The Council of Edmond – Meeting Minutes

TIME & LOCATION: The meeting took place on October 25, 2017 in an undisclosed location in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

PRESENT: Edmonds (host & facilitator), Ley, Gulian, Fred, Brian, Giovanni, Earl (note-taker), Gabriel, Geoff, Alex, Gendry (alias), Brendan, and Samantha (“uninvited”)

0) The meeting began with Edmonds reading the following excerpt/handout:

‘You will hear today all that you need in order to understand the purposes of the Enemy. There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it. But you do not stand alone. You will learn that your trouble is but part of the trouble of all the western world. The Ring! What shall we do with the Ring? That is the doom that we must deem.

‘That is the purpose for which you are called hither. Called, I say, though I have not called you to me, strangers from distant lands. You have come and are here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of the world.

‘Now, therefore, things shall be openly spoken that have been hidden from all but a few until this day.’

Part A – Worldly, Historical, and Future Problems

1) Sub-topic 1 – Oligarchy (introduced by Giovanni). The powerful were believed to be a major problem by all, but questions of what power is and where they got it (are hierarchies ontologically real) were discussed. Critical commentary from several members, and a salient question was if oligarchy is responsible primarily for the world’s ills, or if something systemic and infrastructural is more to blame.  The idea summarized that oligarchs themselves are still in the prison: “Property and money are the prison, the oligarchs merely the current prison guards.”

2) Sub-topic 2 – Racism (introduced by Earl). Racism is a major problem, yet after discussion it was believed to be a symptomatic resultant of other oppressions that has only become foundational to the racists’ identities as culturally learned. Also the concept of white privilege was downplayed in favor of a new understanding of “colored disprivilege”. Further, a unique struggle not normally elaborated in acceptable discourse was discussed, namely that many whites (WASPs) have deep community (and previously resource) deficits that explain the roots of their aggressive individual and national policies throughout history. Further discussion was tabled to allow for the next sub-topic which grew from the racism discussion.

3) Sub-topic 3 – Imperialism (introduced by Gabe). Lenin’s work on imperialism was averred to, and the notion of capitalism as a disease that will inevitably keep spreading, if allowed, was generally agreed to. Along these lines, it was posited that imperialism is not just the “macro” taking over of resources on other continents, or planets (an eventuality?), but also should include the control of biological life at the cellular (genetic modification) and even down to the quantum control of sub-atomic particles (accelerators and quantum computing). Imperialism comes from an internal weakness on the part of the oppressor, so despite its widespread devastation, it is still symptomatic in its origins.

4) Sub-topic 4 – Suburban clusterfuck (introduced by Edmonds). Credit was given to James Howard Kunstler as a general introducer of the suburban perils (physical and psychological) as well as the coiner of the term, though none were sure if that was truly the case. Dependence on electrical grids, food and resource supply chains, automation (tabled), depression, sameness versus difference grew out of this discussion. Also, cities as death-traps for a variety of similar reasons of fragility, but also violating and perverting to an extreme degree Dunbar’s number. There were a plenitude of apocalyptic scenarios put forth which one member pointed out was ironic to be coming from such a mundane thing as suburbia.

5) Sub-topic 5 – Civilization(S) (introduced by Gendry). The discussion of urban and suburban woes naturally went to civilization-as-a-whole (initially), where problems of sedentism were expounded upon. But there were some ardent defenses of sedentism, with references to scholarly work that said not all sedentary people in early history and pre-history needed to create ecologically destructive agricultural practices. It was pointed out that it was in fact nomadic people that often became the conquerors, but this idea was then problematized by the fact that most nomadic people were not “imperialistic” like this and that imperialism stemmed from intrinsic weaknesses in relation to a given land, especially were that land already occupied and “distorted” by sedentism. There was agreement that the effects of civilization to create climate change, by way of soil erosion and poor/ignorant land management, including domestication of animals and crops for mono-cropping, were huge factors in causing desertification and atmospheric carbon increases.

6) Sub-topic 6 – Propaganda (introduced by Alex). It was agreed that the powerful have always utilized multiple methods to coerce people, often resorting to misinformation instead of overt violence (for example through exaggeration or outright lying). Western representative democracy was forwarded as a prime, ongoing example of propaganda: representative democracy is when oligarchs take up acting. Propaganda was found to be a deep cultural force that goes beyond just social class, governmental, and economic oppression, but it can be found in parallel in all sorts of everyday relationships where manipulation is consciously or unconsciously utilized. The question to see if it’s pre-civilized went in to a discussion of other animals such as birds, namely peacocks, to know if the bright feathers males flaunted were representative of their virility or a sapping of their energy for the sake of a veneer; the oily sheen on a dog’s coat or even on a leafy plant were mentioned, too. Contemporary propaganda was agreed to be holistically inefficient, mentally enervating, and a parasitical draw on available resources that could be used elsewhere, except when it was itself highly artistic and its own end regardless of the distorted representation for another end.

7) Sub-topic 7 – Identity-Politics (introduced by Gabe). There was no consensus on whether or not identity politics was itself a problem or representative of many problems existing and a means to counter them. A conciliatory approach offered by one of the members on how to approach identity politics was that it depended on what the unifying identity was, and if it was a pre-existing alienated group defined by the oppressor, or an identity created by a loose group of marginalized (and not-so-marginalized) people to vent, gain attention, and/or seize power. The reconcilement centered on the idea that even if the problems for which the identity-based group was created were not solved, and even if new problems were created by the social group rising from their challenges, there often resulted positive internal community growth that filled the vacuum, and the issue(s) themselves could be viewed at the least as a vehicle to unite people in to community which they were all lacking. The discussion then became more genealogical in how identity politics ever arose, and then was tabled.

7a) 15 minute break followed by a 5 minute quiet reflection on the topics covered so far, and then a singular generation of a list of problems not yet covered so far.

8) Sub-topic 8 – Legality (introduced by Brendan). Brendan started off saying that law trials are not about justice, they are a sport between highly paid professionals who compete at the onlookers expense. This served as a beginning to the discussion which went quite deeper in to evaluations of what legality really is. It was put forth that more often than not that even were laws able to not contradict and negate other laws (for which biased and unbalanced lawyers and judges were paid to sort out), that the human channeling of energy in to legal systems over the millennia, regardless of the cohesion and coherence of the justice system, has been synonymous with greater and greater purging from the individual person an innate sense of vigilance and justice. Laws are the blindspot of justice, and now with an entire legal class, the laws have divorced everyday sense of ethics, which is in effect how the human disease can unleash itself on the Earth without any self-checks or thoughts to do so. Environmental stewardship was such an example of innate human consciousness that it needed to linguistic codification, and yet it has now taken centuries of destruction of the environment on the part of humans to finally render it in to law, and it is still ineffectual because it is contradicted by the rights of governments and individuals (corporations namely) to rape the land. Justice is a terribly long walk of the pen, with countless victims written over along the way; or is it?

9) Sub-topic 9 – Industrialization/Technology/Globalization (introduced by Brian). Though the topic of industrialization seems to have been overlapped with already in the sub-topics of imperialism and civilization, the discussion was qualified for additional insights that Brian, and then others following him, surfaced. Firstly, because many non-primitivist socialist-utopian affinities were present in group members, it was important that a discussion around the role of technology be had, presuming that the technology was in the hands of, for example, a gift-economy or worker-run city whereby it wasn’t used for individual profit, but for social progress. Industrialism for human use at the hands of worker-councils should be a good thing, if it could be done ecologically. However this very question became a central problem, and the open question remained on whether or not all technology or just certain technology is bad for the planet. The deep attachments to technology were admitted to on the part of all, however whether or not this was a bad thing or merely part of evolution was discussed. Some reductio ad absurdum examples entered the discussion but will not be listed in these notes. Suburbia was brought up again in this discussion but with attention to the many roads that industrialism required to connect the parts for the conquering of evermore of the land to convert it in to industrial use (if this was the type of industrialism that even a humane socialist economy would seek for). It remained an open question if industry could ever reach a utopian point where it was not destructive to any living things as was aspired to (presumably) in the Soviet Union.

10) Sub-topic 10 – Money (introduced by Fred). A discussion of mediation in general that first focused on money, but expanded to particularly the quantification and reification of consumer goods and services so that they might be translated in to monetary quantities, and the chafing down of all things to fit in to the cash nexus or other human categories of thought, and physicalitys that conformed with artifices. The social losses incurred when money was given legitimacy were discussed, and how other/older forms of kinship and resource sharing were weeded out; a huge quantity of money middle-men that emerged to bureaucratically manipulate it giving way eventually to huge “money making” institutions; money is the clothes that imperialists are dressed in. Also, intrinsic problems of money will always exist, it was argued even were there benevolent money-managers (such as automated robots, tabled for later).

11) Sub-topic 11 – Science (introduced by Geoff). The science sub-topic discussion continued right where industrialism and money left off, but quickly mixed in philosophical ideas revolving around what reification really is and if it’s the method of science to do so (dissecting and then analyzing). What is science really and if is used as a term so broadly is it really multiple things conflated together? Is it just mere empirical observation? How does science choose its objects and what mereological assumptions does it make? Representationalism (and misrepresentation) are cultural and shifting far more than they are objective, and yet this is the way of science that constantly disproves itself, meaning it is a long history of being wrong, outside of the aspect of science that is the humble recording of observations and drawing minute conclusions. Thomas Kuhn was indicated though his name couldn’t be remembered at the time. Specific examples of science’s direct impact were brought up. Science enabled nuclear power (or was it the human imagination, and science shouldn’t be given deistic agency?), and now in peace time there are black-holes created routinely with great hubris, and great danger. Will modified organisms really be helpful in evolving the planet forward, or are they a murder of life with life’s own corpse? Discussion went further, into the imperialism of knowledge, the unceasing human quest to know things, that has been conflated with evolution of the species; it has led to a great weakening of the human because of the time investment into obsessing about knowledge piles to the loss of in-body time that humans need. The poor posture overweight cubiclite was referenced.

12) Sub-topic 12 – Science/Fiction (introduced as “Artificial Intelligence” by Giovanni). Edmonds chose to title it Science/Fiction for writing purposes and to include a broader discussion beyond artificial intelligence. Immediately too the question was injected of if artificial intelligence can even attain artificial consciousness, for machines are not self-healing and evolving organically and are uncontained by programming, yet computers seem to have this fundamental restraint. If artificial intelligence is created (presumably organically and not electronically), or even if machines advanced enough to be almost autonomous and controlled by the oligarchy entirely, they would be deadly to all humans that didn’t serve some purpose. Ley had lots of background in science fiction and had written an unpublished essay titled “Fictional Today, Experimental Tomorrow: The Real Dangers Of Science Fiction” where he argued that the human imagination was very important to defend us against most crises, which are preventable if we take their precursors in our imagination (this in parallel to using intuition to sense the future). However, Ley said imaginations can conjure futures that are radically different yet could then be realized by a determined people that imprison the present for their own twisting purposes. Science fiction does just this, as it provides enough of a blueprint (it seizes the imagination) that we then force (engineer) the present in to. Engineers are not neutral actors in all of this but actively decide which of a myriad of directions reality will go in. Comedian Bill Burr’s routine on Steve Jobs was mentioned as exemplary of this arbitrarity.

Further, and perhaps most dangerously, science fiction goes to normalize dystopian situations and neutralize our critical ethics faculties to something that would otherwise be quite shocking. The “saw this in a movie” effect is widespread and has allowed great leaps in perversion and destruction on the part of governments and corporations. The abnormal is so quickly made normal and digestible through movies (again, propaganda)

13) Sub-topic 13 – Health (introduced by Gulian). Gulian confessed he had been thinking about this topic all along because of the variety of food options we all were partaking in, some very healthy and some very poor food choices “winter storage foods built for sieges”. Lack of sunlight exposure and the work of Stephanie Seneff were asked to be included in these notes, too, which he mentioned briefly but self-tabled. He took a show of hands to point out who of us were fading during this second half of the meeting, and who was still going strong. He did this from a standing position, standing being something only he and Edmonds did during the meeting that he pointed out. He went on to say how adversely affected modern human health is by all the previous sub-topics we had previously listed, and a vicious feedback loop ties them all together. And it was agreed that if our own health was not managed in preventative ways not dependent on the parasitical medical-industrial complex, we could not hope to fight these other issues. But questions of how to do this, and what makes a person feel healthy and whole beyond merely eating healthy and exercising bodily and spiritually were discussed. Samantha, a dweller in the location of the meeting who is a practicing nutritionist, happened to overhear the discussion and offered some practical tips for all of us including intermittent fasting, using a salt-water infused water drink called “sole”, and sleeping at the same time every night. The need to express our creative energy was brought up as a health initiative, particularly sexual contact and release, and also very important skin contact such as cuddling.

14) Sub-topic 14 – Sexism (introduced by Samantha) – This meeting, as Samantha pointed out and others admitted noticing earlier, didn’t formerly include one women, or one openly LGBTQQ person (as far as she knew). How could the world’s problems hope to be alleviated and turned without the voices of the other? There was discussion of how to go about including others who they didn’t happen to be acquainted with, and how to not make it merely in to a tokenizing inclusion, as would be the case with several of the member’s wives. Also the assumption that all those who identify somewhere in the LGBTQQ spectrum, or too as straight women, feel oppressed, and would have any interest in taking on the task of evaluating the world’s problems and then saving the world. Rights to be nude entered the discussion, and one member, followed by two others, stripped for effect and to re-normalize the surroundings.

15) Sub-topic 15 – The Over-looked “ism” (introduced by Edmonds). Edmonds confided that this he was hoping to end with, in what he saw as an overarching problem not yet clearly defined or considered. There were a few headings under which the idea might be introduced, and he chose it under it’s negative terming as an ism, namely ageism. He felt that the fight against ageism opened itself to a proactive fight rather than a reactive and defensive fight, as has been and would be the case when fighting most of the other causes of global death and oppression (because they were fighting to defend something that enabled a different version of rot to dwindle within. Fighting for the youth to continue is what life inevitably had always done, and not through destruction but creation and cultivation. It was a fight far beyond mere cultural contrivance, but in line and with momentum coming deep from instincts and the whole trajectory of life on Earth. The Earth had chosen billions of years ago to have reproduction as the part of how life continues, and humans had now severely interrupted this. Ageism against the youth was discussed and agreed to as a major issue to cap off the problem listing phase. Another member pointed out that the humanizing of the event as an ism against humans might fail to include what was really the fight for life on the planet, whether animal, plant, fungi, or other. The sixth mass extinction if allowed to continue would eventually preclude fights against any other of the problems, and yet solve many of the human-made ills on the Earth, but for few species left to benefit from.

Part B – World Saving, History Redeeming, and Future Freeing

It was agreed upon that this portion of the meeting would be extremely brief and focus upon devising solutions for one of the single problems listed. To the surprise of all, one member put forth a motion, and then another seconded it. Including this process was quite spontaneous, and to Edmonds’s delight it was in favor of the problem just elucidated. “For the children!” said Alex with a fist raised, and then all raised their fists and said it again. Alex then shared powerfully that we ought to not focus on the Enemy, referring to the LOTR reading where “the Enemy” was underlined, but on the friends. Giovanni then ventured that restoration permaculture is the best way to be “pro-life” wherever anyone of any status and means happened to find themselves. He shared a specific idea he had been contemplating on how to make the “Water Is Life” movement more proactive using permaculture. Essentially his idea was that instead of just defending by use of laws and pleading, westerners or indigenous peoples should actively make new sources of water and “green the desert” through swales and pond creations to inspire people to create once again what had been lost. All the members agreed to go and research permaculture, and Fred, also a permaculturalist, shared that he would work to revive the “Permaculture Campaign” that he had launched earlier that year and had let fall to the wayside. The meeting was closed with the idea that they would meet again in the future after having chewed on and researched what was discussed (and reviewing this document), coming up with any proactive campaigns that might be suitable. A last comment and commitment was by Gendry who had shared that he was already looking at intentional communities to visit on IC.org, and that another best thing to do for the future generations was to provide them with the option to be part of a tribe. Several others thought it was a good idea and told him to forward information to their emails and that an intentional community exploration sub-committee should exist alongside the permaculture researching.

So concludes the minutes on the Council of Edmond, October 25, 2017, 100 years after the Russian Revolution, and 1001 years before the Council of Elrond, in the Third Age of this world.

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Permaculture Campaign (Politically Correcting)

permaculture-campaign-banner

Wanted to release a compilation of pictures, memes related to spreading permaculture ideas via the Permaculture Campaign, which I launched the end of January. Also, some door to door educational campaigning is in the works, and there is a budding facebook contingent that merged with NJ Permaculture Group if you are curious.

Karlos Generalizations And Memes On Permaculture:

Permaculture is the bridge that allows humanity to leave its barren desert island and cross back to the land of holistic ecosystems

If our actions don’t follow the word permaculture in to the main stream, we are up Shit’s Creek.

Examples (Before and After) of Large Scale Permaculture Restoration

 

 

My Thoughts Inexactly: Y is for Youthanizing

Throw all of yourself at life, for life will then have no other option but to absorb you. Throw anything less, and you will be bounced back in to the abyss from whence you came.

Spiders are forever caught in their own webs. Leave them their to starve!

The death of death is sure to coincide and accelerate with—not prevent—the death of birth. Only a mind marred by western concepts could be blinded to this.

Fooled are those who conflate dying with aging.

If we pour everything in to a last gasp, we may discover it to be our first true breath. Don’t save yourself for the future, for then the future will be safe from you.

Giving your hope to the future is something that might be blown away with the winds of time, but giving your promise to the future is to be the winds of time.

What is life if not the creation of beauty despite the circumstance of limitations?

If the alcohol is to loosen you up for dancing, so be it. If the alcohol is to loosen the music up, you are better of dancing in the silence.

Speak love to power—give it a dose of that which it is least familiar with.

The more of an empath you are, the more times you die during a single life.

A lack of leaders has not produced a lack of followers.

You are going to die one day, why be miserable and sedentary and spread it across several days?

The land breathed us in to life; how long can we continue if we are suffocating the land?

Children are the only afterlife we should be thinking about, and that afterlife is in great doubt.

There is no space for a leader of the free world, there is only room there for leaders.

Keep showing up. There is no investment in the future that compares to your throwing yourself in to every new present.

May the remainder of your life be the rest of your time, not your rest time.

The young die, or the young live—the old are perpetually dying.

Believe in something that most people fail to do over the course of their lives—believe in yourself!

A culture that has devolved so low to produce individuals saying “what does it matter? I’ll be dead in a 100 years” does not have much farther to devolve. Though an individual speaks such an utterance, it is spoken for the total culture.

When it becomes an eat dog world, it’s not far from an eat human world.

“It is written” is cured by fire; we can burn by flame or forgetfulness.

Before we rise up we must wake up, for a revolution is in name only if is attended to by sleep walkers.

Flags are ever woven with the thread of war so long as they exist by the threat of war.

Extinction is a serious topic, precisely because there is no more kidding.

When the energy reveals itself to you, you will finally be revealed to you.

Water is the only blueprint I will follow.

Many that commit suicide don’t wish for its reversibility, but many who commit homicide do come to wish for this. Think before you arm yourself, and think even and most especially of what ideas others have armed you with.

Jesus was insane, so why shouldn’t he pop up at a mental hospital from time to time?

The healthiest water is always flowing, and so too is the healthiest love. Don’t keep it all to yourself—find love for another, and love will be finding you.

The stupidity of recent nostalgia is that those who see a return to previous times as an improvement fail to see that those very previous times will return them right back to our current struggles, with the problems only multiplied.

Don’t blame a fire for burning, blame that which is old and dried up.

Why do those who supposedly represent the people always dress in the fashion that they represent the government?

If you are not literate in love, fluency in all the world’s languages will not save you. They will be as impotent as the words in a book never opened.

Only evil can be spoiled by love.

The save-up-and-work-until-retirement-age model isnt going to work for the generation being born right now. they will all be retired without retirement. Due to in large part by the retiring without retirement of their recent ancestors.

Don’t ever lose the love—better to lose yourself.

Radical politics without permaculture is rootless; permaculture without radical politics will never flower.

Nature needs to be doing more of the work than we are, or we are doing something wrong. We are certainly doing something wrong to nature.

Feeling the heights of existence one will also feel the lack and the loss, for the dilated eye sees new highs and new lows.

Most humans don’t realize how much structures confine them, because structures confine them.

Environments that dissuade your attention and your intention, are not environments to reproduce—we certainly won’t be reproducing in them for much longer.

Love—because evolution is backwards without it.

Thank goodness we say things but do other.

Anger is love on the defensive, not hate on the offensive.

In folklore lies the most potent wisdom, layered over and diluted so that it might be more palatable to the gradually evolving mind. Taking folklore literally, as with religion, is to drink a laxative for want of nourishment.

When in doubt, get out.


Related Previous Aphorism Posts:

Y is for Yearning

N is for No things

N is for Nothing

F is Forcing (ov)

F is for Facing

F is for

R is for Recurring

R is for Resisting

Q is for Quelling

M is for Masquerading

J is for Jousting

V is for Vanquishing

W is for Willing (ov)

W is for Willing

E is for Escalating

G is for Gathering

Z is for Zeroing

L is for Lamenting

Lternate Lphabet Lliteration

My Thoughts Inexactly (Primero)

Monks on Mountains: Grounding Buddhism in its Context

In an effort to divorce themselves from the desires of this banal world, (Buddhist) monks will meditate to both cleanse and refocus their minds and bodies so that they can reach a peaceful or higher state unencumbered. However, as one who likes to offer immanent critiques (or explanations) of all human practices to gain a better view if such practices should continue or not, I wanted to focus on the stereotypical view of a monk meditating against the awesome backdrop of a mountain valley system. This recurring mountainous surroundings context might be more important than any of the ideological system surrounding meditation in truly understanding Buddhism, and more largely humans in this world.

So why would monks tend towards living in these places, or perhaps an even more accurate question is why would these mountainous regions breed meditating monks in the first place? The answer that I have compiled is not that these places are otherworldly, but that they are so loaded with worldly energy that the bodily interactions they activate and enhance in a person (a monk) is far more potent than normal bodily desires in more plain geographies (in permaculture terms, there is a lot greater “edge” here). There is so much nurturance for a body to passively absorb in the mountains that some of the many needsL found in animals elsewhere are non-central here due to energetic abundance. At least one of the core modes in which this abundant mountain energy is freely given to the dwellers of mountains is through grounding—the importance of grounding for one’s well being is heralded by an array of practitioners from different times and paradigms, and occasionally even science helps elevate grounding above the psuedo-science mud (¡though that may be where grounding prefers to dwell!). So mountainous ranges are not merely places that allow monks an escape from the chaotic world of becoming so that they can connect more fully with the higher world of being; rather, quite to the contrary, they offer the most intense and deepest connection to the world of becoming because of their varied terrain that is full of a flux of vital energies. From the perspective of a human midway up a mountain side facing an adjacent valley and mountain, they are receiving a double grounding by the closeness to the majestic mountain across the way, and as a huge bonus they have a third connection to the sky that is lacking for most other humans living in the plains and coasts (skyscraper city livers may have sky access, but to gain this they sacrifice their only access to grounding, which is over the long term more important… we are less birds than ground dwellers!).

Mountains in a non-mathematical sense are truly a tripling of the Earth’s swaddling of our bodies and minds that we so desire and need as we truly are infants—very dependent on a healthy geography and ecosystem. To have this reassurance and love is our nirvana, and the heights of nirvana burn the strongest from the places where life is fullest, not where life is empty and being emptied.

Notes:

L Though many needs may be subtracted from living in such an environ, one that is probably an addition is a need for oxygen. This serves as possible explanation for the cultural adoption of meditation, as in its geneaological origins, for a slow deep breathing serves not just the function of allowing a wide passageway for the calm, strong, and reassuring energy to enter, but also as a necessary source of compensatory oxygen in a lower oxygen environment.

Related Post:

State Forests: What the State Hasn’t Grasped Yet

¿Destroying Old Forest to Build New Forest?

Context:    Since I don’t trust the state agencies to fully and appropriately consider voluntary suggestions, and because I don’t expect nor want to come to depend on another entity (especially the state) to do the right thing for my benefit, I decided to repost what I wrote on the NJ’s Department of Environmental Protection Comment Form. It is an issue that has specific and generalizable lessons to be learned (including many Machiavellian undertones and ulterior motives at play), though it is dubious whether or not the lessons from the past—and lessons from an accessible imaginative thinking process that all we humans have a capacity for— will come to guide the current particular issue at hand. That issue, the issue which I am writing towards below, can be read more about here.

Hello,
Regarding the viability of the Sparta Mountain WMA plan, it seems to
me that there will be unintended consequences and impacts to the
surrounding area and ecosystems, not to mention resetting the overall
biomass already established (including the oft forgotten fungal
kingdom established underneath). The people who have the highest hopes
for the implementation of this plan will not be the only ones
executing it when time comes and contracts are signed. If this plan
passes (which I hope it does not), many of the people taking part in
its implementation will be subcontracted, transferred, or temporary
employees who do not hold the values of organizations like the DEP and
NJ Audubon Society; their workmanship will come to show their lack of
commitment in obvious and not so obvious ways that lead to harmful
aftereffects to the surrounding acreage. It is my opinion that we
should trust in nature to manage the area far more than we should
trust in ourselves; what species unbeknownst would we be endangering
to this area if this plan goes through? Are we right to weigh and
privilege the lives of one bird and a few particular trees knowingly
and unknowingly against many other species of plants and animals that
must die during the course of this plan being implemented. Further,
the precedent that is being introduced and reinforced here is to make
exceptions to the protection law—such is the law’s failing as well as
our own.

In a broader scope, since this seems like the appropriate place to
suggest forward thinking on matters of land stewardship, I have the
following thoughts:
If you want to reforest habitat in New Jersey for endangered species,
your efforts should go to ripping out industrial wastelands that are
capping the ground with cement/buildings/pavement, and enabling forest
succession to occur at its own, unhandicapped pace. Further, if public
efforts were channeled instead to prevent the next ten suburban
developments and corporate campuses from being constructed, we would
be saving hundreds of acres of wild land right there, by choosing to
do nothing! This to me is exponentially wiser and better for the
future inheritors of this land, whether they be
plant/animal/fungi/other.

Epilogue:

I didn’t realize the logging profitability aspect when I wrote into the comment form yesterday, but upon reading the article in full now (it was quite extensive for my ADHD tendencies, so I feel quite accomplished!), it paints in new complications and subtleties to the issue, which usually serve to muddy the debate and allow the stronger contender (the state) to push through what it wanted to do all along. I don’t think logging is the whole story anyways, but it is certainly a contributing vector, along with the companies that will bid-and-win the enviable public contracts. Finding these ulterior motives deeper in the article fleshes out what I wrote and the thought processes that I used to get there sans such information, and reaffirms the mental faculties I have cultivated to evaluate current human tendencies in industrial-financial state-capitalism; I have renewed confidence in myself to see through the layers of bullshit that are employed to continue the tumorous and perilous pushing forward of ill-conceived and mal-conceived human projects on Earth. I enjoy praising myself publicly, particularly knowing how politically incorrect it is to do so, not in the least because I know we live in a time of very very incorrect politics.

Going further down the road of politically incorrect tendencies, I do place a degree of trust in my stereotypes; I think we have stereotypes built in to our psyche for good reasons. My stereotypes of NJ Audubon’s Vice President of Stewardship John Cecil—and what a bureaucracy they must be to have such a concise title—tell me that he is not forthright, based merely on his words in the article and the picture of him. Something visually strikes me about him that is very disingenuous: he is clean shaven, wearing a well kept suit, a poser that clashes with the leafy background behind, and one who cares more about constructing appearances (whether visually or linguistically); he is a marketer, one familiar with tactics employed by public relations divisions; whether or not he is an avid bird conservationist, I would warrant he is much more interested in watching his money grow. He is not a particularly evil man, just banally so, like many of his neighbors in this state and country that has blazed so far down the wrong path, through an old and sacred forest.

In summation, to ground ourselves, I think we all need to ask: “what would Treebeard do?”

till your brain dead: Mental Tilling is Killing our Brain’s Innate Capacities

I think it is fruitful to lichen (liken) the terrain of the human brain to that of soil, both of which perform orders of magnitude better when they are given the adequate amounts of organic supports. Whether that organic support be material in the sense of being quality food, rich perceptual interactions, or immaterial entities like enough sleep or enough time to think and grow ideas, missing any one of these will limit the fecundity of the brain. This last key input—enough time to think and grow ideas—is one that my fellow writers are probably acutely aware of, and when this condition of necessary expansive time is not available, it is a major limiting factor for what the brain can do.

A brain that wishes to have this solid bloc of time to develop subtle and expansive consciousness needs to have a space in which that time can be free to flow unimpeded. When rich, fungally inoculated soil is dug up all at once by machinery, the boon of energy resultant that can grow crops is short lived (a season); so too, when a brain is dug out and exposed bare via perceptual or chemical interruptions—the types that derail rather than dovetail—the energy released is angered and frustrated, masked as productive only in a societal system that glorifies destruction. The great webs of genius are irretrievably lost, or at best tunneled away deep from the ravages of a beached consciousness drowning in the unprotected shallows. The gray matter is rarely tilled by the earthly forms of an eagle crying, a breeze gusting, or even melatonin surging sleep forward; it is unearthed by interruptions of the modern making: phones and sirens ringing, solicitors selling, traffic clotting, schedules over-scheduling—soccer practices, piano lessons, and their intermediate steps of transportation. Colors recede, shades of gray fade, and our minds are left in the painful predicament of black and white thought.

Fertility Nipped in the Bud

Modern contrivances have our brains filled with weeds, surfacing as bare, half-baked soil, because the ecosystems that should have been preeminent to keep vital energy flowing have been frustrated so many times that their growth is rarely attempted anymore. The havoc is wrought at a much younger age these daze, where the minds of children haven’t even had much of a chance to feel around the wonderful spaces that are their brains before they is tilled, row cropped, allowing very little of the deep hyphae connections between the isolated plants to emerge. Shallow rooted weeds grow there predominantly, and if someone comes around and tries to inoculate their brain with deep ideas, most of the children are so repulsed that they utter (now) common notions like “thinking hurts”, or “thinking is hard”. Thinking is one of the most efficient systems for the human animal in terms of the fruit it bears versus the energy expenditure. A fertile imagination and deep integration of perceptions allows the human animal to have a very rewarding interaction with the larger ecosystem, something under siege for the last 50 years at least, but probably in a creeping sense over the last 5,000.

Robin Hoods of the Forest

In regards to the fallen trees and branches within our forests, the poor management practice of controlled burns inside, or, even worse, outside of the forest is an action that slowly removes biomass from the natural cycle. Forests have evolved many different uses for the dead wood and when we utilize only one of them (burning), and we do it on our clock and not theirs, we are robbing them of their fodder and cause long term weakening. Forests want to concentrate decomposing life forms, especially fungi, in to dead wood, and store moisture and other nutrients in to the woody tissue. For those of you upset by this—don’t give in to the knee jerk reaction of supporting a new law or regulation or repealing an old one (besides, it’s probably buried in the particular idiosyncratic bylaws of the individual forest); any such mediated actions as asking for permission or trying to govern others are sure to frustrate and remove much of your true power from its being utilized. You are an animal, just like many others that exist in the forest, and you have a place in a forest ecology as well, one that is not just as pure observer/witness to a slow death. Lo! There is much a forest lover can do to help the forest in this regard, and it is considerably good stewardship:

wood-in-the-forest

When you come in to contact with a pile of wood, like that pictured above, have each hiker in your troop take one or two logs from the pile. Next, proceed onward, continuing down whatever trail, and occasionally let a log lose deep in to the brush off the trail, where the forest will happily eat it and turn it to better use than any burn would. Ironically, dear Robin Hood, you are stealing from the poor (i.e. weak minded forest policy machines that are part of the larger malnourished total populous) and helping to enrich one of the richest lifeforms around: the forest. But such theft for the rich is a good thing, for unlike economic trickle down theory, a stronger forest has many “trickle down” effects for the rest of us, not least of which is literally appearance of stronger, more frequent, and more generous creeks. Forgotten logs and nurse trees are stores of moisture that help along an acute abundance of lifeforms in a concentrated area. Such an action is many magnitudes more valuable than recycling plastic or paper products through your town’s recycling services.

Note: If you are sure that the pile on a park trail is someone’s private firewood stash (like the rangers), or is used for some heating entity within the park, then you might choose to refrain from this activity as you are ruining their considerate frugality and potentially causing a greater dependence on fossil fuels for heating. But if you know they do controlled burns, then you can rest assured that whatever you take from one such pile, will be replaced for their needs from another controlled burn pile.