A Personal View — Discontent

There’s an old saying in the Jewish Talmud: “he who understands will understand.”  This essay is written in that spirit.

This is a time of rage and revolution among activist citizens of the United States who are watching national crimes being committed, with no end in sight.

I am not looking for new answers.

I am trying to see what is already here.  Right now.  Fully formed.

What makes that vision difficult is the bombardment of information, the daily tolling of the bad news bell of the United States of America, the evils that prompt the human spirit to react instead of respond.  This to me is the most difficult task, to make myself quiet enough to see the answer staring me in the face.  It is easy to write.  It is not easy to do.

No, I am not looking for new answers.  I’m not looking for answers at all.  The answer has already arrived.  The only thing left to do is grasp it and in that grasping, the action will thus be taken.

The distractions are powerful and I do not underestimate them.  The distractions cause a feeling of panic, of surrendering my own time, the beat of my own human heart, to the insistent drumbeat of disaster, to act in haste, to react and react over and over again and fail to respond.

There are millions of Americans who are seeing for the first time the consequences of this reign of thieves and murderers.  They  may not be able to articulate it well, but if you listen, you can hear it in the sounds of kitchen table conversations and workplace watercooler gossip.  You can most certainly see it in the yearning for a leader which is bringing out the electorate in droves.

Millions of Americans who are not happy with our government.  It’s right there, it is already happening.

The die has already been cast.  We cannot stop this tide and I am not interested in trying to do what cannot be done.

I am interested in seeing what is here right now.

Sounds simple.  It is not simple.  It is the hardest thing I can imagine.  To see what is here right now.  Every power in this country is trying to repress that vision, to stop our ears from hearing and our eyes from seeing.

We have the sword.  We have our weapon.  We need only open our eyes, turn resolutely away from the angst and despair that is deliberately beckoning, coming at us from nasty evil forces who wish us to rail and roar but never stand still long enough to see.

It’s already here.  We already have the answer.  If only we can be still long enough to apprehend it.  I believe there are forces all around us doing everything possible to prevent that.  I’m not going to let them do that to me.  I’m done with reacting.  I’ve been done for a long time now.  And I’m not going back.


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  1. It’s not the only stand.  But it’s mine, and it’s no better or worse than anyone else’s.

    I’m done with reacting.  I can’t even fake it any more.

    • pfiore8 on February 13, 2008 at 03:03


    • Edger on February 13, 2008 at 03:07

    I see two possibilities. Not two choices, because there is no choice, for me. But two possibilities.

    I’ll use a metaphor because it will save typing.

    I can be myself, and free.

    Or I can be this…

    Seven of nine? Or eleventyseventh of threehundredmillion?

    Thanks, but I think I’ll stay me.

    It’s simpler that way, Mama Told Me.

    • kj on February 13, 2008 at 04:03

    as i heard myself starting to rail at the intern that answered McCaskill’s phone, i slowed down and apologized for being so inarticulate and said i understood he was paid to hear me rant but please, please understand, i wasn’t a crazy liberal just going nuts, the that telecom immunity was important to me.  anyway, long story, but the thing is, the kid was with me. he was with me.  there was no brush off, no condensending murmurs, he was with me.

    anyway. just wanted to say that. This, below, says it for me as well:

    The distractions are powerful and I do not underestimate them.  The distractions cause a feeling of panic, of surrendering my own time, the beat of my own human heart, to the insistent drumbeat of disaster, to act in haste, to react and react over and over again and fail to respond.

    • kj on February 13, 2008 at 04:30

    I am interested in seeing what is here right now.

    i knew i needed something today, this really, really helped and will be the first thing tomorrow morning, along with NL’s and Edger’s, no matter what else the outrage of the day brings, that I read.

    it snowed a bit this morning, i woke up with a light feeling, unusual, and thought, “Hey, remember this, before the heaviness of the day comes in.”  forgot it almost immediately.

    • Edger on February 13, 2008 at 05:12

  2. and I’m not sure what you think the answer, that “we already have,” is.  I’m not trying to be a smart-ass, but I imagine that if everyone who recced this were asked to say what “the answer” was, there would be little agreement.  The ambiguity simply makes it hard to criticize.  I don’t think that the essay should pass without someone saying that; I’d have preferred it not be me, but so it goes.

    FWIW, I don’t think we have the answer, or that there is “an” answer.  I think that there’s a process, a viewpoint, a stance — and that as problems arise, individual and sometimes contingent answers arise.  Jefferson said that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”  That is the answer, in a sense, but promoting “eternal vigilance” falls far short of being “an answer.”  And yet, I think that people who generate the answers, at the times they are required, are guided by something much like this.

    Anyway, I’m glad that others appear to “understand.”

  3. Yet, there has never been a moment when an American could see clearly what was real, here and now.

    It was a lot easier in the time of the image, when almost nobody saw it.

    • kj on February 13, 2008 at 16:12

    that’s (reaction v. response) why I feel so strongly about 2, 3 or 4 “action” links a week here on the blog. Just now, started to open DavidSeth’s https://www.docudharma.com/show… and before reading a word, my first thought was, “I hope there’s a link here to a petition or a something.”  

    I’m not saying petitions are an answer or a solution to anything. But it is that desire to not just read and freak and read and freak (I mean, come on, these last eight years, at the very least, surpassed ‘worst-case-scenario’ 10 years ago).

    Taking all the information (ie, destruction, and that’s what the information is composed of today, destruction at every level on every aspect of human life), passed overwhelming a long, long, long time ago.

    Power of our voice?  We have the power of connections, here, on the nets. If I can focus and channel my attention, awareness, with (nearly) every outrage brought up here on a daily basis, I’m less likely to become fractured and once fractured, succumb to panic.

  4. …”Being is becoming.”

    • Metta on February 13, 2008 at 20:43

    Just get me started on the topic of distractions. I could go on and on. But that would distract me from the essence of what you are saying.  I agree full heartedly the powers of distraction are trying to create one huge cocophany, “look at me, look at this, look over here, look there!”  Everything but, “look at this mess we’re in”, because, of course then we will look.  It’s the opposite of “don’t think of an elephant”.

    So our ability to see what is and speak it is a powerful sword.  Just sitting for a couple of hours at my caucus with Obama supporters talking about what is happening was empowering because it was a place where it felt good to start the conversation with others, even if they were in agreement, it started to feel okay to talk with other real people about torture, constitutional degredation, the environment.  My neighbors coming out to be political felt like a begining.  Like you said, we don’t need anymore answers or information at this point to cloud the issue, seeking information is almost a distraction itself at this point.  Just a quick ramble/rant at work.  A distraction from what I’m being paid to do. ; )

  5. is what you’ve just done NPK. And you did a great job of it.

    We don’t need to recreate the wheel in order to get our “house” cleaned up. All that is needed is some damn powerful water sprayers to wash the slime and the dregs off (and out) of the Founders’ wonderful creation. (Gonna need an Environmental Impact Statement before we start. Most of these jerks are toxic waste.)

    Stand on the rock rising above the miasma of despair and helplessness. Speak your Truth, and continue it as a mantra. Never back down or allow yourself to slip below the waters of hopelessness.

    I look across this country and see silent sentinals, beacons of Light and Truth concerning the situation in our land. Like moths to a flame, the lost are flocking to these fonts of reality.

    Welcome to the Lighthouse Club!

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