Some Propaganda for You
"True wealth lies not in the accumulation of paper and material goods, but in the pain and joy that we have driven through to create the memories, relationships, trials and tribulations which define us and make us who we are.”
“All that life is, is propaganda; just make sure you choose wisely.”
“We live in a society that wants to anesthetize themselves from any feeling that is negative, but......... when it is darkest, growth occurs.”
“Humans put too much focus on emotions and feelings as if they were the only fuel that drives us towards our destination.”
“I've seen people run away from themselves, achieving merely a moments reprieve, only to see their shadow chase behind them and seize them yet again.”
“Resistance is futile; the only thing to do when you are feeling as though your world is crumbing is to surrender and accept it and that is the only way out.”
There are times when I walk into a store to purchase food or some other essential ingredient of life and wonder how existence would be different if we didn’t have to make some senseless exchange of money for those items.”
“Everyone has a yellow brick road; the problem is that some of us are color-blind.”
“Anxiety and depression may in fact not be disorders; they are failures in interpreting messages from our deeper parts of ourselves.”
“The Milky Way is not visible for 9 out of 10 people in the United States, that power and magnificence is obscured by our own pollution, and all that remains is cloudy blackness.”
“Dorothy, the Wizard, the Tin man, the Lion, the Scarecrow, all the characters in The Wizard of Oz are indeed just different archetypes of our own inner being.”
“The road we must travel while here on this ball of rock is not always straight, but sometimes it is curved, sometimes having detours, loops, twists and turns and most of all up and downs.”
“Individuation is a necessary component to growth and evolution, the universe does it over and over and over again, to come together one must first fall apart.”
“The dreams that we experience when we awaken from a deep sleep is our own personal power and deep intelligence trying to figure out life for us when we are resting for a bit”.
“Everyone, I don’t care who they are, has a counterpart named Mr. or Mrs. Hyde.”
“Scars remind us of who we once were, what we went through and who we have become, we are covered with them from a multitude of experiences, the experiences are neither good nor bad, just a learning experience that we can grow from, however, the problem is that we are locked into both, a sense of grandiose vanity and a negative perception of learning from these experiences.”
There is no green here today
Save for the brown speckles of tolerant species here and there
Lifeless iron logs rise up to the sunlit sky,
They spread their fingers and touch heaven everyday,
What they celebrate this day is anciently hidden from our view
The carpet of the forest is lazily lying down in a million shades of browns,
I hear the wind in the trees whisper "from green to brown, from brown to green, from green to
“I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
At the dawn of time, Man was not a complex creature, he was by nature, a basic and simple being, he needed little to survive the harsh reality that he faced. Through the cold, and the heat, and the most trying of times, Man survived, braving then what most of us now would tremble from. The essentials that were needed to survive consisted of food, water, shelter and a crucial, tactical acumen, nothing more was needed, it was both a simpler time, but also a more unforgiving time, mistakes might carry dire consequences, theses mistakes were to be learned from quickly, never to be repeated.
It is a testament to Man’s fortitude as a species that he survived to form and grow into what we are today, complex, thinking and feeling individuals. Just as a child is brought forth from the womb with nothing, Man in his simplest form does not need much to survive; only the basic needs are truly necessary. Think for a moment and pause from reading this book and ask yourself this question, what do I need to survive and to be happy, to live a full and complete life, with safety, security and comfort? After a few minutes of pondering this question, what did you come up with?
This beginning time could best be described as being both “rough and pure”, rougher because it was a time when life spans were shorter, a cold or flu-deadly, and a broken bone possibly meant death. This was the harshness of our early civilization, the part which was unsafe and at times dangerous. But what about that notion of purity that I mentioned? If we think of life before when it was a simpler time; we migrated with the food, moved with the seasons, and slept with the sun and moon, what could be more difficult or purer than that. It is now known that hunter-gatherer societies spent around 3-4 hours per day working to survive; they did not work as nearly as we do in our present situation.
Living simply implies that we survive on only what is vitally needed, nothing more than that is required. When we live simply, we live connected, connected to the Earth, the animals, the stars that guided us, the seasons that helped us to migrate. We would call it being connected with the numinous around us; the ancient Romans called it Numina or Numen, before they were influenced by the Greeks. There was a power that resided in nature and it was to be appreciated and respected and we were connected to it, we were its children and it was our parent. This is perhaps where the Gaia Hypothesis came from, the idea that there is a power or life in the Earth itself, that everything is alive.
I remember one summer being in Joshua Tree National Park hiking along a trail, on one of the bends I stopped because I saw something moving in the cliffs up ahead. I realized it must have been a Big Horn Sheep standing up there on the cliff face, climbing with relative ease what a man would have needed a rope to ascend. With each jump this sheep made there was a loud resounding crack that went through the valley floor, it sounded like thunder, and it had power. I wonder now if this was in some small way that connection to the primal force or the Numina that is all around us. Just as fish swims around in the ocean and lives in the water, it might not know that it is surrounded with water, I believe our ancient ancestors did, I believe they knew what was around us, they knew they were connected because they lived simply.
This loss of connection can also be examined in another way that most of us should understand; it will help us to understand the magic that we have lost in the connection to life around us. How many of our children or adults have seen the magnificence of the Milky Way, that band of white that crosses the sky each cloudless night? Maybe some people have seen it once while on vacation or a few times in their life, but, I would guess that most people have never truly seen the Milky Way in its entire splendor.
Now when we look at the night sky most of us just see an inky blackness, a darkness that is synonymous with our current situation. Where did that power go, the light that humbled us each day and bore down on our heads to tell us where we were and who was in charge. It is gone in our daily lives, almost entirely forgotten and forever covered and shielded from our eyes by our progress. The loss of our Milky Way, another example in how we have become less connected, we have had the light ripped right out from our eyes. What have humans lost in all this civilized life that it so proudly loves?
We have lost the idea of living simply, within our means, taking only what we need to survive, having a respect for our planet, and with that loss of respect, we are losing that connection, that divine part of ourselves that says I live here, I will respect her and take care of her. We have abandoned our mother earth and our father sky; we are lost children, wandering, with no one worthy left to guide us in our life. We suffer from what the modern psychologist would call “parent-child relational issue or V61.20”. This current distorted relationship that we have with our symbolic parents has long term detrimental effects, with it we lose our connection to the divine and our life becomes radically more complex and difficult. We are without a roadmap, our guide has been lost and we are stranded on the side of the road without the tools needed to get us out of our dilemma.
In trying to bend those natural laws of “simplicity and connection” we have created a complex and fabricated a shadow in which we are now under, held prisoner in a cell that has been built with our own hands.
Where did it all start to go wrong? Possibly the formation of the city-state or centralized living is the origin of our problems. Along with centralized living, the formation of the social structure, distinction between “this and I”, the evolution of money, or what I term the “green disease, and religious thinking. Finding out the cause in this case is not as important as looking at what we lost and how to fix it. Imagine if you were out walking in the jungle one day and someone hit you with one of those blow guns, they got you with a dart in your leg and you know there is lethal poison on it. In this situation you have two options run around the jungle to find out who shot you and die in the process or find the antidote and lose the shooter, which would you choose? That’s the way I feel about finding the cause, let the scholars sort that mess out and for us continue to look at our problem.
When the white man started to explore the New World the American Indians observed a sickness that the white man displayed for gold, the white man craved it, it drove him crazy, and it twisted him into an aberrant remnant of himself. Gold and the value of things had an alchemical process on the human psyche; Robert Louis Stevenson described it very well in his book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the only thing needed was “a secret ingredient” to change a Man to a Monster. Here was something that was transforming man into a vile creature and this was not the first time this had happened, it had been happening all throughout history. This transformation occurred in central Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, it had been happening everywhere, it had a long history and was repeating itself in a new land.
So with all this said and written, it is without delay that I lapse into my informal writing style and lay it on the line, give it to you straight, what we see as the truth. The thesis of this book lies in the fact that money has twisted man into something perverse that is incongruent with his true nature. It has turned him into a Mr. Hyde, a shadow form of himself, a twisted and perverse monster. The rules of life have been changed, no longer do we live simply and live connected to the numinous life around us, we no longer reside in harmonious balance with the earth and our surroundings. We now can be described as a “cancer”; man is a fast-growing tumor that lives solely to invade other areas and to lay waste to those areas for his own desires. How does it feel when I compare the human race to a cancer or even a virus? Do you feel good about that statement? You are part of the problem, I am part of the problem, and we all are part of the problem. We now lives in the rules set forth by corporations and big business, the rules do not concern us, they concern profits, and it is a “green disease”, a disease of the acquisition of wealth.
Since the rules have been re-written we now live in a mal-adaptive feedback loop that is ruining both the human species and the planet that we live on. We have nowhere else to go after we are done killing this place, where shall we go, Mars, the Moon, the survivability is nil in those places. Besides each other, the earth is all we have. Terra-Psychology is a recent new development of the study of man in conjunction with the Planet, it examines the relationship between the two, and I wonder if the planet could speak what would it say to us?
“Live simply, simplify your life and you will enjoy it and it will become wonderful”
After a relaxing Saturday, I was lying in the hammock towards the evening with my dog, I was swinging back and forth, and watching Jupiter shine in the twilight sky as the sun crept over the horizon. It was eerily quiet with only the random dog bark heard in the distance from probably a half mile away, just enough to pique the interest of my Flat-Haired Retriever's ears for a second. There were no other sounds for the next fifteen minutes, only golden silence, until I heard a lone goose flying above in the dark sky, alone, making frantic squawking noises searching for its lost gaggle, now only a lop-sided V flying somewhere through the inky-black sky. I soon realized that everything is searching for something, man and animal, perhaps all living things are looking, desperately trying to find something in this life.”
We are all ultimately alone in our lives, this is our singular journey, we repeatedly try to connect with people, to find friends and lovers, we will try to join with others, both emotionally and physically, we inherently move towards this goal of union with others, however it is never completely possible, we are alone, conceived into this world alone and upon our exit from this world we will leave alone, it is a harsh and bitter reality to swallow, the notion that, to a large degree, we will always walk alone.
We are, when born into this world, a lone rider; our life is just a curious journey that we must undertake ourselves, feeling as though we’re just an island in the vast sea of life. And so when we live our lives we vacillate between the two feelings of alone-ness and loneliness, although these words sound bitter they can be sweet if we learn to embrace them.
Alone-ness is the feeling of being present and loving towards ourselves, for when we truly love our self, no other is needed, we are full and complete, you can envision aloneness as existing as complete and closed circle, at both times empty yet full. Loneliness is the void, it is a lack of something, we can envision loneliness as a circle drawn only halfway, with a missing other half.
We are taught to believe that both of these states are negative, that is how we perceive them, as inherently negative. Both alone-ness and loneliness are parts of life, they are two states that we cannot ever hope to avoid, but yet we are taught that these two states are negative, this sets us up for potential failure in our formative and later years. What would happen if we embraced both of these natural feelings and states?
The idea of alone-ness does not imply loneliness; it implies rather a satisfaction or a contentedness with oneself, however we are taught that this is bad or negative, for even God said, "it is not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:16) and God made Woman From Man to be his companion. This is not to say that being “alone or lonely” should be a condition that is strived after but rather they should be viewed as natural elements in one’s life that should be embraced. We are talking about the ideas of being alone and lonely as a natural course of life and not for instance Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia, the former and the latter are very different concepts.
On being alone, history and mythology is replete with stories capturing the essence of magic in moments of time where one has wandered alone. In Buddhism, Gautama Buddha sat beneath a tree where he confronted Maya in a state of meditation with only himself, we can think of Jesus with his spiritual struggle in the desert, alone, or the beautiful world of dreams that present us with such jewels with which to explore ourselves all existed when alone.
Existential philosophers teach as that we alone are responsible for creating a meaningful life in an absurd and unfair world. We create our world by choosing paths, we alone do this, and no one helps us. We find that being alone brings us into our sacred space, into our temple, where magic rituals and personal alchemy take place. When we accept alone-ness, we enter into that sacred space, which acts as a counter to the delusions brought on by society and other outside influences. It can be said that by accepting the idea of alone-ness it helps us to mature and evolve as both emotional and spiritual beings. Being alone is the classroom that teaches us most about ourselves because there is no one there to project our own struggles or issues onto, we must accept them as parts of ourselves.
Alone-ness is a void, the space for creation, the land that Hermes has not yet tread. In the Christian faith, it is stated “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The sacred space of alone-ness allows for creation, to create ourselves in the same manner empty lots allow for creation of societies buildings and monuments.
A cup purpose is its emptiness, it has possibilities. The Japanese Zen Koan “A Cup of Tea” warns us against filling our cup with all our ordered and unordered thoughts and preconceptions, for true learning to takes place the cup must be empty. Life contain light and dark elements, life is full of joys, times of bliss, happiness but is also containing loss, grief, sorrow and alone-ness. These dark elements, of which, alone-ness, is a dark element, must be embraced by all equally without disdain for one or the either, indeed we need to be empty, we need only to reflect that which is around us, our goal, is to be like a still, calm pool of water in which everything can be reflected but nothing obtained. Embracing the opposites helps us to individuate, to evolve ourselves to a more enlightened spiritual being. The Pythagoreans and other Greek philosophers believed that all was sprung from the Monad or the First Absolute.
Solitude, a synonym for alone-ness, means a state of being alone without being lonely or “being with one’s self”. Many religious sects and other ways of living emphasize the value of being alone, being alone is considered being closer to god. The Native Americans practiced their vision quests which usually occurred alone, the Australian aborigines practice the idea of the walkabout, and many cultures all over the Earth contain this same theme of the magic of alone-ness.
Although inherently alone, humans are also social creatures to some degree, we rely on others for help, resources and social bonding, but how does this work in a world where true connection is not possible, how humankind can be a social animal but yet at the same time be alone with themselves is quite a paradox. Perhaps this is the crux within our civilization, the Achilles Heel of the modern human, the imbalance between our sociality and our limits on connected-ness. What a paradox it is, to constantly suffer our needs to connect with our inherent alone-ness. History and myth is drenched with mystical places such as Shangri-La, Tír na nÓg, Nirvana etc which can only be achieved on our own in our alone-ness.
Living with an inherent alone-ness means that we deal with loneliness, the difference between these two concepts is astronomical in meaning and often times I’m sure the two ideas become crossed and misunderstood but yet also vastly intertwined. Loneliness can be defined as one who has no friends or company, they are without companions. It can also be defined as the quality of being unfrequented, remote or isolated. Loneliness is related to sadness, we spend much of our life in a state of sadness or loneliness. We are born alone, alone we pass through the barrier from womb to life and we pass the veil of death with only ourselves to guide us, although there is some help which we will discuss further in our study. Everyone at some time has felt that loneliness, and the depression or sadness that comes with this human state.
I’ve treated many people who feel this way, and it would seem that over the years it has increased tenfold, many are afflicted with classic textbook depression that stems from loneliness, which stems from alone-ness. In almost every case it is someone who seeks the necessary idealizations on the outside; externally they seek love and belonging, never really embracing their own alone-ness, which then seems to become the monster of loneliness and depression. Depression or loneliness could be lessened by the acceptance of our alone-ness; accepting one would lessen the other.
Now it just so happens that life is made up of a mixed bag of good and bad, light and dark elements reign supreme over our life and we can never truly avoid depression or loneliness in much the same way we could never avoid “not breathing” for far too long. We must learn the ability to live within the opposites that are given to us, joy, suffering, happiness and depression are just some of the opposites that we must deal with throughout our lives, there are many others examples but for every beautiful element of life that we treasure there is the opposite that we abhor, but we must learn to embrace each equally.
There was a woman that I worked with a while back she was unhappily married to a narcissistic man who made himself the center of the universe and she was verbally and mentally abused for the span of a 20 year dysfunctional marriage and wanted a divorce, she knew this was the right course of action, she was very unhappy, but she was scared to be alone, she was scared of that unknown, cultivating her concept of aloneness enabled her to not be scared of being lonely and she was able to start living her life, her way, much happier, without her abusive husband. Her fear of loneliness kept her in her abusive relationship but when that fear was made common and accepted life changed for the better.
Aloneness and Loneliness are facts of life not just for human beings but it is being documented throughout the world in many studies and research articles that honeybees can become depressed, ants can become depressed and have lower rates of mortality, abused dogs and cats suffer from depression, fish have been observed having sentience, many animals have sentience and it is found that they suffer with similar forms of very human problems. Aloneness and Loneliness can be thought of as an imposed instinctual state, a condition that life imposes on us from the very start of our lives, it is a life state that we strive so hard to fulfill with relationships, drugs, activity, religion and philosophy but nevertheless Aloneness and Loneliness will never be eradicated, for they are essential parts of life. Being alive creates angst towards many inherent natural states that will always be present in our lives, why do we spend so much time and energy avoiding these natural states?
Human beings and other life forms are pleasure-seekers, we love to feel good, and our pleasure seeking is based in part on biology and psychological avoidance. We are taught at a young age that feeling good is good for us, that we should always be happy, that if there is one sign of sadness there is something off or something is wrong with us and we are told that there is a pill that will change all of these horrible feelings. In this age, any slight change of mood demands a pharmaceutical cure; many medications that work on our biology are out on the market, even advertised in commercials between your favorite television shows.
This and many other things such as social media warp our sense of what is natural and unnatural, leading us on an everlasting quest of pleasure and joy, a state that can never fully be reached and as such we will continue to struggle with this paradox of natural states versus unnatural states always striving towards an impossible goal.
The Human brain and, I would safely assume other living beings have pleasure centers in their brain, these centers release dopamine in bursts whenever we engage in pleasurable activities, all drugs of addiction operate to release dopamine in the brain, and a little dopamine burst feels really good. Pleasure is also a reward, however not all rewards are pleasurable; some can be “not pleasurable”. Many of the great things (ex. evolution of the soul or psychological maturation) that happen to us in life happen in times of despair, sadness, turmoil, or hardship. When we face the forge of life growth happens, change occurs, and lead is turned into gold. What happens if we continue to strive to avoid the natural states of the burdens? It seems to follow then that our growth as a species would halt or stop. In seeking only pleasurable rewards we lose the “non-pleasurable rewards” that really do change lead into gold.
When we cultivate the idea of being alone with ourselves it forces us to look towards ourselves as being our best friends, our loyal companions and in that intimate personal relationship with ourselves is where the growth happens, that Individuation occurs, when one individuates, it knows well and harmonizes all of its components. Individuation is difficult to achieve when we live a world that is driven with external rewards and reinforcements. We are searching for something and that something is not outside of ourselves, but inside ourselves, we are enticed by the false reflection of ourselves that we see in other people and this leads us to stray from our true nature.
It is quite a dilemma, that in being a social creature, and wanting that deep connection, we can never truly feel it with someone outside of our body; we can only truly enter that deep of a relationship with ourselves. I think that once we embrace Aloneness, Loneliness becomes easier to deal with and even the relationships that we have with friends and family, that is relationships outside of ourselves, become deeper and richer. Paying attention to one’s own self brings into focus the clearer image of others.
So, in a nutshell, we are social beings, there is no denying that, we love company, we like to be around people who make us feel good, however, the quandary is that by nature and design we are destined to truly be alone with ourselves. Cultivating our Aloneness with ourselves enables us to find that depth of connection that we are looking for and in turn helps to deepen those external relationships around us. In mastering tha ability to sit alone with ourselves, paradoxically we realize that we are not alone, but surrounded by life all struggling to define the mystery that we live in.
“Learn to be alone and happy with yourself, content in your own company, love yourself deeply, and take care of yourself”
Marcus Aurelius~ “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”