Friday, September 30, 2011

So here’s the thing about the "Occupy Wall Street" protest

- by Tracy R Twyman

It’s absolutely true that people, especially the youth, should be upset at both the government and the financial elite. Their entire future has been destroyed by these people. They have been sold into slavery by their elders, and they are not getting any of the benefit. It is going to take a revolution to change the situation so that they are no longer slaves and have a chance to make their own future.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


It is both a blessing and a curse to be born on Earth as a sentient domesticated primate. Living in this world… but not “of this world” is the eternal Gnostic dilemma. One is constantly being pulled in many directions from the moment one emerges from mother’s womb. One’s attention is called upon by a myriad of “pressing issues” from the minute the eyes open each morning. Whether it’s the anticipation of the events of the busy day, the headlines of the morning paper, a CNN news flash or a twitter update… the world calls.

What a temptation it is to answer that call… to dive in and immerse one’s self in the realm of the intellect. It is the intellect that is the vehicle of the world… the interface, if you will. This is a most necessary survival mechanism that insures continuance upon the Earthly realm. As important as the events of the day are… their collective impact only represents half of the Earthling’s Gnostic dilemma.

All that presses humanity to action on a daily basis, all of the social, political, environmental and humanitarian issues that arise are all aspects of “living in this world.” They do not address the balancing factor of the spark of divinity within each human that “is not of this world.” This counter balance to intellect, this spark… is the direct connection to infinity… to eternity… to universe. It is the communion with the source, to that which must remain nameless.

Countering intellect as a mechanism of being in this world, infinity’s vehicle is meditation. To meditate is to interface with that which must remain nameless. Be clear that there are as many facets to meditation as there are to intellect. Meditation is simply an avenue to communion. It is a means to quite the chatter of the world. There are as many unique ways to meditative communion as there are humans.

A most advantageous moment to counter the allure of the world is also when one first opens one’s eyes in the morning. This is a golden opportunity, while still in between the realms of sleep and wakefulness, to take a moment to just be. Listen to the quiet…

The disciplined human might pursue a meditative activity such as zazen or yoga… but any contemplative notion will do. That first sip of tea in the morning may be the cosmic trigger to connect one with the infinite. What is important is being mindful of the divine spark within and the balancing power of connecting to it. Even the intention of such a practice brings one closer to that which cannot be named. Interestingly, only a few moments of communion dramatically improves one’s ability to take on the events of the day. One’s kinship with that which is not of this world, augments one’s ability to participate in it. In this way, one aspect services the other…

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top Secret America – the Post 9/11 Terrorism-Industrial Complex (updated)

In 1961, then outgoing President Dwight D Eisenhower made a now-famous farewell address to the American public. Now known as the Industrial-Military Complex speech, President Eisenhower gave a dire warning to his fellow citizens. Here, in part, is the essence of his (himself being a retired and celebrated military man) concern…

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence, economic, political… even spiritual… is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

In that speech, President Eisenhower gave a second warning…

“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.”

Now… fifty years later… ten years after 9/11… a new and greater threat, the next generation of the Industrial Military-Complex… is being investigated by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, Dana Priest. Priest has just published a book, along with co-author William Arkin, entitled: Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.

The book outlines the rapid growth of Top Secret America, which began with an impulse to secrecy and a blank check from Congress in the days after 9/11, and which now employs nearly a million people at 1,900 private companies and 1,300 federal organizations.

Here is an excerpt from a piece that recently aired on NPR…

Thousands of government organizations and private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence. Last December, The Washington Post reported that this… "top-secret world ... has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."

Priest also profiles the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, the clandestine military command that now conducts more anti-terrorism operations than the CIA. The organization, established in 1980, conducted hostage rescues for many years. It has since developed into a highly secretive and lethal force responsible for reconnaissance and targeted military operations — including the one last May in Pakistan that found and killed Osama Bin Laden. Priest describes JSOC as… "sitting at the center of a secret universe as the dark matter that shapes the world in ways that are usually not detectable."

The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques and to conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established in 1980 on recommendation of one Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw… strange pedigree. It is located at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA.

Sync Alert… Elsewhere in the news: (September 09, 2011) 14,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition reported missing from Fort Bragg. Authorities are trying to find 14,000 rounds of ammunition missing from Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The ammunition went missing from the 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Ford. The missing ammunition can be used in the M-4 and M-16 assault rifles. Someone alerted Fort Bragg leadership about the missing items on Wednesday, Ford said. After the report, the 1st Brigade team, about 3,500 people, was placed on lockdown during an initial investigation, Ford said.

The missing ammunition story aside, this is all extremely scary stuff. The reality that a terrorism-industrial complex has run amok for the last ten years indicates a complete loss of control… by our government… over this “Black Op” juggernaut. What is most unsettling, aside from the mass killings being carried out, is the total abdication of authority and responsibility by our government, into the hands of private contractors who are carrying out said black ops. Once government relinquishes control, we lose the capacity to provide oversight of these operations. The checks and balances of a legitimate government vanish… thus fulfilling the prophecy of John Robb concerning the Hollow State theory.     

This is genuine fodder for Conspiracy Theory Buffs. Once a nation goes down this slippery slope… the end result is predictable.

Legitimate Government → Hollow Government → Contractor Ops → Illuminati

Call me alarmist, but this is a very real concern for all citizens… not just right-wing neo-cons or left-wing anarchists. The proliferation of the terrorism-industrial complex is an erosion of civil liberties and individual freedom. We shouldn’t be surprised. Dear old Ike gave us fair warning fifty years ago. The question is… is it too late to do something about it?

9/14/12 Update...

 Mike Clelland's blog, Hidden Experience ...brought this clip to our attention. We thought it would make a fitting addendum to this post... - J♥

Jack Heart is an activist in the fine tradition of the old Wobblies of the Pacific Northwest and a card-carrying member of the Legion of Dynamic Discord, Siskiyou/Cascadia cabal.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We are all Buddha

Bob Thurman is an influential and prolific American Buddhist writer and academic who has authored, edited or translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the Je Tsongkhapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair in this field of study in the United States. He also is the co-founder and president of the Tibet House New York and is active against the People's Republic of China's control of Tibet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist. Although Teilhard was a deeply religious priest, he was considered a renegade (if not heratic) by his peers and contemporaries. His defiance of Church dogma was matched by his powerful vision of Earth’s future. Teilhard conceived the idea of the Omega Point and developed Vladimir Vernadsky's concept of Noosphere. Some of his ideas came into conflict with the Catholic Church, and several of his books were censured.

Teilhard's primary book, The Phenomenon of Man, set forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos. He abandoned traditional interpretations of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of a more holistic interpretation. This displeased certain officials in the Roman Curia (the Catholic Church’s governing body) and in his own order… who thought that it undermined the doctrine of original sin developed by Saint Augustine.

Teilhard's writings were opposed by his Church superiors, and some of his work was denied publication during his lifetime by the Roman Holy Office. The 1950 encyclical Humani generis (No-one suspects the Spanish Inquisition!) condemned several of Teilhard's opinions, while leaving other questions open. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI praised Teilhard's idea of the universe as a "living host" although the ecclesiastical warnings attached to his works remain.

Sixty years after his condemnation by the Church, technology has caught up with his concept of a Noosphere, and provided a global mechanism to support it…

A Globe, Clothing Itself with a Brain
An obscure Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, set down the philosophical framework for planetary, Net-based consciousness 50 years ago.

By Jennifer Cobb Kreisberg

He has inspired Al Gore and Mario Cuomo. Cyberbard John Perry Barlow finds him richly prescient. Nobel laureate Christian de Duve claims his vision helps us find meaning in the cosmos. Even Marshall McLuhan cited his "lyrical testimony" when formulating his emerging global-village vision. Whom is this eclectic group celebrating? An obscure Jesuit priest and paleontologist named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whose quirky philosophy points, oddly, right into cyberspace.

Teilhard de Chardin finds allies among those searching for grains of spiritual truth in a secular universe. As Mario Cuomo put it, "Teilhard made negativism a sin. He taught us how the whole universe - even pain and imperfection - is sacred." Marshall McLuhan turned to Teilhard as a source of divine insight in The Gutenberg Galaxy, his classic analysis of Western culture's descent into a profane world. Al Gore, in his book Earth in the Balance, argues that Teilhard helps us understand the importance of faith in the future. "Armed with such faith," Gore writes, "we might find it possible to resanctify the earth, identify it as God's creation, and accept our responsibility to protect and defend it."

From the '20s to the '50s, Teilhard de Chardin drafted a series of poetic works about evolution that has reemerged as a foundation for new evolutionary theories. In particular, Teilhard and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Vernadsky inspired the renegade Gaia hypothesis (later set forth by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis): the global ecosystem is a superorganism with a whole much greater than the sum of its parts. This vision is clearly theological - suddenly everything, from rocks to people, takes on a holistic importance. As a Jesuit, Teilhard felt this deeply, and a handful of cyberphilosophers are now mining this ideological source as they search for the deeper implications of the Net. As Barlow says, "Teilhard's work is about creating a consciousness so profound it will make good company for God itself."

Teilhard imagined a stage of evolution characterized by a complex membrane of information enveloping the globe and fueled by human consciousness. It sounds a little off-the-wall, until you think about the Net, that vast electronic web encircling the Earth, running point to point through a nervelike constellation of wires. We live in an intertwined world of telephone lines, wireless satellite-based transmissions, and dedicated computer circuits that allow us to travel electronically from Des Moines to Delhi in the blink of an eye.

Teilhard saw the Net coming more than half a century before it arrived. He believed this vast thinking membrane would ultimately coalesce into "the living unity of a single tissue" containing our collective thoughts and experiences. In his magnum opus, The Phenomenon of Man, Teilhard wrote, "Is this not like some great body which is being born - with its limbs, its nervous system, its perceptive organs, its memory - the body in fact of that great living Thing which had to come to fulfill the ambitions aroused in the reflective being by the newly acquired consciousness?"

"What Teilhard was saying here can easily be summed up in a few words," says John Perry Barlow. "The point of all evolution up to this stage is the creation of a collective organism of Mind."

Teilhard's philosophy of evolution was born out of his duality as both a Jesuit father ordained in 1911 and a paleontologist whose career began in the early 1920s. While conducting research in the Egyptian desert, Teilhard was scratching around for the remains of ancient creatures when he turned over a stone, dusted it off, and suddenly realized that everything around him was beautifully connected in one vast, pulsating web of divine life. Teilhard soon developed a philosophy that married the science of the material world with the sacred forces of the Catholic Church. Neither the Catholic Church nor the scientific academy, however, agreed. Teilhard's premise, that rocks possessed a divine force, was seen as flaky by scientists and outright heretical by the church. Teilhard's writings were scorned by peers in both camps.

Jennifer Cobb Kreisberg ( has an MA in theology and studies the sacred dimension of technology.