“The obstacles in front of us cannot survive the awesome power of the forces that stand behind us—once we couple those forces with the incredible abilities that, believe it or not, are waiting right within our own minds. These abilities are empowered as soon as they are recognized and gain strength when they are given consistent attention. When you commit to them, they commit to you. Individual human commitment makes history bend. When the international warmongers become as compliant with peaceful goals as most of the peaceful citizens have been with all the warmongering, then the effort toward planet wide sanity will become a cooperative voice of reason that sees everyone win. Be nice to everyone. We need them all. Be nice to yourself. We need you most.” Doug “Ten” Rose Fearless Puppy
Happy BD MLK Jr.! This from the book in progress. The Society for Creative Maladjustment Fearless Puppy
Based on a speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dedicated to him, the Giraffe Society, human Giraffes everywhere,
and to the Giraffe that lives in each of us.
Most institutions, including government, religious, and economic ones, share a stance that profits when the public craves stability, fears change, and clings religiously to status quo. These institutions promote as well as embody that craving for stability and that fear of change.
In a vain, ridiculous, and doomed quest for permanence, status quo attempts to avoid the growing pains and power shifts required by progressive change. One method used to accomplish profitable stagnation is to downplay the new and better. Status quo has tagged brilliant folks throughout history with some pretty dubious titles in an attempt to trivialize the importance of what these people had to say. We’ve heard “fruitcake,” “revolutionary,” “crazy,” “heretic,” “traitor,” “on the fringe,” “dangerous,” “weirdo,” “loose cannon,” and “commie” every now and then, but the label most often used in polite society to describe those who would rock the boat is “maladjusted.”
Status quo itself is something that lives in a glass house and really shouldn’t be throwing stones. Fear, bigotry, war, poverty, disease, and poisoning the biosphere are all stones with which our established systems could justifiably be hit. Many societal trends are accepted that are not at all well adjusted. The same could be said of the people who blindly follow these trends. Not long ago our society considered owning other people to be well adjusted.
It is unfortunate that so many of our better, kinder, more humane citizens suppress or even amputate their feelings in order to fit in and gain acceptance. They are often frozen in non-action. They accept the unacceptable in fear of the social penalties for being thought maladjusted. This impotent intelligence may be even sadder than the brutal ignorance it complies with.
Some folks believe that even the most intense human suffering can be tolerated, as long as they are not the particular humans who are doing the suffering. Most of us are better than that. Most of us cannot comfortably adjust to brutality. Some are courageous enough to speak out in a maladjusted manner against such injustices.
Look at the folks who were considered maladjusted by most of the people who shared their era! Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Copernicus—there’s no end to the list. Isn’t it amazing that more people aren’t excitedly running toward becoming creatively maladjusted rather than being frightened away from it?
When Mother Teresa first began her mission “everyone thought she was cracked.” (This quote is from Father Gabrich, a fellow Albanian expatriate and fifty year friend of Mother’s. He said the first Mass given in the first rooms where Mother began her care of the sick and poor.) There are now very few people of any religion who do not recognize her as a Saint. She bucked the traditionalists with an inner strength that a “well adjusted” person cannot access. She didn’t just sidestep, but actually defied conventions of the very church that her life was based upon. She did so with a revolutionary attitude that leaned on ferocious courage and dismantled even the most liberally minded ignorance. She made the world a better place by sticking her neck out.
It’s not just famous people who do the creatively maladjusted thing.
The Giraffe Society recognizes people worldwide who stick their neck out for the greater good. They have a long list of regular folks just like us who are charter members of this particular branch of the Society for Creative Maladjustment.
An older couple walks to the bank. They have spent most of their lives in the frosty winters of northern America. They are going to their bank in order to transfer accounts to a sunny retirement spot, and to arrange for the sale of the home they are ready to leave.
Before they can get to the bank, they meet a cold, hungry, homeless man with a heart-wrenching true story. They listen. The couple never makes it to the bank that day. Instead, they take the man back to their home.
The couple’s next trip to the bank is to refinance the mortgage on their house, not sell it. They open a homeless shelter in that house and never move south. Their sunny retirement spot is now internal and they have never been happier.
They are publicly acknowledged and awarded membership in the Giraffe Society by virtue of their spiritual membership in Dr. King’s Society for Creative Maladjustment. At one time, the suffering man who they met on the way to the bank was a member too. He got lost, had some bad breaks, slipped downhill, and his membership lapsed. He has pulled himself back together now, helps to manage the shelter, and is again a member in good standing of The Society—and society at large.
He got by with a little help from his friends.
It can be said that many Monks and Nuns at this Temple I am now living in are full time members of The Society for Creative Maladjustment. They live without sex, without alcohol, and do not eat after noon. They deprive themselves of many things that most of us consider to be essential.
There are folks who see these choices as signs of maladjustment, but the results of these labors increase the ability of these Nuns and Monks to help other people. They are focusing on things they believe to be more important than material ease and luxury, or even physical comfort.
Are you someone who feels it? Are you someone who admires what that old couple did? Do you understand the good intentions and efforts of the Southeast Asian Temple dwellers that are described in parts of this book? If so, then you are probably someone who, at least occasionally, does a decent thing for a person in need whether or not others think you are well adjusted or maladjusted for doing so.
On behalf of all of your fellow creatures, and myself, thank you very much. Any helpful action can be a good one. What appears to be a small thing can end up having a big impact in the long run. Goodness multiplies very quickly some times.
If you don’t feel the point yet, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person. There are logical, if not always obvious, reasons for any behavior. Some of us have been screwed over so severely that we have a right to not recover from it, to stay isolated from, bitter toward, and even afraid of our fellow humans. The major problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work. We hurt ourselves more than we hurt anyone else by using it. Being right doesn’t help as much as forgiving does. Forgiving others is better than suffering.
Everyone has goodness in them. Even those who initially appear evil can turn saintly once they get past the fear and mental clutter that inspire cynicism and neurotic self-concern. When good intentions are put into action, when one person does something nice for another, those fears and that mental clutter begin to dissolve. Everyone benefits. The roots of evil start to rot and begin to pass away.
Every action contains its own automatic, congruent reward or punishment that is inseparable from it. Both instant and long term karma are facts of life.
Reading and talking will only take us so far. Only the doing gets a thing done.
Thinking, talking, or reading about doing is like trying to scratch an itchy head through a leather hat. It is a good start but doesn’t get the job done. People have talked about wanting to live on a peaceful, happy planet since the beginning of people. It hasn’t happened yet. The singular chance for the survival and happiness of our loved ones, ourselves, and future generations is being defined by what we do to increase cooperation, happiness, health, sanity, and respect for each other right now.
The Society for Creative Maladjustment has cleaned the red carpet in anticipation of your arrival. This society’s door is always open. When anyone joins up, everyone gets stronger. All approaches to a better world—whether scientific, spiritual, economic, or political—must lead through this door eventually. There is no sensible option to the compassionate cooperation inspired by a constructive and creative maladjustment to the world’s evils.
“Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Among the most remarkable features characterizing Zen we find these: spirituality, directness of expression, disregard of form or conventionalism, and frequently an almost wanton delight in going astray from respectability.”
“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.”
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Frank Zappa
EATEN BY ALIENS/TIBET TIPS THE SCALES
JANUARY 7, 2016 BY FEARLESS PUPPY
A short science fiction story. With many thanks to Douglas Adams and his incredible Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where the premise for this story was stolen from.
It’s business as usual and just another day on Earth, but in the great beyond a meeting of earth shattering importance is taking place. The Space Aliens’ Council of Constructive Destruction is deciding what part of the physical universe to dismantle. They need to disintegrate a lot of physical matter back into pure energy. That’s what these aliens eat, and their supplies are running low.
The discussion reaches two final candidates for a you-become-lunch location. Each of these vast areas of space has a single planet with life on it and—you guessed it—one of those planets is our Earth.
There are minimal differences between the two potential food sources. Both have plenty of tasty matter. The Council decides to make its culinary decision based upon the comparative merits of the two planets that have living inhabitants. The civilization judged most worthy of surviving will do so. We have become one of two final contestants in an extinction and digestibility contest!
The Spacefolk responsible for making the final decision look at the other planet’s citizens first, tally up the points, and then proceed to summarize us. Here is their report.
This is the recorded history of the Earthlings.
The dominant life form on the planet calls itself Mankind, although the majority of these creatures are women.
These beings have been consistently deluding themselves for thousands of years. They enjoy hiding behind a self-righteous façade. While ostensibly worshiping goodness, compassion, and love that rarely get exercised, the species actually perpetrates fear, greed, war, and selfishness in most planetary functions (although they often do a lot better at local levels.)
The themes of their prayers and most sacred thoughts seem to be peace, harmony, unity, equanimity, and demilitarization, but their many so-called civilized cultures have never accomplished these states. To the contrary, such sentiments seem to be window dressing and paperwork. They have for the most part been used hypocritically as propaganda. Profiteering warmongers ruthlessly hypnotize the youth of nearly every generation into protecting a lifestyle that is more fantasy than fact. A few greedy executives craving false power and transient possessions convince the naive general population that they will all be able to live in peace, harmony, and prosperity by killing a bunch of strangers just one more time. The rank and file seem perpetually duped. This species seems incapable of learning a lesson.
This planet’s immortal state of combat almost always results in no positive change for the majority. On the contrary, this majority often endures incredible pain, suffering, hardship, and devastation.
Mankind unwittingly fosters the continuance of all these trespasses by glorifying the increasing wealth and power of the greatest oppressors among them! (“Unwittingly” may actually be a more appropriate name for this species than “Mankind.”) The small minority of oppressors has time after time convinced mankind at large to scapegoat whom or whatever will provide a distraction from the robbery and brutalities that these very same oppressors are actually perpetrating.
Attitude malfunctions have taken hypnotic root within the general population and account for its almost bizarre, apparently unconscious willingness to participate in this self-destruction. The hypnotic rooting of systemic requirements and regulations into the general population is accomplished through widespread and varied communications and information systems collectively known as “The Media.” The very admirable ability of these systems to inform and unify is completely incongruent with the despicable functions they enable. The content of their messaging is almost always commercial, usually inane, and often mentally poisonous.
Perhaps the most accurate description of these Earthlings is found in their own catch all quasi-medical reference term “schizophrenia.” It defines a certain lack of ability to recognize the difference between subjective and objective reality. Earthlings use this label to demean and isolate select individuals. The irony is that the species as a unit has long embraced this same condition as a way of life.
The continuously combative and violent norm was (and still is) supported by the vast history of humankind until a segment of the population calling themselves “Tibetans” attained a semblance of sanity. Finally it happened. A group appeared who did enough mental work to make their walk match their talk. An isolated, peaceful, cooperative people developed the kind of culture that humans had, up to that point, given a great deal of lip service but no concrete attention. After having ranked among the most ferocious warriors on Earth for several centuries, the Tibetans decided that peace was more productive than war and compassion better than greed. At the height of their sanity, twenty percent of the Tibetan population was composed of Monks and Nuns—beings whose employment was to perpetuate positive states. Peace, joy, environmental respect, and natural beauty reigned for centuries.
Then other Earthlings invaded and killed the Tibetans for the purpose of stealing their land and natural resources. A few of the more sympathetic Earthlings made some valiant efforts to correct this, but most either ignored the holocaust or whined in graceless impotence.
That was the Council’s report.
Don’t make any long-term plans, folks. We’ll be taking a trip soon. Don’t bother packing. Where we are going, you won’t need what you think you own.
I hope that when the aliens eat our energy they will find us more palatable than we can possibly find ourselves at this point. On the other hand, they may find our energy toxic. If so, it might be a stroke of poetic justice and an ironically appropriate final act for us to poison superior beings—as we have more or less already done in Tibet.
http://www.fearlesspuppy.info Fearless Puppy
Fearless Puppy Commercial TV is designed to steer the viewer through a maze of products for sale and consumption, not to offer productive programs. As a result, a lot of the basest emotional bullshit designed to hump your adrenalized attention into peak readiness for commercial messages is presented on PBS’s corporate counterparts. In contrast, a lot of positively oriented, non-violent, spiritually uplifting, dramatic, comedic, nature related, intelligent, artistic, and exciting programming happens on the public’s network.
Ever wonder “why Johnny can’t read,” or add, or subtract, or concentrate, and has attention deficit disorder? Not discounting diet, societal pace and pressures, systemic cultural dishonesty, and a baffling system of mixed messages running rampant throughout the society, it has a lot to do with the single digit attention span Johnny has developed while being habitually hypnotized by watching short spurts of violent cartoons in between even shorter spurts of flashy commercial messages. The rapid turnover of both commercial messages and program segments have patterned Johnny’s mind to stay grounded in singular focus for very, very short time periods.
The violent, shocking, dramatized nature of what Johnny’s mind is absorbing shoots an adrenaline reaction through his system. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a real threat and a mentally manufactured threat. Damaging stress chemicals are released and the basest survival senses are heightened while watching violent programming. This results in poor Johnny’s brain circuitry being heightened for fight or flight, and more receptive to commercial messages. The products advertised in these commercial messages are not health food. So now, in addition to having his ability to focus for more than a few minutes in a row being dissected by fragmented programming and machine gun intensity commercial messages, Johnny has been sold and is eating sugar laden petroleum products while being hypnotized by his own adrenaline. These induced adrenaline rushes, impending sugar crashes, and the perverse programming that caused them do not exit his psyche after the sale has been made. At this point the marketing culture has built for themselves another nervous, undereducated, and addicted consumer—just the kind of person most advantageous to their goals. They profit. Johnny’s screwed.
This process, along with the carnival of death that the video game industry has become, helps Johnny get all warmed up for pushing bigger buttons a bit later on in life. Killing people who are more physically existent than the ones in his video game won’t be a problem for Johnny when he reaches military age. He only sees images on a screen, not real flesh and blood carnage.
Of course, people have been killing each other since long before modern video games or commercial TV were around, but (with the possible exception of ancient Rome) murder has never been so widely advertised as an impersonal process, recreational sport, source of amusement, economic necessity, and heroic act.
Commercial television with its base motivation of greed, orientation toward mindless violence, and selfish consumption is a pretty good example of how to negatively program a population. It is an even better example of an obvious, easy, and immediate opportunity that humanity has to better itself. All we have to do is change the station.
PBS is a good example of what can go right if the public is in charge of its own destiny instead of being manipulated by a small, warped, perversely motivated minority. PBS programming helps people avoid the sales pitch hypnosis of network TV. We, the viewing public, actually vote for what we want to see through our responses, requests, and contributions to local PBS stations. Your TV would look better on PBS, or with a hammer put through the screen. http://www.fearlesspuppy.info Fearless Puppy