Category Archives: Entropy

Embarrassment of Riches-George Monbiot

When it comes to being a voice for our stressed and possibly dying natural environment, George Monbiot’s has no equal.

Please read on. (Hopefully all the links are working as this is a copy, not a reblog. They do work at this end, I checked.)

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Embarrassment of Riches – monbiot.com

Embarrassment of Riches

Posted: 20 Sep 2019 01:22 AM PDT

For the sake of life on Earth, we should set an upper limit on the money any person can amass. (My emphasis)

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian, 19th September 2019

It is not quite true that behind every great fortune lies a great crime. Musicians and novelists, for example, can become extremely rich by giving other people pleasure. But it does appear to be universally true that in front of every great fortune lies a great crime. Immense wealth translates automatically into immense environmental impacts, regardless of the intentions of those who possess it. The very wealthy, almost as a matter of definition, are committing ecocide.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a worker at a British private airport. “I see things that really shouldn’t be happening in 2019,” he wrote. Every day he sees Global 7000 jets, Gulfstream 650s and even Boeing 737s take off from the airport carrying a single passenger, mostly flying to Russia and the US. The private Boeing 737s, built to take 174 seats, are filled at the airport with around 32,000 litres of fuel. That’s as much fossil energy as a small African town might use in a year.

Where are these single passengers going? Perhaps to visit one of their superhomes, constructed and run at vast environmental cost, or to take a trip on their superyacht, which might burn 500 litres of diesel per hour just ticking over, and is built and furnished with rare materials, extracted at the expense of stunning places.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when Google convened a meeting of the rich and famous at the Verdura resort in Sicily this July to discuss climate breakdown, its delegates arrived in 114 private jets and a fleet of megayachts, and drove around the island in supercars. Even when they mean well, the ultrarich cannot help trashing the living world.

A series of research papers shows that income is by far the most important determinant of environmental impact. It doesn’t matter how green you think you are. If you have surplus money, you spend it. The only form of consumption that’s clearly and positively correlated with good environmental intentions is diet: people who see themselves as green tend to eat less meat and more organic vegetables. But attitudes have little bearing on the amount of transport fuel, home energy and other materials you consume. Money conquers all.

The disastrous effects of spending power are compounded by the psychological impacts of being wealthy. Plenty of studies show that the richer you are, the less you are able to connect with other people. Wealth suppresses empathy. One paper reveals that drivers in expensive cars are less likely to stop for people using pedestrian crossings than drivers in cheap cars. Another revealed that rich people were less able than poorer people to feel compassion towards children with cancer. Though they are disproportionately responsible for our environmental crises, the rich will be hurt least and last by planetary disaster, while the poor are hurt first and worst. The richer people are, the research suggests, the less such knowledge is likely to trouble them.

Another issue is that wealth limits the perspectives of even the best-intentioned people. This week Bill Gates argued in an interview with the Financial Times that divesting (ditching stocks) from fossil fuels is a waste of time. It would be better, he claimed, to pour money into disruptive new technologies with lower emissions. Of course we need new technologies. But he has missed the crucial point: in seeking to prevent climate breakdown, what counts is not what you do but what you stop doing. It doesn’t matter how many solar panels you install if you don’t simultaneously shut down coal and gas burners. Unless existing fossil fuel plants are retired before the end of their lives, and all exploration and development of new fossil fuels reserves is cancelled, there is little chance of preventing more than 1.5°C of global heating.

But this requires structural change, which involves political intervention as well as technological innovation: anathema to Silicon Valley billionaires. It demands an acknowledgement that money is not a magic wand that makes all the bad stuff go away.

On Friday, I’ll be joining the global climate strike, in which adults will stand with the young people whose call to action has resonated around the world. As a freelancer, I’ve been wondering who I’m striking against. Myself? Yes: one aspect of myself, at least. Perhaps the most radical thing we can now do is to limit our material aspirations. The assumption on which governments and economists operate is that everyone strives to maximise their wealth. If we succeed in this task, we inevitably demolish our life support systems. Were the poor to live like the rich, and the rich to live like the oligarchs, we would destroy everything. The continued pursuit of wealth, in a world that has enough already (albeit very poorly distributed) is a formula for mass destitution.

A meaningful strike in defence of the living world is, in part, a strike against the desire to raise our incomes and accumulate wealth: a desire shaped, more than we are probably aware, by dominant social and economic narratives. I see myself as striking in support of a radical and disturbing concept: Enough. Individually and collectively, it is time to decide what enough looks like, and how to know when we’ve achieved it.

There’s a name for this approach, coined by the Belgian philosopher Ingrid Robeyns: limitarianism. Robeyns argues that there should be an upper limit to the amount of income and wealth a person can amass. Just as we recognise a poverty line, below which no one should fall, we should recognise a riches line, above which no one should rise. This call for a levelling down is perhaps the most blasphemous idea in contemporary discourse.

But her arguments are sound. Surplus money allows some people to exercise inordinate power over others, in the workplace, in politics, and above all in the capture, use and destruction of natural wealth. If everyone is to flourish, we cannot afford the rich. Nor can we afford our own aspirations, that the culture of wealth maximisation encourages.

The grim truth is that the rich are able to live as they do only because others are poor: there is neither the physical nor ecological space for everyone to pursue private luxury. Instead we should strive for private sufficiency, public luxury. Life on earth depends on moderation.

http://www.monbiot.com

We the People: a Grim Fairytale

[a short story by  ~ burning woman~ ]

Once upon a time (well, that is the usual opening for a fairy tale, is it not?) there was an empire that covered an entire world. It was not a peaceful empire, in fact it was terribly dysfunctional. However, the kings and other rulers of the various kingdoms, duchies and quaint inventions called “nations” liked it that way.

There were endless wars which greatly benefited the elites and allowed the peasants and serfs or citizens to pretend at being “somebodies” by fighting and killing each other on a regular basis. For that world such behaviour was considered entirely normal. People who thought otherwise and who refused to fight and kill their neighbours were classed as traitors and in some periods, were executed, in others simply jailed. One thing for sure, at all times they were mocked and called cowards.

Such conditions are conducive to bringing forth cowardly and corrupt leadership and at times some group of people would overthrow such leaders and change the status of their land from, say, a kingdom or a colony to, say, a democracy. None of them actually understood what a democracy was since there had never been any to learn from, but they made it up as they went along and lo and behold, before they knew what had happened, their “democracy” had become a totalitarian regime quite identical to what their history books told them of the times before their revolution.

But, they cried, how can this be when it is “We the People” who decide how things should be run? So they talked, loud and vociferously about the role that “We the People” played in this drama and why things had turned on them. They blamed one-another for failing to vote, or for supporting the wrong party and those who were blamed, blamed right back. They blamed the politicians, well, of course! They blamed their elites, just as their forebears did. The problem was that now the elites operated with impunity within the democracy that “We the People” had presumably set up precisely to prevent such a thing from happening.

As things heated up, there even began talk of another revolution. It was a lot of angry talk and no one really knew how to bring about a revolution. It seemed that would require much organization and really, no one was up to jump starting such an irrevocable step. They needed the support of “We the People.”

In keeping with the propaganda relating to the previous revolution, it seemed logical that once again it would be “We the People” who would have to rise up, overthrow the entire corrupt system of religion, government and finance/business, and establish a new system. That made sense, so those with the loudest voices decided to bring “We the People” together.

And children, that is when those who wanted a revolution discovered that “We the People” was a complete chimera. There was no such thing as “We the People.” The idea that a majority core group held the real power of the democracy had always been pure propaganda by the two-party system of government so that the people would continue to believe that at the heart of it a legitimate, patriotic, educated, aware watchdog group of citizens kept tab on its government and had a tight leash on its politicians.

It was a terrible blow to the ego of those who would stop the corruption to discover that there had never been a “We the People” force in the land but exactly the opposite: a ragtag collection of people who distrusted one-another and often hated one-another for being of the wrong skin colour, or from the wrong ethnic background, economic level or religion. Instead of unity, they saw mass shootings and mass incarcerations of innocent individuals. They saw greed, hubris, abuse, violations of every known human rights and widespread destruction of the environment. They also saw that the masses, those who should have been “We the People,” identified with these destructive ways and participated in them, often with gusto while supporting and defending their blatantly corrupt leadership.

“Sadly children, they did not live happily ever after.”

“What happened to that world teacher?” asked a small boy.

“As to be expected, it destroyed itself and all the people on it died.”

“Oh!” echoed the children in horror.

“But it’s only a fairy tale, isn’t it?” Ventured an older girl in the back row.

“Well… no, it’s not really a fairy tale at all.”

Something about Today and the Future

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

Fact: Climate change (CC) is real and getting “realer” by the day.

Fact: Most national governments are subsidizing the fossil fuel industries like there is no tomorrow. (Because they know there isn’t one.)

Fact: A few people (relatively speaking) are concerned; a few love to use CC as a convenient topic of conversation and ranting; most remain content to see consumerism on the rise and honestly either don’t have a clue about climate change (i.e., what it means) or don’t give a flying f**k about it. I’m being observationally honest.

About CC: does it matter if it is a natural event or if it is anthropogenic (OK, man-made!)?

It does only in the sense that, if it is a natural event, nothing man does will make an iota of difference – it will run its course and how “deep” or how “high” it runs is outside of man’s control. So, there is no “option one” here.

If anthropogenic then man has a degree of control over it. He can change the focus of his technology (or ditch it altogether if changing it is too slow) and watch billions die horribly as their citified infrastructure no longer provides the means for health care, food, shelter, heat, water, sewer or and he can watch billions die from fossil fuel (FF) pollution and environmental collapse. 

Any attempts to re-focus global technology from FF to “renewable” or “clean” or “green” technology using the existing template dictated by predatory capitalism is, of course, hopeless. Capitalism is a totally predatory system. To use it, you have to present yourself to the bank with a predatory plan, or a sub-system that will feed the insatiable main god’s appetite for living prey. Anything that intends to curtail the god’s food supply will be mocked, delayed indefinitely, changed, or it will “fail” to meet certain “standards.” If it is economically viable however it will be allowed to proceed and the end result will be no better and likely worse than what it replaced. Do note: the problem isn’t the pollution but the accompanying mindset.

My opinion after a life time of involvement in environmental issues and social change, is that “man” as a species has simply overreached itself through greed and heartless corruption and it is reaping what it has been sowing for thousands of years. It needed only the higher numbers combined with an inhuman and inhumane science and machine-based technology heavily favouring oppression and destruction to bring itself to its own ignoble, fully deserved,  demise. 

If I really feel that way, and I most certainly do, then what words would I have for anyone who does care? Not much, except to say that the future isn’t annihilation, nor on a dead planet nor in some religiously concocted heaven, hell or nirvana. 

“You offer no alternative yet you speak as if there was a future for us?” would be a logical question.

Answer: there always was a future; there always will be a future. What we are living in now is the future we have made for ourselves. It was a short-sighted, dead-end future but it promised so much in terms of power over others; in terms of money and sex and other sources of self-gratification, we felt it was worth the throw of the dice. So we made our Faustian bargain with time; we were loaned stacks of “free” tokens to play with and we’ve played them all and the house won. Now? Now all we have to do is walk out of the casino – it’s about to go down in flames – and figure out how to create a new future – without the “free” tokens (which by the way are nothing more than insane debts of valueless currency owed to non-existent capital power structures fronted by psychopaths).

That’s what self empowerment means. It doesn’t mean smart inventors (and investors) figuring out how to keep your swimming pool filled when the water is running out. It doesn’t mean a hundred, or a thousand “Greta Thunberg” or “David Suzuki” or more political and elected advocates for some Green New Deal (or voting for them); or more never-binding international treaties on CC.

For me it has meant changing my lifestyle in specific and observable (demonstrable) ways. That’s “my” lifestyle, not anyone else’s. Self empowerment is not leading campaigns to change the world, or setting up alternate energy corporations within the existing religious/political/capitalistic agenda. It is all about changing me so I become the change I wish to see. Yeah, old and corny saying but quite valid nevertheless. 

If you still have a couple of minutes, here’s something from George Monbiot… a well-researched journalist with a few very meaningful comments on our times. 

Fossil Rebellion – monbiot.com


Fossil Rebellion

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 04:50 AM PDT

In the midst of climate breakdown, governments around the world are funding and protecting the fossil fuel industry

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 7th August 2019

The tragedy of our times is that the gathering collapse of our life support systems coincides with the age of public disservice. Just as we need to rise above self-interest and short termism, governments around the world now represent the meanest and dirtiest of special interests. In the United Kingdom, the US, Brazil, Australia and many other nations, pollutocrats rule.

The Earth’s systems are breaking down at astonishing speed. Wild fires roar across Siberia and Alaska, biting, in many places, deep into peat soils, releasing plumes of carbon dioxide and methane that cause more global heating. In July alone, Arctic wildfires are reckoned to have released as much carbon into the atmosphere as Austria does in a year: already the vicious twister of climate feedbacks has begun to turn. Torrents of meltwater pour from the Greenland ice cap, sweltering under a 15°C temperature anomaly. Daily ice losses on this scale are 50 years ahead of schedule: they were forecast by the climate models for 2070. A paper in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that the thawing of permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic now exceeds the depths of melting projected by scientists for 2090.

While record temperatures in Europe last month caused discomfort and disruption, in Southwest Asia they are already starting to reach the point at which the human body hits its thermal limits. Ever wider tracts of the world will come to rely on air-conditioning not only for basic comfort but also for human survival: another feedback spiral, as air-conditioning requires massive energy use. Those who cannot afford it will either move or die. Already, climate breakdown is driving more people from their homes than either poverty or conflict, while contributing to both these other factors.

A recent paper in Nature shows that we have little hope of preventing more than 1.5° of global heating unless we retire existing fossil fuel infrastructure. Even if no new gas or coal power plants, roads and airports are built, the carbon emissions from current installations are likely to push us past this threshold. Only by retiring some of this infrastructure before the end of its natural life could we secure a 50% chance of remaining within the temperature limit agreed in Paris in 2015. Yet, far from decommissioning this Earth-killing machine, almost everywhere governments and industry stoke its fires.

The oil and gas industry intends to spend $4.9 trillion over the next 10 years, exploring and developing new reserves, none of which we can afford to burn. According to the IMF, every year governments subsidise fossil fuels to the tune of $5 trillion: many times more than they spend on addressing our existential predicament. The US spends 10 times more on these mad subsidies than on its federal education budget. Last year, the world burnt more fossil fuels than ever before.

An analysis by Barry Saxifrage in Canada’s National Observer shows that half the fossil fuels ever used by humans have been burnt since 1990. While renewable and nuclear power supplies have also risen in this period, the gap between the production of fossil fuels and low carbon energy has not been narrowing, but steadily widening. What counts, in seeking to prevent runaway global heating, is not the good things we start to do, but the bad things we cease to do. Shutting down fossil infrastructure requires government intervention.

But in many nations, governments intervene not to protect humanity from the existential threat of fossil fuels, but to protect the fossil fuel industry from the existential threat of public protest. In the US, legislators in 18 states have put forward bills criminalising protests against pipelines, seeking to crush democratic dissent on behalf of the oil industry. In June, Donald Trump’s government proposed federal legislation that would jail people for up to 20 years for disrupting pipeline construction.

In several nations, led by the Philippines, Global Witness reports, governments have incited the murder of environmental protesters. The process begins with rhetoric, demonising civil protest as extremism and terrorism, then shifts to legislation, criminalising attempts to protect the living planet. Criminalisation then helps legitimise physical assaults and murder. The first stage has now begun in Britain, with the publication by a dark money-funded lobby group, Policy Exchange, of a report smearing Extinction Rebellion. Like all such publications, it was given a series of major platforms by the BBC, which preserved its customary absence of curiosity about who funded it.

Secretly-funded lobby groups – such as the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs – have supplied some of the key advisers to Boris Johnson’s government. He has also appointed Andrea Leadsom, an enthusiastic fracking advocate, to run the department responsible for climate policy, and Grant Schapps, who chaired the British infrastructure Group until last month – promoting the expansion of roads and airports – as Secretary of State for Transport. Last week the Guardian revealed documents suggesting that the firm run by Johnson’s funder and adviser Sir Lynton Crosby has produced unbranded Facebook ads on behalf of the coal industry.

What we see here looks like the denouement of the Pollution Paradox. Because the dirtiest industries attract the least public support, they have the greatest incentive to spend money on politics, to get the results they want and we don’t. They fund political parties, lobby groups and think tanks, fake grassroots organisations and dark ads on social media. As a result, politics comes to be dominated by the dirtiest industries.

We are told to fear the “extremists” who protest against ecocide and challenge dirty industry and the dirty governments it buys. But the extremists we should fear are those who hold office.

http://www.monbiot.com

The Secret – my version of it

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ]

I was watching the lower branches of some spruce trees waving slowly in the breeze rising from the River on the north side of Chilliwack mountain today as I worked at re-mulching terraces and pathways. It was dark, grey and cold and my feeling was of strangeness, of alienation. Once again being forcefully reminded how little of Earth desire I harbour in my heart. Once again having to face the fact that I am from another place, soon to return to it. For those who cannot understand that, it is what it is.

The most difficult task I ever set myself to tackling is understanding Earthians. I cannot. Even when I deliberately lost myself in the Earthian mythos, forcing myself to “be one of them!” – one of you – all I accomplished was losing myself in a swamp of perceptions that had little to do with me. I became unreal to myself, a creature of habits and knee-jerk reactions to everything. In time I seriously panicked. I would have ended it all through suicide if I’d been allowed to follow through but instead I reconnected with “my people” and what they had to say and to teach was in my heart language and I eventually re-discovered myself.

I’m still trying to understand Earthians and I’m still stymied and utterly bewildered, even though I know why the people are the way they are; why they do the things they do. I call it programming because it’s the term that fits best – and also because I know it’s programming but on a level that Earthians are forbidden to access.

Jumping around a bit here: the greatest gift the Teachers gave me was expanded awareness. They gave me a greater history of this universe than I could ever find in Earthian records, or would have ever received from any Earth teacher. You can’t write or teach what you can’t know and as long as the programming is active in someone’s mind, ‘truth’ will remain subjective and subject to change without notice. Never, however, can any ‘truth seeker’ be permitted to explore outside the boundaries set by the programming. Think invisible dog fence. The dog wears a collar that will hurt it if it gets too close to the fence even though it cannot see the fence or know of its existence. That’s the reality of living withing the confines of Earth’s Matrix.

I am certainly old enough now to seriously think about my journey home and the calling has made itself felt stronger lately. One of the reasons is obvious to me. It will be forty years ago on Good Friday, that I had my intervention, a physical healing and a mind opening that set my life on a totally different tangent. April 19, 1979, at approximately 3 in the afternoon. It was another dark grey, cold and cloudy day, perhaps chosen on purpose to demonstrate that light can come from within. Perhaps also because this time of equinox is particularly powerful for renewal.

Forty years of studying, experimenting with, testing and practicing the Teaching in a state of expanding awareness has certainly made me look at man’s world in ways quite alien to the *ISSA residents of planet earth. I see why the things being done here don’t work because I know the source of the trouble and it is a hidden source to all the wisdom and all the systems operating within the programming.

For example, I can claim, and state without any reservation that I possess the key to the solution of this world’s greatest and most vexing problems. I can also state unequivocally that I have never made it into some sort of carefully guarded secret to be imparted to some chosen few, nor used it to make disciples and followers and create another institution or collective replete with its fund raising committee. That is not how we operate. Should I write down “the Secret” for you to read? Let me seriously disappoint you – and your disappointment is the sign that you are responding predictably according to your programming. The “Secret” or the key is called compassion. Not love, not charity, not caring, not wishing, hoping and a-praying, just compassion.

It should be easily seen that living the compassionate life puts an end to… exploitation… oppression… misogyny… racism… fear… hate… anger… selfishness… greed… power seeking… pride… rape… torture… need for adulation or some kind of public or popular success… war… genocide… condemnation. Ultimately it ends all the great collectives and monster governments.

That is how we live on my home world therefore it is eminently doable. But not on planet Earth. On planet Earth we do things differently. We create massive problems for ourselves which we then attempt to solve by creating even greater problems. There is an exponential aspect to this which condemns this world to terminate in entropy. In terms of civilization that is exactly what we are experiencing now and we’ve added an even more terminal effect: planetary entropy through overuse and abuse of natural resources.

“Après moi, le déluge” is supposed to be Louis XV’s admission, on his death bed that he had squandered France’s national and imperial resources without ever attempting to rein in the excesses of his peers and courtiers. This would have been in 1774. Fourteen years later came the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the bloody French revolution.

As in every other time of crisis, the solution is here, accessible to all and ready to be put in practice. As in every other time of crisis, the wrong choices will be made; the wrong solutions applied and the propaganda will do the rest. Earth, thanks to man, is in its downward spiral of entropy.

Could it still be stopped? “Nothing is impossible” asserted the Teacher YLea among other priceless gems of wisdom. But here on Earth there is a program running and that program dictates how people respond to crisis. Unless and until the program is neutralized, the wheel will continue to turn; to crush the poor and the oppressed; to spread terror, famine and disease. Gradually but exponentially even the most advanced and affluent nations will in turn fall under the wheel and be crushed like the rest.

Even if the programming was neutralized and every Earthian individual was suddenly free to practice compassion, there is still a time frame for such a drastic change of mind to become effective. It has been forty years for me and I still feel as if I’m but scratching the surface of this concept. Granted if everybody was pulling in the same direction that time frame could be shortened, but do we have, say, even ten years left in which to change our mind and choose life over death? How long must we “practice” before we fully realize that the only way to choose life is to give life, meaning giving full freedom to choose to all comers?

*ISSA: intelligent, sentient, self aware

Quote: “Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.” (Robert Frost)

The Alternative Path to Everything

(Please note: I’ve been having trouble with the comments section – no resolve yet. If you wish to comment, use the Comment prompt on the email notification you receive, or alternatively, click on ‘Like’ and use the ‘comment on this blog’ prompt that appears. Hint: you can click on ‘Like’ as many times as you wish, it’s an on-off switch, so clicking a second time makes your ‘like’ disappear, then clicking again makes it re-appear.)

The Alternative Path to Everything
[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

I’ve been asked to share some of my personal thoughts on the deepest issues concerning mankind and coincidentally the planet the ruling species lives on. It appears that “finally” there are some sincere and credible individuals who care about man’s plight and the plight of the one and only world we have to exist off of so this makes my tiny effort somewhat meaningful, or so I feel anyway.

What have I got to add to the cacophony of words and ideas surrounding such massive issues as misogyny, racism, endless war and now anthropological climate change? What are my credentials and why should anyone pay heed?

I’ll tell you right off: none, and no reason, beyond the fact that I have lived a long but observant life here. I have participated in life with a view to causing improvement through personal commitment, discipline and serious change. When I was still a child I personally experienced some of the “wrongness of things” upon my own body and upon my mind which made me a different person. I lost my childish trust in humanity and its institutions and vowed to find a different way to live my life.

No matter who or what you are, where you live and under what circumstances, that’s where it begins: a turning away from all the normal; the tried and failed; the endlessly false promises of better days ahead. Realizing that as long as “the system” remains essentially untouched no significant change can ever happen.

I began with total rejection of man’s values; I began with honest despair and I seriously toyed with committing suicide from about age eighteen to thirty at which point I was determined to end it. I took steps, acted on them… and received an intervention. Obviously: I’m still here.

That’s when I met the Teachers and my life made a one hundred eighty degree turn. After being healed of a serious debilitating physical condition I was challenged: change your thinking and you will have a new life. They would explain things to me and set up situations in which I could test their words against my Earthian reality.

I don’t need to go into details. It was gruelling and inescapable. Everything had to change – everything. No more believing IN anything. No more attachments to anyone, or any ideology, religion or tradition. These things did not disappear, I just chose day by day to see them differently so I could understand rather than just accept “the way of it.” There was no longer any way of it.

How serious were these Teachers whom I called the Altarians? One example: I had to involve myself in a life-for-life trade, offering my own life in exchange for another woman held on “death row” ostensibly for having committed adultery in a Sharia law controlled country. She had three young children, mine were all grown up. It would be a just trade. I did that, putting myself on death row for about two and a half years until she was exonerated. I can tell you these Teachers are very serious and they are now “my” people, not the people of Earth.

I learned to become a free, self empowered individual. I learned that no problem can ever be resolved unless the source of it is uncovered and dealt with, i.e. destroyed. I learned that it is literally impossible to bring about any meaningful change within an existing institution, or condition because of its inherent corruption. I learned that it is impossible to scrape clean a corrupt system, you can only annihilate it and present your reality, your world, with something entirely new.

So now, so near the end of this life, what do I offer this world? Nothing. But it is in this ‘nothing’ that a wise person finds everything. I do not offer anything new and certainly no alternative technology that would make our current conditions ease off enough that we could continue fooling ourselves that with, say, the elimination of fossil fuels, we can continue to play. The more the “System” is tweaked the worse things will get.

So here’s my gift to you, from me, from the Teachers and from your ancient sages, saints and philosophers: refuse to accept them and sign your certain death warrant.

One: change your personal ways completely. Stop believing that you can fix or renovate anything. Your civilization has reached an irreversible state of entropy. Write that on a wall as a reminder.

Two: force yourself to become a compassionate being without any excuse, ever, for failure, and you will fail miserably but the point will be sticking to the exercise. Compassion – not love. Do not let yourselves be fooled any longer by things that have never worked.

Three: learn what it means to live a detached life. Learn that being detached means to practice being an empath. Learn to shed hot tears for your world rather than for one “loved” individual or group. Forget the “we are the world” or “we are one” Matrix bullshit. We are not “one” and never can be. We can however be the Watcher, the Compassionate one, the one who stands alone, detached, and feels it all without cringing away from the burden of it.

Four: reject! Reject utterly all things to do with the “System”; all of its manifold institutions. Reject God and all other deities and associated beliefs: they are all inventions of the Matrix. Reject Money as a power source, the only power it has is what you give it for it is a god in its own right. Reject all your politics and political systems for they too are gods. Reject history and traditions: more lies to create dissensions.

Five: Recreate yourself in your own image. Be who you choose to be and that is the final reality. Whatever you want to be, be that and accept the consequences of your choices. If you choose good, be good. If you choose evil, be evil but do it as a self empowered individual.

Civilization’s Collapse

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

It seems so long ago now, but before I retired, it was part of my job to go to a troublesome account and make the call whether a piece of equipment should be written off and replaced with a new one. I suppose it’s a responsibility that as the then most senior person in the department I was expected to take on. Further, they knew well enough that I had been old-school European trained; that I didn’t have the throw-away mentality so prevalent in Canada and America. When I said a piece of equipment was a write-off, there was no point sending more techs to try to make it work. It was replaced.

The point of this long preamble is that I developed a kind of second-sight about what can be salvaged and what should be written off. Does this apply to other than machines, buildings or human bodies? Can an individual assess the level of entropy in a much larger and more complex system, for example, an empire or an entire civilization? As a matter of fact, that is a deduction that isn’t difficult to arrive at. Let me explain.

While I was thus involved in the technological world of a global multi-national corporation I was also very much involved in social and environmental issues. To me the two went hand in hand. The corporation taught me to see what was wrong with the technological world we were developing and it also taught me that past a certain point in the life of any system, be it a dispenser or a civilization, entropy reached a level that made it pointless to continue fixing.

Now to bring up an unpopular subject: the downfall of man’s civilization and the fact that we are now totally engaged into and sliding down its dark side. Should it come as a surprise that such events do not happen only to others far behind us in history? We are facing, not a change but an implosion of gargantuan magnitude and while a few millions seem concerned it remains that the billions are not.

I know this. It’s not something I wanted to happen, I worked hard enough to prevent it, but it is precisely because of the recent work I put into preventing this global collapse that I can feel what is coming. I know because of the obdurate stance people in general have taken against change; particularly against changing personal lifestyles. People don’t want less, they want more of what is destroying the physical and social environment. They want it because it is convenient and comfortable, post-WWII “virtues” that have become a matter of faith, faith in success, in winning, in having, keeping and adding to. That is the formula for corruption and consequently entropy.

We’re certainly not short of voices raised in protest, anger and sometimes even in hope yet none of them have any traction in the current social morass because none are willing to, or even know how to, address the real problem: Earthian nature. It is that nature that will determine whether this civilization continues or implodes.

Well… obviously it is that very nature that has brought civilization to this sad place and just as obviously that same nature is hardened against changing itself so, what could a thinking person conclude? The driving force of any civilization of intelligent, sentient and self aware beings is the nature of such beings, not the systems they invented to serve them. Would-be change agents look at the systems, proposing change to the systems, but Earthians have become Cyborgs, their way of life, their very bodies entirely dependent on the systems they created for their profit, comfort and convenience. If the systems were terminated prior to new ones properly developed, tested and put on stream most of mankind would perish. That is a foregone conclusion.

So, not only will mankind not change its mind; its ways, but it no longer can. It is physically and mentally welded into its collapsing social construct. Therefore my conclusion is simple: man’s civilization is a write off. You could write these words upon any major public place anywhere on the planet, date them, and time will prove them unassailable. It’s not a condemnation, it’s a simple but accurate assessment of a too-obvious condition.

Here is that famous sonnet “Ozymandias” by Percy Shelley, written in January 1818, over 200 years ago.  It has a new meaning today:
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

EVERYTHING IS ON ITS WAY TO SOMEWHERE

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

“Everything is on its way to somewhere” (Movie ‘Phenomenon’)
“Things change and they don’t change back” (Nemesis Games, James Corey)

On the other hand and interestingly, when it comes to the people of Earth, there are never new starts – every start packs something of the old within itself and it all turns to shit again. The older one gets, the closer one comes to that “place” of final change, the more the above reminders become true and undeniably accurate.

None of us knows much about ‘Life’ in general. We call one physical passage on this world a ‘life’ from which we gain a few experiences which serve no purpose whatsoever because it’s followed by either permanent lights out or the unknowable endlessly speculated and pontificated upon eternal.

When we’re dying, do we know for a fact who we are? Are we something that’s finally run out of fuel to simply fall by the wayside or something propelling itself into the unknown star fields as a star ship pushed by  its “warp” drive?

At death’s door, what ‘thing’ part of us is on its way to somewhere? Who or what determines if there is a somewhere to go to, and if so, how is that somewhere chosen? Or is it arbitrary? Is it a direction or a place, like a huge bubbling recycling vat from which pieces are taken as building blocks for new words, new universes, new extensions and additions to existing constructs and new experiments?

A shift in thought:

Decades ago I grew tired of being told how to live my life, whether the instructions came from God, bosses, political or religious leaders, corporations, bankers or a sex partner. I got tired of being told what I should or should not believe; how I should worship; what I should or should not eat or drink or buy or wear; what sort of people I should associate with or not and what constituted my family; my “home” and my “people.” “Enough!” I heard myself scream in my mind one say and everything turned on its head.

While so many of these controlling people around me were busy building and rebuilding walls to try to make themselves feel safer and happier I found myself tearing mine down. I was pretty sure that freedom was unattainable on earth but at least I wanted openness. I wanted to be able to see the horizon in my mind. I didn’t want to be staring at blood-stained walls of arrogance, bigotry, racism and misogyny.  I was through trying to fit in.

How can you be going anywhere when surrounded by walls of exceptionalism; of exclusive belief; of oppression and extortion; of self-protection? Walls made of greed, fear, hate and paranoia? The caterpillar doesn’t go into a cocoon for self-preservation but in the hope of breaking forth as a butterfly. Do man-made walls ever turn anyone into a butterfly?

Across the international border a few miles from this town is a nation that is closing in on itself, helplessly it seems as, if it was entering into a cocoon. But this is not a life-changing cocoon, it’s a strangling prison. It wants a wall on its southern border because it fears its neighbours but if that wall is built, it won’t stop there. The wall will continue to grow, partly in a physical way but mostly in the imprisoned hearts. Unseen and untouched the neighbours behind the wall will grow horns and forked tails, morphing into demons and monsters. The wall won’t be enough to guarantee safety. In all likelihood the monsters and their children will have to be nuked. But that will only amplify the threat.

That’s where we come face to face with all our new starts and realize how true it is that there have never been any such on this world, or at least for as long as this patriarchal civilization has existed. Walled in, repetitive, entropic, too weak, too ignorant, too closed-minded to make that jump into the new.

What somewhere would you want to be heading for, people of Earth? What sort of change that doesn’t change back would you like to see happening?

How would you propose entering into a new start that packed nothing at all of the old so you would not condemn yourselves to repeating it?  Could you even imagine such an event?