Sunday, May 31, 2015


NOTE: This editorial is solely the opinion of the author, and does not purport to reflect the views of those associated with the Chesapeake Film Festival. 
As those who know, know, there is a "homosexual agenda" that seeks to normalize homosexuality so that it is not only tolerated but made legitimate in mainstream Western law, culture and society.  To do this, mainstream media has been enlisted as a propaganda tool to convince the population that this type of sexuality should be embraced and accepted; that homosexuals should have rights and they should be permitted the same state recognition as heterosexuals in marriage, etc. It seems that the manufacturing of this public opinion and a strong homosexual lobby is actually turning the tide.  The U.S. Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of legally recognizing and countenancing homosexual marriage. And the "cultural Marxist thought police" have done a masterful job, as usual, of making it politically incorrect to challenge the homosexual agenda. 

The mainstream media also would have the people think that most of the population is supportive of the homosexual agenda. I believe this is highly over-blown. Still, many liberals (and even so-called conservatives) have taken up the torch and have bought into its acceptance. But this sort of mass brainwashing and socio-cultural conditioning is nothing new. It goes on all the time.  An unholy alliance of business and government, that many have dubbed the "cryptocracy," has perfected such campaigns since at least the early 20th Century, following the work of Edward Bernays (a nephew of Sigmund Freud; See, The homosexual agenda is just one prong in a multi-pronged attack on Western society, and Americans, in particular. The purpose is to systematically dismantle and destroy the traditional values that have stood as a bulwark against those forces who would weaken the moral fabric of peoples everywhere in order to manipulate, overcome, control, and ultimately enslave them to a "nanny government" that is diametrically opposed to a strict constitutionalism meant to protect We the People from this very thing. These are the same forces who rally for gun control, the last protection against a tyrannical and out-of-control government. 

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland there still exist folks who reject the notion of nanny government and stand up for a rugged individualism as the sovereign source that first created the institution of government.  When government fails to serve and starts to dictate, through a socio-cultural proxy, what values we should accept, it is time to take a hard look and to challenge such a monolithic, hydra-headed monster.

No, merci!  -- as Gerard Depardieu cried out in Cyrano de Bergerac.  The homosexual agenda is part and parcel of the same force that would destroy us as a People. That force's other campaigns have done a fairly effective job of ruining education, industry, our money, our food, government, medicine, law -- just about everything. If you don't think so, I'd say you are quite out-of-touch with what is really going on.  

And so, I for one, do not wish to be a part of that very agenda that is so corrosive to us as a People.  Folks are welcome to have their own views, certainly.  But do not, for an instant, in my presence attempt to make light of the effect the homosexual agenda is having on society. I am certainly no prude. I don't pretend that homosexuality does not exist. I simply do not want it thrust in my face in a way that seeks to normalize it. Homosexual scenes, if they must be in films,  can be done in a way that allow the viewing audience to infer what is taking place, off-stage (so to speak).  If done less offensively I don't necessarily object.  Neither do I object if homosexuality is portrayed in a way that does not highlight the sexuality of homosexual behavior, as in the short (presented by the 2015 Chesapeake Film Festival), Misconception.  But when a film tries to portray homosexuality as OK, I cannot countenance that.  I am not "phobic" -- I am not bigoted against individuals who choose to be homosexual -- I simply object to their "alternative" lifestyle being flaunted and made to seem "normal."

As a board member of the CFF and as a programming committee member I feel obliged to live the values in which I believe. I think a good number of folks in and around Easton, MD still cherish those traditional values that have well-served the human family over many, many years. And so this is why I take this stance.  Other film festivals may be more accepting.  But if they are, as far as I'm concerned they are doing so out of ignorance of the bit part they are actually playing in a greater agenda that makes them unwitting surrogates of that agenda.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Having re-read the prior posts about my trucking odyssey[1], I offer some overlooked events, observations, and concluding reflections.

On May 13, 2015 I turned in my electric blue 2014 Kenworth T-680, scrubbed and cleaned, inside and out.  I shined up the chrome and wheel rims with Busch’s.  Busch’s takes off tar and bugs with ease, as well as the dull film of oxidation, leaving the chrome and the brushed aluminum wheel rims gleaming. On the road, Busch’s can only be found at Pilot truck stops (for $20 a pop).

So now the tractor is a clean machine, but it is only a machine, a “dead” thing (as opposed to, say, a horse).  Without periodic maintenance and repair machines break down.  For example, fuel filters needs to be changed regularly. On my truck there was a see-through glass container holding one of two fuel filters. You could see the filter floating there in a certain amount of diesel fuel.  Ideally, the fluid level should be near the bottom of the filter. If the fluid is close to the top of the container it means that the filter is plugged and it must be replaced.  You’ll know if you have a plugged up fuel filter because you lose a significant amount of power – the truck will hardly be able to climb even the slightest incline.

Every pay period a small percentage of my pay went into a “maintenance account.”  You are able to draw on this account once you get to a service garage.  In the truck world, this means a TA, Petro or Sapp Bros. truck stop, or a Speedco. (Loves provides a limited tire service.  Forget Pilot and Flying J; in this sense you might say that these are not real truck stops, just fuel, shit & shower depots.)  Of course there still exist independent truck and trailer repair facilities.  But, not surprisingly, one big corporate entity prefers to deal with another big corporate entity. 

An oil change costs somewhere between $200-$300 and is usually combined with changing the fuel filters, another $150-$175.  During the year I had to have this done twice.  I also had to replace one of my drive tires.  A new tire can run you $750 or more (not an off-brand or re-tread).  And I replaced my two steer tires, which I think cost me $950 for both.  The air filters have to be changed too, another $150 or so.  And there is an annual motor vehicle inspection that must be performed, $65-$75.  Of course you have to have a supply of grease on hand to keep your fifth wheel lubed up. About once every week or two, you perform the ritual by scraping off the old, dirt laden grease, then apply new grease.  (This was a learn-as-you-go lesson.)

Inside the cab of the tractor I had a converter to be able to plug things in that require AC power.  I made the mistake of plugging in a rice cooker that drew 500 watts.  It blew the converter.  Luckily it was under warranty but I was still charged for labor to reinstall a new one.  I managed to find another, lower-watt rice cooker and even a crock pot that worked like a dream.  I would load up the crock pot with some meat, onions, garlic, and one bottle of water, switch it on, and head out. (Much later I would add stuff like  carrots and potatoes so they wouldn't over-cook.) It would slow-cook all day and be ready when I stopped driving. The rice cooker had a steamer in it and I could really eat like a king – King Chef of the Road – squash and broccoli and brussel sprouts.  My wife would whip up some savory sauces that I would bring and add to the gumbo. 

I kept my refrigerator and cupboard stocked as best I could, choosing from the fine selections at WalMart, as they have accessible parking lots that can accommodate tractor trailers.  WalMart really has the cheapest and best genetically modified foods available to the trucker out on the road today, not to mention catering to their usual, Walmartian clientele. When you are hungry you’re not as picky about your food.  When I was home, though, I raided Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and stocked up.  Beware of eating mixed nuts and other, addictive fatty food while (sedentarily) chugging down the road.  Besides making you tired, you gain weight like crazy if you are not careful.  Of course, there’s not much else to do while driving, except to maybe smoke, tune-in to the radio wasteland, or talk on the phone (using a Bluetooth device of course).

When you see a warning light come on on the dashboard, like an amber or red “check engine” light, it’s ultimately a problem that needs to be handled by the manufacturer, viz., Kenworth.  If the truck is new enough – no more than about one-year old – repairs are covered by the warranty.  (I shudder to think of the other TransRam drivers out there whose rigs are more than one-year old!)  

There are Kenworth dealers from coast-to-coast. The catch is this: there is an exasperating wait time and, it seems you cannot be assured that they will fix the problem.  I had the good fortune of having to go in for servicing only three times.  Each time I waited almost a full day just to get into a bay door.  The work they do is hit-or-miss.  I had an amber “check engine” light lit up on the dash ever since I began driving my truck.  Kenworth diagnosed it as indicating that it needed a software update.  Well, they updated the software and it soon came on again and remained, on-again/ off-again for the remainder of my year of driving. I finally concluded that it didn’t really affect the operation of the vehicle (although there also seemed to be a perennial, misfiring third cylinder, according to the computer code!)  I had other hassles with the Kenworth dealers, but won't bore you any further.

Hopefully, whatever problem you have, you won’t need to be towed to a service garage.  At a minimum, towing is $200 - $300, and can be a lot more, depending on how far you must be towed.  If it’s a tractor problem, it’s your problem – the money comes out of your own pocket.  This includes getting towed perhaps 20 feet because your drive wheels are spinning and you are stuck.  This happened to me once when I went home on leave; even though I was on level ground, the wheels had sunk into the ground just enough so that they couldn’t get any traction.  Lucky for me, a neighbor with a big truck full of felled trees came over and pulled me out before the tow truck driver could get there (this was one time I was glad the tow truck driver was late in getting to me). 

When your fuel gauge gets to one-eighth, a warning message and red light comes on.  However, I’ve found that there is still quite a bit of fuel left in the tanks, even when the gauge shows them as “empty”.  The truck had two, (supposedly) 100-gallon tanks, though I cannot remember ever putting much more than 150 gallons, maximum, in both.  I suppose this means there are about 50 gallons left when you get to the one-eighth level(?)  But figuring how many miles you can go before you run out of fuel is hard to do because the mileage you’ll get depends on the weight you are pulling.  You certainly do NOT want to run out of diesel when you are on a country road with no shoulder.  Safety is always the prime directive!

But Thursdays are problematic for TransRam drivers.  Why? – because Thursdays are the last day in the pay period.  Ideally, you want to be below one-quarter or even one-eighth by the end of your driving on Thursdays.  If you haven’t burned the fuel in your tanks by then, your paycheck will be lower than you might otherwise expect because you have paid for fuel but didn’t get the money-per-miles to counter that fuel expense.  So there is a tendency, on Thursdays, to drive on empty, perhaps stopping to buy 20 gallons here or there.  Still, risk takers like me would rather see how far the truck will go on “empty”.  This got me into trouble once.  Of course I was running low while on an interstate – the Indiana Turnpike – not on a country road.  If I remember correctly, I must have gone about 170 miles on “E” before sputtering to a halt – less than a mile from a service area.  I made the mistake of re-starting the engine, which got me to the ramp of the service area.  However, this ”extra push”  drained the diesel from the lines. 

On this occasion I did as I was trained to do and called “Road Assist,” the in-house AAA as-it-were.  I had to purchase a 5-gallon fuel container (for some ungodly amount). Of course the opening in the container was like those of cars – too small for the larger diameter dispenser at the truck pumps to fit into it (keeping non-truck drivers from using truck diesel, which is taxed less than regular road diesel) – so I had to buy the more expensive “auto diesel”.

That morning it was still dark and the nozzle wasn’t that long and it was hard to get it aimed so that the fuel went into the tank.  After lots of spillage and perseverance, I managed to get a respectable amount in.  Then, under the tutelage of the Road Assist guy, I opened the hood and found the manual pump attached to the fuel line that allows you to pump diesel back into the line.  I was told to pump this lever 100 times (or was it 200?) and then try to start the truck.  No luck.  I was then told to repeat the procedure.  (It was kind of like a tiny replica of a portable, not-very-efficient bicycle pump.)  After another 100 (or 200?) pumps I tried again, and presto!  The engine roared to life (even though it’s really a dead thing, not a living thing, like a horse).  Off I went, wiser now, despite the wear and tear on muscles that I hadn’t used in some time.

During my truck driving stint I discovered that Ohio provides free showers for truckers (or anyone who knows about it) on the I-80 Ohio Turnpike.  You only need to bring your own towel.  That’s a good bit of info for the gypsy traveler.  Also, Iowa provides free wifi at its rest areas, another convenient perk.    

My preferred driving schedule was to get going in the morning anywhere from 3:00-5:00 AM.  I love getting up and puttering around before sun-up.  I call this the “monk’s hour”.  Before setting off I’d get up each morning and brew a strong cup of coffee using my electric kettle.  One of my fondest memories was watching a lunar eclipse one early morn while traversing the hills of western New York.  This was not “blues before sunrise” – anything but.  As the dawn breaks, observing the slight variations in morning light, leading to that orange sun butting up on the horizon, was always new and always welcome (after hoping and praying that no deer or other critter darted out of the dark into my path in the preceding hours).  Sunsets were lovely too, but the morning sun has always been my favorite.

Another reason to be an early bird is to assure that you will have a parking place when your day is done.  My preference is for rest areas. Truck stops are noisier and dirtier. Rest area are easier to pull into and out of.  Plus, I am self-sufficient, food-wise, and don’t need what they sell at truck stops – except fuel.  But if you need to park at a truck stop, you better get in there early, about 2:00-3:00 PM.  By 6:00 PM they are likely to be filled up – or the only places left are harder to back into, and of course it seems like all the other truckers there are watching you.  Still, some truck drivers prefer truck stops.  I never could understand the draw to truck stops over rest areas – being eyeball to eyeball among all those trucks lined up staring at one another. No, merci! It’s as though you’re a part of a mutual admiration society of dissociatives who reinforce each other’s entranced state of being. No, merci!     

I prefer solitude – being alone with the Alone (if that’s not too foo-foo of a notion).  Over-the-road truck driving will afford you more solitude than most any other job, except maybe that of a forest ranger. This is a good thing, if used constructively.  Read, write, research, prepare food, practice patience, mindfulness and moderation, and talk to loved ones – that’s not a bad life, if you can handle at least a temporary sojourn from the natural world and your loving wife, family and friends. 

Stop and think a minute.  Ask yourself how much time you spend interacting with living things as opposed to “dead” things?  Only the natural world is alive – the plants and animals, the soil and sunlight, bodies of water – these are chock full of life force.  Communing with the energy-replenishing natural world is, well, natural for human beings.  To be cooped up within the four walls of any sterile environment (home, office, factory) for very long, or to spend long hours, day-after-day in a motor vehicle is not good for human beings.  We are free-ranging animals who need space and movement, fresh air, clean water and meaningful, creatively fulfilling work while being amidst other sentient creatures, human and non-human.  This is our heritage as Earthlings here on this planet. 

So when we fabricate artificial and synthetic things, and then spend day-upon-day and even night-after-night among these non-natural things, we become like these “dead” things – physically, mentally, and psychically dead.  Even our holiest-of-holy hi-tech devices lead us astray.  Those still glued to TVs worldwide are self-conditioning and degenerating themselves.  I’m not advocating that we become Luddites who shun all technology.  Rather, we might just start trying to associate a whole lot more with the living – until we find that we actually prefer LIFE (or what might be described as a more “anarcho-primitivist” state of being).   

In the summertime, a fully mature oak tree cycles something like 300 gallons of water per day by pumping it up from its roots, through its trunk and branches, and transpiring it through its leaves into the air.  Imagine what an energy dynamo each tree is!  Do you think if you were to sit and lean against the base of that tree that you would partake of some of its life force?  Have you ever gone into the wilderness and stayed there for a few weeks or a month?  Try it sometime.  After only a few days, once your chattering mind settles down, you may find a whole new perspective – a whole new you – a more whole you.   

I suppose humans must have a tremendous capacity to endure long periods of isolation from the natural world.  Truck drivers are a case in point.  Eventually, the cumulative effect of being removed from the life-affirming energies of that natural world will take its toll.  But it’s not just truckers who suffer, not by any means.  Indeed, we are all zombies to one degree or another, to the extent that we are disconnected from our optimal health, our optimal potential.  This then begs the question: just what is real anymore?  Are we all just dead (or undead) and subservient to other zombies, who in turn, are subservient to handlers in the form of vampire controllers?  And if we get more real, what will we be like as human beings?  If we swear-off clinging to groups of other dissociatives, severely attenuating such human-to-human contact, and instead have more communion with an other-than-human, living world, what human potential might we re-claim?

These types of thoughts are what have rambled through my roving mind as I have roamed this land, far and wide. 

[1]   The first, The Socially Conscious Truck Driver, was written before I started driving. The second, Jack, the Truck Driving Man, was penned after about three months on the road. (Radio Wasteland, was published about seven months in, though it is more tangential to actual truck driving). The Suffering Trucker was written close to the end of my one-year commitment.  All can be found on this blog.    

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Well, here I am at this way station for bewildered transportation operatives, otherwise known as a truck stop.  I’m “resting” for 34 hours so I can re-set my 70-hour clock.  And so, with little to do, I figure it’s time to prepare another truck-driving installment.
I signed up for one year as a lease operator and I only have one more week to go before I get out of “truck prison.”  The meaning of this term will become clear. Keep reading. 

Driving one year for TransRam has been, overall, a good introduction to the world of trucking.  They hired me as an over-the-road driver and I had no prior experience. However, I hear they are always recruiting because they are unable to retain drivers.  This is probably due to TransRam’s relatively skimpy benefits – e.g., early this year, without ever informing us drivers, the company decided to rescind its policy of paying drivers $115 in layover or “loss utilization pay” for having to wait more than 24 hours for a load.  Plus, the federal government pays them a hefty subsidy for each driver they recruit and keep driving for at least three months.  Be that as it may, I made it work – most of the time. 

As I’m sure the company knew, the CDL school and brief TransRam training program were woefully short of teaching me what I needed to know. Instead, and probably like most of the new drivers, I learned through “on the job training.”  This means that “little (but pricey) incidents” happened while out there moving this rig around.  For me, it rarely involved another vehicle.  Rather, it was stationary objects that sometimes got in the way of the rear wheels of the trailer when I miscalculated the angle of that trailer dangle. I’ve flattened a few stop signs, side-swiped a very solid railroad crossing device, banged into a concrete protector at the gas pumps (long story), and dinged a light pole trying to make a U-turn under pressure.  Each time the trailer wheels got banged up, my paycheck got docked $500 ($100 per week for five weeks).  This hurts when your average take-home pay is less than $700 per week – and that’s for 12-hour days/ seven days a week!  Try to pay a mortgage and send money home to the wife on those earnings and you’ll soon be viewed as quite the loser.
For being a little weak at backing a rig, I can proudly say that I never had an incident while backing – well, almost never. Toward the end of my illustrious career, I was backing at a 45° angle around another truck into a dock door.  How was I to know how far his custom bumper protection extended?  My trailer just barely touched and scratched the corner of this “cow catcher.”  Luckily, the driver was no shithead and he good-naturedly let it pass.  But the humiliation of being such a neophyte at backing-up is always a drag. 
One day I was buzzing right along, coming up from Florida and making good time. I was in “the zone.”  The “zone” is the same for driving as it for any activity: you find yourself in a sort of time-suspended state of ease and lucidity.  As I was making my way around the Atlanta Perimeter, I suddenly found myself in a right lane that was supposed to merge left.  I don’t recall there was much warning of the merge, and I still don’t think there was proper signage.  Anyway, I was quickly running out of roadway.  I put my turn signal on, then glanced into my left mirror.  I saw a small pickup truck that couldn’t seem to decide whether to speed up or fall back.  I tried to use my weight to help him decide – I moved gingerly left to induce him to fall back.  Too bad for me I moved just a skosh too much to the left.  My rear trailer tires scuffed up the side of his truck – no dents, mind you – and the passenger side mirror got flicked back.  We both pulled over.  I re-positioned his mirror – nothing broken there.  The driver was an older fellow and he handled things like a real gentleman. There was no police report and no ticket issued. But we traded info and I reported the incident to my company’s “Risk Management” division, as I am supposed to do.  I guess the insurance companies decided that he had the right-of-way because I got docked $500.  
The most horrific and heartbreaking thing that happened occurred on the morning of February 1. I was trudging semi-cautiously along I-70 in Missouri, going east at about 60 mph.  The sun was rising but it was not yet light.  It had been drizzling and there was some light ice on the sides of the highway.  I was on a rural stretch that was not lighted.  There was a slight fog and visibility was OK but limited. I had just fiddled with the radio and glanced quickly in my left mirror.  But when my eyes returned to the road in front of me there were two large dogs standing right smack in the middle of the road. There was nothing I could do. We’re trained not to veer to avoid animals.  I remember turning slightly to the left, toward what looked like a well-fed Lab/Golden Retriever mix that looked up fearfully and slunk back a bit just before being scrunched and run over by my left tires.  I don’t know, but I may have avoided the dog on the right.  Still, it was a terrific jolt to the truck and very traumatic to me, a dog lover.  Right afterwards I slowed slightly but didn’t stop.  I couldn’t see the point.  That one dog, at least (and the other if I hit it too) must have been killed instantly.  At the next exit I pulled onto the ramp.  My bumper was broken and the radiator warning light came on.  At first I thought the radiator was damaged.  It turned out that a hose extruding from a fitting at the bottom of the coolant reservoir had come loose – nothing that a good rubber band couldn’t fix.
I thought that maybe I wouldn’t be saddled with the $500 deductible, seeing that the damage from this accident was unavoidable and not due to any negligence on my part.  Wrong.  Another $500 assessed against my pay.  But the worst part of this tragic incident was that the scene kept re-playing in my mind, and each time I felt extreme sadness, grief, and regret.  It gave me a sense of what post-traumatic stress disease must be like because this tragedy haunted me for a good month or so.  I still wince whenever I think about it.

Other on-the-job trainings included the following: I was never properly warned about two things – (1) turning so sharply that the tractor’s faring gets bent, and (2) making sure that when you hook to a trailer that the trailer is not too high.  Of course I committed both errors.  The bent faring happened when I was trying to extricate the truck out of a very cramped area.  Of course I learned to never do that again ($500).  Also, not long into my truck driving career, the back of the tractor got dented up when the kingpin failed to catch on the fifth wheel and the front of the trailer came gently crashing into the tractor.  After that, I usually made sure the fifth wheel and trailer plate were making contact before backing all the way to hook into the kingpin ($500).  But there were a few times that the kingpin ended up in front of the fifth wheel before I learned to exercise more caution. 
Oh! There’s one other thing you don’t learn until you’re out there driving – in the snow especially. That is, how to use the engine brake or jake brake.  I learned to use it on the hills of Pennsylvania.  Instead of using your brakes, you can slow the truck by flipping some switches that reverse the pressure of the cylinders, thus slowing you down.  This saves your regular brakes and reduces the chance of skidding.  First you have to hit the brakes to turn off the cruise control, then you engage the jake brake.  You may pick up speed none-the-less if you’re going down a steep grade.  Applying pressure to your regular brakes will slow you back down.  When you level out, you must remember to disengage the jake brake and re-engage the cruise control.  It doesn’t sound all that terribly complicated, but it takes some focus, especially at night when it’s snowing and there are lots of hills.
During the winter there were some icy roads.  It is terrifying, particularly when all the traffic slows to a crawl and then you come upon an overturned tractor trailer or a few of them.  You instantly imagine that “that could have been me!”  It sobers you right up and you watch your speed.  One frigid morning I picked up my meat load in Cactus, TX.  The four-lane state road was a sheet of ice.  You couldn’t even see the lines on the road because of the ice. You start out at five, ten miles per hour and just see how you do – fifteen, twenty, twenty-five.  Eventually the road got better.  But the first 20 miles were nail-biting.
Fog is another stressor.  When you can’t see more than 20-30 feet ahead of you, you are bounding headlong into the unknown with a hope and a prayer.  The reasonable thing to do is to slow down.  But some of the other truckers just go the speed limit, figuring (I guess) that as long as you can see the lines to keep you on the road you’re all right. It’s best to wait until the fog gets burned off, but sometimes it comes up on you and it’s safer to stay on the road than to pull off in an unsafe place and maybe get hit by some cowboy.    
“Vampires” are an apt metaphor for those globo-controllers who are sucking the life and liberty out of humanity.  Trucking companies can be viewed as enablers for those vampires because their fleets deliver the processed crap that huge factories pump out at a frenetic pace to satisfy our mindlessly self-indulgent and dumbed-down consumer society.  The whole system is a chain of fools.  It is built upon a deficient consciousness that serves to foster and preserve a materialist reality that is in bed with the fraud known as (subverted) Western culture.  The truck drivers are just the poor bastards who do the work of hauling the freight from shipper to receiver.  What the heck? – it’s a job, right?  These much less powerful folk at the lower level of the food chain only do what they can to get by, whereas the culpability for vampirism is strongest at the top of that chain-of-fools.  (In fact, those on the very bottom of the bottom (not truck drivers) can be viewed as “zombies,” another apt metaphor – the undead, searching aimlessly for the living so they can chomp on their brains (if, indeed, any of the truly living, with brains intact, are still around!)). But I digress...
My short experience as a truck driver has taught me a lot about the plight of the trucker.  I now have an appreciation for what they do and what they go through in order to do what they do.  It is not an easy job.  It takes a big toll on your health and well-being. Being deprived of sun means being deprived of vitamin D.  Many smoke and over-eat, out of stress and boredom I suppose. Just sitting causes health problems, never mind that the food available at truck stops clogs the arteries – from hot dogs on roller grills, fried food, pizza, and huge cups of soda pop, to energy drinks, chips and candy.  Then factor in the lack of exercise and this completes the disease-inducing cycle brought on by gross obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure. 
Truck stops, rest areas, service plazas and WalMarts are about the only places you can go, other than the bleak and foreboding distribution centers and warehouse yards where you must wait while picking up or delivering. This is your truck prison.  These are no places to take a brisk walk.  They are dirty, noisy, smelly places, not meant to accommodate strolling pedestrians.  Unless you want to sit around a drivers’ lounge, where a TV is blasting the same old mind-control idiocy, you are confined to the four walls of your truck. 
The “road” is a liberating concept and you do feel free as you roar down the interstates.  But the paradox is that you are rolling along in a prison from which escape is not possible.  If you take a break and go home, you better not stay very long.  You still have a weekly lease payment of $565 and other fixed costs.  If you are not careful your next paycheck or two can be negative or so miniscule as to be meaningless.  The break-even point is somewhere between $1600-$1700.  At 84¢/ mile you better try to get at least 2800 miles per week to get any kind of paycheck at all. 
If you drive a reefer, as I did, the refrigeration unit is droning on in a machine hum almost continuously, competing with the noise from the APU generator.  These sounds also emanate from other trucks around you and they do not exactly lull you to sleep.  Ear plugs do not help.  You “get used to it” of course, but it cannot be doing your mental state much good.  In fact, it is not so easy to focus on much of anything after almost 11 hours of driving.  The tendency is to eat something and then collapse into unconsciousness.  Forget reading, writing, researching…
And so, for God’s sake – who in the world would take on a job such as this?  Is all of the degeneration of the body and mind worth the romance of being “on the road again”?  Maybe some are more disciplined than I am.  Some may be like Steve McQueen in the film, Papillon, relentlessly doing push-ups and sit-ups in their trucks to stay in shape.  I don’t see very many truckers doing exercises outside of their trucks or jogging around rest areas.  It could be they are younger and more resilient for the time being; it could be they become used to the debilitations and accept them; or it could be that they really are clean livers and have devised strategies to remain that way.  I honestly don’t know.  It might be something akin to what the bluesman says, “This night life – it ain’t no good life – but it’s my life.”
I do love moving on down the road.  Even if you are not moving your body, you are moving through space and time, and movement is life.  When I first started on the road with my TransRam trainer in early May, I remember seeing the corn and soy just peeping up from the soil in long row-after-row of endless fields in the Midwest.  By late June the fields were lush with corn stalks and the soy plants were busting out all over.  (I try to forget that these are all GMO crops now.)  Down South, the cotton stays on the plants in the field until early Fall, looking like a field of snow.  And you are treated to overwhelming, immense fields of some kind of yellow-flowering crops early in the growing season as you putter along the interstate highways in Iowa and Nebraska.
So many cattle, and sometimes the noble bison, graze in the pastures and hills along the roads.  There are also horses, sheep and goats, and even llamas to be seen.  And there are deer too, herds of them sometimes.  My eyes are always drawn to these creatures as I whiz past them.  In early Spring there are lots of wild turkeys to see.  Hawks favor fence posts and tree limbs and you can see them hunt the grass for their prey. Sometimes these magnificent birds can be seen just standing on the ground.  Crows and buzzards are there too. Along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains I’ve seen wild, long-horn sheep grazing. In Florida there are cranes and pelicans aplenty, and I saw a feral pig once.  Seeing live animals sure beats seeing dead ones – deer, raccoons, skunks, possums, porcupines, armadillos, dogs, cats. foxes, coyotes – the bigger it is, the more it resembles a horribly re-arranged version of itself; the smaller it is, the more it looks like just a red blob of ground-up goo.
I would even search out animals in the livestock trailers as they passed me by.  These unfortunate, caged animals were more likely raised in factory farms, not on hillsides. One day I had to sit all day at a meat processing plant in Illinois, waiting for my load.  I think I counted about 30, double-decker semis arrive stuffed with pigs.  They’d go in and soon go out again, empty.  Another time, I was at a rest area, half asleep.  I heard a racket outside of my cab and wondered what it was.  I got up and peeked through the curtains.  There to my left was a truckload of cattle.  They were packed in tightly and shifting around nervously, hoofs clanking on the metal flooring, while the driver took his sweet time doing God-knows-what.  In the Spring the trucks are full of lambs going to slaughter.  It is so sad to see – made sadder still knowing that they are likely laden with antibiotics and growth hormones and raised on GMO feed of some sort.
One morning I was looking for a mailbox to mail a letter home.  Just before sun-up, I came across a WalMart on a state road in southeastern Oklahoma, just over the Arkansas border.  (This area is where the Choctaw Nation is located.)  Sometimes you can find a mailbox at a WalMart.  So I parked and went in.  I saw a WalMart employee, a slim, elderly gentleman with white hair and a weathered face.  After inquiring about the whereabouts of a mailbox I asked if I could use the restroom.  He walked me over and then pointed the rest of the way. When I came out I asked, “are you Choctaw?” and he said, “Yes, are you?”  I said, “No. I belong to an ancient seafaring tribe known as the Phoenicians.”  He looked puzzled and asked, “Where is their home?” And I replied, “In the eastern Mediterranean.” His face relaxed then and he seemed pleased. “So you’re Mediterranean.”  “Yes,” I said.  There was something about him, something spiritual in his eyes. They were clean, kind eyes and I felt that we connected in some special way.
I left the store and went back to my truck, started it up and continued down the road.  As I proceeded, I thought about the old man and I had the strangest feeling, as though he “came into me” and was looking out the windshield through my eyes.
Before long the sun was up. Out of nowhere a snake wriggled really fast across my path in the road ahead.  Then I came across a turtle crossing the road.  Luckily it was in the space between the wheels and I didn’t run over it.  Suddenly a bird flew into my trailer.  It hit hard and fell to the ground.  A little further on, a small dog darted across the road, but it was just far enough ahead that it was safe.  Encountering these many animals in succession was eerie and added to the strangeness I already felt about my interlude with the WalMart Indian worker...prior to this I had never come this close to animals on the road.
Just after Christmas I was at Kenworth in Olathe, KS for some maintenance on my truck.  While there, I fell into conversation with another truck driver.  He had long black hair that hung to his shoulders and, like the old Indian, he gave off a similar vibe.  Sure enough, after some small talk I found out he was half Comanche (and half Italian!).  I related the above story about the Choctaw Indian in the WalMart and the aftermath.  This guy understood something about it immediately, although he was not that forthcoming about what he was thinking.  Anyway, from there on there was no subject too far afield and we had a very satisfying “meeting of the minds” – a pow-wow, you might say.  When we parted I felt as if I had known him like an old friend. We traded phone numbers, though we have not spoken since…Funny, I thought later, he was half Mediterranean.  Whatever.
There is artwork out on the road, too.  On I-70 near Exit 99 in Nevada there is a small tree in the median strip decorated with shoes, tied together and hanging by their shoestrings.  Lots of people seem attached to their old vehicles.  Vintage ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s cars and trucks can be seen, left as “display pieces” in fields or on lawns along the interstates.  Especially down in Mississippi it seems that almost every yard has an old vehicle – vehicles that look like old friends. Even billboards can be “artsy.”  There’s one advertising “foot-high pies.” – or billboards might be kind of weird, like the one near Wentzville, MO – “Got a bra problem?  Ann’s Bra Shop.”  Just west of Chicago, I-80 traverses a HUGE stone quarry pit.  In the 30 seconds or so it takes to pass over it you get a sense of weightlessness; you wonder as you observe the roads down there, cut along its steep sides, and the Tinker Toy-sized trucks that navigate them.  I’d call this "installation land art," done up to the max.
TransRam induces you to stay with your contract by promising you a bonus of 3¢ per mile for all the miles you’ve driven during your contract – but you can’t collect your bonus until and unless you finish the contract period.  I could have signed up for a six-month contract, but I wanted to drive in all seasons and get one full year under my belt.  I will have driven about 140,000 miles by the time I turn in my truck next week.  That should be a nice little booby-prize-of-a-bonus.  You also get the balance of three accounts that they keep for you, not the least of which is the maintenance account.  If they don’t deduct anything to fix something that you haven’t already paid for, you’ll leave with even more scratch.  It’s nothing but a numbers game. 
Trucking is one of the top ten most dangerous occupations in the country.  With this year’s decrease in fuel prices (brought about in order to punish Russia) I hear trucking companies have bought more trucks and are looking for more drivers than ever before.  Try it, you may like it.  You’ll suffer, but in the end you’ll be one, solid brother-trucker.

Monday, December 22, 2014


When are we going to do something about FM radio?

America has an amazing amount of incredible music, some even recorded before the 20th Century. But only occasionally do we hear a smattering of '20s and '30s jazz, vintage country & western, hillbilly, blues and folk recordings, and usually only at odd hours on non-commercial radio stations.  Instead of providing its listeners with the rich tradition of American music (and other great music from around the world) FM radio permeates the airwaves with absolute rubbish.

As a truck driver I am constantly scanning the FM dial as I travel the country over the roads, far and wide. I have come to detect that music is roughly being corralled into genres of horribleness on the radio dial.

Toward the top of the dial you’ll find top-forty schmaltz. What comes out of the speakers is some sort of cacophony of music-like sound, played by bands with names unknown to anyone much over 25 who play as if music has no past. It is fluff, built on nothing faintly solid. Listening for any length of time to this bitsy drivel makes me worry for future generations.

Next in line are a few “classic rock” stations. Instead of playing “the music of my (baby-boomer) life” we are treated to endless iterations of Eagles, Fleetwood Mac songs and the like. You are lucky to hear an occasional Beatles or Rolling Stone song (but always the same ones, never their more obscure and creative and interesting tunes). I guess the “classic” age of rock was the 70s and 80s. But as far as I’m concerned the most classic year for rock was 1967 – or any rock ‘n’ roll or doo-wop or (real) rhythm and blues from the 1950s through the early psychedelic era and up until about 1972.  

As you continue down the dial you’ll hear heavy metal, hard-driving, worn-out  guitar riff-raff junk. Especially when I hear the hideous screaming that accompanies this headachy noise (that stands-in for lyrics) I sometimes think this stuff comes directly from the depths of hell, appreciated mostly by soldier-robots who have delighted in mindless killing out and about the Middle East, or by tow truck-driving grundoons who just plain hate to think about much of anything.

Around the middle of the dial are the “new country” stations. Here the listener is treated to the latest from representatives of the dumbed-down idiocracy, bleating in puerile-sounding glissandos, oft times rap-like, but with an affected country twang. I’d vote this genre as the most tasteless and degenerative. Its lyrics are banal and offensive to the ear. They have zero musicality. One gets the feeling that these tunes are contracted for by some factory that pumps this gruel for witless twits to mouth for deluded masses with bad eating habits whose brain cells have been misfiring since they began to teethe.

Sprinkled in the middle of the dial is the equally no-talent black, hip-hop stuff that hardly qualifies as music. This recorded, repetitive ignorance is more like a virus that implants mind parasites guaranteed to leech the goodness from the soul. There is also another brand of black music to be found around mid-to-low dial that is a caricature of earlier, real soul singers. These no-voice pretenders just swoon in a mock “black style”. The music has no originality, let alone any true, heartfelt authenticity capable of stirring the soul of even a chipmunk.

Besides the burgeoning Spanish-speaking stations, as we continue down the dial we inevitably encounter what is termed “National Public Radio.” In fact, this is the voice of your nanny government disguised as caring and concerned, complete with reasonable-sounding poseurs who are paid to spout the latest propaganda. It is a sugar-coated version of events from the perspective of those who stage-manage the actions of Empire, and who also control the media. You’ll probably be best off if you accept the opposite of what is being preached here. The same goes for the BBC. True, (unlike NPR) the Brits broadcast for an audience on a higher level than a four-year old. So they are more intelligent in their delivery. And with their oh-so-authoritative British accents they offer up more believable hodge-podge of news and interviews. But be not fooled – it is more of the mind control of Empire coming at you. (This becomes especially noticeable when you hear a pompous, Brit Interviewer talking in a strident and hectoring manner to some “more indigenous” interviewee – who may even happen to be a deputy head of state.)

Also on the lower end of the dial are the preachers, most with Southern accents, pandering to the audience with such terms as “family radio” and “Bible-based theology”. It seems mostly Baptist, but there is also Catholic radio to be had. I sometimes listen to their Bible stories and their moralizing. I used to enjoy listening to gospel music, occasionally, but there’s not a whole lot of that left. Instead there is this something else going on – I cannot fathom the value of recently minted, so-called “Christian music” with its cloying and saccharin vibes and “Godly” (or should it be “goodly”?) sentiments.

Other than NPR, the BBC and the preachers, there is very little, if any, talk to be had on FM radio anymore. Mostly it comes in the form of morning radio shows, like the Bob and Mike show or Lisa and John in the morning – jackasses all, spewing their trash talk and mindlessly guffawing about nothing.  One can occasionally tune in the deluded branch of the right wing, like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Mark Levin. The role of these dupes is to fire up the audience anxiety level and give the impression that We the People know what’s going on.  It’s a game of blame shifting, usually to the puppets in Congress, instead of exposing their paymasters and handlers. This type of invective is noteworthy for what it leaves out in the overall calculus of corruption and deceit.

And so, as a purveyor of the FM dial I have come to some conclusions. Nanny government controls the otherwise freely accessible FM dial stations (recently known as music and talk radio).  Commercial interests advertise their products here – even the latest TV shows and internet social media feeds are hawked on FM now. Disc jockeys and radio announcers are not allowed much discretion in analysis and presentation. It seems that Clear Channel (or its successor) runs the whole show now, together with the FCC. There seems to be a big suspicion and fear of real music and authentic, public discussions of issues. I’ve heard that real jazz (not the imitation, easy-listening variety) arouses the anarchist soul – and of course discussion kindles thinking (an anachronism no longer wanted or tolerated by our would-be, globo-masters). But I think there's really something more demonic going on than the mere political; I think the government wants to keep the populace who listen to FM radio in a state of demoralization or “vibrational deprivation,” for lack of a better term. All I know is that there is some asinine desire by those who think of themselves as our controllers to deprive us of our rich musical legacy - those vibrations that soothe, educate, and please. Why?

When are we going to do something about FM radio?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


The Co-Evolution of Mental Consciousness and The Western Legal Tradition: Symbiotic Stimuli toward the Mental/Rational


(Inspired by attending Richard TarnasWestern World View course at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco)

Roman legal thought, containing a new sense of objective rationality and natural law derived from the Greek concept of the universal Logos, introduced systematic clarity into commercial and legal interactions throughout the empire, cutting through the welter of divergent local customs and evolving principles of contract law and property ownership crucial for the West’s later development. (Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind (NY: Ballantine Books, 1991: 87)
Human knowledge is the historically contingent product of linguistic and social practices of particular local communities of interpreters, with no assured “ever-closer” relation to an independent ahistorical reality.  Because human experience is linguistically pre-structured, yet the various structures of language possess no demonstrable connection with an independent reality, the human mind can never claim access to any reality other than that determined by its local form of life.  Language is a “cage” (Wittgenstein).  (Tarnas 1991: 399)
The Judaic influence on Christianity in the West -- the sense of a divinely mandated historical mission, the stress on obedience to the will of God, the moral rigor, the doctrinal conformity and exclusiveness -- was further amplified and modulated by the influence of Rome.  The Church’s conception of humanity’s relationship to God as a judicial one strictly defined by moral law was partly derived from Roman law, which the Catholic Church, based in Rome, inherited and integrated. ...More fundamentally, Roman legal theory and practice were founded on the idea of justification; transposed to the religious sphere, sin was a criminal violation of a legal relationship established by God between himself and man.  The doctrine of justification -- of sin, guilt repentance, grace, and restitution -- was set forth by Paul in his Letter to the Romans [footnote omitted], and was taken up again by Augustine as the foundation of man’s relationship to God.  Similarly, the Judaic imperative of subordinating the highly developed but refractory human will to that of divine authority found supporting cultural patterns in the political subordination demanded by the immense authoritarian structure of the Roman Empire. (Tarnas 1991: 158)
Because induction can never render certain general laws, and because scientific knowledge is a product of human interpretive structures that are themselves relative, variable, and creatively employed, and finally because the act of observation in some sense produces the objective reality science attempts to explicate, the truths of science are neither absolute nor unequivocally objective. (Tarnas 1991: 359)
The Cartesian-Kantian paradigm both expresses and ratifies a state of consciousness in which experience of the unitive numinous depths of reality has been systematically extinguished, leaving the world disenchanted and the human ego isolated. (Tarnas 1991: 431)
What man knows is a world permeated by his knowledge, and causality and the necessary laws of science are built into the framework of his cognition.  Observations alone do not give man certain laws; rather, those laws reflect the laws of man’s mental organization. (Tarnas 1991: 343, paraphrasing Kant)

Overview: The Birth of Law and Consciousness

The history of the Western legal tradition is the history of how a portion of humanity has struggled to peaceably govern itself; of how theology, philosophy and psychology have expressed themselves through the politics of statecraft and the rights of citizens; and how liberty has ebbed and flowed according to the rule of law.  The Western legal tradition developed a jurisprudence which is inextricably bound up with the ideas of “democracy”[1] and “justice,”[2] ideas which have been discussed and debated since the dawn of  humanity’s awakening to Western legal thought, traditionally traced to ancient Greece (c.1,000 BCE)[3].  Yet law and justice are more than philosophical and theoretical ideas because they define, promote and preserve, through enforcement in the courts, the interrelational web of societal existence.   Law and the administration of justice are actional processes reflecting the underlying moral values that support the way we perceive the world and ourselves as ordered, interacting players in that world; and, I contend, law and justice are very much rooted in and reflective of the socio-cultural norms, assumptions and beliefs that are embedded in and derive from the contemporary state of consciousness, viz., the mental/rational. 

According to what I will call the Neumann/Gebser[4] model, mental consciousness has fully emerged only over the last c. 3,000 years.  The time frame of this emergence coincides with the advent of law.  Hence, my underlying thesis suggests that law arose in response to the emergence of mental consciousness and was a catalyst for its continued development as it ramified into mental/rational consciousness.  The modern Western legal tradition, therefore, can be seen as a phenomenon peculiar to (the now) mental/rational consciousness, which can be described as follows: 

perspectival (eye/brain) outer-relating to space, characterized by a directed dual oppositionality in cerebral functions of reflection, abstraction, will and volition, emphasizing a causal and directed rationality that conceptualizes and reflects, sees and measures using thought and ideation to perceive a materialistic reality from an egocentric [ego-enthroned self/other, inflated subject/object] representation-conception of the world, through projective speculation toward a predominately future orientation to time (in purpose and goal) and within a patriarchal social system that is generally bonded through religion [or a secular-scientific faith], characterized by believing-knowing-deducing.[5] 

Theories about the origins and evolution of consciousness seek to inform us of how and why we perceive our own being and becoming.  A proto-consciousness presaged the mythic and the mental consciousness.  Called the magic structure of mind, it is typified by an undifferentiated unity in which we might imagine that primitive notions of legal thought may have first expressed themselves as primal religious urges toward wonder and adoration.[6]  The Neumann/Gebser model would place this magic era within the Paleolithic to early Neolithic time frame (c.200,000 BCE - 10,000 BCE).  Hunting and gathering had gradually been supplanted by horticulture.  Human village collectives within this period are believed to have formed themselves along matri-centric lines (persisting even as late as c.5,000 BCE in Catal Huyuk).[7]  This magic mind-frame (wherein we spent over 90% of our ancestral life as homo sapiens) was a kind of interpenetrating dream-time, devoid of the walled city and the warrior class (which would typify the patri-centric, mythic era to come).[8]

The predominating structure of mind that followed the magic was the mythic (or emerging consciousness), beginning perhaps as far back as 10,000 BCE and extending forward into classical Greek civilization.  The story of an emerging consciousness is a story told in terms of the world’s universal, cross-cultural archetypal myths of the hero’s journey.[9]   It was during the mythic period that a theo-philosophical impulse began to stir.  This was the age of the Old Testament prophets in the Abrahamic (Judaic) tradition of Moses, David, and Solomon.  We can be fairly confident that Western law, as with the Western tradition generally, arose primarily from a confluence of the Judaic and Greek streams, and through a distinctly Western people[10] in a localized area roughly centered around the Mediterranean basin.   

If we consider the prophets as archetypal lawgivers, we must conclude that each was quite ahead of his time, i.e., although creatures of the mythic era, their minds had gone mental to some degree. Or, as Jean Gebser puts it:  “Wherever the lawgiver appears, he upsets the old equilibrium (mythical polarity), and in order to re-establish it, laws must be fixed and established.  Only a mental world requires laws; the mythical world, secure in the polarity, neither knows nor needs them.[11] 

Yet laws “came unto them.”  However, these laws (as with the Babylonian laws) were laws forcefully put into place by a few strong-willed leaders so as to impose order.  The “law,” as it is traditionally contemplated in the Western tradition, was instead borne of a society such as that of ancient Greece, “among whom thought and argument became a habit of educated men...extending to man himself, his nature, and his place in the order of things, the character of human society, and the best way of governing it...  It is therefore with the Greeks that the history of reflective jurisprudence in the West, or European legal theory, must begin.”[12] 

The Greek Coagulation

One notices in reading the works of the ancients that the texts are full of poetic imagery and references to mythological gods and goddesses (and long lists,[13] which to the modern mind may seem as excruciatingly dull as a recitation of legal “boilerplate” language).  To embrace the mental is a kind of “falling from time into space.”[14]  Legal thought first coalesced according to civilization -- first the Greek, then the Roman and the “physio-noospheric spaces” occupied by each.  The Greek civilization arose during the waning of the mythic era.  They were still very much rooted in a mythic mind-set, albeit one that was rapidly going mental.  Ancient Greece emerged from its magico-mythic world to begin reflecting upon life, calling such reflection “philosophy,” or what might now be called “consciousness studies.”  The transition of the mythic to the mental is placed by Gebser at the turn of the sixth to the fifth century BCE, mirrored in the image of Athena’s springing forth from the head of Zeus.[15]  According to Gebser, Parmenides (c.480 BCE), like others whose minds were advanced beyond the common structure of the general populace,[16] announced the arrival of the mental in a fragmentary didactic poem, when he wrote: “For thinking and being is one and the same.”[17]   

Along with Parmenides, the Sophists were developing the art of vigorously arguing the pros and cons of every issue with equal force and competence.  By demonstrating this cogni-dualist skill they were already establishing themselves as prototypical lawyers (who must thoroughly consider the arguments that the opposing party is likely to raise and be prepared to counter them).  The Sophists were fond of saying that law was made “to make the weaker cause the stronger” to submit to the notion of a society of equals.[18]

In the early Greek world, laws were at first collectively stored in the memories of aristocracies which ruled in most cities and who were the repositories of whatever justice there was.[19]  “The earliest European appearance of something which obviously corresponds with our ‘law’ in the positive, statutory sense is with the famous lawgivers Dracon (late seventh) and Solon (early sixth BC).  Undoubtedly this was related to their recent development of the art of writing. The efforts of these rulers, among the first by the Greeks, were attempts to inscribe in permanent and public form rules which formerly had the vaguer status of custom.”[20]  “The dramatist Euripides, writing in the late fifth century, presents the emergence of written laws as a progressive achievement, tending to equalize the ground of rich and poor...”[21]   “Even then, liberty was defined for [the Greeks] as obedience to the laws.”[22] 

“...[I]n the classical era a unified Greek legal system never existed because no unified Greek state existed[23]...[T]hey never produced a practical legal science... What laws the people of Greece lived by must be gathered...[from]...the physical remains of law-codes or statutes engraved on stone or bronze...scattered all over the Greek world[24]...[T]here was no Greek word for ‘law’ as an abstract concept…”[25]  What we know of Greece’s ideas of law and justice are culled mostly from philosophers (e.g., Plato and Aristotle), orators (e.g., Demosthenes), historians (e.g., Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon) and dramatists (e.g., Sophocles, Aristophanes and Euripides) who discuss law and justice in the course of the works that survive them.  What we discover is that the seeds of modern jurisprudence were sown in ancient Greece:[26]  natural law vs. positive or human law; law as order having a compulsive force and being the rational product of mind and consideration; the idea of the “social contract”; leaders as subordinate to the rule of law; regular and impartial judicial procedures; the recognition and prohibition of double jeopardy; punishment for crimes as corrective, deterrent and vindication of the victim’s honor; the materiality of intent to liability for punishment; apportioning punishment according to the seriousness of the offense; voluntary and involuntary transactions; affirmative defenses that included duress and self-defense, but excluded drunkenness and culpable ignorance of the law; a theoretical equity doctrine; natural familial rights; equality before the law (exception: slaves); the prohibition of usury; and (limited) notions of property law and due process. 

Litigation in ancient Greece “was conducted less in the spirit of a contest about the objective applicability of legal norm than as a rhetorical match in which no holds were barred.  Even in Athens we do not know the name of a single person who worked as a legal advisor (rather than as a court orator), or who taught law to students, nor the name of a single book on a legal subject.  We are not aware that such persons or such books existed, and we might not unreasonably conclude, since this is an era well illumined by history in most respects, that they did not.”[27]     

A Stratified Roman Clotting

Rome was a civilization built upon the bedrock of this new consciousness.  Greece laid the philosophical groundwork for the law, the font of wisdom to which Roman lawyers would return time and again to refresh law’s meaning and find compelling reasoning for their arguments.  In short, Romans excelled at administering the law.  J.M. Kelly describes this trait as “...the strictly practical, unpretentious, sober bent of the Roman legal mind.”[28]   They administered through a descending bureaucratic hierarchy of “...elected magistrates, an annually elected pair of consuls (or, in point of dignity, from the quinquennially elected censor) through the praetors, whose special responsibility was the supervision of the administration of justice, to quaestors, who were treasury officers, and lesser magistrates such as aediles, who discharged a sort of police function in public streets and markets.  The section of the population originally distinguished from the patrician aristocracy, namely the plebs, had officers of its own called tribunes.”[29]   This system extended to some extent into Rome’s outer provinces as well, governors being ex-consuls or praetors.  This system can be seen as an intensification of Gebser’s mental: a sophisticated hierarchy which “conceptualizes and reflects, sees and measures using thought and ideation to perceive a materialistic reality,”[30] i.e., the good life of the empire.

Rome’s judicial scheme provided for judges, who were not “legal experts” at all but members of the propertied class acting in an honorary capacity.  They were selected on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis, and in private litigation could be assigned only with the agreement of both parties.  Here the judge acted more like a modern arbitrator than a judge.  The praetor’s role was reformative, regulatory, and supervisory rather than judicial, the praetor having the power to determine which cases merited being heard by a judge and which did not.[31]  Rome was a class-conscious society.  There was a de facto separate justice according to one’s rank, as well as ranked specializations within the judicature, as described above.  This would be characteristic of Gebser’s mental: egocentric [ego-enthroned self/other, inflated subject/object].    

In Rome were the beginnings of a legal profession that never existed in Greece.  By the late republic period (mid-second century BCE) lay jurists were expounding rules of law, drawing up formulas for legal transactions, and advising magistrates, litigants and judges.  They also taught their science to generations of students who would follow them, publishing commentaries, opinions and textbooks.[32]  And as J.M Kelly writes:

For a period of nearly 400 years, from the last century of the republic until the turmoil of the third century AD, the science of these jurists represents -- together with the Roman genius for imperial government -- the most characteristic flower of Roman civilization, and the one least indebted to foreign models, evidently growing spontaneously from some part of the Roman national spirit without parallel elsewhere in the ancient world.[33]

For “national spirit” one might substitute “Western mental consciousness.”  These lay jurists, viz., lawyers, practiced their rhetoric, their art of persuasion, in law courts or other assemblies, addressing questions of right and wrong (a further, institutionalized development of “directed dual oppositionality in cerebral functions of reflection, abstraction, will and volition, emphasizing a causal and directed rationality” -- Gebser’s mental structure).   Stoicism (founded by the Greek Cypriot Zeno, who lived c.333-264 BCE) made an important impact on lawyers and the educated Roman classes generally (including Seneca in the first century AD and emperor Marcus Aurelias in the second).  One teaching of Stoicism was that all words had a natural meaning which their etymology will elucidate.  As a result, lawyers often presented the derivation of words to explain their legal force[34] (and languaging, especially the written word, can be seen as comporting with the mental structure -- a “representation-conception of the world”[35]). Rome’s greatest and most eloquent jurist, Cicero, followed the Stoic teaching.  In his De legibus,[36] among other great works, he expounds on the law with a philosophical flourish that far exceeded the terse approach of his contemporaries.  Leaving almost no area of the law untouched, Cicero is especially remembered for a passage on God’s law that a later Christian writer, Lactantius (c.250-317) described as “almost divine.”[37]  (And Gebser’s mental consciousness irrupts once more in religious overtones of “believing-knowing-deducing.”[38])

Finally, emperor Justinian, briefly wresting a debilitated Roman Empire from German control in the mid-sixth century AD, managed to produce a brilliant compilation of the Roman laws up until the classical jurists of the third century AD.  It was to be known as Justinian’s Digest, and ultimately became the basis for the whole civil law of continental Europe.[39]  In the turmoil of a degenerating Holy Roman Empire, Justinian’s Digest as well as the works of Aristotle were lost to the West.  Not recovered until the late eleventh century, the Digest would become for Western law what the reintroduction of Aristotle (c.1150) would signify for a dynamic mentalizing of Western thought thereafter. 

Scabrous Projection:  The Co-Conspiracy of the Rule of Law

Beginning around the 6th century AD a parochial, xenophobic regression seemed to have set in; an insulated, relatively isolated Europe, self-protected by an increasingly entrenched Christian dogma of belief, propped up by doctrinaire, self-referential thinking,  stratified by a conformism of conduct along class lines, and led by alternating, competing  currents of localized Frankish, Germanic, Lombard, Visigoth and Anglo-Saxon domination, ebbed into centuries of miasmic drift referred to as “the Dark Ages.”  Law foundered amid the chaotic inertia.  But the Germanic idea “that the king reigns within the limits of the people’s inherited laws and is bound by them”[40] survived.  And this democratic ideal was nurtured along by Christian ecclesiastics.     

Most legal theory throughout the Middle Ages came from churchmen rather than lawyers. The late twelfth century saw the founding of the University of Paris, and the age of Scholasticism (known for its “hairsplitting dialectics,” not unlike the ancient Sophists) was soon to follow.  With St. Thomas Aquinas[41] and other scholars in the thirteenth century, law was systematized into an exposition of a rational ordering of things aimed at furthering the common good.

The common use of gunpowder in cannons is first seen in the fourteenth century.  This signals the beginning of a trend toward the removing of personal courage from the martial arts of battle; a further distancing of the soldier from the adversary, allowing for a more facile “othering” of the “enemy.”  With the coming of the movable type printing press in the mid-fifteenth century, books would soon be affordable and available to the ordinary person.  Ideas had never had a more fertile instrument of conveyance since the invention of writing itself.  No longer was specialized knowledge to be confined to the wealthy or priests of the Church.  The knowledge monopoly was broken.  Martin Luther preached that humanity could have direct access to God with simply the Bible in hand (and without the mediation of a priest).  Christianity fractured.  At about this time the mechanical clock started to come into common use, an invention that has done more to remove us from our natural psychic attunement than perhaps any other invention until the television.  The clock sectored time and action with a new mental-rational precision.      

With ideas more available to everyone in the form of books, the law, as it had done in the time of Dracon and Solon, became all the more democratized.  It further developed and diverged on the European continent and in the British Isles.[42]  In Italy, Noccolo  Machiavelli set forth in The Prince (1513) an “open elevation of the state and its interests and effective government to a plane where they are the only values in sight...a form of government in which the rulers are subject to the laws,” but wherein “the state’s interest may legitimately require their violation.”[43] In England, lawyer Sir Francis Bacon would soon release his book, Novum organum scientiarum (1620) where he introduced “the inductive method of reasoning whereby the observation of a number of individual instances is used in order to discover a general principle.”[44] At the dawn of the modern age, Western law was becoming somewhat diffuse, reflecting the regional characters of the individual nation-states that came to comprise modern Europe.  But despite the variations there was a common Indo-European, Greco-Roman linguistic heritage and common bonds of culture that acted as a unifying thread -- and one that has wended its way through a distinctly Western mental consciousness. 

Starting in the sixteenth century in the West and intensifying ever since, the mental began further refining itself.  In this historical period was born the mental/rational consciousness -- a new perspectival orientation, a ratio-sectoring of knowledge, drifting ever closer toward a materialist, cogni-centric meaning perspective (or as Gebser would say “deficient mental,” characterized by “divisive, immoderate hairsplitting.”[45])  These are the accretions that slowly but surely annexed themselves into the way our minds worked.  Within this century Copernicus informed the world that the universe did not actually revolve around the Earth after all, and the revolution had begun.[46]  It was a short epistemological hop, skip and a jump from here -- through Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche -- to showing that the world revolved around the individual observer. But in the meantime...    

As the Americas opened up to European migration, fertile new possibilities presented themselves for an enriched legal tradition.  Expansion into an unbounded virgin land fueled imaginations and souls already astir with a sense of self-liberation from a metaphysical death to the Old World.   What Columbus had really discovered was an object, the American land mass, representing seemingly unlimited resources to feed the devouring God of the mental/rational.  Enlightenment principles, further forged in the rugged individualism of a young nation coming into violent contact with its indigenous culture, would eventually bring forth a new Roman-like republic infused with an Ancient Greek-like democratic zeal.  This new American temperament -- idealistic, reckless, utilitarian, full of hope, dreams, visions of building a new Promised Land -- furiously set about establishing law and order[47] under an unstoppable ethno-centric Manifest Destiny.  But if history is the judge, its future is suspect.[48]   

And the law conspired in the intensification of this rational-way-of-knowing; it  conspired with science, the Enlightenment, modernism and a mongrelized humanism that has resulted in a contemporary Western world composed of angst-ridden, psychically crippled, techno-illiterates who none-the-less blithely accept and use environmentally-unfriendly techno-wizardry in never-ending consumption cycles.  Cynics might describe them as automatized consumers who are largely devoid of any higher cultural ecology beyond Beavis and Butthead, whose holy mantra -- “’burgers, fries and a Coke”! -- can be heard ringing and echoing worldwide from the franchises of arched temples.  Certainly it cannot be as bad as all that!  Well, whatever the case may be, please note: this has all been permitted, or at least not prohibited, by law.

Appendix  A

This memorable quotation is from Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Scottish jurist and historian.  He was widely known in his time and was Professor of Universal History at Edinburgh University in the late eighteenth century.  The quotation is from the 1801 Collection of his Lectures:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

“From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

“The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years.  These nations have progressed through this sequence:  from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again into bondage.”

APPENDIX  C         

The Neumann/Jungian story begins in the uroboros, symbolized by the snake eating its own tail, and which perceives itself as feminine.  In this undifferentiated state of unconscious unity -- similar to Jean Gebser’s unperspectival archaic and early magical structures, the human mind would have been in a state of complete interpenetration with its environment, like the fetus floating in the pleroma of the uterus.  The classic Jungian archetype for this stage in the uroboric is the Great (and ‘good’) Mother, also symbolized by “[a]nything deep -- abyss, valley, ground, sea, fountains, lakes, pools, the earth...the underworld, the cave, the house, the city... Anything big and embracing which contains, surrounds, enwraps, shelters, preserves, and nourishes anything small belongs to the primordial matriarchal realm.” (Erich Neumann, The Origins and History of Consciousness, 1954:14).

The process of differentiation toward and through Gebser’s magical structure proceeded slowly over most of our 1.7 million years.  In this tenuous state of magical consciousness humans went from loosely organized hunting bands to settled Neolithic horticultural villages, all the while remaining in a matri-centric culture.  A subtle boundary of mind was beginning to be felt between humans of this magic structure and their environment, typified by ‘emotions’.  Whereas before there was a pleromatic unity, an interconnectedness was now developing wherein the mind began to distinguish a sense of multiplicity -- yet a multiplicity that seemed to center and emanate from the individual.  There was still no subject/object split, but rather a restiveness in the uroboric mindset.  We can see this in the infant who shows a vague familiarity with its surroundings and in the child who thinks it makes the sun go down by wishing it so.  Gebser would represent this ‘one-dimensional proto-ego’ that is projected outward and dispersed as an ‘interchangeable point’.

Not surprisingly, Neumann spends a great deal of time describing the archetypal energies that were stewing within this Great Mother culture and nudging a struggling human mind in its evolution toward a separate identity (ego or consciousness).  I say ‘not surprising’ because the mythic, primordial imagery that comprise Jungian archetypes rose into consciousness (and therefore ‘into being’) not only from generation after generation of participation with the natural world; these archetypes were also burned into consciousness as they were magnified in the outward mirroring of petroglyphs, in so-called goddess figurines (Cf., William Irwin Thompson’s discussion of these figurines and pre-history in general in his Coming Into Being (1996)), in paintings on clay vessels, and finally in the cultural avalanche of myth, art, literature and music that was soon following, as consciousness began to fully emerge toward differentiation into Gebser’s mythical structure.

The struggle to break free from the Great Mother -- i.e., into this ego or consciousness that was arising out of the uroboros -- is characterized by the archetypal hero’s journey.  The Evil Mother archetype (later to be replaced by/mingled with the symbol of a bear or boar, representing the unsuccessful, castrated son) resists the efforts of the once incestuous but now rebellious hero-son.  (Consciousness perceives itself in a masculine dialectic, i.e., Prometheus vs. Saturn, son vs. father, wherein the Terrible Father archetype aids and abets the evil mom, i.e., unconsciousness.) Jungian archetypes of the battling twins and ‘the hero with a thousand faces’ (a la another Jungian, Joseph Campbell) enter now and the tale is filled with blood, death and dismemberment.  To free itself, the hero must slay the Great/Terrible Mother; he must embark on a journey of self-discovery. Gebser would represent this two-dimensional mythical structure of consciousness as a circle on which a polarization (cf. the twins archetype) has now formed.  This polarity is typified by the notion of ‘dreams’.  Temporality or ‘a new sense of time’ (and to a fair extent ‘space’) is the terrain of the mythic.  As the mythic coalesces, Neumann’s ‘primordial parents’ become fully formed as mother and father archetypes.  Behold the adolescent who has declared independence from the nest!  Behold the warring towns who hold fast to their grain stores while scaling the walled fortresses of others for the bounty held within!  Enter the warrior, patri-centric culture with its architecture rising upward in phallic, transcendent, vertical monuments to a hard-won ego.  Jungian archetypes abound in the sun myths, the symbol of the human head, the moon myths, glorification, deification and divinity myths. (Cf. Neumann’s interpretation of the myth of Osiris with William Irwin Thompson’s in The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light (1985))

Neumann uses the term ‘centroversion’ (similar to Teilhard de Chardin’s ‘granulation’) to describe this self-formative individuating; it is a subjective projection of the libido onto itself -- when a sufficient amount of this raw psychic energy inheres, then consciousness can shift, i.e., a phase change can occur -- and this is what has prompted the ego to enter into relation or union with the self.  In Jungian archetypal imagery -- the journeying hero has gained the treasure/ rescued the captive, which means he has discovered his own creativity as an autopoietic agent in a newly discovered reality of the psyche.

What is left is for consciousness to differentiate once again into three-dimensionality.  Gebser represents this new structuration with a triangle.  Subject/object, self/other duality as discerned by thought, has arrived; we have become ‘space conscious.’  This is Gebser’s perspectival mental structure, which can be traced to ancient Greece and which evolved further into the mental/rational at about the time of the Renaissance (when perspective was discovered in art).  (For Gebser the “rational” is “the deficient mental.”)  It has been proceeding, intensifying ever since.  The adolescent has become a teenager and is all the closer to adulthood.

Elements of the archaic and magical linger on within our consciousness in this modern era of the mythic/mental/rational.  Even as some of us grasp at the next emerging structure -- the integral/aperspectival, which Gebser represents as a ‘sphere’ -- we remain, for the most part, tangled in these consciousness holons that are more fundamental to those that are more complex.  Regressions are not uncommon in our day -- from magical thinking in New Age groups to mythic membership playing out in ultra-nationalism, ‘Balkanizations’ or within the unchecked zeal of fundamentalist religious groups.

Gebser’s thesis is here presented, taken from his chapter on The Irruption of Time, under the subtitle, The Awakening of Consciousness of Freedom from Time.  In it is his projection of where consciousness is headed -- out of an “already obsolete three-dimensional dualistic-materialistic world conception” (288) to an aperspectival integrated structure (“[t]he whole [that] can be perceived only aperspectivally”) (289) in which we plumb the fourth-dimensional depths of time; an understanding which I interpret as a ‘conscious’ reimmersion in the Essence -- our genetic heritage and our future:

“It is from origin, which is not bound to time, that all time forms constituting us have mutated.  Origin lies “before” all timelessness, temporicity, and time.  Wherever man becomes conscious of the pre-given, pre-conscious, originary pre-timelessness, he is in the time-freedom, consciously recovering its presence.  Where this is accomplished, origin and the present are integrated by the intensified consciousness.  The irruption of time into our consciousness is the first indication, the initial motif of the consciousness mutation that is today acute.  This mutation will bear its fruits of transforming the world if we succeed in superseding the irruption of time; but that is tantamount to what we have called the presentiation of origin, which can be achieved only by the successful achievement of the main task posed by the new mutation: the coming of consciousness of time-freedom, the achronon.”  (289)

Unconsciousness (magic pre-consciousness to mythic emerging consciousness) to (mental) consciousness to pathological (rational) consciousness -- this has been our human trajectory so far as I understand it.

APPENDIX  D:  A Short Parody of American Law...      by Jack Suss

Constitutional law -- a valiant attempt to give a voice to the populace by institutionalizing rights and giving notice of the respective powers of a three-branch government; set up for an agrarian, small town mentality; with the coming of the modern industrial state the structure became unstable and overly bureaucratized; after World War II the republic turns into a “national security” state.

Treaties -- a way to buy-off and plunder the land of indigenous populants

Property: the notion of private real property, as inherited from England, is a privatized space wherein real property could be claimed, sectored off and depleted by legal entities through legal ownership; personal property became accretions to the person -- from the style of dress and accessories that ornament the body of the self, to one’s inviolate TV and the automobile as an extension of the ego shell with its vehicle laws of ownership, rights of way, do’s and don’ts...road rage.

Corporation -- a fictional body; a new, collective corpus for transacting business, with its insular protections of personal wealth and fictional accountability

Tort law -- “reasonable man” standard; proximate cause; assigning legal fault, responsibility; a binary, separating out of persons and groups.

Maritime law -- tort law of the sea giving birth to the insurance industry and its marvels.

Contract law -- the replacement of personal honor and trust; a written memorialization between “legal entities” with the threat of enforcement by the courts if breached.


...and Order

School:  a device to keep the crime rate down 

Marriage:  a device to keep the economy going

Job:  a device to keep the population from going crazy from being idle

Sports, Business and Entertainment: devices to keep the population so continually distracted that “know thyself” becomes an incoherence, impossibly vague

From the wild autonomous, to social contrivance and laws, to the informed autonomous -- could this be the human trajectory of mind detectable throughout history, past and yet-to-come?

[1]  See Appendix A
[2]  See Appendix B
[3]  J.M. Kelly, A Short History of Western Legal Theory (Clarendon Press: Oxford, England, 1992); also see Max Hamburger, The Awakening of Western Legal Thought (New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1969, orig. pub. 1942); in the mythic age of an emerging consciousness, law as apprehended by the earliest known Greeks was described as “coming from the gods.”  From Homer (who memorialized events in c.800-700 BCE from an oral tradition that came down from c.1300-1100 BCE) the earliest Greek notion of law was referred to as themis, understood as meaning “god-inspired” or “law of the heavens.” (Kelly 1992:7); but compare, e.g., Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (Rutgers University Press, 1991), who argues that Greece was a kind of mulatto culture that had been created from a hybridization of black African Egypt and the Semitic Phoenicians; also, consider Babylonia’s laws of Eshuna and King Hamurabbi’s code (2000 BCE and 1800 BCE respectively), which preceded the early formative period of law in ancient Greece by a millennium.  Thus, one might say that written laws of man were already in existence in Mesopotamia when the Greeks were still fidgeting around with their themis.  Also, if we only stop to consider what Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey are about, we might note in passing the high likelihood of foreign influences -- the Iliad is all about military conquest, always a “forcing together” of the cultures of conqueror and conquered; and the Odyssey is all about Odysseus, doomed to wander for years in foreign lands where exotic cultural influences await; the Judaic contribution is discussed below. 
[4]  See Appendix C for an elaboration of this model, used as a framework as I trace the Western legal tradition.
[5]  I am presenting the above paraphrase of Jean Gebser’s mental/rational consciousness from the table appended to the back of The Ever-Present Origin (Ohio University Press: Athens, Ohio, Eng. trans. 1985, orig. 1949 and 1953)).  Gebser describes the “mental” as “directive, discursive thought.”  He refers to the “rational” as the “deficient mental,” characterized by “divisive, immoderate hairsplitting.”  It is my own contention that mental/rational consciousness, while universally “available” to populations and cultures of all nations, is adopted and “retrofitted” in part or in whole, according to the prevailing lifestyle and cultural norms, values, assumptions and beliefs in “non-Western-ized” areas -- or rejected altogether in pockets of relative changelessness, i.e., in populations wherein mental/rational consciousness barely comports with traditional ways of being and knowing, such as with various indigenous peoples worldwide.  It might also be argued that certain populations are selectively accepting the mental, while rejecting rational (referred to by Gebser as “the deficient mental”) consciousness.  By “Western” I am referring to a particular ethno-cognicentric (albeit cross-cultural) mental/rational consciousness that has so intensified as to dominate, suppress and ignore to varying degrees the more embodied magic (unity) and mythic (polar complementarity) structures of mind, which can be associated more with emotions, feelings, nature, archetypes, imagination, the feminine, a sense of unity and cosmic wonder.  As a result, “non-Western” areas, e.g., in Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, have developed  quite different models of jurisprudence.
[6]  See, E. Adamson Hoebel, The Law of Primitive Man: A Study in Comparative Legal Dynamics (Atheneum: NY, 1968: 258)
[7] See generally, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1981, 1996)
[8]  Ibid.
[9]  Erich Neumann, The Origins and History of Consciousness (Mythos, 1995, orig. pub., Rascher Verlag: Zurich, 1949; 1st Eng. trans., Bollingen Series XLII, Princeton University Press, 1954); also see Appendix C
[10]  Of course, how “distinctly Western” were we in the first millennium, BCE?  Seafaring and overland trade routes were fairly well-established during this period.  This exposed the West to an ongoing cultural intercourse as commerce intensified with the Middle East, the Far East and Africa.  With Alexander the Great’s conquests eastward, extraordinary social upheaval forced further multi-cultural interaction.  Out of this continual blending came the cosmopolitan melange that proceeded through the centuries of the Hellenistic period.
[11] (Gebser 1985:76)(Emphasis added)  Gebser explains that unlike in the duality of the mental/rational, “in polarity, correspondences are valid.  Every correspondence is a complement, a completion of the whole.  Whatever is spoken is corroborated by the invisible and latent unspoken to which it corresponds; in the polar, unperspectival world of the mythical structure both the voice (die Stimme) and the muteness (das Stumme), appropriate to myth -- what is spoken and what is left unsaid -- are correspondences and complements to each other.  They suspend and supersede the polarity, returning it to near-integrality, to an identity that nonetheless remains diminished, since its archaic authenticity seems to be irrecoverable; it is a recompleted, not a complete identity.”  (1985: 85-86); Cf., Plato’s Protagoras, 677ff. (322 BCE), speaking of our post-diluvial condition: “They had no need of formal laws, but lived by custom and patriarchal rules...” (paraphrased by Kelly 1992: 12)
[12]  Kelly 1992:1; See note 3: Some may view such a starting point as ethno-centric bias.  Cultural forms stubbornly reinforce their separatist developmental structures, and the Western legal tradition can be seen in its own provincial light.  The Greek notion of the city-state -- as in the “city” being the locus of both individual and communal identity -- foreshadowed a mental provincialism that would persist wherever Western thought got a foothold to reflect, centuries later, hegemonic Western imperialist notions of colonialism.  And the law was always  there.
[13]  See, William Irwin Thompson, Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996,1998:129)
[14]  Gebser 1985: 77  The space-time relationship in the mythic is emphasized in a spaceless, natural temporicity, in the mental it is spatial and abstractly temporal.  (See Gebser’s appended table.)
[15]  Ibid.
[16]  While sages and artists are on the vanguard of this evolutionary consciousness shift, general populations (who may or may not follow them) tend to lag behind.  Thus, as with the excerpt from Parmenides above, the lives and the works produced by those who are ahead of their time act as benchmarks -- artifacts to be studied and from which humanity might learn the teachings of these exemplars in the centuries that follow.  And so we might imagine that cultures impose themselves on this advancing, ever-shifting “consciousness template,” fostering a diversity of interpretive socio-cultural forms.  (Accordingly, legal traditions will vary too.) Consciousness -- the self, the ego, the individual, separate from an objectified world of others and things -- was fully emerging and the avant garde of the times were announcing it.  During the axial period (c.600-300 BCE) there was a dramatic flowering of self-realization through what may be described as a worldwide “incarnation of the logos” (the almost simultaneous appearance of a host of sages, including in the East the likes of Lao Tze, Gautama Buddha, and Confucius).  The West was riveted on its own avatars of that same axial period -- Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  
[17]  Gebser 1985: 77 (citing Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin: Weidemann, 1934: 231), i; fragment 28 B 3)
[18]  Hamburger 1969: 42-43 (quoting Plato, the Sophist Kallikles speaking: “...the makers of laws are the majority who are weak; and they make laws and distribute praises and censures with a view to themselves and to their own interests; and they terrify the stronger sort of men, and those who are able to get the better of them; and they say that dishonesty is shameful and unjust; meaning by the word injustice, the desire of a man to have more than his neighbors; for knowing their own inferiority, I suspect that they are too glad of equality.” (from Plato’s Gorgias, 483b-484a, Jowett trans.); But cf. the opposite view (in true Sophist fashion), as expressed by Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic I 338c, “I proclaim that justice is nothing but the interest of the stronger.”;  but in general the Sophists argue that human law goes against natural law: the survival of the fittest, i.e., the “strongest” [that which adapts to its environment in optimal symbiotic accord is ‘selected’ by nature to survive and pass its genetic attributes for strong survivability to its progeny].  Therefore, it is not in accordance with nature that the stronger should be held in check by the weaker. (Ibid. 36)
[19]  Kelly 1992: 9
[20]  Ibid.; But cf. what Socrates relates in Plato’s Phaedrus (274 C-276 A): “ ‘...the Egyptian god Theuth (i.e., Thoth), the inventor of writing, commended his discovery to King Thamus: it would make the Egyptians wiser and increase their capacity to remember.  But the King would have none of it: ‘For this will create forgetfulness in the souls of those who learn it because they will neglect to use their memories...You offer but the semblance of wisdom to your pupils, not its true self.’  Written records are, according to Socrates, only a mnemonic aid for him who already knows that with which the writing is concerned.  They can never impart wisdom.  That can be done only with speech ‘written in the pupil’s soul with knowledge.” (Ernst Robert Curtius European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages [Princeton, New Jersey: Bollingen Series XXXVI, 1953: 304)]
[21]  “...laws, once publicly written up on stone or bronze, were equally knowable and accessible to all, and so no longer subject to the arbitrary statement or interpretation of a closed and privileged class.” (Ibid.)
[22]  Ibid. 10 (quoting de Romilly, La Loi dans la pensee greque, 23, commenting on the Greek mind of the fifth and fourth centuries)
[23]  Ibid. 4; also see, A.R.W. Harrison, The Law of Athens: The Family and Property (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968)
[24]  Ibid. 5
[25]  Ibid. 6
[26]  For original sources, see Kelly: 1992: 1-38
[27]  Ibid. 49
[28]  Ibid. 69
[29]  Ibid. 42
[30]   See infra, p. 2
[31]  Kelly: 1992
[32]  Ibid. 48
[33]  Ibid.
[34]  Ibid. 51
[35]   See infra p.2
[36]  “For Justice is one; it binds all human society, and is based on one Law, which is right reason applied to command and prohibition...” Ibid. 59 (quoting De legibus 1.15.42.) 
[37]  “True law is right reason in agreement with nature, diffused among all men; constant and unchanging, it should call men to their duties by its precepts, and deter them from wrongdoing by its prohibitions; and it never commands or forbids upright men in vain, while its rules and restraints are lost upon the wicked.  To curtail this law is unholy, to amend it illicit, to repeal it impossible; nor can we be dispensed from it by the order either of senate or of popular assembly; nor need we look for anyone to clarify or interpret it; nor will it be one law at Rome and a different one at Athens, nor otherwise tomorrow than it is today; but one and the same Law, eternal and unchangeable, will bind all people and all ages; and God, its designer, expounder and enacter, will be as it were the sole and universal ruler and governor of all things; and whoever disobeys it, because by this act he will have turned his back on himself and on man’s very nature, will pay the heaviest penalty, even if he avoids the other punishments which are adjudged fit for his conduct.”  Ibid. 58 (Quoting Cicero, De republ.3.22.33.) 
[38]   See infra, p.2
[39]  Kelly 1992:82
[40]  Ibid. 99
[41]  St. Thomas Aquinas is considered to be the patron saint of lawyers. 
[42]  “These were the centuries in which the character of Europe’s later legal systems was determined, above all in which the great division of the civilized legal world into the two families of ‘civil law’ and ‘common law’ began to emerge.  The essential basis of the division was the permeation of continental Europe’s jurisdictions [footnote omitted] by Roman law, the ius civile in the Roman’s own language; and, by contrast, the failure of Roman law permanently to penetrate the English legal profession, which persisted in the native traditional rules; these, uniformly applied throughout the kingdom by a single body of judges, were for this reason called the ‘common law.’  Ibid. 179 
[43]  Ibid. 172
[44]  Ibid. 207  In a footnote on this same page Kelly notes that Bacon was a “corrupt judge: in 1621 he was convicted of taking bribes and removed from his office of lord chancellor, fined, and imprisoned.”  Perhaps his many observations of corruption did not lead him to the proper “general principle.”
[45]   See infra, note 5.
[46]  “ The Copernican shift of perspective can be seen as a fundamental metaphor for the entire modern world view: the profound deconstruction of naive understanding, the critical recognition that the apparent condition of the objective world was unconsciously determined by the condition of the subject, the consequent liberation from the ancient and medieval cosmic womb, the radical displacement of the human being to a relative and peripheral position in a vast and impersonal universe, the ensuing disenchantment of the natural world.  In this broadest sense -- as an event that took place not only in astronomy and the sciences but in philosophy and religion and in the collective human psyche -- the Copernican revolution can be seen as constituting the epochal shift of the modern age.  It was a primordial event, world-destroying and world-constituting.”  Tarnas 1991: 416
[47]  See Appendix D
[48]  See Appendix A


Aristotle, See Ethics

               -- Nichomachean Ethics

                 -- Politics

                 -- Rhetoric


Francis Bacon, Novum organum scientiarum (1620)


Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (Rutgers University Press, 1991)


Cicero, De legibus

         -- De republica


Ernst Robert Curtius European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages (Princeton, New Jersey: Bollingen Series XXXVI, 1953)


Demosthenes, See Against Meidias

                         -- Against Timocrates

                         -- De corona


de Romilly, La Loi dans la pensee greque


Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin: Weidemann, 1934)


Euripides, Medea

            -- Orestes

            -- Suppliants


Jean Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin (Ohio University Press: Athens, Ohio, Eng. trans. 1985, orig. 1949 and 1953) 


Max Hamburger, The Awakening of Western Legal Thought (New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1969, orig. pub. 1942)


A.R.W. Harrison, The Law of Athens: The Family and Property (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968)


Herodotus, Historiae


E. Adamson Hoebel, The Law of Primitive Man: A Study in Comparative Legal Dynamics (Atheneum: NY, 1968)


Homer, Iliad (c.800-700BCE)

            Odyssey (c.800-700 BCE)(possibly written by “another Homer”)

Justinian, Digest (c.540 AD)


J.M. Kelly, A Short History of Western Legal Theory (Clarendon Press: Oxford, England, 1992)


Neumann, Erich The Origins and History of Consciousness (Mythos, 1995, Orig. pub., Rascher Verlag: Zurich, 1949; 1st Eng. trans., Bollingen Series XLII, Princeton University Press, 1954)


Noccolo  Machiavelli, The Prince (1513)


Plato, Gorgias

      -- Phaedrus     

      -- Protagoras

      -- Also see, Crito


                         The Republic


Sophocles, Antigone


Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind (NY: Ballantine Books, 1991: 87)


William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light (New York: St.                             Martin’s Griffin, 1981, 1996

                                  --  Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of                             Consciousness (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996,1998:129)


Xenophon, Memorabilia