Nick Hanauer (by WatchExtraVideo)
from people on the ‘true left,’ i.e. progressives/socialists/anarcho-syndicalists/etc. is why people who should be considered moderate and in the middle of the political spectrum from a historical and cosmic view of Earth are consistently demonized and ostracized sometimes to an even great extent than rabid white supremacists, conservative christian fundamentalists, and other assorted ‘right-wing’ groups? If we are playing a game of politics in which our opponent is willing to fully engage and include the middle of the game board while we ourselves ignore or actively alienate the middle, who do you think has a better chance of winning? I’m not advocating buying into every idea and example of action made by self-described liberals, and I’m not arguing against the assumption by many on the ‘true left’ that liberals and liberalism currently are not ‘left enough’ and in fact occupy what should be the intellectual and ethical middle ground of an enlightened society. What I am arguing against is the purposeful and systematic exclusion and alienation of liberals and liberalism from radical socialist, leftist, anarchist, etc. groups, not only in membership and solidarity, but also in attempting to understand and communicate with liberals and liberalism on the level of ideas and values, morality and ethics. If we continue to alienate and exclude the ‘true middle’ or ‘liberal middle’ that should make up the majority of an enlightened society, how can we hope to make any long-term progress towards values and ideas that the ‘true left’ has espoused for the past hundred years and more? Don’t compromise your own values and ideas, but also don’t throw out any help you might receive from our friends in the middle: the liberals and liberalism.
“Reality, at first glance, is a simple thing: the television speaking to you now is real. Your body sunk into that chair in the approach to midnight, a clock ticking at the threshold of awareness. All the endless detail of a solid and material world surrounding you. These things exist. They can be measured with a yardstick, a voltammeter, a weighing scale. These things are real. Then there’s the mind, half-focused on the TV, the settee, the clock. This ghostly knot of memory, idea and feeling that we call ourself also exists, though not within the measurable world our science may describe. Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know. The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas. Material existence is entirely founded on a phantom realm of mind, whose nature and geography are unexplored. Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. Intellect, Emotion and Unconscious Thought were made divinities or demons so that we, like Faust, might better know them; deal with them; become them. Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably exist, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love’s name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred? The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.”
- Alan Moore
Sisters of the Dusty Sky
Credit & Copyright: John Davis
Explanation: Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud some 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae. In the dusty sky toward the constellation Taurus and the Orion Arm of our Milky Way Galaxy, this remarkable image shows the famous star cluster at the upper left. But lesser known dusty nebulae lie along the region’s fertile molecular cloud, within the 10 degree wide field, including the bird-like visage of LBN 777 near center. Small bluish reflection nebula VdB 27 at the lower right is associated with the young, variable star RY Tau. At the distance of the Pleiades, the 5 panel mosaic spans nearly 70 light-years.Read more at apod.nasa.gov
The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth.
We need to be bold and adventurous in our thinking in order to survive.
As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
The struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression, and obedience.
The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.
“One always feels that a merely educated man holds his philosophical views as if they were so many pennies in his pocket. They are separate from his life. Whereas with a cultured man there is no gap or lacuna between his opinions and his life. Both are dominated by the same organic, inevitable fatality. They are what he is.”
“My answer to the question “Why do we philosophize?” is as follows. We philosophize for the same reason that we move and speak and laugh and eat and love. In other words, we philosophize because man is a philosophical animal.… We may be as sceptical as we please. Our very scepticism is the confession of an implicit philosophy.”
“Man is the animal who weeps and laughs — and writes. If the first Prometheus brought fire from heaven in a fennel-stalk, the last will take it back — in a book.”
“One of the curious psychological facts, in connection with the various ways in which various minds function, is the fact that when in these days we seek to visualize, in some pictorial manner, our ultimate view of life, the images which are called up are geometrical or chemical rather than anthropomorphic. It is probable that even the most rational and logical among us as soon as he begins to philosophize at all is compelled by the necessity of things to form in the mind some vague pictorial representation answering to his conception of the universe.
Most minds see the universe of their mental conception as something quite different from the actual stellar universe upon which we all gaze. Even the most purely rational minds who find the universe in “pure thought” are driven against their rational will to visualize this “pure thought” and to give it body and form and shape and movement.”
“The influence of friendship upon culture differs from that of love, in that it assumes the basic idiosyncrasies of personal taste to be unalterable. Love, in spite of all rational knowledge to the contrary, is always in the mood of believing in miracles.”
“The love that interferes and knows not how to leave alone is a love alien to Nature’s ways.”
“Not the wretchedest man or woman but has a deep secretive mythology with which to wrestle with the material world and to overcome it and pass beyond it. Not the wretchedest human being but has his share in the creative energy that builds the world. We are all creators. We all create a mythological world of our own out of certain shapeless materials.”
- John Cowper Powys (Born October 8, 1872)