The Fly in the Ointment

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ]

There are “bad” people in the world, and there are “good” people. For the sake of argument, we’ll say that for every “good” person, there are on average, say, 100,000 “bad” people (I’m sure it’s way higher than that but let’s be generous). When I say “bad” people I’m not saying “criminally bad people” per se, I’m talking about people who simply don’t care, being self-centered and selfishly motivated, whereas “good” people are those who care about things other than as they affect them, or as they may harm or benefit them personally, i.e., “good” people are relatively selfless.

That said, there is a third, tiny minority of people who exist, it seems, strictly to throw the proverbial monkey wrench in the gears: the fly in the societal ointment. In ancient times they were known as prophets and these “naysayers” were always at odds with the propagandists (the false prophets – today’s main stream media and priesthood of that always popular self-help and positive thinking church) and with society’s leadership and society at large (the Establishment). Their end was often quite violent.

I happen to fit the label of the latter, whether I like it or not. Although the areas where such as myself can speak freely are rapidly diminishing I am thankful that I can still do it, for people with the prophetic curse/gift must speak or die. Remember Cassandra’s curse! As Lord Byron wrote: “If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad.” We speak “the truth” not only as we see it, but as we are driven to see it and speak it. That more than anything else, is what really irritates people; not just those who stand to lose greatly if we are listened to, but basically everybody. And here’s why.

In a world such as man has made of this earth, the truth is neither pleasant nor painless for anyone confronted with it. It is civilization’s scalpel, and the more diseased civilization, the deeper the scalpel must cut in order to attempt removal of diseased parts and allow for re-construction. Once convinced of the seriousness of a particular disease and the need to amputate, a patient may finally accept the fact and come to rely on the surgeon to save her life. Here’s the rub: a prophet is not the surgeon who’s going to amputate the cancerous parts of the body politic and help activate healing and possible re-growth of missing parts. The prophet does two things: s/he will tell you what your problem is based on your symptoms, and s/he will also tell you whether any surgery can fix the problem or whether it’s too deep, too endemic, to be arrested and a healthy recovery possible.

The prophet does not wield the scalpel: you, as a member of that body, are the surgeon.

You, with full cooperation and participation of all other parts of the body politic must perform the surgery, must endure to pain, accept the prophet’s “prescriptions and diet” if there’s to be any hope of recovery.

If the prophet says the disease has delved too deeply and greedily inside the body for the body to recover, that is not the end of the matter either. If (that’s a huge “if”) all the parts of the entire body still insist they want to live as a body, nothing is ever impossible, nothing is written in stone. Recovery remains possible, but the costs of attempting such a recovery may be way higher than most are willing to undertake. Since the majority “share holders” of the body are endemically “bad” people, i.e., bad stewards and managers, the prophet, taking that into account, will say (to the “good” people), “Honestly Pete, it ain’t happenin.”

This little essay is a warning to all the “good” and certainly well-meaning people I’ve encountered, whose efforts on behalf of the world, the animals, the environment, the poor, the oppressed, the war-torn refugees are beyond stalwart, to not expect those efforts to actually change to body politic for the better. They are band aids, nothing more, because they will never be allowed to be more than that. Success would mean loss of privilege, profit and comfort for that overwhelming majority of “bad” people. As a prophet I’m not advocating the “good” people stop their selfless efforts on behalf of what they perceive as needy, including the global environment, far from it. But to avoid burn out, disappointment and worst-case scenario, despair, make it a purpose, not a goal. Be there, without expectations. Be there because that’s where you belong; because that’s who and what you are. Then come hell or high water, all will be well, even when you are drowning in tears of sorrow and the tiny beachheads you’ve created though a lifetime of effort are wiped out overnight by the men in jackboots.

We are daily made aware that we are awash in the blood of martyrs. That blood is not a healing balm upon the earth, but an acid burning Earthian civilization to its bones and to its very marrow. So much blood has been shed in the last century and the first decade and a half of this one that nothing but a complete wipe out of man’s current civilization can begin to expunge man’s grossest-ever crimes committed against helpless and peace-seeking innocence. As a species, man has plunged (and continues to plunge) lower than even hell can imagine. That’s not the worst part. The worst part is, that for the vast majority it’s just more “business as usual.”  The day belongs to the “bad” people. 

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.” A quote not to be used lightly in these, the last days of this civilization. Yes, the last days, for the necessary will to change does not exist and will not be allowed to come to pass.

19 thoughts on “The Fly in the Ointment

  1. Lisa R. Palmer

    “But to avoid burn out, disappointment and worst-case scenario, despair, make it a purpose, not a goal. Be there, without expectations. Be there because that’s where you belong; because that’s who and what you are.”


    Best advice I’ve heard in a while. Even though you don’t give advice… ;D. Thanks, Sha’Tara!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      You’re welcome my friend. These kinds of comments are not meant as advice, just stating the results of experience.

  2. mistermuse

    Some people might call you a cynic. I’d call you a realist. Is it possible to be a realist without being a cynic? Perhaps on some other planet. On this planet….really?

    Nonetheless, I wouldn’t discourage idealism. The must be a countebalnce to all the madness, or life would be all but unbearable.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      A sharp comment. I would consider myself the opposite of a cynic. I take the long term view of history that covers an infinite number of lifetimes within this universe as my space to work in. One life is measured by what is learned to be carried into the next. Once the illusion is shattered, recovering one’s mind,then the real memories resurface and we can regain our sovereign power.

  3. underswansea

    There is good and bad in everybody. To do good is hard. You know that. We are an animal (I know you don’t agree). Regardless, we give it our best shot. That said, I’m going down swinging. Very fine post.

  4. Carol A. Hand

    Your astute insights bring to mind Parker Palmer’s notion of life in “the tragic gap.” (

    We live between the darkness of what is the the hopeful possibilities of what could/should be. But as Bob points out above, I believe we all embody both darkness and light, or both good and bad. At least I know that’s true for me. Being “good” by speaking, or more importantly by living our “truth,” requires courage, discipline, and willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of others – a mother who sacrifices for her children, a soldier who is willing to die for his/her country. People doing the best they can in a system they perhaps cannot imagine because their status has denied them opportunities to see the bigger picture. By speaking and living truth, prophets open up possibilities for helping others find their own paths to truth. I am grateful that you are willing to make the sacrifices to live as one of those prophets, Sha’Tara.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Carol. For whatever reason, we have evolved or become what we are with a polarized mind which in interaction with life gives us but 2 choices, selfless or selfish. Choice of selfishness is destroying not only the planet, but taking our humanity along with it. The post was written with that in mind.

  5. Mary Brearley

    Good and bad people exist – I think there are more indifferent than anyone, people who are disconnected and then don’t bother about others.

      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        You’re right, Mary – the indifference is probably the Earthian species’ main problem. When indifference can’t be maintained any longer, then it becomes denial, then scapegoating. After that, war and/or genocide.

  6. Lily Von Valley

    on destiny, whether some have thought about it or not, and likely steered, or not, by the ‘dirty hands’ of those ‘bad people’ (or the clean hands of good people) the scopes would differ, but might offer at least some kind of purposeful orientation towards humanity and civilization or progressive meaning that might also establish an individual’s self and/or ‘purpose’ that, which is important within the universe….perhaps the point at which ‘goals’ and roles might cease to exist. A great essay, Sha’Tara deep, thinking beyond earthly limits and wants. :-).x

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Quote: “perhaps the point at which ‘goals’ and roles might cease to exist.” That’s insightful, and indeed, once the cosmic mind is activated, that which is bound to short term results will give way. That is the point at which “Earthians” break out of their Matrix programming and woeful blindness to evolve as mind beings and join humanity as free human beings. Some will make it (some always have!) but “some” will not bring the species up out of its fear and ignorance. There is no “hundredth monkey” in this; it’s all or nothing. We (that would be me and the Teachers) advocate the concept of self-empowerment through detachment for that reason. At least if “society” as a whole chooses decadence and death, the self-empowered will not go down into the river when the bridge collapses under civilization’s train – they won’t be on board, having chosen a different, if much more difficult path to walk, if alone to continue on based on their own individual and free choices. The “problem” with such a path, and I believe most thinking individuals would agree, is that it is neither easy nor pleasant. However the benefits it yields are inestimable.

      1. Lily Von Valley

        yes, woeful mass blindness exists on every level and attachment to the wrong ideals based on short term aspirations serves no one, in the long run. (thx)

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