Friday, July 23, 2010

Robert A Johnson

Excerpts from WE

On Myths

My lords, if you would hear a high tale of love and of death, here is that of Tristan and Queen Iseult; how to their full joy, but to their sorrow also, they loved each other, and how at last, they died of that love together upon one day; she by him and he by her.

Thus begins the marvelous story of Tristan and Iseult. It was with these words that the traveling poets and minstrels of the Middle Ages would call together the lords and ladies, the knights and commonfolk, to hear a wondrous story of adventure and love. They would gather be-fore the wood fire in the great hall of a castle or manor and relive together the "high tale" of the knight Tristan and his fatal love for Queen Iseult.

This story is one of the great myths of all time; it has the dignity and power of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, or the Icelandic sagas. Such myths have an uncanny power to thrill us, uplift us, pull us out of the pettiness of our ego-lives, and transport us to a realm of magic,, noble deeds, and unearthly passion. But a myth does more than that: If we learn to listen, it also gives us specific psychological information and teaches the deep truths of the psyche.

Years ago a grammar school teacher asked her class, "What is a myth?" A young boy, the son of a couple whom I know well, raised his hand and replied, "A myth is something that is true on the inside, but not true on the outside." The teacher did not understand, but often children have more psychological wisdom than adults. A myth is true: It is not true in the outer, physical sense, but it is an accurate expression of a psychological situation, of the inner, condition of the psyche.

Myths are like dreams. Dreams are the messengers of the unconscious mind. Through them the unconscious communicates its contents and its concerns to the conscious mind.

By learning the symbolic language of dreams, a person learns to see what is going on within at an unconscious level and even discovers what needs to be done about it. Jung demonstrated that myths also are symbolic expressions of the unconscious. But, though a dream expresses the dynamics within an individual, a myth expresses the dynamics within the collective mind of a society, culture, or race.

A myth is the collective "dream" of an entire people at a certain point in their history. It is as though the entire population dreamed together, and that "dream," the myth, burst forth through its poetry, songs, and stories. But a myth not only lives in literature and imagination, it immediately finds its way into the behavior and attitudes of the culture-into the practical daily lives of the people.

The myth of Tristan and Iseult is a profound expression of the Western psyche. It tells us a lot about "what makes us tick." It is a vivid, panoramic view of the psychological forces at work in the unconscious of Western people for the last thousand years of our history. Above all, this myth gives us a painfully accurate picture of romantic love--why it came into our culture, what it is, and why it isn't working very well.

Our myth shows us that romantic love is a necessary ingredient in the evolution of the Western psyche. We will achieve wholeness and will move on to the next step in our evolution of consciousness only when we learn to live consciously with romantic love--that is, with the vast psychological forces that it represents. In the evolution of consciousness, our greatest problem is always our richest opportunity.

Zen teaches that inner growth always involves an experience of "a red-hot coal stuck in the throat. In our development we always come to a problem, an obstacle, that goes so deep that we "can't swallow it and can't cough it up." This exactly fits our Western experience of romantic love: We can't live with it, and we can’t live without it--we can't swallow it, and can't cough it up! This "hot coal" in our throats alerts us that a tremendous evolutional potential is trying to manifest itself.

After many years of living in the rich world of the psyche and learning its laws, Carl Jung saw a vast evolutional Power at work in the psychic universe. He saw that the human psyche strives always toward wholeness, strives to complete itself and become more conscious. The unconscious mind seeks to move its contents up to the level of consciousness, where they can be actualized and assimilated into a more complete conscious personality. Each person's psyche has an inborn evolutional urge to grow, to integrate the contents of the unconscious, to bring together all the missing parts of the total individual into a complete, whole, and conscious self.

Jung teaches us that the unconscious is the source: the primal matter from which our conscious minds and ego personalities have evolved. All the values, ideas, feelings, capacities, and attitudes that we have developed into functioning parts of our conscious personalities originated in the raw, primal material of the unconscious.

To get a clear image of this, we may picture a coral island that gradually rises out of the sea. The ocean slowly creates this island out of its own matter and pushes it finally above the water into the sunlight. After centuries, topsoil and plant life develop, animals and people appear, and the little island becomes a tiny center of human life and consciousness. Like the vast ocean, the collective unconscious gives birth to a tiny island; it is the conscious psyche, the ego, the "I" – the part of me that is aware of itself.

This little ego-mind, surrounded by the vastness of the unconscious, has a high and noble task, a special destiny to live out. Its role in this evolution is to integrate more and more of the unconscious until the conscious mind truly reflects the wholeness of the self.

Global Warming Is Real

By Jeremy Grantham

Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes

1) The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, after at least several hundred thousand years of remaining within a constant range, started to rise with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It has increased by almost 40% and is rising each year. This is certain and straightforward.

2) One of the properties of CO2 is that it creates a greenhouse effect and, all other things being equal, an increase in its concentration in the atmosphere causes the Earth’s temperature to rise. This is just physics. (The amount of other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as methane, has also risen steeply since industrialization, which has added to the impact of higher CO2 levels.)

3) Several other factors, like changes in solar output, have major influences on climate over millennia, but these effects have been observed and measured. They alone cannot explain the rise in the global temperature over the past 50 years.

4) The uncertainties arise when it comes to the interaction between greenhouse gases and other factors in the complicated climate system. It is impossible to be sure exactly how quickly or how much the temperature will rise. But, the past can be measured. The temperature has indeed steadily risen over the past century while greenhouse gas levels have increased. But the forecasts still range very widely for what will happen in the future, ranging from a small but still potentially harmful rise of 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit to a potentially disastrous level of +6 to +10 degrees Fahrenheit within this century. A warmer atmosphere melts glaciers and ice sheets, and causes global sea levels to rise. A warmer atmosphere also contains more energy and holds more water, changing the global occurrences of storms, fl oods, and other extreme weather events.

5) Skeptics argue that this wide range of uncertainty about future temperature changes lowers the need to act: “Why spend money when you’re not certain?” But since the penalties can rise at an accelerating rate at the tail, a wider range implies a greater risk (and a greater expected value of the costs.) This is logically and mathematically rigorous and yet is still argued.

6) Pascal asks the question: What is the expected value of a very small chance of an infi nite loss? And, he answers, “Infinite.” In this example, what is the cost of lowering CO2 output and having the long-term effect of increasing CO2 turn out to be nominal? The cost appears to be equal to foregoing, once in your life, six months’ to one year’s global growth – 2% to 4% or less. The benefits, even with no warming, include: energy independence from the Middle East; more jobs, since wind and solar power and increased efficiency are more labor-intensive than another coal-fi red power plant; less pollution of streams and air; and an early leadership role for the U.S. in industries that will inevitably become important. Conversely, what are the costs of not acting on prevention when the results turn out to be serious: costs that may dwarf those for prevention; and probable political destabilization from droughts, famine, mass migrations, and even war. And, to Pascal’s real point, what might be the cost at the very extreme end of the distribution: Definitely life changing, possibly life threatening.

7) The biggest cost of all from global warming is likely to be the accumulated loss of biodiversity. This features nowhere in economic cost-benefit analysis because, not surprisingly, it is hard to put a price on that which is priceless.

8) A special word on the right-leaning think tanks: As libertarians, they abhor the need for government spending or even governmental leadership, which in their opinion is best left to private enterprise. In general, this may be an excellent idea. But global warming is a classic tragedy of the commons – seeking your own individual advantage, for once, does not lead to the common good, and the problem desperately needs government leadership and regulation. Sensing this, these think tanks have allowed their drive for desirable policy to trump science. Not a good idea.

9) Also, I should make a brief note to my own group – die hard contrarians. Dear fellow contrarians, I know the majority is usually wrong in the behavioral jungle of the stock market. And Heaven knows I have seen the soft scientists who lead finance theory attempt to bully their way to a uniform acceptance of the bankrupt theory of rational expectations and market efficiency. But climate warming involves hard science. The two most prestigious bastions of hard science are the National Academy in the U.S. and the Royal Society in the U.K., to which Isaac Newton and the rest of that huge 18th century cohort of brilliant scientists belonged. The presidents of both societies wrote a note recently, emphasizing the seriousness of the climate problem and that it was man-made. (See the attachment to last quarter’s Letter.) Both societies have also made full reports on behalf of their membership stating the same. Do we believe the whole elite of science is in a conspiracy? At some point in the development of a scientific truth, contrarians risk becoming flat earthers.

10) Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for … what? Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs, and by right-wing politicians and think tanks? Most hard scientists hate themselves or their colleagues for being in the news. Being a climate scientist spokesman has already become a hindrance to an academic career, including tenure. I have a much simpler but plausible “conspiracy theory”: that fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profi ts, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientifi c results.

11) Why are we arguing the issue? Challenging vested interests as powerful as the oil and coal lobbies was never going to be easy. Scientists are not naturally aggressive defenders of arguments. In short, they are conservatives by training: never, ever risk overstating your ideas. The skeptics are far, far more determined and expert propagandists to boot. They are also well funded. That smoking caused cancer was obfuscated deliberately and effectively for 20 years at a cost of hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.

We know that for certain now, yet those who caused this fatal delay have never been held accountable. The profi ts of the oil and coal industry make tobacco’s resources look like a rounding error. In some notable cases, the obfuscators of global warming actually use the same “experts” as the tobacco industry did! The obfuscators’ simple and direct motivation – making money in the near term, which anyone can relate to – combined with their resources and, as it turns out, propaganda talents, have meant that we are arguing the science long after it has been nailed down. I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always: “Have they no grandchildren?”

12) Almost no one wants to change. The long-established status quo is very comfortable, and we are used to its deficiencies. But for this problem we must change. This is never easy.

13) Almost everyone wants to hear good news. They want to believe that dangerous global warming is a hoax. They, therefore, desperately want to believe the skeptics. This is a problem for all of us.

Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me. In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there will be many failures. Marketing a “climate” fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.

Monday, July 12, 2010


by Terrence Aym

How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a 'world-killing' event

Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions.

251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth. [1] Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world.

55 million years later another methane bubble ruptured causing more mass extinctions during the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (LPTM).

The LPTM lasted 100,000 years.

Those subterranean seas of methane virtually reshaped the planet when they explosively blew from deep beneath the waters of what is today called the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, worried scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events that led to worldwide death back then may be happening again-and no known technology can stop it.

The bottom line: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.

The oil giant drilled down miles into a geologically unstable region and may have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble.

Ryskin’s methane extinction theory

Northwestern University's Gregory Ryskin, a bio-chemical engineer, has a theory: The oceans periodically produce massive eruptions of explosive methane gas. He has documented the scientific evidence that such an event was directly responsible for the mass extinctions that occurred 55 million years ago. [4]

Many geologists concur: "The consequences of a methane-driven oceanic eruption for marine and terrestrial life are likely to be catastrophic. Figuratively speaking, the erupting region "boils over," ejecting a large amount of methane and other gases (e.g., CO2, H2S) into the atmosphere, and flooding large areas of land. Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life, and also produce great amounts of smoke and of carbon dioxide..." [5]

The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe—of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it-would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water.

Such occurrences can lead to the rupture of the methane bubble containment—it can then permit the methane to breach the subterranean depths and undergo an explosive decompression as it catapults into the Gulf waters. [6]

All three warning signs are documented to be occurring in the Gulf.

Ground zero: The Gulf Coast

The people and property located on the greater expanse of the Gulf Coast are sitting at Ground Zero. They will be the first exposed to poisonous, cancer causing chemical gases. They will be the ones that initially experience the full fury of a methane bubble exploding from the ruptured seabed.

The media has been kept away from the emergency salvage measures being taken to forestall the biggest catastrophe in human history. The federal government has warned them away from the epicenter of operations with the threat of a $40,000 fine for each infraction and the possibility of felony arrests.

Why is the press being kept away? Word is that the disaster is escalating.

Cracks and bulges

Methane is now streaming through the porous, rocky seabed at an accelerated rate and gushing from the borehole of the first relief well. The EPA is on record that Rig #1 is releasing methane, benzene, hydrogen sulfide and other toxic gases. Workers there now wear advanced protection including state-of-the-art, military-issued gas masks.

Reports, filtering through from oceanologists and salvage workers in the region, state that the upper level strata of the ocean floor is succumbing to greater and greater pressure. That pressure is causing a huge expanse of the seabed-estimated by some as spreading over thousands of square miles surrounding the BP wellhead-to bulge. Some claim the seabed in the region has risen an astounding 30 feet.

The fractured BP wellhead, site of the former Deepwater Horizon, has become the epicenter of frenetic attempts to quell the monstrous flow of methane.

The subterranean methane is pressurized at 100,000 pounds psi. According to Matt Simmons, an oil industry expert, the methane pressure at the wellhead has now skyrocketed to a terrifying 40,000 pounds psi.

Another well-respected expert, Dr. John Kessler of Texas A&M University has calculated that the ruptured well is spewing 60 percent oil and 40 percent methane. The normal methane amount that escapes from a compromised well is about 5 percent.

More evidence? A huge gash on the ocean floor—like a ragged wound hundreds of feet long—has been reported by the NOAA research ship, Thomas Jefferson. Before the curtain of the government enforced news blackout again descended abruptly, scientists aboard the ship voiced their concerns that the widening rift may go down miles into the earth.

That gash too is hemorrhaging oil and methane. It’s 10 miles away from the BP epicenter. Other, new fissures, have been spotted as far as 30 miles distant.

Measurements of the multiple oil plumes now appearing miles from the wellhead indicate that as much as a total of 124,000 barrels of oil are erupting into the Gulf waters daily-that’s about 5,208,000 gallons of oil per day.

Most disturbing of all: Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal. [7]

Mass death on the water

If the methane bubble—a bubble that could be as big as 20 miles wide—erupts with titanic force from the seabed into the Gulf, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will immediately sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists participating in the salvage operation will die instantly.

Next, the ocean bottom will collapse, instantaneously displacing up to a trillion cubic feet of water or more and creating a towering supersonic tsunami annihilating everything along the coast and well inland. Like a thermonuclear blast, a high pressure atmospheric wave could precede the tidal wave flattening everything in its path before the water arrives.

When the roaring tsunami does arrive it will scrub away all that is left.

A chemical cocktail of poisons

Some environmentalist experts are calling what’s pouring into the land, sea and air from the seabed breach ’a chemical cocktail of poisons.’

Areas of dead zones devoid of oxygen are driving species of fish into foreign waters, killing plankton and other tiny sea life that are the foundation for the entire food chain, and polluting the air with cancer-causing chemicals and poisonous rainfalls.

A report from one observer in South Carolina documents oily residue left behind after a recent thunderstorm. And before the news blackout fully descended the EPA released data that benzene levels in New Orleans had rocketed to 3,000 parts per billion.

Benzene is extremely toxic and even short term exposure can cause agonizing death from cancerous lesions years later.

The people of Louisiana have been exposed for more than two months—and the benzene levels may be much higher now. The EPA measurement was taken in early May. [8]


While some say it can’t happen because the bulk of the methane is frozen into crystalline form, others point out that the underground methane sea is gradually melting from the nearby surging oil that’s estimated to be as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most experts in the know, however, agree that if the world-changing event does occur it will happen suddenly and within the next 6 months.

So, if events go against Mankind and the bubble bursts in the coming months, Gregory Ryskin may become one of the most famous people in the world. Of course, he won't have long to enjoy his new found fame because very shortly after the methane eruption civilization will collapse.

Perhaps if humanity is very, very lucky, some may find a way to avoid the mass extinction that follows and carry on the human race.


‎"Never disrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.

I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, OK.

Better to live one year as a tiger, than a hundred as a sheep"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bernanke Creates

By Barry Rithholtz

“The U.S. turned 234 years old yesterday, and yet over half of the nation’s money supply was created since Helicopter Ben took over the flight controls four years ago. No wonder gold is in a full fledged bull market . . .” -David A. Rosenberg Chief Economist & Strategist Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.

Fascinating data point by Rosie, which points to the absurdity of the past decade, most especially the Fed’s over-reaction to the economic collapse.

Most people still do not understand what was accomplished with the Bailouts. What helicopter Ben & Co. did — pouring trillions into the banking sector — served only to stave off a secular economic restructuring of the finance sector.

The can was kicked down the road, and their hope was the wild structurally imbalanced economy was allowed to persist.

By comparison, General Motors had gone down a path of bad management, poor products, lack of long term strategy. Their slide into bankruptcy was appropriate; it served to purge terrible management and awful business planning.

However, Banks were not allowed to suffer the fate that all insolvent businesses are supposed to. This was a terrible error, the greatest financial tragedy of the 21st century. That they were allowed to survive mostly intact is the result of the excess influence they have on a corruptible congress and a misguided Federal Reserve.

In light of the Austerian movement, some folks are now arguing that the bailouts were a form of Keynesianism run amuck. Even my pal Roger Nussbaum wrote that “Creating more debt won’t solve the problem of having too much debt. Stimulus creates artificial demand whereas effective policy creates real demand and… neither party understands this.”

There is truth to that, but it also over-simplifies the complexity of what was done to the economy in the guise of saving the system, but was really about bailout out bad banks, and foolish bondholders.

What occurred from March 2008 to present had nothing to do with economic stimulus or Keynes. Indeed, I suspect Keynes would have been aghast at what Bernanke — and Paulson and Bush and Geithner — had wrought . . .