Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Vibrant Child Inside Every Genius

Many characteristics that we witness in children seem to have unfortunately been lost in many, if not most adults - like curiosity, openness to new ideas, and unrestrained creativity. Perhaps high IQ people are like children who never lost these characteristics.

High IQ people, like children, are highly curious and ask far more questions than those around them. They are less likely to simply accept facts that are given to them and often question the answers they find. Asking the primal question “WHY?” is a very important part of being a normal human.

Indeed, it is when children stop asking questions that the true loss of innocence begins. Think about a three or four-year-old. The question WHY often dominates their exploration of the world around them and their conversations with others. Unfortunately, the answers that they receive are often not conducive to learning. Sometimes the answers are polite “Daddy’s busy right now. Ask me again later”… or the answer can be harsh “I’m busy. Don’t bother me.” or worst “You’re too young. You wouldn’t understand”. The answers they receive may be nice or rude, but after receiving responses like this twenty or thirty times, the children finally do learn something that is life altering. They learn NOT to ask questions anymore. Eventually, they learn and believe that they are too stupid and accept and internalize that fact. Then after enforcing this belief for a few more years, we send them off to kindergarten and wonder why they have problems learning.

It is because we may have inadvertently taught them to stop questioning and trying to learn about the world and people around them.

Perhaps high IQ people are those who as children received different types of answers. Perhaps High IQ people are those that remain curious, because they were never taught that they were too stupid to understand. Perhaps High IQ people think outside of the box because they were never placed in one and told to stay there. Perhaps High IQ people were children who were invited to play with ideas as earnestly as they played with their toys and they never lost their intellectual innocence, or had it beaten into submission or taken from them.

Perhaps all children are born with much higher IQ than we suspect and that, unfortunately, most children are taught not to ask “WHY” and not to bother mommy and daddy with such stupid questions. Children learn what they have been taught and when you encounter adults who are narrow-minded (or close-minded), unthinking, and incurious, consider what they must have been taught when they were young and how well they learned those lessons.

High IQ people may be more child-like in some ways, simply because they never had those curious, marvelous, insightful, unrestrained characteristics taken away. They may have simply never lost them… and that is part of what makes them different from others, or special.

Monday, June 28, 2021

TK: Being Present in the Moment


America's Social Order is Unraveling

The unraveling of America's social order is accelerating, and denial will not save us from the consequences of the plundering of the social contract.

What kind of nation boasts a record-high stock market and an unraveling social order? Answer: a failed nation, a nation that has substituted artifice for realism for far too long, a nation that now depends on illusory phantoms of capital, prosperity and democracy to prop up a crumbling facade of "wealth" that the populace now understands is largely in the hands of a few families and corporations, most of which pay little to support the citizenry they dominate politically and financially.

The social order sounds abstract, but it is all too real. The social order has two primary components: social cohesion, the glue of common purpose and shared sacrifice binding the social order, and the social contract, the implicit contract between the ruling elite, the state (government) and commoners (the middle class, the working poor and state dependents) that their labor, taxes and sacrifices will nourish a society with a level playing field, broad-based opportunity and security.

America's social cohesion has been lost, ground under the heel of soaring inequality, a two-tiered economic/political order, systemic unfairness and the elite's divide-and-conquer manipulation of the political and cultural orders.

Historian Peter Turchin characterized this social unraveling as disintegrative: people no longer find reasons to cooperate and share sacrifices to work towards a common national purpose. Rather, they find a multitude of reasons to offload sacrifices onto others, hoard their own wealth and seek to expand their power by accelerating the disintegrative forces.

There is no debate about the collapse of America's social contract, there are only varying levels of self-serving denial. Commoners have awakened to the emptiness of the conventional promise to get a college degree, work hard and you'll be rewarded with security and prosperity. Huge swaths of America are a ransacked, decaying shell of a society reminiscent of developing nations suffering under the jackboot of kleptocrats.

America's fast-expanding class of billionaires are doing their best to mimic the clueless French nobility just before France's convulsive revolution in 1789: America's billionaires bleat that they should pay more taxes while their lobbying bulldozes gigantic loopholes in the tax code, enabling Apple and other global giants to escape U.S. taxes.

America's billionaires are busy building $500 million private yachts and private spaceships while proclaiming their globally distributed sweatshops are raising all boats in a tide of money conjured out of thin air by the billionaires' central bankers.

America's ruling elite has rewritten the social contract to benefit itself at the expense of the bottom 99.9%. Studies have confirmed that the bottom 99.9% hold virtually no political power, and the bottom 90% collect a pitiful 3% of all income generated by capital and hold an inconsequentially thin slice of the nation's wealth.

Actions have consequences and cultural revolutions result from the suppression of legitimate political expression and the failure of the regime to meet its lofty idealistic goals.

When there is no relief valve in a collapsing social order, the explosive pressure is eventually released in a Cultural Revolution that unleashes all the bottled-up frustrations on elites. These frustrations have no outlet politically because they're threatening to the status quo and therefore suppressed at every turn.

Put another way, if the pendulum is pushed to an extreme of exploitation, suppression and inequality, when it's released, it will reach an equivalent extreme (minus a bit of friction) at the opposite end. That could be an unexpected but entirely foreseeable Cultural Revolution.

Those who claim that can't happen in America are safely outside the pressure cooker, protected by a delusional confidence that since I'm doing great, everyone is doing great. Since real political agency is no longer allowed, the pressure will find release outside the political system. The lobbyists will still be haunting the hallways of governance, but no one will care, for The falcon will no longer hear the falconer.

By Charles Hugh Smith, June 25, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Soul in the Flesh

"There is no difference between the energy that shapes your ideas and the energy that grows a flower, or that heals your finger if you burn it. The soul does not exist apart from nature. It is not thrust into nature. Nature is the soul in flesh, in whatever its materializations. The flesh is as spiritual as the soul, and the soul is as natural as the flesh. In your terms the body is the living soul. Now the soul can live, and does, in many forms — some physical and some not, but while you are material, the body is the living soul. The body constantly heals itself, which means that the soul in the flesh heals itself. The body is often closer to the soul than the mind is because it automatically grows as a flower does, trusting its nature."

Seth, The Nature of Personal Reality, Chapter 7: Session 630, December 11, 1972

Body Art Painting idea by Ram Prongs

Friday, June 4, 2021

Running from Lions

Today I have time to write. It is a day of rest, the unplanned result of sustaining an overuse injury to the tendons of my left calf muscles – gastrocnemius tendonitis, specifically. It is my own fault; I'm too old to be so ambitious and run as fast as I do. As I begin my recovery, I already am setting a plan of avoidance through adjusting my physical aspirations and maybe placing added emphasis upon stretching more in the future. With rest on the horizon for the foreseeable future, I stop to look carefully at the aging image staring back at me in the mirror and consider a re-examination of my current path.

I wonder how I would deal with this tendon injury if I was one of my ancestors on the savanna of eastern Africa. While the young hunters follow the herds in hopes of running down an exhausted animal for the tribe's dinner, I wonder if I would be able to keep up with the trailing troupe of women, children, and other older veterans of the hunt as they follow behind. Could I still rise up to hobble the distance and advance with the tribe to share dinner and survive with them another day?

Sitting down to rest and recover was not an option then any more than it is today. One either kept up with the tribe in its daily movements, or became lion bait. While lions no longer present a threat in my modern world (most days), the insidious predator of aging ever lies in wait to pounce if I slow down or stop hobbling.

We all belong to the same tribe from those times of antiquity, whether we consider it or not. My survival has always depended upon keeping up with my tribe, no less today than before I became so “evolutionarily advanced”. So, as I look in the mirror, that is the question that confronts me in my immediate crisis: Can I still keep up or will I become food for the lion?

I have committed my life to a pursuit of freedom and cannot allow something as distracting as an injury to trip me up in my dance toward infinity. If I stop now, then what was the point of all the hard work? The trick is to continue whatever it is that got me here... which for me has been a life of exertion and risk-taking. Injury is not an excuse for laying down.

Old age is the final adversary I face before I spin off into infinity. It is the cruelest of all the enemies I have faced. It presents a constant reminder that I am but one step away from being swept away in defeat. I fight the good fight, without fears; I keep a clarity of mind despite a lingering desire to just rest. If I give into the desire and yield to the soothing thought of taking a break, the predator who is always waiting in the wings will cut me down in my final battle. There can be no retreat.

The cult mind of the collective is not something I resonate to. I have pushed the boundaries relentlessly in every respect to escape the mold of what the average man has become. Through a cultured clarity early in my life and a chosen sobriety I figured out that I did not want to live the common life in the mold of most people. I look around me and see the majority of those I call friend being consumed by the predator during the past year or so. As I look in the mirror, the seer looking back reaffirms that I will not yield for reasons of age or injury or infirmity. Now is no time to pull over to the sidelines and ease the fight. Infinity can wait. The lion can go hungry for awhile longer. I shall keep up with my tribe for as long as I have the resolve to hobble on, hobble on.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Running on the Edge can experience no greater sense of freedom than what you feel when you run on a ridge that seems to hang in the air.  It's like running along the edge of a blade of a sword, taking care not to fall over one side as you accelerate with every step to leave the blade and the danger behind, though at the same time you don't want it to ever end.  There is danger, but you can think only of flying, of giving your legs the freedom to go faster and faster, letting your body dance as it keeps its balance.

Kilian Jornet, p. 86 in Run or Die

The Limitation of Words

  For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile cha...