Dance Partners          
                          

                                                   A Human Interest Series

PART XII

                                                Play it as it Lays
Printable Version                                                                                               Damn happy to be here! April 2015

          This is how eight years stacked up. When I first sent my fun little writing contribution off for disseminating—nothing happened. Meanwhile, I bought a new computer and managed to lose all my work. This fun would have ended there except I outsmarted myself. Upon sending those fledglings away, I sent a copy to myself; the cheap man’s just-in-case. Curious about what I’d written that was so bad it didn’t even warrant a response, I opened it and so began a rising sensation. When I finished subjecting myself to such humiliation, I threw the whole thing away like a hot potato. But then, by the time nightfall settled in, so did a resigned heaviness. I trudged back to the dumpster and retrieved the damn thing out.  
          Disseminating via the Big www was the next learning curve; an exasperating, time-consuming gauntlet that kicked my ass for over a year. Made learning to write, only to re-type the whole thing seem like a cakewalk. This nightmare sucked away all of 2012. Finally, when I returned to check on my now-posted fledglings, I found they had morphed into something unintelligible. Waves of humiliation came to flush me again. To yank them from where all the world could see their flaws would solve this but I knew if I did—that would begin their end. So, I scrambled to snatch time wherever I could, to paste back together—that which unraveled every time I turned my back. This vicious cycle kept steady through all of 2013 until finally, after re-posting the entire first half of this series countless times—I said screw it. I can’t do this anymore. 
          I’ve passionately believed this story needs told. Still do. I also believe it needs to run in a public continuance way. But regardless of how important I believe it is, I’ve accepted that I lack the skills to do right by it. When I stood on that step stool to retrieve that potato from that dumpster, I assured myself that act would mark the full breadth of humiliation this project could hand me here on out. Ah, the life of a not incredibly bright—optimist. My middle name should’ve been perseverance.  
          Endless are the scatterings and the plumass backwards sentences. Endless are the ways to have shuffled this series. It is, for my own health and well-being; I’m just gonna play it as it lays ~PS. 
                                                     My 8-year best—I give to you.

 Germline Genetic Engineering.
          “It launches us into the future. It unlocks the evolutionary process and gives mankind the ability to redefine our species in broad, sweeping strokes. Pandora is then out of the box and—there’s no putting her back in. These keys are here to modify the human race and if those keys fall into the wrong hands—then God help us. Every groundbreaking technology ever discovered by science has been weaponized—from simple fire, nuclear power, biological weapons—at the hands of powerful governments; the last entities on earth that should have access to this technology. Germline Genetic Engineering paves the way for horrors we can’t yet fathom. Imagine a pathogen that attacks only those people whose genetic code contains certain ethnic markers. Its ethnic cleansing at the root source—genetics. But, couldn’t this technology be used for good things? Unfortunately, I’ve learned to expect the worst from people who hold power.” 
          Staring down a 4 hour layover, the airport bookstore offered a bit of consolation when I saw Dan Brown’s new thriller Inferno staring back. I was reminded of a friend’s suggestion to read it since it delved into the same topics I was writing about. The above paraphrasing came from Brown’s book and I’m guessing sums up what spurred the recommendation.  
         Other themes also connect. “Normally, the evolutionary process, whether it be Lungfish developing feet or an ape developing opposable thumbs—takes millennia to occur but now, we can make radical genetic adaptations in a single generation. Proponents of the technology consider it the ultimate expression of Darwinian survival of the fittest; humans learning to improve its own evolutionary process. Sounds more like playing God but transhumanists argue that its mankind’s evolutionary obligation to use all the powers at our disposal—germline genetic mutations for one—to improve our species. The problem is—our genetic makeup is like a house of cards. Each piece connected to, and supported by, countless others—in ways we don’t even understand. If we try to remove a single human trait, we can cause hundreds of others to shift simultaneously, possibly creating catastrophic effects.” And this connecting rod—pounds on why we damn well need to buy this pureform species a bit of time! 
          Yes, Inferno is a fictional thriller but my literary snobbishness doesn’t include historical fiction. Writers like Brown, Uris, Michener, Follett, build their stories from a well-researched base to lift history off the shelves. They become international bestsellers simply because we put them there and it’s a fair trade.They put context into real happenings—for us. Besides, I’ve been doing a bit o’ that research myself just to make sure I’m not misunderstanding any of Brown’s facts.   

Eugenics. 
          This term, coined in 1883: is the attempt to enhance the human species of hereditary qualities of a race or breed. During the 1920’s—30’s, prominent scientists across this entire world’s political spectrum advocated Eugenics. In America, it resulted in state laws permitting forced sterilization of inferiors; variously disabled, feeble-minded, paupers. However, Nazi extermination pogroms led to such a universal revulsion against Eugenics, these practices fizzled—sort of. Rather, Eugenics just got a new facelift of late which includes a benign-sounding tag for better distancing. Genetic Modification is the new way to spell hideous. No, this hideousness isn’t being forced on anybody, nor is any Aryan kind of selection going on—as yet. Forced agendas aren’t the ticket nowadays. Choice is. That’s how power-stroking works us now which is why the word insidious crops up all over this series like a bad case of zits. Line-drawing now glides right to the heart of the matter. Acceptance. Conditioning acceptance for this new way of selection can be evidenced in these words: we must give the greenlight to the only humane, compassionate choice that is actually—our responsibly to make. We are being guilted into becoming newday Eugenic Advocates. 
          As for choice: if we give our nod to those who want to try their hand at playing God, they will choose where to begin a line-drawing selection that once started—won’t stop. They will choose what’s undesirable—at the root source. So if selection centers on choice, then choice needs noted in jet black bold: today’s germline Eugenics will affect our future—our not yet conceived offspring. This choice takes away theirs—not ours. And, playing God includes the mother-nature kind of repercussions sure to come. There’s a damn good reason why adaptation takes its sweet time.       

Power, Money—Ideology.
        The Counsel for Responsible Genetics was founded in 1983 in Cambridge Massachusetts; www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org. These folks rigidly stand for a ban on Human Germline Genetic Modification (HGGM). The Ford Foundation looks to be their largest contributor with about $420,000 up thru 2007. At this site, you will find material to help raise awareness about why we have no business trying to play God and we must learn why because there’s a growing number of formidable organizations backed by million dollar slathering’s—who can’t wait to try. 
        Genetics & Public Policy Center; www.dnapolicy.org, founded in 2002 at the John Hopkins University, has millions backing their mission: “to help policy leaders, decision makers, (and oh yeah—the public) better understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from advances in genetics and their application to human health and well-being.” 
        The Duke Institute of Genome Sciences & Policy;  www.genome.duke.edu, also have millions backing their mission: “to foster excellence in genomics and computational biology.” Organizations such as these, along with private research facilities, have millions to help ensure we get their memo. Genome Modification. Human Enhancements. Come to know these tags as the starting gate where the next, mega cash pony already stands ready—chomping at the bit.   
       During one of my germline sleuthing stints, I stumbled across an HGGM debate.  Please find time to watch this. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vHhKks_nZU. Of four panelists, two argue for and two against—a ban to this new way of selection. For the ban; Philosopher of Science Sheldon Krimsky, co-author of Genetic Explanations—Sense and Nonsense, and Professor Robert Winston of London’s Imperial College. The opposition; Princeton’s Professor of Molecular Biology Lee Silver and Nita Farahany—the rock star of the show. She is: The Director of Duke Science & Society, Duke’s MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, Duke’s Professor of Law & Philosophy and also—sits on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues! And! She’s still young!
          Immediately, it becomes evident that Nita could take on 50 panelists without breaking a sweat. Krimsky and Winston didn’t stand a chance. After the debate, we find out that upon graduating from high school, Nita was the #1 primo debater in the country. So whoever stacked the deck—already knew the caliber of talent they found. Shining stars whisper into the ears of our presidents. They shape policy. Their agendas are worth questioning.
          In spite of this lion/lamb offset, team Krimsky/Winston didn’t lose by much and later, I thought about why; a regular occurrence since learning that tidbit from The PR Code of Ethics: teach us how to think—not what to think. So, I’m trying. Here, I started with the audience; those who weighed in for the lambs. How many stayed true to their pre-set beliefs in spite of how the lioness roared? Mostly, I wondered about those who came over to side with the lambs simply because something about what Team Slick offered—just didn’t feel right.
        Krimsky and Winston didn’t lose because they were wrong. They were simply outmatched. And, they veered. The next time I find myself in a muck with a slick suit, hopefully I’ll remember Nita’s performance because their schooling is the same—she just graduated at the tiptop of the class. 
        Team Krimsky tried hammering on why they aren’t wrong. “It’s not that genetic enhancement may or may not possibly work someday: it’s that a myth so grand in scope—becomes an Ideology for social power.” The nail they missed? Power, Money and Ideology—is—the nucleus of every line-drawing gambit grand in scope. Nita knows this. Knows also—her mission fails if our focus rests on this one, all-encompassing actuality. So, swiftly she diverts. Expertly, she plays the downside card of what happens when we impede scientific progress. For punctuation, she scoffs at every valid what-if as though the old guys were merely tossing out any red herring they could grab and when she did this, I chuckled; pleased with myself that I was catching on. So when Nita accused the old guys of lobbing herrings when in fact she was the one doing the tossing—I noticed. 
        Team Slick never veered from their ground zero: it is our responsibility to draw a line of acceptance beyond—being left behind. Nita’s herring: “If we don’t, we force the good people to go abroad to get these modifications. How then, will we enforce policy here? Meet them at the airport with handcuffs? Use mandatory screening to ensure nobody toys with the gene pool?” She did this several times. The old guys didn’t call her on it. 
        Power-hitters can do this stuff in their sleep. It’s a 101 class at every Ivy League nowadays and I feel sorry for their spouses. Lately, I’ve come to take more notice about the ways communicating machines; metal or man—come geared to expertly teach us what to think.  Well, learning how to think begins somewhere and for me—it starts at the smirk. In this debate, had the undecided 10% of the audience chose to counterbalance the power-hitter, Team Slick would have likely exited with smirk intact. Instead, they beamed with gladiator aplomb.This means their smirks aren’t perma-glued. What’s with powerhouse’s smirking at us anyway? Is that part of their schooling; some all-knowing posturing? I’m way over the powerhouse smirk. The 8-year Bush/Cheney smirk was enough for me. 
        Next, when compassion-drenched sells come steeped in fear for any techno-hype, my intuitive meter now pings wide awake so when Professor Slick persisted in draping herself in the cloak of compassion, I didn’t see it fitting. Repeatedly, Team Smirk assured us their only concern is for us to have the choice to have healthy babies to which, Team Old Guys tried their hand at hammering again. “Many of today’s advancements already do, and will soon do much more, to help us have healthy babies—all without germline selecting!” But somehow, they didn’t connect. Missed the nail also when they reminded the audience:“having a healthy baby is one guarantee nobody gets including the parents of gene altered babies!” They didn’t find center when they emphatically pounded:“these experimented-on babies will have lasting effects, some of which won’t be an improvement at all!” Had the old codgers been more skilled, they’d have hammered until it connected: whatever gets concocted—those genes will be passed into the human gene pool forever after. If they’d been schooled in today’s way of selling choice, they’d have tossed every herring right back: a handcuff greeting at the gate pales in comparison to the mandatory screening you can damn well bet our progeny will be forced to endure once the indisputable concoction of something hideous gets stirred into the pot our millenniums-perfected gene pool!                   

How we do that.  
          Eugenics is the game-changer. Be it germline selecting or nano-chip alterations: both tinker with our pureform state. To better appreciate what’s at stake, I want to revisit one last time—what it means to be a pureform program of a miracle. It’s called consciousness. Think intuition, emotions and imagination all dancing up a storm; probably on the top floor in the cerebral cortex. Consciousness: the quality or state of being aware, especially of something within. A state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition and thought. Likely, every intricately woven intrinsic ingredient, all the how’s and what’s fired at us, come from all parts of our body to meet up upstairs. Dissecting a brain to find the treasures of what it means to be human is like breaking into a vault. The treasures within, still remain seductively elusive as to how the cache got into the vault in the first place. This is why replicating a human well enough—is the best it will ever get. 
         Humans aren’t aware of a smidgen of what we know so much of what we know is intuitive. This immeasurable value greatly enhances our conscious data-cache. And all the summations of these minutely fired intuitive-blimps equate to a knowing called subjective experience. Machines, the its on the other side of the intelligence coin replacing us, have no original thought therefore—no subjective knowings. Its, will only ever be patterned to sound, act and behave like us by way of stored, objective intelligence. All of this becomes important because machines rule the world of intelligence; the storing, sharing, duplicating—objective kind. This type of intelligence is  not knowledge—it’s not wisdom. Subjective/Objective experience is Ray’s million-buck question: will old-fashioned subjective knowing's be missed? Yes! Hell yes! If the best it will ever get isn’t human—then why in the hell would we give up the keys for this earthly ride to some concocted souped-up pretender?
          Objective experience is stored intelligence for both man and machine and the only difference between, is this most integral difference—subjective knowings. A car wreck comes to mind. Two buds are in a car that rolls. One guy just knows he’s gonna die but the other guy never entertains that thought for even an instant. The experience of this wreck then becomes wholly different for each, though they were in the same car rolling over, simultaneously—together. Later, after the dust settles and the two lucky buds re-hash their experience, one says he just knew they were gonna die. The other quizzically ponders this and realizes he never, not for one instant, entertained that thought. Only then: do the buds awaken to the reality that their shared experience could not possibly have been felt the same. While one may try to convince the other they were or were not gonna die—an objective concept, neither will ever fully know how it actually felt for the other—the subjective reality. 
          Here’s where Ray’s question enters the picture. Say the bud that never for an instant imagined he was gonna die—happens to be a programmer. He then programs machines in ways to avert such a roll-over. Would he program all variables the same as the bud who just knew he was gonna die? No. A big fat No. Also, and this is no trivial side-note: the two lucky buds are likely still alive simply because their instinctual programming kicked in and they reacted in such a way, that only for that one instance, and only for that one instant—it made all the difference in the world. So while a machine may calculate in nano-seconds, the best-case response for patterned instances, even near-like ones: machines will never react wholly original and nothing else will ever kick in—especially for an instantaneous experience that has never yet occurred.

How it do that.
          For machines—think synonymously with computers, processors, RCO’s—its or robots. They store, duplicate and share information or data—think intelligence, with other machines—just like humans do. This is how replacement technology grows. It’s designed to function like humans in as many ways it’s fueled to do so. Functioning though—is hardly creating original thought. 
          Machine response and option-selecting mimicry is obviously just the same as ours but with at least two huge differences. The obvious one—our data factoid-base is not nearly so astounding. Secondly, we’re riddled with all that emotional stuff that tags along the communicado-slide which is always messin’ with us. Machines have glitches—not emotional quirkiness. Basically, a communicating machine can spew-out a phenomenal amount of highly intelligent-sounding responses of best-case options in nano-seconds from a colossal factoid data-base that’s still just a babe but luckily for us—none of this is wisdom. But, unlucky for us—if this no longer matters.  
          The Global Metasystem Web—stores, duplicates and shares, every scrap of intelligence funneled into its behemoth brain. This means even palm-held gadgets tapped into the web, tap into a data-base a zillion times larger than ours. This includes brainiac-brains so it’s not a matter of humans catching up to get smarter—fast. Bio-brains will never be able to compete with machines in these areas—even if we enhance ourselves. This is stage we are feeding right now—the Baby-G stage.
          For enhancing—think chips. Inserting chips into ourselves that can interact with any and every bio-function we have. Our heart, blood stream, every sensor, organ, limb—our brain. Called biotechnology, we are doing this for medical reasons already but if you have the bucks then soon: you can get enhanced with whatever tickles yer fancy. This is how Baby-G will grow. Our little tot, now a youthful bio-brother, will still be human—mostly, but as more enhancing gets inserted into the affluent, there will come a point when someone will deem the mutating line has been crossed. Evidently: this will be litigated—not legislated. Either way: another class of humans will emerge. So, do you truly think we can usher in another class of humans—peacefully? Obviously—I don’t. 
          Enter nano-brother hitting puberty. After that, then it’s only a matter of time before producing. So think of the success behind counseling teens to just wait. A Baby-G might mind our counsel but I don’t think it’s wise to bank the human future on the whims of a teen-Goliath. 
          The makings of this stage, called nanotechnology, are also—already in the works. None of this is a figment of Ray’s imagination. But from here, this is where you can choose to scoff at Ray, be a Singularitarian fan, or heed his techno-predicting capabilities. This is where Baby-G is all grow’d up, makes it through its teen-nano brother stage, and unleashes the fully materialized Superintelligence. Call it Big AI or Super-Goliath but just know—it won’t need our help to upgrade or replicate. In fact, this bad boy won’t need us for a damn thing. This is where Ray hopes Super-G likes us and it will all work out just fine! Meanwhile, if humans can bridge these cataclysmic junctures without completely erupting, then soon thereafter and only if this bad boy likes us: the very fate of humanity will be at the mercy of wherever an it—wants to drive. 
          Ray’s scenic ride; Singularity, may or may not ever happen but if it does, it takes our progeny wherever it wants to go—providing they get to stick around. Ray predicts this trip could begin in about 20 more years. Call Ray crazy or not, but it’s not this rosy drive that may or may not happen that’s got me writing but rather—I’m writing because of the keys. We are the ones to decide if we are gonna give Baby-G the keys today, because by tomorrow—it will be too damn late.

What we do Know.
          We’d be plumass stupid to cave. Period. We hold the keys to Pandora’s Box—to the car  for this incredible, human-exclusive ride. If we stupidly cave, nobody, not one Professor Extraordinaire even: can conceive the magnitude of what will happen to our millenniums-tested adaptation once we begin to alter our house of cards. Nanotechnology-inserts, Germline/Eugenic selecting or a cocktail of both if you will: come with great unknowns as to whether the end results will improve or regress our species. These proofs won’t be fully known, if ever, for generations to come. However, the effects to those experimented-on humans will indeed play out in their lifetime in at least one realm. Subjective Knowings. So, think about all the many great and renowned immortal kind of pureform minds that have come before us; from Galileo to Tesla. Today’s Stephen Hawking is a great example. He has shown us his amazing mind—locked behind a painfully grim physicality. Had the ALS disease that’s gradually paralyzed him been erased before his inception: the reaping of what his mind has offered would not be the same without his intimate, subjective experience with such a crippling disease. How much has ALS weakened, or maybe amplified—his offerings? Don’t know. Even Stephen himself can’t answer that. This will always be, just one more chunk casting about in the great unknown. 
          Nobody wants to suffer. But from countless examples of great suffering, came messages delivered by way of music, art, science, literature. Beethoven, Mozart, Van Gogh, Einstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Da Vinci. Sure, all of us have great minds: these minds just somehow unlocked theirs to create masterpiece offerings that literally shaped The Human Experiment. How’d they unlock their genius? Don’t know. That’s just another chunk floating about in the great unknown. All we know is their masterpieces would never have come to light in the full breadth now known—without their only unto them, subjective experience in which their creativity sprang from. 
          If I’m not hitting center on why subjective experience is, well—everything, then try this one. If we give the go-ahead to germline selecting, then just know: the kind of torture a Stephen Hawking mind has endured would fall behind Nita’s line because it’s one of those undesirable glitches that will be tested for at the pre-embryonic stage. Meaning: in the choosing of embryos, the one that became Stephen—would never have made it out of the petri dish. 
          Here’s another crucial tidbit to mull over. If by some miracle, souped-up pretenders make it to Super-G’s threshold and it decides to keep them: those modified affluent just might get to experience a near-immortal existence. Again, subjective experience plays out; can be glimpsed in the words of Bioethicist Leon Kass: “Consciousness of mortality gives rise to our deepest longings and greatest accomplishments. Human life without death would be something other than human.”  Maybe the Gods know the full extent of how this single, daddy of ‘em all survival-reactor shapes each and every subjective experience but we sure don’t. But, we do know purpose tempers what’s innate so it’s fair to say that our greatest accomplishments are indeed—compelled forth from a conscious knowing that our time here is limited. I damn sure know I wouldn’t be compelled to keep plucking away at this if I thought I had all the time in the world! Actually, now’d be a really great time for all of us to clearly see why we need to buy our pureform state a bit of time because we truly won't have have all the time in the world if we don’t.

Line Drawers.
          This entire series could be mistaken for a prelude leading up to one kicker. The we factor. We, at any given time, from within any and every mind, singularly to cumulatively, take from our subjective experience—a message to deliver. We are all messengers. Matters not if the medium used is clay or wood, pastels or ink, music or food—we create. If no other human ever saw our creations, even after our demise, then and only then could it be said that we aren’t messengers after all. Otherwise, this fact remains: we are communal. The we factor, our Zeitgeist, resides within what we will accept. Our cumulative acceptance is the very message we will fuse into history’s voluminous chapters. 
          If we cave, only the privileged will be able to afford what is already being called designer enhancements. How much will these enhancements short-change subjective experience? Don’t know. However, now’d be a good time for transhuman advocates to consider this: if your tinkering ends up diluting your imagination—do you really think Super-G will have any need for your designer ass? Here’s a real-time scary what-if. We do know that once we come to believe in this reckless myth: our acceptance will hold robotic talkin’ lookin’ elitists as superior and when that happens—look out!
          To ease our concerns; get us over the hump to allow an entirely new, super elitist to enter stage-center, the acceptance sell here can be evidenced in the word soon! Because technology adapts so quickly then soon!—we’ll also be able to afford enhancing our own beast! How soon? Not sure but soon! What rate? Don’t know but just think of the harried trade-ups we go through to finally arrive in a Cadillac some pace-setter traded off long ago for a Rolls Royce. Whenever soon comes and at whatever rate: this frenetic race will always but always, have us at the tail-dragging end. A pace now being set by an Oligarchy—gaining a wide margin nowadays. How wide? Don’t know that either but we can damn well bet once that box gets creaked open—it will be our tail-dragging weight clamoring to topple it right over. Now why in the hell would we do that? Well because! Once we come to believe any concoction other than pureform is progress, then the very beast within, which just happens to have one helluva competitive bone—guarantees a hellish clamoring!   
          Had the old guy debaters been expert messengers, they’d have simply invoked history’s voluminous lessons as to what’s 100% guaranteed to happen when fingerprints like Professor Extraordinaire’s get fixed upon that box. She knows, we all know—there’s no putting that genie back. She knows that once we help her creak it open: Power, Money and Ideology spell cataclysmic catastrophes in more ways than even she can fathom. So, do you suppose the only thing Ms. Extraordinaire doesn’t know is—who’s pulling her strings? 
            We must decide for ourselves—what’s acceptable. We must reappraise just how immeasurably valuable perfectly flawed inadequacies really are. So yes Nita, when you roared about those scary days of mandatory screening; the consequence of us having to go abroad in order to get one of those back alley enhancements—well, I’d like to flip that herring back so catch this. Wherever your line begins—mandatory screening will follow. It’s just a matter of time before Mother Nature finds we went and messed with her millenniums-tested perfection. And that line? You know damn well once it begins—it won’t stop. You know it will slither right up against where our line of just too much awaits so if you’d dust off your history books then you’d remember what hellish line comes next! And to think your expert kind of advice gets whispered into the ears of our presidents! Yikes! But of course! She’s fully aware of how we draw out our hellish line!                                                         

Colliding Coincidences. 
          Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen. By the way, a dime a dozen is such a common human expression, I’d bet Siri can say it, and soon—even while driving! Anyway, the conspiracies with staying power—stay, because they just have too many colliding coincidences. For instance, since I promised to follow-up on the 9/11 conspiracy—I did. I tried. You’ll have to do your own sleuthing cuz the internet is filled with colliding coincidences surrounding this tragedy and it would take me a dedicated month to snoop out our dismal past—only to net the same lingering questions and then some. There was one article, written by Donte’ Stallworth for the Huffington Post in 2014, which helped put the conspiracy aspect into perspective for me.
          Donte’ takes us on his own sleuthing trip which included a trek down into the bowels of YouTube where he found a 9/11 conspiracy series called Loose Change; something that’s been viewed tens of millions of times. He started his trek doubting there was a conspiracy; his own desire was to find there wasn’t but his suspicions grew as he made his way down the rabbit hole to where past conspiracies and coverups reside—marring our country’s history. Finally, Donte’ came back to doubting there was any 9/11 conspiracy. He said; “I began to wonder; to listen to Alex Jones, everything is a conspiracy, every tragedy a false flag, every explanation a coverup.” Donte’ came to his final conclusion via reading James Bradford’s—The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. “The more I read this book, the more I saw what really happened. We were attacked by terrorists. There were multiple institutional failures within the federal government. The Bush White House was at the very least unimaginative and deaf to warnings about terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that appeared in CIA briefings for months leading up to 9/11. Our government was incompetent, not a co-conspirator.” 
          A veteran investigative journalist that covered 9/11 and its aftermath, Philip Shenon, sealed Donte’s conclusion. Shenon said; “I had trouble accepting some of the big 9/11 conspiracies if only because after 20 years in and out of Washington: I just couldn’t imagine the federal government being nearly competent enough to carry out what would have been such a vast, complicated operation in total secrecy."
          In the 1950’s, a poll question began: Do you trust the government to do what is right all or most of the time? 75% of Americans answered yes—then. Sixty years later—25% of us trust our government. By 2006, a Scripps Howard poll showed 36% of us believed it was somewhat, or very likely, that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop them because they wanted to go to war in the Middle East. Donte’ concludes: “If more than 1/3rd of Americans distrust the government enough to believe it had something to do with the worst terrorist attack on our soil, then that's something the government and media ought to do more than poke fun at. Democracy requires trust to function.”    
        
Maybe its time to put the 9/11 tragedy to rest but I don’t know. I’m not one of the devastated loved ones of 4700 victims. I do know that 16 years ago I never noticed these coincidences colliding. I now wonder why. I do now know—it’s time we demand representation we can trust.        

Dumb and Dumber.
          Next conspiracy: they are making us dumber; an effective way to keep us blinded. Really? The one steadfast editor from my friend list thinks so and since she’s stuck-out the long haul, I want to show some gratitude. But, I could simply rest her case by merely re-directing you back through all the hammerings in this series cuz without a doubt—there’s colliding coincidences going on here too. All that’s really left to then wonder is: what all—is actually being banked on our ignorance? 
          Speaking of banking on our ignorance, I should point out that I’ve not found even one expert who doesn’t warily, wisely, know: there is no other mankind calamity that pegs at the top of the existential risk category more than what’s in that Pandoras Box! With this mind, why in the hell is this insanity even being entertained—unless of course: the stakes being banked on—just to get that box opened, also peg in—right at the top. 
          This series comes from an American background and perspective but the choices we face affect all humanity so every earthling needs to lift their blinders. Although, The Professor at London’s Imperial College from team-old guys, specifically directed awareness-raising to American’s; packaged as a plea. “Because America is the premier leader in these fields, he asks on behalf of all mankind: we carefully consider the choices we are about to make.” So, how we gonna do that if we are indeed—getting dumber?
        The more machines do for us, the more our subjective experience suffers. So say if only once, we had to change the oil in our car or fix a flat, mend our pants or can the vegetables we grew: we will never know just how much of these doings, baked subjective knowings critical to the way we understand something else—seemingly completely unconnected—throughout an entire life. It’s those critical mud-pie years of learning—stretched into a lifetime of pie-baking. 
      If someone is intentionally pressing down a dunce cap upon our heads—then who? Is there truly a smoke-filled back room Monopoly game going on—actually able to conspire power moves of this caliber? I don’t think so but I do know that we are one rich booty. So, wherever we go: Power, Money, and Ideology are sure to be right there working hard to chart our course. That’s the way it goes in the world of opportunists. Actually, it’s in our DNA to be opportunists or we wouldn’t be here. It’s just that some swore to uphold theirs and they happen to swing from the mightiest of mighty—power rungs. 
        What really moves an era’s Zeitgeist? Is there really a small band of master puppets orchestrating the entire show? Or, is it really just us—caving to reckless leads?

Inglorious Reality.
          Freer-than-ever is not irrevocable—we can damn well backslide. There’s an old Latin saying, panem et circenses; bread and circus. The Romans ruled by it. Definition: “Panem et circenses is metonymic for—a superficial means of appeasement. It became the most effective way to rise to power and control the masses. In the case of politics, Panem et circenses came to mean—diversion and distraction. In the case of the mass, it decries the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns—the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the commoner.”
          We aren’t experiencing anything new. Rather, a new-way existence has been coming at supersonic speed. Almost as if blinded, we’ve yet to question this all-things techno lead. As if still dazed, we seem only to be hoping that our rulers; the ones that have our Democracy in a stranglehold over on the hill, the ones we don’t much trust anymore—will do what’s right. Unless we demand redirects, I surmise and I’m not alone, that within this decade—there will be a stark shift in employment opportunities. Menial jobs will increase; skilled mid-level jobs will dwindle. The middle is indisputably—already shrinking. It will shrivel. This grimness brings us to the most Inglorious Conspiracy Theory I know. 
          Population-control resides within the sphere of every animal’s very existence and that includes humans. World population is currently at 7 billion. Future estimates have this number exploding and hugely problematic—somewhere around 11 billion by this century’s end. When I think about what that might look like, the movie Slumdog Millionaire comes to mind. There’s about 12 million living where that movie took place. Of those, about 9 million live in the slums; up from 6 million—just a decade ago. And, Mumbai isn’t the most populated city in the world; it comes in at numero 8. 
          By the time souped-up elites arrive—we can damn well bet they’ll address overpopulation. Some say powermongering opportunists of the scariest of kinds are already maneuvering  to position themselves advantageously for when collapse and depravity sets in. Maybe. Rather—have we evolved enough to distance ourselves from barbaric population-control measures?
          In any given week, we are given chilling, power-control snapshots. From the Balkans to Burma, Mexico to the Congo, Somali, Sierra Leone and all parts in between. An entire Mid-East is unraveling. People from every political/religious Ideology are being caught in a hell called ethnic cleansing right now—not bygone yesterday. Unraveling’s spread. Christopher Dickey wrote for Newsweek about Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician sporting a dyed-blonde Aryan look. “Wilders is eager to expand the market of Islamophobia. His explosive and unrelenting hostility towards Islam has built his xenophobic party into that country’s third largest one. His impact has now reached our shores. Legislature’s now debate measures to ban an imagined threat—Islamic law.” 
          Replacement-mentality lives in us. It is not harmless. Hitler was not the first diabolical psychopath to exterminate or experiment on the penned. In this past century alone: mass genocide has been somewhere around 170 million. Of that, Hitler is credited with a mere—13 million. Yet after 1945, when after his pogroms should have permanently etched in our minds the price of line-drawing, it has been estimated that upwards of 20 million have been displaced.
          Humans still exist—starved or penned. Pens, called refugee camps, come and go in the world of line-drawing. Right now, approximately 800 million people starve. Millions of these—if they make it, will be tomorrow’s adults. America is home to approximately 45 million of those starving. Folks that don’t live penned but merely exist—in a country more bountiful than any other. Overpopulation, and unemployment, have a direct-connect straight to the very animal within—even in America. Yes, we have a ways to go before depravity sets in but right now in 2015—you can’t pick up a paper without reading about how many of our cities no longer have a viable middle class. 
          If we allow transhumanism of any souped-up version including Super-G into The Human Experiment: we would be horribly naïve to hope it won’t calculate just exactly where to draw the line for the one animal that keeps expanding beyond it means. So conjure any verb choice you want; government, madman or super-something, to then visualize which tyrannical flavor you want drawing the line for our own grandkids to fit behind. Will they starve, get penned for experimental purposes or if spared, their babies must suffer some aptitude test; high-scorer’s pampered, low ones thrown away? These aren’t red-herrings. This is ground zero. Unless things change—our great country is set to decline so don’t bother visualizing us coming to the ethical rescue much longer. And for those so jaded as to think this might be good; that finally, someone will get a handle on overpopulation, then just realize—someone is the crucial verb. Just call me Lucifer cuz I’m in need of some restraint ~RS.

Walking tightrope high over moral ground.
                It’s silly to pretend line-drawing thoughts don’t cross our minds. Maybe not in Mother Teresa’s noggin’ but the rest of us don’t get such an untainted pass. I suppose most of us draw our procreating-prevention lines at the borders of poor countries and at the doorsteps of every country’s Fishtown. Well, it’s presumptuous and doesn’t feel good but I need to sell a stance from us and I’d apologize but time is short so just remember: adaptation occurs when patterns change. Communication promotes this. Every society must counsel their youth over and over again: procreate only what you can provide in both provisions and parental finesse! Accountability includes far more than just wanting a baby to love. For this, I agree with the bumper sticker—get a puppy. Simply put, well-loved, well-parented kids—breed a better adjusted class of humans. Yep, sounds like a livestock breeding program and I’d apologize here too except there’s that pesky suspicion that won’t go away; creeps up on me when I watch acts like Professor Extraordinaire sell us down the pureform drain. That’s when I think there just might be some heinous kind of population conspiracy behind—all that’s ominous. But even if there isn’t, our kids damn well need all the help they can get today if they are to stand a chance at countering some of tomorrow’s what-if’s. Sure, there’s a few other hopeful options to help us control ourselves. God might intervene but, I’d bet the 800 million starving folks right now would beg to differ. Of course Mother Nature’s wrath seems consistent enough. However, these hopes won’t help us learn to move individually responsibly—in a mass-minded way. 
          Mass-mindedness includes communicating en-masse what’s acceptable. We’ve got to stop turning our heads; telling ourselves what’s going on is none of our business—just live and let live. No, we don’t have to revisit the Victorian ways of judging but we could: communicate loudly our heartfelt approval when we witness young loving parents actually parent. Yes, it does take a whole village to raise a child. I had a teacher who whacked my knuckles when I misbehaved, an uncle who assigned me farm tasks I just knew were way over my head, neighbors who scolded me when I deserved it and elders who taught me many things; loved and enjoyed my company while doing so. Didn’t you? So when I see today’s kids get the same, I smile; I know they’ll be okay. But when I see young parents afraid to scold their screaming kid in the store while we silently pass by judging and unhelpful, I see uncertainty and aloneness wash over them and I wonder who’s in their village helping them? Honestly, just how disconnected and disengaged can a society afford to stay? If there’s a conspiracy to help us snug our blinders down by keeping us well-entertained right at home, safe-safely tucked in, well—it’s working. All that we really need is right at home ~ D.  A divide to conquer move—at expert level. Community shattered—first from within.

The Gatekeeper.
          Tolerance. I wouldn’t be writing any of this if we simply saw the value in one another. Can’t we just to move to higher ground? SW. Seriously, it’s not like the world would be one big Happyville then. Our daily blood pumpin’ fixes would still have plenty of nearly insurmountable problems to get steamed over. Governments could still hammer away at each other’s directional steering, contend with natural disasters, grapple with world hunger and economic woes. Commerce elites could still plot to outmaneuver each other to keep their stockholders happy. Fevered scientists could still invent preventive tools for Asteroids and create viable ways to sustain our planet and! We could still work to pay for it all! Damn! Who is the goose and who is the gander? 
        Surely, many ruling elites of past eras propelled forward movement compelled by a benevolence for the mass. But time and again, decent rulers became overcome and overwhelmed by the challenges of their times. History then chronicles the resultant two steps back rather than the honorable, could have been—bounce forward. In turn, masses either believed their elites ruled principally with their well-being in mind and/or were wary of their ruler’s agendas and/or capabilities. Regardless but historically: any mass fomenting redirection, no matter how forwardness got derailed—rarely occurred timely. The more time lapsed, the bigger the debacle—and so goes the messy price of redirecting forward freedom.
         Whatever line-drawing schemes are out there, to peacefully accept them requires conditioning. And, conditioning isn’t always bad; it’s just considered to be sleazy because of the endless times powermongers used it to insert pathetic control schemes into societies. However, conditioning can be evidenced whenever societal parameters are being tweaked. Selection and replacement line-drawing acceptance is—a tweaking of the most aggressive kind. This is a very crucial part of this series. Communal animals use conditioning to maintain harmonious balance within their society. For humans: freedom is the teeter-tot counterbalance of these measures. Monitoring is all about control—ergo conditioning, and that’s another fact. Subversive conditioning agendas ebbing away our freedoms only forestall bloody messes and historically speaking—that’s another fact. Will we never learn this! Must be time for another footnote: human pretenders won’t actually bleed or feel pain. Maybe this is one reason we’ve not already annihilated ourselves. C'mon! Power-ilk, no matter how they come decked-out, are standard suffrage and only vigilant, unified societies—not governments—can prevent this type of ilk from wreaking devastation! 
        Nanoids will likely recognize the value of competitive stuff and therefore mimic it so I wonder: what will keep no-emotion, no-feeling, top-dog racers in-check? Well, it sure won’t be emotions or a conscience. I guess our consolation is that we actually feel life. We feel love. We feel pain. I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance ~GB. Anyone who can listen to this song without a lump settling in their throat is either damn lucky or else well on their way to mimicking a machine!   
        
I doubt Ray’s Singularity will transpire in our lifetime but if 10,000 scientists are feverishly working to unleash superintelligence upon us, then how long do you think our grandkids will have before the full weight of his hypothesis comes to bear? Well, my impunity list is over. We are on numero last. If this series hasn’t help cement in our minds how the power dance goes then Hitler is right—our power of forgetting is enormous.
       Brown’s Inferno book begins with this: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain neutrality in times of moral crisis.” He ends his book with this: “Dante’s words never felt so clear. In dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction.” This is how I see us standing right now. Idle. Our Zeitgeist, dismal. But, the choice to steer the helm to where pureform civilized humans are the only thing happening is still—right within our grasp.
                                       C’mon people now ~ come together! ~TY.

Boat Building.
          Enough of conspiracies. We’ve got homework to do. That’s it. Period. We’ve allowed some mighty debacles to flourish these past 30 years and it’s time we roll up our sleeves and tackle a few. Time to build our boat from a noble plan ~ GC. 
          Even me-me people know that at the end of the day—no amount of wealth will prevent mortal passing. Mortal purpose has a timeframe. Our singular stamp of existence, status and acquisitions are laughably trite without individual efforts given toward communal purpose. I’ve still got a purpose to serve so let your light shine. God don’t let me lose my nerve ~S&Co. 
          Maybe this series will help us move as one, maybe not, but let the cynics throw stones from another corner. Plenty of stones, plenty of corners and cynics. If nothing else, maybe this series will shake the tree and something else will fall out. That’s how I got here. 
          Today’s New World Order won’t meekly share the reins. We need to believe boldly—our turn is now. The Luddite Fallacy is not where the debate is. Neither is New World Order, population-control or dunce-cap conspiracies. Fiscal collapse, germline tinkering or Superintelligence are also—not where the debate will soon be. Zeitgeist is. What do we intend to do about any of it?

Pings. 
        We all walk life’s path occasionally wondering what’s it all about, why am I here, what am I supposed to do while here? When I mused about these common enough thoughts aloud one day, a spiritual friend suggested meditation as a means in which to find my own meaningful answers. So, along with the many books he’d occasionally drop by, I painstakingly put aside the time commitment to meditate until one day, I said screw it. I’d rather remain ignorant than to spend another minute sitting—ohm’ming my way to enlightenment! 
        Power Vs. Force was one of those books my friend dropped by. So full enlightenment isn’t in the cards for me but it was enlightening to learn that I could more regularly hang out in higher energy fields; a concept that holds great appeal and you’d appreciate why if you had any idea of the head-trip this venture has taken me on! Anyway, when Hawkins says self-awareness is cumulative consciousness—I thought of energy. From within to without, from every snippet of the physical and non-physical, energy engulfs us. Energy is the makeup of every atom. Ions and Protons flip about in every cell of our body—Our Chi. 
        To better grasp cumulative consciousness, I thought of Zeitgeist; The Spirit of Our Times.  And to scale this down to a more tangible grasp—I thought of us. A mingling group of us. The dynamics within a group of us constantly shift as one leaves, another joins. From every Debbie Downer to those so charismatic they light up the room—we feel vibrational energy. To raise that vibration up some then, we simply scale it down one step more—to within. Energy. It aligns. 
        If The Map of Cumulative Conscious had an energy meter, where would healthy humility hover before regressing into submissive humbleness? How about rightful indignation before dropping towards righteousness? Where would that perfect pinging be for a people who demand to be  a respected society? Where are we now? Where should we be? Where do I fit in? How about you?                                   

It’s about Faith.
                                              
Faith. To Believe in something not proven. 
            Ultimately, every unknown can only be viewed from the depths of faith. Mortals don’t have crystal balls and—our subjective experience wouldn’t be the same if we did. Faith, it’s an immeasurable value. So is conviction, belief, inspiration—fortitude. These key humanistic ingredients fueled this story. It’s what I’ve got going for me; what we all have going for us. Faith though, is likely the most misunderstood trait we have. Maybe, Faith’s real job is to simply vibrate consciousness.  The rinse cycle for all thoughts.
          Words. Just simple labels with no texture which slide from our tongue if not for meaning. The shroud of any word is its essence—like love. This word itself invokes nothing. It’s the depths of what we equate to love as measured in the essence of other labels like trust and admiration. The word faith is the same. Usually, the immediate essence of this word invokes Godly concepts but those notions keep coming under cynical-fire because of verifiable proof. But, proof and God-concepts don’t have the exclusive on faith. 
          Dr. Jung says faith is peculiar only to mankind. Atheists say maybe this maybe that, maybe none of it matters—no one is looking. Tell me your thoughts on God, ask why we’re who we are ~D.  Either way, there’s a growing consensus that because of God-concepts: Faith needs kicked from the team. “For the human future, our state-of-being will need to be that of a serious observer and that is to mean—other than faith.” So while we argue, label and divide ourselves over one immense pool of unknowing, please realize: God-concepts reside at the very heart of whether humans should transcend our bio-selves or not. These gung-ho transcenders believe humans must shed faith to survive which alone attests to something whacko; to believe—not to believe? Wow. Well I damn sure believe and my faith is resolute: in order to survive, we must learn to covet these vital gems for personal guidance; not leave exposed for others to manipulate, trivialize, or try to discard. 
        If Singularity is not a matter of faith but of understanding—then maybe I’ll start a new cult. Call it Unifaithity. There would be few creeds. The first would hold: it’s a matter of understanding that faith damn well matters! Who are we to tell fate how it’s supposed to go? ~CC. The second would be simplistic by design; captured in the famous Dao quote—other than labels. Wanna join? While you’re deciding, let’s go back to faith; mull over the brand I’m selling.

Gem Coveting.       
        
I’m a big fan of ourselves, I think we are worth keeping as the biologically adapting animal just the way we came—enhanced with an array of passion-fueled emotions to spice this ride we call life. It’s like my Harley t-shirt; it’s about the journey—not the destination. Well, tinkering with our pureform machine is not my idea of humanity’s destination but what do you think? Gods or not—is Earth ours to covet? Or—just left exposed for any mojo-making intelligence to covet? 
       For eight years, I’ve written—I’ve stalled. And it’s been this ponderance about who gets to covet this gem, that’s probably been the real muscle pulling me from my stalls. So here I am, stalled yet again and this time it’s because I’ve come to the point where I know I must seal this deal; to tackle gem-coveting but alas, my ego keeps frantically screeching at me that I don’t know how. Ah, to go thru life with a confident side-kick.
        Guess I’ll start here. To covet is to want something which is to mean—emotions. If the human chapter of spiritual machines is meant to close; meant to be replaced with a higher intelligence free of messy emotions, then—who decides? For if it is meant, that is to mean intent, so—whose intent? Again, the St. Francis quote sums up this mega-intent: What we are looking for is rather, who is looking? The caliber of this intent is why the word devolution came to be. We couldn’t agree if the progress of evolution—was intended. So, does God choose who gets to covet this gem, or do we? And if it is we, then who is we; all-knowing powerhouse course-setters, or us?
       Daily, I thank God for all that I am blessed with; for all that I find gratitude in. But Gratitude isn’t like Faith; it’s certainly not elusive or misunderstood. In fact, many human peculiarities; our emotional traits, don’t seem to care who we thank or give credence to just so long as we nurture them. Like Love. Love begets Love. Compassion, Appreciation, Admiration, Love and Gratitude. Traits so easily appeased; content to ever-renew one another just so long as our vibrator contently hums. 
        Long ago, the who is looking, manifested into white-robed, fatherly looking God-heads which then went on to include more tangible connections; Mohammed and Jesus are just two that have stood the test of time. And long ago means these manifestations are now engrained in us all if not indelibly stamped. These white-robed, cloud-housed concepts, have all-knowing deities looking down upon each and every one of us; maybe even tallying our after-life entrance credits. But manifestations simply help us picture unknowns; something quite natural for imaginatively-equipped beings. So manifestations surely can’t be the culprit to the discord about Faith. Rather, it must be the roles assigned to God-head manifestations. Right/wrong ideology roles. But instead of reappraising Faith’s job, transhumanists are scurrying to capitalize on this confusion by shoving yet another right/wrong ideology onto us. The need to extract Faith. 
          Vital peculiarities are surely inseparable from emotions. Faith isn’t like tonsils; it can’t be extracted as something unnecessary. Rather, we’d have to dilute the whole bundle—become robotic. We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?~SF. To allow this latest,  all-knowing gang to decide for us who gets to covet this gem: then faith in our own purpose/intent is damn sure to wane and indeed—we will lose ourselves. Faith deserves distinct separation from right/wrong ideology.  
        Humanity can’t afford to have this right-now mass defer yet again, to one more all-knowing gang—who gets to covet this gem. Truly, the very fulcrum to this one step up ~ two steps back jig, has always but always—boiled down to the masses and their Gods. It’s why the Great Man Theory doesn’t hold up. A good example to this which helped put it in perspective for me showcased Thomas Edison; A Great Man whose influences literally shaped The Human Experiment. Had Edison been born even 100 years earlier, it’s likely he would have been burned at the stake for the witch-craftery he offered. Hence, The Spirit of The Times is shaped only by an acceptance of those masses of their times. So, it’s down to us and our Gods. Two entities, each with uniquely assigned roles. Roles that can be shrink-wrapped into three words no less. Benevolence and Free Will. 
        A few years back, a Christian take on these two roles came in the form of a book titled The Shack. The author’s intent was to reinforce that indeed: white-robed manifestations look down upon us with benevolence. It’s a story about Missy; a young innocent who falls victim to the free will of a sub-human and if I ever get to have a two-way chat with God, I’ll be sure to ask about Missy’s free will. The free will of every yesterday’s Missy. Last night’s Missy. Every innocent of this very moment. This story’s pry-bar is that Missy was never alone. That benevolent Jesus was right there with her, holding her hand through the unfolding of nightmares that were conducted for days, until finally—Jesus takes her lifeless hand home to God. Faith rebels for a damn good reason. 
        My Faith contently breezes right along; constricts only when I hit this fundamental, benevolent and free will concept. But since I can feel Faith breathe, I must also acknowledge when I feel it constrict. Maybe I’m just too dense to understand why any benevolent God would allow any sub-human free will and yet—deny an innocent theirs. I once asked an old priest about this. Years later, I still remember that conversation; the words and the feel. And though I am not Catholic, I asked him specifically because something seemed to illuminate from him. I now believe what I felt was his energy, resonating from a higher place than most; beyond judgment. Anyway, he looked into me and etched permanently within—his words. Child, there is not one man of the cloth who hasn’t raked his soul over this. There were times I doubted my own calling over this. You must find your own way to come to peace with this but always—allow Faith to guide you.     

God, what you say?     
        It seems the more we know, the more we realize—we really can’t be much more than a dimple on the backside of it all. But! What a lucky dimple we are! Some believe God is a pattern awaiting discovery of itself. If so, then while waiting, we are the fortuitous ones because patiently-awaiting God used an incredible brush to paint with. Rainbows. Macaw Parrots. Mist-drenched Waterfalls. Beauty of such magnitudes must be Gods specialty. Obviously, God knew that only lifeforms equipped with emotions would be able to stand in awe of all that God created. Also obviously, God considered the possibility of us getting bored along the way to discovering God since we’ve been armed with an endless stream of wonderments to keep us entertained! If God awaits us, then God overdid the endless stream a bit cuz considering the stage we’re at—this could take a while. 
      Honestly, I doubt an entity capable of creating universes needs to patently await us to unlock its discovery. Besides, in the meantime and just in case—there’s this thing called God’s wrath. To love a God, to feel the flame ~L. If something other than God’s crown jewel shows up to unlock the door of self-discovery, then I’d say there’s gonna be hell to pay!

Our Soul. It Grasps.    
        
Year after year, we are passionately loyal fans for entire seasons for every team of every imagined competition. He’s going the distance ~ he’s going for speed ~C. We unite our passion. Year after year, we are passionately patriotic Americans whose frustrations mount while the self-serving toy with our democratic rise and gnaw holes in our capitalistic ship. That is the passion we must energize. The flag has dropped. It’s time we find forward. Think Renaissance; a cultural change that brought humanity out of the dark ages. It’s the group shot that history chronicles.    
        
When I stumbled onto the label Zeitgeist, I came to see more significance in the Dao quip: to label it is to lose it. So whatever is God, Belief, Faith—Intent—it vibrates within; moves to the rhythm of energy. Yours, mine—absolutely everybody's. Our Zeitgeist. We are all part and parcel of all that’s Omnipotent. There’s no doubt there’s power behind absolutely every event which determines it’s unfolding; the good, the bad—the unconsciousable. Omnipotence then, rather than benevolence, might be more apt to describe an intent so powerful, it either moves all energy—or is the nucleus of all energy. Either way, we arrive full circle back to free will. At any given time, we can choose to invoke that energy to higher ground. I believe Faith would like that. To fulfill its role. To be the Energized Breeze Pure God Energy requires. Possibly, God is wondering what it’s gonna take for us to get this. This is where I’m at. It’s neither right nor wrong though I am certain of one thing. I’m going to find a whole lot more fulfillment along this chanced-journey called life—with Faith as my guide.
        Somehow, we must come to better appreciate what it actually means to be the fortuitous kings on this hill. Maybe it’s just a matter of feeling—keyed into awe—this Earthly paradise. I suspect this includes more than standing in awe, one night, last year—on vacation. For me, I’m lucky. I’ve click-clacked my way down the track for many years now. I’ve got to witness a panoply of sunsets give way to the twinkling’s of heavenly gems; sunrises give way to the dawning of yet one more glorious shimmer. And when I listen to the wizened child within faithfully urge me to pause and take in all that I will allow; that’s when I feel awe and—my Faith breathes. It swells with the rise and dips of sun and moon. And when I pause to look upon the vast illuminated landscape, I’m immediately rewarded with wunderkinds everywhere; Sandhill Cranes seemingly in-step with the tempo of love, Antelope seemingly in-stride to outrace life itself. Moments like these warm me and I know that even poets with their sing-song precision, can’t aptly describe—all that’s ineffable.
          Choosing to pause to allow unhindered, inner-guidance. I’ve come to see this as they key to a fulfilled life; our one shot deal. When I look up at the moon’s glow, I see its beauty but, I also see its bareness and immediately—I breathe deeply. Grateful for the air that’s so freely ours—somehow created from more parts of all that’s ineffable. Yes, I have pondered over all that’s ineffable out there but only since I began writing Our Story—did I learn to look for ineffable within. Indescribably limitless is our imagination—our emotions. Love, laughter, joy—can be felt reverberating throughout our entire being. Limitless is our precious gift to simply close our eyes for the mere pleasure of seeing what our imagination wants to show us—what our emotions want us to embrace. Key humanistic traits compel us to feel our way through life, to feel gratitude when we find fulfillment, to believe and to have faith in all that we find—has purpose. Ineffable, our planet, our universe—us. When we feel—we stand a chance and my faith deeply breathes. It’s what it’s gonna take to make a dream survive ~SM.

To catch a feel.            
        
Learning how to think, rather than being told what to think, must be like snagging an emotion en-route long enough to ask for a bit of conscious guidance. Well Awe is sure an easy one to snag! Actually, Awe might simply be the light switch to Pure Energy. Raising vibrational energy to higher ground might just be matter of first turning on the damn switch! So easily, does the sound of a child’s unmasked squeal of sheer delight—illuminate within. Whenever any child giggles and jumps about in utter glee, I now know this little human is experiencing unhampered emotion like it’s the most natural thing to do. And, it is. It’s the older us who must choose to keep our vibrator in good working order and I suspect it begins with a pause; an allowance for unhindered-guidance to make its way to consciousness. It’s our choice to paste focus onto thought-rascals. Choose well. 
      Maybe learning how to think is more like remembering how to think. To remember how it feels to look upon a sleeping newborn and think—now there’s a slice of God! To remember what passion-on-demand of all things sexual feels like as we watch our own teens head out the door. Only yesterday, we were tots and teens. Somehow, we must remember what giddy delight and unbridled passion feels like as we stand at this techno-crossroad pondering what we intend to do, knowing: Consciousness must not be messed with. That anything less than pureform—ushers in the most reckless idea to mankind. Nowadays, when emotions come-a-calling, I look to feel for their embrace because I know gleeful and unbridled won’t naturally rage in abundance anymore. When a fleeting emotion drops in, it’s like a gulp of fresh air. So, top that Goliath.
       How to better regard, and hone—our own inner-signaling, instead of throwing in the towel to let machines not only do everything for us, but tell us everything we deem important, I suspect also resides in remembering. To remember how to catch a feel. I get the idea when I’m pondering on something and the answer comes to me on a settling breath. When this happened during the creation of this fun little project, it tipped the scale for which thoughts made the cut. Now I don’t know if I’m onto something or not; I first had to notice there was a difference between a settling breath and a heavy sigh! All I know is the breaths that qualified as markers indicating that I might be on the right track, were those I didn’t consciously inflate but rather—came unbidden. Here’s an example; came from a question that’s plagued me for years when finally, last installment and the answer came out of nowhere. Actually, it came out of my long days solace ritual; a steamed soaking where the remnants of each day’s drivel get erased and a few pores open. So while I soaked, I wondered yet again for the zillionth time, how is it that so many people write book after book, yet it’s taken me so damn long to write this series? Well, a pore opened and when that gulp of fresh air hit me—so did the answer. It was an answer my ego couldn’t claim—only confirm. It’s taken me this long to write this damn series because, well—I’m sure you know by now. I got to learn the hard way—every measly trinket. So, top that Goliath.

Once a Thought, always a Thought—until it takes Form.
        
Ever wondered about mankind’s numero uno—original thought? Of late, I have. The Emerald Tablet, written by Dennis William Hauck sparked it all; my thoughts about thought. So, when and where and who, was the first bloke to think—now just where the hell am I? How about the many years that surely came and went before a few souls had the numero uno—fireside chat; uh, you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’? 
          Dennis Hauck takes us on an incredible journey thru the tapestry of our history to help us see why we are, who we are—today. Evidently, Thoth—The God of Thought—was assigned the task of delivering unto us from the One Mind—thought. Now I know who to thank when I’m trying to catch some Z’s but my thoughts won’t take a break! Which maybe, is why the One Mind decided we’d need a bit of instruction as to what to do with all those blossoming thoughts and thereby gifted us Hermes, God’s Scribe, who came armed with the sum all of knowledge—The Emerald Tablet. Thus, each Abrahamic religion; Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as most Eastern religions; Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, all trace their original dogma roots back to the instructions found on—The Emerald Tablet. 
        
 Currently, I’m on my 2nd read of Hauck’s book; I’ve accepted that I’ll need to re-read this a few times if I hope to have even a smidgen of his offerings settle in. And, I’ve also accepted that I’ll need to try my hand at meditating yet again because like Hauck says; “as always, The Work—begins in the below.” Damn. Oh well, at least I now understand why I want to try again. Came from a warming sensation that gripped me when reading about the endless seeks for misplaced symbolism and gems such as the Emerald Tablet and Holy Grail; the seeking for lost utopians such as Atlantis and Nirvana. All the rich lore surrounding this seeking; lore like the mission King Arthur tasked to his Knights, weave together a finding of—it—traversing our human realm of knowledge—all on the wings of thought. What warmed me about all this seeking came alive with these words: “There is no more noble act than to spend our whole lives searching for it—even if we never find it.”
        I’m groping my way to try and describe that which galvanized a faith now so resolute—it’s become a knowing lodged deeply within. It’s passionately that I believe—given time and left untainted, pureform humans will somehow find a way to responsibly caretake and cherish this planet and every living thing on it. Somehow, I know with utter certainty, the key to our existence resides individually—within. Faith and Belief must continue to be valued, maybe now more than ever, if we are to be compelled to propel all that's ineffable—gracefully and wisely forward.

These Words.
        
Dear troubadours; Taking the liberty to write—The Story of our Times—takes a bit of nerve and I needed all the help I could get. I’d cajole my skittish confidence by reminding myself that you make a living from your gift; a gift that hits center for millions of us. So, how far off could I be? After all, it was your music that gave a pulse to my wonderments, a feel to reflect my thoughts—rhythm to embrace my passion. This whole series could have been written using just your words; a collage of lyrics. I’d equate sections by the lyric which connected it and I’d have gotten lost without your guiding rhythm. Let the melody clear my mind ~V. I can’t find the right words to thank you enough but if I could strum a few cords, you would catch a feel of my heartfelt gratitude. 
       Sharing a mutually agreed upon life. At times, this sharing can feel more like a shackling; like you are an innocent bystander even. Marriage teaches the delicate balance of meter-pinging and when it goes off kilter, ruts close in—jeopardizing that very solace we call home. Other times, it hums in perfect harmony, comfortable and right. A lifetime embrace. Ever-so patient spouse; I’d guess any writer’s spouse would know what that means. Sharing a life. I want to get back to that more. Time to let these fledglings fly. When you held me in our lifetime embrace as I announced that finally but finally, these were ready to fly—you gave me all the assurance I needed. I like the smile in your fingertips ~BD. So, off on faith they fly. 
       Dear Fellow Publicians. Indeed, if you are reading—these words—we are a fellowship. I humbly thank you for the dedication you’ve invested to get here. Yes, it will be on faith that you will choose to let the fledgling that found your center—spark you. After all, whatever compelled you to get outta bed today, compelled you to find the time to get all the way to these words. Yeah, Madame Choice always gets her way. Decision—merely obliges. 
       Yes, this is the telling moment. I can only believe that from somewhere, a mere handful will choose to paint their indelible stamp of purpose onto all that 12 damn longs installments asks. Please paint with broad strokes. We could really use a strong breeze about now. And to this handful, to those who will choose to lead the charge for a mass-minded forward, thank you. You will be the ones who will make this 8-year gauntlet, my honor, my privilege. 
       As I wind-down, I’m listening to a song from the same band that once inspired me to wind-up when they sang about how corporations rule the day. And by the time I finally finished writing this series, they came out with another song called Infallible and I thought wow! They're now singing my words! Well, I've sure written theirs! But it's the song now playing that has me reminiscing about the countless times it powered me, unfailingly returned my traitorous confidence and held steadfast my conviction that pureform us are—worth keeping. From this song, I came to see my thoughts and perseverance like gems and rhinestones, each installment’s groove—a path cut by the moon. I hope to see a concert of theirs one day. Maybe you already have, you, the next Publius and we are simply—waiting your arrival. 
           Well, it’s been daunting. For 6 years, I've wanted to get this project off-n-running before my folks pass. Proud, WW II era Americans, worried about our future. I want us to ease their concerns. I want them to know—we'll be okay.
            I’ve scratched every surface I can think to help bolster our resolve. I’ve added it up; 106,284                                  words to unite—not divide by.
These are the contents of my head ~AL.
                 And when future generations look back at our era to chronicle the message we left, 
                                                     Please God, let it be written:
                           those masses were the first ones to finally lead The Spirit of their Times,
                                                    Individually Responsibly — in a Mass-Minded way.
                                              Please let this be ~ our marker in the sand.
                                             
                                                       Yours truly and always — Publius

 

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