The Inter-National Order Is Dead and Gone
Martin LeFevre: In short, the UN cannot, as an inter-national institution having national sovereignty as its basic premise, be reformed into an effective body of global governance. ... As the president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, said in a recent opinion piece, "Our international rules-based order through which the world's nations pursue global peace and development is crashing into the limits of its founding vision." ... We cannot fit the square, splintering pegs of the inter-national order, based on the separate supremacy ("sovereignty") of approximately 200 nation-states, into the round hole of a global society...
Sep 22, 2022, 4:28pm
Heightened Senses In Nature Opens the Door to Meditative States
Martin LeFevre: The weather, in fact the season has dramatically changed since my last meditation in the parkland. ... fall is definitely in the air ... As if on cue to remind me that the world is not life, a female mallard swoops in and glides to a halt in front of me just as I take my seat at streamside. ... When it comes down to it, one's approach to meditation turns on two questions: concentrating or attending; and heightening or denying the senses? ... Clearly allowing the senses to heighten and attention to gather is the key to authentic meditation. ... Because when the senses are fully awake and aligned, and one observes without any interference (that is, without the reactions of judgment and choice of the observer), the spaces between thoughts grow...
Sep 19, 2022, 5:30pm
Collapsing the Distinction Doesn't Resolve the Contradiction Between Man and Nature
Martin LeFevre: After 30 years, the Western project of blurring the difference between humans and nature, even to the point of equating the self with nature, is foundering on its own philosophical preposterousness. ... Perhaps, given the ecological and civilizational peril humankind now faces, we can get back to the question of what makes our species different in nature, rather than vainly trying to pretend that we're part of nature. ... We don't have to return and resign to Christianity's cornerstone of "original sin" to see that the first and ongoing mistake of Homo sapiens is subconsciously carrying over the functional ability to separate 'things' to the psychological and emotional sphere...
Sep 15, 2022, 5:36pm
Symbolic Thought Broke the Bond Between Humans and Nature
Martin LeFevre: Humankind stands at an evolutionary crossroads. Our species cannot continue fragmenting the natural world without inducing a collapse of natural systems, with devastating consequences for humanity. ... A radical change occurred when the brain was rapidly rewired and reconfigured for symbolic cognitive processes. That "Cognitive Revolution" brought with it the necessity of self-knowing and self-understanding, because without it, humans cannot stop dividing and fragmenting. ... To my mind, changing course as a species requires the awakening of a latent potential for insight within us. I propose that is the next step/leap in human evolution...
Sep 14, 2022, 1:05pm
Revolution Is an Explosion of Insight
Martin LeFevre: The days grow noticeably shorter in the northern hemisphere. Sunlight drains from the emerald stream and streambank, leaving the water and foliage in shadow as the sun descends below the tree line. ... Excavating a cave on the coast of South Africa a few years ago, archeologists unearthed an abalone shell dated to about 100,000 years that contained dried paint made from charcoal, crushed animal bones, iron-rich rock and an unknown liquid. ... That's clear evidence that people 100 millennia ago were painting themselves and their surroundings. That also means, "People at the time were capable of abstract thinking, innovation and planning for the future." ... What is the relationship between symbolic thinking and man's fragmenting tendencies, which have inwardly brought the human species to an implacable crisis of consciousness, and outwardly to the climate crisis and the Sixth Extinction?...
Sep 4, 2022, 4:52pm
'Polarization' Isn't the Problem
Martin LeFevre: When a real and present danger of fascism exists in a country, it's foolishness to speak about 'polarization' as the problem. The issue isn't a division between two political camps, but the will to power by right-wing authoritarians and the haters that support them. ... There are many conventional explanations for the rise of authoritarianism. ... Economic and psychological factors are certainly important, but there is a deeper, neglected level -- the spiritual dimension. ... The question is not whether America has lost its soul; the question is whether we can recover it...
Sep 1, 2022, 5:28pm
Death and the Unknown
Martin LeFevre: The known is false security, while the unknown is the source of mystery and bliss. Yet we cling to the known, and fear losing it. Why? Is it because we have no understanding and relationship with the ever-present actuality of death? ... Leaving the stream of psychological thought, with all our personal memories, with all our conditioning, opinions and beliefs, the actuality of death, which is happening every moment inside and outside of the body, is directly perceived. ... One sees that death is not opposed to life, as Christians believe, but inextricably part of life, as Jesus taught...
Aug 25, 2022, 5:16pm
Enlightenment Isn't Personal
Martin LeFevre: I carry a lawn chair the couple hundred meters from the car to the meditation place on the creek, wade in and place it in the shallow stream. ... Time passes until I'm unaware of its passage ... Personal enlightenment is an oxymoron. Enlightenment is the temporary or irreversible ending of the 'me' at the center of existence, the 'I' that chooses and thereby loses life. ... Psychological revolution, if and when it occurs, isn't a matter of some future time ... We are the others, and psychological revolution means the end of violence as given in human relationship.
Aug 23, 2022, 5:21pm
Shaping the Human Mind Is Enslavement
Martin LeFevre: The land is bone dry, and cobwebs cover the bushes along the creek. ... Thought as knowledge or skill is not a problem. Thought became a problem when it formed the basis of our psychological, social and spiritual lives. ... The assumption that the human mind must be 'shaped' is the assumption of slavery. ... The idea that the human mind is ineluctably shaped, conditioned by parents, society, technology or "our own agency," is deeply false and destructive to human freedom ... The process of unconditioning the mind is an arduous one...
Aug 9, 2022, 5:38pm
Nagasaki and the Incorrigibility of Man
Martin LeFevre: I knew a Marine that fought on Tarawa, which had the highest American casualty rate of any battle in World War II. ... who was sent to Nagasaki after the bombing. I was honored that he talked to me about the war for the first time shortly before he died. ... The leveling of Nagasaki by the atom bomb called "Fat Boy," three days after Hiroshima, was beyond description he said. Charred bodies, walking skeletal people, mangled buildings - his presence there brought the horror home. ... Nuclear weapons are more of a real and present danger today than they have been since the Cuban Missile Crisis ... Something has to give. If we're to survive as a species, national sovereignty and the tribalistic identification with particular groups must end....
Aug 8, 2022, 9:47am
Time Is Thought and Thought Is Time
Martin LeFevre: Suddenly, a huge hawk silently glides by as I sit under the large sycamore, its flight path below treetop level. ... For a split second our eyes meet-the piercing look of a raptor and the intense look of a human being in whom thought is silent. ... One sees at that moment that there is no actual divide between species, only in the human mind. ... The mind in meditation is like a laser effortlessly boring through all the strata of accumulated content-consciousness-detritus not only from one's own life, but also from one's lineage, culture and previous lives. ... Through that opening the light of the cosmos pours into one...
Jul 29, 2022, 12:17pm
Healing the Scars of Psychological Memory
Martin LeFevre: There was the insight a couple days ago that psychological memory scars the brain. ... We have two kinds of memory, useful and functional, and useless and dysfunctional. ... Useless or dysfunctional memory affects our brains, causing suffering and delimiting the brain's capacity, gradually leading to cognitive decline and even dementia. ... The material of thought is memory, and experiencing anew requires the quieting of thought, since non-stop memories, images and words prevent direct sensory and holistic perception ... For meditation to occur, knowledge has to be set aside...
Jul 25, 2022, 5:15pm
A Teachable Moment - For Joe Biden
Martin LeFevre: I still care about what happens in the nation of my nascency, especially in the context of the future of humanity. For the sake of humanity, and this country, Americans have to arrest our slide into fascism. ... President Biden has contracted a mild case of Covid ... It was Biden's brief appearance on the balcony of the White House that provided the truly 'teachable moment' ... President Biden appeared, in only one minute, like a completely different man than the physically and politically wobbly figure that Americans have grown accustomed to seeing. ... So here's how you can win Joe. ... speak simply and directly to the American people...
Jul 21, 2022, 5:56pm
Human Beings Can Meet This Moment
Martin LeFevre: Man's decimation of the Earth's biodiversity and degradation of the integrity of the Earth's interlocking systems, with no prospect of an adequate response, is the primary cause of the despair people all over the world are feeling about the human prospect. ... I'm not writing this out of despair ... I feel that humankind can break through into a new, true order of consciousness at this, the darkest hour of man since the human primate began to make tools. ... it's a culminating crisis of human consciousness ... Therefore it has to be met inwardly first, before structural and policy changes can be made outwardly...
Jul 20, 2022, 5:17pm
There Is No Evolution of Consciousness
Martin LeFevre: It's become a commonplace in the West to comfortingly believe that "everything is always evolving forwards even when it looks like things are moving backwards." But each week that conceit becomes harder to sustain. ... Without respect to society, we can fail as individuals, and with respect to nature, we are failing as a species. ... Humans are destroying themselves in direct proportion to the degree that we're decimating and degrading the Earth. ... Human consciousness is not "evolving" but devolving ... Consciousness as we know it is based on thought, and thought operates in a completely different way than the rest of nature -- by separation...
Jul 10, 2022, 4:46pm