Terminology Warning – awakening

I have been re-engaging with Eckhart Tolle, someone who has greatly helped in the past. I like him because of his apparent lack of dogma, and his similarity of early experience as described in Power of Now (see below).

I re-engaged with him because I was examining pain, and in this talk he speaks of his dogma coming from Buddhism. That statement in itself now says little to me because there are many appeals to Buddhism, and as Eckhart also points out the mind has complicated what is Buddhism – sankhara or as Ajaan Buddhadasa says concocting or proliferations.

I am absolutely certain that Eckhart Tolle is talking beyond dogma, but in doing so he creates his own dogma. But the difference with his dogma is that for him it was insight – personal assessment. In other words Eckhart has moved beyond dogma, come up with his own insights, and then applied his own framework to where he has gone. So for him it is Buddhism that is beyond the dogma of Buddhism. Yet for others it is still dogma.

This paradox of the last sentence illustrates that there is a huge problem in all of this, communication – explaining. Once you move beyond dogma, language is a great limitation because language is the métier of dogma – it is the tool of sankhara. The only way that language has meaning beyond dogma is that if the experience is somehow shared.

Below I have copied Eckhart’s experience, and I want to compare. First I want to explain why. These experiences, awakenings connected to jhanas, are so important, and treated as non-existent by the intellectual establishment – by the intellect. I have only just begun to re-celebrate my own experience mainly through consideration of the 5 Gateways movie – if these experiences interest you listen to the people describe their experiences in the movie. Whilst Buddhism talks of these experiences through jhanas there is a sense of belittlement of them possibly because of institutionalism, the dogma of detachment or maybe simply some monks don’t have such experiences. I don’t know.

But these experiences are so important if placed in life’s context.

My experience was not one full-blown awakening as Eckhart describes his and that was primarily because of the booze. Because of the booze I describe my despair as “hitting bottom”. I think I was not suicidal because of the booze but as my “hitting bottom” was diffused over time by the booze, fortunately there was not the same intensity – the same level of despair.

Another difference, maybe, was that my life had not been intense. My early life been totally superficial, just concerned with academia. Everything had been easy. Get up, go to school, play some football. University was just as superficial with drink thrown in. Starting work was the only form of intensity. Studying for exams had been focussed – although not too successful. But there was a real focus for the job, I had to get up go to work and do the stuff they did; I had to have discipline for something that I found meaningless. And as it went on I had to be disciplined to do the work to get money to drink. I didn’t spend my 20s in despair, I drifted around on the surface getting drunk. When I hit bottom it was like I woke up and found an inner life.

But there was another important aspect of intensity for me, after awakening I spent 13 years getting increasingly dependent on alcohol. This diffused the intensity, I even remember thinking at times that getting drunk burnt off excess energy. Coming to terms with the newfound awakening was tempered by increasingly dealing with alcoholism.

This also meant that I was in no way fit to be a spiritual teacher, I could not control my desires – addiction. But over time in this world you cannot live with the intensity, and over time I eschewed the addiction. By then I had accepted the world path of teacher, and in my personal time I occasionally wrote – although that was not frequent. But once I retired I found my own way. Getting rid of the job by writing – Matriellez, then coming to terms with how I should lead life – Treatise, blogging as a means of clearing the mind – Zandtao, Matriellez and Ginsukapaapdee, until I am now writing stories – Wai Zandtao.

His description of experience sounds so exciting:- “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.”

Experiences occurred for me differently. Hitting bottom was obviously brought on by the booze, and booze, as I suspect all drugs – maybe not marijuana?, prevents these jhanas. Immediately following hitting bottom I ran to my parents – I was 22. As usual at my parents’ house I spent much time walking, and I remember wandering around Manchester looking at suits in a Xmas pub thinking “what is this?” Still coming to terms with what was going on I returned to London, and in my Chiswick bedsit finding these experiences happening regularly. I think I was meditating but they just came in, nothing as shattering as Eckhart but there was presence. (Added next day) Exploring memory makes things clearer. That Chiswick bedsit was far more important than the hazy recollection I have of it. It was not special. I remember cooking on a landing in a loft space, having little room but loving it. Getting up there seems almost to have been a trigger for presence. I was stuck in the cubicle of a job, escaped and wandered up and down Chiswick High Road. Then there was the bedsit. Maybe meditation triggered it, maybe just being there triggered it. Can’t remember, doesn’t matter. It happened. That Chiswick time was Eckhart’s “I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.”

After that initial Chiswick “reward” they settled down but have been there for much of my life. Usually they occurred late at night in bed, and suddenly this experience would well up inside me and expand. There was no light for me but it was almost like the air itself was visibly vibrating. I remember the Summer I wrote Kirramura, and I spent the days waiting for the late night where I would go to bed, lie down and just wait for “the guys” to come …. and then I wrote. It was as if such experiences were a bottleneck, they would build up and then wait for a chance to come out – a time when I was quiet or meditating. Now they are less because I am old and meditate regularly. I discussed experiences and Buddhism generally here.

Recently I heard of someone watching 5 Gateways and crying because she had something similar. I was unable to follow up. It made me realise that there is a need to celebrate such experiences because in this world such spiritual matters are belittled by academics, and such people are marginalised not celebrated.

Such great joy!!

“I had become a spiritual teacher.” During Chiswick I started writing – Martin Smoothchatter. It was a time when Arts Centre people were so important as they ratified my experience. The cubicle was never for me, and after a couple of months I started taking Mongol kids out on a Saturday morning, I had found a meaning. This compassion turned to child care and then teaching.

And why are these experiences connected with dogma. They are not, because such experience does not happen if all there is is dogma. Dogma is the refuge of the academic mind. Of its nature dogma creates restrictions, belief in a dogma or not. And if there is restriction there is no experience. This is an experience of genuine freedom, and that only occurs if what we are doing is opening doors. By the way institutions cling to dogma, there are not doors opening.

So Eckhart explains his despair, his experience and his expanding consciousness offering his insights. And he says choose to do this without going through pain and despair. Can we choose to do this without despair? Ajaan Buddhadasa did – I think he just grew up being wise and grew older getting wiser, but others? Is there a choice without pain and despair? I hope so.

    This is copied from the introduction of “The Power of Now”.

The Origin Of This Book
I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence. Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.
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.
I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.
That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.
I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.
But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fundamental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody.
Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say: “I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?” And I would say: “You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is malting too much noise.” That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.
Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.” Power of Now Intro.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

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Is Trump 1%?

Posted: 20/08/2017 in Democracy, Struggle
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One of the many lies that Trump put out was that he financed his own campaign. here is how the 1% got their candidate into the White House from The Real News

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


I was drowsy last night – in and out of dozing so went to bed early. As to be expected there wasn’t sleep, and I began thinking about detachment from the 5 khandas. This has followed from this Santikaro talk on Ajaan Buddhadasa that, simplified, talks of 4 systems:-

Body
Psyche
Self
Emptiness

At the crux of the first 3 systems are the 5 khandas – discussed in part here. I want to look more at the Psyche and Self systems, and I want to bear in mind the visualisation talked of in the same blogpost. It is most interesting to me why Buddhadasa wanted to choose the word psyche as opposed to mind, and again for me it has an implication that mind is more than psyche.

Before I go on I consider myself Buddhist but much of this is personal. OK I am bouncing off a talk about Ajaan Buddhadasa, a key Buddhist in Thailand – if not mainstream, but I have no suttas or related dogma to back this up. If I thought I was wrong I would not be writing this but it is not mainstream Buddhism – I think.

Let me return to the term “psyche”. I believe Buddhadasa chose the term psyche because it is concerned with the 3 khandas, vedana – feeling, sanna – perception, and sankhara – formations and proliferations. But it is also concerned with that part of consciousness – vinnana (the 5th khanda) which enables us to experience the 4 other khandas of rupa – body, vedana – feeling, sanna – perception, and sankhara – formations and proliferations. But there is a part of vinnana that is more than just consciousness of the other khandas, a part of mind that is more than psyche.

Now how does this relate to self? Anatta, no-self, is a Buddhist tenet, but how can there be no ego, no self? This is where the khandas come in. When you examine the function of ego or self and compare it to the 5 khandas there is no difference, there is no functioning of I that is not a function of the khandas. A human functions as the 5 khandas. So where does I come in? As part of vinnana. There is that part of vinnana which enables the 4 other khandas to experience but through our conditioning we say that I experienced – I felt, I perceived, I thought. But it goes further than this – I become attached to the feeling, I become attached to the perception, and I become attached to the thoughts. These attachments start to build up the I, then through desire we indulge the feelings, through desire we remember and focus on the perceptions, and through desire we concoct proliferations and theories and reasons and theories and reasons and theories and reasons and theories and reasons and theories and reasons and theories and reasons and theories and reasons ….. And this becomes the I that is our ego – our self.

But if we detach from the desire, detach from the excesses, let the feelings, perceptions and thoughts happen without attachment we have the normal functioning of the khandas – and no self.

Let me recap simply the visualisation. In this I was trying to detach from conditioning – detach from the khandas, and once detached there was a part of mind that enabled me to relate to sunnata.

So this brings me to last night. I eventually slept trying to detach from the 5 khandas. I woke up early, and began thinking of vinnana. It was vinnana that transcends, it is a part of vinnana that transcends – that is meant to transcend. By transcending I mean beyond conditioning, that it is part of vinnana that detaches from the conditioning, detaches from the khandas, detaches from the self, and moves to relate to sunnata.

At this point consciousness started to lift from the base of my stomach and move up the body and towards the top of my head – crown chakra. It was a great feeling as this heaviness in my stomach became lighter and lighter as it moved towards the crown. With it came a great sense of freedom. I enjoyed it for a while, consolidated thoughts on vinnana and slept again- too much!

Fascinating – a good experience!!

I need the 5 Gateways people to do some effusion for me! And to counter my framework crit of 5 Gateways Ascension theory, I could be just fitting the experience to the theory – a Buddhadasa 4-system moment. Of course there is no answer to such except .

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Charlottesville – the end?

Posted: 16/08/2017 in Freedom, Struggle
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This was the most public face of white supremacy since the Trump administration, and in it a protester was murdered. This was a flashpoint that was intentionally uncontrolled, where were the police and military to manage such an obvious clash? For Trump it gave him an opportunity to publicly support white supremacy.

The question with regards to Trump has always been “when will the good people stop supporting him?” When will the white working people who have lost their jobs stop supporting him?

His appeal to these people was that

a) He was against the 1%
b) He would drain the swamp
c) He was against war
d) He would bring back jobs
e) He would make America great again
f) He would make some racism respectable
g) He was anti-Liberal.
h) He was not Hillary.

It appears that d) is working and he has some jobs, this cannot be minimalised. If he gives people jobs, all else could well be forgiven.

But are these people with jobs so selfish they can accept the public spectacle of Charlottesville?

His appointments have meant that the 1% of Wall Street are able through the Goldman Sachs picks to cement their revolving door policies.

His attitude to war has only cemented white supremacy. Bombing Syria, decimating Yemen, MOAB in Afghanistan, confronting North Korea, and creating war in Venezuela. This is an escalation of war – not against war. In the eyes of white supremacy his posturing has made America great again, in the eyes of most people America has just become bellicose.

The good people voting for Trump are just voting to legitimise white supremacy, Charlottesville has just made this apparent. Charlottesville is no accident, it was predictable – it was only a matter of where and when.

I have discussed with a deluded Trump supporter. His attitude was give Trump time. He did not know the Republicans were blocking changes in health care, he did not see the war escalation as mattering. Will Charlottesville matter to him? I doubt it, he is too arrogant and white, and he has been so indoctrinated in his choice of media that he does not know what is happening. He is still a Trump fool.

He is a good man. He will help his neighbours, he is civil to people of colour. But he is a deluded Trump fool, and his arrogance makes him unwilling to change – failure to admit he is wrong??

Following the Trump election radical politics had to question itself. In my own case I produced the Unity Platform, and I learnt about animosity to Liberals – PC police, and how my left-wing radicalism had been lost in the myriad right-wing propaganda – merged with these Liberals. With all that the 1% is doing behind the scenes, this blogpost echoed by Michael Moore, work needs to be done now to remove Trump but this can only happen when the deluded fools see they are promoting white supremacy – and hopefully that matters to them. I know I have worked to understand the changing land but in this recent discussion (mentioned above) my changes were simply met with entrenched position and ignorance – and an arrogance that they were right all along. Left-wing radicalism has to be 99% but it is these fools who have to change. Left-wing radicals can reject the PC-Liberals but there is no room for war and white supremacy. Right-wing populism has to distance itself from the deplorables before there can be 99%, this is not an unreasonable demand.

Unfortunately the deluded fools are unwilling to do that.

And the Democrat party has done nothing but promote Trump. Hillary has not been rejected. Identity politics continues to promote her when for example promoting a woman per se promoted Thatcher. Nothing from the Democrats since the election could signal that white people would be able to find work.

And the Liberal bleating in the media makes me sick because all it is is confrontation and mockery – divisive. To them there is a 99% if we all go to Liberal wine and cheese parties or have brunch. They just carry on bleating that they are correct, and continue the alienation of Trump supporters. They bleat but offer no change. Their bleating is still supporting Hillary. Their bleating is not about war, it is not about wage slavery. It is bleating about a lifestyle that they want, where they have their money and houses, where they can attack Trump and his white supremacists. But their bleating is not about the source of the problem because they benefit from the source – the source is allowing the Liberals their lifestyle. Their ineptitude and reformist greed also contributed to Charlottesville.

What is to be done?

We are the 99% but that cannot mean white supremacy, cowtowing to right-wing intellectuals to oust Trump is self-defeating. Unfortunately we have to live with the consequences, and they could be dire.

They future is bleak whilst good Trump supporters remain arrogant – and whilst Liberals continue to posture.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

This is my 3rd blog on 5 Gateways movie.

It is strange how things happen. I got into discussion with an ex-student – communication friend, and amongst the first things I discussed was what I consider my awakening – nothing as arrogant as an awakening as a Buddha but an awakening. At one point I was sent a fascinating Anonymous clip much of which I agree with, and all I could see was a lack of joy. How could this Anonymous guy say all this without joy?

That took me to the 5 Gateways movie where there is joy, and this elicited tears from someone watching it. I have watched (and slept) with this film a number of times, and feel good about it (proviso (s)).

I have to react to the following. Here are the movie’s initiation stages:- Awakening, Realignment, Transfiguration, Enlightenment, Resurrection. Given all of this what does it mean to me?

Whenever I start questioning myself, it usually means I have been complacent, and complacency usually means less meditation. This is true. My first reaction is to offer my ageing body as an excuse, but whilst it requires more time it is not an excuse – except occasionally.

I am at peace. Whilst I continue to offer my limited dhamma online there is little feedback – perhaps I have been too willing to accept this. This last year writing has blossomed with there being 2 Wai Zandtao books completed and a third half way through. Same issue as my online Dhamma – it is not being read. I am willing to accept this too. I would like to see ever y thing distributed, but am unwilling to pay the publishers’ price for doing that – if I were ever to seek one interested. I have done enough work, and am at peace. But having said that, I have some interest in seeing if there are benefits in helping distribution.

In the movie I love all the effusion about nature, I don’t do effusion. Maybe I should. But nature and I are close now with the house and the sea and the walking – and the birds that want my bananas but run from me. And my tokey friends. Close without effusion.

It is only now that I thought of Ascension as western and I amended the framework blog accordingly. That east-west dilemma has been something I have never been comfortable with, maybe it is just east and west together that we should think about. Eastern religion regularly sends emissaries because they see what is missing. To me what is missing in the West is tradition, the strength that tradition gives you, countering the risks of ego that exist without tradition around you. But the eastern institution can bury the rapture especially if the institutional “experts” have not experienced the rapture.

There is a need to detach from rapture but being detached does not mean not evaluating the rapture for the importance of what it is. And when people ask the dogma which of the jhanas is happening, do the institutions have the answer? Maybe they do, that is for them to answer, but per se an institution does not as an institution does not have experience. Buddhism has the tradition and there are individuals within the tradition to help. It is up to you how you go and look. A question just struck me, can a person be a true Buddhist without having experienced the rapture?

The most important thing about the Buddhism is its focus, it has taught me to focus on what people can control and not to try to get into areas where humans can only speculate. This is the danger of rapture (piti) – trying to control it. Is rapture a goal? I do have to say that at times when I was writing I did try to experience both sides of the muse – the writing and the presence that accompanied it; but it was never presence alone. Never a goal.

Ajaan Buddhadasa’s 4 systems do not seek rapture (see this talk):-

Body
Psyche
Self
Emptiness

Link these systems with the teachings concerning khandas (aggregates). The body and psyche systems are primarily concerned with khandas. We have to have an appropriate relationship with the 5 khandas – not attaching to them. If we don’t attach to them then effectively we have removed the “I and mine from the 5 khandas” (another Buddhadasa phrase), and there is an appropriate lack of ego (or self system) that enables us to relate to sunnata. I am not able to define this but this relationship with sunnata is what connects us to piti but the objective is not piti but sunnata. But we cannot experience sunnata we can experience piti, and we can only experience piti if we have established the conditions of the first three systems. And ironically those conditions are lack of conditioning. In the West that conditioning is oppressive and leads to rapturous experiences as discussed in 5 Gateways. I believe Hindus discuss such rapture as well (see Jim Carrey), but I don’t know Hindu except what is in Buddhism but am not sure of the distinction.

But the conditioning discussed in Buddhism is the same but different – what an appalling sentence. In the West conditioning tends to be discussed as social conditioning – almost indoctrination. It is almost seen as the outer imposing on the inner, and these external factors are considered as education, parents, community, society etc. Whereas the conditioning discussed in Buddhism comes from how we experience the 5 khandas through dependent co-arising, much more of an inner focus.

I often talk of “moving beyond” conditioning but this is not something we control. What we control is removing conditioning, by removing conditioning we open ourselves up to being the emptiness system – open ourselves up to a relationship with sunnata. This phraseology is so dangerous. What is sunnata – emptiness? It is the emptiness that is full, what does that mean? We cannot explain it, yet there is an emptiness system and a meaningful relationship with that system but one that cannot be explained. I said once that during meditation I breathe in emptiness, what does that mean? But doing it helped. Relationship with emptiness or an emptiness system is so fraught with danger.

Is the approach to conditioning helpful in considering rapture? I expand on this without answering. Does western conditioning with its type of oppressive approach encourage rapture when breaking out of the conditioning?

In meditation I worked on a visualisation that might help. To use this visualisation we must first know the 5 khandas:- rupa(body), vedana (feeling), sanna (perceptions/memory), sankhara (mental formations/concocting or proliferations), vinnana (consciousness). Basically Buddhadasa’s first three systems are concerned with understanding the khandas. He uses the word psyche as covering the 4 mental khandas of vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana, and it is my understanding that there is an aspect of mind that is more than these as can be seen by the visualisation.

The first 3 systems are basically covered by the Buddhadasa purpose of Buddhism:- “To remove the I and mine from the 5 Khandas”. The visualisation is based on the seeking of harmony of the first three systems enabling the freed mind to relate to the emptiness system.

The body has to function. It requires healthy food – ideally organic plant-based, any necessary medicine – hopefully natural/herbal, and it requires exercise both physical and energetic, and if done harmoniously rupa is a happy system ready for sunnata. Lack of harmony can be caused by indulging in unhealthy food for taste’s sake, partaking of drugs, and indulging in excessive exercise perhaps for reasons of “body beautiful” etc.

The 4 mental khandas are concerned with harmony of the mind, this perhaps is better understood as non-attachment. The easiest to explain in this way is sankhara. In this world the mind has certain functioning such as reasoning, the mind must apprehend theories in order to understand them (and reject them?). This is a sankhara function. But if we attach to theories, concoct theories, let the mind proliferate here there and everywhere, this is the ego attaching to sankhara and is evidenced in academia (Buddhist and otherwise). Why does academia not have a functioning approach to mind when all people have to do is look inside? Because of sankhara. There is a harmonious relationship with sankhara where the ego is not attached. Similarly there is a harmonious approach to the other three khandas whose functions are harmonious if the ego is not attached to them.

If there is harmony and non-attachment to the 5 khandas, then the body and psyche systems are ready. And of these systems are ready the self system is also likely to be in harmony. In Buddhism there is anatta – no self. There is no function of I and mine that is not covered by the 5 khandas. I grows out of the 5 khandas. If we attach to emotions, memories and theories saying this is who we are, we are attaching to the 5 khandas. Over time this attachment becomes our personalities – I. Letting go of attachment to I, to the 5 khandas, leaves the mind free. Letting go of conditioning leaves the mind free.

And here is where the visualisation comes in. With the 5 khandas in harmony, the body’s food and exercise having been dealt with, the psyche functioning also being in harmony with no attachment to the khandas, no attachment to I, the mind (the rest of the mind that is not psyche) is free. Visualise the mind being free from the khandas, free from I, and that min can expand and soar. That mind can be open to breathing in sunnata, that mind can soar into Unity, that mind can feel unconditional love. It is this freed mind that experiences rapture once mind as a whole is free from conditioning, free from khandas, free from I.

I contend that it is this mind freed from conditioning that experienced during the 5 Gateways, and it is the soul that “ascended”. Mind free from conditioning can experience.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

The Trump Focus

Posted: 12/08/2017 in Democracy, ONE planet, Struggle, War
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I just watched a pulp movie “Focus” with Will Smith. There was a scene in which he explained how he got the attention of the victim’s focus whilst away from focus crime was committed. There is an often-quoted British maxim that the Royals hit the front page when the government is struggling. Focus!

If we examine Trump’s presidency we see a man whose façade is that of incompetence. There is no consistency when we compare what he says to what he does. His supporters hear that Trump will not expand wars yet in the Middle East there has been increased meddling, a MOAB in Afghanistan, and now bellowing at a minnow in North Korea. He was “draining the swamp” by employing Goldman Sachs in his cabinet. No consistency.

The Liberal media have lambasted his inconsistency, and his complete disregard for the normal respect for such office has fueled much derision. The Russia scandal has also got the media hopping, and there is much focus on Russia. And Obamacare????

So the question is “what is really going on?” Common Dreams put out this piece, and I wished that was all that was being done. Previously Wall Street SEC fines have been reduced by 2/3 – lost the reference. Reduced taxes for the rich are coming.

But “is this all that is going on?” I don’t think the above articles are beginning to scratch the surface of what is being done behind the scenes. It is quite clear the 1% were pushing for Trump from at least mid-year. From the point of view of governance it could easily be seen that he is a disaster area; they knew this. They also have control of the media, and could control that there would be a Liberal feeding frenzy once he was in office – the Focus.

“What is being done?”

It will be years before the effects of Trump have worn off, years ….

And meanwhile how is the opposition lining up? These stupid Liberals can’t come together and recognise that their neoliberalism is how Trump got in in the first place. With such people fighting for us we have no chance.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Framework?

Posted: 05/08/2017 in Buddhadasa, ONE planet
Tags: ,

It was difficult for me to write about 5 Gateways, I don’t want to discourage people who are interested in 5 Gateways from going to them. But I don’t like frameworks.

For many of you (many on my blog?), looking at Buddhism you have got to see a huge proliferation of frameworks – it’s not worth listing them there are so many. And there are as many Buddhist traditions as there are Gateways. But it is my view that the Kalama sutta says that we should not hold to theoretical systems unless we have experienced them. Yesterday I mentioned Ajaan Buddhadasa. In a talk given by Santikaro (recognised as being a westerner close to Tan Ajaan), he described 4 samatthas (right systems) that Ajaan Buddhadasa focused on on his last mindful birthday:-

Body system
Psychic system
Self system
Emptiness system

I actually like this, if I think about these I feel it helps my understanding. But if you don’t that’s fine, that is the Kalama point to me.

And that’s my point about the 5 Gateways. If the 5 Gateways or initiations :-

Awakening
Realignment
Transfiguration
Crucifixion
Resurrection

if these Gateways work for you then use them. But trying to squeeze into them is the danger I am concerned about. What is valid is your experience, whatever happened to you that is what is valid, that is your strength.

But having said that, even that is not true. There are people who are stuck because they had such an experience and have never moved on. They try to recreate the experience because it was so meaningful, so powerful. I tend to think of these experiences as nature’s rewards for your progress on the Path, if you are following the Path then these rewards, wonderful experiences, happen. But if you become hooked on the experience and become an experience-junkie there is no satisfaction or peace – and no progress on the Path.

However it is worth considering the following:-

  • Ascension is western
  • I relate to the movie because the repressive conditioning I grew up with blew up into an awakening after hitting bottom. When I examine Buddhism I do not find discussion of oppressive conditioning, and a resulting awakening. Yes Buddhism talks of all the things including awakening but it seems as a gradual transition, awakening is maybe more “integrated” into eastern upbringing. It is hard to work out because of the institutional nature of much of Buddhism in the east and it is hard to judge an upbringing that is not your own. But there is a western thing when awakening happens or even before – “Go east”. And it is there in the east in Buddhism (and elsewhere) if not in the institutions – by the vary nature of institutions. Even though I ask questions about frameworks, Ascension has elements of western experience not found in Buddhism. Interesting.

    Below is how the Buddha described these experiences as jhanas, complicated? I have seen within forums people forlornly asking “did I experience a jhana?” I see people trying to squeeze into this jhana framework. I also see the experience of rapture being played down in Buddhism – non-attachment. Whilst I understand this I also understand the desire to celebrate the experience. This is a dilemma, attach to the experience or play it down as if detached. These are the negatives of the dilemma, there is a need for genuine equanimity – upekkha.

    I don’t know whether the people in the movie are attached or not, that is for them to decide. My strategy in recommending the movie is to encourage people to celebrate their experiences (and to cover myself I should say in a detached way). I have no doubts at all that I have overly-detached, and allowed time to forget the rapture. When I was younger (30s and 40s) such rapture was sporadic. Then I meditated daily and the highs of such rapture disappeared. But overall I felt better, no rollercoaster just peace – mostly.

    Am I being clear about fitting the framework? Let me try by example.

    Clip 20.36 – 23.32. Here Chris and Lesley describe experiences that have happened to them, these experiences don’t just happen to them they happen to many. But at the end Chris says it is his “Gateway 1 experience”, he fitted it into his Ascension framework. For me the descriptions of the experiences could equally have been described as rapture or jhanas. Or they could have just been described – that is why I recommend the film – for the description.

    When I hit bottom there was a mega-awakening from all the conditioning that had turned me into an arrogant academic focused on the system. I went back to London, took a job for money, realigned myself into a focus towards the Path, this realignment pushed me to child care and teaching, I had lost my ego and become this new compassionate person. This was the drastic one, the one that was obviously fitting into these Ascension categories. But as life went on there were further changes that could be described in this 5-stage process, and will be continued to be described in this way; this repetition was alluded to in the movie. The Buddha describes this as letting go of the ego leading to anatta, that is the emptiness that Ajaan Buddhadasa encourages. It is the experience not the framework, we don’t have to fit into a theory UNLESS that theory is where you are at. If theory and practice are together – great.

    It could just be that I have not reached the stages as described in the movie, I can’t be definitive about that – nor would I want to be. For me it matters not, but if you feel pressured to adhere to the framework it matters, that concerns me. For me measuring up to the framework doesn’t matter. If you relate to the experiences in the movie but don’t measure up to the framework, does that matter? That is for you to answer.

    Because they believe in the Ascension framework they will measure themselves against it, that is their choice. Because you have these experiences you don’t have to measure yourself by the same framework. BUT if it helps you do it.

    There is other stuff out there but not so many good movies. Enjoy, learn and feel reinforced.

    *************************

    jhána: ‘absorption’ (meditation) refers chiefly to the four meditative absorptions of the fine-material sphere (rúpa-jjhána or rúpávacara-jjhána; s. avacara). They are achieved through the attainment of full (or attainment -, or ecstatic) concentration (appaná, s. samádhi), during which there is a complete, though temporary, suspension of fivefold sense-activity and of the 5 hindrances (s. nívarana). The state of consciousness, however, is one of full alertness and lucidity. This high degree of concentration is generally developed by the practice of one of the 40 subjects of tranquillity meditation (samatha-kammatthána; s. bhávaná). Often also the 4 immaterial spheres (arúpáyatana) are called absorptions of the immaterial sphere (arúpa-jjhána or arúpávacara-jjhána). The stereotype text, often met with in the Suttas, runs as follows:
    (1) “Detached from sensual objects, o monks, detached from unwholesome consciousness, attached with thought-conception (vitakka) and discursive thinking (vicára), born of detachment (vivekaja) and filled with rapture (píti) and joy (sukha) he enters the first absorption.
    (2) “After the subsiding of thought-conception and discursive thinking, and by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind, he enters into a state free from thought-conception and discursive thinking, the second absorption, which is born of concentration (samádhi), and filled with rapture (píti) and joy (sukha).
    (3) “After the fading away of rapture he dwells in equanimity, mindful, clearly conscious; and he experiences in his person that feeling of which the Noble Ones say, ‘Happy lives the man of equanimity and attentive mind’; thus he enters the 3rd absorption.
    (4) “After having given up pleasure and pain, and through the disappearance of previous joy and grief, he enters into a state beyond pleasure and pain, into the 4th absorption, which is purified by equanimity (upekkhá) and mindfulness.
    (5) “Through the total overcoming of the perceptions of matter, however, and through the vanishing of sense-reactions and the non-attention to the perceptions of variety, with the idea, ‘Boundless is space’, he reaches the sphere of boundless space (ákásánañcáyatana) and abides therein.
    [“By ‘perceptions of matter’ (rúpa-saññá) are meant the absorptions of the fine-material sphere, as well as those objects themselves . . . ” (Vis.M. X, 1).
    “By ‘perceptions of sense-reactions’ (patigha-saññá) are meant those perceptions that have arisen due to the impact of sense-organs (eye, etc.) and the sense-objects (visible objects, etc.). They are a name for the perception of visible objects, as it is said (Jhána-Vibh . ): ‘What are here the perceptions of sense-reactions? They are the perceptions of visible objects, sounds, etc.’ – Surely, they do no longer exist even for one who has entered the 1st absorption, etc., for at such a time the five-sense consciousness is no longer functioning. Nevertheless, this is to be understood as having been said in praise of this immaterial absorption, in order to incite the striving for it” (Vis.M. X, 16).
    “Perceptions of variety (ñánatta-saññá) are the perceptions that arise in various fields, or the various perceptions” (ib.). Hereby, according to Vis.M. X, 20, are meant the multiform perceptions outside the absorptions.]
    (6) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless space, and with the idea ‘Boundless is consciousness’, he reaches the sphere of boundless consciousness (viññánañcáyatana) and abides therein.
    (7) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless consciousness, and with the idea ‘Nothing is there’, he reaches the sphere of nothingness (ákiñcaññáyatana) and abides therein.
    (8) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of nothingness he reaches the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasaññá-n’asaññáyatana) and abides therein.”

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

    Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

    5 Gateways is a wonderful movie from these people. If you want a movie that talks about finding the Path this is it. Most importantly when you first find the Path you need to find people who have shared experience. For me after hitting bottom it was the people at the Arts Centre – to whom I will always be grateful and to whom I am so sad we have lost touch only 42 years ago!!

    Why is this movie so important? If you start on the Path, hitting bottom or otherwise, you need shared experience. This world will negate everything you are going through. Finding the greatest thing you could possibly find will be negated by family, friends and establishment authority because they have not experienced it. If you watch this movie then you can feel what these people feel, and your experience is reinforced. That is wonderful.

    Now to the downside. These people have explained their shared experience through Ascension. Do you know if Ascension is true? For the makers of this movie Ascension is true. If you watch this movie after hitting bottom – in that or any other vulnerable position – you might well be attracted to their Ascension framework. I don’t know whether Ascension is true, and if I don’t know something is true I don’t go there. This movie has tremendous shared experience that helps in the alone situation people on the Path can find themselves, this movie can alleviate at such times but it is a danger at a time of vulnerability.

    I am not saying Ascension is not true, I am saying I don’t know whether it is true. I have chosen a different Path – Buddhism. In Buddhism there is a lot of dogma, and over the years I have whittled down the dogma so that I have a Buddhism I am comfortable with – but many might not see it as Buddhism. BZBuddhism requires very little dogma – little more than the 4NT with a bit of help from Ajaan Buddhadasa. But even then to understand Ajaan Buddhadasa requires going beyond a great deal of dogma because he was such a dedicated scholar; dogma that in my view he eschewed. And studying Ajaan Buddhadasa would not ratify the tremendousness of experience that is shared in 5 Gateways, however the framework that Ajaan Buddhadasa gives you does not require any faith. It does require you to be discerning, questioning and intelligent but it does not require any leaps of faith. 5 Gateways requires a leap of faith to begin with (unless you know for yourself you have already gone through the 5 Gateways). I am not in favour of anyone taking a leap of faith.

    I have an anecdote which gives me cause for concern. I met a drunk in Africa who had been involved with Ascension – not with these people. He spent a few years with them and did not ascend. He felt a failure and turned to drink. Accepting himself for who he was at whatever stage on the Path that he was might have kept him interested in the Path and kept him off the booze.

    In the movie the shared experience is ratifying and well worth hearing. But all the people measure themselves in terms of the 5 Gateways, I have reached such and such a stage. This is understandable as the movie is made by people following this approach, but is it advisable for all people starting on the Path to measure themselves in this way?

    For years after hitting bottom I studied spirituality in one form or another, sadly I wasted some time in the bottle. There is a variety of spiritual experience out there, but some of it is charlatan, some of it deluded and some of it exaggerated. Path experiences or jhanas are so powerful they can become all-embracing and all-consuming; they can also be a fixation. When you are vulnerable and starting out which of these attributes do you want? What do you want to know?

    Firstly you need to know that your experience is real. You do not want to listen to people who dismiss your experience as trendy hippy or doped up or whatever, your experience is valid do not let people dismiss it. But such experience (or jhana) is not an end in itself, it is part of the Path. And what is the Path? And we are back to doubt again. The Path is real, or it can be real depending on who is talking about it. Out there there are charlatans who will tell you they have found the Path to enlightenment, but have they? You can only take their word for it – or not! Ascension is a Path to Enlightenment – or not, you can only take their word for it.

    When I listen to what they say in the movie, they are people who have experienced, their experience is valid, they have done a great thing in sharing that experience in the movie, and that sharing of experience has to be validating for the vulnerable who have just started on the Path. But is their framework correct? Is there a leap of faith involved?

    Does Buddhism require leaps of faith? To begin with, most definitely. Have most Buddhists made a leap of faith? Most definitely. Does the Buddha ask you to make a leap of faith? In my view the Kalama sutta suggests that you do not take a leap of faith. If you walk into a wat or Buddhist monastery will the monks have taken a leap of faith, and the answer most definitely is yes. Should you take a leap of faith? My answer is no.

    The essence of all of this is understanding. To gain understanding you have to study dogma until that dogma falls away and you have understanding or wisdom. So as part of the learning process I have believed in Buddhism. By believing in it I was able to come to an understanding of those parts of Buddhism that I initially believed in. I now eschew the dogma and hopefully have wisdom. Can new people on the Path do this? I couldn’t when younger. Can young people believe in Ascension, let the dogma fall away and be left only with wisdom? That does not appear to be the teaching methodology but maybe so? Can young people go to Buddhism, let the dogma fall away and be left with wisdom? Definitely not within most of the Buddhist institutions I know of.

    Buddhism has an advantage over the 5 Gateways Ascension. Buddhism is big and does not necessarily require commitment. I have been on retreats but I have not committed myself to cloisters. Maybe remaining on the periphery of 5 Gateways would allow their dogma to drop away? Immersing in their programme I would suggest might create problems of faith.

    But I go back to my original point in this post, their movie is validating. For people new to the Path watching their movie without embracing their dogma would be extremely worthwhile. Maybe even getting involved with them would be worthwhile – I do not know, but the getting of wisdom anywhere means eventually eschewing dogma. There are Buddhists with dogma, eschew that dogma and get wisdom, there are followers of Ascension with dogma, eschew that dogma and get wisdom, there are followers of Eckhart Tolle (whom I at one time considered wise – he has done so much with Oprah I don’t know where he is at now), eschew his dogma and get wise. Wisdom is gained by eschewing dogma.

    Why did I choose Buddhism? Ego. Buddhism has centuries of tradition in which there have been Buddhists who have questioned. Whilst Buddhism has its dogma, whilst Buddhism has a proliferation of intellectuals and concocters, it has its tradition. Wise people over the years have gained wisdom and contributed to Buddhism. What about the people ascending? Where is their tradition? They have to rely on themselves. And what happens? They come under threat from the society they are rejecting, and this can build up an ego that defends. How would this ego respond? Possibly by becoming more dogmatic, defending the dogma of their beliefs; is this wise? Immersion with Ascension risks such dogma, and possibly risks eschewing wisdom. At the beginning of the Path when people are vulnerable this is a danger.

    To avoid this I have never recommended 5 Gateways until now, but the shared experience is so valuable so reinforcing, so invigorating, so IMPORTANT I want to recommend it with the above proviso.

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

    Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


    We can’t know it all, we need trusted sources and advice. This is an investigation into how we can determine such trustworthies.

    We live in a world in which disinformation is a significant mechanism for controlling people. They are intentionally trying to confuse us. But to understand this intended confusion we need to decide “Who are they?” That is the first question we should be asking, who are the they who are trying to confuse us?

    Let’s take that question a step further, and also ask “what is their purpose?”.

    In this blogpost I want to avoid taking a political position but it is extremely difficult to discuss “they and power” without being honest about your position. I am a radical leftie. In my terms I consider myself a genuine Marxist who recognises that the “1%” control in order to make their profits, and in order to facilitate their profits they have two main strategies – making war for profits and exploiting the workforce by wage-slavery. If you detect a bias that is overly Marxist, perhaps you should ignore this advice, but the main point of this blogpost is to say “find appropriate advice, find trusted sources”.

    So from my biased neutral, hopefully detached, position, I want to ask “who are they and what is their purpose?”. I have already given the answer to that in my “unbiased position”. They are the 1%. Whether you use the term 1%, elite, bourgeoisie, superrich etc., these people are THEY. Across the political spectrum recognising THEY as the 1% is not problematic, if it is stop reading this – there is nothing for you to gain from reading this.

    Putting aside the question as to “what is their purpose?” for a moment, I want to ask “who are not THEY?”. Let us start with government and politicians, are they part of the 1%? In terms of the finances they own, the answer is usually NO. By their nature a politician wishes to be in charge in other words their ego usually drives them, it is not moral integrity that drives them to be politicians – there are exceptions. Without moral integrity these politicians are readily open to corruption to stay in power. It is therefore common sense not to trust what politicians say. I disagree with Trump’s politics (see my bias) but primarily I disagree with his position, and any politician’s position, that says “trust me”. Almost by definition a politician cannot be trusted because they are driven by ego for power. Examine all politicians to determine what their policies are and whether they have intentions to apply those policies, “trust me” is not a platform for the mature voter.

    It is also important to examine the relationship between politicians and government. Are politicians in charge? This is a significant question to ask especially for westerners who believe they are in democracies. When you vote for a politician, are you voting for a leader? Or are you voting for a PR figurehead? Look at Trump’s Muslim ban, he has not been able to implement it. Has he built the wall? Has he drained the swamp? There are some policies he has had no problem with, such as bombing Syria and Afghanistan. There is a very interesting novel/British TV mini-series, A Very British Coup, which examines the power of a voted-in prime minister when he wants to go against the establishment. And who does this establishment represent? The 1%.

    What about the Deep State? Are they in charge? Certainly it is clear that whatever the Deep State is they are not subject to democratic approval. It could be argued that the Deep State does what it wants whoever has been voted in.

    Who controls the Deep State? Here I can only guess because without being privy to their control and conduct what more can I do. I would argue that they are primarily controlled by the 1%. The 1% are prime motivators behind the Deep State because war is one of their main sources of profit. The Deep State is connected with National Security as it appears that their actions support the nation’s interests over another nation. Nations fight wars but there could also be a governmental aspect to this Deep State – I don’t mean party political government. In the UK the MI5 might be considered Deep State, they might also be considered part of the Civil Service, but they are not accountable to the electorate. In the US the Deep State might well be considered part of the Pentagon as well as perhaps represented in the White House. Because of the importance of war for profits to the 1% the interests of the 1% and the Deep State might well be the same. I think it would be fair to say that the 1% and the Deep State are not in conflict.

    Given the provisos in the investigation so far, I am going to say “they are the 1%”. What is their purpose? Increased accumulation and profits. I have discussed one way they make profits – war. The other way is through accumulation of capital. Primarily this is carried out through the banking and finance sector. But the basis of these sectors is profits gained from production. In production there are competing interests for the profits. There is the capital interest that pays for the plant, and the interest of labour who make the products. Who gets the profits when these products are sold? There is a balance between the plant-owners (the capital investors) and the workers as to who gets the profits. At the same time there are echelons of management who facilitate trade, they also want to get money from the plant owners. Both the management and workers have no choice in this, if they wish to feed their families they must choose to work for the owners of the plant – usually the 1%, they must earn a wage.

    Humanity needs to work together to survive, we need to cooperate. But how we choose to cooperate is limited by the choices offered to us by the 1%, we can earn money as management or labour within the production infrastructure of the 1%.

    But this does not factor in the public sector, what is the function of government in this? Some argue that the government is in charge and that the public and private sector are often in conflict., in this it is often seen that the government restricts profits, and is therefore detrimental to the interests of management and labour within the private sector.

    But government can be seen differently. The transport infrastructure is very important in facilitating the distribution of the products for sale. This infrastructure is necessary for 1% profits, but do they pay for the infrastructure? The 1% needs an educated workforce even if only for organisational skills, government education provides for this. In order for the 1% to profit from wars it needs government to have a defence budget to pay for national security. It needs a government to create the military to wage wars. And where does the government get money for this? Primarily through personal taxes. In other words it can be seen that one role of government is to provide the taxation that facilitates profits through infrastructure, education and defence procurement.

    It could also be counter-argued that government provides socially useful functions, infrastructure and education are two. It could be argued that government are defending the interests of the community through defence.

    There are also more obvious social functions of government such as social services, these offer very little to the profits of the 1% – except that an unstable society would not enable 1% profits.

    A final important function of government is law and order. With the increasing privatisation of law and order there are obvious benefits to the 1%. Aside from this, the 1% cannot profit if there is social anarchy. “There is one law for the rich and one for the poor” in my view does not happen by accident. The law also provides the ability of protecting the interests of the 1%. In the UK the police were key in protecting the interests of the 1% against trade unions in the miners’ strike, and globally police were used to destroy Occupy, the first organising that specifically targeted the 1%.

    Historically government has been used to monetarise an economy, this was most easily seen in colonisation. The British in Africa required a workforce to build the transport infrastructure but the people lived off a barter economy and were unwilling to work on the construction. The invading armies demanded a tax burden for their governance, and this meant Africans had to earn money to pay taxes. Taxation forced the African into wage-slavery.

    Government enforces regulations. These regulations can be seen dually. Environmental protection regulations can be seen as reducing profits as can the minimum wage, whereas both can obviously be seen as socially beneficial.

    In conclusion government has a dual role – the facilitation of 1%-profits through enabling profits, yet at the same time it has a social function that can benefit individuals especially the poor.

    Given the provisos above the 1% are they, and their purpose is to make profits through war and wage-slavery. Whilst our socio-economic system is not 100% functioning in this way, it is primarily a 1%-system with token benefits for some individuals.

    However there are many arguments which say that the social service aspect of government is a much higher proportion than I have implied, and much credence is given this through media coverage of people exploiting social services. Given the intentional confusion on all aspects of public information it is difficult to assess this. So when it comes to such assessment every individual needs to find a source they can trust.

    So to return, what is the purpose of this blogpost? Given the intentional disinformation process that is happening, how do we know how to act in voting and otherwise?

    Firstly it is not advisable to trust politicians because most have a vested interest to lie as they are opportunists seeking power. Secondly it is not advisable to expect our electoral system to deliver democracy in view of so much opportunism and the 1%-need for war.

    I cannot come up with any further trustworthy approaches – in my view our system is so loaded against us.

    In the UK there is an unwritten law in voting, vote for the party that safeguards your financial interests. There is usually a limited tacit understanding that the Tories are sound financially and Labour will help the needy more but the economy will suffer. This is a myth propounded by the media – the 1%-media – to encourage votes for the Tories. Why? The Tories definitely work for the 1% (Labour usually do – in my view Corbyn doesn’t). Does the economy suffer under Labour? Under Blair the economy did not suffer, but then Blair worked for the 1%.

    If you vote out of economic self-interest your vote will be exploited. In the UK there is a tacit understanding as to which class votes for which party. And the system continues to exploit to the benefit of the 1% whoever is voted for. There is a need for a change in voting patterns. Why not vote for compassion? If you care about the world and its people vote for compassion. Demand that the platform for politicians is compassion.

    Trust a politician who stands for compassion. I believe Corbyn is compassionate but maybe that is a bias. Demand that your politicians stand up for compassion, if you are certain your politician has integrity and compassion vote for them. The more people who demand compassion the more politicians have to put forward compassionate policies.

    Trust the compassionate not the system.

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

    Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

    When you look around there is all kinds of suffering, it’s just awful. It’s so sad to see things the way they are.

    And our newborn they have to grow up in this suffering, to do this they are helped by their upbringing – parents community and education. But what are they helped to do? Grow up, get a job and fit in. This is the 1%-system we are in – get a job and fit in to their profit-making. Fit in with the wars and wage-slavery. It is understandable if people growing up don’t want to fit into this system, look at it.

    Basically the way we grow up does not look at it. We are conditioned to get a job and fit in, this is normal. We are conditioned not to see the suffering – the wars, wage-slavery and 1%-system. Breaking free of this conditioning produces two things. We see the suffering for what it is, we find there is a way of peace through this suffering.

    Now the Buddha talked of this suffering with the 4 Noble Truths (4NT). He saw the suffering as caused by clinging to desire, and if we can be free of this clinging there is peace. And he offered the 8-fold path (Magga) as a way through this suffering – as a way of being free from clinging.

    Whilst the Buddha was innovative when he spoke of the 4NT, this notion of path is quite common-place amongst spiritual people. The path has been spoken of before and since the Buddha, but the path spoken of has many versions not specifically Magga.

    I knew none of this when I hit bottom and started to follow the Path. Within me there was a sense of what the Path was, it was a reality that I was able to follow. And it worked. From the times of total confusion around hitting bottom, with various bits of help along the way I held onto this path and developed. It wasn’t until I was 50 that I saw a formal definition of path such as Magga, prior to that the path was verbally vague although a deep real conviction.

    I think the following is true, whatever method you use meditation is concerned with calming the mind and being silent. I have meditated off and on since hitting bottom but it is only from being a Buddhist at 49 that meditation has been a regular practice – my form is vipassana meditation. Vipassana just means insight, the purpose of the meditation is insight and it comes from the silence. From the insight comes something else – an inner guide. The calm and silence that comes from meditation leads also to a clarity of action – a guide to action. At hitting bottom, in meditation or otherwise the guide instilled the idea of the Path as a way of living; it was a methodology of living and as such it was a mechanism the guide could give for me to hold onto in those times of confusion. At hitting bottom the conditioning had been removed and I had found my inner guide telling me to follow the Path until the need for a path fell away as I found the guide in meditation. The 7th and 8th steps of Magga are variously translated as concentration, meditation, insight etc.

    In Buddhism there is a dead monk I consider my teacher, Ajaan Buddhadasa. From what little I know of his personal history he was actively explaining the Buddhist dhamma in his late teens. I do not know enough of how he developed to know of where his awareness came from but hitting bottom did not seem to be part of it. In the East there is the suffering, there is the 1%-system, there are wars, but their conditioning enables a soft transition for some into various forms of Buddhism. In the West it doesn’t seem the same, neither Christianity nor Islam seem to offer that same soft transition, and it is fairly common for moving beyond the conditioning to be difficult; typically Eckhart Tolle struggled before becoming the teacher he is.

    Whilst my personal journey did not smoothly transcend conditioning, there is nothing in the 4NT that does not compare with stages of my own development. Only the 4NT can be much more peaceful.

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

    Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.