Brexit and Trump have also brought home to me another important issue – what is truth? Speaking the truth is part of the 8-Fold Path, Magga (4 Noble Truths), and never has it been more important to recognise the truth when the representatives of the powerful are lying so much.
The first thing I learned about the truth as an adult was when I started on the Path and began to develop insight. At that time seeing people or knowing stuff was so important. Basically it was a reaction to all the lies that education and upbringing had given me. Developing insight is the most important tool for understanding the truth, and very few people discuss this. Insight is definitely not taught in schools!!! At the same time, in the search for truth recognising insight in others became an important aspect of discerning truth. It is not possible for one person to know the truth in all things. So a pre-requisite for truth is insight and the recognition of insight. One key aspect of recognising insight is that of sila – moral integrity. Recognising moral integrity is almost as difficult as recognising insight but there is an obvious corollary to this:-
If a person does not have moral integrity, then they certainly do not have insight and would not see truth as important.
Having moral integrity and talking about morals is definitely not the same thing. There are many people who use morality within religious institutions as a means of control, and yet they themselves do not have morality. In other words religion and morality are not the same although within the religious institutions there are people with insight and moral integrity.
Compassion is the most important fundamental concerning truth. Compassion means the freedom from suffering for all, and in this I include Gaia. So in seeking the truth the person must show compassion. Therefore a person speaking the truth will be working towards compassion, and therefore someone who is sexist, racist, or does not support LBGT rights is not compassionate, and is therefore not speaking the truth. So there are yardsticks, how compassionate is the person and how much insight do they have?
Of course these yardsticks are absolutes, and applying these absolutes in everyday situations especially in something as criminal as politics is very difficult.
But trying to use these yardsticks let’s examine the political situation but not as yet in terms of party politics. What politically exhibits the least compassion? Quite obviously the first political yardstick is war. Who benefits from war? People don’t but corporations do, the global MIC, Military Industrial Complex does. So we have a political question to ask as a benchmark concerning support for the MIC and the corporations – I will use the vernacular the 1%. The most heinous weapon of war is the drone, these are hugely expensive to make and generate huge profits, a definite plus for the MIC. The immigration crisis is blowback, a huge consequence of interfering wars and the heinous use of drones.
These corporations work hand-in-hand with global finance institutions such as banking and insurance. So for me the 1% of MIC, banking and finance are those that control global politics, and politicians who stand against the 1% are those who I support. I have not mentioned BigFood and BigPharma but these corporations have similar interests as the other corporations of the 1%.
For me Occupy stood against the 1%, so I support the Occupy movement. It is my understanding that the Occupy movement stood behind Bernie in the US and Corbyn in the UK. Whether this is true or not what Bernie and Corbyn say stands against the 1%.
But is what they say what they mean, are they telling the truth? Or is it just rhetoric?
In Corbyn’s case I have sufficient personal knowledge of the man to know that he is genuine although I haven’t always agreed with his tactics. In the UK in London from 1985 through to 1992 I was a political activist, and this brought me into contact with Corbyn’s sphere of influence – he was an MP and community activist in North London then. For me there was no doubt about his moral integrity and compassion, but at the time I was active I felt his tactics were mistaken. Now I support him, times change.
I support Bernie. His rhetoric is good, and I have a general feeling that he is moving in the right direction. But because of the lack of personal connection I cannot be so definitive. My intuition makes me feel he merits support, but I would not go beyond that because of my lack of personal contact.
What is most interesting about these two political candidates is that they are both struggling with their party hierarchies. There is a movie I often recall called Lifting the Veil. Whilst the movie does attack both the Labour party and the Democrats, it is more concerned with attacking the system. It is my understanding that the movie claims that the electoral system has been manipulated by the 1% as a media circus, and that there is never any intention of genuine democracy – government by the people for the people. This is in line with the approach of neoliberalism as most notably discussed by Noam Chomsky (for me).
Given that I accept that the political system of neoliberalism is the problem, the question then is how it is to be defeated and what is it to be replaced with? For me compassion means that I am seeking a system that treats people as equals without regards to “race creed or colour”; I would also now add gender preference. This is fundamentally the rights of all people over the few, the 99% compared to the 1%. At present we have governments directed by the 1% against the interests of the 99% who they want to exploit as their workforce. So the question is how do we organise for a government by the 99% (or 100% where the government treats all people as equal)? In determining veracity I would be investigating whether the politician is genuinely interested in a government of and by 100% of the people.
So far I have avoided political terminology in describing truth. And this is because of problems with the media and education. It is my view that western societies (and probably global societies) are inundated with propaganda that is directed by the 1% for their benefit. The terms 1% and 99% are very similar to the Marxist terminology of bourgeois and proletariat, and there has been continued propaganda against Marxists, socialists or any who subscribe to Marx’s theories. There is much to be learnt from Marx’s dialectical approach. But the main point of Marxism is that all the people need to work together against the self-interests of the 1%. In my adult years I have never seen people more divided, and I think propaganda and obfuscation by the 1%-media are the main causes. Typically I have seen mainstream media organisations described as left-wing when I have always described them as right-wing. In terms of compassion this site might well have the same objectives – healthy people, but in terms of the media our descriptions could not be further apart. In this the 1% have been so successful in dividing us.
There is another reason I have not promoted myself as socialist, I believe that sticking to ideas or an ideology is a mistake. While ideas can guide, holding to an ideal restricts the mind. Adhering to dogma stagnates an institution whether it is religious or political, people also become restricting if others are expected to fit in with ideals. So another point of truth is enquiry. Does the truth hold up to inspection of the enquiring mind? For many years dogma has been thrown at me either from the left wing or in religious circles, but none of this dogma alone produces clarification. It is only with insight that dogma moves beyond the idea. Examining a situation in the light of compassion and through enquiry examining the dogma and situation is a process to determine the truth. Does what is said fit a set of rules is not truth-determining?
I often draw parallels between US and UK politics, typically Republicans vs Democrats and Conservatives vs Labour. In the UK historically the conservatives have supported the 1% with token liberal rhetoric for the welfare of the people and nationalist populism in the interests of the white population, and whilst historically Labour grew out of the working-class its representatives are now simply opportunists. In the UK a nationalist populist, Nigel Farage, has arrived on the scene promoting racism, and this populism has recently been accepted by many people – a significant factor in Brexit; his party UKIP primarily attracts disillusioned working-class Labour voters.
The I in UKIP stands for Independence, and I think this term independent is significant. In UKIP’s case it maybe means independent from the EU – Brexit. But in character UKIP supposedly represents an alternative to the conservatives and labour (the neoliberal system). At the same time it discusses the people’s interests over that of an elite – again appealing to an understanding of those against neoliberalism, but its appeal to the British electorate is because it is white nationalist. In my view UKIP is an appeal to white popular racism, and although sadly they are increasing in popularity their only impact so far has been their contribution to Brexit which also included majority conservative influence. In the UK this populism has divided the 99%, and in the UK I believe that is why UKIP has been funded and given more coverage in mainstream media than is warranted for a small party.
In the US the situation is slightly different but the impact of nationalist populism combined with the conservative interests has led to the election of Donald Trump. Because of my compassion I cannot support either UKIP or Trump because of their racism – and in Trump’s case overt sexism. (I suspect also LGBT issues but I am not certain of that). Initially I said that if a person does not have moral integrity I cannot believe that they will tell the truth, that applies particularly for Trump although I also distrust Farage.
In the US many people rue the election because Hillary was not elected. However in the neoliberal system Hillary represented the 1%-system elite of the Democrat party, and so she lost the populist vote. For the same reason support from Occupy was not strong because of the same neoliberalism, and because of the way the Democrat party cut out Bernie.
In terms of truth it is worth examining how events have panned out in terms of the way they have benefitted the 1%. Particularly in the US nationalist populism has benefitted the 1% by splitting the 99%. The populists have however elected a member of the 1% to deliver an anti-1% platform, can that ever happen? We will have to wait and see. Is Trump a political “whistleblower”?
In terms of truth this splitting is very important because it explains much that goes on with populism. Within the framework of blaming the elite the primary purpose of the populism is division. When you examine much of the analysis in both camps it places the source of the problem with the 1%. Two important platforms of US populism were “draining the swamp” and “against Wall Street”, both of which any left-winger would be happy to support. But then comes the division because the most important attack politically is to blame the left. And here is the inconsistency, the swamp and Wall Street are not the Left.
When considering the populism we have to examine emphasis. The 1% have no problem with being blamed if their strategy of dividing the 99% works so the rise of this nationalist populism just benefits them. For me the main political truth is that the 1% cause our problems, and that we should all fight against the influence of the 1%. In blaming the 1% I seek unity against the 1%, and seek strategies that negate their financial power and influence. This strategy unites all working people, it unites small business owners who are trying to balance their books, but it works against people who manipulate financial laws for their own profit. Such small business owners do not go bankrupt and start up again. Such people pay taxes however unfair the tax system might be because those taxes provide education and infrastructure for ordinary working people. The 99% have all this in common, and if we all worked together then the 1% cannot exploit us.
However divided we become manipulable so it is in the interest of the 99% to divide the left and right. The internet has succeeded in doing this. By investing in the internet the 1% have developed websites that present their divisive populism.
At the same time populism has inconsistencies because the strategy is division and not the interests of the people themselves. The government is described as left-wing and yet a major popular platform is the swamp – the revolving door of the 1% that controls the government. How can the government be left-wing and 1%-controlled? And Trump himself is a major inconsistency, how can a member of the 1% be interested in fighting 1%-control? However these inconsistencies don’t matter if the purpose is division, that division is a consistent purpose:-
Consistency – division
Such inconsistency is for me a good measure of the truth.
Where next do I go in terms of the truth? Over the years I have developed mechanisms for determining the truth. These are based primarily on the arena of politics that I know – what has been called the “left”. I know these people, and have developed some insight into their degree of truth-telling. Over the years I have seen how important the truth is to the left wing, if there are any doubts in the veracity of a left-wing statement there is a huge mainstream backlash. More responsible left-wing people are very careful with the truth, but that is not all left-wingers for sure with some of the more vociferous getting carried away with rhetoric; so there has to be truth-discernment from within. Based on my experience and insight I would use certain left-wing evidence and avoid the rhetoric. This can only be a personal approach to truth.
Political correctness is also worth discussing when examining the truth. PC developed throughout my lifetime, and in my view it developed because language was a significant part of racism and sexism. Demanding that people were not racist or sexist in the language they used was a good position when trying to remove the embedded racism and sexism in society. As a result racists and sexists were expected to improve their use of language. This gave an illusion that people were less racist or sexist but in the UK Brexit showed that people had not truly changed. At the same time there has been a backlash against the “PC police”, people who have too vehemently reinforced the change of language without helping people change their attitudes. With UKIP and Trump those people who have been straitjacketed by the PC police have been allowed to express their racism and sexism. Because there was a repression there has been a backlash against PC in general, and as a result truth has suffered because much truth came out of the research those people did.
At the same time it is populist to reject what PC people have said because populism attacks the left wing. As I have said, this is a change that I find hard to understand as the government has always been a puppet of the 1% so for populism to claim government is left wing is difficult for me to grasp. Again this is an indication as to the ability of the 1% to influence. Look at what has happened. The 1% continue to dominate and their profits continue to increase despite the crash of 2008. Governments have applied austerity measures as a consequence, awarded bankers bonuses, and yet populism has divided the 99% so that there is an obfuscation concerning the left wing. The power of money is amazing.
So to conclude how I determine truth:-
1) Overlying everything else is compassion
Finally since this has been mainly concerning truth in politics, I ask that we recognise a political delusion that has been perpetrated. Most people vote for economic reasons ie vote in a way that they think will give them most money. Vote for greed. When greed is voted for we get manipulated by the greedy. Why not change the way we vote to that of compassion, vote for people who genuinely talk about caring for others and the environment. This would change the political arena.
Archive for the ‘Big Food’ Category
I have begun revising the Treatise (Treatise of Zandtao). Whilst these small revisions are not going to be online for a while I should note that HHSR has been removed together with references to reincarnation. I have been studying Nagarjuna a bit– as being a link between what is Theravada (supposedly the original Buddha’s teachings and Zen/Tibetan). Reincarnation is really a Hindu belief that has become part of Buddhism according to Buddhadasa – I like that for the reasons that it explains the origin (Hindu India) of the belief and that proving reincarnation seems not to be possible. It is usually assigned to one of the Buddha’s unanswered questions. I was unsure of a lot of the references to unanswered questions, here is a summary that is from one of the Theravada suttas SN 44 explaining why the questions are not answered.
I am more concerned about Nagarjuna’s dependence on faith, I noticed this in the letter to the king in “The Good-hearted Letter” Section Two. Let me start by saying that faith is something I do not have. But before I get into that I want to surmise why Nagarjuna needed faith, and that is his belief in reincarnation. How can you accept reincarnation unless through faith because there is no way you can assert it through experience; having said that I cannot explain stories such as these without finding some disguised way of saying they are lies; the stories are not sufficient evidence to support reincarnation – just sufficient to create doubts. But for me the world is paradoxical enough to accept “exceptions to the rule”. But it matters not, I have not experienced it so I don’t accept it for myself.
Faith is a requirement for reincarnation yet it my view that the Buddha never asked us to have faith in him – or anything. Based on the Kalama Sutta, AN3, it is my contention that the Buddha asked us not to believe him but to come to some kind of personal conviction through experience that what he said is true. I often think of this as internalising an idea by deeply knowing it as a truth – or even experiencing the idea as an insight. Faith says here is a dogma, believe it – in other words here is a mindset, believe it. Are holy books factual? Or are they allegorical to bring home certain spiritual truths? My own view is the second, you must decide for yourself what is important.
This issue of “holding to a mindset” has been alluded to throughout the treatise, and is central to a perspective on conditioning. In an earlier chapter of the Treatise I looked at the book “The Four Agreements” demonstrating that we grow up with mindsets which we agree with because they are custom and practise for our societies, in effect this mindset of agreements could be seen more sinisterly as conditioning. The way we grow up could be seen as making agreements with our parents and society, or it could be seen in a more passive way as conforming to that conditioning that our upbringing requires of us.
The dogmas of a faith are a mindset, the agency of accepting that mindset separates a faith from a set of ideas, and I question that agency. I don’t dismiss the agency, I have used the term “internalising” as an acceptable agency, and I would also see insight as legitimate – although I find it difficult to see how a whole faith could be determined through insight. Debating the agency of one’s faith is an individual journey for each person to undergo, but without a suitable agency one’s faith is simply a set of ideas – a dogma – a mindset. Accepting a mindset without appropriate deep enquiry is for me a mistake that many make. It happens as we start to unravel conditioning especially amongst the young who reject conditioning but then seek to replace it. There is a charismatic figure, David Icke, who has politically dissected much that is wrong with our society. There is a strong body of younger people who follow him. There are two issue that I contend with him. The first concerns the Illuminati. I have never investigated the Illuminati because I don’t know them so how can I ascertain the truth about them. Throughout this book I have discussed the 1%, and I have no doubt that these bourgeoisie control our corporatocracy through finance and influence. But I have no experience to suggest that these people are masons – they may well be. I do however believe that groups such as Bilderberg meet and exert influence on our society. However the control of the 1% is in my view through convergence of interest and influence based on their own conditioning rather than a concrete plan or planning meeting. Second are the lizards. The only lizards I have come across are the ones that scuttle across my living room leaving small shit everywhere. If there are aliens as lizards I can accept correction but it has to be verifiable by direct personal experience. Icke-ists accept and feel they have to accept the full mindset. This is based on our miseducation in which indoctrination through accepting mindsets, ideas and facts stuffed in our minds to pass exams, leads to one mindset being replaced by another once we start to see through our conditioning – discussed throughout in Matriellez.
However this aspect of our conditioning, our mindset-replacing tendency, needs to be seen for what it is – another part of our conditioning (education methods), and it is only when this additional aspect is replaced by complete enquiry can we say that we have overcome conditioning.
Isms are a good way to begin examining conditioning. Consider nationalism. Is this a good thing? Many education systems foster nationalism as this produces stability within a society. By saying your own society is better than others you are immediately creating a lesser society, a group of inferiors. Once you have people seen as less than you, it is very easy for manipulative groups to misuse media to create a war for profit – can we kill our own? If we are all seen as equal, all societies seen as equal, then such excuses for war disappear – we do not make war on ourselves. This of course is a fundamental democratic principle that all people have equal democratic rights.
Racism is another ism well worth examining. I was brought up a white middle-class racist, and was fortunate enough to learn about my racism by good black people being willing to teach me and tolerate the racism I grew up with. When I reflect on things that I have thought and even said, I am somewhat ashamed despite knowing they are sourced in conditioning – conforming to the custom and practise of the white middle-class I grew up with. I would recommend all people of privilege such as white privilege to seriously examine themselves. In my professional biography as part of my M Ed I included a discussion of anti-racist training (ART), and would encourage people to examine themselves through such training approaches.
As a male chauvinism is another ism that I was born with, and therefore grew up being sexist. As an adult I intellectually accepted equality but I am not sure I always practised it because of my desires. Society is undoubtedly chauvinist, and we are therefore continually bombarded with media that promotes sexism. As males, especially younger males in whom the desires are stronger, constant re-evaluation is required. For example, what is anorexia and bulimia? Are these psychological conditions that a few women suffer from? Or are they natural consequences of a sexist society that portrays women as sex objects based on a body image that it is almost impossible to maintain – a situation made far worse by the way Big Food manipulates our foods for profit so that maintaining our health is so difficult. Should women have equal rights in the workplace? Or just in workplaces that do not affect my promotion?
Antisemitism is a particularly interesting ism for those on the left. When you consider history there is no doubt that Jews have been persecuted culminating in the atrocity of the Nazi Holocaust. Following the situation that has happened in Palestine where the homeland of Israel was created, on the left there has been much support for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, oPt. Often that support has been vocal against Jews, is that antisemitic? At the same time there are wealthy Jews who could be called 1%, some such Jews have power in media. Is that then a Jewish conspiracy? I recommend a deep enquiry into one’s own antisemitism, and a suitable place to start are these 7 tenets of antisemitism.
Considering the ongoing barrage of media conditioning, enquiry is so important, it is integral that we continually re-evaluate our own conditioning because it is so easy to accept negative mindsets. When we add to this the dangers of attaching to mindsets once developed as insights the need for constant enquiry is a matter of ever-vigilance.
But we need to consider what is the purpose of this conditioning. It is conformity to what end. Certainly conformity is useful for providing a stable society but it does not begin to give a reason until we look at the 1%. They require a compliant and consuming workforce, they need consuming wage-slaves who can accept the various consequences of the current system such as climate change and wars for profits. Now the conditioning has a meaning because across the world we have people who accept working for money to pay the bills and consuming extras.
And where is the danger to this system? If for some reason the workforce refuses to be wage-slaves and discerningly decides not to waste money on consumerism. This is why so much effort is made to attack unions because when workers band together they demand the profits for themselves.
But more than unions they fear a unity of purpose, a unity of purpose that sees 99% working together for the interest of the Gaia – climate change, renewable energy, Dakota pipeline – and for the interests of all the people in the world – no wars for profits. Such division of peoples comes from nationalism – dividing nation against nation, racism diving white from black, sexism – dividing women from men, and antisemitism – dividing gentile from Jew.
Political unity in the interest of all peoples and for the interest of our planet is the way we can overcome the 1% manipulation of ourselves as consuming wage-slaves.
And unity or Oneness is what is sought through spiritual awareness. We are not separate people with individual interests, but we are One people with the interest of the One planet, our home. Even the very religions which are the systemic way of understanding this Oneness are used to separate. Wars have been fought with religion as an excuse yet religions when understood in depth seek only Oneness.
But what happens to people who seek Oneness, they become aware that we are not separate but One people. They transcend the separation and understand there is Unity. They overcome the conditioning that creates separation, they see through the delusion where we are conditioned as separate and accept the Unity.
This acceptance of Unity is usually associated with forms of bliss, and the transcendental process is often confused with the joy that people have during transcendence but the truth is that this transcendence happens when people end separation, when they end division, when they don’t accept the agreements their society and upbringing require of them, when they work to end their conditioning on all levels. Transcending conditioning is what brings Unity – anatta.
And this transcendence brings understanding on all levels. Once we throw off the shackles of our conditioning, by rejecting separation, by going beyond dogma and intellect, by fighting the hatred that comes with all the isms – often bringing wars with profits, by accepting Unity as Gaia where destroying the environment by climate change and industrial exploitation is understood as destroying ourselves. This is all transcendence. From the moment any part of our conditioning is questioned we begin transcendence. For some it remains political where the bliss is never experienced because new mindsets are clung to. For the spiritual the transcendental experience can bring with it bliss but instead of a mindset they cling to bliss and don’t move forward. But the process is the same – enquiry, removing the shackles that ignorance of our conditioning places on us bringing with it open minds that question, that naturally reject injustice, that reject climate exploitation, that want genuine peace, a peace that comes with the Unity of all peoples in Gaia.
This transcendence is what the three tenets of the Treatise of Zandtao are working towards. Healing the body so we do not become attached to the diseases that are a consequence of toxic intake whilst at the same time working with Gaia through whole foods that enable us to survive in harmony with nature. And the energy is the energy of Gaia of One planet. Once we open our minds and bodies to that energy that is Gaia then we begin to feel through that energy that this is not separation but Unity, the energy of the One planet that sustains us, making us feel vital when we accept the Path that is Gaia. We work together in Gaia, we transcend the conditioning that seeks division, and we accept Unity for what it is – the natural way.
In the Treatise I have looked at many ways that work towards this transcendence, this removal of conditioning. One way just mentioned are the three tenets, but much more importantly there are the 4 Agreements, and there is magga – the 8-Fold Path. All seek one thing – the removal of conditioning – the removal of agreements, the removal of the attachment to I and mine, the removal of attachment to the 5 khandas, the Unity that comes with the understanding once the conditioning has been removed.
There are many levels of this transcendence. When we see black people justifiably angry in “Black Lives Matter”, we might well see people who have transcended this political aspect but need more. When we see Momentum supporting Corbyn in his struggle against the 1% we see people who have transcended this aspect of conditioning but who seek more. When we see the monk who devotes their lives to meditation we see a transcendence that has overcome the conditioning of wage-slavery and consumerism, but needs more. On this diverse world there is much transcendence to varying degrees, it can only be hoped that these people do not rest on their laurels and that they work to seek a complete transcendence, a transcendence that comes from permanent enquiry, a transcendence that lacks conditioning on any level, a transcendence that brings with it a complete freedom from any shackles. Unity that is anatta.
Tags: alienation, compassion, Compromise, division
I woke up this morning with some vague recollection of a dream concerning food and animal rights and the division on the left. I decided to go through a pointless exercise, and it is pointless for two reasons. Much that is animal rights is driven by idealism, and idealism is a regular bete noire of mine because it creates division. And the second reason is something that I always put forward as a priority, and that can never be a priority for these idealists and intellectuals – the need for unity.
To start discussing what we eat there is a principle that politically needs accepting – “you are what you eat”; so first and foremost the position we need to take is that we eat healthily. This is what Nature intended and we are part of Nature. Nature also tells us that it is natural to eat some meat or fish. Why? The scientific indicator for this is B12. Humans need B12 and this can only be obtained from animals or fish. There are some that argue B12 can be obtained from synthetic vitamins, I doubt that, but what does need to be accepted is that because B12 is needed some animals or fish need to be eaten. I would also claim that Nature has animals to provide us with food, but that need not be a political position.
This next part is not tactful but there needs to be some acceptance of the principle it presents. Animal rights positions have to some extent lost a grip. There are people within the animal rights movements who humanise animals to such an extent that they want to save the animals because of their “human” characteristics – or even “more than human” characteristics. Humans need to be caring, that is first and foremost, and so saving animals per se is not a principle; being humane is.
In general I see no need for animal testing. In many cases the animals are being tested with drugs, and synthetic drugs are not a medical means of success. This fits in with the Natural practice that we are what we eat. In other words being healthy is about ensuring our diet is good, and not whether some pills work on animals. As for cosmetic testing that is completely unacceptable, being inhumane to animals in order to be vain is not an acceptable principle of unity.
So having alienated most of the left and animal rights’ people, I now intend alienating the working-class. The typical British working-class diet is absolutely crass, and has no element of intelligence applied to it. There are working-class activists who eat foods that can only be designed to cause illness. When these people have the intelligence to recognise the power and practice of the corporatocracy and yet don’t question their diet it is foolish. However it is claimed by some nutritionists that there are people who need more meat than others, that has to be allowed for because peoples health through healthy eating needs to be a guide for a united position.
But whatever meat we eat we cannot accept inhumane practices with regards to meat. There can only be one acceptable approach to meat-eating and that is that the meat is free range. Nature I’m sure originally provided a balance between free range and the need to eat meat, this paleo balance I have discussed here. What was discussed here as a scientific rationale can also be the basis of a position of unity for the left concerning foods and animal rights. Eggs equally should be free range. How can eggs that are not naturally created – between cocks and hens – possibly be healthy? As well this is inhumane, and the conditions they are kept in to produce these unnatural eggs is also inhumane. Free range is needed.
And the biggest rallying cry for unity ought to be the recognition that in our foods there are toxins, toxins that are placed in our foods for BigFood to make a profit. We have accepted additives for convenience, and have not considered the aims of the corporatocracy. The corporatocracy exploits our labour in factories, why are they not going to exploit us elsewhere – in what we consume.
In the end Unity comes from understanding who we are. As human beings we need to be guided by compassion, and treating animals the way we do is inhumane. At the same time we need to consider that our political position needs to be guided by what is healthy for us. We are what we eat, if we eat toxins then we are going to be ill. BigFood and BigPharma work together in this. BigFood encourages us, often forces us, to eat unhealthy food. When we become ill BigPharma has pills to cure. Pills are not necessary with a healthy diet, so how we eat is a unified strategy for getting rod of pills – and the need for animal testing. Being humane to ourselves – stopping the inhumanity of the corporatocracy – is also the way to be humane with animals.
Do not place the ideas first, this is a tremendous failing of the left. Human compassion comes first, not the ideas of animal rights. Such rights are ideas that create prisons and division.
There has to be a position that unifies left-thinking people. The working-class needs their health, and this health does not come from the diet that exploits animals. Health is a platform of unity, not ideals. Let’s work together.
There are too many ideas and intellectuals involved in this area of discussion, the corporatocracy has its job done for them already. But this is a workable position of unity if people were prepared to compromise in their work against the corporatocracy, unfortunately where they compromise is usually working for the corporatocracy when compassion and not compromise need to be the byword.
Tags: Corporatocracy, enquiry
This is a response to Dottie again:- “I wish more people would document their journeys, as writing allows us to be “specific” about our problems, which can sometimes help us connect the dots… And of course, details might help others delve into similar problems of their own.”
Obviously I agree with you about documentation – keeping a record. Well there are a number of reasons why people do not keep a record of their healing. With blogging people have begun to write more but I suspect they are for people who like writing – like me. But in this world of money, money, money, I think bloggers often seek recompense, and this alters the tone of their blogs. But even with this free access to having blogs read (if only by a limited number of people), people are unwilling to explore their experience. Firstly I think this is fear but secondly I feel that they are not taught to value their own experience. In the case of people who go on a healing or spiritual journey, this experience is extremely valuable.
As we know medicine sees healing as a pill or a slash – although in the case of trauma slashing is valid. But we are all different. Whilst our bodies are fundamentally the same and react the same way to nutrition through food – fundamentally, there are also many things that are different. How much those people do meditation and energy work for one. And then of course there is the universal difference that affects health – lifestyle.
In science there is an interesting word to describe the validity of this personal experience, and that is case study. The method of quantitative analysis can present data that would validate the use of a pill by describing success or failure, but as human beings we are far too complex for that. Science has moved far more to qualitative analysis and the use of case studies especially in the social sciences – case studies were a requirement of an education masters I did in the 90s. So a question might be asked of medicine which is more appropriate – quantitative or qualitative? For people who understand the holistic nature of healing, the answer has to be qualitative. Of course in medicine BigPharma would not encourage a wholesale change to the recognition of the importance of case studies, because they are seeking validation of their cure by pill approach. At the same time when one looks at medicine from a more holistic viewpoint such as case studies, the major issue of side effects would be seen. As usual this is an example where finance has controlled science and prevented science from examining the relevant information that would emerge from case studies – qualitative analysis.
Another way that describes the importance of these case studies is the nature of the empirical data. All data is valid, and the observation of all that happens adds to understanding. But typically scientific method tries to control what we observe ostensibly to remove “other factors” but in practice as a reinforcement of the very method itself. This control is carried out through what is termed “Design of Experiments” – or it was when I learned about it. This design is effectively a limiting process in order to focus on the particular detail that the hypothesis wishes to examine. Is this method valid? Or perhaps a better question would be, should the experiment not involve case studies and afterwards find a valid method for focussing on the detail? To me the control in experiments that occurs in the design ignores so much valid information, information that is intentionally eschewed by the design because the scientist through the hypothesis does not want to see this information as a contributory factor; in my view this eschewing should occur after the data – case study – has been gathered.
Some might say that scientific investigation ought to examine all and discard what is not relevant – with appropriate reasoning. This would not suit BigPharma with its focus on the pill, nor BigFood with its need to avoid the effects of the toxins. This method works fine with weapons – they kill or not. So blogging inordinately is a negative salute to prevailing scientific method, and that is a justification for my going on so much. 🙂
I read this article about Bill Gates at Organic Authroity, and alarm bells started ringing.
This is very difficult. To begin with we want to hear of business investment in organic produce, but cynically (realistically?) my first reaction was “What is Bill Gates up to?” I particularly have a problem with the business foundations in education – Bill Gates is no exception, for their PR read wikipedia “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”. With regards to food my concern is that they have been pioneering GM products in Africa under the guise of fighting poverty, here is their PR on that. I found discussion revolving around AID as donation between Bill Gates and Dambiso Moyo. It reminds me of a book “Aid, Rhetoric and Reality” by Teresa Hayter and Catharine Watson, and an underlying theme for me concerning this supposed AID is that it is business investment for their own aims of profiteering.
Here Natural News discusses the devastating impact of vaccination in Africa – remember the sale of vaccine is a business whatever the arguments about vaccination are. Here is an article from the Guardian about the inappropriate investment in GM through Monsanto and Cargill, and this opinion from the Seattle Times is similar. Some will argue that I am nit-picking about aid and investment, and that every little helps in Africa. The point is this. Africa needs self-sufficiency, and it needs to turn its economic startegies in that direction rather than continuing the financial cycle that sees more money leave Africa than going in, and that is still the case even with all the Foundation investements in so-called poverty relief. This is not a new approach, and has been the practice throughout the neo-colonial eraand Africa’s poverty continues. Leave us alone is the response of responsible Africans such as Dambiso Moyo, but that won’t happen becaus eof the neo-colonial need for resources, markets and cheap labour.
And finally there is the dubious question as to whether vegan meat is actually a healthy option. Over time I have come to a strategy concerning soy products. My main concern with food (I follow a plant-based diet) is the processing, preserving and additions that occur to our foods, a healthy rule of thumb being if it’s not fresh there is a risk. In this category I include processed soy. I use fermented soy products but avoid the use of processed soy – “vegan meat”, I have read of reactions to soy discussed here and here. Whilst I am of the view that this processed soy in whatever guise is better than meat where the animals have been pumped full of chemicals, I do not accept that such foods are healthy. For me investment in such is not beneficial to the poor. In these Gates Notes he discusses an approach concerning these meat substitutes. I was horrifed to see Michael Pollan’s name there, but when you look at his answers they are not very supportive of the Gates’ project.
In my mind I even questioned “Organic Authority”, are they a Gates’ front? I don’t know but I think not. Will promoting Bill Gates and his investement in vegan meat come back to haunt them?
Tags: 4 Agreements, Anatta, Buddhism, Corporatocracy, division, enquiry, khandas
Tags: Corporatocracy, diet, probiotics
Recently on Facebook – macrobiotic questions, a question was raised concerning figures that peoples’ health was improving. I commented to the effect that the figures were doctored, and someone wrote that the figures were true and that it is the interpretation that presents lies. To me this is far from the truth. When I read in the media about all the social security scroungers from their own country and from abroad, I see a partial truth. There are people receiving money from the state. It then angers me when acquaintances post on facebook some kind of stereotype connected to this indoctrination. How much money do all of these so-called scroungers get paid? 50 bankers’ bonuses? Whether we like it on a personal level the fact is these people (scroungers as they are called) do not damage the economy but our financial elite have millions stashed away in tax havens whilst their puppet governments are forcing ordinary people into austerity programmes. Where are the figures that justify such a programme? The real problem that the statisticians create is not in the figures they get from experiments that are then intentionally misinterpreted, the problem is that we don’t have the figures we need in the first place. How does that happen?
To understand the science of figures we need to understand that science has to be financed – research grants. Despite the meaning of science as knowledge, it is not the search for knowledge that now directs but those that finance the experiments. Research money is offered for those who will prove the conclusions that are wanted by the sponsors. This means that we don’t get the raw data to be interpreted because that data is not found. Once money is on offer scientists design their experiments to provide the conclusions that are wanted by the research sponsors. And if perchance such experiments provide data the sponsors don’t want the data is interpreted in light of the sponsor’s desires or the experiment is shelved as a “failure” leaving the scientists out of a job. Yes, out of a job. It is necessary to see how universities function. I was a part-time member of staff at a Polytechnic, and a job came up. I was advised that the criteria for interview was how much research money I could bring in. None. At the same time I was teaching some Electrical engineers – not well as I made too many mistakes in lectures, but there was a positive result from this. These students paid attention in the lectures looking for the mistakes. In their exams at the end of the year their results were significantly higher than in previous years, so much so that there was an investigation as to whether I had collaborated with the students. Students’ folders were collected to check my notes, as well my exam-marking was checked. There was nothing, despite my mistakes the students and I had worked successfully together. Was a job forthcoming? No way – probably didn’t deserve it – level too high for me, there was no research money in teaching the students successfully to pass their exams. If a researcher loses sponsorship for the institute then their job is on the line; it is simple. It is essential to be clear that science is not neutral, it is not interpretation that is the problem with data, it is the systemic paradigm of research funding that creates a bank of data appropriate only for the wishes of the funders.
Given the power of BigFood I do not expect to see scientific evidence that promotes a plant-based diet. Whilst at TED and elsewhere there are plenty of people offering opinions concerning the positive effects of diet, energy work and meditation there is little actual evidence because who funds the truth? And what little there is is far outweighed by the funded evidence in favour of BigFood. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see this TED talk by Dr Christina Warinner:-
To begin with the data is presented in dry academic fashion, and clearly belies any truth in the paleolithic diet myth that “man” was fashioned by nature to eat meat. But the situation is nowhere near as simple as that, as any good science will always indicate. The conclusion I would want to draw is that our foods should be back to nature, eat what comes out of the ground as Nature intended. But what is very clear is that even the organic veg I would like to eat has been cross-bred by science. Whilst the organic carrots that we eat might not have any pesticides they are still not as Nature originally intended. I accept that the use of man’s mind has improved the carrot for consumption, so the problem is not man’s intervention alone.
Christina drew 3 lessons:-
1) No one “correct” diet, diversity is the key, and then she said “”depending on where you live”. My conclusion, eat local. Species diversity.
2) Evolved to eat fresh foods, in season when they are ripe.
3) Evolved to eat whole foods, “food is not just the sum of calories and vitamins”.
One bottle of soda contains the same amount of sugar as 8.5 feet of sugar cane, could paleo man ever have eaten that?
She discussed methods of food preservation including artificial preservatives, as methods that limit bacteria. But this limits some bacteria we need – good bacteria. She suggested this was something we are only just beginning to investigate. Who is that we? Good fermentation has been practised a long time, and has been recognised by nutrition as probiotics being needed. Every tradition has these foods, sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha tea, kvas, kefir and so many more. What science does not know is the effect of artificial preservatives on the good bacteria, for me there is no doubt – if it is artificial it is not healthy … but proof? Mind you my argument about BigFood deflecting science does not apply here. Naturally fermented foods do not need preservatives, why isn’t there more research being done into those foods? Our diets could improve just by eating more pickles – images of Liz Smith’s concoctions in Vicar of Dibley.
The plant-based diet I follow is supported by the science of this presentation. Plant-based food as whole foods not processed, bought at the local market preferably organic. I avoid veg from the big supermarkets because I don’t know how they have been treated to transport the veg. I can do this more easily – in the country with a community who are used to village markets, but western urban changes have included farmers’ markets. Paleo man was not eating Brontosaurus burgers a la Fred Flintstone, but he might well have caught a rabbit. B12. Vegetarians have problems in their diets because of the lack of B12 which can only be guaranteed from animal or fish sources. Rabbit would not be daily diet but maybe a delicacy caught on Sundays? Mb says eat fish once a week – that fits.
I think there is more to consider on cross-fertilisation, but science can contribute positively to our health. The question is what has changed with science that it now usually supports the corporations. Ah yes, the corporate paradigm.
I have just watched “Crazy Sexy Cancer”, and I found it fascinating and not decisive. This is good. Far too often I am too black-and-white, this way is right, that way is wrong.
Kris Carr explores the world of cancer therapies, not as I from an academic blog point of view, but from the real life point of view that she has cancer and she wanted to deal with it. In the end she did – so far. She got what she wanted – a “normal life”. A marriage that hopefully lasts, and maybe children.
The reason I looked at her was because I found her through tapping – not mentioned once in her film but discussed in her vlog, that she was one of the Oprah solutions, and generally I thought she was young vibrant so I wanted to know what she was saying. Well that kind of came out in the movie, it was personal with blues and so on.
I was kind of left in the air as there was no conclusion. Kris had done all the right food things by my book – although maybe she was still drinking. I really disliked the macrobiotics I saw, it looked like a regimented hell, and nothing like the mb I practice. I spend time in the kitchen, time I could never spend when working, but not to that extent. And my food is nowhere near so specialised, but I never went to a counsellor nor have I suffered from cancer.
She had a number of videologs that I put together, here they are:-
Here is a video introduction to tapping:-
I have come across this approach to eating before but at the time I did I felt that the counsellor who was using the approach was watering down the more unpalatable aspects (unpalatable to those on an addicted diet) in order to keep customers. In this clip Paul Risse discusses intuitive eating:-
This gelled a lot with me – although the first time I watched it I fell asleep! Intuitive wisdom is something I believe a great deal in. I am a Buddhist primarily because I practise insight meditation, and there is no doubt at all that insight meditation and intuitive wisdom are the same. I can remember on my healing journey that there would be times in meditation that I would recognise a change in diet was needed. Another thing that has registered much with me after watching the clip is addiction. Craving and addiction are part of a core understanding of Buddhism, but it seems to me that some food approaches don’t recognise how much our bodies are addicted to the rubbish that BigFood shoves down us. Coca-cola containing cocaine originally is not the only form of food addiction that BigFood uses, what is sugar but addiction?
His detox start is excellent but seriously drastic – 90 days raw food diet. I am sure by the end of that the body will have got rid of any of its sugar addictions. I remember an mb friend telling me he followed a brown rice diet at the beginning of his mb life, and this taught him how to recognise the yin-yang in foods. This yin-yang is a part of mb I have never addressed but I am sure it is good for him.
I also like the way Paul connects the food to the environment. I have no doubts at all that food and lifestyle are connected. I do not believe I could ever have changed my diet whilst teaching and bringing home all that stress. My environment and lifestyle are now much more chill, and eating healthily blends easily into that life. I have previously seen lifestyle as restrictive, preventing the change to a healthy diet because of family or business commitments, but Paul is suggesting that the more “unnatural clutter” our lives have the less we want to eat naturally. Albeit he said this on a You-Tube clip as he said in an aircon house. This is not loincloth back to Nature but there has to be a harmony.
And as soon as I talk of harmony I think of the Path, Path is the symbiosis of the diet and lifestyle. It kind of points to the possibility that healthy eating occurs for those on the Path and conversely contemprary hi-tech lifestyles are not on the Path. The Path has an inbuilt sufficiency to it so in some ways that would follow. I considered that at least in part my teaching was a Path but healthy eating didn’t harmonise with that. It might well harmonise with my new part-time status – although that has had a bad start.
Intuitive wisdom applied to eating is something I like, and fundamentally there is more nutrition in the way Nature gives you the food – this is just Insight. More raw?
I have been considering the health of eating eggs as part of my diet evaluation – I stopped eating eggs when I started my health diet. Whilst I would consider it a possibility it is unlikely that I will eat eggs because I am unlikely to be able to find eggs produced in a suitable healthy environment.
First of all however I want to consider the issue of protein; we can obtain enough protein from a plant-based diet so it is not necessary to eat animal products. In the movie “Delicate Balance” they quite clearly show that diets with too much animal protein cause disease. I already eat fish food once a week, usually mussels as they are good for old people like me. So to eat an egg would be to add to that protein.
To ask about eggs I went to this facebook group and asked the question. Amongst the many answers it became clear to me that a healthy egg contains good nutrition, but where is there a healthy egg? As with other labelling BigFood has misappropraited the terminology to divert genuine health seekers into buying inappropriate foods. In my view “free range” ought to mean locally-produced by natural means in an open environment ie a male fertilising the eggs.
At this page, it was quite clear to me that BigFood offered none of that. I cannot see how any egg produced in such conditions can possibly contain the nutrition Nature intended.
Eggs are not a big issue for me but if someone were to show me that they had a source of appropriately prodeced eggs I would add the occasional egg to my diet.
I have just read this article from ABC news:-
What it makes clear is that eggs are dangerous, and that the labelling is mostly misleading. It examines 10 different labels used in the US, and shows that most are meaningless. The article also respects FDA standards, something which I don’t as the FDA is 1% controlled – check this movie. The only source of good eggs is one that you know and can rely on. I thought I had found two such sources – from my suppliers of organic vegetables, but when I got home they were already hard-boiled – better but not exactly what I wanted.
I have found a source of free range eggs at Aden’s – her hens wander her farm – lucky. Unfortunately I have recently had my blood checked. I don’t understand fully but it is one of the ldl/hdl that is the worry – they were fine. Something called cholesterol was 215 instead of 200. I have been eating too much fish and eggs. I am down to 4 a week – 2 on Thursday and 2 on Saturday. Cut out fish but still eat mussels.