What You Bring Forth...

Sometimes it seems hopeless to blog about the things I do, since it feels as if we're all watching a hurricane looming on the horizon. Some people have battered down emotionally and psychically, as every day seems to bring fresh reason for worry, some humanitarian crisis, economic convulsion or local atrocity having to do with guns and some individual who everyone knew needed psychiatric help all along but no one bothered to do anything about it until it was too late.

It certainly doesn't seem like the time to pull up the old rabbit ears and see what you can pull off the Collective Wireless.

But to assume as much is assume that all you'll bring forth from the whereafter is happy-fluffy-bunny vibes. This is based in popular New Age misconceptions as well as popular notions that clenching up is a sign of strength and not weakness.

One of the side benefits of my trance work is that my dreamtime is a generally positive experience and puts me in a stronger physical and emotional state to face whatever challenges face me during the day. I don't record my dreams any more for the simple fact that they're not particularly memorable, just like I don't keep a journal to record my day's events ("Dear Diary, that cup of tea was delicious! Well, back to work. Oh, look; an email from Gordon...").

But sleep is very important for people with my condition (that is, the "rabid dog of chronic pain conditions") and having had a history of sleep disorder in which dreaming played a part, the work I've done with trance has made a major difference in my overall well-being.

I think the same holds true with your basic centeredness. Tension and anxiety aren't just unpleasant, they are brutal on the immune system. This becomes a very, very real hazard as you reach middle age. Not only does meditation and exercise help to reduce the inevitable stresses life sends your way, getting a sense of where you stand in the overall scheme of things does as well.

A lot of people will look at the vastness of the Universe and feel insignificant. I find that contemplating the vast stretches of emptiness has the exact opposite effect on me-- it makes me feel grateful. I'm part of this unique drama. Whoever you are on this planet, you've been let into the cosmic VIP room.

Moreover, it's settled science that people who strive towards a deeper connection with whatever it is you care to call it-- the Infinite, the Ineffable, the Eternal, Doug, Ashley-- are able to deal with crisis and major life challenges more effectively than those who do not. I don't think it's rocket science here. It can be as simple as having a sense of mission, a sense of purpose. Goals are totems in and of themselves.

I think it's the same with magic and myth and all those other endlessly-discussed but poorly-understood phenomena-- they open the mind to realities beyond whatever mundane problems the individual is dealing with and create a sense of communion and community with something outside the self.

So, no, I don't think all of this stuff I blog about is inconsequential in times of crisis. On the contrary, I think it's designed for crisis, it arises from crisis and finds its fullest flowering in times of crisis. It's why the reality I wrote about almost 10 years in Our Gods Wear Spandex holds true today. And for better and most certainly worse, we may be just at the beginning of it.

Call It What It Is

I see patterns in the wind and in the sand

I see the stars, I read the clouds, I understand
"Communion"- Killing Joke

Sometime I think we'd do well to have a Vocabulary Police Force, who could keep important terms from being degraded from mis- or overuse. The New Age in all its permutations are particularly egegrious offenders when it comes to vocabulary abuse, as were the Religious Right before them. 

Politicians of course are career recidivists, though academics might be the Ted Bundys of word murder; their inhouse jargon so tortured and twisted it's a miracle they can communicate with one another. Perhaps they just pretend to understand each other, throwing out an arcane blizzard of inexplicable buzzwords that would leave the most esoteric Kabbalist breathless with envy, hoping no one notices they just said absolutely nothing at all.

The entheogenic community and its fellow travelers aren't exactly innocent in the abduction and torture of the English language either. We hear the word "consciousness" thrown around with such abandon and used to describe so many wildly different psycho-physiological states, that it's no wonder that some rationalists are driven to deny that such a thing even exists. Maybe they do so because consciousness happy-talk can be so damn irritating.

But it occurred to me the other night that those would-be gurus who try to sell consciousness like its a consumer product are in fact selling themselves short.

It was a hazy, sultry night and the Moon loomed overhead rather ominously. I was walking the dog and soaking it all in. For a very brief moment the "c" word crept into my mind, but was chased out by a more potent term, one that I felt more aptly captured the state I was in at the moment: communion.

It occurred to me that I was in communion with spirits, ones I couldn't name or quantify. As soon as that simple yet powerful idea slipped into my mind I went with it and it made sense to me. It felt real and true. 

I realized that such a simple notion was time-tested and amazingly untainted by people who talk a lot but say very little. 

I also began to think about how this communion wasn't necessarily a fully-conscious process, but a kind of wireless download that my unconscious underwent while my workaday brain took in the sights and sounds. I realized that this was nothing new but something that people unlearn through socialization. That it's a process that comes natural to children before school and television programs it out of them. 

Anyone with kids has seen this when they were young and at play, how they seemed to be tuned into channels you were blocked from, hearing music you or I cannot. Maybe restoring those connections is the meaning of it all.

I probably wouldn't have noticed all this had I not prepared myself over the years with my trance work. I've noticed that I've really chipped away at that wall between the conscious and unconscious mind, and probably also between the mundane and spiritual worlds.

I also realized how much more compelling "communion" felt than the usual talk about states of consciousness. It was direct, palpable, numinous. It didn't feel tainted by boring lectures or sales pitches. It was complete, self-contained and immensely satisfying. It was its own explanation.

Try it. Let me know how it works for you. 

UPDATE: Gordon tries it and finds it works quite well indeed.

Shootin' at Satellites, or That Other Star Wars Sequel

I've been writing about the militarization of space since the very earliest days of these blogs, wondering at one point if in fact there wasn't a secret war taking place over our heads already. Back in February, I wrote about the new Star Wars programs that are picking up pace while many other military budgets are being slashed: 
You can tell the Cold War is back for real when the US starts funneling money into exotic space weaponry. Not to mention the fact that Russian warplanes are buzzing Europe and China is openly discussing its plans to drive the US out of Asia, claiming the Pacific Ocean as its Mare Nostrum. What we know about the space budget so far:
Last year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a new “offset strategy” to develop breakthrough solutions to secure American technological dominance into the next century. This year, the budget request increases money for research and development by about $500 million, bringing it to $13.5 billion. 
It will be a great year for futuristic technologies that sound like they come from a comic book. But the budget also shows that every new invention has consequences and can raise new problems even as it solves others. 
Obama requested a slight increase in spending for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which would bring their budget to $3 billion to work on next generation technology related to everything from synthetic biology to space planes. Money for electronic and laser weapon systems jumped to $67 million from a bit over $55 million last year.
Well, the US is not alone. It turns out there's a new space race going on. Only this one isn't about zero gravity guitar plonking and orbital tomatoes, it's about war:
THE most damaging war the world has ever seen could be about to start. And it won’t happen on Earth.  
Three leading superpowers: Russia, China and the US are reportedly developing, testing and deploying sophisticated weapons in outer space in advance of a military attack that could see the first great conflict between sparring superpowers in 70 years. A conflict that Popular Science described as “A New Cold War in the Void of Space.” 
And there’s no rules in this free-for-all space race. Rogue, cosmic cowboys reign supreme. While physical damage on Earth would be minimal in a space war, our entire way of living could be at threat.
With our nascent Borgworld increasingly reliant on satellites, there seems to be a major effort underway to poke out your rival's eyes-in-the-sky, a perilous prospect for the US which has no credible launching system at the moment. But the existing infrastructure is nothing to sneeze at:
At least 1,200 satellites that are orbiting Earth for various uses, including navigation and communication, are also being primed for “planetary surveillance”, Scientific American reports. 
The satellites circle the globe communicating messages from the likes of the US military, 80 per cent of which is done through civilian satellites. 
While the US remains the “undisputed king of the hill” as the “most heavily armed space power”, China and Russia are keen to claim their own territory, working to destroy US satellites and replace them with their own.

Russia (and presumably China as well) seems to believe they hold the upper hand in the long run, even if the US looks like the dominant player now. Whether that's true or not, the Russians' rhetoric isn't even attempting to sound diplomatic: 
The Russian Defense Ministry has developed new technology to counter US battle stations in space, said Igor Nasenkov, the first deputy head of Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC), according to Russian media sources. 
"If the United States starts developing and launching its battle stations into space, Russia will have to respond in kind — namely with the development of high-performance Electronic Warfare (EW) tools on different types of bases; the use of these tools will be a distinct advantage [for Russia]," Nasenkov said, as quoted by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The US may be "king of the hill" now, but how much longer will that last? We brag about our software industry but what exactly is it really producing? Facebook games? Hedge fund pirateware? Worker-eliminating povertyware?

Now I realize we don't necessarily hear about a lot of specific space technology, and a lot of the space-program falls under the black budget, but I'm not one of these people who ascribes superpowers to those people simply because they work outside of congressional or bureaucratic oversight. I've been around long enough to see too many military miracles never materialize and too many rumored wonder-weapons never enter the theatre of battle.

The thing is that we keep seeing a lot of headlines about this-or-that technological epiphany, but unlike most of your friends on Facebook I actually read those stories past the headlines. And as I've written before the hype rarely- if ever- lives up to the wild promises made by irresponsible copywriters.

And one has to wonder if there is a secret arsenal of wonder-weapons sitting around in S-4 or somewhere, then why Russia and China are becoming so defiant in refusing to be militarily intimidated by NATO:

U.S. Navy on alert: China, Russia to launch largest-ever joint navy exercise

The Chinese and Russian navies are gearing up for their largest-ever joint exercises, slated to begin Thursday in the Pacific with more than 20 ships and featuring anti-submarine operations as well as a joint-beach landing.

The “Joint Sea 2015 II” exercises will run through Aug. 28 in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok.
Aside from the timing, I can't help but notice the symbolism at work in this next story, which I heard about from one of Joseph Farrell's news updates. Taking a shot directly at the heart of Western power, the Russians are instituting their own payment system called "Mir." 

Yes,"Mir" was the original name of Russia's former space station:

Russia is ready for the mass issue of national payment cards next year, as it seeks to detach from the Western-dominated financial system and distance itself from geopolitical risks, said the head of the Central Bank at a meeting with the president. 
Twenty banks have already confirmed their attendance in a pilot issuance planned for December, said Elvira Nabiullina Monday at the meeting with Vladimir Putin to report the results of the Russian banking sector in the first half 2015. 
The Mir payment system, launched in 2014 and branded in 2015, will have to conquer the 230 million-card Russian market.
That this move comes on top of China devaluing their currency can't be seen as a synchronicity. Nor can the fact that Russia and China are moving to expel Globalist NGOs, de facto franchises for the Western powers. 

They're not kidding around anymore.

 What we should remember is that this new star war will be fought on computer screens, almost exclusively by a new generation of soldiers who were trained for the work from a very, very early age by video and computer games. In that light, you may want to take note that gaming giant Sega got its start as a military contractor.

You may also want to remember that games like Space Invaders, Asteroid and Sea Wolf hit the market at the height of the previous Cold War. Or that Sea Wolf was based on Sega's submarine simulator Periscope

Or that this new-model SDI is yet another of the endless parade of Republican programs that the present Administration is signing into place without a single peep from the so-called antiwar movement.

Funny how these things work out.