Is Proud to Present Its Social & Spiritual Commentaries:
SPIRITUAL CLIMATE NEWSLETTER
from the Desk of Spiritual Climate’s Editor: September 2015
Last updated 11/04/2015 4:17:09 PM
Having just passed the point of Solar Equilibrium, the Autumnal Equinox, the perfect balance of day and night, followed closely by the magnificent Lunar Eclipse of the Blood Red Moon, we bid you a warm welcome to our September 2015 Edition of The Spiritual Climate Newsletter.
With so many exciting happenings within the span of a few days: Pope Francis’ visit to Washington D.C., arriving on September 22, 2015, the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, 2015, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s resignation on September 25, 2015, all this followed by front row seats for the people in the U.S.A. to have the best view of the Total Lunar Eclipse on the night of September 27, 2015; the past few days have been filled with change, anticipation and awe!
While the Bozone Beltway Media continues to display their blistering dementia arguing about Hillary’s email, instead of reporting on the issues and details about fiscal/monetary economic, social and labor, to name a few that the presidential candidates are expounding on, replaced with the usual ‘stuck on repeat’ major media outlets become more stupid or lazy than Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Bill O’Reilly or Scott Pelley with their crony, network supported neoliberal-capitalist-misinformation-agenda1 they and their colleagues on COMCAST, FOX, CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, NBC, et al, reverberate in chorus while vigorously defending their delusions. These talking heads keep spewing a continual cacophony of antiquated Austrian Economic “fool’s gold” that is bunk, invalid, utterly dated from the period of cavemen and at best, sounding off their pure economic & monetary illiteracy 2 & analysis on Federal Budgets, Federal Deficits and Federal Debt 3 fear mongering and continue to refuse to Debunk ANY of the common myths about the Federal budget they regurgitate. 4
Not to be outdone, CNN News exemplifies Bozone Beltway Media posture by being either too CHEAP, STUPID or Corporately BIGOTED to hire an Economic Historian for comments, possibly trumped (no pun intended) by the shrill-panting in the business network of CNBC who appear completely comfortable in blatantly allowing its programming and moderators to support Fraudulent Conveyance in the dismantling of Sovereign Democracies by the hand of skilled financial engineers such as Bond Vigilantes at launching full-scale Financial Warfare — a coup d’etat producing a THEFTof democracy in GREECE5, headed by Germany’s Sociopath Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble leading the business troops of the Euro-zone vehemently chanting, ‘Sign Zeee Papers,’ followed by a whiny-ass business retort in two part harmony from Joe Kernen and the amoral dementia of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera chanting, ‘To HELL with Democracy, sell your brain to the Mussolini’s of business and Where’s my 10% yield? (raised shaking fists) Damn you FED,” finishing with the shouts of fury from millions in the NRA’s borg-mind sounding like the voice of Denis Leary screaming, “WE NEED MORE GUNS.”
What follows in the background of any of the above mentioned Beltway Media Fear Mongering Broadcasting is the unheard howling of SATAN successfully deceiving audiences, speaking through the above Beltway Media profit centers and then sucking the body, freedom and soul of the people in his broadcasting deception nightmare’s invitation into the chains of corporate bigotry, disinformation and misinformation slavery.
Back on this side of the big pond, 38% of American Workforce is Still Jobless in the United States. And in the meantime, we here in Arizona, not what you would call a poor state by any means, win the race to the bottom in education with Gov. Doug Ducey leadership with support from clueless, monetary illiterate, and bigoted major business leaders. What does that say about supporting the growth and ground for success in all children’s future, at least in Arizona? That about sums up the past quarter, doesn’t it?
(…long Sigh…) With so many news-worthy topics of interest to explore, it begs the question, where does one begin?
This is the Third Quarterly Edition in our successful, resurrected series of social comments and commentaries, musing and bemusing, and points of interest and concern. Sharing our thoughts in printed form, our contributors ponder the beauty and ugliness, joy and pain, wisdom and folly of humanity, hoping to strike, as Rev. Strickler expresses in his teachings, that exquisite note of proportionality, that equilibrium between the light and dark, mirth and sadness, to nurture a spark of thought that perhaps will grow into an awareness, discovery and then a knowing within our readers.
In This 2015 Autumn Edition of Spiritual Climate Newsletter:
We find Wendy Ford in her article “I Lie Daily”, as she explores the subject of the way we lie in so many ways, sometimes without conscious awareness, in multiple situations or intentionally contrived…
While Glen Ford discovers and exposes bits and pieces of the prior Glen in his article “Recognition”…
And share a bit of travel with Adam Crosthwaite in “Self-Subterfuge”, as he navigates through the twists and turns of fooling oneself in order to achieve a goal…
While back here (not exclusively) in Arizona, please consider the direction we are heading by exchanging information for knowledge in Christine Ford’s “Prelude to Stupidity”.
Finally, “Innovation”, by Rev. W. David Strickler, brings insight into the bastardization of the meaning of the word, or an answer to our suspicion that since his stroke in 2004, Dr. Strickler actually relaxes by watching the American Automotive reality series (this is no Bull!) called: Overhaulin’6 featuring Chip Foose, Chris Jacob et al, and it does explain the song he muses with: Gasoline 7 !
So pull up a comfy chair, pour yourself a frosty cold or steamy hot beverage of your choice, and join us as we take a small journey this autumn season through some ever changing mysteries to be explored on this spinning sphere we call Earth, from our location in land of the free and the home of the brave (though not necessarily ~sane~), the USA.
may continued health and joy of discovery and wonderment be yours
Ezra Pound, 1885-1972, Poet, Critic, Intellectual; “In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.” ↩
Quote: “The national debt is the equity that supports the entire global credit structure. So, when you talk about messing with the national debt in that way, you are talking about potentially under mining the support for the entire global credit structure. (Also) The public has been badly misinformed. We do not have a debt crisis, and our deficit is not a national disgrace. We are not at the mercy of the Chinese, and we’re in no danger of becoming Greece. That’s because the U.S. government is not like a household, or a private business, or a municipality, or a country in the Eurozone. Those entities are all users of currency; the U.S. government is an issuer of currency. It can never run out of its own money or face the kinds of problems we face when our books don’t balance.” end quote 2013 STEPHANIE KELTON, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City some of her writings here: NEW ECONOMIC PERPECTIVES↩
Quote… “Our challenge is not whether we can “afford” to make the payments we have promised to seniors, veterans, the disabled, government contractors, healthcare providers, bondholders, etc. (today, tomorrow and into the indefinite future) but whether we will be a productive enough nation to allow the government to make good on those promises without causing an inflation problem. That is the debate we should be having.” end quote, Stephanie Kelton, 2013, How to Talk About Debt and Deficits: Don’t Think of an Elephant* .↩
INNOVATION-SOLUTION OR CURSE?
By Rev. W. David Strickler
Last updated 10/23/2015 11:14:06 PM
During the early years of my adolescence, I had a job as a gas jockey, which was a great change from delivering newspapers for the Lorain Journal on a route located near my home. It just happened that my uncle Gary (dad’s brother) was running what was then known as SOHIO, which was an outlet for Standard Oil Gasoline and Atlas products. What made it particularly great was that my cousin Michael, who was working his way through college, also worked for my uncle Gary. My uncle’s first gas station, the one I worked at, was located at the corner Ohio State Rd. 254 and Clinton Avenue just a few blocks west of State Route 57 in the beautiful state of Ohio. This was approximately 6 miles south from where I lived just a hair over 5/10 mi. south of the Lake Erie. It was really great to have some extra spending money for lunches at high school before I started teaching music and guitar in the cities of Lorain and Elyria, Ohio at age 16, to supplement my income. Occasionally when working for my uncle’s service station, I might ride my bike to get to work, and a few times rode my bike home from work. I never realized how long 6 miles was until those nights.
It was also a time when Electronics were starting to float into the guitar scene, and my touch point in using those electronics started with the BIG MUFF foot pedal that provided fuzz, or the Thomas Organ CRYBABY WAH WAH pedal. Strangely, in looking back, I actually do recall that I did not consider those items to be innovation either, after all, those are just electronic toys.
My first conscious realization of innovation came during the summers working at my uncle’s gas station when the SNAPON TOOLS Sales truck would pull into the lot. To make a long story short, I found it completely fascinating that tools were specially engineered to accommodate certain situations, such as, adjusting the timining on a GM V8 with HEI distributor by the firewall. Those of you familiar with the circa 1980-ish GM HEI systems, will understand the meaning of hal-lay-lou-jeeyah upon seeing a distributor wrench by SNAPON TOOLS and we thought whoever designed this tool should be canonized.
Bear in mind that we (my peer group) had a computer science lab to learn what we then called computer languages and programming, which I didn’t even look at as innovation. So when I placed my hand on that distributor wrench that was, ironically, what I considered to be innovation. My experience and conception of innovation was derived from the all-important bedrock forces of an ANY economy called the machine tool sector. 1
Taking into consideration there are many different types of innovation too numerous for citation in a short article, those of you who have the ability to search Google or Google Scholar can discover the many different aspects and characteristics of which might play in the process of some of the positive innovation and the products created. In this article, I wish to draw attention to my concern with how the term innovation is employed and the results that are produced versus what results are said to occur, and whether the sales pitch for the innovation are factual or just synthetic, logical outcome with little if any basis in complex usage; simply put a hedged sales pitch.
Americans can take back some freedom in this area of ‘lip service to innovation’, a bedtime story designed to make Americans ‘feel comfortable and secure in their blanky’; I consider that horse-crap. I say its high time to take a step back and look at how hyperbolic the use of the term innovation has become, maybe it’s time we should question the use of the word when and how it is deployed.
Innovation 2 is one of the few terms whereby recently, the immediate physical reaction in my brain upon hearing the word may result in a fit of epileptic seizures or stomach convulsions producing projectile vomiting hurled in the direction to the source of its pronunciation. Innovation is truly one of a handful of terms, of late, that my physical body responds with such an immediate, recognizable, visceral internal clenching of wanting to just “beat the hell out of” whomever/whatever organization is using the word in such a lecherous modus operandi for selling behavioral control and persuasion guaranteed to be granted by the shock and awe of its disingenuous, strategic, behavioral wangle to foster an almost guaranteed results of producing a consensus agreement to exploitation. Part of the reason for this for this ‘put on alert’ status generated by my instinctual mind, is the bastardly, hyper-promiscuous use of the word innovation by those denizens of the Satanic underworld in politics, business marketing, advertising and product development to create forced consumption.
One only need Revisit the outcry generated from the resulting innovation of ‘financial instruments’ alongside the relaxed legal environment of the Global financial meltdown of 2007 thru 2008. That should be revealing enough, with the provision you are not just listening to the barkers seeking-ratings on beltway news-entertainment, whose innovations of delivering ‘content’ selected for hyperventilation and ratings redirects audience’s attention from the narrowness of their slice of facts and the source of those facts, and will assist you to the experience of chagrin I am suggesting in the abusive use of the word INNOVATION. The justification of creating centers of profits using innovation comes from an increased rationalization of innovating accounting interpretation. During this period of control fraud 3 there appears to be an increase of incentive for what I call this kind of extortion under the guise of innovation, subsequently creating an invisible reverse funnel that is siphoning over 90% of all new income upwards to the 1% of Americans and is the basis for all the GOP’s Neoliberal economic agenda since — just listen to business people such as Donald Trump or a severely empirically challenged and likely delusional Carly Fiorina, et al.
Look at the unleashing of the debauchery inside the financial sector with its innovating instruments designed for the gaggle of economic sociopaths 4 whose drooling with dripping olfactory frenzy to snort short-term profit inside the financial sector intentionally stoked by the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall Act.
Another relevant period in world history that lends a description to the hyperventilation of greed, avarice and lustful salivation from the stuffed-pockets of the financial sector is that of Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, otherwise known as Caligula.
So, Innovation is in service to whom or what?
Prior to the 2008 financial debacle, during the administration of George W. Bush, I recall seeing, reading, and hearing numerous consultants being called into the political/education/entrepreneur public and private machines to develop in-service campaigns to assist crafting fantasies for that administration’s penchant for cutting taxes in the upper tax brackets, while shifting more of the tax burden onto the middle class tax brackets and poor. I am almost certain you can envision celebrations in marketing, advertising and political machines for successfully enabling the elite and their lobbying consultants hearing the giant sucking sound of money being funneled upwards, extracting unearned money from the public sector and from pension funds and 401(k)s, with higher costs for basic subsistence, services and products transferred the middle class, while creating wealth the old fashioned way—stealing it from the public domain through privatization.
The next step was to train (brainwash) the Sadducees and Pharisees (Governors, politicans, et al) and program these sycophants to use the word innovation as a Mantra. This word is not something to be taken lightly, when seeing the term Mantra consider that its root ‘Man’ means: to think. Mantra should not be confused as a superficial idea underlying prayers, formulas of worship or ‘mystic’ symbolism. Mantra falls under the umbrella of SHABDA (Śhábda is the Sanskrit word for “speech sound”), which governs sound and is the basis of MANTRA-VIDYA which is knowledge and training in the science of controlling forces by articulated sounds. Mantra is POWER which lends itself impartially to ANY use. People can be killed, injured or exploited by use of Mantras, just look at the frenzy when the use of a mantra such as ‘Gay-Marriage’ or Taxes is vocalized.
‘Vehadiksha’ is a term I was taught by my mentor at an earlier point in life during my sojourn into mysticism in the early 80’s, which can be used at this juncture for an analogy. I am not sure of its etymology (a similarity shared by the word: ‘egregor’); if you know of its origin you can email me. The point is, this is a term used to describe the effect of mantra at a point in an initiation process where power of the ‘Guru’ is used in a transference point to ‘charge’, create a flow (e.g., creating a magnet) within the participant causing them to ‘swoon’, sway, be moved physically and emotionally; this is not just metaphorical, speaking from experience. The problem with Mantra is that there is nothing necessarily sacred or prayerful about it when seen in the light of modern day Black Magic (Advertising, Beltway Media, Political Speech) and the effect of persuasion produced by our modern day version of Guru’s (Corporations, Think Tanks, Advertising firms, Politicians) and the wares produced for sale and consumption to keep citizens ignorant for a profit.
The ‘Vehadiksha’ in this analogy is the swoon produced by Mantra’s (terms) such as Google Nexus6P, Apple I6, HTC One, ‘Nationwide is on My Side’, or ‘Conservative’ and ‘Liberal’. This is synthetic, artificially induced hypnotism created by a non-entity (corporation) in order to produce an aggregate response in a collective section of consciousness is purely phantasmagorical BUT it is an effect generating an induced form of sensation. To further the distractions and redirection of attention used in this age of Black Magic, you find yourself ‘thinking’ or maybe better put, ‘mentation’ about what they offer as it vibrates through your nervous system.
A person might now understand the observable glint in the eyes of those state Governors use of the Mantra ‘innovation’ after some explanation from the think tank consultants (gurus) as to how the term innovation was to be used: turning the volume up in the auditory centers of the picture making faculty in order to redirect constituents from smelling the silent stench of rotting fish of many policy transactions were about to produce. All the while the new found persuasion power would enable Governors to feel mighty as if they were prevailing even while being played like a puppet by lobbied market forces requiring returned favors for re-election assistance. Having command in the using the mantra of innovation gave governors prophylactic protection in preventing their mainstream constituencies from objecting to the bait and switch being pulled on them all the while Governors created hypnotic results filling their constituents with imaginary positive results by proclaiming “innovation.”
Innovation can be a curse and growing Parasite on its Host, especially when placed into the hands of lobbied major interests whose agenda seeks to expropriate anything held by those who work by the sweat of their brow. It becomes carnivorous once the word is intentionally used to mislead any questioning attention away from any criticisms or meager viewpoints seeking clarification as to its applied use. There is no balanced equation when the word is used in such a fashion I have just described. There is no longer ‘yours and mine’, there is only “yours becomes mine” because I have persuaded you — that, convincing you to agree to a bad bill of goods or consensual theft, is supposedly true innovation. Whatever happened to using the word extortion, instead? This is an ongoing problem with using the ‘always positive, sunny, and light’ crap being used redirect attention from actualities.
From where I sit, this still is an orchestrated, highly accomplished, successful campaign rooted in the private sector whose intention to erode trust of public officials with actions and policies favoring the constituency of the .1% residing in zip code 10021. This is part of the underlying reason for the misplaced distrust of public officials, instead of placing that distrust squarely on the purchased political power whether through lobbyists, self-serving Corporate Beltway-Media or the Billionaire Boys Club.
Prior to information being spread more rapidly, let’s say for a reference point pre-2000, innovation seemed to have more substance dealing with actual tangible realities. ‘Kicking the tires’ provided an opportunity to engage a product instead of the limited amount of information that could be put into a paper catalog of pictures and words; the product had to be seen and touched in brick and mortar stores (for the most part) in order for the innovation to be readily cognizable, sized up and decided upon. In other words, any innovation had more characteristics of genuine merit than just a lot of ‘hot air’ to produce site-unseen reactive sales tendered on the internet.
The field of medicine was and still is truly a period of innovation, but that innovation was and is based on empirical findings leading the way to a new view of being able to assist in the realities of healing. In the political domain, the selling of certainty was used to replace empirical evidence in order to forge ahead with some form of motion (rightly or wrongly) into the future until the evidence could be gathered.
Even education was relatively holding its own up until the 1980s, where, with the strong influence from Ronald Reagan’s Neoliberalism 5 he mimicked from Prime Minister of the UK Margaret Thatcher, Reagan paved the way for Republican’s Neoliberal ‘privatize everything’ agenda: launching the salespeople for innovation (charter schools) came along and wanted to disregard ANY empirical evidence in public education in order to make a profit, one source framing some of the dynamic of this conversation can be found here: Neoliberalizing Educational Reform: America’s Quest for Profitable Market-Colonies and the Undoing of Public Goodby Keith M. Sturges.
Additional corporate innovation influence involved in creating the current pitch of chaos in education can be seen in subtracting from the education of teachers in courses (i.e., methodologies), while successfully gaining an upper hand in wrongfully convincing the parents of students that teachers were ill equipped to provide effective education of their children. In the name of innovation, there came an increase in children being educated machine to human instead of human to human, and teachers were and are scapegoated as part of a serious ‘Romulan ploy or Klingon conspiracy’ (think: Communists and then recklessly stamp that onto the teachers unions) designed to not care about the outcomes of children’s performance, after all, the Bozone Beltway Media pundits cited in our INTRO are not trained educators, they are paid by advertisers to say anything over the air waves that strikes like an imagination unchecked by the powers of reasoning. Talk about serving up a crock of privatized CRAP.
It seems more likely to me some of the lack of performance in students is due to the pop psychology from the seminal work of Dr. Spock in the cascade of negative behaviors shared in a perfect storm of economic poppycock from Milton Friedman who was gaining further power of censorship for the economic gatekeepers named the Chicago Boys. In all likelihood, the spirit of Jean Piaget6 is resurrecting from his grave to give a well-deserved ass kicking to the stupidity of the likes of Neoliberal Margaret Thatcher and her leading worshiper, court jester Neoliberal Ronald Reagan.
Have genuine forces of innovation been relentlessly pounded into a form of hallucinatory advertisement created just to generate a sale of a new curriculum, new item, new methodology (not) or however it’s repackaged, a sale that is filled with remorse and regret and perhaps a slight bit of embarrassment for being suckered into a stressful moment? Perhaps, author Barbara Ehrenreich will be hailed as a prophet another decade down the road for her seminal work entitled “Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America.” Maybe the overuse of the Mantra, ‘if it makes a profit nothing else matters’ is raising its monstrous head to see?
Innovation can be a dangerous form of cancer introduced to create a market, to support the parasitic lifestyle of its innovators, especially in the hands of innovators whose reliance on lobbyists creates larger funnels that siphon the productive power of labor’s wages and middle class gains into the hands of corporate socialists7 often and corporate communists8 which may lead to another series of Dark Ages.
Until then, I suggest retaining attention in being wary where the term innovation is being hurled from before starting to swoon over the images created FOR YOU by the innovators. I start with a premise that innovation is a series of words engineered to make something sound good in order to achieve some type of force feeding frenzy or dictatorial outcome wanted by somebodies/someone who either wants my money, my freedom or my soul to agree with any rhetoric that creates a plausible picture in the mind in order to deflect attention away from pertinent facts that may water down the response wanted from citizens. Deregulated from using of good questions and reason, “innovation” could be hazardous to your long term outcomes of your finances, health and quality of life for both you and your family and our Nation.
After all, you may end up using a Q-tip to wipe your butt instead of toilet paper. Now that’s innovation.
Wishing wonderful Holidays to all of our readers, our fans and all of humanity.
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a biologist who originally studied molluscs (publishing twenty scientific papers on them by the time he was 21) but moved into the study of the development of children’s understanding, through observing them and talking and listening to them while they worked on exercises he set. Read more: Piaget’s Developmental Theory. Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives↩
Corporate Socialism is an important point is NOT covered by the Bozone Beltway Media. David Cay Johnston was called by The Washington Monthly, “one of this country’s most important journalists” Johnston won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his exposes of tax loopholes and inequities. After the San Jose Mercury hired him as its youngest staff writer when he was just 19 years old, Johnston spent 40 years as an investigative reporter. His trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy – Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch and The Fine Print – revealed from official government and corporate materials the massive upward redistribution of income and wealth over the last 33 years. David Cay Johnston emphasized the term corporate socialism in an interview: Pillaging the Public Treasury – on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4), The Real News Network↩
Wow. None of these sound very “nice” either. It seems no matter how fancy the word or phrase it all can be summed up in one word: lie.
Fans of the American television series House will remember well the acerbic main character Dr. Gregory House played by actor Hugh Laurie. One of the Houseisms 2that struck home was his advice to “remember, everyone lies”. When I first heard that I was taken aback. What does he mean “everyone lies”? Of course then I failed to take it any further and my piqued interest was dismissed and disappeared.
Several years later Dr. Strickler brought up the topic in class. He quoted Dr. House: “remember, everyone lies”. There was that statement again. There was that statement again.
As his lecture went on it was clear the statement was accurate. EVERYONE LIES, in other words, everyone has set up trip wires in the element of their personality to protect themselves from being exposed to themselves. Everyday. In multiple moments throughout a day. The key is we aren’t always consciously aware we are lying.
Try this to sensitize yourself to recognize lies: over the next several days try to be aware of and listen for lies. If it makes you feel better call it by any of the synonyms from Roget’s Thesaurus. Listen for the clues that someone is exaggerating or trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or making an excuse for an action or lack of action. These are all forms of lies. You can be assured you are more likely to spot the lie of another more easily than your own. Once you get the hang of it try listening for your own lies. Lies others tell are the easiest to catch. The lies we tell ourselves are much more subtle (and begs the question, “Who are we hiding from and Why?”) and require a greater self-awareness to catch. This is probably because some of them have been a part of our operating system for so long we have come to see and hear (and think we KNOW while still begging the question, “Who are we hiding from and Why are we creating he lie?”) them to be truths, instead of contrivances.
Once you are more aware you might have questions. What is the difference between a lie and hedging on an answer, deftly evading a point or situation, embellishing on a story or experience, justifying an action or belief to others or oneself? Nothing. Those are all more fancy words for ‘convenient contrivance’ by any other any other name, a LIE.
Lie. That seems like such a harsh word. We’ve been taught from the beginning to lie is wrong. We learn that from parents, teachers, religions, fables, fairy tales, cartoons, even from the rules and laws enacted governing the various aspects of our lives. The moral imperative of not lying is strong and deeply ingrained.
Yet while we are taught lying is wrong we all lie from the beginning too. Any parent can tell you how early on a child learns to deny having done or taken something. The shaking of the head “no” when asked if they took a cookie even when holding the cookie in the hand or crumbs on the mouth are evidence to the contrary.
We need to come to grips with the fact that indeed we lie. Does that mean every utterance out of our mouths needs to be the absolute truth at all times? I don’t believe so. It does mean we need to be more aware of our now and to be auditing our thoughts prior to verbalization so we are at least aware we are lying and not to the extent politicians have taken this audit.
The point isn’t that we lie, it’s that we need to be more consciously aware of the five basic questions governing any situation: what, where, when, why and who. The lists under each category can be endless.
What are we lying about? Something we did/didn’t do or are planning on doing? Something we did/didn’t say? Our accomplishments, failures, the dreaded dog ate my homework excuse?
Where are we lying? At work, home, school, social activities, in the privacy of our own thoughts and musings and rationalizations?
When are we lying? In which situations are we most likely to lie? When is that trigger most likely to be tripped?
Why are we lying? Is it so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings? Is it that telling the absolute truth to someone about something could do harm or be detrimental to them? Is it to save face so we don’t look bad in front of someone or aren’t embarrassed about being in error about an interpretation, belief, action/inaction, decision? Is it just easier than bothering to seek and investigate to discover a truth? Isn’t it in fact simpler to just be honest?
Who are we lying to and why? This could be the most important question of all. Catching the lies we tell to others is not that difficult to do once we become aware and really think before we speak and listen to what comes out of our mouth.
WE NEED TO KNOW OURSELVES.
Catching the lies we tell ourselves is more nuanced because our egos and personalities have suavely and deftly disguised them to appear to be our truths. The ego doesn’t like to be called out and for most of our lives has been erroneously allowed to be in charge and run things fooling us into thinking “I am in charge” when in fact it is the ego pulling the strings leaving the impression it is “I” in action.
This is the point at which it requires intestinal fortitude and courage to take an honest look at ourselves; to stand naked in front of ourselves for full self-conscious exposure and study. Egos don’t like that. They do not like to be exposed. They prefer to operate in stealth behind the scenes as the Wizard does in The Wizard of OZ. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” pulling the strings and running the show without our self-conscious input and self-monitoring. This is far too large and rich of a topic to be explored in this article.
Once we are able to take an honest look with self-conscious full awareness and listen for the nuances it is easier to see and hear where we lie to ourselves and about what. It isn’t an overnight process. It takes practice, contemplation, courage and endurance. It takes time. Doesn’t it takes a conscious willingness to find out and want to know the truth? The ego will always seek to redirect us and hide from exposure to the light of truth.
Let’s look at it from the angle of the exploration of a dark room. At first there doesn’t appear to be anything there. As the light of a flashlight is turned on it is apparent something is there and the wider the beam, the stronger the intensity the more is exposed out of the darkness for the eyes to see and ears to hear. There might even be cockroaches skittering for the shelter of the darkness. Those are the lies avoiding exposure needing to be exterminated by the purity of truth.
Once exposed by the light of self-disclosure your lies have a much better chance of being identified and reconciled.
Full exposure. Full disclosure. Truths inherent in the reality of any given experience. Seek it. Look for it. Listen for it. Be willing to want to know. Be willing to admit you have been in error in areas. Be willing to be open to discovery and growth. It is a never ending process. It is never complete and done and over.
It can be a life altering experience to realize ‘I lie daily.’
To give recognition, or to receive recognition, is generally thought of as a positive thing. Recognition is to acknowledge as by some reward or tribute. 1 It could be a pat on the back with a job well done, a trophy/plaque or some other token of acknowledgement conveying approval. That’s the first thing that comes to mind, at least for me.
There are other meanings though in other contexts. The formal act of acknowledgement of existence which can convey approval or sanction. Now sanction can mean authoritative permission, but the sense I am meaning here is a provision of law which enacts a penalty for disobedience to the law or reward for compliance. Karma if you will.
I want to break this word down a little more, to work back to the root. To recognize is to know again, to perceive something as identical or similar to something previously known. Also in law it means to examine to discover the truth. Next step back is to cognize. This is to perceive; to become conscious of as an object of thought-it is an act of awareness. Let me take one more step back. A cog is a tooth or projection, usually one of a series, on a wheel/gear, for transmission of motion to or receiving motion from another wheel. This can be directly or indirectly. An example of directly is gear to gear like a can opener. Once I engage a can opener there is a gearwheel attached to handle I turn. It interfaces directly with a gearwheel on the cutting wheel which is the blade and a friction wheel to turn the can. After a little work, eureka, there be tuna fish or whatever the goal was. An example of indirectly is a bicycle. Here the cogs of the first gearwheel indirectly engage via a chain cogs on a second gearwheel. The first has pedals attached the second has the drive wheel attached. I push the pedals and off I go.
Whether the cogs engage directly or indirectly it requires work to make progress and it helps if I have some awareness of where I am going, what my intent is, what my desire is. Productive work requires intelligence.
1. The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations, reason, also the skilled use of reason.
2. The ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests). This second definition supports the occult definition as the ability to do work.
Now, I would like to relate a recent experience, then attempt to tie it all up at the end.
In a store parking lot last week as I was putting my cart into the cart corral, I heard someone just pressing on the horn and on and on. It turned out to be a dispute over a parking spot. The first guy (Sam) had passed a spot up against the building and was backing up to take the spot. The second guy (Harry) was coming down the aisle towards the store. The aisle was lined up with the open spot and Harry was on the move to pull right in. Sam was backing up to get spot and Harry was on the move for the same spot, horn just blaring away. They both stopped in time to avoid a crash. Then Sam edged back and Harry crept forward, horn still blasting.
Eventually Sam got back enough to turn into the spot but Harry pulled straight in first and jumped out of his truck to go tell Sam off for nearly backing into his truck, what was Sam doing? In such a rush was Harry that he missed putting his truck into park and only made it to reverse. As he is headed over to yell at Sam, he was knocked off his feet by the door he had also left open. Fortunately there was a woman passenger in Harry’s truck who managed to get a foot or a hand over to the brake before he got run over by his own vehicle. Sam and Harry exchanged heated words for a minute, then parted.
Once it was clear they were not going to come to blows, I stood there shaking my head and laughing. Harry saw me and said “Yeah, did you see what he did?”, apparently looking for confirmation that he was correct and had behaved appropriately. Trying to help him, I responded “Yes, I saw him, and I saw you too, you big dummy!” His face went from angry to confused and back to angry. He flashed me a hand gesture and walked away. He did not get that the only real danger to his vehicle came from his parking lot road rage, by jumping out of his truck while it was still in gear. I hope he gets it eventually. I guess his brain slipped a cog, which brings us back to recognition.
This quote I remember as coming from the late Wayne Dyer though I cannot find a citation. “You can neither love nor hate something in another person that you do not first recognize in yourself.” This Quote is from Hermann Hesse “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” 2
The point is, my discomfort in what I witnessed stemmed from my recognition of that behavior in myself and how it made me feel afterward. I used to be that guy on a fairly regular basis. On this path of awakening, I am grateful I do not have to do that anymore. That’s not to say I do not do that anymore. I do still occasionally slip a cog in my brain, fail to pause and consider the options. That is the difference between proactive or reactive. Successful change requires vigilance.
Just recently I went off on my neighbor, four or so weeks new to the hood, over barking dogs and interrupted sleep. This was the first time I met them. By the time I got back in my house I was already regretting it. Within minutes I left them a note on their door apologizing and asking for a second meeting with them under better circumstances. Later that day they came over, we met appropriately and have since made nice. The dogs still bark during the day; they are brought inside mostly at night now. Had I gone and introduced myself when they first moved in, I would have had a foot in the door to speak with them civilly about the situation instead of imaging their machinations to disrupt my sleep until I snapped and embarrassed myself. On this occasion I caught it myself, if a little late, and made amends. I am grateful, however, to have people around me who will point things to me when I miss the mark.
When I spoke to Harry I truly was trying to help him see himself. The first step to solving a problem is to recognize that there is a problem.
Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” 3
I am here to express that the examined life is no picnic, no walk in the park. It is a lot of work, but work is required to gain meaningful experience, to think, to gain awareness, to acquire knowledge and increase consciousness. That is what it means to be human. Otherwise what is the point, it is a dog eat dog world, life is a bitch and then you die? I need to see this with better eyes.
If come judgement day recognition as referenced at the beginning of this article is desired, it would behoove me keep pedaling the re-cognition bicycle.
Working with young minds, even young minds that are somewhat compromised by various forms of Learning Disabilities, Autism, and Emotional Disabilities, can be a genuine challenge. The children of today just, plain and simple, think differently than we of the pre-internet-in-every-home-era think. Their minds have been tuned by society, schools, and the web to research, to find bits and pieces of data, and to reconstruct those facts into a finished product. Gone into ancient history are the days of curling up surrounded by books, loose-leaf notebook paper, highlighters, pens and pencils and searching for those bits of information that would be pulled out, reworded and reworked, and used to create the end product of a gem of knowledge. Now all you have to do is type a word in Search, and voile! Instantly, all the places to find everything you ever wanted to know about…. Anything! Choose a topic; the internet is a source and resource for boundless information. Incredible, in so vastly many ways, I agree. The world of information is at our fingertips, but what about the world of knowledge?
Knowledge: 1. facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject 2. awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation
Information: 1. facts provided or learned about something or someone 2. what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things
Some may think the parsing out of the difference between those two words is nit-picking; if that is your reaction, then please, I beg you, continue to read, because you have already fallen under the spell that I am referring to. I promise I will do my very best not to turn this article into a rant, but will simply point a finger in the direction of a trend that I, as an educator with some thirty five years of experience under my belt, have watched in horror expand and increase, and see as the furthering of the devolution of the joy of learning, the agape of discovery, and the acquisition of true knowledge in exchange for the shallow mere gathering and compiling of information.
Let me introduce you to one aspect of this growing knowledge vs information dilemma that I have experienced first-hand. My special needs students are able to develop slide presentations in Google Docs at lightning speed, cruising around the world-wide-web, clipping and importing, twisting and turning images and words, print as well as audio, to compile into a finished product. On a positive note, this does help level the playing field for my challenged kids. They are actually helping me become familiar with some technology that was prior Greek to me and they love it; what a boost to their self-confidence. The students in the General Education classroom are even more adept at weaving astounding presentations from facts, pictures and audio blips that they gather and assimilate, cut and paste, into a finished product that looks professional, can be extremely informative, and is visually pleasing as well as auditorily stimulating. Wow, that is incredible, you might say and I agree! Look at how they are utilizing technology to learn!
But wait; is that truly learning? Take those very same students. Give them paper and a pencil, a dictionary and even a paragraph or sentence starter. (For those of you who are not educators, that is a prompt of several words on the topic to get them started) Ask them to write, in their own words, what they have just “created” with the aid of technology, to write a narrative, an essay, even a single paragraph about that which they have just learned, and what do you suppose you get? I can give you an answer from experience. You get, for the most part, nothing, and I don’t mean nothing as in the “No-thing” of the Occult world. You get zilch, nada, squat!
They have collected the information, arranged it in pretty patterns, and perhaps even set it to music, (Please refer back to definition 2 of information) but very little has been processed as knowledge, made their own, stored in their memory, or kept to strengthen the foundation upon which new awareness and knowing are built. The final step in learning is totally missing: the experience of turning that gathered information into knowledge, the practical understanding of a subject, the awareness gained by experience of a fact. (knowledge, definitions 1 and 2) The knowledge just doesn’t quite make the leap to their own personal stash of knowing; it remains locked in the information stage on the electronic memory of the computer.
The growing delusion that they are truly acquiring knowledge in this way and are embarking upon the path of discovery and agape of learning; that taking parts and pieces of “other’s” works and combining them into a collage of color and sound, as beautiful as the end product might be, and stopping with simply the gathering of information absolutely terrifies me. Back in the good old days, this was called plagiarism. By today’s standards, it is creativity, learning, and yes, innovation, to tie into Dr. Stickler’s current article in Spiritual Climate. This shift deeply saddens me, especially as I project into the future the complications of the dumbing down humanity by turning education into a process of information gathering rather than one of acquiring knowledge.
Alarmingly, this trend is not only happening in the lower levels of education, as I can state again from personal experience. I teach with a brilliant young lady who is a genuine educator. She has the heart of a true teacher, the ability to impart knowledge to her students, as is evidenced by the growth and excitement in her classroom; she too teaches special needs children. She is not a “hot house” teacher, but spent four solid years in a face to face university setting, learning and practicing the techniques being taught, acquiring a profound base of knowledge as to the how’s and why’s a student learns. Recently she was bitten by the bug of furthering her education and signed up for Graduate School to get her Master’s Degree in Administration; an admirable endeavor. A school and its teachers can only be as strong as the administrative support behind them; knowing that gifted teachers with a true understanding and knowledge of teaching techniques and pedagogy are not leaving the profession, but are dedicated to staying and expanding their knowledge, is a bright spot for me in an otherwise dismal environment.
Having experienced a solid education in the knowledge of teaching while obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree, my friend was eager to be back in the setting of exchanging ideas, paging through books and highlighting important words, having challenging discussions and exploring face to face with like minds the philosophy of administration. Her first indication of the impersonality and use of technology that would make her graduate experience so different from that of her undergraduate experience, one of information gathering vs acquisition of knowledge, was upon being accepted and attempting to enroll.
Phone calls were not even an option; she was unable to get through to a live person. Everything was done online, with no personal contact at all; a video tutorial was sent to her by the university online as to the process of enrolling online; she created her account and was warmly welcomed electronically. She was invited to a Forum for discussion online, her welcome note came from her professor online as well as her twenty page Syllabus. She was astounded and dismayed, when attempting to order text books, that there were no hold in your hand, dog-ear and highlight, write notes in the margins text books available; only… you guessed it…. online digital copies. She meets with an in person group of twelve students one night a week for four hours; other than that, all work and communication are done online. A report is due each week relating to the subject discussed the previous week, but that report can be as simple as “discussed during class” and submitted online, as long as one attended. This goes on for five intense weeks, and then that Course is complete, and she is ready to move on to the next class. I mentioned “hothouse” previously; perhaps you have a bit more of an understanding of what I meant. Needless to say, my friend was disappointed by the lack of encounter and exchange in this new model and method of higher education, and we talked about where the experience (knowledge) comes in to the mix; I didn’t have much in the way of comfort to offer her, as I have watched this shift spreading and encompassing the entire arena of education for years.
The state of Arizona is in abysmal shape in education; 50th in about every category 1. In Arizona, We have Won the Race to the Bottom. Teachers are leaving the state at an alarming rate; vacancies are being filled by full time substitutes and teachers who are have obtained their teaching certification by the “hothouse” method described above; “Come on down, if you have a Bachelor’s degree in anything, combining that and your work experience, we can turn you into a bona fide, certified teacher in eighteen months, and you will be guaranteed job security, because we have chased all the true educators away.” Sorry if I sound a tiny bit jaded; I remember the days when being a teacher was a distinguished, respected, and earned career with at least four knowledge packed years in learning methods and techniques of reaching kids and long hours spent having the experience of applying them, seeing what worked and what didn’t, making the knowledge your own through experience. If you really believe the majority of the teachers turned out by this “hothouse” method of information swallowing and regurgitating have the knowledge and wisdom to be responsible for the education of your child or grandchild, give me a call; I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
There are more reasons than I care to go into right now for the death throes of education in the state of Arizona, as well as the sad state of education across the great country of ours in general; that is not the focus of this article. What I do know, in the depths of my heart and Soul, is that underlying it all, be it educating our elementary school children, or teaching our teachers to teach, the swing of that gigantic pendulum from regarding the acquisition of knowledge as the hallmark of education to the acceptance of the electronic compilation of information wrapped up in a sensorily attractive package is harkening the slide down that slippery slope into the devolved state of even more stupidity than is evident in society right now. True scholars are a dying breed, and I mourn the loss of the agape of knowledge being turned into the cheap sensorium of the information age. We, as a country, and as humanity, fashioned in the likeness and image of The One, are more grand, noble and inquisitive than that. We are selling ourselves, and the future of mankind, short in the name of information and innovation.
May you grow in your ability to make the information you gather your own and, like an Alchemist turning his personality from lead into gold, turn that base chunk of coal of information into the precious diamond of knowledge.
Editor, Spiritual Climate Newsletter