A Path from fear and acrimony to understanding and dialogue

Condemnation and criticism are not on the Path to understanding, for we know that unconscious judgemental reactions do not liberate, they do not clarify, they oppress. Such projections in the realm of personal beliefs do not help, they only hinder discussion, social discourse, co-operation and any eventual collaboration.

This thing is when we react to the thoughts, words or actions of others, they are through in their words and or actions controlling us, jointly you create a conflict, but at the end of the day nothing is resolved as no outcome will come of this conflict, except the hardening of attitudes on both sides. People will not change their beliefs until they want to change or have a learning experience that places them on a new path, that will begin the process, organically, so to speak – this can only be achieved through quiet and reasoned discourse … criticism does nothing to create respectful discourse.

What illustrates this well is a quote from Carl Jung ..

Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.”

This applies to all parties … perhaps it is necessary before we judge others to pause and reflect on the case of why people feel the way they do? rather than get lost in our emotions.

What gets lost here are the stakes, that citizens of a country are involved in a conflict with other citizens of the same country … the seeds of division and destruction are so easily sown.

I have spoken about this before in my previous post called Social Media – exacerbates conflict and divisiveness here http://bit.ly/2Ny49Ni – Please pay particular attention to the following stages of story verification …. 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 UK Broadcasters, the BBC for instance are now 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 / What is missing from these stories? The other side, more information, 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.

However in these days of Facebook, which is in my view the most divisive and therefore destructive social platform available – where we are asked to like, share, comment or move on .. so we respond in our busyness without truly considering the post, we share because it conforms with our beliefs, our confirmation bias and so an uninformed post gains traction … in hindsight possibly we might wonder what is true and what is fake – if we don’t then we are part of the problem.

However, the problems that the less-privileged workers talk about are real, are concerning, and are seemingly without resolution. These people sense their living standard declining, instead of seeking understanding and resolution through critical analysis, debate, and social change, they look (unconsciously) for something more immediate someone to blame, a fantasy is created: it is somehow someone else’s fault, so let’s blame, a minority or a religion or the other side of the political divide. It’s easy and simple and just plain wrong.

At the same time, it affirms in their minds the true lack of worth of the opposition, they are demeaned, dehumanised and demonised all based on an uninformed or incorrect post.

On the other side of the ideological belief divide, there are those who seek greater social and economic equality and equity and the protection of what has already been gained. Again we have a unconscious reaction instead of critically analysing an issue (s). We would understand it far better if a dialogue was entered into with those on the other side (both sides are guilty of this). They both fall into their own emotional trap because they don’t understand the whole implication of the arguement, and so they will unconsciously demonize their opposition, as in Australia where there is a very noticeable split between the sides of the ideological debate.

They will portray each other in disparaging, demeaning even de-humanising terms, as evil or even snowflakes – this demeans and nullifies the seriousness of the problem in question … this makes them each jointly responsible for every possible scenario, the woes and failings of Government because of “them” … all participants are part of the problem and when of course the majority of what they fear may be uninformed emotional rhetoric

What motivates all these words …. for me I think it is fear. Why – because of ego! – where the people concerned go to the nth degree to demean, criticise, blame to condemn, these and more are all home territory of the ego – all so they can feel right and of course others are shown as being wrong.

“Democracy can buckle if we give in to fear’ – President Obama – he suggests
‘If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life’

Martha C Nussbaum also said it so well,

“When people are afraid of one another and of an unknown future, fear easily gives rise to scapegoating, to fantasies of payback, and to poisonous envy of the fortunate (whether those victorious in the election or those dominant socially and economically).

We need to think hard about fear and where fear is leading us. After taking a deep breath we all need to understand ourselves as well as we can, using that moment of detachment to figure out where fear and related emotions come from and where they are leading us.”

 

 

The below is from Alan Watts in the Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

“The startling truth is that our best efforts for civil rights, international peace, population control, conservation of natural resources, sustainable energy, and assistance to the starving of the earth—urgent as they are—will destroy rather than help if made in the [current] spirit. For, as things stand, we have nothing to give. If our own riches and our own way of life are not enjoyed here, they will not be enjoyed anywhere else. Certainly, they will supply the immediate jolt of energy and hope that methedrine (methamphetamine), and similar drugs, give in extreme fatigue.

But peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

In any foreseeable future, there are going to be thousands and thousands of people who detest and abominate Negroes, communists, Russians, Chinese, Jews, Catholics, (add Muslims) beatniks, homosexuals, and “dope-fiends and …. .” These hatreds are not going to be healed, but only inflamed, by insulting those who feel them, and the abusive labels with which we plaster them—squares, fascists, rightists, know-nothings—may well become the proud badges and symbols around which they will rally and consolidate themselves. Nor will it do to confront the opposition in public with polite and nonviolent sit-ins and demonstrations, while boosting our collective ego by insulting them in private. If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or non-human, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the “external” world—-especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside. For want of this awareness, no one can be more belligerent than a pacifist on the rampage, or more militantly nationalistic than an anti-imperialist.

The idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible. The idea that you can target an ethnic group with a collective crime, regardless of the specific innocence or guilt of the constituent elements of that group – there is absolutely nothing that’s more racist than that.”

― Alan Wilson Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

At some point in the future when Politicians, the media and others with a vested interest in divisiveness have nothing to gain, they will no longer fan the flames of division, then and only then we are on the path to consensus and hopefully peace and a creative constructive future.

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Part of a Conscious Journey ..

Many years ago, there were two sources that I used to move myself out of my mind and bring me back to the present moment.

Firstly mindful meditation and for me the most important outcome of this was … to see the world through the present moment, for there is no other moment …. don’t fight me on this just please look at it this way. We look through the present moment at the memory (the past) and we see it from our personal perspective. It is the same for the future, we project on the future what we desire through the present moment … in doing so the future becomes an expectation, an attachment, and as such it will very likely bring suffering when it does not eventuate.

 

 

So, I live life in baby steps, by simply living in the present, accepting what comes (for unless we do we cannot respond to it) and flowing with it.

Before meditation and mindfulness – I was acting in a group discussion to help some people come to terms with their changed circumstances … so my sincere thanks goes out to Don Miguel RUIZ, the author of the Four Agreements as below.

I was given these Agreements below to pass around .. they made a positive difference to the discussion flow, fostered some personal realisations and even a epiphany for one I was told later, so I think that they are worth sharing here ..


Agreement 1

Be impeccable with your word – speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Agreement 2 – #This

Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

 


Agreement 3

Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement 4

Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self judgement, self abuse and regret.

Consider bringing these thoughts into your life … make them part of you, and they will make a difference in your relationships, both with yourself and how you relate to your external relationships

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.

A perspective on Life and Others

I find talking to people of like and different minds stretches our boundaries, takes us to places we had not dreamed of, breaks boundaries and brings new perspectives, even on the ordinary. Such was part of the reason I left Australia, I disliked intensely the frenetic, chaotic surface thinking that was the norm ….it was mostly about the self and self-gratification … and sometimes even just about survival, I felt in the environment I was within I could not grow any more …. for this was driven by the last thing I wanted to happen was to be on my veranda when I am 90 and think I should have done this or that, I want no excuses, no regrets. So now I often ask myself what to do, or where to next?

Please try not to limit yourself, the Universe will give us what we need …. I too have financial limitations … when I hit something that looks impossible, I always think, I cannot do this … YET … for your life can and will change in a heart beat …. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. For me to ameliorate such thinking, is to have my plans my goals and move little steps towards them, if for instance you wish to live in Provence in France… then think about a dream board … take baby steps and the pieces will slowly come into place, or an event could happen in your resources that makes it eminently viable.

There is an inverse relationship between faith and fear …. The more faith you have in yourself and the Universe the less you will be fearful …. Great Big Hugs!

The past is only for learning from … it does not define who you are or who you will become, in time, we hopefully forget what hurt us in the past, but never forget what it taught you!

Please … forget how things worked out in the past, for you were doing the best you could at the time – forgive what happened, for when you do you will find true freedom, … next time will be different because you are not that person anymore. Don’t limit yourself, the Universe has plans for you … the pain you have gone through brings us a lesson, at some point understanding this lesson will bring strength, which can bring a purpose … I know I went through what was effectively the same lesson three times, before the last and final one (so far) … that was the basis of so much evolution and growth in my life. I am told by my close friend and former teacher, that these lessons are us working through our Karma with the people concerned, to address our own actions or the learning experience which we have chosen …. One of my lessons was the nature of love, the difference between conditional love and love and the difference between a Cathexis and real love – the word love is such an overused word, that it many conversations it has lost its true meaning …. All these lessons are so subjective, I can only talk about how they affected me, I cannot present this as some sort of dogma, because to start, I am not a fan of dogma, it’s a bit like building a prison … and putting society in it … I don’t believe it is our role as people to generate dogma, or to project our beliefs onto others, but merely to help guide everyone back to their own divinity which they have forgotten for the moment.

We speak of others, lamenting on my own country or the countries I have visitied, let’s say America ( typical in some ways for the Western world) or other societies, I cannot in any way understand their thinking, or for the many, the lack of it, their insular behaviours examples like Trump and other unconscious people who are the epitomy of the Kali Yuga, the decline of humankind, such people are all about the ego, driven by an uncontrolled id (Freud’s model). Don’t judge them for as Jesus said, “for they know not what they do” just accept (not agree) and stay detached, the dogma of the current paradigm and the stalled emphasis of the almost dead consumer society that has created them – frankly no one knows what the next stage of society will be, there is no political direction, so its up to each of us to follow their own path

Just remember that everyone, every soul is in transition, from where they are, and given enough lifetimes, they too will reach the light, or in the case of Buddhism, Buddhahood.

Many times on Twitter I have been accosted by some who have a different view than mine, sometimes abusive, I don’t enter into a discussion, because one must realise that we cannot change someone’s beliefs, (this they must do for themselves) – some are there on Twitter purely for their own ego, to tear someone down to enhance their own faltering ego and emptiness …. engagement with such souls is pointless. My response is usually “Thank you for your perspective”.

You may have an internal witness, if not as yet you will in this life or another … this entity acts to witness our thoughts, to ground us, to empower us, to allow us a different perspective on our thoughts, to question thoughts that come from desire, from the egomind, from our past and our “what is” – (in my case, it also acts to tear away or question the internal fears and erroneous as well as assumptive beliefs) that the normal subjective self-judgement would allow us.

When we master the art of staying present, still often we have to remind ourselves that the way to treat this thought, this circumstance is to be mindful, be present in the moment – that reminder to myself was and still is on occasion, a revelation.

The Yugas

According to the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic scripture (the Bhagavad Gita, in only one part of it), there are four ages of truth ….. We are currently in the Kali-Yuga the last, the darkest and most corrupt of the ages – the attributes (?) of this age are all around us. At the end of this age, the dregs of mankind will be removed and we start again at the Satya Yuga, the Golden age. Needless to say, we will not be in these bodies when the new age restarts, it is called the Satya Yuga.

To start the first age, the Golden age – that Satya Yuga here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satya_Yuga

After the Satya Yuga a decline marks the Treta Yuga

After a further decline brings about the Dwapara Yuga

After it comes the final and darkest age the Kali Yuga (like now), a time of wickedness, when man kills another man.

For more informed information concerning the aspects of the Kali Yuga itself here and here

An interesting post on the Kali Yuga … The end of the Kali Yuga in 2025: Unravelling the mysteries of the Yuga Cycle – Here

I am sure there are people who spend their life analysing this aspect of Hinduism … know that I am not very knowledgeable in this area. Hence I would offer Sadhguru to explain the science behind the cycle of four yugas, and calculates the timeline since the beginning of the Kali Yuga after the Kurukshetra War. Here

Any thoughts are welcome.