Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sad anniversaries & problematic societal change

The problem with sad anniversaries

Modern humans have an obsession with remembering sad anniversaries. It has become such a powerful and self reinforcing part of the culture that it is now assumed that it is a “natural” part of the human experience, and that it is “helpful” to the “grieving process.” Now, before I continue the discussion, let me explain that I do not critique or question the mourning of a loss or thoughtful remembrance of the tragedy or loved one. I am talking about the feeling that one must be weighed down and focused upon the tragedy on “significant dates,” usually the anniversary of the loss. Many people this past weekend, for example, are commemorating the horrible and inhuman loss of Flight 103 to terrorism on this, its twentieth anniversary. This is a complicated subject, and one that has given me a great deal of concern about human health and well being, so let us use this as a case study.

First of all, do recognize that sensitivity to calendar dates and times is a very recent human development, one that cannot be argued as being inherent to the human condition or an evolutionary “advantage.” For example, many people did not know what day they were born, right up until the last century. They may barely have known the month. My own stepfather had two different traditional birthdays, separated by four months, and no one was positive which the correct one was. Large farm families, and large urban families, lacked any “day of the week” context except for going to Sunday worship services. For most of human history people did not read, count, have calendars (or even know what they were) except for two purposes. One was the natural calendar of the seasons, so that one could plant and build shelter according to the needs of that time of the year. The second was the religious calendar, according to the local faith. This is something that the Jewish and Muslim faiths, for example, have in common: they love the moon as a gift from God, because it provides them with a natural light at night and a means to measure seasonal time for planting and for worship, but they do not worship the moon, or the time that it represents, itself. So to be accurate, one must understand that a sense of date, week, month or even the “specific” numeric year is not natural to the human condition nor did it evolve to provide some sort of survival instinct advantage.

In fact, the significance of secular dates and times of the year did not come from religion, as some would suspect, but because pressure to have reliable means of accounting for time came from the aristocracy, the ruling class, military leaders, tax collectors and other accumulators of wealth and power. The demand for a secular calendar did not come from “God’s” side of civilization but from “Caesar’s” side, to use the analogy first expressed by Jesus Christ of religious obligations compared to secular obligations. The religious people possessed calendars as inheritance of the agricultural and the worship cycle heritage, and thus they had a great say in how secular calendars were established but they were not the drivers or motivators for secular calendars! It was those who accumulated wealth in cycles, power in cycles, and who controlled the subservient populace according to cycles who motivated the development and intense focus on secular calendars. Look in the Bible to understand the difference. No one gave a hoot about when a baby was born; they only cared that certain religious obligations took place a certain number of days after the birth. The ancient Israelites following the Law given to them by God offered a precise amount of sacrifice at the temple at a precise time after a baby was born, but no one really cared what particular day, week, month or year the baby was born.

In fact, if anything, you must realize that religious focus on calendar time actually loosened in direct proportion to the increasing focus and tightening of the rulers grip on secular time. We see this in the Catholic faith where there is infant baptism instead of a temple offering, but the timing of when the infant is baptized is very loose. Further, the Protestants did away with infant baptism and view it as a childhood or adult decision to make when they “accept Christ as their savior.” So far from being concerned about calendar time, the great faiths have all moved away from even their relativistic interest in dates (this number of days after a birth, instead of caring about the birth day itself) to one that is more significant only in the liturgical year and in the individual path to salvation, the sacraments and other milestones of intersection of human life and faith. As society became less agricultural (the first “calendar”) and less ritualized in worship (the second “calendar”), it became more time, money, resources, body count and elite power transfer absorbed, and this required a strong, common secular calendar. Thus focus on specific dates and “anniversaries” were the tools of tax collectors, rent collectors, army builders, men and women of title and lineage, and “office holding” rather than any natural inclination of humans, either biologically or spiritually. Sensitivity to specific dates, and later to “anniversaries” is not at all a natural trait of humans, either individually or socially. Calendar dates and their sensitivity is a tool of ruler ship of the majority by the minority. It is not a coincidence that date obsessed practices such as astrology did not percolate “up” from the masses as a form of “common knowledge,” but rather was invented and pushed down by as a handy dandy tool of pharaohs, rulers, despots and those in their courts who practiced occult “arts” in service to those absolute rulers.

It’s not like ancient Egyptians or Indians were all sentimental and loving of their children that they cast their horoscopes in order to make sure they had the right “career” or were “happily married,” since neither concept existed for either the elite or the common people. No one had “careers,” they all farmed the land for survival, and no one had as an objective to be “happily married” since that presumes a leisure and survival rate of individuals that just did not exist during the time that secular calendar obsession started via tools such as “astrology.” Rulers and the power elite wanted tools to enhance their holdings and their war capabilities, period.

In fact, focusing on sad events and making them part of numeric ritual is an anti-survival strategy, one that works against human survival and thriving, rather than as many assume, being a “civilizing” and hence helpful practice. Again, one looks at the Bible for historical guidance. The Israelites were nomadic people who very quickly buried their dead and “moved on.” This does not mean that people individually or as a group mourned any less deeply the loss of their loved ones and leaders, far from it; they felt the love and loss very keenly for the rest of their lives. But they did not compartmentalize mourning and memorializing on the calendar: only religious ritual was performed according to a calendar, and that was the natural one of the moon. Why is it anti-survival strategy to do otherwise? You can understand this on many practical levels. In a time of high infant and child mortality, one needed to be ready to have another child as soon as one was physically and emotionally ready; no one could afford or wanted to be stultified into a calendar driven mentality of grief or recovery. Thus a parent who lost a child might think about how, sadly, they lost their most recent child during the harvest moon, and thus they would have memories around that time, but they were not focused on the mindset we see today which is “Well, on this day it was exactly one year ago that he or she died.”

To explain this more broadly, humans are biologically and mentally programmed to remember the pleasant far longer than the painful. The obvious example is childbirth. If humans were more sensitive to pain memories over a long period than over pleasure memories over a long period, they would have been immobilized by fear of pain from not only childbirth, but from the pain and risks of agriculture, hunting and necessary travel. A survival trait that is essential to all life, and especially to humans who have the brain capacity to “think about things” is to shed memory of bad pain as quickly as possible and retain memory of good sensory experiences as long as possible. That, by the way, is one reason addiction is so hard to kick. Substance addiction relies on the fact that pleasurable sensation is stronger and longer lasting in the memory than the feelings of pain associated with the consequences of addiction. If humans had evolved to cling to painful memories stronger than to the ordinary memories that are hallmarked by the pleasant memories, depression and fear of pain would have stunted the evolution of humans at all. Humans would have avoided childbirth and any at risk activity, which included the daily working in the fields and hunting that was their only means of survival.

So there is absolutely no reason that humans should, to return to our case study topic, self-remind and focus emphasis on normal grief and return of normality according to the calendar. If anything, calendars are a set back to recovery. Yet what does society do? Society focuses more and more on the calendar, especially whenever the power structure is involved. Just think about “grief counseling” and how that is offered, controlled and reimbursed by insurance (if even covered) strictly by calendar, and not by natural healing or periods of deep and spontaneous need. Society has become enslaved to the secular calendar and it is to such an extent that people no longer remember what I am describing, which is the natural and pro-survival healthful way to grieve and heal. In fact, people now give dirty looks to those who have suffered a shared loss if they do not put on the sackcloth and ashes on the “anniversary dates,” yet those same disapproving people do not at all understand the individual nature of the healing process.

In fact, timetable grieving has joined all the other slaveries of the calendar to contribute to the mental and physical health breakdown of individuals and society. For example, it is well documented that heart attacks congregate just before the “work week begins,” which is for western society Sunday night into Monday morning. People feel enormous stress that builds up on Sunday (which is supposed to be their day of rest) and often peaks Monday or Tuesday with a heart attack or other condition. This is an entirely fallacious condition that should never have developed the way that it did, where humans are expected to be automatons that turn on and off their work and rest “clocks” according to work week schedules. When God mandated the Sabbath, the day of rest, remember that was against a backdrop of not a “work week” but the continuous labor that humans had, without peaks or valleys, to tend to their farms, flocks and crafts. God forced humans to take one full day off with no work pressure whatsoever; the Sabbath was never meant to be the “gearing up” day to the first day “back at work” in a calendar driven work week! You can make all the arguments about how organization is necessary for civilization that you want, but you must remember two things. One is there is a difference between necessary organization and obsessive slavery to the date and time. Thus, yes, if companies must have work schedules, do so, but do not then layer additional stress filled time constraints one on top of the other and then call that the “natural” condition of humans, as it most certainly is not. For example, when humans were agricultural, the work was hard but it varied by month, not in lockstep in a work week. A month would be spent preparing the fields, then the next month sowing the seeds. Work was scheduled on what inventory managers call today an “as needed basis.” But that is certainly not how the vast majority of “work week schedules” are designed and strictly enforced today!

Therefore, even if you accept that modern life requires a rigid workweek schedule, society as a whole is crazy to add layers of pressure of time sensitivity that is optional, but they have come to think of as logical, natural and mandated. I mentioned the example of mental health, where the very people who are in a great deal of confusion and pain are given long drawn out schedules of “relief,” such as a once a week therapy session, and a once every half year or so fifteen minute checkup with a psychiatrist who provides their medications. Even if health care professionals were more numerous and had more hours to give, the insurance companies and the state payers would never tolerate a natural flow of resources as the individual patient needs; if they need “more” they are told to check themselves in on an inpatient basis, regardless of family situation (and then inpatient is heavily regimented but usually too short in duration and certainly is not residential in cycle or benefit). Thus a patient with great psychic pain is told to suck it up for a week, and then spill it all out in their given one hour therapy session. To say that is unnatural is to put it mildly. Having seen my share of patients it is obvious to anyone with a brain and a heart that one patient may need someone every day for a while, while another needs intense periods of “on call” availability, while a third may flourish with a cycle, and a fourth needs a residential role modeling experience, which they do not get in inpatient structures, obviously. Whether a patient has a psychosis, a low grade depression, or is a healthy person who just suffered a trauma, all of them are expected to “obey the tyranny of the calendar obsessed society.” Worse, that is even condescendingly explained to them as “part of their therapy” to “restore structure in their life.” What? It is no joke that the system is crazier than the patients, because at least the patients know when something is wrong and they yearn for it to be right.

So do you begin to see the foundation of the problem as I am explaining it? Humans are biologically and emotionally evolved to follow a natural calendar that is of nature and of religious ritual that punctuates and frames a less defined calendar of day to day ordinary necessity. Farmers would have busy periods during, for example, harvest, and then in some climates do almost nothing during the winter except tend to the animals and repair their gear. Contrast that to the mess that humans have made while “organizing” themselves in modern times. They have the necessary schedules of schooling and genuine job needs. Fine, that is obvious and logical. But the workforce with their work schedules are far from being managed on genuine job needs basis; they are structured to be cookie cutter mindless enslavements to schedules. This is especially true as we’ve gone from a manufacturing to a paperwork society. The service industry seems to remain the sanest because it is truly “on demand” and thus logical in its workforce scheduling, with natural flows that employees can benefit from. My point is, though, that society as a whole has created a dictatorship of the work week that has little or nothing to do with either productivity or employee natural health.

Then, on top of the necessary school and work schedules, you have unnecessary work schedules and assessments and compensation that depend more on the delusion of work than the delivery of actual productivity. For people to “get ahead” they have to work “longer hours,” provide more “face time” to the influential and, often, have to “get another degree,” thus cramming education into what is left of their non-office time. Honestly, I’d rather have a sane employee who works half time in the office and is the other half time in school (if the degree is really necessary) than to have the new form of slavery that I have seen over the past thirty years. To make it worse, recreation (especially for children) and health care are also all too, as I explained, slaves to their own overlords of the calendar. Certain days of the week, hours, times of the month, all artificial numbers and constructs that make up the “calendar” have taken over, growing to mutant giants of “importance” that steer, for better or for worse, every aspect of one’s life. Even those who say they want to “fix it” only push their fellow slaves further into the tyranny of the calendar, rather than guide them back into natural life. How many times have we heard these gurus talk about children’s “play dates” and even the wisdom of adults who “do not have enough time for their love lives” to “make dates with each other?” What? Sure, that’s what every couple needs for their libido, another schedule, another pressured “delivery date.” Everyone has become enslaved to the calendar and have both forced and lured everyone else into the same pit.

And so we come to the anniversary of a tragedy. The media has been brainwashed by this magical thinking of the significance of the calendar into being some of the worst promoters of the slavery of the calendar. I am not criticizing them; far from it. They think they are being respectful by bringing up tragic anniversaries. But please notice two things. One is that they rarely bring up a “good” anniversary. For example, when was the last time that someone mentioned in March that “so many years ago today George Washington, our first president, took office?” The media has been brainwashed into thinking that they must mention tragic anniversaries to show respect (and sometimes that is true, and sometimes it is not) but they NEVER mention positive or educational anniversaries, including ones that changed history in a meaningful way. For example, how about mentioning on the nightly news, “This is the anniversary of when President Abraham Lincoln first mentioned the problem of slavery in a speech.” But the media has been brainwashed and now have become the obedient slaves in turn to the calendar mentality that one must mention only the tragic and the heartbreaking, and only on the anniversary of when it occurred (or an "in progress" or "update" “human interest” story of a survivor.) It is unbalanced and hence not ultimately respectful in the long run, even though very well intentioned at the time.

Whenever you analyze the goodness or error of something, do not just look at “what is there;” look also for “what is missing.” If you look at the anniversary grief of tragedy syndrome, you must look at what is missing, which is the entirety of anniversaries of good and positive events. One is much more respectful of loss and can put it in perspective if those losses are not the only news, as if the rest of life does not happen, and there is nothing to learn from or role model on “their" anniversaries and, instead, have a more worldly perspective. If the media is going to do the tragedy anniversary business, they MUST also do the “let’s not forget on this day these great things happened” side of human history.

The second problem with the media tragedy anniversary business is that like the teachers, workers, health care workers and recreationalists, they are buying into the lock step calendar management of grief and social progress. For an example, let’s look at someone very good in the media who has fought this tendency with mixed results. Anderson Cooper on CNN has had an admirable holistic appreciation of what happened to the Gulf Coast, particularly New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina. Anderson is the one example I can think of in the entire mainstream or cable media who attempts to keep understanding of Katrina reality in a real time continual natural life context, rather than as the tragedy anniversary. It ought to be like that for all of the news. Progress should not wait for reporting until a grief anniversary. Otherwise even those who grieve find themselves being structured by the media and the calendar in presentation of the messages they may genuinely want to deliver. Why is a loss assumed to be felt the worst, and also most logically reported, on the tragedy anniversary?

Here is an example. My father died on a certain day forty two years ago. My mother is one of those people who has been totally brainwashed by the magical thinking of the grief anniversary and here is what happens as a result. Several years ago I was there on the death anniversary, watching late night television. She came storming out and attacked me for “not seeming to care” that it was the anniversary of my father’s death. When I said, “Um, mom, I miss him every day and think of him every day” she was dumbfounded: that never occurred to her. Why? Because she has compartmentalized her grief by calendar, so that she feels lousy (and a lot of self pity) on the actual date, but does not really miss him (she of course remarried so that is logical and healthy) the rest of the time. I, however, do not forget a father because it’s not like one “moves on” from having had a father. As a result of calendar slavery people have forgotten what each other feel and think as normal people. Gosh, it never occurs to my own mother that I might actually you know, miss my father on dates such as my birthday, Christmas, or when I see a bowling alley (he loved to bowl) rather than just missing him on the day he died? This is the tyranny of the calendar in action.

Those of you who have lost someone dear to them know what I mean. You see something and you think, “Wow, he or she would really have liked to have seen that.” You don’t wait until the death anniversary to think that, do you? Of course not, but we have as a society given a magic power to the calendar that almost dictates that very restricted slavery of thought. Thus when someone, like me with my father’s death anniversary, does not put in face time of grief on that day and only that day, people feel entitled to judge and assume! Nowadays ordinary people who lose someone due to accident or crime are often interviewed on the spot and often become media personalities, and thus go into the file folder based on calendar slavery. The disappearance of a child such as the little girl in Florida becomes an entirely time driven event, with regular reports on the number of weeks missing and key tragedy anniversary dates. The same is true with the plane crashes that receive ongoing attention: the natural power of healing has become enslaved to a calendar mentality, both privately and publically.

Part of the reason this has taken place is that modern society for all its brash confidence has really kind of lost its way, and looks for numinous or “special” reasons-almost magical-for how and why tragic things happen. One component of this almost magical thinking is to put great weight upon the tragedy anniversary especially as one can explore “What if” and “Could that have happened to you or me” scenarios. This is a cousin of the natural distancing human reaction that some use toward crime victims (“Well, what was she doing out so late at night and alone?”) When one reflexively blames the victim one is trying to distance one’s self from the thought that such a crime or tragedy might ever happen to you. The focus on the anniversary tragedy rather than the day to day reality of healing, or not healing, is related to that impulse to distance one’s self from the thought that one could have been in that or a similar tragedy. It is human nature to do this, but the problem is that the media is inadvertently codifying a “too close for some” and “too distant for others” emotional rollercoaster by focusing only on tragedy anniversaries. The slant of much of the media (and the consumers’ interest) is in people who didn’t take that flight, for example, and thus “cheated death.” That is human nature but it is only one of the many resilient mindsets and reactions that the well balanced human has. No one used to think like that. When a chariot ran wild in Rome and trampled down a bunch of poor people, no one was philosophical about “why him or her” and “if only she had gone to the agora earlier.” People grieved and bemoaned their fate or lot in life but nothing like today because back then everyone, even the wealthy, understood that life itself is risky. Today it is like people live in cotton fluff of illusion that life can end suddenly (and it will end for everyone eventually, of course) but only for someone else and that there is some sort of great hidden meaning in every date and every event and every circumstance. In the old days when often half of the infants born in a family died in their first year, people understood that life can end suddenly and with no particular “meaning” or “message” in the “timing.”

Another reason that there is this misbalanced tragedy anniversary focus is that as I pointed out, people live increasingly less calendar and ritual based religious lives, and more and more calendar and secular based lives. When religious participation used to be the majority of the structure in one’s life, one had a perspective of continuity that gave greater strength and fiber to those who lived through very tough times, such as tragedies or wars. A religious based natural calendar strengthens fortitude and provides more assurance of the continuity of life, while a secular calendar seems to be comprised of “reward” or “punishment.” One shows up at work at the right times, look busy, has the right attitude with the right people at the right times: one gets good performance reviews, raises, perks. One shows up whether one is sad or not for therapy on the appointed time and one gets his or her weekly hour of therapy: miss it for some reason and you are punished by not being given a replacement hour. If your kid misses football practice he’s in trouble. If you miss your filing for tax returns or for insurance reimbursement, you are in trouble. The secular calendar is a slave driver of reward and punishment. The religious calendar is the continuity of God’s presence, love and promise of eternal life. Oddly, secularists call God the bully for having heaven and threatening hell, yet one can go a year or a decade to church and never hear hell mentioned once. Go ahead, just try being late to work one day if you are not the boss, and try getting through one month at work without hearing about an upcoming performance review. The religious natural calendar (being close to the natural cycles of the earth and life with religious observances the steady markers) is actually the positive and uplifting reality based foundation for balanced life, while the secular calendar is so highly artificial and heavy in its burden that it has contributed to much of the malaise, depression, fright, seething anger and despair that stalks society today. The secular calendar is like a cruel stalker that society has not only invited into one’s house, but has given to it increasing power every year, and forced more and more to obey. Eventually the stalker takes over and one does not even realize that he or she not only enabled the stalker but invented it, handed it some of its weapons.

Here is another example of the irrationality of the calendar. When I first went to work for a Wall Street bank in the 1980’s I had severe allergies. I was otherwise a healthy person. We had two weeks of sick leave per year, and since I was rarely ill, but did have occasional bad and disabling allergy days, I would call in sick perhaps three times for one day, compared to a person who was out sick with the flu for a week. I quickly received a warning letter of bad performance for having had “3 incidents” of being sick, while a person, who is out for the entire week, or even two, receives no such letter. That was the bank wide corporate policy based on calendar days and number of times one used the same block of two weeks. I could not believe that for using three sick days that I was entitled to for genuine miserable allergy spells I got a warning and an incident report in my personnel file (and I was a vice president no less) and was highly embarrassed. Their explanation for this quaint practice was that all employees used to be tellers (the clerks that served the public) and thus being out for a day at a time was a higher inconvenience than being out for a week. The fact that this was no longer true meant nothing to the slave drivers of the calendar. The calendar rules and overrules common sense. People came in sick rather than use the days they were entitled to, and I learned to do the same.

In a related story I worked for a petrochemical company that had on site medical facilities. One day my office mate told me that she had seriously bumped her head over the weekend and that it still hurt. Alarmed, I realized she might have a concussion and walked her across the driveway to the medical facility. There the staff was angry and refused to see her. Why? I’m not making this up: the sign said “Emergencies from 10 to 11 a.m.” Yes, the expensive medical facility for employees accepted employee “emergencies” only one hour of the day. You had to schedule your emergency to happen between 10 and 11 o’clock, otherwise they refused to see you. I am still boggled when I think about this and how I knew it boded very poorly for where medicine, ethics and attitudes were headed back in 1980-1981 when that occurred. By the way, they thought I was the bitch for not understanding their refusal to treat my office mate.

The religious calendar is about mercy; the secular calendar is about punishment. It is never a good time to do something bad, and it is never appropriate to delay doing something good. Yet the secular calendar and the tragedy anniversary mentality, and other dysfunctions of societal attitude, have created a system of inappropriate response, like laughing at a funeral. Here is another example. I was told by corporate trainers to give employees bad news on Friday so they would suffer with their families over the weekend and not be a bother at the workplace. Yes, that same Wall Street bank taught all managers to give bad performance reviews to employees on Fridays, to lay them off or fire them on Fridays, and to have difficult conversations with them on Fridays, so they would then go home and be their loved one’s problems and not be miserable at work and thus make everyone else “uncomfortable.” Friday (the Jewish Sabbath by the way) was by policy transformed into the killing fields’ day. The secular calendar was used to hurt people in a way that they could get no immediate relief or continued dialogue because they were enforced away from work due to the two day weekend and rather than sympathy for the family, managers taught this with glee that the injured employee was “now the problem” of the loved ones. These are the same banks who are taking handouts and bailouts of billions of dollars on the tax money of those they fire on Fridays (and they happily accept the loot any day of the week). This same bank, by the way, had a history of doing painful reorganizations on Pearl Harbor Day. The long time manager who told me that didn’t know why they did it, but knew it was deliberate and thought that they thought it was funny. Yep, nothing like using a tragedy anniversary of hundreds of bombed and burned American veterans to do a reorganization that rewarded or punished in new assignments. Gosh, who can’t see the connection? Very funny-not-and again, this was in the 1980’s, so this is what I mean about multiple decades of a disastrous trend for humanity and well being of individuals and societies. And conservatives wonder, by the way, why the auto unions hesitate to give up anything they have, even if it is the right thing to do? When a society lives and dies based on a reward and punishment secular calendar mentality, you’d be a fool to willingly give up any protection and buffer zone that you have, even if it harms the long term well being of the company itself.

So you see what I mean? I am far from saying that we should not mention or cover tragedy anniversaries, such as the weekend’s Flight 103. And first let me say something about that particular horrible event. I was glued to my chair in horror as I watched the reporting from Locharbie, and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I will never forget the astonishment and the horror of seeing the first reports, and of the burning hole that fell upon that town, killing townspeople along with all those on board. I was horrified and stricken and remain so to this day: and that was well before I realized that many students from the city near my hometown were on board. I grieve for all and do not need to think that it was “my people” on board. Further, while the pathos of Christmas week when this happened is obvious and heart rending, it is no less so for people who lose loved ones on an “average” day in an “average” week. You know what really hurts me? When I read one of our soldiers was killed in Iraq weeks or only days before they were scheduled to return safe and sound. It’s not the date that matters, there is no “magic” or “luck” or “destiny” in the day, week, month or year, it is the individualized tragedy of personal loss, of the pathos that he or she was just about to arrive home safely when tragedy strikes.

The other side of the coin is those veterans who return home safely and then end up killed in an auto accident or some other mishap. I grieve when I read that too, and I think of how the surviving family is just as hurt by that irony as they might have been had he or she been killed in action before coming home. At least they have the time together of having returned home. You see, it’s all about the heart and not about the calendar.

People are too stressed and burdened by the tyranny of the secular calendar and how those in power wield that calendar like a mace or a pointed spear; I think they need to stop and recognize what has unconsciously crept up on them and what they themselves have enabled. What happens when Presidents decide there is “no more time” “on the calendar” for negotiating? What happens when thousands lose the calendar game and therefore their jobs, while the money looters “won” the calendar game? In Wall Street you don’t just “follow the money” you “follow the calendar.” What kind of societies fire on the Sabbath so that the sad, frightened or angry employee gets “escorted to the door” by security and dumped on their family, so that Pontius Pilate can wash his or her hands of them? So why does the media buy into the brainwashing that only the tragic must be reported on anniversaries, and that there is nothing in between? Why have children lost their childhood to the calendar? (Another reason I think homeschooling for all its drawbacks is now the more natural route, or at least a faith based school that does not view the calendar as the means for reward and punishment). Why is tragedy elevated and memorialized in the media while absolutely nothing of joy is given the same attention? Why are calendar “face time” “jobs” more important than real jobs? Why is Sunday evening the saddest and least favorite time of the week for the vast majority of employees? Why is healthcare, such as it is, one of the worst of the slave drivers of the calendar?

One of the things I had hoped to do by this time and since that didn’t happen maybe in the future was to try to get people to understand the flexibility and health of a more natural calendar, one that is reality based and not reward and punishment based. Remember, civilization arose from a natural calendar, not a secular calendar of enslavement. Even schools were not forced march identically scheduled full days but were scheduled around farming and ranch activities. Yes, in the 1800’s the hours of school in a locality varied by when and where the children were needed at home. Even the wealthy students at private schools had structures that recognized apprenticeships. Calendars used to be tools of convenience for growing industrialization, but now they have become slave drivers and bull masters that bludgeon people into reward and punishment conformity. Where calendars are used for joy (such as Christmas) they are attacked but where they serve the masters dominating purpose, people wring their hands and claim that “it’s the rules” and “they can’t help it.” With every innovation and recreation we enslave our children more and more toward calendars, away from real life, rather than toward real life. Now even the youngest children have timetables for unrealistic goals and joyless waiting, instead of fruitful natural ordinary life, until the “key dates” and “events,” such as “wealth and fame.” One could not write a more insidious science fiction about robots “taking over” than what society has already unconsciously done to its self and worsens with every passing year.

I hope that you will give what I am advising some serious thought.