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Archive for September, 2011

How to Survive a Police State

Rule #4

Become profoundly aware

How do you walk across the killing room floor without getting any of the gore on the hem of your skirts? By being present, in your body, and by being profoundly aware of yourself, the things around you, and the planet under your feet.

 

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How to Survive a Police State

Rule #3

Live fierce

What does that mean? Does that mean head off into the hills, buy a bunch of guns and hide in a bunker? No. That means figuring out what you love and what you are willing to die to protect. That means being smart. That means staying alert and light on your toes. That means being self reliant.  That means educating yourself about the current situation, staying informed, staying in touch, staying connected.  That means doing things for yourself like establishing a network of people who have your back and visa-versa. That means cleaning up your own messes. That means acting responsibly. That means living without a safety net. That means paying it forward. That means creating your own system of wealth and abundance outside of the loop of popular currency.

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How to Survive in a Police State

Rule #2

Lies are more destructive than bullets.

Joke: How do you know when a member of the (hunter pack, the killer elite, ruling class, overlords) is lying? Answer: Their lips are moving.

The most important lie they tell, the one they invest almost all their energy in, is the lie that keeps every herd mindlessly quiet as they are being led to the killing floor of the slaughter house and it goes something like this: You deserve this.

Calm down, things are just fine, they say, everything is going according to plan, you would not be here if you were not meant to be here, don’t struggle, this is all your fault you know, you make me hurt you, if you would be a good little (inmate, automaton, cog in the wheel, serf, member of the group) I wouldn’t have to do this to you. This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.  this is for your own good. You deserve this.

With this lie, abusers can make you go fetch the whip, walk calmly into gas chambers, or sit quietly while the pot comes to a boil.  They can make you give them your livelihood, your house, the lives of your children and your grandchildren, your mind and your heart and even force you to smile while you kill yourself slowly, one cut at a time.

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How to Survive in a Police State

Rule #5

Scream.

If you have followed rules #1-4 but still get picked out of the crowd, there are a few things to remember while they are slapping you around, beating you with batons, or breaking your bones. (sigh. The list is endless. Abuse and torture. There are more names in the English language than any sane species should rightfully be allowed) Screaming loud, hard and full of emotion is really useful and it accomplishes two things.

First, screaming in agony gives the torturers the sexual release they need and want. In the whole S&M roles playing game between master & slave, priest & sinner, guard & inmate, hunter packs & herds, cops & citizens, where pain is an integral part of the interplay between players, it is best to give the abuser what he wants often and early, thereby bringing your sessions to a satisfying conclusion long before permanent damage is inflicted. And they get to go home thinking they have in some way helped you along that path towards … (what? redemption?)

Second, screaming at the top of your lungs oxygenates the blood and gets the endorphins flowing, making it far easier to control the effects of pain and keeping your brain alert to the environment so that you can pick up any hints of change that you need to accommodate.

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How to Survive in a Police State:

rule #1

Blend in.

The first rule of survival in a group whether your group be herd or flock or school is to not stand out from the crowd. Look like you are part of the machine.

If you are this inside:

the last thing you want to do is betray this strength to the hunter packs. Even though they be fools, you do not want to bring them down on you in numbers that you cannot deal with in your subtle and elegant manner.

Best to look like this:

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Let’s just pretend for a moment that crime and punishment is not a growth industry whose one vested interest is to make everyone into a criminal and to NOT help either the criminals or the victims. Let’s ignore the fact that all those private donations and tax dollars funneled into the DEA and the ATF and DARE and MADD and (insert acronym here) are a jobs program to keep at least part of the country employed or a boondoggle to divert the public into thinking ‘something is being done‘ even though their intent is the exact opposite of their results. (“There ought to be a law” are easily the six most scary words on the planet.) Let’s ignore the fact that most crime, other than addiction driven crime, can be laid at the feet of poverty and malnutrition and ignorance and the failure of social systems to do the one thing they were put in place to do. Let’s ignore the fact that capitalism and true democracy are polar opposites and that capitalism needs a class system and a toxic value system in order to function and that the people on the bottom layer of the grand pyramid of money and power must, by definition, be ground into dust under the weight of that very system. Let’s ignore the fact that there are soulless men who sit around large tables figuring out just how many dead babies it takes to keep an economy healthy. (and who then go home every night thinking themselves better than the despots and megalomaniacs who use genocide, mutilation and torture as a means to an end. They are the same, just dressed better.)

Let’s ignore the fact that the last thing anyone wants to do is educate and empower the downtrodden, the subjugated, or the marginalized and give them the freedom to choose self actualization (even though we have prime opportunity to do so with the captive audience in our prisons.)

((And just for now, lets ignore the fact that prisons are part and parcel of the whole “Free Will” model of this particularly crazy reality well in which we all find ourselves imprisoned by walls, be they real or illusion, self inflicted or pressed upon us by others and that we all have a choice to either be consumed and destroyed by the process or to overcome it and become champions of our own lives.))

Let’s talk about addiction based crime. We know that locking people up in cages does not address their addictions so when we are sane and logical, (if the laws allow us to be sane and logical) we encourage enrolling in recovery programs. The successful recovery programs are based on Bill W.’s Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Call it 12 steps to a better life. Stay in group. Listen. Use your sponsor as a resource. Do the steps. If you have reached #12 you might be OK.

The first thing AA and NA do is redirect the addiction. Audit a few meetings. The first thing you notice is that everyone is guzzling coffee, chain smoking and/or chewing gum like their lives depended on it. It does. If you can substitute a healthier behavior when the urges strike, you can stay sober long enough for the second part of the process to kick in. The list of substitute behaviors is endless. Some surprisingly weird and innocuous things trigger our dopamine production.

The second thing AA does is it forces you to pull your head out of your own personal hell and listen. You are in a group of people who have the identical problem you have. For every hard luck story told in group there are a dozen more that are more brutal, more tragic, and more comedic than your own. You are not alone. It’s a tough audience, though. Compassionate, understanding, sympathetic but ruthless. No excuse is acceptable. Either you succeeded or you failed. Either you did the steps or you didn’t. Whining is not allowed. Your shrink will never be able to do the same thing for you because he needs to pay the expensive rent on his posh office. If he pisses you off or makes you well, he has lost a client. The doctors can’t cure you. They have become puppets of the big insurance providers and pushers for the big pharmaceutics companies. (I can’t take the time to really help you, but, here, take this drug. It will make you feel numb. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, it’s as addictive as heroine and going cold turkey off of it just might kill you.) The difference between the doctors, shrinks, and counselors and your sponsor is modern medicine thinks you are broken and need fixing. Your sponsor will tell you that the only thing wrong with you is that you are human. Welcome to the club.

Who is in control? For the addict, the answer is no one is. The third thing AA does is that it teaches you control by opening yourself up to the idea that you exist on more than one level and are not limited by the fleshy envelope of your physical body. (If it helps any, I have always believed that Bill W. was a closet Taoist.) If you get it, if you want to be successful, you begin to understand that the body is a powerful tool that you can control.  This is why, when the newbies claim to be the victims of their own animal urges, the old timers in the group roar in laughter.

So. You think you graduated out of your 12 step program. Are you cured? Oh, please….

People who are looking for the “cure” for addictions are barking up the wrong tree. Fixations, obsessions and addiction are a natural part of the human species’ need to push the edges of human existence, ensuring survival of the species. We are a lot like ants when it comes to group dynamics. Every instinct tells us to stay normal and safe inside the cocoon of the group but when the group dynamic goes off the rails because of lack of food, over population or environmental stresses, it sends out the signal that it needs a scout or a forerunner and those best suited as scouts hear it and get weird and crazy. They do unsafe things and if they survive they come back and tell the hive all about it. In humans, the process is run by a very complicated series of stimuli both electrical and chemical inside the human body. To say it is run by our dopamine receptors is to over simplify the process but it is a place to start.

The human brain needs dopamine and opioids to function. Without them things like understanding, learning, memory, lactation, sex drive, child birth, attention, mood, sleep, voluntary movement, (the list goes on and on) would cease to function properly. When we get it right, we get rewarded with a little rush of dopamine. (Our little rat brains, nestled inside the higher functioning conscious brain, left to their own devices, respond just like those rats in the cocaine experiment, pushing the buttons to get high while ignoring the button that delivers food until they starved to death.) We need this, otherwise we would never get out of bed in the morning. The species would wither and die on the vine and the dolphins would become the most sentient creatures on the planet. But we need to control the rat brain. When the rat brain takes control of the higher brain, nothing good ever comes from it. Fixations, obsessions and addictions, instead of becoming learning experiences we can walk away from become a downward spiral into self destruction.

When it comes to sexual addictions, we seem to be stymied by what to do with the offenders. There are places where they will take your money and offer counseling but recidivism is the rule not the exception. As a collective, we have washed our hands of their problem, deeming them “untreatable”. (Except by the above mentioned mind-numbing drugs that strip away all the highs and lows from your emotions and make your life analogous to listening to a really bad audio recording where all the high notes and the low notes have been flattened.) The sexual offenders who are not in prison are banished from society, forced to live out on the edges and forced to humiliate themselves by publicly declaring their failings to everyone around them, a punishment not unlike locking people up in stocks so that the passing public might throw rotten vegetables at them. (Oh. By the way. Please don’t do this. The same chemical processes that fuel the reward & punishment and pleasure & pain dynamic fuels the fetish, bondage and S&M addictions. Heaven & hell, god & devil, sin & penance are part of this dompamine addiction syndrome. Truly, modern religions encourage the very worst in us.)

The attitudes about sex and arousal has not progressed much from the Dark Ages. There is still a large section of the population who get natural arousal confused with perversion, painting all our physical urges as demonic. We are terrified by the very idea of sexual addictions because we each percieve the possibilities in ourselves. If we could burn sexual deviants at the stake we probably would because they hold a mirror up to our own souls and we hate what we see there. The antipathy towards rapists and pedophiles is so extreme that we create prisons just for them, segregated from the murders and the thieves.

The “there ought to be a law” crowd should be proud to know that drunks urinating in the alley behind the bar and kids with more exuberance than sense can be permanently labeled as a pervert for streaking or mooning. Stupidity is not an addiction, just a state of mind we all outgrow.

The problem with sexual addiction is that in order to subvert the behavior you have to redirect the behavior to something that offers the same or better in dopamine delivery. Once opened and programmed to receive heightened levels of dopamine, the receptors never go back to sleep. Which is why we do not expose the young to sexual images and situations. Not only are children unable to process the emotions, they are physically and psychologically unable to deal with the resulting downers when the dopamine levels drop. (Thus, the very real reason why pedophiles are so reviled. The victims can never go back to being ordinary kids.)

Should we deny the flesh? Just say no?  To take away the dopamine altogether is like a living death. Zombieland at its finest. Do you wonder then, when those addicts who try for sobriety using the Christian model of denial of the flesh end up killing themselves in some other way… and sometimes, in extreme cases, they just cease to function and die. Jerry Garcia and Amy Winehouse are two good examples. Sometimes we confuse our forerunners and innovators with those who are truly dysfunctional. We need these people to operate outside the normal standards. The definition of obsession is doing something to extreme levels until we learn what we need to know or we die. This is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ behavior. It is just ‘necessary’ behavior. (Even in these modern times, it astounds me how little we understand about the art of being human,)

The current Puritanical hysteria is confusing. Its not like pornography, erotica, fetishes, masturbation, rape, and pedophilia is a new thing. The earliest known art is phallic in nature. The civilizations who solved their problems, who redirected all that sexual energy to a better and higher purpose, are the ones who explored every nuance of the power of the human body, who rewarded physical prowess, and who made sex a sacrament in the art of attaining bliss. We have no excuse, in this day and age, to claim ignorance. The recources are just a google search away. There is a long list of those who took it to the highest level. (Christianity, unfortunately, explored the dark side of the same concept, subverting the idea of sacred pleasure into divine pain. The 12th century Inquisition began six hundred years of an orgy of pain and torture and death that ended only when they ran out of people to burn. Torture porn at its finest.)

How do you redirect sexual addiction? You turn it into a learning experience and then take the act of orgasm and ejaculation one step beyond, making it into a celebration of the divine human. The bliss of ultimate connection to body and soul makes all other addictions pale into insignificance.

If we truly wanted a society of equals, where no single being was locked up or vilified or made to feel shame about natural processes, we would encourage those who transgress to take their energies to a higher level. We need to embrace who we are and teach the Tao of the Human Body to everyone, not just those who are out of control. Meditation and yoga and tai chi need to be a part of our public school curriculum. Sex education needs to be about embracing our nature, not denying it. Then, if a single individual fails, it will because the community has not done its job.

Buried inside this idea is the paradox of individuality. How do you learn to become a unique and singular individual? By embracing the group, the hive, the communion of Oneness that you might see yourself in a thousand different mirrors.

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I don’t usually talk about my experiences centered on the day of 9-11-01. People usually look at me strangely when I tell them what I felt as an empath. When I say “exuberant, unbridled triumph” the room goes silent and the people who are not afraid of my skills just shake their heads and say “Ya know that’s crazy, right?”

Nobody wants to hear about the dream I had right after that, about the three (angelic, divine, powerful, giantess, ??) beings who were busy with their brooms, sweeping vigorously, sending up clouds of dust. “Helping you out,” they said, expecting me to be grateful.

Grateful about what? I wondered, looking at the unbelievabel mess.

Perhaps, I thought at the time, we were clinging too tightly to some toxic and outdated attitudes and that we needed a massive wake up call.

Ten years later, one wonders what we have learned.

Ali Soufan can tell you what he learned. He wrote a book about it. An American FBI agent born in Lebanon and fluent in Arabic, he was key in extracting most of what we know about the about 9-11. He could walk into a room, meet a suspect for the first time, and because he was smart and clever and because he treated the men he interrogated as human beings and brothers, they invariably told him everything he wanted to know.

His counterparts in the CIA, on the other hand, still to this day claim that the horrific torture used to extract confessions was justifiable and 100% effective, though the only confession they ever ran up the flag pole and dared to brag about turned out to be a total falsehood given by a man who would have told them anything his interrogators wanted to hear just to make the pain stop. Yeah, that whole thing about the link between Saddam Hussien and Al-qaeda and WMD’s. Not true. Oops.

How does Ali Soufan differ from his CIA counterparts? He does not describe the resistance fighters of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in terms that make them less than human. I will not even say that the political shills who acted as a mouthpiece for the intelligence community thought of the detainees as animals, because we respect animals more. The term “rabid dog that needs to be put down” is a better summing up of their attitudes. But then you would have to take that attitude in order to protect your sanity. Only sociopaths and insane people can turn off their innate empathy and feelings of sympathy so that they can hurt another human being, watching them scream and writhe and beg for mercy without taking anything away from it, not even a sense of the nature of their own humanity.

But if your belief system is founded deep in the attitudes of bigotry and racial bias, it makes it ever so much easier. Bigotry is a learned behavior that is ingrained in people of a certain generation and a certain social class. Perhaps one of those brooms was sweeping away the penchant to think of humans of different skin color, religion, or nationality as less than human.

After 9-11, as a knee jerk reaction to a bad situation, the government reacted in fear (What do I always say? Decisions based in fear are always wrong. Always. No exception.) What could be laid at the feet of the serendipitous misfiring of the brains of an improbably number of people was misinterpreted. They tried to fix what was not actually broken while ignoring that which was.  They created Homeland Security. They set up the TSA. They threw trillions and trillions of dollars into creating a system of surveillance and dossier building so extensive that there isn’t a human alive on the continent now that does not have a file on them. They quietly subverting the cop on the beat, turning them from employees of the city, county and state in which they operate, whose salaries are paid by the people they are supposed to protect,  into mindless data collecting automatons who now function on the premise that everyone is a suspect, they just haven’t been caught yet.

They started throwing everyone in jail. Which had an interesting side effect. An old entrenched attitude began to shift. For generations now, there has been an unspoken belief that if you ended up in handcuffs you were automatically guilty. If you hadn’t done anything wrong, then why were you being arrested? But slowly, over the last ten years, as we watched our government turn us all into criminals, we began to question that idea. Then we began to wonder just how many people behind bars in our “prison as a growth industry” cages were actually innocent. The answer to that question has made us very uncomfortable. As a result,  we began to question the rule of law.

We are safer than we have ever been before, right? Nope, sorry. Well, let me qualify this statement. All that money has not stopped a terrorist attack. What is has done is it has made the average man on the street more aware, and it is the alert citizen ‘good Samaritans’ who have kept us safe time after time.

But crime statistics are down. All that law enforcement is working, right? Nope. They were already on their way down before 9-11, mostly because the population was aging. Kids are stupid and make stupid choices but they grow up and get smarter and start making better choices. Go figure. Law enforcement had nothing to do with it.

Is all that information being put to good use? Uh, well, no, actually. Instead of having a manageable database filled with true leads, we have a database filled with the minutia of the daily life of 20+ million Americans, 99.9% of which is useless drivel. (Although the ad agencies and marketing departments are in the midst of their own personal wet dream in which they can target their marketing with such accuracy that you barely need to shop anymore. You just turn on your computer and connect to the internet. Is like having your own personal shopper. Thank you, Homeland Security) The success stories of the FBI all have one key fact: they get the job done the way they always have – good old fashioned detective work by men who get the job done in spite of the system and not because of it. Bin Laden would have been dead long ago if we had listened to the analysts who originally tracked him down. Because it didn’t come from the monstrous intelligence beauracacy created by 9-11, it was ignored.

Reading between the lines one can come to only one conclusion. Before 9-11 we had a more than adequate intelligence gathering ability and law enforcement. 9-11 happened not because of a lack of information but from a the inability of an entrenched bureaucracy to function as a unit. You had the State Department, manned by political appointees and status quo shills guarding their little domains like medieval knight guarding their castles. You had the military, CIA, FBI, and NSA holding cards but unwilling to share them, acting like a bunch of douchebags playing Texas Hold’em, waiting for someone to call all-in. They were all supposed to report back to the Congress and the President but we haven’t had an effective President since Kennedy and Congress has become a bunch of mindless meat puppets being danced around by big money. There is no oversight. We have a yard full of pit bulls who have grown so wild we don’t dare open the gate with a leash in our hands and we are beginning to suspect their brains are infected with a parasite that makes them crazy because they are starting to eat each other.

Was this part of that dust cloud? Are we wise enough to drop the leash and tip toe away, knowing the problem is about to solve itself? Is the wisdom part of letting go of the old and outdated parts of our social system so that we might evolve as a civilization?

So what have we learned? We have learned that complacency is fatal. That freedom is a thing that takes constant upkeep. That you can never trust a thing if it does not have a face, be they bureaucracies or banks or political engines. That our grandparents did not have it so bad because they could shake a man’s hand and look him in the eye and be able to walk away knowing his word was his bond. That we value justice over safety. That honor and morality and intelligence wins in the end, beating out greed and lust and ignorance in the long run because greed and lust and ignorance defeat themselves without any outside help.

We have learned that there are examples all over the planet of humans who are doing it right, from the Swiss whose entire population is part of their standing army in which every household is armed and prepared to defend home and country, to the Swedes who spend more than any other county on making sure everyone is healthy and educated and employed and somehow manage to maintain a functioning social system, to the Icelanders who got out of lock step with the monster big banks and solved their financial problems in their own way without outside interference.

Those brooms cleaned up a lot of things and now that the dust of 9-11 has settled we are much wiser. We know that survival of the fittest is not about the survival of the one at the cost of the many, but the survival of the tribe, the village, the species in communal cooperation with one goal in mind: keeping Chaos at bay. That being part of a group does not mean we get to shut down like a herd of mindless sheep and let someone else clean up the messes but in fact the exact opposite. Duty and communal cooperation is key, no matter what your role if the group dynamic is to stay healthy.

We stand upon the path and there is a fork in the road ahead. One, paved with hate and divisiveness, leads to our demise, in a brutal post apocalyptic world of death, and endless drudgery, and scarcity in which children die of starvation and the old and infirm are abandoned to die. The other path leads to a bright future where every life is celebrated and everyone’s happiness becomes integral to our own and where abundance is shared in endless supply, being a river to the source at the center of the One Universe.

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