My Interview with Steve Seven

“Defeating the Archons”

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I have the pleasure of being  joined in the Zoom Room by New Testament scholar Steve Seven. Steve is a prolific author, a psychotherapist, a mythologist and an expert on the psychology of both Freud and Jung. You can find out more about Steve at  https://spiritualinstinctpress.com/.

In both Part 1 and Part 2 we discuss “Defeating the Archons”.

In Part 1 we define terms. Who (what) are the archons, the Elohim, demons and daemons, gods and angels.  How does archontic influence play itself out in the physical realm? We discuss possible solutions, such as “parallel structures” and community-based governance operating within and alongside the empire of the archons.

In Part 2 we discuss deception programs, the importance of multiple sources of information, the quest for autonomy, the importance of inner work as an indirect strategy influencing the outer world.

Part 1

Part 2

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2021

Integrating Opposites II

Image: Shutterstock

This is a revised version of an earlier post.

We often experience the world as a struggle between competing opposites: conservative vs liberal, objective vs subjective, male vs female, right brain vs left brain, the inner life vs the outer life, the active vs the passive, and so on.

In the study and practise of Tai Chi I have observed a dynamic tension between opposing forces: advance and withdraw, rise and sink. After many years of diligent practise, you can master the rise without losing the sink or you can withdraw but remain a coiled spring prepared for the advance. Mastering integration ignites explosive power (Tai Chi is a martial art).  It’s not a question of rise or sink, advance or retreat; it’s more a case of rise and sink both happening together so fast as to achieve integration. The interaction of opposites could best be described as a marriage, not a binary choice or a conflict but integration.

A simple practical example will serve to illustrate. First assume a firm stance, left foot forward right foot behind at a 45-degree angle leaving a channel in between. Allow a partner to put his/her hand in the middle of your chest, exerting gradual pressure with a view to pushing you over. Try to stop him/her from pushing you over. The immediate instinctive response is to resist, rise to meet or push back. Note how easy it is to knock you off balance. Now try a different strategy. The more your partner pushes the more you sink into the push, a very counterintuitive response. It might take some practise but you will begin to notice how immoveable you have become. You are relaxing into the push and absorbing the energy of it, ready to give it back.  This is the power which arises from the integration of opposing forces. Alternatively, try pushing on a large tree or telephone pole as hard as you can. Then try it again while sinking into the push and note the difference. The tree or the pole may not budge much, but you can feel the strength in your push; moreover, the results are achieved with much less effort or strain. This accounts for the graceful effortless appearance of Tai Chi when the principles are internalized. Tai Chi integrates non-doing with doing. The Western mind has a hard time with the non-doing part. Chi is the lifeforce energy. The principle is — “energy follows intention.” The masters can exert great power with very little muscular effort by allowing the energy to do the work.  

Practices, like Tai Chi, foster the mind, body, spirit connection. A flexible mind fosters a flexible body and a flexible body fosters a flexible mind in a continuous feedback loop. A flexible mind and body fosters a flexible, open and non-resistant spirit, one open and receptive to an expanded state of consciousness. The Tai Chi philosophy seems to be reflected in the New Testament passage, resist not one who is evil.  The Tai Chi way is nonreactive. A constricted and contracted hose will not allow much water to flow.

Integration is the key but fundamentalists invariably identify with one pole or another creating an adversarial relationship between opposites. The totalitarian strategy of divide and conquer adds fuel to the fire.

From my office window, when spring arrives, I will survey a pleasant scene of forested hills, pastures slowly turning green, and below them, a vast expanse of wetland where ducks and geese are returning from their winter refuge. Soon our farm pond will come alive with tiny goslings and ducklings eagerly following their mothers. It’s a scene of perfect harmony which could not exist without a balance and reconciliation of opposites: death and decay vs renewal and rebirth. Neither should prevail over the other. Both work together for good and what we observe with pleasure is the outcome of integration. Likewise, the most beautiful paintings are a combination of light and dark.

In the latter part of my book, A Prison for the Mind, I identify postmodernism as a fundamentalist belief system, one which has become the prevailing orthodoxy of our time. One of the doctrines of this new religion is that there is no such thing as objective reality. This sets the philosophy on a collision course with Enlightenment principles – a worldview which asserts that there is an objective reality discoverable through reason and the scientific method. Enlightenment principles are summarily dismissed (by the extremists) as the product of a white male patriarchy, a view itself that’s overcome with bias. Here we see the battleground of the subjective (postmodernism) vs the objective (rationality). How can they be reconciled?

I didn’t get too far in my expose of postmodernism before I realized, yes, I too am a postmodernist; I only reject the counterfeit version, used wrongly for political purposes—to foster totalitarianism, censorship and societal subordination to a global technocracy. Nevertheless, we do not understand the world through reason alone and in this sense, I am a postmodernist. We have a left brain which is rational and a right brain which is artistic — the realm of the poet, the mystic, the musician and the painter. A whole person must function with both hemispheres without one dominating the other.

Image: Shutterstock

In the early part of my book, I identify personal experience (subjective) as the only thing we can know for sure and the inner journey as an avenue to certainty (very postmodern). Finding truth in the outer world is difficult because it’s like a carnival funhouse Hall of Mirrors. It’s hard to tell what is real and what is illusion. Observing the outer world, we are confused and unsure, and thus vulnerable to counterfeit offers of comforting certitude.

Here’s where I think the counterfeit version of postmodernism gets it wrong. I refer to a teaching story about a village of blind people trying to figure out what an elephant is. One holds the tail and says it’s a snake. Another holds the leg and says it’s a pillar, another holds the trunk and says it’s a hollow tube; but no one has the vantage point to see the whole elephant even with the use of scientific instruments. The extremists say there is no elephant. I say there is one but difficult to discover (difficult but not impossible). If there was no elephant, then nothing would be objective and therefore nothing in the outer world could be described as true or false. If nothing is true, then science has no place, there would be no such thing as a lie and research would be pointless (i.e., no truth to be found).

You can have your own subjective insights without imposing them on others or using them to ignore verifiable facts or lobbying to have your subjective perceptions enshrined in law. All these things the faux postmodernists attempt. Subjective and objective must walk hand in hand, recognizing their respective spheres of influence. A police officer might follow a hunch or rely on intuition (subjective) to solve a murder but a conviction can only be upheld by evidence gathered and proven in court. Many scientific breakthroughs began as dreams or flashes of insight but these must also be subjected to the rigours of the scientific method.

The great mathematician Ramanujan, from Madras India circa 1915, with almost no formal education, claimed that the Hindu goddess Namagiri would appear in his dreams, delivering mathematical insights, which he would write down when he awoke. He described one of them as follows:

While asleep, I had an unusual experience. There was a red screen formed by flowing blood, as it were. I was observing it. Suddenly a hand began to write on the screen. I became all attention. That hand wrote a number of elliptic integrals. They stuck to my mind. As soon as I woke up, I committed them to writing.”

The Cambridge University mathematician Godfrey H. Hardy, who worked with Ramanujan,  said that if mathematicians were rated on the basis of pure talent on a scale from 0 to 100, he himself would be worth 25, J.E. Littlewood 30, David Hilbert 80, and Srinivasa Ramanujan 100.

When Ramanujan first arrived at Cambridge he insisted that his mathematical insights just came to him or were dictated by God (subjective) but professor Hardy, recognizing his genius, worked with him to provide objective verification based on principles acceptable to the scientific community. This was a very fruitful partnership. The word genius comes from the Latin word of the same name, meaning, “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth” or “innate ability.”

We become much more effective as a result of integration and the world is more peaceful place without the either-or mindset of fundamentalism.

The amazing life of Ramanujan was made into a feature film, The Man Who Knew Infinity, which I highly recommend. (See Recommended Viewing section for movie trailer.) It is so inspiring to watch the two camps, the logical and the intuitive begin at odds but end in harmony.  Reconciliation of opposites is needed now, more than ever.

(C) Adrian Charles Smith, 2021

The Shock and Awe of Covid-19

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The Spanish Flu

It’s all coronavirus all the time in the news these days and people are afraid. When people are afraid, they might countenance measures more terrifying than the disease itself. Totalitarians never let a good crisis go to waste and this one is a giant leap forward with no clear way back. Confined to our homes, under virtual “house arrest”, we can only watch helplessly as events unfold. As I write, civil liberties are suspended and there is a virtual takeover of the economy by government. When it comes to public spending, we are oft reminded, “there’s no magic money tree”. Well, quite suddenly – we have this magic money tree. Government will bail out affected business without discrimination – the good, the bad and the ugly, whatever it takes. There will be cash for affected individuals too but as usual, the benefits for them will be inadequate. No one knows for sure what the consequences will be, except – there will be consequences. If we have this magic money tree after all, then why do we have a health care system that’s so quickly and so easily overwhelmed?

A 2016 “wargame” concluded that Britain’s National Health Service was woefully unprepared for a pandemic. The results of the test, which was suppressed by David Cameron’s conservative coalition government, cited shortages of IC beds, tests, protective equipment and ventilators. We now know that austerity kills as surely as any virus. Oxford university estimated 120,000 people lost their lives as a result of austerity in the health service imposed in the aftermath of bank bailouts. That’s more than have died from coronavirus worldwide so far. Properly prepared health services could have coped with Covid-19 and there would have been no need to deliberately engineer an economic collapse.

It will be small business which suffers most from the lockdown. It is estimated that up to one third of small businesses will not re-open. Whether it’s the disease or the cure, lives are ruined or ended prematurely by suicide or despair. There will be suicides, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, necessary doctor’s appointments missed, treatments put off and the unquantifiable damage to our sense of autonomy.

Life here on our small farm goes on much as it always has. We can go for a walk in the woods or on the marsh and we have ample supplies. But what if you live in a small apartment in a big city with four kids climbing the walls? You have just lost your job, joining ten million in the USA who have lost their jobs in the last two weeks alone; and this is only the beginning. Your relationship was strained to begin with, now it’s at the breaking point. What does this mean for the incidence of domestic abuse? What does it mean for mental health? In 2012, a landmark report from University College, published in both Britain and the USA, identified a new “killer disease”– isolation.

Lockdown is not a choice of lives vs dollars; it’s lives vs lives. How many lives will be lost from the cure? It’s now a given, we are in a self-induced recession worse than The Great Recession of 2008 and, if so, it could take up to two years to recover once the crisis ends; but if the shutdown persists much longer, we could have a depression and that could last ten years. This could mean hardship on a par with the 1930s. Could it be that we are so afraid of death, we are willing to commit suicide?

I am reminded of Naomi Klein’s bestselling book The Shock Doctrine. Shock leaves us disorientated and confused. Shock leaves us begging the authorities to apply their cure. Draconian policies are often imposed on a population in shock. Minds full of fear are blank slates highly receptive and easily persuaded. If the policy response doesn’t work, there will be more shocks. In such a state we lose the capacity to resist. Klein refers specifically to the radical free-market policies imposed on Chile under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, policies inspired by the fundamentalist economic ideology of Milton Friedman of the Chicago School. The ensuing disaster was all part of the cure, Friedman argued. The radical Marxists are no better. In either case, when things don’t work as advertised, the response is the same – double down. ( As I have argued in my book, no need for a binary choice between the seemingly opposite ideologies of the political left and right; there is another way – integration.)

It’s not clear these radical anti-virus measures will work either, unless or until there’s a vaccine but that could be two years away. By that time, we will be well accustomed to dictatorship. We are warned not to let our guard down – against the disease that is. There could be a renewed outbreak, perhaps in the fall. Even when there’s a vaccine, the disease could mutate or there could be another even more deadly virus unstoppable in a globalized world. Coronavirus could well be the new normal. Acceptance of dictatorship could also be the new normal. Having been gradually conditioned to such solutions, one question remains: Is this the end game or just one more step along the way?

Given the magnitude of the crisis and the response to it, one would hope that there would be some certainty as to the numbers. If the deaths were numbered in millions, as first indicated, then the response could be justified. To put things in perspective, the World Health Organization puts the annual worldwide deaths from ordinary flu (respiratory complications only) at 290,000 to 650,000. According to John Hopkins University, the worldwide deaths from coronavirus as of this date (April 11, 2020) stand at 105,000. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed 40-50 million.

What is the true death rate for the coronavirus vs ordinary influenza? The number of deaths is the numerator, the number of infections is the denominator. The number of deaths over the number of infections equals the death rate. Current estimates are that this flu is 10 times more deadly than ordinary flu or one person dying for every one hundred infected. The truth is, no one knows the denominator because there is no antibody test available yet. Such a test would tell us the number of people who have had the virus but have recovered, having produced an antibody affording them immunity. Such a test would greatly increase the denominator (the total number of people who have been infected). A larger denominator produces a much lower death rate. The true death rate is therefore less than the one reported (the reported number is based on incomplete information).

There are problems with the numerator also. How many people die with the infection but not from it? You can have the infection and not even know it but you die of a heart attack. The test says you died of Covid-19.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD Phd, is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. He recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal asking, Is The Coronavirus As Deadly As They Say? He argues that the lethality of the coronavirus is much less than advertised. He raises these issues in an interview with The Hoover Institution (included with this posting). He proposes alternatives to shutting down the entire economy.

Whatever the numbers, it’s important that we know the price we pay.

British conservative MP Steve Baker fought back tears as he labelled Britain a dystopian society following new laws passed amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Baker said: “We are implementing tonight in this Bill at least a dystopian society, some would call it totalitarian.”

He approved the Bill in the fervent hope that these measures would remain in force not one minute longer than necessary. It’s often the case though, that once enacted, there’s no going back. The Patriot Act, authorizing unprecedented surveillance of U.S. citizens, is still in force 20 years after 9/11. It was due to expire in 2015 but was extended by the Obama administration.

Former Cabinet Minister Ted Davis added: “Even worse is how some police forces are encouraging people to spy upon their neighbours, seemingly attempting to turn us into an informer state.”

From The Times of London April 10, 2020:

Nick Adderley, the chief constable of Northhamptonshire said, that a “three-week grace period” in the country was over, adding: “We will not, at this stage, be setting up roadblocks.”

“We will not, at this stage, start to marshal supermarkets, checking the items in baskets and trolleys to see whether it’s a legitimate, necessary item. But again, be under no illusion, if people do not heed the warnings I’m making today, we will start to do that.

And in Derbyshire, police use drones to find people walking alone on the mores. Such activities are deemed “non-essential”.

We recall with horror the prospect of being asked by police, “where are your papers”, recalling many old films depicting life under Nazi rule. Could we be that far off? Of course, it’s always in a good cause, legitimate or not.

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2020

No Country for Old White Men

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Image: New York Times

Why are there no women running for president? The Democratic Party’s leadership race is down to two, decidedly old, white men, one of whom has trouble completing a sentence. The sitting President of the United States is yet another old white man. The media is all  abuzz  with this question.  Hilary Clinton wants to know why? House democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi wants to know why? Nancy Pelosi implies, if the Republicans ran a woman, she’d vote for her.

Well, Democratic Party establishment, I’ve found someone for you. She’s young, not white, articulate and definitely a woman. On top of that she’s a war veteran, having served as a medic in Iraq. Guess what? She’s running for president and in the Democratic Party leadership debates, she embarrassed all her rivals (watch the video).  So what’s the problem? Why can’t a woman like this be the next president? Answer, she wants to stop all theses costly and destructive regime change wars and bring the troops home. She also wants to defuse the new cold war and spend the money instead on education, healthcare and other priorities. This has the military industrial complex and its media stooges in a fury. Let’s talk about something else, they say – why there’s no women, not enough gender neutrality, anything; just don’t mess with our wars!

Since the debates, Tulsi has been mercilessly and thoroughly demonized in the media and by the Democratic Party establishment. She’s a Russian agent, apparently, and an Assad apologist. More recently, she has been rendered invisible. So that’s why there isn’t a woman, Hilary and Nancy.

What do Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump have in common? Not much, but one thing they share – wanting to end regime change wars and defuse the new cold war. At least Donald Trump ran for president on that ticket.  Both Tulsi and Donald were speaking outside the “republicrat” mainstream narrative, the corporate-controlled narrative. Interestingly, Donald Trump was also labelled a Russian agent and an Assad apologist. A costly and futile two-year investigation found no evidence for this (The Meuller Report) but there it was, every day for two years, in the media spotlight, Donald Trump the Russian agent.

On the night of the debates there was unprecedented public interest in Tulsi’s campaign. She was the most Googled candidate of them all. As the online hits soared, Google, with no explanation, shut down her account. This action deprived her campaign of vital ad revenue.   As a so-called “private” corporation, they are allowed to do this.  In fact, Google executives have been caught boasting of how they can influence the results of an election.

I’m going to propose something radical. It doesn’t matter whether the president is a man or a woman, black or white, someone with a pleasing personality or an abrasive one. What matters is their policies and more importantly, their ability and willingness to implement those policies.

The fact that Donald Trump, an old white man, and Tulsi Gabbard, a young, female person of colour are subject to exactly the same treatment by the establishment media, ought to have us asking a few questions and thinking outside the box.

 

 

(C) Adrian Charles Smith 2020