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January 18, 2007

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Brian,
I hadn't ever read that other blog entry of yours ("Not lost in translation" - May 30, 2004). I found it was interesting and you made a good point. It even made me smile when I was imagining you up there on the stage giving such a sensible talk to all those hard-line believers. *wink*

I've been preoccupied with more secular thoughts lately and I'm once more astonished/reassured that we seem to travel on parallel mind-waves.

Tribalism in so many forms seems to be dictating the most mundane/ first chakra/ materialistic/ facist forms of logic. Warfare is being waged all over the planet over what is is essence a personal disagreement. The beliefs of another person do not threaten me, nor do their personal habits, their private diet, or mindset, or beliefs or whatever ... their existence poses ZERO threat to me. But my tribe hates their tribe, and if they cease to exist my tribe will be happy.

Religion seems to function as an adoptive tribe ...churches are really tribal meeting places? I don't know yet.

What does strike me as bizarre and sad is the language in our own nation reflects this tribalism at its' worst. The divides between one way of thinking and another seem to wide to cross but... it's a mind-set! Despite myself I've bought in to the idea that the people I disagree with are out there red state Mommy Swapping idiots... and I am sure they see me as a granola eating tree hugging Pict.

I want to cultivate more peace, to find commoon ground, to create rather than consume -- but in the back of my head I seem to be channelling Roger in question mode: if I don't demand accountability from my government, who will? if I don't stand up against tyrrany now, will I have a chance to stand against it later? is the absence of outrage tacit approval?

I'm still on the question-formulation section of the quiz; I'm hoping the answer portion comes soon.

Jeanine

Jeanie,

"zero threat"

You had better pull your head out. If the US did not have a militar you would be a slave of what ever country took this one. I suggest you read "the god delusion" and "the end of faith". You will see the world for what it is and how it operates - pure darwinism. I'm not talking about the natural kingdom, i'm talking about the political world of Man.

Brian,

those criteria you posted also apply to religions, especially islam, which makes the nazi look benign.

Dear Brian,

In concert with your observation (and of some of your commenters) I again commend Howard Bloom's _The Lucifer Principle_ which - I'm sorry to say - seems to portray the "human condition" in terms that seem forcefully accurate to me. Unfortunately.

Robert Paul Howard

James,

I live in one of the only locations in United States history where civillians were killed by enemies of the state. I don't need anyone to threaten my supposed innocence, I can still remember the smell of death quite distinctly.

But your response puzzles me -- what do my ruminations about Bosnia, Darfur and Rwanda have to do with our military? And are my doubts about whether the civil liberties I take for granted may not be enjoyed by my kids in the future somehow connected to militant Islamists? How exactly is the way that I feel or think a threat of any kind? Aren't my actions or inactions the threat? Or are we doomed to act on every thought and feeling we have?

These are the questions I am asking. So far I've determined that the Jewish deli in town is no threat to me, just as the mosque up the road is no threat to me, just as the rectory up the hill is no threat to me, just as the library across the street is no threat to me. I guess I'm bulletproof.

As for the books you cite, I've read both and prefer Dante Allegheri and Machiavelli to that contemporary pap. Pick a great mind to argue your case, James, and not a mediocre one.

Jean

In reading my first post I realize that perhaps my red state/blue state characterizations were taken as serious and not as the derivative, simplistic crud that gets passed off as intelligent political commentary on the 24 hour news stations.

I'm NOT a Pict, I am a complex being, inhabiting a world that Brian correctly recognized as sentient and co-operative on the most basic levels.

I am not talking about "Peace" in a yellow happy faced insignia counter-culture sense. Peace is not "just" an icon and it is not just about guns and bombs. I am trying to develop a mindset that is not actively looking for the predator behind the bush all of the time. I'm trying to reach a place where the word blame is absent from my vocabulary.

There goes my "roger-mind" again: Do I want to inhabit a blameless world? if no one is blameless, does anything get done?

peace in all its forms, (upside down broken cross and all)
Jean

Jean,
Love your thoughtful, non-agressive commentary

James,

What exactly are you saying? Are you perhaps justifying and defending pre-emptive aggression and PNAC?

It's not real clear, but it sounds a bit like you are another phony patriot and Islam hater, without having any understanding of who the real "nazis" are.

So maybe you could elaborate upon your position, and explain just what you meant in your comment to Jean. I will reserve my conclusions until then.

> ---------------

To Brian.

Lets see now,....
If I want to follow my desires AND my gurus orders
and rough someone up who doesn't respect my gurus orders
then I can and anyone who quibbles with my understanding
of right and wrong on this is deluded and almost certainly
a victim of the universal mind (unlike me).

If I want to follow my desires and get up
and disturb everyone around me in the middle
of a satsang at Ghoman by going to take a leak
after being expressly asked BEFORE the satsang
NOT to disturb everyone by leaving before the end of the talk,
then I can, and anyone who quibbles with my understanding
of right and wrong on this is deluded and probably a victim
of a cult mentality (unlike me).

If I - or anyone else wants - to follow our desires and
take anyone's photo in a public place then we can,
and anyone who quibbles with my understanding
of right and wrong on this is deluded and probably a victim
of a cult mentality (unlike me ...er, although I was once.
But I'm alright now).

Hmmm?

I think I am starting to see a pattern emerging here ;-)

Can anyone else see it?

Chris (MBW)

Chris/MBW, let me try to guess what the pattern is. I should be able to, since the "here" you seem to be referring to is what I've written on this blog.

The pattern I've been trying to follow is a preference for naturalness and common sense.

If you feel like roughing someone up just because they're not following a guru's orders, this isn't a good thing to do (especially if that someone hasn't agreed to follow the orders).

If you feel like you need to quietly get up and walk to the bathroom during a talk, rather than pee in your pants, this is a good thing to do.

If you feel like you want to take a distant photo of someone standing in a public place, this is a good thing to do.

If that someone you've taken a photo of objects to being photographed, it's a good thing to listen to the objection. It's also a good thing to then do whatever you want: keep the photograph or destroy/delete it. It's your choice, because there's nothing unnatural or against common sense about taking unobtrusive photos in public places.

So if you're suggesting that I have a bias toward naturalness and common sense, I proudly plead "guilty as charged."

Brian,

Good for you too. Naturally, common sense wins every time.


Chris, this is the most callous, insensitive, and un-compassionate position I've ever seen you take.

I almost refrained from doing a 10-day Vipassana course because I was afraid I would not be allowed to get up to go pee.

Try walking a mile in some people's shoes who suffer from these problems.

Todd

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