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  1. 21 points
    As I lie here riding out being sick and reading through strained and swollen eyes , I stumbled across a great article... A couple of times over the past few years and even as recently as a month ago, we have witnessed what is called "Bad Faith" arguments. These "arguments" are distraction tactics that seek to diminish valid positions in science, politics, life, and even communities like this. Some Bad Faith Arguments that have been showcased on TLE and if you were lucky enough to be a part of these, you will recognize several of the tactics below. The article focuses on politics and science, but these Bad Faith arguments come up in many online "debates" and arguments. One of the reasons I shut down a couple of these "discussions" was because they were drowning in Bad Faith. Recognizing that you are being dragged into a Bad Faith Argument can help you to back out and back away. And if you recognize that you may have unintentionally been using some of these Bad Faith tactics, maybe step back and reconsider listening more. *** ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK A Field Guide to Bad Faith Arguments Once you recognize these weak tactics, you can easily outwit them by Aaron Huertas Bad faith arguments are common in politics. And while they’ve always been part of political culture, they’re much more rampant on social media. It’s easy to fall prey to bad faith arguments and waste time engaging someone on points that obscure rather than shed light on how we’re all affected by policy and politics. So with that in mind, here’s a field guide for spotting and responding to bad faith arguments and staying focused on the real-world issues that matter. WHAT'S A BAD FAITH ARGUMENT? The hallmark of a bad-faith argument is that it disguises the core point of a debate rather than addressing issues, beliefs, and values head-on. Bad faith arguments aren’t “real” positions; they’re proxy positions people take for rhetorical purposes. In some cases, a bad faith position can be intentional. For instance, Sen. Mitch McConnell made up a “Biden rule” to justify stealing a Supreme Court seat. Instead of arguing about the merits of refusing to hold a vote on President Barack Obama’s justice nominee Merrick Garland, McConnell made a proxy argument about Democrats being hypocrites for complaining about his power grab. And indeed, many Republicans and independents came to believe that the “Biden rule” was real and that McConnell was simply playing hardball politics just like the Democrats. But most bad faith arguments aren’t from wily, professional politicians like McConnell. They simply come from a place of not wanting to confront the actual arguments someone else is making. For instance, climate policy advocates point to scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels and increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing seas to rise, more wildfires, and disruptions to rainfall patterns on which we rely. They argue these risks are severe enough to warrant dramatically reducing fossil fuel use and switching to clean energy. But anti-climate-action groups will often say the science is not certain enough to justify action. Climate advocates will respond by citing more and more scientific evidence demonstrating climate risks. But there’s a problem: The advocates are responding to a bad faith argument because anti-climate action groups never say what level of scientific certainty would be necessary to justify climate policy. Indeed, if you ask them to name the level of certainty they need or the type of evidence that would win them over, they’ll never do it. Although their argument is premised on the idea that more science could justify climate action, they can’t actually define a world where that’s true. Instead, they tend to oppose climate policy for ideological reasons—including an ideological commitment to exploiting fossil fuels—but they choose to fight policy in bad faith on scientific grounds. Similarly, many anti-climate action groups have evolved from outright climate denial to acknowledging that climate change is real and a problem but say they’re against “climate alarmism” and don’t believe in “catastrophic global warming.” But what do these terms mean? Again, they never say. If I think business as usual means the Earth is going to warm 4 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, am I an alarmist? How about 10 degrees? Don’t waste time responding to these arguments on their own merits — they have none. Their actual operating definition is that “catastrophic global warming” is the precise amount needed to justify policy action, and, by definition, we will always fall short of it. An alarmist, meanwhile, is anyone who says we need to act on climate change. There’s an important distinction between types of bad faith arguments worth making here: Not all anti-climate action advocates are making these arguments intentionally. They’re not consciously thinking, “I’m going to pretend to say one thing but really mean another.” Indeed, many sincerely believe that climate alarmism is terrible and must be combatted even though they have not bothered to form a coherent definition of what the term means. In this case, these bad faith arguments are often best described as a form of “agnotology,” a term historian Robert Proctor has popularized to describe the cultivation of ignorance. Proctor studied how tobacco companies spread doubt about the link between smoking and cancer. Rather than directly criticizing the science, they spread messages about uncertainty and doubt to cloud policymakers’ judgment. They say maybe something else was causing the cancer… or maybe the scientific links were there but weren’t, uh, direct enough… or maybe people who are more likely to get cancer are actually more likely to smoke. Agnotology—and the popularization of political ignorance—cuts across a variety of issues, not just scientific ones. Indeed, I’ve come to see it as the most common form of bad faith argument in political debates. For instance, why are NFL players taking a knee? To protest police violence. They’ve been absolutely clear about this for years. But Fox News tells its millions of viewers that no one knows why they’re protesting. With that in mind, here are some other types of bad faith arguments we run into every day online and in public policy debates. Don’t waste time responding to these arguments on their own merits — they have none. They exist to distract from core policy issues and the actual effect they have on our lives, our rights, and our planet. THE CARTOON STRAWMANNER The cartoon strawmanner has no need to ask you what you believe; he already knows. How does he know? Because he already has a number of counterarguments to your position. Not your actual position, of course, but the one that his favorite propaganda outlets have told him you have. For instance, many scholars have pointed out that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which is optimized to push people to more and more intensive information about consumer products, has the unintended effect of pushing a minority of conservative viewers further and further down the rabbit hole to white nationalism. This is a problem because it seems to be playing a key role in helping a small but committed number of young white men to become violent reactionaries. But conservative YouTubers and their defenders will often make two arguments in response to this: Not everyone who watches these videos becomes a Nazi. (No one is claiming that they are.) You can’t just call everyone a Nazi. (No one is doing this.) These bad-faith arguments mean to distract from the core point, which is that bad actors are abusing YouTube’s platform to promote racist ideologies and encourage political violence. We can have a debate about how these new platforms and the people who use them respond. Are companies like YouTube more like utilities or television stations in what they owe to their audiences? If there’s no such thing as a politically neutral algorithm, how should companies consider the political consequences of altering recommendation algorithms? What, if any, role should the government play in regulating social media platforms? Do conservatives whose videos get remixed by people even further to their right have a responsibility to take them down? Is debating a fascist ever useful, or does it merely mainstream their ideas? But bad faith responses avoid these points entirely by cartoon strawmanning the people bringing them up instead. The best way to respond to these strawman arguments is simply to inform someone that no one is making that argument and point them to a book or long report to read (they will never read it). Eventually, the cartoon strawmanner evolves, like a shitty, annoying Pokémon, to become the lie detector. THE LIE DETECTOR The lie detector knows what you really mean. After all, they already know what your position is. But when you say your actual beliefs are something else entirely, they have a choice — except that they have not accounted for the full spectrum of human belief about a topic or accuse you of lying. The lie detector knows The Truth. Do not challenge the lie detector on any of these points: They know more about your beliefs, your life, and your work history than you ever will. You should ask the lie detector what you’re having for dinner this evening. THE FREEZE PEACH ADVOCATE The “freeze peach” advocate is a fake free speech advocate. They confuse disagreement with silencing, delegitimization, and censorship. While they believe in “free speech,” it turns out what that really means in practice is promoting their speech and the speech of people they agree with. Jordan Peterson, who came to fame for picking an imaginary free speech fight over transgender pronouns in Canada, for instance, recently sued two professors for criticizing him and his views and even sued another university to boot. Additionally, climate deniers might say they’re shut out of the debate because scientists won’t sit around discussing their ideas with them for hours and hours. But flat-Earthers are shut out of debates with geologists, too. The truth is that you don’t have to meet someone in an online or IRL structured debate to grapple with their arguments. Indeed, scientists have cataloged and numbered bad climate denial arguments for easy reference. Further, free speech and platforming arguments are often used as proxies for actual arguments. “These cowards won’t debate me!” is an easier sell than “Let me tell you about why I think 200 years of science is wrong even though I can’t get my ideas published in a scientific journal.” Freeze peach advocates think that they and their peers deserve a platform, but they never recognize that platform space is actually limited and contested. In fighting for airtime or seats at congressional hearings, they shut out other voices just as their voices can get shut out, too. The truth is that no one is entitled to a stage, a TV spot, or a book deal. Or as Alex Pareene hilariously said in response to the New York Times covering another stop on the freeze peach college campus moral panic tour: “If You Truly Care About Speech, You Will Invite Me to Your Office to Personally Call You a Dipshit.” Even when supposed free speech and civil debate advocates go on to run their own platforms, they rarely talk to people to their left. Instead, free speech and fears of suppression are used as marketing tactics, not core moral values. That’s why you never hear them advocate for lefty protestors who are unjustly jailed, students who face expulsion penalties for their free speech, or government scientists who face routine censorship of their research. PICTURED: 200 activists and several journalists were unfairly arrested as part of protests against Trump’s inauguration in 2017. A judge finally dropped charges in July of 2018. Not pictured: free speech defenders defending them. (As an aside, there are plenty of civil libertarian groups that do a ton of great work on actual free speech and academic freedom issues. When fake free speech advocates don’t show up to these fights, they show that they’re in it for their speech, not anyone else’s.) The freeze peach advocate should be reminded that no one is entitled to a platform and no one is actually preventing them from speaking. More importantly, their attention should be refocused to the actual policy debates at hand. THE PURITY TESTER The purity tester would like you to know that Al Gore uses airplanes (so troubling for an environmentalist!) and that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wore a nice outfit for a photo shoot once (what kind of socialism is that?!). The purity tester isn’t here to tell you a policy agenda is wrong; they’re here to tell you those are bad spokespeople for their cause. If Gore swore off flying, would the Koch brothers suddenly come to Jesus on climate policy? Nope. And if Ocasio Cortez pledged to only wear thrift store chic on the House floor, would people like Charlie Kirk finally accept the need for universal health care? No way. These are goofy bad faith arguments that attempt to take the focus off policy and put it on advocates instead. They’re a form of concern-trolling that should be dismissed out of hand, although asking the purity tester to name an advocate whose arguments they’d be willing to listen to can be amusing. It’s rare that they’ve ever considered the idea of a good advocate before, which demonstrates that it’s just agnotology at work. THE LOGIC NERD The logic nerd has a very clear argument. The argument has multiple parts, each of which is impeccable and internally consistent. The logic nerd has his facts straight, too, and has a number of counterarguments ready to deploy should you try to poke holes. In fact, the logic nerd has three rhetorical questions ready to go to expose your fallacious reasoning and will ask them, in turn, regardless of what you say or do. I have some love for the logic nerd. If I had less empathy and less of a sense of just how much damage shitty public policy does to people, I too could have grown up to be a logic nerd, dear reader. But I came to realize that politics isn’t a dispute over which facts are true or whether your logic is valid. It’s a dispute over which facts are the most relevant to a debate and what logic we should follow when setting and enforcing laws. For instance, a logic nerd would love to debate you about the pay gap: Are women really paid less than men? If so, by how much, and in which industries? But what about this industry where some women are paid more? Should we not examine the data? Okay, look at my data! Do you deny my data, sir? It is the best and only data! Sir, by your own logic… What the logic nerd fails to realize is that equal pay laws give people the right to sue individual companies and institutions for pay discrimination. You can make all the societal-level arguments about the pay gap you want, but the actual law (and lawsuits) exist alongside that discussion, which is much closer to the reality that people live with every day when fighting discrimination. Responding to the logic nerd is a joy because if you fail to play along with their game, they will ad hominem the shit out of you. Failure to answer rhetorical questions, even by pointing out why the questions are not relevant, will result in persistent sea-lioning. There’s only one way to truly defeat the logic nerd. You must introduce him to the Fallacy Man. (Read the whole thing, please.) THE TONE POLICE AND PERSUASION PUNDITS When people have truly bad positions to defend, they often attempt to make a meta-argument about tone and persuasive power instead. This is endemic in Washington. For instance, a Daily Caller editor went to a progressive rally and was shocked — shocked — to find that people there were angry about politics. Well, yeah, a lot of people who show up to political events are upset about something and want to change and fix it. But instead of responding to what they were upset about (sinking wages and crappy health care), the editor focused on their tone. Not surprisingly, the same publication would never be shocked at right-wing anger, such as Tea Party rallies condemning Obama. That’s because their anger is always justified, but yours never is. Similarly, conservatives will routinely criticize NFL players for how they’re protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. But they’ll never suggest an alternative means of protesting. No tone is the only tone they want to hear. Meanwhile, many #NeverTrump conservatives are often trapped in persuasion punditry when they argue with liberals. “Medicare for all? Don’t you know Midwesterners are skeptical of big government? That’s not gonna play well in Trump country,” they say. Well, that’s certainly an easier argument to make than saying millions of people should suffer from a lack of health care and that you’re fundamentally okay with that. But in removing themselves one layer from actual policy, pundits can appear savvy without actually committing themselves to a real position, even as they justify the status quo. Bret Stephens, a conservative New York Times writer, wrote a column about how climate advocates should be more persuasive to him and other conservatives by not being so strident and certain about climate change being bad. But when another writer asked him which climate policies he might ever support, he couldn’t say. When people are really making an argument about persuading someone, they actually try to persuade them. If not, it’s just more bad faith. The solution to tone policing and bad punditry is just focusing on the issues. If someone wants to keep distracting from that with what’s fundamentally a political tactics discussion, ask them to help get your preferred policy passed. If they say no, congrats: You’ve found their real position. THE "BOTH-SIDERIST" The both siderist is very reasonable. So reasonable, in fact, that people who care about politics actually look very unreasonable by comparison: Did you hear about the bad thing Republicans did? Well, Democrats did a bad thing too once, and it’s all quite unfortunate that everyone can’t be as reasonable as me. Has "the both siderist" ever taken any actions to try to improve the political system? Well, it’s funny that you ask; no, they haven’t. What they have done is ask everyone, very nicely, to be civil and take it easy and not get too political with all that politics. But in insisting on being the most reasonable person in the room, the both siderist has failed to read the room. Their postured reasonableness obscures the political realities we’re dealing with: rampant Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, human rights abuses, and anti-democratic power grabs from people like McConnell and Trump. Nearly all the Republican moderates have been voted out of office. Redefining “moderate” doesn’t make them more moderate, it just drags the debate to the right. The both siderist has a lot of political opinions, but their most important opinion is that both sides are bad — even if one side is doing objectively terrible shit to millions of people. It’s because the both siderist desperately wants to be off the hook for having to actually do anything to improve our political system. As the Republican Party has gone off the rails in the Obama era, this has led to a deeper and deeper stretch of both siderism logic. For instance, Amy Chua, writing in The Atlantic about the decline of democracy, equates Trump threatening to revoke people’s citizenship and strip them of their voting rights with college students asking a university to stop venerating a slave-owning Founding Father. But one of these fundamentally alters the realities of American political life for decades; the other is a campus debate over a statue. The committed both siderist must never admit that one party or one side in a debate is worse than the other. If they did, they might have to do something about it. DEBATING IN GOOD FAITH It’s worth remembering that the people who respond to you online are usually less than 1 percent of 1 percent, and the reason they’re writing is that they virulently disagree. In the broader public sphere, it would be good to see fact-checkers, pundits, magazine editors, and TV hosts actually try to pin people down on real positions. As Matt Bruenig has noted, political debates often function in two different universes. There’s a “take universe” with columns, opinion pieces, and think tank reports. Some of them are hot takes. Others are lukewarm, and if you dig into them, they’re just the same circle of people citing themselves as the source of The Truth on a given topic. Then there’s the real universe of actual data, actual outcomes for people and actual structures of power in society. In Bruenig’s case, he introduces hard data about public ownership of industries and worker control over businesses into fuzzy ideologically rigid “take universe” debates about capital, labor, and socialism. I’ve loved working with scientists because reality is real and scientists are responsive to it. The political class should be too. We’re drifting further from that precisely because conservative authoritarians attack sources of information that help us see reality: an independent press, science and academia, and public employees who work for all of us. They cultivate ignorance as surely as the tobacco companies did. It’s the only way they can hold onto power. They exploit the proliferation of online media to make the world too hard to understand. They make agnotology a certainty to obscure obvious realities like the fact that countries with universal health care have better health outcomes and the obvious ethical argument that no one has to die from lack of medical care in the richest country on Earth. Some of the best writing on arguments deals with the overwhelming amount of bullshit and uninformative information available in the modern media system. Neil Postman, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death, argued in his later books that we must become “loving resistance fighters” who focus on our lived reality and core humanist values rather than media representations that can never truly stand in for our world. Even though I work in communications and media, I’ve tried to live up to that. I go to organizing meetings. I canvass and knock on doors. I show up for protests and direct actions. I’m a member of two unions. This stuff matters; real people matter. The real consequences of policy are life and death for millions of us. So we should focus on that relentlessly and never get distracted by bullshit, bad faith arguments.
  2. 20 points
    COMING SOON! All Overleaves for the growing list of Presidential Candidates for 2020 United States Election. Ongoing updates will be noted. NOTE: All Overleaves in the original post are channeled from Michael through Troy Tolley. Any additional channeling or sets of Overleaves for cross-reference and comparison can be posted in this thread with credit to the channel. NOTE 2: If any of these names below already have a profile posted for them from me, please feel free to copy/paste that into this thread for easy reference when I update this post. DEMOCRAT Booker Buttigieg Castro Delaney Gabbard Gillibrand Harris Hickenlooper Inslee Klobuchar Messam O’Rourke Ryan Sanders Swalwell Warren Williamson Yang REPUBLICAN Trump Weld
  3. 17 points
    @Cong I was wondering the same re: Notre Dame. It's a shame that such a beautiful work of architecture has been so badly damaged, but I have to admit I don't have the attachment to it others do. I was never able to visit it, but I've heard it was gorgeous. It does seem like powerful symbolism, though, especially with the timing; fire is spiritually cleansing, isn't it? Though Notre Dame is beautiful, it's also linked intrinsically with Young Soul religious and patriarchal values. When I saw the picture of the fire this morning, I suddenly had a vision of a future day, where a newly-rebuilt Notre Dame is unveiled: it looked like just as beautiful, but updated -- its stained glass windows were all solar panels, and some lovely roof farms on top made it look lush and green. I got the sense that it helped provide clean energy and fresh produce to the city. The image came so immediately and lasted in my mind so long that I wonder if I might have accidentally tapped into a future probability. Or perhaps a parallel we're merging with has already begun updating Notre Dame to be this optimistic, earth-friendly vision of community, and the devastating fire today is a shortcut to getting us on the same page? Or maybe none of the above, and my imagination just runs wild sometimes. Who knows.
  4. 15 points
    I recently came across a chapter from Seth and Jane Roberts in the book "The Nature of Personal Reality" that delves into the relationship between collective human emotions and weather events. I know there is interest in the topic of weather here so I thought I would mention this. Excerpts from the chapter: Chapter 18: "Inner Storms and Outer Storms. Creative 'Destruction.' The Length of the Day and the Natural Reach of a Biologically Based Consciousness" "You do not simply react to the weather. You help form it, even as you breathe the air and then send it outward again. The brain is a nest of electromagnetic relationships that you do not understand. In certain terms it is a controlled storm." "A rock in a stream will divide the water so that it must flow around the impediment. Your emotions are quite as real as rocks. Your collective feelings affect the flow of energy and their force -- in terms of natural phenomena -- can be seen quite clearly in a thunderstorm, which is the exteriorized local materialization of the inner emotional state of the people experiencing the storm." If you have not had a chance to read this book, I would suggest reading it. I was reading through it slowly and I found that nearly every time I started to read a new chapter, the material of the chapter applied to my life events, recent thoughts or recent interests in some way.
  5. 15 points
    For those who are in pain and shock, I feel you. I wonder if this serves as a symbol for the collapse of organizational religion...as Michael indicated in one of the earlier energy reports.
  6. 14 points
    I have a very particular reaction to medieval art and architecture, which is that I ways get caught up in thoughts of the individual craftspeople who made them. They guy who carved the gargoyles, the illuminator, etcetera. I start to wonder what their daily inner lives were like. This is because I spend much of my time making art as well. The intimacy of the act in contrast with the public destiny of the work is my daily life. So I am thinking not about the Catholic church, which can burn in the hell I wish existed, but about all the hands that built Notre Dame. I have been there multiple times. Despite my lifelong raging hatred of all organized religion, I love spiritual spaces, and despite my particular antipathy to Christianity (I'm Jewish and very sensitive to proselytizers), I especially love medieval cathedrals. Mainly I'm shocked at the destruction of this icon. Much like the twin towers for NYC and the pyramids for Cairo, the towers and arches of Notre Dame are visible from so many vantage points in Paris. It's hard to grasp.
  7. 13 points
    Nexus is coming...sounds a lot like Winter is coming as I read it here I was "wish I was dead" down yesterday. I kept remembering Ms words to me about spiraling down, just remembering that it is temporary and that I have lots more good days than bad ones. When I saw the news about Notre Dame I immediately felt sad and sick about it and wondered if picking up on it energetically had something to do with my horrible mood. Then right on back of that thought was the thought that it's a huge symbol of Christian patriarchy so who am I know to know what's best for the world? Earlier this month I made a new foray into online dating and after making phone contact with one person I quickly recoiled and recognize it as such. I feel resentment over any *loss* of my time. I feel I don't have the time and energy to fully participate in my existing relationships, and I'm not willing to put in this time to find a mate that way. I know that if I met someone who really sparked my interest I'd be off to the races with that but I still feel so protective of *my time*. Also I notice that I feel like this to some extent with all my relationships and that's really troubling to me. I tell myself I need my energy to continue the life rebuilding that's been the focus of my life these many years, but how true is it? I don't know. Also I'm looking forward to Kondo-ing my life. After I moved 2 months ago I started feeling like lots of my stuff doesn't really fit me anymore. I know longer desire to be surrounded by things I've loved for decades but don't know what I want there instead. It's a very strange feeling indeed and I hope that this coming Convergence will bring some healed parallels into my life that will clarify my desire and help with new direction. I suppose I should get sorting but I'm also finding that I have less energy that usual for cleaning and sorting. I tend to love cleaning, but lately just wiping the counter feels overwhelming at times.
  8. 13 points
    Well, I've addressed the Sorting/Cleaning Nexus a little early. My current bedroom is clean and sorted for the first time ever. Marie Kondo has a wonderful way of folding shirts that saves space, which has turned my sprawled mountain of clothing into a neat well-organized stack. When I moved into the apartment where I now live, back in June 2018, I dropped all of my stuff onto the floor, infused myself with a strong dose of cannabis, and now in April I have finally unpacked and cleaned up. I will have friends sleeping over tonight for upcoming birthday and Game of Thrones celebrations, which is why my bedroom needed to become inhabitable again. I haven't had friends over in a very long time, and the timing with the nexus is juicy. To celebrate, I am now in the process of mulling some wine. Anyone who feels their life needs a change should start by cleaning their bedroom.
  9. 12 points
    Yes, It has been about 2-3 days that I started feeling very up and down, emotional clearing. Yesterday I started crying my heart out in the shower in the evening. Like suddenly I was tossed back into Grief. But then I got relieved, and bounced back. Also, I finally cleaned a sore spot in my room, which bothered me for some time. Yes, Nexus is coming, and I would like to make the best of it. BIG clearing. Also, clearing makes finally space for new things. Slowly I am circling back to feel fun in my life, and feel excited by it.
  10. 12 points
    That‘s what I thought, too.
  11. 12 points
    Not a fan. Generally too capitalist, too centrist, and too "status quo" for my liking. Particularly troubling to me are the points Troy mentioned, as well as his stances on Israel/Palestine and Chelsea Manning. Don't mean to be a downer or anything, just my honest impression.
  12. 11 points
    Nexus is coming. I feel like I have this weird divide in my body right now, with my head/mind dealing with the usual Nexus related foginess and tiredness, while the rest of my body is SUPER energized and giddy (in a good way though). Still, it feels like body and head/mind are having completely seperate experiences right now. I did some thorough spring cleaning on the weekend, so that is definitely in line with the Nexus. Had a weird nightmare today where I was in Rwanda during the first days of the genocide in 1994. I was in an UN quarter and we knew people were being slaughtered outside and we needed to find a way out of the country to survive. It was horrible. I'd prefer a sorting dream.
  13. 11 points
    Interesting synchronicity. I attended an event hosted by a Chinese Seth group yesterday and 500 people were there. I wasn’t part of the group but learned about the event by chance. The speaker apparently made a big name by applying some Seth concept to his own teaching, gear towards how to be happy and live a joyful life. I wasn’t too impressed as it sounded too much like preaching and lack of Depth . His audience seemed to be late young or early mature. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see someone made an esoteric teaching popular. i like the discussion about easiness to read regarding Michael and Seth! For me, Michael is so much easier and I especially like the math part. I think it has a lot to do with your reading/math training as a kid (imprint). Back in China, reading(in any language) is much less emphasized but math and logic training are much more emphasized. Michael speaks in a way that’s very logical to me, but I can understand how it’s too dry for most people. i guess it has to do with my high male energy ratio and frequency too.
  14. 11 points
    I like Pete and am amazed that a married gay man is rising in respect and popularity in politics... but he has a blind spot when it comes to issues facing people of color and LGBTQI communities (such as defending the police in a shooting of black teen and saying the diminishing phrase “all lives matter,” and speaking flippantly and dismissively about corporations such as Chick-fil-A funding anti-LGBTQI agendas.) They aren’t deal breakers and could just be a matter of MidWestern ignorance, but they are being seen as red flags. I hope he thoroughly addresses these and is open to insight from the communities affected by such carelessness.
  15. 10 points
    For those following the US 2020 Presidential race, how do you feel about Pete Buttigieg? I love him! I'm thrilled that he has gotten as far as he has. When he talks, I feel optimistic and calm. And follow his husband Chasten Buttigieg on Twitter for a hilarious counterpoint to Pete's seriousness. I'm thinking Server-cast Scholar (or Scholar-cast Server, I still can't distinguish Role from Casting). Late Mature or Old.
  16. 10 points
    Overleaves channeled by Troy BERNIE SANDERS = 1st Level Old manifesting between 5th and 7th Level Mature Server-Cast Sage from Cadre 2, Entity 1 with a Warrior Essence Twin, an Idealist in Passion with a Goal of Submission with balanced Centering that leans toward Moving Part of Emotional Center and Chief Features of Arrogance and Impatience. 5th Internal Monad completed in Positive Pole.
  17. 10 points
    I felt sick with the ongoing loss witnessed yesterday in Paris. I've always loved the style of Gothic architecture featured in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, though curiously I never liked the style of the squared off towers in the front facade, I love the style at the eastern end of the Cathedral with its flowing arches and the incorporation of hundreds of circles and arches. Well it turns out it fits very well with information Michael gave me: One session said this about past lives my wife and I had regarding art and architecture: I had a follow up session to ask for more information on this and some other lives. Here's what came back: This felt right at the time I first read it, but I'm even more sure of it now. When I heard the news at work yesterday, I felt sick and just... hollowed out inside. Its the very same feeling I felt when I read that a building in Pompeii had collapsed, destroying all the murals inside after having survived the previous 2000 years. Its the same feeling I felt when I first properly read and understood Geraldine's first session tackling our humanity's past and the transfer to our current home. Its a grief for a loss felt in a deep part of me that doesn't have its own voice. After doing a bit of research, it turns out that a project such as Notre Dame doesn't have just one architect. It was begun in the 1160s and largely finished a century later. Many architects would have worked together over their particular areas of expertise. The Eastern end was constructed first, and the Western end with its square towers was completed last, in a different style as architectural fashions changed. My previous incarnation obviously sees these towers as not being in keeping with the earlier work! I had been planning to go and visit Notre Dame. It was high on my shortlist of places to visit, along with Pompeii. I am devastated that I won't be able to walk inside it and marvel at it for many many years to come.
  18. 10 points
    A professor in architecture said that Notre Dame is probably Europes strongest christian symbol after the St. Peters church in Rome, since a lot of symbolism of christianity is kind of vowen into that. The other is that it's also a French symbol in that ND is a church used for crowning and funerals. The third is that ND is a kind of signature for all of those travelling to Paris, as part of the flow of tourism. So I think there's some symbolism in this speaking on different levels to all of us, even though I personally feel very detached to all of this.
  19. 10 points
    I like to say that no matter what kind of diagnoses a person has, or how many diagnoses, one is always so much more than any diagnose(s). We are vast beings, and any diagnose is only a small piece of the bigger picture of who we are. There is so much more to discover and pay attention to about the self and about the Personality. If you have used your fantasy and imagination a lot for daydreaming, it's also a wonderful thing. It's like exercising an essential part of you, and it's not a waist of time or something to look down at. Using your imagination is empowering and the higest frequency owned by a body according to Michael, and that "it is your strength that you can imagine the future". They have also said something like; the imagination's benefits and capabilities are too easily dismissed as fanciful
  20. 10 points
    I'd like to say something about myself that I do not usually tell. And one of the reasons is that I would like to be seen as a normal person .. but the truth is that I'm not sure if I am. And lately I've had dreams about this stuff that I read has been a trigger on this even when I know what it's written is not referring to me. When I did this topic. I think I'm going to be crazy: There is something that I did not go into too much detail. Due to my unusual behavior many people questioned my parents .. Not just the mother of that student. Teachers questioned. Even my parents confessed to me that they often did not even tell me about the questions because they knew I would be upset. However if I would go to some neorologist or psychiatrist they would not identify anything in me. But it seemed that for non-medical people it was obvious that I was not normal. And it was then that I realized that I was not normal for most people, but I also did not have enough problems to be diagnosed with something. Which seemed to leave me in a kind of limbo. I do not know if that's the best word, but I can not find a better one. But I followed my life as well as I could under these conditions. I was already 27 years old when I heard of asperger. One thing you need to know is that autism spectrum in Brazil is highly unknown .. and most still think that autistic refers only to those very serious cases where the person does not speak, has intelligence below the average .. and even has many outdated proffessional on this issue. I only found out on account of something called the internet and I did many pesuisas in English. I joined facebook groups related to this. And many people were self-diagnosed because here it is very difficult to have a diagnosis after adulthood. Especially if it's a mild case. In my case I went to a psychiatrist who confirmed. But asperger is somewhat controversial. And I know that a lot of people think that there is an exaggeration and that now it is enough to be a little strange to have a diagnosis (of course among people who know something about it). Which would bring me back to "controversy" about me. Polemic type: Would I have or not asperger? Was something wrong with me or was I just just a little strange? I wanted to get away from this polemic. And then when I moved and I would start a new life I decided that I would forget about it. I would not talk about it any more, I would not think about it anymore. I would follow my life as if nothing had happened .. It just has not worked for the reasons I mentioned at the beginning .. And I can not deny that in the facebook group I really identified with many people .. and that there is a video of a perquisador about asperger in menicas that I really saw me in a lot .. Especially when talking about going to the mindo da imagination where it is accepted and valued .. what I used to call disconnecting. I really do not know if this would be a valid diagnosis .. but I know that it somehow reassured my parents with a possible explanation of my behavior .. I'm going to put the video here: At the time of school I had no friends, no girls, no boys .. I used go maor the imagination in a world I was accepts. ..
  21. 10 points
    @Luciana Flora, I have a Life Task that emphasizes daydreaming and imagination a lot (I still haven't posted the session but I will, eventually). I don't think that 'disconnecting' as you call it is necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it's individual in every case and it can be done for different reasons-loneliness, escape, pleasure, entertainment, problem solving, fostering creativity, etc. Or it can be done for some or all of those reasons combined. For myself, I know that even if I had the most amazing life and was a sociable person, I would STILL like to continue fantasizing because I enjoy exploring possibilities and various ideas. Adventures and plotlines. Diving into your imagination doesn't have to be something that TAKES YOU AWAY from your real life, but it can be instead something that ADDS awe and wonder to life and takes you beyond the familiar and routine. Fantasizing is not synonymous with disorders on its own. Don't judge yourself so harshly for using your imagination to feel less lonely. So what? One can fantasize about being well-liked and accepted while at the same time trying to create connections. Being inclusive, not exclusive. And sometimes one is in an environment where it's really hard to find people you click with ( get along) and relate to. That's how I feel right now, by the way. And regardless of whether you do or don't have Asperger syndrome, it doesn't mean you have less potential or value than other people. Diagnoses and self-diagnoses, especially those concerning mental health and developmental issues, can be a tricky thing because on the one hand, they can give us some clarity and understanding but on the other hand, they can definitely worsen feelings of self-condemnation. So how you interpret them and where you decide to go from them is very important. When a diagnosis is correct, it should serve as a map or tool, not as something to be used against the self.
  22. 10 points
    That is an argument I hear a lot. To me, my way of living, which includes veganism, isn't about guaranteeing my actions don't cause any harm at all, but about trying to diminish the negative impact of my choices and actions as much as I can. Let's suppose plants DO have feelings. And let's suppose we need to eat something to survive and live a healthy life. To produce a pound of meat or any other animal product, there is a lot more water and plants needed than to produce a pound of plants. So, if plants have feelings, wouldn't it make even more sense to stick to a vegan diet then?
  23. 9 points
    DONALD TRUMP = 7th Level manifesting 5th Level Young Sage-Cast King from Cadre 11/Entity 1 with a Warrior Essence Twin, a Pragmatist sliding to Stoic/Cynic with a Goal of Dominance in Observation sliding to Aggression and Power, with Intellectual Part of Moving Center and Chief Features of Arrogance and Stubbornness that slides to Greed and Martyrdom. Incomplete 3rd Internal Monad.
  24. 9 points
    It struck me as emblematic of the time we're living through in general; great damage and great spectacle, with many irreplaceable things lost. Ultimately, though, the greater portion was saved. The main structure remained intact.
  25. 9 points
    I recall that Jane Roberts was a Warrior, and Seth was an entity made up of Artisans and Sages. The M's are Warriors and Kings channeled through mostly Sages and Scholars. I wonder if that makes a difference. I discovered Seth before I discovered Michael, and they both helped me understand one another in a way. I think that Seth can be a little more esoteric and wordy, and take more time getting to the point, than the M's. (One of my very favorite thing about the M's is their lack of bullshit and happy talk. I swear, when the time comes for me to get an individual session, I have to ask which cult I led in a Young Soul life, lol.) On the OTHER hand, Michael Math gives me a headache. I can just about figure out cadres and cadences and entities. The way I was brought up was something of the opposite @Cong experienced - in the 70's in the US, there was so much "girls aren't good at math" still around. I was good at reading and writing so I didn't really "need" to be anything but passable at math. I know everyone has different abilities but I'm so glad that THIS sexist BS has gone by the wayside at least!
  26. 9 points
    I've been so extra this week! Just all up in the kool-aid and don't even know the flavor! I've had like...legit 4 or 5 tense interactions in the past three days. I used to be a big firestarter but I've calmed down a lot since hitting my 30's and honestly, I hate confrontation but I'm also a sass machine so you can see my problem. I am literally just doing the macarena in -Identification and hitting the cupid shuffle in -Zeal and can't seem to stop! I wasn't expecting it but I think the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle has affected me in strange ways. As in, everyone is fucking annoying. I am used to people being annoying and simply observing that and moving on with my business but this week for some reason I'm being really antagonistic and critical. Maybe cause I can't really immerse myself in this grieving moment cause it feels really disingenuous for various reasons, but I'm trying to be respectful and let my people feel their feelings. But I'm also like, please shut up. This man was a colorist, a misogynist, and a homophobe. He was a temperamental dickhead. He lost his shit on the wrong person and they returned his energy with heightened violence and he's dead today because of his temper. And the contributions to "his community" was just more capitalism. His relationship with his long suffering babymama is not "#goals" cause he cheated on her multiple times and she is a bird who placed her whole identity in her relationships with men. I guess I should just say that and be in that and admit that's how I feel instead of taking out my agitation on people and in places that it's unnecessary. That or just staying off social media for the week. Who knows. How's everyone holding up?
  27. 8 points
    Did Michael rip off Star Wars?
  28. 8 points
    Yes, this description exactly. Brain so tired, body so wired.
  29. 8 points
    Beautifully said, @Eric. Thank you for the videos. Very moving. I saw someone say this on Twitter: "What a particularly horrible day for those of us who are the kind of people that still get depressed sometimes about the Library of Alexandria."
  30. 8 points
    I'm saddened by the damage and loss, and (while not a Parisian myself) I feel for those who are personally affected by the destruction. In reflecting on this, I also find myself grateful (in a bitter-sweet way) that my family and I got to visit Paris this past fall and see the cathedral in person. So, as for my being o.k. -- I would say I'm doing well enough, all things considered. I don't know. It certainly would be a powerful symbol if that were the case. Regardless, a pity that a work of art (and a bit of history) was so badly damaged, or perhaps even destroyed (at the moment it seems uncertain if any of the building's structure can be saved and restored.)
  31. 8 points
    This is exactly what happens to me with Seth. Over several years I have been reading all the books in the order the sessions came through from Seth, starting with the Early Sessions series, and most recently finishing "Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment," which I think was the last book dictated by Seth before Jane died. Seth is so dense that normally I can only do one or two chapters at a time. Then a day, a week, a month or several months would pass by before I picked up the next chapter, and the number of times the content applied to something going on in my life was amazing. Sometimes I wondered if the book chapters were rearranging and rewriting themselves solely to fit my needs! By the way, for those new to Seth, the books written by Jane Roberts* are far more readable than those dictated by Seth. If you're new to Seth, "The Seth Material" is probably the place to start. You can also try the Oversoul 7 trilogy, which are fictional stories Jane wrote to illustrate what she learned from Seth. I find that the trilogy has more meaning to me now that Seth's teachings have sunk in a bit. * For those completely new to Seth, Jane Roberts was the channel. Michael has said that Jane is the ONLY channel who has agreements with Seth.
  32. 8 points
    Beautiful. I feel like my insanity is a firm grip on my addiction to Powerlessness/ self oppression. This year feels like a real pressure and threat to that identity so I definitely feel sprinkles of that same enthusiasm when I see a little more. I am addicted to being meek! Oh lord lord lord, is it time to move on yet?
  33. 8 points
    Ha. I'm with @KurtisM, actually, have finally decided not to hold back, be myself, stretch out my soul and take risks. The more afraid I am, the more I want to go that road.
  34. 8 points
    @Stickyflames. Well I feel like this is the year where I can finally be ok with my life, speak up and take risks. Emphasis on "can" because I'm still pretty damn afraid of risks.
  35. 8 points
    I'm completely with you on this. I recently donated to the campaign of Andrew Yang after hearing him speak about how the people in control of our government are either technophobes or technology illiterate and thus there are very few (mostly ill-informed) attempts to address technology and technology companies via regulation, etc. (I'm putting words in his mouth based on how I interpreted what he was saying.) So, although Yang has not a chance, I wanted to support his voice on this subject. I generally like Elizabeth Warren but was alarmed to hear her speak about breaking up Amazon and Google, etc., because they are now too big. Well, how did they get too big? Where were the regulations and laws and oversight that kept them from buying out all their competitors? A policy of tearing things down only after they grow large enough to alarm us doesn't make much sense to me. Government just isn't keeping up with the vast changes brought on by technology, and they're nowhere near being able to plan for the future changes technology will bring. I worked with large computer systems for more than 30 years and have always been an early adopter of gadgets. So, even though I'm 64, technology doesn't scare me. However, my sorority group is women early 60s to mid-70s, and it is total frustration for me that at least one of these women doesn't use email (she also refuses to buy anything online, because it's "dangerous") and one has decided she doesn't like cell phones, so please don't send her text messages. (The non-email user finally adopted text when her company provided a phone for her that she was required to use and she discovered how text messages were useful to her.) The others use email and text, but regularly get confused and frustrated with simple technological issues (a software update? why?). When I created an online version of our event calendar that they could access at any time, only one took advantage -- the rest thought it was too much trouble to compare it with the paper calendars they carry in their purses. (Yes. Seriously. Alongside their smart phones, which they all now have primarily because their children insisted.) In terms of technology, I think this group is pretty representative of the age group now in control of the federal government. All of these younger men and women running for President grew up with technology and use it constantly in their daily lives. When you look at the ancient members of Congress who can't even seem to get email down right, why would you be surprised that they have no idea how to manage the growth of Amazon, Google, etc.? Quite aside from GOP tactics, Congress is not doing anything about Russian interference in our last election because as a group they have not ONE CLUE what to do about it. I have heard Buttigieg speak briefly on a couple of occasions, and will watch him because he's articulate and not afraid to speak up on issues where some fear to tread because of politics. And, of course, because he's young enough that he probably hasn't held onto his landline and knows how to use platforms like Twitter in a way that isn't hostile and solely self-promoting. (Like someone we all know.) I believe he's supposed to appear on TRMS Monday, right after his Sunday "special announcement." (P.S. I'm now following all candidates of interest to me on Twitter. It's interesting to see how they use the platform and which are willing to publicly comment on issues rather than just having staff pump out campaign promotion messages.)
  36. 8 points
    You might check into Seth anyway. I also have trouble intellectually understanding Michael. I have found Seth's words seem to align better with my own understanding and natural way of thinking that Michael does not. I am going to be asking about it in an upcoming session with Troy. Seth is certainly more esoteric, but, for me, their way of communicating is like listening to myself.
  37. 8 points
    Checking him out now! This race is going to be really interesting. Of all the hats in the ring I've been feeling a certain affection towards Liz Warren. I feel like she has the balls and the smarts but this whole aspect of Presidency as an extension of celebrity and charisma works against her. It's kinda frustrating to see.
  38. 8 points
    @Juni, I am feeling jangly as fuck tbh. Sleeping has been a bit shit. But an outstandingly BAD sleep deprived jet lagged financial decision involving a loan, was amended yesterday so as not to incur hideous financial penalties, so already I am feeling far less stressed.
  39. 8 points
    I'm sleeping badly lately but I'm also wide awake. Anyone else feeling sort of...jangly this week?
  40. 7 points
    LOL @Rosario that is wonderful! I wish more world leaders would kill themselves.
  41. 7 points
    Wow guys...our corrupt narcissist ex-president Alan García shot himself this morning and died, before his arrest. This is HUGE! I pity him so much & and all that, but I'm kind of relieved. And all of our ex-presidents are in jail now. The old unhealthy regime is F A L L I N G. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-47965867
  42. 7 points
    Can't you just hear them queueing the music in the back ground as they said that?
  43. 7 points
    As many likely have heard by now, a major fire tore through the venerable Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The central spire collapsed and most of the roof was destroyed, along with major damage to surrounding structures. The blaze was so big that many feared it would burn the whole cathedral to the ground. This CNN article gives some news and videos of the event. Luckily, no one was killed, and so far only one first responder has been confirmed injured. That is pretty amazing considering this was an incredibly difficult fire to fight, and required a massive effort by hundreds of firefighters and first responders. Thankfully, their hard work led them to contain the fire and, while structure threats still remain, it seems as though most of the main building has survived, including the facades and the two iconic bell towers. Likewise, with luck and the grace of well-planned architecture, the stone vaulted ceiling provided the interior some protection from the burning and collapsing roof and spire above. A number of priceless cultural heirlooms inside were confirmed safe, though many are yet to be accounted for. Although perhaps not as viscerally shocking as other humanitarian tragedies where lives are taken and lost, there's still a sense of stun and grief in many ways. I've not yet been to Paris myself, but Notre Dame was the top of my list of things to see there, and I was deeply saddened to see her burning. It's sobering to think that, if the chance ever comes, I'll never get to see her as she once was. I can only imagine the feelings of the Parisians and French, who were seeing a treasured piece of heritage, an embodiment of heart and soul for France, burned and gutted. As one observer said, "Paris without Notre Dame is no longer Paris." Even more potent is the fact that it occurred at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter. Something that struck me as I learned about all this was the reaction of the crowds that gathered and watched the tragedy unfold. As masses held vigil all around and into the night, the people sang. To mourn the tragedy unfolding, people sang together, spontaneously as well as through coordination. Michael has said before that, despite what might be thought, humans are ultimately a very Expression-oriented species, and I think it's moments like this that really give an insight into that core of human spirit. Below are some clips of the onlookers. The news segment is long, but should start when they focus on the singing, and is followed by some good commentary.
  44. 7 points
    This is a beautifully perfect example of the theme of Empowerment we chose this year according to the Ms. It's refreshing to see such Unity. From the January 2019 Ask Michael. "MEntity: 2019 could be said to themed in EMPOWERMENT, with the Positive Pole in Unity, the Negative Pole in Rebellion." As a side note, I speculate that Humanity is moving into collective themes of Curiosity, Sharing and Unity from our ingrained Young Soul themes of Progress and Power. I wonder if future generations will look back at these moments in time as being the clear catalysts for their Mature Soul world. Perhaps these events will eventually be looked upon as healings.
  45. 7 points
    For me this doesn't feel like a symbol for the collapse of organized religion. But I guess symbols are meaningful to whoever gives them meaning so there is more than one truth. Similar to @Leela Corman , I feel so sad for the art and history lost. I feel like if this were a symbol for the collapse of organized religion for me, it would feel "right." This doesn't feel "right." It feels like a loss of irreplaceable worth. I am also afraid for the conspiracy theories that will spring out of this, that this wasn't an accident, and it will be used to incite Islamophobia. Another Reichstag fire.
  46. 7 points
    @Luciana Flora I am glad that Asperger Syndrome explains parts of your life. That is awesome to hear! If you do not want to fight the seeming consistent battles and want to use it as an explanation to others for the aspects of your life that they find "unusual" so be it. If you find it truth in it, there is no reason why you cannot give that truth to other people in order to save you time and effort, whether or not a doctor validates it. I would however like to caution you to not use this as a way to explain these "unusual" aspects of life to yourself. There are so many things that are unknown to doctors and scientists about the human body and especially the mind. Do not allow this diagnosis to limit yourself in any way. Yesterday, I was speaking to my friend who thinks he has Asperger Syndrome, but has not been validated by doctors. He takes immense pride in the diagnosis and thinks that people with Autism (anywhere on the spectrum) have superpowers and are mutants like from the X-Men. We were talking about how we think most Autism and Asperger Syndrome is a hyper-focus on certain things and other matters of concern are ignored or simply do not exist. For example, what happens when you take your focus from, let's say, 40 things down to 10 or 5 or even 1. The more focused the better you get. What if you have been doing that your entire life? You are even better. Hence the idea of superpowers. You probably have things you focus on to the exclusion of other things, everybody does. You may have less items of focus and a byproduct of intensity, but that does not make you less than the "normal" people. In some cases and definitely in an ideal world it would give you an advantage. Be proud of who and how you are because you are great!!!! If you truly want to change who and how you are nothing is stopping you except yourself.
  47. 7 points
    Here's Shepherd's reading: 7th-mature priest, discarnate scholar ET, artisan/server casting, 82/18, 48 frequency, 10 previous cycles, discrimination sliding to acceptance, skeptic, power, intellectual/emotional part, martyrdom, mercurial/lunar/martial, adventure/security/freedom, and cadre 3 (1)/entity 7
  48. 7 points
    I like Mayor Pete too- but it will really come down to where he stands on the issues. ESP Healthcare and the support of a single payer system. I still place Bernie Sanders & Liz Warren at the head of the line because I know where they stand and they have consistently fought for us.
  49. 7 points
    I felt compelled to clean out my desk at work. I have very little left now except the few things that I need for my job. It was somewhere around that time that all the crap on the ground in the room that I work in had to be moved out so carpet cleaners could come in during the evening hours. I work in a room with a few other people. After the cleanup, I felt I had more energy overall which at work. The room felt refreshed. Since then the crap has returned on the ground nearby but at least my desk is still clean. I did some cleaning periodically this year at home too. I do not have too much stuff left but I have a mental list of things I would like to give away to someone or recycle if possible. Sometimes I find something as simple as shifting things around in a room to be refreshing. It will be interesting to see what comes of the upcoming Nexus.
  50. 7 points
    @Nadine Haha I didn't have it turned on!!! @MichaelE My savior, the love of my life, THANK YOU @Bobby Bobby I literally only want it for shitposting, memes, complaining. Aka my Hierarchy of Needs
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