Wanted — Mass Murderer

Putin is a serial murderer responsible for decades of death. In case you have not been keeping count, this is a partial list of his history of mass murder.

And others who should be added to his warrant for arrest include: Trump and his MAGA zombies (failure to past funding to Ukraine), Kim Jong Un (supplying missiles to Russia), Xi Jinping (supporting Russia), Iran (supplying missiles to Russia), and any Putin sympathizers.


The Russian apartment bombings 

These were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of BuynakskMoscow, and Volgodonsk in September 1999, killing more than 300, injuring more than 1,000, and spreading a wave of fear across the country. 

Two Chechnya Wars

  • About 300000 people have been killed during two wars in Chechnya over the past decade, a senior official in the province’s Moscow-backed government said. — Al Jazeera
Human rights organizations accused Russian forces of engaging in indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force whenever they encountered resistance, resulting in numerous civilian deaths. (According to Human Rights Watch, Russian artillery and rocket attacks killed at least 267 civilians during the December 1995 raid by the Chechens on the city of Gudermes.[46]) Throughout the span of the first Chechen war, Russian forces have been accused by Human Rights organizations of starting a brutal war with total disregard for humanitarian law, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary civilian casualties among the Chechen population. The main strategy in the Russian war effort had been to use heavy artillery and air strikes leading to numerous indiscriminate attacks on civilians. This has led to Western and Chechen sources calling the Russian strategy deliberate terror bombing on parts of Russia.[65] According to Human Rights Watch, the campaign was "unparalleled in the area since World War II for its scope and destructiveness, followed by months of indiscriminate and targeted fire against civilians".[66] Due to ethnic Chechens in Grozny seeking refuge among their respective teips in the surrounding villages of the countryside, a high proportion of initial civilian casualties were inflicted against ethnic Russians who were unable to find viable escape routes. The villages were also attacked from the first weeks of the conflict (Russian cluster bombs, for example, killed at least 55 civilians during the 3 January 1995 Shali cluster bomb attack).
Russian soldiers often prevented civilians from evacuating areas of imminent danger and prevented humanitarian organizations from assisting civilians in need. It was widely alleged that Russian troops, especially those belonging to the Internal Troops (MVD), committed numerous and in part systematic acts of torture and summary executions on Chechen civilians; they were often linked to zachistka ("cleansing" raids on town districts and villages suspected of harboring boyeviki – militants). Humanitarian and aid groups chronicled persistent patterns of Russian soldiers killing, raping and looting civilians at random, often in disregard of their nationality. Chechen fighters took hostages on a massive scale, kidnapped or killed Chechens considered to be collaborators and mistreated civilian captives and federal prisoners of war (especially pilots). Russian federal forces kidnapped hostages for ransom and used human shields for cover during the fighting and movement of troops (for example, a group of surrounded Russian troops took approximately 500 civilian hostages at Grozny's 9th Municipal Hospital).[67]
The violations committed by members of the Russian forces were usually tolerated by their superiors and were not punished even when investigated (the story of Vladimir Glebov serving as an example of such policy). Television and newspaper accounts widely reported largely uncensored images of the carnage to the Russian public. The Russian media coverage partially precipitated a loss of public confidence in the government and a steep decline in President Yeltsin's popularity. Chechnya was one of the heaviest burdens on Yeltsin's 1996 presidential election campaign. The protracted war in Chechnya, especially many reports of extreme violence against civilians, ignited fear and contempt of Russia among other ethnic groups in the federation. One of the most notable war crimes committed by the Russian army is the Samashki massacre, in which it is estimated that up to 300 civilians died during the attack.[68] Russian forces conducted an operation of zachistka, house-by-house searches throughout the entire village. Federal soldiers deliberately and arbitrarily attacked civilians and civilian dwellings in Samashki by shooting residents and burning houses with flame-throwers. They wantonly opened fire or threw grenades into basements where residents, mostly women, elderly persons and children, had been hiding.[69] Russian troops intentionally burned many bodies, either by throwing the bodies into burning houses or by setting them on fire.[70] A Chechen surgeon, Khassan Baiev, treated wounded in Samashki immediately after the operation and described the scene in his book:[71]

Human rights and war crimes[edit] — Main articles: Chechen genocideRussian war crimes, and Second Chechen War crimes and terrorism

The Second Chechen War saw a new wave of war crimes and violation of international humanitarian law. Both sides have been criticised by international organizations of violating the Geneva Conventions. However, a report by Human Rights Watch states that without minimizing the abuses committed by Chechen fighters, the main reason for civilian suffering in the Second Chechen War came as a result of the abuses committed by the Russian forces on the civilian population.[94] According to Amnesty International, Chechen civilians have been purposely targeted by Russian forces, in apparent disregard of humanitarian law. The situation has been described by Amnesty International as a Russian campaign to punish an entire ethnic group, on the pretext of "fighting crime and terrorism".[95] Russian forces have throughout the campaign ignored to follow their Geneva convention obligations, and has taken little responsibility of protecting the civilian population.[94] Amnesty International stated in their 2001 report that Chechen civilians, including medical personnel, have been the target of military attacks by Russian forces, and hundreds of Chechen civilians and prisoners of war are extrajudicially executed.[96]
According to human rights activists, Russian troops systematically committed the following crimes in Chechnya: the destruction of cities and villages, not justified by military necessity; shelling and bombardment of unprotected settlements; summary extrajudicial executions and killings of civilians; torture, ill-treatment and infringement of human dignity; serious bodily harm intentionally inflicted on persons not directly participating in hostilities; deliberate strikes against the civilian population, civilian and medical vehicles; illegal detentions of the civilian population and enforced disappearances; looting and destruction of civilian and public property; extortion; taking hostages for ransom; corpse trade.[97][98][99] There were also rapes,[100][101][102] which, along with women, were committed against men.[103][104][105][106][107][108] According to the Minister of Health of Ichkeria, Umar Khanbiev, Russian forces committed organ harvesting and organ trade during the conflict.[109]
Russian forces have since the beginning of the conflict indiscriminately and disproportionately bombed and shelled civilian objects, resulting in heavy civilian casualties. In one such occasion in October 1999, ten powerful hypersonic missiles fell without warning and targeted the city's only maternity hospital, post office, mosque, and a crowded market.[110][111][112][113] Most of the casualties occurred at the central market, and the attack is estimated to have killed over 100 instantly and injuring up to 400 others. Similar incidents include the Baku–Rostov highway bombing where the Russian Air Force perpetrated repeated rocket attacks on a large convoy of refugees trying to enter Ingushetia through a supposed "safe exit".[114][115] This was repeated in December 1999 when Russian soldiers opened fire on a refugee convoy marked with white flags.[116]
The 1999–2000 siege and bombardments of Grozny caused between 5,000[117] and 8,000[118] civilians to perish. The Russian army issued an ultimatum during the Grozny-siege urging Chechens to leave the city or be destroyed without mercy.[119] Around 300 people were killed while trying to escape in October 1999 and subsequently buried in a mass grave.[120] The bombing of Grozny included banned Buratino thermobaric and fuel-air bombs, igniting the air of civilians hiding in basements.[121][122] There were also reports of the use of chemical weapons, banned according to Geneva law.[123] The Russian president Putin vowed that the military would not stop bombing Grozny until Russian troops quote 'fulfilled their task to the end.' In 2003, the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.[124]
Another occasion of indiscriminate and perhaps deliberate bombardment is the bombing of Katyr-Yurt which occurred on 4–6 February 2000. The village of Katyr Yurt was far from the war's front line, and jam-packed with refugees. It was untouched on the morning of 4 February when Russian aircraft, helicopters, fuel-air bombs and Grad missiles pulverised the village. After the bombing the Russian army allowed buses in, and allowed a white-flag refugee convoy to leave after which they bombed that as well.[125] Banned Thermobaric weapons were fired on the village of Katyr-Yurt. Hundreds of civilians died as a result of the Russian bombardment and the following sweep after.[126][127] Thermobaric weapons have been used by the Russian army on several occasions according to Human Rights Watch.[128]

Syria

  • 6,950 civilians dead
The Syrian regime was responsible for 201,055 of these deaths, with the victims including 22,981 children and 11,976 women, while Russian forces killed 6,950 civilians, including 2,048 children and 977 women.Mar 15, 2023 -- ReliefWeb 

Ukraine

  • 500,000+ killed since Putin invaded
Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War included six deaths during the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 14,200–14,400 military and civilian deaths during the war in Donbas, and up to 500,000 estimated casualties during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. -- Wiki
The second year of war dragged on through Ukraine slowly and with little mercy. The first year of the war was a story of the resilience of people amid conflict that has turned into one of perseverance as the conflict has stagnated, with no end in sight.
Bohdan Semenukha and his mother, Viktoria, walk frequently through the Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, just a few blocks from the new apartment where they moved after fleeing Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast, in January 2023. | Claire Harbage/NPR

Music: Jupiter & Jaguar — Blond:ish | Welcome to the Present & Chants of Native Earth | Shamanic Moon (Native American Drums) | From February 24, 2022

Alexei Navalny

  • ‘It’s a torture regime’: the last days of Alexei Navalny
Image from The Guardian
Each morning at 5am, Alexei Navalny was roused with the words “Wake up!” as the Russian national anthem played on the prison loudspeakers. It was always dark in the polar night above the Arctic Circle, and the temperature outside could fall below -30C (-22F). The convict would have a sheepskin coat and an ushanka hat to keep warm in a prison colony better known by its nickname: the Polar Wolf.

To read whole article, go to The Guardian for full article by Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer
  • Full List of Putin Critics Who Have Died in Mysterious Circumstances
For over two decades, President Vladimir Putin has squeezed dissent in Russia. Critics, journalists, and defectors have faced dire consequences after opposing him. From poisonings to shootings, mysterious falls from windows, and even plane crashes, there is a long trail of silenced voices.
Alexei Navalny, whose death in prison is as yet unexplained, had previously fallen ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow in 2020 after being poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who defected and was a prominent Putin critic, was murdered with polonium-210 in London in 2016. -- Newsweek


Ukraine Letters — February 24, 2022

Feature Archetypal Animation

Images: Midjourney

Music: Zombies Sound EffectsSound Ideas | [10] Low Moaning Zombie Ambience    0:38

2024

Happy New Year’s! It’s 2024!!

May 2024 bring wisdom to you and to everyone who you know, especially as you try to make sense of the vast amount of nonsense and evil impacting and influencing our imperfect world, especially this year.

This year, more than any other year, each and every one of us needs to find our inner well of wisdom and drink from it. If we don’t find it… if we don’t replenish our drained and drying reservoirs of wisdom, we are not going to survive as a species on this planet past this century… at least not as we have been surviving in it.

Here and now, in this very moment, more than any transition from one year to the next one, we must be able to tell good from evil, truth from lies, right from wrong. This is the year we choose between life or death for all life on Earth.

This is the year (more than any other year) that each and every living human makes a choice… it is a vote… for what our collective fate will be as the 21st Century stretches ahead of us.

The preceding years have filled all of us with so much worry, so much onus, so much weight, and now we hold so much responsibility for our personal and collective fate.

No longer can we deny to ourselves that our personal choices and lifestyles do not affect other living beings on our beautiful planet. No longer can we choose to stay ignorant about our world, the deadly conflicts spanning the global, the deadly famines and diseases caused by our inability to get along with each other, nor our tremendous failure to cooperate with each other to solve the intractable and wicked problems we have created for ourselves as human beings.

The Choice Is Yours

Today is the day you must choose.

Will you choose life, meaning that you accept responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions?

OR

Will you choose death, meaning you project your unconsciousness onto others and do not take responsibility for your own inner turmoil, hate, anger, and ignorance… and you don’t educate yourself about yourself and the world that offers you this precious human life?

All life is precious. And all humans matter. And each and everyone of us is making a critical choice this year. A choice of consequence that will have lasting gravity on all of life for the foreseeable future.

This is our moment to shine… or it is our moment to fall like a shooting star burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Choose wisely.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Art from Studio in Thomas, West Virginia

Music: World of Sleepers by Carbon Based Lifeforms — Proton Electron    6:52

TOTALITARIA | Part 7: Marvelization of Man

PART 7: Marvelization of Man

Part 1: Marvelization of Man

Welcome to TOTALITARIA! A wonderful world based on the highest ideals, most moral codes ever conceived by man!

Oooops! Do you really want to live in a Totalitarian society where your neighbors and creepy people spy on you and report you to the Morality Police overseen by the Minister of Interior, a guy responsible for the interior thoughts inside your mind?!

Totalitarian Mindset

This blog explores Joost Meerlo’s chapter on the Totalitarian Mindset, which is a mindset that serves as a fundamental building block of totalitarian societies. This mindset does not just infect Totalitarian Rulers. It infects lots of people in a society who become susceptible to it for a variety of reasons

Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual and group opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high if not complete degree of control and regulation over public and private life. -- Totalitarianism -- Wikipedia

In fact, there are recognizable personality traits for forming and holding a Totalitarian Mindset.

These traits include conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy, power and "toughness", destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex. -- The Authoritarian Personality -- Wikipedia

There is even such a thing as a totalitarian democracy, which is a state is said to maximize its control over the lives of its citizens by using the dual rationale of general will (i.e., “public good”) and majority rule.


Recap & Current Events

Previous blogs of this series explore why we need heroes, super heroes, and strong stories that activate and workout the body parts of our mind: Archetypes. Like the rest of the world, I am shocked and horrified by Hamas October 7 attack and anyone celebrating this attack. What were they thinking is beyond what a normal person can conceive. Only people who have broken their minds and eviscerated their hearts are capable of cutting the fingers off a little boy before executing him and cutting heads off of babies. Only people who have turned themselves into monsters spend 16 years and billions of dollars building underground tunnels while not dropping a dime to build a bomb shelter for the 2.2 million people of Gaza and then build their underground bunker headquarters underneath refugee facilities and hospitals.

The killing of any innocent person–baby, child, woman, or man–is wrong… be it by knifes and guns or bombs… and yet, here we the people of the world, stand again looking into the jaws of violence, which breeds violence, which breeds violence and revenge and more violence. The same killing is happening in Ukraine implemented by another crazy totalitarian monster who is cozying up to this favorite totalitarian dictators in Iran, North Korea, China, and now Hamas, Hezbollah, and any and all extremists, violent visionaries who want to rule the world.

I have been devastated by images of death and destruction in Israel and Gaza, but one picture caught my attention in a curious way. This is the picture of the captured soldier recused by the IDF from Gaza.

IDF soldier Pvt. Ori Megidish (center) with her family after being rescued from Gaza, October 30, 2023. (Shin Bet) — Times of Israel

I cannot fix or change this torn and tattered world. I can only reflect and notice and try to understand what makes a person lean into a Totalitarian Mindset and Life that never ends up serving the good of all. It only ever seems to serve a few living like rats in tunnels or cockroachs in golden palaces.

So let’s dive into Joost Meerlo who was a Jewish psychiatrist who survive the Nazi holocaust and thought a lot about what makes such men do such monstrous things.

TOTALITARIA

CHAPTER SIX: TOTALITARIA AND ITS DICTATORSHIP

The Rape of the Mind, Joost Meerlo

There actually exists such a thing as a technique of mass brainwashing. This technique can take root in a country if an inquisitor is strong and shrewd enough. He can make most of us his victims, albeit temporarily.

What in the structure of society has made man so vulnerable to these mass manipulations of the mind? This is a problem with tremendous implications, just as brainwashing is. In recent years we have grown more and more aware of human interdependence with all its difficulties and complications.

I am aware of the fact that investigation of the subject of mental coercion and thought control becomes less pleasant as time goes on. This is so because it may become more of a threat to us here and now, and our concern for China and Korea must yield to the more immediate needs at our own door. Can totalitarian tendencies take over here, and what social symptoms may lead to such phenomena? Stern reality confronts us with the universal mental battle between thought control (and its corollaries) and our standards of decency, personal strength, personal ideas, and a personal conscience with autonomy and dignity.

Future social scientists will be better able to describe the causes of the advent of totalitarian thinking and acting in man. We know that after wars and revolutions this mental deterioration more easily finds an opportunity to develop, helped by special psychopathic personalities who flourish on man’s misery and confusion. It is also true that the next generation spontaneously begins to correct the misdeeds of the previous one because the ruthless system has become too threatening to them.

My task, however, is to describe some symptoms of the totalitarian process (which implies deterioration of thinking and acting) as I have observed them in our own epoch, keeping in mind that the system is one of the most violent distortions of man’s consistent mental growth. No brainwashing is possible without totalitarian thinking. The tragic facts of political experiences in our age make it all too clear that applied psychological technique can brainwash entire nations and reduce their citizens to a kind of mindless robotism which becomes for them a normal way of living. Perhaps we can best understand how this frightening thing comes about by examining a mythical country, which, for the sake of convenience, we shall call Totalitaria.

Page 73 — The Rape of the Mind, Joost Meerlo

Additional Resources

Click Here

While writing this blog, I heard this on NPR. If you are interested in Totalitarian Societies and Mindset and what can happen to ordinary people just trying to live their lives in such societies, you should listen to this episode that tells how things can go sideways really fast, especially with social media and modern technologies.

In this episode, you meet a man in Iraq and the new app called Snitch, a woman in the US who was giving birth at home and arrested because her baby was a still birth, and what has been happening in Iran for decades with its brutal Morality police. The very same Iran supplying Putin with drones and Hamas with rockets.

Click Here is a five-part special series telling true stories about the people making and breaking our digital world. Hosted by former NPR Investigations correspondent Dina Temple-Raston, Click Here uses deep reporting and investigative journalism to introduce listeners to the people behind today’s cybersecurity and intelligence headlines. You’ll meet not just the hackers, but the people who are chasing them – without all that insider jargon that makes tech shows hard to understand.
What happens when authorities use digital weapons to impose their vision of morality on the people they are supposed to serve? Across the globe, rulers have launched apps, tracked phones, and used personal data in increasingly hostile ways, and it has sparked some very creative responses. -- Listen to this and other episodes of the Click Here podcast at clickhereshow.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Midjourney generated Peace Art

Peace Forward

Hoffer seeks to provide non partisan and non bias information from both sides to help people understand the different sides, perspectives, and history of the conflict in the Middle East. It is a big lift and hard to do, and it is hard for people to reach out and seek more information to understand more about the horrors taking place. It is the only way forward for every individual to do this work, to check one’s own biases and blind spots. It is hard work, thinking, but without this hard work… there is only one place the world is going to land… and it’s not a peaceful place.

Harvard student launches hotline to promote peaceful dialogue amidst ongoing Israel-Hamas war

Following the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, Harvard University junior Shira Hoffernoticed a lot of one-sided and polarizing narratives around the conflict.
In an effort to promote peaceful dialogue across differences, Hoffer launched the Hotline for Israel/Palestine, an educational texting hotline that seeks to provide users with nonpartisan information and resources.
The initiative already has two dozen volunteers, spanning across religions, ethnicities and countries.
Here & Now's Jane Clayson speaks with Hoffer for more details on this peace-forward effort.

This segment aired on November 3, 2023.

The Enigma of Coexistence | Part 6: The Marvelization of Man

This blog addresses the last section of chapter 5 in Joost Merloo’s The Rape of the Mind.

Now we are getting into the nitty gritty stuff of why we need strong archetypal characters and stories, especially now. We need them because we live in a time chock full of improbable characters playing as if they are super heroes, but really they are just playing insidious tricks on our minds so they can get our money or get power.

And if they do get enough power, they are going to take everything from you (Yes, even if you supported them, especially if you supported them!)

And also as if we need even more examples of why we need to strengthen our minds against frauds and fakesters, just the other day, David Gura spoke with Zeke Faux of Bloomberg News and New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar about the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried who is the disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

This part of the interview is exactly what Joost Merloo is writing about here and why I am highlighting in this blog: We are suckers for people with money. We are even worse suckers for people who pretend to have money!

Pay attention:

GURA: For people who haven't invested in crypto, haven't dabbled in this world, don't know Sam Bankman-Fried, don't know what FTX is, why is this story, why is this alleged fraud so important and such a big deal?
KOLHATKAR: This is an old story, to some extent. This is a story about, you know, an ostensible genius who happened to be very young, lauded by the press, you know, worshipped by Silicon Valley, who was allowed to go out and behave in, ultimately, a reckless way with other people's money while people turned and looked the other way. And, you know, lo and behold, things were not as they seemed. Something was seriously wrong, and it resulted in a, you know, terrible amount of pain and destruction and financial losses.
And this arc, this narrative arc, is something we see over and over again, particularly in sort of hot, new tech companies where you often have these young men who are just empowered to go out and behave recklessly while they try and grow their companies. And then, of course, we figure out afterwards that they were cutting corners or fraud occurred, and, you know, there's all sorts of pain and recrimination. And you don't have to care about crypto to care about the outcome and the question of whether justice is served in this case.

-- The fall of crypto | All Things Considered, NPR

The Enigma of Coexistence

Is it possible to coexist with a totalitarian system that never ceases to use its psychological artillery? Can a free democracy be strong enough to tolerate the parasitic intrusion of totalitarianism into its rights and freedoms? History tells us that many opposing and clashing ideologies have been able to coexist under a common law that assured tolerance and justice. The church no longer burns its apostates.
Coexist | Music: Coexist — The xx — Chained
Before the opposites of totalitarianism and free democracy can coexist under the umbrella of supervising law and mutual good will, a great deal more of mutual understanding and tolerance will have to be built up. The actual cold war and psychological warfare certainly do not yet help toward this end.
To the totalitarian, the word "coexistence" has a different meaning than it has to us. The totalitarian may use it merely as a catch-word or an appeaser. The danger is that the concept of peaceful coexistence may become a disguise, dulling the awareness of inevitable interactions and so profiting the psychologically stronger party. Lenin spoke about the strategic breathing spell (peredyshka) that has to weaken the enemy. Too enthusiastic a peace movement may mean a superficial appeasement of problems. Such an appeal has to be studied and restudied, lest it result in a dangerous letdown of defences, which have to remain mobilized to face a ruthless enemy.

A tragic example of this is what happened to Khasoggi five years ago today.

Image from Morning Edition – NPR: Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Five years on, there has been little accountability — and human rights groups say that has implications for free expression around the world.
Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

As I write this blog, today is five years since Jamal Khashoggi with murdered and mutilated. Rachel Treisman opens this segment saying:

Jamal Khashoggi — a Saudi dissident who lived in Virginia and wrote for the Washington Post — walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. He never came out.
Khashoggi, 59, was dismembered, and his remains have never been found.
U.S. intelligence later determined that a team of 15 Saudi agents had flown to Istanbul to carry out a "capture or kill" operation approved by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

What strikes me as particularly pertinent to what Joost Meerloo is saying above is what Khashoggi’s friend and collegue Washington Post columnist David Ignatius says:

It's undeniable that there have been major changes in Saudi Arabia in the last five years, Ignatius notes.
For example: The government lifted a ban on women driving months before Khashoggi's death in 2018; now women "mix freely in Saudi society with men," including at music festivals. It stripped the "religious police" of their privileges, which led to many women no longer wearing the hijab in public.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have hinted they are open to establishing formal relations, which Ignatius says is something he never thought he'd see in his lifetime.
"It would be wrong not to credit those changes," Ignatius said. "What bothers me is that those changes have been implemented essentially by force ... We should understand that this is a modernizing dictator. And there's always the danger that citizens of Saudi Arabia could be thrown into prison if they disagree with him."

If you are interested in this topic, you should listen to the whole interview. It is only 3 minutes; time well spent to understand the complexities of our time and how what looks like a good thing or even a GREAT things, might be a very poisonous thing for our psychological reality.


Back to Joost and The Enigma of Coexistence:

Coexistence may mean a suffocating subordination much like that of prisoners coexisting with their jailers. At its best, it may imitate the intensive symbiotic or ever-parasitic relationship we can see among animals which need each other, or as we see it in the infant in its years of dependency upon its mother.
In order to coexist and to cooperate, one must have notions and comparable images of interaction, of a sameness of ideas, of a belonging-together, of an interdependence of the whole human race, in spite of the existence of racial and cultural differences. Otherwise the ideology backed by the greater military strength will strangle the weaker one.
Peaceful coexistence presupposes on BOTH sides a high understanding of the problems and complications of simple coexistence, of mutual agreement and limitations, of the diversity of personalities, and especially of the coexistence of contrasting and irreconcilable thoughts and feelings in every individual of the innate ambivalence of man. It demands an understanding of the rights of both the individual and the collectivity. Using coexistence as a catch-word, we may obscure the problems involved, and we may find that we use the word as a flag that covers gradual surrender to the stronger strategist.

Page 72 — Chapter 5: The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo


Do you think the United States’ Congress has a high understanding of the problems and complications of coexistence? Given the recent fight over funding the US government and now Matt Gate’s stunt, it seems we need divine intervention to help guide us weaker minded souls in just remembering how to compromise and get along together.

Go to Your Corners | Music: Donkeys & Elephants by Somr

“In the majestic Halls of Congress, God ushers elephants to one corner and donkeys to another, bestowing upon them a much-deserved respite.

Archetypal Animations

Images made on Genolve using AI with music for each animation as follows:

Feature Archetypal Animation

Music: The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) — Various Artists — The Greatest Show

First Archetypal Animation

Music: Coexist — The xx — Chained

Second Archetypal Animation: Donkeys & Elephants by Somr

Now — The Taoist Way

One fine day you realize to your astonishment [that] there is no way at all of having your mind anywhere else but in the present moment because even when you think about the past or future, you’re doing it now, aren’t you?!

Alan Watts — The Taoist Way
Alan Watts — The Taoist Way

Alan Watts lectured often about the concept of being present in the Now. Being in the now is a practice of Buddhism and Zen, which is a way to stay on the path of the inner Sage. The ultimate goal of the Buddhist path is release from the round of phenomenal existence with its inherent suffering. To achieve this goal is to attain nirvana, an enlightened state in which the fires of greed, hatred, and ignorance have been quenched.


In Carol Anthony’s book The Philosophy of the I Ching, she writes:

“Freeing out mind (what we focus on and listen to within) of the dominance of the ego and our inferiors [Note: the I Ching refers to our worst impulses and instincts as inferiors. It is plural because there are many troublesome instincts, attitudes, and rigid beliefs to contend with inside of ourselves.] is part of the work by which we re-attain our natural state of innocence. Through self-discipline, we keep our mind’s eye open, and our inner space free of the thoughts that our inferiors would introduce if we fail to resist them. In the time of youth we are automatically open-minded; it is unnecessary to make a conscious effort to be so. After we learn structured ways of dealing with the world, and listen to the urgings of our fears, our inner view becomes blocked and our inner space filled. We are no longer able to see or her within, but are attuned only to the external world and how we think we need to be to deal with it. Through self-development we de-structure our patterned ways of thinking: by conscious effort we keep our inner view and inner space empty. In this manner we reconstruct our original innocence. The only difference is that our new innocence is consciously maintained; it is not the unconscious innocence of childhood.”

Carol Anthony — The Philosophy of the I Ching

Indeed, if what Carol Anthony has come to understand through her own life and practice using the I Ching is right, then she is showing us how to heal our inner selves and how to bring forth our inner unconsciousness in gentle, constructive, non-violent ways. Without this conscious effort, we are bound to fall prey to our own karma and act in the world in ways that are harmful to others and that will bring great pain and sorrow onto ourselves as we try to make our way through and navigate our inner flow of consciousness, which is time.

Time is the great equalizer.

And, it is always happening Now.


Alan Watts continues saying:

"Even when you think about the past or the future you're doing it now, aren't you? And that results in a very curious transformation of consciousness you feel that you that the present moment is flowing along and carrying you with it all the time just like the flow of the Tao. The flow of the Tao is what we would call the flow of the present. Zhong Yong in his book The Unwobbling Pivot says the Tao is that from which one cannot deviate that from which one can deviate is not the Tao.
To put it into the form of a zen story, the Master Joshua said to Nansen what is the Tao? Nansen replied your everyday mind is the Tao. Joshua asked how do you get into accord with it? Nansen replied when you try to get into accord, you deviate."

Watts says there is no recipe for learning how to be in the present and in the flow of the Tao, which is the eternal Now. Every person must learn to feel it for themselves.

Alan Watts tells how Christian missionaries translate the Tao as logos.

"They took as their point of departure the opening passage of Saint John's gospel in the beginning was the word. Now if you look up a Chinese translation of the bible, it says in the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with god and the Tao was god. (...)  So they've substituted the Tao with God. Now, that make a very funny effect on a Chinese philosopher because the idea of things being made by the Tao is absurd. The Tao is not a manufacturer and it's not a governor. It doesn't rule as it were in the position of a king.  The Tao flows everywhere...both to the left and to the right. It loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them. And when good things are accomplished, it lays no claim to them. In other words, the Tao does not stand up and say: I have made all of you I have filled this Earth with its beauty and glory... now fall down before me and worship me."

Alan Watts goes on to discuss the idea of mutually arising. It is a very important Taoist expression that all things arise mutually together. Watts loved to says, “although the bees and flowers look different from each other, they are inseparable.” He talks about how bees and flowers coexist in the same way as high and low exist together, or back and front go together, or long and short define each other. He further explains how all of the opposites and things that look completely different from other things interdepend on each other for existence, this is the Tao. Mutual arising is one of the most important concepts to grasp in understanding the Tao, the eternal Now.

All of us living in the Western world have been taught that everything is separated. This is a very Newtonian philosophy of the world, as if it’s a huge amalgamation of billiard balls that don’t move unless they are struck by another ball or a queue (Watts describes). After explaining this, Watts loves to say, “But of course from the standpoint of 20th century science, we know perfectly well now that that’s not the way it works. We know enough about relationships to see that the mechanical model which Newton devised was all right for certain purposes but it breaks down now because we understand relativity and see how things go together in a kind of connected net.” [Note: See Indra’s Net.]

“Now figure a world in which everything happens by itself it doesn’t have to be controlled it’s allowed.”

Alan Watts — The Taoist Way

Watts says here, “This does not mean that everything is in chaos. It means that the more liberty you give the more love you give the more you allow things in yourself and in your surroundings to take place the more order you will have.”

This sounds very hard to allow in 2021 when the whole world seems to be besieged by polarized opposites. In the U.S., for example, you have the extreme Right and the extreme Left bombarding each other with word bombs that are blowing up into real life consequences such as the January 6 insurrection of the Capitol that left people dead and maimed and traumatized. Or the mistrust that has grown like a cancer in our country of one side or another side (or mistrust of doctors, scientists, anyone seen as other) that is contributing to hesitancy of the COVID-19 vaccine, a deadly virus that has killed more Americans in a year and a half than died in both WWI and WWII. Right here and now, COVID-19 (the Delta variant) is surging this summer. NPR reported recently that COVID-19 cases are particularly surging in areas of low vaccination. More than 97% of people entering hospitals right now are unvaccinated. This mistrust, this rampant partisanship is destroying the gentle, fragile fabric of democracy.


This is what Alan Watts was trying to warn us about more than 50 years ago. We know what to do, but we don’t do it. Why?

Watts goes on in this lecture to talk about karmic debt, which I find utterly fascinating, but that’s not what I have chosen to focus on here. I am pondering the point in this lecture when Watts comes to T.S. Elliot’s idea that the person who has settle down in the train to read the newspaper is not the sam person who stepped onto the train from the platform. Watts says to his audience, “Therefore also you who sit here are not the same people who came in at the door. These states are separate. Each in its own place. There was the coming in at the door person, but there is actually only the here and now sitting person, and the person sitting here and now is not the person who will die.”


Jerry Seinfeld talks about this idea too. He talks about Night Guy who likes to eat cookies at night and he is the guy who also likes to stay up late at night. He wants to live for the moment. But, then there’s Morning Guy who has to get up and go to work and has to deal with 5 hours of sleep and too many cookies. He feels awful! HiddenBrain did a spectacular episode on this too, the different phases of self in You, But Better.

Jerry Seinfeld: Night Guy vs. Morning Guy // SiriusXM // SiriusXM Indie JAN 2014

So, just what is Alan Watts getting at? Surely we are not a bunch of separated unconnected selves sleep walking through life. It is all a grand illusion of being? Or maybe we are?!

Now…now…now…now | Image made by Genolve

Watts tells us. He says, “We are all a constant flux and the continuity of the person from past through present to future is as illusory in its own way as the upward movement of the red lines on a revolving barber pole. You know it goes round and round and round and the whole thing seems to be going up or going down whichever the case may be but actually nothing is going up or down.”

Revolution | Animation by Genolve
"So when you throw a pebble into the pond and you make a concentric rings of waves there is an illusion that the water is flowing outwards and no water is flowing outwards at all water is only going up and down what appears to move outward is the wave not the water.  So this kind of philosophical argument says that our seeming to go along in a course of time doesn't really happen. The buddhists say: suffering exists but no one who suffers, deeds exist but no doers are found, a path there is but no one who follows it, and nirvana is but no one who attains it."

This is a confusing concept. When a person rushes to understand something that has happened to them or a new concept, the person is bound not to understand the thing at all. Watts explains that it is a matter of getting to a position where you no longer feel the symbol the thought the idea the word as a block to life, no longer feel it and something you are using as a means of escape. He says: “liberation of the mind from identifying itself with symbols is the same process exactly as breaking up the links between the successive moments the illusion of a self continuing self that travels from moment to moment and picks them all up corresponding to the illusion of the moving water in the wave.”

We are more like a melody being played, Watts describes. We must select the notes in relationship to the places we exist–that means in relationship to everything around us and rising inside of us. If we are not discerning and select everything, the music becomes a jumble and does not make sense. So it is as human beings that we have the capacity to focus in on certain things, to see the symbol of these things in our minds, and select how to arrange these symbols in our mind and how it flows in our never-ending stream of consciousness (i.e., our inner story about what has happened to us during our journey through time and space). When we become more attached to the symbol in our mind rather than to how we are in relationship to each other, with our inner Sage and inferior, and with the whole of nature (indeed the universe), then this is where and when we get into the trouble of bad karma and the cycle of suffering.

Consciousness is a rare and precious gift. It does create problems such as present self and future self and the natural conflict between them.

Yesterday, Jeff Bezos blasted off with his brother and Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen. You’ve already seen the headlines: Lefty Democrats hit Jeff Bezos over space trip, want him to pay ‘fair share’ of taxes. The dividing and the othering and the criticism goes on and on. If it’s not Bezos, it’s Dr. Fauci or a scientists working on climate change or a researcher working on viruses. It seems recently that this is all human beings are really good at doing, othering and dividing things up so they don’t go together any more.

But we can put the pieces back together again because we did this all inside our minds. We got attached to the symbols we created to explain to ourselves what is happening to us. When we get attached to symbols created inside our minds, we divide things… cut them up into little pieces and stand on sides lobbing bombs at the other side opposite our points of view. But, don’t you see… it all goes together?

I really like something Bezos said in an interview with Anderson Cooper when he was asked about this criticism he was getting about this all being a race to space by billionaires. Anderson asked, “Don’t you think it is better to spend you money here, now to take care of all the problems we are facing on Earth?” Bezos replied, after a moment of consideration, “We have to do both. We have to work on the Here and Now. And we have to work on the future. That is what humanity has always done.”

He is right. Because we can see the Present Self (the Here and Now), but also the Future Self (a brighter, better future on the horizon). Men and women throughout human history have taken care of their needs in the here and now and ventured boldly into the unknown. That is what Homo sapiens does. We are a species who originated in Africa, and then we boldly voyaged far and wide until we filled every niche of our beloved planet. We used to live caves or congregated grass huts, but we used our abilities to take care of our needs in the here and now as well as envision a bigger, brighter future and build it. Often such envisioning is seen only by a few individuals of any particular time. Those who cultivate their minds to see distant inner horizons of being. Not all future possibilities are possible, but all visioning of such future possibilities cause conflict for a tribe or group of people of any time because such seeing into the future means change. But it is precisely these abilities that have allowed Homo sapiens, sapiens to build great cities with towers made of glass and to fly around the world in a day inside airplanes. We are able to see ourselves in the Here and Now (like Jerry Seinfeld’s Nighttime Guy), and we can see our future self. Using nothing more than our minds, we can play out inside our minds what the future consequences of the choices we make in the Now (or do not make), which then inform the actions we take in the Now (or do not take).

Bezos told Anderson Cooper his vision is to create the infrastructure so that future humans can move toxic and polluting industries off Earth, so we can protect our beautiful and fragile planet. This is a beautiful vision, and he is right to hold it and to start something small that will grow into something big. And he can also take care of the here and now and did with $100 million gift each to Van Jones and chef Jose Andres. Sure he could pay more in taxes and probably should. But we do this together, moment by moment… we all create reality.

What will you do with your plot of consciousness today? How will you step into the flow of the Now without a train of burdensome thought cars following you into it?

Have a great day!