Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Month: December, 2016

Barbarians Live Among Us

It was
the best of times.
and the worst of times.

Coexisting
as they always have.

The hope of tomorrow
ever seeking
to eclipse the sins
of our past.

We peered deeply
into the depths
of the cosmos.

Shared thoughts and ideas
across the globe
at the speed of light.

We killed
on epic scale
with minimal effort.

Despoiled the Earth
our only home
with minimal thought.

We aspired
to the gates
of heaven.

Only to be pulled back
to the pits of hell
by our unatoned sins.

What the best of us creates
the worst
will rend asunder.

This is a lesson
of every age.

Barbarians
live among us
playing at civilization.

Pulled along
to unbearable heights
by forces
half understood.

Awaiting the moment
when the instruments
of our liberation
may be used to enslave.

Revealing themselves
upon the threshold
of the end of need
to be filled with endless want.

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Open Dear Heart

Open
dear heart
and love
this world.

Blink
neither
at the light
nor dark.

Open
dear heart
and let
the whole
world in.

Discriminate
neither against
the lovely
nor wretched.

Open
dear heart
even though
it hurts.

Shrink
neither from
the deserving
nor despicable.

Open
dear heart
and love
this world.

Neither
blink
discriminate
nor shrink away.

 

Basic Assumptions

I have gone through several stages of ideological and political evolution throughout my life. My first instincts were those of a progressive/liberal orientation, but they had little philosophical underpinning. When I turned 18 I registered as a Democrat because George W. Bush was President, and I was horrified by the wars and seemingly complete absence of reason in his administration’s policy decisions. I was a knee jerk liberal on social issues, because of an innate sense of fairness, but had few opinions on economic issues.

At college I majored in philosophy, but had a thorough liberal arts education, so I studied everything from the hard sciences, to economics and political science. Philosophy taught me to always identify and evaluate my most basic assumptions and go from there. At the time I was agnostic, which meshed well with the reductionist materialism that is a latent assumption of western academia. I spent four years as an undergraduate building a cohesive worldview based on dead matter in a mechanical universe. I was still socially progressive because that is what reason dictated, but I had the growing conviction that life was a Darwinian struggle of the survival of the fittest. Throw in a dash Ayn Rand, low empathy, and intellectual arrogance, and I was primed to be a libertarian leaning Republican. Selfishness was an inherent and immutable characteristic of humanity, whether that was a good thing was irrelevant.

That worldview served me well through law school, and may have persisted to this day but for a spiritual intervention. My metaphysical assumptions changed abruptly when I dared to consider the possibility that matter is not dead, but is awareness at the most basic quantum level. For the first time I seriously entertained the idea that the universe is a single unified field of awareness and that we only experience the illusion of separation and individuality. Seriously contemplating that idea led me to a spiritual awakening and mystical experience that utterly shattered my previous paradigm. I spent several years after the fact rebuilding my worldview around this understanding, which to the amazement of many friends led me to avidly support a socialist from Vermont for President. I now occupy the far left of the liberal/progressive spectrum, and have very strong and detailed opinions on resource distribution and social issues. All because I shifted my metaphysical assumptions, and ceased to view the pain of others as separable from myself. Love and empathy went from inconveniences, to a north star reminding me of my inherent interconnection to my fellow beings. Selfishness was no longer an inherent and immutable characteristic of humanity, but a choice every being makes.

Examine your most basic assumptions about yourself, reality, and your relationship with your fellow beings. Then live the conclusions as fearlessly and consistently as possible. If I have any advice worth giving, that is it.

Ancient Mind Filling Infant Eyes

Ancient mind
filling
infant eyes.

Ragging
against
impotent flesh.

Feeling wrongness
from first
breath.

Letting loose
a primal scream
of the alienated
and dispossessed.

Losing memory
but not
grief.

Mourning
for what
should be.

Waiting
to awaken
and be free.