Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Define ouselves by whom we are not?

 This is my reply to

(Michael Bérubé has just become the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University, where he is also director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. He is president of the Modern Language Association.)

My stuff follows:

Too often, humans in groups under stress, define themselves, not by what they are, or do, or wish for, but by whom they are not. And so, when their self-image breaks, they seek a scapegoat, some One, to blame. Yet seldom, in large scale misfortunes, does an impartial investigation find a single individual at fault. Always or nearly always, the fault is complex, multi-formed, an unfortunate conjunction of many strands of causation, impossible to trace to a single source. The" black swan" phenomenon, the " rogue wave".

For those alumni and teachers proud of their University, maybe they'd best follow the Buddha, be non-attached. Let not your self image be dependent on any but but yourself. My school, or any group I belong to,  may indeed become a scapegoat for other's anger at their life circumstances. Especially in this media-ocene era of advertising using false news to pursue the advertiser's self interest. I refuse to be judged by someone who blames me, who am not at fault, for their idea of my group’s fault. Nor will I debate with them, unless they first discuss with me, their experience of me personally, and of my group.

other notes:

I can’t predict the most mundane outcomes of any action. And likewise I can’t assign a cause to any but the most mundane result. So in seeking to make healthy an individual, plant or person, or a group, I’d best look to the health of the environment, the ecosystem, and let the individuals care for themselves in that. Who am I  to declare that what I call illness should be eradicated, its “cause” rooted out, and destroyed? Perhaps, likely, this supposed illness is but a message of  some imbalance in the state of being of the ecosystem,  which requires co-operative remediation, not detached surgery.

We need  a new kind of  languaging in our reporting of the news of events. We need to refer to imbalances, not individual causes, not individual failures . We as humans are entering an era of the worst environmental, and media mediated lifestyle stress, we have been under since the last ice age. We will not do our best to survive, unless we find a different way of communicating and deciding action, than seeking individual causes, and blaming others for our plight.

Balance of Life

The Balance of Life

Wolf is well aware
Who are his friends
Who will help
Him feed his family
Who threatens
Their wellbeing
He knows
That first of all
It is his duty
To what he knows
To do daily
That is his best
Work and defense
Paying attention
Being aware
Using all their gifts
As they were taught
The Wolf people
Have survived 20 million
Of years
As we count them
Having eliminated the wolves
We are now threatened
By viral plagues
Borne by burgeoning numbers
Of small creatures
Once food
For those wolves

We have always been
A major source of imbalance
To other life on this planet
Who are now acting together
To restore the balance
With or without

Oct. 17  2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Choose What You Get

Choose What You Get

If I were a thistle seed
A safe place
Good earth
To make a new
I would fear landing
A patch of desert
Or a wild river
In flood
After a seldom rain
But she
Has not my fears
Just takes
What comes
Makes her best of it

Sept. 23 2012

The Manifesto of myself

The Manifesto of myself, Donato, Myeengun enaaniibwid gini waabmiigyan Standing Wolf Whoseesus

After years of thinking and writing poetry and other forms of screed about the problems of being a rational human person in a culture where rational thought and action is almost non-existent, I am now approaching a few notions by which I wish to live my life, (what is left of it), and live in hope of finding other like-minded people to enjoy what we've got, while awaiting the inevitable collapse.

Some basic definitions.

I need adequate food , shelter, clothing, and companionship, including the space for being heard, for hearing, and for some shared intimacy.

My habitat forms the container for all I need.

In my daily preoccupation I maintain  my container , my habitat, and find my bliss in it.

I no longer subscribe to beliefs. I make statements, definitions and declarations about my perceptions of my world and the ecoculture I inhabit. Anything that sounds to you like a belief I hold, must be just my clumsy wording.

I enjoy playing with my thoughts and ideas and experiences, and those communications from others. I say none of it has any ultimate meaning, except what I give it, or borrow from others. I say there is no "hitching post" in the universe, and I'm not willing to listen to any arguments that there is.

What follows are my thoughts on the components of an ecoculture in which I'd like to find myself living.

About health.

My health proceeds from mental, emotional, physical and spiritual imperatives.

I strive for two states of being only. By myself alone, in Meditation. With others, in the world, in Loving.

Mental: the calm and scope of the Mystic. { like Osho, and Jesus the man). The rule of first rationality, and above that, intuition.

Emotional: Expressing all the emotions, according to, aligning with, my needs and truth of the moment.

Physical: Riding my bike everywhere…

Spiritual: Following the Red Road of North American Native spirituality.  Jesus was God become flesh. To me this story symbolizes there is no God outside myself. I am responsible for everything, and accountable for very little of it.  Everything is holy, when I remember that, everything.

About food.

Food is Medicine. Grow my own to the extent possible. Be Vegan. Eat nothing that ever had a face on it.

About ownership.

Morals of ownership for profit and wealth accumulation vs service.

It is immoral to pay less than a living wage to employees. Whoever does that is not fit to be an owner. The business is not fit to exist, if it can't support its employees.

It is immoral to charge more rent than the renter can afford to pay. Whoever does that should not be in the renting business.

Bottom line:  We approach ownership as if the welfare and rights of the owner were all that matters. Whereas, the right to own something must be preceded by that things right to exist, and the right for a building to exist, or a business to exist, is no different than the "right" of any living or non-living thing to exist. Its "right to exist" is only a form of words. "Rights" aren't applicable. What applies is whether the thing in question is acceptable in the web of life; its existence contingent on its ability to be afforded by those who create or use it. If people can't afford to live there, then the building doesn't have a "right" to exist. If the business can't afford to pay employees a living wage, then the business has no "right" to exist. 

The capitalist law of value says that profit making for wealth accumulation is the sole necessary and sufficient condition for ownership. Instead, the economic law of value should put habitat sustainability and service to all of life as the preconditions for the right to exercise hegemonic stewardship over land and business property. In other words, everything in our habitat should be regarded as "commons" and the only ownership rights should be those of exercising hegemonic control through stewardship activities.

About stewardship:

What I am thinking is the grass and the wolves don't have an automatic right to exist and accumulate whatever they need for their welfare. Their activities and their proliferation are controlled by the needs of other life forms in their habitat, as well as the needs of the habitat itself (weather, volcanic activity, etc.). I have been used to calling their methods "competition for resources". But now I see that's a human word. It's not a word they recognize. I think they would more likely use words like "adjustment" or "compromise" . Even to the trading of one life form for another (if that is what is needed for the on-going welfare of the whole). I am certain that humans can be no different.

If we continue to deny this, and assert human rights for consumption of planetary resources as superseding the rights of all other life forms, then we will be extinguished. We all know at some level the process is well underway. What I am saying is that, recognizing the inevitable decline we face, I must banish the words "right to ownership" altogether from my vocabulary, and substitute instead the words "right to stewardship".

I want to live in culture that recognizes that everything that exists has a life and has both a right and an obligation to take part in the continual adjustments of all members necessary for the sustainability of the whole. I want we humans to change our moral attitude to recognize that this is what is happening, and our survival as a species depends on our ability to recognize and adjust to that fact.

As but one example, our large factories have come to have an independent life of their own. They grow, and coerce their employees and their management (so-called) into causing their further expansion. And they grow without regard to the necessary adjustments and compromises with other life if they are to continue to exist. The only reason they get away with this is that their human employees and so-called owners are in thrall to them and their outputs, and so do not insist they exercise responsible stewardship over the rights of their habitat.

You think it's too far-fetched to say a building has a life and therefore has rights and obligations, as it takes part in the "web of life" on earth? Well,  If I assist in bringing a child into the world, I am in no doubt I have brought forth a living creature which has rights and obligations, and that my act has consequences to me as well as to all other life and non-life in the habitat. The same is a true if I take part in erecting a building, or taking part in any other enterprise that alters or adds to the habitat in any way.

Another bottom line. I see that the governance system humans globally have adopted, based on the rule of the capitalist laws of value, cannot sustain itself, is evidently crumbling, as the global economic system based on the US dollar collapses. I'm sure the end of cheap oil and the collapse of food, water and air resources from global warming will extinguish whatever is left of it. We don't have to do anything about it. We can't prevent it, nor hasten it. I hope that out of the chaos a new human culture will arise. But I greatly fear the onset of severe widespread destruction and misery that will accompany our journey henceforth.

About existence.

The only time I exist is right now, the past gone, the future not here. And right now is infinitesimally small, no time, in fact. So I don't exist anywhere in time. What I do is create experiences. What i have been used to calling "time", is really "creation", the bringing forth, on this instant, of the new. So I am a creator, a hologram of creation, and I exist in creation, not in time.


To say something has meaning is to say it is part of some so-called "higher" more inclusive structure. But everything is part of the whole, a member of the whole. The whole, since it is "all there is", is undefined, has no meaning. So nothing has any meaning except that which I say it has, which is just my words. Words have consequences, but not meanings. Consequences are momentary paths which appear to me to be present  in the chaos but which disappear.

Cause and effect:

A cause may appear to me to be the precursor of a consequence. But everything depends on everything else. And consequences are momentary paths which appear to me to be present  in the chaos but which disappear. I better withhold judgements, try some other method of communicating or deciding.


Make everything be an experiment. Nothing to worry about. Just assess the outcome, and move on.

If you want to be happy
And live a good life
Make everything an experiment
And live without strife.

Donato Cianci Oct. 1 2012