[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Something that puzzles me this morning. There are so many things that actually do puzzle me but this one, this one, takes the cake.

Balance. There is even an old Chinese symbol for it: the yin-yang.

 Yin-yang symb2
 As a general rule, at least for people who take a couple of minutes a day to actually think about something, balance is thought of as a good thing. Necessary.

Imagine a world not in balance we say, or a universe. We naturally assume we live within some kind of great see-saw which guarantees that we won’t get thrown off.

We assume that when ‘this’ happens over here, ‘that’ (being its opposite) happens over there and all’s well with the world.

Where did we ever get that idea from? Well, it has to do with belief systems and of course, brainwashing, a method of indoctrination that simply has no equal. Once brainwashed: addicted for life. Exceptions noted: they prove the rule.

Do we live in a balanced universe? Oh, never mind the universe, what do we know about that apart from nothing. What about this world? Is this an example of a balanced world?

Apart from the fact that through some freak of biology there is approximately the same ratio of males to females among the Earthian species, and if we don’t look too closely on how that little miracle is accomplished, what about the rest?

Balance in nature is achieved through a madness called predation. We call it that, what it calls itself is another story. Another approach dear to the heart is survival of the fittest. Through ripping apart, destroying, killing, murdering, we, or our world and us, achieve, so we are forced to believe, the wonderful state of balance.

Is there as much “good” as there is “evil” on this world, fact-wise? Could it be proven either way? No. So we look at whatever evidence is thrown our way and we see depending on the evidence we have access to and how we’re trained to believe.

While we’re focused on this see-saw, we do not see because we never saw. That’s the problem.

We don’t realize that we don’t have to believe in the see-saw.

Rather, using our own brains, or mind if we really are the daring sort, we can say, to hell with the see-saw. Balance is a joke, a lie. How can there be balance in any finite environment? Balance is an absolute, like love. You can’t have it, or do it, incrementally.

You can’t begin in unbalanced chaos, reach a state of balance, then lose it again in terminal chaos. That’s a fairy tale of gargantuan proportions. It’s a lie.

When we reach that elementary stage of reasoning we see it all crashing down, the yin-yang symbol becomes push-pull and tears apart, blood, guts and gore gushing everywhere.

We were lied to about balance? Oh surely no more than we were lied to about God, about politics, about economics. No more than we’re being lied to right now about everything.

Do we need balance? Should we be seeking balance? What are the benefits of balance, or who benefits from balance? I’m not going to dignify those questions with an answer because if you can’t see it, my answer would only cause anger. To a brainwashed person nothing is more insulting or threatening than a fact, or a truth, that exposes cherished beliefs as being carefully fabricated lies.

Imagine you’ve spent all of your born-again life dutifully paying for your favourite televangelist’s private jets and turning on the TV one Sunday morning he comes on and says, “Thanks a lot folks, but I’ve made enough money now and I regret to say I’m quitting: God is dead.” How could you possibly accept the fact that for once in his life your preacher was telling the truth?

The problem with balance is this: if I do good in the world, balance will demand… a balancing. The more good some people do, the more evil other people ‘must’ do. The conclusion is, do no good at all and no one else will have to do any evil at all. No good=no evil. That’s your perfect state of balance. That’s your wonderful *Brave New World.

I like to wake up in the morning with a great thought, a powerfully motivating thought, more important even than breakfast. This morning I had this thought. Knowing what I know now, if I were starting a family again, had my two sweet little daughters again, this is what I would tell them, each and every morning before they went to school:

“I want you to be nothing but kind, gentle, caring, accepting, loving, generous in praise and in offering help to all this day. Nothing else you do, or are told to do, is as important as this.”

When they came home and we had our time in the evening, I would ask them about their day, and how it all went. I’m sure they would have much to say about their experiences trying to live an alternative lifestyle! They might have even been subjected to mocking or to other indignities – all of which would prove my point about Earthians and their chuildren, but would go a long way to educate my own two children in the things that really matter.

But it does not end there. I would say to them, I have to be your example of the things I ask you to do, and to be. So when you see me failing, don’t let me get away with it. Call me up on it. Point it out. I am asking you to live the most dangerous life so you can be my teachers.

Forget balance, it’s a chimera.

(*Reference is to Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel)

 

75 thoughts on “Balance

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      George, I need to respond to you on this. One example: some days ago in the battle zones of Syria a young Kurd woman soldier was captured by ISIS. She was stripped, gang raped, tortured by having both breasts hacked off and when she died they dragged her naked body in the street and danced around it yelling “Allahu Akbar!”
      If that had been your daughter, or your wife, George, would you still be saying, “Evil does not exist in the Universe, we just perceive things as such,”? If it had happened to YOU, what would you call it, a perception of something not real? It’s that kind of “new agey” thinking that guarantees this numb-nut planet will never evolve beyond its principle of survival by mindless violence.
      In the Archie comics there was a school principal who, when he observed something he didn’t agree with, he turned around, walked away and said, “I didn’t see that, I didn’t see that!” As long as we are not the ones suffering from the effects of evil, it’s easy to pretend and live in blissful denial. Unfortunately there are those of us who have faced it, experienced it and know what it is.
      No good or evil George? As I said, Brave New World and the drug of unawareness was called soma.

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks George. It is very difficult for an “empath” to live in today’s world under the avalanche of news, mainstream, fake or alternate and have to feel that cold bladed knife go in each time. The point of writing something like “Balance” is to make at least some people think; not to accept everything; not to take things for granted, but however painful it may be, to engage them. If something doesn’t make sense, in the common sense of the word, it behooves us to tear it apart and find the mechanism inside that makes it work though it be senseless. If we choose to believe that somehow, overall, there is “balance” is that an excuse to indulge in “evil” behaviour just because we can? Such behaviour has so many faces, so many degrees, some so subtle we indulge in them and never think twice about it. We don’t engage the consequences. That’s truly sad.

      2. rawgod

        Here, S’T, is where our line is drawn. Good is the work of God, evil is the work of the devil. I do not believe in either god nor devil, therefore I do no believe in good or evil.
        You choose an extreme case to make you point for evil, which I have no problem with. Certainly such an act as you have described has a negative impact on the psyche of the world. But how do we know for sure it had a negative impact on the life of the woman .
        I am in no way suggesting rape, mutilation, and murder are not negatives in themselves. But we do not know the kind of life the woman was leading before she was so wrongly used. She could have been being used as an unwilling prostitute, or a victim of sexual, mental, or physical abuse. She could have been about to be sold by human traffickers into who knows what kind of hell for the rest of her life.
        Yes, she could also have been a fine person, one who was devout in her beliefs, one who already was or might have been a good mother, loyal wife, and a great many other brave and wonderful things. We have no way of knowing, and now that she is dead, we can never know what might have been.
        But wait! Is she really dead? Or has she just passed on from this world. I know I believe this, and you have given me ample reason that you believe this too, the spirit of this woman lives on, and is undergoing a spiritual healing as we back here on Earth discuss what happened to her. Where she is in those matters are of no more consequence. She is being healed, and soon she will be coming back to this world, and probably not as a poor woman in a third-world country. Perhaps she will come back with a tale to tell others, of a dream she had when she was mutilated, raped, and murdered, but this dream has taught her things beyond her years. Perhaps this woman will be the first true female founder of a religion that can change this world for the better.
        Or perhaps she will just be a girl who becomes a mother to a family of nice kids in Biloxi , Mississippi.
        The above is all just speculation, of course, S’T, but I write it to show that we, here, on Earth, can never say anything with certainty, good can be bad and bad can be good. It all depends what we ourselves do with it. If we use one person’s death to cause many more deaths, it is a negative experience. However, if we choose to use that woman’s death as a way to prevent the same thing happening to others, then it can be made into a positive experience.
        I say once again, for me there is no such thing as good and evil. But there are ways to make them worse or better, we will just never know for sure.

      3. Sha'Tara Post author

        Wow… I think you’ve just illustrated, in bright shining lights, why the Earthian race is doomed. You so casually jumped from the problem at hand without any effort at solving it, namely: gratuitous violence (you’ll find the word “vile” in there if you look), the inflicting of unspeakable pain by equally unspeakable cruelty, the utter disrespect for any sanctify of life, and I could go on. According to your words, torture is just fine, it teaches people, both torturers and tortured, great spiritual values.
        Forget the event; forget the horror, forget social injustice that is destroying civilization, forget the downgrading of the entire human race and just fly off with the angels to listen to the harps. That fake eastern teaching on ‘pain is all illusion’ has done a whole lot more damage than I ever thought possible. If nothing else, your words illustrate clearly what I have been maintaining for decades: Earthians have no sense of empathy; they are incapable of feeling what another feels, particularly their pain, and can justify any horror inflicted on OTHERS as long as it isn’t being done to them. Then it becomes a matter of vengeance.
        Could you not, say in a moment of utter madness, conjure up a scenario where some Earthian in search of higher spiritual awareness need NOT endure shaming, belittling, molestation, beatings, prison, rape, torture, violent death? Is that still the only way to paradise?
        Is there not an interim, this one particularly, in which we need to take responsibility for our thoughts, words and deeds as to how they may affect others?
        Going from bottom to top, why the need to associate God with good, Devil with evil? Because it’s a neat Christian play on words? I don’t believe in either God or the Devil, but I have no difficulty seeing good and evil, every single day. Semantics.

      4. George F.

        BTW, I appreciate you “egging me on” to continue my blog and to get Paul to “do” something. That is good.

  1. John Fioravanti

    Fascinating post, Sha’Tara. I don’t think I view balance as equal portions of good and evil. I know from your words to your children that you understand that the only behaviours we can control are our own. I love that you invited your kids to call you on your shortcomings – and I hope you taught them to do this respectfully and lovingly. I see balance in the Aristotelian vision of ‘excess’ and ‘defect’. We achieve balance in our lives by living by the golden mean – not excessive exercise or no exercise at all; not starving ourselves or greatly over-eating.

    Balance in the world? I don’t see much – but often our view is skewed by media sources that focus on criminal events and we don’t hear about the wondrous things that take place in our own communities and beyond… good news doesn’t sell! Balance in wealth distribution? The imbalance is worse now than at any other time in history – or so we’re told.

    So I always come back to my own backyard. What can I control? Who can I influence by my example?

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for the comment, John. Did you ever wonder why ‘good news doesn’t sell’? I agree fully with you on “So I always come back to my own backyard. What can I control? Who can I influence by my example?” Here the choice is entirely ours, our responsibility.

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        OK, why isn’t good news “exciting enough”? A bit of psychology here, let’s push the envelope what do you say?

  2. katharineotto

    Sha’Tara,
    I agree with George F. in that good and evil are judgment calls, made by our limited human understanding. No, I would not like to be that raped and murdered woman, or her family, and I don’t support violence, but I do believe the universe turns everything to advantage. I do believe in free will, if only to teach man by his mistakes what not to do.

    As for “balance,” under your definition, your daughters’ “good” acts make way for someone else’s “bad” ones, so there’s no point to being good. By calling “balance” a lie, are you suggesting that your daughters’ “good” gestures might somehow build on themselves and outstrip “evil,” such that that Kurdish woman may not have suffered in vain?

    As far as “control” goes, as John Fioravanti wonders, I say we can’t “control” anything, nor should we bother with trying. We can only hope to influence evolving trends through thought and action, knowing that nothing is ever finished, and everything is perpetually evolving into something else.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      You’re most welcome, George. You have an intriguing (and difficult!) subject in hand, but I have a lot of confidence in Paul. I like him and he’s going to “do what I must do” as Gandhi put it. I’m now in the same boat you are in with my “Group of Seven” as they finally must confront their Nemesis. Honestly, I have no idea how a battle that goes beyond “to the death” into annihilation or destruction of a soul, takes place. I’ve been on constructing this scenario for about a week now as the inevitable is only days away. But we put ourselves in these situations and we’ll pull ourselves through and out the other side, then on to more adventures. Thanks for the conversation!

      Reply
    2. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting on this Katharine. A difficult topic. To quote you, “good and evil are judgment calls, made by our limited human understanding.” I need to ask, if the anecdote I described doesn’t make a case for “evil” then isn’t it just pure semantics to call it something else? What’s wrong with a word that accurately describes an action?
      I too believe in free will, but does free will entitle people to commit atrocities so we can smile at them and say they’re learning? What if there is no learning at all, as we can see so well these days? Committing more atrocities will do it, you suppose? What’s been learned from the crusades, the inquisition, the European wars of religion, the Great War, WWII, Vietnam war, the Rwandan genocide (I’m just touching a few highlights)? This is what I was pointing to about the quest for balance: it’s a complete chimera, there is no such thing and when we put our faith in what doesn’t exist except in what we like to believe, we end up just where we are now and I predict to you that you are not about to see any improvement; that all those atrocities going on are a sign of civilization’s downfall, not of betterment.
      Quote: “By calling “balance” a lie, are you suggesting that your daughters’ “good” gestures might somehow build on themselves and outstrip “evil,” such that that Kurdish woman may not have suffered in vain?”
      That would be what I am, not suggesting, but saying. If (and that is the biggest ‘if’ ever written) we as a species accepted personal, individual responsibility for every aspect of our lives, and in fact for all that is going on, then the violence would end. It is never a question of balance, it’s a question of personal integrity; of self-empowerment; of forcing ourselves to move from a decadent, immoral lifestyle to a moral one; to become compassionate beings whatever the cost, and I know from experience the cost of living such an alternate lifestyle are very high.
      Too long a response already, leaving it at that. Food for thought?

      Reply
  3. franklparker

    I certainly do not believe in ‘balance’ as defined in your OP. Good does not have to be ‘balanced’ by evil, or vice versa. In the physical world/universe balance, or equilibrium, is what prevents the whole structure from falling in on itself. Try driving a car the wheels of which have not been properly balanced and you will understand the importance of balance in a dynamic system. But in the world of human behaviour such notions are dangerously naive, leading to just the kind of actions you described in one of your your responses to commenters. Definitions of ‘evil’? For me it would be anything that prioritises the ‘self’ above others. And I suppose there are degrees of evil based on the level of harm caused to others by the ‘evil’ act.
    I suppose it could be argued that the ‘golden rule’ – do to others as you would wish them to do to you’ – implies ‘balance’ but I would dispute such a notion on the ground that it does not require us ever to do harm to another, eschewing the idea of ‘revenge’, since you would not wish the other person to retaliate in kind.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Frank. My “OP” was tongue-in-cheek satire. I like to look at the big picture, you know the one hidden behind the big picture, the elephant in the room no one can see because no one wants to see. I like to play with absolutes, see what would happen if a drop of universal solvent fell from the skies.
      If we speak of balance in a universal and moral sense, we must speak of an absolute. It cannot begin, it cannot end, it’s just balance. Once we start making exceptions, whether speaking of love or balance or any other absolute, we are left with dust in our hands. All “great” concepts must have an absolute base. Useless if they do not.
      Morals are absolutes. We just won’t accept them as such, thinking that “free will” means I can be moral or not according to choice and convenience. It is not a choice unless we are OK with our moral senses becoming totally corrupt which is what our modern era is demonstrating.
      When I speak of absolutes, these exist outside ourselves. We do not control them. The golden rule, itself a very poor measure of morality because it implies a “deal” to be made, does not have to require that we do harm as in vengeance. The problem is, according to the theory of balance, not karma, I don’t have to be the one to do the evil to balance my good. Something else must provide the evil if there is to be a balance. So the point would be to ditch any concept of balance, or golden rule, and move up from there, to compassion.

      Reply
      1. franklparker

        But ‘balance’ has no place in regard to morals. As you say, they are absolute. Whoever uses the word ‘balance’ in that context is misusing it. Simples!

  4. kertsen

    We don’t get what we need we get what we are thrown into . Balance exists everywhere but we may not like it. Ecology achieves a balanced system predator prey , it has even been worked out by smart mathematicians. It was why they introduced the wolves into Yellowstone and it dealt with the deer problem , unfortunately the wolves were not content they decided to leave the park and eat livestock; like all creatures they wanted to expand . Some species existed for millions of years like the famous dinosaurs but when conditions change they have to change or go extinct. Although I say I’m 75 years old actually I’m about four billion years old as that is how long it took to arrive at the human race .
    My body contains about 40 trillion cells that are mine and about 30 trillion that just live in me in balance.
    Civilisation can decline and fall and the very smart mathematician Sara Motesharrei has studied this for years and believes he may have rules to predict the collapse of sustainable societies. We are on a knife edge and some scientists believe we will not survive the present century but a breakdown is inevitable.
    Morals are a human concept nature is amoral and has no concept of care or consideration, but our nature is not wholly moral because we must live at the expense of others . Even the Buddhist monk must walk among the pathways insects and when he sneezes out the cold virus it is killed inside his body. When the farmer shoots the crow or kills the rat he defends his livelihood.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting Kertsen. In my world, that of the intellectual anarchist, it is ‘de rigueur’ to always, and I mean always, look beyond the obvious. If a “smart guy or smart gal” writes something, or says something and it agrees with all the other somethings, I turn it over and find out, lo and behold, it’s mostly bullshit.
      4 billion years to arrive at the human race? If so, not on this planet! The current Homo Sapiens Sapiens has walked this earth for no more than 30, maybe 50 thousand years at the very most. Except for the unfounded theory of evolution there is no physical evidence that “man” was here any longer than that. Before, there were other bipedal humanoid creatures, the last of which were destroyed, not absorbed, by HSS are called Neanderthals. No evidence has ever been found to provide an “evolutionary” link from Neanderthals to Homo. Homo, us, is not indigenous to earth, hence the problem we always were, to ourselves and our environment. Of course that’s not mainstream science so we can’t look under the big rock for fear of disturbing the status quo.
      None of what we were taught, or made to believe, has improved our lot on the grand scale of things, quite the contrary in fact, so it seems to me the proper thing to do is to question everything.

      Reply
      1. kertsen

        We all share an ancestor that lived about 1.6 billion years ago and we all retain part of that original genome. I might have to give up eating bananas they contain about fifty percent of the human genome. I must stop this cannibal consumption still I’m not as bad as those who eat sheep , cows, and pigs which contain far more of the human genome . Luckily a young earth believer set me right bananas were made by the Lord to fit the human hand and be peeled by the other hand — thank goodness I’m feeling better already.
        Monkeys our nearest relatives are used for all sorts of medical tests most of which only get to rich western hospitals still what do I care if some poor female chimp is deprived of her baby to help me go on living.
        Apparently there are men in Oxfam who cannot keep their trousers on they must have taken a lead from some of the UK s parliamentarians who seem to have similar difficulties. Now we are discussing whether the suffragettes should be pardoned for burning down all those buildings and similar atrocities. Apparently it needs careful consideration after all they did get women the vote, surely a noble end .
        I must go and book into the Ritz hotel in Riyadh now the rich hostages have been released apparently they agreed to pay the Saudi government a very large sum.

      2. kertsen

        No we have to sift what’s on offer. Science has proved its effectiveness in finding out all sorts of things and today we are totally reliant on it like it or not. Of course it has not been able to control human nature in fact making it far more dangerous; but fear not the universe can take care of itself and we can’t stop it.

  5. Woebegone but Hopeful

    There is no physical justice in the Universe, there are laws of physics and chemistry and Life learns to deal with those. Beyond that is the danger of corrosion.
    There is no escape from any of the consequences of any action which harm others. There will always be a retribution it may come in the form of a physical sort, or a raw perpetuating hatred which eats away until physical death comes through age. At best there will be scars.
    Once anger and hatred are embraced as a two bladed sword the danger of corrosion is always there. Take that on as a life-style and you are walking dead….. (I can’t remember good years, my family tell me they were there. Apparently I was a good father…I can’t remember…that’s corrosion for you)
    We don’t have to be this way. Unfortunately the disease of Terminal Stupidity has never been addressed.
    Not enough people have walked along a battlefield or a damaged town in the hours of the aftermath.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks Roger. Exactly! Quote: “We don’t have to be this way. Unfortunately the disease of Terminal Stupidity has never been addressed.”
      There is this block upon peoples’ minds about seeking a better way, as if somehow all our sacred cows can’t be slaughtered. People don’t want to let go of old things. When those things become so oppressive they can’t stand it any longer, they morph them into other forms with the same underlying patterns, viz., the Reformation, the French and Russian revolutions, the morphing of the power of the king into democracies. The flags, the slogans and some traditions changed. Everything else essentially remained the same with society remaining in the same strata.

      Reply
      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        I wonder if the slogan ‘You don’t have to hit someone. Or steal their livelihood’ would have any traction?

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Perhaps, but only if the one, or those, promoting the slogan weren’t themselves involved in “hitting someone” or “stealing their livelihood.” We need to bring the system down, or allow it to completely disintegrate because in this system no one can escape its evil, there are no innocents. That is the root cause of our human malaise. The “evil” we are brainwashed to not see (remember the three monkeys, see, speak and hear no evil?) is the actual foundation of all our major systems which I’ve broken down to what I call the evil trinity, or three-legged stool of power, namely organized religion, politics and money. The System is so pervasive and invasive we don’t want to think about it because when we start doing it, we realize we can’t move without causing harm!
        We can change our ways all we want but as long as the System or Matrix or Status Quo functions and we insist that is is impossible to live without it, we remain its slaves. That is why so many who jumped from the religious bandwagon fell into the new religion of the false science of evolution or plunged headlong into the manipulations of money on stock exchanges bringing all of civilization ever closer to that final catastrophe of implosion from corruption.

      3. Woebegone but Hopeful

        I’m not too keen on the bringing of systems down. Humanity doesn’t have a good track record with the aftermath of bringing things down.
        This may look like being slightly faint-hearted and not willing to take a step. I think of it more as hard-headed.
        We can change, people can be made to change but it needs small steps so they ease into something, get used to it. Some might say we’d get nothing done that way. I’d come back to examples we’ve had so far with sudden change, too many folk will insist upon the imposition of change, others will take advantage of it and so on.
        There is a constant battle for the ‘soul’. It may go on forever….

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Small steps don’t work either, they’re too easily “untaken”. What works is irrevocable commitment to a change, no holds barred. Then the old doesn’t have a chance to come back, to seduce again. The status quo is addiction, pure and simple. You can’t break an addiction by doing less and less of what you’re addicted to, it’s all or nothing. Morals are no different in my opinion. Certain institutions are “registered” to provide small step approach to making ostensibly positive changes (religions, and Christianity in particular) and we can all see how well that has worked whenever said religions gained political or economic power. “He who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for service in the kingdom of God” is a pretty accurate quote, changing “in the kingdom of God” to “on earth.”
        Quote: “There is a constant battle for the ‘soul’. It may go on forever….” Ah, but, do we want it to go on forever, or do we sincerely desire for it to end so we can live free? Certainly the battle for control of individuals is an on-going affair, so it’s up to the individual to end it. It’s quite possible to do, I’ve done it. You make a choice and you declare to yourself that the choice is sacred. You swear this on your own life so it becomes a constant reminder. No turning back.

      5. Woebegone but Hopeful

        In the spirit of your quite stirring last words Sha’ Tara, then I must work within my own small place to keep a light burning.
        For I have little faith in great and swift changes, people look for instant paradise and get discontented when they find out the circumstance needs hard work.
        To my own patch ‘of ground’ then. To my own independence then. I will be as I am. To my family. To My God. And the constant battle against the corruption which my violent side would have me embrace.
        To the plough then.

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’ve re-read your comment there Roger, and yes, that’s about it. I call it self empowerment. Or as Gandhi would say, “I must do what I must do.”

      7. kertsen

        They are on the increase they believe that no one can become a Christian unless they are chosen by God. God does it all or does nothing it’s His choice since He is the Almighty. As a result of this only those chosen will be saved and Jesus died only for those chosen ones.
        Free will is out of the window it’s a sort of determinism with a religious twist.

      8. Sha'Tara Post author

        Ah yes. The “five point” threw me. I did study that old time religion of Calvinism once upon a time in the west. Didn’t hold much appeal to me. In my world everyone is “chosen” but it’s like anything else, if you want your chosen politician to win, you actually have to show up at the polls and vote. Everybody has a choice, most, in my opinion based on observation, choose wrong. God then becomes Donald Trump, or Hitler or some such and then the game continues. The rich get richer, the poor poorer. Only the chosen get to the Billion$ or Heaven. In “Willow” the seer asks the apprentices, “Which finger has the power to change the world?” and holds out his outstretched hand. They all pick one of his fingers. The correct answer was: pick your own finger.

      9. kertsen

        The Calvanists argue that if we can choose to follow Jesus then God is not sovereign and our salvation depends on us not on Him. It’s a strong argument for those who believe in an omnipresent all powerful God. They have a byword TULIP which stands for Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace , Preservation of the Saints.

      10. Sha'Tara Post author

        That means they believe in fate, thus destroying the purpose of atonement and choice instituted by Jesus himself, for in the gospels it’s all about choice. From what you wrote then, Calvinism is, from a purely Christian perspective, a regurgitation of ancient “pagan” beliefs such as Zionism with its roots in the Mosaic law. There are the chosen and all the rest which can be enslaved and decimated at will since they don’t matter and will only end up in “Sheol” with no hope of ever entering the presence of God. Politically we know where that leads when we look at the rogue state of Israel. I wonder if Calvinists believe the Zionists are “the Chosen” these days?

    2. kertsen

      If we don’t have to be this way why are we this way ; it’s due to the out working of the collective nature of the human race.

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        That’s a truism, isn’t it. So, if those of us whose purpose is in changing things, i.e., focusing on the growing problem of gratuitous violence against nature and against the helpless, would accomplish something, that is where we focus, on what you so aptly call the out working of the collective nature of the human race. That is the main issue; or problem. Now I realize most people have a large pigeon hole in their minds where they file thoughts that deal with source problems, you know, the really big stuff, the IMPOSSIBLE. Tell an earth person that they can eliminate predation and they go cross-eyed or run away screaming. Tell them all violence is totally unnecessary and completely avoidable, the same thing happens. Tell them that to speak of love is to speak of an absolute; that love is unconditional and that anything called ‘love’ that isn’t so isn’t love at all: same reaction.

        So, yes, it’s this outworking of the COLLECTIVE NATURE of the human race that has to go simply because there is no solution to endemic violence until that is gone. How can such a thing come about, some who haven’t as yet gone screaming for an arrest, may ask? How do we not exist collectively? That all depends on what we mean by collective, isn’t it.

        Collective cooperation, voluntary and completely free entered into by self empowered, empathetic and compassionate beings, would work wonderfully.

        Unfortunately the only collectives we know about are the top-down power kind. From the nuclear family to the empire, the same mindset is in control: there is a dictator, and there are followers, servants, slaves and the victims of its caused collateral damage. That defines our patriarchal civilization as we experience it. That is what has to go, not fixed, but destroyed. From its ashes a whole new race of human beings can then arise and create a liveable, shareable planet.

        Too big a thought? Too “Utopian”? Then I guess you (generic) are stuck with what you have. It’s not too bad as long as you (generic) aren’t the ones serving as fodder and collateral damage in the moment. Life is short and most of those living under the tutelage of the Empire rely on the fact that before it gets truly ugly “here” they will be dead so why bother thinking about real change? Suffice to apply some duck tape on the cracks and spray some WD-40 on the squeaks and spots of rust. There you go, fixed for another term of office, or until some bought-and-paid-for scientist comes up with a new, acceptable theory on how to reuse nuclear wastes… oh wait, that’s been done, it’s called dirty nukes bombs. There you go, another fix.

      2. kertsen

        ‘ But those behind cried Forward !
        And those before cried Back!’

        When faced with a deadly enemy this is always the cry because those at the back cannot see the foe and are not facing death.
        Lord Macaulay had a good understanding of human nature and this epic poem highlights it. It also highlights the love of war and the glory of nationalism.

      3. Woebegone but Hopeful

        The long history of Life on this planet shows life forms with ‘residences’ of many, many tens of thousands of years far beyond our span.
        We seems to have developed this capacity to assume somehow we are above all of the normal rules and laws of Life, while at the same time taking the instinct of Life to defend itself and expand and turn it into an industrial process.
        Somewhere along the way we forgot we are only conditional.

      4. kertsen

        That’s right ‘ every dog has its day’ intelligence thinks it is above circumstances but it is just another quality of life and no guarantee of permanence.

      5. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Good phrase ‘every dog has its days’ indeed! A quick trip along the fossil record and a brief visit into the timescales of geology and palaeontology, puts us in a different perspective all together.

      6. kertsen

        We have a hard time understanding the concept of a million. A million hours is about 114 years! I remember my father who was a devout member of the high church saying to me he doubted if he would attend church for more than a thousand sundays. It hit me hard until I realised that was about twenty years. Here today and gone tomorrow is surprisingly accurate.

      7. Sha'Tara Post author

        I know this comment was addressed at Roger but I thought I’d do the puppy thing and stick my head through the door while it’s still ajar…
        I think it was Einstein who said that time is relative: The same amount of time spent in pleasure is sensed as much shorter than if spent in pain. Our senses qualify, they do not quantify, time. They don’t care about that clock on the wall.

        In my suicidal days I felt as if time wasn’t moving except to remind me of the pain I was feeling. Then I had an “awakening” that disclosed the cosmos and the thing that my religion tried to convey to me but never could: eternity. Not immortality, that’s irrelevant, but eternity.

        When I want to stop the flow of time, I go into that mind-space where I know myself to be eternal. Then I can look back at the little part of me that’s sitting here, and I can smile benignly. “You don’t die, silly. You experience something that will forever be a part of you, that is shaping you into an eternal future. Then the experience (or experiment) ends, you shape-shift (that can be scary or trying depending on our learned skills at it) and choose another experience, wherever your beliefs about yourself, combined with how much awareness you’ve learned about the ‘bus routes of the cosmos.’ allow you to go.”

        As below, so above, the Teachers always reminded me. If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.

      8. kertsen

        You are confusing our perception of time with the real physical measured passing of time by a clock. Up until Einstein we believed all clocks kept the same time and it was called Newtonian time. Einstein proved that the speed of a clock depended on how fast it was travelling.
        In practice this was shown to be the case by flying one clock around the world in jet plane and comparing it to a stationary clock afterwards.
        They did not agree as predicted by Einstein but the differences are very small unless one travels near the speed of light. This was done in 1971 and proved the theory of relativity in practice.
        This has nothing to do with how we feel time which is summed up by the saying ‘ The watching kettle never boils.’
        On the earth as we creep around even with jet flight it is unnoticeable. The experiment was only possible use atomic clocks.

      9. Sha'Tara Post author

        Mind over matter, Kertsen. I personally don’t care what scientists or mathematicians or other alchemists have to say about the nature of reality, they only see what they want to see, and want so desperately to impose on those who otherwise may, oh horror, choose to hear a different tune and dance different steps. There’s this wonderfully convenient saying by technocrats that mathematics is the universal language. Sounds good on earth but out there, when they hear that, they’re “ROFL, what a bunch of ignorant fools! And they wonder why we won’t talk to them.”

      10. kertsen

        But you do care enough to make full use of all the advantages of civilisation brought about to a large extent by the relentless march of science.
        All sat navs rely on Einstein’s theory of relativity to make them accurate to a few metres because of the distances from satellite to mobile device. What you are doing , and I don’t blame you , is what all religious believers do rejecting what you don’t like. The young earthers who call the mainstream fools are very happy when they use the latest drugs or machinery if they need them.

      11. Sha'Tara Post author

        I know that Kertsen, but I learned long ago to look at the really big picture. Are these devices pushing society to become more aware of itself in relation to its environment? Are people more caring of one-another as they are pushed ever-closer together due to continuing exponential population growth? Is there a visible degree of increased morality? Big question: are we all better people (not physically more comfortable or more informed) because of our growing dependence on technology? Prove to me that technology is making the world better in ways that truly matter and you won’t find me arguing against it.

      12. kertsen

        I would not attempt to prove what I don’t believe , morality is what it has always been since it stems from human nature not from technology.
        You can look at any picture you wish but you will not alter the facts , we can learn about ourselves but we cannot reprogram ourselves and alter our behaviour. We had another proof of this in the Oxfam scandal which simply confirms we are human and some will always fall to temptation and hurt others. If we could level the enormous inequality in wealth ( I would be a little worse off) the proportion of wickedness would not alter one jot, and the battle for the cake would immediately resume as before. Incidentally you are not arguing against technology your argument is with the moral side of human nature and that is what much unrest in the world is caused by. A utopia has to be peopled with perfect beings.

      13. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’m not sure where this is going. Quote: ” we can learn about ourselves but we cannot reprogram ourselves and alter our behaviour.”
        If we cannot reprogram ourselves and alter our behaviour then why are we critical of any of the systems we “create” using our built-in programming? Why are we negative to certain social or institutional behaviours? Why do we notice wars and injustice if such is a natural part of our programming? There should be nothing whatsoever “wrong” about killing a neighbour you disagree with, going to a school and mowing down a bunch of helpless kids or sending troops and weaponry to foreign nations to kill nationals, to slaughter helpless individuals to take their resources and get rich on. If we are indeed naturally evolved beings, we are under no law, no compunction, to act morally in any way. But the moment we do feel the need to legislate against natural behaviour, that’s where the whole evolutionary tale falls flat on its face. Viruses and germs don’t create, or teach, morality. Morality cannot be a part of humanity since that, of necessity, must involve the concepts of vice and virtue. Are we going to ascribe vice and virtue to microbes? Do cancer cells feel guilt? It’s funny how this aspect of the human species would rather self-destruct than admit it isn’t the final arbiter of life, not even on earth. A lot less hubris and a little bit more humility would go a long way to solving some of the greatest woes of inequity here.
        By the way I’ve read “Utopia” by Thomas Moore and I for one would not want to live in the world he invented – it’s a horror when reasoned out, worse than ‘Brave New World.’

      14. kertsen

        The Apostle understood the situation : ‘ For the good I would do I do not : but the evil that I would not, that I do’. Paul calls it the law of sin and this testifies to our dual nature. Freud put it another way : ‘ We are at war with ourselves ‘. Technology has given us the gun and there are those who believe it will bring peace by overcoming evil so they talk of the just war , the war against the tyrant. The very fact that there are tyrants as well as good men confirms human duality. Your acknowledgement of guilt confirms our duality and other creatures do not possess such a problem. Nearly all literature concerns the moral nature of Man and his struggle with himself . It is the origin of religious thought.
        You yearn , as do many, for a new world like the new Jerusalem descending from heaven , we hate the duality we have to live with.
        If you are looking for consistency you will not find it down here among us helpless humans , but you will find goodness, honesty , love , concern as well as all the negative virtues.

      15. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “The Apostle understood the situation : ‘ For the good I would do I do not : but the evil that I would not, that I do’. Paul calls it the law of sin and this testifies to our dual nature. Freud put it another way : ‘ We are at war with ourselves ‘. Technology has given us the gun and there are those who believe it will bring peace by overcoming evil so they talk of the just war , the war against the tyrant. The very fact that there are tyrants as well as good men confirms human duality. Your acknowledgement of guilt confirms our duality and other creatures do not possess such a problem. Nearly all literature concerns the moral nature of Man and his struggle with himself . It is the origin of religious thought. … If you are looking for consistency you will not find it down here among us helpless humans , but you will find goodness, honesty , love , concern as well as all the negative virtues.

        What you are writing here Kertsen are obvious truisms. Your apostle’s quote however, is only half of what he was on about. Here’s his conclusion of the matter: “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” He recognizes his dual nature of good and evil. But unlike modern thought, he doesn’t shrug his shoulders and leave it at that: HE PROPOSES A WORKING SOLUTION.

        What I stand totally against is the acceptance by modern thought that things are as they are and there’s nothing anyone (any individual, that is) can do about it until evolution or technology or whatever external force (anything but an individual) decides to do about it. This indicates two things: that people prefer to be slaves to whatever system or doctrine is driving their society and they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. If my nature says I’m both good and evil, then it’s my prerogative to act either way as long as I can get away with it. This attitude is prevalent among most, but particularly blatant among the elites; those who make the laws and break them with impunity. It is that elite in particular that wants us to think of ourselves as “helpless humans” because those make the best slaves.

        Why can they get away with that lie? Because no “solution” is proposed. Paul proposed a belief in his Lord Jesus Christ as the game changer. He makes no bones about it that such a belief would indeed change one’s very nature if you read the entire book of Romans. It was a deliverance meant not just for the sweet by-and-by but for the here and now. It was meant to change how a person thought and acted.

        What we know now, after 2000+ years is that it worked for a few but the idea was turned into an oppressive institution and the rest is history. So, it did not work. But what if 2000 years further another quite revolutionary idea came out of the pressure cooker? What if there is a solution to the “good and evil” dual nature so the oppressive duality can be overcome? So that an individual can freely choose to become only “good”?

        There is such a solution but it can only be understood from the individual mind level and cannot be tied in to any past or future for such become utterly irrelevant. This solution is not a Utopia and cannot be institutionalized. It doesn’t need education or technology or any input of external power. It is beyond all the rules, laws and belief systems you could throw at it.

        I call it compassion.

        The reason Paul’s solution failed is simple: it did not empower an individual but made the mind a slave to an external entity that relied entirely on a belief system, on faith; an entity that increasingly put a believer in debt to a saviour. No different than the current faith in money and technology as the great emancipators and providers of the best life has to offer. They empty, hollow, only paying out in dependency and debt.

        To refuse the gift of compassion to choose instead to remain in the increasing unjust and entropic cycle we’ve created from relying on the “evil” side of the dual nature. It is to deliberately and with malice aforethought as they would say in a courtroom, condemn millions upon millions of innocents to a horrible death. I for one do not want that blood on my hands, nor those deaths on my conscience. I can only point and propose; I cannot choose for the rest of the world. I can assure you of this: if there were but me on this planet you could scour it pole to pole and you would not find any evil on it though the principle of duality would still function perfectly, in fact much better than it does now.

        Remember that word: compassion.

      16. kertsen

        Obvious truisms that have remained true throughout human history , in the same way as the tiger has remained true to his nature throughout tiger history. Religion has sought to improve the moral being of man by various methods and you are suggesting another one . Over the centuries many suggestions have been taken up with great enthusiasm but we are up against ‘ can the leopard change his spots’?
        The evidence speaks for itself so far , whether intelligence will enable us in time to change does not look promising considering the time we haves had already to improve our general behaviour.
        You and I must agree to differ on this point for these type of discussions are never ending. They are very similar to those I have had with believing Christians ; circular in nature.

      17. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks Kertsen, I totally agree with you, on both, the truism statement, and the circular nature of this discussion. Perhpaps we may meet up again, in some other arena of thought. 🙂

      18. franklparker

        Hi Sha’Tara. I feel I must challenge your assertion that there is an “acceptance by modern thought that things are as they are and there’s nothing anyone (any individual, that is) can do about it. There are many people trying to do something about it, from the ‘Occupy’ movement of a few years ago to #metoo. Even Trump, in his ham-fisted and wrong headed fashion is trying to do something about it. We may not think it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, but he is clearly opposed to any notion that “there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

      19. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thank you for your comment, Frank, and for reading. I won’t enter into a “circular” discussion with you on this, neither one of us has the time for that, nor does it serve any purpose. I happen to have an idea, but it does not fit in any of the usual pigeonholes designed to hold men’s thoughts on any and all matters. You missed the point of what I meant (well, everybody misses it, don’t feel left out!)

        Quote: ““acceptance by modern thought that things are as they are and there’s nothing anyone (any individual, that is) can do about it. There are many people trying to do something about it, from the ‘Occupy’ movement of a few years ago to #metoo. Even Trump, in his ham-fisted and wrong headed fashion is trying to do something about it.”

        The key is in my bracketed statement: (any individual, that is) People such as you mention, and I’ve been there, are not individuals, they are collectives. Trump is not an individual, he’s a collective of money power backed by lies and propaganda.

        To understand what’s coming, one has to look at the concept of individualism; the self-empowered individual no longer attached to any group, i.e., collective. That’s all I’m talking about. Man can learn to take responsibility for himself, as an individual, or he can continue to push his imploding collective civilization until it collapses on his head.

        Not more groups Frank, but free thinking individuals. That approach to human interaction is open to anyone; no need to create another collective, or join any group. It’s completely free, no one collecting fees at the door or having bake sales to raise money for the cause.

        What I am proposing, and I’m sure there were many others before me, is the complete breakaway from dependency on collectives, a move from gregarious behaviour to personal independence.

  6. sherazade

    Un bellissimo articolo che pone molti argomenti sul tavolo.
    Il bene e il male in natura non esistono se non in quello snaturato equilibrio che tutto ridimensiona.
    Quanto al male a me viene di rubare una definizione di Hannah arendt che definisce il male una banalità una pochezza umana priva di etica ma ancor più di silenziosa empatia.
    Ora io non credo che con questo Hannah intendesse assolvere Eichmann o quanti altri hanno partecipato allo sterminio ma volesse additare anche chi passivamente ha guardato dall’altra parte: dunque non fare è parte del male.
    Forse sono andata fuori tema.
    L’altra faccia della medaglia il bene è qualcosa di soggettivo difficile a definirsi.

    Penserò ancora quanto hai scritto E grazie per avermi segnalato l’articolo.

    Shera

    Reply
  7. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Interesting article, Sha’Tara. You have a way of forcing your readers to question their assumptions about beliefs we take for granted.

    Like Frank, I don’t think of balance in terms of good and evil as you have defined it in your article. I see balance in terms of our physical and natural world. And right now, human behavior has disrupted that balance.

    Is there a balance between “good” and “evil”? Based on observations of our present human condition, I would say that “evil” has gained ground. If “good” doesn’t restore some semblance of balance, “evil” will destroy us all.

    Reply
  8. Sha'Tara Post author

    Thank you Rosaliene. It’s like this: you’re at a gathering near a pond in a park. Everybody is sitting primly on proper benches as per tradition, then someone says, “I’m sitting down there, in the grass, by the water.” “But, you can’t do that!” exclaim the trained parrots of tradition, “It’s not allowed!” Did you ever watch the movie, “Pleasantville”? It’s a satire on traditional insular American beliefs.
    Quote: “Based on observations of our present human condition, I would say that “evil” has gained ground. If “good” doesn’t restore some semblance of balance, “evil” will destroy us all.”
    That’ it exactly, and it is the kind of common sense observation we are consciously and subconsciously warned against speaking about or giving credibility to. In other words, if we think something contrary to the norm, we are automatically wrong and society has countless ways to convince you that it is right (might makes right) and therefore you puny little nobody can only be wrong. The Brave New World mindset, it permeates everything.
    I’m beginning to realize I’m an intellectual anarchist… Feels good actually.

    Reply
    1. franklparker

      “An intellectual anarchist”. An interesting description. I would call you a “contrarian”. I dispute your assertion that human beings are controlled by some outside force/system/matrix. I believe human beings created the ‘systems’ by which we live our lives, that they/we have been refining it over generations, making it more appropriate to our needs. In that spirit, I believe (I’m an optimist!) that human beings can and will find a way through the present horrors an d progress to something better. There is nothing ‘false’ about the science of evolution. It is the best approximation we have for a description of how the biological universe developed from simple organisms to the complex creatures of which humankind are the most complex that we know.

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks for your return comment Frank. I know you and I will never agree on some basic concepts and that’s quite OK with me. We are what we are and live with it as best we can.

        As to the theory of evolution, it wouldn’t have pulled me out of the Catholic church because I would have known I was trading a horse chestnut for an acorn. If that’s the best we have to explain things, and that is assuming such things need explaining, I see why we’re heading where we are. I admire your optimism as regards the people of earth. If I were the gambling type I’d have no problem, if I had it, on putting up a huge pile of money that says they aren’t worth it.

        If you’re thinking leans towards a comeback after the bottom falls out of the social barrel, then I’m with you on that one. Problem here is, if we were to graph it, it wouldn’t be a progressive line. Depending on what we based our graph on (technological achievement or morality?) the lines (there has to be two) from this point would continue to rise a bit for the one and continue to drop for the other, then somewhere at the bottom of the graph, they meet. After that, for a successful recovery the graph has to show a rise on the moral values graph (compassion) before it shows a rise on the technological innovation graph.

        The problem today is that, with the substantial help of evolutionists, morality (you know, the proper way to deal with others and the earth) has been so downplayed as to become irrelevant. After all, if all we are is bits and pieces of an amoral cosmos with only ourselves to give account to, and it all ends in a few short years with nothing and no one else “out there” in existence to have to explain anything to, why not just do what feels good since there are no consequences?

        Unfortunately we are discovering that with or without “morality” there are consequences. Consumerism has arisen to show us it is a much worse oppressive religion than all the patriarchal ones put together, and we’re far from finished worshipping at that altar covered in human and nature sacrifices.

        Thanks again for the discussion, it’s good to have some thinking people to interact with! 🙂

  9. goroyboy

    I wasn’t sure where you were going in the beginning of this post. I agree that allot of dogma/brainwashing exists. My response is that as a member of this blue planet true balance is found through the ones capacity to express free will. Evil or good. The sick fellow from ISIS you described expressed his free will. It wasn’t pretty in our eyes. I appreciate your “if I could do it all over again with your sweet daughters” to be cultivators of kindness.. you expressing your free well as well as theirs.. as much as I hate to say it who is to say you are not the brainwashed one as much as the Isis fighter is brainwashed. To me, the answer seems obvious as I look at life similarly through the same lenses as you, but what of the Isis ideology is he not a resident of this earth as well.
    The key point I am trying to make with respect to free will, is not sitting in a pew following some evangelical airhead and not having an original thought much less acting upon it, …one could argue is a wasted life compared to those that take action.
    I appreciate your raw and direct style and thought provoking POV

    Reply
    1. kertsen

      He had no freewill once he joined ISIS. Religion takes over free thought and mentally conditions the mind to accept outside rules and laws as unbreakable . Once conditioned in this way it is very difficult to free the person and it often happens to intelligent types so education is no prevention or cure. Julian Jaynes believed all humans had bicameral minds up until about three thousand years ago and modern conscious free thought is relatively new.

      Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Cute dog and funny! Yes, all fine here. Very busy with snow clearing (we have a lot of snow here, that’s normal!), many jobs and of course writing/editing the novel. Not so much time for blogging. Take care ‘o you, Shera

      Cane carino e divertente! Sì, tutto bene qui. Molto impegnato con lo sgombero della neve (abbiamo un sacco di neve qui, è normale!), Molti lavori e, naturalmente, scrivere / editare il romanzo. Non tanto tempo per i blog. Abbi cura di te, Shera

      Reply

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