The word conscience, which means our ability to judge our own actions according to right and wrong, is derived from the Latin word conscientia, meaning a knowing together with another or others. That word in turn derives from con (cum) = with + scire = to know. Thus conscience, which usually refers to one person’s conscience, also involves a sharing with others, a knowing with. The word science as we understand it today, also derives from scire, and in the 19th century before the modern understanding of science developed, the word science simply meant knowledge. Furthermore, the word consciousness also has the same root, suggesting the connection between conscience and consciousness and the social nature of the sense of right and wrong and shared human consciousness.
On 13 July I received mail from Tom Greco. I met Tom in 1999 at two of Carol Brouillet’s conferences, Strategies for Transforming the Global Economy. Tom is a leading authority on moneyless exchange systems, community currencies, financial innovation, and community economic development. His mail was about U.S. cluster munitions that will be sent to Ukraine and includes the report by Mike Boddington, Founder and first Director of COPE, the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise, based in Vientiane, Laos.
A heinous war crime is about to be committed by a country that purports to be the champion of democracy and human rights. Yes, the United States is preparing to send cluster bombs to the Ukraine for use in the war against Russia. Do you know the kinds of injuries these weapons cause, that they often fail to explode until much later when innocent civilians happen to accidentally set them off, and that these weapons have been banned by the Geneva Convention signed by 123 countries, but NOT by the United States?Opening paragraph of Mike’s analysis:This is an interim edition: a bonus, if you will. It is brought about as a result of hearing the news that the USA is to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, in order to continue the support of NATO and the west for that country in its battle against Russia. If this happens it will be the most evil and heinous crime. It will be the act of people who have no care or concern for the lives and welfare of others. By way of response, I am reproducing here an article that I wrote in 2021 entitled ‘An Experience in Your Life’ and which has had limited circulation, but has not aired in this medium. It offers a scenario of a regular, everyday person in SE Asia encountering an unexploded device – here referred to as a cluster sub-munition or bombie.
Mike Boddington is writing to each of us reading this: “Here is a scenario for you, dear reader. This is about you – your experience.” Describing being horrifically injured by “an explosive device left over from some long-past conflict,” he describes the timeline of what occurs following the explosion. He concludes the section Your Experience with, “Every hour of every day something like the above happens somewhere in the world. Every hour. Every day. Innocent people encounter an unexploded device, left behind by conflict, a conflict in which they were not involved. This hour today, as you read this, it was your turn. Tough.”
On the COPE website, ENDING THE THREAT OF UXO IN LAOS The effect of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on Lao PDR has been and continues to be immense, draws on figures from 2009:
In his December 2001 essay, In Our Name, John Judge analyzed the broader political and historical framework of the 11 September attacks and how “All that has brought us to this juncture in history and all that will follow, has been and is being done in our name, in the name of the American people, in the name of protecting democracy and freedom. But at the same time, most of what has been done and is being done exists behind a veil of secrecy, a veil of national security and covert military operations.” His examination of the psychological, sociological, political, and economic costs of war-making are ever more relevant two decades on. The beginning of Section 6, At The Crossroads, opens with:
I had a dream image about September 11. I grew up in the halls of the Pentagon, because members of my family were civilian employees there for many decades. I felt my windows shake when the plane exploded into the side of the building. I was offered a job at the Pentagon library when I was 15 years old, but my moral consciousness was already too far developed to accept it. After my relatives died, I took a photo of the Pentagon that they kept in their house, and hung it in my room. I know of no other reason to build a five-sided figure, which points to the south, except that in the arcane it is used in rituals to summon the Devil. While I do not believe in the Devil, I do believe in human evil. I always felt that the structure summoned it. In the ritual, the pentangle not only summons but also contains the Devil. My dream image was the plane breaking the pentangle and releasing the Devil. Pan-daemonium, as Milton called the capital of Hell. That evil must again be contained, and not summoned again.
The unmitigated evil being carried out IN OUR NAME manifests unbridled malevolence. The justification for the latest unconscionable Jaws-of-Hell-Weapons-to-Ukraine decision and promotion by executive branch, military, congressional, intelligence-media, academia, think-tank talking head “experts” is one more cravenly lethal “policy” laying bare the moral corruption of, in Steven Newcomb’s words, this Empire Domination Model of Christian Discovery. And how is this wanton carnage acknowledged? As Harold Pinter stated in his 2005 Nobel Lecture, “It never happened.”
Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
In 2014, Ray McGovern wrote about Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance: (The Ukraine in 50 Years of Context). The MICIMATT—McGovern’s term for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex—is the core producer and director of our ersatz culture. Life-affirming moral conscience is required to pierce the fog of thingism, identify and recognize the life-negating agendas being sold as necessary, and exercise our birthright intelligence to liberate consciousness and protect and defend ALL Life exploring itself on Mother Earth from what Guy DeBord described as The Society of the Spectacle, running on endless distraction and spoon-fed corporate empire state pablum.
In April, Speaking in Signposts of The Sovereign Debt Bubble Popping: What Comes Next?, former Blackrock portfolio manager and founding partner of Phinance Technologies, Ed Dowd points out the drivers of war.
War is a way out for bankers. Not for us, but for bankers. There’s 330 Trillion in Global Debt. It’s coming to a head; we’re 21 years into the 6th economic cycle as tracked by commodities.... Only 2 ways out of this problem: Default or Inflate. War is the only palpable narrative that populations will accept to inflate with proper propaganda.
There are alternatives to the demands of capital and its accumulation which inexorably leads to social disintegration and, potentially, species extinction. In The Accumulation of Capital (1913), Rosa Luxemburg wrote, “Force is the only solution open to capital; the accumulation of capital, seen as an historical process, employs force as a permanent weapon, not only at its genesis, but further on down to the present day.... The method of violence, then, is the immediate consequence of the clash between capitalism and the organisations of a natural economy which would restrict accumulation.”
How does one live in such an Orwellian war-is-peace, freedom-is-slavery, ignorance-is-strength system? If there is to be any actual redemption from the heinous crimes justified as necessary by U.S. “experts,” it will require rejecting this murderously disintegrating Christian Nationalism empire. Tom Greco writes about walking away from empire in three pieces.
In the 1990s Margaret Thatcher was a staunch proponent of the TINA philosophy or There Is No Alternative to economic—read corporate—liberalism. A significant counterweight to such framing of human possibilities is the 2021 book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity which illuminates “A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.” From the dust jacket:
For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself.
Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume.
Coming late to the game in 2019, I “spent” 6 months building a new directory on Collapsologie Immersion: The End Is The Beginning. Near the close of the Introduction, possibilities were pointed to of addressing the “wrong turn” European acolytes for the Vatican project of Christian discovery made beginning in the 15th century:
Billed as “a work of history”, The New York Times Magazine devoted its entire August 1, 2018 issue to a narrative by Nathaniel Rich on “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” The starkly narrow worldview making up this essay drove the motivation to write the critique: “Losing Earth? Realign with Original Free Peoples’ Great Law and Find Her Again.” A portion of this highlights Lenape/Shawnee scholar Steven Newcomb who, speaking at the Arizona state capital House of Representatives in 2012, points out a fundamental blindspot of US society in particular, and W.C. in general, that can still be acknowledged, addressed and redeemed. As Newcomb explains:
What I see is that the non-Indian society has actually deprived itself tremendously; by dehumanizing and sub-humanizing Indigenous Peoples they have deprived themselves of being able to learn from the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom that Indigenous Nations and Peoples have been able to accumulate over thousands and thousands of years going back to the beginning of time as expressed in our oral histories.
That’s what needs to occur. Once this understanding of respect for the Original Laws of the Land, for the Original Nations and Peoples of the Land, once that begins to occur then there is going to be more of a flow of communication and that knowledge that’s been buried and suppressed is going to rise up. If you want a clearer understanding of what that knowledge and wisdom entails look at the book called 1491; New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann. It’s an amazing exploration and understanding of just how incredibly wonderful and rich and vibrant and intelligent Indigenous Nations and Peoples and their cultures and spiritual traditions have been and continue to be at this time.
Each of us is answerable to our Creator. Each of us has an immutable relationship with the source of our existence. The ineffable mystery we each embody is eternally framed in the wonder of whatever is really going on here. John Trudell touched the essence of this in What It Means To Be A Human Being.
... because ... we come from where we come from, every one of us is the descendant of a tribe. Every person in this room is a descendant of a tribe at some point in our ancestral evolution. Common, collective, genetic memory that’s in there, you know, that’s encoded, like I say, in the DNA. And for every individual, encoded in our individual DNA, alright?, is the experience of our lineage from the very beginning. Whose whole perceptional reality was what I was just saying: all things have being, we’re made up of the Earth – all my relations, pray to spirits. See, and they didn’t pray to man or human form. The closest they came to it was they prayed to spirits that were called ancestors.
Alright? And because they were praying to those ancestors for help and guidance, they understood that we were borrowing today from the past and the future. We’re borrowing it from both places. So they had this understanding of reality.... they knew that to keep the balance was the purpose.... The reason for being was to keep the balance. ... this was ... what I will call a spiritual perception of reality. And so because of the spiritual perception of reality they understood that life was about responsibility. It wasn’t about the abstraction of freedom – it was about responsibility. That life was about responsibility.
There is a vital need to activate remembering that we are borrowing today from the past as well as the future. So much forgetting makes possible the incoherent, life-destroying processes and activities that beset the world. This started a long time ago. John Trudell expresses his understanding of how, within the techno-logic perceptional reality, one of the civilizing processes is to erase memories; memory of who we are and what we are, memory of identity and self-reality.
All of us are divine beings having a physical experience. Dogma has been put on everyone to take away the idea of our own divinity and put it in the hands of someone else. Tyranny started with that idea of laying dogma on people and pulling everyone away from their own relationship to spirit. There is no greater purpose than to choose for our selves the lens we adopt to view the world and our place in it. Doing so opens us up to seeing more of the infinite mystery Life contains and expresses through all our relations.
Recognizing the intelligence we have been given by our Creator and using it as clearly and coherently as we possibly can is the antidote to the entire techno-logic perceptional reality that is based upon death. The eventual, inevitable outcome of such reality is oblivion and annihilation. It is our responsibility as human beings to see and acknowledge this and then act upon this understanding.
May we all continually awaken to and be renewed by recognition
of our participation in and partaking of life
at this unique time of Koyaanisqatsi.