Our World of MYTHICAL BAGGAGE
By Jim Cleveland
(From Beyond Baggage, a stage play and essays on the subject on Amazon. Visit the author at www.jimclevelandauthor.com)
We live in an Age of Mythology. Myths guide our lives. Mythology permeates our institutions — religion, law, medicine, government, education, journalism.
In religion, we are chained to the concept that one idea of God is better than another. It is the ultimate irony to kill one another over religions that promote love.
But we have a mythology of warrior kings and promised lands conquered via genocide. Battles for power have nothing to do with spirituality. No piece of land is holy.
Our democracy lives by the mythological creed of One Man-One Vote. But if you analyze your one vote, you find it has little influence at all when millions are being poured out to buy and corrupt every politician we have ever elected.
There is the mythology of a justice system that is just when it has clearly missed the mark in so many historic cases. This is because big money outspends and smothers out those who don’t have it, and because prosecutors and defenders do what it takes to ‘win’ without any due diligence to honor, and because their primary objective is always the money they can reap. Lying and misrepresentation run the game.
There is the mythology of a free press that is mostly owned by corporate interests and will not touch any subject which those interests do not want in the public eye. That subject is anything that might detract in any way from sales of their products and services.
There is the mythology of independent scientific research from universities when the projects are financed by corporate investors who want validations and profits, not truth and consequences. If they don’t get the results they want, they withdraw the research money. These special interests are even corrupting our research journals with their specious studies and co-opted “findings.”
There is the mythology of our U.S. Constitution which declares that “all men are created equal” which clearly left out black slaves and women of any color.
There is the mythology that whites are superior to races of color. Their evidence is that the white race has been able to genocide many native people and virtually wipe out their cultures, and enslave black people because of their inability to prevent it. This does not make the white race superior to anything; it brands many whites as killers and slavers who had gunpowder.
Capitalism promotes the mass mythology that competition between profiteers fighting for your consumer dollar is a good thing for all. It is a massive waste of money, time and resources, and the bitter truth is that small businesses mostly exist to be cannibalized by big businesses and with the blessings of congressmen who stack the deck in their
favor by their command. Big feeds on small. Sharks and little fish.
The mythology that political campaign contributions are built around the donor ’s wishes to support good government have long been obliterated in the reality that there are double-wide doors into congressional and legislative corruption at all levels. Money and perks are strongly encouraged and many office holders were after it when they ran for office in the first place. They presented a mythical personality to the voters.
There is a quagmire of dirty money in D.C. and the state capitals, which are both commanded by two clusters of political pressure groups. They call themselves by the name “political parties.”
Their lives within this hierarchy results in their endless prosperity at the people’s expense. Their mythology is that they represent the common people’s interests. They actually represent their donor cluster, which even writes much of the tax dodging legislation they foment on us.
Political candidates abound across the country, brandishing mythological appearances. They reek of homilies and clichés, and their speech is so full of banalities and generalities that it amounts to a façade of slick, smiling nothingness. Do we have to see another smiling candidate in a suit, tie loose, his coat off and holding it awkwardly over his shoulder? Nobody does that.
The gigantic myth-creating world of American advertising is in an arena of its own. Agencies create alternate realities
of fantasy and fear and bizarre humor, and anything else that could positively affect sales figures. They mask out any iota of an idea that the product or service isn’t ideal and perfect and of great benefit to consumers. The characters in their scenarios are giddily happy, delighted to be served so well by the product at hand. It is all a massive farce.
Perhaps our most damaging mythology drives us to spend nearly 60 percent of our national budget on war armaments and to support hundreds of military bases around the world. We reportedly have 1,370 armed nuclear bombs, and the Russians have even more. It is true that the world might not survive the detonation of only a few given our fragile environment.
It has been made all the more precarious over the years from the pollutions of air, water and soil they consistently foist upon us in their mythological world of progress. It amounts to plundering nature.
This massive overkill of expensive military arms must come from the “might makes right” ironic perversion, another mythology we embrace. This means that evil can logically murder millions of good people in our manifest, and this is still happening somewhere in the world right now.
This doesn’t make it right; it makes it an abomination before God and there will be a due date of ultimate judgement. Killing God’s children is a sin no matter how our infantile history frames it, as holy war or ethnic cleansing or liberation.
Whether by fear or for profit, or because of an unholy alliance between the two, America’s war arsenal is a massive money-sucking hog. We spend more than the next five countries combined. With the internal demand for newer, bigger, more proficient long-range weapons, we have turned over our older arms to dictators and demagogues across the world for profit. They prop up their despotic little regimes by employing weaponry bought by taxpayers from the land of the free and the home of capitalism.
The U.S. and the other members of the UN Security Council are the biggest arms dealers in the world, but by no means the only ones. There is a massive black market.
We live in a global mythology that we must arm ourselves and all of our friends with all the money we can, and must face off against people who aren’t in our nexus of commerce. This is more important than our 200,000 homeless Americans, or our deep and deleterious middle- class indebtedness to the big banks that turns millions of people into servitude laborers, paying interest on our debt and struggling to raise children.
Do we really need to buy into the fear mythology that requires a bloated 60 percent of our budget, and in reality, is not serving our citizens’ needs at all? How many Americans benefit when we invest $200 million in a submarine?
Once upon a time, mankind was sold the massive mythology of war being a noble quest, where heroes are made and national honor upheld. That mythology long ago wore thin with the realities of our own massive losses of life and limb, and the reality that war never has a real winner. But we continue the mythology we build around the American soldier as one to be honored highly and never to be considered a pawn in a rich people’s political and business games. That would dishonor his service as a pawn.
There is no honor whatsoever in war and that may be the worst mythology ever inflicted on humankind.
We must also escape the attendant modern mythology that we must police the world as champions of freedom and democracy. The Sunnis and Shias, for example, and the Jews and the Arabs, will continue to fight each other to no end because of nonsensical ancient rivalries fueled by hate and vengeance. We shouldn’t participate in this kind of barbaric activity.
The world is not our responsibility; our own people are our responsibility, to provide meaningful work, stable income, family support, a health care system for everyone that doesn’t lavish riches on HMO executives. Our concern should be first and foremost the quality of life of all Americans. We can’t deal with the quality of life in places where the people are incessantly killing each other for no good reason. We must deal with our own problems and the insurance companies are one of them.
These people live in their own mythology. When you ask why this guy is making about $57,000 an hour plus huge numbers of perks, the reply is that these people are gifted and talented and there is great competition to get them. By whom? All of the good old boys riding the gravy train at the public expense, due to the virtual sell-out of Congress in recent years?
These people aren’t worth nearly the money they pay themselves and they damned well know it. And when they make a hundred times what their workers are paid, there is even more reason to question their luxury lifestyles and foreign tax havens.
Citizens should be able to use their government and shuck off its leech-like, barnacle patch of corporate pay-offs to do one thing in health care — set up a program where our contributions go directly into our family’s own self-care fund. Our money would skip over the insurance hucksters and go directly to doctors, clinics, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and laboratories.
This system would result in reasonable prices for services, cutting out the money changers, and would reward every citizen with their own account to manage and put money into it as able. If their account goes red, they can pay it out as they can.
This can’t happen as long as lavishly living HMO’s put de facto bribes into the hands of lascivious politicians. And that’s just one gang of profiteers who are living off corporate welfare. There is Big Pharma, Big Oil, and the world’s super banks are at the root of it all, even while the mass mythology of their apple-polishing institutional ads paints them as illustrious caretakers of our society.
They whack Americans for over $35 million in late fee penalties every year alone, which is like punishing and
taking money from people who don’t have it. Banks feed off such weak people. They even want to embarrass you and make you feel bad to fall into the red, while their penalties hurt you even more.
It was likely a lot of mythology-fueled optimism that permeated the minds of the millions of Americans who have gotten themselves hopelessly in debt and are struggling constantly to make ends meet and support the family. Capitalism gave them a dose of hope and then burst their bubbles with more investments corruption, the same crap they’ve been doing in the stock markets since it was invented.
Often, people don’t make it, so many bankruptcies come, due to exorbitant medical bills and mass capitalistic layoffs and overpowering competition from the giants in the business. Each bankruptcy is a human tragedy. High hopes can be a mythological trap and you can be lured by the looks of luxury that you won’t be attaining.
It’s a bubble for consumers to ride in, and when it gets up in the air, they burst it, and reveal that your $850,000 home is only worth $250,000 and virtually all you’ve paid them for months just goes for interest, starting at 99% on your first bill and sinking at the speed of a slime-trailing slug. Pay them a ton of interest, get a little bit of equity.
When big business has adversities, most often because of their waste and inefficiency and perks to greedy executives, they start at the bottom of the economic rung to make corrections. They never reach the top and those bulletproof corporate royalty benefits.
They often throw people onto welfare and then bitch about the number of people who are getting it and questioning their credentials. It never occurs to them to just help the problem; people want to be productive and buy products, and it is a scurrilous mythology that paints our welfare recipients as unambitious drains on our economy — our godless and self-serving capitalistic economy. That one.
We need to help these people invest in themselves and not just send them a paper check that winds up going to the food chains and Wal Mart. And we need a living wage that might require Wal Mart and some other chains to pay a wage that sustains people and doesn’t require supplemental government food stamps. By sharing the mythology that recipients are lazy drug users who don’t want a job is a lie that diverts attention from their self- serving labor policies.
From all of this, can we surmise that Americans worship money most of all, and put up a mythological façade to disguise it? We call it anything but just don’t imply that I’m doing this to make a profit. This reality is ever-present but must be covered over with a mystical mythology that makes me and my intentions noble.
This all contributes to a mythological surface interaction between people. They put on a façade of feelings and concerns for others, but are creating their behavior as rote as they go, a stage role with lines, and they can’t be counted on to really and truly believe anything they say. It is the mythology of small talk, with only modicums of suspicious sincerity.
Such a mess within human minds trying to interact profitably, for their own self-interests. Too many mythologies circulate in the mind, creating an aura of uncertainty about everything, requiring constant ethical and moral decision-making. It is a global Dis-Ease. The world is perpetually in a state of unease. It’s like our minds are stuffed with useless baggage you didn’t need in the first place.
We live in an age of mythology.
Myths are created and promoted everywhere to mask our true intentions.
Since we know this, we don’t believe salesmen or repairmen. We don’t believe advertising. We don’t believe politicians. We don’t believe most if not all religions. We don’t believe much of the news media. We don’t believe friends and acquaintances because they might have ulterior motives; we often believe that they do. We don’t believe people we consider misguided because they don’t agree with us on our beliefs.
We often don’t believe in the future. We don’t believe progress is being made, or will be. We don’t believe people will ever work together because of our genetic differences. We don’t believe in loving and caring about everyone in the world, all the family of man, because it is so far from reality.
But reality is what is being lived right now, by a world full of humans, and the present is what we have. We need to
believe in the present and fill it with service and that will, in turn, bring love right back to us.
Mythology must have started with primitive man telling tales around the fire, with imaginary creatures and fascinating, fearful events. Myth-making has proceeded to modern day.
Mythology was big enough to encompass fanciful stories about the various heavenly gods of Greece and Rome to horrible, black monsters of the underworld. We have a world history of mass exaggerations, Dante’s Inferno being one of them, and some tales in the Old Testament for another.
In today’s world, we have so much history to explore that we should soon realize that the ability to overcome myopic and self-serving mythology from others, and to think critically, logical, altruistically, for the people of our small planet should be our great goal in life.
Don’t retreat into mythology, though it may seem superficially satisfying. Embrace reality, the reality of today, and you will see that society has been distorted drastically by hundreds of generations of myths.
RISING ABOVE MYTHOLOGY
We live in an age of mythology. So, if it isn’t real, we should pay it no honor.
Some seekers of salvation tell us we should be in the world, of necessity, but not of it. We should see it all as a pack of self-serving lies or just misdirection, and rise above it.
Know ourselves as spiritual personalities who are inhabiting physical bodies for the experience of it.
Know ourselves as children of a one God and one of his gifts to us is our knowledge of right and wrong and our abilities to honor our creation and his Fatherhood.
But if we live in mythology all through the day and every day, isn’t it a myth to think that we can somehow rise above it? No. We must deal with it, all through the day and every day, and not create a mythological web that somehow enshrouds and smothers us. If we don’t confront the myths, we can’t rise above them.
The problem is endemic. Mythical ideals and insights run the physical world in almost every way and we will only rise above it when we pass on to another reality. While we are here, we have Father ’s business to do as a grateful mortal, represent and promote Goodness. Seek truth and beauty and find it with our intentions and the capacities that the Universal Father has indwelt in us all.
The reservoir for your growth in living truth is within. Keep it clean and deal with the world as one with inner wisdom. You know yourself as a true child of God and so be confident in your faith. Do not bring the unease, the dis- ease, of the world into your inner sanctuary. Do not live in fear and forboding and loathing and worry because the world is a corrupt and treacherous place. God created Evolution so that we can evolve.
It is not our task to change the world and worry if we can’t. We are to work within our talents and skills to be of service, and do it in joy. We are to learn, over the evolution of time, that the world works best as a caring and sharing community, and not as a conglomerate of heavily-armed ideological fortresses. We are to learn that there are no enemies if we don’t make them.
Can we possibly live with daily peace of mind in the light of turbulent world events, continuing ignorant bluster from our own president, who has sucked our national image into the confines of his jaundiced Tweeter account?
It’s time to bring back the anthem, ‘We Shall Overcome,’ and this time we’re talking about human rights for all people, all colors, and a resistance that goes to the Capitol Dome and within.
But can we do this work in love and not fear? These are the two great motivators.
When Love is the potion that fuels your heart and mind, you are on track and can rationalize and accept your place in supporting it. When you are dominated by fear, you are
just struggling to survive yourself, much less focusing on service to your siblings.
As humans, we know that fears are as real as the events we fear, but we should also know that illogical and unreasoned fears are a fraud against mankind. Don’t buy the fraud of abiding fear and worry; live in joy with the realities of life of all kinds in its logical places, and seeing your own place as both a temporary mortal and an evolving citizen of the universe, with a destiny beyond flesh, blood and bone. Don’t worry; be happy.
In A Course in Miracles, its students are taught that all of the material world is an illusion. To one with a spirit identity, it concerns matter, and it comes and goes in evolution. We are spirits with bodies, not vice versa, and we will learn this as we move forward in the mortal ascension plan.
Some critics consider that dismissing the entire physical world as illusion is carrying that concept to an illogical extreme. Matter is very much real and occupies space. It may be inconsequential in the spirit world, but it is highly consequential to our own personalities, right now.
The ACIM idea is that matter was created by God in the time and space worlds evolution and ascension project. Our overriding missions in these worlds is to experience physicality, survive, prosper and serve the process of evolution toward a planet that will ultimately represent the values of God — truth, beauty and goodness. This is the mission, simple as it is.
This is not the mission above and beyond the mortal domains — out into the universe education plan that serves the time and space universes. The trials of humankind are replaced with constancy and the comfort of living and growing service to our fellows. The old physical world of our origins, as babies of the universe, is seen as unreal in a universe sense, as an experiential testing ground experience on our eternal journey.
But if we do accept this premise, that mortal life is just a construct, scaffolding that can ultimately be pulled away when we ascend to higher being-ness, then we should likely also accept the idea that these numbers of inhabited planets and cosmic citizens are very real. They seem to comprise the grandest plan that a Universal God could possibly have conceived, through which God’s indwelling spirit, your pilot and constant “thought adjuster,” experiences everything that you do as well as your siblings on this and all other planets. God grows in experience — ours — believe it or not.
So, do not despair over the world’s problems. Don’t take them on, not your job. Live in pursuit of love and peace that comes from no organization but from within. Don’t stop representing higher values your whole life, and you can feel honor for yourself. Don’t blame yourself for your mistakes and make these errors into valuable lessons that serve you well later. Just … love one another.
This seems like a hopelessly naïve impossibility in our world today. We have been constantly medicated against reality and critical thinking dating back to our childhood. Incessant voices telling us what to believe, what to buy
and what is better than something else. Can we use the Universal Father ’s great gift of Free Will to sort it all out? It will be challenging.
We live in an age of mythology. Can we use our endowments of mind and body and spirit, working together, to find some great truth? We will have to make full use of one of God’s greatest gifts to us — our free will.
Alas, in this age of mythology, virtually all power centers work to destroy your individual free will and perpetuate their false institutionalized realities. Don’t trust your own mind; trust us. We’ve already worked it out for you. They don’t usually tell you, but it comes with a cost, and gives them a profit in either money or power or both.
Some blame free will for the world’s evils. Look what people have done, they say. People must be controlled, and it often takes a lot of force to do it. We take on the task of making laws to regulate free will behavior and then punish those who violate them — by taking away their free will if not their life.
So, your free will is abrogated by laws, and through hundreds of generations, governments have worked incessantly to blunt and destroy anyone who uses their free will to oppose them. It’s not that you don’t possess free will always, but you can be killed for using it.
Free will is personal then, between each of us and our Creator. Man’s laws are something else entirely. Your willful, unwise and unlawful actions can have bad consequences for you. If you sit in prison or on death row, you still have free will every day but your options are severely limited.
Free will is a management job and it’s done, again, by using your mind, body and spirit in cohesion to make it work best for you. No one else, and no institution, has the authority or the ability to manage it for you.
God’s “Be Ye Perfect” mandate is for you as an individual soul, a biological personality that passes beyond this mortal life into the realms of a vast universe. We must use our endowments to embrace this eternal quest.
Why am I always being lectured by dupes?
They swallow up their biases and release them like poops They believe propaganda and think I should too. Worrying incessantly about what will ensue.
For we’re headed to ruin if we don’t see their wisdom
And lock ourselves into their lonely lost prison.
Why am I surrounded by people in fear?
Why do they think that the worst will appear? And when it does happen, they show us a leer. Like they knew it all along, like a perverted seer.
I’m tired of such people, wish they would all disappear. In morning light showing a new bright frontier.
Why is the truth seen as pessimistic doom? A coming banality academically assumed?
For tragedy is greater and sentimentalists buffooned for being naive in the face of their gloom.
Humanity they call wretched by their wisdom a’bloom
And their pompous myopia flatulates many rooms.
Why does the future to them seem so bleak?
Why do they think themselves up some shitty creek? And why do they continue to paddle upstream
in frustrated despondency that sweats on their dreams When connection to spirit brings an easier direction, flowing with insights from inner perceptions.
Why do they declare holiness in pieces of writ
all with gritty condiments of imagination spent?
Why do they declare it wisdom because of its age or bent
when it’s proven time and again that goodness has not been sent
into this mad world where preachers and prophets vent
about saviors they deify while asking you to pay their rent.
They are not really heaven sent.
Progress needs your personal ascent.