Winter Solstice | Light & Time

Behold, the Power of the Fading Light

I recently finished watching  Wallander  on my local PBS station that playback back to back episodes for over a month for their Thriller Thursdays. I had begun watching Wallander years earlier (probably 2016 when it first came out), but due to public television fundraising or something like that, I never saw all the episodes until now.

The final episode is called The Troubled Man where Kurt is in a race against time as he embarks on his final case — the disappearance of his daughter’s father-in-law. It is a complex convoluted mystery that starts and ends with this poem: Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströmer. Ever since hearing it, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I found this reading of the Half-Finished Heaven by the London Buddhist Centre.

Life with Full Attention | Awareness-raising poems | ‘Half-Finished Heaven’ by Tomas Tranströmer
438 views, Feb 25, 2021

I decided to animate key lines of this poem by creating moving musical archetypal images–the ones that have become my signature artwork on this site. Archetypal images as explained by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. He suggests archetypes are archaic forms of innate human knowledge passed down from our ancestors. Kendra Kelly writes in an article for the verywellmind, “Jung believed we inherit these archetypes much in the way we inherit instinctive patterns of behavior.” Indeed, Jung further postulated that archetypes are mirror images of instinctual responses that have been modified by conscious awareness. An archetype is an unconscious collective reservoir of information of what happens to people each time they make a choice to act different from what nature would have otherwise dictated through instinctual responses.

Indeed, archetypes form a psychological body much in the same way that ears, eyes, nose, arms, liver, spleen, and heart form a physical body. Just as individuals can choose to treat their bodies in different ways (e.g., some people recreate by doing drugs while others find joy and relaxation hiking outdoors), individuals fill the void of possibilities that an activated archetypes opens up inside of them in different ways (e.g., some people act on violent, criminal impulses others choose to direct their anger and rage in less violent and destructive ways).

See this well-written article about Carl Jung’s views on Crime and the Soul. And so without further ado, here is the Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströme along with my individual interpretation of images activated by each line.

The Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströme

  1. Despondency breaks off its course.

First Archetypal Image for First Stanza

Despondency | Music: NKOHA – My friend | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

2. Anguish breaks off its course.

Second Archetypal Image for Second Stanza

Anguish | Music: AND ONE.”ANGUISH.”.(DEVIL AIRLINES.)(12” LP.)(1991.) [PHONOS by D.J. JOSE GIMENO & D.J. EDU SOLER. 90’s] | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

3. The vulture breaks off its flight.

Third Archetypal Image for Third Stanza

The vulture breaks its course | Music: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow | See below for attributions of images used to create animation

4. The eager light streams out, even the ghosts take a draught.

Fourth Archetypal Image for Fourth Stanza

Even the ghosts take a draught… | Music: ALBUM: SPOOKY MALL | LIL Runners |
10 SONGS • 10 MINUTES • NOV 14 2021 on Amazon Music

5. And our paintings see daylight, our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Fifth Archetypal Image for Fifth Stanza

Watch out for raptors! | Music: The Velociraptor Song | 1,812 views, Jun 4, 2019

6. Everything begins to look around. We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Sixth Archetypal Image for Sixth Stanza

They walk in the sun by the hundreds | Music: Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun)

7. Each man is a half-open door, leading to a room for everyone.

Seventh Archetypal Image | Seventh Stanza

I Am the Door! | Music: The Doors classic Break On Through (To The Other Side)

8. The endless ground under us.

Eight Archetypal Image | Eight Stanza

Endless ground | Music: Music for the 8th archetypal image is from Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days.

9. The water is shining among the trees.

Ninth Archetypal Image | Ninth Stanza

Shining Waters | Music: Shining Water by BUIWUI on Spotify

10. The lake is a window into the earth.

Tenth Archetypal Image | Tenth Stanza

At the end of the world | Music: At the End — A mix for the end of the world (part. 1) The National Parks

Winter Solstice | Ancient Pagan Day of Ritual for Peoples of the Northern Worlds

While the winter solstice marks the “beginning of winter” in the Northern Hemisphere as marked by the longest night of the year. The same day is marked by people in the Southern Hemisphere as the beginning of summer as they experience the longest day of the year.(See article in Business Insider for a full view of the nature of time and light as experienced by life on Earth).

Across the Northern Hemisphere, peoples of all times and cultures and religions took note of when the dwindling light finally relented its steady march to darkness and turned the other way. Earth probably owes this time honored pattern to a collision with another planet thought to be about the size of Mars. This colossal collision s a hypothesized to have occurred way, way back at the dawn of the creation of our solar system when an ancient planet called Theia collided with early Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. The impact knocked ancient Earth off its axis titling it so that it wobbles back and forth with the Northern Hemisphere facing towards the sun for six months and then the Souther Hemisphere. It also is thought to have created the moon and could have been a critical conveyor of water to our planet. [Image from Universe Today | A Cataclysmic Collision Formed the Moon, but Killed Theia by Evan Gough | 2/2/16]

Due to our fantastic ability to focus consciousness like a beam of light, humanity has built up a vast reservoir of knowledge like this, but our ancestors were no less clever–they simply had different ways to explain what they were experiencing. Especially significant events such as the dwindling of sunlight that made food hard to find and increased the need of ancient man to find shelter. If Earth one day never wobbled back to warm the Northern Hemisphere, it would spell doom for millions of living organisms that inhabit these realms of the planet.

Just a small representation of the diverse celebrations marking the return of light to the Northern Hemisphere include:

  1. Saint Lucia’s Day, Scandinavia.
  2. St.Lohri, Northern India.
  3. Dongzhi, China.
  4. Newgrange, Ireland.
  5. Soyal, Hopi of Northern Arizona. .
  6. Yule, Northern Europe.
  7. Santo Tomás Festival, Guatemala.
  8. Stonehenge, England.
  9. Saturnalia, Ancient Rome.
  10. Toji, Japan.

There are many more Winter Solstice celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere besides these. In my previous blog, Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus, I explore the colonization of these vast, diverse Winter Solstice celebrations as the ancient roots of Western Civilization stretched far into the northernmost regions of Europe, and then far beyond to become a dominating force around the world imposing a worldview that “sees humans as dominant over nature and feels natural resources should be used for the benefit of humanity. The western worldview puts man first and declares human beings as superior to all other living and non-living things in the environment. ” — Environmental Worldviews: Western & Deep Ecology

Feature Archetypal Image for Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus
First Archetypal Animation from Satan’s Sister and Santa Claus

For the ‘civilized’ Romans colonizing northern Europe long ago, this is where the barbarians lived. Even today, their fear mixed with disgust and desire to control and gain more loot for themselves looms large in the psyche of modern Western man. Conduct a Google search of barbarian, and you will find tons of images of primal Germanic-Nordic warriors.


All this is a long way of saying that we are complex beings with written histories that are highly biased to glorify the conquering tribes. Or if not completely conquered, the assimilation of whole groups of people into a larger and/or more technological advanced group. But we also have psychic histories that are stored in the collective well of consciousness, the one Carl Jung helped to bring into the sphere of the long, narrow beam of Western consciousness.

Here, nothing is lost or forgotten. Here, a completely soft-spoken, normal, well-adjusted modern man can turn into a barbarian in a split second when some sleeping archaic archetype is trigger into action. When we fail to grow as conscious beings, we can easily succumb to the power of our sleeping psyche.

Consider Robert S. Palmer, 54, of Largo, Fla. who pleaded guilty in October to assaulting law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon during the Jan 6 assault on the Capitol. The Washington Post reports that he had thrown a fire extinguisher — twice — a large plank and then a four- to five-foot pole at police before he was struck with one rubber bullet. At his sentencing, Palmer said, “I’m really, really ashamed of what I did. I was horrified, absolutely devastated to see myself on there.” — Fla. man sentenced to 5 years for attacking police, the longest Jan. 6 riot sentence yet by Tom Jackman, 12/17/21

He will now serve 5 years in prison for his actions that he himself is ashamed of committing almost a year ago. How does an average, law-abiding citizen go from a normal man to a berserker capable of murder?

The Old Norsemen knew how. They cultivated and embodied a whole class of warriors known as berserkers. Men who put themselves into a trance-like fury making them furiously violent and out of control.Wiki Berserker | Images from Wiki and Google Berserker search

Got to admit that there are striking similarities between depictions of ancient Norse berserkers and the Jan 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol–mainly furious white men in a rampage. This is the ugly under belly of Western Civilization beaming brightly for all to see. The barbarian is alive and well in modern times. It has not been vanquished nor destroyed in the minds and psyches of modern men and women. It only needs to be tripped or triggered to roar vividly back to life.

And so, here we are back to the barbarian. This is why I choose the poem by Tomas Tranströme for on this shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere we are reminded of our finite time on Earth and the question begs to be asked what kind of life do we wish to choose for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for everyone else. It is all connected–individual actions are connected to collective actions that are connected to our shared reality.

I like Tranströme’s poem because it mines the deep archaeological cervices where valiant, cowardly, noble and ignoble parts of our all-too-human-soul lie forgotten but very much ready to take over control of the reins guiding our thoughts and actions in the world. His poem helps modern men and women who scarcely have a moment to think a thought for themselves anymore to pause and sink deeper into who they really are as living, conscious beings on a miraculous planet chock full of life.

This is what ancient Winter Solstice celebrations paid tribute to–the miracle of life on Earth. This is something all humans everywhere and through all times felt and perceived and celebrated. It is what the early Christian missionaries understood and so moved the birth and celebration of Jesus to this time of year to harness and redirect this powerful flow of collective human consciousness. It is what Tranströme’s poem hints at, very delicately but in a dynamic, compelling, numinous way. This shortest day of the year is an opportunity to feel and remember who and what we really are.


Archetypal Analysis

The interpretation of Half-Finished Heaven by the London Buddhist Centre is different from my interpretation as captured in the animated musical images above. However, rather than negating my personal interpretation, the Buddhist Centre’s interpretation widens and broadens the archetypal image that offers a glimpse into a room for everyone as captured by Tranströme’s seventh stanza of his poem. This room is the rich reservoir of humanity’s collective consciousness–as illuminated by the light of our collective conscious attention and as sleeps in the depths of our collective unconsciousness.

What follows is not a detailed analysis of the images above but rather an accounting of what used to create them. The power of an archetype always lays inside of you and what is evoked in your heart and mind. [Note: My division of Tranströme’s poem does not necessarily conform to his original publishing of this poem as available in The Half-Finished Heaven: Selected Poems and other publications featuring Tranströme’s work.]

Feature Image

Image from:

The Candle

 / GRACI

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Image from:

Shutterstock | Child with Candle

Image from:

Baby’s first party trick! Little boy celebrates his first birthday by trying to eat the flaming candle on his cake

Image from: Peakpx

Also reminds me of Shadow and Bone book and TV series on Netflix, which was a super great story!

Image from: Cloud land by stevemidkiff | Blogs about faith

“If we want to know what clouds of affliction mean & why they are sent
we can’t flee away from them in fright with closed ears & bandaged eyes.
Fleeing from the cloud is fleeing from the God’s love behind the cloud.”

Image from: Wheel of the Year: Yule

“What is the meaning and symbolism of Yule on the Wheel of the Year? Yule is the time of the rebirth of the Sun at the winter solstice, a time for parties, gift-giving, and more. Join our virtual discussion group on Zoom or follow our livestream on your YouTube channel.”

Image from: Pagan Solstice Rites Lurk in Holiday Celebrations

“The confabulation of pagan and Christian symbolism for the Winter holiday. “It is not the birth of the Sun but rather that of the Son.”

When the Church became ascendant in the Empire, it did all it could to squelch the festival, but like many popular pagan customs, it was so integrated into many daily lives that it inevitably influenced how Christmas, by then assigned to the same calendar day, was observed.

Music for the Feature Archetypal Image is Magic Forest — Winter Solstice on Ice. This is a beautiful song filled with mystery, wonder, and magical being in a world full of life.

Magic Forest
2,245 views, Apr 9, 2017

First Archetypal Image | First Stanza

Despondency breaks off its course.

Album cover for Despondency by Dead in the Manger — available on amazon music

I was drawn to the image first. The parallel to this poem, the winter solstice, and Christmas is very interesting. I hadn’t expected these connections when I selected this image.


Despondency

Published: Dec 23, 2008 by Celeosia on DeviantArt | Pencil

This is simply a beautiful piece of art that captures the feeling of despondency inside of me. Please visit Celeosia’s site to see this piece and more of her work.


Despondency Poster by Sergej Bag as shown and available for purchase on

Fine Art America - Buy Art Online

Another beautiful and compelling piece of art that captures the feeling of despondency for me.


This is my work. You can see how I used it in Tribute to Cider

Tribute to Cider | 105 views, Jan 1, 2020

This video is a Tribute to Cider. She is our beloved dog who we lost suddenly and tragically two days before Christmas of 2019. She was 11 years and 1 month old. She was a senior dog, but she was full of life and acted like a puppy always. Our illusions about reality can break and shatter into millions of tiny pieces so suddenly, and how they prevent us from really seeing reality. Hang on to all those who you love be them people or pets or our beloved planet Earth. I began these drawings 7 months before Cider’s death.


Music for the archetypal image of despondency is My Friend by NKOHA, which is beautiful, haunting, and enchanting–capturing the sweet silence of despondency and the betrayal of something sacred that often leads to this powerful emotional force within us.

NKOHA – My friend | 342,298 views, May 16, 2018

Second Archetypal Image | Second Stanza

Anguish breaks off its course.

Digital album cover for Anguish by Anguish
Design and Layout by Paul Romano
Sculpture by Darla Jackson


This is art created Jerry Yi Chang who describes this piece as:

This drawing depicts anguish as an all-consuming emotion that is difficult to detach from.

Found on Dr Becky Inkster’s website.


The Thing in Tribute to Cider

Tribute to Cider | 105 views, Jan 1, 2020

Anguish 180, 2016

Stainless chain

Created by Seo Young-deok, South Korean, b. 1984

This is a stunning work of art that absolutely captures the feeling of anguish in me. This piece has sold, but visit his gallery to see more of his brilliant work.


Another one of Seo Young-deok‘s pieces that is both stunning and haunting.


Anguish 18, 2013

Stainless chain

Also by Seo Young-deok

The missing face of this figure is especially poignant and evocative of the powerful emotional currents of anguish.

Music for the archetypal image of anguish is Anguish by Devil Airlines. It is particularly chilling and haunting as it captures musically the terrible cycle of captors and captives that leaves so many people in warped and mangled states of anguish.

AND ONE.”ANGUISH.”.(DEVIL AIRLINES.)(12” LP.)(1991.) [PHONOS by D.J. JOSE GIMENO & D.J. EDU SOLER. 90’s]

Third Archetypal Image | Third Stanza

The vulture breaks off its flight.

Image from: Why African Vultures Are Collapsing Into Extinction | National Geographic


Image from: Ruby the Turkey Vulture | Portland Aududon — In 2007, a woman called the Wildlife Care Center to report that a friendly Turkey Vulture was hanging around her property near McMinnville, Oregon. It had flown down to the ground and thrown an acorn at someone’s feet, slept on the woman’s porch, followed her around and into her barn, and jumped onto her arm.


Image from: Absurd Creature of the Week: The Magnificent Bearded Vulture Only Eats Bone. Metal, Dude | Wired Magazine

The beautiful bearded vulture feeds almost exclusively on skeletal fragments.


Image from: Vultures, tongue orchids: why are rare species here in UK? | Birds | The GuardianVisit | The Guardian

The Egyptian birds are one of a number of foreign visitors, but why have these continental drifters fled north?


Image from: Why we should all love the vulture by Matilda Battersby | BBC Earth

Have a bone to pick with the scraggy vulture? Just remember they’re vital as nature’s waste disposers – which is why their decline is very bad news…


Music for the archetypal image of the vulture breaks off its flight is OST: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow. I chose song for its sound, which is edgy, uncanny, unearthly, eerie, which are all qualities that an image of a vulture can evoke–after all they are a bird strongly associated with death. And so is count Dracula come to think of it. Perhaps this stanza of the poem suggests even death breaks off its path in the light of life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5q2b2QeWP0
OST: PURPLE EYES ~ Pachislot Akumajo Dracula Lords of Shadow | 117 views, Apr 20, 2018

Fourth Archetypal Image | Fourth Stanza

The eager light streams out, even the ghosts take a draught.

Image from: How To: Remove a Broken Light Bulb

If a light bulb breaks in the socket, we’ve got three tricks to help you safely extract it, without damaging your light fixture.

By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 30, 2020


Image from: How To: Remove a Broken Light Bulb

If a light bulb breaks in the socket, we’ve got three tricks to help you safely extract it, without damaging your light fixture.

By Katelin Hill and Bob Vila | Updated Oct 30, 2020


Image from: Red Stage Means Beam Of Light And Drama

Red Spotlight Indicating Stage Lights And Illumination

iStock Photos Photographer:

StuartMiles



Music for the 4th archetypal image is from Spooky Mall by LIL Runners (Available on Amazon Music). I felt the sample I found to have the perfect mix of mysterious, spookish, and uncanny, which felt right for this 4th stanza of Tranströme’s poem. I am afraid you have to have Amazon music or listen to the sample embedded in the animation above.

ALBUM: SPOOKY MALL | LIL Runners | 10 SONGS • 10 MINUTES • NOV 14 2021

Fifth Archetypal Image | Fifth Stanza

And our paintings see daylight, our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

The Fortune-Teller — probably 1630s by Georges de La Tour French

Darting eyes and busy hands create a captivating narrative between otherwise staid figures, each of which is richly clothed in meticulously painted combinations of color and texture. La Tour has taken on a theme popularized in Northern Europe by prints and in Rome by Caravaggio: an old Roma (traditionally known by the derisive term “Gypsy”) woman reads the young man’s fortune as her beautiful companions take the opportunity to rob him. — Visit the Met Museum online to learn more about this painting


I lost this one… sorry


Sun Painting

Sunlight–reflected and refracted–paints an ever-changing color composition.

Created by artist Bob Miller, this classic Exploratorium exhibit is a “live” painting that uses light from the Sun as its palette.


Image from: Why Is Northern Light Best For Artists?

  • Post by Chris Chalk on 29th January 2017 about painting

The confluence of light and paint seemed important in this stanza.


Image from Ice Age Wiki: Rudy is a Baryonyx that lived in an underground world during the Ice Ages. He makes his appearance in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs where he is the main antagonist.
I am pretty sure this stanza is referring to cave paintings but something adorable and deadly caught my attention with this image, and so it found its way into this animation. Perhaps a nod to man’s deadly ice-age, dinosaur side laying asleep deep inside his psyche until something triggers it wide awake!


Another image of Rudy who appears through mist to Buck.

I really love this red dinosaur!


Music for the 5th archetypal image is from The Velociraptor Song from Press Play Picture House. Watch out! This song really gets in your head!!! I love it, and I feel it really does speak to a feeling buried deep in this stanza of Tranströme’s poem. I think he is hinting at the ancient, primal parts buried deep inside of us and barely illuminated by our individual small flickering flames of consciousness. They really can catch you inside the deep recess of your soul, the parts hidden in the dark.

The Velociraptor Song | 1,812 views, Jun 4, 2019

Sixth Archetypal Image | Sixth Stanza

Everything begins to look around. We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Image from the Facebook community:

Randomly pointing up at the ceiling/sky just to see how many people look.

Pretty funny!


Image from article in The Atlantic:

The Exhausting Work of Tallying America’s Largest Protest

A pair of political-science professors are combing through news stories and individual reports to estimate the number of people who demonstrated on Saturday. By Kaveh Waddell — I was there:

Sustain the Flame | 84 views, Mar 26, 2017 | Promo

Sustain the Flame – Full (Best Version) Women’s March on Washington 2017 | 211 views, Apr 19, 2017

Image from The New Yorker: The Wisdom of the Crowd By Hendrik Hertzberg, September 22, 2014

“Don’t follow leaders,” the bard of Hibbing once advised. “Watch the parking meters,” he added.

Teens – People’s Climate March — DC | 6 views, Mar 23, 2019

Image from Wired:

Why Women (and Men) Are Marching Today, According to Twitter Data

An analysis of tweets based on 40 march-related keywords and hashtags reveals the topics marchers are prioritizing.

I interviewed over 30 people at the DC Women’s March that took place in 2017.

Sustain the Flame — Part 1 | 31 views, Apr 17, 2017 (The full version got blocked… investigating this)

Image from article in Elle: Portland Protester ‘Naked Athena’ On Why She Stripped Down
My nakedness is… my expression.”

And don’t miss my blog about Naked Athena and her power.

Naked Athena
Feature archetypal animation for Naked Athena

Image from Crowd Png Image File – People Crowd Walking Png, Transparent Png
I liked the long and endless feeling that this image adds to the animation


Music for the 6th archetypal image is from by Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun). This is a powerful, compelling, hair raising symphony of voice and musical instruments that captures an endeavor, which is what this stanza makes me think of and feel.

Thomas Bergersen – Cry (Sun) | 1,478,514 views, Feb 4, 2015

Seventh Archetypal Image | Seventh Stanza

Each man is a half-open door, leading to a room for everyone.



Image from An Open Door

Photo credit: Brad Smith, “An old door in an abandoned log house”
An old door in an abandoned log house uploaded to Flickr on January 31, 2007, by Brad Smith.


Image from A Half-Opened Door is Half-Opened Happiness

Everyone who lives life intensely has, at one point or another, experienced what I like to call a half-open door. We know it can get complicated, but we only get one shot at life and at finding what really makes us happy while living it. Part of our happiness depends on knowing which doors to shut and which to fully open. It’s extremely healthy to remember that a half-opened door is half-opened happiness.


Image from: Door | Spremberg, Germany, Urban Exploration

Here are some other spectacular photos on this site —


Music for the 7th archetypal image is from The Doors classic Break On Through (To The Other Side). Definitely works for this image!

The doors – Break On Through ( To The Other Side )
33,341,576 viewsMar 6, 2013

Eight Archetypal Image | Eight Stanza

The endless ground under us.

Image from: Endless Facebook Group | Party Entertainment Service

Image from: Fine Art | Endless Dream (International Awards Winner)

Image from: Abortion and the People Seeds Thought Experiment | Philosophical Disquisitions

Wow — the source of this image really surprises me. I didn’t expect this one! Never heard of the People Seed thought experiment.

Or I got it here: Floating dandelion seeds

Music for the 8th archetypal image is from Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days. Honestly, this is the best darn song for the feeling I got from this line in the poem.

Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days [FULL ALBUM STREAM]
4,665,008 views, Apr 11, 2017

Ninth Archetypal Image | Ninth Stanza

The water is shining among the trees.

Image from: Sunlight through trees images | Shutterstock — a few others from this site are:

Image from: Sunlight Through Trees | Pinterest

Image from: Sunlight Through Trees | Pinterest | Other images from this site

Image from: Liquid Light Tools | Denis Smith | A few other photos from this site —

Music for the 9th archetypal image is Shining Water by BUIWUI on Spotify.


Tenth Archetypal Image | Tenth Stanza

The lake is a window into the earth.

Image from: DreamsTime Photos

Image from: { stars falling down } | Random Musings | Other images

Music for the 10th archetypal image is At the End A mix for the end of the world part. 1 The National Parks. This is an awesome song and perfect, absolutely perfect for this last stanza of this amazing poem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dGMEjWOldk
The National Parks – Introducing “A Mix For The End Of The World – Part 1” | The Record By USRN
46 viewsOct 6, 2021

We Are Indeed Tranströme’s Half-Finished Heaven

We the people of this beautiful Earth. And winter’s fading light is a stark reminder of our own fading life–for no living being exists forever. Each of us has a limited amount of time to be (truly be) in this Half-Finished Heaven or this Half-Finished Hell for both are possibilities inside of us. And we choose, as conscious living beings, which one to inhabit moment by moment.

It is because of this dwindling light of life that each of us must face that I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend Brian Bergman. He passed away suddenly 4 months ago to this day. I only found out last week that he had died. This is a video that he helped me make back in 2016. We always talked about making more. Life is precious and fades too fast, just as the setting sun almost disappears during the winter months.

The Persuaded | Last DJ on Earth | Mini series

Be well. Take care. And Happy Winter Solstice to you on this good and longest night!

Satan’s Sister & Santa Claus

Field of Souring Souls

Satan’s sister slithers through fields of drying, souring souls…

Satan’s Sister | Music: Dance with the DeadMoon Runner | Images: girl pyramid head; Pyramid head woman on the field; Lady Pyramid Head (Cassandra W); Sorceress/Witch

Sundering Sinners

Seeking sinners to pluck and pulverized into a poison…

Hel Feasts Tonight | Music: Al Bid-Aya — Jedi Mind Trick | Images: HEL goddess of by LeneMa7991; Morrigan, Goddess of Death; Hel- The Norse Goddess of Death; Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of Death; Delire- Goddess of the Fallen

Santa’s Spiked Glögg

That she uses to spike Santa’s holiday Glögg.

Santa’s Spiked Glögg | Music: Evil Christmas Carols (Panda Smash Presents). Sean Wesche. Album. 2006. | Images: Santa Claus Having a Christmas Drink (Free Photos); Dumbledore (The Ending Of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Explained); Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) suffers in excruciating pain (Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own); Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, played by Richard Harris
 (Warner Brothers); Smashed Santa Claus (Too Much to Drink)

Archetypal Image Analysis

First Archetypal Image:

Is Satan’s sister good or bad?

Your answer is unique and utterly up to you based on your attitudes, beliefs, upbringing, and current circumstances. At first, as I searched for images of what Satan’s sister might look like, I had no idea of what I might be looking for.

I wondered whether she should look ugly like a wicked witch, gender neutral, or bewitchingly beautiful.

I stumbled upon Félicien Rops (a Belgian artists who lived between 1833 – 1898) finding his uncanny image of Satan. I found it on a poetry website and immediately thought–sure this could be what Satan’s sister looks like–sinister, sterile, and scary.

Satan Semant l’Ivraie’ – Félicien Rops (Belgian, 1833 – 1898) | National Gallery of Art

I felt I was definitely on the right track, but sought a clearer image. As I searched for one, I stumbled upon Pyramid Girl. I knew at once this was a better rendering of Satan’s sister. She is beguilingly beautiful and utterly alien at the same time–a spine-chilling duality exists about her.

Then, I found another Pyramid Head Woman in a field. This was the next line of my poem, which sealed the deal this was the image I was searching for.

Pyramid head woman on the field [1920 × 1080]

I have never encountered Pyramid Woman before, but obviously she is well-known by others and depicted as a victim and an invincible warrior. I felt this duality was another key aspect to be embodied by Satan’s sister. I found two more images embodying these qualities created by an artist at the Stan Winston School of Character Art. Here I learned her apron is made of human skin, very creepy indeed and a perfect outfit for Satan’s sister.

The last image used in the archetypal animation just grabbed me. I suppose it is all the gold and skeletons. Satan’s sister would certainly be involved in collecting the dead. She would also be a devilish seductress–beautiful and scary at once.

Sorceress, witch, art, skeleton, golden, stairs, yannick bouchard, woman, fantasy, mayan, girl, skull, HD wallpaper

So this is the process for how the first archetypal animation was created.

What does it mean?

That is something for you to fill in.

During his life, Carl Jung came to understand all human beings share common archetypal patterns of behavior and belief as demonstrated through customs, rituals, and myths. Certain recognizable psychological patterns and images appear over and over again between cultures and times. They live deep inside the psyche of all human beings and contain collective memories that pop into action when of specific circumstances and situations are encountered. They act much like instincts do, but archetypal patterns are more like instincts altered by consciousness.

Jung described archetypes as empty templates ready to be filled by the psychic forces triggered into action by external events. These invisible templates provide imprints of all the possibilities and consequences of choices and actions triggered by the situation.

The music for this archetypal image provides vital context and background like a fantastic fabric for space-time beings to experience things. This music is fabulous, providing texture, vibrance, and life to the image. It is Moon Runner by Dance With the Dead.

DANCE WITH THE DEAD — Moon Runner | 76,253 viewsMar 1, 2014

Second Archetypal Image:

Does she sunder souls for pleasure?

Again, the answer is up to you.

In creating this image, my search took me into the realm of mythic goddesses. It did not take long to understand many of the goddesses associated with death carry the blade of time with them. Death is inevitable as a mortal being and the goddesses associated with death embody this reality.

The Goddess Kali is the Divine Mother in Hinduism and known to be fierce and cause destruction of all evils, including ignorance. She is considered to be the master of death, time and change. When I found this image of Morrighan, my search focused in on the Celtic and Nordic goddesses of death.

Morrighan — Celtic Goddess of Death

“Morrighan is also known as Phantom queen or Morrigu. In Irish mythology, she is known as the Goddess of Death, who is associated with mainly war, battle, and death. She is also famous because of her foretelling death in the battle. Because of her association with war and battles, she is also known as a great warrior who determines which warriors walk off the battlefield.” — 21 Gods & Goddesses of Destruction, Death & Underworld

Hel is another goddess of death rising from the myths of the Nordic peoples.

Hel — The Norse Goddess of Death

“She is the ruler of the underworld and death. She is the daughter of Loki and Angrboda. Her appearance is pretty hard to explain, but it is half blue and half flesh-colored with some gloomy texture downside. She has a hall called Eljudnir, and it is a strong belief in Norse Mythology that it is the hall where mortals go who do not die in battle but of natural causes or sickness.” 21 Gods & Goddesses of Destruction, Death & Underworld

This is another compelling rendering of Hel drawn by LeneMa7991.

Germanic Gods: HEL goddess of death

And this is another depiction of Morrigan that I found on the website of The Druid Way.

The Irish Morrigan, Goddess of Death and Guardian of the Dead

Another goddess of death I found was Delire. She is not the goddess of Death in general, but instead the goddess of the Fallen, much like the valkyries of Norse mythology.

Delire | “You have served well soldier. It’s time to retire.”

Back to the Eastern Mind

The last element of the archetypal animation is the music, which circles us back to the eastern mind and the wisdom of the upanishads that are treatises on Brahman-knowledge, which is knowledge of Ultimate Hidden Reality. I chose the song Al Bid-Aya by Jedi Mind Tricks from their album The Bridge and the Abyss. It is haunting and beautiful and utterly perfect for this topic if you listen to their official video of this song.

Al Bid-Aya | 122,715 views, Jun 21, 2018

Third Archetypal Image:

Why is Santa’s Glögg spiked?

For the third archetypal image, I baffled myself with its own imagery. Why is Santa popping into this otherwise dark and haunting poem? And why is Satan’s sister spiking his holiday Glögg with the broken up bits of sinners?

Perhaps Santa is serving somewhat like a cosmic hero of goodness and good cheer. He has so much of it, he is able to consume dangerous amounts of collective sin down to the dregs on behalf of all of us to ease our misery and allow for a time of good cheer. This though made me think of Dumbledore who drank the poisoned water so Harry could destroy a ‘horcrux’–a thing of great evil that if not destroyed would led to the downfall of everyone they know and love.

This last archetypal animation is the most elusive to take accounting of for it veers straight into the Christmas season–a time when many people make a considerable effort to show a spirit of good cheer and collective good will. Why? Because it is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus; however, as an excellent Washington Post article points out, ‘Dec. 25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year  when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birth.

This article further states the first celebration of Jesus’ birth took place ‘around 200 A.D. — to have taken place on Jan. 6. Why? Nobody knows, but it may have been the result of “a calculation based on an assumed date of crucifixion of April 6 coupled with the ancient belief that prophets died on the same day as their conception,” according to religionfacts.com.’

It was moved to December 25 to piggy back on pagan celebrations (such as “The Golden Bough”) that occurred during this time. Especially as practiced by the fierce and wild tribes of northern Europe–the Celtics, the Norses, and many other germanic tribes who celebrated the shortest day of the year, which signaled the return of light to their barren and frigid northern lands.

Good Olde St. Nick

Christmas underwent a further transformation with the elevation of St. Nicholas as a patron saint of Christmas. He was a real man, a Bishop, who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was known for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it.

Image from the St. Nicholas Center | www.stnicholascenter.org | The Man Behind the Story of Father Christmas/Santa Claus

Christmas took another dramatic turn with the popularization of Santa Claus as the legendary man who encircles the world in one night flying in his sleigh to give good boys and girls around the world presents and delights. Holiday specials such as Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, which showed the transformation of the real man St. Nicholas into the superhero Christmas giver of cheer and goodwill worldwide.

Santa Claus Is Coming!

It is a delightful Christmas story. One I watched every year as a child for Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Frosty, Rudolph, and Santa Claus!

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town — The Full Movie | 7,476,556 views

So what is up with this spiking Santa’s tea with the broken up bits of sinners, obviously people who were not on Santa’s Good List to get toys and presents at Christmas time.

Santa and Dumbledore

Is this image referring to the self-sacrificing ability of some individuals who are capable of far more good deeds than the rest of us to ease our burden for a time?

This idea reminded me of Dumbledore drinking the poison water so Harry could destroy another ‘horcrux’. Perhaps Santa and Dumbledore represent a certain type of individual, or better yet, these characters are archetypes of a powerful curative force that lives inside of us and allows a human being to endure pain and suffering, even unto death, for the good of others.

This seemed to be on the right trail and so the images I found included these.

Image from Freepik: Santa having a drink

This definitely could be Santa enjoying a holiday Glögg left out for him. Then, images of Dumbledore to establish the connection between the two.

Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, played by Richard Harris
 (Warner Brothers) | JK Rowling defends Dumbledore on Twitter: Seven things you might not know about the Hogwarts headmaster — A look beyond the half-moon glasses at the Harry Potter franchise’s most enigmatic character
Image BY SYDNEY BAUM HAINES/JUNE 15, 2021 10:05 PM EST | The Ending Of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Explained

The Purpose of the Poison

And of course Dumbledore drinking the poison, which turns out to be the most important image and article of everything explored here.

Image from: Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own | Featured image: Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) suffers in excruciating pain in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) as he swallows the harmful potion he made himself drink. ‘This potion might paralyse me, might make me forget why I’m here, might cause me so much pain I beg for relief. You are not to indulge these requests. It’s your job, Harry, to make sure I keep on drinking this potion, even if you have to force it down my throat.’ Like Dumbledore, we make promises which we go on to contradict, creating fascinating ethical dilemmas for those around us. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

This article, Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes — and Our Own that was written by James Clark Ross and published 21 April 2020, is what my psyche was trying to convey to me as I assembled the final animation for this very short and not very good poem. He writes:

We like to think of ourselves as unified agents. With apparent clarity, we take ownership of who we are and the decisions we make. But we are misled. Clarity assumes consensus; and, underneath ‘ourselves’, motivations divide us.

Of our conscious thoughts, we form beliefs which immediately retreat, dematerialise, or mutate beyond recognition into new tokens. Of our unconscious desires, feelings pass by and vanish, having never really existed. Who we are—what we believe and what we desire—is unstable, uncertain, and transient.

This is troubling. For how can we be sure that one part of ourselves persists through time? We can only claim who we are on unsteady ground.

More, are we in conflict? If we don’t coordinate our motivations with unity, disloyalty will always be within us: we will always be fighting ourselves.

Who will your friends side with?

Welcome to a lesson on division and disloyalty.

Division and Disloyalty: Ignoring Our Friends’ Wishes – and Our Own

by James Clark Ross, 21 April 2020

Who Are We Really?

Clark is getting at the division raging inside of ourselves. Jung also spoke of this inner divide saying:

The greatest sin is to be unconscious.”

— C.G. Jung quotes from Quotefancy.com

Our world is very complicated and most of us are taught to operate in it like very small, spoiled children. We are taught to not question the system but to go to work at nine, come home at 6, squeeze all the housework, time with children, spouse or friends into 4 or 5 hours, go to sleep, wake up and do it again. Why? So we can be good consumers for the system that we must depend upon to sustain us or else we can’t go on.

But should we really want to go on? Is our current system of a modern life really so great? Is it so glorious and so out-of-this-world that we are willing to commit to most of our adult life to being good and obedient consumers? Is that what we really want?

Alan Watts often posed this question, what do you really want? Do we really want to play the social games of who is the boss, who can have more and who should have less, going to work at places that are mind numbing and super boring only to get laid off when we get too old or its not convenient (Nomadland captures this reality brilliantly).

NOMADLAND | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures |7,704,318 viewsDec 14, 2020

What Do We Really Want?

For most of us living in modern Western societies, we wake up one day (at the far end of 50 something) and realize–my life has been a great big drag.

Dopedreamz & Alan Watts – Life’s A Drag ft. Ty and Nick Swan | 179 views, Jul 1, 2013
Happiness is NOT the Meaning of Life – Alan Watts | 1,183,376 views, Feb 27, 2018

If we ever wake up, we may realize we’ve been consuming and entertaining ourselves to death. Thus, the passed out Santa Clause by the fire place.

Image from People are leaving Santa milk over traditional sherry because he’s changed his ways

The final element of this archetypal animation, a musical piece with a diabolical edge –the Evil Christmas Carols.

Frosty’s Death March | 179 viewsOct 28, 2015

Nevertheless — Please Have A Very Happy Holidays However You Celebrate

And know it’s never too late…

A Christmas Carol 2009 Christmas Day Scene | 162,224 views, Jul 1, 2019

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti | Just What is Reality

This show originally aired on Mar 24, 2017 on Snap Judgment. A description of it appears below. I have chosen to highlight this story here for two reasons: 1) schizophrenia runs in my family and because of this understanding another person’s experience of reality is essential, and 2) what is real anyways?

Western culture’s understanding of reality is severely (even fatally) lopsided. To successfully navigate the collective challenges our world faces in the coming decades (e.g., climate change, political upheavals, economic reversals and hardships, pandemic, water shortages, food insecurity due to climate change and unfair economic conditions, etc., etc.), we need to reconnect to our inner worlds, to who we really are deep, deep down beyond the fading illumination of our fragile ego’s consciousness rays of knowing.

Description of The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: In 1959, psychiatrist Milton Rokeach brought together three schizophrenic men who believed they were Jesus Christ, hoping to cure them of their delusions. But over time, his methods became dangerously amoral.

Thanks to Richard Bonier and Ronald Hoppe for their help.  Additional thanks to Peter Shyppert as the voice of Milton Rokeach.

You can buy The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Rokeach’s book, right here.

Producer: Stephanie Foo

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha | Animation by Genolve

The Map to the Disappeared | Just What is Truth

Before The Three Christs Of Ypsilanti aired on Snap Judgement, a tragic and compelling story about a mother’s quest to find her disappeared son aired. Glynn Washington introduced this story with a quote everyone likes to say when they are trying to one up someone else’s reality. The infamous quote is:

The truth! You can’t handle the truth!”

But no one remembers where this saying was first said. Glynn tells us where it was first said and that what was said after this notorious saying was said, the more important idea followed and this is what we have forgotten… what everyone has forgotten when we get into arguments over The Truth.

The Map to the Disappeared is essential listening if you are at all interested in understanding truth at the deepest levels of being.

Map to the Disappeared | JULY 22, 2021 | Artwork by Teo Ducot

God As Reality | Just Who Is God

Carol Anthony touches on the same relativeness to reality as the psychiatrist Milton Rokeach came to realize in his misguided experiment devised to cure the three schizophrenic men of their delusions that they were each Jesus Christ (The Three Christs of Ypsilanti ). In her book The Philosophy of the I Ching, Anthony writes:

"The entire business of the I Ching is to re-affirm our knowledge of God as the higher power, not only as a vague, intuitive knowledge, but as a conscious, practical, intimate, everyday knowledge. This means that we materialize the reality of God out of the mists of our unconscious into the full reality of consciousness. We may know intuitively that someone we love is unfaithful to us, but when this knowledge surfaces by evidence into consciousness, it produces such a shock that it is hard to understand the difference between these two sorts of knowing. We may know someone is dying of cancer for a long time, but the fact of their death produces an unexpectedly strong emotional response. How do we explain this? When the ego leads our personality, the conscious mind disbelieves what we intuitively know; moreover, the ego insists that conscious reality is the only reality--in this case it does not want to believe that death exists. When death, the objective fact happens, the conscious mind is unprepared, and the ego disappears in the ensuing shock. One's knowledge of God is similar. In the beginning of self-development, we know about God intuitively and theoretically; we may have occasionally experienced the higher power, but afterwards we gave rationalized the experience as some quirk of our imagination; soon, it seems it never happened at all. Our intuition of God, through this process has become dimmed. Through self-development, however, we come to experience the reality of God as an everyday fact of life. We experience God directly, not only in small ways, but in big ways, so that even the smallest errors of perception are swept away. This daily relating to the higher power gradually erases every particle of doubt." -- p. 60-61
And God said, “Let there be light.”

Tribute to Carl Jung | Just Who Are You

Drilling even deeper down on the relativeness of reality that we experience as human beings, Alan Watts beautifully illuminates just how profound relative reality is between human beings in his Tribute to Carl Jung, who had just died on June 6, 1961. Watts and Jung knew each other and were friends. Despite pursuing very different vocations, both men shared profound understandings of deeper truths hidden inside the heart and soul of all men and women, regardless of when in time they existed or where they existed in the world. These deeper, darker truths are a result of man becoming conscious in the sense that he knows when he is happy or sad enabling him to focus this self-reflective form of consciousness like a spot light or a laser to do things in the world and to take very focused, specific action to achieve narrowly focused goals.

In his tribute to Jung, Watts focuses on a speech Carl Jung gave to clergy men. While Carl Jung was not a pastor, his father had been, and so he knew the doctrines of the Christian faith and religion in a very cognizantconsciousheedfulmindfulsensible, and sentient way. In a gentle but enigmatic way, Jung challenges the pastors to think beyond the bible stories and Christian doctrines they preach about every day.

He invited the clergy men to step beyond the pale of their Christian beliefs and traditions and onto a new bridge of understanding he had helped to build in the Western world as one of the early pioneers of psychoanalysis (Freud) and analytic psychology (Jung). Carl Jung understood that Western mind needed this new science of psychology to understand things that the Eastern mind had understood for centuries.

Watts understood this too. This is why he focused on this speech Jung gave to the clergy men. Watts reads most of this speech in the video below and explains why it was probably the most important work Jung left behind for his fellow human beings. Watts understood how important it was (and continues to be) to challenge the percepts and premises upon which the modern Western world is based upon. The Western mind remains incredibly focused and fixated on its abilities to perceive, apprehend, learn, discover, and figure out how the outer world works, and this is a powerful ability that has enabled Western culture to gain dominance in the world and emboldened its belief that Western man was meant to reign supreme over all living beings and things. However, this is an exceedingly lopsided system of belief that will end in disaster for all living beings on Earth as the whole world stands on the precipice of existential threats capable of producing mass extinction events that could take out the human race forever.

Tribute to Carl Jung — 1961 — Alan Watts | 234,071 views | Premiered Aug 21, 2020

The Eastern mind holds the key to our global existential predicament. This is what Jung came to know through his work as a psychologist and was confirmed when he came to know Richard Wilhelm who was the West’s foremost translator of the I Ching. And this is what Alan Watts emphasized in countless lectures. And it is the meaning behind the title of this blog The Three Christs of Ypsilanti and the Buddha. We need each other to survive in the coming century that is going to require great outer knowledge of the world (which the Western mind has excelled) as well as require great inner knowledge of the world and human nature (which the Eastern mind has excelled).

The world today needs skilled consciousness astronauts just as much as it needs astronauts of the cosmos. The challenges inside (especially for the Western mind) are just as great, if not far greater and unpredictable as the challenges of exploring and understanding outer space.


Carl Jung Quotes | Just What Is Consciousness

“God is a force that acts inside you.” — Carl Jung

“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”  ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition


“Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth. If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.” ― C.G. Jung


“The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body. On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.” 
― C.G. Jung

The Great God Pan | Music: Album: Mythical by Dream Black; Song: Mythical

“…the mind that is collectively orientated is quite incapable of thinking and feeling in any other way than by projection.” ― C.G. Jung


Carl Jung never said: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” 
What Dr. Jung said in two separate and unrelated statements was: “Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~Carl Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, P. 193



“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 99. 


“It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself.” ~Carl Jung, CW11, Para 391


“Only that which acts upon me do I recognize as real and actual. But that which has no effect upon me might as well not exist.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 757.


“Here each of us must ask: ‘Have I any religious experience and immediate relation to God, and hence that certainty which will keep me, as an individual, from dissolving in the crowd?'” — Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 564


“For when the soul vanished at death, it was not lost; in that other world it formed the living counter pole to the state of death in this world.” ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 493


“Behind a man’s actions there stands neither public opinion nor the moral code, but the personality of which he is still unconscious.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 390


When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” he uttered a truth which is valid for the greater part of Europe. People were influenced by it not because he said so, but because it stated a widespread psychological fact. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 145.


Yet it [Nietzche’s “God is Dead”] has, for some ears, the same eerie sound as that ancient cry which came echoing over the sea to mark the end of the nature gods: “Great Pan is dead.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 145.


“All opposites are of God, therefore man must bend to this burden; and in so doing he finds that God in his “oppositeness” has taken possession of him, incarnated himself in him.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“It is quite right, therefore, that fear of God should be considered the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“Both are justified, the fear of God as well as the love of God.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 664.


“The East bases itself upon psychic reality, that is, upon the psyche as the main and unique condition of existence.” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 770.


— All above quotes come from Carl Jung Depth Psychology,


“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. When you gaze long into the abyss, the_abyss_also_gazes_into_you“. — FriedrichNietzsche 03:33 (from Philo Calist on Facebook)

The Abyss | Music: The Abyss by DBMK — Paradise/Intro

Can you handle the truth of who you really are deep down far inside beyond the warm illuminating rays of ego consciousness? I know you can, but it does take work. Time to get to work.

Death Comes… Remembering Sasha

Death comes…

…like a cold winter wind blows leaves from trees

Cold Wind

…like a fire burns wood

Fire Burns

…like a wave crashes onto a distant shore.

Waves Crash

Death does not ask: “Are you ready?”

It comes of its own accord and is as unstoppable as the setting sun whom not even great Hercules could catch and push back to its noon day stance in space and time.

Death Does Not Ask

Death leaves a hole that can never be filled…

…except with love.

Death Leaves A Hole that Cannot Be Filled, Except With

Cherish your beloved ones…

…human, animal, and our living Earth.

Cherish Your Beloveds

Remember Always

Love is the most powerful force in a universe of fragile fading light.

Love is the Most Powerful Force
Wings Will Fly — Remembering Those We’ve Lost

Who are you thinking of today? Have you let them know? Even if your beloved one has passed away, you are just a thought away from their shining love in your life.

Tahiti & the Thing

“You’ll see what I’ll do son,” the old woman caterwauls.

Let’s go Caterwaul at the moon tonight!

“I’ll go to Tahiti and buy a thing!

Met Thing T. Thing from the Addams Family. Maybe this is the Thing she wants to buy?!

“I’ll buy a thing so you won’t have anything!”

Nothing…Nothing…Nothing...will keep me from you…except money, money, money

That Won’t Solve Anything

“That won’t solve a thing mom.”

“I don’t care,” the old woman howls as her hands wave wildly in mid-air.

I don’t care

I Don’t Care…Just as Long as You Get Nothing!

“Just as long as you get nothing!

“And your good for nothing brother gets nothing!

“I’m going to spend everything!

“On me!

Me! Glorious Me! I’m so Twistedly Awesome!

What About the Grandchildren?

“What about the grandchildren mom? Don’t you care about them?”

Those brats!”

“I don’t care about them.”

“I don’t care about anyone or anything,” the old woman growls as she devours her vowels.

I only care about me, me, me, me, me…

Feed me more Seymour!!”

They’ll Get Nothing

“They’ll get nothing.”

“You’ll get nothing.”

“Nobody will get anything expect me!”

“You’ll see son!”

“I’m going to go to Tahiti to spend everything on a thing just for me!

The Evil Eye of Zoran

With that, the Old Lady Smiles

With that, the old woman smiles.

She smiles the same old, worn-out smile she’s smiled for 89 years.

She’s smiled that smile so many times, it’s creased permanent lines into her thin, translucent skin.

Even when she’s not trying to smile, you can see that creepy, old, tired out smile.

Gone, gone, Gone with the Wind

The Son Sighs

The son sighs and looks down at his knees.

He watches a dust bunny creep across the floor.

Only silence rebounds in the empty, desolate house full of dust ball for nothing living dare stirs in a place like this.

All he ever wanted was a reasonable mom who could show a smidgen of love, but she had none to give.

The Beautiful, Creative, Powerful Sound of Silence

One Beautiful Moment of Silence

But in that great big beautiful moment of powerful, creative silence, a smile springs to his face.

Then, he pulls out his phone and says:

“OK mom, when do you want leave to Tahiti? I’ll book it one way for you need not return because for you to spend everything on a thing in Tahiti I’ll need to sell the house that way you can spend everything on a thing just for you!”

And That is the End of the Story

And that, my friend, is the end of the story for you see, the son finally knew his horrible mom, the one who’d wrecked his childhood and ruined his manhood, was finally going to be gone, gone, gone, swallowed whole by her insatiable greed!

One More Thing

This is a highly distilled, and frankly absurd, dramatization of something I observed (but then again, maybe not). Real life is always much more complicated than a fanciful story such as this. However, such stories can be useful in identifying archetypal emotions and forces that constantly play inside for every human being (be they still human and not some other thing) has good and fowl forces vying for our time, attention, and action in the world.

The Moral of the Story

The moral of this story is:

If humanity continues to spend tremendous amounts of time and precious reservoirs of conscious attention on matters such as these, then the mounting issues swirling around impending catastrophic climate change will never be addressed, nor meaningful action taken. In the end, we will all be swallowed by our pride, self-absorption, vainglory–be it at the personal-family level or interpersonal-community level or be it between states and nations. We will all suffer the fate of our unconsciousness.

Carl G. Jung writes: “Western man has no need of more superiority over Nature, whether (this nature be) outside or inside (i.e., one’s inner nature). Has has both in almost devilish perfection. What he lacks is conscious recognition of his inferiority to the Nature around and within him. He must learn that he may not do exactly as he Wills. If he does not learn this, his own Nature will destroy him. He does not know that his own Soul is rebelling against him in a suicidal way.” — p. 83, Psychology and the East

What will you do with your precious plot of consciousness today? More importantly, what will you do with your unconsciousness?

Sisyphus — The Living Myth of Now

Sometime last fall, while biking, the word Sisyphus popped into my mind. I did not know what it meant. I knew it was familiar, but I could not remember why. It’s a weird word. Not a word you hear on a daily basis, not even a word you hear on a decade basis, unless perhaps you are a scholar. But, it kept popping into my mind randomly at least a dozen times or more into the beginning of 2021.

I Was Just Looking for Something Good to Watch

I was looking for a new series to watch on Netflix. I’d finished a score of good series, and then hit a patch of bad ones. I wanted something good…something I could sink into and get lost inside. I was looking for something like the shows I had recently finished watching such as:

Outlander

Outlander: I never read Diana Gabaldon‘s books, but once I started watching this series, I was hooked. I was trying to find a replacement for Masterpiece’s Poldark series based on Winston Graham’s books, which is absolutely amazing. And when I saw Ronald D. Moore was producing this series, I was intrigued because his last big hit series was the updated Battlestar Galactica series, a TV drama I loved immensely in the 70s, and Caprica (this tells the tale of how that fictional human civilization fell by showing how the Cylon androids took over their worlds, but then it got abruptly and cruelly canceled before the whole story could be told).

Outlander does not disappoint from the very first episode onward. Its characters are complexed, nuanced, and compelling. The series does not rush the story, reveals each character honestly and humanely, and tells the tale in a captivating, mysterious way. Each season builds upon the last one. The characters grow as the times change around them. The difficulties and battles feel real and vital. Each character has layers of complexities that influence their choices and actions, just like real people do, making the story relatable; indeed, a symbol that transforms the complexities encountered in novel and unexpected ways. And isn’t that what you are really hungry for when you sit down to watch a story?

OUTLANDER – Season 1 Trailer | 5,355,359 views • Aug 6, 2015

His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: I never read Pullman’s novels but I loved the Golden Compass, which was made for the big screen in 2007. However, due to the financial crisis of 2008/2009, the next parts of this series never materialized. Then in 2019, HBO teamed up with BBC to reimagine this fantastic tale for the smaller screen/TV. They did an amazing job translating a complicated story to the screen. I found it believable, compelling, and thrilling. The characters are complicated. You think you’ve pegged one as evil and then realize later critical nuances that force you to reconsider your views. They mystery of the story is revealed slowly and unevenly, so you have to guess or imagine for yourself why this or that happened. Each new character has something new to offer in understanding the whole story. The special effects add to the story rather than overly dominate it.

His Dark Materials: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO | 7,892,118 views • Oct 3, 2019

I love this scene where the researcher and scholar Mary talks to Dust, then she realizes the Dust itself are the Angels. (From His Dark Materials | Season 2, episode 4. The Tower of Angels).

His Dark Materials – Mary talks to Dust (Angels) | 26,773 views • Nov 30, 2020

She asks: “Angels are creatures made up of shadow matter of dust?”

The Mysterious Something answers: “Yes.”

Mary further inquires: “And shadow matter is what we call spirit?”

The Mysterious Something replies: “From what we are, spirit, from what we do, matter. Matter and spirit are one.”

Mary asks: “You’ve always been there?”

The Mysterious Something says: “Making, stimulating, guiding.”

Mary queries: “So does that mean angels have intervened in human evolution?”

The Mysterious Something answers: “Yes.”

Mary asks: “But why?”

The Mysterious Something says plainly: “Vengeance.”


Now, I wonder what that means? I didn’t find out in Season 2, so waiting for Season 3. But after that exchange, Mary starts working with the I Ching–which is our world’s equivalent to the Golden Compass from Lyra’s world. Because of Mary, I got the I Ching for my birthday and learned to read the yarrow straws. I supposed that now I too am talking to the angels.

I use good TV drama like a support system, especially during this year of COVID where social distancing has put so many of us into isolation to extremes. My own Indra’s Network was already partially destroyed and broken. The connections I still maintained with friends and family were sorely stretched by time and distance. They were incredibly nourishing when time and attention permitted, but these moments were punctuated by long bouts of silence and little to no meaningful interactions with people who care.

Good stories, powerful dramas are ways I have found that soothe and nourish my soul, especially during times when kindness and caring human contact is in short supply.


Liz Cheney

As I was working on this blog, Liz Cheney spoke before Congress on the eve before the impending vote tomorrow (5/12/21) to remove her from her leadership position as the 3rd most powerful Republican Leader in the House. Republicans are doing this to her because she took a stand not to support Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. She named Trump as the chief sower of doubt in the hearts and minds of Americans.

The Dark Force

By the way, the I Ching says doubt is the Dark Force. Now, who is being a superhero here in the United States on this very day of May 12, 2021? Who is growing the fabric of time and space rather than ripping it to tiny shards of broken light?

Doubt — The Dark Force (Animation by Genolve)

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead warns the soul of a dying individual not to follow the illusionary images and lights they have created inside of themselves and then projected into the world around them. They did this because they did not understood their true Self in life. They did not descend and understand their true identity as a space-time being. They did not understand the meaning and purpose of life. Death is a time thats unravels the net of confused pain each individual becomes entangled within throughout the course of their life on Earth. To not do so, condemns the eternal soul to return again and again and again–sometimes (perhaps often) as a lesser being in order to learn the lessons not mastered in the life before. This returning can occur again and again for the world of rock and buildings and money and power is like water–it continually flows, dissolving everything in time.

Those who use the power of the Dark Force may indeed achieve tremendous riches, success, and power on Earth. However, all this will turn to dust and scatter into nothingness at the time of death. Nothing here is permanent. At death, we lose everything. Nothing that we thought is real is real. If we don’t let go of everything we have clung to in life, the tiny light of consciousness every human being is born into at the beginning of their life will be born into another painful life, again and again and again.

Those who peddle in doubt and fear can live 10 billion, million lives, each one diminishing his/her original source of light until there is nothing left of that light.

Leonard Cohen narrated a beautiful documentary about the practices and wisdom contained and known within the Buddhist tradition. It is elegant knowledge, beautiful knowledge. It shows how we can grow as space-time beings, as we are suppose to grow, rather than collapsing into smaller and smaller living beings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5A2erZXJx8
The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1994) – Narrated by Leonard Cohen | 90,513 views • Oct 28, 2019

“People make hell realms out of their own anger. They make worlds out of passions, out of envy or complacency. We project our emotional states, and then believe it is the real world. But no matter what, everyone longs for compassion. Everyone wishes to be awake. So the best thing is to develop genuine compassion for all living beings and for ourselves too. And our compassion should extend beyond our friends and family and the people we like. It must extend to all people and to all living beings.” — From Documentary about The Tibetan Book of the Dead

This is how to wake up as a living conscious being.

The OA

The OA: This series is a mind-bending SyFy fantasy that often leaves viewers with more questions than answers. Word has it this is one of the reasons this show was cancelled after season 2 when 5 seasons were planned. Apparently the average viewer does not have the attention span or interests to dabble in complexity–perhaps this is the inevitable end to Carmel Marvel storytelling–everything has to be blunt, not complex, and nothing left to the imagination, much less to dabble with moral ambiguity. I loved this series. I guess I drank the Kool-aide and became part of its cult following late. And I agree with 110% with Brit Marling that storytelling in America has become not as good as it could or should be.

The OA | official trailer (2016) Netflix | 53,112 views •Dec 13, 2016

When the show was cancelled, one viewer went outside of Netflix’s headquarters and held an 8 day hunger strike. Refinery29 interviewed her and wrote a compelling article about why she did this.

"Emperial Young is on day eight of a hunger strike. It’s not over the burning of the Amazon, or gun violence, or the latest controversial move by the current Commander-in-Chief. Young, 35, wants Netflix to renew The OA for a third season — and she’s willing to go to extreme lengths of what she calls “internal violence” to make it happen.
“We are living in a time where it seems that things are going to go very badly,” explains Young in front of the Netflix building in Hollywood, where she has been protesting since August 15 and hunger striking since August 19. “The response to that has been ‘Okay, we’re going to make darker, grittier television.’ But in times of darkness, light is most important, and The OA is filled with light. We need something to let us know, ‘Yes, we can do something,’ because all the media around us is telling us that these are dark, grim times and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Created by Brit Marling and creative partner Zal BatmanglijThe OA tells the story of Prairie (Marling), a blind woman who returns after years in captivity with her sight restored. Season 1 of the series mostly exists within the narrative that Prairie tells a group of soon-to-be friends about her time in captivity and before it, in which she transcended time and space and found herself in alternate dimensions. Along the way, the show tackles themes of trauma, and of the importance of a human connection amongst it. Young isn’t wrong about The OA being different: There’s a hopefulness to The OA that is unmatched by more gritty prestige TV offerings like The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, even Game of Thrones.

Learning about this woman, Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli came and brought her water. Afterward, Brit posted this about her reaction to OA’s cancellation and how storytelling in America has become not as good as it could or should be.

The series was conceived by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, and they began working on the concept in December 2012.

This is no small thing that Emperial Young and Brit Marling are drawing our attention to in this protest and post, particularly this part: “… the role of storytelling and its fate inside late capitalism’s push toward consolidation and economies of scale.” This is a post about Sisyphus: Is Late Capitalism and its push towards consolidation and economies of scale perhaps not the rock Sisyphus not pushing up the mountain getting it to the top after great effort only to have it fall back down to the bottom again and again and again.


Invisible City

Invisible City (Brazil): This is a new Brazilian fantasy that is streaming on Netflik television series created by Carlos Saldanha that is based on a story co-developed by the screenwriters and best-selling authors Raphael Draccon and Carolina Munhóz. It is in Portuguese, so you have to read subtitles if you are only an English speaker. I was born in Brazil and once knew Portuguese, but have forgotten all of it. I loved listening to the characters speaking in Portuguese. It felt familiar and lovely. It is a musical language and the music in this series is alive and vibrant. I soon forgot I was reading subtitles and got lost in the rich and depth of storytelling unfolding through this complex, invigorating story. The characters are treated with dignity and respect. The puzzle of the drama unfolds in surprising reveals that add depth to the story and bring this mysterious world into vivid view.

Invisible City Official trailer (HD) Season 1 (2021) | 86,811 views • Feb 5, 2021

Glitch

Glitch (Australian): This is an older series that begins with a bang when a police officer and a doctor face an emotionally charged mystery as seven local residents inexplicably return from the dead. It is three seasons long, and the first two open up so many innovative ideas and possibilities, but season 3 falls flat on its face and destroys all the wonder and the miracle being explored, in my opinion. I am glad I watched it because I learned what I do not want to do as I write my tale.

Glitch Season 1 | Trailer | Now On Netflix | 753,177 views • Feb 23, 2016

I was so bothered by how they ended this series, I went on online to see if others were too and found this great blog: Old Ain’t Dead | Reviews of movies and TV focused on women … specifically Season 3 (so if you intend to watch Glitch, save this site for later because there are definitely spoilers, including my comment there).

Image from Virginia DeBolt‘s blog site: Old Ain’t Dead | Review of Glitch, Season 3

Carmel Marvel Syndrome

When it comes to science fiction and fantasy, I have come to realize I am picky, and not all are the same. In fact in the United States, we are suffering from what I have come to term the Carmel Marvel Syndrome. It is a widespread a syndrome that is dumbing down how stories are being told in books and reimagined on screens. The good-bad divide in Carmel Marvel stories is stark, uncreative, and boring. Nothing is left in-between–you are either the good guy or girl or you’re the bad one. The bad ones almost always lose in the end, but you get there in terribly unimaginative, brutal, evil ways…as the good guy or gal finally finds a morsel of moral or spiritual strength and prevails. Romance is reduced to uninspiring sex scenes that clearly come from basal fantasies of pale males.

What bothers me most is Carmel Marvel storytelling is that they are not honest to the characters. They tend to stripe away their complexity and humanity and force them to do things against their character’s moral underpinnings. Yes, imagined characters have moral underpinnings, they are real and must strive for meaning, purpose and dignity too. I am not going to explain this now, but Carmel Marvel stories like to put their characters into highly contrived situations that they would never do unless forced to by their bored and uninspired creators. They are put into these situations purely for entertainment reasons, which really translates to money. Because Carmel Marvel producers and creators hope for billions and billions of viewers–and they think only highly fantasized modern gladiators well do this. After watching such a sickly story, nothing sticks or stays in the psyche or soul from the story. That is because there is nothing real there. There is nothing nearing the human experience of meaning, truth, reality, or wonder. Everyone knows these types of stories are junk food for the soul. They are cheap imitation of images meant to trick, deceive, and fill you up with a whole lot of nothing, just like if you ate only Carmel candy for all your daily nutrient requirements.

Then I Stumbled onto Something Spectacular: Sisyphus

So let’s get back to that word Sisyphus that kept popping into my mind.

After being disappointed by another Carmel Marvel HBO series, I switched back to Netflix to hunt for a new series to watch. That’s when a 2021 Netflix out of South Korea caught my eye. It was called Sisyphus! Normally, I would have put it on my To Watch Later list since it required reading subtitles again. But because of the synchronicity, I thought what the heck, go for it!

I loved it! And I discovered that I love the Korean way of telling stories!!!!

Sisyphus | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB] | 1,028,877 views • Feb 9, 2021

The fabric of this story is rich woven with little bits of gold and silver throughout the 16 episodes. Each one takes the viewer on a journey, revealing a little bit more in surprising ways that adds depth to each character, even the evil ones. The villains have backstories that are as complex as the heroes. Villains and heroes alike are treated honestly and no high tech short cuts are used to substitute good storytelling. Throughout the 16 episodes, the viewer enters a journey (a world) that grows more and more complex as you go: you grow as the characters grow.

Sisyphus masters the art of subtle storytelling. This is a subject I briefly touched upon early in my blogging efforts in a blog questioning if Collective Transformation Possible. In it I talk about the Black Magician and the White Magician and their roles in our human psyche. I drew them while listening to a Chinese business-financial scholar talk about Trump’s power play back in 2018 with China on trade. (It’s didn’t end well by the way… this power play Trump tried… for Americans or for Trump who placed the livelihood of hundreds of small soybean and other farmers in jeopardy.)

ipMsMPXYSn+mGdxpvt3aSA
Notebook drawing Yin-Yang by Bébé

Dr. Peter Chen pointed out Western ideas of negotiation are quite different from Eastern ideas. He said in Chinese, the most similar word they have to negotiation is tánpàn, which means talking and judging. For the Chinese, it is considered the dark side of economics with the East preferring to focus on conversation when working out deals. However, there are huge differences in how conversation is conducted by a Western diplomat versus an Eastern diplomat. By Eastern standards, Westerners are considered low-context communicators (i.e., direct and forceful, which can be considered very rude by Eastern standards). Eastern culture dictates a much more high-context style of communication, which is reserved, relies more on body language, and is based on relationships. 

The Black Magician and the White Magician

This why I loved Sisyphus. They tell this story using a much more high-context style of storytelling. I also love listening to the actors speak Korean. Every word they utter is full of meaning, purpose, and emotion. The tone and way a word is said is more important than the word itself. You understand a song by how the singer sings it, so too with Eastern languages. They are full of images, meaning, context, and emotion. And isn’t that what we are really craving in watching or reading a story? Deep meaning and purpose? Sure, lots of people will say they just want to escape into something entertaining… but if you discover something about yourself and others while doing so, isn’t that a whole lot better. Stuff that stick to you and makes you a better individual… helps you grow as a conscious living being?!

Even though we deny how powerful and essential good storytelling is in Western culture, we are starving for good, wholesome, spirituous stories that fed our souls as well as our fractured, confused minds. Stories that awaken sleeping spirits needed to defeat doubt: the force that splinters our psyche and traps us in endless delusions and illusions that only make us smaller, meaner, and contribute to the demise of all life on Earth.


A new friend I’ve made during runs with Pumper (another mom of dogs and kids) recommended another Korean Netflix show called Crash Landing on You. I didn’t think I would like it better than Sisyphus, but I love it even more. The depth of each character grows and spills out in unexpected ways in each episode. And don’t miss the little peaks at the very end after you think the episode has concluded. Not always, but often, they show you something not shown earlier. It is often something that fills in a gap and fills out the depth of the character–how they are thinking, perceiving, and acting in the world. How they are transforming through time and space.

Crash Landing on You | Official Trailer #1 | Netflix [ENG SUB] | 2,327,897 views • Nov 29, 2019

My friend Fabian Navin has just posted something very insightful about why I loved this show. The Facebook embedding is not working, so I am copying below what Fabian has posted (go to his site above to see more of his posts):

*Warriorhood in Marriage and Relationship* Conscious fighting is a great help in relationships between men and women. Jung said, “American marriages are the saddest in the whole world, because the man does all his fighting at the office.”
When a man and a woman are standing toe-to-toe arguing, what is it that the man wants? Often he does not know. He wants the conflict to end because he is afraid, because he doesn’t know how to fight, because he “doesn’t believe in fighting,” because he never saw his mother and father fight in a fruitful way, because his boundaries are so poorly maintained that every sword thrust penetrates to the very center of his chest, which is tender and fearful. When shouts of rage come out of the man, it means that his warriors have not been able to protect his chest; the lances have already entered, and it is too late.
Michael Meade has suggested that both marital partners begin by identifying the weapons that have come down through their family lines. Perhaps the woman has inherited the short dagger, used unexpectedly, and the spiked mace, which she swings down late in the argument onto the foot soldier’s head. The husband may have inherited a broad sword, which he swings when frightened in large indiscriminate circles; it says “never” and “always.” “You always talk like your mother.” He might add the slender witticism spear to that.
Some people also use the “doorway lance.” When the argument is over, and the woman, let’s say, is about to go to work, the man says: “By the way,” and the lance pins her to the doorframe.
Man and wife might say which weapons he or she plans to use in the particular fight coming up. During such preliminary conversations the man’s warrior and woman’s warrior are welcomed in the house and honored. A good fight gets things clear, and I think women long to fight and be with men who know how to fight well.
When both use their weapons unconsciously or without naming them, both man and woman stumble into the battle, and when it is over the two interior children can be badly wounded. The adult warrior inside both men and women, when trained, can receive a blow without sulking or collapsing, knows how to fight for limited goals, keeps the rules of combat in mind, and in general is able to keep the fighting clean and to establish limits.
Marie-Louise von Franz once told a story about a woman friend. “This woman had gone through several marriages. Each marriage would go well until an argument came. Then she would throw a fit, and say damaging things. The terrible quarrels would continue, and finally the man would leave. One day we heard she had found a new husband, and we said, ‘Oh-oh, here it goes again.’ But something else happened. A few weeks after the honeymoon, the same old quarrel arrived and she brought out her poison and said terrible things. The husband turned pale, but to her surprise, said nothing, and left the room. She found him upstairs packing his bags. ‘What are you doing?’ she said. I know,’ he said, ‘that I am supposed to act like a man now and shout and hit you, but I am not that sort of man. I will not allow anyone to talk to me in the way you have, and I am leaving.’ She was astounded. She asked him not to leave, and he didn’t. The marriage is still going on.”
This story is not perfect. If a woman has a fair argument, it is not right for the man to leave; he should stay and fight. But von Franz’s use of the word fit implies that her friend had a habit of going over the line into possession. Her fits belonged metaphorically to Kali’s realm, rather than to the human realm. Men cross that line often as well. The inner warrior can tell a person when the partner is on this side of the human line, and when on the other side.
Marion Woodman remarks in The Ravaged Bridegroom, “Anger comes from the personal level, rage from an archetypal core. . . . The rage in both sexes comes out of centuries of abuse.
If it is taken into relationships, it destroys. Attacking each other in a state of possession has nothing to do with liberation.” The interior warrior in both men and women can help them to fight on the human plane. If men and women have only soldiers or shamed children inside, they will have to settle for damaging battles constantly. ~Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men
From Fabian Navin | May 13, 2021

I am totally hooked now on the Korean way of telling stories!!

The stories we tell can liberate us or chain us to the rock we must push up the mountain of life only to watch it fall back down, again and again and again, like poor old Sisyphus. Who do you want to be in life? How are you going to become the best version of yourself, a better person than you have been so far? How will you grow you fragile light of consciousness and help others do the same?

Collective Storytelling: The Stories We Tell Become the Myths We Live

— Myths Are Passages Channeling Energies That Can Hold Us Together or Tear Us Apart

The Storytelling Species: Makers & Players of Reality Bubbles

Part 4 in The Storytelling Species Series

The truth of any civilization is that it is not a monolithic, inanimate thing. Human civilizations live. They are complex living entities that are fed and sustained by each individual living within it. Because of this, civilizations can die when they become sick or too rigid to flow with the pressurizing forces of time.

Many years ago, long before humans where considered human, the motivation to live together in groups was pretty straight forward—survive. Lots of species on Earth live in groups or herds or packs or flocks because it is beneficial to individual survival. Of course, individual sacrifices are required to live harmoniously in groups. For example, there always seems to be many more low status individuals than high status individuals in a group. However, overall the enhanced survival benefit of being in the group rather than outside of it tends to be a powerful motivator.

The structure of groups and how they operate is determined primarily by instincts. There are lots of similarities in instinctual responses between species because all life has had to adapt to common environmental challenges on Earth, making lots of similarities of group life between species. But, there are plenty of examples of uniquely tuned instincts species have evolved to equip them to thrive in very specific niches, making very unique group structures–consider what it would be like to live inside a beehive.


What Are Instincts?

“Instincts are inborn complex patterns of behavior that exist in most members of the species, and should be distinguished from reflexes, which are simple responses of an organism to a specific stimulus, such as the contraction of the pupil in response to bright light or the spasmodic movement of the lower leg when the knee is tapped. The absence of volitional capacity must not be confused with an inability to modify fixed action patterns. For example, people may be able to modify a stimulated fixed action pattern by consciously recognizing the point of its activation and simply stop doing it, whereas animals without a sufficiently strong volitional capacity may not be able to disengage from their fixed action patterns, once activated.[1] Instinctual behavior in humans has been studied, and is a controversial topic.”

– From Wikipedia

I will let Dr. Robert Sapolsky tell you about instincts and how human beings are exactly the same in these fixed action patterns as any other mammal on Earth, but also utterly unique in how we use fixed action patterns to do things as individuals and groups. He is a professor of biology, neurology, and neurological sciences at Stanford University. He has possesses an impressive body of field research and artfully combines his mastery of his field with a charismatic ability to communicate with others, allowing him to make complicated concepts understandable to just about anyone.

The Uniqueness of Humans by Robert Sapolsky | Stanford University | 233 views • Dec 25, 2018

This is one of his shorter talks that it is well worth listening to if you have ever wondered about human behavior and why we do the things we do. In this talk, Dr. Sapolsky dispels every myth of how humans are unique and different than animals; however, in each instance where we act exactly the same as everyone else here on Earth, he also points out how we do it bigger, more extravagantly, and ostentatiously than any other animal on Earth, and that makes us utterly unique.

Living in groups is one of the things we do as humans that is utterly different than other animals on Earth. When we live in groups, we do it with pizzazz and with style. We like our groups to proceed in a manner and approach that generates vast, complicated, and intricate social systems that operate more like ecosystems, allowing the humans existing within them to seemingly live outside of or beyond the constraints of nature. No other animal lives quite like humans do in groups–that is for sure. Our precocious ingenuity has allowed us to occupy just about every livable niche on the planet. And when we encounter a non-livable niche, we can change it so we can live there too!


Stories of Hermits

It is possible to live utterly alone as a human being and still survive. There are many stories of hermits and monks who have lived alone for years, decades, their entire adult lives. Many are fabled to do this in order to overcome and master their most primal fixed action patterns. But some simply do not want human interaction or the entanglements that human relationships entail. These are important stories. However, our current collective story is not one about a world populated by 7.8 billion hermits. I doubt Earth could even sustain 7.8 billion human beings living utterly alone and unconnected to each other.

For a modern true tale of a man living utterly alone, Snap Judgement tells a riveting tale titled The North Pond Hermit.

Image from Snap Judgement | The North Pond Hermit – Snap Classic | Artwork by Teo Ducot

Snap Judgment Description:

There was a legend in central Maine, about a hermit who had lived in the woods, unseen, for 30 years. Then, in 2013, the police arrested a man named Christopher Knight.

To learn more about Chris Knight’s story, be sure to check out Mike Finkel’s book, The Stranger In The Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit. 

Check out The North Pond Hermit Song by Stan Keach.

Produced by Joe Rosenberg, original score by Renzo Gorrio & Andrew Vickers


Why Do We Need to Care About Instincts?

To me, this is simple. If we do not bring our conscious awareness to bear on our daily lives, we are destine to act based on fixed action patterns (e.g., deeply encoded urges, impulses, and instincts). When we live in an unconscious manner, we do not feel and thus cannot fulfill our full potential as a human being. We live rather as our parents, forebears, and ancestors lived seldom taking a moment to consider if what we are doing now, what we have been taught to do and think and believe, is right for the moment we are living in.

When we do not bring our conscious awareness to bear on our constantly changing circumstances, our preprogramming is bound to kick in and run wild. Acting in this way stagnates our spark of consciousness as individuals and as a species. It can even make us lose consciousness, going backwards as an individual or a group (devolving rather than evolving).

In addition to instincts, human beings (being so darn clever and unique in how we live in groups) also bring cultural precepts, religious doctrines, community rules, and all the decrees, commandments, and directives deemed necessary to live in big, complicated societies and civilizations. We willingly agree to abide by these rules whenever we join a new group or alliance or club or clique. It’s the price we pay as human beings to belong to things we think benefit us in some way or another. In highly technological, modern societies, this can add up to be a lot of groups to which an individual must belong. If a person is not careful, this sort of belongingness can end up sabotaging the amount of and quality of consciousness that can be brought to bear, without fear or favor, to our situations, circumstances, struggles, and challenges encountered in life.

When we act unconsciously to our circumstances, we often fail to apprehend, understand, and act in ways that are needed to maintain harmony in our life and in the lives of those around us. Instead, we often end up acting no better than a troop of baboons. However, because we are human, we tend to put highly creative and imaginative spins on making our lives more miserable and difficult than they need to be, if only we would have brought a little more attention and consciousness to the situation, which would have allowed us to see the bigger picture and understand the interconnections present in all events transpiring here on Earth.


Stories Act Like Glue Holding Complicated Groups Together

So what keeps us from tearing each others faces off (like baboons can do when their status is provoked by a young upstart or lower status member)? What allows us to work together in more or less harmonious ways within our massive social conglomerations?

Religions have long served a fundamental role in creating and maintaining cooperative groups. Sports can unify and unite groups, even pull different groups together in friendly competition. Food is a great unifier too, so is music. And so are stories, especially mythical stories that activate numinous content in our psyche (I’ll talk more about this in a moment).

Here are some of the foundational stories that have helped create and define Western Civilization. It is a list put together by the BBC of the top 10 stories of Western Civilization. Let’s look at a few:

1.  The Odyssey (Homer, 8th Century BC)

  • Bethanne Patrick, Contributing Editor of Lit Hub, says, “I believe the journey of Odysseus defined a streak of individualism particular to Western culture that has led to much change in the world – good and bad.
  • Kenneth W Warren, Professor of English at University of Chicago, agrees. “The Odyssey has provided the architecture for the quest narrative and template for characterising male and female virtue in ways that shape, enable, and limit our storytelling habits into the present.”
  • Novelist Beverley Naidoo hones in on: “The multiple stories within Odysseus’ 10-year journey home after the Trojan war, while faithful Penelope waits for him and son Telemachus seeks him, have seeped deep into our cultural consciousness. The human elements within this myriad of stories continue to resonate down the centuries, allowing endless reinterpretation.”

2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852)

  • Jenny Bhatt, writer and Contributing Editor at PopMatters calls it “the first widely-read political novel in the US” and “the first work of fiction that openly addressed the cruelty of slavery, human exploitation, the lopsided legal system, the entrenched patriarchy, the need for feminism, and more.” It became one of the most popular books of the century – in the US and abroad – and is credited with radically altering the perception of slavery, with many voters noting its influence on the abolition movement. Its human focus and call for empathy struck a chord among readers.
  • Author and novelist Roxana Robinson says it “told the story of slavery through the eyes of the enslaved, and was one of the first novels to show black characters as fathers and mothers, parents and children – human beings, who were living under inhuman conditions.”  

3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)

  • Nilanjana S Roy, novelist and Financial Times columnist, points out: “Frankenstein influenced scientists as well as writers… [and] speaks to the modern fear of the creations that spin out of our control”;
  • Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, is “the quintessential story of the modern world” says Roger Luckhurst, Professor of Modern-Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, London. 
  • The compelling story of the scientist who brings a creature to life has become one of the most enduring images in modern literature and beyond, and the monster serves as the “ultimate metaphor”, says Lena Wånggren, Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

4. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, 1949)

  • There is an “uncanny accuracy” says Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History at Westminster University, in the book’s definition of modern tyranny: “Now more than ever, we seem to live in the framework it identified… Even the author’s name – ‘Orwellian’ – conjures up a world of thought control. Its precision about the mechanisms of propaganda and the machinery of oppression has got it banned by every authoritarian regime: they are scared of its power to name horror. It is a handbook for those who want to resist.”
  • All those who chose Orwell’s masterpiece seem to agree on one thing – the novel’s scary prescience. “Big Brother gets all the attention,” says novelist and columnist Nilanjana S Roy. “But it’s the rest, the eagerness to join mobs, to obey, to hurt, that he caught so unforgettably.
  • Or, as BBC Culture Editor Rebecca Laurence succinctly puts it: “The ultimate 20th-Century novel becomes the ultimate 21st-Century novel. Terrifying.”

5. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe, 1958)

  • Telling the story of the colonisation of a Nigerian tribe from the point of view of an African, Things Fall Apart explodes stereotypes about Africa and brought to life the true impact of cross-cultural misunderstandings. Achebe said that “this was the first time we were seeing ourselves, as autonomous individuals, rather than half-people, or as Conrad would say, ‘rudimentary souls’”.
  • The European colonial narrative could never be the same after this was published. “It’s an empowering African novel: it brought African experience to the world like no other African fiction has”, according to Dominica Dipio, Associate Professor of Literature at Makerere University in Uganda.
  • By changing the filter through which the continent was seen, “The novel showed readers what an African world looked like when it was not being reduced to canned images animated by racist assumptions,” says Ainehi Edoro-Glines, a Nigerian academic. “Achebe’s innovation was to change the conventions of modern storytelling so that instead of seeing darkness any time readers looked at Africa, they’d see what every novel was designed to show – a complex representation of life.

6. One Thousand and One Nights (various authors, 8th-18th Centuries)

  • It gets at the primordial human desire for the story that never ends – which can very easily stand for life that never comes to an end.” Ahdaf Soueif, novelist, writer and commentator, points out: “Many characters, motifs and quotations (‘Open Sesame!’) from this set of stories within stories have become common parlance across the world.”
  • It’s the deepest of wells,” says novelist and columnist Nilanjana Roy. “In medieval & modern times, from writers to singers and film-makers, we never stopped drawing from it.” 
  • Critic Muneeza Shamsie admires “Sheherazade’s courage, intelligence and confidence and fact she succeeds, asserts the power of storytelling and imagination over tyranny and terror – a concept which has strongly influenced the ideals and ideas of our world.
  • Lena Merhej, a comic artist from Lebanon, picked the book “because it gives a subversive voice to a woman that uses it as a weapon for her survival.” 

To see the rest and read all of the reasons why these stories were selected, go to the BBC Culture page (note book images come from this page as well).


We Are An Unfolding Story

One could even say the United States’ Declaration of Independence is a collective story of the highest order and complexity that all its citizens (and even its non-citizens for no country or civilization operates in a vacuum no matter how powerful they have grown) play out every day. And so as it is played out, it is written–an unfolding story through time in space.

I heard an absolutely wonderful TedTalk exploring this very idea of how each and every person is an author of the collective story unfolding in this time, Now. The whole hour was dedicated to Baratunde Thurston who talks about How To Citizen.

Manoush Zomorodi introduces him this way: “And it has been a year of thinking how our actions affect our neighbors, a year of realizing that many of our systems do little for the most vulnerable among us and here in the U.S., a year when the population further splintered over what it means to be an American. And so how do we talk about all this stuff without alienating each other? How do we move forward collectively? And what is our civic duty in the 21st century? These are big questions. And so on the show today, we’re going to explore ideas about How To Citizen with Baratunde Thurston. He’s been working on and thinking about this topic for years. And he recently came out with a new podcast series appropriately called How To Citizen.

Through this episode Manoush and Baratunde explore some of his notable podcasts and TedTalks. The first individuals he brings up is the lawyer and civil rights activist Valarie Kaur and what she calls Revolutionary Love. He tells Manoush, “I picked Valarie as the opening voice in the podcast series, the How To Citizen podcast. I wanted her to offer a spiritual invocation to the whole idea of what it means to citizen as a verb. And that means to commit to each other.”

Valarie Kaur – Breathe! Push! The Labor of Revolutionary Love | Bioneers | 11,619 views • Nov 13, 2019

Thurston highlights something Valarie talks about, which is “In order to love others, see no stranger. We can train our eyes to look upon strangers on the street, on the subway, on the screen and say in our minds, brother, sister, aunt, uncle. When we say this, what we are saying is, you are a part of me I do not yet know. I choose to wonder about you. Number three, in order to love our opponents, tend the wound. Tending to the wound is not healing them. Only they can do that. Just tending to it allows us to see our opponents, the terrorists, the fanatic, the demagogue. They’ve been radicalized by cultures and policies that we together can change.

Another person they highlight is

Co-Parenting as Allies, not Adversaries | Ebony Roberts & Shaka Senghor | TEDxDetroit | 14,939 views • Jan 15, 2020

Thurston says, “So yeah. So to empathize and identify with the idea of hurt and pain and to acknowledge that I have played a role in probably someone else’s life where I was the opponent – to extend that to others, that’s when it makes sense to me, and it’s not just this masochistic endeavor.”

The next person Thurston brings up is Eric Liu (who he likes to call Mr. Democracy).

How to revive your belief in democracy | Eric Liu | 70,525 views • May 24, 2019

(SOUNDBITE OF TED TALK): ERIC LIU: I bring you greetings from the 52nd freest nation on Earth. As an American, it irritates me that my nation keeps sinking in the annual rankings published by Freedom House. I’m the son of immigrants. My parents were born in China during war and revolution, went to Taiwan and then came to the United States, which means all my life, I’ve been acutely aware just how fragile an inheritance freedom truly is. That’s why I spend my time teaching, preaching and practicing democracy.

TedTalk with Baratunde Thurston

Thurston tells Manoush, “Yeah, I had been talking about this project of How To Citizen for years in some form, and I saw his talk at TED about making civics sexy again and these Civic Saturdays events and sermons, all this kind of religious faith language. But the faith was not in an all-seeing, all-knowing deity. It was in very fallible human beings and our institutions.


There is much more to this talk and all of it is well worth your time to listen to in full or to read the transcript if you are interested in a healthy, diverse, thriving, democratic system. But this is why I am zeroing in on language and storytelling. We tell the stories through our thoughts, words, deeds, and actions (or non-actions). We are writing our living systems as we live it.

It is hard to keep a democratic nation. It is hard to balance differences (e.g., different perspectives, needs, desires, beliefs) as expressed and lived by lots and lots of different people from all over the world who have come to live in the United States. In the TedTalk mentioned above, Liu says: ” Democracy works only when enough of us believe democracy works.”

It takes work to keep a democracy. One of the most memorable points Liu made was out democracy does not automatically spring from constitutional rules but from the inner workings of civic spirit–that is us. We all contribute to the quality of this spirit and whether it is healthy or not.

I know it is hard to stay informed and to pay attention to all the things a complicated society like the United States of America requires its citizens know, but this sort of knowledge is important for the system to continually sustain and renew itself. It is tempting to clamp down and claim that one’s own personal set of principles or beliefs are the only ones to follow to move forward. It is hard to compromise and walk another’s path.


Moments of Illumination & Seeing More of the Story

One of things I think the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated is weakness in our existing systems of being around the world. Many of these weakness can be traced back to individuals living unconsciously; people choosing to live in narrow channels and closing themselves off to points of views that are not in alignment to their preconceived ideas and beliefs; people who refuse and are unwilling to see the world from someone else’s perspective–to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

An interview with Kai Ryssal of MarketPlace demonstrates vividly what is happening to millions of people who have lost jobs and feel like they have been forgotten, even thrown away by our current system of being in the world. A brief clip from this interview that drills down on the fissures in our system and collective way of doing things that is doing us in as a collective is the following:

Ryssdal: When we talked last time, I don’t even remember what I said, but you in essence said you felt you had been forgotten and overlooked. And just to break the fourth wall a little bit here, we kept in touch and you sent us a text in January that said, and this is you now, “I feel so astonishingly betrayed by the systems responsible for protecting and providing for our nation.” Do you as a guy on the lower rungs of the income ladder in this country, do you feel any hope that it’s going to get better post-virus?

Cairns: You know, I really don’t see a lot of silver lining. We are so eager to get back to normal that we’re probably going to ignore a lot of the lessons learned from this pandemic. You know, restaurants and bars are already trying to go back to business as usual. Customers, people in general, definitely want to just go right back to normal. And without some sort of structure, some sort of system in place to help facilitate people taking things easier, I don’t see how this is going to get much better in the future.

Ryssdal: But Neil, if a bar or restaurant opened up around the corner from you and said, “Hey, we can give you 25 hours a week,” would you do it?

Cairns: Probably. Yeah. I don’t think I’d have a whole lot of choice, and that’s exactly the problem — we should. You know, providing for people in situations like mine, like those who are in worse positions than mine, to be able to stay home, to choose when to go back to work in a way that is best for them, I think is really important, and I don’t see any indication that we’re gonna make any attempt to do that.


How to Tell Better Stories

To tell better stories, we need to see each other–everyone. The PBS NewsHour explores this idea in the rising occurrence of hate crimes against Asian Americans. In large part, Trump ignited and inspired this collective hate to be acted out in cruel and brutal ways. He gave a green light to let this hate rip through the delicate fabric that holds us together as an utterly unique collective–something that has never existed on this Earth below at this level, but only if we can keep it, as Thurston so beautifully expresses in the TedTalk above.

In the PBS piece, it is said:

The absence of knowledge is a way of keeping people fighting each other.” Missing in History – The void of knowledge of Asian Americans has and is being replaced by garbage – caricatures of Asians being animals, disease infested, monsters.”

The problem is invisibility. Justice is not a zero sum game. Justice is a fabric that extends across all communities.

PBS NewsHour – March 4, 2021

To tell better stories, we need to see more of ourself by embracing moments of illumination (often triggered by a crisis, a setback, a disaster) to boldly go where we have not yet ventured inside ourself, the realms where our invisible self dwells. Sometimes to tell better stories means we need to see the biases we harbor, the prejudices we protect, and the injustices we perpetuate. Other times it means seeing the power we have lost because we have projected onto someone else. But when we see it exists inside of us too, we grow stronger, we heal, we become more whole inside–we grow as a conscious being. When we finally see we are the thing we hate, we can even transform.

HiddenBrain did a beautiful piece on the power of stories in transforming ourself.

  • Description: The Story of Your Life: We can’t go back and change the past. We can’t erase trauma and hardship. But what if there was a way to regain control of our personal narratives? In the second part of our series on storytelling, we look at how interpreting the stories of our lives — and rewriting them — can change us forever.”

The Power of Myth

This is the power of myths and storytelling. They show us ways to channel the intense energies that surge inside of us when we are provoked by our circumstances. These energies begin as instincts but what consciousness allows us to do is to sees these energies rising before we act on them. This ability gives us a moment to choose an action different than what our innate instincts would otherwise dictate that we do.

In the heat of the moment, many of us may well act on the instinct triggered. However, when we do bring our conscious attention to these moments, we can alter our instincts in a great variety of ways. This is what Jung calls archetypes. They are mirror images of instincts but altered by consciousness. This allows the energy to flow forward in any number of different ways different from how they would have otherwise contained in nature. The number of variations of rising instinctual responses are as vast as the number of human beings who have chosen something differently.

These are the stories of Gods and Goddesses from every culture around the world. These stories tell about what befell a God or Goddess after choosing an altered instinctual response to a situation encountered. Each God and Goddess embodies qualities and energies of our most primal, basic instincts. Together, instincts and archetypes make up the building blocks of the human psyche.

Jung came to believe archetypes are empty templates that we fill anew each time we alter our instinctual responses triggered by circumstances we encounter. They are fluid, flexible, and powerful like water. When we meet our situations and circumstances consciously, we live mythic lives.

A Few Modern Stories Offering Strong Modern Mythic Images to Ponder

A new Netflix series I have loved watching is Invisible City. The trailer says, “What if the legends of your childhood are living in plain sight?” Which of course, they are. This is a beautiful drama that weaves in the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest and its people and animals with Brazilian Folklore entities and deities. Season 1 explores what happens if one of these vital entities gives up.

Invisible city Official trailer (HD) Season 1 (2021) | 69,610 views • Feb 5, 2021
Glitch Season 1 | Trailer | Now On Netflix | 739,777 views • Feb 23, 2016 | This is a fantastic modern remake of the fearsome zombie-monster movie is Glitch that explores consciousness, playing God (or becoming too much like God) and the transformative power of love.
The OA | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix | OA explores consciousness, time, what we think is real, mad scientists, being kids in modern times, choices, reality.
Travelers | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix | Travelers also explores consciousness, time, trying to change our mistakes and the unforeseen consequents of what we cannot possibly know in advance, even what a super smart computer cannot know…
Outlander: Season 5 Official Trailer | If you have not been following this series, you should watch all of them. Season 5 really takes the viewers into very modern questions of: Are you playing God?, birth of a nation, who was really barbaric back then, time, consciousness, love, family.
Succession: Season 1 | Official Trailer | HBO | Truly a modern tail exploring how power is used and abused in our time.

Previous Post in Storytelling Species Series | Part 3: Death of the Father

Part 3 of Storytelling Species | Death of the Father

Next Post in Storytelling Species Series | Part 5: Collective Storytelling: Who Is Q & What The Heck Is the Plandemic and Anti-Vaxxers All About?!!

Part 5 of Storytelling Species Series | Collective Storytelling: Who Is Q & What The Heck Is the Plandemic and Anti-Vaxxers All About?!!

Supplemental Resources for Series:

Rational vs Intuitive
Weaving Reality — So Many Humans, So Many Versions
After Math | The Magical Calculus of Consciousness
  • In Response to Π & Jan. 6, 2021 
  • Facebook Folly…The Mistake & The Fake
  • Now — The Taoist Way
    How to Feel Better & Create a More Beautiful World
    Blood & Bringing into Being a Kinder, Better World

    Have A Boring Life…

    …the Secret to a Good Life

    Synchronistic Stories Series

    Synchronistic stories are like bread crumbs I like to gather for a rainy day when I can ponder them more deeply and seek out the connections (to me, to others, to the moment). They are stories or conversations that have gotten me thinking about things beyond what I would normally ponder in the business of surviving another day. During these extraordinarily abnormal times, synchronistic stories are especially good to contemplate. Who knows, perhaps they hold the key to a new idea, an insight, or understanding how to move forward in a difficult moment. Here are a few more stories that got me thinking about how having a boring life isn’t so bad…if fact, highly desirable.


    “Writing Forces You to Think Through Things”Now is a Good Time to Think Things Through

    Actor And Author Ethan Hawke: Writing ‘Forces You To Think Through Things’ (Weekend Edition Sunday with Lulu Garcia-Navarro, January 31, 2021)

    Image from Weekend Edition Sunday with Lulu Garcia-Navarro aired on January 31, 2021

    “Young people often have this desire to try to make their life interesting,” says actor, author, and director Ethan Hawke. “Life is so interesting all by itself. You do not have to try to goose life.” He’s pictured above in Paris on Nov. 25, 2019.

    Words of Advice

    While on book tour in Berlin, Hawke met a German editor who gave him some advice: “He said, ‘The problem is you’re having the same dilemma that famous writers have at the end of their career … You are not a famous writer — you are a famous person who’s writing.’ “

    The editor suggested he just embrace it. “He advised me on my next novel not to run away from it, but to run into it … and then, of course, it took me 20 years to do it.”

    On why he framed the story around Shakespeare’s Henry IV, a play he performed in 2003

    I started trying to do King Lear, but I’ve never performed King Lear, and I realized that I just wasn’t intimate enough with the play and that the play’s themes didn’t speak to my themes that I wanted to write about. You know, Henry IV probably explores fathers and sons and masculinity and the attempt to arrive at some kind of, quote unquote, manhood or adulthood about as well as literature can do. And that was what my story was.

    So I kept kind of coming back to Hotspur. One of my favorite things about acting is seeing yourself as your character’s lawyer and defending his position. And in the novel, I have this sense that William is trying to prove to himself — that he’s the good guy and he’s trying to do the same thing for his character and there’s something kind of wonderful about that realization.

    On revisiting a difficult time in his life – he was performing in Henry IV around the time his marriage to Uma Thurman ended

    I had a lot of growing up to do, and one of the things that I really love about writing is it forces you to think through things, and think through situations, and create a fictional universe where you can see things that maybe you can’t see inside your own life. That’s what the title is about, you know, “a bright ray of darkness” is the unity of opposites, so to speak, that we learn by suffering.

    On the complex relationship between celebrities and their fans

    I’ve spent so much time thinking about this because I experienced celebrity young. I’ve had a desire to break that glass wall. … When I look at Michael Jackson, or Elvis, or any of these people who have reached extreme celebrity, it’s like they’re in some isolation tank and they’re just going mad. And we’re watching them, kind of loving watching them die.

    When everyone else is staring at you, it’s hard not to start staring at yourself like them. You start to see yourself in third person. You start to be writing the narrative of your life and it’s just a toxic way of thinking.

    And yet, it’s fun to sell out a theater. It’s fun to get a standing ovation. It’s fun to move people and have them tell you they were moved. So the positives are this huge high and the negatives are just people chopping at your ankles. It’s been very confusing throughout my life.

    Danny Hensel and D. Parvaz produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Beth Novey adapted it for the Web.

    See also, Ethan Hawke On Playing John Brown, Early Fame, And Making A Friend Of Fear (October 5, 2020) 


    Threads from Facebook – Weaving Stories Together to Understand Things

    I shared this post on January 27, 2021 in one of the last remaining groups I belong on Facebook, adding the following comment:

    Truth… wisdom… bearing witness to the world as it is… does this what the image conveys… perhaps… I am getting attacked right now for making an artistic, celebratory video on the inauguration of Biden and Harris… someone asking where are the fact checkers… (perhaps they meant to say where are the fantasy checkers?).

    I suspect he was referring to the stories that inspired the raid and sacking of the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021. It was an insurrection inspired by lies, misinformation, and fantasy. An alternative world created by alternative facts that compelled people to believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and then it didn’t take much to poke at this fantasy and pop the mind bubbles making them burst into a deadly reality. How much of our human world is shaped by fantasy and by beliefs that we’ve ceased to examine critically by using all our human faculties of thinking, feelings, sensation, and intuition?

    These things (beliefs, story, fantasy) become shortcuts we hold inside our mind to explain reality. So cherished they can become, we can be inspired to act on our short cuts for reality. If they are lopsided and out of whack with reality, bad things tend to befall all humans involved. This is the danger of creating alternative worlds inside our minds that become more precious to us than the world we share with each other. 

    The only antidote is to grow your mind, your light of consciousness by using all your conscious abilities: critical thought, feeling, sensation, intuition.

    Image probably from a Tarot card deck

    The original post came from: Chaim Mendel * January 25 at 7:00 PM  *  If there were one philosophical truth that you could teach everyone in the world, what would it be?  What is the most interesting philosophical question?


    An Online Conversation

    The following conversation ensued. It is a story. But it takes an open mind to explore and unlock the possibilities explored. 

    That’s what we are here to help each other do—unlock our inner possibilities. 

    All of us have infinite inner possibilities, but we must squeeze them out one at a time as we travel through space and time.

    Being an ancient species and new species at the same time, we confront many paradoxes, obstacles, and challenges as we try to remember who we are and what we are here to do.

    Many tools of insight and understanding have been developed by every people and all civilizations to help people find, cultivate, and grow their inner power. Most are cloaked in mystery and numinosity. Most have been lost to modern man. 

    This conversation explores the wisdom of the Tarot and traces its deep, enigmatic roots.


    The Nine of Swords

    Colin Kilburn

    I’ll have to look that image up on Google I guess because I have no idea what it means other than cross daggers in the wheel of progress.

    Not exactly sure, but the nine swords are symbolic.

    Occultism … And perhaps a progression of the (still alive) nine swords meme tarot card (fantasy stories)

    Image: The Nine of Swords from AuntyFlo

    Auntyflo says about the Nine of Swords: “When the Nine of Swords becomes present in your reading there is an experience in your life that you are going to need to analyze very carefully.

    Focus on your priorities and keep moving. This card is representative of ill tidings coming your way. Sometimes life throws us curveballs that exist for the purpose of giving us the experience of working through the problems that they create and this is the case for you at this time. Often this card is depicting some kind of loss that has thrown you completely off of your normal routine.

    The image that is depicted in the Rider-Waite deck shows a woman waking up in the dead of night in despair. Her head is in her hands and there are nine heavy swords hanging over her head. This is symbolic of loss, suffering and sometimes misery or oppression. This card could be symbolic of a loss of a loved one either in an end in a relationship or a death. When you have gotten this card in your reading you will need to take a step back emotionally and take a look at your situations as they currently are.

    If you are experiencing this level of loss and you are right in the middle of grieving this could be hard to do. But this card tells you that it is important for you to keep focused on your end goal primarily because for one thing it will help with your grief and for another you will find that even though this is a difficult time, much growth will come as a result of you having the strength to keep on moving. You will definitely need to prioritize because you will not be able to take on very much right now, so what you do take on needs to be gentle and easy for you to handle. When you prioritize then you are giving the pain something positive to transform into, and often times pain and suffering can be excellent motivations. You need a distraction that will help you get through your grief. Immerse yourself totally and trust that you know what you need to do to succeed. At this point, the higher mind can take the wheel, and you should allow it to. Healing is found when one connects to their higher source energy.

    Right now the combination that can be found in Knowledge and in Wisdom should be treated as interrelated. You cannot carry out a responsibility without the knowledge necessary to do so and you can’t be truly informed or knowledgeable on anything without the assistance of responsibility. There is a copasetic relationship here that cannot be denied. At this point in the Suit of Swords, you must take the responsibility inherent in the Knowledge that is at your fingertips so that you might get through this devastating time unscathed.

    The time to fine-tune your personal philosophy and set goals for this lifetime is now. Even though it may be difficult to do so, there is nothing healthier for you at this time then to focus on improving yourself in life. Take the time now to consider how you are putting yourself down and being counterproductive, what is causing you suffering at this time? What is causing you to be depressed?

    During this time of COVID-19, we are all experiencing deep loss and most probably depression at some level. Go to Auntyflo to read more of this ancient wisdom contained within the cards of the tarot. She explores The Nine of Swords in Love, The Nine Of Swords As Feelings, The Nine of Swords in Health, The Nine of Swords in Work and Wealth, Nine of Swords Advice, Nine of Swords Outcome, and Reversed Meaning – Nine Of Swords (this is like Runes of Ancient Nordic cultures. I was writing about runes and reversed meaning at the time my father died two years ago.)


    Colin Kilburn

    Note : I am an atheist, but the card is interesting indeed: “If there were one philosophical truth that you could teach everyone in the world, what would it be?

    Summarize Philosophy to One Truth

    The Desiderata seems to find a balance with metaphysical Naturalism … Humanism … Desiderata (things that are desired)

    The original art of these Desiderata prints and posters are in beautiful calligraphy by Sherrie Lovler.

    GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    This is such deep, beautiful wisdom. Sage advice for how to live a boring but deeply meaningful, productive, shining life. I told Colin this was gold. I never heard of it before. Thanks to Colin digging deeper, my post (which I had not thought very deeply about) suddenly went much deeper into a vein of wisdom I would have missed had Colin not paid attention and contributed this work above.


    Tarot Cards, Major Arcana & the Kabbalah

    Then, Barry Kort continued the dive, going further back in time and space.

    Barry Kort:

    The Tarot Deck (especially the Major Arcana) come from the Kabbalah. Originally the 22 cards of the Major Arcana were illustrations of 22 passages in a generic life story. I’m not sure of this, but I think Colin’s version of a life story is what he calls a Journey Map.

    Image from The Major Arcana

    Passages

    A 20th Century secular version of a generic life story would be found in “Passages” by Gail Sheehy.

     By Journey Map or Quest Map is for a specific journey of one endeavor. I will be explaining the various “maps” in the next while. Defiantly cognitive sense-making tool. Not a solution to life, that is 42. (22 for Dave M)

    Thanks for your interest.

    Shared by Barry Kort — not sure origins

    There are many variations on illustrations for passages in a Life’s Journey. Here, for example, is a kit of cutout illustrations for “Life’s a Journey.”

    Life’s a Journey — Collection Reveal

    Here is an artisan in Italy who makes custom Tarot Cards for any passage in a Life Journey.

    The Handmade Art of Tarot Cards

    By the way, ‘Tarot’ is ‘Torat‘ spelled backwards.

    In Hebrew, ‘Torah‘ and ‘Torat‘ are the same word, meaning ‘Theory‘ or ‘Science‘.

    If you want to say, “Epistemology” in Hebrew, you say, “Torat Emet” (literally the Science or Theory of Truth).

    The reason for adding the consonant is so one can understand two successive words where the first word ends in a vowel and the second word begins in a vowel. So you don’t say “Torah Emet” because it would sound like “Toramet.” Adding the extra ‘t’ helps separate the two words when they are spoken aloud.

    So don’t be tormented by “Torah Emet” but say “Torat Emet” to mean Epistemology — the Science or Theory of Truth.

    The Theory of Apostrophe by Barry Kort — THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013

    The Fool’s Journey

    The totality of a generic life journey is known in the lore of the Kabbalah as “The Fool’s Journey” and it’s illustrated by the 22 cards of the Major Arcana.

    The totality of a generic life journey is known in the lore of the Kabbalah as “The Fool’s Journey” and it’s illustrated by the 22 cards of the Major Arcana.

    «The Fool’s Journey is a metaphor for the journey through life. Each major arcana card stands for a stage on that journey — an experience that a person must incorporate to realize his wholeness. These 22 descriptions are based on the keywords for each major arcana card.»

    “We begin with the Fool (0), a card of beginnings. The Fool stands for each of us as we begin our journey of life. He is a fool because only a simple soul has the innocent faith to undertake such a journey with all its hazards and pain.

    At the start of his trip, the Fool is a newborn – fresh, open and spontaneous. The figure on Card 0 has his arms flung wide, and his head held high. He is ready to embrace whatever comes his way, but he is also oblivious to the cliff edge he is about to cross. The Fool is unaware of the hardships he will face as he ventures out to learn the lessons of the world.

    The Fool stands somewhat outside the rest of the major arcana. Zero is an unusual number. It rests in the exact middle of the number system – poised between the positive and negative. At birth, the Fool is set in the middle of his own individual universe. He is strangely empty (as is zero), but imbued with a desire to go forth and learn. This undertaking would seem to be folly, but is it?


    The Nine of Swords

    Nine of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck

    Barry Kort relays: «When the Nine of Swords becomes present in your reading there is an experience in your life that you are going to need to analyze very carefully.

    Focus on your priorities and keep moving. 

    Sometimes life throws us curveballs that exist for the purpose of giving us the experience of working through the problems that they create. Often this passage is depicting some kind of loss that has thrown you completely off of your normal routine.

    The image that is depicted in the Rider-Waite version of the Tarot Deck shows a woman waking up in the dead of night in despair. Her head is in her hands and there are nine heavy swords hanging over her head. This is symbolic of loss, suffering and sometimes misery or oppression. This card could be symbolic of a loss of a loved one either in an end in a relationship or a death.

    This passage tells you that it is important for you to keep focused on your end goal because for one thing it will help with your grief and for another you will find that even though this is a difficult time, much growth will come as a result of you having the strength to keep on moving.»


    How to Grow Your Mind Space: N.E.M.E. — Notice | Engage | Mull | Exchange

    It is altogether fitting and significant that this thread is an instance of “N.E.M.E.” ~ Notice / Engage / Mull / Exchange.

    John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath | In his iconic novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), John Steinbeck portrays the hardships of life during the Great Depression in the United States.

    Just as in “The Grapes of Wrath,” we’re all fermenting the same w(h)ine, but affixing different labels to the bottle.


    Whiniest Heroes

    Have to take a side note here: The Whiniest Heroes In Movie History (whiners might just play a critical role for humanity)

    He’s ranked #10, but I like the picture.

    Whiniest Quote: “It just isn’t fair! I’m never gonna get out of here!”

    Though Luke grows into one of the greatest heroes in the galaxy, he begins his days as a rather angsty, reluctant teen. His journey is a rough one and he is rarely afraid to let those around him know it. His list of complaints is so long that whole compilations have been made that show off his whiniest moments.

    • Played By: Mark Hamill

    Hebrew Alphabet & the Major Arcana

    Barry Kort

    Hebrew Alphabet (Aleph-Bet)

    The 22 Cards of the Major Arcana are similarly numbered by the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. 

    Each card of the Major Arcana corresponds to a major passage in the life of a typical person on a typical Life Journey.

    The remaining numbered cards within each of the four suits of the Minor Arcana — Swords, Pentacles, Wands, and Cups — correspond to specific Cognitive-Emotive States that a person may find themselves in somewhere in the midst of any given Life Passage in their Life Journey.

    Tarot: The Major Arcana — from Three Queens Yoga

    Re the unknown symbolic card deck, they were beautifully drawn, and it might not have been Tammy.

    I remember the ‘alphabet code’ and thought it was an interesting creative tool for idea catalysts. 

    Let me see if my link still works to the article Tammy wrote.


    Lovely Virtual Conversations — The New Collective Way of Sharing Time

    Barry Kort shared two lovely interviews (and you can find a third at The Wisdom Factory) related to this conversation, but also uniquely different.

    Glenn and Tammy
    Women Matters

    Barry Kort

     I really liked Heidi we had some fun talking and we had a little bit of a dispute going with our takes on Jordan Peterson although I agree with a lot of what Jordan Peterson’s academic work. At least I think I do.

    One thing to note about Heidi is that she always had a hard time understanding Doug because he would use such flowery language and go on and on and she would try to get him to get to the point or explain it in a way somebody could understand/I don’t have a hard time understanding Doug for the most part although I do think he stays at a high level where more concreteness could help with verifying understanding.

    Colin Kilburn

     We did several shows on the alphabet code hopefully I’ll have my query database running soon. 

    I’m starting to become more of a video producer than programmer and plus I got several other things on the go like this guy who’s giving me a lot of grief in a difficult conversation coexistence group I’m in.


    Afraid of the Wrong Things | Hidden Brain

    Around the world, people are grappling with the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. How do our minds process that risk, and why do some of us process it so differently? This week, we talk with psychologist Paul Slovic about the disconnect between our own assessments of risk and the dangers we face in our everyday lives. 

    Jaws | Final Face-Off With the Shark in 4K Ultra HD | 27,527,510 views•Jun 10, 2020 | Look how many views in less than one year of posting… we love scary things as human beings… we really do…

    Shankar Vedantam says, “Our feelings are shaped by stories, images, and the people we are with. (…) Our sense of control determines our sense of risk. Take for example calculating our sense of contracting and getting COVID-19. We perceive that we have greater control going to a restaurant and thus might believe we have less of a risk getting COVID there while we perceive less control of making the vaccine and thus perceive this as more dangerous to us.”

    Psychologist Paul Slovic says, “The modern world has a whole range of dangers much different than the world in which our brains evolved, which were inside hominoids who were living in caves. (…) There is no gatekeeper in our brains that vet feelings. This was very adaptive a long time ago helping humans survive by accessing their instincts at a moment’s notice (e.g., hearing growl in the grass). There was no time then to analyze every possibility. But our feelings do hijack the mind and this can be dangerous in our complicated modern lives that have Collective Consequences that are very different than Stone Age Consequences. (…) Take example wearing a mask to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID. We don’t see the consequences of taking such a collective action right before our eyes, and thus may underestimate the harm of not wearing a mask to ourself and others. If we then choose to not wear a mask, the virus wins and spreads and mutates. But, if we wear a mask and pay attention over time to the results of lots of people also wearing masks, we see the collective benefit and reduction of the spread of COVID-19. But many people don’t connect long-term results with short-term sacrifices, and thus continue taking wrong action. This is the same phenomena playing out in taking right action to reduce the harmful effects of the coming massive, global climate change.”

    This podcast is profound because to explores how our feelings shape our actions in the world. Often they do so in ways we are very unconscious of, but they do so in ways that have huge impacts on our shared reality.

    What Does 2021 Have in Store for Children? | Save the Children | 1,634 views•Dec 18, 2020

    Psychologist Paul Slovic says, “We tend to help others because we feel good when we can do something that makes a difference. But when we realize there are others who we cannot help, then bad feelings enter our minds and this dampens our empathy capacity and lessens our action to do something. This is crazy because we should do what we can where we are at with what we have.” For more, see Arithmetic of Compassion.

    And BEWARE how Save the Children has been coopted by QAnon to hook people into crazy beliefs. More about this soon in The Story of Q.

    QAnon, coronavirus and the conspiracy cult – BBC News | 188,994 views•Premiered Jul 27, 2020 | A bizarre conspiracy theory has surged in popularity in the US since the pandemic, according to exclusive research seen by the BBC. | Since this video was posted, QAnon has been linked to the storming of the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021 — it is a violent conspiracy cult that baths its followers with ancient, awful myths of imagines that trigger their most primitive feelings, which trigger ancient animal instincts in vile ways.

    Frightening Stories That Fascinate Us

    The Sixth Sense (1999) – Official Trailer
    The Shining – Official Trailer [1980] HD | 916,305 views•Apr 6, 2012 | “Here’s Johnny…”

    The Storytelling Species: Makers & Players of Reality Bubbles

    “We no longer agree on a common set of facts, on a common reality, and that is a big problem for democracy.” — David Becker, Center for Election Innovation and Research, Jan 6, 2021 on 1A

    Part 1 in The Storytelling Species Series

    A DANGEROUS GAME 

    2020 – what more need be said. It was a year of enormous reversals, lost, and tragedy. Colossal waves of misery circumnavigated the global hitting every continent of consciousness like tsunamis of misfortune. These billowing waves of ruin quickly laid waste to norms, routines, and traditions keeping humanity flowing in elaborately engineered channels of business-as-usual. 

    The cause of this terrific ruinous wave was not a stupendous subterranean seismic shift. Rather it was a submicroscopic infectious bundle of nucleic acid molecules. A minute bundle of pre-life substances that decided long ago it was far more effective to replicate itself inside of the cells of living organisms emerging at the same time long ago. Rather than grow all those high energy organelles themselves, this teensy-weensy replicon simply evolved the capacity to bind to cells of living beings and invade them. Upon gaining entry, the little replicons go to work doing what they are best at doing: replicating. It’s not that hard to understand how a thing that replicates so much mutates and jumps from one species to another. 

    Before 2020 was half over, it was clear no part of the globe would be spared from the tiny replicon that made the jump to us, and then it got worse. Nevertheless, small pockets of human triumph emerged (places in the world where quick collective action kept the little replicon at bay). I found this website tracking which countries are winning in the fight against COVID-19, which are nearly there, and which need action. I was surprised because thought I knew which ones were winning. It turns out many countries I thought were doing fine have faltered, while others who are winning or nearly there, I’ve never heard of—places like Djibouti, Holy See, and Vanuatu.

    To be sure, many of these are smaller countries or island nations, which naturally confers an advantage in winning the war against this tiny replicon. However, the most powerful tool in the arsenal of every continent of consciousness has been messaging a rather new type of communiqué to emerge in the human world. It is a word used frequently in workplace settings. But it is also used wherever there is a need to get a lot of people on the same page to accomplish a collective action. 

    Study.com defines messaging into 3 types: 1) informational messages communicate routine, repetitive daily tasks or convey instructions, codes, steps, or workplace procedures; 2) persuasive messages are designed to convince an individual or group to take certain specific actions; and 3) goodwill messages are used to show or instill a sense of kindness or friendliness in a workplace or community.

    To combat COVID-19, blending these 3 types of messaging together has proved to be the most effective strategy in repelling the tiny virion. It turns out this blend of messaging is a modern distillation of a much older form of human communication, storytelling

    Every people, culture, and civilization that has ever existed has stories that are passed down from one generation to the next. Stories tell what has happened to the people through time. Stories weave wonderous narratives of where the people have come from and where they may be going. Stories entertain, frighten, warn, and make fun of aspects of being human and of living together in groups. Some of our most beloved stories are of individuals who overcome overwhelming obstacles to accomplish something extraordinary that benefits the people. These are the stories of heroes, winners, celebrities, and luminaries—a civilization’s shining stars of how to be a superb human being in the adoring eyes of all its citizen members. 

    Almost as beloved but for different reasons are stories of individual who commit dreadful, appalling, horrifying atrocities on other living beings. These stories tend to serve as warnings But sometimes they get twisted and become a template for emptying the space inside the minds of individual citizens and filling this space with warped and twisted content designed to serve the narrator of these stories. When this happens, it is always a dangerous time for everyone in a group.

    Stories have long been used to galvanize collective action for as long as mankind can remember. They are powerful tools because they work inside the invisible spaces of the human mind. They settle into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. They take root and grow within the human soul.

    Throughout human history stories have galvanized individuals living within a group or civilization to strive for something greater or for something mingy. Stories reveal the best and worst of the people who tell them because they reveal pieces of their soul. 


    Coronavirus-19 — Art by Bebe

    As the global pandemic made its watery march around the world, I began to see stories emerge from people that shocked and surprised me. Many stories barely clung to reality. Rather these stories seemed to float in the air like colorful bubbles that would most surely pop as soon as encountering the first blade of grass growing out of the Rock of Reality… the one we all live on… our beloved Planet Earth.

    In this blog series, I will explore how stories alter human reality. It is something we’ve been doing for a very long time. The difference now is there are so many more humans living on Earth all creating slightly different versions of reality inside their mind. These realities take form and burst into the world whenever an individual acts upon their inner stories. All of us have them. These are the stories we tell ourselves about what has happened to us through space and time. It is self-talk, but inner talk that creates bubble-like realities inside our minds. 

    We need these mind bubbles. They generate energy that power our minds. It is very much like how living cells grew organelles, little bubbles, inside the cell to power the cell, creating life! Mind bubbles create awaken consciousness. There are other organelles inside the mind creating human consciousness, but I will focus on the ones creating mind bubbles through stories, which we consume to feed our mind. 

    Most modern human beings have forgotten this. Forgetting this, we have descended into consumption patterns that are quite destructive. It’s a lot like eating fatty, sugary, highly processed morsels of food that has become more artificial than natural to sustain the body. It doesn’t end well. The same is true of feeding the human mind, it requires nourishment and this nourishment sustains the soul. 

    I believe humanity is playing a dangerous game. Most of it is occurs inside our minds until it erupts into action. When action is informed by reality, humans have done and accomplished amazing feats. However, when human action is informed by human fantasy and misinformation, terrible things can occur.


    Today, one of these bubbles popped in a most distributing way.

    Most of us have stumbled into this game. Many have been pushed by super manipulators of dangerous and false narratives. What these stories do is stir up sleeping forces living deep inside us. Most modern men and women have forgotten they are there. Without the light of consciousness, they can be deadly. It is a game humanity has been playing for awhile and it has been steadily dragging the entire world to the brink of catastrophe. If humanity survives this game, future humans will remember 2020 and the beginning of 2021 as the beginning of the coming catastrophe that will resonate throughout the entire century created by a meltdown of the human mind. 

    A deep taproot feeding our deadly descent is a collective unwillingness to Bear Accurate Witness to reality. It is a concept my friend Barry Kort brought to my attention recently. I will talk more about it later and recount our conversation in October/November in AfterMath: The Magical Calculus of Consciousness

    In upcoming blogs, I’ll explain more of what I mean that we are a storytelling species playing a dangerous game of bubble realities. These games transpire inside our minds and can turn off our hearts. This ability gives humans tremendous power. Stories can ignite the human soul and inspire it to act in terrible ways. Stories can also extinguish the flame of destruction and heal hearts and souls. Both of these potentials come from inside us. As perhaps the only storytelling species of planet Earth, we hold the magical power to create or destroy our shared reality through stories. 

    Postscript:

    Yesterday, I was working on this piece while listening to NPR as I usually do. When it got towards 1:00 p.m., FreshAir was airing something I was not as interested in when it occurred to be that the Congressional counts were beginning. So I turned on CNN and listened to it as I wrote. I did not intend to put the videos and pictures above in this piece. At that moment in time, the reality bubble had not yet popped and spilled into reality in disturbing, violent ways.

    Just before it did, I began taking pictures and videos to make a short video about dogs watching history (like I did one year earlier during the Impeachment Hearings). I thought it funny and a nice way to document and remember this historic moment. I finished this video just before the Capitol was invaded on Jan 6, 2021–incited by the President’s speech one hour earlier and his steady drip of misinformation that he won the 2020 election by a landslide and the election was stolen from him.

    Here is the first video I made yesterday. Moments after making this, CNN began to cut to marchers surging upon the Capitol.

    Dogs Watching History | Jan 6, 2021

    After the Capitol was breached and distributing reports streamed across the airways, I kept filming and made a second more serious video.

    Today Began as Expected…Division But It Was Peaceful…Then | Jan 6, 2021

    These are the Impeachment with dog videos I made a year ago.

    Impeachment Hearings Today…But I’d Really Like to Get Into This Bag | Premiered Jan 21, 2020
    Day 3: Impeachment Hearings — Day 1: Puppy! | Premiered Jan 25, 2020

    This was on the ground footage of one of the first Pro-Trump rally in DC.

    Cacophony — The Beautiful Humans of Earth | Premiered Nov 14, 2020

    And, this was one of first Black Lives Matter protests in DC after Trump violently cleared Lafayette Square for a photo opt.

    Black Lives Matter | Jun 8, 2020

    Some of Jan 6, 2021 AfterMath

    Who were the groups at the rally? By Shayan Sardarizadeh of BBC Monitoring — I will be talking about QAnon a little be later in this series. I heard about this guy. Pretty stunning.

    Image from BBC | “Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, alongside far-right pro-Trump groups, were planning the rally outside Congress for weeks.”

    Analysis: What does this mean for Trump’s legacy?

    Image fro BBC | “If this is the “at long last, have you left no sense of decency” moment for Donald Trump, it arrives as they’re cleaning up blood and broken glass in the US Capitol.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2RW9ttwgvA
    PBS is an American public broadcast service | Full Broadcast of Jan 6, 2021

    What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About AmericaAnne Applebaum, Staff writer at The Atlantic

    Image from The Atlantic: JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP / KENT NISHIMURA / LOS ANGELES TIMES / GETTY / THE ATLANTIC

    I have been following Anne over the past year as she is an expert in these matters and really, really smart! She opens her piece in The Atlantic saying:

    We have promoted democracy in our movies and books. We speak of democracy in our speeches and lectures. We even sing about democracy, from sea to shining sea, in our national songs. We have entire government bureaus devoted to thinking about how we can help other countries become and remain democratic. We fund institutions that do the same.

    And yet by far the most important weapon that the United States of America has ever wielded—in defense of democracy, in defense of political liberty, in defense of universal rights, in defense of the rule of law—was the power of example. In the end, it wasn’t our words, our songs, our diplomacy, or even our money or our military power that mattered. It was rather the things we had achieved: the two and a half centuries of peaceful transitions of power, the slow but massive expansion of the franchise, and the long, seemingly solid traditions of civilized debate.

    … She talks about the years after WWII and how America stood as an example, but more than that… a symbol of democracy. Symbols act very powerfully inside the human psyche. Stories use symbols to conduct their magic. Anne goes on saying:

    During this period, many American politicians and diplomats mistakenly imagined that it was their clever words or deeds that persuaded others to join what eventually became a very broad, international democratic alliance. But they were wrong. It was not them; it was us—our example.

    Over the past four years, that example has been badly damaged. We elected a president who refused to recognize the democratic process. We stood by while some members of Donald Trump’s party cynically colluded with him, helping him break laws and rules designed to restrain him. We indulged his cheerleading “media”—professional liars who pretended to believe the president’s stories, including his invented claims of massive voter fraud. Then came the denouement: an awkward, cack-handed invasion of the Capitol by the president’s supporters, some dressed in strange costumes, others sporting Nazi symbols or waving Confederate flags. They achieved the president’s goal: They brought the official certification of the Electoral College vote to a halt. House and Senate members and Vice President Mike Pence were escorted out of the legislative chambers. Their staff members were told to shelter in place. A woman was shot to death.

    … Anne talks about how anti-democratic countries are and will continue to use what happened yesterday to push down democratic efforts among their people. They are already twisting what happened at the Capitol yesterday equating the rioters who rampaged the Capitol as the same as the demonstrators in places such as Russia and China that have violently dealt with individuals seeking free and fair elections, equating the MAGA rioters ignited by a false narrative promoted by Trump as the same.

    America’s enemies said less but surely enjoyed the images more. Yesterday morning, after all, the Chinese government arrested the leaders of the democracy movement in Hong Kong. In 2020, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who did so much to put Donald Trump in the White House, was accused of poisoning his most important political opponent, Alexei Navalny. In recent memory, the Saudi crown prince ordered the gruesome murder of a journalist who was one of his most prominent critics; Iranian, Belarusian, and Venezuelan leaders regularly beat and imprison dissidents in their countries.

    After the riot at the Capitol, all of them will feel more confident, more secure in their positions. They use violence to prevent peaceful debate and peaceful transfers of power; now they have observed that the American president does too. Trump has not ordered the murder of his enemies. But now nobody can be sure of what he might do in order to maintain power. Schadenfreude will be the dominant emotion in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Caracas, Riyadh, and Minsk. The leaders of those cities—men sitting in well-appointed palaces, surrounded by security guards—will enjoy the scenes from Washington, relishing the sight of the U.S. brought so low.

    Yes indeed, America was significantly damaged yesterday–all in the service of one man’s bruised ego.


    How The United States Arrived At Pro-Trump Extremists Breaching The Capitol Building

    Image from 1A — Jan 7, 2021: A man holding signs and flags in support of President Donald Trump is seen in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.Jon Cherry/Getty Images

    Description: “An insurrectionist mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as a part of a riot against the results of the election. Four people died on the Capitol grounds. Pipe bombs and a cooler of Molotov cocktails were found in the area.

    Slate’s Aymann Ismail was with some of the insurrectionists as they breached the Capitol:

    The people I managed to speak to didn’t seem to understand the gravity of what they had done. Inside a building they had broken into, they described themselves as “peaceful” to me. I talked to a kid from Florida, who must have been no more than 17 or 18. He told me, “This is nothing compared to what Antifa does.” I said, “Look, they’re breaking the glass.” He answered, “Yeah, but at least they’re not destroying the things.” I showed him pictures of things destroyed. It didn’t register. On the way up, there was a woman holding a sign saying, “If we were leftists, we would be rioting.”

    After multiple calls to do so by Republicans and Democrats, in the afternoon, President Trump asked the mob to stay peaceful. In the same video posted to Twitter, President Trump also insisted the election was stolen from him, which is a lie. After these videos were posted, the president was banned from his Twitter account for 12 hours.

    The insurrection was the third MAGA-related event in the last few months as Trump-affiliated demonstrators previously clashed with counter-protesters and police in November and December.”


    One of the guest speakers is talking about the narrative going back decades such as Newt Gingrich saying he wanted to make politics a blood sport (and he has). This speakers says a conscious choice was made to court the worse instincts in their supporters. The problem is once these instincts ignite, the manipulators loss control.


    After A Pro-Trump Extremist Mob Stormed The Capitol, Where Do We Go From Here?

    Image from 1A | Jan 7, 2021 | Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump.Samuel Corum/Getty Images

    Jen White says: “We knew because he told us over and over.”

    Rep Tim Ryan (D-OH) says (approximately): “I’m not impressed with all the Republicans jumping on the right side of history in the last 13 days of the Trump Administration. And the Republicans still riding the Trump bandwagon know better. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and a handful of others. They know better. They received the best education possible in America and still they propped up Trump’s false narrative.”

    Andrew Marantz (Staff Writer, The New Yorker; author of “Anti-Social: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”) says (approximately): “We have a much bigger problem going on. Our entire social media empire is a system constructed to hijack the human mind and tap into the lizard brain. It preys on humanity’s worse instincts and keeps them addicted to it.” This is what I’m writing in my book: Sapience!


    Description of episode: “In a September presidential debate, President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys “to stand back and stand by.” The Proud Boys are a right-wing extremist group with ties to white supremacy. But those comments weren’t the first time he appeared to encourage violence from his base. And on Wednesday, thousands of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

    Despite previously encouraging them to go to the Capitol, President Trump urged the mob to “go home,” though in the same statement he continued to falsely claim he won the election. And after this, some are wondering whether it’s still safe for the president, and the lawmakers who challenged the vote certification process, to stay in office for the rest of his term.”


    Pro-Trump Insurrectionists Cause Chaos At The Capitol — THE KOJO NNAMDI SHOW, Jan 7, 2021

    Image from Kojo Nnamdi Show | Jan 7, 2021 | U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point near the House Chamber inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. ANDREW HARNIK / AP (This was rare…most of the people who walked into the Capitol walked out some escorted or helped down stairs.)

    Greg Carr, Chair, Dept. of Afro-American Studies, Howard University, said (roughly): “They… who are they (the people who poured into the Capitol yesterday)… they are the people who see ‘their’ country slipping away… the power they use to have as a majority, as former slave owners and landowners, as people who have become use to having advantages over black and brown citizens of the United States of America. They were promised to bring all these things back… and they saw this promise slipping away… and so they went into ‘their’ house to hold state in ‘their’ country. That is who they are...” (…) “This country was founded on the enslavement of a people. What we saw today is a continuation of this struggle. … There is a moment when the black police officer is retreating up the stairs from the mob chasing him. When he finally gets up to the 4th floor and encounters several white police officers, you can see the moment when he stops and looks at them and you know he is thinking — are they with them or are they with me? He does not advance to defend himself and the capitol until he sees the white officers advancing on the insurrectionists. That moment tells you everything about what was going on yesterday.”

    Dana Fisher, Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland; Author, “American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave”, said (roughly when asked what is the difference between a protestor and insurrectionist): “Protesters expertise their right to voice their disagreement to something going on in the country, but protesters do not carry arms, invade a building of government, and call for shooting and hanging the traitors they believe have failed them. These are insurrectionists… these are domestic terrorists…


    Stay safe… remember love always finds the most inclusive, gentle way to live together in peace and harmony. It is our choice to act through love or to act through hate.

    Next in The Storytelling Species Series | Part 2: The Sea of Misery:

    Part 2: The Storytelling Species: How We Created the Sea of Misery


    Supplemental Resources of Series:

    Deniers, Liars, & Alt Reality
    Weaving Reality — So Many Humans, So Many Versions of Reality & How Did We Get Here?
    Aftermath | The Magical Calculus of Consciousness
    Facebook Folly… The Mistake & The Fake
    In Response to Π & Jan. 6, 2021
    Rational vs Intuitive

    Facebook Folly…The Mistake & the Fake

    “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  Carl Jung, The Philosophical Tree

    This is a simple and very common story. It is a story about a mistake that lead to a misunderstanding that descended into fatuity. Stuff like this happens all the time between people. Most of the time, it leaves both parties feeling moronic, doltish, and foolish.

    The exception is when one person holds more power or authority than another person. Then such common occurrences get channeled down a most menacing passage way. One socially designed to keep the power holder’s dignity and respectability in place while decimating the other’s social standing or means of making a living.

    You think I am exaggerating?

    Injustices use the energy created inside the mind to effect action in the world. Systems of consciousness evolved to divert the psychological energies generated by simple mistakes and common misunderstanding unto a few. The few are the handful of people who have amassed resources and become rich and powerful in the world of human beings. These rich and powerful folks then engineer the social systems to reroute the blessings meant for all people living within a system (e.g., a family, a tribe, a city, a state, a nation, a civilization) unto themselves. This has been happening for centuries, entrenching power unto a few people existing on the top of the social hierarchy.

    Still doubt me? Watch Poldark to see how the system worked in the late 18th century and early 19th century in England–a country that emerged as a supersized powerhouse in molding how modern day Western Civilization works today. Sure Poldark is a work of fiction, but all good fiction draws upon archetypal characters acting in the real world.

    Poldark: The Best of Ross Poldark | Nov 20, 2019 | Throughout the series Ross Poldark must navigate the disruption and disasters created by his childhood nemesis George Warleggan–a man born into wealth and good fortune but who wants constantly wants more than he deserves.

    George sets himself against Ross because deep down George feels inferior to Ross. There are many scenes where George uses his wealth, social connections, and the law to bring Ross to his knees. He almost does. But, Ross is made of something different than George…very different.

    In this clip, George and Ross point guns at each other and George asks Ross: “On what side will you fight Ross for the civilized world or the revolution?” Ross answers: “On the side that stands with humanity.”

    But even a foolish, stupid thing can be turned into a source of knowledge, even wisdom, if one seeks deeper understanding and is not committed to upholding the existing system of being, most often referred to as civilization. It is for this reason I choose to tell and share this story.

    To me it is a navigation map. Something an individual in a conflict can refer to as a reference point for guidance in navigating the depths of misunderstanding, especially when all the Cards of Knowledge are not being lain down on the Table of Resolution. Knowing how to navigate the strong currents created by deception, power plays, and one upmanship maneuvers can help both parties avoid dropping down into the even darker realms of being human. Down there in these darkest realms of the human psyche, mistakes can quickly transform into ugly beasts of folly that are quite capable of inflicting terrible suffering on other people, and even of swallowing a fragile ego whole, just like a snake swallows an egg.

    Snake Swallowing Egg | Set to Creepy Music

    You think I am exaggerating again, don’t you?

    Girl With Dragon — A Mini Series Chronicling the Premonition of the Confluence of Unconscious Content that Was Going to Come Together in a Terrible Way… Some of It Was Mine… Much of It Was Mixed With the Content of Others Surrounding Me in My Life at the Point in Time

    If you are like me and taught the edges of your thought are the edges of yourself and believing this, you have probably constructed a pretty nice ego (or perhaps it should be called an egg-o!..lol..) to comport yourself through life, just like I did. Most of the time, your ego construct probably serves you just fine, just like mine did. But if you are like me and believed this to be all that you are–like that pretty egg just sitting there doing nothing to invite the devastation and destruction fate so often serves–then you encountered autonomous unconscious content inside yourself but outside of your egg-o, it was probably pretty traumatic, just like it was for me.

    But wait, there is more: you realize such autonomous unconscious content exists inside everyone who you love, respect, answer to at work, depend on as friends, etc., ect. When you realize this, such an encounter with autonomous unconscious content can turn into something very devastating, just like it did for me.

    I chronicle it in my girl with dragon story that tells about what happened to me as my autonomous unconscious content mixed with everyone’s else around me to create the perfect dragon storm of autonomous unconscious content acting in the world.

    Girl With Dragon – Part 1 | Apr 2, 2019

    If you’re not into reading blogs (even super short ones), I turned this story into a video series. But, there are only 3 because during this time of my inner journey, I needed encouragement and attention. This first video got a lot of likes and comments when I shared it, but the next two seemed to reach no one. So, I stopped making them. I didn’t have any more energy inside to do it even though they made me happy. I was relying on the time and attention others were giving me then. It is not a good way to live; however, the Facebook universe is built this way. It incites us to live on the outer most edges of ourselves, which are the most public, the social roles we play in our groups and society. Facebook promises fame and fortune for those who learn how to play this game well. But, there is a dark side to this game we are all playing on this platform.


    The brutality is built right into the platform (as well as other social media platforms) and it can spill over into reality in terrible, evil ways. Consider the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar. This genocide used Facebook to incite terrible, brutal violence in the real world. The New York Times conducted an in-depth investigation of this genocide and reported what they found in this article: A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar’s Military

    “Members of the Myanmar military were the prime operatives behind a systematic campaign on Facebook that stretched back half a decade and that targeted the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority group, the people said. The military exploited Facebook’s wide reach in Myanmar, where it is so broadly used that many of the country’s 18 million internet users confuse the Silicon Valley social media platform with the internet. Human rights groups blame the anti-Rohingya propaganda for inciting murdersrapes and the largest forced human migration in recent history.”

    “They posed as fans of pop stars and national heroes as they flooded Facebook with their hatred. One said Islam was a global threat to Buddhism. Another shared a false story about the rape of a Buddhist woman by a Muslim man.”


    There is also a brutality conducted daily on ordinary users of this platform. It is quite invisible but follows the currents of time and attention generated by everyone using the platform that day or point in time. We, the users, create the currents of time and attention swirling around on all the social media platforms. But since they are a collective creation, no one individual controls them. That’s what makes it fun–learning how to galvanize, shock, and stir up attention, and then send it this way or that. These are little streams of course, but if you’re good… they can grow… and if you’re really good, the currents of time and attention can transform you into a top dog or a shark inside a fish tank. Then, all the other little fishes in the tank will follow you anywhere you go.

    But, if you fall outside the collectively generated currents, you will feel the coldness of being ignored, the silent treatment (even by your friends and family in your network) inflicted upon you for crossing some unseen social boundary, usually a taboo. In short, Facebook is slowly but surely turning its users into Attention Addicts. Any addiction of any nature usurps an individual’s inner psychological energy that is needed to think, to feel good about self and others, and to act with intergirty in the world. I believe this is a new type of addiction we are growing in ourselves, all around the world. It is to our own detriment for it is another channel being carved into our collective consciousness diverting the blessings meant for everyone unto a few. Not much is written about this evolving new addiction, much more needs to be written. However, I found this article, which is very interesting: Why I Was Addicted to Attention, Lies, and Drama by Vironika Tugaleva.


    This is a tangent, and I will not take any more time to talk about now other than to say these places I speak about that are concealed deep inside the human psyche have been mostly forgotten by our civilized, modern world. They have been suppressed, denied, and rejected for centuries. The most common refrain used to justify this refusal to be a whole human being is ‘that’s not civilized.’

    But these uncivilized parts of self exist inside every person’s psyche. They are the empty-headed, slow-witted, dopey, short-sighted, ill-considered, inept, cocked-eyed parts of self. They are the parts of ourselves that have been stashed and locked, and double locked away. No one wants to admit these parts exist: the asinine, loopy, unthinking parts of ourselves that can make us feel or look repulsive to others–perhaps even dangerous.

    To admit such detestable vulnerabilities publicly can result in being ostracized. This is most of all true of modern day Western Civilization. And social shunning can have severe and damaging effects on the social roles that we are forced to assume and inhabit in order to live a modern, Westernize life that allows us to feed, cloth, and shelter ourselves and our loved ones.


    The silent treatment is very effective, and it is a very old practice. It can be traced far back into the dawning of Western Civilization. My friend Barry Kort pointed this out recently, and I have researched shunning several years ago for the story I am writing.

    Ignoring someone for some socially perceived fault was encoded into law by Hammurabi who was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty of the Amorite tribe, reigning from c. 1792 BC to c. 1750 BC. The Hammurabi code of laws, a collection of 282 rules, established standards for commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice. The laws varied according to social class and gender, and it took a brutal approach to justice. And these codes did not die out with the conquering of Babylon. There is a fascinating discussion of this code in this interesting book: Shared Reality: What Makes Us Strong and Tears Us Apart. Public shunning was one of the punishments devised by Hammurabi and disguised as coming from God. Today, we know the silent treatment is a form of psychological abuse.

    An article in Psychology Today states: “The silent treatment is a strategy frequently used by people who appear to possess great self-control and claim to be more rational than emotional. At the same time, it is related not only to an expression of passive violence but also to a concealed strategy of psychological abuse. That is to say, it can profoundly damage the person on the receiving end.”

    “The worst sin to our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that is the essence of inhumanity”

    George Bernard Shaw

    Image from Psychology Today article on The Silent Treatment as a form of psychological abuse

    I postulate there is another way to navigate mistakes and misunderstandings. A way that evolves us as a species and helps us individually grow more whole. It is not an easy way, but it is a way that sheds light on these unseemly parts of ourselves that allows us to see them and bring them to the fire of one’s flame of consciousness. I propose that it is exactly these parts of ourselves that desperately need rescuing now. To not do so will condemn us to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors who have given us this current brutal system of consciousness. I put forward it is percisely the primitive, most primordial parts that live inside every human being’s psyche who needs the gentle hand of understanding and tenderness of love for no other reason that for being. 


    What Happened…

    I write about all this in my story titled Sapience: The Moment is Now. It is a story that required me to descend to great depths inside myself. It was so dark down there, I got lost. But the descent allowed me to resurrect some of the deepest, most forgotten parts of myself. And strangely, it is these parts that have helped me survive a terrible year–a year of sudden reversals and suffering around the world. Nothing more needs to be said except 2020.

    All things, good and bad, hold power to awaken and illuminate more of who we are as tiny flecks of illuminated consciousness. Four years earlier, I was searching for venues to share a documentary I made about the first Women’s March. It was a super historical event. One that emerged organically like a super sentient being dressed in pink. This being, feminine of course, was a counter force rising in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 election win. The election that landed him in the White House. 

    I interviewed 39 people that day, then used my new skills in iMovie to assemble a homemade documentary. It’s not that good. It’s too long and amateur. Some would say it’s exceedingly boring—except for the interviewees. Their voices are powerful.

    Netherworld — Haunted House 2018

    After making this long video, I wanted to share it. And so, I ventured into the Netherworld of social media. It is a place until this moment in time that I instinctively avoided as a vile, loveless Pit of Perdition. And, I was not wrong about this.

    I’ll get back to this later.

    In the wake of Trump’s election, lots of new Facebook groups were forming around the world. There were Women’s March groups, Indivisible groups, and groups dedicated to the idiocracy of Donald Trump’s America. I joined many of these groups across America and around the world. I also joined Climate Change and Environmental groups because these issues run through the storyline of the narrative I’ve been chasing since before 2009 and writing daily since 2012. A story that was bursting into reality with the election of Donald Trump. That’s why I went down and interviewed people. It was so uncanny–what I had written and what was happening–I had to talk to other people. Indeed, I can sum up my story in three words; it is one about Climate Change and Consciousness.

    Promo Video for Sustain the Flame published Mar 26, 2017 | To see the full documentary, click here.

    At this time of rapid uptake of joining Facebook groups, I came across a group called the Ecology of System Thinkers (EoST). It was a bit outside my wheelhouse. However, I reasoned I had a degree in Human Ecology with a concentration in the sciences. Plus the group promoted itself as an intersection of diehard Systems Thinkers and everyone else. So, it seemed to me that I fit the parameters they had defined.

    At this time, I noticed the time and attention one admin gave to members, especially to members experiencing conflict and arguing (boy—were there arguments back then!). I was impressed by this and came to understand he was one of the founders of the group. I found him inspiring. We became Facebook friends. 

    About a year later, I recall he took time off from his deep involvement in the group citing it took too much of his time, and he needed to put more of it into his family and other things going on in his life. I thought this was an admirable action too. The new admin replacing him was highly at first involved too. And we were already Facebook friends from another group. We had several in-depth, probing conversations. Then, the other guy came back and a few more admins were added. I noticed the first admin however was no longer as highly involved as before, except for a rare post here and there. In fact, he rarely commented any more on posts.

    I remember being named as one of the members in this group who got high engagement from other members, but who was not participating or liking other members posts. He was trying to get more engagement from all the members. He was right. There is nothing more boring than a group where no one likes or comments on anyone’s posts. I liked and commented on other members posts for a time. But no one noticed. So, my engagement naturally declined, falling back to my pervious occasional posts. When I shared something I had done, I tried to make sure I connected its content with the interests of group with a comment of how it was relevant. 

    After my father died, this admin and others added as admins in this group or would be soon added to the admin team of this group, appeared super supportive of my sad situation. But it was short-lived support. All of them soon moved on in their own veins of being and interests in Facebook endeavors. In fact, none of the admins (5 of whom were my Facebook friends) ever liked a post I shared in EoST or commented on a post I shared in this group.


    One day this year, I noticed the group no longer appeared as one I belonged to.  I thought this odd but paid no mind to it until one day I searched for the group and could not find it, I became more curious about what had happened. 

    By now, it had been several weeks after I noticed the group had disappeared. I decided to ask my Facebook friend who was one of the head admin of this group what had happened. After a day of inquiring with the other admins, he simply told me one of his admins (he didn’t know who) was cleaning up spam and removed me on that basis. Apparently, this admin did this without consulting with any of the other admins assuming that I was a fake account that was spamming the group. My friend, the admin, expressed no shock, no sadness, no remorse about what had happened. Rather, his message to me was more like a lecture: It was overly zealous admin who failed to be as zealous in checking who or what was spam. He also told me matter-of-factly none of the other admins were at all regretful of this zealous admin’s actions. To me, this demonstrated an unconscious complacency by the whole admin team in support of questionable, overly harsh actions.

    I had a bad feeling. I could not say exactly what or why I was feeling this, but I felt I had to act immediately. So I did. I blocked all 10 admins from my personal account. Then, I answered 3 unanswered messages in messenger. I told them I was deactivating my Facebook account and very briefly why. Then, I deactivated it and was gone. I didn’t think anyone would even notice my absence.


    The AfterMath of What Happened

    But it turns out I left a wake.

    It turns out I had an ally after all, Barry Kort.

    I had recently featured him in my last blog titled AfterMath — The Magical Calculus of Consciousness. In this blog, I tell the story of how a casual conversation in another Facebook group sparked insight in me that aligned with content I was wrestling with in my story.

    Unbeknownst to me, Barry was championing my case. He had taken it up with the admins of EoST. From what I’ve gleam from bits and pieces I learned about later, Barry was assessing and analyzing what had happened and why. He was spelling it out eloquently and illuminating deeper currents of thinking that were informing the actions occurring inside the group. 

    He did not have all the information because much of it remained hidden; however, his analysis is excellent and offers opportunities for insight and growth. But of course, this kind of growth is hard. Because of this, it is often rejected, especially by collectives, because it is not pretty, it is not nice. It is the stuff about ourselves we have all had to reject and hide away because we would be viewed as monsters by others for revealing these parts of ourselves.

    This is a trap. It is a trap built into our modern systems. It was built to divert the blessings meant for everyone within a system or a group unto a few. It happened long ago. Most of us now no longer remember how it use to be. We are taught to believe this is normal.

    It is not.

    It is inherently cruel.

    Left unchecked and unchanged, our modern systems of consciousness are growing more and more lopsided. They are turning in on themselves and will soon devour themselves. Just like Beth Harmon, the star in the Netflix Original story about a young orphan girl who is a chess prodigy, we (the humans of Earth) are inflicting the consequences of our individual and collective unconsciousness on ourselves and on each other through thoughtless, careless, cruel actions.

    Beth Harmon – Alone | Nov 5, 2020

    A Brilliant Light — Image from The Sun, a Brilliant Lamp in the Sky

    Barry has given me permission to share some of his analysis here:

    Bébé, in her E-Mail to me, expressly decried the absence of an empathic human response. That created a dilemma for me, because Π was unable to provide the original context, so I had no useful information on what happened to cause Bébé to feel betrayed and wounded. Π could similarly see no reason for Bébé to be angry at him. But after I shared with him a bit more information, Π did see why her anger was directed at him. In other words, the failure to share relevant information blocks the possibility of empathy. If having and expressing empathy is the ultimate goal, then concealing information is anathema to that goal. — Barry Kort — December 17 at 6:13 PM

    Barry has hit on something extremely important here in that: concealing information is anathema to the goal of expressing empathythis something that is actually very important to the world of Systems Thinkers. In the past 4 years that I’ve belonged in this group, no one has ever talked about the importance of empathy and understanding. I learned more about Systems Thinking in this one paragraph written by Barry than I gleaned over 4 years of being a member of this this group. The power of empathy in constructing Bridges of Understanding allows for repairs to the deep divisions engineered into modern living–systems designed to keep us separated and isolated in our individual thinking and group silos.  

    As near as I can tell, this one admin departed from the model that Π and the other admins would have employed. As I understand it, this lone rogue admin unilaterally determined that it was correct to summarily boot Bebe out of the EoST and does not repent of that belief. It’s unclear to me how this lack of consensus among the Admins can be resolved. It may be too late for Bébé, but it means that this phenomenon is likely to recur, perhaps with another would-be contributor in the future. What has occurred is what Gregory Bateson would have called “Schismogenesis” meaning a fracturing and a fragmenting of Systems Thinking into two or more conflicting factions, each of which would employ disparate practices. As near as I can tell, this is why Bebe has lost faith in the integrity of the Systems Thinking culture. At least one faction would retain the practices of the anachronistic and deprecated model of the Police Culture. This disparity has roots that goes all the way back to the disparity between Theology and the secular Rule of Law. I had long hoped that the contributions of the more enlightened systems science would have at long last resolved that hoary and lamentable rift. — Barry Kort — December 17 at 11:37 PM

    What more can I say, Barry sees a phenomenon at work and operating below the threshold of conscious awareness of this group. He has chronicled it in a most palatable way. Refusal to look at his analysis or to consider it in the light of understanding can only mean the undercurrents of concealment and denial are running deep and strong.

    That’s what Π said, too. But it also reveals a phenomenon that troubles me far beyond this kind of commonplace mistake. Intention is one element in a Theory of Mind. Clearly the rogue admin misjudged Bébé, with respect to her intention. It’s clear from copious evidence that her posted content originated from a thread in GCC that included Sam, Doug, and myself (I am leaving Sam and Doug as they have been allies in this situation too). But another element of a Theory of Mind is emotional state. I was astonished at how erratic Π was in characterizing my emotional state. And Π’s inexplicable misconceptions in that regard helped me appreciate why Bebe reacted so strongly about the lack of empathy she encountered in EoST. I’m quite used to it, as almost no one ever gets it right when they try to assess my emotional state. Long ago, I learned that I have to expressly say that I’m chagrinned or disappointed or vexed and perplexed by some observable phenomenon on the social networks. But even having done so, Π still asserted an inexplicably incorrect character model, as if I were some chimera of his imagination. How the devil could he have gotten it so wrong? I reckon Columbo, Poirot, or Miss Marple would have a field day with this one. — Barry Kort — December 18 at 3:24 AM 

    Barry is absolutely correct, this is a case for the all the Columbo(s), the Poirot(s), and the Marple(s) of the underworld of man’s psyche. I’ve been writing about this (and by the way sharing it in EoST to the sound of silence) for quite some time. I dubbed this work the work of Consciousness Warriors. I suspect my work is too artistry and suspicious for the Systems Thinkers of EoST. Indeed, Barry’s thinking seems to be received this way as well, which is a lost for the group.

    «Clearly the mistaken action by the admin touched a deeper nerve, no?» Precisely so, Doug. As I understand it, Bébé posted something in EoST, whereupon some undisclosed Admin summarily deleted it and unceremoniously blocked Bébé, erroneously believing it was spam. Π said that’s all he knew; he didn’t even know which of 11 Admins it was. But according to Π, whoever it was did not believe it was an error to have deleted Bebe’s post and to have summarily blocked her. As to what Bébé posted, my surmise is that it was something related to this contemporaneous blog post, which contains content Bébé had just gleaned from a discussion thread in GCC. 

    Sapience: The Moment is Now

     –Barry Kort — December 19 at 9:57 AM

    cc: several people ~ I wonder if Einstein would have been unceremoniously ejected from the same Systems Thinking communities that Doug and I got booted out of. If so, would he have soothed himself by playing the violin? — Barry Kort — December 18 at 7:06 PM

    Doug and Barry are indeed right, a deeper nerve was hit and exposed. It is right for Barry to point out this type of thinking/reaction sequence and how an individual who did not fit in such as Einstein would have been treated if the systems operating now and are ubiquitous in modern society had operated then. Would we know about black holes, the theory of general relativity, and the photoelectric effect?

    «I try to remember the devil of second order cybernetics. Observe the observer. When I do, I am of course observing myself observing someone observing.» That’s the opening lines of one of the paragraphs in Nora Bateson’s article in the O.P. And it occurs to me that the long comment thread initiated in response to BPT’s question, “What happened?” is an instance of “the devil of 2nd order cybernetics: reckoning the observer. What did the observer know and when did he know it? What did the observer report, and when did he report it? Did the observer know and report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Was anything left out or distorted? Was any of it paraphrased, glossed over, or taken out of context? To my mind, this cuts to the issue of Bearing Accurate Witness (and the consequences of redacting information that one would rather not have brought to light). I don’t know that we’ll resolve this issue here, but I submit that the political decision not to bear accurate witness is inconsistent with the fundamental tenets of cybernetic systems theory. As I understand it at this juncture, Bébé lost faith in the culture of systems thinking because it morphed from science to politics, and that departure introduced what she calls a “darkness” (and I call a corruption) of the fundamental tenets of systems science and systems thinking. — Barry Kort — December 19 at 6:15 PM

    Barry is shining a brilliant light into a dark place. I have lost faith in the culture of Systems Thinking. The darkness of the human mind is indeed the source from which all corruption infiltrating the systems man has made creeps in. It takes conscious work to keep the darkness at bay. Most people don’t want to do this work because it is icky, painful at times, and humiliating at other times. So, we hide it in the dark places inside ourselves. But it does not go away. It remains quite actively there and very capable of acting autonomously and antithetically to our own self-interests. This is how the corruption works. I write extensively about it in my book.

    As I see it, the community of systems thinkers have splintered into two discernible factions. The smaller faction, to which you and I subscribe, is that we employ the axiomatic principles and tools for thought of systems thinking to solve both systemic problems “out there” in the world at large, as well as systemic problems that arise within the corridors of our own discipline and practices. Moreover we do our work in public, so as to demonstrate that we are role models for our methodology even when we are addressing internal issues within our own community.

    The larger faction (as apparently exemplified and revealed by at least three of the more prominent leaders in EoST) is that internal misadventures and departures from the governing axioms, principles and practices of systems thinking are not addressed in public (and perhaps not even addressed at all). 

    In yesterday’s Barn Raising, it occurred to me that you and T. were especially articulate in characterizing this dichotomy that divides Systems Thinking into these two mutually incompatible factions — a dichotomy that only surfaces when the practice of systems thinking itself has veered off the rails with respect to keeping its own house in order.

    If that analysis has any merit, then it’s our minority faction which is obliged to devise a way to proceed in a constrained manner that is true to the core principles without alienating ourselves from the larger faction. Per G.‘s methodology, the title of this drama would be, “Physician, heal thyself.”

    Bébé uncovered a “darkness” in EoST that might be characterized as a shame-based cover-up that is then seen as a “corruption” of the professed principles and practices of systems thinking. At least that model explains her loss of faith in systems thinking as she experienced it first-hand in EoST. At least that model explains why she characterized them as a bunch of “fakes” (because they didn’t practice what they preached). In classical stories such as those found in the New Testament, the corresponding term of art would be “hypocrisy.”

    There must be a “third way” to proceed that is both effective as a diagnostic process and acceptable to the likes of Π, Beta, and the otherwise unidentified “zealous admin” whose rogue actions precipitated the ensuing liminal social drama (and its 2nd-order offshoot on my timeline).

    Sam, in the process of recusing himself, Beta (not real name) referred to a non-private chat in which he declared his intention to de-attend the conversation over the issue of doing it in public.

    May I add your name to that non-private chat so you can provide your insight on why this process is going awry?


    The Folly & the Fake

    Barry has provided a powerful and in-depth analysis for those who have the strength to digest it. A lass, I doubt many do. In addition to these tidbits I gleaned from my deactivated account; Barry shared something further with me that floored me. It is the reason I felt I had to deactivate my account though at the time I could not tell you why I felt this.

    Below is a small excerpt of a longer exchange. It is the most hurtful and it so full of misperceptions and misrepresentations; I do not even know where to start. I feel compelled to dissect it sentence by sentence from my point of view. The truth lies in-between and so too is our shared reality. Where you fall as a 3rd Party Reader depends on where you stand upon your own inner terrain of being. It has been this way with truth ever since man crossed the threshold into consciousness so long, long ago. 

    Image of Folly by Colwords

    Π: I already get a lot of email I would rather not have.

    My interpretation: Dam it, Barry! Don’t you understand how busy and important I am! Why are you bothering me with this?

    Π: Her anger, then, is pointless and achieves nothing, in terms of anything I can do, it’s too late for that. Rather it’s a phase she needs to go through personally to get to a period of acceptance.

    My perspective: Π is pretending he knows me so well that he can instantly infer why and what I am angry about. His foolish attempt to assign value to someone else’s anger is folly. It reveals a reckless irrationality that is swimming about inside his mind. Not realizing the monster he fears lives inside him, he attempts to deflect blame of the injustices I have complained about as self-inflicted. This is a gross oversimplified of reality. One that is bound to create blow back.

    Π: However …Over many years, I have suggested to her, indirectly, that writing her book was not in the end going to be the catharsis she seeks for the death of at least one parent.

    My perspective: Π demonstrates his vast knowledge and understanding of me by showing he doesn’t even know which parent died. In fact, he doesn’t even remember when or how the death occurred. He is knocking his brain to recall if I even have already lost both parents. So, to not look completely stupid, he’s covering his bases with the stony-hearted phrase: the catharsis she seeks for the death of at least one parent. Besides being muddled in his mind about how long my parent has been dead, he demonstrates his utter lack of listening skills. I’ve told him many times I’ve been writing this story long before I ever met him or joined the EoST. I have written down enough material for 12 books with 12 more in my head. This is not a catharsis process grieving for a dead parent—what an inconsiderate, thoughtless, self-centered jerk!

    Π: I suggested she was better engaged in writing for other people, but she did not want to pursue that. She has chosen her own path, in terms of adjusting to loss, especially ignoring counsel from others, and there are consequences for that in terms of teaching m recovery rates. Feeling sad about loss is one thing, taking out anger on others is actually counterproductive.

    My perspective: Here again Π demonstrates utter ignorance of who I am, what I’ve done, even how old I am. He says, “I suggested she was better engaged in writing for other people…” …as if I were 22 or 23 years old. You know… I bet he does think that’s how old I am poor bloke. He’s about 30+ years off. I’ve written for lots of other people. I have raised more than $10 million dollars for individuals, non-profits, and corporations around the world from the things I have written for other people. I’ve been part of huge proposal teams that have written winning proposals for huge government contracts totaling another $10 million dollars. I’ve written media and new releases and planned/implemented special events, planned-giving, and other types of fundraising things raising another $1 to 2 million for other people.

    Writing for other people provides as much safety and security as being the Press Secretary on board the Titanic who is ordered to whip out a flashy News Brief about how fabulous, sea-worthy, and unsinkable the ship is while it is sinking into the watery, cold depths of the North Atlantic. I made a video about this recently. Not that Π would have seen it as clearly I am not a person worth his time or attention.

    White Flag — Miracle Day | Aug 2, 2020

    So forgive me if I’m done writing stories for other people! These comments drip with his shallow, flaccid, artificiality. He reveals himself here as a self-obsessed, self-conceited bloke of magnificent proportions. Boy was my admiration misplaced in him. 

    Π: Namely, I feel she has not properly got over the death of her parent, and also seems to blame others without reason for their ignorance – stupidity even – when she thinks they should know better. But I’m afraid we are all human beings. We all make mistakes. There’s nothing personal involved. No one knows everything, as pointed out at considerable cost by Socrates, a deep Systems Thinker himself.

    My perspective: Here Π demonstrates once again how well he knows me. Again, he can’t even name which parent died–mother…father? He leaves the door open that both parents may very well be dead…because he really doesn’t know. Not only that, he asserts himself as an expert on grief. Then callously and cruelly blames me for my own suffering and pain.

    Side Note: I wrote about this too…being blamed by those who really don’t know me at all for my misfortune on 10/31/18. At this point in time, my personnel tragedy was about 3 months old having occurred on 8/4/18. On Facebook, it was old news now. Looking back, this is when most of my Facebook friends vanished! Vamoose–all the individuals who were paying me so much attention before my father died…disappeared. And all the individuals who were not paying me much attention before dad died, joined the bandwagon of condolence wishing because–WOW–I was getting a lot of attention on Facebook then, and it would be a missed opportunity not to be seen by others on Facebook (you know… the murky, mutual friends that Facebook has engineered for us). Who hasn’t got Facebook suggestions: Hey, ‘so and so‘ is a friend of ‘so and so‘… someone you just became friends with on the platform and so you become friends with everyone else’s friends and pretty soon, you don’t really know who your friends are any more because everyone’s friend have become so inbred and artificial. Now, I understand why and what has been going on at a deeper, seedy level.

    Dodo and reality barbs in vortex — Original art created by Bébé | The Divine Dodo series

    But, back to the conflict… that’s what you really want to read, right? (wink):

    Indeed, there are plenty of times I have brought misfortunate on myself, but this is not one of them. I along with millions of other people just like me get far more misfortune than we deserve. It is inflicted on us by the Systems of Thinking that have been designed this way. They are cruel systems dreamed up by unconscious Systems Thinkers. Our modern Western systems have been engineered to divert the blessings meant for everyone existing inside the system unto a few.

    [See Postscript at the end of this blog about Charles Dickens Scrooge and how fair “the system” has been for so long of time to the masses-the ordinary men and women just trying to survive another day in it.] And you dare to call yourself an enlighten Systems Thinker… shame on you Π.

    Even though this statement drips with cruelty and contempt, now, we are finally getting somewhere!!! This is what all the bells and whistles Π’s been throwing up into the air are all about. They are simply distractions because he’s afraid he will look stupid and cold-hearted (reptilian). He begs for his humanity meanwhile denying me mine. Then, in the next sentence, he has the gall to elevate himself to the level of Socrates—the father of Systems Thinker – ‘Oh my – we must be impressed with him now, mustn’t we?!

    Π:I have deliberately not sought to take control of EOST, although I could have done so, BECAUSE I’m a system thinking guy, who sees those control patterns repeated again and again over history, with largely unsuccessful results, and much pain along the way. I will cite Hitler and the Jews here.

    My perspective: This part of Π’s soliloquy is between him and Barry. But really man, come on… citing Hitler and the Jews just because Barry is asking you for accountability of the group you founded. Pretty high and mighty… and very sad.

    Π:I have tried to work collaboratively with other Admins because I believe 💯% in working that way, and I’m unwilling to change that, underpinned by ST reasons.

    My perspective: This part of Π’s speech continues to be between him and Barry. He’s a System Thinking guy… just so you don’t forget that aspect of who he is.

    Π: “Bébé can return but chooses not to. Again, it’s not my choice, but a self-inflicted wound on her part. If she wants to return I will 💯% support that, because I know that it was a mistake on the part of Admins that we have discussed and can rectify.

    My perspective: Thank you Π but no thank you!! For 4 years, I’ve contributed thoughtful content related to the “Systems Thinking ” from a non-systems thinker’s perspective (something you told Barry that was part of your aspirations for starting the group in the first place). During this entire time, neither you nor your admin team have given so much as a blue thumbs up… much less commented on a single post I’ve made in this group. Rather, I’ve been ignored, and now possibly, I see this is no accident,

    Rather, in the past 6 months, I have engaged with your members more so than you or most of your admins who rarely post or comment on anything (except one who posts but rarely comments on members posts). During this time, I have encountered some of the most misogynistic, potty-mouth men than in any other group I have belonged (and that is a long list).  

    Self-inflicted wound?! I don’t think so. It is more like you’ve been a poison swirling around in my pools of friendships on Facebook. Silently, but decisively, your hidden attitudes and beliefs about me have been undermining me and belittling me to others. You think your disparaging attitudes and false beliefs of me go unseen just because you don’t say them like you’ve said to Barry… but you are wrong… these things permeate and infect the mutual Pools of Consciousness we have shared…like the group of 11.8K members amassed and growing into a gelatinous pool of goo because big groups tend to pull the collective consciousness down to the lowest levels of being unless hard work (like Barry is doing here) is attempted.

    Π: That’s the real point that she and you should be focusing on.

    My perspective: More distraction – “Oh look… look over there… that’s where the fire is…” Aren’t we all sick if these types of shenanigans after 4 years of Trump?”

    Π: For Bébé to blame humanity for being human and making mistakes is to expect folk to be superman. I’m sorry but that’s not a reasonable or Systems Thinking approach to take.

    My perspective: No, I am blaming you. I simply expected that you wouldn’t be so shallow, fake, and artificial. Once again, Π reveals himself to be self-conceit and superior to others. [See It Feeds on Fear and Sadness… scroll to the bottom where you will find information about Superiority and Inferiority Complexes]

    The Thing That Feeds on Fear and Sadness

    Π: Consider her anger shared, BTW!

    My perspective: Good, you are finally beginning the process of waking up. But given what I’ve seen, you’ll find a way to throw cold water on it.

    Π: But please note, again from a Systems Thinking perspective, I think anger that blames others is a pointless and net negative activity, a view clearly endorsed by the Dalai Lama, another Systems Thinker, and this anger is currently a self-inflicted and perpetuating wound.

    My perspective: Ah…the Dalai Lama! Yes, it would be nice to insert a little wisdom into such abundant false conjectures and accusations of a person that you clearly do not know. If he used even a little bit of wisdom, Π might even be able to locate the compassion inside of him, locked away in a place forgotten. He is so fixated on self-inflicted wounds… it makes me wonder if it is not himself that he is referring to. I am simply a convenient target to project it onto for a time. He’ll need another one soon.

    Π: If you choose to share this with her, please give her the whole context, not a juicy extract of your choosing, where I think sometimes your own past suggests that you miss some of the fine points involved.

    My perspective: Yep, got it all—loud and clear! Now I see you for what you really are: a self-absorbed, conceited man who needs to put others down in order to feel big and powerful and like a Superman or like Socrates or the Dalai Lama. Rather you are petty and cruel. It is really rather sad realization.


    Why Calculating Consciousness is a Useful Activity

    This is the accounting, the AfterMath, of a simple, reckless mistake, something that occurs frequently on a platform such as Facebook. Actually, something that is accelerating and growing within all social media platforms that are acting like incubators for unconscious autonomous content that exists inside every human being. 

    What Barry revealed in his calculus of what went wrong rises beyond a simple, reckless mistake, but a refusal to grow consciously. He uncovered an aggressive unconscious projection that had been conducted upon me, and even onto him for his efforts to understand. Had Barry not undertaken this work, I would not have known the underlying inner narrative that was acting like a toxin between me and Π and that was having a corroding effect on everyone with whom we were mutual Facebook friends. Inner narratives are powerful. Even if never shared or spoken to someone else, they influence an individual’s choices and action in the world and this is how reality is made.

    Without Barry’s intervention, analysis, and willingness to share what he learned with me, I would have remained in the dark with my feelings of worthlessness and that something nefarious was afoot, but unseeable. I sensed there were foul undercurrents working against me. Now, I know. Barry has shown me my feelings are valid and can be trusted

    When someone is not treating you as as a friend should treat a friend, consider there may be a hidden inner narrative at work that is acting more like a devilish poison designed to wear you down and dissolve you for the benefit or entertainment of another. 

    These things happen in real life as well as in the fake lives we live in social media. I call them fake lives because on social media platforms we are really performing–constantly curating our content and pretending to be our most ideal selves (never mentioning or acknowledging our other half because that would be less than ideal to mention). Even more nefarious, some people pretend to be someone or something they are not in order to sell or swindle things from other human beings who are simply seen as resources to be used then thrown away.  

    So trust your feelings. If someone who has befriended you is not treating you as a real friend, a true friend, trust yourself and take action to protect yourself.

    Thank you Barry!

    Postscript:

    The Numinous Power of Stories in the Human Psyche

    Stories and narratives, especially those running inside our heads, have long played an oversize role in shaping our shared reality. All stories emerge from our inner spaces of mind. I call them mindscapes. We all have these sacred internal spaces that we build over time and reshape as we tell ourselves what has happened to us on our journey through time and space. These inner stories are powerful.


    In this episode from This American Life, the power of how stories can shape reality is beautifully told in this Christmas mishap of storytelling that was a little bit too real.

    Matt Cardy / Stringer, via Getty ImagesFrom This American Life episode: Lights, Camera, Christmas

    How Narratives Shape Human Reality

    Ever since humans gained consciousness, they have told stories about their experiences in space and time. We tell stories because we can, and they imbue life and energy into everything we do and believe and influence how we act in the world. This American Life tells wonderful stories about being human. I am selecting this one here as a prologue to the story of the Misadventure and Folly of Facebook to illustrate how power the narratives we hold in our head are in shaping our reality.

    Lights, Camera, Christmas! — This holiday season, we bring you a show filled with stories of people going to great lengths to throw a special Christmas for their families. In particular, I want to highlight the story of the Mutchler’s who embellished the Christmas story of Santa and his reindeer and his elves in ways that grew to gigantic proportions within the minds of their 3 children. 


    Humans: The Storytelling Species

    We are a storytelling species. And, human beings can conceal these internal stories that shape our motivations and actions in the world. In the real world, where people encounter each other in the flesh and blood, bodies and faces reveal hints of underlying motivations, conscious or unconscious, that are propelling action in the world.

    Over millions and millions of years, living beings evolved complex ways of perceiving and decoding essential clues contained in bodies and faces. Clues that if deciphered fast enough could hint to possible life-threatening or predatory intentions.

    In the human world, our basic animal instinct to survive has been raised us above the ground of basic survival by becoming conscious. Consciousness also gives us our ability to think, and this has allowed humans to outcompete every other living being on Earth. It has also allowed us to change reality to suit our needs.

    But there is a price for this power. The price of consciousness is to grow it or to incur a debt that must be paid by costly misadventures that arise from unconscious behavior and actions in the world. Some will be good, but other misadventures will result in trial, torment, and tribulation. They will be ordeals of misfortune, suffering, distress, trouble, worry, and woe. 

    No human is perfect, of this there is no doubt, but some humans conduct themselves with greater compassion, gentleness, and humanity that conduct peace, warmth, and brotherly love into the world. Meanwhile, other human beings conduct themselves with heartless indifference in the world, a consequence of unconsciousness that burdens the bearer over time by warping our marvelous abilities of thought bending them into monstrous variants of the survival instinct rapacious greed and vulturine avaricious


    What Does Scrooge Have to Do with Anything?

    Want and Ignorance from A Christmas Carol (1984)

    The classic story of Scrooge and the manifestation of Ignorance and Want as the children hiding inside the robes of Christmas Present. The Ghost tells Scrooge the children are the responsibility of all mankind.

    On Quora, Gwendolyn Smith, a former teacher who has taught adolescents for 27 Years, answers this question: What is ignorance and want in ‘A Christmas Carol’?

    Charles Dickens was a strong believer in social justice. He also understood that ignorance and want had the potential to doom our society if left unchecked. His use of the term want is different from our use today. To us, want means desire; to Dickens, it meant abject poverty, a complete lack of the barest necessities of life. Remember what the men who were collecting for the poor said — that want was felt even more keenly during this time of year — and Scrooge’s response: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” His solution was to throw the poor and starving into prison and the jobless into workhouses. In other words, “It’s not my problem.”

    The Spirit emphasizes that, as bad as want is, ignorance is worse. Why? Because as long as people remain ignorant — lacking in knowledge, information, and understanding — they will continue to lack the resources to gain jobs and work their way out of want. Instead, the problems will just compound, until society is destroyed by them. Want is self-perpetuating. Those of us who have the resources to do so must help those who languish in want and ignorance if we are ever to do away with them.

    Dickens believed so strongly in the dangers of ignorance and want that he allegorized them as children, possibly to show that we as a society must take a hand in caring for the poor and the ignorant and help them learn the tools and skills to help themselves — the way we help our children. If we refuse, we, like Scrooge, are doomed.

    Ignorance and Want from Pinterest (no source cited)

    Just as ignorance and want are the terrible consequences of people who have been subjected to injustice in the real world because of the unjust systems we have created and imposed on ourselves, but mostly we have forgotten this small detail. They also have devastating consequences inside the minds of men and women. They are born and sustained by beliefs and inner narratives that operate much like algorithms or sheep dogs that shape one’s mind into an ignorant, stupid, one-eyed ogre. The story of Scrooge is very much about this kind of ignorance and want… indeed, it is the external expression of ignorance and want in the world suffered by the poor and disenfranchised people of the world that individual’s like Scrooge could help alleviate in the world exactly because of his wealth and the opportunities this afforded him.  

    It is because of the unlikely appearance of the apparition of Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge’s very miserly business partner that affords Scrooge to conduct an inner accounting of his beliefs and internal systems of consciousness that have governed his equally penny-pinching actions in the world. When we remain ignorant of the many different aspects of ourselves that exist inside our psyche, we tend to become very lopsided human beings that despite our best intentions to do good in the world usually end up doing a lot of bad things in the world, indeed, wicked things. This is because everything existing within the spectrum of consciousness is an energy and just because an individual refuses to admit certain aspects of who they are does not make them disappear. In fact, these lost, forgotten, unseen parts of self tend to gain energy and grow within the psyche, thereby gaining an outsized influence on an individual’s choices and actions. Even more dangerous, these splintered, unacknowledged aspects of one’s own psyche in a desperate effort to be seen by the Self so that it can be integrated into the wholeness of who one is as a conscious being, it will be projected onto “the other person” who becomes the villain or the cause of an undesired situation. This happens suddenly and naturally when an individual encounters a circumstance that triggers unconscious content into action. It is when we fail to recognize these aspects of ourselves and integrated them into the wholeness of who we are when we are most capable of conducting the greatest evil in the world.


    The Real Story of Scrooge is Individuation

    Scrooge is the story of individuation.

    SCROOGE ON THE COUCH: HOW THE NUMINOUS TRANSFORMS | EPISODE 90 | Dec 19, 2019 | This is a fantastic podcast series Jungian in tone and flavor!

    My friend Fabian Navin finds and shares absolutely wonderful concepts distilled and illuminated by Carl Jung and other individuals who took the process of individuation seriously. Ultimately, every man and every woman choose: to remain in the darkness of our own unconsciousness into which we all are born, or to release the light inside of us (trapped in matter) and reveal the divine, limitless being who walks between heaven and hell and survives.

    Photo: Jolande Jacobi with C.G. Jung — From Fabian Navin’s post

    Fabian Navin: December 26 at 8:30 PM  

    “To many people it seems inconceivable that there could be in their psyche autonomous contents and an activity which is not “done” or “willed” by them. It is one of the most important achievements of the individuation process to experience this non-ego, to make it conscious to a large extent and to accept it as a helpful, constant companion. To live only within the limited confines of the ego is senseless and painful. But to participate knowingly in the boundless creative life of the psyche and in the archetypal images of the non-ego is full of meaning because whatever we do or omit to do is then resolved in something greater than the ego. 

    Here a bridge may be thrown across to the metaphysical realm, and here Jung’s belief in God reveals itself. He asks: “The decisive question for man is: Are you related to something infinite or not? That is the criterion of his life . . . Only consciousness of our narrow confinement in the self-forms the link to the limitlessness of the unconscious. In this consciousness we experience ourselves concurrently as limited and eternal, as both the one and the other. In knowing ourselves to be unique in our personal combination—that is, ultimately limited—we also possess the capacity for becoming conscious of the infinite.” 

    Knowing participation in the “infinite” follows, in the psychological realm, from the awareness of the inner God-image, of the Self. Intimations of heaven and hell have been man’s since the earliest times, for these are the two poles—the light and the dark—between which his soul swings. A swing towards one side is always followed by an equal swing towards the other. Peace is found only at the centre, where man can be wholly man, neither angel nor devil, but simply man, partaker of both worlds. The search for this centre, for this balance of the soul, is a lifelong undertaking. It is the basic task and the ultimate goal of psychotherapy. 

    For this centre is also the place where the Divine filters through into the soul and reveals itself in the God-images, in the Self. It represents the moment of quiescence when the image of God can be perceived in the polished mirror of the soul. The “balance” meant here has nothing to do with what we call “happiness” in the ordinary sense of the word, nor with that state of freedom from care, suffering, and effort which hovers before most people’s eyes as the goal of their heart’s desire. Rather, it means a state in which both worlds, the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the joyful and the sorrowful, are united in self-evident acceptance and reflect the true nature of man, his inborn duality. 

    In this sense the individuation process leads to the highest possible development and completeness of the psychic personality and is a preparation for the end of life. Whether one goes the “natural”, more, or less unconscious way of individuation or takes the consciously worked through way depends, presumably, on fate. But one thing is certain: unconsciousness or wanting to remain unconscious, to escape the call to development and avoid the venture of life, is sin. For though growing old is the inescapable lot of all creatures, growing old meaningfully is a task ordained for man alone. What meaning has our life? None but what we give it. 


    The consciously undertaken way of individuation can, as we have seen, be considered from several points of view. In conclusion, we will list some of the most important.

    As a process of psychological development, it represents the step-by-step maturation of the human psyche to the point where all its potentialities are unfolded, and the conscious and unconscious realms are united by integrating its historical roots with present-day consciousness.

    From the point of view of characterology, it throws the typological profile of the individual into ever clearer relief. It facilitates increasing control of the auxiliary functions and of the undeveloped, inferior function and attitude, resulting in a growing capacity for judgment and decision and an extension of the freedom of the will.

    From the sociological point of view, it integrates the individual with the collective and adapts the ego to the demands of life.

    In psychotherapy it brings about a redistribution of psychic energy, assists the dissolution of complexes, identifications, and fixations, as well as the withdrawal of projections. It furnishes a means of recognizing and enduring one’s own shadow qualities, of finding one’s own values, and thus of overcoming neurosis.

    Finally, from the religious point of view, it creates a living relation between man and the suprapersonal and gives him his proper place in the order of the universe. Through the encounter with the contents of the unconscious realm of the psyche and their integration with consciousness it lays the foundations of an independent, personal philosophy of life which, depending on the individual, may also ally itself with a particular creed. 

    The individuation process, however, cannot be grasped in its deepest essence, for it is a part of the mystery of transformation that pervades all creation. It includes within it the secret of life, which is ceaselessly reborn in passing through an ever renewed “death”. 

    “If man is to live,” says Jung, “he must fight and sacrifice his longing for the past in order to rise to his own heights. And having reached the noonday heights, he must sacrifice his love for his own achievement, for he may not loiter. The sun, too, sacrifices its greatest strength in order to hasten onward to the fruits of autumn, which are the seeds of rebirth.” If this sacrifice is made willingly—a deed possible for man alone and demanded again and again on the way of individuation — transformation and rebirth ensue.


    Most people, however, prefer to be born only once. They are afraid of the pains without which there can be no birth. They have no trust in the natural striving of the psyche towards its goal. And so there are all too many who halt on life’s way. They venture nothing, they would rather forgo the prize. 

    Often even those who go the conscious way of individuation have not understood that the greatest problems in life can never be finally solved. “The meaning and purpose of a problem seem to lie not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly.” These words of Jung’s should console us for never having met a “fully individuated” person. For it is not the goal but the striving towards this goal that gives our life content and meaning.“ 

    ~Jolande Jacobi, The Way of Individuation, pp. 129-134


    And here is another gem shared by Fabian Navin about individuation as experienced by the alchemists whom Jung studied and learned from greatly.

    Fabian Navin: December 26 at 6:53 PM  

    “One of the most fascinating aspects of the esoteric tradition is that they view the human being as a sleeping God, there’s none of the sin stuff, we are not sinful creatures, we are divine creatures, but we have forgotten who we were, because the light has been trapped in matter, and so long as my spark of light is trapped in matter I’ll just keep reincarnating over and over again. 

    But if I can liberate that spark and then unite with it then, that would be the definition of enlightenment that the Anthropos symbolizes. So the Alchemists also believed that they were Redeemers ,they believed that they were Redeemers in many different ways, according to the Alchemists if the act of Christ’s redemption of the world was insufficient, it wasn’t complete, we have to complete it. 

    And again it views the alchemists as a very powerful spiritual being on par with the divinity in some ways. One of the ways they express this: they would use the book of Genesis, as in alchemical texts, and so they would work with light, try to create light in the way that God did, in order to create in their little world this new divine being. But the ones that were a little less philosophic and ambitious also believed that alchemists were Redeemers because they were transmuting lead into gold

    Now from their perspective, and I think this goes back to Aristotle, there was the idea that metals grew in the earth, that lead, if left in the earth for a million years would naturally become gold, it was their evolution. so lead is the sick gold, it’s a deformed gold, it’s an undeveloped gold. So the alchemist says: well I don’t want to wait a million years, I can do this in my laboratory in maybe five. They’re not just making gold so they have money, they’re trying to redeem lead, they’re trying to transmute it into its healthy form, and they had this idea with all of matter, that this earth could be a paradise if the impurities could be transmuted out and the lead of our own world could become a golden world. 

    They applied that to the human being, as Jung does, we start out lead, we’re unconscious, we’re chaotic, we’re impulsive and destructive and what-have-you, but we can transmute our psyches into gold, and if we do that, then we experience the Anthropos and then we experience ourselves as more than human, as more than lead. You know, as was said earlier: if you take the world that we live in at its concrete terms it’s a pretty hopeless situation, but if you take the world that we live in as something that could be transmuted and redeemed especially through the imagination, and through the finding of meaning, then it’s not so hopeless.” —  Jeffrey Raff – Jung and the Alchemical Imagination

    Jeffrey Raff – Jung and the Alchemical Imagination — Jun 13, 2020

    We Are Numinous Creatures Who Have Forgotten So Much of Who We ARE

    Raising of the Spirits, Chuck Connell | Jungian Genealogy, by Iona Miller | What a marvelous website!!

    From Iona Miller (another find by Fabian Navin):

    • Interlocuteur: “If we became aware of the ancestral lives in us, we might disintegrate. An ancestor might take possession of us and ride us to death.” ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 139
    • “[W]ithout relatedness individuation is hardly possible. Relatedness begins with conversation mostly. Therefore communication is indubitably important.” –Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 609-610
    • We think we shape ourselves and try to act authentically. But our identity is malleable, and the unconscious plays a big role in that. To adapt with integrity, to be true to yourself, would require a clear sense of who you are, really and it is still context dependent. We are not the authors of our own narrative. Psychological well-being is tied to a coherent sense of self identity but is not its only source.

    Here is a Real Systems Thinking Man

    And this man is not known for his Systems Thinking, but he has done more to improve the systems we live inside than any Systems Thinker I have yet encountered: 

    I should like now to pull together into one statement the conditions of this general hypothesis, and the effects which are specified. If I can create a relationship characterized on my part: by a genuineness and transparency, in which I am my real feelings; by a warm acceptance of and prizing of the other person as a separate individual; by a sensitive ability to see his world and himself as he sees them; Then the other individual in the relationship: will experience and understand aspects of himself which previously he has repressed; will find himself becoming better integrated, more able to function effectively; will become more similar to the person he would like to be; will be more self-directing and self-confident; will become more of a person, more unique and more self-expressive; will be more understanding, more acceptant of others; will be able to cope with the problems of life more adequately and more comfortably. I believe that this statement holds whether I am speaking of my relationship with a client, with a group of students or staff members, with my family or children. It seems to me that we have here a general hypothesis which offers exciting possibilities for the development of creative, adaptive, autonomous persons.” 

    ~Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy


    One, Two, Three — Go Forth, Be Conscious!

    The Glorious Beingness of the Middle of December | Series: Have You Been Outside Today?

    This is one of the videos I have been making during 2020 to survive it. I always end my video notes with the following questions:

    What will you do with your Field of Consciousness today?

    More importantly, what will your Unconsciousness doe with you today?

    Thank you for your time and attention!