Talking About People Behind Their Back

If a significant number of people talk about someone behind their back is that a form of bullying?

Is gossiping about someone a form of bullying?

If plans are laid for someone without their input or consent is that a form of bullying?

If the people doing the talking behind the back are powerful does that make it bullying or problem solving?

It is easy to kid oneself that WE are solving a problem caused by IT.

{Let us circle the wagons so as to keep out that pesky Apache. After all we have Winchester rifles, and he only has a bow and arrow.}

If there is a power imbalance does this make the “problem solving” more or less like bullying?

Are the health problems of the creature being discussed important?

If they are ill and the talking about continues does that make it more like bullying and less like problem solving?

Do people like to talk about sick beings?

What if there is no problem to solve and it is all some justification made up to mitigate the unpleasantness afoot, to make it seem less dodgy?

Ears are burning, jungle drums are being pounded, the grapevine is all lit up.

S*** S*** D******** D**!

What is Normal for You?

For many, I imagine, the idea of having a good old chin wag and a gossip is normal and even socially acceptable. Very little thought is given to it. People spread the “goss” on others and take some salacious pleasure if there are any juicy morsels therein. Without doubt there is some enhancement or elaboration as the morsel passes between vectors.

In my former profession gossip was rife. In fact, a form of gossip called “measures of esteem” was used as a metric for career progression. I have joked that the collective noun for a group of academics is a “gossip” of academics. Reputation, as impermanent as it is, is an “important” thing in the academy. Decision making is not quite as rational as it may be deemed, especially when it comes to the allocation of money. Reputation can be built or destroyed by the swish of a tongue. It is part and parcel of a way of life, it is “normal”. Any organism has internal politics.

Few would consider gossip as a an entirely toxic poison because what would there be left to talk about without gossip. Of course, it is only other people who spread and listen to gossip. WE are having an intelligent conversation. It is very easy to kid oneself and find justifications for any behaviour which one wants to indulge in.

It is normal to gossip, isn’t it? So that makes it OK.  People can have some very dodgy motives.

I think I have mentioned that on a number of occasions I have had people gossip about me, to me, without their realising who I was. This is weird to experience, the temptation to say “please, tell me more” was strong.

Is it normal to use the internet to stalk another being, perhaps an ex?

If everybody is doing it, is it really OK?

I’ll make a hypothesis.

As a rule of thumb people are not honest with themselves about their motives and they use justifications to obfuscate and mitigate said motives, so as to kid themselves. People are not self-aware.

Is this normal behaviour? What do you think? Is it an accurate hypothesis?

I suspect that this hypothesis applies to groups of people as well as individuals.

I want to ask a question:

Have you ever used the cloaks of normality and social acceptability to indulge is something that is dodgy?

The reason that this is flagged up today for me is that people on the telly are banging on about wanting to get back to normal post-pandemic. The pandemic isn’t over yet, and I am not so sure that normal is any good any way.

Science Does Not Know What 95% Of the Universe Is

From the Dark Energy Survey:

“Ordinary matter makes up only about 5% of the universe. Dark energy, which cosmologists hypothesize drives the accelerating expansion of the universe by counteracting the force of gravity, accounts for about 70%. The last 25% is dark matter, whose gravitational influence binds galaxies together. Both dark matter and dark energy remain invisible and mysterious, but DES seeks to illuminate their natures by studying how the competition between them shapes the large-scale structure of the universe over cosmic time.”

This morning I have been delving into a few of the papers on Arχiv released by the Dark Energy Survey. It is a truly staggering amount of work of a highly complex nature. They are using the phenomenon of gravitational lensing to estimate the amount and clustering of dark matter. Here is a Hubble image of dark matter distribution. It is a simulation based on a model.

Dark energy causes the universe to continue to expand and helps prevent the big crunch. We are in a day of Brahma where the universe is manifesting and not in a night when it has fallen back into pralaya. Unless I am mistaken science does not know what dark energy or dark matter are. It can infer that they are there according to our current models of the universe.

Modern science has an internally consistent view of how the universe came into being but not why, for what purpose.

Toltec “cosmology” suggests that the universe is one big experiment in which the spirit, Nagal {analogous to Brahma?} wanted to learn about itself. It was sitting there in the void, started to stir, perhaps a little bored and then decided using the “force” of intent to separate the known from the unknown and thereby matter from out of the primeval void.

{Quantum physics allows particles to be created and annihilated via ladder operators.}

The flow of creation is time, space, energy, matter, in this “cosmology”. Where matter is clustered energy. E = mc squared and all that. The direction of time is macroscopically one way thanks to entropy.

Toltecs maintain that the entire universe is pervaded by this “thing” called intent and it is this which drives. There is universal intent and more personal intent, and this lies aback all action.

If I have understood it correctly the “evidence” for dark energy and dark matter mounts. Which means I guess that science is getting more certain of their existence but still is largely clueless as to their nature. “It”, “they” exist but we don’t know what “it”, “they” are.

Is this suggesting at some time in the future a paradigmatic overhaul? Or with some elastic and a few extra “factors” can the current models be extended.

If dark energy “clusters” into dark matter, we shall then get the big crunch.

Brahma can put on his pyjamas and have a snooze.

Are dark matter and dark energy debris from a previous manifestation of a universe, one in which the laws of “physics” were different?

Positivity, Negativity or Equanimity?

I’ll make a statement to kick off:

We live in times where black and white thinking is common, and where thought is polarised.

I’ll raise a question:

Can polarised thinking ever be entirely accurate?

A long while ago when I used to do small group personal development facilitation, I was more than a little surprised at the levels of negativity in young capable Ph.D. students. These were able to find holes and faults in just about anything, there was also a high level of cynicism. They were young, smart, healthy and yet they were largely negative. They had loads of reasons why not and not many why to. From one particularly negative group I got my favourite piece of feedback:

“Alan’s ability to find a positive from and in any situation began to get a tad irritating.”

This cloud of negativity seems to be the human default. It seems people prefer to complain about everything. Many moan about prices, lock-down, the government, the weather. Not many of the moaners live in Gaza in the sights of Israeli jets, nor in a Syrian refugee camp, or in Dafur. This negativity saps the will to joy. Few realise just how good they have it, they take so very much for granted. People feel entitled and somehow owed by the universe or society, they believe in the notion of “rights”. Ask a starving refugee what non-binary gender means…it would prefer a bowl of rice.

If one has the negativity virus then one needs a positivity antidote. But one might be careful not to overdose otherwise one ends up in hyper over hyped bullshit land.

I used to advise Ph.D. students doing job applications to be a little more American in their approach but not to go too far as that would not be palatable to British tastes.

To be overly positive can set oneself up to fail, because over positive is idealistic. When ideals are not met one can crash and burn. It is easy to see the positivity-negativity yo-yo in action. We have oscillating quasi bipolar behaviours.

What then is the answer? To gently strive for a balanced objective and non-partisan perception. A perception not coloured by emotions or prejudices, a perception not overly up or down, a state of equanimity.

“Just like this.” Is a notion in Zen but it does not pertain only to Zen, it is accepting reality as actually is. Strangely to my eyes humanity often struggles with the simplicity of reality and rarely has emotional equanimity. Humans are hooked on what I call the heroin of complexity. Humans have a lot of preferences and when these are not met, they get to whinge, moan and complain. It would be rare for someone who likes to complain to imagine that the luxury they are complaining about might be taken away. Balanced perception would recognise that they are pretty damn “lucky”, a bit of frustration is a whole lot better than starvation.

The mid-point between polar perceptions is often more accurate, there are shades of grey. The world is more nuanced than the adamantly held and professed views of many.

Expediency versus Karma

Over the last few days or so I have been touching upon choice, decision and truth. People choose their truths and decide how to act apparently upon that basis. They will choose to act in contravention to something which they pertain to believe in, if it is expedient so to do. Immediacy and perceived social immediacy, often dominate in decision making or reactive gratificatory behaviours.

In effect people often take a gamble or place a bet that Karma does not exist, nor will they be judged at the “Pearly Gates” for their actions or their inactions.

They are betting that they can, “get away with it”.

Using the example above, plagiarism seems tempting for short term success. Yet what does this do to the confidence and self worth of those so tempted, in the long run? Sooner or later that which they claim as “theirs”, vanishes. They have but loaned it and often sneakily so, so as to look better than they are, or for pecuniary gain.

If expediency goes wrong there is always the possibility of redemption; an option not known for its popularity. So the bet usually stands until the croupier calls time.

Does expediency always win?

Do I believe in Karma?

What happens when the wheel stops spinning?

Am I Simply an Inappropriate Being?

This poses a very simple question, exactly who gets to decide, decree, define and enforce what is and is not appropriate?

Is it the mythical THEY?

Do they get to issue an omniscient decree?

This notion of being appropriate is easily “defined” in terms of function. A chocolate teapot is not appropriate for making tea, neither is an ashtray on a motorbike of much use.

The word used in a social context is all about social conditioning and social norming. The notion of appropriate is time varying.  The Sex Pistols were deemed inappropriate by some, but they sure made life a whole lot more interesting. They would have pulled down statues just for fun and not because the geezer in the statue had a slave once a couple of hundred years ago.

Apparently it is appropriate to send dick pics and post pictures of oneself in a painful looking micro bikini online. But it is not appropriate to have had a colonial history, that must be wiped from the historical record. What exactly are we celebrating with this bizarre modern imagery?

Is it appropriate for someone with over sixty papers in the physical sciences literature to be discussing shamanism and meditation? Is that just too darned inappropriate for the taste and liking of the we look down the nose brigade?

“We don’t do that sort of thing old chap. It is just not cricket.”

Many people have their own notions as to what is and is not appropriate and then they try to ENFORCE it on others. They try to condition them into some kind of herd or shoal mentality. If you err you get nudged back or excommunicated.

This leads to the question, is the notion or inappropriate a permanent or impermanent thing, ergo does the notion have any reality whatsoever? Is it simply an illusion which exists only in the minds of men and women and every other being across the entire gender spectrum?

Are people simply arguing about made up shit?

Do You Believe in Exorcism?

The Catholic church, if I am correct, still has some exorcists. I seem to remember some mention of Islamic exorcists. There will probably be a Jewish equivalent. Then we have the shamanic ridders of evil spirits.

If you are sat in a nice well-lit apartment with all your electronic gizmos, the notion of exorcism might seem far-fetched. You may turn on Netflix and watch a scary film on the subject. For a moment you may feel a well scripted fear. On the way to bed the floorboards might creak, just a little.

If you and I were around a fire in the middle of a forest, surrounded by the sounds of the night, your certainty may waiver. Should I then start the mantra of exorcism what would you do, what would you think? If something, in you, started to react badly to my words would you believe in possession then?

If you need an exorcist, where would you find one, what qualifications might they have?

What traits make for a good exorcist?

Do they do personal development planning and accreditation?

In this 21st century of ours is it primitive to imagine that we can be targeted by evil, possessed by an entity? Do we really know for sure?

If I chant the charm of making, what if anything, might transpire?

Anál nathrach,

orth’ bháis’s bethad,

do chél dénmha

Is Exoteric History Complete and Accurate?

If you read the post previous, allegedly written telepathically by amanuensis in 1945 and by a being who took the fifth initiation in 1875, it is possible that you might imagine it as being somewhat made up. Yet there is something compelling in the style of writing and choice of words that points at a mind of some considerable intellect and capacity aback its construction. This is no woolly David Icke.

Hitler’s gang, his crew, his squad, were dark adepts, skilled at manipulating minds. They were evil embodied.

This raises a question; can you be sure that your mind has not been “impressed” either by a dark adept or a white one?

If you like power, you have a furrow already ploughed into which seeds might easily be sown.  Much like the metaphor of Faust and Mephisto.

There may be more to this world than meets the eye. There may be things going on about which you are wholly unaware, yet you remain convinced of the extent of your knowledge and the accuracy of your cognitively assembled world view.

We are taught that there were two world wars. But the Tibetan says only one. The punitive treaty at the end of the “first” world war was an act of war and revenge. This prompted more war and revenge.

History apportions fame and kudos to people for various discoveries, when in fact the inspiration, the intuition, might have been “assisted” and in a manner in which the assisted being is totally unaware.

Since the Tibetan wrote that piece the world has changed, and many more countries are nuclear capable. This raises the probability of the release of millions of souls from their current forms and in a global manner.

Humanity continues to profit from the energy of fission. That is separation. It has yet to develop an economic fusion source. This is perhaps because mankind is still grossly separative in outlook.

The pandemic has shown the prevalent ME FIRST attitude. Again, it highlights the rich and the poor, the greedy and the needy. Vast swathes of people have already dis-incarnated and in a very unpleasant manner.

Do you think;

  1. That even the exoteric recounting of history is accurate?
  2. That there may be esoteric forces at play beyond the veil of “fact” based history?

What You Think You Know

Summarising many of the quotes previous on knowledge; it is perhaps wise not to overestimate the extent, profundity, and depth of one’s assumed knowledge and/or understanding. Many have trouble not self-diagnosing a somewhat premature omniscience and that can cause them problems. If you are an expert in one field, it does not necessarily transfer to another. A genius in physics may have poor interpersonal skills for example, lack self-knowledge and interpersonal awareness.

Humanity is so very often convinced that it knows best and can be adamant that it is right or in the right.

It has been quite interesting for me trying a bit of French here and there. One of the stock responses I get from French people is that French is a difficult language to learn and speak. I resist the temptation to say compared to what, German, Latin or Japanese. I occasionally get a comment that my French is OK. {se debrouiller} I am guessing that the ability to speak and understand French across the Brit expat community is low to dire. The bar of expectation is set low. Occasionally, usually a younger person, has a go at English. To date nobody has taken me upon the suggestion that if they speak French and I speak English we should be able to communicate quite effectively.

I’ll make a statement here. Only one person really knows my ability to understand French, written and spoken, and my level of my less capable oral delivery, my French language teacher. The wife is a close second.

On the whole people here know that the level of Franglais is poor. I have even had someone talking louder to me in French because that will obviously aid my understanding. People think they know that Brits as a whole are shit at French. So, when the wife speaks, they are very pleasantly surprised. I have an inkling on occasion they prolong the conversation to see how good she is.

What people do not know is that when I am communicating with them I not only use my learned level of French but my skill at intuition and interpolation. Words that have a Latin root are latent in my four-decade old vocabulary.

There is a tacit assumption that if you can’t speak the lingo that you are less intelligent. It is a prejudice common across all cultures, I suspect.

I do not have to speak French because the wife is better at it. It is quite interesting to see French men uncomfortable talking to an English woman about technical matters whilst a near silent Welshman observes. They are much more used to speaking man to man {my guess}. I have used an interpreter in Japan, so I am comfortable with this, she was a woman.

Here is my assumption, they find it uncomfortable when I try to communicate in less than perfect French and would prefer to speak at normal pace with the wife in a higher quality of language. Even though I am there. They do not know how / when to make eye contact under this circumstance.

I know that these are suppositions and assumptions, they are by way of working hypotheses. I have not concluded. I know this.

The trouble is people often conclude before they have sufficient basis for any kind of conclusion and these conclusions turn into prejudice based on what you think you know.

Here is a question:

Is what you think you know just another way of saying prejudice and preconception?

The Messenger Problem

This morning I am finding myself in a similar space to one I knew way back, when I decided to become a vegan. This space pertains in a sense to degree of hypocrisy.  We are all, whether we like to admit it or not, hypocrites to a degree.

Back then many people were soapboxing about how virtuous they were in being vegetarian. Yet they still ate cheese, eggs and some even imagined that eating fish was OK. I am a pescatarian. WTF. Many said that they were vegetarian because they did not like to eat animals, or harm animals, yet they wore leather. What they professed differed from their habit. Now when strict vegan evangelical, me, pointed out the fallacy of their logic and their mild hypocrisy it went down like a lead balloon. All that hot air was just some hot air to make them feel holier than thou compared to an omnivore.  It was an excuse to soap box.

If one does not like to hurt animals, then the logical conclusion is strict veganism.

As an aside it is also the most environmentally friendly way of living.

The problem with bearing messages that people do not like to hear is twofold. They will not be listened to and you get metaphorically shot.

If I had a pound for every time I have been shot as the messenger, in one way or another, I would have enough for a very fine meal with wine at a top of the range restaurant. People have complained to others about me pointing at truth, others have sought to get revenge or tried to hurt me, simply because they did not want to hear the truth.

So, imagine a situation in which some person is alleging that they care deeply for the environment, saying how terrible it is that there is global warming, how bad China is in terms of emissions. Imagine me asking them,

“Do you use your mobile ‘phone and for how long each day?

Where do you think the components in your ‘phone come from?

How many kilograms of carbon dioxide are you creating by your use of your mobile ‘phone?

Which do you prefer no global warming or chatting to your pals on the ‘phone?”

They might say that it is OK because everyone is doing it. They might be very annoyed with me if I asked these questions and particularly so If I asked them in front of their pals, their audience to whom them often hold court about the environment. They might try to get even as if it is some competition of point scoring.

This is the messenger problem.

If I say to you that mobile ‘phone use is environmentally hostile, would you listen AND take action, or would you try to justify your extensive creation of carbon dioxide and ignore what I have said?