Tuesday, January 24, 2006

THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW AGAINST SICKENING IMAGES AND MENTAL IMAGES

There ought to be a law against submitting people to the mental and emotional distress of seeing horrific pictures or exposing them to horrific descriptions that become indelible memories and often scar us emotionally for years, even for life for the express purpose of shocking them.

I remember as a child I suffered from this horribly. People would talk about all kinds of violent and traumatizing things in my presence and my young imagination would be ignited and I would get burnt - bad. TV would give me night horrors.

Why is it OK for papers to publish photos that, even if one doesn't read the paper and the eye falls on them perchance, leave one sickened?

Why is it OK for someone to write some of the stuff that Snopes refutes and send it around the net for countless millions to be sickened by and have the mental picture in one's mind forever?

I call that assault and battery.

There are sites for people who like all kind of sick stuff. Let the people who want that go there, just like people who like physical violence can go to wrestling matches.

And leave the rest of our psyches alone!

DoreenEllen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Monday, January 23, 2006


Transgender – A Matter of Diversity?

Those who consider themselves "Transgender" (the "T" in GLT BDSM) claim that they are a perfectly normal expression of naturally-occurring Human sexual diversity.

They would have us celebrate this diversity, not merely accept its existence matter-of-factly.

The following definitions of Transgender and Transgenderist will suffice for the purpose of this discussion:
Transgender: 1) Transgender (sometimes shortened to trans or TG) people are those whose psychological self ("gender identity") differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. To understand this, one must understand the difference between biological sex, which is one’s body (genitals, chromosomes, etc.), and social gender, which refers to levels of masculinity and femininity. Often, society conflates sex and gender, viewing them as the same thing. But, gender and sex are not the same thing. Transgender people are those whose psychological self ("gender identity") differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. For example, a female with a masculine gender identity or who identifies as a man. 2) An umbrella term for transsexuals, cross-dressers (transvestites), transgenderists, gender queers, and people who identify as neither female nor male and/or as neither a man or as a woman. Transgender is not a sexual orientation; transgender people may have any sexual orientation. It is important to acknowledge that while some people may fit under this definition of transgender, they may not identify as such.
Transgenderist: A person who lives either full time, or most of the time, in a gender role different than the role associated with their biological or chromosomal sex (a gender non-conformist).
The above definitions are to be found on the following URL:
http://tinyurl.com/89sxu

We see from the definition above that the understanding of Transgender is based upon the assumption that there is a difference between one's sex and one's gender. People who define themselves as Transgender not only assume that there is a difference between one's sex and one's gender, they assume that this is the natural, normal state of being for Humans and would have those who are not Transgender accept this as a natural, normal state as well. If we accept this assumption then Transgenderism, a state in which a person does not experience himself or herself as being of one and the same sex inside and out, must be accepted as a perfectly normal and natural part of the diversity of Human sexuality.

It is being demanded of us that we accept that it is normal and natural that one's perception of oneself is vastly at variance with others' perception of him or her. Demanded of us it is. It has become politically incorrect to question the normalcy of transgenderism and those who voice a doubt that it is normal are met with every bit of the verbal violence that homosexuals and transgendered people are met with by their ultra-conservative counterparts. There is no reason not to believe, given the level of verbal violence that many people who identify as transgendered allow themselves to engage in when their claims are questioned, that would they could, they might allow themselves the physical violence that the homophobic engage in as well.

Diversity amongst individuals can be advantageous to a species and/or the ecosystem in which the species exists, disadvantageous to the species and/or the ecosystem in which the species exists or neither particularly advantageous nor catastrophically disadvantageous, so long as the diversity remains within a given percentage of the population.

As a species, Humans are marked by differing Races. We are diverse in some of our physical characteristics. That diversity has aided our adaptation to our environments and is certainly advantageous within the given environment that the adaptation occurred in. Take a light-skinned Celt out of the British Isles and place him or her in a hot and sunny environment and the same physical adaptation that was advantageous in the British Isles, becomes disadvantageous. Take a Black person who carries the gene for Sickle Cell Anemia out of the malaria-ridden area in which the adaptation occurred in order to protect the species and that person's adaptation that was so necessary for his or her survival and that of the species becomes disadvantageous.

There are types of defects that are so catastrophic to the bearer that there can be no advantage to the individual or the species whatsoever. They are wholly destructive to the individual, do not perpetuate or serve the species and are often destructive to the individual's surroundings as well. Psychoses and major personality disorder fall under this category, as do the devastating physical disorders.

There are some types of differences among individuals in a species that are always disadvantageous to the individual to some extent and will become catastrophically disadvantageous to the species if those who bear them exceed a given percentage of the general population. Albinos, epileptics and dwarves are three examples of individuals who bear a disorder, defect or syndrome that affects their functioning to some extent and which, if they were to multiply in numbers unchecked in the species, would impact negatively upon the entire species. It is clearly a disadvantage to the individual to be born an albino, an epileptic or a dwarf. The individual will, no doubt, be unable to partake in many, but not in all, of the activities that further the welfare of the species, but so long as they remain within a given percentage the species can tolerate, even accept their existence with equanimity.

Neuroses and other psychological disturbances are among the disorders that impinge upon one's individual functioning to some extent, and affect society negatively to some extent, but which are not catastrophic to the individual so long as he or she can function for the most part, or to the species so long as the majority of individuals in the species are not disturbed.

As in the case of illness that are always and in all ways detrimental, the defects that fall into the category of those that make existence and survival more difficult, but not untenable, can be congenital, acquired and some can be both.

It should be needless to say that any acts of cruelty toward those who possess a defect, whether congenital or acquired or both should be punished to the full extent of the law. Certainly those who have chosen to modify their appearance because they experience themselves as a sex and gender other than they appear without modification must not be objects of ridicule for so doing and any violence perpetrated upon their persons should be punished vigorously.

While individuals born with defects are entitled to every respect, dignity, opportunity, advantage, etc. in every sphere of life that their condition allows, and it must be illegal to limit an individual who possesses a debility more than the debility itself necessitates limitation, we cannot deny the fact that those who possess a deformity, disability or illness of some kind are, in fact, afflicted to whatever the extent may be.

There is absolutely no benefit to the species in being Transgender. It is not an expression of Human diversity that serves the individual, the species and the environment, as would being unusually fertile, of above-average intelligence or strength or possessing greater empathy than do most people. Thinking of oneself as one gender, when objective reality says something else or thinking of oneself as having no gender at all, when one bears the primary and secondary characteristics of a given sex that are observed clearly by objective observers cannot be considered an expression of Human diversity that we should foster, encourage and "celebrate".

Wanting to have one's genitals changed surgically in order to be on the outside what "one is on the inside" cannot be considered a mental/emotional state that serves the furtherance of our species as a whole.

However, neither is Transgenderism a wholly catastrophic illness, deformity or defect that impacts wholly negatively on the individual, the species and his or her environment as are, for instance, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, extreme intractable psychosis or Tay Sachs.

Neither is the state of having a perfectly healthy male or female body, while experiencing oneself as the opposite sex within to be considered a psychosis, although normally when one perceives one's own body or self in a way that does not accord with objective reality we are dealing with one who is hallucinating. This is not the case with Transgenderism. Transgenderism is a species of neurosis or personality maladjustment. As long as the person focuses the perceptual distortion on one aspect of his or her being (the person's gender) and can function otherwise normally in society, there is no reason to label Transgenderism as a psychosis.

Each case in which an individual wishes to undergo irreversible surgery that involves amputation or modification of the genitals and hormone therapy must be very carefully scrutinized by a panel of psychiatrists and other health care professionals.

Transgenderism is a catch-all term for a rather large number of disorders that are characterized by various psychological and/or physiological abnormalities. However, Transgender individuals can function as normal Human beings in most spheres of Human existence and society. The disorders, then, are of a similar order as epilepsy, albinism, dwarfism and various neuroses. We see that people who define themselves as Transgender are among those who possess illnesses, deformities and genetic abnormalities that allow them to function fairly well and not impact catastrophically on the species and the environment – so long as the number of individuals possessing them do not exceed a given percentage per capita.

While Transgenderism must be accepted in civil society, it should be seen for what it is: A disorder that causes us no harm as long as the percentage of people who define themselves as Transgender remains stable, but potentially harmful if the percentage grows.

Since it is entirely possible, if not likely, that the types of Transgendered individuals who are in possession of a normal body but perceive themselves as being other than the sex that is observed objectively are suffering from acquired neuroses, it behooves us to determine what the causes of such errant self-identification are and prevent the disorders from occurring. For all of their bravado and claims of "transgender pride" they suffer miserably for the most part.

On the physiological level, it is important that science develop ways to insure that fewer babies are hermaphrodites or pseudo-hermaphrodites. Their sexual ambiguity is very real and will, no doubt, lead to psychological and social problems in addition to the congenital defects.
The fact that some cultures, particularly some Native American tribes have been found that seem to have accepted transgenderism and incorporated them into the general culture, is not proof of their normalcy. Neither is the oft-heard claim that transgenderism is the physical expression of lofty "spirituality" that cannot be attained but by being transgendered to be taken seriously. The following is said about the "berdache":
"Since the berdache could mix characteristics of both genders, they were viewed as having a special status as if "blessed" by the gods. They were thought to be the "middle gender," and seen as prophets and visionaries having an almost mystic and psychic vision into the future. They were often consulted by tribal elders and chieftains because they were thought to have a kind of "universal knowledge" and special connection to the "great spirit." (See: http://tinyurl.com/bwuzg)
Let's compare what has been said about the "berdache" above with what has been said about epileptics, not only historically, that is that they are possessed (positively and negatively) of unusual spirituality, but which modern research bears out:
"Spirituality, but not participation in organized religion, called higher in people with epilepsy
Although most people with epilepsy do not consider themselves more religious or spiritual than other people, a recent study suggests otherwise.
The study, reported at the American Neurological Association meeting in October, was conducted by Dr. Thomas Hayton and associates, of the New York University Hospital in New York. An abstract of the study appeared in the September 1, 2002 supplement to the Annals of Neurology.
Dr. Hayton and his research team gave a standard questionnaire on religious belief and spirituality to 91 people with epilepsy. They then compared the results to standard norms for the rest of the population.
The team reports that this group of people with epilepsy were more religious and spiritual than the general population.
They scored higher than others in terms of daily, personal spiritual experiences (feeling the presence of God, love, deep inner peace, and the beauty of creation). They also scored higher in measures of the strength of their spiritual beliefs and values.
On the other hand, they were less likely than the general population to attend religious services or to participate in activities of congregations or in private prayer." (See
http://tinyurl.com/aw67k)
As an epileptic, I can bear out the fact that these clinical observations are true. I am possessed of hyper-religiosity and have experienced direct contact with God during absence seizures when my consciousness was not otherwise entertained, but rather suspended. Many years of my life were spent being totally engrossed in Jewish mysticism. With all that, I am fully aware of the fact that I am also possessed of a disorder that it characterized by a rather unpleasant syndrome of symptoms that impinges on my functioning and would not wish for society to accept me as Exhibit A of perfectly normal or that which it is desirable to be. There are healthy ways of achieving God-consciousness. One need not be epileptic to experience what I have experienced during absence seizures. I am likewise aware that if people with my affliction were to proliferate, the species, as a whole, would be adversely affected. I therefore do not accept the claim of transgendered people that they are possessed of a unique "spirituality" that cannot be attained in a salubrious manner that serves the individual, the species and the environment.
The Egyptians respected dwarves and even represented some of their deities as dwarves, yet this in no wise should be interpreted that dwarfism is either normal nor desirable.
A number of cultures made eunuchs of young boys for a number of reasons, as is generally known. Some of those eunuchs held very respectable, and even important, positions in their societies, but that does not change the fact that they were mutilated.
The proof of whether a given condition is normal, healthy and a boon to the species is in the sexual pudding. In contradistinction to Bisexual females who, according to a recent British study, constitute at least 50% of the general population of females, this given the fact that they still feel inhibited by heterosexual societal norms (See:
http://tinyurl.com/c83h6).

Transgendered people, like others who possess a physical defect, whether congenital or acquired that impinges upon their functioning to some extent and which can be tolerated by the species so long as they remain within a given percentage of the general population, like dwarves, the obese, albinos, etc. are not generally physically attractive to the general population. The vast majority of healthy individuals are not sexually attracted to people bearing physical or mental abnormalities. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the French Post-Impressionist painter suffered two broken legs as a child, which inhibited the growth of his legs. As a result, his stature was dwarf-like. While we cannot deny his genius and contribution to culture, neither can we deny that his physical deformity impacted only negatively on his place in society and personal love life. He was not seen as a desirable lover or mate, despite the fact that he hailed from a noble family.

It is entirely possible that individuals may fall in love with individuals who possess an abnormality of some kind despite the abnormality. However, rarely does someone find himself or herself attracted to the person because of an abnormality. In the cases where one is attracted to the abnormality, per se, we say it is a fetish or a "kink".

Humans tend, for the most part, to be attracted to those who are fit to perpetuate the species.

Bisexual women are physically and behaviorally indistinguishable from heterosexual women in the presence of men. They do not bear physical characteristics specific or peculiar to them as do transgendered women and many lesbians. Bisexual women are not only sexually attractive to heterosexual men; their Bisexuality often stirs the men to greater attraction to them. Many, men, find Bisexual women more exciting than heterosexual women. The thought of a woman making love to a woman is a very arousing and common fantasy that many men would live out if presented with the possibility to make love to more than one women, particularly if the women exhibit erotic behavior one toward the other. But a Bisexual woman need not be actively bisexual in the presence of man to excite him. The very thought that she is bisexual aroused him to exciting fantasies. Bisexuality in women, then, is a boon to the propagation of the species because Bisexual women are no less attractive to men than are heterosexual women, and often more so.

None of the sexualities under the GLT BDSM rubric, that Bisexuality has been subsumed, wholly incorrectly, under can make the claim that they serve the perpetuation of the species. They are, in fact, disadvantageous.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GENIUSES GONE, LONG TIME PASSING?

I have always marvelled at the genius of the brightest of the bright lights in generations gone by until not very long ago.

Up until the middle of the 20th C. not only were there stunningly brilliant people, none of whom are matched by any in our times, but they were mightily productive, particularly so since the conditions of their lives were often very difficult.

"Where have all the geniuses gone, long time passing?", I asked myself, paraphrasing a song.

Stephen Hawkings is no Einsteins, Heisenberg, even a Pauli or a Fermi.

Noam Chomsky is no Gustav Landauer, Bakunin or even a Marx.

Angela Davis is no Emma Goldman.

There is not one, but not one, female scientist today who approximates the stature of Marie Curie.

The list can go on and on.

What happened?

When I came across the information below, I received my answer in part:

"Fluoride used by Nazis to sterilize inmates and make them docile. Fluoride a key dumbing down ingredient of Prozac and Sarin nerve gas -- poisons of choice for tyrant rats."

See the whole article here:
http://www.greaterthings.com/Lexicon/F/Fluoride.htm

"We are told by the fanatical ideologists who are advocating the fluoridation of the water supplies in this country that their purpose is to reduce the incidence of tooth decay in children, and it is the plausibility of this excuse, plus the gullability of the public and the cupidity of public officials that this is responsible for the present spread of artificial water fluoridation in this country. However, and I want to make this very definite and very positive: the real reason behind water fluoridation is not to benefit children's teeth. If this were the real reason, there are many ways in which it could be done that are much easier, cheaper and far more effective. The real purpose behind water fluoridation is to reduce the resistance of the masses to domination, control and loss of liberty. When the Nazis decided to go into Poland, the German General Staff and the Russian General Staff exchanged scientific and military ideas, plans and personnel, and also the sheme of mass control through water medication was seized upon by the Russian Communists because it fitted ideally into their plan to Communize the world. I say this with all earnestness and sincerity of a scientist who has spend nearly 20 years research into the chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology of fluorine -- any person who drinks artificially fluoridated water for a period of one year or more will never again be the same person, mentally or physically."

See the entire article here:
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39fc499b6a91.htm

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yes, Virginia, There Are Fnords

I was told by someone who considered the alternative system of mathematics that I developed that he suspects that I suffer from the same delusion that John Nash suffered from. I considered that the second greatest compliment of my life, second only being asked if I am a fairy by a little girl in a supermarket one day. I am sure that had I shared the piece below with him, the suspicions of the person who considers my delusions downright John Nashian would have been confirmed as far as he is concerned.

P.S. Nash was dead-on right and had he had gematria at his disposal, he could have proven it. But I digress. Here is the piece:

Fnords, like all theoretical matters, are inferred to exist, though we have not yet proven their existence, by observing the effects they have on that which we can perceive and empirically determine.

Observing Western culture and the behavior of people in Western societies, we may be far more certain that fnords are being utilized to control thought, emotion and behavior than we may be certain that dark matter exists. Observing Western culture and the behavior of those who live in Western societies, we may be fairly certain that fnords are being employed by very deft hands. They most certainly are imbedded in the messages we are getting from the media. We, in repeating the "lines" from the movies, TV shows and popular songs that strike a chord in us and that seem "cool" or otherwise arouse us to emulation, reinforce those messages. The fnords have been crafted such that they impact on our psyche and become ever-repeated household words. The work of reinforcement by repetition and habituation is carried on as a matter of course. We become the unwitting agents of our brainwashing. The fnord craftspeople are, then, doing a chillingly good job of influencing behavior, thought and emotion.

Not only have the fnord weavers exploited the normal Human needs for love, acceptance, shelter, belongingness and justification by making us feel that we must join one of the state-sanctioned types; they also exploited and reinforced our natural xenophobia when we encounter those outside of our group.

When we encounter the rare, indefinable, personality we have been taught to go into panic mode. The few who managed not to be pigeon-holed are perceived as raptors.

The xenophobia has been exploited and reinforced by making people totally blind to their own xenophobia. They can see it clearly enough in others. Yet, each is absolutely sure that he or she is an open-minded, accepting person, even while they revile those outside their group.

Those who think that they are living various "alternative" lifestyles and/or belong to "subcultures" may rest assured that they too belong to state-sanctioned types. States are served well, very well indeed, by people who are living any lifestyle that so obsesses them that the matter of bettering society is of no great concern to them because all of their energies are channeled into their "lifestyle".

All of the state-sanctioned lifestyles require the purchase of dress and paraphernalia typical to the group. Additionally, the indoctrinating education every group requires costs money as well. Schools, books, seminars, etc., keep the cash registers clinking. This is true of the Fundamentalist, straight-arrow members of conservative, conventional groups; members of non-mainstream, but accepted religions; those who partake in alternative lifestyles and religions, such as Wicca; and those who belong to the furthest out subcultures, such as BDSM, which I have been considering of late because I've suspected for some time that is a state-sanctioned group.

The members of all of all of the state-sanctioned groups Interpret the expression of original ideas negatively and have been programmed to react to such pronouncements viscerally. They all lack the inability to grant credence to the expression of a viewpoint that does not belong to one of the state-sanctioned groups. In other words, the members of each of the groups have been taught to accept only the pronouncements of each of the other groups as valid expressions of diversity. They have been taught to interpret any self-expressing that is not one of the accepted expressions of the other state-sanctioned groups as anti-diversity and otherwise threatening.

They have been rendered incapable of recognition of altruistic motivation for what it is and have been taught to perceive it cynically at best, as a threat at worst. Upon hearing expressions of altruism they go into extreme self-defense mode.

Each of the state-sanctioned groups has been taught to tolerate only the existence of the others. They thus lend support to one another, despite the fact that they may think they are diametrically opposed in their views to some other groups. Only upon the hearing of the standard buzz words, clicheיs and canards are they aroused to the thought of "live and let live".

(During the course of writing this paper I have been reminded of some models from the behavior of birds that I learned along the way. I know very little about ornithology and would not presume to arrive at even a tentative conclusion that ornithology has provided a basis for our own brainwashing. I hope that someone more knowledgeable than I in this matter would be interested in pursuing this possibility.)


_______________________________________________________

Not in the least bit surprisingly, in fact right on cue, someone responded that I was being "insulting", "arrogant" and "judgemental" in writing this piece.

I responded:

"Insulting". "Arrogant". "Judgemental."

BIG fnords.

How many times have you heard those words in the last month?

Compare that to the number of times you have heard words like: "wisdom", "modesty", "integrity".

When do you hear those words being used by others?

What arouses you to employ those term?

Why did you think I was exempting myself?

Why were you so sure that you knew my motivations and intentions?

Can you put your finger on what tripped your emotional wires?

I'm not defending myself. What I'm doing goes much deeper than that.

I'm trying to get people to see how they are "set off" and to be able to take a step back from the process and observe it objectively.


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Are BDSM and Anarchy Incongruent?

Please see my Mystical Anarchy site:
http://tinyurl.com/8wugt
LOBOTOMIZED

Someone wrote the following:

"There are so few role models allowed by our society. The hope is that we can drop our own differences, and find the similarities in each other."

The author of the two statements above has been successfully lobotomized by the mentality shapers who have taught her/him to employ the jargon and buzz words that s/he did. S/He cannot so much as write two consecutive canards without contradicting herself/himself and realize that s/he has offered a suggestion for there being one role model allowed by our society even as s/he laments the dearth.

As one might expect, the author of the sentences above did not realize that I was decrying the phenomenon, and took what I said as a personal insult despite the fact that I wrote plainly that he had been a victim of social lobotomization.

I responded:

I most certainly did not wish to insult you and am pained that I hurt you.

Indeed, having also grown up in the US, I suffer from exactly the same neurobiological mutilation that all of us who grew up with TV and mass media suffered.

I'll share an anecdote with you so that you will not think that I was insulting you personally and see that I am decrying a ubiquitous phenomenon.

A Polish film maker of some notoriety in his country came to Israel as a new immigrant some years ago. He was interviewed soon after his arrival and was asked why he did not go to Hollywood. He responded: "I did not wish to exchange a political dictatorship for an economic dictatorship."

When I heard the two terms 'economic' and 'dictatorship' juxtaposed for the first time I quite literally saw a brilliant flash of light and experienced profound pleasure as two parts of my brain that had been severed from birth by American propaganda merged for the first time - this despite the fact that I am third-generation Leftist. One of my grand-uncles died volunteering in the Spanish Civil War.

Upon realizing that the facts that I am, as an individual, a fiercely independent thinker; have been a Socialist from my youth; I hail from a family some of the members of which were Leftists from the turn of the 20th C. and I emigrated from the US to Israel for the express purpose of living on kibbutz did not protect me from having US propaganda shape my ability to think, I realized that very, very few were safe from their intrusions.

I was profoundly dismayed and vexed by the fact that until that day I was not able to think the phrase "economic dictatorship". Certainly I understood the concept, but I could not call it by name, could not sum it up in one two-word phrase.

I, for one, cannot accept this state of affairs, cannot accept that my ability to think has been systematically, and frighteningly successfully, tampered with.

I demand the right to think freely, to conceptualize insofar as my innate inability allows me to.

I will not be hobbled this way. I will not accept the fact that I have been brain damaged.

If I decry female genital mutilation, if I decry children being mutilated in order to make them more pitiful-looking beggars, will I not decry the mutilation of children's brains for the sake of making them, us, malleable citizens who behave as the powers that be will us to?

I will.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Saturday, January 14, 2006

From my vantage point, it seems that Native Americans had an easier time of it in encountering the White man than we Jews did in one respect.

The White man did not understand or respect their spiritual/moral tradition at all, so they did not try to arrogate it. While Native children were taken forcibly from their parents and placed in boarding schools wherein they were taught to be Christians, often under brutal conditions; Native Americans did not have to endure seeing barbarians make their tradition into a justification for the most extreme kinds of violence and orgiastic rituals.

They certainly did see the erection of churches on land they held sacred, but they did not have to endure the indescribable misery of seeing their ceremonies stolen by the White man and distorted.

They did not have to witness their teachings tortured out of all recognition and forced down the throats of a good deal of Humanity.

The expropriation of Judaism by Christians goes on unabated. I spent a good deal of the last five years trying to undo the damage that Christian pseudo-researchers did when they went to press with claims that HaYachad (commonly known as "the Essenes") were a proto-Christian group. There is no mention of Yeshu in all of the extant fragments and no basis upon which to make such a claim. They made those claims wholly irresponsibly all the some. Luckily for us, they had to bring Jews into the research loop (they kept us out for three decades) because they could not read Hebrew well enough to continue the research and one of the worst offenders made a particularly ugly anti-Semitic slur while inebriated, so he was dismissed of his duty.

I'll be spending this week defending the Torah again - this time against someone who is misrepresenting the Torah to "prove" that the redemption will come (cum?) as a result of the rebirth of Jesus, this time with the libido of Kings David and Shlomo combined. The charlatan called himself "Christo" and has performed "reflowering" ceremonies in Israel, one of which was on the Mt. of Olives on the night of the second millennium. He's no longer young. I wonder if he realized a second cumming. He sent me a picture of himself and his "reflowering" partner when they were here in Tzfat. "Christo" was insulted in the extreme when I informed him that the Land of Israel has not been deflowered and, at any rate, it is not his place in creation to redeem us. Why does every pseudo-spiritual character looking to make a name for himself descend on Tzfat?

I envy the Natives for not having to endure the heartbreak and utter disgust that defies all description at having to witness such things.

Their spiritual teachings were so abstract that the Christians could not find an end to the thread and so left them alone. They were also transmitted orally, and so could not be seized.

What is the provenance of the spiritual/moral parasitism that drove the White man to invade others' traditions, particularly that of the Jews, take them over and mutate them into monstrosities?

To compound the matter, in our times it is not considered "politically correct" to defend one's tradition if it excludes others. That is considered being "clannish". It is interesting that exclusion from entrée is taken as a matter of fact in corporate culture and in very many other facets of society. Rules for inclusion and exclusion are understood to be necessary in life. Yet, the Jews are excoriated for our exclusion of any and all. Those who concoct interpretations of Torah that seems to integrate Judaism with the traditions of others, no matter how outrageously, inappropriately, baselessly and repugnantly to Jews who cherish our tradition, are celebrated for urging the last of the Jewish holdouts toward full assimilation (and hopefully disappearance).

Neither is one permitted to defend classical Judaism as that is being parochial, even primitive. While the non-Jew who pontificates a distorted interpretation of Torah (generally based upon a translation and always scoured for that which seems to support what the person wants the Text to say) is taken to be someone who is integrating Judaism with a number of other traditions and thus coming to a more comprehensive view of Torah than any Jew who sticks to pure Judaism ever could.

Moreover, nowadays everyone is "entitled to their own opinion" and it is not cool to call someone down for expressing an off-the-wall, totally baseless opinion about one's own culture. The person who irresponsibly likens a passage in Torah to whatever suits him or her is being universalistic. Whereas, a Jew who defends what the Torah says, as interpreted by Jews over a period of millennia, is being a hater of unity among all Humankind.

So, we Jews are now in a triple bind. The appropriating of our teachings goes on and we are considered parochial, clannish bigots if we defend our tradition against those who would distort it for their own purposes.

God of Israel! When will they leave us alone and go about the business of finding a real spiritual/moral tradition of their own?

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
DoreenDotan@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More of the Genius of Gustav Landauer

If there is one lesson I learned from the 20th C. it is that revolution is not the way. I can think of no recipe for disaster more sure fire than people having more freedom and responsibility than they are prepared for. Landauer understood this and warned against it repeatedly. He was not in favor of revolution, but rather evolution. In his writings he warns against Communist or Socialist *governments* and predicts, with startling prescience, what is destined to occur if Communism or Socialism is made into a form of government. Landauer was not a Marxist. Had the Left adopted the Socialism of Landauer, rather than those of Marx, the tragic events of the 20th C. probably would not have occurred.

It is necessarily true that the state must be gradually supplanted by substituting the ways in which we now interact with one another with new and better ways. Common sense tells us why.

*Only in the actual adoption of new and better ways of interacting with one another do we demonstrate how and to what extent we are truly prepared for greater responsibility and liberty*. The state is transformed, as a matter of fact, by those acts and only insofar as we are able to tolerate the specific new freedoms and responsibilities and then only to those specific extents.

Doreen
Gustav Landauer is, for me, the quintessential anarchist.

The brilliance of his mind was exceeded only by the depth of love in his heart. His analysis of the poetry of Goethe and Walt Whitman bear witness to this.

Gustav Landauer was a mystic. He was also one of the most grounded and lucid thinkers the world has ever produced. His ability to grasp the essence of both the spiritual and the material in his mind and with his precious Soul was unique and set him apart from many of his comrades. He was able to do this because he apprehended, correctly, that both the spiritual and the material derive, ultimately, from the same source – the Moral, and exist to express moral imperatives.

Precious little remains of the writings of Gustav Landauer. Of that, little has been translated into English.

Below are two excerpts from the writings of Gustav Landauer:

"One can throw away a chair and destroy a pane of glass; but those are idle talkers and credulous idolaters of words who regard the state as such a thing or as a fetish that one can smash in order to destroy it. The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward on another – One day it will be realized that socialism is not the invention of anything new, but the discovery of something actually present, of something that has grown…We are the state, and we shall continue to be the state until we have created the institutions that form a real community and society of men." – Gustav Landauer
"Schwache Stattsmanner, Schwacheres Volk!"
Der Sozialist, June, 1910

"…The realization of socialism is always possible if a sufficient number of people want it. The realization depends not on the technological state of things, although socialism when realized will of course look differently and develop differently according to the state of technics; it depends on people and on their spirit…Socialism is possible and impossible at all times; it is possible when the right people are there to will it and to do it; it is impossible when people either don't will it or only supposedly will it, but are not capable of doing it." – Gustav Landauer
"For Socialism", quoted in Martin Buber,
Paths in Utopia
Translated by R.F.C. Hull

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