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Today is the present… be the gift.

Abuse October 13, 2011

Been too long since I’ve taken time to reflect, assimilate and digest. Contrary to profuse and numberous distractions, however, life is good — at least in the grander sense and bumps in the road aside.

For reasons related to a lot of things I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ‘abuse’…. what it is… that is, what defines it… where is the line crossed? what are the objective dimensions of that line and where does subjective experience enter in…?

What I’ve arrived at: it seems that we — society as a whole, that is — have developed a type of cognitive dissonance about what we classify (or not) as ‘abusive’… and how we deal with it. Take for example the actions taken by officials in Topeka, Kansas, to unadopt a local law on domestic violence due to a budget crunch… A sane person who has studied the facts would be hard put not to wonder why ‘domestic violence’ (which typically victimizes women and children) was targeted and not, let’s say, the prosecution of cannabis (marijuana) crimes where there is no victim involved?

What does this say about ‘us’ — the Great American Society? 

 And if actions really do speak louder than words, how do we turn this into a win/win/win….???

 

The Power June 2, 2011

First, for the record, life in my blissful meadow (see: BirthDays, below) has been glorious, invigorating and busy these past three months. A variety of household projects that had forever been on the ‘to-do’ list (with ‘no time’ to do them) are steadily being completed. And I derive a great sense of satisfied pleasure from doing such things as painting a ceiling or cleaning a cupboard. For one thing, the finished result is gratifying. For another, the time spent doing the work grants space of mind for reflection, contemplation and assimilation and, in light of all of this, all I can say is ‘life is good’.

Still in this context, I find myself day-by-day more deeply troubled by what I observe in the ‘real world’ that surrounds my personal realm, grieved by many stark contrasts. Within this past week, for example:

<> A Marine was gunned-down in a hail of bullets, in front of his wife and children, during a ‘legal’ home-invasion by a SWAT firing squad.

<> A seven-year-old child was shot in cold blood and died in her grandmother’s arms at the hands of another SWAT execution squad on another ‘routine’ home-invasion mission.

<> An elementary school teacher (in an eloquent demonstration of bravery, compassion and courage) led her class in playful song and gave out candy as they all lay prone to the floor so the barrage of drug-warrior bullets that blazed through schoolroom windows would pass over their heads.

<> A group of civic activists, bent on exercising the Constitutionally guaranteed right to ‘peaceably assemble’, chose to ‘dance’ (quietly and politely) at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. in protest of what seems clearly to be an unconsititutional policy that makes it a crime to ‘dance’ on certain federally managed ‘public lands’. Resultant of this, a number of the dancers were (voraciously) arrested and least one of the dancers was (abusively) body-slammed to the marble floor for failing to comply with this unconstitutional (and thus ‘illegal’) ‘order’.

And of these atrocities, I personally find the last most horrifying… though I understand that many may think of it as the most trivial. Yet it is illustrative of how insidious and sublime the ‘police state’ mentality has become; how routinely we accept it as ‘natural and normal’ that WE (the people) could permit and enable and support and endorse ANY ‘public official’ who would have the audacity to make a law against ANY OF US DANCING on OUR OWN PROPERTY…!!!!

All of which brings me to that which prompted me to post an update here today, from something I wrote to a discussion group I randomly participate in, which follows:

re: “The power the people give the government is beyond the scope of governing the country, in most places.” — precisely and potently put. Is that an original thought, or the wisdom of some erudite sociopolitical philosopher with whom I am unacquainted?

And yet ‘the people’ (in most places) seem not to comprehend this simple truth, preferring (it seems to me) to ‘take orders’ and ‘be directed’ by ‘those who are superior’… ie: an ‘authority figurehead’. And this is something that none of us can ‘change’ in others… each person must, it seems to me, come into this ‘consciousness’ (maturity) entirely alone, as an act of self-determination… as discussed in Brodie’s “Virus of the Mind.”

As to philosophical views being reused, of course <smile>. Endlessly recycled with ‘new and improved’ generational spin. There is, we are told, nothing new under the sun <smile>. And still, we (society) have so far miserably failed to arrive at ‘nirvana’, in direct opposition to what we say we want… ie: the ‘good life’ (heaven on earth, sanctuary, peaceful prosperity; environmental, ecologic and economic health) for everyone. Thus it would seem self-evident that there must be a ‘missing link’ or ‘key element’ that we are (innocently or ignorantly) overlooking.

For example, in context of freedom, each person’s ‘working definition’ of and expectation about what it means to be free is inculcated during the most formative years of life. Social ‘norms’ are inherited by osmosis from generations of ancestors. Failure to participate in this standardized cultural ‘group think’ generally gets one professionally ostracized, socially shunned, criminally interdicted -or- celebrated as a movie star… And still, in terms of overall (societal) well-being this does not seem like ‘freedom’ to me but more like a covertly self-inflicted form of indenture… Anyway, good chatting with you… (((hugs)))  ~Christine

 

BirthDays March 2, 2011

If I had gone to our state capitol today, in the hopes of addressing the membership of one of the various legislative committees who are considering bills which — in my self-esteemed wisdom — deserve critical attention, then I would not have shared breakfast and conversation with my daughter. Reason enough, it could rightly be said, for not going. But the issue to me is bigger than that.

Today, I am 62.

Thus, in my self-esteemed wisdom applied to me, I have arrived at a new benchmark. The beginning of a time in space where I get to more freely choose those things that will fill my present moments. And, with my children now predominately at the helms fo their own lives, my business obligations all satisfied, a comfortable roof over my head, a reliable vehicle to drive and the benevolence of a tidy Social Security pension, the expanses of what I may if I wish to do with my time are, perhaps for the first real time since I was twelve, seemingly limitless.

This is an odd and wonderous place to be, the liberating sensations of which wash over me like warm effervescent tides of sunshine and smiles.  It is a lovely place of mind to simply be. No ‘pressure’ of any great magnitude to ‘get things done’. Not that there isn’t a ‘to-do’ list — which I know is a double negative, but serves the point well. Because there is and will always be a to-do list. Its rigors, whether consciously chosen or memetically engendered, are assigned from our first breath of life.

Knowing this, when posed with a meaningful and substantive equation to resolve — such as ‘what do I want to do with the rest of my life?’ — my solution is simple. I ask myself “What will I be doing the day after all the ‘problems’ are resolved?” And of course the operative ‘problems’, generally speaking, constiute a whole lot of different things and are usually respective of the circumstances immersing my moment-to-moment reality.

At one time in my life, for about ten years, the ‘problem’ was how to steward our family resources to make sure all the bills got paid, that we had a comfortable home, reliable transportation, nutritious food and suitable clothing while homeschooling four children and being the (hopefully) loving spouse of a disabled person.  That decade resounded with a series of life-quaking problems, such as arriving home from work one day to find all four of our children (then ages 9, 7, 5 and 3) ‘missing’ from our home and yard while their dad slept on the couch and, when awakened, had no idea where they were.

It was a revelation for me to come to grips at that moment with the inhibiting constraints of my husband’s disablilty.  The ‘problem’ was real and huge. That instant of cognition added a heaping of ‘new tasks’ to my to-do list, some immediate and many long-term.

Thankfully, the children were quickly found playing at a neighbor’s. And I resolved in that moment for everyone’s sake that my husband — whose dysfunction is predominantly cognitive — must never be left alone with reponsibility for our children ever again. Thus, until we divorced some years later (by that time our eldest was 18 and our youngest was 12) I was effectively a single-parent ‘head of household’ for a family of six. And trust me, there were many problems.

But always there was this vision of what life would be like ‘after’ all the problems were resolved, and a yearning for some sort of blissful meadow of contentment to prevail in my life and, to whatever degree it is in my power to affect it, in the lives of all others… all of which comes with its own set of problems. Such as, for example, the crossroads I am camped at now: Taking stock. Inventorying my ‘to do’ list. Assessing what is (and what is not) truly important to me… Asking myself, somewhat obsessively, ‘what do I want to do with my time now that I am more free than I have ever been as an adult to make the choice…??? 

And the truth of the matter is that I just don’t know yet…

What I do know is that I don’t want the rest of my life to be a recurring processional of things I have already done, which brings me back to the legislative hearings I did not attend. For better or worse I have been doing my bit as a ‘good citizen’ to uphold my civic duties for over forty years. And, respectfully, over the passage of time I have done this with increasing vigor. But now I have arrived at a break-point and before I take another step forward I need to assimilate, digest and ponder which direction I really want to go…

Which is exactly what I am doing and, as with the choice I made this morning, this path of ‘not’ doing is feeling pretty good…. except for the part of me that still feels a duty to share what I’ve learned about all of this stuff over the course of the last 62 years, in the hopes of making life better, easier, simpler and more satisfying for everyone, every day.  So I’ll have to see what I can do about that… (((hugs)))

 

Teapot Party January 24, 2011

I have started another blog to address specifically those topics near and dear to the hearts of the Teapoters I’ve met to date… not that all of the topics addressed on gocannabis.wordpress.com are near and dear to the motivation of each or all of the respective civic-activists who have flocked together under the Teapot Party banner raised by Willie Nelson, yet whether their respective dedication is to industrial hemp, environmental health, economic well-being, medicinal cannabis, religious freedom, social justice, civic effectiveness, prison reform or the simple liberty to raise a glass of beer in a public place and toast a musician they adore, there is a among us a unifying theme about cannabis-hemp: Legalize It, Regulate It, Tax It.

Legalize it by removing it from the Federal Drug Schedule, subjected to no more regulatory scrutiny than are the tomato plants, cucumbers, mint, basil or corn routinely grown in grandpa’s garden or grandma’s backyard.

Regulate it the same way that asprin and beer are regulated in the commercial marketplace. Draw a clear distinction between ‘personal private’ cultivation/consumption, from which government is prohibited to intervene, and industrial applications, including pharmaceuticles, nutritional products, foods, health and body care products, building materials, etc., etc., and so on which are marketed to the general public and which it is the duty of government to regulate all such commercial/industrial activity for the benefit of the collaborative and colletive ‘we the people’.  

Tax it the same way that all commercial goods and services are taxed or not taxed.

In other words, stop making such a big deal about it. Get over it. Get it done and get on with convening global peace. 

The handwriting is on the wall about this, folks. Yet the single question remains: Are we ready to shed our fears and inhibitions? Are we willing to make a unified stand for what is right?

Read the data. Do some research. Learn. Think. What makes practical good sense…? What decision takes us in a truly ‘new’ direction…? Which choice holds the promise of delivering the greatest benefit (at the smallest price tag) to the people we hold dear? And beyond that, to everyone…

How do we stop re-inculcating the animosity that has stagnated progress on this issue…? We fuel every action with vigor for ‘growing’ Global Peace and Prosperity in our own backyards, with a hometown get-er-done ‘barn building spirit’ plan for action at the local level… knowing that as we do this work we are at the same time weaving together a network of change, simultaneously remaking national dispositions by atrition and due process.

Sincerely, I hope you (yes, YOU…!!!) will get involved. Visit gocannabis.wordpress.com to learn more.  ~Christine

 

Fools rush in… January 10, 2011

In reading what follows, you may think me a fool to believe and behave the way I have chosen. And that’s okay. Because my behavior is my choice — given I am cognizantly mature and physio-psycho-logically healthy. But the thing is, if we (individuals) really want things to change in the world around us, we’ve got to devote 100% of our conscious attention to ‘living the way we believe life ought to be lived’ in the present-tense.

Thus this morning when a very polite and professional young woman called to enquire if I had received the packet of materials from the company she worked for, and we exchanged pleasantries about whether I’d read same and what my thoughts were on the product she offered (which I note for the record is a service related to ’emergency health care’, specifically being a type of insurance that would cover certain costs associated with said emergency health care services), as the conversation unfolded and she, being very good at ‘sticking to the script’ of her telemarketing routine, went for the ‘close’ line — wherein the seller points a question intended to provoke a ‘buy’ response — and I responded, very casually, that I did not buy any ‘insurance product’ unless it was somehow mandated, ie: to get car tags, and this because I see insurance as a ‘bet against myself’ wherein in order for me to ‘win’, first I gotta ‘lose’.

Also that I had decided that if I was going to play “what if?” about my future, that I would limit myself to what if-ing about those things that I do actually want… and that respectfully, and no offense intended, but that I do not wish to have need for ’emergency’ health care services, and therefore I was simply not interested to purchase the product she offered.

I also confided to this lovely young woman that I did not think it was right that folks such as those she works for, have to go out beating the bushes to generate income to pay the salaries and maintain the equipment needed to provide ’emergency’ health care services. I said, that I firmly believed that all such costs should be covered by some sort of community action policy… that we (the people) should take care of our own.

And if this young woman happens to read this, I want to thank her for her patient listening. And I also want to advise her that I purposefully planted a ‘meme’ in her thought process which I hope she will contemplate and chat about with friends. Because I intentionally and willfully seeded her consciousness with a ‘different’ idea about ‘normal’ and ‘good’ and ‘how things work’ than that of the paradigm she was pitching… and that she then was thus endorsing… and participating with, and replicating, and handing down to her children one by one.

I’d really like to provoke people to thinking that there is ‘a better way’… that by working together (aka: NOT ‘competing’) collaboratively, there is no mountain too high for a unified ‘us’ to climb… and still, if ‘we the people’ want things in the macrocosm to change, we’ve first got to change them at the microscopic level of introspection.

This is simply ‘the way’ the system works… Or at least, it is how I comprehend it.

 

Happy New Year (?) January 4, 2011

Dead birds, dead fish, gas-fracking and earthquakes

The area included in and to the north of the rectangle is replete with 'gas-fracking' operations and high-pressure 'waste-water disposal' injection wells. Click thumbnail for larger map.

Here in the magnificient Ozarks, the annual old/new year’s transition included dead birds and fish. Lot’s of them. In/near the communities of Beebe and Ozark, which are about 100 miles apart on a roughly east/west line that somewhat parallels I-40/U.S. 64 and encompasses a large stretch of the Arkansas River, whereupon — midway inbetween — sits the Arkansas Nuclear One power-plant generator, and which also happens to be the approximate southern boundry of that region of Arkansas which is in the process of being commercially exploited for Fayettville Shale ‘gas-play’ profits, whereto dozens of complaints are being lodged about fouled drinking water and cluster earthquakes.

Still, we can all start the New Year happy because the experts have concluded that the tens-of-thousands of dead animals probably died as the result of somebody setting off fireworks. And boys will be boys, you know <smile>.  So there is really no cause for alarm.

Does anyone out there ever seriously contemplate Orwell’s “1984”? It was on cable last night. I cried at the end.

The problem (for me) is that I understand all the dimensions, aspects and peculiarities of the (arrogant, abusive, derogatory) ‘machismo’ (boys will be boys, do as I say, but not as I do) mind-set too well… and have come to grips with the reality that people who are driven by ‘competition’ and ‘possessiveness’ have either yet to cognitively mature or have some form of psychological impairment, and are thus doing what they are doing as a sort of knee-jerk pavlovian/reptillian/instinctural “fight, flight, feast, fuck’ reaction… with NO true intellectual comprehension (ie: reason, logic, depth-perception) about ‘why’ such behavior is (in practice of fact) detrimental to everything they ‘say’ they wish to attain.

I understand that such folks live every moment in a ‘reality’ filled with ‘inverse-opposites’ — where they say one thing and do something completely different… and are proud to announce such deviations from an accorded ‘game plan’ as ‘brilliant and absolutely essential’ in order to ‘win’ whatever it is that is sought… however, if some other person were to do exactly the same thing… their head would be on a platter.

And because I understand all this (dysfunctional behavior) as a form of ‘disability’ I do my best to avoid such mine-fields… or at least dance my way through them… <smile>.  However, at some point, where the health and well being of more than one person is at stake, all those affected must have an equal voice in the decision-making process or else we (the citizens) are defacto living under the rule of a ‘dictatorship’…

Which is exactly and precisely ‘the core of the real problem’ we grapple with as a soicety today, whether it is the abject flummox delivered by the people we pay to be ‘experts’ on things like ‘fracking’, whether we pay them to protect and serve us with tax dollars, or directly out-of-pocket when we fill our cars with gasoline, their apparent oblivian to the harm they are wrecking economically, environmentally, and culturally, bespeaks of their own impotence.

And if we citizens fail to eradicate this ‘machismo’ (cover-up) of this obsessiively corrup problem from the microcosm of our everyday dealings, what hope is there for the whole of humankind? Which, by the way, is the point of “HOAX: Manifesto of the Marijuana Prisoners Committee To End the War On Drugs,” a 72-page PDF, authored by Inmate9, now available (free) at inmate9.blogspot.com .  ~~~

 

Democracy July 15, 2010

Filed under: BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALISM,COGNITIVE CYBERNETICS,EDITORIAL — gozarks @ 10:28 am

Thought for the day: Democracy and Majority Rule are NOT synonymous.

In fact, Majority Rule is just a socially polite way of saying Might Makes Right, which is wrong.