“You got me blowing’, blowing my mind… is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”
Well it turns out that Jimi was right.
We’re talking Jimi Hendrix, and it is the end of time.
Ask any rabid evangelical Christians, and they will tell you too – these are the end times – this is the end of time, as we know it – another way of saying it: time’s up! At least for business as usual.
A couple of years ago, I was in the highlands of Bolivia, hanging out with a group of Quero shamans/healers/teachers. We were relaxing together on a spacious porch – we had had a busy afternoon at the base of a huge bright blue glacier high in the Royal Andes, and were resting before dinner. I was playing guitar, and trading riffs with a couple of the younger apprentices who had quintos and hand made string instruments, including some amazing flutes.
Yes, I did play them some Jimi Hendrix. We were having fun mixing rock & roll with ancient traditional music.
And, we were all laughing at the oddity of how things were arranged: In the United States, junk food is very cheap, and organic food is very expensive. In the highlands of Bolivia, organic food is plentiful and very cheap, but going to Puno (on the edge of Lake Titicaca) and scoring some junk food is VERY expensive.
The youngsters of the outlying villages love “the junk food”– perhaps because it is a rare and delicious treat. The fact that it has led to an epidemic of obesity and ill health in the United States is outside of their frame of reference.
While I had the old-timers gathered, it was an excellent opportunity to ask them about their views of the world.
The remote areas of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile have been heavily exploited and propagandized by missionaries — who, using massive doses of fear, “advise” the local people to abandon their old traditional ways and to embrace evangelical Christian religious beliefs, because, yep, “these are the end times!”
During the time of this particular journey, there was a lot of talk and a lot of frightened concern that the “Rapture” was just about to occur, and that only true believers would be saved – that they would be “taken up” to Heaven by Jesus – and that everyone who wanted to be saved should immediately convert to the beliefs of the missionaries, or be left behind.
So I asked the old timers what their views were about the “Rapture.”
What did they think about it? Did they understand that only the “converted” would be “saved” and that everyone left behind would have to fend for themselves in “the terrible events that would occur on Earth in these end times”?
The old-timers spoke among themselves, considering my questions – they were talking in an ancient Amayran dialect that oddly has much in common with Sanskrit – they were a serious lot – finally, they nodded in agreement.
The spokesperson of the elders spoke to the translator, who then spoke to me:
“We think the “Rapture” is a great idea! If the Christians were all to be taken up by this “Rapture” — they would be gone! Right?”
“And we would get our planet back! ”
And our care for Pachamama, and our love for her, would once again be heard – without the screeching loud machinery of these modern ways grinding the Earth, and us, into oblivion.”
I laughed out loud!! I was delighted!
That made the old-timers happy – and we celebrated the “Rapture” with music and stories, late into the night.
The same thing could happen here in California if we were to pass the California Democracy Act – which states, in 14 short words:
“All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote.”
Can you imagine an end to incompetence and corruption in our State Government? Can you imagine what would happen if the big corporate lobbyists who pour millions and millions of dollars into the obstruction of any real reform, effectively blocking any legislation that advocates common sense and decency, could no longer buy their way in the governing of our state?
A couple of quick examples:
California recently raised sales taxes, in order to bring in more revenue. The result has been that sales tax revenue has dropped considerably, as the higher sales taxes have driven more people and businesses to purchase products on line, in order to avoid paying the higher sales tax — because out of state purchases are not taxed — and because the savings is almost 10%!
Lobbyists block any sort of reorganization to create a fair sales tax structure, because Amazon, EBay and other Internet companies benefit hugely from the current sales tax inequity set-up.
Amazon has even been able to block the collection of sales tax on transactions between California based retailers and California residents! The Governor claims that he helped block this potential $150 million dollars a year (!) revenue source for California, in order to “protect the freedom of businesses to operate freely in a free economy.”
Who is he kidding? In my opinion, the guy is corrupt – he is bought and paid for, and not by the people of the state of California.
Looking back into previous administrations, California supposedly saved money by closing mental health facilities under the Reagan Administration.
In fact, the costs of the closed facilities, which put thousands of mentally ill and desperate people out on the streets, was simply shifted to local Police Services and Emergency Rooms all over the state – and the supposed savings were totally an accounting illusion – an illusion that did not account for the havoc and damages to the lives of both the people released out onto the cold streets, but also to the people impacted by the increase in violence, desperation and craziness that resulted.
Today, Meg Whitman proposes a number of “cost-saving” budget cuts that will have an equally devastating impact on our communities, as desperately needed public services, including education, are eliminated in the interest of an almost religious fervor of devotion to the Tax-Cut God of the Republican Party.
It’s one of the illusions of the “end times” that will end up creating misery and desperation on the part of both service clients, who will be thrown out on the streets again, and of our “public servants” – the poor Police and Social Services, who will bear the brunt of the missionary stupidity of the Republican Party’s misguided mandates to cut the costs of services without regard for common sense, or common decency.
And if you think from what I’ve said that I think that the Democrats offer a better way – well, they are, in my opinion, equally incompetent, corrupt and misguided.
We need to ditch the “two-party” system that has allowed this current sad state of affairs, this charade of governance — and we need to get down to a more basic level, where concerned citizens work together to solve the problems of our complex, multi-faceted and interconnected society.
Please read my previous blog — “14 words to a sane state” — which gives you the musical community’s perspective and suggestion for a course of action that would be helpful, and which would benefit from your support and immediate action!
I’m sorry that I’m asking you to read so much “heavy” information, but like the old-timers in Bolivia said, “via con Dios!”
Of course, looking at the state of California – a state that has just scored dead last place in the National Assessment of Educational Progress U.S. reading tests – a “Rapture” that lifted our legislators, Governor, and most of our government up into the heavens would be about the best thing that could happen here too!
There would be chaos for a couple of minutes, until everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and got to work addressing the real problems facing us.
As Jimi said “Excuse me while I kiss the sky!”