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Meditations

Meditations
There Is No Such Thing As 'Personal Development'
Martin LeFevre: America's collapse and headlong drift into right-wing extremism cannot just be blamed on Donald Trump and his mob base of a one-third of Americans. Even the 'personal development' industry that's emerged in recent years is complicit. ... Indeed, it raises the question: Have all these meditation and yoga retreats even made a difference in the lives of the legions of retreatants? ... The idea that all we need to do is focus on our "Higher Selves," and that will bring about a transformation in society, has been shown to be nothing but solipsism...
Jan 18, 2022, 12:09pm

Meditations
Evil Is Boring
Martin LeFevre: Reluctantly, I've written a number of times in this column about the problem of evil. I say reluctantly because, superstition aside, talking about evil tends to draw its attention. ... And make no mistake, collective Darkness, to use a capitalized euphemism, has intentionality. That's what most people fear about it the most. I fear its pervasiveness. ... Evil exists. It isn't just the individual's projection of darkness from his or her own psyche. ... It has intentionality and a goal - the complete destruction of the human spirit...
Jan 6, 2022, 11:05am

Meditations
Breakthrough Infection, or Inflection?
Martin LeFevre: As I see it, the human crisis is coming to a head. ... It is complete - a crisis of human consciousness itself. ... Can a breakthrough in the individual, and a revolution in consciousness that changes the basic course of humankind actually occur at this time? ... Without respect to technology and the evils of virtual reality and augmented reality, the new human being will be as different from devolving modern humans of the present day as modern humans were from the proto-humans 75,000 years ago. Now, as then, people will look the same, but be different...
Dec 31, 2021, 10:53am

Meditations
Time Is the Greatest Illusion
Martin LeFevre: Astronomers look back in time with their telescopes and see stars and galaxies as they were millions and even billions of years ago. So can self-knowing human beings look back in silence and directly perceive moments in humanity's past? ... They often refer to Hubble and the big telescopes on Earth as time machines. ... What it really means is that all events in the universe, from the Big Bang to the present, remain present in the present. That points to the imperative of being present, since it is the true portal for insight and timelessness...
Dec 23, 2021, 10:48am

Meditations
Requiem for a Meditation Place
Martin LeFevre: About 20 years ago, an indigenous man told me a story that local Native Americans revere. I had mentioned that my favorite meditation place was along the creek that until recently formed the periphery of town, with a spectacular view of the canyon and foothills. He said that was also a main praying place of pre-colonial people in the area. ... A few times a week during the half-year that Little Chico Creek runs, I sat under a great sycamore tree. It had a massive trunk bifurcated into two great spires, affording a splendid view of the foothills. Shortly after the indigenous fellow told me this story, a small fire swept over my meditation spot. ... It's the same story all over the planet: Man is decimating the diversity of life on earth...
Dec 12, 2021, 1:32pm

Meditations
Each Person's Soul Is Their Own
Martin LeFevre: "Invictus" is a film in Clint Eastwood's fine streak directorial forays in the autumn of his career. Though a bit lumbering, predictable and sentimental, it's worth two hours of your life, if only to ponder the arc of Nelson Mandela's political and personal life. ... "How do we inspire ourselves to greatness, when nothing less will do?" Mandela asks the Pienaarthe character, played by Matt Damon. ... Anyone still standing who is asking, whether there is anything but darkness operating in one's life, and in this world, feels to some degree what Nelson Mandela felt year after year in that tiny cell. "Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul."...
Dec 4, 2021, 12:41pm

Meditations
Fragmentation and Wholeness
Martin LeFevre: In the West in the 19th century, anthropologists and philosophers called the human brain "the pinnacle of creation." With that brain however, humans are bringing much of life on earth to the brink of extinction. Not to mention the self-absorbed "climate crisis" in the anthropocentric "Anthropocene Age." ... The question 'where did man go wrong?' somewhat misses the mark. ... So it's essential to ask: How did humans evolve as a destructive planetary force, when life unfolds in seamless, dynamic order?...
Nov 27, 2021, 10:41am

Meditations
The Emptiness of Pure Being
Martin LeFevre: Having had so-called mystical experiences since I was 18, and also being of a philosophical bent (though that word has a double meaning in English!), I've come to understand mystical experience as a universal language that transcends words. ... For example, consider the following koan-like poem by the 17th century mystic Silesius...
God, whose love and joy
are present everywhere,
can't come to visit you
unless you aren't there.

Nov 18, 2021, 10:54am

Meditations
Did Evolution Go Wrong With Man?
Martin LeFevre: The question of where and how man went wrong has plagued philosophers for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. ... Proffering optimism in these pessimistic times, anthropologist and activist David Graeber, and professor of comparative archeology David Wengrow, take a decidedly Rousseauian view in their new book, "The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity." ... They start out with the right question: "Were we always like this - war, greed, exploitation and indifference to others' suffering - or did something, at some point, go terribly wrong?" ... the responsibility is still ours, and human beings face an unprecedented crisis of consciousness. So perhaps the correct question is, could man have gone right before this critical juncture, and can we change course now?...
Nov 13, 2021, 10:50am

Meditations
The Urgent Indifference of Enlightenment
Martin LeFevre: Over the centuries many people have pondered the question, 'What is enlightenment?' A few have even attained it, though a lot fewer than think they have. ... However I'm not interested in defining or explaining enlightenment, but in finding out whether it can actually occur within one, and others so inclined, and what relevance it has to the world and the human prospect. ... Enlightenment is not some kind of return to an imagined illumined state of nature. Rather, it involves an inner flowering through stripping away the accretions of knowledge and experience. Clearly, illumination is a transmutation in the human brain itself. Can it be initiated and ignited by a small minority of people? ...
Nov 4, 2021, 10:42am

Meditations
Death Isn't After Life; It's Inseparable From Life
Martin LeFevre: On the day after the deluge - an "atmospheric river" that dumped more water on northern California than any storm in recorded history - the parkland was a wondrous mess. ... A big oak, its horizontal trunk looking like a bundle of daggers, had fallen across the main path. Amazingly however, most of the foliage, which had begun to turn before the storm, remained on the trees ... What makes a dying leaf cling to a tree even when it is nearly drained of life ... The greatest paradox is that death is an inextricable part of life, yet every insect and even every plant will fight to live as long as there is any life left in them. ... We humans are no different, except that we separate death from life...
Oct 30, 2021, 10:50am

Meditations
Science and Religion Aren't About the Same Thing
Martin LeFevre: The beauty of a wood always surprises one on a rainy day. After months of smoke and haze from wildfires, the early rains are a godsend. ... When the mind and heart effortlessly grow quiet, one comes into contact with the silence that precedes and encompasses all sound and man-made noise. ... Science is the open-ended endeavor to accrue knowledge about nature and the universe through observation, theory, evidence and repeatable experiments. ... Science cannot explain "why we're here, the meaning of life, and the role of humanity." ... Religion cannot do that either -- that is the purpose of philosophy, which is essentially explanatory...
Oct 23, 2021, 9:59am

Meditations
Are All Trumpers Self-Pitying Narcissists Like the Donald?
Martin LeFevre: The only thing worse than Trump being reelected in 2020 would be Trump returning to the White House in 2024. It would be the end of America, just as Trumpers project it is under Biden. ... In truth, Trumpers, like Trump himself, draw from a bottomless well of grievance and self-pity. ... America as a whole is deeply socially and politically ill ... Obviously the violence the Trumpers seek to provoke is not the answer. Without violence, decent Americans can stand against them, and the hatred and evil that flows through them...
Oct 14, 2021, 10:51am

Meditations
Consumerism Piles Up People and Things
Martin LeFevre: There's an inverse spiritual and metaphysical relationship between thousands of desperate people piling up at America's southern border, and thousands of shipping containers of consumer goods piled up on sea and land waiting to be unloaded off America's coasts. ... The rot of racism is catalyzed by the rottenness of consumerism, which turns people against each other by turning everything and everyone into a commodity, thereby siphoning off our souls unless we're inwardly extraordinarily diligent...
Oct 12, 2021, 10:43am

Meditations
Conception Prevents Perception of Beauty
Martin LeFevre: It's getting harder and harder to see and feel beauty during months of smudgy skies from wildfires erupting every year, driven by climate crisis. ... What becomes of "beauty is truth" when the beauty of the earth is destroyed? ... A prominent pundit in America recently gave this philosopher pause when he wrote: "As our old friend Kant argued, perceptions without conceptions are blind." ... I've talked with many philosophers, and I haven't met one yet who fully understands what Kant meant by much of what he wrote. ... In actuality, perception comes before conception. Our conceptions, having been formed by knowledge and experience, are always pre-conceptions where the present moment is concerned...
Oct 9, 2021, 10:30am


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Meditations
There Is No Such Thing As 'Personal Development'
Evil Is Boring
Breakthrough Infection, or Inflection?
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OCCUPY
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The Gamersí Uprising Against Wall Street Has Deep Populist Roots
GOP Tax Agenda Is a Grave Threat to People in Poverty
Did You Know
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Congress Is Day-Trading While the World Burns
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The Damage Done to Canyon of the Ancients National Monument by Livestock Grazing
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Earth is running low on wildlife. Plants will be next.
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A Citizen of the World (Still) Speaks
Oliver Stone Answers his Critics - A film review of JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass
Martin Luther King Jr., union man
Letters
Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group letter to Minneapolis Police regarding George Floyd
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Six Principles and Steps to Nonviolent Social Change
Refute the Doctrine of Christian Discovery: an Open Letter to Pope Francis
Links
Socialism Creeps Into Dilbertís Office
Why Itís So Hard to Tax Billionaires
Confronting Ignorance and Ignorant Confrontations
Health
Why Pay Less? The US Strategy for Vaccinating the World
How Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Start?
Radiation in Medicine: Treatment or Torment?
Books
ďThe Fight Against Monsantoís Roundup: The Politics of PesticidesĒ by Mitchel Cohen
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The American Prison Systemís War on Reading
Consider This....
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What happens at Sun Valley, the secret gathering of unelected billionaire kings?
Federal indictment alleges extensive planning for fascist January 6 Capitol coup attempt
Think federal cops in Portland are scary? Cops use 'jump-out boys' all the time
Blogosphere
On the Biden Plantation
Nicaragua in the Multipolar World
Covid Fueled by Neoliberal Austerity
Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
Talk to me! (Chapter 2-Sad Susie)
1969-70 FOL
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