Monday, June 27, 2005

The World Grinder

Picture a giant meat grinder hovering in Space, grinding, grinding. The planet Earth is being sucked into its gap, and out on the other side comes not meat, but metal, concrete, plastic and glass, one giant, planet-sized Mega City, black, gray, dead.

We are intimately familiar with this Machine. It is, after all, just a larger version of the Meat Grinder we face daily, the grinder digesting us and spitting us out time and time again as we grow up, as we grow old and useless in this world.

This is civilization, its inevitable result.

This is yet another consequence of our current lifestyle most people haven’t given much thought, if any at all. What are they thinking? Are they thinking? Humans have already transformed fifty percent of the Earth, transformed it from nature, wild, free and full of life, to something unrecognizable, dead, unable to sustain life. Can a city sustain life? Can one eat concrete? Eat plastic, glass or metal? Earth’s ecological system and systems are breaking down, breaking down faster and faster, as ever more of the Earth is turned into a cemetery, a place fit for the dead, not the living.

Perhaps distant areas like Mount Everest (its base is already crawling with garbage), Antarctica and the deepest parts of the deserts will remain untouched for a while longer, remain «natural reserves», tiny parks within the grand Mega City. Perhaps there will be small ponds of seawater at the deepest part of the Pacific?

Perhaps not. Sooner or later it will all go. This is the direction humanity is heading, the planet is heading, and only complete idiots fail to recognize that truth.

So, what will happen when the animals and plants are gone? What will we eat? Where will we live? Some say Space. There are more than enough planets waiting for the World Grinder… right? Some say we won’t have to eat, since our thoughts will be downloaded into robots, into robot brains. And there are yet other scenarios, one more horrifying than the next. Science and technology have created this world, this horror. And the solution, influential thinkers and masters say, is more of the same, ever more of the same thought-processes and actions that led us here, led us to this place called civilization, this tumor mimicking life.

I ask you, isn’t that insane? Isn’t that truly beyond insanity, to the point that even the word becomes meaningless?

So…

Have we lost all control over our own lives, all self-determination and independence?

I mean, I know that control is an illusion, know what the current professed masters of the Earth can’t admit, even to themselves.

But have we lost even the most miniscule bit of control? Are we mere puppets dancing to the mad tune of civilization and its eager prophets? Even faced with the worst of horrors, is there no way we can grab that horror by its balls, and cry havoc, shout from the mountaintops and rooftops… that enough is enough?

What are human beings?

I know what we are not. We are not puppets dancing on strings. We are not meat processed and digested through the Meat Grinder, through the Soul Grinder today’s world has become. We are not dead spirits, pretending to be human.

I know what we are. We are free beings, burning with creation and life, the fire of the world incarnate.

I know we are wasting it every second of the day. I know where that sad fact will ultimately lead us, where it will ultimately end, if we don’t start standing up for ourselves, finally start behaving like the fires of creation we are, and utterly and completely reject the illusion, the false hope of the World Grinder.

Amos Keppler 2005-06-26

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Fire of Creation


My body turns numb, but my mind is soaring along ancient treks…


I completed my novel «Birds Flying in the Dark» this weekend. I’ve completed ten novels in my life and this was an expansion and rewriting of a version I wrote twenty years ago. I’ve learned writing by writing, and this is clearly a much better version.


A lot has changed during those twenty years. Twenty years ago I just wrote about witches. I wasn’t one, at least not in actual fact, only in potential. This was before a lot of Growth and Change, before I participated in my first Witchnight, before I learned the true value of Freedom, before I had really begun my life as a Traveler, before many things. I hadn’t learned, realized who and what I truly was then. Now, I have. It’s still the same story, but the most recent version is filled with detail, with knowledge that just wasn’t present in the first. This is the third book in the ten-book-series of the Janus Clan, ten stories about «the wild beast in the modern world».


I published the companion book to the series, ShadowWalk, «the eleventh Janus Clan story» in 2003. The other ten will be published from 2006 to 2010.


Finishing a story is very much like giving birth, and is always a cause for celebration. So I went out celebrating with a few friends yesterday, like I will keep doing during this week and the next, culminating in the Midsummernight (Litha) celebration the 21st. And more inspiration, twice the number, so to speak comes to me, as my body turns numb, as my mind does soar along infinite heights. Alcohol, and a number of other legal and illegal substances, has always been used by artists and creative people to enhance what’s already there, to open the door to our depths, open it wide.


And it does, now, and I see more of what’s hidden, more of the tapestry revealing itself, both that of my own story and that of the Universe.


We sit here, in a somewhat inspiring establishment or in a circle around a campfire, deep into the forest, and we enlighten ourselves. We bring out what is hidden, bring to the outside what is inside. I see the Janus Clan, I watch the Shadowwalkers roam the Earth and the Universe and the infinite planes of existence.


The story began as only a glimmer in the mind of a twelve-year-old boy. Now, it’s becoming fully fledged in the mind of a full-fledged Storyteller.


There is reason to celebrate. There often is, but now there is an even better reason than usual.


I Live, and I experience the Fire of Creation within myself.



Monday, June 06, 2005

Fear is the key

Fear does something to us. It is polished stone in our mind, ice in our gut.

Fear is apprehension, making us afraid to take one step forward, encouraging us to take ten leaps behind.

Make it so people don’t know fear, and they will always fear it.

Fear fears itself. And all is well with the world.

Fear makes the wheel go round. Fear makes the wheels move, makes all the little wheels move.

Fear makes us forget what we know.

Fear is the little voice inside, telling us to stay quiet, to keep grassing the pretty field.

The pretty field filled with nice sheep.

Fear is the milk and blood.

The oil smoothing us, turning us pliable.

The voice outside, telling us that a horrible life is a good thing.

Fear is the key.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NEARLY HALF OF EARTH'S LAND HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED BY HUMANS

From The Weekly Report late 1999



XVI International Botanical Congress

50 'DEAD ZONES' FOUND IN OCEANS ALTERATION OF LAND AND WATER IMPAIR EARTH'S ABILITY TO MAINTAIN QUALITY OF HUMAN LIFE, RESEARCHER ASSERTS



ST. LOUIS, MO, August 2, 1999 - Humans have gravely altered the chemistry, biology and physical structure of the Earth's land and water, according to the latest findings on the "human footprint on Earth." The data showed that nearly half of the land surface of Earth has been changed, and some 50 'dead zones' (areas with little or no oxygen) have developed in the Earth's coastal waters.

The latest findings, analyzed by Drs. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University and Harold A. Mooney and Peter M. Vitousek of Stanford University, show a "disturbing negative trend in the Earth's ability to maintain the quality of human life," Lubchenco stated.

Lubchenco presented the findings at the XVI International Botanical Congress where more than 4,000 scientists from 100 countries are meeting to discuss the latest research on plants for human survival and improved quality of life. Among the findings are:

* Close to 50 percent of the land surface of the planet has been transformed by humans, such as filling in wetlands, converting tall grass prairies into cornfields, or converting forests into urban areas.

* Humans have more than doubled the amount of available nitrogen in the environment because of excess fertilizer use and burning of fossil fuel.

* Rates of extinction are 100 to 1000 times what they would be without human-induced changes in the planet. On land, this is largely caused by habitat loss and species invasions that are crowding out native species. In water, this is caused by overfishing, as well.

* The year 1998 was Earth's hottest on record, as human activities continue to increase the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

Lubchenco pointed out that while human domination of land masses is clear, the new data also indicates a dramatic alteration of Earth's oceans. There are now some 50 'dead zones' in the world's coastal areas, she reported. The largest in the Western Hemisphere is in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus flowing down the Mississippi River.

"We've long thought of oceans as having an infinite ability to provide food and other goods and services to humans. But the massive human-wrought changes in our oceans are impairing their ability to function as we assume they will," stated Lubchenco, who is a Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University.

"We're degrading the water, changing our coastlines, filling in our estuaries, and changing our rivers," Lubchenco said. "And we're witnessing many signals of the problems that will result from these changes, including toxic algal blooms, coral bleaching and sudden disappearance of fish from key fisheries."

Lubchenco reported on a number of indications of the human degradation of the Earth's waterways:

* Half of the mangrove forests, which serve as estuaries in the tropics, have been lost to a combination of coastal development and conversion to aquaculture.

* Global aquaculture now accounts for more than one-quarter of all fish consumed by humans. In the case of shrimp and salmon-the fastest growing segment of aquaculture- two to three pounds of fish are needed to grow one pound of the raised seafood. Thus this practice is depleting the oceans of food for wild fish, birds, and marine mammals.

* About 3000 species of marine life are in transit in ballast water of ships around the world, resulting in a serious invasion of non-native species in our waterways. A minor but increasing contributor to the problem is escape of non-native fish and plants from aquariums.

According to Lubchenco, the global-scale changes that we have set in motion will impair the Earth's ability to provide a wide range of services to human life. "In addition to the direct services of food, fiber, shelter, and medicines, many other inter-dependent services are being disrupted," Lubchenco stated. For example, forests, grassland and coral reefs contribute to flood control and climate regulation. Mangroves, estuaries, coral reefs, and kelp forests protect shores from erosion and provide nursery areas or spawning habitat for economically important species.

Massive changes in the Earth's environment have far-reaching implications that result in conflicts across political boundaries, Lubchenco said. "Scarce resources such as water or fishing rights lead to battles between states and nations. Environmental degradation resulting in food shortages lead to civil unrest and migration into neighboring countries," Lubchenco explained.

Increasing economic inequities in the world raise a host of new issues, according to the researcher. "Inhabitants of poorer nations are less able to buy supplies such as bottled water if the water is polluted, less able to influence important policy decisions such as the choice of a site for a toxic waste dump," Lubchenco said.

The groundbreaking 1997 work of Lubchenco and her colleagues documented that we now live on a human-dominated planet, with the growth of the human population and the amount of resources used are altering Earth in unprecedented ways. Her current analysis updates these findings.