My Father passed on my 55th birthday. If his body had survived he would have been 100 years old this year going on 101. He’s a better father and friend since he passed than when he was alive.
He was highly intelligent with an incredible vocabulary (which rubbed off on me). He taught me logic and debating while using these tools to brainwash me into his way of thinking and believing – the conservative mindset. At the same time, he modeled being a free thinker. Well I could be free as long as I thought within his parameters of acceptable thinking and behaviors. Nevertheless he was proud of my intellectual prowess while he occupied his body and I felt this and am grateful.
He was very self-centered and a narcissist. He belittled my mother’s non-rational intuition as if he was admonishing a child. When I was a kid I wanted to defend my mom but didn’t know how. My dad was very fearful all his life and over-compensated by having to be “right” and angry at all costs even if that meant bullying others and “shouting them into submission.”
After he passed the shell of his fragile damaged ego fell away and he became the sweet innocent that I had seen in photographs of his childhood. We share love and occasional communication. He has told me he is proud of me especially after I published my first novel – a fantasy – The Green Man of Destiny.
This is for you Dad as you really are – not some patriarchal definition of a man afraid and always defending himself but a Dad with a boundless curiosity about everything and a dorky sense of humor.
This is for my Dad with a boundless heart and intellect exploring consciousness as a sweet curious boy in the world beyond the corporeal body.
The YouTube Video I saw made sense in the narrowest of parameters (and has been taken down by YouTube btw).
The video claimed that viruses can be killed through high heat at 133 ˚ F. While this may be true there are a number of fallacies at work here.
When you breathe in through your nose or mouth viruses are inhaled into your lungs. THEY DON’T STAY IN YOUR NOSE – Oh yeah, we’re just waiting our turn to get into your lungs. Really?
You can’t blow-dry your nose 24/7
What about your mouth? Many people breathe in through the mouth and/or nose.
Touching surfaces and transfer the virus into your eyes – the mucus membrane of your eyes. The eyes could get infected through aerosol carrying viruses contacting the eyes.
Blow drying your mouth & eyes seem – well – stupid. And dangerous to the eyes.
Isn’t this an excuse to sell hair driers to people that don’t already have them?
All things that seem reasonable at first glance hit our fear buttons and encourage us to skip our common sense. If you see a claim that seems reasonable don’t jump on it immediately. Don’t let you fear be your guide. Our bodies may feel the fear while our emotions are bypassed and we jump on a solution.
Here logic is your friend.
First – allow yourself to calm down so you can think through the “solution”. In the case of the Blow-Dryer – the fact that it was taken down – says something. Second check with the CDC website, or other websites that don’t spout conspiracy theories. Wait a day or two and re-visit the information.
Think about the Blow-Drier in a broader context. If all the viruses were hanging out in your nose before they crept into your nasal passages down your throat into your body, then sure use the blow-dryer. But if you’re breathing the Blow Dryer while it might kill off a few its not going to get most of them.
What did we all do when we didn’t see the negative, downside of thinking and communicating on Mercury Retrograde? I got a second-hand report that Mercury Retrograde starts affecting everyone 3 days before it actually goes retrograde. There is a phenomenon in astrology and astronomy where a planet appears to stand still in relation to Earth. This is called stationing. That three-day period has nothing to do with Mercury stationing. It has more to do with fueling the Chicken-Little hysteria and “The Blame Mercury Retrograde Game”. You too can play so you can go wild and crazy and up your stress levels. Sounds like fun, right? NOT! The three-day period before Mercury retrograde is usually less than half a day when stationing is in play.
Stationing Explained —– During the summer solstice the amount of daylight around June 21st only changes by seconds leading up to 6/21 and the same in the days following. It could be up to 20 days of only changes in seconds in the amount of daylight. This is an example of stationing in the Northern Hemisphere near or above the Tropic of Cancer in the continental US and other countries that fall near the Tropic of Cancer. Move further from Earth and stationing becomes longer and seconds moves to minutes and degrees.
Pluto (non-planet, though still considered a planet in astrology) takes a longer time to station than Mercury. Mercury going retrograde on July 7th took 10 hours 7 minutes of stationing before retrograding at 4:15 pm PDT. Pluto stations (appears to stand still beginning on 9/28/19 goes direct – out of retrograde on 10/2 and continues to station until 10/8/19 for eleven days of stationing.
Retrograde Mercury has gotten more bad press than any other retrograding planets. Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for 3 weeks.
Pluto and Mercury in retrograde —– Pluto an outer planet is the transformational planet. Pluto destroys in order to create something new from the ashes. When it transits a planet, a house – such as the ascendant read: personality presented to the world; or mid-heaven read: meaning of life and / or career – work, it wreaks havoc. But, since no one pays much attention this challenge is squandered by most. Pluto has been in retrograde since April 24 and will go direct on October 2, it will affect the greater population and world more intensely and those born in January, November, August and April in the most challenging ways on these dates: 10th through the 16th approximately. Pluto will have been retrograding 5 months, 1 week and 2 days. But, oh yeah, blame all of Pluto retrograding on Mercury. Just kidding.
Part of Being a Change Agent —– People who know a little folklore about Mercury Retrograde and not much about astrology or other retrograding planets load more importance on Mercury Retrograde rather than take responsibility for their feelings, behaviors and decisively act. Other Western Astrologers get into the fear game too, in my opinion, and many don’t as well. Many Western Astrologers talk about the shadow period after a planet retrogrades and goes direct it covers the degrees it went over while retrograding and this has significance. This is astrologers being influenced by predatory capitalism and sloppy thinking after all a retrograde “motion” is an optical illusion. The only “shadow” experience doesn’t have to do with a shadow at all. When a planet retrogrades, our experiences are one of increased intensity due to the planet’s proximity to Earth. Retrograde is indicative of two factors astronomically: 1. It “appears” to go backwards across the zodiac in relationship to our point of view on Earth (Animation Gif of Retrograding Mars); and 2. The retrograding planet is as close to Earth as it will be in the course of its orbit around our star, the Sun.
Retrogrades are About Intensity —–Vedic or Jyotish Astrologers interpret retrograde motion as an increase of intensity of the attributes of the retrograde planet due to its proximity to Earth (as close as it will be in its orbit). Western Astrologers believe that the energies of the planet are turned inward making life difficult and, in my opinion, setting up a victim mind-set. When it goes direct its orbit is farther away from earth, so less intense.
Taking Command during Mercury Retrogrades —– Once a belief has been created, perceptual filters formed where like-others and/or community shares a belief then free-floating fears and anxieties become attached to the belief and it is re-enforced. This can be said of any belief.
One example of a Change-Agent is a willingness to examine beliefs especially ones based on fears and anxieties even if they are mild.
Possible steps to overcoming beliefs that block our path towards personal truth:
Observing oneself dispassionately with regard to gathering information. If judgments arise suspend them, differ them and/or soften them. Don’t go into fix-it mode. Observing is the first step. You are gathering information about yourself. (see also Autogenic Training);
Once you have enough data – say for example 9 weeks of periodic observations you made during 3 weeks before, during and after a Mercury Retrograde period. During the next Mercury retrograde period (approximately every 4 months) put in an experiment with actions that counter your normal (9 weeks – 3weeks before, during and after) Mercury Retrograde behaviors with the rubric that the attributes of Mercury are more intense. (the next Mercury Retrograde period is October 31, 2019 and ends on November 20, 2019).
The object of the experiment isn’t necessarily to make your fears associated with Mercury Retrograde “go away”. It is to “test” that if a different way of thinking or acting has any overall effect on your state during Mercury Retrograde. One way of implementing this test could be the following: Anxiety goes up or a fear appears and an immediate thought is Mercury Retrograde. When you catch yourself thinking it’s because of Mercury Retrograde ask yourself – “Is the intensity of the situation right now influencing my feelings, thoughts and actions in any way?” If yes then ask yourself – “What are the challenges I am being presented with right now.” Choose one challenge and with your mind’s eye confront the challenge and overcome it, or soften the challenge with you mind so it doesn’t appear so daunting.
This has been an experiment and is by no-means complete.
A final note: “I get sensitive to Mercury Retrograde” —– Inherent in this quote is that sensitivity is not desirable especially during Mercury Retrograde. More likely Person A is feels more sensitive due to the fear’s others have and is sensitive to those fears. Sensitivity has been given a bad rap in our culture.
Once one identifies that sensitivity isn’t a bad thing where one is made to feel a victim for being “too sensitive”. My mother used to project her feelings of upset onto me and I would burst into tears. She would admonish me for being too sensitive and tell me to “act like a man” and be angry with me. Really, I was expressing/acting-out her suppressed feelings of frustration and grief without realizing it. Practice is needed in identifying the emotions of others and building a strong sense of self in dealing with others emotions and my emotion response. Sensitivity is actually a strength when we’re (the sensitive empaths) are not being overcome by others emotions.
This requires skill building and a new mindset to see that sensitivity is a good thing.
On Recent Income Taxes to be revealed to Run for President in some states:
Requiring that any candidate running for President release his/her income taxes is about the stupidest idea (with the best of intentions) that could ruin the elections. Here are the reasons as at least one has already been stated:
It’s unconstitutional – the stated one;
Trump has not protested one bit about it;
Trump has not protested one bit about it because it falls under his agenda why? –
If it looks like he is losing it gives him an immense amount of time to challenge the laws all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary – maybe 1 to 6 months extending his presidency into April (at the latest) of 2021 during which time:
He could call off the elections for a do-over;
Claim the elections are rigged against him – he’s very good at playing the victim card; inciting riots;
Declaring Marshall Law; or any numbers of scenarios; and on and on…
Die-hard Bernie supporters voted for Trump in 2016 (according to Newsweek)
The people that don’t vote – are one of the largest blocks of potential voters. They don’t vote because they don’t trust government, are cynical etc. They believe government is for the rich and that government doesn’t care about them (they haven’t been wrong). Hoping they will vote may be the same as believing that Angels will save us from corruption. Some Liberals I know are still angry at Bernie Sanders in 2016. A lot of the people who were going to vote for Bernie turned and voted for Trump. Both Bernie and Trump at that time represented outsiders that were going to take on establishment government, that’s why they turned away and voted for Trump. Fear and anger when whipped up into a frenzy makes people do things that they may later regret.
Trump Supporters and the Top 1%’s notion of the Divided States of America (DSA):
I know a few people that are Trump supporters, some highly educated, some simple people – they do not go to Trump rallies and are not part of his perceived “base”. The common element between these Trump supporters in my opinion are:
They want a leader that will take care of them and mirror back to them the ideas of s simple government;
In the face of an increasingly complex world and the threat of climate change they want a simple world based on the romanticism like their youth – based on the ideals of a strong, rugged individualistic type that believe in loyalty, a clear sense of right and wrong, a sense of family values;
They are afraid of what the future brings and cling to conservative values and ideas of the past;
They believe in “the American Dream” and if they are wealthy Trump supporters see Trump as their savior and those who are not so wealthy may believe they can achieve wealth on the backs of those who are oppressed and poor and “don’t deserve the American Dream because they want something for nothing”.
To call a Trump supporter stupid is unproductive and stops conversation between people that we may have called friends that are now enemies for what they believe – a quality that social media encourages because of the anonymity of our responses. Would you call a friend stupid for their support of Trump if you were face to face with them? How would you feel if someone called you stupid for being a Biden supporter face to face? You disagree.
Denigrating someone’s intelligence without exploring this point of view is a discounting of them as a person. I stop seeing them. This is what the Corporate dollars and the top 1% want – a Divided States of America, one way to further their agenda.
Isn’t part of being liberal an ability to tolerate opposing points of view without condemnation of the “other”? What if we applied our social / public behavior with others to how we express ourselves on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
Exclusion, condemnation and vitriolic rhetoric makes for increasing divisions – how can we begin the healing?
When I began to look at gas prices in New England compared to California which were much cheaper in the early ‘70s I asked my father about this. My father explained gas prices were higher for us because the closest refinery was in New Jersey (we lived in central Connecticut). That was before the Oil Embargo of 1973. After the embargo ended 6 months later in March 1974 the price of crude went up.
Now gasoline prices are rising for a variety of reasons, price of crude oil, summer time blend, in California several refineries have been taken off-line. If President Trump goes forward with economic sanctions against Iran selling oil to China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey who have waivers to buy oil – gas prices will rise in here in the USA.
Even though gas prices are subsidized in the United States and ten other nations, five of whom are Middle Eastern, prices will rise if Trump puts sanctions on China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey for buying oil from Iran. The waivers expire in May 2, 2019.
As gas prices rises the cost of many other items rise because we as a nation are mainlining oil. Ecological concerns aside this effects the pocketbooks of all Americans (to a lesser degree hybrid and EV car owners). The impacts are felt to a greater degree by the 99%.
Money, the cost of living is the bottom line for everyone in our culture.
He [Trump] creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes
I bring this up because everyday concerns of Americans are concerned about money and costs:
Justice for All
This list is not in any order, though each issue reflects economic issues basic to all Americans and is about cost and /or survival.
The Trump Strategy
One of the primary aims of the Trump strategy is to have the spotlight on him at all times whether it is positive or negative. He does not tolerate being ignored and will go to great lengths to remain the center of attention.
He is expert at making himself the victim.
He cannot bear criticism and has a shifting base of lies and an alternative reality in which he resides to combat criticism. He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany. He uses these lies to fix himself as a victim and as the center of attention while acting as an example for others to act ragefully and vent rage onto scapegoats. He is expert at making himself the victim.
He ignores protocols, laws and the Constitution to bend any and all in his way to his will. He manipulates and cons others to seeing it his way. He has most Republican Congressional Representatives and Senators; the Supreme Court and the Attorney General in his pocket. He continually demands that everything goes his way and does not act in a presidential manner but as a dictator.
He creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes.
A prime example is the crisis at the southern border that he has created by drawing attention to it with lies and manipulations. He draws attention to the caravans as evil so he can build “the wall”. Oppressed peoples in Central America countries who live under terror and are afraid for their lives see “the wall” and the crisis at the border as becoming worse so they must flea and get into the US before they can’t do that anymore. In short Trump has fomented the crisis to bigger proportions. His administration has cancelled aid that was attempting to make conditions better in Central American nations south of Mexico because they hate Obama – who began the programs, deemed it as a total failure and cut it because it cost too much. Thus, Trump is helping to create a problem that he is trying to solve. Then he can distribute migrants and refugees to sanctuary cities to overload those cities and then later blame them for the problems.
Circumventing the Trump Strategy and winning in 2020
While impeachment is a good idea the timing of it is wrong. As it stands right now impeachment hearings are unwarranted because not enough evidence has been gathered to enter into the process.
Trump is using every means at his disposal to prevent his taxes from being revealed to members of the House. He is using and abusing laws – no doubt to stop and/or delay this act as long as possible. He could delay all the way up to the time of the election.
He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany
The Democratic Candidates running for the Presidency who are beginning to focus on impeachment are grandstanding, taking focus away from their agendas and setting up more opportunities to lose the election if they are nominated and further damage the party.
Focus on impeachment sets up skirmishes with Trump that he can use to bleed energy out of their campaigns through criticism, character defamation and making himself look like a victim that needs rescuing by his base and “true Americans” etc. He will call in the “Deep State” conspiracy too.
Impeachment is a distraction from the issues that affect the 99% of the US population. It will build distrust in those swing voters [and amongst the biggest demographic – the non-voters who have given up on government] that feel they are being left out of the attention they deserve for justice that may never come (at least between now and the 2020 elections).
When Clinton was being impeached for a mistake it hurt the Republican Party in the next midterm election when the Democrats picked up seats.
A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election.
Those candidates that are currently pressing for impeachment could slowly back-off while proclaiming that more evidence be gathered while they focus on the basic needs of the American people.
States that have passed laws that demand that candidates reveal their taxes in order to be on the ballots are fine in principle but will not hold up in court. There has been no criticism from Trump about these laws because they will work to his benefit on many levels at election time. If the election is going badly for Trump he can delay voting by taking these states to court individually and maybe all the way to the Supreme Court to delay election results. This will give him more time to be the victim and /or invalidate the election process if it looks like he’s losing.
One solution to these laws – that when they are challenged by Trump a plan can be made by each state Attorney General to suspend the law in favor or a speedy election and review the law later. In this way it could work to the advantage of each candidate especially those that have revealed their tax returns under this law.
Where the focus of each candidate running for president needs to be on what is to be done to help the 99% in the issues that most affect us:
Justice for All
If corporations and governments worldwide took responsibility for the toxins / poisons they are allowing into environment and current healthcare system’s bottom line was not profit then universal healthcare would not be necessary. That’s why Universal Healthcare is a right. But it is also a band aid to the larger issue of personal and planetary health.
There are immediate and longer-term solutions that must be engaged now if the human species is to survive the adversity to come. The Green New Deal is a start.
Justice for All:
This includes various movements that are unfortunately necessary in this climate of hatred. Black Lives Matter comes to mind. Training by police, greater interaction between police and communities. Civilian oversight of police. Tolerance and Compassion trainings in communities and schools. Justice for women, minorities, people of color, LGBQT peoples, people of color, indigenous peoples and more… Justice extended to the environment, water, trees, – perhaps a bill of rights for the natural world. Remake the Prison system.
Encouraging Labor Unions
Wall Street investments are very different from the health of the economy. The rich need to be taxed as well as corporations. The buying power of the middle class needs to be stabilized. Income inequality balanced.
Restoring and augmenting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Shifting away from fossil fuels. Protecting wild spaces, trees and national forests and parks.
Equitable taxes that benefit the 99%
Bring consumer protection back.
Raising teachers’ salaries so the young people yearn to be teachers. Bringing tolerance training to all public schools. Bringing free higher education to public universities allowing tuition to be paid only be individuals with incomes above 200,000 dollars a year. Make public education a crowning jewel in the US.
Demilitarize immigration to start. Stop the use of concentration camps.
A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election. Everything else is unnecessary.
Should Trump win in 2020. Let impeachment begin. And investigate McConnell for impeachable offenses.
While the fight against Trump is important, the focus of the Democrats is in the wrong place. Therefore: All investigations into Trump should be behind closed doors – unavailable to the public and the media until sufficient evidence has been gathered to make a definitive indictment against the President on multiple fronts. (media attention on investigations into Trump serve as a distraction to the focus of the people – what is being done to help and serve the 99%)
A public announcement by Democrats must be made to show that the primary focus of the party will be on what is good for all the people, including the working class, the middle class, the poor, small farmers, women, minorities, Medical for All, Climate Change initiatives – that put people to work, infrastructure -that puts people to work, Education incentives etc.
Continued current legislation will include The Green New Deal, a detailed plan for Medicare for All, Changes in the Tax code (to benefit the 99%).
Public Pressure on the DNC to support progressive platforms to win the presidency on behalf of the 99% people and a future where climate change is being acknowledged and managed.
Support of an outsider amongst the field of Democrats running for President because the people NOT voting believe that its pointless to vote due to the Corporate-Congressional complex that excludes the people in favor of the moneyed interests…
However, there is a possibility of exercising free will. Many readers will balk at these pronouncements because they have never questioned the assumptions that proclaim that will is free.
The purpose of this article is three-fold:
How is it that there is no free will?
How do we come to believe that we have free will?
A possible way out of entrapped will.
The Current Understanding of Free Will
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines free will:
: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
The definition above seems true and it leaves out basic and invisible assumptions we all make about ourselves. These assumptions mask universal truths about human nature and create illusions that we are acting from a place of free will. Once we begin to understand that free will is bound by illusions we can work to move beyond these fantasies to a place where acts of free will can be created. It’s not easy to embark on a path to create an act of will, free of the past.
The Blocks that Prevent the Exercise of Free Will
There are two invisible illusions that are pernicious examples that block the exercise of free will, one is historical and the second is habitual. These responses stem from non-original thought for the most part.
I rebelled against their belief
Our familial heritage in which beliefs are formed over generations is a major block to free will. Belief belongs to a set of assumptions based on mental representations where likelihoods are perceived to be true. Our parents teach us their beliefs. They teach in conscious and unconscious ways. Embedded within parental or familial beliefs are behaviors of a parent in arrays of pre-determined thought and action. Even when we notice a rebellious behavior father against his father’s belief – that rebelliousness is a kind of slavery. Taking up an opposite belief (as a rebellion) is a reaction to a belief and is not free. Our for-bearers learned beliefs and behaviors under the wing of their parents and their grandparents to the beginnings of civilization.
Habits of mind are only one kind of habit.
There are other kinds of beliefs that may blend with mentally formed beliefs. It may be that all beliefs are imbued with emotion fixing each belief. In-turn mental-emotional beliefs are held in our bodies or brains and as such become part of the physical of somatic systems of our being. It is this complex configuration of belief that is transmitted generationally.
Other adopted beliefs may come from peers who in-turn have learned conscious and unconscious beliefs from their parents and so on…
Even more insidious than the heritage of belief are habits. A habit – Merriam-Webster dictionary defines – “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”. Habits become increasing useful as a shorthand to operating in complex modern, social and technological environments. It could be quite easily argued that the learned habit of driving a car with a manual transmission (gearbox) would be cumbersome and unsafe if we had to think of each step to execute the behaviors. A habit of blurting-out an opinion besides being impulsive could be evidence of falling victim to a kind of slavery thus eradicating free will. Habits of mind are only one kind of habit. Somatic memory where all habits are recorded at least partially whether they are deemed good or bad is a repository for habits created in the mind, by emotions and/or in bodily actions.
Beliefs are both consciousness and unconscious.
The phrase “being on automatic” relates to following a particular habit automatically. Simple examples of this is missing an exit on the freeway due to distracted thinking and/or spacing out (mild dissociative thinking).
When beliefs and habits interact then a few processes may be occurring simultaneously. Responding by rote may be occurring or in the modern vernacular – reacting from a place of “sleep”. When rote or “sleep” responses occur, there is rarely any reflection on our behaviors. We may become locked into a personal dogma or orthodoxy that is specific to our habitual response derived from belief.
Beliefs are both consciousness and unconscious. Unconscious beliefs may run through a variety of filters that may include and are not necessarily limited to: bias, prejudice, bigotry, racism, sexism; and while not a complete list, these may also be unconscious. When conscious and unconscious beliefs meet habitual responses especially if little or no reflection or contemplation is involved then free choice gets buried under more prior causes.
In our current stage of evolution there is no original thought
Prior causes of beliefs and habits learned and adopted make it easier to dismiss them while focusing on smaller contexts of our lives. We don’t see the prior causes of beliefs and habits because we choose to believe we have free choice and free will without any self-examination.
Patterns of Thought
All human thought is associative in its pattern. A thought is associated with another in a string of binary thoughts. The more complex ordering of thought such as deductive and inductive logic arise from binary associative thought. Binary associative thinking can be parsed into many subsets of complex patterned thought. Thought like written language is also linear following a logic of beginning, middle and end.
it’s very easy get distracted by the flow of tangential and or distracting thoughts
In our current stage of evolution there is no original thought for the most part. This is not to say that the recycled patterns of thought are not creative. They are creative but within the constrictive patterns of non-original thought in an associative binary stream in a linear space-time reality. According to the ancient Bhagavad Gita 200 BCE in the cyclical history of epochs or Yugas current human thought is mostly recycled thinking.
Ideas such as Jung’s Collective Unconscious as well as an electromagnetic depository of all recycled thinking (Collective Consciousness) is often easily accessible by artists, writers and the like. Binary associative thought within the collective consciousness of non-original thought is always available to us from our stream of consciousness. In the stream of consciousness thought may be verbal, pictorial or emotional with combinations thereof. We tap into our own stream which may be running continuously. However, when we tap into the stream it’s very easy get distracted by the flow of tangential and or distracting thoughts. Many people get caught in their stream of consciousness when we close our eyes at night and our attention may be diverted into the stream and this may keep us awake.
At the very core of our existence, inside each of us is what Buddhist philosophy and other spiritual traditions describe as the true self or essence.
Within our essence is our true self, happiness and enlightenment. Quieting the mind and working on detaching from the constant stream of consciousness produced by a fragmented ego allows original thought to emerge. Quieting the mind also allows us to detach from both our own stream and the collective stream of consciousness.
Modern peoples have forgotten or ignored the inner world of happiness in favor of the pull of the external world. Ego, society and the tech of language paints the illusory world of linear time of past present and future and the erroneous belief that happiness is out there.
Living under the Illusion of Free Will
This simple answer to the question of why we believe we have free will – because we have been told. We have been schooled that free will exists. The cultural meta-rules continually imply that we have free will and that it is a right. Free Will is therefore an assumption that is rarely questioned and so it stands.
Could be argued that if free will does not exist then “is everything pre-determined?” I don’t ascribe to an either /or oppositional philosophy of will or choice. The lack of free will does not necessarily mean a pervasive predetermination exists. There are other possibilities. Language and thought loves to project meaning onto everything – a desire for order and safety? perhaps. There are other possibilities about the nature of the world without the existence of free will.
It’s much more likely that human culture bumbles along in a mechanistic manner in a world of hazard and accident. As frightening as this might be the illusion that we have free will protects us from this possibility.
Individuals that have attained a modicum of Mastery could access free will for a creative act based on nothing (no previous influences). Masters or realized elders may have prevented human civilization from destroying itself. This can be supposed and requires a leap beyond current recycled thought in modern science.
A way out or Moving towards Mastery and Free Will
The path towards creating an act of will free from all past influences is impossible for most everyone due to fragmented egos. Everyone has a fragmented ego in part having to do with contradictory actions and beliefs that we hide from ourselves. Ego is a manager of daily events and yet assumes control over everything – this is illusion. Moving out of the illusions of ego (without destroying ego) towards Mastery is a challenging aim. This is an extremely difficult path which requires constant work. Ninety-nine percent of the human population are incapable of this kind of rigorous work despite a temporary desire to pursue such work.
The traditional path of this work is seeking a teacher. In the 20th century seeking a teacher may have faded from favor and have been replaced by schools or “mystery schools” that may have a cultish quality. Some now have mistakenly perceived that “a book spoke to me” and believe is enough to begin the work towards mastery (this is the hanky-panky of ego at play).
In the Bhagavad Gita the Yugas are explored. While there is some disagreement about the mathematical calculations of the length of each Yuga it’s clear that humans at this stage of evolutionary development are not on a path of mastery.
The largest body of “evidence” is both the lack of original thought and humans’ irresponsible actions regarding thought itself.
First, thought and emotion cannot be separated. Most human thought is recycled from a collective consciousness that is streamed collectively and individually. When a human in a higher vibrational environment (such as a less violent nation) recycles a negative thought where fear / anger and acting out ideas associated with these negative thoughts – that are not acted upon – these thoughts go to a chaotic environment where they are acted upon.
For example: a man driving in traffic is thoughtlessly cut off by another man in traffic. A fearful / angry response – reaction occurs. Swearing may ensue. Then the emotion / desire for revenge and/or justice fades. Under the rubric of collective consciousness that thought is recycled somewhere in the world where a chaotic lower vibrational realm flourishes – such as a “war zone”. A person in a lower vibrational world acts out this recycled thought.
Since humans in the particular Yuga we find ourselves in are not even aware that they are participating in collective recycled thinking. In effect we as humans are not-responsible for something in which we are unaware. In short, we are not evolved enough to realize that we participate in recycled thinking. This is part of the illusion of free will.
The proliferation of internet platforms such as social media have accelerated the effects of recycled thought to action. Fear of change has become exacerbated world-wide by the Internet’s viral messages and videos spreading through panic, terrors and rage. Hate is spread and is fomented into violence as in the recent murders / terrorism in New Zealand (March 2019).
By practicing care in our thought-patterns we can begin to rise out of recycled thought towards a path of free will. One way of practicing care in our thought patterns is noticing our anger or rage as it arises in us. We can then tell ourselves that we are angry because we have been afraid. We can soothe the fear / anger in ourselves perhaps changing the loose-end of thought – thus preventing it and our accompanying emotion from manifesting in a lower vibration environment such as a war zone.
It may start with you and me – calming fear to anger thoughts to prevent their manifestation elsewhere – in lower vibrational worlds. Most will call this nonsense, but the science of quantum physics is beginning to transform the patterns of recycled thinking into something new.
Learning is the foundation for peak cognitive processing, interpreting modes of perception and whets the appetite for knowledge. Knowledge is the foundation for understanding and lays the groundwork for transformation through the four sources. The four sources  are:
Understanding the function, process and structures of thought is a beginning to perceiving the place of cognition in a quest for knowledge. Understanding and developing cognition is a good first step in exploring consciousness on all levels. Thought and cognition lay the groundwork for all learning.
Let us start where we are.
The Function and Process of Thought in Learning
PREREQUISITES OF CURRENT HUMAN THOUGHT PATTERNS:
Without a verbal language thought may not exist or exist in a way vastly different than we can currently comprehend. Written language assists in associative memory and an imaginative re-construction of “past” memories. When memories fall outside immediate personal experiences it is referred to as history. Belief often springs from the recording of mutual so-called “past” experiences or histories. All of human thought in our current stage of development is linked associatively. Associative thought is a binary linking of one thought with another. The legacy of associative thought is predicated on memory, without which identity is severely disabled and may even be obliterated. As you might surmise memory and time are linked within the context of an unfolding present moment. Within the context of associative thought the Western Mind presents two different sets of logic: deductive and inductive. A sense that is not connected to a specific biological function that is necessary for comprehension and memory is attention. Vision for example is connected to the eye and interpreted in our neo-cortex. Attention and memory cannot exist without the other. Nevertheless attention is a key process that aids in thinking, but there is no “Attention” organ that acts as an intermediary (like the eye) to the neo-cortex. Attention utilizes many perceptual inputs – from eyes, ears etc. and are organized as a continuum of unfolding memories.
[Note – the “past” doesn’t exist in the “past” it only exists as memories in the present. The “past” is a construct of language and time, which are inventions to manage life efficiently.]
Within the context of associative thinking is deductive and inductive logic or reasoning. Deductive logic follows from a premise seeking truth. A statement can be logical but not true:
The police wear dark blue clothing.
That woman is wearing dark blue clothing.
Therefore that woman is a policewoman.
The logic is valid but the premise is not specific enough to illicit truth therefore the argument is unsound.
Doctors at ERs wear white lab coats, carry stethoscopes and talk to a patients about medical diagnoses.
That woman in the ER wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope is talking with a patient about a medical diagnosis.
Therefore that woman is a doctor.
The logic is valid the premise is specific enough to illicit truth therefore the argument is sound.
Traditionally inductive logic observes data within a field and draws conclusions based on that data. In a revised definition of inductive logic the results may be proved as false based on some premises. Results of inductive logic are probable and are thought of as “strong” or “weak”. If they are ‘strong” they are either cogent or uncogent. If they are weak they are uncogent.
“Learn for the sake of learning!”
A teacher of mind was fond of saying.
In other words:
Learning is its own reward.
When learning arises from an on-going thirst to know and renew, then the process of continuous learning becomes an aim belonging to infinity. Aims are goals that can be repeated endlessly without being completely fulfilled and are inherent rewards. A goal has a beginning, middle and end. Goals belong to a finite world and could be about learning a skill where instruction is primary for example. Goals under the rubric of learning are not about “knowing” or connecting with people of knowledge but are about learning with a small “l” often learning by rote. Learning with an aim in the process of eternity in the moment is a creative leap that is self-renewing. When goals are connected to aims they help support continuous learning. Infinity learning is “learning for the sake of learning”. Learning is fueled by play and curiosity, which aid in the work.
Both finite and infinite learning are necessary for navigating our world. For the purposes of this exposition I am excluding most finite and infinite learning that does not pertain to transformation processes.
Infinite learning has many qualities that originate with childhood pre-language skills. Children when brought into a room without toys begin to play reflecting the facile and developing application of curiosity and invention. Below are some of the qualities of infinite learning:
Answers that lead to more questions
When infinite learning is applied to truth seeking or a quest for truth a certain kind of knowledge is sought. In the past when a seeker read a book by a person of knowledge they would seek out the author to study with him or her, as in the time honored tradition of student-teacher. In our current time this is rarely true because of the volume of books published and the self-proclamation of the author as an expert. An expert may seem like a person of knowledge but if they are promoting it, it is usually not the case. A teacher can only teach a student when the student enters the relationship with “beginner’s mind”. If a student has too much information or has a bravado that purports to have more or as much knowledge as the teacher then the relationship won’t work. Students and teachers must have a “good fit”.
Here are some guidelines to learning when in search of truth:
A good first step in reading a book that speaks to “knowing” is to test this knowing on one’s own experience. Do you trust the source of the knowing? If so then the knowing may be accepted or temporary accepted until more evidence is gathered. Can you verify it? If you cannot, use your intuition to choose whether to discard it or put it aside until more information or experience is gathered.
There is no final or permanent knowing. All knowing is subject to change based on an array of variables including changes in your perspective.
Cross-reference what you have learned in two ways: 1. Compare information within the same system or the same “teaching” with one another; and 2. Use your intuition along with your common sense to verify the information or bit of knowledge that you’re examining.
Cultivate and practice a compassionate and neutral witness within without indulging in “likes’ or “dislikes”. Work to avoid theorizing. Theorizing takes you out of the present into worlds of imaginative speculation, illusion and fantasy.
Begin to utilize your intuition with your rational mind. Besides cross-referencing, intuition can go straight to a truth without “rational steps”. Later as you exercise the intuitive muscle you may open to a deeper method of exploration or utilizing somatic or “body” knowing.
Use the action questions of “how” and “what”.
5.1 – Banish “why” questions from your vocabulary. Why questions are about ultimate answers. “Why” questions linger in a transcendental higher consciousness state which cannot be accessed at the beginning or middle of the journey towards truth. Why questions are intellectual traps that keep us cycling in a “cognitive only” understanding, which is ultimately limited due to its continuous circular focus. Avoid re-wording “why” questions into “how” questions.
5.2 – “How” questions and “What” questions are inexorably linked. Knowing “how” could result in endlessly doing something without purpose unless you know “what” you are doing.
5.3 – “How” questions belong to the practical and are instructional. “What” questions initially belongs to the theoretical and meaning. If I know how to do something and what purpose I am doing it there is a completion process thus closing a loop.
Growing in knowledge is never completed. Even if you cannot grasp where a fragment of specific or partial knowledge belongs in a bigger picture doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand yourself to meet its challenge. Beware of theorizing about partial knowledge – this can lead to imaginative fantasy and illusory beliefs.
Sharing what you have learned with others is valuable because it grows with interpersonal interactions. Teaching what you have learned when done from “beginner’s mind” exponentially increases new learning in both teacher and student. 
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines attention:
1. a : the act or state of applying the mind to something Our attention was on the game. You should pay attention to what she says. b : a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity. Students, do I have your attention?
2. : observation, notice; especially: consideration with a view to action, a problem requiring prompt attention
Attention is an action of the mind, the will, of short sets of time linked by memory and strung together along the lines of binary association. When our attention is said to wander does this not break the bonds of a focusing of consciousness on a topic or line of reasoning through tangential and/or straying thoughts? When attention becomes focused we can follow the rigors of a logical deductive discourse or gather evidence to make an on-going argument with inductive reasoning to make a strong cogent conclusion.
Modern culture and primary education does little to support the cultivation and the skill of focusing attention. Understanding attention is a building block towards free thinking, superior reasoning, mastery and higher consciousness. Elementary through secondary education the word “attention” connotes a harsh disciplinary action or punishment delivered by teachers to students. Modern culture through the tech of smart phones, tablets, laptops, chats, social media and internet searches contributes to shattering attention spans in order to condition students into consumers under Predatory Capitalistic models of behavior. A vicious cycle occurs for developing attention spans into smaller diffuse focused packets and thus destroying opportunities for critical thinking, free thought and creativity.
Building attention is not an easy task even under the best of circumstances. Consumer (or predatory) capitalism is about dividing and pulling attention with lures of immediate gratification whether that be the allure of sexuality, sensual imagery, solving puzzles and mysteries, or the greed / lust to know more. The Internet as playground is a good example of attention reducing stimuli to manipulate and shorten attention along the paths of tangential thinking. This kind of conditioning is designed to hook the user / viewer into buying stuff. Maybe the reason you started an Internet search is lost by the time you’ve allowed your attention to dissolve into whims pulled by desire down the rabbit hole.
When I was in college my housemate gave me a book to read that she thought would be exciting for me. It wasn’t. The writer made it nearly impossible to read the book – very loosely – a science fiction novel, but it was more an allegory than anything else. He wrote paragraphs in long run-on sentences. My fascination with the book was supposed to whet my appetite to go to group meetings of this “cultish” group. It became clear that she wasn’t going to leave me in peace until I went to her group where I could then tell her I wasn’t interested.
Of course as you might have guessed I became interested. I had to wade through prejudices I had about the “spiritual”. I was invited to listen as this book I had previously tried to read was read aloud. I was called to read some aloud too. It tended to confirm my suspicions that the people there seemed insane. When I thought the group was winding down there was one more part of the session that changed my mind about the meetings.
Later I discovered that reading these paragraphs long run-on sentences that strained my comprehension of the material at the very least stretched the capacity of my attention and increased my ability to concentrate. The book was written by G. I. Gurdjieff and was called “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”.
I learned how to focus and shift attention. I read many books on spiritualism, Sufis, and the Gurdjieff Work. I learned through experiences and through books that attention was the first building block to higher consciousness. Although there is no such thing as multitasking it is possible to shift attention rapidly from one focus to another. The rapid shifting of attention gives the illusion to the person that they are multitasking when they are not engaged in doing something that is impossible. This harks back to binary – associative thinking.
All of us are trained to reason and rely on mind or cognitive activities to the exclusion of emotive and somatic processes. We know (cognitively) that we have emotions and that we have a physical body but we objectively identify them intellectually rather than acknowledge and explore these emotive and somatic sensations. The ego / cognitive self believes that it exists in a certain way so that it obscures emotional and somatic elements that it doesn’t want to acknowledge so that illusions can be created to view so-called reality. The ego engages in deductive logic looking for what it believes itself to be both positive (to grandiosity for example) and negative (to fears and depressive emotions) states. Beliefs that are personal, generational, cultural, genetic, and species oriented float in an unconscious realm where ego seeks to find truth. The truth that is discovered is transitory and impermanent. Ego must continue a life-long search that becomes fruitless. Ego proves what it believes based on fears, prejudices, biases, and so on.
Attention is the key to finding a place in our self that may become a semi-permanent steward in a continuing quest for learning, effective struggle, help and surrender/sacrifice. The Steward is close to the core of our being and helps ego find an enduring peace and a compassionate neutrality instead of the temporary gratification that is never sufficient.
The use of attention is essential to learning, effective struggle, help, and surrender/sacrifice of which memory is the binding force. Memory is a content and process oriented sensation. The content of memories are obvious and basic to identity: “I remember my name.” “I remember who I am based on…” The process of memory is time, which has been conveniently defined and invented as linear: past, present and future.
Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 27-60, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 32-33, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
In December, 2017 I predicted that the Trump impeachment hearings would begin in August of 2018.
In May 2018 I saw impeachment hearing beginning in June of 2019. Now I see that further hearings and investigations will be needed after the Mueller investigation is completed to convicted Trump of any crimes. In all likelihood as it stands now with a shattered Democratic Party, Trump is likely to win in 2020, unfortunately.
This will be updated.
UPDATED: Trump may not be nominated by the Republicans in 2020