A goddess who could have no voice of her own. And a godling who saw nothing but his own beauty. A goddess who became enraptured with him. And a godling who had no attention to spare for her. And they pined for their love till they died. Leaving nothing behind but his mirror and her echo. Or was it something else?
Everyday Narcissus went down to the river to see what the waters had to show him today. His colleagues laughed and said he was in love with himself. That he was pining over his beauty in the waters.
But no, that wasn’t it.
Narcissus was looking for signs of the future in the waters. What his colleagues hadn’t seen was the wand in the skirts of his robe. And that was on purpose. He had hidden it.
What they didn’t see was when he shifted it to his sleeve and hid it there. It looked like he was waving his arm in the water to clear it of debris so he could see his face. What he was actually doing was incanting his spellworks. Calling for his goddess Echo. Praying for her good will and help.
Narcissus was convinced that the world was in trouble and he had to find out what Echo knew. He was sure she’d tell him. And she did. Every right answer he had, she echoed. Every sound guess he made, she mimicked. So his knowledge grew.
And no one was the wiser.
The last day that Narcissus drew breath. he had the whole picture and was rising to go and tell the priests at the temple…..
But his colleagues decided to teach him a lesson. And they shoved him in the waters he had just appeared to be staring into. And his head struck a rock. In the seconds of his death, Narcissus screamed in pain and hopelessness. And his colleagues started when they heard it bounce over every rock and tree nearby as Echo amplified it.
The priests came running to see what had the goddess riled. They found the godling dead, and his colleagues laughing.
And the priests threw them out of the temple. They carried Narcissus’ body to their temple and carefully tended to it’s wrapping and mummification.
They rose his spirit to tell them of his final moments. And he gave them the details of the vision.
The priests were able to change the story so that the Greek empire fell instead of the world. Better if they were defeated than dead, They could always regain their ground. Someday.
Befehl ist Befehl – we were only obeying orders: Early Days of Prosecuting the Capitol Rioters
What is obedience and who do we obey? When?
These are questions that are most readily shown in the military context, but they aren’t even that easily answered there. So how can a civilian know when they should listen to their government officials and when not to?
Is the law or situation just?
Is the law or situation clear?
Women all over the world use the justification that their partner was abusing them, so they committed a crime at their behest. To diminish their responsibility for the actions and harms that followed. They are/were in prison nonetheless. A famous case in Canada is Paul and Karla Bernardo. Karla claimed Paul harmed her and convinced her to kill young women for his pleasure. She was given a lesser sentence and is out now.
As the early cases from the insurrgency attempt of Jan 6, 2021 go before the courts of the USA, that is the defense the accused are using. The US seated president appeared to be ordering them to act on his behalf. Or senators and Trump’s family were.
They were ordinary lay people, who thought they were doing the right thing and were being misdirected by those in authority. It was a plot though and it can be questioned how they were so deluded that a rightfully seated POTUS would have need of their aid? But then again, they have the history of the civil war. When many civilians were called to the battle. And this is what they thought was happening. Rightly or wrongly.
So what do you think? Should they bear the weight of the insurrection, or not?
Were they following orders at all? Were they in effect soldiers for the POTUS, by his direction? Or deluded?
Was the situation so unusual that ordinary citizens should be called upon to act for the govt? In lieu of the military or police?
Was something actually wrong? Were the orders just?
Were they even orders?
The legal eagle: sedition, terrorism, hostages, intention to commit a crime, acting on apparent orders of Trump, his family and members of congress. Vs the rioters’ responsibility under the law.
And with proof all over social media, how can they just charge the rioters?
They can document the exchanges, even up to and including the debate between Biden and Trump, when Trump specifically spoke to the Proud Boys.
The Legal Eagle on incitement:
Doesn’t Trump then have to be indicted? Impeached? (x2) He seems to accuse others of interfering with elections but gets caught going to lengths himself to intrude.
resources – military
harvard.edu (there are some really cool theories on obedience, from a psychological POV included in this paper. If you’re interested. Kohlberg and Milgram)
“the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
…. Intnat’l Military Precedent
facinghistory.org The judges at Nuremberg rejected the “following orders” defense. They said that when an individual follows an order that is illegal under international law, he is responsible for that choice, except under certain circumstances. For instance, if the individual could prove that he was ignorant of the fact that the order was illegal, he would not be responsible. But the judges at Nuremberg maintained that it would have been impossible for members of Einsatzgruppen not to know that murdering civilians was both illegal and immoral. Another exception, the judges said, would be if a person obeyed an illegal order to avoid physical harm, torture, or death.
allowances for the rank of the accused and if his punishment is lessened in certain circumstances, such as the following:
he was not entirely a free agent;
there was no way for him to know definitely that he was violating the laws and customs of legitimate warfare;
the illegal order was obeyed under stress,
at a period of great danger,
during hostilities, or the like;
the command required instant obedience in carrying out an act that could not be postponed.
“Maxwell Case” dating from the Napoleonic Wars Scotland court declared that “every officer has a discretion to disobey order against the known laws of the land.”
Mitchell v. Harmony, a civil suit growing out of the Mexican War. The court refused to consider this plea. Chief Justice Taney of the United States Supreme Court declared: “It can never be maintained that a military officer can justify himself for doing an unlawful act by producing the order of his superior. The order may palliate, but it cannot justify” the deed.
The United States v. John Jones, some members of the crew of an American privateer were tried because, during the War of 1812, the justice said: “This doctrine, … alarming and unfounded, is repugnant to reason, and to the positive law of the land. No military or civil officer can command an inferior to violate the laws of his country; nor will such command excuse, much less justify the act. Can it be for a moment pretended, that the general of an army, or the commander of a ship of war, can order one of his men to commit murder or felony? Certainly not.”
US military court point of view. – The absolute rule which holds the soldier responsible if the order turns out in fact to have been unlawful is qualified in these decisions. They tend to grant immunity if the soldier obeyed an order which was not “palpably” illegal.
English legal history is that of Regina v. Smith. During the Boer War a special court tried Smith for murder and acquitted him. The court said, “I think it is a safe rule to lay down that if a soldier believes he is doing his duty in obeying commands of his superior, and if the orders are not so manifestly illegal that he must or ought to have known they were unlawful, the private soldier would be protected by the orders of his superior officer.”
The German View In the Llandovery Castle case The German Supreme Court turned a deaf ear to their plea and declared, “Military subordinates are under no obligation to question the order of their superior officers, and they can count upon its legality. But no such confidence can be held to exist if such an order is universally known to everybody, including also the accused, to be without any doubt whatever against the law. … They should, therefore, have refused to obey. As they did not do so, they must be punished.”
Max Weber prescribes an ethical integrity between action and consequences, instead of a Kant-ian (Immanuel) emphasis on that between action and intention
Many religions have rules and ideals about being and acting ‘rightly’. About the concept of harm and under what circumstances and for what reasons harm can be done.
Some people believe that as long as they had good intentions, were acting from a place of love or caring, a higher ideal or purpose, they can do pretty much anything they want to someone else.
Though these days, that is changing. With laws about human rights: domestic violence, sexual autonomy; worker, citizen and child protection we seem to realize as a world that there are limits to what is acceptable.
That seems to be a harder thing for those in power to grasp though. Naming a state totalitarian or democratic doesn’t seem to clue leaders in to the fact that they are still responsible for the citizens, Their aim must be to provide for their food, shelter, clothing, clean water and safety.
AS. IF. THEY. WERE. THEIR. CHILDREN!!
Though maybe more as a teenager who has earned some autonomy rather than a baby who needs to be put in a crib if you leave the room for a minute.
And maybe that teenager doesn’t have to be watched every single second. Those who cite crime stats like they are meaningful seem to forget that happy people who feel safe rarely commit crimes. So the surveillance and policing are the end run of power mad politicians, not a just society.
2020 was a real object lesson in that. Protests happened because people were hurt, angry, afraid…. and feeling that resources were becoming more and more scarce. But instead of reassurance and pointing them at the resources they needed, govts were penalizing the people for protesting. And tightening up the laws about when they could protest and under what conditions.
There are international rules that countries have signed that outline what the governments can do, what they can use, and when. Yet these signators aren’t making this a policing issue. Then why sign?
Familes and spouses, work sites and even internet social websites keep repeating the word ‘freedom’ like it’s an ideal, a given. When it’s not.
Social groups are responsible for each other’s safety and care. And that includes their happiness and mental health. Not just their basic needs for food and shelter. Or for communication.
You can’t walk into your home and pour gas over it and burn it because you want to move. Because you’re sick of the decor or the neighbourhood, can you?
You can’t shoot your boss and coworkers because you’re not paid enough or don’t have a good benefit pkg, can you?
You can’t leave your young kids home alone and go off for a weekend trip, can you?
So most rational adults realize that ‘freedom’ has limits. It comes with recognition that you have obligations to others, and you have responsibilities to those you owe and those you care for.
Which means that you can’t plot sedition or spread hate mssgs online either, can you?
Though the crimes of today and their justice plans are split in intention and consequences, that doesn’t negate the other. Ok so you didn’t plan to be poor and need food when the food bank had none, so you stole a loaf of bread. And you couldn’t possibly have forseen that shooting at a target and missing it would mean that you shot your neighbour’s kid. But you are still responsible for intent, actions and consequences. They are taken under consideration, but you still have to bear what was done.
…. mental acuity
And then there is the factor of how well your mind and body were at the time, how mature you were and capable of thinking thru these factors, these questions. How coerced you were by someone who influenced you, and/or the group actions (ie mob) of those you were with? Are the leaders of the action bearing the most legal weight for the action? Or those who did the actions?
In a call for justice, do we not still have to consider where the person is coming from? Do we not have to be fair, and consider teaching, healing as well as punishment?
This is a tough area of ethics to consider, as parents, bosses, social leaders and governors. And apparently, even for philosophers.
So many questions, is there a right response? Just some thinky thoughts as a new regime reviews the past year’s issues and the difference between BLM protests and the capitol riots to beef up the first ammendment in the USA. Realizing that every change of the guard between conservatives and neo-liberals has their hiccups. And how patient will we be with that? I personally have lost mine.
……(Kant) action and intention.
What is your plan or goal for this action?
Can you see the paths it might take?
Do you intend ill or good things for the actions and those affected?
Have you asked those affected what their wishes are? Or are you presuming you have the right to impact their lives, without permission and discussion?
Are you their caretaker or guardian?
……(Weber) action and consequences
Is your action thoughtless?
Having determined the outcome, have you looked at who might be harmed by this action?
Is there a way to mitigate that harm?
Do you know this person, and do you have an obligation to see to their safety? To what degree?
Would warning them help them avoid the consequences?
Are there better options?
Do the goods outweigh the negatives?
Are the good sufficient to justify the negatives?
Are the negatives so harmful that no good could be justified?
[With the Emphatic Aid of Stravinsky] – Warring Angels (a story)
Call it discord, dissonance or call it good music? This is a hint of disharmony and how much you involve the composer’s piece is up to you. But if you fast forward it to where I direct, you’ll get the emphatic point I was trying to go for. Listen to the clash of the angels…..
All you could hear from the sky was the clash of swords. All you could see was slashes of light as if they had thunder bolts or light sabers in their battle.
💀 Thou shalt not take what is mine! 👻 Thine?? Tis not, I say! If I cannot have it, then neither shall you!
No one knew why the angels were in conflict. The priests agreed it wasn’t the end times yet. They had prayed and cast runes just to be sure.
💀 🎶🎶🎶🎶 👻 ♻️♻️♻️♻️ 10:35 tape
The village wasn’t used to the angels fighting and they had no idea what to make of it, or what to do. They just knew it was a bad thing to happen.
💀 Fight I say! Take it if you can! If you’re strong enough. 👻 Never fear! It’s not strength I lack.
They tried to stay out of the way, but the angels moved so quickly, There just wasn’t a place to hide from them. So they hunkered down and waited for the storm to pass.
💀 🎶🎶 👻 ♻️♻️ 12:17 tape
The villagers had no idea how long the feud would last though. And they were starting to realize that some basic needs were going to have to be addressed soon. Food, water, even a pee break would be nice, Well, more than nice as the battle wore on.
💀 How dare you?? It’s mine by right! By design. 👻 You speak as if it were by manifest. No such design exists!
What could they do to stop this conflict though? The priests tried appealing to the angels in prayer. They tried calling out to them and other angels in hope of aid. But nothing happened.
💀 🎶 👻 ♻️ 25:26 tape
Did angels have some kind of code about when they could interupt or intrude on disputes? What were the grounds for such efforts?
💀 I know it in my wings! 👻 As I do!
No hope existed that the angels would tire or need those same breaks the villagers had either. So what would cause them to stop?
💀 🎶🎶🎶 👻 ♻️♻️♻️ 31:56 tape
The fight took over the lives of everyone in the village. And there was nothing they could do.
💀 (shriek!!) 👻 Hazah!! If you have the right to it, why am I winning?
The battled carried on and on. Slowly the villagers who were less delighted by all that was religious, all that was angelic slunk away. And slowly those who were enraptured died waiting for calm to be restored.
The land grew desolate waiting for the angels to resolve their dispute. Even though it wasn’t the end times quite yet.
Aspects of Dominance : Power and Legitimacy (Max Weber)
….power = force, violence, coercion, seduction
Power presumes some level of inequality. Where they use some means to control you and keep you in control. Whether it’s violence or manipulation.
….democracy = each has their role, voice, fairness, common sense
Equality is the identifying factor here. You have the choice of voting for or following this person. Or there is a reciprocal relationship. Negotiation is key to any relationship contracts or changes.
….legitimacy = model, experience, trust, respect, adherence to known protocol/rules, authority
Where the one in the seat of power has some means of proving they are worthy of you following them or letting them control you. An example of this would be in academic fields, they pull out their CV.
….. consent = willing and knowingly engaging in this exchange.
In politics or in even vanilla and familial relationships, these concepts are critical to know. And in BDSM even more so.
People have asked me if I use BDSM concepts in real life and I’ve said that I do. Everyday. They may not have believed me. But when you consider it by the above concepts, who doesn’t?
Yet we’ve been looking for these very things in this US election campaign. Who has told you the truth? Or at least the most truth so you can make an informed decision? Which voice has been the one of calm and reason? Who can you trust and respect the most? Not only by their ideals and allegiances, but also their experience.
Maybe it’s time to apply what you learn in your kink life to other aspects if you don’t use these models elsewhere?
Max Weber’s bureaucracy authority-
famously moved on to identify three ideal types of legitimate domination based on, respectively, charisma, tradition, and legal rationality. Roughly, the first type of legitimacy claim depends on how persuasively the leaders prove their charismatic qualities, for which they receive personal devotions and emotive followings from the ruled.
The second kind of claim can be made successfully when certain practice, custom, and mores are institutionalized to (re)produce a stable pattern of domination over a long duration of time. In sharp contrast to these crucial dependences on personality traits and the passage of time,
the third type of authority is unfettered by time, place, and other forms of contingency as it derives its legitimacy from adherence to impersonal rules and universal principles that can only be found by suitable legal-rational reasoning.
democracy is deemed as a fourth type of legitimacy because it should be able to embrace legitimacy from below whereas his three ideal types all focus on that from above
for those who haven’t studied Sociology or philosophy, Max Weber is a very important influence on a lot of academics. But this is just a story based on something he talks about. It’s very symbolic and I wondered what Freud would say about it?
Fred went to bed. Thinking he was tired after a full day’s work and needed the rest. Fred thought he was pretty clear headed and calm, so he should sleep well.
He dropped off to sleep fairly easily. And at first, he was dreamless. So there was no problem.
When Fred saw the iron cage, he wasn’t that concerned. He was kind of into BDSM and wondered who would be found within it’s bars? Himself or some woman he could torture a little?
He saw himself. Blast!
At first, all he did was sit there. Ok, seemed like a waste of a dream… But things picked up a bit. Outside the cage, his boss showed up. First as a priest, then as a cop, then as a belly dancer, and lastly as a clown. I.N.T.E.R.E.S.T.I.N.G!
Fred wasn’t too sure what to make of this. He didn’t see his boss in any of those ways. He just wasn’t that much of a follower of authority, and had no illusions of what his boss and he were to each other. More like colleagues than boss and employee. And what was up with the belly dancer?? He wasn’t into his boss like that. lol His boss did like to joke and prank though. He could sort of see the clown.
First the boss/priest took Fred out of the cage, and led him down a pathway. With a leash on. Fred was on hands and knees. Fred wasn’t impressed or interested. They came back to the cage which was showing signs of rust. And ivy was growing up the bars.
Then the cop/boss took him out of the cage and led him around, brought him back to a cage that was deteriorating further.
Then his boss/belly dancer led him along the path. He giggled and shuffled. The boss/belly dancer tapped him with a cane and sashayed back to the cage. Which was further declining.
And then there was the clown/boss. Who kept prodding Fred with some kind of buzzer, poker thing that Fred wasn’t too sure he liked or hated. Or even knew what it was. It was kind of annoying, kind of titilating.
And the cage was half covered with ivy and the bars were rusted to the point of flaking badly, and looked pretty weak. And the lock was looking pretty weak as well.
But they held when Fred tested them.
At first Fred had been kind of excited, or curious to see what would happen. And maybe even a little confused?
But now that these incarnations of his boss were all standing outside the cage taunting him, Fred wasn’t too sure he wanted the dream to continue. He tried to wake himself up and got frustrated by his failure to do so. And got mocked more for his trouble.
The world outside the cage was changing too. Looking more and more like a dystopian wasteland. He half expected his boss creatures to turn into zombies. But was really glad when they didn’t.
Fred noticed his clothes were wasting, and he was becoming more and more emaciated. And he was so so thirsty! So so hungry. And all his boss figures would do was to laugh at him and clap each other on the back.
The priest said, ‘Fred, you have no morals. You’re excommunicated!’ and turned his back on Fred.
The cop said, ‘Fred, you have no conscience. You’re incarcerated!’ and walked away.
The belly dancer said, ‘Fred, you have no drive. You’re banned!’ and with a turn of her head, she flounced away.
The clown said, ‘Fred, you have no leadership. You’re dethroned!’ and bounced away on his big shoes.
Fred started to cry. He knew he had failed some important test that he hadn’t even known he was taking. That he’d had no preparation for. And now all he felt was naked and chained, in a cage that could destroy him. And trying to leave it could scar his arms and legs, maybe more due to the rust and iron flakes.
And he cried himself to sleep in his dream. Though in his life he was waking. The alarm had gone off.
Fred went to work, and just in case asked his boss if he was happy with his performance? His boss smiled and said, ‘Well you’re not fired’. And clapped him on the back. Walking away.
Fred hesitated. Did he take that as a sign that all was well? Or that they thought he was the best they could do? That he was the body on the spot? Fred didn’t know what to do.
So he just went to his post and began his day. For the umpteeth day in a history of days.
2 officers down due to the Capitol Siege – Why is one the only one people think of?
Normally I’m not in the habit of blaming a suicide death on anyone. But in this case, considering the timing, isn’t an officer who stands thru a siege but falls to suicide 3 days later ‘injured’ by the event as if he were shot or battered with a flag?
We know so much about PTSD and the building mental crisis of trauma that I should think so. But very little of the chatter since the siege has even mentioned his death. Not even in the souls lost list of that day.
Very little has been done to honour this officer’s life or sacrifice. Beyond lowering the Senate flag on Sunday for both officers.
I don’t know how to list the wrongs I see in this, or even who to blame. But this should be corrected. I wish I knew what to say to change things, so an officer who falls by suicide is considered injured on the job. Like any fallen colleagues would be.
There is a little progress with this issue in the military of Canada. Recently our country’s tradition of the silver star mother was broadened to include a soldier who fell by suicide after serving in Afghanistan. I think that is an awesome sign of progress.
What will be the point when we can at least acknowledge that someone has died in the roll call of an event’s injuries?
Howard Liebengood who was a 2nd gen Capitol officer committed suicide Saturday after being in the siege.
Brian Sicknick succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. After he had collapsed at the station.
Three insurgents died due to medical emergencies during the siege and one was shot by police. Since she was a vet , do we fully consider her a bad actor, a full participant? Or a vet who was impaired and influenced by the wrong crowd?
Argue – justice, protection, what about belonging? How do you be greedy or steal if you want to stay in the group?
Resources are something groups share, right? Each person to their needs, each person fairly gets what their share is. And each person gives what they can. In work, support, bonding….
Wanting to belong for many people is a form of protection for the group. Few people are willing to risk losing the protection of the group if they have enough for themselves and those they love.
But in a time of upheaval, more people become destitute. More groups get targeted, more people become disenfranchised. Because they believe resources are scarcer, more people become desperate and act in ways that are hostile to their group. Figuring that they won’t have to pay consequences. Maybe because they are insiders and can explain away their actions and worries. Without considering that the group might turn on them.
And they’re partly right. The consequences would be much worse if they were outsiders. But that doesn’t erase all consequences, does it?
And they figure that the group will show compassion since they might be in the same boat. But that’s not necessarily true either. People who are scared about their own safety and needs won’t give away what they need, esp to someone who has the same perceived resources or access to them as they do. That doesn’t mean they won’t share, just not with an equal.
Why should they? They believe they are limited in what they have as well.
So people in this time are discouraged from being greedy and stealing. By social shaming, if not fines and incarceration. And in some cases, by excommunication.
Some people underestimate how much trust and respect are oil in social bonds. And what appears like a lesser ‘crime’ is in fact in many ways a worse one. Because you have betrayed the group. Not just one person. Like most crimes do.
It’s really surprised me how Trump and his family have gotten away with so much known grifting during their reign of terror. Because these days many people in the USA are homeless, reliant on foodbanks and unemployed. The US govt has failed to provide free health care and money so the citizens of the country can survive. AND the Trumps are grifting. But still they got just under half of the votes available in the election. AND their supporters are willing to risk charges to support their claim to the seat of power. Knowing they are thieves and liars.
It’s really odd, considering the natural instincts of human nature would be counter to that. By instinct. I hope someone can explain to me why this is the tone of the day.
Because US citizens should be used to the DEMs and REPs taking turns at the seat. Esp if they are working for the govt at some level. Or more familiar with the ebbs and flows of governance and it’s cycles. People like cops, military and vets, or senators, governors or other politicians. They seem more desperate than necessary to hold on to this cycle.
They should be used to these transitions of power. What they shouldn’t be used to though is a grifter in that seat. It’s confusing to me.
Though often related to priesthood or being a monk, there are other ways to look at this path. It’s interesting when you apply it to BDSM and sado-masochism as well. Ultimately asceticism is about self/other regulation and sensual play.
The first part of this journey is figuring out your motives for it. Are you reducing your stimulation because you feel out of control; because you feel the people of the world are; because you want to be closer to your gods; or because you want to try deprivation to increase your sensual play? Do you want to control someone else or yourself? Are you using it to discipline the body, or punish it? Do you want to become a better version of yourself or a closer couple?
Then there are safety considerations. When you play with senses, there is a risk of going too far. Pain and deprivation can send your body into neuro/psychogenic shock. Returning to full sensory stimulation should be a slow, easy process after pain or deprivation are over. Or it can overwhelm the CNS system. It can feel like/be perceived as an assault. And trigger all kinds of emotional responses. Bring up old wounds that you may or may not be aware of.
How big that issue is might depend on how much of the body is involved in the experience.
Be sure to start slow, short times and small things. This is something monks practice for years, with good reason.
The spiritual and emotional growth opportunity for the person undergoing the asceticism might be quite something for them, if it’s properly done. It’s why many religions have feast and fasting days, and why prayer and meditation are so significant in most major religions and alternative health practices.
That growth can lead to you finding a path forward out of a period of stagnation, excess, or it can help heal after abuse. And if done as a couple, can break or bond them. Couples need to be going at the same pace and for the same reasons.
Asceticism is often used with chastity, (as in it’s not just the genitals in a cage/belt but other deprivation or masochism tools as well) or it can be a time to overstimulate (tease) the person so they don’t focus just on their genitals.
A way to compensate for the deprivation you feel during these lockdowns and ltd social engagements and possible sexual deprivation (if you’re unpartnered) is to use this time to learn what your body and mind are capable of. But be sure to have someone checking in on you that you trust and who knows you well. Someone who knows how to check for shock if you are quite deprived or in large amounts of pain during your explorations.
And reminder: be sure to build back your stimulation slowly so you don’t become overstimulated. And comfort your body afterwards with gentle self massage, rhythmic slow exercises (Like Tai Chi or Yoga) or a warm bath or shower.
There is a long list of things that could be considered to be ascetic, too long to list. This is a topic that needs to be researched before you try it and is better done with a mentor than just winging it.