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Reflections on pain, suffering and personal responsibility

This is the only world. It does not mean that with your death comes the end. It simply means that with your death, you move into a higher quality of life. It all depends on you. If in this life, you can manage to get rid of jealousies, to get rid of biological and physiological attractions… if in this life you can get in tune, in love; if this life can become a celebration, your innermost consciousness will continue celebrating on higher levels. But there are not two worlds, it is one world, one eternity. Osho, Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Ch 3, Q 1

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself. ~Haruki Murakami (2008) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This message is congruent with Lord Buddha’s teachings. The Sallatha Sutta points to the distinction between “feelings of pain” and the secondary suffering that arises from our response to that pain. Here’s the relevant part of the Sutta:

… when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental… Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows; in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, and laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical and mental.

Thus pain is what the world does to us, whereas suffering is what we do to ourselves.

Shoma Morita (1874-1938) was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud. Implicit in Morita’s method, and the traditional Buddhist psychological principles which he adapted, is an independence of thought and action. Morita held that we can no more control our thoughts than we can control the weather, as both are phenomena of amazingly complex natural systems. And if we have no hope of controlling our emotions, we can hardly be held responsible any more than we can be held responsible for feeling hot or cold. We do, however, have complete dominion over our behaviour, and for Morita, that is a sacred responsibility.

I align karma with contemporary ideas of causality. The principle of ‘causality’ must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to us because of how we are and what we do. To blame anyone or anything else for our misfortunes is an escape and a denial; we are personally responsible for ourselves, and what happens to us.

The Spanish proverb, “Toma lo que quieras y paga por ello, dice Dios" (“Take what you want and pay for it, says God.”) What can be simpler, or more crucial? We can have anything we want, as long as we accept that there is a price and we will have to pay it. God will hold us to account.

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Uncomfortable observations

Ursula K. Le Guin asked, “Why do we never question the system itself, so as to find ways to get around it or out of it?"

What’s most dangerous to any system of control is for the individual to know their own strength and to speak their own language. “That’s why I don’t own a television… and I work as hard as I can to distance myself from popular culture so that I can speak in my own language, not the one they give me.” ~Chris Hedges

People readily accept what they’re told. Much of what people are told is propaganda to control their thoughts while suppressing independent or critical thoughts. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to think clearly. It is ours and ours alone.

He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~Albert Einstein

The linguistic mind control used to conceal the truth of the three towers and the subsequent “war on terror” that ensued has claimed millions of lives. Seventeen years and ongoing, this “endless war on terror,” is itself an example of language as sorcery, even as the justifications for this reign of death-dealing have become transparently ridiculous.

As best that I can tell, Washington gives leaders bags full of money to lock them into their plans and report to them. There are no independent governments anywhere in Europe or elsewhere, for that matter, as if there ever were. I recall Tony Blair leaving office, one year on he was worth 50 million pounds. Where did that vast sum of money come from? This explains why no foreign leader represents the interests of their country over the interest of Washington. All of them enabled Washington’s wars, they are all complacent in the refugees overrunning Europe. It is the fault of the leaders for enabling these never-ending wars. They provide the cover, otherwise it was "American aggression," now it is the "coalition of the willing."

Countries such as Norway and Sweden were neutral and now participate in NATO exercises on Russia’s border. Poland and Romania allowed the US to place nuclear missiles on Russia’s border. These same leaders supported the American coup in the Ukraine, which was an effort to grab Russia’s naval base in Crimea, to cut them off from the Mediterranean. These leaders support all this and more.

The mainstream engages in spreading frightening and exaggerated rumours of an impending danger or arousing public fear about an issue. Propaganda is what keeps Americans, Australians and Brits accepting the fake two-party systems of these countries, growing wealth inequality, medical money spent on bombs to be dropped on vulnerable strangers in stupid never-ending immoral wars, and corrupt governments that steadily increase privileges for themselves and decrease privacy rights for their citizens.

And therein lies the answer to the question. We are not protected from “disinformation” by compassionate governments who are deeply troubled to see us believing erroneous beliefs, you are being herded back toward the official narrative by a power establishment that understands that losing control of the narrative means losing its power. It has nothing to do with Russia, and it has nothing to do with truth. It’s only about power, and the unexpected trouble that existing power structures are having to deal with the public’s newfound ability to network and share information about what is really going on in the world.

Politicians win public office by representing the interests of the super rich at the same time as they promise to represent the interests of the public. It is a total lying-contest. Democracy has become a dictatorship by the richest, the people who can fund the most lying. Such a government is an aristocracy, not a democracy at all, because the aristocracy rule, the public don’t. It’s the type of government that the French Revolution was against and overthrew; and it’s the type of government that the American Revolution was against and overthrew; but it has been restored in both of these countries.

Yet, the millions of words pointing to and exposing the vile state of our corrupt world amounts to little affect. They have not improved the lot of mankind or the state of our precious planet. None whatsoever. Of course, this is a bitter pill for writers to swallow. But you must know that you and I are wasting our time. Your intentions maybe noble but your words carry little weight.

The recent nuptials was an event that, quite inadvertently, I’m sure, shone a spotlight on how the ruling class, with the cooperation of the aspirational middle class, functions to quell unrest and dissatisfaction amongst the masses by offering us vicarious gratification through voyeuristic participation in the public celebrations of the obscenely wealthy.

The ultimate scams continue. Phony fabricated wars continue to follow the dictates of the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ‘The Grand Chessboard.’ George Bush Sr made famous ‘The New World Order’ to assure the ‘safety of humanity.’ The gall of the movers and shakers of this Military Industrial Empire keep playing the fear card on a subservient and apathetic populace. It worked during the ‘Red Scare’ of the 50s and 60s, with a Cold War predicated on continuous ‘Fake News’ as are the mainstream news broadcasts to this very day.

There are no walking dead here!

Walking prevents cognitive decline. Walking makes us feel good. It helps boost mental health. Walking creates pressure waves in the body that increases blood flow to the brain. Our feet’s impact, while walking, sends pressure waves through the arteries that raise blood supply to the brain. Walking maximizes the flow of blood in the brain, improve its functions, and create a sense of well-being.

A realistic appraisal

The zillions of words pointing to and exposing the vile state of our world amount to absolutely nothing. Our words have no affect: they have not improved the lot of mankind or the state of our precious planet, none what so ever. Of course, this is a bitter pill for writers to swallow. You and I are wasting our time. Our intensions are noble but our words carry no weight at all, and never did, and most likely never will. No matter, who you are, or where you are. So, where does the answer lie? Certainly not in our daily scribbles. Yet, for example, Eric Frank Russell’s 1951 story “…And Then There Were None” unlocks the secret of the most dangerous weapon imaginable. Listen to Eric Frank Russell’s story:

https://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/andthentherewerenone.mp3

From where do our thoughts, ideas, emotions arise?

Haruki Murakami was asked "Where do your ideas come from?" He replied, "I don’t know. When I sit to write the ideas start to flow."

It is clear that we do not have control over our thoughts, ideas, emotions. Shoma Morita [1] held that we can no more control our thoughts, ideas, emotions than we can control the weather, as both are phenomena of the most amazingly complex natural systems. And if we have no hope of controlling our thoughts, ideas, emotions, we can hardly be held responsible any more than we can be held responsible for feeling hot or cold. We do, however, have complete dominion over our behaviour, and for Morita, that is a sacred responsibility we all share.

Thoughts, ideas, emotions arrive from our past experiences and influences. The mechanism that holds our thoughts, ideas, emotions is ‘memory,’ and what is not in our memory, you cannot think of that.

Don’t work on your thoughts, ideas, emotions by trying to change or stop them. Rather accept them and shift your attention to something constructive or purposeful.

All thoughts, ideas, emotions are influences of our world. Further, it is likely that the full source of our thoughts, ideas, emotions may never be revealed to us. Thus we are faced with a real mystery and I rather like mysteries.

[1] Shoma Morita: http://www.alcvanamelsvoort.com/shoma-morita

Australian Observations

The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained to traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ~Zbigneiw Brzezinski

Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility. ~Professor Neil Postman (27 December 2005) Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. [What happens when the mainstream media and politics become forms of entertainment and our world begins to look more and more like George Orwell’s 1984?]

Australia – the land where native people were robbed of everything and where they are, until now, living in appalling destitute conditions.  Australia, belongs to the elites; Australia where one has to comply with the ruling-class narrative, or be crushed and humiliated. For example, the illegal invasion of the Ottoman Turkish Empire on the Gallipoli peninsula resulted in the death of 43,000 British, 15,000 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 1,370 Indians. Total Turkish deaths were around 60,000. New Zealanders suffered the highest percentage of Allied deaths when compared with population size, but the percentage of Turkish deaths was almost twice theirs. The Australian survivors miraculously became endowed with hereditary qualities of courage, sacrifice and above all mate ship, something which had never existed anywhere on the planet before Gallipoli in April 1915. Moreover it could not be replicated; it was and is an uniquely Australian trait. These children died in vain and for a lie. La-la land: the mental state of someone who is not aware of what is really happening in our world and that applies to most people as best I can tell.

Anyone who has a sense of pride in Australia as an independent nation, as a nation that can make its own decisions, whose values are worth supporting, should be disheartened by contemporary developments.  Australia lacks an independent foreign policy—it is afraid to express its views to the world, and blindly follows other nations into wars of no direct interest to Australia. This has led to the occupation of Australia by America and with nuclear weapons on our soil. Yet few Australians are  disheartened. The sum total of their mass conditioning has been to convince them to participate in their own enslavement and willingly acquiesce to ever-increasing controls, rules, surveillance, taxes, permissions, and schemes to keep the masses in the dark.

Australia (like other nations) has a deep state, a network of rich and powerful players who ratify, veto or formulate state, social, economic and military policies. This shadowy unelected elite with their hands on the tiller and in the till, are influential persons with inherited or recently acquired wealth with upper crust social connections, and old school ties, often found sitting on boards of directors and golf carts in isolated settings. Our leaders are hand puppets doing the bidding of these elitist masters. The unfettered expansion of towns and cities reflect awful planning and a policy of much of the same and a dim-witted lack of vision and the taint of corruption.

Of course, such matters are never raised during the course of elections or at any other time, for that matter. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (30 January 1882-12 April 1945) said, "In politics, nothing happens by accident; if it happens you can bet it was planned that way."

The mainstream media is the enemy of the Australian people—it is constantly – and intentionally – lying to the people.  Lying by mainstream journalism is normal and journalists are pressured to comply. Lies, distortions and omissions are part of a multibillion dollar propaganda operation that sustains the never ending war narrative. Lies are funded by corporations. The question is—will we ever stop believing the stinking dirty lying scum? We desperately need vital information portals that are alternatives to the vile mainstream media.

There are people who regard Australia as a resource open to unfettered exploitation and have little, if any, regard for nature. They extract resources owned by the Crown and sell these for huge profits. They create externalities that pollute nature (land, rivers, waterways, air, sea) that are, in fact, harmful to all life, and leave vast despoiled landscapes and deny any liability. Much of Australia’s land is clear-felled and burnt causing ecological disturbance, loss of habitat and the decimation of indigenous flora and fauna, and the displacement of the original owners of Australia. This is compounded by the introduction of incompatible flora and fauna resulting in the  extinctions of indigenous flora and fauna.

Think about the external costs of corporate agriculture and its herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. Think about the external costs of concentrating 90 percent of the media in a few mega-companies repeating the identical propaganda. Think about the external costs of Google’s, Facebooks’ and YouTube’s ability to censure the Internet. Think about the external costs imposed by corporations offshoring their production of goods and services sold on domestic markets. Think about the external costs of fracking. Think about the external costs of energy exploration in environmentally sensitive areas. Think of the external cost of having nuclear weapons on Australia’s soil. Without common sense regulation and an understanding that Earth’s resources are finite, the corrupt corporate world is a mechanism for destruction, devastation and enslavement.

Revised 8 May 2018

Robots

Why do we never question the system itself, so as to find ways to get around it or out of it? ~Ursula K. Le Guin

What’s most dangerous to any system of control is for the individual to know their own strength and to speak their own language. “That’s why I don’t own a television… and I work as hard as I can to distance myself from popular culture so that I can speak in my own language, not the one they give me.” ~Chris Hedges

He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~Albert Einstein

People largely accept whatever they’re told or what comes naturally to them by figures of authority—the stinking dirty lying vile scum that are Western governments and their media. Much of what people are told, of course, is “news,” in other words, propaganda to control their thoughts while suppressing independent or critical thoughts. There are three types of lies: omissions, where someone holds out on the facts; commissions, where someone states facts that are untrue; and paltering, where someone uses true facts to mislead us—you and me. (lying, prevarication, fabrication – the deliberate act of deviating from the truth) Yet, ultimately, it is our individual responsibility to think clearly and recognise these lies. It is our task and our task alone. Remember, “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” ~Albert Einstein