Tag Archives: Self-empowerment

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #54

Wow… as Bob Crachit would say, “I am behind my time…” Indeed life has been crazier than usual and apart from a bit of blogging comments, I’ve had little time for the blog and particularly for the Manifesto.  But, here’s blog post #54, and more to come.


… As a true T’Sing Tarleynan female would answer she replies, “What I think no matter.  Men, they decide.  Woman think?  That is waste.  Eat, sleep, make love, train to fight and kill.  That is fighter woman do.  Think waste energy; mix up in head.  Make weak, stupid.  I be strong soon, strong and fast.  I train good.  I live long.  Maybe you like me, you take me.  Hold me, make love.  Be lover, be friend.  Be family to me.  I train with you, huh?”  She pinches my muscles on my tight stomach.  “You like old skin, strongest of fighter woman they say.  Desert Beast, huh?  Proud I be slave to you.  Teach me strength you do.  I fight for you.”

[end blog post #53]
______________________

[begin blog post #54]

Chapter 25 – Measuring Times by my Losses

And so begins another episode.  Seems I’m now measuring my times by my losses.  While I remain awake, having now cradled this new child between my legs and in my arms and lulled her to sleep, I keep thinking of Deirdre.  I feel my emptiness and the suffering of my heart is worse than what I suffered in the dungeons of the inquisition.  Especially do I rue the fact I could not say goodbye.  That hurts more than anything.  Did she suspect during those last hours?  She would have known something was going on.  She would have felt it, sensed it.  She would also have known that the discovery of it would cause us great pain and thus would have kept silent. 

‘Ah, Deirdre.  Soon you will wake up on a world I hope is beautiful to behold.  A world that will cause you much less pain than this one.  I would have invited you to find your way to Altaria, as I did for Tiegli, but that would have been a violation of my “contract” with the Koronese.  They saved you because they need you, girl.  They hope to discover the source of your miraculous empathic nature.  Perhaps they can isolate those genes and clone truly empathic Cydroids?  Perhaps a child from a Koronese father who will have your strange nature? Please help them, Deirdre, for to that it seems you were called.  For that we met and your physical life was saved.  Take care.  I shall love you forever…’

Tiki turns and sighs.  I look at the small sleeping girl-woman in the pale light of Albaral.  I vow not to become attached to this one.  And how am I going to go about avoiding that?  I’m not made that way here.  Something’s changed from the mind I had during the Melkiar wars.  The very paucity of love here has made me want to become pure love to these children.  Looks like I’m heading for another compromise that is going to peel another layer of protection from my heart and make me bleed internally even more than externally.

“Teach me strength you do.”  she said without any doubt I could do so.  Damn right I will ‘teach you strength.’  I will make you like the rock of this place.  I will give you all you need to be as happy as any child can be in such circumstances.  I will give you all the advice and training I’m capable of.  I’ll make you into a superb T’Sing Tarleynan fighting machine – the best of their own they’ve ever seen, though I’m certain not a one of them will be able to appreciate your talents or skills  All you will remain for them is someone, no not someone, but a thing, to perform indignities upon, to damage, defeat, destroy and finally, to kill.’

Maybe, now that my mind is clearer, I will find a way to give this being a “soul” – a mind implant, a gift of some long-forgotten goddess that will change her into a born-again human.  As long as I’m measuring my times here by my losses, I can afford to lose another dream.  I can dream, no one can take that away from me.

And in this dream I must also discover, not the nature of evil, but the final path to its source from which it can be defeated.  Evil, you are my ultimate enemy. 

When Tiki sleeps peacefully against me and the ache of losing Deirdre has dulled to a tolerably manageable level I will perform this exercise.  I will exorcise from myself the power of that dormant monster; of all the evil that ever touched me, that I have touched and that I have worked with.  I will remember the feelings that it gave me. That horror that I buried deep in my subconscious so long ago, the parts of it that thrilled me when I refused to consider alternatives;  those I killed in turn after they had killed all that I loved.  That source of evil within myself I will expose to the light of what I have become in this place.  Thus I will bring forth the rest of the knowledge I need to complete my task here, by “faith” in life and by example for others. 

The process:  Access, study, feel, understand, delete.  Yeah, I should have been a Cydroid.  For it is one of our truisms that we, human and Avatari alike, cannot delete our past; cannot disown it.  We can but dis-empower or empower it according to our present need and understanding.

And in my sleep I dream of the constant we call “evil” but it is a sweet dream, not a nightmare.

[end blog post #54]

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.

Traveling in Space, an Essay

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

Quote: “To travel in space you must leave the old verbal garbage behind: God talk, country talk, mother talk, love talk, party talk. You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence. Anyone who prays in space is not there.” — William S. Burroughs

Perhaps one of the hardest “lessons” for the Avatar to learn is to proceed as if one were utterly alone in space; in the universe; in the Cosmos. To cut off all ties with all the known, to refuse any thought of neediness. To realize and accept how absolutely necessary it is to never open one’s thoughts to, or ever utter a single word of, any sort of prayer.

That is what it means, primarily, for me to be self empowered. Of course the argument immediately turns to the fact that my life is circumscribed by all the things needed to make that life possible. Yes, those things are there indeed. But the Avatar knows that they are not there to make her life possible, but to surround her with chains and to eat her flesh, then her mind. That is what it means to live in a predatory system.

That does not invalidate the earlier claim that I must not allow a word or thought to express neediness. That is done by refusing to enter any debate, support for, or defense of, any system purporting to be “for” me. To believe that a religious, state or financial system is there for me is akin to the steer milling about in the loafing barn believing that the agri-business that owns it is there for its survival and long life. An Avatar must be a bit smarter than that. To know how the System operates and what it uses as fuel is certainly the beginning of wisdom.

I am free to discuss with anyone the state of the economy, or regime changes and resource wars; to commiserate over on-going genocides and people’s fears over their particular nation’s political trends or the death of a friend or happiness over a planned trip or wedding or birth of a child. In all of that I must remember that I am no longer a part of it; that whether it impacts large numbers or one individual it does not affect me in “that” way. I must remember to remain emotionally detached from these issues with the understanding that if it turn out to be a problem, when it approaches me; comes home to roost, I am expendable in the next step: providing what help I can muster for the losers, victims and survivors.

There is much (deliberately infused) misunderstanding about detachment. It is usually understood as a state of not caring. In fact it is the opposite: only a detached and self empowered individual can truly help another. When I approach someone in a detached state I am pure giving; the needy predator within is effectively shut-out. In a detached state I can see a need and know what has to happen to alleviate it. I know what my personal resources are and how best to apply them to the situation. Having learned not to express neediness, any other-than-myself “help” avenue is closed off. I take full responsibility for whatever I am about to commit myself to doing. For the Avatar that can translate as giving up everything, including one’s life. So be it because at that point it’s all about me, and I am in control of my own life.

Giving up one’s life in service of others: is that such a big deal? In a crisis where so many are losing out; where many poor are literally dying on the streets of the richest countries and richest cities, is it “extraordinary” for an individual to participate fully in becoming part of the downfall? The Avatar’s question is, why should my life be worth more, or be more precious to me, than his, hers, theirs’? People in general tend to talk up a good game about love. Everybody except me seems to be in love with love. But what does that translate as, when push comes to shove?

I’m sure if I lived in a theater of war and attendant atrocity I would see real examples of love expressed courageously by many. But as always, I would know that such examples, such efforts, are not usually motivated by a changed and permanent mindset but rather by circumstances. That’s the problem with love: it is dependent, weak, transient and exclusive.

The self empowered, detached, responsible Avatar eschews love as a too uncertain an emotion. To live as if one were already dead so as to function fearlessly the Avatar requires something much more reliable than an emotion. Enter compassion.

Again, as with detachment, there is much misunderstanding about the concept of compassion. Generally it is considered to be just one of a list of ‘virtues’ a person should exhibit, such as decency, love, caring, kindness, patience. Certainly nothing wrong with expressing such but honestly they have little holding power. A change of circumstance can drastically alter the response. This I have seen.

Compassion is never circumstance-dependent because it is entered into by self empowered personal choice. It is a personal commitment to a way of life and it is inclusive. It may well be what the Buddha had in mind before his teachings were hijacked into a religious enterprise, before it became “Buddhism” which, like any religious enterprise, possesses no power to change anyone’s mind. Compassion, before it can be claimed by anyone, must become the purpose of one’s entire life with the ultimate goal of the individual becoming pure compassion, however many aeons of time that may encompass.

To be compassionate is traveling in one’s own space, living alone in the silence of one’s sacred self-awareness, able to filter out the shallow and ever present ocean of socially-induced noise.

Detachment to Life

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

“I’ve always felt that what we are taught of detachment at home is an illusion.  I think the ancients know this too, but let us discover it on our own.  They equip us to go with a story that makes sense only until it is tested.  A truly detached ISSA*, seems to me, at this point at least, is an oxymoron.”  (Antierra monologue speaking of her teachings on detachment while on her home world of Altaria – Antierra Manifesto)

Once the basics of one Earthian incarnation have been experienced – surviving, satisfying desires, experimenting with physical senses, what’s left but death, or entering upon a quest for the greater meaning of Life as a self aware being? 

If one chooses “death” which to me means going on repeating experiences pointlessly, then that’s that.  If one chooses the quest, there has to be a sure way to enter into that which guarantees one will not fall back into such silly behaviour as being a sports fan, chasing the opposite gender for sexual gratification, “making” money, hating, fighting, killing then dying to find out it was all a chimera.

Seems to me the way to freedom is opened through detachment.  What keeps us enslaved to the wheel of the System is an array of attachments each one justifying and strengthening the other. It behooves us therefore to relinquish all our attachments to the things this world offers more as bait than as satisfaction (since none ever completely satisfy, and that should be a very broad hint). 

OK, so I want to learn the meaning of Life, not just the meaning (if there be any) of one little incarnation on this little world but the meaning of Life as expressed through an infinite and timeless cosmos: that meaning! Only a free being can ever hope to enter into such a quest.  Attachments are all those things, big and small, that translate as chains, shackles, stanchions, locks, doors, walls, perimeters, limits that take one to termination.  In this situation, death becomes the final attachment. 

Before one tackles the difficult concept of death, one should consider the pattern of lesser attachments that enslave us to our body and its world and how we are connected to the pattern.  As long as a single attachment remains unexplored and connected, death remains the final enigma. Yet unless one can know all about death, even if the words to describe this certainty do not exist, the quest for Life remains closed.  Death was invented to create the impression that there is no such thing as “Life” as an infinite concept; that “Life” had been conquered. All attachments are lies and death is the final and greatest lie of all when living under attachments.

How then does one person achieve a place of total detachment?  As said above, it isn’t easy.  To my heroine (granted she is under extreme stress in that part of the story) it seems impossible.  But nothing is impossible! Impossible is just another attachment!

Detachment, once decided upon, comes through self empowerment.  All my choices are mine and I take full responsibility for the results.  Sure, there will remain many little itches of attachments, like cold sniffles or skin blemishes, but my immune system is self empowerment and that is how I heal myself, as much and as many times as it takes.  I learn not to repeat stupid or pointless moves. I learn to be satisfied with an experience that I know will not improve the more I do it. 

Prayers will not be answered with greater alacrity or better overall results.  Hockey games won’t improve. TV won’t demonstrate a higher level of intelligence. Cigarettes or booze won’t taste better. Crossing borders won’t become easier or safer and sex… well I think we all know the answer to that one.

I learn not to waste my time on the treadmill or the merry-go-round and I learn to use that salvaged time to better my understanding.  If I have any problem on how to direct this new understanding, I cradle it within compassion thus guaranteeing a successful continuation to the quest I am on.

Yes Antierra, it is possible to become totally detached.  You have to learn to take the broader view of the concept.    

*ISSA: acronym for intelligent, sentient, self aware

 

When I was Nineteen

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.
Everything seemed cut and dried.  Art and music were fine, but could they
explain anything?  Could they tell me why I was alive or what the world was
all about?  I didn’t think so.  And ever since, I’ve lived a compromise: I
wouldn’t try to kill myself, because there was always a chance something
would happen to explain everything.”  (Songs of Earth and Power – Greg Bear)

It is the end of another year, my seventy-second year, which isn’t bad considering I’d set my “best before” termination year at fifty. It seemed reasonable at the time, what could I possibly accomplish of anything worthwhile past fifty in a society that worships (fake) youth and gobbles its world as if it is a melting chocolate ice cream?

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.” So did I, definitely, but my reasoning was much more pathetic: my lover dumped me. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, but each one brought its own degree of particular inescapable hurt.  It would be many years later, having survived (dig the maudlin self pity!) the many losses, that I realized these experiences in an otherwise sated and bloated consumerist society was how I manipulated reality to grow a bigger heart.

I began to sense that my personal pain was but one of endless extensions of this world’s pain. I began to look at ways I could use that sorrowful “me” to become a part of the rest; to make sorrow my bed partner. I learned to cry in the night and though the tears were mine, gradually they were no longer for me.

Unlike Greg Bear’s heroine in “Songs of Earth and Power” however, I did not hang around for the chance that something would happen to explain everything. I used my awareness as a key to that explanation. Since I am my awareness, my own mind, I would be the key that would open the door and allow the “something that would explain everything” to come into my life and claim me as its lover. Once more, I fell in love, this time with a very dangerous character, an actual terrorist, someone for whom there would be no secrets, the ultimate WikiLeaks.

If I desired to know, all I needed was ask and he took me upon secret paths, through mined fields, under electrified fences of razor wire, into secure, severely guarded places where explanations were taking place.  He made me listen in and I discovered that official secrets were constantly being made up with all seriousness.

The first time I saw this, I wanted to laugh out loud. Only my dangerous lover’s hand over my mouth saved me. We would leave those places, return to city traffic, lights, pedestrians, noises, smells and facades of endless body accomodations, find our own and talk through nights that became ever shorter.

“There is nothing new under the sun” he’d quote from Eclesiastes.

“But I still don’t understand” I protested. “How can there be secrets, then? How do we not know everything?”

“I will not lie to you. The truth is, there are no secrets. You’re a victim of gross mis-direction, all of the time. That is the System, how it controls you, makes you fear; makes you hope. Then it dashes your hopes, deliberately, and starts the whole thing all over again. Each time you are left drained, like losing a lover, and while you are in this heart-mind weakened state you are taken by something else, on the rebound. You don’t want to let go of that last thread of hope and the next lie weaves itself into your dying hope and pulls more out of you. This goes on until you die. Nothing is ever explained because there is nothing to explain – that’s the realization that made you want to laugh when in the vault of secrets: there are no secrets, just manufactured lies.”

“So, if I choose knowledge, what should I do?”

“Use your key. Use you. You are your own source of all the knowledge that exists; all you need do is free your mind. Trust your imagination and go along for the ride.”

“How will I know where I am going?”

“You won’t; you can’t. If you did, that would be another false path, another lie. Where is the freedom in following an already existing path? Obviously it wouldn’t be yours and if you can see it, someone designed it as a trap for you, to seduce you once again upon a way that isn’t yours and will prove disempowering and end in loss, again.”

“Why do the great teachers ask us to follow them? Their teachings?”

“Because they are lovers, not great teachers and their teachings are powerless to change anything.  Because they want you for themselves and have no intention of ever giving you anything of themselves.  Because they are liars.”

“So, no great teachers, and I know everything?”

“Yes, potentially. You need to trust yourself; believe in yourself. You need to realize you were meant to walk this path alone. In fact, there is no path, just endless choices, the best ones seemingly impossible but remember this: nothing is impossible.”

“What happens now?”

“Now I will leave you because you no longer need me. You are equipped to live your life as a self-empowered being. You not only possess the key to all knowledge, you are that key. Much of that knowledge does not pertain to this, your reality, so you must learn to choose wisely, what you keep in your pockets, in your pack, and what you leave behind for the time being.”

“I am scared to be so alone!”

“Fear is the mind killer. I will not fear, I will face my fear… do you remember that? You learned it because you already knew you would need it. Now is the time. You walk alone, you never look back, you never doubt yourself.  Goodbye, lover.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Red Barn on the Hope River

Society, the Homeless and Bleach

[Thoughts from the Other Side – Erin WilloWitch and Sha’Tara]

(A necessary preamble: Erin Willowitch is another of my several alter-egos. As her name indicates, there is a fiery edge to her; to her words. She jumps in when I get to be too much of a softy-from her point of view. ‘I am a tall, slim red-head who does not abide fawning, foolishness and deliberate ignorance. I live in nature and avoid people as much as I can. I would make my diet of rocks before I ever accepted most of what passes for intelligent arguments among Earthians.’ (Erin WW)

(and a warning: it is possible I’ve blogged this before… I haven’t got either the time or inclination to delve into the archives. Doesn’t matter, what is said here can easily bear repeating.)

Yin-yang symb2

Quote: “Certainty precludes certainty.” [Synopsis of Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty]

Quote: “Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” [Robert Heinlein]

Quote: “The realm of the possible is infinity; the realm of the likely is confined to pre-existing conditions.” [Sha’Tara]

Quote: “Become a believer and you no longer have to be an achiever. Become an achiever and you no longer need to be a believer.” [Y-Lea of the WindWalkers]

Quote: “Love is a feeling. Like all feelings it is an effect requiring a cause; is short lived, easily perverted and burns itself out as emotion.” [Erin WilloWitch]

Corollary: If it is true that “God is love” we have the answer to the toughest question regarding God: The Great Silence. As “love,” God is an effect, not a cause. The effect was experienced when nature required its presence as creator, mover, judge and ruler. Man has arrogated divine prerogatives in all these areas thus annulling the God effect. Strictly speaking, “God” has become an icon for those who need to believe in something greater and external to themselves, external to human powers, external to nature and the human mind, external to everything they can conceive. Now ask yourself: Is it any wonder no one can agree on what “God” really is? Who could ever agree on what’s external to “me”?

I woke up angry this morning. Good angry. Dreams can do that. They can toss you around, flip you, leave you begging for mercy. Dreams can be terrible reflections in the mirror of the mind. What brought on the anger? The growing “problem” of homelessness in this burgeoning and mushrooming area. The growth boom is attracting many people to Canada’s concentrated, cooler, wetter, socially dysfunctional version of California. As always, a growing society also grows social “problems.” That’s how it is. Gradually, a population boom leads to overpopulation. But it’s a comfortable disease, one that kills the body in time but for the moment brings many benefits – or should I say gratification – at least for those who hope to profit by it.

Human society has always been a sick animal. A mindless predator that feeds on parts of itself for its own survival. It’s the nature of the beast and nothing any disempowered individual can do about it. Since it’s made up of individuals, individuals provide society’s fodder. Society is cannibalistic (it can also go ballistic, but that’s another topic.). So in a greedy and narcissistic aspect of society you end up with those elites who are served and those teeming numbers who serve them body and soul because they don’t know any better then to stand in front of the steam roller when it comes to town. They’ll even cheer it on.

Enter the homeless. Which are they? Interesting question. At first glance they appear to be victims of society. A deeper look says, “No, they are not victims. They are that ugly image of what a selfish and self-centered society portrays to itself in its mirror.” Metaphorically they represent a cancerous growth showing through society’s cheap make-up.

The real victims of society are those who are truly helpless, sucked dry to serve the higher needs. The sick who become the guinea pigs for the medical “profession” and legal drug lords. The part-time, less than minimum wage drones in the fields of dollar store commodities, shoes and clothes, fast foods, accommodation, travel and the vast network of the underpaid so-called service industry. The expendable and starving poor, those who happen to subsist on lands that contain resources the greedy desire. These are the real victims of society, the slaves and martyrs who make society “viable” for those on the higher rungs of the ladder. This is a real societal problem and for this there is a very simple solution available.

But homelessness, the kind we see in the affluent society, is different. It has no apparent solution because it’s not actually a problem per se. Homelessness results from society looking at itself in the mirror. When you look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, the solution does not lie (!) in the mirror. Nothing you do with, or to, the mirror, will change that. The “solution” lies with you. If you cannot do anything about the way you look, then maybe it’s better not to look at the mirror. Turn it to the wall, break it, remove it. Whatever. What confronts you in the mirror is not a problem, it’s an image.

It’s easy to look at a negative situation and label it a problem. Once that’s done, society can create another bureaucracy to look into the problem, and another to solve the problem. Enter a new government department. Enter the “benevolent” organization. Enter another curse upon society, another tax burden. And who notices that as the costs of government and benevolent societies mount, so does the so-called “problem” these were set-up to resolve?

Were I installed as dictator tomorrow and the problem of homelessness brought to my attention, I would, as absolute ruler of said society, dictate the immediate round-up of the homeless to be forced into shelters (using currently vacant buildings with proper heat and sanitary facilities.) I would dictate that they be fed properly and given necessary clothing, etc. Then I would dictate that since society is looking after them, their time belongs to society. They live by rules as applying to everyone else and they are put to work in areas now lacking workers due to lack of funds. Case closed. The problem is not solved since it wasn’t a problem, but the situation is resolved. And I don’t want to hear about this again. Next?

As an individual, which thankfully I am, and not as dictator, I have a solution to the situation of homelessness. Since it is a mirror image of a selfish and decadent society, let’s change what is being reflected, not the reflection. Let’s deal with the real problem, not the symptom. Let’s change “us” as individuals. Let’s turn from our narcissism and selfishness, our sickening greed, and teach ourselves to look at our neighbor with “love”. Let’s no longer accept that “God’s in his heaven, the CEO in his penthouse, the bankster on the phone with the CEO, the President robbing the poor to pay the rich, and all’s well with the world.” The self-centeredness creating that ugly image in the mirror has to go. We want beauty to reflect back to us, so let’s become beautiful, in our hearts and minds. The rest will take care of itself.

It only seems impossible because it hasn’t been done. Let’s move from the realm of the “likely” into the realm of the possible. By doing it. Now. If we become achievers, we won’t have to be believers. Another relief. Another burden removed from society as a whole.

Speaking of God, some churches’ staff still believe there is one. A downtown church’s billboard proudly announces that God is like bleach because he removes the toughest stains. Which tells us that God has a name: Javex. Makes sense, that being the Modern American translation for the old Biblical name of Jehovah. I have used a lot of God in my bathroom over the years. I never realized we were so close. A word of caution though, don’t take him internally.

Week Two of the Williams Lake MDS Caper

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

How appropriate, I think, that baleful sobriquet, title, alternate “me” called ~burning woman~ at the end of week two in Williams Lake in process of rebuilding some of the homes lost in last Summer’s wild fires that swept through this small town of approximately 10,000 people.

The devastation left behind by the fires is still very much in evidence. The city proper was spared as it did not provide the kind of fuel such fires require to sweep ahead as they jump from tree top to tree top, race through dry grasses, jump across small lakes and even wide rivers pushed by high afternoon winds, some generated by the fires’ own heat.

Though many homes and animals, both domestic and wild, were lost in the fires, no human life was lost that I know of. The evacuation done by various government departments, backed up by some military presence (that mostly to prevent looting) made sure everybody was accounted for. Not all “survivors” who lost their homes are happy with the heavy-handed presence of law enforcement. Many know  had they been allowed to remain on their properties, using their Canadian farming and ranching common sense, they would have saved their homes and animals. Power may have failed but generators were available to pump the deep wells and roofs as well as grounds could have been watered. It never fails to amaze me how well totalitarianism works in a democracy!

What to say: am I happy to be here, doing this volunteering to help essentially homeless people get a home back they could not otherwise ever have again? Let’s say I’m satisfied. The work is hard and dirty – this is King of the Gumbo country and if there is as little as one rain shower, your feet are immediately clotted with a compound that would shame LePage’s Premium glue. Gumbo, i.e., the world’s most persistent mud can add 3 to 5 pounds of clumping mud to your foot in four steps.

Plus, it is both, stifling hot and freezing cold in turn, on the same day. Three days ago we arrived at our work site in 3 inches of sleet deposited during the night. It didn’t melt until late in the afternoon.  Good thing was, it severely slowed down the swarms of mosquitoes ever on the prowl for blood. 

Nevertheless, our house, which was footing and Styrofoam forms when I arrived is now standing proud, awaiting the delivery of the roofing trusses. Not bad for on average 2 to 4 volunteers a day. And no: it wasn’t prefab!

As I said before, these volunteers are Christian people, mostly Mennonites. As for me, well, let’s say I’m acceptable because of skills, providing my own truck (GMC 3/4 ton van) and a LOT of tools. Plus I was baptized in a Mennonite church many decades past. As I said jokingly, “I don’t know what happened, folks, but it didn’t take.” I guess you have to be born in it, not just born again.

Anyway, yes, they mostly support Donald Trump and believe he’s doing a wonderful job- to be expected. They wish Canada would become part of the States – to be expected. They hate our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau – to be expected. And they hate labour unions, also to be expected. In other words, they are right-winged to the core and it isn’t a matter of thought but a matter of faith cum brain washing. Except for Justin Trudeau, of whom I have no opinion, he being a liberal means it’s pointless to have an opinion of him, I’m basically opposed to everything these people stand for or believe in… yet here we are, drawn to this part of the map to do the same thing, with the same purpose in mind. What does that say but that as human beings we are united in the only thing that matters?

Imagine a world in which people (all the people!), though they disagree on every aspect of religion, politics, economics, and social norms see a desperate need and come together, working their asses off responding, rebuilding, restoring and in the process bringing hope where there is either none or it is badly shattered.

Next week is next week,  the show must go on!