Calmly Thinking Up A Storm

Buddhists, Muslims and other Christians, often make the argument that human society is a terrible place, a false world, that it has to be fled at any cost.

Saint Augustine famously recommended to leave that “City of Man” (Rome), and join instead the “City of God”.

Soon all Romans joined the City of God, which happened to also be that of the Plutocrats. There was no more money for real things, like the military. By 400 CE, the Franks were put in charge of defending the North West of the empire. In 406 CE, the Rhine froze, and several German nations broke through, surprising the Franks. There were no hinterlands military reserves.

The Vandals, one of these nations, charged across Gallia, Hispania, and landed across, in Africa.

Soon the Vandals were below the walls of Saint Augustine city of Hippo (of which he was bishop). Hippo fell, a case of divine justice, no doubt. Augustine died. The Vandal occupation, overall, lasted a century, before a puny, but successful Roman counter-attack.

Within three centuries, North Africa, the world’s most Christianized place, would fall to the invading Arabs. And it fell the hard way: after a war that lasted many years, the cities were annihilated.

A characteristic of Roman North Africa is that the presence of Roman soldiery was very light. Eight centuries of peace were enjoyed, aside from episodic violence during Vandal rule. Now contemplate this:

Here is Alex Jones, a successful blogger, in “Finding calm in the storm“: “Human society encourages you to become anxious, always in a state of panic. The adrenaline constantly runs like an angry river… The news is always ugly, full of fear and worry. Human society is a constant raging hurricane of angry fear.” He then recommends to pet a cat: ”You are calm, the cat enjoys your company. The cat has pulled you out of the storm into a calm centre.”

I am myself a great apostle of Nature, and the realism it fosters. Using a human body, and a human mind, the way they were evolved to be, in nature, allows us to enjoy what we are meant to be. That’s why I hike, run, dive, climb, and work on my garden.

Yet, a purring cat, per se, comes rather short, as a full expression of nature. And why are some people so disturbed by… nothing?

The argument can be made, and ought to be made, that, in this raging storm, being calm should be the least of our worries. There is all too much calm about big things, and too much tempests in tea pots.

Alex Jones kindly replied this to me: “A calm mind is a wise mind.”

There we have the naked truth: a blatant identification between calm, and wisdom. They are related, but far from identical. It’s true that a wise mind will often be calm, when others are not. That’s because the wise has anticipated the situation, and those who are less wise, when confronted to reality, get all excited while they are trying to adapt to it. They have no choice.

Conversely, those who were never excited never learned anything.

If one believes that “a calm mind is a wise mind”, the Americans were sure wise to keep calmly supporting Hitler in 1939. The Japanese were sure wise to calmly support emperor Hiro Hito, from 1937 (Nanking) to Pearl Harbor (1941), and beyond.

And those who do not give a hoot about whether humanity is poisoning the biosphere, are certainly remarkably calm, thus very wise. Meanwhile, Nile crocodiles, who barely move for months in winter, deep in the watery depths, have got to be the wisest.

Believing that calm is wise, renders the calm acceptance in the UK and the USA of Bush’s attack on Iraq in 2003, really wise.

In truth, unveiling truth often demands not just excitation, but outright violence. Even if that’s just the violence of changing one’s own mind. Nietzsche pointed out, courageously, that he made “philosophy with a hammer“.

Conventional wisdom is always calm, because it is so sure of itself. Calm also are the deepest errors, those harder to expugnate. It’s easier to keep one’s mind at ease, and regurgitate the past, as one learned it at the age of four.

To identify wisdom with calm is, thus, a fundamental error.

Building the correct ideas and moods requires work, thus energy, thus, one could say, violence. A child has to accept a lot of force to be perpetrated on her mind to fabricate all that knowledge and wisdom, which shows up in immensely subtle neuro-geometry.

When one looks in the small, at the Quantum scale, one discovers extreme agitation. And the smaller one looks, the greater the agitation. Most of the mass of a proton is created by the kinetic energy of the quarks zooming around inside, thanks to E = mcc. (E, the kinetic energy of quarks, creates m, the mass of the proton.) Agitation itself creates mass.

Last night, I watched a tremendous thunderstorm. Nature herself is violent. Truth itself is what’s left of the imagination, once all trials and errors one could think of have been made.

Truth is not calm, nor is it arrived at calmly. Believing otherwise was all the excuse authorities often had to send many a thinker to death.

Patrice Ayme’

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19 Responses to “Calmly Thinking Up A Storm”

  1. red Says:

    the other extreme : get hyper-active and buy ourselves a storm. OR, Imagine ourselves a reason to mindlessly create storms. The nature puts no limits on human imagination (evil or good).

    besides, by “calm” they do not mean ignore reality or play dumb/sitting-duck. It is about taking a breath, being collected, thinking, etc.etc; Its more about the way YOU approach things than about EXTERNAL WORLD (often imagined, wrongly assessed with half-baked wisdom) MAKING YOU approach. Being in control, you shaping the world.

    if early humans thought like this, they would still be in smaller groups , fighting supposed reality. Its not about the FIGHT, its about LIFE. Once they started giving importance to wisdom, empathy, peace ONLY THEN they started culturally evolving, bigger countries formed, culture(s) flourished. The meta grew exponentially. what else distinguishes humans ?

    soft forces are way more powerful (evolutionarily).

    And there is a historic proof (since you seem to take that as a definitive/only thing to learn from) – just look at how buddhism “occupied” entire east – no single shot fired (imagine that). All with so called peace/ “calm”. Ofcourse they eventually got overrun by muslims in some countries, but it still captures/influences(culturally) minds of BILLIONS of sheeple around the world. Some may call it failure, but it is a huge success in my book. And by the way, the muslims preach peace/love/non-violence (it would have failed if not), its just that they dont like the “others”(they preach violence for them). So called “peace” (albeit brotherly) gave sustaining power to that religion.

    Peace begets peace. External world reflects internal world of human species collectively. It can be a non-violent, peaceful abode.

    I am not saying we should all live like vegetables. we just need to be collected, be in control, mature, strong. Not violent, aggressive, throw a tantrum like a child just because you dont like the reality, outside world. Humans can do much better, we left the violent animal, immature, tendencies a while ago.

    to see what humans are capable of, see this clueless sheeple of an excuse for humans . If I were born as them from childhood i probably would have done the same I guess, like sheep. They are literally clueless, robots. Who would you blame ? The peaceful religion of islam, which thought it is justied to use violence against “others”, or the sheep ?

    I fear we all humans one day will become as helpless sheeple as these people, unable to use mind, irrevocably controlled by external world, no self control – if we mindlessly apply voilence (like hammer for every problem).


  2. red Says:

    And then there is the whole individual / self evolution thing. Everything in this world, from a self perspective, is a skill : violence, calm, peace, being smart, or being a sheep.

    In the human world, its a smart thing to be a skillful master of calm or peace or wisdom. Violence ? not so much. The more you practice, the better you get at it (anything). Even the undesirable skills.


  3. Hadrian Antiochus Says:

    Saint Augustine was from a mixed Punic (Canaanite) and Roman background, Tertullian who wrote one father first boks promoting Christianity was also a North African.

    The Semitic Severan Dynasty is who ruined Rome, they also had their origins in North Africa and Canaan.

    Professor Revilo Oliver who founded the John Birch Society and the National Review but later abandoned them because they’re just tools of the Semitic Jewish elite to misdirect Patriot Americans.

    Christianity preacher weakness, we’re at the mercy of the Semites (jews and Muslims).


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hmmm… “Semites”? Whatever “Semites” are. It’s not a properly defined concept. “Arabs” have some genetic markers, and so do (some) Jews, but some specialists insist genetic “Jews” came from the Kurdistan area, and are not really of the same stock as Arabs (although they speak related languages).

      You also identify Carthage with Tyr, Phoenicia, and the Jews. Now it’s true that the Hebrew alphabet came from the Phoenician alphabet (as did the alphabet of the Sahara and North Africa, Tifinagh).

      But that’s quite a bit like identifying the Greeks with the Phoenicians (the latter being considered “Semites”).

      Overall, Christianism is one more form of Judaism, so is Islamism (the latter having 100 variants, some I detest, some I love).

      To say that the Severan dynasty ruined Rome is a provocative statement. Why? Because it gave universal Roman citizenship to all free men?

      As far as I am concerned, it’s Augustus, who, by steering away from the Republic, and deciding to let Germania be, while instituting a plutocracy, ruined Rome.

      Septimus Severus had an anti-Senate (thus partly anti-plutocratic) bend. Yet, not enough to break the plutocracy which was burying Rome.

      Arab genetic tracers are nearly unknown in North Africa (they are no more than 1%, contrarily to what the naïve native believe). Thus to identify North African and “Semites” is traditional, but completely unwarranted.

      Supposing that Jews “are” Semites because, like North Africans, they speak “Semite”, is traditional, but unwarranted. “We” do not seem particularly at the mercy of Muslims (bombing each others) and Jews (bombing the preceding, etc.).

      Ironically, most European Jews descended from individuals who were initially Christians who converted, and before that, of good Celto-German stock. In other words, this entire subject is full of rampant lunacy (Christians are Jews who hate Jews, thus themselves, etc.). I would recommend finding more relevant bad guys.

      Another little known fact: “Jews” arrived en masse in Europe centuries before Christians did.


  4. gmax Says:

    The Internet is a new thing. Most people vomit their lives out there, in public, hoping others will come and swallow it, as wild dogs do.

    When it is not that, it is public generalized mental masturbation for all to see and appreciate.

    Identifying calm and wisdom is typical. Most people have no training whatsoever in CRITICAL THINKING. All they want is to pet, and be petted. Generalized masturbation, in public, so they love love love, and thinking, hard thinking, is bad bad bad.

    Then there is outright propaganda by bigger outfits

    So good luck with the serious stuff, you will need it.


    • EugenR Says:

      I understand your hint about vomiting mental masturbation is directed towards Hadrian Antiochus above, who may claim anything to spit his hate towards the others, (in this case towards the Jews and apologetically he added the Muslims too). Just a small example of disinformation he uses to “support” his evil claims, like, “Saint Augustine was from a mixed Punic (Canaanite)….”. The Punic Phoenicians who have very little with the Canniness (Hebrews), as to their culture, were annihilated from Carthage 4 centuries before Augustine by the Romans.


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Eugen: Well, it would be fine if Hadrian Antiochus was the only one to hold these hallucinations dearly. To drive North Africans crazy, it’s often enough to point out to them that they are not Arabs.

        Carthage was annihilated more than five centuries before Augustine. After that, there was Pax Romana, and integration. Jews did not get to Cyrenaica, let alone much further West, where Septimus Severus was from. But the Greeks had colonies there.


      • gmax Says:

        Yeap pretty disgusting hatred, calmly expressed. Worst lies are the calm ones.


  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [In a previous exchange…]
    Scotland is going to vote no to independence, and then regret it. Alex Jones just told me: “A calm mind is a wise mind” How are we supposed to answer kindly to this sort of conventional wisdom? With expletives???


    • Paul Handover Says:

      I’m not so sure about that Scottish prediction. Can’t see what there is to argue with Alex’s calm mind offering? Makes sense to me.


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Well, Paul, the entire essay answered why it’s wrong to equate calm with wisdom, as Alex does. If it was only him, it would be an interesting quirk. However, it’s pretty much a mass mood.

        That philosophy of boiled vegetable leaves the plutocrats free to do a home run, home being, for them, hell. Part of the program is biospheric annihilation.


  6. Alex Jones Says:

    Hi Patrice, thanks for an interesting counterview to my post. My response will be a blog post, although I shall some views here.

    Heraclitus says “strife is justice” which is to say war brings all things into becoming, judges all and is an essential part of nature. I would suggest that war, which is a part of nature, is like a storm, and humanity is like a ship sailing that storm. The captain of the ship is either going to work with the storm by navigating it. or work against the storm and likely be destroyed. The strife-full aspect of nature judges all, drowning the fool and rewarding the wise. In a storm it is unlikely there has ever been a captain who has been able to deploy wisdom in navigating with the storm who had an agitated mind. Agitated minds make errors or become totally paralysed.

    You appear to indicate in your terms of violence that the answer to the challenges humanity faces is a form of control. I suggest that control is one of the curses of humanity that brings about the negative outcomes you fight against. No individual has ever become wise through others forcing control upon them, denying them choice. Control always brings about injustice and causes a counter-action of opposing violence.

    The wise as Sun Tzu suggests have done their calculations before they act, they deploy strategies that perfectly reflect the conditions of war they exist in, and they always achieve their goals. The agitated mind will miss critical information, will make impulsive choices based upon emotion rather than reason. Such generals who become agitated rather than calm will likely suffer defeat in battle. Anyone with experience in martial arts know that a calm mind will defeat an agitated mind in a fight.

    With my calm mind I see all the challenges, the outcomes and the solutions, and I deploy wisely strategies that in my small way offers hope and solutions to the situations humanity drowns in. I won’t go round telling people what to think or do, nor will I force them to do anything. I offer opportunities such as tools or solutions rather like products in a shop window, people can take them if they wish, always the choice is with them. I plant trees. I blog to inspire change rather than force it. I show by example.

    Wisdom is silent and subtle; the calm mind can create vast positive change and nobody would even know the wise individual caused it.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Alex, and welcome to the comments! Thanks particularly for surmounting my critical stance, and liking my posts (I don’t get many “likes”, so they are all the dearest to me, you belong now to a club with a handful! ;-)).

      We bloggers can, of course, force nothing. We have no power whatsoever, but for that of seduction. Who are we, when Paul Krugman is read by millions, and the Wall Street Journal, by even more people?

      However, as a French proverb has it: “Qui propose, dispose.”(A proposition is akin to a disposition). A captain in a storm has to be calm, indeed, yet, sometimes, he barks out orders (few females were ever captains, but of ships of state).

      Sun Tzu spoke well, but not well enough to prevent China to fall to the Mongol army. The reasons for that fall had to do with China being all too calm. China, the Northern Chinese empire, could not possibly imagine falling to 200,000 savages. Same thing with the Buddhist empire to the West.

      Being calm is a method like another. Once I got caught in a giant rock avalanche, a mile above the glacier below. I started to fall. The belay was worthless (I had set it up myself, so I knew how worthless). Death was certain. My mind, though, did not stay calm. All of my brain acted with incredible power, determination and astounding computation. Somehow, with superhuman strength, I stopped the fall. To this day, I cannot imagine how (although I know what I did).

      Humanity is in the process of destroying its home, and, like the Jews led to Auschwitz, is all too calm about it.

      It’s true that the right ideas come from all over, and are often stolen by the noisy ones. Academia made that clear to me. Yet, when silence and subtlety confront noise and brutality, history shows the former rarely win.

      The Christian founding Fathers’ philosophy is case in point. British historian Gibbon rightly accused them (Eighteenth Century) to have caused the collapse of the Roman empire: a lot of calm brought a lot of mayhem. My point of view on this is much more general than Gibbon.

      I accuse the plutocratic phenomenon of the rise of the Christian madness, the calm retreat from the world… And that’s completely clear historically, see Constantine’s machinations…

      No coincidence that Constantine was called Constantine (calm, constant), just like his dad, and his son. Little could disturb his calm mind, and that of his son, so erroneous they were.


  7. Wisdom comes out of calm | The Liberated Way Says:

    […] Better calm than violently angry. […]


  8. red Says:

    how convenient, we look back at history in hindsight, and decide all the turning point wins were due to the winner being violent.

    I think it has more to do with strategy, intelligence, and to an extent brotherly comradery of the soldiers (islam comes with abundance, with full god’s blessing to pretty much anything against “others”, for a while the crusaders had that too). Manufactured purpose (mass propaganda) of individual soldiers is crucial too. You do not get all of these by blindly resorting to violent ways.

    sloppiness should not be tolerated, should be mercilessly/violently eradicated. Violence is a tool, not a strategy. Each tool has its intended uses.

    Regarding calm -vs- violent, in my experience we can develop more focus/concentration with the former than latter. I am not referring to situations where you fall of a cliff (involuntary reactions come into play here; and even in these situation having good focus/concentration helps)


  9. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Human society often IS terrible, but as often as not it is “religious” people themselves who are responsible.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed. So called “religious” people, are, most often, actually “superstitious”. Namely they believe hard in something unbelievable, something above (super) standing (statio). Thus they proclaim, for all to see, that evidence, looking forward, can be overridden.


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