Tuesday, August 24, 2004

tune in, turn on, turn on

i started reading a book by timothy leary this afternoon entitled, change your brain. i think leary was a genuis. he figured some good stuff out. i think he tumbled to what is going on around here.

some examples -- he notes in this book that:

Culture is the Game Master

"Cultural stability is maintained by preventing people from seeing that the roles, rules, goals, rituals, language, and values of society are game structures. Cultural institutions encourage the delusion that games have inevitable givens, involving unchangeable laws of behavior...it is treason not to play the nationaliality game, the racial game, the religious game (p.20)."

exposing these games for what they are can be very, very frightening for both those that are doing the exposing and those that are recieving the exposing. we like our games, find safety, and reassurance in them. we don't want them taken away from us.

curiously, what he found through his research (and it was quite scientific at the beginning) was that when the games were exposed on an individual level (he calls a person a "human singularity" -- brilliant, IMO), what was left was, "...the uncensored cortex, activated, alert, and open to new realities, new imprints (p.22)." this sounds to me like that which many are looking for -- freedom, unbridled energy, awareness, wonder. reminds me of a blinking cursor --"whom shall we be today?"

i also realized that much of what i attributed (and attribute today) solely to my sociological understanding of things (when I was actively taking psychedelics twenty plus years ago) was really a combination of psychedelic experience made sense of sociologically. thank god for that, no telling what i would have figure out if i had been studying psychology or economics!!!

not advocating mind-altering substance use, but am advocating mind alteration. the one thing that psychedelics did do was break the routine of the socially-conditioned patterns of thinking, responding, being. i do think that this occurs though other means, too, not just substance use. what is there is important, not one way of getting there. i knew some people that were terrified of what was there -- the lack of social conditioning, the realization of how false most social interaction is, the superficiality of it all, yet the stability of it all, too. exposing its tentativeness, and contrivedness can be deeply discomforting.

so, I do like tuning in to what/who we really are, turning on to the potential that is there, and turning others on to that same potential.

finally, for me, psychedelia meets positive, liberating social change work.

coulda, shoulda, woulda

this whole Kerry in Vietnam and the kind of injuries he received, under hostile fire or not could be resolved pretty easily, if mainstream news folk had any stones. let's look at the facts and then ask the most salient question...

Kerry volunteered and went to Vietnam
Bush volunteered and went to the Texas Air National Guard

"Mr. President, one question sir. Ah, why didn't you volunteer to go to Vietnam instead of the Texas Air National Guard?"

Friday, August 20, 2004

sociologist predicts the future!!!!

Recall a couple of weeks ago I posted a comparison between the 9/11 commission report of a system failure and the 94 incidents of prisoner abuse as individual acts and I commented 1) how I thought it was odd that one was a systemic failure and the other just random acts of depraved individuals? Well, today, in the Wash Post, there is an article, the title of which is:

Abu Ghraib Probe Points to Top Brass

(article here, but you have to register with them: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17092-2004Aug19?language=printer)

And discusses the extent to which the entire SYSTEM was wacky based on the preliminary findings of a 9,000 page report by the Army. Hmmm, I wonder how it was that I could have drawn that conclusion after only scant public evidence, and it took the Army 9,000 pages to figure that out? Yes, it is that sociological imagination at work!

2) I also commented that it seemed like the farther up the Washington food chain one was, the lesser the likelihood that any kind of sanctions would occur. There is evidence that supports this hypothesis in the same article! I note the following:

“It widens the scope of culpability from seven MPs who have been charged with abuse to include nearly 20 low-ranking soldiers who could face criminal prosecution in military courts. No Army officers, however, are expected to face criminal charges. Officials also said that the report implicates five civilian contractors in the abuse, and that Army officials plan to recommend that their cases be sent to the Justice Department for possible prosecution in civilian courts.”

I am sure that if convicted, both groups of people (military and civilians) will receive some kind of sanction; I, however, would not want to be in the civilian shoes, as I think there is a big difference between serving time in a military institution and serving time in a state/federal one. Different standards for the same acts.

“…justice for all…” and all that…

Thursday, August 19, 2004

resonating thoughts...

the present is always awaiting input/design -- we can either respond to the present consciously or unconsciously -- it awaits patiently, it has all the time in the world...literally.