A crooked world - despair? hope?

The Buddha said that life is suffering. But there is a way. A way out. For the noble ones.

India is not an enlightened society. There are many things which disgust me in this country. In places though, there is reverence. I am fond of yoga and the teachings of the Buddha and Krishnamurti as they do not preach. They admit the power of faith. They are the religions of humanism. Religions in the best possible use of that word. For me there is no God in religion. The word "education" means in latin (ed - ducat-ducare): "To draw out (that which is within)." That is religion. Religion is a fire which burns the seeds of inclinations which lead to sorrowful consequences.

I have met monks who are mere civil servants. I have met teachers who are administrators. Sea fish born in a tank unaware of the ocean.

We must be strong. Temptation is strong. But we must be stronger. Krishnamurti once said this of hope:

"I hope I am not offering anybody any hope (Laughter). That would be a most terrible thing. If you are looking for hope - from me or from another - then you are avoiding the despair which is what actually is. Do please follow this. Can you look at that despair, which is what actually is - not the hope which is merely a supposition, something you wish for - but actually look at the fear and despair? Can you look at it without hope and without condemnation? Can you see it actually as it is, be directly in contact with it? This means looking at it non-verbally, without any fear, without any distortion. Can you do it? If you can look at "what is" absolutely without any distortion, you will see that the whole thing undergoes a tremendous change: it is no longer despair, it is something entirely different. But, unfortunately, most of us are conditioned and we are always hoping for the ideal, which is an escape. Putting away all escapes, all hopes - not in bitterness or with cynicism but because you see that there is only this fear and despair - then you are left free to look. And when the mind is free, is there despair? "

Questioner: Is sex always an escape?
Krishnamurti: I wouldn't know. (Laughter) Is it to you? You see, that's just it: it becomes an escape when it is the only thing wherein you feel free of your daily misery, effort and contradiction; and so it becomes a door through which you can escape. And if you do so escape, that very escape breeds fear. But if you are aware that it is an escape, then everything changes.

Excellent videos


Reflections on depression

Depression is not a light issue - it takes enormous sensitivity and affection and patience to get to the bottom of it. I once read somewhere that depression was anger which we have not learned to unravel and understand- that somehow gets channeled within us and which gets locked inside us. I feel that the dream I had is symbolic of that process in you. To define it simply as anger is to oversimplify the process of depression - but it makes some a lot of sense on many levels...The sense of struggling with unconquered (and often unidentified) frustrations within and without that pulls us down into a mental darkness not easily shirked...

Creating community a la ancient Chinese...

Manifestation of holding together.
In the hunt the king uses beaters on three sides only
And foregoes game that runs off in front.
The citizens need no warning.
Good fortune.

In the royal hunts of ancient China it was customary to drive up the game from three sides, but on the fourth the animals had a chance to run off. If they failed to do this they had to pass through a gate behind which the king stood ready to shoot. Only animals that entered here were shot; those that ran off in front were permitted to escape. This custom accorded with a kingly attitude; the royal hunter did not wish to turn the chase into a slaughter, but held that the kill should consist only of those animals which had so to speak voluntarily exposed themselves.

There is depicted here a ruler, or influential man, to whom people are attracted. Those who come to him he accepts, those who do not come are allowed to go their own way. He invites none, flatters none - all come of their own free will. In this way there develops a voluntary dependence among those who hold to him. They do not have to be constantly on their guard but may express their opinions openly. Police measures are not necessary, and they cleave to their ruler of their own volition. The same principle of freedom is valid for life in general. We should not woo favor from people. If a man cultivates within himself the purity and the strength that are necessary for one who is the centre of a fellowship, those who are meant for him come of their own accord.

Buddhism and the Purpose of Life

There is something very deep in the following quote. It relates to the purpose of life:

"Macbeth was not blessed with an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. Near his death he says about life:

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. (Act V. sc.v 27-30)

Contrast this with the perspective the poet Wun-Men speaks of when we have refuge in the Four Noble Truths:

Ten thousand flowers in spring
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life."

What do you hear?

A line from the new Superman movie:
Superman takes Louis Lane high up in the heavens above the Earth...he wants to communicate the essential teaching of the compassionate heart - the voice of he who is no longer living for his selfish desires...but who is living according to the wisdom of the Dhamma.

"What do you hear?" he asks.
"I hear nothing." she says
"I hear everything.
I hear all the suffering....all the cries for help. This is why the world needs me."

Reminds me of that beautiful line in the Gnostic Gospel of St Thomas:

"Cleave a piece of wood, I am there. Lift up the stone, you will find me there."

He, who is no longer separated from life, is beyond illusion. In the great silence is contained the everything.

The Inner World

Today I will meditate no matter how tired I think I feel. I will not allow myself to be a victim to noise while trying to meditate. I will transfer my consciousness, like a yogi, to the inner world.


Lessons from Yogananda

"I will speak the truth, but will at all times avoid speaking unpleasant or harmful truths. I will offer nothing but kind criticism."

Paramahansa Yogananda

Notes on Thatcherism

It is the most negative spin on Thatcherism, the notion that she encouraged a climate of selfish, uncaring greed.

Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative British prime minister from 1979 to 1990, was an outspoken devotée of Hayek's writings. Shortly after Thatcher became Leader of the party, she "reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Friedrich von Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting [the speaker], she held the book up for all of us to see. 'This', she said sternly, 'is what we believe', and banged Hayek down on the table." [1] After winning the 1979 election, Thatcher appointed Keith Joseph, the director of the Hayekian Centre for Policy Studies, as her secretary of state for industry in an effort to redirect parliament’s economic strategies. Likewise, some of Ronald Reagan’s economic advisors were friends of Hayek. [2].

Hayek wrote an essay entitled Why I Am Not a Conservative [3], (included as an appendix to The Constitution of Liberty) in which he disparaged conservatism for its inability to adapt to changing human realities or to offer a positive political program. His criticism was aimed primarily at European-style conservatism, which has often opposed capitalism as a threat to social stability and traditional values. Hayek identified himself as a classical liberal, but noted that in the United States it had become almost impossible to use "liberal" in the older sense that he gave to the term. In the U.S., Hayek is usually described as a "libertarian", but the denomination that he preferred was "Old Whig"

Having heavily influenced Margaret Thatcher's economic approach, and some of Ronald Reagan's economic advisors, in the 1990's Hayek became one of the most-respected economists in Eastern Europe. There is a general consensus that his analyses of socialist as well as non-socialist societies were proven prescient by the breakup of communist Eastern Europe.

It is the widely held view of Thatcherism, and the attitudes she encouraged, that her critics would say she amply demonstrated herself when she made the famous quotes about "no such thing as society" and that the Good Samaritan could only engage in his act of kindness because he was rich.

It is a view of her legacy that persists to this day. There is, of course an alternative view.

That is, that the first woman prime minister grabbed Britain by the scruff of the neck, took on vested interests such as the unions and shook industry, business and ossified institutions until they squealed.

She pioneered privatisation, encouraged enterprise, freed people and business from an over-intrusive state and promoted self-reliance and family values.

In the 1930s Hayek enjoyed a considerable reputation as a leading economic theorist but his models were challenged by followers of John Maynard Keynes who argued for more active government intervention in economic affairs. The debate between the two schools of thought remains unresolved today, with Hayek's position gaining currency since the late 1970s.

"Thatcherism" is characterised by a free market economy, monetarist economic policy, privatisation of state-owned industries, low direct taxation but conversely higher indirect taxation, opposition to trade unions, nationalism, centralism, as well as checks on the size of the Welfare State and local government. "Thatcherism" may be compared with Reaganomics, Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. She was deeply in favour of individualism rather than collectivism, with a mantra for self-help.

Mrs. Thatcher believed in economic liberalism and claimed in 1983 that "We have a duty to make sure that every penny piece we raise in taxation is spent wisely and well. For it is our party which is dedicated to good housekeeping—indeed, I would not mind betting that if Mr. Gladstone were alive today he would apply to join the Conservative Party"

Changes to the power of the trade unions were made gradually, unlike the approach of the Heath Government, and the greatest single confrontation with the unions was the NUM strike of 1984 to 1985 in which the union eventually had to concede. Whether these confrontational tactics ultimately benefited Britain or not, they destroyed the post-war consensus of British politics. In 2001 Peter Mandelson, a member of parliament belonging to the British Labour Party closely associated with Tony Blair, famously declared that "we are all Thatcherites now".

Thatcherism as a form of Government

Another important aspect of Thatcherism is the style of governance. Britain in the 1970s was often referred to as "ungovernable". Mrs Thatcher attempted to redress this by centralising a great deal of power to herself, as the Prime Minister, often bypassing traditional cabinet structures (such as cabinet committees). This personal approach also became identified with a certain toughness at times such as the Falklands, the IRA bomb at the Conservative conference and the Miner's Strike.

Sir Charles Powell, the Foreign Affairs Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (1984-91, 96) described her style thus, "I've always thought there was something Leninist about Mrs Thatcher which came through in the style of government - the absolute determination, the belief that there's a vanguard which is right and if you keep that small, tightly knit team together, they will drive things through... there's no doubt that in the 1980s, No. 10 could beat the bushes of Whitehall pretty violently. They could go out and really confront people, lay down the law, bully a bit".[5]

Collectivism versus Individualsism: Some consider an early example of collectivist political philosophy to be Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract, which maintains that human society is organized along the lines of an implicit contract between members of society, and that the terms of this contract (e.g. the powers of government, the rights and responsibilities of individual citizens, etc.) are rightfully decided by the "general will" - that is, the will of the people. This idea is part of the philosophical foundation of democracy.

Monetarism is a set of views concerning the determination of national income and monetary economics. It focuses on the supply and demand for money as the primary means by which economic activity is regulated. Monetary theory focuses on money supply and on inflation as an effect of the supply of money being larger than the demand for money.

Monetarism today is mainly associated with the work of Milton Friedman, who was among the generation of liberal economists to accept Keynesian economics and then critique it on its own terms. Friedman and Anna Schwartz wrote an influential book on the monetary history of the United States, Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960, and argued that "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." Friedman advocated a central bank policy aimed at keeping the supply and demand for money at equilibrium, as measured by growth in productivity and demand. While most monetarists believe that government action is at the root of inflation, very few advocate a return to the gold standard. Friedman for example views the gold standard as highly impractical. The former head of the United States Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, is generally regarded as monetarist in his policy orientation.

Critics of monetarism include both neo-Keynesians who argue that demand for money is intrinsic to supply, and some conservative economists who argue that demand for money cannot be predicted. Supply-sider Jude Wanniski declared monetarism a failure because it assumed that the velocity of money is roughly constant [1]. Joseph Stiglitz has argued that the relationship between inflation and money supply growth is weak for ordinary inflation, as opposed to hyperinflation (meaning perhaps more than 10% year-over-year) which is almost universally regarded as an effect of government spending at a time when output growth can not absorb it (See inflation by government spending). In an interview with Milton Friedman (published in the Financial Times 6 Jun 2003) Milton Friedman even seems to repudiate the monetary policy of monetarism and is quoted as saying "The use of quantity of money as a target has not been a success," ... "I'm not sure I would as of today push it as hard as I once did."

Though monetarism is commonly associated with conservative economics and economists, not all conservatives are monetarists, and not all monetarists are conservative

She supported the US bombing raid on Libya from bases in the UK in 1986 in defiance of other NATO allies. Her liking for defence ties with the United States was demonstrated in the Westland affair when she acted with colleagues to prevent the helicopter manufacturer Westland, a vital defence contractor, from linking with the Italian firm Agusta in favour of a link with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation of the United States. Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine, who had pushed the Agusta deal, resigned in protest at her style of leadership, and remained an influential critic and potential leadership challenger. He would, eventually, prove instrumental in Thatcher's fall in 1990.

The UK was widely seen as the "sick man of Europe" in the 1970s, and some argued that it would be the first developed nation to return to the status of a developing country. Instead, the UK emerged as one of the most successful economies in modern Europe. Most people today realize that this was due to Margaret Thatcher's policies.

Critics of this view believe that the economic problems of the 1970s were exaggerated, and were caused largely by factors outside any UK government's control, such as high oil prices caused by the oil crisis, leading to the high inflation which damaged the economies of nearly all major industrial countries. Accordingly, they also argue that the economic downturn was not the result of socialism and trade unions, as Thatcherite supporters claim. Critics also argue that the Thatcher period in government coincided with a general improvement in the world economy, and the buoyant tax revenues from North Sea oil (although this is sometimes a double-edged sword; see Dutch disease), and that these were the real cause of the improved economic environment of the 1980s rather than Margaret Thatcher's policies.

Perceptions abroad broadly follow the same political divisions. On the left, Margaret Thatcher is generally regarded as somebody who used force to quash social movements, who imposed social reforms that disregarded the interests of the working class and instead favoured the wealthier elements of the middle class and business. Satirists have often caricatured her. For instance, French singer Renaud wrote a song, Miss Maggie, which lauded women as refraining from many of the silly behaviours of males – and every time making an exception for "Mrs Thatcher". She may be remembered most of all for declaring: "There is no such thing as society" [7] to reporter Douglas Keay, for 'Womans Own' magazine, 23 September 1987 [8],going on to emphasise the importance of families and individuals in the fabric of British life. On the economic and political 'liberal' right, Thatcher is often remembered with some fondness as a conservative who dared to confront powerful unions and removed harmful constraints on the economy, though many do not openly claim to be following her example given the strong feelings that highly ideological Lady Thatcher and Thatcherism elicits in many.

About me

My photo
Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...