The Confederate Flag Represents the Pinnacle of Uptight Thinking

John OliverSorry man, but that flag is not the least bit limber minded, in fact it represents everything that is wrong with uptight thinking. Yes, there is freedom of expression, yes you can buy and fly that flag if you wish, but as John Oliver noted, it just “helps the rest of us identify the worst people in the world.” You may fly it and try and claim it is for freedom, but it is not decent or limber minded at all. The Confederate flag is the symbol of racist hate and oppression, that is what it is, uptight thinking in flag form. Here at the Limber Mind, we do not abide by that flag.

Now, up until a couple of weeks ago a person could be forgiven for flying the Stars and Bars. It had taken on some ambiguous meaning about southern pride and heritage. But where are the northern pride flags, they won after all? There are no flags for the North’s crushing defeat of slavery and uptight thinking. Why is it that the South has to divide itself still to this day from the rest of the nation? Because so many there cannot limber up their thinking, maybe?

A limber mind is one that is free of intolerant or divisive ideas. A mind free from racist thinking, from the greed that perpetuates racism and oppression. A limber mind is a mind full of love for fellow humans, not ideas of how some are not worthy of that kind of love. A limber mind has no use for money gotten off the backs of the suffering, there is nothing limber about that.

Now is the time to put away such primitive ideas based in egoism and greed. Time to put away intolerance and racism. It is time that we as a species find common ground, to find empathy for one another. It is time to retire the Confederate flag, even as we forgive those that have flown it in the past. All is forgiven and forgotten, once we can put this symbol of hate and suffering behind us.

We want to be clear here, this is not about hating on anyone who has flown that flag, it is about evolution, it is about making the world a more limber minded place. However, at this point to fly the Confederate flag is to stand against everything a limber mind stands for. A limber mind cannot support something that has caused so much suffering, something that stands for racism fueled by greed and fear. We sincerely hope that all people can come together and evolve past such loathsome and uptight modes of thought. We hope many people can find the wisdom to put away this painful symbol of past uptightness. We hope all can learn to live by each other’s happiness in a world full of limber minds.

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A Tale of Two Dudes

Predicting, Describing and Contemplating a Likely Dudeist Schism, and Why it’s a Good Thing.

There are two Dudeisms, two distinct ways of being Dude and they both share the same space. Both inhabit the same church but they have two different ideas about what Dudeism is all about. The great Schism has already begun, which is a good thing Dudes every major “religion” needs to have a schism to be taken seriously.

Hey man, this is a private pilosophy

The Dude lets you know his philosophy is a private thang.

Over the years I have watched this fracture form, and spread across the community, as Dudeists start to gather into the two relative camps that cohabitate within the Dudeism bungalow. It seems to be an inevitability that we will end up with an internal dichotomy, two major Dudeist sects if you will. The question is, will we go the same route as other religious communities and turn on each other? Or will we be one of the few that can take that internal dichotomy and make something truly useful from it?

The Hell You Blathering About?

I’ll tell you what I’m blathering about. There are two types of Dudeist out there, the Lifestyle Dudeist and the Engaged Dudeist, they hold very different opinions about what the direction of Dudeism should be, and how to go about getting there.

The Lifestyle Dudeist is content to just be, to live as the Dude and abide individually. They resist any sort of structure within Dudeism, they may even see it as a threat to what is most important about being Dude. The Lifestyle Dudeist wants Dudeism to remain intensely individual and sees acquiring buildings and titles as the first steps out onto the slippery slope that leads to (gasp) organized religion.

The Engaged Dudeist is compelled to reach out into the world, to bring Dudeism into the conversations of politics and society, they are willing to tentatively embrace some church structure, they want to see brick and mortar churches with priests that wear titles. Not in a clinging way, but organized with the understanding that it is just labels to help communicate ideas, a sort of shorthand, not in any sense “real”.

Can these two opposing views share space within Dudeism? Yes they can and should, what may seem to be troublesome or even corrosive from a distance, is actually  a source of potential strength for both schools of Dudeist thought.

This internal struggle is probably the best development, if not unavoidable, for Dudeism, this dichotomy will be a source of energy and dynamics for our beloved “church”. One should not view this as a terrible state of affairs, but as the give and take of the Yin Yang, the tension that breathes life and seeks abiding balance. It may be that if we all agreed about what Dudeism is then Dudeism might become irrelevant, and I don’t believe either side wants that. We should embrace the two Dudes, love the controversy and feed the dichotomy. The trick will be in how to allow a schism to propagate without letting it cut too deeply into the overall unity of Dudeism.

Essentially all religions have gone through splitting into distinctive sects, one only has to look to see how Christianity has split itself into many disparate forms of the theology. All the Biblical religions have divided, even the divisions have divided themselves to the point that there are tens of thousands of distinctive types of Christians. The Muslim schism is still drawing blood today, and even Judaism is far more fractured than most people realize. Not reserved to the tribes of Abraham, we see how Buddhism has two very distinct schools of thought, and beyond that there are many different “paths” for the Buddhist to follow, Zen, Shambhala and Tibetan just to name a few. Even Taoism has the mystical and the philosophical divide, the two barely resemble each other.

So Dudeism is far from unique when it comes to disagreement within its own ranks, but it may however be unique in its ability to maintain both schools with out turning them against each other. This may be the greatest challenge that Dudeism will face, to hold two seemingly opposing ideals in the same hand and not drop them. To nurture them both as siblings, sprung from the same mother, and live as brothers under the same roof. To do this will take a deep understanding of the two Dudes, how they are the same and how they are different from each other.

The Lifestyle Dudeist

The Lifestyle Dudeist only wants his rug man. What I call the Lifestyle Dudeist here is the Dude that wants to just live life in accord with Dudeist wisdom, to find his path to abiding in simply being Dude.

Their idea of Dudeist community is informal forums and the occasional J circle, nothing resembling structured churches. They are cautious if not out right resistant to trying to define what Dudeism is or is not. Preferring to let the rest of the world carry on without using Dudeism to try and influence its direction. What the squares do is no concern of the lifestyle Dudeist, what’s important is his relation to Dudeism, not Dudeism’s relation to the world at large. I almost want to use the term Hermetic Dude, but it may carry a negative connotation that I would prefer to avoid.

This is not to say the lifestyle Dudeist is not concerned with the state of affairs humanity finds itself in, rather that their chosen course of action is to influence by example. Representing a purity of Dudeist thought, in that they look to what changes they can make to themselves to effect greater contentment within their environment.

The Engaged Dudeist

Prosyltizing Dude

The Engaged Dudeist wants to expand his Dudeism beyond the personal into the outer spaces, seeks a definition of Dudeism that he can present to the world at large, and welcomes a structure to Dudeism, so long as it is not too rigid.

Both the Hermetic and Engaged Dude see that a true and binding definition of Dudeism is a fools errand, but the Engaged Dudeist is willing to take on a working definition as a means of explaining to non Dudeist what it is we are all about. Also to give some method for examining what may or may not be Dude.

The Two Dudes are two halves of the whole, individually we are Dudeists, together we are Dudeism.

Like the Yin and Yang, the two ends of the Dude spectrum are a potential source of dynamics that can energize both the Engaged Dude and the Lifestyle Dude. Through their debates and disagreements they seek the way of the Dude together, one informing the other’s Dudeism. This inner struggle to find out what it means to be Dude is of utmost importance to all Dudes. If any “religion” can manage a schism with tolerance and a take it easy attitude, it is Dudeism. Celebrate the the diversity of Dudeism, it is our hidden strength.

 What do you think? Comments always welcome!

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Crimea, What Do You Need That For Dude?

Pacifism is Nothing to Hide Behind

As pacifists one might ask, how can a Dudeist not let aggression stand? Most of the time a swift “fuck it” is enough, then a string or two of bowling and all is well again. But what about those times when a Dude has to stand up for what’s right and declare “this aggression will not stand”. Where is your pacifism now Dude, when the nihilists are coming, swinging their swords?

Crimea River Man,this is the situation the world finds its self in with the crisis in Crimea, Russia having set fire to the Dude’s car by invading, now demands they get the Crimea Lebowski! By comparing this situation to the classic scene from The Big Lebowski, the final confrontation between the Dude and the nihilists, we see that this is an almost identical situation.

Two of the actors in this real life drama are equatable to the nihilists, played in this instance by Russia and Putin, and Walter played by the international community in the west. These roles are clearly defined, one could suppose that the Donny in this case would be the innocent people of the region, those that would pay the highest price if things get bad and no one can diffuse this situation. But where are the Dude’s? Stuck between two assholes and a too soft place, that’s seems to be where he ends up in the movie, and we in this derned real life drama.

Give Them the Fucking Crimea Man!

Is it really worth losing Donny and possibly our Johnsons over something we really do not need? Maybe Russia feels like it is their Johnson, in the way of Crimea, that is being bitten off by the NATO marmot? There is a lot of arguments for Crimea having and digging the Russian style. The rest of Ukraine is turning to the west, probably will turn Crimea that direction too given time, so the west can mark it eight, and call it good with that.

Using the movie as a guide, it is deducible that the Dude would just hand over Crimea and say fuck it. There will be other opportunities, other league games to play in, no need to let the Walters have their way on this one, no matter how noisy they are. Just like the nihilists Russia gambled a lot on their scheme, and are unlikely going to go away empty handed. After all they lost a toe in the form of Ukraine, in their minds they’ve invested too much to let this go. Better to let’em have our pocket change than to risk losing anything more our selves.

Former ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock Jr. makes a strong case for letting Russia have Crimea in his recent article for Time. Arguing that not only would we avoid an intractable situation that could lead to war, but that Ukraine and Crimea would be better off in the long run. Crimea is not really part of Ukraine in may ways, and holding on to the province wont do them any favors. Crimea was Russian until half a century ago, it still identifies as Russian, let them be Russian.

There are still plenty of ways to let them know what kind of human paraquats they are for scheming and plotting, sanctions that are tough enough to say “this aggression will not stand!”, but not so tough as to force them to throw a marmot in our tub. When the Dude figured out how the big Lebowski had scammed him, he was not afraid to confront him with that fact, but he was not there to harm him, in fact he still had empathy for the big Lebowski. The Dude teaches us that one can stand against aggression and still aim to do no harm.

 Whelp, that’s one Dude’s opinion. What’s Your’s, comments always welcome

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For the Children Dude!

The Dude Goes to the Conventions

The Dude heads to the Democratic and Republican Conventions in the upcoming weeks to represent his No Kid Hungry organisation. Jeff Bridges will be attending both conventions as a spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, talking to both Democrat and Republicans about the need to end food insecurity among the children of this nation.

More than 16 million children will likely experience the suffering of food insecurity this year. Poverty is suffering, the fear and anxiety felt by so many of our neighbors is real and terrible. As one who grew up on government cheese I am acutely aware of how this suffering manifests, and I know it has negative impacts for our whole society. When so many live in fear of not having the basic need of food it pulls us all down, we allow our selves to be surrounded by despair and wonder why things look so bleak.

With so many wrong headed ideas dominating this campaign, and all the rhetoric being slung around, it is good to know there are Dudes out there who will rise to the occasion. By bringing his message of hunger in America maybe our friend Mr. Bridges can bring some civility and compassion to our political discourse. Two features that are woefully lacking in today’s political climate. We need more “take it easy” and abiding, let’s hope some of his Dudeness rubs off on the people vying for our votes.

Go get ‘em Dude, may more limber minds prevail.

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Resist Not the Unchill

With all the hubbub around the Aurora shooting and anti-gay sandwiches at Chi-Fil-A, Dudeists may be wondering, what can/should we do? The line “this aggression will not stand man” comes to mind, but how is that accomplished? We can’t be lured into using aggression to undo aggression. In the Bible it says, “resist not evil” (Matthew 5:39), to understand that is to know that un-Dudeness can not counter other un-Dudeness. If we get sucked into arguments that go nowhere and just raise the level of disharmony, then we also become part of the problem. 

Two major debates are raging on the internet theses days, gun control and “Chicken-gate”, seems everyone has opinions to share on these topics. Opinions that are, at times, emotionally charged with hyperbolic claims and language, at the heart of these debates is freedom and how different people interpret that freedom.

In the case of Chic-Fil-A, almost no one says that Cathy doesn’t have the right to an opinion, what some are saying is that opinion is wrong minded. Yes he has the right to not recognize gay marriage based on his religious beliefs. But does he have the right to deny others equal opportunity to the basic human right to fall in love and start a family? When I channel my inner Libertarian, I see the rights of those seeking equality of marriage outweigh his right to deny that to them.

It is not a simple case of his having an opinion, it is that he actively donates to organizations that try and strip equal protections from other Americans, and that’s not cool man. However, if we are not careful, we will only make those that hold these ideas more determined to stand their ground, calm reasoned disagreement with out picking a fight is what we are after.

When it comes to the gun control debate, what we need to do is not get too uptight in either thinking, letting this cause us all to lose our shit wont help anyone. Reasoned debate is the order of the day if we want to work on these problems. For some of us, it will be a long time until there is no feeling that we need guns, no matter how soon others of us would like that day to come. If we listen to the wisdom of the Tao, we would not be rash in our haste to restrict gun ownership, or enthusiastic in advancing guns in our society. We shouldn’t let our passions run away from us, we must remain calm and rooted in our belief it can be better, yet flexible enough to to not break when the winds of passion blow.

Frightening Statistics

As Dudeists we get no clear answer to the gun issue from our favorite fictional prophet, the Dude doesn’t tell Walter to not own a gun, just to put the fucking thing away. Ultimately guns are neither the problem or the cause, we don’t want to get all reactionary here, we want to abide, and give the world the option to abide with us.

Probably the most important thing to do is encourage a more peaceful tolerant society, maintain and project the “take it easy” attitude. When debates get too reactionary, we should withdraw, put on our sunglasses and say “fuckit”. If we get drawn into the heat of the moment and let our own opinions rule us we become the aggression we hope to diminish. Sometimes one just needs to sit back and let the Tao run its course.

 

 

Whelp that’s like, just my opinion man; putting on my sunglasses.

 

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