Social Media – exacerbates conflict and divisiveness

This is a very cut down post from one of my other blogs …. although the headline sounds awful (which it is) one must say that the circus was already there …. with social media we have just offered the platform where divisiveness and conflict is perpetuated … so it flourishes and grows – globally.

My own experience on Social Media, I have found it to follow Carl Jung famous quote “Thinking is difficult, so that’s why most people judge” – when someones response to a post via a jarring condemnation or criticism, we know that this comes from their own perspective, their own beliefs or dogma .. they are not verifying the trigger (the original post) they are reacting to the trigger without establishing if it is true to start with.

In the other blogs I have gone into the reason people react rather than reflect before they respond … here and here


Let start with the trigger for a social media post, a headline, a comment or some content that we see that has appeared on a social media or main media platform – many take the words literally, instead of verifying … the writer (who comments) responds with what he feels is (their) truth … without any reticence about the rights he has even to comment or any due diligence on the trigger statement itself.

This is important I feel .. if you have any questions of concerns about the veracity of information you are receiving via the internet from news and more particularly Social Media …. ask yourself the following questions ..

1. Who is writing the stories? – is the source credible .. though that is not always a guarantee of veracity to know if it is true, fake or misinformation, designed to misinform and create or increase divisiveness.

It is hard these days to know what news services are credible … those sources from my youth such as the UK Broadcasters, now are suspect … all one can do is to seek confirmation from a number of sources.

2. Who benefits from these stories? – does a political party or aspect of society benefit from say misinformation contained in the story .. please evaluate the story impartially, not through the primary filter of your personal political beliefs and convictions.

3. Who is missing from these stories? The other side, a different perspective on the situation.

4. Verify anything that can be verified in the story, don’t share it or believe it merely because it agrees with your general beliefs or with your confirmation bias.

The whole concept of conspiracies (real or not) also feeds into our fears and powerlessness, our victim mentality – this can generate frustration and eventually anger and on occasion, action to right a perceived wrong, if we don’t let it go or educate ourselves. Those that practise divisiveness and manipulation of the population have been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and other base bigotries ( sorry emotions ) have a significant visceral appeal to ingrained beliefs amongst, those susceptible.

The reason for fake and divisive news seems clear … from the old concept of Divide and rule (or divide and conquer, from Latin dīvide et imperā) – but just imagine a world where we were all working together rather than as now huge energies and resources are wasted on things we cannot control – but they keep us busy and so not asking difficult questions of or holding Politicians and Governments accountable. Politics purposefully introduces fake (lies) news and misinformation (such as a possible threat, internal or external) to maintain their control.

Social Media as an experience seems like humanity expressing itself as adolescent in its thinking … like children in a playground, emotional reactions without reflection, and without thought.

Please everyone, our actions express our priorities … please think before you act.

Paphos Cyprus – Taxi Scam

This post only applies to Paphos Taxi drivers (so far) …. perhaps not all, but all that I have come into contact with.

I have used Taxis in Nicosia (the capital of Cyprus) and they abide by the law that states, Taxi drivers must run their meter when they have a fare paying passenger … also it is illegal to run a taxi without a serviceable meter.

However this does not stop them doing it in Paphos …. they in spite of the above law say that they have always done it … of course that doesn’t make them right … it just means they flout the law, purposefully, and without concern.

Recently a mate ran out of petrol in Paphos, he walked home and called a taxi to take him to the local petrol station and back to his car, a total distance of 2 Kilometers.

The driver would not turn on his meter, even though the passenger commented on this … he then told my friend at the end of the journey that the fare was 20 Euro’s … totally ridiculous. The driver said he had to pay it …. in fact he was adamant that he had to pay it … after a period of back and forth, eventually my friend said here is 5 Euros … or he would call the Paphos Police to have them settle the matter according to the law.

Example of Paphos Taxis

The authorities in Cyprus are aware of the practice as it is detailed here in articles in the Cyprus Mail …. here and here

Here is a forum where people also discuss this problem … with some alternatives that may help … here

Even though it is illegal it still continues …. Also as the meter is not operating, this probably means that no record of the income earnt by the Taxi is tracked … which will effect the income the Taxis report to the relevant authorities, such as Taxation.

It doesn’t seem to deter the Taxi drivers from breaking the law … but what must it be doing to the reputation of Cyprus in the eyes of tourists, who continue to have this experience.

Cyprus – Paphos Carnival

The Carnival was held on Sunday February 18, it was a beautiful (almost) spring day in Cyprus, a cool wind but the sun shone brightly over the waterfront of Kato Paphos, and the streets which are normally fairly empty were filled with visitors and lined with thousands of spectators watching the Carnival parade. The sidewalks were packed and so hard to negotiate and move through, progress was slow.

This was the second time I had seen the Carnival Parade and I was more impressed this time to see that a large presence of the local population, either supporting the parade, or taking part in it.

The carnival was a huge success, as can be gauged by the large attendance and the variety of floats and displays from local social and sports groups, and clubs and activities that are attended by children.

Some Photos ….





It was a good day …. as you can see from the streamers, the multitude of cans, bottles and general rubbish left a huge cleanup job for the local Paphos council …. there were rubbish bins provided, but they were overflowing …

Anyway it was a good day …

Full coverage of the Carnival with a timeline from Paphos Life here

A Spiritual Path

I only tell this journey, this transition from my personal experience, I hope that helps!

Spiritual growth is a desire to seek what we cannot see, a curiosity, and in so doing so challenge the relevance of and often break down these layers and walls that living in our society (our environment, beliefs and expectations) have created. These old beliefs may block or inhibit the flow and awareness of our true self.

However spiritual growth is not something to be achieved, it will progress at its own pace, depending on our openness and awareness, but please lose any belief that this process is something ( a mantle) to be achieved or attained to gain the respect of others, this we do only for ourselves.

In hindsight, I feel my following thought encapsulates the effect Spiritual growth has on evolving our consciousness, particularly the ego infection that we have within all of us …. to a greater or lesser degree.

“Spiritual growth and the evolution of the consciousness is a process of observing and taking control of and subjugating thoughts that come from the ego and the mind … then we see and live life from another place, a place of love, understanding, gratitude and peace”

I believe that all of us, every soul that comes to earth school is born enlightened, however as soon as the child ceases to be treated as a child and is brought into the world of choices, layers of dogma and beliefs are added between their birth innocence and wonder and that which comes by living in the world itself – these comes from the family beliefs, of society, and from “Duality” the concept that brings such labels as good versus bad, right versus wrong, Light and dark, Pain and pleasure, me and you, the illusion of separateness, defining and discriminating. The labeling of every experience, everything in fact – and behind every label there is a meaning we have ascribed to it, from and by society. Whilst a ego maybe necessary when one has lived only in the material world, it can be unlikely we can transition to the path of Unity consciousness, because one has to transcend duality whilst still understanding and often living within it.


Whatever your life contains is your path, for each of us is unique, and so there are innumerable paths to liberation, but for mankind, spiritually at least, it is the long and often confronting journey from Duality to Unity consciousness, where all that exists is love and that which springs from it, such concepts as patience, understanding, empathy, kindness and compassion.

I am not a fan of judgement (even of myself) for it is the instrument of our duality, and too often it comes from our ego, our beliefs prejudices and fears. Concepts such as comparison and competition have no meaning to an awakened soul.

Discipline, openness, curiosity, patience and humbleness, I have found are important, and again I would stress that there is no “right” way to evolve, no dogma to growth and evolution – but challenging what you have in the past, accepted is. Feel for your path and follow where it leads.

Remember, no one is perfect nor should we aim to be for we will always fail, but we can strive to be better than we were yesterday, and perhaps help others when the occasion presents itself.

My posts are simply my perspective and are offered in the spirit of discovery, exploration and evolution – take what resonates with you and leave the rest.


A Visit to – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, is the State Capital of New Mexico.

On arriving very early, I explored the surrounding area …. I was hungry and as the Hotel had no restaurant and it was very much out of the town center … I explored the area, noting the adobe construction of many of the buildings which I found attractive, they were in harmony with the landscape. I found that the closest place to eat was a Thai Vegan Restaurant …details are here

Actually I went there a couple of times …. The food was good and the service attentive.

I had just one night at the Hotel and then I checked into my AirBNB accommodation, which was close to the Rail Depot, quite near to the city centre.

My leg was sore after only cutting off the leg cast a couple of days before, so I slowly explored the area.

During my time in Santa Fe, I went to the following restaurants –

Paddy Rawal’s Raaga Fine Indian Dining, had a great Chicken Korma at reasonable prices … Tripadvisor Review here Joshua’s Restaurant (Fine Dining) was fairly close to where I was staying… but was not memorable. But I did speak to someone (an English woman) who actually been to Cyprus, where I currently live. The Cowgirl BBQ (a Western Theme Bar) and next door, website here The Kohnami Restaurant Japanese (also Takeaway), website here – on the opposite side of the road was the “Whole Hog” Cafe & Takeaway.. website here

Most was good value and had reasonably attentive staff.

The architecture is varied and shows several influences, the original pueblo-style adobe construction is found in buildings that date to the Spanish Colonial and Mexican periods … there is also a “Territorial style” which has features that include brick surrounds for doors and windows with lintels over both the windows and doors.

The late 19th and early 20th century brought Queen Anne houses designs ( link here ) as well as Arts and Crafts bungalows.

There was a Pueblo revival period following.

Walking through the business area was quite a revelation for arts and crafts, including jewellery, a wonderful selection of Indian art and crafts. In the Plaza, the one below caught my eye …

Santa Fe was clean and easily accessible, by foot ….

Here above, a photo of the Santa Fe river park, the footbridge traverses the Santa Fe river which flows into the Rio Grande.

Santa Fe is a very spread out town, hence I tried the Cities Bus system. I learned how limited the city’s public transit system could be. Buses all go to the Santa Fe downtown, with few going further out into the suburbs and a very few operating in the evening or the weekends.

I found that few side roads had foot paths, hence walking anywhere would mean walking on the road, which is made for cars not people. For any major distances to see specific landmarks, creative Art centres, exhibitions or historical landmarks, I used Uber, which I used throughout my visit to the USA, I fortunately met a lot of nice people.

As is usual in the places I visited (except for Durham, North Carolina), the public system of transport is limited, for transport is based around cars. Buses are for those who don’t have cars, or perhaps cannot afford cars … the transport system in Santa Fe is fairly limited and limiting.

Santa Fe, is well serviced by providing promotional material, for tours in the area, brochures and magazines on Art and crafts and the Historical and interesting features of the area.

I was there in June 2017 … and I could still see snow on the Rocky Mountains from Santa Fe … which is at a altitude of approximately 2,194 meters or 7200 feet.

At this altitude, my breathing was fine …. although I once drove over the Rocky Mountains in Colorado .. and as we climbed to 14,000 feet, I had a major headache, due to the lower air pressure, the only thing that helped me recover at the time was Gatorade.

On a number of occasions, when meeting new people, many said that they were new to Santa Fe … they had come to retire, there for work or to just try their luck.

The next day, I was early up for the RoadRunner to travel to Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico.

The Ego and spiritual progress!

Something I am unable to do is:

(1) compare myself to others, for we are all unique and on separate paths to different destinies.

(2) Try to quantify my spiritual progress.. you know to say I am this, for example, mindful, conscious etc. Such statements are generated by the ego, to use as an identity crutch. Your meaning comes in how your perspective changes over time, how you relate to yourself and others and in what you feel, see and understand.

As well, it is important to understand that such thoughts are meaningless … to compare or compete with another is ego driven! In doing so, you are trying to separate yourself, make some distinction between you and others when there is none, there is only your path and your destiny. The bottom line is that you are you, a wonderful unique individual with unlimited potential to follow your bliss. Any limitations we have, come from ourselves, in how we view ourselves, based on our beliefs and experiences.


Perhaps the image is simplistic … however it shows the marked difference between ego and the soul, between separation and true love.

Let me illustrate the Ego aberration anecdotally – after a class, I was waiting for a train, two students were talking about which one was more advanced spiritually … they tried to include me in their conversation, eventually I had to suggest the following observation to both of them, that this need to compare with another, shows that as yet, neither of them were on a genuine spiritual path … For if you were, you would know the ridiculousness of comparison, we cannot compare … as the spiritual path is essentially solitary, personal and spiritual, where the ego has no place, because it wants an identity separate from others.

In any case, what is the point of comparison? There is none, except to somehow make you feel better, separate from or feel superior in some way to another.

Just get on with your life; for it is quite easy to understand if you are present, even mindful, because it will be revealed in how you approach each day and how you respond to the challenges within these days.

As we are all different, it does not matter where you are on your path, the object is to be open, to be, and stay curious, to face and go beyond our limitations, to keep growing through learning from new experiences – the ego has no part, in this process.

My posts are simply my perspective and are offered in the spirit of discovery, exploration and evolution – take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

Life before Meditation

There is much wisdom in the world, and humanity has gone through instances in the past of great spiritual growth, in the times gone by of the great prophets, the enlightened awakened and the sages and philosophers of humanity, both male and female.

The times in the past of profound spiritual growth, through the wisdom and teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus Christ and more recently Gandhi, just to name a few, there are many other great and wonderful souls both male and female in our past, that can light our path, if we let them.

For my personal experience the below is a telling quote, which was the beginning of my being present and then creation of mindfulness for me – the quotation is from Lao Tzu, a philosopher and poet, who lived in China around 2,500 years ago, the founder of Taoism and the (probable) author of the Tao Te Ching, a truly wonderful book, which I keep near me. I find new meaning in, almost every time I pick it up.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present” – Lao Tzu

This is a very revealing quotation for it gives you the baseline so to speak, the beginning point for living in the present … if we monitor our thoughts we can tell for instance is we are living in the past, we are depressed, of perhaps thinking of a time of a lost love, lost fortune, missed opportunity, regret, guilt or shame … if on the other hand we are anxious … we are concerned about something that has yet to happen … and expectation or a fear that is yet to be fulfilled, such as a specific event or perhaps a general feeling of unease or doubt about one’s future prospect … being present on the other hand, is when we are creating something, writing, composing, playing intense sport, or perhaps even making love, being entertained, or something that requires all our attention to be totally in the present moment .. a place where there is no thought of the past or the future only the moment you are in.

There are many other aspects of thought, such as ego that can only thrive when we are not present, it is fed by the way we look at the world and of course our beliefs and fears, … almost every one of these are groundless, but the ego needs them to give you an identity, to separate you from another, so you can pointlessly compare yourself to another … silly really, for comparison like competition is meaningless, more on the ego, another time.

One is in fact always in the present moment, don’t fight me on this, just wait and see how this unfolds, for we view the past as a memory (a memory from our own perspective, our own point of view) from the present moment … we look to the future as an expectation, again only from the present moment … realising this, is the beginning of the path to being present.

If you are constantly referring to the past, the best way (for me) was to accept it, and so come to terms with it, perhaps even to give yourself an apology, one you may never have received from those in your past, to forgive another, to learn, always to learn from the past, in fact from all experiences.

Now we do not forgive past transgressions for the sake of another, we are forgiving the past so we can be free of it, so it won’t control our actions in the present, to move on and more easily reside in the present moment … always the present moment… to at some time in the future, we bring that present moment out of the practise of meditation and live our life that way, almost always in the present moment is the aim of mindful – meditation at this point, for we must remember, that we do not meditate to find peace, we meditate to be at peace with what we find.

The only point we have here to remember that whilst being present, even mindful, once grasped is relatively easy, but remembering to be mindful, not always is … but as soon as we feel ourselves drifting away from the present moment, don’t engage, return to the present, for there is peace and reality, the “what is” of your life.