Sunday, January 07, 2007


The following piece, was a repsonse I made to a question posed to me on a thread from the Ojai Post. I am comment number 23.

i'm confused enough to be intrigued, but also enough to be perplexed. i would like to explore whether we can apply what you're saying to some of the original topics: analysis of the purpose and effectiveness of a vigil, the nature of humans at war, suggestions for more direct action, etc.
if you are already doing that, i missed it. i hesitate to ask you to "dumb it down" for me, but i do suspect that you've shot way over the heads of many.
Posted by: evan | January 6, 2007 07:56 PM

Before beginning, I want to be clear on the source of the essay and its context that appears above your question. Robert Anton Wilson wrote it as an introduction for a book written by Dr. Christopher Hyatt titled: “The Tree of Lies”. This book has since been renamed: “To Lie is Human, Not Getting Caught Divine”.

I chose this excerpt as a primer for Dennis and doubt that many folks want to delve any further down this particular rabbit hole but I shall try to answer your questions anyway. I hope you do not mind.

First off, it is my belief that we are all in this together. In particular, I am hoping that most of us are reading each other’s comments because we’re revolving around a single point of attraction: “Stop Wars” - sums it up nicely. In order to do this effectively, I believe that we need to understand where our language loses integrity because this wastes energy and the original objective can easily become lost. There are several threads on the Ojai Post, which demonstrate this point nicely. So then, specifically how might the English language be inaccurate and how can this influence our perception of reality? Towards Understanding E-Prime might help to shed some light.

Now, taking this a step further and applying it to your three questions may not be so easy, but once again, I will step to the plate and take a couple swings. What is the purpose of a vigil and effectiveness of a vigil? Well, according to Wikipedia, Vigils is a term for night prayer in ancient Christianity. A Vigil is a night spent in prayer, and a Vigil Mass is a Roman Catholic Mass that is liturgically for a Sunday or Holy Day but which takes place the previous evening. As far as the effectiveness of your vigil, it seems to me, the number 3000 is misleading and plays into the hands of the war machine’s transnational benefactors. This article is a bit dated but will give you the gist of what I am talking about. And this does not even approach the amount of the actual number of beautiful human beings that have been murdered by ‘our country’. Personally, I have a distinct aversion to religious services, in particular, Roman Catholic ones. I have a B.S. from a Jesuit University paradoxically.

I am glad you brought up the ‘nature of humans at war’. For some reason or other, there does not appear to be much information on this subject or at least not in the way that I think about it. Humans are not the only species that wages war. Other primates wage battles but not war. The equivalent that I am aware of are ants. Ants use tools, agriculture and even have slaves. As many of us know, they wage war as well. Not to digress too much, our cities tend to remind me of termites and our suburbs are like bee hives. The stratification and specialization of insects within their societies also can resemble human social behavior as well. The point of all this is to demonstrate that a lot of the ‘evidence’ out there points to war being ‘natural’. What purpose does it serve then? Well, I remember reading an article in Details magazine (in its early stages 20 years ago maybe),that produced statistics claiming that war has almost always occurred in human societies when males between the ages of 18-30 represent 30% of the population. This supports the notion that war is a function of biology.

Another relevant article, which I am again going to have to cite from memory (sorry), demonstrates that the size of the primate brain is a predictor of the size of that primate’s tribe. The idea here is that the human brain’s size determines that we can only have around 200 or so members in our tribe. Anyone outside the tribe, by default, is not ‘human’. This may explain why some (maybe more than some) of us are capable of murder (war is mass murder). I suspect that the leaders in our country are unable to transcend their biology. And may be the reason why Ojai’s vigil had no mention of the 655,000 innocent humans that have been mercilessly slaughtered and ‘butchered’. One of the things that the 1960’s demonstrated to me, was that leaders who could transcend their ‘brain size’, developing charisma as a natural consequence, would be assassinated.

And so that brings us to: ‘direct action’. I’d look to countries like South Africa as a model. Nelson Mandela sat in prison for 27 years, unjustly, and he came out with no bitterness. South Africa went from Apartheid to having democratic elections within 4 years of his release - nonviolently.

In our country, for many reasons, we seem to have a mostly apathetic populace (function of brain size?). This seems to be a consequence of being in ‘survival mode’ according to Noam Chomsky, who suspects it’s one of the many ways that we have been divided and conquered.

George Carlin, in my opinion, is a brilliant example of some one who is and has been taking ‘direct action’ thru his ‘comedy routines’.

At this point, for me, ‘direct action’ is a personal decision. I have found that transcending my own bio/neural/behavioral tendencies to be almost overwhelming at times. I can only pray that my struggles will bear the fruit of reducing my own suffering simultaneously with others. I express my gratitude for your careful consideration: Thank You.