This is the front cover of my forthcoming book, “Soul-Bonding”.
This is the front cover of my forthcoming book, “Soul-Bonding”.
This is the front cover of my forthcoming book, “Soul-Bonding”.
Are you an Artist?
If so, would you like your art to be on the cover of a book that offers
practically every person on the planet some relief from a problem most don’t
even know about or understand. Almost everyone can benefit greatly from
the knowledge and understanding of the solution offered in my most recent
Not an artist?
Please pass this invitation on to someone who is. They will thank you for the
Who am I?
My name is Bob Podolsky. My father was a world famous physicist and I
followed in his footsteps, only to later completely change professions after a
life changing experience. I became a psychotherapist and spent 40+ years
helping people change their lives for the better. I also worked with John
David Garcia on developing the best method for manifesting creativity in
groups – a method which later became what I have labeled an Octologue.
This is featured in my 7th book entitled FLOURISH!.
A New Book!
The title of this one is:
A New Approach to Personal
Growth and Human SYZYGY
What is Soul-Bonding?
Soul-Bonding describes the most important bond a human can make – the
initial bond between mother and child. If you’ve ever struggled with “the
enemy within,” then you’re probably in need of Soul-Bonding. This enemy
within could also be called character structure – an obstacle that stems from
the way most young parents unwittingly treat their children. In my opinion
this obstacle must be cleared if our species is ever to live in peace, prosperity,
and freedom.Fortunately, I’ve been grappling with this obstacle for the past 43 years and have devised what I believe to be a solution to the challenge – and Soul-
Bonding presents that solution.
The links in this article, as well as reference material at titanians.org and
holomat.org, should give you some solid background you might need to
create a suitable cover. If you have questions, email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at +1-561-542-5800 and leave a
The book format is 6” wide by 9” tall with a 1/16” bleed of the background.
The cover print resolution must be at least 300 dots per inch.
Deadline for submissions is midnight on August the 15 th, 2017. Please email
me right away if you intend to submit. All submissions will be considered.
Only one will be chosen.
Greetings to all my friends and Octologue well-wishers. In just 8 days the text of my latest book will be finalized and its production will get underway. The title is: “Soul-Bonding – A New Approach to Personal Growth and Human Syzygy”.
When completed, the book will be available in paperback, e-book, and kindle formats. I’ve included the book’s preface below as an introduction to the subject-matter. If you’d like to receive a free copy of the e-book, as soon as it’s available, just shoot me an email to email@example.com with “free S-B” in the subject line, and I’ll send it off to you ASAP..
“Soul-Bonding”. The phrase fairly reeks of undefined mystical implications imbued with a hint of the spiritual. But what does it mean? It takes its name from the fact that the bond formed between a mother and her newborn infant is the most important relationship in the life of the child. The quality of that bond and its history over the child’s first five years will determine how that life will unfold for the adult into whom the child matures for decades thereafter… in the absence of Soul-Bonding. Which brings us back to the question of “What is Soul-Bonding?”
The simplest answer is that Soul-Bonding is a protocol or procedure that enables one to increase one’s understanding of who one is and how one became who one is. While valuable for its simplicity, this explanation fails to express the universal need for this technology. So here’s a list of 26 indications that Soul-Bonding would likely improve your life:
You’ve always known you were special, but others rarely recognize this in you.
You are constantly disappointed by the extent to which those around you lack your spiritual sensitivity.
Life has “short-changed” you and someone, by God, owes you!
You’ve long suspected that you have alien parents… who may or may not someday come to claim you… but you were sure, as a child, that you were living with the wrong family.
While you are obviously generous, it seems everyone else is terribly selfish.
You believe “no one should have to work.”
The “Venus Project” is very appealing to you.
You participate in political campaigns.
You’d rather seek and find evidence for what you believe than formulate new beliefs based on new information.
You can’t imagine enjoying monogamy.
You have failed at marriage more than once – and you’re starting to suspect there’s more involved in this than simply your poor judgment in picking your partners.
Fear of failure makes you inordinately risk averse.
You’d rather have a job than own a business.
You’ve already been promoted to your level of incompetence.
You always use up all your “sick-leave”.
You win awards for playing your role as an employee.
You’ve got your eye on that corner office… or comparable status symbol (big house, fancy car, private jet, etc.)
You remember nothing before the age of six.
When you were little, your parents always seemed to be fighting about you.
You hate your job. You’ve hated all your jobs.
You’ve never had a boss you liked.
You’ve never had a boss you didn’t like.
You keep expecting to see government start changing for the better
You feel helpless to change anything for the better.
Your life is “humdrum” and meaningless.
Think of the question, “What would you set out to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Then realize YOU AREN’T DOING IT.
If any one of the above descriptors fits you, you are a prime candidate for learning Soul-Bonding. If two or more apply, your need could be urgent.
When I speak of “learning Soul-Bonding”, I could mean learning to be a professional Soul-Bonding practitioner, who gets paid to apply the protocol for the benefit of their clients. But it can also mean simply learning the skills for one’s own benefit. Both meanings are valid and both outcomes are available.
Soul-Bonding is designed from its inception as a means by which people can recover from, and outgrow, the effects of childhood trauma, and thereby acquire a variety of valuable new capabilities that were previously unavailable. Moreover, when you experience Soul-Bonding you are simultaneously learning it. So when you’ve experienced enough of it, you can use it on your own without supervision. And by the time you are doing that routinely, you will be competent to teach it to others.
When I began my journey into Soul-Bonding, in the fall of 1972, I was very skeptical. The only reason I got started was that a friend told me that a two hour session with a therapist resulted in curing her of stammering – an “affliction” she’d suffered from for most of her life. That statement aroused my curiosity to the extent that I had to find out how the change came about, despite my skepticism. Two months later I was so moved by the benefits that I’d already experienced that I decided to make it my second career. I’ve never regretted the decision.
In the course of reading this book you will learn in some detail the nature of Soul-Bonding and likely find a use for it in your life. Here at the start, I want to provide you a context and some vocabulary for understanding and interpreting the content of the chapters that follow, as well as a recognition that Soul-Bonding could be the solution of the deepest most tragic problem our species faces – the problem most likely to destroy us all if left unsolved.
Like your cell phone when it’s time to charge it, a newborn baby needs to “plug into its energy source”, and its “socket” is primarily its mother’s face. So the baby “plugs in” by finding mom’s face, making eye contact, and mirroring mom’s facial expressions.
If mom is happy, healthy, energetic, and ready to engage with her child, the two mirror each other in a way that the child finds nurturing, calming, satisfying, and reassuring. And if the mother follows through with the needed physical comforting and feeding, the child grows up seeing the world as full of the resources she needs and becomes highly capable and independent. Soul-Bonding dramatically increases the likelihood of this desirable outcome.
I sincerely believe that if you are not living the life you’ve always wanted, the means to achieving that life is literally in your hands and/or at your fingertips this very moment.
I met my friend, Morpheus (now in federal custody), in 2005 at a meeting of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County in Florida. At the time I was struck by how quickly he understood the ethics lessons that I was teaching then. We quickly became good friends and stayed in touch after he moved to Arizona about 6 months later.
In 2012, just 12 months to the day after my wife’s death, I pulled up stakes and moved to the Phoenix area to become part of the freedom activist community in which Morpheus was a well known participant. Since then I’ve had many opportunities to admire his honesty, courage and fortitude in resisting the evils of mala prohibita (victimless “crimes”) enforcement.
The price he has paid for his extraordinary freedom has been severe. He has been robbed of multiple vehicles, beaten, tased, cuffed, kidnapped, strait-jacketed, prosecuted, fined, and caged just for being free – NOT for harming anyone. In fact, he is currently in prison for buying and selling BitCoins – a commodity comprised of strings of numbers and letters. What could be more absurd?
He was arrested on April the 20th while making a BitCoin deal, and then his apartment was raided and he was charged with owning a handful of ammunition that was found in his apartment (no guns though). So now the feds are trying to build a case against him, probably for “money laundering”, but they have as yet not charged him and have not specified a “probable cause” for his arrest. Meanwhile they won’t let him bail because they consider him a “flight risk” – which in fact he is NOT. And he is languishing in prison until a hearing or trial scheduled for August.
So I am appealing to all you freedom-loving, anarchist, libertarian, or constitutionalist, “activists” to ante-up for Morpheus’s defense – because if you don’t step up and help him, there will likely be no one to come to your defense when the Nazi thugs come for YOU… and they will I can guarantee.
I’ve talked to attorney Marc Victor on Morpheus’s behalf, and he will charge $800 just to go out to where Morpheus is being held and do an initial interview. His actual defense in court is likely to run tens of thousands of dollars.
This case is likely to be a precedent setter. The federal government cannot afford to let anyone buy, sell, or financially transact anything without their demanding a slice of the revenue (in taxes). So the outcome of this case could result in your total financial enslavement, OR it could set a precedent that will legitimize the first truly free market on the planet in over 8,000 years.
Make no mistake. Unless we defend Morpheus with every resource available to us, his fate will eventually become ours. If you don’t want to rot in some gulag, donate for his defense while you still can.
Via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via Bitcoin: 1CnMqpF3dUoHSUg3r4ngAsJoNhSTBU7TY
If you’d like to write to him, here is his address in captivity:
P.O. BOX 6300
Florence, AZ 85132
There has been much discussion about “property rights”, “human rights”, “self-ownership” and the “non-aggression principle” or N.A.P. Most of the ideas on these subjects that seem worth discussing are existential in nature. For instance one often hears questions like,
Does “property” actually exist?
Do “rights” actually exist?
Does anyone really “own” anything?
What does it mean to both “be oneself” and “own oneself”?
…and what implications do these questions have concerning the validity of the N.A.P.?
While many academic philosophy buffs like to argue who has the best answers to such questions, the significance of their arguments is more a matter of ego aggrandizement than one of applying ethics in a practical way.
This body of subject-matter leaped into the minds of modern libertarians when Murray Rothbard introduced it as a way of understanding the libertarian perspective. Briefly, he opined that self-ownership is self evident… axiomatic. And based on that assumed logical starting point, deduced that therefore anything one’s body produces is also one’s own property. From this he went on to define property rights and expanded the definition to include anything found unclaimed in nature or acquired by voluntary trade. His logical equivalent of the N.A.P. was a further logical outcome of this thought path.
Rothbard’s reasoning is a good example of weak logic leading to correct conclusions. Some of the weaknesses include:
“Rights” are not actually things…you can’t put them in a wheelbarrow.
The clear definition of “property acquisition” doesn’t actually explain the existential relationship between property and its owner.
And, most importantly, most people don’t intuit self-ownership, because they were indoctrinated as preschoolers to believe that their parents “owned” them, and later their teachers “owned them”, and in many cases their employers subsequently “own” them.
A consequent weakness in the N.A.P. is the common belief that it constitutes a complete ethic rather than a principle based on an ethic. While the N.A.P. forbids behavior deemed “bad”, it fails to define behavior deemed “good”. Thus use of the N.A.P. as the sole determinant of ethical behavior leaves much to be desired.
An Alternative Algorithm for Ethical Behavior
For a much more comprehensive discussion on this topic, check out this article on Ethics, Law & Government. Here I summarize some of the article’s conclusions without including the derivations covered in the linked article.
An act is said to be ethical (synonymously good, just, right, or righteous) if it increases truth, awareness, love, or creativity for at least one person, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing any of these resources for anyone. An act that does diminish any of these resources for someone is said to be unethical (or synonymously bad, wrong, unjust or evil). An act that has neither effect is said to be “ethically trivial”.
Based on the foregoing definition, is is a simple exercise in logic to derive a set a dozen or so principles that can assist one in making ethical decisions on a day-to-day or moment-to-moment basis. Foremost among these is the fact that ethical “ends” require “ethical means” …which in turn must be ethical ends in themselves.
At this point, I hope you can see that the N.A.P. effectively defines unethical acts while leaving trivial acts and ethical acts undefined. So an act that complies with the N.A.P. could be either ethical or trivial. For anyone wishing to live their life as ethically as possible the N.A.P. fails to deliver the best guidance available. In other words the N.A.P. tells us what not to do but leaves us in the dark concerning what to do.
The ethic that I’ve recommended above not only tells us what specific resources are most worth amplifying, but it also opens the door to a way of organizing human institutions so that they make consistently ethical decisions. For a comprehensive explanation of how this can work, I invite you to read FLOURISH…An Alternative to Government and Other Hierarchies.
Based on the observations outlined below, I see our cultural evolution as having reached a “cusp”. On the one hand, it is within human capability to establish a world in which virtually everyone can flourish… where health and material well-being are universal, and life-spans centuries long… where children are raised without the trauma of early abuse… where war, hunger, poverty, racism, drug addiction, and street violence are things of the past… and where everyone shares a sense of belonging in the world – unalienated by our former divisiveness.
On the other hand, unless we promptly make some radical changes in our societal culture, I predict that we are most likely to witness the extinction of our species within no more than a few decades…or possibly within as little as a few years. We could even witness the making of this choice before the end of this year. So time is of the essence.
I have hope…
Despite the above prophecy, hope is strong in me that humans will eventually achieve an ethical society characterized by peace, prosperity, and freedom. I realize that to most people, awake to the realities of today’s world, such hope must seem an unlikely pipe dream; based on our knowledge of the amount of evil and corruption dominating world events…yet, I have hope nonetheless.
My hope springs not from the power contained in the human heart, as some would opine – but rather, from the power of that which I serve: namely, a paradigm that I believe cannot fail once embraced by a relatively small group of activists. My purpose in writing this article today is two-fold:
To explain the paradigm in its simplest terms, and
To solicit your active participation in putting the paradigm into practice.
Because I believe that the fate of our species will depend on your response to my words, it’s important that you have some good reasons to believe what I’m about to tell you. For this to happen, you need to know more about me. So bear with me while I toot my own horn a bit.
I’m not a genius – at least not in the usual sense of the word. My ability to store and retrieve information in my head isn’t especially impressive. My thought processes don’t run particularly faster than many others. And my ability to perform logical and mathematical operations in my head is above average – but not exceptional. What makes my thought processes extraordinary is my extreme attention span. When exploring a new idea I keep nibbling away at it long after others get frustrated and quit. Right now, for instance, I’m working on some ideas that I’ve literally been working on for years. The result of this anomalous capacity is that I’ve become what you might call a “deep thinker” – able to draw conclusions that others fail to see because they quit thinking too soon…before they get to the heart of the matter.
I’ve intentionally cultivated a decent level of rapport between my conscious and subconscious minds – so the focus of my mental inquiries continues while I sleep or daydream. This results in my often acquiring new insights without fully understanding how I arrived at them. If I suspect I could prove such an insight, I call it an “opinion”, whether or not I choose to reason my way to an actual proof.
I’m an oracle…
Because I’m a smart deep thinking intuitive, I’m able from time to time to make accurate predictions of future events, based on subtle trends and patterns that I observe over time. For example, in 1958, as a sophomore in college, I wrote a term paper in which I predicted that the United States and the Soviet Union, then still in the midst of the “cold war”, would eventually become more and more alike – ultimately becoming indistinguishable from one another by any meaningful measure. This, you will note, is precisely what has happened. I hope you’ll keep this in mind when you consider the prophecy I made at the start of this article.
I’m a committed ethicist…
Until 1984, when I met John David Garcia, I spurned the subject of ethics, because I recognized that the choice of an ethic is purely subjective. As a scientist I had no use for a phenomenology that seemed so detached from the objective world. But, as John David soon taught me, the validity of an ethic is objectively verifiable, thereby making it susceptible to scientific scrutiny. It isn’t at all difficult to determine whether living in accordance with an ethic’s belief system actually increases the specific value or values that the ethic is purported to maximize. From my perspective, adoption of a valid ethic is the most important hallmark of adulthood available to our species.
When I say I’m committed to the ethical life, I think of how a chicken and a pig affect my breakfast of ham and eggs. The chicken was involved in the creation of my breakfast – the pig was committed. My commitment is similarly all-encompassing and devoid of compromise.
There you have it…
For the foregoing reasons I believe I deserve to be taken seriously – to have you heed what I say next enough to verify it for yourself. If you don’t believe one of the following statements, I urge you to formulate a question that challenges the statement. Instead of telling yourself, “That can’t be true.” ask “What makes you think that?” or “How did you arrive at that conclusion?” In this way you can keep yourself open to new information – a state of mind that is always ethical.
Life aboard “Spaceship Earth”…
Let’s take Buckminster Fuller’s metaphor as a model, and conceive the earth as a natural spaceship, on which we humans find ourselves exploring “where no man has gone before”. As I explore the spaceship, I meet many other fellow travelers and, over time, make the following observations:
Those aboard who are emotionally the healthiest are the ones who are honest, form voluntary win-win relations with one another, and who help one another to heal the emotional wounds suffered in their childhoods due to having had immature neurotic parents. These folks are worthy of trust and generally uplifting to be around.
Some of those I encounter present themselves as the ship’s crew members – claiming to work for “the ship”, to be responsible for my well being, and to wield authority over the non-crew passengers, for the sake of “the public”. These self-proclaimed ship’s officers often label themselves members of a mass hallucination thing they call “government” – thereby absolving themselves of all moral responsibility, as long as they obey their “superiors”.
The “crew” is not to be trusted – ever:
They always lie,
They are not at the ship’s helm,
They have none of the special rights that they claim, no matter their costumes,
They seek only to accumulate other people’s resources, through extortive violence and its threat.
They are psychopathically devoid of empathy, conscience, compassion, or remorse.
They regard others as their slaves… to be controlled, exploited, used, raped, starved, poisoned, and murdered in vast numbers. Almost 300 million of us have died at their hands in just the last century – not counting those killed in wars. And now they appear poised to kill billions more.
The crew-controlled manufacture of things intended to be destroyed (munitions), or to wreak destruction on other things (weaponry), wastes quantities of natural resources that stagger the mind on examination. This process, which exists only to make some rich, is totally unsustainable.
The crew are themselves slaves – their relation to the rest of us is like the relation of plantation house-slaves to field-slaves in the pre-Civil-War South. They enjoy certain privileges not available to the rest of us, and they earn these privileges by acting as authoritarian go-betweens or overseers. This process may be conceptualized as an industry called “power brokerage”. In this industry, a government is a power brokerage cartel.
The crew members lives are totally parasitic. They make nothing of value and provide nothing that cannot be better provided without them. Like most parasites, they are actively destroying their hosts (that is, the rest of us) and ultimately themselves as well.
Below I identify certain cultural changes that must necessarily occur for humanity to flourish – its culture characterized by peace, prosperity, and freedom. While these changes are necessary, it remains to be seen whether they will prove sufficient. They are, at least, within the realm of possibility. To this end…
We must bring about wide-spread adoption of objectively valid ethics by mastering the subject as adults, as well as by teaching the subject to our children at the earliest possible age. At its simplest, an ethical act is one that increases truth, awareness, love, and/or creativity for at least one person, without limiting or diminishing any of these resources for anyone.
We must replace hierarchy across the board with HoloMats of Octologues (or their logical equivalents), thereby eliminating the false notion of “authority”, acknowledging the equality of human rights, eliminating the power of cartels, and simultaneously immunizing our institutions against the evils of bureaucracy. Octologues are small autonomous groups committed to ethical purposes, who make decisions unanimously and remain always open to corrective feedback from one another and from other groups. HoloMats are groups of Octologues that contract to act together for a common purpose.
Consider, for example, how easy it is for you and a group of friends to decide where to go out for dinner. The purpose is social rather than nutritional. Pretty easily made group decision, right? And most probably you won’t be going to a restaurant about which a member of your group has a compelling reason not to visit (too expensive maybe). So the decision is unanimous. That’s how easy it is for the members of an Octologue to reach a unanimous decision – though the issue being decided can be much more important than “where do we eat”.
We must eliminate the use of “punishment” in child-rearing, thereby ceasing to teach violence as an acceptable mode of human interaction. When children are no longer threatened with violence, adults will no longer initiate violence – thus ending war and all other forms of interpersonal violence.
The three foregoing objectives are realizable. We know how to achieve them. What we’ve lacked thus far has been the will to apply this knowledge. Pursuit of this paradigm can demonstrably yield worldwide peace, prosperity, and freedom. Do you have a more worthwhile life-purpose than that? If not, I invite you to take action to this end…as if you knew you couldn’t fail.
Hurry! Time grows short…
I’ve been promoting the Titania Project since 1985…writing articles and books, giving lectures, and teaching workshops at various locations. This article is an urgent call to action. The urgency I feel derives in part from the hands of the “doomsday clock” – and partly from my own personal needs that are as yet unfulfilled.
More than 30 years ago, when I first embarked on this career, I thought that launching the project would be a “slam-dunk”…that the HoloMatic method was so obviously the best choice anyone could make…that the demand for the relevant know-how would turn my consulting services into a financially successful enterprise involving large numbers of participants. I couldn’t imagine who would want to continue working in a hierarchy when they could become a partner in an Octologue.
Today I realize that the psychopaths running the world have convinced most people, including many in the so-called “freedom movement”, that there is no viable alternative to power brokerage – thus fostering an attitude of passive acquiescence and compliance in the vast majority. Their message is a lie! But if you don’t take prompt remedial action, their lie will become a self-fulfilling prediction. These same psychopaths are poisoning our lands, seas, and atmosphere. They are provoking wars that could end life on our planet. And they are fostering evil and corruption of every imaginable sort. We must act now, or it will soon be too late.
What is more, from my personal perspective, life is fragile, and my recent medical “adventure” brought home to me the fact that my availability to teach the HoloMatic method is ultimately time-limited.
The upshot of these considerations is the fact that I need your help to set the wheels in motion that will save us from premature extinction and pave the way to a flourishing ethical society. The three objectives I’ve listed above, instilling valid ethics, ending hierarchy, and ending punishments, are necessary outcomes if humanity is to avoid extinction…they are not options…but essential steps, without which our species is doomed.
The following actions on your part will contribute to the success of the Titania Project. Some of them are specifically directed to support of my personal activities…and some are more general opportunities to provide The HOLOMAT with tools and resources equal to the task at hand.
Buy a copy of “FLOURISH!” Read it, and encourage everyone you know to do likewise. When it becomes a “best seller”, it will greatly expand the pool of candidates for early adoption of the Titanian method.
Volunteer your expertise. We need web-masters, IT security pros, database designers, software engineers, social media experts, event organizers, logistics specialists, crowd-funding writers, and many other skilled participants if we are to build the needed infrastructure to support the Titania Project. Contact me with your questions about what is needed and how you can participate. Some of today’s volunteer positions will become highly paid career positions once The HOLOMAT is up and running successfully. Anyone can join.
Support the Project Financially. In order to devote myself to the Titania Project full time, I’ve maintained a lifestyle well below the “poverty line”. While this works for me as a means of day-to-day survival, it falls short when it comes to actually promoting the Project. For this reason, I’m asking your help to cover printing, advertising, facility overhead, and travel expenses, so that I can be more effective in getting the word out about the advantages of the Titanian way. Also, the volunteer services that I solicited in the previous paragraph will need to become paid services eventually if The HOLOMAT is to be successful. Your donations can provide the seed money to bring this about.
If you wish to donate or to “subscribe”, you can do so via PayPal via the address email@example.com.
If you prefer, you can donate BitCoins to the address: 1NP2o2J85Gnq7aYtiw4ne6MFRdGwV8iSiC
Time is short and Life is fragile. Please act now…today…while there is still reason to hope that we can turn the tide and create an ethical society.
An Octologue is a small group of people (typically 8) who have undertaken to act together on a voluntary basis for the pursuit of an ethical purpose. Such a group makes unanimous decisions and also acts as a mutual feedback hub, whereby the members share their perceptions of one another in a very personal and intimate manner.
A HoloMat (generic term) is a group of Octologues joined by an ethical contract to serve a shared purpose. A HoloMat may consist of any number of Octologues.
The HOLOMAT is an online hub and resource center for many HoloMats to communicate with one another and to coordinate related activities for mutual advantage. When built, the HOLOMAT website/application will facilitate many kinds of interactions between individuals, Octologues, and HoloMats, and will provide for a wide range of memberships tailored to the needs of the individual or group. It will also act as a mechanism whereby individuals and groups will be able to find one another – e.g. Octologues seeking people with particular skills, or people looking for Octologues having specific purposes.
Watch for it here. It’s coming soon.
Life is What Happens…
Most folks have probably heard the epithet, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” This is certainly true of my most recent experience.
For those of you who haven’t heard “through the grapevine”, I just got out of the hospital after a ten day adventure there.
This unsought interruption of everything else going on in my life gave me the time and motivation to do some serious thinking about my 78 years aboard spaceship Earth… and this resulted in some new insights that I feel compelled to share with you. Some are personal. Some are abstract. And some are keenly focused on the Titania Project that has been my peculiar wÿrd for the last 30+ years.
About that adventure…
Some who know me will want to know the details of the “adventure”. If you aren’t interested, get off the train here. I’ll meet you at the next “station”.
On April the 10th I began feeling low level pains in my abdomen, and these pains gradually grew into a crisis that I wasn’t able to manage on my own, though I’d succeeded in living 3 weeks without resort to drugs. Nonetheless, on the evening of May the 1st, I checked myself into the emergency room at the Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa. To their credit, and my surprise, the attending physician didn’t wait to find out what was wrong with me before making me comfortable by doping me up with morphine.
There followed a 24 hour period of probing, testing, and evaluating, and then a night-time surgical interlude called, “bowel resection”. It seems that sometime in the distant past a cyst had formed in the wall of my transverse colon. And this fact somehow caused the formation of a tumor inside the colon. Apparently my colon had tried to defend against this abuse by turning itself inside out in a process called intussusception – a phenomenon rarely scene in adults.
My surgeon did what he had to do. He cut out about a foot of my colon – including the intussusception, the tumor, and the cyst. These discarded components turned out to be benign, so 3 days later I was glad to learn I wouldn’t be dealing with any form of cancer. Meanwhile, he stapled and sewed the severed ends of my colon together in what a plumber would probably call an “elbow”, thus bringing recovery into the realm of possibility.
The Ordeal in “Adventure”
I’ve often said that an “adventure” is just an ordeal that one happens to survive. As of today, I have no reason to change my mind.
It was 8 days before I felt any confidence that I was actually headed for recovery. The assault by doctors, technicians, caregivers, and staff – the confusion induced by powerful pain-killers – the need to get to and from the bathroom while tethered to IV drips and instruments of destruction – the pressure of carrying around intestines swollen to resemble a small watermelon – the demands that I eat and walk while wishing neither, all the above combined to make the prospect of recovery seem an ephemeral possibility.
Yet here I am on day 11, at home, struggling to land on my feet after an adventure that was actually life threatening for a while. I’m still uncomfortable, and yet committed to getting back up to full functionality as soon as humanly possible.
Those in the know, my doctors, nurses, technicians, physical therapist, occupational therapist, case-worker – all tell me that, given what I’ve been through, my recovery is progressing at an extraordinary pace – beyond what any of them have seen previously. While this is vaguely reassuring, I don’t take it for granted. No one ever gets “out of the woods” alive. I just feel grateful for the time I have in the woods – and for the well-wishes of the wonderful friends who are seeing me through this difficult time.
About the Word “Authority”
My friend, Larken Rose, describes authority as “the most dangerous
superstition” – and has, in fact, written a wonderful little book by that title. I heartily recommend it to anyone wanting to delve deeper into the subject than the limited treatment in this article. Having said that, let’s take an intellectual peek into the meaning of the word.
The word, “authority” would appear at first glance to be a noun – though
technically it isn’t one – because it doesn’t describe or name something that can be put in a wheelbarrow. Traditionally, a noun names a person, place, or thing. In recent years some have chosen to extend the definition to include ideas – but I find this more confusing than helpful.
Instead, on the advice of the eminent linguist John Grinder, I refer to such
words as “nominalizations”. As such, a nominalization is itself an idea, but the concept so labeled usually proves, on examination, to represent an action or a process. The same can be said too of the expressions, “power over”, juris diction, and rank – as they are essentially synonyms for “authority.”
In discussing authority, the subject is further confused by the fact that, in
practice, the word has two distinct meanings.
Two Kinds of Authority
There are two meanings for the word in common usage:
1. It can mean an expert – someone who is unusually well versed in a
subject – as in “Einstein was an authority on physics”; or
2. It can mean someone who exercises power over others – as in,
“Governments have authority over their subjects”.
At the moment we are born, naked, helpless, and totally dependent, our
parents are the expert authorities responsible for our well being. We have no choice but to respect their superior strength, knowledge, and experience. In fact, our very lives depend on it. So when they say, “Don’t play in the street”, we do well to obey, and we can take some comfort in the fact that they have more expertise than we when it comes to survival in the jungle, the woods, or the city. This is a case of authority as defined in (1) above.
Unfortunately, it is all too common that parents treat their children as though their authority is of the second type – requiring obedience without regard for the child’s mental/emotional state. “Be respectful! I’m your father!” expresses a typical attitude of such a parent. This is the attitude that is usually meant by the adjective, “authoritarian”.
It is the responsibility of an ethical parent to teach their offspring what they need to know to become independent adults with good self-esteem and a strong sense of responsibility for themselves. This cannot be achieved by maintaining an authoritarian posture in relation to them. This attitude, instead, teaches fear, obedience and dependency. When the posture is based on corporal punishment, it also teaches violence – and is arguably the primary source of violence in today’s world.
An even more profound consequence of authoritarian parenting is its effect on a child’s awareness of self-ownership.
As small children it is apparent to everyone that they are owned by their
parents. In school the mandate to obey is largely transferred to our teachers – making them our stand-in owners. And as employees it is easy to imagine ourselves owned by our employers. We are conditioned to accept these roles – even though they are false.
It is very convenient for those who wish to rule us to have us think that we are “free”, when we fail to recognize our own self-ownership. This distortion of our awareness causes us to regard the ruling class as our owners – and to obey its members as would slaves. The conditioning to bring this about begins when we are infants – being raised by parents who have already been trained to obey “authorities”. In reality, “authority” refers to nothing more than coercion by means of force or the threat of force. And the purpose of perpetuating the concept as something else exists only to make us easier to plunder. When we yield to this mandate, we remain permanently child-like, unwilling to take on the true responsi-bilities of adulthood. In effect, we choose our own slavery.
The Adult Quandary
Our culture makes it very easy for us to accept our serfdom – and difficult to honor truth, love, awareness, and creativity. The latter choices put us
immediately in conflict with those who wish to “rule” us, and they aren’t
hesitant to beat, pepper-spray, taser, torture, cage, and kill those who fail to comply. This makes for some difficult choices for those of us not deceived by our early conditioning.
The Unfortunate Default
While some of us maintain an uneasy balance between compliance and self-determination, most people choose, not only to comply with our self-
appointed rulers’ edicts – but to turn on those of us who don’t, by supporting violence that is directed at those of us who are free enough to recognize the falsehood of all forms of “authority”.
The Controllers and the Controlled
The intense need of psychopaths and sociopaths to control others by
exercising power over them derives primarily from the devastating abuse to which they were subjected very early in childhood. That abuse left them feeling so out of control of their lives, that to survive they had to learn to respond in kind – by becoming even more controlling than their abusers. To date there is no known way to heal the results of such abuse.
So, What Is “Authority” and What Can Be Done to Correct for It? The mythology that underpins our subservience to “authority” is no different
today than it was when monarchs claimed the “divine right of kings”. It is
based on the fictional notion that some people have an unassailable right to control the lives of others. In order to gain our freedom from such slavery we must first recognize it for the big lie that it is. The primary mechanism of “authority” is hierarchy.
We know now how to create non-hierarchic organizations that are both ethical and effective. This new model makes the old one obsolete. If there is a key that will end our servitude, this is it.
– Bob Podolsky – 2016