Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Traveller's tales,
Lost on highways
They've never seen.
No wind at their back,

They must tell
Their tales of misspent
Currency and non-adventure
To me.

I am the someone
they tell their woeish
tarradiddles on,
to convince the night,
That sleep is next.

Breaking boundaries,
Presenting ends of quests
To diligent seekers requests
I show the map and
Expose territory.

I sit it seems
Always at the end
Of beginnings or
The middle of ends
A signpost.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Undiscovered Country

There is something seductively interesting and at the same time fairly creepy going on in the world. The creepy part seems to be a psychic response to unvoiced questions.

Reviewing reading I have done over the years it has become clear that I, as an individual, and probably everyone, develop patterns of recognition, or psychological templates, to find that for which we are seeking. I think this is similar to fulfilling "drives". The body knows it needs certain nutrients and little switches somewhere kick on a kind of radar that seeks out those nutrients and little recognition lights flash and little buzzers buzz when the sought-after nutrient comes within range of the senses.

The pattern I am recognizing is in the reading I have been attracted to over the years. Certain books I have kept since childhood which, when I first read them, left a definite impression, an idea that there might be more in them than seen when first read. Interestingly there is only one of those books that is actually a "kid's book"; all the rest were meant for an adult, or at least a young adult. I have re-read all of these books many times and almost every time I re-read one of them something pops out that I either hadn't noticed at all or touched me in a new way. I suspect that re-reading these books programmed me in some mysterious way that I have only the dimmest of shadows of an idea about.

There are also books which I have kept because I knew their importance at first read, but have rarely if ever re-read, but images and ideas from them have remained with me quite constantly over time. Some of these books have included ideas which seem to be coming to pass, and I am not talking about Science-fiction prediction of cell phones or computer based technological miracles, although it is true that SF writers, especially "golden age" SF writers were almost always ahead of the tech curve. It has even become fun to see how far ahead of the curve they were; a recent television program spoke about imagined advances that have actually come about because techno-geeks were watching Star Trek. What I am talking about are social change ideas.

A couple of those unremarkable literary efforts (although certainly major publishing successes) was a series which included the idea of a synthesis of all major religions. While there hasn't been any such real synthesis yet, I keep reading news articles and seeing videos that approach this very subject. The approach must be very oblique considering the state of world politics. Who would, in the current climate, propose a joining of Islam to Judaism or Christianity or Hinduism or any of the above to Buddhism in a serious forum? Such a suggestion might well be suicidal.

But indeed, this is the base of an idea being proposed. In my mind this is not a radical idea but a necessary idea. It is not a new idea as I have stated, but it is fascinating that it is happening now, and it seems to be happening because of people like the neo-cons in the United States and fundamentaist muslims. And I think with a little applied mental shifting one can see the reason. Simply put, survival.

Forces such as the above mentioned do not contain anywhere a majority of any population, but they do seem to promote movement away from themselves, generally it seems to me, toward the "center". It is of course, impossible to say where that center lies, but like herd animals, the greater part of the population will tend to escape from the violent fringes where the slow are also the dead. These actions of violent extremists on any side will cause a population movement away from where they perceive the violence to exist. Hence, vast numbers of people escaping, for example, Iraq.

It is a rare population, such as the Jewish population of Israel that will remain in place instead of trying to escape the hostile surround, and it is probable that without external support even they would tend to migrate. The Iraqi population has no such support and neither does the Palestinian or the internal Russian populations. At the high point of the conflict in Afghanistan there were nearly five and half million refugees living just outside the borders in Iran and Pakistan and a million more displaced within the country. All of this migration was man-made, but natural disasters cause the same sort of movement of populations. It does not matter what the trigger for violence is or was; it is very difficult to live in a zone of violence. These displaced people seek less violent environments and to the degree that they succeed, begin to influence the new environment and its old inhabitants. There is always some disturbance of previous local norms when an "alien" population arrives.

In a commercial empire such as the one based in the United States, it is necessary to have a population wealthy enough to buy the products produced for consumption. A population wealthy enough to buy such products cannot be stressed with too much violence for the above reasons. Arriving populations from Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Russia and other parts of the old Soviet Union have made room for themselves in various parts of the U.S. pushing the less socially stressed native population into fearful xenophobic mindsets. One of the new factors arriving with these immigrants is their old religious forms. It has become clear to me that every population and culture, stressed by various forces moves in a direction away from the stress moment. Religion appears to be one of those stressors.

Paraphrasing a well known writer, it seems to be true that religion bears the same relationship to the "soul" as predator does to prey. Inevitably there occurs an evolution between the pair where the predator loses its advantage because the prey has adapted a new survival strategy which the predator must then adapt to overcome and so on. No one so far has answered the question of what the soul might be or why there is a force created to pursue it, or what might make the pursuit of that substance nutritive to anything, but religious formulations are prepared for certain groups at certain points in their development and tend to become obsolete.

Can it be that as the planet tends toward monoculture a new religious formulation is coming into existance?