Please forgive, but this will be very, very casual. In an hour, we go to a local event. Yesterday at 3PM Luda and I returned from Chile and Peru, where many many complex and important issues were discussed in some detail. But I do feel called to mention a few scattered thoughts, particularly related to the election. In general, elections are a very essential ritual in our lives, of importance both practical and spiritual; simply missing an election, or not tracking it at all, is like skipping school.
Still, one of the great pleasures of being in Peru and Chile since September 30 was not to have to experience the perpetual ... psychosis?... of what we see in CNN these days. (Fox is worse, but we almost never turn it on.)
Before leaving, on this obscure blog, I noted: (1) there is a strange resonance between what I see myself in assumption dreams and Trump; (2) I made up my own (very cautious) mind to vote for Hillary based on the decisive issue of interest rates and world economic depression; and (3) were Hillary like Trump, she would have proposed a drug test (more details in that post). Now today I hear that Trump is saying that world bankers are behind the drop in his polls shortly after that time, and HE is proposing drug tests for both candidates. Is this the real world, or is there such a thing?
I am often reminded of a short scifi novel, Muse of Fire, by Dan Simmons, who, like Orson Scott Card, demonstrates real psychic/spiritual inspiration/input-sensitivity. When I first saw that novel, I thought: This is a blatant attempt to steal the English-class token sci fi market away from The Martian Chronicles. Blatant appeal to high school English teachers, with all the Shakespeare. But even so, it is thoughtful on many levels, and conveys a strong image of how our real lives seem to play out like the stories we absorb, to a much greater extent than the WYSIWIG naive view of life would lead us to expect. And so, when the larger pattern of life seems to be less than what we would really want (as in the current election?), the question arises: can we change the channel? And, what stories are we playing out, unknowing?
In the past two weeks, away from the depressing psychodramas here in the US, the two scifi stories most in the back of my mind were: (1) yes, again, Atlas Shrugged, and (2) Stapleton's classic, The First and Last Men. (By the way, Crosby Stills and Nash as also playing in the background.) In the past, I often thought about the core themes of Atlas Shrugged (not the silly Fox News commercials),
where a truly creative guy gets a new engine going and uses the proceeds to fund a much more dramatic new technology; in actuality (see www.werbos.com/Atacama.pdf), I have tried to get
a very important new engine up and into production, working with folks in Michigan a lot like the ones Ayn Rand talked about, and if it ever really worked, I do have a line into new technology just as important and amazing as what she portrayed. But alas, it is not so easy! (Nor is any one else on earth on this particular turf! If only Trump were more interested in those kinds of things than in drug tests!) But this week, I remembered the less pleasant scene where a smart guy gets into a big investment involving the mines in South America, and that is exactly what I was doing in the past two weeks! ECONOMICALLY, it was a great investment, but what if an unstable government nationalizes it? (Still, I don't see such insanity in Chile, Brazil or Argentina right now; more precisely, Argentina and Brazil need the electricity in any case, and Chile would control it.) The core of it would be electricity going from Atacama to Itaipu in the day, and from Itaipu to Atacama in the night to support the 24/7 operations of the mining industry whose center Luda and I visited.
I was also reminded of the scene in Atlas Shrugged where a new President takes office, a lot more brutal in his manners, even to the point of carrying a gun... and the economy falls apart.
And Stapleton ... as in precognitive dreams, his novel misentangled a few key elements, but the precognitive aspect was really very striking. Back when I read it, reviewers said "He intuitively told us about nuclear fusion, with a few elements mixed up, long before scientists knew about it." Well, it turns out that the advanced technology he depicted was actually a lot closer to a later generation,
complete conversion of matter to energy (CCM), which just a very few scientists (see chapter 11 of the book Topological Solitons) begin to understand. And... in the story, a Chinese scientist uses it to defend Europe from an aggressive new US policy... Further on, the continuation of economic and cultural growth on earth starts depend on a new center in South America, where among other things
"a perpetual child" plays a central role in the new culture. That has some resonance with the cultural themes starting there now, which I may say more about later.
In telling local Quakers about this, I mentioned how Luda and I had deep contact with three
core themes in the area -- capitalism, Catholicism, and the Andean beliefs about pachamama, pachatata, and "Apus" (mountains as spiritual foci). Combining the best of the three offers a lot of potential. Each is worthy of much more than one quick blog post. In Peru, I resolved to mainly just follow Luda, so when she wanted to tour the big convent (Santa Catarina) in Arequipa, OK, I did my best to be a good trooper following along. But in the rooms for/of Saint Ana de Los Angeles, I felt a sudden jolt on my spine as I read part of her story and the words came "es mi madre!" It is ever so amusing and unbelievable when a boy thinks his mother is or was a saint..., but really, I was ever so lucky that way as a child. And after those words in the ether, further flows of energy and connection were inevitable. It is an easy google to find, for example, the wikipedia article on her, which I emailed to my brother yesterday.
Thinking more... the church at least claims to have very solid evidence that she did amazing things, much more so that the many other earnest people in that convent dedicating their lives to spiritual advancement. Why did she do so much better? Apart from sincerity and focus (ability to get really deep into a goal), her choice of goal was a bit different. While others followed the Loyola path depicted in images in an entry room, dedicated to personal "eternal life" (not unlike the apotheosis goal of the famous Inca Juanita whose museum we also visited), she adopted the goal of "rescuing souls from purgatory," a goal well beyond herself requiring lots of development. But... in general, the elitist image of development only of those in cloisters without deep enough understanding of the spiritual potential of folks in normal married life... well, it was great power and a great step forward, but a kind of double karma. Her goal echoes Matheson's wonderful easy-to-read short novel, What Dreams May Come...
But now I must run to a Quaker school ...
Next day: the question has come to my attention: am I so sure that a new Great Depression (as if Trump is elected and sticks to policies he has promised) is the worst outcome here? Some say we need periodic depressions and wars, to purge and purify corruption and ossification. In a nuclear world, that may be too high a price (i.e. species extinction). But news of enthusiastic manic people
planning the next progressive steps forward sound as if they might possibly be even worse than global depression. In a clinical sense, I believe these people show us how "euphoric experience" can be just as bad as the traumatic experience Freud talks about in causing mental aberration and gross irrationality. The Martian fever, the least of it, would eliminate realistic possibilities for
effective space development. Talk of a chip in every brain (a real satire on promising a chicken in every pot) is even worse. But... now I must shift to more scientific brain stuff, a deadline coming soon.
If one WANTED Trump to be elected, one might suggest publicity for what folks are promising with a chip in every brain... and maybe asking Rubio for a nice down-to-earth place to have ceviche in Florida!