Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Powerful and the Saints

We elect officials of great promise who soon become corrupted by the power they wield. It is a vicious circle. It happens to the nicest men and women. Once elected, in time oligarchs get richer, we—get poorer. Everywhere—no matter what political system.
A vicious circle.
In the past there were revolutions. The masses got together, spontaneously, and eliminated the exploiters by cutting off their heads or by other unpleasant methods. Madame Guillotine set things right. Must it come to that? But it didn’t last. People forget that over time, power corrupts.

Yet the way out is so very simple. Power corrupts even the nicest people… over time. Eliminate the time element and you eliminated corruption.
All we need do is to limit the political oligarchs to terms so short that they will not have time to become corrupt. That’s all. And never more than 2 terms in succession. And that must hold for ALL levels of the government: the Executive, the Congress, the Houses of Parliament, the House of Lords, …and every other legislative body wielding power over others. Let new men and women come in with fresh ideas. And never forget the old adage:

Only a fool would want to be a president.
Only a saint would agree to be one.

Then, and only then, we would elect people who want to serve us, not make money on us. If a man is poorer after he serves then he was before, he is honest. If the opposite is true than it is a dead giveaway of what his/her real intentions were. Also, before 1958 there were no presidential pensions. What happened? Do the presidents, senators, prime ministers and/or members of any governing body get pension higher than the national average? Do they wait until they turn 65?
We could also withhold paying taxes. If the oligarchs were to put us all in jail, they would soon have no income. For a while they’d print more worthless currency. And then…?
It is up to us.
I firmly believe that there are exceptional men who enter public service with the intention of serving people. And they do so, for a while? Yet the power of corruption is so insidious that only a saint could possibly withstand it. Have you elected many saints lately?
We, the people, have lost virtually all the power. Madame Guillotine will no longer help us. We must help ourselves. And don’t get me wrong. There are people out there who are very honest. If we search them out, and beg them, they might agree to serve us. People who love people more then they love power or money or prestige. Of course, some of them get crucified for trying to help us. Others might lose their heads… 
Perhaps they all ought to be admired? Read what happened in Headless World. You might like it?

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

On Morals versus Ethics

People who are moral behave in a fashion that does not offend others. Who act according the standards that are expected of them. If he or she doesn’t steal, or get drunk, or rape girls or boys, or eat like a pig in public, or kill, or generally behave in a manner that would result in a public scandal, they are considered of good moral standing.
Conversely, if you commit any of the above deeds in public, in public view, you are looked upon as one that is amoral if not immoral.
Likewise, a good communist regards other communists as moral, while a good capitalist thinks likewise of other good capitalists.
At one time, members of Hitlerjugend, or Hitler Youths, would only be considered of good moral character if they behaved according to the Hitlerjugend moral code, that of hating everyone who was not thinking along their lines. I rather think the same can be said of groups belonging to various religions, political movements, or even parties. Uber alles for some is Super Race for others, which fully justifies them dropping bombs from 30,000 feet on men, women and children in Iraq, or Eastern Ukraine, the Gaza Strip or a number of other, inferior groups of people. These are considered moral things to do. In fact, their leaders, or Führers, or Presidents or Prime Ministers, all highly moral folks, pin medals on the chests of their heroes for being good killers. All impeccable, moral people.

And then there are people who are not guided by morality, by desire not to injure the sensibilities of their neighbour. They are people who do not aspire to keep up with the Joneses. Instead they conform to a code of ethics. They may be rich or poor, well educated or not… from “upper classes” or from the wrong side of the tracks.
Yet they all recognize each other. They conduct themselves not by the letter but by the spirit of the code of ethics. They may be Christians, or Moslem, or Hindu or, yes, even proclaimed atheists, but they behave according the dictates of their conscience regardless what others say.
These are the Few.
The moral folk are the Many. And until the Many will discover the quiet voice within, they will remain the moral majority, criticizing others who do not confirm and behave according to their moral code. Whatever it might be.
The Few swim against the current—but at least they move forward, while the Many walk in circles, treading the Wheel of Awagawan.

Below a story of one man who refused to conform. By the standards of his day, he was very immoral. He was a rebel. Today, some would call him a terrorist. I wonder what you think about his journey.  

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Global Amnesia

We all forget things, sometimes. Usually it doesn’t matter. There is no permanent damage. After all, in this reality, nothing is permanent. So, we don’t really care. We can always make it up later. When it’s more convenient, at another time.
At least, we think so.
But there is a major problem caused by our inability to remember. Somewhere or some-when in the murky past a global amnesia swept the whole world. We all, or at least the vast majority of us, forgot that we are all actors on a stage created for the sole purpose of accommodating a whole parade of roles, which we, actors, are to perform. How good actors we were would determine if we’d move into another role, or repeat the same or similar part until we got it reasonably right.
Shakespeare was right when he said that…

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;

Shall we enact a diversity of roles for forever? Is this all we are, actors so poor in our craft that we have to repeat our roles ad nauseam?
It seems that, as always, it’s our choice. Yet, well, not altogether. The problem is that we can kill our bodies, but we cannot kill that within us that is immortal. No, not the soul, or at least that which in the scriptures is translated as ‘soul’. Soul is just a storage device. It is an accumulation of experiences of the past. But what we cannot kill is the disembodied, intangible, consciousness that uses that storehouse of experiences derived from the roles we played in the past to advance its own self-awareness.
And this we mustn’t forget. At least, not again.
We are not our bodies, nor are we the roles we play. We shouldn’t say, “I am” a doctor, or an engineer, let alone a politician. We should say that all three are no more than roles we play in order to acquire experience to perform better the infinite number of roles that we are still to play.
Infinite number.
This is neither religion nor science. This is just an observation of the behaviour of people over ages. Many ages. Religion, according to Richard Feynman, is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt. No doubt, he’s right—even though it sounds religious. Can one have faith in Feynman? Or should we doubt his knowledge. After all, he got the Nobel Prize for Physics. On the other hand Barak Obama got one for ‘Peace’! Can we believe or trust either? We can, providing we remember Richard Feynman’s other admonition. He also warned us that:

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Perhaps this applies to both faith and knowledge. To both, science and religion. And… to politics. 

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Problem with Immortality

We’ve all heard about reincarnation. These individual cycles are relatively short. They last usually less than a 100 years in physical reality followed by (usually) less than the equivalent of ‘earthly’ 1000 years on the Astral Plane, where we enjoy (or suffer) the consequences of our life on Earth. We have a foretaste of the Astral Plane in our dreams and nightmares. As always, action results in equal though opposite reaction both in material and astral realities.
Luckily, the consequences in the Astral Plane are not permanent.
But then, there are also larger cycles, referred to as the Cycles of the Zodiac. They consist of 12 segments adding up to 26,000 years. Those who reach a degree of balance in their accounts will continue to advance on the eternal path. The others (‘the many’) those who for whatever reason did not fulfill their (self) assigned tasks, will have to start from scratch, or almost so. Perhaps they’ll transmigrate, or metamorphose into higher or lower animals. The worst cases might retreat all the way to a mono-cellular amoeba.
How many will continue and how many will start again? As always it is up to us. We are the sole masters of our destiny.
However, we would be wise to heed the warning.
We are told that: “many are called but few are chosen”. If we qualify this statement by the fact that we are all endowed with (relatively) freewill, it stands to reason that it is we, yes, you and I, who do the choosing of our own destiny. Perhaps that is why the ancients assured us that we are gods—as indeed we are. Whether we believe in this or not is of absolutely no consequence. Surly, we all know that ignorance of law is no excuse for breaking it. We are told that not “one jot or one tittle” of the Law can be broken.
This has NOTHING to do with any religion, only with the nature of reality.
Needless to say, since we are all immortal, the individualized consciousness that directs our actions (whenever our ego does not interfere) will eventually guide our return to Oneness. It might take a few million or… zillion years, but sooner or later, we shall learn and advance on the scale of evolution. Not the Darwinian kind, which deals with our physical bodies, but the real evolution, which contributes to the enormity of the Universe.
See you…  and, good luck.

PS. We mustn’t forget that the Astral Plane, or what some call heaven, is only the first Plane to which we can aspire on leaving our physical incarnations. There are endless Planes, or levels of consciousness, advancing towards the Singularity, from which we all originate. And should we eventually merge with the Singularity, our contribution shall forever enrich the Universes. That makes it all worthwhile, don’t you think? 

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Us, Him, and Them

And God made them male and female. For some reason all translations of the Torah refer to “male and female”. NOT to man and woman. This should be a dead giveaway. Surely such definition applies to virtually all of the animal kingdom. On the other hand, we are also told that god created us in his image. That would make god male and female. You can’t have it any other way. Either that or god has a rib missing.
Gods don’t lie. It must be so.
On the other hand god could be a hermaphrodite. The original hermaphrodite? But I doubt it. If he were, he’d want to multiply. We would have many, many gods. Godletts? On yet another hand, if the same scriptures refer to us as “ye are gods”, then plural is more than appropriate. Of course, Elohim is plural and they created the world, not just us…
So if we are in gods’ image we are hermaphrodites, only in our case we spread our bisexuality over many years. It’s the only way we can contrive to be like gods. We do so by alternating our sexuality in our successive reincarnations. This should cheer up anyone who considers his or her sex superior to the other. Better luck next time!
All of the above should satisfy the fundamentalists who, until now, probably had problems visualizing a hermaphroditic god (or gods) who made him/herself in our image and likeness. Or the other way round? Never mind.
Or else…
Or else all of the above has nothing whatsoever to do with our sexual organs. Perhaps we just embody the ability to have conscious awareness of being creative, kind, compassionate, loving, giving and forgiving, generous (raining on the just and the unjust), and too pure to behold evil—hence being nonjudgmental, immortal, beyond time and space… and manifesting a billion other divine traits?
Imagine not being too pure to behold evil…
Surely, that can’t be human?
Perhaps we, too, are intended to be what the opposites have in common? The middle paths, remember? Perhaps these are the likenesses that we embody in our consciousness. These and countless others, that will evolve and multiply to the end of time.
Into eternity…
Perhaps our likeness to the divine has nothing to do with our sexual organs, no matter how exciting they may be to us at a certain age. Perhaps it is not our bodies that we are to multiply but the divine attributes lying deep within us?
Perhaps we are states of consciousness embodied in all animal species—like the life force. The other animals’ turn will come; are we not all from a Single Source? For now, only we, some of us, have the ability to perceive our inherent heritage—our latent divinity. Perhaps only that makes us men and women, and not just male and female.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Smile left Behind

Any Cheshire cat can do it, but can you? Imagine dying—leaving your temporal body, and whoever met you or thought of you when you were still around, would smile. 
Not a bad heritage to leave behind.
It is an easy task, of course, for professional comedians. They make heavy money for making fun. But there is an altogether different species of man who also seldom stops laughing. They are called Zen Masters. Well, perhaps not outright laughing but a bemused expression seldom leaves their lips.
They don’t take themselves seriously.
They know that they are passers by.
On the other hand there are people who get offended easily. An inadvertent word, a misplaced complement, a causal comment, and they get offended. In the past this resulted in a duel at 3am behind the cathedral. Today that’s illegal. So instead of rapiers or épées we benefit by losing their ill-begotten, often pompous if not actually false friendship. Such people are so full of their own ego that they don’t even begin to realize how ridiculous they are.

We, of course, we don’t get offended. We are way above that sort of supercilious behaviour. We know that only an ego can get offended and we keep ours under a strict control. We relegate our ego to a rag of clothing which we discard, throw away, every hundred years or so. Often much sooner. We are no longer spoiled, juvenile, arrogant politicians who start wars to repair their wounded pride. We don’t impose sanctions on people for much, much lesser crimes than those that we have committed only yesterday. Crimes like starting wars, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, under false pretenses.
We are not wielders of near-absolute power, which has corrupted our ability to pass honest, let alone humble judgment on others.  We don’t get offended, nor do we strive to offend, punish, or impose our puerile judgment on “lesser people”. On people that don’t count? We strive to make sure that when our time comes to die, those left behind, when they think of us, they will smile with a kind, vaguely amused, tolerant smile.
Because here, on Earth, we are all no more than passers-by. Observers. Beneficiaries of the Benevolent Universe. Like the Cheshire cat. That is why the Cheshire cat smiles. And when he goes, he leaves his smile behind. He knows. Shouldn’t we? 

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Emptiness, Bacteria and Atheists

The image and likeness mentioned in some ancient scriptures doesn’t refer to our bodies. Our bodies take on a slightly different meaning when we realize that while they are endowed with many trillions of cells, they have twice that number of bacteria, viruses and other microscopic vermin, which treat those very same bodies as a heavenly feeding ground. If your ambition is to identify with the bacteria, or even with their feeding ground then you are right in identifying with your physical body. In other words, if you do you are no more than a bag of bugs.

What I find utterly amazing is that the so-called atheists, who frown and ridicule any concept of god or divinity, or any intangible, nonphysical force, are more than happy identifying themselves with the trillions of bugs. Furthermore, they accept the fact that those very bugs, as well as their illustrious neurons, that’s right—their brain-cells, are made up of atoms which in turn are essentially empty space.
Almost exclusively void of everything.
Voila. We can now define all avid atheists as 99,9999999999999% empty space. And the miniscule percentage of mass which adds to their gravitas are… bugs. Bacteria. Bacilli. Microbes. Good and bad, but still unicellular microorganisms. 
Please note. This is not an attack directed at atheists. I suffer from equal inability to understand the “faithful”, who scream “Jesus” as they murder their enemies whom they are supposed to love. We, human, are a most unusual species. Perhaps that inimitable void is also true of their minds, which they insist is the byproduct of this bacterial emptiness, and not the other way round.

Speaking for myself, my mind is NOT the product of my brain, but my brain IS a byproduct of my mind; as is the rest of my body, which I use to experience the mode of becoming. I also use it for locomotion, which enables me to furnish my body with food for the bacteria. I use my body even as I use my car to get from A to B. Or to Z, for that matter—yet at no time do I identify with my car as the essence of my being. My car is not my body; nor is the biological robot which I use when needs arise. I think that my body is a most incredible product that enables me to enjoy change, which most people I know refer to as life. I hope you do likewise. 

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