Towards a New Dreaming {Rainbow Serpent}

History shows that all over the world people who imagine they know best have tried to foist their ideas, belief and culture on others who they deem are “below” them. They inflict themselves on others and cause havoc and devastation through their prejudice.

I have nearly finished reading “Mysteries of the Dream-Time” by James Cowan and was struck by this section. So I have scanned it and wish to share with one and all.

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?

A Form of Prejudice?

If I as a practising Buddhist believe that reputation and opinion are not real is it possible for me to interact with people who insist that they are real and important things?

Would they be prejudiced against my beliefs and insist on their imagined “reality” as being meaningful and the only one?

Is it a matter of faith on their part, that reputation and opinion are important?

Who is being superstitious?

Who is being logical?

How important is reputation when you are in your box and on the way to the crematorium?

Do your opinions travel with you into the afterlife?

Does the SARS-CoV-2 virus give a shit about reputation and opinion?

How accurate is opinion?

Do opinions differ?

Is opinion a fixed thing or is it time varying?

Does opinion vary according to the audience with which you are sharing it?

Would you share the same opinions with a WOKE audience as with a neo-nazi one?

Do I share my opinions of others without considering the consequences?

Say you believed in God would you try to convince others of your conviction?

About what are you evangelical?

Is reductionist quasi-moral moderated materialistic hedonism the only sane use of the single life you are granted before you succumb to the laws of entropy?

If I don’t kow-tow and worship your reputation am I being disrespectful?

Who is higher status an initiate or a professor?

Which one cares about status?

Which one believes in status?

Is status simply a construct only found in the impermanent and temporary minds of mankind?

Are you possessed by your possessions?

Or do you possess them?

How attached are you to stuff?

If you are intubated and, on a ventilator, is your stuff important?

What about your status, reputation and opinion?

Does the ventilator care?

De baard maakt geen wijsgeer;

anders was er de bok goed aan.

La barbe ne fait pas le philosophe.

We place a lot of stock in appearances and repute; how much stock we invest depends upon our fondness and reliance upon these things. We might like groovy beards, gowns and hats, robes, or even a paragraph of post nominals. And what with all the hipsters around these days, who to trust?

We can be very hasty in forming our opinions and strangely we rely on the opinions and hearsay of others. This reliance can preclude us from finding out for ourselves and making up our own minds. If someone is clean shaven then it stands to reason they cannot be a philosopher. Or does it?

A couple of years back I looked into doing a Ph.D. in philosophy and philosophy of science to boot. In a number of cases my prior Ph.D. was an impediment and in others my lack of formal training as a philosopher was the deal breaker. I am not without some ability. There are lot of these pre-conditions in the world to day and if you don’t look the part, have loads of referees and the right kind of beard, that is the end of that.

We are prejudiced.

We might call this criteria for a vacancy, we may have an entire grid of these. If someone does not look the part, on paper, we never even get to check out his beard. We may even formally agree about our prejudices when drawing up a specification. And of course, people can be ageist and prejudiced against cancer as well.

 We may lose out because of our prejudices.

Having cued this up:

Is it even possible that I have lost out on something because of my prejudices and pre-conditions?

Dharma of the Day #9 {mind}

 

absolutely certain mind

is already wrong

but in its arrogance

doesn’t yet know it

 

it is not possible mind

is infertile and sterile

it cannot conceive

it has had a hysterectomy

 

you are not “one of us” mind

demarcates the boundaries

laying barbed wire and mines

in order to abort nascence

 

terrified of the new mind

goes around the race track

many, many, many times

it takes no pit stops, to consider

 

joy of a child mind

is filled with awe and wonder

and is as fluid and mercurial

as can be, in so doing, it soars

 

full of rubbish mind

recycles old thoughts

seemingly endlessly

it makes Sisyphus’ life look easy

 

dogmatic opinion mind

cannot differentiate opinion

from garnered knowledge

it is a tad myopic

 

broad vision mind

swells on ocean tides

and ultimately touches the shores

of every continent

learn to lift your consciousness

out of the dark depths of your own anus

perhaps in so doing

you might see a new cosmos

 

there you might find

utter humility

and magnificent sensations

at the marvel of all creation!!

 

A Beautiful Winter Day

It is very still and very quiet here today. No traffic on the road due to confinement, there were a few Day-Glo cyclists this morning, out building an appetite for lunch. Nearly all the leaves are down and the sun low in the sky casts lovely images on the mirror of our pond. It is so mild. Last year it rained near every day in November. I was pretty much housebound then, starting to use my Zimmer frame and then crutches.

I am more than a little knackered, been doing a whole heap of wall preparation, filling and sanding. When you move to a new house you get to uncover the DIY projects of others and understand about their attention to detail or lack of it. It tells you a little about their mentality.

I was even able to use a step ladder. This tends to mess up my good leg. I am much more nervous on a ladder than I used to be. The wood-burner is due for installation next week and should my knee get better I’ll be doing some flooring Tuesday or Wednesday. I must say we are really looking forward to it. My pyro head can’t wait. I looked at the bottom of my shoes, the right one is more worn than the left one, which suggests that I am still favouring my right leg considerably.

I have been reflecting today on how many people pooh-pooh stuff without trying it or even exploring it a bit. There is a knee jerk reaction based in ignorance or fear. So now we have been in a year when various politicians say that they are following “the” science and others talk BS about using bleach. Here in France I read a poll today that suggests half of the people don’t want to take a vaccine. They are perhaps afraid or suspicious. In the UK the vaccine is being hyped like sliced bread. During the year the wife has had many conversations with me about how to read data, she is a language major. So now she knows a little more about graphs…she has taken over the room preparation and is on the first coat of paint.

Over the years I have dabbled in spirituality and New Age, the people there are suspicious of me because I am / was a scientist. People who are scientists may think me whacko for dabbling thus. Both sets have prejudiced people in them!! How do you know unless you give something a good unbiased exploration? The answer is you don’t, you would be opining perhaps because you like the sound of your own voice.

How do you know if you are prejudiced? Would one even notice?

Hmnn…

Dharma of the Day #5

your expectations and those of others

are the bricks and the iron bars

with which mutual imprisonment

is forcefully maintained;

abandon all expectations

 

the wish life of the lower mind

creates a concatenation

which manacles the spirit

and blinds true relations;

look very far beyond wishes

 

the coils of prejudice

squeeze tighter than any Anaconda

circling thought mind

suffocates any nascent growth;

learn to be fluid

 

the tourniquet of reason

prevents the flow of blood

the cells of new being

are hence deprived;

seek to live like a mountain stream

 

water does not ever bind

it seeks out new paths

and bends the reeds of circumstance

without damaging them

in so doing it rejoices, daily

 

learn to laugh like the streams

who caress the mossy beards on all of the rocks

pensive and considerate on their journey

for the banks of a river are merely temporary

water, in time, always merges with Dao

 

the essence of existence is to merge

to become at-one with the universe

in this water is a great teacher

for water knows its place;

find yours and learn from it each and every morning

A Philosopher Asks Buddha

A philosopher asked Buddha: “Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me truth?”

The Buddha kept silence.

The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying: “With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.”

After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained.

The Buddha replied: “A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.”

Mumon’s comment: Ananda was the disciple of the Buddha. Even so, his opinion did not surpass that of outsiders. I want to ask you monks: How much difference is there between disciples and outsiders?

 

        To tread the sharp edge of a sword,

        To run on smooth-frozen ice,

        One needs no footsteps to follow.

        Walk over the cliffs with hands free.

 

The Worrier’s Path

The talker’s rule…


1) A Worrier does not believe in battles, therefore he approaches life with all the accuracy and care of someone who has drunk ten pints of “wife beater” and taken half a gram of amphetamine sulphate. A Worrier knows that knee jerk reactions are best and that repetition of folly is his favourite pastime.

2) By striving for complexity a Worrier fills his diary and day to day life with things of the utmost boredom and futility so as to avoid taking any action. A Worrier is able to construct a twenty seven dimension third order hyperpolarisability tensor for any situation so as to justify the fact that he is overwhelmed by complexity. By projecting catastrophe after catastrophe onto the world, the Worrier justifies his fear and inertia.

3) A Worrier knows that it is better to run than to stand, being sure that he can always put things off until Monday next week, when he can, if there is time, review how to put them off until the following month. A Worrier is sure that there is no such thing as the eternal now and his favourite mantra are “if only” and “what if?”

4) A Worrier never enters into battle because he knows that the control of his self image, view of the world and personal history are what keeps him sane. As such a Worrier is always obsessed with controlling his life so that he can, after all, have life on his own terms.

5) Whenever faced with even the slightest of difficulty the Worrier capitulates to the sound judgment of his infallible reason. He becomes obsessed with displacement activities and bends the true meaning of life to fit with all his preconceptions and prejudice.

6) A Worrier stretches time so that his life is filled with the exquisite beauty of hours spent in the dental waiting room looking forward with anticipation to that root canal work in the absence of anaesthetic. By making life as boring as possible he will extend his apparent longevity by decades. Hence his life will seem like an eternity.

7) A Worrier is convinced that he is only his self image and ensures that his personal history is sufficiently intact that he can be bound to it. A Worrier never reveals to himself the fact that he is a magical being of the universe.

Prejudice, Dogma and Doctrine Quotes

Any deviation is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred and prejudice.

Joey Skaggs

 

I’m interested in the fact that the less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.

Clint Eastwood

 

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

E.B. White

 

The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it.

Alexander Cockburn

 

Whenever I run into prejudice. I smile and feel sorry for them, and I say to myself, There’s one more argument for birth control.

Freddy Fender

 

Any stigma, as the old saying is, will serve to beat a dogma.

Philip Guedalla

 

Every dogma has its day.

Anthony Burgess

 

A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

A faith is something you die for, a doctrine is something you kill for. There is all the difference in the world.

Tony Benn

 

For the poet the credo or doctrine is not the point of arrival but is, on the contrary, the point of departure for the metaphysical journey.

Joseph Brodsky

 

I’m a participant in the doctrine of constructive ambiguity.

Vernon A. Walters

 

There are times in history where a particular doctrine becomes a symbol of a greater problem.

Pat Robertson

 

When a person is determined to believe something, the very absurdity of the doctrine confirms them in their faith.

Junius