees or beat them in the city streets or segregate them from society anymore.
Another way to look at America’s view of black people perhaps is as an unfortunate token that America tries to make the best of. Americans have very specific token roles they place black people into: here’re our token black comedians. Here’re our token black singers and musicians. Here are our token black athletes. (This is very Romanesque, the way that white America sits up on their bleachers and in their private boxes making large bets on and throwing wads of cash at these modern day gladiators as they perform for everyone down in the center of the ring…) And look here: we even have a token black president! Okay well he’s half black anyway. But still! Doesn’t that surely prove that we’ve overcome our bigotry and racist tendencies and can formally announce to the world the heralding of a new more evolved America where all men truly are equal?
But again it’s all for show. It’s a token. A trifle. Smoke and mirrors. Take a look at the actual statistics revolving around the average black American and the image looks completely different. It gets skewed and blurred from the token affection we appear to show for black people on the surface. The PRIMARY purpose of African American males in America today seems to be to fill up prisons in order to generate profits for the industrialized prison business. This is not to say that ALL black men MUST serve this purpose. It’s certainly not mandatory. And no one is saying or implying that. It’s just made very easy to imprison black men. So much so that the majority of people IN prison in America are black men. This of course leads to an all too predictable absence of men in the black communities all over America which leads to a whole host of problems waiting to happen long before they do. It becomes a circular problem that can never resolve.
Now if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re of the same mind and spirit of the kind of people who DO care about black people. Not because they’re black. But because they’re people. But we mustn’t let that compel us to believe that the rest of the country feels the same way we do. The majority of people, or better put, the majority of the people in power seem to put up with them more than care about them… America throws them a little assistance here and there in the form of welfare, food stamps, affirmative action and Medicaid. That seems to make everyone feel like “it’s all okay with the black people”; but their lives don’t seem to be valued the same way that other people’s are. If they were, we certainly wouldn’t be in a situation like this yet again, another young black boy killed in cold blood long before the prime of his life and a country at odds with itself wondering what the hell are we going to do now?
See, we have to begin to get real about this issue. The plain simple truth of this issue is this: both Gardner and Brown were unarmed, did not pose a threat, weren’t even doing anything wrong in fact, but were both murdered. In reality it doesn’t really matter who killed them. White or black. Nor does it matter too much that the alleged killers happened to be cops. What really matters is what we are going to do as a nation about these deaths — considering that it’s against the law to kill people.
It seems that every time a black person gets killed in America — especially if it’s by a white person — their life means a little less than if they were white. The law against murder doesn’t seem to apply if the person who was murdered is black. This may or may not be the case in reality. But this is certainly how it seems to the world. Trayvon Martin was just one example — a very public one — of this anomalous exception to the law; it showed clearly how little we value life in America if that life happens to be of color. The Trayvon case shocked the country. And the world looked on with horror. How the hell can they allow a man to get off Scott-free who freely admitted to shooting and killing an unarmed teenage boy? Oooohhhh, he was BLACK…. Oh okay, we get it. And that seems to be how it is in America today. Not much different than it was one-hundred years ago. Look at this way: as of this writing, the four police officers who strangled Erik Gardner to death in broad daylight were still going to work every day. This is by all accounts an insane reality. And no, there’s no way in hell this would be the case if Gardner had been a white girl, as opposed to a black male.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone
In other news, we’ve just learned that the devilishly seductive Lauren Bacall passed away today, which I must admit is, though not surprising — for she was well ahead in years, still a strange coincidence in the wake of Robin Williams passing just yesterday. I was never a big Bacall fan. But I must say that she’s always enjoyed a special place in my heart due to the commonly known fact that she pledged an undying love so deep for Humphrey Bogart that she stated she would never and did never get over him and refused to ever marry again. I really admire that. That’s true love. Something I believe we should all be lucky enough to experience at least once in our lives. And it also shows a devotion that seems strangely absent from our modern world. God bless her soul.
In case you’ve missed it — and lord knows it would be easy, for there is too much news right now in our midst for our own good frankly, so much of it so hauntingly bad and tragic, I do want to point out something very disturbing unearthed in our collective underbelly. Yet another case of the police, those honorable men and women sworn to protect and serve us all equally, killing yet another black man, this time a youth, merely 18 years old and a week away from college. His name was Michael Brown. It happened in a town outside of St. Louis, Missouri called Ferguson. Here’s the link to read more: http://time.com/3104128/michael-brown-ferguson-cop-shooting-protests/
Obviously there is rioting going on. Where would there NOT be riots if an 18 year old was shot down in cold blood by a cop? No matter what color he or she was? Imagine if it would have been an 18 year old teenage girl? There’d be a lot more than rioting going on. So in a way, this has nothing to do with color and everything to do with shock and rage. But because this WAS yet another black male killed in cold blood, this is another in a long line of injustices for a community who has already suffered far too much shock and rage in their history in America, especially as of late.
To make matters worse, today it was reported that the FAA has announced a no fly zone over the entire community — meaning ALL MEDIA are not allowed to fly over the town to cover the story. Yeah. Seriously. This is real American corporate cover up bullshit at the federal level. Google it.
These blatant murders & the attempted cover ups of both #MichaelBrown & #ErikGardner by police officers are showing us clear evidence of an overt racism, especially towards black men, that still exists in the United States. The cavalier & carefree attitude that the police departments AND the local and federal government has regarding these deaths shows a heartless disregard for human life IF that life happens to be African American. This is our wake up call moment. In case anyone still wants to proclaim that America has freed itself of racism now that we’ve elected an African American as president. No longer can we claim that “Trayvon Martin was an isolated case or an exception”. Rather he was another in a long line of unfortunate victims of this deep seated bigotry that exists still in some people in the United States, one that we as a nation still refuse to accept or deal with.
Had Martin or Gardner or Brown been a cute little white girl…shot in cold blood on a city street… What then? It would be FRONT PAGE news. Her pretty little face plastered everywhere. The murderer a national villain overnight. Instead we don’t even know the name of the officer who killed Brown yet. Missouri police won’t release it. It’s complete hypocrisy. Perhaps they’re just trying to protect the man’s security. Knowing full well that his life would most likely be in jeopardy. But let us hope that the African American community can keep their Shiite together and make this one a case for the courts. Because that’s what needs to happen. The same for the murder of Erik Gardner. We have that one on tape for Gods sake. They strangled the poor guy to death. The bastards. And then claim it was self defense. I’ve watched it. There was no self defense happening there. Just a couple of racists assholes man handling a black guy. Those officers need to be tried in court, found guilty and serve life sentences.
If this does NOT happen — if the powers that be in this country yet again find a way to weasel out of justice being served for the blatant murder of one of our citizens — then we will know for sure that the racism that exists in our country climbs all the way up the ladder to the very top and beyond. And IF that does happen yet again, ANYTHING but life sentences for these officers, then it is my sincere belief that re American people have every right to do WHATEVER THEY DEEM NECESSARY to seek the justice that w all deserve. Mass protests and riots would only be the beginning of what would be entirely justifiable to seek the justice more than deserved and long overdue for African American men in this country.
We need a clean sweep of this system. From top to bottom. And to start we need a national dialogue about why black men are so despised and reviled still in this country. The ones they can’t lock up they kill. Frankly I believe it is fear. They’re different (at least from white men…) so they’re scary. And what frightens us we say we hate. In reality they don’t really hate them. They don’t even know them. They’re just frightened of them. So they shoot on sight. Without even thinking for a moment about the fact that they’re another living breathing human being. It’s a very sad state that we are in still with this issue.
Thank God we are talking about it again. But lord curse us for it having to come down to this to start the conversation. Two more men shot down in cold blood.
And though I totally get that president Obama saying anything “extra” about this would smell of a kind of reverse racism due to his being half-black, I get that, but at this point ANY American president would and should speak out, for this seems larger than just “taking care of our own”; it seems like a well hidden but deep seated national epidemic of a problem that needs to be addressed. It needs national representation and leadership. And frankly who better than a sitting US president who just happens to be half black? Especially right now as we celebrate the 50 year anniversary of Freedom Summer and the civil rights act et al.?
Four to five weeks ago I got this idea to start listening to specific brainwave stimulating tones while sleeping in order to up my cerebral potential and increase certain aspects of consciousness. My first thought was to purchase a few Hemisync programs from The Monroe Institute, believing them to still be the leading researchers in brainwave manipulation. But after a little research (primarily looking through YouTube for Hemisync programs that might have been uploaded), I discovered that this field has made tremendous progress. The Monroe Institute is no longer the only player on the pitch. There are a variety of different theories and technologies out there now from all over the world in the field of brain and consciousness stimulation and modulation using tones, monaural tone tech, binaural beats, 532 Hz, A432 retuning tones, chakra balancing, third eye and pineal gland stimulation, subliminal affirmations, audible affirmations, meditations, etc etc.
This research still continues on my part, and I’ll report on it at a later date IF i decide that I’ve found ONE technology that I believe works better than another. So far I am enjoying and seeming to benefit from using a variety of them — every night, while sleeping. It seems to be working.
As often happens in these scenarios — especially for those of us who tend to have a broad attention span (sounds better than ADD doesn’t it?), while studying this particular field, I chanced upon other topics of research too, specifically various videos dealing with expanded consciousness. Some of you probably remember. I began posting what I was finding to Twitter and Facebook to share whenever I found anything that was particularly earth shattering. I quickly landed in the world of Sacred Geometry (which really was mind blowing), then ancient knowledge meets cutting edge new science. For weeks this is all I studied. I managed to get through every bit of new data that up until that point I was not familiar with or hadn’t already studied. And it is, I must admit, very interesting stuff. I created playlists on YouTube, so if anyone else wants to catch up with the latest research in these fields, they can just go to these Playlists.
What you’ll notice though is that the playlists tend to have a lot of cross pollination. Some of the videos clearly go into the Ancient Knowledge heading. Some of them start veering into the Conspiracy Theories heading. Some of them go into Alternative Spirituality. And still another group tends to lean more in the direction of Alternative Anthropology, Archeology or Cosmology.
The problem is due to the fact that just about everything that we think we know about ALL of these subjects is WRONG. The whole world is walking around with all of this alleged scientific or religious or historical data in their heads that we’ve learned since we were kids, but it’s all old, outdated and some of it just flat out made up bs. So once you start down this path of “catching up” in one arena, say the history of human civilization, you soon enter into the Conspiracy field — because so much of this information IS commonly known among certain circles but kept from the mainstream. But as soon as you want to learn more, go deeper, then you have to leave the broad world of Conspiracies and head into a more specific field where the actual researchers in that specific domain are doing the cutting edge research — i.e. anthropology, economics, religious studies, etc.
What I noticed is that no matter where I went and what I studied, everything seemed to lead to the same conclusion: there is a mass global conspiracy going on by a very small group of elites who know a whole lot more about the world we live and the history of this world than the common person does, and they use this knowledge to gain and keep power and control the masses. Makes sense. Nothing new there. Though much of the latest data was new to me. It was good to catch up. But further down the rabbit hole you begin to hit this — what i would call — “dead zone”…. a place where ALL the documentaries tend to freeze… they are TRYING to tell you something, they desperately WANT to tell you something… but they just aren’t sure WHAT to tell you. Because everyone has either their own viewpoint or their own agenda OR they simply don’t know anything beyond their own personal conclusion.
For example, many of these theories tend to stop at the “the elites who one might call The Illuminati control the world are all satanists who worship Lucifer who is actually The Lord of Light and not really a bad person but they are using this power and all the secret technologies they possess to keep the masses down through the New World Order and stay in control of the world” idea. Okay fine. We know that. That’s their big conclusion. Leading governments, the royals and the Catholic Church are all occultists and/or satanist. Great. We already know that. They possess secret knowledge and these are the signs and symbols of this whole charade etc etc. Okay so that’s sort of the beginner stage. But then it just stops. They tend to end there and go off into a new age lala land of outlandish presumptions or pie in the sky fairytales about how one day the people will be able to take control of the world back through either raising mass consciousness or through mass global revolution. Yep. One can see that happening as well.
But if you look carefully enough through all the various information that’s out there you start to notice one or two very interesting ideas that don’t really get dissected down too much, at least not on the surface: and that is the idea that the human race was not created by a capital G God, but rather by lower case g gods, nor were we descended from early hominids ala evolution theory, but rather we were created initially as a slave race by an extraterrestrial group of beings.
As you might remember I first came upon this idea in ONE book in 1995. That was it. Then this whole Ancient Alien theory really began to take off over the last ten to fifteen years. To the point where it has it’s own mainstream TV show — at least here in the Americas. So it’s reached the mainstream now. Back when i first read it, it seemed like such a foreign concept to me, that I must admit that I just sort of decided to leave it alone for the time being. I didn’t see how it could really help or benefit me in any way to know that. Plus it really bumped up against my own theological and spiritual viewpoints and practices.
Fast forward 19 years and here we are. You may remember a few years ago when I decided to read the whole bible. Circa 2005 to 2007. Every now and then I would post something to the social networks about how crazy it was or how illogical it was or how made up it all seemed, etc. But there were a few sticking points for sure. Such as if God made just Adam and Eve, and they had these two sons, Cain and Abel, where did these other women come from that Cain and Abel married? Things like that. Simple logical things. Obviously there is only one answer if one is to follow this path of thinking: Eve’s sons made love to Eve and she gave birth to a few females, who would have been Cain and Abel’s sisters and they in turn also became their wives as well. In other words the entire human race was borne from incest. Strange and disturbing to say the least.
But then you go deeper. You begin to study the ancient texts where the Torah (the Old Testament portion of the Bible) actually came from. And that’s where it gets really interesting. You begin to discover little known and discussed facts like the fact that the Book of Genesis is actually two or more different books combined — totally separate books written by two totally different people at two different times. But they are so similar to each other PLUS we aren’t sure which one was written first, so biblical scholars just combine them together to make one book. That’s why many of the stories in the Torah and the Bible are told twice, but often contradict each other. Most Jews and Christians aren’t even aware of this, and if they are they just decide not to think about it. Frankly this whole sphere is so filled with anomalies like this that one can easily see how and why most Christians and Jews do not bother to even acknowledge or entertain these facts — they probably don’t even bother recognizing them consciously. Only scholars do. Because It’s simply too mind boggling to most people.
Here’s one that has always boggled me and has continued to stick my attention for years: All through the beginning of the book of Genesis, this “god” continues to speak of himself as if there is more than one of him. He uses the pronouns “us” and “we” and “ourselves” as if he/she is speaking to a group of people. It’s quite odd. And it’s right there in plain site for anyone to read and see. Now before we go on let us acknowledge that 99% of religious leaders out there, people who we call pastors or preachers or priests or rabbis or ministers are NOT invested in studying or researching to gain knowledge or get to the bottom of any great mysteries. That’s not their mission or goal. Their goal is to provide spiritual or religious leadership and pastoral guidance and comfort to their congregation. So they may know certain things… but they don’t tend to know the deep scholarly stuff or the latest cutting edge academic research.
There is also the problem with anthropology. This whole theory of evolution that states that human beings evolved from lower form apes and hominids, BUT they have all these giant missing pieces — they call it “the missing link” — that WOULD prove they were right IF they could only find evidence of other species or animals that they could fit in between we Homo sapiens and these earlier hominids like homo erectus or homo habilus or cromagnun man etc. The problem is that they just don’t have any physical evidence of any of this being true.
Next let’s jump back over to the religious and history books for a moment. Turns out that real scholars — ones withOUT an agenda to prove that the religions of the world are true or accurate or even real — have known for centuries that the Judeo Christian sacred writings that we call the bible etc are actually ancient texts taken from earlier ancient texts from the Sumerians, the Phoenicians, the Babylonians, the Persians and the Medes. The Jews may think that they invented this God and these stories — the Israelites actually. But scholars know that they didn’t. They were just copying the work of other more ancient peoples that they came into contact with. Even ideas such as the creation story and the creation of human beings etc etc.
By this point scholars can even tell you WHICH ancient texts most of these writings come from. It’s incredible how much progress ALL of these different fields of study have made over the last ten to fifty years. From genetics to religious to history to anthropological studies, each of the different fields have made incredible gains in what we know about the history of the world we live and our own history.
In a nutshell, human beings were evidently first created about about 200,000 years ago initially as a slave race by the Anunnaki — a more advanced extraterrestrial race of beings who originally came from a planet known as Nibiru, which happens to actually exist in our own solar system but our scientists have just not discovered it yet. Before you scoff, bare in mind that these SAME ancient Sumerian texts also tell of there being one or two extra planets in our solar system — whereas we have always known there to just be 9 in total — and over the last ten years sure enough scientists have indeed discovered two more planets in our solar system, — I believe the first one they called Sedna and the second one just discovered this year VP2012…(but check on that…) making the total count now 11 total planets in our solar system. Who would have ever thought that the number of planets in our solar system would be different when we were adults compared to when we were children? That fact alone is enough to make anyone remotely intelligent at least consider to start to rethink everything we’ve been taught about our origins.
If one reads the Bible or the Torah with this NEW understanding of what it is actually writing about — OR better still, goes back to the original source material, the ancient texts of the Sumerians and Babylonians, and starts rereading with this new understanding of what and WHO they were actually writing about these texts make a LOT more sense. It’s not some giant wrathful vengeful God in the sky who was bored and lonely and thus created humankind out of nothingness who wants us to now worship him or he’ll send us to hell for an eternity. This is all just garbage that lower minded humans added onto these ancient writings because, one, they either forgot what the real story was, or two, as some conspiracy theorists claim, they did KNOW what the ancient texts really meant, but they hid the real meaning of the stories from the people and invented this giant god in the sky figure and all the baggage that goes along with him — like religion and heaven and hell and other such rewards and punishment ideas — in order to control the majority of the people on earth through fear of the unknown and fear of the afterlife. It makes perfect sense.
In fact, do it yourself. Go back and start rereading the Torah or the Bible based on this new idea of WHO the “gods” were and WHY they created us and HOW they created us. It all starts to make a LOT more sense.
Here’s the deal: My intention here over the next few days, weeks, months or years is not to try to explain this to you the reader or anyone else, nor to try to prove it; there’s way too much evidence now out there in such a wide variety of different fields of human study to doubt these theories. The idea of evolution, at least to me now, is a joke. But more likely it’s a hoax being perpetrated on purpose to steer us away from learning the true nature of the origins of human beings. And the same can be said about the more mainstream theories of religious origins, i.e. a God created human beings because he was bored or lonely. Again, it’s always seemed rather silly to say the least… BUT we’ve made it seem plausible by attaching higher ideals to it such as “divine consciousness” etc etc. No. None of it now to me even seems plausible now that I have learned what I have learned.
But rather than try to explain it here OR try to prove it, I will use this space here in the Transcendence Diaries to just make my own notes and ask my own questions. What I will also do is cite sources and resources so anyone can begin to study the same materials I have been studying over the last few months and years which will allow them to decide for themselves what they believe.
If you’re interested in starting to dive into this research yourself, check out this VERY basic playlist that I created here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7Cl0OHflU1JAElAKLXd3g8JCDu2LL6_z
At the very least it gives you a starting place or launching pad.
Questions that have arisen for me are the following:
Since we’ve made so much progress in this research over the last 20 years (which I hadn’t realized), do ANY modern religious scholars KNOW what’s really up? I’m referring to Christian, Judaic & Islamic scholars associated with actual churches or religions, NOT academics… (The academics are the ones spearheading this research. Clearly they know exactly what’s what.) But what about more mainstream religious leaders who also happen to be highly intelligent and/or curious…. Do THEY know what the Torah & Bible are really talking about & really referring to? Are some of them hiding the truth from their “flock”? Or are they too as clueless as everyone else is/was? That’s what I keep coming back to…
And let us say that this now-new but once-old and readily-known theory of the origins of human beings IS true… Does that discount or exclude the idea that a capital G GOD exists? Wouldn’t these ancient beings, the Anunnaki, still have to have been created at some point in time way back when? Sure they may be way more advanced than WE are and they’ve been in existence for a lot longer in the universe than we have, but they still need an origin as well. Someone or something still would have had to create them. THIS is something to contemplate.
What it comes down to, still, for me, is that consciousness still is the most likely source of ALL creation, both matter and energy. rather than coming from or out of matter and energy, consciousness gives life shape and form to matter and energy. So yes even more advanced civilizations — some that may have created we human beings — were still at some point created from a higher consciousness, just as the universe itself was at some point.
In other words, on a deeper level, WHEN we pray — if one prays that is, just WHO are we praying to? If we were in fact genetically engineered as a slave race by a more advanced species of beings, THEY would be (and ARE according to cutting edge modern religious scholars) the “gods” that all of these holy books were written about, all of these creation stories are actually about this more advanced species — to ancient earthlings they certainly would seem like “gods”. So now when we pray, assuming all this time that it was to capital G God, are we REALLY praying to God? Or can we not even be sure really that a capital G God really exists? Frankly at this point this is something that I believe that each of us is going to have to explore on our own — within our own consciousness — in order to try to discover what turns out to be true to us. More of a psychic or meditative practice in our own personal consciousness and hopefully through which we can eventually tap into some form of a higher cosmic consciousness in order to really learn what’s really going on.
This is what I hope to do on my own through my own meditative practices and prayer. As always I will take notes here in the Diaries.
PS — I am currently reworking the book/presentation “Not Quite The Meaning of Life and Everything In Between” — something I hadn’t worked on since 2008. It’s a more visual presentation dealing with and explaining these same ideas about cosmology and consciousness etc.