Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

General Discussion

Showing Original Post only (View all)

H2O Man

(73,511 posts)
Tue Feb 20, 2024, 12:46 AM Feb 20

Fixing a Hole [View all]

" The moment that I express what I experience exclusively in thought and words, the experience has gone: it has dried up, is dead, a mere thought. Hence being is indescribable in words and is communicable only by sharing my experience. In the structure of having, the dead word rules; in the structure of being, the alive and inexpressible experience rules."
-- Erich Fromm; To Have or To Be; 1976

Last week, I had the pleasure of watching Fani Willis on the witness stand. I was happy to share that experience along with a lot of people, on the telephone, and in various regions of the internet. That included communicating with the Good People here, on an OP/thread. Even the next day, I had conversations with people of my generation, about how we had just witnessed history.

I was not surprised, however, to see that our opposition viewed it much differently. Their interpretation of D.A. Willis's testimony was very different than my own, or all but one of the people I communicated with that day. They seem incapable, for example, of even recognizing what an honorable her father was when he testified the following day.

This led me to go back to a letter from my late friend Rubin, that hw wrote on Tuesday, June 26, 1979 at 9:45 a.m. This was during a long period of self-isolation that his supporters called his "Buddha phase," when other than lawyers, I was one of two people he communicated with.

"In fact, most people do not what the word 'being' means -- or even what the word 'understand' means, for that matter -- and yet both are essential for the acquisition of knowledge. Although, of course, this point of view is completely contrary to what you have been taught in school and, in fact, contrary to all Western thought! For here in the West, here in this den of thieves and charlatans, it is usually supposed that a man is capable of attaining great knowledge, provided that he possesses sufficienr intelligence, and, of course, this is the viewpoint that we inherited from the ancient Greek. ...."

This reminded me of Thomas Merton's introduction to his 1964 classic, "Gandhi on Non-Violence." He starts by paraphrasing Lauren Van Der Post's description of Western man being a one-eyed giant when invading Africa, America, and Asia. "The one-eyed giant had science without wisdom, and he broke in upon ancient civilizations which had wisdom without science; wisdom that transcends and unites, wisdom that dwells in body and soul together and ... opens the door to a life in which the individual is not lost in the cosmos and in society but found in them."

Merton was concerned, as my generation will recall, that human beings were going to poison life on Earth -- if not blow it up with WMDs -- without understanding what "being" means. By no coincidence, this is much the same message that my late uncle, Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah, speaks of in Steve Wall's book, "To Become a Human Being."

This requires balance in a world that is currently out of balance. That balance requires an understanding of human nature, as we are the last in our particular line of primates. Our large brains are complex, and the growth of the frontal lobes has increased our ability -- when used properly -- to understand what it means to be a human being, experiencing the mracle of life on this living planet, at this time in the eternal Now. And to think ahead.

Obviously, not everyone around you or I gets that. For there are those that, in his day, Dr. King called "our sick brothers and sisters," that have thinking that rarely inhabits the front of their brain. Rather, they are driven by four chemicals that come from a lower level of the brain --dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Some are easily identified by their addictions to meth, heroin, or other "pain killers." Others get a similar kick from those activities that we associate with the maga crowd. Both of these pose serious threats to the health and stability of our country.

The maga crowd is presently incapable of processing information on specific topics. They might be good at their jobs, and other routine activities. But they do not inhabit the level of consciousness that would allow them to understand that they are being played. On social and political issues, they are like little children who are convinced they are capable of understanding things, if someone explains them. That's why we don't let little children drive. It's why we cannot allow the maga crowd to drive our country.

We have to recognize that besides the half-wits of maga proper, there are others that add force to the negative momentum that is today's republican party. There are business people who are calling President Biden a "socialist," acording to a news clip I recently saw. There are wealthy people who don't like the defendant, but like his tax cuts. And there are numerous officials in all three branches of the federal and state's governments, that Rubin described in that letter:

" Because here, in this Western world, and particularly in America, it has always been accepted that a man may possess immense knowledge but without ever having seriously considered his level of being. In America it is acceptable that a man may be a Supreme Court Justice, or Doctor, a National and International Politician, or an abled Scientist -- and at the same time it is considered legitimate and even fashionable, in this country, that this Supreme Court Justice, or Doctor, or Politician, or Scientist has the right to be a racist, or a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, and malicious snake! The people of America have placed great value on the level of a man's knowledge, but have no shame on their own level of being."

I'll admit that a lot has changed in America in the 45 years since Rubin wrote that letter to me. But while there have been some improvements, a whole heck of a lot has become worse. We need Good People to step up now -- especially in the months until November -- to continue the effort of President Biden to bring stability and the rule of law back to firm ground.

19 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Fixing a Hole [View all] H2O Man Feb 20 OP
Bookmarking for truth, H20 Man. MontanaMama Feb 20 #1
Thanks! H2O Man Feb 20 #2
It's Not Just Rain Getting In The Roux Comes First Feb 20 #3
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 20 #4
I hope they - we - will cilla4progress Feb 20 #5
I think we will. H2O Man Feb 20 #6
Agree cilla4progress Feb 20 #9
Escape from Freedom NJCher Feb 20 #7
Good call! H2O Man Feb 20 #10
You nailed it as always malaise Feb 20 #8
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 20 #11
They are gutter snipes as my patternal malaise Feb 20 #12
She was right! H2O Man Feb 20 #13
When I wake up in my makeup..................... Celerity Feb 20 #14
Either that, or H2O Man Feb 20 #15
heroin as a common denominator for both bands Celerity Feb 20 #17
Yep. H2O Man Feb 20 #18
Thank you, H2O Man! Thank you, Hurricane Carter! Kid Berwyn Feb 20 #16
Thanks! H2O Man Feb 20 #19
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Fixing a Hole