Americans Elected Trump, Not the Russians!
Martin LeFevre: Trump is not a fluke; America elected him because the body politic as a whole had become so corrupted and dysfunctional that after Obama's "hope and change" con that many people wanted to blow up the system, and most quit caring altogether. ... Until that truth is faced, and Democrats stop looking beyond our borders, or entirely blaming Republicans for why the American people elected this lying authoritarian, Trump is going to continue to run roughshod over our institutions and continue to defile the body politic. ... As I've said many times in this column, the American people perished as a people over 25 years ago. The first Gulf war was the straw that broke the American spirit's back. That gave rise to the Bush-Cheney malignancy (with the invasion of Iraq, torture and rendition, and a permanent, self-fulfilling 'global war on terror'), which President Obama whitewashed...
Jun 19, 2018, 3:26pm
Intimations of Immortality
Martin LeFevre: The sky is cloudless and breathtakingly blue. It's late morning, and I sit in the last hour of shade by the banks of the creek. I ask a question or two, as I usually do, and allow passive observation to gather into effortless attention. ... Suddenly a white egret appears, seemingly out of nowhere. It has a huge wingspan, and flies low directly over the spreading limbs of the tree. The sunlight on its feathers makes it appear translucent, and the contrast of pure whiteness against the azure sky is so beautiful that it is a shock to the entire system. ... The greatest gift of meditation is to transcend, if only for a few moments, the confines of time, which is the essence of this dark world...
Jun 16, 2018, 3:16pm
When Crazy-Dark Meets Crazy-Dark
Martin LeFevre: Donald Trump is about to meet his new bosom frenemy, Kim Jong-un. This is what it looks like when crazy-dark meets crazy-dark. The world holds its breath, and 'wishes them well.' ... Is this an emerging axis of evil between a dictatorial America, Russia and China? Is North Korea a pathway to a global alliance between autocrats the likes of which Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin could only have dreamed? ... In talking with internationalists over the last year, including UN people, my premise has been that world citizens have to begin pouring the foundation for a true global order before the international order completely collapses. ... What would the foundation for a true world order look like? It would begin with a psychological revolution ending the scourge of tribalism in all its forms...
Jun 11, 2018, 4:59pm
Suicide Isn't Painless, It Increases Suffering
Martin LeFevre: This column began about 25 years ago when I moved to this sylvan northern California agriculture/college town. But I didn't become a writer until a reader got word to me that one of my pieces saved his life. ... He reported picking up the local paper that Sunday, which he didn't normally read, and coming across my nature description and contemplative column on one of the back pages. After reading it, something in him simply said, 'Wait.' No epiphany, just 'Wait.' ... He drove up toward Lassen Volcanic National Park, found a quiet spot, and re-considered his life and his plans to end it. Surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, he decided he wanted to give life another try ... Despite a strong local readership, my column was cut without notice by the right-wing Enterprise-Record shortly afterward, so the young man gave me a gift of life as well...
Jun 9, 2018, 3:23pm
An Arecibo for Awareness
Martin LeFevre: Taking a solitary meditation (I know of no other kind) a half-hour from the empty parking area, there is the feeling of a watery Arecibo, a place where cosmic awareness can be focused and amplified. ... Thought is such a petty thing, why is it so powerful? Why do division and psychological memory so dominate the human brain? They are the source of conflict, sorrow and suffering, and yet people cling to them as if they were life itself. ... The human brain, in a state of attentive stillness, is a receiver for the background wholeness and holiness (two words, and things, that have the same root) of the universe. Given that's true, why is the brain anchored in symbols, memory and noise, rather than in attention, stillness and silence?...
Jun 7, 2018, 5:52pm
Religioznyye Bez Religii
Martin LeFevre: At 17 I didn't make the distinction I made in Russia in early 1990 ... I was asked everywhere I went whether I was religious. Communism was collapsing, and this was often the first question many people in that mysterious land of Soviet-imposed atheism had. ... Though I don't speak Russian, I was asked so often I learned to say, "religioznyye bez religii"---religious without a religion. My translator said it sounded good in Russian. Sometimes that would initiate a conversation, the most memorable of which occurred after visiting St. Isaac's Cathedral, the largest in Russia. ... At a visceral level I suddenly understood why people built such things. The feeling was like standing on a peak in the Sierra Nevada and looking out over a vast landscape...
Jun 5, 2018, 5:50pm
The Future of Humanity?
Martin LeFevre: One of the most perniciously wrongheaded scientists of our decisive age is physicist and popularizer Michio Kaku. He's a ubiquitous voice of "techno-optimism" on science shows, and he points in exactly the wrong direction. His book's fiendish title? "The Future of Humanity." ... There's nary a word about how humans are bringing about the Sixth Mass Extinction in the history of life on earth. And there's complete blindness and silence on the spiritual and emotional crisis afflicting humans across the planet in the present ... It comes down to the question: What is consciousness? Kaku and his kind take consciousness as we know it as a given. I submit that consciousness is not what we have, but what we have the potential for...
Jun 3, 2018, 3:43pm
Dark Energy and the Religious Mind
Martin LeFevre: To my mind, there's a very basic question that astrophysicists aren't asking: Was all the energy and matter that exists in the universe released from the infinitesimally small dot of the Big Bang, or is the universe in a state of perpetual creation, in effect continuously and, relatively speaking, microcosmically recapitulating the Big Bang? ... If the latter, creation didn't just occur 13.8 billion years ago, it's also occurring every moment. ... The scientific mind rests on separation and reduction, whereas the religious mind encompasses the whole by beginning and ending with the actuality of wholeness. The completely, attentively silent brain contains the whole universe to the degree of the individual brain's capacity...
May 31, 2018, 4:34pm
Negation Is the Heart of Meditation
Martin LeFevre: It's late afternoon, and two young men are sitting in the stream just below the sycamore when I arrive on the bike at the edge of town. It's windy. Though the sky is cloudless, it's cool. Aren't these guys chilly sitting in the cold creek? ... The previous week here I felt, and noted in my journal, that darkness has been throwing everything at me but the kitchen sink. Why? Nothing is happening in human consciousness except darkness as far as I can see. ... The next time I came to the creek I found, I kid you not, a kitchen sink at the spot. All I could do is laugh, and carry the thing back up to the bike path. ... With passive but intense watchfulness, the divisive entity of the 'I' yields to the brain simply observing and listening...
May 27, 2018, 3:51pm
Creation, Love, Death and God Are One
Martin LeFevre: This quote comes closer to what one feels when the mind falls completely silent and the heart is completely vulnerable: "I want to teach people how to see God everywhere, to see Him in all that is most hidden, most solid, and most ultimate in the world." ... To grow as human beings we must let go of our attachments and accumulations. Allowing the senses to fully open and be in harmony in nature, attention grows into a fire that consumes every thought and emotion as they arise. Love flows into the stillness and space, because love, beyond the word and the personal dimension, is the essence in the universe...
May 23, 2018, 2:30pm
Only Humans Grow Old
Martin LeFevre: Spontaneous stillness and reverence is the mark of meditation. One cannot seek the sacred. It comes when passive awareness has gathered sufficient attention to negate the operating program and the contents of the self. ... It's one thing for one's people, country and culture to perish, as America has; it's another for one's age to be fruitless. The first phenomenon is very difficult to deal with, but the second "should shake my soul." But is our age hopeless? ... We have only two options now. We can continue to accumulate memories and programs, becoming less and less human and more and more like the thought machines we've made in our image. ... Or we can embark on the journey of negating conditioning and its contents through attention and insight, growing into true human beings...
May 20, 2018, 5:27pm
The Ashes of Time, the Fire of Attention
Martin LeFevre: A primary feature of deeper meditative states is the ending of time. Not physical time, as measured by the clock, but the experience of time. That is, psychological time, which moves from the past through the present into the future. ... When time ends, becoming ceases. There is only what is, unfolding. At the same time (pardon pun), the first separation in man, between death and life, ends. When psychological time ends, there is no separation whatsoever. ... Time is not a distinct property of the universe, but it is a fundamental feature of thought, which is based on separation and memory...
May 16, 2018, 4:02pm
Talking 'Bout My Generation
Martin LeFevre: Talking 'bout my generation, the consensus has come to this: "But how about just giving up? Giving up or giving over. To what?" ... I'll tell you what. To darkness and deadness---the death of the heart. It's easy to do ... ... If you give up on humanity, even unconsciously, you give up on yourself and life. It's legitimate to feel if one's people have perished as a people. It's legitimate to feel the present world and age are hopeless. But to believe that humanity is hopeless is to give up on life itself. ...
May 12, 2018, 4:25pm
Stop Projecting Human Stupidity Onto Nature!
Martin LeFevre: Over the last 30 years, philosophers of science, pundits and New Age devotees have blurred and muddied the differences between humans and nature. The gambit has been to eliminate the contradiction between man and nature by embedding human behaviors and destructiveness in the natural order. It's been intellectually dishonest and spiritually corrosive. ... The goal is to disingenuously close the gulf between humans and nature through a quasi-theological attempt to explain and rationalize human destructiveness of the earth. ... Nature does not play out on a the same juvenile stage as the human mind, in a "perpetual struggle between cooperation and selfishness, the tribe and the individual." Nature evolved in seamless wholeness...
May 8, 2018, 5:15pm
Let Beauty Supersede the Greed
Martin LeFevre: Bright orange poppies, California's state flower, are plentiful this year, and surround me in the in the high grass at creekside. Vultures soar by at nearly treetop level, exhibiting effortless flying skills with their huge wingspans. ... Clearly, without a relationship with nature, with beauty beyond the mind of man, we cannot have relationship with anyone or anything. The beauty of nature reflects what used to be called the mind of God. The former phrase is literal, the latter metaphorical, though actual beyond deism or theism. ... It is actuality---the beauty and immanence beyond the mind of man---which will not let you down. The difficulty is giving the space and attention for communion with it...
May 5, 2018, 5:19pm