Monday, October 03, 2011

Existing in New York City: Searching for a Soul

Foto by tgw, New York City 2011
[Preface to the Preface:
Several of us, including the Wolf Man, just finished listening to Gary Null (the subject of the Wolf Man's comments in today's post) on his noon hour on the New York City Pacifica station, WBAI-FM. And, wow, was he on fire today. He'd been at the Wall Street takeover campgrounds down on Wall Street--in Liberty Square--and he'd been there several times during the weekend--between, or so he claimed, making appearances at a Brooklyn rally that started off a March on Washington, District of Corruption, by a group opposing genetically engineered products and then uptown at an anti-Indian Point (the nuclear power plant that sits high on a hill overlooking the Hudson River and only 25 miles upwind from the most populated area in the USA--not to worry, the Atomic Energy folks say only 250,000 or so of us would perish should that plant, if it could, blow sky high like the one in Fukashima, Japan, just did--the same kind of plant, by the way, built by our friends at General Electric, a company that gets billions of dollars of We the People's tax money in military contracts and nuclear reactor construction contracts (recently given a 12-billion dollar contract to upgrade India's nuclear power system (India has nuclear weapons, don't you know!)--you know, that deal our great faux-president, our criminal president, G.W. Bush, made with India, trading them nuclear secrets for mangoes! It's hard to believe We the People accepted such an idiotic and, it seems to us, dangerous trade deal) and a company (GE) that doesn't pay one red cent in Federal taxes--and, oh boy, Jonah, check out GE's offshore bank accounts! They've got bucks to squander, and believe me, those GE execs are living excellent lives right now, maybe off on an island in say the Caribbean that they literally own--think of that--an island containing a huge mansion surrounded by boat docks so friends's and fellow execs's yachts can anchor there while they party away and feast on the finest foods money can buy prepared by their own brace of staff chefs and cooks and served by a whole platoon of Black ("natives" they call them) servants--the whole place guarded by its own police force and guard dogs--wow, that pisses us off...but back to Gary Null--today, Gary pretty much told us the kids down at the Wall Street takeover had no leadership, had no plan of action, had no purpose, had no demands, had no objective in mind (Chris Hedges strongly disagrees with Gary). This reasonable and on-the-mark tirade ended with Gary declaring the young people involved in this action were the most uninformed kids he'd ever met (again, Chris Hedges disagrees). After Gary concluded that, he then started warning us all that we'd better be getting off our asses and getting active in revolting against this Obama nightmare government, an administration turning out to be even worse than G.W. Bush's two stolen terms. Now, Obama, we find out, gave the order to the CIA in Yemen to, yes, go ahead and "KILL" the American Iman over there who Obama had dubbed the now number-one al-Queda organizer in the world out to kill Americans, though we had absolutely no proof whatsoever of the guy doing anything wrong--plus today we found out, another US citizen was killed in that attack, a journalist (he published al-Queda publications on the Internet)--and Obama came on teevee and proudly announced those two killings (to whooping ovations)--and that he had authorized the CIA to assassinate these, what was that old saying they hurled about after Nazi Germany had its legs knocked out from under it and was exposed for the brutal political structure it really was--First they came for the Jews...then they came for the homosexuals and the Gypsies...then they came for the intellectuals...blah, blah, blah, until, yes, of course, then they came for me. Well, folks, Gary Null agrees with WE here at the Growler, they are already coming for you if they haven't gotten you already. Gary also agrees that we are on the verge of Chaos. That we are on the verge of what perhaps could be a LIFE CHANGING natural occurrence, the infamous Solar Electrical Storm that is SURELY headed our way any day now--NASA first brought this up on its Website a year or more ago but not much has come of it since, except for Gary Null...and with that, we split and leave you to go on and check out today's thegrowlingwolf's post, "Existing in New York City: Searching for a Soul," which starts...NOW:]

Preface to the Search
I was listening to Gary Null on Progressive Radio ( last week. Gary was on fire, to the point of going ballistic with his language! And to me, Gary Null is an amazing human being who some see as a quack, a phony, and a hustling self-promoter (and I admit, this includes my own observations of Gary's distant past). Recently, however, he's been on a righteous, I think, Humanitarian tear. And all of last week he was doing whole hours of rattling off a history of this country's gradually over the past 30 years rolling down hill and right into the arms of the Fascist demon--rattling off his commentaries in breathtaking rapidity, spouting out the facts of life in the USA since Reagan and the Neo-Cons came to prominence in US politics and thereby the economy and the sociology of this country. The beginnings of Rumsfeld and Cheney and G.W.H. "Pappy" Bush combined with the perverted shenanigans of pervert-deluxe J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and the filthily vile CIA (whose first head, Allen Dulles, was a Wall Street banker and Nazi supporter) and its many murders and assassinations and mass annihilations this country has supported--plus supporting with money and arms the many ruthless merciless dictators around the world (Mubarak, Pinochet, et al.). How we are a nation of ruthless annihilators, of vicious killers, and that due to our military actions since WWII, millions upon millions of people around the world have been exterminated either by our armed forces, our weapons, our CIA or by military goon-generals trained at our College of the Americas (founded in Panama, but then moved to the USA when Panama kicked our military out during their takeover of the Canal Zone during the Carter administration), all butchering despots. During that time, the USA has become the largest weapons dealer in the world, owners of the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, power braggings that have backed up our becoming a worldwide network of meddlers handing out billions of dollars to the world's most criminal and ruthless dictators and royals and overlords and tribal chiefs, etc., in order for us to get OUR way--there's your way, then there's OUR way; your way is always the wrong way, unless you do it OUR way, then your wrong way adjusts and becomes OUR right way, though, of course, OUR right way is a terribly wrong way.

As Gary was rattling off all this atrocious history of the US--and all of it I know is true and factual and not bullshit because I already know all of it--I have lived through it--suddenly, in an attitude of pure frustration, he started shouting angrily, snarling out about how We the People of the US are being robbed blind by a crooked financial industry fully supported by our millionaire-packed Congress and our ass-licking President and his Clinton-empowered sidekicks, a bunch of ruthless bums who through derivative schemes and foreclosures are taking away from us our homes and land and possessions, all supported by a vicious anti-citizen justice system, a justice system that would unmercilessly allow the State of Georgia to murder Troy Davis--and Null, too, just as I have, asks why our Black president and our Black attorney-general weren't irate enough to immediately fly down to Georgia to shut down by executive order that murder session, a definite "showing the niggers up" move by the White Racists (Neo-Confederates) who run the State of Gawjah--the asshole of the Old South.

Null laces all of this history into one full shoe ("shoe" used in the sense that dealers in gambling casinos use shoes in dealing multiple decks of cards so card counters can't outwit the house) by shouting out that these assholes have no care in them that children are starving in this country, that kids are being deprived of a free education, that workers are being thrown out of work by the hundreds of thousands, that people are left to die in horrible pain simply because they have no health insurance--no money--money being our god now--money--worthless money--just paper and cheap metals really--nothing of value in our money.

The history Brother Null rattled off was a out-and-out prosecution of We the American People as accessories to the atrocities our Military-Industrial-Complex-Global-Corporation-run government commits--those sons of bitches who have the clawing greedy hands up the asses of every member of Congress and our President and his staff of former Clinton lackeys (those bastards who really fucked up the order of things when they repealed the Glass-Spiegel Act) working their mouths and brains--since the nation is now divided along the same lines as it was during the Civil War, this division is turning us once again into the barbarians we've seemingly always been historically.

Searching for a Soul
I've heard talk of a soul all of my life. Is your soul saved? My soul what? First of all, what the hell is a soul? I mean this is one complicated word. Check out the definition on the Merriam-Webster site:

Definition of SOUL

: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
a : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe b capitalized Christian Science : god 1b
: a person's total self
a : an active or essential part b : a moving spirit : leader
a : the moral and emotional nature of human beings b : the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment c : spiritual or moral force : fervor
: person soul in sight>
: personification soul of integrity>
a : a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers b : negritude c : soul music d : soul food e : soul brother

Examples of SOUL

  1. the souls of the dead
  2. He could not escape the guilt that he felt in the inner recesses of his soul.
  3. Some poor soul was asking for handouts on the street.
  4. a village of barely a hundred souls

Origin of SOUL

Middle English soule, from Old English sāwol; akin to Old High German sēula soul
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to SOUL

Synonyms: psyche, spirit

I studied the soul in college as the psyche, as the superego, as the essence that raises man above (Man being the source of civilization) the common old animal--you know, those beasts--jungle beings--dumbass beasts of burden--domesticated beasts--trained beasts--snakes in the grass--stubborn mules--performing fools--resisting extinction ferocities of instinctually dedicated and tough-ass survivor beasts (wild beasts that we civilized relatives want to put in jails we call zoos).

Yes, growing up in a Protestant Christian family, though there was a lot of hypocrisy in my family's Christianity, the idea of the soul as determined by the science of the Christian Bible (and my mother and father fully believed the Christian Book of Babble was the actual English translation of the language of a Christian-Jewish God named Jehovah) was taught to me as scientific fact.

The Christian soul is a spirit. Christians do believe in ghosts. One of the Holy Three in Christianity is the Holy Ghost. Early on, as a little Doubting Thomas, just as it was hard for me to swallow the Jesus Christ story, it was equally hard for me to believe in ghosts, and especially a Holy Ghost (oooooooooooh!). Yes, the thought of real ghosts scared me--as a little kid my imagination went wild sometimes, but in all its scary state of wildness, I never dreamed up a ghost. Yes, I've been awakened in the night by shadows on my window shades--some, yes, looking like distorted images of human-being-looking objects, though in actuality they were humanized hedge limbs or tree limbs or simply strong moonlight that formed the shape of a cross with what looked like a human body hanging off it. The dawning light always proved my imagined "ghosts" as real objects--those hedge limbs and tree limbs and moonlight that looked like a close up of Calvary, the killing ground on which Jesus Christ "gave up the ghost."

Having rejected religious interpretations of existence from the get go, I have never been able to believe in anything based on spirituality. In digging about in the past looking for a competent theological or even philosophical explanation of the soul (or psyche or superego), I came across this excerpt from the work of Bertrand Russell, who I think is one of the great thinkers who lived and wrote and worked during my "behaviorist" development years--he died after I was an adult and pretty much in sequence with the mathematics and the philosophical reasoning he and Alfred North Whitehead came up with back during the early years of the 20th Century. Here is what Bertrand Russell said about the soul:

Our desires, it is true, have considerable power on the earth's surface; the greater part of the land on this planet has a quite different aspect from that which it would have if men had not utilized it to extract food and wealth. But our power is very strictly limited. We cannot at present do anything whatever to the sun or moon or even to the interior of the earth, and there is not the faintest reason to suppose that what happens in regions to which our power does not extend has any mental causes. That is to say, to put the matter in a nutshell, there is no reason to think that except on the earth's surface anything happens because somebody wishes it to happen. And since our power on the earth's surface is entirely dependent upon the sun, we could hardly realize any of our wishes if the sun grew cold. It is of course rash to dogmatize as to what science may achieve in the future. We may learn to prolong human existence longer than now seems possible, but if there is any truth in modern physics, more particularly in the second law of thermodynamics, we cannot hope that the human race will continue forever. Some people may find this conclusion gloomy, but if we are honest with ourselves, we shall have to admit that what is going to happen many millions of years hence has no very great emotional interest for us here and now. And science, while it diminishes our cosmic pretensions, enormously increases our terrestrial comfort. That is why, in spite of the horror of the theologians, science has on the whole been tolerated.

As I've always said, the Sun is our true God, the source of life, whether human life or what we refer to as animal life--even though we ourselves are nothing more than animals--and, yes, I know, that's Behavioral Psychology thinking, but then it's also just plain ole common sense thinking, too. Our minds are capable of culling out the bullshit from golden purities--however, due to the fact that human beings die the same as all things die (even the Sun is dying (George Gamov wrote a book about it))--only the earth is "reasonably" immortal--though surely one day in a state of Chaos, even this planet will explode and become stardust), our instincts, these basic drives within us that carry both protective and suicidal intentions, try, through our consciousness and imagination, to devise principles that convince us we are actually supernatural, immune from mere mortality. But how, the doubter asks, is this possible when just like the family dog died after living so many years, so did the rest of the family eventually, so what the dog never went to a religious ceremony in its life and so what the rest of the family were devout true believers in the religious concept of living forever--NOT, of course, on this planet Earth, but rather in the supernatural sense that something inside us called a Soul is ethereal, is spiritual, not material or matter; therefore, it is that imaginary part of us that lives forever. A very handy insert in an otherwise totally unbelievable manual of explaining life and death.

When you base your actions on false launching pads, you end up where most mystics, wizards, priests, prophets, alchemists, theologians, gamblers, whores, banker criminals, perverts, Atheists end up: DEAD, six-feet under, eventually rotting or being eaten back into the biological and material aspects that make up this planet We humans call Earth, a planet given life and light by our true god, the Sun, a mortal god, don't you forget. When Christian Fundamentalist backward thinkers say that God will never destroy the earth, they overlook the fact that God has no knowledgeable control over the Sun, a planet or star that the Christian God thought circled the Earth.

for The Daily (Not So Lately) Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:
Je t'aime, Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)

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