Orwell: A Bard Navigating the World of the Gutter Crawlers (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 213)

The interesting thing about the New Albion was that it was so completely modern in spirit. There was hardly a soul in the firm who was not perfectly well aware that publicity—advertising—is the dirtiest ramp that capitalism has yet produced. In the red lead firm there had still lingered certain notions of commercial honour and usefulness. But such things would have been laughed at in the New Albion. Most of the employees were the hard-boiled, Americanised, go-getting type—the type to whom nothing in the world is sacred, except money. They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. And yet beneath their cynicism there was the final naïveté, the blind worship of the money-god. Gordon studied them unobtrusively. As before, he did his work passably well and his fellow-employees looked down on him. Nothing had changed in his inner mind. He still despised and repudiated the money-code. Somehow, sooner or later, he was going to escape from it; even now, after his late fiasco, he still plotted escape. He was in the money-world, but not of it. As for the types about him, the little bowler-hatted worms who never turned, and the go-getters, the American business-college gutter crawlers, they rather amused him than not. He liked studying their slavish keep-your-job mentality, He was the chiel amang* them takin’ notes.

One day a curious thing happened. Somebody chanced to see a poem of Gordon’s in a magazine, and put it about that they “had a poet in the office.” Of course Gordon was laughed at, not ill-naturedly, by the other clerks. They nicknamed him “the bard” from that day forth. But though amused, they were also faintly contemptuous. It confirmed all their ideas about Gordon. A fellow who wrote poetry wasn’t exactly the type to Make Good.

*the chiel amang = the young man (Scottish) among

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell          1936

Giving the Masters More Money, Blood, Sweat, or Tears (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 210)

Do you think that the american slaves were ever told by their masters that if they worked harder and helped their masters generate more revenue for themselves, that they (the slaves) would then be set free or at least have their standards of life significantly improved? Sounds good, doesn’t it? But isn’t a man (a corporation or any other institution), capable of having the power to be a slave owner and choosing to do so, almost always irrevocably going to remain a slave owner unless he is overthrown and stripped of his power? Giving a slave owner, a master, more money, blood, sweat, or tears almost always just emboldens the slave owner to double down on his oppression and plundering of others, doesn’t it?

Cribb          2017

Shattering Shackles and Straightening Spines (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 203)

Pretext Note: I own and operate a veterinary hospital.

My employees should be thankful that they have a job at my clinic, under my authoritarian rule. They should perpetually pledge and display their unquestioning allegiance and utmost loyalty to the protection, defense, and future thriving wellbeing of my business which they are only too fortunate to be employed by. To help them remember how fortunate they are under my leadership and in this relationship, I have them salute my company logo every morning when they get to work. My employees are not allowed to have their own opinions or beliefs about anything that could be even remotely associated with my business at any time during work hours or off hours. They are not allowed to contradict or question anything I say, because if I unintentionally or even intentionally mislead a client, I have a great reason to do so; to prioritize and protect the revenue of the company and that revenue is what puts the food on those employee’s tables. As an employee, their public behavior always reflects the spirit and image of the clinic and that is just simply much more important to their lives and salary than their individual concerns, beliefs, thoughts, or interests. The company truth is much more important than their individual truth if they want to continue benefitting from the worker’s paradise that I have created for them. They need to remember their place. They need to remember how much I have sacrificed and how hard I have worked to build this company that gives them the opportunity to work. They didn’t have to go to school as long as I did or even compete against others to earn my higher degree which allows this business to operate. They have not risked everything for the business like I have. They need to be appreciative, quiet, and compliant. They need to know where their bread is buttered. They need to know who is always in charge. They need to know the consequences of not obeying my policies and decrees. They need to know the fear of unemployment and starvation, so they appreciate all that they are lucky enough to benefit from as an employee of my business. The choice to work for my business in the free market conditions of our country is a blessing for them beyond reasonable expectation. They should never be unappreciative or disrespectful to me or my business.

That’s sadly how it works at most businesses and institutions in this day and age, including those of higher learning and from what I know, the military. That’s all bullshit. A bully authoritarian system of suppression implemented by fear and psychological manipulation. It is the exact opposite of respect and of freedom. The exact opposite of stabilization and co-existent harmony. I don’t care if it’s now the norm. I don’t care if it contains minute amounts of truth in its distorted and twisted philosophy. It’s wrong. It’s at the center of dead wrong and such an approach harms everyone in its dynamic.

Humanity must do better. We must learn to genuinely and profoundly respect one another again. We must stop celebrating the glutinous and destabilizing mad king mentality and our doublespeak doublethink marketing of such antics and behavior as that of the returning Savior. Marketed or propagandized truth cannot and will not set anyone free, but the true truth, the real reality, shatters shackles and straightens spines. That true truth, that real reality,  is the mandatory gatekeeper and ward necessary to set all of us free and in doing so, to lift everyone of us up in respectful nurturing mutual union.

Cribb          2017

To Be or Not To Be, That is Not the Question (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 201)

I would say that the major religious problem today is the systematic liquidation of man’s sensitivity to the challenge of God. Let me try to explain that. We cannot understand man in his own terms. Man is not to be understood in the image of nature, in the image of an animal, or in the image of a machine. He has to be understood in terms of a transcendence, and that transcendence is not a passive thing; it is a challenging transcendence. Man is always being challenged; a question is always being asked of him. The moment man disavows the living transcendence, he is contracted; he is reduced to a level on which his distinction as a human being gradually disappears. What makes a man human is his openness to transcendence, which lifts him to a higher level than himself. Overwhelmed by the power he has achieved, man now has the illusion of sovereignty; he has become blind to his own situation, and deaf to the question being asked of him.

To destroy the illusion that man is his own center cannot be done easily. In order to understand, and to cultivate an openness to transcendence, many prerequisites are necessary, prerequisites of the mind and of the heart. However, our society, our education, all continue to corrode mens’ sensibilities. I am not optimistic; we are getting poorer by the day. To give you an example: Man does not feel a sense of outrage anymore, even in the face of crime. We are getting used to it. We are getting accustomed to evil. We are surrendering to that which we call inevitable. That is fatalism; it is pagan. The message of the Bible is that man is capable of making a choice. Choose life — but instead we choose death, blindness, callousness, helpnessness, despair.

Religion, if taught as religion, has no life. In order to understand what the Bible says, one has to understand life as seen by the Bible, all of life. My understanding of the meaning of God depends on my way of looking at this very table, at this very desk, at everything, at creation. The tragedy of religion is partly due to its isolation from life, as if God could be segregated. God has become an alibi for our conscience, for real faith. He has become a sort of after-life insurance policy.

Just as we are commanded to love man, we are also called upon to be sensitive to the grandeur of God’s creation. We are infatuated with our great technological achievements; we have forgotten the mystery of being, of being alive. We have lost our sense of wonder, our sense of radical amazement at sheer being. We have forgotten the meaning of being human and the deep responsibility involved in just being alive. Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” But that is no problem. We all want to be. The real problem, biblically speaking, is how to be and how not to be; that is our challenge, and it is what makes the difference between the human and the animal. The animal also wants to be. For us, it is the problem of how to be and how not to be, on the levels of existence. Now, what is the meaning of God? The meaning of God is precisely the challenge of “how to be.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel          1966

The Nature of our Morality and Emotions (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 191)

Our moral values, our emotions, our loves are no less real for being part of nature, for being shared with the animal world, or for being determined by the evolution that our species has undergone over millions of years. Rather, they are more valuable as a result of this: they are real. They are the complex reality of which we are made. Our reality is tears and laughter, gratitude and altruism, loyalty and betrayal, the past that haunts us and serenity. Our reality is made up of our societies, of the emotion inspired by music, of the rich intertwined networks of the common knowledge that we have constructed together. All of this is part of the self-same “nature” that we are describing. We are an integral part of nature; we are nature, in one of its innumerable and infinitely variable expressions.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Carlo Rovelli          2014

And Under the Gaze of God? (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 189)

It was a life of order and strict service, an unending sacrifice, a constantly renewed striving for clarity and justice. It was much purer, much better than the life of an artist, vagrant, and seducer of women. But seen from above, with God’s eyes — was this exemplary life of order and discipline, of renunciation of the world and of the joys of the senses, of remoteness from dirt and blood, of withdrawal into philosophy and meditation any better than Goldmund’s life? Had man really been created to live a regulated life, with hours and duties indicated by prayer bells? Had man really been created to study Aristotle and Saint Thomas, to know Greek, to extinguish his senses, to flee the world? Had God not created him with senses and instincts, with blood-colored darknesses, with the capacity for sin, lust, and despair? These were the questions around which the Abbot’s thoughts circled when they dwelt upon his friend.

Yes, and was it not perhaps more childlike and human to lead a Goldmund-life, more courageous, more noble perhaps in the end to abandon oneself to the cruel stream of reality, to chaos, to commit sins and accept their bitter consequences rather than live a clean life with washed hands outside the world, laying out a lonely harmonious thought-garden, strolling sinlessly among one’s sheltered flower beds. Perhaps it was harder, braver and nobler to wander through the forests and along the highways with torn shoes, to suffer sun and rain, hunger and need, to play with the joys of the senses and pay for them with suffering.

Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse          1930

Of Flag, Fascism, and Fellow Man (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 187)

To care about a flag (or other inanimate object), a flag that you think you somehow get to personally idolize in whatever supreme image you choose for it to represent, over a just as if not more so valid interpretation from others of the symbolic association/coupling of that same idol, more than you care about the freedom, respectful coexistence, empathy, equal rights, and wellbeing of your fellow man, you are a fascist. The quality of a human being’s soul, the validity of his perspective and the capability of his leadership, is determined by his present and ongoing unbiased compassion, empathy, stability, integrity towards, and peaceful co-existence with his fellow man. To suggest or support the idea that a person not displaying emphatic blind obedience or resigning recognition to your idol or an idol you and your group have chosen to represent an institution, region, country or cause, is un-American, anti-Christian, universally disrespectful, inhumane, and over-dominant bully behavior. It is sweeping collective subjugation shrouded under the prideful masked hood of a supposed respectful-to protect and serve-patriotism; a forced worship and bended (or un-bended) knee under the declaration of the prime importance of celebrated freedom.

If you want a flag, a statue, an idol, or any other symbol to represent anything positive and nurturing for all, it must be represented in the objective reality of the present with love, empathy, respect, honor, and integrity via the persistent actions and behavior of all of those claiming the symbol or idol.

You don’t get to force someone to get up off of a bus seat or to stand as you see fit. If you want them to stand for something, then be the difference yourself, set the example, make them want to get up and stand by your side, next to you, in your cause, in your effort, in your belief, in your prioritizing and unifying love. That’s how you make a difference in the world. That’s what we need more of. That’s how you unify the races, a country, and the world.

Less will fail as it should, because less is nothing more than empty, numb, and over-dominant, doublespeak/doublethink lip service.

Cribb          2017