The TetraSeed is both Immanent and Transcendent

When the TetraSeed is awakened-to and integrated as a conscious and voluntary experience, as with the Crystal Crown procedure, the content and context of any moment reveal the TetraSeed as the stabilizing structure underlying that experience at that moment. The experience, itself, can then easily be released and so dissolve, leaving the bare intuition of the TetraSeed.

The bare intuition of the TetraSeed is that of concept-less, formless radiance, consciousness, or the ground of being from which everything arises as a condensation or modification of Itself.

The Way of Life as the Mother of All Things

Existence is beyond the reach of words to define.
Descriptive words may be used, but all are approximate.
In the direct experiencing of things, there are no descriptive words.
Descriptive words are a later development in the scheme of things.
If we wish to use descriptive terms to describe existence,
we may say
that mysteriously,
existence appears, persists, and changes.

Such may be said of The Way of Life.
Lawrence Gold's rendering of
~ Lao Tzuh, Tao Teh Ching


or as the late Dr. Richard (Dick) Feynman put it:

I wonder why
I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder.

I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder.

from Richard Feynman: The Adventures of a Curious Character
edited by Ralph Leighton
Smart fella. Also, a bit of a Zen smart-aleck.


FROM IDEA to EXPERIMENT

In practicing with The TetraSeed, we may come to notice that every different pairing of the four powers of the TetraSeed [  IMAGINING | INTENDING | REMEMBERING | ATTENDING TO  ] feels different from all of the other pairings. (There exist twelve combinations, in which forward and backward order makes a difference.) Never mind.

If we experiment with different pairings, we may also come to notice that when two different pairings balance with each other in intensity (take a breath and pause with that one) . . . . .  the unity of all four (two pairings of two) intuitively reveals "The Way as A Mother," as described in my rendering of the text.

Let's make that practical. Let's create and do an experiment. Here goes.

Examples of pairings:
< PSYCHOACTIVE >


"imagining intending"
"intending remembering"
"remembering attending to"
"attending to imagining"
"imagining remembering"
"intending attending to"

also

"attending to intending"
"remembering imagining"
"imagining attending to"
"attending to remembering"
"remembering intending"
"intending imagining"

< THAT'S ENOUGH, FOR NOW >

So, we have two pairs for consideration:

INTENDING ATTENDING TO
IMAGINING REMEMBERING


Here's the experiment. Do this.


INTENDING ATTENDING TO

A few times in succession, think to yourself or speak aloud with a pause after each line,
the words . . . . .

Intending
intending intending
intending attending to
attending to attending to
attending to intending
intending intending
intending attending to intending
attending to intending attending

Ok. That leaves you "resonating" a certain way, like a struck bell.


Now,

IMAGINING REMEMBERING

remembering
remembering imagining 
imagining imagining

imagining remembering
imagining remembering remembering
remembering remembering
imagining imagining
imagining remembering

imagining remembering imagining
remembering imagining remembering
imagining
remembering

Now, to show more clearly how those to pairings feel different,
let's start from the first one. Go ahead. 

Now do the second one. Alternate between them a few times. I'll wait.

By this example, I illustrate the "Children" of which The Way of Life is as a Mother: experience-able things of all kinds.

These TetraSeed pairings and rhythms create unique experiences that can be felt as "resonances". As "phenomena" -- events -- they are the "children" of the Way in its Mother metaphor.

If we now apply what we have learned to feel ( THOSE RESONANCES, IN THE FIRST EXPERIMENTS )  in a structured experiment, perhaps we may discover something more.

So, the next experiment:

Recall the feeling of 
INTENDING ATTENDING TO INTENDING ~ or 
ATTENDING TO INTENDING ATTENDING TO 
Do that, now. I'll wait.

Now, recall the feeling of 
IMAGINING REMEMBERING IMAGINING ~ or ~
REMEMBERING IMAGINING REMEMBERING
Do that, now. I'll wait.

Repeat back and forth until the sensations "consolidate" (get denser and stabilize).

Do that now. I'll wait.


Now, as you repeat them back and forth, make them equally available, equally intense, equally vivid.

Notice what happens.

I'll wait.



Notice what happened? They fell transparent and revealed the silent presence, the field of undefined (or "infinite") consciousness, the "substance" of which all "thingness" is made, The Mother or Matrix of The Way, The Way as a Mother. Your mind turned to mush -- that is to say, dissolved.

That which we reach for, beyond grasping,
and call, unattainable
listen for and find inaudible
look for and never find
merge beyond conceptual comprehension (beyond understanding)
in a singleness or universality
that does not merely rise and bring light, as the sun,
nor set and leave darkness, as the sun,
but forever issues a succession of living events
as mysterious as the singleness of origin that is their substance
which itself has no quality, no location, no signal of its own
and so has nothing to change.
Lawrence Gold's rendering of
Lao Tzuh, The Tao Teh Ching


That is why wise human beings notice 
that the sense of substantiality we feel
when we combine 
the pairings of two into two balanced pairings
< YOU DID DO THE EXPERIMENTS, DIDN'T YOU? >
we feel the same sense of substantiality that we feel 
when we experience anything and everything else --
even ourselves.

It's something everything has in common.

The Sense of Substantiality

Thus, we feel the balanced combination of The Four Powers of The TetraSeed: as the very sense of substantiality:  "something there" or "something, here".

At the same time, the particular felt qualities of things recede from the Foreground to the Background, so that what is universal is all the more obvious. The sensation is of a gathering of attention in a steady, but unfocused, presence without location -- in a manner of speaking.

If we notice that sensation as our own state of tension, feel its texture, its shape and ours, and recognize it as our own mysterious stress pattern, we may desist from, cease to do, relax out of it. 

We lose a persistent feature of self-definition
lose concern about it
and lose concern about the center of things.


The Way is as a mother.
Know the children, but know the mother dearer.
~ Lao Tzuh, ibid.





Wake-up Call | This is Not a Drill

The convergence of crises of which are becoming aware seems to me to stem from a more fundamental problem than the acts of individuals.  There seem to be too many cats loose to herd, and a herd of cats can be a challenging thing to manage.

If we go after the problems of the times "cat by cat", we end up chasing cats.  A lot of effort is involved.

I see the situation differently -- not as a problem of a lot of cats loose, but as a problem of species intelligence.

Putting it bluntly, too many stupid things are going on at once.  The problem, it seems to me, can be reduced to this:  stupidity.

What can you expect when you chase after a stupid man?

That's what we are facing.

So, once again, I say the problem is one of intelligence.

A look at developing culture reveals that the mainstream have sunk in their intelligence over the past fifty years, or so.  Consider popular music, the type played in grocery stores and restaurants.

The mainstream look upon such efforts at music with favor, music which commonly can be described as caterwallering accompanied by a loud, monotonous drum beat and either a spectacular orchestra or a group of players who make sounds that resemble a garbage disposal unit or a buzzsaw, to which the singer either cries out emotionally or yells.

Consider the output of TV Land and Hollywood, the proportion of tales involving sinister power plots, crime, murder, or widespread destruction.  Stupidity at its best.

And, again, a large proportion of the general population eat it up.

And advertising, which, admittedly can be an artform, commonly portrays immaturity, stupid behavior, lying, deception, absurd distortions of judgment and disproportionate emphasis of the trivial, is done the way it is done ostensibly because it works!  "This drug may cause death, blindness or paralysis.  Ask your doctor if it's right for you!"

What does that say about the intelligence of the consumer population?  Do the advertisers believe (or hope) we are stupid?  or is it the advertisers who are stupid?

Too many cats.  Impossible for us, or for our government, to regulate them.

No, the only solution is for them to regulate themselves.  Intelligently.

And that's where the matter of species-intelligence comes in.  The human species exists within a range of intelligence that seems inadequate either to herd all of those cats or, more frankly speaking, inadequate for people to regulate themselves intelligently.

Hence, we also have a largely preventable and resolvable "health care crisis", which isn't really "a health-care crisis"; it's "a self-care crisis."  With the staunch cooperation of various business vested interests, people do it to themselves with bad diet, bad living, and bad entertainment.  It's stupidity perpetuating stupidity, or even making it more so.

It's enough to turn one into a Republican, except for one thing -- Republicans are at least as stupid as the rest of us, only they think they are smart and that we, non-Republicans, are stupid.  And from their behavior, it would seem that's exactly what they think.  They may be wrong.

The germane question is, What would provoke a species-wide rise of intelligence, a species-wide improvement in people's ability to regulate themselves intelligently?

Historically, cataclysm has been the thing that has provoked evolutionary breakthroughs.  Starvation begat agriculture.  Wars begat new technologies that could help humankind.  Geophysical events immediately preceded the emergence of more intelligent lifeforms and, it can be argued, begat them.

Let me pose an example:
This planet has been beset by ice ages throughout its long, geophysical history. The last one was about 100,000 years ago, and the one before it, about 120,000 years before that.

Ice ages rather radically change the climate and the wildlife present at any location.

Animals either adapt, leave or die, when climate conditions change.

Humans facing the situation faced the same demand:  adapt, leave, or die.  But humans had another potential:  innovate.

For humans, the word, adapt, shows up as learning.  Innovate shows up as developing new ways.

In ice age conditions, learning without innovation is an inadequate response because all that can be learned are the old ways, which are now inadequate.

Innovation, followed by learning of the innovation, had and has survival value.

Those who could learn an innovation had the advantage, and those who could innovate had a special advantage, over those who could not, who died out.

The last ice age "filtered" the human species for ability to innovate and to learn.

Cataclysm led to higher evolution.

Cataclysms can take many forms.

So can innovation.

We're seeing technological innovation, now, but that's the continuation of a primitive imperative -- to shape our environment for ourselves and our benefit.  And as we have seen, the technology developed by the few who have "technological intelligence" can be turned to the uses of the less evolved or less intelligent.  Too many cats.

A new intelligence is needed -- an intelligence not of controlling what is outside us, but of ourselves, of self-regulation toward a healthier life.

Wendings of Form | The Shapeshifter

He had noticed that, very often, the thoughtforms he pulled from the Overmind came in a very crude form. He had really had to work some of them over, tenderize them, and mutate them before he could use them.

He marveled that such dregs of mind would be the best the Overmind could offer. It was as if it had rudimentary existence, but that no one had undertaken to upgrade a particular thoughtform -- that the Overmind was stupid in this area of experience. Perhaps no one had noticed it, it its latency, and worked it into functional form. It hadn't previously popped into existence.

The crudeness of some emerging, emergent thoughtforms made it necessary to for him to delay actions that depended upon thoughtforms being well-formed, coherent, and nearly transparent to the formless field of consciousness. Crudeness was dense, seemingly immobile, and without much refinement of expression or precision of function. Transformation was needed -- tenderizing and re-formation to a high Equilibrium.

At times when he confronted different kinds of experiences, he often found the available thoughtforms sufficient, but there were areas of life in which his ways of facing an experience was troublesome to himself, not at all satisfactory. He marveled that he could be in such an inadequate state. But there he was, defined and definite, without much fluidity, caught flat-footed.

So, he very often found it necessary to "sharpen his tool before using it". And that's what he did, this time.

The Set-Up Procedure



The Whole "Between", When All Combine

If we attend to our own consciousness of life, we may notice two "resonances":
attending:intending & remembering:imagining
which may also appear as
intending:attending & imagining:remembering

Notice that those feel different..
When one resonance dominates ...
such as imagining:remembering
the other subsides ...
such as attending:intending
leaving unconscious automatic habits

or

when attending:intending dominates
over
imagining:remembering
one loses track of experience.

Combine the other four pairs, yourself.

When the resonances are at balance,
Divine Ignorance prevails.

What "Divine Ignorance" means becomes obvious
when you make an exploration/experience
of what I have described.


The Anatomy of Culturally-Entrenched Cruelty | Three Pressure Points for Change


The Anatomy of Culturally-Entrenched Cruelty
~ Three Pressure Points for Change ~
. . .
A GOLD KEY RELEASE PIECE
This piece is bound to stir up emotions.
Liberally use the Gold Key Release Procedure linked at the end
to dispel those turbulent emotions.

Lawrence Gold

You may have noticed that these times are a bit crazy and that the craziness is a bit "in our faces".  I'll be talking about the underpinnings of that craziness, which is cruelty (a major disease of humanity), and the work needed to curb and transform it.  This is an advisory piece of writing, not an academic or merely theoretical one.






In the current administration of the United States government, in the behavior of large segments of the citizenry, and in world events at large, we have seen and have been seeing systemic cruelty in an extraordinarily visible way. It's a disease of humanity in which the perpetrators somehow believe they are right (or excused, or above the law), that they have the right and in which everyone else are hapless victims ("tough luck").

Recognizing what we are dealing with is the first step to handling it.

We have been seeing:
  • racism
  • sexism
  • "religious" warfare
  • sexual abuse by members of the clergy and people in "power positions"
  • indiscriminate public attacks by "shooters"
  • corporate greed, corporate politics, pay inequities, and environmental abuse
  • police brutality, particularly on members of minority groups
  • military attacks on civilians
  • selling out by politicians of their Constitutional duty to their constituents (the people who elected them) in service to Big Money, political agendas, and political ambition

and equally
  • self-righteous emotional abusiveness by those who supposedly stand for correction of these abuse patterns, but who indiscriminately make racist and sexist assumptions about their allies and sympathizers (you know who you are).


EFFORTS at SOCIAL JUSTICE
People who want social justice typically target an issue or two (e.g., racism and sexism) and agitate for change. Two things about that:

  1. By concentrating on one or two issues, they miss the larger picture, the problem of which their favorite issues are symptoms, a problem that isn't political, but personal and cultural.

    They seek to "put out fires" instead of addressing the mindset that starts fires. There are just too many fires to efficiently go after them, individually.

  2. Agitation (power over others), in itself, is insufficient. People also need power over themselves (intelligent discipline). I say more about that.

Passionate idealism is insufficient.  It's one thing to protest, blame, or "educate" and another thing to be effective.  Changes of behavior from legislation or policy are insufficient; what 's needed is a shift of mindset, which controls behavior from within.

To be effective, we need two things:
  1. understanding (which is more than knowing facts or history, but an intuitive understanding of relationships)
  2. focused and coordinated action at least equal in force to the forces keeping problems in place

This piece talks about the causes of cruelty in its many forms, exposes "pressure points" for change, and talks about how to apply pressure to those pressure points.

Some of it is not what you think.

SIGNS of the CRUEL MINDSET of the TIMES
Cruelty shows up in the behavior of the U.S. government:
  • as the current immigration policy that separates helpless children from their parents
  • as efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • as tax cuts for the super wealthy
  • as conflict of interest betrayal by politicians yielding to "pressure" by lobbyists (revolving door or otherwise), as by the gun lobby
  • corruption of the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, and Department of Education
  • as corruption of the legislative process by the use of "riders" -- sections introduced to pieces of legislation that have nothing to do with that particular particular piece of legislation -- introduced to the bill for that legislation to get them passed, when they wouldn't pass on their own
  • as police repression of lawful protest demonstrations (as in Occupy Wall Street)
  • as "racial profiling" that leads to unwarranted and unpunished police attacks, killings, and disproportionate jailings, of innocent members of minority groups
  • as instances of injustice-by-omission: namely, pardoning individuals convicted of crimes who don't deserve to be pardoned, as light sentences for those who deserve heavier consequences, and as failure to prosecute (as in "too big to fail" Wall Street bankers)
  • as military adventurism
  • as pandering to the gun lobby
  • as violations-with-impunity of laws and ethical standards by legislators
  • as lies and distortions in political campaigns
  • as voter suppression and gerrymandering
  • as betrayal of the public political will by political parties with their own agenda

You are no doubt aware of other patterns of cruelty and injustice from your personal life and the news media.

These are not separate issues, but different forms of the same underlying problem.

Patriarchy
"Patriarchy" often gets blamed for the ills of the world.  There is cruelty for which members of Patriarchy deserve blame.  The real issue isn't gender, however; it's the cruelty of members of a gender -- and cruelty is different from gender-specific behavior.  After all, some women also indulge in casual cruelty -- toward men, toward each other, and for those in positions of power (e.g., politicians and bureaucrats and even clerks) toward "the 99%" underclasses.

So, to blame gender for cruelty is lazy and sloppy -- even cruel -- thinking. The abuses of Patriarchy are a symptom, not a first-cause.

From these words, I expect you are now feeling the mood of cruelty -- perhaps labelled, to yourself, as "righteous anger".  Good.  Now it's time to expose it.

The Anatomy Of Cruelty

Understanding the anatomy of cruelty, rather than just reacting to it by striking at its symptoms, is the basis of any effective strategy to address it -- and change it. Understanding reveals pressure points for change.

So now, I'm going to discuss the structure or anatomy of cruelty, its origins and "pressure points".

Understanding the Anatomy of Cruelty
Cruelty involves both feeling and action. Here are the stages by which cruelty develops, which are the pressure points for addressing it:


  1. inspiration / a good idea:  taking initiative

  2. being persistently thwarted:  sabotage by others and "the system"
    (desensitization:  suppression or denial of feeling)

  3. self-betrayal:  resentful surrender, resignation and conformity to "the system":  seeking the power of the powerful

  4. taking it out on others (consciously or unconsciously)


You can see that a developmental sequence is involved of "going over to The Dark Side". This sequence generates an internal pressure that fuels cruelty. People of insufficient integrity go along with that pressure, rationalizing that it's a sign that they're doing the right thing, excusing their actions as if morality (or personal integrity) were a popularity contest.

Any or all of these pressure points can be dealt with creatively to undermine the excuses for cruelty and cruel behavior patterns.

I'll go over the essentials.

THE ELEMENTS OF CRUELTY

DESENSITIZATION

"Desensitization" means the inability or unwillingness to feel. "Feel" doesn't mean just emotional feeling or compassion, but also the ability to perceive the bodily signals that where we are headed is abhorrent and also, the bodily signals of a direction that would feel wholesome.  Desensitization is a kind of "dumbing down" to avoid pain.  Words for this condition are, "apathy" and "resignation".

Desensitization goes with "fixed-mindedness" -- unwillingness or inability to consider to a meaningful depth anything other than what we already know and consider to be legitimate or true. A word for this condition is, "arrogance".

Desensitization may be caused
  • by childhood abuse (physical or emotional)
  • by childhood indoctrination and example by parents and peers
  • by domestic violence
  • by education in a religious context
  • by military training
  • by corporate culture
  • by criminal influences
  • by professional standards, such as medical training in which cruelty is found and commonly accepted (consider medical procedures, pharmaceuticals with adverse side-effects (and high prices), and the 30-hour, no-sleep shifts imposed upon interns entering the medical profession)
  • by a hard life
  • by being "spoiled" -- lack of constructive discipline and the low self-esteem that results from failure to accomplish anything worthwhile (by ones own standards)
  • by sheer "cussedness" and refusing the discipline of too-permissive parents
  • by an exploitative mass entertainment media featuring evil enemies, fighting, guns, explosions, gratuitous sexuality and an abundance of immature themes appealing to narcissistic, adolescent motivations

These are all situations that retard maturation and development and that foster desensitization.

Arrested Development
Cruelty is a sign of immaturity or distorted development.  We see casual cruelty by children who have yet to mature past selfishness -- mean speech, taking or breaking the toys of others, misbehavior.  Even children with some sensitivity may be corrupted by abusive fathers and mean mothers through unwarranted invalidation, ridicule, shaming, and physical violence -- and more abuse for reacting emotionally to being abused. Childhood emotional neglect also leads to failure to mature, emotionally.

A child in that condition may feel anger at the parents (or other bullies) but not dare to express it where it belongs, instead directing pent-up anger at themselves or at innocent others whom they do not fear.  Schoolyard and social media bullying are examples.

Adults may feel a similar pent-up anger at bullying bosses, pay inequities, office politics, and social injustice but have no safe outlet, instead being told or required, in effect, to "Suck it up!"

As people get resigned to things being that way, they may become hardened and resentful -- which they cease to notice, even as it distorts their character into a form many mistake for human nature -- that of the hardened racist, sexist, selfish, unethical, incompetent or unresponsive individual (whether in politics, in business, or in crime).

Hardened character shows up as hard-heartedness and power games, "hardball business practices", sexual exploitation or betrayal, and hard drinking (a significant problem, in Congress -- where abstinence during term-of-office would probably improve the judgment of members of Congress).

We become conditioned not to feel or to want to feel, with anger just below the surface just waiting to be misdirected at those whom we do not fear, when what we need to do is intelligently direct our will at those who deserve our anger (which means, overcome the intimidation we felt at the times when we were being abused). Easier said than done, I know -- but consider the alternative. There's help; see later in this piece.

Because religion is such a loaded subject, I'll say more about it.


Religious Training
The essential selling points of organized religion are a sense of belonging and promises of divine protection against, or being restored from, misfortune -- and the promises of, "later" -- which encourage people to desensitize themselves with religious rationalizations, such as, "God works in mysterious ways".

In Christianity, a primary symbol is The Cross. The Cross was an instrument of torture, death and public intimidation.

The Cross is considered sacred and so people are desensitized to the cruelty it symbolizes; they turn the cruelty of it into the evidence of holiness, "holy suffering", referred to as "The Passion of Christ".

They don't have a realistic sensitivity The Cross; they make an idealistic symbol of it -- righteously, in the official way. Some make an esoteric symbol of it; some even love it. (There is a gospel song called, "The Old Rugged Cross", which sentimentalizes it.)

Some people who have chronic anger may use religious history to justify self-righteous anger (prejudice) toward others (of other religions) or back-biting actions and gossip against members of their own. These "religious sourpusses" tend to speak of "fear of God", rather than, "love of God."

Members of religious heirarchies (i.e., priests, bishops, nuns, etc.) have sometimes been cruel in the name of religious discipline and been abusers (or status seekers) in secret, desensitized to the effects of their actions upon others -- or perhaps secretly enjoying satisfaction in the suffering of others the cruel way some enjoy gossip.



Humanity saw much "Christian" cruelty in the Crusades, in the Inquisition, in the Nazi movement (populated by those who considered themselves Christian), and in common anti-Semitism.

I emphasize that this desensitization and cruelty exactly conflicts with the teachings, intention, and example of Jesus.

In Judaism, particularly in the Old Testament, stories abound of the cruelties inflicted upon others, whether upon the Hebrews by persecution or by punishment-by-God, or by the Hebrews upon each other or upon other peoples by war or by massacre.

Study of the Scriptures fosters a kind of casualness about those events through mental familiarity because those who study the scriptures (particularly those who have been desensitized) cannot replicate (imagine) within themselves the actual suffering caused by the actions recounted.  Recounting of those actions tends to make them matters more of intellect, abstract idealism, of faith and or of reason, than of feeling–experience. More desensitization.

You may easily find examples in members of other religions, including Islam and even Buddhism, more a sign of these individuals' personal faults than of the religions, themselves. ("People make philosophy out of their state of adaptation." ~~ Adi Da Samraj)

The doctrine of "Manifest Destiny" that led to the conquest of the American west and the abuses and subjugation of the American Indians was justified by passages from the Bible that desensitized people to their effects on the Indians.

In more secular times, the motives of science and commerce have largely replaced the moral teaches of religion, so that moral constraints are lacking.

Science and Technology
Science places doubt upon the subjective experience (emotions and beliefs) of the individual (and even to the sensibilities of animals).

Examples:
  • experimentation upon animals and vivisection ("cutting of the living"), as if their feelings were of no consequence or perhaps they have no feelings (notice your reaction in this moment)
  • development of increasingly deadly instruments of war (drones, atomic weapons)
  • use of environmentally destructive and carcinogenic chemicals in agriculture (e.g., products manufactured by Monsanto and Bayer that cause cancer and decimate insect populations)
  • inadequately tested genetically engineered and artificial foods

How sensitive can a scientist (or student of science) be who engages in those practices, when he or she makes research funding or academic achievement or employment the primary criterion of what constitutes acceptable action?

Desensitization.


Commerce: Big Business
The secular cult of commerce places legality over morality or ethics.  The question, "Should it be done?" is often secondary to profitability-motivated, "Can it be done?" Considerations about profit potential often prevail.

Hostile takeovers, stripping employees of their pensions, "revolving door" lobbying, despoiling our environment and outright lying to protect profits are commonplace forms of cruelty excused by legality (or the lack of legal constraints and presence of legal "loopholes").

These behaviors are abuses of Capitalism.

Less obviously, social media addiction, smart-phone obsessive habituation, and environmental degradation also constitute cruelties of commerce because Big Business actively makes them worse.

Even the term for making big profits is cruel:  "making a killing" -- also, in business, expressions like, "killing it", "crushing it", and "steal this [fill in the blank]" for the sake of business profitability.


Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Alcohol and drug abuse suppress or distract from feeling.



Alcohol suppresses the prefrontal lobes of the brain, which provide the discerning intelligence of humans  and self-regulation of behavior. Alcohol also stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain – making acting stupid a pleasure.

Narcotics ("narcos", meaning "related to stupor or a stuporous state") suppress (actually, overwhelm) feeling by simulating (artificially mimicking) the lift produced by the body's self-generated endorphins (pleasure-chemicals of the brain ordinarily produced by successes of one sort or another). Narcotics provide a lift when life-conditions don't cause it.

Thus, we see an epidemic of alcohol and opioid abuse in American society.

Desensitization. You get the idea.


Desire for Pleasure
Wanting to feel less defines pain, wanting to feel more defines pleasure.  Everyone wants to avoid pain and feel pleasure (though sometimes it's reversed --  perverted).

One primal pain is hunger, experienced as appetite. Indulging ones appetite brings relief from hunger pangs (pains), then the pleasure of eating, then satisfaction. What we call satisfaction is the feeling that continuing to eat is less pleasurable than stopping.

However, desensitized people need a more intense feeling to know when to stop eating -- the feeling of fullness or of being stuffed. Desensitized people need more intense stimulation to feel anything.

Hence, the epidemic of obesity and of sexual and other addictions, extreme sports, violent entertainment (including video games), loud music, pornography, over-consumption, social media addiction, the craving for power, economic inflation and unbridled greed.

When we have learned to suppress feeling, the closest safe feeling to pleasure is, relief. Cruelty brings a kind of temporary relief from pent-up anger through "acting out" -- indulging the anger and sending the desire for relief down the pecking order -- bringing the kind of distorted satisfaction gotten by ones original abusers. There's a word for it: "schadenfreude", which means, "taking pleasure in the suffering of others".

So, on one hand, we have desensitization and on the other hand we want pleasure. The result is overindulgence in appetites, exploitation of situations and, in power situations, acts or policies that negatively affect others.


CRUELTY as The Denial of COMFORT or THE thrwarting of Pleasure

Apart from abusers' desire to deny pleasure to others, the denial of pleasure shows up in "institutionalized guilt".

Guilt about pleasure is perpetuated in Christianity as the doctrine of "Original Sin", but it appears as guilt even about healthy appetites.

The denial of pleasure is a kind of penance for Original Sin and The Seven Deadly Sins (even when not warranted). Hence, the term, "guilty pleasures".  I have seen a more extreme form of penance in the practice of self-flagellation (self-whipping of the mortal, sinful body) among Catholics in Mexico during the Easter season.

Among the clergy, the pressures of high standards of religious belief and behavior, of clerical duties, of the "only human", gossipy, sometimes back-biting monastic culture, and of religiously institutionalized rules of sexuality, combined with opportunities to relieve the pressure through secret sexuality make sexual abuse a temptation often enough indulged to appear as scandals in the news.

At Home
Childhood emotional neglect ("CEN") teaches a child that his or her feelings don't matter, that he or she is alone and retards emotional maturation.

A general atmosphere of emotional volatility at home teaches a child that resorting to the parents for comfort is dangerous.

A child may hide (suppress) visible pleasure or enthusiasm to avoid being a visible target for abuse from emotionally unbalanced parents.

A child may even exaggerate his or her suffering in reaction to abuse to make abusive parents feel guilty -- and as a self-oppressing adult become "a downer", if not cruel, to others.

All of these scenarios, by the way, occur more frequently in families with unwanted children.

The conflict between comfort (or pleasure) and guilt (or shame) shows up as self-oppression and the oppression of others.

And the pressure builds.


Desire for Empowerment

The desire for empowerment is another healthy impulse made unhealthy by desensitization. The desire for empowerment sometimes becomes the distorted lust for power.

A kind of pleasure comes with empowerment -- the pleasure of doing what we want and getting what we want -- as natural a pleasure as eating.

Politics, cruel policies, unsound laws and miscarriages of justice that serve the interests of entrenched authorities or power-figures amount to institutionalized sabotage ("oppression").  When combined with the threat of consequences for persisting, such as disapproval or worse, institutionalized sabotage lead to self-sabotage of those affected to avoid those consequences, to resignation, and to pent-up frustration.

It leads to resentment toward others who are succeeding (envy) and to the cruelty of sabotaging them as one has been sabotaged, oneself.

The cruelty shows up as a hard-hearted nature and the impulse to undermine (or not cooperate with) others.  The pent-up anger shows up as self-serving dishonesty and, "If I can't have it, no one else can, either" -- the logic of murder-suicides.


NETWORKS of Corruption and Cruelty

Networks of desensitized cruel individuals develop composed of mutually-validating, mutually-excusing conformist individuals (e.g., think tanks, corporations, news organizations, banking institutions (such as The Federal Reserve Bank and the International Monetary Fund), social movements, political parties, and international business consortia).

When cruel others made things harder than necessary, for us, and we learned to submit to it for our safety, we also may have accumulated the slow-burning anger of frustration -- along with the tendency to regard abuse of power as an acceptable way to power (because our abusers got away with it) -- and sabotage others to maintain the upper hand to compensate for our frustration.

All of that occurs when we become desensitized to our feelings and, in fear of our abusers, sell out to them and cease to distinguish wholesomeness from abuse, right from wrong. We may say that "the lines are blurred"; it is we who are blurred.

In the mood of secret anger and resentment, we may, with intelligence blurred, adopt the hard-hearted ways of our oppressors against others. This is how some people advance themselves in a power heirarchy (e.g., corporation or political organization) .


SUMMARY

We have been intimidated and suckered in by the sickness, stupidity and cowardice of cruel people with power.

I've outlined some of the forces behind desensitized cruelty. Cruelty to others starts with the memory of cruelty to oneself. That's how one learns (and fails to outgrow) it.

I've described many forms of cruelty, but the underpinnings are all the same:

  • naturally wanting to feel pleasure and avoid pain
  • sabotage and resignation
  • adopting the ways of abusers with phony self-righteousness
  • unhandled anger, intimidation and dishonesty perpetuating the entire mess

Cruel people get "whupped" into their cruelty by authorities, power-figures of their lives, social conditions -- and insufficient integrity to come back from the abuses and effects of abuse. They "go over to The Dark Side", which, to them feels safer than confronting the cruelty of others.  The people who fail to hold them accountable are just as much at fault. They are conformists.


A Way Out?

The first thing I may have to do is to address the use of "nonviolent protest".

Non-violent protest, on the moral "high ground", must be employed strategically in concert with other tactics; otherwise, non-violent protest is a cliche of limited value when confronting cruelty, corruption, deceit and violence of one sort or another. It gets laughed at by those in power and doesn't protect protestors from police violence, as we saw at Standing Rock.

While relatively healthy people may be won over by respectful communication and appeal to reason, cruel people are so desensitized and too dense to be influenced by nonviolent demonstrations, alone.  Such people must be "whupped" (or forcefully and persistently opposed) to get their attention and respect by a multi-pronged, organized "coalition" (coalescence of multiple groups in coordinated action -- political, social, economic, and personal).

People resist change. They tenaciously hold on to "what they know" -- in part because their self-image is at stake, in part because they feel their lives are at stake, and in large part because change is inconvenient and taxing, to us.

That's why such people must sometimes be "whupped" back into shape by skilled and careful "counter-whuppers" at least as powerful as those who originally "whupped" them into their distorted shape.

What to Do?
People are already using many familiar tactics:
·       public demonstrations
·       reporting by the news media
·       political commentary
·       speeches
·       private communications
·       on-line social media exposure
·       legal action
·       public confrontations
·       lawsuits

We've seen the effectiveness of these tactics. It's slow going, isn't it?  The ways of cruelty are well-entrenched in the power connections of the world.  How are we to counter them without extraordinary means at the individual level and coordinated action at the collective level?

I'm going to present "extraordinary means", shortly.

What people generally aren't doing are these two steps.

  • PREPARATION by SELF-CLEAN-UP: The very first step is to uncover and disarm the ways we have, ourselves, been traumatized by cruelty. You don't want to be oppressed? Clean up the effects in you of oppression. The trauma won't go away, if you don't -- even if circumstances change.

    It's about more than anger; it's about how defeat and rationalized resignation change what we do and how we do it.

    Trauma is crippling. Cleaning it up isn't just a nicety. It's liberation, claiming your freedom.  Clean-up is required for integrity; integrity is power.  Clean-up is intelligent preparation, as I will explain, further.

  • PREPARATION of EMPOWERMENT: The next step is to make ourselves capable of confronting abusers.

    Confrontation and creativity take integrity.  Lack of integrity shows up as shakiness, inability to confront, ineffectuality: disempowerment.

    You want to be effective?  Remove "the stopper". Uncover and disarm the fear or anxiety that surfaces as soon as we confront abusers -- which we felt when we were originally abused.

    That disarming of fear is called, "empowerment". You do it on an incident-by-incident basis, not as a once-and-for-all achievement. It develops.

    (There is no such thing as empowerment by others. Empowerment by others is better called, "permission" or "encouragement" or "authorization.")

These steps, personal clean-up and empowerment -- untraceable and safe, for you -- are the most important steps.  They open the way for recognition of opportunities, ingenuity, and the energy needed to take action.

You don't hear much about personal clean-up because people generally prefer to act upon others (you know -- the ones who are at fault), rather than upon themselves -- and because they haven't experienced something that works well enough to be exciting. 

The very notion of, "empowerment", is already a disempowered notion tainted by mediocrity.  The common idea of empowerment is something like pushing down harder on the accelerator pedal of your car.  What's needed is to take your foot off the brake! and to steer better -- not commonly understood or taught.  We already know the result.

So, people consider changing our way of operating difficult, at best.

However, something new is available for people with initiative:  rapidly effective "personal clean-up and empowerment procedures".  "Rapidly effective" is unusual and because it is unusual, it may seem unrealistic, untrue. Seeming unrealistic isn't the fault of the procedures, but of people stuck in a state of resignation, thinking they know "what's what". 

There's no way to know but to test those procedures in yourself.

I offer two procedures, freely, for the public good. These are anti-stress, self-empowerment procedures you do for and by yourself (or with a partner or mentor).  They awaken and rally imagination, intention, memory, and attention -- the four basic faculties or powers of intelligence.

The names of these procedures are

  • The Gold Key Release
  • The Trauma Dissolution Procedure

There are others that get at deeply seated, subconscious conditioning in different ways.

It's a matter of using them.  BUT -- ya gotta wanna.

Your first test of The Gold Key Release may be on the irate state (or funk) in which you may find yourself from reading this piece.  Recover your composure. Get your natural empowerment and clarity of mind back.  This is a wake-up call.  Get started, here.

Now, some tactics that depend on preparation by these procedures for effective use.  These are ways of applying pressure to pressure points.
  1. Refuse and, if necessary, rebuke abuse (and incompetence) where you experience them, in life -- and insist upon corrections.  Insist on integrity.  Even insist on excellence.  (Of course, you must embody it to insist upon it.)

    Choose your battles wisely to make best use of your time and energy.

  1. Speak truth to power.

    Cruel people are authoritarians who disavow responsibility for their cruelty, or even disavow that it is cruelty. Their excuse is the examples set by their superiors and their superiors' approval of similar behavior. Call it out.

    IMPORTANT POINT: Speaking equally involves listening. Don't just persuade or rebuke. Listen to how what you're saying is "landing" in the listener and adjust your approach creatively; listen to the responses spoken by your listener to the point of hearing (curb your impulse to interrupt).  Listen to all they have to say.  Listen for useful "pressure points".

  2. Confront cruelty as high up the chain of command as we can and in a coordinated, unified way, with others.

    A preliminary step is to undermine the authority figures of cruel individuals -- to "whup" them whose "whupping" generated more cruel individuals. Do it publicly or privately.

    One form of such "whupping" is legal action. Another is ostracism (refusal to interact, as in boycotting).  Another is public verbal confrontation.  Another is humiliation: make cruel people and others in their "network of power connections" a laughing stock. There are others.

    Because cruel people are aligned with their cruel oppressors (or people like them), you may expect to hear much protest as we confront their authority figures. As the balance tips, some will give in.

We've seen the beginnings of a turnaround with Trump Republicans in Congress, who have begun to turn away from the agenda of low-self-esteem cruelty as Trump's "feet of clay" have become obvious and as he gets closer to the "fire" of indictment or impeachment -- and as they have started seeing their peers indicted or resigning.

Remember that these are people who have abandoned their feeling-integrity for the safety of mutual approval and the (expected) approval of their superiors and enablers (e.g., lobbyists and political party figures).

These are but starting points for the correction.



Know what you're dealing with.  Go beyond remembering how bad things have been and using those memories to stir yourself (and others) up, as if your responsibility ends, there. Use your imagination to apply pressure to pressure points.  Clean yourself up and prepare yourself.  These are the most important steps to defeating and redirecting cruelty in a wholesome direction. 

CLICK, ABOVE, FOR FREE ACCESS

The United States of Money

ETHICS

Get ready to change your attitude because, if you're honest with yourself, you may see that you have to, after reading what follows.

First, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that the purpose and function of government is for you to make more money. That's not the function of government, its responsibility, or even its ability. The purpose of government is to create a safe social container for the advancement of all aspects of civilization -- providing the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty for all its citizens. The purpose of a democracy is to make liberty safe for its citizens.

You may have been suckered in by the pronouncements of politicians and economists, which say that the actions of governments can "create jobs" and wealth, whereas the ability of any government to do so is small, slow, and unreliable. Changes come from the bottom, up, not from the top, down.

THE MOST FOOLISH ECONOMIC THEORY

Perhaps the most foolish, if not altogether ridiculous economic theory is, "Trickle-down Theory" -- which seems to suggest some sort of mechanistic automaticity by which wealth at the top trickles down as a result of some sort of "economic gravity". It's foolish because it overlooks human behavior as the primary mechanism of wealth distribution. Wealth trickles down only if those who have the wealth want it to; and they generally don't. They want to accumulate wealth, not share it. Trickle-down Theory is bogus, a false lead, a ponzi scheme that serves entrenched wealth.

To drive the point home about human behavior controlling the flow of wealth, there is an adage: "The stock market is driven by two forces: greed and fear." Its truth is evident, to you, if you play the stock market (or crypto-currencies) and are honest about your motivations.

No, government can't create jobs or wealth -- other than "infrastructure jobs" for the common good (and you may notice, they're not jumping at that). It can only cause the loss of jobs and wealth by incompetence and foolishness -- such as tax breaks for the wealthy, sabotage of ideas like universal health care (an idea resisted by health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry), perpetuation of The Fed (which isn't a federal institution, at all, but a privately held banking scheme that charges the public interest for generating fictitious dollars and placing them in circulation), and impediments to innovations ("disruptive technologies") such as sustainable energy sources -- so that the gravy train continues to feed the entrenched wealth of those who make their money from old ways of doing things.

Jobs come from businesses in the private sector filling the needs of the public sector -- and that includes public infrastructure projects.

FILLING NEEDS vs. PROFIT-MAKING GIMMICKS

Just to distinguish needs from profit-making gimmicks, "Fancy Feast cat food" is not a need (unless you consider the need of seniors who can't afford both food and medicine). It's a gimmick. So are self-driving cars, violence-based video games and virtual-reality entertainment. So are genetically-engineered seeds and chemicals that make growers dependent on companies that have patents, while despoiling our environment and forcing plants to grow without adequate nutritional support from depleted soil to produce nutritionally deficient food. (If food lacks flavor, it lacks nutritional value.) So are many pharmaceuticals, including those for depression (epidemic), which fail to handle the actual causes of diseases (e.g., bad diet) and depression (one of which is the concentration of wealth in the wealthy and economic hardship for the rest).

SUCKERS FOR GOVERNMENT

People who attribute economic gains to government policies are suckers who have been sucked in by the self-serving bureaucratic propaganda of those who seek re-election and by The American Dream (that the greater the material wealth, the greater the happiness).

The common person feels that, if economic times are good, those in government deserve re-election; if economic times are bad, "Throw the bums out!" (except, these days, people don't). Such a person is a simpleton who hasn't considered that governments don't produce wealth; they only consume it, regulate it, or direct it. Such a person fails to take into account economic cycles that result from rhythmic, large-scale human behavior patterns; from emergence of new technologies, tidal fluctuations of world markets, climate changes and from idiocies like trade wars and currency manipulations, so they misplace credit for improvements and misplace blame for setbacks.

If people's understanding of economic changes were correct, we could regulate them better.

The biggest beneficiaries of government spending are defense contractors who not only don't fill needs, but who create expensive instruments of destruction that should never be used and deprive the public of the resources for meeting human needs.

Another foolish sentiment is that business is sacrosanct and that making money justifies any action, as long as it's legal (note, I didn't say ethical or moral). It's the spirit of the board-game, Monopoly: winner take all. Get the money and keep it.

It's foolish because the flow of wealth depends upon the willingness of the general population to spend it -- which brings us to what is perhaps my most central point.

TRUST and PROFIT

Willingness to spend money depends upon trust. The failure of trust in commerce, in product quality, and in government is evident in the saying, "Caveat emptor!" -- "Let the buyer beware!" It's the recommendation that people treat all potential business transactions with suspicion.

Suspicion slows commerce down.

When "winner take all" is the mood of commerce and "legality", the measure of legitimacy, an economic climate of suspicion results.

The climate of suspicion is made worse by people who sell gimmicks or half-baked products (like shoddy software or poorly designed tangible goods with obsolescence planned in) -- and by politicians who serve the wealthiest 1% instead of their electorate (composed mostly of "the 99%"), politicians who don't keep promises they make because they can't. The rapid-fire emergence of technological upgrades (such as the latest cell phone or high-tech watch) serves profit-making more than public need; such products promise to be what products should have been, to begin with: well-designed and lasting. There is no shortage of problems that need solving, and so no excuse for planned obsolescence or for gimmicks.

OVERSIMPLIFICATION

Still, people tend to evaluate government by whether they are making more money, rather than by whether more people, the society as a whole, are healthier and happier. They mistake more money and more "things" for happiness -- true only for the poor, for young people starting out, and for immigrants and refugees. They vote emotionally for short-term benefit, rather than intelligently, for the long term.

It's a trait of undeveloped minds to consider only one issue in decision-making, rather than all the issues of which they may be made aware. Their minds can't hold it all and their critical thinking and feeling capacity has often been blunted or left undeveloped by an incompetent educational system, filtered news, degraded entertainment, and commercial propaganda.

Very often, the information about that one issue is furnished by those who control the mass-communications media and who seek to manipulate public opinion for their own profit, fostering and perpetuating a population of naive suckers with strong opinions based on biased, spoon-fed information.

CONSEQUENCES

When money is the primary criterion for evaluating politicians and government policy, ethics and morality fall by the wayside. Societies suffer and civilization declines.

And that's what we've been experiencing in The United States of Money: entrenched wealth meets a population of easily manipulated simpletons and helpless suckers.

A final word:
We have, in the office of President, a man who has admitted on camera that he is greedy and for whom making money is a priority. Prediction: He will be found to have been bought off by Putin's Russia -- the "Achilles Heel" (unsuspected weakness) of The United States of Money.

Offended? Sick of the situation? Relieve yourself with The Gold Key Release. Then, act accordingly.



Click the Gold Key
and follow the video.