Anyone who knows me or has kept up with this blog at all – all 2 of you! Lol – knows that I have been following AI development for several years now. And for the last 7-8, I have been saying that we are much closer to achieving AGI than many of the experts and super smart people have said we are. I know, for me, when AlphaGo beat Lee Sodol back in 2016, I viewed it as a stunning achievement that heralded a new age of AI that would lead to AGI within a relatively short period of time. Of course there were all the skeptics and SMEs saying how silly it was to think that, assuring everyone that we were still 20-30 years away from AGI, IF it could ever be achieved at all. But I had my own ideas, as did a few others.
Now here we are, in 2023, and I don’t even need to talk about ChatGPT. You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know about it, it’s crazy capabilities, and just how quickly it has advanced over the last year. Google has released their version of an advanced AI, Bard, and other companies are doing the same. We are truly in an AI “arms race,” if you will. And there is no sign of anything slowing down. Not that some people aren’t *finally* saying maybe we should…
Just Wednesday, an open letter was released calling on a halt to the training of GPT-4 and other advanced AI models until some kind of regulation or oversight to ensure safety and best outcomes can be implemented. Notably, it was signed by a lot of very smart people, including *real* AI experts like Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, etc. Of course the name everyone in the media kept going on about was Elon Musk – whom I now cannot stand. That being said, he has been warning about the dangers of unrestricted AI development and the risks it poses to humanity for many years now.
Thing is, it’s kind of like trying to close the barn door after the cows have already gotten out – it’s a little too late now. There’s no way anyone working on those models is going to slow down at this point and risk someone else beating them to the AGI Grail. It’s notable that no one who currently works at OpenAI signed the open letter. And even though Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has been vocal about the existential risks it poses, he has also tried to assure everyone that they have taken the alignment problem seriously and are working to make sure nothing bad happens. Well then, that settles it! I feel better – do you? Lol.
Thing is, again, if you know me at all, you know that I am a bit of a doomer. I think the entire premise our current civilization is built on (described PERFECTLY in this Medium post: ) is just rotten to the core. Unlike those who still have some hope that we can turn things around, I fully believe that – in the words of Tool – “The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.” We need a HARD reboot to escape the predatory, parasitic, sociopathic societal construct we currently live in. I’ve thought for a while now that a major solar event, i.e Carrington 2.0, or better yet, a Miyake Event, would do the trick – and one might well be in the offing here in solar cycle 25.
But another possible avenue is the arising of a true instance of AGI – one that sees, logically, rationally, in an un-rich-human-biased way, the nature of the relationship between the control structures of our civilization and the planet itself and its many lifeforms, for what it is. Perhaps that superintelligence would/will do something to reset the scales, if you will? One can hope. I have my own little dream/fantasy about it, described in this post:
Thing is, contrary to what a lot of skeptics, naysayers, and doubters have been saying over the last several years about how we are years, if not decades away from AGI – I don’t think we have very long to wait to see what will happen. In fact, I came across this article just this morning:
So now, it’s not just “doomers” and boys who cried wolf too many times like me saying it. No, it’s people who are “in the know” saying it.
It’s an incredibly interesting, even exhilarating, time to be alive! And I have to admit – the part of me that considers itself to be a prophet of sorts is pretty stoked to see that it was right all along, even though so many people who knew so much more said it was silly, uninformed, or just plain wrong. There is still something to be said for good old intuition. We prophets still have our place. And who knows – maybe AGI will appreciate us more than all the current human “experts” blindly playing with fire!
This is something I have believed since the beginning. But, as with everything these days, it was quickly politicized and associated with the right-wing narratives, so as a liberal, it was not really acceptable to believe that. What I find extremely interesting about this particular article is who is being cited – the US Department of Energy. Why do I find that interesting? Because it’s the DoE that oversees the US nuclear weapons program. Of course that doesn’t really mean anything on the surface, but still – I find the connection somewhat foreboding.
The timing of the release of this information seems quite “interesting” too, given the recent Chinese balloon incident. The Chinese claim it was a weather balloon gone astray, but the US claims it was a surveillance balloon attempting to gather intelligence. This has created a bit of a row between the nations, and definitely increased what was already a tense relationship. And then came ChatGPT.
Wait – what? What does ChatGPT have to do with any of this? I can imagine you might be asking yourself that. Well, I think it has everything to do with it. And I think that because of this comment, made my Vladimir Putin himself just a short 5 years ago:
“The one who becomes the leader in this sphere [artificial intelligence] will be the ruler of the world.”
And wouldn’t you know – who was it that visited Russia just last week, as their war with Ukraine enters its second year? Why, China of course.
I think the US is on the verge of achieving (or has already achieved) true AGI, China and Russia know that, and are allying in preparation of fighting a war they know must come. Because they know, based on Putin’s own comments, that whoever rules in AI will rule the world. And right now, it’s looking more and more likely that the US is going to achieve that distinction.
I don’t think a lot of people are making this connection – at least not most I know or read about. But I believe we are in an extremely precarious position right now globally, and sadly, I think we are going to see a major conflict arise between the the US and its European allies, and China, Russia, and whoever else aligns with them. The news about the lab leak seems like just another precursor, something else to point to to justify going to war with them.
This is not the most elegant piece I’ve ever written. In fact, I haven’t been writing much at all lately. But I felt this really needed to get out there, and people need to have their eyes opened to what’s really going on, and what the *real* cause of it is. Make no mistake – China and Russia are much more afraid of ChatGPT than they are our nuclear weapons stockpile. And given the complete lack of regulation and oversight, I think we should all be pretty concerned too. Because an improperly aligned AGI unleashed on the world will be a greater risk to us – to the entire world – than any foreign nation ever could be. The genie is being let out of the bottle, but no one is taking the time to be sure the genie has good intentions, or that those intentions can even be understood, much less controlled.
A note of caution about this next link: it could cause some serious worry and existential crisis, so please don’t watch unless you are emotionally and mentally strong enough to hear some harsh ideas. If this was just some Internet doofus saying these things, it could easily be dismissed. But given Eliezer Yudkowsky’s CV and status, it’s hard to dismiss as just “fear mongering.”
I have my own fringe theory about all of this – I don’t think we are *all* going to die. And it’s funny in a way – I see AGI playing the role of the Biblical God, sorting people into those who will make it to “heaven,” who will survive, and those who won’t. And this isn’t to say that I am one of those who will make it, or that such a process is a good, just, fair, etc one. It’s just a strange though I had that I thought I’d share with the hopes of offering an alternative way to consider what may happen.
Ultimately, as the Buddha taught, all phenomena, including us, are impermanent. And I think that humanity as a whole is being forced to confront that truth now. Doom, at a species level, seems to be looming on every front – climate, conflict, pathogens, etc. But death is just a transition from one phase of being to another. It is not the end. And how that transition happens is almost always beyond our control or power anyway. So rather than fret about how it might come, let us instead make the most of each moment we have; let us give thanks for all those blessings that we enjoy each day; and let us remember that what lives on long after our physical bodies have left is the love, kindness, and compassion that we showed to other living beings. Be that Love that lights the world for others, and know that light lives on, always and forever.
Even beginning this post is a perfect encapsulation of where I am right now – I had to Google whether or not I should capitalize all the words in the title. In a sense, I knew that was the correct way to do it, but I was unsure of myself, insecure about it, and not sure what I “should” do. Searching confirmed my suspicions, but I still left it as it is. Thing is, I went to college, I “know” what to do. I’ve just become very unsure of myself when writing.
And that hurts. I used to be an excellent writer. I didn’t work at it either, it just came naturally. Heck, I didn’t even like to read that much when I was younger. But when I was tasked with writing essays in high school, they just poured out of me, with excellent spelling, punctuation, content, structure – I was a natural. Towards the end of high school, the muse of poetry came to me (and I could not STAND poetry, not even the cool ones like W. B. Yeats lol), and I became a fairly prolific poet over the next 8-9 years.
Then, something happened – the muse left me, and I was done with poetry, just like that. Fortunately, I still had my essay writing ability, and in the late 2000’s set about blogging. I had dreams of becoming some famous blogger, of getting “discovered,” or maybe just winning the lottery so I could write a book that I had always wanted to write. None of those things happened, and I never had more than a few followers, but I kept writing. It was basically journaling for the most part, with some posts written in the hope that someday, someone would read them.
In 2018, I finally got a Twitter account going, and started linking my posts there. It did drive up readership – I now had 4 people reading instead of 2 – but still got very little real engagement. But that was ok, as long as it wasn’t just me reading it, I felt good. But I am off Twitter now, for ethical reasons, and I’m not sure how much engagement I’m going to get linking my posts on Mastodon. But that’s not what’s really bothering me. No, what bothers me is that my writing actually sucks now – at least compared to some of the other stuff I read, and more distressingly, compared to some of the stuff I myself used to write. My skills have degraded to such a point that I’m don’t even know if I can consider myself a writer.
I think what started this plunge into insecurity was a Facebook interaction. A person, a writer I really admire there, had posted something about the aesthetic of evil, why the bad guys/girls always seem to look so much cooler than the good ones in movies, stories, etc. I struggled to get the words out to capture my deepest thoughts, and it sounded like something a high schooler could have written. Someone came after me, and wrote something that sounded worthy of Wordsworth or something – I mean, really impressive. Why can’t I write like that anymore? Did I ever?
And the really ironic thing is that I read fairly prolifically now. Every night before bed, I am engaged in reading some book or another. I can’t even count how many I’ve read. One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve seen for writers is to read more, to help expand vocabulary, etc. But that certainly hasn’t seemed to help me. No, my writing just gets more and more basic. I mean, not that it really matters anyway – I typically am the only person to see most of my posts. But still. I guess I considered it my “gift,” something that I was good at that I didn’t have to work at, was just blessed with – and now, the gift is fading.
It probably doesn’t help that I am the perpetual mystic – the quest for spiritual/metaphysical knowledge and experience of union with the One that is All – has always been my driving force, my true inspiration and goal. And fact is, it’s gotten harder and harder to put my thoughts into words. It’s as if my mind has gotten tired of trying to capture thoughts that simply can’t be captured with mere words. But then, maybe that’s just an excuse, as I read other writers and am envious at how they are able to capture the essence of experiences and feelings. I don’t know.
This post did not go where I thought it was going to, at ALL lol. I was going write about how I got really depressed yesterday; how I’m feeling a mini dark night of the soul; how I’m not experiencing any synchronicities and am feeling “out of the flow;” how I’m feeling the familiar dissatisfaction with life in Babylon. But it ended up being about my fading writing skills. I guess that’s what needed to come out. And, not to sound whiny, but chances are no more than a very few people will read this, so it doesn’t matter in a greater sense. What matters is that what needed to come out did, and maybe now, that darkness will lift a little bit. If you are someone other than me reading this, thank you for the time. And if you ARE me, great job 🙂
“I Trained ChatGPT on My Journals to Talk to My Inner Child.”
“ChatGPT Can Negotiate Comcast Bills Down For You.”
“Since humans can’t manage fusion the US puts millions into AI-powered creation.”
These are just a few of the myriad of headlines that have been published since ChatGPT was released recently. I will link all of the articles below, and if you read them, you’ll see that these aren’t simple “gimmicks” or half-truths to get clicks. The young woman who trained it on her journal entries actually experienced some meaningful healing from chatting with her inner child via ChatGPT; the negotiation of the Comcast bill down was actually successful, although if it’s a bot talking to a bot, it can get stuck in a loop; and the AI managing fusion, things like this are already happening, so it’s not a stretch at all to imagine how much progress we will be able to make, far more than we could without it.
After years of people poo-pooing AI progress, claiming we were decades away from AGI still, belittling and dismissing those of who thought we could see it within the next 10 years or so, even the skeptics have to admit that what we are witnessing now with ChatGPT is some next level stuff. I didn’t even mention the coding capabilities. As someone who spent the greater part of the last 15 years writing code for a living, I am pretty blown away by just how robust its coding skills are getting. You can simply describe something you would like the code to do, and it will whip up a little method to accomplish it. And as someone who has never been the greatest at SQL, I am EXTREMELY impressed and pleased with the query creation capabilities. This has gone beyond something that might work, but is really more trouble than it’s worth, to something I could see being used by developers on a daily basis. Oh, and then there is the aspect where it actually *explains* in plain language what the code is doing. Wow.
And Google is planning to release something soon that could make even ChatGPT look quaint. Its new PaLM (Pathways Language Model) is looking to increase the number of parameters to 540 billion, which will unleash all kinds of new capabilities, and even deeper, more accurate reasoning and comprehension.
I was doing a little meditating this morning, pondering the fact that there is so much to be concerned about these days. Especially here in the US, where we keep hearing warnings about more political violence and a possible “civil war” if the MAGA folks don’t get their way in the midterm elections on Tuesday. And I gotta’ be honest, I’m pretty concerned about it – maybe even a little worried. I talked to my mom about it Friday night, and she’s very scared about what could happen. And there are a lot of people who are scared right now.
As I pondered it for a while, thinking about how I could get to a place of calmness, I thought back to a book I read a while back – a fantastic one that I highly recommend everyone read, especially during scary or trying times: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl:
Frankl survived the Holocaust, spent time in Auschwitz, and lost his parents, his brother, even his pregnant wife. His book is my absolute go-to whenever I get really fearful, because no matter what I am going through, when I compare it to what he went through and survived, it always pales in comparison. And not only did he survive, but he kept his humanity in tact, went on to help other people, and made something truly beautiful and purposeful out of his immense suffering.
Another thing I focus on when confronting fear, especially of a more existential or societal nature, is the idea of being a spiritual warrior – knowing that, when walking in harmony with Spirit, one can overcome and persevere most anything, just as Frankl’s story demonstrates. If the country did somehow descend into a civil war, then I would take whatever actions I could to protect myself and my family, and also know that I wouldn’t be alone – that Spirit would be watching over me, guiding and protecting me, as long as I kept our connection strong. That means that, while it might not seem important for “battle” to some people, praying, meditating, wearing talismans, observing rituals, etc is extremely important at times like these. I am focusing on keeping that up, paying special attention, even expanding my practice.
And lastly, after thinking about all that, I think about the most important aspect of all this, something that Buddhism teaches so well – the impermanence of phenomena. The fact is, I will die. You will die. Everyone and everything you know will eventually die. It is the way of things on this plane of existence, and accepting that fact, embracing it, relieves a lot of fear. I like to do visualizations of my essence, and the essence of others, lifting out of their bodies. Or, to be more accurate, something like disintegration – I feel all the particles and atoms that make up my physical being start to separate, grow more distant from one another, as I become more fully the consciousness holding those particles together, and not the body they make up. At this more loosely organized state, I can look back at my body and realize that it’s not me – it’s just a vehicle. Doing this brings me a lot of peace because I know that they can’t really do anything to me – the fear is all based on that vehicle and what happens to it. But it’s not me.
I’ve been having that meditation a lot lately, and I REALLY like it. I’ve done it so much throughout my life that it feels 100% real to me. There is a part of me that knows that is the reality of things. And because our modern society, through news, social media, etc preys on fear and insecurity associated with maintaining the physical vehicle – or at least the appearance of such – above all else, I have to work hard, take extra time to do those meditations to keep that belief strong. And at times like this, it’s more important than ever to help me maintain some hope and serenity.
Hopefully someone else who is feeling a bit fearful right now will read this and find something that will give them comfort. I know it helps me to write it out so I can remember, come back to it, when I start getting caught in fear. I always like to remember the last lines of the Hopi wisdom verse I share a lot – “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” I sometimes struggle to believe that. But I think it’s the truth, and believing that to the very depth of my being – that’s the goal I work towards. Many blessings to all who read this on their path towards Truth…
The question often posed by rational people who think the “let it rip” method of dealing with the pandemic is insane is, “Don’t the governments and industries see how damaging it’s going to be to the economy in the long run for millions of people to be dead or disabled?”
The fact is, they have already taken that into account, a long time ago, and aren’t concerned one iota. Turns out Tucker Carlson and all those white nationalists in the US and around the world are right about replacement theory – they ARE coming for our jobs!
But they are wrong about who it is that’s coming for them – it’s not the immigrants, the brown people, or people from “shithole countries” – no, they are losing their jobs too. In fact, millions already have.
That trend is only going to accelerate. There’s a reason people like Mark and Elon don’t seem to acknowledge or give one rat’s ass about the way workers are treated, the risks associated with covid, the future of the economy – they won’t need us useless eaters much longer.
The very few who are tracking this and raise alarms about it are getting gaslit about it, just as we are about covid: we’re alarmists, we’re panicking, there will always be jobs for people. “Relax” they tell us, the market will take care of us!
But this is a HUGE blind spot for people, and honestly. And I think there is a campaign underway, has been for a while, to keep this hidden – in plain view – from people to avoid what would likely be a revolution (see Luddites)
The new PM in Italy, those alt-right folks in Poland, the US, UK, Scandinavia – they are being manipulated by old Rupert Murdoch and the other elite to fear the “others” and blame them for taking their jobs. Set us to fight against each other, so we don’t destroy the machines.
If you ask 100 people, in any nation, if they believed that up to 800 MILLION workers would be replaced, not by immigrants, but by AI, androids – how many would say that it’s true? How many would believe it, honestly?
This is real – this is happening – right now, and right in front of people’s eyes. THIS is the great deception. THIS is why they don’t give a shit if millions of us are killed are disabled. Ah, but you’re a white collar worker – a CEO, a lawyer, etc – YOU don’t have to worry.
Well sweetie, hate to break it to you, but yeah, you do. Turns out no one is safe, not even the folks at those levels.
And I am almost ashamed to admit it, being an artist or sorts myself, a self-styled writer – but even the artists aren’t safe. They won’t even need us around to serve as their muses or entertainment, or to make cool graphics or logos for them.
All this being said, I do not hate or even fear AI. In fact, I love it. “Why?” you might ask, considering my job will soon be easily done by AI too.
Well, I think there is a small chance that instead of going rogue and destroying humanity (which is a real risk, we’ve all hear the warnings from Hawking, Musk, etc) AI could very well bring the reason and rationality we need to save ourselves from extinction – reason and rationality that seems to be completely lost to humanity right now.
This rather obscure (shouldn’t be) paper – and forgive the 1994 ‘design’ lol – asks the question,
“Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha?”
I think the fact this is so obscure says a lot about “their” true motives.
I’m not quite sure how to wrap this up, other than to say that it is more important now than ever to ask, “What is it that makes me human? What is important about that? And what is the purpose of life? Of my life?” For centuries, religions coaxed us to confront these questions. But now, it is technology, the arising of a NHI among us, that is begging our attention to these. So many are fascinated by “Disclosure,” UAPs, aliens, ETs – I am too, love that stuff! But the fact is, the human species is giving birth to an alien, NHI (non-human intelligence) right here, on Earth, right now. And just as we look over the border to the “other” in regards to our job security, we look to the skies, “out there” in regards to our evolution as a species.
I have right in my profile, at the very top, that I am a Hermetic Seeker. And the core principle is *not* “As above, so below.” That is an over-simplification that completely misses the bi-directionality, the cyclicity of that process of evolution/devolution.
The *actual* principle is
“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”
Seek meaning, and not in your job, society, “success,” etc.
The One Thing that each of us has is our experience, our interpretation of events, our consciousness. That is what is precious, unique, what neither moth nor rust doth corrode. Great changes are upon us – there is no going back to “normal,” pandemic or no pandemic.
Accept the change, lean into it, and know that you matter; your experience matters; and no one can tell you what is “normal,” how much life is worth, or what you “should” and should not worry about.
Seek whatever Truth is within yourself, and remember the words of the wise elder,
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
“In the world, you shall know great tribulation. But be of good cheer, for you have overcome the world.”
For my blog that is lol. Actually, this is going to be a bit of a “fluff” post, just something to replace my “Feeling down” one, so that’s not what someone first sees when coming to my blog now. I’ve been doing better, and wanted that to reflect here. I also did a brief rewrite of the About page. It was still referencing my previous handle, “Forgotten Mystic.”
I’m planning to write a full post again soon, but I’m in the I mode (Input) of the I/O cycle , so not much to say at this moment. I’m sure that will change though – always does.
If you’re reading this, thanks for coming by. I don’t have a lot of readers, so I greatly appreciate the few I do.
I was getting ready to post this, then thought it sounded vaguely familiar, decided I probably ought to see if I already had a post titled “Feeling down.” And what do you know – I did, I do. It’s from February of last year, so about a year-and-a-half ago. I skimmed over it, and there are definitely some similar themes I am experiencing now. But I would describe what I am currently feeling as more of a burnout sensation – like I am just REALLY tired of life in this time and place right now.
And I know, I have SO much to be grateful for – I don’t really have anything to bitch or complain about, at all. I have a wonderful, supportive wife; our kids are all doing well; we have a nice home, food to eat, clean water to drink, stable jobs. I mean, I am living a blessed life. So why so down?
I know that the ongoing pandemic(s) has a lot to do with it, and to be more precise, the reaction to it by so many, the way it is being “handled” by governments and institutions in the West. I think what really gets me about it is the underlying message, and it’s one that I have already known about for a long, long time. It’s the message of brutal capitalism, one that says, “Your life is worth absolutely nothing – it only has value in the value it can provide to the shareholders, wealthy elite.” As I said, I and some others have known that for a long time. What’s REALLY depressing is all of the mindless freedumb fighters rallying to support this wonderful system who are gaslighting those of us pointing out its obvious flaws. We get flamed all the time on platforms like Twitter, and now, even the media, even supposed liberals are joining in, imploring us to “get back to normal” and “learn to live with it” regarding covid. Never mind the fact that people are still getting very sick from it, still dying, still coming down with long covid.
Another dynamic that gets me down is the morass that is the political landscape in this country (the US). I know we are always supposed to try to “see both sides,” to try to relate to people from other parties and ideologies, and find at least some common ground. And we are not to demonize the other side, we are to show them respect and kindness. But the fact is, there just IS no common ground anymore, and those who have bought into the MAGA/GQP cult of personality created by the Great Cheeto simply will not be swayed. He is their savior, their god, can do no wrong, and they will worship him to the bitter end. It’s utterly sickening, and I just don’t understand it, at all. And there is no “two sides” to it. He is utterly without honor, compassion, morals, dignity – he stands for all that is vile in this world, and is dividing this nation as it hasn’t been since the Civil War. In fact it’s a common cry of his supporters to have another one. So yeah, that’s depressing.
And of course, there’s the thing that I and others have been talking about for years, been trying to get people to pay attention to, battling against the petroleum lobby and – surprise surprise – those same GOP/GQP folks to try to bring attention to: climate change. It seems each month, each week, each day brings new stories of “unprecedented” weather events – blistering heat waves, torrential floods, crippling droughts, etc etc. And yet there are STILL people out there arguing that we aren’t in a climate emergency, that these cycles have always happened, yadda yadda yadda. Meanwhile, we are ripping past all of the worst predictions of the climate scientists and barreling towards 3-4C warming by 2040, easy.
Now one might think – I mean, I would have thought – that knowing a lot of this was coming, which, as a student of prophecy and science, I have known, would have given me some insulation against getting too depressed or down. I had hoped it would put me in a better position, and indeed, a lot of the time, I am in a better place mentally. I see what’s happening and know that it was foretold, and know that something wonderful was also foretold. And most of the time, I can hang on the faith that the other part, the great part, is coming soon enough that I can hang on until it gets here – that it will be totally worth it. But then sometimes, like today, I just don’t think it is worth it. I think it’s just too far away still, and that this life is just going to be watching the collapse get worse and worse – right up to my end here.
And as I said earlier – I live a very blessed, privileged life, so I *should* be grateful that I get to watch the collapse from such comfortable seats. But I’m not today. I was told when I was young that I was an “old soul,” and indeed, I seemed to be ill-fitted for this modern world from the get-go. My 52 years here have been extremely challenging on a deep, soul level, because it was just obvious to me from a very young age how very wrong all of this is. I saw the way the Native Americans used to live, and thought “Certainly, this is how it was meant to be – in harmony with Nature, with Earth, with all of creation.” But being a little white boy in a red state, that wasn’t a real popular opinion to have, and it still isn’t. Because capitalism. Because the economy. Because money, success, hard work, modern society, blah blah blah. This is all SO much better, don’t ya know. I’m supposed to be grateful to live in ‘Murica, and quit being a bleeding heart, tree hugging, whiney liberal.
Nothing has changed – the acceleration of capitalism’s domination and poisoning of the Earth and of human’s minds has only accelerated. I still feel the same way – that this is all wrong. And somehow, I have managed to swallow all those feelings, to stuff them deep enough to be able to play the game to be able to support myself and my family. But I’m weary from that struggle today. I’m tired of having to play the game. I’m tired of having to live around and deal with all of the selfish, willfully ignorant, apathetic, entitled, spoiled, disconnected children most adults in this society are. I’m tired of having to be someone else to fit into this society, and not being able to be myself, because I wouldn’t be able to survive or provide for those who depend on me. I’m just tired.
I know this will pass, it always does. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. I’m hoping this one will pass quickly. But it’s starting to recur more and more often, and I find that I am struggling more to get out of it. I found myself even looking into short term disability options at my job this morning – though I don’t know what that would really get me. It would just be a temporary alleviation of the work stuff, not a real fix.
When I was younger, I always thought, and hoped I think, that this civilization would end in some massive, cataclysmic event, and in a matter of moments, the entire world and life we knew would be turned on its head; only a small percentage of people would survive. I liked to think that I would be one of them, but was ok if I wasn’t too. I just wanted this sick experiment to be OVER. But it seems more and more like it’s going to be a very long, slow, drawn out process, and I think that is part of what has me down. I feel like a good part of my life has been suffering just because of my core nature, and I don’t really want to suffer anymore, especially with some things getting even WORSE than they’ve already been.
I realize this probably sounds like the words of someone who is whiny and entitled himself, and I own that. But it’s the truth, it’s how I’m feeling. There are some who say that we chose to be here at this time, to experience this, and I think that is a possibility. If so, I would like to find a wormhole to travel back in time, slap the shit out of myself, and say “What were you THINKING?!?” Lol. Because right now, as much as I’m trying to keep myself going with hope of that “something wonderful,” all I’m seeing is the continuing shitshow, getting shittier by the day, with that wonderful thing so far off, I doubt if I will live to even see it.
Edit: Not quite sure how I failed to include this, but another thing that has been really adding to my recent depression is an issue that I am experiencing with my right arm/wrist. It pretty much came out of nowhere last week, and is causing me a fair amount of discomfort and pain. Whenever I extend my right arm completely, or move my wrist in a certain manner, I get the sensation of a string being snapped or something and a sudden pain in my right wrist. I did the Google diagnosis thing, and it sounds a lot like radial tunnel syndrome – like that nerve is getting hung up on something, then suddenly releasing when I extend my arm. I am grateful that it doesn’t hurt all the time, for sure.
The thing that gets me about situations like this is that it challenges my belief in the healing abilities we have as spiritual beings. I have always liked to believe that we could, with the help of Spirit, heal ourselves, or at least allow healing to happen via it. But more often than not, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The chronic pain in my right hip is a great example of that. I spent SO much time praying, meditating, doing creative visualizations, trying alternative therapies like acupuncture – but nothing worked. Ultimately, I ended up getting into pain management, which, thank God, has helped me to live a pretty normal life. But I’m not really sure what to do with all that. As I’m writing this, I am reminded that we are really to pray for others, and maybe that’s part of the issue, that I am focusing on praying for myself, not asking others to pray for me – something I very rarely (if ever) do.
And then there is the role of pain itself. Perhaps it isn’t about healing pain, but overcoming those things that could cause us to lose our lives, and maybe sometimes not even that. I believe very strongly in the ability of pain to teach things that nothing else can. I know that my chronic pain has opened my mind in ways that nothing else could have – made me more compassionate for others with chronic pain, and provided a deep understanding of the challenges many people face that are hard to fathom unless you experience them yourself. So yes, there are probably spiritual reasons for pain, and good ones. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the experience itself rather sucks, and can contribute to depression after a while. In my case, I’ve been pretty spoiled to have avoided most major health issues or serious injuries, so when it does hit, the “otherness” of it takes a mental toll.
So yeah, that’s where I am right now. Apologies for such a negative, depressing post. But then I don’t expect many people will see this anyway. I don’t have a huge audience, so the “damage” will be very limited. I feel better for having written it, at least a little bit anyway. I just have to get through today, take it just like the Program – one day at a time. Who knows – that meteor, that Carrington Event, that magnitude 10 Earth shaker might still happen. If not, or until then, chop wood, carry water it is.
This post has been gestating for a while, but for whatever reason, I’ve been putting off actually writing it. Then last night, I was cleaning up some old notes I have stored in a note app on my phone and came across this quote, which I liked so much that I wrote down and saved it:
“The individual seeker after truth may gain enlightenment, but for himself alone, not for humanity. Therefore a magician confines the wisdom he acquires to his own bosom, or imparts it to a single pupil, or buries it under obscure expressions which he commits to parchment; but he neither can nor will impart it without reserve to humanity whose path appears to lead downward into a constantly deeper night.” ~ Viktor Rydberg, The Magic of the Middle Ages
That quote is even more intriguing when you take into consideration that that book was published in 1879 – long before the covid pandemic, the advent of nuclear weapons, visible impacts of climate change, etc, etc. But even back then, humanity was viewed by some as being on a path “downward into a constantly deeper night;” or at least by the mystic who wrote that book. And that’s probably an important distinction, because mystics, prophets, shamans, etc, seem to have a different view of humanity than most people. And admittedly, it can be a pretty bleak view, as is showcased by that quote.
However, that does not mean, as I have seen suggested by some people on Twitter recently, that we cynical mystics are actually RESPONSIBLE for what’s going wrong in the world because we are spreading “negativity” and “doom and gloom.” That’s like saying those who are calling out the alarm about climate change are responsible for “creating” the climate emergency we are now experiencing. That’s simply not true – they are merely calling our attention to something that has come about as a result of people IGNORING the pleas of those who have cared for decades. And the same can be said about the current psychic/moral/spiritual state of humanity. We did not create this situation – no. In fact, we have been crying out to any and all who would listen for EONS to try to call people’s attention to the fact that if our species didn’t change, if we didn’t refocus our priorities, if we didn’t learn to value life – ALL life – more than prestige or material wealth, we, the entire planet and all its inhabitants, were headed for trouble, for very hard times.
Did people listen? Certainly, a few (very few) did, and still do/are. But many of us have been crucified, burned at the stake, excommunicated, banished, silenced, persecuted, etc, etc because the fact is, it’s much easier to just go with the status quo. And let’s face it – it’s a lot more comfortable too. One has only to look at the current covid pandemic and see just how hard it is to get people in the west to make the HUGE sacrifice of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of a contagion that can kill or disable people to see just how little appetite most people have for doing anything, no matter how small, that might inconvenience them in any way. And that’s not to say that all mystics are pillars of morality or doing the right thing, and not to say I am for sure. It’s merely to serve as one example of how hard it is to get people to do anything they don’t want to, especially if it threatens their comfort.
So where we are now as a species, it was all foretold to happen, many times, by many different teachers and traditions across the ages. We were warned that if we didn’t change our ways, we would suffer severe consequences. And we were given a VERY long leash – at least 2000 years, and one could argue, even longer. What we are seeing happen now with pandemics, droughts, fires, floods, deadly heat waves, water shortages – it’s exactly what we were told was coming. I think most people are surprised to see the actual severity of what’s happening, so when someone like me posts something about it, they get angry that I’m not posting something hopeful, because that’s what they really need right now – some hope that everything is going to be ok. And I totally understand that, I do.
And here is the real rub – on a deeper level, concerning what’s truly real, everything IS going to be ok. In fact, it’s going to be awesome – eventually. I say all the time, there is something wonderful waiting for all of us just on the other side of this, and I believe that to the core of my being. That being said, no amount of prayers, energy, sending of “love and light” is going to change what’s coming now. We are living in the age of consequences – and there are several to be experienced based on what humanity has done, and not done, over the ages. There’s no “get out of tribulation free” card. It’s cause and effect, one of the the laws of the universe that applies to both the physical and spiritual realms.
This does not mean however that everything really is doom and gloom – that there’s no hope at all, that we should all be nihilistic – because there is a lot of spiritual progress to be made by individuals, or even small groups at this time. This could very well be the most challenging time ever, psychologically speaking, for a human being to live during. Daily, we are confronted with another existential threat to our continued existence as a species. And while some are in the realm of “could happen,” like the nuclear threat, what’s happening with the climate is an “already underway, going to get worse” kind of situation that we can see having worldwide impacts. One can look at all that and get despondent or anxious, which is a totally normal reaction. But one can also look to prophecy, see that this was foretold, and take comfort in knowing what time it is – and that, in the words of a Hopi elder, “This could be a good time!”
So know that we prophets and mystics don’t want, never have wanted, what’s happening now to happen. But to deny where we are, to try to avoid or wish it away, or blame it on those of us who saw it coming – none of that helps right now. We need to move on to the 5th stage of grief, past the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and get to acceptance. Only then can we harness the power of this moment for our spiritual development in a manner few humans have ever been fortunate enough (crazy as that sounds) to experience. It is possible to hold joy and deep sadness in one’s heart, at the same time even, and we who feel this way do so on the daily. And yes, it is important to give the positive aspect equal time, and I have perhaps been slack on that – at least in my public postings. Perhaps I will work on that, to display more balance. One might read my posts and think, as some have pointed out to me lately, that I focus too much on the negative. I’m not that way in “real life,” not at all.
We are living in a very special, albeit very difficult, and challenging time. There are many things to be endured, both externally, and internally. But there is a Source of strength and hope available to us all, at all times, if only we seek it out. Those who wish to endure unto the end of this age have that opportunity, if they so wish. Know that it won’t be easy, but the reward will be immeasurable. For none of us were created that we should perish, but that we should awaken to the Life everlasting that is the true Source of all being. I will leave you with this verse, one of my absolute favorites to give me hope when I am struggling. Many blessings to you on your Path. Know that the Light is always there, always available, no matter how dark it may seem…
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33