Archive for the ‘ONE planet’ Category


People before profits is a standard liberal and socialist slogan that ought to make common sense to all intellectuals across the spectrum. This is pragmatic, it is fundamental compassion and if applied wisely could be the overriding mantra of governance. Surely people first is just democracy.

I began thinking about this when I spoke of human values before robots. These values are creativity, intuition, insight and wisdom, and are not valued as part of the underlying ethos in the world of capitalism as these values do not necessarily provide profits.

In article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (pdf here):-

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Much of this article is forgotten as these Labour rights eat into profits, but for me it is important that every person has the right to work. It is my view that it is government’s job to ensure that every person has the right to work, and I believe in the counter “every person should work”. Our welfare system is a net to help those who fall through the cracks, but the reality of the situation is that the way our society is structured there is not enough work for everyone. The major cause of this lack of work is automation. Despite all the PR to the contrary everyone knows that the machines perform menial tasks more efficiently, and as the profits on the production side of our economy is based on menial tasks we have a situation in which our dominant economic model is putting people out of work.

This is why there is such an increase in racism in the West. Prior to automation there used to be jobs and indigenous white people were well off. Then the number of jobs were reduced primarily to do with automation, and the jobs these white people did were lost. Into their societies there came non-indigenous Labour, in the UK people from the colonies following their money, in the US and elsewhere cheap immigrant labour was used. Whilst there was full employment people did not complain, once automation put people out of work racism became a scapegoat.

Whilst profit is the raison d’etre there will never be full employment because machines make more profits. R&D into robotics is on the increase so even more jobs will be lost. This is why Article 23 is so important. People have the right to work.

For many people the 1%-conditioning that labour must produce a profit is gospel. But with increased automation labour cannot be involved in the profit-making. Therefore there is a need to re-evaluate what labour is for; if we continue to accept that the reason for labour is profit only then there will be an increasing number of people without work.

Beauty is a human value often associated with creativity. Are our cities beautiful? Are all people working? They could work to make the cities beautiful. They could work to improve our health care. They could work to improve our education service. If the principle of our caring society was Article 23, the right to work, and the corollary the insistence that all people have work, then the emphasis of our social service would be totally different.

Of course all of the above is totally impractical because the people who control our societies – the 1%, control where the profits go – mainly into their offshore bank accounts. They do not follow Article 23, and with the increasing roboticisation there will be more people without work.

Wise compassion requires a change in this. Putting people before profits combined with Article 23 means that we need to see the way we employ people has to change.

At the moment the increasing automation means more and more people are without work. There are an increasing number of schemes out there to massage this fact. At the same time the 1% do not want to admit that this is their aim. If the wisdom of the compassionate doesn’t step in then the majority of people will not have work, and will be perceived as scroungers.

But it’s not that there are things that don’t need doing, it is just that what needs doing is not profits from production.

For me Article 23 is the place to start. At the moment liberalism suggests that if people don’t have work then they should be given handouts. This of course is divisive especially if these people are not indigenous. But if all people had to work then there would be no such issue. Marx describes the way the bourgeois perceive the unemployed is as a reserve army. If you don’t toe the line you will be sacked, if everyone is working they can’t say this.

If we start with the right to work then we can begin to move away from the road to chaos that 1%-profit-making is taking us to with automation and robotics. Change work so that it respects the human values of compassion, creativity, wisdom, intuition, insight and aesthetics. Bring quality into life, and stop reducing everything to profits based ion manufacture and gambling.

This is a pipedream because of 1%-control.

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Truth?

Posted: 06/01/2018 by zandtao in Insight, ONE planet, Science, Struggle, War

Since my early retirement I have enjoyed learning from the internet. I got sucked into conspiracies and subscribed to what I assumed were left-wing newsletters that kept me informed. It is only with examining the rise of Trump that I have determined that many of these are right-wing intellectuals. This is understandable as I see their funding as being a knock-on effect of the 1%-manipulations.

However whilst I describe this right-wing intellectualism, it does not mean that this information is untrue – far from it. I consider these intellectuals the right-wing periphery, and have no wish to dissociate from them. Of course that does not mean I have any right-leanings.

For me the issue lies with the answer to this question, how do we overcome the 1%? And the answer for me is very clearly Collective Unity, and struggling as the United 99% against the 1%. It is never clear to me how the individualism of these good right-wing intellectuals will overcome something as powerful as the 1%. In my view they need to overcome their abhorrence of the liberals, an abhorrence I also feel, and somehow find a way of working in Unity against the 1%.

Government and taxation is of course very divisive. When I look at the neoliberal governments of Blair and Obama I understand why these intellectuals are against taxation and government. As a teacher I incline to defend the educational aspect of governance, but I know that the caring aspects are only a subterfuge for the main current purpose of taxation – accumulation of wealth to the 1% through taxation for defence spending on the wars-for-profit.

There needs to be some form of commitment to Unity, and I don’t see these right-wing intellectuals wanting that; I must just accept the bonus of knowledge that the right-wing periphery funding provides. The egos that comes with individualism anywhere on the political spectrum has also to be recognised and defeated, ego is a major divisive factor.

I am old enough for truth to be easy, proletarian struggle. Occupy reinforced that with its simple 1% clarity. But these understandings are interspersed throughout a steady campaign of confusion. Politically for me this has shown itself clearly recently with the identification of the left with liberalism, when I think that people might identify my position with neoliberalism, its wars-for-profits and wage-slavery I shudder. But the clarity of my truth has to be tempered by the obvious failure of the genuine left to unite and be meaningful, hence the ease with which we have been labelled with the liberals.

This blog on truth was sparked by watching this video called “The Republic of Science” from Judith Curry, I absolutely do not recommend this video. In Mandtao I examine science – I am posting this in my main blog Zandtao as well. As a Buddhist I am firmly committed to 100% enquiry (4 Agreements as well). Science needs questioning because science is establishment. Now saying science is establishment for me means that science is controlled by the 1%, and when you listen to Judith she talks of the way science is controlled. She makes a very convincing case, that creative scientists (who she calls mavericks) are restricted by the science establishment and government direction. This is excellent, Mandtao would appear to say the same thing but the reality is the exact opposite.

Judith Curry is on the periphery of the Koch brothers campaign for climate denial. I suspect, although I don’t know, that whatever funding she gets stems from the vast amounts the Koch brothers have used to dominate the internet. So-called independent media. I have no interest in her climate denial evaluation – she might have a genuine position; she does not appear to be a direct definitive climate denier. What concerns me is that her analysis of science is so close to the truth that it is so easy to fall for her line.

The problem is she does not see the source of the problem as the 1%. She talks mostly of the science establishment stifling mavericks, who can argue with that? Her position is then that the establishment is stifling the maverick who talks of climate denial. This is so plausible but oh so dangerous. The question is “when is science stifling maverick creativity?” as opposed to “when is scientific knowledge refuting politically and financially-inspired bogus claims of climate denial?” these are significantly different positions yet so subtle. On the level of daily science, the source of funding that creates such destructive scepticism cannot be traced to the 1%, and leaves blogposts such as this in the realms of lunatic conspiracy. This is the purpose of confusion. And with the current level of collective confusion there can be no Unity to fight.

How can I ask for all to see through such subtle manipulation?

I have a completely misguided acquaintance who can put “likes” on my 1%-posts, and yet can support Trump. How confused is he? He does not have a mass movement base to his understanding. An individualist will examine Judith Curry’s individualist examination of science – the individualism that celebrates mavericks, and can see the partial truth of what she says as truth. The mass movement says “where is the hand of the 1%?”, and immediately looks at finance. Once you apply that paradigm you see the Koch Brothers and climate denial – whether Judith believes what she says or not.

I can support her analysis of the scientific establishment, and I thank the funding that has powered that. I can thank the right wing for the Corbett Report that brings this and other useful information to light. But if I am unsure I ask the mass movement question “where is the hand of the 1%?” …. and there is clarity.

As Mandtao the maths/stats man I am a supporter of scientific knowledge and scientific method. I attack the science establishment for similar reasons to Judith Curry’s video “the Republic of Science”, but in the end she is supporting the 1%, the Corbett Report is supporting the 1% by promoting her. All the scepticism around climate change can only be seen in terms of 1%-industries, the Koch Brothers campaign, and how any doubts that arise enable this industrial establishment to continue with the environmental damage and pollution – whatever “scientific point” Judith or others raise.

It is sad in this world that the 1% are so sick, so detached from the species they are a part of, that they want to destroy the very Unity of who we are – the ONE planet. And they will finance and manipulate at any level to enact their sickness. It is so hard to understand how these people became so sick, I understand why Icke wants to separate them and call them lizards, but they are just sick humans. We have to face the understanding that humanity can become as sick as these people.

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If I were Bill Gates ….

Posted: 06/01/2018 by zandtao in Finance, ONE planet
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In a recent Mandtao blogpost I discussed the amount of money people like Bill Gates have, and how it is equivalent to the amount of money of countless lives. It is a sickness that these people keep such amounts of money when that wealth is far beyond anything they can purchase. They should be giving back.

But effective giving back is not easy.

There is the Gates’ Foundation, and with good PR this is perceived charity work – giving back. But is it? Foundations have become a way in which the 1% can appear to give back whilst maintaining the system.

Consider the Clinton foundation. For the first time foundations have publicly come under question for all the wrong reasons. The Clinton foundation was questioned by the Trump campaign as a means of undermining trust in Hillary. To my mind Hillary was a typical political in-fighter whose background is murky. But that murky background is no different to the usual in-fighter who manages to get through the party machine. I place her on a par with Blair, neither of whom I trust but both of whom are better than right-wing alternatives – but only marginally. Almost any candidate would have been better than Trump whose nastiness has turned out to be a 1%-Godsend in that he can do whatever he wants to ordinary people and still maintain his electoral base; the people of the US are at the complete mercy of the 1% at present.

The Clinton Foundation is not however any different from any of the other Foundations that have appeared. They pretend they are charitable but in reality propagate the capitalists’ system.

In Aid – Rhetoric and Reality, Teresa Hayter and Catharine Watson discuss the way Aid is manipulated in order to propagate the interests of capitalism. The subject is complex because even with Aid money it is difficult to find ways of doing good. Caring is not enough, it requires intelligent compassion in order to find a way through the various mechanisms that have developed to protect capitalism.

To become successful Bill Gates used Machiavellian practices, has the leopard changed his spots? I don’t think so. I suspect his Foundation is just part of the establishment foundations who propagate the 1%-system whilst appearing to be caring.

However, suppose Bill Gates is genuine and wishes to give back, it would require wise compassion. There would be sufficient money to invest to make a difference but there would have to be intelligence in how it was invested. There is little point in trolling off to Africa with an open wallet expecting the world to change – see Aid Rhetoric and Reality. What is required is discernment. Giving money to a puppet dictator is a waste of time, wandering into a village with handouts would only benefit in the short-term, there has to be long-term benefit to the project. Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and give him a fishing-rod he has a job-for-life is a step in the right direction. But that fishing lesson is still not making a major contribution.

Bill Gates’ money, genuine Foundation money, could make an impact, but the 1% know their biggest danger is those of their own who turn. Gore Vidal turned and was attacked. Al Gore tries to do some good but the system is too powerful. Foster Gamble promotes good, but I am not completely sure about Thrive. Simply having the money and good-will is not enough the 1% has too much control. It requires intelligent compassion.

Bill Gates has been successful in the system, he is probably used to “winning” and “getting his own way”. If he has a change of heart and expects benefaction to produce good results he will be disappointed, caring is not enough, his compassion has to be intelligent.

Whilst they have not had Bill’s money there have been many NGOs (non-governmental organisations) such as Oxfam who have tried to make a difference; in small ways they do. They are allowed to have minimal effect but if they become sufficiently effective that they will affect profits, then government measures at 1%-instigation will curtail their operations.

The issue comes down to personal responsibility. For many people Oxfam fulfils a function. Whilst people need to spend all their time working, many want to give back. They care but they do not have the time to use their intelligence with their caring. To fight the system requires caring but caring is not enough, it requires intelligent compassion and a commitment to that compassion that most people are unable to offer. The 1% know this and manipulate it. As a result caring liberals give money and accept the stereotypes that the rhetoric of the Aid industry offers when the results are minimal. Quite simply these liberals are more committed to their finance, work and lifestyle than to give the commitment to apply their compassion intelligently. Sadly it does require that commitment now because the 1% has such control and influence.

That brings me back to Bill Gates. If his foundation is based on caring it is not enough. He needs to apply intelligent compassion. He needs to work with people who over the years have turned their caring into intelligent compassion. These people would know ways of making a difference on the ground. They would know the people on the ground who have integrity and who genuinely care for their people. They would know the ways in which their caring would be effective. Bill would have to listen to these people and even then it would be hard – far harder than it was to become rich in the first place. That only required Machiavellian single-mindedness, fighting the system takes much more commitment than that. The rewards are greater but not visible.

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Helping the Conditioned

Posted: 04/12/2017 by zandtao in Freedom, ONE planet

When looking to helping the conditioned there are two aspects, first making people aware of their conditioning and second explaining the tools Gaia has given them for dealing with conditioning. Much of my rant was because in all the weeks of discussion neither of these came up because the people weren’t interested – one out of complacency and one who has given up.

There is no doubt that I should not allow myself to get frustrated with people but there is so much to be gained by being free from conditioning and in these weeks of frustration we never got near any of it. A conditioned mind is like a prison, I have no right to say that as I have never been in prison, but when the mind is empty it is free, it is open, it can look outwards, but when it is conditioned it is trapped into responding with knee-jerk reactions such as calling liar on verifiable facts because those facts are uncomfortable.

This first port of call in removing conditioning is looking inwards. If we say there is brainwashing this is not looking inwards, it is an observation. Looking inwards is concerned with grasping the notion of brainwashing, unravelling and letting go of the brainwashing. Without looking in there is still brainwashing, saying there is brainwashing is just a litany – it has no meaning until the mind is applied to unravel and let go. Once that happens there is the elation that is freedom of mind as mind loses all it is impediments, its imprisoning. and opens up to the wonder that comes with being free and open to emptiness.

The removal of conditioning never stops because the conditioning process is always happening unless we become adept at stopping conditioning. Allowing myself to become frustrated was a conditioned response. Being free from conditioning allows the mind to touch the joy that is emptiness.

Being free from conditioning allows the mind to experience compassion, compassion that is at the basis of all caring. It is this compassion that brings with it the understanding of unity, the understanding that we are all together as one, and to see the ludicrousness of our politics that just continues to divide, divide through greed, divide through ideals, divide through the lack of inner journey, divide through apathy and complacency, divide through conditioning.

If this compassion has a downside it is the perpetual duty to help the conditioned when the situation arises. It is not possible for me to stop, and I end up frustrated when the help is rejected. Hence the rant. I know there must be frustration, I accept that. Writing is better. It can be explained, I can pretend there is reading, listening and understanding. I can pretend the conditioned are being helped, are becoming aware of the conditioning that they help themselves.

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

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Teaching Methodologies

Posted: 22/10/2017 by zandtao in Education, Insight, Meditation, ONE planet


I downloaded an eBook written by Edward Muzika entitled “Awakening and the Descent of Grace as part of my enquiry into awakening experiences, it turned out this guy has an internet presence operating as Edji.

When I started to read his eBook this jumped out at me “The awakening and deepening experiences are closely related to the experiences of the teacher; that is, you will experience awakenings similar to that of the teacher” [p5 of 82]. It is connected with my concerns over 5 Gateways which I reiterate is good stuff. 5 Gateways has a framework that I discussed here, I was worried that the framework creates the type of awakening experiences. This is exactly what is contained in Edji’s quote.

This made me consider teaching methodologies in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world I remember this interaction. At one stage I was close to a monk who was running a useful “Buddhist church”. He regularly delivered Dhamma talks that I used to attend – standard format, meditation, the Dhamma talk where the audience listened in silence, questions at the end – not usually any and if there were they appeared not enquiry but for the sake of having questions – fill the time.

We were close enough that he invited me to interview for a job teaching monks maths, they were attending a monks’ university and would probably end up teaching. Whilst up there he invited me to attend one of his “lessons” on the dhamma to the young monks. I thanked him and suggested that I do a teacher observation and evaluation, something that I had done regularly with good feedback from teacher colleagues in my department; I wanted some value from observing his lesson – watching only had little value. The lecture/lesson was good, the rapport with the students was good, but his reaction to my evaluation was poor. I began with the two positive comments just stated, and then pointed out minor issues (presented as such) in a 6-page report. There were no thanks. Professional teachers are expected to work with such evaluations and accept professional advice in a good interactional environment. With me they always seemed to, with this monk there was no response then.

There was however later. The monk ran a blog for his “church”. As a blog it was excellent, usually informative and well worth doing. However he made a mistake. On his blog he discussed a book by Tony Blair in which Tony had discussed Iraq. His blog bought what Tony had been peddling, and I sent a polite post questioning his stance. There was a polite response in which he made it clear that he did not wish to pursue discussion of Tony and his book – he did not retract the blog or make any personal retraction to me. Within the blog there were slightly bitter references to me as an educationalist. His church was worthwhile, pursuing the matter any further in public would only have been divisive and detrimental to the church, it was clear he was not interested in pursuing the matter privately; I did not attend the church again and he did not contact me to ask why.

To me the reaction contained ego, and also contained a failure to recognise professional teaching experience in the education system as relevant to his work at the monks’ college.

I had a similar interaction with a macrobiotic counsellor but the details are much hazier so I won’t go into them. What I got from the counsellor was that my professional experience as a teacher had no relevance to his counselling.

When I read Edji’s quote I began to think about teaching methodologies in the spiritual world. Professionally, do they stand up?

Here is the person I most consider my teacher, Ajaan Buddhadasa, giving a talk to western students:-

His teaching style is very formal, he gives a dhamma talk in silence following on from meditation (or meditation at the end).

This style would be typical of Theravadin monks in Thailand – he was Thai. Ajaan Buddhadasa is not connected with the Forest Sangha but many western Theravadin monks are connected with the Forest Sangha – as is Harnham Buddhist monastery. I have stayed at Harnham and the style of dhamma talks is typified in this picture. The abbott there introduced Dhammasakkacha in which people connected to the monastery (such as me) wrote a page on a topic such as renunciation – nekhamma that he briefly responded to. These stopped.

Here is Brad Warner, a zen monk that I used to follow, giving a talk:-

There is no doubt that Brad tries respectfully to break through many traditions. My interpretation of his dhamma talks is that they are not traditional but that they are dhamma – I liked that. I have never attended a talk of his nor have I been on a retreat with him but it is my understanding of his methodology that he talks to the group, and he has individual consultations.

Eckhart Tolle sits on stage and gives talks. He did an education thing with Oprah in which he discussed each chapter of his book “The New Earth” answering viewers’ questions and more.

I have attended gatherings with Krishnamurti. His talks appeared interrogatory in that he took a theme and explored it by asking questions and hoped that the gathering would explore themselves by asking the same questions. But he was on stage with an audience of hundreds – the questioning was rhetorical although I genuinely felt he wanted people to come up with answers for themselves.

Now here is Edji reclined in a comfortable chair giving a dhamma talk to a group of “students” connected to him by “video-conferencing” (I assume) – hence the computer on his lap.

Ed also uses the occasional expletive, and in this talk encourages people to be their own gurus.

I have attended talks given by Thich Nhat Hanh. In one his microphone wasn’t working properly and his English could not be heard, the Thai translation was clear. His dhamma is excellent but how could that have happened? How could he not have mechanisms in place to ensure that people could hear him? Something happened on stage, and I interpret it as this – I don’t know how true. Part way through a nun came on stage and tried to do stuff with the mike, I could see her trying to talk to him but she was summarily dismissed. She left with extreme embarrassment.

So a typical dhamma talk is didactic – a lecture in silence.

What am I getting at?

I begin by asking questions. My interaction with the monk makes me question that monk and points to questioning monks in general to accept advice from appropriate professionals, in this case professional advice on teaching methodology.

Where does learning occur? At the dhamma talk only minimally. It occurs when you sit and meditate. Learning is understanding when there is insight, when an idea is internalised. This might happen at a dhamma talk or it might happen in meditation. I described the monk’s group as a church. I attended that church for a while, and as with the catholic church I attended as a child there appeared little enquiry. It was worthwhile that this group met, that was sufficient.

I used to have what might be called dhamma conversations. In a non-silent retreat you might be chatting with a monk or others, and in that conversation you gain insight. Or on the road I have met other aware travellers, and there have been meaningful conversations, insight, learning and moving-on – the wonders of travel broadening the mind. I would describe these conversations as dialogue with the intent to learn or intent leading to a mutual conclusion (most conversations have no such intent).

Here is a non-learning situation that might arise. Sankhara diarrhoea or sankhara block – I think this particularly applies to western students (I have read similar from eastern teachers). Western minds especially fresh from education are so full of this and that, there is no way in for new stuff. I have often discussed this as intellect excluding insight.

You need empty silent minds to learn, not minds full of mental proliferations.

Many of the above giving talks claim to be Buddhist yet my interpretation of the Kalama sutta is that the Buddha said not to believe anything he says learn for yourself. When a talk is given what is expected of the listener, what is it that the listener is expected to learn?

What are the motivations of the listener? Ideally I would say that the motivations are connected with learning and experiencing what the Buddha taught. However as a Christian church wats are not places this happens. It is a social expectation to attend, and some, but few, move beyond. I chose the word church for the Bangkok monk, I did not feel spiritual drive.

The motivations of a learner are different but above I see motivations of a “teacher”. This requires analysis. One of the big problems with teaching is that teachers want to teach and they don’t always have sufficient emphasis on the student’s need to learn – I have met this often. It is not they don’t want the students to learn but the emphasis is on what they do and not what the student learns. Within education teaching methodology on this is changing, but in spiritual circles the main methodology is shut up and listen.

I had a discussion at Harnham. Learning to be a monk took 5 years. Potential learners went to the monastery and worked with the abbot for a while until they could accept that they would be “apprenticed” for 5 years. If they dropped out during the 5 years they were never allowed near the monastery again. There is good learning in this. But the emphasis is on learning to be a monk. This brings in the institutional question, are all monks seeking genuine truth? Are there institutional limitations? Retreats were offered, learning retreats as well as “being there” retreats.

But what is the objective of all these methodologies? And I offer a very dangerous answer – getting the learner to reach the inner guide. As I said this objective is seriously dangerous because it demands an integrity of the inner guide, and whilst a genuine inner guide has that there are so many selves and egos that could get in the way that this is a very dangerous objective.

What usually happens with the above methodologies is that the teachers present a right view (4NT one of the 8-fold path). But how is it received? Does the teacher demand insight, do they demand the necessity of the subjective? No, they can’t so what they are presenting is dogma, the right view of dogma, the safe view of dogma. And when it is dogma, how can there be inner guide?

There is a saying “Give a person a fish, s/he is not hungry that day, teach that person to fish and s/he is not hungry for life”. Dogma is words, words that might rest the “soul” for a day but the inner guide is a path for life. How many of the above teaching methodologies give an inner guide for life?

I have attended a number of dhamma talks and I cannot recall an emphasis on the inner guide – maybe I didn’t hear the emphasis. Some of Buddhism demands a guru. This makes a lot of sense, an inner guide without a guru has the potential to setup all kinds of egos and go in all kinds of wrong directions, but ultimately the guide has to surpass the guru. But for how many gurus is that the objective?

My awareness of inner guide as the teaching methodology came about as part of my recent home retreats – bhavana. But I first experienced my inner guide early in life. Following the path became a “mantra”. However whilst following the path I became a drunk, had dubious sexual encounters and various other selves that were clearly not “spiritual”. Yet I had an inner guide. Reaching the inner guide is not enough, there needs to be processes in place to make sure the inner guide is adhered – mindful processes. One obvious process is a guru promoting the inner guide, for others it is becoming a monk, but for most the inner guide emerges and the individual flounders around – much like I did. Yet reaching the inner guide has to be the objective. I have met recently a number of people whose life has been dominated by seeking. They have found gurus but not the inner guides nor any process that maintains the integrity of the inner guide. Without the guide it is difficult to see where they are going.

When you examine the teaching practices in the world of spirituality there are questions to ask. I contend the objective is to help the seeker find the inner guide but with that help ensure that the seeker has mechanisms that support the inner guide. Is that what is on offer?

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Inner Guide – Bhavana

Posted: 22/10/2017 by zandtao in Insight, Meditation, ONE planet
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An odd weekend and home retreat.

I stayed up all Friday night, I was getting tired at 6 am but as the cleaner was due I just about stayed up. After she left the day was taken up with sleeping through Ally McBeal and then in the evening watching and dozing. 12.30 went to bed and got a melatonin hour but that was it.

At 04.00am I decided to meditate mainly about reformism and conditioning – too much sankhara, and then slept for two or three hours. Meditated again, and this was devastating. Since Edji I have an unfinished blog about spiritual teachers and methodologies. Thinking on this I came up with “reaching the inner guide” such a dangerous approach. I discovered huge personal arrogance connected to this, and I fell on the bed and slept nearly 4 hours. I meditated again but stopped after 34mins because the rain was loud on the car leanto. Dozed again till 4.00 pm but at least Benny was there for food.

Inner guide is so dangerous.

I have always talked about the Path but only recently recognised the Path is a mechanism (at the end of this long blog). For the time I lived by the path it was substantive in my life, in a sense it was guiding me. Beyond saying that I felt close to the path or not I cannot explain more but it was a real guide. Following the path fizzled out after Peyton Place because I turned to politics – even though I would always say I was a political activist to enable developing spirituality. I turned to Buddhism after my mid-life review, I don’t know whether that was path or an inner guide. Once I meditated I have always felt a guide telling me what to study next espeically after retirment.

What is the path/guide? Kamma? Dogma – if you remove the I and mine from the 5 khandas then there is just sunnata. And sunnata guides. Somewhere within the morass of BillZ’s egos and selves sunnata managed to designate a path, something that the morass managed to discern as path. But basically calling sunnata a path is a human mechanism but somehow we need to try to find this path, this inner guide.

That is the conclusion of this blog on spiritual teaching methodologies but there are huge dangers to an inner guide. BE WARNED.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Compassion Paradigm

Posted: 03/10/2017 by zandtao in ONE planet, Struggle
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I wonder how much we can communicate. [Below}

I live within a compassion paradigm. This paradigm contends that humans are basically compassionate but conditioning prevents them from being so. Yet compassion is always trying to win through.

This conditioning is of a personal-social-political nature, and working for compassion against this conditioning was my reason for going into education. This conditioning is greatly influenced by a social paradigm I perceive as the 1%-paradigm, and that instead of education working towards removing our conditioning it educates towards increasing conditioning to preserve this 1%-paradigm.

The nature of this 1%-paradigm is to enable the increased accumulation of wealth to the 1%, and within the education system this means avoidance of education that demonstrates the power and influence of the 1%, education for wage-slavery, and miseducation concerning the wars-for-profits. For me these are the “overarching principles of education” even though within education itself there are occasional efforts against this paradigm.

History for me is an important tool to demonstrate the pervasiveness of this 1%-paradigm, it is less useful in demonstrating compassion. I use sources such as Eduardo Galleano, Walter Rodney and Howard Zinn but lay absolutely no claim to academic rigour; in the British context I have sufficient personal knowledge to see how landowners and serfs can develop into 1% and wage-slaves. Exploitation is integral to this 1%-paradigm, exploitation as wage slaves, exploitation as soldiers, exploitation through racism and sexism, and exploitation is a necessary pre-requisite for the accumulation that is the raison d’etre of the paradigm.

Within the 1%-paradigm the overarching concern of academia at all levels is not the leading out of compassion but the development of an increased bank of knowledge that, by avoidance or otherwise, fits within the 1%-paradigm and does not emphasise the compassion paradigm.

You are clearly a devoted historian, and the knowledge you have amassed would academically belittle any arguments I could put forward. But this knowledge functions within this 1%-paradigm. I read your previous comment (interpret) as saying that historical events in the UK dictate a necessary accumulation of power within Westminster, that this power has historically been white, and that to continue with that protective process of accumulation of power involves the continuation of similar processes including aspects of white privilege. Within its context I cannot dispute such an argument. However within a compassionate framework it is flawed as it accepts accumulation of power, white privilege and therefore racism, and at the same time it facilitates the accumulation of wealth to the 1%. Although academically I don’t have the knowledge to argue against, that is not the paradigm I choose to argue within. Hence the problem I said at the beginning of the difficulty of communication.

For me compassion trumps all.

[Below] This was written to a history ex-colleague.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

The Compassionate Left

Posted: 15/09/2017 by zandtao in Democracy, Freedom, ONE planet, Struggle


I am a member of the compassionate left. Whilst I am not the only such member there is no such organisation. I am compassionate first, for me being compassionate makes me accept the compassionate economic analysis of Marxism. Because I am compassionate I wish to see all people free from suffering, and politically there are no doubts that I must stand on the left, on a left which is against the 1%, against war, and against wage-slavery.

Recently the left has been losing the propaganda war. Funding manipulations on the internet have left many people describing my life-long scourge – wishy-washy liberals – as left. This irritates me. If I start using terms like compassionate – liberals of course call themselves compassionate, hard-line leftist theorists will say that I have let in these wishy-washies. They would say “hold to a contemporary radical Marxist position” as a means of distinguishing from Liberals. Yet a clear compassionate view that includes contemporary radical Marxism distinguishes me from Liberals.

In this context it is worth considering what a Liberal is. Liberals are intellectuals, often what my comrades used to call armchair socialists, who are vaguely caring and vaguely socialist. And by “vaguely” I mean that when it comes to the crunch, if it is a choice between mortgage and socialism liberals will always choose mortgage, and the underlying fear and greed that marks a Liberal can lead them to vote with the right wing especially as they get older. The Liberal agenda varies over time, currently it is wrapped up in identity politics. This identity agenda dominates the façade of liberal media in the West, a media which is increasing the division of the 99% – and this fact of division shows who is controlling the media, 1%.

One of the failures of the left in my lifetime has been the inability of the left to unite. Primarily this is because of intellectualism dominating the left-wing. During my limited activism this left-wing has split itself over intellectual differences concerning Marxism. As a UK activist in the 80s left-wing politics was divided intellectually, hatred of other Marxists dominated – Commies vs Trots. At the time I was pulled to communism where I obtained an excellent Marxist education, but saw the lunacy of their positions. At the time women were still patronised because “Marxists” decided women should not “go down the mines”. And their major attack on the Trots was that they divided the mass movement (which they did) yet in the UK there were 3 communist parties with a total of 5000 people!! So the left is comprised of commies, trots, some of the labour movement and wishy-washy liberals – not the mass movement, is there any wonder that there were right victories in Trump and Brexit?

One of the main reasons that the left is not attracting 99% support is the fact that they don’t listen. These activists are deeply immersed in their activism of promoting the “mass movement”, but they don’t listen to the mass movement because of “recruiting”. A caring person is drawn to political activism and is immediately assailed by factions recruiting for their own brand of Marxism. This intellectual activism is so destructive, and can lose caring activists. The point of Marxist correctness is not that it is intellectually correct but that his analysis supports the compassionate approach that frees all people from suffering, from the 1%, from war and from wage-slavery.

Significant amongst the hard-line Marxists is the notion of revolution. Whilst there is no doubt that the 1% will never relinquish power through the ballot box as they control propaganda globally through the wider media (inc internet), it is only intellectualism that can call for revolution at this stage. Look at the Vanguard in Russia. They started a revolution in which many people died because of capitalist reaction, yet because the people were not “ready” the USSR never moved beyond the dictatorship of the proletariat that eventually stagnated and led to oligarchy. Is this a century of progress? Whilst revolution might well be the only way to dispossess the 1% now, to call for such at the moment is only calling for a futile death of the mass movement. When the revolution might be “ready”, who knows?

Compassion also has a broader appeal. In the West Christianity is the dominant religion yet traditional Christianity votes with the right wing. In Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America there is the tradition of Christian compassion epitomised by Paolo Friere, but in the West the Christian tradition is voting with right-wing thugs. Why aren’t they voting with the compassionate left? Propaganda, not Christian compassionate analysis. This incongruous voting pattern is made far easier by left-wing intellectuals who promote hard-line theories, dismiss religious experience as an opiate, and do not listen to where people are coming from.

Sanders and Corbyn have got to be the great left-wing hopes. Whilst Corbyn’s roots were in the Trotskyist Left, his approach is that of compassion and listening distinguishing him from his erstwhile comrade theorists. Grass roots activist throughout the movement might themselves hold to theories but their success is based on their ability to listen to the mass movement, show compassion and adapt to what they hear. Corbyn does this, I assume Sanders does too.

Clearly the political objective has got to be uniting the 99% against the 1%. Some of Trump’s right-wing rhetoric appropriates the anti-1% dogma, but for some of his supporters their vote was only a “hail Mary” approach – now patently not a touchdown. A compassionate left would have listened to those people, you cannot unite the 99% by not listening to them. If you listen to them they will listen to you. If you don’t try to sell them a “recruitment” line but try to work with them in the interests of the mass movement, maybe there can be some unity. If the dominant approach of the mass movement is compassionate listening activism, then there is a chance of unifying the 99%.

Make compassion a benchmark for activism and voting.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Awakening as Two Childhoods

Posted: 12/09/2017 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, ONE planet, Writing
Tags:

Terminology Warning – awakening


Recently I have begun to consider my awakening again, and it has left me completely re-evaluating my life. Now I understand I am a writer whereas previously I have seen myself as a teacher, similar but distinct purposes. This was discussed fully in the awakening section of my mid-life review.

My first childhood was the conditioning childhood we all go through to a greater or lesser extent – conditioning by family, conditioning by school, community and society. For me this conditioning was so repressive – dukkha – with no conscious pain, that it led to hitting bottom and the beginning of an awakening. But at that stage I wasn’t mature, and it took a second unconditioned childhood to come to terms with the inimical environment this part-awakening put me in. It was necessary for me to grow in this unconditioned environment before the awakening could be considered in some way complete – and that I am seeing as a spiritual or unconditioned childhood.

I describe the environment as inimical, it is worthwhile to consider why. Throughout this second childhood my awareness was based on an awakening that had seen through the systemic conditioning – the part-awakening. But whoever you are you live within conditioning – even in communes there is only less conditioning. And the primary means of maintaining that conditioning is wage-slavery, the need for money. After a couple of years my awakened compassion saw teaching as a vocation, my motivations for teaching were based in compassion. However teaching is an important part of the conditioned 1%-system, education is conditioning. And to make sure that you continue that conditioning process a teacher is controlled as a wage-slave – for details of that control see Matriellez.

Here was my situation. Through part-awakening compassion had chosen education, but education is a lynch-pin of conditioning. The awakening process has to be concerned with removing conditioning yet I had chosen a central conditioning environment – education; this was inimical.

Unfortunately I chose to cope with this enmity by turning to drink effectively slowing down the awakening process. Once I stopped drinking life pushed me into travel and working internationally. Whilst still being a wage-slave being in other cultures had less conditioning as you were physically detached. Being in Africa for a few years led to a completion of the awakening as discussed in the mid-life review until I eventually removed myself from the conditioned environment as much as I possibly could now being a writer with sufficient personal income from teacher pensions.

I have a good deal of control of my life now. Through awakening there is no conditioning, and through survival means (income) I can live a mostly unconditioned life – an awakened life – a mature life.

This reframing of my life as two childhoods is significant, because it removes incongruities from my awakening. There were questions that crossed my mind, how can a drunk be awake? How can awakening not be a conscious process? During the second childhood following the Path was an act of surrender but there was always some conscious awareness of being on the Path, and the need to change to start following again. Compassion chose education yet how can an awake person work as a slave and be truly awake? My teaching life was one conflict after another as I attempted to stand up for genuine education. How can I be a teacher when I don’t choose what I teach? How can an awakened person not have sila? It took retirement for me to see that I lacked silamy first blogs. How can an awakened person not take care of their body? It took retirement for me to begin my natural health. These are all decisions of a mature person, decisions that are hard if not impossible to be made in the conditioned environment of wage-slavery.

I developed into being a writer, it was an involuntary Path. I might well have developed into a teacher by choosing what I taught but I never made a decision to do that. I began writing in two ways. Firstly I wrote to expunge myself of the teacher-slavery and in some way help contribute to what might be genuine natural education – Matriellez. But I also wrote as I learned more about Buddhism – blogs. But at the same time I was writing me – firstly as the Treatise and then the novels. As I come to terms with what my awakening has been, I am writing – not teaching.

Awakening is so important, it means being completely independent of any conditioning – moving beyond conditioning. Undoubtedly there are people in this world who just develop “beyond conditioning” – Ajaan Buddhadasa. Especially in the West this process of awakening is going to be associated with dukkha. Conditioning creates pain, in my case the pain of repression, and my awakening started when I rejected all that conditioning and what that conditioning had in store for me. But I was still immature, and it took a second childhood to mature. This awakening process need not be an instant. Here is Eckhart Tolle’s instant in detail:-

“One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.
“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I’ and the `self’ that `I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.”
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words “resist nothing,” as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.”
Introduction to Power of Now.

The 5 Gateways movie also discusses awakening instants.

I know little of the spiritual game, there is a whole industry of teachers and charlatans. There is a whole industry based on aspirations – desire for awakening and learning, but are the people involved always genuine? It is hard to tell because in this inimical world awakened people are forced to find money. I consider Eckhart genuine – as far as I can know. Money has come to him from doing what his awakening decided – spiritual teaching, he appears independent. Are all such teachers independent? Are the interests of the spiritual writers the same as those of the publishers? Before I became concerned with his transcendence beyond conditioning, I followed Brad Warner quite closely; whilst I consider he was genuine (within the transcendence concern) he was always battling with survival to be independent; mostly I think he achieved independence.

Awakening is so important, hold onto it. Seek validation – creative people are good sources of this. Genuine creativity has an awakening but it has not matured. Such awakened people are usually involved in survival issues. They are also in the process of fully awakening, as partial awakenings can be seen in the lack of sila – moral integrity. Genuine spirituality can be a source of validation but my limited contact with spirituality is that much is about dogma and not experience. Religious institutions contain many who have started awakening but they don’t appear to be controlled by the awakened. Institutions are dominated by the same problem of all entities – the need to survive, in a financial world survival comes at a price of independence. And mature awakening must be independent.

Nature has much to offer but is there much better than awakening?

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Misery

Posted: 03/09/2017 by zandtao in Freedom, ONE planet, Struggle, War
Tags: ,

There seems no end to the misery. From Horizontalidad in the early 90s through the Arab Spring to Occupy (tag) throughout the world and finally OWS, there had been some hope. But the enemy, the 1%, became marked in this movement – and that scared them. So the 1% found the answer, create confusion on the internet by funding all and sundry. Now we have complete chaos, there is no clear genuine left alternative.

In this article Paul Street describes the chaos that would have ensued if Hillary had won. In the article there is a much clearer understanding of on-the-ground US neoliberal politics than anything I could offer from afar. What it definitely shows is the chaos that is now US neoliberal politics. What we now have is the 1%, 2% – a genuine left alternative, and 97% total confusion (I have no basis for the exactness of these figures).

Liberal-bashing is now the fashion amongst the right, and liberal-bleating of a defence is the current level of response. Whilst this is obvious in the US it is occurring throughout the West. The good-old Liberal Obama set the scene for the world’s current greatest humanitarian disaster by sending drones to Yemen. Trump’s alliance with Saudi has seeded the destruction, and the Liberals barely bleat. They cannot do anything about it so they don’t bleat. But if they scream and shout about LBGT toilets, maybe they can do something – and their parties are fine. This is a right-wing created issue to bait the Liberals, meanwhile the real destruction goes on across the world – War for profits in the name of Western neoliberalism.

Is there a solution? Paul talks about a genuine left alternative, but can that ever happen? Since Marx there has been a clear analysis of the source of the problems – the bourgeois 1%, yet we now have a “2%”- acceptance of this. It appears to me that acceptance of this has been on the decrease in my lifetime – not helped at all by the continual left-wing squabbling before the recent “chaos” funding. This leads to the question, can there ever be a united 99%? If we look at the chaos now, the answer seems a resounding no.

Now it is particularly bad but I wonder if the answer could ever have been yes.

To try to get at this we need to look at conditioning. If we move beyond our conditioning we do not accept the 1%-system of neoliberalism, we see that all that matters is compassion. Not, who is in charge? Not, which system do we use? But compassion, compassion for all people. If we are compassionate we don’t fight wars. If we are compassionate we don’t treat people as wage-slaves. We care for people, who they are, and who they could be if enabled. Compassion ends suffering, ends the misery our world is in because of 1%-exploitation (mostly western) and the endless façade of populism, liberal-bashing-and-bleating – neoliberalism. The world needs compassion.

A conditioned person does not put compassion first. When people hear of humanitarian disaster in Yemen, compassion is not the first response; it is conditioning. Muslims, we should protect people but …. If we send money do we look after ourselves? We are good people, our governments cannot be causing wars just for profits, there has to be something wrong with these others. All of these responses are conditioned. The first objective needs to be compassion, put compassion first and leave out the conditioning. When there is a world where compassionate response comes first, then we have a world without division, and division is what is causing the misery. If Rockefeller says we cannot have compassion because my standard of living goes down, we laugh at his greed. Do we laugh at the greed if it is said at the golf club, the country house, etc.? When we look at the poverty that exists in the desert we, right-wing and liberals, are afraid, we, right-wing and liberals, become greedy in case our standard of living is affected, the compassionate and the non-liberal left (different) say “care for them at all costs”.

So why do I differ the compassionate and the non-liberal left? The non-liberal left put their systems, their ideologies first. They are conditioned to believe in systems, that is their education, their intellectualism. As a result of this belief in systems, for years the non-liberal left has fought each other, Commies vs Trots, which version of Marxism is right etc. And whilst they fought, the 1% continued exploitation, and the misery continued – has grown? When there was some crystallisation of action through Horizontalidad and Occupy, there became the funded chaos. Because we were all still responding on a conditioned level – even if that conditioned response is against the system, it was easy to create funded chaos by attacking theories. You cannot attack unconditioned compassion except by greed and selfishness

Can we ever fight our conditioning and become an unconditioned 99% – 100%? Can we ever be a compassionate 99% – a compassionate 100%? I doubt it. Can the 99% unite behind a theory without compassion and without removing conditioning? The evidence so far is no, I think no with the theories -permanently.

But compassion and removal of conditioning is a big ask. But it is a better objective than asking for 99% to believe in a system.

But before erstwhile comrades jump down my neck, where does compassion and removal of conditioning take us? In mid-19th century it would have taken us to a Marxist analysis of the exploitation by the bourgeois, now it takes us to seeing the 1%-system in the world. But compassion does not ask “do we believe in Marxism?”, it asks “how does understanding Marx lead to compassion?” And the actions are little different, but there is not the rhetorical arguing over systems and theories. Don’t be conditioned into believing a different theory, be compassionate.

Remove conditioning, make our first response compassion globally, have Unity through forgetting our theories.

Or have the misery that is continuing.

When we act with compassion there are no wars, there is no slavery.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.