“We’ll Always Have Paris”

If Mr. Trump thought that pulling the United States out of the Paris Accord on Climate Change would force the rest of the world to buckle and flock to his doorstep to renegotiate the agreement with him, he very badly miscalculated. Trump’s arrogance in that respect seems rooted in a long-standing fiction — at least since Madelaine Albright — that the United States is “the indispensible nation”. There are no “indispensible nations” in the grand historical view, and I think Mr. Trump has just definitively popped that bubble (and apparently, so do others).

Ironically, though (and what isn’t ironic these days) Mr. Trump, quite despite himself and his intentions, may have just made the US federal state and national government irrelevant anyway, and prepared the way for some form of “glocalism“,

Many states and (especially) cities in the United States will continue to abide by the Paris Accords despite Trump and the foreign policy position of the American federal state, and it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out, because it basically means that cities will have their own “foreign policy” — their own multilateral arrangements that bypass the federal state’s monopoly on such policy matters. So, you may very well be seeing with this the initial formation of economist Peter Pogany’s “Global System 3” (in Rethinking the World) emerging in the events of the last few days.

In effect, the return of the classical “city-state” . Some cities and corporations which still abide by the Paris Agreement will continue to have access to overseas markets through multilateral arrangements, while others who follow along with Trump and the national government will be shut out. The apparent willingness of the EU, for example, to still engage with American city administrations, and the express willingness of those city administrations to uphold the Paris Agreements, signals a de facto “glocalisation”, and a decentralisation of federal powers into city-states or leagues of city-states, something akin perhaps to the old Hanseatic League.

I can’t see that unfolding in any other way (barring Trump’s impeachment or capitulation), and I would be surprised if the mayors of certain cities or the governors of certain states weren’t already exploring alliances to effectively keep their connections with the world economy and uphold the Paris Accord, effectively bypassing Trump and the federal state.



40 responses to ““We’ll Always Have Paris””

  1. davidm58 says :

    Excellent, brief analysis of the implications of Trump’s action and the potentials set in motion therefrom.

    Indeed, governors are already exploring alliances: Jerry Brown of California, Jay Inslee of Washington State, and Andrew Cuomo of New York have already formed the United States Climate Alliance. Vermont (Republican governor Phil Scott), Massachusetts (Republican governor Charlie Baker), Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Hawaii have already joined. These states represent 27% of the U.S. population so far. More than two hundred mayors of U.S. cities have also indicated support for the objectives of the alliance

    I think Pogany’s Global System 3.0, “Glocalism,” Ostrom’s “Polycentric Governance” are important concepts to keep front and center. As Edgar Morin and Stephane Hessel summarized, “It is crucial that we both globalize and deglobalize.”

    “We must understand that globalization constitutes both the best and the worst that could ever happen to mankind…We advocate encouraging and developing every aspect of globalization that fosters fellowship and cultural vitality. Simultaneously, however…We must deglobalize in order to offer full scope to the economics of social solidarity, safeguard the economic viability of local agriculture, and preserve small-scale farming as well as craftsmanship and local trade.” – Hessel and Morin, The Path to Hope

    BTW, I love the title of this blog post!

    • Scott Preston says :

      Mr. Trump is the ironists dream come true. Trump has the very best ironies. It would be a shame if he were impeached now — LOL.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this movement towards “glocalism” were to take hold in parts of the UK as well (it more or less has in Scotland).

      • Steve Lavendusky says :

        Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
        vacation with pay. Want more
        of everything ready-made. Be afraid
        to know your neighbors and to die.

        And you will have a window in your head.
        Not even your future will be a mystery
        any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
        and shut away in a little drawer.

        When they want you to buy something
        they will call you. When they want you
        to die for profit they will let you know.
        So, friends, every day do something
        that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
        Love the world. Work for nothing.
        Take all that you have and be poor.
        Love someone who does not deserve it.

        Denounce the government and embrace
        the flag. Hope to live in that free
        republic for which it stands.
        Give your approval to all you cannot
        understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
        has not encountered he has not destroyed.

        Ask the questions that have no answers.
        Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
        Say that your main crop is the forest
        that you did not plant,
        that you will not live to harvest.

        Say that the leaves are harvested
        when they have rotted into the mold.
        Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
        Put your faith in the two inches of humus
        that will build under the trees
        every thousand years.

        Listen to carrion — put your ear
        close, and hear the faint chattering
        of the songs that are to come.
        Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
        Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
        though you have considered all the facts.
        So long as women do not go cheap
        for power, please women more than men.

        Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
        a woman satisfied to bear a child?
        Will this disturb the sleep
        of a woman near to giving birth?

        Go with your love to the fields.
        Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
        in her lap. Swear allegiance
        to what is nighest your thoughts.

        As soon as the generals and the politicos
        can predict the motions of your mind,
        lose it. Leave it as a sign
        to mark the false trail, the way
        you didn’t go.

        Be like the fox
        who makes more tracks than necessary,
        some in the wrong direction.
        Practice resurrection.
        Wendell Berry

  2. Leo says :

    Scott – off-topic but there appears to be some kind of malware script running on your blog, or perhaps the server that it’s located on, which redirects to various spam sites when you scroll down to comments under the articles. It only appears to happen on my i-phone, but not on my laptop. I’ve also tried two different browsers to see whether it’s somehow attached to one of them, but it happens in both Safari and Firefox when accessing the comments on my phone.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Not sure what’s happening there. Another reader, a couple of days ago, complained about annoying popups when accessing wordpress. I suggested she switch her browser to Firefox and problem was solved. You say you get this even with Firefox? Strange, because I don’t, and it’s quite difficult to hijack Firefox in any case. Are you running a current version or old version of Firefox?

      • Leo says :

        Firefox was up to date but I cleared the cache and cookies and that seems to have solved the problem. Weird that someone else had it too if it was a local device issue though. Anyway, glad to report all seems well again.

        • Leo says :

          Actually, I seem to remember accidentally clicking on one of the ads when scrolling through recently, so perhaps it was something to do with that.

          • Steve Lavendusky says :

            I have been recently mulling over McGilchrist’s view on belief lately, finding it potent for moving forward constructively instead of mired in philosopher’s and scientist’s doubt. Without the direct knowledge of enlightenment, I know nothing. And since that is near impossible, I strive to see life in the best light, but still with plausibility I can respect.

            It is only the left hemisphere that thinks there is certainty to be found anywhere.This helps illuminate belief in God. This is not reducible to a question of a factual answer to the question ‘does God exist?’, assuming for the moment that the expression ‘a factual answer’ has a meaning. It is having an attitude, holding a disposition towards the world, whereby that world, as it comes into being for me, is one in which God belongs. The belief alters the world, but also alters me. Is it true that God exists? Truth is a disposition, one of being true to someone or something. One cannot believe in nothing and thus avoid belief altogether, simply because one cannot have no disposition towards the world, that being in itself a disposition. Some people choose to believe in materialism; they act ‘as if’ such a philosophy were true. An answer to the question whether God exists could only come from my acting ‘as if’ God is, and in this way being true to God, and experiencing God (or not, as the case might be) as true to me. —Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary, p 170

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              I don’t believe. I know. ~ Carl Jung

            • davidm58 says :

              Insightful quote from McGilchrist – thanks for sharing Steve.

            • mikemackd says :

              Steve, following up your quote, I found this in a 2011 entry in the blog of Hal Smith, called The Compulsive Explainer. It turns out that he is a fellow fan of both Mumford and McGilchrist:

              “Man is finding that the world limits his plans for infinite expansion; finds this intolerable; and therefore wants to destroy it … They are like spoiled children: insisting that they must have their own way – if not, they will demolish their play-pen.”

              Over to you, Donald Trump.

            • mikemackd says :

              This morning, I received a link from an oped service I subscribe to which has a good deal of explanatory depth to it. It was to an article written by Major Ralph Peters in 1997, and it explains the use of terms such as “full spectrum dominance” and “shock and awe” by the U.S. Military, and implies that they actually intended to inflict the misery on the Middle East that it is now suffering from. To quote:

              “There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.”

              “A fair amount of killing … Full spectrum dominance … Shock and awe.”

              “Man is finding that the world limits his plans for infinite expansion; finds this intolerable; and therefore wants to destroy it.”

              Infantile omnipotence fantasies being manifested by malignant narcissists: what could possibly go wrong?


            • mikemackd says :

              I began to doubt that Peters’ article was genuine, as it sounded exactly like what enemies of the USA would want us to believe about it. Indications are that it is genuine. Ralph Peters is now a renowned writer of thrillers and a commentator on Fox News, so his pedigree as a representative of the centrality of such thinking in the military-industrial complex is solid.

              The Wikipedia article about him records that he blames the fiasco in Iraq on the Iraqis themselves, the same blame-the-victim strategy employed by imperialists from time immemorial.

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              How very kind of him to let us know exactly what he (and, perhaps, the “military-industrial complex”) is thinking.

              For the world masses, devastated by information they cannot manage or effectively interpret, life is “nasty, brutish . . . and short-circuited.”

              Vastly underestimates “the world masses,” don’t you think?

              The author has apparently forgotten the cardinal rule of “warfare.” Never underestimate “the enemy.”

            • mikemackd says :

              Quite so, I.W.

              To me, it article sounded highly articulate and highly demented at the same time, and as such an exemplar of the deficiencies we have been tackling here over recent months.

              If so, it seems that he would be quite unable to understand how he could possibly be in the thrall of his id as described by Mumford, or even the phenomenon described by the Council of Foreign Relations’ Walter Russell Mead in his insightful book, God and Gold (2007, London, Atlantic Books).

              That work noted that the more frustrations we have in life and the more we are infuriated by humiliations, then the more we project our narcissistic requirements of grandeur to such collective dimensions of our identities (Mead 2007, pp. 387-390). Such projections “shape our times, our methods of perceiving reality, and therefore … they shape our very selves” (Mead 2007, p. 274), and “the larger and grander the abstraction, the less critical we are of its claims”, and the “larger and more abstract an entity, the more unbalanced it can become” (ibid, p. 389).

              On p. 389, Mead further noted that there is an arrogance of impotence as well as an arrogance of power – two extremes well beyond the golden mean required for sanity. Social membership glories, in the case of many of us via sports teams, but in his case by glorying in killing, provide compensation.

              Hearking back to our previous discussions on the arrest-or-fixation effects on the psychosexual development of sexually abused children, this would at first blanch appear an arrest or fixation along the power hunger developmental line, indicating a hell of a childhood, such as Hitler received from his appalling father.

              Beats sucking one’s thumb I suppose, but it’s arguably even more infantile.

            • Scott Preston says :

              I remember that Peter’s article, as posted on Information Clearing House, circulating quite a bit during the Iraq War. I commented on it in the old Dark Age Blog. It is, in some ways, exemplary of the “Megamachine” mentality.

              I spent a long time trying to understand why Peters, or others, didn’t find their own logic insane, or what made them think this was reasonable or made sense. But, more to the point perhaps, asking myself why I thought this mentality was insane. That’s the real question and issue, after all. “Why do I find this insane?” It’s the same question I had to ask of Thatcherism/Reaganism and Fukuyama’s “end of history” and the “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC) Statement of Principles, as well as Peters’ article.

              I’ve spent most of my subsequent life — in the Dark Age Blog or The Chrysalis — basically trying to answer that question “Why do I, personally, find these things insane?” especially when so many others seem to find them perfectly reasonable and rational responses.

              So, my question is not so much “where does this mentality come from?” as much as why I am so shocked by it and why am I viscerally repulsed by it? I’m trying to articulate that. I’m still trying to articulate that. Why is my “ethos” (or mythos) so different from their “ethos” (or mythos) and why.

            • InfiniteWarrior says :

              Our understanding of the original meaning of “masses” is very different from Peters’ for one. The widespread objectification of everything (and everyone) in our times and societies is palpable.

            • mikemackd says :

              Well Scott, that’s a deep question, and as such, as described by Stewart and Cohen, a simplex answer simply will not do.

              I don’t know if you played hide and seek when you were a child, and if so you were given clues as to getting warm, getting cold, getting hot (meaning closer).

              In pop terms, I think the book “Jurassic Park” was a metaphor for why you are so viscerally repulsed. But more so, I think we are getting warm to hot when reading McGilchrist and Mumford. McGilchrist is a psychiatrist, and as such professionally qualified to determine insanity, and he did note that imbalances in hemispheric functioning result in several forms of insanity.

              I will requote the passage from Mumford that also points to the conclusion that such bloated egotism should be considered within the general category of insanity, because here, I think, we were getting hot:

              “For mark this: the automaton was not born alone. the automaton has been accompanied, we can see now, by a twin, a dark shadow-self: defiant, not docile: disorderly, not organized or controlled: above all, aggressively destructive, even homicidal, reasserting the dammed-up forces of life in crazy or criminal acts. In the emerging figure of man, the sub-ego or id threatens to function as the superego in a reversed hierarchy that lowers the authority of the brain and puts the reflexes and blind instincts in command. The aim of this subversive superego is to destroy those higher attributes of man whose gifts of love, mutuality, rationality, imagination, and constructive aptitude have enlarged all the possibilities of life. It is in the light of these impending negations and destructions that the whole concept of subjugating nature and replacing man’s own functions with collectively fabricated, automatically operated, completely depersonalized equivalents must at last be reappraised” (The Pentagon of Power, p. 193).

              So Mumford might have interpreted your reaction as arising from the insight that Peters’ attitude destroys “those higher attributes of man whose gifts of love, mutuality, rationality, imagination, and constructive aptitude have enlarged all the possibilities of life”, and moreover is either anti-life (as Mumford elucidates elsewhere) or is made utterly oblivious to such gifts as a consequence of his puerile power fantasies.

              When it comes to mythos part of your post, back in the days when I used to travel through Iran I used to tell of a myth centred on Mt Damavand, in the Elborz mountains near the Caspian Sea, which is adequately narrated at https://glitternight.com/2012/05/06/end-of-the-world-myth-zoroastrian-version/ and is believed to have influenced the Jewish concept of a messiah. While clearly sounding silly in this day and age (but not quite as silly if you think of all the power then trapped beneath Iran in the form of oil), I do not consider it to be any sillier than Peters’ ejaculation.

              Finally, I shall not repost the whole of Mumford’s “The Uprising of Caliban” (Chapter 31 of Interpretations and Forecasts 1922-1972 – Harvest/HBJ 1979 – which I did post here last year), but this paragraph from it is redolent of this interpretation:

              “In an effort to curb this creature, earlier societies had made him a prisoner and thrust him into a dungeon, treating him with a savageness that disclosed the proper fear that the ever-seductive temptation to relapse into brutishness provokes in the human breast. To make reparation for that harsh attitude, our more humanitarian age, prompted by a complacent naturalism and a misapplied egalitarianism, put Caliban on the same level as Prospero, and accorded him an equal degree of power and authority. In repayment for this kindness, Caliban now refuses to acknowledge that there is any higher power than his own: indeed, higher and lower are meaningless terms to him, along with good and bad, creative and destructive; but insofar as his behavior implies a recognition of difference, he is on the side of the destroyer.

            • mikemackd says :

              The manifest puerilities of Peters and Trump make the following advice from a real American man, as distinct from these apparently failed boys, more relevant than ever. Neither they, nor anyone else, can grow up by reading it; but they may begin to become real American men by changing their lives to perform it:


              Today our best plans miscarry because they are in the hands of people who have undergone no inner growth. Most of these people have shrunk from facing the world crisis and they have no notion of the manner in which they themselves have helped to bring it about. Into every new situation they carry only a fossilized self. Their hidden prejudices, their glib hopes, their archaic desires and automatisms — usually couched in the language of assertive modernity — recall those of the Greeks in the fourth century B.C. or those of the Romans in the fourth century A.D. They are in a power dive and their controls have frozen. By closing their eyes they think they can avoid a crash.
              Those who look for swift wholesale changes to take place in our institutions under-rate the difficulties we now face: the inroads of barbarism and automatism, those twin betrayers of freedom, have been too deep. In their impatience, in their despair, such people secretly long to cast the burden of their own regeneration upon a savior: a president, a pope, a dictator — vulgar counterparts of a divinity debased or a corruption deified. But such a leader is only the mass of humanity writ small: the incarnation of our resentments, hates, sadisms, or of our cowardices, confusions, and complacencies. There is no salvation through such naked self-worship: God must work within us. Each man and woman must first silently assume his own burden.

              We need not wait for bombs and bullets actually to strike us before we strip our lives of superfluities: we need not wait for events to bend our wills to unison. Wherever we are, the worst has already happened and we must meet it. We must simplify our daily routine without waiting for ration cards; we must take on public responsibilities without waiting for conscription; we must work for the unity and effective brotherhood of man without letting further wars prove that the current pursuit of power, profit and all manner of material aggrandizement is treason to humanity: treason and national suicide. Year by year, we must persevere in all these acts, even though the restrictions are lifted and the urgencies of war have slackened. Unless we now rebuild our selves all our external triumphs will crumble.

              There is no easy formula for this renewal. It is not enough for us to do all that is possible: we must do that which seems impossible. Our first need is not for organization but for orientation: a change in direction and attitude. We must bring to every activity and every plan a new criterion of judgment: we must ask how far it seeks to further the processes of life- fulfillment and how much respect it pays to the needs of the whole personality.

              More immediately we must demand: What is the purpose of each new political and economic measure? Does it seek the old goal of expansion or the new one of equilibrium? Does it work for conquest or co-operation? And what is the nature of this or that industrial or social achievement — does it produce material goods alone or does it also produce human goods and good men? Do our individual life-plans make for a universal society, in which art and science, truth and beauty, religion and sanctity, enrich mankind? Do our public life-plans make for the fulfillment and renewal of the human person, so that they will bear fruit in a life abundant: ever more significant, ever more valuable, ever more deeply experienced and more widely shared?

              If we keep this standard constantly in mind, we shall have both a measure for what must be rejected and a goal for what must be achieved. In time, we shall create the institutions and the habits of life, the rituals, the laws, the arts, the morals that are essential to the development of the whole personality and the balanced community: the possibilities of progress will become real again once we lose our blind faith in the external improvements of the machine alone. But the first step is a personal one: a change in direction of interest towards the person. Without that change, no great betterment will take place in the social order. Once that change begins, everything is possible.


              Lewis Mumford, The Condition of Man, 1944 pp. 423-424

            • mikemackd says :

              And, at the risk of repeating himself, from The Conduct of Life pp. 186 and the conclusion:


              Only men who are themselves whole can understand the needs and desires and ideals of other men [p. 186} … Only those who have confronted the present crisis in all its dimensions will have the strength to repent of their own sins and those of their community, to confront and overcome the evils that threaten us, and to re-affirm the goods of the past that will serve as foundation for the goods of the future that we have still to create. For those who have undergone these changes, life is good and the expansion and intensification of life is good. To live actively through every organ and still remain whole: to identify oneself loyally with the community and yet emerge from it, with free choices and new goals: to live fully in the moment and to possess in that moment all that eternity might bring: to re-create in one’s consciousness the whole in which man lives and moves and has his being—these are essential parts of the new affirmation of life. The rest lies with God.

              Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. What is perhaps why the young, before they have been frustrated and lamed, have usually so little fear of death: they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.

              This experience of fulfillment through wholeness is the true answer to the brevity of man’s days. The awakened person seeks to live so that any day might be good enough to be his last. By the actuarial tables he knows, perhaps, that his expectation of life at birth is almost three score and ten; but he knows something more precious than this: that there are moments of such poignant intensity and fullness, moments when every part of the personality is mobilized into a single act or a single institution, that they outweigh the contents of a whole tame lifetime. Those moments are eternity; and if they are fleeting, it because men remain finite creatures whose days are measured.

              When these awakened personalities begin to multiply, the load of anxiety that hangs over the men of our present-day culture will perhaps begin to lift. Instead of gnawing dread, there will be a healthy sense of expectancy, of hope without self-deception, based upon the ability to formulate new plans and purposes: purposes which, because they grow out of a personal reorientation and renewal, will in time lead to the general replenishment of life. Such goals will not lose value through the changes that time and chance and the wills of other men will work on them, in the course of their realization; nor will the prospect of many delays and disappointments keep those who are awakened from putting them into action at the earliest opportunity. Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it arises out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life’s further development.

              Even in his most rational procedures, the balanced person allows a place for the irrational and the unpredictable: he knows that catastrophe and miracle are both possible. Instead of feeling frustrated by these uncontrollable elements, he counts upon them to quicken the adventure of life by their very unforeseeableness: they are but part of the cosmic weather whose daily challenge enlivens every activity.

              Life is itself forever precarious and unstable, and in no manner does it promise a tame idyll or a static eutopia: the new person, no less than the old, will know bafflement, tragedy, sacrifice, and defeat, as well as fulfillment—but even in desperate situations he will be saved from despair by sharing Walt Whitman’s consciousness that battles may be lost in the same spirit that they are won, and that a courageous effort consecrates an unhappy end. While the conditions he confronts are formidable, the initiative nevertheless remains with man, once he accepts his own responsibility as a guardian of life. With the knowledge man now possesses, he may control the knowledge that threatens to choke him: with the power he now commands he may control the power that would wipe him out: with the values he has created, he may replace a routine of life based upon a denial of values. Only treason to his own sense of the divine can rob the new person of his creativity.

              Harsh days and bitter nights may still lie ahead for each of us in his own person, and for mankind as a whole, before we overcome the present forces of disintegration. But throughout the world, there is a faint glow of color on the topmost twigs, the glow of the swelling buds that announce, despite the frosts and storms to come, the approach of spring: signs of life, signs of integration, signs of a deeper faith for living and of an approaching general renewal of humanity. The day and the hour are at hand when our individual purposes and ideals, re-enforced by our neighbors’, will unite in a new drama of life that will serve other men as it serves ourselves.

              The way we must follow is untried and heavy with difficulty; it will test to the utmost our faith and our powers. But it is the way toward life, and those who follow it will prevail.


            • Scott Preston says :

              Two wonderful quotes again from Mumford. Thanks.

              I was reflecting further on your man Peters, and in conjunction with Peters, Robert D. Kaplan’s infamous book Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos (2002) which is fascistic through and through. Perhaps Kaplan took lessons from Peters.

              But there is in Peters something of the Wild West fantasy isn’t there? The indefinite expansion of the frontier. Cowboys and Indians stuff.

  3. abdulmonem says :

    It is healthy to keep the soul ( our awareness tool ) in full swing.It is the way to reach the higher light to see the truth. Reaching higher light is not impossible, otherwise all calls for enlightenment will be fruitless. Faith is the primordial seed of knowledge that gives birth to the tree of knowledge. Belief without knowledge is baseless. God does not belong to the world but the world belongs to god. The limit of the world is a call to explore the beyond not to destroy it. it is not strange to see all these false assertions. It is the paradoxical that keeps existence going on. . The disposition for wholeness that is holiness is the result of the diversions that push the human again in the path of wholeness, as the only guarantee for the save journey. The fracturing of the systems we are noticing all around, which are more noticeable in the large system is the natural consequence of the violation of the true, the just, the merciful and the beautiful. The fracturing whose signs have begun long ago through the call for permaculture or reprogramming our life in line with the coming depletion in the qualities of our life. Signs which have given some good hopeful results but on the communal or personal levels but have not yet reached the governmental levels which have remained out of the change but insist on the rightness of the their path. Our cosmos is a system of language, including the human language once the divine language given to the humans is abused the humans will open on themselves and what around them the blackish fire of all the seven gates of hell. Consciousness and its language is not located in any one part and as there is a language of the head there is the language of the heart,the gut etc and humans are called to listen to the whole without getting fixed with only one of its manifestations. The unbounded spaciousness of the one is a warning to humanity, not to let itself be enslaved in any one box. Real freedom resides in the awareness of belonging to Him. This is why the first divine imposition is not to associate any one with him. The journey of the incomplete in his way toward completeness.

  4. InfiniteWarrior says :

    Signs which have given some good hopeful results but on the communal or personal levels but have not yet reached the governmental levels which have remained out of the change but insist on the rightness of the their path.

    Indeed, as it has always been, though that may very well change — rapidly — with the globe “Inter(co)ne(c)ted” as it is.

    Belief without knowledge is baseless.

    Knowledge is great. Knowledge is wonderful. But we had an all-too-brief conversation about knowledge having been restricted to one type of knowledge in TDAB days.

    What makes Jung’s very brief statement so powerful? He didn’t say, “I know God exists” (though he may have written that at some point). He didn’t say, “I know God doesn’t exist.” He said, “I don’t need to believe. I know.”

    Know-ing “God” is a very different thing than believing or not believing in the “existence” of “God,” imho. This describes an action, not an idea. Is not “‘God’ exists” as much an oxymoron as “‘God’ doesn’t exist?” This is what makes the “debates” on the matter so ridiculous to me — just as ridiculous as “debates” over whether this or that is possible or not possible.

    Furthermore, time and timing are rarely, if ever, taken into account when considering whether anything is possible or impossible, even by our great “time-thinkers”…at times. (In fact, I can’t believe I actually agreed at some point that it’s not possible to be asocial, especially considering that I’m asocial myself a great deal of the time.) Indeed, anything is possible at any given moment in time.

    Among the concepts we might keep front and center, perhaps this is just as important?

    • Dwig says :

      Thanks for that, IW. Conducting one’s life as an ongoing dialogue between oneself and one’s lived experience of a/the Divine Presence has much to recommend it. (Having said that, I’m suddenly reminded of Tevye’s dialogues with God in “Fiddler on the Roof”, particularly when he says “Yes, I know we’re your chosen people, but couldn’t you, just once in a while, choose someone else?”)

  5. abdulmonem says :

    Is so happened, that I was reading an article by Greer on, Gnosis, Doxa and Episteme and what kind of knowledge do you mean and his intention to leave the arrogant story of conquering nature and enter the realm of the gnosis in line with the trend that is emphasizing convergence of ecology with religion. In the realm of the gnostic knowledge all points you raised are pertinent. Thank you

  6. Scott Preston says :

    As regards Jung’s “I don’t believe, I know” remark, and his avoidance of the name “God” or any reference to theism, we find the same thing in Castaneda and in Buddhism as well.

    Castaneda’s teacher, don Juan, not only mocked his belief in “God” but absolutely refused to discuss it at all. And yet, he spoke of “the vast sea of awareness” of which all beings were a manifestation, basically affirming Blake’s own insight that “God only Acts & Is in existing beings and men”, existing beings being everything including the atoms. Likewise, Seth also declines to speak of “God” as such but speaks rather of “All That Is” in much the same way. The term for this is “panentheism” (rather than pantheism). Nietzsche’s “Dionysian” and the “Will to Power” is of the same character as Bolte-Taylor’s “Life Force Power of the Universe”.

    So, you find the paradox of the Buddha telling the theist, no, there is no god but telling the atheist, yes, there is a god, and being perfectly truthful in both. What we call “God” is Everything and Nothing, all being and non-being, too, and Gebser also avoids the name “God” in favour of “ever-present origin” or “the Itself”, and Buddhism speaks, rather of “the unoriginated and unconditioned”, which are just optional terms for “eternal” and “infinite” as is Gebser’s “ever-present origin” itself.

    One can think of it this way, as I put it in the old Dark Age Blog and my “dream of the fish” as I recorded my own experience: the boundaries of what we call “God” can be represented as 0 and 1, which aren’t boundaries at all, in fact — being Nothing and Everything or the All, respectively. And in between 0 and 1 lies the infinite fractal dimension. Our world, our life in this world, can be represented as one fraction of the infinite probable worlds that lie between 0 and 1. 0 represents the Void or Chaos, while 1 represents “the One” or All That Is” or Cosmos, so Nihil and Genesis, and this is the fundamental polarity that underlies Heraclitus’s meaning that “strife is the father of all things” or Blake’s “without contraries there is no progression”. 0 and 1 are states of energy as repose or movement, attentionality or intentionality. 0 and 1 are like the poles of a battery in that respect, or the yin and yang, or what Erich Kahler (a student of Gebser’s too) called “The Tower and the Abyss”.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I might add to the above comment, that I dislike speaking of “planes” as some do. Given this analogy with binary logic of 0 and 1, and the infinite fractal dimension between 0 and 1, or Nothingness and the All, I prefer to speak in terms of “spectrum”. Our physical reality is one very tiny slice of the spectrum of all possible worlds that lie between 0 and 1.

      In many sacred traditions, the 0 is represented by the Eternal Female, while the 1 represents the male principle. (In Hinduism, the yoni and the lingam) which is the relationship between God and the Void that begins the Book of Genesis. God’s “Word” is the seed that the Void receives, incubates, and nurtures. This is the Hermetic symbolism of the divine hermaphrodite or of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) that informs Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell” as well.

        • Steve Lavendusky says :

          by Rene Guenon

          • Steve Lavendusky says :

            “Those who might be tempted to give way to despair should realize that nothing accomplished in this order can ever be lost, that confusion, error and darkness can win the day only apparently and in a purely ephemeral way, that all partial and transitory disequilibrium must perforce contribute towards the greater equilibrium of the whole, and that nothing can ultimately prevail against the power of truth.”
            ― René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World

      • abdulmonem says :

        Thank you Scott. Reality comes first, linguistic or mathematical formulations come next and carry with it the human differences and this is the knowledge god is seeking because his self knowledge is not in reach of humans and it is not intended to the humans what is intended is the human strife to know him, It is an incomplete program in search of completion. Ibn Arabi said it , that this second knowledge is the goal of religious experience. It is honesty with self in its formulation. I admire your instinctive repugnance to the insane and and for all the efforts you exerted through the years to preserve that healthy stand. The question once has to put is, Who have put you in that frame and put Peter and the like in the opposite frame. The unseen far outweigh the seen that is why, most people fall victim to the crooked frame. One has to be grateful to any force that made him in the sane frame. Self-protection from the negative forces is the call of all religion. Even god formulations follow his intention. In the story of Adam and the angels, god told the angels it is not compulsive worship he is after, he is after free choice worship that is we read in the quran, the statement, it is left for the humans to believe or disbelieve provided they know. God does not work with commercial markets.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      Love the earth and sun and the animals,
      Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
      Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
      Devote your income and labor to others,
      Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
      Have patience and indulgence toward the people.

      Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
      or to any man or number of men,
      Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
      And with the young, and with the mothers or families.

      Re-examine all you have been told
      in school or church or in any book,
      Dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
      And your very flesh shall be a great poem…

      And have the richest fluency, not only in its words,
      But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
      And between the lashes of your eyes,
      and In every motion and joint of your body.

      ~ Walt Whitman ~ Preface to Leaves of Grass

  7. InfiniteWarrior says :

    Challenge of the Day

    Unconditional love is a way of being most of us in the West are taught from birth. Unarmed truth? Not so much.

    To complicate matters, our societies continually contradict such nurturance with concepts, e.g. “tough love” and “brutal truth.”

    When I was little, my mother informed me that loving everyone didn’t mean I had to like their ways. Later in life, I met an intelligent and highly socially-conscious young man who had a rather strange tic. At the end of nearly every sentence or paragraph he spoke came the words, “I hate [this person].” Or, “I hate [that person].” Or, I hate [those people].” It just so happened, he was also an exceptionally talented visual artist and, from artists such as he, I’d come to expect tics as strange or more strange than my own, so I dismissed it…until that hatred was turned upon me. I informed him at that time that if hating me had helped to alleviate his own stress, I’d been more than happy to accommodate, but I’d never hated anyone in my life and had no intention of starting then or, in other words, of returning the favor.

    Since, I’ve noticed that the vast majority of spoken and written material sent our way, even if they don’t specifically mention hatred, are nonetheless dripping with hatred — not of ideas, not of “thought patterns,” not of “behaviors,” but of persons and groups of persons.

    “Hate tyrants?” Why should I? Should I not “hate” tyranny instead? Hate narcissists? Should I not “hate” narcissism instead? Hate tough-lovers and brutal truth-tellers? Should I not “hate” “tough love” and “brutal truth” instead?

    Hate Ralph Peters? Why should I? I’ve never met the man. Should I not “hate” “the Megamachine” responsible for turning a promising human being into an institutional man?

    Aside: that last phrase reminded me of an excellent film as that is, no doubt, where I came by it. I’m further reminded of recent conversations regarding the thrum of a low (or high, depending on one’s point of view) level of anxiety or fear permeating our societies and the differing experiences and responses to this of the characters of Brooks and Red in this film.

  8. Scott Preston says :

    Good interview with Naomi Klein in today’s Guardian about Trump, Neoliberalism, the “Leap” manifesto, etc in which she touches upon some of the same themes as The Chrysalis.


    The interview follows an article she published earlier in the Guardian also on the theme of “shock”


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