How to Unplug from the World-Gobbling Machine

One year ago, on March 19, 2020, I took a walk in my neighborhood park, seeking to clear my mind. The governor had declared a state of emergency 11 days ago in response to the WHO’s pronouncement of a global coronavirus pandemic. In the week that followed, I voluntarily transferred my counseling practice to video-only sessions, doing my part to participate in the “two weeks to flatten the curve” campaign that had spread virally via social media and other means of internet delivery. After all, “We’re all in this together,” I thought. But…

Time to Realign

One morning several weeks ago, in February of 2021, I purchased a coffee from a Starbucks at a walk-up window in my neighborhood. As I walked away from the window, enjoying the cheer of the morning sun after a severe ice storm, I made eye contact with a woman standing nearby and smiled at her, meaning to share my gratitude for the day with her. This was a mistake. The woman waved her arm at me frantically and yelled, stammering, “Just… stay away from me!” …

And the Incompatibility of Censorship with Science and Democracy

I came across the yard sign pictured above on a walk through my neighborhood a few weeks ago, on March 9, 2021. There was something lonely and mournful about this sign. Those are the emotions that stir in my heart at any rate. What force conjured this sign into place upon the lawn? One year ago, I had never heard of Dr. Fauci, and not many others had either. But the force of the lockdowns that swept the world one year ago also swept Dr. Anthony Fauci into the consciousness of…

The Possible Motivations behind Lockdown Governance

In these, the first months of 2021, we are living through an unprecedented global regime of lockdowns, mandated masking, and social distancing in response to covid. We are also increasingly living under a regime of censorship, blacklisting, surveillance, and authoritarian measures directed at dissidents and nonconformists. Why is this happening? It is an item of significant curiosity that so few seem to be asking that question. Why is there a paucity of substantial public debate in prevailing media institutions regarding the most monumental and intrusive policies of our lifetimes? Why is citizen debate and…

An Encounter with the Surreal on June 30, 2020

I was rattled and shaken up. The previous day, I had renewed sessions with my old therapist. I had first worked with her in 2013, briefly for two intervals over two years, and then weekly for three years; it had been a year and a half since our last session. I renewed sessions with her because I was feeling alarmed at what I identified as acute authoritarianism in the society, with shaming, self-righteousness, blacklisting, canceling, and vitriol directed at those who questioned the set of required beliefs held by the dominant…

or deliverance from the loving embrace of the Machine

I’ve recently experienced a sea change in my politics, finding the waters of belief to have drastically shifted around me. In February of 2020, I believed myself to be firmly rooted in the Left, as I had been for about 25 years. I had even considered myself a denizen of the Far Left since 2001. I had thought being on the Left was all about freedom, dignity, liberty, equality, and democracy. And that was where I belonged: in opposition to authoritarian forms of governance, action, thought, and belief, which I associated…

And all I got was this lousy mask

This is the story of how 2020 completely upended my perceptions, worldview, and politics, and my sense of what and who I trust. This story is relevant to those who are interested in communicating across the gaps of perception and belief — my experiences this year have cracked me open. The result is a firmer footing on more uncertain ground.

Two companion articles accompany this one: The Sacred Left and Right explores the political upheaval in detail, and What to Make of Covid and the Lockdowns? provides a thorough overview of a…

An Appeal for Free and Open Discourse

As of this writing in December 2020, we are all aware of an overall mainstream narrative regarding what to make of covid and how best to respond to it. This narrative is faithfully disseminated through the corporate press and various governmental, nongovernmental, and quasi-official institutions of power. We are also all aware that dissenting views exist. Included within the mainstream covid narrative are instructions regarding how to treat these dissenting views — namely, that they are to be disregarded and censored. Moreover, those who hold dissenting views are to be shamed, ridiculed, deplatformed…

Gift, Sacrifice, and the Soul

The movement for the rights, recognition, and liberties of queer people has been well underway for about 50 years as of this writing (2018), and has thus far secured impressive social gains and rights for queer people of all persuasions. Despite periodic setbacks, the movement continues to build, both in scope and in geography. As the movement builds, queer people have gained the ability to live openly authentic lives, increasingly integrated with the society that surrounds us. Society benefits as well, its collective consciousness expanding and developing in the areas of gender and sexuality.

This…

I’ll never tire of those like you
Nothing seems so tender as the dying of the ember

We live in a dark age.

All around the planet we see nations drifting toward authoritarian, reactionary existences — hope is faint, cynicism abounds, and the world retreats into electronic isolation, the propaganda, the antisocial media, smart phones with an ocean of useless apps that keep us separate and lost— a sea of toxic sludge. What will become of us?

I find my mind drifting back to the thirties and forties — a comparable era of disillusionment: a retreat to the worst instincts in humanity, war on the rise, depravity…

Raelle Kaia

Author, Therapist, Songmaker, and Creative Philosopher — pandastan.com

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