Live Dangerously And You Live Right

The title of this post, live dangerously and you live right, comes from the great author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and he was ever so correct. The life of meek obedience is a sin against the self. It is a surrender of mind and passion. It’s a half life at best.

But unquestioning compliance is the easy way. It’s what the system is designed to extract from you. It’s what school trains you for, it’s what corporations expect of you, and it’s what government demands.

In the end, compliance is extorted from you by manipulation and violence. Everyone does it, so you’d better do it, and if you don’t, you’ll get in a lot of trouble. We’ve all experienced this, but we often fail to call it by its true name.

And yet Goethe is correct. If you want to live as an energized, expansive, open, and honest being, you have no choice but to live dangerously… because the system has made real living dangerous. Only what services the machine is “safe.”

And it wasn’t just Goethe who thought this. I want you to see the thoughts of other men and women on this subject:

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.
– Bruce Lee

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
– Mark Twain

The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.
– Albert Einstein

Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.
– Anais Nin

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a [condition] and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
– Anais Nin

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break your bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
– Patanjali (2nd century BC)

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.
– Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
– Oscar Wilde

All theory is against the freedom of the will, all experience for it.
– Samuel Johnson

Conscience is deceived by the social.
– Simone Weil, The Great Beast

The secret is that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive.
– Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy

Obedience Is Boring

To obey is to turn away from your own thoughts and decisions. To obey is to live someone else’s life. To whatever extent we obey, we cease being.

But once you turn a deaf ear to the taskmaster, you turn on. Your life enlarges, expands, and becomes a force in the universe. Five years later you’ll look back and be amazed at the scales that fell from your eyes.

Fear is a brain hack. Fear is the great enemy.

To live by your own being is to open yourself to expansion, to deep satisfaction, and to love.

Please reread the quotes above. Turn and face the fear. Tell it to go to hell. Start living your way. Make your own mistakes. Repair them. Live and love.

* * * * *

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 26

(Continued from part twenty-five)

Sleeping in front of that grand window, I began a dream. And what it brought to me was something I don’t think I could have grasped to the depth I did anywhere else… that the problem with our present world is not so much mayhem and destruction, but the fact that scope of thought and scope of action are so miserably limited within it. The problem, as H.L. Mencken described in his own way, is not that life is tragic, but that it’s a bore.

The world of my space friends – of the grown-up portions of our galaxy – is unconstrained. They run from one interest to another. I don’t get the impression that it’s some silly fantasy life, but they do what they choose, and even when necessities press upon them, there is no other will being imposed, only the necessities of circumstance.

My days on the spaceship seemed to funnel into that revelation. (Yes, I know revelation is a packed word, but that’s what it was to me.) Being away – far, far away – from the billions of minds who think it’s good and right for some smooth-talking thug to order them around and take their earnings… who are confused day and night by idolatries that their neighbors are willing to suffer for and sometimes to die for… who have no inkling of the treasures they hold inside themselves.

Being clear of that, the stupidity of the present Earth life was palpable. In fact, it struck me in the dream as a particular unpleasant odor, as strange as that sounds.

Please believe me that once mankind can transcend its worship of the dominance hierarchy and its perverted overlords, we’ll view it as we now see our dark, ancient eras. If you take nothing else away from this reading, please believe this: We are now in the dark ages, and most of us don’t belong here.

* * * * *

The funny thing about the dream was that it shifted, markedly, as I came back to my 2018 existence. I shifted from a clean and open place to a ghetto scene; in particular, to a ghetto house I once worked at, back in the early 1980s. I remember telling people not to limit themselves… that they were identifying themselves with their unfortunate surroundings… that all the universe was not like this little slice of barbarity… that if they looked beyond it they’d see that they were made for magic and wonder.

Yes, I know how that sounds to minds fixed within the present rulership hive. People in the better parts of the galaxy, however, would take it as an obvious truth. And I think we should choose to see their way rather than to prefer this planet’s overlords.

* * * * *

All that said, I woke up in my bed the morning of April 1st, 2018, with the sun starting to stream through the cracks in our window shades. This time, however, the experience took a toll on me. I wasn’t precisely sick, but I felt like hell, and according to my wife I looked like it.

For two days I barely left our bed. I felt like I had the world’s worst case of jet-lag. My stomach and back hurt on top of it, plus I had a headache. It was not fun. On the third day I tried to go back to normal, but only made a half day. By the fifth day I was mostly normal, but discovered that I was an odd kind of bi-polar.

I don’t mean bi-polar in the proper sense of the term, but rather that I had strong, polarized reactions to things, powerfully loving them or being powerfully disgusted my them. We went to a family gathering and I found myself needing to walk away from some conversations (not even politely; just turning and walking) and pouring myself into others unreservedly… animatedly telling everything on my heart and going well beyond the comfort level of the people I was talking to. My wife pulled me out of there early, and I thanked her for it. They all seemed to forget about it afterward, but it could have made a social mess.

* * * * *

Within another week I seemed to be normal enough, but for at least a month I had strong emotional surges, often involving either disgust or laughter.

I mourned for young Paul. I felt my loss of him as if it were a death. I started saying to myself, “It’s okay, he lives on in me,” but that’s what people say at funerals, bring more depth to my loss. I loved that kid. That’s a very healthy thing, I suppose, but it wasn’t a blind love; I had been surprised by the depth of his stupidities. Having grown out of them, I had forgotten, and was surprised at how far he took some of them.

My mourning for young Paul lost its sting as I began to forgive him… forgive myself… for my errors and dark patches. The sadness left in full as I began to forgive my friends from that era, who ended up making a lot worse mistakes than my young self made.

I was also sorry that I never made it back to Hosanna Tabernacle. I was ready to do them a great deal of good (or so it seemed to me), and they deserved it. The net benefit to the universe was probably greater by not forcing myself to go, and I might try harder to maintain some emotional distance next time, but these were fully real people, even if they’d only exist for a number of days.

The final difficult effect of the trip is one that I grappled with almost till the end of writing this book. It began with the comment Walter made to when he met young Paul: Walter said he looked kind of like you,” not “just like you, but younger.” And the thing is, I think my appearance did change, and that at least part of it was intentional. I know that also sounds strange, and this description is very crude, but I think it really did happen.

More than that, spending several days with my young self clarified to me that I had changed internally. Now, I think I’ve changed for the better, but the truth is that I’m not quite the same person I was. It was I who made myself different, to be sure, but I wasn’t the same person, and I found that subtly but significantly troubling. If you can, imagine waking up tomorrow morning being someone else – your next door neighbor, perhaps – not only living his or her life but thinking their thoughts. That may point you in the direction of what I was feeling.

Do You Have A Plan For Improving Your Spouse?

All of us with husbands and wives (mates, whatever) are perfectly positioned to make them better human beings. But it seems to me that most of us squander it. Today I’d like to help fix that.

With the possible exception of your children, there is no one you’re likely to be closer to than a spouse. And that even goes for a lot of people with problem spouses; being with someone day and night over a protracted period conveys more understanding than pretty much anything else. Along with that comes opportunity. No one can present and support more ideas; no one can better nurture attitudes; no one will have more “right times” to insert a useful word, feeling, encouragement or compliment.

And so the position of spouse can be of immense effect. What I’m suggesting today is that we use it consciously and intelligently.

I am fully certain that we can make each other better people. Wives can make their husbands better and husbands can make their wives better. No one is better placed, no one has better reason for doing it, and no one will be better able to make course corrections as they go.

This, in a better world, would be glaringly obvious to us and would come to us naturally. It doesn’t, of course, and so I’ll start by going through the major obstacles I see.

Our Culture of Complaint

Humans like to complain. More than that, we gain a sort of status from it; or, as we used to say, “bragging rights.” We’re suffering, but continue performing our duties anyway. We overcome the stupid obstacles thrown in front of us by stupid people. And so on. It conveys an image of vibrance and nobility, and we can generate that image upon demand.

Bear in mind, please, that I’m not saying the these quasi-boasts are false. Very often they are not. (Though they tend to be poorly-directed). The problem with complaint is that it becomes a go-to, feel-good tool, and displaces more important uses of mind. Uses like actually solving problems.

Ultimately, the culture of complain treats circumstances as fate and absolves us from all responsibility for improving ourselves and our families.

I’m quite sure you can see how this undermines any plan for making our spouses better.

Adversarial Images

Women and men have always developed adversarial images of each other, and based (at least loosely) on legitimate reasons.

Firstly, we’re born with an innate and overpowering reproductive urge (the need for sex) and thus we are forced together. In a better world, we’d handle this far better and teach our children to handle it far better, but here we are now, and so we must deal with where we are now.

Propelled by our very bodies, we still try to find mates we appreciate in as many ways as possible. Choosing is hard, however, and we’re all doing it under biological pressures, not to mention the pressures applied by other people. (I think we’re generally getting better at this, but it remains an issue.)

The conditions spawned by this, combined with our culture of complaint, seem to promote wives complaining about husbands, husbands complaining about wives and so on. And in some ways, this is fine. Wives, for example, often compare strategies for dealing with the oddities of their husbands.

Still, once this becomes habitual, it focuses us on our spouse’s shortcomings, rather than seeing how to improve them.

Making it worse over the past few generations has been militant feminism. All militant mindsets require an enemy as a focal point, and this one chose men. This is not to say that feminism per se is a bad thing; but any movement featuring an enemy is biased away from improvement and toward destruction.

Insecurity

The consistent message of pop culture is that love is about salving insecurities. How many “I need you” songs have you heard? And wouldn’t “I want you more than I need you” be a bigger compliment?

Our culture, then, sees insecurity as a fundamental pivot, with love turning upon it. I think that’s deeply mistaken. Love is a desire to bless… a hunger to bless. It is not based upon insecurity; rather, it works to remove the insecurities of a beloved.

Far too many relationships involve the matching of insecurities rather than eliminating them. And as that goes on, people learn not to believe in their own worth, finding safety in the fact that their spouse is a little bit more insecure than they are.

The Fields Are White For Harvest

The couples of the West, then, have wide and fertile vistas in front of them. Whether or not your plan is formal and written, you have it in your power to make your spouse a better person and I’m recommending that you give it some serious thought.

If you do this with any degree of success (which I think is as close to guaranteed as we can get), you’ll make your spouse better, make your family better (especially children), and you’ll almost certainly find yourself becoming better.

The whole thing is a massive win-win cycle. And so I recommend starting as soon as possibly and continually revamping your plan as you go.

Good luck!

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 25

(Continued from part twenty-four)

The surprise, which I suppose really shouldn’t have been terribly surprising, was how the ship provided gravity. The entire environment in this ship seemed Earth-norm. And the way the ship maintained gravity was very simple: It accelerated at 1g, then the propulsion section flipped 180 degrees (see below), after which the ship decelerated at 1g. The egg remained in the same overall position, to deal with any meteoroids and debris, but the center of the egg – the part I was living in plus the shuttle bay – also rotated 180 degrees for the deceleration half of the trip1. Except for the small time spent re-configuring, the interior experienced “normal” gravity the entire time. (If that doesn’t quite make sense, please draw it out, which should clarify it for you.)

I was not, I am sorry to say, able to understand the means of propulsion very well. I suppose I simply lacked enough underlying information to make the connections. What I am more or less certain about is that it was electrical, not gravitational.

An electrical drive makes perfect sense, of course, since electrical forces are about 1030 times stronger than the force of gravity.2 I am less clear on how this system operated. They seemed to have focused their equipment on a large star, set up some type of electric field, then used it to pull themselves toward it.

The drive unit was a metal cone that remained far ahead of the egg and pulled it. I was unable to determine how the egg was attached to the drive unit. There were lines shown in the schematics, but I couldn’t read the notations. They may have been some type of cable, or perhaps something I wouldn’t have understood anyway.

I never did figure out the light source for the inside of the ship (which, given my background, you’d think I’d be best able to understand). That said, Nikola Tesla was reported to have something very much like it (illumination with visible source) in his laboratory, back around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. If this was true, and given what we know about Tesla, it would have been done with currents of very high voltage and frequency.

* * * * *

My time with the schematics was only intermittent, however. It was simply overtaken by the environment in which I found myself. And not just the visual environment, but the spiritual environment, for lack of a better word. The fact is that I did unfold in this place. I hope that my description of it doesn’t sound to ‘airy-fairy’, but these were primarily internal experiences, and one thing I’m very sure about is that we lack a vocabulary to explain them.

For the rest of this day (if it was that), I either sat or lay down in front of the big window, starring at a whirlpool of light containing hundreds of billions of worlds. Either that or the blackness of space going out to infinity.

There were tiny dots of light in the distance, but they mainly amplified the effect of infinity, since each was a galaxy, housing a hundred billion more worlds… and knowing that I could never come close to seeing even a minuscule part of what was there.

At some point I picked up my mattress and pillow, and went back to the sleeping room. Somehow that seemed to be better for actually sleeping.

I spend another day (and my sense was that each was longer than 24 hours) almost the same as the first.

* * * * *

What I did physically during this time was fairly mundane, but what was happening inside of me was not. I was thinking and feeling – easing into it slowly at first – in deeper ways than I had before.

Among other things, I realized the my subconscious mind was far more intricate and elaborate than I had previously conceived. It seemed to be a subconscious person, to be blunt about it. I actually began to conceive of it as a discrete being… as a “him.” More than anything, I wanted desperately to communicate with him. To understand his concerns, to communicate mine… to understand him as a person.

All sorts of connections appeared in mind mind while conceiving this – while looking off into the naked universe – especially the fact that the human enteric nervous system – the nervous system of the gut, to speak descriptively but roughly – is so extensive that some researchers have likened it to a second brain. I think that’s significantly over-stated, but there’s an underlying reason for the expression.

And I came to understand that my inner systems had their own inertia, and needed time to shift optimization from one endeavor or another. I’ve felt precisely that many times; getting myself into the right mood for writing, for example; but I had never understood it this well, and maybe most importantly of all, I’d never conceived of sympathy for this inner man and his work before.

This optimization, I understood, was precisely why Robert didn’t want to stay with me in 1978. It wasn’t because of scheduling per se, but because his inner conditions were rolling over from one optimized state to another. To give it a mechanical metaphor, he scheduled himself based upon the function of the machine (himself), not the time of day. As the machine was having its gearing changed, he could take some time away for a side-event. But once the new gearing was in place, or almost in place, he needed to be back. The inner mechanism… the fundamental organism… had become, to him, the thing to be optimized.

Such a “de-scheduling” might be problematic in our present world, but I am certain that it’s fundamentally proper for us… once we improve peace and cooperation inside ourselves, that is.

And it wasn’t just sitting at the window that I understood myself more deeply; it showed up equally in my dreams. Each time I slept, I woke understanding how one or more of my persistent feelings were spawned by something else, and typically a choice made many years prior. These things were acted out in my dreams. They were, as dreams tend to be, unclear, sometimes partial or mixed, but I soon enough understood them as I lay in bed and mulled them over.

* * * * *

In the midst of one of my get up, see the universe, take care of bodily functions, sleep more cycles, I realized that the end of that world had to be close. And so I slugged down a type of smoothie, went to the bathroom and installed myself in front of the window again. How long I sat there, I’m not sure, but somehow I ended up laying down on the mattress and fell asleep with a full view of infinity.

I didn’t wake up there again.

**

1 I couldn’t be sure, but it seemed to me that the white-pink metal could be made malleable – almost rubber-like – to accomplish this turn and repositioning. I don’t know how, of course, but I’m guessing that its semi-organic characteristics were involved.

2 Physicists can go on at length about fine points and variations, but the number is clearly in this range.

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The Conversation We’re Not Having

Given the danger, fear and barbarism that are presently engulfing the West, I find it necessary to point out that we’ve lost something very important: We’re no longer having serious public conversations.

Granted, public conversation has never been pristine, but there was certainly more of it decades ago, and it was very often of a higher quality. Back in the day, people actually read books and spent time thinking about what might be best. There’s quite little of that these days; mostly, people seek confirmation of their biases from sources that are likewise biased.

And so, I’d like to illustrate what a serious conversation would look like, if 2020 weren’t a dark carnival.

Late summer 2020, Anytown, USA: A small platform stands at the edge of a cornfield. A very average-looking person steps up to a microphone and speaks:

Friends,

I stand here, not to praise you, but to acquaint you with reality, at least as well as I am able. Perhaps that means I should be killed, or at least run out of town. But please allow me to address what no one else seems to, by asking the questions that really matter: Who are we? What do we want? Where should we be headed?

What we’ve been doing – praising ourselves or condemning everyone but ourselves – has blinded us to the greatest opportunity that has ever stood before a human generation: If we wanted to, we could quickly and easily step into a golden age. In fact, we’ve been doing just that, half by accident, for a long time. If we bothered to work at it, even halfheartedly, we’d go down in history as the generation that transformed humanity forever.

But perhaps most of us wouldn’t like that. And if so, that’s our choice to make. My objection is that no one bothers to talk about it.

I’d like for you, for just a few seconds, to take a look at two graphs, which I pulled out of Julian Simon’s The State of Humanity. The first graph shows how much wheat was not grown, because our production capacity is so much greater than our demand for wheat.

graph1

This second one shows the price of wheat measured in wages.

graph2

And I have others like these, for other commodities. They illustrate the same pattern.

There is one message that comes screaming through here, and it’s one that I know can be deeply troubling. Nonetheless, that message is true: Scarcity on planet Earth is dying.

I’ll pause to allow you a small freakout over that, to let all those prerecorded messages run screaming through your mind.

You see, our ruling systems have been built on the assumption of scarcity, and the idea that scarcity may be failing throws us into crisis.

Isn’t it odd that good news should upset us?

Scarcity, sadly, became more than a sad fact to us; it became a psychological necessity. But what if we no longer need to fight over resources? Is that a concept that we should rush to eliminate?

And in actual fact, there are fewer and fewer starving people all the time, and most of those are starving because of political distortions, not because of insufficient production technology.

All of this reminds me of a comment from Buckminster Fuller that I like to condense:

I decided man was operating on a fundamental fallacy: that he was destined to be a failure. I decided that man was, in fact, designed to be an extraordinary success. His characteristics were magnificent; what he needed was to discover the comprehensive patterns operating in the universe.

So, what if humanity is designed to be an extraordinary success? Why should this thought repel us, even before we honestly consider it?

You see, these are things we need to discuss.

Whether we like it or not, we’ve been stepping out of scarcity, and it seems to me that we should decide whether or not that’s a good thing.

Our problem – our real problem, if we can muster the courage to admit it – is that we’re living with space-age technology and bronze-age rulership. But we can get past this problem if we wish, and we can easily meet all of humanity’s basic needs… if we wish.

But perhaps we don’t want to. Maybe it’s more important to us that we should be the biggest dog in town and that everyone else should be a little yap-yap dog.

And if that’s the case, we need to admit it to ourselves. Perhaps we’ll decide that what we really need is to be the dominant dog, and that all the morality stuff we talk about – golden rules and loving our neighbors – was all juvenile blather; that what we really want is to dominate everyone else.

And if that’s the case, we should get busy rebuilding our civilization in the form of the Roman Empire. We should get serious about beating the hell out of everyone else… at least until a new Christ comes along (or perhaps just people who remember the old one) and convinces our subjects that there’s a better way to live.

But in the meantime, we could kick the crap out of a billion brown people for a century or two, minimum. That’s our choice to make, of course, I’m only suggesting that we be forthright about it.

So, my friends, let me conclude by saying this:

If what we really want is to be the big dog, to feast on the fact that we’re able to kick all the smaller dogs around, then let’s do it. Let’s go full-Caesar on ’em. Let’s conquer everything, steal what we like, and live it up.

Or, if that’s not what we really want, then let’s get the golden age started; let’s dump the hierarchies that steal half our earnings and devote themselves to keeping fear alive. Let’s build and plant and thrive; and let’s welcome others to thrive with us.

Thank you for not shooting me.

**

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 24

(Continued from part twenty-three)

The galaxy was simply stunning. More engrossing, however, was the indescribable blackness that surrounded it. It was unfathomably deep, not only in color, not only in distance, but in time. I was looking at an infinity, incomprehensible but staring me in the face.

I stared until my eyes hurt. I realized that I hadn’t blinked at all, and they were watering to compensate. I pushed myself backward onto the mattress and closed my eyes. I remained there until my they felt normal again. Then I sat back up, remembering to shift my gaze from time to time, which also induced me to blink.

The galaxy secured my attention this time. My ship was at the outer fringe of it and slightly above its central plane; enough that I could see the shape of the whole, with handfuls of stars still visible above me. After a few back and forths my eyes had returned to their habit of blinking, which removed that concern from my mind.

There were so, so many stars. The estimates I’ve heard are a hundred billion, and I believe it. Everywhere I looked there were stars upon stars upon stars, deeper than I could see and I’m not sure how much deeper after that. But this was not like looking at a photo of stars; these were real, unmistakably round, each with its own position, brightness and contrast with nearby stars… and nearly all, I knew, had planets around them. The effect went beyond any photo of any resolution.

As for the distance, there was nothing to give me a feeling for it, but I know the next closest start to Earth is about 4 light years. Taking that as an average (everything else about our solar system screams of ‘average’), that meant 24 trillion miles between each dot-like star and its closest neighbor. 24 miles a million times, and then that distance a million times. I grasped the number easily, but the physical reality of it… my grasp was partial… very partial.

Almost immediately I understood the parallel to what Jens said about my mind and my inner parts not being synced: My mind could do the math and understand, perfectly, what it all meant; my inner parts were straining to feel what it really was.

But was it possible for my mind and soul to sync up on such an extreme thing as this? I searched my feelings and came to believe that it was so, no matter how incapable I felt at the moment. Given some direct experience, I was sure I could get a feel for it. Here and now I was like the first fish to crawl up on to the dry land; everything was strange and foreign. The next generation, however, would see it as normal and would acclimate to it. Humans do that, and will continue to do that.

* * * * *

I thoroughly lost track of time while sitting at that window, and never really recovered it in that world. Seated at that window, the concepts of hours, days and even weeks lost their meaning. I was observing systems that changed at million-year increments. A few spins of a planet were nothing, and felt like nothing.

Looking back, I suppose I spent 5 or 6 hours at the window, uninterrupted. Then I pulled myself away, dimmed it almost opaque and went to the bathroom. I decided that I needed to clear my head, and so I did some vigorous exercise; it’s a trick that has always worked for me, and it worked there as well. Then I showered and heated up another of the pre-packaged meals. This one was a variation on steak and vegetables, and it was quite good. I had several plum-like fruits to finish the meal.

Once I was finished eating and cleaning up, I installed myself at the plasma screen with the schematics and entertained myself for perhaps another 5 or 6 hours. All of the notations on these drawings were in some other language and numbering system, but it was all quite rational and as comprehensible as it could be under the circumstances.

The ship was indeed egg-shaped, stretched a bit longer than our typical chicken eggs. The the living quarters and the shuttle bay beneath it took up the fattest part of the egg, with storage or cargo space at the bottom of the egg as well as immediately above my living space. I had half a mind to explore the cargo areas before my time ended, but it seemed like they were depressurized, and so I wrote that off.

The top section of the egg, and the sides all the way down to the fattest point (save the window, when open) were filled with what I think was a non-Newtonian fluid… the kind they can use to catch bullets. This could have been a gel rather than a liquid, but the way the details showed them (these were almost like the details on our blueprints), was in small sacks squeezed into compartments. That made me think it was more liquid than gel. But that’s just a guess.

So, then, the ship had an angled and hard outer layer to deflect any small debris, and a non-Newtonian fluid layer to catch anything large and fast enough to penetrate the shell. I presume that the ship was able to detect anything really big and route around it.

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On Rigging Elections

There’s presently a lot of discussion about rigging elections, and so I’d like to make a few things clear. I’ll do that with a few, brief points and stories:

#1: Every significant election involves vote rigging. The incentives and the emotions assure it. The local election judge knows what he or she can get away with, and 1 of x times, he or she will. That’s just the nature of the beast, and no faction is immune to it.

#2: Political organizations always steal or add votes. Whether it’s stuffing a ballot box, tossing away votes from the precinct that votes for the opponent, or a thousand variants, this happens all the time. Again, the incentives are all for it, as is the arrogance of party: We’re the righteous ones and our opponents are crazy, ignorant and dangerous.

#3: Big operators rig elections with superior assets. The big players tend to develop manipulation strategies like Google campaigns or psycholinguistic-based TV adds (bending the masses to their will), but they play dirty too. Not only do they have financial motives (favorable laws are immensely profitable), but they love the feeling of owning politicians.

Stories

Again, briefly, I want to give you a couple of stories.

#1: LBJ and Box 13. The photo above shows Lyndon Johnson (later president of the United States and a thoroughly despicable human being) with his election rigging pals in 1948. This was the election that put Johnson into power, and while it was very close, he was losing.

And so, Johnson and his pals “found” a box of 202 ballots from Precinct 13. 200 of them were for Johnson, winning him the election. The cheated opponent fought, of course, but Johnson prevailed. (Yes, Virginia, judges can be bribed too.)

#2: Harold Washington in Chicago. Harold Washington was the first black mayor of Chicago, and the Democratic party in Chicago fought to keep him out. On the day of the crucial election (in one-party Chicago that’s the primary election), the train system on the heavily-black south side experienced a “surprise outage” and the system was inoperable, making it very hard for Washington’s core constituency to get to the polls.

It happened that the source of the outage was an electrician who worked for me. He was a ward committeeman, and took every election day off, to “help” in whatever way was required. A couple of days later he told me the full story, including details on the switches he disconnected.

For what it’s worth, this act of vote rigging was only partly race-driven. If Washington had been white, they still would have run dirty tricks against him, though probably not so openly. I was freakishly young to be supervising electricians and didn’t know what to do about this (I wrote it off to “government is evil”), but it was reckless of them to allow someone like me to know details.

And Now

My personal stories (and I have others) are from a few decades back, but these things are still going on.

In general, the American left is better at this than the American right: The right believes more in personal righteousness and the left in collective righteousness; that restrains Red stealing. That said, some on both sides will steal votes.

I hesitate to say anything about politics most of the time (I still go back to “government is evil”), but since the upcoming election may involve claims of vote rigging that lead to riots, looting and murder, I think I should address this briefly:

While there will be more Red stealing in some places and more Blue stealing in others, the Blues will steal more votes overall. Most vote rigging occurs in big cities, and nearly all of those have been under Blue control for decades. Long-running political machines are much, much better at thieving than rural, Red state amateurs.

Bear in mind also that TV news, as well as the Google complex, are joined at the hip with the Blues, and would be regardless of who the Red candidate was. “Respected journalists” are not be believed.

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

The Wages of Perpetual Fear

I’ve gone on for a long time about fear making humans stupid, and even about it being a weapon and a brain poison. But I’ve also wondered at times whether people would hit fear-fatigue… that point where people have simply had enough fear and walk out from under it.

As it turns out, however, I was a bit optimistic on fear fatigue. I’ve been reading Robert Sapolsky’s newest book, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best And Worst, and was disappointed to learn what the best new research shows on the long-term application of fear. (Or, in the academic terminology, sustained stress.)

My disappointment, however, was soon tempered by two things:

  1. I gained information on how fear poisoning works.

  2. That human neurology is immensely variable, that there are exceptions to everything, and that if the whole picture were actually as dark as the most troubling findings, we’d have devolved into nothing but murderous monkeys long ago.

I barely need to say this, but 2020 has been The Year of Fear. I’m a bit amazed by the extent of it. There is a certain appeal to soaking up all the fear stories in normal times – our ability to look evil in the eye makes us appear vibrant – but 2020 has pushed far beyond that level. What we’re encountering is much more than simple fear porn, and there are certain outlets (including websites) that I can only describe as obscene.

This is more destructive than people realize.

What Perpetual Fear Does To Us

I’m going to quote from Sapolsky, who is one of the best neuroscientists of our time. I’ll edit a bit to simplify and to remove the brain-area references, and will follow the passages with a few elaborations.

During sustained stress, we’re more fearful, our thinking is muddled, we assess risks poorly, and act impulsively out of habit, rather than incorporating new data.”

Under a long stream of fear (like scary headlines), our thinking breaks down. Let me put that very simply: You may be very bright in essence, but when you consume hours of fear every day, you become stupid. And please understand: This is biological. Your brain operations become those of a stupid person. (And yes, I’m using “stupid” very unscientifically.)

Also bear in mind that fear works. The people selling fear on TV, web pages and social media are being rewarded for it. They have become, using my terms loosely but not unfairly, drug dealers, selling damaging material that people become dependent upon. Moreover, these are professionals. Social media companies are fully aware that their business models depend upon people being addicted to them. They are careful to keep them addicted.

The fears people consume, then, are coming to them from people who are cashing in from it.

Stress weakens connections that are essential for incorporating new information that should prompt shifting to a new strategy—while strengthening connections with habitual brain circuits.”

In other words, fear locks you into your habits and your previous choices. It literally diminishes the brain pathways that allow you to change your mind.

This is serious, and I suspect that you’ve seen examples of this already.

Under sustained stress we process emotionally prominent information rapidly and automatically, but less accurately. Working memory, impulse control, decision-making, risk-assessment and task shifting are impaired.”

Again, prolonged fear locks people into whatever path they’re already on. And again, this is biological. The brain circuits are directly affected.

Still…

From everything I’ve written above (and there are other nasty effects like domestic violence), it would appear that we are doomed; that our neighbors who’ve drunk deep from the river of fear are brain-locked, and so long as the fear stream continues (there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight), they will get more and more rigid in their biases, and that violence will continue and increase.

And for some people all of the above will be true. Fear destroys in the most direct way: biologically.

Still… biology is never simple, and especially on the human level. While the things above are generally true, there are always exceptions; sometimes a lot of them. And it is those exceptions that have saved us, time after time.

The wages of perpetual fear are polarized and locked minds. And that leads to knee-jerk opposition, violence and murder. We’re seeing that now and we stand to see it for some time. The world, it seems, has become addicted to fear.

And yet, many of us refuse, and this is a long way from over.

There was a party in my neighborhood two days ago: Music, talking, playing, laughing and so on. It was the first joyful noise I’ve heard in public for a long time.

Life finds a way, and especially human life.

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

Return Engagements (Book Two) PART 23

(Continued from part twenty-two)

As it happened, the “shuttle bay” was the one thing our sci-fi shows right, or close enough to it. There was a big door, lights and alarms warning of upcoming depressurization, and the ship did look like a Star Trek shuttle, or perhaps the Runabout. (It was also made of the white/pink metal.)

I saw Jens into the ship and went back upstairs (the shuttle bay was one level below), then watched him leave through the window, which I had time to un-dim.

But once he left my field of view (in the down direction, which was odd), I dimmed the window again. I wanted to plan my time, because Jens was right, looking out that window would grab and consume my attention.

I sat at the table and took stock of myself,, and the first thing I realized was that a fair amount of sleepiness was bleeding through my excitement. And so I decided to get my body ready before I did anything else. I opened the window just a little, went to the bathroom, poured some water, found a blanket in a closet Jens showed me and turned the lights off. I lay myself down, with the galaxy as my night-light. I had to turn away from it to sleep – not because of the light, but because of the ecstasy I felt looking at it – and slept for several hours at least.

* * * * *

I woke up slowly, feeling a need to pull the pillow out from under my head and to lay fully flat on my back. And laying there I began to feel my joints relax. This was a surprise. When Jens mentioned relaxing, I thought of my muscles, not my joints.

My knees were first, with an instant surge of a surprising and even troubling intensity. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I felt a sort of burning or electrified ring around and through my knee joint. It was the type of thing that at a lower level might be almost pleasant – and in no way did it feel harmful – but it was intense to the point of discomfort, albeit a type of discomfort I couldn’t define.

The most precise comparison I have is to an electric shock from a DC power source, rather than our usual AC power. The pain of a DC electrification was absent, but the feel of the continuous (non-alternating) power was similar. I’m not sure this description will help many readers, but those who have worked with old-style DC motors should gain some understanding from it.

The effect on my knees was intense enough that I squirmed in response, after which it stopped. I worried that I had stopped it prematurely and tried to summon it back, but unsuccessfully. And so I lay there for a few minutes, first forgiving myself then glancing at my galactic night-light to cleanse my psyche a bit.

Then I felt it in my hip joints. To be precise, I was feeling the extreme top of my femurs, where they joined my hip. This I felt longer, but at less intensity. And I should add that I felt it to the ultimate, deepest portions of those joints. (While writing this I’m feeling it again, though not as strongly.)

As Jens said, this was unexpected. As yet I’m unsure what it signifies or why it was the first thing to strike me.

* * * * *

I remained in bed for some time after my joints relaxed (or whatever it was that they did), trying to relax the rest of me as best I could. I have some relaxation techniques I’ve developed over the years, and this seemed like a good time to employ them. Seldom do I have time enough in my normal life.

I relaxed more deeply than I would have expected, but the impression I got was that this environment would allow me to unfold gently and slowly. Perhaps, then, what I felt in my biggest joints was the first creaking open of the whole.

In any case I was out of bed about an hour after waking up. I showered, cleaned my teeth with something akin to a water-pick, and made some of the coffee drink. I undimmed the window about half way and decided that I should eat something before giving it my full attention.

I rummaged through the refrigerator and found a meal pack that Jens said was close to bacon and eggs. I heated it and ate it with my back to the window. And there I planned my few days on this ship. A wrote my plan on the notepad I used previously, wondering if my plan would survive its first engagement with the window, but it hardly mattered at this point. I was here, I was stable, and I would be back home in a few days. I finished my food, went to the bathroom, re-cleaned my teeth and came back to the main room.

Before I opened the window all the way, I pulled up the schematics Jens had shown me (on a flat plasma screen very much like ours), pulled up my pillow and mattress and dragged them to the window (both had been held in place with the smooth Velcro), then walked back to the console, keeping my back to the window. I rechecked my body, seeing if it needed anything (it didn’t), then opened the window and turned off the light. All that remained was the low illumination of some buttons on the console.

I sat on my mattress with my eyes closed. (The chairs were bolted/riveted to the floor and I didn’t want to spend time figuring out how to release them.) I took several deep breaths to even myself out, and then opened my eyes.

All of Book Two on Kindle

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Why Idealism Leads to Death

With violent idealists roaming streets, burning things, enjoying the fact that they can scare people and so on, I think a brief explanation of how idealism leads to death (and frequently to mass death) is in order.

The Two Models

There are two primary models of seeing the world that have been duking it out for a long, long time. They were most famously embodied in the rift between Plato and Aristotle, well over 2,000 years ago. Both men had their errors (this was a long time ago, after all), but each came up with a basic model of viewing the world. I’m simplifying, of course, but here they are in essence:

Aristotle: We should look at the things that are (aka, reality), make sense of it and draw useful conclusions from it.

Plato: Everything we see is a weak version of the real and glorious things that are beyond us. We should seek the ideal, and bring ourselves toward it.

Our Western civilization, as it formed in late antiquity, tended to take Aristotle’s path, focusing mainly on reality. The Roman Church – after it gained real power centuries later – took a very Platonic course, but they had to give up a good deal of that after about 1200 AD. (Thomas Aquinas, etc.)

And so we’ve been a civilization more in tune with Aristotle than with Plato. Idealism, however, reverses that, and has brought masses of people back to Plato’s way. And while it tends to sound good (“lets hold to the higher principles”), when mixed with human weaknesses – and especially when mixed with power – it leads to dark and deadly places.

To explain why this is so, I’m going to use a wonderful but academic passage written by Harry J. Hogan, from his introduction to The Evolution of Civilizations. I’ll pull pieces out of the quote and then elaborate:

In a Platonistic society, social arrangements are molded to express a rigidly idealized version of reality.”

This is why the Bolsheviks killed all the other socialists.

In a group of humans holding to a higher principle, the principle quickly becomes rigid, and the people become rigid. If you espouse a variant of their belief, you are immediately seen as an enemy. You can find this in more or less every idealistic group.

If your ideal is the great one, anyone who distracts from it is pulling people away from Truth. By so doing, they are destroying anyone who listens to them and they are destroying the future of humanity.

Once real-life humans take a principle as perfect, this is what you get. It’s how you get self-righteous college students and kindergarten teachers breaking windows and terrorizing kids.

Such institutionalization would not have the flexibility to accommodate to the pressures of changing reality.” 

By holding your principle as high and perfect, you are also making a claim to perfect knowledge. Real humans, however, do not possess perfect, god-like information. That isn’t to say we’re stupid or defective, but we just don’t have perfect knowledge, and pretending we do has to lead us into dangerous places.

Bear in mind also that science proper (not the kind beloved by politicians) was the opposite; it held “we could still be wrong about this” as a fundamental and eternal principle.

Idealism cannot bend, cannot adapt, cannot accommodate itself to better concepts. Humans change, and endlessly.

Western civilization… is engaged in a constant effort to understand reality.”

This is our model: Looking at reality, attempting to understand it, adapt to it, and if possible use it to our benefit. This model is wide open to differing and even clashing ideas, to infinite experimentation and to endless growth.

Within Aristotle’s model, then, reform is always possible.

Does All Idealism Kill?

All ideals held rigidly can kill and will in certain circumstances. Holding principles as stars to guide by, however, is something very different.

The principle used as a guide is not a claim to perfect knowledge. Rather, it is “the highest and best we can currently make out.” And that is a fine thing to steer by; we need only remember that we came to that principle with incomplete knowledge.

And so a human-friendly principle, like proper scientific findings, remains open to future clarification and modification. That is honest, non-arrogant and useful.

The Idealists Are The New Barbarians

Idealism tends to spawn clannishness, disgust for “the other,” and soon enough collective guilt and the death that follows it. This is what has flowered in 2020 AD. Under the new idealist model, white people are inherently defective and need to be put out or put down. (After a good fleecing, of course).

As I wrote a few weeks ago, any institution or corporation that has bowed to cancel culture has gone over to the barbarians… who are also the idealists.

There’s a lot more to be said on this subject (and I say a good deal of it in my book Production Versus Plunder), but in practical terms, this is enough. And the idealists on the news are barbarians.

None of us possesses perfect knowledge, and by arrogantly imagining that we do, we spawn death.

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

Comments from readers:

“This is the most amazing little book I have read on history in 36 years of reading history.”

“It will change the way you look at nearly everything.”

“I will flat out say that this is the best history book I have ever read… I am fairly well read, but I learned a tremendous amount that I hadn’t known before or hadn’t aligned so that it made sense.”

“This is the best and clearest description of the history of Western civilization I have ever read.”

“Packed with insights on every page concerning how the world came to be the way it is and what we might expect in the future.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com