Chapter Two: The Train Wreck as Metaphor
Imagine an over-loaded passenger train high-balling down the track at full speed and just up ahead is a sharp curve. Instead of slowing down in order to safely negotiate the dangerous curve the reckless and distracted locomotive engineer continues on at full-throttle, oblivious to the consequences of his unconsciousness. As the lead engine begins to bear-into the acute curve and centrifugal force interacts with velocity, there is a critical moment where the locomotive, as well as all the passenger-cars, become irreversible participants in a major derailment… the classic ‘train wreck’. As with the infamous Titanic after it side-swiped the iceberg, the fate of the passenger train is, from that moment on, irrevocably sealed.
As centrifugal force causes the lead engine to disengage from the tracks and begin its inevitable trajectory down the steep embankment towards the ditch below (followed by all the passenger cars), let’s ‘freeze’ this scenario for a few moments and consider its metaphorical implications. The impending train-wreck provides a perfect metaphor for the dire situation our world finds itself in today. The train itself represents the evolution of both western civilization and western thought with the lead engine being the techno-industrial revolution. The locomotive’s mechanical components, which allow it to high-ball along the tracks, represent western society’s institutions and industries (including military, government, justice, religion, education, science, medicine, etc.), henceforth referred to as ‘machine-parts within a much larger machine’. The train’s break-neck speed represents the arrogant ‘progress-at-any-price’, ‘damn the torpedoes’ mentality that has fueled hyper-intellectual man’s destructive juggernaut ever since the day he first began interfering with all things natural. The reckless and distracted locomotive engineer represents the forces of greed and hoarding, neither of which understands the meaning of the term; ‘slow down’. The dangerous curve can best be compared to the unchecked, exponential growth of machines, technology and other social and Earth-destructive gadgetry… and the centrifugal force that eventually derails the locomotive is none other than Newton’s Third Law of Motion. The over-loaded passenger cars represent the seven billion (soon to be ten billion) desperate human beings all trying to survive on an extremely damaged, depleted and over-crowded planet. (The passenger-list represents the wide spectrum of humanity but unfortunately, the train wreck does not distinguish between the saints and the sinners, the tree-huggers and the clear-cutters, the petroleum industry and the environmentalists… when the train goes off the rails it takes everyone with it).
Freezing the above scenario allows time to examine the under-lying causes of the impending disaster. Those who work in the transportation industry refer to the diesel locomotive as a ‘unit’ which very well suits the purposes of this allegory. Each mechanical component and machine-part, from the massive engine-block right down to the smallest screw, from the air-brakes to the air-horns and even the distracted engineer, are all integral parts of one singular and very large machine… one unit. Each component and individual machine-part was designed to aid and abet the intended purpose of the locomotive which is to generate the required energy to haul passenger or freight cars down the track, usually at very high speeds. The many individual parts are inseparable from the whole… it’s all one thing. Whether the passenger train crashes or arrives at its destination safely, the machine-parts and components share as much of the responsibility as the locomotive unit itself for the outcome of the journey. In the example given above, the doomed passenger train could not have been high-balling down the track and around a dangerous curve at top-speed unless all the mechanical components and machine-parts were functioning as they were designed to. So, in a direct sense, each component and machine-part bears a collective and ‘causal’ responsibility for the fate of the passenger train.
The institutions and industries (including the organs of government, education, science, medicine, justice, military, religion, etc.) that together constitute ‘western civilization’ also share a collective responsibility for the global derailment currently unfolding as we speak. There is absolutely no other way of getting around this fact. We can’t blame the bears, the eagles, the fish, the insects or the snakes for the destruction of planet Earth. Nor can we blame the devil, the boogie-man, the tooth-fairy or space aliens. It is we, the advanced human species who are causing all the problems. And even if we accept that it is actually us, western civilization who is responsible, we can’t single-out a few of the more-obvious components that symbolize the industrial age, i.e., the petroleum, logging, aviation, automotive and agricultural industries, and say they’re the ones who did this. Wouldn’t that be convenient. In fact, the responsibility rests at a much more basic and all-encompassing level, which means, the whole of western civilization… the ethical foundation of the machine, its components and all its individual parts.
Systemic Denial and a Major Disconnect
The relationship between the individual machine-parts and the impending train-wreck makes for an interesting study. Let’s return once more to the ‘frozen’ scenario above – if we isolate an insignificant screw and washer, and somehow communicated to them that the locomotive (to which they are attached) is a split-second away from jumping the rails and hurtling down the steep embankment toward its doom what would their reaction be? Probably one of disbelief, perhaps apathy and more than likely, denial and disconnection. For at that precise moment the locomotive ‘appears’ to be working just fine… the gauges are all steady, the pistons are humming away, the wheels are greased and rolling and the engineer has his headphones cranked way-up. Each tiny machine part, no matter how insignificant, is busy and preoccupied doing its little job somewhere deep within the sprawling complexity of the larger machine and, lacking any real perspective, the screw and washer would most likely feel little or no connection to the fate of the speeding, over-crowded passenger-train.
These are three typically modern-human reactions to dealing with problems which occur outside of our limited field of vision… denial, apathy and disconnection. The following two examples further illustrate the systemic and insidious nature of these reactions.
The first example focuses on two relatively recent environmental disasters… the Deep Water Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico and the Exxon Valdez running a-ground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. As much as we would like to think so, the responsibility for these accidents does not lie solely with BP Oil or Exxon. Sure, on the surface of things it may appear that human error (CEO Tony Haywood and Captain Hazelwood) triggered the environmental disasters but the ultimate responsibility equally rests on the shoulders of the general public (you and me) and our ravenous appetite for petroleum products. It’s a simple case of ‘supply and demand’… the oil rig and the loaded tanker were ‘supplying’ and the general public (you and me) was at the gas-pump ‘demanding’. The media and the major networks were all over these two events like vultures and yet not once, as I can truthfully recall, was there even a suggestion that there was a direct linkage between the two disasters and the general public… the ‘gas-guzzling’ general public. Even with local Louisiana residents, fishermen and boat owners, who were most affected by the Deep Water Horizon incident, this causal linkage was non-existent. ‘It’s BP who’s to blame, it’s Tony Haywood who fouled our beautiful shore-line… string ‘em up’.
Systemic denial and a major disconnect.
The second example deals with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Canada. It, like all events over-seen by the I.O.C. was an unabashed corporate ‘feeding frenzy’. Alcohol flowed freely, little red and white flags were waved and the city, as well as the rest of the nation, swelled with national pride. The business community, the airlines industry, the building trades, the tourism sector, the I.O.C. and the corporate sponsors all made ‘boat-loads’ of money. But, an environmental-impact study was conducted just prior to the event and the closest estimate on the game’s ‘carbon-footprint’ was pegged at around 3.45 mega-tons. That’s 3.45 million tons of CO2 were generated and released into the atmosphere as a direct result of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. (Who can forget that fleet of CO2-spewing dump-trucks hauling snow all the way from Manning Provincial Park, 190 kilometers away, to make up for Cypress Bowl’s lack of snow which was caused by, you guessed it… global warming). And don’t forget that this was 2010 and for the past decade or two the global scientific community has been screaming at the top of its lungs that we as a civilization are in ‘deep shit’ due to the excessive release of CO2 into the atmosphere by the airlines, auto, transportation, mining, manufacturing and construction industries. (Fact: The manufacture of one cubic ton of concrete produces one ton of carbon dioxide… it sounds preposterous I know… that is until you break down concrete’s many components (including the re-bar and plywood) and trace each component’s ‘carbon trail’ back to its original source). Here’s my point. If someone walked up to Jacque Rogge, John Furlong, Gordon Campbell, Jack Poole, Jimmy Pattison or Steven Harper (all men) and asked them to comment on the estimated 3.45 mega-ton carbon-footprint generated by the games, what do you think their response would be?? If that same question was put to the carousing, swaggering flag-wavers weaving their way through the glittered streets of Vancouver, what do you think their response would be?? I rest my case.
The collective responsibility for the evolution and current state of the ‘much larger machine’ is key to understanding how one singular species-group managed to turn this beautiful planet into an industrial cesspool and a killing field in only six thousand years. How one singular sub-species of primates could somehow managed to destroy what nature took three and a half billion years to create… in only six millennia… is an inconceivable feat of unfathomable proportions. How did we do it? How did we create a global train-wreck so quickly? The answers to these questions revolve around a number of primary factors, the most obvious ones being extreme over-population and the attitudes of superiority, arrogance, greed and disrespect. But perhaps less obvious and yet as equally essential to the creation of the wreckage is the blind and unwavering acquiescence of individual machine-parts to the questionable ethics of the larger machine.
(Note: Nothing should frighten us more than complacency and blind acquiescence… especially in this day and age. And considering the ominous challenges we are faced with re the industrial state’s broken infrastructure, it is complacency and acquiescence that will most assuredly ‘sink the ship’. In many respects we have become a culture of ‘enablers’ – an unfortunate by-product of the ‘herd’ mentality – in which we enable and sanction each other to continue doing what we do… simply because everyone else around us is doing it).
If the ethical and historical foundation of western institutions, industries and social organs are contaminated by the T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome (taking more than you need), then those organs will likewise become cancerous and will eventually rot and die from the inside-out. Poison only breeds more poison. Is there any doubt that profit-motive, greed and hoarding have, to a great degree, contaminated the evolution of western society’s legal and justice systems, organized religion, education, health-care, the business, industrial and corporate sectors, science and research, government and labor. Can there be any question that the destructive influences of greed and hoarding have also found their way into the more benign, secondary sectors of the social spectrum, i.e., the entertainment industry, music and fine arts, organized sports, baseball, gambling, casinos, etc. These poisonous conditions will continue to deteriorate until individual machine-parts themselves begin to accept that we, regardless of how small and insignificant we think we are, play a vital role in the creation, sustenance and continued growth of the ‘larger machine’.
Likewise, any system that is built upon a foundation of disrespect for nature and natural law will also collapse. I mention again the lightning speed and the extremely brief time-frame that it took for hyper-man to screw things up and this speed/time factor suggests that the means by which he (we) accomplished this destructive end was also, at its core, extreme. Arrogance and disrespect for nature’s time-enduring laws are ‘extreme’ attitudes, unprecedented in all of history and whose only outcome is structural disintegration. The following chapter titled ‘Control, Manipulation and Interference: The Hallmarks of Hyper-man’ will expand on this theme.
The preceding paragraphs highlight only a few of the contributing factors which help to explain why the current industrial state is teetering on the brink. It’s not only the clear-cutting and the tar-sands, the coal industry and agriculture, the I.M.F. and Wall Street, but the wider system whose ethics have been infected by the idea of ‘taking more than you need’.
Waking Up… One-by-One-by-One
Respect and consciousness cannot be legislated. Nations, cultures or collectives are not genetically predisposed to ‘waking up’ en masse… human beings just don’t work that way. Becoming respectful and conscious have always been, and will continue to be, purely ‘individual’ endeavors… one human being at a time. Scientific data and conventional wisdom can play only a limited role in terms of education… when it actually comes right down to fundamental changes in attitudes, these changes need to originate in the individual’s guts. This document provides a unique approach to understanding how modern humans built the structure of western society upon very shaky and questionable grounds and that the extreme nature of the poisons pervasive within that structure have so quickly and thoroughly altered the course of natural and human history (for the worse). The document certainly does not advocate that those enmeshed somewhere within the structure (myself included) stop what we are doing and abruptly change directions just because someone dictates that we should. What it does advocate is that we first educate ourselves in order to better understand the sordid history of the ideological monstrosity (western civilization and the Industrial Age) we hyper-humans created… thereby gaining the required perspective to enact necessary changes and to live more consciously. And secondly, question the ethics of the ‘machine’ and its many components. Question the ethics of governments, financial institutions, religions and legal systems. Question the ethics of science and technology, the education system, the medical/pharmaceutical industries, the agriculture and livestock industries, etc. Any system or mechanism whose historical and ethical foundation is so deeply rooted within the dubious values of money, profit motive and T.M.T.Y.N. Syndrome should be, by right, subject to the scrutiny of its many parts.
The original intention of the Indian Residential School trilogy was to simply link together a chain of incontestable historical facts in a unique fashion and present them to the Canadian public for their consideration… nothing more and nothing less. The ideas and insights presented here are certainly not intended to be rammed down the reader’s throats… they can take it or leave it. More than anything else, the trilogy provides a twenty-first century reality check… and for those with their antennae up, the document is laced with solutions. Or more accurately, one recurring solution implicitly threads its way through the entire exercise, which is that we as a species group were violently distracted and dislodged from the center of things (i.e., the centre of ourselves, the centre of nature and the underlying reality existing only in the present moment) and one-by-one-by-one we, as individuals, need to find a way to return to that center.
This is the only solution.
Chapter Three: Control, Manipulation and Interference – The Hallmarks of Hyper-man
“He’s so far behind he thinks he’s first”
There is an illusion suffered by certain long-distant runners (particularly the slowest ones) around a circular track. As the pack of faster runners advances further ahead and around the track they eventually wind-up, not in front of, but behind the slower runner. With the pack behind him and no one in front, and further compounded by hyper-ventilation and light-headedness, the slow runner experiences a momentary illusion that he is ahead of everyone else and is in fact winning the race.
The void created by western man’s abrupt departure from nature was predestined to spawn only ‘unnatural’ off-shoots (i.e., synthetic and elitist-driven laws, ethics and values) but the unwholesome void also issued-forth another patently hyper-ideological phenomenon known quite simply as the illusion. A simple definition of illusion is when something appears to be real but it isn’t or, as is often the case, when the reality of something is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to what we think it is. The word think is underscored because an illusion is nothing more than an idea synthesized within the individual or collective mind and therefore bears little or no resemblance to reality. For any organism that places itself in an exclusive sphere above the rest of creation (thereby separating itself from natural law) the illusion provides the modus operandi, the fuel and the justification for its wayward trajectory. The further hyper-man drifts away from the natural world, the deeper he sinks into the quicksand of alienation and self-destruction (while desperately trying to convince himself that he is still the ‘crown of creation’ and the ‘master of all he surveys’). The modern techno-industrial state exists at the leading edge of a ten-thousand year-old mistake which begat ‘the grandest of illusions’, being that we advanced hyper-humans are superior to and have dominion over all of nature and are therefore justified in our destructive drive to control, manipulate and interfere with the natural order of life on planet Earth.
Generally speaking, North American Indigenous cultures did not place themselves above or below the rest of creation. Concurring with the basic tenets of quantum law, the Aboriginals understood themselves to be kin and inter-related to all elemental life; the trees, land, air, water, fish, birds, and other animals… thus the term ‘All My Relations’. The living Earth ‘mothered’ flora in the same way that it ‘mothered’ fauna and the Great Spirit (that Omni-present field of indivisible energy) permeated all, sustained all and kept the cosmic wheel of life turning. The idea of superiority never dawned on the Aboriginals. Their’s was an existence so ‘in tune’ with the forces and rhythms of nature (both within and without) that their day-to-day activities became simply an echoed response to the natural stimuli coming in from the world around them. Little wonder that over 35,000 years their culture evolved into a reverential, harmonious dance with creation.
The illusions of superiority, dominion and exclusivity that fuel the aggressive evolution of western civilization and western thinking are pervasive and deeply rooted, so much so that they are collectively accepted as truth and are therefore unquestionable. Hyper-man’s self-induced illusions have in fact become the ethical base of the machine, its components and its individual parts. Is anyone or anything immune? When the mind-set of superiority is generally accepted as an unquestionable truth, there is very little wiggle-room for immunity. Consider the ethical basis of western medicine, science and technology. Those three forces cut a wide and diverse swath through the techno-industrial landscape but there is an obvious thread of commonality that connects all three entities which is the prevailing attitude that no matter what they do, no matter what machines they invent, no matter how much they interfere, tamper and screw-around with the finely-tuned balances and infallible wisdom of nature, they are completely justified in doing so… simply because they think they are.
The void that created modern-man’s illusion of superiority is also the same source that produced the ideas of control, manipulation and interference. Combined, these elements formed a causal linkage, over millennia, to the modern industrial state’s dysfunctional institutions, including western medicine, science and technology. It is safe to say that few within these industries have even the slightest grasp of natural history, natural law or even a basic understanding of nature’s profound wisdom when it comes to ecosystems management. How many are aware of the ‘equation’ (pre-agriculture – see Chapter One) that stringently regulated the populations and life-cycles of all species-groups (including humans) within any given ecosystem? How many are aware that mankind’s inversion of that equation was the biggest blunder ever perpetrated in the history of the planet and that the inversion triggered a destructive chain-reaction that would, ten-thousand years later, jeopardize the entire biosphere and all its inhabitants? How many realize that their industries constitute the latest links in that destructive chain-reaction and that they, the medical, science and technology sectors are active participants, aiders and abettors of a defective system that is sustained and under-written by a synthetic code of ethics based upon the precepts of control, manipulation and interference?
The Biosphere’s Circadian Rhythm
Control, manipulation and interference have become the hallmarks of hyper-ideology. Western civilization can thus be defined by the extent of its interference and meddling with natural rhythms, cycles and balances which were vital to the continued sustainability of an extremely fragile biosphere. For example, the relatively short life-span of a garter snake or a common sparrow are pre-designed to ensure, first of all, enough time for procreation and species survival, and secondly, that they die-off and make room for future generations all vying for limited resources within a given land-base. The garter snake and the sparrow were never intended to out-live their naturally-allotted life-spans and tampering with or lengthening their life-cycles would fundamentally upset their regional eco-system’s natural bio-rhythm, much in the same way that tampering with the global population dynamics of plants and animal species abruptly and irreversibly threw the Earth’s circadian rhythm out of alignment.
But the blind and arrogant hyper-humans, with the aid of advanced medical science and sophisticated machinery have elected to ignore and flout nature’s laws and rhythms by tampering with and extending human existence far beyond its intended shelf-life. The Hippocratic oath mentions nothing about human beings being kept alive by machines. It mentions nothing about synthetic chemicals/pharmaceuticals or their ability to interfere with a human being’s inherent right to die a natural and timely death. In regards to human population, science and medicine have further meddled with nature’s delicate balancing act by attempting to rid the world of mankind’s natural predators, diseases and plagues, etc., all of which were tools used for culling and maintaining a healthy balance in species population. (No doubt many will chafe at the mere suggestion but the human animal, like all other living organisms, also needs to be culled every so often). So today, in a lethally over-populated world, we find ourselves with a medical industry ‘up to the gunnel’s’ with sophisticated electronic gadgetry, poisonous pharmaceuticals and fueled by unfounded religious fears… bent on extending and sucking the last ounce of existence out of humans who would certainly have died earlier, died more naturally and made room for someone else… had all the machines been unplugged. (More on this in Chapter Four)
You see it everywhere… the lunacy threads its way throughout the fabric of western culture. It’s in our movies, sit-coms, magazines, books, the arts, music, the education system and on the web. Hyper-humans are obsessed with an unnatural fear of aging and death. They fantasize about somehow ‘cheating’ death, of discovering some lost ‘fountain of youth’, of cosmetic surgery and new drugs and creams that reverse the aging process or cryogenically preserving their brains for future transplants into new and youthful bodies. And what’s even more foreboding is hyper-man’s dangerous dalliances into the Orwellian nightmare of nanotechnology and cyber-robotics which envisions a super-race of humans where disease, aging and even death are conquered. It’s ubiquitous, it’s insidious and it’s certifiably insane.
(Note: It’s also called the Ray Kurzwiel Syndrome… google Ray Kurzwiel, who is the nano-tech/cyber-bot movement’s de facto ‘god-father’ and who, sadly enough, ‘thinks’ he will conquer his own death via technology).
In the advanced fields of genetics, genomics and nanotechnology the exponential growth has accelerated to such a fever-pitch that few within those industries possess the objectivity, conscience or courage to step-back and question the ethics and morality of what they are doing. For example, in an extremely over-populated world, what are the environmental, social and ethical ramifications of a species that never grows old, never gets sick and never dies, especially considering the fact that it (that species) continues to breed, multiply, consume and pollute… and cut down trees.
Hyper-man’s fear of death partly stems from a linear psychosis and obsessive pre-occupation with the illusionary realm of the ‘future’. This pathological condition further translates as a fear of the unknown. The poor fellow simply doesn’t know ‘who he is’, having alienated himself from his inner and Omni-present reality, courtesy of hyper-linear thinking (i.e., drifting so far away into his own unbridled imagination where absolutely nothing is for real and absolutely nothing is for certain). For hyper-man, the ending of a life-cycle (which does not register in the understanding of other living organisms simply because they exist and function in the present moment) becomes an ominous and frightful precipice beyond which there is only emptiness and uncertainty, or for those of the religious persuasion, the prospect of burning in hell for the rest of eternity. Thus a glimpse into the clinical madness pervading the hyper-linear mind.
The irresponsible meddling of science, religion, technology and the medical industry into nature’s ancient system of order is a prime example of a long lineage of deadly train-wrecks that litter the landscape of western ideology. And it is the biosphere (the flora and fauna) that ultimately wind-up bearing the real cost of hyper-man’s obsession with control and interference. Not surprisingly, considering the exponential growth factor, most of these train-wrecks appear to be bunched-up at this end of western man’s history. A recent documentary suggested that if the Earth’s entire history was represented by a twenty-four hour clock, mankind has only been around for the last fifteen seconds. You can take that one step further… using the same clock, the past two hundred and fifty years since the start of the industrial revolution would be equal to 1/6000th of the final second. In that infinitesimally brief period of time modern-man has managed wreak havoc, abuse and disrespect upon this precious jewel… this gift… our Earth.
The Zuckerberg Syndrome
“We will attempt to rid the world of all disease within our child’s lifetime”
Back in the prologue the phrase ‘perilously irrational blind spot’ was used to describe hyper-man’s inability to deal with the issue of nature’s need to ‘correct’ or cull human populations. The blind spot was an unfortunate by-product of the agricultural revolution, which simultaneously triggered the ideological revolution…the age of ideas. One of the most pernicious of those (synthetic) ideas was that advanced modern humans somehow occupied a select and exclusive sphere above all of nature (see ‘crown of creation’)…that man’s laws were superior to nature’s laws. This foolish and fateful notion drove a wedge between hyper-man and nature. It would eventually prove to be his undoing and lead to the downfall of western civilization.
Ideas are not always benign…some can easily shape-shift into beliefs and then on into truths. But the danger with this lineage is that the original idea that the so-called ‘truth’ was based upon may itself not be grounded in reality. Cited earlier was the ‘flat earth’ concept and the belief in a geo-centric universe. These were ideas conjured up in the minds of earlier civilizations and were based upon a very limited and skewed perspective of the cosmos. The idea of man’s preordained dominion over nature was itself arrived at through the same process. As the concept of superiority began to evolve and take root – in tandem with the agricultural revolution – so too did the blind spot.
There are really only two camps, two positions that can be held regarding the extremely dangerous and long-fomenting conflict between hyper-humans and nature. There is no middle ground. One either subscribes to the position that nature and its laws are the ultimate authority when it comes to biospheric management – or – that hyper-man holds that authority. The former camp sees humans as a small but integral part of a much greater whole while the latter sees humans as the controllers, the subjugators and conquerors of nature. The former understands that nature – in accordance with an ancient and universal code of laws and principles – must occasionally and out of necessity, ‘correct’ the human population (as with all species populations) in order to maintain some semblance of balance within the greater system. The latter, who recklessly believe themselves and their laws to be superior, will flaunt and ignore the universality of nature’s laws. Nature prescribes a species cull and hyper-humans will have no part of it. And this ominous tussle has been building, exponentially and inexorably, for thousands of years.
“We must allow nature to do its ‘work’…we absolutely must. As repugnant and unpalatable as it may be to some, the out-of-control and exponentially-driven human population has become an infestation, a blight upon the Earth that urgently requires a long, long overdue correction. And the cumulative effect of delaying and avoiding this necessary and natural process (a cull) for so long is that humanity (along with most other organic life forms) now faces the ever-growing prospect of extinction.
There is a mentality that exists today on Planet Earth – chiefly within the domain of advanced science, technology, western medicine and religion – which is ‘hell-bent’ on preventing nature from doing its ‘work’. This mentality, being a direct off-shoot of the blind spot (and the idea of superiority that created it) was then, and still is today, predominately an elitist and religious-driven ideology whose self-mandated objective is to ensure that (at all costs) the human population is not subjected to a natural correction…a natural cull. And for the past seven millennia this mentality has been busy attempting, with whatever means available at the time, to shut nature out of the hyper-human population dynamic. The invention of agriculture triggered the exponential growth of human populations (see Chapter One) and in only seven thousand years (since agriculture became a force unto its own) the global human population has exploded from a comfortable 5-6 million to a completely unsustainable 7.5 billion (and heading towards 10-11 billion). And one of the leading engines – if not the leading engine – driving this unfolding disaster is hyper-man’s deranged mentality which dictates that nobody should get sick, that nobody should die…that every virus, every plague, bug, germ and disease must be ‘snuffed out’ without a single man, woman or child perishing.
Sheer madness…from a purely nature-centric point of view.
This brings us to the above Zuckerberg quote. Goodness, where does one begin. It is virtually impossible to imagine a more absurd or irresponsible statement than to suggest that we hyper-humans (advanced primates with abnormally enlarged brains) have the right or should even attempt to eradicate all disease within the twenty-first century. It absolutely flies in the face of nature’s irrefutable, time-enduring laws as well as the universal principles that have governed all biological life on this planet since the beginning. What in the hell was he thinking??? Have we not done enough damage already interfering and meddling with nature’s finely tuned balancing act. Have we not done enough damage already aiding and abetting the lethal over-population of our species (and livestock). Duh. The population of this hyper-human blight needs a drastic reduction…not an increase. In 1970 our population was around four billion…today it sits at 7.5 billion. In only a few decades we, as a super-intelligent and highly mechanized/industrialized species group have wiped out 50% of the world’s wild life and 70% of all aquatic life in the oceans. (In a mere 46 years). Do the math. If that much damage can be done in only 46 years with a population base of between 4-7.5 billion, how much damage will be inflicted during the remainder of the 21st century with a population base of 7.5-10 (maybe 11) billion?
Whether he realizes it or not Mr Zuckerberg has finally put a human face on the madness and idiocy of the techno/industrial age. Whether he realizes it or not he has become the representative, the voice and the de facto ‘poster boy’ for an extremely backwards and aberrant mentality which embodies both the previously-mentioned ‘perilously irrational blind spot’ and the synthetic notion that hyper-humans can live by their own laws and disregard nature’s altogether. Whether he realizes it or not he has inadvertently coined a new term that can be added to the lexicon of western psychiatric medicine…a mental disorder that has been smoldering and quietly festering for thousands of years but has only now been identified and named…the ‘Zuckerberg Syndrome’…a disease of the hyper-ideological (and very delusional) super-mind.
The Zuckerberg quote provides a twenty-first century ‘measuring stick’ that gauges just how far super-humans have removed themselves from the natural world. And the dire implications contained within such a measurement compels one to look beyond the superficial sentiments of the statement itself (something having to do with his child’s lifetime) and instead probe the deeper and perhaps more nefarious motives behind Zuckerberg’s aggressive campaign to eradicate all disease.
The fields of investigative journalism/documentary/film-making have provided the general public with a fairly accurate sense of the corruption that permeates big-pharma, big-medicine, big-government, big-banking and big-industry. One would therefore not be faulted for suspecting that a similar brand of corruption under-pins the Zuckerberg statement as well. Of course many who share his philosophy, i.e., the elites, the corporations, the science/medical/pharmaceutical industries, the banks, the New World Order, etc. will rapturously applaud his ambitious campaign to rid the world of all disease within the next few decades. But it begs the question; whose interests will be served by such a campaign? Who will this campaign benefit and who will it harm? There is no doubt that such a campaign would harm our already crippled biosphere, the remaining forests, wildlife and fish, the poisoned air, the depleted fresh water reserves, the environment, etc.. In fact the health and welfare of the Earth itself and all of nature will be further placed in jeopardy. Why? Because eradicating all disease would be like adding ‘jet fuel’ to the already spiking exponential growth of human populations. Imagine it…. nobody gets sick, nobody dies of disease and we all just keep breeding and multiplying. Talk about a doomsday scenario. The global livestock industry would accelerate its already criminal practice of clear-cutting the world’s remaining old growth forests to provide ‘flesh-foods’ and burgers to all the additional hungry humans who aren’t getting sick and who aren’t dying because disease has been wiped out… thanks to Mr Zuckerberg (and his ilk).
And who would benefit the most from such an ‘eight-ball’ idea? In 1347 the Bubonic Plague struck Europe and decimated its population…100 million down to 50 million in only a few years. The chaos that ensued was unprecedented up to that point in history…the whole system collapsed…the progressive machinery of western civilization ground to a halt. The under-trodden masses were hit the hardest being directly exposed to the human filth. the livestock waste and the vermin running through the streets of Europe. The elites were somewhat shielded within the walls of their castles and estates but were not shielded from the financial after-shock of the plague. The royal coffers, business profits, the labor force, the ‘consumer’ base and church tithes all but dried up and it took the next 100 years to return to some semblance of normalcy. So the monetary and financial systems of that period were hit where it hurt the most…in the pocketbook. (It should be added here that what was viewed as a horrendous and apocalyptic event to the Europeans was no doubt viewed as the best possible thing that could have happened….a ‘God-send’….by the rest of the natural world).
If a catastrophe the scale of the 1347 plague were to happen on Planet Earth today needless to say the world’s financial and social infrastructure would collapse…like a ‘house of cards’. If the human population was reduced by the same proportion, 50% (7.5 billion down to say 3.7 billion) it would be the same players; the elites, the church, the corporations, the industrial, technological and manufacturing sectors, the banks, the governments, the stock markets, (essentially the industrial state) that would bear the financial brunt of the ‘correction’…. and that’s not even considering the suffering, chaos, anarchy and the crime wave that would engulf the planet for centuries to come. This may be a bit over-simplified but the global monetary system, including the multi-nationals, the manufacturing and retail sectors, the medical, high-tech and pharmaceutical industries, the petroleum, chemical, plastics and pesticide industries, the livestock, poultry and dairy industries, the alcohol, tobacco and fire-arms industries, the packaged, junk food, fast-food and sugar industries, the transportation, auto, shipping and aircraft industries, the World Bank, the I.M.F., the Catholic Church and yes, even the mega-billion dollar social networking industry would lose half of their ‘consumer base’ over-night. In theory, they would have only half the number of people to sell their machines, their plastic products and latest electronic gizmos to. Their bottom lines and profit margins would go ‘south’ and most of the system would quickly flounder.
So, in terms of the close relationship between commerce, profit motive and population, would it not be in Mr Zuckerberg’s (and the rest of the corporate/industrial state’s) best interests to keep as many of the world’s potential consumers alive and multiplying (and buying) by ridding the world of all disease?
The Collective Belief in a ‘Manufactured’ Truth
Some readers will likely be upset with this essay’s rather blunt approach to understanding the dynamics of a cull as a natural and very necessary part of a planet’s healthy life-cycle. Since way back at the beginning of the prologue and throughout the general text of the essay readers have been encouraged – even begged at times – to view this issue through the wide-angle lens of natural/biological history. It is only through an open and all-encompassing historical and biological perspective that any one is really going to ‘get’ this document. And that will require a monumental leap for many advanced modern hyper-ideological humans…most of whom will summarily reject such a view. Imagine a catastrophic tsunami that has been building for thousands of years, feeding upon its own momentum and racing towards oblivion. This ‘damn-the-torpedoes’, progress-at-any-price, hyper-ideological age is that tsunami. The entire juggernaut is built upon ideas and as stated above, ideas (whether based upon reality or upon fiction) can quickly morph into beliefs and then on into truths. And this, in essence, is the nature of the dilemma that we hyper-humans have gotten ourselves into today on this planet. Over millennia hyper-man has come to believe as truth the idea (religious and elitist at its core) that our sub-species primates is somehow ‘special’, ‘chosen’ or perhaps ‘deified’ and that it is our ‘God-given’ right, our ‘manifest destiny’ to conquer, tame, subjugate and exploit the Earth and all of nature for our exclusive benefit. And over time the elites have so thoroughly conditioned the masses with this notion that today they (the masses) go passively about their day-to-day ‘doings’ without even questioning the validity of the ‘manufactured’ truth that has been fed to them since the dawn of western thinking. Being so locked into that kind of collective mind-set it is easy to see why the global elite structure, which includes the Church and the rest of the industrial establishment would be a bit upset when someone (blasphemously) posits the necessity of a long-overdue human species cull.
The Ethics of the Industrial State
“If you used the term ‘business ethics’ in the 1970s, when the field was just starting to develop, a common response was: ‘Isn’t that an oxymoron?’ That quip was usually followed by a recitation of Milton Friedman’s famous dictum that a corporate executive’s only social responsibility is to make as much money for shareholders as is legally possible.”
The modern industrial state clearly exhibits a reckless and unconscionable propensity towards poisoning it own citizenry. Perhaps the prototypical model for this phenomenon goes back to Charles Dickens’ portrayal of early to mid-nineteenth century England and the burgeoning coal industry. The lower class (the masses) provided the industrial machinery with its ‘grist’ for the mill in the form of a steady supply of colliers (coal workers) who were viewed by the captains of industry as expendable units of cheap energy… nothing more. Coal was the main resource that fueled the industrial revolution and the revolution required megatons of the ‘black death’ to sustain its growth. Coal mining was the dirtiest, most dangerous and most lethal way of make a living during that era but with Europe’s population explosion, combined with Victorian religious mores and rampant unemployment (caused by the mechanization of industry) the coal-barons were ‘blessed’ with a ready-made work-force which was conscripted to do all the ‘dirty-work’… just to put food on the table. For many of the poor, working class citizens back then, becoming a collier was tantamount to a death-sentence… emphysema, pleurisy, cancer, ‘black-lung’ as well as a plethora of other coal-dust related health problems reached epidemic proportions and the pastoral English country graveyards began filling up with industrial ‘collateral’. Man’s inhumanity to man, within an early-industrial context, appeared to reach a new bench-mark exemplified by the coal industry’s arrogant disregard for the health and well-being (and lives) of its workers. The captains of industry, the stock-holders and the governments were more focused on lining their own pockets with the fabulous wealth gained at the horrific expense of its own citizens.
The early nineteenth-century coal industry’s unscrupulous and criminal practice of knowingly poisoning its own workers (for the sake of profits) appears to have set in motion a deadly and vicious cycle that has now, two-hundred years later, evolved into a full-blown dystopia, compete with an ethical deficit that would have boggled even the imagination of George Orwell. And, in those two-hundred years very little has changed… except for the cycle’s viciousness. Industry is still poisoning its citizens and they, together with big government, still display an arrogant and criminal disregard for the human suffering and death their industrial toxins cause but what has changed between then and now is the incomprehensible scale and scope to which the ‘mass-poisoning’ has evolved. The hyper-human fascination with control and interference, which began so long ago with the invention of agriculture, has now come full-circle… modern-man has left no rock unturned, no single element untampered-with in his insatiable drive towards complete domination over nature and his pursuit of the bottom-line.
News Item: Vancouver Sun Oct 15/13. World Health Organization classifies air pollution as a carcinogen.
News Item: Vancouver Sun Oct 22/13. University of B.C. research data appears in Canadian Medical Association Journal stating that 21,000 Canadians die from chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution annually compared to 2,400 from traffic accidents.
News Item: National Geographic Magazine (Sept 2012). 1.6 million Chinese citizens die annually from air pollution, mostly caused by coal emissions. Chinese industries burn through 3.8 billion cubic tons of coal annually, much of that supplied by the US and Canada. (More recent studies have concluded that the global death toll from exposure to air pollution is 6.7 million).
News Item: Globe and Mail Jan 15/03. World Health Organization estimates the annual US death-toll from tobacco-related diseases to be in the range of 450,000 (a further 50,000 for Canada and 10 million world-wide). These figures do not include the millions of US citizens who suffer long-term health problems linked to tobacco use nor the financial strain exerted on an already over-burdened healthcare system caused by tobacco products. The world-wide death-toll is expected to reach 50 million by 2060 due to the tobacco industry’s aggressive promotion of its products in developing regions.
News Item: Washington Post Mar 21/11. The American Medical Association releases its findings indicating that every 19 seconds a US citizen dies from a drug over-dose, the vast majority of which are not street drugs (like crack cocaine, heroin or crystal-meth) but common, every day prescription drugs and pharmaceuticals.
News Item: Globe and Mail Feb 04/14. New research published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows that people who get 25 percent or more of their daily calories from refined sugar (found mainly in soft drinks, cakes and cereals) almost triple their risk of dying of heart disease.
News Item: CBC News World May 27th/15. Cancer rates to increase by 40% over the next fifteen years (2030) as population ages. Source: The Canadian Cancer Society.
The recent fields of molecular biology, bio-chemistry and genetics have opened a Pandora’s box of poisonous chemical concoctions and carcinogens whose research and development costs have been underwritten by the industry, for the industry and further sanctioned by our governments. The masses who inhabit modern, industrial societies are on the receiving end of this barrage of industrial pollutants and the onslaught is unyielding. The petroleum and chemical industries, which includes hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the Alberta tar-sands and other dirty-oil producers, spew mega-tons of carbon-monoxide and other known carcinogens into our fragile world every day. Like a shroud of death these poisons inundate our mega-cities, our rural areas, our streets, avenues and highways. The toxins seep into our offices, schools, churches, sports-facilities, super-markets, hospitals and homes… no one is immune. Other key players in the ‘mass poisoning’ of our citizenry are; the pesticides industry (fruits and veggies); the hormone and antibiotics industries (flesh-foods); the tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and pharmaceutical industries; the refined-sugar, salt and sugar-substitute industries; the pre-packaged, fast-food and soft-drink industries; the plastics, paper, cotton, building products and construction industries, etc. etc.
The net result of this toxic ‘tsunami’ is an unprecedented epidemic of sickness and disease plaguing modern industrial societies – diabetes, obesity, morbid obesity, leukemia, osteoporosis… lung, breast, pancreatic, prostate and uterine cancers… brain tumors, arteriosclerosis, heart attack and strokes… ALS, Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s… mental illness, addiction, depression and other afflictions – many of which were considered negligible 75 years ago and most of which can now be traced directly back to industrial poisons.
There is a segment from the documentary series ‘The Earth’, narrated by David Attenborough in which a group of swordfish surround a massive school of smaller feeder-fish and in a coordinated manner, hem the feeder-fish into a tight formation of undulating chaos. On a given signal the swordfish begin feasting, at will, on the helpless masses and in addition, being situated near the water’s surface, gannets, terns and other hungry sea-birds join in on the feeding-frenzy.
The hyper-intellectual age, the industrial revolution, the feudal class system and the profit-driven western ethos appear to have all colluded together in creating a complex which can best be described as a ‘human feeding-frenzy’. At one end of the system you have all these industries poisoning the general public with their products (and making a ‘killing’ while doing so) and then, being poisoned, sickened and diseased, the masses have no other option than to limp to the other end of the system where the medical, high-tech and pharmaceutical sectors are conveniently (and lucratively) positioned to act as a ‘catch-basin’ for all the diseases and maladies caused by the industries.
Western medicine has unfortunately evolved into an instrument whose chief purpose is to provide ‘damage-control’ for all the health problems created by its other industrial partners positioned around the feeding-frenzy. And the tacit complicity amongst these key industrial partners ensures the self-perpetuation of the system. The pharmaceutical industry works ‘hand-in-glove’ with the ‘prescription-happy’ medical industry (hmmm, what’s that all about); the dental industry benefits from the sugar industry’s monopolization of pre-packaged foods, candy and soft-drinks; cardiologists do a brisk business thanks to MacDonald’s Corp (and the other fast food/junk food industries) and the high-tech industry further joins-in on the frenzy by creating, developing and supplying all the spiffy and very expensive tax-payer-funded techno-gadgetry that floods the healthcare system. Like Attenborough’s ‘swordfish’ in the example above, the various components of the industrial state appear to be feasting and profiteering from the misfortunes of the helpless masses at the center of the maelstrom. Which leads one to wonder about the ethics of such a system… how do these industries manage to get away with poisoning the general public? And how do these poisonous products even make it on to the open market in the first place?
That’s where governments come in… they play an integral role in the vicious cycle’s continued momentum by providing the licensing, patenting and regulatory agencies who approve, control and tax the industry’s toxic wares intended for human consumption. And big-government is ‘belly-up’ to the same trough as the other key players in the industrial establishment. Western political structures are infested with industry lobbyists and influence peddlers who bring truck-loads of cash to town to either ‘buy’ the approval of their tainted products for sale, or to ensure their tainted products already on the market remain there. Not all politicians engage in this nefarious business but many do and it can’t help but add to the general air of corruption that permeates western governments. The lobby industry, the influence peddlers and the ‘back-room’ deals ensure that the mechanism for approval and sale of industrial products is thoroughly compromised… meaning that the standard for approval is not the safety and integrity of the product itself but the amount of ‘payola’ and votes the government will rake-in.
The Hippocratic Oath
In three separate translations of the Hippocratic Oath (the original is in Greek) the common phrase ‘to protect the patient from harm and injustice’ (or slight variation thereof) appears. If the medical and pharmaceutical industries were really and truly interested in the well-being and health of their patients (and protecting them from harm and injustice) one would think that they, together with big-government would be absolutely up in arms against the industrial state’s overt ‘mass-poisoning’ of its citizens. One would think. But in fact there’s nary a whimper of protest coming from the medical and legislative quarters… thereby guaranteeing the unrestricted flow of industrial poisons and known carcinogens onto the open market and into the bodies and minds of the general public. I’m not suggesting (actually maybe I am) that there is a conspiracy of ‘silence’ within the industrial complex (which would also indicate criminal intent) but the optics certainly seem to infer a reluctance, on the part of key players in the vicious cycle, to ‘rock the boat’. The CEOs of corporations and key industries involved in the feeding-frenzy are not only beholden to their share-holders and investors, but to their own self-interests as well and are therefore mandated with ensuring that the system continues to run smoothly and that the bottom-line remains their top priority.
“Western medicine evolved ‘organically’ within the super-structure of western thought… the same structure whose ethics and values have, over millennia, created a global train-wreck. It is impossible to separate the ethos of the institution from the ethos of the greater mechanism to which it is attached and within which it was generated… both share the same DNA.”
How many healthcare professionals would have the courage to step back for a moment and try to comprehend the magnitude of corruption that infects the modern industrial state, the same state to which they are integral partners. How many would go out of their way in order to gain enough over-sight to recognize the glaring contradictions that exist in their role as ‘care-givers’ within a careless and callous system that blatantly poisons its own citizens. Industries produce chemical poisons by tampering, altering and screwing around with the molecular and genetic building-blocks of biological life. They then dispense those poisons to the general public. The pharmaceutical industry, via the medical profession, then compounds the mass-poisoning by ‘dispensing’ to the same general public an equally poisonous barrage of chemical substances that are produced by tampering, altering and screwing around with the molecular and genetic building-blocks of biological life. And it is the citizens, the unfortunate masses who get shafted from several different directions. First from the industries that produces the poisons, secondly, by having to turn around and pay (to those very same industries) most of their hard earn wages to buy their lethal products. Then from the governments through exorbitant taxes to pay for the over-burdened health-care system (a system that exists mainly due to industrial poisons). And lastly they get it from the medical/pharmaceutical industries in the form of an over-dependency on prescription drugs… a dependency that has reached epidemic proportions in western industrialized societies and largely accounts for the above statistic ‘one fatal drug over-dose every 19 seconds’. The system is a farce… a travesty of justice, human decency and universal ethics… and profit-motive keeps the machinery ‘humming right along’.
Providing care for the sick, the elderly and the wounded has traditionally been a noble and honorable vocation… this was true of hunter-gatherer cultures world-wide. The problem with advanced western societies is that the synthetic values of ‘taking more than you need’, acquisition, hoarding and profit-motive have contaminated the purity and honor of most western institutions including medicine. Many students who enter colleges and universities have been conditioned, since childhood, with the industrial-age ‘idea’ that the more money they earn after they graduate, the wealthier, happier and more fulfilled they will be as adults. Young students considering a career in medicine are subject to the same conditioning and one has to wonder how much ‘profit-motive’ influences their choices (or their parent’s choices). It’s just the nature of the beast, but these kids are born into an unwholesome, industrial mind-set and therefore have little leeway to think otherwise.
News Item: CBC News World (Aug 23, 2016) Canadian doctors
took in $25 billion in fees for the year 2015. The mean average
for all doctors was $339,000 and $469,000 for surgeons
It would be irresponsible to suggest that all healthcare professionals are solely motivated by profits or consciously intent of gouging the system. No doubt many doctors and specialists are as dedicated to their jobs as those in other branches of public service. But as mentioned back in Chapter One, it is not the ‘place’ of this document to single-out and critique individuals or how they conduct their lives… instead it is the western system of thinking and the values it promotes that needs to be placed under scrutiny. Doctors and medical specialists, like everyone else in a thriving industrial state, are themselves tiny machine-parts functioning somewhere within an ideological monstrosity that has been evolving and feeding-upon itself for the past seven thousand years, and whose poisonous values have contaminated every level of the system. The sprawling machinery’s tentacle-like reach has penetrated into every sector of western society which includes justice, education, organized religion, industry, etc. and unfortunately, as per the CBC news item below, the healthcare profession exhibits little immunity to the power of its influence. Doctors and medical specialists act according to the dictates of their conditioning – they, like everyone else, are born-into, will live and eventually die enmeshed within the industrial state’s profit-based ethos and, lacking any alternative perspective, will blindly conduct their financial affairs year after year, never questioning the ethics of what they do… which in many cases means reaping exorbitant profits in exchange for providing essential services to the public. Pursuing exorbitant profits was one of the core values synthesized within the burgeoning structure of the first city-states seven-thousand years ago and has remained a core value ever since.
The Techno-industrial Tsunami
The above phrase ‘western system of thinking and the values it promotes’ really cuts to the essence of the dilemma we face today as a species-group. The questionable values that western civilization promotes are the usual suspects – consumerism, profit-motive, progress at any price, equating success and happiness with the accumulation of material wealth, taking more than you need, etc. It is impossible to get an accurate picture of the extent of the dilemma by singling out just one individual machine-part. We have to step way, way back and observe the whole system, the whole superstructure (including its history) and what we then see is billions upon billions of ‘dazed and confused’ automatons all acquiescing to the same destructive values and all headed in the same direction, much like a massive wave… or in this case a catastrophic tsunami. And it’s unstoppable. It has taken seven-thousand years to evolve this leviathan, this techno-industrial tsunami – that’s seven-thousand years of built-up and relentless momentum. Courtesy of the unerring laws of consequences and causality, modern institutions and industries, including education, healthcare, policing, justice, labor, agriculture, military, corporate, real estate, economic, organized religion, etc. were originally spawned, developed and are now perfectly placed and perfectly functioning within the framework of western ideology and are therefore integral to the tsunami’s forward and reckless momentum. As with the metaphoric train-wreck in Chapter Two, the raison d’etre of western institutions and industries is indexed to the ethos of the greater machine… it would be impossible to shut-down any single component within a machine that appears to be working perfectly at what it was designed to do… which is to benefit the wealthy, the elite, the royalty and the church.
Whether the industrial state is heading in the right or the wrong direction is a moot point at this late stage of the game. More importantly, it is what we do and how consciously we conduct our lives as individuals, even in the midst of an unfolding melt-down, that will make any difference. The broken education system and the factory-schools will continue supplying machine-parts to the military/industrial complex… the justice and legal system will continue trying to sort out the hopeless mess caused by the ethical deficit that under-pins western-man’s questionable values… and the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the governments as well as all the other ‘swordfish’ in the pool will continue feasting upon the helpless and unfortunate masses. The impending train-wreck can not, in and of itself or by its own devices, change directions… it is simply too big, too fat and too enamored with the bottom line. Instead it is individuals themselves who can affect change, first by becoming more aware as to the breadth and scope of the machinery to which they are attached and secondly, by becoming more knowledgeable and active in regards to alternative perspectives and healthier lifestyle choices that promote healing to both ourselves and our damaged planet. And although the healing must begin with the individual, it is the multiplicity of individuals healing that will initiate a concerted and collective movement towards a more conscious (and respectful) inter-relationship with the Earth. (At the grass-roots level this ‘awakening’ process is already well under way).
PS. Alternative perspectives and Earth-friendlier lifestyles do not require that we live in a cave, a monastery or move to another galaxy… these changes can occur within the machinery itself simply by individuals becoming more aware of what is important and vital… and what is not.
The issue of ethics needs to be pursued a bit further in an attempt to really drive this point home once and for all. Our topic is the ethics of the industrial state. Western medicine, being an integral component of the greater system should itself be subject to the same level of scrutiny. There appears to be a flagrant ethical lapse that underpins the relationship between western medicine and the industrial state. To be more specific, that the over-bloated, over-priced, over-prescribed and over-mechanized behemoth (state-controlled medicine) is in fact inextricably linked and beholden to the industrial state’s poisoning of its citizenry. Can we at least agree on this? That to a large extent the over-bloated healthcare behemoth simply wouldn’t exist (in its present and highly profitable form) if not for an ever-evolving pandemic of cancers, tumours, heart disease, blocked arteries, blood disorders, organ failures, cardiac arrests, osteoporosis, morbid obesity, strokes, aneurisms, neuroses, psychoses, pathogens, ulcers, degenerative brain disorders, senility and other modern afflictions. Afflictions which are directly attributable to; the pesticides, petrochemical and plastics industries; the junk-food and food additives industries; the hormones, antibiotics and bovine growth industries; the pharmaceutical, opioids and fentanyl industries; the tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and sugar industries, etc. etc. And to add insult to injury, highly paid doctors and specialists, along with the pharmaceutical execs, their shareholders, the high-tech medical equipment manufacturers, politicians on the take and bankers have all become obscenely wealthy on the back of a corrupted system that deems it morally acceptable to poison (and gouge) its own citizens.
What is wrong with this picture?
The Pin-ball Machine and the ‘Tilt’
The ethical deficit that underpins the modern industrial state (and western medicine) can of course be traced back to the invention of agricultural. (Please bear with me. I know we’ve covered some of this in Chapter One but it is worthwhile revisiting the subject in order to make a point). For hundreds of thousands and even millions of years before the idea of agriculture occurred, world-wide hunter gatherer cultures conducted their lives in accordance with a strict set of nature-centric codes, rules and ethics. It wasn’t like they had a choice…they were absolutely compelled to abide by those codes in order to survive. And survive they did. By adhering to this natural and unwritten code of ethics and conduct ancient hunter gatherer societies existed from one generation to the next in a general state of harmony with the world around them. They, like all other living organisms, were part of a delicate balancing act orchestrated by nature. Nature called the shots…nature was in control.
Then, in the blink of an eye, something happened on Planet Earth that so fundamentally and violently shifted the paradigm of biological order off its axis that in only a few millennia we – and every other living creature on the planet – now find ourselves on the cusp of another great extinction. How did this happen and, what is equally significant, how did it happen so quickly? There they were, our hunter gatherer ancestors, existing in relative harmony with nature for hundreds of thousands of years and then poof!…almost over night….a social, biological and biospheric catastrophe.
Anyone who has ever played a pin-ball machine knows that, in the process of racking up all those points, one must be careful not to bump or jolt the machine which sometimes occurs when too much body-english is applied or if the player tries to nudge or ‘persuade’ the ball to go in a desired direction. A sudden bump or jolt can cause the delicate inner mechanism to ’tilt’ which is pin-ball-speak for malfunction. When a ’tilt’ occurs the machine automatically shuts down causing the player to first, lose all his points and second, have to start the game all over again from the beginning.
In retrospect, the idea that led to the invention of agricultural can now be viewed as a major ’tilt’ in the three-and-a-half billion year history of biological evolution. Oh there have been other major tilts (mass extinctions) caused by geological cataclysms and extraterrestrial incursions but this is the first time that a planet’s entire bio-system has been brought down by an ‘idea’. We must place this idea under a microscope in order to understand how something so seemingly harmless could cause a collapse of this magnitude. The idea of removing wild plants and animals from their natural habitat (where have you heard this before) and transforming them into domesticated mass-breeding, voracious monocultures was tantamount to taking control of the natural order of plants and animal species away from nature and placing it in the hands of one singular species group…the early advanced modern humans. And that, without a doubt was the precise moment in which a new, untested and extremely virulent strain of poison was introduced into the Earth’s periodic table. Unprecedented… in all of biological history…the idea that one sub-species of super-ideological primates could, slowly, blindly and haphazardly at first, attempt to take over control of the entire planet…from nature.
Like a malignant weed, the poisons within that original seed (idea) went on to infect everything that issued from it…sedentary agrarianism, the ideological revolution, the stratification of human societies, disparate class system, the establishment of feudalism and elitism (the church, the royalty and the land owners) and their control over the masses, European colonization of the planet, genocide/the holocaust, the industrial revolution, environmental degradation, the atomic bomb, the over population of humans and their livestock, globalization and the creation of the military/industrial state. Add to these a whole subset of human-specific foibles, i.e., greed, hoarding, Euro-centrism, materialism, war mongering, jingoism, nationalism, expansionism, etc. and you have all the ingredients for a major train wreck. And that is why today (to refer back to our original thread of inquiry) the industrial state and the field of industrial medicine are irredeemably infected by corruption. They are the latest links in an unbroken chain of events (an Orwellian nexus) that can be traced back to, and are commensurate with the poisons embodied within the idea that initially spawned the invention of agriculture.
(Note: One additional consideration on this topic. By now it should be fairly obvious, to anyone who takes a closer look at human history, that the abrupt transition from eons of living in harmony with nature to a few thousand years of trying to control nature was an Earth-shattering development, a ‘game changer’ and a major shock to our system. That in essence, advanced hyper-humans became – very quickly and very violently – a ‘new kind of animal’ all together. This can be easily deduced from a purely social and cultural cross-comparison – pre-agrarian vs. post-agrarian. But there is another deeper, more subtle viewpoint which must be considered and that is from the perspective of genetics. It is scientifically plausible to suggest that our ancient genetic lineage, its intricate codification, its makeup, its momentum and its integrity were themselves irrevocably shocked, scrambled and shaken to their core by the invention of agriculture. It is this ‘before and after’ comparison that provides the most conclusive evidence yet that advanced, modern industrialized human automatons collectively suffer from a rare form of genetic P.T.S.D. i.e., their delicate genetic equilibrium has been ‘traumatized’ by the sudden shift from living for so long in sync with nature….to living in direct conflict with it).
If Virtue Be its Own Reward
Whether the industrial state is heading in the right or the wrong direction is a moot point at this late stage of the game. More importantly, it is what we do and how consciously we conduct our lives as individuals – even in the midst of an unfolding melt-down – that will make any difference. The broken education system and the factory-schools will continue supplying machine-parts to the military/industrial complex…the justice and legal system will continue trying to sort out the hopeless mess caused by the ethical deficit that under-pins western-man’s questionable values… and the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the governments as well as all the other ‘swordfish’ in the pool will continue feasting upon the helpless and unfortunate masses. The impending train wreck can not, in and of itself or by its own devices, change directions…it is simply too big, too fat and too enamoured with the bottom line. Instead it is individuals themselves who can affect change, first by becoming more aware as to the breadth and scope of the machinery to which they are attached and secondly, by becoming more knowledgeable and active in regards to alternative perspectives and healthier lifestyle choices that promote healing to both ourselves and our damaged planet. And although the healing must begin with the individual, it is the multiplicity of individuals healing (a.k.a. the hundredth monkey syndrome) that will initiate a concerted and collective movement towards a more conscious (and respectful) inter-relationship with the Earth.
Being neither seer nor prophet, I am reluctant to offer any form of prognosis as to what may be coming down the pike but my gut feeling is that it won’t be pretty. Add three or four billion more resource-hungry, garbage-producing consumers to the world’s already dangerously over-populated base, combined with the growing crisis in the Earth’s dwindling fresh water reserves, the destructive impact of the animal agriculture industry, climate change, Monsanto, deforestation, the Alberta Tars Sands, the wanton rape of our oceans, etc. etc., and the current conflict in Syria (along with the resultant refugee crisis) will, by comparison, seem like a ‘walk in the park’. But in the midst of the gathering tempest it is still the individual who continues to hold a sacred birthright (optional by default) of affecting his/her own ‘awakening’. (Yes, waking up always has been, and always will be, optional). If virtue truly is its own reward, then the payback for exercising such a birthright may manifest as nothing more (and nothing less) than the ‘feeling’ that accompanies the pure act of waking up. The pure, volitionary act of making difficult choices or implementing fundamental changes in our day-to-day dealings with the planet (and with ourselves) can’t help but leave a human being with a deep sense of feeling good, feeling right and feeling in-sync.
I doubt there exists a higher or more noble form of ‘activism’.
Why I’m Voting For Donald Trump….An After Thought
Anyone who has gotten this far in the essay has probably figured out by now that I am not a big fan of the industrial state or the technological revolution. Neither am I a big fan of the machine-age or the super-brain that created it. The term ‘biological aberration’ has been used a number of times to describe hyper-man’s super-brain and I think the term is bang-on. In my particular approach to writing I am constantly endeavouring to view the world within the much broader context of natural history and biological evolution and when considering the events that have occurred over the past six or seven thousand years (since the beginning of the agricultural revolution) I am left with only one conclusion. That being, the current system that we hyper-humans created and that has come to so dominate our planet… must collapse. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, which filter you pass it through or which angle you approach it from, there is simply no other way around it… this broken and corrupted system must fall.
Those familiar with the sordid history surrounding the Titanic tragedy know that the notorious ocean liner was an accident waiting to happen…that collapse was built right into the vessel’s DNA even before its inaugural launch from the shipyards in Belfast in 1914. The advanced modern hyper-intellectual human subspecies, which for the past six millennia has been on a collision course with nature, does itself suffer from a similar yet unique structural flaw built into its early design. That flaw of course being the idea that we (the hyper-humans) could control nature. If one is even slightly open to the general drift of the preceding subsection (on the ethics of the industrial state) then the next question would undoubtedly be; just how would such a global collapse unfold? Should it be a long drawn-out and excruciatingly painful ordeal or a quick and humane ‘coup de grace’ much like euthanizing a rabid dog. This question can also be posed in the context of the above Titanic tragedy… should we dawdle around for hours and hours, repositioning the red and blue deck-chairs into neat and inconsequential rows, or just blow a hole in the other side of the hull and get on with the business of ‘sinking’. In terms of the latter option, I can think of no one more qualified to captain such an ignoble adventure than presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. And with a trusty crew of like-minded despots and tyrants – Putin, al Assad, George W, Cheney, Harper, etc. – a swift and merciful plunge to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean would be virtually guaranteed.
And that’s why I’m voting for Donald Trump.
Ps. What goes around comes around. The Donald Trump phenomenon is living proof that the law of karma, or if you prefer, the laws of consequence and causality actually work. It took sixteen years but the Republican party is finally getting its ‘comeuppance’ for highjacking the 2000 Presidential election…remember the ‘hanging chads’. Little did they know it at the time but Jeb Bush, Kathleen Harris, Antone Scalia, James Baker and the rest of the arrogant Republican neo-cons were setting in motion a karmic series of events that would initially see the newly elected Bush administration brazenly lie its way into one of the most costly, poorly planned and senseless conflagrations in modern times. The Iraqi quagmire – or what Dick Chaney once referred to as a ‘cakewalk’ – has thus far cost the American tax payer two trillion dollars (and counting) and snuffed out the lives of over a million mostly innocent human beings (six-hundred thousand of those being children…UN figures). There were other consequences that evolved out of the ‘crime scene’ in Florida which included the Patriot Act, the steam-rolling of civil liberties, the hyper-escalation of the global arms trade, the invasion of Afghanistan and eight years of stifling political hubris courtesy of the George W, Dick, Donald, Paul and Condi Show. And the karmic wheel just keeps turning. Today Donald Trump is proving to be the Republican party’s worst nightmare and whether he wins or loses in November he will continue to be a thorn in the side of the neoconservative establishment for many years to come. Sympathy? Hardly. With what I know about karmic law and after considering the events that occurred in Florida sixteen years ago, I’m left with only one conclusion… that the Republican party deserves everything it gets.
Chapter Four: The State, the Church, the Charter and Death with Dignity
(Note: The subject matter of this chapter definitely over-laps with the previous subsection titled ‘The Ethics of the Industrial State’ but due to its specific relevance and immediacy I felt it rightly deserved a chapter of its own).
A Hot-button Issue
Thus far, one of the ‘hot-button’ issues of the twenty-first century and the new millennium is proving to be doctor-assisted suicide and its two commonly used euphemisms, death-with-dignity and rights to die. I would like to pursue the line of reasoning established in the last chapter so as to encompass all aspects of the industrial state’s ‘mass poisoning’ of its citizens, which includes (and needs to include) the issues surrounding the processes of dying and death. In the natural world death and dying are the final phase of an organism’s life-cycle and both processes are as essential to the natural evolution of species as birth and life (things must die in order to make room for the next generation etc. etc.). So it is pretty-much accepted across the board that death and dying are natural day-to-day realities in the cyclical unfolding of creation.
But advanced modern humans, especially those embedded somewhere in the current techno/industrial grid, are witnessing a grotesque transformation of these once-natural processes into a global horror-story that defies even the most dire predictions of futurists like Orwell, Gilliam, Solzhenitsyn, Huxley, Kafka, et al. Tens of millions (perhaps hundreds of millions) of human beings, from all walks of life, all ages, all political stripes, all cultural, ethnic and religions backgrounds are currently in the ‘process’ of dying miserable and humiliating deaths (caused mainly by industrial poisons) and their life-ending ordeals can be spread-out over years and sometimes even decades… not days and months… years and decades!! Our hospitals, I.C.U.s, hospices, veteran and long-term senior-care facilities are filled to over-flowing with cancerous, degenerating human beings, many of whom are terminal. I, like so many others, have personally witnessed the long, drawn-out deaths of close friends, all of whom were dying from one form of cancer or another. To watch their humanity shrivel-up inside their emaciated bodies and the sense of helplessness and humiliation escaping though their opaque, drugged-up faces is heart-wrenching. Most advanced terminally-ill patients eventually lose control of their basic motor-skills including most bodily functions as they drift in and out of consciousness like ‘zombies’ due to the powerful pain-medication and other drugs in their system.
A most undignified way to die.
The Quality of Life
“The systemic and malicious poisoning of the masses by the global industrial establishment constitutes a crime against humanity whose scale may one day eclipse even the horrors of the holocaust”
Our subject is ‘death with dignity’ or if you prefer… assisted suicide. The world-wide epidemic of industry-related cancers, heart and organ diseases, degenerative neurological disorders and other debilitating afflictions is not natural. It is in fact synthetic… man-made. The power of synthetic industrial poisons, combined with equally powerful synthetic pharmaceuticals have acted to pulverized any semblance of ‘quality’ from the victim’s existence. Countless human beings who are in the late stages of terminal cancer and other degenerative disorders are inclined to agree… they have no quality of life. And given the choice, no doubt many would opt for a more dignified exit than our current system allows.
“Health food nuts are in for a big surprise… they are all going to wind-up dying… from nothing.”
In a simpler, more natural world with no industrial poisons and where humans could live and die naturally from natural causes there would be no need to have this conversation. There would be no need to even bring up the subject of doctor-assisted suicide or ‘rights to die’ legislation. But hyper-humans have created a unique social dystopia where profit-driven industries have been allowed to inundate western societies with synthetic toxins thereby creating a synthetic epidemic. And the unique conditions under which victims of the mass poisoning are dying are equally synthetic, abnormal and often abominable. Legislative bodies and Supreme Courts need to bear in mind these synthetic and oftentimes torturous conditions when broaching the legal and Charter aspects surrounding terminal illness, dying and death.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees protection against ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. Would not the suffering and indignation endured by the growing ranks of terminally ill patients – many languishing in $500-$1000 a day hospital beds, wasting away in abject hopelessness, hooked up to all sorts of invasive machinery and doped-up on powerful drugs – constitute an infringement of their Charter rights?
Terminally-ill patients who are bed-ridden, incapacitated and who sense no ‘quality’ in their lives need to have the legal option of a discretionary exit from the horrors of synthetic, industry-related diseases. It is not the ‘fault’ of the public that they were poisoned in the first place therefore safeguards need to written into Canadian law that ensure that the victims of industrial poisoning do not suffer unduly the consequences resulting from those poisons…which most often means a miserable and protracted death process. In other words, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms need to be amended so as to include protection of the fundamental ‘human’ right to die naturally and with a measure of dignity, self-determination and self-respect. (The key and operative words here are; informed choice and option).
The Separation of Church and State
The Catholic Church and the ‘religious-right’ have further exacerbated this unfolding human tragedy by imposing their rigid and oftentimes out-dated views on the whole of society. And the Church does this most effectively by ‘stacking’ our judicial and legislative structures with proponents (lobbyists) of its conservative agenda. In accordance with the letter (and the spirit) of the law – whether it be the Bill or Rights or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – a healthy democracy requires a separation of church and state and therefore the Supreme Court, being a branch of the state, needs to remain free and impartial from the influence of all religious ideologies, be they Christianity-based or otherwise. In this country key Supreme Court rulings on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide (the Sue Rodriguez case for example) have been swayed by the invocation of the ‘sanctity of life’ position which is exclusively a religious-based construct. Religions are free to believe in or invoke any position they choose but certainly not within the mechanisms of our highest court.
There is no doubt that the system would be better served if the Church re-directed its focus away from obstructing laws that would protect the Charter Rights of terminally-ill patients (many of whom are non-Catholic or a-religious) and instead begin preaching its ‘sanctity of life’ sermon to the corporations, governments, banks and industries who, through their insatiable lust for wealth and profits, have displayed a murderous and ‘unsanctified’ disregard for human life.
“Something smells rotten in Denmark”
The previous chapter alluded to the ‘feeding-frenzy’ and the ‘catch-basin’ where all members of the industrial establishment (including the big-medicine, big-government, big-pharma and high-tech sectors) profit immensely from the mass-poisoning of the general public. This may sound callous, heartless and even heretical – if I am wrong – but it appears to be in the best interests of all key player around the feeding frenzy (as well as their stock-holders and investors) that the general public is, firstly, poisoned to begin with, secondly, remains poisoned and lastly, that they become completely dependent upon a dreadfully expensive healthcare and pharmacare system for as long as is humanly possible. Heavens… what would happen to corporate profits if the laws did change and terminally-ill patients (those who choose to do so) were suddenly allowed to exercise their Charter rights to a dignified and humane exit strategy that saved them from weeks, months and possibly years of ‘living hell’ as is now endured by so many unfortunates under the current system. And goodness… what would happen if they had to un-plug a bunch of those expensive machines… and who would ‘pop’ all those expensive pills… and where would Canadian doctors get their twenty-billion a-year fees from… and what would they do with all those $500-$1000 a-day hospital beds??
The optics are disconcerting… whether the church and the religious-right realize it or not, they, by fear-mongering and stone-walling the judicial system on necessary changes to Canadian laws that protect all citizen’s freedom from cruel and unusual punishment (as well as their inalienable right to die a natural death) are in fact aiding and abetting the corporate agenda… which is unabashed profiteering. The church’s antagonistic crusade to suck the last ounce of life out of terminally-ill patients, many of whom suffer unspeakable indignities, is actually playing right into the hands of the very corporations and industries whose ‘bottom-line’ is greatly enhanced by keeping those patients in the system until the ‘last ounce of life’ is sucked out of them. Does it (the church) not realize that its obstinacy to legal changes that would introduce responsible and optional doctor-assisted suicide programs into Canadian law actually establishes the Catholic Church itself as another important and contributing ‘key player’ in the feeding-frenzy.
Chapter Five: The Catholic Church and the Train Wreck
“Many of the truths that we hold today were once themselves blasphemies”
Note: Hyper-intellectualism was the exclusive province of the European elite; the aristocracy, the wealthy families, the land barons and the royalty. The class structure that developed out of the earliest city-states, in tandem with the evolution of intellectualism, was built upon the foundation of authoritarian rule over the masses for the good of the state (the elite). Control was its trademark and the peasantry was perennially deemed to be the chattel (property) of the ruling class. Under these feudal conditions, religious authoritarianism was a ‘no-brainer’ – it was a perfect extension of the elite and served the system well as its spiritual organ of control. Jesus of Nazareth was not a proponent of this ideology and spoke-out against the system, advocating instead for the needs of the under-trodden masses… for which he was quickly branded a renegade and a trouble-maker.
By the seventh and eighth century A.D. early Christian ideology had been usurped by Europe’s elite class and was well on its way to evolving into the bloated leviathan we know it as today. And it certainly didn’t take long for the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church to begin drifting away from the simplicity of Jesus’ original vision and down the slippery slope into the amassing of material wealth, property, gold and precious gems, fine art, land, world domination and hubris… those very things that Jesus railed against so vehemently while he was alive. Nepotism and incest soon became rampant within the hierarchical structure of the organization… the elite within the church were drawn from the elite within society, i.e., the wealthy families, the Medicis, the Borgias, etc. This seamless join between church, state and the ruling class eventually poisoned the ‘soul’ of the movement and proved that the inclinations of the Holy Roman Empire leaned more towards power, control and wealth than it did towards the spiritual welfare of its flock.
Over the course of history, and in accordance with the Laws of Motion, the infected structure was allowed to mutate and morph into the culture of violence, intimidation, corruption and human rights abuses exemplified by the Catholic Church, the Inquisition and the Vatican throughout most of the second millennium.
Because Roman Catholicism was the progeny of Western Europe’s ‘hyper-intellectual’ movement, it was also a carbon-copy of the movement’s shortcomings. Hyper-intellectualism grew exponentially, starting out slowly and picking up speed over the six thousand years since the Sumerians so it was only in the last two thousand years that things really started to go off the rails. By that time hyper-man had effectively removed himself from nature, natural law and his inner ‘self’, and from that void he birthed a monotheistic off-spring that would mirror and justify his own disintegration. The Holy Roman Empire would provide the ‘seal of approval’ for a disintegrated world-view, propagating a doctrine of separation – separation of God and nature, God and natural law, God and women, mankind and nature, God and mankind.
’Creation is under-pinned by the tenets of quantum law and as such,
harbors no quotient for the illusions of separation or exclusivity’.
For most North American Indigenous cultures, divinity (the Great Spirit) was a ‘here and now’ and inclusive reality… present within them, in all of nature and accessible to the living through the ancient practice know as the Vision Quest. (Jesus of Nazareth also spoke of a formless, limitless and timeless presence hidden deep within the human form… he referred to this experiential reality as Heaven). For Roman Catholicism, God was always some where else, at some other time and completely in-accessible until one reached some nebulous point in the illusionary future called death where the hyper-linear mind could ‘believe’ any fantasy it could conjure up. By remaining ‘integrated’ with the divine life-force present within themselves, Aboriginals kept the experiential ‘life-line’ open for those who chose to use it. In essence, the integrated Aboriginals had ‘the goods’ while the disintegrated church had what only a hyper-intellectual age could procure; ideas, concepts, beliefs, books, dogma, ritual and lofty promises of a better lot in the after-life.
(Note: While we’re on the subject of ‘the after-life’, linear thinking is a man-made invention, an intellectual construct… in reality the past or future do not exist, except in our own minds. (All other living organisms exist by the dictates of their gene-driven instincts, the present moment and their immediate responses to environmental and natural stimuli).
The advanced linear thought process, evolving in tandem with hyper-intellectualism, is still an alien and unnatural concept to humans. Young children, who live in the ‘here and now’ and in response to their immediate needs, do not have a natural capacity to grasp the concept of tomorrow, next year or next lifetime. Children have to be ‘taught’ to think in linear terms and western society goes to great lengths to ensure that kids are well indoctrinated with the process. Factory schooling, the entertainment industry and especially the Disney organization are adept at browbeating industrialized children with the poisonous notion that ‘some day my prince will come’, ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ or ‘when my ship comes in’. For the integrated Aboriginals, their prince, their rainbow and their ship exist right here, right now and within themselves).
“The world is but a walking shadow… pity the poor player who struts and frets his one hour upon the stage, then disappears and is heard no more”
Throughout modern history western man has been warned and counseled repeatedly, by the likes of Plato, Rumi, Shakespeare, Gandhi, Voltaire, Thoreau, Emerson and especially Jesus of Nazareth about the pitfalls and tenuous nature of material wealth, land ownership and man’s lust for power and immortality. The example of sand slipping through one’s fingers has been cited. But it only stands to reason that if disintegrated and hyper-intellectual man becomes alienated from the intrinsic values within himself, if he senses no strength, wealth, substance, beauty or divinity inside his own being, then he has no choice but to look outside of himself – in the transitory, material realm – for something to satisfy his inner feeling of emptiness.
Back in the early days of agriculture and intellectualism, and combined with his sedentary lifestyle, western man began acquiring and hoarding material ‘stuff’. It may have started with grain and captive animals but his desires for material wealth soon gravitated towards gold, jewelry, land, property, slaves, sex, power and various other ephemeral baubles alluded to in the great works of William Shakespeare. Roman Catholicism, being the scion of a disintegrated and spiritually empty world-view also gravitated, in lockstep, towards the same ephemeral baubles listed above. How could it have been otherwise? Both systems were issued from the same womb. Both systems were distracted, empty and heartless. And both systems filled that emptiness from the only realm their vacuous intellects could identify with… the temporal world of materialism.
Don’t just take my word for it… here’s a quote from Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I) before a public audience in 1978. Luciani, like Jesus before him was a revolutionary intent on reforming and ‘down-sizing’ the Catholic Church, i.e., selling off some of the church’s obscene wealth to provide for the world’s less-fortunate, much to the displeasure of the conservative elements within the organization. He was a very healthy and robust man and yet his Papacy lasted only 33 days and ended with his unlikely and mysterious death (as well as the equally mysterious deaths of 33 of his closest advisors). Digitalis poisoning courtesy of the P2 Lodge of the Milanese Free Masons was, and still is, the prime suspect but the highly toxic herb leaves no discernible residue in the body thereby making it impossible to prove. Luciani and his inner-circle of advisors were assassinated because an internal audit had uncovered concrete evidence that 133 members of the P2 Lodge (as well as prominent members of the Italian Mafia) had infiltrated the upper ranks of the Vatican and Luciani was about to expose them. (This information courtesy of author David Yallop).
The following quote best represents Luciani’s personal ethos, which was no doubt the primary reason the P2 Lodge, the Mafia and the conservatives within the Vatican had to get rid of him:
“This morning I flushed my toilet with a solid gold lever edged with diamonds and at this very moment Bishops and Cardinals are using bathrooms on the second floor of the Papal Palace whose trappings, I am told, would draw in excess of $50 million at auction. Believe me, one day, we who live in opulence, while so many are dying because they have nothing will have to answer to Jesus as to why we have not carried out his instructions, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’. We, the clergy of the church as well as our congregations, who substitute gold and pomp and ceremony in place of Christ’s instruction, who judge our masquerade of singing His praises to be more precious than human life, will have the most to explain”.
This quote is taken from the writings of Lucien Gregoire, author of “Murder at the Vatican”. For those who would like to inform themselves as to the inner workings of this secret society (the Vatican), I strongly recommend David Yallop’s “In God’s Name”. Mr Yallop is one of the world’s leading investigative journalists. He is based in London, UK and his brilliant work provides an intelligent and in-depth analysis of the facts surrounding the death of Pope John Paul I as well as an expose of the corruption, graft and tyranny pervasive within the conservative echelons of this clandestine organization. Mr Yallop is not some disgruntled ex-Catholic sniping from the outer fringes of this issue… “In God’s Name” spent sixteen straight weeks atop the New York Times’ best seller list and has sold in excess of ten million copies worldwide.
Note: One final clarification needs to be made about the ownership and possession of ‘stuff’. The North American Indigenous tribes bartered and traded and they surely had some sense of value, ownership and possession, although meager by European standards. Living simply and according to one’s needs does not mean we have to become renunciates (I own a computer and used it to write this essay). So, having material ‘stuff’ is not the problem… looking to those things as one’s main source of happiness, peace, strength and fulfillment is. The same can be said for money – money was originally invented as a unit of exchange for bartering and trading of goods. Had it remained simply a unit of exchange… no problem. But once greed and hoarding came along, all hell broke loose. A wise man once said “Money is not the root of all evil… the ‘love’ of money is”. The pivotal components of the Aboriginal’s integrated world-view were survival, inner spirit, community and their inter-relationship with the Earth. All the other ‘stuff’ was secondary, like logs floating down a fresh and healthy river.
Chapter Six: On Sowing and Reaping
Since agriculture has been one of the main themes of this essay, it would be appropriate to begin this chapter with a glimpse into the dynamics behind sowing and reaping. If one sows the seeds of separation and ignorance, one will reap a harvest of emptiness and disrespect. This wisdom is as true and universal as Newton’s Third Law of Motion. The following provides a brief over-view of western civilization’s dubious ‘harvest’ reaped from the seeds of arrogance, meddling, hyper-intellectualism and non-integration.
The Industrialization of Essential Services
If you start out on the wrong foot, each subsequent step will take you further and further away from your intended path, or, to put it another way, each subsequent action becomes a magnification of the original mistake. As money and wealth became more and more important over the past six millennia, there has been a gradual seepage of these values into the day-to-day activities and functions of western societies. For North American Aboriginals and other integrated cultures, charging fees or any form of compensation for healthcare, education, administering Aboriginal justice or providing food was unthinkable, not even within the periphery of their understanding.
I know this is a difficult concept for some westerners to get their heads around but the ideas of ‘making’ money and the profit motive were never associated with providing essential services. Hunter-gatherer societies did whatever was required of them purely for the betterment of their communities and the survival of their bloodline… maybe throw in a little self-pride and altruism. The distribution of labor and services was egalitarian, pragmatic and unquestionable. Everyone had an integral role to play within the ongoing life of the village or encampment and under these conditions the system hummed along quite splendidly.
The terms ‘for profit’, ‘professional’ and ‘the state’ shouldn’t be allowed within a country mile of the words ‘education’, ‘healthcare’ and ‘justice’. Those former terms are better suited to business, corporations and the banking industry. But, with the industrialization of Europe and most of the globe, the providers of essential services were drawn less and less from the community and more and more from the military/industrial complex. Although the surface elements of the social landscape have changed somewhat since the middle ages, it’s still very much a feudal system today with the peasantry existing almost solely for the benefit of the wealthy, the state and the church. The problems of social disparity and class have been around since the early days of agriculture but the industrial revolution has served to greatly magnify the negative aspects of those original mistakes. Anyone occupying the bottom ninety-eight percent of the social strata is still considered ‘grist for the mill’. Today, professional teachers (machine-parts themselves) train and prepare our youth to become useful cogs in the corporate machinery… this is the intended purpose of factory schooling.
Money and profit motive have greased the wheels of western civilization and it is sad to witness their poisonous effects on community services, which should have remained simply human beings serving human beings, purely for the enrichment and betterment of their communities. Western, industrial societies have generated a wall-to-wall disconnect with respect to providing essential services. Police associations, justice, healthcare, farming and food distribution, education and labor management are no longer inter-related extensions of the communities they serve, but have in fact become arms and wings of corporations, financial institutions, governments and the military. And money – tons of it – keeps the whole machine running… but at what cost??
The Industrialization of Children
“We take ten to twelve of our children’s best years and train them to be workers, when we should be educating them to be human beings.”
As stated back in Part I of the trilogy, traditional Aboriginal education focused mainly on survival, sustenance and community maintenance, combined with introducing native children to moral, ethical and emotional values which were all under-pinned by the consciousness required for living in harmony with the natural world. An integrated world-view, which included mind, spirit and respect for the Earth formed the foundation of a native child’s day-to-day lessons taught by any and all members of the community, from the elders on down. One would be hard-pressed to find a richer, more wholesome model for child education than the traditional system used by Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.
Industrialized or westernized children today are literally ‘born’ inside a massive, commercial machine (a Coke machine perhaps) where they will live their entire lives and will no doubt die there as well. A human being’s youth, which is considered by ancient integrated cultures to be sacrosanct and a time for developing character, moral fiber and an unfettered joie-de-vivre, is rendered still-born by the cold steel wheels and conveyor-belt ethos of the current industrial age and its education system. These modern kids don’t stand a chance. Their formative years are inundated with poisonous concepts concerning money, profit motive, consumerism, etc. from sun-up to sundown. (Author Jerry Mander estimates that the average American twelve-year old has watched 300,000 television commercials).
The corporate machinery is unyielding and unconscionable – children as young as three and four years of age become targets of a well-orchestrated brain-washing campaign whose main objective is to mould them into obedient little consumers whose conditioning will guarantee the next generation of equally-obedient adult consumers. From every angle, industrialized children are spoon-fed the notion that if they stay in school, get a good job, make lots of money and buy lots of stuff… they will be happy. What children may want to do with their lives is immaterial, secondary… the job, the money and consuming of products are the top priorities.
Having been involved in Canada’s education system for the past 14 years (in addition to being a student myself) I have seen first-hand the generally deplorable state of the curriculum that is force-fed to children in factory schools. Some public schools are trying to reform the cattle-car, meat-processing mentality of factory schools but alas, the majority of professional teachers and administrators balk at any change to the core of the system because it ‘seems’ to work so well. Yes, like a finely-tuned machine, the industrialized education system works amazingly well… at doing the wrong thing. The education ‘profession’ is a classic example of a well-greased machine-part subservient to a much larger machine. It, like so many other western institutions, has been contaminated to its core by the influence of ‘big money’ and has itself become little more than a one-way resource ‘conveyor-belt’ for the military/industrial complex. In this type of system children are ‘taught’ exactly what the military/industrial complex dictates they be taught.
At the junior high level and even as early as Grade 4 and 5, our schools could be introducing students to the moral precepts of Plato, Socrates, Voltaire and Shakespeare… along with reading, writing and arithmetic. Our youth could be studying the practical and universal ethics inherent in works by H. D. Thoreau, Emerson, Rumi, Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Seattle, the Great Laws of the Iroquois Confederation and Martin Luther King. I have worked with children at the grade 4 and 5 levels and I am convinced that they have the intellect and capacity to process and grasp the ethical and moral substance that is available from these sources in such abundance. And yet, what kind of ‘education’ do our factory schools provide?? Students are numbed-down and dumbed-down by daily down-loads of mostly useless information, mountains of cold, hard facts, data and numbers designed solely to prepare them to ‘enter the work-force’ when they graduate. Shouldn’t education be about more than just ‘entering the work-force’??
I have listened to junior and senior high school student’s conversations after school and it’s mostly mindless drivel – the last thing they want to talk about is ‘what they learned’ at school that day because what they learned was mostly boring and heartless ‘info-data’… lacking any emotional, moral and intellectual stimulation. Most teen-agers have a built-in resistance to factory-schooling and mass-indoctrination and the first chance they get they ‘escape’ – like restless rats released from a cage – to their mind-numbing cyber-world, their televisions or the mall. They are all unfortunate victims of a system intent on transforming living organisms into machines.
Note: A grass-roots movement to reform education by offering healthier alternatives is alive and well in North America and Europe and has been active since shortly after the idea of factory-schooling was first hatched two hundred years ago in Prussia. Currently there are approximately three and a half to four million children in the US and Canada who do not attend public or private schools, opting instead to be home-schooled or enrolled in healthier alternative learning systems like Montessori or Waldorf.
PS. A brief aside concerning the mentality behind the creation of factory schooling. When early modern-humans first began penning-up and domesticating wild animals their motives were quite simple and straight-forward… animal-husbandry appeared to provide them with a more efficient means of survival. But, as early-man became more sedentary and had a lot more time to think, he also began to realize that domesticating wild animals and fowl presented him with a whole new array of possibilities… and those possibilities all had to do with profit, power and control. By capturing, confining, breaking and taming wild sheep, goats, pigs, cattle and horses (as well as a variety of fowl) he could render them subservient to his needs, whether as a source of food, clothing, commerce and trade, or as beasts of burden. The idea of penning things up in order to control them, purely for the benefit of those in control, has become hyper-man’s modus operandi throughout the six-thousand year history of western civilization. And, the tragic aspect of the ideology is that the power-brokers, the elite, the wealthy and the church, – from the earliest days on-ward – have extended this system of control to include their own citizens… beginning of course with childhood education. Today, our social, religious, military and industrial structures are replete with control mechanisms which have endured, virtually unchanged, since the invention of animal-husbandry twelve-thousand years ago. Modern-man’s dehumanizing inclination towards ‘penning-up’ and controlling its citizenry is insidious. Whether manifesting today as the ‘cattle-cars’ we call classrooms, the stultifying office cubicles, the noisy, polluted factories, the church halls, TV parlors and movie theaters or the over-crowded prisons, the system was originally designed to control the masses, to keep them obedient, servile and productive, just like it did with farm-animals.
Wall Street, Titanically Speaking
“And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea and all that it inherit shall dissolve. And like this insubstantial pageant faded… leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded in sleep.”
In the late fifties, Mike Wallace conducted an interview with Russian-born author and visionary Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead, etc.) and at one point he brought up the subject of free-market capitalism and asked for Ms Rand’s opinion. Without skipping a beat she replied, “Free-market capitalism contains one fatal flaw… it lacks a moral code”. Ouch!!!
If we conduct even a cursory examination of western civilization over the past six millennia, we observe a gradual increase of greed, hoarding and corruption, which appears to build and build until it reaches the pinnacle that we have obviously arrived at today. That pinnacle of greed, hoarding and corruption is Wall Street. Wall Street and the hidden agenda of the ‘New World Order’ epitomize the worst of what went wrong with the hyper-intellectual experiment and the disintegrated world-view Hunter-gatherers appeared to cope rather well with a simple, integrated intellect but once agriculture triggered the ‘brave new world’ of intellectual disintegration, western man’s ethics and morality went south. This shouldn’t be surprising. According to the law of cause and effect, Wall Street, the global monetary system, the Federal Reserve, the I.M.F., the World Bank, etc. are the most recent links in a long chain of events that extends all the way back to the first observable symptoms of T.M.T.Y.N. syndrome (taking more than you need).
Wall Street and the other organs of global hegemony are unsustainable entities… their collapse is written right into the DNA of their heartless and morally bankrupt infrastructures. Like global petroleum reserves, the global financial system has also peaked and the precipitous slide down the back-end of the bell-curve will be far less pleasant compared to the joy-ride up the front. The sense of decay is palpable… it’s in the air… you can smell it. The Germans have a word for it – zeitgeist – which literally means ‘spirit of the times’ or ‘mood of the times’. A similar zeitgeist existed back on April 15th, 1912, moments before the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic began its unceremonious decent to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the wild-life has been driven to extinction, when all the waters have been polluted and when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will the Europeans discover they can’t eat money.”
The Insufferable German Work-Ethic
Working forty hours every week (plus overtime and a few weekends), year-round and with only two or three weeks off to ‘vacate’ was a system designed for machines, not human beings. By the time you add in an hour or two or three for the daily commute from the ‘burbs’, human robots are pushing twelve hours a day for work-related activities. If the machines sleep around eight hours that leaves only four hours for mowing the lawn, watching television, shopping and breeding (not necessarily in that order). Many co-existing robots (couples), under pressure to pay for all the stuff they buy, have to both work full-time jobs, leaving the toddlers to be raised by strangers and television. What a mess these hyper-intellectuals have gotten themselves into.
In the first part of this trilogy I touched on the Prussian model for an ideal military/industrial society, where the state took-over control of education and other essential services and imposed legislation requiring all Prussian citizens to be educated in state-run schools and all Prussian citizens to find gainful employment in factories, mills, farms and the military. It was the first time in history that anyone had attempted to forcefully transform an entire ethnic group into a single-minded military machine. The concept was born in 1807 and by mid century the industrial revolution-friendly idea had gone viral, spreading as far away as the USA and Japan. Shortly thereafter, Prussia was absorbed into the German Federation and the ready-made army of human automatons became the core of the German military/industrial complex. Having a head-start on the rest of the globe, Germany became a military super-power over-night and many historians largely attribute both Great Wars to the education and labor ethics introduced by the Prussians.
The reality of human beings transformed into state-controlled robots is the Orwellian harvest of a few seemingly innocuous seeds planted twelve thousand years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. For hunter-gatherer societies who existed in response to the natural stimuli coming from their environment, seasonal conditions governed the nature and intensity of their labor. For my ancestors, the Blackfoot and the Plains Cree, their work-ethic was finely tuned to whatever was happening in the natural world around them. During the spring and building up to the summer months, the Aboriginals would work their tails off, mostly hunting, gathering, fishing, camp maintenance, replenishing their strength and preparing for the next winter. Towards the fall, they would commence to gorging themselves on wild game and the Earth’s bountiful harvest of berries and tubers, building up their protein, body fat and sugar reserves which would help see them through the next winter season. The long, cold winter months were mainly a time for rest and hibernation spent around the warmth of their lodge fires. Besides some trapping and ice-fishing, winter was generally a time for relaxation, socializing, storytelling, artistry and craft-work… a conditioned response to the seasonal bio-rhythms of the Earth.
Extensive anthropological studies have been conducted into the North American Aboriginal’s traditional life-style (pre-Residential school, pre-assimilation) and provide some useful insights into the general state of their mental health. Noticeably absent from the native’s day-to-day existence were the typical mental disorders and psychoses which now plague western industrial societies. Madness, alcoholism and other self-destructive addictions, family violence and psychopathic behaviors were almost negligible and experts attribute this rarity to the generally harmonious ebb and flow of integrated cultures ‘in sync’ with the Earth and her seasons. Oh, the natives had problems, mostly weather, food and territory related, but nothing compared to the stresses and pressures bearing down upon western, industrialized human robots and their insufferable German work-ethic. Post-Residential school and post-assimilation now reveals an Aboriginal culture awash in those very same psychological disorders and social imbalances listed above. This ‘before and after’ comparison presents an incontestable indictment of the dehumanizing effects of institutional racism in Canada.
Misogyny, Testosterone and the ‘Old Boy’s Club’
“Let women keep silent in the Church”
With the exception of some ground gained since the suffrage movement back in the early twentieth century, women have not fared well in western civilization. Since hyper-intellectualism began rearing its ugly head five or six millennia ago, European intelligentsia (the power brokers, the movers, shakers and authors of history) had been pretty much the exclusive domain of men. Oh, western history has been punctuated from time to time with the odd exception but most of those have been viewed more as anomalies, trophy-wives, doting vassals and petty annoyances in the testosterone-driven affairs of men. A woman’s station was clear and understood… she was to be seen, and not heard.
Roman Catholicism, being the facsimile of a male-dominated European elite, did itself become a misogynistic, testosterone-driven ‘old boys’ club and not surprisingly, women were relegated to an even lower station, somewhere around the level of cattle and sheep. And of course, mirroring Europe’s elite ruling class, church history also had its own punctuation marks, most notably the Virgin Mary and few saints but basically, if you were a European Christian woman and you weren’t a virgin, pregnant or in the nunnery you were chopped liver. Women were completely ostracized from the inner circles of canon law and the clerical hierarchy, from altar boys all the way up to the Papacy.
It’s ironic that a cabal of paternalistic, dyed-in-the-wool misogynists, whose ostensible contempt for women is a matter of historical record, has been allowed to wield such influence over women’s bodies, women’s issues, reproductive issues and children. In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued his infamous Humane Vitae Encyclical which outlawed any and all methods which impeded the ‘transmission of life’ (i.e., birth control, family planning, etc.). The Earth’s population was on the verge of hitting the five billion mark around that time and the church was surely aware of studies and predictions doubling human population to around 10 billion within the next 100 years. Abandoning all common sense, the warnings of Thomas Malthus and the impending ecological disaster associated with 10 billion resource-hungry and atmosphere-choking hyper-humans all struggling to exist in a system that couldn’t properly take care of 5 billion, the church went ahead and enforced the ‘Humane Vitae’ encyclical. Thus Catholic women (mostly in developing regions) were condemned to the role of baby-factories in an already over-exhausted and over-populated world.
In North American Aboriginal societies, as with other integrated and egalitarian cultures, women held a high and respected office within the community. They were healers, counselors, mothers and care-givers as well as priestesses and the keepers of the ancient knowledge passed down from generation to generation by the elders. Aboriginal women, especially the elders were much sought-after for their spiritual wisdom and their broad understanding of the healing properties of herbs and natural remedies. They were the settlement’s life-blood and the glue that held the encampments together while the men were away hunting, gathering and fishing. It is worthwhile noting that when the Europeans and the Catholic Church invaded Aboriginal territory four hundred years ago, they immediately became aware of the power that native women held within the culture and thus began planning a mean-spirited and policy-driven campaign to strip Aboriginal women of their power. Which doesn’t seem all that surprising considering the misogynistic treatment of women throughout European and church history.
Note: While on the subject of misogyny and child abuse, the following is a rather obscure vignette of European history and provides a glimpse into the degradation and human rights abuses suffered by women and children at the hands of the Catholic Church. The humiliating and systemic nature of these abuses is generally indicative of the lunatic element that threads its way throughout church history. During the Middle Ages, women were banned from church choirs and opera houses throughout Europe. This left church officials with a touchy dilemma… who would provide the soprano and contralto range of voices in the choirs and operas. Someone in the Spanish wing of the organization came up with a novel idea – at the time, enough was known about male physiology – why not castrate some of the younger boys and when they grew older… Voila!, they would retain their youthful (and female) vocal ranges necessary to the higher registers of the choral arrangements. Thus began one of the most grotesque displays of human cruelty ever witnessed in the history of mankind. Beginning in Italy in 1564 and continuing on until the practice was banned by Pope Pius X in 1903, as many as 400,000 young boys between the ages of 6 to 9 were castrated. (It often took three or four men to restrain the victim during the procedure and the youngsters were usually drugged with opium). Parental consent was required (victims were sometimes castrated by their own parents) but parents were plied with the prospect of their boys becoming rich and famous in the opera houses and church choirs throughout Europe. It turns out that only 2% of the ‘castrati’ actually became rich and famous… the other 98%, being maimed for life, lived out their miserable existences as freaks and social pariahs. Many committed suicide. The Catholic Church never once acknowledged this crime against humanity nor did they apologize… which was exactly their position in regards to the human rights abuses, rampant sexual predation and horrendous death-toll in Canada’s Indian Residential schools. For anyone with a strong stomach and who might be interested in learning more about the methods and tools used for castrating young boys, please google ‘castrati’.
On the Environment and Activism
Here’s a little fact that helps to illustrate that the industrial revolution and western civilization were put together and managed by a sub-species of suicidal maniacs. The latest figures indicate that, since the Rio Summit back in 1992, the global rate of carbon dioxide emissions has increased by a whopping 45%. I’m sure many of us older folks remember the glowing promises and commitments that were bandied about by swaggering politicians and ministers of the environment from the G-7 back then… well, it was all bullshit. A forty-five ‘friggin’ percent increase. After all we know about CO2 emissions, climate change, de-forestation and the vast deposits of methane-hydrates locked away and just waiting to be released as the arctic permafrost continues its accelerated melt-down. Shame!!
This obscene increase in CO2 levels over the past twenty years testifies to the fact that industrialized nations have summarily abandoned the environment. And that includes, I am embarrassed to say, the country I live in… Canada. This blatant abandonment of common sense is indicative of the myopic vision of western industrialized nations when it comes to the long-range consequences of short-range economic policies enacted by reactionary governments. In our current economic system, jobs are important but so is the environment and environmental concerns should far out-weigh all other considerations because if the environment collapses then all other systems resting upon that branch will collapse as well. It’s not rocket science. The free trade agreements signed by massive trading blocks such as the E.U., Canada, the US, China, South America and the Pacific region are unsustainable in the long-run because they do not take into consideration the current state of our damaged biosphere. Governments have no interest in factoring in the accelerated release of carbon dioxide emissions combined with the cumulative depletion of limited resources, all of which are part and parcel to free and unrestricted global trade. The people who put these agreements together have their heads firmly buried in the sand (Alberta tar sand no doubt) to such an extent that they only see the short-term economic gains and are recklessly indifferent to the long-range environmental effects of international trade agreements.
Generally speaking, politicians and ministers of the environment are a narrow-minded lot and have little interest in fixing long-range problems. It’s obvious that they are just too busy with covering their own asses and getting elected at any cost, even if it means shunting environmental issues down a few notches on their priority lists. Here in Canada we have a Conservative government that is unabashed about its short-range economic policies that place employment, trade and ‘prosperity’ well ahead of the environment. Prime Minister Steven Harper, the ‘poster-boy’ for this type of arrogant and short-sighted governance, currently enjoys a majority government, which is a testament to how well he has sold the electorate on fears about the economy and jobs, jobs, jobs… at the expense of the environment. The mere suggestion may be an exercise in futility but Mr. Harper and his fellow dinosaurs really need to wake up and look beyond their short-term gain/long-term pain political mind-set. The Titanic is listing and big business, big banks and global trade will sink just as assuredly as the rest of us. Canada’s current Conservative government is an embarrassment on the world stage when it comes to environmental issues and needs to get serious and pro-active about the state of our mortally wounded biosphere which includes reining in that abomination known as the ‘Alberta Tar Sands Project’. It’s not the economy, stupid.
Note: I must admit that I harbor a secret wish that Steven Harper and other members of his inner cabinet stick around for another forty, perhaps fifty years, for no other reason than to hear what their response might be when their grandchildren and great grandchildren press them to account for their reprehensible endangerment of our planet while they were in power. Harper, together with his majority government, were in the enviable position to influence the world, to ‘take a stand’ and to become world-leaders on environmental issues at a time when such a position was unpopular. Instead, his gutless and visionless preoccupation with prosperity, the economy, jobs and everything else ‘except’ the environment will be his lasting legacy. I hope his grandkids hold his feet to the fire.
The planet is entering a new and dangerous era in which the machine and all its major components are corrupted, ineffectual and distracted. The conventional methods of stewardship of planet Earth have failed miserably, meaning of course, big government, big money, big religion, etc. The next period in human history belongs to the activists… those with vision, consciousness and conscience. And the good thing is we don’t have to wait… the ‘age of activism’ is fundamentally an on-going work in progress… it has always existed as a counter-balance to the dark forces of tyranny, greed and arrogance. The Occupy Wall Street movement is the tip of the iceberg and portrays only one facet of activism… behind the scenes and toiling-away in the ‘trenches’ of the inner-cities and the rural landscapes all over the world is a virtual army of un-sung heroes who are busy ‘doing’ things to affect positive change in the world. For the most part, they are invisible, you don’t see them on the front page of the New York Times or the six-o’clock news… and yet this growing army of grassroots activists represents an under-current of sanity, respect and light in an age where machines and human stupidity have taken over. Our only hope is that light and consciousness spread at least as infectiously as the darkness that preceded it… we don’t have much time.
Chapter Seven: On Machine Parts and Perspective
Since we’re on the subject of machines, the world’s largest machine is the ‘LHC’ or Large Hadron Collider straddling the Franco-Swiss border just west of Geneva, Switzerland. The machine is essentially a complex circular tube twenty-seven kilometers in circumference housing 1,600 massive super-conductors and the required electronic circuitry to propel hydrogen protons around a high-voltage energy beam powered by 7 tev’s (that’s 7 trillion-volts of electricity) and smash them into protons coming from the opposite direction. This single machine is so gargantuan in scale that part of it exists in France and part of it over-laps into Switzerland. The massive circular tube is buried 200 feet underground… a cross-section reveals the Collider’s amazing structural complexity and one can only guess as to the astronomical number of tiny machine parts and components required to make it run.
For the sake of making a point, let’s take an imaginary journey into the ‘guts’ of the Large Hadron Collider, which is part of the CERN Laboratory, and randomly select one of its myriad components. Then let’s journey even further into the workings of that component in order to isolate one specific machine part as our subject, perhaps a small and insignificant screw. Next we will endow the screw with consciousness, a sense of self, free will and an awareness of its surroundings. Let’s even give the screw a name… ‘Jacques’.
Is Jacques aware that he’s but a petty fastener situated deep within the bowels of the world’s largest machine… probably not. His existential perspective is limited to those parochial elements within the component to which he is attached. If one tried to describe the sprawling schematic layout and the sophisticated circuitry of the ‘LHC’, Jacques’ eyes would most likely glaze-over and he’d probably fall asleep. How could he react otherwise… the neighboring screws, nuts and bolts and perhaps some wiring and housing walls are the only world he knows.
Using a little imagination, let’s unscrew Jacques from whatever he’s fastening together and take him on a guided tour of the ‘Large Hadron Collider’. Twenty-seven kilometers of mind-boggling techno-wizardry operated by an army of scientists and technicians, with billions upon billions of machine parts, just like him, all working towards one, single objective which is to smash sub-atomic particles into each other. Next we take Jacques for an excursion ‘outside’ the world’s largest machine, perhaps fifty kilometers up into the clear, blue skies above the Franco-Swiss border where he can look around and actually get a sense of ‘the big picture’ for the first time in his life.
By extricating Jacques from this complicated piece of machinery we have greatly added to his perspective. He now has a knowledgeable basis from which to question the foundation of his existence, to question his role as a machine-part and to even question the ethics and purpose of the machine itself. Endowed with free will, Jacques may choose to return to his ‘day job’ or he may choose any one of a number of other options. If this story were real and if Jacques was a real person, he would now have a much wider perspective concerning the world in which he lives.
Western civilization is also a machine… a machine of such titanic proportions that by comparison, the Large Hadron Collider seems like nothing more than a child’s tinker-toy. And as such, western civilization bears many striking similarities to the LHC: both are massive in scale, both started out as an idea, both took a long time to construct and both run on billions and billions of machine parts. But the fundamental difference between these two machines is that the LHC actually had a plan and an over-all vision… western civilization did not. Like a blinded bull in a china shop, western man had no clue where he was going, what he was doing or the long-range consequences of his actions.
This essay’s general approach to understanding the world will be lost on those who are currently buried somewhere deep inside the inner workings of western ideology. Like our friend Jacques, one would need to step back and view the whole machine from a distance otherwise the statements made in this document will seem like complete bunk. In fact, stepping back a few feet wouldn’t do it. One would have to climb to some higher level of elevation in order to gain enough perspective to see not only the machine, but the entire history of life on the planet in order to grasp the viewpoint that hyper-intellectual man was, and still is, a biological aberration. If I suggested to someone in the medical industry that the so-called ‘advances’ in science and medicine that endeavor to synthetically extend the life-expectancy of the human species are in direct contravention to nature’s law, that in fact their meddling with natural cycles is arrogant and wrong, they would look at me like I was a nut-case. Which is the appropriate reaction considering their lack of historical perspective and being enmeshed somewhere in the guts of a specific institution within the larger machine, much as Jacques was before his enlightenment fifty kilometers above the LHC. Medical professionals, much like their counterparts in the education industry are born and bred into their respective institutions much like screws and washers are fastened to encasements inside the Large Hadron Collider. And like Jacques before his enlightenment, these professionals have no context by which to question the long-range ethics of their institutions or their roles as machine parts.
Be In It, But Not Of It
The most encouraging aspect of this issue is that hyper-intellectualism is still, purely and simply, a state of mind – a synthetic construct of ideas that are not grounded in reality. Since the beginning of time this phenomenon did not exist, then suddenly it appeared and festered for a few cosmic moments like a malignant weed and then poof! it disappears into oblivion, never to be heard from again… hardly a candidate for a ‘truism’. And although hyper-intellectualism’s tenuous influence has dominated the western landscape, not everybody in the western world has bought-into its insanity. I find that encouraging.
There are many who have chosen to think ‘outside the box’, ‘outside the machine’ and these folks (including Indigenous cultures who still practice the traditional ways) are a shining beacon of light in a very dark world. The poisonous effects of western civilization and its industrial revolution have spread like a plague and most regions of the Earth have been infected but that doesn’t preclude individuals from living respectful, simple and down-to-earth existences. Humans have the choice to ‘opt-out’ of the industrial-aged ethos of greed, hoarding, consumerism, etc. An integrated, Earth-friendly world-view is a state of consciousness that can co-exist simultaneously in a landscape over-run by robots and machine-parts. Living within one’s needs, driving low-emission vehicles, conserving water, recycling, tree hugging and environmental activism, buying locally produced veggies, leading by example, etc. are outward expressions of an inner state of awareness. Humans have the innate capacity and freedom to choose which direction they travel in search of their values, their meaning and their fulfillment. One can day-trip through the temporal finite realm and still be anchored in the pursuit of lasting inner peace and contentment. I think Jesus of Nazareth said it best; ‘to be in this world, but not of it”.
A Final Word on Perspective
Centrisms are manufactured attitudes exclusive to the hyper-intellectual mind. Throughout the long history of the planet, no other living organism has suffered from such an affliction. Sure, animals fight amongst themselves but none are intent on killing-off all other sub-species or global domination. If we were to follow the causal lineage of ideas such as racism, colonization, genocide, cultural superiority, crown of creation, world-domination, etc., we would inevitably find their source in an intellectual centrism. Like the flat-Earth concept or the belief in a geo-centric universe, manufactured ideas such as Euro-centrism or religio-centrism are not based in reality. If people are brainwashed enough times with the idea that the moon is made out of cheese, the concept will eventually become their belief and then their truth. The road through human history is littered with the carnage caused by humans who held a conceptual belief to be a truth.
Another truly dangerous aspect of a centrism-based mind-set is that it nullifies all other points of view… there simply isn’t any extra room left inside a mind filled with the belief in its own self-importance or self-righteousness. This observation could rightly be applied to European colonialism and its summary disregard for the Indigenous perspective, but what I’m talking about goes so much further than that, which is the weight of consideration owed to nature, natural law and the Earth itself. Does our life-sustaining biosphere not merit some consideration in man’s day-to-day decision-making? I doubt there will be a higher hurdle for some westerners to scale than getting their heads around the supposition that firstly, nature and the Earth have any ‘say’ in the matter to begin with and secondly, that their perspectives need to be considered in the ‘big picture’ view of world events.
Living an Earth-conscious and integrated existence requires us to step outside the limitations of our own perspective and view things from another vantage point… not an easy task in a narcissistic system that brain-washes itself daily that it is the ‘most important thing happening’ and that the Earth and all that it encompasses exists solely for the human being’s exclusive use and pleasure. The Earth is a self-regulating organism that adheres to a universal code of laws whose profundity is so, so far beyond the puny intellect of man. Dead things do not generate and sustain living things… in a ordinary handful of dirt exists a veritable power-house of atomic energy that feeds the nutrients that feed the plants that feed the two-legged, the four-legged, the flying, swimming and crawling things. A living and beneficent biosystem, upon which human beings are completely dependent, certainly warrants some respect and consideration. Western man will only begin to comprehend these truths when he gets-down off his pedestal and re-assumes his rightful place as a small but integral part of this magical event called creation.
Conclusion: Making Sense of It All
A wise Greek scholar once counseled human beings to ‘know thyself’, which succinctly sums-up the general theme of this paper. These two simple and timeless words uttered by Socrates 2500 years ago, have been reverberating along the canyon walls of human history ever since and, although half a world away and unaware of the Greek’s existence, these same two words formed the basis of North American Indigenous People’s integrated world-view Homo sapiens, like all other organic life-forms, are the marriage of two distinctive natures… the inner and the outer, the permanent and the temporary, the real and the illusionary, the seed and the shell, the contents and the vessel, etc. Lord Buddha recommended we walk with an equal-sized foot on both sides of the line that separates those two states. Good advice. Western man lost touch with one half of his nature, the inner half, and he’s been floundering around the outer, illusionary landscape ever since. If we humans have any chance of righting the ship and healing our planet (and ourselves), it will only come through knowledge… ’self’ knowledge… the knowing of who we are.
Although primarily an ‘honor’ song to my grandparents and their experiences in the Indian Residential schools, this document has also taken me on a personal journey of reconciliation and catharsis… a purging and reckoning with my past and the abuses suffered at the hands of racism in Canada. I felt a deep need to somehow make sense of what happened to my family, my culture and myself and writing it all down has provided the necessary ‘exorcism’ of a deep-seated hurt carried-over from my childhood days. As an added bonus, the investigation certainly took on a life of its own and I wound up traveling to places I never dreamed I would visit.
My grandparent’s voices were violently and permanently silenced by systemic racism and Canada’s Indian Residential schools… it is my hope that this trilogy of essays restores, even posthumously, their voices to them. There can be no greater tribute to James Vital Leblanc and Elizabeth Musgrave than if this series of writings should inspire a few Canadians to become more knowledgeable about the traditional values and Earth-friendly world-view of Canada’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit… and to re-examine Canadian history in which the Aboriginal experience was callously white-washed away by governments and churches intent on cultural genocide.
October 31st 2013
Proofed and Updated Oct 2016