Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Importance of Wesley Clark

For The Hill’s “Pundit’s Blog” - 6/28/2008

We’ve been hearing a lot about John Adams these days. All my Yankee friends who read books have enjoyed the show; the David McCullough biography and the recent PBS series. But as one born and reared in New England, I’ve always preferred Jefferson.

Especially these days. As his father early on compared them to the father and son Adams Presidents, I’ve long thought that George W. Bush modeled – or more likely imagined – his Presidency after Adams, the second President of the United States.

What was troubling was the ease and confidence in which Bush would move forward on issues which were sometimes illegal and unconstitutional and duplicitous. The one historical perspective which resonates is the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts by Adams which stripped the public of civil rights and removed the Constituional basis for public life. Jefferson, the visionary who alone perceived the dangerous potentialities ahead when he signed on with the likes of Adams and Hamilton, felt Adams had destroyed his vision of an burgeoning American republic at its infancy and began to set a separate path for Virginia and the South.

Bush has always had the glowing and innocent self confidence of one who has never really been successful at anything. Perhaps he felt that like Adams, he could not break the law because as President, he was above the law, and like Nixon, if he did, someone would come along later and pardon him. Someone would mop it up later. They always had.

In any event he knew, and he was right in this if the current state of the republic is characteristic, that over time people would prefer hagiography to history when crimes, malice and misdemeanors were suggested. The people would remember that the President wrote daily to his charming wife or spent the idle hours cutting brush in the Texas bush.

Since Bush came to office we have lived in a shadow world of deception and duplicity. We still don’t know the origins. We need to know. Our fate and future as American citizens depends on it.

In one of his recent books Wesley Clark said that he had heard rumors of the Iraq invasion long before the attack. Many of us did. In fact, at one point it was quite obvious that the Bush administration was going to invade and that the tragic terror attacks of 9/11 had little to do with it. Before we go any further, let’s get back to the beginnings of this. Let’s have televised exploratory hearings. Let them be vast and if necessary let them last years and let them begin now.

Not to get all judgmental, but for myself, I’d like to see something a little less touchy-feely than the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and something more akin to the McCarthy Hearings. Or better still, something like France’s war crime trials of the legendary and folkloric Vichy Swine which took TIME’s Man of the Year in 1931, Pierre Laval, and left him vomiting before a firing squad in 1945.

The Iraq war and foreign policy are now secondary. What is at stake here is the soul of America. How did Americans allow this to happen? We can blame the weakling courts, the Congress of Peeps and the appeasing and collaborating press for Gitmo, torture, the repeal of habeas corpus and this phony invasion but up to 75% of Americans originally endorsed the invasion in a national fit of war fever. People may be tired of the war today, but Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush will be back soon either as VP candidates for John McCain or as Presidential candidates in 2012 to restore the Bush vision. Because what Bush has done is call for the establishment of an entirely new point of view in the American condition – one at stark variance with our Constitutional beginnings - and the next step is to institutionalize it.

This is where I see General Clark as important. You cannot abdicate your principles during the time of need then go back to them after the moral crisis has passed. If you do they are not principles, they are talismans. The Iraq war was evidence that we as Americans are no longer guided by republican government and its principles. Like Sarko and the new Euro Bush Souls, we are collaborators.

We need to be redeemed. And we need to redeem ourselves.

It is in human nature to justify our failings. But little wars lead to bigger wars shortly after as they empower the citizenry to fight. The Mexican War led to the Civil War. WW I empowered Hitler and Germany to move again in the 1930s. We are now in the gulf between wars perhaps, waiting for Mitt Romney to fulfill Bush’s great vision in the Middle East.

I saw only Wesley Clark as standing out in opposition at the very beginning. Others, like Howard Dean opposed, but it is one thing when a northern New England Governor opposes – we oppose everything – and a General with the status of Wesley Clark. Clark was often alone in his opposition but he brought forth a force of patriotic character in opposition that elected officials could rally around. Then by the ’06 elections there was Clark and there was Jim Webb, the Senator from Virginia, and the will of Congress and the people began to turn on the initiative of these two warrior-scholars and a sea change occurred.

We will need them again and perhaps now we will need them always in public life until we get our bearings back.

Up here in the Vermont region people have bumper stickers with the date of Bush's last day in office, 01.20.09. But you can't do that; you can't let them take it from you and just wait till it passes. If you do, it won't pass. You have empowered the bully and he will be back.

President Obama needs a bull dog. He needs someone who in his person represents us and our best instincts in our tradition. He needs someone who represents us as fair-minded and compassionate and patriotic and resolute in our opposition. Someone like Webb who brought a shrill voice to opposition when no one would listen; some one like Wes Clark who came back from Vietnam in a basket without complaint, hubris or public display.

Obama needs someone who can face the difficult tasks ahead with clarity and without bitterness or recriminations. Because this isn’t over. It is just beginning.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Journal - 6/25/08 - Gary Hart, Wes Clark, Sam Nunn, Obama's VP

War for the sake of war

Gary Hart makes the point in a NYTs op-ed that we enter a true new chapter in American history with the rise of Obama. Cites Emerson. My comment:

What we have been rising to since Eisenhower and Kennedy is a true globalism in American consciousness that is not shackled to the European tradition and its lore and burdens, but feels a comfortable visitor in Africa or Laos as well. Obama is the avatar who comes from the East to the center rather than from the West. We will also leave behind the internal North/South paradigm which has determined our fate these past two hundred years, to the burgeoning East/West political dynamic, which finds its center in Obama's Chicago rather than D.C. He needs to poach Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger who share his energy and excitement for new awakenings and rise to their challenges.

Wes Clark supporter, Ellen, asks about Clark's chance for VP. General Clark's conspicuous absence from a list of National Security Study Group people for an Obama administration suggested he was being considered for VP. My comment:

Tea leaves: Clark’s presence at head of flag officers (in this Reuters photo of Tony McPeak, Obama and Clark) bolsters Obama’s comments last week preparing/prelude to this moment. Obama said he was considering a military officer for VP and suggestion was James Jones. But Clark is prominent here; Jones comment was stealth.

Clark on left because Obama will use him on interior America role (Introvert – rebuilding a patriotic America; VP only does foreign policy in Bushworld) and use an older man for exterior World (Extravert). Clark VP, Sam Nunn, Sec. of State., Sebelius, Chief of Staff.

Clark v. Romney: I guess from my point of view the war on Iraq and foreign affairs are secondary. What is primary is how did Americans allow this to happen? We can blame the weakling Courts, Congress and the Press for Gitmo, torture, the repeal of habeas corpus and this phony invasion but 75% endorsed this. They may be tired of the war, but Romney will be back either as VP or as Presidential candidate in 2012 to restore the Bush vision. This is where I see General Clark as important and always have. You cannot abdicate your principles then go back to them after the moral crisis. The Iraq war was evidence that we as Americans are no longer guided by republican government and principles; like Sarko and the new Euro Bush Souls, we are collaborators. It is in human nature to justify our failings. Little wars lead to bigger wars shortly after as they empower the citizenry to fight; the Mexican War led to the Civil War. WW I empowered Hitler and Germany in the 1940s. We are now in the gulf between wars perhaps, waiting for Mitt Romney to fulfill Bush’s great vision. I saw only Wesley Clark as standing out in opposition at the very beginning. Others, like Howard Dean opposed, but it is one thing when a northern New England Governor opposes – we oppose everything – and a General with the status of Wesley Clark. This is just beginning and it will be a fight for the restoration of the soul of America. Bush is widely expected to convert to Catholicism after his shift. This is a weird twist in the Protestant Ethic (speaking as a Catholic/buddhist). I half expect he sees himself now as eventually being canonized; just as he and his father saw them selves as Adams and son. And although it is pathological, I see it not an impossible vision. Romney and Clark could fight this out in single warrior combat for the American soul.

. . . up here in Vermont (region) people have bumper stickers with the date of Bush's last day in office. But you can't do that; you can't let them take it and just wait till it passes. If yo do, it won't pass. You have to take it back from them or you lose your character as true citizens. You have to demand it. America's fate could well hang between Wes Clark and Mitt Romney.

. . . if not VP, he (Clark) will be what I wrote in one of my first articles about him - "the bull dog heart of a new Democratic Party."

Suggestion: Obama has some unique and enlightened perspectives but it is beginning now to be able to see at what every day level of decision making he will channel - that is, Sebelius, Webb, Gore, Clark would all be interesting VPs but each of those four would make fully different Cabinet packages and unique administrations. Obama is spending a lot of time these last two weeks with Tom Daschle and Tom is said to be pitching heavily several including Wesley Clark. I don't see Webb getting it - a great and interesting man but with the artist's heart and too unpredictable for the management quality - which I see as very, very high given Obama's campaign to date - that Obama will demand. A Webb decision would not fit Obama's decision - making pattern and it would be too many coyotes on one ticket. A Gore VP would be an emergency "save the environment" team - we may need that but we're not going to do it. Obama will demand management skills of the highest level. That is Clark, Sebelius, Mark Warner (Ed Rendell also a possibility - he was a great hero in Philly; I covered his first race for mayor - but two candidates from northern big cities? Clark as Southern karma.) Warner says no, he won't take it. Sebelius is possibly the best manager of a middle-size state. And she has a way nice Kansas, heartland karma and personality. But we need management plus; Clark has First Tier management but can bring an interior cohesion to the party and the country that the others can't. His work in '06 was important in giving the Democrats a new attitude. Clark fits Obama's recent decision-making patterns. His Cabinet will be mainstream - Tom Daschle - but with a positive new attitude and Clark adds real cache to it so he is currently my first guess since the naming of the National Security Study Group thing.

. . . but if it is a purely symbolic decision he'll pick the guy from Montana or Clare McCaskill, Senator from Missouri.

Ellen cites the Gary Hart comments in the NYTs: This campaign presents the potential for a new cycle of American history.

My thought:
Absolutely. He cites Emerson and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. , but the cycles of history theme is most accurately described by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their books "The Fourth Turning" and "Millennials." Specifically, the authors re-animated a theory of Roman historians which describes a four-generation post-war period - an 80 year-period which Roman historians called a saeculum. The culture breaks and turns at the beginning of the fourth generation, which is now. Before General Clark entered the '04 race a friend and I each sent Gary Hart a very small amount of cash and asked him to run for President and asked him to come up here to NH to speak. He came up and spoke at Amherst and U NH and perfectly and in hindsight, with complete accuracy, outlined what would happen if the Bush administration invaded Iraq. A few months later he announced that he would not run for President and listen to this: He sent our money back! An example of cycles of history can be seen when W.J. Cash, from Shelby, NC, wrote a book called "The Mind of the South" in 1941, a criticism of the Confederate mentality which lingered in the segregated South. He fully expected to be denounced from every quarter. But he wasn't. His book was favorably reviewed by 50 newspaper editors in the south and became a turning point in Southern history writing, opening the gate for people like C. Vann Woodward and other great historians. The South had largely gotten past the Confederacy by 1941 and was ready to move on. We are at that point right now with WW II history and its afterglow, Cold War. The country is ready to move away from seeing Russia as our enemy and viewing our trials as all across the Atlantic. The fourth-generation simply doesn't understand. China is rising; India is rising. They present the world ahead and cannot be viewed as enemies. McCain is not ready; this creates the dangerous nostalgico condition that Spain suffered with Franco - Bush is a nostalgico President and guilty of the greatest of all war crimes and the mother of all war crimes; war for the sake of imitating valor; it is war for the sake of war. Bush's roll in the cycles of history is as a gatekeeper but his roll is to close the gate that Ronald Reagan opened. Bush closes the door on the post-Victorian century. The new gate and the new century opens now with Obama. Now we begin to look East as well as West.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Can the Irish Leave the EU?

By Bernie Quigley

6/21/08 – for the Irish Echo

The Irish have sent the EU into a tail spin because they voted to oppose last week’s referendum on EU reform, which would have demanded that Ireland follow Europe’s dictates on abortion, military intervention and taxation. Pundits say it has crippled the EU, perhaps for good, unless Ireland can be coerced into changing its vote. One analyst says Ireland should find a way to leave the EU.

But can the Irish "find a way to leave" the EU? I doubt that the Irish or anyone else in Europe has fully considered that the American Civil War came about because of different philosophical outlooks between the pastoralists in Virginia and the industrialists in New York City and that these opposing outlooks are inherent in federalism.

In the United States in 1776, no one but Thomas Jefferson had fully thought through the possible consequences of federation. But within 20 years of signing, the perceptive Jefferson began to understand that the North would invade the South when it developed the economic and industrial power to do so.

In Europe today I see no Jefferson. And as far as I understand it, there is no exit clause for Ireland or anyone else in the EU.

The American federation first began to crack when President John Adams – who could well be seen as George W. Bush’s role model in his cavalier attitude toward Constitutional responsibility - removed civil liberties with the Alien and Sedition Acts just 22 years after the signing, and Jefferson and Madison began writing secession papers for Virginia and Kentucky in response. Jefferson knew then that the New Yorkers would not allow them to leave the federation even though he had written an exit clause in the Virginia Constitution at the beginning. He expected a northern invasion of Virginia as early as 1797.

The dye was already cast in 1794 at Jay’s Treaty when George Washington broke with his fellow Virginians and joined with Adams and Alexander Hamilton, the New Yorker, who had created the model of a universal industrial state with one center, in opposition to Jefferson and Madison. Those were the first two steps from which all of American federal history has since descended.

Ireland suddenly finds itself today in the early phases of Jefferson’s dilemma. Now that the Irish pastoralists begin to face philosophical differences with their big industrial masters, Germany and France in particular, they will find the same issues.

Commentator Carlos Alberto Montaner who lives in Spain, says there is no such thing as Europe.

“There are French, English, Italians, Spaniards et al, but the inhabitants of the Old World still have not shown anything resembling a common soul and probably never will,” he says in a recent Washington Post article.

He also cites Argentine writer Mariano Grondona who says the same about MERCOSUR, a Latin American body conceived in the manner of the European Union

“I know many Argentines who would be willing to die or kill for Argentina, but I don't know a single one who is ready to do so for MERCOSUR,” says Grondona.

Their commentary suggests the United States prior to federation and shortly after as Ulysses S. Grant described it in his memoirs; a land made up of small communities with localized idioms. The Civil War changed all that.

Lincoln and Grant had to bring in the Irish landing in a horde in New York (including my great grandfather) to suppress the Virginians and the southern pastoralists when the inevitable crisis erupted. Perhaps in time the EU federalists will have to pull in its people in all those Eastern Bloc and Orthodox Christian countries and the Turks and Muslims on the far edge of Europe who so want to participate to suppress a new Irish insurgency.

There is a process or arc in the life cycle of federations which have grown so rapidly in the world since the mid-1800s. These are not traditional empires like China, Russia or the rise of England under Elizabeth I. They are Instant Empires. Their longevity is still up for debate. They are ad hoc groupings of related areas forming together for an immediate purpose; usually defense or economic betterment.

In the United States it was a case of the strong industrial regions dominating the pastoral regions by brute force in the Civil War. We are taught constantly here in the North that this war was fought to fight slavery but letters home by Vermont soldiers show little interest in liberating slaves. Almost all say they entered the fight to prevent the South from seceding from the federation signed on to in 1776.

Europe today is on precisely the same path. The Irish may have seen an opportunity to transcend British cultural dominance by joining the EU. But now it must wonder how it will fare as a German substate, as the new Euro core is largely France/Germany; Sarko's France the submissive yin in full cooperation with the dominant and stronger yang force next door. (Did somebody say Vichy?)

How should Ireland find its way in this world?

It shouldn’t.

When the Irish left home, where did they go? Germany? France? No. They went to Manchester, England, until they had enough cash on hand to make passage to New York and Boston. If Ireland wanted to be a substate to anyone, it should be the free world on this side of the Atlantic which it helped create.

But Ireland now has the opportunity to lead the world out of the soulless and generic mentality of one-size-fits-all federalism to find its own nature again and find its way as a free state and a free people in a free world, beholding to no one on moral issues or any other.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ireland is a Free State

The Irish have sent the EU into a tail spin because they voted to oppose last week’s referendum on EU reform, which would have demanded that Ireland follow Europe’s dictates on abortion, military intervention and taxation. Pundits say it has crippled the EU, perhaps for good, unless Ireland can be coerced into changing its vote. One analyst says Ireland should find a way to leave the EU.

But can the Irish "find a way to leave" the EU? I doubt that the Irish or anyone else in Europe has fully considered that the American Civil War came about because of different philosophical outlooks between the pastoralists in Virginia and the industrialists in New York City and these opposing outlooks are inherent in federation.

In the United States in 1776, no one but Jefferson had fully thought through the possible consequences of federation. Within 20 years of signing, Jefferson understood that the North would invade the South when it developed the economic and industrial power to do so.

In Europe today I see no Jefferson. And as far as I understand it, there is no exit clause for Ireland or anyone else in the EU.

The American federation first began to crack when President John Adams – W’s role model - removed civil liberties with the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, just 22 years after the signing, and Jefferson and Madison began writing secession papers for Virginia and Kentucky in response. Jefferson knew then that the New Yorkers would not allow them to leave the federation even though he had written an exit clause in the Virginia Constitution at the beginning. He expected a northern invasion of Virginia as early as 1797.

The dye was already cast in 1794 at Jay’s Treaty when George Washington broke with his fellow Virginians and joined with Adams and the New Yorker, Alexander Hamilton, who had created the model of a universal industrial state with one center, in opposition to Jefferson and Madison. Those were the first two steps from which all of American federal history has since descended.

Ireland suddenly finds itself today in the early phases of Jefferson’s dilemma. Now that the Irish pastoralists begin to face philosophical differences with their big industrial masters, Germany and France in particular, they will find the same issues.

Commentator Carlos Alberto Montaner who lives in Spain, says there is no such thing as Europe.

“There are French, English, Italians, Spaniards et al, but the inhabitants of the Old World still have not shown anything resembling a common soul and probably never will,” he says in a Washington Post article.

He also cites Mariano Grondona, an Argentinian, who says the same about MERCOSUR, a Latin American body conceived in the manner of the European Union

“I know many Argentines who would be willing to die or kill for Argentina, but I don't know a single one who is ready to do so for MERCOSUR,” says Grondona.

Their commentary suggests the United States prior to federation and shortly after as Ulysses S. Grant described it in his memoirs; a land made up of small communities with localized idioms. The Civil War changed all that.

Lincoln and Grant had to bring in the Irish landing in a horde in New York (including my great, grandfather) to suppress the Virginians and the southern pastoralists when the inevitable crisis erupted. Perhaps in time the EU federalists will have to pull in its people in all those Eastern Bloc and Orthodox Christian countries and Turks and Muslims on the edge of Europe who so want to participate to suppress a new Irish insurgency.

There is a process or arc in the life cycle of federations which have grown so rapidly in the world since the mid-1800s. These are not traditional empires like China, Russia or the rise of England under Elizabeth I. They are Instant Empires. Their longevity is still up for debate. They are ad hoc groupings of related areas forming together for an immediate purpose; usually defense or economic betterment.

In the United States it was a case of the strong industrial regions dominating the pastoral regions by brute force in the Civil War. We are taught constantly here in the North that this war was fought to fight slavery but letters home by Vermont soldiers show little interest in liberating slaves. Almost all said they entered the fight to prevent the South from seceding from the federation.

Europe today is on precisely the same path. The Irish may have seen an opportunity to transcend British cultural dominance in joining the EU. But now it must wonder how it will fare as a German sub-state, as the new Euro core is largely France/Germany; Sarko's France the submissive yin in full cooperation to the dominant and stronger yang force next door. (Did somebody say Vichy?)

How should Ireland find its way in this world?

It shouldn’t.

When the Irish left home, where did they go? Germany? France? No. They went to Manchester, England, until they had enough cash on hand to make passage to New York and Boston. If Ireland wanted to be a sub state to anyone, it should be the free world on this side of the Atlantic which it helped create.

But Ireland now has the opportunity to lead the world out of the soulless and generic mentality of one-size-fits-all federalism to find its own nature again and find its way as a free state and a free people in a free world, beholding to no one on moral issues or any other.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama/Gore '08

Politics is Power. A look at the trajectory of politics in America since Yalta shows a rise of the Power Principle manifest primarily in the Republican Party; Eisenhower and Reagan on a trajectory which is likely to continue. True Democrats like Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, interspersed regularly with levity and playfulness; the yin dancing through the yang, but always in yang’s house. Some, including myself see Obama as the new JFK; some say the new Lincoln. I have a friend who says Obama is the Chosen One – the Aquarian - and will lead a movement to last 2,000 years. But in the perspective of recent history, the most likely scenario is a happy one-term affair, like the breathing space between Watergate and Reagan, a time when the Republican Party was seen as dead in the water, as it is seen today. But Watergate was the best thing to happen to the Republicans. It allowed them to dump the trash and rebuilt within a decade, to dominate the political scene for the next 25 years.

Obama can awaken the new century, but he needs to build a fully original party; one which leaves history behind entirely. And for that he needs Al Gore.

Obama is showing organizational and conceptual abilities already that are superior to any candidate in our time. Our American history is North/South, but from his perch in Chicago, he sees the world East/West as it opens up to the new millennium. But if he doesn’t fully institionalize his vision with the right team, he will fall into history’s footnotes as one of the charming ethnics; like the Irishman from Boston and the Sunday School teacher from Plains, Georgia.

For this he needs to bring Al Gore out of the shadows and on to the main stage for once and for all. Obama needs to institutionalize himself and he needs to institutionalize Al Gore, or both will be remembered as in the Woody Guthrie tune: . . . they come with the dust and are gone with the wind.

All the talk of Republicans falling apart is wishful thinking. Some of the most prominent Republicans today really seem to be looking for a breathing space. And others like Mark Sanford, Republican Governor of South Carolina, may actually be charmed by Obama.

Surveys are deceptive. Obama is slightly ahead of McCain in national polls, but we live in volatile times. Lincoln was widely expected to lose his second election. Surveys showed him well behind, but he won in a landslide. What the surveys showed was that the country was tired of war. But they were not ready to refute the Union effort when it came time to vote. We are today in a similar pattern. The country is tired of war. But is the country ready to refute the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein? Up to 75% of those surveyed at the very beginning supported this invasion; fiercely supported this invasion in a haze of war fever. Including most of the Senate and virtually all of the top editors and reporters. The Iraq invasion could well be recalled like the Mexican War. As Grant said, it was a war of the strong against the weak, but anyone who did not participate in it would not take part in the dramatic events to follow.

Obama can’t win running as an anti-war candidate and he is not running as an anti-war candidate. Negativity feeds a beast and it is its own reward: It likes to fail. (As with the Irish independence movement 100 years since: We don’t seek independence because we hate England. We seek independence because we love Ireland. Hating England is the unfortunate by-product.)

Obama has avoided this negativity. He is one of the few and the brave who opposed the war from its very beginnings but has shown sensitivity and understanding to those Senators like Clinton and John Edwards who voted for it then changed their positions as the surveys changed. Indeed, he has shown maturity and sensitivity throughout in the face of the most childish and dishonest strategies by some of his opponents.

Senator McCain’s entire candidacy is an endorsement of the Iraq war and the Bush so-called legacy. The better way to advance this position would be to put Jeb Bush on as VP candidate and fill the slots with Mitt Romney, Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jeb is no Boy George and is widely respected as a manager and a politician. That Quaternity would repair the Republican party pronto and with Jeb Bush running for POTUS in 2012, would give the newly Catholicized Republicans (W is widely expected to convert after his shift is up and Jeb, like many leading Republicans, is a recent convert) a permanent dynasty; possibly it would bring an end of republican government as we have experienced it on our continent, and give us instead an American regime akin to that of the Hapsburgs.

Obama is the only chance. And Al Gore is the singular politician in the tradition who does not look to the past ("my legacy") but to the future. He is still the uncarved block and the man of ideas who sees only the future. Some Republicans with an eye to the environment, Governor Schwarzenegger for example, who hopes to build a hydrogen highway from San Diego to Vancouver, and Governor Jody Rell of Connecticut and NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who had hopes of ridding New York City of pollution, have been frustrated by legacy and tradition in both parties. They all look ahead with energy and imagination. In an extended Bush legacy they will have to ignore the feds and look to sympathetic regionalism to advance their vision of rebuilt cities and rebuilt people and fast trains and hydrogen highways from New York to Chicago and on to San Francisco. But Obama/Gore ’08 shares their energy and enthusiasm as it is part of the continuum which spirals forward from the moment, not countervails behind from it in an opposite direction. Obama could easily poach Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger as Gore’s Eisenhower and Marshall on the war of the environment and my feeling is that they would rather work for him in a post-partisan political environment of new ideas.

I’m not sure if it has been discussed satisfactorily, but on the blogs there was wide discussion of why Al Gore did not earlier endorse Obama and questions arose as to why he was the last to speak up.

The reason is simple. In late March, it was reported by Joe Klein in Time Magazine, that it looked like we were going to the Democratic Convention in a stalemate between Clinton and Obama. Some of the most prominent Democrats told Klein that if that happened, it would break the party in half and hand the ’08 election over to the Republicans. But that wasn’t going to happen, because if two went in, only one would come out and that one would be Al Gore. The delegates would vote Gore in on a second ballot.

Al Gore spoke up only this week in Michigan in support of Obama. It means the coast is clear to November for Obama. Obama has the delegates and Gore was certainly not among the crowd of Hillary’s "secret police" (Dick Morris’s phrase) hoping to undo the Obama nomination even after he had the delegates; a strategy which could have led this country to race riots or worse and a complete and permanent division between black and white in our country.

The party relied on Gore to keep those things from happening. That is because Al Gore is the most solid, responsible and reliable politician in the Democratic Party today and he always has been.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Extending Schwarzenegger's vision: A Continental Hydrogen Highway - letter to The Valley News, 6/14/08

A letter writer states that the New Hampshire Legislature refuses to expend its share of funding to advance feasibility studies for a Boston-Montreal Speed Rail which had hopes of getting to Boston from White River Junction via Nashua , Concord and Claremont . But there are other ways to get to Boston . The train could drop down from White River Junction to Brattleboro , Northampton , Massachusetts and Springfield , possibly even with less difficulty as highway paths are already cut there and those regions are largely rural. Western Massachusetts, especially around Amherst and Northampton where a link would be critical, would likely be sympathetic to this idea as well.

This route could also be used to begin to define a continental “hydrogen highway” which requires hydrogen fill stations periodically from Boston to Montreal like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed from San Diego to Vancouver. As many Canadian Premiers are sympathetic to Schwarzenegger’s innovation, an environmental corridor could be visualized through sympathetic regions from Boston to Montreal and west to Vancouver , where trains already run, then dropping down to Seattle and California . Hydrogen stations could be plugged in across the Trans-Canada and one could drive from Boston to CA in a hydrogen vehicle or take a fast train on the same route through sympathetic regions, leaving the obstructionist and hide-bound New Hampshire legislators out entirely.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama's Chicago

Ben Stein of Politico reports that Barack Obama is moving the headquarters of the DNC to Chicago.

Excellent. About time.

Politics here since 1607 has been North/South. They wisely placed the capital in D.C. as a benign center of countervailing elements, forming a mandala - a unifying center - to unite the two. Those days are past. We enter now East/West in the country and in the world. Chicago is the center of the East/West world; the world which finds our destiny for millennia ahead; Chicago is the center of West, South, East and the Great White North. Chicago is the center of the world.

Some continuing thoughts on that from Quigley in Exile and The Aquarian Paradigm below.

Particles and Waves: Cities and Countries are Binary and so are People and So Is Everything:

This is essentially, an edited out section of the last episode on the Six Grandfathers and American history.

Current research shows that on the day of birth a baby boy will look at a mobile hanging above his bead. A baby girl will look at a face. The one is a techomatrix orientation and inate fascination with technicality (head), the other empathy (heart). Head and heart are biological divisions and they are binary yang and yin orientations in
the world. All societies divide between head and heart. Paris (above, Ile de la Cite and Left and Right Banks with Notre Dame's Rose Glass superimposed on the Ile de la Cite) gives a perfect example: the bankers and burgers live on the Right Bank of the river Seine (in red) and the artists, writers, hippies and mystics live on the Left Bank (in blue). The two halves are divided by a river connected by the Pont Neuf and held together by a perfect jewel: The Notre Dame Cathedral with its rose glass on the Ile de la Cite. Europe likewise divided between Roman (head) and Greek (heart) in Imperial, Christian and Cold War spheres, but unfortunately has no Ile de la Cite to unify and absorb its opposites today in a mandala.

A distinct binary relationship can be seen extending across Asia as well from India to Japan. Vedic (yin) Asia has its source in India but extends to areas that were once Vedic and are now Buddhist, like Thailand and its neighbors. The Vedic influence is palatable in Thailand and Laos. With Taoist (yang) Asia, China, Korea and Japan (Japanese zen owes itself to Taoism and is an extension to Taoism: See Suzuki’s Introduction to Zen), a binary relationship can be seen. The Vedic/yin regions feature yoga and graceful dancing, while the Taoist/yang regions express themselves in cerebral discussions (or non-discussion discussions as in Japanese Zen) marshal arts, stick fighting and in the farthest corner, Samurai swordsmanship, none of which are prominent in the Vedic areas. Tibet has influences of both; archetypal deities that resemble the Hindu pantheon, and the Taoism’s tai chi (yin/yang symbol) sits in the center of the Tibetan flag. Tibet, which calls the center of consciousness the Jewel Heart is in itself the Jewel Heart of the extended mandala of the East. The destruction of Tibet as a sacred center and its occupation by communist China will likely upset and destroy the ancient, balanced symmetries between China and India and those within the entire Asian continent.

The Asian regions developed these relationships over thousands of years, but the entire region will lose its internal yin/yang features as East and West adjoin in our times and a new global relationship develops a new Jewel Heart between East and West, founding a new benign mandala vortex around the Chicago/Toronto area thereabouts. This is a new world picture which has been moving to this one point since the beginning of civilization. It is the Aquarian mandala.

There is a well-known analysis in psychiatric lore about "Henry’s dreams" (picture here from Man and His Symbols, edited by C.G. Jung), which refers to a long series of archetypal dreams that brought a psychiatric patient of C.G. Jung associate Jolande Jacobi to face deep and irrational powers within himself. During analysis, Henry drew a picture with a blue field on the right with a Madonna-like woman standing in it and a red field on the left with a wolf-like black monster in it. The picture suggests that the forces within Henry are dangerously incompatible, but in the center of the picture is a mandala-like flower which links the opposite sides.

This personal dream of Henry's classically illustrates the situation described in the illustration above on the banks of the Seine in Paris, the left bank (artists and writers), the yin side, and the right side (bankers and business people), the yang side, united by the cathedral on the Ile de Cite. Further investigation reveals that this is the same pattern on the flag of France; a left field blue and a right field red, connected by a white field, meant to suggest the lilies of the field.

Many flags, particularly in mature countries, have this same balance; the blue sometimes green and the red sometimes orange, and with a flower or an icon of some type in the center holding them together. (The icon stashed up in the corner and with only one color suggests a transitional phase or a country out of balance.)

Many towns, cities and countries are thus divided, very often like New York into artsy (hippies, poets) “downtowns” and business-like “uptowns” (Madison Avenue). And the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. serves as a center-most mandala for North and South prior to the Civil War. And the Mississippi River divides the world today with Chicago at top and New Orleans at bottom uniting the U.S. east and west and all of the Eastern world and the Western world into one world. So far, like Europe, it has no mandala. But maybe it will one day. At center is the Lakes Region, which forms a water star - maybe a world mandala in the new center of the world will feature the Sea Serpent in the Great Lakes known to First People as the Manitou - the Primary Spirit of the Earth.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wes Clark Endorses Barack Obama

Wes Clark send a letter to his supporters today endorsing Barack Obama. Here is the text:

There has never been a more important election in my lifetime -- with a war waging, gas prices at record highs, our health care in crisis, and our nation's standing around the world severely diminished. I spent the last year traveling across the country talking to great Americans in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, South Dakota, Indiana and many other places. They all agree on one thing: This country needs new leadership, and it's time for change.

Many of you in the Clark community answered the call. Some of you worked tirelessly for Senator Clinton while others poured hours into Senator Obama's campaign. You did this because you were willing to sacrifice your time and energy to bring the change we so desperately need. I can't thank you enough for all you have done.

Now I am asking you to come together and make sure Barack Obama is our next president. This is a critical mission.

Hillary Clinton ran an amazing race. She inspired millions. Our party is a better party because of her campaign, and our nation is a better nation because of her service. She is and will always be a friend whom I admire.

I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on securing the nomination. His historic campaign has touched lives and his message has moved people in every corner of America. I believe he is not only ready for the challenge but will be a great President.

It's time our party comes together to stand behind Senator Obama as we move forward in this election season. I look forward to doing everything I can to help Senator Obama's campaign. While I respect John McCain's service, I know exactly what he stands for -- Bush's third term. America is a great nation, and our people deserve more. We need Barack Obama to be our next president.

Sincerely,

Wes Clark

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Today's Thought: Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

The Obama Quaternity: Obama, Sebelius, Wes Clark (Jim Webb), Sam Nunn

In a DKos diary, Eve says that Wes Clark is the " . . . magical partner" for Barack Obama. A commentator adds that General Clark recently introduced Kathleen Sebelius to a crowd calling her the "next Vice President of the United States."

My comment - The Obama Quaternity: Obama, Sebelius, Clark, Nunn . . .

or Obama, Sebelius, Jim Webb and Sam Nunn. If y’all did a Myers-Briggs study of "types in a group" or one of those comparables that they use in "quality circles" in corporate TQM exercises (and I’m sure Sebelius and Clark have taken part in these in their professions), I think you would find Obama (POTUS)/Clark compatible and Sebelius(VP)/Clark compatible as Arthur/Merlin combinations. It is a thing we used to use in which King Arthur (Obama, POTUS or Sebelius, VP), the Extrovert, requires Merlin (Clark), the Introvert, to see inward and give analysis and suggest direction. Whereas, Merlin, the Introvert, requires King Arthur, the Extravert, to have his inner analysis applied to the outside world to that Arthur may give accurate final direction. The one is incapable without the other. And further, one’s introverted or extroverted abilities can be observed in the analyses over events and situations over their (Clark’s) long career. It is correct as Eve says here: Clark’s analysis of the war on Iraq was instinctive, exact and correct from the beginning while most everyone else was either wrong or lacked the character to act independently or just following the crowd and the market surveys (leave them out). So were Jim Webb’s and Obama’s positions correct. (As a sitting Governor, Sebelius had no right to publicly comment.) And if you look at his full career, you might determine that this was the best analysis in Clark’s career; that it was virtually flawless; that he was acting at the maximal ability of his personality type. In other previous areas (globalist issues rather than national [internal] issues) his analysis in comparison might be seen as not maximizing his type. I would say that is the case. And Clark would patch up the deal with the Clintons if they find that necessary. And no question, Obama likes Clark and had wanted him on his team at the time of the second Yearly Kos.

Hopefully President Obama could lead the way in bringing the same excellence in management to the Oval Office and Administration that we bring to everyday corporate life (or professional sports, which is probably the best we do). (If not, we are at the end of federalism. Ron Paul understands this.) It might be nice for a change to do some testing and not just hire a bunch of friends or hanger-ons; some of which could well be whack jobs and sociopaths and Revenge Demons like we have seen invasive in the Oval Office in times not so distant past.

Note: A Quaternity is a full psychological realm of compatible personality types. If you Google it, it will come up as the "fundamantal unit of reality" in science as well as psychology and mythology. (Seinfeld is a Quaternity, Frasier is a Quaternity, The Wizard of Oz is a fundamental Quaternity and an original American Creation Myth.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

China brings John Lennon’s Imagine to the Olympics

In the first ads for the 2008 Olympics in China, aired last night on prime-time television, the theme song used was John Lennon’s Imagine. Some thoughts on that below from Quigley in Exile.

Free as a Bird: John Lennon's Unfinished Journey

On the 25th Anniversary of His Death

"Is it not written in your law . . . you are gods?" John 10:34

"The crosses are all full," said the lay brother.
"Then we must make another cross. If we do not make an end of him another will, for who can eat and sleep in peace while men like him are going about the world?" -
"The Crucifixion of the Outcast," Celtic tale retold by William Butler Yeats in Mythologies

"Zen demands intelligence and will-power, as do all the greater things which desire to become real." These are the words of C. G. Jung in the introduction to D.T. Suzuki’s An Introduction to Zen Buddhism. Jung’s words and observations would win him a place top row center, right next to Edgar Allen Poe, on the cover of Sgt. Peppers. In the 1950s Suzuki was always referred to as Dr. Suzuki – much as Richard Gere is referred to as only Richard today by Tibetan Buddhists. It is kind of an honorarium, a title. Dr. Suzuki was a solid forefather on the path East and one of the very first learned Masters to come from the East to the West.

In the 1950s he taught at Columbia University and was a celebrity in New York City, an exotic but common monk with a great smile and a pure vision of Zen. Personal experience is everything in Zen, said Dr. Suzuki. No ideas are intelligible to those who have no backing in experience. Mystification is far from being the object of Zen itself, but to those who have not touched the central fact of life Zen inevitable appears as mystifying. Penetrate through the conceptual superstructure and what is imagined to be a mystification will at once disappear, and at the same time there will be an enlightenment known as satori.

Dr. Suzuki talked straight: personal experience is everything in Zen. The purpose of life is love. I’m not sure if John Lennon read these words but perhaps his wife, Yoko Ono, did. She was a key figure in the avant garde art scene in New York City at the time and had been in New York for a long time, even as a student at Sarah Lawrence. She was well known as a conceptual artist before she met John Lennon, and lived and worked in the same realm as people like John Cage and Marcel Duchamp. These would be the first people in New York to listen to Dr. Suzuki.

The art students were always the first to catch on, and John Lennon and his friend Stu Sutcliffe were the art students who started The Beatles. They were like pilot fish for the rest of us who were born at the end of the war and it was quite a large school of fish. 40 million people. All our fathers had been warriors. We were all the same age and born within months of one another, conceived by men who had been a long time without women, directly on return from war in Asia and Europe.

For us it was a bristling, exciting respite between childhood and adulthood and we were interested in new things. There were no teachers around to deflect our learning, no priests to lead us astray. For the briefest period, all of the shields were down. Other voices would come shortly. Swami Yogananda, who wrote The Autobiography of a Yogi, would become very popular for awhile. John said he read about half of it, which I thought was pretty good, as I’d only managed about 80 pages. Later, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Tolstoy. But Suzuki’s message entered the river of our generation at the same time as John entered our river. At first much of the Zen around New York was dark, misunderstood in the West as nihilism, the shadow which withered the Western heart after 500 years of exploration and dominance. But John and Stu understood Dr. Suzuki’s Zen message that love is the purpose of life.

John is said to have started The Beatles to have something to do with Stu. When McCartney entered the group he drove them to become more serious and businesslike. But at first it was always John and Stu. Stu had the artist’s eye for style – naming the group The Beatles after seeing Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones. Lee Marvin’s motorcycle gang was called The Beetles. Stu always attracted the coolest people as well. And when they went to Berlin before the group was fully formed he attracted the beautiful photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who would become an anima figure – a muse – to the group and open them up in the mind in new ways and awaken new music and images.

An avante garde photographer in Germany, she and her friends, including Klaus Voorman, traveled in the seedy night scene in Berlin and met the group there, which was still going under the name of The Silver Beatles. She gave them the playful Beatles haircuts. Friendship would bind them. Stu married Astrid and Klaus later drew the cover picture for the Revolver album, and much later, after The Beatles had broken up, he played as a background musician on the Imagine album.

Personal experience would guide the fledgling poet as well, and like many ordinary men before him, Lennon became great when someone he loved died. He would remember them all. And he would remember Stu, who never returned to England with them.

I know I’ll always feel affection, for people and things that went before. I know I’ll always think about them.

But it was different with Stu.

In my life, I loved you more.

This requiem, this love song, is considered today to be one of the greatest songs ever written. It is the beginning of the artist’s journey for John Lennon.

The Sixties was a cacophony of a million sounds and smells and voices and music and colors and textures, but especially music. The electric guitar was like a key; an ancient iron ornamented key to a mediaeval dream door that would open to an age.

Every age, be it short or long, has a beginning, a middle and an end, like a person’s life, and this age was no exception. This age, someone pointed out, came with its own sound track. And it rose and fell rather quickly.

At the center was The Beatles and the Sixties rose and fell with the fate of the Beatles. And at dead center, the man in the center of the Beatles was John Lennon.

From beginning to end The Beatles was about John Lennon. He was not the most important innovator or instigator of the period, except perhaps in music, but the music would eventually become secondary to his life, as literature had become secondary to Tolstoy.

He was one of us, common and working class, but of course, more gifted. And the transformation he made, we made. Eventually he left The Beatles behind to complete the passage himself. He was the Man at the Center who made passage with us and for us and completed the journey on our behalf. And I don’t think we could have or would have completed passage without him.

The remaining Beatles say they were transformed by Bob Dylan like the rest of us were. John was as well. It shows in his pictures. It shows in his clothes and in music like Norwegian Wood, a folksy, spare song inspired by the folk scene, written when the Beatles would begin to rise to a higher artistic level. John, they say, wanted to conquer the world, which The Beatles did with ease. Then, when they heard Bob Dylan, they aspired to be artists.

Dylan opened the gate and performed the Rite of Entry to the age with his soulful cohort Joan Baez, and the age rose to the center when The Beatles reached their artistic apex. Then followed the rite of exit with Joni Mitchell and the howling animal cries of Neil Young, mourning the passing of the brief and sacred moment.

The Beatles, at the top of their creative arc -- that would be somewhere within the Sgt. Peppers area -- brought the defining moment to a generation. Some 30 years later, in January, 2001, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd contrasted the generation with George Bush, Jr., who last week threatened to cast the first veto of this presidency to overthrow Congress’s attempt to ban his policy of allowing the torture of military prisoners.

In his first month in office she wrote, “He said he never liked the Beatles after they got into that ‘kind of a weird psychedelic period.’” One either crossed the river or did not, and those who did not, struggled to create a counter-force. (Ten weeks into his presidency Dowd reported going hungry for a shred of modernity. “Bush II has reeled backward so fast, economically, environmentally, globally, culturally, it’s redolent of Dorothy clicking her way from the shimmering spires of Oz to a depressed black-and-white Kansas,” she lamented. “What’s next? Asbestos, DDT, bomb shelters, filterless cigarettes? Patti Page?”)

Not unlike George Bush, John Lennon was preoccupied with Jesus. You could see it early on with the trouble he got into when the Beatles were first big. Fans would crowd them and overwhelm them and once John said to a crowd of reporters, “We’re more popular than Jesus.” There was no arrogance to it, but subtle awareness. The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Yet Bush and Lennon couldn’t be more far apart in their quests.

In The Tao of Jung, psychiatrist and Jung scholar David H. Rosen discusses C.G. Jung’s decent into the shadowy world of the collective unconscious, the world beyond the conscious ego. On the way into the “cave” of the unconscious stood a dwarf with a leathery skin, as if he were mummified, which Jung squeezed past. Rosen explains this in terms of Indian mythology: “Shiva steps on a dwarf that represents the ego when this deity does its creative dance of death and rebirth.”

Likewise with the Beatles. When they began their real creative work, they left behind the casings of their early ego identity, pictured as four mop-top wax dummies in early Beatles suits at what appears to be a burial on the cover of the Sgt. Peppers album, while the “new” Beatles appeared above like butterflies just left the cocoon in brightly colored satins and playful epaulets.

At the building vortex of their work, John went through a classic shaman’s arc, the same as the one described by Dante in The Divine Comedy; the same ascribed to Jesus by his followers thus, “. . .he descended into hell the third day . . . . he ascended into heaven.” (As E.C. Krupp writes that Santa Claus, an archaic remnant of a Norse shaman, enters the subtle realms of the archetypal shamanic journey by descending the chimney to the Underworld and flying through the Cosmic Heavens with magical reindeer.)

This is the classic pattern of the journey of the shaman described by anthropologists and it occurred with John as the Beatles rose to the top of their creative arc. IN this kind of psychological transformation, the man or woman who is about to enter into Unconscious falls, out of nowhere and against his or her will, into a funk. He falls into a torpor, a sickness of the mind and heart and feels a worthlessness to his life. He goes through a period of spiritual death and descends deep into the earth. Afterwards, he ascends and rises into heaven. Finally he emerges transfigured and enlightened god king, leaves the celestial place and comes out, usually down from a mountain, with a simple transforming idea for the tribe, a gift from the Land of the Dead.

Lennon went through such a transformation, falling into a psychological funk and getting fat and afraid at the peak of the Beatles initial popularity (“Help,” he sang. “I’m a loser, and I’m not what I appear to be.”) Then at the Revolver album, something new began to happen. Suddenly there is a sense of entering the river, an image which occurs in dreams at times of birth or death (“turn off your mind, relax and float downstream,”) and at times of psychological transformation. In Buddhism and Taoism, it is the sign of a new awakening.

He sang a second song on the same album about floating downstream in a transcendent, blissful sleep, while everyone thinks he is just lazy, (but “I don’t mind,” he sings, “I think they’re crazy”). Some say I’m Only Sleeping is aesthetically the best song he ever composed.

In terms of anthropology, this is the first orientation of an earth shaman finding his feet in the Underworld – the creative unconscious – the world under the earth, where he will take you down with him into the density of the earth, but this is the Subtle Realm of the earth, the Underworld, where “nothing is real” in Strawberry Fields.

And there he finds clarity and confidence, but in a new world, the world of the Unconscious where there is understanding of all you see with eyes closed, and the old world becomes a shell, a mere caricature of psychic life.

The shaman then ascends out of the earth and into the sky, like Jesus rising out of the tomb and entering heaven. John and the Beatles rise then to the very height of their work in Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. And here at their best work is the shaman’s archetypal journey to the heavens in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Like the Underworld of Strawberry Fields, the Astral Heavens also have otherworldly features, like newspaper taxies and magical rivers with tangerine trees and marmalade skies (like the tree “showered with reddish blossoms” blazed in light, a cosmic vision Jung had – a “vision of unearthly beauty” which oddly enough, took place in Liverpool, home of the Fab Four. Lennon’s dream vision in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds also echo’s Dante’s, looking upon the stars from above, in Paradise: “I saw light in the shape of a river/Flashing golden between two banks/Tinted in colors of marvelous spring./Out of the stream came living sparks/Which settled on the flowers on every side/Like rubies ringed with gold . . .”).

At the peak, John wrote a song called I am the Walrus in which he invoked the Upanishads, which along with The Autobiography of a Yogi was very popular back in those days. John wrote, “I am he,” about the swimming together of all of us at the peak of the Sixties, and “we are all together.” “I am the Eggman,” he sang, with his characteristic Liverpool humor, “. . . they are the Eggmen. I am the Walrus.”

Lennon’s favorite book was Alice in Wonderland and the Abbey Road album contained a snippet of Lewis Carroll's prose. He may have drawn on Lewis Carroll’s wise Walrus, who would fit right in on Sgt. Peppers, holding forth on cabbages and kings to a horde of oysters.

It is all comic and hidden, but it reflects an awareness he had about being a man at the center of a world in transformation. The words, “I am he,” are from the core of Eastern spirituality and are well known to its practitioners. Shimon Malin’s recent book Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and Reality, a Western Perspective offers an explanation from science: He writes, “Erwin Schr√∂dinger had the experience of finding the soul of the universe within himself, as his own ultimate identity. He expressed his finding as follows: Inconceivable as it seems to ordinary reason, you – and all other conscious beings as such – are all in all. Hence this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is, in a certain sense, the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in the sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: Tat twam asi, this is you [or I am he or this is that]. Or, again, in such words as ‘I am in the east and in the west, I am above and below, I am this whole world’.”

Malin writes that Wolfgang Pauli, when asked if he believed in a personal God, responded with an answer that suggests a mandala: “May I rephrase your question? I myself should prefer the following formulation: Can you, or anyone else, reach the central order of things or events, whose existence seems beyond doubt, as directly as you can reach the soul of another human being? I am using the term “soul” quite deliberately so as not to be misunderstood. If you put your question like that, I would say yes.”

This expression reflects the sentiment of the Upanishads in which the Atman (the Eggman) or the individual soul, finds itself at one with another individual soul, then another, then the whole soul, the world soul, the God consciousness, the Brahmin (the Walrus). It is what Jesus had become after he had gone through the Transfiguration, referring to himself as at one with the God force, at One with the Father. This is the Brahma consciousness.

The Beatles were at their peak with Sergeant Peppers. There John would find fulfillment, anthropologically speaking. Then he would journey to the East, although Paul and Ringo were bored, and find the mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a father figure to him, but a Great Father, a spiritual father, not an earthly father.

The shaman’s work is essentially over by then, except to bring the gift idea to the community. The shaman has brought the tribe with him through the transformation of the Unconscious. It is up to us after that.

Yet some of the Beatles greatest work would come as they traveled down the back side of the mountain. The White Album is still a favorite to fans. One song, I’m So Tired, wonderfully reflects the rite of exit of the exhausted artist that comes at the end of the transformational passage, balancing the liberating I’m Only Sleeping, at the rite of entry.

It is characteristic of the dark side of the passage that the archetypes reverse themselves and show themselves not as they are in the holistic form of the inner life, but just the opposite, shattered in the outside world, reflecting that the center has been passed through and we have once again entered the flat consciousness of the everyday world. And in this instance, it was a hostile world at war in Vietnam and on the streets and campuses of the United States (“Happiness is a warm gun,” sang John)

“Can one live with a shattered glass?” the guru classically asks a Tibetan monk who has just found Enlightenment.

And here – classically - the Beatles reject their psychological god-king, the Maharishi, and even publicly denounce him. Here John sings, “My mother is of the sky.” Lucy is of the sky, his anima, his female counterpart whom he found in transcendent journey. Mother is of the earth. And the tricksters continue their playful treachery, fooling their audience and keeping them off guard with pranks like this one: “ . . . here’s another clue for you all. The Walrus was Paul.”

The Walrus, of course, was John.

Coming off the backside of the mountain – and on return form India - John sometimes believed he was carrying – channeling, we say – Jesus and said so to the Beatles. And he made occasional references, even paraphrasing the Gospel of Thomas “. . . the inside is out/the outside is in. . .” on the White Album.

The full text is, “Jesus said to them:/When you make the two one,/and make the inside like the outside,/and the outside like the inside,/and the upper side like the under side,/and (in such a way) that you make the man/(with) the woman a single one,/in order that the man is not man and the/woman is not woman; when you make eyes in place of an eye,/and a hand in place of a hand,/and a foot in place of a foot,/an image in place of an image;/then you will go into [the kingdom].” – from The Gospel of Thomas.

This preoccupation with Jesus appears again and again. “Christ, you know it ain’t easy,” he sang in one of his last songs, suggesting in The Ballad of John and Yoko that he, like Jesus, would be crucified.

Certainly Lennon made himself look like Jesus at the end of the Beatles. On their last album cover, Abbey Road, he is dressed all in white, like Jesus after the Transfiguration, with the Beatles trailing him across the road, like the Three Celestial Ones (see this blog in January, 2006 for the Three Celestial Ones), following in his wake. (And cultism would abound in the Beatle myth. The old Catholic myth about the three secrets revealed to the children at Fatima by the Blessed Mother took a pernicious turn into hippie lore in the late 1990s when the Pope revealed the third secret to be about a “man in white” who would be gunned down when he returned from the mountain top. The Pope, who had been wounded in an attack at the same time that Lennon was murdered, revealed the contents of the letter to the public because he said the prophecy had been fulfilled. John Paul II, who wore white garments at public ceremonies, claimed to be the man identified in the prophecy.)

Even later, at the very end of his life Jesus is suggested. All through the most creative period, the shaman’s journey from Sgt. Peppers to the end of Abbey Road, John wore a special flowered talisman around his neck. Afterwards, he stopped wearing it. But in New York, in one of the later pictures ever taken of him, a well-known photograph where he is wearing a t-shirt that says New York City across the front, there is a tiny cross hanging from his neck.

At the end of the Beatles period John continued in a prophet’s journey. Like Moses and the Bodhisattva, he returns from a celestial vision on top of the mountain with a simple transforming idea, as Moses did with the tablets.

It is the same idea that has occurred throughout the century but is new to our century here in the West. It is Emerson’s message and here it is again expressed ten years before the Beatles by C.G. Jung: “Our world has shrunk, and it is dawning on us that humanity is one, with one psyche. Humanity is a not inconsiderable virtue which should prompt Christians, for the sake of charity – the greatest of all virtues – to set a good example and acknowledge that though there is only one truth it speaks in many tongues, and that if we still cannot see this it is simply due to lack of understanding. No one is so godlike that he alone knows the true word.” As Woodstock guru Satchidananda put it, “One truth, many paths.”

It is the same idea that Leo Tolstoy, a Great Father figure to the non-violence movement of the Sixties, had brought to the world after his night of the dark soul when he went through a religious transformation.

Lennon, with his wife Yoko Ono, entered the peace movement when he left the Beatles, and like Tolstoy later in life, attempted to apply his natural gifts didactically to public purpose. He is said to have been reading Tolstoy’s late non-fiction work on religion and non-violence as many were in the late 1960s, and his final word, the simple transforming idea he brought down from the mountain is precisely the same thought as Tolstoy’s: Imagine there’s no country, it isn’t hard to do. . . Imagine all the people living life in peace.

Tolstoy claimed that there was one singular thought in Christ’s work and that was do not return violence with violence. On this he built the doctrine that would inspire Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the anti-war activists of the 1960s. Furthermore, in Patriotism and Government, Tolstoy wrote that patriotism was a practicable solution for nations early in their development, but it was time now to abandon national prejudices. Even Ghandi, who he corresponded with and who admired Tolstoy enormously, had failed in this, he said. The non-violent approach was the right approach, but, said Tolstoy, declaring the nation to be Hindu, “ruins everything.”

It was time for the removal of all barriers. No country, and no religion, too. This would be Lennon’s final impression on the people: Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you can, no hell below us, a brotherhood of man.

This is precisely Tolstoy’s religious conviction at the end of his life. He advocated abandoning identity with a particular prophet as one would abandon nationalism.

In one of his last writings on the subject Tolstoy clearly states his opinion: “Attributing a prophetic mission peculiar to certain beings such as Moses, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, Haha’u’llah as well as several others is one of the major causes of division and hatred between men.”

John’s swan song, Imagine, reflects timeless Buddhist sentiment like that presented in What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula, which had gained popularity in the Sixties. And is likely an intentional reconstruction of Tolstoyan philosophy which was deeply influenced by Buddhism and Taoism. Intended or not, it completes the shaman’s journey and begins the transformation of the group.

Imagine also bears a relationship to The Gospel of Thomas. Elaine Pagel's book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, states that in Thomas’s account, Jesus challenges those who mistake the kingdom of God for an otherworldly place or a future event: Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, Look, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there before you . . .” In a word, Imagine there’s no heaven.

William Butler Yeats writes: “What portion in the world can the artist have/Who has awakened from the common dream/But dissipation and despair?” Such was the lot of John Lennon.

Late in life, broken and in pain, he wrote, “I was the Walrus, but now I’m John.”

One of his biographers writes that he was never happy again after the Sgt. Peppers period. The pictures show it. He never smiled again for the camera after he returned from India.