Across the Pond

Posted: 26/07/2016 in Corbyn, Democracy, Struggle

It seems a lot longer since I have been writing but the last stuff on the fight for genuine democracy (NEC decision) was only 11 days ago. I have been through stuff since them so maybe it feels longer. I have moved house again. I have again found a house that is more than what I need and is situated where I need – in the country yet less than 10 km from Trat. So now I have to hope the landlord/landlady thing works out. The guy is the problem this time, he is an empire builder and this house is part of his empire. There are signs that he would want to interfere with my space because he sees it as his space, let’s hope he is not a pain like Serge. Of course I am completely paranoid about everything to do with renting here – having moved 3 times in a year. I am still settling in – no internet yet, I’ll have to wait and see.

Back to the blog. As an aside to the VBC against Corbyn, across the Atlantic there is a similar mass movement developing. On Sunday the chairperson of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) had to resign over the partisan nature of the DNC support for Clinton. None of this should be a surprise.

To be clear it is necessary to understand the reality of the current political systems called by some neo-liberalism. It is well explained in the movie “Lifting the Veil” , and the Veil that is being lifted is that of the apparent democracy of the 2-party system. Throughout the world after 4 or 5 years democratic countries (so-called) have an election between two apparently opposing parties. Somewhere in the past these parties will have similar histories, one party having allegiance to the landowners business and finance, and one party having allegiance to the mass movement. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these parties are connected to their historical roots. In practice both parties perform the same function, they offer the voting people a delusion that they will be represented whereas the policies are those which support the 1%.

For some Obama was a disappointment. He was the first black US president, and black people especially hoped he would enact policies that would benefit them. But instead he had mock battles with Wall Street but did what they and the military wanted. For him to have risen in the ranks of the Democrats he had to learn the game of the Neo-Liberals.

Having said that Neo-Liberalism requires the pretence of democracy to maintain control of the people, in some way people have to believe they are electing their government. With this pretence there is the potential for a genuine democratic candidate – a genuine representative of the people. In recent years the distance between the representatives and the mass movement has grown greater and greater. As a result of this widening gap there have arisen genuine candidates on both sides of the Atlantic fighting for genuine representation, in the US Bernie Sanders and in the UK Jeremy Corbyn. I have been discussing Corbyn, just a short mention of Bernie Sanders. Bernie has run a campaign against Hillary, and did remarkably well given the forces railed against him. It is no surprise that Democratic Party staffers had been using influence to try to get Hillary elected as the Democratic Party is part of the Veil that is the election system. This influence was so severe that the party chair has resigned. One person resigning would be a small price to be paid by the 1% to ensure Bernie does not stand and risk the damage to Wall Street his presidency might cause.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

NEC Decision

Posted: 15/07/2016 in Corbyn, Struggle

The VBC continues as the Wainwrights try to oust Corbyn, and the leading Wainwright is Angela Eagle – someone who has tried to remove Corbyn from the word go. She is MP for Wallasey, my birth place, and somewhere I didn’t know had a Labour MP; maybe not Labour but a Wainwright. I just read she voted for the Iraq war.

The division between the parliamentary representation and the mass movement came to a head in the vote of no confidence that was 80% anti. Last night the talk was of whether Corbyn would actually be allowed to stand; I wonder how much that was feasible or desired. Quite simply so many Labour voters would have been alienated by such a machination that it would have severed the grassroots.

I am concerned this was a red herring. This Guardian article describes how the NEC accepted Corbyn with some very peculiar happenings. But I noticed this in the article “However, in a separate decision taken after Corbyn had left the room, the NEC ruled that only those who have been members for more than six months will be allowed to vote – while new supporters will be given two days to sign up as registered supporters to vote in the race, but only if they are willing to pay £25 – far higher than the £3 fee many Corbyn backers paid in the contest last year.”

I am not close enough to the ground to know the full meaning of this. It looks like a mechanism for excluding the poorer members, and I suspect those poor would be Corbyn supporters. I have a feeling that the Milliband measures that opened up the membership voting contributed to Corbyn’s success last year. I wonder whether the quoted change the NEC made last night (with Corbyn not in the room) was significant – I expect so.

I hope Momentum are strong enough to mobilise grass roots support. The Wainwrights say that Labour is unelectable under Corbyn. In part I agree, they are unelectable now with all the Wainwrights but within four years if representation can return to the mass movement and not Blair puppets that that swell of mass movement democracy could herald an electable opposition under Corbyn.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

How to live to 100.

Posted: 14/07/2016 in Health, Science, Struggle
Tags:

This is an RSA clip on how to live to a 100.

This raises interesting questions that are not necessarily discussed in the RSA talk. I believe there are misconceptions concerning longevity and life expectancy that need to be considered. Compared to 500 years ago our life expectancy has greatly increased, this is undoubtedly true. Here I would accept all of life expectancy, average life expectancy and importantly quality of life having increased during that longer life. Once we decrease that figure of 500 years and consider the trend different questions could get asked, as yet I am not sure what those questions should be. I am searching for those questions.

Let’s consider that search for those questions, and what are those search parameters? They revolve around the third category quality of life although they include longevity issues. The RSA talk graph looked at life expectancy in western countries but what happens if we consider degenerative diseases? I note that this graph considered longest life – a mode, a strange statistical measure to choose when mean or median might be more appropriate. What do the statistics look like if we include cancer, heart disease, diabetes (II), others? What about Alzheimer’s? Statistically those people are living longer but what about the quality of their life?

There is an unwritten assumption in mainstream scientific discussion on longevity that these degenerative diseases are diseases that we have not found the cure for yet. Typical of this is the cancer industry. Huge amounts of money are put into research, much of it wasted in my view, to consider cancer as a disease in which we could find a causative agent (such as virus) and then find a healing solution. But what if we thought of cancer in another way? What if cancer is some measure of quality of lifestyle? What if cancer were some kind of natural response to the quality of our lifestyle, and here I include lack of stress, natural health, lack of chemical intake, quality food etc. Science in curing disease seeks to find chemical methods such as antibiotics to heal disease, and yet there are side effects that have great debilitating effects; typically with antibiotics how does it affect the liver? Particularly when we consider how mainstream science looks at healing cancer – chemotherapy etc., we produce an appalling quality of life, a quality of life that is so bad that cancer sufferers might prefer a shorter life without the mainstream solutions.

Cancer treatments also have indicators that are relevant to this discussion of longevity because there are alternative treatments that examine lifestyle, healthy eating and even cannabis as healing methodologies. Unfortunately statistical evidence in the mainstream as to the effectiveness of these alternative treatments does not abound because, especially in America, the cancer industry prevents research into such. Macrobiotics is sometimes considered a “cure” but macrobiotic eating is not a medicinal approach. You cannot give a person a few sprouts and measure whether they heal. It is a lifestyle approach that almost has an infinite number of factors that compound each other in the healing process. However the medical use of cannabis, and the effects of cannabinoids might well be more easily researched if the funding direction so choose – unfortunately mainstream science does not want cannabis to replace the cost-intensive treatments that are now generally accepted.

I have explained why the science in these areas is not clear but what ought to be clear I feel is that the scientific assumption that longevity will simply increase as scientific method develops has some doubts. When considering longevity at some point lifestyle factors starts to affect the increased longevity that scientific method is producing. I accept the premise that scientific method increases and will continue to increase life expectancy but this scientific method has to exist within a controlled environment. In other words lifestyle considerations are considered beyond the scope of the experimental procedure, and as such the experimental method would attempt to control and factor out the impact of lifestyle. What would be seen as increase in longevity brought about by scientific advance would have to be seen as separate from the downward impacts of lifestyle, personal stress, work-based stress, the poorer quality of our food intake etc.

There is something else that is coming with ageing that has only recently (last 50 years) been considered, and that revolves around the notion of retirement age. Let us consider this as a notion. My first instinct is to launch into a tirade on wage-slavery but let me try to consider this in a mainstream way of accepting work as a choice. In general it is considered that we are physically incapable of working beyond a certain age, that age is nominally in the west taken as 65 – 60 for teachers thankfully. Pensions are now a big problem. I don’t know whether they have miscalculated but the pension burden appears to be damaging to the economy. However personally I do not trust such viewpoints, I very much doubt that money is being lost I just suspect they want more profits from the investment and that they want to increase the amount of time we work.

Here again I cannot avoid the notion of wage-slavery, they now feel we can work longer before putting us out to pasture. But there is a legitimate side to this coin. I took early retirement but do volunteer teaching at 64 – 4 years past the retirement age for teachers. I can do this because I was not burned out between 54 and 60 because of the early retirement. On reflection my health was a serious issue prior to retirement, the only play I had was during the holidays, being at home after work was little more than sleep and tv watching.

The nature of the work is important to consider. As I got older the general strategy of management was to increasingly want more work for their money; there were increasing pressures to do after-school work etc. This was a productivity drive, and getting more productivity without paying any more irrespective of whether the teachers were already working hard. As I got older my work got better, my work management got better, my quality of teaching students improved, and I have no doubts at all my teaching got better. But the physical toll it took on me definitely worsened. I want to look into this improvement more. Compared with when I started – or my first five years, I knew so much more about what I was teaching. My personal professional discipline was so much better, in terms of the classroom I was so much more value for money. But at 50 there were certain lacks, typically I couldn’t play 5-a-side after school on a Friday before I went out on the town.

But there was a “hidden” side that changed. I never bought into the system so even when I started I never accepted the values of system education. That never changed but as I got older it felt like I was more a thorn in the side of the management. When younger that non-acceptance often showed itself as a simplistic confrontation that never worried management. But when I was older my confrontation also included an element of recognition as to their incompetence, my position was closer to them and so I was more of a threat. It became clear to me that young energy, even that energy that rejected, was much less of problem than the knowledge that experience brought especially of that experience had not been bought off.

It seems to me that this discussion about age is being fundamentally driven by a desire to increase retirement age. I think that is misguided and cruel. People nearing retirement age need to retire – they have been used up. But in so doing tremendous experience and the wisdom that comes with it is being lost. This wisdom is an asset that is not used. It is lost because older working people are expected to maintain the same workload as younger people and also use that wisdom as well. That is not practical. Here is a bad example. The generals sat at home use their wisdom and the troops are sent in and killed. In this example the wisdom of the generals is used. But because of tiredness the wisdom of the experienced is not used as much as it could be.

There needs to be an alteration in work-based practices, and that alteration needs to be profession-specific. In terms of teaching there is no doubt in my mind that at 54 I had much to offer and at 64 I still have much to offer but physically at 54 I found the job hard and now would find it almost impossible. I completely understand the actuarial figures for teachers, and have many recollections of hearing of teachers who have died soon after retiring. They were stressed out by the demands of the job and just pegged out. It always seemed to me that these people struggled through the day, and as a younger teacher I had so much more energy. But they had more wisdom. I am suggesting that in some way wisdom needs to be recognised and traded off against energy. How to do this I don’t know but what I do know is that if older teachers were not stressed so much in their job their experience could be used long after 60. So long as their bodies were respected and their job recognised as different. I think this change should happen at 50 – or even earlier, but I have no idea how this would work because of salary, promotion and ambition.

But I don’t suspect this discussion of age is driven by a consideration of wisdom, but simply can we make the work units last longer?

And here is a good point for those who have retired. If this process of recognising experience could be introduced how much better would retirees feel because they would still be contributing and not just being thrown out to pasture. Older people know they have the wisdom without the bodies, they just wish people could use their wisdom.

In the talk she started with an assumption “what happens when everyone lives to be a 100?” As discussed this has so many holes. I found the discussion interesting but frightening. The basis of the discussion was an attempt to examine how to change views of a working life from that of education to work to retirement into a more flexible view. However such discussions are very dangerous. Working people have the right to pensions a significant proportion of which is paid by the employer. These pension rights have been under threat already, and the flexible view that is being presented could well mean that employers do not contribute to pensions. This would be a terrific loss in which working people will be seen as providing all their money once they have stopped work – and that the employer will contribute little. The type of vaguaries being discussed by these two around fulfilment and the like without recognition that there needs to be pension contribution is horrendous and tantamount to opportunist exploitation of needed financial security. Typical – there will always be academics who will sell out workers’ rights for their own careers.

The lack of structure that they describe provides huge loopholes for the employer to escape their contributions. They can discuss all kinds of theory of changing life models and structures but when the employer is looking for an excuse to avoid pension contribution such discussions are carte blanche for exploitation. Frighteningly dangerous – false assumptions about longevity and based on those assumptions alteration of the negotiation model that provided security for ordinary people. Book deals will have royalties, workers don’t.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Chakrabarti Inquiry

Posted: 08/07/2016 in ONE planet, Struggle

With the publishing of this report (dld pdf), I am taking this opportunity to update my own position on racism. I am an avowed anti-racist in any form, but that does not mean I have removed all my racist conditioning nor not grown new racisms in my isolated life. I have the greatest conflicts however with the Israeli government policy because of my own Palestinian Solidarity. I see the Israeli government’s policies as expansionist and contrary to the genuine spirit of the UN. I have no doubts at all that the 1%, in supporting the formation of the country of Israel, were using longstanding enmities to destabilise the Middle East. I personally met people who had been displaced by the forces of the international community. A member of my maths department still held a deep and legitimate wound because his grandfather had been given 24 hours to get out of his family home – I think by British soldiers. It appears to me that the formation of Israel by the international community was handled badly and was based in guilt. However this occurred 78 years ago, and the crimes against humanity committed in the Middle East – I include Israel in the Middle East – are not acceptable. There is a state of war that has existed there for a long time. I taught a group of Israeli students at a language school holiday. They were polite. I wanted to talk about the history and rights of Palestinian people, they just wanted to speak of family deaths. Unless the international community intervenes judiciously to create peace as opposed to appointing warmongering lackeys such as Blair to mediate a “peace process” by defending Israel against the Arabs, the conflict can never be resolved internally. Yet there are genuine socialist voices in Israel and it is those voices coming out of Israel I listen to. But those voices are drowned out by the tide of nationalist expansionism that has been created by the history of the conflict and personal loss for that duration.

With regards to the Labour party I am unsure how much the racism has changed. It is supposedly the movement of the working-class, and a powerful tool of the establishment 1%-system is to divide in whatever way possible; this includes race. So the Labour party contains some racists. I remember an incident from a young foolish black lady back in the 80s. In the run-up to an election as a candidate she announced to the media that the party was racist, and the resulting publicity contributed to the subsequent loss in that general election. She, Dianne Abbott, is now shadow education secretary, I hope her politics have improved. No activist at the time disagreed with what she said, but as one of the few, fewer than now, black people in representation why was she saying it during a general election. It was at the time when Labour was famous for shooting itself in the foot, Blair rid the party of that weakness as he did other “weaknesses”- democratic accountability, mass movement representation, socialism and most disagreement with him.

In the past I have taken the word zionism to mean the policy of the right-wing governments of Israel, my misunderstanding of “zionism” included all the expansionism and war-mongering. With this meaning in mind I have defined myself as anti-zionist but not anti-semitic, my limited reading of left-wing Jews has ratified that distinction but maybe I have been misusing the term. According to wiki zionism is “a [[Ethnic nationalism|nationalist] political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel”. Within reason I support that approach, in the same way I support land for the Kurds, any diaspora or indigenous peoples although I am not happy with the term “Land of Israel” as I believe it gives plausibility to expansionism. However following land being apportioned to Israel by the UN after the war, the governments of Israel have a continued policy of expansion and displacement of Palestinian peoples, as well as exploitation of those peoples as cheap labour. Previously I have considered this as zionism, maybe I shouldn’t. It is interesting to note from the wiki that at one time zionism was formally considered colonial and racist by the UN, although since rescinded. It is further interesting to note that in 1946 Palestine had 1076783 Muslims and 608225 Jews; what is it now? How are such figures decided? Whilst I had known to some extent of British involvement this wiki has informed me greatly of this. Further reading of the wiki does not discount my initial position but maybe it is too convenient as there is so much history, this puts me in an interesting position to see what the inquiry says.

“It seems to me that it is for all people to self-define their political beliefs and I cannot hope to do justice to the rich range of self-descriptions of both Jewishness or Zionism, even within the Labour Party, that I have heard. What I will say is that some words have been used and abused by accident and design so much as to blur, change or mutate their meaning. My advice to critics of the Israeli State and/or Government is to use the term “Zionist” advisedly, carefully and never euphemistically or as part of personal abuse” [p15 Chakabarti Inquiry]. In terms of my own usage this quote is particularly pertinent. It appears to me that my usage of the word, zionist, to describe the expansionism and Palestinian exploitation by the Israeli State is inappropriate. Zionism is concerned with Jewish nationhood and not necessarily these excesses. My position of supporting Jewish peoples by supporting Jewish socialists is not an anti-zionist position as according to the report such people might well legitimately support the formation of a Jewish homeland, the original meaning of zionism – as I understand it. I am against the excesses so I am against the Israeli 1% or Israeli capitalism. A very useful correction, it is good I have read this report.

I am going to invent a word now, obfuscationism. I define the word, obfuscationism, as the process in which powerful bodies or organisations, usually under 1% instigation, deliberately cloud and confuse issues. The purpose of this inquiry is to help clarify, and it has for me. But there is undoubtedly an obfuscationist policy in play with regards to anti-semitism. My own earlier misconceived anti-zionism was not anti-semitic as I clearly pointed out – I sought support from statements by Jewish socialists. But there is a clear policy of obfuscationism in which the excesses of expansionism and Palestinian exploitation are being identified with the neutral appropriate right for a Jewish homeland. This obfuscationism identifies the excesses with Jewish rights to a homeland, and encourages the pejorative of anti-semitic against those who criticise the excesses. Such government inquiries (as the Chakabarti Inquiry) never get to the full truth, and some form of condemnation of the widespread misuse of the word anti-semitic would have been constructive; I don’t think “What I will say is that some words have been used and abused by accident and design (my emphasis) so much as to blur, change or mutate their meaning” is enough. Summatively criticising the excesses of expansionism and Palestinian exploitation is not anti-semitic, it is human decency. [The latter half of the inquiry looked at internal Labour structures and education and training, not helpful for my own purposes.]

Jokes abound about the “racist card”. I have learned especially when younger by people helping me understand my racist conditioning. I later learned to be careful enough to have black sources for whenever I put forward a view on race. Yet when it suited I have been accused of being racist more recently, not often but occasionally. I always listen when black people describe someone as racist, I have learnt that there is a valid “feel” gained through black experience, something I could never understand. But racist is an epithet that needs to be used wisely, ignorant misuse is not helpful.

I have never been in discussion with regards to anti-semitic racism. Recently I have been involved in discussions with Jews on macrobiotic forums because they felt it was appropriate to promote propaganda within a forum on food. I had to leave one such forum. One very helpful lady repeatedly put forward her views that I disagreed with, and when I asked the moderator if she would block such politics she refused. I left. It happened again in another forum, only this time I decided to attempt to counter what I saw as misinformation. In neither case was the word anti-semitic used but in both situations I came away feeling they thought I was. In my view the conditioning of Jews is very strong. As I mentioned above Jewish people especially in Israel have experienced family deaths at the hand of Arabs. Israel is an enclave in what might be called “Arabia – the land of the Arabs”, and the government uses attacks by Arabs (whether instigated or in response) as a means to further anti-Arab feeling, anti-Muslim feeling. This indoctrination is quite clearly racist in practice. When I discussed my 3 years of living comfortably in Arab countries, Oman and Bahrain, my experience was dismissed as “wrong”, they were willing to say what I experienced did not happen because it did not fit in with the indoctrination.

The Chakrabarti inquiry is concerned with good practice in the Labour party, that was the brief. As such the brief was concerned with one-sided good practice. By the nature of such a brief the wider environment of inappropriate misuse of language and racist practice by others is not included, and that is a shame. I have a feeling that the anti-semite card is used far more than the race card – as I said obfuscationism.

Racism is always a part of war, you cannot kill people unless you think they are inferior. You cannot detach anti-semitic racism in the UK from the ongoing Middle East war. The examples of anti-semitic racism that led to this inquiry were based on the war and based on the legitimate need to raise consciousness concerning the atrocious excesses committed by the Israeli government. Policies on this matter were avoided in the inquiry yet such a blinkered one-issue approach is limiting because it avoids context. This is a big weakness of the inquiry. Whilst Palestinians are murdered by the Israeli government and its military, Labour party members are advised to control holocaust analogies and control the use of the word “zio”. This is appropriate advice but so misses the point. Of course attacking Israeli government policies would lose Labour votes.

Perhaps more significant is recent responses by some local councils to boycott goods from Israel. The Tories said such was illegal – here . Economic blockades affected apartheid South Africa, and applied pressure to create a solution that eventually led to a black government. It appears everywhere you turn there is control against constructive action to end war and oppression of Palestinians in the Middle East. This is worth saying.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Thought Addiction

Posted: 08/07/2016 in Uncategorized


When I first thought of this blog I thought it was momentous – not so sure now; it is the second blog that comes from this Bradblog. This blogentry became more than I conceived and I thought of changing the title to “the revolution of removing thought addiction” but …. Maybe this is momentous.

The Buddha “started to see that the way his thoughts had been framing his experiences were not right. …. He saw that it was a mistake to habitually believe his own thoughts.” Where did the Buddha’s thoughts come from?

“As anyone who has ever tried to give up cigarettes or alcohol or even coffee can tell you, habits are hard things to break. Our addiction to believing our own thoughts is more powerful and more difficult to overcome than being addicted to heroin or any other addictive substance you can name. So this process was not very easy for our man Buddha, nor has it been easy for anyone else who has ever attempted.” Thought addiction, what is it?

Brad’s blog is timely , and it very much connects with my blogs on feminism concerning culture and conditioning. And it connects with what Buddhadasa said about “removing the I and mine from the 5 khandas”.

Let’s start with the khandas – sankara. Sankara are thoughts and where do those thoughts come from? Culture and conditioning. Once our culture conditions us we think that those thoughts are “mine”. We think we are our thoughts as Kant proposed “I Think therefore I am” – extended to I am my thoughts. But Kant’s proposition was misguided because those conditioned thoughts create a framework in the mind, and we attach to this framework – attach to the khanda sankara. The longer we hold onto this framework the more addicted we get and the harder it is to think clearly and free ourselves from the traps of culture and conditioning.

In his blog Brad described what the Buddha did when he solved problems. “Buddha sat with this problem for a long, long time. But, unlike most Western philosophers, he didn’t try to think his way through it. Instead he quietly observed life as it happened to him.

“He realized that his thoughts were just a part of what was going on, and not even a very significant part. So he chose not to focus on them. He let his brain do whatever it needed to do, but he didn’t try to use his thinking mind to determine the answer to his questions about the nature of life.”

We are educated into using the thinking mind, this is our culture and conditioning. Our mind is filled with ideas on different subjects, our exams require us to concentrate on these ideas to reproduce them in exams, and this concentration reinforces the framework. Our conduct is controlled by our parents who conform to society, and we become conditioned to do what society wants.

There ought to be nothing wrong with this culture and conditioning. Whilst we should always apply an enquiring mind to what we do, having a conditioning culture ought to mean no more than living together in harmony. But underlying the culture that we live in is the 1%-system, a system that is designed to profit the few and puts their profits before people. As a result our culture creates issues concerning class, gender and race, and when we mature enough to develop the enquiring mind that starts to unravel conditioning we become a threat to the power bloc, its greed and its shameful exploitation.

Our system’s thought addiction is powerful. Not only must we overcome the addiction that is attachment to the khandas but we also have to overcome the social pressure engendered by the 1%-system.

Yet there is a plus to this 1%-exploitation. Because of the oppression of the 1%-system the exploitation starts to make us aware of the lack of truth and the level of injustice. This awareness provides an impetus for our awakening, an impetus for our recognition that there is an imposed framework of culture and conditioning, helps us detach from the 5 khandas, and propels us into a mature lifestyle that frees us from the impositions of the cultural framework of conditioning.

This shows us how important meditation is in terms of social change. By sitting and observing we see what is. We observe our own cultural conditioning, we see it for what it is, and we can free ourselves from it. But as Brad says it is thought addiction, and addiction is hard to break. Having faith in whatever Buddhism is is not enough. Becoming addicted to the dogma of Buddhism is still thought addiction – just a different framework. Without a methodology of removing addiction there still exists the framework that we are addicted to, the framework of thought that has now been replaced by the dogma of Buddhism, the dogma of Ickeism or any dogma. It is enquiry, seeing what is what, that frees us from addiction, and that enquiry has as method meditation.

Meditation is freedom from thought addiction, meditation is liberation, it is the revolution that is not violence. Of course such a revolution only works as a mass movement when there is genuine meditation for all. It is disappointing that so many meditators do not see meditation for the revolutionary tool that it is. Meditation is a way of life but it is not an end in itself. Through meditation we see what is what, and can then begin in our daily life to create change around us. Of course if we choose not to see what is what, typically choose not to see the 1%-system, that meditation lacks true vision, and we accept slavery perhaps in a more profound way. If we accept slavery by not freeing our minds to genuinely see all of what is what, then we evade the responsibility that comes with awareness, that comes with awakening, that comes with maturity.

This brings us to an institutional danger. Institutions such as Buddhism that require finance have an inbuilt need not to see all of what is what. They require finance, the finance of the rich, and choose not to see where that wealth comes from. The institution avoids that aspect of meditation that brings awareness of politics because that awareness taints the very institution itself. The people who provide the greater proportion of the finance of these institutions are the very people who need to change because they have the greater power and influence in the 1%-system. Yet the institution is compromised. Meditation becomes compromised not seeing what is what, but seeing what is expedient to see. Seeing peace has connected with it a violence, a violence that has upheaval because our level of exploitation is so unjust. This is the consequence of thought addiction.

Meditation is the methodology of liberation but it can also be a tool of enslavement if we choose to avoid seeing all of what is what and allowing some thought addiction that is convenient – compromised. Meditation is a means of liberation but it can also be a means of enslavement if it still contains thought addiction. Focussing on the breath means we are not holding to anything, zazen focussing is just that and addictions just fall away. We are left with seeing what is what, and if sufficient people are doing this we have revolution.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Buddhisms

Posted: 01/07/2016 in Meditation, ONE planet, Zen
Tags:

From a recent Brad blog I am picking up two things. The first here concerns Buddhism in general, and how westerners have taken to Buddhism.

I am always amazed why Tibetan Buddhism is the most popular branch of Buddhism especially in the US. Richard Gere springs to mind and Robert Turman is well known. Perhaps it is because HHDL targets the west. There’s all the drumming and dancing, and all the revisions suited to Tibetan culture and history – of little relevance to westerners. Briefly I got involved with the New Kadampa Tradition in Manchester. The people were very nice and welcomed me especially as I had just returned from Tibet and had visited Ganden monastery, a place of significance to these people. I went to a Tibetan mass in which all the participants recited a litany. It was the first time I had come across the name Dorje Shugden, and later found out that considering him a teacher was dividing Tibetan Buddhism. I had a nice break at Coniston Priory, and that was the last I had to do with them. For me Buddhism requires enquiry – not faith. Good luck to them, as with all faiths mixed with compassionate practice it made these people better.

Tibetan is so ritualistic and focuses on reincarnation more than the others. It demands faith to such a great extent. Brad says “This is especially true when it comes to American Buddhists. Lots of folks in my home country got into Buddhism specifically because of its teachings about reincarnation, particularly those espoused by Tibetan Buddhists. They do not like anyone questioning their beliefs.” For people who learned at the Church of Reason such ritual and faith seem counter-indicated.

Theravadan seems much more in line because there are so many western intellectuals attached to it. For an approach whose adherents often eschew reason there are so many people who bring reason to the table of Theravada.

I tend to think of Mahayana and Zen as different although Zen strictly, I think, is part of Mahayana. I think Zen is much more readily acceptable to westerners because it becomes all things to all people. I think commitment to true Zen requires much commitment to practise (Zazen) but I also think Zen is better suited to the armchair phenomenon common in the West, in this case armchair Buddhists. But Zazen looks to let mind (reason) and body drop away, not particularly suited to the Reason advocates that profligate in the west because of miseducation.

“It’s too bad so many Buddhists have ruined Buddhism. You can really learn a lot by following the examples folks like Buddha and Dogen left for us.”

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Summative Yinyang

Posted: 01/07/2016 in Big Fashion, ONE planet, Struggle
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I have reached a stage that I could call a summative position that I am happy with. As I was studying this for my own benefit to overcome conditioning I am satisfied with this for the moment, although there is far more I could learn.

The reason I reached the summative position was consideration of yinyang. I start from the position that yinyang has truth in it, and the reason for this is beyond scientific dispute for me; acupuncture heals me. Acupuncture is the medicinal system based on many centuries of experience that originally used the energy of the chi and yinyang balance to arrive at methods of healing.

This yinyang is natural, describes differences in nature and describes opposites that attract. Much like magnetism has opposites that attract (the north-south of the magnet), yinyang has opposites that attract. These opposites are often described as feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) but that has to be examined. What is yin is not a woman, and what is yang is not a man even though characteristics might be described as yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). A brief search on “feminism and yinyang” led to some feminists who tend to support this analysis.

What this means is that there are intrinsic natural characteristics based on yinyang, that characteristics of people are not naturally the same. What this also says to me is that what Dr Fani describes has weaknesses – see quote here. She says the only difference is the chromosome, and the rest of gender is conditioning. I think this position is weak. I have already mentioned instincts in the same blog, and now could add that natural characteristics of yinyang are also being ignored by her position.

I stress again I do not mean that yin is women and yang is men.

What I contend is that there is a natural difference between men and women – more than instinctual. This difference is not based on gender conditioning but is based in nature. This is a standard description of the nature vs nurture argument. Apart from using yinyang to support it, this contention is the usual that is unsolvable because nature and nurture in practice combine together and it is not practical to separate them for analysis.

As with instinct gender conditioning by the patriarchy also screws up the nature component. By the time the nurture conditioning of culture has finished we have the gender conditioning that feminists quite rightly fight.

I next consider in this summative position how women fight for their rights, and I want to use Bell Hooks description of reformism vs revolutionary feminism to each this position. Back in my political days some feminists argued that if women got into power their natural compassion would mean that society would change for the better. In the mid-80s there was an obvious British example that flawed this argument – Maggie a horrendous person. I had to accept then that this evil woman could well be a product of patriarchal conditioning. Since then more women have achieved positions of prominence including the next world leader – Hillary. Whilst their conditioning is still patriarchal and gender-conditioned and whilst women still have to be more 1%-conditioned to be successful I do not see any evidence that women bring with them natural characteristics that will lead to a better society. Women ascending to power is not a means of social change, although perhaps a matriarchy might be a better society. Back in the 70s and 80s I heard black people similarly arguing that if they were in a position society would be better. Whilst the argument of racist patriarchy prevailing applies to race as does the gender-conditioning of the 1% patriarchy, there is no evidence that black people in power are any more compassionate than white. In neo-colonial Africa black puppets exploit their own people as much as their previous white owners had done. Even more?

Having said this a woman deserves equal pay for equal work etc – as do black people. The basis of these socially-equal human rights ought not to be in question but of course they are because the 1% will use any method to exploit. There is a need for change. For me there is no doubt that this change needs to be revolutionary – in my case struggling to get rid of the 1%. But women who wish to reform this system deserve support in terms of justice. In my view the rights that reformist women have fought for have led to more equality but these changes have not impacted on the 1%-system. Personally I would support such justice-based changes as we should all have equal rights, but this will only be gained by a few as the 1%-system has within it the capacity for token strategic concessions. Without these women fighting these concessions would not have been won but in all areas of political change token concessions is a recognised containment strategy – concede to take out the leaders. Equal rights in terms of gender race or class will only be changed through revolutionary means – hopefully not violent.

As a final personal note I must recognise weaknesses I had concerning feminism, I never understood enough the issue of imprisonment by image that is a significant part of female conditioning. My understanding of feminism had been dominated by the oppression that was fought at the outset in the 60s, this oppression by violence and “kitchen enslavement” was all that I saw. Then I saw feminism appropriated by the reformists, and through personal experience clashed with women who were reforming and seeking greater personal success within the conditioned world. Their lack of revolutionary direction allowed me to be too critical of female careerists when I came into conflict with them – especially those who used feminism as a vehicle. This conflict would be the standard careerism vs education in which my demands for education would be seen as having “male” characteristics – perhaps they did; whilst I was fighting for good education careerist women would be fighting for equality in the workplace. As the workplace was a conditioned environment fighting for careerist rights meant that such reformist women were working for the 1% and against the interests of good education. I was not sufficiently conscious of my own sexism to have sought a compromise. In truth when it came to being anti-racist I was equally unwilling to compromise with reformist black people.

Desire also allowed me to ignore imprisonment by image, my natural attraction to that image allowed me to ignore the imprisonment issues. This desire was so strong that it was too easy for me to ignore and write off the imprisoning as connected with nature. BigFashion is very pervasive as is BigFood and BigPharma, I need to fight it with equal determination, and recognise my own complicity within the imprisonment process. My own awareness needs to bring with it a degree of compromise and compassion for that imprisonment, how I had used that awareness was previously remiss because of being attached to my desire. These last two paragraphs I added after the initial putting online of this blog, that is an indication that I have work to do.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Blair’s Wainwrights

Posted: 01/07/2016 in Corbyn, Struggle
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The parallels with a Very British Coup grow. Lawrence Wainwright was an opportunist who challenged Harry Perkins and was backed by establishment forces. In VBC he was outplayed by Harry Perkins and ended up in Northern Ireland. Harry however was pushed into calling a general election as the establishment tried to defeat him.

Under Blair the Labour party was divided from the grass roots by Blair who installed Wainwrights throughout the Labour party. He did this from the wards up throughout the Labour party into parliament. Through his manipulations the grass roots were separated from the opportunists in parliament, and lost their voice; Blair split the party. Were Blair’s policies for the people or the 1%? It is my analysis that the grass roots support for Corbyn was a recognition of this split – conscious or otherwise, and was a measure of the people fighting back.

Now these Wainwrights are using the excuse of the EU to drive Corbyn out. Corbyn’s credentials are grass roots support, and he is fighting the apparent credentials of the establishment’s Wainwrights whose claim of legitimacy is being voted into parliament. As a democrat, why don’t I accept this as legitimate? Because I know how ward politics are manipulated. It is the apathy of the mass movement that enables such manipulations to occur – rigging ward meetings etc. When the Wainwrights force the election within the Labour party it will be fascinating to see if the grass roots are sufficiently mobilised to fight the Wainwright opportunists. Ultimately this is the battle that always had to be won, there would have been some other excuse – the EU thing is meaningless in context. Fascinating.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


Brad wrote a blog based on a book by Chuck Klosterman “But what if we were wrong?” The book asks the question from the perspective of future man looking back. I haven’t read the book, doubt if I ever will but very much like the notion of questioning. Questioning is most essential in any learning and any form of spiritual life. I would normally be interested in such a book of questioning but then Brad quoted some questions and I didn’t see deep questioning. The first question that future man would have to ask is “Why did they allow so many wars?”, and if future man is not dominated by corporations “Why did they allow corporations to create these wars for profits?”

I liked this quote about Buddhism when Brad advised against Chuck being a Buddhist “If he ever did get into a form of Buddhism that wasn’t totally corrupted by religiousity or drowning in academic stuffiness, he might find it very appealing. And if he ever started writing about Buddhism his book sales would sink to the level of mine, and he’d have to go back to writing for the Akron Beacon Journal.” The issue of the lack of book sales is not about Buddhism, it is about marketing. If Brad found a mainstream publisher and was willing to be paraded like a stuffed dummy to meet ….. rant, he might make more sales. If he wrote for profit he might make more money. Tom Clancy, or mainstream galaxy shoot-em-ups with Godzilla. It is the truth that makes Brad’s books unmarketable (or unwilling to be marketed). I do not know why Eckhart Tolle was successful, after Oprah I know why. End rant.

For me what was interesting in this blog was his discussion of intelligence especially his experience at the Tokyo park bench. “I can recall a moment around 15 years ago when I was sitting on a park bench in Tokyo eating my lunch. I was watching some crows strutting around the park looking for food. Suddenly I noticed that the very same intelligence that looked at the world through my eyes also looked at the world through the eyes of those crows.”Immediately after he wrote “It’s very difficult to write a good, watertight, rational kind of explanation for why I knew this to be true. …. It even sounds dopey to me and I know it to be true.” Brad, do you expect there to be a rational explanation? It frustrates me to see this type of quote. The explanation is not rational, it is beyond reason as Dogen says (paraphrase):- reason drops away in zazen. This truth is about Unity, about Intelligence that is Unity, you know it is truth, why be ashamed of that truth – dopey? True thinking is not normal thinking or why would the world be in such a mess? There is a huge question that I wonder whether Chuck Klosterman asks “Why do we assume that we are separate beings simply because our bodies are separate?” There is wisdom and tradition that talks of this Unity yet that wisdom is ignored. Does Chuck ask “Is it wise to ignore traditional wisdom of centuries?”

“This insight seems to be connected to my Zen practice, but it’s difficult to say just how.” For me it is one understanding of Vipassana meditation that the purpose is genuine insight. Since doing Zazen I feel that the purpose of meditation is this genuine insight. Buddhadasa was always keen to stress insight, and I have a feeling he liked Zen because it didn’t bother with the proliferations that abounded in his own Theravada tradition.

“None of my teachers ever told me anything like this. It’s not part of Buddhist doctrine. At least not as such. But if I go back and read some of the older Buddhist writers with that insight in mind, some of the stranger things they said start to make a lot more sense.” This issue of Unity is commonplace but I suspect that perception comes from my background. My first dogma approach to this stuff came from theosophy, and then a fusion of Hindu-Buddhist teachings until eventually I reached Zen.

This is worth considering so we can understand intelligence “Intelligence isn’t a function of the brain. It isn’t contained there. The complexity of a creature’s brain doesn’t determine its intelligence.

“It (BZ The brain) does determine how that creature is able to use its intelligence and what it can focus its intelligence on and to what degree it can maintain that focus. So there are huge differences between creatures (and non-creatures).”

Brad obtusely referred to measuring intelligence for comparison. At present we don’t measure our own intelligence. What we measure is an ability to do IQ tests or their equivalent. These tests are created by academia, and as such would obviously rate academics with high scores. Academia, being the lynchpin of the Church of Reason, is not going to see intelligence as beyond reason. When we examine the intelligence of dogs or other animals we are familiar with, we tend to ascribe human behaviour to the animals, and once ascribed value the animal as intelligent because it mimics human behaviour. The most intelligent lion I ever saw was one who sat on a chair under a tree on the edges of the desert smoking a pipe.

Brad mentioned the book by Zen Master Seung Sahn on “Only Don’t Know”. I have not read this but it seems to me that we have to unlearn our conditioning, and then be in a state of permanent enquiry into what we experience and what we are told.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

“Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression” is from the intro to the book “Feminism is for everybody” by Bell Hooks. Ending oppression clearly includes the exploitation of all by the 1%, and as such need not include a gender-specific reference. To end oppression people need to be free, and for genuine freedom there needs to be a maturing process (awakening through to anatta). Even with 1%-oppression there can be freedom for the mature whereas without this maturity people could not experience freedom even in a society that was not oppressed. For me to accept that what Bell Hooks views as feminism is for everybody there has to be this freedom. I make this caveat not simply for feminism but for all political schemas. The socialism I envisage would have to include feminism because it would have to be socialism for all, and for that socialism to work it would have to bring freedom. For this reason I tend towards anarchism. But even then if there is not individual development, no matter how free and responsive the structures of government or representation are that society could not genuinely change. An inclusive system for change, feminism, socialism, anarchism or otherwise has to include an element of individual development, and in truth educating for awakening and anatta would be complex and require a complete overhaul of any education apparatus currently in existence. In looking at this book I want to see how far Bell goes on this issue. For her is feminism restricted to a response to patriarchal conditioning or is it working towards a mature free society for all?

At the end of the introduction she says “Imagine living in a world where we can all be who we are, a world of peace and possibility. Feminist revolution alone will not create such a world; we need to end racism, class elitism, imperialism.” I was being hopeful. All of this is true but such cannot be ended whilst individual development is limited to accepting conditioning whether sexist racist or imperialist. Moving beyond acceptance cannot exist in a conditioned society, perhaps it could exist without the conditioning of sexism racism and imperialism but more likely accepting minds would simply replace it with another “ism”. Even if that “ism” was beneficial such as “feminism for everybody” (or as I have seen socialism), without the developed mind with enquiry such benefits could not be perceived. Maybe she addresses this – doesn’t look likely.

“From its earliest inception feminist movement was polarized. Reformist thinkers chose to emphasize gender equality. Revolutionary thinkers did not want simply to alter the existing system so that women would have more rights. We wanted to transform that system, to bring an end to patriarchy and sexism. Since patriarchal mass media was not interested in the more revolutionary vision, it never received attention in mainstream press” [p15]. Reformism and revolutionaryism, I think this is the nearest I will get. Reformism is a response to the conditioning, it is competitive and seeks parity with men whether the conditioning is right or wrong – whether the system is right or wrong. Creating division and inequality is endemic in the imperialist system. It is part of the system that creates hierarchies to facilitate the accumulation of profit to the few. It is a revolutionary transformation that could enable the potential for maturity in all – freedom.

In the early days of the feminist movement there were two positive approaches that could lead to awakening – CR groups (consciousness raising) and critiquing the “enemy within” (internalised sexism). Such processes have got to lead to awakening. Compare this with the lack of questioning that accompanies competitive gender equality, and it seems evident that such competition would remain in the conditioned patriarchal world; the trap and oppression continues with that approach. If these two feminist approaches are applied genuinely then it has to undermine conditioning, and once conditioning has been undermined there is a state of non-acceptance – the beginning of awakening. That is good – non-acceptance of conditioning, a good starting point for the mature; genuine education could begin there. This would also be true of racism – CR-groups on racism and the “enemy within”. And what is so good about this methodology of non-acceptance is that it applies to all. What about the patriarch – the white male? His CR-group could discuss imperialism and his “enemy within” – the imperialist white male. Unfortunately established system-changing organisations ignore the personal development. At one stage I attended excellent Marxist education within the communist party but there was never the internal upheaval within this – examining the “enemy within”, and so communism lacked awakening for all and also institutionally exhibited sexism and racism. The “enemy within” is excellent methodology for all political movements with consciousness-raising directed inwards and not always outwards. This is going better than I first thought.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.