The Mendacity of the Franco-American Ideal
Martin LeFevre: Without a flexible view of human nature, no claim can be made to universality. Is the very notion of universal human values a Western construct and conceit? Is human nature universal, or is it contingent on culture? ... America and France were founded on the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man respectively. Many progressives cling to the hope for their "continuous adjustment, improvement...and progress toward their ideals." ... But the criticism of the founders of the American Project, including the most venerated of its founders, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, goes much deeper than mere fashion. ... we can and must see the false as the false, without declaring and demolishing the entire project of the founders as false...
Jul 21, 2020, 2:42pm
Meditating With a Rattlesnake
Martin LeFevre: On my first trip into the High Sierra with, naturally, the Sierra Club, I vividly recall walking along a ridge with group of hikers when I caught my first sight of a rattler. ... I jumped. Whereupon the young lady behind me blithely said, "It won't bother us unless we threaten it. And it's not rattling, so it's not feeling threatened." ... Fast-forward 30 years. ... The rattlesnake, another fat five-footer, stretched out an arm's length away. I didn't move, but more out of curiosity than fear. To be sure, primal fear arose, but I watched it with the same intensity that I watched the snake, and it gave way to pure awareness...
Jul 16, 2020, 9:45am
Breakdown Before Breakthrough?
Martin LeFevre: Over the last 20 years, I've often been gripped by the existential question: How does this unbelievably dysfunctional culture and society continue to function, much less do as well as it does economically? Now I have my answer-it was running on fumes, and the pandemic has brought about its collapse. ... Of course denial still rules ... What is going on metaphysically with the pandemic in this godforsaken culture? ... By metaphysically I mean both the nastiest, darkest undercurrents in human consciousness, as well as the most beneficial and wise currents...
Jul 9, 2020, 4:36pm
Indigenous and Immanent Intimations
Martin LeFevre There is a canyon beyond town where, if you go with a humble heart and silent mind, you can feel the presence of indigenous peoples who experienced the sacredness of the earth and thereby consecrated the land. ... Are the spirits of the people who lived here truly still present? Did the land they love absorb their souls, so that anyone with sensitivity can feel an intimation of them? ... During deeper states of meditation I sometimes sense them, and feel sure their essence endures, waiting to be called forth by living people who deeply care about the future of the earth and humanity. ... Though doubting the future of humanity of late, I still feel cosmic intelligence can work through human beings to radically change this rapacious globalized culture...
Jul 7, 2020, 5:52pm
Worse Than the Civil War
Martin LeFevre: About a year after 9.11, I met an octogenarian German fellow in the parkland that wends along the creek and defines this bucolic northern California town. ... 'How old were you in 1933?' I asked after a few minutes serious conversation. ... "Sixteen," he said with a look that indicated he knew where I was going with the question. ... 'Do you remember the zeitgeist in Germany at that time?' ... "Very well," he replied. ... 'Do you have the feeling, as I do, that something has gone terribly wrong in America, and that we could go the way of Weimer Germany?'... The old German fellow gave me a long, woeful look, and then unflinchingly said, "Yes, that's what I feel, and fear."...
Jul 4, 2020, 1:53pm
The Observer Is an Infinite Regress
Martin LeFevre: Swallows are playing on the air and skimming the surface of the water. Quail cavort in the bushes along the stream ... The observer is the first division of the human mind, and from that mechanism all other division originates: 'My family and your family;' 'my tribe and your tribe; my country and your country;' 'my religion and your religion.' ... If one attentively asks oneself, 'what is the observer?' one will see that at bottom it is actually nothing but thought constantly separating itself from itself. ... The separative mechanism within the person---the alleged observer -is the basic impediment to direct perception and wholeness...
Jun 25, 2020, 1:45pm
Toward a Non-Theologized, Non-Psychologized Philosophy of Evil
Martin LeFevre: The obvious first question is: What is evil? Though this certainly doesn't cover it, one can say evil is an egregious eruption of hate and violence in an individual or a people. ... The next question is: Does evil have collective intentionality in human consciousness? ... Something larger than the individual, or even a bigly group of people, can burst into the open and take over a person, or a nation. Evil is first an inner phenomenon before it is an outward manifestation...
Jun 20, 2020, 1:53pm
Why Is Google Censoring My Columns?
Martin LeFevre: Contrary to what you've heard, free speech doesn't really exist in America, or on the Net. The mainstream media patrols the boundaries of acceptable narratives, and Google arbitrarily censors material. Censoring my political pieces is bad enough, but Google went too far in expurgating my column yesterday, "What Is Our Place In the Universe?" ... What's the reason? ... Is it that that anything that comes too close to the unfixed, ever-moving truth, anything that may spark actual insight in readers, has to be suppressed, because the entire edifice of so-called civilization wouldn't last a month if ordinary human beings began having ignitions of insight?...
Jun 18, 2020, 1:41pm
What Is Our Place In the Universe?
Martin LeFevre: Now, as the fragmentation of the earth and humanity by the unwise use of 'higher thought' reaches the breaking point, pressure greatly increases for a transmutation in the human brain, allowing a new, true order of consciousness. ... That a single species should have the power to destroy the planet that gave rise to it is not just an existential mystery; it poses a cosmic question about consciousness itself. What is consciousness, as we generally know it, and is another order of consciousness possible? ... The universe unfolds from simpler orders to more complex orders; only man generates chaos. ... there is an unresolved mystery to the emergence consciousness, not to mention the irreducible mystery of life itself...
Jun 17, 2020, 3:13pm
Movements Aren't Enough
Martin LeFevre: Too meekly in my view, Charles Blow writes in his latest column: "We must make sure that this is a true change in the American ideology and not an activist-chic, summer street festival for people who have been cooped up for months, not able to go to school or graduate, not able to go to concerts or bars." ... No change in "American ideology" is going to change anything. And if nothing deeper than massive, cause célèbre block parties is going on, the protesters aren't exhibiting anything but herd mentality. That's not cynicism; it's historical reality. Protests and movements are no longer enough...
Jun 12, 2020, 12:34pm
The Ongoing Error of Man
Martin LeFevre: After 15 years of intensive philosophical inquiry into the question of how human disorder could evolve out of the natural order, I had a shattering experience that answered the question for me, at literally a gut level. ... I heard it first as a distant roar. In the next instant I knew exactly what it was—a B-52 taking off from nearby Castle Air Force Base, which is no longer operational. I also knew at that moment that the behemoth was going to fly directly over my head. ... The noise grew incredibly loud, and the ground began to shake. ... Beyond words, in my shaking gut, I saw: This thing is man; I am this thing...
Jun 10, 2020, 4:25pm
Immortality Is Not the Continuity of Memory
Martin LeFevre: After the squalls that rolled through during the day, the smell of earth, new growth and browning grass are strong and sweet. Swallows play on the air and swerve close; they are the essence of joy without fear. ... Is the death of psychological thought--that is, of the continuity of memory, identity and the past--the beginning of awareness that does not die? It follows, given that the universe is permeated by an inseparable intelligence, which we can only see and feel when thought is completely still. ... The essential thing is to die while fully alive. Then, when one physically expires, awareness does not die. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it."...
Jun 4, 2020, 3:49pm
Regarding Chaos and Order
Martin LeFevre: No one with an ounce of human feeling will ever get the image of that excremental excuse for a policeman, much less a human being, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes with his hand in his pocket. ... America has become the definition of godforsaken. That's how a president who channels more evil than any other president in American history (even more than Trump's favorite, the hater and slaughterer of Indians, Andrew Jackson), can stand in front of a boarded up church dating back to the nation's beginning and wave a Bible in our faces ... Only an explosion of insight will suffice now....
Jun 2, 2020, 4:10pm
From a Spiritual Perspective
Martin LeFevre: The world is made, not divinely created. What humans made can be remade with insight, creativity, conviction and courage. ... That is especially true when an old order is collapsing, as it is now after one of the last struts has been kicked out by the pandemic. The question is, how deep does the crisis go, and what is an adequate response? ... It's a matter of opening one's eyes to what is happening inwardly and outwardly, and of ceasing to move headlong in a self-centered consumeristic direction as the earth and humanity go over the cliff...
May 23, 2020, 4:33pm
The Crisis Is First Inward, Not Outward
Martin LeFevre: Sometimes the clearest way to view current events is through the lens of recent history. Contrary to the pundit class, we're not living in a different world. It's the same old shit recycled and accelerated. ... The pandemic is intensifying the crisis of human consciousness, as well as the opportunity and urgency to change course that was squandered with the end of the Cold War. ... The truth is that the US collapsed at the same time the USSR did, just internally (socially and morally) rather than externally (economically and politically) as in Russia. It's just taken this long for it to become undeniable...
May 20, 2020, 4:07pm