Spiritual Kindergarten
Foundation of strategy to implement
the Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP)

Note: Much of the following will appear in my upcoming book, The Sacred Nonaggression Principle, as well as in its advance "field manual."


In my previous column, I laid out the planned architecture of the descriptive and prescriptive book, The Sacred Nonaggression Principle.  As I set forth in the first column I wrote on the SNaP in these pages:

The simple nonaggression principle holds nobody (or groups of bodies) shall initiate force against another for any purpose [this means especially governments].  The simple NaP becomes sacred as we collectively assert of it, "There is none higher."

Naturally, many individuals are going to want to know a little bit more concretely what to consider aggression (the initiation of physical force). I don't think anyone is confused about whether a person robbing another person at gunpoint in a dark alley is aggression.  But is it aggression if you "steal" my wife or girl friend?  Is it aggression if you interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of my property by blasting "music" soundwaves my way at 110 decibels?  How about if the government taxes me?  

(Most people I know do not see taxes as aggression.)

The definition of aggression is truly a matter of life and death.  But to set that discussion up—actually the subject is coming in next week's column—I first want to talk about some fundamental areas of common understanding:

Letter to the Detroit Free Press

Approximately three weeks ago, I read a newspaper article in the Detroit Free Press—I'm in SE Michigan, VAW[1], on a temporary basis, outposted from the Free State of New Hampshire where I truly want to be—that claimed the Michigan state budget was coming up $1.6 billion short this year.  (Michigan, unlike the federales, is constitutionally bound to balance its budget.)  I was deeply moved to write the following letter to the editor:

Dear Free Press Editor:

Today’s paper presents a scary picture of the Michigan budget (“Action needed to avoid $1.6 billion state budget deficit,” 01/15/09), but your five-year old child can solve the problem in a heartbeat.  Consider:

In December 2008, Jeffrey A. Miron, professor of economics at Harvard, released a paper, The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition, in which he documents the estimated savings to state and local governments from ending drug prohibition.  These cumulative savings—from reducing expenditures on law enforcement and prisons to increasing revenue from taxing of legally produced and available drugs—across all 50 states are conservatively estimated at $63 billion.

Michigan—with its harsh laws, draconian sentencing practices, and endemic hostility to free enterprise—no doubt is one of the higher-cost regions.  But assuming merely an average benefit, Michigan gains $1.26 billion immediately by simple legislative action; no doubt the positive impact from deprohibition to business and agriculture is equivalent.  Further, legalizing agricultural hemp—the native strain of cannabis that has no psychoactive qualities—would unleash a considerable annual income to tens of thousands of merchants and farmers.

Do we want more nonviolent prisoners or more-productive teachers?  Ask your five-year-old. 

Brian Wright

Not surprisingly, even though I did receive an email from the Free Press stating they "were considering" my letter for publication, they declined to carry my opinion.  Not to overrate my comments, but when one appreciates that the Free Press is a cog in the big corporate-cartel wheel of the current <central dominating entity> in Western society[2], the FP mind-control point man here in the Motor City probably gave my letter two big thumbs down:  "We have way too much invested in the Emperor's New Clothes to let people be aware that he's naked.  If a five-year-old can solve our problems in society, then what the heck do they need us for?"

And as I've been claiming for a while now, this latest Free Press response to my salutary letter points out the two 900-pound gorillas of our age:

  1. In the living room of the real people of the earth—We humans see the fear in the eyes of the Kleptocon beast even as we witness the depths of its destructive, parasitic power.  We know that the beast controls and plunders universally through deception and brute force, and we have to deal with it... NOW!

  2. In the living room of the Kleptocons—For the Kleptos, the gorilla is more like Kryptonite to Superman, a little boy stating the obvious. The Kleptos are frantically deceiving, plundering, and massacring—the recent American-Neocon aggressions in Iraq/Afghanistan and the Israeli-Zionist aggressions in Palestine/Gaza are ultimate gestures of despair—as never before, because they know their days are numbered, and the boom is lowering.

To me the little boy in the Kleptocon living room above is my five-year-old kid who knows that the answer to our problems lies in what he and his peers are taught in kindergarten: don't hit people, don't steal their stuff, and keep your promises. And that is especially true if you work for the government, since the purpose of government is to protect people from aggression. The question is how does the universal kindergarten lesson become a tool for spiritual growth, what makes the nonaggression principle sacred.

To answer that question, let us turn our attention once again to the figure I have called the SNaPStrip, which appears below.  We discussed this figure in the previous summary of the SNaP.  If you look at the top of the top part of the diagram, you'll see a line, actually a surface, called the Growth Curve.  I created this curve to suggest that as human beings move from the authoritarian mode of mental function to the psychologically independent method, they also evolve in consciousness spiritually.

Yes, certainly what constitutes spiritual enlightenment is a matter of deep discussion, but from the time I picked up Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now I've come to believe any such enlightenment involves taking a lot of steps away from what the Buddhists call the "monkey brain" or reactive mind and onto a path that brings inner peace by quieting the "mind."

Human Growth Curve

As the species develops toward self-awareness (or as an individual does) several thresholds seem to be reached along the spiritual growth curve, and I'm game enough to take a SWAG as to where these lie along that curve... and what they are in essence.  That wild guess is shown in the bottom part of the figure above.  It helps to keep in mind the classic axis of conflict between individualism and collectivism: I believe that as you proceed toward becoming a more self-aware individual you move through the following stages (more or less—keep in mind this is totally homebrew intellectual territory, not sanctioned by any august scholarly body):

Compassion—A feeling of sympathy for others probably crept into some early blooming consciousnesses, even compassion for other living organisms; obviously it didn't spread widely, as in the 20th century alone, it's estimated that governments killed more than 100 million people. (Sadly, on a percentage basis that may be an improvement.)

Civility—Another quality for appreciating the individuality of others, realizing they experience the world in much the same way and want the finer things in life.  Manifesting good manners in society is a process that encourages even further back and forth among individuals, spreading the benefits of social living, from a healthy division of labor as well as stimulating creative thought.

Reason and Liberty—Whether reason is the handmaiden of freedom or vice versa doesn't matter so much as the understanding that they're closely related. Recall that John Locke, who wrote Two Treatises on Civil Government (which frame the argument toward liberty in the concept of individual rights) had also written a paper relating to civility: A Letter Concerning Toleration.  It would seem civil behavior and liberty go together like air and breathing.  

Veracity—Natural reason is conceptual consciousness figuring things out on the premise, qua Einstein, that the universe's apparent dice-playing is constrained by the absolute logic of reality. So, too, as organisms possessed of such consciousness, we rise to full spiritual enlightenment when we treat evidence as God: the truth requires letting go of limbic system (primitive mind) control mechanisms that kowtow to comfortable sociological-authoritarian party lines... such as the 9/11 official story.

Justice and Courage—I include this category/stage to make the case that in order to become enlightened, at least politically, one must walk the walk. It does little good for oneself or for others to know without acting. Justice requires that we insist—via grass roots movement, concrete steps, passionate persuasion, etc.—on the right of each individual to "find God" in his or her own way.

...which, clearly, leads to the obvious dissemination of the SNaP.

Finding "God" in Our Own Way

This heading is probably the most succinct statement of the ideal I wish to promulgate through the SNaP.  Indeed, politically, it is another way to state that the nonaggression principle is our sacred calling as a species.

Looking at the above Growth Curve, what becomes apparent to me is that the spiritual dimension is realized as the individual mind relinquishes one after another of the strictures imposed upon it by "the blind obedience to authority" syndrome—i.e. an unconscious acquiescence to orders that no longer have any biological survival role.  On the contrary, thinking for oneself becomes of paramount importance to the continued successful prosecution of human life—here I must pause to include the coming Singularity (which is human-life derived)—on the planet and beyond.

In the pre-selfaware days of homo sapiens, prior to language—certainly prior to written language—it probably made sense for the species to approach the world through a military-like command and control structure.  In those conditions, perhaps only a few millennia ago, the social theorist Julian Jayne[3] speculates that most human psycho-neural systems were "bicameral," meaning two-sided: there was no self-awareness as such, human consciousness functioned as an elaborate order-taker and order-executor, where the orders ultimately came from a <singular controlling entity> e.g. a "god-king" social order.

But as social organizations become more complex and real-world challenges more severe, the message is "evolve or don't proceed to the next level"... not proceeding to the next level meaning, usually, extinction.  Firing a few volcanoes (or other natural or man-made disasters) against god-king societies usually points out weaknesses in the structure: e.g. what to do when all the king's men are wiped out first or how to proceed when you're cut off from the matrix of these orders.

Anyway, what I want to get down here is the idea that Tolle and other spiritual teachers imply, but don't often dwell upon: that the process of spiritual growth is wholly individual in nature.  And further, each individual must be allowed "to find 'God' in his own way."  Which is a prescription for the Sacred Nonaggression Principle, the sine qua non of spiritual growth.  

Examine the roughly hewn curve I've presented in the bottom of the figure above. Note that as you horizontally approach the vertical axis and then proceed in the direction of the vertical axis toward the top of the figure, this arrow I've simply named "Toward Enlightenment/Presence".[4] To reach this state is to have achieved the realization that, as Tolle puts it, we "are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold."  If and when individuals reach this elevated stage, we may reasonably state they have found their "sacred essence," what it is that makes them special.

So when we advocate the SNaP, this spiritual destination is what we have in mind for all humankind.  And we determine that political freedom—leaving people free to find their gods in their own way—is a sacred calling, the ultimate moral end beyond which political man cannot conceive. "There is none higher."  

Thus, this kindergarten lesson that virtually all biological humanity follows, in due course becomes the natural sacred mission for everyone.  And the fact that the SNaP has not taken effect universally means that it has been obscured and diminished by a bunch of deviant/devious power-elite primitives.  The nature of these "They" types is sketched in the book: think of the SNaP as a giant flashlight that illuminates for everyone a) that there is in fact a gorilla in the parlor and b) the gorilla is made of papier mâché in the image of their own overwrought fears and weaknesses.

The seekersThe SNaP as a new religion

In a column somewhere in the past two years, I mentioned an insight that came my way, as many do, courtesy Mr. Jack Shimek, leader of the seekers and Free State peripatetic spiritual guide on all things nonaggression: He said that when a business or would-be employer demanded a Social Security Number, he would simply state, "My religion doesn't use Social Security Numbers."  Frequently that would be the end of it. [I suppose a few years ago, the company would say, "Okay, no problem."  Today they're probably more insistent.]

My point is that invoking the First Amendment especially for religious liberty is still a powerful protection against government aggression.  It gives any public official or businessman pause: most Americans have a deep affinity for the rights of everyone to worship (or not worship) as they choose. Religious liberty sets apart an area upon which people and governments are reluctant to tread.  If someone wanted to create and promulgate a denomination that treated the SNaP as not only sacred but divine, and then refused to abide any government aggression on that basis... well, that would be good.  Great, even!  I'd go back to church.

"What's in it for me?"

That's an excellent question.  Every grand idea shares a vision of what life can be like for the average dude, and throughout history the better vision wins the hearts and minds of the people... sometimes regardless of the actual outcome (e.g. Marxist communism).  A world without aggression, even a world where aggression is confined to small amounts of coercive taxation for communal infrastructure (sewers, recycling centers, roads, utilities, that sort of thing), would be paradise compared to our deal now.

Jon Rappaport, in his Secret behind Secret Societies[5] provides a vision of life without centralized fixtures of legal aggression. He imagines a report by an intelligence committee to a US senator 10-20 years in the future:

[The President has concerns] about the emerging New Citizen who has essentially graduated from the collective power grid of the planet into a status of freedom unprecedented in the history of Earth.  [It's happening with people of all nations.]  This development, coupled with the triumph of infrastructure-technology as usable by small companies, has made it possible for the most elementary of communities to own land in the secure knowledge that they can afford to maintain the infrastructure of that land in excellent condition, without reference to, or reliance upon, large corporations, power utilities, or government officials.  This has made much of government obsolete.... [!!!]

... With the advent of massive electric power for the use of individuals, at almost pennies—through refinement of cold fusion and hydrogen technologies [my guess is the 'creative force' will develop other energy technologies even more productively benign--ed.]—and with the advent of low-cost infrastructure technology, no state or city or community needs the money the federal government can dangle, and therefore, no state need adopt Washington's programs of education, law-enforcement, healthcare, and so on.  All that is finished...

Three years ago we sent our second [voluntarily funded and organized] domed colony, powered by cold fusion, out into the galaxy on its journey of evolution and wonder. Let this stand as a symbol of our unquenchable desire for more life...

Now that's a pro-life, pro-choice vision we can live with.


[1] Vast Authoritarian Wasteland

[2] The particular media mind-control-industry (M3I) corporate monolith that owns the Free Press (and owns the other major daily newspaper in SE Michigan, the Detroit News, too, by the way) is Gannett.  [It doesn't take too many Googles to find Gannett's financial roots in the Kleptocon classes.]

[3] The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

[4] My own two-second idea of spiritual enlightenment is a) consider an exercise where you are asked to watch your mind and report on its activities to another, b) the real "you" is the watcher of the mind, not the mind itself, c) as time goes on you realize that the real "you" is this agent of awareness coincident with your inner body, d) and the mental and physical manifestations of this "you" are impermanent, while the "you" is more important and carries on... and that's about where I get stumped.  I do think this inner us is in some sense the same for everyone, infinite, timeless, what have you, but I balk at words that suggest immortality.  I also am coming to believe that when discussing matters of our "sacred essence," words are at best guideposts... not reality itself.  Anyway, I'm finding the more I dwell with the mind watcher and keep the mind in the "do as I tell you" mode, the better my life seems in general.  Looking forward to further progress in this area.

[5] The subtitle of the book, interestingly, is "Liberation of the planet in the 21st century."

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