March, 2009

 

Mythic Prelude:

Conspiration Theory

Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for March, 2009. At this moment in astral and mythic time, we're less than a year away from the Chiron-Neptune conjunction of February, 2010. We're six months from another Saturn-Uranus opposition in September. As the third and last in this current series (there will not be another Saturn-Uranus opposition until 2042), this one is likely to be as unpredictable and transformative as the one that was exactly in effect on the day of Barack Obama's election on Nov. 4, 2008.

We're now within three months of Jupiter's triple conjunction with Chiron and Neptune in the spring, and three weeks away from the Spring Equinox on March 20, when people all over the world will link to tone, sound and breathe the frequencies of love, courage and peace. And we're in the middle of the month of Pisces, the sign of mysticism and shamanic magic, theatre, illusions, dreams and secrets and all other subtle, intuitive communications that do not get onto paper and often not even into words, but flow instead through hints and glances, nods and nuances, and leave not a track or a whisper. We are in the time of year when men of power plan in secret what they will attempt -- and vision what others will try against them -- when the ground has thawed and the rams' horns start to bang in April. It is also the season when people of faith pray for the renewing splendor of the Earth Lady and the rising of the Green Lord in the leaves of May.

So this month is a time for conspiracy and its spiritual parent, conspiration. How are these two words and ideas similar? Both mean "breathing together" or "in spirit together," or both, as the action of spiration has a double meaning: (1) the flow of air in and out of the body -- as in respiration -- and the flow of divine or other spiritual energy into the mind and the imagination of the poet who prays for inspiration at the beginning of the song. How are the two words different? Conspiration, at least in English, seems to be almost ethically neutral; one online dictionary defines it simply as an "act or an instance of conspiring" or "a joint effort directed toward a goal" -- but does not say whether the goal is honorable enough to be spoken publicly.
Thus the recent efforts of several American state governors to discontinue the death penalty in their prisons for the sake of saving money in austere times could qualify as a conspiration, as these public officials are coordinating their policies and talking points about how, as Ian Urbina wrote in the New York Times, "capital cases are expensive because the trials tend to take longer, they typically require more lawyers and more expert witnesses, and they are far more likely to result in multiple appeals." Martin O'Malley of Maryland and other governors are proceeding cautiously, as well they might. If hard economic times may compel us to spare the lives of the condemned on death row, then there is no telling what other compassionate actions might be forced upon us for economy's sake. If Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is correct in predicting that the US economy may improve by the end of 2010, we could be looking at two years of having to do less killing for the sake of spending less, with who knows what irreversible damage to our ideologies and dogmas. It is certainly a good thing that a notion as dangerous as the suspending of capital punishment is being studied and debated openly in the light of day.
A conspiracy, on the other hand, as you know, always happens in the dark, behind closed doors, among men who murmur together at such close range that they can hear one another's breath. It's obvious which word and action, conspiracy or conspiration, people love to think, talk, write and wonder about, as conspiracies are fearsome and mysterious, formed by powerful, wealthy and ambitious people who aim to take by illegal means what they can't get by operating placidly within the glacial tempo of the law. What is one sobering indicator of just how far our collective mind will have to jump in the years just ahead if we're to attempt a world-wide awakening into spirit in 2012? Google "conspiracy," and you will likely get more than the 33,700,000 results that I found today (Feb. 27), leading to thousands of pages with zillions of links to every nasty scam, tenuous tip and possible plot that anyone has ever exposed or imagined. Google "conspiration," and you get only 800,000 leads, many leading to the World Trade Center, the Giza pyramids and other topics that are clearly connected with dark, sinister schemes, partly because conspiration in French has come to mean the same thing that conspiracy means in English. The two terms are coming more and more to mean the same thing, as though there were a conspiracy underway to rob conspiration of its ancient, sacred meaning right at the time that many of us are rediscovering and practicing it. More of this anon.
"A conspiracy," said Mark Twain, "is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.” This "number of men" is enormous. When we consider how many people there are who are not in power but want to be, and how many others prefer to influence events covertly from behind the scenes, and how they all vastly outnumber the rulers and officials who are exercising power lawfully, then it's easy to see that conspiracies must be going on all the time. Even though the word "conspiracy" first appeared in English in 1386, the actions that the word connotes have been happening for much, much longer. The Biblical books of Kings were loaded with conspiracies like the one by Absalom against his father, King David, a millennium before conspiracies were laid and loosed against Socrates, Julius Caesar and Jesus. Long before the enemies of Joash and Pekah and Hoshea and other kings of Judea conspired against them, the brothers of Joseph conspired to beat him and leave him for dead in a pit, covered by his bloody coat of many colors. And while Adam, Eve and the Serpent may not have actually conspired against God, there can be no doubt that our first ancestors did conspire in the coverup once the disobedient deed was done.
So why is it not obvious to us that conspiracies are going on all the time? One negative factor is Bozosis, and the unlikelihood that powerful men who can't go quail hunting without shooting their friends by mistake are going to become dictators, or take over the world. As Anonymous opined, "all these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever. I think you'll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid.” There is something to be said for this dismissive idea, but it's unsatisfying: the fact that someone is inept, as we know from every stupid crook story, does not mean that he is not attempting the crime. Another minus factor, especially in "developed" countries whose people are most naive and uninformed, is the unwillingness of people to believe less than the best about their leaders and oligarchs, so that they can live in the state of apparent happiness that Jonathan Swift called "the perpetual possession of being well deceived."
Perhaps the most powerful element that works against our understanding of conspiracies is the new combination of governmental and media power as it has evolved since the Third Reich and its Big Lie technique of repeating the same falsehood so relentlessly that people come to believe it. The result is today's reporting of "news" and defining of policies by what David Icke calls the Problem-Reaction-Solution method, by which perpetrators of trouble can be agreed upon and targeted even before anything happens. The game has changed completely since the emergence of rotogravure printing in the 1890's, radio in the 1930's, and color TV in the 1960's. The wider the reach of media becomes, and the more compelling its pictures get, the greater the wish and need of governments to control what is reported, and also to determine what does not get on their air.
This does much to explain why it is that the last American president to alert his people to a very dangerous combination of financial interests was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who waited until his farewell speech in 1961 to warn of the growing power and influence of the military-industrial complex. Many of the US presidents who preceded him, though, and others, had much to say about these matters, and could still be clearly heard. Consider these sentiments:
“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes,” said Benjamin Disraeli in 1844. One of those personages was Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who was given to boasting about the machinations he could pull with impunity, and once said, “Give me the right to issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who governs the country.” That was back when bankers were less discreet about the combinations they form and the schemes they engineer, when Nicholas Biddle tried to break Andrew Jackson's resistance to a national bank in private hands by moving the national economy to the brink of ruin. Ever since then, the man in the White House has known who's boss, or wants to be. We can watch how the polemics and propaganda evolved, and how closely they mirrored the evolution of technology in media, beginning in the 1860's:
“The money power," said Abraham Lincoln, "preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than the aristocracy, more selfish than the bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.” In this age of pictureless newspapers and florid magazine writing, the standard response to a conspiracy charge was to turn it around on the exposer, and accuse him of wrongdoing.
“Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country," said James A. Garfield, "is absolute master of all industry and commerce. . . . And when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.” By Garfield's time, when print media had begun to use pictures, the rules had begun to change. It was in 1877 -- not 1909, as some websites report -- that the term "conspiracy theory" was first used by David Dudley Field to support his view that Republicans stole the 1876 election from Samuel Tilden, and fenced it to Rutherford B. Hayes. The most entertaining version of the story is Gore Vidal's novel 1876.
“These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests," said Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900's, "control the majority of newspapers and the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of public office officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government.” By this time, in the yellow press era of rotogravure printing and the first tabloid papers with massive, shouting headlines, the "invisible government" had learned the obvious strategy for handling an intrusive press: if you can't bar 'em or beat 'em, then buy 'em.
"Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something," said Woodrow Wilson. "They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." This was in 1913, the fateful year when a consortium of US and foreign banks created the Federal Reserve, and thereby began to gain the power to rule the country indirectly by issuing and controlling its money. While this legal basis for the bankers' ambitions appeared to be something new, the changes it brought were more cosmetic than visceral, since those who were in a position to know all about it understood, as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it in 1933, that "the real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson." A lifetime ago, before the dumbing down of the TV age began in earnest, a Justice of the Supreme Court could say without being ridiculed, as Louis D. Brandeis did in 1936, that "We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
It now turns out, weeks after this page was first posted -- thanks to the doggedly alert Sheldan Collins for the tip on this -- that one of the quotes we've just explored is a fake. Which one is it? Scroll to the bottom of this prelude to find out.
As every American old enough to be a grandparent probably knows, the nuance of "conspiracy theory" changed in the 1960's. This was a watershed decade in public rhetoric and propaganda, for two reasons. One was that for the first time, the conspirators stopped accusing those who were onto them of criminality, and began instead to discredit them as morons and lunatics. The other was that careful manipulation of visual images became an art of crafting how an event would be perceived, and therefore what version of it would be accepted as the truth. The instructive piece of evidence for this trend was the Abraham Zapruder film of the JFK assassination, which in its undoctored form showed that two or more shooters were at work. The president slumps forward as he is hit by a bullet from behind, then his head snaps backward as he is hit by another round that can only have been fired from the front. Yet so subtly effective was the subsequent editing of the film for public viewing, so persuasive the Big Lie that a 24-year-old, inept lone gunman had hit his target with at least two shots, one of them a "magic bullet" that careened impossibly inside the victim's body, that to this day most Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
We have crossed now into very depressing territory, and we will not open up here the question of whether the Inside Job scenario about the events of Sept. 11, 2001 is plausible, or paranoid, or pin-headed. It is enough to see where we have now arrived, at this impossible, unsustainable moment of tension. When the owners of the system believe that the surest way to shield themselves from scrutiny is to hide not just the sensitive data, but all the information, thereby creating a suspicion that everything they do is vicious, then the results are inescapable: in cynicism about the motives of all public officials, in assumptions that all people who have wealth are corrupt; in opinions that all accusations are legitimate because someone rich and powerful denies them; and in the Catch-22 principle, articulated once again by Anonymous, that “the complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working.” Like a cell undergoing mitosis, we seem to be dividing more and more into two societies: one of denialists who agree with Ronald Reagan that "facts are stupid things"; the other of unfastened types like the Mel Gibson character in Conspiracy Theory, so obsessed with real and imaginary threats that they can't function on the Earth plane.
Fortunately, this story line is more fiction than fact, as most of the world's people are neither blind nor bleary, just so generally disempowered that like the Italians, they know that it rains, and the government steals, and they wind up with Silvio Berlusconi anyway. They're not entirely happy that one man owns and controls 90% of their country's media, but they have no idea what they can do about it, especially now as they wonder how far they will stretch their money before it erodes completely, how they will keep a roof over their family's head and food on the table, and how and when they can begin to live again as though they have some creative freedom of action.
It's no easier for the bankers either, at least in relative terms. Yes, they've bagged a huge amount the money, and they're well positioned to steal more of it. But for some of them, at least, self-respect has now become a burning, agonizing issue. Imagine how it must feel to have the whole economic house of cards fall during your watch. Imagine how it must feel to be a middle-aged banker who grew up as a scion of old wealth, the son and grandson of master capitalists who placed in your hands the greatest engine for creating wealth that the ingenuity of man and woman has ever crafted. And now imagine that you have just violated the position of trust that others have given you by taking far too many silly risks with other people's money, all of which is now, in the worst financial disaster and loss of prestige in your family's history -- gone. Vanished. All that money no longer exists, thanks to your addiction to high-risk gambling games.
Imagine how it must feel to know that you, your competitors and clients have blown it. Your greed, incompetence and bravado have caused 200 years of wealth creation that is unprecedented in history to implode on itself. Just be grateful, as you read this, that you're not a banker yourself. Sure, on the outside they're impeccably tailored, as bankers have been ever since Diamond Jim Brady said that if you want to make money, you have to look like money. But inside, they feel naked and matted enough to disgust a gnome, like the bankers shown here as they take turns trying to revive the just-expired reptilian monster of classical laissez faire capitalism.
So -- as we invent a new economy that is smaller and more subtle than a dinosaur . . . how are we going to manage our current challenges, and bring ourselves and our planet safely through?
First, we understand the timing. The more positively and proactively we address our situation in the spring of 2009, then the less reactive we'll have to be when our situation addresses us in the summer of 2010. Late May and early June of 2009 can be wonderfully beneficial, transformative months if we will only recognize their potential, and align ourselves so that the celestial dynamics power our progress toward the magnanimous understanding, the healing and the compassionate joining in the universal heart that are all inviting us, especially on and around May 25 - 26.
Next, we understand the emotional alchemy. We see that our external, mundane circumstances can be no more serene than our inner states of mind and heart. We accept that the universe is a field of consciousness that we generate through our own thoughts and feelings, and that we can change as we play our roles: as models of the changes we wish to attract, as manifestors of love and abundance in a year when both are in the air, as keepers of frequency who act in service to others who are about to kick with our help their addictions to struggle, victimhood and blame.
And we learn how to breathe together again by practicing conspiration. Like conspiracy, it was part of our universal practice long before we had a word for it. If conspiracy means an act of breathing together for an unholy purpose that must be concealed for fear of discovery, then conspiration is breathing together for some holy purpose that unites us with one another, with all of Nature and with the Divine Source. Those of us who grew up in religious congregations, that is to say nearly all of us, have conspirated thousands of times. While no one ever says as much -- as even a priest may not know it himself -- the point and purpose of sacred music in any tradition is not only to unite us in sacred words and majestic music that anchors tonalities of serenity and awe, but also to entrain us in the same rhythm of breath. Whether we are chanting the Hu that is the root vowel of Sufi practice, or the Ha and Sa of Vedic pranayama, or the long, simple unison cadences of Gregorian chant, the effect of conspiration is the same. It draws us in until we are one mind and one heart, giving our love and our sound to all the others as they give theirs in turn to us, so that each one has the strength, the breath, the vitality and joy of a dozen or sixty or five hundred, and we get some glimpse and tremor of how divinity itself must feel.
How we join with others to share our breath, communally or intimately or in other ways, is up to each one. Those who are committed to tuning our planet in the intentions of compassion, unity, peace, acceptance and love will link with others all over the world in a Global Harmonization for the Spring Equinox, coordinated by Circle of Sound. Others will conspirate in simpler, more private ways, Many of us already know that the traditional greeting of Hawaiians and Eskimos is not “rubbing noses.” When the indigenous people put their foreheads and noses together, they are breathing together in conspiration. The Ha syllable in Aloha, after all, means “breath,” the essence of life, the most precious thing that we have and can give one another. It is too precious to be wasted on conspiracies and controversies, crimes and secrets. It is a caress made of air, an act of trust and joyous embracing that may at any moment vibrate into sound. Breathe. Open the pipes and blow on the heart. Keep Holding That Frequency.
So which of the above quotes, from US presidents and other notable people, is a fake? If you played the percentages and answered Abraham Lincoln -- who turns out to have had more fabricated axioms attributed to him than any other well-known American -- you're right again. As Thomas J. DiLorenzo points out in Fake Lincoln Quotes, these three sentences don't appear in any of Lincoln's written works or the transcripts of his speeches. So what Lincoln allegedly said about "the money power" was made up by someone else. But that doesn't mean the ideas are not true. They're as true as they can be, no matter who made them up.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010

Copyright 2009 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.