Updated: May 26
"Certainly, I look forward impatiently to the sight of that great silver key, for in its cryptical arabesques there may stand symbolized all the aims and mysteries of a blindly impersonal cosmos." - the Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft
We only really get one shot at this. I'm gonna say it again, life's short. For me, some days the anxiety of life make it feel like I'm already at the end of my candle. But you know what? If that's the case, that's just okay.
I've had the privilege to see so much. So much art, so much knowledge, so many people, and so many places. I have felt so much love, so much wonder, so much sorrow, and so much joy. I grew up naive, purposely shielded by my mother and father from hardship. They wanted me to do the school/career thing and end up well taken-care of and not worry so much about the weight of the world. It was nice, and all the hardships I would hear of in our family or community felt so distant as a kid.
Yet, in my time since childhood I've also witnessed so much suffering and stranger-than-fiction human horror stories that I never would have imagined. I've seen traumatic shit you wouldn't believe (and I still have a hard time believing myself). I've also worked for people my age who are/were dying, people I consider/ed friends. I've been utterly let down by institutions supposedly championing the best values of society. I've been stabbed in the back, accused of the worst, and generally dragged through the mud in many social climates at the slightest opportunity due to perceived weaknesses in me. It's like living in a goddamn chimp ego battle arena sometimes and all the rest is just window dressing and pomp and circumstance, resulting in an endless "whodunit" instead of solving real problems, learning real skills, and honoring truth - which only helps those with something nasty to hide or who desire power for themselves. I've been stripped to nothing and forced to build myself back up, several times. The whole time I've gritted my teeth and walked the line to preserve my sense of ethics (or vapid self-righteousness if you want).
What I eventually saw was that I was extremely, extremely lucky. I did the odds again after all this and realized I'm really f****** lucky to be alive, and I'm REALLY f****** lucky to have a strong heart and mind intact to continue to grow with. Not to mention, I live in a place I won't get shot for dissenting opinions (for now at least). After you see enough, while the darker experiences never fail to cut deep, they also begin to take a different meaning as it gets easier to step back and hold them in a broader context. The reason I'm beginning this article on such a low note is because I want to talk to you about what needs to happen on planet Earth if we're going to build a world that ensures the preventable shit like violent and sexual crime or developmental/stress-related mental illnesses never happen again. I want you to know this comes from some deep and primal spark within me that's busting itself out of the matrix after seeing enough f***** up shit to simply not give a rat's ass about all the petty short-lived things that could otherwise be motivating me to continue breathing. F*** all other plans, it's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of bubblegum.
No, I'm not going to save the world with my ideas alone and mystically lift our species into a golden age, my wisdom and abilities are as refined as a potato. However, I have been afforded so much time to think and refine my language on things that are important to me, shaped by very real, raw experiences that still haunt me, and share it in hopes it will refine yours. This is all I do, it's all I'll ever do from here out, I'm all in baby.
Here's what we need to say: "Enough trauma, enough elitism, enough violence, enough ignorance, enough blind ideology." There are generations of families walking around together traumatized, under-educated, under-fed, etc. in all countries. Meanwhile all us educated and policy-influencing types are sitting around smelling our farts in our fish tank houses while we talk about business and politics and academia with and go about business as usual with a frustrated yet apathetic and facetious candor. Yes I'm sure all our jobs are important, but there's so. much. more. to. this. and so many people with voices yet to be heard, who we drown out simply by never straying from our projected paths for ourselves and never looking up from our internet and our books and our televisions.
We have all of the power through what should be far superior organizing ability granted by supposedly-good education - at least compared to your Jim Crow-loving prosperity church hyper ideological "conservative" types who seem to have voted a whole fucking 3 branch governance structure into the US, replacing judges, senators, and yes the entire executive branch. In other countries and in some areas even our own there are dictators, mafias, secret police, and any other number of top-down control systems to impose even more restriction on organizing ability and movement which kind of f**** things up without a more serious revolution to hit the reset button. In the US we have the benefit of being able to project our conscience onto others willy-nilly as individuals in our society, so if the sociopaths like the Alex Jones' and Kenneth Copeland's of the world can exist here then we can easily organize one hell of a powerful organization with all kinds of radical opinions and do some positive devastation to the status-quo in return. Clearly it's so easy here that all the countries in the world are joining in on the information-consciousness warfare weirdness happening now in the United States and its all-influencing media apparatus (hell, many people know more about US politics than they do about their own country with how proliferated US media is).
Okay, so this brings me to a point on civics. It's not just about voting obviously, society is an agreement we all make to basically play along. Vulture capitalism, jobs that pay garbage, tax money going to special interests instead of the people, rotting infrastructure, decaying education, decaying public discourse - these are all things we agree on through inaction on them or even deliberately shepherding it in with fascist monetary ideologies and broken principles.
In my community, it's so conservative and the education is generally so shitty that a lot of what I say here would sound like total wacky garble - practically alien language. It would likely be met with distrust and deafness even though I'm echoing the same level of dissatisfaction and distrust many conservatives here share - I'm just not pointing at the typical scapegoats denoted by our news stations and pundits. No I did my homework, I followed the money, I know what happened and how we ended up here.
I've read up on systems, on power, on civics, on the history of political and economic theory. We're in some kind visuolingual matrix for sure, but not one that's so tough to navigate and break out of once you establish the fundamentals. Do you know why I'm not detached, exploitative, or at least completely dysfunctionally depressed? Do you know why I decided it's time to blow up business ethics and organizational philosophy? It's love, that's all. Time's short, people need us, my people need me, and my story isn't special. I'm shooting for the top this time because why not. The systems we were born into and helped shape are just that - systems. We're apes in drag, living in glass castles of our own imaginations. We can change these systems on a dime, and readily follow natural law to find the best implementations.
So what's the solution to creating ethical communities that champion human and environmental rights? That's a big question. However, it comes down to simple and mature co-operation between people. The overly abstracted business and governance structures out there that prioritize finance and class all really are just to preserve certain power and ability control schemes that are cooked up by CEOs and politicians, they're not necessary if you can just have some fucking integrity as a community and can maturely agree on how to, say, reward labor proportionately to its value versus just funneling it up based on the perceived margins you deserve. There's a much broader context to this however, it's not just about who's doing what in the moment.
Where did you get your expertise? Where did your mentors get their expertise? How much did they really make doing it? Was it ever about money/power/glory? All human knowledge eventually traces to open, passionate people who didn't do it for themselves and didn't hoard anything for any reason other than to preserve things for others to benefit from. We're one people with many languages on one planetary organism, one evolutionary history, one shared belonging and one collective unconsciousness. We don't really own our ideas, and our individual contributions are a puny blip when laid out next to all the others being worked on. That doesn't demean them necessarily, but it means the money we get from exploiting the business end is really that much more of a luxury than it is deserved. Yes we deserve to make a living, but millions or billions is not a living that's brutal excess that could be paid forward immediately and distributed more wisely within the networks that support us. We came from caves and tents and huts, a lot of us still do, how much do we really need to be fulfilled? My main point here is that there is a really pretty low bar to start contributing to infrastructure and radically changing the landscape of people and influence and consciousness, and that wisdom is everywhere for us to learn from.
Here is a model of Collective Intelligence (from Wiki) that I believe should form a new paradigm for educated citizenry and governance:
No more inherent mistrust of each other, assume most people are good and that the darkest most malicious corners of our societies (more highlighted by today's internet media than ever) can be lit up and replaced and are in the vast minority. We need a new political language, in the US all you hear is Left vs Right, what does that even mean? Today it always comes down to differences in our bents toward authoritarianism, xenophobia, and how educated we want to be on science, technology and basic ethics. The real discourse of the human world is about enhancing our quality of life, healing trauma and re-integrating societies and nature, creating universal access to things that fulfill our basic needs, and what we want to create out of our collective imagination. That's entirely different language that foregoes ideological camps and it needs to be much more common. We're strongest in numbers when we all are acting the most independently but with integrity, meaning real power isn't about collective manipulation and subversion (e.g. Machiavellianism or Despotism) but collective empowerment. That means dealing with all of our darkest issues openly and honestly and forming new networks to uphold our universal human rights, justice, wisdom, and so on. It's not limited by borders and language, though there are many systems to be replaced across the world in order to open every community to the possibilities of a unified global people - which is how many of us already see the world. I know you're all out there, wondering like I am about answers to many of these massive issues, wondering if climate change or a meteor or war or loneliness and mental illness are gonna kill us all first, and with many similar or likely even more traumatic stories you could relate to the tribulations I've faced or have witnessed. Likely never has there been a time where nearly all of humanity is looking in the same direction at the same worrying global fronts we are facing in the journey to becoming a more integrated global family, and whether catastrophe will once again leave us fragmented and in the dark ages. We need to do something with that. I'll say it and leave it: The change begins with you, and the answers to the universe are all around us. Give up large comforts for smaller ones, reach out, and genuinely care for others. You're not getting another chance.
As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul… If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like... Close your eyes and let the mind expand. Let no fear of death or darkness arrest its course. Allow the mind to merge with Mind. Let it flow out upon the great curve of consciousness. Let it soar on the wings of the great bird of duration, up to the very Circle of Eternity. If thou but settest foot on this path, thou shalt see it everywhere.
- Hermes Trismegistus
Here are similar ideas, with less swearing :P