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I Am Grateful For My Suffering

I am grateful for my suffering.

I truly am. These are not words I utter in some halfhearted, feeble effort to brighten my mood or motivate my day.

Fortunately for me, I am not battling depression.

It’s been a challenging few years; Entrepreneurship. Battling Cancer. Cash flow. Covid. Battling Socialized Healthcare. Infected Stingray Stings.

The list goes on. When one problem is mitigated, more will arise. Count on that. There existed a list of excruciating pain points preceding those mentioned above. Some I thought I might not survive.

Even with all the mountains to climb there’s one truth that clearly resonates with me as I’ve aged.

Nobody. Not one single human on Earth, is suffering less than I am.

You may not comprehend the suffering heaved upon another. You may not agree that what causes them suffering would have a similar effect on you. Irrelevant. We’re all suffering.

I see it now.

Suffering is quite rightly described, by me, as an actual precondition for life itself.

I think people hear sentences like that and don’t take the time to allow the concept or thought to truly sink in.

This observation is true in the abstract:

Suffering is an experience. Not simply a feeling or an emotion. It’s a state of being. It’s an individual’s interpretation of the world inflicting itself upon them. It’s Adversity, Anguish, Hardship, Discomfort, Torture, Misfortune.

What stands opposed to suffering?

An opposite experience. I would probably say the word Joy would be most suitable to stand in contrast. Also, not simply a feeling or emotion, also a state of being. It’s Bliss, Comfort, Elation, Pride, Satisfaction, Awe.

One side of this equation necessitates the other. One cannot exist without the other. It couldn’t. You couldn’t interpret yourself as Suffering without the awareness of Joy, and vice versa.

Work through this in your mind. Think of the most joyful points in your entire life. Birth of a child. Marrying your true love. An orgasm.

Let’s go with that, for humor’s sake.

Let’s imagine that something went wrong, or right I suppose, physiologically, and you entered a state of perpetual orgasm. The sensation was not going to end for the remainder of your life.

At some point in time, probably much sooner than we’d like, we would adapt to the sensation to a point that we could navigate life in its presence. At some point, it would transition from something that was distractingly present, to something that simply was your lived experience of life.

Not long after that adaptation, you would move on to seeking more points of discomfort that never existed before.

Why do we do this? It’s coded in our genes. It’s not simply a mechanism of defense, though it can be lifesaving in that regard.

It’s a mechanism of action. And we are creatures of action. All organisms are in fact.

We respond to discomfort. Pain is a guide. It informs us of what matters and what actions we should be taking to manifest a more joyful existence. For ourselves as well as those around us.

The orgasm experience is precisely what modern society has done in response to Industrialization. If you invented a time machine in your parent’s basement, went back in time and recruited a young woman from, let’s say, 1566 (random # that came to mind), and brought her home with you to 2022 what would happen?

She would stand in speechless awe at the world surrounding her. She might faint in sheer joy simply at the degree to which your refrigerator is filled with viable calories and proteins. Not to mention the fact that something like a refrigerator exists in the first place. She had, thus far, spent every day of her life expending hard physical labor solely in an effort to not starve to death. Her starvation was the most pressing pain in her mind and time and thus, it guided her actions forthrightly.

Now. Let’s assume that shortly after bringing her home your time machine broke and you had no way of fixing it. The technology was lost. She was now going to live the remainder of her life in present day.

How do you feel her experience of the present-day world have shifted after a month? After a year?

She would adapt to the world around her and discover ways to suffer and thus, ways to move forward in action.

The cool thing, this observation, Suffering is a Precondition for Life Itself, is not purely abstract. It’s quite literal. It’s scientific.

What is Newton’s First Law?

A body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by a force. Correct?

That statement holds true not just with the way in which matter behaves physically in the world, that statement also holds true with the way in which matter CHOOSES to behave in this world. This applies all the way down to the smallest organisms.

What are single celled organisms evolutionarily compelled to do by instinct? Eat, survive and reproduce.

Not unlike us, right?

If an organism fell into a state of perpetual satisfaction, ate something that provided the appropriate nutrients and energy for the rest of its existence and also had a mate never leaving its side, what would that cell choose to do?

Quite right. Nothing.

Without suffering, without scarcity, without competition, there would have never existed the necessary actions that took place and compelled the evolution of species on this planet.

Life itself cannot exist without Suffering. Without guidance. Without motivation. Without inspiration.

Suffering IS the force that acts upon bodies at rest.

I’ve been asked to speak many times relative to culture and leadership training as so many endeavor to obtain an insight into military systems and leadership development. I published an article years ago on how the Marine Corps creates leaders. Looks like it’s still posted after all these years here.

Have you ever wondered why the camaraderie is so uniquely strong within the military? Have you ever wondered why it’s even stronger than that with the Marine Corps specifically? Why when two Marines meet they seem to instantly be best friends?

Not only is it suffering, but ever stronger than that, it’s shared suffering. When you meet someone and feel you know precisely what they endured. That bond is immediate and strong. Almost religious.

That’s what drives culture. A shared struggle.

Maybe that’s why our culture is so weakened right now? The struggle isn’t shared. It’s not cohesive.

Agent Smith got a lot of things wrong in the Matrix. His understanding of purpose was just as wrong as his interpretation of humans as a virus. It’s not purpose that defines us. Unites us. He had not sharpened his focus quite enough. What generates purpose?

Some random tyrant with a microphone? Sometimes maybe. Abstractly though.

What generates the real purpose that creates passion and initiates action?

Suffering. The alleviation and eradication of Suffering.

Writing all this is not an effort to get you to stop attempting to solve for your own suffering. Press on! The world moves forward. Our species moves forward. Solve your problems. Alleviate your pain. Help others do the same. Make certain this world will be unrecognizable to us 500 years from now.

Let us be that time traveling girl standing in awe before the (now) simplicity of abundance.

The point of this writing is to help you see that we are all products of our Suffering in pursuit of our Joy.

I say this to both of my children all the time.

Embrace the Suck. Embody it. Face it forthrightly.

When a tough decision confronts you in life, go where it sucks the most. Why?

Because that is the place where the most lessons can be learned. That is the place where the most strength can be gained. That is the path no one else dares to travel and the dragon awaits. That dragon guards your treasure. Build the strength to take it down.

Once you do, don’t worry. Another dragon awaits.

And for that, be grateful.

I am grateful for my suffering.

Press Release: Survivors of Israel’s Strike on USS Liberty Commemorate 55th Year

Survivors and of the brutal Israeli military attack against the American communications vessel U.S.S. Liberty will gather at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. on June 8 to commemorate the memories of 34 Americans who were killed and host a 55 year reunion at the Holiday Inn Arlington, Virginia on June 6-9.

While patrolling in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was savagely attacked without warning or justification by air and naval forces of the State of Israel.

Of a crew of 294 officers and men, including three civilians, 34 crew members were killed in action and 173 were wounded. Survivors of the attack insist that the attack was unjustified and that the Israelis knew the ship was American, but the attack has been covered up and the survivors have been abandoned by the U.S. Military which has sought to brush the tragedy out of history.

Survivor Joe Meadors said the Israeli attack was unprovoked and that the Liberty was clearly identified as an American vessel flying the American flag.

He said the U.S. response was to abandon the American soldiers during the attack and to disparage survivors and their claims rather than stand with them.

“In 1967, LBJ ordered the USS Liberty to be abandoned by Sixth Fleet aircraft while we were still under attack and calling for help. That order cost the lives of 25 of our shipmates,” Meadors said.

“The order to abandon us is being obeyed until this day with a devastating effect on USS Liberty survivors.”

Survivors have demanded a full and open investigation that has been rejected by every commander, president and the Congress.

“The Department of Defense has ignored its obligation under its own Law of War Program. Members of Congress have refused to include facts from USS Liberty survivors in their boilerplate responses,” Meadors said, noting the United States has officially abandoned the American veterans who were killed and the survivors.

“No Member of Congress has ever attended our annual memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery on the anniversary of the attack. We are condemned as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘bigots’ simply because we have been asking that the attack on the U. S. S. Liberty be treated the same as every other attack on a US Navy ship since the end of WWII. All we have is ourselves. Not Congress. Not the Navy. Not the DoD. Just ourselves. We need a place where we are welcome. We need our reunions.”

Survivor Ron Kukal, Supervisory First Class Communications Technician, said the survivors have always hoped that one day the U.S. would acknowledge the true facts of the attack instead of marginalizing and covering up the attack.

“From day one I have always felt that the LVA holding together might just someday save this whole nation from itself, for your family and mine,” Kukal said.

“After all that is what the Liberty Veterans Association is all about, and that would be the truth.”

Kukal said that the Liberty survivors have been disparaged, insulted and denounced by pro-Israel activists and abandoned by the U.S. Military.

“How is it possible that considering three fourths of the crew had a Top Secret Clearance, we would all gather together after the attack, and suddenly become racist?” Kukal asked.

“Do you know what it took to get that clearance?  Well, one of things you had better not be, was a racist.  Need I say more? They would have known if any of us were, and we would not have gotten that clearance.  I think they knew my grandmother’s address in Prague, before she came here.  Now that is thorough.”

Survivor Moe Shafer said that despite the effort to bury the incident in history by Israel and the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress, the memory of the attack against the Liberty and its shipmates continues.

The Liberty is about fellowship with each other and honoring our fellow shipmates and most importantly honoring our fallen shipmates,” Shafer said.

“Spending an afternoon together at Arlington National Cemetery for our memorial service.  The greatest honor is to be with those who we have grown to love over the last 55 years!! We urge other Americans to come and join us on June 6 at Arlington National Cemetery and demand that attack be fully investigated and exposed.”

Survivor Phil Tourney said that the patriots who served on the U.S.S. Liberty are demanding just and believe that true patriots will support them in getting the truth out.

“We are depending on the truth facts from patriots like you. Thank you, my young college friend, facts matter. We have been in this fight for our murdered shipmates most of our lives,” Tourney said.

“Survivors have been wounded and scarred forever by the treason from our own government. They wanted us on the bottom for political gain for Israel and the USA, period.”

Tourney said that he is shocked that after serving in the military honorably and with patriotism that he and others have been attacked for seeking the truth of the incident and justice for the survivors.

“Thus, the best held secret in American history by the Congress, turned their cheek at treason then and now.  How deep does it go?” Tourney asked saying the tragedy has placed a heavy burden on all of the survivors and families of those who were killed.

“The public can help set us free and lift a heavy burden. Americans can overcome anything together, no matter if you have served or not. Facts, the truth are sacred. God saved us for this moment.”

The USS Liberty 55th Anniversary Reunion will be at the Holiday Inn Arlington, Virginia June 6 through June 9. No registration fee. Book your room by calling 703-243-9800 ask for the USS Liberty Room Rate. The banquet will be held on June 8, 2022.

U.S. Congressman Pete McCloskey will be honored along with the USS Liberty crew.

For more information on the U.S.S. Liberty visit www.USSLibertyVeterans.org.

For more information Contact:

Joe Meadors at joe@ussliberty.com

Or

Moe Shafer at Moe.shafer@harbingernational.com. Cell 770-363-3986

Keep Up to Date on the Effort of USS Liberty Survivors to Honor Our Fallen Shipmates by Persuading Congress to Investigate the Israeli Attack on Our Ship by Subscribing to our Blog Updates. https://bit.ly/3zU8nDf

The Harrowing Conversations

I sometimes coach (MMA etc) cops and military types. They know my opinion on certain things and I am not shy about expressing them. I at times feel a hypocrisy in working with them and have even mentioned that to them. Those few I work with, are “nice” men. Easy to get along with and just regular blokes.

This past Thursday I had a heavier debate with one lad, he is ex military and now a cop. He said that it is important to have a strong government to rule over others. He says that disarmed populace is good because statistically Aus has very low stranger gun deaths (this may be due to culture itself) and that it is dangerous to have armed citizens who may resist the police.
He also said that censorship should occur and used Covid conspiracies as an example. These are not uncommon views, he went on to say that women should not be allowed to carry a knife, mace, tazer and so on to defend themselves only to rely on the police. Because the risk of those items being used against the police and so on are too great.

I asked him, where free people can go, if they disagree with being ruled and owned. He said no where. They are too dangerous to be allowed to be free. I asked him what law he would NOT enforce, he said “I don’t know”.

The thing that gets me about this sort of conversation is that often those who serve or enforce do so with a certain inconsistency and hypocrisy. They will disguise it with abstract notions. And claim to disagree with the things that they are doing, the belief being is that over all they do more good than harm. The laws that they disagree with can be weighed against the ‘thin blue line’ or in case of military types ‘better to fight them over there than at home.”

Here was a man who is ‘nice’, loves his family and has similar interests but with a hot resolve told me that I am owned and should obey. To put simply trust the government of the land and only through the process of voting can we change it. But some laws should always remain.

I find conversations like this are a little harder in the sense that it is a reminder that real evil is done by those who truly think that they are doing good. That tyranny in many of its forms grows and mutates because committed doers believe in the morality of what they do. The mercenaries are one thing, those just doing a job with apathy. But when a “nice” man is so honest and determined to strip away liberty and to enforce any and all laws, that is a reality that we as anti-war and liberty minded people need to come to terms with I think. It is an uncomfortable truth.

They are not jack booted demons absent of charm and wit, they are individuals who will hug their kids, cry over a beer and throw a writer inside a cage for the crime of dissent. No idea why this conversation with him over the many others I have had has been kicking my brain in the dick lately. Anyhow I thought that I would share with any of those who cared.

Stay awesome all.

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I Am Grateful For My Suffering

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