Friday, 30 December 2011

CHRISTMAS. WHAT DID JESUS ACTUALLY SAY?


What did Jesus say? Not his followers. Not the Cardinals. Not the popes. Not the Archbishops and bishops. Not the Patriarchs. Not Moses or David or Solomon. Not Paul. Not the priests. Not the biblical scholars. Not the historians. Not Augustine or Thomas a Kempis or Origen or Aquinas. Not your grandmother.
Christianity grew out of what Jesus said and did. What he did was to heal all manner of diseases (including death) and cast out devils. What he said could be reduced to just three things (if you really had to choose only three things).

Love the Lord your God.
Love your neighbour as yourself.
Do unto others as you would be done to. 

Out of these seeds has grown the enormous jungle which is Christianity today. Full of the fighting of wars against Moslems, the killing of Christians by Christians. The burning of "heretics" and "witches" by the "Holy" Inquisition. The mental and physical enslavement of South American Indians. The sexual abuse of children by priests. The accumulation of wealth.

The accumulation of unprecedented wealth and "treasures upon earth" in the Vatican.

What did Jesus say? Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Matthew 19: 21

Every year, the Pope urges the rich to give to the poor. 

If he followed Jesus' advice and put it all up for auction with Christies, he could go a long way towards wiping out the Third World Debt!

He would no longer need a bullet-proof pope-mobile.





NEW PROJECT: A CHAIN IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS WEAKEST LINK



Sunday, 4 December 2011

RUNAWAY TRAIN


Your country is a runaway train, steaming along without a driver, while the passengers struggle with each other for the better seats or fight the staff for entry into the driver's cabin or argue about where it is going or should be going.


No-one is in control. No-one can stop it with the brakes. No-one can operate the run-off points and re-route it to somewhere safe. It takes courage to get off!


Your world is an even bigger runaway train.


But the most significant runaway trains are in the brains of the passengers and the staff: thought trains. Associative, compulsive, remembering, regretting, fearful, hungry, dissatisfied, uncontrollable thought trains.


Can you decide "Stop!" and it stops?


Can you re-route it onto happy, creative, positive, contributive, affectionate thought trains?

Can you "get off" altogether?

The Runaway Train, which is your country, has no driver. The last driver sold himself. To a Group of men in First Class. There he now sits. With his back to the engine.

The Group stripped the driver's cabin of all  instruments, dead man's handle, electronic equipment etc. including a  SIGN, which reads KEEP OUT! DRIVER AND AUTHORISED PERSONNEL ONLY. They also sold the door linking  the cabin to the  rest of the train. They replaced it with a steel plate which has a small window. Through this can be seen the back of a life-sized puppet. In driver's uniform. Strapped to the driver's seat.

The Group sold the assets to another group in Third Class. This group has reassembled the assets in the guards van, which now resembles a driver's cabin put together by a gang of  ergo-gnomists called  lunatics. It also has the SIGN.

The group is now systematically working its way through Third Class, telling passengers that the value of their tickets has fallen below the cost of the journey. They are worth nothing and therefore invalid. They actually have a minus value. But this can be set as a discount on new tickets. These they must now buy or risk being thrown off the train.

When this reorganisation of Third Class has been effected, the group will move on to First Class. They will explain to the Group that their tickets too are invalid and that their minus value is greater than that of the Third Class tickets because the initial purchase price was higher.

Trapped between the steel door and the group, the Group will use up all the money they got from the sale of assets to bribe the group to go away. When all the money has gone, there will be a battle between the Group and the group which the group will win. The last surviving Leader of the Group will be dragged out from under his seat, dismembered and thrown out on both side of the tracks. He will then be formally tried and convicted.

The group will then start fighting the rest of the passengers who will by then have formed groups of their own. When the survivors are too weak to fight any more, they will then slouch in their seats, moaning and complaining, until the train hits the wherever it is going.

This, they will discover, is not, after all, HEAVEN.

In the Brain Train, the driver - You - sold out to Desire longer ago than you can remember. You continue to sit in the front seat looking backwards at whatever it is that Desire wants you to see. This, you have discovered, is not, after all, Heaven.

The runaway train which is your country (and your world) can be stopped or re-routed if a man with 100% Ethics were to take the wheel.

100% Ethics is: Don't do Evil. Cultivate Good. Purify the Mind.

Where Evil is anything which harms another being (including oneself).
          Good is anything which is for the benefit of other beings (including oneself).
          Purifying the Mind is getting rid of every kind of unwholesome, dishonest and mischievous mental impulse, thought and feeling.
           Harming another being is doing something to another which another does not want and one would not want done to oneself.
Is there a single Head of Government anywhere on this planet who has 100% Ethics? Answers, please.
            
The runaway trains in the brain need 100% Ethics, too. But the thoughts and impulses have to be brought under control. It is beneficial if the driver of your car is a good man. But that's not enough if he can't control the car.



NEW PROJECT: CHRISTMAS. 
WHAT DID JESUS ACTUALLY SAY ?
Not followers, priests, academics, enthusiasts.
The man himself.
The most reliable historical record is in the Four Gospels. In the King James' version Jesus' words are in red. Taken together they provide a historical link with the man. There are also words in red in the Book of Revelation but these are not Jesus' words. This book is the work of a visionary, John, full of poetry and prophesies which might or might not happen. The man himself is historical. The contents of his book are not.



Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WHY HOPE FOR WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE?


It is in the Present that everything is done. From the point of view of the mind, it is in the Future that the consequences occur. The mind invents a Future in which to perceive these consequences and moves towards them. If these consequences are seen to be both essential and realisable, the state of the perceiving mind is Hope. If they are seen to be essential but unrealisable, it is Despair.

Action is in the Present. The power to do things exists in the Present, too. Not only that, it exists inside you. Everything that has ever come into existence (including you) comes from that source. Everything that will come into existence (including future you), will come from that source.


It is the Centre. Locate it. Investigate it. Learn how to use it.




NEW PROJECT: RUNAWAY TRAIN




Monday, 14 November 2011

NO HOPE; NO DESPAIR


Do they not realise that building is for gods?  
Cannot even the wise think it odd
that a man must slave
for what he cannot have?
Is it left to be the knowledge of the few
that life is only something to be got through?


You needn’t wilt
or tire,
nothing need be built
any higher.

NEW PROJECT: WHY HOPE FOR WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE?


Monday, 7 November 2011

THE POLITICS OF DESPAIR


The great gates hang
on broken hinges,
the temples blaze,
the walls are breached;
the palaces have all been looted
the end of a dynasty has been reached.
Those still living
have all been taken,
women and children have been sold;
the last king hangs
from the palace lintel,
the images burn to give up their gold.
Think,
when you dream of country houses,
of shattered rafters and sudden fear;
and, as you climb the social ladder,
remember the last king
hanging here.
                                           Blondin


Look on my works, ye Mighty, and Despair (Ozymandias)



NEW PROJECT: NO HOPE; NO DESPAIR


Monday, 31 October 2011

IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN?


Doing is only possible Now. If it's an intention for tomorrow, the intention is done now. The action may be done tomorrow. But, among other possibilities, tomorrow may not come and you may not be alive.

    NOW 
    Now.
    Sit down.
    Let go.
    Tomorrow’s now will be no more than this
    - another was.

    Nothing is enough
    to distract
    your present thought.

    And your present thought
    is only a movement between two points,
    a wave that leaves the water behind,
    plotted by an electrical mind.

    So take your nothing.
    Now.


    Old Dhong says "if you have noodles, eat them Now!"



NEW PROJECT: THE POLITICS OF DESPAIR


Monday, 24 October 2011

SINNER MAN

There is nowhere outside where Sinner Man can hide. The karmic results of one's sins are within and you take within with you wherever you go. Medieval Christians were taught that the only things you can take with you at death that will be of any assistance to you are your Good Deeds.  In the Tibetan rituals, which attempt to guide the dying man over the bridge of death, he is constantly reminded "Remember your Good Deeds."

But you can't remember your good deeds if you haven't done any.

Undoubtedly you have done not-good deeds.

When are you going to stop the not-good and start seriously doing good deeds?

It will certainly be too late if you wait until "that day".

And they need to be genuine.  Nowadays the emphasis is increasingly on packaging and labelling which hide and disguise what the product actually is.

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, it is described how the dead man's heart is weighed on the scale of Maat against the feather of truth.  If his heart is lighter than the feather, he is allowed to pass into the afterlife.

Maat = Truth, law, morality, justice.
Book of the Dead: better translated as "Book of emerging forth into the Light".


NEW PROJECT: IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?


Monday, 17 October 2011

THE JUNGLE OF SPEECH


AFTERNOON TEA AT THE WARNEFORD*

Speech
reaches out
to whisper and shout,
praise and curse,
across a silent universe;
making of molecular vibration
a means of human communication.

It wasn’t always quite like this;
the groans
and moans,
the hiss
and howls
in the warm pre-Cambrian mud
were eloquent enough avowals
of love and hatred, fear and blood.

Even now,
it isn’t always quite the same;
the grunts and lowing
of pig and cow
in farmyard barn and shed
make no poetic claim
but express the cosmic suffering
of the living and the dead.

When fragile humankind
comes here to peer,
through spiralling downwards mind,
into thorny jungles of raw sensation,
it loses its clear articulation;
the fine distinction
of the human word
is dislocated and blurred
into jabbering of animal and bird.


* Warneford Hospital, formerly Warneford Lunatic Asylum, two and a half miles east of Oxford city centre where the professional and middle classes, including senior and junior members of the University, came (come) when they could no longer cope with the lives they had created for themselves.


NEW PROJECT: SINNER MAN

"Hey Sinner Man,
Where you gonna run to?
Hey there Sinner Man
Where you gonna run to?
Hey Sinner Man
Where you gonna run to
All on that Day?"

Monday, 10 October 2011

ECONOMY OF SPEECH TWO


Are you married?

"Yes."

There's economy of speech, for you! But wait a minute. Listen again.

"Yes," she said drily /sadly/ thoughtfully/ explosively / miserably / happily / dully / laughingly /tearfully / defensively / aggressively / quizzically / triumphantly / humbly / proudly/ coldly / cheerfully / hopelessly /regretfully / confidently / doubtfully / angrily / stubbornly / sexily / hopefully / lugubriously / manically / suicidally /dreamily / shyly / breathlessly / untruthfully / arrogantly / gratefully /discretely /painfully / mournfully.

The fact is that the word is a neutral statement of the case. But it is often accompanied by feelings or emotions. A piece of speech not only indicates something but also reflects and reveals the speaker's mental (or physical) state. It is a mental footprint. Even when the mind attempts to use speech to hide something, it becomes a footprint of the mind attempting to hide something.


NEW PROJECT: THE JUNGLE OF SPEECH



Monday, 3 October 2011

ECONOMY OF SPEECH


Everything that can be said, can be said clearly. What one cannot speak of one should be silent about.

Question: If one is asked for a bunch of carrots from the garden, why does one struggle in with an overflowing wheel barrow? (To be sure there may also be carrots in there somewhere.)

Answer: Either the mind is confused (garden garden must bring something from the garden).
Or it is deceived (it doesn't really know what carrots are). Why doesn't it admit this and ask?
Or it is deceiving (if I can ramble on long enough, I can bury the answer and he won't notice that I don't answer the question or he might even forget altogether).

Question: What is the aim of this project?

Answer: To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.


NEW PROJECT: ECONOMY OF SPEECH TWO



Monday, 26 September 2011

MAKE SOMEONE ELSE REALLY HAPPY THIS WEEK

Since the natural state of beings is happiness and they become unhappy by choosing to think, say and do things which lead to unhappiness, it is hard to imagine what one might do to help them out.

If one were seen to fill one's watering can and walk to an already full pond and empty it carefully in it and, on being asked what one was doing, one replied, "helping to make the fish wet"; it might be thought that one was wet oneself or at least in need of help.

If there were fish flapping around on the dry land next to the pond, it might seem sensible to throw them back in. But if they had spent a lot of time and effort in struggling to jump out of the pond in order to further their careers, like oneself, on dry land, one's efforts might go unappreciated.

No. The answer is that, since their natural state is happiness and they leave it of their own freewill, the really helpful thing to do is to avoid doing anything which might cause them inconvenience or nudge them out of their natural state. That is the half of it.

The other half is, without any kind of ostentation, to generate from one's heart, wherever one is, indiscriminate goodwill towards all beings, without any expectation of appreciation.

The role model is the radiator in the hall; maintained, fully functioning and full on, it warms the house whether we are aware of the source of heat or not. And it is quite oblivious of being appreciated or not.

Like that other radiator in the sky. The sun shines on the good and the bad, the deserving and the undeserving. The rich and the poor.

In a world which has become very cold indeed everywhere with the coldness of misery and poverty and war and disease caused by beings wilfully turning their backs on their natural state - happiness.


NEW PROJECT: ECONOMY OF SPEECH

Monday, 19 September 2011

HERE IS NOW


You can say the Girl IS Jill. You can't say the Girl IS a Boy. Not unless you mean that you had always thought Jill was a girl but now discover that she has been a boy all along. That is, you are saying that the boy is a boy, which makes sense. Boys are boys and girls are girls.

Here IS Now follows the same rule. It must mean that they are not different. You thought that Here referred to the dimension of Space, and Now referred to the dimension of Time, and that they were different dimensions. But now, you are being told that they are the same, that they must, in some way refer to the same dimension.

The mystery is solved when one realises that Time does not exist.

When we look for Time, all that we see are movements through Space: hands turning on a clock; sand trickling through an hour glass; heavenly bodies moving through space; molecules coming together as things come into existence and grow; falling apart as things "decay" and "die".

For millions of years we lived in the present and had no knowledge of or need for "Time". We did not anticipate a tomorrow and our experience was that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." We "laboured not neither did we spin", "Yet I say unto you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (lilies).

Now we cannot do without our invention of Time. The servant has become the master. We work harder and harder to keep up with first the hour hand; then the minute hand; then the second hand. We are like lemmings; like Wildebeest breathless in our haste to meet the crocodiles of Serengeti as soon as possible, yet terrified of the inevitability of meeting them.

When we stop movement and sit completely STILL, mind and body, Time, which never existed and which we have invented, completely disappears.

    STILLNESS is
    the space between movements
    the crack in the universe
    the gloved hand
    with the art
    to pull apart
    two thin life stitches
    and let a stab of nothing in.

This is Eternity, in which there is no "Time" and even "Now" becomes irrelevant.



NEW PROJECT: MAKE SOMEONE ELSE REALLY HAPPY THIS WEEK


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

NEW WINE IN NEW BOTTLES


And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
— Luke 5:36-39, Authorised King James' Version.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
— New International Version (NIV)

The established Christian Churches are Old Wine.  As is Tibetan Buddhism.  And Anythingyoulikeism.


NEW PROJECT: HERE IS NOW


Monday, 5 September 2011

JUMPING FROM THE GIRLS' BEDROOM WINDOW


JUMPING IS THROUGH THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS.

If you jump, the only way is downwards.

You cannot unjump. Just as you cannot unbreak a window.

Where to?
The courtyard below with its slate slabs. Bone breakers.

And then?
A lot depends on what you take with you as memory.

Did you jump? You are responsible.
Were you pushed or thrown out? 
Or is that just your self justification?

What next?
You travel onwards and away, experiencing the consequences of your action.

Where and when do "onwards and outwards" end?

Nowhere. Never. Everything has to be answered for, one way or another. Karma is perfect.


NEW PROJECT: NEW WINE IN NEW BOTTLES