Monday, February 14, 2022

"Secret Engine of the World" In High Gear (2/15/22)

This need for this presentation arose from recent developments relating to three of the numerous themes I explored in “Secret Engine of the World,” specifically: STDS, CADS and The Problem with Men.” And of course, as I will do whenever I speak on any aspect of “Secret Engine,” I will also address the “Three Deadlines” that we are hurtling toward as a nation and as a species.

STDs Update

I coined the term “Spiritually Transmitted Diseases” (STDs) in one of the talks included in “Secret Engine.” [Secret Engine pp. 55-61]

STDs are like viruses. People become carriers and spread them. These STDs undermine your spiritual health. They lead you to waste your precious time here.

I offered an example of one such STD, which I call the “Usurper,” and three of its variants:
  • “Table of Erroneous Correspondences.”
    • For example, Masculine does not correspond to Sun and Female does not correspond to Moon, nor does Dark does correspond to Evil or Light correspond to Good
  • “Disempowering Memes”
    • For example, “What you resist, persists” It’s the wrong prescription in many circumstances, and a wrong prescription can be dangerous.
  • “Big Picture Perversion”
    • For example, “Divine Authorship of Everything.”
      • No, Hitler’s extermination of the Jews was not an expression of Divine Will, no, the Rwandan genocide was not an expression of Divine Will. Yes, it’s all a Oneness, but no, it isn’t. Two opposite truths occupy the same space, i.e., Divine Paradox.
I have added two more STDs that warrant our attention -
  • Disassociater (separates you from your true identity)
    • “I am not my body”
      • We see this pervasively promoted in religion, mysticism, yoga, meditation, etc. – it is a perversion, it is a truncation of a deeper, subtler truth, it is a kind of violence against one’s primal reality
    • Patriarchal Gender Binary
      • “Masculine” & “Feminine“
      • “Divine Masculine” & “Divine Feminine” 
      • This mold is what you are, this mold is what you are supposed to be, this is what a "man" is supposed to be, this is what a "woman" is supposed to be
      • Thus sayeth the Colonizer, the Oppressor, the Pimps of Patriarchy
  • Eviscerator (separates you from your reservoirs of power)
    • “BothSiderism”
      • For example, a cable news segment on the Climate Emergency – the overwhelming consensus among scientists says yes, over 95%, but the segment will be framed as a debate, with the nay-sayers, representing less than 5% of scientists, treated as equal in gravitas
    • “Surrenderitis”
      • As if “Surrender” is always the holier, wiser choice, & that “Will,” “Defiance,” etc. are somehow a lesser way, the truth is situational, it depends, in some circumstances, one applies, in a different circumstance, the other applies
Disassociator and Eviscerator weaken one’s alignment with reality, our common reality, the reality of shared facts and observable laws of nature, and disrupt one’s experiential ground in one’s own primal reality, the reality of one’s being, one’s five bodies, one’s karma and dharma, Disassociator and Eviscerator take us out of ourselves and away from the world as it really is.

CADS Update

I coined the term “Cognitive Atrophy and Dissolution Syndrome” (CADS) in another one of the talks included in “Secret Engine.” [Secret Engine pp. 105-110]

I had been pondering both the personal and societal impact of succeeding generations with a baseline continually receding from physical reality, and from one’s own creative imagination and reasoning skills, into a new baseline first ordered around television, then video games and the Internet, and then finally smartphones. I had been feeling a weakening in people’s intellectual capacity and autonomy.

And in certain social media circles, I had been felt this weakening was further aggravated by powerful influences within some of the sub-cultures, in which we travel as yogis, artists, meditators, adventurers: social media itself, "neo-Tantra,” the misuse of plant medicine, Burning Man and the festival scene in general etc. … All of these technological innovations, all of these explorations of psyche and soma, all of it, was wonderful, freeing, mind-expanding, accelerating, but it also brought unintended consequences. Many people were, I felt, starting to lose their minds …

But then factor in four years of a pathological ill man in control of the bully pulpit, factor in one of the two major political parties in the world’s dominant democracy succumbing to authoritarianism, factor in the collapse of the ecological and climatic balance on which civilization itself is predicated, factor in two or three years of a global pandemic … And NOW we are dealing with massive, collective delusion that threaten to engulf significant swarths of the population … 

Consider QAnon. 

“A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power. Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon. I have studied and worked to prevent genocide for forty years. Genocide Watch and the Alliance Against Genocide, the first international anti-genocide coalition, see such hate-filled conspiracy theories as early warning signs of deadly genocidal violence. The plot, described above, was the conspiracy “revealed” in the most influential anti-Jewish pamphlet of all time. It was called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was written by Russian anti-Jewish propagandists around 1902 ... QAnon’s conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” - Gregory Stanton, Just Security, 9/9/20

“Russian government-backed social media accounts nurtured the QAnon conspiracy theory in its infancy, earlier than previously reported, according to interviews with current and former Twitter executives and archives of tweets from suspended accounts.” – Reuters, 11/2/20

Consider the Anti-Vax movement.

There are two virulent strains of anti-vax madness, there is the MAGA strain, which impacts our governance and the body politics in dangerous and destructive ways, and there is the Woo Woo strain, which infects the realms of Wellness and Alternative Life Styles

Look, let me break it down for you:

Vaccines are a blessing that result from a profound collaboration between human genius epitomized by science and the unspeakable incomprehensible intelligence of Gaia herself, because these bodies are after all Her creation. The vaccines carry a message from human genius into the body and deliver the message to the Divine Intelligence of Gaia, which responds accordingly and works with the vaccines to save human life. If you are fully vaccinated (including the booster), and you wear a real mask, and you exercise common sense social distancing, you have a high degree of protection against getting infected, a high degree of protection against communicating the disease to others, an even higher degree of protection against hospitalization and almost 100% protection against death. Period. Full stop.

And yes, Putin has been promoting Anti-Vax DISinformation in the West –

“Russian intelligence agencies have mounted a campaign to undermine confidence in Pfizer Inc.’s and other Western vaccines, using online publications that in recent months have questioned the vaccines’ development and safety, U.S. officials said. An official with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, identified four publications that he said have served as fronts for Russian intelligence. 
The websites played up the vaccines’ risk of side effects, questioned their efficacy, and said the U.S. had rushed the Pfizer vaccine through the approval process, among other false or misleading claims.
Though the outlets’ readership is small, U.S. officials say they inject false narratives that can be amplified by other Russian and international media.
“We can say these outlets are directly linked to Russian intelligence services,” the Global Engagement Center official said of the sites behind the disinformation campaign. “They’re all foreign-owned, based outside of the United States. They vary a lot in their reach, their tone, their audience, but they’re all part of the Russian propaganda and disinformation ecosystem ...” – WSJ, 3/7/21

Consider “The Big Lie”

Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney), 5/3/21: The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.

"Behind the Republican embrace of disinformation is a calculus of both ambition and self-preservation." Beware the power of the Big Lie. As it threatens to overwhelm the truth, it prefigures the advent of fascist authoritarianism and the death of liberty - Lisa Lerer and Nicholas Fandos, NY Times, 7/31/21

Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson), 9/27/21: The Big Lie is no longer about overturning the last Presidential election. It’s about planting seeds to overturn the next one.

And yes, Putin’s hand is in this too -

“Key Judgement 2: We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electrical process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the U.S. …” – Foreign Threats to U.S. Federal Elections, National Intelligence Council, Intelligence Community Assessment, 3/10/21


I want to offer you a glimpse into another one of the poisonous delusions that can be found spreading in the fever swamps that dot our social media landscape. It’s something called the “neo-polarity” or “female submission” movement. This poisonous delusion is made possible by rampant STDs and late-stage CADS.

The premise is that men are naturally dominant and superior and women are naturally submissive and kept as, well, vessels of Eros only (although they would deny this characterization it is the truth of it). 

Of course, the languaging isn't troglodyte, it's all wrapped up in Woo Woo, and calibrated to seduce women of the "Wellness" sub-culture.  It's deep Orc PSYOPS really. 

And it offers an apt segue to my update on “The Problem with Men.”

Here some posts from this movement’s leaders (no, I'm not going to mention their names).

WARNING: I consider what follows to be as ill as an excerpt from "Mein Kampf" or "The Turner Diaries." If you don't want to scan it, just look for the "All Clear" below.

First, a few aphorisms from one of this delusional movement's male leaders:

The Dominant Man is a Master of comporting himself around women who wear no Armor. Because he is the reason they don't have to.

Only when a man becomes Dominant can he be Devoted to a woman. Emasculated men are too much in their feelings to be Devoted.

The "devotion" of the Emasculated man enables the Trauma of the Masculinized woman. Her wounds lead because he doesn't know how.

"When men are not dominant, women become neurotic."

Can you hear the sickness in those formulations? How twisted, how perverse.

Now listen to some of the poison posts from one of this movement's female leaders:

A woman cannot spiritually repair her relationship to men, money, or God (the energetic trinity of “the Masculine”) without erecting “him” within FIRST ... Until she can activate and *hold* the imprint of the Masterful *FATHER PRINCIPLE* within her own system, she so often unconsciously magnetizes vortexes of re-traumatization, which then only corroborates the incomplete/distorted narrative of the “toxic masculine.” However, it is only when she can open to the full penetration and cosmic ejaculatory thrust of the energetic imprint of “the Masculine” that she can begin to receive and live the life of her hearts desire.
Remember: Devotion flows — and can only flow — UPWARD. just may be....that the dark gift of being chosen to love a man who is in all dimensional metrics *BETTER THAN YOU* could just be the most sublime, ego-detonating, Eros-drenching, relentlessly orgasmic Golden Ticket to Devotional Ecstasy known to womankind ...

 [ALL CLEAR. I won't be quoting any more of this. I just needed you to get a sense of it.]

And yes, as incredible as it might seem to you, some of our STD-ridden, CADS-positive Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers have indeed fallen for this ORC PSYOPS.

I was struck by how many “mutual friends” I shared with the movement leaders I audited. Thirty-one, thirty-one out of six hundred ninety (iI intentionally keep my number of FB "friends" as close to 500 as I can, I'll explain why in another post). And yes, some (perhaps most) of those “mutual friends” are just indulging in morbid curiosity, or suffering from a bout of “BothSiderism,” and yes, maybe some are just a little orc-curious, but wow.

It is unsustainable, of course. It will implode. It will get ugly. Sources tell me it already has. But wow.
Dakini poet and oracle Maya Luna, author of Omega: Feral Secrets of the Deep Feminine, is at the cutting edge of feminist mysticism. I asked her to provide some context since I know she has encountered some of the movement's trolls and sympathizers in the course of her work:

“I would call it an attempted interference in the Ascendency of the Feminine through the exaltation of patriarchalized femininity, a resurgence of misogynistic abuse paradigms, and trauma bonding dressed up as ‘divine union.’”

Yes. And this is to be expected, of course, the arising of such powerful, dangerous delusions, it is all part of the savage backlash we are already dealing with at a societal level. The Patriarchy is fast losing its grip on the vertical and the horizontal, and so, it is increasingly violent. As its desperation intensifies, its rage intensified. This is an inexorable process. In 2020, we were removing statues celebrating Robert E. Lee and other traitorous leaders of the slavers’ rebellion known as the Confederacy. So in 2021 and 2022, we are struggling with local school boards banning Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” and Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale.” This is where we are. This, “the great battle of our time,” it’s ongoing.

Misogyny, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Transphobia, etc. it is all of a whole cloth, and that whole cloth must be ripped to shreds.


The Ascendancy of the Feminine (Human and Divine) has been one of several overarching themes in my writing, including Altruism and Sustainability as Spiritual (and Existential) Imperatives. I speak about the "Ascendancy of the Feminine" extensively in both “Wyrds” and “Dragon,” and in “Secret Engine,” I added to it, specifically addressing “The Problem with Men.” [Secret Engine, pp. 62-71] And in this talk, I am going to take it a little further.

The magnitude of “the Problem with Men,” the full scope, the planetary scale, it is not dealt with adequately, it is a profound problem, perhaps the most profound of all, it is an existential threat, if left unchallenged, unmitigated, uninterruptedly, it will be the end of us, our species, our world … this is not hyperbole … I am deathly serious …

In “The Problem with Men,” I articulated some remedies, yes, but here I want to put a new emphasis on it, and a bigger frame …
  1. Men in general, as a gender, and almost all men, individually, need an INTERVENTION. Just as you would with a friend or loved one with an addiction or a serious mental health issue. Men need some tough love. They need to hear a harsh truth. They need to face something grim and painful. We need a 1619 Project moment for the Patriarchy and the toll it has taken on human civilization. Our nation’s wealth derived from slavery, our nation’s land was won through genocide. The White House itself was built by slaves. It is not all we are, or all that we have come from, not at all. But it is real and it must be acknowledged and kept present in our psyches until we go much deeper into the transformation and healing of our society, our body politic, our economic order. All white Americans have to come to terms with these historical facts and understand our responsibility to add all of the pain and suffering caused and all of the privilege bestowed. Similarly, all men, across the planet, the whole male gender must come to realize that our position in this world is derived from the subjugation of women, from the brainwashing of women, from the exploitation of women, from the imposition of a false binary of “masculine” and “feminine” which only serves the needs of the Patriarchy, not of any woman, nor really of any man, it is a curse on us all, a savage wound, a mutilation of us all … men need to come to grips with the historical and psychological facts, that by birth all men are complicit until they prove themselves to be otherwise, all men should welcome a recognition of our collective guilt and shame, just like white privilege, male privilege is an injustice and an illness, and it must revealed, disrupted and dismantled. 
  2. Where you need to find the Feminine, the Goddess, first and foremost, where you need to bow to it, and surrender to it, is inside your own psyche and soma, and I don’t mean by running around Burning Man in a tutu, and I don’t mean by “feminizing” some part of yourself based on a patriarchally warped view of the Feminine, I mean find the truth of Yin and Yang, beyond the false binary of “Masculine” and “Feminine” ginned up to serve the Patriarchy, beyond the “Table of Erroneous Consequences,” yes, begin to live from emotional intelligence, from creativity, from agape, from conscience, from interconnectivity, from vibration, from authenticity in your feelings and states, from holy rage, which is not a rage not based on identity or possessions, yes, live from a more sensitive present aware alignment, live from and into intimacy. The way to truly worship Her is to find Her inside yourself and resource Her power in your daily life.
  3. Other men cannot really help you. This is vital to know. What you need to get in terms of help, in terms of acquiring new inner technologies, in terms of learning to language differently, what you need in terms of counsel - it can only truly come from women, female psycho-therapists, female yoga teachers, etc. Men can’t help you.

Evolutionary, Not Ideologue

Now as we accelerate into the Great Shift, and we move inexorably to supplant this rotten patriarchal civilization with a vibrant feminist civilization, I am going to leave this cautionary note here and hope you heed the admonishment: BE AN EVOLUTIONARY, NOT AN IDEOLOGUE!

What do I mean by this? Perhaps it’s best expressed with some examples.
  • Hold space for the work of Chopin and Rothko and Botticelli and Coltrane, et al. Hold space for those great artists who carried truth and beauty forward through the many bloody, ignorant centuries of male-dominant culture. The great paintings, the great musical compositions, these great artistic treasures of the past two millennia, they actually offered a durable container for evidence of the Deep Feminine even as we passed through the ugliest of eras. Sometimes even in spite of the toxicity of the artists themselves (e.g., Picasso and Richard Wagner). Their space in the galleries and on the playlists will be limited as culture turns over, but those that carry actual truth and beauty should always have a place.
  • Learn to discern the difference between the core mystical secrets of the human race and the perverse patriarchal trappings with which they have been enmeshed and encrusted down through the many centuries. A friend once enthusiastically sent me an excerpt from a book she was devouring, it was a feminist take-down of patriarchal age religion and spirituality. The excerpt was an attempt at a critique of Buddha’s fundamental teachings. It was ridiculous, of course. It was an ideological attack launched against a religionist misrepresentation of what Gautama Buddha’s actual teachings. Both the ideological attack and the religionist misrepresentation were by definition bounded within the mind, and A-L-L of Buddha’s message was and is beyond mind. As I have said over and over for DECADES now, Gautama Buddha wasn’t a Buddhist, and Jesus Christ wasn’t a Christian. Go after the patriarchal religions that have imprisoned our greatest truths, yes, please. The monasteries, the priesthoods, the patriarchal languaging, yes, all of it. Put an end to all exploitation and subjugation East and West. But leave Gautama Buddha to Pema Chodron. She is best equipped to sort it out and break it down for you.
  • Three powerful mythoi bring the collective psyche to the end of Patriarchy and the threshold, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Star Wars, taken together they constitute an Opening into the Great Shift, they are Portals … yes, they are told from within the patriarchal frame, yes, they are wrapped in the trappings of kingdoms and told as the tales of great warriors have been told down through the ages, BUT there is so much more at work in these three mythoi … they herald the feminist civilization to come, they carry the energy of the Deep Feminine, they are steeped in it 
Lord of the Rings begins with the highest of the high Elvin sorceresses speaking from inside her oneness with the five bodies of the great green goddess Gaia Herself:

Galadriel (speaking partly in Elvish):
(I amar prestar aen.)
The world is changed.
(Han matho ne nen.)
I feel it in the water.
(Han mathon ned cae.)
I feel it in the earth.
(A han noston ned gwilith.)
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

The power of both Gaia and Tara course through the whole of the saga … the tree shepherd giants, the Ents, marching to war to defend their ancient forests from ECOCIDAL violence issuing from Isengard, the Elves of Rivendell arriving unexpectedly, at Helm’s Deep, in the darkest hour of the night, to stand with Theoden against the GENOCIDAL violence of the Orc legions .. all are moved by agape, all are moved by conscience and the common good … in the Council of Elrond, as the kings and warriors argue amongst themselves as to the best coure of action, it is Frodo, a hobbit, the smallest, gentlest among them, who stands up and says, “I will take the Ring, though I do not know the way.”

Both Frodo and Harry Potter sign up for self-sacrifice and almost certain death in desperate attempts to save all that they love … Agape is the banner … L-O-V-E- is the deepest, oldest, most powerful magic …

Dumbledore reveals this to Harry in Order of the Phoenix

"There is a room in the Department of Mysteries, that is kept locked at all times.
It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you.”

Dumbledore reminds Harry again in The Half-Blood Prince

”But I haven’t got uncommon skill and power,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Yes, you have,” said Dumbledore firmly. “You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can…”
“I know!” said Harry impatiently. “I can love!” It was only with difficulty that he stopped himself adding, “Big deal!”
“Yes, Harry, you can love,” said Dumbledore, who looked as though he knew perfectly well what Harry had just refrained from saying. “Which, given everything that has happened to you, is a great and remarkable thing. You are still too young to understand how unusual you are.”
“So, when the prophecy says that I’ll have ‘power the Dark Lord knows not,’ it just means – love?” asked Harry, feeling a little let down.
“Yes – just love,” said Dumbledore ...

The hidden truth of the Force is that it is the both Light and Dark, both Yin and Yang, swirling within and all around each other they are the circle of Life itself, and Evil is outside that circle.
Luke: Breathe. Reach out with your feelings. What do you see?
Rey: The island. Life. Death and decay, that feeds new life. Warmth. Cold. Peace. Violence.
Luke: And between it all?
Rey: Balance and energy. A force.
Luke: And inside you?
Rey: Inside me, that same force.
Luke: And this is the lesson. That Force does not belong to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi die, the light dies, is vanity. Can you feel that?

Consider Yoda’s admonishment to Luke as they sat and watched the sacred texts of the Jedi burn in a lightning strike brought down by Yoda himself.

"Heeded my words not, did you? "Pass on what you have learned." Strength, mastery, hmm...but weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters." – Yoda

 All of three of these transformational mythoi culminate in the third movie of the third trilogy in the Star Wars series, as the young female padwan Rey triumphs over Palpatine, who like Voldemort and Sauron was an evil that had survived death …

“I am all the Sith,” Palpatine bellows.
“And I am all the Jedi,” Rey roars.

After obliterating Palpatine, Rey takes the name Skywalker, and in possession of both Luke and Leia’s light sabers, she walks into the future to generate new legends for a new world.

Three Deadlines

Even though “Secret Engine” explores many rich and deep issues related to our primal reality, and the arc of human evolution, more than anything else this is a call to action and a warning.

We are faced with three looming deadlines. These deadlines are hurtling toward us. They are closer every day. When “Secret Engine” was published these deadlines were only two, four and ten years away. Now they are one, three and nine years away. There are no second chances. This is it for us. Each deadline is essential in and of itself, and they are dependent on one another. If we fall to deliver on the 2022 mid-term election deadline, and we don’t hold the House and expand our majority in the Senate, then it will be even harder to secure the White House for another term in 2024. And if we fail in 2022 and/or 2024, it will be almost impossible to for us to deliver on the 2032 planetary deadline. Without control of the House, the Senate and the White House, we will be unable to make the radical moves required to mitigate the impact of the Climate Collapse already underway.

If you feel like you’ve been told over and over again every two years that this is the most important election cycle of your life and that the future of our republic hangs in the balance, well, you’re right. We have told you this every two years, and it has been true every time, as it is now. But we’re running out of runway. Finally. This is it. Some of us have spent our whole lives in this struggle, some of us will never see the moment of final triumph, but it will come and many of you who hear my voice now will be alive to see, as I hope to be.

I didn’t plan on becoming a mystical ward-healer for the Democratic Party, but it’s what is demanded of me in this era. Listen, politics is holy, UGLY, yes, but H-O-L-Y. Your vote is sacred, do not commit sacrilege, use your vote, choose altruism as our philosophy of governance, if you don’t vote, if you’re too cynical or you feel you’re “beyond” the coarseness of politics, you are in effect voting for sociopathy as our philosophy of governance.

This is tomorrow. There is no future if we fail in this struggle.

In “Secret Engine,” I wrote about what my “Yoda,” the legendary American sage Joe Miller, called the “Power of Nothing.” I also wrote about his prophecy concerning this next 100 years. Well, we are half-way through that 100 years now, and poll after poll, election after election, confirm his prophecy. Wave after wave of new voters are entering into the body politic, and they know, they just know …

Fog of War

Some among you are warriors; by that I mean your life experiences have shown you what it means, what it requires, what you must be capable of - to fight for your freedom, or someone else’s, or your life, or someone else’s, or even perhaps most desperately of all, for your sanity, or someone else’s. Others among you find yourself in such circumstances, and confronted with such challenges for the first time. No one alive today has ever stood in a moment as dire as the one that is our now. Even in the grim pit of World War II, there was a clarity, there were lines that could advance or retreat in ways that could be grasped simply. But this is all asymmetrical. We are in a chaos so seemingly bottomless, a chaos so utterly fraught with peril, a chaos that directly threatens not only our individual sanity but our collective sanity. 

If you don’t feel this way, well, you’re living in a dream, in a bubble, and I don’t envy you when that bubble bursts, you will be ill-equipped to come to grips with the impact of what is actually going on all around you. Maybe you are one of those who say something like "Oh, we really need to move beyond that language, 'us v. them,' 'civil war,'" etc. Well, it's not an issue of languaging or framing, it is a FACT, a REALITY, it is not viewpoint or opinion, it is not something you can nuance. It's as if fire fighters raced into a burning building and the people that they were trying to save started objecting to terminology like FLAMES, EXPLOSION, SMOKE, BLOWBACK, suggesting kindler, gentler framing, LOL, it doesn't change the FACTS of the smoke and flame or the REALITY of the fire ...

In “Secret Engine,” I document the three great scourges of our time: the Climate Emergency, the Global Pandemic and the Rise of Authoritarianism. We don’t have to reiterate all of that here tonight. I just want to talk to you briefly about how it is impacting us, and what we must do in this to keep ourselves and our collective reality moving forward.

There is a phrase, “the fog of war.” These last six months or so, I have been turning this phrase over and over again in my psyche. As I look around me and check in on those I care for. One night recently MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell uttered the phrase in his opening monologue. I smiled, a grim smile, but a warrior’s smile. Of course, he had heard it in his psyche too.

“The fog of war.” Oxford Languages defines it as “Confusion caused by the chaos of war or battle.” Yes. There is a such time in every great battle, maybe it’s a moment that feels like a day, maybe it is a day that feels like a moment. You can’t see ahead, you can’t see behind, you can’t see to either side of you. You dare not look up because in that moment you might be decapitated or disemboweled. All you have is your weapon, and maybe your shield. All you can do in that suspended time is meet what comes at you. All you can do is what you were last implored to do. If it was to advance, you advance. If it was to hold your ground, you hold your ground. You destroy what seeks to destroy you. Period. Full stop. There is nothing else. You cannot sense the tide of battle. You cannot know if you’re side is winning or losing. The only way you can serve the greater good is to keep fighting. You have no idea when it will end or if you will survive for even another moment. For all you know your cause is already lost, but you cannot succumb. What is YOU are the last thread that holds the collective reality together.

We are all exhausted. We have all been horrified. What had hitherto been considered abominable has been normalized before your very eyes. Orcs and zombies have been chipping away at the pillars of human decency and social order. For years now. We have indulged in hope and optimism and had them stripped from us again and again. Yes. I know. If you feel. If you allow yourselves to feel. This is what is there to be felt. And they are relentless. The orcs and the zombies, and their death-eater overlords, the sociopaths and oligarchs.

In the throes of the “Fog of War,” you can’t kneel down and cast the yarrow sticks, so I will give you the hexagram that applies to this moment – it is #29, “K’an,” it’s named “The Abysmal.”

The two trigrams that constitute the hexagram are the same: a broken line above, a unbroken line in the middle, and a broken line at the bottom.

From Richard Wilhelm’s translation:

The Judgement
The Abysmal repeated.
If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,
And whatever you do succeeds.

The Image
Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches it goal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated.
Thus the superior [human] walks in lasting virtue
And carries on the business of teaching.

So here and now, lost in the “Fog of War,” be like water, flow forward, for us as humans flowing forward is taking one step after another. A step is simple. Just a step. If you take enough steps, one after another, you arrive at your destination.

What are our steps in this moment, in these dire circumstances?

Oh, the list could be a very long list, but a short list is just as powerful, no, a short list is much more powerful. And it will give you a good sense of what to add to it if you can.

Do not underestimate the importance of these steps.
  • VOTE. Vote the Democratic ticket straight down the ballot. But right now, it’s not enough to just say “VOTE.” I mean check your registration. Especially if you live in a “Red State. You don’t want to go to the polling place or mail in your ballot and discover you’ve been wrongly purged through some voter suppression tactic. And likewise DON'T JUST VOTE, but nudge, cajole, shame everyone to do the same. And ORGANIZE, SHOW UP, MAKE YOUR VOICE BE HEARD. Engage, educate, LEAD.
  • Get vaccinated. And if you’re vaccinated, get BOOSTED. Keep up with the wearing of masks, and sensible social distancing. Issue your own personal mandates in your own life. Until this really has receded for good. And likewise nudge, cajole, shame everyone to do the same. Engage, educate, LEAD.
  • Exercise deep self-care. Whatever that is for you. But, for example, sleep, hydration, yoga, meditation, “forest bathing,” unplugging from your electronic devices for some time in the course of every 24 hour cycle (and not just when sleeping). Know that this deep self-care is an EVOLUTIONARY act. And likewise nudge, cajole, shame everyone to do the same.
Remind yourself every day, and every night, that YOU are not alone, and that WE are not alone, and that we are surfing the crest of a great wave, we are riding the Arc of Human Evolution. Remind yourself every day, and every night, of the “Power of Nothing.” Remind yourself, every day, and every night, of the legendary American sage Joe Miller’s 100 year prophecy. These are all powerful forces.

But there is something more, something incomprehensible, and unspeakable, the power of Gaia Herself, the Divine Intelligence within which we all LITERALLY move and live and have our beings, She wants the human species to right itself, She wants us to emerge from this Singularity, as a new, better, saner, kinder wiser version of ourselves. And yes of course, if we lose ourselves, if we succumb in this “Fog of War,” if we give up, She will deal with us mercilessly and summarily for the sake of the countless other species that LITERALLY live and move and have their beings within Her.

But we have a chance. Hence the three deadlines I have articulated.

#LeanForward #UnitedFrontforSanityAndDecency

#SmashthePatriarchy #BlackLivesMatter #ClimateEmergency