A small circle: Where is Abel thy brother?    
 Where is Abel thy brother?10 comments
picture3 Jul 2006 @ 01:48, by D

Picture 1 (left) is from a DVD cover of Godfrey Reggio’s 1988 movie, Powaqattsi. Powaqattsi is a Hopi Indian conjunctive from the word Powaqa, which refers to a negative sorcerer who lives at the expense of others, and Qatsi - i.e., life.

Picture 2 (right) is Wayne Forte’s acrylic on paper Cain and Abel IV '89 - 80” x 50”.

After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Cain answered, "I know not; am I my brother's keeper?" Cain's words have come to symbolize people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows - their "brothers" in the extended sense of the term. The tradition of Judaism and Christianity (the "Good Samaritan," "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and "Love your enemies") is that people do have this responsibility.

Commentators of old, those who searched through the Bible for allegorical content, saw in the two figures of Caïn and Abel only one person, only one entity in conflict with itself. It is the first schizophrenia of humanity. It refuses a part of itself.

…I think George Bush loves this country. I really do. I don't think his administration is "full" of stupid people. ... The problem is not that the philosophy of this administration is not working the way it's supposed to work; the problem is that it is working the way it's supposed to work [to this administration.]

...They don't believe that government has a role in solving national problems because they think government is the problem. They think that we're better off if we just dismantle government; if, in the form of tax breaks, we make sure that everybody's responsible [that you are responsible] for buying your own health care and your own retirement security and your own child care and your own schools, your own private security forces, your own roads, your own levees.

It is called the "ownership society" in Washington. But, you know, historically there has been another term for it; it's called "social Darwinism" -- the notion that every man or woman is out for him or her self, which allows us to say that if we meet a guy who has worked in a steel plant for 30, 40 years and suddenly has the rug pulled out from under him and can't afford health care or can't afford a pension, you know, life isn't fair. It allows us to say to a child who doesn't have the wisdom to choose his or her own parents and so lives in a poor neighborhood, pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. It allows us to say to somebody who is seeing their child sick and is going bankrupt paying the bills, tough luck.

It's a bracing idea, this idea that you're on your own. It's the simplest thing in the world, easy to put on a bumper sticker. But there's just one problem; it doesn't work. It ignores our history. Now, yes, our greatness as a nation has depended on self-reliance and individual initiative and a belief in the free market, but it's also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, our sense that we have a stake in each other's success -- that everybody should have a shot at opportunity.

Americans understand this. They know the government can't solve all their problems, but they expect the government can help because they know it's an expression of what they're learning in Sunday school. What they learn in their church, in their synagogue, in their mosque - a basic moral precept that says that I have to look out for you and I have responsibility for you and you have responsibility for me, that I am your keeper and you are mine. That's what America is.

This remark is excerpted from a speech, by Barack Obama, delivered at the Take Back America conference on June 14, 2006.

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4 Jul 2006 @ 03:10 by jobrown : Cain & Abel....
I see most all governments throughout the Ages,in ALL corners of the World, as Cain & most all --deceived and seduced-- "We The People" as Abel... though I do hope that ALL 'We, the People' can somehow escape the "first" Abel's fate!  

5 Jul 2006 @ 08:39 by Hanae @ : False Dichotomy

I believe that this division of the world between THEM ("all governments throughout the Ages") and US ("we the people") is a FALSE DICHOTOMY.

Which also seems to be, to me, the salient point of D's post, here:

"Commentators of old, those who searched through the Bible for allegorical content, saw in the two figures of Caïn and Abel only one person, only one entity in conflict with itself. It is the first schizophrenia of humanity. It refuses a part of itself."

There is no US and there is no THEM. This is a recurring theme on NCN, and I just had recently a conversation, on another blog, about this with ****, who feels that “the issue is deeper than that.”

I actually do agree with ****.

What History tells us about government is this:

1. People instinctively group together.
2. Even though people are naturally social beings, individuals feel greater concern for themselves than for other in the group. This causes them to attack one another; hence the need for government.
3. Even though government is intended primarily to protect individuals from each other (and by extension protect individuals from groups of organized individuals such as gangs, or corporations, etc.), it is run by people who have the same selfish impulses as other people. Therefore they can, if unchecked, use the power of government to oppress the very people the government is supposed to protect.
4. Accordingly, government must be limited and the mechanism by which a government is limited is what is called a constitution.

This is a great oversimplification, but it will do for our purpose, let’s call it model A

What people like **** are trying to get to when they say that “the issue is deeper than politics” is that if you address the issue from (in their words) the “inside out,” individuals will, as a result, feel as great a concern for other in the group as they feel for themselves (because they will have come to realize that “we are all connected,”) and therefore they will cease to attack one another, and therefore the power of government to protect individuals from each other, etc. will no longer be necessary, and so on.

This is also an oversimplification, but it will do, let’s call it model B

It is also a truism!

I don’t think there is any question that moving from model A (the one in which we badly need all kind of institutions to keep each others and our governments in check) to model B (the one in which humanity has evolved to a new level of maturity that allows it to dispense with such institutions) is a desirable outcome.

The question is how do we get from A to B?

Civilizations are founded on the fact that groups of us can be smarter than us as individuals (think about that computer on which you are reading these words, and about all that is involved in making it possible, and about how much of it you understand and would actually be able to re-create left alone to your own device as an individual.)

The problem is that Civilizations also can result in people becoming dumber and more unscrupulous together than they individually are.

People who work on model A are the watchdogs that are routinely guarding our civilization against the excesses and abuses of model A, they also are the social critics of model A, and the proponents of new ways. Some are system-thinkers who are trying to find better ways for people to efficiently and intelligently “connect together,” they talk about “grass-root democracy” and “collective brain.”

People who work on model B operate from a different angle. Their focus is on a “change of consciousness from the inside.” The question that is of interest to them, mostly, is: “What can change the nature of a man?” (Changing our world from the “inside out.”) As such they claim little interest in “politics” or “religion.” Their question, paradoxically, is not new, and is at the basis of many of the great religions that are dominating the world today, most of them, alas, predominantly under the dogmatic version under which they have evolved. But, again, and again, and forever it seems, people have tried to break away from such dogmatism (some might have undergone a mystical experience) and remember to ask the question anew: “What can change the nature of a man?”

Then, there are people who work on both model A and model B. Actually it’s quite rare, in my experience that any human being ever works exclusively in A or exclusively in B. Just as there is no US and there is no THEM, there is no INSIDE and no OUTSIDE either, because, very precisely, everything is connected.

As I had previously stated it on that other Blog, strangely, two kinds of extremisms seem to have made NCN their ideological battlefield, one kind appeals to absolute authority (aka "the only way" - the political activists and the spiritually oriented groups alike,) while the other kind is too busy deconstructing all authority.

They're two sides of the same coin: both assume that building a new civilization is best apprehended by their ways of knowing. They might express their tolerance that other members of NCN or other people in the world believes differently about reality, or belong to different cultures, but deep down they believe that their methods have allowed them to see reality more clearly than they. That is not only corrosive but, from an ontological viewpoint, inaccurate and antithetic (i.e. sharply contrasted in character or purpose) to NCN’s stated purpose and mission statement. NCN makes it abundantly clear that Ways of knowing are negotiable by anyone and NCN doesn’t claim the existence of any absolute authority—spiritual, scientific, socio-political or otherwise—that we can call in to impose on everyone.  

6 Jul 2006 @ 00:48 by jobrown : There's no Question about it;
that Life can and is being interpreted from many levels of understanding -or (could I indeed say) Emotional Maturity/Health. Most pepole on Earth have been seduced to the vibration where so called Governments rule ( = limits) the individual Persons of the Group -to benefit the Government group more than the Public; the non-Government group of the (total) Group-members. (Hanae's Point 3 in False Dichotomy" 3."Even though government is intended primarily to protect individuals from each other (and by extension protect individuals from groups of organized individuals such as gangs, or corporations, etc.), it is run by people who have the same selfish impulses as other people. Therefore they can, if unchecked, use the power of government to oppress the very people the government is supposed to protect. "

Between different frequencies, there will always be friction, when trying to bridge over to eachother. No different today from Biblical Times and before. Each frequency broadcasts its own interpretation of Reality.
Funny thing is though, that the ones who are on the same page with 'me' does understand when "I" present a concept from a different frequncy; as for instance the Mainstream frequency (because that one needs to be so totally penetrated and un-dressed its camouflage'ing -intentional- lies and seduction (intentional miseleading of a more Innocent -trusting- person)they still know "how" to interpret 'my' input.
People always use their own frequency to interpret their surrounding anyway.So being on my page is a must to understand "where 'I'm coming from"/what frequency I choose to un-ravel -or discuss at any given time.
It is simply not practical to have to define every word's conceptual 'value'/ image. Besides; those who vibrate from 'my' frequency, when listening to 'me' will feel no friction, but resonate instantly. The ones who don't won't. This why a place like NCN has such difficulties: People always broadcast their own Frequency.
So called 'rhetorics' won't fool anyone anylonger; the deception has been brought to the surface sufficiently to challenge historical lies, that has been used against Mankind and this is the Crisis Moment for Mankind. But it still can take some "finetning' and repetioion!....which indeed I was doing in my comment, not lest because the people wanting to utilize the Outer Space/Final Frontier as their Playground are people fromthe frequency that most strongly emhpsizes the 'Us' vs 'Them'!... See the similarity in Hanae's point 3 and my previous statement.
Either we use these times today, as an Opportunity to grow many enough in numbers to cause a Critical Mass of finer vibrations to penetrate ALL, or as an crisis justification to take us all down.

And absolutely, because of this same words different "meanings" we can read one & the same Story form many "levels" of Reality...the ones we have re-intergated /re-calimed/healed.
I personally do not at all buy into this notion tha Man was /is born somehow defective spritually ( or defects are MAN-caused -in one way -or the other, as I see it! I KNOW that EVERY person on Earth was born Divine, Pure, Loving, Complete!.... then "something" happened!....
Cain & Abel the split in our Soul, caused by what Miguel Ruiz calls "The Domestication Porcess" is also real and valid!.... Sooooo.... Universal is universal!....what can I say!.... on all the different levels of reality. The lowest is most separating, working (secretly) for in-balance in-equality in order to abuisvely take advantage of other people life energy!... That is also inCain& abel Story!!!... No quarms about it!  

6 Jul 2006 @ 18:59 by vaxen : XXX
Darwinism stresses conflict and competition; that doesn't square with the evidence. A lot of organisms that survive are in no sense superior to those that have gone extinct. It's not a question of being "better than"; it's simply a matter of finding a place where you can be yourself. That's what evolution is about. That's why you can see it as a dance. It's not going anywhere, it's simply exploring a space of possibilities. - Brian Goodwin, biologist.  

6 Jul 2006 @ 19:08 by b : Complications of Simplicity
We who read this are all human beings on Earth. The apparent reality is that we humans are a composite of body, mind, spirit. The spirit, sould, the being itself is that which leaves the body at point of body death. The mind being partly in body and partly in soul. We are all human beings of Earth and we are all individual. It seems best to start with a premise of fact. Agreement is important but truth is truth.

*New thread*  

6 Jul 2006 @ 20:07 by vaxen : does it follow:
The mind, like a computer with unlimited access to any programs, roams freely. A present event becomes charged with profound emotional significance, a cosmic phenomenon becomes identical with some personal quirk. Metaphysical realities are juggled and bounced around. Listening to this music initiates us into llumination, the power generated by the absolute universal goddess, a heady mix of exaltation and horror that accompanies her. Each party a ceremony, each piece of music a ritual which blasts us through dimensions, galaxies unknown, to places deep within our own consciousness.


6 Jul 2006 @ 20:12 by i2i : Social Darwinism
Thank you daxlander, thank you b

Going back to the speech by Barack Obama featured on this post and the question I was asked about Social Darwinism, someone else also pointed out to me the following page link by Lynn Fancher, Associate Professor of Biology at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. It is a well made point and an important precision, so I'll just go ahead and post it here for the record (thank you, Magda):

Most people associate the phrase "Survival of the Fittest" with Darwin and the theory of evolution. Actually, Darwin didn't originate nor use that phrase. It was coined by one of the shapers of Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism is the general term which applies to several different ways in which people (not biologists) tried to apply a distorted and narrow interpretation of the concept of natural selection to human cultural systems. None of these political ideologies is actually any part of evolutionary theory.

One of the ways in which some people tried to apply a social version of natural selection formed part of the framework for the development of Nazism. This view embraced the assumption that the strong were superior, and thus ordained to prevail. Thus, if two countries were to make war on each other, the victor was biologically superior to the loser. It was therefore right and proper for that victor to subjugate or even eliminate the inferior opponent. This concept went hand in hand with the development of the notion of eugenics — not only could you prevail over the unfit by making war on them, but you could improve the breed by applying "enlightened" notions of selection and genetics.

A second way pseudo-evolutionary concepts were applied to human interaction was in the development of cut-throat capitalism in the United States. Here the ideology was that the cream naturally rose to the top; the successful made a lot of money simply because they were superior to the unsuccessful. Those who found themselves in poverty were poor because they were intrinsically inferior. This political philosophy resisted suggestions like universal education, welfare, minimum wage — in short, anything which interfered with the business of the "superior" ascending to the top of the heap and squashing the unfit beneath their expensive shoes.

Clearly, these political philosophies have nothing to do with a theory about the origin of biological diversity. The seeds of Social Darwinism were actually planted before the publication of The Origin of Species (though of course the name didn't originate until after). Darwin knew of — and rejected — the notion that his description of natural processes had any useful application in shaping human culture.


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