Saturday, February 12, 2005

I'm Looking for the Same Old Place ...

Oh. You must mean the Old Same Place, Kate.
It's out back. Here's the key.

(Firesign Theatre - The Further Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye)

Having pulled the apple streusel muffins out of the oven, and sent Mr. Keys off to earn his buck-three-eighty for the day, I now put three dimes into Catherwood's time machine, hit myself over the head with the requisite bottle of champagne (references, "Nick Danger" LOL!) ... and go back to June 17, 2004. The place? The All Spin Zone, Sector R of the Blogosphere, Happy Planet, Milky Way Galaxy. (Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning) My, my, my. How tempus doth fugit while we're busy having fun. This bent Einsteinian passage of time is a source of endless giggles to me, but I digress. Loose associations are the curse of the "thinking class". I wrote this piece six months ago and am updating it a bit for "now".

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Reality. It's a Concept Thing, a Neurology Thing, a Quantum Thing.

How many of us have asked the question or a variant of the question: How is it possible that so many people seem "not" to get what the Bush Misadministration, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or the War on Terra is all about? That theme with variations is like a splinter in my mind.

I think I have one answer. I'm sure it's not the only answer, which is why I said "one". This thread requires reading without any of the gratification that comes from clicking on links. I've been percolating this in my brain for a few days, (always a bad sign) and have just now sat myself down to put it all into some kind of order.

The next quoted and paraphrased material comes from an out-of-print book by Sonia Johnson ... radical feminist, candidate for President of the USA (1984) ... her book, "Wildfire".

I tell a story first, the one Sonia told, but one that others have told before she or I told it.

"Several hundred years ago, Magellan and his men sailed into a harbor in the Tierra del Fuego islands in their tall ships, put down their anchors, and rowed ashore in rowboats. A few days later, the shaman called islanders together and she said, "I'm going to tell you something preposterous, so get ready. Those men couldn't have come across all that open sea in the little boats they landed on our beach in. That means -- and this is the preposterous part -- that there have to be big big boats out there in the harbor." Everyone turned to look -- and got goose bumps; all they could see was the shimmering blue water. "Really?" they asked. "Really," she answered.

Do you ask how it is that the Tierra del Fuegans could not see the ships, with their white sails sparkling in the sun? The ships were so "real" after all.

But, they were not real to those who had no place for them in their world view. They could not see them because reality is what people expect to see in the "harbor". Reality is what we believe we will see when we look there, what we think is possible, what we have been told to believe is true, very strong, inevitable, unchangeable, irrevocable. Reality is what we are taught to think a god plunked down in front of us and we have no choice but to learn to live with the best we can. It is called "natural".

So then... reality is an internal construct, defined and controlled by the dominant group. It's in the moment we internalize the propaganda that "reality" comes to live in us. All of our other interactions with the "reality" come from that starting place.

This is one answer to why people cannot see how a smiling, glad-handing politician is not good for them, and their nation. The "not good" part of it all is simply not a part of their "reality". Which is of course why it is pointless argue any of it with anyone. In the end, we can only see something new if we create it within ourselves first. We must see, know, feel that there is another something better than what is presented to us as "reality".

I'm not going to get over it - the many disconnects. I've spent all of my life thinking of more than one kind of something better. I will not be a part of the blindness of those who cannot see the tall ships in the harbor, and what lies beyond. Again, going to-to-toe with someone on their cherished and endogenous notions on the "reality" is an exercise in futility, unless that person has already done the necessary prep work in their own mind. I try not to do it. Period. It only makes the crazy-making more painful. Only moments and events that are perspective and synapse jolting can change someone's firmly held worldview. As my baby sister would say... It is what it is.

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(Cue the organist) We're back! We're back! Six months gone and it seems like only a minute. Time travel is like that, I'm told. The lovely parting gift for risking your very DNA in Catherwood's rickety contraption is this piece found at "Mothers Against the Draft" -- Ron Paul's: What If It Was All A Big Mistake?