Sunday, February 7, 2021

"A Strange Game"

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."
"War Games", 1984

"A Strange Game" (Part One)
by Jim Quinn

“Those who make peaceful revolution 
impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” 
- John F. Kennedy

“You never change things by fighting the 
existing reality. To change something, build a 
new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” 
- Buckminster Fuller

"The takeover of the country by an amalgamation of bad characters representing fascist corporatism, collectivism, billionaire oligarchs, social media tyrants, pandemic peddlers, and Deep State snake oil surveillance state salesmen has marked a turning point for the country. Battle lines are being drawn, a propaganda war is already being waged, enemies are preparing for conflict, rage is rising, and the country is headed towards some level of dissolution.

Events since the inception of the release of the China virus from the Wuhan bio-weapon lab, have been accelerating towards an epic struggle between those constituting the true power in the country and those they consider deplorable and undeserving of respect or a voice in how the country is governed. The shadowy figures behind the curtain of Bernays’ invisible government have revealed themselves and no longer fear the plebs they rule over, as their sociopathic hubris has convinced themselves they are invincible.
They have been emboldened by the success they have achieved in engineering a takeover of the government through weaponizing a flu to coerce politicians into shutting down the nation; utilizing propaganda to induce the majority of Americans to cower in fear from a virus that is highly non-lethal (99.7% survival rate) to anyone under 80; destroying hundreds of thousands of small businesses while enriching mega-corporations; successfully rigging a presidential election through mail-in ballot fraud and vote machine machinations; provoking a fake race crisis using BLM and ANTIFA useful idiots; profiting to the tune of trillions from the Fed money printing operation; suppressing free speech and medical truths about the virus through social media censorship; setting up Trump supporters as dangerous insurrectionists with the Capital farce, subsequent white supremacist storyline, and militarization of Washington DC to complete the false narrative; and now having their empty vessel pretend president signing executive orders to pull the country hard left; with Supreme Court packing, DC and Puerto Rico statehood on the docket; and Domestic Terrorism legislation to make all Trump supporters enemies of the state.

The overlords think throwing $600 at the plebs every six months, while allowing them a pittance of unemployment crumbs, will keep them sedated as long as they have their iGadgets to keep them distracted. The unholy triumvirate of Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Gov are generating tens of billions by peddling a DNA altering experimental rushed vaccine, that isn’t really a vaccine and doesn’t really keep you from getting Covid or spreading it further. We also don’t know the long-term consequences of this “medicine”. And it seems the triumvirate is doing their best to cover up the adverse reactions being reported, miscarriages and numerous deaths of nursing home patients shortly after getting the jab.

The blizzard of lies about the effectiveness of face diapers and lockdowns from “medical experts”, “journalists”, corporate media propagandists, and government apparatchiks has been relentless. These fabricators bloviate about following the science while ignoring the facts proving masks and lockdowns DO NOT WORK and ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine DO WORK. The level of deceit and deception being applied by those in power is drastically increasing the anger and rage in the country towards authority.
The country is already at war, even though many don’t know it, and the Deep State/Oligarchs are clearly winning. This begs the question, how can you defeat an enemy who controls the presidency, congress, mainstream media, social media, major cities, major states, the military, FBI, CIA, DOJ, and the courts? The truth is they think they’ve already won the war and will dictate the terms we will be forced to live by.

But hubris, arrogance and pride are always the Achilles heel of sociopaths, believing they know what is best for humanity while inflicting their lunatic solutions upon their subjects. The feeling among millions of Americans is they have either been abandoned, stabbed in the back, or robbed. They aren’t exactly sure who to blame, who to trust, or who to fight, but they are trying to figure out the best course of action, given the current circumstances.

I was reminded of the 1983 movie – "WarGames" – while we were still in the midst of the real Cold War with Russia, when nuclear annihilation was actually a possibility. Considering those running the show have been pimping the fake Russiagate charade for the last four years and continue to provoke Putin, the message of the movie has never been more applicable. We are surely in a strange game, where all outcomes are likely to be horrible for all the players. In the movie, the United States nuclear launch control is given to a NORAD supercomputer known as WOPR (War Operation Plan Response).

It is programmed to continuously run war simulations, learn over time, and concoct the best plan of attack if nuclear retaliation is needed. A young computer hacker unwittingly hacks into WOPR and causes the computer to think the Soviet Union has launched missiles at the United States. The humans attempt to regain control over WOPR, but it has learned how to bypass the manual controls put into place to avoid an accidental nuclear war. The computer obtains the launch codes and starts a countdown to a massive missile launch that would start World War III and result in the end of humanity.

The creator of the code and the hacker realize they have to teach WOPR why launching the missiles would be futile. They direct the computer to play tic-tac-toe against itself. This results in a long string of draws, forcing the computer to learn the concept of futility and no-win scenarios. WOPR obtains the launch codes, but before launching, it cycles through all the nuclear war scenarios it has devised, finding they all result in draws as well.

Having discovered the concept of mutual assured destruction (“WINNER: NONE”), the computer tells them it has concluded nuclear war is “A STRANGE GAME” in which “the only winning move is not to play.” It’s amazing how a movie was able to capture the enormous power and extraordinary danger of computer algorithms decades before the country had been hijacked by Big Tech companies using the power of their computer platforms and manipulating algorithms to hijack elections, censor opinions contrary to the approved Deep State narrative, and creating conflict through fake news and engineered storylines.
I, along with millions of the new resistance, consider Basement Biden an illegitimate president, installed as a Chinese controlled Manchurian candidate to complete the final shredding of the Constitution and surrender to globalist oligarchs. In Biden’s case, he’s more like a Senile-churian candidate who will sign anything his handlers place in front of him and pathetically attempt to say whatever they put on his teleprompter, before he has to take a nap. The first couple weeks of the new Susan Rice/Barack Obama administration has been as bad as expected, with dozens of executive orders reversing all Trump’s executive orders and implementing everything the far left was demanding, as their useful ANTIFA and BLM idiots continue to burn cities and riot for no particular reason.
It is undeniably clear the Biden administration, entirely controlled by the Big Tech/Big Pharma/Deep State co-conspirators, are going to ram through a far-left agenda with breathtaking speed, as they have no qualms about shredding the Constitution or remorselessly crushing their enemies under a barrage of pre-written bills and relentless propaganda about the danger of a white supremacist overthrow of the government flogged by their legacy media and social media arms.

Many dejected Trump supporters, along with the millions who didn’t care for Biden or Trump, are now angry the Biden handlers, led by Susan Rice, are actually implementing everything they said they would. Trump’s Executive Orders were not law and are being disposed of by the flick of a pen. Allowing presidents this monarchical power is absurd, and reflects a nation is disarray and in a downward spiral. There is absolutely no one in Washington DC looking out for the long-term best interests of the citizens. It’s solely about power, control, and enrichment of themselves and the oligarchs who put them in power.

Not one decision is being made looking out further than the next election, as these corrupt captured faux representatives divvy up the spoils, as the country spirals further into debt, while the Fed printed 40% of all the money ever printed in U.S. history during 2020 – with 2021 on its way to new records. The insanity of the monetary and fiscal decisions being made by Powell, Yellen, Biden and a congress filled with narcissistic myopic mathematically retarded troglodytes is enough to make a sane, rational, critical thinking American scream in agony at the devastation, strife and economic wasteland we are leaving for future generations.
I find myself increasingly ignoring the daily blather of posing politicians, fake news pundits, “medical experts”, self-styled financial gurus, twitterati, and government drones. Why should I get outraged on a daily basis by the actions of a presidential administration I consider illegitimate and central bankers doing the bidding of the oligarchy, as always? At this point I feel like blurting out Crooked Hillary’s famous angry outburst during the Benghazi hearing – “What difference at this point does it make?”.

I know there are many still believing, if the GOP can just win back the house and/or senate in 2022, they can get the country back on course. Others are waiting for the victorious return of Trump in 2024 like MacArthur’s “I shall return” moment in the Philippines. Some still believe the Qanon pablum and are trusting the plan. They are badly mistaken, as the country is too far gone, and must crash and burn before it can possibly be rebuilt.
I have thrown in the towel on believing we can vote our way out of this mess, as Washington DC is ruled by the Uni-Party, beholden to globalist billionaire oligarchs, the upstart Silicon Valley billionaire censorship tyrants, and the Deep State snakes surveilling all our communications and controlling the narrative through propaganda and suppression of our First Amendment rights. This engineered pandemic panic has been a test run to see how far they could go in using fear to make millions cower and applaud their rights being stripped in the name of safety and security.

The wolves are salivating, as we have proven ourselves to be a nation of masked obedient sheep, begging to be led to slaughter. While the Fed prints prosperity for the .1% by driving the stock market to astronomical heights, the average American is seeing their daily living expenses jump by 5% to 10% (as the BLS reports 1.4% inflation), and their jobs disappear (as the BLS reports 6.3% unemployment when 111 million out of 261 million working age Americans are not working).
The building anger in the country is palpable. The question is how do you fight an enemy with overwhelming superiority in financial resources, police and military forces, corporate media outlets, social media platforms, the financial system, intel agencies, and all branches of the government? This question is what made me recall the WarGames final scene. The only winning move is not to play. Direct confrontation is destined for failure.

The only way to defeat this enemy is through guile, cunning, patience, and persistence. The same method of resistance will not work for all people. Everyone’s individual circumstances will dictate how they resist. There doesn’t need to be a central commander or massed forces. Differing versions of guerrilla warfare will suffice. The enemy is a bureaucratic behemoth, slow and unwieldy, led by arrogant mediocrities, unable to strategize their way out of a wet paper bag. They know only how to use force and threats to achieve their despicable ends.

In Part 2 of this article, I will examine the concepts of Irish Democracy and Going Galt, providing a framework for defeating the enemy and regaining a say in how this country can be revived."
The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. [Jim Quinn - PO Box 1520 Kulpsville, PA 19443] or Paypal at the website.

Musical Interlude, Peder B. Helland, "Warm Light"

Peder B. Helland, "Warm Light"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“What will become of these galaxies? Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are passing dangerously close to each other, but each is likely to survive this collision. Typically when galaxies collide, a large galaxy eats a much smaller galaxy. In this case, however, the two galaxies are quite similar, each being a sprawling spiral with expansive arms and a compact core. As the galaxies advance over the next tens of millions of years, their component stars are unlikely to collide, although new stars will form in the bunching of gas caused by gravitational tides.
Close inspection of the above image taken by the 8-meter Gemini-South Telescope in Chile shows a bridge of material momentarily connecting the two giants. Known collectively as Arp 271, the interacting pair spans about 130,000 light years and lies about 90 million light-years away toward the constellation of Virgo. Recent predictions hold that our Milky Way Galaxy will undergo a similar collision with the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years.”

The Poet: Theodore Roethke, "The Far Field"

"The Far Field"

"I dream of journeys repeatedly:
Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel
Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula,
The road lined with snow-laden second growth,
A fine dry snow ticking the windshield,
Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic,
And no lights behind, in the blurred side-mirror,
The road changing from glazed tarface to a rubble of stone,
Ending at last in a hopeless sand-rut,
Where the car stalls,
Churning in a snowdrift
Until the headlights darken.

At the field's end, in the corner missed by the mower,
Where the turf drops off into a grass-hidden culvert,
Haunt of the cat-bird, nesting-place of the field-mouse,
Not too far away from the ever-changing flower-dump,
Among the tin cans, tires, rusted pipes, broken machinery,-
One learned of the eternal;
And in the shrunken face of a dead rat, eaten by rain and ground-beetles
(I found it lying among the rubble of an old coal bin)
And the tom-cat, caught near the pheasant-run,
Its entrails strewn over the half-grown flowers,
Blasted to death by the night watchman.
I suffered for young birds, for young rabbits caught in the mower,
My grief was not excessive.
For to come upon warblers in early May
Was to forget time and death:
How they filled the oriole's elm, a twittering restless cloud, all one morning,
And I watched and watched till my eyes blurred from the bird shapes,- 
Cape May, Blackburnian, Cerulean,- 
Moving, elusive as fish, fearless, 
Hanging, bunched like young fruit, bending the end branches,
Still for a moment,
Then pitching away in half-flight,
Lighter than finches,
While the wrens bickered and sang in the half-green hedgerows,
And the flicker drummed from his dead tree in the chicken-yard.

Or to lie naked in sand,
In the silted shallows of a slow river,
Fingering a shell,
Once I was something like this, mindless,
Or perhaps with another mind, less peculiar;
Or to sink down to the hips in a mossy quagmire;
Or, with skinny knees, to sit astride a wet log,
I'll return again,
As a snake or a raucous bird,
Or, with luck, as a lion.
I learned not to fear infinity,
The far field, the windy cliffs of forever,
The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow,
The wheel turning away from itself,
The sprawl of the wave,
The on-coming water.

The river turns on itself,
The tree retreats into its own shadow.
I feel a weightless change, a moving forward
As of water quickening before a narrowing channel
When banks converge, and the wide river whitens;
Or when two rivers combine, the blue glacial torrent
And the yellowish-green from the mountainy upland,- 
At first a swift rippling between rocks,
Then a long running over flat stones
Before descending to the alluvial plane,
To the clay banks, and the wild grapes hanging from the elmtrees.
The slightly trembling water
Dropping a fine yellow silt where the sun stays;
And the crabs bask near the edge,
The weedy edge, alive with small snakes and bloodsuckers,- 
I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
A point outside the glittering current;
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
My mind moves in more than one place,
In a country half-land, half-water.

I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air.

The lost self changes,
Turning toward the sea,
A sea-shape turning around,- 
An old man with his feet before the fire,
In robes of green, in garments of adieu.
A man faced with his own immensity
Wakes all the waves, all their loose wandering fire.
The murmur of the absolute, the why
Of being born falls on his naked ears.
His spirit moves like monumental wind
That gentles on a sunny blue plateau.
He is the end of things, the final man.

All finite things reveal infinitude: 
The mountain with its singular bright shade
Like the blue shine on freshly frozen snow, 
The after-light upon ice-burdened pines;
Odor of basswood on a mountain-slope,
A scent beloved of bees;
Silence of water above a sunken tree: 
The pure serene of memory in one man,-
A ripple widening from a single stone
Winding around the waters of the world."

- Theodore Roethke

"Teach Them..."

"Teach them a spider does not spin a web. Spiders spin meaning. 
Cut one strand and the web holds. Cut many, the web falls. 
With the web's fall, so too falls the spider. 
Break the web. Break the spider. So breaks the circle of life."
- Frederic M. Perrin

The Daily "Near You?"

Ranfurly, Otago, New Zealand. Thanks for stopping by!

“Embracing Life-Affirming Death Awareness: How to Transform Yourself and Possibly Save Human Civilization”

“Embracing Life-Affirming Death Awareness: 
How to Transform Yourself and Possibly Save Human Civilization”
By Fred Branfman

“I never want to forget the prospect of death. Because, if I am ever able to block out those emotions, I will lose the sense of purpose and focus that cancer has given my own life." 
— Hamilton Jordan, "No Such Thing as a Bad Day" 

"My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. The country is caught up in moral decay. Our leaders must speak to  this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul." 
— Lee Atwater, "Life" Magazine, 1991

When he was 55, a newspaper mistakenly printed an obituary of Alfred Nobel, condemning him for his invention of dynamite and stating "the merchant of death is dead." Nobel was so shocked that he created the Nobel Peace Prize.

When he was 41, Anthony Burgess, working unhappily in the British colonial service, was given a terminal diagnosis with one year to live. He quit, wrote five novels in the next year and 11 including “Clockwork Orange” by age 46.

After serving as Jimmy Carter's chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan contracted several cancers. He wrote in his memoir that cancer was "a strange blessing," and that "after my first cancer, even the smallest joys of life took on a special meaning."

His Republican counterpart Lee Atwater, known for such dirty tricks as claiming off the record that a political opponent "had been hooked up to jumper cables," contracted cancer and then apologized to Michael Dukakis for his "naked cruelty" in running the Willy Horton ad, and repudiated the "Reagan Revolution" he had done so much to create. He wrote in a 1991 Life magazine article, "What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth. My illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have. So, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything."

Former CEO Eugene O'Kelley wrote in “Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life”, that "the present felt to me like a gift. Living in it now, maybe for the first time, I experienced more Perfect Moments and Perfect Days in two weeks than I had in the last five years. (When a CEO) I had barely even considered limiting my office schedule. I wished I'd known then how to be and stay in the present, the way I now knew it."

These people are not alone. Countless lives have been transformed for the better over the centuries by breaking through their denial about their own deaths, whether due to a terminal diagnosis, surviving a serious illness or suicide, engaging in combat, having a serious accident, being a crime victim, or experiencing the death of a loved one.

Many people find their lives enriched by facing death voluntarily, not because they were forced to. In his famous Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs said that since he was 17, "remembering that I'll be dead soon (has been) the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life, don't be trapped by dogma, and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

Let It Come: In the summer of 1990, I was directing “Rebuild America”, a think tank whose advisors included Larry Summers, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, and semiconductor inventor Robert Noyce, with Gov. Bill Clinton just having agreed to join as well. At 3am one night, I noticed a small fear of death arising, that I automatically pushed it away, and said to myself "Let it come!" I was plunged into the most painful experience of my life, as I felt I was disintegrating, followed by the most ecstatic moments I have ever known. The next morning I quit a sterile full-time politics that was burning me out, and embarked on a spiritual and psychological journey. After a time, I gradually returned to the world of social and political action, enriched and refreshed by my spiritual and psychological explorations.

One of my most moving experiences was spending several months with a psychologist named Jackie McEntee, after she had received a terminal diagnosis. She reported that the diagnosis was a wakeup call which led her to feel far more profoundly, deepened her relationship with her husband Bob, kids and community, and spend her time more purposefully and meaningfully. I asked whether she would rather have lived decades more as she had been living, or these few years as she was living now. She replied: "I call this my Year of Ecstasy. Sublime, incredible things have happened. That's why I wouldn't go back. Even though my previous life was good, it was not the bliss, the splendor, the ecstasy of how I live now."

I asked her what she felt her experience had to teach people who did not face a terminal diagnosis. "I think we need as a society to sustain death in our consciousness. Death is a reality by virtue of life. Our society has been in such a fog, evading death and dying, that I really think we don't live as fully because of that evasion. Well, I've learned to live fully now. And it's my deepest wish that everyone else will also—and without having to go through this kind of illness." That is a key question each of us faces. Do we want to wait for a terminal diagnosis, like Eugene O'Kelly or Jackie McEntee, before discovering that facing death could have transformed our lives for the better years earlier? Or do we wish to explore that question now?

There is no whitewashing the fact that feeling our sadness about our approaching deaths is more painful than defending against it. But, as adults, we can stand it. Doing so can release the enormous psychic energy we have been repressing, enriching our lives and leading to a far greater concern for those in need today and all who will follow us.

Feeling Our Sadness: The most important common feature of those whose lives have been enriched by facing their death is that they were willing to experience sadness and even intense pain about having to lose what they value in this life, and then used it as energy to transform their lives for the better.  One could hear that sadness pulsating through the voice of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as he faced his own pain at social injustice and living under a daily threat of death. Sadness is the opposite of the closed, contracted state we call depression. As in the case of Dr. King, it can energize and activate, connecting people on a far deeper level than anger or outrage.

As Hamilton Jordan suggests, it is possible to "block out" much of the emotional pain that can arise even from a terminal diagnosis. We can use antidepressants, entertainment, constant activity, exercise, and a variety of other means to maintain the denial of death we have practiced since early childhood. As Jordan put it, "Nobody thinks too much on Desolation Row," especially about their own deaths, as long as they keep busy and occupied with other matters. But as he also found, daring to feel one's pain at the prospect of death can transform one's life.

I discovered this truth, to my amazement, when my life was transformed by facing my own eventual death at age 48. When the death anxiety I had been repressing burst to the surface I discovered that facing it, though painful, released enormous energy, appreciation for the preciousness of life, deep reservoirs of feeling I never knew existed, and a deep desire to contribute to the wellbeing of those who would follow me. Indeed, the more emotional pain I was consciously willing to feel about my death, the more truly alive, loving, empathetic and appreciative I felt. It was almost mathematical: more pain, more life; more life, more pain.  

The key was to consciously bring my pain to the surface. We normally avoid doing so as much as possible, and only react with denial, anger, bargaining or depression when we must, which can make it much harder to handle. But when we choose to bring our sadness to the surface so as to release energy for life, as Hamilton Jordan and Lee Atwater found, it can enhance our experience of life in ways we never dreamed possible—and transform our attitudes toward political action as well.

Facing death openly does not necessarily, of course, lead to political action. The opposite is often true. Many people in their retirement years react to reminders of death by turning to meditation and other spiritual and religious practices. They feel they've done enough politically, and they pursue long-deferred creative projects, focus on their grandchildren, face health issues, care for their mates, or conserve their declining energy.

Much of this is healthy for the individual and society. Spiritually inclined, serene and peaceful elders who have moved beyond materialism and frenetic activity can serve as important role models for an America that badly needs to move beyond the "acquisition," frenetic activity and mindless materialism Lee Atwater so rightly decried. "Don't just do something, sit there," as Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein has written. If enough of us experienced “a touch of Enlightenment," the world would be a far better place.

Facing Our Deaths: Facing repressed death anxiety can benefit anyone at any age. In their book, "Beyond Death Anxiety: Achieving Life-Affirming Death Awareness", the psychotherapist Robert Firestone and Joyce Catlett explain how we first learn we will die between the ages of 3 and 8, and we automatically repress this frightening information. We continue this pattern as adults, rarely reexamining whether it make sense to continue this denial of our death, although we now have the tools to handle it.

They explain how our unconscious death anxiety influences every aspect of our adult lives, including our relationships and our sexuality. We often either unconsciously distance ourselves because true intimacy is so painful, or we violently turn against our partners when we realize they will not be the saviors we imagined. Our anxiety about death affects our child-rearing, as we often partly have children because we wish to live on through them, and then seek to control them so they will be the kind of "immortality vehicle" we seek. Death anxiety also lies at the heart of much of the midlife crisis many undergo, and explains many of our social behaviors as well. We identify with religious, ethnic or national "immortality vehicles" (USA! USA! USA!), because if the "other" triumphs, our own will fail. These processes are unconscious, which is why they have so much power.

The importance of Firestone and Catlett's work is that it is not based upon theory but the actual lived experience of a group of over 100 friends who have broken through much of the death-denial and openly discuss their death anxiety on a regular basis. This experience indicates, first of all, that people can bear it—while painful, surfacing repressed death anxiety does not destroy one's equilibrium, but enhances it. They have discovered that sharing their sadness together is a positive, life-enhancing experience. It also leads to greater empathy and compassion for each other and for the world as a whole.

Gifts of Death Awareness: Reports by people whose lives have been transformed by facing their own deaths reveal what might be called the gifts of death awareness. Examples of these gifts include:

• Increased aliveness and vitality: Feeling sadness about our mortality can release enormous reservoirs of psychic energy, aliveness and vitality that is otherwise wasted on repressing our death-feelings.

• A wider range of feeling: We cannot repress painful feelings without repressing joyful ones as well. Death awareness can widen and deepen our feelings. We find we can stand the painful feelings we have spent a lifetime avoiding. We open up new vistas of love, appreciation, tenderness, joy, compassion, and empathy.

• Deeper relationships: When we deny our pain about our own death and those of loved ones, we often unconsciously pull away from intimacy. Repressing feelings not only deadens us, but causes us to shrink from the pain that true closeness brings. Consciously facing death can lead to deeper intimacy and love for those closest to us. A friend recently wrote me about attending a funeral and sitting with the sister of the deceased, weeping side by side without saying anything for 15 minutes. It was their most intimate interaction in a decade, and it forged a lifelong bond between them.

• Increased life-purpose and passion: Like Hamilton Jordan, Steve Jobs and countless others, facing the shortness of time we have left often leads to a greater sense of purpose and focus. Our passion is increased, as we realize that with the time we have left we will create what we wish to create, and enjoy our most precious experiences.  

• Wider perspective: People facing death commonly report that they gain a greater sense of perspective, are less prone to petty fears, slights, jealousies, and anxieties, and have their sights raised to issues of meaning and the human condition. Facing our mortality broadens our perspective.

• Great lucidity and sanity: When one becomes exposed to death, often when parents die, many experience a painful but somehow liberating sense of clarity and sanity. As I was flying back to New York from Florida after my father's death, I found myself writing these words: "I have been living as if I will never die, which is a lie. And to live a lie is not really to live at all."

• Greater creativity: Increased passion often brings greater creativity. As Steve Jobs noted, death-awareness can lead us to commit to following our own path and not be trapped by the opinions of others.

• Greater compassion and empathy: Death awareness can lead us to focus on what we have in common with our fellow beings. It is not only that we are all going to die, but that we are all facing similar difficulties in dealing with this fact. As we become more feeling, our compassion can also deepen and extend to millions who suffer unnecessarily.

• The courage to be vulnerable: Though we tend to see courage as involving strength, decisiveness and risk-taking, the greater bravery is daring to feel and display our vulnerability. Facing death leads to a softer and more feeling appreciation of life and closer relationships with those around us.

• Gratitude, appreciation and awe:  Experiencing our vulnerability as creatures who will die can lead to the most precious possible experiences of appreciation and awe that life even exists, let alone that we have been privileged to participate in it. It is precisely because our time with loved ones, or our opportunity to experience life, is so limited that it is so precious. 

• Greater aesthetic appreciation: Death awareness opens us up to the beauty of life in space and in time. We become more aware of fleeting and infinitely precious moments of beauty.

• Spiritual openings and the experience of oneness with life: Death awareness can lead to unmediated, direct spiritual experiences in which the personal ego dissolves and we experience a sense of oneness with all life, including the countless humans who have preceded us and those who will follow us. 

• Greater concern for preserving civilization for future generations: Such death-influenced spiritual experiences can lead to a greater commitment to saving human civilization for our offspring and all who will follow us.

Exploring Life-Affirming Death Awareness: Words are cheap and only useful if they encourage us to experiment for ourselves whether they might be true. This is particularly true for an issue like whether to surface our sadness about death, which goes against the habits of a lifetime. The following exercises are meant to help us explore how we wish to respond to the fact of our eventual deaths. Many of us have never consciously considered this question as adults, continuing the denial of our feelings that we first learned as kids. But we may find now that exploring this issue can enrich and revitalize our lives, as well as all society.

These explorations are intended to help explore two basic issues: 1) feeling rather than denying painful feelings about our eventual death; 2) using these feelings as energy to live with more purpose and compassion. These exercise tend to yield the deepest results if they are preceded by some minutes of quiet reflection.

1. Focus on what unites us. Pick a time-period—a few hours, a day, longer—in which you focus on what you have in common with each person you see or interact with, whether you know them or not. They, like you, are going to one day die; they, like you, are confused and frightened by this knowledge, and tend to think or feel about it as little as possible; and they, like you, may have a dull look in their eyes, or rigid expression on their face, partly because they are using up precious psychic energy to repress their death anxiety.

Note what you are feeling as you engage in this exercise, particularly any feelings of compassion or empathy for yourself or others. How does this exercise make you feel? Does this exercise in any way change how you feel toward others? Perhaps extend this exercise by meeting with people you normally dislike or disagree with, and note whether any change in your normal feelings arise as a result.

2. Appreciate a last meal or walk. Set aside a time when you can eat a meal alone in a quiet place, and imagine it is the last meal you will ever eat. Eat slowly, noting each smell, how each component of the meal tastes, everything it took for this meal to reach you, from the life of the animal or plant involved to the apparatus—farmer, transport, supermarket, etc.—required to get this food to you. Note your feelings at the prospect that this will be the last meal you will ever eat in this lifetime.

Set a time to take a walk, imagining it is the last walk you will ever take on this earth. Walk extremely slowly, taking the time to smell every smell, hear every sound, see every sight. Note the feelings that arise, whether sadness that you will never have this experience again, or gratitude that you have been able to have this experience of life. As you return to daily life, reflect on whether these experiences change how you might want to eat or take walks from here on out.

3. Appreciate the preciousness of life. Reflect upon those experiences of life you most value at this point in your life, perhaps making a list of them in order, e.g. your experiences of loved ones, travel, learning, contributing, nature, art, and so on and so forth.

Now notice the feelings that emerge as you go through the list, and imagine never being able to have those experiences again. Note where the feelings of sadness, loss or worse, are most intense. Although you are likely to experience a range of feelings, including a distancing from feeling, focus on any feelings of sadness that arise as you understand dying as losing the experiences of life that you most value. Reflect on what your sadness tells you about the parts of your life you value most, your deepest regrets, your deepest desire for developing the qualities you desire, your relationship to the violence and injustice of the world, the unfinished business of your life, internal and external. 

4. Appreciate loved ones and friends. Pick a moment when you can gaze upon a loved one or close friend. Either with eyes closed or open, imagine her head as the skull it will be, her body as the skeleton it will become after she dies. Feel the sadness, the pain of it. Now return to the present, feel your love for her, your appreciation of the fact that you can have this experience of her. Note your feelings of appreciation for the fact that you can now experience her, the preciousness of this opportunity to know, interact with and love her.

5. Feel valued by society. Imagine that you had died today and were reading your obituary in the newspaper. Write out what you imagine it might say. Imagine you have another 10 years to live, and then write out your obituary as you would like it to appear then. Conclude by noting the key changes you need to make in your life so as to have your obituary read as you would like it to a decade from now.

6. Set priorities, inner and outer. Imagine that you are on your deathbed, looking back on your life. (This exercise is best conducted while lying on your back, in a dark room, in the actual position you are most likely to be in while facing your actual end.) Note the outer events—your accomplishments, impact on your kids, grandkids, community, America, the world—that are the most meaningful to you at this point. Note the inner events that are most meaningful—ways in which you developed internally, touching experiences with loved ones, friends, nature, the cosmos, moments of spiritual transcendence, etc. Note which kinds of experiences are the most meaningful, inner and outer, past and present, or the impact your life will have after you have gone. Note your feelings about the state of the world you are leaving behind.

Think of those people who have wronged you whom you wish to forgive, or those from whom you wish to ask forgiveness. Perhaps write letters to the most important ones. After conducting this exercise, reflect on whether the thoughts and feelings you had have any implications for how you want to lead your life from here on out. Did you note any enhanced experiences of aliveness and energy, compassion or love for yourself or others, the world, greater serenity, a greater sense of direction and life-purpose, a greater concern for the environment and the world you are leaving behind, a deeper sense of spirituality and connection to all things?

7. Looking backward, looking forward. Reflect on the next 10 years of your life— the people with whom you will interact, the places you will visit, the countless feelings you will experience, and so forth. Reflect upon how long these 10 years seem, how rich the many experiences you will have. Now reflect back on the last 10 years of your life, note how it all seems to have passed in an instant.

Now imagine that you are on your deathbed, looking back on the time between now and when you die. Reflect on how it, too, will seem to have passed in an instant. Reflect on any implications this may have for how you want to live from here on out, whether it helps illuminate what is and isn't important to you, whether it seems to call for an increased commitment to any sort of activities or experiences, and so forth.

8. The precious shortness of life. Imagine your doctor has just told you that you have three years to live in full possession of your health, after which you will decline precipitously and die. Reflect on what you imagine your priorities, internal and external, would be if you knew you had but three more years to live. Would you change anything about your present life? Relationships? External projects? Inner development? Would you live with greater purpose and waste less time? Would you devote yourself to artistic creation, travel or political activity? How would your relationships with people change? Then imagine that your doctor tells you he was mistaken, and you can look forward to a normal lifespan. If you would have lived differently if you had only three years to live, does this have any implications for your future now?”

"Premonitions: Yes, We Do Have A Sixth Sense”

No, this is not an animated GIF...
"Premonitions: Yes, We Do Have A Sixth Sense”
By Sarah Chalmers

"On Friday, October 21, 1966, a mountain of coal waste, perched above the Welsh mining village of Aberfan, broke loose and came flowing down uncontrollably. Destabilized by recent rains, a river of black coal sludge, water and boulders bore down on Aberfan. It steamrollered over a tiny cottage halfway down the slope, thundered through Pantglas Junior School, obliterated a further 20 houses - then finally came to rest. A total of 144 people, including many children, were crushed or suffocated to death in one of Britain's most horrific peacetime tragedies. Every life lost was precious. But the death of 116 innocent children, killed in the school, tore at the very heart of the nation. In a cruel irony, the youngsters had been making their way back to their classrooms after singing "All Things Bright And Beautiful" at morning assembly when the disaster struck. No one in the close-knit community was unaffected by the tragedy and the bereaved parents would never recover from their loss.

But for one family, the overriding grief was even more acute. For one of those killed - ten-year-old Eryl Mai Jones - had not only predicted the catastrophe, but had warned her mother of it, too. In the days leading up to the atrocity, Eryl had told her mother she was 'not afraid to die'. 'I shall be with Peter and June,' she added. Eryl's busy mother offered her imaginative daughter a lollipop and thought no more about it. Then, on October 20, the day before the disaster, Eryl said to her mother: 'Let me tell you about my dream last night. I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. Something black had come down all over it!' The next day, Eryl's horrific premonition came to pass and she was killed alongside schoolfriends Peter and June. They were buried side-by-side in a mass grave, just as the youngster had predicted. You can only guess at the torment Eryl's mother must have suffered - perhaps berating herself for not keeping her child off school or warning everyone in the village.

Tales like this, of horrific events 'seen' in dreams, litter history. And now a comprehensive new book by medical doctor Larry Dossey - who has himself experienced premonitory dreams - collates some of the most extraordinary examples.

September 11th : The terrorist atrocities of September 11, 2001 were preceded by a slew of premonitions. A week before the attack, one North Carolina mother dreamt about spinning into blackness and heard a man's voice repeating '2,830, 2,830' and a name she couldn't make out. 'It sounded like Rooks or Horooks,' she said. Disturbed by the dream, the woman cancelled tickets the family had to fly to Disneyland on September 11, despite protestations from her husband that she was over-reacting. When news emerged on September 11 of the planes flying into New York's Twin Towers - with another hitting the Pentagon and a fourth crashing into a field in Pennsylvania - the woman's caution was vindicated. Most bizarrely, 2,830 - the number repeated over and over in her dream - was the confirmed tally of deaths at that time. And the name - 'Rooks or Horooks?' - was that of Michael Horrocks, first officer of United Airlines flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower.

Of course, her vision was not specific enough for her to have done anything to avert the tragedy, but it was nonetheless disturbing - as was the experience of another woman holidaying in Washington DC two weeks before the atrocity. She was dozing in a car as her husband drove. But when she opened her eyes, she had a vision of the Pentagon with huge billows of thick black smoke pouring from it. She screamed, slammed her hands on the dashboard and became so hysterical that she hyperventilated. The woman had had visions all her life, but was traumatised by this one. Two weeks later, American Airlines flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon, killing 184 people, and causing clouds of thick black smoke, exactly as she had dreamt it. [No, it did not, do a Search for 9/11 on this blog, you'll see. - CP]

In an even more chilling example, World Trade Centre employee Lawrence Boisseau had a dream in September that the towers were crashing down around him. A few days later, his wife dreamt the streets of Manhattan were littered with debris. The images were not specific enough to prevent Boisseau from going to work on September 11 - and he perished there. But not before helping to rescue several children stuck in a care centre on the ground floor.

Sometimes, premonitions allow the person to pinpoint a specific time and place, leaving the dreamer enough time to alter the course of the disaster. In one such instance, Dossey recounts the tale of a mother living in Washington State who awoke at 2.30am from a nightmare. She had dreamt that a large chandelier that hung above her baby's crib had fallen and crushed him. In the dream, a violent storm was raging and the time on the clock read 4.35 am. Alarmed, the woman woke up, went into the next room and took the baby back to her bed. Two hours later, the couple were woken by a loud crash. They dashed into their child's room to find the crib demolished by the chandelier, which had fallen directly onto it. In a further twist, a storm was raging - and the time on the clock read 4.35 am.

Not all of those who dream of future events manage to interpret them correctly. Indeed, one of the common features of premonitions is that they are often fragmentary and vague. But Dossey believes we all have the ability to predict the future and points to studies by Dean Radin, a Californian researcher. Radin sat subjects in front of a blank computer screen and told them an image would appear in five seconds. Remarkably, before the image appeared, the subjects would become more agitated if the image was of something grisly or upsetting than if it was of something pleasant. It seems the subjects could sense what they were about to be confronted with. This is supported by data from train and plane accidents. One famous study from the Fifties found that trains involved in accidents often had fewer passengers than the same service the week before.

The theory is that commuters have some sense of an approaching accident and alter their travel plans. When the Titanic made her first - and last - voyage in 1912, many passengers had a sense of foreboding. J. P. Morgan, one of the richest men in the world, cancelled his passage at the last minute because of a hunch. Interestingly, the vacancy rate on all four flights that crashed on September 11, 2001, was high. On the Boeing 757 that crashed into the Pentagon, only 64 of 289 seats were taken. Meanwhile, the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre's North and South Towers were 74 and 81 per cent empty. Indeed, the occupancy rate of all four doomed planes that day was a mere 21 per cent - despite being commuter services.

Dossey's explanation for humans' ability to predict the future is rooted in evolution. He says it makes sense that we would develop our ability to see impending dangers and take appropriate measures. 'From the standpoint of evolutionary biology, the ability to bypass the physical senses is the sort of ability that an intelligent, survival-oriented organism might sooner or later develop.' Furthermore, he believes we are more likely to have premonitions about those to whom we are emotionally attached. Through history, neurologists have proved a telepathic connection between some particularly close individuals, such as twins. One of the most common forms of premonition is forewarning of illness in a loved one.

But this sixth sense is not confined to humans. There are countless examples of apparent premonitions among animals. Just before the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, flamingoes on India's southern coast fled, monkeys at Sri Lanka's Yala National Park stopped accepting bananas from tourists and the elephants began to trumpet. In one tale recounted by Dossey, a woman was driving her car with her cat on the back seat. The cat became increasingly agitated, before jumping into the front and biting the woman, forcing her to stop. At just that moment, a large tree crashed onto the road, just a few yards ahead of the woman. If she had continued driving, she would have been killed.

Coincidence? Or proof of something more mysterious at work? Dossey, and others like him, believe it is the latter. What's more, he thinks our only hope of utilizing the power of prediction effectively is to act immediately and not let embarrassment get in the way. He cautions: 'If premonitions are to aid survival, we cannot afford the luxury of not thinking about them.”

"Two Possibilities Exist..."

"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone
 in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. 
It's just been too intelligent to come here."
- Arthur C. Clarke

"How It Really Is"

Sounds like here... lol

Free Download: Erich Fromm, “The Fear of Freedom”

“Automaton Conformity”
by Erich Fromm

“In the mechanisms we have been discussing, the individual overcomes the feeling of insignificance in comparison with the overwhelming power of the world outside himself either by renouncing his individual integrity, or by destroying others so that the world ceases to be threatening. Other mechanisms of escape are the withdrawal from the world so completely that it loses its threat (the picture we find in certain psychotic states), and the inflation of oneself psychologically to such an extent that the world outside becomes small in comparison. Although these mechanisms of escape are important for individual psychology, they are only of minor relevance culturally. I shall not, therefore, discuss them further here, but instead will turn to another mechanism of escape which is of the greatest social significance.

This particular mechanism is the solution that the majority of normal individuals find in modern society. To put it briefly, the individual ceases to be himself; he adopts entirely the kind of personality offered to him by cultural patterns; and he therefore becomes exactly as all others are and as they expect him to be. The discrepancy between “I” and the world disappears and with it the conscious fear of aloneness and powerlessness. This mechanism can be compared with the protective coloring some animals assume. They look so similar to their surroundings that they are hardly distinguishable from them. The person who gives up his individual self and becomes an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more. But the price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of his self.”
- Erich Fromm, “The Fear of Freedom”

Freely download “The Fear of Freedom”, by Erich Fromm, here:

"Truth Is..."

"Truth is always stranger than fiction. We craft fiction to match our sense of how things ought to be, but truth cannot be crafted. Truth is, and truth has a way of astonishing us to our knees, reminding us that the universe does not exist to fulfill our expectations. Because we are imperfect beings who are self-blinded to the truth of the worlds stunning complexity, we shave reality to paper thin theories and ideologies that we can easily grasp and we call them truths. But the truth of a sea in all its immensity cannot be embodied in one tidewashed pebble." 
- Dean Koontz

Gregory Mannarino, AM Feb 7, 2021: "Markets, A Look Ahead"

Gregory Mannarino, AM Feb 7, 2021
"Markets, A Look Ahead: 
Keep Your Eyes On The 10-Year Yield And The Dollar"