Saturday, June 17, 2006

Society and Spirituality

Uncloaked greed has been the consuming and destructive motive for this corrupt administration from the beginning. Both chaney and bush seem unconcerned with even the revelations of their greed in public. It is as if they take a "big deal" attitude. S.o.p., no problem. "Suck it up" seems to be their message to the public, and there is no sense of responsibility. This is probably rooted in bush's being "spoiled" from childhood, getting everything and anything that he ever wanted, without effort.

It is difficult and rather unpleasant to see the lowest nature of humanity expressed at such power-levels. But unless bush gets some control over his greed, based on fear and insecurity, he will remain the weakest kind of human being. All his "power"is artificial, and he has no real, interior power. He is a pathetic weakling trying like mad to hide his impotence beneath a cloak of greed and war. This is not only the most immoral president in history, but the most immoral imaginable.

A logical quantification of compassion, where the fine quality is measured by objective standards, had never occurred to me. For example, feeding the starving vis a vis greedy capitalism: How much good must a society do to cancel or neutralize the evil implicit and inherent in that greed? I can see where it could have some value, in simple evaluation of trends or megatrends, in society as a whole.

Can we say whether the compassion in forgiving an adultery is greater than or equal to the compassion in giving food to the starving? How many starving people fed equals one adultery forgiveness? If a society abolishes slavery but embraces competitive capitalism, has the total amount of compassion increased or decreased? By what percentage?

Bush represents a devolution, morally and ethically, from a higher state. His boasting and bragging "Christianity" is a tissue of mere lies and illusions, proved by the irrefutable fact that he has been responsible for over a hundred thousand Iraqi murders, and that of over two thousand American girls and boys.

One factor that has always troubled sensitive people about greed—about riches themselves -- is the degree to which wealth creates a counterbalancing poverty. As I see it, the wealthy are drawing from a single pool of non-renewable resources. What one person takes from this great pool can never be taken by another. If this is true, greed is the basis for a very real kind of "theft." Too much personal "success" leads to not only the increase in the lethal disease of greed, but to the impoverishment of others.


I have noticed that the wealthy are very sensitive about this subject-- full of excuses, justifications,and rationalizations. All of this is evidence of their guilt, although it is very often subconscious.

And how delightful and desirable it is for people to continue productive exchanges in communication (the same root as "communion"). If we are ever to know a successful unified planet, people will have to grow to the point where they renounce personal greed, and then, take yet another step towards open and open-minded communication. For being a psychological "hermit" can be more destructive than being a physical hermit. We must stop living in the caves of social and religious isolationism, and open our minds to other perspectives. At its zenith, this openness implies universalism-- giving everyone the opportunity to know reality ("truth") equivalent to our own understanding.

We must not mistake mere complexity for progress. The utter simplicity expressed by some of the presocratic thinkers could be an example to our philosophers, despite the philosophic and scientific limitations of those venerable ancients. When you think of it, it was more difficult to come up with the original idea of the atom, as Leucippus and Democritus did, than later simply to expand on that brilliant concept. In fact, the brilliance of the originality of the presocratics is nothing less than astonishing!

The presbycons are usually a combination of selfish arrogant wealth and extreme fundy Christianity-- the very worst of both worlds.:)

The administration has quite renounced the idea, much less the implementation, of compassion. that is, for them, just a minor annoyance-- no doubt, a "bleeding heart" concept of crazy "liberals." Just label and trash an idea that you cannot, or choose not to,
understand. How convenient. But, tragically, it tends to lead to "garbage-mind"-- a mind full of social and emotional trash-- ideas that hurt people and help no one but the rich.

The serious, deadly infection of greed is most prevalent, and notorious, among the rich. Paradoxically, it is a mental disease which they have labelled as virtue. They see greed as a positive, since they are out of touch with their interior gyroscope, the spiritually trained conscience. This leaves them to live like chimps in Armani suits.

The insidious infection of greed has made these politicians and business-people so very sick. Many wealthy people, out of self-consciousness and deep guilt, argue that we should "return" to the laws of the "jungle," the "survival of the fittest." As above, they see themselves as but monkeys with carkeys.

Understanding strips away, effectively, all the smokescreen arguments by which the rich and greedy justify their destructive behaviors with religion and lies. It is refreshing, like cool water on a hot day, to see this issue considered with clarity.

Re the possible bush complicity in the tragic disaster of 9-11: There is a long tradition of US governments manipulating the people into war through manufactured incidents like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and"'Remember the Maine." In a recently leaked Downing Street memo, it is recorded that bush proposed, prior to the invasion of Iraq, three ways to create a bogus incident to justify the invasion; so they are certainly not above the use of fraud in such matters. Despite my anti-conspiracy orientation and propensity, I can actually "see" this as a real possibility. A government that abandons compassion and morality will do absolutely anything to further its power. Certainly, it is not far beyond the obscenities that have already been revealed about the bush regime that it could reach so far down into the hell of human evil.

The Bush regime ignored the warnings about al-Qaeda terrorists in the US. Perhaps it was hoping for an incident. It might not have known what exactly was being planned, and it might not have expected anything of the magnitude of 9/11. But even if it had known the enormity (horror) of 9-11, would that have done anything to have stopped the mad politicians in their rush to power?

Of course, they were surely aware that the worse the incident, the more capital they could work out of it.

Another fact to intrigue conspiracy theorists: remember how, right after 9/11, some people were sent anthrax, including two congresspeople? It turned out that the anthrax came from a US government lab, although they never nailed anyone as the supplier. The congressmen threatened were two important Democrats, the two people in the best position to have stalled the Patriot Act. Why would an al-Qaeda terrorist send anthrax to Democrats? And how would they have gotten it out of a high-security lab?

The very greedy sell all morality and ethics for shorterm gain. And this sloppy, dangerous act requires astonishingly few bucks! In order for a person to be restrained at all by morality, she must at least have a shred of interior guidance and a touch of interior morality. Bush et al seem completely vacant in the moral, as in the intellectual, department. but what can you expect with Alfred E. Newman at the helm?:)

I practice "acognitive therapy" every spare minute of every day. (This is the therapeutic application of "pervasive meditation," described in my book Teflonmind.)

One must work for mental education, to change the very underlying assumptions of society. In other words, we must change the very ways in which we habitually, often mindlessly, "think." That is why many good people have devoted their lives to nonreligious spiritual education. For there is no more foundational core-change needed in planetary society than that from greed to compassion.

Some have lived lives of counter-greed. With his continual practice of Ramanama, the form of meditation that consists in the simple repetition of a divine name, Gandhi is a fine example of how a mystic, fully engaged in mystical practice, can be a golden example of practical compassion. He himself claimed to have derived all his strength and wisdom, which were considerable, from the ancient Hindu practices of mysticism.

Part of the needed spiritual education is writing. Writing for a general audience contains the added responsibility of trying not to be too detailed, scholarly, academic, or, worst of all, boring. Without compromise of a message's integrity, most ideas can be conveyed in words that are at least mildly interesting, or borderline understandable. The key is to express without pretension and with clarity. We must always keep in mind two items about the public: An attentionspan of about five seconds combined with the understanding-level of a twelve-year-old. At least, this is what professional writers have cautioned.

The average reader has a certain responsibility not to jump to careless or impetuous conclusions. But a clear communication of an idea is still up to its author. Some philosophers, for example, have been misunderstood, not only because of lack of textual evidence, but because some words are ambiguous, and definitions vary.

No matter how we sincerely, honestly struggle for clairity and precision, it is inevitable that, with enough expression, we are bound to be misunderstood someday by someone somewhere. An ancient Jewish proverb ascribed to the mystic Solomon says, "In an abundance of words, there never fails to appear transgression." The problem is amplified if people actually want to misinterpret you, if they go into your communications with a desire to make you out to be the villain, or to prove you wrong. Then, it is very easy to accuse you of absurdities. A philosopher, in particular, must be taken as a whole, not in part or particle (judged by particulars, such as isolated quotations). For example, a teacher of unconditional Love would hardly teach anti-Semitism, even though an isolated sentence or statement might leave this impression upon the incautious reader.

People sometimes try to put you into a convenient pigeon-hole, or easy category, instead of trying sincerely to understand you. A weakness of classification or categorization is that "Christian," "Jew," or "Muslim" is only a tiny part of the totality of a person. This is especially so if we define the faiths in terms of beliefs instead of behaviors. This is the common practice in any undeveloped view of religion. Believing certain items intellectually-- not transformation of activities through spiritual renewal-- defines the various categories. Society, culture, and leaders need to move away from these naive and reductionistic definitions.

You will find very little consonance between human ideals and human behavior in any religious tradition. Sometimes, in fact, this seems to be a major difference between "spiritual" and "religious" people. For the spiritual are idealists who believe that it is actually possible to live by higher, even transcendental, principles. The religious only mouth them, in mindless imitation of the great spiritual masters, teachers, and sages.

No comments: