Big, Bad Government -- the Decoy of the Political Far-Right

While the Political Far-Right and many of the rich (The Constipated Rich) publicly decry Big Government, the cry is a decoy.

These are the people who call at every turn for deregulation.

Well, another group of people also call for deregulation:  infants and adolescents.  They want out from under the control of their parents.  They want freedom -- and they want it without responsibility.  So, also, do the self-indulgent, the lazy, and the criminal, liars, hypocrites, and a certain class of politicians, lobbyists, and news commentators and editors.

That much they have in common with the Political Far-Right and The Constipated Rich.  All want to do as they please without obligation to or regulation by others -- or the self-regulation that characterizes morality or even ordinary maturity.

The difference is that infants and adolescents make no pretense about whose good they are seeking -- their own -- whereas the Political Far-Right and The Constipated Rich want us to believe that it is for everyone's good that they seek deregulation.

More than that, there seems to be an even more immoral trait about them: the belief, acted upon commonly in political campaigns, for example, that "anything goes" -- lying, distortion/disinformation, selective recounting of history, mischaracterization -- victory at any cost. They consider fairness quaint or naive -- and so degrade public discourse. And the public, in their (either) naivete or self-dishonesty, believe that they are immune to the same strategies being employed against them.

Let's take an honest and sober look at the pros, cons, and the safe conditions of deregulation and reduction of government.

The pros:  government regulations impose bureaucracy, and all of the time-wasting paperwork and hoop-jumping that goes with it, upon society.  Deregulation and reduction of government promise to reduce the bureaucratic overload and attendant costs, both in dollars and in humanpower.

The cons:  unregulated, the principals of certain, well-recognized Big Business corporations -- many of whom are The Constipated Rich -- act in their self interest, not in the interest of society at large.  Their mentality is that of children raiding the forbidden "cookie jar", hoping never to get noticed or caught.  They are quick to label altruism as socialism -- a problem because Socialism suffered the same onus as our degraded Capitalism suffers:  the onus earned by abuse.

Though some Capitalists may not admit it, Capitalism and Socialism suffer similar degradation, and the consequence shows up as a sluggish economy and growing class stratification.

The thing is, the Political Right and the Constipated Rich want class stratification because they think (wrongly) that it benefits them.  It's as if the leaves of a tree, the branches and the fruit, detested the tree's roots.

They regulate themselves badly and it is for that very reason that Big Government and regulation become necessary.

The safe condition for an Economized Government and deregulation would be if people, including and especially the Political Far-Right and the Constipated Rich, exercised their intelligence and saw that they depend upon those whom they strip bare (impoverish) and uproot (disenfranchise) -- and acted accordingly.  Cause the economic waters of society-at-large to rise, and all boats rise.

Instead, they foolishly and dishonestly lay out the decoys of "taxes and government regulation" as the culprits, or socialism, or terrorists, or drugs, or government-mandated health insurance coverage, or The Left.

Such people's behavior creates unnecessary and avoidable strain within the body-politic and pain for the general population -- and for that reason, they should be expelled from the political commons, and would be by a wise electorate. Perhaps we could afford them in earlier times, but today's problems require broad cooperation among many public and private sectors. Cooperation requires, at its base, trust, and trust (to be sound) requires honesty and integrity among those whose cooperation is needed.

It is all too obvious to cursory intelligence that many of the problems that beset us, today, stem from socio-economic imbalances and disparities that disturb and weaken not just societies, but also international relations -- imbalances that can and must be redressed by a balancing of the economic flow of all societies. By fostering conditions that reduce the overall class-stratification of our societies (not merely economically, but also in terms of education and health care -- the primary means and requirements of all productivity) -- we can thereby reduce the need for government bureaucracy and regulation.

To protect their positions, the Far-Right and the Constipated Rich build houses of brick -- legislation and preferential treatment (through lobbyists) -- so that they may be safe from the storms of fate that beset those not so well-off and who live in houses of sticks (mortgage borrowers) or of straw (renters).

And the electorate (voting public) lets them get away with it. Thus, the saying, "The People get the government they deserve."

Now, let me ask, "Who's Afraid of Big Bad Government"?

Not the top 1%, the Political Right, the CEOs; they own the Big, Bad Government through lobbyists (should be banned) and unlimited political contributions ("Citizens United").  

The Supreme Court:  Unfit to Rule

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We start down-to-Earth. Just send for and listen for free to a beautifully articulated and nuanced reading, in nearly its entirety (divided by chapter sections) and in the moods of its author, of the transcription of Thomas Hanna's fervently inspiring rant one afternoon in 1974 and into the evening. That rant became The End of Tyranny. Hear him describe what is happening today with such penetrating clarity that you'll be aroar with the fire of righteous intelligence as you recognize what you see and hear happening, today, with new understanding. Once you've started, you'll be drawn right in. It'll light a fire under your hiney, so take it a little at a time, in sections lasting ten minutes, or so. No need to rush through it.

MORE: The Constipated Rich and Trickle-Down Theory


Constipation of the Rich and Trickle-Down Theory

Allow me to start with two wisecracks, befitting the title.

"The Fat Cats has been liposuctioning the "fat" out of the economy, into their own pockets, which they don't seem to mind."

Or, otherwise, our world economy appears to be suffering from "Constipation of the Rich".

Trickle-down theory only seems to work when you put the squeeze on, and the ones in control of the squeeze are those who would be squeezed -- so, no squeeze, no trickle-down.

So, this watered-down economy gets by on a trickle while the Fat Cats of the world are bloated with Constipation of the Rich.

And when Constipation of the Rich is concerned, everything slows down.  Stagnation sets in.  People complain.  The News Media make news out of it, as if it's something that results from mysterious economic forces out of anyone's control.

But there's nothing new or even newsworthy about Constipation of the Rich.

Why?

Because no one's done anything (consequential) about it.

Some of us are working on it.

You may become a member of the elite club, The Integral Somatics Association of Earth -- "Busybodies, All".

We start down-to-Earth.  Just send for and listen for free to a beautifully articulated and nuanced reading, in its entirety and in the moods of its author, of the transcription of Thomas Hanna's fervently inspiring, book-length tirade one afternoon in 1974 and into the evening. That tirade became The End of Tyranny.  Hear him describe what is happening today with such penetrating clarity that you'll be aroar with the fire of righteous intelligence as you recognize what you see and hear happening, today, with new understanding.  Once you've started, you'll be drawn right in.  It'll light a fire under your hiney, so take it a little at a time, in sections lasting ten minutes, or so.  No need to rush through it.

MORE:  Big, Bad Government -- the Decoy of the Far-Right

There is No Mind-Body Connection | There is No Mind-Body Split

Yoga, Religion, and Psychotherapy are Based Upon a Misunderstanding.

The words, "yoga" and "religion" have something in common:  they both refer to unification or union of two things that are presumed to be un-unified in the ordinary person.  But in both cases, those two things are always already in union, or "not-two".

"Yoga" means "union" and comes from the same root as the word, "yoke".  Agricultural cultures use the yoke to unify the efforts of two beasts of burden -- whether oxen, bulls, or horses.  In yoga, it is the individual self (you) and the Great Self (God or Brahman or Ultimate Reality) that are to be unified (or realized to be one) through practices outlined in Eastern scriptures -- and also "mind" and "body" that are to be unified.  Thus, practices exist at the "physical" level (hatha yoga, kriya yoga, etc.), at the emotional level (bhakti yoga), at the "mental" level (jnana yoga, etc.), at the behavioral level (raja yoga, karma yoga), and at the subtle-energetic level (kundalini yoga and siddha yoga).  I put those terms into quotes because they represent not actual, separate levels of the self, but soma-self seen and considered from different perspectives, with different phenomena (kinds of events).  It's the perspectives that are different; "level" means "a perspective and its content".

"Religion" comes from the root words, "re-" (again) and "ligare" (to bind together).  "Ligare" and ligament come from the same meaning-root (ligaments bind bones together).  In religion, it is the individual self (you) and God that are to be re-united -- "God and sinners reconciled", as the Christmas carol goes -- and their separation is the very definition of "sin" -- "to miss the mark".

Yogic scriptures attribute the separation of self from Ultimate Reality to "Maya" or "Samsara" -- conditional reality, which the scriptures describe as "illusory", with Ultimate Reality being the only "Real".  "Conditional reality" is everything experienced through the senses, through memory, and through self-awareness.  Maya or Samsara are called "illusion", while God or Brahman or Ultimate Reality are "the Real".

These statements apply to the more exoteric teachings of religion and yoga.

Well, the whole thing is wrong.

Self and God (or Ultimate Reality) are always already one and the same, and mind"and"body are always already fully united (or more properly, "not-two").

The esoteric teachings state that the self and Ultimate Reality (or God) are always already one, but that actuality must be realized (not merely mentally believed as dogma or arrived at by reasoning, but observably recognized).

However, there exists a reason why they appear to be separate from one another, and that reason is, "memory".  The "ten dollar", Sanscrit word for memories is, "samscaras".  Memory, the carrying forward of impressions of past experience (and our reactions to them) into the present moment, is the nature of illusion called, "Maya" or "samsara"; it is a feature of existence, itself, and it is the very mechanism and meaning of the word, "karma" (which literally means, "action").

We, in the West, readily accept the notion that some memories are accessible to us and others are buried in the subconscious or unconscious.  We accept the notion that subconscious memories affect our behavior.  What we may not so readily recognize is that memories are physiologically embodied and are what we regard to be ourselves.

In Western psychotherapy, the idea that manifestations of subconscious ("repressed") memories "affect the body" are called "somatization".  Somatization always involves physiological effects -- alterations of bodily functions -- muscle tension, nervous arousal states, glandular and immunological changes.  (A related scientific field is called, "psycho-neuro-immunology".)

Because some memories are subconscious (or unconscious), we feel their somatic effects without recognizing the underlying memory or memories that create those effects; we feel out of control -- and so we say that there exists a mind-body split.  I will say more about subconscious and unconscious memories later.

There exist two faults with this understanding.

The first fault is the notion that one "affects" the "other"; that they are "two".  And there we are, in the notion of a mind-body split that can (or must), through some efforts, be unified -- even though psychotherapy recognizes "somatization".

The second fault is to fail to recognize that all of our chronic or repetitive stresses and tensions are somatization in action; psychotherapy may recognize "clinical" forms of somatization (as outlined in the DSM manual), but if its understanding were more inclusive, it would recognize that ordinary emotional distress, nervous tension, all speech, and all actions and behaviors are forms of somatization, not just clinical disease-entities.

In Western religion, we accept the notion of "sin" as "voluntary wrong action" that separates us from Divinity.  Some branches of Christianity postulate "original sin" -- sin that exists by virtue of being born as a human being that can ultimately only be remediated in heaven after death or upon the Judgment Day.

There exist two faults with this understanding. 

The first fault is the notion that one can cease to be a sinner by accepting and vigorously reinforcing beliefs and right behaviors.  The closest correction to this fault is the notion of being "saved" in Christianity -- saved by grace bestowed upon oneself by a religious authority.

The second fault is to fail to recognize that sin comes from deeply entrenched memory patterns that show up involuntarily and without recognition, as our very self.  "Original sin" approaches this understanding but falls short of obviousness; it fails to recognize that the body or born self is not the problem, but that the subconsciousness or unconsciousness of the memory patterns that define self is the problem.  The automaticity, the automatic nature, the automatic control of the memories of self-identity (and all of our ways, which stem from those memories) -- the unconscious automaticity is the problem.  The unconsciousness is the problem -- and the "sinning" behaviors that come from subconscious memories being secondary effects.

So, let me say it another way.  There is no mind-body connection; they are two views of the same thing.  There are two ways of viewing the same living process -- from inside ("mind") and from outside ("body").  From a scientific perspective, "mind" is the "field" and "body" is the "particle" -- two aspects of the same thing.  The two perspectives, together, constitute what we call, "soma" -- your experience of yourself as a conscious, living person with the ability to direct attention and to exercise intention.  Mind and body are always already "one" (named, "soma").

The ability to direct attention and to exercise intention is the very basis of the idea of "sin" (because it presumes we have free will or even absolute control of our actions), but our self-control is limited by the unconsciousness of the controlling memories by which we remember "ourselves", control our actions and make sense of our experiences.

This is a practical distinction that flies in the face of the New Age-y notion that "we are total controllers of our own reality and totally responsible for our experience" -- which is nonsense.  Personal experience shows it to be so.  You should feel relieved.  On the other hand, we are not relieved of responsibility; we still continue to suffer until we get a handle on (not just "right ideas about") the cause of our experience -- which doesn't mean, "understanding" in a mental sense, but the ability to resolve and release their binding, involuntary effects.  Responsibility is a practical matter, and for it to be a practical matter, we must be actually capable of perceiving and doing something practical.  Otherwise, the idea of responsibility is just an abstraction.

However, that understanding, as it is, is insufficient to relieve suffering, which is the ostensible goal both of Western Religion and Eastern spiritual practices.

Our target is properly the unconscious/subconscious material that, when rendered "fine-tunable" or "adjustable" (instead of stuck or poorly adjustable to immediate conditions), becomes recognizable as our repertoire of activities, not assumed as our somehow "human nature" identities.

There is no "mind-body connection" to be restored; there is no "self-and-God" to be re-united .  What there is, are all of the unconscious memories that cause compulsory thinking, compulsory feelings, behaviors that seem to be out of our control, that seem to "happen to" us, the internal conflicts and dilemmas that afflict us in the course of life -- the whole mass of which constitute an illusory "opacity" that hijacks and blocks attention from intuiting the formless, un"knowable" ground of being that Western religions call Divinity and that Eastern spirituality calls "liberation".  The "split" is entire conceptual, a matter of labelling and of conventional or learned behavior, but not the actual nature of things.  Divinity is being the flow of concepts and sensations that we identify as duality, or split.

The Divine cannot correctly be sought (because seeking depends upon memories that determine "what is to be sought", and memories are precisely what hijack and trap attention); The Divine can only be revealed in the transparency of memory that occurs when unconscious (unrecognized) memory patterns become conscious (and recognizable as memories), so that they lose their binding attraction ("stickiness") and attention can "see through them" (external perception) or "fall through them" (internal apperception) --  to enjoy intuition of self-source, which is Divinity, or Brahman, BEING them -- and which is not some spectacular accomplishment of mind-blowing insanity or weird perception, but merely the easy ordinaryness of the experience of our own most ordinary faculties, unfouled by unconscious memories.

As a practical matter, binding and deluding memories (which may be anything and everything) exist at different levels of the being (or ways of organizing intention/actions and attention/sensations) which we may call "physical", "emotional", "mental", "higher mental", "intuitive", etc., according to their content.  As a practical matter, my experience is that memories must be addressed on their own terms -- or the terms of the level at which they appear -- and that certain principles of conscious awakening and change apply to memories at all "levels".  It's a matter of learning how to apply those principles at different levels.

In my experience, perhaps the most accessible way to learn to exercise those principles is through one form of somatic education or another, which, though it may illuminate any and all levels of the being, approaches through the perspective (or doorway) of embodiment.  It's very easy to tell whether your application of somatic principles is effective; did you feel immediately different after practice?  Was the change durable?  If so, then so; if not, then not.

Somatic education is a doorway -- but not the entire path -- simply because people commonly consider the scope of somatic education to be "matters bodily" (or physiological); it's a fault of the mind-body "split"-concept.  Actually, somatic education is a full-spectrum affair that runs from physiological concerns to the highest matters of consciousness, and throughout that spectrum, different means apply for awakening responsibility, some of which may look clinical, others psychological, and others, spiritual/evolutionary.  In whatever ways the technical means may differ, the principles are identical.

There is no mind-body connection, there is no yoga, there is no true religion ("binding again"); there is just the uncovering and mastery, freely intelligent use and free release of the patterns of memory by which we define life in terms of multiplicities (of which the minimum is duality) and the logics by which interact in life, even our very own.

When the "stickiness" of memories (Tibetan:  dukkha) dissolves, we are more free to relate to experience (relationship), and so the sense of separation so decried in spiritual circles as the affliction of humanity, is recognized not to pertain, and never to have pertained, and the force of it diminishes and dissolves.


So be it.

RELATED:
Somatic Spiritual (Evolutionary) Practice -- The Big Pandiculation 
The Integration of Un-evolved and Evolved View of the Body
Education is More Than 'Learning New Things'

PRACTICAL
somatic exercises 

We Cannot Stop our Minds -- nor Need We

But when we steadily observe the flow and the feeling of each thought, the space between thoughts gets longer until mind stops by itself, for periods of time.

Attention and intention are the two fundamental functions of all sentient beings ("somas").  Everything more is varied instrumentality for those two ends:  Sense organs (organs of attention) and organs of intention (musculo-skeletology -- hands, feet, mouth, paws, trunk, claws, tail, etc., then speech and then tools and technology that externalize somatic functions).  Sensation and movement.  Emotion (feelings) and motivation (actions).  Imagination and preparation. Perception (incoming) and conception (outgoing).

While the language may indicate that attention and intention -- and their organs -- are separate from each other, they are altogether intertwined, as I describe, as follows.

The most primal intention is the movement of attention, experienced as the impulse to be, which is actually the experience of movement.  Movements maintain the sense of being, even movements as subtle as the movements of breathing and the internal pulsing of heartbeat; without movement, the body-sense fades out, insensate, even as hair and nails lack sensation.

The movements of mind are subject to attention:  movements of thought, the movements of reverie, all of which bear the force of intention to some degree; to discover what the intention of mind at any moment, pay attention. Here's a funny thing: 

Anyone who has ever practiced a meditation or attention discipline has noticed the incessant arising of thoughts and reveries.  The funny thing is, these thoughts and reveries arise before we know them, fading or congealing into existence -- and doing so always, to some unknown degree, before we know it.

Intention is force ("wattage")  -- or in the language of physics, "tendency".  Tendency is the movement of things happening and things changing into something else.

Objects of attention and new intentions are arising in us, ongoingly, as our swooning reveries of thought and daydream-streams.

Now, spiritual fascists -- I being a recovering one -- may have the idea that meditation is about quieting the mind.  Well, that may be an effect, but it isn't the intention, per se, and to attempt to do so by an act of will is less than fruitless; it is counterproductive, reinforcing the mind in this novel, almost-all-encompassing intention:

QUIET THE MIND !!!!!

We can't quiet the mind by an act of will because thoughts and reveries are always already in existence by the time that we notice them to quieten them.  More than that, and in addition to the swooning reverie of thought, the effort to quiet the swooning reverie of thought is just another thought-intention added to all the rest.

There is a loophole, however.  To say it explictly . . . . .
Thinking and reverie
are kinds of stress
which can be felt if we pay attention.

Every thought is evidenced by a feeling --
otherwise, how do you know when you're thinking?
-- never mind, what.

Thinking is an ever-shifting play of feeling
and if a person is imagining (reverie),
there may be imagined sounds, sights, and smells.

These are things upon which we may place our attention.

After all, they are already part of our experience,
so no need to go looking. 
We notice that, if we place our attention on a thought
we have caught ourselves having,
and if we feel the "thought stress",
we notice that the thought dissipates in time, often fairly quickly,
leading attention straight into the "space between thoughts" --
that fabled Bramanic zone of conscious awareness . . . . .

until the next thought reverie captures you
as it rises as a momentary preoccupation
Then, you notice it
and dive your attention down upon it,
like a duck on a bug
feel it,
and follow it through its development.
Feeling the thought-stress
rather than concerning yourself with the content,
the mind dissipates,
dropping you into the Thoughtless Unknown between thoughts.

Then you have an interval of ordinary
thoughtless abiding . . . . .
no mind, though you are present
no thoughts, though you are intelligently present
no special effort
either of action or of rest.

Until the next one arises!  like gas!  effervescence!  The Universal Alka-Seltzer Fizz!  Fizz Mind.

Anyhow, some things dissipate much faster than others,
so take that into account.

Also, some thought-reveries, instead of dissipating under attention
seduce you into their fascinating content
congeal, develop, and become more solid.
They become tangible creations and interactions
with life and duration enough to affect us.

They run their course as life-experience
and then dissipate into the Silent Drop-Off.

It all goes on.
The mind goes off on a tangent.
Then it goes off.

If ever you want to know the way out,
the way "out" is "in-and-through".

phut!