In Brad’s latest blog he discusses amongst others monasticism:-
“Yet Nishijima Roshi said that retreats lasting more than three days removed a person too much from what he called “daily life” and strongly advised his monks against participating in such practices, let alone making lifelong commitments to monastic communities. Instead, he wanted his monks to integrate their practice fully into their daily lives in the work-a-day world.”
This is noble but for me it raises two issues:-
• Monastic Training
On monastic training there are two sides, for the monk themselves and the lay they teach. Perhaps the monastic life is the most fulfilling it can be for that monk, developing her/himself and teaching others the Dhamma.
A monastery provides a place of learning and a place for retreats, these are both necessary for those in daily life. I note both of these points on monastic training, am judging from a distance and don’t feel I can say too much on these as it has to be a personal decision.
On mindful consuming in daily life I want to address the question of 1%-world. For most nowadays daily life means contributing to 1%-world. Most jobs are working for the 1%, and most consuming is also consuming produce made by the 1%. And what does the 1% do? Anything to make a profit – including starting wars. When a “monk” makes a noble decision to go back to daily life, he is making a decision to contribute to 1%-world and all its implications.
Can we then choose not to be a part of daily life in 1%-world? Off-the-grid communes. Amongst other things that Occupy did was to start organic communes, I think. Anyway that is what I mean – a commune in which people work for themselves and try to trade with like-minded individuals. Ideally this would be barter, (or even a community currency) but any monetary involvement with the currencies of 1%-world should be limited.
Monastic communities do not usually consider the economic implications of monastic existence as it is usually about the Dhamma or faith. In other words their priority is the teaching and they involve themselves with 1%-world to obtain the finance to continue their teachings. In this I feel there should be questioning, how much is their economic involvement contributing to the global damage caused by 1%-world? Can they fund their teaching in ways that limit their involvement with 1%-world?
In this day and age where economic relations govern all and are controlled by people who cause such suffering – the 1%, is it acceptable for monks to separate themselves from the economic implications of their lifestyle? In terms of seeing what-is-what, how much should they be presenting awareness of 1%-world?
And in the end what is the noble purpose of returning to daily life about? Helping people cope with life, helping people cope with the conflicts that are caused by working in 1%-world. I am no expert on communes either but coping with human frailty in relationship has got to be easier than dealing with the overpowering suppression of 1%-world to prevent a compassionate and caring society.
Posts Tagged ‘#O’
Tags: #O, 1%, BradWarner, Mindful Consuming
I have just been reading the #OWS plans for alternative banking, Based around these 7 concepts:-
the bank is certainly attractive.
Here is the scenario that frightens me. It is a version of capital flight. Now money is printed now without any basis to back it up. The Fed gave the banks $7.7 trillion without going through congress, $16 trillion throughout 4 years – CAO audit, and according to Bloomberg Wall Street got 1.2 trillion in emergency loans. These figures are silly money, they are out of control of any government, influential hands are securing these monies, and eventually large figures will end up in the bank accounts of the most powerful of the 1%. At present there is a recession, and most significantly there is absolutely no confidence in the financial system, and it is that confidence that has held up capitalism as a working system – the proverbial deck of cards. So when that deck collapses, people will be grabbing for money. The 1% will pay for security, and they will have the law under their control. Under such circumstances can the OWS bank provide security?
Now there is a sustainable bank – Triodos, could they hold out?
With so much “money” slushing around can currency hold its values when such currency has no meaning. So I don’t know whether an OWS bank can withstand that. But ethically it is stronger and is worth supporting.
I much prefer alternative currencies and a return to trading that is barter. In the end there is no system that can cope with the lawlessness that the rich are taking us towards, but young people need to consider their skills sets and their abilities to be independent of the finance. Pensions have no security. I worked for a long part of my life to have a secure pension, theoretically I had one. Now the UK government along with other countries are messing with the pensions whilst banksters deposit the bailouts in thir coffers. Young people cannot rely on pensions. Their retirement needs to be based around tangible assets that they can trade with – land growing veg for example. Skillsets that have practical meaning such as carpentry rather than 1% theoretical skills – like a maths teacher; devloping two professions – one for the 1% system and one when that fails. I am unsure that my pension will keep coming for 25years, can 21-year-olds be sure that pensions will pay in 64 years? When you are 80 you can’t work, what provision can the young make for that when there is no financial security?
Currencies that can be traded through alternative communities so that as the banksters clamour for their paper zeroes ordinary people have different currencies that carry meaning through honour and barter. In the end there is no way to defeat the lawlessness that is being created but some sensible foreboding can alter the way the young prepare themselves for this inevitability.
Tags: #O, Corporatocracy, hippy
When I grew up I became angry. I looked at the system and I started blaming the system for so many things that were wrong; to begin with I did not blame people. After throwing aside my conditioning in a few uncomfortable tempestuous years after university I gravitated to caring for children. But child care was a holding job, and I was looking for change – improvement, so I became a teacher. Teaching is my profession, it is where I belong, in my next life I will be a teacher, but in reality all I have done as a teacher is patch the system.
Does that sound bad? It doesn’t, does it? You kind of think of patching a bike to fix a puncture, once you have patched it up you can ride your bike. But when you start to analyse the system that was patched you realise that what you were patching up was a system that facilitated the wealth of the 1%. I was patching in order to make them wealthy, not helping people. Any credible caring that I managed within my career just left the students more a part of the system waiting to be exploited than any genuine education. I have no doubts on a personal level that I helped many students with their own self-worth, but in terms of creating a better society I contributed little. I was never allowed to. Education is integral to the exploitation by the 1%, no matter how much I tried within the system I could never alter that. Nor could all the others who were trying, and the situation is far worse now than it was when I started teaching.
I grew up just after the last generation that stood up against the system, my teenage years were the 60s. These people were saying “Make love not war”, it was the love generation, it was a caring generation. People like myself were only looking for a caring society, and we wanted to stand up for this. There was an excitement as many people searched for ways to develop this caring. It was a generation of innovation, the art world sought new means of expression and whilst there were charlatans, much that was art turned back barriers. There was an air of questioning the authority that could have developed society into one of compassion. Instead minds grew out of control seeking wider and wider expansion leading to the greed and deregulation of Reagan-Thatcher that was the beginning of the current financial crisis. Our parents and grandparents had experienced a world war, all they wished to do was to live comfortably and work for their families. The 60s questioned that and asked for a more caring society. Whilst the movement in my view was genuine, the results have been minimal. Many of the people were sucked back into the system, but it could be argued that as a result there has been a hippie sub-culture of businesses on the periphery of society.
But mostly the situation has gradually worsened. When I was young obtaining a mortgage for a house was difficult, there were rules – you could only borrow 2 and a half times your annual income. Whilst I bemoaned this at the time, it was an indication that banking was more careful. Although loans to dictators were immoral, they were at least sound financially – an oppressed people would always pay back through taxation. Before the recession credit was available for almost anything, and the ratio between the amount of money in circulation on computers compared to tangible assets is far too high to be safe. This has been caused by greed and deregulation, the two being closely linked as those who deregulated were doing it out of greed. From a society that had such great potential the result is recession and war for profit.
And what did I do? I patched it up. I went to school and I told the kids “trust me and you will pass your exams”, whilst this was true what good did it do them? Did I know the system was flawed? Of course I did, but my generation wore our hearts on our sleeves saying we will try hard. Now when I say “my generation”, of course it was not all the people. But in many ways these caring few gave younger people a direction and hope, but I think this ended with Thatcher and the ill-conceived miners’ strike. From that time until Occupy in general young people grew up to earn money, and they measured social value by the size of their bank balance. Whilst my generation didn’t help enough, it is the “Reagan-Thatcher” generation who sat back and allowed the economy to sink into the bank balances of the 1%.
And what did many like me do? We patched up. When the black students at my Inner City school got angry at the racism I attempted to make education more palatable. I tried to gain their trust, and was successful in some way. And the result some anger was dispersed, and often turned on themselves as failures. I was doing what I was paid for “keeping them in line”. Were they ever meant to be successful? Deep down I knew they weren’t, but when some looked for success I tried to give it to them. But it was never meant to be.
Was patching the right approach? Yes, marginally so. All the legions of people who were patching up, helped a little, but overall the tide of the exploiting 1% was far stronger. Is there a place for patching now? I don’t believe so. That is the way the system wants caring young people to be channelled – caring, patch up the system. They will not pay much for that caring, they will try to squeeze every last drop of blood from the people in caring professions. But all of us in caring patchwork professions must remember – financially we were still in the system. It was still our salaries in their banks. they still lent their money based on the salaries we put in – even though such a high proportion was credit that had no asset base.
If you care, don’t patch up – you are only being used. Find an alternate way. Form cooperatives – no bosses, but don’t trade in their currencies. Minimise your financial transactions and seek trade as barter or alternative currency as a way forward. From the hippies communities were developed, and whilst their trade motivations were not based on greed their money was still within the system. My generation gave up saying the system was too striong, the need to be alternative financially was not as strong as it is now.
No patch, no money – #O.
People tried to rebuild their lives by building cooperatives but the government tried to block that. But as can be seen from the same movie The Take, the people persevered and were able to make a living. The owners owed wages, did not pay the people, legally they were entitled to the factory by forfeit yet still the legal system made it hard for them. The film ended with the people running the factory as a cooperative but I am now unsure what has happened to those cooperatives as the state had nit changed and was in the pockets of the owners.
But here is another survival strategy that has a good chance of success and longevity – bartering:-
These people are working in markets where they are bartering skills and goods, and most importantly they created a new money creditos. This money was originally intended only to be used for trading within these barter markets, but they have become such a valuable means of trading that people accept creditos outside the barter market system.
Occupy, your democracy has led you to credit unions and cooperatives but whilst you continue to trade using Rockefeller’s currency your money will grow to be meaningless. As the financial crisis deepens Rockefeller’s 1% will print more money so that it will appear that they still have their wealth. And when you want to spend your money it might not be there. They want you to work for them all your lives, and maybe when you come to spend your pension it won’t be there, and you will be too old to earn more. What can happen then?
It is this normal life they are taking away from us. We want to be secure that we have worked all our lives, and that we can die in peace having saved our pensions. They are taking that away from us – ask the Greeks.
Occupy, use your youthful vigour to establish a global community with your own currency #O.
Out of the Latin American issues has come a film Beyond Elections let’s see where that goes.
The Greeks have already started on the barter:-
and a good idea for skillsets – time banking. Hope to hear more of this.
Tags: #O, Horizontalidad, mindfulness, Occupy
For me the exciting thing about Occupy is not just that so many people are joining Occupy globally, but that they are organising democratically – consensus democracy. With their seeking geniuine democracy, out of Occupy is coming the desire to live and earn differently. Firstly there were calls to join credit unions – as well as some people on demonstrations trying to close their bank accounts. This clearly demonstrates a recognition that the banks controlling their money is not acceptable. Secondly there is a talk of cooperative structures, this is Horizontalidad. For me this is not going far enough but that is easy to say bashing away on a keyboard.
Credit unions are positive. It means that money is initially being controlled by the people in the credit union, but if there were a run on the banks the first people to get their money would be the Rockefellers and by the time it came down to the credit union there would be none left – because most of the money that makes up the bank accounts of the Rockefellers is based on unsubtantiable credit. Put simply. The banks make profits by lending but they lend what they haven’t got. A bank has coverage, it keeps the cash it thinks it needs to cover expenditure on customer lending, staff expenditure etc. It then lends unreal money above that. This credit is what is causing the problems because they have lent so much. It caused the recession with the sub-prime loans being discovered in Mickey Mouse Hedge Funds closing some banks. Credit Unions will stop this sort of lending but ultimately they are still using the same currencies as the Rockefellers so when the Rockefellers empty their huge bank accounts there is not enough money to go round to the credit unions – to the people.
Cooperatives are a much better way of manufacturing removing the necessity of management, but in truth workforce problems are not usually caused in small manufacturing industries. They are caused when transnationals own the manufacturing companies and then move plant and workforce to reduce wage bills. Organising a cooperative does prevent this transnational exploitation. But where does the new cooperative trade? They trade in the same market-place as the transnationals using the same money as the Rockefellers. So once the cooperatives begin to trade they are subject to the market forces that the existing system controls. They are also using the same currency that the existing system controls. So a cooperative is only a step in the right direction as are the credit unions. Look at Horizontalidad. Those comrades have built up cooperative businesses that have saved Argentina’s economy, and now the vultures are returning to claim their plant destroying the businesses. If the government had stepped in early enough and told the owners that they have to cooperate with the workers in some way this problem could have been resolved, but the government was still part of the system that caused the problem. In Argentina the system had not been fixed, and whilst Horizontalidad saved the country the government is still turning on its own people. Having a cooperative does not step outside the unfixed system, it just solves one of the problems within it leaving the workers to face the system at a later stage after they have done all the work.
What is needed is alternative currencies which in general will bring alternative trade structures. Occupy can begin to do this because it is big. Occupy can setup its own community currency, a #OCCUPY, and people can buy and sell using #O. If this #O is a global currency usable within all OCCUPY groups then it starts to be workable. At present OCCUPY is being funded by donations. These goods can be bought and sold using #O. Occupy cooperatives could begin to manufacture items that can be bought and sold using #O. OCCUPY has the computer expertise to organise this. People can open OCCUPY accounts globally, and build up their accounts by donations. People can trade skills through OCCUPY so that teachers can teach children of OCCUPIERS for a salary in #O. If richer supporters (film stars etc.) of OCCUPY can donate land and plant to OCCUPY, then OCCUPY can farm and manufacture. OCCUPY can trade with organic farmers using #O once OCCUPIERS can manufacture items for trade. Or they can trade with items that have been donated. Once this alternative system has started it can grow with the enthusiasm of these young people and interact with ordinary people daily. Once the system builds more and more items can be traded using #O. It is ostensibly peaceful although the response wouldn’t be. They are trading and manufacturing but instead of trading and manufacturing using the broken system it is trading and manufacturing the way it was meant to be – barter and sustainable trade (trade based on some value standard like gold rather than on unsubtsantive credit).
This is MCN in action hopefully, away from my theoretical imagination.