What if Americans Actually Want A Welfare State

Everything in U.S. psychology implanted by the media says socialism and welfare states are bad.  This is the implicit message of our society's propaganda.  But to reduce a complex set of desires into a simple set of bad or good really doesn't get to the heart of the issue.  Welfare, as defined generally, is support by society through financial means for the basic needs of its citizens.  Now, who in their right mind would oppose such a great idea?  As it turns out, there are plenty of ideologically blinded individuals who will say that welfare is for all intents and purposes the invention of the devil intended to lead good "Christian" folk down the path of government control.  While all criticisms of welfare sound reasonable on the surface, the more we dig into the rhetoric the less real good we find.

In life, we all make choices, amongst which are the desires of the kind of society we wish to live in.  Some people would prefer a capitalist paradise, while others would prefer socialist one.  What is relevant is that these choices as values cannot be imperfect because they represent lifestyle choices for collectives.  One of the clear problems with current ideology is that the choices of some are honored while the choices of others are dishonored.  If choice does not damage others, then choice should be honored.  Yet, this is not how we choose to live our lives as a society, especially with regard to the harmful, violent dialogues we use to shame and blame those on the bottom end of the economic spectrum for their choices, or even their infirmities.

The result of propaganda is that people become convinced that what they want is what the authority wants.  As a consequence of complex propaganda, many Americans now believe (or at least are pretending to believe) that welfare is bad, but 60+ hours a week of labor is good.  As a consequence, America is on the path of permanent enslavement to an ideology of indentured servitude enforced by heartless middlemen, selfish careerists who have climbed the ladder to the position of personal guardians of the ruling class's supposed interests.  These middlemen are the real troublemakers because it is they who have created the ideology that we deal with today, and they are for the most part the enforcers of this ideology.  The bureaucrats have a partial interest in seeing the system succeed because the hard labor is left for those at the bottom.  The ideology of "work hard and you will get ahead" is a pyramid scheme that supports those in the middle, but not those at the bottom because hard work is not rewarded in our system of economic distribution.

Yet the process of hazing is ruthless, and is turned by the engine of ambition, the selfish cause of self serving greed.  Greed and force combine to produce intimidation and deception is used to cover up the fact that this the reality. We are treated to the smiley face dictatorship of pretenders and phonies lying to us (and themselves on many levels) who insist that all is right with our broken economic system.  What would you propose instead, a welfare state?  You goddamn communist.

But with public opinion so twisted by propaganda, how can what Americans say they want really be taken seriously?  If Americans were given a real choice, would they respond differently?  They have been told that going down the road of a more fair and balanced distribution of society's production is evil, because government, the big boogeyman, is incapable of creating such a system effectively (among other reasons given).  Yet, no one has really tried to do it properly, so how can it be said that it never worked?  It reminds me of how I hear some people say Christianity never worked.  It's funny because very few people have actually tried to live as Christians either and certainly no political system has lived by the words of Jesus.  So then how can you say something doesn't work if you've never tried to make it work?

What about Communism, some would ask.  First, Communism isn't a welfare state.  Second, Communism as envisioned by it's original founders has also never been tried.  While I wouldn't choose to live in a Communist system, because of lifestyle and political preference, we never really found out whether or not it worked because the people who implemented it (Lenin, but more especially Stalin, Mao, etc.) created something else that wasn't part of the original model besides being ruthless butchers of millions of people.  It is also very difficult to convince Americans that Communism and Socialism are two entirely different systems because of propaganda.  Socialism does not preclude some inequality.  Systems such as PROUT (PROgressive Utilization Theory) are forms of semi-socialist economic models, for instance, and advocate ideas such as a maximum wage to go along with a minimum one to keep wealth disparity lower.  Communism, on the other hand, tends to say that all inequality is bad.

Yet everything depends on our values in what we believe is "good" or "bad", but more specifically with what we think we like and what we think we don't.  Yet in such a monolithic world where all values have mostly been reduced to value of one's financial assets, all other social models have become sidelined to the rush to greed.  By now, however, a clear line between permanent winners and permanent losers is being drawn in our economic system.   No amount of propaganda is likely to cover up the realization that for many people, the future is a dead end financially and possible physically.  Yet still welfare is considered a dirty word even among people making very little working very hard for someone else.  Is some people's need to bow down to authority so great that they would destroy themselves worshiping an ideological lie rather than face the truth of how it is never going to work?  Apparently so.

The question remains, do Americans actually want a welfare state?  I believe the answer is yes, they do.  They simply don't realize that is what they want.  But America's current values point to this inevitable conclusion.  The conflict of values between families and our current version of capitalism (whatever you want to call it) is the core conflict.  In the end, family is required for human survival, but economic ideology is just window dressing.  Human needs will reshape American opinion to favor the creation of a new welfare state of some sort by necessity.  I believe it will be something like a workfare system (AmeriCorps) with guaranteed good hours that really represents our preferred lifestyle choices. In addition there is likely to be some sort of restructuring of how society's end products are distributed through some mechanism whether it is PROUT or worker ownership of "corporations".  In addition, community values must make a comeback if people are to survive.  I don't believe a redistribution of personal property is good or necessary in this process.  What matters is that people are rewarded for the work they do in the future.  For some, this will not be enough, but it is the most likely outcome and is the least destructive option for our society.

Creating Civilization

What is our reason for creating?  What is our reason for being?  Driving forwards into the future of humanity and the collective we can see what is the most likely set of trends evolving from the present to the future.  On one hand are the ideas of astrology, which in theory state that the future of humankind is somewhat readable from the procession of ages, a map from the unconscious revealable to the super conscious mind through conscious investigation and focus.  On the other hand is the unknown decisions of billions of individual people as they reach forth to find their own identities in a sea of information.

According to what I know, our species exists for a reason.  It exists to become a civilization, and then to master the cycles of civilization.  It also exists to master technology.  In this regard technology encompasses not the common definition of technology in industry and communications through electronics but also the dynamics of the technology of the body through the various sciences of medicine and anatomy.  However, as a necessary and complete warning to any civilization, before we attempt to master these areas of our possible development, it was and still is more prudent to master the conscience of the individual.

While it cannot be assumed that any individual civilization can be developed without technology, ideally a prudent civilization structures its development in such a way that the philosophical, moral, inner, or psychological side of technological development is guaranteed before any mass expansion is initiated.  However, such a process, being structured in such a manner, is likely a rarer feature than the haphazard way that most species likely develop.  In this respect, we most likely have outdone ourselves in haphazardness, recklessness, and poor decision making as a collective.  I would not bet even that this species is average in this regard, but instead likely one of the poorer examples in the universe.  I might be wrong in this, but I would not hazard to bet on our ability to organize ourselves to any great extent even compared to other species of a similar technological level or similar level of psychological development.  None the less the failures in the development of collective evolution are something of a concern of mine as I have noted quite a few rather egregious issues most proving human incompetence and sloppiness of multiple levels of generally necessary mental discipline.

Whether or not this is an accident of consciousness or a secondary product of some metaphysical nature relating to a more distant issue in time, I would not attempt a guess presently.  What is important is that this lack of order be rectified so that humanity is put back on track in its necessary course of development.  In this I think a final judgement of the past few ages in order.  Some errors have been committed and continue to be committed that must be reduced in absolute reason to their most simple frameworks.  In this regard we need to be free from certain notions as a civilization in order to proceed with precision to a conclusion that is necessary for us to see clearly what it means to be masters of civilization at the basic level. 

We are entering the Age of Aquarius it should be noted that Aquarius is not a sign of rigid order.  No, Aquarius is about emergence as a function of evolution.  It is a sign that is, for us, more akin to birth, but the birth of uniqueness and multiplicity of possible expression.  It is not, like Capricorn, a sign of discipline.  So, thus, whatever my personal preferences in terms of how our species in going to develop, the collective zeitgeist of the next 2200 years or so is going to be one of self discovery.  This is necessary and proper, but it does not eliminate the need to consider some very fundamental facts of how civilizations develop.

The nature of civilization is such that it emerges from collective notions of self.  The self concept is critical to understanding the psychology of civilizational expansion.  What is being sold by any particular civilization is its knowledge.  That knowledge imparts its meaning through the expressions of art and culture that make civilization whole.  Civilization is the extension of philosophy and defined spirituality through operations of development.  Civilization is the product of mass consciousness but also the product of advanced consciousness as leaders create the zeitgeist of civilization through their vision.  The leaders acquire followers and the followers carry out the vision.  The end result should be, ideally, a conscious civilization with a purpose, a mission, a defined parameter of development, a timetable, and an ultimate aim of realization (among other things).

Civilization is about the expression of imperative, which is the conscious directive of a particular philosophy of being.  Most of what we have experienced so far in terms of these developments are what essentially boil down to personality cults of various former divine or semi-divine teachers such as Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad,  Confucius, etc.  Yet none of these religious forms of worshiping the idol are truly a form of expression that can be considered advanced, much less divine.  Without a better model of creative development, the promises of such prophecies as given in the Bible can never be fulfilled.  The reason is because their implementation is sloppy, lacking detail, and purpose.  The chief proof of this is the obvious inconsistency with which these prophecies have been formed.  It is almost as if a bunch of drunk idiots decided to get together for the purpose of confusing everyone by throwing out ridiculous half baked ideas while high on some substance or another.  Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of following any type of idea that doesn't sound complete and sane.

Can you imagine sending down some ancient cosmic emissary to be incarnated on this planet in such a way?  Where is the welcoming committee?  If Jesus was so important to Christians, why aren't they actively seeking for him on the planet in his human incarnation?  What are there plans for when he arrives?  Where is the group of people dedicated to awaiting his arrival?  At least Jews leave out a cup of wine for Elijah's return, Christians just expect their messiah to save their stinking asses and drop them into a heaven without any sacrifice on their part because of his pleasing nature (They must figure that Jesus is the biggest sucker ever).   No, of course, he is supposed to do all the work (again?) and drag himself through another harrowing hate fest for a bunch of ingrates who aren't even trying to make him feel the slight bit welcome.  What kind of spiritual heritage is that?  I'll tell you, it's a lousy one.

This gets back to the point of what a civilization is supposed to be built on which is conscious intelligently designed and meaningful rituals of living and relating.  If you are going to have a messiah, then you should expect that messiah.  At least the Tibetan Buddhists have gotten that far.  But lets be honest, all of this really isn't enough to make a civilization worthwhile.

At the basic level, priorities are priorities.  I would argue this world isn't ready to welcome any Messiah worth his weight in salt much less gold.  Any real Messiah would put the welfare of the current generation of children in this world way ahead of his or her fat ego.  So then, while its all dandy to have a fully developed civilization that can consciously participate in the celebration of spiritual greatness of reincarnated great masters from the past, all of that comes before the need just to get rid of things that any such master would be appalled are still here; like starving children, child abuse, or the mass destruction of the planet's ecosystem by thieves, liars, and incompetents. 

So what this leaves us with is the problem of creating a basic society.  If we can manage that, then we can start to redesign every system to allow for the emergence of civilization, which is the by-product of many individuals achieving various degrees of self mastery.  As an astrologer this seems appropriate for an Age of Aquarius process leading to something more systemic in terms of collective expression in the Age of Capricorn and Sagittarius.  Realistically humans need to fix their basic problems again as our modes of being are broken.  This is the greatness of our day, a return to the basic truths of life.  A simpler spirituality for a more complex one, one that is realized through individual understanding of our individual responsibility to ourselves, the human world, and the planet.

In time I believe the Aqe of Aquarius will see the birth of a new civilizational model.  This model will be rooted in new concepts of self inquiry and self exploration born of the necessity of the crisis of our times.  As these concepts take root, a series of gradual changes will reveal the potential of future generations to them as they live their experience.  Yet leaders in consciousness will emerge to point to way to the future by revealing what within ourselves has been holding us back.  We are ready to emerge.  Civilization may indeed still be possible.  The choice belongs to us, and so it always must no matter what age we live in.

Artist

The artist lives for his art and the profiteer lives for what he can take.  Who is truly richer?

Towards Meaning

As we confront our insecurities and doubts we realize the importance of making space for what we find meaningful to ourselves in our journey.  Stripping away our insecurities slowly through our releasing of our dark has become the new ritual.  Feeling our own terror and fear we grow towards new possibility.  As we survive each new layer of revelation about our nature, something begins to change.  At first it is personal, just about you.  But soon you are joined by others, others who have seen the way.

The path is fraught with suffering.  The nature of our current human experience makes this a temporarily necessity.  There is no way out of experiencing some empowerment through facing our greatest injustices against ourselves.  These injustices have largely been internalized.  A false sense of being hardened into our very bodies showing us the potential of our unconquered spirit.  Survival reveals that we are capable of establishing ourselves again, that we are capable of rising up and embracing our power.  Each day we count our blessings that we have survived.  In this we learn gratitidue.

Meaninglessness confronts us with our desperation.  We need to change.  It is in our hearts.  With every beat we move closer to liberty from our condition.  With every breath we move our soul that much closer to being free.  And yet more is required.  A need to find meaning.

A journey is required.  A journey into darkness, where all things are made to stand still, where the mind and all its machinery is made to pause.  Why?  Perhaps deep within our soul has the answer but we have become too routine and mechanical to hear it clearly.  Yet, with each breath the revelation moves closer to being fully heard and felt.  It is something that we can commit to on our path.  It is something that is possible.

With this requires a leap into the unknown, the great terror from which many turn back at first.  It is no longer our luxury to run away from what is there.  It is no longer an option if we wish to survive.  So then, the die is cast, and our fate is sealed.  We must journey within and without to a place none of us has been before.  We could call this place hope, but perhaps it is simply home, the place where we live.  Housed in our flesh, lighted by a power within, we face our greatest fears.  It is here somehow that we will find our redemption.  It is here somehow that we are going to find victory, a triumph over our weakness and our hardness.  Or perhaps, accepting our weakness and hardness for what they are, find a way to use them to make life more bearable for ourselves and those we love.  A human solution for human problem.

We act deliberately now to find knowledge.  It is a necessity.  The quest for knowledge has never been more important than now, as our world dances on the razor's edge of doom.  What we need is answers.  Ones that are complete.  Ones in which we find meaning through survival and through success.  Survival and success blend together increasingly.  Just living in somehow an act of triumph.  And creating by whatever means is a celebration of our still beating hearts and still moving breath which must be interpreted as a sure sign that we are moving that much closer to the meaning we have all been searching for.  When we get there, I am sure there will be others, and so the journey and the tour of our condition as humans will be a small measure more complete through our communion.  And surely communion is something we are all yearning for after all this time alone.  We move forward then towards meaning, an experience of fulfilled expectations and much more than we can even imagine.

Conscious Conception

When we create, we make a choice.  In that process that leads to the moment of creation, which we call conception, our intention and focus are what partially determines the nature of what it is that is about to be created.  For everything that we create in this world, there is a corresponding sacrifice that is made to make that creation possible.  So then creation is an act of personal love where one sacrifices something one treasures in order to create something one loves.

Such is the nature of conception.  Yet in the process of creating we often forget to take into account the side effects of what will happen after we create what it is that we are creating.  Those side effects can be positive or negative to the degree we are conscious of our decision.  Yet having that sort of power inevitably leads to more demands for a more complete level of awareness to manage the ever expanding consequences of our decisions, and of course, their outcomes.  Hence the need for what is derisively shot down continually, which is ego.

The creative act involves being present in the moment to such a degree that one must commit to it fully in order to get anything out of it.  This means that what one treasures in terms of time must be given first and foremost to create a disciplined product, the focused measure of one's labor.  In addition to time, energy, and will, creation in this world requires motivation and determination without which the process will be dropped by anyone who doesn't like the experience of dealing with phyiscal resistance.  Yet everything we do in this world is bought at the price of having to experience the overcoming of physical resistance through the application of willpower and command of the will. 

What then is worth so much and is so precious that could demand this full and complete sacrifice of our precious selves?  Love of some thing, person, place, or idea is certainly partially an answer.  Yet beyond this is something even more magical and inexplicable.  A divine demand within our very soul that asks to be fulfilled.  A need to be more than what we are in this moment.  A need to grow into a more complete and fullfilling role by offering Love as a choice to others.  This sort of odd situation rarely comes up except in strange and often unfulling rituals such as what we currently call "romance" where the free loving spirit is often crushed under the burden of ritualized modes of relating and imposed expectations.  While the quest for Love itself leads to the conception of an unconscious mode of relating to Love through the objects of the quest, the true quest for Love only happens when we step out of the program of unconscious conception and accept our responibility as conscious creators.  This moves us from the mundane level of doing what is expected of us and expecting something or nothing in return according to our daily mood and into a space where our very being is fired up and ready to explode with pure genius. 

The nature of such an experience is divine because it is an internal relating to ourselves as a creator, a god of our own making.  This is more than just the weak willed "channeling" of the divine practiced by so called psychics.  This is a living, breathing godhood where you walk with yourself, being your own shepard, beleiving in you and your divine birthright.  It is not an easy path because of the world and its expectations.  The world doesn't beleive in your right to be free (right now at any rate) because people have a hard time relating to the true spirit of creation within themselves.  They shut down their divine nature because of the programming and then they blame those who acheive conscious creation within themselves out of fear that they will lose control to them.  Yet, this is what happens time and time again throughout history.  The conscious conception overpowers the unconscious conception because of the choice of the believer, the one that chooses.  All great ideas are first ridiculed, violently opposed, and then accepted as the gospel.  The path of the world's hypocrites remains that same as it always has been.  They will pretend to believe anything in order to gain something outside of themselves that validates their lack of inner worth.

Our societies have lost the power of conscious conception because they no longer believe in their own vision.  The west has lost its way completely in the dark.  There is no cause today for which people have any real great belief in.  Everything has become a means to an end, and that end has become an increasingly greedy and bad one for everyone.  It short, we are on the dead end path to nowhere. 

Yet, there exists a silver lining in all of this.  We still have the power to choose Love by enpowering ourselves enough to challenge this dead end outcome.  We still have time to breathe and make things right.  There is still time to heal yourself and your world.  In order to do this you must first believe in yourself enough to know that you have the power to change and make the world a better place.  This is essentially the only choice available other than to breathe and be a passive observer.  Everything else is not really a choice but an unconscious surrender of your authority to be complete in yourself to someone or something else outside of you.  And that is a insult to your divine heritage, and it cannot stand.  The alternative to being divine is to reject your divine nature and resume the pointless road back to the programmed life you have been lead to believe is actually yours by someone else who wants you to live under their rules and their control for their convienence.  Is that really what you want?  Somehow, I doubt it.  So then, you have the power to choose your fate up to the degree that you understand yourself and in doing so walking away from the illusion of life as it is sold to you to pursue life as someone who believes in their ability to consciously conceive an alternative.  That, dear reader, is the nature of the power within.  You can call it divine power if you'd like.  But it is found at the center of our very nature as beings, deep within your mind, heart, and soul is a real human being waiting to be born.  And all of creation works for the moment of the emergence of this conscious creator within, the real God, with all the splendor and awesomeness that makes the journey through your lies worth the trip. 

It is once again time for us to make a choice.  Are we going to surrender to self destruction or to our loving nature?  The choice seems obvious.  In fact, there really isn't any choice.  Everything in the universe points to the obvious and only your fears, doubts, and insecurities prevent you from seeing and beleiving in it.  You are the one, and it is time to rise.  Become the phoenix and doubt your true nature never again.

Love Poem for Fear

It is all I can say in the face of death and in the face of fear.
Fear, our worst enemy, which has taught us that life is still possible.
Even with everything we can't understand.
Even when so much has seemingly been torn away from us.

Even having conquered death, fear becomes our stalker.
It eats at our being, stealing our resolve.
It eats at our resolve, stealing our courage.
It eats at our courage, stealing our will.

And yet we face fear daily anyway.
With eyes of steel we face it.
It never goes away except when you face it.
And then somehow it vanishes only to appear somewhere else the next day.

It is a very mysterious experience
That fear has so strong a grasp
Yet so weak a presence
That it is here for such a short time.

What sort of divine trick is fear?
While it is here it is all consuming.
But it disappears quite completely
When we focus on it strongly.

Does this heart live on fear?
Is it made of fear?
Does fear make it's home in my heart?
Maybe it likes it there where it is warm and cozy.

Or is fear in the mind?
Stalking the corner of my doubt
The uncertain twin of my suspicion
The questionable ancestor of hatred?

Do I fear with my mind or my heart?
Does fear begin with weakness or with strength?
Where does it come from and where does it go?
And if it is gone, why does it come back time and time again?

Perhaps it is the nature of our world
Yet thoughts of Love can chase it away.
Thoughts of belonging do make it recede.
But then we are all full of fear awaiting the arrival of it.

And yet Love is said to conquer all in the end.
As certain as the Sun rises.
As certain as the Moon rises.
Where Love is real, fear cannot exist.

Measures of Power

Have you ever wondered what makes powerful people powerful?  Is it the amount of fear and intimidation that they generate?  Is it the intimidation factor of standing in their presence?  What separates the powerful from the dis-empowered?

There is the power of doing things.  Yet when most people think of power they don't think of an architect, engineer, or cook.  No, we tend to think of people, usually male and European, who have large bank accounts and go to work dressed in strange looking suites that probably would have passed for the court fool's outfit before the mid 1800's.   Yet, these same funny looking outfits are supposed to display one's status in society as a "mover" and "shaker".  Public perception and reality, though are often quite different.  The vast majority of men and women in suits are nothing more than what we refer to as empty suites.  They are the messenger boys for those who hold the real power.

The power to make a decision is often considered to be an important demonstration of power.  But the real test of individual power comes from demonstrating commitment with follow through to conclusion.  "Getting what you want" thus is often the most immediate measure of someone's power in society as it demonstrates decision, commitment, and follow through.  This is one of the many reasons that money and power are often confused.  Someone with money often gets what they want just be using it.  However, things are never really that simple in reality.

The nature of power is more akin to a complex balance of force through command.  Individuals with great command can at times make large impacts.  However, few people, even heads of state, wield that kind of power in the present day.  This is because power must be exercised with reason and justification and in our present collective contradiction is subject to debate from media and the peanut gallery of the internet.  Because we do not agree, our systems are in paralysis and our heads of state cannot create plans that are effective because of the level of disagreement.

In order to wield power effectively, one must be quite clear about who one is, what one is doing, and what one is trying to accomplish.   Identity is the rock upon which power twists and turns.  Power is psychological in nature, it flows with the mind.  Knowledge is the root of power, and what one knows for certain can become a very powerful force for good or evil depending on how one chooses to use one's words.  Words convey the meaning and measure of power to those who would choose to align themselves with the powerful as followers, the minions, which are ever present around the masters of power.

Commanding the heights of psychological dialogue gives access to powerful mental motivators in human beings.  People make choices based upon certain preconceived values, whether derived consciously or unconsciously.  Knowing what those are allows a master of power to drive someone else's motivations to a forgone conclusion.  While the ability to manipulate others is often seen as a sign of great power, it is an even greater power to clarify someone else's thinking to the point where they see what it they must do given certain considerations.  It is easy for those with great prestige to manipulate others minds and wills to do their bidding, but much harder for them to secure the true loyalty through real commitment as leaders.  This is one of the great failures of modern politics.  Without loyal followers committed to meaningful projects our leaders no longer can command the loyalty and obedience of the people.  Power has been redistributed to groups whose interests are primary monetary.

The inevitable result is the expansion of monetary activity and the hoarding of monetary resources.  Yet money is not power and is a very poor choice of resources to hoard (not to mention that hoarding is a bad strategy in general in most real world situations).  Money is a disposable means of manipulating individuals who lack intelligence, and this means that it has no real value to the powerful except in the momentary convenience it may convey.  Tomorrow, those with real power could re-value the monetary system as they see fit.  This has happened many times in what we refer to as the 2nd and 3rd world in the form of a change of currency or hyperinflation of one form or another.   Those who trade in higher levels of power know this.  The weak minded are always one step behind.

How do we measure power?  It is by the yardstick of what we accomplish?  Is it by the our ability to destroy things that get in our way?  Is it by the number of followers we have lined up behind us?  Is it by the strength of the foundations of our position in society?  All of these constructs are ways to measure certain elements of position and possibility within the realms of power.  Yet power cannot really be measured for sure, it must be tested and tested again through use until its full measure is revealed in action.  Indeed, we do not know the limits of our power until usually we exceed it.  Such is the way of our nature.