PDA

View Full Version : What are we really like?



Ghislain
04-03-2014, 09:01 AM
Reading the latest posts in the thread "Is psychedelics a valid path" (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?3125-Is-psychedelics-a-valid-path/page7) encouraged me to look at who I really am, who we really are. What I wanted to write as a reply didn't really fit within that thread and hence the creation of this one here.

We talk of deforestation and how terrible it is, but the American Indians created or at least maintained the great plains by use of fire, which would have returned to forest had they not. See FIRE AND PRAIRIE ECOSYSTEMS (http://images.library.wisc.edu/EcoNatRes/EFacs/NAPC/NAPC09/reference/econatres.napc09.spyne.pdf)

People believed that the American Indians cared for the land and only took what was necessary. I watched a documentary that told of how they would slaughter bison and only take the tongues, which they classed a delicacy; how they would drive herds of bison off cliffs killing far more than they could possibly use.

I am not picking on the American Indians, just using them as an example because we tend to overvalue ourselves as caring for the world and the ecosystem, but we are just survivalists; we will do whatever it takes to survive; if you don't believe that then IMO you are in denial.

It is easy for us well fed, pseudo-educated "1st worlder's" to make opinions of what is right or wrong in this world from our molly-coddled perspective, but what would we have to say if we had to walk in the other mans shoes; the shoes of those who don't know when they will next eat, those dependant on the next rainfall, those whose children are dying?

We can look at the world from this perspective because we won the "birthplace" lottery...

This brings me to my perspective, which is to demolish all borders and allow the free flow of human movement across the globe. It is one world and no one should be able to lay claim to any one part of it...looking at it from a civilised perspective...however we don't, we look at it through a tribal perspective, nationalists; I have this good fertile land and I will fight to keep it mine so that my children have a better chance and if there is any spare I will throw a few scraps to those less fortunate...mmm if I remember to. We should remember, "what goes around comes around".

IMO all people are people we can be good and caring at times and we can all be brutal too, when the need arises; and this goes for all of us although some have a higher breaking point than others. There is a saying, " we are just three meals away from anarchy", and that says it all.

Then again maybe I'm not such a nice person and I misjudged everyone else :confused:

I would love to hear others opinions...can we be genuinely caring or only when it suits us?

Ghislain

Awani
04-03-2014, 04:55 PM
The noble savage is false, and yet it is also true. I don't think we can place modern western moral on the old way of doing things. What is moral?

The Indians lived as part of the ecosystem, but they are also humans, but the damage they inflicted on the ecosystem in 1000 years is less than 1 % of the damage we have inflicted in the last 1000 days.

I made that statistic up, but if a scientist would look into it I am sure he would come up with something similar.

:cool:

DonSweet
04-03-2014, 07:13 PM
Personally, I fluctuate between 100-200-300 years before the Human Race reaches any of the idyllic states we imagine. Hell, could be more than that ... without some sort of intervention.

I get a kick out of Hollywood movies and their projections of just a few decades. Ridiculous for the most part. The kinds of quantum-leap changes they predict are based on a childish, uneducated glance at the leaps we made in the last 200 years (or more) ... and those leaps are almost exclusively technological. Severe mental instability paralleled these changes, and it's my personal opinion that mental stability is slowly catching up. That's where these discussions come from ... questioning the past and pondering the future. People didn't used to do that ... in Western culture, anyway. "Live in the moment" was the mantra ... make your profit. Life is short ... or ... survive the best you can, and if you have to exploit and destroy, just do it.

Ghislain ... I'd be interested in who produced the documentary you discuss ... who paid for it ... who advised on it ... who researched it ... who directed it.

Behind every mass media production there is an agenda ... overt or subconscious, and sometimes both ... often, in my opinion, insidious. Is that documentary truthful? Factual? Or is it skewing facts to make a point? Was it skewed from the onset simply with a [subconscious] Western/European mindset?

For at least a thousand years -- while Europeans were drawing and redrawing lines on a map, backing those lines up with war, carnage, destruction and death -- elders and wise men in this continent (universally called "Turtle Island") were making a yearly pilgrimage to Hot Springs, Arkansas -- now paved over and commercialized for the sake of profit by Western/European culture -- from all over North America where those wise and elders would winter-over, discussing the variations, shades and subtleties of their varying cultures ... for months, face-to-face peacefully.

You won't find that in any Western/European based cultural history book.

Why?

Two reasons.

First, Western/European culture has no frigging idea how to think like that. Inter-cultural cooperation is an entirely foreign concept so far off their radar they simply don't believe it could ever exist. For time immemorial -- entrenched in the mindset -- if you had the ability to invade your neighbor, steal all his shit and enslave/subjugate all his people, you did it ... simply because you had the ability to do so.

Second, intercultural cooperation and understanding completely undermines the system of force-based imperialism ... the very foundation of Western/European culture. The existence and sustenance of a force-backed elite hierarchy cannot afford the "infection" of equality. No one element in imperialism has even a hint of equality to another ... save serf-to-serf, noble-to-noble and sovereign-to-sovereign ... and even in those ranks there was/is an unquestionable hierarchy ... big-dog-little-dog.

This DID NOT EXIST in traditional Native Culture ... not even remotely in the fashion I describe above.

Was there hierarchy? Yes. Was it forced-based and even remotely imperialist? Not even close. So "not even close" that Western/European culture can't even fathom the concept. Not even focusing on "the victor writes the history," which implies an intentionally skewed perspective of the facts, there has been a complete rejection of even the possibility that there can be another way of thinking ... or ... more critically ... that anyone could actually create and live in such a paradigm.

It was here. On these shores. Across the entire continent. From culture to culture ... five hundred of them between oceans ... with a population estimated to be as high as sixty million or more.

What was here before the White Man arrived is incomprehensible to that White Man, particularly ideologically. Not only didn't he/they not think that way, but that way of thinking was utter myth and hidden in the deepest, darkest corners of his/their religious dogma. You conquered, subjugated, controlled and exploited ... period ... and any other way of thinking had to be utterly annihilated for the sake of the survival (and enrichment) of the imperial or religio-dogmatic structures.

And religious dogma was even more insidious and ruthless than imperialism.

Another stellar, crystalline example of incomprehensible behavior -- aside from annual inter-cultural exchanges for the sake of mutual understanding -- is the concept of "counting coup."

These cultures knew full well that things could turn to shit ... that differences could broil-over to the point of war. But their approach was -- by continent-wide consensus -- a solution so foreign to European-based culture (as well as others) that its principle is not only rejected, but utterly ignored in both philosophy and practice.

"Counting coup" is the practice of DEMONSTRATING your superiority to a foe, not actually carrying it out to the point of killing ... which Europeans MUST do. You destroyed your enemy ... period.

Counting coup SHAMES your enemy to the point of humiliation and submission. Life was so spiritually precious -- killing being so contrary to philosophical values -- across all cultures that you didn't even consider killing an enemy. You touched him in some way, either openly on a battlefield for all to witness, or covertly, frighteningly, stealthfully right where he lives, threatening everything he cares for or treasures.

Lakota (Sioux) warriors would sneak into the dwelling of an enemy inside his village or town and hang something like a dead bird right over his enemy's bed while he slept, the message being, "This could be you or your family. Got cha."

On the battlefield, with hundreds of warriors (rarely was it thousands) facing off, both sides considered it a tragedy if two or three warriors were killed. The "front lines" were warriors sparring and touching each other with (potentially deadly) weapons WITHOUT killing. It was MORE honorable to leave him standing (or on his back) and humiliated.

Keep in mind that this was the underlying philosophy and that I am not idealizing, recognizing that there were scores of exceptions to the practice and break-downs that lead to killing ... but the [major] point being that it was the rare exception to the rule, not the commonly practiced rule.

I will remind (inform?) you that the concept of scalping (or the taking of ears) was introduced by the FRENCH and unheard of prior to that (in North America).

As for the slaughter and taking of bison tongues, I would dispute that it was a Native practice. That emerged during the United States' unwritten policy of exterminating the buffalo to starve the western plains Indian cultures into submission. So many bison were being annihilated -- sixty million in less than twenty years -- that bison meat was cheaper than water and the only meat worth bothering with by Americans was the tongues as commonly available tasty meat.

This isn't one pile, but one of thousands of piles, and this is only skulls ...

http://olddetroit.tumblr.com/post/4427007873/bison-skulls

It's hard for us in this day-and-age to fathom high quality prairie-fed bison meat more common than water.

But this is the depth and extreme that Western/European culture is willing to go to destroy competing cultures.

And sadly so, it's been done proudly, happily with celebration for five hundred years.

Now ...

Does any of this relate to Alchemy?

I say an unqualified "Yes."

The Enlightened state of Alchemy prior to the bulldozing of its breadth and depth, despite its effort to remain hidden and/or coexist with an imperial, religio-dogmatic status quo, carried many of the principles and philosophy these Native Peoples actually lived (for generations) on the North American continent.

There are direct parallels.

Interesting thread.

I may not, however, simply acquiesce to popular notions.

Awani
04-03-2014, 11:49 PM
This isn't one pile, but one of thousands of piles, and this is only skulls ...

http://olddetroit.tumblr.com/post/4427007873/bison-skulls


From above link: A large pile of American bison skulls at the Michigan Carbon Works, Detroit. ca. 1880s

Due to widespread bison slaughter, the American prairie found itself with a surplus of bison bones. The bones were gathered, sold and shipped eastward, where they were then used in the production of fertilizer and gelatin products. To prevent the spread of mad-cow disease, the spine and skull were never used in the process.

Seems like they had brains in the 1880s unlike in modern times where they did not understand to prevent mad-cow disease.

:cool:

crestind
04-05-2014, 06:47 AM
This brings me to my perspective, which is to demolish all borders and allow the free flow of human movement across the globe. It is one world and no one should be able to lay claim to any one part of it...looking at it from a civilised perspective...however we don't, we look at it through a tribal perspective, nationalists; I have this good fertile land and I will fight to keep it mine so that my children have a better chance and if there is any spare I will throw a few scraps to those less fortunate...mmm if I remember to. We should remember, "what goes around comes around".
Ghislain
This would mean that any developed country would immediately be swarmed with people from the third world. Crime immediately rises where you live, what do you do?


As for human nature, it's fundamentally self serving pretty much like all animals. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and whatnot. That ranking system seems logical to me.

Ghislain
04-06-2014, 03:42 AM
This would mean that any developed country would immediately be swarmed with people from the third world.

That's exactly my point Crestind, and why not?

It would be chaos at first but things would find their own level after a while...new communities would spring up, there would be mass movement and life would be interesting again.

As to whether there would be a rise in crime I imagine there would, but maybe there wouldn't, who knows? and what do we class as a crime anyhow...someone trying to feed their kids who steals a loaf of bread...is that a crime...or is the fact they need to steal a loaf of bread in this day and age the real crime?

Just a point...

Ghislain

Awani
04-06-2014, 10:40 AM
This would mean that any developed country would immediately be swarmed with people from the third world. Crime immediately rises where you live, what do you do?

I would move to a third world country, now empty of people, and live in peace.

Also we have crime now already... I don't think we should blame the niggers or the sand niggers (arabs) or the cockroaches (indians) etc... I think we should blame the whites who forged the system. In short it is a racist opinion to think crime will rise due to immigration.

The biggest criminals are fat christian American CEO's anyway...

:cool:

DonSweet
04-06-2014, 03:27 PM
Dev ...

Were I to move, I would not want that country to be empty.

Every place has its own vibratory "language," and I do not mean human verbalization.

Were I to move to another place, even to another place here in North America, I would want access to people who have been "in tune" with that place for generations. I would want exposure to people who have been learning that language. Just as I would need a guide to navigate its physical locations, I would also need someone in touch with its spiritual nature -- vibratory nature -- to be in tune with things beyond the physical. I would not want to depend on my own naive intuition to navigate either.

One of Western/Europeans' mistakes in landing on these shores five hundred years ago -- among the plethora of their many other mistakes -- was pushing aside the women leaders that greeted them. The concept of a knowledgeable woman of power was utterly foreign. Many of the societies that first saw Europeans were matriarchal. Even today, this fact is barely recognized in historical writings. Who would record such a thing if it was incomprehensible?

The point being, that people, societies and cultures here were structured with better balance, and balance that was connected to natural structures, not man-made constructs, meaning literally made by the masculines for the sole purpose of obtaining and maintaining masculine power.

Now ...

Don't immediately assume I'm talking about every society here being run by women. That's excessive/compulsive. I'm talking about better balance, not reverse behavior. Even matriarchal societies weren't "dominated" by women. In those, the home (and town/land) was owned and maintained by women simply because men had other things to do, like hunt and defend. And please note that I didn't say, "better things to do." Neither role was more important than the other. Gender roles were not dominant and submissive, but cooperative and equal despite their differing natures.

If I were to move to Africa or South or Central America or Australia or China, I would want access to the elders of that area who have long held a connection to traditions from the distant past ... Note: Distant Past.

What makes many contemporary societies disconnected from natural systems -- making them "unnatural" -- has been the employment of free will.

And free will without consciousness -- awareness -- is a recipe for disaster.

I would not want to independently Alchemically experiment with compounds that precipitated explosive, poisonous or psychoactive products without the input of the expertise of a Master that was familiar with the dangers. I would want some connection to the historical and "conscious perception" of the process.

Patriarchal, force-based imperialism worked (functioned) for a few hundred years in Europe under specific ultra-stressful circumstances, so it was assumed it would work everywhere else under any other circumstances.

Wrong.

This was an exclusively will-based, non-sensitive lack in cognizance -- or consciousness -- of the possibility of any other approach ...

It was Singlemindedness.

One dimensional thinking is NOT how Nature works.

Natural Thinking is INclusive. Natural Thinking is Wholistic ... taking the Whole into account.

No ... I would not like to walk into some distant land barren of all human inhabitance. I would not wish to start the process of interpreting the vibratory qualities of that place from scratch. That takes generations.

I would also not like to think -- not implying that you are -- that I'm so arrogant as to believe that I am so advanced a being that I can immediately interpret those vibratory qualities.

I know what I do not know.

I do not think that everything I know is everything that is knowable.

jnjone4
04-07-2014, 05:43 PM
Two who do know have just been banned!

Awani
04-07-2014, 06:09 PM
Two who do know have just been banned!

If someone is banned it is because they broke the Rules & Guidelines (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/announcement.php?f=5&a=3). Doesn't matter if they are Einstein... if they personally attack someone, troll, flame or spam (whatever the two banned individuals you mention happened to do) they will be banned.

Even so if they can't behave with respect I am confident to say they knew shit all! Any wise person knows how to treat their fellow beings...

Also try to participate in the forum instead of making posts about who is not here anymore. Seems a bit redundant. I am sure you have things to offer apart from these kinds of posts which you have done on more than one occasion.

:cool:

III
04-08-2014, 05:52 AM
IMO all people are people we can be good and caring at times and we can all be brutal too, when the need arises; and this goes for all of us although some have a higher breaking point than others. There is a saying, " we are just three meals away from anarchy", and that says it all.

Then again maybe I'm not such a nice person and I misjudged everyone else :confused:

I would love to hear others opinions...can we be genuinely caring or only when it suits us?

One of my friends some years back said he wanted to get a t-shirt made with "My higher self is an asshole too". We are all Bozos on this bus. Somewhere on the path of KNOW THY SELF the realization that "I am an asshole too" is had. Basically everybody does things quite regularly for survival. It's the accumulated explanations, justifications, fears that are all triggered by enlightened understanding of the self and hence keep one from that understanding. So "genuinely caring" is one of those very subjective items. What the person wants is rarely what they need for instance. Who's idea of what caring means? Can a person be a genuinely caring asshole?

In the end we each end up somewhere because of where our parents live, at least to start our life and trying to survive. That is not always easy for all sorts of reasons. The being coming into a body, now that is something else entirely different than the genetic body. There are lots of speculations and perhaps it all comes down to karma, whatever that actually means.

Are you aware of why the Sahara Desert keeps growing? Borders and regulations serve many purposes. Back to the dust bowl or worse will make for mass starvation.

Ghislain
04-08-2014, 09:02 AM
"My higher self is an asshole too"

I hope that's not true :)


Borders and regulations serve many purposes

Usually the purposes of those that put them in place and enFORCE them.

Are we not just prisoners within those imposed borders and regulations?

Ghislain

Andro
04-08-2014, 09:57 AM
"My higher self is an asshole too"

I hope that's not true :)


Borders and regulations serve many purposes

Usually the purposes of those that put them in place and enFORCE them.

Are we not just prisoners within those imposed borders and regulations?

Ghislain

This brings me back to the concept of 'Freedom', in the sense that it can be pretty useless without the personal responsibility to actually handle it.

Dev, there was a movie clip you showed me dealing with this, I can't locate it....

So, having 'freedom' while simultaneously being an 'asshole' (for example), is more abuse than it is freedom.

Hence, as long as there are 'assholes' who can't handle 'freedom' (but rather abuse it at the expense of others), there will always be some need for imposed 'borders and regulations', IMO.

For example, if we stop systematically bullying/belittling ideas and each over the most petty issues (religion, politics, lifestyle, perspectives, tribal alliances, etc...), if we stop fighting over who's 'right' or 'knows better', then maybe the need for imposed/enforced regulations will gradually diminish until there is no longer a need for it.

Maybe :)

jnjone4
04-08-2014, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the advice, even though it was a little shrill. This was an interesting group with seemingly many decent members and sometimes compelling discussions; but lately veering quickly to the anal. I'll let myself out.

Andro
04-08-2014, 04:23 PM
I'll let myself out.

With 17 posts during more than 5 years, I'd hardly consider it ever being 'in'.


This was an interesting group with seemingly many decent members and sometimes compelling discussions; but lately veering quickly to the anal.

It can be very easy to complain about the quality of the members and the discussions, while barely contributing oneself.

Any group is as 'good' or as 'bad' as what its members contribute to it. So it's quite 'normal' and 'expected' for the perceived 'quality' to fluctuate.
__________________________________

So - What Are 'We' Really Like? (in this regard and also back to this topic)

Do 'we' generally prefer to passively complain, or rather actively lead (by personal example)?

As a society in general, I'm afraid it's more of the former...

III
04-08-2014, 08:32 PM
I hope that's not true :)


Usually the purposes of those that put them in place and enFORCE them.

Are we not just prisoners within those imposed borders and regulations?

Ghislain


In the USA water law is by state. In the western states, water is the scarce resource. Right now Nevada is attempting to drain the valley's on the north border of Utah aquifers for piping to Las Vegas. It will lower the ground water and dry up the springs, destroying a delicate ecology. The plants survived the dry up of Lake Bonneville that happened over thousands of years. Once these old plants with deep roots die they can never come back. Remember Owens Valley sacrificed for Los Angles. It will make a major hard desert dust bowl just west of 90% of Utah population. It will destroy the ranchers, the arid climate plants, the wildlife and everything. Once the water level drops its too late to save the plants and springs in a 100-10000 year recharge aquifer. The only thing protecting the water is borders that cross the aquifer and a legal battle that isn't won yet. Utah may get raped for the short term benefit of perpetual growth in Las Vegas so some assholes can make their billions off the casinos. Without the law and borders the state militias would be shooting it out, one to rape it's neighbor state and one protecting itself, its populace and the wildlife and ecology that can't protect itself. The scrub oak and aspen patches are each single organisms that are over 10,000 years old dating back to the retreat of the last ice age. When the pioneers came to Salt Lake valley there were trees down to the valley floor. They harvested all the wood for building and burning and mining figuring like back in the east the trees would grow back in a couple years. The didn't so the hillsides are still denuded of tress 160 years later. I planted a 5 acre plot I owned for a while. The pine trees, cedar and Russian Olive that could live without water AFTER they were established needed 10 years of watering to be established. Where the trees established the sagebrush died. The grasses and tons of different plants all came back after the sagebrush that establishes a 5 foot barren circle around each one. So instead of sagebrush and cactus barrens there is a small patch of forest with a much greater variety of food plants for wildlife. The entire success depends upon not allowing anybody to cut the trees for burning or any other reason. A fenced protected environment is thriving, everything else dies from lack of water in the sun baked dirt. The south western third of this country would be the new desert in a very few years of unprotected over use, over grazing, over water harvesting.


In a low population situation the damage doesn't hit a tipping point. With a large population destruction happens rapidly and there is no recovery possible in many of these situations, not within lifetimes. With the dust storms there would also be valley fever and probably other diseases. Who knows, maybe the plague carrying rodents would leave the desert and come into the cities. You are talking health and life itself, potential literal survival situations being affected by taking the water and sending it to Las Vegas. Hantavirus is a real problem too.


And Utah is not a sterling example of conservation either but we must protect ourselves from Nevada that wants to kneecap us for the water. The invasion of a million sustenance farmers would destroy a third of this country (a million square miles more or less) and cause mass starvation. Again look at the island of Hispaniola with two countries to our South. On one side of the border fence there is forest and wildlife. On the other side harvested by survival cooking on wood, there are barrens and a destroyed ecology. Taking down the fence would destroy the other country too. Nobody would benefit. And all that makes no assumptions about climate change. The next century might see billions and billions die of starvation in the changes that could. The grain basket areas might be Canada and Siberia. The USA might have a large central desert within 50 years as it is or with control and enough water maybe survive a switch of cultivars. It would not survive a plague of sustenance primative farmers. And this time, unlike the Mormon crickets that were eaten by the gulls and saved the pioneers, the gulls couldn't save us.

Ghislain
04-09-2014, 02:05 AM
This is a good indicator of what we are like...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBuC_0-d-9Y

We talk a good talk...

It would appear that because we have no faith in each other we need borders...perhaps it's time to talk and walk together.

Ghislain

III
04-09-2014, 07:34 AM
Hi Ghislain,


I have an Amazon Green parrot. I trust that he will act like a parrot. Every solstice, every equinox, his behavior changes. Three months a year, spring, he is very aggressive and bites. It is a hormone thing; what some people call testosterone poisoning in men. I trust that he will behave in his usual fashion starting about April 1st each year. I trust people to act based on what they are, how their being is constructed. I have full faith that each person is going to behave exactly as their being is "programed" until/unless they have freed themselves.

Awani
04-10-2014, 03:23 PM
This brings me back to the concept of 'Freedom', in the sense that it can be pretty useless without the personal responsibility to actually handle it. Dev, there was a movie clip you showed me dealing with this, I can't locate it....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc11mJGre10

Yeah it's a great quote!

:cool:

III
04-10-2014, 08:41 PM
Good quote. When one becomes conscious, wakes up and directs ones own evolution, one takes responsibility for ones own life. The very nature of certain kinds of yoga (and alchemy) changes ones very relationship Karma. Self responsibility is part of the price that is paid. Those I know who have chosen to live consciously and be self responsible generally have no desire to go back to the "dream". Once a person has certain experiences they can never really forget, there is no going back. I've never met anybody who has awakened who wants to go back to the dream.

DonSweet
04-11-2014, 01:26 AM
III ...

In some circles, some family dynamics, some cultures, and at some times in history, that was called "puberty."

III
04-17-2014, 04:52 AM
Admittedly you can make any joke about it as you desire as there are many possible meanings and you choose a suitably absurdist one considering that I and others here apparently are discussing Alchemy, spiritual and/or metaphysical things rather than the universal every day life puberty and/or coming of age issues. Waking up and living ones life consciously and with self responsibility is a whole other thing. It's a serious "move" very few choose to make. Most do not make it a priority to know what they are really like. They avoid that like the plague.

Krisztian
04-17-2014, 01:45 PM
. . . . Waking up and living ones life consciously and with self responsibility is a whole other thing. It's a serious "move" very few choose to make. Most do not make it a priority to know what they are really like. They avoid that like the plague.

In my field of profession, it is what you say constantly at the forefront: people avoid majority of opportunity to grow. Fear comes up.

In traditional alchemy, Mutus Liber attends to what's being said here with - I believe - "Plate I". This particular Plate portrays (among other things) two angels descending on a ladder [to Heaven], sounding trumpets to wake up the sleeping human.

Krisztian
04-19-2014, 06:20 PM
. . . . This particular Plate portrays (among other things) two angels descending on a ladder [to Heaven], sounding trumpets to wake up the sleeping human.

That motif, the theme that humanity is asleep, also present in other alchemical works, one that comes to mind is Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz.

An 81-year-old Rosencreutz receives letter (of initiation) from an angel on First Day.