Leaving the Stream of the Known
Martin LeFevre: It's amazing how the limited, two-dimensional known overtakes the limitless, multi-dimensional unknown. Even after a tremendous meditation, during which one leaves the stream of the known, transcends death and feels intimations of immortality, the known soon returns. ... The problem with framing the ecological crisis in terms of climate change is that while the crisis is unfolding incredibly quickly in evolutionary terms, it seems to be happening in slow motion in human terms. ... The issue goes much deeper than the climate change framework. In fact, climate change has become almost allegorical, a metaphor for man's impact on the Earth and people's capacity to care about the Earth and about future generations. ...
Jan 21, 2019, 3:05pm
Humanity Is Not Evolving
Martin LeFevre: Humanity is on a downward spiral, and our regression as humans directly proportional to man's decimation of the Earth (and inversely proportional to scientific and technological growth. ... There is a way ahead, though it's more radical than "thought leaders" are willing to consider. The belief in progress is blocking the path to genuine human advancement. ... Time is thought; thought is becoming; and becoming is suffering and sorrow. When thought falls completely silent in attention, there is just the unfolding of what is, and the movement of time, suffering and sorrow ends within one, at least 'temporarily.'...
Jan 19, 2019, 5:45pm
Man Is Dead; Long Live Humanity
Martin LeFevre: The foundation and wellspring of meditation in the individual are self-knowing and self-responsibility, with the lifelong feeling, "I don't know." When the mind as thought is completely still, one sees and feels nature and the universe are in a state of meditation. ... One cannot seek God; one can only negate the observer, thought and time. Then what we call God may come. When we ignite negation in meditation, we are part of the creative source from which the ongoing creation of the universe and nature flows. This is why we're here on Earth, if we're here for any reason at all. ... Instead, man is destroying the Earth, and himself. ... Unlike methods from the East, true meditation does not deny the senses. Quite the opposite. Meditative states begin with heightening and harmonizing all the senses. That's why taking sittings in nature is so important...
Jan 16, 2019, 3:31pm
The Apocalypse Has Come:
Martin LeFevre: Evil exists, and it's increasing. ... Evangelical Christians are so arrogant in their spiritual certainty, so sure they serve God and the Lord, that they believe they can use the evil streaming through the president they helped elect to serve their own righteous ends. ... But just what is the apocalypse? ... Is it the end of humanity, or the end of this world? Does it bear any resemblance to Jewish and Christian writings from about 200 b.c to 200 a.d., marked by the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom? ... The apocalypse has already begun, but there will be no divine intervention that destroys the powers of evil and raises the righteous to a messianic kingdom. ... Whatever the imminent cataclysm (a world war when Trump is completely cornered?), only living human beings can open the space for the emergence of a new human being...
Jan 5, 2019, 4:53pm
What Is Apple Up To?
Martin LeFevre: Research into the application of AI to control the masses is being undertaken by the world's largest tech companies, including Apple. If they succeed, human freedom will be destroyed. ... Apple, like Facebook and perhaps all the global gargantuans, adhere to the idea that humans are unavoidably conditioned creatures. Better to condition them systematically than the old willy-nilly way by family and society. Of course, the key word here is 'them.' ... Apple and their ilk take programming/conditioning as a given, and they take self-hypnosis as a given. That gives AI researchers the right, they believe, to control what they secretly see as the masses of asses. They're wrong. The quest for control of people's minds is inherently evil...
Jan 3, 2019, 1:23pm
Resolution As Intent
Martin LeFevre: New Year's Day is the point where many people make resolutions for the coming year. Though the beginning of a New Year is a good time to take stock of one's life and look ahead, I've never understood New Year's resolutions, and don't think I've ever made one in my life. ... Then why are New Year's resolutions so famously short-lived? I submit it is precisely because we try to achieve our goals through the will, rather than from a deeper source, flowing from intent. ... Intent involves our whole being. Intent is the hearts compass pointing us in the right direction and effortlessly taking a step in that direction. ...
At the nadir of winter and perhaps man, we have to each check our own moral compass often during the coming year, pause to read it, and see if we're headed in the right direction...
Jan 1, 2019, 3:25pm
There Is No Technological Solution
Martin LeFevre: The very machines that are supposed to free people from slavery to busyness are driving us to frenzied mindlessness. We need a basic reorientation in our attitude toward our machines. ... Disconnected from the deeper aspects of life, technology for technology's sake is an empty enterprise. The question is: How do we intelligently integrate the emerging technologies, including and especially AI, into our lives? ... Rather than spur an increasing frenzy of activity, as they are now doing, machines could assist in the rightful balance between activity and inactivity, and allow time for deepening the human being in inaction, which is always first. ... With a new understanding of what it means to be a human being, technological development would serve the advancement of humanity, rather than destroying the Earth and our spiritual potential...
Dec 30, 2018, 4:04pm
Rainbows, Reverence and Peace
Martin LeFevre: While it was still raining, the sun broke through to the west and flooded the land with light. Suddenly a smudge of color appeared to the east. It grew in vividness and length until it was an intense spectrum of color extending a full 180 degrees from horizon to horizon. ... A second rainbow developed, not as vivid but clearly visible, not as full but still extending 90 degrees into the sky. ... Rainbows aren't romantic displays of nature, but reminders of life's ephemerality. "Color is God." ... During those timeless minutes of beauty, one felt the 'peace that passes all understanding.' Though it isn't based on the intellect and reason, such peace does pass the test of rational understanding however. ... The basis of inward peace, which in turn is the basis of outward peace, is a heart and mind that is completely free, at least temporarily during the day, of the divisive, noisy mind...
Dec 26, 2018, 10:45am
Martin LeFevre: As most adults know, Christmas is a fabricated celebration of the birth of Jesus, made up long ago to coincide with ancient festivals held on the winter solstice. Jesus, scholars think, was born in the spring. ... Support for flagrant evil now passes for Christianity in America. Apostasy is what is called for, defined as "the abandonment or renunciation of religious belief." ... Belief and belief systems prevent the experiencing of sacredness beyond knowledge, the known, and the mind of man. ... To my heart and mind, Jesus attempted to bring about a radical change in the human heart (Jew and Gentile alike) during the Roman occupation of Judea over 2000 years ago....
Dec 24, 2018, 10:06am
Humanity's Extinction Is Not an Option (Part Two)
Martin LeFevre: Philosophers cannot operate in the same mode of fragmentation (that is, specialization) that has made man such a menace on the earth and expect to offer any insight, much less remedy for human destructiveness. ... Todd May, writing, "Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?" in the New York Times "The Stone," plays the part of the humble philosopher, and does not even attempt to offer insight into the human condition. ... The universe is an unfolding actuality of seamless wholeness. Thought is an adaptive mechanism based on separation, which generates increasing fragmentation without insight into its operation within us. ... Therefore the evolution of 'higher thought' is both a precondition for fully conscious awareness, and a tremendous impediment to it. ... Asking whether the extinction of humanity would be a tragedy is the ultimate example of the wrong question. Our extinction is not an option, and its possibility cannot be considered from some misanthropic, academically objective position...
Dec 20, 2018, 4:00pm
Humanity's Extinction Is Not an Option (Part One)
Martin LeFevre: Once again the New York Times has outdone itself in philosophical foolishness with its weekly op-ed, "The [Philosopher's] Stone." Op-eds are often narrow and shallow, but this piece, "Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy," sets a new low in superficiality and inanity. ... Right off the bat, the ostensible philosopher, Todd May, bows before the god of specialization. "I want to consider an answer to the question [Would human extinction be a tragedy?] that hardly covers the whole philosophical territory but is an important aspect of it." ... May proceeds to take a piece of "the philosophical territory," thereby bowing before the god of specialization and assuming a fragmentary approach. He thus violates the first rule of philosophy: Focus on asking the right questions, don't specialize to accumulate knowledge...
Dec 19, 2018, 5:44pm
What the Hell Is Going On?
Martin LeFevre: ... It isn't just American politics that's completely gone off the rails; it's relations between people. ... As my friend Dan put it, "the linchpin of human order is crumbling." If we define the linchpin of human order as the construction of the self and its symbols---not just the Western, individualized self, but the collective self and traditional culture before 'the American model' became globally predominant---then we are indeed facing a crisis of consciousness itself. Science cannot help us. ... Philosophy has to reclaim its central role in providing coherent, compelling and fluid explanations for scientific discoveries, as well as what is happening to the individual and humankind. Such explanations must be infused by open-ended insight rather than closed-system theories and conclusions...
Dec 15, 2018, 4:44pm
New Age Philosophy Run Amok?
Martin LeFevre: New Age philosophy has always been rather irrational, but of late it has become quite pathetic. This hit home for me in the last few days when someone in town said, "the Lord of Light and the Lord of Darkness are the same being." No wonder he's been increasingly depressed of late. ... One can be overcome by despair these days even with a clear and coherent philosophy of course. But one need not add to it by embracing such nonsensical conflations. ... We need to restrain and retrain ourselves to questioning and reflecting on human consciousness, rather than projecting our notions of good and evil onto the entire universe. There is evil, but it is man-made. Goodness, like the beauty of nature, is not man-made. It grows or perishes within us depending on our insight and understanding...
Dec 11, 2018, 3:36pm
How Does a Nation Recover Its Soul?
Martin LeFevre: As I have reported before in this column, the only time I heard a voice I’m sure didn’t come from my own head was after the first Gulf War. George Herbert Walker Bush was the president, and that war was the straw that broke the spirit’s back in America. … “You’re mourning the death of your nation’s soul,” came the instantaneous response“ … So the death of America’s soul occurred during Bush Senior’s administration. The set-up first Gulf War was the straw that broke the spirit’s back. … So how does a nation regain its soul? The mainstream media focuses on the absurdities of organized religion … The rebirth of a particular people is not what is required, but the birth of a new human being. We are no longer distinct peoples, belonging to nations, but a totally interconnected species that have put the Earth and ourselves in spiritual and physical peril at our own hands.…
Dec 9, 2018, 10:58am
Compassion Is Not An Emotion
Martin LeFevre: Compassion is not a feel-good emotion. In fact, it's not an emotion at all. Compassion can and often is painful. For a moment one feels what it's actually like to walk in the other person's shoes, and there often is immense sorrow in it. ... The idea of compassion acts as a patina over unfelt suffering, and a panacea for the sorrow one doesn't want to go near. Actual compassion is not an attitude one bestows on the less fortunate, or those we comparatively believe are suffering more than we are ... Compassion, like love, flows from affection for every living thing on Earth. It is no more something one consciously confers and wills than breathing. ... A truly compassionate person doesn't know it....
Dec 5, 2018, 4:56pm