Author: zeronom

Those who speak do not know, but here’s a few words that might point the way

The key to happiness is to recognize where the river of your fate and try and align with it. If you’re in a raft and the river turns left but you just really wanna go right, you’re gonna hit a bank. Stay in the water, follow the stream. How you do that? It’s complicated, but don’t think reality can really fit in your head. We just have elaborate conceptual maps of reality in our head. But out there, in the wilderness, is the real real. And it is alive and trying to contact you. There is intelligent love in the universe, and you have a receiver for its communications called your brain and spinal cord.

It’s way better than Netflix or video games. It’s called the logos, the word, daimon, guide, etc. It has the answers to your questions, but it won’t tell you everything. It will tell you just enough to light the river in front of you. It is your lamp, but it is only a lamp. The idea that spirit will totally make you manifest everything you want is specious. It will give you crumbs, your daily bread.

The great all or God or Brahman or Allah cannot fit in your brain. Your brain is a God dissecting device. God is the totality, and every word is a dissection of that. Like the tao, it cannot be spoken. Words divide and section things apart. God can only be felt by the heart of the mystic, expressed in a joyous smile, or felt in the in the twirl of a sufi dancer spinning to experience rapture.

God cannot be communicated. The Tao Te Ching says “those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know.” Our network cables called language cannot handle the infinite bandwidth of the totality which cannot be named. The teacher can only point at the moon, he cannot give you the moon. So I think it’s best to end this post with a big fat nothing, called…

Social error correction and how to use it

Computer systems talk to each other over networks that are prone to failure and data loss, so computers have built-in error correction algorithms that sense when the data that the computer is receiving might be incomplete. Humans are wise to do the same. We have multiple peer verification systems like peer review. This operates also on the individual level. We reserve judgment until we can get a “second opinion” or a third.

It is important to remember that communication is inherently incomplete. As computers get more and more able to fool the viewer, we should increase our emphasis on skepticism and error correction. The whole “Russia-gate” thing was really an exercise in error detection and error correction. There are massive networks of bots out there spamming on social media. But there are also massive networks of real people, screaming for justice.

When we transitioned from the migratory band of hominids to the multi-million person city, we lost the ability to trust in many ways. When one is surrounded by only one’s known friends, one does not have to negotiate every transaction. You know that your friends will protect you when you are weak. You don’t have to file paperwork to defend it.

But now we enter into the age of mass-everything. You don’t know your DMV worker. They don’t know you. So you rely on codified and universal rules to communicate with them. I don’t think we have yet really found a new equilibrium for this new type of relationship.

This new relationship of the one and the abstract other is new. We are still trying to figure out how to move from the village to the cosmopolitan existence. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes was the first to use the term cosmopolitan. He meant it in the literal sense: a citizen of the cosmos. So this idea is not new.

Hopefully, as we transition further into the Aquarian idea of the individual in a sea of other individuals, we can reach a broad consensus on what universalities we need to be a stable society. I don’t know what those are, but I think they are coming.

How Privilege Makes White People Immature and Helpless

We often talk about “white privilege” and it tends to be discussed in terms of having stuff. “That person has white privilege,” we say. “That other person has male privilege.” But what does that mean?

To me, privilege is not a positive but a negative, or a lack of something. When one has white privilege they have freedom from something. They have freedom from trauma, pain, hardship, toil, etc. When one is protected from the mandatory hardships of life for which one has evolved to deal with, they become puerile and childlike. Their skin becomes thin. They cannot handle the smallest slight. They are weak and become dependent on protection from the necessary traumas of life. This is why those white men carry those rifles around, because they are weak and terrified of having to deal with life naked and undefended.

But what is the converse of privilege? I would assert that it is a surplus of hardship and challenge. It is a excess of the onslaught of reality with its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This tends to make one’s skin thicker and makes one tougher.

And so, if you want to be honest, whiteness has become synonymous with weakness, and thus the entire apparatus of the state becomes necessary to maintain protection from the normal, average trials which befall any person living on this planet.

White culture and the western nation-state steals the defenses and padding of the brown people of this world and wraps it around the light-skinned people it protects. If you start to think of white people as immature and childlike, you can quickly see and hear it when you look at and listen to them.

As I’ve transitioned from being a white male to a white transwoman, I’ve had to experience a rude awakening of what it’s really like to live without that stolen armor. This rude awakening, that I sought to put off for as long as possible by posing as a straight white male, hit my weak, thin-skinned ass with a vengeance, and I was paralyzed at first.

But my skin grew. My toughness increased. Now, I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be black, but I know what it’s like to be targeted for who I am from as soon as I entered elementary school. I know what it’s like for others to hate things in you that you are not even aware of yet. And I know what it’s like to lose a significant amount of privilege.

And yet, don’t be afraid of losing privilege. Living in the false world of stolen armor is not real, and it stunts development in many ways. The transition to a normal amount of privilege can be shocking at first, but then you realize your inner strength, and you begin to realize that life is not about hiding behind wealth and privilege. Life is about meeting life on life’s bare terms.

To quote a brown-skinned Judean named Jesus, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” I interpret this as if you want to really grow, you need to cast your privilege aside.

And also, Krishna of the Hindu pantheon said to privileged Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita: “yield not to weakness; it does not suit you. Throw away this faint-heartedness.” Meaning that one must meet life without fear and without protection and cowardice.

Only through letting go of privilege can one really be alive. Words will not make one alive. One cannot say “I understand that I am privileged,” and expect the situation to resolve itself. One should give up one’s privilege. This is the only path of truth. Change the system from within by giving up your pilfered wealth that was likely funneled through the generations from slave-created surplus. You will survive, and you will be a real human, not a child in a shell.

The problem we face today is not a black problem. The problem is a white problem. Until we recognize our theft, our appropriation of defenses, our heinous usage of black bodies as human shields against the hurricane of nature, we will not grow, and we will not be mature. We will be on average, pathetic sprouts, unable to grow into the trees we were born to be.

Personally, my life is so much richer after I gave up most of my male privilege. It is immeasurably harder, but it is more vital and real. And I ask that you do the same. I can’t change my skin color. I am stuck being white. So the only way for me to reduce my so-called white privilege is to dismantle the institutions that value whiteness over blackness. This takes work. This takes sacrifice. But I assure you that it will be worth it both for black people and for white people.

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Here’s to the deadening of the soul [FaMo Blues]

my voices tell me I should quit
quit what?
it doesn’t matter
my cat looks at me like I’m dying
and she’s 16 so she should know
we look at each other like invalids
I am trans and have fibromyalgia and autism
so I’m the great experiment
there are so many billionaires trying to give me drugs!
And have they!
the voices say what I’m doing isn’t working
but I’m so trapped
My children. Oh my children.
Yes, I’m a disenfranchised transgender FaMo.
The courts have ruled me unworthy of the experience.
But lest I sit inside a Portland tent
I have to kiss the master’s feet.
Oh lords and ladies of the land
sweet owners of stock options and
all yachts and all good graces too
do you?
think that a small and suffering lot
could use a few more trickles yet?
Oh no?

Then we might have to share
your military secrets and
make movies to your sweet demise
the land of former masters
burned

masks

the masks we wear, they wear us out

from when I was a straightish man
to yes, a “sportsman,” I once deigned
and then the mask at once became
a gayish, 19 years of age
sweet Jupiter was wooed I’m sure
the cleverest boy, with boyfriends too
to married father, divorced rage
and this transgender thing they say
I’ve always been quicksilver
darting Mercury through the haze
and so a traveler wearing masks
becomes the masks he at once gazed

and then the deepness tackled out
to bring the truth with Hades’ clout
I’m won because I’m just so sure
Masks are all and nothing more

Thoughts on society inspired by the COVID19 lockdown

I’ve been thinking and cogitating all day and making enemies while so doing, and I would like to have some fruit from that tree of discord, but I don’t know. I don’t know if I can even think rationally in this situation. I try and use my normal methods of understanding the world, and right now they just result in collapsed rage and explosive paranoia, speaking poetically.

I don’t like handing over my civil rights to our glorious leaders, and I also don’t like being slandered as a Trumper and enemy of the people. However, I am just asking questions, possibly dangerous ones I must cede. But what is a dangerous question? Do people end up in fascist Candyland because of dangerous questions?

I choose not to endorse a tribe in the dualistic split in the modern American states. But I do endorse proven science. However, the science on COVID-19 is still experimental. It has only been around for 5 months or so, and we don’t really understand the virus epidemiologically outside of the facts that it kills a lot of old people and some healthy people. It’s not the flu in that the flu usually is just an opportunistic organism, i.e. it usually kills people whose immune systems are close to failing already.

We don’t know how COVID-19 is spread outside of that it is communicable by close contact. We have not proven it spreads on surfaces. We have proven it spreads sexually. We know it spreads through aerosols, water/particulate matter that floats in the air. We know that lots of exhalations like those involved in dramatic sporting event cheers can exponentially increase the spread of the virus.

I’m not trying to say that “oh it was created in a lab by China and we should just open up and fuck the libs and their faggot masks!” I think that social protection to slow the spread of this virus is a reasonable social sacrifice. However, we have to be very aware during these times and watch for bad actors trying to institute new restrictions upon an already restricted people.
We should demand good science from our local and state governments. But we should also hold our Bill of Rights against our chest as we do it. It is our most sacred American document. Jefferson was our flawed Moses in this respect. He never freed his slaves like most of his fellow American revolutionary leaders, but he wrote some of the most freeing words in the English language. He should be judged and also praised.

I grew up in South Carolina and Bakersfield, California which are basically the same place, politically. I learned that conservative people are people. Yes, the Trump years have solidified that conservative zeal into a shield, repelling all queries from “outsiders,” and yet, the liberal flank has played into that defensive paranoia by labeling them as irreconcilable subhumans. And yes, they tend to be unaware of political correctness.

So I want a reasonable, class-conscious, idealistic approach to this pandemic. Right now we have a very postmodern President in our glorious leader, ‘man who wears a combover too long and can’t tan like his cool friends so resorts to foundation.’ Our postmodern, post-ideological president is like a white person trying to play jazz but has no feel, no soul. It is pure depravity and boredom. We know he sucks at jazz, and we have to finish the recital as the other players in the quintet attempt to cover for him.

We need a radical, gnostic re-envisioning of reality. We need to ask basic questions like: What is the purpose of reality? Is the purpose of reality just hedonism? Is it self-abnegation and asceticism? Is it getting along with our neighbors? Is it a balance of multiple values?

The true question I had to ask myself was what is my individual chief value? I found that the only way to save the world is to save your own world. And your world might be a towering inferno of destruction. Discovering your “true will,” as some people have asserted it, does not guarantee happiness. You might be happier overall, but you can go through periods of deep woe and confusion. People selling self-help are usually just drug dealers, and here I am writing a blog…

The challenge of postmodernity is not to lose all sense of value. The challenge is to buy into your own individual adventure, acknowledging its loose effect on the “objective” world. We all have a subjective ride of internal emotion and internal narrative. We also have a ride on the objective train called society and cultural norms. As Timothy Leary noted we seem to be each in our own reality tunnels, and our tunnels often collide, creating society.

This lockdown is tough. I am adhering to the basics of coronavirus prevention. I work from home. I wear a mask at the store. I disinfect my deliveries. But the strain on my mental health has been tremendous. I have to force myself to exercise and stick to healthy routines. These are my thoughts.

House of Cards

Some strange miasma
creeps round through our institutions
looming, leering
leaching good
from inside out
The catabolic yin is in our bones
It’s trumped all fight
There goes the light
What’s weak is might
Send fair corona
to the king
Throw down the crown
so we can sing
America is dead
bring swiftness made of lead
to hit the posts
and free the ghosts
so we may build again

Revelation grey

We spend our days
in helpless rage
with pets and gazes
hanging on imagination
wishing for a place beyond the edge
where happy hugs and dancing
camp inside our sated hearts
Oh sky and Earth
our last resorts
I pray we now can leave the past
Walk forward over rubbled ruins
while masked to keep the others out
This now grey world
is our new home
but color will return again

Beyond the tape

She dreams of solace at the door
behind the tape that says
no more
no fighting with the devil now
just call four one
and one for wow
to see your screen go white
that’s all the outside light
we get
in quarantine

but only the flowers on her phone
called men and the dogs who want her bone
can smell the desperation in her sin
of venturing out
beyond the tape one night

she slipped up to an old stone stoop
and buzzed a buzzer busily saying
hey!
it’s me
the door unlocked
she slipped in like a fog

the virus that they don’t test for
is the most contagious one so far
two naked things in love somehow
beyond the tape, inside the now

Some drinks

Alcohol has always
fired me up
opened me up
given me up
the drinks I’ve drunk
the drunks I’ve loved
the feels I’ve felt
in alcohol

we think of words as so innate
even though they’re merely tools
4 thousand years ago they wrote
and forgot before the words were worn

But with a drink
it all goes smooth
I say
two beers before a show
but have one more
and fuck the fools
who don’t deserve
to know

alcohol brings my me out front
and some folks
don’t like
the out-front
show
and so I’ve learned to wear a mask
that I throw off at the twist or pop or
yes, please, another

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

Thoughts on COVID-19 and Social Distancing

The reason why we need social distancing is not “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!” The reason we need it is because the hospitals will be overwhelmed with thousands of patients that they cannot care for, and so everyone else will be without medical services as well. People die all the time. We take risks in life for money, love, or other values. So yeah, we don’t really care that thousands of people die of the flu every year because our system can process those people. Thousands of people die in car accidents, but our system can process them.

Can we have some nuance with this instead of yelling at “the other team,” with simplistic arguments where one side is a mass-murdering psychopath killing grandma and the other side is the valiant, cloistered introvert “saving the world” by not leaving their apartment. No one is pure. We all participate in this system.

The other argument is how much death we ignore in the name of profits. That’s a separate problem, and I think we as a nation, have a very poor track record of not killing people.

Oh and lastly, we have no fucking clue who’s infected. Many people get very minor infections and don’t notice it. They can’t get tested. Only the most severe are getting tested, and it’s been in the US since January. Some experts think there are actually hundreds of thousands of people infected at present. We need to be calm because the situation is very fluid and confusing.

Love to you all. Stay strong.