Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Truth About Who a Person is.....is Written in Their Face.

Mystics have known this for thousands of years.  You can perceive the salient qualities of a person's individuality in the physiognomy of their face.  For decades I knew this before I discovered that it is common knowledge in mystical circles.

But, first, let's clear up a common mis-understanding:  mysticism is not what most people think it is.  The popular view is that all things mystical are mysterious and kind of 'out there'.  We tend to think of 'mystics' as airy-fairy individuals who see things that aren't there.  The reality is that mysticism is a means of learning about the presence of God by direct experience.  It turns its back on 'belief' or dogma, theory and scriptures,  in favor of actual experience.  In the early stages of mystical training the need is to give up all of one's beliefs. And, when you think about it, 'belief' is something that one holds to be true...on faith. A True Believer is one who doesn't know God in the first person, but is willing to take what any particular religion offers as an article of faith. A mystic is one who, via the practice of various exercises and such means as meditation, mantra or wazifa, and prayer...is led to their own personal experience of God's Presence.  This is not a 'belief' but rather a 'conviction' because one is not taking anything on faith....but basing what they 'know' on actual experience.

So, when I say that you can see the qualities of a person's inner being in the features of their face, I am not asking you, dear reader, to believe that but rather to begin--if you haven't already--noticing how this is true.  An example might be: you meet a person whose features are open and express a certain lightness, happiness and perhaps they even seem luminous.  Really....have you not noticed that some people do seem this way?  And, as you begin getting to know them, you realize that this is really the essence of 'who they are'.

I had this experience just last week...again.  Some weeks ago, I was told about a young woman that it sounded like I might want to meet.  I am a painter who often paints people who are uniquely themselves.  She is a seventeen year-old who works in a local country store.  I reached out to her via her employer and made contact by leaving a copy of my portfolio for her to look at.  She expressed an openness to meet, and at the appointed day and time I went to the farm where she has grown-up and met her parents, many siblings, a grand-father and did indeed take some images of her.

Her face absolutely beams with positivity and projects a sense of joyous appreciation of life. I am not going to publish her image or tell you her name out of respect for her privacy, but, I will tell you that this is a remarkable person.  Just being around her makes a person feel 'light' and happy.  If she can hold onto this essence as she undergoes the challenges of living in these times, she has a wonderful life ahead of her. She will doubtless touch many people that she comes into contact with. She radiates an energy that I must refer to as 'light'. This is an indication of the condition of her soul.

Likewise, you might meet a person who is 'tight-lipped', their mouth forming a thin line on their face, and who appears to be 'wincing' and holding tension in their features.  I can almost guarantee you that if you have the opportunity to spend a little time getting to know them, you will come away realizing that the sum total of their life experience has rendered them at least somewhat bitter and even angry. This has happened to me far too many times to doubt that what I am offering you is true. Angry people become angry looking people, their features make you almost afraid to speak to them because they look like they might snap at you. It's not always fair to avoid contact with such people, but it is helpful to prepare yourself and not take it personally if they are unpleasant.

So, why am I telling you this?  Well, I am inviting you to begin looking at the people who are now front and center in our lives via the 24/7 news cycle, and who are playing somewhat pivotal roles in determining how our country and even our own lives are conducted.  Watch peoples' faces as they speak, and notice their facial gestures. Listen to what they're saying and notice from the viewpoint of a neutral observer what qualities this particular person is putting forward.  I am trying very hard here to not single out the most obvious players.....but, I will bet that you have already guessed who would be the most interesting and revealing to watch in this manner.

You can learn a lot more about who a person really is by watching them speak and observing their features as they do, than you ever can by listening to what is coming out of their mouth....especially now that we live in the land of 'alternative facts'.  Take a look at the following images and ask yourself what qualities are there in these faces and their expressions. I have tried to select images of each person that caught them in a moment of being un-posed, and not stylin' for the cameras.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

So, What's a Nazi......Really?

A surprising number of people don't know that 'Nazi' is an acronym for "Nationalsozialistiche Deutche Arbeiterpartei".  Translation: National Socialist German Worker's Party.  So, even the name it started with was a cynical lie.  It was always a fascist party, based on the principle that the state is supreme, including the elite who run it, and as workers in the Third Reich quickly found out, you toed the line or you got scooped up by the Gestapo, i.e. The Geheime Staatspolizei, secret police.  If this happened it was likely your family would not even be informed of your status, and you would very possibly end up in a concentration camp.  Dachau was created very shortly after the Nazis came to power in '33.  People who were sent there, if they came home at all, would not even speak about it.

The NSDAP (Nazi Party) was founded on goals of becoming a totalitarian terror state....and, it was, from it's early days, intent on elimination of all those who either stood in its way, or were considered undesirable or inferior, i.e. Jews, gays, pacifists, social democrats, communists, dissenters of any kind and simply the entire rest of humanity beyond the boundaries of the Aryan race.  If the inferior peoples were not to be outright exterminated, they were to be enslaved and their labors used for the benefit of the Nazi state.

Most people do know that Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party and of the German state, was called Der Fuerher, The Leader, and led the Axis powers into World War II and orchestrated the Holocaust.  But, I don't believe that many people actually realize what life was like in Nazi Germany or in the countries and territories that the Germans occupied. Life in a totalitarian terror state is being modeled in various countries around the globe today, particularly, in North Korea, but also numerous other third world countries where people live in a state of knowing that they could be arrested and even murdered at any time, if they are perceived as being 'out of line', or if someone even accuses them of being so. Hence the term 'terror state'.  Duterte is doing a fair job of creating a terror state in the Philippines. Because he is largely focused on murdering anybody who is involved with drugs, many Filipinos are going along with his agenda.  History shows, however, that people like Duterte often have broader ambitions for their power and once they have become firmly entrenched it is very difficult to stop or even hinder them.  Kim Jong Un is a good example of this.

In the countries and territories that the Nazis overran before and during World War II, the people were subjected to brutal oppression at a level that most people who live in democratic and free societies cannot really comprehend.  You could be arrested for reasons that were never even made clear, and you had no rights....none.  Your life was subject to the whim of local SS and Gestapo commanders, whose brutality became infamous.  You might be tortured, or sent off to a slave labor concentration camp, or simply be shot...all because you came to the attention of the Gestapo, perhaps because a fellow citizen accused you of just about anything at all that the Nazis didn't tolerate.

In any discussion of 'Good and Evil' when one of the participants wants to clearly define 'evil', it is often easiest to use the Nazis as an indisputable example of what constitutes evil behavior. And, this brings us to trying to understand who the people are--and what they really believe--who are marching in the streets of America, and in Europe too, carrying the swastika flag of the Nazis.

They claim that they just want 'white power'.  They often make statements that white people are now endangered and that the growing diversity in our society poses a lethal threat to Caucasians.  The people who have dominated the globe for many hundreds of years, enslaving and wiping out untold legions of indigenous people, carrying on as if it is their 'right' to be the dominant and domineering race on the planet, as if God put them in charge somehow, are now on the run.  Right?  Riiiight...

The neo-Nazi agenda espouses a 'race war' fought for the very survival of the white race. It is merely a continuation of what the original Nazis wanted: to either subjugate or exterminate all other races. Nobody in their right mind would claim that they are either 'harmless' or well-intended.  Their plan is lethal to all but conforming white people....notice I said, 'conforming', because they would also exterminate whites who are not going along with the planned hegemony.

For any of the current Nazis to claim that they are less odious, less malevolent, less dangerous, than their predecessors is simply to put up a smoke-screen.  The most famous Nazi smoke-screen was on the iron-work gates over Dachau and Auschwitz, and perhaps other camps:  "Arbeit Macht Frei". This must at least be a leading contender for the most cynical statement of all time.  It means, "Work Will Set You Free"......over the gates that led toward the gas chambers and the ovens beyond.  In the minds of the craven sub-humans who created these gates, it was likely a way of getting the prisoners passing underneath them to cling to some faint hope that they were not really on their way to their doom....and therefore they might remain more passive...as they were 'processed'.

If you want to give yourself a first-hand perception of  the notion of 'Pure Evil', look-up some film footage of Reinhard Heydrich...and glimpse Mephistopheles himself.  There is one particular clip where he is leaving a meeting and comes toward the camera, looking directly into the lens as he passes.  It makes my skin crawl.  Here's a link to one short.  And, here's another, longer, viewing of just exactly who the original Nazis were.

Reinhard Heydrich. One Evil S.O.B.

And, here we are, in 2017, with a man in the White House, who says things that seem intended to mollify, reduce or otherwise disguise the fact that anybody who considers themselves to be 'a Nazi' has embraced evil on a massive scale.  People at large are reacting to this with vehemence and disgust.  It is wholly unacceptable that Nazism should emerge as a legitimate political orientation once again.  As the enraged man shouted at Peter and me: "I have seen too many good men die fighting that!"

It is not enough to turn your eyes away.  It is insufficient to simply shake your head and mumble about what the world is coming to. It is an egregious avoidance of responsibility to say, "But, what can I do about it?" You can....AND MUST.....make your voice heard, even as one of millions--in fact, particularly as one of millions--who refuse to accept that Nazis and Klansmen and all others who espouse 'white supremacy' should have any say whatsoever in the political and societal conversation about what America needs to do to become a country that we can feel good about again.

Because, as of this date, it has some real problems and we need to get involved with working them out.  The rest of the world is watching us with some valid and deep concerns.  We need to be the people our parents' and grandparents' generations believed we were.....and, we need to do it soon.

Friday, August 18, 2017

On Symbols: What's in a Swastika?

I'm not going to honor the 'Hooked Cross' as it is called in German--Der Hakenkeuz--by reproducing it on these pages.  But, I am going to make the argument that it qualifies as a symbol for the ages that will always carry a level of potency that cannot be either morphed into something good or minimized to mean less than it really does. Here's a story from my boyhood that I believe will make this point:

My friend, Peter, and I spent a lot of time on his family's farm outside of Princeton NJ.  They were neighbors and raised about 150 Shropshire sheep. The dad was an executive who commuted into Manhattan during the week and the mom was a wonderful woman who just loved the earthiness of their country lifestyle and ran the farm. It was about 1957,so I would have been 11 or 12, and all the kids I knew had fathers who had fought in World War II.  After only twelve years, 'the war', as our parents always referred to it, was still hanging in the background of our lives.

There was also a profusion of 'war trophies', souvenirs, that had been brought back from the Pacific and Europe. My own uncle had brought back sundry souvenirs from Europe, Nazi uniform hats and medals mostly. And, I had come into possession of a Nazi flag at some point. It was one of the banners that festooned Nazi Germany from one end to the other during those dark times, part of a campaign to completely saturate Germans' visual surroundings with the vivid scarlet and the bold black swastika on its white field.

There came a day when Peter and I were messing around and we decided it would be fun to fly this 'bad guy' flag from a fence-post near the end of the farm's driveway. So we put it up and it fairly over-hung the road. We had no sooner gotten it up, when a passing car came screaming to a halt, all four tires leaving great black stripes on the road as it did so.  A man jumped from the driver's seat, leaving the door flung open and started screaming at us: "You take that goddamn thing down right now!  I saw too many good men die fighting against that! Take it DOWN!!!"  We couldn't move fast enough and it was down in a matter of seconds.

All these years later, I can still see his face, and hear his outrage. Peter and I both knew that something had just happened that transformed how we felt about this piece of cloth....and we never 'played' with it again.

Now, we have Americans who think that they can parade this symbol through American towns and cities and claim it's their constitutionally protected right to do so, and they want us to let them do that....as if it were any other symbol from history. IT IS NOT!!  It will never just mean, "Hey, we're white and we want some respect."  It will never mean, "White people have rights too."

It WILL always mean, "Evil is our creed."  "We believe in hatred and cruelty."  "Death is what we want for all those unlike us."  "We believe that the white race is superior and we would like to kill, or enslave, all others."

So, we're going to sit back and let this message proliferate under the protections afforded by the Constitution of the United States?  It is my profound wish that we could travel back in time and interview all of the individuals who signed the Declaration  of Independence. I would be talking to my great grandfather, six generations removed: Richard Stockton.  His blood flows in my veins, so I get to hazard a guess, with some attached 'gravitas', as to how he might feel, and I am telling you that he would find the idea of protecting people who want to commit mass murder unacceptable.

After all these generations since the Declaration was signed, we now know that the right to free speech is not without some limitations.  Of course, the most cited of these is that you cannot be free to yell 'fire!' in a crowded theater.  It would directly cause harm and even death as the panic ensued.

So, how in the world is it any different, walking through the middle of an American city carrying a banner that says, "I would be pleased to murder you if you aren't like me"?  You cannot argue with any credibility whatsoever that the Swastika flag means less than that.  It is impossible to separate it from that legacy and claim that it means something else or something less.  It is no more a harmless symbol of 'white power' than a rattlesnake is a cuddly little pet that you'd like to have wrapped around your neck.
That is the SS Death's Head, and the SS slogan, "Blut und Ehre"...
Just in case you have any doubts what their 'message' is.

The evil power--and it is 'power', make no mistake-- of the swastika is also embodied in the Hitler salute. When you extend your right arm and shout, "White Power!" or "Sieg Heil!" you are invoking the entire Nazi legacy....and all that comes with it, including the Holocaust, and the murder of five million people beyond even the six million Jews: Slavs, gays, pacifists, dissenters of all ilks...eleven million souls in total.  You are making an aggressive statement that you are aligning yourself with ALL OF IT.  You cannot pick and choose.  It's a package deal.

So,when our very own 'Dear Leader', aka the president, tries to say that there is 'evil' on both sides and there are good people on both sides, he's either astonishingly obtuse and ignorant, or he's just lying as he so often prefers to do.  The Germans long ago realized the inherent evil embodied in all the symbols of the Third Reich, and they outlawed them....all of them.  In view of what they went through, and, especially, in recognition of what they inflicted on the rest of humanity, it was a sensible and important choice to do that.

Americans who think the freedoms protected by the Constitution are always so sacred that there can be no exceptions.....are going to find out that when you protect pure evil, you give it power that is going to proliferate and eventually it will take away all of those rights that the starry-eyed idealists hold so sacred.

Johnny Rivers, and a few other singers, recorded a song about a young woman who rescues a half-frozen snake....she cares for it and ultimately gets rewarded by being bitten, along with the admonishment:"But you knew I was a snake...when you took me in."

Ask yourself this: would you be willing to extend the protection of the Constitution to a throng of marching people who were flying the banner of ISIS, and were chanting,"Death to the Infidels"?

No?  Then why is it okay for another band of armed and dangerous thugs to be shouting 'Sieg Heil' and giving the Hitler salute?

What is the difference?

And, we haven't even gotten to the symbols of the Confederacy......