“The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret."


April 01
I unwittingly stole this dead,imaginary, crewman from Heller's novel, who will undoubtably fly me into a mountain soon enough. So it goes. Unlike Snowden, who spilled his guts while killing others, I am a lover of nature and art, I have been blogging OS since 2009. If Snowden gets me killed before Salon crashes and burns ....shot down by fools far older yet no smarter or wiser than a mosquito, this blog will be my only legacy. It is as raw as recent road kill, just the way the crows like it.


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FEBRUARY 2, 2013 3:05PM

The Roots of Peace: Grow Your Own

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         I usually agree with the Dalai Lama, and have gained much from listening to him. One of the things I enjoy about Tibetan teaching stories are that there is so much Nature in them and a deep respect for all living things. Yesterday, the Dalai Lama was credited with the following:

            “We have to think and see how we can fundamentally change our education system so that we can train people to develop warm-heartedness early on in order to create a healthier society. I don’t mean we need to change the whole system, just improve it. We need to encourage an understanding that inner peace comes from relying on human values like, love, compassion, tolerance and honesty, and that peace in the world relies on individuals finding inner peace.”  

             I do not believe that "Love, compassion, tolerance” - are exclusive to humans.  Inner peace comes from nature not culture. Until we accept that peace is a natural state - and humans are just a tiny speck of what is or can possible get there - we will continue to seek answers to the wrong questions in the wrong places.  

             Culture can never provide, at any price, what Nature freely teaches all who stumble into her domain. Nature gives us life and death, but Culture turns us away from her, not to teach or heal, but to feed itself. 

             Because we can no longer simply walk away from the hut and find ourselves surrounded by nature, and no doubt most Americans today would be scared shitless in such a place, it is still where we come from, and  will always remain so. Despite the best culture can do to divert us, the air we breathe, the food in our gut, even our bodies begin and end with nature.   

        If we are to find inner peace, our center will be rooted in nature, deep in living soil warmed by the sun, and moistened by soft rain. If we are rooted well enough in nature, this relationship might keep our hearts warm as we wander among those who have lost or never found peace, as they spin in the vortex of human constructs.    

         We are never alone; infinite proof of this finds our senses, but it is up to us to read them. Humanity seeks to serve itself by filling our senses with noise – diverting us from peace, truth and warm heartedness. Searching for inner peace in Culture, or by promoting as human what is easily found in nature, are quest and thinking that fail at dead ends.   

        The often missed apex of Culture is the gate out, and I am sure the Dalai Lama sits close to it. If he had just left the word ‘human’ out of his statement I would have no complaint.    

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Nature provides living things an ecology they can live with until random changes make conditions very difficult or non-survivable. It then kills off anything that cannot adapt. It really has no concern whether or not life continues and life scrambles continuously to keep up with changes. That's the way it goes and any species too dub to keep up the struggle will simply cease to exist. It is beginning to appear that most of humanity is too dumb.
I don't know about you, but I am deeply skeptical of anyone who collaborates with the CIA, no matter how noble their intentions. A German newspaper recently did an excellent expose on something that has been a dirty little secret for several decades: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/717258.shtml

I am also really bothered by the historical oppression of the more than a million Muslims who live in Tibet. Historically Tibet has always been run by a benevolent dictator (a Buddhist monk) that made Buddhism the national religion and systematically persecuted and oppressed women and minorities.

Obviously Tibet's occupation by the Chinese hasn't improved anything. However surely we should be supporting democracy in Tibet - not fascist rule by a Buddhist monk.

Trust the CIA to make a cause celebre of this kind of totalitarian set-up.
Thanks for reading - and commenting you two!
Jan: YES - and all those "living things" work together on so many levels - I bet we do not get half of it..and perhaps we never will.

Dr. B: I have heard before some of what you have added. Nothing would shock me. I support a free Tibet - and if that should ever happen - who knows how the people would be governed? I certainly do not condone the persecution of anyone. All the more reason why peace is so important. People who achieve inner peace are the last people you will find persecuting anyone, Buddhist Monks included.
Thank you Seer for reading - and getting the point. If the friggin' truth - is not divine than WTF is ?
I think in this context it means human as in being one with nature. We are all taught something as we grow up and I relish the day we are taught to trust nature. But right now we are taught those without money deserve to suffer and die. What an evil thing to tell a child.
CG: Thanks for reading and commenting. You are generous -and I am too picky - we both are right. The Nature / Culture divide is much greater here than India or Tibet - my position is American- here as Seer noted . It is easy for me to understand how warm heartedness is easier to manage for those raised close to nature, and how difficult inner peace is to obtain for those who have not.
I agree. Culture or society has a value system that is transient and dependent on historical context and where one grows up. Social values are never aligned with truth. In fact, we embrace violence and exploitation as social values. Which is why our social system is collapsing. It destabilizes the human condition so it either must change or die.

Human values exist beyond the rationalism of nature. Or, what is called natural selection. In fact, human values actually cannot be explained by rationalism. But empathy, kindness, acceptance, etc are in fact who we are as sentient beings when we are able to release the poisonous social values or values who suffered from the human condition, fear and control, placed inside of us. When we are able to see and connect beyond the self.

The Dalai Lama surely isn't a perfect person as none of us are but he seems to authentically aspire to be be greater than the self.
Thanks for sharing this very thoughtful post, Snowden. My mom grew up in the mountains in a little farming village, and everyone knew their lives depended on taking care of the plants, animals, water, trees, each other. Their whole day was spent caring. They had to treat the land with respect, in order to survive, and they did think ahead for the generations to come. I agree, we've lost touch with that reality, we are part of the Earth, come from it, and depend on the Earth for life. We've lost that humbleness to know our place. A lot of peace and warm-heartedness could come from learning from nature. Even just from walking outside everyday and in the nighttime, and looking up at the sky.
Thanks TL and CB for reading and commenting.
TL: Your first paragraph works ok with me, but the second slips off the mark . Nothing humans do is Supernatural, ever, never. All our crap will forever be stuck within her infinte but at times seemingly suffocating limits. Life - at least for me became so much easier after I got that.
My point is that once we are convinced that humans are on the outside looking at Nature - this is when we fail - and all ideas and actions after lead us toward a what you so well describe.Beyond the self is the whole.

CB: Yes - right on. But we can get it. It can be taught and learned at any age. We can and must - learn what they knew.
Snowden, I agree so much with you, we can learn at any age the habits of caring & nurturing, peace & warm heartedness towards the earth & each other. I read this the other day:

The planet does not need more successful people.
The planet desparately needs
more peacemakers, healers,
restorers, storytellers,
and lovers of all kinds.
~Dalai Lama
CB: Yes - I shared that myself on FB. Thanks for adding it.