Wider Karmic Implications

If you have chosen to give allegiance to the Lodge of Materialistic Forces, that is your choice. If you are still somewhat on the fence you are wavering in that general direction. Earlier on in the blog I asked; “Hawk or Dove?” Now why did I do this?

If you look at the blog content much of it points at an elevation of consciousness upwards through the emotional (astral) plane towards the detached mental plane. At the lower echelons of that plane the forces of justified materialism hold sway. At the upper end the Soul reaches down, via the conscience to infuse and advise. The evolutionary journey upwards must pass through this sedation of justified materialism to the higher intuitional (Soular) climate. But only you can decide where you linger, so to speak.

Whether you like to admit it or not you are already on the plains of Kurukṣetra, facing the adventure of a material incarnation. How you use your time, a precious commodity, is up to you. You can succumb to greed, importance and petty self-advancement, or you could choose otherwise.

In this respect you could take your bow and shoot the person trying to get a message across (me) or learn to think and discern for yourself and by yourself. Whatever you do has karmic implication, and that may be much wider and long lasting than you can imagine. Suffice it to say what is going on here may pass well beyond the face value of this blog. I am not so keen on being target practice.

If you are so important that “you” deem karma and the Soul of no or little import, then that is a choice. But think about it a little, what or who is the “you” which is making this decision?

Karma is not individual alone, it is group and even national in nature. Do you really want to share aeonial karma with the group(s) you associate with, or would you prefer to cut your own swathe?

I’ll make a statement here and it does not come from self-pity. By and large I have not been treated well in this country (England), I have experienced exclusion and gossip. I have had people endlessly arguing the toss and been subject to much political manoeuvring. There has been much which is unpleasant. I am just one being. But the microcosm reflects the macrocosm and I sample the collective behaviours. This kind of shit is commonplace. Is this what we seek for life in the 21st century?

There is but one question pertaining:

What are the wider karmic implications of aligning yourself with the Lodge of Materialistic Forces?

Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra

“After that, the conchshells, drums, bugles, trumpets and horns were all suddenly sounded, and the combined sound was tumultuous.

On the other side, both Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, stationed on a great chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells.

Lord Kṛṣṇa blew His conchshell, called Pāñcajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhīma, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell, called Pauṇḍra.

King Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of Kuntī, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughoṣa and Maṇipuṣpaka. That great archer the King of Kāśī, the great fighter Śikhaṇḍī, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, Virāṭa, the unconquerable Sātyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadī, and others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadrā, all blew their respective conchshells.

The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious. Vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

At that time Arjuna, the son of Pāṇḍu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanumān, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra drawn in military array, Arjuna then spoke to Lord Kṛṣṇa these words.

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.

Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

Sañjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, having thus been addressed by Arjuna, Lord Kṛṣṇa drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.

In the presence of Bhīṣma, Droṇa and all the other chieftains of the world, the Lord said, “Just behold, Pārtha, all the Kurus assembled here.”

There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers.

When the son of Kuntī, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus.

Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.

My whole body is trembling, my hair is standing on end, my bow Gāṇḍīva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.

I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I see only causes of misfortune, O Kṛṣṇa, killer of the Keśī demon.

I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom or happiness.

O Govinda, of what avail to us are a kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed on this battlefield? O Madhusūdana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me? O maintainer of all living entities, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth. What pleasure will we derive from killing the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra?

Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and our friends. What should we gain, O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

O Janārdana, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?

With the destruction of the dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion.

When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny.

An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the performances for offering them food and water are entirely stopped.

By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.

O Kṛṣṇa, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those whose family traditions are destroyed dwell always in hell.

Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.

Better for me if the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.

Sañjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.

—-

Sañjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full of tears, Madhusūdana, Kṛṣṇa, spoke the following words.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but to infamy.

O son of Pṛthā, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.

Arjuna said: O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who are worthy of my worship?

It would be better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though desiring worldly gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, everything we enjoy will be tainted with blood.

Nor do we know which is better – conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, we should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield.

Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.

Sañjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Kṛṣṇa, “Govinda, I shall not fight,” and fell silent.

O descendant of Bharata, at that time Kṛṣṇa, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.

Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.

As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.

O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.

That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.

The material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is sure to come to an end; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.”


Excerpted from : Bhagavad-gītā As It Is

 

Hawk or Dove?

Just now I was outside, as I often am, contemplating the gentleness vacuum, this lack of tenderness, of compassion. I was thinking about hawks and doves. And lo and behold, as the saying goes, I heard a commotion in one of the trees. I looked and out of the tree flew a blackbird with a kestrel in hot pursuit. They flew past me only a couple of metres away, over the hedge and into the neighbour’s garden. I hope the blackbird got away though the kestrel will miss its breakfast.

When you are in your mind, being tough and efficient, you can be cold and heartless. All those lovely spreadsheets and pie charts are more than a little devoid of humanity, they are just numbers. There is no face to them. The hawks like these but they tell not the story of what the doves sees. A world full of hawks is not a nice place, it is angular and with many talons. There is no balance.

Are you an efficient hawk or a caring dove?

I suspect that target-world eradicates doves and at their passing the world is bereft. Something is missing which you cannot find on a spreadsheet, you can’t quantify it with a graph. The dove-vacuum is most sorely missed when there is call for a gentle caring touch. A hawk is no good at mopping tears or quenching sobs with a hug. All that sense making, all that reason, only goes so far. Ambition causes collateral damage and without humanity, it gets very bleak.

Having cued this up:

Are you a hawk or a dove?

If hawk, have you ever even noticed the dove-vacuum?

If dove, do you sometimes despair for the hawks?

Are You Reasonable?

Many think that being reasonable is a good thing, they may even aspire to the accolade of reasonable man, thinking that this might imply a sound, comprehensive faculty of discernment and weighing all the angles of an argument. But reason only goes so far, so often it merges with excuse and justification. And these have to be sold to others. It takes a brave man to point out that a justification is not the same as something fully reasoned. There is a major fallacy associated with reason and this is that almost inevitably it is based in a socio-political context. The two things are inextricably linked, because reason has to it the normative basis of what society deems reasonable. As a consequence, reason, strange as it may seem, can be causal of atrocity. If we don’t like the way a bunch of a-rabs are behaving then it is reasonable to effect regime change which causes death, destruction and a massive migration crisis; which in turns leads to unrest at home. Reason is not infallible and more often it is a way of arguing for something we want, seek or desire. It is a pretend pseudo-logic used to justify.

Reason is a tool for manipulation, it lies aback the salesman’s pitch and the advertiser’s enticement. The reason for using this lovely fifteen compartment washing capsule is that it is so much better and more convenient than our competitor. Their washing capsule has only fourteen compartments, Q.E.D., our capsule is better, and you need to pay that little bit extra to join the enlightened users of the novel quantum chromodynamic washing system. Should you do this instantaneously you will be transformed into a model, a sex goddess and a perfect mum, who will be the envy of all and sundry.

OK, I have over-egged this, but do you get the idea? Reason can be used to manipulate.

Reason can have a convenient and expedient, self or group centred myopia.

What is reasonable in one socio-political context, is unreasonable in another. And reason has a poor memory, it is also selective. For example, many claim to be Christian and unless I am mistaken vengeance is not a Christian value. Yet we have people, claiming to be Christian insisting that it is fair that a child murder be punished as an adult and for life in the USA. The victim can no longer walk the earth; therefore, the perpetrator must be locked away until they die. The reasoning is faulty. It is used to manipulate a desired outcome, in this case vengeance. It is not fair that the perpetrator should be free, ever.

Attached to this notion of reason is this equally bizarre notion of fair. Many a highly paid executive justifies an inflated salary on grounds of fairness, but it is a selective justification in which the more able arguer wins a greater salary. What is fair can be only in the eyes of the person making this claim. Everybody else is wrong. If one is using reason, it is not reasonable that there is such a huge pay differential. It is skewed, but the skewing need not be so marked. To be true some are simply greedy bastards.

To be reasonable, is to be malleable, able to be reasoned. One can be persuaded, influenced, convinced, manipulated, brainwashed and brow beaten by reasons. The peer group and this “social consensus” thingamajig is a major component of reason. It is man-made and as a certain Vulcan might say, illogical.

At the back of reason there is often an agenda, simple as.

Having perhaps tainted this notion of reason:

Am I a reasonable being?

Is this a good thing?

Has my reason ever gotten me into trouble?

Is reason comprehensive and all encompassing?

Moral Leadership

Over the weekend we have had a politician berating a charity over its moral leadership. Which seems a bit rich. It is very easy for the pot to call the kettle black.

What then is this moral leadership? To whom do we look for this noumenon?

I suspect that like many things it comes down to the decisions we make and the actions we do. It comes down to those close call decisions about how we conduct ourselves. A decision may present the expedient and advantageous or the righteous and the morally upstanding. Given that success and acquisition hold more sway than righteousness in the minds of many, most would plump for the expedient and advantageous. People might overlook the dalliances if it leads to greater acquisition. We ignore faults so as to further some other agenda. A successful banker who makes lots of money for a company is unlikely to get much censure for his whoring and cocaine sniffing, provided that he brings in the bacon. That is unless somehow there is a PR risk caused say by an incriminating photo in the press or some such. There is something about a risk-taking mentality that leads to gain, so the bottom line is always the balance sheet. I would hazard a guess that the balance sheet is for many the only moral arbiter. But faults coagulate and grow by permission. Things overlooked for expedience can escalate and become very inconvenient in the fullness of time. A culture starts to pervade.

And of course, all ideals are subject to the realities of human imperfection. It is the easiest thing in the world to go “tut tut” and then not look at what oneself is doing. For the world is our mirror and reflects many things back for us to observe should we seek to do so.

I’ll speculate that is the sum or integral over a whole bunch of little things which leads to a culture straying from morality. And once the culture is embedded a new “normal” is born, a normal which allows errancy, provided that the bacon supply remains uninterrupted. Pretty soon in a death by a thousand tiny cuts, the moral compass is damaged if not abandoned entirely. What once was unacceptable is now acceptable. The moral compass becomes collateral damage in the competition to win and acquire.

It is a strange almost old-fashioned thing to think of moral leadership. Who gives a shit?

In the rugby on Saturday, there was a race between an England player and a Wales player to touch the ball down in the in-goal area. By the tiniest of margins, the Wales player won the race, touched the ball down and believed he had scored. The referee turned to the TMO and the try was disallowed. Way back when I used to play were I in the place of the England player I would have congratulated the Wales player on scoring, fair and square. But winning is so important, these days. Is there still a place for sportsmanship?

Having cued this up:

Is winning more important than morals?

Of what use is a moral victory?

Do I recognise this death by a thousand cuts of the moral compass?

To whom do I look for moral leadership, who are the exemplars?

The Outsiders

I’ll start this off with something I once actually heard someone say; “We want him inside the tent with us not outside the tent pissing in”. Whilst this may be “management” speak, it refers to a slight problem and that is how to deal with an “outsider”. If you are in the tent, then anyone outside the tent is suspect, but not everyone likes tents.

Society as a whole has a very mixed view on outsiders. On the one hand they are strange creatures, to be pitied and ridiculed, maybe even hunted down and destroyed. On the other hand, they are evocative, mysterious and able to do things that “normal” folk cannot. The strange gunman who drifts in off the high plains, the tortured genius who comes up with a solution despite societal prejudice against him, the freedom fighter who starts a revolution from his prison cell. Outsiders are strangely, hero and villain at one and the same time. And many a teenager has felt sometimes an alien in his or her own world.

Anyone who has the temerity to question the status quo runs the risk of being alienated and excluded; maybe even having the dogs sent after them. They are OK so long as they are solving some crisis but after that they can fuck right off, so that normal folk can get back to their normal sociopolitical conniving. Once the hired gun has killed the corrupt sheriff, the townsfolk seek to do away with him. The outsider becomes the hunted, the mob once welcoming turns nasty and upon him once his usefulness is over.

The townsfolk never consider that tracking down the outsider, ganging up on him, and hunting him down, is in fact bullying. They may even assume that this method might endear themselves with him, because after all how he could possibly not want to be “in the tent” so to speak. The townsfolk are not very self-aware. After a crisis has passed the townsfolk want to restore their social order and not have their power structures threatened so at best, they seek to jettison the outsider like a used condom. Maybe they try to assimilate the outsider but that would be too risky, too unpredictable.

Human society has double standards.

Having cued this up, a simple question:

With whom do I empathise, the townsfolk or the outsider?

Accidentally on Purpose

“he simply passes over mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.”

transgression

noun: transgression; plural noun: transgressions

an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence.

That I Ching has gotten me thinking about the grey areas, where someone claims they have made an error, a mistake, when in fact they have done it “accidentally on purpose”. For example, an aspiring model might manufacture a nip-slip to get some headlines. In other spheres, when the “mistakes” start to mount, one could imagine distraction, incompetence or deliberate intention. We may all have engineered bumping into someone “accidentally on purpose”, we may have over-egged something “accidentally” and with some measure of plausible deniability. Nobody can prove for sure what our motives are and there can at best only ever be circumstantial “evidence”.

From time to time, people do intend harm and then pretend that they did not. We are a funny bunch. People do lie and do so intentionally, they may lie because they have gotten the facts wrong themselves, there is less intention then. They may simply be deluded. Or it is possible that the truth they are sharing is of doubtful provenance, a Chinese whisper.

These grey areas are strange. If we do something accidentally on purpose there is usually some ambition associated, an outcome desired. It may be subconscious or fully deliberate. Always there is some kind of motive. Genuine “accidents” are probably rarer than those done “accidentally on purpose”.

The trouble is that when we have transgressed, we can’t undo that transgression, whether it was intentional or otherwise.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever transgressed accidentally on purpose?

Did I subsequently claim a purity of accident which wasn’t there?

Was I believed?