Truth Against the World

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Never Again Volunteer Yourself (2)

Now Gavin found himself back in California, where he was born, and where the bulk of his childhood was spent. He had no friends and his cousins, once like brothers, had their own lives and did not seem to eager to include him. They were mostly strangers to one another. Gavin was an atheist amongst a Christian family which explained the distance between his cousins. They were in no hurry to converse with and associate with an atheist. Gavin was in no hurry to go to his old church which became a social handicap for him. The churches main function socially has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with providing a community and somewhere to belong and be accepted. Gavin was never very good at putting himself out there to be known by strangers and that quality is necessary to find acceptance in most tribes. To Gavin it felt like he was trying to be accepted as a pedestrian amongst the cars on the highway. To him sticking his thumb out was a sign of weakness. He was an only child and so the life of a loaner came naturally to him. He told himself that he didn't need anybody else knowing full well that he was lying to himself.

So he found himself 19 years old with no friends, no job, not in college, as the only atheist in an estranged Christian family, with no responsibilities and all of his physical needs met. His father was around but he had no relationship with him and so had no father figure to provide a sense of direction. His mother did the best she could but a 19 year old male has no interest in listening to what his mother thinks about anything and at any rate she was Christian. In his mind religion was a sign of intellectual weakness and so no Christian could provide him with any advice worthy of his contemplation. No doubt an attitude that kept him alienated from most people. He found himself in a situation that would never repeat itself because he never allowed it to. He was provided for and was not considered a mooch. It was okay for him to take time to figure out what he wanted to do with his life and that meant that he had no responsibilities of any kind short of doing an occasional errand or helping with house work. He was just expected to figure out what he wanted to do and was given an undetermined amount of time to do it. This all left him with no expected direction and so his direction became whichever way his intellectual wind was blowing.

With no group to belong to and nothing to do he did what he always did when alone and read. His church became the local two story Barnes and Nobles. He preferred Barnes and Nobles to the library because silence was not expected and that opened up the possibility to socialize. What he wanted was a female to love and so he went to the Barnes and Nobles to read and look and hopefully find. This was the best he could come up with to meet somebody, a book store. Mostly he was too busy reading to notice and at any rate he was not confident, or social enough, to approach a women. The book store became his library and he read entire books while sitting in the store. If a book wasn't finished and it was time to leave he would simply dog ear the page and place it back in it's place. Occasionally a book would materialize that had to be purchased because the store was closing and leaving the book was not an option. Life went on this way for months. Loneliness pervaded as he spent weeks saying no more than obligatory one line sentences to family and strangers where interaction was needed.

"That will be $15.60."

"Here you go, wait, I think I might have 60 cents." He fishes around in his pocket and pulls out a quarter, a dime, and two pennies. "Nope, not gonna make it, guess you'll have to break the 20."

"Not a problem. Do you need a bag?"


"Okay, well come back and see us."

"Oh, I'll be back, don't you worry."

And that was the longest and most involved conversation for the week. He would occasionally talk to Chris on AOL instant messenger, but beyond that his existence was a solitary one. Loneliness became his normal and depression was rising up from the deep desolation to find him. What kept him going was a feeling that he needed to know. As depression followed on his heel he stayed just out front of it because his purpose was to know and he wasn't going to give up and wallow in not knowing and loneliness. He denied the depression but it didn't stop it from being there in a constant attempt to fill the vacuum created by belonging nowhere and having nobody. As depression stocked him he continued reading about the case for Atheism. It was logical, intellectually reasonable, scientific, correct, and true and yet still there was an itch. This was not it but he had painted himself into an intellectual corner that he could not get out of.

Then he found a way out of the corner and without messing the paint up. He found himself in the New Age section of the book store. That corner behind the Self Help and beside the Religion section. Buried in exile where only the kooks and weirdos with no social status to lose dared to be spotted in. His interest was peaked as to what this "New Age" was all about. Foreign words like Tarot, Druidism, numerology, Wicca, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and Qabala all sat quietly mysteriously staring at him. He scanned the books and an electric blue spine caught his eye. "Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts," by Donald Michael Kraig literally jumped into his hands. The cover featured a female dressed in a flowing robe after just creating an electric blue pentagram in the air with a dagger. The image activated a curiosity that had been lying around dormant and unseen. That curiosity quickly took notice and gained control of his body. He found his legs taking him to a seat so that he could sit down and inspect the contents. This discovery was one of several pivotal moments during his nineteenth year of life. He purchased the book and took it home with him and spent the next couple of days scrutinizing it's mysterious message.

On the surface, the one that society sees, this was reserved for strange weirdos. This was what 40 year old men with long hair, dorky glasses, and Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia did in their parents basements after they got off work at the local Blockbuster. There was definitely a social stigma attached to this subject. Occult smacks of cult and devil worshipers sacrificing children to Satan to the Christian mind. The residual misunderstandings and assumptions from his Christian past were still lurking even as he read with intense interest. That book planted a seed in his psyche that would take root but not grow for a long time. It remained there in the darkness of his unconscious mind patiently waiting for all of his mind to finally accept it's truth for over a decade. There was a short window that opened and gave him a glimpse into the deeper mysteries of consciousness. In his seclusion he began practicing some of the visualization meditations and studying the intricate symbols of the Tarot. He was an atheist studying the occult. The contradiction created a friction that was released in one moment that would change his mind for the rest of his life. He was given proof that consciousness was more than just electro-chemical reactions in his brain. What happened next was his initiation into the occult.

Chapter Two

It was early in the afternoon on a Monday with no agenda. Gavin had just laid down for an early siesta. A nap just like any other. He closed his physical eyes for sleep and opened his ethereal eyes consciously for the first time. His vision took on a different quality as things appeared slightly opaque as if he were looking through water. At the same time this consciousness carried the weight of a deeper and more meaningful reality. His eyes opened and he was gripped by a paralysis. Moments passed in this transitory waiting. His consciousness began floating upwards towards the ceiling as he felt a type of expansion and release and yet this world was still anchored somehow to his usual experience of reality. His consciousness stopped at the ceiling and all he could see was the textured ceiling of his bedroom. His consciousness began moving back downward and uprighted itself at the foot of his bed to peer out of his bedroom window at the sunny lazy Monday.

"What is this? What is happening to me? Where am I?"

He floated to the door of his bedroom that lead to the living room and the common dining area of his families house. Nobody was in the house with him, they were all at work. As he went to cross the threshold of his bedroom door a thought occurred to him that he wanted to verify that what he thought was happening was indeed happening. There was really only one way to find out. He had to turn his consciousness around to look for what he thought he might see. He turned around and the moment that was to irrevocably change him happened. He was looking at his own body lying in bed asleep. His body was lying right lateral and his head was resting on his hands with his legs together like the resting Buddha. His physical eyes were shut. This event changed his consciousness permanently as he realized that he was not what he thought he was. He was still experiencing the him that he always experienced and yet without the use of his physical body. He starred at himself sleeping while transfixed on the sight. A new type of paralysis set in as he found himself unable to look away for many moments. He snapped out of this hypnosis brought on by a split in his consciousness and wondered at what was happening.

"What are the rules in this state? What am I capable of doing now? I'm clearly floating and so gravity is not present. Maybe I will float out through the roof and go outside."

He floated towards the ceiling and just before he got there a fear began to build and take hold. His consciousness stretched and expanded away from his center. All at once he felt his physical body pulling at him as his consciousness slowed it's momentum as if attached to his body by a rubber band. He thought to himself, "Am I dead?" Fear exploded all around him and in an instant he was back in his body just as he had began this short life changing journey. He was once again lying in his bed staring at the ceiling and paralyzed. He lay there unable to move in the growing fear when he remembered reading something in one of the occult books he had thumbed through at the book store. He recalled a story about somebody who had what they called an "out of body experience." At some point the author talked about something called "sleep paralysis," and he remembered reading about how the author regained control of his body by focusing on moving a toe. Gavin was not sure that what had just happened was an out of body experience, but he was willing to try anything to prove that he was not dead.

Gavin began focusing on moving his big toe and after several minutes of intense concentration he was able to move it slightly. Relief began to grow as he held on to the hope that he was not dead. Soon the control over his body spread to his lower leg, and to his other leg, and finally he sat up as the fog created by the split in consciousness began solidifying back into his body. He stood up from his bed and walked into the kitchen. He sat at the table and poured a bowl of cereal with milk and ate it in silence. His thoughts were all focused on what had just happened to him. He could not deny the experience and it was not drug induced. He had not so much as smoked a joint or drank a beer in months. His mind attempted to explain the experience away but it was the most real thing he had every witnessed. There was a sense of realness that he did not have now. The feeling that remained was that he was closer to the truth than he had ever been, but also that he had barely scratched beneath the surface of what this meant and of what the possibilities were in that state. His intense yearning to know the truth had provided him with this snap shot through the looking glass. He knew that he had just peered into the entrance to the gate of the mysteries. He knew that this was not over and that he wanted more. He would have much more, but corporeal life has a way of asserting itself and ruining the best laid planes. The experience was not simply shaken off, but Gavin would make decisions that would force him to forget about the experience at the gate. He was not prepared to pass through. This was just a validation from God that there was more to life than what man was capable of explaining with high powered microscopes and telescopes. It was the source of life nodding to him in response to his questions. It was an offering to keep him from falling into the abyss of the purposeless void of whimsical and random swerving. It was the experience that would keep him from falling off of the fence that separated divine purpose from pointlessness. On one side of this fence there was purpose and on the other there was just a lonely existence with no meaning and only oblivion to wait for. The oblivion that waited for the intellectual atheist's brain activity to stop. A lonely stop to time that made all of your experiences forgotten, inconsequential, and mortal. Gavin's out of body experience allowed him to walk atop the fence that separated these two worlds. He lived between them. As time moved on, and as life continued with its obtuse unconcern for his providence, the mystical answer began to fade. As time continued and his distance from this experience increased it became easier for him to forget what it had meant. The cold suffering deterioration of life's tyranny would constantly batter his sense of purpose. But he never forgot and the mystery never forgot. He wold return to the gate, but first he had to pass through the crucible. The belly of the whale where the dark night of his soul was waiting for him.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cipher's Sell Out

Last night on "The Lifeboat Hour" with Michael Ruppert he had Carolyn Baker on as a guest.  Carolyn Baker is pretty much the psychiatrist for the Peak Oil Movement.  The PO movement is really no longer about PO.  Sometime this year Dimitri Orlov wrote a blog where he stated that Peak Oil was in the past and so we need to start talking about it differently.  Beyond the fact that peak oil is now a given is the fact that there are more pressing issues to deal with just now.  It's true that peak oil is the driver of the collapse.  It's ultimately responsible for the fact that our civilization's growth is over and that we will henceforth begin contracting into something different.  What that will look like is anybodies guess, but certain aspects about that collapse will certainly come to pass within the next ten and twenty years.  Right now, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement is where all of the energy circling the collapse is coalescing.  It doesn't have a specific bullet point agenda because it has just been born.  Right now it's just about having a grievance with the system, any grievance, and uniting in that solidarity alone.  It's inevitable that it will grow into a full blown revolution come spring because as Michael Ruppert likes to say, "things break down not up."  As in, society is going to be in worse shape come spring.  There will be more unemployed college grades with nothing but debt to show for their higher education come spring.

So on last nights Lifeboat Hour they were talking about the Occupy Santa Rosa (OSR) encampment.  Ruppert stated that if he could create a flag for the movement it would feature a tent.  That's an interesting point.  He said that the tents represented the movements freedom, self-reliance, and tribal nature.  He talked about how tribal OSR has become and how well that it works.  No surprise since mankind has been tribal for the majority of it's existence.  I think that any organisational form beyond tribal is not going to work for man for various reasons that could fill an entire book, as I'm sure it has (maybe I should look into that).  I think tribal nation's are how mankind will ultimately find himself organized a hundred years into the future (if the nuclear power stations don't finish us first).  I don't think that we will ever evolve to a point where our animal nature will be satisfied in any setting other than a natural one.  Maybe that's the reason our civilizations keep collapsing.  Or maybe that's just how human ecology works; the same as any other ecology, or living organism for that matter.  It's born, grows, matures, and decays.

There should be no doubt that our civilization is in the final stage to anybody paying attention.  This is the onset of collapse and what's left is for us to accept that truth.  Nothing is going to change if we continue business as usual (BAU) as a civilization.  I recently finished Richard Heinberg's latest book, "The End of Growth."  Most of what was said in that book I have read before, but it was worth seeing it all in one linear persuasion.  Yes, growth is over for mankind.  Question is, what are we individually to do about it?  Our government is not going to address this issue in any meaningful way because they can't.  They are going to continue trying to fix the ship of civilization to keep it afloat when what is actually happening is that the water is drying up.  That is, they are trying to fix the problem of the old paradigm while the new one has already been born.  The way forward is to adapt to the new paradigm and not to attempt to keep the end stage cancer patient alive with further poison.  They can't fix this problem because it's no longer a problem, but a predicament as John Michael Greer has said.  The difference between the two is that a problem has a solution whereas a predicament does not.  A predicament must be dealt with but it cannot be solved.  The predicament is the end stage of our civilization as ruled by the old paradigm.  The solution is for the new paradigm and that is to adapt.

Again, what are we to do individually?  We are told by the leaders of the Transition that what we need to do is foster community.  Get to know our neighbors and start building communities so that when things can no longer be ignored we won't be running around fighting each other.  The idea is to learn to cooperate with each other and live as if we are tribal.  We are no longer tribal, we are suburban.  OWS has apparently fell into tribal by default, but that is still a very small movement relative to our population.  The old way may be dying, but it has no idea of that fact.  We are stuck in what must be the most uncomfortable phase of collapse.  We are stuck in the beginning where the new can be seen but not reached.  We have families to care for and hanging on to the old way seems easier even though it continues worsening by the day.  My wages are decreasing, insurance is becoming more expensive, and my employer is treating me worse almost by the day.  It's not just the corporation I work for treating me badly to keep the bottom line viable.  It's everybody in the chain of command from the top to the bottom each individually making decisions that suck more of what little remaining dignity I have away from me.  Not because they intend to treat me like a slave, but because they themselves are being treated like slaves and misery loves company.  It's sort of like an old Roman death sentence I've read about where they put you, a dog, a monkey and a snake in a sack and then toss the sack into the ocean.  Something like that.

Whatever the case, life is becoming more and more miserable because of the circumstances the beginning stage of collapse manifest.  So Carolyn Baker said that we should all be walking away from the old system.  She actually said to walk away from our debt, all of it, because it's part of the old dying system and it has to be put to death.  The best we can do is facilitate the death of the old to make room for the new, which is inevitable.  She said to walk away from our credit cards, to walk away from our jobs and our houses.  Where are we to walk away to?  A tent city?  I would do that but I have a family to care for.  So I, along with many like me, are stuck in an old dying system.  I feel it in my soul and gut.  I feel this thing dying and I want it to die so badly.  Even if what comes next is much more difficult, I'm tired of anticipating it.

I'm tired of being treated like I don't matter to my employer.  I feel that way because I don't matter, because there's a line of faceless people all waiting to do my job for five dollars less per hour than they are paying me.  Every year they tighten the noose around my neck in the hopes that I will say fuck it and make room for the next indentured servant that will pick the fruit for five cents a bushel.  We are all becoming like the Joad's setting off with all we own strapped to our Jilapi hoping that we will be able to keep on keepin' on.  Against all odds.  This way of life is completely meaningless.  We are all isolated from our own humanity.

For all intents and purposes it's just my wife and my son in my world.  There is nothing else worth my energy, just my little family.  All of my relatives are 2400 miles away on the other end of the continent.  This modern life has facilitated the atomization of family.  We have chased the great American Hustle without even knowing it.  I was born into this hustle and probably never had a much of a chance to escape it.  The best one such as I could have hoped for is to have made it to the top of the hustle.  I could have made it to the top of the pile where whatever worthless consumer item I wanted was made available but I turned it down.  I was idealistic enough to realize that it was pointless but not realistic enough to realize that there was no other alternative.

So now what?  OWS?  Deep inside of me where the dispatch of my consciousness resides there is a clarion screeching like a broken trumpet that fell from the burnt skies during the apocalypse.  The skeleton ghosts that have been resisting our own inhumanity since we began torturing ourselves, the ones that scream that its' time for REVOLUTION are filling my psyche with their meaning.  Tears fall from my face as I lament the lose of my dignity and my wild animal nature awakens.  It grips me with anger and demands that I turn against my oppressors and fight for what is right.   The rage has grown into a full blown tree and it's massive and I never watered it or nurtured it.  It grew anyways without my assistance.  It wants revenge and it is righteous.  I'm like a dog who's been cornered and I am not a weak one.  I am ferocious and powerful and can rip your arm off in the name of justice.  The warrior is trying to awaken and I can sense his eye lids opening.  Somebody is going to have to pay for the hedonistic celebration that has been taking place at the top of the tower in Babel.  I don't want to be put back into the machine.  I want to fight, and yet it must be a peaceful one.  My head gets that, but the rest of me wants blood.  I fear that my only chance to ride the end of this Tsunami of the old is going to be passively influenced by fukitol.  Maybe I need to make another appointment.

"Doc, how about some of those Icantakit Knowmores?  The fukitol light wore off and I quit taking it.  We need to up the dose before I do something stupid like honoring my integrity and authentic nature.  There's too much at stake here.  Actually, let's just get it over with and schedule my actual lobotomy.  My spirit is too strong for a chemical one and at any rate the chemical route still allows choice.  I want to have no choice, but I want to be somebody important, like a movie star.  And I don't want to remember anything."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Never Again Volunteer Yourself

So I've started writing a novel, at least I hope.  I'm shooting for 300 pages because the longest story I've ever written was right at 150 and I don't really consider that novel status.  I want to achieve at least one in my life (and I'm also hoping to turn this into the beginning of a career, as in I get paid for my love and ability at writing).  So this is loosely autobiographical, at least for now.  The reasons for that are because it's just easier to riff off of my own life.  Besides I believe that's how all the greats do John Steinbeck, who would be one of my largest influences.  I'm hoping to blend my own unique style into something reminiscent of Vonnegut and Steinbeck.  So, loosely autobiographical.  Separating the truth from fiction will be something I will never'll just have to know whether it's true or not.  What fun would it be otherwise...especially if you know me.  That way I can say things I wouldn't admit to under the ruse of fiction.  I hope somebody out there enjoys this.  I'll post as I write.  Here's the first eight pages of "Never Again Volunteer Yourself," the working title.  I promise it will change at some point.  My first novella was "Like the Weak," and the day I finished it the title was changed to "An Institution Known As Truth."  Lastly, this is going to be largely unedited, so there's going to be plenty of mistakes.

Never Again Volunteer Yourself

He looked up into the sky because movement caught his eye. Geese in formation, probably gettin' the hell out of there to escape the approaching ruthless Chicago winter. This moment would be forever burned into Gavin Holloway's consciousness as a pivotal moment in his life. At the time he had no idea that this passing scene would be cemented into his psyche, but he knew that it was meaningful. He had many moments like that while he was in the United States Navy and this was one of the first. There were many such moments during that Winter of 1999, just at the turn of the millennium. This particular moment was about freedom. It was about learning that you never know what you have until you no longer have it. You've heard that saying that the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. Well a hill is a circle and so there are 360 possibilities just in degrees for the other side of the hill. The saying is true because it's never better, just a different green, or type of grass. You have no way of knowing about the other side of the hill because you can't see it from your vantage point, but the truth is that it's rarely any greener.

It was probably mid November at the time he looked up and saw those birds in formation migrating south. The thought that they were migrating didn't occur to him. He was in a formation doing the same thing that those geese were doing. He was doing what he was told to do only his oppressor was a very real U.S. Navy while there's was simply instinct. He looked up and felt envy at their illusory freedom. He wanted to be in that formation and not in the one that he was in. He couldn't leave that formation any easier than one of those geese could leave theirs, so why did he envy them?

"Holloway, what the fuck are you lookin' at. Eyes front!!!" Came the very real oppressive voice of one of his RDC's. Recruit Division Commander is what that acronym stood for. There were a lot of acronyms in the Navy. There were a lot of official ones and just as many unofficial official ones. His favorite acronym would turn out to be N.A.V.Y. which stood for "never again volunteer yourself." He couldn't even look where he wanted to look anymore. He was just thinking to himself how they could make him stand there, but they couldn't make him look straight ahead. He was wrong. Maybe that's what all of that avian envy was all about? I think that was the moment when he knew that he had made the wrong decision volunteering himself for this tyranny. It was a good lesson in reality but one that he didn't need to have. If you haven't figured it out yet, the world doesn't give a shit about you, and if you don't believe me than join the military. Just before Gavin went to boot camp, some time just before he went to MEP's (military entrance processing) an old man looked him square in the face and said "the military is going to get at least two times out of ya what they put into ya." He did what most 18 year old boys do and wrote him off cause he clearly didn't know what the fuck he was talking about.

He stood in formation staring at geese feeling envious towards birds with a brain the size of one of his finger nails. Brings a hole 'nother meaning to the saying "ignorance is bliss." There's another truism for you that is unfortunately very true. Well it should probably be "stupidity is bliss" cause at least then you can't be to blame for your decisions. What brought him to this particular juncture in time? How did an individual with the ability to do anything that he put his mind to end up enlisting in the fuckin' navy? I don't mean that in the usual we all have potential, everybody is created equal, you can do anything you put your mind to sense. I mean that he actually had the ability to do anything. He had a mind that was capable of absorbing whatever information he wanted to put into it and then to further be able to assimilate that information into truth within the human experience. He had intelligence beyond math, or science, or any other discipline you care to think of. He had a mind that was capable of philosophy on the level of the great philosopher's themselves. You know the ones that you read about in the philosophy 101 text books. His problem was that he had integrity and morals that emanated from his vantage point beneath the great architecture of truth. This world that man has created is hopelessly flawed because man is vastly not a creature of integrity. He's a creature of his evolution. Just like those geese he is concerned above all else with his survival, and that leaves little room for such amenities as integrity, truth, and morals. Hunger pains do not care about other hunger pains, just their own. He signed the doted lines at MEP's because he could no longer take the southern California traffic! He enlisted in the Navy because he was tired of sitting in long lines of traffic on the SoCal freeways for hours on end. Well, at least that's what he was to latter tell himself, and others when he told stories about his futile exploits.


Gavin lay on the carpeted floor of his bedroom staring through the sliding glass doors to his balcony at the moon. It was full, large, and bright. There was nothing left in the room except for him, a blanket, and a pillow. It was around midnight on the day that he was to move 2400 miles away to his new old home, California. He had been in Upstate SC for the last eight years of his life. The really important years to. The ones where you learn about masturbation, women, sex, love, friendship, hope, betrayal and heartbreak. Usually in that order. He had just dropped out of college after completing his second semester at a local two year private college with a 4.0 gpa. It was all paid for by an academic scholarship. He was the favorite student of all of his professors and could have gone to any University in the state had he not decided to give it all up because of a girl. You know what the major flaw of a hopeless romantic is? I mean beyond the hopelessness. Being a hopeless romantic.

His girlfriend of about six months broke up with him because he had renounced Christianity. He was driving a blue ford ranger straight drive while working for Steak Out. It's a steak and potato delivery joint. He looked up at the magnificent sky at sunset, while driving back to the steak joint from a delivery, and all at once it occurred to him that there was no God. He was 18 at the time. This epiphany came all at once, as epiphanies have a tendency of doing. The thought ricocheted throughout his mind and came out of his mouth. For many people in many different places through many different eras this need not have been a big deal, but he was living in the Bible Belt attending at private Christian College and dating a Southern Baptist at the time. So when he sat down in his girlfriend's parents living room one night around midnight to inform his girlfriend of his new found lack of a belief, he didn't expect her mother to be in attendance to the private conversation he was having with her daughter. She was in the hall, ease dropping.

His timing probably wasn't the best. They had just gotten back from watching a million dollar production that was put on by "the" Baptist church every year about the Birth of Jesus the Christ just before Christmas. That's no stretch to say a million dollars either. It was probably more than a million dollars. However, he probably should have waited for the religious sentiment and guilt to die down a bit before unveiling his new found Atheism. Kelly took it pretty well. Everything might have worked out a bit longer for Gavin and Kelly had her mom not been there to hear all about how there was no God and the whole damn thing was just a hoax. The piece of information that may have changed this whole tragedy that lead to Gavin dropping out of college with a 4.0, moving to Southern California, and subsequently enlisting in the Navy and ending up an ambulance driver was not to be found out by him until approximately ten years later. Kelly was a lesbian. Although she had no idea at the time, at least she wasn't sharing the information with anybody if she did know. That information was cause for one hell of a "you gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me" moment for Gavin upon his finding it out.

"You mean I fuckin' dropped out of college with a full ride, moved to Southern California, enlisted in the Navy, got kicked out of the Navy, damn near died from several drug over doses, went to jail numerous times, got several DUI's, and ended up drivin' this god damn meat wagon for wages just above minimum wage all because she was a lesbian?"

"It would seem that way wouldn't it."

"Well I'll be a god damn mother fucker!!!"

He was informed by Kelly in a letter that they could no longer be together. She gave him the letter in between English 102 and criminology. That's when he looked forward to seeing her every day. It's when he knew he would see her because they crossed paths on the way to the next class. He was heart broken, as you could no doubt deduce for yourself. The letter informed him that it wasn't that she didn't love him or that she had that big of a problem with his atheism, because she didn't, but that her mother had threatened to take away her car and kick her out of the house if she didn't break up with him. He couldn't blame her at the time. It was a great relationship and they had not had sex yet, which he never really understood until about ten years later. His rational mind got it, but that did not translate into the emotion dispatching regions of his brain. He was heart broken. To make matter worse it was only about half way through the semester and so he had to see her everyday. He mopped around that campus for the last couple of months.

His professors were all shocked to hear the news that he was not going to be returning the next semester. Nobody could talk him out of it. He was originally from California. He got moved to Upstate SC when he was 10 years old due to a transfer of his mother's job. He had spent the last eight years on the other side of the country away from all of his family, less his mother. After being forced to want what he couldn't have by way of a closeted lesbian for several months, moving to the other side of the country where the grass was clearly greener seemed like an outstanding out, and idea for that matter. His mother was just waiting for him to finish college, or move out of her town house and onto a University campus, before she moved back to California. So when he came to her and told her that he wanted to move back to California he didn't have to do too much convincing.

"Are you sure?"



That was about how long it took him to convince her. If he had had a father around to smack him upside the head and point at all of the other feminine fish swimmin' around he may have avoided that tragic mistake, but life has it's way of turning you into a stale fart from time to time.

It was hours before he would get up with his mother and drive the Uhaul, with his car in tow, to the other side of the country. He was lying there thinking about how he wasn't going to get a chance to say good bye to his best friend Chris. Chris was supposed to show up a few hours ago and never did. This was before the age of ubiquitous cell phones, and so knowing why he had not shown up was still left to the realm of mystery. The lack of communication technology did not fill a void, it created one and then filled it. There was nothing wrong with not having access to somebodies consciousness at all times as a requirement for psychological health. Gavin was upset at the prospect of not being able to see Chris before he left for California but not to the degree he would have been had Chris not been returning phone calls because he had a cell phone attached to his hips at all times. Life was much simpler before regular bowel movements would only be a quality of ones life if a cell phone attached to the internet cloud was constantly available to all of mankind.

Gavin lay their wondering why the hell Chris hadn't showed up when he heard some prying sounds outside of his two story balcony. Throughout the years Gavin had found it necessary to use his second story balcony as an escape hatch for scandalous teen age boy shenanigans, and Chris was aware of that route. In fact, he was using it to gain access to his best friend without alerting the adult in the house. Fortunately for the two of them, and many a teenage girl, Gavin's mother had no idea that they were capable of climbing down from one balcony to the wooden porch rails belonging to the down stairs porched in area like a spider monkey down a tree. Chris was busy scaling up and that's what Gavin heard. Before Gavin had a chance to get out from under his covers on the floor to find out what the sounds were he saw his buddy illuminated by moonlight emerging on his balcony. He got up and opened the sliding glass door.

"You didn't think I was going to let you take off to California without on more trip to the Waffle house did ya?" Said Chris.

They both slithered down the balcony and into Chris's Mitsubishi Eclipse. They did what they had done a hundred times before and ate a late night Waffle house meal of Waffles and Burt's chili laced with enough Tobasco sauce to kill an average adult male. They didn't talk about why Gavin was leaving or give any indication that he was leaving. They talked about the usual stuff they talked about. 18 year old boy stuff like the latest on the hottest snatch in town and what their stupid friends were up to. Time slowed for the two friends as they had their last meal together (as far as they knew at the time at least). After the meal they drove back to Gavin's townhouse in silence. The reality was starting to set in. This was the last time they would make this trip. It was the end of an 8 year friendship that went beyond simply filling the hours together in sport and trouble. Their friendship was a brotherhood just as tight as any biological brothers could have ever been. It was one of necessity with the common landscape of having no father figure around for any length of time. Together they traversed the strange and uncomfortable perils of adolescents. Conversations between lost and guilty 14 year old boys that sounded like:

"So I heard Mike's mom walked in on him whacking off the other day."

"Ewww, what a nasty ass pervert!"

"I know, right. I mean I've never done that before." Chris looks down at the table their sitting at playing a game of Rumi.

"Yeah, me either, that's just nasty."

"I know...but I mean, if you had done it before it would be okay."

"ha ha ha, yeah...I know, but I've never done that before. I mean if you had I wouldn't think any less of you it's just.."

"Have you ever jacked off before?" Asked Chris.

"Well, no, I mean...have you?"

"Well, no, I mean there was this one time."

"You too dude!!!" Said Gavin as they realize together that the bag of guilt bricks they'd been carrying around for the better part of a year could finally be set down.

"You mean, you've chocked your chicken before to?"

"Have I!! Like every day for the last two years."

"Me too!!!"

And that's how they found out that suffocating the purple headed monster until he spit up was normal for teenage boys. There was no father around for either of them to get that talk. Throughout the years of middle school and high school they had always been there for each other. They were already growing to be quite different people, but their history kept them bonded. And now they were in the parking lot of Gavin's place trying to ignore the awkward fact that this was it. Their friendship was now going to be separated by a great continent in the time before cell phones when AOL chat was cutting edge communication technology on cutting edge dial up computer screens that still weighed as much as a non-flatscreen television.

"Chris, I hate goodbyes. So let's just act like were going to see each other tomorrow like normal."

"Yeah." Said Chris as the tears welled up. Gavin's tears were on the verge of destroying his manliness as well. "That sounds like a good idea."

Gavin offered his hand and said "You've been like a brother to me."

"So have you."

"I'll see you tomorrow." Said Gavin.

"Yeah, see you tomorrow." And Gavin walked behind the townhouses and scaled back up while Chris drove his Eclipse back home.


Gavin and his mother hit the road at the crack of dawn. It was Gavin's second trip across the great nation. He crossed as a child the first time and now he was a young man at the beginning of a voyage into full blown manhood. A voyage that took about ten years to complete and traveled a crucible of scandal, misery, ghastly and wondrous happenings, depraved debauchery in pursuit of truth, spiritual and intellectual awakenings, and finally ending in domestication by the hands of a crafty female web.

On the way to California there was an optimism that only awakend at times like those. The road moved beneath his life while he stayed stationary behind the wheel. This was the true American manifest destiny manifesting in a very real way in Gavin's life. It would prove to be an addiction for many years. It would take many years of struggle for him to realize that his father was not going to be found when the pavement stopped moving. That's the nature of the American in his automated internal combustion horse who sets out on that mystical western journey. There are about 2400 miles one can go until the pavement runs out and the journey must either go seaward or stop. Gavin eventually took that journey seaward and continued west all the way to the straight of Hormuz and back again. In college he had gone East across the pond all the way to England and France, and he found God nowhere. Shortly after that college trip was when he saw God's absence in that beautiful sunset. Now he was to try going west. But he would go back and forth for quite some years before finally settling down back East where he didn't belong.

They arrived in Southern California four days latter. The entire trip Gavin's head was full of all of the endless possibilities of not knowing. On the road your life is suspended in a womb of change that is warm and subtle. Nothing can stop your imagination from the pure optimism inflated by endless possibilities. Nothing can stop that process except the destination at the end of the road. The first day at your destination is usually all about realizing that reality exists everywhere and you can't escape it. It took Gavin about two weeks to realize that he wasn't done with that mystical high brought on by a 2400 mile journey alone in a vehicle. After California ignored his unique specialness, and mostly just greeted him with a failure to fulfill the wild narrative he had crafted over months of dreaming about the change, he realized that maybe he had made a mistake. Maybe his comfortable surroundings lined with friendships and familiar landscapes were more important than he had realized. Maybe he wasn't ready to once again move away from everything he knew to again become anonymous. His cousins, once like brothers, and extended family had all marched on with their lives. They were all happy to see him and his mother, but they all had their own lives. They had all changed as people as he and his mother had. To Gavin they were more like strangers than strangers were like strangers. After two weeks of not fitting in anywhere, mostly because he was not very social and too scared to bridge those gaps that come from anonymity, he found a way back to the good ole familiar south where everything he knew was. His Grandfather had put back a couple hundred dollars for him in a C.D. somewhere when he was young for college purposes. After talking with his mother he found out that he could turn that into cash in hand if he wanted it. His grandfather was alright with him using it for whatever purpose he saw fit. So, armed with 1000 dollars in hard cold cash, he packed his two door Saturn SC2 coupe with books, c.d.s, clothing, a computer, stereo, rock climbing, repelling, and backpacking equipment and hit the interstate system due east without his mother. This was his first voyage out of his mother's nest. It lasted about two weeks and he was back in Southern California for good this time. At least for temporary good. When he got back to South Carolina he was once again hit by the hard cold bitch of reality. In two weeks South Carolina had all moved on without him. His unique specialness had failed to leave a lasting mark, at least not one that he could find. It wasn't in the hole he had buried it in. It seems that the nature of all things left alone is decay. Chris was happy to see him as were his other friends. Even his high school lover, his first love, the one who lost her virginity to his, was happy to see him. But not happy enough to give up her current boyfriend to make him feel at home like she had told him on AOL instant messaging. The people here, who still resided in the home of his adolescents, had all believed him when he said he was moving to California. How were they to know that when he left he was really just kidding and that he would be back in short order? So when he left, he effectively finished the last chapter of the book of his adolescents. He would return to South Carolina in short order. It would take about six months, and it was only because that's where the United States navy told him to go.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What We Contemplate We Will Imitate

John Michael Greer's voice has permeated my consciousness quite deeply for the last couple of years. I've been following his blog for as long, and in that time I have read four of his books and I'm about to start reading the latest "Apocalypse Not." As far as I can tell his influence on my life has brought great balance through advanced philosophical thinking tempered in a reality that's hard to find elsewhere. I first ran into JMG by stumbling across his blog due to my interest in Peak Oil. That journey started for me in 2007 when I found myself in a local Books A Million searching for a new book to read. I was in the "Social Events" section and James Howard Kunstler's "The Long Emergency's" spine caught my attention as it was no doubt designed to do.

I was just looking for a good read as related to current affairs in our world. At the time I was at the end of a five year journey through the conspiracy theory as pertains to the projection of society. That particular adventure landed me in the controlling propaganda of one Alex Jones. Mr. Jones uses a lot of truth to convince his listeners that the Illuminati, a group that supposedly traces their lineage all the way to the "Knights Templar," and then clear up to the eye of the All Seeing Eye on top of the pyramid featured on the United States Dollar and hidden beyond the 33 degree of Free Masonry. This group supposedly also has ties to the Zionist Jew's who seek to control the world completely via their ties with Satan's plan which will culminate in the Christian Apocalypse. All of this got started in earnest with the conspiracy of 9/11, which no doubt was a conspiracy, but more on the part of psychopathic Oligarchs who compose the 1% that the Occupy Wall Streeter's are so pissed at. Their group of cohorts is wrapped up almost entirely with the Bilderberger's which further delineates into the Council on Foreign Relations, Nato, the United Nation's, the World Bank, World Health Organization, and the IMF which all conspire to formulate the NewWorld Order that Bush Sr. was supposedly talking about. All of this conspiracy theory makes a lot of sense, especially if you are Christian. No doubt this particular superbly crafted conspiracy theory lends itself to the Christian mind quite nicely. After all, if you believe in Heaven, Hell, Satan, God, Jesus and Revelations than this is all a reality that gets it's roots from the foundation of your beliefs about reality. If you believe in all of the requirements of Christianity than believing in a cabal such as the Illuminati is really no stretch.

I got wrapped up in all of this because of a dream I had which was brought on by the viewing of "The Passion of the Christ." It was a brief dream in which I experienced what I felt to be the incarnation of pure evil. It scared the wits out of me and I found myself briefly descending into a concentrated study of Christian end times. I quickly became a "Revelation's Scholar," and found myself deep in the bowels of the conspiracy theory mentioned above. If nothing else it's extremely entertaining and meaningful where applied to the view of the world that expounds from Christian belief. This theorizing about Satan's own conspiracy provides a deep seated house for man's age old belief about good and evil. This great binary is actually a fiction; albeit a widely believed fiction. One I fell victim to. For me it provided a meaningful framework for how my life had turned out. As I have said, if you believe in Revelation's than believing in this conspiracy theory is no great leap. In fact it's written into the very narrative that the Bible provides. That same narrative springs from our evolutionary method of thinking that is so deeply implanted in our brains. That conspiracy theory is the final product of thousands of years of connecting the dots in a Christian world. In that world the conspiracy is indeed true, but that world is not true. That world is a black and white, good and evil, dualistic binary split. It is not the product of reality but the product of fantasy. It has nothing to do with reality beyond the religious imagination so ubiquitous in our world. However, that world was the world I was to begin climbing out of with the discovery of James Howard Kunstler's "The Long Emergency."

What I knew was that something was drastically wrong with the world I was living in. TLE provided me with a realistic out from the conspiracy world I was living in. However, Peak Oil, true as it is, still functions very well in that world of binary thinking. In this new picture Peak Oil became good and all of the populace who had no idea about it provided the evil. I had escaped from the religious overtones but not from binary thinking. This is where John Michael Greer enters in to provide the final exercise in thinking that would exercise me from that binary world. First, however, he provided me with a meaningful response to the draconian ramifications that Peak Oil created. The "Green Wizard Project," launched shortly after I became an avid follower of "The ArchdruidReport, John Michael Greer's weekly blog, provided the outline for that response. The basic message he was disseminating was that Peak Oil was true, and definitely had drastic consequences, but not necessarily apocalyptic ones. In his brilliance, he did not just come right out with the message that nobody in the Peak Oil movement wanted to hear; that message is that Peak Oil does not spell the end of humanity. It does not spell Mad Max, or complete anarchy in an epidemic ravaged world where only lone survivors in cabins in the woods can weather. His message was a slow message starting with "The Long Descent" and continuing on into his present message. The present message finally focuses our sites on his most controversial role as a leader within the Peak Oil movement, Magic.

Indeed, the irony of John Michael Greer is that he is the most logical and realistically down to Earth voice in the Peak Oil literature while at the same time filling a position of an Arch Druid in the Occult world of magical thinking. Surprisingly enough, with a blog titled "The Arch Druid Report," he still managed to dodge what should have otherwise been cause for nobody taking him seriously, and he did it in plain site. He could have titled his blog something completely unrelated to that kooky, fringe thinking world of Occult Magic, but he didn't. Again, this turns out to be a testament to his brilliance as a writer and social critic concerning matters of the near and distant future of mankind. For many years his position as an Occult leader was never addressed in his blog concerning the realities of Peak Oil. Now he is purposefully and adeptly transmitting the message which emanates from his position as an Arch Druid. Whether this was his ultimate goal can only be known by him as of now. Now, however, he has found himself in a position to address the issues of Magic in a world of thinkers who should have distanced themselves from him from the beginning due solely to the title of his blog.

His current project is explaining the relevance of Occult training in the tradition of magic to a world reeling in harsh realities brought on by it's own supposedly logical and scientific thinking. The worship of science over the last couple of hundred of years has brought us face to face with a potential apocalypse. The apocalypse created by our worship of cheap, abundant, and concentrated energy. A slow motion apocalypse that will no doubt equal a lot of suffering on the part of humanity. Greer does not argue that there won't be large scale austerity, but that there won't necessarily be a fast collapse of western industrial civilization. He paints a picture that features a "Long Descent" into an Ecotechnic future making it's grand appearance slowly in a couple hundred of years. This is not a dramatic portrait that we will see in our lifetimes and therefore not much fun. There is nothing sensational about a slow descent into the future which is a product of Greer's ternary thinking. What he is doing now, I believe, is attempting to coach humanity into a realistic option for addressing the realities brought on by the truth of Peak Oil. Yes, we have to address these issues, and no it doesn't necessarily mean that Satan is going to descend onto humanity via plague, starvation, and Illuminati, police state marshal law in an inevitable reduction of humanity by approximately 6 billion miserable deaths. So how are we to avoid that apocalyptic future so prevalent due to the issue of Peak Oil? That seems to be the lesson that John Michael Greer is teaching us now. I challenge anybody reading this to read the Archdruid Report and point out any lunacy therein. I understand that clearly a self titled Arch Druid of Druidism cannot possibly have any answers to be taken seriously. At least I understand how one might think that.

Is it possible that maybe your scientific view of reality has been usurped by the absence of imagination?  The fact of the matter is that reality does not belong to Science alone. It belongs to the picture that emerges in the collective mind of humanity. Science does not understand that mind entirely, but it is a product of it. Followers of Science take on the same qualities as followers of Christianity. Both claim to know the truth crafted by the binary thinking so prevalent amongst both branches of reality. Both skew the truth through their chosen lens. That truth can only be viewed through either the scientific or religious lenses. Greer seeks to point out that there is indeed a third lens one can use. That lens includes the other two and synthesizes them into a new reality. A reality that just might be the best possible truth. Thesis, antithesis and synthesis. My understanding is that he is leading us down the middle path found between the dualistic extremes. What he is providing is a message that has been hidden in plain site. He is deciphering the language of reality for us. In so doing he is providing us with our own power. The power to influence the world in the best possible way. John Michael Greer is providing your evolutionary mind with an out. He's clearly outlining a worm hole that will take us into the future we will hopefully create. If it catches on, and enough of us believe in the power of human imagination harnessed by our collective will, than maybe we can craft an Ecotechnic future that will become reality. A true transcendence with enough room for hope. Without hope we are nothing worth caring about. Our future does not have to be a tragic one. That is the message and the hope that John Michael Greer is providing to those who will listen. The message, transmitted in his latest blog: "what you contemplate you imitate." I think we will do well to contemplate his message for obvious reasons. We should apply his message to Aristotle's own and at least entertain the thought. Only mankind has the ability to save him from himself. Wishful thinking devoid of any reality will not accomplish that rescue, but magical thinking? That is a divine irony in a divine-less world.