Trash Talk

Trash talk is nothing but bluff and bluster. Who will call it?

Braggadocio knows it can only bluff through any test.

.. a model of conflict for two players …

… two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a “chicken,” meaning a coward…. The game has also been used to describe the mutual assured destruction of nuclear warfare, especially the sort of brinkmanship involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis.–Wikipedia entry on playing “chicken”

The Ten Duel Commandments (as told in “Hamilton”)

1. The challenge demands satisfaction.
If they apologize, no need for further action.
2. If they don’t, grab a friend. That’s your second.
3. Have your seconds meet face to face.
4. If they don’t reach peace, that’s all right.
5. Before the sun is high.
6. Leave a note for next of kin.
7. Confess your sins.
8. Last chance to negotiate. Send in the seconds to see if they can set the record straight.
9. Look them in the eye. Count 10. [Aim for the sky] Fire.

peace-resolution

Advertisements

The Power of the Individual in the Collective

Do not underestimate the power of the individual, even to the power of a single decision, especially when repeated.

“Any gift, however small, improves the condition of humanity. You cannot see this, of course, but it is true because it is an aggregate. It is like a scale. If evil and oppression are weighing down the scale completely on one side, you do not have something as great as that to counteract it, to balance the scale, to offset the overwhelming dominance of evil and circumstance, of ignorance, of oppression, of poverty…. When you add to the other part of the scale something small, it seems to have no effect. But when others add something small, sooner or later, in time, the scale is balanced, and beyond this it moves in favor of what is true and natural for human beings, which is to be united with others, which is to be creative, which is to be in service to their families and cultures in the world, to preserve the world, to take care of people, to be inspired and to have the glow of an inner life within themselves. Even when circumstances look bad, even in the face of failure and defeat, the power of Knowledge is within you.” –The New Message from God on contribution.

Power for the good

There are many testaments to the powerful effects of collective meditation-prayer.” —from “Creating Peace by Being Peace” by Gabriel Cousins, MD quoted on skyshipsovercashiers.com, where the editor adds, “There are temples, churches and spiritual organizations all over the world.  Imagine what might happen if each assembly took a minute or two at the end of each gathering to envision or pray for world peace.”

The “God factor”

Franklin Graham witnessed the hand of God in the 2016 Election. How could he have not seen it so? His reply to those who ask, what just happened? People were ignited and united. Individual hearts and souls united in intention, a force not to be underestimated. Agreed, that was a phenomenal demonstration of power in the mental environment–I would not deny the possibility of divine agency, but with less willingness to personalize God as micro-manager of human affairs.

“We have spoken of God as a great attraction, as a force pulling and drawing people. That is a good analogy because it allows God to be as great and as mysterious as God is. That is to acknowledge that God in the world is a force in motion. It is here to do something. It moves people to go along at Its pace. It ignites people, sets people in motion and cares for people.” —Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume One, Chapter 13: Spiritual Community

Sweeping Power

The power of the word as the instigation of the deed is what Jesus meant about being led astray by misbegotten thoughts to unwarranted action.

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them…. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Matthew 15:10-20

What defiles and how to decontaminate

Pollution in the mental environment contaminates the signal with noise.

influencing

Shake off the debris of environmental degradation by renewing your mind according to your practice or with this wise guide, the Steps to Knowledge.

  • in what activities are you engaged half-heartedly?
  • what bubble surrounds you like an echo chamber, excluding all of contrary opinion?
  • where are your resources going?
  • what would a map of your mind look like?
The Story of Two Wolves

The Story of Two Wolves

 Game theory

I have found it useful to view the national crisis of conscience like a poker game. When I overlay this visualization on top of another, #BasecampRecon, I see the many voices in the collective  of this supposedly “one nation, undivided.” I see confirmed what was evident in news footage of Nov. 9, the principal character in shock and enough dismay to see his hand revealed. #SaveFace is the deal that agent seeks, along with all who resonated with that voice. #Authority is also what they seek. I believe they can be convinced to trade #Decency for a compromise that would ease a lot of contention.

As Above, So Below

Even as the waters of Earth must be cleansed, the stream of consciousness needs tending as well. The forests–the lungs and kidneys of the Earth–must be replanted and tended, as our habits, our diet, our exposure to influences in the mental environment must be cultivated and cleansed.

The power of collective intent, followed by word and deed, cannot be overestimated.

Whoever has ears to hear let them hear

“Whoever has ears to hear let them hear” is essentially how I understand the term Mavran.

There are going to be plenty who tune out, who just don’t get it. Why, you would almost think the language might have built-in codes to reach only the ones who really want to know.

#DogWhistle #LikeItsaGoodThing is how I think of Mavran mavran conay mavran.

He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.a]”>[a]
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

And he answered:

“Until the cities lie ruined
    and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

–Isaiah 6:9-13

Calling all angels, whoever can hear and respond.

Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.

9 … “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

10 … “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? — Mark 4:3-13

This passage is even more koan-like when considered alongside Matthew’s version that has Jesus using the same words to mean that parables are the equivalent of “tell me like I’m 5.”

taboo

For one who has perception, a mere sign is enough. For one who does not heed, a thousand explanations are not enough.

–Hajji Bektash Wali, Persian Mystic, 1209-1271, as found in The Great Waves of Change

I used to be able to quote this directly but now must modify it: “The man or woman of Knowledge does not know what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is going on!”

On a Whole New Level

A flag: this sudden sensitivity to language–surely the words of Jesus could not be construed as a dog-whistle for incitement to murder? The same flinching nervousness around the term “guerrilla marketing.” The same feeling that little children of color experience on the playground these days. This heightened alert to fear, which can be reasonable concern, it is a marker of an escalation in tension; it certainly calls for de-escalation in every case of heightened ferocity and sly aggression in word choice.

As Long as Nobody Talks About What Just Happened Here

Another flag, but this one personal. Individuals calling from the grave, calling attention to this that Jesus said.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. –Matthew 5:28

In other words, you can tell where a relationship is going to end up from the start.

The power of a thought. The power of a message received.

The impact that the cunning have over the vulnerable, the innocent. Yet there is grace in the restraint that keeps the thought unexpressed in word or action, or just short of committing to action, as the case might be.

What the Heck Is Going On?

The man or woman of Knowledge who does not know what the heck is going on is the child in the room, the most vulnerable in the mental environment, the canary in the coal mine. In one respect, the most important person in the room because the most honest but the most devalued because least articulate.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.–William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

I suddenly found myself switched from team #LacksAllConviction to team #FullofPassionateIntensity and contemplated deeply (in the blog post series “You Say ‘God-fearing’ Like It’s a Bad Thing!?” concluding here) on what the heck is going on.

I practiced #BasecampRecon as a tweeted contemplation from @ThresholdUponUs (hashtag sequenced out of order, correct in timeline). I take the liberty of sharing (with “asked and answered” justification* for sharing!) the methodology. Visualize arriving at the night’s bivouac site :

  • It’s getting dark.
  • Time is of the essence.
  • Look around.
  • What does this setting call for?

That is the essential practice that I adapted to look at the hand we are dealt. Considering the situation more like a poker game than a mountain bed-down, I looked at “power supply,” through the lens of looking for the self-interest of the other as a weight in the balance of power.

It came after a reading of the room like a poker game, the room of the world stage, with the same question, where is true power centered on Earth?

Who is in that room? Where the most honest is the most vulnerable.

The practice produced a result that was icy clear: the high priority that humanity unite.

This kind of determination based on clear priorities–focus in the mental environment–is conveyed by this song

*found on Facebook, queried about it & saw it remained … for a while!

De-escalate Not Denigrate

Ipnosis.

It’s a thing. A practice in deep listening. Check it out. Listen as you take in the words.
William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gathering
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes, on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn’t even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears

 Truth is Stranger Than Can Possibly Be Imagined

The truth well told, as in this story of Hattie Carroll’s lonesome death, has a spotlight quality that reveals all, like the lightbox showing the organs and bones in an x-ray. The contrast between the two characters–haven’t we met these two but on more amiable terms in the fable about the householder and wife who switched roles for a day?
Did we not meet these two in the parable of Lazarus and Dives?
De-escalate: put out the fires. No time for blame-shifting

No Time to Weep

“On a whole other level.”

The cry of Hattie is still calling. Hattie, I presume, is in a better place now, which according to the song and to Bob Dylan she always was anyway “on a whole other level.” Her integrity is what calls out–“she never done nothing to William Zanzinger.” Her victimization is a sign that we continue crucifying the innocent after all these years of Christianity and endorsing murder and believing this is a civil, not even to mention righteous, society. Even today on the youtube comments on (different captures of) this song there is exculpatory whitewashing, like Hattie’s physical vulnerability meant she was just a little too prone to dying, for heaven’s sake, when you clobber her with your diamonds, your strength, your power. See you on the other side, Dives. She always was a Lazarus–who knew!–best friends with Abraham! Not the type that is prone to rolling over like a baby, the mother of 10. This is a true story.
Here is what is so confusing about this parable from the front pages. Behind the material, there is the spiritual.
This recreation of the crucifixion is a terrible thing to behold but what is more insidious is our blithe indifference as if this is just a thing that happens, so deal with it. It is not acceptable, yet this year the failure of humankind to get this kind of role-playing out of their system–while at the same time fighting over the juicier roles–has contributed in many ways and repeatedly in great loss, devastation and intensification of critical thresholds being crossed–too many too stunning to name if you do not have any idea already.
Personally, I’m appalled to find that the challenge before us could be reduced to such clarity that I could ask a friend contemplating the Need Not Want grassroots campaign, to choose:
  • a seat at the Zanzinger table or
  • a place for Hattie Carroll at the table.

We hold this balance, Team Zanzinger, Team Hattie, like some kind of brinksmanship. Waiting for a last-minute rescue? Or are we trying to shoot ourselves in the foot, and is that actually one of many methods to at least de-escalate: to shoot yourself in the hand rather than to take another’s life–yes! That is an improvement, human civilization. How about correcting back to self-interest now? Now would be good.