It’s so easy to call something we don’t like or understand “stupid.”
I find myself constantly calling our factually-challenged POTUS “stupid”, but it’s labeling and name-calling and gets us nowhere. Here’s why:
Like art, stupidity is in the eye of the beholder. I call sports stupid. To me the concussions and other injuries, make it “stupid” plus I find it a waste of time and money. Half the country (or more) would completely disagree and call me “stupid” for saying such a thing. It’s easy to see these divergent views in subjective matters, like art, sports, and games, but what about objective issues like facts? Are there any absolutes… in anything?
Before I completely dive off into the quantum realm, let me mention what prompted this estoteric analysis. Someone on twitter called the February 6 SpaceX launch of the #FalconHeavy cargo “stupid.” I’m not sure if the “twit” thought the overall concept of space exploration is “stupid” or just the idea of shooting a $100-thousand dollar Tesla Roadster into deep space (with a MILLION $ worth of mods 😉 ) It’s easy to argue that both are wasteful, when we have so many problems here on Earth. BUT, if this planet is indeed dying—as many claim—then we should thank our “stars”, pioneers like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson who are trying to find solutions, even if it means eventual relocation (to another planet.)
It may sound crazy (or stupid) at first, the idea that to survive humans may have to relocate, however as coastal areas continue to flood and Earth grows warmer (for whatever reason), people will move. At first, more people will move to “fly over” country. That is going to create some incredible tension. Rural gun-toters and “preppers” have been getting ready for this show down.
If the ocean truly has less than 30 years left—and scientists say when all the coral reefs die, other ocean life will quickly die, too—then humans are doomed. Those same experts say when the ocean is gone, human life cannot survive. Many, like my pal Al Gore, have understood all this for years.
Now here comes the finale: so who is stupid? The people who ignore climate facts, or the people trying to find solutions? Some deniers appear stupid, refusing to consider any of this. Many of them claim “End Times” are inevitable, predicted in the Bible (and other holy books), so why fight it? Just get ready.
Maybe that’s the only thing we can agree on– getting ready. Is that with a gun so you can “go out” killing everything and everyone who poses a threat? Billionaires are buying secret hide-aways where they can “hole up” if it comes to that. Buddhists and other pacifists are preparing mentally, with mind-training, and point out nothing is actually “solid” anyway. There are only molecules, planets and #space.
On the first day, actually in the first hour, of Anthony Scaramucci’s new gig as #Fake45’s White House Communications Director, he claimed Trump has “really good karma.” What?
The former hedge fund manager is not Seeing Clearly* how karma works. 🤑 CNN’s lovable Jake Tapper wasn’t much clearer claiming karma “takes place in the next life.”
It’s trendy thinking that yoga means physical postures and karma is only tied to an afterlife, but actually neither is true. Yoga refers to practice, usually a spiritual practice, and karma is cause and effect (which can ripen immediately or much later.) Either way Trump is FAR from generating “good karma.”
Nothing limits karmic consequences to a future life… in fact, “extreme thoughts of malice” often ripen quickly (in this lifetime.) We can “purify” (clear karma) or continue on mindlessly, uncontrollably repeating our patterns (sound like our fearless leader?) While “negative” actions can result in a miserable future life, in Buddhist thinking it’s also possible to prevent future rebirths through beneficial actions in this life. Who knew karma was so complicated, Moochie!
As you can see, it’s basically impossible for me to write about Trump without generating angst, anger and karmic consequence for myself. It’s why I stopped blogging about him. I’m convinced the candidate and and his campaign colluded in Russian espionage to get into the White House and don’t understand why the “MSM” is so willing to accept that he won legitimately. Let #Mueller or a totally independent, bipartisan commission decide that.
Why am I and others so suspicious of Trump’s Russian connections? 1) there are an INCREDIBLE number of ties and links (to use Trump lingo) so many that a Buddhist might call it “auspicious” (but that exalted term is reserved for “good karma” not dirty tricks. ) 2) follow the money. Financial trails are quite revealing. In this case, after the Donald had stiffed all the U.S. banks (call that “bad karma”), he found friendlier funding sources through Deutsche Bank, Chinese and Russian banks and maybe some in Cypress.
And, it’s impossible to search Trump topics without encountering nefarious web sites. Russian and Ukranian hackers and bots have created so many #FakeNews sites, that unless you are a savvy web user, you can easily get sucked into scam sites and stories. I’ve noticed that if I click on some of these dubious links I get virus warnings (from my non-Russian security software) and often my VOIP (internet-based) phone rings! This happens on my desktop PC. I don’t know what the karmic consequences are of following such links on a phone or tablet. I try not to.
Bottom line: the difference between real news and #FakeNews is not what Donald Trump thinks; it’s actual, factual information on established news sites not made-up stories created by hackers. When reporters or journalists use the term “sourced” part of the sourcing is knowing who you are speaking to (okay, “to whom”– Trumpism is wearing down my standards.)
I could go on and on, but let me close where we began, with karma. When asked about the Chinese military torturing and killing Tibetan monks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has commented: “No I don’t hate Chinese people for the terrible human rights violations their government engages in. But, I do feel compassion for the future suffering they are creating for themselves.” That answer, my friends, is good karma.
February 27 marks the Tibetan New Year and another opportunity to start fresh, abandoning old patterns of hope and fear. That is really the crux of Buddhist philosophy: staying present and mindful in THIS moment, rather than hoping or worrying about other outcomes.
On our Western New Year I wrote about Seeing Clearly (also the subject of my last nonfiction book, here on the main page.) Basically it means accepting what is. Seeing things as they are, without our filters and interpretations– just “as is.”
Whenever we struggle with our situation (whatever it is) we suffer. That is what Buddha is said to have realized back in the day, and what all the various Buddhist teachers express. Grappling with this concept IS our practice (as one of my favorite teachers Tsunma Pema Chodron) is fond of saying. (It is my intention to title my next book Grappling, for that reason.)
The rub, for me at least, is even accepting that fact. I constantly want to say, “yes but…” As in what about physical pain? What about the need to rise up and fight against fascism? (or hate, greed, torture, abuse.) Isn’t it lame to let go of the Valiant struggles? Isn’t that just caving in and giving up? Words matter, especially in Dharma. Acceptance vs. resignation is a favorite topic for grappling. Here’s a podcast from the Secular Buddhist on that very issue (only 11 minutes and worth the time.)
So, the upshot (as Noah explains in the podcast) is about how we handle our moment to moment experiences; responding– rather than reacting emotionally– to whatever is occurring. It’s about creating the space and freedom to respond, not resigning or surrendering. The answer comes by grappling with this process and letting go of our reactive patterns. Translating that to our big concerns takes practice, unless you are so fortunate as experience instant Enlightenment. 🕉️ (More on that in a future post.)
As for the Fire Bird, it is part of the Tibetan astrological phases based on a lunar calendar. It represents passion and also awakening. Beautiful image!
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the public declaration of Trump as President-Elect may be the best thing that’s happened since the @BernieSanders revolution. Here’s why:
IF Hillary had been declared the Victor November 8 the Repubs were ready to drag us through four more years of Congressional investigations, impeachment hearings, law suits claiming our election was rigged, on and on. Now read carefully because words matter!
It’s not over YET! The Electoral College meets December 19, 2016. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so this isn’t just any old “rubber stamp” meeting. This one will be a doozy, especially if we can disqualify Trump! (details on that below.)
As Dylan says, “Things have changed.”
Diverse groups, a few listed above, plus the Obama Coalition, Michael Moore’s movement and #OurRevolution (aka “the Bernie Band” back together), have renewed vigor given what’s happened since November 9. It’s not too late. Here’s my assessment:
First came #HateCrimes and violence against minorities and women. I actually experienced this myself! On Wednesday (Nov 9) I was driving in a semi-congested area. A huge truck with Trump signs and stickers (behind me) was honking at me. I couldn’t speed up and there was nowhere to go. At some point he pulled out and around, nearly crashing into another car, and yelled, “Move over you F-ing liberal C**t.”
No one has called me anything that offensive since the old FemiNazi label during the heat of the Women’s Lib reactionary days. I forget such hatred of successful women persists! A certain segment of society began “showing their rears” the past few months. Now they feel so empowered they are out and self-identifying with their ugly temperament and actions. Nazi graffiti, KKK signs, bullying and even beatings are on full display against blacks, Muslims, Latinos, Hispanics and other minorities.
At the same time, progressives like Michael Moore (@mmFlint) and Bernie Sanders began speaking out again. Bernie has the long-view of how to reform the Democratic Party with the #OurRevolution movement. That’s great, but with hate crimes and vengeance on the rise EVERYWHERE right now we can’t wait for political action and we can’t let Trump take office.
Immediate action steps unfolded for many of us Saturday morning on #AMJoy (the 2-hour MSNBC show hosted by Joy Reid.) I took 5 pages of notes listening to various speakers like attorney @LisaBloom. The upshot for me is that with so much evidence of hate crimes, violence, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, predatory behavior and foreign collusion we can lobby the upcoming Electoral College to disqualify Trump! I propose the new hash tag of #DisqualifyTrump for listing members of the E.C., how to contact them, and other ideas on how to proceed. I’m sure one of the E.C. experts can help guide us on the most effective way to present our case. There’s plenty to challenge when it comes to the E.C.
Attorney Lisa Bloom said it best Saturday morning:
“Trump is about to bump into the big, beautiful wall of the Justice System!”
She was referring to the 75 pending lawsuits he faces and that will go forward even if he is President-Elect. There is also the Trump University civil case which begins November 28. And, the fake charity called the Trump Foundation is embroiled in legal battles. The so-called Blind Trust that he wants to use is being challenged because if Trump puts his family in charge of his business matters, that’s not a “blind” trust– it’s a conflict of interest!
Ms. Bloom and others discussed the rampant nepotism he is suggesting for his so-called Administration and the many Constitutional violations on the horizon (including attacks on our First Amendment.) So there is a LOT to compile and present to the Electoral College. Constitutional attorneys and elites get busy!! We got work to do!
Also, a great unifying rally-call comes with the #SafetyPins Movement. This apparently began in the U.K. after the Brexit vote. Brits wore safety pins as a silent way to convey their support for refugees and immigrants. Now we have our own #SafetyPinSolidarity Movement in the USA to show we stand with the oppressed groups being bullied and harassed by Trump supporters.
Evangelical Trump supporters say they are worried about losing their “Christian Values” but they don’t show us what that means. Spewing hate, vitriol, and name-calling is far from Christian. Seems that it will take REAL Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, LBGTQ, the disabled and disenfranchised to show that Christian values are about LOVE. ♡
Finally, Michael Moore and many, many more are marching and protesting. GREAT!! Let’s all get out there, but we MUST remain peaceful to carry out this important mission. So, wear a safety pin (or a lot) and let’s all take the #PeacePledge to stay HIGH as they go low. I see a path forward to #DisqualifyTrump before he takes office. It won’t work unless we maintain a peaceful protest and carry signs with messages of #Justice and #Equality for ALL. Let’s use our “elitist” minds, not our brawn, to get this one done!
Don’t panic! The Jedis will prevail. Hillary was right about this…
Just tweeted that What we Say IS who we are. This is a fact. We can’t hide our real selves when we’re speaking. We literally manifest our inner thoughts through our words and actions. Our tone reveals our inner state, showing our level of anger, apathy or compassion.
So this idea that we “slip up” or “chose the wrong phrase” is just an excuse. As a writer, I may be better at word choice than some, but we can tell a child’s intention by how they speak. It’s not about vocabulary or intelligence, it’s how we present and convey our true selves. Our state of consciousness cannot be hidden for long once we “open our pie hole” (as Planter’s Mr. Peanut reminds us on the current TV ad.)
It’s obvious if we are hostile or caring, whether we embrace diversity or rail against it. Our facial expression and mannerisms are particularly telling, but tweets are also very revealing. In 140 characters we can tell who is a compassionate, thoughtful advocate for others versus who is mean, self-centered and untrustworthy. For those who can’t discern this, well they need our compassion not more hateful rhetoric. BTW, here’s the definition of rhetoric: “language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.”
So don’t be fooled by stage theatrics, sales tricks or outright lies — trust your own ability to discern the person behind the words.
(Next post I’ll elaborate on ways to look at our consciousness and internal thoughts, for those like me who would like to improve our state of mind.)