I can imagine living with a better government than the United States. I daily imagine living with real personal freedom to participate in government. I need not imagine reasons to participate more, for the government and its issue make these clear.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Today is Thursday the twenty eighth of April in the year two thousand and five and my name is Larry Bickel. I live in a society called free by historical standards, but I daily feel the constraints that still exist. I’m well paid for my time, but my time is demanded in large measure. This is the modern style of human bondage. We are not bought and sold by others instead we buy and sell ourselves and in this way we are free.
A question for the slaves of this free society: “How can we buy back our time, our freedom?” Secondly, “Will we value our potential freedom without knowing what we will use it for?”
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:26
The morning feels fresh today, like the world has rested and woke up remembering when it was younger. I feel promise and the willingness to move. I’m ready to make new commitments and cut loose those that drag: a positive outlook and a willing knife hand.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 08:07
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
In an over stimulated nation of over entertained skeptics it is difficult to remember that most of life's truly significant events are extremely common. We look for the novel stimulation, the uncommon happening, the unique perspective, but more often than not this is simply more noise degrading the signal. There are common events of life that have a significance that should not be underappreciated, they should not be missed - yes, even though they happen to nearly every one. Mentioning a list of these would put me in danger of being post-card nauseating, so I will leave this thought at this: embrace the common where it is significant to you, not statistically significant but significant to you personally. Allow your American personality to enjoy being normal for just one moment and you may be surprisingly satisfied by the experience.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 22:04
Friday, April 22, 2005
Can you feel it? Your reason to live, never knew you had one until it was getting the shit beat out of it, is hanging on by a finger. What about this makes one want to escape? Does this delay the loss - maybe drugs, drink and media delay the crisis? Escape. I think what we're talking about here is change: Ugly, naked, change. You feel it coming. Sniff the air; you're old enough now to know that smell.
Always a new self marching to the front; the multiplicity of self is depressing in the extreme. I want to stay who I am. I like the now, but I know that smell: Placental, wet, sulfur smell of a new self pushing its way to the front fucking everything before it. Good bye. This may be the last you hear from me. I'm slipping and my god damn arrogant next incarnation isn't wasting any time with courtesy.
Life can force its will upon us. Our environment, human and non-human, can over power us and leave us in a situation where the best option is to submit: Nothing is more hateful.
There is nothing more hateful to a free man than submission, but there are times when this is the only wise course. Wisdom is not always something you must love; it is for guidance not affection. Wisdom is often a hated councilor.
If you do not often resent wisdom’s advice then you do not often follow wisdom’s direction.
There is never a single option; there is always choice. At times there will be choices of such loss that a hateful choice must be made or ruin must be embraced. Ruin should only be the free choice in extreme situations that leave us beyond hope.
There is nothing more pitiable than a man who gives his freedom to another because he is too weak to make his own hard choices. Freedom is heavy and there is variance in the fortunes of a free man that the victim will not be asked to endure.
A man can live free in bondage or live enslaved in freedom; it is his daily choice.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 08:38
Thursday, April 14, 2005
The supposed moral authority of the majority which gives our government officials their righteous excuse to power should never have the power to force me to do anything that I do not choose to do. My heart affirms this truth on a daily basis. Does this position seem unrealistic? Do you believe that the nature of men requires that they always be forced and coerced against their wills? Are the wills of man so bad?
If you think man must always be forced and must always submit, then how is the tyranny of the majority justified?
I see no reason to accept the position that a million voices speaking falsely should outweigh my single voice speaking truly, especially and with specific concern where it involves my person and my freedom of action. I reserve the right to choose. I reserve my natural authority over my self and dispute any other person who has been convinced into believing he holds my rights, even and especially if a vote of the majority is his convincing factor. No person has the right to take my freedom of choice from me, and no population of people has this right either. I am free. You may ask, “Free to do what?” My response: that is my business and not yours. I not only have the freedom to choose, I have the freedom to choose as I will for reasons I find sufficient: For a free man, no justification is necessary.
I believe in man. I hold myself to be free to choose. Force me against my will to actions I reject and you will be a tyrant, however you excuse your power.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:24
Most christians will honestly assert that they are not infallible. In fact they will often speak at leangth to their weaknesses and fallibility in judgement and action.
These same people will take a sinsere position that they believe the Bible to be infallible. Many even go as far as holding to a loose understanding that God directly created the literary work.
There are several points to notice in this discussion. One, you can not be both infallible and completely assured that you are correct about the bible's infallibility. Two, other christians chose what was included in the bible and what was not. Three, other christians authored the individual documents that comprise the bible. Four, these documents have changed over time with many differences in versions being found. Five, the collection of documents called the bible is translated and in many cases we do not have a draft more recent than hundreds of years after our assumed original pen dates.
Let me first address the extreme opinion that holds the divine to have directly written the documents through the human hosts. Firstly, the reason that the documents were written was often personal or for teaching purposes. None of the authors claimed divine inspiration, in fact they more often seemed as humble as their modern counterparts. If the authors themselves do not claim perfect divine inspiration then why claim it for them. This seems to be a critical point of fallibility; asking these documents to be something that they were not originally intended to be. Secondly, we know that these writings are not directly inspired without the effect of the human host. We can differentiate writing style between authors. We can identify word choice and intellectual approach that reveal educational and cultural differences between the authors themselves. They also record events limited to their experience or second hand knowledge as well as events that seem significant from their perspective. This extends to the context they place events in, how they lead up to it and frame it. The imprint of the author is clear and undeniable. The humanity and therefore fallibility of the author is also clear.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:21
"I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe— 'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." Henry David Thoreau
The government that coerces my cooperation with force, and believes me born into subjugation for the duration of my life is an enemy to my liberty and freedom. I did not volunteer. I was born and immediately stamped and processed into a life long servant of the nation controlling the geography of my birth. I did not volunteer, and I am beginning to realize the extent to which I am truly restrained.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:05
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
The overt oppression of a populace is dangerous because it sets in motion a necessary subversion so that internal balance can be achieved. I specifically say overt because the experience of oppression is subjective and related to personal expectations. The raw use of power to control another person should be the last resort of the governing authority, because it may set in motion a problem of control greater than what it was intended to solve.
The subtle oppression of a populace is a modern art being practiced and refined in the most advanced countries.
For the modern citizen, every "Exit" from the quiet oppression becomes a clearly marked stygian maze, so that when you cry for release those around you point to the exit and say, "There is the way out." Ours is a frightening type of volunteerism; a house in which the windows have been replaced with murals of loss and want, repainted as the condition within the house deteriorates. We can leave, but we dare not. We are not fooled by the lies, but we do not ask for the truth. We are complicit in the subtle oppression of our masters.
I fear that these masters are not mere men, but are something far worse. I fear that they are we, the tyranny of the majority, to which we have subjected ourselves and left no sign of true escape. Quiet oppression can not forever take more and more, a day comes when we are without room to fill our chests with air and the natural tendency to become subversive will find its voice and hands. In time, we will tear our balance from the very flesh of our modern country, even this ever so subtle oppressor we have built and support. We will force freedom upon ourselves when our very blood has realized the depth of our oppression.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 16:55
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use." Galileo GalileiIf god made man then I will resist the efforts to denegrate his work. Are men so bad? Is god's creation so flawed? I hold that man is not so flawed as some would have us believe, and that our mutual artist could not have so failed as to have made us objectionable to his own eye. These same haters of man would have you pray for the end of creation. They will convince you if they can of their own indespensibility to your life while at the same time wagging a soft finger at you lest you drink from the cup you've been handed.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 09:24
Sunday, April 10, 2005
There is nothing intrinsically oppressive about life; on the other hand every moment of life is lived in relation to the forces that act upon us. We are free to act. We are never free from the forces of our environment acting upon us. The experience of freedom is a balance of these forces, internal and external, so that the actor is able to act according to his will.
The experience of oppression then is a subjective one indicating an unresolved internal opposition to external forces. The experience of oppression is one of a victim unable to resolve his internal desire to act with an external force in opposition. The oppressed does not feel that he can enact his will.
I find nothing more objectionable than the feeling of oppression. When I encounter this experience I find it useful, in that it shifts my balance towards freedom, to assess the forces acting upon me and the ways in which I wish to act. Inevitably I identify forces acting upon me that can be avoided, nullified or pacified and aspects of my will and expectations that are not significant or more commonly are not wholly mine. My first statement is often this, “There is nothing important to do.” You may be surprised by this but I find it freeing in the extreme as well as true. From this foundation I build up each individual item of internal will that I wish to retain balancing it against my external reality. This exercise inevitably leaves me with simple courses of action to force my will on my environment. These new plans and expectations are the very keys to freedom and the balance that needs to be regained.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 17:51
Monday, April 04, 2005
Church has never been like family to me. Christian men and women have been, although rarely, like family to me. The institution is not the faith. Even those rare fellow believers that I have been close to are not the faith. Neither the company of christ nor the individuals who follow him can justify or debase the primary truths. The same holds true for the works of these. What they write down, ink on paper, can not make my faith or unmake it, nor what a group of them decides to pronounce or denounce can stabalize or destabalize my position as it relates to the divine.
If a relationship is personal then it is personal and no other people or papers should insert themselves between. I honor and adhere to Jesus not his followers, ancient or modern, nor the works of his other adherants. Personal is personal - personal is not corporate.
I will gladly stand alone, aside from the herd, to preserve the clean honesty of what I really emperically know that I have. I will fight for what I have, even if it is not so great as what others claim, so that it may remain honest and real. I will embrace my minor and humble relationship and will never reach for the cheap gold that others demand I claw after with them.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 21:14
Friday, April 01, 2005
The glory of the roman empire faded and its strength crumbled; in its passing it left behind piles of religious thought and trails of broken faith canonized. The religion left behind by mother rome and still clinging to human lives is equivelant to post-apocolyptic survivors dwelling in broken down cars and under bridges.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 14:49