Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE TIMES




It is the end of 2013.  I am 59-years old and living in America, in a state called Maryland.  The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., was carved out of Maryland and it overlooks the Potomac River.  Annapolis, the Maryland state capital, sits on the Chesapeake Bay. Further north is the city of Baltimore.  Some years ago I learned that 80% of Marylanders live on 20% of its land.  I don’t know if this still holds true or not.  I live on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in Montgomery County (a modified Piedmont plateau).  Old time Marylanders despise Montgomery County for being an affluent,  tax-hungry base for liberal, corporate Democrats whose socialist Agenda 21 plods on unabated as they sell-out to developers and collectivist interests.  But I am getting ahead of myself…

These times are strange times indeed, especially for a hopelessly alienated outsider like myself.  Still, being an outsider, I am more detached.  Not being beholdin’ to anyone for much of anything – nor lusting after the things that oppress me – gives me, I believe, a more objective view of things.  My purpose in writing this contemporary account is to provide a history for those who come after me who look back on these strange times trying to make some sense of them.  Good luck; they barely make any sense at all.

This is a time of confusion.  I was so confused that it took me 52 years to finally begin to understand what was going on, i.e., that I began to “see through the world.”  It wasn’t until 2006 that I actively sought to transcend the consensual reality and culture trance conditioning that was induced in me by the mind control of our unseen handlers.  Describing these handler-controllers and their insidious processes is key to truly groking the absurdity and the debased nature of this current age.  How and why I come to this conclusion will presently become clear to you, oh reader.

Generally, there are seven main cartels that seek to position themselves at the top of the control hierarchy.  These are the government, military, intelligence agencies, energy, money, media and medical cartels.  To this we could readily add the cartels of “religion” and “hi-tech.”  There are, in fact, other cartels (and sub-cartels).  All seek to control the individual via their wealth and power; each is highly compartmentalized with each compartment knowing only what is necessary to accomplish its particular part of that cartel’s overall mission.  Only those in the upper echelons know the secret, inner workings of each cartel and how a specific cartel inter-relates with other cartels.  The great mass of humanity outside of these cartels believes in some scaled-down version of reality in which a job becomes a career becomes a family, which leads to endless toiling away to make ends meet (with no inclination or time to ponder in wonderment and to otherwise try to figure out the game within which they are firmly embedded).  Most people know nothing of any greater plan that ceaselessly operates in their lives.  Almost none know the inner workings of that Great Deception and how they are thoroughly manipulated to remain enslaved while thinking themselves free.  That is the irony that persists in spite of suspicions – and even evidence – to the contrary.  Even those outside of the minion workforce remain oblivious to their actual condition.  All of these poor, unaware and unwitting fools have been labeled “useless eaters.”

During my own lifetime the population of the planet has more than doubled – from three billion to well over six billion people.  This overpopulation has alarmed elitist planners.  This has led them into devising a covert eugenics program.  The population must be culled, while maintaining enough manpower to keep the system running.  The mechanisms by which they implement their culling process are multi-pronged.  Dentists are (unwittingly) trained to do procedures such as root canals that lead to oral pathology – the neurotoxins from dead root canal teeth in the jaws of unsuspecting patients leech into their bodies and cause all sorts of degenerative diseases (cancers, cardiovascular and neurological impairments).  Not only are dentists mistrained, doctors are too.  Originally set up by the Rockefeller interests, medicine is rooted in sham education.  Hidden is the truth about food-as-medicine.  Instead what is encouraged is the consumption of synthetic “foods” that are in fact stripped of their life-sustaining nutrients via food processing and genetic engineering while made to “taste good.”  All of this impairs the immune system's ability to ward off degenerative diseases.  Then the population is guided into accepting the medical cartel’s pharmaceutical antidotes.  Add to this the poison vaccines that are mandated and “flu shots” that are widely advocated and the radiation making its way around the world from Fukushima, and you have a population whose immune systems  are unable to cope with this debilitating onslaught as they age.  Allopathic “medicines” alleviate symptoms but allow the eugenic program to quietly continue its culling of the human herd. 

The media accounts for probably 90% of the mind control that keeps people on their treadmills of ignorance. The broadcasting techniques of media, of course, are integral to the functioning of the medical cartel.  Witness all of the pharmaceutical ads on TV, for example.  

Governments work in tandem with the banksters of fiat money and fractional reserve banking.  Governments extract taxes from wages and incomes, sales and inflation.  Banksters squeeze the financial life out of a wage slave populace that is too beaten down to resist.  When banks fail, governments prop up these banksters.  It is business as usual, stealing from the people in an agenda that is becoming more and more socialized and fascist as government melds with financial corporate interests.

An ongoing war economy helps keep the system functioning.  Military adventurism abroad, in the name of democracy and national security, appeals to the national pride of the citizenry and to (a false) patriotism.  Using the terrorist boogie man, people are put in fear; from time to time false flag operations are devised and stage-managed by the intelligence agencies. 

Mainstream media does its part by disseminating its disinformation about government, money, and military, while discretely avoiding any solid investigation or reporting into the nefarious workings of intelligence agencies.

Energy companies are hooked on combustibles that pollute, while suppressing clean new technologies beyond solar and wind, such as zero-point energy or fusion or other Tesla-like technologies. Why?  Why indeed.  It’s all a part of the plan to oppress and control – science be damned!  Politics has eclipsed real science.  For the most egregious example of this look at the man-made climate change hoax in which bad science has been enlisted to ultimately establish a carbon-tax.  Whether it is time to do away with industry or not, creating irrational controls and a carbon “pollution” tax is touted as the way forward.  

Rest assured that media will disinform us, as usual, for the purpose of preserving business as usual.  Mainstream media is nothing but propaganda and mind control.  Even the internet has been infiltrated by “trolls” who spread lies and confusion on any topic that could conceivably threaten the interests of the cartels. News is nothing but public relations.  It furthers the social engineering of the populace into accepting, for example, the 1960s Aquarian Conspiracy, and now, acceptance of the homosexual agenda of marriage and other “rights” for sodomites.

America was long thought to be the grand experiment in representative democracy based upon We the People being the true sovereign.  But for government, everything has become a kind of black ops, reduced to centralizing and controlling.  The technology possessed by government/military black ops programs is perhaps 60 years ahead of the currently-known technology.  And so the communications of all people are spied upon, collected, catalogued.  Drones are used to spy and to kill.  Those individuals who still believe in personal liberty and speak the truth are ignored, marginalized, hounded, or terminated. Disarming the people via “gun control,” following staged mass-shooting atrocities, is part of the dismantling of America and its Constitution.  Money has been at odds with its constitutional definition since the Federal Reserve cabal snuck into existence in the early 20th Century and subverted it.  Elections, voting and campaigns are rigged and stage-managed, long corrupted by the money of “special interest” lobbyists owned by elites.  Politicians and entertainers are carefully choreographed to support the system, as are judges and other regulators.

Human values have been co-opted by commoditization and commercialism.  The real, the authentic has had to give way to the artificial, the synthetic.  Corruption and greed rule during this time.  There is no hope of establishing oneself in any honest career, unless perhaps it is an art or craft in which a person independently creates something of value.  This is terribly sad.  It is a strange and sad time for any person who comes from the heart, who believes in love and goodness, in beauty and truth.  This is a neo-feudal time wherein the new serfs are the uninformed, dissociated and confused majority; their masters are technocrats and transhumanists – secret societies of cold-blooded reptile elites whose souls are dead. 

Those alive today who read this account should not take my words above for the gospel truth.  Instead they should throw away their TVs, do their own research, and come to their own conclusions.  Those reading this many, many years from now, please know how hapless and helpless some of us feel; in this strange time of alienation and separation from ourselves and from each other, we long for real freedom; we long for the life force that is clotted up in the armoring of our bodies to be freed in order to allow for the blossoming of our optimal human potential.  This is far beyond what most can even imagine today.  To get there, to become self-realized during this age of false consciousness, is a Herculean struggle that few attain.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

GRAMMAR POINT: THE MISUSE & PROPER USE OF "THERE'S"




Oh, how the mongrelization of the English language occurs under the very noses of its own native speakers!  

"There's" is the contraction for "there is."  But there's something quite amiss, grammatically, with the contraction "there's" when used to refer to something plural.  It's just plain wrong.  It's bad English, yet it is all-pervasive.  Tune into your radio or TV (at your own risk) or your computer and you will hear media people, and even supposed educated people, making this grammatical error.

"There's lots of things wrong..."
"There's many people who...."
"There's three groups that..."

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.  Why aren't people contracting "there are" to "there're" when referring to more than one something or other?  Even though it's an acceptable contraction, perhaps "there're" is too growly to say.  If so, then don't make the contraction at all; say it correctly this way:

"There are lots of things wrong..."
"There are many people who...."
"There are three groups that..."

This is one time in the English language when a speaker must think ahead and look to the number of items being referred to in order to determine whether to use "there is" (there's, for something singular) or "there are" (there're, for something plural). Still, for reasons that completely baffle me, this one grammar error has become ubiquitous.  As is very likely the concern of other grammar sticklers, it worries me that it will come to be accepted as a correct alternative simply because so many people are making the error.

Horrific, really.  It grates on the ear -- as bad as hearing someone say "eck setra" instead of the proper Latin, "et cetera" ("and / other things").


Friday, September 13, 2013

THE UNDERCOVER CHAUFFEUR



Dropping out of the rat race to practice the menial art of chauffeuring held certain dangers for this wildly over-qualified perennial outsider.  I had been licensed to practice law for over twenty years but have always approached the practice of law tentatively.  Yes, I was a reluctant lawyer whose first stint was as a U.S. Army JAG officer.  I have even half-heartedly posed briefly as a journalist and, for a number of years, as an English professor.  Eventually I went off the rails to earn a Ph.D. in Humanities. (This led to nowhere in particular.)  In an effort to earn a respectable living I had tried representing homeowners who were in foreclosure.  However, a quick study of the scurrilous world of mortgage banking, securitization, and its judicial enablers only intensified my cynicism toward The System – I shrank away from that pantomime in short order.  

And so, in my semi-retirement from a string of cul-de-sac semi-careers, I wondered whether a simple job that would permit up-front and personal access to the rich and powerful might be an interesting adventure.  Like a “spy in the house of love” I would in fact be a mole on a “mission from God.”  Yes, I am a veteran bluesman too – a piano player and singer – who thought he might round-out his monthly nut this way while covertly observing VIPS and CEOs and other Big Men (and Women) On Campus around the Washington, D.C. area.  “Who knows?” thought I at the outset – “maybe I could keep a journal and write about my exploits as a self-appointed undercover chauffeur.”  After all, I write too – how else is an outsider who never fits in supposed to fill his creative loafing time between gigs? 

In the early Spring I would find my chauffeur job on Craig’s List.  They advertised the job as being worth $35K-$55K a year.  I soon attended training with two other candidates.  The company billed themselves as the “second largest livery company in Virginia” and as they explained how much I’d be making, I began to understand my real net worth (the numbers did not add up – not even close).  But I said nothing.  I was looking forward to driving.  We were told that people take limos for one primary reason: they want an “emotional experience.”  In order to help provide that, it sounded like the chauffeur needed to be knee-deep in the drama; had to learn to play his part flawlessly.  It meant showing the utmost deference and courtesy, to stay mum unless spoken to, to hold one’s opinions (especially about politics and other dangerous topics).  There was only a brief meet-and-greet intro, pleasantries, and a confirmation of the drop-off location and estimated time to arrive there.

The two other drivers that I started with didn’t work out, and before long I was the sole driver located in the DC metro area.  Mostly, this company serviced exotic backwater areas like Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Virginia Beach – places like that.  I love to drive, and I expected that driving a Lincoln Town Car would be almost as much fun as cruising along in my old ’69 Cadillac Coupe deVille.  So I jumped in with both feet; I donned my black suit with black tie and white shirt and began to drive.  

For my very first trip the dispatcher sent me to the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown.  I staged myself nearby and was there much earlier than necessary, but I was nervous and was anxious that nothing should go amiss.  I waited and waited, way past the pick-up time – no passenger.  I contacted the dispatcher and reported the status.  Finally it was determined that they had somehow confused the Ritz Carlton with the Four Seasons.  So off I went.  I hopped like a bunny over there, just a few blocks away, and my very first passenger was soon ensconced in the back seat.  She was a tall, young, beautiful woman going back home to Florida, and traveling light.  One of the first things she said was something I (unfortunately) never heard from any of my other passengers – “Whenever I get in a car I have to have music.”  So I fiddled with the pre-sets on the radio and did my best to tune-in something pleasing to her on the programmed dial.  We cruised down M Street and headed across Key Bridge toward the drop off location, Reagan National Airport.  She didn’t seem like a business type (as most of my passengers would be).  Candidly, I wondered whether she might be a high-end call girl.  With the novelty, the music, the pheromones – the emotional experience was mutual.  As I bid her goodbye I thought to myself that this chauffeuring could be a lot of fun.

But it turned out that my first passenger was the exception.  Most of my passengers would get in, exchange some rote words of greeting and immediately get on their electronic devices.  Often trips would be from Dulles or National Airport to a hotel, or from a hotel to an office building, or the reverse.  There were indeed CEOs, usually designated on the trip sheet as “VIPs.”  These were usually busy, self-absorbed prima donnas who were deep into their roles as business executives, exhibiting that tunnel vision that comes with “closing the deal,” being always on-the-go, pressed for time and stressed by the expectations of others. The chauffeur was simply the functionary whose job it was to seamlessly get them from place-to-place.  The driving had to be an elegant and methodical kind of motion with smooth even starts and slow even stops.  We were told never to exceed the speed limit and to always scrupulously observe the rules of the road.  Each driver was required to furnish his own GPS. (I wondered how chauffeurs coped prior to the invention of these ingenious devices.)  We were taught to keep the vehicle spotless, inside and out; to always open the door for the passenger(s); and to notate the time we were on site for the pick-up, when the passenger was on board, and when the passenger exited or was released from the limo at the drop-off location. 

And so, prior to each trip it was necessary to print out the trip sheet.  Afterwards it was necessary to scan that same sheet and then attach it to an email back to the company.  I was allowed to keep the sedan at my home because I was so far from the nearest company depot.  All chauffeurs had a gas card good at any gas station (except BP), but they had a fleet account with an any-time self-serve gas station called Quarles that gave the company a discount on the fuel.  Consequently, the company preferred us to make a practice of gassing up at Quarles.  I earned $7.50/hr. (that included time from and back to my home) and a 15% gratuity built into the contract price, plus any cash tips (infrequent) and $10/hr. for any overhead labor such as trading out vehicles or maintaining them, etc.  

I would estimate that perhaps 85% of my trips were through what are known as “affiliates,” i.e., other limo companies, usually out-of-state, who farmed out work to my company.  If a cash tip was offered, we were required to inform the passenger that a 15% gratuity was already included in the pricing; this was mostly designed to allay any shock that an affiliate might suffer from learning that its clients were being unfairly gouged for our services.  Over ten, bi-weekly pay periods I averaged just over $900 per paycheck, or about $450/wk.  Cash tips were negligible.  Let’s see, at that rate the annual income would be around $23K, far short of the $35K minimum advertised.  Oh well, I wasn’t in it for the money, per se, but rather for the experience, the adventure, the thrill of being a homespun spy who was “not of the body,” viz., alienated from the status quo. 

Actually, I didn’t pick up any stock tips or privileged company info or saucy gossip.  Not really.  After a while I was kind of disinterested.  Still, it was sometimes a challenge to keep my mouth shut.  I am not a natural talker and was often content to just roll on silently to each destination.  But if engaged on a topic that interested me I could indulge in a bit of conversation.  It’s a delicate matter.  Most passengers could care less what a chauffeur thinks and they politely ignored me.  This is completely understandable and I have no expectations that anything I say, if I say anything at all, will be of much interest.  However, occasionally there was a passenger with some semblance of humanity and seeming interest in what I thought or what I had to say.  This, then, was the danger zone.

The problem comes in trying to exercise your best judgment as to the nature and sensitivities of the passenger.  There is one breed of passenger that seems to take delight in complaining about all service personnel; a neurotic, mean-spirited individual that will use whatever you say or do (or don’t say and don’t do) and embellish it with all sorts of lies and innuendo. Thankfully there were only a few like this.  But it only takes a few to damage your professional standing and credibility.  These few had the desired effect and the company and affiliates would eventually become wary of this undercover chauffeur.

In over five months I never missed a deadline for a pick-up.  But one morning I was late.  It was due to an early morning family emergency.  I should have left 15 or 30 minutes earlier than I did, especially on this day.  There were six accidents on the beltway, rendering this faster route impassible.  So I had to work my way across town.  I texted my CEO/VIP passenger that I was running late and texted him updates.  The dispatcher was calling me every five minutes, adding to my stress.  My supervisor called to yell at me, as if that would get me to my pick-up location any faster.  I finally arrived almost a half hour late.  My passenger was not disturbed and was quite forgiving.  But this interlude ended in my abrupt termination.  I applied for unemployment benefits the next day.

Looking back, I had an opportunity to drive some notable passengers:  e.g., James Schlesinger (former CIA and Defense Dept. head in the ‘70s), Dave Power of J.D. Power & Associates (a kindly and knowledgeable gentleman), and an Iraqi advisor to the Pentagon, Dr. Mow Baker.  Mostly, my driving enabled players in The System to get around.  The best trips were multiple stop trips that took a whole day or many days.  Once I was needed at 7:30 AM at a remote dock in Roanoke to pick up a tug boat engineer whose ultimate destination was Tangier Island.  He was a congenial and personable passenger.  After crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel to the Eastern Shore, I dropped him at Onancock where he picked up his ferry. Then I proceeded all the way up the Shore and across the Bay Bridge and home again – a 500-mile trip that was accomplished before noon,   

I appreciated the other chauffeurs, mostly locals from around central Virginia.  They were friendly, salt-of-the-earth characters.  My supervisor too, for all his occasional angry tirades, was a good man with a tough job.  All-in-all I enjoyed the challenges of working as a chauffeur.  The art of chauffeuring – properly – is generally unappreciated or misunderstood.  There are nuances that are lost on the less diligent.  However, I admonish all would-be aspirants to this often thankless job to always keep it simple; if you have more than one brain cell left, trying to cope in this often stuck-up milieu can be frustrating, even irritating.  And if you are a multi-track career virtuoso and confirmed outsider with an ulterior motive like me, beware – you need to adhere to the requirement of muteness in the encounter with another human being and forget who you are and what you know.  Just drive well, be on time and be nice or you’ll soon be suspect and get tossed out on your big behind.  I suspect how I ended up had more to do with who I am rather than what I did or didn’t do on that final, fateful day.

I doubt I will stay in this game; driving for many hours every day is hard on the body, especially the lower back; it can also be hard on the self-esteem.  However, I do need to find some simple, paying task that I can putter around with in my golden years.  It’s good to stay active.  These days, UBER offers a new platform for urban transport, making limos available to the masses.  Young credit card-carrying e-hipsters use this service a lot.  True, it democratizes limo use, but it somehow trivializes the professional chauffeur in the process.

In the final analysis, what did this undercover chauffeur learn?  I suppose I learned that it is not always so easy to be an anonymous cog in the wheels of the Matrix.  At times it can be morally draining.  Better to get with some enterprise that is more contributive to the general welfare of humanity, instead of serving the worn out players in a System that is bankrupt and ultimately doomed.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of profit in truth-telling or in businesses organized by truth-tellers in this phony baloney world.  But I guess I’ll keep searching for one and see if I can fit in, in spite of myself.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

LIVING THE HEURISTIC METHODOLOGY: TOWARD A FLUID SELF-IDENTITY AND INTEGRAL MIND-SET






(NOTE: This exercise in blatant self-disclosure was written in April/May 2000 for a course called Humanities Research Colloquium, undertaken near the end of my doctoral studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).  The instructor, Bahman Shirazi, Ph.D., was also the chair of my doctoral committee.) 

 Intro: Compassionate Languaging

Certain complex words that we need to “grok”[1] for purposes of this paper beg for simplicity.  Consider the following: “heuristic” (self-experiencing), “hermeneutics” (meaning-making), “epistemology” (the nature of knowledge), “ontology” (the nature of reality or being), “phenomena” (the pre-interpretive experiencing of things as they appear), “phylogeny” (evolutionary development), “morphogenic” (subtle meta-energies), “tacit knowing,” (a connecting-up, revelatory knowing), “presentiate” (make present), and “integral” (gestalt being).  There could be richer, fuller definitions of these words.  In fact, as this paper proceeds so might the meanings of these definitions swell in our understanding from their contextual embeddedness.

Just as “[l]anguage is a cage,”[2] so the world is our prison-house.  Described also as an island[3] or a cave,[4] the sphere of human drama revolves around eternally cycling patterns of action and reflection.  Consider living cells, our roundish heads, “social circles,” the routine of daily, seasonal and physiological cycles occurring in endless, open, inter-related loops on a planetary orb.  Thus has humanity seen fit to dub the circle as sacred, mysterious.  And when dimensional layers, such as morphogenic fields (manifesting, e.g., as “auras”) combine with cosmological resonances emanating from a rhythmically pulsing universe (manifesting, e.g., as the “aurora borealis”), circles become spheres become phenomena infused with subtle energies that can escape the empirical grasp yet may also leave “psychic imprints” on our intuition, stimulating our tacit knowing.  

The above rumination has just used language to describe an ontology of the human condition; it has risked the creation of a languaging cage in order to connect readers to the writer’s heuristic hermeneutics.  As one ontological conception among many possibilities, the resulting epistemology might be packaged and dogmatized and used as the basis for a new scientific discipline or methodology, or sacralized as a religion.  And if our cultural human phylogeny has demonstrated anything it is the human tendency to reduce sets of ideas to a static doctrine and sector this off from the systemic, holistic embeddedness and integral being and becoming of those ideas.  That is, a form of idolatry takes place whenever the message and the messenger are institutionalized and effectively worshipped, as the institution becomes further estranged from the essence of both.  Enter the cage.

But instead of a cage, this prison-house world can become a research tool for rediscovering the abundance of the fabulous; through the “shamanic trace” left in ancient mounds,[5] in pre-historic petroglyphic symbols and arrangements of ancient stone monoliths we might discern the same wish of humanity to preserve for successive generations, a representation of some enigmatic Truth.  It is this same tacit drive of humanity toward discovering the esoteric that urges us to study the art, architecture and the linguistic clues left in the literature of classical antiquity and subsequent civilizations.  Likewise, I believe that a tacit knowing is guiding the creation of this paper.  Yet language remains as the great interlocutor for human (mis)interpretation and (mis)understanding.  Language is the hermeneutic tool used, whether in printed or spoken form, to presentiate in modern parlance phenomena that have always manifested across time and space while “immanently transcending” both.  The challenge of reading and hearing language is how to constantly remind ourselves of its representative nature.  And with constancy we might not then fall into the profane abyss of concretizing, literalizing and making fundamentalist idols through languaging.  Language, as interlocutor, holds the keys to the cage: keys that can keep us there or free us from it.  Those keys can jangle for eternity in our own pockets as we pace the floor of our prison-house world in blind, self-righteous, closed-loop contentment. 

As a dualist image, even the foregoing language can be dangerous in that it may preserve the spatio-temporal illusion of a recurring, phylogenic “inside” ignorance and an “outside” enlightenment that we can ontogenetically[6] recreate through contemplating such metaphoric bifurcations as cages/ caves/ islands, versus freedom/ light or unboundedness.  Let us consider these to be polar complements rather than opposing dualities.  Concepts constructed through such imagery, as with all stories and parables, are needed for human comprehension.  But images, like the words that formed them, possess many levels of meaning, and neither should be mistaken for actual “experience.”[7]  This is the thrust of what I hope to convey in this foray into heuristic research.  Hence, it is by experiencing this written piece that the readers’ own experiential perceptions are gleaned and gathered and re-represented.  As a writer I hope to disclose my own experience in a way that has integrated life’s perceptions so that when shared in this way the reader is left with a feeling that he or she is not alone,[8] that I am connecting to some universal human experience with infinitely diverse contextual manifestations.  To succeed at connecting with the reader, the language, besides containing enough “imagistic anchors” for human comprehension, must strive toward compassionate communication.  It must come from a place of caring dialogue, not an ego-driven, didactic monologue of impenetrably turgid and pedantic prose.  The job of the writer is to artfully craft thoughts into words, into thoughtfully communicative self-disclosure.  That is, it is “the act of making yourself manifest, showing yourself so that others can perceive you…disclosing the self as a way to facilitating disclosure from others.”[9]  And in heuristic methodology, the self is so inextricably bound up with the investigation one might say the self is the “Petri dish” for the research, which in turn is an organic part of a contextualized and situated, uncertain self.  The integration process is prompted by dialogically communicative writing (or speaking-to) wherein the question and response are internalized, as in self-dialogue; the difference is only that the “self of other” steps into the shoes of the “self’s self.”  Yet how much “other” is the writer for the reader when it is the reader who is silently reading along, making the meaning (through his or her own experience) while experiencing the text?        

Heuristic Research Methodology

 Doing research is to do “a disciplined, rigorous, systematic investigation.”  And methodology means “a plan for obtaining knowledge and understanding phenomena.”  Using a heuristic research methodology is to follow a process of internal search involving self-dialogue with a phenomenon during which self-awareness and self-knowledge grow along with the nature and meaning of presentiating the overall experience.

Clark Moustakas, in his seminal work, Heuristic Research: Design, Methodology, Application,[10] sets forth the appropriate framework:
  • Initial Engagement: discovering a passionate question that begs to be researched; requires an inward reaching for tacit knowledge;
  • Immersion: once defined, the researcher “lives the question in waking, sleeping, and even dream states”;
  • Incubation: retreating from intense focus and allowing answers to develop on their own accord;
  • Illumination: a breakthrough of qualities and themes inherent in the question into conscious awareness that adds new dimensions, corrects distorted understandings or discloses hidden meanings, e.g., new awareness, a modification of an old understanding, synthesis of fragmented knowledge or a novel discovery;
  • Explication: the researcher sets out the meaning of the phenomenon in question; attends to one’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and judgments, while also being in conversation with others toward a “comprehensive depiction of dominant themes”;
  • Creative Synthesis: achieved through intuitive and tacit powers; involves synthesizing the core themes into narrative and perhaps other creative depictions.[11]      


Concepts used within this framework of heuristic research are:

Self-dialogue
(akin to Jung’s active imagination process),
Tacit Knowing (revelations from an interplay of subsidiary and focal perceptual elements comprising the whole of a phenomenon; underlying all other concepts in heuristic research)
Intuition (“a kind of bridge…formed between the implicit knowledge inherent in the tacit and the explicit knowledge that is observable and describable...In intuition, from the subsidiary or observable factors one utilizes and internal capacity to make inferences and arrive at a knowledge of underlying structures and dynamics…Intuition makes possible the perceiving of things as wholes.”[12]
Indwelling (turning inward to seek a deeper understanding; crucial for elucidating the parameters and details of the experience)
Focusing (an inner attention or staying with in a sustained process of systematically contacting the more central meaning of an experience to reveal the core constituent themes of an experience)
Internal Frame of Reference (the worldview or meaning perspective through which the researcher derives knowledge, whether it is attained through tacit, intuitive or observed phenomena)[13]

With all of this theory in mind, I thought I might engage in the process.  I am doing so with a great sense of excitement because I think that, in a loose way, the heuristic approach toward integration has been the guiding modus operandi that I had long ago stumbled upon by myself and have followed throughout my life -- I just never had a name for it.  In an intuitive way I have struggled to “just do” stuff, become immersed in it and then tried to “make sense of” it as I went along.

The Question: My Dissertation Proposal

What has precipitated a quandary for me is my current need to develop a dissertation proposal.  And what I wish to research and write about in this paper is the “big question” that seems to underlie all of my writings to date.  Maybe I could title my dissertation, "A Life of Heuristic Non-Integration Seeking Integration."  In this respect, my naturo-heuristic way has engaged in a number of different ways on a number of different questions or issues:
* lusting after the very things that oppress us  
* the CIIS experience  
* the art of writing that contextualizes the writer, is experiential and laden with both abstract concepts and imagistic prose  
* the "failing to establish one, defined career identity" phenomenon  
* making room for "the abnormative and abnormative thinking" as another accommodation to diversity  
* collaborative learning and challenging the paradoxes of organizations and group life  
* the world as peopled by a race of dissociatives: the pathos of a consensual reality that is reinforced through culture trance  
* self-knowledge/ self-realization/ enlightenment: (by whatever name) the prerequisite preparing-of-oneself for penetrating, doing compassionate battle with and transforming elites  
* seeking trans-integration: the evolution of structures of mind and the development of self within the dominant Western paradigm  
* seeking integration through alternative realities:
  1) the way of nature and the aboriginal animist
  2) meditational contemplative paths
  3) kundalini
  4) psychedelics and holotropic breathwork  
* the co-evolution of mental consciousness and the Western legal tradition: symbiotic stimuli toward the mental rational  
* healing the Western legal tradition by application of non-traditional law school curricula that introduces structures of mind and transpersonal theory  
* founding DA (Dissociatives Anonymous): a global organization modeled on AA wherein each begins by the admission, "My name is ___ and I am a dissociative!"  
* the heuristic research methodology: toward an integral mind-set  
* a comparative study of Ken Wilber's structuralism and Edgar Morin's systemicism: two stylistic conceptions of context, situatedness and uncertainty  
* blues and the life of a bluesman: improvising on the scruffiness of simplicity in the key of authenticity  
* "the gadfly in a jar of molasses" phenomenon: provocation toward critical thinking as both prompt to others and self-immolation  
* how to organize a pile of writings from a pile of old shit into a pile of hot Ph.D. poop, and thence into a best-selling, transitional, climactic or formative text (W.I. Thompson's Coming Into Being[14] referents for seminal works) by Jonathan Goose
_________________  
In looking these over, how wonderful it would be to determine the overriding theme here and make these chapters in my dissertation, a kind of "life odyssey memorialized."   In other words, my question of overwhelming concern is:  What is the big underlying question of my life that has been struggling to come out of my studies and writings?

In looking over the above extrapolations, I might conclude that I am back again at the same old question: "in what context can I heuristically do my dissertation topic?"  The answer to that is a generalist, gestalt-ish, big picture-ism “I'd-like-to-write-about-my-life's-odyssey-as-being-a-tackling-of-self-identity-through-transformation-in-each-of-the-above-contexts.”  That was my meaning in the preceding paragraphs (in case anyone missed it). 

Just as a professional sax player (and math teacher) at CIIS, Ph.D. candidate Louis Jordan, writes about improvisation being a reaction to his environment, manifesting mostly (but by no means only) in his music -- my improvisation too is spread out over a life.  My improvisation is one of trying different lines of work and other involvements, such as my piano playing or my gadfly style or certain trains of thought I sit with and work with over long periods of time.  It is no different really than what I see Louis having done in his dissertation.  He calls it improvisation; I call it "transformation-through-informed immersion" in which experiential engagement with one’s socio-cultural ecology is inescapable.

As I think back on my own experiences, I began wondering recently what kind of methodology legal research is.  You start with legal and factual issues, a few of them.  You think about them from many different angles.  You consider the law.  The law comes from many sources, e.g., statutes and regulations, common law, case precedent.  The law you find in your researching of the texts can be in a few different forms.  It can be on-point and controlling case law; non-controlling analogous law that may or may not be on-point; public policy, etc.  You then, in effect, follow the heuristic method: initial engagement, immersion, incubation, illumination, explication and finally, creative synthesis.  One could say that a seasoned, improvising jazz musician follows this path in less than a heartbeat.  A lawyer does too -- in much more than a heartbeat (and often with little or no heart) -- when researching and preparing a case.

In law school we are trained to approach things this way:  What are the facts? What are the issues? What is the law? Give your analysis and show how the facts are in accord with the prevailing law. If not, show how your set of facts and/or issues can be distinguished so that the adverse party's contention about the controlling law does not apply. 

When making your case, you creatively assemble things toward a desired outcome.  Granted, having and working toward a desired outcome is not in accord with heuristic methodology.  Yet legal research would be in accord from the standpoint of passionately wishing to answer a question of great concern.  The assemblage of a lawyer’s case comes from, in effect, reconstructing many historical moments -- framers of statutes collaboratively engaged with one another to draft a law; or, in case law, each similar case has its own story by way of facts and interpretive analysis that attach to it.  The case law method is one of a threaded history through which the law evolves.  It's a kind of written oral history.  It can also be a creative synthesis of "neither nor," i.e., of the party's stances being "polar complementarities," so that one can introduce a “case of first impression” (limited only by the many imaginative ways the lawyer tries to assemble it in that way, without being too flaky so the judge can stay with him or her in the analysis).

So I can see legal research as a kind of heuristic research methodology.  I also see my natural way in life as heuristically oriented (in a much less "formal" structure of course).  I grab hold of an idea or make a choice, stay with it until some light bulb goes off; I talk it over with others; I write about it; and eventually I synthesize my special meaning and integrate that into my meaning perspective, always trying to see how some new discovery has its interrelated place in my evolving continuum of knowledge.

In this regard, I believe that I always tended to “integrate-without-integrating” by: refusing to specialize into one, defined career; focusing on the "lusting after the things that oppress us" notion; my experiencing of CIIS; internalizing collaborative/ transformative learning and the paradoxes of group life, my abnormativity, and my music and writing reflecting this.  Each of the strings I have followed during my doctoral work shows this -- HOT/CAST how-groups-learn and grow stuff; dissociation; structures of mind and the evolution of consciousness; the indigenous and a new universe story; the many paths toward integration; the legal tradition: transforming it/ its relation to the mental/rational and the humanities; community-engaged spirituality...and so on.

The context is my whole life, but especially over the past dozen years or so.  My point here is that if, in fact, I have had a lifetime of effectively working in the heuristic mode, I might have the kind of facility with it that a jazz musician has when improvising.  So, in trying to develop a dissertation proposal, I might be able to heuristically bring something to fruition more quickly than is the norm for the neophyte using this methodology.

As a dissertation proposal, how does this sound?: "maintaining a fluid self-identity by way of a ceaseless transforming of one's life through informed immersion."  The CONTEXT is each of the above extrapolations, SITUATED in an UNCERTAIN life.  

Each of the terms above must be “unpacked.”   What is “self-identity” and how does one distinguish a “fluid” self-identity from a “static” one?  What is this phenomenon of “transformation”?  Is it really a “ceaseless” process?  How so?  Why?  What is “informed immersion”?  Immersion into what?  How does one immerse oneself into something?    

Heuristic research tells us that we immerse ourselves in our question, living it in waking, sleeping and dream states.  To be informed is to be able to access ontological states through the consciousness of the age (the mental/rational) and our other ways of knowing, and then to be able to somehow articulate them.  So “informed immersion” can be roughly construed as “holistically engendering experience.”  It has always been my contention that such informed immersion is the bedrock upon which successive layers of the self are discovered.  The congealing of the self into a “self-identity” should ideally never be completed.  Rather, it should be thought of as a “completing” project.  In this way it is a “ceaseless” process.  And this ceaseless process is one of attaining an ever-deepening and expanding discovery of reality; it is a gradual awareness of a confluence of the “inner” world and the “outer” world, self and other, subjective and objective.  The steps along the way of such a process can be thought of as “transformations.”  Each new discovery – which in the heuristic approach is really a “rediscovery” – is an illumination.  With each new illumination, we are able to move closer to a syncretized, dynamic ontological state (known as self-knowledge, self-realization or enlightenment) that is intuited through self-dialogue and the tacit knowing dance between the subsidiary and focal perceptual elements.  The epistemology here can be described as an expanding open-ended collage of self-identity through exploration of direct experience.  It is an ever-developing, immanent gnosis that ascends in the form of everyday love.  It is an emergent manifestation of spirituality, age-old but contemporary, at once paradoxical and balanced, absurd and beautiful.  And one immerses oneself into every action and non-actionized subtler state of mind by forever yearning, by hard work that uses some discipline or injunction, by constancy in observing and being sensitive to one’s self and all that enters one’s self, by a tenacious, persevering and loving fortitude, by exercising courage and taking risks, by failing yet realizing that “the sun also rises” and starting over if need be, and by just trying to do your best while always knowing you can do better.  Maybe, then, we can try to “live and practice therapy” in our everyday lives, always remembering to Be Not Content.[15]

Periodic Cycles of Incubation/Illumination Starting in the 1970s

Following a pattern of recreational inebriant use that began in the late 60s when I was a junior in high school in 1971, I experienced a paranoid-psychotic break from culture trance-induced consensual reality.  In common parlance, I had a nervous breakdown.  I had been trying to escape a half-baked, dissociative, adolescent, angst-ridden self in the midst of the transitional societal malaise of that historical time.  Within a family that had no capacity to understand me, and not having access to anyone else who seemed capable of understanding me, I was adrift in a scary awareness I could not comprehend.  During this time my mother had started to exhibit symptoms of her Alzheimer’s disease (that was to finally claim her in 1982) and my family was undergoing a problematic adaptation to this break in the family structure.  What I had experienced in my inebriation and resulting mental impairment was a world of new, esoteric realities that were infused with wonder, enchantment, mystery, exploration, strange ecstasies.  Compared to the LBJ/Nixonian consensual reality of the time it was far richer, insightful and meaningful than that “straight” world.  But I could not function as I was expected to function.  It was a disorienting dilemma,[16] which is an expression meaning “a trigger to self-examination.”  In 1971 my family convinced me to check into a hospital psych ward.            

Between 1971 and 1977 there would be four more breaks, three of which I spent as an in-patient for an average three-week period of “recovery.”  This included a break in 1976 while being an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy.  They insisted that I spend time in “observation” while they processed my honorable discharge for “medical reasons.”  Recovery would consist of being medicated, usually with thorazine or other psychotropic medicaments, as prescribed.  The psych ward activities would include group meetings and various psychotherapies.  I would normally emerge in a sort of vegetative state, bereft of wonder and the enchantment of life previously treasured in my less socially acceptable state.  Each time I managed to piece myself back together somehow and move along in life.

In 1978, on the “ten-year plan” through undergraduate school, I left home for Loyola University in New Orleans.  In early 1979, having abandoned most inebriants except alcohol and before I graduated in 1981, I experienced a recurrence of my prior impairment.  This time I managed to keep it controlled enough so that in-patient “care” was avoided and I got myself back into functional form.  I attribute my self-recovery to three factors: being away from the influence of my family, having a routine study program and enjoying a significant relationship with a caring woman.

This chronic immersion into the abnormative, concurrent with a retreat from an abnormative focus that might be typified as incubation, was closely followed by small illuminative gains.  I came to realizations about the fragility and superficiality of self in a world that seemed to be populated by beings who were in a functionally contented delusion known popularly as “happiness.”  I slogged on.

In 1985, I started law school.  The analytical skills acquired here were balanced by a series of further disorienting dilemmas toward the end of law school in 1988.  I had been clerking in one of the biggest law firms in Baltimore and was engaged to be married to a woman who was attending law school with me, when my life seemed to start meeting with a number of dead ends.  My fianc√© was a hugely successful, type-A personality and I found myself to be inadequate in getting onto law review, publishing a law review article, being retained by my employer as a lawyer, etc.  I also began questioning her love for me and concluded, by way of a number of experiences, that she did not truly love me.  I called off the engagement.  But, although I immediately regretted the decision, for her it was in irretrievable one.  Thus began about two years of a painful re-evaluation and re-adaptation to or reconstructing of my life.

After law school I was accepted by the U.S. Army JAG Corps and began my career as a JAGC officer.  However, in my application I neglected to inform them of having had any previous psychiatric treatment.  I had just completed a course in Psychology and the Law.  The professor was adamant about not revealing any past psychiatric care, as this would arouse deep discriminatory suspicion in any future employer.  This professor was an ex-Navy SEAL.  After my consultation with him, in which I divulged my intention to apply without revealing my mental health history, he affirmed my intended action saying that they would likely “not look behind any prior honorable discharge.”  I had noted my past Navy service on my application, explaining my early release as a “hardship” (which has a technical military definition, but which I meant in a more colloquial sense).

After five months into my service as a JAGC officer assigned to an office in Korea, the U.S. Army investigatory arm, the CID, discovered my past, undisclosed psychiatric history.  This led to a kind of comedy of tragic errors.  I was reassigned from Korea to a Medical Holding Company at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, D.C.  They promptly ordered me into a psych ward for “observation.”   In spite of the fact that, according to an examining psychiatrist at 8th Army, Korea, that I had little or no residual symptoms of my past impairment, I was obliged to undergo “treatment” as part of my course of “observation.”  I quickly retained counsel and he objected to any medication being administered without a finding of some manifest symptomology (of which there was none).   I found myself in a “Catch-22” situation; if I admitted to pathology and accepted some form of treatment, I would be incompetent to serve/ if I refused to admit to some sort of pathology I was “in denial” and incompetent to serve as a result.  In this tenuous position, I still fought them at every turn.  The U.S. Army was preparing a medical board to determine my fitness to serve.  In the meantime, I was discharged and reassigned to the JAG office at WRAMC.  Here I performed my duties in an exemplary manner, even interacting with psych ward personnel in my representative capacity as Army lawyer for other soldiers. 

The medical board process dragged on for seventeen months, during which I was living and working under this cloud of suspicion and indecision.  I paid heavily for my defense, both in terms of money and emotional investment.  Finally, I was due to go before a board of three officers who would determine my fitness based on the medical and factual evidence.  Just before I was due to appear before this board, the Army changed its strategy, opting instead to discharge me administratively, typifying my failure to divulge answers on my application as “misconduct.”  This route allowed me only notice and a chance to submit a rebuttal.  It deprived me of the greater due process I would have had in the medical board proceeding.  Both my counsel and I were outraged.  We mounted a legal defense in which we attempted to obtain a restraining order from the civilian court in Washington, D.C., on the basis that to change the discharge procedure at this point would be to deny me the due process to which I was formerly entitled.  I lost and was discharged forthwith, albeit honorably.

It was after this odyssey, in 1992, that I struck out anew.  I relocated to a “cabin in the woods” 25 miles outside of Santa Fe and 3 miles up a dirt road.  Having endured the travails I encountered while in the Army, I was looking for a new life.  This period was a time of self-exploration during which I re-discovered a spiritual inner tradition.  Without belaboring the point, here I embarked on a quest that began with an Islamic Sufi tradition.  I had proceeded from Islamic Sufism to a more universal interpretation of Sufism to Idries Shah’s books and to an esoteric tradition from Abkhazia in the Caucasus mountains known as Ahmusta Kebzeh preserved by a master of this way named Murat Yagan, who lives in Vancouver, B.C.   The incubative/ illuminative time that I spent on this track eventually led me to the works of Ken Wilber, the publication, ReVision, and finally to beginning a course of study at CIIS in 1998. 

Explication

Since my time at CIIS I have tried to proceed with my self-explorations.  Putting lawyerly ambitions aside, I went overseas in 1995 to teach English.  I first went to Korea and in 1997 to Australia, then Turkey and then on to Saudi Arabia.  I have been continually trying to incorporate the many parts of me.  I got married for the first time in April 1998, relocating again in Korea and eventually relocating back to the states just over a year ago.  Armed with a lifetime of writing, playing the piano, and a series of seemingly unconnected endeavors, I have been trying to gather my disparate self into some manageable and functionally successful whole.  I have taken the analytical skills and writing skills that I honed in law school, and the lessons learned in the military, and have tried to direct them all toward what I have I learned and am learning in life.

Since beginning at CIIS, I have studied and written my papers with a view toward integrating my varied experiences.  In order to do this, I have sought to take my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and judgments and express the phenomena upon which they are based into some sort of “comprehensive depiction of the core or dominant themes...”[17]  This is one step along the way of the heuristic enterprise.

The representation of these efforts can be gleaned from the papers I have written while at CIIS, plus my collected writings put together in a manuscript form entitled Stubby and Grizzly.[18]  I had written those CIIS papers with a view toward integrating them in my final dissertation.  Thus it is that my previous writings remain relevant.

Creative Synthesis

In my dissertation, or at least in my dissertation proposal, I am hoping that who and what I am might emerge from this lifetime odyssey.  It is at the Ph.D. level, after an intense two years of applying myself toward this integration, that I believe there has resulted a synthesis of the big question behind my life’s work:  that the integration of transformative experiences are made explicit through one’s ability to articulate them as a whole.  And while I might be an inconsistent exercising, fat, meditative/chant-a-phobe who is overly attached to his alcohol-caffeine-nicotine-food excesses, still I have a driving sense of developing my own self-knowledge.  My frailties are a part of my overall human condition, dissociative and hopeful, attained and deficient, successful and failed.  Yet I go on and will continue to go on doing my best to feel my way forward, in spite of myself and knowing how little or how much I have accomplished, while taking refuge in the fact of my trying, always trying to be and become more than I am self-informed that I am.

At CIIS I have come to know the value of community life, however distanced I may feel from it.  And over recent years I have come to know a more socialized sense of how to relate to my fellow human beings.  I was born in 1954, and it wasn’t until 1986 (at age 32) that I had my first white collar job as a clerk in a law firm; until then I had always tried to stay out of the mainstream, opting for the life of a blues musician and blue collar roofing mechanic.  With my successive bootstrapping to something new and hopefully more complex, I hope that I have developed myself further and have evolved according to what my maximum potential as a human being might be.  I recall other life forms that compose the bio-sphere of the planet – and indeed, the planet itself! – and recognize the need to identify with all of life, and not to categorize it in a hierarchical way, nor to ignore the seemingly lifeless physio-sphere in our midst.  I acknowledge and accept the techno-modernism of the age and try to grok the contemporary noospheric scene, however overwhelming it can seem.  If I can create some sort of synthesis from all of this, based upon my explication of it, I might consider myself true to the heuristic process to the very end.

Closure-ing

I began this paper with a sensitivity toward all readers.  I want all those who read this paper to understand its contents.  Big words can be as intimidating as language can be confining.  I hope that I succeeded in compassionately relating to the reader while imparting my understanding of the heuristic research methodology and how I believe I unwittingly came to use it.  My stories here are very personal ones which I rarely share.  Through relating them, I have tried to demonstrate that cycles of heuristic knowing through action and reflection tend toward the developing of a fluid self-identity and an integral mind-set.  I am the living exemplar of my process – to know me to any degree is to know the degree of self-knowledge I hope that I embody.  That is, I am the results of my own heuristic inquiries.  Such results cannot be quantified, really.  The results are qualitatively expressed through the modeling of one’s own behavior and example in society.  That, I believe, has enormous repercussions in the world.  By boldly going one’s own way, in loving kindness but without “idiot compassion,” people take note, your presence is felt, an impact is made.  There is absolutely no need for didactic proselytizing of any sort.  But there is a constant calling to humility, to an understanding that we are only the instruments through which an ineffable power, if stimulated and given a chance, might come forth.  Human beings are capable of being gods in the world, or more precisely, of being the vessels from which godliness may shine.   

My motivation in writing about my prior mental health history and Army fiasco were also prompted in part by providing a context for what has situated the uncertain me at CIIS and in the world generally.  It is now, as my course requirements are finished and in this last paper before my dissertation, that I finally feel safe in expressing my problematic background.  After my disorienting dilemmas I am still somewhat cautious about revealing them to others.  I still feel that if these facts of my life are known, even the supposedly more open-minded students and faculty at CIIS might discriminate against me for my “documented” abnormative approach of perceiving, processing and dealing with myself and others and the world.  Unless one has felt the feeling of people fearing you or has heard derogatory comments aimed at your mental framework that cut one to the core and overwhelming marginalize, there is no way to express how demoralizing it can be.  One who has not been there can only imagine what it might be like to be a Frankenstein.  Thus it is that I have come to empathize with all other marginalized persons who are victimized by those who unconsciously and unthinkingly subscribe to the dominant “Western” mental/rational paradigm, which is surely a thinly veiled pathology, but one that a great many do not perceive.

Of all the methodologies of which science has conceived, none can really replace a simple loving touch applied to all that we do, as well as that which we refrain from doing.  In this mode, mention must be made of humanist/scientist Paul Feyerabend, whose works Against Method[19] and Conquest of Abundance [20] present themselves as safe havens in a world gone mad in an unholy alliance of materialism, nihilism and relativism, of both the scientific and the spiritual varieties.

It is my hope that in my dissertation I will be able to do a lit review of the bulk of the books on my shelf.  These are the books -- some of which are mentioned herein, some of which remain unread -- that have come into my experience, helping to influence and galvanize it.  If my dissertation proposal becomes “maintaining a fluid self-identity by way of a ceaseless transforming of one's life through informed immersion,” it is the authors of these books who have instigated an initial engagement and prompted a self-dialogue for me.  It is also the students and faculty as co-learners and that cage-of-a-world that have served as a soul-making laboratory wherein we find that we are not alone.  Neither are we alone in our self-experiencing of that world.  Though constrained by language habits of our community that predispose certain choices of interpretation, we still must dare to articulate in order to share, to risk instigating others onward in their voyages of self-discovery.

I would like to conclude with a passage taken from The Soul of the Indian:  An Interpretation [21] by Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa) (1858-1939), one of the best-known educated Indians of his time.  As a physician at the Pine Ridge Agency, Eastman “devoted his life to helping his fellow Indians adapt to the white world while preserving the best of their own culture.”[22]  It is a poetic rendering of what most have forgotten.   
          The worship of the “Great Mystery” was silent, solitary, free from all self-seeking.  It was  silent because all speech is of necessity feeble and imperfect; therefore the souls of my ancestors ascended to God in wordless adoration.  It was solitary, because they believed that He is nearer to us in solitude, and there were no priests authorized to come between a man and his Maker.  None might exhort or confess or in any way meddle with the religious experience of another.  Among us all men were created sons of God and stood erect, as conscious of their divinity.  Our faith may not be formulated in creeds, nor forced upon any who were unwilling to receive it; hence there was no preaching, proselyting, nor persecution, neither were there any scoffers or atheists.
Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)

   There were no temples or shrines among us save those of nature.  Being a natural man, the Indian was intensely poetical.  He would deem it sacrilege to build a house for Him who may be met face to face in the mysterious, shadowy aisles of primeval forest, or on the sunlit bosom of virgin prairies, upon dizzying spires and pinnacles of naked rock, and yonder in the jeweled vault of the night sky!  He who enrobes himself in filmy veils of cloud, there on the rim of the visible world where our Great-Grandfather Sun kindles his evening camp-fire, He who rides upon the rigorous wind of the north, or breathes forth His spirit upon aromatic southern airs, whose war-canoe is launched upon majestic rivers and inland seas – He needs no lesser cathedral!
   That solitary communion with the Unseen which was the highest expression of our religious life is partly described in the word hambeday, literally “mysterious feeling,” which has been variously translated “fasting” and “dreaming.”  It may better be interpreted as “consciousness of the divine.”[23]


[1]  From Robert Heinlen’s, Stranger In A Strange land meaning to deeply grasp something with every fiber of our being.
[2]  Wittgenstein
[3]  Idries Shah, The Sufis
[4]  Plato, The Republic
[5]  Peter Lamborn Wilson, Escape From The Nineteeth Century, The Shamanic Trace, p.72-142, NY:Autonomedia (1998)
[6]  …meaning, “an individual’s (or any organism’s) bio-development” -- not to be confused with “ontological,” the adjectival form of “ontology” defined above as “the nature of reality or being.”
[7]   “[T]here is no substitute for experience, none at all.  All the other paraphernalia of communication and knowledge – words, labels, concepts, symbols, theories, formulas, sciences – all are useful only because people already knew them experientially.” A. Maslow, The Psychology of Science, (New York: Harper & Row, 1966, pp. 45-46)(quoted in Moustakas, infra, p.17)
[8]   “We read to know that we are not alone.”  C.S. Lewis
[9]   Clark Moustakas, Heuristic Research: Design, Methodology, Application Newbury Park, (California), London, New Delhi: Sage Publications (1990) p.17
[10]   Id.
[11]  See Moustakas, pp.27-32
[12]  Id. 23
[13]  See Moustakas, pp.16-27
[14]  New York: St. Martin’s Griffin (1996,1998) pp. 142, 145, 212, 233-235
[15]   The title of a book by William Craddock (1971)
[16]   Jack Mezirow’s term, borrowed from Education For Perspective Transformation: Women’s Re-entry Programs in Community Colleges (New York: Center for Adult Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1975); and, Perspective Transformation, (Studies in Adult Education, 1977, 9 (2), pp. 153-164.)
[17]   Moustakas, 31:1990
[18]   self-published (1996-1999)
[19]  London: Verso (1988)
[20]   Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, Bert Terpstra, ed. (1999) (subtitled:  A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being)
[21]   Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1980 (orig. pub. 1911)
[22]   Id. (From the back cover of the book.)
[23]   Id. 4-6