Up until that moment, we had been friends.
Let’s face it folks: She was homely as mud pie. But she was a senior NCO in the unit’s command staff, and her influence was felt in every life attached to that military installation. A single mom in the US Army, it was a world where feminism was the law and she experienced virtually no hindrances from her gender. However, she suffered much from jokes and innuendo about how it was she might have gained her position.
In the first few encounters I treated her with the same basic kindness I used on everyone else in the world. I tossed her a verbal bone once and she acted like it was treasure. I wasn’t trying to curry favor, just acting the role I knew God had placed upon my life. It was with a genuine shepherd-like concern that I teamed up with another man to take her son on some manly outings at the one time he was most confused about life.
But duty called and by the time we were ready to continue working with him, the boy had lost interest. It wasn’t a good change. He became the proverbial troubled smart-ass punk. I won’t try to dissect who influenced whom, nor how, but his mother became a little distant, too. Not cold or hostile, just too busy for chit-chat. A lot of things were changing in that organization all at once.
Time drifted on and our organization hosted a major social event. We called in extra MPs from a neighboring organization to help with parking because it could not be left to random choice. That had been tried once before and failed chaotically. Without organizing it closely, we could not possibly maximize the limited parking space for the typical American community where just about every adult had their own car. This was in a foreign land where the bicycles outnumbered the human population and public transport was just too easily available.
She drove through where I was supervising our borrowed patrolmen in controlling the parking. Suddenly she dodged into an empty lot we were saving for later, ignoring the hand signals from one of the MPs. She came all too close to striking him with her car. I saw the whole thing; he approached her about it and she was openly hostile. Being a good bit younger and having never encountered her before, he was frankly intimidated. So he reported her reaction to me. I conferred with someone even more senior and was pretty much forced to write her a ticket. The commander later stood behind it 100%.
It was as if she were a complete stranger. I acted as if nothing had happened. For me, it was just one of those things people do when not in a better moment. But her contempt and hostility was harder and thicker than the centuries-old pavement under my feet when we passed a few days later on the street. The commander made it a point to check and make sure this gal didn’t retaliate through her official position, I later learned. Apparently she had tried it on other people. For me, it was as if someone had replaced her, and she was a stranger uglier than her own face.
Just doing my job, but she took it so very personally.
It’s not enough to look at this through standard Western analysis, nor even through Game. Looking back, that was at about the time I began my in-depth review of Ancient Near Eastern cultures and became conscious of the radical difference between that and our Western Civilization. It was just about the time the Internet exploded into the homes of average folks, and suddenly I had access to resources I had never dreamed. It was like my old college library, quite extensive in Antiquities on its own, but a hundred times larger and all on my computer. One of the signature grand accomplishments of Western Civilization will be her undoing.
Westerners understand human development and phases in human life. Yet there remains a fundamental and unconscious expectation that human identity is fixed. So very fundamental to that woman’s job was tracking personnel and career actions. If there was any one thing that advanced her career, it was her native expertise in that very occupation of managing it for others. It was her job to be obsessed with the administrivia. For her to respond to me as a dire threat to her career — her surrogate husband — was entirely normal. The tension in her life declined significantly once she managed to capture the newly divorced Command Sergeant Major as her husband. I was no longer a threat and she simply ignored me, while her son found himself under the watchful eye of a very manly man. She turned out to be a model devoted wife to this man, a woman who truly understood the professional demands on him. I’m happy for all of them, in the sense that their story for me ended there.
She would have been the first person to reject the ANE understanding that human identity is fungible, even as she benefited so much from that truth. If there is one core element of the American military bureaucracy, it is the fixation on stasis in human identity. A fat folder of papers followed me through my terms of service. Expunging anything, even the most ephemeral references, never actually happened. There was always a copy of something somewhere that was more permanent than my very existence. In military records, your file packet could only grow, and your identity was ever more fixed by the weight of the record acting like an anchor on your soul.
In Christ, you are a new person. The only memory of past folly is your own. God Himself is willing and able to discount the whole mess, and His records of you in Eternity are the truth of who you are. No entity in all Creation has standing to dispute what God says of you. Once you understand this and embrace it fully, it’s so much easier to forgive the common wounds of human conflict. I won’t hesitate to tell you that this single factor is by far the most difficult thing for Western Christians to absorb. It assumes an entirely alien approach to reality and even the very act of thinking itself.
Reality itself is fungible.
It’s especially hard for 21st century Westerners.
Our background is hostile to the kind of spiritual awareness it takes to be even a decent Christian, never mind a prophet. Everything in our souls is bent and twisted far away from the ancient human defaults. We know the disciples of Jesus struggled less because their minds were already on the right track, ready to obey and not get in the way of the Spirit.
Today I was taking an extra long, 30-mile bike ride to help clear some space in my brain for obedience. A spoke on the rear wheel broke about half-way. While it didn’t stop the ride, it did blow my concentration and certainly the relaxation factor. I had to slow down and take it easy just to get home. That distance on a warped rim does ruin the metal, so the wheel has to be replaced.
But wasn’t that an answer to prayer? I took the time to research and discovered that my 32-spoke rim is cheap and not designed for big boys like me. It needs a 36-spoke at least. Expensive, but pay day is fairly close, so I can probably just about swing it. I was praying for some guidance on something that has been flogging me day and night for the past few days.
There is no doubt NATO will try to attack Syria. God only knows whether any of it will work out as expected. But whatever happens, a part of the fallout will affect me. No, I don’t have a clue how. That’s the reason for turmoil. My spirit through my convictions has warned me that something is coming, something that will arise from our military action in Syria, and it will mean significant changes for me. I’ve done the work necessary to clear my mind and make sure this isn’t some bogus emotional influence. It doesn’t arise from mere logic, because I have no clue, and something warns me I could never guess if I tried.
I had been asking God for just a nibble, some small something that would make sense to my poor churning mind. A few moments later the spoke on my wheel popped, and I sense it was a part of the answer. I’ll be needing that bike a lot in coming days; I need to make sure it can carry the load. That’s about all I can conclude right now. Even that isn’t really what’s important here. It symbolizes something bigger, something with a lot longer reach across my soul. That’s all I know.
Given that we have committed so many military resources, I find it hard to imagine NATO won’t do something nasty. It will not work out as anyone expects. God has His own plans for this. I’m not sure we’ll get any honest reports, but I suspect whatever it is won’t remain secret very long.
Or, I’m going completely nuts and you can have a good laugh at my expense in a few days. That’s how it works when you’re a prophet. Something gets too big and strong to be silent. So you let it out and you have to be ready to play the fool, but being silent is not an option.
I’m praying you are ready for whatever it means for you.
Head games are immoral and not always harmless.
There are times when I play silly little computer games to distract my conscious mind while my spirit spills over into my subconscious mind. That sort of ego suspension serves the purpose of allowing unexpected answers to drift forward into the consciousness. Some of those games are patently unfair. That is, they offer no path to learn. You can’t get better at the game by the application of skill and intelligence, because the game designer intentionally hides the solution in ways intellect cannot help. It’s just plain old luck.
That’s okay for silly games with no significance in life. It’s downright evil when you do that to people for your personal entertainment. People don’t need to know how brilliant you are; they can figure that out without pointed demonstrations. All it does is prove you are also a complete ass. You destroy whatever trust might have been possible simply because you wanted a wholly unjustified ego boast at someone else’s expense. I ran into that a lot in the military, to the point where I realized trustworthy leaders were so few that I despaired of ever believing in the system at all. You could get nice words about forthright leadership, but you could never get it in reality.
So when I see that silly posturing in religious leadership, I know I’m dealing with a false religion. I’ve seen it so often in church, I’ve also despaired of any good thing coming from any I’ve checked. So rare is the forthright leader, he deserves serious support, never mind his actual competence.
There is enough inscrutability in the universe already. God cannot make Himself less puzzling; our weakness is our own problem. We complicate His truth beyond all reason. A major element in the story of Job is that some things simply cannot be explained and the demand that God answer all questions to our human satisfaction manifests an insufferable arrogance. We aren’t God and should stop playing at head games as if we were on His level. That’s what got Lucifer in trouble. The real truth is hard enough when it’s revealed as much as possible. There are plenty of people who will flatly reject the truth without keeping it out of reach.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Strive always to be as transparent as you can.
Preston insisted on climbing into the tent to lay down. Angie knew he wasn’t so very tired because they hadn’t ridden that far, and certainly not very hard. Lying on his back, he stared up at the interior surface of the tent.
“When I was in the Army, the Military Police in Europe always had access to VW vans with the police markings and emergency lights mounted on top, just like the older K-Mar vehicles before they started getting the fancy paint jobs they have now. The US version was dark green with large white patches and big black letters. On the inside, the had a heavy wire cage wall separating the front seats from the passenger area. The sliding side door always had the inside handle removed. It was basically a prisoner transport vehicle with room for six passengers.”
Angie finally understood. She lay down next to him. “So, we do some night watching,” she suggested.
Preston couldn’t sleep. He tethered the laptop to his cellphone and began researching, looking for images to indicate whether the US MPs still used such vans. Apparently there were still some in service here and there across Europe. Social sites offered photos aplenty. Then he scanned the satellite images of the area.
“Without knowing for sure, I’m just guessing the car we saw was headed right over here to that new Albert Heijn shopping center. It’s probably the closest thing of that sort to Javelin. The next nearest thing is an Aldi out in Brüggen, tiny by comparison and not any closer. There’s also the Rheindahlen Complex” Preston seemed almost thinking aloud, but Angie understood he was explaining where his mind was going. “Without knowing where they might be going or bringing the next load of kids, all we need to do is establish a baseline of routine coming and going by any Military Police vehicles at night across the border.”
It seemed to take forever, but finally the sun went down. In the dead of summer, that meant nearly 9PM. They road slowly back to the small bridge passing over the autobahn. Parking their bikes out of sight at the bottom, the didn’t climb all the way up. Instead, they sat part way up where they could just see over the side for west-bound traffic coming from Germany.
While they waited and watched, Preston and Angie chattered about almost anything simply to occupy their minds and stay wide awake. “If I were planning to run small batches of kids into this area, I’d want to make sure I had the same vehicles come and go routinely so the local and national police never gave it a thought. I’d make sure they came across the border at least once nightly.”
He also told stories of apparent corruption he observed or had heard about in the US Army. He became just a bit passionate about it to the point of distraction. It was Angie who recognized the aging VW van with white patches and emergency light bar on top heading toward the bridge where they sat. Preston turned quickly, raised the camera from his lap and immediately began snapping still images. He then stood and made sure to catch the rear license plates.
The camera told him it was pressing midnight. He decided nonetheless to send a text message to his boss, explaining his notion and promising to post a picture of the rear of the MP van with the plates visible into the dropbox.
The next morning Preston’s cellphone twittered a reply while he was getting dressed. He snatched it up while still half-naked to see what it said.
Plausible. Plates ambiguous — Rheindahlen or Javelin. See drop.
In Preston’s mind, the idea of using a small skiff to transfer from barge to van would explain a lot. Düsseldorf had a great many private havens and several kilometers of beach areas with small roads nearby. Even if an MP van would be conspicuous, other types of cargo vehicles would not. At some point between Düsseldorf and the border were any number of transfer points to switch vehicles. But it would mean someone in the MPs with the means to control and corrupt several others to keep it all quiet. That would hardly be new in the US Army.
Checking the dropbox account, Preston and Angie saw this message:
You’ll need to stay around and catch where they take the cargo. No precise location known for the breaking house. Another unintended vacation.
Gary’s wry sense of humor kept this job sane.
On the ride back to their campsite, Angie and Preston discussed this idea.
Angie insisted, “Corrupt officials are one thing. Local politicians are seldom clean any more than they might be anywhere else in the world. But the Dutch police seldom get too wrapped up in corruption. Gemeentes, maybe. K-Mar — I find it hard to imagine.”
Preston came back quickly. “Boy, you sure couldn’t say that about American federal law enforcement. They’re some of the biggest criminal operations in the whole country.”
He paused a bit. “It doesn’t seem the Gemeente police would be running back and forth across the border in their official vehicles that much. So that leaves the German Polizei. That’s pretty complicated. We know for certain they have been used a lot in espionage, or at least someone masquerading as them. I know the CIA has lots of friends in the Polizei. We’ve already discovered the espionage angle to this child trafficking; that’s how we got involved in the first place. But I can’t imagine the Polizei would be running across the border too freely, either. So about the only way I can see it is with them doing transfers along the many small routes in the woods.” He shook his head slowly. “Somehow, that seems entirely too risky and complicated.”
“But it seems for now that’s the most plausible,” Angie countered.
Over dinner outside their tent that evening, they scanned the maps of the border area, both paper and online maps. It became obvious that for quite some distance in both directions, the German side of the border was heavily forested. The Dutch side considerably less so, but there was that one area where Preston and his fellow troops used the firing range owned by the Dutch federal police. The next nearest border woodland on the Dutch side was a bit north of where they were camped, just on the south side of Swalmen.
They decided to divide the border region between north and south of the A52, which was the N280 on the Dutch side of the border. This was the major highway route east and west connecting Roermond with Düsseldorf.
The next day saw them angling from their quiet country hiding place down along the back roads to where the highway crossed the border. There was a farm lane connected to a small pedestrian bridge crossing over the autobahn. They turned left off the lightweight bridge onto a narrow bike path. From there they had less than a half-kilometer to the border marked by an almost unbroken treeline on the German side. It was a very pleasant ride and they were hardly the only cyclists on the trails.
On the one hand, the border was shot through with crossings, most of them south of the Javelin Barracks area. On the other hand, Preston could imagine determined traffickers could get a small van down there, but trucks or buses would be nigh impossible. By mid-morning, they decided to head back through the Dutch villages a kilometer or so off the border. There was still the large forested area and they cut it in half by taking the fairly solid lane running past the golf course. By the time they got to Asenray they were ready for a snack. Stopping at the only cafe, they grabbed a vacant table out front and reassessed the task in front of them.
Preston wasn’t exactly tired, just feeling a little frustrated. “Somehow I get the feeling trying to watch this border area day and night would be way too much. Catching them red-handed seems almost futile. I just don’t get that positive feeling about this. It’s as if our angels aren’t in on that idea.”
Angie agreed. “I think it’s a dead end, too. It seems too inefficient.”
Heading east out of the village, they followed a zigzagging route back to where the little bridge crossed the autobahn. As they rode up over the top, Preston suddenly stopped. He watched a vehicle approach from the east, pass under and cruise off toward the northern end of Roermond. Angie followed his eyes.
It was a UK Military Police car, an Opel station wagon.
Preston looked back at Angie. While his features were nearly blank, he had a very intense look, as if his mind worked furiously. He looked again where the vehicle had gone, then back across the bridge, staring off into space. Angie waited expectantly, but all he said was, “Military Police vans.”
The ride back to the manor and their tent was silent.
(This begins Part 3 of the saga of Angie and Preston in the Benelux.)
It was time for a bit more mundane work.
Besides, Preston had not been this close to the old POMCUS site since coming back to the Netherlands. It was a short ride east across Heerlen, through Landgraaf and then Abdissenbosch. They turned left along the primary northerly route, which offered fine bike paths. The entrance to the golf course was just visible down the road where they turned off into the woods. This took them to a road running right along the Dutch-German border.
Preston wanted to see the site from the backside first. While he never was sure what the company was doing digging into the old slag heap from the ancient coal mining days, he saw how a great mound had been reduced from his military days.
They followed the route around to the north side of the complex, and then turned left along the main road. In large cities like this, bike paths were everywhere, and very well maintained with their own traffic lights. The road curved around back south and they could see the large metal warehouses up on the high flat ground. From what he could tell, Preston realized this particular site had been expanded considerably, and reasoned some of the equipment from the sites that they closed had been brought here.
They turned left again and climbed up to follow the street along the fence line. Preston had heard the entire operation throughout the Netherlands had been turned over to Dutch contractors. There was not an American uniform anywhere, just armed Dutch guards and other functionaries.
The administrative offices had been moved, but the main gate was in the same place. There was an old guard sitting there just outside the door of the shack enjoying the breeze. Preston rolled up as close as he dared.
“Hallo!” He waved at the guard.
The man waved back with the typical Dutch friendliness, but said nothing.
“I used to work here!”
The guard perked up and stood, moving to the corner of the gatehouse. His accent was very thick. “That would be a long time ago. The Americans left it to us ten years ago.”
“So I heard. A lot of things have changed.” Preston agreed.
“Ja. Do you know they finally closed the old Schinnen Camp?”
Preston was a little surprised. “I knew they had reduced its status, but I wasn’t aware they were closing it. They had spent so very much money fixing the place up.” He pushed his bike a meter or two closer.
“Ja. DSM is trying to find someone else to rent it. But the other NATO allies would not let the Americans just walk away from this area. So the made them keep a reduce section up at old Bruggen — Javelin Barracks, I think they call it now.” The old man was enjoying the conversation.
“That would be just over on the German side. I remember we used to use a firing range up there in the woods near Herkenbosch.”
The old man nodded. “Ja, I worked here long enough to remember that. Now the few American troops could almost walk there from the airbase. It’s just a few American MPs and some civilians. The Brits offered them some space when they deactivated some units. Pretty soon there won’t be nearly so many NATO folks around. Ah, we don’t worry about no Ruskies. We trade with them now.” The old man laughed heartily.
“Thanks for your time, sir. We have some other places to visit.” Preston waved. The old man seemed just a bit disappointed it was over so soon.
They rode back down the street to the main road and turned left. As they approached the high plateau, Preston noticed there was not a trace of the old mining buildings at the JHQ, formerly called AFCENT HQ. The old AFCENT International School, previously a collection of single-story prefab buildings strung together, was now a huge multi-story building and a sign said AFNORTH.
They had been stopping to take photos all morning, but carefully avoided aiming the cameras at any of the military structures. There was plenty of other interesting shots. That included the ancient cable wheel removed from the top of the mine shaft and mounted as a monument in a small park right beside the main gate.
Angie was curious. “I don’t remember what happened. Did the mines just play out?”
Preston snorted. “No. The Americans and their ultra-cheap strip mining put the Dutch State Mines out of business. With the unions here and all those safety regulations against our terribly unsafe operations and hideous earth scars, we undercut you guys and put thousands of people out of work. Those were bad times in the Benelux.”
She pursed her lips. “So that’s why DSM does no mining at all, just chemicals and stuff.”
“Yeah. They still own all those mine camps and NATO was a good paying renter. Those days are about gone, it seems. We had a huge number of supporting operations all over the Netherlands, not just the POMCUS sites. It was extravagant for a long time — missile sites, life support services, all sorts of secret communications bunkers. I only heard about the places we had people. About all that’s left now are the places directly involved in NATO coordination activity itself.”
Preston pointed out how the original coal train path was now a bike path. They decided to follow it around to Schinnen. It was a long quiet ride through Hoensbroek. At some places the route was simply gone, at other places it was an actual street, but there weren’t that many detours. It wound down around the picturesque village of Terschuren with its beautifully kept ancient stone cottages. They took lots of pictures there.
Eventually they got back on the route which went through some woods, then alongside a sand and gravel operation used by Dutch Rail, very close to the tracks. Then the path turned and required they run alongside the built up highway where it bridged over the rail line, cross over the top, and dove through some foliage. It closely paralleled the railroad. On the other side, the trail continued. By that time, the landscape had been changed so much that the original route disappeared. However, a fine wooded path remained along much of it, and they took what was available.
Part of it was elevated above the surrounding terrain. The last section running along the backside of Schinnen Mine was inaccessible, thickly grown over with trees and shrubs. It had been just barely possible to crawl through it twenty years before, but was impassable altogether now. They turned and followed the main route toward what had been the one gate into the old complex. While a bike path on the left ran along between the fence and train tracks on the south side of the site, they stopped at the gate and gazed into the now abandoned facility.
Except for the original headquarters building and one or two other structures, the place was all new buildings, now vacant. The duck pond was overgrown with weeds, but the ducks were still there. It was actually the first sediment pond from the water treatment system. The water passed from there back under the roadway to a wooded fish pond. Preston decided he’d seen enough and they turned to go back.
Perhaps some of these merit longer comment, but not right now.
Advertisers are too focused on the end product to notice how bad they are doing. All the more so in the coming Network Civilization. Think in terms of time preference: How to people want to spend their time? Facebook is a good clue. It gives people what they want, but it won’t make money because the folks running it don’t understand how to make it pay. The Zynga games are a great way to keep them tied into the time channel, but the monetization is utterly clueless. The advertising which works is that which most entertains. You get people to watch your spiels because they want to, because you offer something worth that time with their attention. Visual spam is not worth their time; entertainment is.
People still go to YouTube and actually look up certain old TV commercials because they are still entertaining. Give them a reason to invest their attention.
Bureaucracies have zero interest in what you think and care about. They have a mandate handed down from some other space entirely, and even when they interview you, it’s all being filtered through that narrow set of things they intend to do. They’ll do those things at the cost of your life, and the bureaucrats can be incredibly spiteful and angry when you dare suggest they don’t understand.
In the current context, about the only good moral thing possible for disaster relief is to do what you can to match demand with availability. Giving people what you know in your greatest understanding of human need is pointless if they have no interest in it. Making people accept and use what you have decided they need is hateful, and qualifies you as a justified target of violence. It’s not your concern whether people are demanding things which will kill them. That’s their decision to make. They’ll understand completely if you simply can’t offer what they really want, but if you demand they corral themselves to your agenda, you deserve their hatred.
Part of what we are seeing with the Petraeus affair is the infighting between the FBI and CIA which has been going on for a very long time. Let’s just say: If it was possible to know Petraeus was having an affair recently, it was well documented before he was ever placed as head of the CIA. You can draw your own conclusions about why the system still chose him for the position, but they knew. Personal immorality is so common at the top levels of our system, you should be frankly surprised when there is no evidence of it. Genuinely moral people are the single greatest threat to the system, and such people are simply not allowed to hold power. They may be put in positions where they can be used, but they will not have any real power.
The current ruling clique have been saving up the firing and shuffling of military brass for over a year. Right now we’re seeing a planned purge. While I do not by any means defend the military system, it’s all too easy to understand the perception among military brass things are ripe for a good military coup. From where they stand, it is hard to justify not taking over a very nasty political system which treats them with the utmost contempt.
Most of what you think you know is a lie.
The moral ideal of a warrior is the shepherd.
Continuing from the previous post yesterday, I’m exploring a better way to view things. I tried to portray the moral character of a shepherd in light of romantic relations already. There is a huge overlap, of course, with just about everything else.
Attempts in recent history to use troops for disaster relief have ranged between comical and sick. Without a fundamental cultural bias in favor of actually helping folks, troops are really the worst at this job. They are trained night and day to think of killing people and destroying things, even to the point of mandatory marching chants about the likes of “napalm sticks to kids.” This is not simply dark humor, but is a well-known method of desensitizing civilized folks to uncivilized behavior necessary for modern warfare.
The only reason troops are ever used for emergencies this way is because they are used to jumping into the unknown, and will hit the ground running. Change the objective just a little, and they can open access, move people and stuff, sometimes actually do something good. Their primary virtue here is readiness for moving and doing really difficult stuff, not any actual fitness for the task. They are very much better prepared for a wide range of unexpected challenges.
It should be obvious this is a primary virtue which should be cultivated in everyone who is mission driven from the Spirit Realm. All the more so since we reject the importance of this realm. Our existence here on this plane is a demonstration of why you might be in a hurry to find some other universe, some other reality. Because the mystical mind does not take too seriously the concerns of this realm, we should have no trouble with packing light.
It’s this preparation to live nobly in the most ignoble conditions which distinguishes the warrior in our popular mythology. That precious few of our military actually rise to such heights is why we give out medals. There are medals for simply doing most of what you are supposed to do, and not causing any real trouble. That’s because there is really so very little we can do on this plane of existence to make each other care about what matters. We can offer incentives for external performance, but actual personal morality is simply not that malleable with the tools available. If it’s not already there, your best hope is to persuade someone to fake it, ironically by appealing to their lower motivations. Actually being internally noble can come only as a gift from Above.
We as seekers of truth, who represent something far above this plane of existence, should strive to embrace the essence of the fantasy without the silliness. We are the shepherds of those willing to participate in the upward drawing of truth, until they become shepherds in their own right. It’s the method, the ethic of the warrior ideal, which we adopt. We can afford to see our lives here below consumed in the fire of devotion, and let it end under any circumstances and at any time, because the truth demands it. So it shouldn’t be too much to ask that we endure deprivation with a serious commitment to keep trying until something inside us — connected to the Spirit Realm — knows it’s time to move on to something else.
The one thing I cannot do is make these words anything more than nice thoughts for you.
Self-doubt need not be crippling.
Without apology I claim there are processes above the intellect which can be distinguished from emotion, and superior to any formal reasoning. Most people become vaguely aware of it through intuition, a process just outside the conscious intellect by which we arrive at conclusions without formal reasoning. We intuit an answer based on something more subtle, and going with it works well enough we learn some measure of trust for it. In essence, it’s a mental shortcut, an ability to process outside the conscious mind. That’s as clinical as I can get, except to note you can improve your intuition by asserting some effort in learning patterns.
During my military training, I was fully conscious of the whys and wherefores of what they were doing to us. I disagreed with most of it, but understood why they thought it was necessary. The military presupposes the most untalented mass of humanity. Because it teaches to that level, and constructs training based on that assumption, it actively interferes with human talent. Most of your real abilities will be rudely shoved aside. You won’t be permitted to use your talents, and promotion depends on forcing your talents to fit the pattern. The point, of course, is maximum survival in combat, as it were. Everyone has to be taught to act the same so the dummies can keep up, so it’s all dumbed down. It boils down to drills which ensure approximately appropriate responses to surprises.
It works okay, but the long term trend sucks the life out of innovative thinking which keeps things improving. We are stuck with tactics that don’t work so well against our current enemies, but well enough they can get away with trumpeting their successes. Our troops tend to survive okay, but they aren’t beating anybody who doesn’t use the same tactics. We get that much only because our enemies are even less competent. A truly competent enemy would eat our boys alive, and require far less men and resources to do it.
But life remains full of surprises. We continue to see how training is okay, but only if someone in charge has an actual education to go with it. Someone has to absorb the whole purpose, and also have a broad acquaintance to how humans operate. Even with the military now requiring some college for even enlisted troops, we lose it by having such a complete failure of colleges to actually educate, and the military still assuming the lowest common denominator — doing so with a vengeance. The whole point is to make everyone with the same certifications interchangeable, which requires dehumanization. So while such training is not a waste for someone with a full awareness, we could surely do better all the way around.
At one time our education did recognize the necessity of cultivating non-conscious operations. It wasn’t in the same terminology as I use, but you can detect it by how it worked. Well educated men knew there was something some men had which could be caught, but not taught, and they made the most of it. We can reliably expect future generations as a whole to ignore it even more completely, even as a handful rediscover it. I don’t claim to have it, but I’m willing to bet I have a piece of it.
Some fifteen years ago the Internet was new to me. I made all the same idiot mistakes as most people typically do, in terms of interacting with other users. This was aggravated by a very powerful turmoil in my soul as I began shifting from the Western orientation to something long forgotten. I ran through a serious depression, among other things. In other words, my netiquette failures were far worse because of other serious issues. The symptoms were a very slender clue to things much more serious. So a serious improvement will also manifest the same.
Twice in the past few weeks I managed to respond to something far better than I knew at that time. I was confronted with something unexpected, not just in what someone else said, but in the full context. I was agitated, but the emotions didn’t get in the way of a really good intuitive response. I wasn’t fully aware of just how appropriate my response was until much later. You have to understand how dramatic a change this is for me, when blundering and making a fool of myself was previously ubiquitous for me.
This is just a small sample of other things going on in my world right now. It’s far more than mere intuition, as I strive to walk the talk of someone who claims there is a spirit-Spirit communion possible which can steer our behavior far better than mere human logic. On the one hand, I was gripped by this belief, held by it for several years before I actually experienced anything I could point to and say, “There it is.” Well, it’s starting to show up. Now I’m getting a taste of how it can actually work.
Something inside me was utterly certain of this long before I tasted it, and I knew the problems were in me, not the ideas.