A Small Medium @ Large

Give us this day our daily bread.​ Ok, I assume that Herald readers are familiar with the split-screen concept of TV news, right? Let’s say a tightrope walker’s inching across a thread swaying a mile above the Grand Canyon. On one hand you’re in your easy chair shooting advice from good ‘ole terra firma. On the other there’s this stomach-churning action playing out on the daredevil’s head cam.

In the same way, this SM@L column’s been like an easy chair that’s been artfully placed to investigate the five kinds of thought forms that we employ to create our experiential “reality.” Result? We’ve been safely inching along for two years now, shooting advice in all directions, and leaving only faint tracks between the fridge, the Obituaries, the Sports pages, and The Snoop.

Interest in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Activity Report, of course, soars high above all the rest. That’s where everyone turns to follow life’s latest lessons in cause and effect and/or to keep close track of certain shirt-trail relatives. The consensus trance remains solidly intact. So far, so good, I guess.

At the same time, in our head cam, the split-screen view from Mother Nature’s perspective is growing queasy. And that’s why I’m asking the following off-hand question whenever I’m at a gas station or in the grocery store’s checkout line:

“So what do you think of the flu?” I’m referring to the coronavirus epidemic, 2019CoV, but don’t mention it by name. “I’m terrified” said a teenage checker at the busy box store. “You live on a farm?” I follow up without elaboration. “No. My grandparents do, though. I’m going there if I have to. . . I guess.”

The ​Yoga Sutras​ of Patanjali, written in Sanskrit-speaking India long ago and far away, is perhaps the first attempt to codify how everything we “know” arises from various powers and processes we call the human mind. Most tight-rope walkers, who discover cause and effect at an early age, are totally on board with this.

But for the rest of us, alas, the iPhone’s head cam has replaced any actual balanced relationship to nature. Now we learn that “community-based transmission” is spreading up and down America’s west coast. “The risk to ordinary people remains low,” they intone. And, also, “Wash your hands a lot and don’t panic.”

At the same time, the daredevil’s headcam is screaming “things can change suddenly” and now’s the time to get prepared for an “extended period of disruption.” Since we, dear readers, are only five or six degrees of contact from everybody on the planet the question looms: Are we ready to tippy-toe across the abyss at a time when Missouri produces 1.2% of its citizens food supply?

Douglas County is way above average with an estimated 3% production of total food consumption. That’s mostly because of cattle, deer, tomatoes and zucchini. “Don’t matter. As long as there’s squirrels and deer, I’ll be fine.” I hear this a lot. With 6.2 million residents in Missouri and 2.4 million deer, those still capable of doing the math will know exactly when to stop hand washing and begin to panic.

Two years ago or so, I outlined the four scenarios of societal collapse and highly recommended the “steep descent” option. It’s the one we’d all choose if given a grassroots awakening that delivered food freedom. As the Farm Resettlement Congress we developed an Economic Survey for Douglas (and surrounding) Counties; a 20 Year Plan to restore public food ownership; mapped the creation of watershed-based charitable foundations; extolled warm weather grass pastures and local sesame potential; cheer-led bioregionalism and permaculture and so on.

But, alas, I’ve concluded that time is up and the memories of normal times will soon be a thing of the past. So, short of a miracle vaccine (“Maybe by next summer!” saith V.P. Pence) maybe you should pick up a Bible, or Patanjali’s sutras (i.e., “threads”), so as not to harsh your buzz. The extraordinary experience of restraining the mind from arising as waves or “vibes” is beyond words.

Then, Patanjali says, we automatically join the non-temporal expression of our eternal and One self. “Yodhe Vodhe!” proclaim the Isrealites. The newer Christian term “God” can be useful, also. This unity state is called “Eternal Peace” and simply means the mind becomes one with the Unmoving Cause, or Self, or Light of the World. But we don’t need to die before we experience this unity.

Source Awareness, a non-dual state of being, is where all living things “go,” when “falling” into the 4 Hz depths of the dreamless sleep state. After the 4-5 minute absence of a locatable “me and mine,” we then awaken mysteriously renewed and refreshed. All the cells are repaired, the mind is reset, and we’re ready to kick the can of our karmic predicament ever further down the street. But without this rejuvenating (dreamless) sleep we’d die within hours or days.

It’s amazing, actually, that this process dictates our lives from birth until death, yet our modern culture undercuts all curiosity about it. We know there are many reasons for our broken relationship to nature but America’s disdain for a culture based on self-mastery, not money, is proving decisive with every news update.

Just imagine Bloomberg or Trump mastering the process of deliberately entering and exiting unitary consciousness. Imagine he demonstrated the step-by-step logic of “union,” as the goal of a healthy society. As fun as it would be to watch them try, the fact remains: When the mind develops pure love for “god” the illusion of a separate existence ends with it. Now that, Bernie people, is what’s ​really​ radical.

So Patanjali identifies our experience of separation as “Maya,” a shared dream that has no beginning but which ends for the individual that awakens. He describes the various ways the mind comes into existence as it creates thoughts, distinctions and desires. Normally, the mind is united with its projections of the world and is certain that these projections are “real.” But the Seer, he points out, always​ knows everything at every level of experience yet is never affected by any of it.

The proof, they say, is in the pudding. Can we “Love our neighbor as ourselves” but not be prepared to feed him? “Feed my sheep” must now be taken literally. This pandemic is not a practice drill that we can skip. Get yourself prepared.

Here’s what I’d suggest: Buy your carrots, spinach and all such stuff–while it’s still cheap–and dehydrate them. Dehydrate as many pounds as you need to feed the ones you love for a long time and learn how to store it properly.

Collect your favorite recipes and organize what you can grow or buy around them. The soil is warming and you can readily turn your lawn into a garden right now. A hundred pounds of dry organic seeds and grains, when properly sprouted, will sustain an adult for a year (military studies). Low budget folks can survive.

The fastest way to get a kid interested in reality is to stop feeding him for a meal or two. The idea of contributing something to one’s own survival was once a symptom of actual intelligence. Just try not to get sued. Speak gently, speak the truth. Yes, the shock will likely kill some of them, as may learning how to get around on their own two legs. Start their highwire at 2” off the ground, tops.

Talk with your neighbors and get real about what’s coming. Practice this novel approach until it takes root: “You’re in my vision of the future if I’m in yours. How can I help?” It’s up to you. Tell your family and coworkers that it’s time to discuss your Plan B for living as healthy and happy and long as possible.

With this said, I’m leaving the SM@L to grow food full time. When things get back to normal maybe I’ll return from my sabbatical to reveal how the UFO’s get around- it’s not just a fantastic carburetor- and what they ​really​ think about us. So I thank the Herald and it’s loyal readers with all my heart. You’ve let my inner kid ramble about lots of stuff. And now, all together: “To Infinity and Beyond!”