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We're ALL Being 'Played,' by Ray Zwarich

To all the Really Good Ones, and to all in peril on land or sea:

Reason is our only hope. As brute animals alone, driven only by our appetites and passions, we don't stand a chance to survive our species' ferociously onrushing existential crisis.  

Greed and Lust are but children of our animal Appetites. This is our human nature, our predicament, our 'human condition', (as many call it). The 'lizard brain' template is hard-wired into our DNA. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, (they say). 

Reason is Humanity's gift, from God or Nature, (take your pick). Reason alone raises us poor dumb humans above the mire, above the raw cruel wild jungle where all the other animals grovel for life. Eat... Or be eaten... Life is a wondrous experience, but not a kind one. Poets will always have songs to sing, but tears will always fall in the singing. 

Life is Desire. Life is a painful struggle. To live, an organism must WANT to live. Every living organism does. Only the self-aware even have a choice. Only humans ask ourselves Shakespeare's question: "To be, or not to be?". We arrive at such questions by our powers of Reason.

Life is Appetite. Appetite is where Desire is born. We hunger for food. We thirst for water. We yearn for love. We long for family. We are alive. We're humans. Life is Desire.

Reason is our Hope. Reason is the ONLY thing that raises us humans above the other brute beasts. But Desire is our essential living human soul. "I think, therefore I am", declareth the philosopher. "I WANT, therefore I think", answers the poet. We humans will always be creatures throbbing with Desire.

Reason and Desire are eternal enemies. Our human proclivity and power to subvert Reason, in pursuit of our Desire, knows no bounds. Reason is our only Hope. Only self awareness makes Reason even possible. Self-delusion, in pursuit of our Desire, is our Human Condition. 

Reason is always 'objective'. Reason is a matter of 'perspective'. Reason requires a 'point of view' outside/beyond the seductive confining cage of selfish Desire. Reason requires that we 'see' ourselves, and in the 'seeing' itself, our natural moral sense, as reasoning humans, (above the other beasts), will thus have at least some measure of control over our primitive selfish animal blood desires.

We have codes of moral behavior, after all... We just no longer use them... or apply them, or even much think about them... or even remember them, anymore.  

It is Reason that gives rise to Culture. Culture shapes our animal nature into Civilization.

Self-awareness is, and always will be, the key to Humanity's survival. Awareness of our own 'lizard brain' animal compulsions is the only thing that can free us from them long enough to allow Reason time and opportunity to function. 

I'm a chicken farmer. I've been keeping chickens, to sell their eggs, for 10 years. We have lots of them. Chickens are not self-aware. They just are alive. Their 'lizard brain' is fully on display, unhidden by the guile we clever humans use to guise it, to hide our basic motives from our own awareness. Chickens are 'honest'. They are openly driven by their appetites, by their selfish desires. They make no attempt to hide it, as we humans so cunningly do. 

'Dignity' is very important to a chicken. They are driven by 'Ego'. 'Pride'. 'Ambition'. Individuals compete for 'influence', for rank, for power, for status, within the group, (within 'the collective'). The 'pecking order' is every individual's constant reality. Like humans, chickens are very self-important. Every individual chicken is the most important thing, in the entire world, to itself. But, like humans, chickens' lives have no meaning other than as part of 'the collective'.

"Chickens always come home to roost". Ours are poorly fenced. They can get out whenever they want to. Out on 'open pasture', they can fend for themselves. They can keep themselves fed. They eat bugs. They eat grass and most all greens. They eat seeds and grain. They can keep themselves fed just fine. But they can't live wild. They are no longer capable of being 'wild'. They're too stupid to avoid predators. 

They don't go off into the wild to live. If a neighborhood fox doesn't get them, (we recently had one, but he's apparently been 'dispatched'), or a hawk doesn't get them, they ALWAYS come home to roost. (The dang fox was taking a hen a day. For maybe a month or more. Then it stopped coming around. Lotsa folks out in these parts own firearms). 

The interplay between 'the individual' and 'the collective' in chickens is very similar to its pattern in humans. Isn't this the basic primitive 'lizard brain' pattern of social species in general?

I was still a child when I realized that every creature is as important to itself as I am to me. I was playing with a small spider. I had it trapped and confused. Every time it would turn to run in another direction, I would tap in front of it to turn it from that direction. Like a toreador once the bull is too confused to charge again, I had that spider standing still, too confused to go in any direction. 

Suddenly I 'awoke' to the spider's fear. I could feel its fear. And I realized that the raw feeling, the emotion itself, has no size, it only has degree. I realized that the fear the spider was feeling was just as 'big' as the fear I would be feeling, if trapped and at the mercy of a huge creature that could kill me in an instant.

We 'animals', even the tiniest creatures, even viruses, all throb with self-importance and Desire. For a population of almost 9 billion humans to survive on planet Earth, we must gain enough measure of control over our animal Appetites, over our Ego, over our hunger, greed, and lust, to bring our gift of Reason to bear. 

Reason is objective. We must 'see' ourselves, our lives, and our times from a perspective outside ourselves, beyond the throbbing cage of our Desire.

People are easy to manipulate because we are so heavily influenced by our Desire, by our emotions. Sing her a sweet enough love song, and blood will rush to her womb. (Literally). She will feel powerful compulsions. This is just how we humans are 'wired'. 

She will sing her own song. She can't help it. Blood will rush, as it does, as she sings. Children somehow seem to follow. We feel blood deep instincts to love and care for our OWN! Families are created. They are 'born' from people's 'sacred' vows. 

A Family is a Sacred thing. 

The Human Condition. We ALL yearn for love. We ALL love our OWN!

This is a 'riddle'. The answer lies just out yonder, out there just the other side of the Human Paradox. The Individual. The Collective. They are the SAME organism. 

Reason is Humanity's only Hope. 

"Hey, hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song
Bout a funny ol' world that's a-comin' along
Seems sick an' it's hungry, it's tired an' it's torn
It looks like it's a-dyin' an' it's hardly been born"

Recorded in November of '61. Probably written not long before. Sixty years ago.

Reason is our only Hope. Reason is objective. Only the self-aware are capable of Reason. We must struggle to break free of all the self-delusions that are being intentionally imposed on us through the IMMENSE power of Mass Media. We must become aware of how our current conditions have been 'engineered' to exist. We must 'see' how our own thinking has been intensely manipulated. 

We must 'see' that we are ALL 'being played'. 

We've been suckered into playing a 'game' of Three Card Monte. You can't follow the pea. The hand can fool the eye. I'd just as soon talk to a tree as try to communicate with a 'religious' ideologue from either the Woke Cult Crazies or the MAGA Bloc. This is 'religion' with these poor folks. This is Hatfield v. McCoy caliber tribal warfare. They're all too drowned and drowning in their own ideological dogma to think straight.This 'game' is like Tic Tac Toe. The only way to win is not to play.

"I don't expect you to understand
After you've caused so much pain
But then again, you're not to blame
You're just a human, a victim of the insane..."
                           J Lennon

We need to "get out of 'their' game and start playing in our own game". People who should be allies must FIRST stop being enemies.

All for One. One for All.


R Zwarich
Bent Birch Farm (the old Webber place)
63 Webber Rd
Brookfield, MA 01506
774 449-8030