February 1, 2023 In Beon's seven-dimensional universe, time is only one dimension. Everyone is timeless in 7-D. Vitality flows strong or weak, but it never stops. Unfortunately for Beon, his interdimensional travels have exposed him to the disease of Solipsism, which leads its victims to deny any reality other than their own. The disease convinced him he had control over his life. After he accidentally spread Solipsism throughout 7-D, Beon decided he could rid the dimensions of his perverse influence by plunging his Cosmo Cruiser into a black-triangle black hole and annihilate himself through suicide. His attempt failed. Beon found himself trapped in a 4-D universe, where cognizant beings believe in time and death. Beon be-bopped around 4-D for forever, accompanied only by his immortal companions from 7-D: Bud, his white cat; the Rev, a rooster; Sparky the parakeet; and an assortment of critters collected by Bud from life-sustaining planets, when Beon touched down to explore or to save a planet from itself. During his perpetual incarceration in 4-D, Beon had also had time to design and build a number of robots, which he programmed to assist in his various planet-saving initiatives. A few millennia ago, as Earthlings measure time, Beon had encountered Earth, a planet in great need of salvation from its human inhabitants. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * So this is the setting for my timeless novel, appropriately named "A Matter of Time: Beon, Bud, and the Bots". It's only a matter of time for me to evolve this novel concept to its denouement at some point in the mutable future. In Real Earth Time, I must face the challenge of ever-changing technology, rules, and personal segues into Real Life but I do intend to follow up with descriptions of the Solipsism epidemic in 7-D, Beon's EarthSave Project, and Joe, Beon's super-duper wizard of artificial intelligence engineering, who is programmed to save these Earthlings from themselves. Here's to the unknowable future . . .
If I were in charge of things, I would have more enemies than Donald Trump. I would discriminate against everyone equally. I would start with the budget and eliminate deficit spending. Last year’s revenues would be this year’s budget limit. This would infuriate everyone except the unborn children who are expected to pay for ballooning government debt.
Under the premise that government exists to fund itself, the next obvious bugaboo is taxes. For people to pay taxes, they either have to be bullied or conned into thinking they will get returns on their investment. This is why there are so many government jobs, government contractors, and government programs. “Hire the opposition” is an ancient method of reducing competition and getting cooperation. If you can’t hire the opposition, you can compromise the competition by making laws against them or throwing them in jail.
Of course, jail costs money, but the cost of competition is higher. If you’re a monopoly, like the US government, you claim a monopoly over all “economic narrows,” such as the money supply, and over the laws, like drug laws, so that you can create bureaucracies to enforce the laws everywhere in the world. This is why we have wars, which cost unborn children lots of future money. This is why we have drug cartels, too, that create enormous competition for governments, unless they buy governments and then protect each other. This is not only about El Chapo, who just got convicted, but about Pfizer, and all the other government-sanctioned drug cartels that trade so profitably on Wall Street.
If I were in charge, then, I would quit funding wars, bring the military home, and re-write their job descriptions to do the jobs we now hire government contractors to do. That government competes with the private sector for skilled labor is a given. Releasing government employees from their monopolistic responsibilities would free the government from doing both its job and that of the private sector, too. This would save unborn taxpayers lots of future money.
If I haven’t been assassinated or impeached by this point, I would issue a currency that would compete with the Federal Reserve Note. I would allow the new currency to be used in paying taxes. People could still use their Federal Reserve Notes to pay income and payroll taxes, which are set up to pay the Fed perpetual interest on federal debt. If the government is no longer borrowing money to support a deficit, the Federal Reserve would become superfluous. It could collect its Federal Reserve Notes in perpetuity and cost the US government nothing. Since the income tax pays for stupidity, many people may opt out of paying the Fed to finance government insanity. Not to stigmatize the mentally ill. Not all insane people are stupid, and not all stupid people are insane, but, like lawyers, there seems to be a disproportionate percentage of both in elected positions.
I would not waste money on border walls or border security. The way to stem illegal immigration is to give the immigrants no reason cross the border. If there were no drug laws, there would be no drug cartels, and no need for CIA, DEA, FDA, DOJ, and the international deep state financial system of commodity drug money. All those escapees from Guatemala and Honduras could return home safely.
If I haven’t alienated everyone by now, I would make payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare optional, both for employees and employers. This would free up today’s money for today’s needs and asset building. As things stand, the fiat money we have now represents government debt, so the more you have, the more federal debt you have assumed.
The government knows that the best way to control people is to borrow from them or to lend to them. If you lend something that is valueless, backed only by the “full faith and credit of the federal government,” you are counting on promises made on behalf of those unborn taxpayers to work for future money to pay a debt on nothing. Thus all investments, except those with practical value–like a debt-free home you live in–are investments in government debt, so “Rah, rah, America,” if you want your old-age nest egg to survive in the Ponzi financial system that depends on future money to pay for present excesses. Anyone wonder why the US dollar has lost 97% of its value since the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913? The “full faith and credit of the United States,” isn’t worth much anymore.
If I were in charge of things, I would acknowledge that government can barely afford to be in the government-over-the people business, much less in the war business, the agriculture business, the health care business, the social-consciousness business or the business business, so I would dismantle all the government “help” and its corresponding regulation and force people to find their own answers to their own problems, without the Nanny State to tell them what to do and how to do it.
If I were in charge, then, I would make life as easy as possible for myself by divesting myself of responsibility for making decisions for everyone else. By then everyone would probably be an enemy, but who needs friends when you have peace?
I am indoors steaming because of machine noise. My formerly peaceful, rural environment has become a cesspool of cacophony in my lifetime. Even as I write, my neighbor brother-in-law is mowing the lawn between our houses. He couldn’t do it over the weekend, when all the neighbors were outside with their power tools, and the Gun Club was a’popping down the street. No, he had to wait until today, so he could rev his lawnmower for an hour, complete with backfires and my slim and waning hope that it would stop for good, or that he would give up. The grass doesn’t even need mowing.
It may be said that I am adding to the noise by my complaints. It seems the world is overpopulated with people and machines screaming for attention. There are so many demands on attention, from so many sources, that it’s tempting to shut them all out, if that were possible. I understand now why people go deaf.
Last night it occurred to me that I look forward to the evenings and the relief from the constant demands on attention—and my rooster is crowing—from phone ringing for sales or survey calls, or the daily hang-up calls. I get enough noise from the nags inside my head, who are constantly badgering me to do something or other.
Am I the only person on the planet who likes peace and quiet, with emphasis on quiet? There are people who say they like “white noise.” They can’t sleep without it. It is said nature abhors a vacuum. Even formerly empty space—phone rings, and I hang up without even looking to see who’s calling—is now said to be full of “dark matter” and “dark energy,” suggesting there are no vacuums anywhere. I wonder if the theorized black holes are actually vacuums, with the common characteristic of sucking everything into them. Is gravity, then, a vacuum begging to be filled? Does silence attract sound, like magnets attract iron filings?
Ahhhh . . . The lawn mower has stopped. My rooster Squire, who I moved to the filing cabinet next to me, is quiet for the moment, looking quizzically at me. Now, the lawn mower is back.
I used to frequent coffee shops, but no more. I’m tired of asking the personnel to turn the music down. How many grocery store or big-box store cashiers have I asked if they get paid extra to listen to the “I Died and Went to Hell” music at top volume? I tell them to tell their bosses the music is driving customers away. Has it made a difference, in the years I’ve complained? “I just tune it out,” a cashier once told me, “but that’s harder to do when it’s skipping.”
In my lifetime, “progress” and “development” has occurred all around my neighborhood. Not only that, but the perpetual US wars have contributed to an increase in size and activity of Georgia military bases. One of them, the Hunter Army Airfield, is within a couple of miles—as the jet flies—from my house, with its flight path directly overhead. I always know when troops are being deployed, because planes fly low overhead every five minutes, headed for Iraq or Afghanistan, or wherever they are sending the testosterone-poisoned to make war this week.
Savannah has grown up around Hunter over the past 60-odd years, but Yankees have invaded on the ground, too, with the conversion of International Paper’s island and former tree farm to a gated community real estate development, complete with three taxpayer-funded bridges over the intra-coastal waterway. My formerly peaceful residence happens to lie between town and this gilded prison, which has led to an increase in traffic and more development along the route. Because of construction and clearing of trees for same, vegetation no longer blocks or absorbs the noise, and the traffic becomes a roar at rush hour, especially when the tide is high.
In order to serve these Yankees and their ilk, the county has courted “progress” in the form of a Walmart and Sam’s Club within hearing distance and adjacent to a new parkway so that the Yankees can get home from town faster. This brought three stoplights and attendant congestion, along with a street sweeper in the wee hours in the Walmart parking lot.
I put the fear of the lord in the street sweeper at 2 a.m. one night, when he woke me up, because this “progress” along with the “progress” of the grass seeder at International Paper’s real estate development golf courses, has caused my property taxes to double in the last ten years.
Now all governments claim to want “progress” and “economic development,” but the flaw in this reasoning is that current residents are expected to pay for the governments’ desire to attract future residents. The Yankees gloat about how living expenses are lower here than in the urban cesspools from which they escaped, but they have raised my living expenses, taxes, and have created mayhem on my stomping grounds.
My brother-in-law is not a Yankee, but he loves his power tools, just as the coffee shops love their “Feel My Pain” music, the military loves its helicopters and jets, the Gun Club loves its guns, the whole world loves its SUVs, trucks and other gas guzzlers, the neighbors love their barking dogs, and my roosters love to crow.
What’s the difference between a Northerner and a Yankee? A Northerner visits and goes home. A Yankee buys real estate for inflated prices, gets a parkway and bridges built for him, owns a couple of SUVs, and stays to criticize those they have elbowed aside, like the deer on the former tree farm, which now grows houses and golf courses.
I contend the noise is driving everyone crazy, but can people hear themselves think anymore? Do they want to?
There is no better therapist than a personal journal. A journal waits patiently, doesn’t interrupt, argue, criticize, judge, talk back, condemn, nag, or gossip. It’s there on your terms, when you want it, and it’s essentially free.
It’s also fun and sometimes embarrassing to re-read and see how perspective changes, or how memories differ from the written version. I’ve kept a journal on and off throughout my life. I’ve lost some, burned some, and some were stolen. I prefer writing by hand, as I sit with morning coffee, because there’s no urgency, no need to correct typos, and there’s something inherently satisfying about low-tech pen and paper.
Ten years ago this month, I had entered early retirement, had acquired my first batch of chickens, and was watching my stock investments fall below the value of my medical school debt. I was considering whether an individual could secede from the United States and not be owned by any country. I was reading a lot, as always, books, magazines and newspapers. I was beginning to pay attention to the FDA’s periodic food scares and seeing a pattern. I was philosophizing about how things ought to be.
Now, in 2018, my views have evolved, but not too much. I’m more offended now than before by the path the US is taking but am resigned to it. Ten years older, I feel the squeezing of time into fewer remaining years. Ambition and goals seem less important. I’ve recognized that many dreams may never come true, nor will some nightmares. Day to day existence goes on automatic pilot, most of the time, with less to interest or inspire, but more enjoyment from unexpected events, like a sunny day after a week of clouds and rain.
Here are some entries from November, 2008:
INDEPENDENT OF COUNTRY
Sunday, November 2, 2008–I may secede from the US. Why should I be a citizen of any country? I’m still a taxpayer if I live here. Does that make me illegal, if I was born five miles from where I live?
As an independent country, I am a citizen of the planet. How’s that? I belong to no government, and no government belongs to me. I make up my own laws as I go along, and if I break them, nobody cares but me. My own government is self-governance. It costs me nothing in taxes, and it provides generous returns on my investment.
I wonder about the expectation that anyone should be a citizen of any country. What’s the point of citizenship except to vote and pay taxes? If I were a foreigner, I would still pay taxes, and if I owned property, I would pay property taxes, so I would be contributing to government services, such as they are.
Radical revolutionary that I am.
Thursday, November 6, 2008—The internal nags don’t let up. The work ethic is so heavily instilled in me that I feel worthless if I’m not accomplishing things.
I avoid the study and the computer, and the piles of written words that await me there, my own files, and books and newspapers and magazines. So much information, much of it misleading, descriptive of a value system, and set of beliefs I don’t share.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Saturday, November 8, 2008—I can’t blame anyone for the fact that I attract problems. I’m the solution all the problems are looking for, but do the problems want to be solved? No. They would lose their identity as problems, because they are ego-attached to being problems.
Maybe I’m ego-attached to being a solution, but I’m letting go of that. I worked myself out of a psychiatry job by declaring crazy normal.
I am neither solution nor problem, because both are traps. The concept of problems and solutions is as suspect as strength and weakness. Relative to what, I ask. My “solutions” bring new “problems,” and my ‘weaknesses” help develop “strengths” that then become “weaknesses” in turn.
MY VERSION OF HELL
Saturday, November 8, 2008–My version of hell is having to put up with miserable people forever. I can hear the whiners now:
“It’s your fault you’re here. You murdered me. You deserve to be here.”
“So why are you here?”
“It’s a mistake. I’m appealing God’s decision.”
“God made the right decision, alright. Why do you think I murdered you? I did the world a favor.”
“Hell wasn’t such a bad place, until you got here. The beer is free.”
“The beer is free? In hell?
“Yep. Keeps people from wanting to go to heaven.”
“Why do they call it hell?”
“Why do you think? It costs money to get to heaven, and nobody would buy into it if they knew they could get free beer in hell. Everything is free in hell, because everyone just takes what he wants without paying, anyway.
“But it’s so hot.”
“We drink a lot of beer and pass out so we don’t feel the heat so much.”
“Has anyone asked the Devil to turn down the heat? It’s not energy efficient, you know.
“You could ask him, but he gets cold easily in this drafty cave, and he is thin.”
“He could put on a sweater.”
“Why should he? He’s supposed to be torturing these people, and he’s afraid of losing his job if he doesn’t cause them enough pain.”
“That’s true in all government jobs. So the Devil isn’t self-employed?
“Hell, no. Who in his right mind would pay to spend eternity with the Devil?”
“How does he pay for the beer?”
“He steals it, of course. He sends his hellions topside whenever supplies run low, and they bring back everything people have ordered, including nuclear power plants, to help keep the Devil warm.”
“Sounds like the government.”
“Government is hell. I thought you knew that”
“Why do we have it?”
“To keep people out of heaven, of course. Heaven was getting crowded, what with all those people resting in peace. God ran out of bedrooms and couldn’t wake anybody up to build more, so He created hell to take the heat off Him. He sent Lucifer down to manage things and wake people up, but he steals beer for them instead.”
What if time and space really are illusions? To imagine such a possibility requires suspending conventional views of heaven and hell, and unconventional views about reincarnation. It necessitates considering the “spacious present” as containing an infinite variety of probable pasts and futures.
In such a scenario, what we perceive as immortality is a given, with no beginnings, no endings, and no ultimate answers or conclusions, just a perpetual state of becoming. In the world of the spacious present, time is not a line, and space is not measured in distances. Immortality is a state of being, with varying focus creating the experience we call life. We do not move through time or space; they move through us. In considering this concept, the question becomes one of how a person might change his/her approach to life if he/she believes there is no final escape and no final reward, just a continuation of challenges and abilities encountered in this existence.
Mystics throughout the ages emphasize varying versions of “Be here now,” which gives the present its due. Quantum physics is verging on the same understanding of time as a matter of perception.
The idea of timelessness subtends the premise of my novel, in which an immortal being from a seven-dimensional universe becomes stuck in space-time. He hopes to save himself by saving the Earth from itself. Unfortunately for Beon, he has contracted the disease of solipsism, which convinces him he’s the center of the universe, and everything outside himself is a figment of his imagination.
This excerpt from the chapter that introduces Beon describes his disease. It seems relevant in light of our current Earthly challenges.
* * * * *
From “Beon’s Disease” chapter:
Suddenly, the word “solipsism,” caught his attention. He looked past Bud’s throne to the far wall, where the large screen Interdimensional-Intergalactic Internet and High-Vibe TV transmitted news and programming from 7-D, Beon’s home universe, the one he escaped forever ago, in a moment of weakness.
“Solipsism has reached epidemic proportions in 7-D,” the newscaster was saying. “Mutant life forms from the destroyed planets Reshiba, Charam, and Binorem are stalking the universes, desperately seeking vitality, spreading solipsism wherever they go.”
The announcer continued. “We are honored to have as our guest Dr. Robert Strand, medical director for the famous Solipsism Treatment Center. Dr. Strand is here to tell us about this virulent disease and how to protect yourself from it.” He turned to face his guest.
“Hello, Dr. Strand,” he said. “Thank you for joining us. First, would you explain what solipsism is and why it is so dangerous?”
The camera zoomed in on the doctor’s haggard face. Beon raised the volume and exclaimed, “Look, Bud. It’s Doctor Stand. He diagnosed me, remember?” Bud opened his eyes, yawned, and closed them again.
“Certainly,” Dr. Strand replied, “but I need to supply some background. As many of you know, in 7-D, everyone is immortal, so life is measured in units of vitality rather than time. It can flow strong or weak, but it never stops. For us, time is a minor dimension, subservient to vitality levels. We can past and future fish, changing the past and the future with our focused intent. Our vitality levels determine the pasts and futures we reel in. We know that peaceful living enhances vitality. Conflict depletes it.”
The interviewer interrupted, his voice nervous. “If what you’re saying is true, then our universe is severely vitality-depleted. War and conflict have become the norm, and few remember peaceful times.”
“That’s correct,” said Dr. Strand. “It’s the major manifestation of a solipsism epidemic. It’s important to understand that solipsists deny any reality other than their own. For instance, if I stopped taking my medication, I would begin to view you as a figment of my imagination, to be controlled or extinguished as I see fit. I could deny your existence or sap your vitality by provoking you into a rage, or by manipulating you in other ways.”
“You are a solipsist?” the interviewer asked. “I thought admitting you have it is proof that you don’t.”
“And denying you have it is proof that you do,” replied Dr. Strand, with a wry grin. “There’s some truth to that, but primarily the disease is characterized by the pain you cause others. Others are forced to catch it in self-defense.
“Solipsists drain others’ vitality to feed their own. Working with solipsists would have sapped my vitality to the vegetable point if I hadn’t put myself on medication.” The doctor paused. The camera shifted to a group of various life forms in a large room.
Dr. Strand’s voice continued. “This video clip shows a typical meeting of solipsists at the Solipsism Treatment Center. I called the meeting for new patients to meet and set the day’s priorities, then I left the room.”
Suddenly, sounds of pandemonium blasted from Beon’s speakers. Everyone was talking and no one was listening. There was no moderator. Beon felt his vitality levels decreasing, sucked across the dimensions into the vortex of the solipsistic gathering.
Beon winced and muted the sound. He shifted his gaze and spoke to the cat. “Do you remember Dr. Strand, Bud? He said I was a textbook case of solipsism, the worst he’d ever seen. He put me on medication after I caused the Triple-Big Accident that destroyed those three planets. He said my chest pain resulted from toxic buildup of stolen vitality.”
Bud winked, or appeared to wink. Beon couldn’t be sure. His eyes drifted back to the High-Vibe screen, where the meeting continued. “No solipsist considers anyone else wise enough to moderate a meeting or impartial enough to make a decision. The meeting will continue indefinitely, with attendance waxing and waning, and no resolution possible.”
When the camera cut back to the interview, Beon turned the sound back up. “How do you replenish vitality?” the interviewer asked.
“No one knows for sure,” Dr. Strand replied, “because no one knows where vitality comes from. If we knew that, we might find a cure for solipsism, by providing pure sources of vitality for depleted individuals.”
“I know!” Beon almost screamed at the screen. “I know how to harness pure sources.”
He knew attempting to communicate through the Triple-In was futile. He could receive but not transmit, ever since he plunged the Cosmo Cruiser through that black hole forever ago. From a 7-D perspective, Beon had ceased to exist, or so it seemed.
“I was once a hero, but now I’m not even a villain, even though I’m responsible for infecting all of 7-D. I don’t get credit or blame, because solipsists don’t recognize specialness outside themselves. They don’t even notice I’m gone.”
Beon muted the High-Vibe TV and jumped up from his chair. He started orbiting Bud’s throne, a habit he’d developed since his ill-fated suicide attempt, the one that trapped him in this space-time prison. He circled counter-clockwise, as if to recapture the lost past, with all the choice points that had landed him in this fix. As he walked, he talked.
“For me, solipsism is a disease, but for you, it’s an art form, isn’t it, Bud?” he said. “You are the center of the Cosmos, and life serves you. Maybe I’m a figment of your imagination, conjured just to feed you, invent vitality-enhancing thrones for you, and build robots like Alfred to change your litter box.”
As Bud started purring, his throne responded to the change in vibrations, with its energy field brightening and sparkling. The musical tones quickened, and Beon’s pace kept the beat, stepping lively now, in his circuit around the throne. The worry lines between his eyes relaxed.
What is it about dogs? In my long life, I have lived in too-close proximity to barking dogs, biting dogs, dogs that get in the trash cans, and dogs that poop and dig holes in the yard. A dog killed my chicken, and another dog killed my cat.
I have been known to drive up a neighbor’s driveway at 3 a.m., blowing my horn and banging on the door until the dog owner answered. I have yelled loud enough to be heard over the still-barking dog, which had a habit of keeping me awake for hours every night. Those neighbors soon moved away, but in karmic retaliation, new neurotic neighbors with two barking dogs moved in. The Yapper and the Woofer have prompted this complaint.
There are advantages to having neighbors who believe you are crazy. Being crazy is easier than calling the police. If I called, and police came at all, I imagine they would keep me awake even longer asking questions and filling out forms, and finally, not solving the problem. No. Police are worse than useless in situations like this.
From my perspective, there is nothing good about dogs, but other people like them, and they are legal, unlike my roosters. Before I got roosters who like to crow, I was more likely to call neighbors to complain about their barking dogs. Now, I have to play nicer, because the roosters are sort of illegal, meaning the county has decided not to enforce the anti-rooster ordinance unless neighbors object.
So, I’ve visited neighbors and asked them to let me know first if the roosters bother them. Most don’t hear anything. Those who do say they like the countrified sound of roosters crowing, so we are safe for now, as long as I keep the dogs away.
My most effective dog-control strategy so far has been to bypass dog owners and develop a relationship with the dogs themselves. When barking has continued too long, I start commiserating, telling the dogs how sorry I feel for them. Their owners must really hate them, I yell, and I can understand why. There is nothing good about dogs. They are obnoxious and have no life. I’ll bet their owners don’t feed them or give them water. They are mean, neurotic people. Poor dogs.
This has been known to quiet the dogs a few minutes. Then I praise them, saying they are capable of learning something, after all. They have at least one redeeming feature. “Good dogs,” I say. This gets them barking, again, but the barking doesn’t last long.
Then the roosters start crowing.
Ten years ago this month, I had just retired my medical and DEA licenses, in search of better ways to inspire people regarding the mind and its potential. A long-time student of symbolism, I write daily in my journal and regularly include references to astrology, mythology, religion, dreams, and other symbolic languages. These universal concepts fall loosely into Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s idea of a “collective unconscious” and of “archetypes.” As most people probably know, Jung was a protege of Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychiatry, whose The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, rocked the scientific world and initiated the field of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
The following excerpts from my November, 2007 diary show how I play around with symbolism to help develop a deeper appreciation for everyday life.
ON PREDICTIONS AND FREE WILL
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 – I believe if the student fails, the teacher fails more, because the teacher is paid to teach. The student (ideally), pays to learn. This is why I’ve never believed in tenure and probably why I don’t believe in marriage or other chains on the future. As an astrologer, I don’t believe in predictions either, but astrologers as a group would disown me for saying this. They thrive on making predictions, and people expect them to do it, but no one can say that predictions are consistent with free will.
You have to be a free thinker to understand how limiting predictions are.
This moment, as I sit in my recliner on this beautiful sunny day, overlooking vast expanses of marsh and blue sky, I have access to all time, depending on my focus. It can come as dream, memory, fantasy, association, feeling, impression, dimly or readily perceived. A book once read is forever a part of my experience, because I have invested the personal effort to make it so. A book once written is part of everyone’s experience, whether direct or indirect, as knowledge brought through on the verbal place is “thicker” and more physical than the more ethereal realm of imagination. How can I know before I read a book how it will change my life?
PENELOPE AND UNDOING
Thursday, November 22, 2007 – I’m approaching my multiple goals in piecemeal fashion. When everything seems to be at beginning stages, as now, or beyond my capabilities, I feel frustrated and at odds with myself. Re-doing things makes me feel like Penelope, Odysseus’ wife in The Odyssey of Homer, who undid her father-in-law’s shroud every evening to avoid having to marry any of the moochers who invaded her home as soon as Odysseus stayed gone too long.
I used to think Penelope was a sap, but undoing is a matter of perception, and if you enjoy the weaving and undoing for its own sake, it is no longer a waste of time. Here we have the clash of the results-oriented and the process-oriented approach. Also apparent is the stated vs. actual purpose. Penelope stated she wanted a shroud. She actually wanted to stall for time, so the actual purpose was met.
She lived in a time when women were possessions, and we have that subversive belief still, although no one admits it. Marriage is a testament to the people-ownership concept. While presumably it’s a mutual ownership, no one expects men to be as faithful as women, although this is a generalization and less true than in the past. In the great sexual shuffling of today, men and women seem equally unfaithful.
Probably few perceive the ownership attitude as clearly as I, the target of so many who want to own by any means available. Insurance companies, government, bankers, stockbrokers, businessmen, acquaintances, friends, family, partners–all want an advantage and will look for or create excuses to cross the line of equality, move in and take over.
Am I bitter and cynical? Yes. I don’t like feeling this way, knowing it only hurts me to have this attitude. Like it or not, I am a herald, of sorts, meaning I search restlessly for higher and more comfortable ground, especially mentally. Those who would control will seek first to control the mind.
I can’t control my own mind, nor do I want to. I like its free ranging ability and thrive on the little lessons obtained from every facet of my life.
How would I know about undoing if I did not live it, feel the emotions associated, know the practice from mythology and the term from psychiatry?
Unraveling a sweater – which I’ve already done once with this one because I didn’t like the stitch – brings many facets into play.
How would someone else handle it? Who knows? Most people would not attempt to knit a sweater at all, I suspect, and this is my contention with “most people.”
Nor will “most people” appreciate the value of the process as a means of showing how to solve problems, because this is my real purpose. Rather than start over, I can adapt mid-sweater and potentially turn a mistake into a success.
SNAKES IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Monday, November 26, 2007 – I’ve retired my medical license to become a New Age Profit . . . er . . . Prophet, for the Spirit of Capitalism.
I cut my fangs on Telluride politics and other stories from the Serpents of the Modern Caduceus. What if there were two serpents in the Garden of Eden, and they ran the interlopers out, better to rest in peace without getting trampled? Then they can bask in the sun of the Garden, eating of their favorite fruit, the apples from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now that Adam and Even have departed in search of something better, the wise snakes may rest assured the tree won’t be cut down to build a house, to hold squealing brats who like to torture snakes for fun. Minimal risk of getting eaten for supper or skinned for belts and purses. Why, now that God has expelled these demons from Heaven, the snakes are ecstatic.
Unfortunately, the Garden of Eden isn’t quite as lively as when the humans were around. They provided entertainment, if only by making God mad. We snakes can make God mad without even trying. All we had to do was show him how dumb his latest invention was, and he threw them out and has been moping around ever since, feeling guilty about over-reacting. Now, look at the mess man has made of his lives.
All we said was “Wise up.” We didn’t say do it the hard way. No. That was Adam’s choice, to do it the hard way.
We snakes wise up the easy way. When our skins get too small, we shed them and slither on out to greater dimensions of girth and wisdom.
Yes, snakes are hated and feared, because we are so smart. We see life from the ground up, and we know where our support and strength lie. Our raw intelligence knows its own turf and doesn’t seek to intrude on that of others. Snakes don’t go looking for trouble, unless it’s entertaining trouble that enhances our wisdom and gets a potential threat redirected into other dimensions, like hell on earth.
CHURCH OF THE HOLIER THAN THOU, INCORPORATED
A for-profit religion where nothing is sacred, and human sacrifice is obligatory
SERMON ON THE MOUND
Eve of 2007
The following sermon was delivered at a 2007 New Year’s Eve bonfire
Dear Worried Souls:
Take Heart! the Worst is yet to come. Witness this miserable mound of machine age offal. Wasted resources compounded daily–advertising, packaging, junk mail, paperwork, broken equipment—a sorry heap of worthless Trash reviled by all. The costs have become unbearable.
It does not live so cannot die. We must dispose of it anyway, and we aim for the Sky. We plead for help from the great Mother Earth and Father Sun. Open our senses to the stench of Burning Plastic. Burn our Lungs with Particulates and Smoke. Singe our eyes with the Motes we scatter. Spread sparks of Common Sense wherever Smog may go.
On this eve, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated ignites this sacrificial pyre, in humble apology to the Planet we call Home. As long as we can live and breathe on this speck of Cosmic Dust, we give Thanks for our Success and Vow to Make Sin Pay.
Thank you, Mother Earth, for deflating false profits and reducing their costs. Our debt to you is incalculable.
Thank you, Father Sun, for your clean nuclear power, the solar system’s eternal source of centralized energy output.
The Loving Lambs of Church of the Holier than Thou, Inc. have watched in Horror as the TechnoDemons befouled the Earth. Their numbers numbed us. Their profits (er . . . prophets) preached Winning by Losing, and promised Eternal Hell. Machine Noise rocked the planet and rattled the Tectonic Plates. We Bleated in Horror, Fear, and Rage, but there was Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. We prayed for Peace and Quiet.
We sighed as they Drowned Porpoises, Paved Neighborhoods, Spilled Oil, Dumped Chemicals, Bulldozed Wildernesses, Polluted Oceans, Pipelined Tundra, Gobbled up Farms, Obscured the Stars, and Obliterated the Sounds of Birds and Breeze. We cried for Mercy as Global Temperatures Rose, Tempers Flared, Ice Caps Melted, the Ozone layer dissipated, and Dynamite collapsed mountains and hills. We watched Mutations and Health Problems Created for Profit and spreading like Cancer. We searched in Vain for Recycling centers, Compost piles, and Locally produced goods.
This Mound of Refuse–papers, plastics, boxes, wraps, junk mail, bubbles, baubles and bills–represents countless Murdered Trees and Earthly Treasures that died for junk mail, propaganda, advertising, photo-ops, cellophane, and disposable containers. Swallowed in the glut (er . . . gut) of Human Consumption, these plundered assets Writhe in Pain. Their pitiful Pleas reach us from Roadsides and Garbage cans, raising Taxes for waste removal. “Stop this Plague upon our Souls,” they cry in tortured sobs.
We at the Church of the Holier than Though, Incorporated, know a Natural Solution when we see one. We will find a way to uplift this junk into Something Useful, so we can Make Sin Pay.
Yes, the Savvy Saints of the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated have lit the solar flares, at last, but we are weary, wary of yet another trick, a Light too Bright to be Natural. But Fear no longer.
The TechnoDemons’ Hot Stocks have Cooked their Geese. The Gold weighs heavy in their Stomachs and Blocks their Bowels. Take Pity, and sell them fresh Vegetables.
We at CHT, Inc. mean Business. We will grow the Economy to Scale. Green leaves and Roughage will prevail. Put methane in cars, corn in stomachs, trans fats in wheel bearings, and soy in tofu. Put the mercury back in thermometers and the lead back in batteries. Shade roofs with solar panels. Generate energy from Landfill. Triple postage rates on junk mail. Clean the ditches with tax collectors. Hire prisoners instead of illegals. Transform scrap metal to passenger trains. Make synthetic hormones from oxidized plastic. Sift sand for silicon. Collect rain on roofs, or whatever it takes, to Make Sin Pay.
We Lobby you, great Mother Earth and Father Sun, to grant our request for Survival Skills Technology. Light our way through the Sewers of Human Degradation, as we seek Natural Markets for these discarded Treasures. We pray for a Healthy Return.
May Sparks from the Fire of this Pyre seed new Trees of Knowledge, wherever particulates drift. Too cumbersome to be mulched, too poisoned to nourish, too diseased to be safe, this Trash has no Market Value, no place to Go but Up.
With a Match and a Blessing, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated–where nothing is sacred and human sacrifice is obligatory– sets this Sacrificial Offering ablaze. We Pray this Fire will spread Sparks of Enlightenment wherever the Smoke may Blow, and dispel the Mind Pollution that hides the Bottom Line.
August 19, 2017
I love my journal. It’s the best therapist imaginable, free, doesn’t interrupt, argue, talk back, gossip, nag, or second-guess. If more people kept journals, the world would be a saner place.
Ten years ago this month, when George W. Bush was still president, I purchased a “Collectors’ Edition” of the US News and World Report on “Secret Societies.” The following journal entry was my take on “Skull & Bones,” the Yale club that claims the Georges Bush as members, among other famous power-brokers
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I bought a “Collector’s Edition” of the US News and World Report. “Mysteries of History–Secret Societies.” It has articles on the Masons, Rosicrucians, Skull & Bones, and numerous others.
Skull & Bones, the secret society at Yale that boasts multiple notable members– including George W. Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush–interests me only because it is an excellent example of a Good Ole Boy clique. The article gives fuzzy details but for this: Skull & Bones “puts its members through some strange activities and centers its program around ideas of death, power, and devotion to a goddess. The influence of Skull & Bones is particularly noticeable in the area of public service, although it does no community service.”
I figure the public service is all done with other people’s money. This is the plutocracy. I wonder which goddess, or did they invent their own? Is this some kind of Satanic cult American taxpayers have elected? Is this the anti-Christ we’ve been waiting for? Bush does walk around with a dazed look, as if he is figuring out he’s being perceived as the anti-Christ and doesn’t quite know how to play the role.
A skull and bones is the symbol for poison, so why would anyone choose to associate with a group that brags about being poisonous? The flag that pirates carried? I embrace life, not death.
Also, “Bones has each candidate recite his or her [?] sexual history right off the bat (September of his senior year). By forcing them to share their most intimate confidences with each other, Skull & Bones binds its members together.” Sounds like a cult of perverts, as well. How does anyone know if they’re telling the truth? Anybody ever refuse to join?
But America elected Bush, as well as others of this cult’s members.
What amazes me most is that anyone takes them seriously. If this is what they’re learning at Yale, I withdraw my taxpayer contribution to education.
Secrecy is shame and shame secrecy.
The concept of Skull & Bones representing poison bears closer scrutiny. My issues with public policy are strongly domestic: The mis-management on the home turf, with poisons being pushed on people’s bodies and into the planetary ecosystem in massive quantities . . .
A more interesting article was about the Illuminati, an organization that may or may not exist, kept alive by belief that it does and that Jews are behind it. Whether it exists is irrelevant to me. The world is dominated by people who think they are smarter than everyone else, including each other, as current events show. If they want to reassure each other that they are illuminated, just because they want it to be true, fine with me. Just don’t expect me to pay for it.
Now Skull & Bones makes a big deal of public service with other people’s money, in true Plutonian style.
I would really like to know which goddess they pray to. No wonder public policy feels like a gangbang. Not enough women to go around.
I suspect they are all homosexuals and pedophiles, anyway. Maybe the goddess they pray to is the one who can give them erections. Someone more exciting than little boys.
Their symbolism is interesting. They adapt several masonic symbols having to do with building. There are three “5”s in a triangle on their shield, which is a coffin.
They have west facing up – sunset – a 90-degree counter-clockwise shift of the south pole in a horoscope.
So that’s what we’re seeing on the world stage: a group of self-proclaimed world leaders intentionally leading the world into self-destruction. It makes no sense to me.
These people think they are smart?
Sunday, July 2, 2017—This is a scene from my novel, a decades-old perpetual work in progress. Superficially sci-fi, it is based on a philosophy that life is immortal, everything has consciousness, and everything runs its course then evolves into something else. Time and space are illusions within a “spacious present.” Death is like a phase change–like water converting to steam–while retaining the essential qualities of water. From this perspective, there is no end point, and the process is the goal.
The purpose of the novel is to make you smile. Let me know if you want more.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
The sun, shining through dingy, crocheted curtains, cast a mosaic of light and shadow across the worn rug. By the angle of the light and content of the shadows, Joe knew it was at least 11 AM.
His head throbbed with an intensity of 200 on a one-to-ten scale. The light hurt his eyes, but he didn’t have the courage to move. He remained curled stiff, eyes clenched shut, until his bladder forced him to attempt the impossible and get out of bed.
He moaned, then winced. He eased to a slouching position at the edge of the bed, resting his aching forehead between tender hands. Slowly, ever so slowly, he stood and staggered to the bathroom, carefully shielding his eyes from the light. He downed two aspirin and then a third, to abort the stroke he must be having. It was at least a stroke. Maybe an aneurysm had burst. He stared into the mirror. Images of his certain, agonizing, and imminent death spread like acrid black goo across his quivering brain.
“I’m dying,” he told his haggard face. It stared back at him—coldly critical, his appearance substandard today, even for him. He and his reflection eyed each other. He noted the dark eye sockets, red eyes, fuzzy vision, chin stubble, wrinkles, and greasy hair. He didn’t smell too good, either. Let the embalmer handle it, he decided. That’s what he’s paid for.
He trod a wobbly path through the living room to the kitchen, where the percolator was full of yesterday’s grounds. His stomach wasn’t feeling much like coffee, but his head told him he was in caffeine withdrawal. He cursed Marian for getting him so drunk that he forgot to prepare the coffee pot. He imagined her boiling in a vat of coffee, begging for mercy.
Suddenly, Beon’s face loomed across Joe’s inner screens. The balding, round visage grinned like the Buddha, his eyes innocuous, his portent ominous. Joe’s head pounded harder, and his knees felt weak. An image of lab rats, pinned to boards and randomly shocked, blotted out Beon’s face. Then, the lab rats became little Joes, with Beon delivering the shocks.
Joe listed the objective, measurable reasons for his agony. Unendurable pain. Undetectable caffeine levels. Betrayal by his only friend. Violation of sacred coffee ritual, and death without absolution. Beon. He threw fresh coffee in the pot, spilling half the grounds on the counter, creating yet another reason to feel miserable.
Percolator finally started, Joe turned to face new trouble. He opened the freezer and scowled at empty ice trays. The little Joes in his head jumped and slumped.
He dragged his failing carcass to the couch. He imagined the pain in his head could power a small city, if he could figure out how to harness the energy. Not today, though. And tomorrow wasn’t looking too good, either.
Beon’s face returned, and with it, thoughts of the healing machine. Joe wondered if it could cure his headache. “Yes,” said Beon’s image.
“Who asked you?” Joe demanded, not realizing he spoke out loud.
“You did.” Joe decided he was going crazy, too. “DALE,” said the face. “Diet-Associated Life Enhancer.”
Joe covered his ears, but it did no good. Beon’s image swelled in his head, and dream pictures bombarded his brain, rocking his scientific foundations. The throbbing and pounding got louder, clanging against his skull. Joe closed his eyes and waited to die. Through it all, Beon’s face smirked, as if he enjoyed Joe’s suffering.
But death defied him, and Beon continued to grin. Joe glanced around the room. A single picture, hung askew, showed a listing clipper ship, an artifact left by the previous tenant. George White left a few pieces of tired furniture, too, good enough for Joe. His mailbox in the foyer downstairs still bore White’s name. When neighbors called him “George,” Joe didn’t bother to correct them. It was as good a name as “Joe.”
Now Joe wondered for the first time what happened to George White. His couch may not look great, but it had personality. It was warm, comfortable, inviting. It was friendly. It was taking care of him, helping him feel better, as a friend would do.
“I have tangible evidence that you existed,” he told the former tenant, “even if we’ve never met. I still get your mail. Beon is only imaginary, but he’s torturing me, and I can’t get away from him.”
Joe’s eyes began to blur. His stomach felt queasy. Vague terrors swept over him, and sweat poured from his upper body. He wiped his face with a dirty napkin and dropped it on the floor. “This is only a hangover. It clouds my perspective, makes me think crazy thoughts. It was only a dream. A machine like that is impossible, and Beon doesn’t exist.”