This website is the beginning of an online site that will integrate my work and concerns. I see my role as being and advocate for education. By education I mean in the original sense of the word “to draw out” what is inherent in people. Education is not hammering facts into our minds most excellently shown in Dickens’ novel Hard Times (also available for free here) in the person of Mr. Gradgrind. Education is to help others realize their inherent abilities and develop them as best they can not through the whip of testing and constant evaluations but through encouragement, love, and the use of the much misunderstood seven virtues. Our problems is that we both misunderstand what education is, misunderstand that it is a requirement throughout life because of our unique circumstances, and we misunderstand the clear fact that without a coherent metaphysical framework our ability to truly educate anybody is seriously disabled.
So I will lay the foundation here with explaining my basic metaphysical framework as well as I can in as brief a way as possible. We are each conscious and thus, as far as we can see, consciousness itself because it is our only direct experience. Everything else we perceive is interpreted within a cultural framework therefore we can only trust the truth (and it is the only truth we can know) of our identity as being conscious. The great spiritual traditions echo this by saying things like “the Self and Brahman are one” or when Moses asked God by what name can the Israelites call Him, God replied “I am that I am” which is yet another way of saying consciousness or pure being which is consciousness. Other traditions in their mystical teachings say much the same thing in different ways. Bringing this down to Earth for a moment that does not mean we are each God in His/Her totality but our consciousness is where God lives as far as we know–we reach God by expanding our consciousness not through making a show of piety, exclaiming that “Jesus is Lord” or following Scripture like the Pharisees did but through embracing God through expanding our awareness. Ultimately, education is about expanding awareness and that’s why I consider it so important.
My political and cultural analysis is based on my ideas about education. I believe we need to work towards a social/political/economic culture that sees expanding awareness as the crucial and central goal of life for all of us. Thus society should be the engine or matrix for this expansion of awareness which can result form drawing us out to display our unique abilities. This is why I reject capitalism as a moral force because its central reason to exist is not to benefit society but to make money by any means for those in charge of the business. Capitalism, Marx noted, is and always been a dynamic and even explosive force. It has brought drastic change, badly needed change to a society ruled by limited views of the world stuck in ritual and habits. The world’s culture could all have something in common by valorizing what was once considered sin–the single-minded quest for money/profits at the expense of everything else. This fact itself allowed technologies to emerge that destroyed the old ways of manufacturing, it created a massive network of distribution from canals, to railroads, to roadways, to airlines, to the internet and so on. Globalization spread all that to almost every corner of the globe and, yes, it has been massively disruptive–people rather than taking care of their parents move to the city and live private lives and private enjoyments without thinking much about anyone else. We live in neighborhoods where we don’t know and don’t trust neighbors often. People, all over the world, have changed the way they eat, what they eat, how they raise their children and have changed the role of women, of people who display alternative sexual traits, and their vision of the universe itself, the meaning of life and so on.
But we can only do so much deconstruction of traditional values before we start cutting into muscle and cause irreparable harm not just to what is left of social structure but to individual humans. Capitalism has done its job of moving us out of our inertia but now that we have dumped traditions and are re-inventing our lives we are ready to build the new and not stay with the same system that got us here. We created a new world now we have to build some more permanent and sustainable dwellings for human beings and the natural world because the very science that grew alongside of capitalism and that got us here is telling us that if we keep up the way we are going we will destroy everything. We now have to return to the natural tendencies of human beings to be compassionate, not just to family and clan members, but to all people as Jesus and others have taught. We are ready for the next step yet our society is structured not to benefit human beings to create a convivial society based on human happiness but one built on the needs and requirements of mechanisms. The modern corporations is such a mechanism. It has all the benefits of individuals but few of the responsibilties–each person from the CEO on down is “run” by the requirements of that mechanism and must accept, in order to stay sane, the values of that corporation which is always the same: maximize profits by whatever means necessary–if that means breaking the law and having to pay fines, good; if that means bribing Congresspeople to write laws that directly benefit the mechanism that is what you do–if you don’t there is always someone very near who will do it if you don’t. To put it simply, corporations are mechanisms that exist for only to feed themselves and will feed off of the oceans or feed of you if they can. Out of the corporate oligarchy we also find that we are building “intelligent” (by the pathetically inadequate definition of intelligence we seem to believe in) robots who can accomplish tasks often better than humans in the same way as power-looms replaced weavers many or even most of our jobs can be replaced, if history is any judge, within a few decades and human beings may not be needed and can be culled–remember corporations by necessity have no conscience and no morality nor do machines. A drone that is sent to kill you doesn’t care who you are if its owners want you dead you will be dead–this technology is coming quickly.
So, my interest in promoting educations is to focus on creating a moral and therefore convivial, friendly social fabric by first making people aware of where we are going, what are, in fact, is actually happening when we look at our social structure at every level. Most people in the United States at least are confused and assailed by too much information about too many things and lack an effective way of processing this information into anything cohesive. The result is inner-chaos, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, drug abuse, suicide which is growing by leaps and bounds. The myths distributed by the mainstream news and entertainment media are, with some very notable exceptions, are fabricated to keep us misled and asleep so that we don’t find out what the corporations and their operatives are actually doing. I’ve noticed that the discrepancy between what most people would accept as objective truth (not that objectivity is always a good thing) if they had all the evidence at hand, has almost nothing to do with what is portrayed by the media that dominate our lives–whether it is news or pornography it is fundamentally false–not simply to be false but to weaken us so we can be more fully exploited and controlled. This is not because the authorities are “bad” but because the decisions are no longer up to people and their foolish or wise decisions but up to mechanical devices who take each item and evaluated it not on the basis of human values but will it or will it not make money for the corporations or organization–this includes so-called charities, non-profits and so on.
So on this site and this blog is about dealing with the conflict between the inhuman system and human beings. I don’t ascribe to any kind of political position anymore. I used to be a progressive and I still sympathize with many issue on that side of the political spectrum. But I also sympathize and agree with many conservatives who are as highly diverse as the progressives. I find myself somewhere in the middle at this time–finding both the opinion pages and websites that identify with both sides equally obnoxious and lacking in logical consistency and mainly shouting “hurray for our side” and giving the finger to their opponents. I’m sick of this because it does nothing but enforce the current system. It categorically rejects dialogue and even the concept of dialectics and system analysis is rejected in favor of tribalism and as a way to keep the mind tightly shut. Well–this is understandable in a world of too much information.