2009


Philosophy and Psychology30 Sep 2009 01:32 pm

Recently I cleaned out my filing cabinet and found some essays I wrote some 20 to 30 years ago. The following is such an essay.

Many have been accused of “building castles in the air” as a statement that their logic or observations lack credence due to its not being grounded in absolute certainty (Truth). I for one prefer the courage and humility offered then person willing to build castles in the air rather than hiding behind fictionalized Truth and certainty.

Now, building castles in the air does not mean making something up or being capricious. It is rather an attempt to form meaning without a need to ground this meaning in absolute Truth. A castle has much weight and substance and having it stand on its own is quite a feat.

Fear and Chaos

Most studiers of early humanity agree that man has long feared chaos. It would be difficult to find any culture of man which did not spend a great deal of energy creating a cosmos out of apparent chaos.

Mythology, ritual and ceremony are filled with examples of how early and modern man struggle to form cosmos out of chaos. Not only do they seek patterns, but they create patterns and habits and infuse them with meaning and significance. Primitive man, in particular, found meaning very tenuous and went to great lengths to insure order and predictability. In these societies the destruction of ceremony or sacredness would lead to the destruction of life itself.

Almost all creation myths start from a state of formlessness (often water). The world was formed out of this chaos.

Many anthropologists, cultural historians and comparative religion scholars such as Mircea Eliade noted how pervasive the need early man had of dividing the world into the realm of the sacred as opposed to the realm of the profane. Only that was found to be sacred had meaning and value. Everything profane was dangerous and prone to chaos.

Making something sacred was the very act of having something become a valued thing. In many ways a thing came into existence the moment it became sacred and emerged from the formless background of chaos.

Men developed rituals for many activities and created myths regarding many different objects in an attempt to give them meaning and significance. Most human activities such as farming and hunting became sacred when they mimicked the actions of the gods as demonstrated by a sacred dance or ceremony. Even common objects as stones and plants needed a ceremony to validate their importance (sacredness). In all these ceremonies the newly sacred object leaped out of chaos and into the world of meaning and significance.

Our world is neither imagined nor absolute, and neither is our knowledge of it. To accept and learn about the world without creating absolute truth, sacredness or certainty takes both courage and patience. Life is a process and has no specific goal or purpose. When gazing upon an ocean one can inherently feel and fear the formlessness and chaotic power of water. Yet, the desire to hide behind absolutes whether they be generated by myth, religion or science is not living life on its own terms. Building castles in the air without resorting to Truth is maybe the first step into our accepting and experiencing the life we are so fortunate to have.

In my next post I’ll continue with this essay which will go from the needs and habits of primitive man to those of modern man.

Jim Guido

Music and Philosophy and Psychology28 Sep 2009 01:49 pm

The lyrics of a song I wrote over two decades ago deals with some of the issues of perception, spiritualism and experience that I’ve been talking about.
Fictional Space is the ability we have to not only live in the present but to anticipate and imagine. Fictional Space is about our ability to not only be in the actual, but to live in the possible. After reading the lyrics you can read comments I’ve made on selected lines which highlight some of the points and observations I’ve made in recent posts.

Fictional Space

There’s something of the mind which plays off circumstance
Like a servant pampered king it can be wise of frivolous
Unencumbered one used for strategy or evasion
Place me straddled on this life
Vision gives me power and might
Bash their monstrous heads, the survivors scheme
Lovers engulfed orgasmic anticipation
The hunter laughs at the snap of the trap

Fictional space

There’s something that’s the style which I won’t represent
It’s a feeling of denial wan discouragement
Harlots of the soul lost in merriment
Visceral drives buried by excitement

Moments take pride in invention
Problems provoke awkward hesitation
Solution, look to friendly vistas
The future beckons the agile dancer

Fictional space

Make me alive set me on fire
Make me alive celluloid fire

____________________________________________________________________
There’s something of the mind which plays off circumstance

This something is our ability to anticipate, mold, create and invent off the events life hands us. It is a freedom we have because we aren’t totally locked in the present.

Like a servant pampered king it can be wise of frivolous

Since this ability is a freedom allowing us to play with life, it is like a king in its freedom and power. We can use this power to be a pampered idiot or a wise man.

Unencumbered one used for strategy or evasionVision gives me power and might

The panoramic vision afforded a being able to see the past, present and project oneself into the future provides us with great opportunities.

Bash their monstrous heads, the survivors scheme
Lovers engulfed orgasmic anticipation
The hunter laughs at the snap of the trap
There’s something that’s the style which I won’t represent
It’s a feeling of denial wan discouragement

There’s a popular modern belief system which I feel weakens our joy of life. This attitude looks at the ego and life as obstacles to overcome. It constructs positive belief systems based on a negative view of our humanity and sense of self. It looks to God, spirit and essence as ways of finding joy while subtly denigrating the way we naturally experience life.

Harlots of the soul lost in merriment
Visceral drives buried by excitement

Harlots of the soul whether they be hedonists or spiritualists miss the beauty of our humanity by focusing on spiritual or sensual ecstasy devoid in one way or the other on the conscious experiencer separated from the experience. They both focus on the immediacy of the experience while missing the ego/self which savors and processes the experience. The ability of fictional space, the ability to live in the possible while living in the actual, is what gives experience its dimension and fullness. This refers to the “thickness” of human experience I’ve discussed in recent posts.

Moments take pride in invention
Problems provoke awkward hesitation
Solution, look to friendly vistas
The future beckons the agile dancer

The above lines highlight situations in which our ability to live in time enriches our experience. At each progressive moment (the future) our joy and satisfaction is highly influenced by our agility in blending (dancing with) time. Our present actions are guided by the wisdom of our memories and our ability to anticipate possible outcomes. That is why I contend that the desire to be present or immersed in the moment is a false goal, which when taken literally or made into a practice strips life of its fullness and meaning.

If you want to listen to Fictional Space click on the music tab and go to the I Rock Therefore I Am CD.

Jim Guido

Relationships and Social Issues22 Sep 2009 05:52 pm

I have completed uploading a second novel of mine A Twist of Faith below is a short intro and the first chapter. To read more click on the words tab above and go A Twist of Faith and click on additional chapters. Currently I have three complete books on line. My nonfiction Exploring Intimacy, and two novels A Twist of Faith and Public Relations.

A Twist of Faith

Desmond Prouty is a minister of a small church in rural Iowa. Along with his wife Rachel they have carved out a simple life of service to others. Desmond is a caring and non-judgmental person, whose major goals are to be a good husband, father, friend, and neighbor. Though a minister Desmond views life as a mystery and the existence of God as a possibility. The desire to be a good person and to engage in right action is his highest ideal.

When tragedy strikes his family his ethics and good nature make it hard for him to do what others expect of him. In the process of doing what is right he stands to lose everything near and dear to him. A Twist of Faith is a story of personal character and the challenge of being true to others while remaining true to oneself.

Chapter 1

“There is quite a difference between doing the right thing and being righteous”, the Reverend Desmond Prouty announced from the pulpit. The deafening whir from the floor fans stationed in the corners of the church dominated this and every pause in the service. The sound, much like the engine of a small airplane preparing for take off, only reminded everyone of the dreadful heat. Desmond, concerned that he was about to stray too far off the topic, took a moment to compose his thoughts. Removing his wire rimmed glasses, Desmond rubbed his eyes and cleaned his lenses while calmly preparing his next words.

The bitter heat and the fact that it hadn’t rained in well over a month had made the weather the only topic of conversation in this small little midwestern farming community. Desmond, sensitive to the concerns of the community, based this Sunday’s sermon on the story of Job. He had already talked at length on the importance of patience and now wanted to talk to his friends about the need to try their best no matter how difficult things got.

“A person who does the right thing does not do so to get a reward. No truly Christian person expects to win every contest or become incredibly wealthy by doing the right thing. Good people try their hardest and give their best effort because it is the right thing to do. Even when one’s efforts pays no dividends or puts one at a disadvantage, a good man just continues to do his best and lets his conscience be his guide.”

These weekly sermons were Desmond’s least favorite part of being the pastor of the community church. Though he had plenty to say, he was quite uncomfortable with being placed in the role of the wise man. The people in this church were more than parishioners, they were his friends. He knew he was supposed to be their teacher, but Desmond preferred to do his teaching informally on a one-to-one basis. Rather than lecture from the pulpit, Desmond would rather talk to someone as he helped them build a porch or tend to their garden.

Desmond did not want to be a leader, he just wanted to be a caring and helpful friend. Yet, today, for some unknown reason, he found it difficult to hold his tongue. No matter how hard he tried, his words kept coming back to a concern he had regarding many of his friends.

Grabbing both ends of the lectern, Desmond leaned in towards the mike to make sure his next point was heard above the roar of the fans.

“As parents we all desire to teach our children right from wrong. In order to accomplish this we often scold and punish our children when they do something bad, and praise and reward them when they do something good…Yet, as they get older we hope that they do the right thing even if there be no reward or praise for their efforts.” Desmond was pleased to see how many heads were nodding in agreement.

“People who try to do the right thing know that their efforts often go unrewarded. They know that cheaters do prosper and that life is often cruelest to those with the purest hearts. Yet, they also know that being a good person is it’s own reward.” Desmond paused for a moment as a few coughs rang out towards the back of the church.

“Wealth and fame are not necessary for the good man. Trying his best and doing what’s right fills the good man’s life and makes outside recognition totally unnecessary. Each day the good man wakes up feeling content with himself and his life. He knows that he has done his best and looks forward to the opportunity to give his best effort each and every day. His success is very personal and does not depend on the whims of fortune or society. The joy of the good man is free from the perils of life because its value isn’t derived from the fickle world of success or fame.”

Now that he had talked of the man who tried to do the right thing, it was time for Desmond to move on to his thoughts regarding the righteous man. He had already brought up the comparison and there was no easy way out of this situation.

“The man who tries to do the right thing does not expect life, others, or himself to be perfect. Such a man realizes that life is imperfect and mistakes and pains are just as much a part of life as love and happiness.”

Looking over to his left he could see Rachel, his wife; Rebecca, his daughter; his son-in-law Mark; and his grandson Andrew, in their customary spot at the end of the first pew. Rebecca, though rocking Andrew in her arms, was totally focused on her dad’s words. Desmond’s eyes smiled as they made contact with Rebecca’s.

“The righteous man, on the other hand, often expects life and others to be perfect. While the man who tries to do the right thing is concerned about himself, the righteous man often sits in judgement of others.”

With these last words Rachel’s back stiffened. She knew very well Desmond’s concerns regarding those that considered themselves to be pious. She also knew how uncomfortable these “righteous” neighbors could make her life. To be on their bad side was just asking for the worst forms of rumor and gossip to be directed your way.

Rachel wondered if Desmond had lost his mind. It was one thing to criticize such people to one’s spouse in the privacy of one’s home, but quite another to air such views from the pulpit. Nervously, but without moving a muscle in the rest of her body, Rachel’s eyes flitted about the church at those who would be most offended by Desmond’s words. Without moving her head she was able to see a few of the more righteous souls Desmond was referring to, and could not detect any noticeable anger.

“Please, God,” Rachel prayed to herself, “make him stop”.

Desmond tried his hardest not to make eye contact with any of the people who would take offense at his observations, yet, at the same time, tried to appear calm and confident.

“A good man,” Desmond said emphatically, slightly nodding his head on the word “good” to give it a sacred quality, “accepts the frailty of others and does his best to overcome his own. A good man is open to learning something new each day and forever strives to be a better person. Above all, a good man tries his best to do no harm to others, and accepts full responsibility when he does.”

“Some righteous people not only feel that they know what is right,” Desmond voice swelled, “but that they are privy to the very will of God. They expect justice in this life and the next, and find punishment for all evil acts.”

Carried away by the moment Desmond rushed on, “To the righteous soul, no misdeed goes unpunished. If you’re sick, you must have done something to arouse the wrath of God. No matter what ill befalls you, it is your fault. A righteous person finds basis for every one of their beliefs in the Bible, and, likewise, finds a biblical reason for every harm that comes to others.”

“A righteous person will blame the current famine on the evil actions of the community or the sinful life of the individual farmer whose land remains fallow. They can justify every harm that comes to you by how your life conflicts with the word of God…with the letter of the Law.”

Desmond looked over at his family. Rachel was now paralyzed with fear, staring directly in front of her and totally still, not even blinking. Rebecca, whose faith in her father was almost unshakable, even looked puzzled at where her father was going with this. Her body leaned forward as she anxiously awaited his next words.

Preferring to be spontaneous, Desmond never scripted his sermons. The night before his sermons he would pick out a general topic and sometime scribble down a few notes. Last night when thinking through this topic he identified some points to avoid. Today he wanted to express some of his concerns without being too stringent in his criticism. He could see no benefit to insulting anyone, no matter how often they themselves were insulting and hurtful to others.

Many thoughts he had last night he felt it would be better to keep to himself. He was opposed to those who acted like they knew the will of God, or were fond of frequently quoting scripture. Often he felt such people used the words in the Bible to justify their most intense hatreds and defend their deepest fears. Prejudice, closed mindedness, and even all out hate sat behind their incessant warnings, condemnations and prohibitions. All of their bigotry they supported by this verse and that.

While in the seminary he was amazed at how many different versions of the Bible there were, and how widely it was interpreted. It wasn’t until then that he realized how often the very contents of the Bible had been changed and altered. He found it fascinating to read the books that were omitted, and became quite interested in the history of the Bible and all related religious texts.

Desmond’s interest in the varied interpretations of the Bible and in it’s historical journey led him into Theology, Philosophy and Comparative Religions. These disciplines left an indelible mark on his spiritual beliefs. He saw the Bible less and less as the direct word of God, and more and more as a combination of spiritual inspiration and historical recording of both the Hebrews and early Christians.

Life, knowledge and happiness for Desmond were complicated things. He felt that the beauty and sacredness of life was only enhanced by its contradictions and secrets. Finding all the answers to life through quotes in the Bible seemed too simple for him, and very dangerous.

On one level, Desmond wanted to tell his congregation that Christ himself had found much in the Old Testament lacking in human compassion and love. He wanted to tell them that He changed the law of the times as much as He fulfilled the scripture. He wanted to tell them how many of Jesus’s fiercest battles were with the Scribes and holy people who challenged Him with their scriptural quotes and interpretations of the Old Testament. He wanted them to know the low opinion Jesus had for the people who viewed themselves as authorities on the word and will of God.

Yet, Desmond knew this would not educate as much as insult and anger those who most needed to hear these facts. He knew that he would have to be more subtle. This was fine for Desmond who did not want to fight the righteousness of others with his very own. His goal, as always, was to create an atmosphere of love and kindness and not to prove himself right at the expense of others.

“Job,” Desmond’s said softly, “was not a perfect man. He had his faults and problems just like anyone else. Yet, Job was a good man, a man who tried his hardest and did his best. No matter how badly his life went, he did not give up or spend his time complaining. He had his weak moments, we all do, but he was not an evil man. There were plenty of evil and selfish people around him who had a better life. He did not deserve the pain in his life, he did not deserve to be punished. His life was not just, and his daily efforts were not sufficiently rewarded.”

“When we look at the lives of the saints, we likewise see much unjustified suffering. In their tragic and inspirational stories we find some of the purest souls being treated in the most vial ways. Did they deserve to be punished? Did they deserve to live a life filled with pain and devoid of hope?….Of course they didn’t.”

Desmond looked about the room slowly before asking, “But, why did they?”

“No one can say exactly why? Life is meant to be a mystery. No where does Christ ever say that a good man’s life will be any easier than a wicked man’s. Christ never says that one’s good deeds and intentions will be fairly rewarded in this life. He never says that the life of an evil man will be filled with pain. Christ never says that justice is a necessary part of human existence.”

“This is why it is foolish for us to righteously condemn anyone whose life is difficult, or praise anyone whose life is blessed. No one can judge the inner soul of their fellow man. In fact, we are not even capable of judging our own souls. We can never truly know if an action we do is right and just or fits properly into our overall destiny. All we can do is be the good man, the modest man who does his best and tries his hardest. To purposely harm or hurt others is undeniably an evil act, but any harm done without malice should not sully the reputation of the good man.”

“All of us have our moments of righteousness when we unfairly judge others. We all desire for there to be justice in the world, and want our good acts to be rewarded. At moments we all desire for the wickedness of others to be punished. We all have times of fear or pain in which we pray for divine intervention. Yes, at times even the best of men can become righteous and selfishly demand that the world be fair.”

Desmond backed away from the pulpit for a moment and then leaned back in to add, “Even the purest of hearts has moments of righteousness. Though we know it is foolish to expect God to make life fair and just, or to give extra consideration to our individual needs and desires, we still do.”

Desmond now smiled broadly and while panning the pews with his eyes continued, “We all want to know what is right, and we want to do it. Some of us get lost in our excitement to know and find truth where there is only guidance. The Bible is a beautiful book full of inspiration. Yet, it never clearly states the way. It only guides and instructs us.”

“During difficult times it is hard not to get angry with yourself or become overly critical of your neighbors. At times of great hardship and injustice it is quite normal for the cry for justice to become the loudest. Right now our farm community is suffering through a substantial drought. All of us, whether we own farm land or not, are affected by the success of our community’s farms. In a farm community, a bad year effects each and every individual in each and every family.”

The tension in the room was being replaced by a sense of fellowship. Desmond’s words were succeeding in having the people in this church realize how connected they were. They knew Desmond was right in pointing out that they all were having a difficult time. They also knew what he was about to say.

“It is during difficult times that we most need our friends and family. We of this humble community, more than ever should reach out and support each other. Instead of giving into our anger and frustration, we need to solidify the bonds we have with our neighbors.”

“People need support and love all the time, but especially in difficult times. Our brothers who are spending each day in the sweltering heat toiling to save their crops need our support. Even if you don’t have the time to help them in the field, you should find it in your heart to provide them with whatever support they need. Knowing how vital each moment is right now for your crops, I personally want to thank all of you for taking the time to come to today’s service. I will try to make time to see all of you this week, and will work in the fields as long as I possibly can.”

Smiling even broader Desmond added, “I wish I could promise you some rain, but all I can pledge is my time.”

Not one person in the congregation doubted Desmond’s pledge. All of the farmers knew that he would come by this week (as he had been the last few) helping them in the field. Desmond was indeed everyone’s loyal friend.

He could be counted on to do the shopping for Mrs. Janus whenever her arthritis flared up, and help in Mrs. Flanders’ garden now that her boys had gone off to college. It would be hard to remember the last time a house or barn was built or refurbished in this town which Desmond didn’t have a hand in building. When it came to seeing Desmond Prouty, people could be sure of two things: that he’d have tools in his hands and a smile on his face.

Desmond had come to this small town over twenty years ago with his young bride. At that time Rev. Grayson was looking for a man to replace Mr. Hannibal who had just retired as the caretaker for the church and the surrounding property. Desmond was more than happy to take over this position, and his lovely bride Rachel became a third grade teacher at the community school.

The Prouty’s bought some property about a mile from the church and quickly became fixtures in the community. Rev. Grayson, quite taken by Desmond’s industrious attitude and boundless enthusiasm, helped him find extra work all around town. Within a few months Desmond had become the town handyman known for both his reliability and versatility.

Rachel and Desmond had been here not more than three months when she became pregnant with Rebecca. Knowing that the Prouty’s were far from their families, the entire community helped out with Rachel’s pregnancy. Desmond spent most of Rachel’s pregnancy working hard trying to economically prepare for the birth of his first child. While Desmond worked in the fields with the farmers, their wives visited Rachel and helped her decorate and organize the nursery.

Rebecca’s birth was an event anticipated by the entire community. Almost everyone in town was on the phone the night Rachel went into the hospital, and well over twenty ladies offered to help out around the house when she returned home with her baby.

Rev. Grayson (who had been planning on retiring in a couple of years) offered Desmond his position at the church soon after Rebecca’s birth. Desmond at first declined, but later accepted the offer after the good Reverend pointed out how much Desmond needed the extra money.

Desmond accepted the offer only after the Reverend agreed to stay in town and allow Desmond to take care of him and his property. Though the good Reverend died some years ago, Desmond still took care of the old house next to the church occupied by his widow, Mrs. Emily Grayson.

Over the last twenty three years the Prouty’s had been as much a part of the life of the people assembled in this church, as the passing of the seasons. They watched the boyish enthusiasm of Desmond mature into a calm patience. They had grown to respect his determination and count on his friendship. Their children were educated by Rachel, and were friends with Rebecca. Now, much sooner than anyone could have imagined, they were taking pride in Rebecca’s own child, Andrew. The bond between the Prouty’s and the town was as deep as a mother’s to her newborn.

When in his church, wherever you looked, you saw Desmond Prouty. Desmond had built and polished every inch of this church inside and out. From rebuilding the steeple to replacing all the pews, Desmond’s work was everywhere to be seen.

He rewired the church and kept the archaic floor fans which were there with Rev. Grayson running throughout the years. Desmond spent years learning how to work with stain glass, just in order to replace the seven stain glass windows which surround the church. The garden of flowers which lined the perimeter of the church were designed and tended to by the Rev. Desmond Prouty.

The church was Desmond’s shrine. The work and care that went into his church caused everyone who attended to feel safe and loved. Even the most insensitive person found it hard not to be respectful of this church, and feels calmed when in its dimly lit beauty.

People around town would say that the best way to learn about Desmond Prouty was to look at his church. Like his church, there was nothing fancy or flashy about him. Desmond was hard working, reliable and organized. He put as much care and time into every member of the congregation as he did into his church.

Relationships and Social Issues18 Sep 2009 08:13 pm

A good portion of this site is devoted to my artistic works. If you click on the music tab you will have a menu of CD’s of my music to choose from. This section includes not only the mp3’s to click on,but also the lyrics to each song.

When you click on the words tab you will get a menu of a few of my novels and non-fiction works to look over. Just today I completed uploading all the chapters of Public Relations for your perusal.

Within a few days I will complete the uploading of A Twist of Faith which currently has the first five chapters available tp be read. In the non-fiction section Exploring Intimacy is complete while the other books all have five or so chapters uploaded.

I should add a CD or so each year, while also updating mixes of past CD’s. I would greatly appreciate hearing which mixes work best for you as I am tinkering with many of the mixes to best deal with the medium of computer sound systems.

So, tonight I’ll get you started with an intro and first chapter of Public Relations. Here it is and enjoy.

Public Relations an Intro

Claudia thought she had found the perfect man in Austin. He was intelligent, funny and very caring. Yet, despite all these great qualities, she found it increasingly difficult to rectify this loving man with the way he conducted his professional life.

Austin was a PR man for the rich and the famous in both the corporate and political worlds. Though Claudia admired Austin’s goals she finally decided to leave him because of his methods. Austin, a master of influence and propaganda, always knew what to say and how to make everyone feel important and special.

Did Austin really love Claudia and respect her, or did he just know how to handle her? Was she his life partner or another client to please and manipulate? Claudia is not sure of the answers and is not sure if she would ever take him back even if she proved to herself that he really did love her. Is it possible for a man to be too perfect or for doting, affection and care to be a negative in a relationship?

Claudia’s dilemma is causing her to grow and flourish in many ways. Her eyes have been opened and with that so has her mind. No matter what happens in regards to her relationship with Austin, Claudia is sure to come out the other end a better person.

Chapter 1 Background Noise

She knew she was there somewhere. Somewhere beyond the buzzing of the seemingly endless cacophony of thoughts, fears, and self-doubt she sensed her world still existed. Was she dizzy, lost or just plain disconnected from her body? She wasn’t quite sure if any of these were possibilities. “Ms. Jenkins are you still there,” an urgent voice leapt into the stream heading into the whirlpool inside her head.

“My God,” she said to herself half-heartedly latching onto a fleeting thought, “I’m on the phone”.

“Ms. Jenkins” the voice once again sought her out.

“I’m sorry,” she heard herself rasp, “what was your name again?”

“Todd Platt,” he offered eagerly, “if….”

“I’m sorry Mr. Platt,” she interrupted frantically, “but, I really can’t say one way or another right now. You’ll just have to give me a few days to consider your proposition… Once I’ve had time to mull it over awhile I’ll give you a call back. I’ve got to go right now, so I’ll contact you in a couple of days. Thanks! Bye now!”

“Ms. Jenkins,” Todd anxiously bellowed, “but, you don’t have my number!”

Though her head was still spinning and her breathing was still fast and shallow she smirked self-deprecatingly at her foolishness while adding, “Just give me a call back in a few days. I just need some time. O.K.?”

“No problem Ms. Jenkins, I’ll give you a call at the end of the week.”

Putting herself on auto-pilot Claudia began playing back the conversation in her mind while she finished with the formal good-byes and pleasantries with Mr. Platt. The conversation had started innocuous enough, just another one of those phone calls by a young graduate student who was a big fan of Austin’s. He said he was doing some research on Austin and wanted to ask her a few questions.

She was so used to the questions regarding how he got his start in the business and what she thought were his major accomplishments. She never even bristled when they asked personal questions regarding their relationship, and the way he was outside of work. Actually, she had loved those questions. It was so nice to talk about how affectionate and caring he was, how different he was from the stereotypic work-aholic-ad-man one hears about.

She was always surprised at how the interviewer felt him or herself unique in wanting to do a research paper on one of the most prestigious men behind the scenes. As if only those closest in the industry knew the powerful men who influence, if not create, everything from fashion to fads to hard news.

Austin himself would get a kick out of hearing what she had told the interviewers, often encouraging her to say the most outlandish things to the greener and more inexperienced inquisitors. Though Austin relished being the man who controlled the action anonymously from behind the scenes, he also craved the incessant recognition he got in his field, and the wide-eyed reverence he got from kids starting out in the realm of public relations. Knowing he could do no wrong in the eyes of these young up-starts, he enjoyed pushing the envelope by fabricating the most outlandish “facts” about his youth or personal life.

This was not the first interviewer she had talked to since she left Austin, but the direction of this Q & A had to it an eerie feel. It aroused in Claudia the feelings of fear, paranoia and depression which had caused her to flee everything that previously had been the source of all the joy and meaning she experienced in her life.

Her inner cyclone started as soon as this Platt fellow began talking about making a movie about Austin. This was no ordinary grad student or gushing fan but in the least a very ambitious young man with grandiose aspirations. Suddenly the questions became more invasive and challenging, and the tone quickly deteriorated into that of tabloid journalism. When he told her he really wanted to know her side of the story, her fears instantly mushroomed into full fledged panic.

What could he possibly mean? There were no sides. What did he want her to say? Surely, he couldn’t possibly understand why she deserted the most tender and thoughtful man she ever knew? Undoubtedly, this ambitious young man full of raging hormones couldn’t comprehend her abandoning a pampered existence full of passion and unbridled sensuality. Did he want to know Austin was and in some perverted way still remained her best friend, a warm and intelligent person willing to discuss any topic and share any feeling?

As she parried away this question, Mr. Platt machine gunned a few more at her. Each question seemed predatory in nature but Claudia was unsure whether she was supposed to be the predator or the prey. All she knew was she felt trapped and needed to spring herself free.

No matter how insensitive the question, Mr. Platt kept a joyful almost playful voice tone. Austin’s line of work was full of these Mr. Platts whose disarming demeanor contradicted their competitive and manipulative words.

She began to fear the man’s motives for doing this project. Why would someone want to expose Austin in this way? Did Austin know of this possible project and what would he do if he found out?

Yet, something in the questions had her wonder if it was Austin himself behind the project. Was this interviewer part of some scheme of Austin’s? Was he checking up on her, or was he testing her to see what she would say now that they were apart? Was he protecting his interests, or once again trying to control her? Were these thoughts unfair on her part, and even if he were aware of this interview, was he doing it as an attempt to get her out of her gloom?

Maybe it was only what it appeared to be, a young man with unrealistic aspirations. Yet, Austin had long taught her that even the most innocent looking situations are usually contrived or at least exploited by those in marketing and image making. Her years of being with Austin made it impossible for her to be pacified or reassured by a style of speech, or a gracious smile. Her world had become one of content, and no matter how pleasant he presented himself, all Claudia could smell was a wolf.

What would Austin do if a movie were being made of him, and what role would he want her to play? Would he at some point buy out the project either to make it his, or to keep it harmlessly on some shelf somewhere?

Claudia’s awareness came out of this fever and she caught herself in the mirror. Now in the quiet of her soft white bedroom she began to piece herself back together. Taking a deep breath she looked into her own eyes and face.

She felt it a bit ironic to see the woman looking back at her seeming so symmetrical and beautiful. Even in her robe and without make-up she still had an eternal beauty. Austin had told her countless times that her beauty was both pure and perpetual. Pure, he said, because she paid no attention to it, and perpetual because she never seemed to age.

Looking at herself, she could see that he was right. Her oval face and delicate features forced one to look at her deep brown eyes. Her thick shimmering dark brown hair neither straight nor curly just framed her face luring one ever further into her eyes.

While many beautiful women take advantage of outstanding features such as high cheek bones, or pouty lips, Claudia’s face had no protrusions. This allowed her beauty to be both subtle and lasting, for she did not have the type of facial landscape that would age with deepening groves, lines or furrows. Her face had a graceful slope to it, so subtle and balanced were the contours of her face that even the most gifted artist would have trouble finding a quality dominating enough to render as a caricature.

The symmetry of her face repeated itself all the way down to her toes. Her breasts were big and full enough to catch a man’s eye, but not so ample as to prematurely fall prey to the demands of gravity. Her breath-taking composition of sleek curves had her appear much taller than her actual height of 5′4″.

There she sat transfixed on the irony of how tired and empty she felt and how vibrant and glowing she looked. Many times she wished she could let people see how bored or tired she felt. This could have greatly reduced the number of times friends over stayed their welcome, or disturbed her far too early in the morning. Yet, no matter how hard she tried she could never get herself to look haggard or the least bit drawn. Looking at herself she never would guess how rotten she was feeling. She wondered if this were nature’s way of insuring her with a little dishonesty.

She wondered if and when she could retrieve her life. Austin’s influence on her view of the world had not only been strong, but pervasive. Very early in the relationship she remembered feeling angry at Austin for treating her like a child by hiding from her all the realities of the world. Yet, as time went on, she felt an even stronger anger at his exposing her to too much. She had often hoped that Austin’s world was only what it was supposed to be, a world of fabrication and make believe. Yet, the more he pulled back the curtain, the more real or even necessary his world seemed.

At the moment she yearned for innocence lost, but she doubted that could be achieved. Yet, maybe she could come out the other side, happy and optimistic, but just not as naive.

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships16 Sep 2009 09:01 pm

Most high functioning animals learn their skills by playing while babies. They learn how to hunt, defend themselves, escape from danger and develop their most vital skills all while playing with siblings, peers and parents. Human children too, develop many of their skills and characteristics through play.

The following observations of human play are divided along gender lines due to the difference in play styles often exhibited by boys and girls. This is not to say that all boys play one way and girls another, but does seem to fit the standard ways in which children in the US play and use fantasy in their formative years.

While boys tend to prefer large motor activity spending much of their play running and moving about, girls tend to talk more and engage in relatively stationary activities. Having worked in day care during the late 70’s I observed quite a difference in play styles between most boys and girls. During the last decade or so I have been called upon to observe children having trouble in day care programs in order to help the staff develop strategies and interventions allowing a child to remain at a particular center. Though the roles of men and woman have changed greatly, the play styles amongst boys and girls have not changes much over the last 30 or so years.

Playing with dolls still remains a favorite activity of young girls. Girls are comfortable playing with dolls alone, side by side with others and will sometime even join others in small group doll play. Most girls prefer personal rather than group doll play and change to more social activities such as dress up, playing house and puppet shows when in groups. Girls also enjoy doing crafts and arts in groups while engaging in spirited conversation.

When playing with dolls most girls enter their own personal little fantasy land. They move the doll or dolls about while talking to them frequently. They often organize daily activities and events with the doll(s) such as tea parties, dinners, dances and the like. Many times the doll is taken care of like it is a baby, or the doll is a baby. Most of the time the child seems to enjoy having total control of the interactions with the doll. Though affectionate with their “dollies” most girls are quite verbally critical of their dolls behavior and dole out punishments and admonitions with great frequency.

To me the most striking aspect of standard doll play is the amount of verbal and physical energy the child puts into correcting and bossing their dolls Even though the doll is motionless the fantasy is that the doll is always in need of guidance and punishment for social errors in terms of behavior and verbals. The doll is both a person and a possession in need of the girl as mother.

This need to be in complete control is also demonstrated in other female dominated games. Most fathers of little girls who have been invited to a play tea party have experienced the harsh corrections of their almost every move. Dad picks up the tea cup, he’s often corrected on how to hold it. He takes a cookie that’s offered him and here’s his daughter cry out “no, no you’re supposed to say……” or some such thing. The entire tea party is spent with the daughter scripting every word and action with a running dialogue as director of the party.

Puppet shows given by a girl and a boy often go a similar route in which every line uttered by the boy is met with the girl saying, “no, no, now you say…..” or “now you do……”. I believe this aspect of verbal control of domestic and social interactions is often duplicated by girls as they grow into mothers and wives.

The social control aspect of a young girls early play and fantasy life often comes to the forefront on their wedding day. Many woman talk of how much they dreamed of and fantasized their wedding day since they were a young girl. Many a talk show has been spent discussing a wedding trauma experienced by a bride when things didn’t go as planned. Even without a major mishap many brides express a severe disappointment that the day did not live up to the dream. It’s tough for a man to live up to how the doll performed and was scripted to perform in the many dress rehearsals of the young girls fantasy play. She can’t interrupt the grooms every action and verbal with “no, no, now you say…. or no, no now you do”.

Real men make terrible dolls and even worse fantasy princes. They don’t talk right, act right and treat their wife with the kind of love and devotion that her dolls did with her expert guidance and control. While little girls dote on their baby dolls and feed and take care of them, when they fantasize about their future husbands little girls play is dominated by the love and devotion the man shows and feels for them. Girl’s fantasies as well as most fairy tales are centered around the girl being the prize. The prince loves and the heroine of the story is loved.

In most relationships I’m privy to, the woman controls most of the domestic and social venues while the man is in control of most everything else. It is not unusual for a woman to exert great influence over what a man wears at a given function. A husbands performance at a given social function is often cause for great concern over even a source for frequent arguments during the course of many a marriage.

When women complain that they “just want to be listened to”, I have a hard time not picturing the doll being propped up in the chair as the little girl talks on and on in fantasy dialogue. Dolls are the perfect playmate and the perfect possession. Men just don’t make the grade.

This is not to blame doll play for much of the problems in heterosexual relationships, but it is important to note that early play is the basic template most animals use for adult life. It is somewhat to be expected that the fantasy and habits formed during early play would be replayed during adult life.

Babies have a better chance of replicating many aspects of early doll play. A baby being helpless, vulnerable and mute for quite a span of time is in perfect need for the little girls constant teaching and guidance. The frequent talking to the doll is once again very beneficial when a young mother talks to her baby. A vulnerable baby needs to be someones prized possession.

Yet, many mother’s experience difficulties when their babies grow up and their verbal control and criticism causes conflict and turmoil. Having a human being come out of your body after being part of you for nine months has to be one of the most incredible experiences a human being can experience. The fetus was created in your body, lived and grew in your body, and every cell of their body was formed from your cells. The blood and air feeding the fetus are yours, so when the baby is born it must be hard to not continue to view it as part of you. In so many ways a baby is truly a possession of the mother.

These facts, coupled with the doll fantasy play, make viewing and treating a child as a separate and autonomous person a true hurdle for a woman.

While much of a little girls fantasy and doll play involves future hurdles regarding a need to control social and domestic environments a little boys early play and fantasy deal with other control issues. in fairness to women I’ll give a short synopsis of the male hurdle.

The typical boy’s fantasy and game world is dominated by action and adventure. While many today focus on a little boy’s desire to play with guns or win wars, this does not exhaust his areas of interest. Little boys love movement. They are either running, or imagining driving a car, plane, truck or space ship. Many crave super powers and either have super hero action figures, or imagine being in a world of dinosaurs or mythical beasts. Little boys, love to win, conquer, build and invent. They like to plan, design and take things apart. Many spend hours seeing how things work or exploring lawn, creek and forest life.

Young boys thirst for change and control of the world around them. Leaving things alone and just admiring them is not something most boys enjoy.

The need to build, control, invent, design and just plain tinker and monkey with everything natural or man made is a young man’s burden. The misuse and overuse of the planet’s resources is predictable with the play of young boys. Political conflict and war is also structured into the play and fantasy of young boys.

Entire books could easily be dedicated to the current and possible benefits and drawbacks of the play of both young girls and boys. This post was only meant to whet the appetite for exploration and discussion regarding this issue.

Jim Guido

Philosophy and Psychology13 Sep 2009 12:29 pm

In the previous post I talked on the difference between horizontal and vertical experience. In quick recap horizontal experience is an addition of the quantity of things we’ve experienced such as a new fact or a meal we’re trying for the first time. Vertical experience has more to do with a more in depth knowledge or experience of something that fascinates us. In sum a person who has a proclivity for horizontal experience will be a well rounded jack of all trades, while a person drawn to vertical experience will be more likely to excel or be an expert in a given field such as virtuoso pianist or ancient Etruscan art.

The post also highlighted the fact that at every moment we are choosing to learn or experience something new or to become increasingly familiar or masterful over something we’ve already been exposed to. All of us lie somewhere on the continuum between the perpetual student and taster of the new to the obsessive and driven master of a specific discipline. Just as most of us seek and cultivate finding a life partner who we know and know us with unparalleled intimacy it does not prevent us from meeting new people and forming varied levels of intimacy with all of them.

Horizontal and vertical ways of seeking and internalizing events is not the only dimensions of human experience. In this post we’ll take a look at other dimensions of our daily life which we often take for granted. Human experience is not flat, but rather very complex and full of potential fullness and richness. Even the most rudimentary and mundane experience has such amazing potential.

As your eyes are scanning this page a number of components are making up your current and present experience. First your eyes are moving from left to right as your read the words that make up this sentence. Some words maybe you recognized instantly but some longer words or unfamiliar ones may have actually caused you to pay attention to each letter. The ability to read and understand a paragraph, a sentence and sometimes even a word takes time.

The being in the present which is so often stated as a goal by spiritualists and psychologists is not a literal expectation. Being “totally in the moment” which is often the stated goal of these disciplines when we reflect on the life of actual experience becomes inaccurate at best and misleading and deceptive at worst.  Being totally present in the moment would be a flat experience, and a flat experience even if possible would not be very desirable.

The reading of a paragraph or even a sentence would not be possible without our ability to retain information from from one moment to the next.  A sentence is a series of words and a paragraph is a series of sentences. Only my ability to live in time and retain one snapshot and connect to the next snapshot makes experience possible. The meaning of the post is put together over time by your reading of letters, than words, sentences and paragraphs. When reading a novel or textbook or skills of retention are paramount to us having the “experience” of the book and our being able to learn, grow or be moved by what it said.

Even the simplest experience has a depth and fattness to it. Our experiences are not flat but rather they require a certain thickness for them to become a perceptual event or experience. Our past and our sense of personal history make meaningful experience possible. The only way you can read these words on this page at this given moment is by the fact that you can recall and remember them. When I look around my room I’m not seeing the objects for a first time. I am not discovering or creating them, my current experience of them is made possible by my ability to recognize them. Literally, recognize means to re-cognize, to think again. So my ability to be “in the moment” is highly dependent on my ability to draw on my past. Each new experience is immediately put into context while further extending my knowledge in a horizontal or vertical manner as discussed in the previous post.

Yet, even the experience of seeing my room, house or yard is rarely a single momentary experience. Seldom is the entire room or yard taken in on one look. Seldom is an entire perception captured by my field of vision. Usually, I have to turn my head or take a number of snapshots to truly see my room or yard.  Not only does this take time but also sheds light on how thick our experience of things are.

When I look about the room I see objects such as my writing table, chair and sofa, but do I really see these thinttgs. When I look now at my sofa, I only see a portion of the sofa. Though in the moment of my immediate experience I only see the front right half of the sofa I know its my sofa, I assume and know that it has a backside and a bottom though they are currently not part of my present perception.

Almost everything and everyone we know, we know from a variety of perspectives. It is important to note that not only do we imagine or fill our what we actually see with what we previously knowledge and perceptions, but that our knowledge of most increases by the number of different perspectives we have of that object or person.

In the last post I discussed how at each moment we choose to either learn something new (horizontal) or more in depth (vertical) now I want to add two more choices we make fairly often in our experiences. When we perceive or think about something we care choosing from what perspective to see it. In general we can say we are either getting a closer look at something or seeing something from a larger viewpoint. Getting a closer view is seeing something microscopically while the larger perspective is seeing something telescopically.

Just as our society has a tendency to view vertical knowledge as being superior to horizontal knowledge, so to our society has a tendency to value microscopic knowledge over telescopic.Yet, the truth of the matter is that just as I argued in the last post life is made richer and more meaningful by both horizontal and vertical knowledge so to is our intimacy of the world increased with both telescopic as well as microscopic perspectives.

The bias is that the closer you get to something the more you dig into it and break it down, the more intimate and knowledgeable you become over the thing your investigating. If you desire to become more intimate with someone you should desire to know their every thought and become as close to them as possible. If you want to know a tree you should get up close to it, smell it, touch it and look at every nuance of its bark and leaves and examine its cells under a microscope if you can.

Yet, in actuality my knowledge and intimacy is increased by the sheer number of perspectives and ways in which I know and experience the person or object under consideration.  Just think of how much more familiar and intimate our experience of the planet earth has become due to the photos of the earth taken from space. Likewise some of my most powerful insights I gained into how my son thought and felt were gained when I watched him on a playing field or at a great distance in a social milieu.

The experience of being part of a stadium crowd can be quite intense, yet that intensity and experience can become even greater if you happen to leave the event early and hear the roar of the crowd from the parking lot.  Each perspective has its own value and can add to the richness and meaning of an event or experience. The importance and value of seeing things from many perspectives is a central theme in my book Exploring Intimacy which can be read in its entirety in the words section lf this site.

Though this post is longer than I like, I feel compelled to recognize one more dimension of human experience before I close. The future is just as vital to the meaning and fullness of human experience as is our past. The future is part of that thickness of human experience that makes meaning and richness possible. First so many of the decisions I make regarding what to next in life is based on my ability to plan. Planning is essential in allowing me to maximize and guide my experience. Not only is planning crucial to giving my life a sense of meaning and direction, but without it, a sense of quality would be hard to come by.

The future dimension in experience isn’t only exemplified by planning but also in our ability to anticipate. Anticipation is a crucial component in both our safety and enjoyment. Whether one is driving a car or talking to an angry person our ability to read the situation and anticipate what could come next is essential to our safety and success in both tasks. Biochemical studies demonstrate how anticipation maximizes pleasure while minimizes pain. The body of a person who sees a punch coming secretes chemicals which will blunt the pain of the coming strike. The pleasure and enjoyment of a good meal and sexual orgasm have likewise been shown to be increased by the persons anticipation of the event. That is why great chefs spend time on food presentation and good lovers on setting atmosphere and appreciation for the power of fore play.

Our sense of self, history and the future all provide our lives with so much richness and significance. The thickness of human experience is truly something to appreciate and cultivate.

We do our selves a disservice when we take the beauty and magic of our experience for granted. I also feel we do ourselves a disservice when we look at our ego as a problem or something to overcome, or when we try improve our lives by “living in the moment” or being “present”.

Jim Guido

Education and Philosophy08 Sep 2009 08:07 pm

At each moment in our lives we are making decisions, choosing options, or performing actions which add to our knowledge and skill base. Often times we are doing a repetitive task or reviewing material we have long committed to memory but even in many of these situations we are deepening a skill or internalizing a bit of information.

When we choose to learn something new or expand the quantity of things we know we can look at that as horizontal growth and when we learn something more in depth or master a skill we can refer that as vertical knowledge or experience. A person who excels in horizontal growth is often referred to as well rounded or a jack of all trades, while our society tends to recognize and reward the obsessive vertical growth person for their mastery and heightened performance. These are the masters of knowledge in a specific discipline such as physics or medicine. These are the virtuoso pianists, Olympic athletes and skilled surgeons whose mastery and perfection earn our respect and admiration. Although more rare, sometimes a horizontal knowledge person amazes us with their encyclopedic knowledge such as a college professor or game show whiz.

Yet there is no person who is strictly a vertical or horizontal learner. Even the most dedicated and obsessive musician or athlete spends some time away from perfecting and deepening their treasured skill. The world class gymnast and concert cellist have other activities and skills that they engage in. Likewise even the most wide ranged thinker sometimes lingers on a fascinating morsel of knowledge deepening their familiarity with the subject.

All of us lie somewhere on the continuum between complete vertical and total horizontal knowledge. We all have activities and areas of interest that we have deeper and more cursory knowledge of or mastery over. One mode of knowledge and experience is not inherently better than the other.

This fact should help us all be more content and appreciative of ourselves. We can all find someone who is more dedicated or obsessive about a skill we’ve developed. If you happen to be a person who loves to bowl or play golf you will likely find someone who has a better average than you, if you like basketball and spend hours on your shooting you still will meet someone who has a higher free throw percentage than you.

At each moment we should be choosing what will give us more joy or add more meaning to our lives. There is so much to know, feel, perceive and experience. Our exact mix of horizontal and vertical experience is what makes each of us a unique and fascinating human being.

Society has a tendency to act as if all of life is a contest and each event has one winner and a lot of losers. Yet, the truth of the matter is life is rendered more rich and beautiful by each of our contributions of vertical and horizontal experience and knowledge. Each skill mastered or deepened and any addition to the sheer quantity of what is known, felt, experienced ior perceived makes all of human life more amazing.

Our preferred balance of vertical and horizontal experience changes from activity to activity. Someone who cooks like a chef may dance like a child, yet at each moment we are free to choose to move on or stay awhile. While we should not feel bad about the choices we make, we should also be tolerant of the choices of others. A person who is dedicated to one activity is not necessarily missing life or unhappy. No one way promises joy, each person must find the mix which works for them.

Jim Guido

Music31 Aug 2009 10:30 am

After some technical problems loading the music and lyrics and getting them published, I finally succeeded at getting it done.

The new CD is entitled Go! and can be accessed by clicking on to the music tab, and then clicking on the Go! album.

Once on the Go! album page click on the mp3 icon to hear song and click on the lyric to read the lyrics. To be able to read lyrics while listening to the song click on mp3 icon first and than click on lyrics (lyrics will appear in a separate window).

I’m in the process of updating some of my mixes. Let me know if there any particular mixes you want me to redo, especially if they are muddy or lack separation of sound.

Please take the time to listen to a number of tunes, since they are quite diverse musically and lyrically.

Also take some time to read some of my books. Currently Exploring Intimacy is the only book fully downloaded to the site. Two of my novels Public Relations and A Twist of Faith will be complete in a few days to a week. Each book already has a number of chapters ready and by the time you complete them, the rest should be up and ready for your eyes.

Enjoy.

Jim Guido

PS I should have my next blog up in a day or two.

Economics and Politics and Social Issues22 Aug 2009 12:09 pm

The only people who would desire a deflationary depression would be those who would greatly benefit by its occurrence. So the question is better stated who would stand to benefit most from a deflationary depression?

Though many suffered from the Great Depression of the 1930’s there were those who reaped incredible and previously unimaginable monetary gains from the depression. Many of the wealthiest families and individuals in the US and Europe were formed during the Great Depression. While only a few truly made their dollars during the deflationary years, they acquired ownership and increased their position in their industries which bore fruit in the boon years following the depression.

Some who had hoarded their money took advantage of their peers who had lost everything in the stock market and bought their competitors businesses and assets for pennies on the dollar. Some went from being an average player in an industry to becoming the last standing proprietor and became an instant monopoly on the economic rebound.

The majority of the wealthiest families in the US and Europe either became so or stayed the elite because of how they capitalized on the Great Depression. The goal of the ultra wealthy is for as much money to go into as few hands as possible. It is hard to imagine a better time for this to happen then during a deflationary depression where there are so many losers and so few winners.

So the following are three of the top reasons why the ultra wealthy would want a deflationary depression, and how they would benefit from this environment.

1) The wealthiest can greatly increase their percentage of total global wealth

As stated above the most monetarily ambitious individuals and families who are hoarding billions in cash could buy entire sectors of the economy such as falling real estate and failing businesses for pennies on the dollar. Initially this investment would just increase their percentage of ownership and position, but would pay off big time when the economy rebounds.

Also those hoarding cash relative wealth sky rockets during deflation. Even if they stood pat their billions or even millions become more powerful and impressive as their peers and the global economy shrinks. When trillions of dollars evaporate out of real estate and the stock market those who maintain their wealth become wealthier in comparison. If I have 200,000 in a bank with deposits in the billions I’m not a very big depositor, but if due to losses in real estate and stocks the banks deposits shrink to a few million dollars than my 200,000 suddenly looks quite respectable.

2) Those who want a global economy could achieve it much quicker.

George Bush Sr. was the first president to talk to the public of globalism from the perspective of a “world order”. This global economy is hierarchical and the polar opposite of a global community. In the “new world order” the bulk of wealth and ownership is in hands of the few and the masses stand to benefit by this is the typical “trickle down economics” that has dominated US fiscal policy since the Reagan years.

In this view the entire globe is one homogeneous functioning economy. The greatest obstacle to this dream is the disparity of income and standard of living between the industrialized nations (mainly US, Japan and Europe) and the rest of the emerging and third world nations. This disparity can be rectified in two basic ways, either the income and wages of the industrialized come down or the emerging nations can come up. The most likely scenario is a combination of the two.

Yet, this economic leveling process could take decades. It’s hard to imagine the wealthy globalization zealots being comfortable with this rather lengthy process which hampers their economic dreams and goals. Patience is not one of the strong points of the economically ambitious.

The quickest solution for globalism is probably found in a deflationary depression centered around industrialized nations. In the last depression the old powers England, France and Germany had to borrow from an emerging nation (the US), and by the end of the depression the US not only caught up but surpassed the wealth and power of the aging empires.

Currently the US is the aging empire borrowing from the creditor emerging nation China.

In a deflationary depression wages in the US and Europe would fall as would the standard of living of the middle class. This fall would be rather dramatic and could allow global wages to meet in a rather short period of time. The emerging nations wages would not fall as much and may even rise during the deflation and would certainly be able to catch up almost instantaneously as the global economy begins to recover.

Just as a few of the wealthiest families in Europe were able to not only survive the shift of power from Europe to the US but actually flourish so will our current ultra wealthy families be able to survive any future geographical shift of economic power. After all, it is called globalism.

3) The corporate economic elite can unload their economic burdens and obligations.

Many of the largest corporations and governments now find themselves swamped in financial obligations they’ve made to their workers and citizens. Though most of these contracts were mainly constructed by management and sold to labor as a bargaining agreement, the corporations like to pose these contractual obligations as “entitlements”. While it is literally true that the workers are contractually “entitled” to these retirement and benefit plans the corporate PR departments are busy waging an image war over the perceived emotional meaning of entitlement.

Every day we are inundated with reports describing the ill effects of how adults and kids “feeling entitled” is injuring our economy and society. Every day we here how these spoiled brats who feel entitled to life’s luxuries are ruining the moral fabric of our humanity. Yet, feeling entitled and being entitled aren’t the same thing. If I work a job I am entitled to receive a pay check for the agreed upon amount for my services. It’s not about feeling entitled its about my boss living up to his word and obligation and giving me my paycheck.

Despite their best efforts the corporations, though getting some some unwarranted sympathy for their plight, is still swimming in a sea of debt. Their reckless investment and business practices are leaving them ill prepared to fulfill their retirement obligation to all their workers.

The investment menus of most corporations and businesses are quite limited. Couple this with the fact that interest rates are being kept at historic lows for a number of years is forcing companies and individuals to put greater and greater portions of their retirement plan funds in the stock market. Trillions of dollars were lost globally during last fall and this spring’s stock market tumble and on-going real estate correction. Many people found their self-managed and corporate managed retirement funds cut in half.

The stock market plunged some 87% during the last depression. There is every reason to believe that another depression would be as severe. In such a case near 90% of all retirement funds could evaporate, and with it so would the financial obligations of many of the world’s largest corporations. Looked at inn this way a deflationary depression might be the only way for a number of corporations and industries to be able to survive.

I’m not saying that a deflationary depression is being planned. Yet, I think it is unwise to be blind to the fact that some have and some would greatly benefit from a deflationary depression. These include the wealthiest of the wealthy, and the most powerful of the most influential. A deflationary depression not only solves their problems, but helps them reach their goals and dreams in the quickest and most powerful means available. A means that only comes about once a century of so, at least that’s what history has shown us.

But if you think that they are more concerned about your immediate welfare than their success and overall ability to impact the world, then maybe they will do everything in their power to avoid a depression.

Jim Guido

Music and Politics and Social Issues20 Aug 2009 07:41 pm

I am baffled and saddened by the anger and fear which is dominating the debate regarding health care. In the US we never have a discussion, but always a debate. A discussion sounds hopeful of finding an agreeable solution to a problem, but a debate is one step from an argument it is seldom viewed or portrayed as a vehicle for harmony. We are being trained and provoked into battling each other through fear and hatred. We are being encouraged to be close minded and judgmental and emotionally outraged by the words “of the other side”.

Words no longer evoke thought but rather provoke emotional reactions. Any word uttered is immediately pigeon holed into some ideological caricature fraught with emotional negativity. No one can speak without being labeled a socialist, communist, neoconservative, or conspirator due to the vocabulary they use.

I don’t feel doing the right thing or trying to be a caring and empathetic individual is beholding to any particular ideology. I’m not sure what the solution is, but the problem is pretty clear. We have far too many people in this country who have no health insurance. Wanting everyone to have the basics in life to survive such as food, shelter, clothing and health care should not make you into bleeding heart or a Pollyanna. It should not be ethically tolerable for the wealthiest nation in the world to deny its citizens the basics of survival.

Supplying all citizens with access to the basic needs of life should be a given. One can earn many things, and one should take a responsibility for many things, but the necessities of life should be given to all, because it is the humane, just and right thing to do. We shouldn’t let greedy people goad us into fearing and hating the unfortunate even if they could have done something to at least partially prevent it. Most of us are very fortunate to have the lives we do and thinking ourselves better than our neighbor helps no one including ourselves.

Access to life’s basic necessities should be available for all people on the planet. The following song lyrics are from Denizens of Danger and can be found on the Edge of Eden CD in the music section of this site.

Denizens of Danger

I may not look like you
I may not talk like you
I may not show love like you
I may not believe as you
We’re all denizens of danger

I may not behave as you
I may not debate like you
I may not die like you
I may not show faith as you

We’re all denizens of danger

I want to live
You want to live
We want to live
That is why we keep on trying

I want to live
You want to live
We want to live
That is why I give

There’s no truth for all to agree
For you’ll be you and I’ll be me
A common goal a mass decree
In our lives we must feel free

We’re all denizens of danger

I want to live
You want to live
We want to live
So let’s live

I’m not going to give up trying to live

Jim Guido

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