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A Path to understanding and dialogue, Part 10 in the series “On the Edge”

December 1, 2018 Leave a comment

This is part 10 of the series, On the Edge of the Abyss …

Preface and Index – for my series “On the Edge of the Abyss”is here

Part 1  - A Paradigm of Control — here
Part 2  – Retail and Consumerism — here
Part 3  – Politics — here
Part 4  – Beliefs — here
Part 5  – Media — here
Part 6  – Control & Propaganda — here
Part 7 – Cultural Division, The Media, Judgement and Projections – here
Part 8 – Consumerism and Minimalism – here
Part 9 – Humanity in 2018 – here
Part 10 – A Path to understanding and dialogue – here

Judgement, then Condemnation and criticism are not on the Path to understanding, for we know that unconscious judgemental reactions do not liberate, they do not clarify, they oppress. Such projections in the realm of personal beliefs do not help, they only hinder discussion, social discourse, co-operation and any eventual collaboration.

This thing is when we react to the thoughts, words or actions of others, they are through in their words and or actions controlling us, jointly you create a conflict, but at the end of the day nothing is resolved as no outcome will come of this conflict, except the hardening of attitudes on both sides. People will not change their beliefs until they want to change or have a learning experience that places them on a new path, that will begin the process, organically, so to speak – this can only be achieved through quiet and reasoned discourse … criticism does nothing to create respectful discourse.

What illustrates this well is a quote from Carl Jung ..

Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.”

This applies to all parties … perhaps it is necessary before we judge others to pause and reflect on the case of why people feel the way they do? rather than get lost in our emotions.

What gets lost here are the stakes, that citizens of a country are involved in a conflict with other citizens of the same country … the seeds of division and destruction are so easily sown.

I have spoken about this before in my previous post called Social Media – exacerbates conflict and divisiveness here http://bit.ly/2Ny49Ni – Please pay particular attention to the following stages of story verification …. this is important I feel .. if you have any questions of concerns about the veracity of information you are receiving via the internet from news and more particularly Social Media …. ask yourself the following questions ..

1. Who is writing the stories? – is the source credible .. though that is not always a guarantee of veracity to know if it is true, fake or misinformation, designed to misinform and create or increase divisiveness.

It is hard these days to know what news services are credible … those sources from my youth such as UK Broadcasters, the BBC for instance are now suspect … all one can do is to seek confirmation from a number of sources.

2. Who benefits from these stories? – does a political party or aspect of society benefit from say misinformation contained in the story .. please evaluate the story impartially, not through the primary filter of your personal political beliefs and convictions.

3. Who / What is missing from these stories? The other side, more information, a different perspective on the situation.

4. Verify anything that can be verified in the story, don’t share it or believe it merely because it agrees with your general beliefs or with your confirmation bias.

However in these days of Facebook, which is in my view the most destructive social platform available – where we are asked to like, share or move on .. so we respond in our busyness without truly considering the post, we share because it conforms with our beliefs, our confirmation bias and so an uninformed post gains traction … in hindsight possibly we might wonder what is true and what is fake.

However, the problems that the less-privileged workers talk about are real, are concerning, and are seemingly without resolution. These people sense their living standard declining, instead of seeking understanding and resolution through critical analysis, debate, and social change look (unconsciously) for something more immediate someone to blame, a fantasy is created: it is somehow someone else’s fault, so let’s blame, a minority or a religion or the other side of the political divide. It’s easy and simple and just plain wrong.

At the same time, it affirms in their minds the true lack of worth of the opposition, they are demeaned, dehumanised all based on an uninformed or incorrect post.

On the other side of the ideological belief divide, there are those who seek greater social and economic equality and equity and the protection of what has already been gained. Again we have a unconscious reaction instead of critically analysing an issue (s). We would understand it far better if dialogue was entered into with those on the other side (both sides are guilty of this). They both fall into their own emotional trap because they don’t understand the whole implication of the arguement, and so they will unconsciously demonize their opposition, as in Australia where there is a very noticeable split between the sides of the ideological debate.

They will portray each other in disparaging, demeaning even de-humanising terms, as evil or even snowflakes – this demeans and nullifies the seriousness of the problem in question … this makes them each jointly responsible for every possible scenario, the woes and failings of Government because of “them” … when of course the majority of what they fear may be uninformed emotional rhetoric.

What motivates all these words …. for me I think it is fear. Why – because of ego! – where the people concerned go to the nth degree to demean, criticise, blame … the home territory of the ego – all so they can feel right and of course others are wrong.

“Democracy can buckle if we give in to fear’ – President Obama – he suggests
‘If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life’

Martha C Nussbaum also said it so well,

“When people are afraid of one another and of an unknown future, fear easily gives rise to scapegoating, to fantasies of payback, and to poisonous envy of the fortunate (whether those victorious in the election or those dominant socially and economically).

We need to think hard about fear and where fear is leading us. After taking a deep breath we all need to understand ourselves as well as we can, using that moment of detachment to figure out where fear and related emotions come from and where they are leading us.”

 

The below is from Alan Watts in the Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

“The startling truth is that our best efforts for civil rights, international peace, population control, conservation of natural resources, sustainable energy, and assistance to the starving of the earth—urgent as they are—will destroy rather than help if made in the [current] spirit. For, as things stand, we have nothing to give. If our own riches and our own way of life are not enjoyed here, they will not be enjoyed anywhere else. Certainly, they will supply the immediate jolt of energy and hope that methedrine (methamphetamine), and similar drugs, give in extreme fatigue.

But peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

In any foreseeable future, there are going to be thousands and thousands of people who detest and abominate Negroes, communists, Russians, Chinese, Jews, Catholics, (add Muslims) beatniks, homosexuals, and “dope-fiends and …. .” These hatreds are not going to be healed, but only inflamed, by insulting those who feel them, and the abusive labels with which we plaster them—squares, fascists, rightists, know-nothings—may well become the proud badges and symbols around which they will rally and consolidate themselves. Nor will it do to confront the opposition in public with polite and nonviolent sit-ins and demonstrations, while boosting our collective ego by insulting them in private. If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or non-human, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the “external” world—-especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside. For want of this awareness, no one can be more belligerent than a pacifist on the rampage, or more militantly nationalistic than an anti-imperialist.

The idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible. The idea that you can target an ethnic group with a collective crime, regardless of the specific innocence or guilt of the constituent elements of that group – there is absolutely nothing that’s more racist than that.”

― Alan Wilson Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

At some point in the future when Politicians, the media and others with a vested interest in divisiveness have nothing to gain, they will no longer fan the flames of division, then and only then we are on the path to consensus and hopefully peace and a creative constructive future.

The Fable of The Blind Men and the Elephant

October 9, 2017 Leave a comment

With thanks to Inma VP for the inspiration and the image above (Image creator is unknown) …. Please read to end of poem …

THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT.
A HINDU FABLE.

A poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1872) illustrates th story, and the issue.

i.

IT was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

ii.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me!—but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

iii.

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: “Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘t is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

iv.

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

v.

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
” ‘T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

vi.

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

vii.

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

viii.

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Moral

So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

But surely the picture of the blind men and the elephant also points to something bigger — The elephant itself?

 

Blind Men and the Elephant – Image Creator is Unknown

Indeed, each of the blind man has a limited perspective on the objective truth, but that doesn’t mean a truth isn’t there, for truth isn’t relative at all – the elephant is there to discover in its totality.

In the areas of the Spiritual or Religious and theology, we have only our personal perspective, in other disciplines we may have hints, even so this doesn’t mean any and all versions of Truth are equally valid. Actually, if we know (or believe) that the Whole Elephant is there, perhaps we should seek every opportunity to experience more of the elephant, a metaphor for example for the Devine?

In mankind’s attempt to understand his environment, we codify what we see in a way which we can understand within the knowledge and perspectives we have available at the time. As we evolve I would suggest that our perspective will …. we may see more of the elephant, perhaps one day we may see all of the elephant.

Here, I would give the floor to a beautiful mind with regard to an aspect of this …

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth” – Marcus Aurelius

Further From Wikipedia …

Modern treatments

The story is seen as a metaphor in many disciplines, being pressed into service as an analogy in fields well beyond the traditional. In physics, it has been seen as an analogy for the wave–particle duality.[19] In biology, the way the blind men hold onto different parts of the elephant has been seen as a good analogy for the Polyclonal B cell response.[20]

“Blind men and elephant”, from Martha Adelaide Holton & Charles Madison Curry, Holton-Curry readers, 1914.

The fable is one of a number of tales that cast light on the response of hearers or readers to the story itself. Idries Shah has commented on this element of self-reference in the many interpretations of the story, and its function as a teaching story:

…people address themselves to this story in one or more […] interpretations. They then accept or reject them. Now they can feel happy; they have arrived at an opinion about the matter. According to their conditioning they produce the answer. Now look at their answers. Some will say that this is a fascinating and touching allegory of the presence of God. Others will say that it is showing people how stupid mankind can be. Some say it is anti-scholastic. Others that it is just a tale copied by Rumi from Sanai – and so on. Shah adapted the tale in his book The Dermis Probe. This version begins with a conference of scientists, from different fields of expertise, presenting their conflicting conclusions on the material upon which a camera is focused. As the camera slowly zooms out it gradually becomes clear that the material under examination is the hide of an African elephant. The words ‘The Parts Are Greater Than The Whole’ then appear on the screen. This retelling formed the script for a short four-minute film by the animator Richard Williams. The film was chosen as an Outstanding Film of the Year and was exhibited at the London and New York film festivals.

The story enjoys a continuing appeal, as shown by the number of illustrated children’s books of the fable; there is one for instance by Paul Galdone and another, Seven Blind Mice, by Ed Young (1992).

 

“We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” — Werner Heisenberg

A Challenge to the West

November 19, 2015 Leave a comment

 

After Paris and the terrorist event, my focus has come back to how America is handling a situation that looks like ending up with perhaps long term conflict, which they along with others in their meddling .. created … it is also interesting how now they have further created the death of innocents, and the resulting homeless refugees, which they suddenly don’t want anything to do with the human debris of their actions.

Americans as people that I know are some of the most beautiful and caring people I know, however like many of us, they are generally insular and uninformed of the reason behind the news and currently unable to have any input into the running of their own country.

It is only a feeling, but the terror in Paris, is just too neatly tied up and resolved …. we have a bad guy … or so we believe, me I feel the real instigators (perhaps CIA, MI6, Mosad or ? ) which are again probably acting at the behest of a behind the scenes entity, have set up a situation have then asked us to light the fuse to another conflict … I am sure the arms suppliers and military contractors are ringing their hands in glee … and so the trading stocks of the military / industrial / congressional complex are high .. also uncertainty increases prices in strategic commodities (oil is one) and of course Gold.

Since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, which included much of the middle East and Europe, the United Kingdom and other European states (along with America) have used the middle east as their personal play ground …. they have inflamed petty rivalries into incredible violence, they have spread insurrection and have bombed mercilessly, in the 1920’s the UK dropped chemical weapons on Iraq and have been party to murder and manipulation on a grand scale. All as a way to divide and control the middle east – Europe has cultivated a bipartisan strategy of creating religious extremism to serve their desires, this has never failed in the past to deliver bloodshed and it will continue to with more repression and more violent interventions to come!.

I have seen how the European states acting like children, having responded to Paris by posturing how they are going to do this or that … it will do nothing but hasten the break up and destruction of the current power structure and paradigm, for in my view people have had enough, when it is so apparent that this “war” has been created by the meddling and games of the West.

In the future, there will be a time when laws will no longer be necessary, just as nationalist borders will be irrelevant, but whilst we are in the mindset of the good / bad, right and wrong dualistic world, such limitations to our integration are necessary.

America is a land of immigrants, but in World War two America was also reticent in taking immigrants running from war .. then they were Jews from Germany, huge numbers died seeking peace in a new land, in particular in 1939, the U.S. turned away the MV St. Louis, carrying nearly 1,000 German Jewish refugees. The liner was forced to return to Europe, where her passengers disembarked in Continental countries, where a quarter of them were murdered by the Nazis in the next two years.

To stop terrorism? Get out of Muslim countries. Stop bombing. Stop installing dictators. Stop stealing. Stop intervening. Stop killing – these are the words of Ron Paul, former US Congressman from Texas until 2013

Then as now, not accepting refugees is initially indifference, judgement by labelling and hen fear based – also as has been pointed out Einstein was an immigrant, and many others also Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant – of the well over 500,000 Syrian immigrants in the USA not one has been involved with any terrorist acts, unlike many home grown white American terrorists, such as Oklahoma to various Church and Abortion clinic bombings, Doctors murders, school massacres .. all courtesy of white America who with a warped and tainted ideologies coupled with an easy access to guns have created real violence and division in America.

There is little to be fearful of immigrants … they are us, looking for a place to be at peace , somewhere to start again, to bring up their families – perhaps relocate them to areas of dwindling population to help resettle country America, but have some compassion, please do accept them.

A part of this is also about America itself, until it faces its fears and is real about the changed state of the world .. but perhaps most of all, climbs out of it’s victim mentality (9/11) and becomes a leader through its creative actions, its compassion and leadership through collaboration instead of its current fear based bravado, aggression, posturing, interventions and manipulation … or sadly perhaps inevitably the domino will fall and take with it, almost the entire western world.

The way forward is to stop being a victim, as a country face your fears, challenge the all pervasive, all powerful Corporate influence, change the tax system to include Corporate overseas income – force its inclusion in Taxable income – nullify Tax avoidance and Tax evasion strategies, change the electoral system, and end Corporate welfare and have the wealthy pay their equitable contribution to the running of America but most of all invest in and catchup the technology gap, invest in educating, in uplifting, empowering and unifying its people instead of not trusting and oppressing them … and America will live on!

One must remember the most prolific and richest time for America was in the 1960’s when Tax rates for the very rich were 90% – I am not suggesting the same, but in these difficult and challenging times everyone should help in proportion to their ability – one wonders how the American deficit which was in surplus at the end of the Clinton era, can now be USD$18 trillion in debt, Tax cuts, Corporate welfare, a rampant military, and the failing economy and all wars are in effect being placed on a credit card, with the interest payment alone being significant .. meanwhile in any real terms America is bankrupt, and so financially vulnerable as well – if only America like the rest of the Western world, had some real servant leadership.

Looking at the distant past we can understand broad paths for the future. Now the collapse is inevitable, it is not if it will happen, now its about the nature of the transition .. and what will happen next.

Currently America is exhibiting many of the aspects of a civilisation in decline, in its complacency, its indifference, it’s apathy and rampant inequality towards it’s own citizens, further, by oppressing its own citizens, it therefore is seriously impacting the future of America itself – it has set a destructive benchmark for the world, in it’s Government valuing only money and power – it has created the pathway to the abyss and the end of this paradigm! .. change is possible .. but time is very limited, with its current destination being self-destruction probably within as little as a generation..

I hope that the collapse will not happen as fast as it may, for once the domino has started total collapse may happen within as little as 15-25 years, this is being helped by vested interests, the rich, Capitalists or should I say Fascist interests and the “Christian” right in their misinformation campaign, uninformed and plainly manipulative opinions of media and political “leaders” who are narcissistic, weak, possibly psychotic and plainly not leaders, therefore like the empires of old, bearing all of this in mind, contract is inevitable, but collapse itself is more likely than not.

Paris – is still an opportunity to learn and change.

November 15, 2015 Leave a comment

I have friends, good friends in Paris, and it was a period of intense concern until I found out that they were safe.

Sadly we cannot go to a web site to find out “who did this”, “why did they do this?” or even what does it mean? However, before we knew anything, we had Ted Cruz saying he was going to bomb ISIS (A entity of the Wests own creation – like Al-Qaeda) …. we are so quick to judge and label, he was not the only one to try and exploit what happened in Paris for their own uses …. I feel we have to stop following the unconscious, the reactionaries, the hawks, the uninformed, the religious fundamentalists of all sects with their hypocritical wish to create more death as a reaction to this … for every time this happens, I think how do we break this cycle, I think of Gandhi .. and his “eye for an eye, will make the whole world blind” … I feel the suffering of those who were killed, injured and still suffering and their family and friends …. and I feel for them … again, how do we break the cycle! – sadly I know there won’t be change until humanity as a whole says stop … until the plight of those who are suffering is felt in the whole world, the process has begun – this paradigm is in its death throws, even now .. but what will replace it? – we can have a say in this!

But for now, what can we draw from this, the wonderful out-flowing of compassion for what Paris has gone through, the wonderful response from Parisians – they all help me think of the good … of that comment from Fred Rogers .. telling me to “look for the helpers. you will always find people who are helping”. How can we harness this flow of love and compassion, for humanity to learn from these experiences, without going to the next step .. revenge .. revenge on those who may not be the perpetrators, just the scapegoats!

The happenings in the world are largely about how it looks, why things happens is usually about something else entirely, it is generally about expedience, that some ideological end, a particularism, some pursuit of money, to coerce to influence is the underlying motivation driving it … so when these things happen I always wonder who benefits? – a political agenda, a false flag covert operation .. almost always one common factor is a outcome, the solution is almost always the military, the purveyors of more war, more deaths of innocents, and destruction … the the cycle continues – revenge – then another Paris.

In this case the rumour mill is in overdrive, it was the refugees, the Muslims, ISIS, the Zionists, the West, an act of Political expediency to change a policy (perhaps against refugees, who are a direct result of our global aggression), a false flag event, it was …. ? – I ask you why would refugees want to carry the terror with them, we must remember that ISIS has killed many tens of thousands of Muslims in their terrible tyranny – perhaps it would be more likely to be state sponsored to manipulate France into more effort in Syria … or perhaps Israel punishing them for recognizing Palestine … or something else .. whatever the reason .. we are in another cycle of violence … I cannot see France not responding, hopefully against the proven perpetrators not more innocents, inevitably bringing more collateral deaths.

All these reactions, these judgements exacerbate the divisions in humanity, when our only hope is unity … for in this case the only thing for certain was that this was terrorism, this is an emotive word that is dragged out of the cupboard to emotively describe many events even those of activism, from environmental, to climate concerns et al, to Political demonstrations, etc when Terrorism is something quite different, it is about the use of violence, or the threat of violence, intimidation or coercion for Political ends.

Paris is a terrible event, I feel for the families and friends … they perhaps stand totally perplexed for a reason, but like all of these acts to terrorise and so manipulate, it is a symptom of an underlying sickness, a malevolent disease in humanity, perhaps generated by the erroneous belief (in part) , perhaps an ideology, or just ego and power that there is only one right way to live, this I feel is at the root of all conflict in the world for humanity is divided by its beliefs … can we not just believe in life, in equality but not only for our lives but all life.

It is humanities greatest learning experience, to have compassion and empathy for all life .. for the wonderful people in Paris, but also for the wonderful people in all areas of the world, who are seen as expendable pawns when the powerful, the vengeful, the expedient go out to play. Could we not learn from Afghanistan from Vietnam and other reactionary manufactured wars that America eventually always tires of and walks away, from Iraq and the mythical weapons of mass destruction that there are only two main weapons of mass destruction … (a) Vested Interests driving and or manipulating Government war machines and the most powerful of them all (b) Climate Change.

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