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Author Topic: Free West Alliance  (Read 46565 times)

SilverGreen

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« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2004, 06:16:16 pm »

Dear Abby,

What's a Porcupine?

Signed, Clueless in Cleveland
  :huh:  
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Silver

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« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2004, 06:39:28 pm »

nevermind
« Last Edit: May 19, 2005, 03:22:10 pm by Silver »
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SilverGreen

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« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2004, 08:45:14 am »

Oh, okay!  That makes sense.
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RobertH

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« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2004, 04:10:22 am »

I posted the following response to FSP concerns about the western liberty efforts on a few of the western discussion lists the other day.  Specifically, it was a commentary on J.J. Johnson's response to a letter from FSP'er Neil Alexander, which was featured on the Sierra Times website.  It may be of some interest to those following this schism:

J.J.,

Thank you for your comments in defense of the western liberty movement.

I was a member of the FSP from September 2002 until October 2003. I had
opted out of the states of New Hampshire and Delaware, and I chose to
exercise that opt-out following the vote for New Hampshire. Prior to the
vote, I primarily supported the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska. I
still support the FSP, and I wish it well, but I continue to have objections
to New Hampshire that have caused me to cast my lot with those working for
freedom in the West. I accept the possibility that I may be mistaken about
New Hampshire, and, if so, no one would be more delighted than me.

Two notes on Mr. Alexander's comments:

1. Mr. Alexander claims that westerners are involved in trademark dilution;
however, the fact is that there are a number of us who have attempted to do
what we can to distance ourselves in name from the FSP so as not to "dilute"
its distinct identity and cause harm to the work that Jason Sorens started.
For instance, the group that I am part of is called FWA - the Free West
Alliance. I don't see much potential for confusing "Free West Alliance" with
"Free State Project".

Boston T. Party does have a "Free State Wyoming Project" in the works, and
this may be confusing to some; however, it should be duly noted that not all
westerners are operating under that banner. As for Boston's reasons in
choosing that particular name, as you suggest, Boston can best speak for
himself.

2. Mr. Alexander claims that westerners view the question of potential
recruits solely from the aspect of those who either WILL NOT move East or
those who WILL NOT move West. He says that there is a third potential group:
those who are indifferent on the question of East vs West, and that western
liberty movements could compromise the FSP by drawing off recruits from this
third group of persons.

First off, I'm genuinely puzzled by the attitude of some FSP members that
the FSP itself has some sort of proprietary claim to the concept of moving
for liberty, and thus an exclusive right to first consideration by those who
may be interested in the idea. This attitude not only conveys a remarkable,
and I must say most "unlibertarian" intolerance, but it also suggests that
those of us who are interested in moving for freedom - but who are unwilling
or unable to move to New Hampshire - should sit back, twiddle our thumbs,
and watch our liberties slip away until we're informed that it is now 'our
turn'.

Yes, there are undoubtedly those who are indifferent on the question of East
vs West, and the FSP may potentially recruit some of them; however, it
should be stressed that this does not necessarily mean:

A. That they're indifferent on the issue of moving to New Hampshire, or any
of the western states, specifically.
B. That they're capable of moving a long distance.

There may be those who would move either East or West but would not move to
particular states, and there may also be those who simply cannot manage a
move of thousands of miles. Those in the former group may be too highly
selective to assist either effort, but those in the latter group - and I
suspect this is a large group - could become productive participants in the
fight for liberty in a closer location. Some who live in the West could
likely afford a move to another western state when they would not be able to
afford a move across the country to New Hampshire, just as some now in the
East could afford a move to New Hampshire but not to Wyoming.

Are we really prepared to accept the idea that such folks should simply cool
their heels until Mr. Alexander gives them the green light with the
justification that, unless you're going to move to New Hampshire for
liberty, you really shouldn't move anywhere at all? Or if you do, you should
keep it quiet?

The fact of the matter is that there really are people who are only willing
or able to move to a western state, and they should not be made to feel
guilty because their priorities and/or finances do not measure up to someone
else's. As for those who are indifferent, I say we should assume that anyone
who is willing to move for liberty is also probably intelligent enough to
decide where they would be most effective and whether or not they would be
harming anyone else by their decision. Personally though, none of those I've
seen involved in the western effort to date have seemed indifferent; they've
all been staunchly pro-West.

In the final analysis, I believe that much of the hostility toward the
western liberty effort is grounded in an improper mystique that some in the
FSP created around the number 20,000. For some, it seemed that achieving
that goal was more important than achieving a free state. They utterly
ignored arguments to the effect that there were states where we would likely
not even need 20,000 to succeed, and that an experimental movement such as
FSP shouldn't stack the odds against itself from the beginning by choosing a
high population state. In the end, the FSP not only chose a state with a
comparatively large population, but one with an enormous legislature, making
maximum recruitment essential.

If the FSP does not meet its recruitment goals, I'm sure that there will be
some who will attempt to blame any existing western efforts for diluting the
FSP's pool of recruits. Yet the FSP is struggling for members as I write
this, and the western effort has hardly gotten off the ground. Surely there
is no one who would seriously argue that the West is already drawing off
recruits from New Hampshire.

Again, I wish the FSP only the best. I disagree with the choice of New
Hampshire, but that does not mean that I would like to see the effort fail.
If I come across people who are interested in moving for liberty but cannot
or will not move West, I'll happily direct them to consider New Hampshire.
At the same time though, I feel that this animosity toward those who prefer
to move to a western state is both unwarranted and counterproductive.

Sincerely,

Robert Hawes

http://sierratimes.com/04/02/19/ar_fsp_west.htm
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H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

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« Reply #49 on: March 07, 2004, 04:33:02 pm »

Though you quibble with Mr. Alexander's confusion about the Western projects, you contradict yourself by mentioning Boston's Western project and therefore you validate Mr. Alexander's statement, while appearing to quibble with it.

As for the attitude that Westerners should twiddle their thumbs and wait for a green light from FSP before proceeding, again, there is no mention of that. Rather that the FSP should be given a chance to progress  - succeed or fail - before its model is emulated. What's wrong with that?

The whole "project/alliance" movement of late is based on the Phd thesis of Jason Sorens. (That thesis which clearly wasn't read by many in the Western movements). For the first time, statistical and scientific methodology was applied to political science to come up with the theory of the Free State Project.

But it's still only a theory.

It created enough excitement that people want to emulate it, and that is understandable. But since it's only a theory, and has not yet been proven, what exactly are you emulating? Nothing, yet.

So we have a bunch of variables added into the mix, and unquestionably confusion added to mix that makes it harder to evaluate progress.

Finally, Mr. Alexander did not bash or denegrate the Western movements. He did not want Mr. Johnson to excoriate the Western movements. He merely asked Mr. Johnson NOT TO ENDORSE them. Huge difference! Mr. Johnson chose to not answer any of his questions, and to go on a diatribe, instead.

Same with me. I merely ask that the people endorsing these various Western projects understand what they are doing. I want them to be honest, mostly to themselves. Their foremost evasion, is that they refuse to admit they are competing with the FSP. Every time I bring that up, they marginalize my arguments, and start waxing on about the "Spirit of the West", and how "Westerners are different than Easterners", and so on.

They also ignore the examples of the (by far larger) third group of people who belong to neither the Westerner nor the Easterners.

That has been my only mission here, is to expose that evasion. Though I did get grumpy from time to time, *I* don't resort to name calling and handle-mangling like a few of my spiritually superior Western opponents.

The FSP is a "new idea" (please don't refer me to the 19th century cults & movements, this is different as stated above). And it's exciting, and I understand why people want to copy it. But, in my opinion, it's too early to copy before its efficacy has been verified.

'Bug
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kbarrett

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« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2004, 01:09:14 am »

Hmmmmm .... an appeal to intellectual property rights?

Deeeeeenied!

We'll do as we please. Even you do bash us.....





hot damned .... that's 300    woo hoo!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2004, 01:11:45 am by kbarrett »
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RobertH

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« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2004, 02:34:48 am »

Quote
Though you quibble with Mr. Alexander's confusion about the Western projects, you contradict yourself by mentioning Boston's Western project and therefore you validate Mr. Alexander's statement, while appearing to quibble with it.

Actually, no.  Mr. Alexander's statement would apply to Boston's project because of the name, but I don't feel that it applies to the FWA, which has deliberately attempted to avoid confusion with the FSP, both in name and in practice.  By the latter, I mean that its approach is different - similar, but different.

Quote
As for the attitude that Westerners should twiddle their thumbs and wait for a green light from FSP before proceeding, again, there is no mention of that. Rather that the FSP should be given a chance to progress  - succeed or fail - before its model is emulated. What's wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with the idea that the FSP should be given a chance to succeed.  However, Mr. Alexander took issue with the formation of western groups because he felt that they would "dilute" the FSP's pool of potential recruits.  But I would ask the following:  If these people don't organize in some way, then how are they supposed to realistically do anything at all for the cause?  Organization is a key element to success in any endeavor (except anarchy  :D ).  If westerners who can't or won't move East want to act to perserve liberty, particularly if they want to center on one state or on counties in various states, then they need to organize.  If they organize though, they are likely to attract others to the effort and thus we have Mr. Alexander's issue.

Quote
The whole "project/alliance" movement of late is based on the Phd thesis of Jason Sorens. (That thesis which clearly wasn't read by many in the Western movements). For the first time, statistical and scientific methodology was applied to political science to come up with the theory of the Free State Project.

Why do you say it "clearly" wasn't read by many in the western movements?  If you go back to the "Which State?" section of the FSP forum, you'll find much discussion of Jason's thesis by westerners.  In fact, westerners referred to that thesis repeatedly when arguing for lower population states like Wyoming and Alaska (the Partis Quebecois and the 1:62 ratio, which was the origin of the call for 20,000).

Quote
But it's still only a theory.

It created enough excitement that people want to emulate it, and that is understandable. But since it's only a theory, and has not yet been proven, what exactly are you emulating? Nothing, yet.

Well, the particulars of Jason's theory may never be entirely substantiated.  For instance, it's possible that the FSP might not attract 20,000 but might succeed in making New Hampshire a free state.  That scenario would throw off Jason's numbers, but I don't think anyone would be disappointed with the outcome.   ;)

As a result, I suppose you could say that other folks are interested in emulating the concentration model that Jason outlined, in one form or another.  In addition to the western efforts in old FSP candidate states, there is a "Free West" effort concentrating on Canada's western provinces, as well as a "European Free State Project" as well.  All of these may ultimately prove beneficial, although I doubt that any of them will entirely conform to Jason's exact model.

Quote
So we have a bunch of variables added into the mix, and unquestionably confusion added to mix that makes it harder to evaluate progress.

That is most definitely true.   :)

Quote
Finally, Mr. Alexander did not bash or denegrate the Western movements. He did not want Mr. Johnson to excoriate the Western movements. He merely asked Mr. Johnson NOT TO ENDORSE them. Huge difference! Mr. Johnson chose to not answer any of his questions, and to go on a diatribe, instead.

I agree that Mr. Johnson didn't address some of the particulars of what Mr. Alexander was arguing, which is one reason I thought I'd make the comments that I did.  

Your impression may be different, but when I read Mr. Alexander's letter, I got the impression of someone who believes that the western efforts are almost treasonous off-shoots of the FSP that are out to pirate Jason's idea even if it means harming the FSP in the process.  I don't think he was asking Mr. Johnson to excoriate the western movements because he was already (somewhat) subtly doing that himself.  After all, if he thought well of the western movements, why would he have a problem with J.J. Johnson endorsing them?

Quote
Same with me. I merely ask that the people endorsing these various Western projects understand what they are doing. I want them to be honest, mostly to themselves. Their foremost evasion, is that they refuse to admit they are competing with the FSP. Every time I bring that up, they marginalize my arguments, and start waxing on about the "Spirit of the West", and how "Westerners are different than Easterners", and so on.

Well, you have to admit that there are decided differences between the various sections of this country.  Some of them were regularly paraded about in the FSP discussions prior to the vote.  Still, the point that lies at the heart of what the westerners are doing right now is that there are people who, for one reason or another, will not move East.  Such folks getting together cannot harm FSP's New Hampshire recruitment effort because they are not recruitable for New Hampshire.

Quote
They also ignore the examples of the (by far larger) third group of people who belong to neither the Westerner nor the Easterners.

This is what I spent the largest amount of time trying to address in my letter.  There are more than just the two groups we think of most often (those who WILL NOT move East and those who WILL NOT move West). There is a third group of those who might go either way, depending on any number of circumstances.  I'm fully willing to admit that there is potential for competition here.  Someone in California might say, "Why should I move to New Hampshire when there is a liberty effort underway in Wyoming and Montana, both of which are much closer to me?"  This is entirely possible.

The problem I have here is that, like many of the aspects of Jason's plan, there are variables that are difficult to account for here, so I don't think it is wise to automatically assume that those who don't have a preference between East and West are New Hampshire recruitment material.  For instance, I gave the example of people who might want to move for liberty but can't afford to move a long distance.  The Californian scenario I listed above might fit into that category, or there could be someone living in Maine who would prefer to move West but will go to New Hampshire instead because it's closer and more affordable for them.

It could go either way.  What I object to is the attitude that this third group of fence-sitters is automatically going to be diluted for FSP by a western effort.  I think that's very going to be a very difficult thing to measure unless you get specific feedback from individuals.  Thus, I'd rather that people like Mr. Alexander not get so excited over an impact that is mostly theoretical at this point.

Quote
That has been my only mission here, is to expose that evasion. Though I did get grumpy from time to time, *I* don't resort to name calling and handle-mangling like a few of my spiritually superior Western opponents.

It's easy to get caught up in bitterness in some of these exchanges, but, ultimately, it doesn't do anyone any good to resort to such methods.  If people need to let off steam, I'd suggest a good heavy-bag.   ;)
 
Quote
The FSP is a "new idea" (please don't refer me to the 19th century cults & movements, this is different as stated above). And it's exciting, and I understand why people want to copy it. But, in my opinion, it's too early to copy before its efficacy has been verified.

Well, I believe you're correct in stating that Jason's mathematical approach to migration and concentration is new, but there have been a few examples of migrations more recently than the 19th century.  I believe there was a woman who tried to get people to buy into the idea of forming a town in Texas back in the 80's, and then, of course, there was the hippy/leftist migration to Vermont in the 1960's and 70's.  The Vermont effort wasn't really organized though.  I believe it just came about as a result of word-of-mouth.  And I'm not sure if the "free town" of Big Water, Utah, came about as a result of a migration or not.  I'd have to check on that.  Jason referred to it in a couple of his papers, but I don't remember if he said it was a migration.

Otherwise, I think the idea of concentrating numbers for their massed political effect is sound, regardless of whether Jason's particular theory is proven in New Hampshire.  As I mentioned previously, I'm not sure that Jasons' exact model can be proven anyway.  Even if FSP gets to 20,000 members, New Hampshire's population will probably put it beyond his 1:62 ratio by then.  Again, that doesn't mean that it might not still succeed, but I it's the precise model that we're talking about here.
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H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

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« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2004, 05:25:55 am »

Quote
Why do you say it "clearly" wasn't read by many in the western movements? If you go back to the "Which State?" section of the FSP forum, you'll find much discussion of Jason's thesis by westerners. In fact, westerners referred to that thesis repeatedly when arguing for lower population states like Wyoming and Alaska (the Partis Quebecois and the 1:62 ratio, which was the origin of the call for 20,000).

I lurk on the Western Movement's forums. The numbers they bandy about "300,000" (for example), clearly show they have no idea where the 20,000 number came from.

Regarding handle/name mangling - well that's just rude and juvenile, don't you think, Elias?

Also, I haven't bashed the Western movements, merely wanted them to acknowledge reality. We'll have to agree to disagree whether or not that constitutes "bashing".

Finally, I imagine the FSP leadership will probably take the position of benevolently ignoring the other efforts. There's enough work to be done in NH, after all. I hope my fast food analogy will take place, and we'll all be better off.

'Bug

PS(I certainly don't want to be 130 miles from Boston. ICK! Only one "hill range" between me and what, 2,000,000 sheeple?)
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kbarrett

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« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2004, 11:07:29 am »

Quote
Also, I haven't bashed the Western movements, merely wanted them to acknowledge reality. We'll have to agree to disagree whether or not that constitutes "bashing".
 
We disagree. No matter how many times you demand we "acknowledge reality" ... that is, agree with your views and stop competing, we wont.

Yes ... having to compete with other groups for recruits will make your job a bit harder ..... get over it. We aren't going to stop.

 
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Elias Alias

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« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2004, 01:27:10 pm »

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Regarding handle/name mangling - well that's just rude and juvenile, don't you think, Elias?

 
In the case of my and your discourse here, I see handle-mangling to be a creative and humorous cavort of sorts. The way in which I've used "handle-mangling" at your expense implies right off the bat that your persistent and ardently-asserted wish that FSPers and BTPers  _must_* ADMIT* that they are copying Jason's idea, his brain-storm, seemed to me on the surface of it to be so irrelevant to any valid concerns that I felt like taking the liberty of playing with you. Your communications efforts here have likely brought a smile to faces other than my own.

When people take their "plan" so seriously that they wish to guard against any divergence from that plan, they often-times can become protective. "Protective" is a word which is often interchangeable with "Defensive". Defensiveness and Protectiveness both imply an insecurity, the opposite of confidence and assurance. Insecurity comes always from conflict, marked by seemingly contradictory bids within the mind which seem to be in opposition to each other and thereby create dis-ease of the mental states in its holder. Your insecurity about other groups forming in the wake of Jason's "original idea" strikes me as being so funny that I grin about it even though my higher self would suggest to me that in fact your insecurity is a sad thing.

Here is something you said elsewhere on this thread: "Boston's participation in your forum, as far as I am concerned, is endorsement by Mr. Party for the GWA. I believe that Jason Sorens was also invited to your conference. I hope he declines."

Why would you care one whit about what's going on out West if you were secure in your mind and heart about the plausibility of Jason's plan succeeding back East? Can it be true that any other alliance of freedom-minded people could possibly dilute the vision of liberty already existing in the minds of the Porcupines? I do not think so. In fact, it occurs to me that quite possibly some good old-fashioned competition could only benefit the FSP. It seems to me that you're mostly concerned that the FWA is going to abduct potential FSPers from the body of the great unwashed masses, snatch them, as it were, right out from under the FSP. Again I'll note with you that there are two hundred eighty *million* potential Free State Project members within the current American population. It's not like there are not enough fish in this stream to provide good fishing to a hundred Free State groups. So I don't see why you are so protective of the FSP's fragile balance in the nation as a whole. And what else could be the motive behind your stating "I hope he declines"? That strikes me as outright insecurity, defensiveness.

Your tenacity in demanding that the Western splinter groups  "admit" that they are "competing" with the FSP shows that in your mind you seek the predominance of your vision over that of your good Western neighbors. That flies to the root of the libertarian principle, imo.

The relentless and dogged insistence that any competition wrought against the FSP could damage the FSP's chances for success are, imo, unfounded and irrelevant. Your refusal to acknowledge facts brought forth from the more Universal view of this entire matter (establishing a "Free State") render your argument itself "juvenile", and possibly rude, considering on which thread you're asserting your fears.

Hence my playfulness regarding your "handle".

But hey Bug, it's a tough ol' world "out there", and some people in that tough ol' world like to think for themselves. I'm one of them. When somebody pops up like an unwanted sales screen demanding I pay some attention to their intrusion simply because it won't go away, I feel no obligation to reply in any other way than my instincts suggest. You are a little worry-bug, imo, and you're incapable, apparently, of suspending what *you* think long enough to execute a "reality check" on the content of your own mentality. That causes me to discount your argument's veracity.

Had you come along here and dropped-off your two cents' worth and let it lay as it might, you'd have ellicited no gamemanship involving handle-mangling from me. But I'm not blaming you for my choice of the manner in which I played with your screen-name. I accept full responsibility for handle-mangling at your expense.  I'm guilty as you charge. But as all can here see, your tenacity and insistence, which could also, like mine, be characterized as stubbornness, reveal your insecurity, your fear that some Western people might DARE to compete with the FSP, and *that* is your vulnerability seen from my point of view. And since you've persistently denied any spiritual value on this topic, "opting out" of the spiritual causality of mentality in favor of "concrete" reality, I've cared little about your preferences regarding how I and my Western neighbors might act.

If Jason declined to attend the GWCII, is that his loss, or theirs? I see his support of the Western splinters as a potential added benefit to the FSP. And again I state: Nobody has ownership of freedom except the person who claims his own freedom inside his own heart and soul. Competing for freedom is a mechanical oxymoron, like any notion which holds that *any* "State" can be free. It's herd-mentality, plain and simple. And so you'll know, I'll also repeat again that while I will support any freedom-oriented activity by anyone anywhere,  I myself am not likely to place my fate with any group, preferring the life of the solitary soul, the "individual way". For that reason alone, I'm not someone you might wish to debate on this topic. It ain't your fault, 'Bug, it's mine; I'm incorrigible. And, I admit it. Is there room in America for a dude like me?

And 'Bug, if I've offended you by mangling your handle, please accept my sincere apology. I kinda enjoyed doing it, and I did not figure you'd be sensitive to my doing so, for you deny the invisible realities of the soul, which, as I see things, should have rendered you impervious to my humorous wickedry. I did not intend to hurt your feelings, I just did not think you'd admit to having feelings, since they're not a part of concrete reality any moreso than is spirituality. I wonder.....from where do "feelings" come?

Like that little ol' Volkswagon I drove around back in the 1960s, which I called back then "The Bug", I only wish for you every peace, and many good miles up life's highway.

Elias
 
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H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

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« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2004, 03:50:42 pm »

Quote
Your tenacity in demanding that the Western splinter groups "admit" that they are "competing" with the FSP shows that in your mind you seek the predominance of your vision over that of your good Western neighbors. That flies to the root of the libertarian principle, imo.

No, THEY insisted first that they didn't compete. I didn't bring it up. However, remember, that they were responding to somebody else's statements, and that I was responding to the response. If that makes any sense.

Quote
But I'm not blaming you for my choice of the manner in which I played with your screen-name.
My only issue about this was when YOU got upset about somebody else doing the same to yours. I really don't care, merely wanted to point out the hypocracy.

'Bug
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« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2004, 03:55:33 pm »

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And 'Bug, if I've offended you by mangling your handle, please accept my sincere apology. I kinda enjoyed doing it, and I did not figure you'd be sensitive to my doing so, for you deny the invisible realities of the soul, which, as I see things, should have rendered you impervious to my humorous wickedry. I did not intend to hurt your feelings, I just did not think you'd admit to having feelings, since they're not a part of concrete reality any moreso than is spirituality. I wonder.....from where do "feelings" come?
My first post here; I read the above and had to register and respond.  I think I'm getting into a pissing contest, though. ;-)

I honestly feel that there is a simple misunderstanding between Elias and Wogglebug on the issue of spirituality.  I'm an atheist, a student of Objectivism, I do not believe in any sort of mystical soul, but I do feel it is still possible to be spiritual.  Not in any mystical way, but spiritual none the less.

And I must say that, Elias, I believe you when in an earlier post you stated "I assure you that I am Voluntaryistic and libertarian in my view of life, and do NOT initiate aggression or force on anyone or upon anyone's property. " (This was in response to a discussion of there being too many people, and who should "do" something about it.)

But you seem to be saying that people that deny a soul, or the existance of anything above material reality, do not feel .  Are less than human.  That you can treat them poorly and it doesn't matter.  That is, I believe, exactly how Hitler felt about the Jews, right?  Gee, the next time we need to perform some risky medical experiments, let's save the poor animals and operate on some atheists, instead.

Once again, Elias, I do not believe you feel this way.  But that is how I read what you wrote.  And you must have known that you were not merely casting these dispersions upon Wogglebug, but upon an entire group of people.

--Rodger



 
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Elias Alias

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« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2004, 05:55:08 am »

Quote
Quote
But I'm not blaming you for my choice of the manner in which I played with your screen-name.
My only issue about this was when YOU got upset about somebody else doing the same to yours. I really don't care, merely wanted to point out the hypocracy.

'Bug
You were referring to Silver's use of "Mr. Alias" in a previous post.

I already explained in a previous post to you that I was in no way bothered, miffed, upset or offended by Silver's using "Mr." with my screen-name. In fact, I, as usual, gave a full statement about your misunderstanding of my comments to Silver. As stated, I was being familiar with Silver, being playful in an introductory manner, when I replied to Silver. I also said something to the effect that I appreciated Silver's mentality, his intelligence, his ability to express very accurately what he thinks and feels. Something like that. There was never a moment's problem in my mind about Silver calling me "Mr. Alias".  Anyone is free to call me whatever they wish. I feel free to say anything I wish.

For the record, I believe I've apologized to you for being abusive with your screen-name. Is there anything else you'd like?

Elias

 
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Elias Alias

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« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2004, 09:23:23 am »


 
rodger: My first post here; I read the above and had to register and respond. I think I'm getting into a pissing contest, though. ;-)
 
Elias: Hi, rodger,
Thank you for registering and adding some of your thoughts in an interesting post.  Welcome to the monkey house. :)
 
~
 
rodger: I honestly feel that there is a simple misunderstanding between Elias and Wogglebug on the issue of spirituality. I'm an atheist, a student of Objectivism, I do not believe in any sort of mystical soul, but I do feel it is still possible to be spiritual. Not in any mystical way, but spiritual none the less.  
 
Elias: I'll try to tippy-toe into this with you, rodger, without ruffling anyone's feathers too roughly. I agree with you totally when you say that the soul doesn't have to be a mystical configuration, and that sans religious import one may still be quite spiritual. Part of my id-entityship includes atheism. I am an atheist, among other things. Regarding Objectivism, I know hardly anything about Objectivism. I think it may be associated with the work of Ayn Rand, yes? But if you would give me a synopsis, a definition, I'd benefit from your gift and could say more on the subject.  
 
Regarding "mystical soul", and whether one "believes" in the existence or reality of the soul, my mind is full of many approaches to an response for you, each vying to tumble out first. I believe this discussion is pertinent to the concept of a theoretical "free state", because I think that freedom itself begins, is created, at the individual level before it can be shared outwardly with one's community. I think I'll try to begin this way.... Please bear with me as I try to lay-in some foundation.
 
There is "religion". There is "spirituality".  
 
Neither has much to do with the other, in my personal view of life, though it is often taught within religions that religion is home to spirit. Organized religion, however, is bashful about defining spiritual planes, substituting instead the logical projections spawned of the misery contained within the human experience. Christianity, for example, portrays some celestial city with streets of gold, off over there somewhere, in the future if....  
 
That is an obvious example of projection, relative to terminology indigenous to the culture from which a particular religion springs, and, via transposition, we find the phenomenon in all organized religions. Projection has nothing to do with spirituality. Projection has everything to do with religion.
 
Religion is a group organized into a given set of concepts which are to be accepted, believed, and applied in a religious person's daily life, for purposes which we here may not need to develop. Spirituality is direct experience, a presently-existing condition which does not draw upon tradition or "learning" from the past. Spirituality cannot be "programmed" into a mind, neither can it be contained in any three-dimensional linguistic definition. Neither does it project into the future. Spirituality exists in the present only.
 
Religion includes deity. Spirituality, in my view, has little or nothing to do with deity. At best, any use of deity by spirituality would of need be only associative, at subjective levels, via personal interpretation. Religion, on the other hand, raises deity to the level of a collective racial archetype. Omniscience, Omnipresence, the Alpha and the Omega, the divining miracle of a cosmic authority playing a game through time with the human race. Game being: "I AM the Perfect God, having created mankind in my image, but also having created a flawed Universe in which my right-hand man acted upon my created-and-furnished principle which says that he could betray me of his own free will, if he chose to do so, thereby plunging mankind into the "fall", which requires that I come up with a plan of salvation for human-kind. Drat! But just because I did not create my creation perfectly, and instead allowed things to get a bit out of control, with pain and suffering, offenses and grievances, stupidity and berserk desire, things of that nature which now abundantly afflict my perfect creation, that does not mean that I'm not Perfect. So obey me, serve me, or suffer the consequences, even maybe burn in Hell."  
 
We spend great effort teaching our children to obey "outside" authority, because we know the benefit to our families which arrives through respecting our parents. So our children are generally taught to be obedient to outside authority, (parental authority, school authority, civil authority), to authority outside their personal, inner selves. It could appear to be a subtle form of submission. This seems to bleed over into other dimensions of our experience as humans, however, and as we purportedly grow and learn, expand our mental horizons, we transfer the childhood lessons of obedience into contexts found in cultural and social and political and economic and religious and philosophical fields of interaction. People who yet require an external authority symbol can be a sports fan, a political follower, a nationalist, a member of a particular religion, an advocate of some form of governance, and etc and etc. The church and the state both require obedience, and social mores and morays require obedience, and most folks, despite admonitions by the founders of their particular religion and particular form of nationalized governance, readily, unconsciously almost, submit their service to both. That's how they know they're doing the "right thing". :)
 
Spirituality is what comes along once one sees through the maze of external authorities with which this world greets newcomers. Spirituality itself, quintessentially, does not even require a deity.
 
So a bit about my view of spirituality. I think that spirituality is what we find when we look within, past the flesh and bone concrete reality of the body, to those more subtle planes where the finer impulses behind our mental states transpire. Spirituality does not require obedience to any external authority. In fact, it requires just the opposite. It requires that one *not* submit to external authorities. Spirituality presupposes "belief". Obedience to any external authority compromises what I call "the soul", which I see as existing on planes relative to those of spirit, between the higher/finer planes of spirit and the lower, coarser vibratory planes of the conscious mind. We'll get to "soul" elsewhere if you please.
 
We can agree upon a consensus reality in which we each possess the five common senses through which we know, and experience, corporeal existence.  We also may agree that the phycical human brain emits various "waves": alpha waves, beta waves, etc. Yet we rely upon science, upon gadgets and machinery, to know that, for our five senses do not normally allow for our sensing of those waves. (Exception being when one eats LSD, or has a traumatically-induced mystical experience, thereby accelerating the endocrinal and central nervous systems, heightening sensory perception.)  
 
That is because brain waves are vibrations characterized by "frequencies", which vary upwardly and downwardly on the scale of vibratory existence, or the corporeal Universe. Every atom vibrates. Every molecule vibrates. Every brain vibrates. We call those vibrations brain waves. They are vibratory fields which have radial fields of reference to our mentality as well as to our physical beingness. Which brings us to note that there is the physical aspect of our lives and there is the metaphysical aspect of our lives.  
 
The 'Bug prefers to focus only upon the physical, which he calls "concrete reality". He seems to me to be in denial about the metaphysical. My premise is that both are interrelated, and that both are necessary. I think that both are related via graduation through gradations.
 
Frequencies on a radio dial range in a spectrum from low to high or high to low. Same with the vibrations of our physical brains. Same with the vibrations of the mind, psyche. The lower the vibratory frequency, the more coarse, more deeply heavy is the vibration which rides that frequency. The higher the frequency of vibration, the lighter, more airey is the vibration which rides that frequency.
 
I use that for a model for the metaphysical. Then I apply a three-dimensional cross (consisting of three co-intersecting arms, which defines horizontal planes intersected by vertical planes *and* direction, giving me height and depth, width, and extension before and after in a unified symbol. It is a symbol which permits inclusion of every possibile point of intersection relative to an indefinitude of other existing points in any configurative arrangement. It is based on the assumption that gravity invisibly intersects the horizon at right angles, and that one standing at some point in relation to the horizon is also being relative to all planes of gravitation and those horizontal planes which they intersect, at one and the same time, and through any such intersecting point of reference I shoot a third plane based upon the relationship of my perspective to the verticle and horizontal planes. It is a three-armed cross. It provides for full mobility among an indefinitude of points, which reduced in our founders' language to what resides behind the term: "inalienable right".
 
It has been said that the mind is the sum of its content. We ask: "what is a thought?" And then we have to ask if thought is asking what is a thought. And we want to know what is this thing called "mind", which is as insensible as are brain waves. Our five senses simply cannot determine the valid existence of mind, nor of thought. Yet the body which provides us the five senses, appearing itself to be quite physical, seems to be incapable of knowing itself, i.e., realizing its existence, without the existence of the mind.
 
I prefer to see the mind as being that which exists beyond the range of perception of the senses when we are looking upward along the verticle pole of my model. The body occupies the lower planes of vibration, the mind occupies the next-higher planes of vibration, the soul occupies the extending higher planes of vibration, and, at the upper-most regions of such a spectrum along our hypothetical vertical arm we find the planes to which I attribute the term "spiritual".  That is all I mean to imply when I use the word "spiritual". It is a designation for the most subtle, most refined levels of vibratory existence.
 
To me, the spiritual planes are simply the most elevated, refined vibrations of existence, the counter to the coarser vibrations of physical existence. Activity between various points of this end of the spectrum of vibratory planes of existence *is* spirituality. The meta-workings on such planes act independently of, and causally to, the lower planes of vibration which I call the soul. Activity within the planes of vibration in the spectrum's region which I call "the soul" acts independently of, and causally to, those planes of vibration on which occur the content of "mind", sub-conscious and conscious both being hierarchically ordered in accordance with our procession downward from the higher planes toward those of the physical body. Mind moves the body; soul moves the mind; spirit moves the soul. Hence the possibility of Jung's "collective consciousness" (meaning "universal consciousness"), which is available to us each and all who shall admit it.
 
All I mean to imply by the term "spirit" is activity within the finer planes at the farther reaches of the human mind, most of which cannot be ascertained or perceived or acknowledged without a person's preparation toward such an ascertainment. (Being an old Beatnik, I used psychedelics to discover such ranges.)  
 
Discernment necessitates foreknowledge that the symbol is never the thing symbolized; that the word is never that which the word represents.
 
It is not necessary to use the word "spirit", but it comes as a handy name for those higher finer frequencies of existence, through which we in our bodies presently struggle. We would anticipate our existence, come to know it as truth, so that upon that knowledge we might proceed to fix the damn problems we find in this best of all possible worlds. It is the drive behind all invention, from incorporation of the wheel into society to the harnessing of electricity and pixels, to the splitting of the atom. It is the source of all motive, the source of emotion, the source of thought. Spirituality. The nether regions of psyche's potential, tender of the progress of man. Call it our "higher selves" if that works better.  
 
Hopefully, I've introduced justification for my use of the word "spirituality". It has nothing to do with any deity, nothing to do with any religion, nothing to do with any external authority symbol or figure or concept, and also is not confined in space-time to those limitations of the physical body. My premise includes the notion that when one's individual body is attuned to its extensions in all directions as provided by mentality, by consciousness, one is in one's best position in which to establish one's sovereignty as an individual. Sovereignty in encountered first in the mind, and afterward as the body. Society with all its "authority figures", teaches the opposite approach, pretending that reality extends outwardly from the body. I see the body as the extension of the mind, and the mind as an extension of the soul, and the soul as an extension of the spirit, which quantum and sub-particle physics of late has formulated in a maze of talk about "probability". Has to be that way, considering the relationship of the meta-physical to the physical. As Edgar Cayce put it, "spirit is the mover, mind is the builder, and the physical is the result". [paraphrased from a faulty memory]
 
As a dude put it in Oliver Stone's movie, Platoon: "Get your head right, and your ass will follow."
 
Getting free first in the mind is a great approach to getting free in the physical world. It is from the mind that all discernment emanates.
 
~
 
rodger: And I must say that, Elias, I believe you when in an earlier post you stated "I assure you that I am Voluntaryistic and libertarian in my view of life, and do NOT initiate aggression or force on anyone or upon anyone's property. " (This was in response to a discussion of there being too many people, and who should "do" something about it.)
 
Elias: You can count on that. While I fully expect I should accept full responsibility for protecting my life and property against an external aggressor, my purpose totally rejects the initiation of aggression against any non-aggressor. I respect peoples' selves, their space and their property. I would like to see this entire world embrace that system of metaphysic. Then people like Cheney and Bush and Ashcroft would have to go find a real job, eh? Then Thoreau's ideal government, that government which governs not at all, would find a world prepared for its establishment. That seems to me to be central to self-responsibility.
 
~
 
rodger: But you seem to be saying that people that deny a soul, or the existance of anything above material reality, do not feel . Are less than human. That you can treat them poorly and it doesn't matter. That is, I believe, exactly how Hitler felt about the Jews, right? Gee, the next time we need to perform some risky medical experiments, let's save the poor animals and operate on some atheists, instead.
 
Elias: It is actually a case of semantics, nothing more. By now I trust you may have grasped that I am not a man who seeks to be any kind of authority. The reason I was hammering on 'Bug's head was because his system of thought robs humankind of any right to know its existence. Knowledge is not physical, although it seems to be associated with the molecular structure of the brain. Knowledge is the residue of memory which derives from experience, from the past, from learning and etc. Knowledge is mental, not physical. In denying the metaphysical, the 'Bug relegates the emotions to non-existence necessarily. I was trying to get the dude to expand his understanding of the phenomenon of total life, total experience, total beingness. I wanted to do that because until someone realizes the truth of the existence of the invisible mind, and all that transpires within its planes of vibratory reality, one limits oneself to a system of physical organs, nerves, glands, tissue, muscle, and etc., *and*, in so doing, one eliminates the possibility of personal motive. There was a very sharp reason why Aldous Huxley developed the character of the Savage in his novel, Brave New World. It stands in contrast to the population of the time in his novel, all of which were content to take soma any time they "felt" a problem, attend all proper social functions and group activities, work and produce and consume within the hierarchical levels of the designed social order, all that. If I saw the 'Bug driving down a road on which I knew was a washed-out bridge in a fog bank, I'd try to flag him down to warn him. That's all I'm trying to do with the cat. Freedom, liberty, sovereignty are all empty wrappers, as concepts, unless there is the existence of the human mind, and the realm of emotion also requires vibratory levels of mind on which to exist. I know the 'Bug has "feelings", but I also know that according to his line of reasoning, which does btw affect his notions about freedom, he would denounce that very region of his mentality which is capable of bestowing "value" on any of his conceptions, his thoughts, his mindsets, his beliefs and perceptions, his 'feelings'. Until he becomes willing to admit that his view negates the basis for feeling, he's short-circuiting his claim of freedom. That is my opinion, of course, and I'm not gonna shoot anybody for not accepting my view on things. :)
 
rodger: Once again, Elias, I do not believe you feel this way. But that is how I read what you wrote. And you must have known that you were not merely casting these dispersions upon Wogglebug, but upon an entire group of people.
 
Elias: One of the greatest things about dissent, debate, argument, is that more than one mind may be involved. While I've directed most of my comments here to the 'Bug, I've never forgot that this board has more lurkers than post-makers. Sometimes I'm more congenial, more amiable, more patient, in respect to the lurkers and readers and other post-makers. Other times I get PMS or PTSD or both, or the damn moon is just in a phase, or I have a lapse in my own standards for myself, or I just get stupid. I'm pretty much a regular, normally-developed person of average standing, nothing to brag about, capable as anyone else of screwing things up, but, hopefully, not yet worth shooting. I am quite capable of abandoning the impulses of my higher consciousness, of falling from my better views, especially if I'm not well-rested or am perhaps feeling less than "fresh" or "strong" in myself. I hate it when I do that. I usually apologize. I make no claim to be right about anything, and certainly do not wish to force my view upon another living human or creature. I try to monitor myself constantly to avoid such ego-activities, yet some times I fail my better mentality and find myself, to my surprise, slugging it out with someone on a message board. While enjoying the venting such romps provide, I also try to learn, to refine my mentality, to see more readily with the wisdom of knowledge instead of my own ego's projections, which are myriad and never-ending. It's a bitch to have to fight a berserk government AND my own damn ego, lol! Anyway, I thank you.  
 
Elias
 
 
 
 
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ladylearning

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« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2004, 08:32:23 pm »

Excellent. As Claire has said, it's really, really difficult to find words that do justice to some of your posts. So, oftentimes we just remain silent.
I don't know why I told you to find the Blue Book,... methinks you should write your own.
Damn fine reading.  Thanks :)


"Discernment necessitates foreknowledge that the symbol is never the thing symbolized; that the word is never that which the word represents."

The map is not the territory.  

LL


 
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