Posts Tagged ‘paradox’

Guardians at the Portals

Guardians at the Portals

Life is not like a box of choc’lits, as much as we adore that kind of folksy wisdom.

If you want a truer analogy, one could say Life is very much like Harry Potter’s TriWizard Tournament maze. You are on a path with high walls that keep you from seeing the way forward or the way back. The possibility of something nasty jumping out at you around every corner is very real.

So, there are choices to be made.

How do you avoid the traps?

You can refuse to play the game. That is one choice. But you are human. This means you chose to play the game else you would not have walked though the Veil. Or you could stop and refuse to advance any further. Here again, the rules of the game make this an unpleasant choice for there is only two ways out of the maze, death and the big doorway marked “EXIT”. The way is littered with those who stopped and let the life seep out of them until the only thing left was the mummified husks.

Let’s assume you are playing to win. You turn each corner cautiously, your weapons ready in case the next surprise is something that means to eat you. When something jumps out at you, you have choices. Run or Fight. Easy enough. You defeat it and move on or it defeats you and you must find another route through the maze.

Sometimes you come around the corner and there stands a Sphinx. Damn. 

You have three choices, Fight, Flee or solve the Riddle.

I do not recommend fighting a Sphinx. They are magical creatures of a kind that cannot be defeated by even the most powerful wizards.

Going back to the next turn does not appeal since it has taken you so long to get this far and each trap has been progressively harder and more brutal. The maze does not want to be solved and resists you at every turn and eventually there is no going backwards.

OK, we can do this, you think. Just solve the Riddle. But be careful. The Sphinx will eat you and suck you into its alternate reality. But you are clever. How hard can it be, this riddle solving thing?

The Sphinx is an old hand at this game. It wants you to win but it does not want it to be an easy win. It is immortal and bored and ever wishing for a challenge, after all.

It asks the riddle.

It is then that you realize how clever this game is. The riddle is a paradox with no solution. Damn. Double Damn.

That is when you cheat.

Oh, come on. You knew there were cheats. Every game has them.

The Sphinx exists on multiple levels in multiple dimensions. One must merely find an alternate reality and then, standing within this place, you rephrase the the question so that the riddle is solvable.

Der? you might say.

Think about it. In the center of every paradox, at the heart of the reality in which all possibilities exist as truth, simultaneously and in opposition, there is a place perfectly balanced between the thousands and thousands of true answers. Standing in this place you face the Sphinx and deny any version of its truth but that which lives in the Heart of the Oneverse.

The Sphinx will smile and bow, letting you pass. It might even follow you, guarding your back as you finish the game. It is not often that the Sphinx is bested at its own game. It follows you because you are not boring.

Damn. Triple Damn. How the hell do you explain the Sphinx when it follows you home like a stray puppy?

the paradox Riddle

the paradox Riddle


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“Sounds like orc mischief to me.

They come with fire, they come with axes…

gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning.

Destroyers and usurpers, curse them.”

Treebeard, LOTR

There are orcs walking about in human skins spreading their orcish mischief about in the affairs of man, gnawing, biting… well, you get the point. For all that they look like you or me, it is not hard to tell an orc from a human.

They are the ones proclaiming from the highest pulpit that they know the mind of god. Only they understand the message of the divine. Oh, do not misunderstand. I believe there are humans who are divinely inspired, divinely guided, divinely connected. But there are those who say they are just such a being but who have no power but the power of the usurper.

How can you tell human from orc?

Orcs would have you hate. Orcs would sit in judgement of their fellow men and be the first to pick up a stone or a machete or an AK-47 to execute those who oppose them. Orcs would wave about their holy texts and proclaim their is no higher authority, not even the divine act of self knowing.

Humans, sane humans, at least, would not be able to kill a sibling or a parent or a child in the name of some formless imagining about the rule of law and the nature of chaos. Humans, sane humans, would not be driven into a frothing rage over the opinions of others concerning their belief systems.

We should not hate the orcs. They are spoiled children who have grown enraged after spending a lifetime in prayer, self denial, and self mutilation in the expectation that the god of their imaginings would reward them for such a thing. They keep waiting for their god to destroy the unbelievers. Their rage grows with every moment that the unbelievers still exist, healthy and happy and thriving.

The ultimate root of their rage is their own self loathing. A mind blinded by such emotions can do anything including torture and murder. This is, of course, insane, even in the eyes of their religions, as all religions teach that we are made in the image of god and that the body is our temple and that to loathe it is to loathe the mind of god. There is a paradox hidden at the core of this thought, a paradox that orcs cannot fathom.

There is only one thing that can truly destroy an orc: Facing the truth.

That is why truth is the first thing to go after the orc-ish usurpers take control.

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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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If we were to abandon the ordinary everyday style of thought that isolates us inside our skulls, if we were to divorce ourselves from our current love affair with the left frontal cortex and all its linear thought,  if we were to flee from the razor sharp corners of the logic of the diamond faceted left brain, escaping down the corpus callosum to find refuge in our right brain, we would find a room with no walls that looks out over the infinite universe. Most people are content to stand, teetering on the brink, unwilling or unable to let go of the surety and the safely of the physical dimension defined by their body’s five senses.

The right brain is not a bad place to be. We have lost our connection to it because society and modern civilization undervalues and even denigrates the wisdom garnered here. It is our right brain that allows us to bend space/time, making intuitive leaps that bypass the linear processes of our left brain. It is here, also, that we are connected emphatically to those around us. The right brain access the communal mind and turns the human species from an amalgam of separate individuals to a hive which operates with its own sentience.

Futurists, the forerunners of civilization, the scouts of the hive that lead us to the next place that we need to be, do not stop on the lip of the abyss. Futurists leap out into the void without a parachute, let down all their barriers, abandon the limits of ego and expand the limits of self to include everything and then go where the universe wants to take them. Then they come back, crawl into their body, share the  knowledge and perception with the left brain and complete the circle, forcing the connection of body and mind into a unified whole in which the infinite universe and all the dimensions therein become an integrated part of their existence.  This is the definition of Quantum Thinking.

All possibilities exist simultaneously inside the mind of a quantum thinker. It is as if your skull is the box and you are Schrödinger’s cat.

It takes a very unique type of personality to become a successful quantum thinker. The mental wards are full of those who fail. Skilled quantum thinkers must have a profoundly unassailable belief in themselves: call this the über ego. The über ego is akin to Archimedes’s theoretical fulcrum. Archimedes, who surely must have been a quantum thinker,  thought that it would be possible to move the world, given the right place to stand. Quantum thinkers believe that given the right point of view, a pattern can be found in all things. Chaos does not frighten them. It is this fearlessness that allows them to leap beyond the limits of self, expand their perception of space/time and let go of everything the status quo defines as sane.

Thus proving once again that all power lies within the heart paradox. Only those who have über ego can afford to leave it behind.

History is full of the stories of civilization’s forerunners. Leonardo Da Vinci, H. G. Wells, Albert Einstein to name a few. Da Vinci was a futurist so far ahead of his time, it took technology 400 years to catch up with him. The hive mind has become a little more immediate of late. Wells only had to wait 20 years to see cars and trains and world war become a reality. Einstein’s gratification was nearly instantaneous, with almost disastrous consequences. The glory days of Da Vinci and Einstein are over. The hive learns as any sentient creature might and what the hive knows is that it stands upon shaky ground and that one misstep can take us to the brink of extinction.

If Da Vinci were born today, he would be writing science fiction. The futurists and the ‘quantum thinkers in training’ can be found in the world of scifi, fantasy and games. They are the ones asking the questions that start with “what if….”. They are the ones imagining future technologies. They are the ones creating worlds and characters to inhabit those worlds, setting events in motion to see how it all works out in the end. It is here that the future of the human species is being decided, as we try one scenario after another, working through all possible problems,  discarding the failures, building on the success stories, testing each step into the future a thousand times before we take it in reality.

The future is here. It is being shaped by the hive mind and the hive mind listens to the quantum thinkers. It is these relatively few individuals who are determining what the future might look like

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There is a child’s game where everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers a secret into the ear of the person next to him who turns and repeats the secret until the secret comes full circle and is whispered into the initiator’s ear. The first secret is never the same as the last. Ever. Children, who love word games, find the faulty translation hilarious.

The problem with relying on information or guidance or instruction from persons who have long since died and turned to dust is that one can no longer ask them to clarify their words or statements when confusion arises or disambiguation needs to take place.

To read something 50 years old, or 100 years old, or 200 years old, without reading it within the context of the culture and history in which it was written risks misunderstanding and misinterpretation. We, as humans, very rarely speak in absolutes. Language precludes it. The layering of ascending levels of the energies of space/time make it impossible. Truth, after all, is a paradox with many faces in which all things are true simultaneously.

The older the text, the more egregious the errors. Texts thousands of years old have passed through too many filters; Translations from language to language. Errors in transcribing. Purposeful ‘corrections’ in the editorial room, well intended or not, influenced by the political and religious storms that blow through the collective consciousness from generation to generations. With the authors dead and the editors dead as well, recreating the original works become an unsolvable puzzle.

Sometimes, we cannot manage to get the message right, even with the author still living. How many movies have you seen in which your favorite book was eviscerated and hung out to dry? How could they read a book with so much heart and humor and understanding and then turn around and produce a script that stripped away all that rings true with our human heart and leaves only the bones of the ‘doing’ and none of the ‘being’?

So too, with ancient scripts. We want to believe that the blueprint for our future lies in the wisdom of our past but again, we get lost in the mist of misinterpretation. There are leg-traps in the chasms between words.

Imagine this scenario: If a plague of grasshoppers happen only once every fifth generation, then the people who experienced it firsthand would want to write down their wisdom, garnered in the battle for survival, so that their future generations  might be more prepared for the next invasion. This Almanac of land stewardship would include things that would foretell and forewarn of the coming holocaust. “Watch for the plague of giant dragonflies,” it might say. “Their life cycle is timed to precede the grasshopper plague, the adult phase emerging from the pupae state just before the grasshoppers emerge from theirs. They will devour the grasshoppers and save you.”

Now it is the future. Imagine that somehow, most of the text of the Almanac is lost. All that remains is the line that reads “Watch for the plague of giant dragonflies”. The son of the fifth generation, alarmed at the sudden appearance of millions of dragonflies, runs to his ancient and tattered Almanac and reads those words. Watch? What does that mean, he wonders. It sounds like a warning. A warning about dragonflies. So he goes out to his fields and destroys every dragonfly he can see. Pleased with himself, he returns home, unaware that a plague of grasshoppers is rising from the soil and devouring his crops.

Only a few tattered remnants of the wisdom of our forefathers remain, most incomplete, all of them suspect. The links to our human past have been broken, burned in the fires of superstition and ignorance. Which is all for the better. Sometimes forgetting is a good thing. If you have no history but the history of this moment, then you are unburdened by the entropy of your past. Thus the future becomes an empty page upon which you are free to write whatever you want.

Truly, you stand at your front door, dressed in your finest clothes, a feast laid out in the formal dinning room, waiting expectantly for a great visitor, but the visitor has already come to the back door, dressed in rags, asking for the kindness of food and drink. That’s him, eating jelly sandwiches with the cook.

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what if…

what if, after a century or more of beaming our random electronic garbage out into the depths of space an alien life form decided to make contact. Surely the first message would be a request for explanations about the things most strange and puzzling when it comes to the human species.

I imagine the message would be quite simple.

“Explain clowns”

Now imagine that if you answered wrong, the aliens just might eradicate us for fear of spreading the clown insanity to the rest of the sentient universe.

You are temporarily at a loss. This is not how you envisioned a first contact would go. They did not offer a course in clowns at your university and you are starting to think this is a very glaring gap in the curriculum. Clowns, you see, are a very complicated subject, once you get past the stage makeup and the buffoon pants. There are clowns and then there are clowns. You think hard and then you message them back.

Nobody likes clowns, you might hasten to tell your confused aliens, they are creepy to the point of being sinister, what with their larger than life antics and their permanently frozen faces.

“But you use them everywhere to subvert the natural caution of your children, that you might get in past their defenses to indoctrinate them with questionable propaganda,” the aliens point out. “How can you trust a person who has painted his face in order to destroy the brain’s innate ability to recognize the comfort of the familiar or the threat of the face of a predator? Anything, anyone, could be hiding behind that paint.”

Exactly, you agree, which is why clowns are passe. They are the remnants of an unsophisticated entertainment from a more primitive time. They will go the way of the historic clowns, relegated to the pages of history, like jesters of old.

“I do not believe that is so,” the alien might say, “I have watched your video entertainments. I have listened to your broadcasts. Who are these people that you revere so much that you single them out of the masses, capture their antics into electronic memory and then view them over and over again every second of your waking hours? The persona they project is every bit as fake as the circus clown with the garish red smile painted over his ghastly white face.”

That’s different, you might argue. They are entertainers, not clowns.

“Really?” the alien asks. “From up here it all looks the same. The only difference between the circus clown and the man who tells you what to think about the nightly news is subtlety.  That your clowns have become more sophisticated in their antics and more cleverly manipulative in their masks than the king’s jester of old does not hide the fact that you are trying to deceive the young, the immature and weak minded.”

Yeah, well, that’s just…., you sputter, thinking hard, that’s just….politics. Look at our movie and music industry.

“Tsk,” sniffs the alien voice from beyond the stars, “the only difference between a 500 year old Punch and Judy puppet show and the last blockbuster in your theaters is technological brilliance. That you do not recognize this only attests to your own confusion. And what is Lady Gaga but a clown with a very expensive wardrobe?”

You squirm a little bit. He got you with the Lady Gaga bit. Creative people are eccentric, you say, stalling for time.

“Oh, please. Do you think that any of your video idols act the same once the cameras are off?

No, of course not, you say.

“Then you do not deny that you feed your populace a steady diet of lies and illusions, bending all perception of what is real into an unrecognizable knot?”

Well, yeah, there is that, you admit, wondering when the first planet buster is going to come falling out of the sky. Then a brilliant idea hits you.

Wait! I know! Clowns are our teachers, you yell. They are the extreme and farcical parodies of all the facets of what it is to be human. Without them, human children would never grow up, achieve sentience and ascend into a higher state of consciousness.

There is silence from the other end of the line. You hold your breath, sweating, wondering, did they buy that?

“Wait,” says the alien, “are you telling me that all your teachers must be insane in order for your species to achieve self awareness?”

Well, not all. The best, perhaps. Crazier the better, you agree.

“Ahhh, I see. You teach crazy in order to achieve sanity. The paradox is sublime. Thank you. I am honored that you have taken the time to be our teachers. Blessed be the OnePattern”

Sure, anytime, you say, wiping the sweat out of your eyes and breathing a sigh of relief. Glad I could be of help.

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Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend that you have stepped through the door and embraced your own evolution.

So, there you are, looking about you, at this place you used to call home, with your new and improved eyes, with your evolved perception of what is real, and you shake your head. How did it get this bad? Where did it all go wrong? How can I fix what appears to be patently unfix-able?

Well, the answer to that questions is problematic, (paradoxical, if you will).

We are like a snake having just shed our skin. Exhausted. Cranky. Soft skinned and overly sensitive. Just plain pissed off and not sure who to blame.

We’ve been slithering along thinking we had learned to accommodate a skin that pinched under the arms and stretched tight over our ass, making us look fat, thinking we could learn to live with just about anything, even this, when, damn, our nose starts peeling and everything starts coming loose all at once and there is nothing to be done but hook the loose bits into something solid so we can work our way free. A wise snake slithers free and never looks back.

But we are humans, not snakes. We think we need to look back, to understand why.

So we turn and look. There it lies, that empty skin, along with any tick or parasite that we happened to pick up along the journey, and we think, wow, what is that? That looks nothing like me. Why did I resist the change for so long?

That’s the healthy response.

But some of us want to cling to the old form of being. The ones who are good at denial and self delusion try to wiggle back into the skin, to no avail. Perhaps we gather it up, staple it back together, and duct tape it back on, hoping no one will notice the frayed edges and the new skin peaking out. When that does not work, we get angry at the skin. Stupid skin, getting all small and constraining. Why couldn’t it keep on doing what it was meant to do?

There are those who say that humans seek their own demise, that all our behaviors, no matter what the intent, take us inevitably towards that point of dissolution between snake and skin. Negative labels are applied this inevitable change, because all change is bad. Right? Right? They point fingers at the corrupt and dysfunctional institutions and social systems as the cause of this change. They say the belief in Armageddon becomes a self fulfilling prophesy, ensuring that we are doomed to the future that we fear the most.

Perhaps it would be better to think the opposite. Perhaps it is the tick tock clock of our own evolution that has caused the failure of the social order. If you look around and discover that things have ceased to serve their function, rejoice. The change is upon you.

In the face of epic change, let the broke stay broke. Trying to fix the unfix-able only postpones the inevitable outcome.

Be the snake. Slither free and don’t look back.

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