2016-03-31

Farmers' suicides in India

Politics, to me, are irrelevant. There is no solution in it, only contribution to the problem. Also, as a guest to this country, I won't take sides with anybody, as I have a Western bias and I will never fully understand the intricacies of native matters.

Yet, as a farmer, I have to say: Read the newspapers, look at the figures, and give yourself a minute of wondering what's the matter with civilzation when its origin, its very basis, the foundation of life in the cities, feels like killing itself off. 

Save the whales, save the kingfishers, save the tuna, save the aquifer, save the atmosphere, save the indigenous peoples' knowledge, save the topsoil, save the ozone layer, save the rainforest, save the farmers, save... our breath and take a step back. What is it, that needs saving, and from what? Why should the force that is killing everything else on the planet spare the human race? Can we consider this phenomenon as a natural and healthy reaction to a condition that is inherently unsustainable? Root causes, anyone?

2016-03-30

No, that's the other ONE

The other day a Facebook friend liked a posting which featured a quote from Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche:
“Millions of people in this world are interested in some version of meditation, or yoga, or one of the many so-called spiritual activities that are now so widely marketed. A closer look at why people engage in these practices reveals an aim that has little to do with liberation from delusion, and everything do to with their desperation to escape busy, unhappy lives, and heartfelt longing for a healthy, stress-free, happy life. All of which are romantic illusions.”
The teacher's remark about the illusory nature of most spiritual activities made me nod spontaneously because here in Auroville you find quite a few people who mistake personal improvement for liberation from delusion.

I do not know the first thing about the rinpoche, or whether he generally fosters elitist notions, like some of the commenters believed; the quoted statement of his does not strike me as judgmental, though. It is just pointing out facts, however hurt one may feel by it.

For most of my life, before lack of success made me see the futility of it, I have believed with everyone else that trying to change the order of things, or becoming a "better" person, were solutions to all the problems in the world. Being unhappy and trying to escape that state was a powerful drive to get me started. So neither wll I dismiss activism as a valid step on the path to liberation, nor is it my intention to diminish its efforts and achievements.

But I also understand that the attempt of manipulating oneself or "the other/s" stems from the same illusory paradigm which created this troubled world in the first place. Spirituality, as well as political, social or environmental activism, can become as easily a means of escapism as amusing oneself to death while looking the other way. Our generation, being scared of, and shaken by, the mischief humans create has a hard time getting this point.

The subject busied my mind for what was left of the day. In the evening I felt drawn to watch a video featuring a man who really, really rocks me every time I hear him speak. Funny thing is, it incidentally revolves around the very same topic as the above mentioned quote, only does it attack it with a playful lightness which I find tremendously charming.
Feel invited to shed some tears of laughter.

2016-03-18

Keat capsules


This kind of building is usually described as environmentally friendly because it is mostly made of biodegradable stuff, but one has to see that seven billion people living like this would require unimaginable amounts of raw materials:
Monocropping of timber and of leafy plants would eat further into the already distressed environment, requiring also huge amounts of water. Stone quarries cut ugly wounds into the landscape as well. The overall environmental footprint of mankind probably would become worse than it is already.
The problem lies with the amount of land, power and resources needed to sustain a population this size, even if we all agreed to eat less, consume less, move less, and use less electricity.
One way or another this dilemma has to be resolved -- and it will. Whether we will like the solution is another thing.
But let's spare ourselves the discussion. Words rarely make a difference before experience verifies them.

2016-03-04

Dog philosophy 101

Thought is highly overrated in our culture. As s matter of fact, we are obsessed with it so much that we are working our whole life towards our ultimate, our very last thought. This has been expressed by teachers saying that it is our last thought that matters most and that defines whether we find salvation or continue struggling when our time is up.
The philosophers („More light!“), the Christians („Sweet Jesus!“), the materialists („Crap!“), the Hindus („Holy cow...“) the spiritual folks („Oneness, here I come!“), the Buddhists („---“), they all have an idea what that thought should be about.
Just once should we listen to a dog guru who might tell us that it is our last fart that matters most. Does it smell pungent or lovely? Is it meat or rice that created it? For how long is it strong enough to maintain our territory after we are gone?
A spiritual dog might hum a song of one of my favourite bands, Velvet Hammer, singing, „I am leaving my mark in this world by not leaving a mark when I leave.“ Think of it!
But then again all this food for thought will surely result in some sort of flatulence, mental or otherwise. So whether dog philosophy is relevant for us or not remains a question to be thought of.