A man with a score to settle

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tiltbillings
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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:41 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I'm starting to think that your multiple posts of meta discussion and hostile negativity have no other purpose than to try to make me lose my cool so you can close the topic. Perhaps even on grounds of meta discussion.

I get that you don't like the content. But I have given appropriate justification for the legitimacy and importance of this topic, namely that it is of paramount importance to the human race's survival that we get this question right. It is thus of paramount importance to the dhamma too.

Diversity of opinion is essential to democracy, as long as these opinions are not incitements to violence. And these are far from incitetments to violence. They are actualy the opposite of that. It's ok that you or Aloka don't want to hear them. I don't read many of the topics either. You can choose not to read this topic too. But some others have taken something of value from it.

Have you seen the interview?
Yes, and Cohen is not someone whose opinion I would be interested in sharing, which seems to be an opinion shared by a fair number of respondents to that video. As for "Diversity of opinion is essential to democracy," I do not see a necessity for the "Lounge" on this forum as being a platform for the sort negative politics and the subsequent negative discussions that are encased and engendered in and by Cohen's and Hitchens' mind sets. This stuff is freely out there and discussed in any number of venues, and if you and others who want to "settle scores" along with Cohen, go for it, but why bring that battle here?
"namely that it is of paramount importance to the human race's survival that we get this question right. It is thus of paramount importance to the dhamma"
Your previous political, anti-Islamic, and anti-feminist discussions have not shown any objective "paramount importance to the dhamma."

As stated: "It would be nice if there was somewhere which was a temporary haven from all of that, as well as the endless speculation about it all, which often achieves nothing but busier minds and more confusion."

Also, one more thing in reference to a bit in an above msg by you: "I'd rather say he was unforgiving toward evil people, like Henry Kissinger." If Henry Kissinger is unforgiving of evil, I wonder what Henry Kissinger sees when he looks in the mirror.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Ben » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:20 am

Hi MP,
Modus.Ponens wrote:I'm starting to think that your multiple posts of meta discussion and hostile negativity have no other purpose than to try to make me lose my cool so you can close the topic. Perhaps even on grounds of meta discussion.
As a moderator, Tilt is within his rights to seek clarification from you. In the past, some of the socio-political threads have not been positive.
Modus.Ponens wrote:I get that you don't like the content. But I have given appropriate justification for the legitimacy and importance of this topic, namely that it is of paramount importance to the human race's survival that we get this question right. It is thus of paramount importance to the dhamma too.
I don't think it will be a surprise to you that some people will disagree with you on this point, myself included.
Modus.Ponens wrote:Diversity of opinion is essential to democracy, as long as these opinions are not incitements to violence. And these are far from incitetments to violence. They are actualy the opposite of that. It's ok that you or Aloka don't want to hear them. I don't read many of the topics either. You can choose not to read this topic too. But some others have taken something of value from it.
Incitement to violence shouldn't be the minimum standard on DW. Instead, it should be mutual respect.
When we formed DW, the last thing we wanted was an enclave of theravadins taking pot shots at E-sangha, Mahayanists or some hostile 'other'. Anyone (regardless of background or spiritual affiliation) could join DW so long as they had a genuine interest in the Theravāda and would abide by the twin principles of friendliness and mutual respect, and adhere to the community guidelines as expressed in the TOS.
Our concerns when it comes to socio-political threads whether it be decrying 'safe spaces', gender issues or Islam is the impact it has on disenfranchising existing members and making DW a less than welcoming environment from members within the broader community. And that is why I personally have concerns with these threads. I know that they directly impact on the diversity of our membership and reduce the number of alternative voices when women, people of colour, those with connections with Islam no longer find this place a welcoming environment.

In the past socio-political threads have not been venues for calm and respectful debate and it's been disappointing that there was a lack of acknowledgement of differing points of view and appreciation of nuance was also sadly lacking.
Modus.Ponens wrote:Have you seen the interview?
I watched about 20m of the video last night after a long trip home and didn't get to finish it. Cohen seems to point the finger at 'the left' and Islam. I didn't think it was instructive or revolutionary and I didn't find it interesting. It seems typical of the spate of commentators and writers such as Harris, Hitchens, Denning, et al, who are informed by neoliberalism.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Modus.Ponens » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:52 am

Tilt,

Hitchens wrote a book on the war crimes, and crimes against humanity done by Henry Kissinger. Hitchens was unforgiving toward Kissinger's evil. You confusing two totally opposite positions is indicative of your confusion on the wider discussion. And also indicates that you didn't read the first post carefully, and you don't know Hitchens' work well.

Besides most of the attention given to this thread was given by you and your objections to its existence. Just let it go.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Modus.Ponens » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:38 pm

Ben,

Yes. In the political discussions I tend to be hot headed and I end ruining my arguments with the way I express them. I take responsability for that and I apologise for the many times I've caused this kind of trouble. But the content of my arguments are not quite what you seem to be saying they are.

Let me try to clarify my positions without being hot headed, and please analyse their content as it is. I am not against legal and social equality of women. I am an egalitarian. In that sense I am a supporter of 1st and 2nd wave feminism. We have plenty of reasons to be proud of these movements. But precisely because I am an egalitarian I have to oppose movements promoting inequality. Especially those movements promoting inequality while claiming they are for equality. That is the case of 3rd wave feminism, which is the radical intersectional form of feminism. Also, because I am an egalitarian, I have to be against any form of theocracy. That includes islamic theocracy. Muslims are not a homogenous group. There are minorities within the muslim minority, such as gay and lesbian muslims, muslim reformers, muslim liberals and muslim women. Islamic theocracy has been opressing these minorities through the hands of the ultraconservative members of the muslim comunity. If islamic theocracy is not scrutinised, these minorities will be the first victims. The hostility of the ultraconservative section of the muslim comunity toward non muslims, especially jews, but also buddhists, has been a problem. And it will continue to be a problem if islamic theocracy is not scrutinised. The lack of scrutiny is how the ultraconservatives end up speaking in the name of an entire comunity, thus perpetuating their oppression and perpetuating unnecessary hostility.

However badly I've expressed these ideas in the past, this is what I believe.

And let me finish with a concrete example that ilustrates my concerns: Ayyan Hirsi Ali. Ayyan is a black woman born in Somalia. As a young girl she had her genitals mutilated, which is objectively a brutal form of opressing women. Later she was about to be forced to marry as an underage teenager. Forced marriage is objectively a violation of a woman's right to choose. And if the teenager is very young, the consumation of marriage constitutes rape. She escaped Somalia to escape forced marriage. She is a liberal who has since been campaigning against this opression and the radical forms of the ideology that brought her and many other women unmeasurable suffering. She was a member of Dutch parliament and knows 6 languages. She made a film directed by a Dutch man, criticising the radical forms of the ideology that oppressed her and millions of other women. The director was assassinated. A dagger was left on his chest with a note saying Ayyan would be next. To this day she lives under 24/7 police protection and continues to campaign against this opression and in favor of democracy.
By all human rights and progressive standards this woman is a heroine. A heroine worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. Why do I mention Ayyan Hirsi Ali? Because she was "excomunicated" from the "left". She is treated with open contempt and hate by people who believe themselves to be on the left on this issue. But the fact is that this heroine is treated as a neocon (she's not), as a sell out (she could earn more money with her talent doing other things), as an islamophobe (she is an atheist but supports the reform of islam in the direction of Mecca Islam, which was the peaceful period of islam), and so on. This is the clearest example I know of a heroine who is being maligned by people who should support her if they were consistent with their values. This is a symptom of a serious moral problem within the left where many leftists see this as a stark injustice, while others double down and continue to malign a black woman fighting for equality and against oppression.

This is my position: let's be consistent with our values and support those who fight for true equality. This is what Nick Cohen is trying to say too.

Anjali

EDITED for clarity
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:25 pm

Greetings MP,

Thank you for sharing that well explained perspective and example. Your point that the Muslim community is not one homogenous blob is well made. Also, it is refreshing to hear such nuance expressed without anyone else screaming "Islamophobe!" in a knee jerk attempt to shut down conversation for fear that intelligent and well articulated statements may hurt someone's feelings.

On another platform Cooran recently shared some very peaceful and loving (dare I say enlightened?) extracts from the Qur'an which show there is potential for more tolerant and liberal forms of Islam to grow, flourish and leave the more illiberal streams in the past as historical relics. I believe this reformation "can" be done, but I feel that despite their good intentions, the so-called "regressive left" (as referenced in the video) actively inhibit such growth. How? By unconditionally tolerating (and forcing "tolerance" by means of language policing) the intolerable treatment of, and intolerable attitudes towards, homosexuals, women and "infidels"... all in the name of tolerance. Yet, knowingly or unknowingly sacrificing egalitarianism and liberty in the process.

As a positive precedent, I feel that over the past century or two, Christianity (in the broadest terms) has come under greater scrutiny for some of its less tolerant aspects (of both practice and scripture), and that this scrutiny has helped it build a more positive religion based on more positive and wholesome roots. This precedent shows that what is intolerable should not be tolerated simply under the guise of unconditional love and tolerance and that the implied assumption of the liberal media that unconditional lifestyle acceptance is an unquestionable virtue requires closer investigation. I doubt this Christian reformist movement would have happened on its own volition had those who compelled Christianity to take a look in the mirror been afraid to do so, or rounded up and labelled "Christianophobes". Sunshine is the best disinfectant.... as much as Cardinal Pell and co. may not appreciate it.

But now we live in different times... And hopefully the parallel matter of Islamism ends well too, although world events and the current level of discourse on most sides doesn't give rise to optimism.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:56 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Tilt,

Hitchens wrote a book on the war crimes, and crimes against humanity done by Henry Kissinger. Hitchens was unforgiving toward Kissinger's evil. You confusing two totally opposite positions is indicative of your confusion on the wider discussion. And also indicates that you didn't read the first post carefully, and you don't know Hitchens' work well.
Unquestionably, I do not know the line and verse of the Gospels of Hitchens, but I do now understand what it is that you wrote: "I'd rather say he was unforgiving toward evil people, like Henry Kissinger, and toward the many evil ideologies in this world." Taking this in the context of Hitchens supporting horrific, unnecessary Iraq war, the misreading the ambiguous statement was inevitable. So, do tell us what Hitchens had to say about the evil George W. Bush and even worse Dick Cheney?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Sylvester » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:59 am

Paul Davy wrote: On another platform Cooran recently shared some very peaceful and loving (dare I say enlightened?) extracts from the Qur'an which show there is potential for more tolerant and liberal forms of Islam to grow, flourish and leave the more illiberal streams in the past as historical relics.
Hi Paul

I too would like to believe that some of the warm, fuzzy bits from the Quran should be the way ahead.

BUT, is that how informed Islam understands the Quran? I am quite willing to bet that the warm fuzzy bits are from what scholars would term the Meccan Quran, dictated by the circumstances of the founder's political weakness in the early days of the religion. Once Mohd's power was consolidated, you have the nasty bits rearing its head in the Medina-phase of the Quran. How does one deal with the inconsistencies?

Islamalogy turns to the doctrine of Abrogation. Older verses are abrogated by newer and contradictory verses.
How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.

http://www.meforum.org/1754/peace-or-ji ... n-in-islam
The doctrine of Abrogation is not amenable to a short one paragraph analysis as above, but we cannot escape from the reality that it does play a major role in some of the forms of Islam we brand as extremist. How will Islam wage war within itself, and when will a truly peaceful Islam emerge from the abrogation of Abrogation?

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:27 am

Greetings Sylvester,

They're good questions of relevance to the Muslim community, but they're not questions that I personally claim to have the answers to. That said, I do know that solutions will not be found if the moral fortitude and courage to take up such challenges is missing. Here in Australia, the newly elected Dr Anne Aly seems to have it in spades... I look forward with great interest to see how she can positively influence the discussion.

As for what we can do as non-Muslims, my position is that we should avoid being unwittingly complicit in anything that abrogates the need for such reformation. As Maajid Nawaz wrote in "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism"...
Maajid Nawaz wrote:"Is not winning the war more important than truth? This maxim, I knew, was also subscribed to by some on the left, the regressive left. For them, winning against capitalism was far more important than it was to their allies. I watched as our ideology gained acceptance and we were granted airtime as Muslim political commentators. I watched as we were ignorantly pandered to by well-meaning liberals and ideologically driven leftists. How we Islamists laughed at their naïveté
Metta,
Paul. :)
Last edited by retrofuturist on Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Aloka » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:17 am

.

Though I doubt my thoughts will be popular, I sometimes wonder why some of us are so keen to define and discuss how others should be living their lives and practising their religions or other 'spiritualities'.

Its quite likely that we haven't even reached the earliest stages of basic understanding and wisdom ourselves, while claiming to be practising our own beliefs and trumpeting about them regularly on a screen in front of us.

.

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by The Thinker » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:27 pm

We must always remember that people whose livelihood is formed from the pen ,generally create drama and do not offer much in the way of a solution.
Their real opinions are often hidden.

In the modern era, journalists turn to sensationalism to make print and TV appearances, this is how they make their name.
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by kolayana » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:06 pm

Añjali,

Let me just say as a Marxist that most Leftists consider "left" and "liberal" to be antonyms.
Last edited by kolayana on Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:46 pm

kolayana wrote:Let me just say as a Marxist that most Leftists consider "left" and "liberal" to be antonyms.
Yes, but that depends on where you live.

When americans say "liberal" they're technically refering to well fare liberals, or social democrats. In Europe that also happens, but coming from the opposite side. When europeans say "socialist" they mean social democrat/well fare liberal. Plus, when europeans say "liberal" they mean something of a "moderate libertarian"; and when they say "neoliberal" they mean Satan. :P Well they mean fully fledged libertarians.

And yes, Marxism stands in stark opposition to these forms of leftism. They believe capitalism can and should be eliminated, so they usually have little respect for any system that accepts private enterprise. History has given us too many examples of Marxism in practice that were human rights catastrophes of genocides and slavery. And zero examples of applied Marxism without dictatorship and misery.

So I chose american terminology because the majority of the english speaking world abides by these terms, as far as I know.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by kolayana » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:14 pm

Añjali, Modus.Ponens,

You and I have drastically different views of history, but I understand your terminology. It isn't just those of us who are Marxists, though. You have anarchists, Ba'athists, Islamic socialists, and Bolivarians all feeling the same way.
Yours in the most rightfully worthy Triple Refuge,
kolayāna.

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:42 pm

kolayana wrote:Añjali, Modus.Ponens,

You and I have drastically different views of history, but I understand your terminology. It isn't just those of us who are Marxists, though. You have anarchists, Ba'athists, Islamic socialists, and Bolivarians all feeling the same way.
Ba'athists, as in Sadam Hussein's party? Please tell me it ain't so!
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by kolayana » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:52 pm

Añjali, MP,

Hussein's party was a Ba'athist party, yes, although to what extent his party adhered to the ideals of Ba'athism is a point of contention among Arab socialists.
Yours in the most rightfully worthy Triple Refuge,
kolayāna.

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Mr Man » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:25 am

The Thinker wrote:We must always remember that people whose livelihood is formed from the pen ,generally create drama and do not offer much in the way of a solution.
Their real opinions are often hidden.

In the modern era, journalists turn to sensationalism to make print and TV appearances, this is how they make their name.
Nick Cohan is a journalists who has made his money by being a propagandist for a political point which now seems to be in it's death throes. Hopefully this is the case.

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by The Thinker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:00 am

Mr Man wrote:
Nick Cohan is a journalists who has made his money by being a propagandist for a political point which now seems to be in it's death throes. Hopefully this is the case.
Of the concepts that have been born in the human mind, socialism is probably one of the more wholesome tools, which may I say is holding together a broken Banking and financial system worldwide at this current time, in the past and foreseeable future, you see these concepts are so interrelated.

If you want to build communities then socialism is the tool of choice, Tax for the people not the elite few is a worthy cause.
Tax for the elite is a cause of conflict.
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by The Thinker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:07 am

What amazes me, is that those Bankers who have caused the chaos we now witness worldwide, are still pushed forward by political leaders as the wise and prudent, and always seem to appear in the UK on our TV screens being used as some sort of guru to pacify the masses on points of prudent mathematics? LOL
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:30 am

This is all very sad.

In a nutshell, Nick Cohen's point is that after the USSR ended communists really didn't have an argument because the brutality of the soviet regime was exposed. They only had anti capitalism and anti americanism to hold on to. This, combined with the intellectual bankrupcy of postmodernism and its reactionary double standards , allowed anti capitalists to join hands with the most fascist and ultraconservative ideologies of our time, wahabism and salafism, to battle their common enemy. Instead of making alliances with trade unions in those countries, and funding democratic left wing movements aspiring liberation of their countries, the Regressive Left chose to protect theocratic fascists.

If you don't see the moral aberration this actually is, then it's very sad. The avalanche of human rights abuses is imeasurable and also incomparable to the abuses by Liberal Democracies.

I expected decency from my fellow buddhists on this.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: A man with a score to settle

Post by The Thinker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:47 am

A good starting point for solutions is the recognition of what is, and dialogue of what could be.

This is the opening of a talk by J Krishnamurti in the book Mind without measure:
This is not a lecture, but rather a conversation between two people,
between you and the speaker, not on a particular subject,
instructing and shaping your thought or opinions. We are two
friends sitting in a park on a bench, talking over together our
problems, friends who are concerned deeply with what is going on
in the world, with the confusion, the chaos that exists throughout
the world. I wonder if you have a friend with whom you talk, to
whom you expose your own feelings, your concepts, your ideas,
disillusionment, and so on. We are going to talk over together in
that manner - exploring, enquiring, without any bias, in great
friendship, which means, with great affection, respecting each
other, without having some kind of hidden thought, hidden
motives.
First, let us look at what is happening around us, outwardly,
without any bias, not as an Indian, not as a German, Englishman,
American or Russian. We are human beings, whatever country we
belong to. One observes countries going through a great deal of
confusion, great uncertainty; there is chaos. People have no
direction. But, unfortunately, we are conditioned, we are confused,
uncertain, insecure, and we try to find a solution in the past, go
back to our own traditions. This is what is happening throughout
the world. There are the fundamentalists who accept the Bible as
their authority, the fundamentalists of Islam who look to the Koran.
There are the fundamentalists who look to Marx. So, when we are uncertain, confused, greatly disturbed, we look to the past, to some
kind of authority, some kind of book, to find a direction. Now, in
this country, as you observe, there are too many books, too many
labels. So, here tradition is uncertain. You have all the leaders, all
the gurus, but all the so-called saints have not helped mankind.
What is the root cause of all this confusion? When one can find
the cause, then one can end it.
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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