Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

198 – What have we created? …

Friday, June 1st, 2018

What have we created that when faced with of a society where the future is a bleak promise of constant conflict, oppression, destruction, intolerance, hate, cruelty, division, irrationality, deceit, inequality;

where most of the population struggles to make ends meet while the rest, deaf to the cries of agony and distress, struggles not to hear;

where opioids and weapons of war are abundant and easier to get than a six-pack of beer;

where suicide is the third leading cause of death in people between the ages of 10 and 24; *

where prostituted to corporate mentality, educational systems brainwash young minds to believe that it is right to promote the deadly agenda pillaging the Earth, stealing their future, obliterating hope;

where an accomplished, resourceful, promising society, distraught by intolerance and the terrifying silence about the ravages we cause, inflicts such unbearable pain that the impressionable minds of a seventeen-year-old in Texas, a nineteen-year-old in Florida, a fifteen-year-old in Kentucky … to name just a few of the kids behind dozens of school shootings … can come with horrific premeditation to the decision to kill as many people as possible?

What have we created?

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Revised March 2021   

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163 – What kind of society have we created? …

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

What kind of society have we created, where investigative journalism and the disclosure of abuses of power and the horrors of war are grounds for imprisonment and oftentimes assassination?

What kind of society have we created, where dominant political and economic ideologies exercise the most horrendous acts of cruelty and destruction with total impunity?

What kind of society have we created, where the incontrovertible scientific proofs that the exponential growth of human activity is dramatically altering the atmosphere in which our lives depend are veiled or flatly denied to protect the profits of corporations?

What kind of society have we created, where entire populations are devastated by epidemics of opioids and chemical addiction, and those who consume are held responsible while those who produce are absolved of responsibility?

What kind of society have we created, where politics is based on deception; where organized religion is based on division; where greed overrides human decency, where the value of money overrides the value of human life?

What kind of society have we created, where entire nations are ravaged by avertible conflict and war; where innocent people are bombed out of existence and their deaths trivialized as ‘collateral damage’; where little boys and girls are taught to hate, and kill?

What kind of society have we created, where levels of inequality are so immoral that a small few can bask in rapacious wealth, while entire communities are denigrated by extreme poverty and millions of children starve?

What kind of society have we created, where violence and poverty in the wealthiest and most powerful nation in history have become so dominant that when a school Principal in an underserved and violent neighborhood asks a thirteen-year-old student: “Where do you see yourself in five years? his answer is “I don’t know if I am going to be alive that long”? *

Does it not hurt – our silence allowing the inhumanity, the hate, the poverty, the violence, the sheer desolation, the killing of innocents?

Can we not, the creators of this society, the most intelligent and ingenious creatures we know of, do better than this?

*TED talks: Principal Nadia Lopez, Sep 2016

Revised December 2020   

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158 – How Will History Judge Us? …

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The fatal enemies of the human mind are Greed – it makes us self-destructive – and Dogma – it enslaves our imagination.

As I visit other countries, other cultures, other peoples, I see the lasting effects of totalitarianism – the trails of its destruction and the deep scars, often fresh, from its unimaginable levels of cruelty. But as horrible as the effects of its domination has been and continues to be (Crusades, Inquisitions, Fascism, Communism, Colonialism, Kleptocracy), its impact has for the most part been localized in specific regions. That is, until now, when under the harbingers of unabated Greed and blind Dogma, totalitarian domination has thrown a great portion of our population into full-fledged Anthropocentrism (the fallacy that we have a higher value than all other organisms in Nature and that Reality is to be assessed, exclusively, through human perspective). The consequences of this fallacy are already being felt all over the Earth.

As far as we know, the human being is the only creature conscious of its capacity to self-reflect – to look at its past, plan for the future, and imagine what has never been imagined. But Greed and Dogma have turned our capacity to self-reflect into a force of destruction with which we have, already irreversibly, altered the chemical balance of the environment that has allowed the unfolding of our evolution.

Greed and dogmatism, and those who allow their lives to be enslaved by them, are condemning our Civilization, as Nature realigns the equilibrium we have so thoughtlessly upset, to face our own decimation.

How will History judge those who, knowing the dire consequences of their irresponsibility, did not give a damn?

Revised December 2020   

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73 – An Intellectual Revolution is Brewing …

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Most of the men and women making the decisions that affect our survival are refusing to acknowledge … either by silence or denial …   the destructive impact on the environment 1- of our unhealthy population growth 2- the unsustainability of an economic system based on unbounded consumerism and 3- the hate-promoting divisiveness of religious and social-political dogma.

These people are getting richer while watching most of humankind struggle and suffer under decisions made selfishly to promote increased instability and inequality. These are the people supposed to create a better world for Humanity, but are instead destroying the world that feeds and sustains us. How irrational is this!

Although our impact on the environment is unpredictable, the signs of an environment in crisis are undeniable. Everything we do that involves combustion is increasing the acidity of the oceans and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which already are, according to Wikipedia, higher than any time in the last 800 thousand years. These are colossal changes we are inflicting on the chemical balance of the environment that supports Life on earth.

Yet the profitability of multinational corporations continues to demand a growing number of consumers, and the livelihood of most organized religions continues to depend on an increasing number of followers. So by continuing to promote our abnormal growth and our unsustainable levels of consumption, these two Forces are accelerating a crisis of unprecedented dimensions.

But although the catastrophic signs are imminent, these individuals won’t budge. Our current systems of governance allow them, without consequences, to annihilate rationality, to assume power by deception, to let corruption and predatory greed go unchecked, to incite conflict for ideological or profitable reasons; all of these are done without regards for the devastation inflicted especially on the poor and disadvantaged. These guys are drunk with Power and won’t let go, even if it destroys us all.

But crises are the cauldrons of change. There is, especially amongst young people, an emerging level of higher rationality and a growing empathy for our world; they are rebelling against the greed, the ignorance, and irrationality of our leaders.

An intellectual revolution is brewing amongst the millions who are being oppressed, or forced to face the dismal opportunities of a stolen Future.

“There is a change in consciousness, the intuition that something big is possible; that a great change in the world’s priorities is within people’s grasp.” [1]

[1] From “Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions” by Paul Mason

Revised March 2019

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38 – We are facing a Crisis as Humanity has never faced before …

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Our most fundamental function, although we do it mostly unconsciously, is the constant transformation of energy into mass and mass into energy. We cease to exist when we can no longer do it. As organic systems, we require a steady supply of energy sources … oxygen from the air, nutrients from food … to fuel our development, growth, motion, existence, and are therefore totally dependent on the environment.

It is the same with the species as a whole.

The most fundamental function of the human species, although it is mostly imperceptible from individual experience, is the constant transformation of energy into mass and mass into energy. The species will not exist without a steady supply of energy sources and is therefore totally dependent on the environment that provides them. But although this is incontrovertible, we continue to perceive ourselves as independent from Nature.

We are stuck in a Paradigm that discourages our capacity to introspect about what we are in the scheme of the natural world, while encouraging instead the destructiveness, cruelty, divisiveness, and irrationality of our economic and religious doctrines … my ‘god’ is the true god, the measure of my success is how much more than others I can consume. These doctrines lead us to negate the devastating impact we are inflicting with our constant conflict and exponential growth on the environment that allows us to exist.

It took us eons of time to evolve the skeletal structure to stand erect; it took us millennia to become aware of our own awareness and start making tentative conjectures about Reality; it took us centuries before we could accept the fact that it is our planet that circles the sun. These facts undeniably demonstrate our capacity to alter the way we are and the way we perceive Reality, and yet, although intellectually we know we are just one manifestation of Life’s evolving processes, emotionally we still think that we are Life’s zenith.

Life is primeval, self-generating, self-perpetuating; it is the transformative Force that, in symbiosis with environments, experiments with myriad manifestations of existence … of which we are one … implanting everything with the urge to adapt and self-generate, so it can perpetuate itself into greater complexity.

Unlike any other creature we know of, we can purposefully fashion our neuronal connections through sensory perception from our internal and external environments: This is how we have developed the highest capacity we know of for introspection and rational thinking; it is how we can conceptualize the possibilities of the human potential; it is how we are capable to comprehend the clear signs of a species in crisis; it is how we can foresee the impending and life-threatening changes we are bringing about. But we are not encouraged to reflect upon these facts because they threaten the domination of irrational beliefs and an unsustainable economic doctrine.

As we incorporate and transform substances from the environment to substantiate our development, our exponential growth is dramatically changing the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere.  It is thus we are facing a crisis as Humanity has never faced before: Like a human being who is unable to accept the devastating impact of destructive excesses on his/her own body, the negation of the impact of our destructive paradigm has taken us to a point where we are irreversibly tipping the equilibrium of the narrow planetary band in which we can exist.

If we are unable to overthrow the domination of our dark, irrational, and destructive Paradigm, we will lose the amazing opportunity of delving into the knowledge that we are the creation, and co-creators, of a Primeval Order that not only builds our self-generating bodies out of microscopic cells … step by step, deftly, thoughtfully … but endows us with a mind that can discern that Order, and affect it.

Share the knowledge.

Revised May 2018

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26 – The Obliteration of the Spirit by Science …

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

How amazing it is that inquiry into the spiritual dimension of human nature … the intuitive knowledge that we are connected to ‘something’ or ‘someone’ larger than us that gives us life, order, direction, purpose, wonder, and the capacity to be aware of our own awareness … is inhibited by ‘that other religion’ we call science. And thus, to ponder about the meaning of what we call our soul, our spirit, our mind, we are left either to the machinations of men in cloaks who perpetuate beliefs made-up thousands of years ago to control the human mind or to the oftentimes good-intentioned seekers exploring creative venues of understanding.

The world of our feelings, emotions, and passions; the world of our happiness and sorrows, of our need to love and be loved, of the intangible and the immeasurable; the world of the overwhelming brutality and beauty of Nature; the world of visions and dreams; the world in which love is born and where hate is instigated; the world in which concepts like Peace, Revolution, Creativity, Liberty, Hope, Awe, begin to take a physical shape, this world is arrogantly repressed by the physical side of science simply because it can neither be measured nor put into equations. In its jealousy for measurement and reduction, the physical sciences have turned into a dogmatic enterprise that presumes it can decide what Reality is, and what it is not.

Yet hidden behind their arrogance, there exists a conspicuous Reality that encompasses not only the objective dimensions of Nature … the measurable dimensions of atoms and systems and bodies … but also its subjective complement … the immeasurable dimensions of Creativity, Desire, the need to bond, the will to exist; a Reality where object and subject, body and spirit, complement each other so creatures like you and me can self-generate and self-reflect.

Reductionism, the methodology dating back to the philosophic thought of ancient Greece, continues to dominate our current scientific method, thus perpetuating the belief that the only way man can understand anything in Nature is by reducing it to its minutest parts. This approach is obviously limiting since under its hegemony science has not been able to explain the source of Life nor what more than 90% of our Universe is.

Our wonderment at the unending creativity of Life; our amazement at the inner knowledge of cells that know how to re-generate, organize, and create a mind; our astonishment at the instinctive knowledge of the body to take control of the entire organism when the mind is wandering or searching; our surprise at the realization that we can reflect on our past to plan our future; our awe in the presence of the beauty and destructiveness of Nature, these are subjective characteristics of the human Spirit yet grounded on the reality of the objective world. The dimension of the human spirit, of the mind, of the soul, cannot exist without the dimension of the atomic elements from which it sprouts into being. And equally, the dimension of the atomic elements cannot exist without the spiritual dimension that gives them order and incites them to bond and congregate into amazingly complex, self-generating and transformative forms of existence. Yet the physical sciences continue to claim that to know the nature of Reality only the objective world is worthy of exploration.

Is it not science, one of our noblest enterprises, supposed to open the mind instead of limiting it?

Revised February 2018

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21 – It hurts deeply to see the human spirit in chains …

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

We count on our political, religious, scientific leaders to be intelligent, visionary, rational, caring, true to their promises, so they can lead us into better lives and greater understanding of ourselves and our world. But instead, they betray us, they lie to us, they use the power we have given them to deceive us with the purpose to achieve their own agendas.

Their divisive religious dogmas coerce us into conflict and hate. –  Their dogmatic scientific method limits the avenues of knowledge by restricting inquiry into the spiritual and subjective side of human nature. –  Their unsustainable economic doctrines promote destruction and gluttonous consumption while pushing millions into horrible levels of humiliation, despair, and poverty. –  Their political and economic aims, aided by an unprincipled and gutless corporate media, are to build systems of power to manipulate us into extreme inequality and blind obedience.

And so, we are made afraid to question their intentions, even if their greed is enabling the destruction of our world.

The environment in which our lives depend is being pillaged, species are being decimated at unprecedented rates, innocent people are being killed by the thousands, and the corporate media hides the facts from us so the elite it cowardly serves can continue to profit out of wars and environmental devastation.

But the chains that imprison the human mind are made of old clay, they are brittle and breakable, they are of our own making, and they can be broken.

Imagine our transformation if we were free to demand discussion over the fact that, if we continue obeying the mandates of a narrow-minded, greedy, egotistic and vicious corporate elite, we will overwhelm, and even destroy the environment that gives us life.

Our existence can be immensely significant in the things we accomplish or in the changes we bring about … think about Einstein, Galileo, Rosa Parks, or even Hitler; we see our world differently because of what they did. We do possess the undeniable degree of freedom to affect not only our own development but the development of entire orders of organization. A true sense of Being in a world that sculpts us and can be sculpted by us, is not found in blindly following the dictates of others but following the dictates of our own yearning to create something that opens our minds to the world beyond the limitations of our organic senses, and to the Universe that pre-determines our existence yet sets us free to wonder.

If a neuron in our brain, endowed with the capacity to interconnect and extend the reach of its dendrites, can transform nerve activity into the realization of ideas and concepts, so a human being can transform the selfishness and greed that control our cultures into reverence for the opportunity we are granted to come alive once … this once … pregnant with the potential to make a mark in the world.

 “Help me. You see, we slip back, / without knowing it, from our advance, / into something we didn’t intend; where / we can become caught up, as in a dream, / and where we could die without waking.” Rainer Maria Rilke

 It hurts deeply to see the human spirit in chains.

 Reviewed February 2018

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17 – On the Concept of Free Will …

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The fact that in some circles the controversy between Free Will and Determinism in Nature is still debated, is a clear indication of how dominated we are by irrational arguments. As with Evolution versus Creationism, or Theism versus Atheism, some of us believe that for our claim to be true the opposing must be false.

Determinism is the concept that every event is pre-determined by antecedent causes and natural laws (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Free Will is the concept that we have a choice of a course of action from among various alternatives (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Determinism and Free Will don’t oppose each other; on the contrary, they complement each other.

There is no refuting the facts that all naturally evolving systems (atoms, molecules, human beings, solar systems, galaxies) are components of a multi-dimensional Universe. But when a dimension, like the dimension in which human beings exist, is perceived from other dimensions (the dimension of our solar system, for example) we become indiscernible.

Free Will and Determinism are innate in Nature, but they are relative to the dimensions in which they are experienced and from which they are observed. 

To bring this concept to a level we can easily relate to, let’s try them on you, the person reading these words, as a current inhabitant of the planet we call Earth. You are without doubt or further discussion in possession of a relative degree of freedom to go places, choose from different options or decide what to do about tomorrow. But in a similar way as a neuron in your own brain, extending its tendrils to reach other neurons in the making of your mind, cannot be perceived from the dimension of your daily existence, your existence cannot be perceived from the dimension of the solar system. You are as imperceptible from that dimension, as a neuron is imperceptible from yours. Have you seen the beautiful images of Earth taken from space? … there is no sign of you in them. But there you are! Choosing. Trying to exercise your degree of freedom as best you can, yet at the same time knowing that environmental forces and the laws of Nature determine the color of your skin, the air that you breathe, the relative span of your life.

In the indomitable will to self-perpetuate, in the instinctive drive to bond, in the compelling urge to leave our mark in the world, Free Will is the engine of purpose and transformation, it is the fundamental force that makes us active participants in the unfolding or our own evolution, yet it undeniable that we are pre-determined to return to the ingenious unknown from where Life is created.

Reviewed February 2018

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14 – A form of mental colonialism controls our worldview …

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Myths are created by the human mind when faced with the unknown. But these same myths can be turned into destructive fallacies when used to control the way we understand our world, as is the case with the myths listed below:

The myth that humankind has been personally created, as we are today, by the imagined idols of ancient men.

The myth that unconditional obedience to the creeds of men in cloaks will be rewarded in “Heaven”.

The myth that Nature has been created for the benefit of man, and that man can exist without Nature.

The myth that Nature is mechanical and purposeless.

The myth that we can obliterate the truth of our simian ancestry by contriving Evolution into “might makes right”.

The myth that Success is a measure of how much we possess and how much we consume.

The myth that we can overwhelm the environment that gives us life without affecting the way we exist, or even if we will continue to exist.

These destructive fallacies have been turned into forms of mental colonialism to manipulate the way we understand ourselves; they distort the impact we make on the planet; they obliterate our capacity to think rationally and acknowledge self-evident and irrefutable facts.

Some of the irrefutable facts these myths obliterate are:

The fact that we are self-regulating, self-generating, self-reflective organic systems grown out of an ovum and a sperm into dynamic components of an evolving species.

The fact that we are fragile organic creatures totally contingent on a constant and balanced intake and release of energy sources … the same sources we are consuming and overwhelming.

The fact that it is due to the nurturing environment of a planet deep in the vastness of the Universe, that we have evolved the awareness of our own awareness and the capacity to conceptualize the Universe within which we exist.

The fact that we belong to a mammalian species with an insatiable and irrepressible sexual appetite – it took us about 10.000 years to reach a count of 1 billion, then about 160 years to reach 3 billion, then about 40 years to reach 6 billion … and counting!!!

The fact that although we are self-reflective, visionary and pregnant with the capacity to affect our destiny, we are also atoms, molecules, blood, guts, instincts, dependent on the mandates of our internal and external environments.

But we are brainwashed by the destructive myths of our own creation and have been made afraid to question their irrationality, thus irrefutable facts like the ones mentioned above are not even given our consideration.

For hundreds … thousands of years … we have obediently accepted to be ruled by the impaired notions of our myths with horrific consequences (wars, hate, holocausts, slaughter, rape, extinction, massacres, genocide), yet our impact on the environment has not been grave, until our exponential growth has brought us to a moment in our evolution when continuing to promote a worldview based on destructive fallacies will result in our extinction.

To understand what we truly are is critical to our survival. Shouldn’t we start talking about it?

Revised 11/18/16

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12 – Why have we made our most pressing problem – overpopulation – a taboo issue?

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

We know as an indisputable fact that we cannot continue growing and overpopulating the earth at current rates – adding ~80 million more of us each year – without overwhelming the environment in which our lives depend, but we don’t want to talk about it.

Is it because religious beliefs prohibit us from understanding the pleasures and consequences of our sexuality?

Is it because dominant economic models demand greater consumption without regards to sustainability?

Is it because Science, after so many scientists have been silenced, is afraid to refute the irrational and damaging fallacies of political and religious dogma?

Ignoring the destructive power of overpopulation is like ignoring the uncontrolled spread of a cancer destroying its host organism, but this is exactly what we are doing when confronted with the overwhelming signs of environmental upheaval:

global warming

melting ice caps

decimation of species

sinking water tables

expanding deserts

dwindling fisheries

and the list goes on and on

The innate pleasure we feel in sexual intercourse is a natural force that drives us to bond and impels the evolution of our species; it is the primeval and tangible force behind the self-perpetuation of Life. Inhibit it, as the Catholic Church does, and it leads to dysfunction. Un-inhibit it, as our greedy economic and political models do by perpetuating poverty and ignorance, and it leads to over-population. It is thus chilling to see how our dominant doctrines continue to cling to the twisted concept that keeping us ignorant is the best tool to advance their ideologies. The consequences of ignoring our total dependency on the same environment we are consuming are devastating. And if we continue doing so, we might end up on the long list of extinct species.

Understanding the impact of our emergent species on the finite resources of the planet lies in understanding ourselves: How gullible and submissive we can be in our unquestioning acceptance of blatant deceit yet how ingenious and gutsy in our capacity to change and adapt.

Couldn’t we start a dialogue to try to understand what it means to be a human being in an intimate and symbiotic relationship with our environment, instead of trying to suppress it?

Revised 10/24/16

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