“Please consider yourself, now and henceforth, and no matter what anyone else ever asks of you, free to do any damned thing you want that doesn’t hurt someone else unnecessarily”
–Lady Sally McGee (Spider Robinson)
Another one of those quotes that not much has to be said about it. In some ways to me it is our self-evident right, in others it is more freedom than most of us ever feel we have.
I’d like to think its how I lived my life. I left home when I wanted to explore, I went where and how I wanted to. I got myself into tricky situations and extricated myself, often without help.
I freed myself from people who wanted me to believe what they believed and people who wanted me to be their idea of me rather than who I was. I might not be sure of who I was but each time I learned a bit more about who I wasn’t.
Of course it is always that last part, the part about not hurting others unnecessarily that tends to be the tricky part. It takes awhile to gain that discernment over the unnecessarily part and even longer to realize that someone else can include myself as well. Still gradually I learned it and found out as I’ve gone along that each part of the statement gets tested. I guess that’s true of us all.
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Magickal Child by G A Rosenberg
Vision Play Mandala by G A Rosenberg
“I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.”
–Caine (Kung Fu)
“And still I will have told you next to nothing. For Shara sought more than freedom—she sought meaning. Mass was, above all, a spiritual event—its title pun paralleling its thematic ambiguity between the technological and the theological. Shara made the human confrontation with existence a transitive act, literally meeting God halfway. I do not mean to imply that her dance at any time addressed an exterior God, a discrete entity with or without white beard. Her dance addressed reality, gave successive expression to the Three Eternal Questions asked by every human being who ever lived.
Her dance observed her self, and asked, How have I come to be here?
Her dance observed the universe in which self existed, and asked, How did all this come to be here with me?
And at last, observing her self in relation to its universe, Why am I so alone?”
–Spider and Jeanne Robinson, Stardance
Upon reading the above question a friend of mine asked me: “Isn’t knowing the answers essentially the same as understanding the questions? It’s sort of a more obscure, mystical way of wording things, but how could you do one without the other?” I want to sit with this for a bit.
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Through the Warp by G A Rosenberg
Space Flower by G A Rosenberg
” All people are born potentially telepathic—but that if we’re ever going to get any message-traffic capacity, we must first shovel the shit out of the Communications Room.”
— Spider Robinson
An interesting thread came up today in a couple of FB groups I was in. Something a friend had posted reminded me of a story by Spider Robinson that I read.
“I know, son, I know. The Second Commandment of Leary: ‘Thou shalt not alter thy brother’s consciousness without his consent.’ So how about retroactive consent?”
“The aftereffects. I’ve administered the drug to blind volunteers. They knew only that they were sampling a new psychedelic of unknown effect. In each case I gave a preliminary ‘attitude survey’ questionnaire with a few buried questions. In fourteen cases I satisfied myself that the subject would probably not have taken the drug if he or she had known its effect. In about three-quarters of them I damn well knew it. The effects were the same for all but one. All fourteen of them experienced major life upheaval—usually irreversible and quite against their will—while under the effects of the drug. They all became violently angry at me after they came down. Then all fourteen stormed off to try and put their lives back together. Thirteen of them were back within a week, asking me to lay another hit on them.”
Zack’s eyes widened. “Addictive on a single hit. Jesus.”
“No, no!” George said exasperatedly. “It’s not the drug that’s addictive, dammit. It’s the truth that’s addictive. Every one of those people came back for, like, three-four hits, and then they stopped coming by. I checked up on the ones I was in a position to. They had just simply rearranged their lives on solid principles of truth and honesty and begun to live that way all the time. They didn’t need the drug anymore. Every damn one of them thanked me. One of them fucked me, sweetly and lovingly—at my age.”
– From “Satan’s Children” by Spider Robinson.
Something I heard a while back;
A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me the question “If you could have two wishes granted by an all-powerful, all good, all knowing genie, what would they be?”
I thought for a few seconds and then answered “I don’t need two wishes. I only need one.”
My friend argued with me briefly that, based on a complex logical analysis, I really did need two wishes, the first of which was to set up the conditions for the second one.
I repeated, “I don’t need two wishes. I only need one.”
He replied, “Okay, what is it?”
“I would wish for what is best.”
He continued to try to find reasons why his analysis was superior to mine. To each of these I replied “Would the results of your wish be better than the results of mine?”
“Yes. And here’s why…”
I patiently explained that the results of his wish could not possibly be better than mine, because I wished only for what was best. By definition, nothing could be better than what is best.
He countered that with “But what if what is best isn’t what is best for me?”
That was a little bit more difficult than the original question of what to wish for in the first place, but I shortly realized the answer wasn’t much more complicated: “Then you should change so that what is best is best for you.”
I believe this is within the reach of each of us, and if we accept the challenge, the world will be a different and better place.
–From Vajrah Krishna, Possibility Magazine:
The story and the quote have been circling around inside. I reread the story and it occurred to me that what the first person asked for was not HIS best but THE best, an objective utopia if you please.
When his friend asks what if the objective best is not his personal best, he is told to change to that objective standard.
When I realized that various debates started to take place in my head all about the sovereignty of the individual vs the collective will etc (all the usual suspects) when it occurred to me that that argument in this case is without substance. Oh it would be true, if it was one person or a group of being’s view of what was best or even if it was the genii’s idea of what was best but that is not what the wish was, it was what was Best. Objective.
Then I started wondering what that objective best would look like. What qualities would people have, what would the basis of the society be (more specifically than just those two words)
Then I remembered the story Satan’s Children by Spider Robinson and I thought he was onto something. At the very least THE best of all Possible worlds would be one where honesty reigned not only between people but self-honesty (total).
Could poverty or inequality happen in a world where honesty reigned? Not that I could see. With honesty comes justice.
With honesty also to my mind comes empathy. From my experience, empathy is a natural element of the human psyche and it takes a lot of self-talk and interference to turn it off. (school systems and commercial TV have worked years on it)
Along with empathy, let’s add other elements that seem to be repressed by most modern societies. Curiosity and Spirituality among them
What do you think?
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Cosmic Mandala by G A Rosenberg
Eye of The Storm
“That’s the right way to get telepathic:
walking on eggshells, with the awareness that a mistake could put a knot on your own skull. It’s dark in there. So what ends up happening half the time is, people with sensitive areas they don’t want to talk about get so tired of watching people back away from them on eggshells that they say the hell with it, and cut loose of whatever hangup it was. The other half of the time, at least nobody ends up feeling violated.”
In another quote that unfortunately I couldn’t find tonight, Spider suggests that the way to become telepathic is first to shovel all the shit out of the communication room and then crank empathy up as far as it can go. I can understand some fear arising for people at the thought of becoming telepathic of having your minds and hearts open books that anyone can read. Would it shake up relationships, business practices, ways of life, yeah but each of us would also shed a whole bunch of coiled up anxiety all at once. Not only would we be saying we love each other, we’d be meaning it. I don’t believe it is possible to hate a person once you’ve been inside their heads and their hearts. Seems to me a whole lot of forgiveness would be happening. I see a lot of self-forgiveness happening to. Little by little I’ve been working hard at making my head a nice place to hang out in. After all I’m hoping for guests one day. You’re all invited. 🙂 Love, G
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Strange Night by Gary A Rosenberg
““This is what it is to be human: to see the essential existential futility of all action, all striving — and to act, to strive. This is what it is to be human: to reach forever beyond your grasp. This is what it is to be human: to live forever or die trying. This is what it is to be human: to perpetually ask the unanswerable questions, in the hope that the asking of them will somehow hasten the day when they will be answered. This is what it is to be human: to strive in the face of the certainty of failure. This is what it is to be human: to persist.”
Part of the persistence Spider talks about is how we can pick ourselves up when we’ve fallen. Repeatedly. Over and Over. My mother deified this ability. She called it her Molly after Molly Brown, the character Debbie Reynolds played in the movie “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. When she told me this (it was a dark time in my life and she told me I could borrow her Molly if I needed to) she referred to the song”Pick myself up , Dust myself off and start all over again”. It took me years to find out that that song actually came from another movie. Still the idea is sound. Thanks Mom. 🙂 . Namaste, G
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Eyesis Veiled by G A Rosenberg
Radiant by G A Rosenberg
“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
So ends the Mayan calendar and so ends one of the most challenging months of my life. Yet as Spider Robinson said at the beginning of one of his stories, “The ending is the beginning of something always”. I greet this new beginning with gratitude and awe. After all each moment can be seen as the beginning of a new age. May this one bring new shifts in consciousness. May it bring new experiences and new potentials to love deeper, more often and better. Also, may there be new challenges to help us grow and evolve still further. I feel so blessed in my life and wish the same for all of you. Namaste
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Stargate by G A Rosenberg
The Ending is the beginning of Something Always by G A Rosenberg