Sunday, August 29, 2010

The news is not reality

Oh dear, what have I been reduced to. Being psychoanalysed by suburban divorcees on popular dating sites. OMG as these illiterates constantly write. 'Your beaker's only half empty' begins the accusation. All I can answer is, 'no, my glass is half full and perhaps you'd be kind enough so as to top it up!'


They recommend self-help literature to me, the Dalai Lama being at the top of their lisps. Good luck to you in your search. i wont bother you any more. I'm going blogging instead.

Personally I prefer Maurice Merleau-Ponty to self-help books. has anyone actually thought that perhaps the very term 'Self Help' is a misnomer? The best I ever read was by Paul Livingstone (aka Flacco) entitled; Releasing the Imbecile Within.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm open minded and and willing to learn new ideas. i've read lots of Buddhist literature over the years. I'm sure the Dalai Lama has many wise things to say for himself.

Trouble is, I'm not Tibetan and have no desire to be, if they'd actually be stupid enough to give me citizenship in the first place. besides, i'd probably outrageously side with the Chinese, who do have a point when they argue that the clerics did nothing to provide for the locals in terms of health, education or democratization when the place was under their theocratic control.

Anyway, in my more reflective moments I do realize the poor buggers there are oppressed by an imperial power. So what, so too is Mexico and at least half of the South American continent. Europe, Canada and Australia have been little more than a tributary states of the US of A since World War II. So now we are passing the baton to China. Does it really matter? Is that really my reality?

Well, yes and no. I had an awakening several months ago. After being an avid news reader for many years, I finally awoke to the fact that the news is not reality. That in fact, reality, the whole damn lot of it, is there right before my very eyes. The whole universe is present before me in microcosmic form. It is really a matter of faith that there is a world out there and it exists. From my perspective it appears simultaneously as being both immanent and transcendent. Voila!

The whole world is present on the horizon. I can sense it. It is both tangible and visible whether i can see it or not. I can differentiate that world into a variety of constellations. All is possible if only accept the impossibility of sensing the totality of experience exterior to me. This is because much of what I sense is intuitive, that is, I sense both the visible, that which is given to me, and the invisible, that which only ever an always already there sense that there is something which is not perceptible but there in any case.

As I burn my toast in the morning, the universe is still becoming and evolving, entropy still continues and ceases to abate in spite of the best wishes in the world. This is so much background noise to my toast. The toast burns along with a village in Afghanistan; my coffee boils simultaneous with the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. The failure of world leaders to make any headway on agreement in Copenhagen is present as I spill the sugar into my cup and throw out the old toast, only replace it with fresh slices in the hope that I can maintain the semblance of manageability this time, cook the toast to perfection, and take it and my coffee out to watch my goldfish feeding in their pond. Just because I don't perceive all this extraneous invisibility before me does not mean it is not happening.

It both is and isn't happening, just as love both is and isn't perceivable, and that the forces of the universe's expanding both are and are not present as I prepare my meager breakfast. Whether I like to bring such thoughts to consciousness or not are a choice that my ego makes. Either it is or is not too much for me to cope with. Either I am humble before the universe or engrossed with the discontent of making my toast and topping it with jam and magarine. (Butter if you prefer!)

The inetervention that was in reality an occupation

I've just been around to a friend's place. In actual fact, she's the mother of my younger son. As I explained to him, he is not the product of a virgin birth, and so, in that case I'm his father.

Whatever, she wanted to talk about the government intervention in the northern parts of Australia where we both live. Two citizens sitting down for a coffee to hold discourse over this invisible problem. Invisible for us sitting in a kitchen in Melbourne's leafy east, less so for an aboriginal person living in the continents interior.

There is little to talk about unless you're prepared to get to the essence of the problem. The schwerpunkt of the matter would seem to be this: that the indigenous peoples of Australia, once originally free holders of all the territories now under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Australia whose head of government is the Queen of Australia, Queen Elisabeth II who is also Queen of England, having been dispossessed under an act of the British Parliament due to the fact of it being Terra Nullius or an uninhabited land, have once again been occupied by the military forces of the Government of Australia acting on her behalf.

Coincidentally this family of monarchs are also major shareholders in British and international capital, not least of which including the mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton which have a vested interest in subjecting the communities concerned to disorder and chaos by the use of implied force.

My friend was commenting on a television program she had seen concerning this intervention. The program, as related to me, was about providing shops in remote communities. As soon I heard this, and perhaps this is a failure of mine, all I could think of was the stupidity of the proposition being put. If these poor buggers had any money to speak of then of course there would be shopping malls built on every last square of their land!

No, no! They want co-operatives. Oh dear, co-operatives which have never worked anywhere else. Isn't the issue here that the aboriginal peoples, having been dispossessed of their land and their culture having been all but destroyed by generations of dispossession, allowing alcoholism and drug abuse to run rampant? Aren't domestic violence and sexual dysfunction well known side-effects of  these illnesses? Isn't it known that some peoples have a genetic and cultural predisposition to these insidious diseases?

All I can say is this. Leave the indigenous peoples of this land, and the world, alone. Sure, provide them with the services and access to those services that every other citizen has. For example, provide schools and universities, hospitals and health centers and food to these people by all means, give them back their land to be held in common so that they may maintain their spirituality, just treat them as equals.

Too hard. We want to worry about the guilt and shame of our ancestors, deny the ongoing destruction of the natural habitat, and instead help. Help? What a misused and abused word. The best way to help these peoples under attack is to help ourselves. A sick person cannot help another sick person. The settlers in this country need to work on themselves.

The air-conditioner next door runs all day and night. May I be comfortable so that you may suffer. Cars flood the streets as the temperature soars. Each piece of operating machinery, every computer and appliance, throwing heat into an already over loaded atmosphere.

Every occurrence includes within it the totality of human and natural history. The intervention and climate change, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, economic crises and the newspaper which fails to report yet another teenage death from the abuse of a combination of ecstasy, Ice and alcohol, all of these are present in every aspect of the cup of coffee I just consumed.

They are and are not present. In some place they are tangible and others not. Nevertheless, they are there if one is only prepared to reflect and contemplate. In any case, I remain grateful just to be able to witness this as human history unfolding: have faith that in some way equilibrium by human agency in concert with natural forces: and hope that more people will take the cotton wool out of their ears and stick it in their mouths so that they may hear the rumblings of a world under stress. Listen....

There is no escaping the present. Just as tradition and natural history bear down on every present, so to in present now the future. The present is full of possibility. Each possibility and the totality of possibilities is in inherent at each point along the continuum of time. At any point in time, certain passes are available to us. Some passes may be blocked to us, and others may be impassable due to the traditions we have inherited.

Let's hope our inheritance can help us to find the correct passes. At the beginning of Dante's Inferno, Dante is trying to find the pass to Paradise. he is confronted by three mythological monsters who push him back. Virgil suddenly appears and asks Dante what he is trying to achieve. When Dante finally reveals to Virgil his intention, Virgil calmly replies that the quickest way to Paradise is to pass through the gates of Hell, Hell being a place where hopeless, we live in desire. I think we're already well on our way...