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Thu Mar 19, 2020, 01:39 PM

From the Ground Up

This is a tough time for everyone. It is a difficult time to even attempt to view current events in an objective manner. Lately I have been thinking about things I learned from my teachers, and how they apply to today. Please allow me the opportunity to share a couple of them, before addressing “politics.”

Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman and I discussed people's reactions and responses to crises. He spoke of the Creator, which non-Iroquois might call “God” or related names, and still others might identify as the creative forces that sustain life in all of its forms on Earth. Paul taught that in times of crisis, we should look to – and for – the Creator ….and that this powerful force is found specifically in sharing with, and caring for, others. I think that is an important concept for each of us to keep in mind.

Rubin Carter was an atheist who loved studying various religions, viewing them in the context of a road map for the conscious evolution of humankind. He often told audiences that one of the most powerful truths that he came to understand is that planet earth is not simply a rock spinning in space, but a living entity. A life force. As such, he told me, all of organic life on Earth – including humanity – exists for the Earth's purposes. That as individuals and a collective, we represent the Earth's consciousness.

I think these two concepts find synergy when combined. Rubin is correct in that human consciousness can only evolve consciously. It cannot evolve unconsciously. And that is a very difficult process when the circumstances we are confronting today spark the very normal unconscious reactions that were necessary for human evolution from our past ancestors, well before they moved out of Africa. Yet, as Paul taught, if we consciously care for, and share with others, we experience the creative life force.

Obviously, in the current circumstances, we have to take precautions. Social distancing is essential. Still, by way of telephone and internet, we can maintain wide systems of support. Indeed, these are essential life support systems. More, we can do our best to be sure that others in our circles, and our communities, have food and shelter. And we can join in efforts in cities and states to prevent human beings from being evicted from their homes due to the financial squeeze. These are just a few examples, ones that each of my children are involved in.

This is a “ground up” way of dealing with this crisis. And, by no coincidence, more people are becoming increasingly aware that the “ground up” in terms of workers is how our society runs. That includes everyone from the factories that produce toilet paper, to the people who stock the shelves in the grocery store, and hundreds of other examples. We are, at the same time, confronted with the stark differences between capable leaders, such as Andrew Cuomo, and corrupt, worthless “leaders” like Trump. And this brings me to the topic of politics.

A number of us are rightfully concerned about two recent events: Trump's speaking of himself as a “war president,” and reports that Jared Kushner is making emergency plans per the economic crisis. These, too, must be viewed in the context of the synergy they create when combined. I will start by saying that the synergy of Trump and Kushner is the very opposite of conscious evolution.

While there had long been general plans for continuity of government in times of national crises, in modern times this jelled under President Eisenhower. They took a turn for the worse under Reagan, when he tasked VP Bush and Oliver North with up-dating the national plans. And, as we know, this “continuity of operations” – which recognizes only one branch of the federal government, specific corporations, and not the Constitution – was made operational only once is our nation's history. This was done by VP Cheney, not President Bush, on 9/11.

It's interesting that this wasn't publicly announced by te Bush administration. It leaked to a few newspapers in March of 2002, and addressed by Senator Robert Byrd in his 2004 book, “Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency.” And Byrd might serve as an example of some conscious evolution: the once rabidly racist man had, back in 1968, stood on the Senate floor and called for the detention of Martin Luther King, Jr., to prevent a potential national crisis if King's Poor People's Campaign went forward. Thirty-six years later, he understood things (such as the Constitution) on a much higher level.

Now, let's put on our thinking caps – and not tin foil – and think: the continuity of government in a time of crisis involves suspending the normal rules, putting the executive branch in exclusive control, and allowing it to coordinate with corporate leaders to keep America safe in times of “war” crises. What could possibly go wrong with Donald and Jared's apparent focus on these things, rather than investing their incompetent abilities to focus on the health care of millions of citizens? A question: what are the odds, in your opinion, that they might consider an option for “delaying” the November elections, for but one example?

Strange days have found us. We cannot afford to add to the negative forces. We shouldn't add to the mindless arguing about things including primary candidates, or insulting others on the internet. (It is okay to make fun of Trump et al, of course, as laughter is essential.) It is time to take care of ourselves and our circles of family and friends, and our communities. From the ground up.

Enough of my ranting.
H2O Man

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Reply From the Ground Up (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2020 OP
PETRUS Mar 2020 #1
H2O Man Mar 2020 #3
PETRUS Mar 2020 #5
malaise Mar 2020 #2
H2O Man Mar 2020 #4
malaise Mar 2020 #6

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 01:50 PM

1. "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

It occurred to me this week that in times like these we have both so much to lose, and so much to gain, all at the same time. I haven't developed my thoughts on this yet, but your post strikes me as related.

In my community, there have been so many instances of people going out of their way to support one another in just the last few days that I've lost track of the count.

Great essay; thanks for posting.

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 03:20 PM

3. Thank you!

been finding that my thoughts on "current events" are fluid, and so I figured I'd write something quick for DU:GD. At other times, both in person and on the internet, I listen to people arguing over the primaries, and think how sad it is that they just don't get it. Or I listen to my daughter tell me about the abuse one of her Chinese-American friends has been subjected to in public in Boston, and recognize that a good many people lack the conscious awareness required to "get it."

I am proud of my children. One has been assisting in planning for temporary medical treatment sites in DC; one is working on serves to young people at an area hospital; one is busy providing food and shelter to poor people in Boston; and the youngest is providing mental health services to teens in a two-county region.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 04:39 PM

5. Sometimes I think I exist in a rare bubble of kindness.

I'm the proprietor of a "mom & pop" style shop - which comes with its own kind of stress - but after doing this for years, many of our customers have become true friends, and it's rare that we have to deal with the sort of "jerks" one can encounter in a retail setting.

Due to "community spread" of the coronavirus in our town, we decided to stop letting people in our shop as of this past weekend. We're taking online orders and offering "curbside service" to people. I wrote about that on DU, here: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100213097268

This week, we have been flooded with business. It's clear to us that people know the pandemic will hurt small operators like us, and that they're going out of their way to keep us afloat. A large number of people have called to buy gift cards, which I'm guessing is a deliberate way to help our cash flow. Also, the owner of the building our shop is in is waiving at least the next month's rent. I'm overwhelmed with the spirit of generosity and mutual support on display.

I do see nasty arguments online (political and otherwise), and read and hear about unkind and ignorant behavior similar to what your daughter describes, but it hasn't manifested where I live as far as I can tell.

My wife and I are thinking we might need to close the shop entirely soon (at least until things settle down), in which case we'll have more time on our hands than we've had in a while. We've been talking to one another about how we can use that time to help those in need.

You yourself are a very thoughtful man - I'm sure your children are wonderful.

Anyway, hang in there! I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 01:54 PM

2. Interesting read

It is time to take care of ourselves and our circles of family and friends, and our communities. From the ground up.

It just hit our family that we'll be doing Facetime for a long time.
Give thanks for the reunions in November and December last year. Who knows if some of us will ever see some others again.
They say life is what happens after you make plans.

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 03:49 PM

4. Right.

I believed that it was the noted expert Dr. Winston O'Boogie who sang that "life is what happens to you while you're making other plans," on his come-back LP in November of 1980.(I also saw that Yoko released some rare film of them in the studio from 1971 earlier this month, which keeps this old man happily occupied.)

I continue to spend time with my dogs. They do not talk about the virus or politics, which is nice. Then I've just taken a call from a local, very mentally ill man, who was angry at various people who are stressed due to the virus. It took me a bit of time and patience to convince him that he and I, being as wise as foxes, understand others are very upset, and we want to be kind to them. And not yell at or threaten them, or the policeman who told him to go home and stay inside.

Life is indeed what happens while we are making other plans!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 04:49 PM

6. You're the best with these important cultural details

And yes many many people are stressed out. We just had a dance hall artiste get in serious trouble for lying on his immigration about where he had traveled. He had been in Germany.

Ignorance is also a factor- a farmer was beat up b some idiots in a mini-bus for sneezing. He had just delivered peppers to the market.

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