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Becoming Trans Instinctual

Becoming Trans Instinctual

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Published by antonygalarza
Part II of the book Beyond Our Six Senses
& Above Our Lower Instincts delves into the process of becoming trans-instinctual. Being trans-instinctual means downplaying human instincts that are no longer adaptive for individual and species survival. It is about going beyond our lower impulses. Such lower instincts include aggression, territoriality, hierarchy, judgement, possessiveness, dominance, revenge, and repression of the self. Trans-instinctual humans emphasize the opposite of such instincts—peace, equality, being non-judgmental, sharing, living and letting be, forgiveness, and self-expression.
Part II of the book Beyond Our Six Senses
& Above Our Lower Instincts delves into the process of becoming trans-instinctual. Being trans-instinctual means downplaying human instincts that are no longer adaptive for individual and species survival. It is about going beyond our lower impulses. Such lower instincts include aggression, territoriality, hierarchy, judgement, possessiveness, dominance, revenge, and repression of the self. Trans-instinctual humans emphasize the opposite of such instincts—peace, equality, being non-judgmental, sharing, living and letting be, forgiveness, and self-expression.

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Sections

1 Our Human Instincts, the Cerebral Cortex, and the Heart Like the five senses—and the sixth

sense of the human brain—animal instincts evolved over billions of years: first in the ocean, then on land. Key terms for instinct in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary are “impulse,” “capacity,” “largely inheritable,” “unalterable tendency,” “response to environmental stimuli,” lacking “reason,” and behavior coming from “below the conscious level.”1 This book agrees with these definitions, for the most part. But it also argues that human instincts are malleable to personal will, rather than being “unalterable.”2 One afternoon, for example, I heard boiling water spill from a pot. Calmly, I turned. My adopted aunt yelled at me to rush over. I walked toward the pot and turned off the electric stove. The fiftyish woman couldn’t understand why I hadn’t had a meltdown. I told her that I had chosen not to react hysterically. Not only that. I had chosen not to react that way beforehand. Had I chosen not to react instinctually after I had turned, then

1

Frederick C. Mish, John M. Morse, E. Ward Gilman, et al., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1993), p. 606. 2 Ibid.

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stopping a hysterical reaction would have been more difficult—albeit not impossible. Thus, human instincts are not an “unalterable tendency.”3 Part II of this book contends that human instincts involve behavior and thoughts. Part II will also use impulse, instinct, and tendency interchangeably, as these words boil down to the same thing. A point to remember is that human instincts are, by and large, humanly irrational reactions to externals. More often than not, our human instincts are unconscious in that they pop up beyond our conscious control. While lower animals live by biological instincts, however, we humans live by choice. Even if we live like lower animals, we are nonetheless choosing. We are choosing because, unlike lower animals, we have a cerebral cortex. The question is: Do we choose unconsciously—or even consciously—to give in to our animal impulses, or do we consciously choose to rise above our maladaptive instincts? Part II of this book defines adaptive as “leading to biological survival in a way that doesn’t significantly harm others or the environment.” It defines maladaptive as “nonconductive to long-term physical survival.” If a human activity leads to human survival at the expense of a critical mass of life or the environment, then that behavior begins to be maladaptive, according to this definition. Our thriving human population, for example, is maladaptive because, though more of us are surviving than ever before, our physical survival is threatening 90 percent of life on earth. Humans are expanding everywhere on this planet with no restraint. Fish varieties may be plentiful on restaurant menus. But if 90 percent of ocean life is on the verge of collapse due to overfishing and pollution, then wholesome human diets vis-à-vis fish—or whatever is being overstressed—are maladaptive for us in the long run.4
3 4

Ibid. See Richard Heinberg, Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World, (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2004), p. 6.

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The word civilized means that an individual and/or a society is civil, rational, and refined. A serial killer is not civilized because he lets his lower impulses drive his actions. Such a person never engages what Fred Travis, a neuroscientist, calls “the CEO of your brain.” This CEO is the prefrontal cortex, the part of the human brain in charge of “the judgement, the planning, the decision making …”5 At a lecture at the University of Washington, Travis added, “What happens under high stress is this part of the brain [the Frontal Executive System] is not connected in [emphasis mine].”6 One of the PowerPoint slides of Travis even spelled out, “Extreme Stress Leads to Functional Lesions.”7 This is why, even if violent criminals start to think, they will still not engage their damaged prefrontal cortexes. The implications of this are staggering because high stress, an epidemic that is affecting virtually everybody these days, leads to what Travis calls a “stimulus/response” mode of living.8 Consider the account of psychic John Holland. As Holland writes in Power of the Soul: Everything seemed to start off really well [Holland’s relationship with a boss of his], and I enjoyed the new job. However, after a few months, the relationship began to change as the respect he’d shown in those early months suddenly evaporated and was replaced by demands that were often barked across the room. My boss became more aggressive, and there were occasions when his temper got so bad that I didn’t know what to do or expect. These were the times when I kept my head down! I’m sure that this is an all-too-familiar story, but since I needed the job, I
5

Fred Travis spoke at the University of Washington. The November 7, 2005 lecture was titled, “Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain.” It was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on October 21, 2006. Travis is director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid.

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stayed on, suffering in silence. Early one morning, I’d just returned to the office with my boss’s morning coffee. He yelled another command from his office about his upcoming travel plans, departing in his usual whirlwind, without even a thank-you.9 Hence, an uncivilized person is not just a serial killer like Colt Hawker (Michael Ironside) from the movie Visiting Hours (Canadian; 1982) but can also be an abusive boss, stepparent, or spouse. The many such people in this underworld shows that human civilization is far from civilized. As Michael Newton, a pastlife regressionist, writes in Journey of Souls: I have been told that our spiritual masters constantly remind us that because the human brain does not have an innate moral sense of ethics, conscience is the soul’s responsibility.10 Put differently, conscience is a reflection not of the human brain, but rather, of the spiritual evolution—or lack of—of the spirit occupying a given human body. According to Fred Travis, meditation can, over time, heal damaged parts of the human brain. A dramatic example of this is a prison in Senegal, Africa that had a 96 percent recidivism rate. Cons in that prison were introduced to Transcendental Meditation, John Hagelin, a quantum physicist, said alongside Travis, and their recidivism rate went down to 6 percent.11
9

John Holland, Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2007), pgs. 82-83. 10 Michael Newton, Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life between Lives, Fifth Revised Edition, (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001), p. 70. 11 John Hagelin, “Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain.”

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Becoming trans-instinctual does not mean rejecting our animal tendencies. This is impossible. Rather, it means learning to downplay human instincts that are no longer adaptive—impulses like possessiveness, hierarchy, territoriality, greed, and violence. Only through will and practice will we be able to overcome the maladaptive parts of ourselves, for biological instincts are more powerful than dynamite. Also, downplaying does not mean suppressing. Instead, downplaying is acknowledging and even allowing ourselves to feel a lower impulse when it arises. Anger is an example. One can choose to get it out in a constructive way, as through weightlifting. If one is away from the gym, then one can choose not to lash out in rage. The last part of the previous sentence may sound like repression. But research has shown that indulging one’s anger, for example, often makes one more angry. On the other hand, acting out grief, as in crying, helps to get it out of one’s system. It all depends on context. Before we can learn about becoming trans-instinctual, we must first understand how the human brain, human body, and human heart have made human impulses possible. This chapter investigates: 1) The evolution of the human brain and the significance of this 2) Human intelligence as a multifaceted thing 3) Human instincts affecting different “types” of people in different ways 4) The human heart—not the human brain—being the general driver of our actions

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The Evolution and Workings of the Brain

Mentioned in Part I of this book, the human brain is an outgrowth—or rather, an upgrowth—of the nose. This is according to naturalist Diane Ackerman. In A Natural History of the Senses, Ackerman argues that the olfactory bulbs of the nose grew upward to allow processing centers to develop. The processing of smell, the first physical sense, was all that mattered. In time, the emerging brain began to specialize in other areas. As Ackerman writes, “We think because we smelled.”12 In the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series Cosmos (1980), Carl Sagan, the world-class astronomer, argues that the human brain evolved in “successive stages.” The brain stem came first. It regulates elementals like heartbeat, respiration, and digestion. The reptilian brain then emerged, with its tendencies for fear, short temper, rage, and snarling. The mammalian (limbic) system followed suit, with its inclination for tenderness and care for the young. The various brain regions appear to have evolved from the bottom up. “Down there, in the basement of the brain,” Sagan narrates in Cosmos, “… hardly a word [of the DNA language] changes in a century.”13 Genes dominate in that area of the brain, and learning is irrelevant. On the other hand, the cerebral cortex allows for the addition of “new volumes” of information through learning. In the Cosmos episode “The Persistence of Memory,” Carl Sagan narrates: Emotions and ritual behavior patterns are built very deeply into us. They’re part of our humanity. But they’re not characteristically human. Many other animals have feelings. What distinguishes our species is thought [emphasis mine]. The cerebral cortex is, in a way, a liberation.
12 13

Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, (New York: Vintage Books, 1991), p. 20. This is from episode 11 of Cosmos, titled, “The Persistence of Memory.” Cosmos originally aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from September to December 1980.

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We need no longer be trapped in the genetically inherited behavior patterns of lizards and baboons, territoriality, and aggression, and dominance hierarchies. We are, each of us, largely responsible for what gets put into our brain, for what, as adults, we wind up caring for and knowing about. No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain, we can change ourselves [emphasis mine]. Think of the possibility.14 If each of us didn’t have a higher brain, then genes would rule over us completely. We would be no more evolved than insects. The cerebral cortex is what makes our animal instincts malleable to social conditioning. For example, taste buds make newborns crave sweets. But preferences for flavors are acquired through nurture. As Diane Ackerman writes in A Natural History of the Senses: The Masai enjoy drinking cow’s blood. Orientals eat stir-fried puppy. Germans eat rancid cabbage (sauerkraut), Americans eat decaying cucumbers (pickles), Italians eat whole deep-fried songbirds, Vietnamese eat fermented fish dosed with chili peppers, Japanese and others eat fungus (mushrooms), French eat garlic-soaked snails.15 Remember that taste (innate) and flavor (culturally acquired preferences for different foods) are processed in different areas of the sixth sense of the brain. Linda Bartoshuk, a taste researcher from the Yale University School of Medicine, explains the nature vs. nurture aspect of taste vs. flavor. On PBS’s Mystery of the Senses, Bartoshuk says:

14 15

Ibid. Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 132.

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The pleasure from taste [taste buds for sweet, sour, salty, and bitter] is hardwired, but the pleasure from olfaction [our tasting flavors through smell receptors above the mouth] is acquired, one bit at a time [emphases mine]. When you start as a baby, you develop pleasure by pairing good experiences with particular odors. As you get older, you add more and more to that, you add social rewards, the things that your parents eat or Mikey down the street eats, become very, very powerful. As we go through life, we build up these bits of pleasure and displeasure, and they produce our food preferences [emphasis mine].16 Similarly, there is sex, an inborn instinct, and there is sexuality, a way of erotic expression that is acquired through social programming. Heterosexuality, for instance, is a “learned restriction”17 to one sex and is a “specialization” in the postmodern world. But in ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Tokugawa Japan, men were “generalists”18 in the sexual arena. Bisexuality was the learned norm —although it wasn’t called that then. Another example of nature vs. nurture is music. Music makes us dance. This is innate. But the type of music one likes depends on the culture in which one grows up. Hip-hop and rock, for example, are popular in the United States. But are they the favorite music of Australian aborigines? The human tendency to form ideologies is also inborn. But the kind of ideology one forms depends largely on the place and time in which one grows up. Democratic socialism is popular in Sweden, for example, whereas in
16

Nova Mini-Series: Mystery of the Senses—“Taste” aired on PBS on February 21, 1995. Diane Ackerman was the host of this five-part series, which was based on Ackerman’s book A Natural History of the Senses. 17 Joe Sartelle used “learned restriction” in the plural in “Fantasies of Straight Men: Some Thoughts about Gays in the Military.” The March/April 1993 article (Issue 5) of Bad Subjects is at http://bad.eserver.org/issues/1993/05/sartelle.html. 18 Garber uses the term “specialist” to refer to straight people and the term “generalist” to refer to bi people. See Marjorie Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2000), p. 309.

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America, “big brother” is regarded with suspicion. The yearning for romantic relationships is innate as well. But the type of relationships one chooses—such as monogamy vs. polygamy—depends on the culture of one’s origin. Just as one’s native language is learned during childhood, so are food preferences, sexual orientation, musical tastes, ideologies, and romantic preferences. Like the learning of a first language, habits are easily acquired during childhood. Like the learning of a second language, habits are harder to modify in adulthood. But possible to change old patterns are, for the cerebral cortex allows us to unlearn limited childhood programming and permits us to learn new things. No longer must we resign ourselves to the biases of postmodern culture if they are maladaptive. Interracial marriage, for example, was banned in 16 states until 1967. That year, the Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia). For decades now, interracial sex and romance have been promoted on TV, in movies, in casual conversations, and online. These days, everybody is dating interracially, and interracial marriage is up. When and if bisexuality becomes hip, more and more straights will be going bi. When and if polyamory catches on, more monogamists will be jumping on the poly bandwagon as well. The cerebral cortex allows us to change our very human nature when a new way of being becomes adaptive. That increases the chances of human survival in a changing environment—be it a social environment or a biological one. The evolution of the human brain shows that we can cater to our reptilian impulses. Or we can stress the limbic and rational aspects of our nature. As Carl Sagan says in an episode of Cosmos, “Deep inside our brain is something rather like the brain of a crocodile.” On the other hand, “Civilization is a product of the cerebral cortex.”19
19

Cosmos, “The Persistence of Memory,” (Episode 11).

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Becoming trans-instinctual means downplaying our reptilian side, emphasizing our limbic part, and balancing our irrational nature with our rational side. This will require will and discipline. But the salvation of our species may well depend on which aspects of our nature we choose to stress. Becoming trans-instinctual also means rising above social conditioning when that programming inhibits our freedom to be anything we want. So long as we don’t harm others intentionally, we can reinvent ourselves according to who we want to be. What a departure from allowing society and upbringing to define one’s self-image and the actions that ensue from one’s self-concept. We can, in short, rewire our brains.

Different Types of Intelligence

It would be off mark to assume that we have one type of brain and one type of nervous system. Biology books may show photographs of a single human brain and human nervous system. But like a car make has different models, so does the human brain and the nerves tied to it. Some brains and nervous systems are those of musicians. Hence, composers, singers, and players of musical instruments are said to have musical intelligence. Some people are geniuses when it comes to physics. Others have mathematical intelligence. Yet others have entrepreneurial intelligence. It all has to do with our having different makes of brains and of nervous systems. Like different car models, different people think, act, and even feel in specialized ways. Everyone is a genius in some area. This genius is what one does best, where one’s hearts is, and ultimately, what one was born to fulfill. Human

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ingenuity means, however, that each of our brains must sacrifice space and neural connections in other areas. Like different species, each of us has different adaptations. Yet, in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki writes: … as a teacher, I recognized that it was excessive fear and self-doubt that were the greatest detractors of personal genius [emphases mine]. It broke my heart to see students know the answers, yet lack the courage to act on the answer [emphasis mine]. Often in the real world, it’s not the smart that get ahead but the bold.20 Becoming trans-instinctual is about ignoring human instincts like fear— not to be confused with caution—that no longer serve us. Becoming transinstinctual is also about paying attention to tendencies, human and spiritual, that benefit us. An example is our intrinsic gifts. The world does not encourage this. But with the global changes looming ahead (see epilogue), never has it been more imperative for us to be and do what we are best at.

Different Types of Instincts

Our having different brain types and nervous systems relates to our having different body types. Both affect the style of a person’s temperament. Mesomorphs, for example, are the muscular type. Mesomorphs can’t sit still,
20

Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!, (New York: Warner Business Books, 1997), p. 110.

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toss and turn all night, and “think with their muscles.” Endomorphs, on the other hand, tend to be jovial, digest food slowly, and tend to have paunches. Ectomorphs are thin and lean toward being brainy. But along with their sedentary preferences, ectomorphs have trouble gaining muscle and tend to lose energy quickly. Biological evolution has produced these three body types—and the hybrids among them. Therefore, the challenges of reining certain impulses will be different for different individuals. A jock may need to work at being less aggressive, for instance, while a nerd may need to learn assertiveness. Some people tend to be more nervous than others. Part of becoming trans-instinctual is knowing one’s unique biology, body type, and psychology. Then, we will be in a better position to overcome human instincts that are no longer adaptive for us as individuals and for us as a species.

The Brain vs. The Heart

If we have a cerebral cortex, then why do most of us use—at most—a mere 10 percent of it? Christiane Northrup, a physician, explained a major part of the answer. In the PBS special Menopause & Beyond, Northrup said: The heart has an electromagnetic field that is 60 times bigger than the electromagnetic field of the brain [emphasis mine]. It is our hearts that are our signatures [emphasis mine].21

21

Christiane Northrup, Menopause & Beyond: New Wisdom for Women aired on PBS on March 25, 2007.

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Very appropriately, this segment of Northrup’s lecture was titled, “The heart always wins.”22 Or the lack of heart. Paradoxically, the human brain—not the human heart—is responsible for our technological civilization. Consider, for example, the complexity of the turbofan engine. Mind-boggling is how the human brain can learn to process aluminum, construct a jumbo airliner, and power its engines on a runway. All of our technology derives from the human brain. What has been lacking is heart. This is why, all too often, airplanes are used to bomb cities. I am convinced that if humanity started to have a heart, then we would automatically use more than 5 to 10 percent of the human brain. Connected, the heart and brain may well affect each other’s “wiring” in a positive way. In the movie Star Trek: Generations (1994), the android LieutenantCommander Data (Brent Spiner) gets an “emotion chip.” At a deserted science station in space, Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) fires on Data and on Lieutenant Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton). Then, Dr. Soran abducts La Forge and beams over to a Klingon vessel with La Forge in his arms. At stellar cartography, a special room of the Starship Enterprise, Data tells Captain JeanLuc Picard (Patrick Stewart): I am finding it difficult to concentrate. I believe I am overwhelmed with feelings of remorse and regret concerning my actions on the observatory. I wanted to save Geordi. But I experienced something I did not expect. Fear. I was afraid. It is said that humans react in two ways when faced with stress or danger: fight or flight. There is, however, a third possible reaction: freeze. In Generations, a
22

Ibid.

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frozen Data can’t prevent Soran from abducting La Forge. Data, the brainy android, becomes feeling-centered the instant he gets his emotion chip. At stellar cartography, Data and Picard exchange the following words:

Data: Captain. I cannot continue with this investigation [of the explosion of the Amargosa star]. I wish to be deactivated until Dr. Crusher can remove the emotion chip. Picard: Are you having some kind of malfunction? Data: [ready to explode] No, sir. I simply do not have the ability to control these emotions. Picard: Data. I … I have nothing but sympathy for what you’re feeling. But right now, I need you to— Data: Sir! I no longer want these emotions. Deactivating me is the only viable solution. Picard: Part of having feelings is learning to integrate them into your life, Data. Learning to live with them, no matter what the circumstances. Data: Sir, I cannot! Picard: [grating voice] You will not be deactivated. You’re an officer on

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board this ship, and I require you to perform your duty. That is an order, commander. Data: Yes, sir. I will try, sir. Picard: Sometimes, it takes courage to try to [emphasis mine], and courage can be an emotion, too. As Generations progresses, Data integrates what could be called his android heart with his positronic brain. Toward the end of the movie, Data tells Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis): At first, I was unprepared for the unpredictable nature of emotions. However, having experienced 261 distinct emotional states, I believe I have learned to control my feelings. They will no longer control me [emphasis mine]. Data’s case may seem irrelevant to us non-androids. But many areas of human life operate by irrationality, and irrationality stems from letting strong emotions overrule human reason. This may be positive, as in someone having a spiritual epiphany that defies human logic. But illogicality can also be negative, as in the following: 1) Slaughtering people who are converts to another religion (religious crusades) 2) Massacring other ethnic groups (ethnic cleansing)

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3)

Punching someone who does something offensive, even though slugging another person may get one arrested and ruin one’s record

4)

Smoking for years, even though this causes lung cancer in the long haul

5)

Drinking lots of alcohol for decades, even though this leads to cirrhosis (liver cancer)

6) 7)

Eating fatty foods, even though this contributes to obesity Pursuing one’s romantic rival from Texas to Florida, as former astronaut Lisa Nowak (notice the irony of her last name) allegedly did, even though this is acting like a psychopath

8)

Salivating for war, even though war is hell and in this age, can kill just about every living thing on earth

In Empire of Debt, Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, two financial writers, elaborate on point number eight. Bonner and Wiggin contend: War is rarely taken up with a cool head. And looking in the head for reasons [for World War I] is as futile as looking for dignity on television. A better place to look is in the heart [emphasis mine]. Once the mob’s sentiment is roused for war, there is practically no stopping it. Mass

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emotions—whether in the stock market or in war—are infectious [emphasis mine]. In practically no time, the whole population clamors for uniforms and murder.23 As Bonner and Wiggin write, President Woodrow Wilson dragged America into the Great War (1914-1918) to “make the world safe for democracy.”24 The authors continue that on Remembrance Day (Canada’s Veterans Day), the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) “… reminded readers, “ ‘to recall those many Canadians who died protecting our liberty and our country.’ ”25 Bonner and Wiggin go on: Not even the maddest of the Wilsonians would have suggested that North Americans’ liberty was at stake. The Huns were not going to cross the Atlantic to attack New Brunswick or New York. What did the Yanks and Canucks [Canadians] have at stake? Nothing at all. But people find it easier to die than to think; and for most people, it is probably preferable.26 Even in Europe, World War I made no sense. As Bonner and Wiggin point out in Empire of Debt, “The rulers of Britain, Germany, and Russia were all related [emphasis mine].”27 Even before the war started, the authors write, Germany’s Reichsbank also projected that mobilizing against France would cost Germany 1,800 million marks. This was way above the 360 million marks that Germany

23

Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006), p. 113. 24 Ibid., p. 125. This quote of Woodrow Wilson’s is not in quotations on this page. 25 Ibid., p. 122. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid., p. 112.

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had saved in its war chest.28 On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated—incidentally, by a bunch of teenage boys. Historians cite this event as the immediate cause of World War I. The vast majority of Americans didn’t care about Ferdinand’s death, however. So argue Bonner and Wiggin. Yet, nearly half-a-million Americans died fighting in that war.29 Volatile people are said to be hotheads. Like Data in Generations, these people have let their fiery emotions take control of them. These feelings can be rage, patriotism, fear, or greed. Hence, such individuals are better called hothearts, for their hearts are what is driving their impulsiveness. Coolheads are those humans who use their cerebral cortex before acting out their feelings. Most of us have yet to become coolheads. As the TV screen on Christiane Northrup’s stage put it, “The heart always wins.” Or the lack of heart. On Menopause & Beyond, Christiane Northrup said, “It is our hearts that are our signatures.” She continued: All roads lead back to the heart. Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “When you ask people to point to themselves, they point here [to the heart]. They don’t point here [to the brain]. They point here [to the heart].”30 Thus, the heart reflects the spiritual evolution of an individual—and ultimately, of a species. On planets whose inhabitants are more spiritually evolved than we, their hearts are not into religious fanaticism, ethnic chauvinism, racial hatred, gluttony, romantic obsessions, and war. The book trilogy Conversations with God lays some of the principles by which such civilizations operate. Those
28 29

Ibid., p. 111. Ibid., p. 106. 30 Northrup, Menopause and Beyond.

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principles involve living by what works, as opposed to letting negative emotions rule human life.31 In Menopause & Beyond, Christiane Northrup commented, “Midlife wisdom is a fusion of the mind and the heart. It’s not one or the other. It’s both/and.”32 Youth, not just older people, can also bring their hearts and minds into balance. The fusion of the heart and mind is, respectively, the union of the feminine and the masculine. Western culture encourages females to be in tune with their emotions (hearts) and males to be in tune with their intellects (minds). A trans-instinctual society, however, is made up of males and females who have mind and heart balanced within themselves. As The Nature of the Psyche says: The overly specific sexual [meaning gender] orientation [male or female], then, reflects a basic division in consciousness. It not only separates a man from his own intuitions and emotions to some extent, or a woman from her own intellect, but it effectively provides a civilization in which mind and heart, fact and revelation, appear completely divorced. To some degree each person is at war with the psyche, for all of an individual’s human characteristics must be denied unless they fit in with those considered normal to sexual [meaning gender] identity.33 The goal for those of us who seek to become trans-instinctual is to integrate one’s heart (emotions) with one’s brain (thoughts), regardless of whether or not this violates stereotypes about what makes a woman feminine
31

See Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998). 32 Northrup, Menopause and Beyond. 33 Jane Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, A Seth Book, (San Rafael, CA: AmberAllen Publishing, 1979), pgs. 80-81.

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and a man masculine. Sometimes, we may wish to favor intuition (heart) over intellect (brain)—or vice-versa. For example, Chapter 8 of Part II (section titled, “Beyond the Flock”) shows instances in which the absence of facts (the rational realm) requires that we go on gut instinct alone (the emotional realm). But overall, becoming trans-instinctual means using our hearts and our brains—the yin and the yang. This means not just paying attention to our thoughts but also, becoming aware of what our hearts secretly long for. If our hearts yearn for things in line with higher truth (e.g., peace, joy, and abundance), then no change in our beingness is needed. If our hearts are into other things (e.g., conflict, sadness, and scarcity), then we may want to try to elevate our hearts. This is the conscious elevation of our lesser instincts. The next chapter broaches the adaptive and maladaptive aspects of our survival instinct in the context of postmodern living.

Exercise

Day to day, do you live more from your brain? From your heart? Or does the answer depend on context? Write some examples or speak them into a tape recorder. If necessary, can you integrate your brain and heart? What do you think is required for this? What do you feel is required for this?

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2 The Survival Instinct Ever since life first emerged on earth, physical survival has driven biological evolution. The five senses and the sixth sense of the brain appeared and transmuted to ensure material survival. Crying, breathing, laughing, sneezing, yawning, gagging, and hiccupping became possible, as well as touch inside the physical body. All of these are hidden ways of sensing, and biological survival is not too far from those fruits of physical life. For example, laughing is nature’s way of motivating us more to survive. Animal instincts emerged, evolved, and stayed part of the psyche of organisms. Today, our impulse to survive physically functions on an uneasy set of scales of adaptive and maladaptive human tendencies. In its better form, our instinct for physical survival leads to care for the young, to altruism, and to group cohesion. In its worse form, our instinct for biological survival can turn into apathy for the plight of others, paranoia, xenophobia, overprotection of the young, mass hysteria, and even suicide. How has our instinct to survive biologically—and even emotionally— manifested in modern and postmodern times? How has fear and control played into this?

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The Face of Postmodern Survival

One morning, a man came to my New Hampshire apartment to put insulation around my windows. After setting his equipment in one of my bedrooms, he asked me, “What do you do for a living?” After I moved west, I got acquainted with a woman who worked at the deli of a supermarket. One of the first questions that she asked me was, “Do you work around here?” At the cash register, another lady asked me, “Did you work today?” Another day, I received a haircut from a blonde. Guess what she asked me. You guessed it —“What do you do for a living?” One night, I ordered pizza at a pizza joint and struck a conversation with a woman. Within a minute, she asked me, “What do you do?” This is the mindset of much of the world. Americans, in particular, are obsessed with work. In Florida, acquaintances would ask me, “Have you found a job?” Each time, I told them that I was writing. My answer didn’t seem to satisfy them, for then, they would ask me, “Are you making a living off it?” My never having been hired at a “real” job makes such questions invasive for me. Many cultures consider “What do you do?” to be the rudest of questions. This includes the Japanese, one of the most industrious people in the world. Even progressive TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation remain stuck at the level of work from duty (second chakra of orange)—as opposed to service from the heart (fourth chakra of green). In the episode “The Best of Both Worlds,” for instance, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is implanted with machine parts and is converted to the Borg (a collective of cyborg-humans that has no concept of I). The crew of the Starship Enterprise rescues Picard; most of his Borg implants are removed; and he starts to become human again. Within a few hours, Picard returns to work, never mind that:

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1) Picard is still wearing Borg implants around the right side of his head. 2) It will take Picard several episodes to fully recover from having been made to kill thousands of humans in outer space.34 Similarly, the Klingons capture Lieutenant Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) in the movie Star Trek: Generations (1994). Aboard a Klingon starship, Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) removes La Forge’s viser (electromagnetic spectrum glasses) and tortures La Forge psychologically. The same day that La Forge is returned to the Enterprise, he is back at work on the engineering section of the ship. In the Star Trek universe, vacations are rare, and when they come, Enterprise officers have a hard time relaxing. In the Next Generation episode “The Game,” for instance, Cadet Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) boards the Enterprise during his school break from Starfleet Academy. At once, he is put to work on a “Phoenix cluster survey.”35 In “Journey’s End,” Cadet Crusher boards the Enterprise for another vacation. In Crusher’s quarters, the following exchange takes place:

La Forge: So you’re just gonna lounge around while we all have work to do around here? Crusher: I’m sure I can find some time to help you, sir.
34

This is from the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) titled, “The Best of Both Worlds.” The two-part episode originally aired in syndication on June 16, 1990—Part I—(Season 3, episode 26) and September 22, 1990—Part II—(Season 4, episode 1). 35 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Game.” This episode originally aired in syndication on October 26, 1991 (Season 5, episode 6).

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La Forge: Nuh, Wes. Enjoy your vacation. I’m sure you’ve earned it [emphasis mine].36 Before leaving Crusher’s quarters, La Forge adds, “Don’t sleep your whole vacation away, alright?”37 In the Star Trek universe, leisure is a privilege, not a right. Why do I bring up Star Trek? Because like film and most of television, this program mirrors the society in which we live. In general, Europeans work to live. In general, Americans live to work. That Star Trek is an American production reflects the latter fact. The view in much of the world, however, is that a human being’s worth is determined solely by the value of his or her labor. People who refer to themselves as, say, writers, actors, or singers go against the grain because they are defining themselves more in terms of who they are, rather than what they do. Coming from the heart, artists express themselves at their craft. In so doing, artists serve others. Conversely, most people work for the money. Consider my telephone call to a school district in New Hampshire. Having moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was trying to find the title and editors of a textbook (see Part I, Chapter 3, section titled, “White vs. Black”) that I recalled mentioned “red man” in quotes. My goal was to cite that textbook in this book. I asked the school secretary if she could remit this reference question to a teacher who taught in a classroom down the hall from the main office. I told the secretary that I had substituted in that classroom—where I skimmed over the textbook—in 2005. “I’m busy right now,” the woman replied. “You’re going to have to email the principal.” Then, she hung up on me.
36

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Journey’s End.” This episode originally aired in syndication on March 26, 1994 (Season 7, episode 20). 37 Ibid.

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I emailed the principal, but she never replied. This is the face of work when it is done for money. Like dough, work becomes cold, impersonal, rushed, and mediocre. Service is not rendered. Years ago, I part-timed at a public library. At the front counter, library employees would check library materials in and out for patrons. I specifically remember a Russian lady who was an otherwise kind woman. But many times, she brushed off questions that I had about library procedures. I wasn’t even making small talk. Books, cassettes, videos, CDs, and DVDs, however, were more important to her than I was. The Russian woman handled those objects with such care, but her words and demeanor toward me were anything but loving. In her presence, I felt less valuable than pieces of paper and magnetic tape. Human life itself takes a back seat to money and work when work is done for physical survival, rather than from the heart and to serve. The very word survive can be split into sur and vive. In Spanish, sur means south, and vive means live. Therefore, survive means “south of living,” as in below living. One just exists. Human survival doesn’t have to be just physical. It can be emotional survival as well. I knew a woman, for example, who lived alone for many years. She had three part-time jobs. Not surprisingly, the middle-aged lady was almost never home. Like alcoholism, workaholism is a way to escape from problems. In the case of the middle-aged woman, I surmise that her three jobs was her way of avoiding loneliness at home. The broad didn’t work for money because she had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. In postmodern society (1945-present), the isolation of individuals starts in childhood with siblings being forced to sleep alone in separate bedrooms. The increasing isolation of minors and adults has led to an epidemic of loneliness (see Part II, Chapter 10, section titled, “Being Irrelevant … and Not Understood”). As

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another pandemic in the postindustrial world, workaholism reflects the epidemic of loneliness. Work—not spiritual expression—is so entrenched in Western culture that kids are no longer allowed to have a childhood. From kindergarten on, children are being told, “You have to start thinking about who you want to be when you grow up.” In secondary school, standardized tests (e.g., “No Child Left Behind”) are the norm—not discovering and perfecting one’s inborn talents. Learning “high-tech skills for a global economy” has become the be all and end all of human life, never mind that most high-tech jobs are going overseas in the name of profit. This is living to serve an antilife entity called “globalization,” rather than to express our hearts. Our instinct to survive biologically keeps us from doing what we were born to do. The economic system, in turn, punishes those of us who major, say, in archeology instead of business. As a female professor at a community college told me, “Writing a book for pleasure is a luxury I don’t have [emphasis mine].” That is the old paradigm of working for physical survival. Before the 20th century, work was about producing. The first goal of work was to make and keep one’s family self-sufficient. A common way was to make soap and candles at home, knit sweaters there, and grow food outside the house. The second goal of work was to serve one’s local community. In the 19th century, learning and perfecting a craft was the nature of apprenticeship and employment. One’s training and craftsmanship brought a certain degree of psychological intimacy with many people—one’s trainer and the local people whom one served. Craftsmen had skills that were highly individualized. It took decades to master one’s craft. Consequently, lifelong relationships were forged —as in between master and apprentice—and one developed a unique sense of one’s professional self. A furniture maker, for example, could make rocking chairs that were one of a kind, rather than from a pre-packaged method that a

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corporation ordered. A shoemaker could see his product worn in the local community. Professional skills were personally rewarding. From this, human life took special meaning. Ever since the assembly line came into being, however, work has been done in a “one method fits all” manner. Nowadays, the goal of work is not to use one’s inborn talents to serve the local community (e.g., the shoemaker) but rather, to: 1) Increase a bunch of numbers in one’s bank account 2) Buy consumer products 3) Make one’s employer profits Even family comes second—and children suffer the most. A trans-instinctual person works first, for Self-expression (the expression of one’s spirit) and second, for the sake of others. For such a being, money is a bonus—not the ends—of work, for the ends ultimately become the means. Many trans-instinctual people have to labor at something that is unrelated to their talents because that is what pays the bills in this day and age. Labor isn’t called labor for nothing, and employment is often referred to as “doing one’s time before retirement.” Giving and serving sound easy on paper. In “the real world,” however, even the heavens often make serving a difficult task. Sometimes, giving becomes next to impossible, even if one has innate talents to give. Brahma (the god of this physical universe and of the corresponding afterlife) loves to test people. I, for example, wanted to give this book to the world. Serving humanity via the use of my inborn talents was my intention. But the heavens put obstacle after obstacle in my way. For three years, I visualized this tome in bookstores and visualized

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myself presenting to audiences. I also submitted an impeccable book proposal to literary agents and to book publishers. My query letters got some 70 rejection letters. On April 22, 2009 (Earth Day), I went into a frenzy of rage, then sank into my single bed without a trace of energy. Alone, I had to pick myself up. For me, this was a test of faith and a test in never, ever giving up. The expression “trip me up” means that a person or a situation tries to cause one to trip. One trips (the test) so one can get back up (evolve). Trans-instinctual people never give up their dreams, though, for such individuals know that when one does what one does best, money ensues, sooner or later. The global economy, of course, does not encourage us to follow our calling. Nonetheless, trans-instinctual humans study and do what they do best. If circumstances make them do something else, then trans-instinctual people still choose to look at their work as service, for that is what it is. Bills may be the biggest of psychic whips. But trans-instinctual people see their paychecks not as money being sucked by bills, but rather, as biweekly opportunities to contribute to the global economy. After all, if nobody spent anything, money would stop circulating. Nothing is pleasant in such a society. The ideal, of course, would be for a gift economy to replace the market economy (see section titled, “Money” in this chapter). After hours, trans-instinctual humans continue to pursue their calling. With God as their Employer, biological survival disappears as a motivation for them. Such people just are, and their doing springs from this.

The Politics of Survival

Politics is the process of deciding who gets what, when, where, how, and even why—or for simplicity, the process of deciding who gets what. Human survival is always at stake in politics, sometimes more prominently, other times,

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less so. We tend to think that human survival is only about doing what we can to stay alive. But human survival is often about doing nothing—that is, when the physical survival of people unrelated to us is at stake. When “gay cancer” first appeared in the United States in the summer of 1981, the straight press didn’t report it. That well-known syndrome that we know about today was termed Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). Because the physical survival of the majority was not under threat, the straight press neglected GRID. The gay press did no better. It disregarded stories of “poppers” (toxic aphrodisiacs) being a possible cause of immune deficiency. Why? Because nitrite ads (ads for poppers) funded over half of the gay press at that time. By the mid-1980s, the 80 U.S. cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) had spiraled into the tens of thousands.38 Still, President Ronald Reagan refused to say “AIDS” in public. “Deport Gays” signs appeared, in turn, at mass rallies in “liberal” towns like New York City. Government agencies refused to help, and the gay community was forced to form grassroots organizations that catered to AIDS patients. Not until 20,849 Americans had officially died of AIDS did the president address this health crisis to the nation.39 The year was 1987, way into Reagan’s second term of office and almost seven years after the epidemic began.40 And this was the 1980s, not the 1950s. In the mid-1980s, 1 out of 4 men with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was African American or Latino, according to Charles Nero of Bates College. In the video Off the Straight and Narrow (1999), Nero comments, “If

38 39

These statistics come from the movie And the Band Played On (TV; 1993). This is according to the online article by Allen White titled, “Reagan’s AIDS Legacy, Silence Equals Death,” San Francisco Chronicle, Open Forum, Tuesday, June 8, 2004. The article can be found at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/06/08/EDG777163F1.DTL. 40 In 1985, Ronald Reagan answered a reporter’s question about AIDS. Of his own initiative, however, Reagan didn’t broach the issue until 1987.

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you had watched either film or television dramas about AIDS, you would not know that.41 As C.A. Griffith narrates: More sympathetic portrayals of gay men with AIDS tended to be set almost exclusively in white, upper middle class families. This made it difficult to see the real diversity of people with AIDS.42 Biological survival and fear of physical death are different sides of the same coin. Some people even argue that every human endeavor is motivated, at some level, by the fear of physical death. The problem with this fear is that it can turn into xenophobia. I define xenophobia as hatred toward outsiders—not to be confused with legitimate concerns about preserving one’s group. With xenophobia, people deemed a threat to the physical survival of a group become scapegoats, and in extreme cases, victims of genocide. Examples of the latter are the Nazi concentration camps, “civil” wars in Africa, and guerilla wars in Central America. Survival of the fittest may lead to “better genes” surviving. But it also leads to might makes right and to the atrocities associated with that. Just as dangerous, the imposition of a single set of values (e.g., “My group is superior to your group”) leads to the homogenization of this planet. How? Through the extermination of rival groups. As we are slowly learning, homogenization threatens the very basis upon which biological evolution is founded—diversity of life on earth.

41

Off the Straight and Narrow: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals & Television, “Under the Skin: The AIDS Crisis.” 42 Ibid.

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The Morphing of Survival

In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Admiral Nora Satie (Jean Simmons) boards the Enterprise to investigate a mysterious explosion in the engine room of the starship. Satie learns that a Klingon named J’Dan (Henry Woronicz) transferred files off Enterprise computers via a syringe encoded with “amino acid sequences.”43 This was so that “the information would be carried in … [the injectee’s] bloodstream … ”44 Satie also learns that a half-Vulcan (Spencer Garrett) lied about his Romulan ancestry in his application to Starfleet Academy. Satie sees a conspiracy onboard the Enterprise. She and her two aides (Bruce French and Ann Shea) begin a public hearing in the ship’s interrogation room. The hearing snowballs into an inquest. The Enterprise crew discovers that the explosion was an accident. Satie is not satisfied. She continues to suspect sabotage. In the conference lounge of the Enterprise, the following exchange takes place between Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Lieutenant Worf (Michael Dorn): Picard: Do you see what is happening here, Mr. Worf? Worf: Sir. Picard: This is not unlike a … a drumhead trial. Worf: I do not understand.

43

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Drumhead.” This episode originally aired in syndication on April 27, 1991 (Season 4, episode 21). 44 Ibid.

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Picard: Five hundred years ago, military officers would upend a drum on the battlefield. They’d sit at it and dispense summary justice. Decisions were quick. Punishment severe. Appeals denied. Those who came to a drumhead were doomed. Worf: But we know there is a traitor here. J’Dan has admitted his guilt. Picard: That’s true, and he will stand for his crime.45 A minute or so later, the scene continues: Worf: Sir. The Federation does have enemies. We must seek them out! Picard: Oh, yes. That’s how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mr. Worf. I don’t like what we have become.46 What led to the witch trial? Satie’s concern for the survival of the Federation. As Admiral Satie tells Captain Picard earlier in the episode: … the United Federation of Planets is the most remarkable institution ever conceived, and it is my cause to make sure that this extraordinary union be preserved.47
45 46

Ibid. Ibid. 47 Ibid.

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Much as Nora Satie fought to protect the Federation, mothers will do anything to protect their offspring. The love of a mother for her child is, of course, the closet thing to God’s unconditional Love. In the eyes of a mother, her son or daughter is part of her. The larger society also helps to protect the young. This arrangement is, undoubtedly, one of our adaptive human instincts, as it insures the biological survival of the younger generation. Oftentimes, however, protection of the young turns into overprotection. A mother, for instance, may not let her adolescent girl walk home from school out of fear of a man kidnapping her child. If a stranger smiles at her boy, a mother may overreact, as does the mom in the film X-Men (2000) to the wellintentioned grin of Cyclops (James Marsden) at a train station. Since 1980, both news and entertainment media have focused on child sexual abuse, ignoring child poverty, lack of health insurance for 12 million American children, and the physical and emotional abuse of kids. The sensationalism of the mass media has made parents especially vulnerable to social panics that relate to youth.48 Rather than concede that most child abuse—physical, sexual, and emotional—is perpetrated by men and women within the nuclear family, postmodern civilization is instead intent on finding scapegoats. One of the black sheep is gays as “child molesters.” The moral panic over the sexual abuse of children—to the exclusion of the myriad other abuses that kids are subjected to—began with Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign of 1977. That campaign targeted gays as monsters who preyed on minors. It set the mood for the conservative backlash of the post-1980 era. And it marked the beginning of a child sex abuse

48

Sociologist Stanley Cohen coined the phrase moral panic in 1972. For his theory of how moral panics develop, see Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: Creation of Mods and Rockers, (London: Mac Gibbon and Kee, 1972).

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“hysteria” (the words of Camille Paglia, a libertarian feminist).49 This hysteria has not even peaked. As happened during the Salem Witch Trials and during McCarthyism, innocent citizens have lost their jobs, been targeted by mobs, and gone to jail in the fallout. We are reaching the point where no man—not even boys of the respectable bourgeoisie—is safe from accusations of child sexual abuse. When everyone becomes suspect of whatever deviousness a society condemns, that is the moment when, historically, a given mass panic passes at last. This passing away of a social panic occurred during the Salem witch-hunts and MacCarthyism. Until we reach the stage when accusations make life impossible for all, feminists, legislators, laypeople, and even non-fundamentalist ministers will continue to call for castration of offending men to be used as a deterrent of child-adult sex. Western civilization has learned nothing from what happened in the Germany of the 1930s. Meanwhile, children will continue to be emotionally abused by the tactics of child protection agencies. An example is suspicious agents hauling kids away from parents in the middle of the night. The child sex abuse panic of the post-1980 period is, perhaps, the best illustration of the morphing of human survival. Certainly, children must be protected from all kinds of abuse. But the protection of minors from men exclusively is being done less for kids and more for two reasons. These are: 1) To avoid looking at how postmodern society—not just “dirty old men”—abuses minors by denying them real-life mentors, proper rites of initiation, and basic human freedoms.

49

In one of her columns at Salon online, Camille Paglia used “hysteria” in reference to the day-care panic of the early 1990s. See Camille Paglia, “Why We Leer at JonBenet,” Salon, Ask Camille, September 1997. This column is at http://www.salon.com/sept97/columnists/paglia970930.html.

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2)

To advance the careers of politicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, feminists, and ministers, for practically everyone supports any public figure who talks about “protecting children.”

In fact, a whole child abuse industry is firmly in place. Not only can the instinct to survive physically—and emotionally—lead to fear-based reactions. It can also lead to suicide. Oftentimes, suicide is about biological and/or emotional survival, being a way to “survive” an ordeal, real or imagined, by preventing a person from having to go through it. Spies, for example, often carry “suicide pills” in case they are captured in enemy territory. This is especially true during war. People about to be shamed often kill themselves to keep their emotional selves from being crushed. For instance, baseball hopefuls from Latin America leave their home countries in high prestige. If these hopefuls make it in the major leagues, then their family honor soars. If they don’t make it, however, suicide can result. Even if these would-be pros continue to live, seldom do they return to their home countries, for the family shame of not having made it is too much to bear. In such cases, these have-beens stay in exile and experience a social death instead. In this global village, people are apathetic toward the physical and emotional survival of others unless they are family or close friends. The motto of instinctual humans is: “Save yourself if you can.” But as Amy Goodman, the broadcast journalist, paraphrased to an auditorium of graduating college seniors: First, they came for the communists. I wasn’t a communist, so I didn’t stand up. Then, they came for the socialists. I wasn’t a socialist, so I didn’t stand up. Then, they came for the trade unionists. I wasn’t a trade unionist, so I didn’t stand up. Then, they came for the Jews. I wasn’t a

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Jew, so I didn’t stand up. Then, they came for the Catholics. I wasn’t a Catholic, so I didn’t stand up. And then, they came for me, and there was no one left to stand up.50 Goodman concluded, “We must stand up for each other. It saves lives.”51 Goodman, by the way, personifies the archetype of nun. She is a nun outside a convent. We can choose to care about the biological and psychic survival of others. Examples are donating more to charity and volunteering at a homeless shelter. Then, we will have a better chance—although not guaranteed—of others caring about us. Good deeds tend to create a ripple of good deeds.

Money

One afternoon, I telephoned a man for information about his experience doing spirit retrieval. He informed me, and I told him about my spiritual situation. Before I knew it, he told me to visualize the boy in me forgiving a man who was abusing me psychically. The experience was beyond sacred. Then, the Alaska native said, “Are you ready to pay me $125 so we can make this an even exchange of energy?” I agreed to pay him $50 since we had not discussed money for this information call. But when the man started to talk to me in terms of credit card payments, the sacred experience of healing the boy in me felt trashed.
50

There are different versions of this quote. The original quote is attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, who wrote it after World War II. Amy Goodman voiced her version of the quote on the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN). Goodman spoke at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts on May 22, 2004, and her lecture aired on C-SPAN later that day. See American Perspectives, “Amy Goodman, Pacifica Radio’s ‘Democracy Now’ Host & Executive Producer.” 51 Ibid.

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This is why some people refuse to charge money for spiritual work. Moreover, all work on this planet is spiritual work—even janitorial work. The exchange between the man and me could have been equalized without money. For example, we could have agreed that I would lend an ear to someone in need in the future. I would have passed on his priceless gift to another person. Another incident taught me about the sin of money. Standing by my kitchen counter, I asked my spirit guides why pornography is supposed to be “bad.” Soon after, my eyes landed on a calculator. See if you can read the answer on the calculator below.

52

If you spotted the answer, congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a spiritual detective. If you didn’t spot the answer, then read this: SIN, COS,
52

This picture comes from google images. The URL is http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&rlz=1W1GGLL_en&um=1&q=Texas+Instrument+calculator&sa =N&start=20&ndsp=20and https://www.ezorderschoolsupplies.com/images/Calculator%20%20Texas%20Instrument%20TI-30Xa.JPG.

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DRG. Do you get it now? Porn, I learned from the calculator, is “A sin because I am taking a drug.” I am getting high from a type of drug called pornography. Drugs tempt one to overdose, and overdoses violate the sanctity of the human body and psyche. What has this got to do with dollars and cents? Like prostitutes, porn models are selling a priceless thing—the human body—for money. This cheapens what is sacred. Chattel slavery was a sin (missing the mark of enlightenment) for similar reasons. What was priceless— the physical bodies of Africans—was sold for a price in the “New” World. This is why chattel slavery was so dehumanizing. So is wage slavery and contractbased work. Whether on stage or in movies, for example, actors and actresses sell their human bodies and their spiritual talent. Both have infinite value. Yet, both get reduced to a dollar amount whenever the artists involved become “employed.” Milk, bread, butter, and meat are priceless, too. When supermarkets sell them for a few dollars, they denigrate the sacredness of food. This does not mean that one can never eat. Rather, one is infinitely grateful for what has infinite worth. Erotica in books and on DVD at the public library is also high consciousness, divine guidance told me, because learning about human sexuality is beautiful. So is learning about animal sexuality. Viewing sex on film is alright, divine guidance told me, so long as money is left out of the equation, so long as one does not get addicted, and so long as this is kept as private as possible. Sex, whether one-on-one or with a group, is meant to be private. Money, however, brings sex into the public arena. Caroline Myss, the medical intuitive, speaks about charging high prices in terms of having enough “self-esteem” to know the value of one’s work.53 Myss is speaking from a human perspective. From a spiritual perspective, one can charge trillions of dollars for, say, a session of Reiki (a Japanese form of energy
53

Refer to Caroline Myss, Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power. This is a 2002 lecture series on CD, available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado.

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work), and it still would not be a high enough price. No matter how much one charges for one’s products or services to show “self-esteem,” one will always degrade the value of one’s talents by reducing their pricelessness to a dollar amount. Selling one’s talents is inherently demeaning because, originating in the spirit realm, talent is priceless. Selling one’s human body or talents—or even renting them in the workplace—is as much a “sin” as selling one’s spirit. This is because the spirit and soul are priceless. Beyond priceless. To sell one’s inner diamonds is not to know the value of this infinite treasure, for if one knew, one could never do this unless forced to. This book, for example, is priceless not just because my abilities as a writer are priceless but also, because I spent more hours creating this tome than can ever even begin to be quantified. For three years, I visualized my priceless product selling for a dollar amount because money exists in this world as a necessary evil. Without money, I would end up homeless. In this sense, money is a blessing that I am grateful for—but only because I exist in a world where everything has been reduced to a price. If money were to begin to do justice to what is beyond price—and it can never come even close—then the price of everything would skyrocket forever. Wages would have to increase ad infinitum so people could afford priceless food, priceless clothes, priceless housing, priceless telephone service, and priceless movies. These things are truly infinite in value. From a spiritual perspective, things aren’t expensive at all. They are too cheap! In Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power, Carolyn Myss lectures about a rosary at Tiffany’s that was priced at $1,500.54 From a human perspective, this price is so exorbitant that it borders on the ridiculous. From a spiritual perspective, this exorbitant price isn’t high enough. Even at $1 million, the rosary that Myss mentioned would not even be 1 percent of its infinite value.
54

Ibid.

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Health care—or should I call it disease care—is priceless. So is being propelled above the clouds inside an aluminum bullet, for this is an experience that 99.9 percent of humanity has never had in the entire history of hominids. To be charged $400 for a plane ticket reduces a priceless experience to the gutter. An automobile has infinite worth, regardless of whether it is new or beat up. Each set of wheels is priceless in a different way. One tin box provides one experience of transportation (the new car experience), and another tin box provides another experience of transportation (the used car experience). Both experiences have infinite worth, however, as well as both types of cars. Why? Because if a jalopy were found on Mars, that beat up car would have infinite value. Its pricelessness would come from the fact that it would indicate extraterrestrial intelligence. In this context, even a bobby pin is priceless. If the Mars rover were to find a bobby pin on the red planet, for instance, that insignificant pin would be priceless, for it would indicate the presence of aliens on Mars. We need to value human jalopies and human bobby pins as much as we would value extraterrestrial jalopies and extraterrestrial bobby pins. Anyone who buys anything for any dollar amount— no matter how low or high—is lowering what has infinite worth to a finite price. This is a form of degradation, for every atom in the physical universe is infinite in value. Why is everything priceless in different ways? Because as a poster said in the South Bronx in the 1980s, “God makes no junk.” To see everything as “extraterrestrial” is to view everything as priceless. To the Wampanoag Indians of Massachusetts, land, plants, and animals were priceless. This was because the natives saw nature as part of them. In New England, Mother Nature was not for sale—that is, until the European mindset corrupted the worldview of the Wampanoag Indians. The Puritans, on the contrary, saw land, crops, and cattle as commodities.55 There may well be a
55

See We Shall Remain, “After the Mayflower,” Episode 1. This documentary premiered on PBS on April 13, 2009.

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relationship between this and the Puritan work ethic. The commoditization of America began elsewhere, too. In the Georgia Appalachians of the 1600s, for instance, many species of deer roamed freely. Once a market for deer furs developed in Europe, however, Europeans introduced guns to the Cherokee Indians, and the natives hunted the deer to extinction.56 Not just species were exterminated for the almighty dollar. Entire chunks of continents were bought and sold like houses. The United States didn’t just buy Louisiana from the French in 1803—a $15 million purchase of territory that ran from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. In 1867, William Seward, Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, arranged for the U.S. to buy Alaska from Russia as well. Alaska, a priceless part of planet Earth, was bought for a paltry $7,200,000. This was some 2 cents per acre. The incomprehensible irony is that Seward opposed plantation slavery—an institution that sold the priceless human body for a price. Yet, Seward had no problem with the U.S. buying another priceless asset—Alaska—for a dollar amount. Humans are truly complex. In our Westernized world, the moon, Mars, and even the sun itself would be for sale if governments and corporations could heap profits from them. In highly spiritual realms, money does not exist. Why not? Because money reduces the priceless—that is to say, the sacred—to a human price. Since spiritually advanced beings perceive everything as sacred, nothing is for sale in such realms. Nothing. How, then, do such inhabitants “make a living?” No one has to because in such planes of existence, everybody works for free. Nothing is free, of course, not even in highly advanced worlds. Things there are just free of monetary value. The joy of work comes from engaging one’s talents and serving others as a result. Psychic rewards—not monetary rewards—drive the beings of such places. When money gets injected into the equation, however, one has to
56

See Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People, “Time and Terrain,” Episode 1. This documentary premiered on PBS on April 9, 2009.

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start making money because one has to start paying for things with money. The more things cost monetarily, the more dollars one has to make. This is a vicious cycle, and it corrupts even the most spiritually aware person. One prostitutes oneself, working in order to get infused with biweekly lumps of money. This is much as drug addicts will do anything to get their next high. Just like money runs out, the heroin or cocaine high never lasts. One must always seek more. As the song goes, “You’re a slave to money, then you die.”57 Without money, you can’t live, just like without cocaine, a cocaine addict cannot live. On the issue of money, most New Agers are false prophets because they glorify money (a tool that devalues the priceless). The philosophy of these spiritual materialists is called, “The Gospel of Wealth.” Its mantra is “love money.” This mantra might as well be, “Love slaveholding, and the more slaves you have, the better.” Money is honey only in a world that puts the sacred for sale. In a trans-instinctual society, a person provides his or her talents for free and gets goods and services for free. Again, by free, I mean free of monetary value. This free-dom (realm of being free) exists because individuals are seen as priceless entities, deserving of priceless things for free. The presence of one individual is enough “payment” for material things to be given to him or her. As children of Brahma—the creator of this universe—we deserve the very best that life has to offer. We should not have to hand over greenbacks or credit cards for it. That we exist as both humans and spiritual beings is enough to give us the right to claim material things and earthly services. This is the mode of consciousness of trans-instinctual beings. On highly spiritual spheres, for example, the mere presence of a person in need of a refrigerator is enough for the manufacturer to give it to him or her free of a money tag. The individual has

57

The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony.” This song is in the CD titled, Urban Hymns. The CD came out on September 30, 1997. Label: Virgin Records Us.

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paid for the fridge with his or her pricelessness—and the agreement that such a person will provide his or her priceless talents and/or products for free as well. In this world, by contrast, people are viewed as worthless. If you walk into a department store and want or need a refrigerator, for example, your money is what matters—not your individual worth. At restaurants, waiters and waitresses tend to get impatient after one finishes one’s meal. One is occupying a booth that needs to be warmed by customers with fresh money. The Mona Lisa, the 16th century painting by Leonardo da Vinci, was bought in 1962 for $100 million—$700 million in 2009 adjusted for inflation. If Mona Lisa were flesh and blood, homeless, and showed up in a rental office to rent an apartment, her presence alone would pay for shelter. Yet, a real homeless person cannot get any landlord to house him or her. Why not? Because in the eyes of society, he or she is worthless—unless the individual possesses money. The Mona Lisa, a lifeless painting, is “worth” $700 million to humans, but a human being is “worth” $0 to other people. That is why nobody will give you anything without cash or a credit card. In the eyes of the world, you are worthless. Your money is what has value. This was the setup of chattel slavery. The worthlessness of the human being is the underlying premise of the money system. This mindset pollutes the human spirit. When checks, greenbacks, and credit cards talk over and over, the worthlessness of the individual becomes a subliminal message. Why subliminal? Because we turn blind to what becomes common. Street drugs are illegal because they harm the human body. Money, however, has not been made illegal, even though it negates the worth of the individual. Human society is truly beyond comprehension. If chattel slavery was abolished to end the degradation of human beings, then wage slavery and money itself can be abolished also. Americans need to celebrate Abraham Lincoln less and need instead to recognize that other forms of

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slavery are still with us. Just like abolitionists began the Liberty Party—the first abolitionist party in America—in the 1830s, we need neo-abolitionists to start a Party of Liberty. This party would espouse freedom from enslavement to money. If there is a campaign for a drug-free America, then there can be a campaign for a money-free America. We can start by commemorating a Spend No Money Day (see the sixth exercise at the end of this chapter). See how many days you—or your children—can go without spending money. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself. This would be the equivalent of fasting for spiritual reasons. From a human perspective, abolishing money is “utopian.” From a spiritual perspective, it is practical, especially given the coming of a post-carbon world (see epilogue). So long as money exists, there will be poverty, and any realm that permits material poverty is spiritually impoverished. Eventually, the spiritual impoverishment of that society will become physically manifested for everybody. This is why if one person is homeless, every member of that society is homeless too. Whether plantation slavery or wage slavery, slavery is not a human creation. Rather, slavery is a human replication of a blueprint that exists in the dark realms of the spirit world. This blueprint is the archetype of slavery. Humans are merely servants of the forces of darkness, with a minority of us being servants of the forces of light. Even “spiritually conscious” gurus who preach the Gospel of Wealth are serving Lucifer—at least in the area of money. They are serving the dark much like slaveholders defended plantation slavery as a moral good. Why did John Brown fail at Harper’s Ferry in 1859? As a spirit guide of mine told me, John Brown failed because dark forces worked overtime to prevent his success in freeing slaves across the South. All of us are at the mercy of forces that want to keep humanity enslaved to all sorts of things. Awareness of this is the first step toward becoming free. So far, however, the

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financially wealthy worship money (the forced heroin of human society) as “abundance.” In reality, the wealthy are promoting drug addiction, a form of slavery. Nobody is financially independent, for even the rich cannot get anything without passing the drugs. Everybody is addicted to money because money forces addiction. In this context, there is no such thing as “financial freedom.” At best, we can be temporarily free of debt. But since the global economy is more unstable than ever, even the “financially secure” are vulnerable to bankruptcy. This will be so as long as money makes the world go round. Any place where commercial transactions happen is a type of slave market, a place where wealthy slaves (to money) and poor slaves (to money) go to buy commodities or to rent services. In a trans-instinctual milieu, cabinetmakers make cabinets for the love of the craft and give them away for free. Architects and construction workers build houses for the love of it, then release the houses to organizations that provide free housing. Farmers grow crops for the love of it and give their surplus food for free. Healers heal others for the love of humanity, for free. This is called “a gift economy.” What we call consumers get the goods and services that they need on a first-come, first-serve basis. Waiting lists (or waiting in line) are very appropriate for this. This world approaches a gift economy in the areas of blood donations (typically given freely), organ donations (typically given freely), parents raising their children (no monetary compensation), public schools, public libraries, fire departments, police precincts, museums, and free food and drinks at parties. In realms where money does not exist, barter is used sometimes, for in barter, a person gives one priceless thing for another priceless thing. Nothing gets sold or rented—and thus, cheapened—just exchanged. Barter, however, is used sparingly because the idea of barter is quid pro quo. You scratch my back. I scratch your back. That is not unconditional giving. True unconditional giving

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is where the favor or gift is returned not to the same person but rather, to another person. In such worlds, no business is driven out of business because all businesses provide goods and services free of monetary charges. And businesses aren’t charged either. All “employment” there is volunteer work, and it comes from the heart (spirit) of each individual. One pays for the free things of society by providing one’s talents and/or products without charging customers and without asking for wages. There will always be people who take and give nothing back. But most beings—physical and nonphysical—need to feel useful, or they would be bored to tears. As we can imagine, only beings that practice unconditional Love could create and live in a system where everything is free of monetary value. In a society where people work for free and get things for free, there is far less stuff around and far less use of natural resources. Why? Because denizens of such realms only make what their hearts desire—as opposed to what profit dictates. Serving from the heart and with one’s whole mind is like printing money that is backed only by gold and silver. Gold and silver are hard to find and to mine. Thus, gold and silver are always limited in supply. When a country gets off the gold standard, however, it can print money without limit, spend it, and go into dangerous amounts of debt. Karmic debt is created when a people abuse natural resources in the name of profit. A society that makes trinkets nonstop for money creates worthless trinkets—worthless from oversupply. Down the road, currency that is not backed by gold and silver becomes worthless as well. To serve from the heart and to make consumer goods from the spirit is to get back on the gold standard. The heart/spirit is the gold—and the mind is the silver. This is fiscal conservatism of a karmic nature.

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The “Free” North vs. The Slave South

History textbooks teach that the “free” North won the American “Civil” War (1861-1865) against the slave South. From the North’s perspective, the (Un)Civil War began to preserve the Union, while from the South’s perspective, the “Civil” War was the War for Southern Independence. The horrifying casualties, however, altered the war’s goal in the North to a broader purpose: ending plantation slavery in the seceded states. Chattel slavery was abolished in December 1865. But the Northern version, called wage slavery, emerged victorious. Wage slavery (renting oneself instead of being sold) spread west and eventually, south. Before the “Civil” War, the so-called free peoples of the North spoke about wage slavery as being, at most, a little better than the Southern version. Public debates were held on this question across the North. Many thinkers wrote about the differences between the Northern and Southern versions of a system of human domination. This umbrella system—under which Southern slavery and Northern serfdom existed—forced millions of human beings to be cogs in a machine from sunup to sundown for little pay (the North) or for no pay (the South). In the 21st century, serfdom persists like a flu that won’t go away. Southern slavery was abolished in the (Re)United States. But Northern serfdom continues to this day. Unlike slaves, however, serfs have some rights. For example, serfs have the right to bear arms. Also, serfs are split into classes to a greater extent than slaves on a plantation. Given the better lot of serfs over slaves, it becomes easy to overlook the true nature of work in the postmodern age.

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The lash of bills ties 80 percent of humanity to meaningless jobs. Globalization demands tons of laborers who will work, work, work for less, less, less pay. More often than not, overtime goes unpaid in a “free” country like the United States. People are working overtime for free—not because their hearts want to but because the global economy demands it. Workers, after all, are afraid of losing their jobs. In Your Money or Your Life, authors Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin describe the typical working day as follows:

The alarm rings at 6:45 and our working man or woman is up and running. Shower. Dress in the professional uniform—suits or dresses for some, coveralls for others, whites for the medical professionals, jeans and flannel shirts for construction workers. Breakfast, if there’s time. Grab commuter mug and briefcase (or lunch box) and hop in the car for the daily punishment called rush hour. On the job from nine to five. Deal with the boss. Deal with the coworker sent by the devil to rub you the wrong way. Deal with suppliers. Deal with clients/customers/patients. Act busy. Hide mistakes. Smile when handed impossible deadlines. Give a sigh of relief when the ax known as “restructuring” or “downsizing”— or just plain getting laid off—falls on other heads. Shoulder the added workload. Watch the clock. Argue with your conscience but agree with the boss. Smile again. Five o’clock. Back in the car and onto the freeway for the evening commute. Home. Act human with mates, kids or roommates. Eat. Watch TV. Bed. Eight hours of blessed oblivion. And they call this making a living?58
58

Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, et al., Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, (New York: Viking, 1992), pgs. 3-4.

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Surely, over half-a-million Americans didn’t die for nothing between 1861 and 1865. Unlike the Free Soilers of the 1850s, most of us barely know that we are serfs. We Westerners buy the illusion that we are free, in charge of our destiny. Looking at our dearth of free time, however, one sees that we are anything but free. What is alarming is that the “free” peoples of the North understood their serfdom in the 1850s. They debated this issue at taverns, on the street, and in town halls. Today, by contrast, only a handful of us are aware of our situation. Worse, those of us who do know subconsciously are afraid of admitting it to ourselves, for this is called “having a bad attitude toward work.” That is being a bad boy or a bad girl. The grand debates of the 19th century are long over. As Wolfgang Von Goethe, the German author, wrote, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”59 At best, only a few movies depict the exhaustion of postmodern workers. In the movie Time Out (French; 2001), for instance, Vincent (Aurélien Recoing) gets fired for lack of motivation on the job. To avoid the wrath of his wife, the middle-aged businessman pretends to go to a fictitious job. In reality, he drives around aimlessly, roams around corporate headquarters, and even sleeps in his car. Vincent gets his friends and former coworkers to give him money as their investments in a Russian bank. The bank, of course, doesn’t exist. When the money runs out, the burned out man is forced to interview for a position so that he can continue to support his family. The ending leaves the viewer with the feeling that Vincent will simply drop dead at his new job from exhaustion. Having to work when one is dead tired from “life” is one of the cruelest tortures
59

This quote comes from “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johannwolf134023.html.

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that a spirit can go through. Hundreds of millions of workers are zombies, forced to labor by the need for money (the forced heroin of human society). Or should I type, inhuman society? Whether we concede it or not, slavery and serfdom are at opposite ends of a continuum (see below).

Slavery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Serfdom

The continuum is called human control. Chattel slavery was the most barbarous manifestation of human domination. Serfdom is its milder cousin. Both, however, are part of the same continuum, one that has been present since the dawn of civilization. In ancient times, human domination manifested as Egyptian subjects serving their pharaohs. In medieval times, it was European serfs tending the land of their lords. In the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s, it was African slaves growing backbreaking crops for their masters. Nowadays, it is 80 percent of humanity working, in some way, for a multinational corporation. Corporations not only control but also own two of the three ingredients needed in a capitalistic—actually, corporatistic—milieu like ours: 1) Raw materials (own) 2) The means of production (own) 3) Labor (control) Until the hordes own—or at least, control—all three of the above, postmodern serfdom will continue.

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Above Serfdom

The challenge of these times is leaving the above continuum for good. This means going from compulsory serfdom to a world where all people work from their hearts and have plenty of opportunities to make money doing what they do best. This is until the market economy can be replaced by a gift economy (the abolition of money). Remember that a gift economy promotes producing from the heart and spirit, while a market economy promotes consuming from the wallet. Western corporatism allows, at most, 20 percent of the population to do what it was born to do. Hence, a civilization where 100 percent of the populace was allowed to shine would require a complete overhaul of the global economy. Making a “living” (actually a dying experience) is necessary, of course, while we work on attracting material abundance into our lives. But instinctual humans stay stuck making a “living.” Trans-instinctual humans rise above that, sooner or later. In so doing, trans-instinctual humans co-create a world where more of us will be able to live our dreams in the workplace. When everyone becomes trans-instinctual, nobody will be forced to work for a “living” (dying). Rather, we will serve from our hearts and spirits. This has never happened on a mass scale. If planet Earth ascends from being an underworld to a heavenly realm, then money will inevitably disappear a la chattel slavery. We cannot escape our instinct to survive biologically. But, at least, we can choose to set up a system where everyone controls: 1) Raw materials

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2) The means of production 3) Their labor For the first time in the history of life on earth, one kind of life (Homo sapiens) is on the verge of rising above survival of the fittest. This is because survival of the biologically most fit is no longer enough, for it has become lethal on a planetary scale. Just look at the epidemic stress, resulting illnesses, and the decreasing quality of life that is arising from everyone competing to survive. The new rule of biological evolution is survival of the wisest. This means decreased stress, more resulting health, and increased quality of life from everybody helping one another to live a productive and fulfilling life. Living cooperatively instead of competitively will require spiritual evolution. The next chapter focuses on human sexuality in light of the major sexual issues of today.

Exercises

1) Do you have a conscious relationship with money? If so, how do you feel about this medium of exchange? Do you love money with all your heart? Hate it with your guts? Have neutral feelings? Write your feelings or speak them into a tape recorder.

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2) Do you work or have you ever worked for money? For psychic fulfillment? To avoid loneliness? For more than one reason? Write your answers or speak them into a tape recorder. 3) If financial survival has ever been an issue for you, did you accept the worst-case scenario in peace? With an inner charge of bravery? With plain apathy? If any of these apply to you, feel the inner consciousness of that experience. You may want to write about it or speak your thoughts into a tape recorder. 4) Have you ever disregarded the physical or emotional survival of one or more individuals? If yes, why? Can you see how ignoring that person or people was the same as ignoring yourself? If yes, how did you come to this mode of consciousness? Has your changed perception affected your actions? If so, how? 5) Every time you purchase something, write the transaction into a pocket notebook. Was the purchase a need or a want? You may want to reduce gradually the items that you buy. Keep track of the commodities that you forego. Does buying less make you feel deprived or empowered? Write your thoughts or speak them into a tape recorder. 6) Stock up on groceries. Pay all the bills you can. If you have a motor vehicle, fill the gas tank as well. Then, see how many days you can go without spending a single cent. How does it feel like to become unplugged from the system of money? Do you feel, for example, like you are getting off a drug, sex, or food addiction? Examine the word freedom in relation to this. When, at last, you have to spend money again or use a credit card, what new feelings—if any—go through you? If you enjoyed the experience of staying away from money, you may want to set aside a sacred three days a month—ideally in a row. If you have children, you may want to encourage

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them to “just say no” to exchanging money for things during that time. Staying at home may help.

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3 The Sex Instinct Becoming trans-instinctual means downplaying our maladaptive human instincts. Although such impulses were adaptive eons ago, they no longer are. Regarding sex in the 21st century, there is the threat of gun combat from sexual competitors, the reality of overpopulation, and the danger of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Is our sex drive therefore no longer adaptive? Or does the solution lie in changing how we negotiate around sex? This chapter opens with historical developments that have led to the growing rejection of the either/or view of sexual identity. This history will present the either/or thinking of doctors, the very people who, one would think, ought to have transcended the duality of the sixth sense of the human brain (see Part I). Such a history will show how all or nothing thinking leaves no or very little room for sexual plurality. The chapter examines how human (hetero)sexuality is constructed in the Western world, and it closes with some trans-instinctual possibilities for the future of human sexuality.

Backdrop to Sexual Liberation

While alive, historian Robert Wiebe argued that between 1877 and 1920, America was engaged in a “search for order,” the title of his 1966 book. 60 In the
60

See Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order, 1877-1920, (New York: Hill & Wang, 1966).

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late 19th and early 20th century, everything was in the process of being centralized and standardized: railroad schedules, methods of mass production at the factory, the time card for check-in and check-out at work, and even time itself.61 Things that we view as “natural” were artificial creations. Standard time, for instance, didn’t exist before 1883. Rather, each town set its time based on the position of the sun. This meant that in the United States, a town 12 miles to the west was 12 minutes behind—give or take a few minutes. Thus, hundreds of time zones existed in America before the standardization of time into Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific Standard Time. Although Robert Wiebe doesn’t mention this in The Search for Order: 1877-1920, the human mind was standardized as well. So was human sexuality. In the late 1800s, the new “sciences” of psychology and psychiatry began to label psychological conditions as normal or abnormal. So-called disorders were medicalized. Year by year, the list of disorders grew like a pile of books on a wooden table. Laws were passed to incarcerate citizens who didn’t fit into the standard of “normal.” Sexology (the study of sex) spawned modern psychology because the human mind (e.g., psychology) was needed to explain human sexuality. Sexology, psychology, and psychiatry saw the bulk of human sexuality as bad, however. In fact, sexologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists replaced priests, bishops, and archbishops as the codifiers of human morality. Sin became sickness; the couch replaced the confessional; and the mental institution replaced the dungeons of the inquisition. Elected leaders, especially lawmakers, backed the new social scientists. Medical doctors, in turn, started to circumcise American boys in the early 20th century. The belief was that male circumcision deadened sexual sensation in the “lustful” sex. (Females were still seen as incapable of erotic feeling.) Male circumcision was thought to lessen the
61

Ibid.

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chances of “self-abuse.” Less self-pleasuring was seen as beneficial because, in the parlance of the day, “Masturbation is a sin and leads to insanity.” Foreskins also proved to be very profitable for hospitals, as hospitals could either use the pieces of skin for medical research or sell them for the making of pharmaceutical products. By 1975, 85 percent of newborn boys were being cut, without anesthesia, in American hospitals.62 American boys are being circumcised less. But the absence of laws against male circumcision shows that late 19th century perceptions are still alive. It is no coincidence that America, a largely Puritanical country, continues to allow and even encourages mutilation of penises, while Europe, a sexually progressive continent, has seldom cut its newborn boys. Female circumcision is outlawed in the West for humanitarian reasons. But regarding male circumcision, the American medical community has violated its prime dictum, “First, do no harm.” Since 1900, this medical—actually, antimedical—practice has robbed males of the natural beauty of their endowment and has dulled sexual sensation for 120 million American males.63 Far more tragically, very few Westerners have voiced any opposition to this form of standardization. One reason for this is that American men find male circumcision too painful an issue to confront. Classic defense mechanisms of American men are denying that male circumcision is a problem and affirming that circumcised members look “attractive.” In the late 19th century, youth was standardized as well—into childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. This meant the beginning of age segregation. No longer did children, teens, and young adults attend the same classrooms. If a teenager or twentysomething befriended a preteen, then the older one was accused of “arrested development,” if not worse. Suddenly, one
62

This statistic comes from Hugh O’Donnell, “A Century of Circumcision in the USA,” April 2001. Part of the History of Circumcision web pages. Article at http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=26. 63 Ibid.

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was supposed to be interested only in one’s age-mates. By the late 20th century, one American state was contemplating making it illegal for a man to speak to a minor on the street if neither knew each other. In 2009, a sign stands at the glass entrance of a workout club in my town. Similar to “Whites Only” in the Jim Crow South, the sign reads, “Children under 13 are not allowed.” The result of these developments has been the most intense segregation of youth from elders in the entire history of humankind. This form of apartheid has inhibited the transfer of wisdom from older people to younger people. Age apartheid has produced the biggest generation gap in human history. Juvenile delinquency, gang warfare, and school shootings are consequences of minors being forced to live separate from adults. What goes on in the world of youth—attitudes, fashions, behavioral trends, and racial composition—is humongous because youth are the future. In The Politics of Lust, lawyer and journalist John Ince writes: The greater the erotophobia [fear of sex] in a culture or family, the less intimate are relationships between adults and children. Children are naturally inquisitive, especially about sex. Adults who are afraid of sex are more apt to lie about the subject, conceal sexual information from their children, and impose intolerant sexual prohibitions. Children resent such behavior. Erotophobia enhances the distance between the generations [emphasis mine].64 This does not mean that youth must always be with elders, for spending time with one’s age-mates is an important part of self-development. But much of the

64

John Ince, The Politics of Lust, (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2005), p. 301.

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distrust between youth and elders has resulted from the standardization of “normal” and “deviant”—either/or concepts of the human brain. From the 1600s to the 1800s, romantic-friendships were common in the West. Males and females were encouraged to form physically expressed friendships with others of their sex. Sexual intercourse was largely absent, of course. But males held hands, kissed, and cuddled together in private and in public. Females did the same with other females. Then, “homosexuality” was discovered in the late 1800s, just as industrial capitalism took off. Sexologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists called the new deviants homosexuals, rather than homoromantics, because it was the sex—not the nonsexual, same-sex romantic attachments that were already common—that repelled the social scientists and the rest of society. Suddenly, males were rebuked as “homosexuals” for being physically tender with other males. Instead, males were encouraged to be competitive and to distrust one another. Similarly, females were chastised as “lesbians” for being involved in same-sex romanticfriendships. As Americanist John D’Emilio argues in “Capitalism and Gay Identity,” distrust of same-sex bonds was needed in the fiercely capitalistic world that was emerging, a world that would become corporatistic by the late 20th century.65 In the 1998 documentary Out of the Past, Linda Hunt narrates:

By 1900, society’s attitudes toward Boston marriages [a type of romanticfriendship] had begun to change. The new science of psychology had denounced same-sex love, equating it with arrested development and mental disorder. Relationships like Sara and Annie’s would no longer be

65

See John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and Gay Identity.” The essay appears in Henry Abelove, ed., The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, (New York: Routledge, 1993), pgs. 467-476.

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tolerated.66 The problem was that the sexologists, psychologists, psychiatrists split humans into two “species,” called “heterosexual” and “homosexual.” Human sexuality was no longer what you did in the bedroom. Now, it was what you thought and felt toward the sexes. In other words, people were defined according to the nature of their minds and hearts. The human psyche became the foundation of who you are sexually and romantically. What you did was the effect of your nature—not an end of itself, as had been the view before the late 1800s. In the words of Michel Foucault, the philosopher:

The nineteenth-century homosexual became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being [emphasis mine] a type of life, a life form, and a morphology, … Nothing of his full personality escaped his sexuality … The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species.67

Religious conservatives are the last remnant of the pre-1900 paradigm. When Christian fundamentalists fear, for example, that anyone can fall to homosexuality, they are implicitly conceding that humans are bisexual in potential. Were it not for their condemnation of homosexuality as “sinful,” this would be a radical position to take. Christian fundamentalists also take the view that homosexuals can be brought back to heterosexuality. The ex-gay movement
66

This quote comes from, Out of the Past, “A Boston Marriage.” The documentary originally aired on PBS in 1998. 67 Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction, Translated from French by Robert Hurley, (New York: Vintage Books, 1988), p. 43.

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is an example of this. Again, this acknowledges the bisexual potential of everyone. Sexual liberals, by contrast, refuse to concede that straights have some gay in them and gays some straight in them. In this one sense, sexual liberals are really conservative, while Christian fundamentalists are liberal. Heterosexuality was invented in the sense that it was a standardization of sexual/romantic attraction and/or behavior toward the opposite sex. Some forms of male-female attraction and behavior were praised (e.g., consenting adults). Other forms of male-female eroticism were pathologized (e.g., underage sex). Heterosexuality was constructed as a mature sexuality. This meant that only adults could practice it, for only adults could give “consent.” The definition of adult changed, in turn, as the age of consent was raised from around 12 to 18 —and to 21 for the legal definition of adult in the United States. Any sex under age 18 didn’t count as “heterosexuality” but instead, was called a “paraphilia.” Sexologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists pathologized various kinds of harmless, consensual sex. They even had homosexuals lobotomized through most of the 20th century. Male-female courtship was discouraged and punished, as well, if it didn’t fall under the new standard of “heterosexuality.” As late as the 21st century, a male-female couple—or any couple—is frowned upon if they are over 10 years apart in age. This isn’t considered normal heterosexuality. Throughout human history, however, it was common for older men to court and marry younger women. Not after sexuality was standardized into same-age couplings under the banner of “heterosexuality” (normal) and “homosexuality” (deviant). In this sense, heterosexuality and homosexuality as we know them were invented—not the attraction and behavior per se but their mega-message.68 The diagram below illustrates:

68

See Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality, (New York: Dutton, 1995).

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Innate

Constructed/Standardized

Opposite and same-sex erotic/romantic attraction and behavior among humans

The rules, taboos, cultural significance, and ultimately, the meaning and frequency of opposite and same-sex erotic/romantic attraction and behavior among humans

As Principal John Caird wrote, quoted over a century ago in Varieties of Religious Experience: “In estimating the religious character of individuals, nations, or races, the first question is, not how they feel, but what they think and believe—not whether their religion is one which manifests itself in emotions, … , but what are the conceptions of God and divine things by which these emotions are called forth. Feeling is necessary in religion, but it is by the content or intelligent basis of a religion, and not by feeling, that its character and worth are to be determined.”69

69

William James, Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, (New York: The Modern Library, 1994), pgs. 473-474. These Gifford lectures were originally published in 1902.

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And human sexuality is one type of religion. As the Bible says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”70 In her 1984 essay “Thinking Sex,” Gayle Rubin, an anthropologist, words the difference between sex and sexuality the following way: The body, the brain, the genitalia, and the capacity for language are all necessary for human sexuality. But they do not determine its content, its experiences, or its institutional forms.71 Time (e.g., historical era) and space (e.g., society) do. Today, males in particular are thought to be biologically programmed to be macho, distrust one another, and be “straight.” But looking at the social order of pre-1870 North America and Western Europe, one sees that romanticfriendships were widespread. These friendships may have lacked the sexual element. But everything else, from holding hands to cuddling together, was there. Sigmund Freud, the psychiatrist from Austria-Hungary, mentioned bisexuality as innate to all human beings.72 But he relegated his thoughts about this to footnotes and to private conversations with other psychiatrists. Freud felt, though, that erotic unresponsiveness to half the population by the other half needed explanation. Freud’s colleagues, however, lumped sexual tastes, romantic feelings, and even platonic leanings under “sexual” orientation, instead of studying the three as independent variables that often come together.

70 71

This quote comes from Proverbs 23:7, King James Bible. Gayle S. Rubin, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality,” Abelove, ed., The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, p. 10. 72 Freud wrote that exclusive heterosexuality was as troublesome as exclusive homosexuality. Bisexuality, Freud concluded, needed to be fully theorized.

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Needless to say, Freud and his colleagues instituted the straight/gay mentalité that continues to this day.

The Construction of Human Sexuality

The fledgling bi movement of today is trying to awaken us to the true complexity of human relationships. Homosexuality, it turns out, is not a pathology but rather, a prelude to heterosexuality. As Seth, a spirit guide, dictates to Jane Roberts in The Nature of the Psyche, “Tendencies toward lesbianism or homosexuality in children are quite natural.”73 Such proclivities are a way of learning about one’s sex before getting interested in the opposite sex. What is rarely mentioned, though, is that failing to integrate homosexuality and heterosexuality during teenagehood leads to an adult “pre-human” sexuality. Editor Joe Sartelle explains: It should be easy to see, then, how an integral part of our “sexual identities,” whether straight or gay, is a kind of search-and-destroy program that continually scans for signs of the “opposite” orientation so that these “confusing” impulses can be neutralized through the usual array of psychological defense mechanisms. The “success” of the program is measured by how effectively it blocks conscious recognition of any attraction to the “wrong” sex, attractions that “confuse” our sexual identities [emphasis mine].74
73 74

Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche, p. 63. This quote comes from Joe Sartelle’s online article, “Fantasies of Straight Men: Some Thoughts about Gays in the Military.” The March/April 1993 article (Issue 5) of Bad Subjects is at http://bad.eserver.org/issues/1993/05/sartelle.html.

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Sartelle continues: What I am talking about is a fully human sexuality, rather than the prehuman “sexual identities” that now afflict us. The people we now call “homosexuals” are most likely, seen in this light, that relatively small minority of individuals whose homosexual attractions are so much stronger than our heterosexual attractions as to render those latter feelings almost invisible. In that sense we “have no choice.” Similarly, we would expect to find a comparable minority of people for whom the opposite is true, who “have no choice” but to be heterosexual. But I think that in a fully human society, the overwhelming majority of people would fall somewhere in the middle, … Of course there would be varying degrees of bisexuality, with some people tending to choose one sex rather than the other. But the important point here is that it would be a choice, and thus an affirmation of our freedom—and freedom to choose is what makes us human.75 This doesn’t mean that a person’s core romantic orientation (heteroromantic, biromantic, or homoromantic) doesn’t take over him or her at a certain age, for it does. And fighting one’s core romantic feelings for guys, girls, or both is futile. However, peripheral romantic feelings—of the opposite orientation—and even peripheral eroticism are more easily suppressed and malleable by society because they are weaker. In an online interview, Kenji Yoshino, the Yale law professor, said that in America, middle-of-the-road categories like “middle class” are seen as moderate
75

Ibid.

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and hence, as preferable to being in an extreme category. He told Carole Bass, the interviewer: Why is it that certain intermediate categories, like bisexuality, get erased, whereas in other contexts, intermediate categories don’t get erased, and are seen as the dominant categories? The notion of the middle class is an intermediate class, between the upper class and the working class.76 Yoshino continued: It’s [the middle class] completely swallowed both ends of the continuum. Why? If we look at multiracials, they are very similarly situated to bisexuals in terms of invisibility.77 In 1987, mythologist Joseph Campbell said on PBS’s The Power of Myth, “By participating in a ritual, you participate in a myth.”78 One of the West’s “hegemonic mythologies” is that people are either straight or gay.79 There is even a movement to create the myth that genetics, not upbringing, make heterosexuals and homosexuals in the womb. Ninety percent of the population believes some version of this. Then, society is ordered according to this principle. In truth, the sixth sense of the human brain does most of its wiring outside the womb. As Diane Ackerman writes in An Alchemy of Mind, the brain of a
76

Carole Bass, “Both Ends Against the Middle: How Gays and Straights Make Bisexuals Invisible.” This interview of Kenji Yoshino was published by The Hartford Advocate on June 17, 2000. It can be found at http://old.valleyadvocate.com/articles/biout2.html. 77 Ibid. 78 This quote comes from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, “The Message of the Myth,” (Episode 2). The PBS special originally aired on June 22, 1988. 79 The phrase “hegemonic mythologies” comes from Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress, “The Shining,” Film Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3, Spring 1981, p. 49.

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newborn baby weighs about 25 percent of the brain of an adult human. By contrast, she continues, the brain of a newborn baboon weighs about 70 percent of the brain of an adult baboon.80 Which species is more apt to live by genes and biological instincts? Which species is more likely to build its brain in the image of its social environment? At a lecture on University of Washington Television (UWTV), neuroscientist Fred Travis said that our life experiences change the circuitry of our brains. Travis added: And every time you use this network [of brain cells], these connections get stronger [emphasis mine]. You’re constantly creating those brain circuits that allow you to make meaning of the world. You’re creating your brain circuits, which create your reality.81 This means that the more experience we have with something like heterosexuality, the more the pathways to that will be reinforced in our brains. It is like peers (social environment) persuading one that Atlanta is preferable to Denver. One then builds roads/brain circuits to get to Atlanta—and does. Not having constructed highways to Denver, one never gets there. As Caroline Myss writes, “Your biography becomes your biology [emphasis mine].”82 Seth, the spirit guide in The Nature of the Psyche, repeats the same thing. In Seth’s words, “certain beliefs are now built in.”83 Seth goes on: They become biologically pertinent and transmitted [emphasis mine]. I
80

Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain, (New York: Scribner, 2004), p. 136. 81 Fred Travis, “Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain.” 82 This website quote comes from Caroline Myss, “Chakras,” Library. It is at http://www.myss.com/library/chakras/. 83 Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche, p. 73.

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mean something else here besides, for example, a telepathic transmission: the translation of beliefs into physical codes that then become biological cues … If women have felt that their biological survival depended upon the cultivation of certain attributes over others, for instance, then this information becomes chromosome data, as vital to the development of the new organism as any other physical data involving cellular structure. The mother also provides the same kind of information to a male offspring. The father contributes his share in each case. Over the generations, then, certain characteristics appear to be quite naturally male or female, and these will vary to some extent according to the civilizations and world conditions.84 The above is why different societies—such as ancient Greece vs. postmodern America—express their gender and sexuality divergently in different historical eras. Seth explains:

The brain has abilities you do not use consciously because your beliefs prevent you from initiating the proper neural habits [emphasis mine]. Certain portions of the brain seem dominant only because of those neural habits that are adopted in any given civilization or time. But other cultures in your past have experienced reality quite differently as a result

84

Ibid.

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of encouraging different neural patterns, and putting experience together through other focuses [emphasis mine].85 Creating new pathways like bisexuality will be a challenge for adults, although less for adolescents because they are still pliant. As Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) tells Neo (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix (1999), “We have a rule. We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age. It’s dangerous. The mind has trouble letting go.” This is like the parrot that spends a “lifetime” (death time) in a cage. When its new owner opens the cage door, the parrot chooses to stay inside. Only with enough courage to subject ourselves to new experiences can we build and strengthen new brain circuits. In other words, we can change ourselves—and reshape our brains—if a change is desirable. Entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki warns, however, that most people prefer to play it safe. What motivates this, he writes, is fear. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki elaborates: That [playing it safe] goes for anything, be it sports, relationships, career, money. It is that same fear, the fear of ostracism that causes people to conform and not question commonly accepted opinions or popular trends.86 David Plummer is associate professor at the University of New England, School of Health, in Australia. Plummer discovered that homophobia (fear of homosexuality) increases exponentially from childhood through adolescence.
85 86

Ibid., pgs. 182-183. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, p. 70.

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His research shows that Australian boys in grades eight and nine use the word “poofter” 25 to 50 times a day. Such name-calling arises to keep teens in line with the pack.87 As Gayle Rubin writes in “Thinking Sex”: Contemporary conflicts over sexual values and erotic conduct have much in common with the religious disputes of earlier centuries. They acquire immense symbolic weight [emphasis mine].88 Stereotypes of what homosexuality means—usually false and negative—often transmogrify teen homophobia to outright hatred against queers (gays, bis, lesbians, and transgendereds). As Billy Bean, former pro baseball player, writes in his memoir Going the Other Way: By the time I reached the majors, I’d heard the terms [“fag, queer, girl, and pussy”] from almost every coach I’d played for—and many I hadn’t. As motivational strategy, it was effective. Coaches invoked the terms again and again. Players responded, almost reflexively raising their intensity level, … Even at that age, just a rag-tag band of skinny boys, we were required to prove our manhood to coaches, teammates, and dads who roamed the sidelines, keyed up by vicarious intensity.

87

See David Plummer, One of the Boys: Masculinity, Homophobia, and Modern Manhood, (Binghampton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc., 1999). 88 Rubin, “Thinking Sex,” Abelove, ed., The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, p. 4.

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It wasn’t long before kids were berating one another with similar epithets, especially when we did anything out of the jock norm.89 Postmodern culture pairs male heterosexuality with stereotypes of “manhood” and male homosexuality with stereotypes of “effeminateness.” Viceversa for female heterosexuality and lesbianism. Men, for example, are supposed to be emotionally cold, except for anger, while women are supposed to have open hearts. But as The Nature of the Psyche says: Basically, however, there are no clear, set, human, psychological characteristics that belong to one sex or the other. Again, this would lead to a pattern too rigid for the development of the species, and give you toospecialized behavior patterns that would not allow you to cope as a species—particularly with the many varieties of social groupings possible.90 A few pages later, Seth, the aforementioned spirit guide, continues to dictate to Jane Roberts: Generally speaking, there will be a specific overall sexual [meaning gendered] orientation of a biological nature, but the mental and emotional human characteristics are simply not meted out according to sex [emphases mine]. Such identification cuts the individual in half, so that each person uses but half of his or her potential. This causes a schism in
89

Billy Bean with Chris Bull, Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major-League Baseball, (New York: Marlowe & Company, 2003), p. 108. 90 Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche, pgs. 71-72.

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all of your cultural activities.91 According to Seth, gender differences start to be constructed when a boy is encouraged to identify only with the father and a girl only with the mother. But as Seth stresses: Children of either sex identify quite naturally with both parents [emphasis mine], and any enforced method of exclusively directing the child to such a single identification [with the mother or father] is limiting.92 In another section, Seth reveals: Only a basic bisexuality [meaning bigenderism] could give the species the leeway necessary, and prevent stereotyped behavior of a kind that would hamper creativity and social commerce. That basic sexual [meaning bigendered] nature allows you the fulfillment of individual abilities [emphasis mine], so that the species does not fall into extinction. Man’s recognition of his bisexual [meaning bigendered] nature is, therefore, a must in his future. There are, again, obvious differences between the sexes. They are insignificant, and appear large only because you concentrate so upon them. The great human qualities of love, strength, compassion, intellect and imagination do not belong to one sex or the other.

91 92

Ibid. p. 83. Ibid. p. 84.

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Only an understanding of this inherent bisexual [meaning bigendered] nature will release those qualities in each individual, regardless of sex.93 Men who don’t embrace their “feminine” qualities “cannot be expected to love women,” Seth concludes, for such men will see in women all that they have hatefully suppressed in themselves.94 Teenagers become most fearful of and hateful toward homosexuality in their mid and late teens.95 This is when stereotypes of what gayness means hit pubescents full swing. One stereotype is that gay men wear dresses and lesbians only wear pants. I argue that gay stereotypes—always negative—are the primary mechanism for keeping adolescents and adults from embracing the homosexual side of their bisexuality. Conversely, straight stereotypes—always positive—are a major way of getting most people to restrict their sexual desires and acts to the opposite sex. Like white and black, the terms straight and bent suggest that straight is good and bent is bad. This influences human sexuality and the fact that 90 percent of the population identifies as straight and 10 percent as gay, bi, or trans. Hence, stereotypes of what makes a man masculine and a woman feminine go far beyond mere enforcement of gender roles. What do I mean? Adolescence is the time when hormones are most out of control. Especially for teen males, sexual urges constantly threaten to spill over in homosexual directions. (Because females tend to fuse sex with romance, heteroromantic teen girls are, arguably, more likely to keep their sex in a strictly heterosexual context as well.) The gay side of teen bisexuality is suppressed
93 94

Ibid. p. 64. Ibid. p. 90. 95 See Plummer, One of the Boys.

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through the taunting of queers, through the strutting of one’s heterosexuality, and through scanning for: … signs of the “opposite” orientation so that these “confusing” impulses can be neutralized through the usual array of psychological defense mechanisms.96 The self-inflicted program is not only conscious, but also, unconscious. The unconsciousness of the heterosexualization process is why most youngsters believe that they have no choice but to be straight. The search-and-destroy mission is so successful that, by adulthood, most people end up incapable of erotic response to their sex. Being wired for erections to anything that moves, even men go limp if faced with their genitals on other men. Studies are then published to “prove” that humans are straight or gay from the womb.97 As late as 1978, for example, the New York Public Library had but one book about bisexuality. This is according to sexologist Fritz Klein.98 Animal bisexuality goes disregarded, too. Occasionally, female bisexuality is talked about, and women are given some leeway to explore it. But this is only because female bisexuality doesn’t threaten the heterosexual order. In fact, lesbianism is a fantasy of “straight” men. Male bisexuality, however, is the true threat. This is because lesbianism is seen as “double woman” for a straight man and because, when he is not participating, he sees lesbianism as women “just fooling around.” Male homosexuality, by contrast, is viewed as real sex. It involves “tops” and “bottoms.” This threatens the script of traditional masculinity.
96 97

Sartelle, “Fantasies of Straight Men.” See, for example, Benedict Carey, “Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited,” The New York Times, July 5, 2005. Article at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html. 98 See Fritz Klein, The Bisexual Option, Second Edition, (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc., 1993).

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An excellent analogy can be made between homosexuality and Asperger Syndrome because everyone has aspects of each. People with Asperger’s, for example, are said to utter socially inappropriate comments and questions because they lack social intelligence. But non-Aspies also voice socially inappropriate comments and questions like: 1) Where are you from? (Tempts one to feel like an outsider and destroys the unity between people that is the basis of social interaction) 2) Are you gay? (Personal question) 3) What do you do for a living? (Personal question, as people in Japan recognize) 4) You have an accent. (Tempts one to feel like an outsider and destroys the unity between people that is the basis of social interaction) Non-Aspies, however, ignore what they share with Aspies (asking socially inappropriate questions). Why? So that neurotypicals can demonize Aspies as “the other.” People with Asperger’s then accept that they are totally different from non-Aspies—as opposed to partially different—because Aspies have internalized the overlooking of similarities between Aspies and non-Aspies that the mainstream has done. Likewise, gays believe that they are totally different from straights—as opposed to partially different—because gays have internalized the overlooking of similarities between straights and gays that the mainstream has done. The discrimination that Aspergians and gays receive is less because of their difference and more because the “mainstream” refuses to see

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those characteristics in themselves. If “normal” people see this commonality, then they can punish Aspies and gays for reminding them of this. Discrimination, ridicule, and bashing are some types of punishments. And much of the above, if not all, happens unconsciously. At most, people accept Aspergians as Aspergians, gays as gays, and U.S. citizens with “accents” as foreigners. This is not real acceptance because it keeps the divide between the “native” and the “foreigner.” Like taste (see Part II, Chapter 1, section titled, “The Evolution and Workings of the Brain”), heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality are acquired from the social environment. In the early 21st century, 90 percent of boys and girls are made, not born, straight. They grow up in a monosexual world (straight or gay) that teaches discrimination “on the basis of sex … in our erotic lives.”99 Through “compulsory heterosexuality,” the brains of the indoctrinated get used to monosexism.100 The human brain wires itself in that image. As youth grays, it passes on heterosexual values, heterosexual rituals, and heterosexual beingness to future generations. This is how human (hetero)sexuality is constructed in the postmodern world. The process feels innate but is very artificial. Americans, for instance, tend to be terrible at languages because their brains have been wired in a generally monolingual environment (the United States). Europeans, by contrast, tend to be great at languages because their brains have been wired in a generally multilingual environment (Europe). A similar dynamic occurs when people are brought up and live in a monosexual environment (straight or gay) vs. a multisexual environment (straight, bi, gay, and trans). In the monosexual society, most
99

These are the words of Kenji Yoshino. See Bass, “Both Ends Against the Middle” at http://old.valleyadvocate.com/articles/biout2.html. 100 The phrase compulsory heterosexuality was coined by English professor, editor, and writer Adrienne Cecile Rich. See Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986).

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people will be inept at multisexuality, while in the multisexual milieu, most people will be adept at multisexuality. This is much like national identity—as in being French, Spanish, or American—feels natural but is constructed in each country, called “imagined communities,” and evolves from century to century.101 For example, being American and heterosexual in the late 19th century meant something different from being a straight American in the early 21st century. As Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined opposite-sex attraction in 1901, heterosexuality was an “ ‘abnormal [as abnormally intense] or perverted sexual appetite towards the opposite sex.’ ”102 This view of hetEROSexuality continued in the popular culture until the Roaring 20s. That was the decade when “heterosexuality” (meaning obsession with the opposite sex) became respectable —so long as the involved people were of similar ages. With our acknowledgement that 80 percent of the populace is bisexual in potential, romantic orientation, rather than “sexual” orientation, could become the criterion of “sexual identity” and “sexual politics” in the 21st century.103 This is because biSEXuality would be taken for granted in just about everybody, whereas romantic orientation and preferences would be the unknown. For example, “Is he, a biSEXual guy, heteroromantic, biromantic, homoromantic, or something else?”

101

See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, New Edition, (London: Verso Books, 2006). 102 Garber, Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, p. 41. 103 The 80 percent statistic is an inference based on the classic studies by Alfred C. Kinsey, the renowned sexologist. Today, sexological studies typically show that, rather than 10 percent of the population being gay, a mere 2 percent to 5 percent is. What these studies don’t mention is that if gays are at one end of the sexuality spectrum, then a mere 2 percent to 5 percent of the populace is strictly straight as well. Using the Kinsey studies, the implication is that if 10 percent of the population is 100 percent homosexual, then 10 percent is 100 percent heterosexual. That leaves 80 percent of the rest somewhere in the middle. See Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy, and Clyde E. Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1948). As a rough estimate, the 80 percent statistic also comes from looking at societies around the world—ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and Tokugawa Japan—where most men were behaviorally bisexual, and even biromantic too, in some way.

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Because males can easily divorce sex from romance—while females tend to fuse the two—it is likely that if bisexuality increases in the future, it will be among the sexually looser male sex. There is another reason why any rise in bisexuality will affect more males than females should it occur. In the words of Robin Baker, an evolutionary biologist: Sexually, men are much more similar to one another than are women. Virtually all men ejaculate (whereas not all women have orgasms). Virtually all men masturbate (whereas nearly a quarter of women do not). Virtually all men have nocturnal orgasms at some time in their lives (whereas 60 percent of women do not).104 A few pages later, Baker adds, “In any given human society, there tend to be about a third to half as many women bisexuals as men.”105 The tendency of women to fuse sex and romance is a major reason for this. After all, most women are heteroromantic. Thus, most women will remain heterosexual as well. Heteroromantic men, by contrast, can easily have sex in or out of a heteroromantic context. Only homophobia and the threat of shame and violence keep males heterosexual as well. Women also tend to prefer sex in a personal context (e.g., one-on-one). Conversely, men tend to prefer sex in a social context (e.g., group sex), although men also enjoy one-on-one sex. What keeps men in line are: 1) Upbringing, peer pressure, the media, and the law

104 105

Robin Baker, Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex, (New York: Basic Books, 1996), p. 291. Ibid., p. 255.

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2) What each of the above enforces—namely, compulsory monogamy, the monopoly of romantic love over sex, and the illegitimacy of homosexual expression with platonic love (e.g., romantic-friendship) The result of all this is that, in the words of Seth from The Nature of the Psyche: Lesbianism and homosexuality, as they are currently experienced, also represent exaggerated versions of natural [bisexual] inclinations, even as your experienced version of heterosexuality is exaggerated.106 The bi movement, however, is challenging the either/or view of human sexuality. According to Yale’s Kenji Yoshino, this movement has produced an “epistemic contract.” Such a contract is an unspoken agreement between straights and gays to pretend that bisexuality is a “myth,” especially male bisexuality. This contract exists because bisexuality threatens the straight/gay paradigm at the core.107

The Bonobo Way

106 107

Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche, p. 59. See Kenji Yoshino, “The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure,” Stanford Law Review, January 1, 2000, Vol. 52, Issue 2: 353-461. The essay can be found at http://www.kenjiyoshino.com/articles/epistemiccontract.pdf.

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We share 98 percent of our genes with bonobos (pygmy chimps), more than we share with the common chimpanzee. This makes us as close to bonobos as “a fox is to a dog.”108 Yet, we behave more like chimps in terms of sexual competition, social hierarchy, patriarchy, and violence. If two chimps stumble upon a banana, for instance, they fight over it. If two bonobos trip upon a banana, they have sex to resolve their conflict. Chimps compete. Bonobos cooperate. Chimps make war. Bonobos make love. Chimps live by patriarchy. Bonobos live by matriarchy. Chimps use sex as a tool of aggression. Bonobos use sex as a tool of conflict resolution. If humans and bonobos are the closest of primates, then why do we think and act more like chimpanzees? The only answer has to be: human culture, human fear, and human ego. Although the most biologically evolved of earth species, humankind is not the most spiritually evolved creation. Elsewhere in this universe, other beings far surpass humanity’s level of spiritual evolution, according to the book trilogy Conversations with God.109 On earth, by contrast, no longer adaptive human instincts like sexual competition keep spiraling out of control. Chimps are innately how most humans have chosen to be. Bonobos are innately how most humans have chosen not to be. No wonder primatologists are so obsessed with the common chimpanzee and neglectful of bonobos. Still, as sages have said throughout the ages, humans are peaceful by nature, not violent. The bonobo way is the human way. The chimp way is the antihuman way. Bonobos are, again, the closest nonhuman species to us.110 Their matriarchy and
108

This quote comes from “A Near Relative,” a section of the web article titled, “Bonobo Sex and Society: The Behavior of a Close Relative Challenges Assumptions about Male Supremacy in Human Evolution.” Article by Frans B. M. de Waal. Originally published in Scientific American, March 1995, pgs. 82-88. The URL of the article is http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html. 109 See Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3. 110 See Bruce Bagemihl, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999).

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bisexuality make primatologists very nervous, however, so most of them study chimps instead. Most nature programs take the easy way out as well and educate the public about chimpanzees. Thus, most of us don’t even know that bonobos exist.

Make Love, Not War

In The Politics of Lust, John Ince, a lawyer and journalist, writes that “… sexual variety seems inherently attractive to our species. Sexual non-exclusivity occurs even in cultures where it is punishable by death.”111 As pleasure increases, violence decreases. This applies to us as individuals and as a society. It also applies at the level of the human mind and at the level of the physical body. Can one imagine, for example, someone having violent thoughts after having an orgasm? James Prescott, a social scientist, analyzed hundreds of societies statistically. He found a correlation—although this is not necessarily causation—between two variables. As Carl Sagan writes in The Varieties of Scientific Experience: And he [Prescott] concludes that all cultures in which the children are hugged and the teenagers can have sex wind up without powerful social hierarchies and everybody’s happy. And those cultures in which the children are not permitted to be hugged because of some social ban and a premarital adolescent sexual taboo is strictly enforced wind up killing, hating, and having powerful dominance hierarchies.112
111

Ince, The Politics of Lust, p. 140. Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 173.
112

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Even if we overcome destructive impulses like jealousy, possessiveness, and sexual competition, what about overpopulation and the threat of STDs? Is “free love” maladaptive nonetheless in the postmodern age? For all their promiscuity, bonobos don’t reproduce any more than the chimps on the other side of the Zaire River in Africa. The bonobo population has long been stable. Human poaching and war in the Congo, not STDs, is what is threatening bonobos with extinction. On a similar thread, demographic studies show that if everyone has an average of two children, the human population would stabilize. People, though, have yet to act out logically what they know rationally. Many of us continue to have three, four, and five children. In the First World, having one child is the same as having several in the Third World. This is because 1 billion Westerners use more resources than the 5.5 billion nonWesterners. Americans alone consume 26 percent of the planet’s energy. If humanity were expanding into outer space, then intimate partners having five children would be no problem. Given federal policy since 1978, however, colonizing space won’t happen this time around. In the words of Carl Sagan, sending up the Space Shuttle is not space exploration. Space exploration, he said, is when humans send spacecraft to the other planets.113 Meanwhile, the human population is scheduled to jump to 10 billion by the mid-21st century. The rule of 2.1 children per couple may be turning upside down, however. This is due to the climatic changes that lie ahead. Such changes will require new breeds of humans, born through interracial couplings, so that these human populations have a better chance of surviving the collapse of nature. As the epilogue states, Mother Nature is experimenting with genetic recombinations in
113

See “Opening Keynote Address: What Is the Value of Space Exploration?”, NASA Center for Mars Exploration, at http://cmex.ihmc.us/cmex/data/vse/keynote.html. Carl Sagan spoke at the Laboratory for Radiophysics and Space Science at Cornell University.

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humans. This means that people with unique genes—such as people with Asperger Syndrome—may benefit the future of humanity by having more offspring than 2.1 children per couple. Although these “disorders” are maladaptive today, they may well become adaptive in the future, either alone or combined with other genes. The rules of the ordinary world sure are breaking down. Seen symbolically, the epidemic of cancer is an inner reflection of humans multiplying like cancer on the outer world. Cancer will be cured when humanity stops multiplying without restraint. So what is the answer? If the human body evolved to be fruitful and to multiply, then how can we rise above our urge to procreate nonstop? How can we overcome 4.5 million years of hominid evolution? The answer is, we can’t. At most, we can play around our sexual instinct and channel it in constructive directions. Most humans having more than two children is no longer adaptive. Again, this may change soon, as humanly illogical as this is given our population of almost 7 billion. Therefore, for now at least, people can delay pregnancies and minimize the number of offspring. Modern medicine has yielded contraception. Nature allows homosexuality, a “method” that serves physical, emotional, and social—not procreative—purposes.114 The trick is to find ways of expressing ourselves sexually within the confines of nature—in a way that doesn’t produce harmful results to ourselves, to others, or to the environment. Many readers will ask, “What about STDs, especially AIDS?” First, the world is surrounded by disease-think. Disease-speak is a by-product. How many people have you heard, for example, complaining about some ailment? They are obsessed with illness. Not surprisingly, diseases materialize on a planet where a critical mass of the population thinks about disease. I believe that when
114

Social conservatives—whom I call social regressives—argue that homosexuality is a disruptive impulse. But the criterion of adaptive vs. maladaptive is: Does it harm anyone or the environment? Like everything else, the answer depends on context (e.g., rape vs. consent). Much as straight sex can be adaptive or maladaptive, so is gay sex.

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the world is ready—truly ready—to enjoy sex without guilt or negativity, STDs will decline dramatically. Does this mean throwing caution to the winds? Of course, not. It just means enjoying sex responsibly and thinking healthy. Smallpox, for instance, was eradicated in 1980. This victory was the effect of goal setting, and it required curative thinking. Why can’t STDs be eliminated as well? Second, according to Peter Duesberg, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley, AIDS is not an STD but rather, a syndrome produced by the abuse of drugs, illegal and legal, in the Western world.115 The first round of AIDS cases, the classic Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), was a cancer of the lungs. In the early 1980s, some physicians thought that “poppers” (toxic aphrodisiacs that are inhaled) were the cause. Nitrite inhalants were so popular in the late 1970s that many gay nightclubs sprayed this over-the-counter drug onto dancing crowds. The 1970s also saw the introduction of hard drugs into urban areas. The drug epidemic, it turns out, is the AIDS epidemic, according to Peter Duesberg.116 This is largely why HIV positive people (the tests can’t measure HIV) who are drug free tend to stay healthy. Conversely, HIV positive people with a drug history tend to get sick. The key word is tend, as there are always exceptions. Although rare, there are also documented cases of HIV negative people developing AIDS, people whose lifestyles are or were extremely unhealthy. The key word here is extremely. According to Peter Duesberg, a pioneer in retrovirus research, other factors of AIDS are malnutrition, drinking toxic water routinely (e.g., people in the Third World), and sexually exchanging non-HIV toxic fluids (e.g., antiviral drugs in the blood) with hundreds of sexual partners. The key word of the last phrase is hundreds.

115 116

See Peter H. Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 1996). See Peter H. Duesberg and David Rasnick, “The AIDS Dilemma: Drug Diseases Blamed on a Passenger Virus” at Duesberg on AIDS. The URL of the abstract is http://www.duesberg.com/papers/pddrgenetica.html.

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As Duesberg has hypothesized since 1987, all of the above can severely weaken the immune system.117 In The Stonewall Experiment, author Ian Young adds: And the system of allopathic medicine subscribed to by their doctors [doctors treating gays in the 1970s] often attacked symptoms while neglecting underlying causes. Frequent bouts of sexually transmitted diseases were treated by progressively stronger doses of antibiotics. The weaker bacteria and parasites were wiped out; the stronger mutated, necessitating still stronger antibiotics. When combined with a generous selection of recreational drugs, the damage to the immune system was severe.118 This is not to blame the victim, as AIDS is a nightmarishly devastating syndrome. HIV, however, is not the “killer virus” that the major media would have us believe.119 HIV does produce symptoms. But other than assume that the hard-to-find virus must be “hiding” somewhere, medical science hasn’t been able to explain full-blown AIDS without referring to HIV cofactors. Drug use and environmental toxins seem to be the biggest cofactors of HIV—although politics is keeping this truth under covers. Humans who wish to make love, not war, need to embrace sex education from an early age. This is because different types of sex carry different risks. Vaginal sex is safer than rectal sex, for example. People who choose not to wear protection need detailed information about the various forms of copulation. Many doctors are prevented from disseminating information about the health
117 118

See Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus. Ian Young, The Stonewall Experiment: A Gay Psychohistory, (New York: Cassell, 1995), p. 114. 119 See Michael Fumento, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 1990).

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risks of rectal sex—except for HIV—because of political pressures not to reveal some things. Rectal sex is safer, for instance, if practiced with a limited number of partners. But such partners need to have intestinal health, especially if condoms are not used.120 Research on microbicides, the latex-free “condom” of the future, needs to be funded more as well so that microbicides can be developed commercially. This includes vaginal and rectal microbicides. Also, urinating after rectal sex is a good way to cleanse the urethra. If bisexuality becomes common in the future, then we better heed the warnings of social conservatives—that is, if we want to prevent more sexual epidemics. Apprehensions about rising sexual permissiveness are based on some truth. The biggest worry of social conservatives is that widespread rectal sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, may lead to more transfers of bacteria and viruses to inserters and to illnesses rarely seen today. Add drugs to that, recreational and pharmaceutical, and you have a volatile mix. This is not to say that rectal sex per se is lethal. It is, however, more risky than vaginal sex (see Part II, Chapter 11, section titled, “Gluttony of the Gonads”). Rectal sex is not merely a gay sex issue, for most of the rectal sex being practiced is and has always been heterosexual. Therefore, if rectal sex increases in frequency, everybody will need to be informed about its benefits and dangers so that everyone can make informed choices. Sex education must be free of political pressures from the Right and from the Left so that it can be as objective as possible. Human health and happiness are more important, after all, than politics. The pros and cons of all kinds of sex are included in comprehensive sex education, along with the emotional issues of each erotic coupling.
120

There is the possibility that, mixed with water, lime juice makes an effective enema because, like lemons, limes are a natural disinfectant. Garlic fluid could make another good enema because garlic helps to combat intestinal worms. I do not recommend, however, trying lime, lemon, or garlic enemas without medical research having been first conducted on such methods. Garlic, lemons, and limes need to be studied more so that, if safe, these natural medicines may be used by people interested in another form— although riskier without condoms—of healthier rectal sex.

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The power of mind over matter needs to be exercised as well. If you believe, for instance, that a sexual practice like rectal sex will give you a urinary tract infection, then you are more likely to get one. Such an infection may also be a way of punishing yourself for engaging in an erotic act that you feel guilty about. But if you practice cleanliness, think healthy, and let go of guilt, then you are less likely to get physically sick. A major sign that we are still in the dark ages when it comes to sex is teen girls and teen boys. In 2009, we have gynecologists and urologists. But in the words of pediatric professor, medical psychologist, and sexologist John Money, not a single ephebiatric clinic (for teen health) exists in the entire Western world. Medical books that are used to train gynecologists and urologists devote, at most, two pages to the teen reproductive system. When teen girls and teen boys need medical attention for a sexual—or nonsexual—matter, they must go to the adult clinics. Meanwhile, American laws restrict whom teens can turn to for sexual and reproductive help. Minors, who lack comprehensive civil rights, are powerless to assert their rights on such matters. One overlooked factor of the prevalence of STDs is the mobility of much of the globe’s population. Today, someone with an STD can travel around the world in less than 24 hours. Also, people live in crowded cities. This promotes the meeting of many strangers, many of whom will have STDs. Not until after the world peaks in oil production (see epilogue) will sparsely settled communities become relatively insular again. A trans-instinctual society revels in the many possibilities for sexual satisfaction. Its people learn about the joys and risks of the various types of sex —in schools, in colleges, in health clinics, and via appropriate media. Transinstinctual humans learn about sex free of government or political interference. Then, such individuals make conscious decisions about which forms of sex, if

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any, to engage in. If a sexual or reproductive problem arises, then women and men have access to gynecologists and urologists, as women and men do today. But so do teen girls and teen boys—to yet-to-be-born ephebiatricians (physicians who specialize in teen health). After all, the civic freedoms of minors—and their responsibilities—are taken as seriously as those of adults in a trans-instinctual milieu. Trans-instinctual humans don’t necessarily limit sex to one partner— although this is a valid option. But individuals who practice polyamory (many loves) don’t go overboard either with dozens of sexual partners. Balance is their motto. A trans-instinctual society allows males to enjoy sex with an intact foreskin, as opposed to cutting off this part of nature. Similarly, men are programmed to rush through sex. Trans-instinctual males, however, learn the pleasures of delayed orgasms. Tantric sex is one method. Such males are not genitally focused, as in quick descent from mouth to genitals. Like women, trans-instinctual men celebrate the entire human body, and this doesn’t just apply to men caressing women in bed. In a trans-instinctual society, women caress men, too. Men don’t feel any less manly for permitting a woman—or whomever—to touch them all over. Rather, trans-instinctual men enjoy being touched as much as they love to touch their sexual partners. Trans-instinctual humans embrace sex wholly, not just genitally. Enjoying sex, such people indulge a primitive aspect of themselves. Humans are, after all, the only species on earth to stand fully upright. During copulation, however, we lose that uprightness. Instead, we straddle one another as if riding horses, lie like lizards, get on all fours like dingoes and lynxes, and twist and turn into dozens of animal positions. During sex, we leave behind the rational part of our humanity, and we heave, moan, howl, and scream. In this sense, sex reminds us of our animal origins and ties us to nature in a way that postmodern civilization cannot. As

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Henry David Thoreau wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”121 A trans-instinctual society is paradoxically spiritual and sexual. In such a milieu, both are in balance, and sex springs from romantic love and/or romanticfriendship. At the same time, not all intimate relationships are erotically expressed, for this would be sexual addiction. The next chapter addresses romantic love, monogamy, and ways that we can rise above their limiting aspects.

Exercises
1) Do you feel that people use each other in everyday life? If yes, do you see this as moral or ethical? Why or why not? Is there a difference between being used nonsexually and being used sexually? How do you define being used sexually? Write your thoughts or speak them into a tape recorder. 2) If each party is open about its intentions to use each other sexually— such as male athletes in a locker room—is that moral or ethical in your view? Or is sex without love immoral or unethical, even when chosen openly and consciously? 3) Have you ever pressured someone to have sex? If yes, why? Was it subtle or obvious? How did the other person respond?

121

See Henry David Thoreau and Eliot Porter, In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World, (New York: BBS Publishing Corporation, 1996).

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4) If you have sex, ask yourself what are your intentions for doing so.

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4 Romantic Love The “love bug” is a very important element of human survival. Males tend to fall in love through sex. Females tend to fall into sex through love. Women start from the fourth chakra of green (the heart) and drop to the second chakra of orange (the genitals). Men start from the second chakra, and if they fall in love, rise to the fourth chakra. In erotic and romantic matters, how does one know if one is coming from the second chakra or the fourth chakra? If you want to copulate with someone right away (hormones), then you are coming from the lower frequencies of the second chakra. If you feel romantic e-motions (energies in motion) for somebody, then you are coming from the higher frequencies of the fourth chakra. A major reason why men are from Mars and women are from Venus is that sex evolved in the context of reproduction. Romantic love, on the other hand, evolved in the context of child rearing. So has argued Lisa Diamond, professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah.122 In other words, men want to reproduce (sex), while women want men to stick around after sex (romance) to help raise offspring. Another way of describing the

122

See Lisa M. Diamond, “Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire,” Current Directions in Psychological Science, June 2004, Vol. 13, No. 3: 116-119.

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difference between sex and romance is the following: Sex arises from the brain and genitals, whereas romance arises from the heart. One reason why men and women are from different planets is that each of the sexes produces different hormones in differing amounts. How do these chemicals influence sexual reproduction and child rearing? What new paradigms are emerging with regard to romantic love, commitment, and the sex that springs from these?

That Aching Need

In Anatomy of Love, anthropologist Helen Fisher lays the foundation of romantic love. Contrary to popular view, Fisher contends, romantic love is not the invention of European troubadours of the 11th to 13th centuries. Rather, she goes on, romantic love has a biological basis in the hormones oxytocin and phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA, Fisher writes, is a brain chemical, and it decreases in the human body two to four years after someone falls in love. This, she explains, is why romantic love is short-lived and why it evolves to a companionate love down the road—assuming that a love relationship doesn’t break up beforehand. If romantic desire goes unrequited, Fisher argues, then the infatuation can last a “lifetime.”123 Women produce more oxytocin than men. A bonding chemical, oxytocin is why women tend to fall in love before their sex drive kicks in, and explains why women tend to experience romantic love in conjunction with erotic desire. Oxytocin produces that feeling of elation and of wanting to cuddle with one’s
123

See Helen E. Fisher, Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992).

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partner after lovemaking. This has biological benefits. Keeping women lying down after semen has been deposited into them, oxytocin increases their chances of conceiving. Oxytocin also causes women to bond with their infants after giving birth. It is nature’s way of ensuring reproduction and child rearing. Though men produce oxytocin during sex, they produce less of this “love chemical” than women. Instead, men produce the sex-and-aggression hormone called testosterone. This is largely why men can easily divorce sex from romance, while women tend to blend the two. In Power vs. Force, researcher David Hawkins distinguishes between love and Love. Love with a small l (romantic love) is not the unconditional Love of Mother Teresa nor the unconditional Love of a mother for her child. Instead, romantic love is what Hawkins calls an “addiction” based on need. Hawkins writes: What the world generally refers to as love is an intense emotional condition, combining physical attraction, possessiveness, control, addiction, eroticism, and novelty. It’s usually fragile and fluctuating, waxing and waning with varying conditions. When frustrated, this emotion often reveals an underlying anger and dependency that it had masked [emphasis mine]. That love can turn to hate is a common perception, but here, an addictive sentimentality [emphasis mine] is likely what’s being spoken about, rather than Love; … 124 Another way of differentiating between romantic love and unconditional Love is that romantic attraction is based on fantasy, whereas unconditional Love loves regardless of who the person really is. In other words, romantic love ends when
124

David R. Hawkins, Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, Revised Edition, (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2002), pgs. 89-90.

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the emotional high “comes crashing down to reality,” but unconditional Love goes on loving because it never had a fantasy to begin with. As Arthur Aron, a psychologist with the State University of New York, said: It’s not that we fall in love with such people because they’re immensely attractive. It’s that they seem immensely attractive because we’ve fallen in love with them.125 What fuels romantic feelings? Love chemicals upstairs, coupled with socialization. First, the human brain “in love” releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Feeling a dopamine rush is like munching chocolate. Adrenaline, another love bug, follows in the heels of dopamine, and the heart throbs in response. The hormone factory of the human brain unleashes another molecule whenever one meets Mr. or Ms. Right. This third love chemical is called serotonin. More exhilaration. Oxytocin, that bonding hormone, gets released as well in the attic of the human body. Oxytocin generates feelings of addiction for the beloved. PEA, yet another brain chemical, causes one to feel an emotional high for the person. The reason is that PEA has the properties of an amphetamine.126 As Jim Pfaus, a psychologist and sexologist with Concordia University in Montreal, said, “Natural opioids get activated, and you think someone made you feel good, but it’s your brain that made you feel good [emphasis mine].”127 While one part of the human brain is busy synthesizing love hormones, another part is captivated by the mystery of “the other.” Men generally love women romantically—and women men—because boys and girls tend to
125

See Jeffrey Kluger, Eben Harrell, Kristin Kloberdanz, and Kate Stinchfield, “Why We Love: Breeding Is Easy, But Survival Requires Romance Too,” Time, January 28, 2008, Vol. 171, No. 4, p. 59. 126 Ibid., pgs. 58-59. 127 Ibid., p. 59.

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segregate themselves during childhood. This makes the opposite sex seem “exotic.” During adolescence, Martians start to get curios about Venusians, and Venusians about Martians. For those in love, curiosity about the opposite sex turns into obsession over the beloved. Both love chemicals and human socialization are distinguishing characteristics of romantic love. During childhood and adolescence, we develop romantic ideals based on a volley of factors—family dynamics, unmet childhood needs, and social conditioning. When we fall in love, we project our romantic dreams onto another person. Indoctrinated by Western culture, we expect one individual of the opposite sex to fulfill one’s every romantic need. As Marianne Williamson, the spiritual activist, said at a lecture, “You’re in love with the picture.”128 Real people never live up to the illusion, of course. Disappointment, hate, and divorce often follow. Real Love, by contrast, does not expect anything from anyone. Love with an L gives unconditionally, is endlessly patient, and loves without limits. Some lovers love each other more unconditionally than romantic love calls for. This is because the hearts of the unconditional Lovers are kindred spirits. Their spiritual Love is strong enough to override the limits of romantic love. Such lovers are trans-instinctual enough to have risen above the neediness of romantic love. Of itself, however, romantic love is needy. It was created to bring out our wounds so that, in a romantic relationship, we may heal from them and grow personally and spiritually. Romantic love is thus more about us and less about the beloved. Love with an l is rented. When we rent an apartment, we offer the requested payment to management. In exchange, management gives us a place to live. Romantic love—and friendship—work very much like this. As long as
128

See Marianne Williamson’s On Commitment, a lecture released on cassette by Harper Audio, New York, 1992.

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we offer something, or things, of value to another person, we are loved. The moment we are unable to keep paying, however, the relationship becomes skewed. If the balance sheets become too unequal, then our partners leave us— or vice-versa. In this sense, love is rented. Forms of payment are good looks, charisma, sexiness, vulnerability, career success, and being a friend. Our qualities draw others toward us, depending on what currencies others desire. In return, our friends and love partners give us things we want—or things they think we want. People with little going for them—such as low social skills—end up single, celibate, and alone against their will. Such individuals lack the currency for social relationships. Old men can’t even go to a prostitute because some forms of payment have been made illegal. Single men and women are also in trouble if they fall in love—or lust—with someone “taken.” This is because 95 percent of couples refuse to share their partner. Single people are the ones to experience the pain of being shut out from romantic relationships—and even friendships—because other people’s boyfriends and girlfriends take precedence over secondary relationships. As Suzanne Gordon, a sociologist, writes in Lonely in America (1976), neighbors don’t visit one another anymore because the assumption is that would-be friends are a bother and a threat to romantic partners.129 Even my mother, a former nun, came under suspicion when she visited a female neighbor who was married to a man. The woman’s mother warned her daughter that my mother might steal her husband. This was despite their knowing that my mother had a religious background and despite the three of them being Puerto Rican. That, however, was mild compared to what happens in Because I Said So (2007). In this movie, Johnny (Gabriel Macht) plain explodes one night on a sidewalk when he finds out that his girlfriend Milly (Mandy Moore) wants to be with another man as well. Possessiveness is the
129

See Suzanne Gordon, Lonely in America: A Portrait of Americans—Young, Old, Married, Single, in Groups and Alone, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976).

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ugliest side of monogamy. As Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) tells the humanoid host (Nicole Orth-Pallavicini) of a symbiont being that Crusher ditched in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Perhaps, it is a human failing. But we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. I can’t keep up. How long will you have this host? What will the next one be? I can’t live with that kind of uncertainty. Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won’t be so limited.130 Most romances and friendships look and feel genuine. But these relationships are delusions because they are conditional on a host of factors. True love and friendship are unconditional. In this world, that is rarer than diamonds were in the 19th century. Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That is in the ideal world. In “the real world,” love is the answer only if all parties love unconditionally. If not, then one party will eventually bankrupt the other party—emotionally, mentally, and/or economically. A tax revolt happens when a giver in a relationship has been “taxed to death” by the other party. Spouses and lovers who rail, “I’ve had it” are much like the protesters who staged tea parties across America on April 15, 2009 (tax day). Some of the more notable slogans on the pickets were: 1) Bailout. Not My Cup of Tea 2) Don’t Rip Off My Wallet 3) No Bailouts, Freebies, Handouts, and Giveaways 4) Mad as Hell 5) Born Free and Taxed to Death
130

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Host.”

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6) Stop Bankrupting Me 7) Stop Rewarding Bad Behavior 8) Change. That’s All You’ll Have Left in Your Wallet 9) Do Not Make Me Pay for Your Mistakes 10) Tea’d Off 11) Insanitea 12) Stop the Madness 13) We Can’t Live on Change Alone 14) Tax Revolt 15) I Am Overtaxed, Overburdened, and Overwhelmed 16) Enough is Enough 17) Don’t Tread on Me 18) No Taxation without Representation 19) Fed Up. Taxed Out. 20) It’s Tea Time Sometimes, part of one’s personality revolts against an abusive spouse, while another part insists on loving him—or her—against all odds. In this case, the fed up part of us is like the tea protesters who were replicating the Boston Tea Party of 1773, while the doormat part of us is like congressional representatives in 2009. More often than not, these “representatives” vote to loan billions of dollars to unfriendly nations and vote to give tax breaks to corporations. Each Spirit/soul is as complex as a nation. When a tax revolt happens, part of us starts a War of Independence against the King Georges in our lives. We stop being colonies and become independent nation-states. Women who fall for bad boys are learning not to be attracted to the “wrong” type of man. This lesson is learned through a type of electroshock

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“therapy.” Each treatment session involves lies from the boyfriend or husband, physical beatings from him, betrayals of all sorts, and even murder. When and if the relationship orientation of a woman changes, then the electroshock treatments end. For most people, romantic love becomes unromantic agony. Like everything else in this universe, this is a paradox similar to: “How could a Loving God allow Evil?”

Love as “Sacrifice”

Romantic partners are supposed to sacrifice for each other. This is seen as “compromise” and as a “necessity” for people wanting to live together. This, of course, sounds humanly logical. The reality, though, is that compromise and sacrifice foster resentments toward one’s partner. This is when compromise and sacrifice come from one person imposing his or her way on another person, rather than when compromise and sacrifice are absolutely necessary. An example of the latter is a smoker boyfriend living with his nonsmoker girlfriend. If the girlfriend lets her beau puff inside their house or apartment, then she is putting her health at risk and is not loving herself. As the Spanish proverb goes, “Caridad contra caridad no es caridad” (“Charity [for others] against charity [for oneself] is not charity.”) In this case, the smoker needs to smoke in a place that does not endanger his girlfriend’s lungs. More often than not, however, compromise and sacrifice are unnecessary. Examples of unnecessary sacrifices (compromises called for because one person imposes on another person) are:

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1)

In an episode of Home Improvement, Jill Taylor (Patricia Richardson) insists that her husband Tim (Tim Allen) go to an opera fundraiser with her, rather than go alone.131 In an alternative, trans-instinctual scenario, Jill would respect that her husband hates opera. In another episode of Home Improvement, Jill Taylor asks Tim Taylor to have a romantic dinner with her. At the restaurant, Jill forbids Tim to watch a football game on TV or even his listening to it on his transistor radio, even though football is one of Tim’s passions.132 In an alternative, trans-instinctual scenario, Jill would let Tim enjoy his game at home—without asking for anything in return—and she would enjoy her dinner at the restaurant, for Jill would not be afraid to eat out alone. In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the newlyweds Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) and Keiko O’Brien (Rosalind Chao) have breakfast in their Enterprise quarters. Keiko, who is from Japan, has introduced Miles, who is from Ireland, to a light Japanese dish. Miles is not fond of “ kelp buds, plankton loaves, and sea berries,” but he toys with the Japanese dish to please his wife. Miles, however, can’t bring himself to eat Keiko’s meal, and he tells her, “Sweetheart, I’m not a fish.”133 In exchange for

2)

3)

131

Home Improvement (1991-1999), “Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor.” This episode originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on March 3, 1992 (Season 1, episode 20). 132 Home Improvement, “Off Sides.” This episode originally aired on ABC on October 1, 1991 (Season 1, episode 3). 133 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Wounded.” This episode originally aired in syndication on January 26, 1991 (Season 4, episode 12).

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his sacrifice, Miles informs Keiko that, for dinner, he will introduce her to “scalloped potatoes, mutton shanks, oxtails, and cabbage.” Keiko replies, “Kind of heavy.”134 At dinner, Keiko makes faces as she asks Miles, “What are these little, dark things?” (in her husband’s potato casserole).135 In an alternative, trans-instinctual scenario, Keiko and Miles would let each other eat what each of them likes. 4) A wife is tidy and abhors clutter, while her husband is messy and loves to collect things. Most wives will require their husbands to change—and vice-versa. The wife and husband can live in separate quarters of their house, however, or each can live in a separate apartment and sleep together at night. In an episode of Alf, Dorothy Halligan (Anne Meara) leaves Whizzer (Paul Dooley) because “He doesn’t give a damn about me. All he cares about is jazz, jazz, jazz.”136 Whizzer agrees to give up his life on the road, and in return, he asks Dorothy to move away from the town where Dorothy’s daughter (Anne Schedeen) and grandchildren (Andrea Elson and Benji Gregory) live.137 In an alternative, trans-instinctual scenario, Dorothy would let Whizzer have his life on the road, and Whizzer wouldn’t ask Dorothy to move away from her family.

5)

134 135

Ibid. Ibid. 136 Alf (1986-1990), “Break Up to Make Up.” This episode originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 20, 1989 (Season 4, episode 10). 137 Ibid.

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6)

In the pilot episode of Home Improvement, Jill Taylor admonishes her husband Tim, “Don’t touch the dishwasher.”138 Jill then leaves their house for a job interview. With Jill gone, Tim connects a Finley motor to the dishwasher to give it “more power.” Jill returns home and petulantly asks Tim, “What the hell is that?”139 Tim turns on the cream-and-black dishwasher to demonstrate its new compressor to Jill. The dishwasher explodes—luckily, in a direction away from them.140 If the dishwasher were Tim’s, then it is Tim’s business what he does or doesn’t do to it. If the dishwasher is Jill’s, however, Tim needs to respect Jill’s property. The problem with this episode—and with most marriages—is that boundaries (e.g., which family appliances belong to whom) are fuzzy. In such cases, it becomes impossible to determine when respect for someone’s property and personal boundaries is called for—and thus, compromise— and when consideration is not called for.

In each of the above examples, one love partner asks the other to sacrifice a passion, a food preference, his or her time, or a way of being or doing something in order to please the partner making the demands. Rather than live and let live, each partner requires the other to change. This leads to losing yourself, meaning that you no longer know who you are. Losing yourself triggers major resentments toward “the one at fault,” and those resentments lead to rebellion. This is because, like Spirits/souls, humans desire total freedom. True love asks for nothing.
138

Home Improvement, “Pilot.” This episode originally aired on ABC on September 17, 1991 (Season 1, episode 1). 139 Ibid. 140 Ibid.

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Paradoxically, sacrifice is noble when it is done for God or for one’s Higher Self. Sacrifice, however, is not noble when it is done for the ego of another person.

Monogamy

Western culture continues to idealize the portrait of one man and one woman falling in love and yearning to spend the rest of their lives, if not eternity, together. Romantic partners are supposed to “meet each other’s needs.” They cannot have sex with anyone, other than with their significant other. If one party is not “in the mood,” then the other party is supposed to go without sex. This is like a husband asking his wife for a sandwich and the wife telling him no because she is not hungry. If a couple is sitting at a table in a restaurant, then neither partner can look at an outside party—at least, “not that way.” The requirement that one’s love interest be and remain monogamous is one of the most intolerant requirements that one person can impose on another individual. Such a call for sacrifice—or as most people would call it, “compromise”—is not only unnecessary but also cruel. Why? Because deep down, we all know that ownership of one’s physical body belongs to one alone. The “no sex outside our relationship” rule may bring a sense of security to the person imposing such a requirement. But this restriction is an attempt to control another person’s body. And not just the physical body but the emotional and energetic body as well. Romantic partners even try to control each others’ minds. Wives, for example, often tell their husbands, “You better not fantasize

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about that woman.” And this is called “love.” When the freedom to be oneself is denied, men cheat and lie; women kvetch and leave; and the children suffer. John Ince sums up the problem of one love partner requiring the other to restrict his or her sex drive to the existing relationship. In The Politics of Lust, Ince writes: Blanket opposition to all sexual variety is intolerant. It forces a partner who has a great need for some sexual variety to put an end to the existing relationship. A total ban on sexual non-exclusivity promotes serial monogamy rather than an enduring relationship. It is also conducive to cheating. When partners allow some room to engage in sexual nonexclusivity, they can negotiate healthy limits and restraints upon it [emphasis mine]. Key to the unhealthiness of much sexual nonexclusivity is the fact that it must be hidden.141 Ince lays the more serious consequence of restricting even fantasies about a person other than one’s spouse. He argues: Humans are sexual beings, and our lust often arises spontaneously. A person who must constantly shut down those feelings and repeatedly avoid all sexual stimuli beyond their spouse engages in a potent form of phobigenic [phobia-causing] conditioning and is likely to acquire phobic aversions not just to externally directed lust, but all lust …

141

Ince, The Politics of Lust, p. 144.

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Further, renouncing sexual interest in anyone other than one’s partner takes energy and discipline, and reduces the amount of sexual pleasure available.142 Ince continues, “When the pairing of arousal and shame occurs repeatedly, conditioning will produce a negative association with arousal per se.”143 Sexual inhibitions, Ince writes, follow as a result in marriages. Other negative effects happen as well. One, for example, may be more prone to snap at people. These consequences extend far beyond marital unhappiness. What is the cause of our sexual no-nos? According to Ince: Opposing our in-born erotic hedonism are powerful irrational fears about our own sexuality and that of other people [emphasis mine]. Social scientists call such fear erotophobia.144 Ince argues that the more democratic a society is, the more erotically free it is. The less democratic a milieu is, he concludes, the less sexually free it is.145 Does this mean talking about genitals in public? On the contrary, our repression of sex is what makes us obsessed with it in magazines, at cocktail parties, and at dinner gatherings. In a sexually free society, sex would be less talked about. It would be one—not the dominant—topic of conversation. However, monogamism (the ideology of monogamy) forces a mentality of scarcity on the population at large. Like male/female, white/black, straight/gay, citizen/foreigner, and right/wrong, monogamist/cheater doesn’t tolerate any shade of gray. In each of these binary systems, the first is viewed as
142 143

Ibid., p. 154. Ibid., p. 150. 144 Ibid., p. 7. 145 Ibid., pgs. 14-15.

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good, and the second is seen as bad. The first version reigns supreme and allows very little, if any, challenge.146 The law, social custom, and peer pressure force virtually everyone to conform to each of these either/or arrangements. Regarding the monogamist/cheater binary, a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) writes in Plural Loves: Our culture sets us up with a false choice: we are faithful or we are cheating. Both options are highly scripted and allow the operation of power through restrictions [emphasis mine].147 In a love dyad, the power to control another’s mind, body, and behavior is mighty because it remains hidden—and hence, unexamined and unchallenged. Having sex or an intimate relationship with a third party, even with the consent of all parties, puts one on the defensive in the larger society. This is like homosexuality always having to be explained but never heterosexuality; nonwhites being hyphenated Americans but Anglo Americans simply being “Americans”; poor people belonging to the working class or underclass but middle class people being classless; and colored people being discriminated against for their race but “white” people having no race. Like all hegemonies (e.g., heterosexism, racism, classism, patriarchy, and ageism), fear lies behind the attempt to control people. In the case of monogamy being seen as the only moral choice in a love relationship—as opposed to one of many moral choices in such a relationship—what do most of us fear? Numa Ray, a spiritual disciple, puts it as follows in Plural Loves:
146

Graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Pepper Mint makes this same argument in “The Power Dynamics of Cheating: Effects on Polyamory and Bisexuality,” Part One: Perspectives, Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, ed., Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living, (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2004), pgs. 60-61. 147 Ibid., p. 60.

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Most people choose monogamy because they are afraid to face the pain of seeing their loved one enjoying himself or herself with another, afraid of speaking the truth, afraid of being alone. People are afraid to lose what little joy they have found, so they insist on monogamy while they think that they can be secure knowing that their loved one shares love only with them.148 But Ray warns: Security is monogamy’s biggest illusion! One must always choose between an old love and a new one, because two loves are not allowed! Therefore there is actually no security in a monogamous relationship. People are always falling in love with each other, it is a gift of human nature.149 She concludes: In the polyamorous relationship that I now have with my partner, I have a feeling of security that was never possible before. We can love each other, and love someone new, and we never have to choose.150 Circumstantial monogamy differs from compulsory monogamy. Circumstantial monogamy arises because the two partners happen not to love a

148

Numa Ray, “Love Is Born from the Pulse of God’s Heart: An Insight into the Polyamorous Circle Kamala,” Part Two: Testimonials and Reports from the Field, Serena, ed., Plural Loves, p. 136. 149 Ibid. 150 Ibid., pgs. 136-137.

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third party during a given slice of time. Circumstantial monogamy, however, is flexible to becoming polyamorous should a third party enter the scene. Compulsory monogamy, by contrast, is a facet of human selfishness. It is more about you and I being the only one who is loved romantically and sexually and less about the freedom of the beloved to love several other people romantically and express that love erotically.

Above Possessiveness

In an episode of Alf, Randy Boylan (Mark Clayman) asks Lynn Tanner (Andrea Elson) to accompany him to their school dance. Lynn accepts the invitation from the guy, whom she has been tutoring, because Danny (Ricky Paull Goldin) cannot attend the dance. Danny believes that he—Danny—and Lynn are going steady. Having convinced his father to let him go to the dance, Danny hurries over to tell Lynn. It is too late. At Lynn’s house, Randy and Danny prepare to box over who is to take Lynn to the dance. Lynn gets in the middle. The scene unfolds as follows: Danny: This guy [Randy] is moving in on my territory. Lynn: Your territory? What do I look like, the Louisiana Purchase?151 Danny reifies the troubadour mindset of romantic love—supported by a little machismo. Lynn, on the other hand, personifies the polyamoric (many
151

This scene is from the episode of Alf titled, “Torn Between Two Lovers.” The episode originally aired on NBC on March 6, 1989 (Season 3, episode 20).

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love) view of romantic love. She likes Randy platonically but doesn’t let that “lesser love” keep her from going out with him. Lynn escorts Danny to her parent’s front porch, while Randy waits in the house for her. The porch scene progresses as follows: Lynn: Danny. You raced back here assuming I’d be sitting around waiting for you. Well, I wasn’t. Danny: We have been dating. Lynn: Exactly! We’ve been dating—no more, no less. Danny: You’re not saying that you wanna stop seeing me. Lynn: Not at all! Are you saying you want to stop seeing me? Danny: No!152 At the front porch, Lynn and Danny agree to get “more serious.” The scene concludes: Danny: So does this mean that you won’t go to the dance with Randy? Lynn: No. He’s my friend. He asked me, and I accepted. Danny: [disappointed] Yeah. I guess that’s o.k.
152

Ibid.

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Lynn: [smiling sarcastically] Thank you for your permission.153 A new paradigm has emerged in relation to romantic love. Whereas the old paradigm was of two halves coming together to form a whole, the new paradigm is about two or more wholes coming together to grow in their completeness. One of the two or more individuals may not have expanded that completeness, much as an apprentice has yet to develop his or her inborn talent through a master. But the talent is already inside, ready for the sun, soil, and water that it needs to flourish. In a marriage of the new paradigm, no longer is the husband supposed to be the breadwinner (the first half of the equation) and the wife the homemaker (the second half). Rather, the husband and wife can cook (both are whole here); the husband and wife can work outside the home (both are whole here); and the husband and wife can raise the kids (both are whole here). If the wife likes being a housewife, that is acceptable to the husband. If a wife detests being a housewife, that is equally acceptable to the husband. The key is that men and women are free to be themselves, instead of being required—as by feminism or by traditional masculinity—to be this or that. In a marriage of the new paradigm, none of the partners have to give up their human individuality or sense of spiritual Self. The old paradigm saw faults in others. The new paradigm sees wounds. The old paradigm viewed marriage as a matter of physical survival. The new paradigm views marriage as an accord of Spirits/souls wanting to grow together. The old paradigm saw marriage as closed. The new paradigm sees marriage as open or closed, depending on the desires, needs, and choices of the involved partners. The old paradigm saw marriage as “till death do us part.”
153

Ibid.

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The new paradigm sees marriage as good until the relationship or relationships have outlived their spiritual usefulness. In other words, human relationships are cosmic assignments. When the missions of the involved spirits are complete, the respective relationships end. The “many love” wing of the new paradigm of marriage is called polyamory (see Part I, Chapter 4, section titled, “Polyamory”). While romantic commitment to one person is acceptable, polyamorists propose, so is a love commitment to more than one person. If a woman falls in love with two men, for example, she can commit to both. The men, in turn, can commit together to the woman. No longer is the woman required to “choose,” and no longer are the men supposed to compete for the woman. This new paradigm of marriage is about the men tolerating each other, at the very least. (There is also the monogamous form of the new paradigm of marriage, discussed above.) Even if the men don’t like each other, trans-instinctual men who are poly respect each other enough to share the woman. If the men like or love each other, then the woman allows them to enjoy their sexuality together, with and without her. In such relationships, everyone is free to be themselves. If the actions of one hurt another, then the “victim” evaluates his or her role in being victimized, instead of blaming the other. The person who “caused” the hurt reviews, in turn, his or her role in causing pain to the other. Everyone takes responsibility for his or her thoughts and actions. Undoubtedly, open relationships challenge our romantic idealism at its core. Possessiveness—one of the hallmarks of romantic love—goes out the window. So does the idea of one person meeting another’s every need. While monogamy works for many people, so does nonmonogamy. The key word is honesty, and more important, feeling safe to be honest with one’s partner about one’s desires. Such desires could be for a second romantic commitment or for

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the fulfillment of a sexual fantasy. Trans-instinctual humans never pressure anyone into anything. But they claim the freedom to communicate with their partners—or with prospective partners—without fear of censure. If the answer is yes, terrific. If the answer is no, grand. Trans-instinctual humans indulge their better human and spiritual instincts, instincts like to freely express Love. At the same time, they are detached enough from those instincts to accept nos, examine other options, and make new choices that sustain who they are.

Unmet Needs

In the movie Confusion of Genders (French; 2000), the young Christophe (Cyrille Thouvenin) is always throwing himself upon the much older Alain Bauman (Pascal Greggory). Every time the two meet in private, Christophe undoes their shirts and pants, kisses Alain hungrily, and drags the reluctant elder to bed. One can literally see the youth sucking the energy out of the fiftysomething Alain. And it is not just sexual lust that the aimless Christophe has toward Alain, the lawyer, but romantic desire as well, for Christophe pines to move in with Alain. Perhaps more than any other movie, this French film depicts romantic love—and sexual lust—as a type of vampirism. This flick shows the following: 1) Sexual desire is a thirst for a person’s flesh 2) Romantic love is a hunger for a person’s emotions

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Spiritual masters seek to get rid of their desires—and keep them at bay once this has been accomplished. Why? Because desire is about wanting, rather than about experiencing and sharing one’s wholeness (holiness). Being struck by Cupid’s Arrow is like having one’s neck bitten by a vampire. Instead of becoming thirsty for blood, a person in love becomes sexually parched for the beloved’s physique and romantically starved for the beloved’s energy. Because every individual vibrates at a unique frequency of energy, only the “beloved” can satisfy the sexual thirst and emotional famishment of the one in “love.” Kissing, sucking on, or even sniffing a beloved is like drinking joy. This is alright if the one on the receiving end has energy to spare. The danger, however, is that the drinker may not be able to stop himself or herself. Why? Not only because he or she is drinking sunlight but also, because addictions like to another person’s energy can never be fully satisfied. This is why people in love say, “I can’t get enough of you,” or “I am addicted to you.” But the more you feed from the energy vortex, the more the energy vortex feeds off you. Said another way, the more you feed, the hungrier you get. In the spirit realm, one can feed nonstop in this manner. But not on the physical plane, for one could die physically from an overload of energy or dangerously drain another human being. This would create massive negative karma for the victimizer. One is also feeding off the joy and pain of the other person—although the pain will taste heavenly at first. If the other person has an intense “pain body,” then one takes on that pain.154 In a mutual feeding frenzy, the victim is also sucking the energies of the victimizer. Each is selling pieces of his and her spirit to the other. This is called “stealing another’s heart,” or “prostituting yourself” (psychically) to the beloved for “love.” Like neutron stars in a binary star system—or multiple star system if several partners are involved—each party orbits the other because of
154

The phrase “pain body” comes from Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, (New York: Penguin Group, 2005).

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their mutual gravitational attraction. Each partner seeks things from the other partner, instead of seeking things in God. This is much as energy vampires draw energies from others, instead of drawing most of their energies from the heavens. This style of feeding oneself is what romantic love and erotic desire are like when lower instincts, as opposed to higher instincts, are allowed to take over. Until most humans become trans-instinctual regarding romantic love— such as loving unconditionally—most intimate relationships will continue to end in tragedy. Why? Because most people, being un(L)oving, won’t give the Love that we crave from them. Only mothers give unconditionally, and even this kind of love has limits because humans are imperfect. As Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, “The incarnation of a soul is a massive reduction of the power of the soul [emphasis mine] to a scale that is appropriate to a physical form.”155 Point up your index finger. Look at it. Let’s call him Joe or her Mary— depending on your sex. The forefinger is your human body and your spirit with a small s. The boy or girl to whom the finger belongs is your Spirit. Other boys and girls are other Spirits. Some Spirits are part of your soul (soul group). Other Spirits are part of other soul groups. An instinctual person, however, will expect the infinite Love of God from a mere mortal. Obversely, a trans-instinctual person knows the futility of such an expectation. This is not to say that we cannot get some love from a beloved. But more than any other type of earth love, romantic love will have catches— unless the people in love rise above romantic love. On PBS’s Mystery of the Senses, Diane Ackerman narrates how, in the Middle East, a man mines “twisted trees and tortured bushes” for frankincense and myrrh. The desert trees and shrubs can “be bled to death,” though.156
155 156

Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989), p. 35. Nova Mini-Series: Mystery of the Senses—“Smell” aired on PBS on February 20, 1995. Diane Ackerman was the host of this five-part series, which was based on Ackerman’s book A Natural History of the Senses.

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Ackerman narrates, “Musallim’s art is to know just how much to extract without killing them [emphasis mine].”157 Just like he chips the bark for the milky tears, an aura gets ripped whenever someone feeds off it. Energy vampires—that is to say, anyone who is itching with erotic love for someone—could heed this lesson. If Love is about giving and letting be, should we set aside our needs and abandon any hope of fulfillment from getting? Is it possible to want or even need something from someone—such as affection—and yet, love that person enough to let him or her refuse one’s request? Can we have unmet human and even spiritual needs and remain at peace? To comprehend the answer, we must first realize that even Jesus had human needs. He didn’t drop them. Instead, Jesus dealt with them. Like our biological senses, our human needs won’t disappear, for biological evolution has established needs as a major part of the human condition. Unmet needs itch like poison ivy, of course, even if one acknowledges them. I, for example, have grown up on a planet where 90 to 95 percent of males are neither sexually nor romantically attracted to me. Why not? Because the world programs 90 to 95 percent of the populace to be strictly heterosexual. Bonobos (pygmy chimps) are bisexual—100 percent of them—and they are the one species most closely related to us. Humans, I have concluded, must not be too far from that brand of sexuality. Nevertheless, I have had to accept that at this juncture of human history, I live on a planet that has encouraged the homosexual side of its bisexuality to atrophy to the point that half of the population is unable to respond to me “that way.” I have been forced to set aside my sexual thirst and romantic hunger. The emptiness never disappeared, of course. But it made me understand the thirst and hunger of others. I became willing to feed people in areas where I had milk, bread, and butter and they did not.
157

Ibid.

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To be attractive is to be powerful as a U-magnet. To be attracted to someone is to be powerless as a nearby pin. When falling (notice we don’t say “rising”) in love, trans-instinctual humans concede that they are really falling under a spell of romantic need. This is, after all, the very essence of romantic love—one person has it together (is balanced) in one area of life and another person (who is out of balance in that area) is therefore attracted to the first individual. It is much as an apprentice of carpentry needs to be around a mason. This is how the apprentice catches on. But unlike the traditional notion of one master/one apprentice, the romantic setup is usually one where both, or more, partners are all masters and apprentices to each other in different areas. Consequently, “I want you” and “I need you” are not problematic for transinstinctual people to say if that is their truth. The issue is: What do transinstinctual humans do with their needs? Do they demand that a sole individual balance for them every area of imbalance? Or do trans-instinctual people put their needs on the table—without demanding love—and allow people willing and able to feed them do so? Do trans-instinctual humans learn from their needs about the thirst and hunger of others? Do they provide psychic energy for others in areas where they are abundant? Do they see the healing of unmet biological, psychological, emotional, and social needs as a major purpose of human relationships? Or do trans-instinctual people pretend that they are “spiritual enough” to rise above their human needs? Trans-instinctual people realize that human needs and instincts are part of being human. Such people extend the ladle to others’ mouths so that others can sip some soup. Trans-instinctual humans try to fill their bellies alone, and only if the do-it-yourself approach fails do they put their needs on the table. Unbelievable as it sounds, puppies are more advanced than most of us in this matter. If a puppy is hungry and the can of dog food is on the granite counter,

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he barks at his master. If a dog is lonely, he jumps onto the sofa and places his head on his owner’s lap. Lower animals don’t pretend. What they can get, lower animals get through the hunt. What they can’t catch, lower animals ask for. This doesn’t mean that we should advertise our needs to strangers. On the contrary, wise is to choose carefully whom one is being honest to about one’s issues. As many of us have learned, others can use our shared information against us. Or someone may rudely decline one’s opening up to him or her. One assistant car mechanic, for example, turned on a loud fan as I introduced myself to him in the waiting room. These are the risks of getting emotionally naked. A paradox emerges. On the one hand, we should never come from need in our interactions with others. On the other hand, there is the saying that only one thing separates heaven from hell. In hell, denizens try to feed themselves alone. The problem is that the wooden ladles are so long that one couldn’t possibly bring any of them to one’s mouth. Screams of starvation are thus heard in hell because there, everyone tries to end his or her hunger without the help of others. As the Spanish saying goes, “sálvese quién puéda” (“save yourself if you can”). In heaven, by contrast, people extend each wooden ladle toward the person sitting across at the table. Soup gets sipped this way, and nobody starves. Though changing, this world is still stuck in the first version. Humans are starving to death, yet are paying brutally for advertising their needs to others. Those who admit to being parched or famished find everyone running away from them because others have their own problems. Scaring off people with one’s neediness is all too easy. Many humans are learning that one person will never satisfy all the sexual and romantic needs of another person. Hence, more people are expanding their circle of intimate relationships—beyond two—so that everyone has a better chance of itching less. Human wounds are more numerous, after all, than the

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spots on a Dalmatian, and human needs are the jalopies that bump us toward the healing center at the end of the muddy road. If in a monogamous relationship, partners are working to be less jealous. If partners have resolved issues related to their jealousy—low self-esteem, faulty thinking, and possessiveness—some will experiment with open relationships. Those who enter extended marriage (between three or more people) then have not one spouse but two or more spice. In brief, we are addressing our biological, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, taking responsibility for the alleviation of our emptiness, and making sure not to hurt others or impose too much on them. The balance is very delicate. But in overcoming destructive human impulses like jealousy and possessiveness, we are becoming trans-instinctual.

From Here to There

The other night, something caught my eyes. I was at a stoplight. In front of my red sedan was a dark-blue SUV. Inside the SUV, a DVD screen was glowing like a square eye. The screen was facing the back seats, and the dark made the square of light more intense. Amazing how postmodern civilization presents us with so many goodies and yet, limits our social choices. On the one hand, Western culture has produced beepers, cell phones, computers, email, cyberspace, and DVD screens inside SUVs. On the other hand, Western culture has still to create social diversity. This is not to be confused with racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, which exist as aspects of a diverse social order. But tune in to the Delilah show on the radio, for instance, and what do you hear? Callers talking about “the one” and about wanting to spend “eternity” with Mr. or Ms.

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Right. This, of course, can be beautiful. The problem is that for all of its technological advancements, postmodern society has yet to allow options for human relationships that go beyond a single model. As this planet currently stands, many kinds of love are either illegal or frowned upon. So is their erotic expression. The list of romantic and sexual no-nos goes as follows: 1) No loving romantically or having sex with someone of a different religion (religious prejudice). This taboo is still alive in many parts of the world. 2) No loving romantically or having sex with someone even remotely related to you (exogamy). This includes roommates, who are seen as “family.” 3) No having sex with friends nor with anyone you are not romantically in love with (romanticism) 4) No loving romantically or having sex with someone of a different class (classism) 5) No loving romantically or having sex with someone of a different race (racism and racialism). This was the norm until the 1960s and continues in a few parts of the globe. 6) No loving romantically or having sex with someone of a different generation (ageism)

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7) No loving romantically or having sex with someone of the same sex (heterosexism) 8) No loving romantically or having sex with more than one person at a time (monogamism) No wonder love and Love are so scarce in this world. Intimate relationships, however, need not be confined to popular prejudices. Furthermore, sex need not be limited to romantic love for the sex to be legitimate. What about a woman walking hand-in-hand with two men down the street? What about the men loving the woman romantically and each other platonically? What about sex being alright in both of these contexts? In the 21st century, living like this takes courage, to say the least. Courage, in turn, entails risks. As a graduate from MIT writes in Plural Loves: Child custody laws and fault-based divorce are two legal avenues through which nonmonogamy of any sort can be punished. In the case of divorce, it is possible to lose child custody or monetary awards through sleeping around. Even outside of divorce, unfit parent laws can be used to remove a child from the home of a polyamorist … Any form of poly visibility will generally be followed by similar legal attacks. A lack of discrimination laws is another concern. Right now it is legal to discriminate based on sexual or relationship behavior in most states. Coming out as poly can result in the loss of a job or housing, with no recourse.

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Changing this legal situation should be a priority of the polyamorous movement. However, the current laws are based on the assumptions of the monogamy/cheating system [emphasis mine], and those assumptions must be altered before the laws can be changed.158 According to Power vs. Force, courage is the first breakthrough point to higher consciousness.159 Moreover, higher truth tells me that romantic commitment need not be restricted to one person, just like love for one’s children could never be confined to one child over another. Yet, for the 500+ channels and myriad radio stations out there, I have still to catch a program that presents alternative models of love and sex. Endless work is hailed as necessary for human survival. But more time—let alone, more choices—for fun are deemed “impractical” and “utopian.” Trans-instinctual humans are nonetheless bypassing the official channels of postmodern civilization. Romantic love spellbinds us not only because of the intense feelings that it generates, but also, because we have had so little of it. How many hours a day, for example, do you spend with your spouse? Within those hours, how many minutes do you spend expressing love for him or her? If postmodern society moves toward freer loving, then jealousy and possessiveness would diminish just because practically nobody would fear a scarcity of love and Love. Then, more of us will be ready to practice unconditional Love. Self and family would still come first. Friends, community, and the globe would be close seconds, however, not distant fourths.

158

Mint, “The Power Dynamics of Cheating: Effects on Polyamory and Bisexuality,” Serena, ed., Plural Loves, p. 66. 159 Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 84.

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Many people argue that planet Earth (a type of underworld) doesn’t leave much room for hope. But hope doesn’t depend on externals. In addition, this earth is but one of an infinite number of earths. If we get it “wrong” this time, then we will have endless opportunities to get it “right” next time around—once we learn what is truly important in life. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) tells his crew in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “And this time, let’s get it right.”160 Our definition of right will change, of course, as we evolve to higher states of spiritual consciousness. Humans lower on the evolutionary scale of consciousness define right in terms of might. Often, such people have worldly power. Legislators are an example. With their constitutional power, 535 members of Congress—536 with the president’s signature—pass laws that affect 306 million Americans. The elite worldview then becomes the standard by which everybody must think and act. Anyone who deviates from the yardstick is engaging in something “illegal,” “dangerous,” “illegitimate,” and “harmful.” European troubadours, for instance, developed a view of “true love” in the 11th to 13th centuries. These poet-musicians in knight armors didn’t invent romantic love, of course, for anthropologist Helen Fisher shows that there is a biology to this kind of love. As Fisher argues in Anatomy of Love, romantic love has been observed throughout the world since ancient times, although arranged marriages were traditionally endorsed instead of marriages based on love.161 Also, mandatory monogamy has existed in “only 16% of cultures on record,” John Ince writes in The Politics of Lust.162 Still, most of us Westerners continue to allow the long-gone troubadours to influence our romantic ideals. To 90 percent of the populace, “true love” isn’t genuine unless it involves one man and one woman—
160

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Clues.” This episode originally aired in syndication on February 11, 1991 (Season 4, episode 14). 161 See Fisher, Anatomy of Love. 162 Ince, The Politics of Lust, p. 140.

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and for those who are socially progressive, two people of whatever sex. The very term soul mate, as opposed to soul mates, reflects this bias. If a woman loves two men, then she needs to “choose” because “she can’t possibly commit to both.” If a guy has two girlfriends, then he must be “devious,” and the girls “couldn’t possibly respect themselves.” Child and adolescent crushes, in turn, are dismissed as “puppy love.” Such dismissals bring monogamism and ageism—the postmodern equivalents of racism—into 21st century notions of romantic love. This is the same as Caucasian men in the 19th century South believing that “white” women were incapable of erotic feeling. In the American South, this worldview proved disastrous. It led to the lynching of thousands of African American men who, though mostly innocent, were accused of making sexual passes at Caucasian women. Like during the Salem Witch trials, monsters were created out of thin air by a milieu obsessed with protecting a certain class of people. How postmoderns feel about an adult having sex with a child is the same way that Caucasian men in the South felt about a “Negro” man having sex with a Caucasian woman. Be it the psychic purity of children or the racial purity of “white” women, purity had to be protected. The post-1980 rage of the media, parents, the police, mobs, and lawmakers over child sexual abuse is the same rage that led “white” Southern men to lynch blacks in the South. All that has changed is the object of purity. Ageism and racism are different facets of the same golf ball. Mores about who is permitted to love whom in what way, and who isn’t, have changed somewhat. Nowadays, interracial romance is not only allowed but promoted. But the couple paradigm is still hegemonic. It keeps most polyamorous people from loving openly and from their hearts, rather than from

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what society dictates. The rise in divorce and cheating hasn’t caused a critical mass of us to reexamine the single-model paradigm of romantic love. Beings at higher levels of spirituality define right differently. As far as their thoughts and actions, trans-instinctual beings view everything as right, including alternative ways of loving. This is so long as those things don’t intentionally cause harm. As far as the thoughts and behavior of others, transinstinctual humans see as right anything that others do out of their free will, even if trans-instinctual people disagree with those things. This is because notions of right and wrong are opinions. Only to protect the most vulnerable citizens do trans-instinctual humans interfere with other people’s notions of right and wrong. Trans-instinctual people simply co-create societies where more options exist for more people. In such places, humans don’t have to act according to social roles. Instead, people interact as individuals. Sacrifice is rarely called for in such environs because, beyond basic rules for social order, trans-instinctual humans live and let live. In the short to medium-term, polys may want to settle in one region of their respective countries. This would give polys the power to: 1) Bring a sizeable enough population together to make alternative entertainment—in theater performances, films, and radio/TV shows— commercially viable in a given region of the country. 2) Create a major poly center—and their branches—where information and workshops on alternative love styles become available.

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3) Influence local school boards in their region so that social conservatives cannot censor the school curriculum. There would be, for example, no abstinence-only sex education. 4) Lobby to make alternative love styles legal in their state or province. 5) Have laws in such regions—spousal benefits of employment, divorce laws, privileges of inheritance, and child custody legislation—that reflect alternative love styles. 6) Live openly without fear of: a) Being arrested b) Having police haul away one’s children c) Having neighbors frown at how one chooses to live Such political power would help to keep the state off the backs of poly people. Much as yuppies have settled in Vermont (see 1987 film Baby Boom), polyamorists of all sexual and romantic persuasions can relocate to an agreed upon location. This would create a geography of polyamory, as opposed to the present lack of social space that polys have. An American state bordering Canada would be an ideal place, for such a location would make more feasible a cross-national coalition with polys in Canada. A binational, or even just national, movement for such a move could create a series of poly planned communities at the state, provincial, and even regional levels. At first glance, this may seem divisive. But the alternative is to remain scattered minorities with no power to build communities based on polyamorous trans-instinctualness.

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The next chapter explores the evolution of marriage from ancient times to postmodern times.

Exercises

1) Have you fallen in love with someone most people would call a jerk? If yes, did you consciously choose to face the unpleasant side or sides of the individual? Or did you ignore the flaw/wound, only to have it explode on your face? How, if at all, did you reconcile your irrational heart (“I’m in love”) with your rational brain (“it is wise to let him go”)? 2) When and if you have fallen in love, have you been able to pinpoint the part(s) of your personality that is, or was, romantically attracted to that somebody? Was that part, for example, the child in you? Which aspect(s) of the child? What kind of “food” is that part hungry or starving for? How long has it been wanting? Can you identify the source—such as parental abandonment—that gave rise to that hunger?

3) If you are starving emotionally in a romantic relationship, how can you alleviate that hunger in order to love unconditionally? Does having a romantic fantasy about that person or people—away from you at present— help? What emotions, for example, can you draw in from a person during a

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romantic fantasy? Do you give something back in the fantasy? If yes, how? What effects have your romantic fantasies brought you? 4) Do you see monogamy as the only way to be moral—or ethical—in a romantic relationship? Why or why not? 5) If you have met people in a poly relationship or single polyamorists, how have you treated them? What emotions and thoughts did you experience? Have you ever been attracted romantically to such a person or people? If yes, how did—or do—you feel about hooking up with such an individual or individuals? Were you or are you willing to discuss your thoughts and feelings with that person or people? What agreements, if any, can be made to satisfy all parties? 6) If you are or have been “in love,” have you experienced jealousy? If yes, do you see yourself as responsible for this emotion? What part(s) of your personality might be causing it? How does your physical body feel when jealousy arises in you? How do you cope with that feeling? Do you, for example, tell your partner about your jealousy, or do you yell it? Do you act out your jealousy in concealed ways? In the now? Hours later? What are the results of your actions?

Ritual

If you feel that you have taken too much energy from someone—such as during lovemaking—then you may want to perform a ritual. Pick a quiet and secure place in your home. Make sure you are freshly bathed and wearing clean clothes. Then, get two three-wicker candles of a light hue. After sundown, light the three wickers in each candle. Let them burn for three hours. At the end of that time, blow the three lights of the first candle back to the person. Inhale the scent of the second candle a few times. Inhale as consciously as you can. Feel your “diamonds” coming back to

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you. Last, blow the three lights of the second candle back into you. You may want to close your eyes to help you visualize this.

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5 The Evolution of Marriage Although marriage per se is not a human instinct, one of our tendencies is to want to solidify certain relationships. Historically, security has been the driver of marriage. From ancient times to the Renaissance, marriages were arranged just about everywhere in the world. Young ladies and sometimes even girls were given away as brides, for virginity was more valuable than gold. Dowries went from the bride to the groom, and the involved families benefited from the marriage. Romantic love had nothing to do with such arrangements, as the greater good outweighed the happiness of the individual. Marriage evolved, in turn, from the need for physical survival (ancient times) to the need for social survival (postmodern times). Only in the last 35 years has marriage begun to rise above human survival. How has marriage changed in postmodern times? Where is this institution heading?

Marriage for Physical Survival

In ancient times, humans were scattered islands on an ocean of forests, grasslands, and deserts. At the time of Christ, some 250 million people roamed the earth, and humanity stayed below 1 billion until the mid-1800s. Surrounded by wild animals, fluctuating climate, and unpredictable natural events, humans banded into isolated tribes. To survive biologically, groups formed alliances

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across great distances. Resources were traded, commerce started, and civilization began. Marriage was the chief means to solidify alliances with outsiders, and the context of marriage was of females being commodities for trade. Patriarchs owned their wives and daughters, and upon marriage, daughters became the property of their husbands. Nowadays, remnants of this gender slavery continue. More often than not, for instance, fathers go berserk if their daughters have sex “too young.” Big brothers are also overprotective of their sisters. Such behavior is a relic from a time when females had to remain “pure” and “protected” to be valuable as property.

Marriage for Social Survival

Before the 20th century, Westerners married in their teens. As late as 1950, the average age of first marriage was 18 for American women and 22 for American men.163 In the Western world, the average age of first marriage rose in second half of the 20th century. In the early 21st century, American men are marrying around age 28 and American women around age 25. Babies enter the scene soon after. If marriage is done for social survival—such as to fit into social circles—then there may be a link between “heterosexual conformity” and the fact that the average age of first marriage in the West continues to be in the prime of life. This time is when hormones are pushing and pulling youth in sexually fluid directions. A standard closed marriage—and by standard, I mean heterosexual

163

See Wini Breines, Young, White, and Miserable: Growing Up Female in the Fifties, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992), p. 50.

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marriage—is the best way to close all avenues that lead youth away from heterosexuality. How equipped are young people to raise their children? Conversations with God says that in “highly evolved cultures” of this universe, youth aren’t required to raise their offspring. Why not? Because people in their 20s and 30s haven’t yet learned lessons that are crucial for being good parents. Only after age 50, Book 3 of the trilogy says, do most people become wise enough to be effective parents. Therefore, “highly evolved cultures” arrange their societies so that young people have babies during their fertile years without having to worry about raising a family before they are ready. Elders handle that. When youth grays, Book 3 implies, it takes over the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.164 On this planet, by comparison, youth are required to raise their offspring. In the postindustrial West (1960-present), raising kids necessitates two breadwinners. With the cost of living rising year by year, child rearing may soon require more than two parents. Also, Western women are pursuing careers denied them until the 20th century. Not until after age 35, though, do people become firmly established in their professions, and in today’s global economy, security is no longer guaranteed. Many women are thus delaying childbirth until their mid-30s. The human body has a timetable of its own, however. Thirty-five is the maximum age at which females can bear young without any complications. Hence, many women are having kids in their 20s and are finding themselves giving up the pleasures of young adulthood too soon. Obversely, women who delay pregnancies until their mid-30s may find their ability to have a family compromised. Tempting is to conclude that many women are becoming trans-instinctual in resisting the drive of the human body to reproduce. But
164

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, pgs. 28-38 and 300-301.

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because this instinct is partly adaptive—if overpopulation is kept under control —delayed pregnancies is partly maladaptive. Medical science has found, for example, that even if a woman gives birth to a healthy baby while in her 30s, that baby is more likely to have a shorter life than a baby born to a woman in her 20s. If one’s 20s and 30s is the time to have fun, then why do so many people continue to marry and have children during this period of life? The answer is: social survival. Many of us marry in our 20s and 30s because postmodern society expects us to. Those who delay marriage until, say, their early 40s will find themselves having to explain their singlehood to their parents, friends, and colleagues. Friendships may be compromised if one is the only single person at social gatherings. Mentioned in Part II, Chapter 4 (section titled, “That Aching Need”), my mother was single through most of her life. A female neighbor in Puerto Rico feared that my mother would steal her husband, even though that was the furthest thing from my mother’s mind. By the same token, men fear the “stealing” of their girlfriends and wives in a society that enforces monogamy as the only choice. But our time of youth is too soon to get suffocated by another’s possessiveness. Perhaps, this is why a 21-year-old would-be groom from Uruguay was, in his words, getting ready to “tirarse la soga” (“throw himself the rope”). He, of course, was joking. But there was some truth in his view of what tying the knot means. I felt sorry for all the pleasures of youth he would be relinquishing in order to enter a standard closed marriage. People continue to marry for physical survival. But for unprecedented numbers of women in the postindustrial world, marriage alone is no longer the only means for that. Nowadays, a career allows a woman to become financially independent outside of marriage. This is one reason why fertility has declined in much of the First World. In addition, more Western women are having kids out of wedlock. If Westerners marry, it is more for social survival, as in being

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accepted in social circles. Even here, the survival paradigm is, in the First World, slowly giving way to the idea of marriage as a spiritual partnership.

Marriage as Spiritual Partnership

The new paradigm of marriage strikes a balance between the need to have fun during youth, biological timetables, and the existing social order. The idea of marriage as a spiritual partnership has parents, children, and grandparents living together—or nearby—to keep a household running efficiently and more in the spirit of human contact. For better or worse, most elders resent the notion of having to raise their grandchildren. The attitude of most senior citizens is that after a “lifetime” of labor (death time), they deserve time off for golfing, gardening, playing bingo, and occasionally, doing stuff with the grandchildren. Power struggles between grandparents and their adult offspring—such as over how to raise the children— also keep parents and grandparents living separately. In an episode of Step by Step, for example, Frank Lambert’s mother (June Lockhart) and his wife (Suzanne Somers) quarrel over which solid foods to introduce the baby to, which fabric softener to use, and how to burp the baby.165 The result of such power struggles is that, more often than not, grandparents live in faraway cities and states. Their adult children often have to make do with the following scenario: 1) The mother works at night
165

Step by Step, “Torn Between Two Mothers.” This episode originally aired on ABC on January 26, 1996 (Season 5, episode 14).

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2) The father and kids go to sleep 3) Mom comes home from work in the morning 4) Dad goes to work 5) The mother has to baby-sit the kids, who are now awake I got to know a mother in this situation. Her parents lived in another state, and she got an average of three hours of sleep a day. This mom and wife was the classic double-shift woman. If humanity is to evolve, however, something has got to give. As Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) says in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), “If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.” Retirees could play a larger role in helping their adult offspring raise their kids. This would end the shortage of time and energy that parents suffer from. It would help to expand the nuclear family into extended families, and it would get elders away from their current isolation. As I once read, grandchildren and grandparents make the best of allies because they have a common enemy. (The passage was written in jest.) Needless to say, grandparents have much knowledge and time to share with their grandkids. Most of us, however, continue with the mindset of the couple—and thus, the nuclear family—as the only viable option. Responsible monogamy is fine, of course. But so is responsible nonmonogamy. Moreover, romantic love need not be the only paradigm for alternative families. Platonic love between two men, for example, can coexist with their romantic love for the same woman. Furthermore, sex need not be confined to romantic love. Gay sex, for instance, can cement homosocial bonds between males. The presence of platonic love, or plain liking, is often enough to take a friendship to a deeper level. Although the

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fusing of sex and friendship may not work for females, it works for most males. This is because, unlike most females, males can easily separate sex from romance. With most men being heteroromantic (straight in the romantic sense), they will continue to fall in love with women. But male homoplatonic tendencies (e.g., male bonding) means that men will continue to fall in liking with men, while their biSEXual potential will open up sexual possibilities beyond strictly heteroromantic (straight) sex. The evolution of marriage from survival (of the tribe) to spiritual partnership (between parents, children, and grandparents) will require two major things. First, we will have to stop denying human nature, and a major ingredient of this nature is our desire to love freely. Locking grandparents in nursing homes and/or parents and grandparents living away from each other does not reflect our innately loving nature. Second, we will have to discern between destructive instincts (e.g., the selfishness of grandparents who refuse to help—in exchange for free room and board—their adult children) and constructive instincts (e.g., the generosity of grandparents who choose to help— in exchange for free room and board—their adult children). In just making such distinctions, more of us are become trans-instinctual. The next chapter inspects the various human pyramids and the pitfalls of our hierarchical tendency.

Exercises

1) What do you think is the purpose of marriage? What do you feel should be the purpose of marriage?

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2) In your view, is there only one type of legitimate marriage? Or many legitimate types? Elaborate on paper or speak into a tape recorder. How did you come to your view of marriage?

3) At what age, if any, did you first marry? Why did you tie the knot? Have you regretted it? If yes, why? If you don’t regret your decision, why not?

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6 Hierarchy Throughout human history—or should I say, inhuman history—elites have decided who gets the things of this world. These things can be material resources; access to information, services, and jobs; or tickets into prominent positions of society. At some junctures of human history, certain groups challenge the hierarchies of the day. Southern evangelicals, for instance, disparaged the hierarchy of the Anglican Church in America during the Great Awakening of the 1700s. Such questioning helped to popularize ideas of equality in the so-called 13 colonies—so-called because Great Britain acquired more colonies in Canada after the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Southern evangelicals also reprehended the Anglican Church for being the state religion of Virginia. This brought to public consciousness the desirability of separation of church and state. Hence, the First Great Awakening (1730-1750) was a forerunner to the American Revolution (1775-1783). More often than not, however, the multitude internalizes elite values, while dissenters are forced to the fringes of society. Different hierarchies have existed throughout the human past and present. Most of us are familiar with the racial pyramid of scientific racism, shown below.

Caucasians/“the white man”

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Asians/“the Mongoloids” Noble Savages/“the red man” Africans/“the black race”

As for religions, every one claims to be “the true religion.” This is known as churchianity. A well-known church hierarchy is:

Pope Archbishops Bishops Priests Brothers/Sisters Congregation As for children, many adults continue to believe that kids “should be seen and not heard.” Thus, children are part of a broader gender hierarchy that, historically, has looked as follows:

Men Women Boys

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Girls

More or less like the “erotic pyramid”166 of Gayle Rubin, the anthropologist, the sexual and romantic pyramid has held up according to:

Man-Woman couples (married with children—or expecting) Man-Woman couples (unmarried but monogamous) Straight, single people Same-sex couples Promiscuous straights Promiscuous gays Bis Transgendered people Extreme Sexual Deviants
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The class hierarchy goes something like:

Aristocracy Upper Middle Class Lower Middle Class Working Class
166

Gayle S. Rubin’s “erotic pyramid” is more comprehensive than the condensed version in this chapter. Rubin’s pyramid is in her essay, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” The essay appears in Abelove, ed., The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, pgs. 3-44. 167 This pyramid is based on Gayle Rubin’s description and graphs on pgs. 11-14.

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Underclass

Hierarchy, social mobility, and ideology go hand in hand. Regarding sex, The New Britannica Macropaedia argues: Actually, the most sexually liberal are those at the very bottom, who have nothing to lose, and those at the very top, who are beyond social retribution. The great middle class remains the bastion of traditionalism, and it is here that the double standard of morality is most prominent. The intellectualized liberalism of the upper level seeps down only slowly, and the pragmatic egalitarianism of the lower level does not penetrate far upward.168 There are exceptions, of course. Historically on the higher rungs, for example, men tend to be more sexually liberal than women. But in general, the higher one goes in the social pyramid, the more socially conservative members become. For instance, elders (typically on the upper rungs) tend to be more socially conservative than youth (generally on the lower rungs). Editors tend to be more socially conservative than writers. Regional managers tend to be more socially conservative than local supervisors. The key word is tend. Hierarchy thus shows the ideological limits placed on those of us who seek to become upwardly

168

Mark F. Schwartz, Keith Dorwick, and editors, “Sex and Sexuality,” Social and Cultural Aspects, Class Distinctions, p. 248. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica Macropaedia, Knowledge in Depth, 15th Edition (2003) Vol. 27: 233-252.

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mobile. This has serious implications for a planet trying to become socially, culturally, economically, and politically progressive. Which groups of people are being excluded by those at the top? How exactly does dominance lead to the exclusion of nonmembers? How can our hierarchical instinct be de-emphasized by those of us seeking to become transinstinctual? The following sections examine these questions.

The Flipping of Pyramids

Even social liberation movements fall prey to hierarchy. If human history is any guide, then revolutionaries are replaced by counterrevolutionaries. For example, the American Revolution started with the promise of equality for all citizens, defined then as all Caucasian men. According to Noam Chomsky, the social critic, the colonial revolt was soon overrun by “white” men who believed that the people who owned the country—namely, Caucasian men—should be the ones to run it. These men of property, Chomsky said at a lecture, referred to government by the people as “mob rule” and as “the crisis of democracy.”169 Therefore, such men favored a plutocracy (government by the wealthy). Today, the lack of universal health insurance in the United States shows how big money interests have betrayed, in the health area, the American ethic of equality. Poll after poll shows, for instance, that most Americans want a single-payer system of health care. For decades, the polls have remained consistent on this issue. Yet, when it comes to health insurance, Americans are anything but equal.
169

Noam Chomsky argues this in the video Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media. This compilation of Noam Chomsky lectures was released in 1992 by the National Film Board of Canada. It was distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

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Americans at the top of the class pyramid—the CEOs, lawyers, and doctors— have 100 percent health coverage, and politicians get from the federal government the very socialized medicine that they condemn as “big government.” Americans in the middle of the class pyramid—the journalists, pilots, teachers, and mechanics—have some health coverage. Americans at the bottom of the class pyramid—47 million of them, including 12 million American children—have no health insurance.170 Another example of how time distorts revolutions is the feminist movement. The women’s movement of the early 1900s (first wave feminism) began with the goal of equality between men and women. But as Christina Hoff Sommers, former philosophy professor, argues in Who Stole Feminism?, “gender feminists” took over the leadership of the women’s movement by the 1970s. Gender feminists (second wave feminism) seek to replace patriarchy with matriarchy, Sommers writes. Men are seen as “pigs,” as “potential rapists,” and as “the enemy.” Misandry (hatred toward men) is often preached in “feminazi” circles, much as racial hatred is preached by white supremacists.171 As Sommers contends in Who Stole Feminism?, gender feminists do not represent most women. Most women, Sommers argues, are traditional feminists. She calls them “equity” (equality) feminists. Gender feminists, however, have taken over leadership positions in education, women’s organizations, and women’s clinics. So argues Sommers. The many women’s programs, women’s clinics, and women’s workout clubs—and no such institutions for men—shows that males are in danger of becoming tomorrow’s “second sex.” As Sommers writes, girls are being given scholastic attention in school. Boys, she continues, are being

170

This is the official statistic of the U.S. government. Unofficially, the numbers of Americans with no health insurance—and those underinsured—are much higher. 171 Rush Limbaugh, the radio talk show host, coined the term feminazi.

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ignored, and their grades are falling further behind each year.172 In one town of the Pacific Northwest, three workout clubs exclude men for being male. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids racial segregation in public facilities. This law, however, hasn’t stopped women’s-only gyms from popping up across America. Part of me supports women’s centers, for women—and girls—need specialized attention. But so do men—and boys. Having a sacred place to be with one’s kind—black student unions, Asian fraternities, and girls clubs—is important for many of us. Still, consider the following paragraph behind a carton of rice milk: Get the Calcium You Need! As part of a balanced diet, WestSoy Rice Beverage is a good source of calcium that can help build strong bones and teeth. Adequate calcium in a healthful diet is important for teen, young adult and post-menopausal women. What about men—and boys? Boys raised with the above message can only conclude that males are the second sex. It is the subtleness of messages and their repetition that makes them effective, for the bylines enter our minds undetected. Most of us, after all, don’t stop to analyze the propaganda that we read everyday. When feminist propaganda becomes glaringly visible, then political correctness keeps dissenting men from being taken seriously. A Florida company, for example, printed a T-shirt that had a cartoon of a boy trying to get away from rocks being thrown at him. The T-shirt’s slogan went:

172

See Christina Hoff Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995) and Sommers, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001).

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Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them Glenn Sacks, a radio talk show host, initiated a nationwide campaign to get rid of the T-shirts. But the National Organization for Women (NOW) dismissed the anti-T-shirt campaign as peripheral to women’s issues, never mind that boys with low self-esteem may become men who batter women, girls, boys, and other men. Some activists within the women’s movement even see as humorous that boys are being made fun of—as through the lip balm “Boys are smelly” and the bubble gum “Boys lie—make them cry.” When men point out that if girls were being degraded, women would not stand for it, gender feminists label those men “woman haters.”173 Another area of male-female inequality is circumcision. As most of us know, female circumcision is banned in Western countries because it is an inhuman violation of the female body. Not a peep is made, however, about male circumcision. Congress, for example, passed the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996. Despite activism to protect male and intersex babies as well from circumcision, not a single member of Congress has introduced a more comprehensive bill. The United Nations also condemns female circumcision as a human rights violation. But as late as March 2007, the U.N. supported male circumcision as a way to “prevent” HIV transmission.174 The lack of a real men’s movement is why issues of women and girls are taken seriously, while issues pertaining to men and boys—other than sexual abuse, which apparently male circumcision is not—go ignored by everyone except the National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM). Evidently, aggravated assault against males is alright if the intent is to circumcise.
173

See Danna Harman, “Bashing Boys Is, Like, Not OK,” The Christian Science Monitor, Living, Home & Community, March 31, 2004. The article is at http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0331/p16s01-lihc.html. 174 Laura MacInnis, “U.N. Backs Male Circumcision to Prevent HIV,” Reuters UK, March 28, 2007. The article is at http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL2862367220070328.

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Women say that men take dismal care of themselves. What is not mentioned is that men are encouraged to. Each year, for example, about 30,000 American men die of prostate cancer, while per annum, about 40,000 American women die of breast cancer. Yet, breast cancer research received $699 million in federal funds in 2005, while research for prostate cancer received $390 million in federal funds that year.175 As author Allan Heller writes in an article: The disparity is not solely economic, though. Commercials, public service announcements, news segments and magazine articles address the issue of breast cancer, but rarely touch upon health issues affecting men.176 The latest manifestation of females over males is Oprah Winfrey’s construction of the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. I, of course, applaud Winfrey’s efforts to bring equal opportunity to girls in South Africa. But what about South African boys? Their enrollment in primary and secondary school is not much better than the rate for girls in South Africa.177 Who is building a leadership academy for those boys?178 If the feminist movement doesn’t speak about the needs of boys and men, then a masculist movement is needed to prevent the gender pyramid from being flipped upside down. This may sound outrageous to many people. But gender inequality persists, and in the First World, it is moving in the other direction. For
175

These statistics come from Allan Heller, “The Great Dichotomy: Breast Cancer Versus Prostate Cancer,” AC: The People’s Media Company, Health & Wellness, November 6, 2006. Article at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/80165/the_great_dichotomy_breast_cancer_versus.html. 176 Ibid. 177 According to educator Barbara Pytel, less than 50 percent of girls complete primary school in South Africa, and only 26 percent of these girls enroll in secondary school. As for South African boys, 56 percent of them complete primary school, and only 33 percent of these boys enroll in secondary school. See “Oprah’s Leadership Academy: $40 Million Going to South Africa for Educating Girls.” The article is at the website titled, Suite 101. The URL is http://educationalissues.suite101.com/article.cfm/oprah_s_leadership_academy. 178 Oprah Winfrey stated that she planned to build a second school for girls and boys in South Africa. Still, far more girls will be attending Oprah schools than boys, and statistically, this is not true gender equality.

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example, 56 percent of the American labor force is now female, and that number is rising. A major reason for the tipping of the gender scale is because, since 1964, gender “equality” has been defined solely in terms of women’s empowerment. Most people have heard about NOW, for instance, but almost nobody has heard about NCFM. Gender feminists see no problem with this imbalance because, in their words, “patriarchy still exists.” There is some truth to this. But just because most people in power are men doesn’t mean that most men have power. Women and men are on the same boat as 80 percent of the populace—barely scraping a living and trying to raise families as honestly as they can. Since 1964, manhood itself has been under attack. For example, testosterone is being medicated away in boys. We keep hearing, “Men should be as sensitive as women.” In movies, more fathers are being depicted as dead-beat dads, and on TV, more men are acting like nincompoops. Even worse, the pummeling of traditional masculinity is not occurring equally across racial lines. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) male is even more under attack than the black male. The emasculated Anglo male may be why many Caucasian women are pairing up with African American men. This is because the image of the African American male is not of wimpiness but of brute strength. Most women are attracted to traditional masculinity, even as gender feminists attack it right and left. The pathologizing of traditional masculinity—and Anglo masculinity in particular—has led to the beginnings of what could become a male backlash. The movie Fight Club (1999) shows where emasculated males are likely to turn to compensate. In a word, hypermasculinity. Barbaric violence is the result. As usual, the human brain goes from one extreme to the other.

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And so it goes. Politicians, movement leaders, and spokespeople (at the top) seldom speak for the majority of people (at the bottom). Revolutions get started because those at the top get more exclusionary, more greedy, and more abusive. For those at the bottom, things go from bad to worse. The process takes a very long time, often centuries. But eventually, the downtrodden rebel, turn the pyramid upside down, and replace one hierarchy with another. How do politics and money enter the fray of survival of top dog?

The Hierarchy of Representation— Politics

On PBS’s A World of Ideas, Noam Chomsky alluded to the Democratic Party, which supposedly represents the interests of minorities in the United States. In November 1988, Chomsky commented: In each election of the 1980s … the Democrats have been accused of being the party of the special interests, and then, they hotly deny it … But who are the special interests? Well, take a look behind the rhetoric, and you find that the special interests are women, labor, youth, the elderly, ethnic minorities, the poor, farmers. In fact, it’s the entire population [emphasis mine].179 Chomsky elaborated:

179

These quotes are from Bill Moyers’s A World of Ideas: A Conversation with Noam Chomsky. The episode originally aired on PBS in November 1988.

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… there is one group that’s never identified as being among the special interests. That’s corporations. And that’s correct. They’re the national interest … whereas the special interests have to be marginalized.180 Perhaps, this is why in 2009: 1) At 12.4 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans are 0 percent of senators and 9.4 percent of representatives.181 2) At 14.5 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics are 3 percent of senators and 5.2 percent of representatives.182 3) At 4.4 percent of the U.S. population, Asian Americans are 2 percent of senators and 0.6 percent of representatives.183 4) At 50.7 percent of the U.S. population, women are 16 percent of senators and 16.3 percent of representatives.184

180 181

Ibid. See Nancy Frazier O’Brien, “At 29 Percent of 109th Congress, Catholics Remain Largest Faith Group,” Catholic News Service, November 11, 2004. At http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0406217.htm. Then, see Greg Giroux and Kimberly Hallock, “Democratic-Led 110th Congress is Old Boys’ Club With a Twist, as Women, Blacks Gain Clout,” The New York Times, U.S., February 26, 2007. At http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/02/26/cq_2328.html?pagewanted=1 182 Ibid. 183 See O’Brien, “At 29 Percent of 109th Congress, Catholics Remain Largest Faith Group,” Catholic News Service. At http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0406217.htm. 184 Ibid. Then, see Giroux and Hallock, “Democratic-Led 110th Congress is Old Boys’ Club With a Twist, as Women, Blacks Gain Clout,” The New York Times. At http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/02/26/cq_2328.html?pagewanted=1.

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Only Jewish Americans are overrepresented in national politics. At 2.1 percent of the U.S. population, Jews are 13 percent of senators and 7 percent of representatives.185 In any event, Noam Chomsky concluded: We [in America] only have one political party with two factions. It’s the business party. We have two factions … called the Democrats and the Republicans.186 The status quo of two political parties is so entrenched in the United States that the last time a third party became a major party—the Republican Party in the late 1850s—a most uncivil war followed. Correlation isn’t necessarily causation, of course. But the American winner-take-all system is largely responsible for third parties remaining perpetually marginal. On the rare occasion when a third party has become a major party, that party abandons its roots and adopts a pro-establishment platform. An example is the populist Republican Party of the 1850s going pro-monopoly from the 1870s on. As the adage goes, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”187 This doesn’t mean that power per se corrupts—only power over, as opposed to power with, others. Another example of hierarchy in political representation is the construction of the interstate highway system in the United States after 1955. As James Howard Kunstler, the social critic, writes in The Long Emergency:
185

Kate Phillips and Kitty Bennett, “New Voices in Congress Will Change the Tone of the Democratic Majority,” The New York Times, U.S., January 6, 2009. At http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/us/politics/07frosh.html. 186 Moyers, A World of Ideas. 187 This quote comes from Lord Acton. In 1887, he wrote a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton expressing what is now this popular saying. See the website The Phrase Finder at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/288200.html.

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It’s worth repeating that suburbia [a product of the interstate highway system] is best understood as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.188 The percentages of Americans who have been living in the suburbs between 1950 and today look as follows:

1950 (23%) 1960 (over 30%) 1980 (over 40%) Today (over 50%)189

Not only did interstates pave over productive farmland. Not only did interstates allow city dwellers to move from city to suburb to exurb. Not only did interstates force mass dependence on the automobile, a mode of transport dependent on a nonrenewable fuel. Interstates destroyed much of the social fabric of America’s cities. In New York City, construction coordinator Robert Moses used his toll funds, ownership of parks, control of housing agencies and government committees, and the power of eminent domain to bulldoze over entire

188

James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the TwentyFirst Century, (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005), p. 248. 189 Michael Adams with Amy Langstaff and David Jamieson, American Backlash: The Untold Story of Social Change in the United States, (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2005), p. 140.

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communities.190 On PBS’s New York: A Documentary Film, journalist Ray Suarez explains: These were still intact communities. People worked. People kept up their properties. People did business where they lived. This was a place where you did your marketing locally. You did your business locally. You got your First Holy Communion, read your Haftorah for your bar mitzvah. It all happened right there. It was a culturally and materially self-sufficient world in a lot of ways.191 But in the words of Marshall Berman, an urbanist, “They [city planners under Moses] had the power to build in straight lines, and they just did.”192 Architect Robert A. M. Stern elaborates: It became incredibly disruptive to people’s lives. You scattered neighborhoods which might have been very, very poor but still had a very dense network of associations, and you began through urban renewal in a city like New York, but it’s true in Chicago and elsewhere, that process which we are still reeling under of wrenching communities apart and then families collapsing. The whole support system of the less welladvantaged in our society collapses, and we wonder why they then become increasingly unable to function in the society as a whole.193
190

Eminent domain is a power that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants to developers. Called expropriation in Canada, eminent domain authorizes the state to confiscate private property for public use. The property owner does not have to consent, but fair payment must be provided to the owner. The movie Ordinary Magic (1993) shows the process of expropriation in Eastern Canada. 191 This quote comes from New York: A Documentary Film, Episode Seven, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.” This documentary is part of the American Experience series on PBS. It aired on PBS on September 30, 2001. 192 Ibid. 193 Ibid.

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In the words of Jane Jacobs, a New York writer and activist, low buildings allowed neighbors to look after one another.194 In place of the low buildings, however, urban planners built 20-story housing projects on huge city blocks called “super blocks.”195 According to New York: A Documentary Film, neither the borough president of the Bronx, the mayor of New York City, the senators of New York, nor the representatives of New York City could stop Moses from building the Cross Bronx Expressway, now part of I-95. Moses, who “held 12 public jobs at once,” even had control of sewage lines and underground cables.196 After 1957, the pace of “urban renewal” accelerated in New York City. As more old neighborhoods were torn down, more middle class residents left the city. Over 250,000 people in 21 neighborhoods were displaced from their homes, according to New York: A Documentary Film. Middle class people took their businesses and tax dollars with them. Dark-skinned immigrants, most of them poor, replaced the bygone Caucasians. With businesses and social networks no longer in place across more urban areas, property values plummeted, street drugs proliferated, and crime exploded. Hopelessness became permanent in many parts of New York City. By the early 1970s, landlords were paying arsonists money to burn apartment buildings in the South Bronx so that the landlords could collect insurance money, rather than repair the decrepit buildings. Much of the South Bronx was already deserted by 1970, and most social observers agree that the depopulation was caused by the construction of a mega-housing project on the other side of the Bronx. In 1960, the Bronx was 62 percent Jewish, and in 1963, what would become the South Bronx was 92 percent Jewish. Due to the forced displacement
194

See Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Reissue Edition, (New York: Random House, Inc., 2002). 195 New York: A Documentary Film, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.” 196 These are the words of Robert A. Caro, an author who specializes on Robert Moses.

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of Caucasians throughout the Bronx, however, the South Bronx became 95 percent nonwhite by 1980.197 Today, New York City is, for all pragmatic purposes, a Third World city. To live there, one must be either very wealthy or very poor. The middle class left New York City, by and large, because it was driven out. Cheap mortgages in the suburbs also lured the middle class out of American cities. Of course, it would be simplistic to lay all the blame for New York City’s decline on Robert Moses. But he started the downward spiral. As master builder, Moses personified the archetype of God, as did his lead architect Le Corbusier. In the 1950s and 1960s, Robert Moses had more political power than all the politicians of New York City and New York State put together. The hierarchical structure of politics in New York City then went something like the following:

Nearly Flat Pyramid

This is hierarchy at its most dangerous because there is no middling class. Only an upper class and a lower class exist. This is the mark of a truly polarized society. What happened in New York City in the second half of the 20th century was the direct result of one person having too much external power. In Power vs. Force, David Hawkins writes: Kinesiological [muscle] testing indicates that a mere 2.6 percent of the human population, identifiable by an abnormal kinesiological polarity (testing strong to negative attractors and weak to positive attractors),
197

The 62 percent and 92 percent statistics come from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. The article is titled, “South Bronx, New York.” It is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Bronx.

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accounts for 72 percent of society’s problems.198 It seems that Robert Moses was part of that 2.6 percent. According to New York: A Documentary Film, only in Manhattan did enough citizens band together to oppose Moses’s plan for yet another expressway. Led by Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village neighbors organized, formed coalitions, and successfully stopped Moses. In the case of Manhattan, community activism prevented the densest part of New York City from being blighted by highways, according to the PBS documentary. The New York story shows two things: 1) The dangers and even lethality of too much power being at the top of any political pyramid 2) The possibility for humans to overcome hierarchy through horizontal organization, of which coalitions is an example
The Hierarchy of Representation— Media

Besides being politically underrepresented, minorities in America are underrepresented in the major media. Latinos are hardly shown on American television—except for crime snapshots in the 6 o’clock news. Working-class people are another pea on the same pod. This underrepresentation has begun to change for both Hispanics and working class people. But even Roseanne, a sitcom about a working class American family, has the characters living in a twostory house with plenty of lights, TVs in several rooms, lots of household
198

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 101.

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gadgets, and food everywhere.199 Asian Americans seldom star in their own TV shows. Programs that occur in racially diverse Southern California look as if happening in Maine. Beverly Hills, 90210 and 7th Heaven are two examples. Furthermore, 7th Heaven voices the worldview of fundamentalist Christians. But New Age Christians don’t have a single TV series to voice their worldview— although New Age ideas are increasingly on television and in movies. African Americans are the only minority that is well-represented on television. Even here, major segments of the African American population—poor blacks, black gays, and blacks outside the hip-hop culture—go unrepresented on the airwaves. As Aaron McGruder, creator of the newspaper comic strip The Boondocks, told an audience on the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN), “If Martin Luther King were alive today and 25, nobody would know who he was because he’d never get on TV.”200 As for poor “whites,” they are rarely seen on television, except for on humanitarian airings of organizations like Feed the Children. As for gays, Caucasian gays are the ones who are overwhelmingly seen in shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Such programs are more about reinforcing stereotypes than about portraying the true diversity of the various queer communities. Same-sex marriage, an issue in both the news and entertainment media, doesn’t even affect the majority of gays themselves. As late as 2009, most gays can’t even find a date because of the hazards and difficulties of doing so. This hindrance is most felt in high school, a place where many straights bully nonstraights. Same-sex marriage is an issue that affects a coterie fortunate enough to have found a same-sex partner. The majority of gays, by contrast, hasn’t even reached Stage One: dating.
199 200

This sitcom originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The American Perspectives lecture was titled, “Free Speech & the War on Terrorism.” It aired on CSPAN on September 10, 2002.

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Gays of color, in turn, are “even more isolated than the white ones,” according to Richard Dyer, a film historian. In the video Off the Straight and Narrow (1999), Dyer relates: … they’re not that big a part of the market, so therefore you only drop them in a bit to say, well, do buy Coca-Cola, or whatever it is that’s being advertised alongside with the program. Do buy it, but we want you—lots of you white gays—we want you to buy it because you’re even more important. And as for you straights, you’re the most important of all, because you’re most people.201 Marguerite Moritz of the University of Colorado at Boulder explains in the video: I don’t think there’s any question that there are people of color out there who are gay and lesbian and who have plenty to say and who want to be a part of the dialogue. But they’re often not given a choice.202 According to Marguerite Moritz, “gayness often means white men” in the major news media.203 And not just Caucasian men but socially conservative Caucasian people, Richard Goldstein, Village Voice editor, said on the 10th anniversary of the 1993 Gay Rights March on Washington. Goldstein related to a C-SPAN audience: Six percent of gay and lesbian people call themselves conservative
201

This quote is from the segment of Off the Straight and Narrow titled, “Dimensions of Diversity: Race and Sexuality.” 202 Ibid. 203 Ibid.

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[emphasis mine]. There’s no gender gap in the gay community when it comes to voting. Men and women vote alike, and they vote like women in general.204 Goldstein continued: More than half of gay people identify themselves as liberal [emphases mine]. Yet, if you look at who the most prominent gay writers in the country were by the mid-90s, you would find that they were Andrew Sullivan, Camille Paglia, Norah Vincent, and that these people were all far more conservative than the community [emphasis mine].205 Once more, larger groups of minorities go underrepresented. The very term “gay marriage,” used by the news media, wipes out nongays like bis who marry someone of the same sex. William Burleson, an openly bi activist, explains in Bi America: Take for example the wedding of Robyn Ochs and Peg Premble. Ochs, … , is one of the most visible and active leaders of the bi community in the past twenty years. Ochs and Premble wed, after seven years as a couple, on May 17, 2004, the first day of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.206 Burleson continues:
204

Part of a discussion panel, Richard Goldstein spoke on C-SPAN on April 25, 2003. The program was titled, 1993 Gay Rights March. 205 Ibid. 206 William E. Burleson, Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community, (New York: Harrington Park Press, 2005), p. 16.

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The reporter had chosen the couple for a story in the following day’s paper to present the human side of the marriage debate. And there it was, May 18, 2004, on the front page of the Post: “A Carefully Considered Rush to the Altar: Lesbian Pair Wed after 7 Years Together.” Lesbian pair? A lifetime of bi activism [20 years], erased in the swipe of the pen.207 Given that self-identified gays outnumber self-identified bis, gay power is far stronger than bi power. One result is the absence of bi images on TV and on the big screen—not just in print. As Marguerite Moritz said, “Bisexuality [on TV] seems to be not on the radar screen at all.”208 In Bi America, William Burleson writes: … ; a spate of films have been released in the past few years about people who are attracted to both women and men: Chasing Amy (1997), Bedrooms and Hallways (1998), High Art (1998), and Kissing Jessica Stein (2001), to name only a few. Yet all of these films have in common one very unexpected trait: almost never is the word bisexual uttered at any time. The “almost” is because in Kissing Jessica Stein and Bedrooms and Hallways bisexual is used as a disparaging remark; … 209 Burleson expounds: These films are a rare exception in that they deal with the subject at all. It is unusual for anyone but straight people to appear as central film
207 208

Ibid. This quote is from the segment of Off the Straight and Narrow titled, “Betwixt & Between: Representations of Bisexuality.” 209 Burleson, Bi America, p. 16.

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characters. This must be especially difficult when the film is a biography of a bisexual person, but this is usually handled by merely ignoring the uncomfortable facts. For example, the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind (2001), John Nash, married to a woman, was well known to have had male lovers.210 Because money has become the be all and end all of everything in the West, groups with access to influential positions run the show—in business, in government, and in the media. It is therefore no surprise that in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, bis are absent, for the most part. Another constituency that is underrepresented is parents, according to writer Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Princeton professor Cornel West. In 1996, Hewlett and West conducted the first nationwide survey of parents’ “political priorities.”211 At first glance, one would expect American parents to be concerned about family values like abortion, same-sex marriage, and prayer in schools. The poll/focus group survey in The War Against Parents reveals, however, that “parents are concerned with practical rather than ideological issues … [emphases mine].”212 Such pragmatic issues are: 1) Tax breaks for parents to help parents cover their children’s educational expenses and the costs of essentials like diapers, clothes, food, school supplies, and car seats.

210 211

Ibid., p. 17. Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West, The War Against Parents: What We Can Do for America’s Beleaguered Moms and Dads, (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), p. 215. 212 Ibid., p. 216.

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2)

More paid leave and less work hours to free parents from today’s time crunch, which keeps intensifying. Parents desperately want more time with their kids.

3)

Tax breaks for employers who adopt family friendly policies at work. Such policies would include “compressed work weeks, flextime, job-sharing, and benefits for part-time work.”213

4)

“A longer school day and school year.”214

5)

Solutions to the drug epidemic, to crime in schools and in neighborhoods, and to the decreasing quality and increasing cost of education.215

The concerns of parents—62 million Americans—have been overshadowed by the political agenda of Christian fundamentalists—a mere 40 million Americans.216 In The War Against Parents, Hewlett and West write: Just as significant as what is on the list is what is not on it [emphasis mine]. A whole array of issues often identified as family values simply do not appear. These include teenage sex and pregnancy (mentioned by 3 percent), TV and movie sex (mentioned by 1 percent), and welfare (mentioned by 1 percent). What is more, not a single parent in the sample spontaneously brought up abortion or homosexuality as a major problem
213 214

Ibid., p. 217. Ibid., p. 218. 215 Ibid., p. 220. 216 See book jacket, Hewlett and West, The War Against Parents, and Daniel Bernardi, Star Trek and History: Race-ing Toward a White Future, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998), pgs. 1820.

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area when asked about significant concerns for his or her children.217 What is more, Hewlett and West write, “—there is enormous unity across race, class, and gender.”218 Even more significant is that Hewlett and West polled parents in the $20,000 to $100,000-a-year income bracket. Put differently, the corporate media and politicians are not representing parents who earn as much as $100,000 a year. This means that in America, one has to be close to a millionaire to get real representation. Parents want one set of things: More time off from work, tax breaks, and longer school days. Lobbyists, politicians, and the news media push another set of things: Longer workweeks, no tax breaks specifically for parents, prayer in schools, and more of the 8-to-3 school schedule. Homeschooling is the same old story—something that applies to the upper class, for the majority of parents can’t afford to stay home all day to teach their kids. I, however, must admit that I support homeschooling, for it instills independent thinking, self-directed learning, and intense family bonding. If only the government would hire parents—one per household—to teach their children until they turn 16. Or grandparents to teach their grandchildren. I refer not to the federal government but to state and county governments. There would be no “national standards,” no required textbooks, and no required curricula. Each parent or grandparent would decide what materials to use. Now that would be an improvement over the factory model of American education. Most parents and grandparents—not just the upper middle class—would be able to teach their children and grandchildren. The news media remains obsessed with abortion, same-sex marriage, and school prayer—issues of little relevance to the vast majority of parents. Not only that. The entertainment media depicts parents in demeaning ways. This is part
217 218

Hewlett and West, The War Against Parents, p. 221. Ibid., p. 216.

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of the liberal assault on the family. For instance, in an episode of My So-Called Life, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West write, a teenage girl says to herself, “Lately, I can’t seem to even look at my mother without wanting to stab her repeatedly.”219 Hewlett and West continue: On television, parents tend to be blustering bores, miserly boobs, overprotective fools, or just plain dopey and twerpy. One show, Party of Five, has done away with parents entirely, killing them off in a car crash before the series began.220 Anyone not at the top of the pyramid—whatever the nature of that pyramid—is either off the corporate media, misrepresented, or underrepresented. A 40-month study of the news program Nightline found, for example, that 90 percent of guests on that newscast were Caucasian and male. Fifty percent of Nightline interviewees were past or present officials of the U.S. government. Representatives of peace groups made up less than 1 percent of Nightline’s guests.221 In addition to its review of Nightline, the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) studied The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour—now The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. FAIR found similar percentages for this PBS news program.222 These content analyses were published in the late 1980s. But more news studies by FAIR revealed the same patterns throughout the 1990s, and the major news media continues to exclude
219 220

Ibid., p. 31. Ibid. 221 Refer to the cassette titled, “A Critique of Nightline, MacNeil/Lehrer, and NPR.” Journalist David Barsamian interviewed Jeff Cohen, a media critic and the founder of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). The interview was recorded in New York City on January 30, 1990. It is available through Alternative Radio (AR) at www.alternativeradio.org. 222 See Press Release, “All the Usual Suspects: MacNeil/Lehrer and Nightline, FAIR Issues New Study on PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer and ABC’s Nightline,” Extra! The Magazine of FAIR, the Media Watch Group, May 21, 1990. The article is at http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2007.

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dissenting views into the early 2000s. In the fortnight before the February 2003 invasion of Iraq, for example, FAIR discovered that 393 pro-war people were interviewed in the major nightly newscasts—CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS—but only three anti-war representatives were interviewed on those TV networks. Yet, according to journalist Amy Goodman, most Americans opposed an invasion of Iraq in early 2003.223 Members of the establishment—corporate representatives, government officials, economic neoliberals, and Christian fundamentalists— appear as the majority of guests on and hosts of TV and radio newscasts. Progressives (the Far Left) have no place at the table—and neither do some traditionalists (the Far Right). Americans who oppose liberals on racial issues, for example, are often censored in the major news media. The tilt of the major news media is toward the center of the political spectrum. This is what Extra!, the newsmagazine of FAIR, calls “centrist propaganda.”224 In the words of Jeff Cohen, a media critic, the major news media is “a propaganda organ for the state.”225 Asked why The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour seldom included progressives as guests, for instance, Jim Lehrer responded that he didn’t want to be bothered by “moaners” and “whiners.”226 Robert MacNeil backed up Jim Lehrer, saying, “There is no left in this country.”227 Ted Koppel, former anchor for Nightline, added, “Policy critics aren’t needed on Nightline since we invite the policy makers and ask them the ‘tough questions.’ ”228 Tough questions, however, are almost never asked on Nightline.

223

See Amy Goodman lecture on C-SPAN from May 22, 2004, titled, American Perspectives, “Amy Goodman, Pacifica Radio’s ‘Democracy Now’ Host & Executive Producer.” 224 See Jeff Cohen, “Propaganda from Middle of the Road: The Centrist Ideology of the News Media,” Extra!, October/November 1989. Article at http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1492. 225 Refer to Barsamian and Cohen, “A Critique of Nightline, MacNeil/Lehrer, and NPR.” 226 Helen Caldicott, If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992), p. 185. 227 Ibid. 228 Ibid.

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The entertainment media is, in turn, the mouthpiece of the same dominant groups—namely, corporate interests, the upper middle class, economic neoliberals, and Christian fundamentalists. Arguably, this is a form of fascism, for Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator, defined fascism as “the merger of Big Business, The Church and the State.”229

The Pitfalls of Hierarchy

According to author Ian Young, scapegoats are exaggerations of real people. As minorities, scapegoats are distorted into stereotypes to scare and control the multitude. Young’s list of black sheep include: The homosexual … the Vampire, the Leper, the Witch, the Gypsy, the Werewolf, the Jew—figures concocted out of the fears, folk memories and repressed desires of a civilization, aspects of Christian society’s dark unconscious, its shadow side.230 In The Stonewall Experiment, Young’s continues: (The drug addict or “dope fiend” and, more recently, the Satanic childabuser are later additions to this spectral menagerie of group fantasies.) When these scary and distorted shadows are projected onto real, living

229

This quotation is in the Canadian Action Party website. The URL of the quote is http://paulgrignon.netfirms.com/CAP-PAC_Flash/Flash_CAP_English.html. 230 Young, The Stonewall Experiment, p. 12.

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individuals, the results are disastrous.231 Human history shows that when a minority gains rights and respect, other minorities are blamed for the ills of society. When those minorities fight back and win, new black sheep are found. The fight to desegregate the American South stands as a modern example. Most Americans think of Brown v. Board of Education as the beginning of the civil rights movement. That 1954 Supreme Court case was, however, the culmination of decades of court challenges to racial segregation—dating back to 1909 and the Niagara Movement. Who led the legal challenges? African American lawyers and justices—such as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall—and a handful of their Caucasian colleagues. The “passive resistance” of the 1955-1970 period was simply a new phase of a struggle for black freedom that began in the 19th century. The struggle continues today, as African Americans are still being hassled in many ways. An example is nonblack salespeople treating black shoppers with suspicion. Bayard Rustin, an African American who later in life identified openly as gay, was a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. While alive, Rustin commented, “Gays are beginning to realize what blacks learned long ago. Unless you are out here, fighting for yourself, then nobody else will help you.”232 Bis are starting to realize this relative to monosexuals (those attracted to one sex), for straights and gays tend to exclude bis. Queers of color, in turn, have heeded Rustin’s warning in relation to Caucasian gays, as Anglo American gays often exclude queers of color. Such exclusions have forced bis and queers of color to build their own communities for support and survival.

231 232

Ibid. This quote comes from Out of the Past, “Lost Prophet.” The documentary originally aired on PBS in 1998.

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The age of leaders is long over, however. As much of the world learned in the 1960s and 1970s, leaders can be assassinated. Social movements that rely on figureheads for inspiration, energy, and action are doomed. In The Stonewall Experiment, Ian Young writes: The shooting of the nation’s most glamorous leader [John F. Kennedy] was an event of such enormity that it was usually viewed, in the decades following, as a singular event. Yet it was one of a series of assassinations and attempted assassinations that began with Medgar Evers in the summer of 1963, and continued with George Lincoln Rockwell, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Althea King, Andy Warhol, Bobby Kennedy, Allard Lowenstein, Marilyn Monroe, George Wallace, Jimmy Hoffa, John Lennon, Leo Ryan, Huey Newton and Harvey Milk.233 The social movements of the 1960s and 1970s lost gas because laypeople looked up to leaders to fuel their movements. When the leaders got killed, the movements crumbled or lost direction. Hierarchy breeds this state of affairs. Aaron McGruder, the creator of the newspaper comic strip The Boondocks, said on C-SPAN, “There is a crisis in political leadership. There is a crisis in leftist leadership. There is a crisis in black leadership.”234 Nowadays, leaders are so corrupt that they are no longer adequate for the needs of workaday people. This, I believe, is by spiritual design. You and I are being guided—and even forced—to become our own leaders so that humanity may move to a higher level of spiritual consciousness. This higher level goes beyond hierarchy and beyond looking up to others to help us.

233 234

Young, The Stonewall Experiment, p. 195. American Perspectives, “Free Speech & the War on Terrorism.”

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In brief, the more out of the mainstream a group is, the further down the human pyramid that group is. Representation, whatever the type, declines in proportion to the widening of the pyramid.

Rising Above Hierarchy

Hierarchy, of course, is necessary in areas like filmmaking, construction, and navigation. This is because such complex endeavors require someone—in this case, the director, architect, and pilot—to make the final decisions. Chaos would ensue if, say, the stage manager, actors, actresses, the lighting coordinator, and camera people were all managing everyone on the set. Going beyond hierarchy does not mean ditching it. Rather, it means achieving balance between those instances that require top-down management and those instances where hierarchy becomes oppressive (e.g., Robert Moses). Only when the majority of us becomes trans-sensory (seeing beyond the “lenses of difference”) and transinstinctual (challenging our lower instincts) will hierarchy diminish—not to be confused with disappear. In such a world, power will be shared; all of us will be represented; and democracy (government by the people) will be guaranteed to everyone by a united species. Four social developments are showing a tilt away from hierarchy. The first such development could be termed the alternative community movement. If you browse the Internet, you will find that some 95 percent of eco-villages, alternative communities, and spiritual settlements reject the principle of one leader making decisions for the community. Instead, most alternative communities go by majority vote.

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A second shift away from hierarchy is the alternative press. South End Press in Boston is an example of a collaborative effort in getting the books of a collective published. Loie Hayes from the South End Collective told an interviewer: I like our structure about sharing work and continuing our training process as long as we’re at the press. There are losses there in terms of productivity. But in terms of empowerment, all of us are then able to say, “My perspective is different from yours.” Then, all of our intelligence gets used in making those decisions and not just whoever happens to have done it the longest, whoever happens to have graduated from the best schools in order to be the best editor, making all the decisions and only using his or her intelligence.235 Not all alternative presses follow the above principle. But book publishers like South End Press do. This marks a departure from the top-down decision-making of the big chain publishers. Perhaps, the move away from hierarchy has surfaced in some alternative presses because the publishing industry has, traditionally, been a cottage industry. A third shift away from hierarchy is the way that forests are being managed. Bruce Bare, dean and professor at the College of Forest Resources, said on University of Washington Television (UWTV) that the 20th century was marked by the “agricultural model” in forestry. That model operated according to the following: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) exploited forests for raw materials; decisions were top-down; and local communities had to deal with the environmental consequences. Global warming is now imperiling forests
235

See the video Manufacturing Consent.

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in regions like the Pacific Northwest.236 The area east of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, for example, has an average August high of 89 degrees Fahrenheit. But there, summer highs in recent years have been in the upper 90s and 100s. Consequently, forests in eastern Washington are under heat stress. As Bare said on UWTV, forest managers can no longer afford the mindset of unadulterated exploitation of forests. The 21st century model, he said, is of balancing the needs of the present with the needs of future generations. To help insure sustainability, Bare continued, departments like the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are consulting citizen groups at the local level and are forming coalitions with such groups.237 Pollster Michael Adams calls this heterarchy (“the idea that groups can be effectively organized with flat and fluid leadership structures”).238 This is the opposite of hierarchy (top-down management). In the case of forestry, hierarchy won’t disappear completely, Bare said. But it will diminish due to the complex factors that must be balanced in the future. These factors are diminishing forests, a growing population needing forest resources, and the imperative to protect forest ecosystems.239 Heterarchy (e.g., coalition-building) is how such complex factors are being juggled in forest management. And in business, too. As Jeremy Rifkin, the economist, writes in The Age of Access, the speed of economic life means that hierarchy in business is being seen as too rigid, too slow, and too cumbersome. As he writes: Networks, on the other hand, are far more flexible and better suited to the
236

B. Bruce Bare spoke at the University of Washington. The March 8, 2007 lecture was part of the series titled, Sustaining Our Northwest World: Creating Futures since 1907. The segment was titled, “Natural Resource: Issues in the Pacific Northwest in the Next Century.” It was broadcast on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on September 20, 2007. 237 Ibid. 238 Adams, Langstaff, and Jamieson, American Backlash, p. 112. 239 B. Bruce Bare, “Natural Resource: Issues in the Pacific Northwest in the Next Century.”

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volatile nature of the new global economy. Cooperation and team approaches to problem solving allow the partners to respond more quickly to changes in the external environment. While the players give up a degree of autonomy and sovereignty, the spontaneity and creativity that flow from network-based collaboration give them a collective edge in the new, more demanding high-tech economy.240 A fourth shift away from hierarchy is the Human Potential movement, also known as the New Consciousness movement. This movement is, perhaps, the biggest overcoming of hierarchy in the entire history of our species. Although the movement has gurus, there is no central leader, no central organization or institution, no membership lists, no single publisher, and no rigid ideology. This movement is as decentralized as one can get. Yet, it is global in scope. A trans-instinctual civilization may indeed be in the making. The next chapter teases apart the pros and cons of our territorial instinct in light of a prospective world government.

Exercises
1) Does your place of employment operate by vertical chain of command? If yes, is input welcomed from workers? Does the business or nonprofit agency run smoothly? Is the enterprise an older business or an upstart venture? Do you see this business or nonprofit agency as having a future? Why or why not? 2) Does your household run by hierarchy? If yes, how are the behavior, emotions, and even thoughts of children and/or adults of the household
240

Jeremy Rifkin, The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life Is a Paid-for Experience, (New York: J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), pgs. 23-24.

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controlled? Who does the controlling? Do members of the household exhibit open resistance, passive resistance, or both? If yes, how? 3) If your household or place of employment operates by hierarchy, would a horizontal approach make the place a happier and more efficient place? If yes, how?

7 Territoriality

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Prior to 10,000 years ago, territoriality existed among humans. Huntergatherers were less tied, however, to a single chunk of land, as lower animals didn’t stay in one place for long. The invention of agriculture changed everything. Not only did this development take place in the Old World and in the New World—independently of each other. It also occurred around the same time—some 7,000 to 10,000 years ago. This suggests that the invention of agriculture was no accident but rather, an inevitable development of human evolution. For the first time in human history, humans were able to settle into agricultural communities. Since then, our territorial instinct has gotten the upper hand over our hunter-nomadic heritage. First, villages sprung. Then, towns were born. Cites ensued. Empires formed and crumbled. Modern nation-states then entered the scene. In the late 1700s, 13 of England’s American colonies— Great Britain had more colonies in Canada—united to fight a war against Great Britain. Self-declared as independent nation-states, historian Darren Staloff lectured in 1996, all that united the former colonies was a military alliance that resembled the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).241 The American mentality of independent nation-states remained intact until the Constitutional Convention of 1787—and some historians argue, until after the “Civil” War (1861-1865). “These United States” was, however, the first instance of independent nation-states uniting their currencies, postal systems, and governments. Hence, the name the United States. Like apple seeds, territoriality was present all along in the human psyche. But it required a specific climate to flourish—much like violence and peace.

241

Darren Staloff teaches American history at the City College of New York. Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part III: The Making of a Nation, “The Problem of National Identity,” Lecture 21. Historians Darren Staloff, Louis Masur, and James Shenton lectured for the Great Courses on Tape Series, (Springfield, VA: Teaching Co., 1996).

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Is territoriality no longer adaptive for the human species? Or will our need for community always require territorial instincts? For that matter, are territoriality and community both sides of the same coin? What role does our need for tribal identity play vis-à-vis building and guarding turf?

Tribal Identity, Community, and Survival

In The Mind of the Soul, authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis write that fear is what binds collectives. Fear of what? Of outsiders.242 The desire to preserve one’s group also keeps groups bound. What happens, however, when somebody lacks a clear-cut identity? Biracial Americans, for instance, report feeling like outsiders in the “white” world and in the “black” community—that is, biracial people of Caucasian and African descent. Another group that doesn’t really fit anywhere is New Yoricans (New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent). New Yoricans report not being seen as fully Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico and not being seen as fully American in the United States. Were it not for the New Yorican community in New York City, New Yoricans would have nowhere to call home. I am one of them. In Puerto Rico, I am seen as “de allá” (“from over there”). In the U.S., people ask me, “What country are you from?” For the most part, bi-national people have no national identity, no community, and no social recognition. To say the least, these voids cause most bi-nationals confusion, feelings of alienation, and dissatisfaction.
242

Gary Zukav and Linda Francis, The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice, (New York: Free Press, 2003), pgs. 27-29.

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Until bi-nationals construct enclaves, they will have nowhere—at least, in this world—to call home. Postmodern people decry labels as “meaningless.” The third b word—not biracial, not bi-national, but bisexual—is an example. Most bisexually active people refuse to identify as bi, although they have no problem identifying as straight or gay. They refuse to even say the b word. The saddest result is that in a country of 306 million people—the United States—bisexuals don’t have a single bi restaurant, a single bi community center, a single bi workout club, a single bi fraternity or sorority, or a single radio or cable network to call their own. Gay bars won’t accept bis as “truly queer,” and straight bars pose challenges of their own. Bis, in turn, have been unwilling to build their own communities—other than online and through articles, books, and conferences. The idea of a bi fraternity and a bi sorority, each with its own house, draws head shakes from insurance representatives, for insurance companies refuse to insure such ventures for obvious reasons. Attacked right and left, self-identified bis face the possibility of extinction, especially bi males, should they cave in to the incessant social pressure to choose an either/or sexual and romantic identity. Because postmodern people have safe identities like American, they don’t realize the damage that their disparagement of language is causing yet-to-be-formed bi communities. Sure, labels are limited. But so are the terms up and down in outer space. We keep up and down in our vocabulary because we recognize that, despite the limits of words, language is our only tool for verbal communication. Postmodern people have yet to realize, however, that one cannot build a community, bi or otherwise, while attacking the labels around which a community is built. No human enterprise has ever succeeded while calling for an end to language. Imagine, for instance, the invention of radio,

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television, and the computer with scientists saying, “Let’s not use labels.” Modern electronics would have been stopped cold. In Power vs. Force, David Hawkins lists pride as being below the critical level of 200. Below 200, human consciousness produces negative results, Hawkins argues in his book. Above 200, human consciousness creates positive results. Pride, Hawkins writes, brings division and war, and human desires lead to frustration.243 But is this always the case? More important, does it have to be this way? Or can we fulfill our desire for, say, community and belonging, have tribal identities, and respect others as members of same species? And as spiritual beings that hail from the same Source? Comm-unity (unity of commons) is a tricky thing, for we are exceedingly diverse and the world is getting increasingly impersonal. On the one hand, diversity doesn’t work by the majority. Rather, differing minority populations come together to form the smorgasbord of “the majority.” The Caucasian majority in America, for instance, is an amalgamation of ethnic minorities from Europe. This is how evolution works—minority populations with x characteristic here, minority populations with y characteristic there. This means that minorities are at risk of being isolated against stronger minorities that have united to form a majority—at least, in a given corner of the globe. On the other hand, building communities along racial, ethnic, religious, or other grounds may lead to tension with outsiders. Is there a middle ground? Can we have tribal identities and understand that there is no spiritual separation? Is a both/and world feasible?

243

See Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 81-83.

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The Clique Instinct

Haven’t you observed how we live in circles? At work, some colleagues have lunch together. Then, they invite one another to get-togethers at their homes, excluding other coworkers. As another example, consider what happened at a Conversations with God study group. I attended the group once a week and, like everyone there, joined the discussions. One night, business cards were exchanged. I gave my telephone number to two of the group’s participants. A few weeks later, I discovered that several members had gotten together at a house for Memorial Day 2006. Why, I wondered, wasn’t I invited? I certainly wasn’t a negative person to warrant exclusion. Hollywood celebrities associate with the rich and famous. CEOs convene with CEOs and politicians with politicians. New Age writers and speakers live in their own circles. Whatever the nature of the clique, elites phone each other only, write prefaces for one another, panel the same conferences, cite each other in books, and call each other by first name on the airwaves. Very important, elites don’t have to like one another. Many of them squabble. Nonetheless, they are linked through their association with each other. Haven’t you noted how, in print, the same names come up repeatedly? And how the same so-called experts keep appearing on television? If one didn’t know better, one would conclude that 50 people have all the answers to the world’s problems. Also, haven’t you noticed how, in cities and towns, elites congregate only in specific geographical areas? An example is VIPs seldom venturing north of East 96th street in Manhattan. Anyone who is not a club member will have a difficult time entering it. On March 2008, for instance, I saw Candy Crowley, a senior political correspondent, on television. The Cable News Network (CNN) was on at the gym where I exercised in Washington state. The

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world that Crowley inhabits felt to me like another planet—inaccessible to 306 million Americans, except by the “telescope” of the television screen. Jonathan Jackson, one of my most beloved actors, triggers this feeling in me as well. On November 2006, for example, I decided to drive from my apartment in eastern Washington to Vancouver, Washington so that I could hear Jonathan sing in his band Enation. To get to his world, however, I had to cross the Yakima Valley, foothills to the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia River, the Cascade Mountains, more foothills, and part of Vancouver. It was like traveling to another planet—his planet—and my world felt more remote than ever from his world. There is, of course, nothing “wrong” with people living within their wave of consciousness. The problem is that elites remain in their circles 90 to 100 percent of the time—as opposed to, say, 65 percent of the time. This isolates leaders from the public. Rarely have I seen or heard a workshop where the audience—not just the presenter—gives its input. To be fair, most lecturers have websites that answer questions from laypeople. But the format of question/answer fosters mass dependence on “experts” to provide answers, instead of allowing ordinary folks to voice their own take on things. If a question isn’t asked in the manner of a child asking a parent, then it is seldom posted on guru websites. As C-SPAN anchors repeat to call-in viewers, “If you don’t have a question, we’ll have to let you go.” Only once did Marianne Williamson find that, to her pleasant surprise, one of her audiences started to have a dialogue with itself. In her words, people in the audience gave one another input instead of relying on Williamson for answers.244 We tend to segregate ourselves into cliques. Then, we exclude nonmembers. This is one of our human tendencies. In postmodern society, the
244

Refer to the lecture that Marianne Williamson gave at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The Sacred Self Workshop, a two-cassette series, was published by Sound Horizons Audio, New York, 1994.

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insiders are the experts, the scientists, the gurus, the published writers, and the leaders—in short, the jet set. The average Joe, on the contrary, has no way of communicating with elites. Being in an ivory tower, elites are incommunicado. There are so few of them that they are overloaded with work and speaking engagements. How easily I can imagine a planet where 100 percent of the populace was allowed to shine—as opposed to 20 percent. In such a world, everyone would have time for everybody because plenty of us would be in positions of prominence to pick up the slack. Despite myths to the contrary, most of the (Dis)United States is classsegregated. One Sunday afternoon, for instance, my adopted aunt drove me around Gainesville, Florida, my college town. I learned that doctors, lawyers, engineers, and professors live in houses worth—or said to be worth—some $250,000 to $500,000. Most of those mansions are made of cardboard, however. If a major hurricane hits the Southeast, tatters will be flying everywhere. The real houses were the mansions made of solid block, solid concrete, solid bricks, and solid columns. Such mansions are off limits, even to doctors and lawyers. Just because America is a “middle class” country doesn’t mean that it is a classless society. Furthermore, the upper middle class has much in common with the working class. One night, for example, I entered a supermarket in an upper middle class part of town. The supermarket had waxed floors of creamwhite, a deli with homemade meals averaging $9.99 a plate, 20 slices of cheese selling for $6.29 a pack, and no “colored” people. What did I see by the parting glass doors of the cavernous entrance? Machines for lotto games. I asked myself, If upper middle class residents of this neighborhood are so well-off, why are there lotto machines here? As we all know, wealthy people don’t play the lottery. This is not only because they know that the odds of winning are almost nil, but also, because wealthy people don’t need the extra money. The upper

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middle class has much in common with the working class. In fact, 62 percent of American workers are in working class—not middle class—jobs, according to economics professor Michael Zweig.245 These jobs range from janitors to clerks to cashiers to truck drivers. Elites are the aristocracy of the CEOs; the politicians; the internationally known writers and speakers; the Hollywood directors, actors, and actresses; and the rock and pop stars. Next comes the upper middle class of doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, mechanics, airline pilots, and journalists. The lower middle class of teachers, cab drivers, flight attendants, and waitresses comes further down the class pyramid. Last is the underclass of people—most of them minorities—locked outside of the social, cultural, economic, and political system. This underclass lives in the bombed-out inner cities (e.g., the South Bronx) or in very rural areas (e.g., the Appalachian mountains). The aristocracy has a voice and loud megaphones. The multitude does not. Haven’t you noticed how many Western leaders are WASP? Does Congress, in turn, reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. population? The human tendency to form cliques is where segregation begins. Then, cliques expand into local, regional, and national networks, and national networks become the international jet set. A trans-instinctual society doesn’t necessarily end cliques, for this is a human impulse that leads to survival-related enterprises like community and nation-building. Trans-instinctual humans, however, go through great efforts to spend, say, 65 percent of their time with their kind, instead of 95 percent. As uncomfortable as it may feel, trans-instinctual humans leave their comfort zones to spend time with people with whom they have nothing in common. This is because trans-instinctual humans know that one learns nothing when spending time with others who are mirrors of oneself. This does not mean subjecting
245

Zweig also runs the Center for Study of Working Class Life. See Bill Moyers Journal. This segment aired on PBS on October 17, 2008.

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oneself to the presence of “lowlives,” for lower consciousness can bring down one’s consciousness with frequent exposure. Rather, rising above cliquishness means spending some time with people who are within one’s wave of consciousness but who are not members of one’s clique. Examples are writers convening with non-writers, leaders talking to non-leaders, and celebrities dating non-celebrities. Even here, however, a person with a high enough consciousness can also associate with lower consciousness if the higher consciousness is high enough to displace lower consciousness. For example, Walt Whitman, the 19th century poet, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Abraham Lincoln. This was a classic elite circle. But during the American “Civil” War, Whitman stepped out of his social world and comforted tens of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers. Whitman sat by, listened to, nursed, and even kissed wounded soldiers. The love that Whitman showed them was one form of trans-instinctuality in action, for though Whitman was a man of letters, he stepped outside his social world and into the world of the battlefield hospital.246

The Pitfalls of Turf

Community tempts its members to dilute—and even wipe out—other communities. Rock ‘n Roll, for instance, began as the blues music of African Americans. In the 1950s, Caucasian musicians like Elvis Presley borrowed— some would say, stole—the rhythm of African Americans. Rock ‘n Roll became
246

See American Experience: Walt Whitman. The section is titled, “The Civil War.” This episode originally aired on PBS on April 14, 2008.

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rock, and today, most of us barely concede the origins of rock music. Something similar happened to the jazz, rap, and hip-hop of African Americans. Mainstream bands and music labels took on—and have profited from—these genres of music as if they were theirs. The banana split is a Canadian invention, as is the chocolate bar, the sweet McIntosh apple, the zipper, basketball,247 and standard time.248 Ice hockey is also Canadian in origin.249 Americans incorporated these inventions into their culture, never acknowledged the Canadian origins of these products, and consequently, believe that these are “American.” Many “American” movies— such as the Air Bud films of the late 1990s and early 2000s—are also Canadian in that most of their film crew, actors, actresses, and even producers are Canadian (e.g., actor Kevin Zegers), dual citizens of the United States and Canada (e.g., actor Fred Keating), or dually-bred in both countries (e.g., actress Cynthia Stevenson).250 Because the U.S. exports its culture to the rest of the world, much of the globe is blind, as well, about the Canadiana that it is consuming. Straight-identified men often wear tattoos, earrings, and nail polish and grow their hair long. Yet, most straight guys are unaware about the queer origins of these fashion trends. Given that so many “straight” men dress like this, bi men who wear earrings, nail polish, and their hair long cannot become visible to one another. After all, so many “straight” men dress queer that fashion is no longer a marker of queer identity. Invisibility of bi men is the result. The net of heterosexuality has expanded without having to change in any fundamental way. Image—not content. Style—not substance. Bis, who have the

247 248

Invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891, basketball was first played in Springfield, Massachusetts. See Andrew H. Malcolm, The Canadians, (New York: Times Books, 1985), pgs. 130-132. 249 Ice hockey is to be distinguished from non-ice hockey, for non-ice hockey is ancient. 250 See the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) for more information about the nationality of the actors, actresses, and film crew of the Air Bud films.

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content and substance of being bi, are denied these fashion markers by a straight world that co-opted them from queers. Human territoriality leads to the desire for community. But for all of their psychological benefits, communities tend to wipe out other communities. Such extermination is done by swallowing coexisting cultures—that is to say, by claiming subcultures as part of the mainstream. Afterward, behemoths impose their values on the remaining weaker populations, who are then asked to “assimilate.” Converse to the Canadian model of the mosaic, the American melting pot encourages assimilation within and beyond its borders. One result is that about 90 percent of Canadian movie theaters show only American—not Canadian—movies.251 Similarly, some 80 percent of Canadian television is composed of U.S. programs. Why? Because trade agreements, backed by the American film and TV industries, have forced the Canadian government to allow the American media full access to the Canadian market. One major result is that violence and gore from U.S. shows is growing on Canadian television. Also, fewer Canadian children are pronouncing z the Canadian way—zed—probably due to the importation of Sesame Street into Canada.252 That Canadian culture is losing its subtle distinctiveness doesn’t matter to anyone outside of Canada.

Nations—A Necessary Evil?

251

Actually, 95 percent of movie theaters in Canada show foreign films. Almost all of these movies are American. See Mel Hurtig, The Vanishing Country: Is It Too Late to Save Canada?, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 2002), p. 97. 252 See Malcolm, The Canadians.

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The existence of sovereign nations—not puppet nations—allows for diverse political systems, economic philosophies, and cultures. Imagine, for instance, if the ascendant Republicans annulled Roe v. Wade (1973) and passed a federal amendment that limits marriage to one man and one woman. Without Canada and Mexico existing as independent nation-states, American policies would affect practically everyone in North America. Progressives would have nowhere to go on the continent. After World War II, Albert Einstein commented, “There is no salvation for civilization, or even the human race, other than the creation of a world government.”253 If a world government is to work, however, states rights must be guaranteed on a host of key areas. Before the (Un)Civil War, American states were, to a large extent, autonomous. In a sense, antebellum America was more like a confederation of states. To be sure, the federal government was stronger than under the Articles of Confederation (1783-1789). But throughout the 19th century, the government of the United States remained weak by today’s standards. This weakness of a center led to regionalism. Regionalism, in turn, led to what may be called a minifirst world war—American states joining in a single block (the Union) and fighting the other block (the Confederacy). The same thing happened during World War I and II, when one block (the Allies) fought another block (the Central/Axis Powers). The schisms that regionalism can lead to must be addressed if a United States of Planet Earth is to become reality. After the American “Civil” War, the South blew its right to states rights by institutionalizing racial segregation and “white” terror. After 80 years of inaction—1877 to 1957—the federal government resent troops to the South. Today, the federal government overrides state laws in a manner that the U.S.
253

See “Famous Quotations on World Government and Related Matters” at the website titled, Democratic World Government. The URL is http://www.voteworldgovernment.org/quotes.shtml.

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Constitution forbids. Same-sex marriage is a state issue, for example, not a federal one. Also a state matter, not a federal one, is age-of-consent legislation. One would think that a nation as huge as the United States would have 50 different approaches to the many social possibilities out there—one approach per state, or at least, one different approach per region. Unfortunately, 50 states hasn’t translated to this form of diversity. The Catch-22 is that, left to their devices, states often trample individual rights. The pre-1965 disfranchisement of African Americans in the South is an example. On the other hand, the federal government can trample the right of states to set their own laws. Finding a balance is very difficult in a federal system. Conversely, the existence of different countries allows nation-states to set their own rules of the game. If a United States of Planet Earth is to exist, then states rights must exist while the central government prevents states from abusing the rights of citizens. Supreme Court decisions must be kept to a minimum, in turn, as they would affect everyone on the planet. Imagine if Roe v. Wade were overturned and all nations belonged to a United States of Planet Earth. In this scenario, every nation would be forced to comply with such a Supreme Court decision. Citizens who disagreed would have nowhere to flee. Indigenous cultures would meld into a melting pot—that is, if the American model were followed to the letter. Within a few years, there would be one national agenda, one national currency, one national media, and one national set of values. Homogeneity would ensue—with rebellion in some quarters. Language diversity would diminish due to laws making English or some other language the official language a la California. Laws everywhere would become the same. Because one can legislate morality—with exceptions like Prohibition— religious, cultural, and sexual mores would converge everywhere. Sweden, for instance, bans TV ads that are directed at children under 12. The Swedish

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government rejects such commercials because almost all of them push junk food on kids. As we all know, empty calories can lead to obesity, including childhood obesity. The Swedish government argues that kids are vulnerable to manipulation from TV ads because children don’t yet understand the purpose of commercials. But because Sweden is a member of the European Union, the European Court of “Justice” ruled that Sweden can’t ban such ads if they originate outside Sweden.254 Similarly, under terms of the North American “Free Trade” Agreement (NAFTA), Canada is prohibited from passing laws that will protect its workers and environment if those laws threaten corporate profits. In accord with NAFTA, corporations can sue Mexico, Canada, and the United States if any of these nations engages in self-rule. NAFTA also makes it illegal for Canada to cut off its exports of oil to the U.S., even if Canadians don’t have enough for themselves. Another example of the dragon overpowering the bobcat is what happened in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the official ban on gays by the Boy Scouts of America violates New Jersey’s antidiscrimination statute.255 The U.S. Supreme Court, however, overturned New Jersey’s court ruling in 2000.256 Today, New Jersey is powerless to assert its gay anti-discrimination law. Even more shocking is that both the U.S. House and Senate voted near unanimously in support of the Boy Scouts.257 Their vote affirms the right of a public service organization—which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was a “private” one—to discriminate, then to have access to federal (public) lands and to state buildings, including those of New Jersey. The U.S.
254

See article, “Sweden Has an Explicit Ban on TV Advertising Targeted at Children,” Konsumentverket/KO, March 14, 2001. At http://www.konsumentverket.se/mallar/en/ pressmeddelande.asp?lngArticleId=824&lngCategoryId=659. 255 See the P.O.V. segment titled, “Scout’s Honor.” The program originally aired on PBS on June 19, 2001. 256 The U.S. Supreme Court case was Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. The 5-4 vote came on June 28, 2000. 257 The vote was 391 to 3 (U.S. House) and 418 to 7 (U.S. House) in 2004 and 2005. See “Boy Scouts of America Membership Controversies” at Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. The URL of the article is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies.

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Constitution limits federal powers by reserving all powers not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights to the states. In practice, however, the federal government overrules state legislation. A major area of national concern is control over who enters each country. If all nation-states unite, then any citizen of the world will be able to move from one end of the globe to the other. For better or worse, this is the global trend, particularly in the West. Western nations are and will continue to be swamped by people from non-Western nations. This will destroy the history, culture, values, and ethnic composition of the West. This is no different from what happened to Native Americans when Europeans came in throngs to North America. No group of people wants to evaporate from the face of the earth—or even become a minority in their homeland. As Connie Fogal, leader of the Canadian Action Party (CAP), said at a press conference in reference to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico: Nations matter! Canadians are different from people from the United States, and we’re different from people from Mexico. And Vive le France. We respect each other. We’ve had good relations. That will continue. Trade will always continue. It’s always been here and always will be here. It’s necessary. These [so-called trade] agreements, these arrangements are not about trade. They’re about the destruction of sovereign nations, with the intention, a deliberate intention to destroy nations and to destroy sovereignty. And it’s about time that we got political leaders that are prepared to take the bull by the horns and call it for what it is and say,“It’s gotta stop!” And I’m most grateful for the leadeship coming out of the United States of America, where we actually

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have some political leaders in elected positions saying, “We do not want the North American Union.” They’re actually calling it for what it is. And we’ve got state legislatures, 19 of them were saying, “We don’t want a North American Union.”258 That is instinctual consciousness, something that is understandable because defending one’s turf is human. We, however, are at a point in human history when we will have to become trans-instinctual regarding the impulse to defend our borders, ethnicities, and way of life. Part of me is as nationalistic as Fogal. Human territoriality has preserved the human races, cultures, and ethnicities for thousands of years. But like it or not, humanity must now evolve beyond territoriality—and fast. Another topic of major importance is the control of money in a world government. If the example of the European Union is followed, then all member states would use the same currency. The creation and distribution of money would be in the hands of a supranational entity, as is the case with the Euro. But as Connie Fogal said at her August 2007 press conference in Ottawa, Canada: And don’t be mistaken for one moment that this North American Union has its intention of a common currency, an Amero … It’s talked about. And the intention [of the global corporate elite] is to remove the sovereignty [of Canada, the United States, and Mexico] even further from the people because any people that have no control over the creation, the distribution, and the operation of their money has no control over anything [emphasis mine]. It doesn’t matter … who is in government if
258

See YouTube video titled, “Connie Fogal Speaks Out Against the SPP.” The Coalition to Block the North American Union gave this press conference at the Weston Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. It was taped on August 20, 2007. Esialpha added it to YouTube on September 21, 2007. Video at http://youtube.com/watch?v=kCKsCH2PCs4.

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they don’t have control over their money.259 Fogal has some valid points. But as I write in Part I, Chapter 13, section titled, “Understanding Lack of Control and the Nature of Problems”: If the United States goes bankrupt—and it might from all the recent bailouts and mounting debt—then the U.S. dollar will collapse, as will the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso. The Amero (currency being proposed for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) may be the only way that 443 million people won’t go without food, pay, and other necessities. If I were president of the United States, I would have the Amero ready to take over immediately—and I mean immediately—when and if the U.S. dollar collapses. I would also have an alternate banking system on the sidelines, ready to rescue America, Canada, and Mexico. If nations unite to manifest the higher truth that we are one, then the political balance will be extremely delicate. Give too much power to the federal government, and states rights goes out the window. Give too much power to the states, and you have what is transpiring in Canada with its 10 provinces. As author Mel Hurtig writes in The Vanishing Country: … Canada’s provinces have far stronger and wider powers than U.S. states, but are also more powerful than the German Länder, the French départements, Australian states, or regional governments in England and Japan.

259

See YouTube video titled, “Connie Fogal Speaks Out Against the SPP.”

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Enough is enough, or, more likely, it is far too much already.260 David Cameron, a political scientist at the University of Toronto, said that if the current trend of decentralization continues in Canada: It’ll become like the Holy Roman Empire. It will just fade away. There’ll be no need for it. The dukes and the earls and sovereigns running the provinces will be what actually counts.261 In light of peak oil (see epilogue), a world government may seem contradictory. After all, a post-oil world will have to scale everything down, relocalize, and reduce its population. The possibility of nations fighting over the remaining oil makes a limited world government necessary in the short to medium-term, however. The alternative is almost certainty to be nuclear war. A worldwide, NATO-style military alliance—what America started as under the Articles of Confederation—seems like the best way to prevent a nuclear holocaust. Human territoriality—of which nationalism is an aspect—has adaptive aspects. In its better form, territoriality encourages us to preserve our ethnic identities and ensures diversity of language, culture, values, and religion throughout the world. In its worst aspect, territoriality leads to wars. To overcome the maladaptive aspects of territoriality, we will need to share power (the definition of democracy). We will need to respect all groups of people, even groups that we dislike. We will need to embrace differences and see oneness as the reality behind those differences. We will need to live and let live, instead of imposing our way on everyone else. States will need to be governed by the
260 261

Hurtig, The Vanishing Country, p. 324. Ibid.

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brightest of the bright—not by the greediest of the greedy. People who pass the most rigorous test of service to others must be at the helm. The federal government, in turn, will need to let states rule themselves, imposing federal laws only when absolutely necessary. Just as important, strict guidelines will have to be set regarding how necessary is defined. Moreover, as BusinessWeek magazine itself stated in an editorial, corporations should “get out of politics.”262 Unlike the globalization of today—which is being imposed from the top down— a world government would also have to be enacted from the bottom up. “The people” would be the leaders of elected representatives, not vice-versa. As Ella Baker, the civil rights activist, said in the 1960s, “group-centered leaders, not leader-centered groups.”263 Such changes will necessitate comprehensive education for everyone. The indoctrination that schools are propagating to youth would be a thing of the past. All of this will require a Spiritual Great Awakening (an inner revolution) and a Civic Great Awakening (an outer revolution) on a scale never before seen. In sum, trans-instinctual humans realize that our territorial instinct will always be with us. Why will this tendency remain? Because it serves evolutionary purposes. The safety, pride, and satisfaction of belonging to a community motivate one to defend and work for it, for example. At the same time, trans-instinctual humans know that territoriality threatens weaker groups, communities, and nations with forced assimilation. How to keep the balance between the pros and cons of our territorial instinct will be one of humanity’s biggest challenges in the 21st century.

262

The BusinessWeek editorial was printed in response to Aaron Bernstein, Michael Arndt, Wendy Zellner, and Peter Coy, “Too Much Corporate Power?” BusinessWeek, September 11, 2000, No. 3698: 144-158. The editorial, titled, “New Economy, New Social Contract,” was written by an unnamed author. It appeared on p. 182 of the same issue of BusinessWeek. 263 Ella Baker said this to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s.

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The next chapter examines the social, religious, political, and economic dangers of following herds and leaders. The trans-instinctual alternative is sprinkled throughout the chapter.

Exercises
1) How do you feel about parting with cherished objects? If you share things, do you impose conditions? 2) At work, how territorial are you? In the home? What, for example, do you guard as yours? How far will you go to defend your property? 3) Do you consider yourself to have a country? Why or why not? What do you think is required to belong to a nation? 4) In which social circles, if any, do you feel like an outsider? What lines— racial, ethnic, religious, professional, or age-based—are used to determine the insiders and outsiders? How have you coped with being an outsider inside a group? Outside a group? Is being an outsider easier in or out of a group? Why?

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5) Do you think that children should be the property of their parents? Why or why not? How did you come to your viewpoint?

6) In your part of the globe, how do you view foreigners? At what percentage mark, if any, do you think that immigration to your country should cease? If foreigners don’t work, should they be deported from your nation? 7) Do you like the idea of your country becoming part of a larger political entity? Write or speak into a tape recorder the pros and cons. Consider, for instance, if you like the notion of everyone becoming a citizen of planet Earth. How does anyone entering and leaving your nation at will tempt you to feel? Do you feel the need to help preserve the language, history, culture, ethnic, and racial composition of your country? Why or why not?

8 Following the Flock and Its Drivers Since the dawn of woman and man, we have tended to tag behind groups and leaders. We have a deep need to worship something larger than ourselves.

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This tendency has pros and cons. In its adaptive aspect, our human impulse to follow others brings social cohesion. Culture, after all, exists because enough of us have internalized the values and practices of the society in which we live. This keeps the social fabric intact. Any civilization is a product of this. In its maladaptive aspect, however, the human impulse to follow others can lead to the internalization of outdated taboos, to workaholism, to blind consumerism, to hatred against outsiders, and to violence. Such negatives arise from our surrendering our internal power to peers and to leaders in spiritually unevolved cultures. Charismatic leaders are the most dangerous because they hypnotize the public into following them and their agendas. How does “group think” and following elites manifest in Western society?264 What dangers do these two things pose? Can we balance social consensus with independent thinking? How does democracy fit into this? What are the consequences of living in a world with dwindling human freedoms?

Sheep Joining Sheep

Our times illustrate the human tendency to join the flock. What truths and fallacies can we find around us? What dangers do postmodern beliefs pose on a planet that is highly techno-logical (logical in a techno way) but spiritually asleep? What might all of this teach us about our future? The 20th century was the peak of the oil and industrial age. The two go together. In those 100 years, technology reached unprecedented heights. For the
264

The term “group think” is borrowed from George Orwells’s 1984, (New York, Milestones Editions, 1949).

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first time in the history of our species, oil-based products became available en masse. Such items, still with us, include plastics, shellacked wood, rubber tires and sneakers, polyurethane floors at the bowling alley, neoprene water suits, electronics, cell phones, and computers. Virtually all of these products first became available in the West. Not surprisingly, materialism and consumerism first exploded in the Western world. Modern science, a European invention, has predictably been materialistic. Everything in this universe was—and still is— reduced to physical and biological laws, even human consciousness itself. Science is the realm of man because human logic (the cerebral cortex) and human concerns (e.g., to know, control, and improve material life) drive it. Religion is also the realm of man because human irrationality (e.g., a loving God punishes sinners) and the human ego drive it. Spirituality, on the contrary, is the realm of God because divine logic (from beyond the cerebral cortex) and spiritual evolution drive it. Human rationality comes from a closed system (the human brain). If God comes from outside that system, then judging the Creator solely by human standards—as modern science does—is misguided beyond a certain point. God exists beyond human rationality, beyond the biological senses, beyond human instincts, beyond human emotions, and even beyond human experience itself—simply because all of these are relative to each individual and Brahma exists beyond the relative. Humanism displaced religion in the 20th century. In the words of Betty Smocovitis, a history of science professor of mine at the University of Florida, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was “the culmination of evolutionary humanism.” That PBS series, however, defined human evolution—not to mention, the evolution of this universe—in purely physical terms. Spiritual evolution was disregarded. Like astronomer Carl Sagan, futurist Gerard O’Neill defined human

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consciousness solely in material terms.265 For these scholars, human consciousness was nothing more than the product of neurons firing in the brain. Biological survival, in turn, was the only goal of life on earth, and sex existed just for reproduction. Whether physicists, chemists, or biologists, most scientists internalized the matter-survival proxy as the basis of existence. Truth was defined solely by “evidence,” and evidence was defined only in physical terms. On whether extraterrestrials have ever visited earth, for example, Carl Sagan narrates in the Cosmos episode “Encyclopaedia Galactica”: What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we’d like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence, rigorously and skeptically examined [emphasis mine].266 While alive, however, how did Carl Sagan define hard? For that matter, how did he define evidence? What, other than belief in “objectivity,” led Sagan to accept evidence—defined only in material terms—as the only criterion of Truth? What about the fact that spiritual evidence can differ from scientific evidence? What if scientists aren’t aware about spiritual methods of finding Truth—the metaphysical equivalent of the scientific method? In Power vs. Force, David Hawkins writes that humankind’s chief weakness is its inability to tell truth from fiction.267 Sane individuals can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Otherwise, one is delusional. Take Carl Sagan’s above statement—the blockquote. Is it fact or opinion? Science has, no doubt, brought us technological progress through the scientific method. But the

265

See Gerard K. O’Neill, 2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981), pgs. 256-257. 266 Cosmos, “Encyclopaedia Galactica,” (Episode 12). 267 Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 19 and 288.

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Achilles’ heel of science is its discounting anything that is immeasurable. As Daniel Lieberman, a paleoanthropologist, says on PBS’s Neanderthals on Trial: We [scientists] delude ourselves into believing variations that we can measure … that those actually give us information that answer the questions we’re asking in the first place. And they may not.268 Given that much—in fact, most—of Reality is not measurable, dismissing the immeasurable can prove dangerous. Other than the polygraph test, for example, science hasn’t yielded a reliable way of determining whether, say, a political candidate is telling the truth or lying. And even polygraph tests have been shown to be unreliable. With Hitlers and Stalins in our past, present, and future, nonmaterial methods of finding Truth must be invented and discovered. Still, most scientists—and increasing numbers of laypeople—have adopted agnosticism and atheism as a way of life. Living one of perhaps hundreds of lifetimes (death times), more children are growing up believing that “you only live once” and that physical death is the end for all eternity. Surely, this is damaging to the psyche of children. But 20th century sheep joined 20th century sheep. Westerners grew up in a world where, for “hard” scientists, knowledge (the ends) became their god and the scientific method (the means) their religion. “Soft” scientists adopted other gods. For economists, the “invisible hand” of the market (the ends) became their god and privatization (the means) their religion. For psychologists and psychiatrists, mental health (the ends) became their god and diagnosis and therapy (the means) their religion. Whether “hard” or “soft,” scientists claim to have discovered truths that are supported by “empirical evidence,” by “laws of nature,” by “dictates of the free
268

See Nova: Neanderthals on Trial. This show premiered on PBS on January 22, 2002.

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market,” and by “human psychology.” The goal of these scientists is to improve human life because, in the words of author Alan Ebenstein, the more we know about the effects of something, the more we can prepare either by doing it or avoiding it. The problem is that conflicting political, economic, psychological, and scientific theories exist. Each claims to be the way. Most of us forget Alan Ebenstein’s words. As he told a C-SPAN audience, “The true test of a theory is its ability to predict [emphasis mine].”269 Most people join the flock based on popular notions of what is right and true—rather than on what their minds and hearts tell them. Why were so many people raised in the 20th century so skeptical about spirituality? Among other reasons, because Westerners became like Santo Tomas (Doubting Thomas). As the Spanish saying goes, “Sí no lo véo, no lo créo” (“If I don’t see it, I don’t believe it”). Even when we see things, many of us still don’t believe our eyes. The postmodern skeptical mind is, undoubtedly, a product of the industrial age. Humankind made so much technological progress that it forgot about everything else. Even my college professor was slightly off mark when she said that Cosmos, which premiered in September 1980, was “the culmination of evolutionary humanism.” Cosmos, to be sure, did cover biological evolution, and evolutionary humanism views humanity as the apex of an evolutionary progression of consciousness—materially caused—on planet Earth. According to this worldview, humans are now responsible for what direction biological evolution takes next. But Cosmos ignored spiritual evolution. In neglecting a major aspect of evolution—spiritual evolution—Cosmos can be said to be, rather, the height of secular humanism. This is the brand of humanism that drew a sizeable chunk of humanity in the 20th century. People like Carl Sagan and

269

Author of Hayek’s Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek, Alan Ebenstein spoke to a C-SPAN audience on July 31, 2006.

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Gerard O’Neill are products of the industrial era, an age that glorified matter over mind and spirit. Before 1900, scientists kept God in their science. There were, of course, exceptions. But, in general, scientists of the 19th century followed a prematerialistic paradigm. Scientists of the 20th century, however, explained everything in physical terms. By the late 20th century, even belief in God was, and still is, attributed to biology alone. The latest incarnation of this is the book The God Delusion, meaning the God of traditional religion. This is the work that Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, authored in 2006.270 New Consciousness scientists of the early 21st century—such as physicians Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil—are seeking to reintegrate science with spirituality. Humanistic spirituality is the emerging new paradigm. This paradigm is the reverse of the “ ‘spiritually corrosive’ ” worldview of the secular humanists.271 Another visage of secular humanism is the study of human sexuality and the study of the human mind. Through most of the 20th century, however, sexologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists saw homosexuality as a “mental illness.” As late as 1992, the World Health Organization classified this form of sexuality as a “disorder.” As for spiritual epiphanies, shrinks explained them away as “hallucinations” and as the product of “neurons firing in the brain.” Spiritual experiences are still suspected to be signs of “psychological disorder.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the bible of the psychological and psychiatric professions—lists as “disorders” healthy forms of human beingness. Consider the following list of so-called mental and sexual disorders:

270 271

See Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, Co., 2006). Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, (New York: Random House, Inc., 1994), p. 47.

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1)

Becoming sexually aroused by a woman’s breasts or by a man’s buttocks (fetishism)

2)

Watching one’s romantic partner make love to a third party with the consent of all (voyeurism)

3)

Enjoying the baring of one’s genitals—with the consent of all parties—to a lovemaking group (exhibitionism)

Sexologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists make no distinction between healthy and unhealthy forms of the above so-called disorders. Tragically, these social scientists have influenced popular attitudes—and have created needless anxiety, guilt, and shame—about harmless aspects of human nature that have been around since the dawn of humans. What have secular humanism (which science and psychology represent) and humanistic spirituality (the blending of the secular and the spiritual) got to do with following the flock? For starters, any paradigm—material or spiritual, maladaptive or adaptive, popular or professional—shows that we gravitate toward the consciousness of the surrounding group. Even professionals, who ought to have highly developed minds, easily fall victim to ideology, to cultural mores, and to political pressures. So-called experts adopt the mindset of their colleagues, era, and culture.

Sheep Following Sheepherders

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In the movie The Dead Zone (1983), Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens in a hospital after a five-year coma. A former schoolteacher, John finds his two-story house surrounded by a political campaign. Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) is running for election to the U.S. Senate. At a mass rally, Stillson brays about unemployment, grates about “what the hell has happened to this country,” and sloganizes solutions to America’s problems. Roger Stuart (Anthony Zerbe) sits down on a brownish davenport of patterns in his living room. Roger tells John, who is sitting to his right, to watch the televised appearance of Stillson. The scene unfolds as follows: Roger: Can you believe this guy [emphasis mine]? He’s just getting warmed up. Are you gonna vote for him, John? John: [smiles] I’m not even registered. Roger: Well, get registered, pal. And vote against this turkey. He’s dangerous. [Stillson keeps bawling at a mass audience.] Roger: A real man of the people. Jesus, what an ax. Can’t they see through this guy [emphasis mine]? Carl Sagan’s criterion for establishing Truth was whether a hypothesis is testable. Science, a materialistic religion, goes by physical evidence. This

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evidence makes science, in Sagan’s words, “a candle in the dark.”272 But as Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) tells Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent Spiner) in a Next Generation episode of Star Trek, “. . . we almost never have all the facts.” A 21st century boy may believe, for example, that the world was black-and-white in the 1950s, based on black-and-white movies that he has seen on the tube. If the lad doesn’t get more facts about that epoch, he will grow up with such a belief. Sometimes, I myself wonder if men dressed in black suits, white shirts, and dark ties all the time, as they do in films of the 1940s and 1950s. Science is a sensory pursuit. As such, it can only tell us so much about the whole Truth. That which lies beyond what facts can explain must hence be sought by intuition and feeling. Lieutenant La Forge, however, warns Commander Data: But you can’t always go with your gut, either. It’s, well, it’s a combination, Data … All these feelings [emphasis mine] that get in the way of human judgement, that confuse the hell out of us, that make us second-guess ourselves. We need them. We need them to help us fill in the missing pieces because we almost never have all the facts [emphasis mine].273 Later in the episode, Data, the white android, observes Romulan Admiral Jarok (James Sloyan). Jarok has defected from the Romulan Empire. He has military secrets that he wants to share with the United Federation of Planets in order to prevent a war between the two space powers. At Ten-Forward, the restaurantbar of the Starship Enterprise, Data tells Jarok, “I was attempting to ascertain
272

See Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, (New York: Random House, Inc., 1995). 273 Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Defector.” This episode originally aired in syndication on December 30, 1989 (Season 3, episode 10).

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what my guts tell me about you [emphasis mine].”274 Intuition comes—partly— from the gut because this is the area of the third chakra (yellow). This energy center is, like the sixth chakra (indigo), in charge of our psychic abilities. In the film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Professor Jacob Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe) tells Klaatu (Michael Rennie), the spaceman, “It isn’t faith that makes good science, Mr. Klaatu. It’s curiosity.” The implication is that religion and spirituality—the opposite of science—operate by faith. Spirituality, however, works by awareness. It is an inner knowing that science cannot explain, for science comes from the premise of, “I don’t know.” While the Spirit/soul knows everything, the cerebral cortex needs to learn in order for its host, the human body, to survive. Being matter, the human brain—which should not be confused with the human mind—pertains to a realm of limits. Unlike our Spirits/souls, our physical bodies need to learn from the material universe—although our Minds give our human bodies unconscious wisdom. Thus, human ignorance needs to be displaced by eating from the fruit of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Such a partaking symbolized Adam and Eve’s departure from knowing (the spirit plane), their descent into ignorance (the human realm), and their needing to relearn. The material sphere is where relearning occurs. Science is “a candle in the dark” in that it has led us to knowledge about the physical universe —not to mention, high technology.275 The word science itself means, in Latin, “knowledge.”276 But science cannot provide the whole Truth—such as whether a political candidate is a Hitler about to rise to power. Why not? Because science is limited to what its instruments can measure.

274 275

Ibid. See Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. 276 Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience, p. 248.

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In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) yells at Dr. Barron (James Greene) about a race of preindustrial humanoids. In the conference lounge of the Enterprise, Picard lectures Barron: Your report describes how rational these people are [emphasis mine]. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now, you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!277 The hallmark of superstition is ignorance of the unknown and therefore, fear. Superstitious people do something—or avoid doing it—in order to “prevent bad luck.” To believe in the supernatural is to believe in things, including laws, that transcend the visible universe. But mysticism isn’t about ignorance. Rather, mysticism is about knowing. It is about awareness of that which is beyond the physical universe. A scientist may disagree that mystics “know.” That, however, is because the scientist is coming from a different belief system, one that defines material evidence—not spiritual evidence—as the only arbiter of Truth. But what about false evidence appearing to be real? A postmodern person may cite quack psychics as evidence that mysticism is hocuspocus. Fake psychics exist in droves, after all. But just because many, or even most, ducks are black doesn’t mean that no white ducks exist. The reason stereotypes exist is because they are based on some truth. In “Who Watches the Watchers?”, Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) asks Dr. Barron, “Are you saying that this belief [in the supernatural] will eventually become a religion?”278 Captain Picard calls such a prospect
277

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Who Watches the Watchers?” This episode originally aired in syndication on October 14, 1989 (Season 3, episode 4). 278 Ibid.

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“horrifying.” But beliefs have created not just religion but science as well. Like the religious crusaders of the Middle Ages, scientists claim that science is the only way to Truth. Beliefs are nonetheless what science is about. These beliefs, of course, have led to scientific discoveries regarding the laws of this universe— truths concerning physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics. But just because science claims a monopoly on the whole Truth doesn’t make it so. The debate isn’t so much between science and religion as between one type of religion and another type of religion. (For my definition of religion, see Part I, Chapter 4, section titled, “People Who Embrace the Teachings of More Than One Religion.”) Hard as it is to believe, human rationality is what leads to Greg Stillson’s election in The Dead Zone. In the movie, Stillson appears to be a member of the working class. And not just a member but a noble member. For example, he wears a white construction helmet at a rally. Stillson also smiles at his audiences, yet rails about unemployment as if he were a man in search of justice. A rational voter will, very likely, say, “Hey! He looks honest. He sounds honest. I’ll vote for him.” The mystic mind, on the other hand, will go by feeling and by gut instinct—not just by surface appearances. There is a parallel between The Day the Earth Stood Still and the movie Night Crossing (1981). Near the end of both films, loving, rational, courageous people seek to escape societies that are heartless, irrational, and paranoid. In the 1951 flick, that milieu is a McCarthyistic America. In the 1981 picture, the world is that of the former East Germany. Carl Sagan mistrusted mysticism because, historically, it has existed in societies that have been full of fear, superstition, and barbarism. But correlation is not causation. Furthermore, technological societies have often been as paranoid and brutal as prescientific societies. Nazi Germany is the quintessential example of a scientific society that was not spiritually

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advanced. Conversely, Klaatu’s people were faith-strong and technologically advanced—in fact, more so than humanity. Therefore, metaphysics (the study of what is beyond measure) is as valid as science (the study of the measurable). This doesn’t mean that one should replace the other. Rather, it signifies that each can explain things—and thus, bring human and spiritual progress—in areas that the other cannot. Can science help voters see the truth of leaders who spit one thing and do another? In The Dead Zone, nobody is able to see the real candidate behind the mask. The only exceptions are Roger, who has political interests in getting Stillson elected, and John, who has developed psychic powers. At a mass rally, John shakes Stillson’s hand and sees a horrifying scene in his mind. As it turns out, Stillson is a Hitler about to rise to power. In John’s psychic vision, Stillson launches the first nuclear strike in what appears to be the beginning of World War III. Hence, knowing how to tell truth from lies is paramount for the survival of humanity. Where science fails—such as the unreliable polygraph test—gut instinct must fill in. The arm-testing method that David Hawkins developed is another method of seeking truths.279 For instance, one holds an object like a CD and asks oneself, “Does holding this CD weaken or strengthen my arm?” If it weakens your arm, this means that the lyrics in the CD express falsehoods as far as you are concerned. You disagree with the lyrics, and thus, with the energies in the CD. If holding another object strengthens your arm, that means that the energies of that object are in agreement with (true to) your level of consciousness. In Missile Envy, Helen Caldicott, the physician and nuclear disarmament activist, writes that airline pilots are required to undergo physical and psychological testing, once a year, to prove that they are of sound body and
279

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 2, 29, 41-43, 56, 111, 116, and 251.

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mind. Obversely, Caldicott states, political leaders are not required to pass physical and psychological tests. Yet, she concludes, political and military leaders are responsible for far more people than airline pilots.280 It could even be argued that humankind is hostage to the whims of elected leaders. Most people think that Adolf Hitler “seized power.” The fact, however, is that Hitler was practically elected—by 37 percent of the popular vote. He received just enough votes in 1932 for the aging President Paul von Hindenburg, who got 53 percent of the popular vote, to appoint Hitler Chancellor of Germany in 1933.281 Historians, journalists, and the public blame Hitler for what followed, and he deserves much of the blame. But Hitler would have never risen to power had it not been for the low consciousness of political apathy that a critical mass of the German people exhibited. Even had Hitler seized power, mass popular resistance could have stopped his agenda. It would have taken time, undoubtedly. But nothing is more powerful than the multitude united for or against a cause—hence, the ceaseless attempts to control the public. Why were so many Germans deceived in the 1930s? The desperation of the Great (Grave) Depression was one factor that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Jewish influence over German institutions inflamed Germans as well. As James Shenton, the Americanist at Columbia University, said at a lecture while alive, if Hitler had not authorized the atrocities that he did, he would have gone down as history’s “greatest statesman.”282 This is because, in Shenton’s words, Hitler restored all that Germany had lost after World War I. This included the German economy, national pride, ethnic self-esteem, and military might.283

280 281 282

Helen Caldicott, Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War, (New York: Bantam Books, 1986).
See the article titled, “Rise of Adolf Hitler,” found at http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/Prelude03.html.

Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Coming of World War II,” Lecture 55. 283 Ibid.

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But David Hawkins’s Power vs. Force also comes to mind. Humanity, Hawkins writes, is not very good at separating truth from lies.284 Therefore, voters let ads sway them during political campaigns; voters let “objective” political experts convince them; and voters let the news media propagandize to them. When a demagogue like Hitler appears, many people look up to him because, in Roger’s words to John, they can’t “see through” the deception. Not only are most of us unable to separate truth from fiction. “Sometimes,” an exhausted woman once said, “the only thing that keeps you going in life is believing what you want to believe [emphasis mine].” This complicates things even more. In the West, brainwashing is more rampant in the early 2000s than in any other period of human history. Even the Catholic Church fell short in the Middle Ages. Was the typical medieval person exposed, for example, to 3,500 ads a day?285 To radio stations blaring, “you’re listening to x station” every three minutes? In the 1980s, radio stations paused for identification once every twelve minutes—give or take a minute or two. By 2005, my local radio station was repeating its letters after every song. In the 1980s, radio stations also spent about three seconds announcing themselves. By 2005, a Florida radio station was repeating its insignia for 20 seconds—the same slogan, letters, and FM number one, two, three times in a row. This translates to some 12 minutes an hour of nothing but gibberish. The announcer—actually, a recording—even admitted to mind control through the station’s slogan, “In a deliberate attempt to brainwash you…”286 Also, fewer radio stations are taking song requests from the public. A major reason is because they have no live DJs. And these stations are unapologetic about their lack of humanity. One radio station in Washington
284 285

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, pgs. 19 and 288. According to Jeremy Rifkin, 3,500 ads a day is “—more than double the number thirty years ago.” See Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 177. 286 This slogan aired in 2005-06 on Gainesville, Florida’s 98.5 WKTK.

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state even warned its listeners, “Stop Calling Our Carefully Selected Blend of Great Music of Mishmash.”287 This slogan aired on a frequent basis. When I lived in Florida, one radio station referred to its commercials as “revenue adjustment time.”288 After I moved to Washington state, guess what I heard on a local radio station? You guessed it. “Revenue adjustment time.”289 One Florida station’s slogan was “The 80s, the 90s, Whatever We Want.”290 One Washington station’s slogan is “The 80s, the 90s, and Whatever.”291 So much for the cabal theory being “the most absolute rubbish I’ve ever heard … patent nonsense,” as author Tom Wolfe once claimed.292 Noam Chomsky says that the bludgeon (e.g., secret police) is limited in democratic societies. “Therefore,” Chomsky says, “you have to control what they [people] think [emphasis mine].”293 Public opinion polls are to propandizers what the gas meter is to an automobile driver. Polls are the barometers of what messages need adjustment in the public airwaves. For example, the Green Party was approaching 10 percent of voter support during the summer of 2000. Across the United States, stadiums filled up with thousands of “greens”—up to 50,000 spectators at Madison Square Garden. People paid up to $20 for tickets to these rallies. Why? Because many Americans, both liberal and conservative, wanted to hear Ralph Nader voice issues that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats dared to raise. Alerted by the poll numbers, the Democrats and the major news media began selling to progressives the message that a vote for Nader was a vote for George W. Bush. By November 2000, support for Ralph Nader/Winona LaDuke dropped to 3 percent nationally.
287 288

This slogan aired in 2006 on Yakima, Washington’s 105.7 KRSE. This slogan aired in 2005-06 on Gainesville, Florida’s 98.5 WKTK. 289 This slogan aired in 2006 on Yakima, Washington’s 105.7 KRSE. 290 This slogan is that of Cross City, Florida’s 106.9 WKZY. 291 This slogan is that of Yakima, Washington’s 105.7 KRSE. 292 Tom Wolfe says this in the video Manufacturing Consent. 293 See Moyers’s A World of Ideas.

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Presidential elections are notorious for being, in Chomsky’s words, “a media show.”294 Like Stillson wears a white construction helmet at mass rallies, political candidates disguise their real colors during—and after—election season. Journalists, in turn, examine how candidates dress themselves, what they say or don’t say, and whether they smile at critical junctures of a televised debate. When the Democrats lost congressional seats in the 2004 election, for example, journalists asked them questions like: “What could you have done to improve your strategy [emphasis mine]?” What the candidates truly stood for, their past voting record, and their real values were never brought up. When Barack Obama was running for president of the United States in 2008, Patti Wood, a body language expert, commented in reference to him: The cadence and the rhythm are hypnotic. So he actually speaks on a beat, and it’s a model of the Baptist preacher. And he builds, he builds the voice up so he starts down here, but then he builds up here, and then he builds up here and has that long, long pause. It’s so powerful because what it does is it doesn’t really matter what he’s saying because his voice tells you what you should be feeling about what he’s saying. The words become irrelevant.295 Candidates are sold like soda pop. Each day there is an election, the corporate media also projects who won, instead of waiting until an election is over before reporting on—and thus, influencing the outcome of—each election. America is more a society of form and image than of content and substance. The mania with

294 295

Ibid. Secrets of Body Language. This two-hour special aired on The History Channel on October 13, 2008.

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makeovers on talk shows is a sign of this. Worse, a critical mass of us can’t see through our culture’s “necessary illusions.”296 Groupthink is about sheep following sheep and their sheepherders. It is about group consciousness affecting individual consciousness. In the Middle Ages, religion, superstition, and ignorance comprised the dominant thought system. By the 20th century, godless science, human logic, and denial of the immeasurable had become the new paradigm. In the Middle Ages, popes, bishops, and church texts dictated the beliefs of peasants. Today, CEOs, politicians, and the mass media influence our indoctrination. All of the above show how groupthink starts and expands throughout a society. What are the ramifications of this for the future of humanity?

Bucking the Public Good—
Politicians

Democracy comes in degrees. The spectrum ranges from American polyarchy (representative government by and for an elite) to the direct democracy (“mob rule”) of the French Revolution. Direct democracy grants voters—rather than politicians—an active role in crafting social policy. The initiative and referendum are perhaps the best examples of direct democracy at work. Representative democracy, by contrast, allows us to elect leaders. But once in power, politicians do what they want. This isn’t a secret, for senators and representatives have admitted to voting for or against bills according to their conscience. On the surface, this sounds moral. Underneath, however, their admission reveals that politicians often act against the will of their electorate.
296

See Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, (Boston: South End Press, 1989).

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Poll after poll shows, for example, that most Americans want universal health insurance. Most Americans agree that some things—food, housing, health care, transportation, utilities, childcare, and education—are too important to leave to the market. These polls have stayed consistent decade after decade. Yet, acting from their conscience—rather than from the will of their constituencies— legislators have shelved affordable housing, comprehensive health insurance, tax breaks for parents, and more funding for social services in America. The federal minimum wage stands frozen at $5.85 an hour ($936 a month/40 hours a week), while a one-bedroom apartment in any major American city and even suburb averages $1,000 a month.297 Perhaps, this is why more Americans, inside and outside the inner cities, are turning to the drug trade to make ends meet. This development is happening despite Congress’s “War on Drugs.” The link between an unliveable minimum wage, the drug trade, and the health consequences of this mix has yet to be made. The movie The Dead Zone puts it clearer than polished glass. At the end of that film, the camera focuses on a Newsweek article. The political career of Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) is over, for during a shooting attempt against him at an auditorium, he used an infant as a shield. The subheadline reads, “How Big Money Is Changing Politics.” Contrary to popular belief, democracy is more limited than widespread in the West. As mentioned, the United States is less a democracy and more a polyarchy.298 Huge sectors of Western society operate by political appointment— not by popular election of leaders. Examples of political appointees are chief justices, college presidents, construction coordinators, boards of directors, and even CEOs. These unelected positions constitute a “fourth branch of

297 298

Depending on the city, there will be a $200 to $400 rent difference for a one-bedroom apartment. Robert A. Dahl, emeritus professor of political science at Yale University, coined this term in the 1950s.

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government,” while lobbyists make up a fifth branch of government.299 By whim, nonelected leaders can cancel civic groups. This is what John Silber, Boston University chancellor, did when he banned a gay-straight alliance in Boston.300 Nonelected leaders craft policies that affect millions, if not billions, of people. Elected leaders, in turn, are voted into office through voting machine fraud, visual manipulation of the public, double-talk, and even outright lies. Consider what happened in the 1980s. In 1983, Brian Mulroney campaigned to be prime minister of Canada under the banner of “No Free Trade” with Canada’s neighbor to the south. Canada, of course, has always traded with the United States. Starting with its first prime minister, however, Canada placed tariffs on foreign products to protect Canadian industries from foreign—and especially, from American—competition. Canada was founded on the principle of John Alexander Macdonald, its first prime minister, that Canada had to build a strong economy with its own companies. This was seen as the first line of defense against Canada becoming an economic satellite of the U.S. As Macdonald argued after Confederation (1867), maintaining an economic border with America was essential if Canada was not to become the 51st state. The Canadian goal was the opposite of what the U.S. Marshall Plan sought to do in Europe after World War II. Referring to post-World War II Europe, historian James Shenton lectured at Columbia University: What the Marshall Plan was was the beginning of a process of converting the divided Europe [after World War II] into a precursor of what would become a unified Europe, the European Economic Community … In short,
299

Author Robert A. Caro used the phrase “fourth branch of government” in reference to Robert Moses, the former construction coordinator from New York City. See New York: A Documentary Film, Episode Six, “City of Tomorrow: 1929-1941.” This documentary is part of the American Experience series on PBS. It aired on PBS on September 30, 2001. 300 See Richard Goldstein, “Gay History Is Still in the Closet,” New York Times, October 30, 2002, found at http://www.pflagdetroit.org/HarryHay3.htm.

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they [the crafters of the Marshall Plan] were calling for rationalization, for the development of interdependence. In a sense, you could almost say that what we have done is to introduce the prospect of creating the United States of Europe and ultimately also creating not a French or a German or an English or an Italian or a Spanish or a Belgian identity but a European identity. In many ways, one might almost say that we are in the process of creating a prospective unity of Europe by operating from that fundamental premise that politics follows in the wake of economics [emphasis mine], that in the aftermath of the development of a unified European economy, there would almost inevitably develop a European union, a political union.301 Since the 1850s, Canada kept its policy of bilateral trade with her larger and stronger neighbor to the south. In September 1984, Canadians elected Brian Mulroney because he promised voters “no free trade” with the U.S. In 1987, however, Mulroney overruled the mandate of his electorate, and with the Canadian parliament, his government negotiated the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA). It removed virtually all tariffs between the two countries. John Turner, a Canadian parliamentarian, gave a speech on the floor of the Canadian House of Commons condemning Mulroney’s actions. In 1987, Turner said: We have built a country, east and west and north, on an infrastructure that resisted the continental pressure of the United States. For 120 years, we’ve done it, and with one stroke of the pen you’ve reversed that, thrown us into the north-south pull of the United States. And that will
301

Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part VI: Liberalism and the Cold War, “An Uneasy Peace—The Korean War,” Lecture 60.

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reduce us, I’m sure, to an economic colony of the United States, because when the economic levers go, the political independence is sure to follow.302 Within a few years, thousands of Canadian companies disappeared or were acquired by American companies. Canada’s film industry suffered as more American films were shot in Vancouver, the Hollywood of Canada. As Clayton Yeutter, a U.S. trade representative, said on October 3, 1987: We’ve signed a stunning new trade pact with Canada. The Canadians don’t understand what they’ve signed. In twenty years, they will be sucked into the U.S. economy.303 In Vancouver, British Columbia, actor Martin Sheen told a crowd: I come from a land of lunatics. When I come to Canada, I see a country that represents the way it is possible to live. We’ve been tied together as nations for a long time on a long, loose rope. You shorten the rope by the free trade deal and we can hang you with it … you aren’t our equal partner and never will be. We are an empire. And we are an aggressive nation. America doesn’t want Canada as an equal partner. America wants to control you.
302

This quote comes from the online article, “ ‘Harmonizing’ Our Decline: The New American” by William Norman Grigg. The September 22, 2003 article is found at the website titled, Activate Congress: Stop the FTAA. The URL is http://www.stoptheftaa.org/artman/publish/article_3.shtml. 303 This quote comes from the website of the Centre of Research on Globalization. See Vive le Canada, “ ‘Deep Integration’: Timeline of the Progress Toward a North American Union,” Global Research. The timeline is at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=VIV20061220&articleId=4216. The timeline was posted on December 20, 2006.

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Everything you are as a Canadian, you will lose to Americanism. If I was a Canadian citizen with a heart and a mind of my own, I would reject the free trade deal.304 Of course, Martin Sheen forgot that “free trade”—which is really about unfettered corporate investment—was passed against Mulroney’s promise of “no free trade.” Similarly, Jean Chrétien ran for Canada’s prime ministership on an antiNAFTA platform. On October 1993, Chrétien won Canada’s federal election and became the new prime minister. As head of government, however, Chrétien did nothing to “renegotiate NAFTA.” And all of this happened in a parliamentary democracy with four major political parties. This shows that control, secrecy, and deception are the general rule in all societies, including so-called democratic ones. This is no conspiracy theory. Even the mass media concedes the truth of the matter. In an episode of Perfect Strangers, for instance, Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) instructs Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) on how to run for student body president. Larry, who represents the American way, tells Balki, who personifies the non-Western way: Tomorrow, at 10 o’clock, you’ll be meeting with the football team. You’ll tell them how important you think sports are to the school’s image. Got it? … Then, at 10:30, you’ll be meeting with the science club. You’ll tell them you think education is important and too much of the school’s budget is spent on sports. Got it? … At noon, you’ll be meeting with the fraternities. You’ll tell them you think entirely too much time is being
304

Hurtig, The Vanishing Country, p. 430.

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spent in the classroom and you’re pushing for a three-day weekend. Got it? … Then, at 3 o’clock, you’ll be meeting with the honor society. You’ll tell them you think we’re here to study, not to party, and you’re pushing for Saturday classes.305 The living room scene proceeds as follows: Balki: … small question from a simple Mypiot boy. This looks like I’m just telling everyone what they want to hear. Larry: [smiling] Welcome to politics.306 In the school auditorium, the following exchange takes place between the fourth cousins: Balki: I cannot lose the language thing. That’s the reason I’m running for president. I cannot give that up. Larry: Balki, your goal is to get elected. Tell them what they want to hear. Once you’re elected, you can do whatever you want [emphasis mine]. Balki: Cousin, isn’t that just a bit dishonest. Larry: It’s the American way.307
305

This quote comes from the episode of Perfect Strangers (1986-1993) titled, “See How They Run.” The episode originally aired on ABC on February 22, 1991 (Season 6, episode 19). 306 Ibid. 307 Ibid.

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The track audience laughs. In the PBS video A World of Ideas (1988), Noam Chomsky relates: … I think much of the general population recognizes that the organized institutions do not reflect their concerns and interests and needs. They do not feel that they participate meaningfully in the political system. They do not feel that the media are telling them the truth or even reflect their concerns. They go outside of the organized institutions to act.308 Chomsky continues: … it means that the political system … increasingly functions without public input. It means, to an increasing extent, not only do people not ratify decisions presented to them [A candidate vs. B candidate], but they don’t even take the trouble of ratifying them [creating the options on the voting card]. They assume that the decisions are going on independently of what they may do in the polling booth.309 Thus, when journalists say that x candidate “carried” x state, they are ignoring the half of the population that doesn’t vote in the United States. Seen in this vein, even “landslide victories” are anything but landslides. The voting trend has been declining in America since the early 20th century. A major reason is that it doesn’t matter who is in office. Whether Republican or Democrat (“the Republicrats”), American politicians only represent the right half of the political spectrum—that is, the interests of corporations and increasingly, those of
308 309

The quote from Noam Chomsky comes from Moyers, A World of Ideas. Ibid.

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Christian fundamentalists. The left half of the political spectrum is excluded from American politics. Liberals are not leftists but centrists. Lobbyists, in turn, have replaced voters as the movers and shakers of elected officials. As Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, told reporter Amy Goodman on the radio show Democracy Now!, there are some 35,000 full-time lobbyists and about 10,000 political action committees (PACs) in Congress.310 This doesn’t even include the public relations industry and the lawyers that work for the Fortune 500 companies. All of these entities form the permanent government that Lewis Lapham, former editor of Harper’s Magazine, wrote about. Voters, on the other hand, elect the provisional government (“politicians for hire”) that changes every four years in the U. S.311 In A World of Ideas, Noam Chomsky elaborates on what voters are really voting for. He relates: Ratification would mean a system in which there are two positions presented to me, the voter. I go into the polling booth, and I push one or another button, depending on which of those positions I want. That’s a very limited form of democracy. A really meaningful democracy would mean that I play a role in forming those decisions [emphasis mine] … But we’re even departing from the point where there is ratification when you have stage managed elections with the public relations industry preparing what words come out of people’s mouth … Candidates decide what to say on the basis of tests that determine what the effect will be across the population. Somehow, people don’t see how profoundly contemptuous
310

Amy Goodman interview of Ralph Nader, “Ralph Nader on the Candidates, Corporate Power and His Own Plans for 2008,” Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report, July 9, 2007. At http://www.democracynow.org/2007/7/9/ralph_nader_on_the_candidates_corporate. 311 See Pierre Shapiro, “Globalization and the Death of Democracy,” ABC Theorists, 2002. At http://studentloans.abctheorists.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Subjects&file=index&req=printpag e&pageid=99&scope=all.

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that is of democracy.312 As presently structured, both the American political system and the parliamentary systems of the world are ill suited to meet the converging catastrophes of the 21st century.313

Bucking the Public Good—
CEOs

What politicians do to their constituencies—that is, increasingly slight them—CEOs do to consumers. Each CEO does what is best for his or her company, rather than what is best for the customer or for the public good. What is beneficial for each party can coincide, of course. But the bottom line always comes first. An episode of Perfect Strangers illustrates the above truism. In that episode, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) is offered money if he can get his island nation of Mypos to sell land to a corporation so that the latter may “avoid certain tax liabilities.” Salivating for the money, Larry Appleton (Mark LinnBaker) tells Balki at their dining table: Worldwide Amalgamated is one of the nicest multinational corporations in the Fortune 500. We’ve read the annual reports, the press releases, the

312 313

Moyers, A World of Ideas. The phrase “converging catastrophes” is borrowed from the subtitle of James Howard Kunstler’s book The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century.

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cover story on Time magazine.314 Balki, who is far from greedy, responds, “I’ve got this microfilm. But reading the tiny print is giving me a headache.”315 At last, Balki learns that a corporation named Cypher Incorporated has dumped toxic waste in one corner of the world. Ecstatic that it isn’t Worldwide Amalgamated, Larry exhorts Balki to “sign the papers.” Balki replies, “Worldwide Amalgamated owns Cypher Incorporated … I learned this fact when I took the microfilm back to the archives.”316 The track audience cackles into laughter. The above episode could be dismissed as just another example of a silly comedy. But so-called real life offers other examples of companies ignoring the public interest. After World War II, for instance, American carmakers started to make gas-guzzlers. Their motto was “longer, lower, wider.” The 1950s was the beginning of the Pax Americana. Industrially, the United States was Number One, something that meant little competition from foreign manufacturers. When the first oil crisis hit in 1973, the Big Three automakers continued to make mobile gymnasiums. On PBS’s America on Wheels, Laurel Cutler, a marketing expert, explains: General Motors would yawn at me and say, “We don’t want to make small cars. We don’t know how to make money off small cars.” So they made what they wanted to make.317
314

Perfect Strangers, “The Selling of Mypos.” This episode originally aired on ABC on January 26, 1990 (Season 5, episode 15). 315 Ibid. 316 Ibid. 317 This quote comes from America on Wheels, “Car Wars,” Part Three. The episode originally aired on PBS on June 24, 1996.

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Not until the second oil shock of 1979 did the Big Three pay attention to the inroads that Japanese cars were making in the U.S. By then, it was too late. In America on Wheels, actor Hal Holbrook narrates: Overnight, made in Japan and made in America switched places in the public eye as a mark of quality. The Big Three responded by rushing hastily designed compact cars into production and began running the assembly line at the fastest speed in history. The pressure cooker atmosphere did nothing to improve quality, or the relationship between management and labor … there was a real possibility that two of the Big Three might actually go under.318 Sam Kirkland, an auto worker, confides: We were being pushed to put out the product, and nobody seemed to ask you, you know, “Could this be done better?” The most important question at that point was, “Could we do more of it? Could we do it faster?”319 Ron Tonkin, an auto dealer, comments: They had to make them smaller, safer, and more fuel-efficient. And they didn’t know how. They started building cars like the Vega. And then, we had the Chevet, and we were selling Chevets against Hondas and Toyotas. And it wasn’t gonna happen because it just wasn’t as good an
318 319

Ibid. Ibid.

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automobile.320 Laurel Cutler relates: The life of a Big Three automotive executive is so insulated from contact with the consumer. They are driven to work by chauffeurs. They have never had to buy a car at a dealership. They have never had to wait for repairs. And what happens to imperially treated people is that they become isolated, arrogant, and imperial. It is extremely hard not to.321 American cars improved in quality after the fiasco of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They even improved their gas mileage. Since 1985, however, the trend has been, once more, a return to the gas-guzzlers of the 1970s. SUVs are today’s version of the station wagons of the 1970s. As the French saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Automakers have learned nothing from the oil shocks of the 1970s. With peak oil here (see epilogue), this will prove more disastrous than anything that humanity has ever gone through. Historian Ron Edsforth puts it bluntly. In America on Wheels, he comments, “If the automobile industry gets what it’s dreaming about, which is a world that looks like the United States, I think that the planet will collapse.”322 As predicted in the 1990s, the Chinese are now trading their bicycles for automobiles. Automakers are thrilled at the potential of this 1.3 billion people market, caring nil about the consequences of this for a planet that is now the warmest in 400 years.323 Even worse, the mass protests of the 1960s are long
320 321

Ibid. Ibid. 322 Ibid. 323 See MSNBC article by Miguel Llanos and The Associated Press, “Earth Warmest in at Least 400 Years, Panel Finds: National Research Council Report Focuses on ‘Hockey Stick’ Data,” MSNBC, U.S. News/Environment, June 22, 2006. At http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13474997/.

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gone. People are no longer burying the internal combustion engine, as they did at a 1973 demonstration. Economists claim that “demand creates supply.” The dirty secret of Big Business, however, is that profit projections—not demand—create supply. If profit and demand coincide, then demand is cited as the driver of production. But when demand is unprofitable for a company—or even a related industry like oil—then demand does not create supply. Norway, for example, began to make an electric vehicle, the Think, that was performing well on the road. California alone had thousands of people on a waiting list of would-be buyers of the Think. But after an American auto company took over, production of the Think halted. Capitalism—actually, corporatism these days—is heralded as being about “diverse choices for the consumer.” In truth, however, the options of what to choose are engineered by the business elite. If companies abuse people who pay for their products, then how do they treat people who actually need their money?

Lording Over Peons

Like voters and consumers, workers are often abused by the heads of cows. Unfortunately, the need for money (the forced heroin of human society) forces most of us to line up with the pack, to follow the orders of bosses, and to surrender many of our freedoms. As Howard Zinn, the Americanist, has said several times, “In the workplace, the Constitution stays at the door.”324 Even
324

See Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, (New York: Perennial Classics, 2003).

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nonprofit agencies operate by pecking order and vertical chain of command. These include socialist institutions like public schools, fire departments, public libraries, police precincts, youth hostels, and museums. There is, of course, nothing inherently wrong with some inequality. In fact, class differences are part of human diversity, and as we have seen, diversity rules biological life. Too much inequality, however, can lead to abuses like those encountered at one of America’s most prestigious industries. In 1983, Frank Lorenzo became CEO of Continental Airlines. At that time, the airline was in a muck of debt. According to the PBS documentary Chasing the Sun, Lorenzo annulled the employment contracts of Continental’s employees. He fired all his workers and invited a third back at lower wages. Author Thomas Petzinger voices: He simply came in one morning and said, “This is what you’re gonna make now. And, by the way, that contract that promised you something else is no longer in force because we just filed for bankruptcy protection.” That move so outraged and offended his own workforce, certainly, but also the flying public, certainly the regulators, Congress. Everyone got into Lorenzo bashing, and he never really overcame the damage to his reputation.325 In 1986, Lorenzo became CEO of Eastern Air Lines. Like Continental, Chasing the Sun explains, Eastern was in a financial strap. Once more, Lorenzo applied his slash-and-burn tactics to save his airline money. Unions of Eastern Air Lines refused to budge. The airline was grounded, bled more money, and collapsed in January 1991. As late as August 1996, a graduate student told lounging
325

This quote comes from Chasing the Sun, “The New Breed.” Episode Four. The documentary originally aired on PBS on July 2, 2001.

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collegians in a mailroom of my college the following: “I was a flight attendant for Eastern since the 1960s. This week, I received a letter from Eastern that said I ‘should’ be able to receive my pension.”326 According to Chasing the Sun, 40,000 employees lost their jobs as a result of Eastern’s demise. As if that weren’t enough, Pan American Airlines disintegrated in 1993. The airline had gotten entangled in a war with Lorenzo over the acquisition of National Airlines. According to the PBS documentary, Pan Am had no domestic routes and needed to acquire them to get out of debt. But trying to outbid Lorenzo, Pan Am paid more for National Airlines, a domestic airline, than it was worth.327 Petzinger relates: In the years I covered Frank Lorenzo, he was urgently trying to build critical mass, which to him, as I recall, meant attaining a certain size, that he was invulnerable, impregnable to competitors, that he would aggregate so many passengers through his route network that he would be the king of the hill of the airlines. And for a while, he was.328 The victims, however, were the tens of thousands of employees who lost their livelihoods. Two of the three airlines no longer exist. Only when the environment is at stake do workers suddenly become important in the major news media. Then, as Helen Caldicott writes in If You Love This Planet, it is workers vs. environmentalists.329 Contrast this world with one where everybody is more equal than not. On such a world, an educated citizenry orders things—not the rich and powerful. According to Noam Chomsky, the largest social movement toward
326 327

I keep her name anonymous to protect her identity. Chasing the Sun, “The New Breed.” 328 Ibid. 329 Caldicott, If You Love This Planet, p. 186.

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this end, at least in recent history, was the Spanish “Civil” War (1936-1939). Before Francisco Franco came to power in Spain, Spanish workers formed their own cooperatives and lived in balance between agriculture and industry. These Spaniards settled in small communities, owned things communally, and ruled themselves.330 As Klaatu tells the scientists at the end of 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still: There must be security for all, or no one is secure. Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. Nowadays, however, laws are becoming more nepotistic and less just. An egalitarian society is a trans-instinctual society in that it is brought about by humans having undergone, in the words of Noam Chomsky, a “spiritual transformation.”331 The means toward this is inner growth. But interior growth must be paired with community organization.

Heap of Ants

Why does the multitude blindly follow the larger consciousness around it? In the video Manufacturing Conscent (1992), Noam Chomsky explains:
330 331

See the video Manufacturing Consent. Ibid.

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Very few people are going to have the time or the energy or the commitment to carry out the constant battle [emphasis mine] that’s required to get outside of MacNeil/Lehrer or Dan Rather or somebody like that. The easy thing to do is, you know, you come home from work. You’re tired. You’ve had a busy day. You’re not gonna spend the evening carrying out a research project. So you turn on the tube.332 Those of us who question dogma are rarely heard. When dissenters are given a voice, they are typically portrayed in the mass media as “idealistic youth.” In a Home Improvement episode, for example, Randy Taylor (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) questions corruption in corporate America, dirty money in politics, the for-profit mentality of the medical establishment, and organized religion. Randy confides to the hospice patient (Eileen Heckart) whom he has been visiting: They [doctors] run 400 tests, come up with their expert diagnosis, toss people in the hospital for thousands of dollars a day. Then, if they’re not sick enough to die, they’ve got no money left to live.333 Randy goes on, “… I’ve been reading a lot of articles on the health care crisis in this country. It just makes me really mad.”334 At home, the 16-year-old tells his parents, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I just realized organized religion doesn’t make any sense to me.”335

332 333

Ibid. This quote is from the Home Improvement episode titled, “Losing My Religion.” The episode originally aired on ABC on November 18, 1997 (Season 7, episode 8). 334 Ibid. 335 Ibid.

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Randy’s father (Tim Allen) replies, “Well, you question all you want to, as long as your butt’s in that pew.”336 Similarly, a CEO can believe whatever he wants, Noam Chomsky argues, so long as he carries out his institutional role—making profit for the company at any cost.337 Workers can also believe whatever they want, so long as they stay in line. Most of us absorb the mores of our milieus—however maladaptive those values may be. This is because not to creates a psychological gulf between one’s beliefs and actions. Such an incongruity between the inner and the outer is unhealthy for two reasons: 1)

One isn’t feeling honest in one’s interactions with others. For example, a voice in one’s head will repeat, If only they knew what I really think and who I truly am

2)

Keeping one’s thoughts separate from one’s actions sucks one’s energy

The combination is stressful—and ultimately, painful. Thus, the easy thing is to adopt the beliefs and practices of the time and place in which one lives. One becomes a product of one’s era and relates to others according to socially prescribed roles, rather than as individual. The payoff is that the inner sphere (one’s thoughts) matches the outer sphere (one’s actions). Much energy and pain is saved this way. As the maxim goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” In Home Improvement, Randy is still at a stage where he is questioning social

336 337

Ibid. See the video Manufacturing Consent.

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values that most of us have internalized. By the kitchen counter, he tells his parents: … I just believe people can experience God in different ways … I’m not abandoning God. It’s just sitting in that church goes against my convictions and beliefs.338 In another episode, Randy fires questions at the CEO of Binford Tools— the company for which Tim Taylor, the lad’s father, works. Randy asks Bud Harper (Charles Robinson) what he thinks about Binford being rated an “‘egregious environmental offender.’ ”339 “He’s quite the little dickens, isn’t he?” Tim grates at Bud.340 Not only is Randy not taken seriously. He is soon exiled to Costa Rica.341 Most people say, in the words of Ralph Nader, “I’m not turned on politics.”342 This is the majority of citizens—such as Americans who don’t vote— having caved in to political apathy. According to Noam Chomsky, this is what the American political system indoctrinates us to do. But as Nader has warned repeatedly: Right down to the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the health insurance you don’t have, if you don’t turn on politics, politics will continue to turn on you.343
338 339

Home Improvement, “Losing My Religion.” Home Improvement, “Clash of the Taylors.” This episode originally aired on ABC on September 30, 1997 (Season 7, episode 2). 340 Ibid. 341 Jonathan Taylor Thomas left Home Improvement because, as he has stated in several interviews, he wanted to devote more time to his studies. For viewers who are unaware about this, however, Thomas may as well have been kicked out of the show. 342 On C-SPAN, Ralph Nader has repeated this phrase several times. 343 Ralph Nader repeated this quote on various TV stations during the 2000 presidential election campaign.

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If you recall, politics is the process of deciding who gets what, when, where, how, and even why. Economics is the exchange of resources that comes as a result of politics. Politics drives economics. And sometimes, economics—as in big money—drives politics. What price will humankind pay in an age of rising consumerism and dwindling resources? Noam Chomsky sums it up: It’s long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle [material gain] will destroy itself in time … At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control … In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured. They may well be essential for survival [emphasis mine].344 As Marcus Cicero, the Roman philosopher and statesman, said, “Freedom is participation in power.”345

344 345

This quote is from the video Manufacturing Consent. Ralph Nader quoted this on C-SPAN on November 4, 2008. The post-election conference, titled, Reaction to Election Results was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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Rising Above the Flock

A trans-instinctual society balances the need for social cohesion with independent thinking. Democracy, after all, requires citizens who can read between the lines. It requires free thinkers. Critical thinking isn’t enough, though. A trans-instinctual milieu goes by gut instinct as well. How many times, for example, have you heard someone say, “How could something so wrong feel so right?” This is emotion acting as the barometer of right and wrong —however an individual defines right and wrong. A trans-instinctual person may have learned detachment from externals. But he or she is not totally detached from his or her emotions—just partially—for feelings are a major barometer of truth. It is through intuition, humanly rational thought, and observation through sharpened senses—each depending on the situation—that trans-instinctual humans decide: 1) Whether to vote for someone 2) Whether to join or leave a group 3) Whether to adopt or reject the values and practices of a society Feelings don’t always tell us truths, of course. If one is emotionally invested in a spouse, for example, one may refuse to accept that he or she murdered someone. Love, after all, is blind. Forensic evidence becomes necessary in cases like this. In the absence of scientific evidence, however, best is to use one’s feelings as a guide to truths, for this is better than nothing and emotions are often on the dot. Again, as Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) tells Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent Spiner) in “The Defector”, “But you can’t always go with your gut, either. It’s … it’s a combination, Data.”346
346

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Defector.”

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The trick for trans-instinctual humans is knowing when to use which method of telling the truth. Trans-instinctual humans resist the temptation to follow the flock if it has values that are maladaptive. Instead, trans-instinctual humans embrace values that are conducive to long-term survival—and not just human survival but the survival of lower animals and plants as well. Trans-instinctual humans band together because they understand that there is power in numbers. Just as significant, a trans-instinctual society teaches these things to youngsters, through example, in public and private spaces. The next chapter takes a personal look at control in the office and in friendship. The chapter also looks at how trans-instinctual people can rise above control in those contexts.

Exercises

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1) Are you a leader, a follower, or both? Do you feel that such a tendency in you is inborn? Due to socialization? Both? If due to socialization, how did you learn to lead? 2) If you have led one or more people, have you led responsibly, irresponsibly, or both? Define your concept of responsibility. 3) List instances when you have followed a person, a group, or an order. Have you followed blindly? If yes, were the results positive, negative, or neutral? How so? 4) Have you ever followed a person, a group, or an order while keeping your intelligence? If yes, write about the incident or speak it into a tape recorder. Do you feel that one must relinquish independent thinking in order to follow? 5) Do you find yourself leading in some areas of life and following in other areas? If yes, why? Describe the differences between the two.

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9 Control One of our lower human tendencies, control rules much of our lives. Control can mean the difference between staying employed or starving. It can mean the difference between a real friendship and a fake one. And it can mean getting promoted or staying in the lower rungs of a career. How does control manifest in the lives of instinctual humans? How can trans-instinctual humans rise above this human tendency in their interactions with others?

Domination: At the Job

Years ago, I witnessed a series of interactions at an office. One of the first things that I noticed was the desk of a heavy woman. Her metal desk of jade green was smack in the middle at the end of the office—much like a judge’s desk is the final destination of the aisle in court. The desk of the fiftyish woman was always cluttered. Usually, there was an air of impatience around her. One

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afternoon, I entered the office of the overweight woman and heard a bloodcurdling sigh. “You better get those forms before 5 o’clock because I won’t accept them after then,” she brayed. The young guy dropped his chin and left her office. Another day, the lady bawled an order that had not been completed on schedule. A secretary left one day. About two weeks later, a young intern came to fill her place. She too left mysteriously. The woman with short waves of chestnut-brown found herself having to do the work of two. Most of the time, her coworkers kept a safe distance from her. Sometimes, they complimented the husky woman on her bracelets or plain shirt, but overall, her colleagues said nothing. Some days, the lady’s mood was mildly pleasant, but woe to everybody on those days when she got up on the wrong side of the bed. Then, there was no escaping her wrath. Even if nobody was around her desk, she would grumble at herself for things gone wrong at the office. I suspect that this woman’s temper was her way of controlling her coworkers. They feared her so much that they dared not question her, no matter how unreasonable her demands were. The woman got promoted to another department. Her colleagues threw her an office party and complimented her on how “indispensable” she was. About a month later, the obese lady was back at her old office. I surmise that her control tactics didn’t work in the new department. If this woman is married, I pity her spouse and kids. If only people like her knew about the spiritual taxes (negative karma) that they are incurring by being ogres. At the other extreme was a blonde who joined my mother at work. My mom had assumed the duties of a licensed consultant in Puerto Rico. The

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licenciado (licensed man) traveled a lot, which meant that my mother had to complete her duties and his. Because the office was empty most of the time, my mother became de facto head of the man’s consulting office. This continued for about a year. Then, the blonde entered the scene. As my mother recounted to me, the thirtyish woman had a master’s degree, while my fortyish mom only had a Bachelor’s degree. The blonde, however, didn’t know the procedures of the consulting agency. My mother was happy to coach her. Late one afternoon, my mom brought home a tundra swan made of glass. The handheld figurine had water inside and a red rose in the stem holder. My mother told me that the young lady had given this to her. I thought, How kind of the blonde. My mother continued to teach the woman the specifics of the licensed man’s job, as it seemed that he was not coming back. As my mother told me years later, the blonde asked her to give her the name and social security number of her son— that is, me. “Why?” my mother asked her. “Just a mix-up at our records office in Texas,” the blonde replied. “Nothing serious.” One Friday about a month later, the young blonde told my mother that it would be my mom’s last day at the office. It happened just before 5 o’clock. The blonde knew that my mother was raising a child—me—as a single woman and that this was why my mother couldn’t travel to the mainland of the United States as part of her job. That, however, didn’t matter to the blonde. All she cared about was not having a rival who knew more than her at the agency. To add insult to injury, the blonde’s question about my social security number was so that she could take me off my mother’s health insurance plan. The blonde didn’t care that, in 1983, unemployment in Puerto Rico was 23.5 percent of the

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workforce,347 more than double what it was in the states (9.6 percent).348 All that mattered to her was learning every detail of the work that my mother had performed on behalf of the bygone licenciado. Never had my mother experienced such betrayal. The kindness of the woman (e.g., the glass swan) was a means to an end (e.g., gaining the trust of my mother). The blonde’s “letting go” of my mom meant the emptying of my mother’s old refrigerator. It meant over a year of part-time and temporary employment for my mother. Last, it meant the return of my mother, my new stepfather, and me to the Bronx in August 1984. I pity the karmic consequences that this blonde has created for herself. The above are some examples of control dynamics in the employment world. One of our lower human impulses, control only cares about survival of the fittest. Hence, control brings out the worst in us.

Manipulation through Friendship

As a community college student, I enrolled in an English literature class. It was a mandatory course. I had the habit of studying at a magazine shelf—my stand-up desk—in the middle of the college library. A fellow student came up and struck a conversation with me. The guy was clean-cut, and he always wore a deep-blue baseball cap with some logo on top. I was impressed that a “frat
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This statistic comes from James L. Dietz, Puerto Rico: Negotiating Development and Change, (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003), p. 71. 348 Unofficially, the unemployment statistics were higher—as they always are. The official statistic of 9.6 percent comes, however, from the website of the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. See “Where Can I Find the Unemployment Rate for Previous Years?” at http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm.

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boy” was talking to me. The young man with khaki hair the texture of a hairbrush told me that he was in the same class of English literature. He asked me if I could clarify an essay question for him. I did. Another assignment required that each classmate see and critique four plays. The heartthrob with hazel irises invited me to see each play with him. Never had I had an age-mate —let alone, a “cool dude”—open up to me like he did. I began to tutor him. A couple of times, he invited me to his first-floor apartment. One day before class, we had lunch in his sunlit dining room. I continued to tutor him. His warmth was awesome. Fall semester ended, and I telephoned him over the Christmas break. No answer. When spring semester began, the “frat boy” sat behind me at another English literature class—another of the required courses. I asked him what he had done for the holidays. “Visiting family out of town,” he answered. Again, the medium-built guy asked me if I could help him with a class assignment. I agreed to tutor him some more. After final exams, the young man told me that he was moving from Gainesville, Florida to Tampa, Florida. I gave him my telephone number and said that, if he wished, we could stay in contact. Never again did I hear from him. I believe that the guy’s kindness toward me was a tactic to get me to help him with his schoolwork. I was the intellectual. He was the jock. I was responsible. He was irresponsible. The young man even ran a red light one afternoon—with me on the front passenger seat. His “friendship” toward me was his way of manipulating me. I was the puppet. He had the strings. At the time, I didn’t know this. Now, I do.

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Success through Networking

It is said that the job world is the most political of all avenues of civilized life. Networking is to ordinary folk what lobbying is to the lobbyists in Congress. Once, I noticed a woman who worked behind a main office. What I assume were her secretaries had to deal with clients day in and day out. In the central office, people would come and go. The woman with shoulder-long hair of walnut-brown never had to deal with anyone, however. Never did I see her give orders or insult anyone. This lady was quiet as a mouse. A woman told me to be careful about this broad. I heeded her advice. About a year later, I bumped into the silent woman at another building. She had gotten a corner office, one that was down the hall from the office of the president of the company. The lady’s computer unit, flat screen, printer, and fax machine were state-of-the-art. How, I pondered, had this quiet woman risen through the ranks? I am sure that she had the qualifications. But job skills, I have learned, are never enough. People skills are what makes or breaks one in the end. I surmise that this woman knew how to ingratiate herself in the eyes of those in power at her company. I have no idea how this is done. But one thing I know for sure. Those are skills of the personality—not of the Spirit/soul. Instinctual humans live by their human abilities. Trans-instinctual humans live by their spiritual qualities.

Rising Above Dominance

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Instinctual humans rise to positions of external power because of their savvy. Knowing about people may be more valuable than knowing about things. People with Asperger Syndrome may be intellectually brilliant, for example. But because they are “mind blind” regarding humans, seldom do Aspies become professionally successful—outside the computer world, that is. Success that is based on advantages of the person(ality)—that highly individual persona of each individual—is not real success, for one controls others by being savvy about people. Real success comes from the spirit. So does true friendship. Trans-instinctual humans are kind—not to get something nor to avoid conflict with toxic people. Rather, trans-instinctual humans are kind for the sake of kindness. They are also understanding for the sake of understanding. Trans-instinctual humans realize that what you put out will come back to haunt —or bless—you. Thus, trans-instinctual humans weigh carefully their thoughts and actions toward others. A trans-instinctual society is based on such principles. The next chapter inspects the many ways that postmodern civilization encourages aggression and violence in us. The chapter also proposes some transinstinctual solutions.

Exercises

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1) What power plays, if any, happen at your place of employment? At home? Are they obvious, subtle, or both? How? Who is involved? Why do you suppose? If you are part of the power struggle, how did you get involved? Were you, for example, unconsciously dragged into it, or did you willfully choose to play the game? 2) Are any of your battles based on gender issues, cultural misunderstandings, ethnic animosity, personal dislike, religious morals, age differences, or family issues? Elaborate on paper or speak into a tape recorder. 3) Have you ever been involved in shouting or shoving matches? If yes, what have been the benefits to you? What are, or have been, the penalties? How could you prevent, or disentangle yourself from, any future dramas? What might be the benefits?

4) Can you think of people who deliberately stay out of interpersonal conflicts? If yes, what do you imagine are their motives? Would you like to emulate them? Why or why not? Are you willing to? 5) How, if at all, have you managed to stay out of a power play? For how long? If you are involved in a power struggle elsewhere, how could you apply the tactics that you used successfully? Are you willing to do it? Why or why not?

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10 Aggression and Violence In Roots of Violence in Black Philadelphia, 1860-1900, historian Roger Lane argues that job and housing discrimination forced African Americans to live in a vicious underworld in 1890s Philadelphia. This was before the Great Black Migration (to the North) during World War I. In 1890s Philadelphia, Lane writes, “whites” were not accustomed to a “black” presence. Shut out from respectable employment, he contends, African Americans had no choice but to engage in dangerous and illegal work to make ends meet. Such work included prostitution, drug dealing, and petty theft.349 In the 21st century, job and housing discrimination continue underground. More of us are giving in to rage, aggression, and violence—the weeds of injustice. The mass media, in turn, is reinforcing our aggressive instincts. Just watch the incomprehensible amount of violence on television. In a twist of irony, traditional masculinity is being pathologized as being “too aggressive” and “too antisocial.”

349

See Roger Lane, Roots of Violence in Black Philadelphia, 1860-1900, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1986).

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How does injustice relate to violence? If we are to choose our higher instincts, should we blame the entertainment industry for teaching us violence? Or should we stop subsidizing the major—not to be confused with alternative— media? How does society’s pathologizing of masculinity, meaning traditional masculinity, lead to more aggression in males? How does the repression of the energy and sexuality of youth contribute to violence? How does not being understood by anyone add fuel to the fire? Most important, how can transinstinctual humans overcome this society’s fostering of resentment and aggression?

The Trials of Postmodern Society

Western civilization has not provided its youth with rites of passage. Without being initiated into adulthood, youngsters are being asked to face the challenges of adult life. Youth who choose higher education learn the following: 1) Higher education throws most collegians into a quicksand of debt 2) Universities don’t adequately prepare students for the realities of postmodern work We are supposed to acquire the skills of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and update them every six months. Such a requirement assumes that everybody was born to be a high-tech worker. Even minimum-wage jobs require the juggling of high-tech skills—the computerized cash register, the credit card machine that just went digital, the 400 series chicken rotisserie, the buttons on the

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order-taking headphones, and the multitasking between these different things. The pace of work keeps quickening, in turn, to the point that store managers say, “We don’t have time to train you.” And these are entry-level jobs in the evergrowing service industry. Middle positions, on the contrary, stay filled by the Baby Boomers. This leaves either entry-level jobs or upper management positions as the only choices for college graduates—with minor exceptions. For youth, the old system doesn’t work. Comprehensive education takes decades of training, inside and outside the classroom. High schools—and some college classes—are teaching rote memorization for standardized tests, however. “No Child Left Behind” is driving much of this. Then, companies expect graduates who are well versed in critical thinking and quick decision-making. In the bestcase scenario, frustration will run riot. In the worst-case scenario, violence will go amok. Four years of postsecondary education may no longer be enough. At least, six years are needed, with the last three years spent in the outside world. This will require free education—beyond grade 12—for anyone who can keep his or her grades up to minimum standards. Tuition hikes are now periodic, after all, and have stayed percentagewise in the triple digits. Without free education, postsecondary education will become impossible for all but the richest of the rich. If human aggression is to be overcome, then the world must become human. For starters, it must slow down and simplify. Things have gotten way too complex; community has disintegrated; and money has become the be all and end all of life on earth. Species themselves have become commodities. The most disturbing example is genetically engineered organisms that are patented. Human life itself has become “a paid-for experience.”350 Everything is losing its humanity. Things are going faster … and faster … and faster. This rate of
350

See Rifkin, The Age of Access.

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change is unsustainable! Even corporations are becoming unworkable. Just call your telephone company, Internet service provider, or power company. See how quickly you can get their customer service representatives to stop bouncing you from one department to the other. Most of the reps don’t even know who is in charge of what division. I once waited 40 minutes to get technical assistance on a computer that I bought. One hundred years ago, corporations were practical in that they allowed bigger companies to produce expensive things at lower costs than smaller companies. Corporations have become so large, however, that they are now unwieldy. Young adults don’t have the life experience of 50-year-olds. Many 20 to 30-year-olds are unable to enter—let alone, function in—the “mainstream” because it no longer works properly. Young people are disillusioned with the planet that elders are leaving them—a corrupt system of systems, melting ice caps, a population explosion, and wasted natural resources. Violence is a likely result. Many young adults are able to handle the economic system, of course, including its psychological tolls. But barely. Meanwhile, youth who are unprepared for a hyper-hectic, hyper-globalizing planet are growing in the ranks. In the 19th century, work was physically hard. But it was psychologically easy. Why the latter? Because people worked to make or keep their families selfsufficient. This gave work meaning. In the 21st century, work is physically easier because of machines and automation. But it is psychologically difficult. Huntergatherers, for instance, rarely spent more than three to four hours a day hunting. Compare that with today’s 8-to-14 hour day. Other than the money aspect, work lacks meaning for about 80 percent of the populace.351 This is why, instead of

351

According to Marcus Buckingham, a motivational speaker, the precise statistic is 84 percent of American workers. See Oprah, “ ‘I Hate My Job’ Interventions.” This episode aired on ABC on April 18, 2008.

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being energizing, work drains most people of energy. The inner battery of each worker has just enough power left to carry him or her through the evening. Postmodern civilization is out of balance with millions of years of biological evolution. Children are being told to “grow up” without parents, without grandparents, without community, and without practical education. In American Backlash, pollster Michael Adams adds: Not to mention the fact that Americans, unlike Europeans, are working over 200 hours (five weeks) more per year than in 1973, and have less and less time for all kinds of personal activities from which people derive satisfaction: spending time with family, reading, volunteering, exercising, meditating, or praying.352 The pace of human life is speeding up faster than an airliner taking off a runway, and everyone is being asked to become a computer. This was never the context of biological evolution. Rage, aggression, and violence are likely results for unhappy campers.

… And Justice for All

In the 1800s, Theodore Parker, a transcendentalist, said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”353 Since the start of downsizing and restructuring in the 1970s, more of us are being laid off. Remaining workers are being asked to work more hours for
352 353

Adams, Langstaff, and Jamieson, American Backlash, p. 52. This quotation is at Schipul: The Web Marketing Company. The URL of the quote is http://www.schipul.com/en/q/?2604.

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less pay. Youth, in turn, are having a hard time entering jobs that are well paid and that have benefits. These days, one hears stories of college graduates spending six, nine, thirteen months searching for a position. When, at last, they land a job, graduates are required to get with the program on the first day. As an anonymous young man said, “You’re unemployed for two years. Then, you land a position with high responsibility. You can’t handle it!” If the work ethic has eroded, then the business world must accept responsibility—part of it—for creating idleness and for forcing employed people to do two jobs: theirs, plus the jobs of laid-off workers. Businesspeople blame Western workers for not updating their job skills. What isn’t mentioned is that, in the West, engineers are losing their jobs—not just unskilled laborers. Why? Because an engineer is paid about $6,000 a year in India, whereas in the United States, he or she would make about $50,000 annually, if not more.354 This is the proletarianization of the professional class. As authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin write in Empire of Debt: There are more engineers in the city of Bangalore, in India, than there are in the state of California. They work well and cheaply, … And they seem to be just as innovative as their American counterparts. The software for DVDs was developed in Bangalore, not in Silicon Valley, says the French newspaper, Libération. In the seven short years of its existence in Bangalore, the Philips research center alone has come up with 1,500 new inventions.355 With more aircraft parts being made in China, more workers—blue-collar and white-collar—are becoming unemployed in America. Skills, or the absence of
354 355

Bonner and Wiggin, Empire of Debt, p. 266. Ibid.

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them, are no longer the issue. As Jeremy Rifkin, the economist, writes in Mother Jones magazine:

The hard reality is that the global economy is in the midst of a transformation as significant as the Industrial Revolution. We are in the early stages of a shift from “mass labor” to highly skilled “elite labor,” accompanied by increasing automation in the production of goods and the delivery of services. Sophisticated computers, robots, telecommunications, and other Information Age technologies are replacing human beings in nearly every sector. Factory workers, secretaries, receptionists, clerical workers, salesclerks, bank tellers, telephone operators, librarians, wholesalers, and middle managers are just a few of the many occupations destined for virtual extinction. In the United States alone, as many as 90 million jobs in a labor force of 124 million are potentially vulnerable to displacement by automation.356

Generation X was the first generation to see overworked laborers—their Baby Boomer parents—and the health insurance, paid vacations, and pensions of senior employees erode for newcomers. Why, Generation Xers asked, should they bust their ends for so little? Why should they, as Western society coaxed them, get married in their 20s and have 2.1 kids? With what money? Besides, there had to be more to life than all work, dwindling benefits, and no play. Many Generation Xers thus became “Twixters”—joined by Generation Y— worked part-time at the new jobs that globalization (the child of CEOs) created,
356

Jeremy Rifkin, “Vanishing Jobs: Will There Be a Job For Me in the New Information Age?” Mother Jones, September/October 1995. At http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/1995/09/rifkin.html.

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and enjoyed life as much as they could.357 Underneath, however, rage brewed like water slowly coming to a boil. Passive aggression—such as deleting important files from a company computer—was one result. In the inner cities— and some suburbs—outright violence was another result. If postmodern civilization is to nip the bud of aggression, then it needs to be just. But is $5.85 an hour just when a bag of groceries costs $30? And a Super Bowl ad $2 million for 30 seconds—just for airtime? What message does this send about the value of an ad vs. the value of human labor? Is it justice that people are slaving for $5 to $15 an hour, while banks sit on their derrieres and collect millions of dollars in fees? Is it fair that banks pay us 2 percent interest for a $10,000 CD but credit card companies charge us 18 percent interest for a $100 balance? Why do banks play by one set of rules and the commoner by another set of rules? Who sets up such imbalances? This isn’t a class issue. It is a human issue that is affecting women, men; African Americans, Caucasians; gays, straights; younger people, older people; and Asians and Westerners. The following will be hard for many readers to comprehend, particularly those who have always had a stable career. Nobody owes you a job. But you owe payments. Jobs aren’t guaranteed. Bills are—and taxes. On a planet with more people than jobs and resources, the first task is to humanely reduce the exploding human population in the Third World. That way, its population is more up to par with the First World’s. Some ways are using contraception, having two children per couple, and adopting unwanted children. Only then can more opportunities open up for humankind and justice begin to be served. Only then can rage subside in people who have fallen through the cracks, people like natives and foreigners who find themselves competing for the same jobs. As the proverb goes, “There can be no peace
357

Lev Grossman, “Grow Up? Not So Fast,” Time, January 24, 2005, Vol. 165, No. 4, p. 42.

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without justice.” If justice isn’t served, then the aggression of the underdogs will affect not only the underdogs but the top dogs as well. This is because, at the highest levels of creation, everything is connected. In suburbia, parents live in McMansions that have three, four, five bedrooms and three bathrooms. These houses are the most spacious dwellings that humans have ever had. The McMansions are empty most of the time, however. Instead of letting their adult children live with them, American parents push their offspring into apartments and college dorms when their sons and daughters turn 18. With $250,000 mortgages crushing parents, 18-year-olds are forced to pay for more housing—their own—as if college tuition weren’t enough. Grandparents, in turn, are locked away in nursing homes and in retirement communities. Would “primitive” people consider wasting space—let alone, human resources—to this extent? No wonder loneliness, worthlessness, debt, and inefficiency dominate the American landscape.

The Extreme Media

If television and movies are any guide, then one would conclude that we have deliberately set ourselves up for destruction. TV and film executives say, “Violence sells, and seeing an act of violence on the screen doesn’t cause a viewer to become violent.” The problem is not so much that violent shows and films exist. The problem is that they are given disproportionate airtime on TV and playtime in the movie theaters vis-à-vis films and programs that focus on the better qualities of being human. For example, TLA Video, Facets Video, Wolfe Video, and Spiritual Cinema offer thousands of quality films. Most of these

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movies are made independent of the big studios. To see them, however, one must set aside a substantial budget. Video stores that rented rare films over the mail are renting less and selling more. The movies are out there. But most of us aren’t aware that they exist because the big studios—in charge of 90 percent of media marketing—aren’t promoting them. The 500+ channels available on cable television don’t air the vast majority of movies either. Nor does cable TV run series with petitioners asking for them to be re-aired. The few of us who know about such films and shows must spend big money to view them. Contrast this with the release of United 93 (2006). Visiting the Internet Movie Database, I didn’t have to look for United 93. There it was, the horrible events of 911 replaying on my screen without my having asked imdb.com for this. My only choice was to leave that website—an otherwise superb site online—until that ad disappeared some days later. This chapter raises the issue of mass media because it is the principal means by which youngsters are being socialized these days. Even schools are paling by comparison. Parents work 40 to 60 hours a week. Grandparents are seldom around. Minors are talking less, watching more, and emulating what they see. Even Japanese youngsters are retreating into their bedrooms in a withdrawal reaction called hikikomori. American teens have it hard. But Japanese teens have it twice as hard, for Japanese society offers one-shot deals as far as making it into colleges, universities, and lucrative careers. Japanese youth who fail college entrance exams feel a sense of failure unmatched anywhere in the West. Japanese collegians who do make it into respectable careers find, like Western graduates, that they have the job responsibilities of a 50-year-old. One result is that over a million Japanese people—most of them under 18—have locked themselves up for days, months, and even years. In their bedrooms, they are punching walls,

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sleeping all day, or escaping into TV, movies, CDs, and the Internet. The hikikomori segment of Japanese youth doesn’t die of starvation because their parents leave food outside their bedrooms. As a reviewer for the 2001 Japanese film All About Lily Chou-Chou quoted: “The Internet here acts as a kind of last beacon for human exchange and kindness. The creation of idols, a particularly intense and fraught process in Japan, is the seed of societal destruction. And finally, the undefinable power of music remains the only salvation for those left alienated by an uncaring world.”358 In an age of information and impersonality, screen and audio thus play a central role in postindustrial countries. Japan, it should be noted, is the only nonWestern country to be fully industrialized. Japan also has a long tradition of communal values. The explosion of the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan—and the beginnings of this in South Korea and Taiwan—shows the perils of transplanting Western ways throughout the globe. How do we cater to storylines and lyrics that are hopeful and uplifting— as opposed to violent and depressing? First, we must understand that drama is, by its very nature, about conflict and violence. Still, there is gratuitous violence, and there is meaningful violence. There are loud beats of music that demean women, and there are loud beats of music that express love. The average person must learn to distinguish between higher truth and lower truth. David Hawkins provides an arm-testing method for this in Power vs. Force. For example, does holding a CD weaken or strengthen your arm? Why is such a method necessary?
358

This reviewer, I assume, is quoting Shunji Iwai, the director of All About Lily Chou-Chou. The reviewer is unnamed, but the review appears in the “Facets Features—Cinematheque” section of the Facets catalog, Fall 2002 issue, p. 8.

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Because in Hawkins’s words, “Mankind lacks the capacity to recognize the difference between truth and falsehood.”359 I add that even Truth (e.g., spiritual laws) is opinion because Truth is God’s subjective view of how Reality must be, rather than how Reality could be (e.g., alternate universes). Second, instead of blaming Hollywood and the music industry, we could simply refuse to pay for films and music that don’t express higher consciousness. If a critical mass of us did this, then Hollywood would start to produce more thought-provoking movies and fewer explosions. The music industry, in turn, would allow local musicians to be heard on the airwaves. The alternative for these industries would be bankruptcy. Many people insist that watching violence doesn’t cause violent behavior. But as Norman Solomon, the media critic, told an audience: … the essence of propaganda is repetition, the frames of references, the code words, the catch phrases, most profoundly, the assumptions that are reiterated again, and again, and again.360 Solomon continued: Some people say it doesn’t matter very much what’s on television. It doesn’t have much effect on how people think, or how they vote, or what they do or don’t do politically. The reality is, though, that the advertising industry knows better. Ask yourself, why would billions of dollars be sunk into television advertising every month [emphases mine] in this country [the United States], if it didn’t work, if it didn’t affect how people
359 360

Hawkins, Power vs. Force, p. 288. Norman Solomon gave this lecture at Black Oak Books in Berkeley, California. His August 11, 1997 lecture is in the cassette titled, “The Orchestration of News.” It is available through Alternative Radio (AR) at www.alternativeradio.org.

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perceive the world and their behavior?361 Solomon concluded: There’s no room for sentiment or theory in the advertising agencies or those who hire them in this country. They deal with cold, hard, empirical facts [emphasis mine]. You don’t see the same commercial once or twice. You see it 10, 20, 50, 200 times because it’s the repetition that gets the message across [emphasis mine].362 The trick is not to watch the ads, to mute the television during commercial “breaks,” and best of all, to throw away the hunk of junk. Turn off the radio commercials as well. Rather than watch those eight screens in front of you at the gym, close your eyes and visualize instead the dreams of your heart. Refuse to sit through the 45-minute previews at the movie theater. Go late. Better still, don’t subsidize corporate mind control. Just a few suggestions.

Being Irrelevant … and Not Understood

In Real Boys, William Pollack, a psychologist, argues that neglected children often shut down emotionally. Sooner or later, he writes, bottled emotions spew in harmful directions. According to Pollack, the April 1999

361 362

Ibid. Ibid.

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massacre at Columbine High School is an extreme example of where unexpressed thoughts and frustrated feelings can end up.363 If we are to transcend our destructive human impulses, then not only must we use our energies constructively, rather than suppress them. We also must create environs that are conducive to human conversation. Unfortunately, urban areas tend to cram people. Such crowding generates the urge to escape into the home. Freeways, parking lots, and supermarket aisles aren’t friendly to conversation. The seat arrangements in waiting rooms tend to be such that people rub shoulders, rather than face each other. Loitering outside an apartment complex or in a shopping mall is illegal in an increasing number of cities. In 1976, Suzanne Gordon, a sociologist, wrote about the mass isolation that industrialization, urbanization, suburbanization, social mobility, and the nuclear family have produced in the United States. In her book Lonely in America, Gordon argues that people have experienced existential loneliness since the dawn of humanity. But postmodern loneliness, she goes on, is more a result of the structure of postindustrial civilization. Suburbia, Gordon writes, is so spread out that one may have to drive for miles before getting to a populated area. Increased social mobility means having to leave friends behind every few years, Gordon laments. Therefore, she types, there is less of an emotional incentive to get friendly with neighbors. According to Gordon, this encourages crime not only because neighbors do not know their names; they don’t even know what they look like. In premodern times, she writes, lonely people had an extended family outside the bedroom. Today, Gordon contends, one can go to a university for four years and never really get to know anybody.364 This, I add, is especially true in the larger universities because an institution of higher learning
363

See William Pollack, Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood, (New York: Owl Books, 1999). 364 See Gordon, Lonely in America.

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like the University of Florida can have up to 70,000 students. On July 1990, for example, I visited UF while my mother took a state exam in Carleton Auditorium. Throngs of students were roaming the sidewalks and crossing the streets along University Avenue and SW 13th Street. The students looked like ants. Ever since the arrival of email and the Internet (1993-94), however, far less students are walking outside UF. The paradox is that each UF student is a number—like at the other major universities—yet most of the 70,000 UF students are out of sight and reach of one another. It is a separation in the midst of plenty. This scenario repeats outside the nation’s campuses. Maybe this is why, according to one study, the average American reported in 2004 that he or she could confide to two people, down from almost three people in 1985.365 Also, the percentage of Americans who report nobody to confide to has doubled from 12.5 percent in 1985 to 25 percent in 2004. As usual, nonwhites share the brunt of these statistics.366 The inhuman costs of living in isolation are nobody to talk to, loss of social skills, and unexpressed thoughts and feelings. Not being listened to—let alone, understood—is one of the biggest causes of frustration and anger. If one doesn’t find ways of unleashing socially induced negative energies, they will sputter out somehow. When enough people become trans-instinctual, the problem of isolation— physical, mental, and emotional—will be addressed in this milieu. Until then, hordes of people will continue to be ignored, and postmodern society will pay the price.

365

Sci/Tech News Staff, “Loneliness Is Getting Rampant in America—Survey Found That the Number of Both Family and Non-Family Connections Dropped,” Behavior/Humans. Article at http://news.softpedia.com/news/Loneliness-Is-Getting-Rampant-in-America-27518.shtml. 366 Ibid.

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Pathologizing Masculinity

Since 1990, children have been increasingly diagnosed with conditions like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Not only are kids being given medications to calm their hyperactivity. Nowadays, Ritalin and Prozac are being prescribed to children who don’t have ADD. The idea, unspoken in most circles, is to tranquilize healthy kids at home and in the classroom. As Christina Hoff Sommers argues in The War Against Boys, boys tend to be aggressive, for that is their nature. Instead of letting boys spend their energy, however, many middle schools have cancelled recess. As Sommers writes in her book, involved parents and educators—most of who are women—are trying to turn boys into, well, girls.367 Zero Tolerance policies punish children—especially boys, who tend to be restless—for minor infractions. Schools also expect students to sit still in a classroom for hours at a time. Even I felt restless when I was in secondary school and college, and my energy wanes easily. If the aggressive tendency of boys isn’t allowed to be expressed through sports, running, and recess activities, then where is that energy supposed to go? Male sexuality, in turn, is being pathologized as dangerous to women. Sex education has become abstinence education. Childhood sexuality has been criminalized. Boys, in particular, are being locked up for engaging in consensual sex with girls. The presumption is that boys are always the aggressors. Such social extremism was hardly the case before the sunset decades of the 20th century. If we are to embrace our better instincts, then we must neutralize our aggression like a lightning rod shoots down lightning. For better or worse, medication won’t do this, as medicines treat symptoms, rather than prescribe
367

See Sommers, The War Against Boys.

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cures. Sports and physical activity, on the other hand, make energy flow outward. Just watch a 10-year-old after he or she has played soccer for 90 minutes. Is that boy or girl likely to keep bouncing that paper cup at the dinner table? While classes on respecting others are necessary in middle school and high school, so is allowing minors to unleash their energy. The rise of juvenile obesity is no doubt related to fewer children being permitted to walk home from school. Junk food has contributed to juvenile obesity, of course. But lack of exercise is a major factor. Major reasons why children are getting less exercise are: 1) Recess is being cancelled at many middle schools 2) Parents are afraid to let their children walk outside 3) Kids are being forced to sit in class for hours on end The campaign to cancel recess will be counterproductive in the long run, for the energy of boys and girls must go somewhere. The failure of the antirecess campaign will be as Wayne Dyer related on PBS’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. As the author and lecturer said, when you stab the fuzz balls of dandelions on the grass, what happens the following spring? More dandelions appear across more areas of your lawn because you have spread their seeds. Fighting violence with violence, Dyer concluded, only makes the problem worse.368 Not allowing children to unleash their energies, I add, is an act of violence. Big changes are needed if we are to channel our aggression in constructive directions. Classrooms can have stand-up desks, for instance, providing
368

See Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. This program originally aired on PBS on September 13, 2007.

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students with the option to stand if they want. Not only would stand-up desks allow students to shake off their excess energies. Stand-up desks would also encourage better learning, for the human body is more active on its toes. For the record, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at a stand-up desk, one that he made himself. As for recess, this school period could be reinstated in middle schools. Sports and exercise programs could be expanded. Testosterone could be pathologized less and allowed to run its course—so long as it doesn’t harm others. I believe that repression of energy, including sexual energy, is what contributes to things like assault and rape. And energy isn’t just about the physical body but also about getting things off one’s mind. Thoughts are energy, after all, and the unfulfilled desire to be understood can lead to aggression. In short, aggression could be permitted in productive settings.

Embracing a New Masculinity

More testosterone in males correlates with men being more aggressive than women and boys being more aggressive than girls. The glorification of aggression as manly has contributed as well to male violence against others and against the biological environment. Since aggression is more a “male” trait than a “female” trait, postmodern society must address maleness relative to changing notions of masculinity in the West. For starters, males must be permitted to express their thoughts and emotions without feeling that this will compromise their masculinity. Males must be allowed to appreciate their maleness openly—and that of other males—

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without homophobia (fear of homosexuality) inhibiting this. Just as momentous, females must permit males to be sexual with one another if that arises naturally, just as men allow women to “get physical” with other women. This may sound radical, but the sad truth is that most straight women refuse to date openly bi men. When men hide their bisexuality, women then complain that men aren’t being truthful with them. The lesser of these two evils is for men to repress their bisexuality, cheat with guys on the side—as reflected through the downlow phenomenon—and resent women for not allowing men to be themselves in an open, negotiated, responsible way. What a pity that straight women and straight men reject openly bi men, for one could argue that bi men love themselves more than men who abhor the reflection of their physiques and genitals in other men. After all, in appreciating other males physically and sexually, bi men appreciate themselves, while “versatile” bi men understand better than straight men the “receptive” role of women in bed. In theory, this makes bi men more sensitive lovers than straight men. The same argument could be made relative to bi women. Major shifts are needed in how boys, men, and even women are socialized —that is, if we wish to encourage a constructive unleashing of the energies, thoughts, and emotions that are currently suppressed. The required changes are in the dynamics of male bonding. Alcohol, for instance, was never meant to be digested by the human body, according to Book 1 of Conversations with God.369 Still, binge drinking with “the guys” is a major ritual of manhood. The irony is that in getting drunk, men disrespect the very body that they are trying to present as a “man’s” body. Smoking is also seen as a “manly” activity, one that many women have likewise embraced in an attempt to be equal to men. Alcohol, a depressant, and nicotine, a stimulant, may dull our sexual inhibitions. But each
369

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1996), p. 191.

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also makes aggression more likely in social settings. Hazing is another ritual of manhood, and it tends to occur in the military and in college fraternities. The perpetrators are “men,” while the victims need to endure torture to “prove” that they are “man enough to take it.” Laws forbid hazing nowadays. Yet, one still reads articles about hazing. This is how entrenched old precepts of masculinity are. The old masculinity needs to make room for a new masculinity. The old masculinity was, and still is, about abusing one’s physical body through alcohol, nicotine, and self-flagellation. The new masculinity is about channeling aggression in positive directions like sports, construction, and physical labor. The old masculinity was about homosocial bonds being based on homophobia and misogyny. The new masculinity is about homosocial bonds being based on admiration of other males and love of females. In a nutshell, the new masculinity is flexible about how males are allowed to think, feel, and act in social settings. A trans-instinctual society is human when it comes to its better instincts and trans-instinctual when it comes to its destructive instincts. Postmodern society, by contrast, promotes its lower instincts by warping its higher instincts. Trans-instinctual humans make the effort, however, to learn and live according to new principles—such as the new masculinity for males—when old ones are found to be maladaptive. Like learning a second language in adulthood, this may be hard compared to learning a first language in childhood. But transinstinctual humans know that the process is worth it—and today, more necessary than ever for personal and global survival. The next chapter explores the various facets of judgement and ways to get around the lower aspects of this instinct.

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Exercises
1) Do you consider yourself to be a violent person? Why or why not? Is your answer based on your actions alone? Or do you count your thoughts and emotions as well? 2) What violent thoughts and emotions, if any, do you recall having recently? Have you acted on them? Why or why not? 3) Do you think that the movies you watch make you prone to violent thoughts, emotions, and/or behavior? The programs you view on television? The people you associate with? The places you frequent? If yes, how? Why? Would you like to change that? How could you go about doing this? 4) Do you suppress your masculinity? Your femininity? What aspects of your masculinity or femininity? What other parts of yourself do you put a damper on? Why? If you repress any part of yourself—such as your emotions—what role do you think this plays in your violent thoughts, feelings, and/or behavior? What are the consequences?

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11 Judgement The above tendency is inherent in all that we do. From the moment we wake up, we are measuring things like: slippers over there, my feet over here; bladder full, bathroom behind that door; one-hour drive to work, traffic heavy outside my bedroom window. At restaurants, we order some meals and not others. We wear particular outfits and stay away from others. We invite specific people into our homes and don’t answer the voice mail of certain others. Scholars accept some ideas and methodologies and reject other approaches. This very book couldn’t have been written—at least, not properly—if I didn’t analyze, intercompare, and discriminate from an ocean of ideas. Synthesis would have been impossible. Still, there is the judgement required to drive around town, build and use vacuum cleaners, and set up governments and economic systems, and there is the judgement of making someone, or some group, wrong. The second type of judgement is what this chapter will refer to, for this is the maladaptive brand of this instinct. At its worst, this type of judgement leads to war. Judging is different from making an observation. To observe is to see, hear, smell, taste, or feel what something is. To judge, on the other hand, is to think that something should or should not be what it is. An observation is a neutral thought about something, while a judgement is loaded with negative emotions. Seen from this vein, positive evaluations about people and things are not judgement, even though feelings may be involved. Negative feelings are

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what, under this chapter’s definition, qualify as judgement. Another way of putting it is that judgement is turbulent. As the saying goes, “Would you rather be right? Or happy?” An even more powerful way of expressing this is, “Would you rather be right? Or at peace?” This doesn’t mean that we must change our negative views about, say, world hunger. It doesn’t mean that we need to get all goody feely about injustice so that we may not be guilty of “judging” it. Rather, being nonjudgmental means that, concerning things that we feel negative about, we can choose to focus away from them. We don’t even have to change our negative views about specific things. We, however, can choose other thoughts or work on constructive solutions to whatever we perceive as negative. So long as it doesn’t violate individual or collective rights, this is a positive development. It is judging the sin, not the sinner. The realm of judgement is the realm of perception. This is the sphere of relativity (point of view). To rise above judgement is to rise above relativity. In an age of epidemic divorce, unstable employment, automatic guns, and nuclear weapons, judging others is more maladaptive than ever. What are the facets of judgement? How do we learn to judge? How can we overcome the negative side of this instinct?

Subjectivity of Judgement

In an episode of Perfect Strangers, Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) gets his cousin a car. A peach-hued elevator door parts, and Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) steps onto a basement, arm-led by Larry. The thirtysomething men step toward the center of the parking lot. The scene unfolds as follows:

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Balki: Cousin, I can’t stand it! I can’t stand it! Larry: I got you the most reliable used car in Chicago. O.K. Open your eyes.370 Balki uncovers his eye sockets. A coupé is in front of him, its chrome shiny and fire-engine red. The scene proceeds: Balki: [looking right] Oh, cousin, it’s beautiful! Larry: [looking left] I think so, too.371 Balki hugs the front of the red coupé, embraces Larry, and reclines on its pulledback black top. Balki hugs Larry again, rushes to the driver’s side, and pulls open the door. Larry grabs Balki by the white lapels of Balki’s flower shirt and says, “This isn’t your car … This is your car.”372 Balki turns to the other side of the basement. A gas-guzzler from the 1960s awaits, gray as a winter sky. “Oh, God!” Balki utters. The scene continues: Larry: I knew you’d like it. Hey! Thanks to the Appleton [used car] system, this car is so reliable, you could be driving it forever. Balki: [making faces] That long.

370

Perfect Strangers, “Car Wars.” This episode originally aired on ABC on March 17, 1989 (Season 4, episode 18). 371 Ibid. 372 Ibid.

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Larry: So what do you say, we start this baby up and take her for a spin.373 Larry tosses the keys up for Balki to catch. The keys fall to the ground. Balki’s legs lock, and he has to be pushed toward the gray gas-guzzler as though he were a robot. In Larry’s mind, the gray car is a success. In Balki’s mind, it is a disaster. Larry’s judgement of the vehicle differs from Balki’s because Larry’s father taught him to shop for used cars based on an automobile’s “mileage, previous service record, coefficient of drag, and then the ratings are factored against the sales prices of the cars … ”374 Larry, who always has money in mind, is glad to have found a car for less than $2,500. Balki, who could care less about money, wants the red sports car. At work, Larry explains “the Appleton Used-Car Ratings System” to an elevator operator (JoMarie Payton) and to an advice columnist (Belita Moreno). Lydia, the columnist, asks Larry, “Were you a bed wetter?” The women leave the basement of The Chicago Chronicle, the newspaper where Larry works. Balki enters. Larry explains his father’s rating system to Balki. Balki glances at Larry head to toe and says, “You weren’t breast-fed, were you?”375 This episode shows how we infer things about people based on their utterances and behavior. The episode also shows how subjective judgements are. New things are the most quickly judged because we have never encountered them before. There is something in us that needs to evaluate novel things, and good vs. bad is the criteria that we use. Our judgements, in turn, are based on our upbringing, on past encounters with things, and on the very newness of something. Judgement is a human impulse that comes up automatically.
373 374

Ibid. Ibid. 375 Ibid.

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Barrier to Self-Knowledge … and to Truth

In the movie The Matrix (1999), Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) leans forward from a padded, red chair and tells Neo (Keanu Reeves), the young man who is sitting across from him: You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Neo reaches for the red pill. “Remember,” Morpheus interrupts. “All I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.” Neo swallows the red pill and learns that he is not living on earth in the year 1999 but rather, in a computer program. The true year is, in Morpheus’s words, “closer to 2199.” The earth is but a cinder, and a race of artificial intelligence has put humanity to sleep inside pods so that the robots can use the electricity of human bodies as raw energy. Upon learning this, Neo breaks down mentally and pukes aboard Morpheus’s spaceship. Later in the film, Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) asks the head agent—one of the personifications of the giant, insect-like robots—to put him back to sleep. Cypher tells Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving): Ignorance is bliss … I don’t wanna remember nothing. Nothing. You

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understand? And I wanna be rich. You know? Someone important, like an actor … Get my body back into the power plant. Reinsert me into the Matrix. I’ll get you what you want. As writer T.S. Eliot said, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”376 In the flick A Few Good Men (1992), the following shouting match takes place in a military court between Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Colonel Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson): Kaffee: I want the truth! Jessep: You can’t handle the truth. Likewise, in the film As Good as It Gets (1997), one of the dates of Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt) sees Connelly’s 6-year-old son from Connelly’s living room. The boy (Jesse James) is sick, and Connelly must attend to him. The thirtyish man (Randall Batinkoff) rises from Connelly’s leaf-print sofa of darkyellow. “Just a little too much reality for a Friday night,” he tells her. The guy then leaves her apartment. Indeed, humans cannot stand too much reality. What causes us to reject some truths, whether about Reality or about ourselves? The answer is our judgement of truths as good or bad. Truths that we define as “good” we accept more readily. Truths that we define as “bad” we tend to reject. Kindness and bravery we judge as good, for example, while cruelty and cowardice we judge as bad. Thus, in the flick The Neverending Story (West German-British; 1984), the elf Engywook (Sydney Bromley) tells Falcore, the dragon:
376

This quote comes from “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tseliot107488.html.

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… kind people find that they are cruel. Brave men discover that they are really cowards. Confronted with their true selves, most men run away screaming. Hence, judgement can lead to fear of self-knowledge (egophobia?). In short, judgement can become a hindrance to self-awareness, to the acceptance of uncomfortable truths, and to personal and spiritual evolution. Judgement can make us prefer to go back to sleep (e.g., the blue pill), rather than awaken to truths that we see as problematic (e.g., the red pill).

Self-Righteousness

As a student at the University of Florida, I often hung out at the university’s Plaza of the Americas. Ministers would stand in the middle of the viridescent grass, would wave their Bibles, and would preach “the Word of God.” Different preachers came on different days. But all of them berated “adulterers”, “fornicators”, “masturbators”, and “homosexuals,” each pronounced with four extra s’s at the end. As their tongues hissed those s’s, the pastors would stoop halfway toward the grass and squeeze their eyes shut. I sensed their pleasure as they s’ed the list of sinners. One woman with dark curls reaching to her shoulders would walk around the middle of the plaza. She was the wife of a minister. Every two hours or so, the husband and wife would alternate places in their sermons to the collegians. The lady always wore a dress to her ankles, and her children would wait under some trees. Day after day, she

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belted, “Sinners are going to burn … in the lake … of … fyrrrrrrr!” Under the noon sun, the fair-complexioned lady would shake her finger at the students, most of who were sitting and lying on the grass. The woman’s cream forefinger looked like a slithering snake. One noon, the following scene took place: “When I came to the University of Florida in 1979,” the lady hollered, “I got drunk!” “Whoo-hoo!” some guys shouted. “I went to wild parties!” she yelled. “Yeah!” more students cheered. “I stayed up all night!” she said, continuing in crescendo. “Alright!” At last, the woman screamed at the top of her lungs, “I smoked pot!” The crowd whistled and clapped. “But then,” she said, her shrill voice calming down, “I found salvation in Jesus Christ.” Deep-voiced ministers started to come to the plaza. They were, literally, an army of campus preachers. The students called them “the red coats” because the ministers wore red suits. Early one afternoon, a preacher began to rail against homosexuals. Another scene erupted. “When you eat peas,” the sexagenarian preacher grated, “you don’t stick them up your nose!” “Gay sex is fun!” a young man called out. “You should try it.”

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Stressing each syllable, the wrinkled man retorted, “Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God.” Two dudes kissed on the lips—and kept sucking for a few seconds. The man continued with his tirade. I began to feel good about what the guys had done. From my perspective, they had courageously challenged the minister. In retrospect, however, I see their smooching as a defense—a result of the guys having been sucked into the preacher’s whirlwind of judgement. Another week, a guy began to climb a leafy tree at the plaza. He must have been 20 feet up the trunk. But he kept climbing … and climbing … and climbing. I asked myself, What in the world is he doing? The young man disappeared into the canopy of the quivering green leaves. Moments later, a Frisbee came tumbling down from near the top. Never had I seen anyone shin so high up a tree. My mind began to judge this form of novelty, and I found myself getting petulant because I couldn’t understand the behavior of that “neo-hippie.” The judgement of the preachers was starting to affect me. Self-righteousness comes from somebody getting locked in one point of view. It makes us intolerant to other ideas, approaches, and ways of living. Judgement shuts off our biological senses, for it makes us see and hear only what we want to see and hear. Self-righteousness may give us a temporary high. This high can be anger, the feeling of being right, or the pleasure of the preachers when squeezing their eyes shut. But the good feeling wanes, and a negative emotion takes its place. When we judge another person, we often get more moody. Nothing makes us happy. No matter what another person may do to gain our approval, we are not satisfied. Often, we become more cross. It is a self-feeding cycle. When I judge someone, for instance, I find that after the high

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wears off, sadness descends upon me. I feel worse off than before I judged. I find myself wanting to hug the person whom I judged. But because the person closes up, I can’t show him or her affection to “make up.” This makes me feel even worse. Judgmental people are negative people, and generally, their judgement influences others and the vibes in the air. Despite their influence, however, judgmental people never win people over to their side—just to their negative way of being. I, for example, doubt that the campus preachers have converted anyone to their Christian fundamentalism. In fact, UF students have organized to get them out of the Plaza of the Americas. One reason many of us shun religion is because, in the words of my stepfather, “Todo está mal!” (“Everything is bad [in the eyes of religion]!”). Spirituality is much the same. For example, if a person just takes in a relationship, spiritualists say, then that individual is an energy vampire. But if that person—or even both of them—take and give, then the relationship is still out of kilter. Why? Because in psychopop parlance, the give is conditional on taking—never mind that all human relationships are conditional. Everything being bad reminds me of El Cuento del Burro (“The Story of the Donkey”). As my mother recounted to me, a swarthy man with a wrinkled face, a light-skinned boy, and a brown donkey were strolling on a dirt road one afternoon. In Spanish, one passerby said to another, “How stupid of those two not to ride that donkey. The feet of that man and boy will get tired.” The man with a curved back stopped walking and reined the donkey to a halt. He told the detained boy, “Let’s get on this donkey because that seems like the right thing to do.” The man and boy sat on the back of the donkey, and the donkey resumed his gait. “How cruel of you two,” another passerby hurled at the riders. “The poor donkey’s back is getting broken.”

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The compadre (“old crony”) reined the donkey to a stop and gurgled to the boy, “Why don’t you get off since that seems like the right thing to do.” The lad complied, and the three resumed moving forward. “Lord of Heaven!” a third passerby said. “An old man like you must have enjoyed his life, but you’re making life tough for a boy by making him walk. Let the boy have the good life, too.” Again, the compadre reined the burro to a halt. He hopped off and told the chap, “Why don’t you climb onto the donkey since that seems like the right thing to do.” The boy did as told, and the three resumed inching forward. “What a selfish boy!” yet another passerby blabbed. “A boy whose whole life is ahead of him makes life tougher for a man who has surely suffered through life.” To the boy, the elderly man half-whispered, “Stop. Get off, and carry the burro by its hind legs. I’ll carry him by the front legs.” In this manner, the three resumed their afternoon travail. Another passerby said, “How idiotic can two people be? Why carry a donkey when they can ride it?” This time, the compadre hummed to the lad, “Just ignore everyone. Let’s continue like this because no matter what we do, it will be wrong in some way.” The list of paradoxes on Part I, Chapter 4 is much like “The Story of the Donkey.” Most things being “bad,” especially things that feel good, is dangerous because this tempts one to have disrespect for the law, be it human or spiritual law. It is like having a father that one can never please, no matter how hard one tries. The top of one mountain (the learning of a spiritual lesson) becomes the bottom of the next. Therefore, we have to be constantly looking over our shoulders, checking with God on whether or not we are sinning (missing the

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mark of enlightenment). Prophets and ministers have preached the following as forbidden fruits: 1) Seeking money (worldliness) 2) Eating a fruit too lusciously (sensualism) 3) Craving status (being reputation conscious) 4) Wanting recognition (not being a meek servant of God) 5) Staring at a beautiful woman or at a handsome man (lust) 6) Dancing (having too jolly a time) 7) Lifting weights (vanity) 8) Enjoying sex (lust) 9) Voicing one’s opinions (refusal to be humble) 10) Remaining single (not fruitful and multiplying) 11) Staying up late (being undisciplined) 12) Getting up late (being undisciplined) 13) Reveling in sensual pleasures (asceticism is noble) 14) Seeking comfort (discomfort is the way to spiritual growth) 15) Focusing on oneself (selfishness) 16) Looking for security (insecurity is noble) 17) Laughing too much (suffering is the way) 18) Desiring things (not being grateful) 19) Taking anything (it is better to give) 20) Wanting to control (wanting to be God is a mortal sin) 21) Wishing things were perfect (perfectionism) 22) Fantasizing (escapism) 23) Standing up for oneself (engaging in a power struggle) 24) Yearning for love (refusal to be comfortable being alone)

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The above list could fill an entire book. Even my writing much of this tome was a no-no. As divine guidance told me, “Some things are better left unsaid.” Once again, I couldn’t eat my cookie, the cookie being the pleasure of expressing myself without self-censorship. When I started to see apples everywhere—on a car sticker, in my fridge, and on a T-shirt—I saw this as a metaphor that I was giving the world the fruit of knowledge. This is the knowledge that distinguishes between “Good and Evil.” Adam and Eve’s partaking of the apple led to their suffering because much knowledge is painful to know. Hence, books on restricting your thoughts to positive thinking try to limit how much of the apple one eats. In the film Prayer of the Rollerboys (1991), Speedbagger (Julius Harris) tells Griffin (Corey Haim), “Evil is God-damn tempting, ain’t it?” Here, I define evil (at the level of the individual) and Evil (at the level of the collective) as anything that brings pain, ugliness, disease, and/or death. Evil is another word for lower consciousness, lower energies, and lower frequencies. Why is Evil (Live spelled backwards) so tempting? Because the “good” things in life often bring “bad” results. Paradox again. Examples are: 1) Using petroleum (makes postmodern society go but causes global warming) 2) Eating and drinking sweets (tastes great but contributes to tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes) 3) Smoking (feels awesome to smokers but causes lung cancer)

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4) Feeding off psychic energy (keeps one fueled with energy but depletes others) 5) Injecting street drugs (one gets high, but one can die from an overdose) 6) Overeating (feels terrific but leads to becoming overweight) 7) Expressing certain things (gets things off one’s chest; yet, some things are better left unsaid) 8) Oversleeping (feels amazing, but one then feels groggy throughout the day) 9) Having lots of sex partners (one experiences a variety of orgasms, but one also has more chances of catching and passing STDs) As Yoda (Frank Oz) warns Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), “If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.” Evil, of course, is a continuum. This scale of Evil ranges from the left (most Evil) to the middle (less Evil) to the right (least Evil).

Killing . . . . . . . . . . . . . Smoking . . . . . . . . Overeating . . . . . . . . . . Giving Up

The karmic message is:

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1) “Look, but don’t touch.” 2) “Smell, but don’t taste.” 3) “Taste, but don’t swallow.” 4) “Breathe in, but don’t breathe out.” Making matters worse is that the heavens are always testing us. Each of us is set up to sin. Why? So that we may grow spiritually from wrongdoing. This is like a bully provoking one to fight. When, at last, one gets mad and fights, one “creates” negative karma for losing one’s cool. How could a “Loving” God create such a “Complete Setup” (this was printed on the control panel of a treadmill at the gym)? There is no humanly logical answer, for even “spiritual growth” (the ends justify the means) is incomprehensible from the point of view of human decency. In The Seat of the Soul, author Gary Zukav writes, “How exquisite is temptation. It is the magnet which draws your awareness to that which would create negative karma if it were allowed to remain unconscious.”377 Imagine! Zukav calls the agony of temptation “exquisite.”378 Author Byron Katie calls it Loving What Is, the title of her 2002 book.379 On the same wavelength as Zukav and Katie, positive people remain unperturbed by the problem of Evil. All of this reminds me of a quote. As Jiddu Krishnamurti, a spiritual teacher, wrote, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”380 And this physical universe is a type of society. What is considered “sick” versus “well adjusted” are human perceptions, of course.

377 378

Zukav, The Seat of the Soul, p. 144. Ibid. 379 See Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, (New York: Harmony Books, 2002). 380 See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jiddukrish107856.html.

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Religious—and spiritual—prohibitions against the good life reflect some higher Truth. The long column of no-nos is much like the endless nos that adults hurl at babies. For example, “Don’t put this in your mouth”, “Don’t crawl over there”, and “Don’t touch that.” When we can’t do anything—or “You’re gonna be sorry”—what do we live for? Everything being bad is a sign that we are cosmic babies, always doing the “wrong” things. The other night, for example, I passed the baby section at a supermart. Hanging from the shelves were toilet seat locks, fridge door locks, cabinet latches, doorknob locks, and electric socket safety caps. Parents do everything they can to keep their babies from danger. The heavens, by contrast, merely warn us with endless nos, then let us burn ourselves. Why? So that we may learn experientially the consequences of unevolved actions. As a species, we are in our spiritual infancy. The state of planet Earth is an effect of the freedom that God has granted us to hurt ourselves in our ignorance. This is a freedom that parents don’t give their babies. Earth is like the nation of Bangladesh because most humans are spiritually impoverished. Some extrasolar planets are like the Kingdom of Norway because their inhabitants are spiritually wealthy. Religious prohibitions against the good things in life stem from the judgement of organized religion that “good” things are bad and “bad” things are good. Religious restrictions are, in short, our instinct to judge, institutionalized in the name of God. At best, judgement makes the one on the receiving end uncomfortable. At worst, judgement prompts defense and rebellion. At the same time, the prohibitions of organized religion reflect the narrowing of choices that occurs as one evolves spiritually. One’s choices narrow because one observes—rather than judges—that more things are unevolved.

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Criticism

Criticism is an offshoot of judgement. When we judge, the judgement starts in our heads as thoughts. Then, we either keep the thoughts to ourselves or we voice them. Criticism is more the voicing of judgement and less the thinking part. Like judgement, criticism is about making someone wrong. Constructive criticism points out errors in another—or in something—with the goal of having someone correct them. Constructive criticism springs from the first type of judgement—the judgement of discriminating among the endless pieces of data that we encounter every day. Destructive criticism, on the other hand, is a merciless rubbing in of errors in somebody. Never does the second form of criticism lead to positive changes. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher gave a classroom assignment. Her pupils were to write some paper about a subject that I can’t even remember. I filled a yellow notebook page of mine with words. The redhead with wavy hair sauntered around the sunlit classroom, looking over the shoulders of her students. I kept writing. The short lady approached me from my right. She skimmed over what I had scribbled. Slowly, she lowered a red pen. Then, the redhead scratched its ballpoint from the top-left corner of my paper to the bottom right. She pulled up the ballpoint and drew a second line to form a big X of red over my yellow paper. It might as well have been blood. I could sense the kids staring at me, stunned at what had happened. I felt ashamed, sad, and angry that a schoolteacher—a supposed paragon of virtue—could be so cruel. This was the epitome of destructive criticism. It certainly didn’t help me get her assignment right. Rather, her behavior stabbed me so brutally that I have yet to fully recover.

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Criticism is endemic to our species—although some people have this tendency more ingrained in their psyche. Perhaps, critics learned criticism from their judgmental parents and teachers. Or maybe, their criticism is their way of making up for low self-esteem (low psychic steam). Stepparents often criticize their stepchildren because the kids are seen as a burden that the stepparents should not be responsible for. My stepfather, for instance, criticized me if I left the bathroom light on. He criticized me if I left a loaf of bread on the dining table, if I left the refrigerator door open “too long,” and if I brought the TV volume on “too loud.” Even biological parents can be critical of their children. In a Gimme a Break! episode, for example, the mother of Nell Harper (Nell Carter) comes to visit from Alabama. In her California house, Nell picks up her mother’s pale-blue suitcase. Mama Maybelle (Rosetta LeNoire) explodes. The scene proceeds as follows: Maybelle: [pointing accusingly at Nell] I can carry my own bag! [Maybelle wrests the suitcase away from Nell.] Nell: Well, fine, mama. I’ll just show you to my room. Maybelle: And I know where your room is, too. Nell: Well, fine, mama. [With her suitcase, Maybelle knocks a plant over.] Nell: Mama … are you O.K.?

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Maybelle: [pointing accusingly at Nell] I suppose it was you who put that plant right where people walk. Nell: Actually, mama; you’re the first one to ever knock it over. Maybelle: I knew you would find a way to make it my fault.381 In another episode, Maybelle lets Nell’s adopted boys (Joey and Matthew Lawrence) into Nell’s New York apartment. Seconds later, Nell and her best friend Addy Wilson (Telma Hopkins) enter the hallway of their floor. The moment Maybelle hears their chatter, she sighs, shakes her head, and crosses her arms. The scene unfolds as follows: Maybelle: Well, it’s about time you got here. I told you I’d be back with the boys at three. Nell: But mama, it’s only four minutes after three. Maybelle: That’s what I mean. You’re never on time. When you were born, you were three days late. Oooh, the pain.382 Although funny, the above scenes provide more examples of destructive criticism. It does no one any good. Situation comedies are an instructive way to

381

These quotes are from an episode of Gimme a Break! (1981-1987) titled, “Mama.” This episode originally aired on NBC on November 2, 1985 (Season 5, episode 7). 382 Gimme a Break! “I Love New York.” This episode originally aired on NBC on November 5, 1986 (Season 6, episode 7).

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see such criticism at work, for they can act as a reference for us to consult whenever we feel like indulging the judge in us.

Generalizing

When we judge someone, we often generalize about the group that he or she represents. In the film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), for example, a Klingon commander (Christopher Lloyd) orders the execution of “one of the prisoners [on planet Genesis].” The blond son of James T. Kirk ends up stabbed. “You Klingon bastard!” Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) yowls from the Starship Enterprise. “You’ve killed my son!” Eight years pass. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Kirk voices to his computer log, “I’ve never trusted Klingons. And I never will. I can never forgive them, for the death of my boy.” At a classified meeting at Starfleet Headquarters, Kirk tells the Commander in Chief (Leon Russom), “The Klingons have never been trustworthy.” After the meeting, Kirk tells Federation Envoy Spock (Leonard Nimoy), “They’re animals … Don’t believe them. Don’t trust them … Let them die.” Kirk generalizes about Klingons based on his experience with Commander Kruge—the Klingon who had Kirk’s son killed—and Kruge’s officers. Generalization is a type of judgement. It is the application of one incident, one example, or one experience with someone to an entire group. Stereotypes are the result. Stereotypes reinforce the judgements that spur them and create prejudice. Hooked in a chain, generalizations, stereotypes, and prejudice feed on one another. In the case of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk’s view

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of Klingons makes it difficult for him to accept the proposal of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) for an end to 70 years of war between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. As the next chapter shall show, forgiveness becomes next to impossible under such conditions.

Gossip

Because most humans are social creatures, most people are embroiled in thoughts about others. Think about anything, and chances are that you are thinking about a person in some way. Only a handful of humans—writers, painters, composers, inventors, and chemists—live their lives alone. Yet, even the isolation of their work exists to serve humanity. Most individuals, however, are extroverts. As such, most people spend time gossiping in groups. It is said that inferior minds talk about people; average minds talk about events; and superior minds talk about ideas. Under this book’s definition, positive words about people—if the words are genuine—don’t qualify as gossip. To gossip is to talk negatively about one or more people behind their backs. Judgement about people is always involved in gossip. One motive for gossip is to fill social space with random conversation. Another motive is to satisfy the need to confide. After all, getting things off one’s chest can be therapeutic. The most serious motive is to get back at someone by ruining his or her reputation. There is a fine line between this and therapeutic confiding. One night, I emailed one of my aunts about a blonde who my mother and stepfather visited when I was about 11. This was circa 1985. The lady lived in Soundview, a neighborhood of the Bronx that is directly under the flight path of

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airliners taking off from LaGuardia Airport. My parents arrived at her two-story house around noon on a Saturday. Hearing the aluminum birds roaring above the sideboards of her house, I asked the blonde if she could take me to a location where we could see the runway. The middle-aged woman promised me that we would all be going later. This was around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I waited, and waited, and waited. I asked her if we would be going soon. The blonde with shoulder-long hair assured me, “In a little while. Your parents and I are having coffee in the kitchen.” The afternoon hours dragged, and my impatience grew. As nighttime fell, my parents got ready to leave her house, and I realized that I would not see the jet planes. The fact that I mentioned this incident to my aunt—and am writing about it here—tells me that the boy in me has not forgiven that woman. I was not just a boy who capriciously wanted to see airplanes one afternoon. Through much of my childhood, I wanted to be an airline pilot. Not only did the blonde betray my trust in her word. Her smiles were very disarming. This made her betrayal more brutal because when you are a boy or girl—or an adult, for that matter—you don’t expect a charming person to destroy your optimism, innocence, and excitement. In August 1989, my parents and I relocated to DeLand, Florida. One Saturday afternoon, we were sitting in the living room of a dark-haired woman. Out of the blue, the lady mentioned the name of the woman from Soundview. I surmise that the heavens were reminding me that I—and probably, my parents too—had unfinished business with the Bronx woman. Not until April 26, 2008 did the boy in me get his wish. There are lots of airplane videos on YouTube, a website that I didn’t even know existed until late 2007. God bless the people who tape and upload those videos.383
383

One of my favorite videos of LaGuardia Airport is titled, “LaGuardia Airport Landings and Takeoffs.” This video was shot from Planeview Park, New York. AceVideoFlyer added it to YouTube on April 7,

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Whether the motive for gossip is ruining someone’s reputation or just unloading negative feelings, forgiveness has not occurred. If one engages in idle chitchat, then bitterness may be hiding beneath the filler-up conversation. Forgiveness means that one has forgotten about the incident. One gossips because one remembers the violation, meaning that someone acted in a way that one disagreed with. Lower animals forget negative incidents because they don’t have a cerebral cortex to remind them of the past. To hear malicious gossip or emotionally wounded gossip—as opposed to social fillers—is to hear the absence of forgiveness.

Judgement—Nipping It in the Bud

To become trans-instinctual vis-à-vis judgement, we must realize two things. First, emotions drive our judgement of others, not just thoughts. These emotions are negative. They are also primal. Why primal? Because the feelings originate in the part of our brains that we inherited from the dinosaurs (see introduction to next chapter). This is why judgmental people act like reptiles. The downside of having “the brain of a crocodile [at the core of our brains]” is that it is hard to break away from our impulse to indulge savage emotions.384 The upside is that we can use our reptile feelings as a barometer of where we are heading. Second, to become trans-instinctual relative to judgement, we must monitor our thoughts on a constant basis. This is because, as mentioned, we are
2008. Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stWimcXcBJE. 384 Cosmos, “The Persistence of Memory,” (Episode 11).

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always judging and measuring things. The important thing is to distinguish between the first type of judgement (e.g., choosing between vegetables and chocolate) and the second type of judgement (e.g., making someone—or something—wrong). One afternoon, I was sipping hot coffee outside a café. A lady in her 60s strolled past my umbrella table. Her pale arms and legs were thin, but she had a lot of fat packed around her waist. Immediately, I started to lean over to my adopted aunt. I found my mouth opening, as if it were a life-form separate from me. Something stopped me, though. I felt uncomfortable not expressing my feelings about that woman, but I continued to resist the instinct to voice my judgement. Not only did I keep my mouth from opening further. I refused to even think further thoughts about the lady. In that instant, I consciously practiced trans-instinctuality in relation to judgement. Even religions can choose to be nonjudgmental—at least, outside of their churches. At UF’s Plaza of the Americas, for example, the “red coats” railed against sinners. In the background, however, Hare Krishnas served lunch to students. All that the Krishnas asked for was a $1 donation. The food was vegetarian because devotees don’t believe in eating meat. But other than through their menu—and some pamphlets for those who wanted to pick them up—the Krishnas didn’t broadcast their opposition to meat. The contrast between the loudness of the “red coats” and the silence of the Krishnas was so stark that, more than 10 years later, I still remember. The gentleness of the Krishnas got me curious about their philosophy, and I attended one of their sermons at the Krishna house. Their presenter said that homosexuality was practiced by people who were “too materialistic.” Eating meat, he said, also went against Hare Krishna philosophy. The difference was that, unlike the

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preachers at the Plaza, the man voiced his beliefs in a detached way. This was as close to trans-instinctuality—vis-à-vis judgement—that I have seen a religion go. Believe it or not, my fourth grade teacher transcended her judgement of my classwork—at least, late one morning. Outside the school lunchroom, the redhead asked me if my mother had, at last, found permanent employment. This was the early 1980s, a time when unemployment in the states reached 11 percent. In Puerto Rico, it was double that, as unemployment usually is there. Confusing the terms permanent and temporary, I answered, “Yes”, when all that my mother had found was temporary employment. The woman’s concern was an instant, however, of her having risen above her tendency for destructive criticism. In the movie Star Wars (1977), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) visits the adobe of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). Kenobi wants Skywalker to help him rescue Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), for the princess is imprisoned in a space station called The Death Star. The scene proceeds as follows: Luke: Alderan? I’m not going to Alderan. I gotta get home. It’s late. I’m in for it as it is. Obi-Wan: I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I’m getting too old for this sort of thing. Luke: I can’t get involved. I’ve got work to do. It’s not that I like the Empire. I hate it. But there’s nothing I can do about it right now. It’s such a long way for me. Obi-Wan: That’s your uncle talking.

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Similarly, one needs to recognize when one’s “uncle” is voicing his opinions, for the human psyche loves to judge. In distinguishing the voice of the tyrant within from the voice of God, we will be in a better position to curtail our impulse to judge. Then, we will be on our way to becoming trans-instinctual relative to judgement. Important is to remember that when we judge someone, we reveal more about ourselves than about the person being judged. In a Home Improvement episode, for instance, Irv Schmayman (Alex Rocco) runs into somebody at the “VIP elevator” of a football stadium. Entering Box 12 of the SilverDome, Schmayman comments in reference to that someone, “What a chatterbox.”385 Tim and Jill Taylor (Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson) give each other a puzzled look. Likewise, Lynn Tanner (Andrea Elson) takes a telephone call from a friend of her grandmother’s (Anne Meara) in an Alf episode. Dorothy Halligan, the grandmother, says, “I wonder what that crackpot wants now.” In the bright living room of her daughter’s (Anne Schedeen), grandma sits on a chesterfield that sports white polka dots over blue. Grandma continues: The woman is so selfish. I mean, that’s all she thinks about is self. Self, self, self … One thing is certain. I am not going to Hawaii with a crazy woman.386

385

Home Improvement, “Thanksgiving.” This episode originally aired on ABC on November 25, 1997 (Season 7, episode 9). 386 Alf, “Mother and Child Reunion.” This episode originally aired on NBC on January 12, 1987 (Season 1, episode 13).

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Watching these scenes, one associates the adjectives not with the people offscreen but rather, with Schmayman and Halligan. The same happens when we judge people in the sight of others. Maybe someday, judging people will be a thing of the past, seen only in movies and on television to make us laugh at and remember who we used to be. The alternative is nothing short of rage, violence, and counterviolence. The next chapter covers the offspring of judgement—revenge. The chapter also zeroes in on forgiveness as the trans-instinctual solution.

Exercises
1) List instances in which you have judged yourself, other people, and/or circumstances. Were most of those judgements rationally thought out, driven by emotions, or both? 2) List instances in which you have generalized. Was each generalization due to the absence of more information? If emotions were involved, what generated them? Can you change your feelings? If so, does this affect your thought process? Are you, for instance, more or less prone to generalize after shifting how you feel? 3) List instances in which you have criticized one or more people. Then, list instances in which one or more people have criticized you. On the surface,

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what was the criticism about? Beneath the surface, what was the criticism really about? Were you aware about this distinction at the time? If no, would knowing have kept you from criticizing? Would knowing have prevented you from getting hurt?

12 Revenge

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One of the most potent of human instincts, revenge shakes the very foundation of one’s being. Revenge is a human impulse and a spiritual challenge. Feelings of revenge—and their trigger, grief, fright, or rage— overwhelm us because they originate at the very core of our brains. This area is one of the oldest parts of the human brain. It is primal. Savage. Reptilian. In fact, it descended from the dinosaurs. That is why this region of the human brain is named the R-complex. R means reptilian. How can we navigate around our impulse to avenge wrongs? This chapter examines this question.

Getting Even

In the Lifetime movie A Mother’s Fight for Justice (TV; 2001), a drunk driver smashes Andrew Stone (Eric Lively) with his car. At a hospital, 19-yearold Andrew undergoes round-the-clock surgery. His injuries are so extensive that his mother (Meredith Baxter) runs out of health insurance. Seething with rage, Terry Stone sues the collegian responsible for her son’s wounds. Court case after court case, Terry wins. Still, she is not satisfied. Terry’s son, on the other hand, lets go as soon as he regains consciousness. Wearing an azure casket to protect his skull-less head, Andrew tells his mother one night on the courtyard of their house, “Whatever they do to him, it’s not gonna change anything. It doesn’t matter.” The drunkard gets into another car accident. Terry explodes. She escalates her legal battle. At last, Andrew asks his mother to end things. By a flight of stairs in the courthouse, mother and son exchange the following words:

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Terry: I am proud of you. But I can’t be like you. I can’t forgive him for hurting you, and for hurting me. I hate him for not caring. Andrew: I know. But I don’t hate him. And I don’t want you to hate him for me.387 Watching this movie, my first impression was that the mother had so much to be grateful for. Andrew had not turned into a vegetable. Terry still had her husband, her daughter, her two sons, her career, and her upper middle class life. Andrew had his skull back. Yet, Terry chose to hold on to Andrew’s pain and to the financial difficulties that the car crash brought to her. Terry finally forgives Gary Curtis Gordon (Landy Cannon) when the perpetrator comes clean to her in court. He tells her: I am so sorry I hurt you. I wanted to tell you that for so long. They said I couldn’t talk to you. [In tears] I lived it over and over. I just wished to God it would’ve been me and not your son. Terry blubbers, “Thank you.”388 One could argue that if Gordon were truly sorry, he would not have gotten drunk—and in another car accident—after incapacitating Andrew. But author Wayne Dyer related how, sitting in a circle, his family told one of his daughters how her actions were hurting them. One would think that such knowledge would have kept such behavior from reoccurring. After all, few of us

387 388

This movie premiered on Lifetime: Television for Women on February 12, 2001. Ibid.

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deliberately set out to hurt others. But in the PBS special Inspiration, Wayne Dyer said: That night, she went out and behaved in the same way that she’d been behaving all along, almost as if to say, “I just don’t need to hear how bad I am any longer.”389 Dyer continued, “… today, she’s this soul who devotes a big part of her life to helping people who were as troubled as she was at one time.390 Quoting a woman named Peace Pilgrim, Wayne Dyer said that a South African tribe puts an offender in the center of its village. Each member tells the accused about all the good deeds that he or she has done in his or her lifetime. No detail is left out. The ceremony often lasts for days. If he had to do it over, Dyer said, he would take this tribe’s approach in how he dealt with his daughter. In front of an audience, Dyer concluded: If we could teach those who are troubled, those who cause us pain, those who use language that we do not approve of, those who dress in ways, those who do things to their bodies that we don’t think they should do, if we could just immerse them in a culture of acceptance and love, even if they’re behaving in ways that, that seem so anathema to you. If you could just find a way to continue to do that, eventually, that spirit has to raise, and your consciousness expands in every direction.391

389

This quote from Wayne Dyer comes from PBS’s Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling. The special aired on February 27, 2006. 390 Ibid. 391 Ibid.

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Justice vs. Revenge

On September 2005, Sister Helen Prejean spoke at a Catholic church in my college town. The nun without a habit expressed her deep sorrow for parents of murdered children and said that she understands their rage. Never, Prejean stressed, would she propose that criminals get away scott-free. Never would she claim that forgiveness is a cup of tea. But, Prejean lipped, when society says that it wants justice against perpetrators, it really wants revenge. She opposes the death penalty because it repeats the cycle of violence that this society wishes to end. The Catholic nun related her first trip to the prison where Elmo Patrick Sonnier, the alleged killer of two adolescents, was incarcerated. In Prejean’s words, she expected to see a “monster.” What struck her most was that “he seemed so human.” Sister Prejean began to visit Sonnier. Never did she condone what he did. But she understood the lifetime of inhumanity—actually, death time—that led him to kill the teen couple.392 When someone insults, rapes, or murders another, that person’s false self (ego) is active. Most of us take the false self literally, confusing it with the real Self (soul). In the 19th century, for instance, the United States had a movement to rehabilitate criminals, for the belief was that the social environment made or broke a person. The view of many Americans then was that people who commit crimes were as much victims of their surroundings as their victims. The 19th century solution was to rehabilitate the offender. Since 1900, however, the approach has been to punish the perpetrator. The view nowadays is that criminals are beyond redemption. Revenge is thus the driver of the prison-industrial complex. But the definition of behaviors “in need of redemption” keeps expanding year by year. More things are being
392

See Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking, (New York: Vintage Books, 1994).

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criminalized. Men who kiss boys on the cheek are being arrested on suspicion of “sexual abuse.” People who commit minor crimes like possession of marijuana are being thrown together with hard criminals. Male-on-male rape is one of the most atrocious punishments that postmodern society has metered out by allowing it to occur behind bars. Because African Americans and Latinos are the majority of the prison population, such men often rape Caucasian men in revenge for the injustices committed against minorities in the outside world. The result is that, more often than not, prison makes racists out of men—Caucasian and non-Caucasian alike. Overwhelmingly, people emerge from prison worse than when they went in. As if this weren’t enough, ex-cons are then denied jobs, the vote, and friends. Mob attacks are all too common after someone’s release. Postmodern society gives ex-cons no reason to live—and worse, nothing to lose. Hence, Western society creates the very monsters that it condemns. Meanwhile, big business heaps profits through the use of slave labor. The classic example is: “Prisoners at Work.” The revenge mindset is so prevalent in the United States that in the 21st century, America “has more prisoners than Communist China.”393 That all-American number was 2.1 million prisoners in 2004—up from under 300,000 in 1980.394 Worse, the majority of prisoners are behind bars for minor offenses that, since 1980, the West has relabeled as grave and serious. Rehabilitating criminals requires the willingness to forgive. This isn’t easy. But the alternative—revenge—creates a vicious cycle of counter-revenge, more victims, and an escalation of rage and violence. Revenge creates white supremacists, black supremacists, Israelis vs. Palestinians, Palestinians vs. Israelis, gender feminists—not to be confused with equity feminists—and so on.395 Revenge turns victims into victimizers. Revenge is, by and large, why
393 394

Ralph Nader said this a few times on C-SPAN during the 2000 presidential election campaign. Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, p. 75. 395 The terms “gender feminists” and “equity feminists” are borrowed from Christina Hoff Sommers, Who Stole Feminism?

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victims of past oppression don’t learn from their experience. Instead of becoming understanding, victims often turn less tolerant. One would think, for example, that gays have learned to accept others because of the sexual discrimination—not to be confused with gender discrimination—that gays have experienced. But most gays, albeit not all, vilify bis for not being “gay enough.” Justice is about rehabilitating victimizers, as well as treating their victims. Justice is also about minimizing the obscene number of laws in place, for each piece of legislation is someone’s opinion of how we should behave. A transinstinctual society realizes that, more often than not, laws imprison people outside of prison. An example is one-year leases that force tenants to stay in a suddenly changed neighborhood. Human laws—or should I write inhuman laws—create taboos and fears. Human laws make us vigilant against those who think or act differently. Human laws inhibit our freedom to live and let live. Human laws enforce the morality of majorities on minorities—and sometimes, vice-versa. Violators often become desperadoes, and as we all know, desperate people do crazy things. Most laws in the books are unnecessary. They criminalize things not so much to avoid harm—as most illegal acts are harmless—but rather, to control the multitude. Such control is achieved by making illegal things that will hinder profits, and making legal what will promote one set of morals over another. Justice is not about passing more laws but instead, about working to change any environments that will lead to maladaptive behavior. A trans-instinctual society realizes that the need to forgive arises from different opinions of right vs. wrong. The fewer the laws, the less the opinions of one group are being forced on other groups. Only what causes genuine harm is made illegal in a trans-instinctual society. Genuine harm is defined, in turn, in a limited but strict way so as to avoid the old slippery slope of more and more things being classified as

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“genuine harm.” A trans-instinctual milieu has no jails or prisons—only rehabilitation centers.

Forgiveness—Action vs. Feeling & Thought

In the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) crafts the Gorkon Initiative. The Initiative proposes the demilitarization of Klingon and Federation “space stations and star bases along the neutral zone, an end to almost 70 years of unremitting hostility, which the Klingons can no longer afford.”396 Gorkon is an “idealist” who wants peace between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.397 Aboard the Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) hails the Klingon vessel that is carrying the chancellor. The following exchange takes place between Kirk and Gorkon: Kirk: [looking at the view screen] Chancellor, we’ve been ordered [emphasis mine] to escort you through Federation space to your meeting on earth. Gorkon: Thank you, captain. Kirk: Would you and your party care to dine this evening aboard the Enterprise with my officers, as guests of the United Federation of
396 397

These are the words of Federation Special Envoy—and Captain—Spock (Leonard Nimoy). The word idealist is used by Azetbur (Rosana DeSoto), the Chancellor’s daughter.

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Planets? Gorkon: We would be delighted to accept your gracious invitation. Kirk: [tightly] We’ll make arrangements to have you beamed aboard at 19:30 hours. Gorkon: I shall look forward to that. Kirk: [to Envoy Spock] I hope you’re happy. Kirk’s olive branch remains at the level of action. In thought, however, Kirk can’t forgive the Klingons for the murder of his son (Merritt Butrick). At the dinner table with the Klingons, Kirk’s attitude is one of reluctance. Later in the movie, he tells Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), “It never even occurred to me to take Gorkon at his word.” Similarly, authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis write that ethnic hostilities ended in Eastern Europe in 1944-45. This was when the Soviets took over what would become Iron Curtain countries. But the peace that ensued after 1945 was not genuine. As Zukav and Francis write in The Mind of the Soul, harmony in Eastern Europe held for decades but only because the penalty for disobeying Communist rule was too big to risk. The hatred between ethnic groups kept brewing under the surface, however. As soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, fighting broke out between “Bosnians, Croatians, and Serbs,” among other ethnic groups.398 Forgiveness may look like forgiveness. But if it is solely at the level of action—or lack of action—then it is not forgiveness. True
398

Zukav and Francis, The Mind of the Soul, pgs. 129-130.

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forgiveness happens in the mind and heart. This is the brand of forgiveness that lasts. Like a phoenix, a trans-instinctual milieu rises above its revenge instinct. Forgiveness, after all, is the flip side of the coin. That coin splits divineness (e.g., “to forgive is divine”) from humanness (e.g., “to err is human”). Forgiveness is the toughest of life challenges because of the powerful emotions that revenge sets loose in us. Revenge stems from the part of the human brain that is “rather like the brain of a crocodile.”399 It is no piece of cake to overcome the reptile in us. Feelings of revenge are like a black hole that keeps pulling us in. The harder we try to get away, the stronger its pull. Nonetheless, a trans-instinctual society realizes that, in the end, forgiveness lessens harm to all parties across a community, region, nation, and the planet. In an age of automatic guns and nuclear weapons, trans-instinctual humans seek to end the neverending cycle of revenge. They choose, however difficult, to forgive. Trans-instinctual humans give forgiveness all the time it needs because forgiveness is a process. It may take 20 years, but each and every day, trans-instinctual humans consciously choose to make some effort. A trans-instinctual person knows that if one got into the shoes of a victimizer, one would see him or her too as a victim. After all, why else would he or she have become a victimizer? Understanding and compassion follow for those of us who have transcended our revenge instinct. To forgive another is not about “letting them off the hook, despite their being jerks.” Rather, forgiveness is about realizing that, in a trans-sensory sense, the perpetrator did nothing to you. Hard as it is to believe, all is happening in accordance to divine plan. As Caroline Myss said at a lecture, in heaven, we all Love one another.400 Only the human brain has difficulty comprehending how a
399 400

Cosmos, “The Persistence of Memory,” (Episode 11). Refer to the Caroline Myss workshop titled, Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. The CD of this workshop was published by Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado.

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divine Love can cause an earthly hell. This is because, in Myss’s words, divine logic is, very often, antithetical to human logic.401 Thus, in matters of forgiveness, a trans-instinctual person makes every effort to rise above the blind spot of human rationality. Repeating the word forgiveness is often enough to get one in the mood. How does one know that one has truly forgiven someone or something? When the infinite pain of the incident is no longer felt. To forgive is to transcend the mental, emotional, and even physical pain of an incident. This is a Herculean feat. But one must first allow oneself to experience the pain—as opposed to forgiving without first going through the inner hurricane. Equally important is that reliving the hell, whether voluntarily or not, may not be enough. Some injuries are so immense that they can’t be healed in one “lifetime” (death time). I, for example, thought that I had forgiven my stepfather for being emotionally distant from me when I was a child. But when a man reminded the boy in me about the emotional starvation that my stepfather caused me, I realized that I had not truly forgiven. Why not? Because my buttons were still being pushed by that man—who symbolized my stepfather. This is when I realized that forgiving both that man and my stepfather—as in allowing myself to experience, then forget (heal) from that infinite pain—was a universe harder than I had ever imagined. People who have transcended their infinite pain, however, have risen above the limitations of their humanness. At the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Chancellor’s daughter (Rosana DeSoto) sees the sincerity of Captain Kirk in wanting peace between the Klingons and the Federation. This is despite Kirk’s lingering hatred toward the Klingon responsible for his son’s death. Azetbur tells Kirk, “You’ve restored my father’s faith.”
401

See Caroline M. Myss, Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, (New York: Harmony Books, 2001).

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Kirk replies, “and you’ve restored my son’s.” Overcoming our revenge instinct is more adaptive now than ever. This is a time of instability, of conflict between the old and the new, of destructive weapons, of overpopulation, and of competition for resources. Trans-instinctual humans realize that the interest of humanity is for people to practice forgiveness at all levels. This goes from the personal to the familial to the global. Willingness to forgive may prove to be even more important than succeeding or failing at this art. The next chapter examines human greed and human gluttony, and how these twin “sins” apply to junk food, loud and abusive music, and risky sex. The chapter closes with how to strike a balance between restraint and indulgence.

Exercises

1) Have you ever plotted revenge against somebody? If yes, did the plan backfire? How? If the plan did not backfire, did you feel better afterward? Did the feeling last? 2) What is your definition of forgiveness? In your view, is forgiveness possible in fact or just on paper? Think about a person you have yet to forgive. Write the details on paper or speak into a tape recorder. Are you willing to work toward forgiving him or her? 3) Have you ever thought that you forgave someone, only to learn that you did not? If yes, what led you to have both perceptions—of having forgiven vs. not having forgiven? Once you saw that you had not forgiven, what did you do about it? Was the result positive, negative, or neutral?

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13 Greed and Gluttony

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The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines greed as, among other things: “excessive … acquisitiveness: … ” It defines gluttony as, among other things: “1: excess in eating or drinking … ”402 Greed and gluttony are odd twins, for they can arise in the presence of bounty or as a reaction to previous scarcity. What causes human greed and human gluttony? The ancients called it the temptress; Christians, Satan; and postmoderns, ego. Whatever the label or image, a low consciousness is what I am talking about—a hunger, a thirst … for more. What vicious cycles do human greed and human gluttony promote? What adaptive and maladaptive aspects do these instincts have? How can a trans-instinctual society avoid going to excess?

Greed throughout History

When Europeans discovered the riches of the New World, a remarkable thing happened. They got greedier. With bounty for everyone, European colonists wanted more. Settlers of the 19 British colonies in North America— Great Britain had six colonies in Canada—cut forests as they marched westward. European settlers demanded “more land” from the Native Americans—never mind that there was plenty of it—polluted the air and water, and drilled so much oil that Americans had to start importing some of the black gold from overseas after the 1960s. The transmogrifying of capitalism (competition) into corporatism (monopoly) is the epitome of the vicious cycle of human greed. Corporatism is now institutionalized at the global level. Children in developing nations are working for cents an hour; peasants are being forced into factories; and middle
402

Mish, Morse, Gilman, et al., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, pgs. 511 and 498.

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class jobs are going overseas in a race to the bottom as far as wages and benefits. This is the dark side of globalization. The wealthier the gold prospectors get, the more gold they want. How easily I can visualize an alternate earth where so-called primitive peoples were allowed to remain primitive after Columbus discovered America for the Europeans. In such a world, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and parts of Asia and the Americas would have modernized. But substantial areas of primitive lands would have been set aside—not to be interfered with—along the periphery of modern and then postmodern civilization. On this planet, by comparison, human greed has brought Western ways to the ends of the earth. Primitive values like contact with nature and balanced living have virtually disappeared. Western media, especially advertising, has corroded primitive cultures. Globalization—a euphemism for the corporatization of the globe—has converted primitive regions into “underdeveloped countries.” With polar ice caps melting, everybody wants to adopt the American way of life. A major driver of global greed is commercials because they encourage consumption. According to an episode of PBS’s American Masters, however, television writers and directors had the freedom to create programs from their hearts—not from the bottom line—in the 1950s. TV playwright Rod Serling is the best example. His Twilight Zone series wasn’t just about entertainment. Each episode had a social commentary as well. In Serling’s day, sponsors paid for programs but, typically, only announced themselves before and after a show.403 In the early 2000s, by contrast, commercials interrupt the flow of programs every seven minutes or so. In other words, television began as a medium for programs. TV ads paid for the shows. Today, TV is a medium of
403

See American Masters, “Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval.” This program originally aired on PBS on November 29, 1995.

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commercials. Shows pay for the ads. In this new millennium, the tube is nothing more than an advertising box. Shows merely lull audiences toward the ads. No wonder television is a wasteland. Commercials promote neither spiritual nor social evolution. Instead, they encourage social devolution—more greed, more consumption, and more competition for resources. Artistic freedom, so essential to an artist’s creativity and sense of spiritual Self, is also gone. Imagine, for instance, director Stanley Kubrick being required to switch camera shots every five seconds—the standard for television shows and commercials now.404 Kubrick would probably have left filmmaking altogether, for he paid meticulous attention to the angle and timing of each camera shot. On June 2006, I went to the movies. Not since October 2004 had I seen a film at the theater. Superman Returns was playing, though, and I was in the mood to see actor James Marsden on the big screen. Although I enjoyed the film, I was stunned at the transformation of movie theaters in less than two years. As late as October 2004, one would see, at most, 15 minutes of movie previews. The night of June 30, 2006, however, I saw on the big screen ads for bottled water, for cell phones, for tickets to a Brooklyn concert, for sitcoms on cable TV, for automobiles, for more TV programs, and for more tickets to the same Brooklyn concert. Half an hour later, the movie previews began. Scheduled to start at 10:45 p.m., Superman Returns started at 11:30 p.m. I had paid $8.50 to watch— and to subsidize—45 minutes of commercials. If this isn’t capitalism-turnedcorporatism gone amok, I don’t know what is. On a planet with dwindling resources and with species going extinct, the powers that be are stoking our greed instinct. Even worse, very few people are making a twitch of protest. Even New Agers have caved in to consumerism gone mad. Seldom have so many good people done so little to stem evil (at the level of the individual) and
404

See Michael Medved, “American Values versus Television Values,” Friday, November 1, 2002. At http://www.michaelmedved.com/site/product?printerFriendly=true&pid=19058.

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Evil (at the level of the collective). This time, however, the clock is ticking. One thing is for sure. I am not going to the movies again, for I refuse to subsidize commercials. If postmodern civilization doesn’t collapse from the effects of peak oil (see epilogue), then I think that, somewhere down the line, corporations will force us to buy their products in exchange for employment within the given company. Already, employers require new employees to sign on to alternative—read privatized—social security programs. Why then not require employees to become customers of x company, travel exclusively with x airline, go to x movie theater, and buy at x supermart? Why not require that employees watch 30 minutes of commercials before work? Why not require employees to sell and buy company products? The above prospects may sound far-fetched. But 35 years ago, the idea of commercials on paid-for cable TV would have sounded ludicrous. A few years ago, the idea of 45 minutes of commercials before a paidfor movie at the theater would have been just as unthinkable. A trans-instinctual society overcomes the human penchant for material things. In the postmodern world, though, ads and consumerism flood our psyches like Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans. By and large, earning money and buying things are all that most of us Westerners think about. The problem is that money, being numbers, never ends. Consequently, the fixation on money goes on forever because one can always have more money. Natural resources, by contrast, are finite. The issue is not “The love of money is the root of all evil”—nor the vogue these days, “ ‘The lack of money is the root of all evil.’”405 Obsession with money is, after all, only a symptom. So is human greed. The root of all evil and Evil is lack of spiritual evolution. This dearth has caused

405

Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, p. 13.

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us humans to cater to our lower natures. Trans-instinctual people use the power of choice, however, to overcome their maladaptive human tendencies.

Gluttony of the Palate

The human biological system evolved to eat in order to survive. Physical labor kept the human body in shape for hundreds of thousands of years. Today, however, many of us live to eat. With the average Westerner having, through machines, the energy help of between 75 and 300 slaves annually, most of us lead sedentary lives.406 Gluttony of the palate is thus more maladaptive now than ever. The human body is built for times of famine. Naturally, our physical bodies want to indulge in the many temptations present during times of plenty. But many temptations are far from salutary. Salt, for example, is in practically every food. Yet, the human body cannot process—healthily, that is—more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. If you read the nutritional label of the typical canned food, however, you will find over 1,000 mg of sodium in just one serving from a can. Most cans have more than one serving. Sugar is also in practically every food. This includes most fruits, according to microbiologist Robert Young and nutritionist Shelley Young. In Sick and Tired?, the Youngs argue that sugar and starches are unhealthy because unburned, they become fat. This wipes out from one’s diet oatmeal, muffins, pancakes, bread, pasta, wheat grains, and pastries. Protein is unsalutary, in turn, if it comes from meat because that is “dead food”
406

The 75-slave statistic comes from The Sustainable Scale Project, “Quick Facts: Energy.” The URL is http://www.sustainablescale.org/AreasofConcern/Energy/EnergyandScale/QuickFacts.aspx. The 300-slave statistic comes from Life After the Oil Crash at http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html.

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laden with hormones, the Youngs write. Most nutritionists disagree with the Youngs. Still, sugar and starch are in practically every food. Vegetables are the exception. Green foods, the Youngs contend, are the healthiest because they have stored sunlight converted to chlorophyll. Genesis 1:30, the Youngs argue, says, “ ‘To everything that has the breath of life in it, I give every green plant (herb) for food.’ ”407 When Sick and Tired? was published (2001), the food pyramid of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) looked as follows:

407

Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young, Sick and Tired? Reclaim Your Inner Terrain, (Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing, 2001), p. 128.

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Robert Young argues, however, that bread, cereal, rice, and pasta—at the base of the pyramid—are too starchy to consume as the base of one’s diet. Most fruits, the Youngs continue, are too sugary. This includes apples, watermelons, bananas, strawberries, cherries, mangos, and grapes. Only lemons, limes, avocados, tomatoes, and grapefruit are low-sugar enough to eat, the Youngs write. Sugar, starch, and dairy products, the Youngs warn, encourage the development of yeast, fungi, and mold in the intestines, and such organisms block the absorption of food. To prevent microorganisms from growing in us and causing disease, Young recommends the Young Pyramid. It looks as follows:

Low Sugar Fruits Essential Fats Omega 3 & 6 Seeds & Some Nuts Sprouted Grains & Legumes

Dark Green & Yellow Vegetables408

Dr. Young proposes that protein comes from vegetables as much as it does from animals. The muscular strength of cows, he writes, is proof that living on a
408

Ibid., p. 129.

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vegetable-centered diet is enough for physical health, for cows eat grass for the most part.409 The human body craves salt, sweets, starch, and animal protein, however. Even vegetarians sometimes report a feeling of “needing meat.” But if God meant for us to live off plants, then our rampant cancers and heart problems must be proof that our Western diet needs revolutionary modification. At the very least, we know that we eat far too much salt, far too much sugar, far too much starch, and far too much animal protein. This is why 95 percent of diets fail. A real dietary change, the Youngs argue, is based on the Young Pyramid. The human body stores fat for times of famine. Some people, however, are overweight no matter how little they eat and no matter how much they exercise. One would think that biological evolution would not have developed excessive fat cells—just some fat cells for times of famine. This is because excessive fat is sexually unattractive, and sexually unattractive people will not attract many sexual partners. How “fat” people have come to reproduce throughout human evolution—passing along their genes for excessive fat—is a biological mystery. Being fat does not encourage sexual reproduction. Will the majority of us be willing to give up cereals, oatmeal, and muffins for breakfast in favor of vegetable soup? What about giving up steak, bread, butter, and pasta for dinner in exchange for more vegetables? The human body may not have evolved to digest coffee—a stimulant discovered in Ethiopia in the 1500s. But even I cave into temptation whenever I see chocolate-flavored coffee beans on the shelf of a coffee joint. Barely 500 years ago, sugar, chocolate, and tobacco were introduced into the Western diet—courtesy of native peoples and African slave labor. These delicacies aren’t given up easily. Those of us into alcohol—also not meant for the human body—will no doubt find it hard to give
409

Ibid.

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up beer, wine, and champagne.410 Also, many of us can digest neither gluten (a protein in wheat products) nor casein (a protein in dairy products). For millions of years, our ancestors evolved without these foods, stimulants, and ingredients. Today, we ingest them more than ever. We crave what the human body wasn’t meant to digest. The paradox is that our sweet tooths are inborn. Just watch newborns. Our tongues, in turn, crave fat and salt. We get addicted to certain foods. Peanut butter—all sorts— and milk chocolate chips have been my food addictions for decades, and giving them up has been extremely difficult. Still, Genesis 1:30 could be laying the natural balance for eating. Any departure from that diet may lead to consequences like cancer—maybe not immediately, but effects nonetheless. If vegetables ought to be the base of one’s diet, then why do they taste yucky compared to carrot cake, whipped cream, meat loaf, pot roast, lasagna, and pancakes? Why, I have wondered, didn’t Brahma make the heavenly tasting foods good for us? Are the gods sadistic? Or is the setup of tasty foods/bad health deliberate—to act as spiritual temptations that, resisted, will build character in us and strengthen our spirits? Can we Westerners strike a balance between eating less salt, sugar, starch, and animal proteins and giving them up entirely? Also, if we touch our food as we eat, then perhaps we would satisfy our hunger more. This is because we would experience the food more—in our hands, not just on our palates. If we consciously satiate all of our biological senses during mealtimes—focusing on the smell, sight, touch, taste, and sound of our food—then maybe we would eat less.

410

Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1996), p. 191.

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Gluttony of the Ears

The human ear didn’t evolve to listen to loudspeakers. Nor did the human ear evolve to listen to headphones. Yet, loudspeakers and iPods are everywhere in Western culture, and speakers and headphones are maladaptive to human hearing. Paradoxically, the human ear craves hypnotic beats. As Sandra Ingerman, the shaman, explains in Soul Retrieval, shamans beat drums because the beats induce them into a trance. Ingerman writes: Why drumming has this kind of powerful effect is not clearly understood. However, scientists have discovered that listening to a monotonous beat facilitates the production of brain waves in the alpha and theta ranges, in contrast to the beta waves characteristic of ordinary, eyes-open consciousness. According to Maxwell Cade’s inventory of an electroencephalograph called the Mind Mirror, theta waves (4-7 cycles per second) are related to creativity, vivid imagery, and states of ecstasy.411 She continues: Many Native Americans refer to drumming as “the heartbeat of the earth” … It appears that drumming allows shamans to align their brain waves with the pulse of the earth.412

411

Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 29. 412 Ibid.

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How often I have ached to listen to loud music. Youths have this hunger the most. I love 80s rock because for the first time in human history, musical beats became loudly and rattlingly metallic. Compare the sound of a pre-1979 rock tune with an 80s rock song, and you will hear the difference. At night, I have two options. First, I could play my boom box speakers at full volume—and incur negative karma on myself for perturbing neighbors. Second, I could play my headphones at full blast and endanger my hearing, nerves, and peace. (At times, adrenaline is more exciting than peace.) I have realized that like the impulse to overeat, there is the instinct to abuse one’s ears in the name of losing oneself in loud and abusive tunes. Why, I have pondered, did the human body set us up to crave things like junk food, loud music, and (as we shall see below) “bad” sex and then punish us for giving in to those temptations? There has to be a spiritual explanation, and a way to compromise. For the moment, I have chosen to wear earplugs—except in the noisiness of the gym—before cranking up the volume of my headphones.

Gluttony of the Gonads

Biologists once thought that the goal of sperm was, simply, to inseminate the egg. But biological studies have found that only 1 percent of human sperm is genetically programmed for this task. As John Ince writes in The Politics of Lust: The rest [of the sperm] are “fighters” and “blockers” that nature created to prevent the sperm of other men from inseminating the woman.413

413

Ince, The Politics of Lust, p. 141.

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This sperm war is called sperm competition.414 If human males evolved to be monogamous, then human sperm wouldn’t be fighting rival sperm. The size of men’s testicles is another clue that males are promiscuous by nature. Male gorillas, for instance, should have bigger testes than adult men, for gorillas weigh an average of 450 pounds. But the testicles—and penises—of gorillas are close to nothing in size compared to men’s. Why? Because the huskiness of gorillas makes them lethal to rival gorillas. Consequently, male gorillas have females all to themselves. Human males, by contrast, aren’t deadly to one another, so men’s sperm had to adapt to sexual competition from other men. The crucial thing to remember is that bonobos, a primate smaller than humans, have bigger genitals than humans possess—relative to body size. Because of the promiscuity of bonobos, their males need more room inside their testes to produce more sperm. This is in order to have more “fighters and blockers.” Like men’s testicles, men’s members are middle of the road in size—relative to other primates. This means that pushing their semen deep into a vagina—what penises are built for—is important for men but not as important as it is for primates with bigger penises —again, relative to their body size. The in-between size of men’s genitals suggests that human males are not monogamous by nature. But neither have men been excessively promiscuous throughout human evolution.415 Mentioned in Part II, Chapter 4 (section titled, “The Construction of Human Sexuality”), females tend to fuse sex with romance, while males can easily divorce the two. This means that free of the “civilizing” effect of women, men go wild in the sexual arena. There are always exceptions, but generally, men tend to be gluttonous when it comes to sex. Women, of course, have slept with different men throughout human evolution. The biological argument is
414

The concept of sperm competition was first introduced in 1970. Geoffrey Parker, a biologist, coined the term. 415 See Baker, Sperm Wars.

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that a woman wants sperm from several men in her vagina so that the fittest of the sperm may get her pregnant, insuring the healthiest children. Some women are more biologically programmed for this than other women. Overall, however, women are a curbing influence on men’s promiscuity because women have sex more in the context of romance. Given that romantic feelings in women happen less often than sexual lust in men, men will always have fewer opportunities for sexual intercourse with women. The casual sex of the 1960s and 1970s threw the evolutionary context of human sexuality into imbalance. Gay liberation, in particular, showed that men left to themselves can go to unprecedented extremes. Before AIDS (a medical construct), many gays had dozens and even hundreds of sexual partners free of commitment. Romance is now the backdrop to much of gay sex. But should vaccines be made for the major STDs, there is always the potential for more sexual extremism in the future. It behooves us to keep in mind the evolution of human sex, which is a middle ground between unrestrained promiscuity and strict monogamy. To my shock, I discovered that, free of STDs, semen can still be a traumatic shock to non-vaginal areas of the human body. As Robert Young and Shelley Young write in Sick and Tired?: With the primary U.S. AIDS groups, or with any group for that matter, if you … consider the blood as a flowing tissue, it will be seen in general that body fluids which find their way from one individual directly into the blood of another are a stress factor on the body. This is by virtue of the introduction of foreign tissue … In fact, a major danger is blood transfusion itself [during rectal sex], essentially a “tissue transplant,” which is a threat or irritant to immune function. There is no reason to

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believe that such repeated stress will not, by itself, overwork and weaken immune function and drain overall energy reserves.416 Because sperm programs cells to divide quickly, sperm may also pose a cancer risk for people who frequently practice rectal sex without a condom.417 The key words are frequently and rectal, as the vagina has protections to prevent sperm from entering the bloodstream of the woman. Also, ejecting semen “in the backdoor” may cause a woman to develop immunological resistance to sperm. This is because there is a chance that, during rectal sex, sperm may be injected directly into the bloodstream via anal tears. According to urologist Donald Tyler, the immune system may then program itself to attack sperm genes in the future. In theory, this could make conception harder later on.418 If this is true, then rectal sex is probably best practiced as part of homosexual, not heterosexual, activity. Some doctors believe, on the other hand, that anal tears are rare. The key phrase is sperm entering the bloodstream through the rectum—not to be confused with simply swallowing semen. Clearly, medical studies are needed on these topics, especially ways of getting around these obstacles (e.g., methods of getting thoroughly cleaned up inside after rectal sex). For now, however, many of us believe that STD vaccines will mean a return to “safe,” as opposed to safer, sex. Male biology explains men’s tendency toward unrestrained promiscuity— versus restrained multi-sex partners within romantic and/or platonic commitments. Historical repression of human sexuality is another factor that leads to extremism during times of social liberation. Those of us in love yearn, in

416 417

Young and Young, Sick and Tired?, p. 271. See Donald E. Tyler, The Other Guy’s Sperm: The Cause of Cancers and Other Diseases, (Palo Alto, CA: Discovery Books, 1994). 418 Ibid.

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turn, to unite carnally. As is the case with sweet food, though, many types of sex are “bad” in that they present health risks. Our sexual, romantic, spiritual, and psychological needs often go against our biological limits. Separation rules much of the biological world. But unity is the truth of the heart and soul. That urge to unite pulls lovers together, and their oneness in bed reminds them of the unity of everything. It is much as one forgets something and remembers upon returning to the place where one first had the idea. Lacking enough opportunities to “get love”—and reexperience our spiritual oneness—we become obsessed with sex and romance.

Striking a Balance

Sadly, the human body cannot stand too much pleasure and liberation, for biology places limits on what we can do free of painful results. We may want to eat mountains of chocolate cake. But we have small stomachs. We may hanker for music that rattles a stadium. But we have the smallest bones of the human body inside our ears. We may crave sex without condoms. But microorganisms exist. We may pine for love. But too much love can spoil people. Just watch a child become moody after 30 minutes of being showered with gifts, kisses, and praises. After years of constant adulation by fans, most celebrities grow full of themselves. For better or worse, the limits of the human body and psyche are often at odds with the hungers and thirsts of the Spirit/soul, psyche, and flesh itself. While eating junk food, listening to loud music, and having certain kinds of sex carry worthwhile risks, trans-instinctual humans measure these risks carefully, for they recognize that the human body is a temple and a gift from

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God. Balance is their mantra—not too much, not too little. Tapping the power of the human mind—such as not believing in illness—may be a way for us to rise above our biological limits. Human liberation movements have the potential to make us freer in our pursuit of personal bliss. But human liberation poses a dilemma—how to end the social and physical deprivations of the past while not going overboard with gluttony and excess. As far as sexual and romantic happiness, polyamory is perhaps the best balance between indulgence and restraint, for polyamory is about romantic and/or platonic commitment to more than one person. This is for those of us who choose this, whether for ourselves or as an option that we teach our youth. The key word is option, not force. Because romantic and platonic commitment is the basis of sex here, multi-partner sex has healthy limits placed upon it as far as the number of sexual partners that polyamorous people have. Two men, for example, can love each other platonically, the same woman romantically, and everyone in the triad sexually. Given that commitment takes time and energy, most polyamorists are bound to restrict the number of people that they are intimately involved with. There, of course, will always be exceptions. Bisexuality, in turn, allows a woman to direct the homosexuality of her male partners toward sexual and platonic—or sexual and romantic— commitment to each other, while the men stay sexually and romantically committed to her. Vice-versa for triad relationships involving one man and two women. What a difference from the gay liberation movement of the 1970s, for in its tendency to exclude women totally—as opposed to partially—that otherwise positive movement excluded women’s power to rein male promiscuity. Food, music, and sex are powerful human instincts. Overindulgence comes from our instinct to eat (food), to experience the transcendent (music), and to unite carnally and reproduce (sex). In moderation, such impulses lead to

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physical pleasure, to emotional and psychological fulfillment, to spiritual experiences, and to reproduction. Taken to excess, however, such instincts can lead to the endangerment of our physical health. A trans-instinctual society indulges its human impulses, while overcoming the temptation to carry them to gluttonous ends. As we all know, a little chocolate prevents chocolate cravings from developing.

From Getting to Giving … and Receiving (As a Bonus)

Human greed and gluttony come from letting human—and even spiritual —wants spin out of control. The human impulse to get is a challenge to rise above, especially as this instinct can easily lead us to go off the deep end. The other night, I was at the supermarket. At the fresh produce section, people were taking apples, carrots, mangos, avocados, and bananas. I recalled the saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” But in the case of food, I thought, getting (eating) is the only way for the human body to survive. If you just give food to others, you will starve to death. In another section of the supermarket, people were grabbing envelopes, soaps, deodorants, and toothbrushes—myself included, as I had run out of those things. Again, I wondered about the sheer amount of essentials that we need just to get by. Try going to work without wearing deodorant, for example. Try leaving your home without brushing your teeth. Try showering without a shower curtain. Try cooking without pots and pans. Quickly, you will see how essential a great deal of “nonessentials” are.

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Getting is a major part of being human because neediness is a dominant element of the human condition. Giving is a spiritual challenge because it goes against the grain of human needs. Like with things, most of us come from getting when dealing with people. Someone who just gives draws suspicions because most humans aren’t like that. In the movie D.A.R.Y.L. (1985), for example, Joyce Richardson (Mary Beth Hurt) gets frustrated at her foster child (Barret Oliver). As she tells two neighbors of hers (Colleen Camp and Amy Linker) in her kitchen, Daryl “… irons his own clothes, makes his own breakfast, polishes the bedroom floor. He’s a better mother than I am.” In Joyce’s words, “He doesn’t seem to need anybody.” This makes Daryl seem “different” to her, for she sees needing people as normal. Unfortunately, the human impulse to get from others usually leads to frustration. Why? Because when you need someone, people tend to desert you. On the other hand, if we didn’t need others for sex, for relationships, and for social endeavors, then the human race would stop reproducing, raising children, and cooperating. Nobody would need anyone. The trans-instinctual challenge is to recognize that as humans, we want to get for evolutionary reasons (e.g., reproducing), while acknowledging that our spiritual challenge is to give unconditionally. Of course, we need to have something in abundance to give it, or we are depleting ourselves. In other words, giving has to feel good, or it is an unhealthy form of giving called codependence. Rising above human egoism means accessing the infinite well of abundance that we all have inside, giving only what we have in excess, and accepting what others give us as a bonus. Don’t expect anything from anyone. This is to become trans-instinctual regarding the human tendency to get, of which human greed and gluttony are the epitome.

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The next chapter looks at the tendency of human societies to swing from one extreme to the other. The chapter sweeps through recent Western history and ends with today’s homogenizing world.

Exercises

1) Can you spot elements of greed in your life? If yes, what are they? What do you suppose is driving that greed? External scarcity? Internal scarcity? Both? 2) Think of a time when you overate. Was your physical body in need of the extra food, or was your hunger nonphysical? If your hunger was not physical, what issues are or were involved? 3) Have you ever felt like overeating, listening to music extra loud, or having reckless sex but refrained? If yes, what were the pros and cons of restraining each of these human impulses?

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14 Extremism The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines extreme in terms of “going to great or exaggerated lengths.”419 Excess, in turn, surpasses “usual,
419

Mish, Morse, Gilman, et al., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, p. 413. Definition 1 b.

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proper, or specified limits …”420 Domination (power over, rather than with) is often the result. How has excess manifested throughout human history? How does the world tempt us toward extremism? Is the dualism of the human brain partly responsible for the tendency of one social system to overpower competing systems?

The Pendulum of History

Throughout human history, societies have cycled between extremes. In ancient Greece, for example, men competed naked at the Olympics; pederasty was practiced openly; and phalluses were everywhere. In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman, the naturalist, writes that the ancient Romans: … staged all-night dinner parties and vied with one another in the creation of unusual and ingenious dishes. At one dinner a host served progressively smaller members of the food chain stuffed inside each other: Inside a calf, there was a pig, inside the pig a lamb, inside the lamb a chicken, inside the chicken a rabbit, inside the rabbit a dormouse, and so on.421

420 421

Ibid., p. 404. Definition 1 a. Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, p. 144.

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Ackerman goes on: The Romans were devotees of what the Germans call Schadenfreude, taking exquisite pleasure in the misfortune of someone else. They loved to surround themselves with midgets, and handicapped and deformed people, who were made to perform sexually or cabaret-style at the parties.422 Slaves, Ackerman continues, so abhorred the excesses of Roman citizens (slaves were not citizens) that: … Christianity arose as a slave-class movement, emphasizing self-denial, restraint, the poor inheriting the earth, a rich and free life after death, and the ultimate punishment of the luxury-loving rich in the eternal tortures of hell.423 As Camille Paglia, humanities professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, commented on C-SPAN in August 2003: … the rise of Christianity was a backlash against Graeco-Roman paganism … and it’s now 2,000 years later [emphases mine].424 Human history continues to repeat itself in cycles. The Roaring 20s, for instance, was a period of erotic raunchiness (e.g., the rumble seat), of the flapper smoking cigarettes, and of people dancing provocatively. The Great (Grave)
422 423

Ibid., pgs. 144-145. Ibid., p. 145. 424 This quote is from In Depth with Camille Paglia. The program originally aired on C-SPAN on August 3, 2003.

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Depression brought a somber mood to life in America and Europe. The Second World War changed that. With men fighting overseas, women had to pick up the slack at American factories. Women in the United States made jeeps, tanks, airplanes, and other war items. African Americans flocked north, in turn, to fill job vacancies. The post-1945 era saw the return of American women to the role of housewives, the firing of African Americans to make room for Caucasian soldiers returning home, and the McCarthy witch-hunts. To the shock of the world, the 1960s exploded with mass demonstrations. African Americans, then women, demanded equality before the law. Chicanos, Native Americans, queers, environmentalists, and college students joined the ocean of mass protests, backed by a hippie counterculture and by demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Even welfare recipients were organizing for equal rights in terms of how government agencies were treating them. In the 1960s, the federal government implemented affirmative action, and in 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade. At the grassroots scene, the 1960s and 1970s saw the widespread use of soft drugs like marijuana. Many of these communal drugs encouraged sexual looseness. The “sexual revolution” ended, by and large, because of the introduction of hard drugs like cocaine and crack into urban areas. Such drugs isolated individuals and encouraged violence more than libidinousness. With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the dawn of AIDS in 1981, a sexual counterrevolution began, as did a “War on Drugs.” Organized labor faced a crippling blow. For example, Reagan fired over 11,000 air traffic controllers in August 1981. In the post-1980 period, abortion and affirmative action came under attack. Sex education became abstinence education. Sexual minorities found themselves under siege. Countercultural trends of the pre-1980 era went underground. Europe escaped the initial wave of backlashes. But social regressivism (called “neoconservatism” in America) had

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washed upon European shores by the 1990s. Even the Netherlands found itself questioning some of its progressive values. Backlashes ensued in country after country as the pendulum swung toward social conservatism (being socially pro status quo) and toward social regressivism (wanting to turn the social clock back to the 1950s).

The Excesses of Social Change

Not a single revolution has ever lasted—at least, the initial blast. In a way, this is positive, for human society tends to go from one extreme to the other. If, for example, Western women claimed their sexuality in the 1960s, then “gender feminists” had to belittle this—along with all forms of heterosexuality—as “giving in to the patriarchy.”425 By the 1970s, radical feminists were calling for an end to all pornography—including same-sex male porn—because in their view, it was “demeaning to all women.” These gender feminists made no distinction between selling one’s priceless human body for money and baring oneself before the camera, free of money entanglements, for educational purposes. In a Machiavellian twist of fate, these “gender feminists” hopped in bed with the Christian Right—which also denounced pornography—and the two groups formed an unholy alliance. After 1980, American men found themselves being disparaged as “pigs,” as “monsters,” as “dangerous” to women, girls, and boys, and as “potential rapists.” As Gayle Rubin, the feminist anthropologist, wrote in her 1984 essay “Thinking Sex”, “Feminist rhetoric has a distressing tendency to reappear in reactionary contexts.”426 According to Christina Hoff Sommers,
425

The terms “gender feminists” and “equity feminists” are borrowed from Christina Hoff Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? 426 Rubin, “Thinking Sex,” Abelove, ed., The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, p. 26.

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author of Who Stole Feminism?, not all of American society agrees with the “gender feminists,” and “equity feminists” disagree as well. 427 But I argue that the misandric (anti-male) child abuse panic—defined only in sexual terms—and the resulting witch-hunt of the post-1980 era has been part of the fallout of gender feminism. In the 21st century, one sees gentlemen taking another aisle whenever a child appears in a supermarket. Men who enjoy teaching youth are choosing other careers, too. This exodus of men from the classroom has become so severe that not only is formal education now female-dominated. Many boys are reaching adulthood without a single, real-life—meaning outside TV—male role model. Sensitive fathers are also afraid to get physical with their sons. Why all this? By and large, because men have been locked up for being tender with kids. Like violence, extremism breeds extremism. Like the women’s movement, the gay movement sprung from a people being oppressed. Author Ian Young calls the 1970s the age of The Stonewall Experiment, the title of his 1995 book.428 Part of a broader trend toward sexual freedom, the gay movement took the sexual revolution to unprecedented heights. In the 1970s, gay men often slept with 50, 100, and 200 men, inhaled “poppers” (an over-the-counter drug that corrodes skin upon contact), and developed “gay pneumonia” in the early 1980s. Of course, not all gay men went to such extremes, and many queers remained in stable relationships that were limited to one or two other partners. But like many “straight” people, nonstraights often abused drugs, alcohol, and sex. Gay men also tended to exclude women—a restraining influence on sex—from their lives. When AIDS struck, gays found themselves asking lesbians for forgiveness. Since the early 1980s, most gays have sought stable partnerships, same-sex marriage, and sexual

427 428

Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? See Young, The Stonewall Experiment.

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discriminateness. But beneath the restraint, impatience lurks in many quarters, waiting for an AIDS vaccine. Poppers are coming back. So are unsafe sexual practices and multiple sexual partners without platonic or romantic commitment. On college campuses, there is pressure to smoke, drink, and do drugs. People forget that abusing any substance can lead to conditions similar to AIDS. Therefore, it follows that even if an HIV vaccine is concocted, AIDS-like illnesses will continue in those who engage in indiscriminate sex and who abuse toxic substances. In sum, women can be equal to men and retain their womanhood— instead of trying to be men in order to make it in this world. The planet, after all, needs more female power if it is to deflect increasing aggression, territoriality, and violence. Women, of course, can be as male as they want. But this wouldn’t be a requirement in a trans-instinctual world. Men, in turn, can indulge their libido (arguably a masculine trait) and withhold it (arguably a feminine trait) when indulgence is inappropriate or becomes excessive. Similar balances are possible with other groups of liberating people. But personal liberation and social change always bring the potential for extremism. If a civilization lacks spirituality, then human greed, gluttony, and excess are guaranteed. The challenge for a trans-instinctual society is sowing the ground so that all of us may live our lives to the fullest without abusing our freedoms.

Our Monolithic World

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The process is the pendulum of human history swinging back and forth, as in social developments going to extremes. The result is one group of people subduing other groups or one system subduing another system. Be it moral or immoral, might makes right in the biological and social worlds. The winning entity affects not only society but the individual as well. Europe’s expansion into the Americas, for instance, was a golden opportunity for “the fusion of two cultures.” So said Marianne Williamson, the spiritualist, at a lecture.429 Instead, she continued, European culture bloodily defeated that of Native Americans. The irony, Williamson said, is that today, we Westerners need aboriginal values more than ever to balance our civilization on a planet turned upside down.430 Even better than “the fusion of two cultures” would have been leaving the Native Americans alone.431 This is because fusing any two things—cultures, ethnicities, or races—dilutes both entities in the process. If each entity can keep its separate identity—such as English Canadians and French Canadians coexisting in Canada—then fusion is nondestructive of the component parts. The effect of might makes right is, regrettably, a globe of monolithic regions. Quebecers, for example, fear an erosion of their French language. Hence, their government has imposed a set of laws designed to make Quebec French-only. English Canada, in turn, refuses to become bilingual. As usual, an either/or paradigm has taken hold. In Canada, it began with the overturning of the Manitoba Act of 1870. That act guaranteed English and French in the schools of Manitoba, the first province of the Canadian West. Had English Canadians allowed French to coexist with English, Quebec separatism wouldn’t be an issue today. With bilingualism set as a precedent in Manitoba, other Western
429

Refer to the lecture that Marianne Williamson gave at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Refer to the two-cassette series titled, The Sacred Self Workshop. Also, refer to Williamson, The Healing of America. This two-cassette audio book was published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997. 430 Ibid. 431 Ibid.

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provinces—and eventually, all Canadian provinces—would have been likely to adopt official bilingualism. English and French would have been taught to Canadian students, coast-to-coast, from first grade through college. After all, this was what the Manitoba Act of 1870 promoted in the Canadian Prairies. Print, radio, and television would have bilingualized, starting in the prairies and in Quebec, to meet the language needs of Anglophones (Canadians from English Canada) and Francophones (Canadians from French Canada). But what could have become a functionally bilingual country (English/French) became instead a monolingual country with English and French at opposite camps. Only at the federal level is Canada bilingual. Even here, federal policy in Canada does not require schools to teach Canadian children in English and French. Nor does federal policy require that the major media be in English and French across Canada. Thus, what could still become a functionally bilingual country continues to be either French-speaking (Quebec) or English-speaking (the rest of Canada). As Michael Bliss, history professor at the University of Toronto, commented, “Effective bilingualism or biculturalism ends in Canada about five miles west of Ottawa [Canada’s capital].”432 And Canada is ostensibly the most tolerant nation-state on this planet. In the United States, regional cultures are vanishing as a homogenized national media and a multi-cultural Americanism take over. Homogenization and multi-culturalism are, curiously enough, opposing trends. Yet, both are “in.” Mass immigration from non-Western countries both enriches American culture and dilutes it, while the cookie-cutter mass media simply erodes regional cultures in America. For the most part, for example, diverse local bands are heard neither on commercial radio nor on public radio. A cacophony of local writers, producers, directors, actors, and singers have no local or regional
432

Michael Bliss, “Is Canada a Country in Decline?” National Post, November 30, 2001. Article at Hydro: The Mail Archive. The URL is http://www.mail-archive.com/hydro@topica.com/msg00362.html.

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TV/radio networks to air programs of their own. Imagine, by contrast, having a Pacific Northwest Cable Network, a Rocky Mountain States Cable Network, and a Northeast Regional Station, each aired for the local citizenry of those regions. Instead, we have one Hollywood, one national media, and national bands on radio and television. The result is all American—actually, Western—bands sounding the same because that is what local bands are emulating. Not surprisingly, local bands are losing their diversity of style. With harps, clarinets, oboes, French horns, violins, mandolins, harpsichords, and hundreds of musical instruments available in our “global village,” the rock/pop format stops at guitar-bass-drums. Even synthesizers, which allow for the greatest diversity of sounds and styles, are out of fashion in popular music. Therefore, pop hits today sound like those of a quarter of a century ago. Homogeneity exists outside of the United States as well. Once, for instance, there was such a thing as German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, and Indian folk songs. But check out the music videos coming out of these countries, and what do they sound and look like? American music videos. Such music videos have hip-hop beats, loveless sex, and gratuitous nudity. Watching a few such videos online, I asked myself, What happened to Russian music? Where is Indian music? What about German music? There were no traditional instruments in most of the videos that I saw. As Jeremy Rifkin, the economist, writes in The Age of Access: Indigenous music often expresses the plight and circumstances of a group or speaks to their spiritual yearnings and political aspirations. In its cultural form, music is a strong conveyer of social meaning. It mobilizes deeply held feelings. When appropriated, packaged, commodified, and sold in the form of world music, the central message of the music often is

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watered down or lost altogether.433 Two pages later, Rifkin continues: The commercial sphere is in a constant search for novelty, which means that when indigenous music is packaged in the form of world music, its life span is likely to be limited to the short attention span of consumers. If, in the process, the native form of that music is lost and the cultural context that gave rise to it is devalued, the local culture is seriously compromised.434 When a country like Japan opens itself to foreign music, it is usually because one region of the world (e.g., the West) is expanding its sphere of influence—not because a genuine exchange of cultures is taking place. Cultural diversity is in peril, just like biological diversity. South America and Greece are two regions of the world that have kept their traditional music. They, of course, are not totally immune to the forces of globalization that are pushing commercial music, called “world music,” on every culture. I surmise that the reasons for the partial cultural immunity of South America and Greece are: 1) South America is one of the most geographically isolated areas of the world. Also, the relative poverty of the region has kept satellite dishes —among other consumer items of the global corporate media—at bay in the majority of South American households.

433 434

Rifkin, The Age of Access, p. 248. Ibid., p. 250.

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2) Greece has some 2,000 islands. This must make it difficult for a global entity like corporations to impose its soulless music on this country. To do so successfully would be as difficult as trying to pick up every bit of broken glass from open waters. The leitmotif of assimilation—a type of homogenization—being imposed from without repeats with: 1) The politicization of religion 2) The commercialism of New Age spirituality Notice how religion and spirituality have been co-opted by politics and commerce, respectively. Religious fundamentalists have taken on the values of political control. An example is their attempt to get creationism taught in the classroom. New Agers, on the other hand, have internalized the values of conspicuous consumption. An example is Caroline Myss talking about how she has “a designer’s closet.”435 Another facet of homogenization is the march away from farms. In 1790, for instance, 88 percent of Americans lived on farms. By the year 2000, a mere 6 percent of Americans lived in farms.436 The dangers of practically nobody knowing how to grow food didn’t seem to concern the majority of Americans. Yet another example of one thing overpowering another thing is adolescence. This is a time when most teenagers find the same-sex experimentation of their childhood being overshadowed by their emerging
435

Refer to Caroline Myss, Self-Esteem: Your Fundamental Power. This is a 2002 lecture series on CD, available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado. 436 Refer to James Shenton in the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Twenties—A Cultural Revolution,” Lecture 50. Historians Darren Staloff, Louis Masur, and James Shenton lectured for the Great Courses on Tape Series, (Springfield, VA: Teaching Co., 1996).

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feelings for the opposite sex. Rather than allow their budding heterosexuality to compliment their childhood homosexuality—leading to a balanced bisexuality in adulthood—most teens adopt instead this society’s either/or imposition of 100 percent heterosexuality. Because what you focus on expands, straight muscles strengthen, and gay muscles weaken to the point of extinction. Once again, one field subdues the other. In March 1861, Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, sent representatives to Washington, D.C. The representatives proposed to pay for the Union’s property in the South, including Fort Sumter, and for the Southern part of the national debt. Just sworn in as president of the United States—or rather, what was left of it—Abraham Lincoln refused to meet with the Confederate representatives. Napoleon III of France stepped in, offering to mediate a peace treaty between the North and the South. Again, Lincoln turned a deaf ear. Lincoln’s Unionism and anti-slavery stance incited the “siege mentality” of the South. Not surprisingly, the South felt provoked into firing the first shot at Fort Sumter. Lincoln ordered Federal reinforcements. As the casualties mounted in 1862 and 1863, Lincoln strengthened his resolve to win the (Un)Civil War. His mind was so dead-set on preserving the Union—and soon, abolishing chattel slavery in the seceded states—that he preferred some 620,000 deaths. This is about the population of the State of Alaska. And it didn’t end there. Lincoln preferred tens of thousands more maimed and a bill of $6.2 billion—not adjusted for inflation—instead of a peace treaty. For the record, one American dollar today was worth 30 American dollars in 1860.437 In 1861, 1862, and again, in 1863, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. This resulted in the military—not civilian—arrests of over 13,000 peace advocates (called copperheads by their enemies). Then, Lincoln ordered that all Northern newspapers that questioned
437

Refer to James Shenton in the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part V: The Making of Modern America, “The Compromise of 1877,” Lecture 41.

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the war effort be shut down. From a human perspective, all of this makes Abraham Lincoln the worst president in American history and one of the most fatal leaders in world history. Lincoln acted toward the South the way King George III of England acted toward the rebellious 13 colonies. Neither man would let the rebels go. The Union talked about liberty, yet did not give the Confederacy the freedom to secede. Union soldiers blew up Confederate camps, twisted railroad tracks across the Confederacy, and burned buildings to impose its way of life on the South. And the South retaliated with cannons and machine gun fire. Most historians of antebellum America contend that the “Civil” War freed Southern slaves. This argument misses that, throughout the 19th century, chattel slavery was on its way out in the New World. Great Britain, for example, had abolished chattel slavery in the 1830s—although not wage slavery—and Spanish America had been abolishing chattel slavery from 1813 to 1873. Brazil abolished plantation slavery in 1888. This trend of peaceful abolition was bound to catch up with the American South, sooner or later. What, we must ask, would have transpired had Abraham Lincoln let the Confederacy leave in peace? Two socioeconomic systems would have co-existed—Southern slavery downriver from the “free labor” of the North. Instead, one system (Northern serfdom) overpowered the other system (Southern slavery) through a mini-First World War. After the War for Southern Independence, Southern “whites” terrorized “Negroes” in misplaced revenge for having being forced to give up that peculiar institution. But de facto (in fact) slavery didn’t end—just de jure (by law) slavery. De facto slavery was sharecropping, an economic system that arose in the South after the (Un)Civil War. Sharecropping forced “freedmen” to grow crops like cotton for planters. In the South, this was the only way that the freedmen could

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pay off their mounting debts. Former slaves, after all, had no money because the promise of “40 acres and a mule” never came to fruition. Sharecropping tied former slaves to the same plantations. Former masters owned everything—from salt and pepper at the plantation store to fertilizer, plows, and horses.438 This form of peonage continued in the South until the 1950s. In this sense, Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves. What truly broke the back of the plantation (company town) was automation in farming. Oil and technology—not the (Un)Civil War—freed blacks from toiling the earth. And even the (Un)Civil War was but a conflict between elites—the slaveholding elite of the South and the non-slaveholding coterie of the North. More than two-thirds of Southern “whites,” the yeoman farmers, never owned slaves. These so-called rednecks lived in the Appalachian Mountains, a geographical area that was unsuited for plantation agriculture. The popular press, of course, manipulated the lower classes into fighting a war that was really between elites. Whenever two or more systems exist side by side, the trend is toward union. The tragedy and irony is that union—a higher force—dilutes one or more of the composite parts. The American “Civil” War is one example of this process of unification-dilution. From a divine perspective, Abraham Lincoln may well be the most successful American president. His success was not so much that he abolished chattel slavery in America, for sharecropping replaced plantation slavery until sharecropping dissolved in the 1950s. Also, neither the 14th Amendment (establishing citizenship for blacks) nor the 15th Amendment (establishing the vote for blacks) was enforced until the mid-1960s. Not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was racial segregation banned in public areas, and not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were African Americans enfranchised. Rather, Lincoln’s
438

Ibid.

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success was that he kept the Union together. Had the South seceded successfully, a weaker America would not have become a global superpower. Without being a superpower, the United States would still be a republic. America the Beautiful would not be declining now because she would not have been so high up to begin with. From a cosmic perspective, the United States needed to become a global superpower. Don’t ask me why. That goes beyond human understanding. Becoming a global empire was the destiny of America, however, even if this meant the imposing of one system (Northern serfdom) on another system (Southern slavery). In forcing the Union back together, Abraham Lincoln fulfilled a divine calling. Competing systems—and their peoples—are either wiped out or driven under. Mentioned earlier, Christianity drove paganism underground. Speaking about unassimilated people in recent history, Richard Goldstein, editor of The Village Voice, told a C-SPAN audience: Every group … that enters liberal society faces this … process [of assimilation]. In the 19th century, when Jews were first admitted into liberal society in Europe, they were … expected to look exactly like Christians, act exactly like Christians, drop all of their distinctive manners, and drop their language.439 Goldstein went on: And that … is a real trap at the end of that process because it’s not real acceptance. It’s assimilation … Real acceptance is a dialogue between both parties that results in a third way of being in which both parties
439

Part of a discussion panel, Richard Goldstein spoke on C-SPAN on April 25, 2003. The program was titled, 1993 Gay Rights March.

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interact and influence each other [emphases mine]. When you don’t have that, you have assimilation itself instead … you can end up with what Jews ended up with in Europe.440 Goldstein concluded, “Don’t mistake assimilation for liberation. They’re not the same thing at all.”441 Our internalizing of postmodern society’s—generally either/or—values runs so deep that we think we are thinking and acting naturally when assimilation is what has occurred. This happens with regard to one’s native language (e.g., Americans being monolingual, not multilingual, as Europeans are), with regard to musical tastes (e.g., Westerners listening to Western music), with regard to economic ideologies (e.g., most Americans seeing capitalismturned-corporatism as unproblematic), with regard to sexual, romantic, and platonic orientation (e.g., Westerners believing that 95 percent of humanity is, and has always been, straight), and with regard to other aspects of our humanness. Most likely, the dualism of the human brain—such as its two hemispheres —reinforces the human impulse to drive out competing social systems, instead of letting competing things coexist in a both/and reality. Conversely, a transinstinctual milieu permits diversity of its adaptive human traits, however varied they may be. The next chapter analyzes ritual, a traditional human impulse, and routine, a postmodern human tendency. The chapter outlines what failing to break out of our destructive routines means for the future of this planet.

440 441

Ibid. Ibid.

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Exercises

1) Looking upon your childhood, do you recall the process of being assimilated into your culture? If yes, what areas were you being assimilated in? Was black-or-white thinking and beingness taught to you, or were you taught to think and be in shades of gray? Elaborate on paper or speak into a tape recorder. 2) Has someone you known ever participated in a social movement called “radical” or “extremist”? If yes, write about this movement or speak into a tape recorder. What was his or her rationale for being in the movement? 3) Have you ever participated in a social movement called “radical” or “extremist”? If yes, write about this movement or speak into a tape recorder. What was your rationale for being in the movement? Has your view changed? If yes, how? What have your feelings—not thoughts—been about your being part of this social movement?

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15 Ritual & Routine So-called primitive peoples have valued ritual. But us postmoderns are relying more on routine. Instincts like territoriality, social hierarchy, and aggression have shaped much of our personal and global routine. What are routine and ritual? How do they differ from each other? How can we overcome the maladaptive aspects of human routine in particular? In addressing such questions, this chapter will focus on human routine because in the postmodern world, routine has largely displaced ritual.

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One vs. The Other

Routine (a habitual repetition of an activity) can arise from conscious planning. For example, program managers schedule the repetition of certain songs on the radio. But more often than not, human routine arises unconsciously and thus, tends to be informal. Even when going to work is planned each morning, it becomes automatic, less significant, and less analyzed than activities done for the first time—or once a year. Repeated enough, anything becomes routine. Ritual, on the contrary, is a formalized version of routine. When priests burn incense at mass, that is ritual. When Native Americans dance ceremoniously, that is ritual. When we light candles at someone’s funeral, that is ritual. Ritual and routine are preferred modes of human behavior. Perhaps, the human brain selected for these adaptations to bring us stability in an unstable environment. In a primordial earth with ice ages coming and going, the hunt good one year and dismal the next, and trees abundant in some areas and scant in others, routine and ritual brought continuity and meaning to human life. Ritual, though, is more a conscious activity engaged in for a clear purpose. Obversely, routine is more an unconscious behavior. If either ritualistic or routine behavior is adaptive to human survival, dandy. If the behavior is maladaptive, then ritual and routine can prove disastrous. An example of a maladaptive primitive ritual—and a maladaptive postmodern routine—is circumcision. Female circumcision is performed in many non-Western countries, often as an act of initiation, while male circumcision is performed as a medical— actually, anti-medical—routine in the United States. Circumcision, however, is a

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form of mutilation, for mutilation is, by definition, the removal or alteration of body tissue. Whether done on a male or female, as part of ritual or as part of “medical” routine, circumcision is not only anti-hygienic. It is a violation of a fundamental human right, the right of an individual to have full—not partial or nonexistent—sexual pleasure. How is the routine of the postmodern world operating?

Hellish Cycles

Routine is what Phil Connors (Bill Murray) goes through in the movie Groundhog Day (1993). At 6 a.m. each day, “I Got You Babe” starts to play on his alarm clock.442 The meteorologist rolls out of bed, pads to the bathroom, splashes water on his face, and stumbles toward the snow-plastered window of the bed-and-breakfast where he is staying. In his 50s, Connors is a bored, tired, cynical man with a short fuse. Rita (Andie MacDowell) is his news producer, and she calls his egocentrism his “defining characteristic.” The film suggests that Connors’s negativity is what produces the time-warp of a “cold … gray” day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania that, in Connors’s words, will last “for the rest of your life.” February 2 (Groundhog Day) is that day. Already experiencing a midlife crisis, Connors cannot stand to wake up on Groundhog Day every day. At first, Connors ignores the bum that he passes on the street corner. He listens exhaustedly to an old high school nerd who wants to sell him life insurance further down the sidewalk. One day, Connors drives a gas-guzzler onto a train track with two drunks on board. Another day, he drives off a cliff. On different
442

Sonny and Cher, “I Got You Babe.” This song is in the CD titled, The Beat Goes On: The Best of Sonny and Cher. “I Got You Babe” debuted in 1965. The CD came out on November 5, 1991. Label: Elektra / Wea.

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days, Connors drops a plugged toaster into a bathtub (with him in the tub), steps in front of a moving truck, and jumps out of a window. Yet another day, he splurges on pancakes, coffee, and sweets. Connors tries to bed Rita, but she slaps him each day. Trying to change the routine of things, Connors goes different places and does different things. He remains, however, selfish at heart. At last, Connors gives up on his old self. He gives money to the bum on the sidewalk, brings coffee and pastry to his producer and cameraman, begins to take piano lessons, treats the homeless man to warm soup at a restaurant, catches a boy who tumbles from a tree, jacks up a car for three women who have a flat tire—telling them to “just be comfortable” in the vehicle—performs the Heimlich maneuver on a choking man at a restaurant, and lights a woman’s cigarette a table away. With Connors’s negative routine changed into positive thoughts and behavior, the time warp ends. Groundhog Day no longer repeats itself. Similar to Connors, Byron Katie, a real estate agent, was an angry, cynical woman. In Loving What Is, Katie describes the depth of her negativity. Lacking enough energy to go to work, she had to do business deals from bed. Katie’s children feared her like mice fear cats. One day in 1986, Katie found herself a changed woman. Nothing bothered her anymore. Katie’s children continued to leave their dirty socks on their bedroom floor. Katie, however, was no longer irked at their disobedience of her past orders to pick up their socks. To her astonishment, Katie found herself starting to enjoy picking up the socks. With Katie’s old self gone, a new routine materialized in her home. Katie’s children started to talk to her. They asked her for advice. Katie began to help people with “the work,” a technique that she invented. Like Connors, Katie took her anger, cynicism, and selfishness to the extreme, learned that it still made her miserable,

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and changed her routine of thought and action.443 As essayist Marcel Proust said, “We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”444 The world has yet to discover what Connors and Katie learned. Just like “I Got You Babe” replayed each morning on Connors’s alarm clock, “Give Me One Reason” keeps replaying on my local radio station.445 Although I don’t particularly like that song, my ears have been assaulted by it at least three times this week. Every time this song comes on the radio, I turn down the volume until a different tune comes on. But out of 10,000 hits over the past 40 years, the same 30 to 50 songs keep replaying over and over. Why? Because radio producers order this form of brainwashing. They deliberately want the public to turn away from conventional radio so that satellite radio, based on subscription, can take off. This is the routine that corporatism has spawned on American radio. The result has been that, in recent years, radio has lost 35 percent of its listenership.446 Globalization has its own routines, based on maximizing profit and minimizing people. Until the consciousness of this globe changes, old routines will continue ad infinitum—social, cultural, economic, and political. Routine—and even ritual—can lead to rigidness. This can prove disastrous because it prevents our adapting to changing times. In the 1600s, for example, astronomer Galileo Galilei supported the Copernican theory of the planets revolving around the sun. Because this contradicted the Ptolemaic view of an earth-centered universe, the Catholic Church threatened Galileo with excommunication. Galileo died in 1642. Not until 1992 did the pope pardon Galileo.447
443 444

See Katie, Loving What Is. See “Quote DB” quotations at http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/3993. 445 Tracy Chapman, “Give Me One Reason.” This song is in the CD titled, New Beginning. The CD came out on November 14, 1995. Label: Elektra/Wea. 446 A radio insider emailed me this statistic around May 2004. 447 See Duane K. Troxel’s “Intelligent Life in the Universe and Exotheology in Christianity and the Baha’i Writings,” found at http://bahai-library.org/unpubl.articles/extraterrestrials.html.

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Just as the Catholic Church controlled peasants in Middle Age Europe, corporations have increasingly controlled nation-states since the late 19th century. As late as the 21st century, however, corporate representatives don’t sign agreements at international conferences on climate change. With corporations being more powerful than nation-states, politicians continue to be the forerunners at conferences like Kyoto. Given that CEOs are the true movers and shakers of the world, not to put them at the frontlines of global negotiations assumes that we are still living in a pre-corporate epoch. Regarding the anti-abortion movement in the (Dis)United States, Helen Caldicott, the physician, writes in If You Love This Planet: Thirty million species are endangered by our relentless procreation, yet we still argue about abortion as if we lived two centuries ago, when the human population stood at one billion.448 Today, the world is racing toward 10 billion people. At the same time, Western countries like Russia are having more abortions than births. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), 40 million fetuses have been aborted in the (Dis)United States.449 With Caucasians crashing demographically around the world, this is racial suicide. Abortion has gone from being an option of last resort—due to the failure of birth control—to being a routine procedure. Westerners have seesawed from abortion being illegal to abortion being promoted ferociously. The routine of old mindsets—such as going from one extreme to the other—has inhibited the revolutionary changes that are needed if we are to survive beyond the opening decades of the 21st century.

448 449

Caldicott, If You Love This Planet, p. 118. Buchanan, The Death of the West, p. 97.

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About a week ago, I read that the past 25 years have been the warmest on earth since the year 1600. Alpine glaciers are forecast to disappear 100 percent by the year 2100. Already, they have lost 35 percent of their ice pack.450 Still, I see people driving gas-guzzlers. Ours is a society of inertia. Inertia is the tendency of something to remain still or in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Since the 1980s, the routine has been for scientists to write or say that global warming is a reality. People must recycle, one hears, and we must switch to alternative fuels. Like a mantra, this has been the message that scientists have sent us. But recycling requires massive amounts of energy, and fossil fuels supply much of this energy. That humanity needs to scale down—populationwise for the Third World and consumption-wise for the First World—is almost never proposed. No real solutions are presented; corporations are never held accountable; and neither is the Western way of life. So-called environmental programs seem more designed to kill hope than to give constructive solutions (see epilogue for needed solutions). I no longer watch “environmental” programs because a deluge of global problems is presented, and the average person is left feeling powerless to change the planet. How, for example, can a lone person—or even groups of organized people—change the fact that China, a country of 1.3 billion people, is trading its bicycles for automobiles? How can the average Joe alter the fact that seeds are being genetically engineered—something that is threatening the world’s natural seed stock? How can a single person stop the desecration of planet Earth? The routine is for scientists and government officials to bombard us with facts about the state of the earth. At the end of the program, article, or press conference, a couple of solutions—always do-it-yourself and never come-together-as-acommunity—are bandied out.
450

This is according to The Weather Channel. The segment, titled Forecast Earth, aired on Wednesday, July 26, 2006.

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CEOs, lobbyists, and politicians remain off the spotlight, however. Cars aren’t being taxed yearly, based on our incomes, to lure us toward public transportation and to help pay for it. Trains have been allowed to atrophy in the United States. Houses keep getting built 20, 30, and 40 miles from American cities, on productive farmland, and freeways keep expanding. Even when hybrid cars are proposed, the solution is a mere refurbishing of the old system. The fact that most car pollution comes from the process of building a vehicle is never mentioned—let alone, the implications of this for “green” cars. That constructing a single car uses, on average, 120,000 gallons of fresh water is not considered.451 Damns (notice the irony of the word) keep getting raised so that more water can be diverted from agriculture to houses. This problem is especially severe in the American Southwest. No one proposes the simpler solution of legally requiring homeowners and landlords to lock the oval-shaped knobs under sinks in a half-closed position. Imagine the millions of gallons of water that could be saved this way. In northern states and countries, one must let faucets drip to avoid the freezing of pipes in the winter. Why not legally require homeowners and landlords to have a drip receptacle by each sink so that collected water could be used? One of the most important causes of global warming is the concretization of the planet. As we all know, concrete, asphalt, and tarmac hold in far more heat than cotton plantations and dirt roads did in the 19th century. This may explain why, lacking electric fans and air conditioning, Southerners were able to tolerate the heat of 19th century summers in the American South. Making things from scratch has become cheaper and more efficient than fixing existing things. Consequently, very few mechanics are willing to retrofit used cars with new engines. This forces one to dispose a 12-year-old vehicle for
451

This statistic can be found at the website Life After the Oil Crash. The URL of the statistic is http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html.

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a newer one—as I had to do—rather than continue with one’s car for another 10 to 15 years. In this case, more efficiency means more waste. On a similar vein, VCRs over seven years old can seldom be repaired because, favoring newer models, manufacturers stop making older VCR parts. For all the laws in the law books, there isn’t a single one that requires manufacturers to continue to make parts for models of older VCRs, TVs, and stereos. The so-called environmental movement hasn’t even raised the issue. But the dumping of used VCRs—instead of getting them repaired for another 10 to 12 years of use—is the dumping of lead, something that VCRs have in lethal amounts. Not a single “environmental” program has addressed this. Neither has the major news media reported that alternative fuels will never be able to replace the versatility of oil in the making of plastics, computer chips, and fertilizers—let alone, the ramifications of this for a world in desperate need to relocalize and scale down. Unmentioned is the fact that planet Earth cannot support 6.7 billion people—regardless of whether or not they adopt Western lifestyles. The message, repeated like a broken record by “environmental” programs, is this: Global warming is accelerating. There is nothing you can do to stop this because it is too late. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your view—this is all too accurate. It must be our resistance to the above message that makes the heavens repeat it to us over and over. For only when we awaken—truly awaken—to what is coming climate-wise can we begin to make the changes that need to be done now (see epilogue). L. Hunter Lovins is the founder and president of Natural Capitalism Solutions. On November 2006, Lovins spoke at the University of Washington.

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The focus of her lecture was the need for corporations to do business based on a model of energy efficiency and resource sustainability. If companies continue to ignore resource depletion and environmental damage, Lovins said, they will threaten the very profits upon which corporations depend. She continued: Go back and look at corporate charters. Companies were chartered because they were going to deliver a public service. Go back and read Adam Smith. Adam Smith’s next book was on moral philosophy, because his whole mental model of how a market would work was within a larger context of a social contract in which people were moral beings [emphases mine]. Take that morality away and you have an institution [the corporation] that lives forever with no ethics. That’s arguably the definition of a psychopath.452 Business as usual will prove disastrous within the next few years. I see as no accident that the Mayan calendar places December 21, 2012 as the end of an old astronomical cycle. This date, it seems, is the true dawn of the Age of Aquarius. Living in postmodern times is like playing in the World Series at the bottom of the 9th inning. The score is 20 to 7. Our global predicament is the opposing team. Most of our teammates aren’t even trying to win for our league, called humanity. In such a situation, it takes utmost optimism—which requires tremendous spiritual evolution—to keep fighting to get our team on top of the game. This is especially hard when so many of us—myself included—are dejected about losing. In each movie, the good guys lose throughout most of the film. But in the end, the protagonists are victorious over the forces of darkness. Will this, however, occur in “the real world?”
452

L. Hunter Lovins’s lecture was titled, The Business Case for Sustainability. It was recorded on November 8, 2006 and aired on University of Washington Television (UWTV) on July 7, 2007.

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Near the climax of the film The Neverending Story (West German-British; 1984), a conversation takes place between Atreyu, an adolescent warrior chosen to save a place called Fantasia, and G’mork, a black wolf who describes himself as “the servant of the power behind the Nothing.” Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) stumbles upon the beast (Alan Oppenheimer) in a primordial cave that has lit paintings around. The scene unfolds as follows: Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying then? G’mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger. Atreyu: What is the Nothing? G’mork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It is like a despair destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it. Atreyu: But why? G’mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control, and whoever has the control has the power [emphasis mine]. Those who fund “environmental” programs are some of the entities to which G’mork is referring. Why doesn’t postmodern civilization start the revolution that is needed to stave off global collapse? Because like the ancient Romans, we Westerners are set in our ways—Americans, in particular. When the United States could be

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leading the world toward a post-fossil fuel era, it is instead leading the world toward a new coal and nuclear age. Oil will be needed, however, to build alternative energies, and it will get increasingly expensive to extract oil from the ground. This will make alternative energies—the oil-synthesized solar panels, the oil-made nuclear plants, and the oil-based “green” machinery required to mine and transport coal—harder to fund the longer we wait. The simpler solution of scaling down the human population and human activities is seldom proposed. The reason there is such fascination with vampires and dinosaurs is because, like them, we take energy. We take energy—in the form of resources— from the organism called planet Earth. In return, we give very little back. Like the victim of a vampire or of a dinosaur, earth is helplessly submitting. But just as people pray for the healing of illness in an individual, people can also pray— ideally at the same time every day—for the healing of planet Earth and for the healing of the energy vampire called humanity. Routine is a human instinct. It leads the zombified rabble to go about its ways, locked in a system that, at most, permits tampering at the edges. Not until things go seriously south do individuals and civilizations break from destructive routines. As the axiom goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”453 By then, however, it is often too late. If so much weren’t at stake, then perhaps waiting until forced to change wouldn’t be so tragic. But our environmental dilemmas— melting ice caps, genetic engineering and patenting of life, our exploding human population, the genetic dissolving of the human races, eroding topsoils, ozone depletion, and so on—are grave enough to be called a nuclear war in slow motion. The converging catastrophes of the 21st century—environmental, social, economic, and political—“will make the Great Depression look like a dress

453

Plato originally said this. The quote is at “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato163267.html.

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rehearsal.”454 At the other end of the darkness, those of us who are still alive will hopefully be trans-instinctual enough to rise above routine when given human behaviors are found to be maladaptive.

Our Failure to Break Out of Routine

For what it’s worth, ideas only impact those of us who are ready for them. Drama, on the other hand, gets the attention of everyone. The more immediate the drama, the more powerful the impact. In the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), for example, Professor Jacob Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe) suggests that Klaatu (Michael Rennie) demonstrate his powers so that world leaders will listen to the spaceman’s proposal for global demilitarization. Throughout the film, government and science leaders refuse to meet with the alien. Exasperated, Klaatu tells Barnhardt: Must I take drastic action in order to get a hearing? … Violent action, since that seems to be the only thing your people understand. Leveling New York City perhaps, or sinking the Rock of Gibraltar.

454

The source of this quote is unclear, for it appears in several peak oil websites.

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Through Gort—the silver robot that stays in Klaatu’s flying saucer—Klaatu neutralizes the world’s electricity for 30 minutes, excluding hospitals and planes in flight. The Story of Noah’s Ark repeats the leitmotif of voice in the wilderness. In the Bible, Noah warns others that it will soon be raining for 40 days and 40 nights. People laugh at him.455 We all know what happens when it starts raining and Noah is unable to let the screaming people into his arc. In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the white android Lieutenant-Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is unable to get colonists to listen to him about their need to evacuate in light of aliens about to invade their planet. Data tells Ard’rian MacKenzie (Eileen Seeley), “Perhaps, that is a part of our difficulty. Words are all we have been using. Humans seem to take much stronger notice of actions [emphasis mine].”456 Data sets up a harmless but shocking demonstration that involves the stunning of some colonists (putting them to sleep with a phaser), the blowing up of their central fountain, and a show of lights through their pipelines. Shocking things impress us more than rational conversation. Yet, everything begins not as action, but rather, as an idea. This includes huts, towns, notions of romantic love, the institution of marriage, democracy, capitalism, skyscrapers, cars, computers, the book you are reading, everything! As the Bible says, “In the beginning, there was the Word.”457 And as the rock song goes, “We built this city on rock ‘n roll.”458 Those lyrics convey that rock music inspired the thoughts that led to building the city sung about in the song. Adaptive ideas like

455 456

The Story of Noah’s Ark is found in Genesis 6-9. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Ensigns of Command.” This episode originally aired in syndication on September 30, 1989 (Season 3, episode 2). 457 Loosely translated, this quote comes from John 1:1, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. 458 Jefferson Starship, “We Built This City.” This song is in the CD titled, Starship’s Greatest Hits. “We Built This City” debuted in 1985. The CD came out on May 28, 1991. Label: RCA.

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constructing a town lead to human survival. Maladaptive ideas like bombing it do not. Seeing emerged as one of the most adaptive of the bio-logical senses (logical in a biological way). In the 21st century, however, it is our inability to see that is threatening us and 90 percent of life on earth with extinction. If we, for example, actually saw 90 percent of ocean life on the verge of collapse, then action to prevent this would follow quicker than the falling stack of fish cans.459 For the first time in the history of life on earth, living just by our physical senses is no longer adaptive. Neither is living by the limiting parts of our biological instincts—such as responding only to clear and immediate dangers. If we are to kick out of our destructive routines, then we will have to start living not just by the senseable, but also, by the unsenseable … and not just by our surroundings, but also, by long-term trends to which our human instincts aren’t programmed to react. This will go a long way toward ending business as usual.

Snapping Out of Our Zombieness

In Revenge of the Stepford Wives (TV; 1980), Kay Foster (Sharon Gless) withholds a zombifying drug from Megan Brady (Julie Kavner). Within a day or two, Megan snaps out of her zombielike stupor and becomes human again. The survival program of the human body, facets of our personalities, peer pressure, and religio-cultural conditioning steer us toward a zombielike existence. As Megan tells Kay in a fleeing sedan of green-gray:
459

See Heinberg, Powerdown, p. 6.

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That siren, I remember hearing it, over and over and over again, until I couldn’t think of anything. I know I was trying to concentrate on something else, but that siren just kept getting me confused. I couldn’t keep fighting back.460 Trans-instinctual humans have snapped out of their zombie program— away from the pressure to “work for a living,” away from limited sexual and romantic scripts (e.g., “Mr. and Mrs. Right together for all eternity”), away from the negativity that permeates many a social conversation (e.g., “My ulcers hurt, and I’m gonna need to see a doctor”), away from blind consumption of the “mainstream” media (which, in the words of reporter Amy Goodman, is really an “extreme, corporate media”), away from caving in to peer pressure (e.g., high school students doing something because “it is popular”), and away from filling their schedules to the hilt because “that is how successful people operate.” Sensory humans follow the crowd and never enjoy life truly. They are too busy. Too dazed. Too automatic. Obversely, trans-instinctual humans steer away from the crowd when it is dysfunctional. The epilogue of this book examines peak oil (the point at which oil production reaches its maximum). What transpires after this halfway point will be the biggest challenge that we humans will ever face. The epilogue concludes with trans-sensory and trans-instinctual choices that we can make during our transition to a post-carbon planet.

460

This movie premiered on NBC on October 12, 1980.

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Exercises

1) What rituals, if any, do you participate in? Why? Are they individual, collective, or both? What are the pros—and, if any, cons—of each ritual? 2) Do you feel that you and/or your family could incorporate some rituals? If yes, which ones? What might be the benefits? 3) If you have adolescents, have you provided them with rites of passage? If yes, what, if any, have been the benefits to them and others? If no, what rites of initiation might you introduce to your adolescents? What might be the benefits to them and others? 4) What routines, if any, do you follow? How long has each routine been going on? When did you become aware of the action or thought as a routine? Is the routine helping you? Hurting you? Neither?

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Epilogue: The Destruction of the Buffalo, the End of Cheap Oil, and Apocalypse This last chapter examines the most critical issue that humanity will ever face. As such, trans-sensory perception and trans-instinctual beingness are—and

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will continue to be in the coming decades—more consequential than ever. This epilogue brings a global context to the Human Potential movement, something that most books on self-development haven’t done. This chapter addresses: 1) Humanity’s transition to a world of post this and post that 2) Human nature 3) Whether we can meet what will become the biggest challenges of the 21st century 4) What we can do as individuals and as groups of organized people

Transition to a Post-Carbon World

In the mid-1990s, Marianne Williamson, the metaphysical lecturer, told an audience: The world ten years from now will not look like it looks today. Whether it’s earth changes, whether it is merely governmental changes, whatever it is, there is a world which can no longer stand.461 Christians have their version of the end times, recorded in The Book of Revelation. Native Americans share similar prophesies, events that some of their shamans foretold centuries ago. For example, elders of the Hopi Indian tribe of Arizona prophesized the arrival of “the ‘black ribbon’ that would be built across this land and that they would travel across these black ribbons.”462 Asphalt roads? Hopi elders also said that “there would be a cobweb built around the
461

Refer to the two-cassette series titled, The Sacred Self Workshop.

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earth and people would talk across this cobweb.”463 The Internet? But how, many of us may wonder, does all of this relate to the crumbling of the old paradigm and to the birth of the new paradigm? How does it relate to Christ’s return, whether the traditional Christ that Christianity preaches or the Collective Christ Consciousness that New Agers discuss? How exactly will the old paradigm crumble and the new paradigm (the thousand years of peace) come about? For all the diseases, massacres, and pestilence that Europeans brought to the Americas, nothing destroyed Native Americans more quickly and more profoundly than the destruction of the buffalo. Long before Europeans arrived in “the New World,” the buffalo proved indispensable for American Indians. The buffalo was hunted for food. Its skin was used to make clothes, tepee covers, and moccasins. The buffalo’s bones were used to make pots and pans, jewelry, and hunting weapons. European settlers were mindless, however, to the sacredness and importance of the buffalo to Native Americans. Consequently, “white” settlers slaughtered tens of millions of buffalo throughout the 19th century. By the dawn of the 20th century, the buffalo no longer stood in the way of the transcontinental railroads, the advancing settlers, and the growing towns and cities of America. Postmodern civilization—much of which began in Europe—now needs “primitive” values, knowledge, and ways of living. In an age when oil has become the lifeblood of the postmodern world, the West can’t afford to have even a 2 percent drop per year in global oil extraction. This is because oil fuels not just cars, trucks, and airplanes. Some 500,000 consumer goods cannot be made without oil-based synthesizers. Modern agriculture cannot exist, in turn,
462

Matthew Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 3. Pamphlet compiled by Steve Morrison and Four Worlds. 463 Ibid., p. 4.

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without the oil-derived pesticides and fertilizers that allow the earth to feed 6.7 billion people. Furthermore, the food industry cannot exist without the oilfueled tractors that allow one farmer to do the work of 500 people in a fraction of the time. Agribusiness cannot survive without the fleets of 18-wheelers that transport the average meal 1,500 miles to our plates. The health care and pharmaceutical industries would lose big time without the oil-based medicines that heap them profits. The discovery of oil is the chief reason why humans have expanded from under a billion people in the 19th century to 6.7 billion people in 2009. This is because the huge quantities of food, medicine, and technology available today derive, by and large, from the discovery of oil in 1859 and from its subsequent exploitation. Like Native Americans depended on the buffalo for their survival, we postmoderns depend on oil for our continued existence. But unlike the buffalo, oil is nonrenewable. The more efficient the oil rigs, the faster the oil goes. This planet is somewhere around the halfway point of oil depletion. On the upward slope, oil gushes from the ground, gasoline is cheaper than milk, and consumer items are priced reasonably. But after the halfway point, geologist Marion K. Hubbert proposed in 1956, oil becomes more difficult to extract. This is the downward slope that “peak oil” scientists have been warning businesspeople, politicians, and the public about. Just as more oil (black gold) becomes available on the upward slope of oil extraction, less oil becomes available on the downward slope.464 See the graph below:

464

In 1956, geologist Marion King Hubbert predicted that American oil production would peak around 1970. Indeed, the United States peaked in domestic oil production in 1971. Given the soundness of Hubbert’s methodology, the Hubbert Peak has been used not only to forecast oil production, but also to predict peak coal, peak natural gas, and peak grains.

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Even a 2 percent drop in annual oil extraction can mean a gradual but permanent rise in prices. Since black gold is used in practically everything, this means the end of cheap food, cheap gas, cheap soap, cheap plastic, cheap computers, cheap DVDs, cheap clothes, cheap cars, and so on. If things get too expensive, then businesses will sell less. If businesses sell less, then businesses will lay off workers to make up for the profit shortfall. The more workers are laid off, the less consumer demand there will be. Peak oil will start this downward spiral. This will mean the beginning of permanent layoffs, the end of full employment as we know it, and the end of globalization. In brief, the end of the Age of Cheap Oil (1859-2010?) means not just the end of the abundant energy that we have but also, the end of the abundant materials that companies use to make products. Worse, no other element—natural or artificial—comes close to oil in its versatility as a material and in its energy per unit. Put another way, one gallon of gasoline has the equivalent energy of 500 hours of human labor.466 In this sense, the
465

This graph comes from google images. The URL of the graph is http://homepages.ius.edu/kforinas/E/HubbertCurve_html_m75091b6b.png. 466 See Life After the Oil Crash at http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html.

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average Westerner has the energy equivalent of between 75 and 300 slaves doing his or her work everyday. And even 300 slaves would not be enough to haul SUV occupants to work at 60 miles an hour.467 Spelled backwards, oil is lio. In Spanish, lio means “trouble.” In the late 1800s, the West began an orderly transition from coal to petroleum. Our transition to a post-carbon world won’t be as smooth because no abundant energies are left to switch to. Alternative energies will, at most, replace a fraction of the energy that oil provides. In the 1970s, the West had a golden opportunity to start a long scaling down of energy use. It would have been a tidy shift to renewable energy. Europe took some bold initiatives in that direction. The United States took smaller steps. For example, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels in the White House in 1979. By 1985, American cars had become fuel-efficient relative to the gas-guzzlers of the 1970s. With the end of the Middle East oil embargoes of the 1970s, however, cheap petroleum returned. The year 1985 was a turning point in this respect. By the 1990s, SUVs had replaced the mobile gymnasiums of the 1970s; suburbs had expanded into exurbs; and fast-food joints had spread like cancer. Also, shipping and air transportation had tripled as corporations transplanted the world’s labor and manufacturing base from West to East. More oil was used to transport finished goods from Asian factories to the West’s shrinking middle class, and more of the earth’s resources were used to produce junk for a consumer class. The United States imports 60 percent of the oil that it uses. A major reason for this—besides its refusing to scale down—is because America peaked in its domestic extraction of oil in 1971. Global peak of oil extraction is what is
467

The 75-slave statistic comes from The Sustainable Scale Project, “Quick Facts: Energy.” The URL is http://www.sustainablescale.org/AreasofConcern/Energy/EnergyandScale/QuickFacts.aspx. The 300-slave statistic comes from Life After the Oil Crash at http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html.

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occurring now. Domestically on the downward slope of oil extraction, America is expected to import more than 60 percent of its oil in the coming years. Even worse, the Middle East is scheduled to peak in its domestic extraction of oil sometime between 2005 and 2015. Once this happens, a plateau of oil production may hold for a few years. But after the plateau comes the drop. Then, the cost of living will start its slow but permanent rise in the oil-dependent areas of the globe. This may be already occurring, in fact. The price of regular gasoline in my town is now $3.44 a gallon, for example, and food prices are up. This suggests that peal oil may already be here. The American presence in Iraq may well have something to do with securing control of the planet’s largest oil reserves—reported to be in Iraq—after the peak in global oil extraction. As for the rest of the world, it won’t be able to adopt the American way of life. This is because, as a scientist said, if humanity were to do so, seven planet earths would be needed to feed that lifestyle.468 In 2009, the postmodern world stands at the brink of the global collapse that prophets have been speaking about for millennia. Unlike 10 years ago, the causes, nature, and effects of this collapse are becoming crystal clear. Whether we are Christians, New Agers, or agnostics, we are increasingly recognizing that this is the end of a long epoch. In light of America’s cumulative debt of $36 trillion (before the bailout); of Baby Boomers being near retirement; of the effect that their reduced income will have on the American—and hence, global— economy; of climate change; and of corporate control of the globe’s food, media, and means of production, peak oil will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.469 For the first time, the world is in a situation it never has been in since the

468

The scientist’s comment comes from a C-SPAN broadcast of the 2006 OPEC Summit in Caracas, Venezuela. The scientist’s name was not mentioned. 469 The $36 trillion statistic comes from Bonner and Wiggin, Empire of Debt, p. 17.

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dawn of anatomically modern humans. This is the Coming Darkness that Christians, New Agers, and others have been talking about for a long time. One human—and ultimately, spiritual—reason why the Third World is coming to the First World is global warming. As earth heats up like an oven, a massive die-off of humans will, very likely, occur in most of the planet. As modern agriculture plummets and transportation stops, the human population could drop from 7 billion to just under a billion people. More than likely, Africa, Asia, and much of Latin America will become uninhabitable. Because people of European stock occupy the cooler parts of the globe, this uni-verse (one verse) is calling Caucasians to share their house with the rest of the world. The alternative would be for most of the world’s races and ethnicities to disappear before they can contribute their diverse genes to the next generation. The massive immigration of colored people to Caucasian countries is happening not because people are rationally thinking about any of this. Instead, the flooding of the First World by “outsiders” is by spiritual design. Until earth cools again, Europe, North America, southern Australia, and the southern part of South America will become too crowded for comfort. There, historically unprecedented racial mixing will be needed to recombine human genes in every conceivable way. This will help to maximize the chances of human survival. Racial amalgamation will bring peace from its advocates and violence from those who resist the process. One thing is clear. At the other side of the darkness, only people who live according to enlightened spiritual principles will make it. The rest will perish. Values that “primitive” peoples have had for millennia are what will ensure the survival of our species. These values include cooperation, community, organic farming, locally made foods and items, local distribution of products, less consumption, a stable population, a steady-state economy, respect for all forms

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of life, more time spent with family and friends, and a simpler life. Issues of human greed, human selfishness, and the relentless pursuit of external power will be a thing of the past. Species like the buffalo will never again be hunted to near extinction. Christ Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Muhammad Consciousness, and Spiritual Enlightenment—rather than religiosity or materialism—will be the prevailing paradigm among the surviving populations. Spiritual principles will guide daily living. As Marianne Williamson said at Esalen Institute around 1995, human survivors will be as different from us as “we are from the cavemen.”470 This is the thousand years of peace that the Bible prophesizes. This is the New Species of Homo Sapiens that will emerge. For those of us wanting to survive biologically, there is no other alternative. The meek indeed shall inherit the earth. But their numbers will be few.

Why Multi-racialism, Bisexuality, and Polyamory?

Meteorologists predict that, over the next century, earth will warm up as much as 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Africa may see average daily temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Europe may become the next Africa—both temperature-wise and population-wise—and the United States and Canada the new Central America. Probably most of the plants and animals that are alive today will go extinct. Modern agriculture will collapse not just because of the crash of oil—and honeybees—but also, because crops like rice, beans, corn, wheat, and barley will burn into space. Cattle, which most of us depend on for milk and meat, will die because 40 percent of the world’s grain is used to feed livestock.471 When the grain goes, so will the cattle. Making things worse is that
470 471

Refer to the two-cassette series titled, The Sacred Self Workshop. This statistic comes from author Michael Pollan. See Bill Moyers Journal. This segment aired on PBS on November 28, 2008.

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of all the varieties of crops that exist, agribusiness plants a smattering of them. For example, supermarkets sell two varieties of rice—white rice and brown rice —when as much as 5,000 different varieties of rice exist. When crop failures come, the two or so varieties of each crop will get wiped out easily and quickly. Anatomically modern humans will be ill-equipped for a diet that is deficient in these foods. Anatomically modern humans will also have difficulty breathing from an atmosphere that has increasing amounts of carbon dioxide. Since the salad days of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide has risen 30 percent in the atmosphere. Humans went from burning wood and coal to burning oil and natural gas. Never in the past 600,000 years has carbon dioxide increased so much. Not surprisingly, five of the ten warmest years since 1860 have occurred in the past decade.472 Because we are connected with nature, if life on earth changes dramatically, then human biology must also change radically. Nature needs new genetic combinations in humans, plants, and lower animals. This is to ensure that biological life is adapted to a tropical earth. The genetic blending of the human races is how humanity is evolving. As the opening of this book says, evolution—whether cosmic, biological, spiritual, or social—is the reorganization of something. Biological evolution is the reshuffling of genes. This is why Greeks are being found in Alaska, why Chinese workers are being brought to Romania, why Nigerians are settling in Iceland, and why Ethiopians are being shipped to Maine. The goal of nature, the heavens, and the liberal-conservative establishment—they are all connected in a cosmic sense—is for these genetically divergent populations to interbreed. Why? From nature’s point of view, so that their offspring will have new genetic blueprints. Then, babies will be born who are Greek-Chinese-Romanian-Nigerian. This will increase the odds of mutations in humans, and some of those mutations may be
472

These statistics come from Peter Larsen, former director of the climate change program with The Nature Conservancy in Alaska.

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adaptive to the effects of global warming. The reorganization of the human genome, that is the future of human evolution. Interbreeding is not so much natural selection (the biological environment selecting adaptive traits). That comes later. Rather, interbreeding is one type of sexual selection (humans selecting, consciously or not, partners who have the “right” genes to combine their DNA with). Whereas natural selection takes forever in a world out of time, sexual selection can yield new breeds of humans in a generation or two. This is what planet Earth needs now—quick biological adaptations. Convergent devolution (the unification of biological life) is the fast destruction of “pure” gene pools, whereas divergent evolution (the speciation of biological life) is the slow reconstruction of mixed gene pools.473 How does bisexuality, polyamory, and sperm competition enter into the convergent devolution happening now on earth? Under the old paradigm, one woman paired with one man and they had a child or two. The new paradigm is for two or more men to sleep with the same woman at the same time. This way, sperm from the two—or more—men can compete in the vagina (sperm competition). The goal is not just to fertilize the egg. After all, the sperm of one man can do this. But if sperm from two or more men compete (blocking and fighting the sperm of other men) in the vagina, then whichever man impregnates the woman is the biologically most fit. Again, nature needs genetic recombinations—and fast. Sperm competition is a tool of nature for promoting the best biological recombinations. In light of global warming, human DNA is racing against time to adapt. Condoms, a product of oil, will not be around for long. Therefore, nature will need to adapt “rubberless” to whatever new strains of microorganisms global warming produces. STDs will always be a risk. But with human populations becoming
473

See Richard McCulloch, “Racial Nihilism,” The Racial Compact. This online chapter is at http://www.racialcompact.com/racialnihilism.html.

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isolated from one another after the peak in oil production, diseases won’t be able to travel far and wide. Whatever the risks, sexual reproduction will have to be as natural as possible—and this includes uncircumcised penises—if it is to be adaptive to the evolution of the human species.474 Bisexuality encourages sperm to prepare for competition. This preparation can occur days, weeks, and even months before heterosexual intercourse. The process is too complex to get into here. But because women aren’t always predisposed for sex, nature has devised other ways for men to get rid of aging sperm. Mutual masturbation and oral sex between guys is one method. This shedding of old sperm makes room for the superior sperm, increasing the odds of reproductive success. Why not masturbation alone? Because no other men are present. This inhibits sperm from preparing for sperm competition. According to one study, just seeing another man being sexual is enough for the viewing man to produce more sperm for sperm competition.475 Masturbating alone won’t do this—although watching other men in porn can.476 When women aren’t around, men can also practice thrusting into each other. Thrusting (the displacing of rival sperm in a vagina) is adaptive for sperm competition. Like exercising muscles at the gym, male homosexuality helps men to stay sexually fit. This has reproductive value, especially if such men share a woman with men who are “out of practice.” In other words, heterosexually active men will have, on average, less sexual intercourse than bisexually active men. This is because women aren’t always “in the mood”—a downer for straight men—whereas men tend to be disposed for sex (practicing for reproduction) at the drop of a hat. Bisexually active men may be at an advantage
474

See Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. and Rebecca L. Burch, “Semen Displacement as a Sperm Competition Strategy in Humans,” Evolutionary Psychology, 2004, Vol. 2, pgs. 12-23. Article at http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/ep021223.pdf. 475 See Rachel Nowak, “Rivals Spur Men to Produce Better Sperm,” NewScientist, Life, June 8, 2005. Article at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7487. 476 Ibid.

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here over heterosexually active men. Whatever method of bisexuality men employ, male homosexuality is one way that nature tells the male body that sperm from other men are around. This process of impregnating women could become the wave of the future. Why? Because it is adaptive to promoting survival of the fittest genes. The idea is not just quantity of sexual partners but also, quality of offspring. Polyamory compliments the aftermath of this. How? Each woman will be having more children by different men, and each man will be impregnating different women. This will facilitate maximum gene flow between different races, ethnicities, nationalities, and classes. Childrearing will become more complex. For example, children of different racial backgrounds will be living with parents of different races and ethnicities. And not just one mother and one father, but two and three mothers and two and three fathers being all part of that family—not to mention grandparents. More women are birthing multiple babies than ever before. Most of these births are due to fertility drugs and to more Western women having children after age 35. Some multiple births are occurring naturally, however, and their numbers are increasing. This may be yet another way that nature is adapting in advance to the climate upheavals that lie ahead. As human mortality increases in the future, more women will be having more children per pregnancy. This will increase the odds of some children surviving a radically changed atmosphere. Whether bisexuality, sperm competition, polyamory, or multiple births, the idea is numbers. And not just numbers but maximum genetic combinations and recombinations. But how are one woman and one man supposed to raise septuplets or just triplets alone? Almost impossible. The smarter way, in nature’s view, is for two husbands and one wife to raise the kids together. Or two wives and two husbands. Or three husbands and two wives. Ideally, grandparents would be

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part of such families. Polyamory means that more time, more money, more energy, and more love will be available for future generations, no matter how bad things get in the outside world. Race is disappearing as both a social category and a biological reality. The American melting pot is a liquefying of apples, bananas, grapes, and blackberries in a blender. Racially speaking, America has, up to now, been more of a mosaic. A mosaic is a salad bowl where tomatoes, lettuce, and olives keep their separate identities. For me, the ideal is the mosaic. This is because, once the human races dissolve into a melting pot, the original races can never be brought back. Mourning the loss of the distinct human races will be necessary for healing, even if another part of us celebrates this. The grieving is healthy because 40,000 years of divergent racial evolution is coming to an end. Many Spirits/souls will be so stricken by this genetic and aesthetic loss that they will want to recreate our racial distinctions on other planets. And some will try to keep those distinctions here. This is valid. Still, a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood is now needed on earth to deflect the tsunami of negativity that is being unleashed. Each of the “four” human races is in a prison. A prison is nothing more than a place or state of being (mental, emotional, racial, ethnic, sexual, gendered, or religious) beyond which one cannot go. All human groups are in different prison cells. These groups may talk to one another, trade, or punch each other through the bars. But they remain distinct groups so long as each group remains behind bars. As the song “Desperado” goes, “Your prison is walking through this world all alone.”477 Each human group is lonesome for other human groups, just as humanity is lonely against the backdrop of a biologically empty universe. This is why astronomers keep asking in the most morose way, “Are we alone?” The moment groups truly unite, they leave their prison cells. Separation—
477

Eagles, “Desperado.” This song is in the CD titled, Eagles—The Very Best Of. “Desperado” debuted in 1976. The CD came out on December 4, 2007. Label: Asylum Records.

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mental, emotional, and physical—no longer rules them. The catch is that when the prison bars disappear, so does each group. Each race, ethnicity, and religion ceases to be a unique entity. A larger group is born, and the smaller groups dissolve. When a spirit leaves the prison of the human body, the spirit experiences spiritual freedom. But the biological body dies. This is what is happening with humanity. The distinct human races, ethnicities, and religions are dissolving because they are leaving the prisons of their earthly identities. This is both a triumph of the human spirit and a tragedy of human existence. It is both Armageddon and Genesis. As this planet is heading, the future of humanity belongs to brown and black people—although their physical forms will be altered through interbreeding. This is adaptive because colored people are adapted to a tropical climate. Given that earth is becoming a tropical planet, jungle fever (the thirst of many Caucasian women for African and African American men) is on the rise. Literally, the jungle is coming to the Caucasian parts of the world. Therefore, historically unnatural matings—as between “whites” and “blacks”—have become natural. These sexual couplings are now biologically adaptive, given what is coming climate-wise. Of course, biologically adaptive does not necessarily mean the aesthetic ideal. But nature has a psychic field, one that changes the sexual behavior of a species like humanity when times call for this. Each of our cells is linked to the global environment. As the climate of earth changes, that information is transmitted to each of us at the cellular level. Our alerted cells (cellular intelligence) then influence our sexual behavior. Whatever erotic couplings are biologically adaptive become more common, and eventually, the norm. The Western ideology of a color-blind society is another psychic field, one that has grabbed hold of a critical mass of Westerners. In time, this energy field will likely displace all preservationist energy fields. Brute strength,

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resistance to tropical diseases, and dark pigmentation—qualities brown and black people have—will be required in a hot, humid, post-oil world. This is a major reason why interracial love, interracial sex, and multi-racial children are the wave of the future. The more people in interracial romances breed now, the more interracial babies will be young adults by 2030, capable of reproducing without modern medicine and capable of surviving without the help of parents. Having interracial offspring as soon as possible is very adaptive at this time, and the more interracial babies people have, the better. Why? Because the climate of earth will radically change in the next 30 years. The more genetic recombinations around then, the better the chances that some subgroup of humanity will survive what is coming. We must allow ourselves to get sexually excited about all those Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans who are flooding into Western nations. In particular, Western youth must be taught to welcome intimate relationships with such people—so long as they exercise caution toward strangers. Western governments could encourage interracial reproduction by giving tax breaks to parents of such offspring. There will be much resistance to these ideas. But these end times require that we be flexible. We have to move beyond Caucasian women being with African American men and Anglo men dating Asian women. Certainly, these pairings need to continue, for they are biologically adaptive to any resulting offspring. More diverse genetic recombinations than those are required, however. For example, Anglo men and African American women rarely pair up but need to because their genes combine all too well. The genes of Caucasian men and Indian women also blend beautifully, as do the genes of Caucasian men and Native American women. These races would do well to sleep together—and have babies. Enjoy those contrasts of skin colors. Get sexually excited by them. Say

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“Yes!” Whatever your race, your cells (cellular intelligence) are guiding you toward interracial sex and romance. Why? Because your cells are connected to the changes in the global climate that are happening not in the far future, but now. Listen to those cells, and follow your heart. And it may not be enough for each couple to have one child. At least, two interracial children per couple are needed. This is because the more interracial children become adults by 2030, the greater the chances that some segment of humanity will survive 120 degree weather, high humidity, tropical diseases, and scarcity of food and fresh water. Waiting till one’s 30s to have children won’t do either. Why not? Because there is no time to waste. As the divine has communicated to me in the most urgent language, men and women need to start having interracial babies as soon as they are biologically able to. Financial resources or the lack of them will soon become irrelevant because the global economy is going down anyway. Other ways of making a living will soon surface, more humane ways than slaving to earn green paper. As Spanish people say, “Sí El cuida de las aves, El cuidará de mi” (“If He takes care of the birds, He will take care of me.”). Have faith. Welcome all nonwhite immigrants to your country because you and they are meant to be together, especially if you are of reproductive age. Most people enter interracial romance unconscious about the bigger picture that I have given you. Now that you and I are aware of the bigger picture, let us reconfigure the human genome as consciously as we can. This is conscious evolution—cosmic, biological, spiritual, and social. On this planet called Earth, the Cosmos is becoming aware of Itself. Why is this such a big deal? Because self-awareness means that we now have conscious choice—as opposed to unconscious choice— about what direction to evolve toward as a species. A bad boy, for example, does not know he is a bad boy. Even if he thinks he knows and revels in being bad, a bad boy does not truly know what that means. Hence, he continues to act like a

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loose cannon. Once a bad boy sees—truly sees—that he is a dark companion, his disgust with himself will generate in him the iron will to make amends and to become a gentleman. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself anymore. After 2017, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia will become hotbeds of male bisexuality. Said in more familiar terms, the “downlow” phenomenon will explode. There will be a sharp rise in polyamorous relationships and an explosion of interracial romance, sex, and babies. The creation of a North American Union will end all separations—cultural, economic, political, ethnic, racial, and sexual—between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The same will happen in Europe and Australia between First World peoples and Third World denizens. We will do better to welcome and celebrate, rather than fight, this orgy of oneness. Tough times are ahead, and eventually, life on this planet will become impossible for everyone. Highly advanced spirits are now incarnating on earth. Most of these spirits are as advanced as the Spirit/soul of Paramhansa Yogananda, the 20th century spiritual master from India. Some people call these spirits indigo children. The future of planet Earth belongs to this doctoral class of Spirits, for only they can handle the privations that are coming and bring in high enough energies to start the process of healing earth from our abuses. Us kindergarteners will soon be incarnating on other planets, simpler and easier planets. While we are still here, however, we will have to deflect global negativity as much as we can. The only way to balance this negativity will be for a critical mass of us to get excited—including sexually excited—about the convergence of humanity. Orgasms of all sorts—male-onfemale, female-on-male, male-on-male, black-on-white, white-on-Asian—will become more powerful than ever, simply because human civilization itself will be climaxing. Not only that. We are about to give birth to a new species of

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human, called post-racial humans. Throughout this universe, there are very few times and places when this occurs. In this sense, we are very lucky to be alive at this time. Youth will be the luckiest of all because they will be at the peak of their sexuality during the peak of human civilization. Making things even more orgasmic for them is that Mother Nature will soon be requiring youth to have lots of sex, lots of sexual partners, and lots of babies. This is what will be required to produce maximum genetic combinations and recombinations. Nothing less than that will do. The biological world will even be calling older teenagers to reproduce. Why? Because the sooner humans start reproducing, the sooner their offspring will become adults, able to reproduce and fend for themselves in a hotter, more humid planet. I am not endorsing teen sex. Nor am I discouraging it. I am merely writing what the divine has communicated to me. The sooner we start preparing for the changes that lie ahead, the faster we will be able to adapt biologically. Mass deaths of one species of human (us) will require mass births of another species of human (post-racial humans). Most interracial relationships are occurring in the First World because the First World will be the future stage of the human drama. Caucasian territories are where the global climate will be cool enough—although it will still be too hot and humid for most Caucasians to tolerate. Again, people are not rationally thinking about any of this. We are just following a cosmic program, one that includes the Higher Calling of our Spirits/souls. This psychic program is directing more of us toward interracial romances—and soon, into bi and poly relationships as well. In the First World, each of the original four races—socalled whites, blacks, yellows, and reds—can effectively say, “This is my body, which will be given up for you [the new species of post-racial humans].” As Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) tells Anthwara (Ned Romero) in a Next Generation episode of Star Trek, “ … there are times when the greater good

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demands that certain sacrifices are made.”478 The military term is “acceptable losses.” In the movie Russkies (1987), 13-year-old Danny (Joaquin Phoenix) describes this process another way. Reading from War and Peace, the grand epic by Leo Tolstoy, Danny lips in his bedroom at the end of the film, “There are those who may think it dishonorable. But I succeeded in uniting all parties.” The “I” refers to a character named Pierre. But outside this epic, the “I” could also be interpreted as God, the universe, or the group consciousness of One Worlders. In The Death of the West, however, Pat Buchanan writes: But the painful truth is: We cannot “all just get along,” because we are going through a civil war of the soul, a clash over who we are, what we believe, what we stand for as a people. It is an irrepressible conflict, for it is about first things. Those who deny that the culture war is at root a religious war have not dug down to its roots.479 The reason there is such interest in the American “Civil” War is because that is not ancient history. What led to the (Un)Civil War is happening here and now. The difference is that in the mid-19th century, the North was pitted against the South. The conflict was between clear-cut regions. In the early 21st century, by comparison, One Worlders are pitted against Preservationists everywhere, for everything is getting mixed like rice and beans on a plate. Even within the “red” states there are One Worlders, just as within the “blue” states there are Preservationists. This chaos makes the situation even more volatile.

478 479

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Journey’s End.” Buchanan, The Death of the West, p. 247.

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As I think about all this, half-asleep and half-awake in bed, the StarSpangled Banner blares out of what seems to be a car parked in the parking lot. A baritone voice is singing it. The time is around 5 a.m. The first verse goes: Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?480 It never ceases to amaze me how the Divine communicates with us. According to Caroline Myss, one of America’s archetypes is the pioneer archetype (spirit of the frontier of the American West).481 If this is so, then we can expect the United States to surpass Brazil in leading the Western world toward racial amalgamation. The rise of a mixed-race person to the American presidency—Barack Obama—symbolizes the rise of mongrelization in America. Abandoning oneself to the destruction of the human races can be partly orgasmic, however. We must have the courage to admit this. As Lev Grossman, a novelist, quotes in Time magazine: “I’ve been struck by the number of New Yorkers who have actually said to me [in reference to the movie I Am Legend], ‘God, it was so much fun
480

The lyrics of this song were written by Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and author. The backdrop was the British invasion and burning of Washington, D.C. in 1814. 481 Refer to Caroline Myss, The Sacred Contract of America. This is a 2007 lecture series on CD, available from Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado.

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watching the city fall apart like that,’ ” says [author Alan] Weisman. “There is on some level a secret longing that people have, saying, ‘Let’s just give it up. What a mess we’ve made just by being alive.’ We all have this footprint now. We’ve redefined original sin.”482 When children play with toys, they look down from above. This is playing God, and it is fun. Children enjoy constructing buildings of block—kid blocks. But like God, children also enjoy watching those buildings get destroyed to sweeping hands. For better or worse, this is human nature. Like Father, like Son. Interracial sex plays according to a similar dynamic. Many Americans like the idea of exploring interracial sex and interracial romance. In particular, African Americans and “black” culture have long fascinated Caucasian people in the United States. Yet, European Americans have also been ambivalent about fully embracing African Americans—and now other racial and ethnic minorities. The reason is because European Americans fear that “once you go black, you never go back.” This refers to the bedroom. Many Caucasians fear the genetic consequences of this: the dilution of the European gene pool. The fear of miscegenation is the same fear that straights have about exploring gay sex. Rather than consider a bi identity, most heterosexuals fear that if they let themselves enjoy homosexuality, they will turn 100 percent gay—or worse, into a queen or dike. People are afraid to let themselves go. Most of us are subconsciously terrified that we may actually like interracial sex more than intraracial sex—and bi sex more than straight sex. The changing psychic field of the planet is directing more of us toward these things, but the social programming in each of us is resisting them. Either we get past our sexual
482

Lev Grossman, “Apocalypse New: From The Road to I Am Legend to Cloverfield: Why We Can’t Wait for the End of the World,” Arts, Time, January 28, 2008, Vol. 171, No. 4, p.113.

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taboos, or our sexual taboos will do us in. We must go beyond the either/or thinking of the human brain and beyond separation if we are to become transsensory and trans-instinctual. Jesse Reeder, an author, provides yet another perspective—although she is not addressing the race question per se. Reeder writes about “…the game of Chinese checkers in which same-colored marbles are neatly aligned in triangles on a star-shaped game board [emphasis mine].”483 In Black Holes and Energy Pirates, Reeder continues: The object of the game is to move all our marbles across the game board to a new triangle. Players move their marbles across the middle of the game board to get to the other side (if the game goes well). As players move their marbles into the center of the game board, the central meeting space becomes a confusing mixture of colors and directions [emphasis mine]. Chaos is required before order is returned. Unless you move through the disorder (chaos) in the middle you cannot get to new ground.484 As a notice said on a treadmill at the gym, “Temporarily Out of Order [emphasis mine].” Multi-racialism is a form of entropy. Entropy is the tendency of matter and energy to move toward disorganization. This disorder is not limited to everyone having interracial offspring in the future—entropy here taking the form of the disorganization of the human races. Instead, entropy as is occurring now also includes:

483

Jesse Reeder, Black Holes and Energy Pirates: How to Recognize and Release Them, (Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 2001), p. 252. 484 Ibid.

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1) The collapse of manufacturing in the West 2) Urban decay 3) The evaporation of the middle class 4) Sexual identity becoming blurred 5) Masculinity—including the male Y chromosome—weakening as more males embrace the female in them 6) Late childhood fizzling out as puberty hits at earlier ages 7) Indigenous cultures—including native languages—eroding to a globalized pop culture 8) International borders vanishing 9) Religions blending into a global spirituality 10) Ants going haywire in the Amazon 11) Topsoils eroding 12) Forests going up in smoke 13) The seasons disappearing 14) Glaciers retreating 15) Whales no longer being able to communicate because of engine noise from ships 16) The fishing industry dying 17) Hollywood movies deteriorating in quality 18) Pop music becoming fluff 19) Leaders “of the people” being a thing of the past 20) The nuclear family falling apart 21) The watering down of journalism 22) The sharp drop in the number of farms 23) The end of transcontinental passenger service on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

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24) The fall of Communism, first in the former Soviet Union and now, in China 25) The end of clear human identities 26) The rise of “zombie banks” (insolvent banks that the federal government keeps funding) 27) The global economy being on the verge of collapse As Cairon (Moses Gunn) tells a crowd in The Neverending Story (West GermanBritish; 1984), “The Nothing is destroying our world.” The “Nothing” means that nothing of the old is being left behind. The movie The Matrix (1999) repeats this motif. As Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) tells Neo (Keanu Reeves), “It means buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, cause Kansas is going bye-bye.” We are not entering The Age of Energy, as Caroline Myss asserts. Rather, we are entering The Age of the Collapse of Energy. Why? Because every time something crumbles, it leaves a vacuum of energy. The given system—a form of energy, as everything is energy—is gone. If you hear of yet another thing eroding or going topsy-turvy, then know that it is part of the same trend toward global nothingness (nothing of the old remaining). The focus in academia on the construction of gender, race, class, sexuality, and the nation—so that each can be deconstructed—is part of the same process of destruction. The trend toward post this and post that—post-feminist, post-racial, post-market, post-gay, postindustrial, postmodern, and postChristian—is yet another manifestation of the same thing. When postagriculture and post-livestock arrives, then we will know that the proverbial manure has hit the fan. Reverse is another term that is increasing in frequency. Three examples are reverse racism, reverse discrimination, and reverse redlining. The world is truly upside down.

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In these end times, nihilism (belief in nothing) is rampant. What a surprise. Therefore, there is moral nihilism (lack of belief in morality), racial nihilism (the belief that race “is a fiction”),485 and metaphysical nihilism (the belief that this world “is an illusion”).486 Nihilism promotes apathy toward preserving the things of this world. The result can be seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In several episodes, the holodeck (room-sized hologram) loses its coherence, and a black grid appears in the background. This is a perfect analogy of what will happen to our perceptions of reality as it becomes more unreal. Given the accelerating changes of the postmodern world, more and more people don’t know what to believe anymore. Nihilism is the result. Belief in nothing will speed the collapse of this world—and the West in particular. If enough people lose faith in a reality, then that reality disintegrates. As Eckhart Tolle, an author in the field of human consciousness, writes in A New Earth, “We are coming to the end not only of mythologies but also of ideologies and belief systems.”487 On the issue of race, many liberals are unconsciously conservative. Many liberals, for example, are accused of having “unconscious racism.” But Western society also needs to look at why many Westerners have unconscious racism (hatred toward other races) and unconscious racialism (preservationist love for one’s race) in them. The reason for the unconsciousness of both isms in most Westerners is political correctness. This is a type of fascism that has “come in the name of anti-fascism.”488 As such, political correctness has put a muzzle on anything that smacks of “racism.” So long as this repression, a product of the civil rights movement, forbids Westerners to admit their true feelings about
485

Hua Hsu, “The End of White America?” The Atlantic, January/February 2009. Article at http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200901/end-of-whiteness. 486 See McCulloch, “Racial Nihilism.” The URL is http://www.racialcompact.com/racialnihilism.html. 487 Tolle, A New Earth, p. 21. 488 See Buchanan, The Death of the West, p. 90.

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racial matters, we will make no real progress in race relations. When Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, said in February 2009 that average Americans have shied away from frank discussions about race, he hit the nail on the head. The criticism that Holder got from the press for stating the obvious explains why most Americans refuse to talk to one another about race. The penalty is being censured like he was. And Holder is a liberal. Conservatives are censured another way: being given the scarlet letter r. On January 16, 2007, for example, Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance magazine, was hauled out of a hotel auditorium in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Anti-racists, several with handkerchiefs covering their faces, refused to let Taylor back in.489 The wearing of hoods is becoming common not in meetings of the Ku Klux Klan but rather, in anti-racist rallies. This is another example of reverse this and reverse that. Even before the Taylor incident, David Divine, professor of Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, backed out of the debate on race and immigration. For the most part, there is a gag order on nonconforming views about race and immigration. This is why neither America nor the rest of the Western world is ready for an honest appraisal of race relations. Debating the opposition is not so that we may “legitimize their arguments,” but instead, to challenge them. Censorship gives power to uncritiqued ideas because anything kept secret becomes seductive. Like detox, racism (interracial hate) and racialism (intraracial love that propels de facto racial segregation) must be allowed to come up—not be suppressed—for it to be expunged from one’s system. The self-segregation of the human races is not “a great moral evil,” as civil rights activists have preached. Rather, self-segregation is very human. It is a way of being that arose
489

See YouTube video titled, “Jared Taylor in Canada.” This was taped on January 16, 2007. Video567master added it to YouTube on March 8, 2007. Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz3BuqTQdMc.

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millions of years ago to preserve one’s tribal group. Of course, we have to go beyond self-segregation because of global warming. The point is that Caucasians in particular have been forced to censor not just their words but also their thoughts about issues of race and immigration. The reason for the selfcensorship is that the penalty for political incorrectness has been accusations of racism and the guilt that this produces in most Caucasian people. But if we dare not admit our true feelings about issues like immigration and miscegenation lest we discover ourselves to be against them, then we cannot release those feelings so as to embrace the mixing of gene pools. Global warming will soon demand the releasing of all feelings of racial separation. Another reason why America is not ready for an honest discussion about race is that most people don’t know how to listen. Most of us are thinking about a response before we have fully listened to an argument. Listening—truly listening—is a skill that most of us have yet to master. People who say, “You’re not listening” are the ones who need to learn to listen the most. Mastery of the art of listening must come first. Then, we can talk turkey about race. In the meantime, reading about the views of other races on racial matters—and responding via writing—seems like the smarter solution. Why? Because when one reads, one knows that nobody is around to hear one’s response. Hence, one is more apt to “listen.” Let me recap. The old paradigm was of men not allowing other men to copulate with their wives. Under the new paradigm, increasing numbers of men are actually paying other men—mostly black men—to sleep with their wives. This is the Mandingo phenomenon. There also exists the same-sex version of this, sex parties where Caucasian men are paired with non-Caucasian men. The old paradigm was of Caucasians mating with Caucasians, Africans mating with Africans, Asians mating with Asians, and American Indians mating with

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American Indians. The new paradigm is of Caucasians mating with Africans, Asians mating with Europeans, and American Indians mating with Anglos. Notice how Caucasians are, almost always, involved in these pairings. This must be because, according to Hopi Indian prophecy, the spiritual role of “white people” is to connect the peoples of this world.490 Under the old paradigm, one loved one’s children—not the children down the street. The new paradigm is for people—especially Caucasians—to have interracial children and /or adopt children of other races. The old paradigm was of a race or ethnicity guarding its territory against outsiders to minimize competition for resources. The new paradigm is for a race or ethnicity—such as Amerindians and now Caucasians— to open its territory to outsiders without a fight. Natives are practicing altruism toward foreigners, while foreigners take over native lands. In other words, the rules of biological evolution—survival of the fittest—are changing at the edges. The old paradigm was of one man marrying and having sex with one woman. The new paradigm is for two or more men to share one or more women sexually and romantically, marry the lady or ladies together, and copulate with and love each other as well. Under the old paradigm of the 19th century, puberty started around age 16. Under the new paradigm of the 21st century, puberty will be starting around age 9. This could be due to growth hormones in milk and meat. Just as likely, premature puberty is another aspect of sped-up biological evolution. If human survival will become more challenging in the decades and centuries ahead, then human logic says that children will be required to grow up fast. Human biology is adapting in advance. Under the old paradigm, the high latitudes were the least populated areas on earth, and the lower latitudes were the most populated regions. Under the new paradigm, the tropics will become empty of human and animal habitation, and the polar regions will fill with
490

See Mooncloud, “Native American Prophecies,” p. 2.

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people, plants, and animals. I will not pretend that I am 100 percent transsensory—without the hyphen —and 100 percent transinstinctual. Even I am having trouble coping with some of the changes happening on planet Earth. Still, the different races, ethnicities, and religions will blend together in the name of love. All kinds of biological life will converge, too—in fact, are converging. As for interracial love, it is beautiful —and I mean beautiful—because such love is a transcendence of racial hatred. For example, interracial romance between Caucasians and African Americans help to heal master-slave relationships from past lives. Just the visual element of chocolate skin and cream skin coming together in bed can be an erotic turn-on. The melting of racial divisions behind closed doors is something of epic proportions. This can be one of the most joyful experiences that any human being can have. Furthermore, Americans who get involved in interracial couplings are pioneers—in line with the pioneer archetype of America.491 The coming new paradigms are part of the brave new world that awaits us in the 21st century. The mania with protecting children from “sexual predators” exists because children are the last remnant of what is innocent and pure. And even the older segment of this group—teenagers—is being contaminated with the sexual toxicity of postmodern culture. Nothing is sacred anymore. There is some hope, however. As I write this, the sun is shining on the wall behind my computer. The sun looks white there. But as the sun slithers left, the circle is getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Then, I realize that clouds are moving fast across the blue sky. The sun is not disappearing. Rather, the clouds—equally white—are covering up the sun as they invade blue skies. Behind the clouds, though, the sun keeps shining. A sensory person only sees
491

Refer to Myss, The Sacred Contract of America.

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the disappearing sun on the wall. A trans-sensory person realizes that the sun is not in danger. The wall is the world of form. The sky is the realm beyond form. That night was long, and the darkness on the wall was overwhelming. We could call those hours The Dark Ages. The following day, however, the sun returned to the wall. This earth and alternate earths run in cycles like these. On this planet, entropy could have been delayed another 5,000 or 10,000 years—maybe more—had humans made evolved choices during the past 500 years. The last 150 years have been the most crucial because technology has skyrocketed but not human consciousness. In any event, breathing out is the process of specialization—as in the human races evolving separately—and the process of earth establishing a natural order. Entropy, by contrast, is the breathing in—unification—of everything. It is apocalypse, which means destruction of the existing order. Such earthly chaos is divine order, just as earthly order is, more often than not, divine disorder. This is because of the law of paradox. Much of what is natural has become unnatural, and much of what is unnatural has become natural. This is because planet Earth is out of balance. Exhaling and inhaling—order/disorder, separation/unity—happen at their appropriate times. As the Bible says, “To everything there is a season.”492 And as a fortune cookie spelled out, “Time is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” The order of human civilization has brought a disorder of nature. The regeneration of nature will require the degeneration of civilization—and the degeneration of nature itself. That is entropy. Multiracialism, bisexuality, and polyamory fit into this emerging paradigm. Why? Because each of them disorganizes the neat categories and arrangements of the old order. Right now, interracial love, bisexuality, and polyamory exist as separate social phenomena. The challenge in the next few years will be for a
492

This comes from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King James Bible.

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critical mass of us to link them in thought, emotion, and behavior. Global warming and race relations will also have to be linked because they are intricately connected. We are on the precipice of the sixth global extinction in the past 439 million years. The last such event happened 65 million years ago. Around that time, the dinosaurs and some 95 percent of all species on earth went extinct. The multi-racialization of the world is nature’s way of ensuring that some trace of humanity survives the coming mass extinction. The more the genetic recombinations, the greater the chances of human survival. An analogy could be made to color. Only seven colors exist: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When these limited seven get mixed in different ways, however, all sorts of new colors become possible. The genetic mixing of the “four” races is much the same. When the post-carbon era arrives, technology will no longer be able to shield the mass of humans from nature. With no more air conditioners running around the clock, for example, we will be at the mercy of the elements. Biological adaptations—or the lack of them—will become as important as they were tens of thousands of years ago. None of what I have said in this section is absolute Truth—just relative truth. As transpires in the Star Trek episode, “A Matter of Perspective,” Manua Apgar (Gina Hecht) tells a board of inquiry that Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) tried to rape her in a science station in space. Riker testifies that Manua tried to seduce him and that he rejected her advances. Tayna (Juli Donald) says that Manua and Riker were passionately making love.493 In another Trek episode, Romulan Admiral Jarok (James Sloyan) tells Captain Picard, “One

493

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “A Matter of Perspective.” This episode originally aired in syndication on February 10, 1990 (Season 3, episode 14).

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world’s butcher is another world’s hero.”494 Everything depends on point of view. Therefore, I have included as many perspectives as possible in this section. Let the reader be the final judge.

Coping with Armageddon

The apocalypse will require not just radical changes in human beingness but quick changes as well. Human identities of all sorts will shatter—straight identity, gay identity, racial identity, religious identity, class identity, national identity, and gender identity. The self with a small s (the human self) will die so that the spiritual Self may emerge. Either we voluntarily let go of our human identities, or the Apocalypse will siphon them from us. We must get in harmony with the convergence of planet Earth, or we are out of harmony with the universe—or at least, this pocket of it. As the title of this book reads, we have to go Beyond Our Six Senses and rise Above Our Lower Instincts. The bio-logical senses (logical in a biological way) bequeath to us a sense of physical separation from other groups of people, while our lower human instincts no longer sustain life on earth. Such human tendencies include the instinct to protect one’s race from miscegenation, the instinct to exclude all sexual rivals from the bedroom, and the instinct to be straight or gay. These instincts are no longer adaptive in a biological sense. The most vital change will be for us to enjoy all sorts of loss and deprivation. We must train ourselves for this now. The alternative will be for us to go berserk in the coming two decades. Thus, this section presents some examples of how to enjoy loss and deprivation. This enjoyment will help us to become flexible in our beingness and behavior—including sexual behavior.
494

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Defector.”

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Many unnatural activities will have to become natural if we are to survive as a species. Given the need for biological life to get reconfigured genetically, we will have to get comfortable mating with people of other races. More Europeans are dating only non-Europeans; more Africans are dating only Caucasians; and more Asians are dating only Westerners. The more people mate outside of their race, the more people will be joining the bandwagon. We can either resist this, or we can get sexually excited by it. Youth in particular should be encouraged to embrace racial differences in their sexual lives. Youngsters, of course, should be taught to stick around after sex to help raise any resulting offspring. Parents will also need to help their children raise their children. Hybrid human races may require special skills in parenting, skills that a 20-year-old mother and father may be unable to use alone. Regarding interracial love, sex, and babies, Westerners will have to go beyond being nice about it to actually doing it. Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will wipe out the pure races of the world, for they are not adapted to the climate that is on its way. A revolution in human sexuality and in child rearing practices is urgently needed at this time. A baby boom of interracial children also needs to occur as soon as possible. For centuries, humans have been feeding off planet Earth. Because the universe goes in cycles, we will soon have to experience the opposite. This opposite is loss and hunger—both material and nonphysical. To alleviate human suffering, we will have to get excited—including sexually excited—about as many types of losses as possible. For example, many Anglo parents feel emotional pain if their sons or daughters marry African Americans. The emotional pain of these parents is the pain of having their bloodlines discontinued. But erotic and romantic relationships that cross the color line are becoming the norm—and quicker than most of us can even begin to imagine. At

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this time in the history of life on earth, it is adaptive to get turned on erotically to interracial love and sex (without contraception). The human ego will resent mongrelization. But the human spirit will revel in it, for interracial relationships are a major aspect of the coming together of humanity. If you are “white,” get sexually excited about dissolving your recessive genes into a brown or black person. Like it or not, the future of earth belongs to colored people. Caucasians are adapted to cold and temperate climates—not to the tropical climate that global warming is generating. For thousands of years, spiritual masters have spoken about loss in terms of “detachment.” I speak about loss in terms of excitement—including sexual excitement. If you are a straight man and single, for example, you may want to not have sex with any woman for, say, a week. Don’t masturbate either. Refuse to even think about women in sexual terms. When you feel bubbles sizzling inside your testicles, think sexually about a man. Feel the loss of not copulating with a woman. Get sexually excited by that deprivation! Say, “Yes!” Feel your erotic excitement as consciously as you can. Imagine you will never again get the chance to have sex with women—or even think about them. Imagine that you are only allowed to have sex with men. Say an orgasmic “Yes!” to the erosion of your straight identity. Then, ejaculate into a man, either in a fantasy or watching gay porn. But rent—don’t buy—porn, for it is extremely addictive. If you have sex with an actual man, make sure you are open with him about this exercise, and make sure he agrees. If a man who acts “gay” comes into your life as you decide to do this exercise, that is a clue from the heavens that this experience will benefit both you and him. If a man who acts “straight” comes into your life as you decide to do this exercise, that is another divine clue. Don’t miss these clues. Be aware of who crosses paths with yours. If you feel conflicting feelings, you must decide which feeling to indulge—your resistance or your courage. If you

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don’t get turned on erotically by heterosexual deprivation, stop, for you are not ready for this experience. If you feel the sexual high, though, you may want to repeat this practice until the homosexual side of your innate bisexuality is fully activated. Then, you can enjoy women again—both with men and without them. Your testes will produce more sperm than normal for sperm competition because the erotic presence of other men encourages this. If you copulate with one or more women, your sperm will be at a reproductive advantage over men who only have straight sex. Straight men will need to enjoy—or at least, get comfortable—mixing their semen with the semen of other men. If this happens in vaginas, even better. And if the women are off birth control, bingo. Similarly, if you are a gay man and single, you may want to not have sex with any man for, say, a week. Don’t masturbate either. Refuse to even think about men in sexual terms. When, at last, your testicles feel as though they’re about to explode, think erotically about a woman. Feel the loss of not copulating with a man. Get sexually excited by that deprivation! Say, “Yes!” Feel your erotic excitement as consciously as you can. Imagine you will never again get the chance to have sex with men—or even think about them. Imagine that you are only allowed to have sex with women. Say an orgasmic “Yes!” to the erosion of your gay identity. Then, ejaculate into a woman, either in a fantasy or watching straight porn. But rent—don’t buy—porn, for it is extremely addictive. If you have sex with an actual woman, make sure you are open with her about this exercise, and make sure she agrees. If a lady comes into your life as you decide to do this exercise, that is a clue from the heavens that this experience will benefit both you and her. Don’t miss this clue. Be aware of who crosses paths with yours. If you feel conflicting feelings, you must decide which feeling to indulge —your resistance or your courage. If you don’t get turned on erotically by homosexual deprivation, stop, for you are not ready for this experience. If you

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feel the sexual high, though, you may want to repeat this practice until the heterosexual side of your innate bisexuality is fully activated. Then, you can enjoy men again—both with women and without them. You may want to give something back to life on earth by impregnating a woman. When a man injects his recessive genes into a woman with dominant genes, the recessive genes dissolve. That man’s bloodline, a product of 40,000 years of biological evolution, comes to an end. A racial type is discontinued whenever that type mates with a different racial type. Racism is fueled by the dread of this happening across a population. Caucasians have the most to fear from miscegenation because many of their genes—such as for blond hair and blue irises—are recessive. But as mentioned, the future of planet Earth will be tropical. Caucasians will be ill-adapted for average global temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit—give or take a few degrees. If you are Caucasian, single, and fear sex with members of other races—say, African Americans—you may want to acknowledge that it is now adaptive to go beyond this fear. You may want to not have sex with a Caucasian person for, say, a week. Don’t masturbate either. Refuse to even think about Caucasians in erotic terms. As your sex drive begs for relief, think about having sex with an African American. Or an African. Pick the “blackest of the black.” Feel the loss of not copulating with a “white” person. Get sexually excited by that deprivation! Say, “Yes!” Feel your erotic excitement as consciously as you can. Imagine you will never again get the chance to have sex with Caucasian people—or even think about them. Imagine that you are only allowed to have sex with colored people. Say an orgasmic “Yes!” to the dissolving of your European genes. Then, climax into a black partner, either in a fantasy or watching black-white porn. But rent—don’t buy— porn, for it is extremely addictive. If you have sex with an actual person, make sure you are open with him or her about this exercise, and make sure he or she

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agrees. If a black person comes into your life as you decide to do this exercise, that is a clue from the heavens that this experience will benefit both you and the other individual. Don’t miss this clue. Be aware of who crosses paths with yours. If you feel conflicting feelings, you must decide which emotion to indulge —your resistance or your courage. If you don’t get turned on erotically by interracial sex, stop, for you are not ready for this experience. If you feel the sexual high, though, you may want to repeat this practice until your interracial side is fully activated. Then, get erotically excited at the thought of having children that look nothing like you. You may be shocked at your transformation. If you are a single woman who believes in monogamy, you may want to visualize being with two men. You could see them walking down the street with you, or you could be with them in the bedroom. If you three are in bed, feel the joy of having not one but two members in your treasure trove. Visualize the contrasts of cream, chocolate, and peach skin. Draw the strings of coconut cream out from their members. Get sexually excited at the loss of your monogamy. Say, “Yes!” If you are an energy vampire, stop feeding. Feel your hunger for human energies. Get off erotically on that deprivation! Say, “Yes!” If you feel fear of any sort, get sexually excited by that fear. Fear and sexual excitement are close cousins. If necessary, of course, heed the warning, for fear can get you out of danger. If a chaste woman becomes promiscuous, celebrate the loss of her chastity. Say, “Yes!” If a beautiful daughter of yours marries an ugly man, get excited about the loss of her beauty in her offspring. Say an orgasmic “Yes!” Why all these paradoxes? Because what we perceive as “positive” and “negative” are about to converge on this planet. Big time converge. We might as well enjoy the process. A little masochism is now required, given the massive deprivations that the West is about to experience. Getting sexually excited by

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loss will make you flexible not just sexually but emotionally and behaviorally. Even the death of a loved one we can both mourn from a human level and enjoy from a cosmic level, for physical death is spiritual birth. Every time there is pain somewhere in the world, God gets cosmic orgasms. From a human perspective, a psychopath is running this universe. From a divine perspective, we could join Brahma in enjoying loss—certainly not every type of loss but as many kinds as we can muster. Encourage your spirit to orgasm at loss and deprivation, for each orgasm originates in each Spirit/soul. Getting turned on in this way is not just humanly irrational. It is humanly insane! But it is divinely rational. At this juncture of the human experiment, we either evolve or die. The choice is ours. Let us make “Yes!” the catchword of the Western world. You may want to start getting used to loss now, rather than be forced into it later. If you have children, you may want to not buy them too many material things. This way, you both prepare in advance to privations—just like the biological world is preparing in advance for global warming. Don’t wait till the last minute. I will give you an example. After finishing this book, I either donated or threw out all the movies and TV episodes—including all Star Trek episodes—in my bedroom. This was some 150 videocassettes and about 30 DVDs. After 15 years of having those goodies, I felt that it was time to part with them. So I placed them in black bags of thick plastic. The loss was incalculable. Yet that was precisely what made it so exciting for me. I can’t explain the human rationality of this, for there is none. All I can say is that it felt orgasmic. That was my Spirit speaking. I felt so good that I started to look for more things to lose. It was like losing weight. The more psychic weight I lost, the lighter and more beautiful my aura felt. I began to donate my most cherished CDs to the local library. Again, I felt erotic excitement. On St. Valentine’s Day 2009, I deleted some 65 porn files that I had stored in my hard drive. About 130 hunks

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were in them, an entire village that I had given my personal power to. How? By allowing their physical beauty to mesmerize me, spellbind me, hypnotize me. I awoke from being a zombie to their charms. A phrase rolled into my mind the morning of that day: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This was a mob that opened machine gun fire on another mob during Prohibition. By deleting 130 energy pirates, I reclaimed my inner power from those surrogate friends of mine. My erotic excitement was like having sex for the last time. Something about this intensifies the experience. This is the theme of The Last Supper. The Crucifixion follows, then the Resurrection. You may want to donate some CDs of yours to the local library—and not just any CD but your most cherished CDs. And most cherished DVDs. And videos. Don’t go overboard, of course. Remember Buddha’s Middle Way— although even this rule will disappear to the coming chaos. If you feel sorrow, stop, for you are not ready to lose things. And I mean stop. If you start, begin slowly. Pick one thing. Give it away and spend a week or two evaluating your feelings. If you feel negative feelings, don’t continue. If you feel positive feelings, you may want to lose another object. Go incrementally. Each time, feel the sexual excitement of knowing that you will never again have access to that CD, DVD, or video. Go through your closet. Give away some—not all—of your favorite attire. Proceed with one at a time. Each time, feel your erotic excitement as consciously as you can. This practice is a form of sexual channeling. If one can channel one’s material losses into one’s erotic energy, then the bitter pill of each deprivation gets sweetened. Of course, throwing everything away is unhealthy and unnecessary. But lightening up materially is adaptive at this time. If someone presses your buttons, get sexually excited by that! Say, “Yes!” To the sensory and instinctual person, this is crazy. But every rule is about to be turned upside down.

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Enjoying loss doesn’t mean that we cannot enjoy what we do have. Enjoy your possessions and the presence of loved ones. But be prepared to enjoy their loss too should that come. We have got to be prepared to lose everything. As a white truck had written on the side, “Everything Must Go. Floor Clearance Sale.” This nothingness happened during the Great (Grave) Depression. I know. It was great from a cosmic perspective and grave from a human perspective. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in November 1932, for example, 25 percent of the American workforce was unemployed. There was no unemployment insurance. There was no health insurance. There was no social security. Bank savings were not insured because there was no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Homes foreclosed. Many Americans starved. As James Shenton lectured at Columbia University, “There was nothing.”495 What is coming will be, at least, as bad as the Great (Grave) Depression. Either we go into a mental asylum, or we enjoy the ride. From a human level, enjoying loss is the most difficult choice that we will ever have to make. From a spiritual level, enjoying loss is a piece of cake. If we are to stay sane, we will have to rise from our human selves to our spiritual Selves. Otherwise, there will be hundreds of millions of unhappy campers around. Obviously, you do not want to embrace the lowest of the low—such as killing people—for that is maladaptive. What we want to embrace are things that, though uncomfortable to us, are adaptive for human survival. Interracial sex, bisexuality, and polyamory are adaptive in this epoch. To embrace the convergence of all life on earth, one must embrace loss—massive loss—for convergence means the destruction of the old. For example, when and if the North American Union becomes reality, 107 million Mexicans will be potentially entering the United States and Canada. Anglos, African Americans, and Asians
495

Refer to the cassette titled, The History of the United States, Part VI: Liberalism and the Cold War, “The Great Depression,” Lecture 51.

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will be mixing with the Mejicanos—socially, professionally, and yes, sexually. This has been called “deep integration.”496 If all boundaries are collapsing on earth, then we might as well feel the erotic excitement of that. Say, “Yes!” to the coming chaos. Remember, human disorder is cosmic order. According to Richard McCulloch, a writer, multi-racial societies don’t last forever. Such milieus, he contends, are a transition from one monoracial milieu to multi-racialism to a post-racial (racially mixed) population.497 This is what the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 intended for the United States. Whenever there are two or more races or species in one geographical area, one of them will eventually displace the others. This is a biological law, called survival of the fittest. Star Trek: The Next Generation is inaccurate in its portrayal of distinct human races existing in the 24th century. Why? Because by then, all human races will have amalgamated into one. Contraception, of course, allows people of different races to have sex without diluting their genes. Or a society can follow the 2:1 rule (see Part I, Chapter 9, section titled, “The Gamble of Choice”). But increasingly, this world is choosing the path of racial extinction. There are parallels between urban renewal and multi-racialism. Urban renewal destroys original buildings in the name of progress, while multiracialism changes the ethnicity of a host nation. Recessive genes will be the most swamped genes on the planet. This will prompt white separatists and white supremacists to “separate or die.” An analogy can be made to the destruction of the original Penn Station in Manhattan. Despite mass protests, that monument from the Age of Rail came down between 1963 and 1966. This desecration of a kind of Sistine Chapel happened because of the juggernaut of urban renewal.
496

See Vive le Canada, “ ‘Deep Integration’: Timeline of the Progress Toward a North American Union,” Global Research. The timeline is at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=VIV20061220&articleId=4216. The timeline was posted on December 20, 2006. 497 See McCulloch, “Racial Nihilism.” The URL is http://www.racialcompact.com/racialnihilism.html.

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But as Ada Louise Huxtable, a critic of architecture, says in New York: A Documentary Film in reference to the destruction of Penn Station: I think what was gained was even more important than what was lost, and what was lost was, of course, one of the last really magnificent bozark constructions in terms of design and space and material and architectural quality. That was lost. What was gained was an enormous groundswell, popular groundswell, for preservation, that not everything was expendable and that some things were worth the struggle, that you had to find uses, you had to find ways to keep the character and the quality and the continuity of a city.498 The different racial types of humanity are different types of biological architecture. But unlike human architecture, biological architecture took 40,000 years to yield the human races of today. Whether right or wrong, many Caucasians, African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans will fight to preserve their race and culture in the coming decades. It is only a matter of time till enough people realize that their race, ethnicity, and culture are on the verge of extinction. If we have national parks, wildlife refuges, and laws to protect endangered species, then perhaps we could have racial preserves and protected ethnic enclaves. Racialists—not to be confused with racists—and ethnic preservationists are the equivalent of environmentalists. While environmentalists want to protect the biological environment, racialists want to preserve human forms, and ethnic preservationists want to preserve human cultures.

498

New York: A Documentary Film, “The City and the World: 1945-Present.”

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At the same time, we have to go beyond our sensory and instinctual sense of separation and welcome unity of all sorts. We have to learn not to react to loss from a human position but to embrace loss from a spiritual position. Whether money, sex, or a racial type, form is merely a medium of experience. Essence is the experiencer—what experiences the experience. That essence is the spirit and soul beyond the form. The alternative to this perspective is sure to be mass despair of the most unspeakable nature. Let us not go down that path. Responsibility is the ability to respond to what needs to be done, especially in a crisis. The faster a person responds, the more responsible he or she is. The slower a person responds, the less responsible he or she is. Let each of us be the more responsible type and act now. Time is running out.

Our Human Tendencies

Someone once told me that humans aren’t very good at getting along. People are nice and helpful, he said, if you catch them at the right time and in the right mood. He uttered, “Woe to you if you don’t.” More often than not, we are ruffled by the demands of postmodern life. Time is in short supply. Chores are many. Communities are out. Individualism is in. Even children are being forced to raise themselves—something that may explain why their cellular intelligence is triggering puberty in them at younger ages. After World War II, Albert Einstein commented, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”499
499

See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins122873.html.

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For decades, it has been evident that humanity must solve an age-old problem. After the Second World War, Albert Einstein called it a problem “more urgent” than ever. This “something seriously wrong with the human psyche” (the words of Stanley Kubrick, the deceased director) is the human e.g.o. This is the part of us that, in the words of Wayne Dyer, “Edges God Out.”500 Once this inner tyrant is restrained, maladaptive human impulses can be minimized. But as Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”501 That last word is the one area where we cannot afford to lower our guard. Enlightened masters have reiterated that people are basically good. Religions, on the other hand, have said that “man” is, by nature, evil. Which is it? In a nutshell, both! Our essence—that is, our spiritual core—is noble. Conversely, our human nature has “evil” tendencies. Many of us see our human —as opposed to our spiritual—selves as noble. This is playing Russian roulette because it leads us to relax our guards relative to our lower selves. Even saints have an ego, including that alter ego that tempts us to do unevolved things. Think of a puppet telling a ventriloquist what to do. The puppet is one’s alter ego, and the ventriloquist is one’s ego. Thinking of ourselves—that is, our human selves—as good is therefore dangerous, for it means that our lower selves can catch us unguarded. Again, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.502 If we used more than 5 percent of our brains, then we would realize that our best interest is to overcome our lower human impulses. Such proclivities include judgement, hierarchy, possessiveness, territoriality, and aggression. We would embrace instead our better human—and ultimately, spiritual—tendencies. Such tendencies include our inborn hedonism, our longing for fulfilling human

500 501

See PBS’s The Power of Intention. This special originally aired on PBS on June 12, 2004. See “Quote DB.” The URL of this quote is http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/2283. 502 Ibid.

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relationships, care for the young, peace with the biological environment, and our search for freedom without harming others. We differ from lower animals in three areas:

1) Thought—specifically, our ability to generate and explore ideas and put them to action. Examples of this are the discovery of fire, the invention of agriculture, the invention of writing, and the scientific and technological revolutions of our time. 2) Culture and civilization, which are “products of the cerebral cortex.”503

3) Religion, which is spirituality tainted by the human ego. I re-quote the words of Carl Sagan at the beginning of Part II of this book. In the Cosmos episode “The Persistence of Memory,” Sagan narrates: Emotions and ritual behavior patterns are built very deeply into us. They’re part of our humanity. But they’re not characteristically human [emphasis mine]. Many other animals have feelings. What distinguishes our species is thought [emphasis mine]. The cerebral cortex is, in a way, a liberation. We need no longer be trapped in the genetically inherited behavior patterns of lizards and baboons, territoriality, and aggression, and dominance hierarchies. We are, each of us, largely responsible for what gets put into our brain, for what, as adults, we wind up caring for

503

Cosmos, “The Persistence of Memory,” (Episode 11).

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and knowing about. No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain, we can change ourselves [emphasis mine]. Think of the possibility.504 Most of us allow ourselves to be swayed by emotions. But being human is not just about being in touch with one’s feelings. Certainly, this is important. More heroic, though, is learning not to let emotions boss us around. Lower animals live by their instincts and feelings. We, by comparison, have choice about things like which emotions to indulge and which ones to drop. If we used more of our cerebral cortexes, then postmodern society would be reconstructed in accordance with humane principles. There would be less polluting technologies, less cutting of trees, more time for human interaction, more fun with life, fewer of us around so that we can enjoy more space, and less invasion of animal habitats so that life on earth may remain diverse. On such an earth, what is known as Evil would decrease. Sapiens may be Latin for “wise.” But as a species, we Homo sapiens have yet to live wisely en masse. As several people have typed on the web, we are Homo stupidus. We are also heralded as “rational” creatures. Most of us are humanly irrational, however, in that we have constructed a global village that is unsustainable. That which works is not implemented. That which doesn’t work is enacted and reenacted. This is human madness, not human rationality. The shocker is that modern science, a supposedly logical enterprise, has largely led to an illogical technological society. Our better instincts frighten us, by contrast, but only because we are not used to them. Using one’s intellect through self-discipline requires willingness—or enough desperation—to change. It requires consciously choosing differently. Nobody can read themselves to the Omega Point. Only experience will lead us
504

Ibid.

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there. Feeling an impulse is also not enough. One, for instance, may want to compose music, sing, relocate to another part of the country, start a new career, or help someone. But emotion is not enough. One must act on the feeling—so long as one isn’t acting recklessly—without letting thoughts (e.g., “should I?”) get in the way. This is how one experiences what is driving the impulse. I, for example, felt the instinct to write this book. Had I remained at the level of emotion, you would not be reading this. Concealed in a wicker basket, light doesn’t shine into a room. Adaptive human and spiritual tendencies—those that lead to human survival and progress—are best followed through. Maladaptive human instincts are best dropped like hot stones. Utilizing one’s brain also requires unitasking, especially when it comes to exploring ideas. Unfortunately, postmodern civilization overloads us with information. There may be books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, email, cell phones, and the Internet. But ideas are seldom linked, let alone, explored thoroughly. Instead, one gets flitting images on TV, scenes that last less than three minutes, and repetition of slogans and station names. It is, in the words of the video Manufacturing Consent (1992), “Emotionally Potent Oversimplification.” If humankind is to survive the 21st century, however, it will have to focus on solutions. What, for example, could be done to avoid World War III in light of international competition for resources in a post-carbon world? Many of us assume that we cannot rise above the ugly aspects of human nature. But in the heyday of the Cold War, some people were a little hopeful. In 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, for instance, Klaatu (Michael Renie) tells Bobby Benson (Billy Gray), “They [Klaatu’s people] have cemeteries. But not like this one [Arlington National Cemetery]. You see, they don’t have any wars.” The 12-year-old replies, “Gee, that’s a good idea.”

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Adaptive ideas won’t become outer reality, however, if we don’t teach or discuss them. Moreover, discussion requires focus. When, for instance, was the last time you saw a televised debate about the need for a United States of Planet Earth? What if nations don’t unite after the global peak of oil production? Won’t this lead to World War III as the world’s nations get desperate over the remaining oil? A humanly rational society uses the audiovisual—not just print— media to explore solutions to its problems. It homes in on single images, changes camera shots less frequently, and allows for fewer interruptions of programming on the air. A humanly irrational society flicks from image to image on-screen, splits its TV monitors into two, three, and four, zips distracting information across the bottom of the screen, chops up debate between commercials that are 10-seconds each, and calls this “monetary necessities.” Is this the only possibility for the human future? Quoting writer Nikos Kazantzakis, Wayne Dyer said on PBS’s Inspiration, “By believing passionately in that which does not exist, we create it. That which is nonexistent has not been sufficiently desired [emphasis mine].”505 According to Dyer, “… there’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come [emphasis mine].”506 Even the walls of Jericho fell. Becoming trans-sensory will permit us to see beyond the veneer of the worldly. Becoming trans-instinctual, in turn, will allow us to maximize our adaptability and minimize our maladaptability. Already, societies are being founded on these and other spiritual principles. Some of these milieus are called eco-villages; others alternative communities. Whatever the name, many settlements are being built far from the maladaptive core of our global civilization and in livable ecosystems. Some of these communities are trying to build a secure storehouse of knowledge—and not just information about material
505 506

See PBS’s Inspiration. Ibid.

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survival but also spiritual, cultural, economic, political, and historical knowledge. Such settlements will, in my view, stand the best chance of survival in the coming decades. In Soul Retrieval, however, shaman Sandra Ingerman warns us, “But new belief systems are sometimes hard to deal with.”507 This is most so when old beliefs are firmly in place. Blank minds, by contrast, are always open to new ideas. Worded differently, once a thought system is set, people tend to close their minds to alternate paradigms. This is why conversion is so hard—whether from scientist to mystic, from skeptic to believer, from Christian to Muslim, from Muslim to Jew, from capitalist to socialist, from straight to queer, from English speaker to Chinese speaker, or from negative thinker to positive thinker. Only when we are little are our minds, largely unwired, open to whatever we are taught. As adults, we resist any counterprogramming and have to sweat bullets to change ourselves. Caroline Myss goes so far as to say, “Your biography becomes your biology [emphasis mine].”508 Sandra Ingerman writes: Using the intuitive part of ourselves is just not accepted in our society. We’ve developed such a structured system that to leave it is seen as dangerous. We’ve lost our imagination [emphasis mine]. How can we envision a healthy planet, or a healthy body, or success, if we can’t imagine or envision what we want?509 In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) tells Captain Picard, “We have to dream in order to

507 508

Ingerman, Soul Retrieval, p. 2. This website quote comes from Caroline Myss, “Chakras,” Library. It is at http://www.myss.com/library/chakras/. 509 Ingerman, Soul Retrieval, p. 2.

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survive.”510 Crusher was referring to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. But the same applies to daydreaming. Our parents, teachers, and age-mates may have ridiculed many of us for being on Cloud 99. Without vision, however, humanity is doomed.

Humanity’s Biggest Challenge … Ever!

In the final episode of Cosmos, Carl Sagan takes the viewer to the ancient Library of Alexandria. Scrolls were collected and studied there over the centuries. By 415 A.D., Sagan contends, the library had almost one million scrolls. This made that library the largest in the ancient world. But Sagan alerts the viewer: Science and learning in general were the preserve of the privileged few. The vast population of the city had not the vaguest notion of the great discoveries being made within these walls. How could they? The new findings were not explained or popularized. The progress made here benefited them little. Science was not part of their lives. The discoveries in mechanics, say, or steam technology mainly were applied to the perfection of weapons, to the encouragement of superstition, to the amusement of kings. Scientists never seemed to grasp the enormous potential of machines to free people from arduous and repetitive labor. The great intellectual achievements of antiquity had few practical

510

Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Night Terrors.” This episode originally aired in syndication on March 16, 1991 (Season 4, episode 17).

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applications. Science never captured the imagination of the multitude [emphasis mine]. There was no counterbalance to stagnation, to pessimism, to the most abject surrender to mysticism. So when, at long last, the mob came to burn the place down, there was nobody to stop them.511 The Dark Ages followed soon after, and they lasted for 1,000 years. There is, of course, nothing wrong with mysticism. In fact, mysticism activates the intuitive part of ourselves and, in so doing, is as important as science for human survival and progress. Imagination itself—needed for spiritual, social, and material progress—is often humanly illogical. Yet, throughout human history, lack of imagination has been the common denominator during periods of social, cultural, economic, and political decline. People who think that humanity has ascended mass stupidity need only turn on the television. Even professionals often act out of ignorance and popular prejudices. The burning of the Library of Alexandria is seen as ancient history. But books, magazines, inventories, sales data, pictures, graphs, and all sorts of information are increasingly being stored in computers. In a world transitioning to a post-carbon era, fossil fuels may not be able to keep the electric grid going everywhere. Imagine what could be lost. This, of course, won’t happen tomorrow. But even now, computer parts last for a few short years. Updated computers with no viruses can crash. Computers don’t even have to be old for irreparable damage to occur to their oversensitive circuitry. One bolt of lightning is enough. The sad reality is that the more high-tech something becomes, the more maintenance it requires and the easier it breaks down. For
511

Cosmos, “Who Speaks for Earth?” (Episode 13).

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example, videos, a 1970s invention, play flawlessly for decades. DVDs, a 1990s invention, get scratches easily. Cassette players can last for years. But CD and DVD players go laserless sooner, rather than later. Automobiles live shorter than bicycles. For these reasons, better is to settle in a community that has paper backups to electronic information, cassettes and videos, and simpler technologies. Even magnetic tape is vulnerable, for the audiovisual material must be retaped after 20 years or the visuals disappear from the tape. Preservation of practical information like how to grow crops is not enough. As Richard Heinberg, an educator of post-carbon issues, writes in Powerdown, if human life is to have meaning in a post-carbon planet, then cultural and historical information will have to be preserved as well.512 I add that print degenerates quickly, and books fall apart easily. Therefore, printing presses will need to stay running in different parts of the globe. The empire that is about to collapse is not just the American Empire but also, the empire of Homo Sapiens over all other species on planet Earth. If human history has taught us anything, it is that humans don’t do well in crowded areas during and after social collapse. Thus, I recommend Canada and southern Alaska to North Americans. From spring to fall, these regions are bound to warm up as the Lower 48 turns into an oven. Many readers will dismiss this as “alarmist.” But consider this. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in the summer of 2005. Back in 1993, a TV movie predicted that this would happen in the Louisiana Delta. That film is The Fire Next Time. How reminiscent its post-hurricane scenes are to the scenes that the world saw 12 years later. As I write this, the eastern half of the United States is already roasting. In New York City alone, temperatures have climbed into the 100s. The biggest priorities in a post-oil world will be food production—without the
512

See Heinberg, Powerdown.

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availability of oil-based pesticides or machinery—access to fresh water, and staying cool. Already, 389 people die a year from heat exhaustion in the U.S. According to the Weather Channel’s “Evening Edition,” this is more deaths than lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined.513 And this is with the power grid operational. Children and senior citizens are, and will be, most vulnerable to heat exhaustion in the lower latitudes. I define lower as anything below the 40th parallel in the northern hemisphere and above it in the southern hemisphere. Dark-skinned people have a good chance of surviving in the continental U.S. This is because colored people are adapted to a tropical climate, and that is what mainland America will become—tropical like Central America. People of European stock are advised to move north of the 60th parallel in North America. This is because Caucasians will be ill-adapted to a tropical U.S. mainland. Even southern Canada could become too hot and humid for most Caucasians to tolerate. If enough Caucasians settle in Alaska, northern Canada, and northern Europe, this will maximize the chances that some remnant of the European race will survive the coming of a tropical earth. Light-skinned Asians like the Japanese are advised to resettle in northern Asia as the global climate gets hot and sticky. I wouldn’t wait till the last minute for this—although no one knows when “the last minute” will be. In light of global warming, peak oil may actually be a good thing—that is, if the people who run the globe don’t start a nuclear war trying to get hold of the remaining oil. Civilization is bound to collapse, to be sure, because oil, the lifeblood of the postmodern world, will decline year by year. But half of the earth’s carbon will stay underground, as it would become increasingly uneconomical to extract it. The good news is that, in time, the earth will cool. Think about it. The alternate scenario is burning oil “till the last drop.” If such a
513

This statistic comes from Evening Edition. The segment aired on The Weather Channel on July 31, 2006.

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thing occurs, then earth is likely to undergo a runaway greenhouse effect. This means that earth could end up like Venus, a planet whose surface temperature is over 800 degrees Fahrenheit. No form of life can survive such an environment. Peak oil will, in my view, prevent this. In the movie The Neverending Story, Fantasia dies because its denizens lose their dreams. As G’mork (Alan Oppenheimer) tells Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) in the primordial cave, “… people who have no hopes are easy to control, and whoever has the control has the power [emphases mine].” For better or worse, elitism and control of the masses are still alive. The average adult thinks and acts according to the group consciousness around him or her. Children internalize the values around them even faster. Humans wishing to leave descendants will need, however, to seriously examine the consciousness of the group around them. This consciousness includes the values, assumptions, attitudes, and approaches of the group in question. Scapegoatism will run riot in many quarters, just as it has in the past. Boogeymen will be created. Moral panics will ensue. Radical regressives could get elected in the United States. This prediction is based on the increasingly rightward tilt of American politics since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980— and one could argue, since Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign of 1977. If social regressives—the Far Right—are not elected in the U.S., they may simply seize power. At the same time, social liberals could do the same, for American fascism is coming from the Left. Political correctness is how dissent is being suppressed in Western countries, and the Left demonizes its enemies as much as Hitler demonized Jews. Economic neoliberals have as much power to promote their one world agenda as social conservatives have had in American politics over the past 30 years.

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Generations X and Y are conservative on issues like male bisexuality, polyamory, and group sex and liberal on issues like co-habitation, birth control, and interracial dating. Women of generations X and Y have freedoms denied to their grandmothers: wider choices in gender roles, more career options, and the freedom to express their sexuality in a fluid way. With the exception of gender benders like men who wear earrings, however, young men have even more rigid gender and sexual roles to conform to than they did a few generations ago. These masculine roles are enforced viciously. Just think about the lynching of Matthew Shepard. In fact, gay bashing has become a pastime of many straightidentified young men. The “sexual revolution,” a product of the 1960 introduction of the birth control pill, turned out to be a purely female phenomenon. Even here, it was stopped cold by the sexual counterrevolution of the post-1980 era. As for men, they have yet to have a sexual—not to mention, love—revolution of their own. Male and female bashing by the opposite sex is also becoming more common. And all of these developments are happening in times of plenty! Imagine what will occur in times of scarcity. In Fire and Ice, Michael Adams, the pollster at Toronto’s Environics, argues that New Aquarians are part of a larger progressive group in America. These progressives, he writes, are open to nuance, shades of gray, pluralism, and spirituality. But in America, Adams writes, progressives are a declining demographic group. Much of the New Aquarians, he continues, are nothing more than Baby Boomers whose idealism from the 1960s persists. Adams writes, however, that “… our Canadian research reveals a healthy number of idealistic ‘New Aquarians’ among Canadian youth [emphases mine].”514 In the New Age circles of America, by contrast, youth are conspicuous for their absence.
514

Of course, many Canadian youths are not progressive—and the increasing Americanization of Canada is making many Canadians nervous. See Michael Adams with Amy Langstaff and David Jamieson, Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada, and the Myth of Converging Values, (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2003), p. 96.

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Americans, Adams contends, began as revolutionaries. Since 1983, however, his polls have shown that more Americans are becoming xenophobic, Darwinistic, sexist, and/or deferential to authority.515 More Americans, Adams writes, are thinking in terms of either/or, right/wrong, and black/white. Obversely, he argues, Canada began as a hierarchical country and is now becoming less deferential to authority. Also, Adams continues, America began with separation of church and state and is slowly uniting the two. Canada, on the other hand, began with the fusing of church and state, shed much of her organized religion after 1960, and is now very secular, Adams writes. Not surprisingly, more Canadians than Americans are, according to Adams, comfortable with nuance, shades of gray, plurality, and egalitarianism. Consider the following poll question: Do you think the father should be master of the house?516 According to a 2004 poll of Adams’s, 21 percent of Canadians agreed with the above statement. But 52 percent of Americans agreed that “the father should be master.”517 According to another poll of Adams’s, 50 percent of Americans attend church once a week, but only 20 percent of Canadians do.518 As Leslie MacKinnon from CBC’s The National reported in November 2004:
515

In American Backlash, Adams argues that the real divide in the United States is not between liberals and conservatives but rather, between Americans who vote and Americans who don’t vote. For all the flaunted differences between Republicans and Democrats, Adams writes, his research shows that voters—liberal and conservative—share far more in common than they do with nonvoters. Values that American nonvoters are taking on (e.g., “Darwinism,” “Acceptance of Violence,” and “Civic Apathy”) are truly off the charts—and very dangerous—compared with those values (e.g., faith in the system, the primacy of the community, and the importance of ethical behavior) shared by Republicans and Democrats. 516 This is the question as reported by CBC News: The National, “CBC News Inquiry: Continental Divide?” The segment aired on CBC on November 30, 2004. This poll was the most recent, having been done in 2004. In Adams’s Fire and Ice, however, the poll question is framed as the statement: “The father of the family must be master in his own home,” p. 50 and “The father of the family must be master in his own house,” p. 86. This poll, as reported on Adams’s book, starts in 1992 and stops in 2000. 517 These statistics are reported on “CBC News Inquiry: Continental Divide?” 518 Ibid.

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50 to 70 million Americans share what might be called Canadian values. Most were Kerry voters, and we know where they are—New England and the west coast of the U.S. But it’s the Americans in the so-called red states, the Bush voters, whose numbers are growing.519 One could argue that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency shows that America is moving to the left. But according to Andrew Kohut, a pollster, 33 percent of voters polled on November 4, 2008 identified themselves as conservative, and 44 percent identified themselves as moderates.520 But a moderate in America is a conservative in Canada, and a conservative in America is, in Canada, a regressive (off the political scale). Why? Because the political spectrum leans to the left in Canada and to the right in the United States. Religious fundamentalism has declined in all postindustrial countries except one—the United States. Like fundamentalism anywhere, Christian fundamentalism in America tends to be intolerant of differences, tends to be exclusivist, and tends to be xenophobic. What makes intolerance and exclusivism worse is that in the U.S., most Americans now live outside of the major cities. Living outside of a major city tends to make one less tolerant of racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious differences. In Canada, by contrast, 60 percent of people live in six cities—Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa.521 Similar to European cities, Canadian cities are also less suburbanized, more integrated, and have more community—in contrast to American cities.522
519 520

Ibid. Andrew Kohut mentioned these statistics on C-SPAN, “Mandate for Congress.” The forum aired on November 6, 2008. It was moderated by Craig Crawford, a columnist at a journal called Congressional Quarterly. 521 Michael Adams mentioned the 60 percent statistic on “CBC News Inquiry: Continental Divide?” 522 Ibid.

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What has all of this got to do with “Humanity’s Biggest Challenge … Ever!”—the title of this last section? As mentioned in the preface, it is imperative for trans-sensory and trans-instinctual people to be aware not just of spiritual phenomena but also, of their social, economic, and political environment. This is because any sociopolitical environment reflects the consciousness of the surrounding group. As Communion with God says: Do not imagine that spirituality and politics do not mix. Politics is spirituality, demonstrated. Do not imagine that economics has nothing to do with spirituality. Your economy reveals your spirituality.523 We can gauge the spiritual evolution, or absence of, of a surrounding society and stay or leave accordingly. Most Americans are at the core of the old paradigm—the Lower 48. As humanity makes its transition to a post-carbon age, geographical areas with traditions of xenophobia, lack of tolerance, and violence are apt to return to some of those tendencies. Conversely, geographical regions with people who are tolerant, open to nuance, and pluralistic are likely to continue with those values. Therefore, prudent is to become aware of the groups one surrounds oneself with. This is needed for self-preservation and to find kindred spirits. Living at the periphery of civilization—such as Alaska—may not be such a bad idea. The years between 2010 and 2020 will be one of the most critical time periods in human history. At the dawn of the new millennium, however, fresh

523

Walsch, Communion with God, (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2000), p. 209.

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ideas and social innovations are largely out in America—outside leftover Boomer circles—and individualism, consumerism, and scapegoatism are in. People who hope to survive and prosper in a post-carbon world will need to develop an independent mind. One cannot fight the world alone. The temptation of being sucked into the mentality of the larger group is too great. Best is to seek others who are planning or building alternative communities. These villages must be large enough to become and remain self-sufficient. In other words, a group of 50 people won’t do. A few hundred people seems to be the minimum requirement for a self-sustaining community. The more the people who are skilled in or learning lost crafts—blacksmith, buggy maker, and horse breeder—the better. Native peoples are a great asset, especially elders, for natives have not totally forgotten traditional ways of doing things. Join groups that share your consciousness—far from large population centers, in geographical areas that are naturally sustainable and way above sea level, in regions with nearby native populations, and in as healthy an ecosystem as possible. Raise your children there. Relearn the practical skills that your grandparents had. Smart is also to put one’s money in the strongest banks because weaker ones may go under in a deflationary depression, making the remaining banks stronger. In his book Conquer the Crash, economist Robert Prechter, Jr. provides a list of the strongest two banks in each state.524 A post-oil world will turn everything on its head—at least, in the First World.525 As Richard Heinberg writes in Powerdown, the United States may not hold as a country.526 Politically, America may split along racial and ethnic lines, with the Southwest becoming Aztlan, the American South “black,” and the heartland of America Anglo. Secessionist movements, however, have little
524

See Robert R. Prechter, Jr., Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002), pgs. 180-186. 525 See Kunstler, The Long Emergency. 526 See Heinberg, Powerdown.

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chance of success in the long run because the heavens won’t tolerate any more separations on this planet. Whether or not this is fair, we must go with the flow of convergence—racial convergence, economic convergence, class convergence, international convergence, and sexual convergence. All groups that have lived separate from other groups throughout human history—men distrusting other men, European Americans fearing African Americans, African Americans distrusting Caucasians, wealthy people neglecting poor people—are called to come together. Bedrooms will become orgies of oneness. Sexual disorder in the bedroom will create a new order of nature—although from the perspective of many people, the new order will look like disorder. Many people will panic at the coming oneness because deep down, they know that their Higher Selves want to experience this, too. We might as well say “Yes!’ to oneness, for each of our spirits incarnated on earth to experience this unification. In this universe, the coming together of all life on a single planet comes along once every few million years. We do not want to miss the opportunity not just of a lifetime but of hundreds of lifetimes. Let us welcome the coalescence of life on earth with open arms. This is much as planetesimals coalesced to form the early earth. Climatewise, planet Earth is becoming a hell. Yet, earth is moving toward higher consciousness. Paradox. Earth is going back to its early days of high heat and high humidity. This will be followed by a cool down, and the cool down will be followed by a dawn of new life. At the end of 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu tells earthlings: Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

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By “join us,” Klaatu meant the planets of his star system. But Klaatu’s message about peace also applies to our war against nature. It is, in a literal sense, a nuclear war in slow motion. It has been raging for centuries. But the most savage phase of this war has been the last 100 years. Even ocean life is being affected. As we are beginning to realize, nature is most unforgiving. We can abuse her to a point. When the bough breaks, though, corporations, governments, and all of us will be thrown left and right. It will be like a spoon whirling clockwise in a mug, mixing sugar in milk, then abruptly turning counterclockwise and causing turbulence in the milk. Knee-jerk reactions will be common. Human rationality may disappear in all but a few, isolated populations. A post-peak planet need not be taken literally, however, as humanly illogical as this may sound. Like everything else in physical life, it will be a metaphor, a symbol, a parable, and a matrix with lessons behind the veil of images. Our emotional reactions will tempt us, of course, to take the story literally. But we shall always have choice as to what we allow into our interiors. The end of cheap oil will mean many things. But the primary meaning— both literal and symbolic—will be that humanity will seek and use external power less and internal power more. Consider, for example, how much external power a single turbofan engine needs to get an airliner off the runway. One turbofan engine alone can do it. In the coming years, the decline of the airline industry will symbolize the decline of external power for humanity. On the other hand, human enterprises that use less energy—such as the Internet—will have a greater chance of having a future. In the movie Time After Time (1979), H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) travels from 1893 London to 1979 San Francisco. Before Wells climbs back into his time machine, he tells Amy Robbins (Mary Steenburgen), “Every age is the

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same. It’s only love that makes any of them bearable.” This brings me back to the beginning of this book, the quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Decades ago, this French Jesuit said: Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.527 Just as important, Teilhard de Chardin said: We have only to believe. And the more threatening and irreducible reality appears, the more firmly and desperately we must believe. Then, little by little, we shall see the universal horror unbend, and then smile upon us, and then take us in its more than human arms.528

527

See “BrainyQuote,” BrainyMedia. The URL of the quote is http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/pierre_teilhard_de_chardi.html. 528 See “Quotation Library,” SuccessNet. The URL of the quote is http://successnet.org/library2.htm.

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Exercises

1) In your view, is it wise to break the news of peak oil to your children? To friends? To coworkers? Why or why not?

2) Physically, can you and your family prepare for peal oil? If yes, how? Emotionally and psychologically, can you and your family prepare for peak oil? If yes, how? 3) What, if any, are the pros of living in tight-knit communities? What, if any, are the cons? 4) Are you prepared to live communally in a post-peak world? If no, how could you become ready? If you have children, how could you prepare them? 5) When you see interracial couples, how do you feel? What thoughts cross your mind? If your thoughts are positive, do your feelings match the thoughts? If not, might you have internalized political correctness on this topic? If you have internalized political correctness, do you have the courage to experience your true feelings—and thoughts—not just about interracial relationships but about race in general? 6)If interracial sex and love generate negative feelings in you, why is this so? Are you willing to exchange your negative emotions for positive feelings regarding this topic? How could you generate positive feelings toward interracial relationships of a sexual or romantic nature? Why is this necessary in this day and age? Write this or speak it into a tape recorder.

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