Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

Freedom Has Many Faces

In working on “Be an Instrument of Light,” I found it necessary to first return to a post on freedom outlined earlier but set aside as a lower priority.

Here’s why.

angry mob

It appears that Jordan B. Peterson has gone all-out in his verbal war against the “bloody post-modernists” – to the point of distraction. He’s taken the high-visibility lead in controversial “transgender wars.” He ardently hammers so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), defending freedom of speech as the Number ONE priority, foundational to preserving Western civilization.

In all this, his powerful arguments are admirably presented. BUT . . . however noble and technically correct, arguing is not enough.

Put another way, the initial goal of letting adversaries expose themselves for who they are has been accomplished. Now, having succeeded in persuading those of us willing and able to follow his logic, it’s time to move on. There are other, more urgent and fundamentally important battles to be fought.

I’ll explain why I say this and show you where it leads.

book header bird

A Youtube video triggered the following, earlier thoughts on freedom:

In Sorting Yourself Out, Stefan Molyneux questioned Jordan Peterson. How can his libertarian followers relate to the Self-Authoring process?

Because Peterson’s answers closely parallel the premise of Rethinking Survival and its companion Handbook, I quote his comments, Molyneux’s reservations and then put the subject in Life Wheel context.

In describing the Self-Authoring process, Dr. Peterson says:

If you’re not united within yourself – united in relationship to a higher purpose – then you’re weak [fragmented]. And the world will take you apart.

He continues:

A more sophisticated approach is, you formulate a question and you wait for an answer. A prayer might be, I would like to do the best thing I could with my life now.

You have to open yourself up to that. That’s to knock so the door will open. I would like to do the best thing with my life . . What might that be?

. . . you could say you’re leaving yourself open for a revelation or an intuition, but you’re communing with whatever it is that enables you to receive wisdom.

. . . you’re really communing with the structure of the cosmos when you’re asking such a question – especially if you do it properly. It’s really necessary because it orients you properly.

So the demise of prayer – to commune with the better part of myself to determine how I should orient myself in the world . . .  It’s a catastrophic loss not to do that.

Suffice it to say here that his comments presuppose the unified components of the Life Wheel whose hub centers around a creative source experienced as conscience. Reintroducing this ancient concept remedies what has truly been experienced as a catastrophic loss for the good guys, a horrific score for the bad guys.

Taking Dr. Peterson up on the question of “higher purpose,” Molyneux observes:

I think this question of a larger purpose to one’s life – I have a very libertarian-ish independence-minded audience. Whenever I talk to them about the need to subjugate mere personal will and desire to a larger mission in life, it strikes them in a very odd way.

I’ve already addressed the libertarian free-will issue in Practical Ethics. In essence, without a multi-dimensional paradigm of reality, you can’t fully and realistically define free-will or ethics:

What is fundamentally (fatally) missing from logician’s concept of ethics is the dynamic action of karma. The Law of Karma is a fact of life which can’t be argued, but rather is known through direct experience by those who pay attention. It’s axiomatic.

Here’s the kicker: Divine Law at the center of the Life Wheel allows for free will, so dear to the hearts of libertarians. We are created innately free to choose. However, this does not exempt anyone from the psychological consequences at the middle, e = energy level of Natural Law, much less karmic pay-back in the material world on the surface of the Wheel.

One of Webster’s definitions of “freedom” is  “being free from the usual rules or patterns.” While it may be possible to cut loose from behavioral customs and rituals associated with the surface level of the Life Wheel, exemption from the operations of Natural Law at the middle, energy level of the Wheel is impossible. Even worse, presuming to placing oneself superior to Divine Law, as if it exists to give you what you want, is a sure recipe for total disaster.

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Now, here’s where my concern with the current focus on the SJW war is leading. It’s why I chose to return to multi-layered subject of freedom sooner rather than later:

Debating with ignorant, irrational enemies whose “minds” are already made up is as effective as pissing on a forest fire. To my Sun Tze way of thinking, at this late stage, the best response to provocation is to get safely out of their reach and regroup to minimize loses. For the most part, the motives that drive protesting mobs are neither pristine nor positive. Their methods are vulgar at best, if not violently destructive.

Worse, it’s futile waste of precious time better spent on urgently important issues being overlooked.

So here’s my problem. By grabbing center stage attention, immature Luciferian Alinsky minions are serving as unwitting decoys. They’re distracting public attention away from urgent survival issues that REALLY MATTER, running out the clock on precious time left. There’s a high probability that there’s malevolent method to this madness.

The real issues they’re obscuring are ones of basic survival. For if/when our cities are demolished by natural catastrophe, the grid goes down, and the masses are on the brink of starvation, freedom of speech will be the least of their concerns.

As instruments of dark forces pulling the strings from behind the scenes, noisy SJW protesters (an ironic contradiction in terms if ever there was any) are acting as agents of evil, distracting us away from the urgently positive work to be done NOW if mankind is to survive.

As just one example, here’s a summary of James Wesley Rawles best-seller, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse:

America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse— the stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city.

Let’s not forget other threats: solar flares generating CMEs, asteroid strikes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tidal waves, volcanoes, and wars both civil and international. There’s also Einstein’s worst nightmare – nuclear holocaust. One or any combination are eminently possible.

nuclear blast

You wouldn’t know it from mainstream media. Even Glenn Beck’s site featured as the #1 Story That Matters Most, “Woman who said Hobby Lobby cotton decoration is racist speaks out after widespread backlash.” But in fact, hurricane-ravaged islands in the Caribbean are already playing out worst-case disaster scenarios.

Given the seriousness and immediacy of survival issues which trump idealism, I urge JBP as well as his many friends and countless followers to conserve their resources. Focus attention and action where it will do optimal good. Teach those who are open.

There’s some macho satisfaction to be had in crushing ignorant SJWs with powerfully presented pristine logic. But it’s not a fair fight. He has them out-gunned, so to speak, in every respect. Unfortunately, if anything, being so handily humiliated just fans the flames of hatred. It ratchets up the impulse to vengeance.

Like pissing on a forest fire, winning debates is a Pyrrhic victory.

Now, character, as they say, is fate. I haven’t JBP’s strength of will to engage in verbal wars. I personally prefer not go wading in quicksand. The motto of my choice: Resist not evil; persist in the good.

Heeding lessons learned from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it seems far better to win the battles that really count, on our own turf, in our own terms and at the time of our choosing. Not the other guys’.

dragon

Essay 40 on Freedom has already been posted, so I’m including only the most pertinent parts below. Written in the year 2000, it serves to define the middle and inner levels of freedom, expanding on a libertarian view of personal freedom.

THE FRONT

Freedom is the state or quality of being free, implying exemption or liberation from the control of other people or arbitrary powers.

  • It means liberty and independence.

  • It implies exemption from arbitrary restriction or a specified civil right.

  • It can mean exemption or release from imprisonment, or being able to act, move or use without hindrance or restraint.

  • It means being able of itself to choose or determine action freely, at will, implying ease of movement performance or facility.

  • It means being free from the usual rules or patterns.

  • It can also mean easiness of manner, or sometimes an excessive frankness and familiarity.

Like the words peace, love and unity, freedom is a state attained on the inside first, only then reflected in external circumstances. Freedom is a state of in-dependence, depending on inner resources for guidance, protection and peace. The freedom sages seek is the cessation of negative, involuntary patterns of behavior. Breaking the chains of destructive cause and effect is a function of focus combined with self-correction, forgiveness and positive action.

Those secure in themselves dedicate their lives to extending the freedom they value for themselves to others without prejudice. . .

Legal prohibitions cannot end of slavery. Nor is saying and doing whatever one wants as a puppet of blind impulse true freedom. Seeing through negative filters of fear, pride, or apathy is as limiting as literal blindness. Even in a society that calls itself democratic, to the extent we’re unaware of inner wisdom and the laws of natural change, we’re not really free.

Self-mastery attained by thinking and acting consistently from a paradigm that is simple, complete and correct is the most precious and only inalienable freedom.

THE BACK

The opposite of freedom is imprisonment or slavery. This includes not only external, physical incarceration, but internal, self-imposed limitations. Bad attitudes, negative emotions and self-destructive habits can be as addicting as tobacco, alcohol or drugs, undermining personal freedom.

Recklessness and heedlessness are perversions of freedom. If a mistrusted authority says not to drink, smoke or drive too fast, for example, the first thing a rebellious teen will do to assert “freedom” is disobey, regardless of the consequences. Sadly, this is the hard way to learn the connection between foolishness and disaster.

11th hour

Hey, guys. It’s time to get real!

Restore Conscience to its central place in your decision-making process.

Return the ancient, complete and accurate reality paradigm to generally accepted, conscious awareness as your top priority.

All else follows.

 

Angel Calling

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Take the Best

grain

In reading opinion and even “how to” pieces, I recommend the 30/70 principle. With careful attention and a little bit of luck, it’s possible to extract the thirty-percent value from the 70-percent rubbish in which its embedded.

At Oberlin, where I had the good fortune to attend college, this process was described in agricultural terms: “sifting and winnowing.” Founders probably had a biblical allusion in mind: the end-time sorting of wheat from chaff.

Were it not so over-used, “discrimination” in its original meaning would be another way to put it.

I tell you this because I just now revisited the premise of Rethinking Survival, written in 2014. By mid-2017 it seems like a life-time ago. Then, I wrote:

I’ve come to recognize that it’s ideas — usually unconsciously held in the form of automatic-pilot, programmed assumptions — which drive decisions, actions and ultimately, survival options. Even with the best of intentions, people who operate on incomplete, inaccurate and conflicting beliefs undo themselves and harm others .. .

Like passengers on the ship Titanic, we’re approaching ever closer to disaster, not recognizing that we’re steering in a collision course towards extinction.

Though fundamentally the same person I was then, so much has changed that I find myself applying the 30/70 principle to that distant piece of writing.

Yet, the basic concepts are not only valid. They are urgently timely. We are in a world of hurt for lack of their practical applications. So I humbly ask that you read the following excerpt mindfully, take the best, and forgive me the rest.

Still further, if the value of the concept, however imperfectly expressed, touches your heart-mind, then please – for everyone’s sake – take whatever action you can to share them them those who stand to benefit.

flower

PART ONE

GETTING THERE: WHO I AM TO SAY

PREFACE

“Survival” is a primal word. It means to LIVE, the alternative being extinction. Survival is the bottom line. In a life or death situation, the natural instinct is to survive at the cost of everything else. The basics must be secured first. If you’re dead, thriving isn’t an option.

However, as the title suggests, the focus of Rethinking Survival isn’t on “how to” survive. Here, survival implies that there’s more than martial arts skills, back woods know-how and environmental smarts to staying alive. It requires self-knowledge and a connection to one’s deepest roots of origin, as well as a powerful, clearly defined and positive purpose for living. It also requires an educated sense of timing: an acute awareness of alternating cycles — natural pendulum swings between extremes of expansion and contraction — along with the will and patience to ride them out.

This view of survival is the end result of many rethinkings. When answers at home weren’t enough, I searched abroad. Europe. India. Much had to be unlearned as better information replaced cultural conditioning and the -ism filters that distort common sense experience.

Over my lifetime, in the host of different situations described here, I’ve seen the same, increasingly familiar dynamics play out, predictably, comically, were it not for the tragic consequences for individual lives, businesses and even nations.

I’ve come to recognize that it’s ideas — usually unconsciously held in the form of automatic-pilot, programmed assumptions — which drive decisions, actions and ultimately, survival options. Even with the best of intentions, people who operate on incomplete, inaccurate and conflicting beliefs undo themselves and harm others.

Logically, if corrupted ideas are the root of the problem, then restoring a complete and accurate, consciously-held knowledge base is the necessary starting-point of positive change. Our tragedy is that we continue to look for solutions in the wrong places. We depend on experts who, themselves products of a skewed educational system, are not only unable to help. They’re actually part of the problem. Like passengers on the ship Titanic, we’re approaching ever closer to disaster, not recognizing that we’re steering in a collision course towards extinction.

Rethinking concludes that the way out of this terminal confusion begins with shifting to a complete and correct worldview. We need to start over with fresh deck. All the cards have to be there, and none of them marked.

Answers I found in my personal quest reside in the simple eternal truths which people everywhere share in common. Return to these too often forgotten basics heals confusion and paralysis. They’re the foundation of the Positive Paradigm of Change described in Part Two.

I tell my story with the understanding that all of us face the same basic survival questions. They’re common to all humanity, however different the settings and challenges (opportunities) that drive them home. I was raised with America’s myths and got stuck in their misconceptions. I’ve labored to get free of them. It’s my hope that my story will stimulate others to rethink their options as well.

I tell about my journey to make other people’s lives easier. Ultimately, it’s done to tip the scales in favor of human survival.

 

 

 

 

The ELEVENTH HOUR

11th hour sized

In drafting “Do You Have the Time?” I brainstormed all the possible ways this seemingly simple question can be taken (and mistaken). Different interpretations yield significantly different answers.

I also browsed for clip art clock faces to illustrate my point. Coincidentally, the one I chose adds yet another perspective, giving the question a deeper, philosophical meaning: “Do you know what time it is in your life?”

What stage of personal evolution / growth are you going through now? From a larger, historical perspective, what point in its life cycle is your business, nation or even the world experiencing today?

The pictured clock face shows the stage many say the world is now in: its eleventh hour.

Even then, there are different views as to the best way to respond to being at the eleventh hour in human history. The cliché is currently used to mean “running out of time, at the very last minute, or almost too late.”

But biblical origins of the cliché offer an alternative viewpoint. In Matthew 20: 2-16, laborers hired at the last, eleventh hour worked for only an hour. But at the end of the day, they received the same reward as those hired early in the morning, who had worked all day.

Christ’s parable of the eleventh hour epitomizes the hope humans have in God’s compassionate mercy. It’s never to late to change. It’s not over til it’s over.

(Of course, there is no such thing as coincidence.)

globe

Do You Have the Time?

Early this morning, I was startled awake by a cell phone alert. The power was out – for a second time. The first outage occurred over night. I was still asleep, so didn’t know the difference.

Roommates who commute long-distance to work got started just before the electric garage door came to a standstill. (They don’t know how to open it manually.)

Emergency protocols immediately kicked into place. I reached out in the dark for my wind-up flashlight. It was where it should be, on top of the disabled alarm clock. It supplied enough light to find a second, larger LED flashlight. It too was where I expected, on my work desk next to the powerless computer. I made my way carefully down the pitch black stairwell.

Next: get the battery-run lanterns out of storage. In one, the D-cells had gone dead. Look for back-ups.

Fortunately, there’s a battery-run wall clock by the main office door that keeps accurate time. Which is the subject of this post. “Do you have the time?”

Have you ever thought about how many different ways there are to answer this seemingly simple question, “Do you have the time?” My smart-mouthed high school friends, for example, would have answered, “If you have the nerve.”

The most straight-forward response is to look at a time-piece and give a literal answer. It’s 6:30 in the morning.

Alternative answers go along the lines of, I don’t have enough time . . . . to get the many tasks that need doing done well . . . to take care of my health . . . to check in on elderly relatives. Etc. etc.

Philosophical answers might include regret for the shortness and uncertainty of life. “Here today. Gone tomorrow.” Or, as the carved and painted wood plaque over my Grandfather’s fireplace mantle put it, “We get too soon old, and too late smart.”

Which brings me back to the point where I left off in the last post, “Rethinking Our Common Humanity:”

While we all have the option to remember who we truly are, most of us are like Lambert, the sheepish lion. It takes a smack with a two-by-four upside the head before we’re finally ready to WAKE UP.

Often it takes the form of life-threatening danger to those we care for. A personal health crisis will also do the trick. So will job loss or a run-in with natural disaster. But, like Dorothy stranded in the Land of Oz, when you want dearly enough to return “home,” you can click your heels whenever you chose — and come to find out, you’re already there.

Most of us live as if today will last forever. We prefer to live in the moment. In part, this is a good thing. The mindful focus of a “Be here and now” attitude allows us to savor our immediate blessings.

However . . . on the other hand, heedless lack of foresight can have extremely dangerous consequences.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow add up, inevitably sneaking up from behind like a thief in the night when least expected. (And not just a temporary power outage like this morning. Think Pompeii.)

Impending disasters, even those right before our eyes like handwriting on the wall, can catch the unprepared off guard, robbing them of the precious time which could have been used to wake up from their deep soul sleep and re-member who they truly are.

I understand. Given today’s economy, many have little choice but to live hand-to-mouth. Check-to-pay-(or welfare)-check. Even the well-off who could afford to prepare are besieged with putting out day-to-day fires — or by other glittery distractions.

There’s no time or energy reserved for assessing possible risks. It’s not a priority to think through “If / Then” preparedness scenarios.

I find it most peculiar that even Millennials, who have grown up fluent in computer-driven technology, usually don’t apply if / then computer logic to their personal decision-making and daily behavior. This makes them even more ill-equipped than their elders to cope realistically with sudden change.

For example, in a personal email sent in response to “Give Millennials an App for Their Inner Compass,” Tom Richards detailed his frustration with Millennials:

I live in NJ where Hurricane Sandy hit dead center. Devastation like you would not believe. No power in most of the state for over 8 days. Here are actual examples which I came across immediately following the storm . . .

1. An hour after the storm ended, early in the morning, a car load of kids in their mid-twenties got stuck in a washed out piece of road in front of my house. No power, of course, and trees down everywhere. When the kiddies came to my door to ask to call for a tow truck, I had to laugh. When I asked them why the hell they were out on the roads, in their PJ’s none the less, immediately after the storm of the century, I got this. “We don’t have power and want coffee and breakfast. We are going to WaWa to get some.” Didn’t even dawn on them that if they have no power, and the state has no power, the WaWa doesn’t have power. Nor did it dawn on them that with the storm and devastation, that the people who work at WaWa would not be able to go there and open it for them.

2. Three days later the local farmers market opened, even though they only had power to keep the refrigerated items going. No power within 3 counties at this point. A young couple who lives two doors down needed food. Went to the market and came home empty handed. They had no cash, and the store was obviously only able to take cash. They pay for everything with their debit cards. Never dawned on them to have some cash around for emergencies and things like this. They were mad that the store wouldn’t sell them anything nor that they couldn’t take the debit card. It also is interesting that they never even thought to prepare even though warnings were given over and over.

3. My daughter and her friends were hungry. Her friends hadn’t had a hot meal in days. Plus, it had gotten cold and most had no heat. They came over to our house. Saw we were using my wood stove in the music studio to cook on and stay warm. It never dawned on them (or their parents, which frightened me) to use their BBQ propane grill or make a fire to cook with nor to build a fire in their yards to at least get a bit warm.

4. Just about every traffic light was out, and roads were blocked by either police or downed trees. I cannot tell you how many younger people stopped in front of my house when they saw me there to ask me how to get to a certain place, and also how many could not understand when I gave them road names where those roads were. . . .

What most amazes me is that repeatedly, after each disaster, whether natural or man-made, in media interviews, the “victims” chant the same mantra. “It was a WAKE UP CALL.” But life goes on. After the initial shock wears off, people get mired once again in the routines of daily living. And they forget. They go back to sleep.

We aren’t changing! And time is running out. As the late computer leader-innovator Steve Jobs poignantly observed:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Time is a blessing and a luxury. None of us knows how much time we have left to WAKE UP, think, prepare, and perhaps survive whatever is to come.

Commenting on “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game,” Peter Fellingham gave his opinion:

Another reason why people avoid critical thinking is because it usually results in significant introspection. Introspection tends to make clear the responsibility the individual has for the resolution of their own troubles.

I answered back:

Peter, you’ve pinpointed the blind spot in curriculum — the information deficit of which I speak. Clear & critical thinking isn’t often taught in schools, nor are problem-solving tools provided as essential basics. They should be.

Then there’s the question of motivation. Requires a carrot & stick approach. The stick is awareness that laziness comes with horrific consequences. The carrot is assurance of the benefits which accrue to living a self-responsible life.

In part, people often avoid issues they find too fearful to face. If there truly are no better options, and only dangerous consequences, keeping still is an understandable choice. However, if better options ARE available, then making them known and available is an important first step in positive change. That’s what I’m working to accomplish.. . .

So, if you and/or those you lead and care for have been avoiding introspection, if you’ve been ignoring the warning signs and denying fears for the future, waiting for dangers to miraculously disappear and problems to be solved without effort, it’s time to take the striking two-by-four hint from escalating wake-up calls worldwide.

It may be a matter of survival to rethink priorities while there’s still precious time left to do so. Ask, If not now, when?

And consider the likelihood that the life / family / organization you save may be not only yours, but those in generations to come.