[Warning – the theme of this blog u-turns.]

We are a long way from most people following the path. As a political strategy I have proposed “following the path”. All those that follow the path will not be subject to conditioning, and such freedom will be increasingly recognised as the natural human freedom.

But that will take time, and meanwhile the need for a narrative is glaring. The dilemma of automation is upon us. How can we live in a consumer society in which the 1% accumulate based on consumerism when people don’t have money. Robots have no desires, they have no self, no conditioning, they do not consume, and therefore the powerful cannot continue to accumulate.

Therefore we cannot continue with profit alone. But we cannot just make demands when we have no power. The power we have is in consuming, and that is because the powerful allow us to work, earn money and become consumers. We agree to that conditioning, and that is the normal narrative:-

If we are not working because the robot is doing our job, there is no consumerism.

1%, people know this, they are not stupid. They might knee-jerk, make stupid decisions like Trump and blaming immigrants because it is easier, but they know if the 1% don’t change and the 1% continue with the profit motive there will be no jobs no consumerism and society will implode.

If there is no consumerism then there is no wealth, where will your power be? You will continue using your wealth as society slowly withers. You will continue to pay your security, the robots will make your products, the military will fight off the 99%, and then your wealth ends you cannot pay for military, you cannot pay for robots, you wither and die.

1%, if you don’t join in the new narrative you will wither and die. Davos there is no future for you in isolation. Davos, you have to know you need consumerism. Davos you have to know you must involve people not sycophants. You want consumerism, you want profit and you want automation. It just doesn’t work.

End your addiction before it is too late for us all.

Serious disappointment. In meditation there came a neo-narrative that works.

For a narrative to work there needs to be consuming, expansion and accumulation. In the current narrative expansion and accumulation are enabled through fiat mechanisms – unsustainable currency, it is the imaginary economy that is creating new accumulation. It has been a long time since money was connected to available resources even the gold standard was not sustainable, and even that minimal protection has long since gone. Money as exchange has long been surpassed, and now money is printed that just disappears into the accumulation – as apparent wealth. We now have crypto-currencies which are completely unsustainable, and even have no pretence at sustainability; they exist purely on the basis of confidence. But then much of our economic system is an act of faith – ask Yanis.

There is a traditional illusion in our current narrative that money is connected to productivity but there is no reason for faith in that illusion to continue. With robot automation there is no need for productivity only the skills for maintenance and creativity for development. Most people would be allocated “entitlement” probably chip-based (RFID). This entitlement would have two properties – survival and choice. The survival entitlement would provide a certain amount of stability, money flowing into government paying rent etc. Then there would be choice to enable crime (enterprise?).

Entitled people would live in ghettoes (projects council estates) that would be intentionally divided to create tension and division – probably based around race but these ghettoes would include white people; deplorables LINK know they are heading there. Crime would be a way out of these ghettoes for a few. Miseducation (conditioning) would ensure the continuation of these ghettoes (in much the same way that wage-slavery is continued now), but there would be a way out for the creative; that would be the secondary purpose of this miseducation – to find the creative and enable their escape.

They would escape to the middle-classes – Liberals. These would be the people who would enable production through the maintenance of automation. They would be rewarded with greater entitlement and greater choice over their money – probably still RFID-based. These middle-classes would provide the enterprise and expansion and therefore increased consuming that would enable the continued accumulation.

There will of course be wars. These wars would be resource-based such as with the Congo and Middle East now. And with the increased ghettoisation will be targeted on “other” ghettoes. Whilst there would be continuous Liberal outcry at these wars, this will just be rhetoric as the Liberals will continue in their separate middle-class enterprise habitats.

The accumulators will have their enclaves protected by private security.

This neo-narrative can be conditioned and is not significantly different from our current narrative.

There will always be the path, and there will be far-off places – communes where people on the path can take refuge. Many on the path would of course work to improve humanity (as they do now) but to what avail? As now.

The call is still:-

Accumulators, end your addiction before it is too late for us all. But sadly that call has no immediacy as I had hoped for when I first started this examination of a new narrative based on the robot imperative.

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I have previously described the path as going beyond conditioning link, I have also described it as the path of compassion, insight and creativity. It is not narratives we need to understand, follow the path.

So far I have looked at narratives and have seen that the manipulators of the 1% can condition based on any narrative. A narrative is a set of ideas describing a situation. Finding a new narrative is not a revolutionary act because it is simply a set of ideas – khandhas. What matters is the power. For conditioning of the narrative to happen there needs to be power, and that power provides an object of desire. People desire that object, maybe money from a job, they become addicted to that desire – because of what the money can buy, and we have the conditioning that can be recognised in any description of paticcasamuppada or the 4 Noble Truths. Addiction – desire and craving – is at the basis of this Buddhist dogma, I am simply describing how this conditioning is developed in daily life. But it is the same dogma, the same description, the same process; addiction .

In this addiction blog, I have gone into detail with addiction and how it can be understood in terms of the two Buddhist dogmas paticcasamuppada and 4 Noble Truths. Overcoming addiction is not easy but it can be done, but the first step is to recognise there is a problem. In this same blog I discussed addiction to self, few would see this as a problem, but that is the nature of addiction and the first step is recognising we are addicted to self.

To reiterate here is a short description of the process of being addicted to self. I start with what I call the Buddhadasa meme:-

Now body and psyche refer to the khandas. Body – rupa, and psyche – feelings (vedana), perceptions (sanna) and mental constructs (sankhara); with consciousness (vinnana – also a khandha) these are the basis of human ontology. Events can fit into these categories. Conditioning is a natural process. An event happens and consciousness attaches to it. Babies like (desire) suckling and enjoying mother’s milk. Adults like (desire) having money to buy a house. Conditioning is not a process that is inherently evil, it is natural.

But when we are considering narratives, there is a process that is human – how the powerful give their power to the narrative. This is a function of the desire of the powerful. This power is nature’s power but it has accumulated through wealth to a few, and they decide when to give power to the narrative.

It is relatively easy to understand addiction because we know of and have seen many examples of addiction to substances. But we do not understand addiction to self. In part this is because we do not understand the formation of self. And this comes back to the khandhas again. As we like different events, that like becomes part of who we are. As a baby we like suckling, we desire suckling, we cling to the mother’s breast. At that time suckling mother’s milk has become who we are – as a baby we selfishly want mother’s milk. Then the power, mother, says enough is enough, and no more self. We don’t question this analysis of self, but we don’t recognise that this process of desire-clinging-becoming self is the natural process that applies to all events. And more importantly we don’t realise that we can be weaned off this addiction to self. Babies don’t choose to dump the breast, power decides for her/him.

When we consider the human self of the adult, where is the power that decides? Consciousness. Consciousness can decide to form self or break away from self. But that consciousness is not “on its own”. Always sunnata is with us, always the path is with us, but if our consciousness is always stuck in the body and psyche then we just continue to create self – we are addicted to self. The word for consciousness not being stuck in body and psyche is awareness. Somehow consciousness recognises that it does not have to stay attached to the body and psyche, attached to self, and it starts to follow the path. We could visualise that awareness is when consciousness becomes attached to sunnata but that visualisation is confusing if we take it literally as that sort of attachment can never exist.

It is much better to talk of this as following the path, the path of compassion, insight and creativity, and as it is a path that is not addicted to self it is a path that is beyond conditioning.

Let us consider the new narrative again. Naomi describes the situation at the moment as having a potent vacuum, as an indigenous activist I accept her judgement – with my age and where I live I cannot judge. The essential word here is potent meaning power, and power governs ideas.

I surmise that the need for a new narrative is being driven by the realisation that automation will drastically reduce employment thus ending the essential of consumerism – the consumer. The zombie idealism of the current consumerism will continue to lurch for as long as it can because the accumulators will not relinquish power. What will replace it will be some compromise that will enable their continued accumulation – they have more invested in there not being an apocalypse than most people.

Hopeful people, Naomi, want a new narrative but with narratives having no power in themselves such narratives will simply be the “same old same old” conditioning as they have been since tribal times. The powerful want a narrative that allows them to continue accumulation. They will then give power to this narrative, conditioning will follow, and “same old same old”. If a new narrative can give them the same accumulation their desire would be happy, and they would give power to the narrative. Is there such a narrative?

But remember narrative is a khandha – sankhara. We attach to a set of ideals, it becomes part of self and we become addicted to it. As an activist, of course you must engage with the process of changing the narrative in the hopes of participation enabling a better narrative. But narrative is part of the addiction, narratives create the conditions, the process is conditioned, and the conclusion will be conditioned. Because of addiction that is how we all, including the powerful fit, into the narrative.

For people the real hope lies in going beyond conditioning, following the path. Following the path does not mean the end of making better changes of the narrative, but it gives greater power, it gives resolve, it gives strength and conviction, and it avoids the attachment and disappointment of windmills.

It is pleasing to see Naomi as an indigenous activist talking of oneness, similarly with Russell, but the best thing for progression in all human movement is the path that includes recognition of oneness. Naomi you have grasped this because you describe indigenous movements as being driven by love – indigenous love of the land. This love of oneness is being sunnata, it is Gaia, and indigenous culture is much closer than the miseducated “European” culture. But love is not restricted to indigenous movements, love is the path.

Despite the potential “hippy” labelling the best way forward in terms of the narrative is not to promote a new narrative but to promote following the path. This is not some loose airy-fairy impractical naval introspection because it is the path that goes beyond conditioning. However the narrative is resolved, following the path will enable people to deal with the conditioning that results from any new narrative.

There is talk of revolution. In Marxist terms revolution means change of ruling class from bourgeoisie to proletariat, in non-Marxist terms revolution can just mean a change of government created by violence. Violence is not the answer. We live in a world that is controlled by violence. The powerful have not only accumulated money, their power also means control of violence through the military, even more so with the privatisation of security. To seek revolution through violence is now self-defeating and akin to suicide of ordinary people by the oppressive violence (cf suicide by cop). Do not seek suicide by the powerful, there is no future for anyone there. The revolutionary path is to go beyond conditioning. If you don’t accept the conditions they offer, what can they do. If they take away your house you go somewhere else you still have your path. When your path gives you strength in adversity people will see, and then they will see that the path s what they must follow. The path itself is revolution, and is not violent.

A political maxim:- detach from desire and follow the path.

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Conditioning the narrative

Posted: 20/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle

Look at this video.

I am not interested in shaming anyone. The people on this video appear perfectly happy with what they have done. I would love to hear that they have become ashamed of this, and will be happy to take it down.

The point of this blog is conditioning. 4 years ago these people would not have made this video. The video and actions have been enabled by a change of conditions – simplistically a move to the right. People who understand conditioning, the manipulating branch of the 1%, would know that such actions would happen with the changing conditions that are happening now in the US; they might not be able to predict who but such events are so eminently predictable. That is conditioning.

Are these people any less conditioned?

When manipulators want a narrative the conditioning happens. And the point about conditioning is that most people are unaware of it. Political activists call it indoctrination but they are unaware of the extent of conditioning especially of themselves. I have a friend who recognises there is brainwashing. He is satisfied with this recognition and is unaware of his own conditioning in accepting this; apathy is an integral part of political conditioning.

Political conditioning always produces people who reject conditioning, but that rejection is part of the conditioning – a more aware part but still a part. To reject the narrative is part of the narrative. This is best understood through Marxism. Marx for his time produced an excellent analysis of the economic system but it was primarily concerned with what was economically wrong. It was a rejection within the narrative. This was pointed out by Russell Means (his talk and a blog), an indigenous activist. For all of his sound analysis Marx was part of the conditioning. Within the narrative it is always important to recognise that the way forward is through class unity, but it is also important to recognise that this is part of the conditioning.

And here is the point about conditioning, we somehow have to learn to go beyond it. Follow the path. And this is where the political response within the narrative is limiting. The narrative is primarily economic and many responses are equally economic. Economics is a religion (Yanis) whose human value is greed, somewhere within any economic adherence whether 1% or socialist (communist) the narrative is concerned with people getting more money. As 1% or socialist we are accepting a “greed” narrative, and we are conditioned to do this. Following the path goes beyond this.

The conditioning process happens with narratives. At the moment many people are looking for a new narrative. Naomi talks of a potent vacuum that now sadly is starting to be filled by the right. In my description of the old narrative it is not only progressives who are concerned with narrative, the 1% are concerned. With increasing automation there is less “reason” to pay someone and that is the end of consumerism, and that is the end of the existing 1%-system. Their accumulation demands automation yet automation means the end of consumerism – the basis of the normal narrative:-

Who is driving the narrative process? Progressives see an opportunity to respond to the normal narrative with a progressive narrative. But whatever narrative replaces the normal the 1% will not relinquish their power. Any new narrative that will be formed has to be for the benefit of the powerful, and once they can see a way of resolving their consumer dilemma they will start a new conditioning process that they can so easily manipulate. A narrative is a description, a set of ideas, it has no power – only intellectual appeal; a narrative becomes the narrative only when power is attached to it. Once that power has been attached then conditioning is applied because the power has attached the carrot giving the people something they desire.

Detach from that desire and follow the path.

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A view of narratives

Posted: 20/03/2018 by zandtao in BigTech, Finance, Struggle, War
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I hear Russell calling for a new narrative, and such a call might well be what is popular now – I don’t know, Naomi thinks so and that means something. I have in a sense rejected this approach because it could be standard intellectual obfuscation that moves away from a clear class analysis. But perhaps it is a real movement, let me treat it as such.

What is the old narrative, if we want new we have to know what is old and what we want to change?

If we want to understand an old narrative we have to see historical trends. This is so important because if we do not examine trends we can end up with idealisms based on rhetoric imposed on a time-frame. To explain this let’s consider democracy.

In the UK where did democracy come from? There was tribalism, feudalism, monarchy, Cromwell and parliament. There was staggered suffrage. It is worth considering these on a timeline to understand our democracy. Under the monarchy and feudalism people were fundamentally serfs or soldiers with an existence predicated on the landowner. This started to change with money when different people became wealthy and used money to buy power. At this point parliament developed where wealth and land were supposedly two opposing interests. Cromwell was a figurehead in this as he represented wealth as parliamentarians. To develop support parliamentarians encouraged the notion that parliament was for the people, and so began the delusion of democracy. Initially suffrage was very limited but once it was seen that voting confirmed the status quo suffrage was expanded. Democracy as part of the establishment has never been in the interests of the people but has been used as a carrot to delude people into working for the establishment. This is democracy today. Similarly we could examine US history but it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, look through the eyes of Howard Zinn.

For most people these are not accepted narratives.

Here is a forum for discussions on a new narrative (not necessarily recommended), and here is their presentation of the old narrative:-

“Within this narrative the basic trajectory of life was seen as go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, go to church, work every day until you have saved up enough money, then retire.”

[This I will term the normal narrative].

But what can be clearly seen by those with an enquiring mind is that this version of the old narrative could fit into a view of consumer conditioning. Examine the components of this view of narrative. We get educated to get a job. Nature dictates we have kids but the narrative turns that into house, maybe church, kids getting educated. When we get too old for a job we retire, and this is enabled by the narrative through savings and pension schemes.

This “normal” narrative simply accepts the prevailing system that is based around getting money to bring up a family. That narrative simply accepts that people will consume. This narrative also assumes that society’s method for enabling this narrative is acceptable.

Politically this narrative has been supported by the capitalist system, money is accumulated to create means of production and the profits from sales of consumer items go to the owners of those means of production. Various mechanisms such as the stock market are used to create the accumulation. Intrinsic within the old narrative is the notion that this is just business, and whilst there are some minor problems business works, capitalism works.

So tied in with the old narrative is a capitalist system, and this system has been questioned. Initially this system was questioned by Karl Marx pointing out problems, along with Lenin, Trotsky, Castro, Guevara and others proposing communism as an alternative. Whilst communist alternatives have not been successful criticisms of the way capitalism has developed have increased.

These criticisms perhaps reached a crescendo globally with movements such as Horizontalidad, the Arab Spring, Indignados and Podemos in Spain, and then the Occupy movement. Perhaps most significant in these movements became the recognition of the 1%, new terminology describing Marx’s bourgeoisie and proletariat.

During and since these times has been the rise of the right wing as a response to the globalisation by the 1%. These right-wingers seek a return to the perceived wealth that nationalism had supposedly brought. This emerging right-wing is common throughout the white world (Russell Means’ European) where benefits of the capitalist system had been more pronounced. These right-wingers target liberal movements as the source of the problems. Identity politics seeks to promote non-white races, women and LBGQT communities, and for these people on the right this liberalism has become an enemy.

Automation has completely changed the workplace in the last 50 years. It is now more profitable to increase the use of machines in manufacture being both more reliable mechanically and also able to work 24/7. In the capitalist system that is only interested in profit, much work that needs to be done is not profitable such as caring and the environment. Attempts are made to commodify all these non-manufacture items, and make people pay for them through taxation. So there is some profit-making but high taxation is de-motivating. At the same time a large proportion of taxation is required for defence procurement without which many western economies would fail.

With increased roboticisation there will be less and les jobs under the capitalist model, with profit as the driving force robots will be much cheaper. With less jobs there will be less money in circulation, and without that money there can be no consumerism that maintains the capitalist system.

With all of these considerations the “normal” narrative described above is not feasible.

Before considering a new narrative it is important to consider criticisms of the old narrative. With the emphasis on profit as the means of maintaining the capitalist system and therefore the normal narrative, critics point out the consequences of this normality. Increased accumulation has led to all sorts of crimes against humanity, beginning with battles for expansion, then colonisation and neo-colonialism. We have now reached a stage in which wars-for-profits are justified as an unspoken aspect of this narrative, and our education system within its hidden curriculum is required to provide the wage-slaves that keep the capitalist system functioning. At the same time we have to recognise that the system could be considered unsustainable. We are using resources without replacing them. Spending functions only in terms of debt both on an individual and governmental level, economies function as fiat economies without public reference to this invention of money. Within the white countries governments have recently promoted austerity agendas yet whilst doing so gaps between rich and poor have widened. And the taxation system is breaking down because transnationals are dodging taxation leaving money for government services short.

With all of its gross consequences capitalism does provide for some a pleasant lifestyle as described in the normal narrative. There are “natural” components within this normal narrative, and these capitalism provides for. Having children is a human necessity – as with all life. Capitalism does ensure that people work for the community in some ways albeit those ways only exist if there is profit for the accumulators, however it has to be noted that community services do not function efficiently because they lack money and resources. This of course has to be the case because such services are not creating profits.

The emphasis on profit is exclusive. In the normal narrative the church is included yet in western countries church involvement is variable. Other than mentioning the church what might be termed values are not included in this normalcy. But of course humans do have values. In general I think it is objective to say that under this normal narrative human development is not a focus, but there is of course development. However this development is driven by profit, research and development is primarily financed by corporations with the ultimate objective of profit and accumulation.

What is not mentioned above that is part of the normal narrative is the rule of law. As with all these questions books can be written on every issue but fundamentally this law protects the normal narrative of which capitalism is integral. The forces of law, police, courts and military protect the normal narrative and at the same time the capitalist system, and there are many cases in which the individual loses out to the interests of the corporation.

When we examine a new narrative we have to understand that such a narrative will meet powerful opposition if it leads to changes in the situation of those who have the accumulation – 1% or bourgeoisie. The rule of law fundamentally protects these people, and a new narrative has no power to overcome such a rule of law. It is in the interest of the powerful to consider a new narrative as they must realise that the way of life of accumulation is under threat as time marches on. There is an immediate conflict that they need to address, that of increasing automation and roboticisation, and the impact of that on consumerism.

For most normal people this immediate conflict is creating fear and violence. With increasing automation the normal narrative doesn’t function, and whilst white people fight to retain this normalcy their fear turns to violence of racism as well as greater acceptance of war – that then enable profits.

So when we ask about a new narrative we are actually questioning our way of life, and this questioning is becoming increasingly imminent. What is needed is for the narrative to evolve, but has the accumulation gone so far that evolution is not possible? Is there any new narrative in which the 1% can actually fit in?

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Indigenous Activist

Posted: 20/03/2018 by zandtao in ONE planet, Struggle
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Interesting conversation between Russell and Naomi Klein.

When I retired it was primarily concerned with the increasing gap between my (spiritual) path and work demands. When I found I could manage financially in Thailand, it was a no-brainer; however I am not so sure my father would be happy to see what half his house is financing. I retired to be Buddhist but after a number of years I knew that for me to be Buddhist I had to be aware of engagement (Engaged Buddhism). This coincided with Occupy, and whilst I have become increasingly conscious of the importance of path I have tried to be consciously politically aware. Of course such activism is limited because of the Thai direction my life has taken. My writing is of course activism of sorts, it is everyone else’s fault they don’t read it!!

Once I became politically aware I discovered that Naomi Klein was ubiquitous always saying the right thing in the right situation. So of course listening to her is worthwhile. I was particularly amused by the length of silence after a Russell rant.

I am going to end this blogpost with Naomi’s narrative because it relates to my consideration of narratives in the next 4 blogs.

I liked her description of zombie capitalism or zombie neoliberalism, it completely describes the way the 1%-system lurches from one crisis to another – however remember these crises are integral to the system and whilst not exactly planned are intended as a means of introducing distasteful policies. I have previously referred to this as an aspect of brinkmanship.

I have also called her an indigenous activist with affection. She is not “indigenous” but recognises that the love of the land that indigenous peoples bring to the struggle is much more positive than the “anti-movement” integral to the western perception of the struggle. To protect the land is an act of love that is integral to the lifestyles of the indigenous. The struggle, the path is also an act of love, but unfortunately most left-wing struggles are based on injustice, greed and intellectual anger based on ideals connected to Marxism etc – especially the more intolerant of the liberals. Of course it is hard to be loving when there is so much legitimate anger about.

Naomi’s narrative is of course connected to the ecology of ONE planet. Hundreds of years ago, enlightenment?, man decided that he could be in charge of the environment as opposed to integrated with the environment – Gaia. Her narrative was based on 3 factors:-


Scientific Revolution

Technology – steam engine

For her the sense of this narrative is that humanity feels it is beyond nature, beyond Gaia. This narrative is integral to her view of climate change which she sees as Gaia fighting back. Perfectly reasonable.

For her this narrative is outdated and is being replaced by an integral ecological outlook ( – ONE planet or Gaia); for her this is a return to an indigenous oneness. I don’t know whether a return to an indigenous love of the land is feasible given the increased accumulation, but loving Gaia does not require an indigenous passport. The path is love, it is compassion, insight and creativity, and whilst it is much easier to attain if one is close to nature I am not so sure it is exclusively so. Being sustainable, being in harmony with nature, are of course essential characteristics of the path, and some describe the path as going back to nature. In Russell Means’ terms you can love and be European, Europeans can follow the path.

The key of course is path, indigenous or otherwise.

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Wolfie had a list of who he was going to put up against the wall. Who are they now? The Koch brothers? Robert Mercer? Donald Trump? Maybe Wolfie would have blown up the computers that ran the City but with blockchain even that potentially-viable target has gone. With the advanced weapons technology fewer soldiers are needed, now we only need the occasional brain-washed to play video games. And with the military going private, the 1% pay for private security and their money controls – not even a pretense of moral integrity any more, simply power controlled by the accumulated money of the few. Now we don’t even know who Wolfie should put up against the wall, worse than that a few people up against the wall is not going to make a change as the problem is systemic and not just the few bad apples mentioned above.

What is the analysis for Wolfie’s wall? Unity. Through awareness the comrades will rise up in unison, and the oppressors, the 1%-system, will just disappear because of the masses. Where can this happen? Now there is intended confusion. Yanis talks of the real opposition, the Deep State or 1%-system, and the false opposition – the nationalist xenophobic internationale – funded by the Deep State (Dark Money Network – Koch Brothers, Mercer etc) yet delusorily considering they are actually fighting the Deep State. Where is Wolfie’s wall in all this confusion?

To unite the mass movement was always a pipedream. Even though this pipedream was never a possibility it was the right strategy, the right thing to do, to work together for unity, and that work needs to continue even though there can be no ultimate success – unity. Time has turned any approach based on Marx’s analysis into a pipedream, and this is beacuse the mass movement have lost power. In the 19th and for most of the 20th century the mass movement had the power of withdrawal of labour, but with increased globalisation global labour competes for work that is intentionally limited and the strike is not effective. Consumer power is now the only weapon but in a consumer society that power rests more with the wealthy – senior puppets. So now Marxism is only able to win a battle of awareness, and there seems little chance of that happening.

Marx’s analysis is sound, and the ultimate result of that conditioned analysis is the mass movement creating Wolfie’s wall. But Marx’s conditioned response can never happen because of the very conditioning it is a part of – sankhara. Ideals have no power, people have power. Making people aware is not sufficient despite Yanis‘ human spirit. Increasing awareness helps but with advanced technology the rich can buy the military – as opposed to the military belonging to the nation state.

Intended funded confusion could be seen as the current response to Occupy, look how effective the Dark Money Network is. If there were ever the possibility of Wolfie’s wall there would be so many counter-measures not a brick would be built.

Wolfie’s wall is a conditioned response, and that is why it was not likely to succeed. Marxism is an analysis, an intellectual system, and whilst it is fundamentally correct it is never an understanding that will be accepted by the mass movement as a whole because of the power of conditioning

The target is wrong. The target needs to change from a sankhara, an ideal, an intellectual system to that of going beyond conditionality. Conditionality is what enslaves us, we are not enslaved when we go beyond conditionality. This is the freedom that humanity needs to strive for.

What is beyond conditionality? The path, the path of compassion, insight and creativity. This path has strength and conviction. Even though people on the path are forced to work for money to survive, where and how they work undermines who and what they work for – simply because they bring compassion, insight and creativity to every workplace. Wherever they are the path shines through and people know that there is something better – the path.

The path induces guilt in the conditioned. The path makes the conditioned doubt their own conditioning. The path is the future of change. It is not a future of confrontation, it is Gaia’s future – a future of evolution, slow, sure and effective. Meanwhile there seems little hope.

Where is the path now? There are a few spiritual teachers. There are revolutionaries such as Yanis who see the path, human spirit, as the raison d’etre of struggle. There is Eckhart whose approach has galvanised Oprah America into some form of spirituality. There are still the modern-day Sharon Salzberg’s going East in search of the path. But this is so amorphous.

For the Path to be a movement that can change humanity, move humanity beyond conditionality, there has to be an understanding of where path comes from. In his intro to Power of Now [pp21-26 of 383], Eckhart discusses his breakthrough after depression and potential suicide. This is not enough.

Ajaan Buddhadasa found his path. There appears to have been no upheaval, enlightenment, his revolutionary understanding appears to have just happened.

In the life of the Buddha there was an awakening after seeing all the suffering. Is that the education we need? Making people aware of the suffering they cause through their fear, delusion and lack of responsibility.

Eckhart claims there is a new consciousness, I hope there is. Is the only way to bring this about talking?? Or can more be done to bring about path awareness? There needs to be path education, an investigation of path – path science, a methodology to create the conditions for the path to evolve. Why? HHDL, rather than playing science’s token game of accepting meditation (mind-life institute) invest in path science. Zen, isn’t there more to path awareness in the west than trying to knock hell out of the western ego?

The path is Gaia’s way of evolving change, without the path conditionality that produces accumulation and its consequences will continue to drive the planet, Gaia, into oblivion. Path needs to be studied not simply accepted through happenstance. Path science.

Make the path real through path science, organise the path.

Then we must ask how will path make a change, where is the power of the path, is it not simply awareness?

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Philosophy – BigTalk

Posted: 16/03/2018 by zandtao in Insight
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Simon Critchley is talking with Russell about philosophy – it is not a talk I recommend. This talk to me typifies the worst aspect of Russell’s involvement with academia.

Simon began by saying that the questions they are asking are the same as the time of Socrates. This tells me philosophy is a waste of time yet genuinely there is nothing better than enquiry. We cannot accept what we are told, we cannot accept our conditioning, we must ask what is conditioning, how are we conditioned, we must have genuine enquiry.

This is enquiry with a purpose not discussion for the sake of it.

In Buddhist terms I classify discussion for the sake of it as sankhara – verbalising mental proliferations. It is normal human interaction to have conversation for conversation’s sake but that is not learning – not enquiry.

Why is it that understanding has not developed through centuries of asking questions? Has the answer for truth or justice changed over the years? There is a temporal component but primarily truth is permanent. It is known when people speak the truth through insight. Understanding could have developed but there are factors working against a greater understanding.

Primarily it is because philosophy is part of academia which is part of a system that is not looking for truth justice or any of the usual concepts of philosophical understanding. In a 1% system where are they looking for justice? Such justice would have to be critical of the 1%. Enquiring after the source of human problems, we have to answer in part the source of injustice is the 1%. In the same way as not all conditioning is the 1%-system, some human suffering stems from human conditioning that would exist in a non-1%-system. Is it just to have any suffering because of a 1%-system? If philosophy cannot answer yes to this, it is not seeking answers – it is not enquiring.

Is there a path, a way of going beyond conditioning? Anyone who has gone beyond conditioning – transcended, says yes. Intellectuals stuck in conditioning and sankhara says there isn’t a path. Because there are more of those intellectuals and they want the academic system (for jobs etc.), it becomes a consensus, and academia does not accept there is a path.

In the same way all those who go beyond conditioning say there is insight. Intellectuals stuck in the conditioning of sankhara do not have insight so it is not accepted.

All people who have experienced compassion by transcending see compassion as the essence of humanity, intellectuals stuck in sankhara have not experienced that compassion so are unable to draw appropriate conclusions.

Genuine creative people have transcended, their relationship with the muse has taken them beyond. Intellectuals stuck in sankhara cannot know what creativity is – they just talk about it. So academia talks about creativity, and is not creative.

When people sit still and look inside their heads their minds are swirling. When meditators look inside their heads their minds are not swirling. As philosophy is concerned with mind, does it accept this? No because intellectuals in academia do not meditate. This swirling is an observable representation of sankhara – mental proliferations. Sankhara can be observed by all, intellectuals and the state of mind of meditators before meditation. In view of this, should intellectuals stuck in sankhara be making judgements of states of mind they have not experienced?

These are all examples of philosophical questioning, questioning that benefits from not having answers for intellectuals who keep jobs by not having answers.

There are plenty of things that the path does not have answers for. There is much that needs to be learnt about humanity, transcending, going beyond conditioning, how to go beyond, etc. All of these are important philosophical questionings but such enquiry cannot exist because the 1% and the intellectuals have not gone beyond questioning. With what they do to humanity, the 1% cannot go beyond – cannot transcend.

All of the above is usually rejected by academic philosophy because it is vague – path muse is not defined. Words like insight creativity have a meaning beyond the rational yet there is an unwritten academic assumption that there is nothing beyond the rational. Perhaps they can discuss that of course. Genuine enquiry, Campbell’s quest?, gets buried in words and circular arguments. What if I had a stake up my arse would I or perhaps I wouldn’t maybe as if I suppose.

“Death is in the mouth” reminded me of Castaneda’s “death is always over the left shoulder”. If death as a constant presence provides motivation and determination it is useful. Death is, why discuss it? Death gives motivation and determination, why discuss it? What happens after death, do we know? Why discuss it?

During the interview they had a conversation about football – personal, and a conversation about humour – professional. Personal and professional conversations must happen, when a teacher I just rabbited on – only of interest to teachers – and then only some. Philosophy needs to be about learning and wisdom ie the path and not conversations. But as explained above it won’t happen. Philosophy is just professional discussion for philosophers.

Russell can have interviews about philosophy, but it has very little to do with learning at any level. This interview with Simon to me demonstrates all that is wrong with philosophy. A significant proportion was spent discussing football “in a philosophical way”, and at the end they only just touched love. Russell was into the diversion as much as Simon. Maybe Simon has more to him than this, but as a philosophy prof he could be just a conquistadore of sankhara.

Russell, intellectualism is an addiction – addiction to the self of sankhara. Intellectualism is not learning, it is circulating around mental proliferations. Learning is the path scything through these proliferations and coming up with internalised truth. There is a case for studying the intellectual ideals so that you have the tools with which to discourse, but remember that discourse without purpose – without internalising – is simply verbalising the proliferations.

Russell, you have a huge advantage over most intellectuals. Through the 12 steps you connected with the path – with the power that helped you fight through your addiction. Intellectualism per se does not know this power, in fact conditionality (which includes the intellectual) is afraid of that power, of the truth that scythes through meandering rationales. Remember the path, do not get sucked back into the world of intellectual addiction because you respect “profs”.

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Spirit of the Prison Break

Posted: 15/03/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Struggle

This is Russell talking with Yanis Varoufakis. Yanis has a clear understanding and this talk was excellent. It was good to hear the hope in his voice, hope that there is still a chance. Syriza sounds like a demonstration for change that was exhilarating, it is worth listening to his hope.

But for me the most important part of Yanis’ view was his focus on the human spirit; his analysis was sound but was based on the power of the human spirit.

I didn’t follow what happened with Greece as deeply as I should, but for me it was a beacon of hope for a while. Greece should never have been allowed to join the EU because their currency wasn’t stable – there are apparently EU criteria that need to be met. It was the EU pushing for increased membership to add to the US-EU economic detente – the bigger the better. As usual in these situations power-brokers discuss with leaders, and leave the taxpayer to pay; any problems with the EU and the affects of an unstable currency, drachma, would be forfeited by the Greek people.

The Greeks had got sick of the EU exploitation and how it was affecting their way of living, so they began to vote in Syriza who were demanding an EU exit – a Grexit. At one stage there was a Greek leader, George Papandreou who called for a referendum as to EU membership; it was stopped. This referendum was the last thing the EU wanted but they didn’t have the money until Obama turned up at a G# conference, and soon a deal was offered. Yanis didn’t want it but someone got bought off. A new loan was made that the Greeks will eventually have to pay back. Russell described it as Yanis being fucked over, and Yanis described that as a succinct way of putting it. “Worst aspect was the backstabbing of his own comrades.” Now he has a national treason charge against him, the charge is undermining Greece’s position in the European Union.

The Greeks had organised many strikes, and their economy was in such a state that people began again with a barter economy. This was making strides until the EU loan (backed by Obama) was made.

Now the Greek government have sold out, and are cap-in-hand with the EU. The people are rising up again but what can they do?

I didn’t know that it had begun with a demonstration in constitution square against the loans (with their austerity and conditionality) which were coming from the Conquistadores – IMF World Bank GATT etc; what Yanis calls Deep State. When that was squashed the people went back to their communities, reorganized and voted in Syriza.

The worst form of slavery is one volunteered into – creating alienation. The idealism of the authoritarian is reproduced in the oppressed, they agree to it for some reason, and there is alienation. This is comparable to the agreement of fear, delusion and responsibility amongst the British white middle-classes; afraid they will lose their house they accept the delusions of the economic right wing, and abdicate any responsibility for war and wage-slavery.

Then he talks of the human spirit, he has faith in the human capacity to be good. Is this faith? He is a Buddhist meditator. So in his meditation he finds compassion, the compassion that all meditators find. Therefore is it faith? He experiences compassion in meditation, he knows that others also experience it so it is logical to infer that all humans have this compassion of the conditions are right. It is not a faith or belief that he cannot substantiate. But that is not the way he expresses it, he uses the word “faith” – I am interested in this small point because I wrote “Don’t believe” today. I have the same “faith” as Yanis, if the conditions are not exploitative then humanity will be good – compassion.

He describes organised religion usually being at the side of the oppressor, the guy in the sky with a beard is directly connected to the oligarch. Further he points out that economics is not a science developing through deduction (eg physics) but is an organised religion with equations; superstition. We need to study the superstition, reading, engage and then overcome it. Economics is like a cat chasing its own tail. If Yanis is a stock market expert and predicts something, the market will follow. Economics without heart cannot work. There needs to be the human capacity for the transcendent in economics.

Throughout the problem is commodification, everything is commodified. We decommodify by recognising that the only thing that matters is the spiritual life we lead – the path, Yanis. Yanis wants a unity of spiritual and mass movement activists, and resents those of the mass movement who reject believers. He spoke of a religious teacher talking of the crucifixion. Yanis asked, in a time machine would we see the crucifixion? The teacher replied it doesn’t matter because my belief allows me to experience in a far better way. And Yanis thought there is nothing to divide us. The only thing that can unite us is the transcendence – my words, going beyond the conditionality. Alienation kills the human spirit.

Since being ousted Yanis has been working on Diem25, a peoples’ movement of Europe – a transnational approach. Yanis is a patriot but is not a nationalist. It is easy to convince people if you are clear, but it is not so easy if you are a politician trying to persuade when all they are doing is trying to propagate their salary.

How do we cope with the ego in power? You need mechanisms. When all around are against him he remembered the homeless guy who had lost everything yet wanted Yanis to fight for those who still had something. Anarchist in Land and Freedom, the black in the flag to remind us of the darkness in our souls. Yanis was never powerful, he was in office, and he saw the powerful are just puppets – the smart ones know they are puppets. He describes a Marxist critique in which all are condemned. The capitalist is so afraid of being the wage-slave he treats his own wage-slave badly, the capitalist is also a slave to his means of production. Spirit is the only way out.

Who is the enemy?

The parties and nationalists are false opposition. Deep establishment, City, Wall Street, large corporations. We know who they are (1% ). Deep establishment is a conspiracy without conspirators, people working for their own greed creating a network. There is also a nationalist xenophobic internationale (false opposition) who are the right-wing fascists against finance sector, against establishment, but in the end they only serve the interests of those they claim to be against. Yanis says they unwittingly serve these interests but fails to note that the Dark Money Network finances this internationale.

He campaigned against Brexit and for his audiences this seemed ironic considering what the EU did to him. But he campaigned to be in to work against it. Activists must have self-confidence to get in there and fight but need not know the answers; democracy is the answer with its crowd-sourcing solutions – mass movement. He has abandoned optimism but embraces hope.

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Don’t believe

Posted: 13/03/2018 by zandtao in Buddhadasa, Insight

I am a Buddhist but I don’t believe in Buddhism. When I first started studying Buddhism seriously, I focussed on Theravada Buddhism. I tended to believe then, studied it, and then over time have rejected belief and don’t accept all that I have read. If I haven’t experienced it, if I don’t know it for sure, then for me it is not true. I learn through experience, insight and conviction, this is the truth or not. For me this is the understanding of the Kalama Sutta in which the Buddha says that we shouldn’t believe him but learn for ourselves. If I were to believe then I would believe Buddhadasa because whatever he has written has been helpful, but I feel he would not have asked you to believe him.

Beliefs are ideas, mental constructs, attachments, sankhara. As such they take a form which creates division. I believe in this, if you don’t believe in this then there is disagreement; wars have supposedly been fought over disagreement about ideas. Without such proliferations there is unity, don’t believe.

I believe in the path, for the simple reason that I have experienced the path. There is a path, sunnata, a path I have lived – or tried to create the conditions so I can follow the path. Whilst I say I believe in the path, that is just a misuse of language because it is not a belief it is an experience. If there is no experience there is not truth – leave it.

I don’t believe in God, and I ask that you don’t believe in God either. When people pray there is a religious experience in which people can become filled with the Grace of God. Do you have to believe in that Grace of God? No, it is an experience. Grace enters or doesn’t. Those people have experienced the Grace of God, and that is their strength. There is no belief in God, white man with a beard in outer space, there is an experience that gives strength and conviction. Do you have to then fight a war to defend that experience? No, it is an experience. There is a truth that no-one can take away from you, you prayed you were filled with the Grace of God, and it is that Grace which will guide you – the path. Trust in that Grace, live the moral life that will open you to the Grace of God – sunnata.

Don’t believe in Marxism. Study Marx, test whether what you study works in daily life, and then “believe” that because it works. When asked about Marxism you can then say this bit works for me. This is not belief but what exists in experience. If asked in political debate whether this is true, the answer is that it is true because I have experienced it. Explain the experience. Don’t hold up the ideal to create a division.

Don’t believe in any idealism because such ideals create division. And division hurts and creates conflict. Don’t divide, don’t believe.

ET group, don’t believe in presence. You feel presence or you don’t, but don’t believe in it.

Don’t believe in politicians for sure. Politicians want power, and in general they will say or do whatever it takes to get power. Demand evidence, demand truth, demand compassion. If it is not clear that the politician is giving evidence, truth and compassion, don’t believe.

Don’t believe rhetoric, don’t believe persuasion, don’t believe advertising. None of these have to be true. Only believe the truth that can be experienced. Don’t believe news, don’t believe fake news, don’t believe.

Here is one thing I do believe but that belief is based in evidence and analysis. The 1% accumulate wealth. They use their power and influence to accumulate that wealth. That power and influence pervades throughout society making it difficult to go against the system created around the 1%-accumulation. I have experienced that influence and can analyse the effects of that power. Do I want you to believe this? No, I want you to know this. I want you to examine the evidence and draw your own conclusions. If you disagree and can provide evidence then we are united in experience because we have enquired and used evidence. We are not arguing over a set of ideas that we have not experienced as truth. There is no belief to divide us.

Do not allow beliefs and ideas to divide us. Experience for yourself.

Conditioning through education promotes ideas. When does a teacher say “only believe in this when you have experienced it”. Instead you learn it is “true” in order to pass an exam to get a job in a system that provides wealth for the 1%, and creates wars and wage-slaves. Don’t hold onto ideas, hold onto understanding that comes from experience. But there are facts, scientific facts, geographic facts, historic facts, but there are also opinions, historic opinions, societal opinions. What about the Big Bang? Fact or theory. Quantum theory – fact or opinion. How often are societally-accepted opinions presented as facts?

What about chemo? Chemo cures cancer, fact or theory? Gerson therapy cures cancer, fact or theory? Acupuncture cures, fact or theory? Pills cure disease, fact or theory? Antibiotics are helpful fact or theory? Antibiotics damage the liver, fact or theory? Students need to be taught to think for themselves. Teachers need to be more discerning in how they present fact or theory or opinion. In terms of the curriculum teachers need to end their blind acceptance of systemic opinion as fact, students need to be taught not to believe, and taught to trust their experience and insight.

You don’t have to experience everything in the world to know what is true. As you learn and gain experience you develop patterns and understanding. You begin to know truth, you develop conviction. If you hold to a mind of permanent enquiry these patterns can show truth. But truth starts from within. It comes from your own conviction and insight, it does not come from a set of beliefs or from a person who says “believe me, trust me”.

Here is Eckhart talking about thoughts? Where do they come from? It is sankhara that is mental operations – thinking. We can have our own thoughts through sankhara, how we analyse for example. But there is the collective mind, collective sankhara, where there are wider thoughts. So I can have thoughts that are not “mine”. In other words I have thoughts which are not “mine”. I have experienced Unity in some ways. It would therefore make sense that Unity would have the same attributes as humans in some way ie collective khandas – collective sankhara. In relation to this what have I experienced? Thoughts that don’t make sense to me. When I am angry I sometimes get violent thoughts but I would not be violent. Voices?? Thoughts, ideas, opinions, don’t believe unless they are your experience. You have to know them, don’t believe them.

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Here you can listen to Sharon Salzberg’s insight in her discussion with Russell Brand. I hadn’t realised that the Buddha’s times were considered disputatious, for me that just means verbalising mental proliferations (verbal sankhara) – 5 khandas.

This podcast is well worth listening to for insight.

Beyond conditionality there is insight, and this is where Sharon Salzberg is at – or tries to be at (for her to decide). When you are beyond conditionality there is no gender; listening to Sharon has decided that for me. Whilst there might be aspects of reformist feminism I might argue with for its liberalism, revolutionary feminism is beyond conditioning in the realm of insight (compassion and creativity). It was no great surprise when I searched I found Sharon linked with bell hooks.

Because of my life I sadly have only met the reformism but at least I can listen to feminism that is beyond conditioning when I listen to Sharon and bell.

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