May 31, 2021

Jail Break

People who still think they are free just haven't ventured far enough to discover the end of their leash.

Writer and futurist, Robert Anton Wilson, knew about the illusion of freedom. He did not live long enough to see the most recent indignities done to the supposed rights and freedoms of humanity, but would not have been surprised.

“On a planet that increasingly resembles one huge Maximum Security prison", he said back in the day, "the only intelligent choice is to plan a jail break.” 

Every decent jail break requires a plan. Preferably one with a high degree of success.

The plan that yields the best chance of success is the practice of simple living. When you have reduced your desires to only that which is essential, beautiful, and beneficial, the system can have no hold on you.

Or less of a hold. 

Prison Planet is so all-pervasive it is difficult to completely escape the grasp of its slimy dastardly digits.

However, when one discovers that it is possible to do away with about 80% of consumer life and still have everything one needs to be healthy and content, total escape is imminent.

The intelligent choice is freedom, and the way to get it is to live as simply and happily as possible.

That's the jail break. 

Cakes with files baked in not required.

May 30, 2021

Hummingbirds: The Joy Of Creation

Every mid-May the hummingbirds return to our area, and when they get here, our feeder is out to greet them. Because of these busy, tiny birds, it is a joyful time of year.

The males come back first, setting up territories that they vigorously defend. Then female hummers return, and after that - babies. The cycle continues, and it is good.

Our feeder can be seen from our kitchen sink, and when we are cooking or doing dishes there is endless entertainment just outside the window.

It is said that hummingbirds open the heart. 

When we connect with hummingbirds, we delight in the sheer joy of living. 

Life is a wonderland of sensuous delights, and we exist in its beauty, delighting in spring flowers, aromas, early sunrises, and the taste of fresh wholesome foods. 

Hummingbirds remind us to laugh and enjoy creation, to appreciate the magic of being alive and the beauty of nature all around us.

Sure the world can be a messed up place, but that should not blind us to the infinite beauty around us at all times.

This is the vision, and gift, of heart-opening Hummingbirds.

May 25, 2021

The True Costs Of Consumerism

A study found that if corporations were held accountable for the damage they do, most of them would no longer be profitable. 

Unless they passed those costs on to consumers.

Today when we buy things we do not pay true cost. If we did, prices would have to factor in all the environmental costs and other externalities. 

Everything would get more expensive as we became responsible for the full extent of the things we buy.

Presently, no one is charged for the demonstrated damage done by the products we buy across their life cycle. 

A movement is building to push our system toward charging the true cost of all products and services. 

If it is true that overconsumption rather than overpopulation is the problem, then taking responsibility for the full effects of our consumption will help manage it more realistically.

Some say everything is too cheap because no one is paying the true cost of anything. 

And no one is, except future generations.

#TrueCost (Adbusters)

"Once we add on the environmental cost of carbon emissions, the cost of building and maintaining roads, the medical costs of accidents, the noise and the aesthetic degradation of urban sprawl, your private automobile will cost you around $100,000, and a tank of gas $150. You’ll still be free to drive all you want, but instead of passing the costs on to future generations, you’ll pay up front. 

Plenty of people will howl and moan – at least in the beginning. A bitter meme war will be fought about how true cost disproportionally punishes the poor. 

But once true-cost pricing is in place, car use will plunge and bicycle use will soar. City skies will be clearer. Breathing easier. Ride sharing will spike. People will live closer to work. Demand for monorails, bullet trains, subways and streetcars will surge. 

A paradigm shift in urban planning will calm the pace of urban living. Cities will be built for people, not cars. 

Catastrophic weather events like hurricanes, floods and superfires will subside. The spectre of global warming won’t feel so ominous anymore."


May 23, 2021

Going Back To Abnormal

If things "go back to normal", it will do nothing to raise humanity's collective IQ.

If going back to normal means nuclear energy, pipelines, increasing energy consumption, and enjoying a good old fashioned economic boom, we will only increase global ecological collapse. 

Whose fault is it? We want someone to blame.

I blame glitches and limitations in the human genome, as well as a little thing called physics. 

You can't beat the laws of physics. 

It is impossible to have infinite growth in a finite system, and no amount of lies, wishes and denial can change that.

That is why the past year has been so exciting. 

There have been many positive effects resulting from humanity stopping its incessant consumption and movement for once, and these results are hard to deny. 

Animals returning to places they hadn't been for a long time were celebrated at first, but the msm quickly returned to regular scheduled fear programming.

During the pandemic savings rates have gone up. People are paying off debt because they have found ways to pass the time without spending money. 

We have been spending more time learning how to bake and cook our own wholesome foods.

People have been traveling to far away destinations less, and are enjoying their own back yards more.  

The world has been using less energy, and it has had an immediate and beneficial effect. 

The planet's largest mountain range, formerly shrouded in smoggy haze, was revealed. We saw the beauty that was hid by the externalities of a system gone wild. 

Will we learn from this historic opportunity? Will we take advantage of the moment to do our own personal reset?

If not, and the planet chooses willful ignorance and a return to normal, we won't double our IQ, and we won't be getting any money back when it all backfires.

That is why, when this is all over, I am going back to abnormal. 

I invite everyone to join me there.

May 20, 2021

Who Owns Whom?

Diogenes-approved downsizing.

Much of a person's life is spent purchasing, returning, taking care of, cleaning, putting away, moving, and getting rid of things.

If we saw objects as owning us rather than the other way around, we would try to own as little as possible. 

What would one want in such a Diogenesian life? 

Only the most essential of possessions, those things that were actually doing something for us rather than languishing in a dusty forgotten storage locker or box in the basement.

Our relationship with things can become abusive when  our link to those objects is harmful rather than beneficial. That describes much of what is sold in today's marketplace.

This is what happens when they spend over one trillion dollars a year to mind control the population by reminding them they are nothing without Products A - Z.

Now they, and all their useless stuff, own more and more of us. 

They promised that personal freedom would be attained through unlimited consumption, but their plan has only resulted in folly, pretence, vanity, self-deception, and artificial human conduct.

Diogenes maintained that all the artificial growths of society were incompatible with happiness, and that morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature.

Deep in our genetic material is a desire to live lightly. On a quiet day one can hear it whispering its invitation.

Its promise is harmony, contentment, and freedom.

May 13, 2021

May All Be Free From Suffering And Close To Happiness

One thing you can say for sure is that there is much suffering throughout the human family. 

A lot of the suffering is completely fabricated, and much is perpetrated by humans on humans.

There is also much suffering perpetrated by humans on non-human animals.

What we need is a concentrated effort to end the suffering that we make for ourselves and other living things. 

It begins with a mindset that is conducive to believing that suffering can be ended, and it can, according to many traditions.

A prayer for the freedom from suffering for all beings is a good place to start toward developing this mindset.

“For the power and the truth of this practice, may all sentient beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. 
May all sentient beings be close to happiness and the causes of happiness.”

This is the traditional formula used for the last ten centuries by the practitioners of the the Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhist school to dedicate their efforts – big or small – to the greater well being of all living things. 

I am imagining a world where the human family makes the greater well being of ALL living things its major priority in everything it does.

Compared to today, it would be an unrecognizably peaceful and beautiful place to live.

In a free society such as ours, some are guilty. But all are responsible. Indifference to evil is worse than the evil itself. 

We can make our lives matter if we act with compassion and loving kindness toward all living things all the time.

May 7, 2021

The Answer

Feeling down?

Plant a garden.

Want to save money on food?

Plant a garden.

Wish to be more self-reliant?

Plant a garden.

Reconnecting with Nature?

Plant a garden.

Searching for enjoyable exercise outside?

Plant a garden.

Desire to express your creativity?

Plant a garden.

Sticking close to home and looking for an adventure in the yard?

Plant a garden.

Nurturing your family and community where you live?

Plant a garden. 


May 5, 2021

Paying Attention

We used to have a stainless steel thermal mug with a large sticker on it. The sticker read, 

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention".

That mug stayed with us for a long time before passing on to someone else, but the saying on it which grew more apt with each passing year stayed with us permanently.

Outrage is a good place to start. Some say that justice will not be served until the unaffected are as outraged as the affected, but who among us are unaffected these days?

Having said that, it is hard as well as counterproductive to just be outraged all the time. That anger has to be translated into action.

Lately we thought of the mug that was the message, and challenged ourselves to come up with updated sayings for mugs or bumpers or refrigerator doors everywhere.

Warning: for some of these you will need a large mug or bumper or fridge door. Brevity comes in handy when it comes to quippy sayings, but it can be a challenge.

"If you're not preparing for a major piece of shit to hit a big fan sometime real soon, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not against war, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not questioning everything you've ever been taught, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not getting off mainstream narratives, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not dealing with your own stuff first, you're not paying attention." 

"If you're not simplifying your life, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not growing a garden, you're not paying attention."

"If you're not living harmoniously with your neighbours and Nature (which are the same thing), you're not paying attention."

If you made it this far in this post, you must be paying attention. You might be outraged, too.

My hope is that we can move past our righteous anger toward actions that build healthier states of mind and a just world that works for all.

Humanity's continued existence depends on each of us.