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Author: Bartleby

All we want

All we want

is to not do this anymore
and for that to not happen anymore
to somehow let the blood-letting go
let the evil die
to somehow be happy as humans

But the trouble grows
splits and multiplies
morphs and avenges itself
bubbles over and wrecks another hope
distorts another flame
kills another smile

What can we do?
How can we improve?
The clock is ticking.

Open Letter to US House of Representatives

Open Letter to US House of Representatives

Open Letter on the US House of Representatives
Sunday, October 15, 2023

Dear US House of Representatives, 117th Congress:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The reason we have a representative democracy and not a direct democracy is that individual citizens do not have the time and energy to go into the minutiae of governing, and also to instill some calm in the process of governing by not subjecting it to the caprices of public opinion at every moment.

As representatives to the House, you are elected to a two-year terms, and — assuming you’d like to play the game another two years — are then expected to go back to the people in your districts, explain to them why you did what you did with the power invested in you, and ask them to reelect you.

Who are you representing? What is your job? Do you just represent those people in your district who voted for you? Or is it a little bigger than that? Do you represent the whole district — even those individuals and interests who didn’t vote for you? Or, since you are making decisions for the Federal Government, do you at least to some degree represent all the citizens of the United States of America. Or, …

Maybe a better question is: How far does your responsibility extend? Only to those who voted for you? Only to your district — including those who didn’t vote for you but might vote for you next time? Only to your district — even those who didn’t vote for you and aren’t very likely to vote for you next time? Or, since you are working to create legislation that affects everyone in the nation, are you responsible to do what you think is best for all the citizens of the United States? Or, since you are helping to govern a powerful nation whose actions have a great impact on the rest of the world, are you responsible to do what you think is best for everyone in the world — insofar as your decisions impact them?

Here’s another question for you: Have you ever been out for a walk in the park or to a mall or a sporting event or church service or school or et cetera, and not worried about being blown up or otherwise executed? We think you have. And wasn’t that nice? Wasn’t that a wonderful feeling? Even if you weren’t aware of it at the time? Now looking back, can’t you feel how wonderful that felt? And isn’t it nice not to be driven from your home, running from the rain that explodes and strips limbs and life from friends, family, maybe you too? Or have you ever publicly disagreed with government officials and government policy without fear of being imprisoned, killed, bankrupted, or losing your loved ones? We think you have. And wasn’t it nice? Isn’t it so nice to be allowed to relax and live and speak as you will?

Who has a Right to nice things like not being blown up and being allowed to speak one’s mind and find one’s own way? Just the people in your district who voted for you? Or just the people who would vote for you if they were in your district?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You represent the United States of America. The above few words is our opening salvo. Not the first words of the Declaration of Independence, but the words in the Declaration of Independence that sketch out our shared vision for the kind of nation we want to create — one that holds as self-evident the equality of all people, and the recognition that all people therefore have the same inborn and irrevocable Rights, including Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

It is fundamental to your job as a Representative of the House of the United States of America to recognize that everyone is fundamentally equal and everyone has an unalienable Right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Every moment you should remember that this is the Truth that we as a nation are working together to hold self-evident. We are working together to remember this Truth and to together live and govern in accordance with this shared Truth.

After reviewing the situation, we suggest that you Representatives of the House of the 117th Congress pursue the following plan:

1) Republicans vote to not elect Jim Jordan as Speaker of the House.
2) Republicans and Democrats vote to reelect Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

It’s not perfect. No one will love it. But we need the House and the Senate to work meaningfully together, and they will again need to pass a budget in November, and they have a lot of difficult decisions to make together. McCarthy avoided a government shut-down by working with the Democrats; Jim Jordan’s track-record makes him unlikely to do the same; and what we need from our elected officials is that they govern meaningfully and sensibly together — and that means meaningful conversation and sensible compromises.

In the end, none of us are right about what is best for ourselves or everyone. This life is much bigger than we are. We need to harken to Wisdom to make good decisions, and Wisdom Knows that we are all in this together and are all fundamentally the same; and that that means we all have not only the Right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, but also the Responsibility to recognize everyone’s Rights, and to base our actions on that recognition.

Because we all share not just Rights but also Responsibilities, a representative democracy is a good way for us humans to organize ourselves: Wisdom wants us to share power with one another both because Wisdom recognizes the limits of human wisdom and human systems and because Wisdom recognizes that we all share not just Rights, but also Responsibilities, and so if we are to all grow in wisdom, we must share ideas, decisions, and power (that is to say: share Responsibility). So it is wise to together safeguard, improve, and work within our democratic republic.

What else must we do to grow in Wisdom? Share Joy! Share fun! Be able to together protect democracy and within that game have fun — tussle about a bit over the details; but at the end of the day go home as friends because we have remembered all through it that the game is not the point:

The point is preserving, strengthening and working within a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

So We the People can gently nudge the government towards the better and away from the worse, and act as a final check on madness and corruption in the government (more madness/corruption is when worse ideas, impulses, behaviors, and decisions find it easier to gain and maintain power and/or prestige).

A final note:

Let’s not quibble about who endowed us with unalienable Rights. The only thing we know for sure about the Creator of Life and Love is that this Creator is wider and deeper than our ideas and feelings about Creation, Live, and Love.

We Know deep inside prior to our certainties and doubts only this much:

We should think, feel, and act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, and joyfully-together; seeking to translate the Love that is deeper and wider than our ideas, feelings, words, and deeds into ideas, feelings, words and deeds.


It is clearly impossible to translate what is prior to our capacities into our capacities perfectly/literally/directly/1:1. And so it is clearly impossible to speak for God or the Truth or to Prove anything this way or that. And confusing our ideas and feelings about what’s going on for the Truth causes us to get more and more riled up about our own ideas and feelings, and less and less open to and ready for the Truth.

But the inherent imperfection of human wisdom does not mean we can’t work every day alone and together to connect better and better with the Love that chooses everyone — the Love we experience shining through each moment more fundamentally than our affirmations, doubts, and explanations.

Why not together remember this simple truth:
Either Love is Real
Or none of our worldviews mean anything to any of us

Why not together remember that we should be aware, clear, honest, accurate, kind, gentle, compassionate, and joyfully-sharing; and do the best we can together — even though we’re just people, are not infinitely Wise or Good, but just people?

We will all get older and we will die and all the huff-and-puff that we’d fed ourselves will evaporate, and we will be left with what we did with what we were given. And we will Know to what degree we lived in, through, and for Love; and to what degree we did not. This much we all Know now, deep inside — deeper than our big bold ideas and heavy swelling feelings.


Bartleby Willard
Amble Whistletown
Andy Watson
New York City, NY, USA, Earth

PS: Yes: the Declaration of Independence said “all men are created equal”, and went on to create a government that continued the practice of chattel slavery, and that only extended the right to vote to some men, and not all women — a government that has not always used its power wisely domestically or internationally. But that’s the mark of good ideas: they can go beyond the people who initially voice and sign onto them — they contain Truths beyond the truths of the times, places, people and systems of their birth. Good ideas give us room to grow into them and with them.

PSS: God, help us enjoy each other’s company in this life. We are stuck with each other now and forever, so we may as well get used to it and draw the benefits of teamwork and fellowship here and now.

PSSS: Aghh! Another failed essay. What are we to do? How can we stand up straight within ourselves, push out from within, let the Light in, and be kind to ourselves and everyone? How? While still just being people, hanging out, living in the swirl of sunlight, faces, chitchats, hugs, flashes of foliage, slivers of moving water, and everything else spinning around and around?

PSSSSSSSS: What to do?

This is the fundamental human dilemma:

We can only understand, believe in, or care about our own feeling, thinking, and acting to the degree we live in and through and for the Love that chooses everyone; but that Love is prior to our feeling/thinking/acting; and confusing ideas and feelings about things like “Love” and “Truth” for the Love that is True causes us to turn our focus away from Love and onto our own notions. So what to do?

We all (to some degree wittingly, to some degree unwittingly) try this: Organize our feeling/thinking/acting around the Love shining in and through everything, including each conscious moment; experiencing, syncing up with, and flowing off that Love as best we can — translating Love into feeling/thinking/acting poetically (pointing imperfectly but still meaningfully towards; rather than trying to capture literally, directly, 1:1, definitively, or exclusively). But how much progress do we make?

And we all mean to all agree to most fundamentally prioritize the universal values (aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, joyfully-sharing) and the Love animating them. Since we all can’t help but recognize that none of our worldviews make sense to any of us except to the degree we do this. But somehow we slip and slide in competing and overlapping moral vaunts and prideful cynicisms.

So, like, what are we to do?

And here we have another essay. Another log on the fire.

OK, ok, okay, let’s relax. Shoulders down. Chest out. Deep breath. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be joyful. Kind and gentle is not supposed to be stressful; it is kind and gentle and should be kind and gentle.

Start again.

Take your partner, and one two three four five six seven eight, one two three four …

Authors/Editors: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andrew M. Watson

Hurt into Wisdom Meme

Hurt into Wisdom Meme

The Hurt is killing me.
I can’t take it.
It’s too much.
Plus so lonely.
For so long.

You have to harness it.
Turn it into something positive.
I’m sure you can fashion a great wisdom meme out of it.

No, I can’t.
I can’t do anything with it but be torn apart slowly even though I have such a cushy easy peasy life.
I can’t do things. Simple things.
It hurts so much down inside so deep.

You can take the Hurt and turn it inside out and use it as a pattern of Hurt, and then you can figure out how Hurt can be dealt with in a way that grows wisdom.
Because everyone has at least some Hurt.
And it erodes them at least some.
And so everyone is at least somewhat desperate for a way to deal with the Hurt.
It’d be your in — you’re “in” to a wisdom meme.

I don’t think so.
I just want to disappear.
And let everything go on without me.
I don’t want to do anything ever anymore.
I don’t even think I can.
It’s like I can’t do anything except wander along this hamster wheel of work and weekend and work and nothing goes anywhere.

Author: Saied Sacc
Editors: BW/AW
Copyright AMW

Wisdom Meme Convo

Wisdom Meme Convo

Bartleby Willard: We have to save the world and everybody and democracy and stop all the troubles.

Amble Whistletown: With a wisdom meme!

BW: Exactly!

AW: Come on, God, it’ll be fun!

BW: Yeah! What could go wrong!

AW: Answer is: Nothing! The wisdom meme will have wisdom built into it, so the more you understand it the kinder you become, and the less you understand it, the more you seek only to understand it, not to wield it.

BW: Yes! Foolproof!

AW: Which is important, under the circumstances.

BW: I know we can do it.

AW: We’re gonna do it!

BW: Yup.

AW: Mmm hmmm

BW: Just, um, need a little … more wisdom …

AW: Yes. Maybe just wait here a little bit for a few more drops of wisdom to fall onto the project and …

BW: And, yeah, fertilize it. Get things flowing.

AW: Probably happening soon, I’d imagine.

BW: We have to stop the evil, Amble.

AW: I know! We have to. It’s not gonna stop itself.

BW: Well, it will.

AW: Right, once we have the wisdom meme. Evil will peter out.

BW: Fizzle right out.

AW: The details of it are the tricky part.

BW: Yes: How does it work exactly?

AW: An idea simultaneously so delicious and so wholesome — both irresistible and infinitely loving.

BW: A few words. A phrase. A sentence or two.

AW: How hard can it be?

BW: I love you; you love me; we’re a happy family.

AW: That was on a syndicated television program for years, and still we fuss and fight like hyenas.

BW: With the mangy, care-worn hides and yellowed, slime-dripping fangs.

AW: Big angry yellow eyes and uneven loping strides.

BW: You’re right. Why didn’t it work? Why wasn’t it enough to admit on nationally syndicated television that we all love one another and together comprise a happy family? Why wouldn’t that be enough wisdom to start the fire in all our bellies — the fire by, for, and through the Love that chooses everyone?

AW: Something went wrong.

BW: They even ended up canceling the show, I think.

AW: Lasted a while, though.

BW: Yeah, but the wisdom meme is supposed to enlighten us all as individuals and collectively, so that we can build more beautiful systems and together focus on neat, fun collaboration instead of he said she said and it’s mine no it’s mine. It’s not enough to just serve as the motto for a successful and surprisingly long-lasting — so boring! Admittedly, I was never a child when I tried to get through an episode — children’s television program.

AW: And there’s no better wisdom meme than the classic love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself. But I, for just one of countless examples, have affirmed that wisdom meme a bunch of times for years and years, and still I falter, I fail to consistently live in and through and for the Love that chooses everyone.

BW: If you ever even do.

AW: If I ever even do live in and through and for the Love that chooses everyone.

BW: Maybe we need to focus on admitting how beholden we are to systems and circumstances and how others treat us. Maybe we need to focus on finding the right balance between admitting we are both free to choose the better and liable to being jostled about by the people, places, organizations, systems, ideas, and everything else around us.

AW: What are we to do? We need a wisdom meme that works, but we won’t come up with better ones than Barney and Jesus did. And their memes clearly didn’t work. At least, not fast and sure enough.

BW: Although, to be fair: Barney’s wisdom meme has only been out there a few decades.

AW: Jesus’s has had thousands of years to fix everything.

BW: And hasn’t. Has not made us all wise and loving, anchoring us all in the common Good, that we might all better flow joyfully together towards the common good.

AW: What are we missing?

BW: What are we missing?

AW: This is important!

BW: So important!

AW: We can’t fuck this up.

BW: I feel like we are, though.

AW: What are we missing?????

Narrator: You know how nice it is to be able to go to a mall and not get blown up? To have a career and a family and not watch them killed? It’s so nice to not be maimed and squished down and imprisoned. We need to give that to everyone. And to let everyone get to share their opinions about the government without having to go to jail or lose their job or get killed. This stuff. This is the stuff that I’ve been taking for granted, but it’s not a given. We need to make it real for everybody. It was fun. Being a kid in a place that was safe. And you just had to go to school and practice and nobody was trying to kill you or oppress you or anything. It was so nice. How do we stop the evil? How do we all move all together towards the better and away from the worse? How do we actually help? How?

Conversants: BW/AW
Copyright: AM Watson

Wisdom Memes for 10-Year-Olds

Wisdom Memes for 10-Year-Olds

An Uncle with little to no sense of his audience / ability to read the room addresses his nephew:

I guess you’re aware that for the last decade I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with the fictional characters Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown; and that part of what we’ve been up to is saving our own souls (as in: finding a way to live that we can live with), everyone else’s souls (as in: how to make things better for everyone, but no!, actually this time!), and democracy (most specifically our democratic republic, but also democracy in general) with Pure Love, Something Deeperism, and the Wisdom Meme.

Here is a quick summary of these three relentlessly helpful dogmas:

Pure Love is God is Light is the infinite eternal kind joy that creates, sustains, shines through, and ultimately is everything. Any given human love is actually-loving only to the degree it partakes of Pure Love. Pure Love does not push-away or pull-towards, but explodes supportively and joyously through all — gently guiding, accepting, rejoicing in, love-lifting, and salvationating us all.

Pure Love is God is the True Good is What Is.
But What Is is both (1) all particular things running together without any separations (meaning there aren’t really separate things) and (2) the formless perfection that creates, sustains, shines through, and love-lifts all.
Pure Love (at least in sense #2) shines through everything, including each conscious moment. And Pure Love (again, at least in sense #2) alone Knows that and in what way it is True to say, “We are all in this together” (there’s usually a gap between observer and observed, into which any amount of mistake and confusion may seep; but Pure Love is both Knowledge and Reality: no gap, no error).
[I suppose since all runs together, then even in sense #1, there’s no gap between the Truth and the observer of the Truth. However, the ability of our minds to observe all of what we observe must be very limited — since no matter how wise we are, our minds/emotions do not perceive Reality directly, but Reality must be shining through all things, including each conscious moment. (This difficulty needs more work to work-through.)]

Something Deeperism is the notion that one can grow more and more meaningful-to-oneself (more and more able to understand one’s own feelings, thoughts, and actions) by better and better organizing one’s feeling/thinking/acting around Pure Love — a process that involves better and better poetically (not literally, definitively, or 1:1; but still meaningfully) translating Pure Love into feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Pure Love is prior to our ideas and feelings; and confusing our ideas and feelings about Pure Love for Pure Love can actually shift our focus away from Pure Love (because these confusions tempt us to focus more on our own ideas and feelings than on the process of turning towards, syncing up with, and flowing along with Pure Love).
So what we aim for is NOT literal, definitive, or exclusive insight into Pure Love (such daydreams about perfect insight into Reality distract us from the work of meaningfully engaging in Reality). What we aim for is the only possible human wisdom: A self-observing/-critiquing/-adjusting whole-being organization around Pure Love — relating our ideas, feelings, words and deeds poetically to Pure Love (our feeling/thinking/acting imperfectly but still-meaningfully flowing along with, experiencing, and pointing-towards Pure Love — rather than trying to capture the Pure Love (aka: the Truth) literally and/or emotionally).

The Wisdom Meme is a koan so perfect that once you hear it, you are captured and must consider it over and over again, growing wiser and wiser until you explode with life-overflowing — explode with the Love that alone Knows what’s really going on, what’s really best, and what love is really for.
Not only that!
The wisdom meme will also win over everyone else, thereby providing us all with a shared spiritual language (i.e., a language about what actually matters — as opposed to what we just imagine, hypothesize, and/or wish matters), and thus a tool for sharing meaning, and thus a way to better evolve our shared cultures, communities, and governments. The wisdom meme is good for both individuals and groups. It provides salvation for you, me, and democracy.

How does it work?

The meme needs to go in easy and then hook you and call you further and further into a contemplation that leads to wisdom. We’ve long thought that the most important commandment (such a hit in First Century Judaism, and continuing to resonate with people across various faith traditions for the last two millennia) is a good wisdom meme:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

This meme sends one both inward ever deeper into the Love shining from your core out, and outward to recognize and move with the Love shining out everyone else’s core.

Many good wisdom memes are built around the Buddhist concept of Śūnyatā, which is usually translated as “emptiness”, “devoidness”, “hollowness”.

From the Suñña Sutta:
It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, sir. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?” The Buddha replied, “In so far as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ānanda, that the world is empty.

Here is an explanation of emptiness from Thanissaro Bhikku:
Emptiness as a quality of dharmas (or doctrines), in the early canons (early Buddhist literature), means simply that one cannot identify them as one’s own self or having anything pertaining to one’s own self … Emptiness as a mental state, in the early canons, means a mode of perception in which one neither adds anything to nor takes anything away from what is present, noting simply, “There is this.” This mode is achieved through a process of intense concentration, coupled with the insight that notes more and more subtle levels of the presence and absence of disturbance.

[All of this was from the Wikipedia entry on Emptiness]

If you think of emptiness as a state of mind, it is when you stop capturing and organizing conscious experience into notions. It makes me think of the Ancient Greek skeptics who suspended all judgement (refused to say anything was true or false) to avoid philosophical error, and were pleasantly surprised to find themselves “free of all disturbances”.

If you think of emptiness as a description of reality, it is in the sense of impermanence and interdependence: everything is changing, and everything is dependent upon everything else, and there are not distinct beginnings and endings: all flows along together, free of separate self-entities. You might say, “all is one”, but Buddhists often balk at that because in that “one” you are perhaps picturing something akin to a giant self-entity (a giant one-thing, which sounds suspiciously not-empty-of-separate-self-entities).

What wisdom meme is the most effective?
One that starts from the Pure Love beyond being and non-being?
Or one that starts from a compassionate (for yourself and everyone) meditation on impermanence and interdependence — a meditation that should lead to an experience beyond being and non-being, and thus to an infinite outpouring of Pure Love?

What wisdom meme is the most irresistible? Like a song you can’t get out of your head, or a joke that you remember throughout the day and laugh at each time, surprised again by its hilarious perfection?

I’ve been interested in this bit from Sinead O’Connor for a while:

U stand tall and you be strong
U have ruthless compassion
For yourself and everyone
Yeah, it’s hard, but it can be done.

It rhymes, and is otherwise catchy.
And it creates a sensory-/emotional-/intellectual-/moral-/spiritual-image of the listener growing in wisdom.
And “ruthless” coupled with “compassion” is a little jarring, which causes one to consider the pairing, and ultimately to enter more fully into the sense of a compassion that refuses to compromise itself, that refuses to sacrifice loving-kindness for anything.
And the line before that call to radical (that is to say: full and real) compassion for self and other conveys the sense of standing up within yourself with all your might; while the line after the call to compassion is the understanding that this path is neither easy nor impossible.

It’s a really good wisdom meme because in a few lyrical lines, it hooks you, compels you to contemplate the path that leads to wisdom, and flanks the contemplation with both the proper stance and the proper understanding of the complexities of the path.

I haven’t been able to come up with a better wisdom meme.

Stand up within yourself and push out from within.
Organize yourself around the Pure Love shining within you and everyone,
Translating that Love into feeling, thinking, and acting.
We’ll never get it exactly right, but we can keep growing in the Love that alone Knows that and in what sense it is True to say, “We are all in this together”.

The above is a little bit like a translation of Sinead’s wisdom meme into the standard language of Something Deeeperism. But it isn’t nearly as good as a wisdom meme. It is luggy and maybe a little confusing.

We love the Pure Love shining through everything
with every bit of our conscious space
And we love ourselves and our neighbors
As equals —
all of us being neither more nor less than the beloved of Love.

The above is a riff on the most important commandment.

We stand up in the Light,
Pause the wrongs, the rights.
Letting Love be All,
That none may fall.

Hmmm. It rhymes. And it connects emptiness to Love. But I am not sure that it calls us to a very fruitful meditation.

The wisdom meme has not yet been found. Otherwise, we’d all be blessedly wise and could together steer this ship gently into safer, more charmingly interesting seas.

I guess it’s just a daydream, or a game, this search for a koan so addictive and fruitful that once you hear it, you cannot resist the great enlightenment and see things as they really are, which can only make you wise (John Stewart line from “Cannons in the Rain”).

Dear God,
Sorry for all the mix-ups.
Please empty us of all our feelings and ideas
So that for a moment we might stand fully in your Light:
An infinite eternal Love prior to being and non-being,
The Love that Knows that and in what way it is True to say,
We are all in this together.

Ah but dear God,
What is going on?

Or what about this:
None of our worldviews make sense to any of us except to the degree they help us to abide by the universal values (aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, kind, joyfully-sharing), and grow active insight into a Reality that is Love.
But such a Reality would be prior to all our ideas and feelings; and so we could relate to It only poetically (pointing-towards It, rather than capturing It literally or definitively).
And demanding doctrinal purity tempts everyone to lie to themselves and others about their own spiritual understandings.
Therefore, let us prioritize the universal values and the freedoms required for each of us to find our own way to Reality = Love and contribute wisely to our communities, governments, and world (freedoms like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the ability to share power and responsibility through democratic representation).
There is a minimal dogmatism required to grow and share wisdom; and too much dogmatism encourages us to focus more on the dogmas than on the actual process of growing and sharing wisdom.
That is to say: Let us prioritize the values we all know we must follow (to be meaningful to ourselves) and the freedoms we all know we need to grow and share wisdom; rather than demanding leaders or citizens sign onto specific religious, philosophical, and/or political dogmas.
Let’s relax, admit that we are all in this together, that we all share the universal values, that we all love ourselves and each other, and that we all know we need to prioritize the universal values and representative democracy (tools for growing wisdom and for meaningfully sharing ideas, power, and responsibility).
And then, with fists unclenched and shoulders down, we citizens of democratic republics can together fulfill our shared responsibility of gently nudging our shared government towards the better and away from the worse, while acting most fundamentally as checks on madness and corruption (more madness/corruption is when it is easier for worse ideas, attitudes, and behaviors to get and maintain power and prestige than it is for better ideas, attitudes, and behaviors).


What a strange arc we’ve traced:
We need salvation, but confusing ideas and feelings about salvation for salvation is the root of all evil.
(Even when we don’t call label a desired thing/outcome “salvation”; we deep inside feel that if we could just get this nice thing or for the world to change in this way or etc, then everything would finally be completely OK. And it is this underlying thirst for salvation that drives us on and on, never quite satisfied.)
So, in response to this conundrum, we create a set of ideas for organizing ideas and feelings in such a way as to get as close to “salvation” as possible — including the constant reminder that ideas and feelings about salvation are not the same as salvation.
But then we’re still worried that things are not going well-enough for ourselves and/or for us all together bundled up in our little homes, communities, and nation states.
So then we search desperately for some words that will magically spark ideas and feelings that will lead us all as individuals and together to salvation.

But how to deal with this fundamental difficulty in the human experience:
We are only fully ourselves to the degree we connect the mundane (ideas, feelings, words, deeds, relationships, organizations) to the divine (the Love that alone Knows what’s really what); but imaging our ideas and feelings about what really matters are identical with what really matters is both counterproductive and to some degree (we being but humans) inevitable. How does one deal with this within one’s own self? And then how do we deal with this in groups?

Authors: BW/AW
Editors: AW/BW
Copyright: AM Watson

Ah, money!

Ah, money!

This is the Ah, money! footnote we removed from Diary of an Adamant Seducer.
We mean to tinker with it here.

*[Ah, money! The freedom to speak your mind without fear of reprisal is one thing. The freedom to pay to pummel everyone with your propaganda is not necessarily fundamental to freedom of speech.

Ah, money! If a large wealth gap harms civil community and democracy, we should consider redistributing more wealth from the top down. Attention should be paid to not de-incentivizing innovation and productive risk-taking; but allowing wealth to concentrate overmuch at the top can do exactly this: it can help the already-established use their influence to alter the rules of the game in their favor, and incline them towards resting on their laurels/super-yachts. Furthermore, the wealth generated within a system is to a large extent dependent upon the system itself. It is therefore both reasonable and just for the system to redistribute wealth if that redistribution is likely to help maintain the integrity of the system. This is not to say: tax all the money out of the rich, but was the US economy more sluggish, risk-adverse, lacking in innovation, or generally less productive in eras with comparatively low disparities between household net worths (in for example 1945-1975) than nowadays*??

We could implement a wealth tax and invest the money in green public works projects and incentives for investments in green energy and technology. That would reduce income disparity, create interesting and fulfilling jobs, and help us to jump into a more sustainable future.

*(In the United States of America:

In 1973, the real [adjusted for inflation] family income growth since 1947 was roughly equivalent in the 95th, median, and 20th percentiles. 2018, the 95th percentile’s real family income gain since 1947 was 180% the 1973 level; the median’s real family income was around around 130% of the 1973 level; and the 20% percentile’s real family income was around 20% of the 1973 level.

In 1913, the top 1% of household’s held 44% of the household wealth; the top .5% held 40% of the household wealth (that’s a total of 44% — not a total of 84%). By the mid-1920s, those numbers fell to about 36% (for the top 1%) and 28% (for the top .5%) of household wealth. But then the numbers rise steeply until 1929: 51% and 42%. Then there’s the stock market collapse and the share of wealth of the top 1 and .5% of households drops steadily and fairly precipitously until the end of the 1940s: 29% and 21%. And then the share of wealth of the top 1 and .5% of households continues to drop steadily but now pretty gradually until the end of the 1970s, when the top 1% of households owns 25% of the total household wealth, and the top .5% owns 18% of the total household wealth. And then the numbers head steadily upwards until by 2012, the top 1% owns 34% of the household wealth and the top .5% owns 41%.

See the graphs we estimated into the above sketches at:

This graph shows the wealth distribution in the first quarter of 2023
The top 10% of earners held 69% of the total household wealth; the top 1% held 31.3% of the total household wealth; the top .1% held 12.8% of the total household wealth. The bottom 50% held 2.4% of the total household wealth.]

in a rut

in a rut

roughly the size of a life

can’t stop the evil
don’t find the formula


Human freedom
all puppets on strings?

the nuance between
God is all and does all
and humans are free to chose as they will:
in that space between free and not-free
lies what?
free insofar as we are God,
insofar as our feeling, thinking, acting flows off of God shining through everything including each conscious moment
to that degree we are the first cause

but we’d wanted to stop the evil

Putin says Trump’s indictments are proof that US democracy is collapsing — that Biden is using the judiciary to go after political rivals. Putin says this to a room of world leaders and they applaud.
This is evil.
This is political evil.
I am scared.
Because much of the country and many in power are swinging merrily from the coattails of this kind of evil, are echoing it; are more than just letting it slide, are sliding down into the crime with it.

I am so scared.
And confused.

have no answer to this.
at a loss.

Copyright: AM Watson

please help me

please help me

please help.
The eagle falls
from dark from sharp from crags cut high above
the water moving greens blacks blues grays
The meadow it’s blowing in the wind above
the ocean down below
won’t you help?
can’t you?