Thursday, December 31, 2015

WHY DO WE TOLERATE THE PUBLIC LIE?


WHO AM I?
   Who understands the source of their beliefs? Do the people who are supporting the different candidates know the source of their own beliefs? If so, are they willing to say that the candidates who utter the Public Lie are saying things they themselves stand for. If not, then why do we tolerate the Public Lie? 

   When lying with impunity or ad hominem becomes the status quo for those who would become President of our United States, then this leads to the situation where there are various “camps of believers” who support candidates and their Lies. Or, perhaps worse, people support candidates without knowing why they are supporting them. These then become hierarchies which influence the candidates. These camps of believers remain separate and quite distinct from one another. In the end, is our country no longer sustaining the ideal of being a “melting pot”? Has this also become a Public Lie? Are we now armed camps which rail against each other and even seek to promote their group's safety with gated communities, militia or guards to protect ourselves from ourselves?
    Young black men in inner cities arm themselves in order to protect themselves. Where are the Peace Keepers?

    Is our country now a Lie? This was the case in Ancient Greece where the family (okios) was the prime force. Today, we can see that our citizens are strongly in favor of families. In this election we have the Clintons, the Bushes. Coincidence? Family’s represent one motive force within our nation which feels good, safe, protected by families. Have we simply become tolerant of these old forces and have come to tolerate them because we are too lazy or too busy for any alternative? But, it is a Public Lie. Our country was created as a revolution against monarchy or the family rule.

    We once rebelled against monarchy, family, okios. The family of the monarch was considered to be an extension of the gods. These families were ordering their societies, were elites, had way more money and properties, possessions, castles and towers named after themselves. Oh yes, they thus kept citizens from shooting one another by keeping soldiers under their family command (before ”law enforcement”). 

What replaced okios rule was rule of law. Law was above families - "under law". The idea was once that each person was equal before the law and the laws were enforced on all equally.  Black Lives Matter, all lives matter, under rule of law and not families, each person is equal before the law. Not corporations. Corporations were not people. The Public Lie today is that there are forces working against the rule of law and the individual. We have seen many recent killings of black people. We have seen corporations killing democracy. Public Lies which now seem to be above the law. We are tolerating this for how long?


WHY AM I HERE?

  I bring you Polis! Polis is the opposing approach to life to okios, corporatism and oligarchy.  In ancient Greece, the Polis came to be seen as the opposing philosophical construct to okios – family, monarchy, centralized wealth. Laws were thought to be transcendent ideals which were above all families, gangs, corporations or countries. Humans gained access to laws through groupings such as representatives which were truly representative of people – human beings-  rather than being rather than corporations (okinos groups) technologically groups or economically “bought” – financial okinos groups.

   Vaclav Havel, a revolutionary in Czechoslovakia during that country’s recent Soviet/totalitarian era, wrote an essay during the time of the totalitarian state entitled “Power To The Powerless”. We should read that. In that essay Havel, who after being released from prison after the “Velvet Revolution” became President, described a parallel polis during the time of totalitarianism. One polis was the State which was based on wealth and power. The parallel polis was based on powerless human-to-human relationships. We have a parallel polis in our country, too.

It seems that today we have an interesting   mirror image of the totalitarian state of Havel’s time where we have an uber-Capitalistic, greedy 10% dominating 90%. In his lecture. Havel actually describes this capitalist / totalitarian mirroring. Each has a different form of Public Lie. Totalitarian states today continue to tolerate leaders lying with impunity, and so perhaps, our current experience is preparing us for a time when honesty is no longer a requirement for governance.

If the state becomes a Lie, then are Liars the best to govern?


WHAT DO I WANT?

   The shadow side of the polis is also something with which we are experiencing. It is a different version of the Public Lie. It is when the leader is leading a public which no longer feels it can do anything if the leader is lying. The leader can then freely speak the Lie. There is no notice. There is a mass psychosis.  Here’s how it is done: “Truth” is now created with forceful argument rather than reasoned argument. Those with great wealth appear to be the ones who are “believed” – even when they speak blatant untruths.
    One of the most memorable examples of this was Donald Rumsfeld who said (regarding the lack of evidence of WMDs in Iraq): 
"The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” 


    Such circular statements should begin to test the inner strength of citizens. The game was rigged.  We allowed those in power to continue to rule. The world has become a worse place, tens of thousands of Iraqis suffered and died and U.S. troops died because of the Public Lie. It is a Public Lie some would like us to repeat if given the power and feel they can repeat.


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power. ~Abraham Lincoln

The situation today seems to beg us to become “judgmental”. We do not need citizens being judgmental and driven by power and emotion.  What we need is to form judgments, seek Truth outside of our silos. The first step is to know that you don’t know. That we have come to live in silos. That leaders have tried to isolate us from one another as they sought to prove their families are experienced and know what to do. However, their solutions to all problems are to let them lead again.


Here’s what the poet Rilke said:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart 
and try to love the questions themselves
Like locked rooms and like books 
that are written in a very foreign tongue. 
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you 
because you would not be able to live them. 
And the point is, to live everything. 
Live the questions now. 
Perhaps gradually, without noticing it, 
you will live along some distant day into the answer. 
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

(c)Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved



TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

INSTINCTIVE VELCRO - THE NEW AND IMPROVED YOU



WHO AM I?
Instinctive behavior is built-in, an “automatic” for you. Instinct is the way you are, the way you roll, how you do things. If you excel, then you on the easy path. If not, life is hard.An ash road.
“Choice architecture” makes use of in-built instincts to guide you through the supermarket of life. Scientists arrange shelves to meet up with behavioral patterns. The instinct that commonly motivates you is pleasure. Because it is “automatic, instinctive” behavior is that during which you are essentially sleeping, “going through the motions” as they say, “doing what comes naturally.” It is what makes animals migrate.
Instinctive behavior is the most difficult to change. “Muscle memory” – how you walk, use your hands, sit, jump, swing a baseball bat are very hard to change. That’s why few people are willing to put in the time and energy to attempt to change. That is why addiction is so powerful.
But, you can change. You can go from hardwired to instinctive velcro. Really?  Isn’t “hardwired” permanent? Forever? Nope. Depends on how lazy you are. You can re-model your heart after a cardiac blockage. You can build new neurons to overcome addiction or habitual behavior like smoking, changing your stance in boxing, or your swing in baseball. You gotta want it.

WHY AM I HERE?
Instinct says: you must always remain just as you are for this to work out for the best. Just go do the same round of golf on the same golf course with the same clubs at the same time day after day. Stay with the same group of friends. Watch TV, don’t read (you don’t read very well.) You can’t learn another language, lose weight, learn to use the computer. Stay in your comfort zone. You are still that inner 10 year old, this is how you’ve always done things. That inner child would be very afraid if you abandon them. Better to suffer the fear, shame or accept your “averageness” of sticking with the past than changing something.
When things become routine, rote – when they become “automatic” you can reach a level of performance in which you are “stuck” When you feel, “This is as good as it gets.” The “trap” of instinct has got you. Animals live in instinct which for them is permanent.
Velcro? Are you kidding me?
The first step to change is the desire to change. The recognition that you are habituated, working on instinct. Velcro gives you the opportunity to make adjustments, renew, refresh, create a new attitude, altar, adjust slightly. “Make all things new.”

WHY AM I HERE?
One must not remain comfortably in anything. One must overcome the desire to remain “good” at something. You must always find the edge of instinct, the moment when something from the past is brought into the present.
     The “Speed Bag” is how boxers change their instinctive footwork. Hour after hour they change their balance, move their feet and punch all at the same time. They re-model the neurological patterns. Baseball players re-learn how to stand or swing in the box and undo patterns learned in childhood.  “Pick and roll” exercises become instinctive for the life-long basketball player. Any of these exercises may be called a “spiritual practice” – they are repetitive, they require a certain mental attitude of expectancy, they are a preparation.
Do something like this and you will meet your worst features when you focus on changing one instinct or habit. They naturally emerge. They want you to stay as you are. This is too hard. You’re no good at it.
     When the spiritual practice you undertake gets beyond those parts of your instinctive self and eventually you do change the instinctive just slightly – then it is possible that your spiritual practice may become a spiritual experience. Surprise! A new and improved you emerges. 

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
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Friday, November 27, 2015

AUTHORITARIAN EYES

WHO ARE THEY?
They are the stern, staring eyes of those grim-faced Republican candidates in the recent CNN promotion for their 16 December 2015 debate. And, they are an example of “resonance advertising” based on the latest social psychological research.
     Resonance Advertising is the most non-conscious evocative form of advertising. Developed by the late Tony Schwartz, the methodology was used by Lyndon Johnson’s campaign to literally blow Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid out of the water with a commercial called “Picking Daisies” which ended with the image of a thermonuclear explosion. Emotionally, though not literally, the :30 second television commercial called up subconscious voter fear that a vote for Goldwater would lead to nuclear war with the Russians.
     The CNN promo has only a drum beat audio, subconsciously saying military or regimentation, and the images are face after face of the leading Republican candidates staring menacingly at the camera.
     Powerful, eh? They are watching you.

WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?
     Social psychological research has shown that photos of stern, staring eyes are a psychological “prime” – they prime the situation with meanings that come from within us. Hence “resonance” advertising. Powerful images which call forth deep-seated emotional responses.
When added to the test environment of several studies; images of stern, staring eyes cause significantly measurable reactions among test participants. In one case, simply switching the photos on the wall above a “honor box” in a student canteen, led students to “feel guilty” and give money for coffee refreshments even though there was no printed or verbal directive to do so. Such images of these eyes are “authoritarian”.
The research went on to prove that people of an older generation (like “Baby Boomers”) are more susceptible to responding to these “authoritarian” eyes. (Oh great!)
     What do these images hope to communicate? Here are some possibilities: Authority. Seriousness. Control. Gravitas. You will change your behavior. We are your leaders.

WHAT DO THEY WANT?
This promo and these authoritarian eyes are certainly saying that if viewers haven’t taken the Republican candidates seriously up to this point, “you’d damn sure better take this debate seriously!”
     Not coincidentally, authoritarianism is now part of the message around which the Republican candidates are rallying and to which the Republican base is responding. Certainly Donald Trump’s followers shrug off charges of his “fascist” attitudes with apparently little concern about his motives. And, other Republican candidates have begun following Trump’s lead into authoritarianism.
     Okay. The CNN promo may not be a promo for authoritarian Republicanism.
It may only be about grabbing a larger audience. This is due to the fact that the ratings on some debates between the two parties have varied widely in viewership. Some debates have been monstrous and broken all viewer records. And with this many candidates remaining on the Republican stage, other research may have show that viewers were having trouble focusing and needed to be herded a bit toward the debate.
But, why authoritarian eyes?
     Do these images promote authoritarianism? Yes. Don’t doubt the underlying research.
Are they used only to grab a bigger audience, or are they used to “prime” the electorate for something bigger to come?
(Cue “Jaws” theme – “Bah-dah”.)
There may be nothing like a little dose of potential fear of authoritarianism to cause a bump in viewers. But there is a risk of taking Republican authoritarianism too lightly.
Let’s all watch now because “Big Brother” is watching us.

© Copyright 2015 Jean W. Yeager
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TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RECENT AMAZON.COM REVIEWS


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Th3 Simple Questions - Slice Open Everyday Life by Mr. Jean W. Yeager.
116 pages, 45 chapters
Honestly I have been in a slump for awhile when it comes to reading books until I got my hands on this one... let's just say this amazing book found me and I am ecstatic that it did. The style of short essays or "slices" each with the "Who am I", "Why am I here", and "What do I want", format took me by surprise as it was an energizing way to read and process thought provoking concepts with each "slice" only being a few pages long and the analogies were artfully presented as real life experiences to which most anyone can relate.
My favorite slice was "Dandelion Wine: Alchemical Batting Practice" as I fully immersed myself into this "slice" with my own imagery which I could completely relate to as it left me with the warmth of sunshine still in my mind. All of the "slices" were masterfully crafted without needing page after page of extra words to get the author's intended thought provoking points across.
Mr. Jean - Willie Mays would have been impressed with "Another Willie Mays Miracle" as you hit this one "out of the park" worth reading more than once...... 5 Stars
Many Thanks :=}
Mark Krausman - Goodreads Reviewer 

Recent reviews on Amazon.com
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/community
1. 
Jean Yeager's simple little gems November 5, 2015
Full disclosure: the author is a friend and neighbor and has asked me to review this book. He provided the copy for review. When I first looked at the book, I saw that it was a mere 116 pages and I thought I could just sit down and read it in about an hour or so. I was wrong. The reader COULD just pick up the book and start reading and go straight through to the end. The reader might have some appreciation of the genius of the book, but likely not. As the author puts it, each entry is a slice of life to be taken up by the reader for reflection/contemplation or what have you.
The book is a work of unexpected genius. JY has taken the best of his blog entries from January to June of 2014 and packaged them into this unassuming little volume. He uses a particular style that can really draw the reader in. He asks, in each entry, 3 questions. They are: Who am I? Why am I here? And, What Do I Want?
Who am I? can be a very simple aspect of life such as, "The Midnight Shift" to something much more complicated, such as, "The Monsters That Keep Us All Safe." From there he speaks in the first person as if he were, for example, "The Midnight Shift" and describes just who he is and why he is here and what he wants of the reader.
It is pure brilliance how JY manages to bring the reader to consider aspects and meanings of things often not noticed or go taken for granted in everyday life, cuts them into "slices" and offers the reader the opportunity to stop the ordinary flow of his/her thinking and seriously consider some things and their meaning for themselves, the readers, things they have not likely pondered before.
The book is provocative and thoughtful. It is an open invitation to look at life in an entirely new way. I give it my highest recommendation. It should be in the library of anyone who consider themselves to be reflective. It also makes a great starting point for people who may never have given much thought to their lives and what is going on around them.

2. 
Much to mull over! September 6, 2015
The questions may be simple, but the explorations thereof can be profound, thought-provoking, maybe even life-changing. Jean turns the spotlight on many aspects of life today, highlighting facets of our culture that influence us whether consciously or unconsciously. See 'I am the mask' or, read 'I am grass' for a powerful indictment of pastoral policy, its results and demands. Are we deaf? On the other hand, "Dandelion wine" was definitely inspirational for me.

You'll want to own this book so you can return to various sections to peruse them once again, be intrigued, challenged and inspired. Plus, there's the privilege of gaining some insights into the soul of another human being... in this case, Jean himself.
 3. 
A small book with large wisdom August 9, 2015
very interesting book providing new perspectives

Monday, November 16, 2015

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES- FECKLESS, FEARLESS, FOOLHARDY OR COURAGEOUS?

Some say the Democratic Presidential candidates were "feckless" in their response to what to do in response to the terrorist attack in Paris the night before.
     "Feckless" means "weak spiritless, worthless."

Others say Republican Presidential candidates would be "fearless" in their response to what to do in response to terrorist attacks in Paris the night before.
     "Fearless" means
free from fear, caution or concern; ready to plunge imto battle."

Some say to rush in is "Foolhardy".
     "Foolhardy" means "daring without judgment."

All would agree we need "courageous" leadership.
     "Courageous" means "firmness of mind and purpose." "Courageous spirit" suggests "less vitality than mettle to keep up one's morale indefinitely."

What say you?


(c) Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 12, 2015

PINBALL CHOICE



WHO AM I?
I have been rolling downhill on my old-style, electro-mechanical pinball life. I bounced from bumper-to-bumper, location-to-location, job-to-job, crisis-to-crisis, and person-to-person. Did I really control any of this or did I really only control my desire-flippers at the bottom?
I am now propelled by the gravity of aging and the inertia of my vanities. I am now realizing that I am unable to really alter the linear direction of my descent toward “Game Over” which prior events have orchestrated. Even the speed of my fall is cumulative. My rolling silver steel ball of personality appears out of my control. I watch all that is going on behind the glass game-top and wonder if I have become a “deaf, dumb blind kid” like Tommy.
Can’t I choose anything? Do anything?
Then again, do I really want to choose? Or should I simply let the events choose? That’s the easiest. Less effort, right? Watch my little steel ball go straight down and disappear out of sight. Then I can curse “what they did to me”, those stupid bumpers. Blame someone else for my fate, my lack of opportunities. The lack of wealth of my parents, genetics that gave me an “eecch” brain. Maybe whine about the obviously rigged game of life which is not on the level. Oh sure, there were inclinations, mine on the inner and the inclined game table on the outer. And, after all, I chose this game.
And I was inclined to try to affect the outcome. I shook the table, nudged it – hard (careful not to “tilt”). But, basically, a pinball life is three balls, flashing lights, sounds, points rolling on the board as you stand there somewhat confused, unaware, na├»ve, numb in my heart and alone. Yeah, I flipped my desire flippers and occasionally kept the ball in play.
Choose. Huh? Yeah, right.

WHAT DO I WANT?
Let me brood in my dull anger for a moment, okay?
Do I want to choose? Yes, I do want to choose. And, I realize that if I choose, then I will pay for my choice. I will suffer. I do suffer. Your extra replays don’t come free. But, I’m brooding already, right? I have a few more games racked up on the counter – a few more years before “Game Over.”
     Deprivation because when you choose, you only get one thing – not both. I have to pick one or the other, poverty because I can’t have both (or the many). There will be labor, conflict, looming fear, addiction (to my desiring. Desiring? Hell. Longing!), regret that things will not be harmonious, rejected divinity, failing physical capacities, pissing myself. Maybe denial is easier. Just let me stand here like Tommy – deaf, dumb and blind. But, Tommy could play. Am I a player?
     Suffering. Suffering to be myself. A warrior, a player, chooses to define her/himself from the others. Can I be hostile? Independent? Push back against the inclined table of life? I can be hostile to the amorphous, undefined!
     I long for the One Thing. The One Thing we have in our hearts, our True Self. The others told me that real success was getting my steel ball into the 1,000 Points Hole. Roll your ball into that Hole and score big time, lots of lights, sounds and chatter. Woo-hoo! (“You get a replay!”) And, then the 1,000 Points Hole ejects you, shoots you across the table.
That other thing which warms your heart? That True Love? Where is that? Don’t seek that. There is no choice, they say. Stick with the 1,000 Point Hole and replays. You are what you are, the game is the game, the table is what it is, and that is that. True Self? True Love? Not here. Not in this game. This is a closed system. There is no place to go for that.

WHY AM I HERE?
I am here to awaken the True Self before I die. Before you die.
“Time, time, time, see what’s become of me...” I am a child of the 60s in my 60s. What time is it? Am I late for a very important date? “When the Moon s in the 7th House...” Is this the dawning? I have I missed it? When was that Millennium? Y2K?
Is it ever too late to transform? If you don’t transform yourself, life will transform you. So, you have to go from the closed system to an open system.
If I am a steel ball, I am iron. Iron is malleable with enough heat. With enough passion I will undergo the agony of change. I will stand between the opposites where I’m normally not inclined to go, and feel the power of resistance. Resistance to my passion cranks up the heat. With enough passion, resistance and friction, I can change. Form a blade. A sword. The One Thing to become, my new self. Someone who does not just roll mindlessly, who can overcome the inertia of the past. A blade does not roll mindlessly. A blade cuts you away from the amorphous which clings.  Change - the one precious thing to do - the act which grows more fierce with each sun rise.
True Self awakens in the sphere of cause. Outside the box. Off the table. Choose to be the gravity, your self-motive. This is how we roll.

Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

TH3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS: Slice Open Everyday Life

A book published of the first 6-months of posts of this blog. Softcover $11.95 or eBook @ $3.95. Read chapters of this book at BUBLISH.COM  https://www.bublish.com/author/view/5046