You are responsible for the future of the planet. We are all responsible for the future of the planet. Life continues on a rich, living, gorgeous planet of immense wealth if we collectively make that the case. If we instead choose a dying, polluted planet, where all is owned by the same small tribe of fearful savages, and the entire life system must face mass extinction and the collapse of intelligent life, that will again be our collective choice. No oligarchy, no matter how rich, no matter how powerful, rules without the consent of the rest of humanity. It is our choice to continue the present course of human development.
At this moment, our course is toward worldwide extinctions, for no reason except the desire by the people who can change things to be comfortable and not have to work very hard. We of the first world have chosen military dictatorships, total surveillance, fast food living, and a comfortable present over having to struggle for a world in which our children can die of old age and not starvation, murder, or suicide. We repeat the comfortable lies; “we’re not certain,” “there’s no way out of the trap, so why bother?”, “It’s not my fault,” and “there’s not a problem.” Each repetition of the worn-out bell rings hollower, more false. It is an act of utmost faith to believe these lies any longer, yet like the lies of Keith Alexander, like the lies of Barack Obama, like the lies of the devil smiling in our face, we choose to smile back and believe them, because we are afraid, and it seems like more effort to fight back than to just lie down and die.
It is not more work to fight back. It is an act of utmost drudgery and hard labor to spend every day of every year from now until your death pretending that your life is worth living, and your work worth doing. A lifetime of shit jobs, education in subjects you study only in hopes of getting better jobs, a life of desires denied, the flame of wild hope smothered time and again by “sensibility” and “responsibility”, the infinite lies we tell ourselves to keep from acting, moving, fighting for an existence that is more than mere existence, a life worthy of the name; all that is much harder work than fighting back. The only difficult part of fighting back is beginning. Once you’ve thrown the punch, once you’ve quit your worthless job, once you have taken even one step towards your own liberation from the system of working-for-other-people’s-gain, then there is no work. There is only the glorious struggle for yourself, for your people, for love, and for doing what you need.
All the propaganda, all the equivocating writers and sold-out artists, all the fearful utterances of people caught within the trap, all the liars and sycophants and fools who believe themselves beneficiaries of “the way things are” will never be enough for you again. There’s no lying to those who are not afraid of living, there is no convincing an awakened person that she still dreams. The only effective method of control is self-control and against all the popular conceptions, we are as a species fabulous at self-control, when it comes to denying ourselves life, and forcing ourselves to do useless, demeaning work until the day we drop dead, never having tasted what is real life.
God commanded I write this message everywhere, and I shall do just that. There is a grave illness in humanity. It is a disease of the body, the mind, and the spirit also. The disease is fear. It is the root cause of all suffering, all injustice, all murder, all genocide. We humans are afraid because we have forgotten that all the universe is built of perfect love - the love of atoms for one another, which holds the universe together - the love of stars to fuse matter, to create the life energy of the universe - the love of planets for their stars, to whirl endlessly round - the love of living things for themselves, to endlessly reproduce more life - the love of parents for their offspring, and children for their creators - the love of God, for all things in existence - the love of our creative selves, for all that we have made, and all that we shall call into existence. All of existence is an act of love. Living a life of joy comes to choosing love over fear, every single time.
We live in a fearful society, a society disconnected from the living, loving world. We fear losses we cannot articulate, we fear the unknown we cannot know. We fear because we have feared for so long that we are afraid of loving. We fear that we are so afraid. This is not a natural state for living things. We trend toward love, and in absence of a worldwide system of spreading fear, indoctrinating fear, forcing fear upon humans by guns, rape, and starvation, we would find ourselves moving always toward a more loving world, a more loving society, and more loving selves.
Your individual choices, the everyday decisions to act from fear or from love, make up the fabric of the universe. You decide what sort of world we live in whenever you smile at a stranger and say hello, instead of averting your eyes, focusing on an advert rather than on a fellow of your own species. You decide what sort of society we have every time you avoid the homeless man because he smells, or refuse to aid him because “he’ll just spend it on booze.” You decide between love and fear each time you cook a meal with friends or buy cheap processed food, each time you learn a new skill or spend your days surfing the internet for entertainment. You choose a life of love by giving love to everyone and everything around you, and you choose a life of fear by acting from fear in the same circumstances.
Each of you, especially you, has the power to create the world you wish to see. In your heart you know this. One of the greatest fears of mankind is that we are capable of anything we choose. This fear makes us retreat inside ourselves, makes us deny our talents, makes us run from our own greatness. For what is so terrifying as the thought that we are capable of bettering the world as soon as we decide to? What does that say about who we are? What does it tell us about the lives we are living now? Faced with the choice of doing everything we ever desired, or hiding from our own creative, glorious selves, we have spent every day choosing mediocrity and inaction. Inertia binds us, fear of what we are capable of roots us to circumstances we neither desire nor love, and the key to changing all of it lies in deliberately acting from love, with love towards all things.
In the context of surveillance, we act from fear whenever we do not resist those who wish to know our every movement, while hiding behind the mask of bureaucratic totalitarianism. Each time we keep our mouths shut, each time we tell ourselves we have nothing to hide, each time we deny our true feelings for the “safety” of not ending up in some database somewhere, we are creating a world in which one small segment of humanity controlling the entire species is acceptable. This is fear manifest. Fear always leads to control, to surveillance, to killings and oppression. Fear is the mind killer, the small death that kills all things. Fear is the only enemy any of us have ever had, and the last one we will ever have. Surveillance is an act of fear - the governing elites of the world fear the people they are oppressing, lying to, cheating, and stealing from. They fear that if people knew the score, knew the rules of the games being played with their lives and the lives of their families, that there would be a revolt, and the fearful elites would be swept out of their positions of ill-gotten power. So they watch the every move of everyone, and see infinite plots rising against them in every shadow.
Fear is what keeps the educated from speaking out against the corrupt social order. Fear of losing their positions, fear of being punished, publicly shamed, of becoming enemies of the ruling, fearful elites. So they hold their voices back, deny the world their knowledge and opinions, and support the systemic fearfulness, out of fear that they would suffer worse if they acted differently.
Fear is what keeps the average citizen from ever acting out against the world. Fear of losing what little comforts he has, or any chance at becoming one of the “rich” and “powerful” in the civilization of fear. Fear of being poor, whatever that entails, fear of being snatched from the streets by the agents of fear, or condemned to live in those same streets, feared by all of his fellow citizens. The many fears of the average citizen render him voiceless, powerless, unable to act, and thus he too is reduced to a part of a machine much larger than himself, the machinery of fearful society.
What breaks the fearful cage we build for ourselves is acting from love, moving toward what we love, giving love to others. As soon as we begin to love (ourselves, our neighbors, our planet, all life) then it becomes impossible to restrain ourselves any longer. The cage never was, the bars were smoke, the warden an imaginary figment, created by our own fearful minds. Act out of love, and do not allow those around you to smother your love with their fears. All the fears on Earth cannot quench the love of one enlightened individual, not the fears of the state, not the fears of the church, not the fears of the society or the community or the media either. All these fears will break across the beach of the loving individual’s heart, and when they have receded, the love will remain undiminished.
The worst they can do is to kill you, to massacre your image, to desecrate your corpse and defile your memory. None of this matters in the least. You are not your body. You are not your mind. You are not the opinions others hold of you, or the memories in the minds of others. You are a child of God, a spirit which does not end, a deathless, timeless, ageless being of immense wisdom and infinite creative power. Your passing from this form is ultimately your own choice, and facing it thusly, there is nothing to fear even in a horrible death at the hands of fearful people. Look at Jesus. Look at Socrates. Those who have reached this understanding of who they really are do not fear even the end of life, for they know that it is not worthy of such response. Life does not end, not with the end of Earth, not with the end of the universe. Life is eternal, and you are but one infinitesimal speck of all life’s glory. What then, is there to fear of death? You will return, we will know you and love you once more, and the fearful will realize in their dying moments the magnitude of their own folly. They are you; they are life just as you are. They are here on their own journeys, pursuing their own enlightenment as you are. Do not fear those who fear you, and wish to harm you. You are beyond the reach of fear as soon as you realize who you are. The worst the fearful mob can do to you is nothing, and they believe it to be everything. What is there to do then, but to laugh at their folly, and love them for how far they have left to travel, how much they have left to learn?
Life is a miracle, in the real, gift-from-the-divine sense of that word. It is impossible, yet it is omnipresent. Life is meaningless, formless, shapeless, even as it is profound, and can be found in every form and every shape imaginable by the infinite spirit of the universe. Life is not to be spent in toil, avoiding the bad things we fear, and not to be wasted on tasks which we believe will keep us safe from the enemies and misfortunes we create from our own fearfulness. Life is joyful, life is the opportunity to share love with every living thing, and to build great monuments to the glory of existence. Life is love. All that keeps you from a life of love is your own fear, manifest in the mental and physical cages you have built to protect yourself from your imagined foes and dangers. The bars and walls do not keep the fear at bay. They keep you at bay, separated from love, separated from who you really are, and what you are capable of. The moment you realize this, you can step through the bars, dissolve the cage, and live your life in whatever manner you choose. There is nothing to fear, not even fear itself, for fear is powerless in the face of love, and love is the light of the divine, manifest in the universe.
Rejoice, for you are God. Rejoice, for nothing separates you from a life of joy, beauty, and creation except from yourself, and you are your own master. Be free, take flight, and forever fear no more.
- Kevin Caslava
There’s no better way to soothe your soul than some beautiful, simple music.
Eleven months have gone by. Eleven.
I’d love to say that my life is a bit more interesting than just working, but unfortunately, it isn’t. I have no time for the album, no time for my friends, no time for myself. I have barely enough time to sleep and plan and cook food that will support my lifestyle.
But I decided that I won’t stay past July. I can’t believe that I have SEVEN MONTHS left in which I have to put off my dreams. I don’t want to be a teacher. I love to teach, but this is not the life for me. I can’t keep spending time doing a job that exhausts me while I’m dreaming of playing music. If I have a moment to myself, a melody comes to me and my body starts to sway. I enter the dreamy space, the part of my brain which is so private but so creative. And then something breaks or a child runs past me down the hallway.
I know I can do this job. I must be at school for twelve hours each day, but I can do it. It takes all of my energy for me to do it properly, but I can really be a first grade teacher. But I will exhaust every other possibility with music before I ever sign a contract to teach again. (Please don’t quote me - plans sometimes must change). But in this way, I am so pleased that I came here. I feel a sense of urgency with music, and a desperation to play. This urgency is powerful and is showing me that although a steady paycheck is a nice thing, that I personally cannot spend my time doing the job that I am not here to do. I’m not here to be a teacher. I’m here to perform.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
"When the road began to climb the first long swells of the Divide, Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman."
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
Oh, Alexa dear.
You make my weary heart sing.
It’s hard to be so far.
Breathing is important.
"Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re grown up. Growing up means being patient, holding your temper, cutting out the self-pity, and quitting with the righteous indignation."
"Why do so many people seem to love righteous indignation?"
"Because if you can prove you’re a victim, all rules are off. You can lash out at people. You don’t have to be accountable for anything."