Since time began God has been around in one form or another. Depending on when, where, and what age you were born in, you would have received from your elders an entirely different picture of Him . . .
Who is God anyway? This entity with the many names and personalities, this multi-faceted Father of the Universe, this Creator declaring His love, yet demanding our worship or else.
In our time, religious warfare has ravaged the planet. People of differing philosophies are killing one another to prove the point that they are the ‘chosen’ of the God of love and peace . . . What gives?
Say you were born in the US to Baptist Christian parents. Now, there were others in your town such as the Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, etc. who were also Christians, but the others were only privy to part of the truth, your parents taught you that the Baptists had it all. They were the ‘chosen’, above the rest of the ‘chosen’, who were chosen above the other religions because they all held at least one truth in common, Jesus the Christ.
The other guys, those religions and individuals that didn’t acknowledge Jesus as Lord, weren’t even in the running to be considered ‘chosen’.
Pretty confusing to a kid, but after a few years of brainwashing, you took your place in the church, accepted “it’s” version of the bible to be God’s holy word, learned your preachers denominational interpretation of all doctrinal issues such as ‘heaven and hell’ and thanked God for choosing you from amongst the billions of earthlings to reveal His truth to . . .
Is there something wrong here?
I grew up as a Protestant, but never thought much of it. My only remembrance of church was how I hated to get dressed up on Sunday and go. Jesus was just a sissy looking guy with long brown hair who got himself hung on a cross for some reason I couldn’t quite understand.
It was much later in life, after the army, after the free love ‘hippie’ days, that I began to give any serious thought to God. I had a bad experience on drugs one night with a Ouigi Board that scared me enough to seek some spiritual help.
I asked an old guy in the neighborhood about God and he sent me down the street to the Pentecostal Church. This was where my religious adventure began. Born again, Spirit filled, tongue talking, hell and damnation preaching, loud praising, song singing, Pentecostalism.
Years later, living a secluded life on a Christian communal farm, I began to wonder. I began to get an uneasy feeling about the whole thing and I left.
I stopped listening to what people had to tell me about God and decided to risk hell fire and damnation and get to know Him on my own. No bible, no Jesus, no nothing. It was time to lay aside fear of backsliding, fear of leaving the Church, and fear of everything else having to do with the Christian faith.
I began to read other philosophies, especially Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, and American Indian thought. Soon, I put these aside also and took a walk in the woods.
At first I found it difficult to deliver myself from years of religious conditioning, but as time went by, it became easier.
I began to peek into forbidden areas, and began to make choices. I thought about Jesus, about the necessity for salvation, and about sin, and hell, and death . . . and I thought about God,the creator of it all.
Today Jesus still has a role to play in my life, but not as a savior. Although I no longer worship him, I honor him as a great teacher, perhaps the greatest. His recorded life is an example of what life expects of me, and his sacrifices are deeply appreciated.
He was a teacher who revealed through his nature, what I could become if I chose to follow his lead. If he was the savior of the world, just believing in him didn’t seem to make much sense.
I can believe my math teacher is the greatest teacher on earth, but if I fail to learn what he has to teach, what does that make me? . . . a worshiper. If I absorb his teachings, I take him with me as I go into the world to become a teacher in my own right.
He will always be the Master and I his student, but as I build upon his foundation, it will no longer be necessary to sit at his feet. I will have taken on a mission of my own.
All religions seem to have a fuzzy image of God, He’s called a trinity in Christian philosophy. He’s the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Kind of confusing.
Other sects and religions have other names for Him, but none really pins Him down. He is the great I AM . . . and He doesn’t fit well into anybody’s preconceived box.
I needed a deeper understanding of Him than what religious teaching had for me, so I took a walk in the woods. . . and there I met Him face to face.
Simply put, God is not an individual entity, God is a state of being. Everything that lives, either animal, vegetable, or mineral is a part of God. He’s you, He’s me, the dog, the fly, and the leaf in the tree. We are surrounded by and engulfed in His omnipotence.
We are Him, His breath is what keeps us upright, the flesh He created is but a vehicle to contain His presence. We are drops of water originating from the same wave. We appear for but a moment, make a flash in the sun and re-enter. We are nothing . . . and yet we are everything.
We, as the highest evolution of His person, have the power to choose, therefore we are creators in our own right. As far as I know, we are the only life form having the ability to choose and to create according to our whim. We create our tomorrows by the thoughts and actions we take today, both individually and collectively.
God didn’t create this chaos we live in, we did. Instead of ignoring negativity, we embraced it and made a place for it in our world. By doing so, we have created a state of dualism.
Positivity/Negativity are battling for dominion and it seems the latter is in the lead. It will continue to grow, nothings going to stop it until, we as a whole, stop struggling to be amongst the ‘chosen’ and get down to the business of being our brothers keeper.
I’ve often wondered why we were given this ability and can only figure that God/Life is also evolving. That nothing is stagnate, but forever growing, even God. Where are we going? Well, that remains to be seen. I don’t have a clue, but I’m convinced the teachings of Jesus, as well as others, are paths leading us to the next step in our evolution.
Today I see God everywhere, but especially when I’m alone walking in the woods out of the earshot of men and their constant jabbering.
Walk softly upon the Earth and you will hear His still, small voice quietly floating upon the breeze. Study the miracle within an acorn. Listen to what He has to say concerning the joy of simply being a part of it all, as well as to the futility involved in claiming personal ownership to any of it.
I recently had an epiphany of sorts from a movie my daughter, who likes to catch people in awkward positions, made for me concerning last years trip to the beach.
First of all, I must say that even at the age of 75 I ignore the mirror and see myself as being muscle packed and fearless . . . probably always will. The truth, though, is a far different story. I have arterial sclerosis and a whole slew of other stuff I stubbornly ignore.
The other day after watching the candid camera kid’s movie I was mesmerized by the old man I observed in the movie. I know of course it was me, but I had/still have a problem reconciling that image with my own.
I am not that doddering old man, nor will I ever become him because now I am convinced without a doubt I am something or someone entirely different than any kind of physical presence real or imagined. I, the REAL me, am not at all a physical being, I merely present myself as one out of necessity.
So in the real world, though I am an old man physically, I am still a youngster at heart . . . and when that old physical body returns to dust I, the youngster, shall remain. I’m not sure how, or what form I will be in . . . (although I see no heaven or hell in my future) I KNOW I will remain vibrant in some form or another.
Anyway I saw this video and that’s the thought that came to mind. Because I have always been a bit like Dustin I have to wonder how many wonderful people I have passed by because they didn’t meet my physical/social/economic criteria. . . . far too many, I am sure. . . and our physical presence is the least aspect of who we are, it’s a shame that for most of us that’s all we ever see.
Today I am adding a “types and shadows” section to this blog . . . not because I consider myself to be a spokesperson for God ( like pastors and preachers of all ilk do when they read from a book and play the “God told me to tell you” game.) . . . I am a loner and I don’t understand religion at all . . . I DO feel, though, that it is very important for all of us to begin realizing that we are ALL spokespersons for God and our purpose on this planet is not to plunder and rape our mother as we are now doing.
Anyway, since I now see that Creedence Clearwater’s ‘bad moon’ has already risen, I have decided to write (what I consider to be) the reality behind the spiritual lessons our earth mother is trying to teach us. Her types and shadows are everywhere . . . and they all point in the same direction.. . . . to a God far different and far more mysterious than that old man in the clouds with his hierarchy to heaven. . . . we are in heaven right now, but because we are too dumb to realize it, we have created our heaven into our hell.
Following is a story I wrote some years ago about a people who got lost immediately upon arrival because they chose to worship rather than observe closely and learn the truths contained in this wonderful dimension we find ourselves sharing in.
This is a passage from the KJV, it’s taken out of Romans 18-32, that famous few verses where God pretty much includes everything and everybody into His wrath because of their idolatrous nature.
King James Version (KJV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Ok, let’s pretend I’m God and I’m trying to tell you guys something, but your aggravating me because you’re not listening.
ME: Ok guys look here. This planet I made is for you. Now the reasons why I made it is none of your business, but I want you to know what I expect you to do with it.
YOU: Oh most holy God we could never understand the glory and the greatness and the wonder and . . .
ME: Shut up and listen to me will you?! This is important! I need your full and undivided attention here.
ME: Creating a physical presence out of spiritual nothingness is tricky business, but I am very proud to say I have accomplished it. This planet is one beautiful place . . . but it is not perfect. That part I left up to you guys.
Now, listen up. The reason I created you guys in the first place is that I need you to be my caretakers . . . your duties will be to TAKE CARE of everything I made and keep it in order.
That means everything that is alive. You also have been given the power to create. That means this whole project can become your heaven or if you go stupid on me . . . your hell.
YOU: Oh thank you great and wonderful and wise and holy . . .
ME: You guys testing me?? . . . Now, the way it works is that everything that is alive is ME . . . just take my word for it . . . that means as you study the environment, the flora, the fauna, and all the creeping things and all the animals . . . you are studying, and getting to know, ME.
This is the only way we can communicate and the only way we will ever communicate. You cannot come to me because I AM already here. I am also YOU.
When you are asked my name by your children and your children’s children just tell them I AM . . .
Ok . . . I love you, I will always be with you . . . now get busy!
YOU: Oh thank you great and wonderful and wise and holy . . .
ME . . . (silence). . . . . . . .
YOU: GOD!! Where are you?? . . . Quick, set up an altar! Pray . . .Pray! . . . Pray!! . . . WHERE IS HE?
We are so afraid! Hurry we must subdue this planet . . . Kill all these animals and sacrifice them . . . Get rid of these damn trees!
OH MY GOD! WE forgot what He said already . . . Quick, write a book! . . . Build a temple! . . . We need an image! . . . We need something or someone to worship! . . . we need . . . We Need . . . WE NEED!!
Off in the distance a cloud formed dark and ominous and full of lightning and thunder. It grew until it encompassed the entire ocean. It moved inland towards the frightened caretakers as they bowed before their altars and prayed for deliverance.
The cloud burst upon them and pummeled them with rain for forty days and forty nights until every vestige of humanity had been erased off the planet. Man had once again drowned in his own ignorance. . . . by his own choice.
God wept, but began again.
It seems I do more of it in the winter, but regardless, as I get older I spend a lot of time day dreaming. I usually wake up about 5 am, make coffee and, being retired and having no place to go, sit in my chair in the dark drinking my coffee and dreaming about the past. A rather pleasant time, I might add.
Now I have been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but the things and places have become mere backdrops, places to hold the faces and memories of the many people I have known and the friends I have made over the last 72 years that I have lived on this planet.
As I begin to think on a place and time the faces are soon to follow. These faces pop into my mind like a worn out jack-in-the-box. Crank the handle and up pops Joey Sirgo or Gunner Thompson, or Tommy One Nut, Pissball Pete or just plain Joe . . . . . (It’s amazing how many of these guys have slang names and how often that’s the only one I can remember.)
Then the fun begins as I sit and reminisce with these guys over all the exciting times we had together . . . and a few of the sad ones. Seems the good and the funny always float to the top first though. I have to dig a bit to get to the bad, so as I hate shoveling I mostly leave that part alone.
To all the girls I’ve loved before. I remember your eyes, the lift of your breasts and the swing of your hips, but my Band of Brothers meant far more to me than trying to figure you out ever did. You ladies have a special room in my heart, but not this one. This room is filled with bar girls, one night stands, and short time hookers.
The “old boys club” door is locked to the finer female. You wouldn’t like it in here anyways cause the room stinks of old cigar smoke, cordite, and bull shit and the floor is littered with trampled peanut shells, dried blood and dog hair. A place only one of my old friends could love.
I always figured when I got old I would be sitting in the park with the rest of the old goats like they did when I was a kid. Maybe the old project crowd still do that, I don’t know because I lost contact with them at 15 when I had to move.
Today I live a life of seclusion. I spend my days reading, or goofing on my computer or driving my wife crazy, but rarely if ever do I spend time with friends, cause although spread out over half the world, they are not here.
Once I was in a Portland City jail cell with the walls covered in graffiti. I found an empty spot and wrote my own little tale of woe, “I’ve been alone since birth, I’ll remain alone till death, then I’ll have a friend”. Kind of a downer, but how else would you feel being stuck in a two man cell with a guy coming down off heroin?
I do hope that quickly thought verse will prove itself to be true though cause I’m getting closer to D day each time I go to sleep at night and it would be really cool to wake up on the other side and see a large table of my friends gathered around it to greet me. (and my many favorite dogs lying under it)
Jesus and God would have to wait for a while then because first thing I want to do is drink some good Old Crow and hang out with the guys again for a season . . . or two.
I think Robert Service said it all about guys like us. Guys our women just can’t quite understand:
The Men Who Don’t Fit In
There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.
If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.
He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
He’s a man who won’t fit in.
But . . . those of us who have walked this path would have it no other way.
Two scholars had spent the better part of the morning in a local Portland Starbucks arguing over Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they decided to drive to Cannon Beach where an old sage named Chung Lee, who reputedly had the answers, lived.
After a pleasant one hour trip the two arrived at the old man’s shack. Spotting a lone figure sitting atop a nearby hill, they exited the car and climbed up to where the old sage sat facing out to sea. Upon their arrival the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?”
The two became puzzled. “Sir, One said. We were told you could help us with the greatest philosophical dilemma of our age . . . perhaps even give us some insight into the theories of which we are about to speak.”
“Yes, of course.” Chung Lee answered. “But go now, next time you come, bring me a cup of Starbucks coffee, then we will speak of your theories.”
The following morning the two checked out of their motel at the crack of dawn and returned to the hill. This time one carried a large cup of Starbucks coffee. After greetings, he handed the old sage the cardboard tray. Both sat in the sand and opened their portfolios, each anticipating a quick and decisive victory.
Chung Lee, while sipping his coffee quickly went over each theory, handed the papers back, looked out to sea and finished the coffee before beginning to speak.
“The two theories are mere disciplines, and although seemingly opposing views, upon deeper reflection are one and the same. The difference lies in your interpretation and in your desire to understand the mystery. But alas, the mystery cannot be contained within a theory, so you are both beating your learned heads against a brick wall.”
Going on he said. “Each theory is merely a doorway, and being so can never explain the goings on within the room. You need theory to find the doorway, but once opened this very same discipline becomes your stumbling block. Theory will never reveal truth, only the pathway to it.
The two looked at each other, excused themselves and walked back to the car.
“This is a wise man?” One asked the other. “”He sends us for coffee, then he comes up with this gibberish?”
“Yes, it is strange,” answered Two. “Yet his reputation is such that there has to be something we are missing. Let’s give him a chance to prove himself.”
The two went back to where the old man was sitting. “Sir, excuse us, but neither one of us understands. What are we missing?”
The old man held up the empty cup. “This cup will always contain a mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy the taste of it, you one day realize you don’t really care HOW Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup of coffee.”
The old man dismissed them with a smile and returned his gaze to the sea.
“The great sadness is not the passing of a people; it is our failure to remember, our failure to bring forward the knowledge, our failure to consecrate the wisdom and so redeem the sacrifice of those who came before us.” Paul Myburgh – The Bushman Winter Has Come.
Why is it one group sees the cop at Ferguson a killer while the other group sees him as being justified? What causes black people across the country to think and act like they do? They don’t know whether the young man was shot charging the cop or whether he had his hands up any more than I do . . . and yet they are convinced beyond a doubt that the kid was murdered. How can two people look at the same thing and come up with an entirely different viewpoint from that same evidence?
Distrust and disrespect . . .
The black man has been raised on a foundation of distrust and disrespect ever since the days the white man stole him out of his homeland and brought him to these America’s in the hold of a ship. He has been beaten down ever since.
In todays world various civil rights laws help him a bit, but I don’t see the foundation shifting or changing beneath his feet all that much. . . especially since the white corporate bosses packed up their factory jobs and left them, as well as the poor and middle class whites, holding an empty bag. If I were black . . . angry would be my middle name.
But I’m not black. My foundation’s entirely different than my black brothers foundation is . . . therefore I see a lot of things differently than they do. And in some cases I bought the white man’s con far easier than they would have.
I grew up in an all white lower class neighborhood. I don’t remember ever being around black kids, but basically, mostly because of our elders, us white kids didn’t like the blacks. I rarely ever saw one during my school years unless he was on the opposing football team.
In the early sixties I went into the military where I was forced to integrate and train with blacks. Once overseas we spent a large part of our time in the bush living in very close proximity to one another. We shared the same sleeping spots, ate the same rations, sweated and bitched about the same things.
I quickly found that in spite of my negative teaching, and though it was the rioting sixties, these guys were a lot of fun to hang out with. We were a small unit and quickly became like brothers.
Because of this experience I am no longer a racist. I have found many times I have far more in common with a lot of the “different” races of people than I have with those of my own race. Whites are so uptight they make me nervous. Get together with white guys and all they talk about are their portfolios and bank accounts and watching sports. I long for some of the good old time jaw jacking I used to get from the blacks.
Personally I would rather spend all my time amongst ALL the races, maybe have dinner one night with a black athlete and a Vietnamese artist and an Arab poet. (leave the religions out though cause I’m way sick of that stuff). Wouldn’t that be a lively evening? Wouldn’t that open a whole plethora of really interesting conversation?
I understand why the races distrust us . . . and why they think as they do. This thing at Ferguson has very little to do with the rule of law and a whole lot to do with perception based upon experience. I believe the actual incident is a secondary issue to all that.
So what are we going to do about it? Pass some more laws? Stand up and clap when race baiters like Al Sharpton come to town? Get all worked up and riot and ultimately settle back to the ‘same old shit different day’ routine in life we always do?
How about we ALL work on these distrust issues? . . . and these disrespect issues? . . . and bring back the jobs and balance the scales a bit before we judge each other. Nothing changes until we do.
Trust has no color . . . respect has no color . . . money does though . . . and those high white Wall Street/Politico war mongers who own it all? Now there’s a race of folks I truly DON’T trust . . . nor have any respect for.
Introducing . . . the happy . . . lively . . . downbeat beautifully neat! . . . Carolina Chocolate Drops!! . . . . .
The other day my daughter was telling me about a yoga friend of hers who is a professional astrologer, teacher and writer. I asked her to get me a reading while he was in town and (of course), she forgot and I didn’t get my reading.
Anyway, who among us that lived during the hippie days didn’t know their sign? . . . or that usually when meeting a chick the first question you asked was, “what’s your sign?” Continue reading
In Italy they have a saying, “Il bel far niente,” it means “The beauty of doing nothing.”
What a lovely country that must be. I can quite easily see myself fitting into a society that sees beauty in doing nothing, as that has always been my goal . . . to get to the point where I can sit on my butt doing nothing more than just thinking and enjoying myself. Continue reading
If there is any it will come from the children . . .
this will be one of the ways we will operate in the world.
First we must educate or destroy the current systems that feed on power and profit and has absolutely no understanding of what being “alive” actually means . . .
Years ago I sold my lake front property, payed off all bills/loans and bought this property I now live on. This small wooded valley contained only five houses along about 1 mile + of lane. I had fresh spring water, no noise, very little traffic, and a clear line of sight in case I had to defend myself. . . I’d done good . . . I WAS PREPARED to face the storm I knew was coming . . .
First thing to break my bubble was the fracking. They blew ‘exploratory something or others’ up the hill behind my property and f–ud up my spring . . . (now I must filter the water two times before drinking it.) I was pissed, but complaining to those people is useless. All they care about is profit, period.
Couple months ago I read somewhere about Geo-engineering … http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org . . . and sure enough as I studied the small amount of visible sky above my head I noticed immediately that it was different. (why I didn’t know this fact already was beyond me) The usual lazy puff of white clouds and blue sky had been replaced by long lines of hazy silver fog. . . and at night I could no longer see the stars in all their past clarity . . .
WTF are they doing? I don’t have a clue, but my system is on ‘ready alert’ even though I know there is not a damn thing I can do about any of it. I am screwed! . . . (as are we all)
Anyway I found this presentation by Allen Watts (whom I love) to be of help in my dilemma. . . . now the job for me is to let go, melt into the woods and relax. The ego did all he could and look what happened.
I’m sure those dipshits messing with the atmosphere will come up with the same conclusions a little further on down the road . . .
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
We were sitting at the rented beach house one evening last week when my daughter, out of the blue, asks, “Dad, tell me about when you were in the military.”
“Ummm, no, how about I tell you about the hippie days, that was much more interesting.”
She kept pressing about the army. . . I kept himhawing around. My attempt to find a funny story or two fell short. I just wanted to change the subject.
At 72 I am so detached from the kid who loved the rush of jumping out of planes and blowing shit up that I find it all kinda embarrassing . . . and for a certainty I did nothing that I am particularly proud of.
Chris Hedges was a war correspondent for something like 15 years. He knows war like most never will and he defines it better than anybody I’ve ever read.
He wrote a book entitled War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning . . . the following is taken from this highly recommended read about the false glory and the bullshit of war.
Let me have a war, says I: It exceeds peace as far as day
Does night; it’s spritely, waking, audible, full of vent.
Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy, mull’d deaf, sleepy,
Insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war is a
Destroyer of men.
(exerpt from Chapter Four)
The myth of war entices us with the allure of heroism. But the images of war handed to us, even when they are graphic, leave out the one essential element of war- fear. There is, until the actual moment of confrontation, no cost to imaginary glory. The visual and audio effects of films, the battlefield descriptions in books, make the experience appear real. In fact the experience is sterile. We are safe. We do not smell rotting flesh, hear the cries of agony, or see before us blood and entrails seeping out of bodies. We view, from a distance, the rush, the excitement, but feel none of the awful gut wrenching anxiety and humiliation that come with mortal danger. It takes the experience of fear and the chaos of battle, the deafening and disturbing noise, to wake us up, to make us realize that we are not who we imagined we were, that war as displayed by the entertainment industry might, in most cases, as well be ballet. But even with this I have seen soldiers in war try to recreate the fiction of war, especially when a television camera is around to record the attempted heroics. The result is usually pathetic.
The prospect of war is exciting. Many young men, schooled in the notion that war is the ultimate definition of manhood, that only in war will they be tested and proven, that they can discover their worth as human beings in battle, willingly join the great enterprise. The admiration of the crowd, the high-blown rhetoric, the chance to achieve the glory of the previous generation, the idea of nobility beckon us forward. And people, ironically, enjoy righteous indignation and an object upon which to unleash their anger. War usually starts with collective euphoria.
It is all the more startling that such fantasy is believed, given the impersonal slaughter of modern industrial warfare. I saw high explosives fired from huge distances in the Gulf war reduce battalions of Iraqis to scattered corpses. Iraqi soldiers were nothing more on the screens of sophisticated artillery pieces than little dots scurrying around like ants – that is, until they were blasted away. Bombers dumped tons of iron fragmentation bombs on them. Our tanks, which could outdistance their Soviet -built counterparts, blew iraqi armored units to a standstill. Helicopters hovered above units like angels of death in the sky. Here there was no pillage, no warlords, no collapse of unit discipline, but the cold and brutal efficiency of industrial warfare waged by well – trained and highly organized professional soldiers. It was a potent reminder why most European states and America live in such opulence and determine the fate of so many others. We equip and train the most efficient killers on the planet.
But even in the new age of warfare we cling to to the outdated notion of the single hero able to carry out daring feats of courage on the battlefield. Such heroism is about as relevant as mounting bayonet or cavalry charges. But peddling the myth of heroism is essential, maybe even more so now, to entice soldiers into war. Men in modern warefare are in service to technology. Many combat veterans never actually see the people they are firing at nor those firing at them, and this is true even in low – insurgencies.
To be sure, soldiers who kill innocents pay a tremendous personal emotional and spiritual price. But within the universe of total war, equipped with weapons that can kill hundreds or thousands of people in seconds, soldiers only have time to reflect later.
By then these soldiers often have been discarded, left as broken men in a civilian society that does not understand them and does not want to understand them.
The other day I went into a shoe store to buy a pair of running shoes. I found a pair of Reebok’s and bought them after I saw that they were made in Vietnam. All I could think was how I wanted to give some business to the people we were so stupid to start a war with in the first place. We sent 50 + thousand of our kids to their death over there . . . for what? Now we are friends and trading partners (something that Ho Chi Minh wanted in the first place) I STILL don’t get it . . .
Who are these homeless people anyways? Folks down on their luck who have just fallen through the cracks? Drunken bums? Drug addicts? Criminals? What does the rank and file in this empty faced army consist of? Do we even care? . . . or do we just want these losers to disappear from our streets so we don’t have to look at them.
As I see it the only difference between ‘us and them’ is that the homeless, for whatever reason, lost all their stuff. Therefore since we judge one anothers worth by the amount of stuff we possess, these people are deemed worthless.
This ‘haves and have nots’ attitude is so screwed up on so many levels that it is hard to even write about it. The changes it will take to actually create the society we love to brag about are almost insurmountable . . . but not quite.
Many years ago in this country we were snookered into believing that a monkey dressed in a three piece suit was no longer a monkey. Even if he had lied and cheated, even if he had killed to get that suit, it didn’t matter as much as the fact he possessed it.
Today we have a corporate owned government in this country filled with psychopaths and charlatans every bit as evil as the homeless thugs who enjoy strong arming other homeless persons as they sleep under a bridge. The only difference between the two classes of thugs is that the official has learned to cloak himself in respectability and hide in plain sight while his brother hunkers in the shadows. We need to break the spell . . . we need to wake up and get our priorities in order.
I got out of the military sometime in the mid 60’s, came home to the States and got a factory job right away. In those days hundreds of men physically manned the steel mills that ran three shifts 24/7. A large majority of these guys were black. It wasn’t too many years later that computerized machines were introduced into the factories and a steady shrinking of the work force began.
The black communities were hit very hard. Unable to find work the men lost their pride, they became drunks and druggies in order to cope. Many lost their family ties and ended up living in the streets. The army of the homeless began to grow in size.
Many soldiers came home from the war with PTSD and problems that drove them into the streets. The army of the homeless was strengthened. They say 30% of today’s homeless are veterans.
A 1985 report from Los Angeles estimated that 30% to 50% of homeless persons were seriously mentally ill. The study concluded that this was in part the product of the deinstitutionalization movement….The streets had become the asylums of the 80s.
So, basically we have three main reasons for homelessness: Loss of employment, veterans and their PTSD, the release of mentally ill through the deinstitutionalization movement. There are many others . . . and the army of the hopeless grows.
Today there are countless numbers of people who, although they are fine at the moment, are living off credit and only a couple days away from the streets themselves. It’s scary in America these days and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
You know, you’d think this country, especially since the corporate takeover at least, would begin to realize that coming up with a solution to the homeless problem would be GOOD for business. Remember what happened to the rich and powerful in Russia’s Bolshevik revolution? (see Dr. Zhivago)
Globalization may not be a bad thing, but just dumping our citizenry overboard for cheap off country labor and a higher profit margin to the corporation is so short sighted that I have to wonder just how intelligent the CEO actually is. As is, when he/she takes the podium I’m having a hard time seeing nothing but Cheeta in a three piece suit.
If God sent Man out to search and destroy
Then everything else makes sense.
If Odin be He and warriors be we
And He cared not the consequence.
Then we well trained elite have skipped not a beat
As we’ve ravaged and subdued the land.
Turning flora to mud and fauna to crud
We’ve met and exceeded God Odin’s demand.
But what if this God that we cherish
Were the artist who’d just done His best
Not merely a fable that makes us not able
To see the great danger in soiling His nest?