2016-06-27

Fund a mental


Feeling a new blossoming in the urge to write essays, and having finished most of the work connected to the translation of Thomas Henry Pope's novel TheTrouble With WisdomI decided not to jump to the next translation project immediately, but to look into the material that I have created so far. With several years of abstinence from writing regularly, I had almost lost oversight of all the utterings that have collected over the years of awakening out of the civilizational paradigm. There is the idea of gathering some of the better articles in a philosophical-spiritual diary.
Pulling most of the relevant texts together in one file has been a no-brainer and an expenditure of merely three days. During the last two weeks I have been doing nothing but drafting the outline of the book and eliminating everything that definitely does not belong into it. I am half way through with that, and, at this stage, it looks like it is going to be a 300+ pages Brontosaurus containing more than 100 texts, many of which turned out to “sound” very similar in tone and line of argument. I do have a hard time eliminating some of them while keeping others, when there is hardly anything with which to discriminate them by.
While sifting through those essays I re-encountered many interesting sources of information which they have been based upon, and it is somehow a fun thing to re-evaluate them in the face of the knowledge and understanding I have today.

A less pleasant discovery was hearing about what has become of some of the people who provided that information.
Anson Chi, the author of the novel Yellow on the outside, shame on the inside, has been arrested for trying to blast a major gas pipe and has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison. I remember having had a short email exchange with him about his work in 2009; he told me he was already writing on another novel – that never came, of course.

Michael C. Ruppert, whom I discovered in connection with my inquiries on the causes of the financial crises of 2008 (“Crossing the Rubicon”, 2005 [sic!]), and whom I followed to his analysis of the money trail of the 9/11 events (The truth and lies of 911, from November 2001 [again sic!]), in 2009 came out with a film called “Collapse” (see blog entry) within which he already confirmed that he, despite sporting a rationalistic mind, had a hard time dealing with the expected end of civilization emotionally.
Recent inquiries revealed to me that Ruppert had entered a social downward spiral and went through much physical, mental, emotional and spiritual turmoil since then. Following video footage through the years you can see how he physically deteriorated under the weight of his knowledge and his personal condition until he committed suicide in April 2014.
In six webisodes of Apocalypse, Man(mind the comma) Ruppert explained in late 2013, early 2014, how his research on governmental corruption had led him to look into the dangers of a corporation-driven worldwide war for resources, and how all that had became irrelevant by the discoveries GuyMcPherson made regarding climate change. I'll come to that later.

Looking back at my own development it seems clear to me how becoming aware of the deeper driving forces in and of our world can lead you to a very dangerous place. What is going on in the world on the material, vital and mental levels can hardly be taken without adequate spiritual development. Yet, for some people, sufficient spiritual understanding can only be reached through a complete destruction of every foothold in society. There has to be the insight that nothing will make a difference, and nothing can be done, and that this is not a bad thing at all.
Information of any kind has absolutely no value to anybody unless it meets an open heart and is being backed up by personal experience. True communication simply cannot be established. All warnings are cast to the wind, and you have to let go of trying to change the world, trying to change society, trying to change people's minds – until you arrive at a place of calmness.
For both Ruppert and me this development was necessary; for both of us it has led to a major crisis; for both of us it meant an opening-up to spiritual life. And if this doesn't take root in you deep enough and fast enough, too much knowledge kills you.

I had my breaking points in 2008-09 when I understood that I could not continue life within the framework of German society, and again in 2015 when, after years of struggling against malicious forces, it has become crystal clear that false, manipulative, or incomplete spirituality, abundantly present especially in big intentional communes, can be an even more destructive force than plain materialism.

It was a close call, but in the end I overcame the moments of crisis through surrendering to what is. I am grateful for that because, otherwise, I think I wouldn't have been able to bear the things McPherson has to say. I wouldn't have been able to understand his advise on how to look at this kind of knowledge, and what to do about it. It's sure scary, if nothing else is.


2016-06-16

Are you left out or right in?


Today I read a „Call on world leaders to support the global action plan to get every girl in school and learning.“ --globalcitizen.org

Was it really such a blessing if everybody had to go through mandatory curriculums consisting of government-approved Western thought patterns? Women, especially those who are uneducated, still do have distinct worldviews which are based in everyday life rather than imposed-upon mental concepts. How about free access for everyone, to any kind of education? Are inequality, disparity, and diversity not the facts of life, and are they not generally a good thing? Are we not looking for acceptance rather than sameness and equality? I think that the question in front of us basically runs like, How to achieve a state in which being different does not equal getting overpowered and voiceless?

2016-06-14

Dear White People

When I talked about being able to return one day and be at peace with my culture of origin, I did not know how that was supposed to happen, with all the mess it had created in me and in the world; at the same time, how could I ever be truly at home in the foreign place I went to?
My studies pointed out answers rooted in Zen Buddhism and non-dualistic philosophy. Yet another, deeply compassionate answer has been provided by Bayo Akomolafe, a westernized African academic living in India, if I may attach some handy labels for convenience.

In his open letter of this month, "Dear White People", he came to astonishing conclusions. Astonishing because, despite so many words, they are so simple and obvious.

He is speaking about how indigeneity has become a concept to the taste of the Western mind, how it serves to perpetuate the dualistic paradigm, how humankind could actually decolonize the world, and what true indigeneity would look like:

"The much hated neoliberal capitalism and the techno-utopic longings for permanence, for abstraction and dominance are just as indigenous (and ‘natural’) as naked dances by moonlight (and other such spectacular ways Hollywood likes to depict non-western people). [...]

 A different way to think about decolonization is as intimacy with where we are. It is accounting for and opening up to our embeddedness, not grappling for a Plato-nic identity or transcendent quality. [...]

We are constantly touching each other, infecting each other, so that it is impossible to trace out an original point. This suggests that my ‘blackness’ co-arises with your ‘whiteness’ – and that we are hyphenated aspects of each other. [...]

What changes when the anxiety of ‘arriving home’ or ‘becoming indigenous’ is replaced with a studious slowness and a curiosity about where you are? [...]"

This last question points out that, actually, Akomolafe is not so far from Buddhist views, in that he indicates contemplation and meditation on reality-as-it-is were a way forward. Which does not mean, and you can check that by listening to other messages from the author, that we leave the state of affairs unchanged, but that, by staying open to the suggestions a change of mind brings with it, we change our ways in harmony with what we find in and around us.

2016-06-10

Jesus, in a bottle fashion

I have been baptized a Catholic, and I grew up among Lutheran country folk. My social situation, though, was not such that any upright Christian, or any righteous Philistine, for that matter, would have approved of my existence at that time. My mother did have to leave home and had trouble finding a flat thanks to that unaccounted-for belly of hers. According to the doctrines, I was... I am the product of sin, and no matter what the New Testament says about forgiveness or first stones -- Jesus, basically, was a funny-dressed guy sharing space with some sheep on a cheesy picture above the sofa -- the Old Man In The Clouds wasn't as merciful as the Bible, according to the priests, propagates. What it takes denominations for, I couldn't tell anyway. As a result, I came to a similar view like Jeremy Taylor, an Anglican cleric, who wrote in his “Polemical discourses” in 1674,
“That the Scriptures do not contain in them all the necessary to salvation, is the fountain of many great and capital errors; I instance in the whole doctrine of the Libertines, Familists, Quakers, and other enthusiasts, which issue from this corrupted fountain.”
At a later point, I guess it was around 7th grade, I heard, through a Catholic teacher, of the idea that the scriptures were not to be taken literally, and that God was not some remote person, but he was present in everything, and even later, that he WAS everything. I neither realized that I had been introduced to the concepts of Animism and Spirituality, nor what was the difference between the two. I mean, it DOES make a difference whether it is about the wine in the bottle, and the bottle, as every environmentalist grievingly must accept, does not seize to exist after the wine starts to animate a human being instead, or if we are talking about the bottle as such and it vanishes with the spirit.
Words, I gradually found out, are a tricky thing describing a no-less-tricky reality, whatever that is. I guess that was when I began to understand how sarcasm works. Though I took some of its products way too literally. The cynical mind of the rational person makes religious texts sound pretty weird, like:
"CHRISTIANITY -- the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree." (taken from Urban dictionary)
As we are almost completely disconnected from the culture and conditions that created the Bible, it is hard to tell what the source actually said when it talked about Trinity, Heaven and stuff. Words, what do they mean anyway? Tyranny, racism, sexism, war, slavery, depletion, exploitation -- name anything that has not been justified by God's supposed will as stated in the Bible.
What is needed to have truth speak from any text, of course, is, to approach the text with the right mind, a mind that is open to the kind of experience, or insight, which a source is talking about. A spiritual mind alone can make proper use of a religious text, like a rational mind alone can fully understand a scientific paper.
So readers got to be willing to go through the inquiring exercise themselves. Sam Coleridge, in a marginal note to Taylor's above statement, put it aptly so in 1811:
“As I cannot think that it detracts from a dial that in order to tell the time the sun must shine upon it, so neither does it detract from the scriptures, that tho' the best and holiest, they are yet scripture - & require a pure heart & the consequent assistances of God's entlightening Grace in order to understand them to edification. And what more does the Quaker say? He will not call the written words of God the Divine WORD: & he does rightly.”
--A book I value; sel. marginalia by Samuel Taylor Coleridge; ed. by H. J. Jackson, 2003
While different, "foreign", angles of attack can produce interesting insights, the core message only reveals itself with a matching key to its interpretation and an understanding of the diversity of truth's expression.
Therefore, if you approach the Bible text from a Hindu or Buddhist point of view, it begins to make way more sense than when following Western de-spirited, exclusivist trains of thought -- including theology. There are less contradictions and more points one can relate to as a modern person. The text would only indicate a truth ('metaphorical' doesn't fully describe its functioning) which can be verified by anybody anywhere through exercises of introspective contemplation, rather than stating the truth in and by itself.
Whereas, to me, the Dalai Lama makes for a better Bible interpreter than the Pope himself, the rationalistic worldview completely fails to grasp the inner meaning of the texts (because, in science, there exists no meaning). The analysis in terms of mere historicity and function opens the gate for cynical reading. At best it results in puzzlement, or in sarcastic rephrasings like the one above. And hey, they can be quite funny. I did laugh hard on reading it for the first time, though I liked the following even better:
"God is dead." --Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is dead." --God