2013


General03 Oct 2013 10:17 am

When you look at actions rather than rhetoric it is easy to conclude that the US government is all about control and not about caring for its citizens. US economic and political policy can be summed up in two old fashioned board games, Monopoly and Risk. It all comes down to economic and political domination, and one achieves those objectives through control and power and not through care and freedom. 


If freedom exists at all it is highly compromised when there is no privacy, and we are all painfully aware that we have no privacy. The Great Society has been replaced by the Great Surveillance Society which imprison a higher percentage of its populace than any other nation (maybe for all human history). Despite our government not trusting us and jailing us at a record rate, they claim that we Americans are the moral beacons of the planet and that we are exceptional.


Our government has shut itself down due to its inability to successfully deal with the “budget crisis”. Much of the focus of the “debate” is on whether to repeal or implement a new health care law referred to as Obamacare. While the cost of health insurance is a very significant financial burden for citizens and some smaller businesses it is not a major player when it comes to our national debt and budget.


In many ways the entire debate on Obamacare is a very useful political smokescreen producing many benefits for politicians. One, it is a way to avoid any real discussion on the true culprits of our ever escalating debt. Two, it is a way to shift the entire dialogue towards an attack on all “entitlement” programs, many of which have come out of our paychecks and have nothing to do with the national debt since they are funded by workers salaries and income tax. 
 A third aspect of the smokescreen is accomplished by “both sides” mutually agreeing to refer to it as Obamacare. Labeled such it makes the debate personal and partisan. The discussion really isn’t about the actual healthcare law which no one really understands anyway, it is about whether you support Obama or not, or whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Forget substance, this is all about ideology, racism and counter-racism.


Lost in all the “debate” is the fact that there is no health insurance plan on the table which is inexpensive and able to insure all US citizens. Such proposals, though implemented by the rest of the “industrialized” world, is considered to “socialistic” by the players of Monopoly to get a fair look. While such health care programs have existed at a fraction of the cost in many other nations for decades, they would curtail the profit margin of corporate America. Well, logically, and reduction of cost for medical care would reduce the profits and profit margins of corporate America. Yet, this is precisely what can’t happen.

The whole idea behind Homeland Security and the Surveillance State is supposedly to protect us citizens from all forms of terrorism. The government wants us to believe that they are willing to spend trillions of our tax payer money to help protect us and make us safe. Yet, the actions of our government undermine every aspect of this supposed intent to protect our freedom, safety and welfare.
 First, during this shutdown whose safety, welfare and health are being better taken care of or improved. No one. In fact many lives are being endangered by the shut down.

All of the watchdog, consumer advocate and protection agencies which make sure our food and water is safe, as is our work environment are shut down, making us increasingly vulnerable to terrorism or just plain corporate negligence regarding our health and welfare. During this hiatus the ranks of the under and uninsured are swelling on a daily basis. One has to question the sincerity of our government’s humanitarian pain over the death and suffering of children in Syria and elsewhere, when now programs supplying food, shelter and often vital health care to US children have now been completely shut down.


In an environment where the combination of those under and unemployment are at record highs it makes no sense from a fiscal or humanitarian perspective to lay off 800,000 workers, the majority of whose jobs directly impact our health, safety and protection. During all this “bitter debate” between Democrats and Republicans there was one bill they passed unanimously. It was nicely framed by the national media that our government has “pledged” to fully fund all “military personnel” during the shut down.


The wording focused on “personnel” for obvious reasons that once again deflect us from reality. We are likely not just fully funding personnel but all our military operations. One wonders if all veterans benefits will continue and their access to health and medical care which is already not meeting the needs of vets. In essence our government is too invested in its game of Risk to reduce or funnel any funds to the citizens for whom they are supposedly fighting for, to protect their quality and standard of life.


The biggest culprits which are causing our national debt to rapidly escalate paralyzing and burying our national safety and welfare is both the corporate game of Monopoly and the political game of Risk. The captains and barons of these two games are enjoying our choosing sides on a debate which is actually aiding them in their desire for conquest and domination.


No matter who wins the current debate of health care, the corporate and political barons and captains will continue to raid us domestically and conquer those internationally. Their investment is always in what they don’t own and have yet to conquer, that which is already in their possession is always a lower priority.


My prediction of the resolution to the budget and health care crisis is rather simple and not very dramatic. The health care issue will be resolved in a way which delays any real reform or truly beneficial impact on health care. Both Republicans and Democrats will claim a certain measure of victory, and admit a certain amount of compromise. The proclaimed victory will appease their support base and allow them to campaign in the future, and the admitted compromise will be used as a means of blaming others for the fact that nothing will really change. This is the basis of our modern two party system, claim responsibility for success, and blame the other side for continued failure. In this way true reform can be delayed forever while allowing the players of Monopoly and Risk to continue to run the table (board).


The net result is and has been for sometime that our superpower addicted government will continue to use all resources to dominate the entire globe, and the financial/corporate world will continue to devise new and more efficient ways of sucking every last penny out of out pockets and into theirs.


The old statement that “the more things change the more they stay the same” has a new spin on it. Medical intervention services are being dominated by parasites and leeches, and yes we are strategically being bled. Economically we once again are becoming serfs on the lord’s estate, giving everything and owning nothing, all for the promise of a little safety.

Jim Guido

Art and Music and Poetry30 Aug 2013 09:24 pm

Hey,

My music is now being released on Bandcamp.
All of you loyal listeners of my music can now download my album on Bandcamp.
You can also download individual tracks for as little as $1.
Just go to Bandcamp and type in Jim Guido, or GuidoWorld and the album Flesh of Life will be there for you to listen to and download.
The songs have been remixed and are of a higher quality than on this website.
Each and every month I plan on releasing another of my albums on band camp.
Let me know what album you want me to release next.
If you’ve never listened to my music, just click on the music tab on the upper right and have a listen.

Also let me know what songs you like best. I will keep track of your votes and combine them with sales from Bandcamp and give you updates on the top songs.

Currently the most listened to songs on this site are:

1) Dancing Hippos (Edge of Eden)
2) Live Until You Die (Flesh of Life)
3) Preening Like A Peacock (Priorities)
4) Haunted (Edge of Eden)
5) Dance For Me (Take Me)
6) Making Money (Opportunity Lost)
7) Inexhaustible You (Flesh of Life)
8) Feeling Me, Feeling You (Go!)
9) Every Bit of Your Heart (I’m Just Saying)
10) Take Me (Take Me)
11) Talking About Yesterday (Mortal Joy)
12) Too Many ?’s (I Rock Therefore I Am)
13) Table 4 1 (Significance)
14) Inexhaustible You (Flesh of Life)
15) Bonsai Beauty (Visceral Vicissitudes)

Please also vote for your favorite lyrics.

Happy listening, and I do appreciate your support.

Philosophy and Psychology and Social Issues03 Aug 2013 05:47 pm

The ability for us to document our lives and track our personal history is increasing on an almost daily basis. We can now take real time photos, videos and voice recordings with assorted hand held devices which we can carry with us at all times. We can take notes, do research, text, email and communicate with others most anytime and anyplace.

Most recent events can be recalled by this documentation or found via a research engine in a matter of moments as long as we can remember a few keywords. If I forget the name of a song I heard or a movie I once saw I can find it on-line as long as I can remember anything from a line of dialogue or lyric, to a band or actor name or some other minor fragment that relates to the work. 


All my essays, lyrics, poems, books and songs that I have documented through and on various mediums from computer, to this website to more dated technologies such as notebooks, typewritten manuscript or tape recorder are there for my perusal. Some of the information and data I remember with great clarity, some of it triggers or reconstitutes the old thoughts, feelings and memories and some of it was all but forgotten. Yet, due to all this documentation it is there for me to embrace and include in my sense of self and personal history.


An integrative aspect of memory is the concept of time. While clocks have been with us for centuries, our functional awareness of the hour, minute and even the second has been growing exponentially over the last century or so. We our surrounded, encapsulated and imbedded in chronological time. Our ability to document our memories with precisely noted time is becoming second nature.


All that I have documented becomes cemented in the historical me. It is all part of my sense of continuity and becomes incorporated in that lived consistency we call the ego. My memory aided by all the technological documentation deepens my sense of personal growth and development and my pride in being an ever evolving unique and relatively consistent individual.


The fast paced life we live, in which we are exposed to more information in a day then the majority of our ancestors experienced in their lifetime places a heavy burden on our memory and the mental storage of our lives and thoughts. This massive amount of facts, social interactions, perceptions, sensations and reflections is almost impossible to store in our short and long term memory banks. Our desire to manage, organize and retrieve this information is causing us to find better and more efficient ways to outsource our memory through many of the documentation mediums mentioned above.


Without our usage of these various mediums of documentation and storage our sense of personal history and sense of self would be far more limited. Many memories of past experiences, thoughts and feelings would fade, mutate or be lost completely. Even things as basic as how we looked, what we wore, items we owned even places we frequented would wither and often dissolve without the assistance of photos, diaries, letters and various other forms of documentation which crystalizes our existence for us to review.


The value and importance of memory is almost impossible to over emphasize. Our sense of self and the meaning we derive from life is almost completely dependent on memory and the flow and consistency it provides our existence. I can suffer many physical injuries and still remain Jim Guido. 


My social and personal identity is not endangered by sickness, loss of physical prowess or even the loss of a limb. In extreme cases such events and occurrences could alter or modify my self-image, but they would not extinguish it. As long as my memory stays in tact, and my ability to retrieve and take ownership of documented history survives, my sense of identity remains and my life story continues on unabated.


Yet, as in the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s, when memory fades and can be lost forever, the sense of self can wane and die long before the body. At some critical point of mental decay the person we knew is gone, and the ghost inside the body is no longer someone we recognize. The eyes become vacant and time has shrunk to the immediate. Anticipation, reflection, savoring and relishing, love, gratitude and simple recognition all belong to the world of memory and time. 


Anyone who espouses the beauty of “living in the moment” and bewails “the babbling ego” which distracts one from the present is glossing over the vital role that the past and future play in the very act of cognition and appreciation. If I truly lived in the moment, there would be no memory and no documentation. Duration gives experience depth, significance and meaning. Memory is duration personified.


Our modern world is rife with technologies of expression and documentation which provide the potential for us to have very rich lives. We can remember and savor so much of our experience, and make the past within arms length ever ready to enrich our lives and fortify our sense of development and history. The various forms of tangible documentation increase the intimacy we have with others, ourselves and our surroundings filling our existence with meaning and significance.


Yet, the various forms of instantaneous communication available also pose a threat to memory, meaning and the richness born of reflection. The constant need to be online, plugged in, and on the grid can have us obsess with the fear of missing the very next moment or event. 


Our constant taking photos distances us from the very experience we are documenting, making us more observer than participant. A person unable to unplug, stop streaming, texting and engaging in the technologies is a person who has no time to reflect, savor and weave their memories into the fabric of their internal lives. Such a person is locked in the temporal present and is missing the beauty of integrating the past and present thereby deepening one’s memory and developmental history.


One wonders if our increasing dependence on the external mediums of documentation are weakening rather than aiding and supporting our internal memory. Is our internal memory like a muscle that needs to be exercised and challenged to function at optimal efficiency and avoid premature entropy? The brain which in many ways is the skeleton of mind may in deed be in need of the synaptic exercise to retain the very pathways which forge memory. 


With the specter of dementia still fresh in our minds lets take a moment to ponder the way we manufactured the acquiring of memory with less tangible documentation. Two of the most primitive means of tangible documentation were drawing and the written language. Before the emergence of written language the exchange of information, and the process of teaching and learning was accomplished orally. This pre-literate world we still can observe in children and oral cultures which have resisted the adoption or at least total reliance on the written word.


Cultures that held on to oral traditions or had difficulty adapting their language to the written word often found the written word lacking in substance. Many oral cultures found the nuances that housed the subtleties of meaning to be lost through the written word. Some languages were as much song as word, and the intonations carried a richness and meaning that could not be duplicated by grammar and diacritical marks. Other cultures found their meaning highly stilted and diluted by the absence of gesture, as their language was as much mime and dance as it was speech.


These obstacles and limitations of the written word are not foreign to modern man. Even an abstract language such as English loses much when written. It is easy to miss the emotional subtleties or tenor of the writer/speaker when you read an email or text message. Oftentimes emotional presentations involving sarcasm, irony, frustration and even confusion can be lost or misinterpreted in written language.


Despite the growth in technologies it is easiest to understand a person whom we are viewing and sitting in the same room with as they speak. Next but not quite as effective, would be where we could see their gestures and hear their intonations in a Skype situation. Next would be a telephone conversation and at the bottom of the communication totem pole would be the written word, with essays, letters and books slightly edging out instant messaging and short texts.


The earliest forms of writing lacked grammar and were often very poor at transmitting information or personal experience. The earliest forms of writing seemed to serve a mnemonic function more than expressive. The symbols seemed to be personal reminders than articulations. In this manner the first written notes of man seemed to be a way for them to remember something, and did not attempt to go any further.


The means by which we transfer information into memory for pre-literate children seems to have stayed the same for generations. Whether in a day care center or at home a child’s learning world is dominated by song, story, myth/fable, and theater. You walk into a day care center and the daily schedule and every transition is preceded by and learnt by a song or rhyme. Children commit the alphabet, number and other basic facts to memory through the use of song. We teach children moral and social mores through stories and fables. The bulk of a pre-literate child’s turning of facts or information into memory is accomplished through song, rhyme and story.


Much of how a pre-literate child learns and commits things to memory is replicated in oral and pre-literate societies throughout history. People learnt when to plant, what was poisonous, how to hunt, mid-wife and cure disease through myths and stories. Their moral instruction was also transmitted to memory by fables, stories, dance, poetry and theatrical performance. Epic poems were used to unite, inspire, and train warriors. Religious and spiritual beliefs were inculcated through story, ritual, rite and memorization of prayer.


Committing information to memory in oral cultures was a difficult and time consuming task. In spoken languages such as sanskrit multi-book volume length songs were committed to memory such as the sacred words of the Vedas. Individuals would often spend years of their lives using songs, poems, and myths as mnemonic devices to learn a trade and make the transition from apprentice to professional.


Oftentimes we find that the more silly the song or more outlandish the story the easier it is for our children to remember it, and commit its underlying lesson to memory. We also have found that rhythm, cadence, dance, pantomime and meter are excellent tools making memorization easier.


We find the same mnemonic techniques present in ancient, pre-literal and primitive societies. Dance, fantastic and theatrical presented stories and rhythmic poems often accompany and house the message to be learnt and committed to memory. This fact should make us wonder how much of the story is to help one commit the lesson to memory and how much of it is actual belief.


Living in a world full of tangible documentation it is hard for us to imagine the way the above techniques were used to transmit valuable information and commit it to memory. Due to this we often assume that the people believed in the content of the story as well as its message. While the truth of the matter is the mythic gods and heroes may have been more for effect than actual belief, just as our children can use fantasy and fantastic superheroes as a way of remembering without it being about actual belief.


Without many tangible means of documentation ancient man had to find ways of having things stand out so that they could be remembered. A father or grandfather was best remembered if he became a god or mythic hero. In an undocumented world there was a greater limit to what one could commit to memory and retain. 


One of the most standard means that has come down to us is the division between the sacred and the profane. That which was miraculous or sacred was far easier to remember for it stood out. People often identified thoughts and feelings they wanted to remember as “gifts from the gods”. While their were plenty of factors which probably played in ancients truly having a poor sense of an individual ego, they also found it easier to remember thoughts and feelings by making them sacred and beyond their day to day world. Earlier we mentioned the strong tie between time and memory, this is demonstrated by ancients man’s preference for sacred time and his reluctance to acknowledge chronological time. Yet, with no clocks or reliable means of tracking momentary historical time is it any wonder that his desire for memory found a home in sacred time?

Our road to recognizing and appreciating our sense of self is strongly tied to our ability to remember our individual experience and maintain our personal history. The passing centuries of improving and expanding our world of tangible documentation has solidified our sense of self and our ties to friends, family and contemporaries. 


Each step we make towards understanding ourselves increases our ability to understand others. Our personal memories and shared history can make our lives richer, fuller and more meaningful.

Jim Guido

Economics and Gender Issues and Government and Politics and Psychology and Relationships and Social Issues17 May 2013 03:03 pm

My dad came to the US from Italy when he was 13 years old. My mom was born in the US in a small Italian community which was where my dad’s family eventually settled. My mom’s parents married shortly after they had come to America and quickly started a family.

My dad, who was 13 years older than my mom, lasted less than a year in public schools and began working to help support the family when he was 14. My mom lasted into her freshman year of high school, but too, had to quit school to help support the family.

My dad was a firm believer in the idea of coming to America to “make a better life”. He, like many of contemporaries, felt that hard work and sacrifice were necessary to accomplish this goal. Living in the US was seen as an opportunity to escape the poverty that had dominated his family for generations in southern Italy. Success, for him, was being able to provide for his family so that they had food on the table and would not have to spend their waking hours worrying about basic safety and survival.

After my parents married they moved to a nearby factory town on the shores of Lake Michigan. My dad took pride on his working his way up from the railway yards to become a ticket agent at a train station. He talked of his being fortunate of no longer having to do “menial labor” nor having to work in the factories that dominated local employment.

In my early years I rarely saw my dad for he found it necessary to  have a second job to make sure we could not only survive, but save some money for the future. My dad got up at four in the morning,  got ready for work and returned home about 3 in the afternoon as we were coming home from school, we than would eat before 4 so that my dad could make the evening shift at some restaurant or at the new fast food establishments.

On the rare evening my dad was at home he would take his slide rule and racing form to the kitchen table and spend hours doing the research that went into his small wagers on the horses. On weekends we either went to relatives houses many of which still lived in the Italian community a half hour away, or some relative would come to our house. Larger family parties occurred regularly celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays and church functions. On Sunday mornings we always went to church before seeing relatives for the remainder of the day.

The men in my hometown talked about work and factory life far more than any other topic. Even in family gathering it was unusual that someone didn’t vent a little frustration over their work situation, boss or the lack of security in their employment. 

Maybe it was just what we chose to watch, but the topic of labor and work even seemed to dominate the entertainment industry. I remember movies and plays which dealt with coal miners, factory workers, union strikes and the plight of failure and emptiness in characters such as Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman.

While Marx was not someone my blue collar world had read, people and TV often talked about feeling the “dehumanizing” role of factory work, or how mass production work was like living in a prison, or how insulting and degrading it was to have to kowtow to every boss or supervisor and how the work itself took away a man’s sense of dignity and self-respect. Even the popular comedies on TV made numerous jokes and references to the ever present possibility of being fired or laid off.

At a very early age I became highly fearful of ending up working in a factory, or being forced to engage in some labor of endless repetition. Even the professionals in town with careers or those in management positions seemed to be kowtowing to some boss and being tethered to a long and highly structured work week.  In my mind I began to equate work with a loss of freedom, autonomy and any hope of  a decent quality of life.

My mom had worked from the age of 15 until she got married in her late 20’s. She took pride in being a strong peasant woman and in the old world values of the immigrant mother’s she idolized. She liked the role of  mother and homemaker, and took a particular delight in cooking.

My mom’s life of a housekeeper mother was filled with menial labor and “drudgery”.  Yet, the ardor of her work load and the time required to complete a task seemed to lessen with each invention and advance in appliance technology. Going from washboard to wringer was not that drastic, but the jump to washing machine was dramatic and much appreciated. Even the advance in fabrics reduced ironing time. The list of appliances, technologies and “conveniences” which reduced housekeeping time and effort was expanding on a monthly basis. Even in lower middle class families such as ourselves the quality of life of the homemaker was improving greatly.

By the time I was four or five my mom was able to entertain herself with radio or TV while she tended to her household tasks and chores. She was able to take breaks to watch a favorite program or visit with a neighbor lady for an hour or so, and still get dinner on the table by 4.  My mom actually found enough “leisure” time to reengage in hobbies/crafts of her latter childhood such as embroidery and crocheting.

Most of her daytime TV was divided into two areas. One area of interest was quiz type of programs such as “Concentration” and the other were the emotional tearjerkers such as “Queen for a Day” or the “Millionaire”. 

While the advances in technology appeared to be a boon for the housekeeper, it did not seem to improve the quality of life for the factory worker. While advance in assembly line technology did reduce the physical demand on a worker, it also reduced the scope of their activity to one part or cog of a product. No longer could they even take pride in the completion of an entire product such as a clock, radio or car, but only in the installation of a front fender, minute hand, or some other part of the complete product.

While technology reduced the time it took to housekeep and the strain the tasks took on the body, in the factory it just increased production expectations and the fears that the technology would replace your need as a worker. Advances in technology made it possible for my dad’s work load to be decreased, and he could have theoretically played a radio while he worked. Yet, his “higher ups” sent out memo’s stating playing a radio would result in termination of employment, and the railroad found many new and additional tasks for him to perform to insure that he had no free time or that his work load was reduced in any fashion or form. To the contrary it seemed that each passing day my dad was required to do more, and be responsible for more, with no additional pay.

In general I found my mom’s life more tolerable than my dad’s. I found his perpetual working, subservience to bosses, and the lack of autonomy and development of outside interests to be boring at best and humiliating at worst. I could never reconcile my relatives story of my dad’s past with the dad I knew. The man who played trumpet, read philosophy, travelled the country, was an avid Ham operator, gambled, made his own sausage, cheese and wine, etc. was  nowhere to be seen. The last vestiges of that man were only seen at the rare moments he listened intently to the opera on the radio, or took time for himself to read reflective nonfiction.

The time I remember him being the most vibrant and alive was when I was 6 or 7 and his union went on strike. My dad become a leader of the workers at this time and set up camp at the downtown hotel in our town. He shined in the role of organizer, giving people instructions, speaking at meetings and being part of the negotiations with management. Though he was glad when the strike was over, I kind of missed the dynamic man who was my dad for a short time.

My dad’s sense of pride and self-esteem had him adopt the stay at home housewife preference. He felt it was his obligation and duty to be the “breadwinner” and that he would be a failure if his wife “had to work”. Yet, when I was 8 years old my mom decided that since all the kids (I was the youngest) were fairly self-sufficient that she wanted to do more to help make our family financially more comfortable. It took only a couple of weeks to convince my dad that she nor their friends would think she “had to work”, but that she just wanted a new challenge and it would allow my sister an opportunity to learn how to cook and manage a home.

My dad helped my mom get a job as a ticket agent at another station on the same line as my dad. She enjoyed the challenge and it gave them a shared interest which brought them closer together. Yet, it wasn’t long before the luster of the new job wore off, and my mom began to complain about the routine just like all the men. Yet, at the end of the day the sense of financial security she got from the job outweighed its deficits and she stayed on the job until about a year after she was robbed at gunpoint and never again felt safe at work.

By the time I got to high school I had made the following assessments of the world and lives of men and women.  I viewed being male as having almost no options and being destined to a laborious life spent in servitude, with little hope of privacy, autonomy or time for personal development. Most of the men I knew seemed empty, emotionally vacant and resentful. The boys my age were trying to sow a few wild oats before conforming to the fate of being male.

I did have some distant male relatives who lived in Italian communities or neighborhoods that seemed to truly enjoy their lives. They were artists, musicians, entrepreneurs (organized crime?), or individuals who somehow got by with minimal labor. They were fun loving, funny, emotional, and their lives seemed to be filled with meaningful relationships. Quality of life, joy and relationships were their priorities and they made you feel good just to be able to bask in their energy.

The Italian lover’s of life philosophy summed up by the colloquialism “dolce far niente”  (sweet idleness) was something that I harmonized with. Another version of this Italian art of living philosophy was offered by North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano when after being diagnosed with cancer  said: “To me, there are three things we all should do every day…..You should laugh every day…You should spend time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears…If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special”…

The life of most of the adults I knew seemed hollow and meaningless. Life seemed too incredible and precious to me, to waste it in toil or mindless activity. Most men were doomed to an empty existence of endless labor, we had no choice in the matter. Women on the other hand were beginning to have options, my mom could work or stay at home. Technology and social change were opening a whole new world to women in which they began to talk of issues such as“quality of life”, “consciousness raising”, “intimacy” and the richness of human emotion and experience.

Just when I was beginning to feel that I would have little or no opportunity to lead a fulfilling and rich existence the women’s movement emerged as a beacon for a vision of living a quality life. While the majority of men were consigned to a life of labor and subjugation, a growing percentage of women were entering a new age of self-exploration and enlightenment.

I remember watching the Phil Donahue show and feeling a growing sense of hope and optimism. Women were leading a discussion on the direction of society. The gospel of the women’s movement seemed to be that men were leading an empty life of labor, ambition and the thirst for power, and that women were in danger of leading a “shallow” and “superficial” life filled with pettiness and gossip. Women were being called upon to join together in a quest for a fulfilling and meaningful life. A life of freedom, dignity, respect and personal development. 

The majority of my male friends in high school were either already becoming emotionally vacant and empty, or just partying until the music stopped. My female friends were more into self-disclosure and talking about their feelings. 

I became close to a small group of verbal guys who talked at length on science, philosophy and the future. I also found another mixed group of friends who talked about art, literature, music and social revolution. The majority of female friends I had, talked about relationships, human communication and the soap opera of adolescence. 

Though I sometimes found the conversation of my female friends to be petty or emotionally tedious it was far preferable to the alternative. I found myself introducing or advocating my female friends to become more engaged in the women’s movement and its basic philosophy.

Advances in technology were already showing that automation was the future, and that many factory jobs could be replaced by automated machines working faster and more efficiently than human workers. We already were showing signs of having too many workers for too few jobs, and that productivity goals could be met through less full time workers.

The women’s movement and pop psychology were informing us that “self-actualization” and “intimacy” were far more important than work/labor and making money. That, in fact, monetary ambition and long working hours were injurious to health, quality of life, and the development and maintenance of fulfilling friendships and enduring familial relationships.

Despite the murder of some very important leaders of social change much had been accomplished not only in the growth of the women’s movement, but civil rights, and the ecological and anti-war movements. Watchdog agencies, whistleblowers and journalists were exposing the corruption in government, business, medicine, finance, academia, the media and the military in a way that seemed to promise better management and accountability.

Human dignity and respect was on the rise for workers, women, minorities and students. Fear and hatred was being replaced by tolerance and understanding. The landing on the moon had been a sign that we can accomplish anything we commit ourselves to and that war, poverty, and world hunger were problems we could address and solve.

We are fond of saying that it is darkest before the dawn, yet one person’s dawn is another persons dusk. And just at the moment when I felt that the journey of self-actualization and quality of life was about to take flight, the forces of anger, control, hatred, and oppression seemed to silently turn us back towards the prison we just escaped.

Almost overnight the messages of personal development, quality of life, human intimacy, freedom and autonomy were being subtly modified and replaced with messages speaking of consumption, making money, and national and cultural superiority. 

The advertising and business world targeted minorities, women, and students as emerging lucrative consumer markets. Equating new found freedoms and social status with making money, consumption and having a new and expensive image. Drinking malt liquor and wearing specific clothes became synonymous with being a hip and successful black person. Virginia Slim’s proclaimed, “you’ve come a long way baby”, to hawk a product “designed for the modern woman”. 

Soon the women’s movement humanistic message of quality of life and intimacy became lost in the desire for equal pay and full employment. Entering the evil and destructive male dominated world of power, money, servitude and labor became the goal and battle cry of the movement. 

While I fully supported equality and rights for all, I felt stunned that the goal had now become for all to become slaves to money, labor and subjugation to corporate owners be they white male, female or minority. I personally cared little if the warden were black, white or female, I just wanted out of prison. My concern was in the quality of our lives and in our ability to create and sustain meaningful relationships and a societal respect for my and your privacy and autonomy.

Now forty years later I still have the same longings, desires and goals. I look back at the women’s movement like a photograph of an old girl friend who ended up sleeping with my old tormentor. We could have shared so much together, we could have had made the world an intimate caring place. Instead we now live in a society in which two paychecks don’t even have the purchasing power of one back in the 50’s or 60’s.  And where quality of life, life expectancy, health, happiness quotients, and leisure time have been on the decline and falling behind other more “socialistic” nations around the globe.

While I look back at what I experienced as a lost opportunity its hard not to be frightened by our surveillance society and the loss of all the freedoms and privacy we struggled to achieve and the fact that the only real growth industry left in our decayed capitalistic system of empire is fear mongering , prejudice and intolerance. 

Jim Guido

 

Government and Politics and Social Issues28 Apr 2013 09:56 am

*Jobs are never coming back
Progress in automation and technology are drastically reducing the number of jobs needed nationally and globally

*Raiding social security and medicare have nothing to do with debt reduction
It is just a blatant money grab and class war

*The new health care laws will not improve services or provide coverage for everyone
They will shift responsibility away from insurance companies and onto individuals
They will maximize profits and fine those who can’t afford insurance

*The internet was and always will be a pentagon project
It is just part of the global surveillance plan

*The war on terrorism if not a myth (like the Red Scare) is exploited as a tool
Blatant fear mongering to have us hand over all power to government protectors

*We do not behave like the good guys
Our military presence in 3/4 of nations is opposed to all of our basic principles
Including national sovereignty, freedom, self-determination an democracy to name a few

*We are becoming increasingly expendable to our society
no longer needed as consumers, soldiers, workers, etc.

*Capitalism is not the cause but benefactor of technological progress
Just as pirates and conquistadors weren’t the cause but the benefactors of the wealth and resources they pillaged

*The consumer based society is being phased out
Being replaced by the financial instrument technologically automated society

*Fed reserve is a private banking institution
They act on their own self-interest, not ours

*Bernanke is an expert on deflation
He knows how to best manage deflation to maximize profits for his peers

*Money you put in a bank is not saved
Technically and legally it is money loaned to the bank for them to invest and use

*Sanctions are not designed to create peace
Their function is to cause dissension through the suffering and death of innocents

*Predatory drones are a form of military and psychological terrorism

*The basic principles of psychology of torture are being used on US citizens

*The major messages of the media are orchestrated, monitored and censored

*The wars we’re fighting are not for our freedom
The number of innocents we kill in war, sanctions and insurrections is unprecedented

*Your civil liberties, rights and privacy are being systematically disassembled (removed)

*A person with no privacy is not free
A society with no privacy is easily controlled

*Our imprisonment numbers reveal our governments real view of freedom
If everyone is under surveillance, why the need to imprison at record pace?

 

 

 

So your patriotism and blind faith in your government and the political process, how’s that working for you?

Lying, deception, manipulation, stealth and secrecy are not just the norm they are pervasive in government, business, commerce and international relations

We cannot separate who we are from what we do

Jim Guido

Economics and Government and Politics and Social Issues07 Apr 2013 02:45 pm

At some point in time after WWII the US decided that it would accept no deviation from its social, political and economic agenda. In every area of life either you’re with us or you are against us. The “us” was theoretically the US, but as time has gone on the “us” has morphed into a small club of the financial elite (who are not all necessarily of the US).

The US, the financial, political and military superpower, has the wherewithal and the disposition to engage in war with all. Most empires throughout history have enjoyed the spoils of war, yet no empire in history has had the maintenance of their empire more directly tied to the concept of perpetual war and plunder.

We justify our aggressive policing of the entire globe through rhetoric espousing freedom and the spread of democracy. We hide behind such lofty ideals to excuse our governments complete intolerance with the possible existence of other political, social or economic systems.

While, following WWII most nations feared and treated war as a desperate action of last resort, the US relished and glorified the concept of war. Even before the radioactive clouds completely cleared, we were having war with anything that moved, or possibly impacted our existence. We were the good nation, and all others were either just like us, or evil.

We framed and posed everything in and outside our society in terms of battles and wars. We had wars on poverty, crime, drugs, communism, socialism, illiteracy, obesity, and atheism. Labor unions and management were always doing battle before the government convinced us that labor unions were unpatriotic. Our friends and family waged war and had battles with tooth decay, polio, mental illness, cancer and laziness.

Even our recreational life was framed in war vernacular. Major sporting events were always battles and wars. Soon even the most mundane contest or competition got “elevated” to war status. If it wasn’t a war, it was neither worthy of our attention, interest or appreciation.

Despite the benefits and blatant success garnered through mediums such as mediation, diplomacy and negotiation we slowly were convinced that such strategies were dangerous and counterproductive. The gains in worker and civil rights, the women’s and peace movements, and the ecological movement were examples of generally non-violent forms of social improvement.

The US government steadily embraced an inflexible policy of seeing any form of negotiation as a sign of weakness and a horrendously bad precedent. This was true not only internationally but domestically as well. As forms of social advocacy have not only fallen out of favor but have become increasingly dangerous or illegal.

US journalists, union organizers, humanitarian workers and clergy working abroad have reported being targets for US and US backed forces for assisting “leftist” groups for decades. Now, domestically we increasingly treat the participation of peaceful demonstrations and non-violent protests as a quasi-illegal act, where participants are video taped and become subjects for Homeland Security and FBI investigation.

The perpetual war on terrorism is being used as a vehicle to destroy and remove many of our basic civil liberties. The new laws allowing American citizens to be imprisoned and even executed without a trail or even official charges being brought forth are very disturbing. The whistleblowers of corruption and immoral behavior, which were treated as heroes a few decades ago are being imprisoned and demonized. All dissent is being viewed as an aid to terrorism and, therefore, fit to be treated as an act of terrorism.

While we trumpeted freedom, democracy and national sovereignty we have practiced keeping every nation on a short pragmatic and ideological leash. Any nation placing the needs and rights of their citizens over US interests were intimidated or forced to show due respect to the US.

Leaders of nations who oppose our economic and political agendas are labeled evil tyrants, even when they are democratically elected and loved by their people. Some of the leaders who we have tried to assassinate and overthrow have done wonders in the areas of health, civil liberties, education and standard of living for the majority of the nation’s population. This is not to say that they are wonderful people, but only to acknowledge the incongruity of our nation’s despising them, and the practical and functional benefit their leadership has provided its citizens.

In a few instances our government has gone so far as insinuate or even call a leader of an unfriendly or enemy nation crazy. We are then told that we must take action against this country due to their capabilities or ambitions for weapons of mass destruction. Yet, who in their right mind would publicly insult a truly crazy leader who had the capabilities of waging nuclear warfare, or engaging in terrorist activities killing many US citizens.

Either our leaders are themselves lacking mental stability or they know that these so called evil leaders are harmless and using the “war” of words to validate our harming that leader, his people or the land they live on. Yet, when these insane maniacs show impressive restraint from our insults and accusation, we up the ante by engaging in intimidation and bullying techniques such as imposing economic sanctions, international trade restrictions, devaluing their currency endangering resulting in the pain and suffering and eventual death of millions of innocents.

The US currently has military bases and presence in near 160 countries. When one considers that there are less than 200 nations one could say we are pretty much everywhere. The original list of nations named as part of the “axis of evil”, were the last remaining nations without a capitalistic central bank. Economic allegiance seems to be even more important to the US than political format. Many of our most valued allies are nations headed by despots and non democratic leadership, but none of our allies have a economic system separate from ours.

The land of freedom and defender of human rights has a higher percentage of its populace imprisoned than any other. While we fight to protect our freedom we are the most monitored society on the planet. One must always keep in mind that the internet was and always will be a Pentagon project.

As I type, each keystroke is documented and filtered through a host of systems alerting the authorities to the level of concern they should have. Almost all our communications are monitored and documented, likewise our activities and interests. With GPS, smart phones, etc. it is hard for us to keep private even for a brief moment our exact whereabouts.

Despite this pervasive surveillance we see a need to imprison a higher percentage of our populace than any other nation on the planet. Though we rank far down the list in terms of violent crimes, we still find a reason to deny the freedom of more people than the harshest dictatorship.

In a land that loves war, is economically dependent on war, and uses war as a way of controlling its people and getting complete economic and social compliance the war on the citizen will not end until economic domination is complete. Any penny left in your name represents a battle to be fought and a contest to be won.

Each victory just gives the economic and military elite more wherewithal to conduct their war with all.

Much of the progress of human society has been in our efforts to work together and lend each other a helping hand. Yet, lately when we ask our government for a hand, apparently all they feel they can afford is to give us the finger.

Jim Guido

Poetry and Psychology and Relationships23 Feb 2013 01:48 pm

Such are the passions
Some love some hate
Some implore others debate

We get filled and overload
We get filled and then explode
Feel the urgent in others woes
Feel our passions to the bone

Those who want distance from the fray
Deem their equanimity the highest grace
A noble heart and a safe place
The calm enlightenment of the sedate

Love throbs, joy is electric
Laughter bursts and orgasm spastic
I want to feel your skin in the game
Feel your care at sadnesses base

Stillness is the ground before we breathe
Verdant life forever teems
Prolonged stillness is a sign of death
apathy, depression that completely disconnect

I listen for the echo of my desire
Of passion matched with longing inspired
I yearn to feel the hot gusts from your fire
My face wind burned by such passion sired

Nothing lost and nothing gained
Insults precious life’s predicament
A heart invested is all I seek
Devoted to care, compassion and the intimate

Endless process is our curse
A life sentence and wet nurse
Meaning flows from her sweet breast
I’ll give it my all and suckle till my last breath

Jim Guido

Government and Politics and Social Issues16 Feb 2013 12:09 pm

No country has ever been prouder of murder, torture, intimidation, genocide, rape, assassination, the overthrowing of sovereign and elected governments, and the starving of millions of civilians and children in “humanitarian” interventions than the US. Ah, but let me not “drone” on, I guess I have to leave that to our commander and chief.

We kill to protect our freedom.

We kill to keep our citizens safe.

We kill to secure our borders.

We kill to defeat evil.

We kill to defeat terrorism.
We kill to prevent terrorism.

We kill to free others.

We kill for peace.

We kill for ideology.

We kill for oil.

We kill to protect our way of life.

We kill to spread our way of life (killing is our way of life).

We kill for regime change.
We kill to prevent regime change.

We kill for feminism and against barbarism.
We kill for racism.

We kill for religious freedom.

We kill to protect our honor.

We kill to honor our dead.

We kill for hope.

We kill to influence nations and their peoples.

We kill for capitalism.
We kill for democracy.

We kill to spread higher ideals.

We kill to show strength.

We kill as an act of diplomacy.

We kill to stop crime.

We kill for change.

We kill to show our love of our country.

We kill people who envy and hate us.

We kill families in their homes in distant lands.

We kill people who might wish us harm.

We kill people who know people who might wish us harm.

We kill people who may want to retaliate for our killing.

We kill doctors, charity and aid workers who care for those we kill.

We kill journalists and whistleblowers who report or question our killing.

We kill the through sanctions, banned weapons, and toxic substances.
We kill by destroying farmland, potable water, wild life and vital infrastructure.

We kill our soldiers (children) in unnecessary combat.

We kill our humanity by glorifying and legitimizing our killing.

We kill our soldiers who commit suicide by not providing them with services when they have been raped, traumatized, or coerced to act against their conscious. (We condone our soldiers being raped by peers and superiors)

We kill as a preemptive act.

We kill as a moral act.

We kill to demonstrate our high ideals and moral indignation.

We kill for justice.

We kill to test technology.

We kill to shock and awe.

We kill to show leadership.

We kill to show commitment and support.

We kill by being the major seller of weapons.

We kill by instigating conflict.

We kill by the artful use of propaganda and disinformation.

We kill those compassionate and charitable to those we kill.

We kill those who try to stop the killing (for aiding the enemy).

The list could go on and on. The list for the reasons we torture, threaten, intimidate, bully, ruin the the reputation of, lie about and imprison people with neutral or good intentions is even longer.

All of this is done with our active support or silent consent. Some support this out of fear and others out of hatred. Many do this because they have been convinced or convinced themselves that there is no other way.

I use to be baffled when I read about how the Roman’s gave up their freedoms and handed over dictatorial powers to Cesare. I use to be dumbfounded at why a democratic people would give away their freedoms and delegate all power in a leader. Well the loss of civil and personal rights and destruction of the constitution over the last four years has answered that question. We now have given our president as much autonomous power as Cesare wielded in the Roman Empire.

I’ve seen a number of articles written by historians of late stating that many of our president’s current powers have not been in existence since the Magna Carta was instituted over a 1000 years ago. No king was legally allowed to be judge and jury and have people imprisoned and killed without the possibility of legal recourse.

Our president has more delegated power than any leader for over a 1000 years in Western Civilization and no society has had a larger discrepancy between the poor and the wealthy as ours. This includes all the slave based societies going back to ancient Egypt.

While I’m sure people can find ways in which these last two paragraphs don’t fully apply. Yet, the fact that they are true in any way in a supposed democratic and free society is beyond defense.

I wish we spent more time coming up with reasons not to kill. I wish we found the reasons not to kill more convincing than the reasons to kill. Each time we fire a bullet or missile we disturb and destroy the peace.

We could and should judge our goodness and leadership by the percentage of days in which we reduced and prevented killing. If the greatest superpower finds itself incapable of coming closer to following the basic commandment found in all religions and civil societies than it does not deserve to be a leader or a representative of civilized society.

I use to find it incomprehensible that the German’s sat back and either actively supported or at least tacitly condoned the heinous acts of the third Reich, I no longer find it so baffling.

I don’t really expect what I wrote here to have any impact or influence on any one reading it. I only do so as an act of conscious. I care very deeply for all of you. I treasure and value life and humanity.

Thanks for listening.

Jim Guido

Economics and Government and Social Issues03 Feb 2013 03:07 pm

Imagine if you were in a casino and you were able to gamble with house money or money given to you by investors of your business. Your winnings in this casino are yours except for any chips you want to give to investors of friends. Yet, if you lose, the casino’s bank would bankroll you for more, and pass on your debt to investors and to the public at large (taxpayers).

The above image pretty well captures the practices of modern capitalism in our current economy. The leaders of industry who are too big to fail are receiving huge loans and gifts to use at their discretion, and who can depend on bailouts and additional loans if they were to fail with the money currently in their possession. In addition, all of their debts are excused or passed on to the tax payers (government) on a regular basis and not just during a crisis.

One way in which this is happening is through the Federal Reserve and its various forms of quantitative easing and the buying of Mortgage Based Securities (debt). First the Fed further tilts the tables in the uber-wealthy’s favor by giving them almost all the newly printed money (liquidity) at near zero interest with no demand that they “trickle down” this money through job creation, loans or expansion. Then the Fed buys their bad debt and unserviceable mortgages and while keeping ownership of the assets passes on the responsibility to pay off these toxic debts to the government (tax payers).

This taking from the poor and giving to the rich has been running at full speed since early in 2009 in response to the financial crisis. How long can this go on you might ask? Well, this grandest heist in all of economic history can last as long as the American taxpayers allow it to, and as long as the economy does not substantially improve.

If the economy improved it would be harder to justify bailouts, endless money printing and trillions of dollars in loans to the wealthy. If the economy improved interest rates would rise making it harder to rationalize low interest loans to the wealthy, and the rise in interest rates would make their loans harder to pay off.

The fact of the matter is that the stock market is not rising in spite of the struggling economy, but because of the struggling economy. Since 2008 the stock market’s steepest rallies have come on the heels of the Fed’s announcing that low interest rates (hence free liquidity) would continue, or sky rocketed following a poor economic report. While the media is fond of saying the stock market rallies are counterintuitive, climbing a wall of worry, or they have already discounted the bad news, the truth of the matter is that the market is rallying because the economy is poor.

A poor economy means low interest rates, more money printing, more potential of bailouts, no need to expand business (low overhead), and the more likelihood that the shifting of debt and responsibility to the public can continue unabated. In addition to this, the poorer the economy the easier it will be for the wealthy via the government to raid the last remaining storehouses of wealth of the 99.999% of the people that being social security, and the other social safety nets which come out of our paychecks.

So a short recap to this point is that our economy has become a casino in which the casino continues to print money to greatly enlarged the pool of money with which to gamble. Almost all of this new casino money is given to the wealthiest gamblers via near zero interest loans. The wealthy recipients are then free to raise the stakes in their gambles and make quite a killing. If they fail, they receive more newly printed money via bailouts, or their debt is purchased by the casino and passed on to the people in the community via the national debt.

Okay lets use a few more images to highlight and expand upon a few points regarding the social/economic road we’re on.

In many ways it appears as if those in the know feel that our current monetary system is unsustainable and that they are grabbing as much money and ownership as they head for the exits. It is as if the Titanic is going down and they are getting on their life jackets and getting into life boats. The irony, is that only the captains and crew are getting into the boats and all the women and children are being left on the sinking ship.

While the captain and the crew continue to get the proverbial “golden parachutes” as they cash out during the coming collapse, the overwhelming majority of us will be lucky to retrieve a snot ridden hanky.

It is amazing to me how many people support the financial elite and act as if they are themselves a member of the 1%. Ten years ago we talked of the top 10%, soon it became the top 5%, now we speak of the top 1%. Yet, each day when the market closes and the business day ends the music stops and more chairs are removed from the dance floor. The 1% is already the .1% and the zeroes in front of the decimal point will grow at a mind numbing speed. The number of chairs when the music stops is getting close to a handful, and the problem with this dance game is there is no intention to start over when there is a lone standing winner.

Those left in the dance are the biggest and most ruthless risk takers who have no social conscious or fear, and depend on others fears and ethics making their future success possible. It is like two speeding cars heading towards each other in a game of chicken waiting for the other driver to swerve out of the way to avoid their demise.

The truly successful businesses are the large ones who are hoarding cash making their money through loans, bailouts, and the use of financial instruments. Their businesses are similar to the old mafia fronts in which the business was used to detract attention from their true forms of money making. In some ways you need to have a business to use as collateral for the obscene loans or to go into bankruptcy to qualify for a bailout.

As the title of this post states, heads they win tails you lose. This is definitely the game that the financial and political elite are playing. Lucky for the elite we have a president who is gifted at this game, while appearing to most to be a humane and caring person. When watching him speak it is easy to get that impression, but when you look at his actions, policies, and the people he surrounds himself with his true alliances are hard to ignore.

At certain moments in history the financial and political elite make statements which seem to reveal their deepest feelings and convictions I’ll leave you with two quotes attributed to the Rothschild family, who are still reportedly the richest family in the world and deeply imbedded in the world of central banking.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.”

“I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, …The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.”

Jim Guido

Philosophy and Psychology and Relationships10 Jan 2013 01:42 pm

Much of my thought over the last year or two has been focused on articulating and exploring the wonderful world of life becoming conscious of itself. A major part of my reflections has dealt with the complementary and integrated roles of the body and self-consciousness. I refer to the body as that which lives in the world, or the habit body. I’m generally comfortable as designating the self-conscious mind as the ego.

As you many of you who visit this site frequently know, I think too much emphasis and attention is placed upon the self/ego/executive function to the disservice and lack of appreciation of the skill and wonder of the lived body. You may want to read the previous posts in order to get caught up to speed.

 http://guidoworld.com/blog/i-realize-it-…
 http://guidoworld.com/blog/reflections-o…
 http://guidoworld.com/blog/life-consciou…

Okay, so lets start by the simple statement that the ego is the thinking mind, which among other things observes, savors, problem solves, plans, judges, blames, etc. The ego is by definition self-conscious (conscious of itself). We refer to it as the executive function because of its primal role in planning, organizing, problem solving, etc.

While the ego is busy being self-conscious and thinking, speaking to itself, problem solving and judging, the lived body is busy participating, integrating, harmonizing, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling and touching the world. The lived body is reacting, responding, selecting, documenting, perceiving and managing our mundane existence and coexistence with the environment.

The lived body is the habit body. Based on a few important data points it learns how to effortlessly function in the real world with lightning speed. The lived body is able to act and process at a far greater speed than the self-conscious mind. While we walk our habit bodies are soaking in the environment even if we are self-consciously else where. When our conscious mind suddenly becomes aware of the smell of lilacs it is usually only because of the constant perceiving and sensing being conducted by the lived-habit body (me). Hopefully this description has you better understand or feel what I mean when I talk about our bodies being-in-the-world or taking up a world.

It is the transcendental nature of our ego (self-consciousness) which allows it to be able to reflect, observe and savor. Likewise it is the nature of the habit body to orient itself and function in the world. The habit body participates and is in the world, and the ego is that which appreciates and reflects on our being in the world. The ego’s ability to transcend and observe our body and our experience our essential for our being aware of our experience.

So in essence the habit body is aware and conscious, it just isn’t self-aware and self-conscious. The problem with most of modern psychology, science and even spiritualism is that they over exaggerate the importance and autonomy of the self-conscious mind and deny the importance if not existence of any other aspect of our humanity. In psychology there is only (self)-consciousness and unconsciousness.

Let’s take the term unconscious memory and apply it to the dynamic between ego and habit body and see if it can become understandable and not just an oxymoron. Okay, our lived body is processing and documenting a tremendous amount of data (experience, words, sensation, etc.). Much of this information is placed in short, medium and long term memory even when our conscious mind was elsewhere or focused on one or two aspects of the total experience. This is why if pressed you can recall what song was playing at a party, or what someone was wearing even while at the moment of those occurrences your ego was deeply focused on a conversation or lost deep in thought. While your habit body acts of a minimal amount of information, it still processes and remembers a huge amount of data over a small space of time.

The so called unconscious memory of psychology is more accurately described as memory that was documented and incorporated into the data base of the lived habit body and was able to be retrieved by the ego to become data for the self-conscious mind. In the rare occasion that the habit body has protected itself from the pain, discomfort or failure caused by a specific event/memory or general habit/memory than it is true that the self-conscious ego has to struggle to access this data. Yet, almost all memory is habit body catalogued, and the vast majority is organized in a manner allowing for the best and most comfortable successful functioning of being-in-the-world.

When one reflects on one’s actual experience there are many other forms of consciousness and awareness which do not fit the strict definition of ego or self-consciousness. Yet, in the dual world of consciousness and unconsciousness, the unconscious is bad and a problem. While it is true that inhibition and many bad habits originate in a the world of the habit body (me), it is ludicrous to say it only has negative attributes. The lightning quick short hand allows the lived body to move and successfully function in the world, it also allows it to sort essential from inessential material. Likewise, it is the lightning speed of its processing which allows it to perform and catalogue useful information (memory, habit, sensorial cues, etc.) at the same time.

Just think how slow and difficult it would be for us to function and learn if we were totally dependent on the ego as our only form of awareness. Even walking would be near impossible if we had to break it down into the thousands of components and compensations involved in almost every step. We probably would never learn to walk if the skill had to be imparted to us by our ego. Similarly, we could think of nothing else when walking if the general mechanics and each subtle variation of stride and terrain had to be self-consciously orchestrated and analyzed.

The habit body’s ability to adapt to a new situation is far more quick and efficient than if it were attempted by the ego. We can adapt and master a major change in a matter of moments as our body incorporates and makes the changes part of our functional body image. If I put a feather in my hat within a few minutes I move in a way honoring the existence of the feather and seldom having it bump into objects as I move about rooms I’ve never even been in before. Just imagine how long it would take if I were to have to consciously think through each new scenario.

Likewise think how quickly one adjusts to riding a bicycle or a car with radically different dimensions than the one we are accustomed to, and how impossible it would be to adjust if we had to consciously identify and analytically teach our body the modifications of the new vehicle, as we make every turn, brake and park the vehicle. A musician within minutes of being seated at a piano with keys of different size and response, can play even the most challenging piece with a smoothness and deft that defies logic.

I’ll end here and hopefully what I have chosen to write here has clarified more than it has overwhelmed in my attempt to articulate the importance of the habit body and its relation to the ego.

Jim Guido