Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:53 am


I encountered Lucretius quite by accident one day, when I was killing time in opposing counsel's waiting room in a Portland high rise. Very fancy firm with a pale skinned, raven-tressed, black-Irish type gal with length in the legs and arms and hands posted behind the phone. Classy reading material, too. "The Roman Philosophers." Not to be paralyzed by the receptionist, I went to work reading this stuff by Lucretius, about how blood is life, and when you bleed you die, and how therefore your life substance is one with your blood. Good thinking, I thinks to myself, and puts the guy's name away at the back of my head. Years later, I get me a copy of Lucretius, and the guy's no disappointment. Check out the way he gets going, after doing the usual ass-kissing to the sovereign, the then-current Caesar, urging him to speed past the objections of Roman scribes and embrace freedom of thought:

"One thing that worries me is the fear that you may fancy yourself embarking on an impious course, setting your feet on the path of sin. Far from it. More often it is this very superstition that is the mother of sinful and impious deeds. Remember how at Aulis the altar of the Virgin Goddess was foully stained with the blood of Iphigineia by the leaders of the Greeks, the patterns of chivalry. The headband was bound about her virgin tresses and hung down evenly over both her cheeks. Suddenly, she caught sight of her father, standing sadly in front of the altar, the attendants beside him hiding the knife and her people bursting into tears when they saw her. Struck dumb with terror, she sank on her knees to the ground. Poor girl, at such a moment it did not help her that she had been first to give the name of father to a king. Raised by the hands of men, she was led trembling to the altar. Not for her the sacrament of marriage and the loud chant of Hymen. It was her fate in the very hour of marriage to fall a sinless victim to a sinful rite, slaughtered to her greater grief by a father's hand, so that a fleet might sail under happy auspices. Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by superstition."

As I read these words, I wanted to stand up and cheer, and also to avenge the blood of all the uselessly slaughtered virgins of humanity. So from small intentions do we undertake greater works. Lucretius is the prophet of good sense.

What sense, man, to torment yourself with thoughts of the afterlife when then you'll be dead, insensible, restored to the silence of earthly clay? Death, you idiot, is what we should look forward to when our daily troubles torment us. Someday this will end! It will be over, finished, done. So, on the other hand, you should enjoy what you can, because someday it will end. He grasps this ambivalence of good and bad, pleasure and pain, directly by the horns and does away with none of it. The best a guy can hope to do is clear all the dysfunctional, inhibiting, non-productive bullshit out of his skull. Then he can sit around with Lucretius and ask himself questions about how the hell physical images of reality can fly around in space and stick to your eyeball. (Lucretius versus modern knowledge of optical phenomena is not a pretty sight, but on the other hand, he hacks through with manful attitude.)

According to this here Penguin edition, translated very smoothly by Ronald Latham, Lucretius "must have been born soon after 100 B.C., and was probably already dead when his poem was given to the world in 55 B.C. Almost nothing is known about his life. He was a Roman citizen and a friend of Gaius Memmius, an eminent Roman statesman, and his poem was read and admired by Cicero. It is doubtful if there is any truth in the story preserved by St. Jerome and immortalized by Tennyson that he died by his own hand after being driven mad by a love philtre."

Starting off with a virgin sacrifice wasn't good enough for my man Lucretius, not by a sight. He's got to deal with some serious opposition, because Romans were the original heretic-hunters, you will recall all the unpleasantness with the Christians and the lions, well, with Jesus himself! 'Nuff said.

So he's steeling the sovereign for the blow of social disapproval:

"You yourself, if you surrender your judgment at any time to the blood-curdling declamations of the prophets, will want to desert our ranks. Only think what phantoms they can conjure up to overturn the tenor of your life and wreck your happiness with fear. And not without cause. For, if men saw that a term was set to their troubles, they would find strength in some way to withstand the hocus-pocus and intimidations of the prophets. As it is, they have no power of resistance, because they are haunted by the fear of eternal punishment after death. They know nothing of the nature of the spirit. Is it born, or is it implanted in us at birth? Does it perish with us, dissolved by death, or does it visit the murky depths and dreary sloughs of Hades? Or is it transplanted by divine power into other creatures, as described in the poems of our own Ennius, who first gathered on the delectable slopes of Helicon an evergreen garland destined to win renown among the nations of Italy? Ennius indeed in his immortal verses proclaims that there is also a Hell, which is people not by our actual spirits or bodies but only by shadowy images, ghastly pale. It is from this realm that he pictures the ghost of Homer, of unfading memory, as appearing to him, shedding salt tears and revealing the nature of the universe.

I must therefore give an account of celestial phenomena, explaining the movements of sun and moon and also the forces that determine events on earth. Next, and no less important, we must look with keen insight into the makeup of spirit and mind: we must consider those alarming phantasms that strike upon our minds when they are awake but disordered by sickness, or when they are buried in slumber, so that we seem to see and hear before us men whose dead bones lie in the embraces of the earth."

Having previously noted that the Greeks were the ones who really gave us the nugget of the scientific method with their pragmatic discoveries, he returns again to that topic:

"I am well aware that it is not easy to elucidate in Latin verse the obscure discoveries of the Greeks. The poverty of our language and the novelty of the theme compel me often to coin new words for the purpose. But your merit and the joy I hope to derive from our delightful friendship encourage me to face any task however hard. This it is that leads me to stay awake through the quiet of the night, studying how by choice of words and the poet's art I can display before your mind a clear light by which you can gaze into the heart of hidden things."

That's Hallmark card language, children. Wine-glass droppin' language. "Gaze into the heart of hidden things." That's lovely.

Very tempting to want to see into what is hidden. Part of the appeal of pornography, and astronomy. I always say there are two unperishing sources of inspiration: the landscape and the nude. Of course, into the landscape we must include the star-scape. Take note that Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse, also created Omni, the first pop-sci mag that made graphics a staple. Now we've got a whole Discovery channel.

But as the inheritors of the great, articulated tradition of science, we are the pissed-off heirs who hate technology. And why not? It gave us the atom bomb, constant anxiety, an accelerating sense of white guilt, and cultural anomie. What's to be grateful for?

Well, for the excitement I felt as a kid when I walked around the great universities of the country. My Dad took me to Harvard yard when I was a kid, and to all manner of other higher education shrines. And you know what? It does rub off. I loved it. The atmosphere of freedom, of intelligence unbound, making its own rules. Sure, there's a little bit of fantasy there, too, but it's justified, for as Lucretius would exult, we are pulling ourselves up by ourselves. No gods are helping. No gods can pull us down. We make ourselves by our own hands and with our own minds and words.

What is mysteriously learned by priests through arcane methods that can only be understood by the cognoscenti is suspect. By the time a person is qualified to say, "I have seen the mystic vision and it is as the tradition describes it," they have undergone so much conditioning that they are fundamentally unreliable sources of information. And when, as today , most Eastern mystics admit they don't know it for themselves, but they're sure the traditional sources must be right, what warrant of reliability is that? If we're going to believe something, shouldn't it be verifiable?

Does the Buddhist appeal to "verify it yourself" hold water? Not in my opinion. If you try and verify this yourself in the traditional way, it'll take 20 years to find out they don't know what they're talking about, and you'll be as pissed off as Ambu to have invested all that time ( your youth) in a badly-designed experiment with yourself as the guinea pig. And little time left to design a new one!

If you try and verify it in an objective, analytical fashion, I don't think you'll be any more satisfied with the results than Steven Batchelor was. I can't say for sure what he does believe, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't believe what he was told, translated, and promulgated for years and years. And he's a pretty smart guy, certainly a lot smarter than the half-baked bagels that put him down. If he says the stuff doesn't pencil out in the logic department, I bet he didn't just make it up because he was tired of the smell of lamb stew and tsampa. He has legitimate objections. And nobody wants to hear them within the tradition. All of his years of scholarship are like rags in the gutter. He's an apostate, a backslider, not a respected critic. Most strict Vajrayanists wouldn't let him wash their socks. Which is why the idea that the lamas urge students to "check it out themselves" has no validity. It's a joiners religion.

So back to Lucretius, why not? Back to the dark of night, the light of day, the wetness of water and the heat of flame.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:55 am




The Ramones wrote:

Click here to play "I'm Makin' Monsters For My Friends"

Everybody said so, man ...
You could see it on T.V.
They stood there ashamed with nowhere to go

Nobody wants them now
The kids are alright
Every day is a holiday
Pushin' people around

I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends

Someone caught one I could see so myself
I had to call 254 so they wouldn't blame me
We wanted to know how much trouble there was
When we asked our Daddy, he said, "It's just because."

I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends

I don't wanna open a can of worms and
I don't want any Spagetti-Os
And I could always tell when
someone is holding a grudge

I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends
I'm making monsters for my friends

This song is on the last Ramones album, Adios Amigos, which has the cheapest, schtickiest photo shoot on the back. They've got the band like about to be put in front of a firing squad, and their hands are tied behind their backs with some cheap skinny twine, like they're not even desperados, they're parcels. But the album was great even though the photography sucked, and this song is one of the greatest. It's of course impossible to estimate the beauty of a song like this from looking at the lyrics. It's the merest symbolism really, a cipher for the ineffable experience of listening to the Ramones on your car stereo, or in your living room, bedroom, wedding chapel, church, bathhouse, or suicide parlor.

Like many of the best Ramones songs, I have no idea what the song is "about," and I have no doubt it is about something. Just the image, though, of someone hiding in a basement splitting protons and every now and then whipping out a few monsters for their friends, that's what I love about that song.

You could have all kinds of friends if you made monsters. It's the sort of thing a geeky kid would do.

Lawyers are kind of geeky, at least corporate lawyers are, and so maybe they like to make corporate monsters for their powerful friends.

A corporate monster is something to see.
A centralized, integrated,
Ball-bearing, four-squaring,
Profit-sucking, downsizing,
Lean mean people-fucking machine.

A corporate monster is something to see.
A remote-controlled distintegrator
Hemispheric renovator
On a rampage with a license to breed
Its own mechanistic seed.

John Lennon wrote:

Click hear to play "Working Class Hero"

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of at all
'Til the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow the rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can't really function you're so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
You think you're so clever and classless and free,
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
There's room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile when you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
If you want to be a hero, well then just follow me
If you want to be a hero, well then just follow me

The drive to take on the corporate abuse of human beings is beginning to get a little momentum. The Sun just published an Interview with Robert Hinckley, a corporate lawyer who is trying to get corporate law changed to include a duty to take cognizance of the concerns of human beings, as well as profit, when making decisions. His plan is to add "28 words" to the law of corporations:

Robert Hinckley wrote:

The duty of directors henceforth shall be to make money for shareholders but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, public health and safety, dignity of employees, and the welfare of the communities in which the company operates.

Not really an outrageous proposal. Tara even questioned why it would add anything to the law as it stands. I responded that adding this limitation on the right to garner profit would motivate corporate boards to consider "the environment, human rights, etc.," which they currently are actually deterred from doing by laws that say that the board's duty is to maximize profit for the corporation, and to offload costs onto "outsiders" -- workers, the public health, the environment, unborn generations. Eliminating this heartless and backward excuse for atavistic behavior by the corporate elite would certainly alter a significant tenet of corporate responsibility.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:05 am


Dr. Martin Luther King wrote:

"America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.' But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

Today is January 19, 2004, the national holiday dedicated to celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. I had never read his "I Have a Dream" speech until now. It is short, simple and moving. Given from the steps of the Lincoln monument, in the "shadow" of the Great Emancipator, Dr. King chose the traditional language of debt and payments. For people who have been bought and sold as property from the foundations of this nation, who have been dogged by scheming white thieves with their company stores and low-money-down deals, it was an acceptable choice of metaphor.

We can easily imagine the sea of faces Dr. King addressed that day, and the hopes of conflicting millions eager to hear what he would say. Although he is now thought of as a man who showed great patience, he warned his fellows against indulging in the "drug of gradualism." That is a timely phrase for those involved in changing any negative, oppressive structure. Why?

Because if anything is so unjust that it demands change, it should be changed now. If a man is beating a child, he must stop now. We can't say, "Let him change his habits gradually, and continue beating the child moderately, finally less and less, and at last not at all." Of course, we see many child abuse cases where welfare workers have taken just this gradualistic attitude, to the sorrow and shame of our entire society, when children are pulled out of closets chained and stained with shit and pee, or when their tiny bodies are buried, covered with cigarette burns and bruises. Gradually, all hope expired for those poor ones.

Of course, I choose a stark example, but if you put the idea to the test you find it is invariably true. The only types of changes that should be made gradually are those that cannot be done immediately. If you suddenly realize you're driving 80 mph on a snowy road, don't slam on the brakes! But if you're collaborating with an oppressive system, you need to stop collaborating now. If you're tolerating abuse, you need to end your tolerance now. We tolerate good things, we reject evil things as soon as we recognize them.

Much like those who try to get Ambu to "moderate her criticism," Dr. King was constantly told that if he pressed for "too much, too fast," it would stimulate "white backlash" and things would end up worse than ever. After all, slavery had ended. Black people had made progress. Official segregation was limited to the deep south. Lynching had been greatly reduced in number. Why, a black man was even permitted to speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial! How much more progress do you need?

Dr. King wrote:

"There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, 'When will you be satisfied?' We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote."

As long as you are being insulted and subjected to unequal treatment, you know you have not arrived. Dr. King understood that he and all black Americans were being oppressed unfairly. When he told his followers not to drink the drug of gradualism, he was negotiating with his own people for a position of "no more compromise." It is hard to reach that point of no-compromise, demanding change now. It remains difficult for African-Americans today. Nowadays, like everyone else, African-Americans are busy running in place, with heavier burdens, less government aid, and lower paying jobs than white people. But in those days, Dr. King had a huge crowd of people in front of the Lincoln Memorial to demand justice for themselves and their loved ones.

People want to believe we've made some progress since Dr. King was murdered, but actually there's been a disgusting assault on black culture in the form of the cruel system of drug prosecution, with its use of informants and financial rewards for poor young men, literally sending federal agents into poor areas to foment drug crime. As a federal public defender, I was shocked to learn of the amount of money the government pours into the drug trade and never recovers. Then drugs are resold out of the evidence lockers, so they're not taken off the street.

White Americans don't face racial oppression, and they bury all symptoms of their economic inequality. The average white American arms himself against the reality that the Very Rich exploit the shit out of everyone who is Not Very Rich, keeping the moderately talented in a real-life Matrix that measures your productivity, credit ratings, profitability, and future prospects, as well as making the clock run faster when you're sleeping, and slower when you're working. We live in a machine, and even make big movies about how it hasn't happened yet.

Of course, there's a myth that we've made much progress toward racial equality. Racial equality apparently means that now, instead of country music, "gangsta" rap grinds out of every orifice in the nation, advertising some sick image of the black man that has been bought into by the likes of "P. Diddy" and other assorted fools. You can still see the total cultural divide. Black kids, statistically, spend a lot of time in prison, living off the real consequences of being what some record producer said they should be, or maybe framed by some sick cops. For white kids, the Generation X, slacker, MTV generation caricatures are sometimes painfully accurate, accounting for the current lost generation of non-voters. Dilbert is a real person. Dancing yourself silly in an ecstasy den is considered a reasonable activity for young white people. And political participation among young people is not going to take off until someone starts a campaign to get out the vote, directed at young women, with the theme, "I can't resist men who vote." Even more effective would be a negative campaign, with pretty girls dropping slogans like these: "Not voting? What a turnoff!"

So regular folks try to ignore the sting of economic inequality, which leads to restricted life choices and opportunities, bathing in media fantasy and not giving a thought to political action. Spiritual seekers go even farther. In fact, many seekers of Eastern Wisdom are pretty comfortable financially, which is why they're very desirable devotees. They have enough time to invest in spiritual practice, and they have money to pay for teachings. Best of all, they are so comfortable with their social situation that they are ready to do something really creative -- by renouncing their right to receive equal treatment.

The spiritual seeker who sets a guru above himself, handing them the power to guide the course of their life, is in a position that seems very different from that of the thousands who stood listening to Dr. King's speech, knowing how badly they wanted freedom. Does Dr. King's lecture on the importance of demanding immediate freedom from oppression have meaning for someone looking to assume an inferior position?

I think so, because Dr. King was speaking to the impulse to self-subjugate when he warned against gradualism. The gradualists were willing to accept that, somehow, they were in fact inferior, and had to tolerate the oppression. They needed the fortification of Dr. King's words. He showed them the rightness of their position, as Tom Paine's words showed George Washington's soldiers the rightness of theirs, persuading them to remain with the revolutionary army through the long winter. Dr. King's soldiers marched with him until he was killed, and although we have not yet reached victory, they are marching on, seeking fulfillment of his dream. For freedom is a dream that revives again and again.

To the audience likely to read this, I would address a similar argument -- you have the right to retain your equality right now, and must not surrender it to grow spiritually. In some ways, equality is all you have. It's the last thing you can barter away. People who have nothing else left, and need help, will bow down in front of someone and beg them for help. As a practical matter, that often gets them a boot in the head, but they still do it. Simply abasing yourself is the currency of last resort.

Of course, you know you're not that desperate. You just want to improve your situation, and are willing to make some compromises to do it. Surrendering to a Spiritual Superior just seems like a good idea, because He is more powerful, more skilled, wiser, more successful. I suggest you think twice before you exalt this Personage above you, because there is no possible justification for doing it. There is nothing that needs doing that cannot be done between equals. And there is no superiority sufficient to justify abdicating your equality.

White people, with their dominating power structure, extensive wealth, and weighty cultural legacy, often argued for a right of natural superiority. This notion undergirds the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the White Man's Burden, that justified the annihilation of Native Americans, the theft of the Mexican west, and any number of wars to make the world safe for democracy, including the current Imperial venture. We now recognize Manifest Destiny is a corrupt idea, because regardless of the impressiveness and strength of the philosophical, economic, cultural or military might of a nation, its people have no right to declare themselves superior. We know this very well.

Privileged, sensitive Americans deeply desire to find a cultural alternative to armed technocratic exploitation of the planet. We are ashamed of being the predator-dominator-manipulator nation. Wouldn't it be nice, we think, if instead of a Bush Gang, we had the Dalai Lama and a group of wise Tibetan lamas running the country? We could exchange Bush's clear inferiority for the Dalai Lama's clear superiority, bank the difference and reduce the deficit. We can even do without voting, because the choice is so clear, and once he's in power, the Dalai Lama would diplomatically arrange everything perfectly. Silly, you say? Only because Courtney Love hasn't suggested it yet.

There is vast disinformation about Tibet, including the inflation of its philosophical status via the Shangri-La Myth, and the frank misrepresentation of the Dalai Lama's role position as a god-king with a thousand years of lineage. It would undoubtedly calm the swelling waves of adulation to know the true history of the lineage, including the serial assassination of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Dalai Lamas. For those who now conclude that I am a Chinese Communist agent, I assure you that is no more true of me than of Jackie Chan. Like every Tibet-aware liberal, I have been noisily furious about the USA's "human rights policy" toward China, that subordinates the immediate freedom of Asian people to the "gradualist" creed of "constructive engagement."

However, the evil of the Chinese government will not turn the sow's ear of Tibetan feudalism into the silk purse of Shangri-La. But don't tell a recent convert to Tibetan Buddhism that. With a minimum of information about the people they are eager to emulate, filled with loathing for American culture, and eager to cast away the freedom they have always enjoyed so lightly and which has benefited them so little, many Americans begin to think they'd have been happier, and better people, if they had lived their lives eating tsampa and yak butter in the Tibetan highlands. Well, it doesn't sound so bad, especially when you're sitting in a traffic jam in San Francisco, feeling guilty about how your tax dollars are being used to dismember Iraqi citizens who caused our nation no harm.

We wish we could change our society, but at least we want to change ourselves. Like the kids in John Waters' movie, "Hairspray," we want to declare: "Our skins are white, but our souls are black." Understandable for anyone with sensitivity about our cultural role as oppressors, or beneficiaries of oppression. Nevertheless, the idea of surrendering our individual equality to a group of superior people remains a corrupt idea, a dangerous idea. Dr. King had to fight against having it forced down his throat. We must be careful not to consume it willingly, motivated by guilt and remorse.

And consider the ironies that result from embracing the remnants of the cultures that our fathers have blasted to the edge of extinction! New Agers wander the globe collecting trinkets of every type -- crystals, special rocks, magic herbs -- seeking meetings with "tribal elders," "shamanic visionaries," and "Tibetan lamas." So now, we have to worry that profiteers will kill people to create traditional sacred Tibetan bone implements, will tear apart burial grounds to find "Indian relics," and will tear apart the last reaches of the Amazon, searching for rare entheogenic substances. Because we destroy what we desire, and in our heart of hearts, we are always from the Oppressor Tribe.

The only good thing about being an oppressor is that you can try to change the oppressor mentality. You can foment the spirit of equality. My brother, a prosecutor his whole life, encouraged me to become a federal prosecutor when the opportunity was extended. I declined, because I try to avoid hypocrisy, but my brother's suggestion was well-intentioned and intelligent. He pointed out that I would effectively have the power to pardon people by choosing never to prosecute them in the first place.

So if you are one of the Oppressor Tribe, you should not avoid your duty lightly. Only you can pardon by not prosecuting. Only you can take control of the Evil Ship of State and turn it into the Good Ship of World Brotherhood and Healing. But not if we reject the system of government that we are supposed to control. Not if we hide our head in the sand, say that "Everything Is Empty," and "Compassion Is Realised in the Heart and Needs No Outer Expression" and don't bother to vote against the tyrannical forces that control our government.

If we decide that we are no better than peasants, bowing down before our Spiritual Superiors, then we will be busy doing their bidding, following their agendas. When we know very well what our agenda should be, if we have the clarity to realize it, and the sincerity to pursue it. And if we should not pursue it, we the privileged of the world, whose fathers conquered its people and divided its territory, leaving us with a debt of blood and slavery? Then the saying from Jesus of Nazareth is most appropriate: "Ye are the salt of the earth, and if the salt shall lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?"
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:07 am


by Charles Carreon

One is rarely surprised by what one finds in the New York Times Home section. On Thusday, February 3, 2005, this pattern was broken by a surprising development. The better part of the first page was dominated by a full-color spread with laudatory text about a new up-and-coming designer, Count Bruno de Caumont, whose interior designs are praised as a source of "spiritual comfort," that you can wrap 'round your "hungry soul like a cashmere blanket". Imagine our surprise to discover that the spiritual nourishment comes in the form of a boudoir where any pederast would feel at home.

The alleged focus of the article is the charming Count, whose work creating an "ancien regime salon" is celebrated as evidence that he is one of the "most promising young talents to be watching," because of his ability to "to mix supple antiques with ... girls in black leather, that kind of thing." While few of us have a problem with girls in black leather, antiques and all, the photographic centerpiece of the Times articles is quite another sort of thing.

Allow your eyes to scroll down the page to imbibe this unique New York Times Home section. After a little observation, I concluded that the presentation applies established formulas for inserting subliminal messages into an innocuous scene. In reading the text of the article, I searched in vain for any reference to the subject matter of the picture that appears centrally above the couch-bed, above the fold, on the first page of this presumably wholesome section of the newspaper that proudly proclaims it prints only the news that is "fit to print." In the case of this article, the Times editors seem to have ignored their motto, exposing their reading public to a media presentation with a concealed agenda and precious little news value. While the centrally located picture begs for our attention, the text of the article directs our eyes to the pattern on the fabric wallpaper, to the furniture barely visible at the extreme left of the photograph, indeed, to anything but the picture. The picture itself, in a wooden frame, appears to have been draped with a gauzy fabric of some sort, softening the clear lines of the drawing, making it easier to overlook. Indeed, I almost overlooked it, but found myself drawn to study the picture more closely and then -- wow -- do you see what I see?



Surely the publishers assumed that people would just gloss over this picture. Most people don't read the Home section. Many people who read the Home section are ... sympathetic to pedophilia? Jarred by the incongruity of the presentation, unable to reconcile the disconnect between the startling nature of the image and the shallow tone of the article, I began a personal quest to discover the purpose of this far-from-random presentation. My Google search began with four words: subliminal + advertising + figure + ground. The search engine hooked me up with an article by "Dr. Lechnar" at that contained some helpful information.

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

... advertisers [who have] done extensive study on how our brains perceives input [have] found that "most print advertising is designed for perceptual exposure time of less than one second." In other words, they are designed for the subconscious mind to absorb completely instantaneously while the conscious mind barely catches the headline. Not everyone perceives an image the same, however. Different perceptions would ultimately affect each person's level of subliminal receptivity. For example, "during a hypnotic trance, many subjects read quite fluently textual material presented to them upside down and even in mirror image-an impossible task for most people while awake." Key later concludes "it appears that individuals trained in linear reasoning, cognitively or quantitatively oriented, have higher [perception] thresholds and also appear more susceptible to substimuli." Advertisers take advantage of the fact that our society and its individual is sexually repressed in order to display sexually oriented subliminal messages.

Advertisers are helping people evade self-repression, supplying veiled images that reveal only to our subliminal awareness that which we secretly desire to consume.

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

This also partially explains why male genitalia is directed toward males in advertisements, and female genitalia toward females. Men would be more reserved in observing male genitalia while they would readily consciously perceive embedded female breasts.

Male genitalia are covertly displayed in the pedophile marketplace picture. One might look at the little boy naked and think -- oh, how classic. But the entire scene clearly depicts only one transaction -- a pimp offering a fresh young boy to an old lecher who leers up at him lustfully, cradling some sort of gourd between his splayed legs, revealing his own genitals in the process. The faces of the boy and the pederast are the clearest images in the scene, drawing them together. At the boy's side, an adolescent seems to be reassuring him about the exchange. Clinging to the pimp, a small child turns away from the scene. Examining this work, one is moved to wonder to what end the display is made on the front page of the Times Home section. The image is decidedly un-homey, except for those who suffer a very unfortunate home life.

One could think -- ah a prank! Someone wanted to give the editor a heart attack. Sabotage, I might say! While the moral decency arm of the administration fines Howard Stern off the air, pedophilia is finding safe refuge in a stylish haven designed by Count Bruno de Caumont, who can not only find a drawing hot enough to excite Aleister Crowley, he is talented enough to put together a room like this one, featured in the NYT online at

Really this is weird. Two articles about this guy in one issue of the NYT? Why didn't they use the picture that was on the print version? Local circulation in the NY Metro area is safe for the Roman hard stuff? Internet gets the softer-core Grecian treatment?


I have come up with a simile for describing the manner of influencing a person without disturbing them. I call it "pulling their string." Everyone has a string by which they can be led. For many people it is obvious, but many strive to conceal it. Still, it can always be found. The string is attached to the person's blind spot. Whatever the person is blind to, that is their string. Obviously, most people are blind to flattery, and all people are blind to really skillful flattery. But people are blind to a lot of other things, too. They are blind to their prejudices, their loves, their hates, their deep, secret desires. And to each blindness is attached a string by which they can be led.

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Advertisers take advantage of our defense mechanisms to inject subliminal messages into our subconscious mind. By using cultural taboos, our defense mechanisms block sexually explicit images from our conscious mind but our unconscious mind still perceives the image.

Subliminal images enter through the door of unconscious perception, directly into the hidden store of subconscious memory, where they can act upon us secretly.

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Like conscious perception to subconscious perception, conscious memory is very limited, while subconscious memory has an enormous capacity but lacks the ability to intellectually synthesize and interpret information. The more emotionalized the data, for example sex and death, the more likely it is to be retained in subconscious memory.

Television and movies provide an alternating current of traumatic and stimulating imagery, in the typical sexy action thriller, or in the interplay between sexy advertising, scary news, glittery entertainment, and absurdist real-world drama. These alternating, basic stimuli tenderize the minds of modern humans, opening them to the inculcation of commercial messages.

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Fear of death, pain, and suffering will warn us from dangerous situations. Since we live in a sheltered society, our primal drives and fears have been altered to fit other forms. These diametrical extremes-the beginning and the end, have been molded into desire for attention, reassurance, acceptance, immortality, and the fear of financial hardship, sexual insecurity, and loss of power. Few of us worry about when our next meal is, and whether we will be living tomorrow. If we are ever thirsty, we approach the nearest water fountain or the vending machine. Despite the fact that our drives and fears are subdued and domesticated, they still exist within us. Advertisers take advantage of this to tempt our deepest drives and scare our morbid fears.

The goal of the advertiser is "drive control," and in our repressed society, sexual appeals must be made furtively. Sexual messages are thus excellent vehicles for directing individuals to associate drive-fulfillment with use of a particular product.

Dr. Lechnar, quoting Carl Moog, wrote:

Some of the most pervasive, sexual imagery in advertising is more symbolic than blatant, although the connotations are far from subtle. The imagery sends a message to the unconscious, granting permission to fulfill sexual wishes and points the way to an attractor that can facilitate the encounter.

Resistance to such messages is low, because if sexual energy is deflected into a product purchase, that does not violate any taboos. Once aroused, sexual energy desires fulfillment. Without any new sexual prospects, which advertising does not help a consumer to find, the best way to relieve the pressure may be to purchase something -- pornography, a book, or a pair of shoes. In a word, the advertised product. Even if the consumer doesn't buy the advertised product, the commercial message has entered their mind and reinforced their tendency to think of themselves as a consumer. Commercialism inflames sexuality, then suggests that we purchase our way out of lust. Substitute acquisition for consummation.

Figure-Ground Relationships Make Efficient Use of Perceptual Capacity

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

To protect the brain from sensory overload, our perceptual defense mechanism distinguishes every perception into figure (foreground, subject) and ground (background, environment). We consciously notice the figure, while the ground floats around it unless something there brings it to the foreground.

The clever text-twirlers at the Times have turned the pedophile flesh-market imagery into the background, reversing the surrounding room into the figures by studiously denying textual attention to the picture, discussing instead personalities, wallpaper, and furniture, concealing the obvious in a welter of peripheral observations.

Six Subliminal Strategies Take Advantage of Ambiguities In Perception

Dr. Lechnar quoting Key, wrote:

... there are six general subliminal strategies: figure-ground reversals, embedding, double entendre, low-intensity light and low-volume sound, tachistoscopic displays, lighting and background sound.

Never Underestimate the Importance of Technology

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

At the dawn of subliminal advertising, graphic artists painted on photographs. That was very difficult to do without ruining the picture. Later, with bigger budgets and better equipment, graphic artists used airbrushes to craft their design onto billboards and then take a picture of it. Now, everything is done digitally on the computer with perfection.

The front page of the Times Home section is possibly the one place in the paper where the art editor gets to have fun, exploiting the four-color format to lighten the weight of the news. The skillful use of high-quality graphics has filled the central photograph with so much information that it is easy to become lost in the particulars of the arrangement, especially with the text directing the reader's attention to every extraneous detail. With attention deflected, the ignored image communicates its message silently to the unconscious.

Syncretistic Illusions Exploit The Mind's Tendency To See Only One of Two Possible Images In An Ambiguous Figure/Background Relationship

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Perceptual psychologist Dr. E. Rubin created his famous Rubin's Profiles that can be found in almost every psychology text book today. His profiles, the faces and vases, old women and young women, duck and rabbit, are syncretistic (two sided) illusions. Noticing one set of features, you see one thing, while noticing another set of features, you see something else. Advertisers take advantage of this to paint subliminal messages into the picture's background. They are usually cultural taboos, making it even harder for the audience to perceive it.

Is this what was at work in the pedophilia piece in the New York Times? An attempt to place a taboo image in a background position, right where your unconscious can't miss it, but your conscious mind deliberately skates off it, because your cultural taboos tell you not to see it. Your cultural taboos may be telling you that if you see it as interesting, you're sick, and if you see it as inappropriate, you're repressed, so you should probably keep your mouth shut. And the effect of that is to make the topic both taboo and out in the open. How interesting.

Embedding Is Hiding One Image Inside Another

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Embedding is the process of hiding one image in the form of another. This is a difficult process but if successful, very influential. Key writes, "Embeds enhance perceptual experience of the picture… Emotionalized, repressed information remains in the memory system for long periods, perhaps for a lifetime." Genitalia is one of the most often used images for embedding.

Since the avowed subject of the photograph is, according to the text of the article, everything except the picture, it seems clear that according to the New York Times, this photograph is of a room with great wallpaper and furniture done by a guy with "wit." He also has access to some pretty witty art, and apparently decorates for people who don't mind striking up indelicate matters with their parlor visitors on the large pink couch bed. Indeed, we could imagine the pimp and his brood being quite comfortable getting to know a new friend in such a nice room. If all this isn't subliminally present, well then excuuuuuuse me!


Symbols Bypass Internal Censors

There is a prominent abstract symbol in the photograph -- the circular pattern on the book-cover in the foreground. Enlarging the image, it is clearly a series of overlapping triangles, creating both a pattern familiar in tantric ritual as the Shri Yantra, and invoking the hypnotist's op-art distractions, intended to dazzle the eye and numb attention. This symbol tickles the non-rational part of our mind, creating further openings for the entry of subliminal meanings.

Dr. Lechnar quotes Carl Moog, wrote:

Symbolic communications bypass the layers of logic and cultural appropriateness and head straight for the unconscious, which is then free to find an equivalence between what is symbolized, in this case sexual arousal…

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Often, graphic artists mosaic SEXes onto textured surfaces or in edges, shadows, and highlights. Just pick up any major magazine, relax, and stare into it for a couple of minutes. You will soon find these SEXes popping out at you. Other commonly used words are FUCK, DIE, and KILL, among other emotionally loaded four letter words.

De-emphasizing An Image With Low Lighting Drops It Below The Perceptual Threshold

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

Another method tachistoscopic displays can use is superimposing the image onto existing image just below the conscious perception level, as Dr. Becker has done. Lighting and background sound adjust the mood of the scenery. In most cases, it reinforces the conscious perception.

The embedded picture has been dimmed down in some fashion, causing it to seem faded and perhaps, unimportant, to the casual eye.

The Eight Hidden Needs Advertisers Consciously Exploit

Dr. Lechnar wrote:

With motivational research, they have found eight hidden needs in the human psyche: emotional security, reassurance of worth, ego-gratification, creative outlets, love objects, sense of power, sense of roots, and immortality.

The embedded picture memorializes in classical forms a tableux of vice, in which a craven adult is delighted to contemplate the abomination he is about to enjoy inflicting upon a child, and all the rest of the world is complicit or suppressed. Does the embedded picture appeal to a hidden desire to satisfy forbidden impulses? Does it invite an "unconscious" indulgence? And for what purpose and to what end?

Perhaps the point is not just to induce tolerance of pedophilia, but more broadly to make us comfortable with bondage, slavery, as the human condition. Maybe that is the taboo that we are to acknowledge and ignore simultaneously. That in this cruel world, people will own people, people with power will bend and fold other people who have no power, and that all the world will stand aside as these perfidies are committed daily upon innocents. Who would advertise that kind of tolerance toward oppression?

No doubt I am repressed, and it is very stylish, very witty to accept this reality of the slave market, and tasteful to reduce it to classic proportions. And I am quite indelicate to make a big deal of it. Fashion should be above politics, I am sure some designer said.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:16 am

NAZIS FOR PEACE, by Charles and by Tara Carreon


Chapter One -- "Triumph of the Will"

Charkoff tied the silk tie with its small pattern round his neck, eyeing himself in the mirror. He loved the satiny glow of an immaculate white spread collar. Tired and buzzed simultaneously, as he always felt after too little sleep, after too much work, his mind was pulling the pieces of the trial in progress together like a jigsaw puzzle with innumerable pieces. His body was dragging as his mind raced, and his sense perceptions felt distant and tenuous.

In the elevator a woman in a striking black dress got on. Charkoff caught the impression of dark hair, gold earrings, a strange perfume that had a peppery edge that he didn't really want to breathe.

In the lobby he felt woozy, and leaned against a marble pillar topped with a pseudo-classy bust. Horrible decorating in the common areas. Recovering from what he assumed was the deceleration effect of the elevator ride, he aimed himself for the light spilling through the glass entry door. Air was what he needed.

The flavor of smog greeted him as a bus pulled away from the curb. He was reeling again, and lurched toward the blue mailbox for support.

Jimmy the doorman saw Mr. Charkoff slide limp to the pavement, like a fried egg slipping off a spatula. Jimmy called the paramedics, and they arrived nearly instantly, gathering Mr. Charkoff into the red and white van with meticulous speed. They didn't even talk to anyone; just raced away without a word. Then a short while later, some more paramedics arrived. There was a lot of confusion, since no one knew who the first paramedics were.


In the back of the paramedic van, the dark haired woman was looking through Charkoff's wallet. "Nat Charkoff, litigation partner at Brown & Steele - -antitrust section -- that's our boy." She stripped the clothes off Charkoff's inert body, covered him with a sheet and a blanket, emptied the pockets into a pile of items, removed his ring and watch, added them to the pile, and slipped all the items into a zippered bag.

"Time for some medicine," said the woman's companion, holding an oxygen mask over Charkoff's face. He was blonde, balding, with a beard, and he monitored a small gauge on a tank labeled Oxygen, which did not contain oxygen. He checked Charkoff's pulse. He looked like a paramedic.

The driver, a thin-faced latino with blue-black hair in light blue overalls, guided the van smoothly onto the freeway. He kept up with traffic, heading east over the hills out of Los Angeles, into the desert.


He woke to resounding quiet, and light pouring through windows set high in the wall. Something came to him with a ferocious sense of certainty. Paranoia. This situation was not of his making. He had not chosen to be here. The concept of choosing was important. The walls were against him. Behind the mirror over the sink, someone was watching. He would not look in that direction. They were holding him against his will. He tried to form the syllables of his name, but they would not come. His teeth began to chatter. It was terribly cold, he realized, and began to burrow into the covers, like a soft hole. And the world drained into him faster and faster like a whirlpool of recollected pain. Translucent thoughts floated round him, thick like fishes under the sea, and it was impossible to sort them out, there were so many, so terribly very many.

Next morning, or next week, he smelled coffee as he woke. It was on a little table near the door of the room, on a tray. He would drink it in a while. He closed his eyes and groped backward in time for the last recollectable event, the trial. He felt for the jigsaw pieces of facts, closed his eyes to review the parade of witnesses, evoked memories of numbered documents, but all of it slipped away, like oil through a screen. The images came, but would not stay, and try as he might, he still could not form the syllables of his own name. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he drank the coffee, and it tasted very good, massaging the cells of his brain as it twisted bitterly in his mouth.


Next day it was different. Something came to him with a ferocious sense of certainty. Paranoia. He realized this situation was not of his making. He had not chosen to be here. The concept of choosing seemed terribly important. The walls were against him, he knew. Behind the mirror over the sink, someone was watching. He would not look in that direction. They were holding him against his will. "Against my will," he repeated again and again.

Chapter Two -- Dialogue

The door opened. She walked in, tall, aristocratic, dark. Seemed to remind him of someone -- it came to him quickly -- the woman in the elevator with the awful perfume. He felt a little woozy for a moment just from the memory.

She walked straight in and pulled herself up the one plastic chair in the whole room besides his bed and sat down. She looked at him and fished in her lapel pocket. She pulled out a joint and lit it, drawing in a big lungful of a toke and blew it out, extending the joint to him with a "do you want any?" look. He shook his head in a neat little jerk. He wanted his head clear. It had been a fog for longer than he had any conception of. Just a week ago he'd snapped out of it, though. They'd cut the drugs, and like a body in suspended animation floating a thousand feet beneath the sea, he'd risen up out of the depths to a brightness of perception that was a huge relief, a breath of clarity as big as the sky.

He knew who he was -- a trial lawyer at the top of his game, sidelined by some fucking insane kidnap scheme that apparently had all the time and money in the world to fuck with him, even to utterly neglect him. He changed his mind and reached out for the joint. What the hell.

It tasted damn good, and if he was going to have to smell it, he might as well get high. He never lost much of his natural speedy-mindedness from a hit of pot, and his interrogator, or whoever this was, she would be high, too. So they would keep parity. He was about to speak, then caught himself. Let her speak first.

She did. "Sorry about the heavy doping. Couldn't be helped. Had to transport you like a piece of equipment, so we had to ice you down. Then my brothers and sisters here thought you were supposed to be treated like a regular zeck, so they kept you on the program. I told 'em to dry you out so we could chat productively."

"So what the fuck is going on?" he asked.

"Just a total reorientation of your life. You were a boss, now you're not. People ate your shit, now you eat theirs."

He wanted to leap out of his chair and batter her face into a pulp, but not really. Her eyes looked at him with knowledge older than the barely-thirty appearance that ran true to some arrogant bloodline -- high cheekbones, eyeliner, chiseled jaw, dark brown eyes, lips naturally red and full. She looked like some retro image of an anime private investigator with a greyhound for a pet as she lounged, long and relaxed, in the crappy chair.

She said more. "I have no idea if this will work, but I'm going to try." She raised her right eye and its arching brow to peer significantly at whoever was operating the video camera mounted above his bed, then lowered it to focus on him entirely. "I want to recruit you. You're smart enough."

"Bullshit," he replied, "this is just a gambit."

"Nope," she said, "it's the last gambit. The vote's been taken on you. No one thinks you are a regular zeck. You're too fucking smart. You've got warrior game instincts that make you too dangerous to let loose into the regular program. You'll spoil a whole class of zecks if we give you half a chance. And nobody graduates from this program unconverted. So you see?" She raised her hands palm-up. "It's your only chance to graduate. But don't consider that a threat."

She got up to leave, took a step toward the door, then stopped and turned back to him, extending the half-smoked joint. "You want the roach?' she said, smiling. He shook his head. She kept smiling and said, "Just remember that story about the tiger and the strawberries. I know it's your favorite."

Chapter Three -- Split

For once in his life, he felt underinformed. He'd always known too much. Every scheme he'd run across in life, it hadn't been long before he'd figured it out. But this one here, he hadn't figured out yet. A mighty strange kidnap scheme, you'd have to say. He wasn't worth a ransom, and there was no one who could pay it. His mother in Florida? She loved his visits, but she loved her card games with people her age just as much. Mom was great, but she'd been steadily losing her shine over the last four years she's spent in assisted living. His sister? They talked four times a year, to wish each other happy birthday, Merry Christmas, and Happy Thanksgiving. No, nobody was going to ransom him.

What about his clients? No doubt they had already filed a claim against his malpractice insurance for disappearing in the middle of a major trial. The judge had undoubtedly halted the trial while things got straightened out. Which they would. Courthouses were like the waters of the Red Sea when Moses lead the Israelites through, and Pharaoh's soldiers followed – only half the people who walked in ever walked out. A dismal business, on the best of days, carving acceptable outcomes from intransigent materials, trying to serve humans with inhumane rules. How long had he been at it? Twenty years.

He got up from the bed and looked at himself in the mirror. He looked younger than the fifty years that had piled up behind the smooth brow, but as he stared into his own eyes, the truth was there. As he stared into the well of his own pupils, he felt as if he were looking down a long, dark corridor that angled down into a dark, empty cavern, hollow, booming with silence – his heart. The hollow, empty feeling persisted as he kept peering at himself, fiercely, as if he were cross-examining himself for the truth. He felt himself squirm away from the question that he now heard in the hollow space of his chest. Why? Why? Why had he been living this way? Why?

The answers started coming to him. He had been afraid to be trampled by the herd. Pushed around by bullies in school, he remembered with a flush of hatred the faces of derision and scorn. Kids who stole his lunch money, who turned his book bag upside down, who scattered his papers and broke his pencils. Kids who would trip you when another guy pushed you. Little gangs of demonic idiots who mysteriously bubbled hatred like poisonous fountains. They had better teachers at home, he suddenly realized – fathers who bullied them, mothers who added the high notes to the chorus of contempt, siblings who teased, taunted, and tormented their own.

The nauseating experience of childhood left him yearning for the order and decency of adulthood. As he climbed the ladder of authority, each door of achievement placed one more barrier between him and the atavism of the playground. As he progressed through undergraduate school, he saw the violent fools winnowed out of the student body as their inherent low-class talents drew them into dead-end jobs and tawdry lives. Then he got into law school, and began meeting the children of the real predators, the steel-toothed sharks for whom privilege was passe and excellence was an option. At some point, he realized he'd made the cut, and he was going to be a lawyer, a damned good one.

He thought he knew what that meant at first, although he was amazed at the apparent triviality of the matters he was handling. There was a surprising amount of fighting for fighting's sake. There was obstinacy, an unwillingness to admit the truth. Often he found himself contending the preposterous – in briefs, in arguments, in discussions with other lawyers. But he had a gift for making everything sound reasonable, or for making his opponents look foolish. Either way, the results spoke for themselves. His clients were happy, his promotions were frequent, his partnership was assured, and then, it was granted. His ascent through the corporate legal machinery seemed pre-ordained. Even the scions of the wealthy gave him that.

Suddenly, he felt observed. Whipping around to fix the obvious camera eye with his finger and angry stare, he shouted, “Fuck you! Fuck you! You know nothing! Nothing!” And at that moment, he split. One half of him ran across the room, grabbed up the molded plastic and metal chair, and hurled it at the camera. The other half seemed to stay inside the face in the mirror, watching his back, his flailing arms, the arching flight of the chair as it struck and bounced off the wall, his collapse onto the floor, his angry pounding of the cold, concrete. The face in the mirror thought to itself, “He is not going to make it.”

Chapter Four -- Healing

As Clovis watched the surveillance cam, Charkoff flailed and pounded the floor. She squinted. It was hard to watch, like something inside him was unwinding, something that had been screwed up inside so tight that the thought of ever reversing the flow had been utterly forgotten, and there been only one right way, forever and ever and ever, until now, and the lynchpin had broken, and it was all coming undone.

The precise work of the extraction unit, and the scrupulous sense deprivation regimen since then, had disrupted his connection with his sense of self. The theatre had been handled properly, so a long time period hadn't been required. The breakdown of a personality can be accelerated considerably by exhaustion and convincing the captive that the unthinkable has occurred – they have been captured by well-organized fanatics. Which was of course the truth. She had delivered the ultimatum at the right time, and left right before the pharma group introduced an bio-engineered dissociative in an aerosolized medium, actually more of a spore than a chemical delivery system. Kicks in very quickly, related to neurotoxins but not toxic, and generates pseudo-doppelganger states of awareness. If a personality has a shadow it will turn the contrast way up, and stimulate a crisis, opening the potential for conversion. It was, she thought, her favorite way of winning an argument. Proving you were right all along.

Soon a man and a woman in white outfits came in and picked up the body on the floor and laid it on the bed. Seeing them, Clovis clicked her screen and brought up a menu of captives. Ah, yes, Lindsay deserves a visit, she thought to herself, leaving thoughts of Charkoff behind.

The woman checked his pulse, while the man covered him with a light blanket and put a glass of ice water on the nightstand next to the bed. The woman pulled a syringe out of her apron pocket and administered an intramuscular sedative.

“Whadja give 'im?” asked the man, a young hispanic.

“Ketamine,” the girl mumbled.

“What's that do?”

“He'll feel like he went to God's own dentist, that's what.”


“Hell, I don't know. I just give 'em the shots.”

After the girl walked out, the boy turned back for a last look, then shook his head and whispered, “Pobrecito.”

The face in the mirror continued watching the body of the man who had come undone.

The face in the mirror cared about the man who had come undone. He felt that he knew him, that he wanted to help him. From the depths of the mirror itself, the face experienced a recognition – he was this man lying still in the bed. The room kept getting brighter.

Chapter Five -- Development

“We can't always know the right decision for sure, and in fact trying to know it before we take it, under some conditions, will lead to disaster. But in every circumstance, there is an optimal path of action, and we train to put that into action at all times.” concluded Charkoff, ending his presentation. Warm applause from the twenty or so listeners brought a smile to his bearded face. It had been two years since he converted, and the group had been good for him. His mind was clear, as clear as if a mirror had been wiped clean to reveal what always been there. He knew without a doubt that the tide of history had turned, and he was just a little bit ahead of a change that was cresting all over the world.

The Vengeance itself had turned out to have relatively short-lived effects on the larger society, but the conversion rates had been astonishing. Less than forty-seven percent had been washed out, which was quite a few people who had their memories chemically wiped, were assigned the identities of sundry dead people on their official identifying documents, and released on skid rows, in rural backwaters, and slums around the world. None of those people had caused any trouble, nor had they been killed. As Clovis said simply, they got what was coming to them.

The main lesson learned was that there was a market for what they were offering. With conversion rates over fifty-percent, the resulting crew agreed that the business of forcible recruiting should be continued. Charkoff had been scooped up in the wave of actions started by the first generation of group members. He was in the second generation of converts, and concerned with masterminding new extractions.

Clovis walked up to him at the podium. “Well, how is my little nestling?”

“Flapping his wings with increasing confidence. You're back from London. How's funding coming?”

“Better and better. Some of the major banks are being hollowed out to fund our work. We'll profit even more abundantly when they collapse. Lawyers!” Clovis gestured and laughed.

“Don't tell me, I used to be one. I much prefer being a man at arms. I have far more aggression than can be channelled in a blue, pin-striped suit. Of course, you knew that, didn't you?”

Her smile wrinkles around her eyes crinkled under red bangs, her lips pressed together, then she clapped him on the forearm and said, “I had my eye on you for quite a while. Strategists are born, not made, and we need a growing number of them. Like any organization, even if we try to stick with our core competency, we run a risk of growing too fast. Extractions are a risky business, with high potential for profit, and it is how we have grown. Where risks are high, strategy is the only way to even the odds.”

“Which is just to say that if you want to get good, you have to play a lot.”

“Yes, and what kind of play have you got planned?”

“I think we're ready to go for Tru Manley.”

Clovis nodded appreciatively. “The NewsFix anchorman – the Fix at Six.”


“Well, he'll be missed.” She tilted her head.

“Can't be helped.”

“Mmmmnnn,” she set down her bag and perched with her thigh on the edge of the table where the podium had been placed, and cocked her head even more, “You have talked with Turabi about this?”

“Yes, he's on board.”

“Okay, just asking.” She paused. “Can I take a look at that file? I didn't know you were working on this. That's a big move to make.”

“Why would I try for less?”

“Yes,” she nodded, “why would you?”

© Tara and Charles Carreon 2008
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:19 am

ODYSSEUS ON MASKED MEN, by Charles Carreon



The Cliffs of Insanity: The Rock Climb

[Finally, Fezzik reaches the top. Vizzini quickly cuts through the rope with a dagger. Fezzik and Inigo peer over the edge of the cliff.]

Fezzik: He's got very good arms.

Vizzini: [Vizzini comes over to look.] He didn't fall! Inconceivable!

Inigo: [looking confused] You keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means...[looking back down] my god...he's climbing.

Vizzini: Whoever he is, he's obviously seen us with the princess and must therefore die. [to Fezzik] You carry her. [to Inigo] We'll head straight for the Guilder frontier. Catch up when he's dead. If he falls, fine; if not, the sword.

Inigo: I'm going to do him left-handed.

Vizzini: You know what a hurry we're in!

Inigo: Well, it is the only way I can be satisfied. If I use my right, over too quickly.

Vizzini: Oh have it your way.

Fezzik: [to Inigo] You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.

Vizzini: [impatiently] I'm waiting ...

Inigo: [Inigo practices a few steps. He then calls to the Man in Black.] Hello there. Slow going?

Man in Black: Look, I don't mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.

Inigo: [apologetic] Sorry.

Man in Black: Thank you.

Inigo: [Inigo unsheathes his sword and practices more steps. Calls again to the Man in Black.]
I do not suppose you could speed things up?

Man in Black: If you're in such a hurry you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do.

Inigo: I could do that. I have got some rope up here. But I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.

Man in Black: That does put a damper on our relationship.

Inigo: ... but, I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.

Man in Black: That's very comforting, but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait.

Inigo: I hate waiting. I could give you my word as a Spaniard?

Man in Black: [struggling up the cliff side] No good. I've known too many Spaniards.

Inigo: Is there any way you'll trust me?

Man in Black: Nothing comes to mind.

Inigo: [very seriously] I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.

Man in Black: Throw me the rope.

Odysseus on Masked Men:

In Eyes Wide Shut ("EWS"), the Privileged Perverts all wear masks, as do their puppet-faced prostitutes, in order to keep the fantasy stirring. As Lorenzo the Magnificent says to his masqued guests in my poem, Lorenzo's Parting Thoughts:

Now set down your knives,
the meal's not served yet,
And the more you wait,
the more hungry you get,
And pleasure deferred
Is pleasure enhanced to the
pitch of a higher set, let's get
Involved now ladies and gentlemen --
those waistcoats are confining
And corsets still more yet,
But the masks should stay in place
Lest we get unconfused
And pleasure be aborted
Or anyone refuse.

Masks provide convenient anonymity, protecting one's identity, which may be of of great value, from being associated with despicable acts.

Based on a good identity, trust is given on a word. For example, when Inigo meets Wesley, who is the Masked Man, he and the Masked Man instantly negotiate the basis of trust. Of course Inigo won't trust a man in a mask, nor will Wesley trust a Spaniard. But when Inigo spiritually "unmasks" by revealing his deep love for his father as the basis of his oath, Wesley is immediately trusting, and agrees to accept Inigo's assistance.

After that, even though Wesley continues to wear a mask, he has revealed his essence as that of an honorable man. Although the two plan to duel to the death, Inigo has no mistrust of Wesley, and even allows him to handle his sword, effectively disarming himself. They may plan on dying, but not with distrust and dishonor as their companions.

Of course, the Masked Man is hiding his identity for only one reason. He wishes to test his love, the Princess Buttercup, because he knows she has allowed herself to be promised to King Humperdinck, and this causes him to doubt her love. Like the King who hides his kingship under rags and goes about in the marketplace to hear what is said about him by the commoners, so Wesley wishes to hear Buttercup's true words about him. So in that sense, the mask is an effort to obtain what couldn't otherwise be obtained. Once he questions her and receives satisfactory answers, the mask is off for good.

Masks can have a completely unnerving effect. Last Halloween there was a tall, thin person with a very esthetically designed mask that they never removed. When spoken to, he/she did not respond except perhaps with a tilt of the head/mask. I found myself wishing to relate to the person, but repelled. That was apparently what they wanted, but I found it highly antisocial.

The Privileged Perverts in EWS are only able to do what they do because their conduct is not traceable to their true identity. This is not even libertinism, but mere hypocrisy. Absolutely no new social freedoms are staked out here, and the notion of large numbers of privileged men gathering under cloak of mumbo jumbo to engage in anonymous sex is possibly the single biggest turnoff I've ever contemplated, aside from truly tasteless porn, which can gross you out for weeks.

The Masked "Anarchists" are of course highly suspect. By masking themselves, they insulate themselves from other protesters, who have the courage to be identified with their protest. By seeding the march with cowardice, they injure it right off. By signaling their belief that they can effectively conceal their identities, they reveal their extreme naivete. As if the FBI and Ashcroft's SS can't plant a video at the entrance to their hideout. As if they don't have moles in every "anarchist" group in the country.

No, what's going on here is white kids are playing "Revolution" yet again, being the puppets of the Agent Provocateurs that are forever undermining progressive organizations. These white kids want to play bandits, and thus are easily enviegled into looking like bandits. Believe me, there's no sympathy in a court of law for people whose masked appearance suggests they are well aware that their conduct is illegal.

Of course, when the bust comes down, the Agent Provocateurs get rounded up with everyone else. They just seem to get released sooner than other folks, because "a friend of the Movement bailed me out." Yeah, no shit, like the FBI bails them out, and sends them out on the road again to set up another bunch of fools. Then they come back around to town when it's time to testify against their old pals. And they'll sit there and identify everyone from the witness stand -- "Yes sir, that's Ratface, behind the red bandana, and TreeHugger, behind the blue bandana, and Gisela behind the black keffiyeh -- that's spelled 'k-e-f-f-i-y-e-h,' and it's a concealing headgear popular with Islamic terrorists, your Honor."

How do I know this? Because I have hired and managed snitches as a lawyer, and I have tried several federal drug cases and cross-examined the DEA agents (who usually really like me) and the hired liars the government pays to engage in Agent Provocateurism.

Why do we need Agent Provocateurs to bust up progressive movements? Because otherwise, people will not come up with crazy ideas like kidnapping Patty Hearst like the SLA, or bombing the Draft Board offices like the Weathermen, or holding up banks like the Black Panthers. Take note that when a gang is straight-out criminal, like the meth-dealing bikers, it's very difficult and dangerous to inflitrate them. Also, they can't be labeled as terrorists very well, unless they're Nazi skinheads, but them's "good people," at least they wave the Flag. It's much safer and easier to infiltrate "anarchist" groups -- everyone's 21, dumb and full of come, ready to do any kind of dumb shit to prove to their parents that they can't be bought off with a trust fund. Just send the checks on time and they can keep on rebelling.

So I would advise to stick with Inigo's first plan -- don't trust people who wear masks. The odds that it will be Wesley are so small they're not worth the bet.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:23 am

by Charles Carreon
February, 2004

Hell is a popular feature of religions that we are familiar with. Check this literally hair-raising evocation ripped from today's fervent evangelical webpages:

Christian Evangelical wrote:

What you're about to read is hard to believe. . .

We're going to examine the place the Bible calls hell. We'll present documented evidence for a place called hell. Don't take what you're going to read lightly. If what you read is true — YOU COULD BE IN SERIOUS DANGER!

Several years ago a book was published, entitled Beyond Death's Door by Dr. Maurice Rawlings. Dr. Rawlings, a specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, resuscitated many people who had been clinically dead. Dr. Rawlings, a devout atheist, "considered all religion "hocus-pocus" and death nothing more than a painless extinction". But something happened in 1977 that brought a dramatic change in the life of Dr. Rawlings! He was resuscitating a man, terrified and screaming — descending down into the flames of hell:

"Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration, the patient screamed, "I am in hell!" He was terrified and pleaded with me to help him. I was scared to death. . . Then I noticed a genuinely alarmed look on his face. He had a terrified look worse than the expression seen in death! This patient had a grotesque grimace expressing sheer horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring and trembling — he looked as if his hair was "on end."

Then still another strange thing happened. He said, "Don't you understand? I am in hell. . . Don't let me go back to hell!" . . .the man was serious, and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in trouble. He was in a panic like I had never seen before."

(Maurice Rawlings, Beyond Death's Door, (Thomas Nelson Inc., 1979) p. 3).

Dr. Rawlings said, no one, who could have heard his screams and saw the look of terror on his face could doubt for a single minute that he was actually in a place called hell!

The folks who run this website seem to think that hell is inside the earth. I'm sure a lot of people who've had a bad acid trip remember being sealed inside one of these setups.


But not to be to blithe about it -- people take these "returned from near-death" stories as valid evidence of the nature of the hereafter. These stories use the powerful effect of direct testimony ("I was there, I saw it") from a presumably credible witness, standing at the right position ("death's door") to get a glimpse of what lies in store in that land from which none return. Plus, the story allows you to enjoy a sadistic kick -- always a plus with hell stories. You're imagining this poor bastard suffering terrible fear. He has glimpsed a new, terrifying world, more real than the world where he's lived his whole life, and he knows that, if he loses his grip on the world of the living, he will slide into endless torment more horrifying than anything he ever imagined could exist. Now that's scary. Makes you feel more comfortable in your living room. It happened to him, not you! Good show!

For these reasons, the "died and came back to tell you about it" story is popular with hellfire preachers of all denominations. The Tibetan Buddhists are notably participators in this mode of preachment. They have a special name for the people who die and return to tell of their travels -- "Delok." Here's a website with a number of Delok stories -- ... urned.html

These stories were probably some of the most entertaining Tibetan tales available, almost having the appeal of tabloid journalism when compare with the lengthy lists of hells laid out by Patrul Rinpoche:

First off, if hell is a planet, its rotation is very slow, because one day in hell equals five hundred earth-days.

"AGAIN LIFE" -- Fight, die, be reborn. Repeat daily for 100 hell years (50,000 earth years).

"BLACK LINE" -- Get burned with coals, then sliced up along those burn lines. Remain here 1,000 years of hell years (500,000 years).

"SMASHED" -- Get ground between blazing mountains for 2,000 years (1,000,000 years).

"CRYING AND SCREAMING" -- Enter house, get locked inside. House gets red hot and you remain in house for 4,000 years (2,000,000 years).

"GREAT CRYING AND SCREAMING" -- Start out locked inside burning house. Get out, discover you are in bigger burning house that is actually hotter than the first one that you can't get back into. Lots of screaming and noise. Remain 8,000 years (4,000,000 years).

"HOT" -- Get thrown in a pot and boiled. When you boil to the top, demons bang you on the head with blazing hammers. This sometimes knocks you out, which provides some slight relief. Boil furiously for 16,000 hell years (8,000,000 years).

"VERY HOT" -- Get impaled with a redhot pitchfork, then wrapped in blazing hot metal. Remain half an eon (Real Long Time).

"WORST" -- Maximum agony setup -- sixteen houses, one inside the other, each one hotter than the next, with a bellows that generates constant blowtorch temperatures that melt all bodily forms into molten agony. The only thought that exists for a full eon is that someday it will end.

Wow, that stuff is scary. Of course, there is no particular reason for it to be true. Despite the occasional story on the website, we really don't know of anybody who can validate the idea that there really exists any type of system for dispensing inter-galactic-trans-temporal, all-encompassing justice. And if such a system existed, why would it set up elaborate systems of pain delivery unrelated to any survival purpose?

In case you wondered, the Tibetans don't put hell in the "middle" of the earth, because their earth doesn't have a middle. Their earth is flat, like the rest of the universe. Hell is way way down below the earth, seven levels down. Heaven is way way up above the earth. There are lots of heavens up there, each one more rarefied than the next and at the very top is Akanishtha, the heaven of the highest Buddhas. There are no whirlpool galaxies, quasars, black holes, white dwarfs, or any such heavenly bodies in this Tibetan geography. This geography is believed to be just as accurate as the description of the hells and all other features of the afterlife.

These stories were created by people. Tibetans had visions of a vast trans-temporal karmic bureaucracy meting out harsh punishments on those who failed to honor the Lamas and the Dharma. Christians saw a similarly fearsome Jehovah casting unbelievers into everlasting damnation. Everyone who has a hell has enemies to put into it. It's like having a garbage can in your house. You put things into hell when you need to get rid of them. Nobody can pull anything out of hell, anymore than you should take things out of the garbage. It's the ultimate in social rejection. You get sent to hell. You get excommunicated. They tear up your hall pass. You get sent to the principal. They put a black mark on your permanent record. You fail. Everyone will know.

In a closed society of serfs, nobles and clergy, stories like this are useful. Especially if the nobles and clergy stick together to keep the serfs illiterate, poor, and fearful, the two privileged types each man their own turf and bully the poor in turn. The nobles use force and poverty to control the serfs in this life. The clergy fill their afterlife with fears of retribution, urging them to hold back their anger against the wealthy. For should that anger get the better of them, prompting them to demand social change, or entertain the notion of revolt, it will lead to lower rebirths, more of the same. Better to eat crow, pay taxes, make offerings, pray for a better rebirth. Then you will be a rich noble instead of a serf. Or maybe you will even be a lama.

For the serf, there is no question of whether such places really exist. They have no standard by which to judge. All of the knowledge they possess is counterfeit. They have no accurate image of the shape of the earth, the location of the moon or the sun, the height of the mountains. They do not understand that the earth is a sphere, that raindrops are too, that the sky goes all around us, not just straight up, that the earth is not flat, and hell is not underneath it. We have looked there. Underneath Tibet is Arizona, but that's only close to hell.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:28 am



Review of "Eye In The Sky," by Phil K. Dick

The copyright on this book is 1957. Appropriately enough for a sci-fi novel of that era, it was titled by the editor, not the author, and composed in around six days while Phil Dick kept his pump primed with Dexamyl and worked on an old typewriter in a farmhouse with a chilly English wife on the Northern California coast. They had sheep. You should know that Phil didn't really want to be a sci-fi writer. He did that because those books sold. He wrote one serious novel -- it didn't sell. The rest are all rewritings, as he admitted himself, of the same story, over and over again.

Dick retold the same story so many times because his readers loved it. They loved it because through that story he lucidly explored the implications of pure Mind-only Buddhism, aka Yogacara. The first scene in Eye In The Sky takes place at the scientific facility housing the "Belmont Bevatron" on October 2, 1959, when the "proton beam deflector" malfunctioned and "the six billion volt beam radiated upward toward the roof of the chamber, incinerating, along its way, an observation platform overlooking the doughnut-shaped magnet." Eight people "fell to the floor of the Bevatron chamber and lay in a state of injury and shock until the magnetic field had been drained and the hard radiation partially neutralized."

The novel explores the psychological effect of the rogue proton blast on six of these victims. During the brief time while they are falling through the force field, the victims experience what Tibetans would call a "bardo," a gap in ordinary space-time. One by one, each of the participants assumes control of the psychological state of all the others, projecting them into a bizarre world which reflects their inner character. Any Mahayana Buddhist will recognize the six realms, tinged by the respective passions. No twisting or interpreting is required to see this grand outline.

Written at the height of McCarthyism, Eye In The Sky is tinged with interpersonal paranoia and the shadow of thought-crime. Each character has developed a relationship with society that seems far from wholesome. And yet, these characters seem oddly familiar to ourselves. One girl, the small, dark haired archetype that haunts Dick's novels, is an outspoken communist in "real life." But when the other characters are projected into her reality, it is a jackbooted nightmare of fascist domination. Her fear of oppression has hardened into an oppressive internal regime.

The self-destructive effects of paranoia, the self-inflating effects of religionism, and other follies of subjectivity are explored in a narrative that moves at times with heart-pounding swiftness. Perfect for a transcontinental plane flight, this book can be ripped through in five to six hours, and leaves your unconscious ringing. One of Dick's finest, this book is small in size, with exquisite fire -- a major gem.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:29 am

PIPELINE DREAMS, by Charles Carreon


"Blue Crush" is a movie we've seen before, with male characters. It's ably redone for modern female roles. Remember the story about the ball player who has a performance problem? Something happened, and he lost his touch? Someone from his past comes along, won't let it go, just has to goad him about what he coulda been. This boyhood friend gradually helps the hero overcome his obstacle, and get the recognition he deserves.

Change the sex of the characters, crunch the plot into the lifespan of a seventeen-year old girl, and you have Blue Crush. It's a fun film for girls to help develop a can-do attitude. It also casts men in the role of animals, be they amusing teddy bear black guy NFL footballers who spoof themselves, or young Hawaiian toughs with tattoos to here and attitude to there. For Anne Marie's love interest, we get a Ken-doll quarterback with enough sensitivity to scare any reasonable person. Age disparities are notable and unmentioned in this movie, something you may not want your girls to develop a can-do attitude about. Whatever, must be Hawaii, as Ben Morita said in "Honeymoon In Vegas," where the women "all go freaky-freaky."

Somehow, Anne Marie has one hell of a cool old beater, a '58 Chevy Biscayne that reaches out and pulls back from a couple of serious near head-on collisions. The sort of fun thing that leaves all the participants smiling, it's so fun to almost kill everyone. The great thing about a car of that vintage and suspension is that they veer all over the road in a real cool fashion. Don't try this on your home island.

Anne Marie has a past, in the form of her bad boyfriend, Drew or something like that. When Anne Marie, short on cash after being fired by the mean old Asian head of housekeeping at the mega-hotel where she and her two pals work, runs into the quarterback, sparks fly and cash changes hands in a hotel room. Not what you think. That roll of ten C-notes, a cool grand for a kid who sleeps on a bare mattress in a beach hut, is not evidence of a meretricious relationship. It's for surfing lessons.

And Anne Marie delivers, giving the quarterbuck his money's worth all day long, and a little bonus at night. Which leaves Eden, her childhood buddy and surfing coach, played by Michelle Rodriguez (fresh from "Girlfight"), steaming mad. Boy can that girl sulk with those full lips. No it's not a lesbian thing. It's about greatness, achievement, and not turning back from fear.

The next day they're out in the waves, with Eden towing Anne Marie out into some big waves using a jet-ski. First time I ever saw this maneuver (I'm not really a surf fan, more a surf fan dilettante) was in the fantastic surf movie, "In God's Hands," which we will also be sharing here as soon as we get some screen caps. This scene is more about Anne Marie trying to confront her fear of getting killed like she almost did when she smacked her head on an underwater rock, an event she's at a distinct risk of repeating if she keeps trying to surf monster waves.

The ultimate monster beckons -- the Banzai Pipeline women's event. The battle continues inside Anne Marie all through the competition until a red-headed mature woman surfer with a body that's like a coil spring for conducting the whipping energy of the waves, pulls up next to Anne Marie and coaches her past her fear. "Let's get you a wave," she says. It's kind of like a rodeo scene, y'know.

Well Anne Marie catches her wave, and in one of those scenes that is what cinema is made for, she rides the pipeline all the way to a joyful finish.

And what about the quarterback? He was there.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:31 am



Born in 1879 in a small Indian village, this delightful sage lived until the mid-1930s at his ashram on a hill named Arunachala located in Tiruvannamali, Tamil Nadu. Notable among gurus for not having sought out mystical revelation, he nevertheless had a revelatory experience early in life that he said altered his view of life forever, and which he described as follows:

"It was about six weeks before I left Madurai for good that the great change in my life took place. It was quite sudden. I was sitting alone in a room on the first floor of my uncle les' house. I seldom had any sickness, and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me. There was nothing in my state of health to account for it, and I did not try to find out whether there was any reason for the fear. I just felt, 'I am going to die' and began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or my elders or friends; I felt that I had to solve the problem myself, there and then.

The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: 'now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.' and at once dramatized the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out stiff as though rigor mortis had set in and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the inquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, so that neither the word 'I' nor any other word could be uttered. 'Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of this body am I dead? Is the body I? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of ht 'I' within me, apart from it. So I am Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Sprit." All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truth, which I perceived directly, almost without thought process. 'I' was something very real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with my body was centered on that 'I'. From that moment onwards the ‘I’ or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on. Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the 'I' continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking reading or anything else, I was still centered on 'I'. Previous to that crisis I had no clear perception of my Self and was not consciously attracted to it. I felt no perceptible or direct interest in it, much less any inclination to dwell permanently in it."

Ramana left home shortly after this experience, using some money his brother had given him to buy some schoolbooks for him to catch a train. The experience of spontaneous opening left him adrift in the world, of which he said, “When I left home, I was like a speck swept on by a tremendous flood, I knew not my body or the world, whether it was day or night.” His heart carried him to Arunachala Hill, a place long sacred to Lord Shiva. Ramana said it was the center of the world.

After arriving at the Arunchalesvara Temple, he allowed his head to be shaved and threw away the last of the money he had obtained from pawning his earrings. He never handled money again. No one was caring for him very closely, and since all he wanted to do was nothing, he simply hid away from the light in a chamber under the temple, and drifted into complete absorption in inner ecstasy that was so profound he did not notice when his legs were being eaten by ants. After a few months of neglect, people began to take care of him, and he was put up in increasingly nice little places. First a cave, then a room built on to expand the cave, finally a whole temple dedicated to him.

Ramana Maharshi never lost the common touch. It’s said that when he noticed that only the inner circle of the temple were served coffee in the temple cafeteria, he never drank coffee again. Also that when he saw a person who had pained legs being forced to draw them up to avoid pointing the soles of their feet in Ramana’s direction, that he, who also suffered painful legs due to injuries from the ant problem, insisted on drawing up his feet. “If this one is insulting me by extending her legs, then I am insulting everyone,” he insisted, when his disciples tried to explain their dual standard.

Ramana rejected all solicitations to guruhood. When an old man brought him a walking stick for a gift, Ramana declined to accept it, saying that he had no possessions and it would simply be lifted by some random person, the old man seemed agonized that Ramana would not accept the gift. Nevertheless, he stood firm, and would not condescend to the man’s projections, agreeing only to touch the stick, which remained the man’s own possession.

Ramana is said to have had the power to liberate people and even animals who were dying, placing his hand over the dying person’s physical heart and guiding their spirit to stillness in the very center of the spiritual heart. He said he could sense the final achievement of liberation like the ringing of a tiny silver bell, and performed this feat of kindness memorably for his mother and for the much-beloved ashram cow, Lakshmi. The monkeys who lived in the trees nearby him loved him deeply, and Ramana commented that the head of the monkey tribe was a profound, kingly spirit.

Ramana taught a simple practice derived from his own experience, in order to obtain the same understanding he possessed. Simply ask yourself, “Who am I?” Use this inquiry to point your mind at your self, at the core of your existence. This practice gives rise to an intuition. Follow that intuition.
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