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The Costliness of our Materialism


We live in a devoutly materialistic society.  I have come to suspect that Western Civilization is materialistic from its roots.  

I have nothing against Material Wealth … or Materiality in general.  Our Problem is – that we think there’s an ‘equals sign’ between Materiality and Reality.

                                    ~       We think that Reality = Materiality.      ~

This is Big Trouble.

There is a ‘saying’ here (in the U.S.)  – that  “Money isn’t everything; but it’s way ahead of whatever’s in second place.”

And I am troubled (perhaps more than I should be) – by the thought that there are a great many bright, young, energetic people … movers and shakers … who have ‘gone off to seek their fortune’.  They’re out there doing everything they can think of – to make money … to get rich.  (This is, they think, the ultimate adventure !)

Well !

I think this would be fine … except – the Human Family is actively courting Self-Genocide !  

If we do not drastically alter our course, we will go over the edge of the Precipice … and disappear.       And the job of enjoying this world will be given … to the cockroaches !

I can barely comprehend it!   How can so many talented and intelligent people pretend that our grandchildren … that WE … are not in Deep Trouble ?

(There are many highly educated people … many experts – who believe that it is already too late.  And, while they may be right … hopelessness – as a Working Hypothesis – is unusable.  Besides, we are too ignorant to take such a position.  As Hazel Henderson points out – “We do not know enough to be pessimistic.”)

Mostly, we are dysfunctional.  John Bradshaw says – it’s not that some families have problems, and some don’t !  No.  All families have problems.  The Question is – “Will you deal with them?”    

A functional family deals with its problems; a dysfunctional family does not.

In this light, the Human Family – as it teeters on the edge of the Great Cliff of Being – is mainly dysfunctional.

Here in the U.S. we spend more on entertainment … than we do on education and health care combined!  We are a devoted lot … devoted to self-distraction.  It’s Grade-A dysfunctionality.  We’re pretending.     As Mark Twain says –  “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

What does it cost us ? – to so loyally adhere to our cherished doctrine of materialism?  Quite a bit, I’m afraid.


When Europeans came to North America, we brought our materialism with us.  Of course there were people living here already … but they were clearly inferior.  They were primitive … savages.  Hardly even human beings!

Wasn’t this sense of racial superiority rooted in our materialism?  We had ships, guns, books, metal tools, carpets, glass … lots of cool stuff !  So – we thought we were cool too !  (Clearly superior to the primitive peoples currently [then] infesting the land)

It never was okay – with the white people in general, even with the ‘founding fathers’ – that Indians should live in North America as Indians.  

Throughout the United States and Canada are many who survived the genocide perpetrated against the First Peoples.  The War for America went badly.  And it continues to go badly.  It is essentially a war of ideas; and the red survivors continue on as casualties of that war.

And with the Blacks – it’s much the same.  That war was fought a bit differently, but underneath – it was similar –  racial ‘superiority’ (partly) constructed upon material superiority and the brutality of superior material strength.  And black people today live lives which, to a great extent, are recognizable as casualties.  They also are living casualties …  in the Great War of Ideas.

Maybe we think we are entitled to our beliefs … and that our ideas do not harm anyone.

But that is far from the truth.


It’s a war.  And there are many casualties.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   ( THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?)




For A’Journe’s Talk 1 – there is a trailer …

and 6 segments –

(1.a     through    1.f     in alphabetical order).

Sometimes the “next” segment will come up by itself

But not every time.

So just keep track

And when something other than the ‘next segment’ starts to load

Just locate the next one and Click on it.

(as a ‘back-up’ … here are all  the links) :


trailer =

1.a =

1.b =

1.c =

1.d =

1.e =

1.f =      (Sailor’s Prayer)


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   (A’Journe’s Talk 2  [text only])




The Shawnees and the War for America  (by Colin Calloway)  [book]




The Powwow at the End of the World


I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall   

after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam   

and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive   

and so I shall after the floodwaters burst each successive dam   

downriver from the Grand Coulee. I am told by many of you   

that I must forgive and so I shall after the floodwaters find   

their way to the mouth of the Columbia River as it enters the Pacific   

and causes all of it to rise. I am told by many of you that I must forgive   

and so I shall after the first drop of floodwater is swallowed by that salmon   

waiting in the Pacific. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall   

after that salmon swims upstream, through the mouth of the Columbia   

and then past the flooded cities, broken dams and abandoned reactors   

of Hanford. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall   

after that salmon swims through the mouth of the Spokane River   

as it meets the Columbia, then upstream, until it arrives   

in the shallows of a secret bay on the reservation where I wait alone.   

I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall after   

that salmon leaps into the night air above the water, throws   

a lightning bolt at the brush near my feet, and starts the fire   

which will lead all of the lost Indians home. I am told   

by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall   

after we Indians have gathered around the fire with that salmon   

who has three stories it must tell before sunrise: one story will teach us   

how to pray; another story will make us laugh for hours;   

the third story will give us reason to dance. I am told by many   

of you that I must forgive and so I shall when I am dancing   

with my tribe during the powwow at the end of the world.


                                                              –      Sherman Alexie




If You Are Over Staying Woke



the plants. Drink

plenty of water.

Don’t hear

the news. Get

bored. Complain

about the weather.

Keep a corkscrew

in your purse.

Swipe right


Don’t smile

unless you want

to.  Sleep in.

Don’t see the news.

Remember what

the world is like

for white people.

Listen to

cricket songs.

Floss. Take pills.

Keep an

empty mind.

When you are


do not say

I’m never drinking

again. Be honest

when you’re up

to it. Otherwise

drink water

lie to yourself

turn off the news

burn the papers

skip the funerals

take pills

laugh at dumb shit

fuck people you

don’t care about

use the crockpot

use the juicer

use the smoothie maker

drink water

from the sky

don’t think

too much about the sky

don’t think about water

skip the funerals

close your eyes

whenever possible

When you toast

look everyone in the eyes

Never punctuate

the President

Write the news


into water


the fire escape

Burn the paper

Crumble the letters

Instead of

hyacinths pick


Water the hydrangeas

Wilt the news

White the hydrangeas

Drink the white

Waterfall the

cricket songs

Keep a song mind

Don’t smile

Don’t wilt




                                          –     Morgan Parker




The Only New Year’s Resolution I Ever Make

A new year means New Year’s resolutions for many people. I want to share with you the only New Year’s resolution I ever make.  This one New Year’s resolution is all encompassing – it will take care of all your other resolutions in one go, whether that’s to find love, lose weight, be healthier, make more money, or whatever it is you want for 2018.

Be positive!

Make a promise to yourself to be as positive as you can possibly be.  Make a promise to yourself to be more positive than you’ve ever been in your life.  At the beginning of each day promise yourself: “Today, wherever I go and whatever I’m doing, I will be positive!”

Being positive means that you will look for the positive things in people, circumstances, and all things.

Being positive means that if any negative words come out of your mouth, you will stop mid-sentence and immediately turn the sentence into a positive one.

Being positive means that you will have fewer negative emotions, and even if a negative emotion arises you will be positive about it too by allowing the negative emotion to be rather than trying to push it away.

Being positive means that you will automatically focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Being positive means that you will become an attractive force for what you want.

Being positive means that negative thoughts and words will begin to fall away.

Being positive means that you will begin to feel happier and happier each day.

Being positive means that you will have fewer problems.

Being positive means that life will go smoothly for you, everyday events will fall into place, and things will go your way.

Being positive means that you will feel good!


Make a commitment to change your entire life in 2018 through the simple, singular act of being positive!


Wishing you a Happy, Positive New Year for 2018!


— Rhonda Byrne

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