The Fort Smith Experience Part 13

The understanding I had come to have of the Fort Smith experience that I wanted to share through this series of blogs is not the understanding that I now have as I begin to compose part 13.  It's not that the understanding I had back when I began this series has been invalidated or diminished in some way, it hasn't.  But, it has been markedly enhanced as different perspectives have emerged in the process of writing these blog posts.  One of the errors I have made all along in my attempting to arrive at an understanding of Fort Smith is that I was looking for one big comprehensive understanding that would  explain everything. I was looking for that one string that if pulled would unravel the whole ball of mystery, confusion, frustration, and so on, thereby, bringing complete understanding to the Fort Smith experience.  Perhaps there is one such string to pull, perhaps there is one big comprehensive understanding to be revealed, but…getting to it is, because of the multiple layers of complexity of Fort Smith, going to evidently require arriving at many smaller, but no less important, understandings first. It's the old story of peeling the onion. It takes patience and the willingness to shed a few tears in the process.  Unfortunately (or, more probably,  fortunately), there is no way that I could possibly share with you all that I've been prompted to look at while going through the process of writing these blogs.  Only the smallest fraction of all that I'm mulling over makes its way into a post. Hopefully, though, if you've been reading this series, you too have also been prompted to embark, reembark or continue on with your own exploration of your Fort Smith experience and your understanding, like mine, is broadening in some way.


If you do a search for the meaning of the number 13 you're going to see that there are numerous meanings that are assigned to this number.  The one I came across that felt appropriate to part 13 of this series is this: "Number 13 is the number of upheaval, so that new ground can be broken.  Adapting to change gracefully will bring out the strength of the 13 vibration , and decrease any potential for the negative."  Okay, the word 'upheaval' might be a bit too strong to use here as I don't think that there will be anything in this post that will cause a sudden change or disruption.  However, that said, the beginnings of a gradual upheaval of sorts just might be getting, at least, a toe hold.  We'll see.  Go ahead and fast forward to the last three paragraphs of this post and see what you think.


"Our mind is of 3 categories:  what we know, what we don't know, and what we don't know we don't know.  Not knowing is unfortunate; not knowing that we don't know is tragic.  ~ W. Erhart

Certainly, you could not say this for everyone who has a relationship, to some degree, with Fort Smith but, I do think I would not be much off base to state that there are a great many people that have a relationship with Fort Smith that consider this city to be somewhat mysterious.  In other words, based on the conversations that I've had with many folks about Fort Smith over the past decade and continue to have in the present, I figure that it's safe to say that there are a lot of people that view this city as being difficult or impossible to understand or explain. So many things regarding the behavior of this city just don't make any sense.  It is interesting to note that the word 'mystery' and the word 'problem' have the same definition i.e., no answer to the question.

Whether it's a mystery or a problem they both seem to be, to greater or lesser degrees, separated from their answer.  But in actuality, if you could get a clear view of either the mystery or the problem, it would be obvious that they are never separated from their answer.  For example:  A person has a leaky sink and they don't know the answer as to how to fix it.  To this person the answer to the problem is not there at the problem.  Instead, they see the answer as being distant from the problem.  The answer to the problem is wherever their plumber is.  The plumber, whether down the street or across town, has the answer. When the plumber arrives it appears that he has brought the answer to the problem.  However, the answer was always there with the problem.  The difference is, he could see it right where it was while the person who called him to come and fix the leak couldn't. Of course, there are many reasons why we are unable to get a clear view of a mystery or a problem and see that its answer is right there with it, of which the primary one, is having the belief that the answer or solution is always separate from the question (the belief will always be reflected in the experience). Thus, we feel obligated, perhaps even compelled, to go looking here, there and everywhere for answers rather than just confront the problem.  As a side note:  a problem to be a problem must contain a lie.  The more lies a problem has the more enduring the problem will be.

Another major factor that contributes greatly to obscuring the connection between the mystery or problem and their answer, and makes them appear to be disconnected (makes us think we need to go off and search for the answer somewhere), is that there are many people who have a low tolerance for the condition of no answer.  Those individuals that have a low tolerance for no answer, which, by the way, is a component of some belief system they adhere to, will fill the void created by a no answer with almost anything in order to satisfy their anxious and demanding hunger for an answer.   And here is where unusual solutions, arbitraries, acceptable truths and all manner of imaginatively destructive (in varying degrees)  stories enter onto the scene. In other words, here is yet another avenue for lies to be inserted. To make matters worse, the answer made up to fill the void of the no answer, often times, is aggressively disseminated and, without personal inspection or verification by the recipients, is accepted as being the truthful answer that is then continually passed on throughout time as being such.

An important point to recognize in this mechanic of, any answer will suffice as long as it fills the void, is that the person who cannot tolerate a no answer condition is not necessarily knowingly filling the void. Probably, in most cases, they're not even aware of this mechanic they're playing out.  Their action is not a conscious response to the circumstances but is an unconscious default reaction (stimulus response) that is rooted in and powered by fear. Basically, the point I'm trying to make here, is that, although the immediate and extended ramifications of this mechanic often times seems to point to a malicious intent, the bulk of these folks have no malicious intent. They are just automatically and unconsciously reacting to a particular stimulus i.e., the void created by there not being an answer.  That point made, it doesn't mitigate the many harmful effects propagated by all the stories made up as a means to satisfy an unconscious and compelling hunger for answers.  The experience, though, is not where the answer to this problem will be found.  The answer is in the unconscious mind right there with the problem that is being reflected in the experience but is not actually in the experience.  Just like when you look in the mirror and see your face but, of course, the face you see is just a reflection.  Your face is not actually in the mirror.


I suspect that the lion's share of the history of Fort Smith, as it is recorded and told, as well as the current day-to-day continuance of life in the city, is composed of lies. Lies that have been and continue to be, accepted as being the truth.  And, as we all know (at least if we think about it for a bit we know ), lies beget lies.  With more lies comes more complexity and the illusory distance between mystery and answer or problem and solution, just seems to steadily increase.

I believe there is, and has been, a major lie extant in Fort Smith that has been, and is in present time, an extreme detriment to the city and it has to do with Fort Smith's identity which, of course, is reflected in Fort Smith's behavior.  This lie and the belief system that it is a part of is (I believe) a key factor in why the city of Fort Smith is an 'almost' city caught in the seemingly never ending conflicted state of 'Maybe' sandwiched between the opposing forces of Must Be, Must Do, Must Have and Can't Be, Can't Do, Can't Have.  Symbols of this lie are obvious…like the tip of an iceberg able to be seen above the surface of the ocean.  But, unlike the tip of the iceberg which is recognized for what it is, these symbols are obvious yet not seen. Of course, we all know that the bulk of an iceberg is out of sight below the surface and what's out of sight has more potential liability than what can be seen.  The composition of the lie rests in a belief system that was never, after its use was no longer needed, removed. Instead, it gradually drifted down beneath the city's level of awareness into the collective unconscious mind of Fort Smith where it remains out of sight but, unfortunately, not inactive.  Indeed, it has remained (most inappropriately so) very active to this day.

In part 14 (coming soon), among other things, I'm going to share the gist of a revelatory conversation I had with a good friend just a short while before I decided to write this series of blogs.  It had nothing to do with Fort Smith and yet had everything to do with Fort Smith. It was my friend's revelation in this conversation that got me to looking at the Fort Smith experience from a different perspective and certainly contributed to my decision to write this series of blogs. It's interesting to me that I did not realize when I began writing The Fort Smith Experience that I had actually embarked on yet another exploration into the mysterious "Why" of Fort Smith (more evidence that it's never about what I think it's about).  Only this time my exploration was not focused within the contradictions and irrationalities of the physical experience, (the movie screen), it was focused on the conscious and unconscious realm of thought that was the source of the Fort Smith experience (the movie projector).  Sure, we all know that the movie projector is there, it's just more convenient to pretend it's not. 

In  part 15, we're going to have a look at this lie I'm talking about that has come into view here below the surface of awareness. By the way, part 15 will not be the final installment of this series.  Indeed, it may just be a different step from which to launch into a new exploration.

a pilgrim