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Surface Intelligence and the Rabbit Hole Life

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

In a finite environment where there’s birth, there has to be death. There’s no way around that one. We know that, we accept that. Just like everything else here: it ages and sooner or later, it dies. This is a “pay to play” world. We pay the price of admission (pain) to enter, hang out for the time allotted by paying a steep rent, then when we can no longer pay, we have to leave. If not perfect – and it certainly isn’t – it’s a system for all of that, and it seems that whatever life expresses here, it has accepted the situation and is making the best or the worst of it. At least that’s how I feel at the moment, subject to change without notice. That’s how it is with feelings.

Have you ever felt incredibly sad for no apparent reason? I would imagine everyone experiences that. Sadly, in this artificial, drug-crazed, noise-drenched, emotionally charged barbaric society such a state should be recognizable as a sign of some mental condition. If I dug deep enough I might to discover I had incurred some fictional trauma and I could tentatively label it PTSD, and if I had a doctor, I would be diagnosed accordingly and handed a prescription for a bottle of very expensive poison pills which would then change my “condition” to a worsened condition to be diagnosed later by a “specialist,” given a new acronym malady and “managed” with more bottles of poison pills, some added shrinkology, more acronymed maladies, more pills, perhaps even a week or two in a psych ward.

I’ve never taken those pills myself since I took the red pill before I became a teenager, but I’ve seen a great many of them and when I looked at them a certain way, they all looked blue. Of course I’m referring to the red pill/blue pill concept made famous by the first Matrix movie.

I live my life in the Rabbit Hole, you see, but I do come out time and again to see how things are going here. They’re not, but hardly anyone notices, so I guess it’s all good – for them.

Just because I took the red pill and live my “real” life in the Rabbit Hole doesn’t mean I can’t relate to life on the surface. I can. In fact, having been changed by the red pill, I realize my place “here” is to practice and develop my RH (Rabbit Hole) empathetic nature. In the RH we control events so that when something begins to go askew, we can change it at will. But here, on the Surface, the sentient life doesn’t have control. It doesn’t know where the controls are located and it would rather trust those who claim to have the controls than try to find them for themselves. That causes serious problems because as most are aware, those who have the controls can decide where the ship sails to, or what the torpedo hits or putting it more bluntly, who lives and who dies before her time.

I find that incredibly sad. Why have intelligence if it’s not going to be used? Or worse, used wrongly, to support and encourage lies? The worst kinds of lies? Surface intelligence relies on Systems to make its life possible. Its three main systems seem to be Religion, Politics and Money. What is truly unbelievable is that Surface Intelligence is fully aware that all three Systems are corrupt and rotten to their very core. But somehow this SI (Surface or Sentient Intelligence) manages to convince parts of itself that despite all the overt corruption, there are some parts that can be tolerated. Lesser of evils and all that – that line is much used and abused at “election” time.

That’s called living in Denial, and it’s a formally accepted part of Surface Life. Denial is a favourite surface recreational resort and you are forcefully encouraged to spend most of your life in Denial . When living in Denial ultimately fails, Hope comes forth, looking Bugs Bunny fashion coy, even charming in a sense, “Eh, what’s up doc? Need some reassurances?” and seduces SI with various believable arguments that with persistence and dedication whatever is wrong with the System can – “of course!” – be fixed. A favourite lately is the voting thing. It used to be going to church and lighting candles… or going to war, basically it’s all the same thing because none of it changes anything, but don’t tell the SI that, they would get “vewy angwy… vewy angwy indeed” and you may find yourself chased by a silly looking little guy in a funny hat and a not-so-funny shotgun.

SI likes to believe (Yes, SI is all about belief) that it’s totally sane in its one and only reality. It’s Rabbit Hole (RH)Intelligence that’s crazy. According to SI, any world that can be controlled by its Intelligences; that can be righted if it goes off the rails, can’t be a real world. Or it’s totalitarianism. According to SI, individuals should be taught that they have power but contrariwise should never be given any. If by accident some SI’s discover they have bits of power, they can talk, or write, about it but most indubitably cannot use it without violating some SI rule or law. SI controllers would burn people to death for that not so long ago. Now they use drugs to counteract the effect of empowerment. They also use executions and torture, but they have standard explanations for that. SI’s accept the explanations as a matter of course. The greatest necessity in an SI world is to believe. The SI world’s innate insanity is always determined by the intensity of its beliefs.

The problem isn’t all due to ignorance and stupidity and selfishness. It also stems from the fact that the inventors and enforcers (of the Belief Systems) are faced with an infinite number of arbitrary laws, rules, and regulations, most of which they can’t keep track of. This gives rise to ridiculous performances, especially in the Religious, financial and legal system. It’s called interpretation. On the legal side, SI’s have high priests of Interpretation which they call Supreme Court Judges. These high priests have the last word on how certain rules are to be enforced. This isn’t justice, of course, but cheap drama, replete with laughable powdered wigs in some places, ridiculous robes and wooden mallets, a lot of bowing, standing and sitting and calls of “order or I’ll clear the court” dramatic utterances. Substance? Why? It’s just another “controlled substance” that’s all about control.

Rabbit Hole Intelligences, (that’s me, in case you forgot) don’t have long lists of laws and rules, they make them up as they see fit, and drop them as soon as their need is over. They’re called “Common Sense Rules.” Let me point out one instance of Common Sense Rule. It has to do with clothing. Much of the world is quite temperate and in those areas the wearing of clothes is optional at all times. Ah but wouldn’t you know it, there are “taboos” on nudity and because of that – and who cares what prompted the taboo in the first place, no one remembers – it is necessary to dutifully feel incensed and “report” anyone daring enough to show too much skin, especially to the “public.” An RH, of course, would naturally and happily go naked when the weather doesn’t mandate the wearing of clothing. The point would be to live frugally on one point (clothes aren’t cheap for those who can’t afford them) and not suffer hypothermia on the other. That’s called Common Sense. Contrary to popular “public” belief, Common Sense is not a drug.

Other CSR rules? There’s the sort of rule against stealing but if “stuff” was shared by all and made available to all, that rule would be rather redundant, wouldn’t it. And no one could feel self righteous by punishing another for taking something needed because no one could lay any special claim to any of it. Where everything belongs to everyone and no one, theft is not possible. By the same token, neither is hoarding. But what an insane idea: imagine where that would leave that special class, the 1% of world-class hoarders?

One of the really big rules laid upon the SI’s of Earth is against murder. Thou shalt not kill is a seriously main rule, and if violated, the perpetrator can be given a life sentence, even be executed. But again as the RH (remember, that’s the Rabbit Hole denizen here) observes, murder is only murder when done one-on-one. When it is done with weapons of mass destruction because a member of the 1% hoarding class wants control of a specific resource, or a piece of property called a nation, then it’s totally justifiable, and often praised. Those who do the killing, well some anyway, are sometimes rewarded with medals and bits of coloured cloth. If they are dead, their nearest of kin is given a flag and the victims of the dead person are further demonized, especially if they lost the war.

When a RH resident comes up among its ancient relatives, among SI’s, it’s natural that it will feel a terrible depth of sadness. Only by returning to its RH world can the sadness be relieved. There are no cures for such sadness (it’s now called depression and yes there are drugs and “treatments” for that) among SI’s whatever the claims of its high priests of System Interpretation. There’s anger and violence or suicide, that’s about it.

And in case you’re still wondering: there are no drugs, no doctors in the Rabbit Hole. Come to think, I don’t remember seeing any politicians, police “men,” business “men” or clergy “men” and I never saw any money changing hands, just stuff being exchanged with smiles and laughter.

How corny. Doesn’t it make you want to lob a grenade in there?  But you have to find it first.

 

 

 

 

180924 – Dear Diary #1

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

Am I “in the mood” for this? Can’t say, but let’s try.

Good morning diary. I know you have no idea who I am, or why I would be addressing you in such familiar terms. Well neither do I. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Introductions, perhaps? My name is Sha’Tara. Pleased to meet you. No, don’t read between the lines, I know I’m pretending but we have to start somewhere.

Where? Well, we’re in my back yard under a very bright Autumn sun and enjoying the latent heat. Got the garden mostly cleaned up – this is a text editor so no pictures – and I’m looking at some little things I could do to “the homestead” to forestall some more frost damage due to those bitter eastern winds I’m anticipating by at least 3 months! I think closing that garage entrance “wind tunnel” with a wide half-glass door would be good.

For now, everything is very green and lawns are still being mowed, including a contract one I have to get to tomorrow afternoon on “Little Mountain”. I’ll try to get some pictures, something I’m definitely not reliable at doing. That’s it for the small talk, diary. Now to what I really meant to say.

I woke up this morning, as on so many mornings now, with a weight on my heart as if I was carrying the whole world. Was it due to dreams? I don’t know, I cannot remember having any, just the weight that with a nice light breakfast of protein mix and a slice of thick, raisin toast, seemed to lighten up. The feeling is still here though, as if it is begging to be analyzed and understood.

I’ll tell you what, diary. I think these heavy mornings are due to a rise in my level of empathy, stretching out further and farther upon the planet, picking up “stuff” that unfortunate “others” are experiencing. Wouldn’t that make sense? It cannot be from my own life: there’s nothing personal in it that one could label as negative. Peace, relative quiet, health, enough money to live comfortably, a small mortgage carefully managed. A few friends also carefully “managed” so there are no cling-ons in the mix. So, definitely not about me.

What about “out there”? Well I know that there is a lot of trouble brewing and spewing out in many places. I know there are literally millions of people, animals and “others” suffering terribly because of the greed and presumption of some and an uncaring attitude from many. Am I one of those, diary? If I take my comfortable life as pivot point, then yes, certainly I could be accused of not caring.

But it’s not that simple, is it. I know that I could throw in the towel, as far as this middle class lifestyle of mine is concerned, settle my “debt” with the bank and take the left-overs, something like a half a million dollars of “cold hard cash” and go out into the wild blue yonder looking for more effective ways to help the downtrodden. Yes, technically that is a possibility. But realistically?

Back to working with those ubiquitous “charitable organizations” being told how to dress; how to behave towards others; how to speak and what to say – most of the emphasis being on conformity to some group rather than on the work at hand. Chances of that happening, diary? Nil. Binder Dundat, never again.

Other possibility, give it all away. Sure, then become a burden on “the State”? No, that isn’t happening either. And at my age, how long in any case before the body does a back flip and it’s all over?

So, back to analysis of this heavy feeling upon awakening – using that term in the literal and etheric way. It isn’t about “me” doing “more” for the oppressed, it’s really about sharing that place and space with “them”. It is how true empathy develops and makes its home in the mind and body. If I live with this growing sense of empathy I know that it puts me in a differnt space, from selfish to selfless. If-when someone calls for help I know I will be “on-call”, ready and willing to respond. That’s what this is all about: a tuning of one’s attitude to the world, from one of taking, to one of permanently ready and willing to give or share.

Right now. From right here, from within my comfort zone, independently in charge of my choices and movements, self empowered and fully responsible. What do you think of that analysis, diary?

Jeanine Winslow

[short story  by Sha’Tara]

Devon avenue is an old street with old trees, old houses and old people. This is where Jeanine Winslow lives, with her old cat. She is a widow now, her old husband died about two years ago, but no one remembers that except Jeanine and the Revenue Service. Jeanine’s house and home is one of the most decrepit small bungalow type houses on the street.

Today is a grey day. It’s raining, a cold, miserable rain that hits the skin as frozen needles. Jeanine’s arthritis is bad today, that being one reason she has been unable to go to the corner store. The other reason, of course, is that as usual the month outlasted the pension and there is not one red cent left in the house. The cat is the fortunate one, he can go outside and hunt mice. There are lots of nice fat mice in his neighbourhood. Yes, it’s his neighbourhood, he’s a cat.

There’s a steady tinkling sound in the small dining room, just behind where Jeanine is now standing and contemplating her situation.  There’s an old, rusty water can on the floor to catch a steady drip from the ceiling, a drip that keeps wandering as the drywall gradually sags lower from the water coming through the old worn out asphalt shingle roof.

A knock on the door takes Jeanine out of her circular thinking about a situation she has no control over. Wiping her tears, she goes and answers the door. On the rickety old porch, long without a roof, two very well dressed young men with briefcases smile at her. She smiles back and politely invites them in. They come in and begin their spiel.

They’re from the local “Tabernacle” they say, and they are collecting funds to finish the inside of their church, and inviting their neighbours to participate in the services.

The tinkling continues as Jeanine, sitting nervously on a small stool, the only two chairs taken by the young men, listens politely. One of the young men stares at the drip in the can, then follows it to the sagging ceiling. It impresses itself on his mind as his father is the owner of a local lumber yard and he’s done some construction himself. He understands this lady’s problem but says nothing, letting his partner do the talking.

Finally the spiel is over. They stand, realizing that this woman was certainly not made of money and perhaps they’d have better luck on another street. They make to leave when suddenly Jeanine finds her courage and her tongue to say something to these nice young men. She does not berate them or call down their religion, or their God. Far from that. Jeanine is a very kind lady. But there is something she needs to do.

She grabs the coat sleeve of one young man and say, “Please, don’t go yet. There is something here I need to show you. Please follow me?”

They follow as she leads them deeper into the old house, through a short, dark corridor. She opens the door to a tiny bedroom and in the bed, two small children, obviously a boy and girl and obviously siblings, sleep, the little girl sucking her thumb, the little boy having his arm over her in a protective way.

“I found them downtown five days ago, she says. They were crying and hungry, abandoned as so many are. What could I do but take them home, feed them, wash them and provide them with a bit of warmth and the comfort of a few sheets and blankets? I have nothing to dress them in and their own clothes were nothing but dirty rags. Now… I have nothing left to feed them. I just wanted you to know that it is not because I’m stingy that I didn’t give you anything, it’s that I don’t have anything… nothing. I’m sorry.”

The two very nice young men looked at each other and something flashed between them, some thoughts that found agreement. The oldest of the two, the one who had done the presentation, spoke then.

“We’re sorry too, very sorry. Look, here’s forty dollars that I have on me. Take that for now, and I promise we will be back.”

The younger searched his own pockets and came up with another fifteen dollars and some change. He also handed that over.

With a trembling hand, Jeanine took the money and the look on her face showed all the gratitude that words could never express. The young men left and Jeanine, knowing the children could be trusted to stay in the bed, got dressed for the cold and wet, painfully put her winter boots on and went shopping, slowly dragging her old two wheeled cart and counting her steps as was her habit.

Two days later, early morning, the storm having passed and the pale winter sun having made his appearance in a bright blue sky, a construction truck loaded with roofing materials and several cars pulled up along Devon avenue, close to Jeanine Winslow’s cottage. One man walked up to Jeanine’s front door while the rest, a crew of some seven men and three women, began to unload the truck and wheelbarrow the materials to the house. Ladders came next.

The “foreman” whose name is Jason Farnham and none other than the owner of the lumber yard, had gone to speak to Jeanine and got her shocked OK, for the work to proceed forthwith. The old roof was quickly peeled off and the happy pounding of air nailers and commands hurled back and forth filled the yard. Two women, one a strong teenager, the other, middle aged, went into the house and after moving the meagre furniture and spreading a tarp, pulled down the damp drywall. While finishing they explained to Jeanine,

“We’re sorry about the rush but the drywallers are only available tomorrow. They’ll start at 10:00 AM sharp and they’ll be done the hanging by noon. We’ll be back to finish the taping and mudding tomorrow afternoon. Any mess, we will clean up and we’ll paint next week. Is all this OK with you, Mrs. Winslow?”

“I… Yes, of course, yes…” She sat, small and quiet, with her big tomcat in her lap, her face in her hands. She didn’t know what to make of all that was happening. She thought, maybe she should just let it happen. And that’s what she did: let it happen. She went to the children’s bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed where they were occupied drawing and colouring. They looked up at her and smiled and her heart nearly burst with joy.

The small, basic roof was completed in record time and while the roof crew was cleaning up and running the magnet along the walls for stray nails, the foreman went back in the house, expressed his satisfaction on the removal of the old damp drywall then addressed Jeanine.

“Mrs. Winslow, I must apologize for our brisk performance but we just wanted to get this done in the shortest time while the sun was shining. We didn’t want to leave you as your situation was described to us so we put our emergency crew together, gathered the materials and soon I promise, your life will be back to normal, minus the roof worry. We will also put a new roof on your front porch. That, and new steps, comes later this week. I would have called you, and certainly we should have sent someone to warn you, but you don’t have a phone and we didn’t think there was any option either for you, or us so we decided to act instead of debate. My son Steve, whom you’ve met, was very persuasive and quite insistent.

“We will need to talk about the two children you are harbouring. The situation will have to be, shall we say, legalized? We have a couple of very compassionate people who we rely on to discuss these situations. Would you agree to meeting with them?”

“Yes I very much would. I know I can’t keep them but I need to know they will be sent to a good home. They really are wonderful kids, you know? I wish I could have them meet all of you but I’ve got them wrapped up in old clothes of mine and my husband. I haven’t been able to go shopping for children’s clothes, I’m sorry.”

“Did you get that, Leona? The kids need clothing. Could you leave the clean up to the rest of the crew and go get some children’s clothes from our good will box? If you can’t find anything there, please go and buy em.”

“OK, sure Jason. Be back shortly.”

“Leona’s my wife, we’re a team! I’ve got to go, Mrs. Winslow but there’s a couple of things to settle yet. First, here’s a check for $500 to help you get through this time. Second, and most importantly, everything we did, or will do, for you, is our choice. You owe us nothing and we certainly do not expect you to join or attend our church or any such thing. You will not be embarrassed by having to give any testimony. When we’re finished, we’re finished. Certainly, should you need further help you are welcome to get in touch with us – use the lumber yard – but that’s it. We are very happy to have the means to help you and others like yourself. Is that all OK with you then?”

“Yes Mr. Farnham. Yes it is. Thank you.”

 

 

         A short “report” upon returning from another MDS (Mennonite Disaster Service) volunteer stint, this time near Lone Butte (100 Mile House) in the Caribou country of British Columbia, Canada.
This was MDS’ first “contract” in the area.  The reason we were so late starting was due to the roads having been closed because of the fires and it took a while to get the “all clear.”

Thanks to precautions by the owner, such as spreading fire retardant around the buildings and having a sprinkler system going fed by the solar panel array as the power grid was down, some of the buildings and animals survived the fires.  The dogs and horses did not survive.  Though many buildings throughout the fire area were saved that way, the ranchers lost over 30,000 heads of cattle, many of whom had to be put down having their hoofs and legs burned from running through the wildfires trying to escape.
Wildlife, especially the smaller rodent populations that provide food for the larger carnivores, was decimated.  Hungry cougars and other large predators are now roaming ever closer to remaining winter feed lots and even homes.   Children have to be driven inside vehicles to school bus pick-up points though you can see some daring lonely souls, who probably do not have the luxury of a parent at home able to drive them, walking along the roads.  One does not have to wonder long what would happen if they were attacked.
The goal of our 5-man crew was to get as much of the replacement house covered, laying up of trusses, sheathing and if possible, installation of the metal roofing.  We got as far as the tar paper and strapping, which will ensure the building stays relatively free of snow and rain on the inside, barring whatever blows in through doors and windows as yet not installed.  With the onset of winter up there, about 300 miles north of the border, or from Chilliwack which is where I live (practically on the 49th parallel) we probably will not be returning until after spring breakup.  By then there should be several more projects identified and contracted for by our project managers.

Following are some pictures I took the time to snap as the work progressed.  Couldn’t waste much time off the job as the days are short up there – it reminded me of the Peace River country in northern Alberta where I was raised, if a bit warmer and wetter and the mud not quite as sticky as our great plains gumbo.  If the pictures appear fuzzy, it’s because they are greatly reduced from their original format.

Images and captions:  This is the house we worked on.  It may seem large but it has to accommodate a large family.  IMG_0169

House againIMG_0170

… house…IMG_0154

Solar panels and power house.  Behind is the log cabin the family is now using as temporary abode. IMG_0166

…angle consultation.  The man in the black cap is the owner. IMG_0184

This is part of the area the family calls “Elizabeth’s Pond” IMG_0175

A bit more of “the pond” and the “floating fence” which sits on several feet of soft peat and is often under water. IMG_0180

Close up of “floating fence” and edge of pond.  I was told that if someone ventured here they’d sink over their head in peat and mud. IMG_0164

Children’s play area (one of several!) IMG_0153

Log playhouse. IMG_0152

Burned area near the homestead/ranch, and a small lake.IMG_0194

More of burned area – close up.IMG_0189

… and more… IMG_0200

My faithful companion van and mobile tool box,  properly “decorated” with high country mud.  Individual patiently looking out and waiting for me to take my pictures along the forest road is my friend, Vic Janzen, one of MDS’ project managers and project leaders.  We rode up together on this particular project.

IMG_0196

A month ago, this is what our sun looked like at high noon here, 300 miles south of the raging wild fires. IMG_0006

I must say that, as much as I enjoy giving away time and resources to help others it never ceases to amaze me that as a nation people willingly let their pathocratic leaders blow off tax dollars on destroying people and the planet and fail to find it offensive that there is “no money” to help the very people who pay the taxes used to build the military hardware; the military machine and to pay the inflated “salaries” of rich, elitist rulers.  How can a supposed intelligent species be this dumb?  This uncaring?  This unfeeling?  This crass?  This ignorant?  This stupid?  How many of “us” is there for every one of “them”?  Yet we claim to be democratic societies.  Is this what we really want?  If not then why is it that those who propose change are always spurned, scorned, distrusted or even “elimitated” so the sharks can continue to have free range over the planet?  Surpasses my understanding.

As a final note, I saw the full glory of the Milky Way for the first time since leaving the Peace River country in 1964!  Prevailing winds must have “miraculously” blown the smoke away from the area where we bunked.  We seldom realize how much city environments create horribly polluted conditions until we find ourselves far enough up in the mountains, or far enough north that city smogs can’t reach there… yet.