A feature I'd like to make a regular part of this blog is an occasional Q&A section drawn from reader comments. There's a particular good set of questions from one commentator on the United States of Wikipedia post.
Lying, truth telling, the question really is, what is most often the motivation behind communication in general? On the Net, on the radio, on the street corner? The attempt to persuade.
My last post addressed this question, but I'll say a little more. There's nothing wrong with trying to persuade people, but the attempt to do so through lies, manipulation, threat, and actually carrying out threats, is motivated not by the desire to persuade, but the desire to control. Not only does control never actually work, it actually impedes the process of persuading others and accomplishing what one wished to accomplish. People who agree with others through coercion, lies, and manipulation, are not really giving their real consent to anything, and thus the power of persuasion hasn't actually been manifested, and so not much ever gets done. The result is stagnation and stasis. However, when one genuinely persuades people based on at least a basic element of truth to a certain point of view or course of action, it has great power. It creates a genuinely fruitful dynamic. If one has merely subtly controlled them through fear, lies, propaganda, manipulation, and coercion, the dynamic is inherently unstable and can't accomplish very much, and will eventually fall apart. As it usually does, after wrecking a fair amount of havoc in the world.
The problem with most human communication both historically and in our times is that it's all too often based on a fearful desire to control other people. "Persuasion" has almost become a dirty word. But communication does not have to be based on these motives. The most effective argument against this form of communication is not the moral one, but the practical one. It simply doesn't work. It works only in a half-assed manner that goes only so far, and creates so much internal tension and conflict that it prevents the realization of the very goals envisioned. Truth, on the other hand, actually works, and brings people together willingly to accomplish things that control could never have done.
When the doctor asks us to open wide and stick out our tongue, sure there is a simply practical request being made, still his tone may be demanding that we hurry up because he has many more customers waiting.
Yes, but we go to the doctor voluntarily with a basic sense of trust that they know what they are doing. We have been persuaded to trust the doctor. If that persuasion was based on false premises, we will find that out and sue the doctor or not go any more. So if the doctor wants to make a good living, he has to be honest and truthful with his patients or his business will suffer. The doctor's tone may be one of the reasons we no longer trust him. Or, it may prove to make for good bedside manner. The key here is being sensitive to what we need, and not intimidated by doctors or other authority figures. At a certain point this just boils down to what actually works for us. There was a time when authoritarianism might have "worked", at least in comparison to what preceded it, but it's hardly the most effective method, and we can start to see better alternatives.
In many of these instances the powers that be control the entire conglomeration. Or at least the same basic guy behind a different mask does. Watch eight hours of television a day, as it is said the average American does -- from the commercials, to the dramas, to the comedies, etc. within only the slimmest margin of difference, say the equivalent between your average Republican and Democrat, are we not only seeing the same angsting of the populace in order to improve the paying customers urge to pay?
There is certainly a huge amount of energy being spent trying to control and subtly influence people, especially through the media. A lot of what the media does is build up fear and anxiety in us in order to control us, influence us, keep us watching, and offer the buying of products as the solution to this fear and anxiety. What we need to observe is whether this method is still working, or whether people have begun to see through this to the point that they don't actually respond in the same way to these methods any more. I think we are seeing a subtle shift away from these old methods and this old energy, and towards something new that works much more effectively in the present and the future world we are moving into. The kind of products people buy out of fear and anxiety are probably quite different from what they would buy based on truth-telling and an appreciation for our real needs, both individually and collectively. There are huge inefficiencies built into the fear and control system of economics we have in the world now, which could be eliminated and replaced by far more efficient ways of doing business including the arts of selling products.
As long as capitalism, or better stated -- personal self-interest, rule the day amongst those that look to control the purse strings, just as soon as a new form of freeing information is designed, a counter measure will be funded to either block it or co-opt it. That is why Fox News for example, is an unprecedented evolution, but an evolution none the less of what came before. Needs created in order to be fed.
What we have in the world today is hardly what would historically be called capitalism. It's more a form of economic fascism, really. And by that I mean a merging of corporate business interests with government institutions such that we can hardly tell the difference between the two, and all of that driven by motives of fear and control, as in fascism. It's just not as obviously jack-booted. The revolving door between government regulators and those they regulate has created a new kind of capitalist state that thrives on government regulation, despite the rhetoric otherwise from doctrinaire conservatives. Corporations love regulation, because they know they can use it to their advantage to keep competition at bay and to exploit consumers who think they have real choices but do not. The economic landscape is hardly what could be called "free enterprise", and the result has been economic stagnation and decay, rather than robust growth.
Are we really witnessing anything like a personal/moral renaissance occurring here, however we may attribute its cause?
This remains to be seen. I think on a spiritual level we are indeed witnessing a profound transformation in the energy of the earth. How we respond to that is an unwritten book.
By which I mean that we can still fuck things up, by reacting to this new energy and refusing to go with it, by resisting it and trying by force of will to impose old-energy patterns regardless of the new environment. Many people are doing just that, and not understanding where their frustration comes from. Take Tea-Partiers, for example. Part of their impulse is a reaction against the control of society by fixed, corrupt, institutional interests such as those behind the financial collapse and bailout. That represents a gut-level rebellion against the bondage of these exploitative old-energy patterns that are not working any more. But an even larger aspect of the Tea-Party is a reactionary rebellion against the new energy, and a fear of losing the old energy pattern that are "taking my country away". They "want their country back", which means they want the old energy pattern they were accustomed to functioning under back, and they are angry that it has been usurped by newer patterns, such as Obama represents in part.
So these people are internally contradictory, since a part of them wants the new, but a part of them is hungering for a restoration of the old. Such people have to learn not just how to let go of the old and embrace the new, they have to sort out their own tendencies and attachments, and through discrimination build an internally consistent approach that can respectfully put aside the old patterns and create new ones while yet retaining some sense of continuity. For the moment, however, we have an emotional chaos in many of these people that simply can't sort out their own motives and impulses toward "freedom" from the very things that have led them into bondage.
Do you really think there is a higher power active, independent of the vagaries of human sideways evolution doing its thing?
I don't think there is any higher power independent of human evolution, I think that any higher power is also deeply involved in our own evolutionary process from the beginning and all the way through it. Clearly, the world works through evolutionary means, including biological and cultural evolution. If this world is a product of a higher power, it must be one that makes these evolutionary processes an inherent part of the whole process of life and spiritual growth here. So the higher power is intimately involved in the life process here, and in every individual's life and mind and action, and the collective as well. We are not apart from that, we are a part of that. That higher power is not separate from our own individuated power to act and create.
A higher power utilizing "the new new" to do more or less the same old, same old?
No, we need to understand this higher power as intimately interwoven with every individual's life and mind and consciousness, passing through various energy phases in its personal and collective development, creating new patterns and adapting to them, the overall effect being an evolutionary process that creates new environments and world-wide energy patterns that we have both created and are responding to interactively, not like some dumb slugs being given revelations from on high, but like Gods-on-earth who are coming to recognize our own power and strength, who we are and where we came from, and learning to create on that basis rather than the old assumptions based on a very limited understanding of our relationship to God, higher powers, and the structure of the manifest cosmos.
Perhaps. If so, is this a spirit you believe descends now and again, say as in The Renaissance? Does it have its equal and opposite that swoops down to create dark ages? This is a theory that makes me curious.
The spirit does not descend from some other place. What we experience as "Divine Descent" is merely a yogic process in our own body-minds by which we open ourselves to our real nature and incorporate that knowledge in our souls, through deep feeling and conscious intent. That higher power we find active in us was always there, but we have kept it dormant through ignorance, and when it activates it might feel like something descending from above and beyond, but it is really just emerging from our own hearts and consciousness. It is us getting to know ourselves and our capabilities better. When it is seen as "apart from us" rather than as "a part of us", we still have work to do integrating this descent of spirit.
Historical developments like the Renaissance can certainly be seen as a part of this process, but it's an ongoing and uninterrupted process, not something that comes and goes by the whim of some higher Deity from elsewhere. What is going on now is not without precedent, but it's a transition to a newer spiritual order based on all the previous movements reaching a tipping point, where the old configuration essentially falls apart and a new balance is achieved. On the level of energy this has already happened and though the energy is still settling down and finding its way in the new grid, it's a fait accompli at this point. Now it's just a matter of it working its way into the grosser patterns of life on earth and us responding to what we have created for ourselves. It's important to recognize that we actually wanted this, and not seeing it as something imposed on us from above by some remote Deity. That's the old energy way of looking at things, and it doesn't work any more to look at these movements of spirit in that manner. It was always a limited way of looking at things, now it's also obsolete and simply unworkable.
If indeed you stand by it, what is your sense of what is behind the forces that guide it? Are they polytheistic, monotheistic, hormonal, limbic,infinitely complex, other?
You could look at it from any of those points of view, if understood inter-dimensionally rather than in the fixed, linear, causal manner. The way the new energy works is through acausal, non-linear and fluid mechanisms and viewpoints. You cannot mass produce the new energy, it is unique and individualistic. I will talk about that more in latter posts, especially those dealing with the astrological aspects of this transformation, including the 2012 phenomena.
So while there is only one God (monotheism) He manifests not just through all of us, but as all of us, making all of us Gods as well (polytheism). And by that, I mean that God also manifests through all the biological and subtle structures of our own bodies and minds. In fact, any configuration of consciousness can not only be seen as an "entity" of some kind, a God of sorts, but it will actually function that way. And thus we are each a God, and a part of many Gods, all inter-dimensionally interdependent, like an infinite series of overlapping Venn diagrams. We like to think that our consciousness is a separate individual, but in reality it is a part of and even an overlord to many individuals, including the cells in our bodies and the earth itself.
Learning to see this multi-faceted "picture" of ourselves is what the new energy is about in many ways, and it doesn't allow us to have a fixed identity as was previously assumed. It doesn't allow anyone or anything else to have a fixed identity either. This represents the transcendence of some of the basic assumptions about the ego and what human beings are, and thus it's a process that is going to take time to take hold in us and become natural enough for us to function comfortably with. We can see already how many people are deeply disturbed by this energy already, even if they can't quite describe why. They have to learn to function in an entirely new way, which means fluidly and without a fixed notion of identity and belonging, but an overlapping sense of both identity and our "place" in the cosmos.
I am waiting for you to let the cat out of the bag regarding the whys and wherefores of who is running the show.