Bare Bones Biology 289 – How Long?

How long do we have? For me that question is so heavy with corposystem assumptions that I cannot answer it within my “vow” to do more good than harm. If I answer it straight, then I am reaffirming the validity of the corposystem mind-set and contributing to what I call “fake debates” that abound on the internet, functioning primarily as displacement activities that distract us from a discussion of problem-solving.

If I do not answer it straight, but begin to spout mechanisms and solutions, the corposystem world view cannot hear because if it has not already happened, then we believe the corposystem will take care of us we only need to wait a while. Unfortunately — it has already happened. People are starving, WWIII is under way, systems are crashing. All the things predicted in my early blogs — wait for what? It started in our yesterdays.

We have no time left to begin dealing with the primary modern cause of our biological problem, which is excessive growth in both population and other measures. The relationship between resources and numbers of people has been known for centuries. It’s too late to begin in time. It has already happened and is happening every hour. People all over the earth are already suffering and dying so that our corposystem can continue to profit from war, the births, the deaths and the transportation of all the products from the (suffering) Biosystem into our treasury. How can you talk to people who cannot understand this? Facts are facts, it is history, it already happened. It is too late to deal with the primary cause of the problem “in time,” and we are it.

So, unless we define what it is that we want to do, the question has no answer. It’s an example of how corposystem mind-set prevents us from doing what is required to change the corposystem mind set. The function of a system is to maintain itself, in this case by preventing us thinking about and discussing the issues that could succeed in solving the specific problem that is or could be under our control. Yesterday is not under our control. Neither is tomorrow if we continue to ask such questions.

I think it would be better to spend ALL our time thinking about things that ARE under our control and begin to deal with the most151216-WPsnow-ASC_0745RLSs important root cause things immediately so (with luck) we may extend the amount of time we have to do the next most important things. Because we do know that the root cause of our current biological problem is overpopulation, and it doesn’t stop.

Do we understand what overpopulation means biologically? It doesn’t mean there are other people making us uncomfortable. It means that the mice, or the rats, or the lemmings, or the people, eat up all the food and then they die. That’s it in plain terms.

How difficult would it be to make birth control available for everyone on earth who wants it — tomorrow? Nothing like as difficult as trying to conquer the laws of nature, or even climate change.

Is it more complicated than that? Of course it is, everything is complicated, but overpopulation is the biological root cause, and unless we believe we can overwhelm the laws of nature — of course we do believe that, but unfortunately we cannot, and let’s not sit around debating that either when we know for a mathematical fact, if it doesn’t change too drastically, that the earth COULD produce enough food to feed fewer people.

The question is not how long do we have before we must do something. The question is when are we going to start to do something that causes more good than harm.  In other words, will it empower the Biosystem more than it empowers the corposystem? Will it cause more good than harm?

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Bare Bones Biology 288 – Why Don’t We?

Why Don’t we just Fix our Common Biological Problem as we have fixed so many problems in the past?

Good question. I have tried to initiate that discussion.

First I thought people did not understand our common problem, so I wrote quite a bit about the biology of Life on Earth. The response I got was: “What should we do to solve the problem?” So I told us what to do. Obvious really, as the problem is easily demonstrable — overgrowth, overgrazing our food source. What we should do is stop the overgrowth.

Evidently this was not obvious to my readers.

Next I thought it might be “my fault,” not explaining the biology clearly enough. This seemed logical because there is some truth to it, and many, many, especially younger people were happy to tell me I am/was presenting the information incorrectly – that I should explain the problem without talking about anything negative – I should only talk about the up side of our communal problem and never mention the down side. An interesting challenge, so I tried for a while – but —

The down side IS the problem, and there is no point discussing the up side of a problem if we truly want to fix it. That’s just one more way to ignore the problem while at the same time denying any responsibility for helping to fix it.

And anyhow the response remained the same: “What should we do?”

Which is not useful unless you intend to do it.

So then I got very specific and whenever anyone asked that question I said “Talk about it among ourselves. Study the system you are trying to fix and discuss solutions. Come over to the clubhouse and let’s talk about solutions.”

Because I have faith that – if we could bring ourselves to the point of thinking and talking about the facts of Life – what the Biosystem needs to sustain a healthy (for us) balance among her essential functions that are threatened by our overgrowth – if we were to begin discussing these issues and stop fussing over the displacement activities the corposystem gives us to talk about that won’t help because they are not about de-growth, not about fixing the cause of the problem – I feel sure we would then begin to modify our world views, and that would drive us to behave in ways that would address the real, fact-based problem. Some of that is now happening, but it is still our social system, our corposystem environment, that prevents us talking about the problem that is most threatening to the corposystem itself: the unbalancing of the checks and balances that maintain the welfare of both the corposystem and the Biosystem.

This kind of cyclic re-enforcement of itself is built into the nature of systems. If a system cannot maintain itself, it falls apart. Thus the function of a system is to maintain its own special properties. The special property of our corposystem is growth – growth for fun, fame and profit – and that is why the corposystem ethic will not permit us to talk about the many possible ways in which we might save ourselves by implementing de-growth. We can’t even think about it, because the corposystem ethic has become our own ethic.

And so it looks like the only thing I can do to help solve our common problem, other than to jump right into the middle of all that competition (been there, done that,


I’m pretty good at it, but it won’t fix our relationship with the Biosystem and would therefore be a waste of my energy), is to give us, we the people — those of us who have the courage to challenge our own corposystem ethic – to give us information and topics for discussion that are not d

isplacement activities and that could, within limits imposed by factual reality, make things better rather than worse.

That’s what book 25, as yet unpublished, is all about, and wouldn’t that be a nice holiday gift for me, if it were finished. Maybe by my birthday?

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Bare Bones Biology 287 – Almost 100 Weeks

Some people say that God is a vision of the human mind; others say that humans are a vision of the mind of God. Either way, we can read in “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong (another leader in the compassion movement that is now growing strongly) a history of human efforts to understand God and we can use this understanding to help reduce suffering in our living world.


CycleHuman social evolution over the past 4000 years is inspiring; but also discouraging. When you read Ms. Armstrong’s well researched history of God(s) and humans during the past 4000 years or so, you can recognize an upward spiral of increased human understanding of compassion, as we reach toward the truths of Life that are represented by God. Unfortunately, you can also recognize an increasing tendency of humans toward organized war during the same time period.


One of our human truths is the cycle of war and peace that is an integral part of our history. I wonder, can we have compassion without war? Or does compassion lead to war? Or are they only connected somehow in our minds? When I wrote Bare Bones Biology 194, almost 100 weeks ago, I closed with the comment: “all that remains is to do it right this time.” By right, I mean to disconnect this ongoing cycle that leads from war to peace and then from peace to war again.


Clearly we did not “do it right” as we ended World War II. Though there were some beautiful and successful examples of compassion at high political levels, the result was, once again, a semblence of a compassionate society that gave rise now to World War III. I could not be more horrified that my country initiated WWIII. I do not want to see or imagine one more turn of that wheel.


So my year-end question is: Why is this new compassion movement ignoring the facts that are available to help us avoid spinning the war wheel one more time? We have the facts; the historic facts and examplars, and the scientific facts: and we have the technologies that were not previously available, and we have more power than we know how to use well.   It could be done, if peace and compassion are what we really want, if we are willing to take the next big step toward compassion for all and do what will work within the reality of Life on earth.


151127-Brazos Cliffs-asc_0077RLSsWhat do we really want? Personal satisfaction within the corposystem war system (or the antiwar movement, which is a co-dependant part of the war system). Or do we genuinely want to grow a sustainably compassionate future for human kind on this living earth. If we really want to change the war cycle of misery, we will take the de-growth actions that are necessary to sustain both life and compassion. If we are not willing to do that, then we will just spin the wheel another time, pretending we are succeeding, toward WWIV.


I feel sure that our leaders will follow the corposystem ethic: growth for fame, fun and profit. They were raised in this corposystem competition ethic and they can’t see anything else. Therefore it is (as usual) up to the people to take charge, and do it in a way that will grow a sustainable, compassionate, new and different social system with a future.


In Bare Bones Biology 194 (link below) I talked about the four blessings received at the Upaya workshop. Now let me tell you a fifth. The realization that we cannot change our history (what really did happen) and we cannot change the laws of nature (such as gravity and fire, and there are more), but we can use both – we could be using ALL the facts – to nourish the compassion movement in a way that at least conceivably COULD work to cut the war/compassion connection and grow a sustainable, compassionate home on this living earth for human kind.

If that’s what we really do want. If it’s not all word-candy.



Bare Bones Biology 194 – Active Non-Violence



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Flute excerpt from Nawang Khechog with R Carlos Nakai, Music as Medicine, piece entitled: A Call of Compassion to Humanity. “This composition is a calling out to all of humanity to stop destroying our planet and to stop using each other out of blind greed.” Sounds True.







Bare Bones Biology 286 – The Central Question

In the year 1600 AD, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for claiming that the earth is not the center of the universe. Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted for the same crime, probably not so much because of facts they recognized; rather because the implications rattled the foundations of the worldviews of the human cultural systems in which they lived.


And as far as I can see, though our cultures evolve over time, we continue the effort to prove that humans, or our social structures, are the center of the universe. Now we are perpetuating a corposystem world view that imagines people are the center of a SYSTEM that is the center of the universe. In fact, we are not, for one thing, systems do not have centers, and we endanger our own welfare when we behave as though we have a power that we do not have.


For myself I am very glad I was born into a culture where people are not burned at the stake because they recognize and espouse the reality that humans are not the power center of the universe. That our survival therefore depends upon aligning our behaviors, therefore our world views, with the factual relationships among the systems that function to perpetuate Life.


In Chapter One of Book 25, (as yet unpublished, ask me if you want a copy) I describe the way in which I envision the birth and maturation of our world views, based on modern scientific research of others, and on my own observations of people, especially people who cannot hear my message or understand my words.


Biologically, it seems the development of our world views begins with genetically programmed instincts. We are each born with preprogrammed instincts, into various particular environments. As we interact with the environment of our first few years of life our brain grows connections between the inherited instincts and our cause-and-effect relations with our environments. In other words, we grow a belief system that could be referred to as our primary world view. I think of that primary world view as “me.”   It consists of a logical set of beliefs that are mostly subconscious and that intertwine inherited, hard-wired instinct with the circumstances of our early development.


As we mature, we enter the age when we can understand and use abstract ideas — reason and logic. Learning based in reason and logic adds a new dimension to our world view that is largely conscious. I think of it as a secondary world view that could be referred to as “mine.” So, in this metaphor, our emergent world view is made up of “me” and “mine.”


Humans are generous by nature, but it is much easier to sacrifice “mine” (my job, my money, my status, my secondary world view) than it is to sacrifice “me” (my primary world view). When we are asked share money, or food, or services – generally to be compassionate – we can make make conscious, generous decisions to share what is “mine.”


However, when the subconscious worldview that is our birthright — the “me” of our primary worldview — is challenged, we often feel a primal emotional response of fear and anger, and we often don’t know what it is or why we feel threatened by an idea or an event, and we may not even realize that we feel defensive or offensive or do not understand that we block communication in a variety of ways when the foundations of our world view are rattled.


If my primary world view is different from yours, we may hear each others’ words, without understanding, rather like living in parallel universes, without knowing that we use the same words to represent different concepts. You cannot hear me – no matter what I say or do. I must work hard to understand your corposystem world view.


So the question is, why should either one of us try to understand the world view of the other given that we no longer burn people at the stake for having different world views?


And the answer is that your world view is destroying our world – unintentionally, the behaviors that result from your primary world view are destroying our world.


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Bare Bones Biology 285 – Movin On

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep; leave it any way except a slow way; leave it the fastest way you can.” Beryl Markham, West with the Night.

I disagree, I believe that humans who love their past have a responsibility to that pastand to the future. The responsibility to take the world view that is buried deep in thewisdom of the place that we loved; to take that wisdom, wherever we go, and use it wisely. Otherwise, we start over from zero every new place, without regard to the wisdom of the old and the people who have helped us through the changes.

151127-WP&Bayer-asc_0255RLSsAnd I try to follow my own advice (Bare Bones Biology 276, 281), which is why my house is now filled with piles of old stuff in every corner waiting to be winnowed down to what can contribute to that future, and is also why I finally stopped the moving and turned my mind back to book 25 that is indeed my responsibility to our future.

To remember clearly what is already written, I had to read through the first three chapters, and there I found a (lyrical???) description of myself and my brother sitting on the floor in front of one of the world’s oldest household radios. I was about 8 years old, eating some kind healthy snack, I think it was perhaps rye krisp, in the sunny bay area of ca, listening to the Lone Ranger and Tonto on the radio, we could see it in our minds. White hats, horses and justice for all.

Today, more than half a century later, Bitsy and I were up and moving from dawn (7:30) to dusk (5:30), to accomplish one last weekly trip down the mountain to Los Alamos.  Today we cut our ties with the medical community in Texas by establishing new ones in Los Alamos. We passed all the tests, found a health food store we like, and stocked up on fresh food, peanut butter, cheese, jam, eggs and some canned goods. Eventually we will fill the freezer so we don’t run out between trips.

We already have a place to live and we have a really good mechanic in Santa Fe to keep the silver pickup healthy. We are set. We are exhausted; we are sitting in the overstuffed chair enveloped in a fuzzy blanket watching the computer monitor because we have neither radio nor TV.

On the way back, we stopped at Española, where there is a suitable drug store, a Lowes and a Walmart, and while there we celebrated by buying the entire first season of Longmire on DVD, because I have been curious about Longmire ever since I spent much of the first season camped in a trailer park (sans TV or radio) alongside one of the crew while looking for a place to move to. That was three summers ago.

Today, when we headed back up the mountain, we topped out that last high pass, and caught our first glimpse of our own snow-capped peak, 30 or 40 miles distant — for the first time I caught that warm/fuzzy feeling that just maybe we are indeed headed for home.

I have regretfully left behind the failed efforts of the years in Texas, and have hopefully carried forward the wisdom gained. I have a job to do; the schedule for the year is confirmed, or should I say committed; I will have to deal with some things I would rather ignore, but if I can accomplish them within this year I can hope they might sprout wings and carry on without my sacrifices – or are they perhaps blessings?

151205-ChristmasFest-ASC_0520RSsIt’s all about how change actually occurs in nature. It’s not all about humans. Even the human part is not all about humans; it’s about how humans are able to effectively interact with the environment as it is. We do not get to choose how the environment is. Why? Because our environment consists of a complex of emergent realities. And this is the message of my coming year, tentatively entitled “How to make wise decisions within an environment that is composed of interacting systems”. Or — Book 25.

Now, sitting in the overstuffed chair in front of the computer monitor, eating a healthy snack of, maybe it’s Rye Krisp, with peanut butter and Irish butter and jam AND cheese — watching Longmire – I get it. Finally I get it.

It’s the Lone Ranger and Tonto without the horses or the white hats, but with sex.

Hi OH Silver Pickup — Away.

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