Sunday, November 10, 2013


I’ve been reading Fritjof Capra’s “The Turning Point.” On most mornings, I get up about an hour before PQ and take a cup of coffee and a book to my sacred rocker along with a pencil because I have to write comments and insights as I read. Also, I let the cat out and frequently after reading a few pages, join her, look at the mountain for a few minutes and ask how to put insights and ah haw moments to work. Now, back to The Turning Point, I’ve had a pristine copy of this book for a very long time. I really don’t know how long but the book was printed in 1982 and had never been opened. It obviously dated to before my days at the Tattered Cover Bookstore because their sticker wasn't on it . That means that I was still working at ARCO and probably bought it at Together Books now long extinct, where I often stopped on my walk home (yes, I walked the mile and half to and from work every day in all weather). This was truly eons ago. 

Looking for another book to read last week, since I didn’t have the cash to buy a new one I browsed through my old books and spotted The Turning Point. Of course, I was shocked when I noticed it had never been opened and the pages were turning yellow from age. I came very close to putting it back on the shelf since surely it was outdated after 30 plus years.  After all, technologies that didn’t exist back then are necessities now. However, I decided to look it over for the quaintness it must inevitably contain.  Instead, I was shocked to discover that all the problems it exposed in our techno corporate growth driven competitive world are even truer now than back then.  The one change I can think of is that the wolves now wear sheep skins and talk politically correct mumbo jumbo but they are even more rapacious than they were thirty years ago. 

Maybe we are on a runaway train of exponential consumption and nobody knows how to get off safely. We are tied tighter into the same monster system than we were in 1982.  When I was about 13 years old, I had a horse named shorty.  One day I decided to ride him with a snaffle bit instead of the usual curb bit. For those who aren’t into riding, the rider has a lot more leverage with a curb bit. Shorty decided he wanted to go home when we were about a quarter of a mile away.  He took off for home and I couldn’t stop him. We approached the corral gate at a full gallop and I was riding bare back. I saw the gate coming up and knew that in another second, he would put the brakes on and I would be draped over it. I just relaxed into the inevitability of my fate. I wasn’t injured, not even bruised. Perhaps there is something about relaxing into fate that makes survival more likely.  I don’t think anyone knows how to fix the problems of economy, ecology and ecosystems of all kinds. Humanity has backed itself into a corner and most of the rescue plans issue from the same mindset as the problem. When things really get bad instinct begins to stimulate the creative mind and I don’t believe reason will ever solve these lethal problems.

Mother Earth Dreaming the World, Acrylic on Canvas
The shadow side of reason is absolute insanity and that is exactly the basis of current political power backed by a science that works for the military industrial system. Only feeling can guide us out of this dilemma. By feeling, I don’t mean emotion of the kind stirred up by political issues and propaganda.  Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukashima haven’t been enough to convince the world powers that nuclear fuel is lethal on a cosmic scale. They are still thinking of ways to make it work. I don’t believe this mentality is something we can fight. Another fight will simply create a more reactive enemy. Fighting is exactly what this mentality knows best. This is one of the reasons I stay away from conspiracy theorists and doomsayers.  I myself have spent too much time contemplating the disaster potential in the modern world. We are bombarded first into panic then numbness by it. The constant news of disasters makes each individual disaster obsolete in a few months.  Now perhaps the most powerful tropical storm in recorded history has swept over the Philippines who only recently experienced a 7.1 earthquake.  Is it the result of global warming and if it is what can I do?

Wu Wei comes to mind. It is the Taoist way of non-struggle and allows the spirit of instinctual knowing and intuition to emerge above the Fray.   I’m always amazed at the way conservative Christians attempt to project the anti-Christ onto one charismatic leader after another when it is obvious that the anti-Christ is the shadow side of our patriarchal leader/savior concept projected onto this or that screen over and over. This must be one of the greatest projection screens in world history seriously dwarfing IMAX. The patriarchal warrior warlord mentality is probably at least 12,000 years old, and we have the luck to live at its pinnacle when it seems to be climaxing like a super nova. 

In the time of the Old Testament, prophets often lived out their prophesies as an example of what was happening to the nation; street theater at its best. We have a situation in which the human mind is back in the pre Iron Age world while technology has developed a disconnected mind of its own that rules us all.  Idealistic terrorists blow themselves up and isn’t it a mirror image of what our society is doing slowly and sometimes not slowly. We recognize the madness in individuals but not in societies especially ours.  I recently ran into a bookmark I scribbled on at the time of the Sandy Hook massacre.  

We are getting the usual scientific myopic reductionist analysis of what was wrong with Adam Lanza, i.e. a faulty brain, but what if he is an example of a cell of humanity acting out its disconnect and lack of functional membership in the body of humankind. I’m thinking holistically. He wasn’t pure evil but a frustrated, alienated creature who didn’t have any place in his environment. His situation is similar to a caged wild animal that suddenly turns on its handler and whoever is in range with explosive rage.  It is the compromised cells in the body that break down first under stress, and if we were paying attention, we would see that as a warning.  

Disconnected information is blasting at us like a sandstorm that won’t quit. There is no way to take it all in and stay in one piece. We don’t know what’s going on next door but we get constant information about what is happening across the world, even though it is filtered information.  Ironically, knowledge becomes more and more specialized. Attempting to understand the world organism by analyzing the parts is not working.  It’s time to put away the microscope and see a bigger picture. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. I hear the avalanche of reality starting to creak and groan at the beginning of its journey from  the mountaintop.