When Evolution Is Revolution
Martin LeFevre: In the science fiction classic "2001, A Space Odyssey," HAL, the all too human-like computer, malfunctions and kills the hibernating crew members, and then snuffs out the life of one of the two waking astronauts. Then, as the sole surviving astronaut disables its higher functions, HAL begs for its precious Higher Self's continuation. Was "2001" a prophetic metaphor for our time? ... Nature operates in a dynamic, infinitely complex and ever-changing order, in which all systems are seamlessly interconnected. How then could humans evolve as the overwhelmingly dominant species on this planet and become a planetary scourge of fragmentation and disorder--the very antithesis of the cosmic principle of wholeness? ... There's an innate urge within healthy human beings to understand our place in the universe. ... The problem is the division, fragmentation and disorder generated by thought, which don't exist in nature....
Jul 22, 2019, 3:21pm
"How Could Any God Allow Such Atrocities?"
Martin LeFevre: The more accurate question, I submit, is: If, as mystics throughout the ages say, the universe is permeated with the love of an immanent Intelligence, why do the evils and horrors of human history and the present age exist? ... This question places the onus of the dilemma squarely where it belongs, on us, not on some projection of a cosmic deity that 'allows' terrible things to happen. ... Only by bringing into sharp and uncomfortable relief the contradiction between the actuality behind the phrase 'divine love' and the reality of human condition can we begin to understand the existential gulf, and begin to fill it with the compassion that flows from the 'mind of God.' ... The need to draw meaning from the meaningless, to even see human disorder and pathology as somehow part of a greater plan is very strong, even in we post-moderns who should know better...
Jul 19, 2019, 11:25am
Good and Evil Aren't Opposites
Martin LeFevre: Seven bands of corrugated clouds, stretching to the horizon, shimmer with salmon-colored light at sunset. ... Then what looks like an aurora borealis appears: draperies of the richest color hanging just above the horizon. As I look over the open field, the sky is set ablaze in the most brilliant magentas and pinks filling clouds of fantastic shape and size. ... We live at a critical time. Things are coming to a head, ecologically, spiritually and politically, and yet things are rolling along as if they will go on like this forever. ... The antithesis of truth and goodness is the reality of darkness and evil. Good and evil are not opposing forces however, but distinct and unrelated streams. Goodness is not man-made, but the basic actuality of life, whereas evil is man-made, and has become the dominant reality in the United States. ... Understanding of the nature and purposes of evil is important, but only self-knowing inoculates one against it...
Jul 16, 2019, 1:51pm
Science Cannot Replace the Religious Mind
Martin LeFevre: An implicit and unexamined premise has crept into the minds of thinking people. It is that science is the highest act which human beings are capable. It is not. That isn't to say the opposite is - religious faith and belief. ... There is a huge distinction between religion and the religious mind. The religious mind is shorn of beliefs and quieted of conditioning. It is far greater than the scientific mind. ... Both are necessary, even essential to humanity, but venerating science precludes the religious mind, whereas the genuinely religious mind respects science. ... Science is not going to lead us out of our morass. ... Consider how far we have advanced scientifically and technologically since the moon landings on one hand, and how we far have regressed into nationalism and narcissism on the other...
Jul 11, 2019, 5:44pm
Teilhard de Chardin Got It Backasswards
Martin LeFevre: Teilhard held that evolution was a process "converging toward a final unity." But at least where humankind is concerned, Teilhard got it back-asswards. As we are, humans represent Pi, which is to say, we're spiraling down, not upward as a species. ... Nearly all explanations for "the riddle of man" suffer from enslavement to the idea of progress, including Teilhard de Chardin's 'Omega Point." Even if evolution has an intrinsic drive toward 'higher consciousness,' it hits a big bump in the road with the evolution of 'higher thought.' ... It's clear that thought is both an obstacle to and a prerequisite for cosmic consciousness. When one comes into emotional contact with this mystery, one feels the compassion in the cosmos for creatures such as us...
Jul 7, 2019, 5:32pm
Right Action Flows From Complete Inaction
Martin LeFevre: During this relative interregnum before this evil administration starts a much bigger war, people who still give a damn urgently need to affirm their priorities in life. ... Despite many mistakes, wrong turns and dead ends, the core decisions (actually life orientations) I made while still a teenager remain valid, and perhaps increasingly viable. ... Two things were most important to me then and remain so today, nearly half a century later - the search for the truth, and the experiencing of the numinous. ... Emotional renewal, insights for one's relationships and work, and compassion flow from stillness and emptiness ... There is immanence, as perpetual creation and permeating love within and beyond the universe...
Jul 2, 2019, 3:29pm
The Transmutation of Man
Martin LeFevre: Humans have begun "The Sixth Extinction." The American media, even the progressive media, have been promoting the idea that most of the life on Earth has been wiped out many times before-by asteroids, comets or super-volcanoes. Why? Because the best excuse for not facing human destructiveness is to say that nature is also destructive. ... We are in the midst of a man-made extinction event. ... Poverty, war and man-made mass extinction of other animals with which we evolved and share the earth are closely interrelated issues. ... Another breakthrough, fully conscious and essentially spiritual, is urgently required. This awakening of potentiality will be no less a transmutation in our brains than the unconscious cognitive revolution...
Jun 30, 2019, 9:33am
Nationalism and the Crisis of Consciousness
Martin LeFevre: There is no such thing as 'higher thought.' That's a misnomer humans have given the evolution of symbolic thought. The crisis of human consciousness boils down to the question: Can we cease being slaves to symbols? ... Nationalism is the modern form of tribalism. And there is no greater example of this primitive psychology than America's president, who is a product not of an Electoral College fluke, or of long-brewing Republican extremism, or some 'anomaly' in American history. Trump is the last gasp of nationalism ... Nationalism, as George Orwell wrote in May 1945 just as Germany surrendered, is the "habit of identifying oneself with a single nation, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests." ... There is no such a thing as a benign-even a salutary-nationalism. Nationalism has always been false; but in the interconnected global society, it has become evil...
Jun 28, 2019, 11:14am
Two Hinges of History
Martin LeFevre This is the second “hinge of history” in my lifetime. I didn’t think I’d live to see another, after the simultaneous collapse of the USSR economically and politically, and the US ethically and culturally.... But here we are, witnesses and participants in the slow-motion collapse of the post-World War II international order, indeed, of the nation-state system itself. ... Part of history is pre-determined, like a runaway train before a sharp turn and inevitable derailment. A ‘hinge of history’ is a chance to change course after the crash by preparing for it. In earlier times, the context was one’s people or nation. In the thermonuclear age, it is humankind as a whole. ...
Jun 22, 2019, 3:31pm
Negation, Meditation and the Work
Martin LeFevre : Soon after I left my family in Michigan and moved to California at 20, I went on a memorable 4-night backpacking trip with the Sierra Club into the High Sierras. Our destination was Kingsley Cave, the site of a massacre of Yahi Indians who made their home around Lassen Volcanic Peak. ... The genocide of the Yahi was the final extermination campaign waged by the American government and people against Native Americans. ... How were they able to sustain themselves? ... The two great original sins of this nation were slavery and the decimation of Native Americans. The legacy of both persists to this day. ... As long as America cared about the rest of the world, and at least attempted to lead with respect to human rights, we retained our soul as a people. No more. How does a nation recover its soul? ...
Jun 20, 2019, 2:30pm
Scraping Bottom at “The Failing New York Times”
Mainstream media hacks are spewing ever-increasing twaddle. It’s not enough that the MSM was instrumental in producing President Frankenstein by hewing to the potholed roads of the status quo, and then benefiting from a “Trump bump.” Now they’re going all in with techno-babble. ... An example of the latter can be found in the eminent New York Times: “Cellular agriculture has started producing one of the world’s tastiest steaks, Wagyu…a template for a better, freer and more affluent world, a world where we provide for the needs of everyone — in style.”
No, that wasn’t penned nearly 60 years ago by the writers of “The Jetsons,” but by a futurist having us all on with a piece entitled: “The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism.” ...
Jun 16, 2019, 1:55pm
Love Is Not a Feeling; It's a State of Being
Martin LeFevre: The wind gusted all day today, keeping the temperature unseasonably low, and the foothills splendidly clear. The creek still runs cold, clear and fast, and it was good to sit beside it and watch the outer and inner flow. ... It's a strange thing how love comes with stillness of mind. Personal love flows out of caring, friendship, partnership or attachment. But it isn't the love that infuses nature and the universe, which many philosophers and scientists deny exists. ... Why does the movement of psychological thought prevent the perception of beauty and the reception of love? ... The basic reason appears to be quite simple. Thought is an instrument of separation. It is an evolutionary mechanism par excellence that gave humans the capability to remove objects, build up knowledge, and develop skills...
Jun 8, 2019, 5:34pm
Evil Is Not a Nebulous Phenomenon
Martin LeFevre: Evil is a byproduct of millennia of grudges and sludges in human consciousness, the rotten residue of countless people and innumerable generations. It is sum total of extreme self-centeredness, inner neglect, victimhood and vengefulness. It is a condensed intentionality of hatred, extruding through an individual, or an entire people, as it did in Italy and Germany in the 1930's, and threatens humanity from America today. ... How does one meet it? Through self-knowing. Evil hooks into what is false, dark and hidden within us. We are our own individuals when we are self-knowing. ... So if we face the hatred, envy, hurt, fear and ugliness within ourselves, and don't cut off or run away, we learn and grow...
Jun 6, 2019, 5:31pm
The Buddhist Graft and the Western Rootstock
Martin LeFevre: My meditation practice, which began with an explosive insight in my late-teens, before I knew anything about Buddhism (or meditation for that matter), appears Buddhist. ... I've come to feel that transplanted Buddhism, despite or because of its popularity, has not contributed to the spiritual life of the West. ... What is meditation? ... Meditation, as I understand and 'practice' it, has nothing to do with methods and systems for quieting the mind. ... For meditation to ignite in the brain, one has to allow the sensations of the present to supersede the memories, concepts, conditioning, and associations of the past. ... Desire and pleasure seeking grow out of thought, not out of sensation...
Jun 2, 2019, 3:42pm
Searching For Intelligent Life, On Earth and Beyond
Martin LeFevre: A serious consideration of extraterrestrial life by the scientific community is merging with the public's perennial fascination on the subject. Scientists, despite often being brilliant in their fields, are saying some rather unintelligent things on the subject. ... Neil deGrasse Tyson -- "Perhaps the thought of war never entered their heads. Thinking they make war is assuming they have the same weaknesses we do. And I'm not prepared to drag them [ET] down into that sewer." ... War is a defining feature of so-called human civilization, not just a "sewer" into which we regularly fall. Without understanding and going beyond war, Homo sapiens will not ever be called an intelligent species. ... Even so, why is it so difficult to make a distinction between scientific and technological advancement and intelligence in a species? Why are the two things almost invariably conflated?...
May 30, 2019, 4:48pm