Posts Tagged ‘unity’

Dangerous Times

Posted: 26/05/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, ONE planet, Struggle
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We are living in dangerous times, I am so deeply afraid for the future; I see nothing changing for the better.

Where is the direction of Gaia, Mother Earth? Where is the direction to end war? Where is the direction to end wage-slavery?


Where is the direction now? Increasing repression through repression on both sides. Repression helps no-one because it makes no change. It simply covers over the cracks, it Grenfells – gentrifies. This increasing repression is polarising society, and we are not examining this polarisation because we are stuck in our own media bubbles. Understanding through detachment has been replaced by repression based on positions – moral or otherwise.

This aspect of repression started with what Jordan Peterson calls PC-authoritarianism. This man is part of a right-wing egotistical freedom movement who are very dangerous, and has been rightly criticised here. But however sound the criticism it doesn’t matter, our world is polarised and what is said in the NYT does not matter to those listening to Peterson. And what is worse the world is moving more to sympathy for Peterson’s right-wing egotism because the finance is there to support Peterson and the IDweb. Meanwhile the 1% exploit through a Trump facade.

We have not learnt the lesson of PC-authoritarianism. I am going to examine how I see the personal history of PC. Back in the 70s racist language was common-place, at that time it didn’t matter to most people that this language was offensive – offensive language was used in the presence of black people and black people were considered to have a chip if they didn’t accept it. Slowly things began to change in that repressing racist language and removal of racist images improved the general ethos. But it was never meant to be censorship alone, it was meant to be a two-pronged approach in which removal of poor use of language went hand-in-hand with how racism was harmful for everyone. However there wasn’t much effort put into the educational side, and when Blair got into power there was increased repression on the language without any effort being made towards education.

When people are repressed there is a pressure situation built up because the source of the problem had not gone away. These repressed people were still racist. On the surface the problem of racism had been sugarcoated but nothing had been done about the squalid racist mire underneath. As a result when they started funding the alt-right, out came the racists again. There are now increased racist attacks, and racist intellectuals barely bother to disguise themselves as in the IDWeb.

I spent many an hour discussing politics with a neighbour. He did not disagree with any of the issues I raised such as war, exploitation wage-slavery, the 1%, Wall Street. However his mind was so warped with racism that he occasionally expressed to me concerning the difficulties of employing Aborigine workers, and how his liberty was infringed by regulations that protected them. He was also strongly against PC-authoritarianism. These combined were sufficient as he turned out to be a Trump supporter. In other words his racism mattered more than anything else except the PC-police. Of course this is an ignorant position but Trump’s backroom staff knew that the root issue was racism. All the years in which there was some form of PC-ascendancy nothing was actually done about racism, it was only repressed and it is now back in full force in some communities.

Racism is now so strong that this form of state repression is acceptable. Trump says that he would like NFL owners to drop players who took the knee. Now they have agreed that there will be a penalty if players take the knee. This is fascism:-

I first began this blog thinking about this meme:-

I first thought this was great, but then … Is the meme asking that the nephew be educated as to why repeated “no” is harassment or just being told “don’t ask more than once”? Then I began thinking about the relationship thing. Relationship is not about politics, I know how much I hated it when I went home and got it in the neck from a partner who was angry and treated me as a representative of patriarchy – I benefit from the privilege of being a member of the imperialist, white supremacist patriarchy but in my home I can offer empathy; I would however liked to have been me.

Now what happens to this “nephew”? Maybe he is down, maybe it took a great deal to ask. Will the girl think about it, realise she made a mistake and ask him out? Rather than an opportunity to warn the nephew against possible harassment, isn’t this an opportunity to help promote good relationship? Maybe the mother (of the nephew) could involve the mother of the girl in discussion about how to promote relationship.

I don’t want the nephew to ask again, I want a society in which relationship can be built. Can mothers teach daughters to ask a boy out? Can this be done without the girl being perceived as a “slut”? Can we help our young people build relationship?

Or do we remain slaves to sets of ideals which create separation?

It also made me concerned about that ugly brute, male lust. We have reached the stage where right-wing egotistical patriarchs such as Jordan Peterson are attaching blame to women because men not in a relationship behave badly (see NYT article). Peterson is at least recognising the problem in part – the ugliness of male lust. Where are men taught to deal with this? It is a horrible brute, variable in that it is not the same in all men. Some women equate this ugly brute with their own desire; this might be true as I have no experience of how a woman experiences desire – but equally women have no experience of this ugly brute. In relationship all matters need to be brought to the table, discussed, and a mutual understanding be reached. Bringing idealism to the relationship table does not help. If men with Peterson ideals expect women to return to being pliant kitchen chattels, there is only oppression. If women expect men to behave by following a set of rules that they create, there is no relationship. In a heterosexual couple there are two people of the opposite genders seeking to form a relationship, this can only be achieved through mutual love, mutual respect and mutual enabling. Leave the rule book where it belongs.

And that is the problem with our dangerous times, we are allowing ourselves to be dominated by rule books. We need to live together through mutual love, mutual respect and mutual enabling. And to paraphrase Paulette Jordan, love of Gaia. I wish her so much luck, how can she hope to bring Unity in times which have been so intentionally divided.

What good people have to realise politically is that being correct is nowhere near enough, having good ideals is nowhere near enough, having compassion is nowhere near enough. The point is that the 1% have the power and money, they can pay for any form of violent support for what they do. Antifa can be squashed any day they want them to be squashed. The only power that we have as people is togetherness, black and white together, women and men together, using rules to divide us even if these rules might be correct only works in favour of the 1%. Science has proven climate change for decades, the Koch brothers have “faked” climate denial in just one. Who is winning? Find ways of working together. Unity for Gaia.

“Nowhere to hide” <– Previous Post “Indigenous yin/yang” Next Post –>

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Class Unity and Intersectionality

Posted: 26/01/2018 by zandtao in Media, Struggle
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As usual I like to read Black Agenda Report analyses, and I am pleased to see that class is an issue now being raised. Intersectionality is a far too haphazard process to base any movement on, sadly at the present time any form of unity or common concurrence including intersectionality is worthwhile.

The Left, and I mean the genuine left as opposed to an umbrella left dominated by liberals, has completely failed the 99% in the twentieth century, and with the flames of liberal indignation being manipulated continues to fail in the twenty-first. Throughout my limited political involvement in the UK, the genuine Left was always fighting the intellectuals both outside and inside its ranks, and in the end were easily pushed out of the way by Blair and his neoliberal promotion of liberalism. I had hoped in Occupy to see a return to the genuine left but instead funded right-wing intellectualism has succeeded in completely dividing the movement. There is now only confusion and the 1% are using the forces of rising fascism to increase their accumulation.

Class is still a relevant issue, but obviously “some Marxist analysis is dated”. Class solidarity united against war and wage slavery is the only unity that can prevail in any way against the 1%. But in my adult 45 years we are the furthest from any such unity. Promoting liberalism has divided the class, and issue-based campaigns completely dominate the agenda; and this agenda is one that is being manipulated by the 1% through their strategy of confusion. How can there possibly be revolutionary understanding presented on mainstream media (owned by 1% moguls)? It is only acceptable because liberals can pretend to be fighting, have their jobs and houses at the same time – and their entertainment.

Class is more than the summation of separate identities, and solidarity within class would soon teach that liberal representation for one group can never be beneficial for a class. If the number of jobs are the same and there is transfer of jobs from one class member to another, we are only promoting the interests of the 1%. New jobs have to be taken from the accumulations of the 1% – not each other.

We need a class identity again. Back in the day in the UK there was a limited class identity of the cloth caps with some middle-class involvement. That class identity gave those people some strength, and there was a feeling of class identification. But there was a failure in education and solidarity so within that class there was racism, sexism, homophobia etc. Although some in the movement tried to educate they failed, and, instead of the class developing, interest groups started to dominate. At the same time there were fewer of the production-line “working” class, the class failed to change with the job market, and intellectual egos claimed an arrogance (above cloth caps) becoming forces for separation. Now instead of having a united class of wage-slaves, we have interest groups and those interests can claim to be both left and right within the same interest group; for many in these groups wage-slavery is not an issue, many such buying into their career delusions. More importantly those interest groups have no means of attack, they do not threaten the profits of the 1%. Whilst withdrawal of labour was a useable weapon, now what weapons do we use – perpetual bleating in the mainstream media? Demonstrations that are ridiculed? Progress can only be made with unity, a unity that recognises a united class, a united 99%. And then progress can be made through class strategies such as class demonstrations, consumer control, and constructive struggle against the 1%. Only strong unity can meaningfully affect their accumulation.

Interest groups need to be proud to be proletarian again, interest groups need to unite in a class struggle whether it is called the 99% or something else. Dividing the class on interests and supporting such interests through liberalism has no future especially as liberals will dodge any fight that affects their mortgage. When the 1% changes the labour market and it appears workers from one interest group are favoured, we have to scream at the 1%. All of us must scream that way, racists, liberals must address the same cause – 1% accumulation. It is class and not interest groups that can unite, can defend, can defeat, interest groups can only be played off.

I have had to work with racists in the “old grass roots movement”, it was distasteful. They did however fight for the class, sadly I suspect the new generation of those people are now alt-right. A tenuous link to the movement is better than none, and maybe education can happen. If there was no trade union movement those people’s interests would gravitate to the alt-right. These people were not compassionate, they were self-interested, and now that self-interest is probably alt-right. However distasteful it is to work with these people it has to happen, they are far less distasteful than what the 1% and their current puppets are doing. Not everyone has to be right-on to work with them, there can be mutually-beneficial interests in the class.

Success through intersectionality can never work, it is too easy to fan the flames of difference. Accepting class with all the weaknesses of class comrades is the only slim distasteful chance that we have.

Class unity not intersectionality.

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Love and Wage-Slavery

Posted: 22/01/2018 by zandtao in Freedom, Struggle

I fear for love.

Love is deep, powerful and the greatest force for good on the planet. This is not love as procreation, sexual fulfilment but love – deep meaningful love. Once found love is never lost even if the relationship where the love was found fails. Love persists in and beyond the relationship, it is as if the relationship kickstarts a dormant loving.

Finding love is never easy; it was never easy for me maybe for others it is different. My search for love began when I was a child at university where “love” was not love but passion and infatuation. Soon after leaving uni I broke through my systemic conditioning and once following the path was free to experience love. From that point at 22 I wore my heart on my sleeve as I searched for love. Two factors at that time prevented me from finding love, the first was an unusual level of personal immaturity despite following the path, and the second was the barriers in women that I met. These were women who put up barriers to love either because they had been hurt in love or were afraid of being hurt in love. These barriers saddened me then, they sadden me now, and it saddens me that these barriers will be increased however well justified.

When I did find love it turned out to be catastrophic, and at the end of the relationship in which I loved I was drained. After a few years I managed to grow through my pain and eventually eschew the pain body, and it was only recently that I accepted how important that love was. The love that I sought to express through one person has eventually become a love I can share with all. A love that I now know is so important and that I fear for.

For many people love is sought in the workplace but this is not a good place to seek love because the workplace is the place of wage-slavery. The workplace is a place of servitude. It is a place where employers feel they own the employees – servitude – rather than a place where labour is purchased. Within the workplace employees also feel that the workplace is for servitude, and therefore are willing to accept impositions.

Following the revelations that Harvey Weinstein used this servitude for his own sexual gratification, harassing the wage-slaves in the process, #metoo has seen a rallying cry for women not to accept harassment, for men to change their attitudes to what is harassment, and for all to change the climate that enables this harassment.

But this changing climate is perceived as the silence that enables such exploitation. It is perceived as a problem of the collective psyche where people do not stand up to the powerful exploiting for fear of their own situation.

But the efforts are only token. The harassers are not perceived as criminals and are going unpunished, much hot air is being expended but other than discomfort there appears nothing that is happening is bringing change.

The source of the problem is the wage-slavery, the level of servitude that means the harassment comes with the territory, and the fear that complaining will lead to loss of work – we are slaves and we have no choice about being that way.

If we are not wage-slaves then in the workplace we are colleagues together, and there is no pent-up frustration that leads to hierarchical position wanting to exploit.

So where do we find love? The work-place is a place of servitude, choice is not free there. At the disco there is limited human contact, so where do we find love? In this world of wage-slavery we are not free to find love. Understand the servitude that we live in, work against that servitude together, and search for love despite the impositions wage-slavery puts on us.

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Class War Lost!!

Posted: 10/12/2017 by zandtao in Freedom, Struggle
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Boy, have we lost the class war!!!

The 1% are having a field day in the US, look at the tax bill. That is such a big win. And barely a Liberal whimper, just the usual ongoing Liberal bleating.

When did they realise that promoting Liberalism would be so effective?

Post war death of the youth had led to a necessary leftwards move in the UK, becoming the hegemony would have to have great trickle down benefits in the US. But all my adult life I have just seen a worsening of the situation as wealth increasingly accrued to the bourgeois. When I left the UK at the beginning of 93 I lost a continuity with the UK struggle as travel became a way of life. In the UK from 93 the Labour party Blaired and there was the rise of liberalism in the UK, wiki describes it as moving the party to the centre but really it was the rise of liberalism in Labour – new Labour. Until the crash in 2008 and the move to austerity under the Tories.

There was no internet then so I was much less conscious of the US struggle – albeit recognising the hegemony. The presidencies oscillated through to Obama where there was the major rise of US Liberalism. In the US the crash produced the great hope of my lifetime – Occupy, but rather than cementing a change in the worsening situation it fueled a powerful right-wing backlash as the 1% became fearful of being the target of Occupy. Funding of right-wing organisations on the internet proved to be such a powerful move as we can now see globally the impact of this funding with the rise in right-wing organisations and their populist filth.

The key overt characteristic of the Liberal power under Blair and then Obama was the failure to deal with the jobs situation amongst the traditional working-class. Whilst the Republican and Tory homeowners (middle and upper-class voters) tend to ally themselves with the 1% because they think the 1% will have their back, a significant proportion of voters amongst the working-class moved away from the Liberals.

When these working-class people claim the Liberals have taken their jobs there is an element of truth, ostensibly there has been a move from manufacturing and cloth-cap jobs to Liberal employment. The nature of the workforce is changing because of automation where more profit is made in the first world by using machines than expensive human labour. The increase in employment of the Liberal bureaucracies became the target of this working-class anger rather than the source of the problem – the 1%, who throughout my lifetime have vastly increased their wealth. America’s economy has for a long time been based on cheap migrant labour so racism has always been a factor but with the loss of working-class jobs that has also produced a racist backlash.

In the US that focus turned on Obama but the problem with Obama was not the colour of his skin but the failure of his two administrations to address the issue of the loss of white working-class jobs. The failure lay with his promotion of Liberal values whilst ignoring the two issues Liberals always ignore – war and wage-slavery, the two essential platforms of the 1%. Whilst Liberals now bleat about the good times under Obama, the reality is that his time of continuing neoliberalism promoted war and did not address the issue of the changing nature of jobs. And we are paying for it now.

Trump’s populism promotes the racial angle because of his voter-base but his rolling-back of Obama liberal policies is not because of personal racial animosity (that he does have) but because of their limiting the profits of the 1%. Everything he does promotes that interest but the Liberals bleat away. So there is the tortuous public display of Trump’s deplorable behaviour that appeals to his fanbase – the deplorables. And the MAWPs buy into the 1%-lies, lies funded on the internet.

When Trump came to power there seemed a hope that the 1% would not back him because of the instability he causes; they were wary. But the confusion Trump causes enables the 1% to move in and grab. Defunding of liberal agencies and watchdog committees, the tax bill and moves against net neutrality and deregulating Wall Street are in the pipeline.

Meanwhile there is the Trump-orchestrated bleating that is deafening in its silence about the real issue – the increase in 1%-accumulation caused by Trump’s supposed anti-Liberal policies.

A deafening silence about the 1%. Especially just 6 years after Occupy such a deafening silence.

There is no power in Liberalism just the chimeras of intellectual ideals. When the 1% wanted to wipe out Occupy it just happened overnight – no power. Where is the power? In collectivism. But Liberals are not collective animals, they stand up for individual rights or human rights – again ideals. They do not understand or believe in the power of the mass movement – the only threat to the 1%. So in my lifetime with the rise in liberalism there has been a decrease in the only power that has a chance of working against the 1%.

Why am I writing about losing the class war now? There were issues that triggered this understanding. The main one was the tax bill, and the manner in which it was passed – before the vote did we know what was in it? The second is the increase in the acceptance of immorality as characterised by Roy Moore’s upcoming election. And for me the control of free-thinking at universities through Turning Point was frightening. It is clear to me that there has been a coalescing of right-wing forces using Trump as a figure-head since the beginning of his presidency. What began as a voting alliance has now turned into a united right-wing platform. The 1% has seen the confusion caused by Trump, it has not affected their profits especially now with the tax benefits so they can go with it. In the past it was accepted that stability was needed – Theresa May’s sound and stable mantra, but confusion is not affecting their profits so they have allied with Trump.

Why am I also talking about losing the war now? Amongst his supporters are the deplorables, Republicans voting against Liberals, and balance-voters – good people such as MAWPs and some of the “53% white women“, they have got to be thinking of change. Since his election good people have got to be having regrets, however Liberal bleating is maintaining their voting position; there has to be doubts. And overcoming these doubts would be so easy now – the 1% giving jobs. After the gains the 1% have made I have no doubts in the final year of 4 there will be a notable increase in jobs – despite what Trump has said there has not been an increase so far.

So it comes down to brinkmanship, how far can things go before they will stop allying with Trump? Look at the NRA. To maintain their profits they will stop at nothing. The almost unique characteristic of US mass shootings don’t lead to a change in gun laws and control, so the death of Americans does not matter to them – only the death of their own; school shootings do not occur in private schools, they are not politically-motivated. 1%-money funded both sides of the war that grew out of promoting fascism in Germany. Such a war I think is beyond the brink. Civil war in America would be beyond the brink but shooting black people by police is not. Wars in the Middle East are fine by 1%-standards so alienating favoured Muslims by promoting the zionism of Israel through Jerusalem as US capital is also not beyond the brink. Further Middle East war is not beyond the brink; Iran?

Where do we go from here? The traditional understanding of “our idealism is better than yours” is a failure, it is just division. I think the answer lies with compassion and morality. This comes from the deep understanding that we are all one together underneath, and that oneness is compassion. But we are a long way from that compassion. At present the compassionate are divided by their ideologies, and compassion uses ideologies to divide. For example I am a committed socialist as a series of ideals but within socialism there are people who put the ideology first before compassion resulting in the 1917 Soviet revolution. What it produced was better than the Tsar but how much? Communism has at its root compassion but not how it is applied? Capitalism putting profits before people does not have compassion at its root, neither does accumulation to the 1%. With adequate funding it is always possible to find fault and focus on that fault.

Compassion is difficult at times. How do we consider compassion when science tells you that a baby cannot feel until 22 weeks yet US law now says sperm at conception has life. I have compassion for life. Farmers can be compassionate people but actions such as mercy-killing appear without compassion. The issue for me about abortion is the rich (right-wing) telling people what to do, they are not taking responsibility for their actions (as well as the young woman). If a young woman in difficult times cannot look after a child and wants to lose it, then the rich could pay. But forcing the woman to have the child and for it to then become a burden on a burdensome life lacks compassion. The decision-making has to be compassionate, ideology has no solution.

Nothing publicly that is happening now is compassionate. Trump shouts anti-liberal rants, he has power, Liberals bleat back; it is just confrontation – intentionally. Meanwhile 1% are raking it in, and we will pay later. None of this has compassion.


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Enquiry – if wrong?

Posted: 25/06/2016 by zandtao in Insight, ONE planet, Science
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Brad wrote a blog based on a book by Chuck Klosterman “But what if we were wrong?” The book asks the question from the perspective of future man looking back. I haven’t read the book, doubt if I ever will but very much like the notion of questioning. Questioning is most essential in any learning and any form of spiritual life. I would normally be interested in such a book of questioning but then Brad quoted some questions and I didn’t see deep questioning. The first question that future man would have to ask is “Why did they allow so many wars?”, and if future man is not dominated by corporations “Why did they allow corporations to create these wars for profits?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Impasse, no not an impasse

Posted: 18/11/2015 by zandtao in Insight, Meditation

Pursuing yesterday’s consideration of meditation here is a description of this morning.

Yesterday I had some issues on my mind, and wrote about them before meditating; today I did not. I sat and just started thinking. There are two issues that I am currently dealing with:-

zbullet Insight and Understanding
zbullet Tolerance

And the issue of emptiness came up again.

Insight and Understanding:-

An insight is a just a thought or an idea so that when you look at it objectively it does not appear any differently to any other thought. To consider this I take the 4NT, I consider this a tremendous Insight found by the Buddha; some argue this is the major teaching that the Buddha found was different to previous teachings. This Insight I consider phenomenal, and learn more and more all the time I try to understand it. But no matter what I do I can never have the same Insight the Buddha had, I can have Insights about it but it can never be the same.

So if it is just a thought or idea, why is Insight so important? Because it is a process as well. When I have received an Insight I have felt a sudden clarity at the thought, this clarity is deep, it holds conviction – as I said link here it might be the difference between ideas and faith; I don’t know because I don’t have what people call faith – I don’t believe in a set of ideas. However I can accept that a religious experience can lead to faith, and accept this.

In meditation I tried to think of other ways of looking at Insight. There was the channel in the worksheet I wrote, the word I used above for this channel is clarity, a clear mind makes the channel. Where does the channel go? Voidness, somehow through meditation (and the other examples) a channel to Voidness is created and this brings with it an Insight. How do you know that it is an Insight and not just another idea? Conviction.

I cannot explain it any other way. Why do I want to? To help correlate the Paths of Awakening and Study, I am unable to do so and have reached an impasse.


I got involved in a good discussion concerning the tolerance of other Paths that led to the consideration of the Paths of Awakening and Study. There are religious paths that do not merit consideration as Paths, I consider the far christian right and violent muslim extremism such as isis example of this. However I do consider Christianity and Islam as Paths. The discussion however arose with the different Paths of Buddhism:-

zbullet Theravada
zbullet Mahayana
zbullet Vajrayana

Vajrayana considers these a linear development over time, and therefore implicitly, and by some explicitly superior. But I consider all Paths equal because by its very Nature it is a Path. There was disagreement.

In meditation the issue of tolerance came up. What is tolerance? A Path requires Understanding, and this Understanding is personal through Insight. So there can never be intellectual agreement between two people about their Path so there needs to be tolerance. So what is this tolerance? First of all there needs to be anatta. A Path is intensely personal, and so atta identifies with that Path; for tolerance there needs to be anatta. When that atta identification occurs then comparison happens, and because it is so deeply personal it is natural for atta to consider one’s own Path superior. This of course is judgemental. So Tolerance of another’s Path requires both anatta and non-judgementalism, both very hard.

This morning I couldn’t stop thinking, and even when I sought clarity my mind started thinking again. Towards the end I tried giving out compassion but gave up after a short while, the intellectual mind was too chatty – 39 minutes.

At the beach I studied Berzin’ article “What does it mean to understand something?”, early on it reminded me of the worst aspects of philosophy – detailed definition of minutiae (judgemental). But I went through the stages of understanding which seemed to fit well with HHDL’s description of the Path of Study (here). At least the article was heading deeper, and then I came to this:-

“Intuitive understanding does not rely directly on logical reasoning. Some non-Buddhist spiritual systems explain that intuitive understanding may be mystical and derive from a transcendent source, such as God. In Buddhism, we speak of understanding deriving through inspiration (byin-rlabs, “blessings”) from the Buddhas or from our spiritual teachers, or deriving from the ripening from our network of positive force(“collection of merit”). We find this most prominently inmahamudra and dzogchen practice in which our teacher helps us, literally, to meet face to face (ngo-sprod) the nature of our minds.

Dzogchen also speaks of the “self-arising deep awareness” (rang-byung ye-shes) that is primordial (gnyug-ma) and arises simultaneously (lhan-skyes, innate) in each moment of cognition. This deep awareness is part of the nature of pure awareness (rig-pa), the subtlest level of mental activity, devoidof all fleeting stains, such as those of unawareness (ignorance). When we access this deepest level, the deep awareness of the two truths is revealed. In Western terms, we would classify this deep awareness as intuitive.”

For clarity this intuitive understanding I think of as Insight, and this I liked:-

“An intuitive understanding of impermanence, voidness, compassion or bodhichitta may or may not apprehend its object. Sometimes it is not very precise in terms of either accuracy or decisiveness, or in terms of both. We may be convinced of the accuracy of our focusing on, for instance, impermanence or voidness, derived through intuition based on personal experience, but this is often just presumption (yid-dpyod): we are merely presuming it to be accurate, whereas it is rather vague. We may or may not be able to express our intuitive understanding of something in words, but this can be the case whether or not our intuitive understanding apprehends its object accurately and decisively. ”

When I read this at the beach I just read mahamudra and transmission, and I thought impasse, however reading this again I like Dzogchen “self-arising deep awareness”. In order to correlate the two Paths I need to understand Dzogchen. And I have a hard book “The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen” by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche that might give answers.

I am opposed to transmission personally. I don’t disbelieve it but I don’t really see why things cannot be resolved personally. Dzogchen, Union?

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.


Buddhism – at least 2 Paths?

Posted: 13/11/2015 by zandtao in Insight
Tags: , , , , ,

point1WARNING 27/2/16

At the time of discussion of “The Two Paths” I was attempting to accommodate an intellectual Path; even whilst doing so I was uncomfortable with it. I tried to focus on the “shift” as described by HHDL but the intellect I was discussing with did not engage with the word – presumably because it was a non-intellectual process. Now that I have accepted mu it is clear that what I am aiming for is beyond intellect, and this whole rationalising of “Two Paths” was just an engagement with intellect. I am keeping this series of discussions on Two Paths on my blog as a warning as to how much the intellect can drag you in the wrong direction.


Maybe 7 years ago I attended a talk in Bangkok given by Phakchok Rinpoche. He was a very powerful and funny man, and wound all the Theravadans up something rotten. The monks were squirming in the seats and monks and nuns were muttering away. To be honest I was just impressed with the man. I am going to refer to this with the Ludlum phrase “The Hinayana Incident”.

Accompanying his talk he gave out a paper describing 3 Buddhist Paths:-


And there was some blurb that went vaguely like this. “In Buddhism you begin with some initial study that could be called the Lesser Vehicle or Hinayana. Then people begin to increase their study to the Greater Vehicle or Mahayana, and then finally they arrive at the highest form of learning Vajrayana.” Now to be perfectly honest it was extremely rude of this monk to go to a home of Thai Buddhism and present Theravada in this demeaning way.

I was personally not that invested in “being Theravada” so it didn’t wind me up, and after all it was someone from outside coming and talking about something he had never done – being Theravada. I think I am a bit angry about it now. I think all aspects of Buddhism talk about Unity, and yet the teachings are presented in such a divisive way. I have just got involved in a discussion online in which a similar division is occurring, and it reminded me of this. In fact all discussions online remind me of divisions, and whenever I think of division I think of uncontrolled intellect that delights in separation and cannot accept Unity. It reminds me so much of all the Trots who all claim they are Marxist, and believe in the power of the mass movement. Yet they all want the mass movement to follow their version of Marxism, and completely divide the Left by the way they say the mass movement should follow their particular individual bookwriter as opposed to a different bookwriter who has a Marxist group. In politics there is one leader the mass movement, and if organisers cannot get the mass movement to recognise the importance of seeing themselves as one Unity and the ensuing working together that could maybe dethrone the 1% then that means more wars for profits etc.

The parallel with Unity in Buddhism is so clear to me. You begin with Unity, because we are ONE and separation is caused by mind. From this Unity we can recognise that all Paths lead to Unity. This is a Truth for all Paths in Buddhism as well as for other Paths. So when there is a discussion in Buddhism shouldn’t it revolve around finding what is the commonality or the Unity rather than perpetuating mind-created differences.

This firstly made me think about my own Path – hitting bottom, coming out on the Path – awakening?, throughout my spiritual life somehow being close to the Path or not, being creativity helping closeness, erratic meditation experiences, veering to Buddhism, regular meditation, focussing on Theravada in retirement, wider reading, focussing on Buddhadasa. Basically the underlying Unity is what forced me onto the Path in the first place, and the rest of my life has been about holding to the Path or not, and how do I do this? For me in Theravada this meant Insight meditation, through Insight connecting to the Path.

When I read Eckhart Tolle, or others on the their creativity, I regularly see this hitting bottom and unconsciously I made an assumption that I now see as incorrect that peoples’ Paths will have this sort of awakening. Because of this awakening component my view of Phakchok Rinpoche’s hierarchy of study was an intellectual aberration.

With the current online discussion I was sent this quote from HHDL:-
“If you are serious about Dharma practice, it is important to cultivate a good understanding of the teachings. First of all, it is important to read the texts. The more texts you read – the more you expand the scope of your learning and reading – the greater the resource you will find for your own understanding and practice. When, as a result of deep study and contemplation on what you have learned as related to your personal understanding, you reach a point on each topic when you have developed a deep conviction that this is how it is, that‘s an indication you have attained what is called understanding, derived through contemplation or reflection. Before that, all your understanding will have been intellectual understanding, but at that point it shifts. Then you have to cultivate familiarity, make it into part of your daily habit. The more you cultivate familiarity, the more it will become experiential.”
Dalai Lama, The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason

Now intellectual understanding is not something I am overly keen on as it has been my experience that the intellect is divisive. In fact I have seen that for those coming to the Path a focus on the intellect can lead to internal conflict that can produce awakening.

However there has always been a flaw in my approach that I have only partly internalised, why is Buddhadasa my teacher and yet he never had an awakening? I have never really answered that question until now – when perhaps I am getting answers.

Does there have to be an awakening? In the above quote HHDL describes a model of 6 stages:-

1) Deep study 2) Contemplation or reflection 3) Deep conviction that this how it is – these 3 are intellectual

4) Shifting 5) Cultivating familiarity 6) Experiential understanding

What is the shifting? Is it at all connected to awakening? Maybe shifting is just a smaller degree of awakening?

It seems to me there are two distinct types of Path:-

The Path of Awakening
Deep Study that leads to Understanding

If one has had an awakening, especially in the West where such awakenings are often associated with miseducation, it is hard to understand how deep study can be a Path.

If one is studious it is hard to see how someone who claims awakening after hitting bottom either through drugs or otherwise can be experiencing something other than feeling good in a recovery programme after the hangovers have gone.

What primarily needs to be understood is that no matter how exclusive these Paths appear to be they lead to Unity, and Unity is what all Buddhist seek, what all Seekers seek.

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

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Unity despite a 1% system

Posted: 02/04/2014 by zandtao in Mandtao, ONE planet

Mandtao 3/2/13

When I first started Mandtao I was more interested in science. Bruce Lipton’s discussion on genes fitted in with much of the delusion I felt about science. And then I came to a personal crossroads when discussing the movie of that name. If I ignore the context in which we live I am avoiding the real issue the same way as the intellectuals I criticised in the movie.

The original sound-byte for the blog was the point and wave. This is an important realisation that I came to when young and reading “Tao of Physics”. But did Capra fully embrace the notion of the system we were in? He discussed paradigms, and at the time the notion of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm in Turning Point rocked my world. But in the same way that the Crossroads movie blames society so did Capra.

What has made me reject the notion that it is society is the fact that in my 20s I came to these realisations, entered a world of work to some extent cognisant of Unity and Path, and spent my life battling. This conflict grew from a lack of willingness to compromise when I was right, an erstwhile friend correctly called me a “right f—er”. If I was right I stuck to my guns and alienated others.

The tolerant Buddhist in me now says that perhaps my attitude was wrong, an outsider causing alienation. Maybe? Or maybe it was aggression or belligerence on my part that caused the alienation. I was on the receiving end of alienation by idealists for 10 years. This alienation was caused by people placing political ideals before the interests of the people themselves. This lesson came to me most forcefully through an education I received working in the trade union movement backed up by some sound communist theory. It is not ideals we work for but the “Mass Movement”. Or much better Unity – the Path of Unity.

Unity in the 1% system sounds a contradiction in terms. When the concept of 1% first started being raised I read a Buddhist writing it is not 99% we want but 100%. I immediately thought what a dickhead, wonderful theory that has nothing to do with reality. These people, the 1%, have chosen to leave humanity. Their separation takes the form of greed at any price including the price of tens of thousands of lives. These 1% must choose to rejoin, it is they who are creating the problem, not those who are demanding Unity however forcefully. It is simple for the 1% to stop putting profits before people, their own material wealth before humane considerations of poverty, hunger and a “roof over the head”. Whilst their compromise might be seen as financially more substantive the reality is that there is no restriction on their choosing – other than their family. I compare that with myself. When I came to the Path – forced on the Path, not only did I face the wrath and ridicule of my family I also faced similar emotions from people around me. Still do. But with nearly 40 years of such conflicts I have learnt how to deal with them better, but mostly that means a form of separation. Such is a real irony, to gain unity I often separate. There is no doubt in my mind that any steps forward on the Path of Unity are taken because I am able to separate myself in retirement, something I could never do in the world of work.

The Path of Unity becomes that of sila – moral integrity, people before profits. Consideration needs to be at the forefront and such consideration does not exist in the minds of the 1% for whom profit at all costs is the reality.

For the majority of people the choice is neither giving up wealth nor a life of conflict based on what is right. Most people work within the 1% system of wage slavery, and the more fortunate spend the majority of their working lives doing something they can tolerate – or even partially enjoy. But what is significant about all wage slaves is that they have to compromise. When the 1% system pushes them a particular way, there is compromise. What the 1% system has developed is mechanisms that make these compromises palatable. The middle level exec does not kill Afghans, nor do they give orders to do so. Oppenhaimer built the bomb out of a genuine desire for knowledge. He compromised with concerns about its use, but there was a commitment to learning in what he did. But look at the results of his compromise. Do the inventors at Apple think about their own compromise for Apple’s significant military use? And Steve Jobs a Zen Buddhist?

The soldier kills the Afghan or pushes the drone button, but soldiers are groomed from early years to accept this. Is the university geek who builds components for the drone? Far from it, so they are kept from the front end, the battlefield, the place where people are killed.

Do the echelons of workers at Monsanto accept responsibility for the suicides in India? Of course not. No-one, not even the Board, told these farmers to kill themselves, but in each death there is a contribution from every Monsanto employee. It is the sum of the compromises that leads to policy that induces suicide, which compromise was yours?

It is by intention that most compromises are not recognised as disastrous, if we were all to be made conscious of the consequences of compromise then more would stand up for the 99%. How different are the people of Occupy? The endless letters from people who explain why they are 99%, is their story much different to yours or mine? I had a full grant and ended up with drinking debts that I was only able to pay off at work because I was on crutches for two months – and kept myself out of bars.