The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I’m finally beginning to polish some of the rough draft on “Assassin’s Creed.” It’s dreadful, but that’s to be expected at this point, and I have to let my ego yammer at me, and just do the work. Do the work.
Interesting to note that any time we talk about the race/IQ issue on this blog, the stats go through the roof. That’s probably because there is almost nowhere that this issue is discussed pro and con politely, with members of both races represented.

Let me dive just a little deeper into my thought on the matter. When slaves first arrived in America, whites justified slavery by saying blacks were inferior mentally and morally, and slavery was good for everyone. As time passed, the percentage of whites who thought blacks were inferior shrunk, but there was always a core. These days, the percentage of whites who believe blacks are, on the average, inferior is probably smaller than its ever been. And believe me, they’ve been refining their arguments for 400 years. There is always evidence for any position you want to take—and what you accept or reject often says as much about you as it does the universe outside your perceptions.

Let me make it even clearer. To really measure this issue, the measurer would have to be outside it, devoid of cultural filters at the least. I’ve never met such a person, black or white. For me to believe whites are, on the average, smarter would force me to reject all my personal experience, and place me at the mercy of some external authority. And who are these authorities? Virtually 100% of them are composed of the same group who had massive reason to WANT to believe this conclusion: those descended from the slavers, those who believe in reduced government, those who believe in an hierarchical universe with “their” group at the top. (Note the slight-of-hand with “Ashkenazi Jews” being at the top, but, hey, they’re not white, so our research MUST be impartial and devoid of filters…bleh.)

To go even deeper, if I were to accept raw data from tests devised, administered, and interpreted by a sub-set of the group dealing with guilt over the triggering event above my own observations, I would have to do that across the board: my own observations are meaningless in the face of what others say. And you know where that would get me? The exact same mental process that would allow me to think “blacks are on the average less intelligent, and it is genetically based and immutable” would also come up with “whites are on the average less moral and decent, and it is genetically based and immutable.” While we’re at it, it would also conclude that “men are on the average less evolved and humane, and it is genetically based and immutable” and “women are on the average less intelligent and creative, and it is genetically based and immutable.” None of these things are in my mind, none of them match my world view, and you cannot present me with any amount of evidence GATHERED ONLY BY GROUP X that so denigrates group Y. When black scientists announce an IQ difference, when male scientists announce men inferior, or women scientists announce women inferior, I will find this far more interesting…but still unconvincing, unless it matches my own experience.

And in my mind, anyone who thinks differently, who puts the authority of others over their own experience, is a born slave.
I’ve been having fun at Moonview Sanctuary, even more now that I realize that my time with clients can be my own personal training/meditation time. Anything I discuss with others is actually an opportunity to clarify my own thinking. I go over the life triangle (body, career, relationship) and ask for clarity of goals. And I have to ask myself: how clear are my own?

I recognize that these three areas do NOT directly impact the question of “what is true?” or the approach to spirit. But the edge of a sugar cube looks like a square to a two-dimensional mind. In discussing spirit, we are trying to jump “up” one conceptual level, and the mind can’t do it. The mind doesn’t operate in that space without losing its tethers. Here there be dragons. So the “triangle” operates as safety rails as you leap for the divine.

Linking breathing to stress, and strain to dysfunction is another step. If I assume that we have all the resources we need to become whatever it is we are fated or destined to become, then what stops us is strain. This is why the yogic chakras (and Maslow’s Hierarchy) insists that we resolve lower problems before we advance to the next level.
I’ve noticed how frequently great spiritual teachers came from the middle class and higher. If the basic needs are not met, you’re going to spend a gigantic amount of your energy trying to meet them, and probably hold onto the illusion that satisfying them will lead to lasting contentment and happiness. The wealthy are less likely to have that illusion…they already know that having secure food, shelter, etc. doesn’t bring happiness. So they have the motivation and means to dig deeply.

Jed McKenna, whose “Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing” I’ve been enjoying, obviously came from money. Otherwise, his journey would have been even more difficult.
At any rate, we all have stress, and the trick is to keep it from becoming strain. Breathing properly keeps you in the eye of the storm: life is a battle, but you are peaceful within. So using Coach Sonnon’s Flow State Performance Spiral to describe the process, and then Flow Fit to force them to move through all six planes of motion while crossing the Neuro Immuno Endocrine response barrier, I can create a miniature “life stress” in completely controlled space, and allow them to SEE how their breathing interrupts, and how this relates to those pesky voices in their heads—and dysfunctional behavior.

It’s dynamite, and in many ways seems to be the core of the world’s spiritual teachings. Now, then…what else would be necessary to complete the voyage, once a firm foundation is reached? Well, something like the “I am” meditation, or McKenna’s “Spiritual Autolysis” would probably fit the bill. Viewed spiritually, you are burning away Maya (the world of illusion) and revealing God, or the true universe, or whatever. Viewed Neurologically, you are flensing yourself of the automatic programming you’ve received since childhood. What remains is kinda like your computer fresh from the assembly line, pre-installation of software. What you can do then is selectively install the software you choose.

This is pretty sensitive work. And it benefits society very little—which is probably why you find so few places that the real work is being done, or even discussed. Churches, schools, political parties, any kind of hierarchical organization you can name will function to improve its own chances for survival. That’s how they work. They’re only as good as the human beings who create them. At best. Frankly, organizations strike me as functioning one level down from the people who create them, so that most are kinda like amoebas, eating everything in their path…or maybe like one of those multi-nucleide slime molds that can grow to hundreds of acres, expanding and expanding until they weigh more than sperm whales.

You will never get truth from an organization. You will never get truth from a teacher, or from experts. The only truth you will ever find will come from aligning your physical experience with your emotions and your intellect. You have everything you need to be anything you need to be. The universe doesn’t cheat: what you must, you can. But most people never really say “I must.” They say: “I don’t like where I am” without clearly defining the alternative. They are trapped by fear, and fear cripples dreams more than anything else. More than everything else. It is the devourer.
All that is a way of saying: I will never accept outside authority over my own mind, heart, and body. Period. Yes, that makes me unreasonable. So be it. I am not a reasonable man. I can live with that.

No comments: