"When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you.
Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself.
You come home to yourself and learn to rest within.
Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude,
they bring out the mystery of inner landscape." - 
John O'Donoghue, Anam Cara, p. 17 >>> more

"The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in the arising of wisdom."
Source: 18th Mind and Life Dialogues conference.

Preconceptions come down like blinkers
to our own disadvantage

"My property, the truth"
Truth is not based upon commonly accepted beliefs.

In Plato's Gorgias, Socrates outlines a problem about truth
when it is misaligned from public opinion:

You don't compel me; instead you produce many false witnesses against me
and try to banish me from my property, the truth.

"for Gorgias the sophist, all 'knowledge' is opinion.
There can be no rational or irrational arguments because all human beliefs
and communicative situations are relative to a kairotic moment" (83).
Bruce McComiskey

Roots of philosophical elitism in Plato and Aristotle
"Exclusionary politics, interpreted as part of vested interests’ effort to secure their own power, is not the full picture. Such political arrangements must be understood as following from the philosophical understanding of the separation in kind between those who were fit to rule and be ruled, and those who were fit to be subject to dominion. There is a difference here between rule/ruled and subject/dominion that should not be missed. Aristotle defined the best citizen as he who knew how to rule and be ruled. >>> more

The School of Philosophy was launched in London In 1937 by Leon MacLaren, originally under the name of the Henry George School of Economic Sciences, with the active support of his father, British Member of Parliament Andrew MacLaren. Both men were inspired by the work of the nineteenth century economist Henry George who held that everyone owns what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly land, belongs equally to all humanity. >>> more

In many ways, the methods and goals of scientific and contemplative inquiry are profoundly complementary, with each of them having enormous potential for enriching the other.

Compassionate people value mindfulness above materialism. They refuse to sell out—instead, they contribute to a vast array of alternative life-style modalities: the consciousness movement, the alternative health movement, the environment movement, each contributing to ground-breaking scientific research. Their embrace of consciousness-raising tools has contributed significantly to cutting-edge principles of Best Practice.

Meditation (disambiguation) aka mindful detached awareness
Mindfulness meditation is a tool, and how we use that tool matters. Many use it to avoid having to feel the emotional pain associated with dealing with dysfunctional society or financial struggles. E.g. “I want to be more in touch with my true nature.” “It helps me de-stress.” "It helps me overcome negative feelings." “It makes me happy.”

Frustration is a justified emotional response to unwanted insights, thoughts and emotions that can arise from not being happy with financial/ social/ political predicaments we find ourselves in. Those feelings are there to alert us to pay attention— to seek out solutions to interpersonal conflict, communication issues, having to balance family with work, while, at the same time, trying to figure out how to contribute meaningful to supporting healthy society.

"The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence." Nikola Tesla

Mindfulness in Journalism & The Eightfold Path
What Western journalists could learn from Buddhism

Australia's ABC Radio National MEDIA Report
Professor Mark Pearson interviewed by Richard Aedy
Thursday 3rd September 2015

It's not enough to sign up to a list of media ethics if you don't have a strong moral framework underpinning it all. And Western journalists might find some useful ideas in the mindfulness philosophy of Buddhism.

Richard Aedy: Whether you're a working journalist or a news consumer, it's a fair bet you don't often think about the philosophical underpinnings of the Fourth Estate. Mark Pearson, though, does. The professor of journalism and social media at Griffith University has been researching alternative approaches to the one we've used in the Western World. Wait a minute, though! What's ours, exactly?

Mark Pearson: Well, ours is a bit of a hybrid but mainly it evolves from the British and US traditions which came from that Libertarian philosophy from Milton through to John Stuart Mill. Jefferson adopted that, which is basically "freedom of the press" and in some circumstances evolving into a "publish and be damned" kind of approach.

Richard Aedy: So the approach - our approach, the one we are all steeped in, is actually underpinned by a philosophy.

Read the full transctipt and listen to the podcast here

Awakened people ask questions
Becoming informed via independent interdisciplinary research.

More and more people are taking time to inform themselves via independent study, such as reading history and paying closer attention to understanding how the world works.

Communication technology has enabled humanity at large by providing instant access to interdisciplinary knowledge, e.g. on economics, politics, psychology, world history, basic anatomy, basic science, the condition of the natural world (water, air, soil, ecosystems), thus we are encouraged to take up our civic duty.

A modern parable
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ''UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?''
The word 'UBUNTU' in the Xhosa culture means:
"I am because we are."
Coleman Barks, Emeritus Professor of Poetry at University of Georgia, is my favourite interpreter of RUMI. His slow southern US accent is deeply soothing to my ear. Here he is speaking at TEDX in 2013, where he tells the story of his connection with RUMI and his "soul-growth practice" — accompanied by the legendary cellist David Darling, who sings so beautifully at the close of this talk.

Economic Wisdom
Reflections on information provided on these pages:
Land Matters and Economics Matters, on collecting Economic Rent instead of income tax.

Collection of Economic Rent will enable governments to remove all taxes on productivity: income, pay roll, business, sales taxes.

Land 'owners' would receive a Single Tax invoice every year, whether it be for the value of the land on which their (untaxed) houses stand, or, for any other privatized land use associated with the resources of the Commons– e.g. forestry, minerals, electromagnetic spectrum, licenses, etc. As Bryan Kavanagh's research shows, all public services and public infrastructure can be funded via collection of Economic Rent, including a citizen dividend. Imagine the consequent benefits in personal security and personal freedom of choice in the quality of everyones' lives —including no more tax office oversight on enterprise activities.

Imagine the benefits of replacing collection of tax with collection of economic rent:

  • Ample public funding for infrastructure and public services.
  • An end to poverty and the 'welfare state' due to equal distribution of a Citizen Dividend to each citizen/shareholder.
  • No tax on productivity, including income, sales, pay-roll, —no business taxes.
  • No need to worry about 'investing' for retirement because a Citizen Dividend, which would be much higher than all current pensions, would be distributed over each citizen’s entire life.
  • Affordable housing: access to land by 'taking over' the payment of the Land / Site Value Tax (as we do with local council rates) on the value of the land (no mortgage on the land value required), and either building your own home or taking a mortgage only on the value of the house you wish to purchase.
  • Because basic needs are taken care of by the Citizen Dividend, people can choose to 'produce' what ever they wish with their time: e.g. from poetry, to inventor, to 'renaissance man' with freedom to develop talents via a variety of careers.
  • A generally healthier lifestyle: without the current socio-economic 'causes' of anxiety, inflammatory symptoms, drug addiction, depression, suicide, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour, crime, black markets, etc.
  • An end to all territorial conquests and resource wars as ‘users & beneficiaries pay’ the Economic Rent for access to lands and resources.

    Too good to be true? Much more is achievable if we choose to substitute collection of taxes with collection of economic rent.

Economic justice = happiness, health, love, and wealth
– for everyone.

What if Classical Political Economic theorists have been right all along?
That would have to be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel!
Once we understand the theory behind The Law of Rent (begin reading here– The Common), we can easily understand how all of our societal ills are a direct result of economic injustice— from the 3rd world to the 1st world.

"If we could ultimately get rid of fear in our population, then basically we would put all of our reserves, all of our energy and all of our body systems into the mode of growth and maintenance, and therefore, not only would we be healthy as individuals, but then, as a community, all healthy individuals in a community would raise the level of life in that particular community so that there is the great possibility of a future of growth and peace and harmony once the concept of fear is removed from our belief system." Bruce Lipton

Seeing a 'light at the end of the tunnel' has a placebo effect!
Given the enormous mainstream power and momentum of the current economic system, it is easier to ignore the possibilities that could flow from a simple change in our taxation system than it would be to become an advocate for collecting economic rent instead of taxing income, etc. It is easy to believe that significant change isn't politically possible—that there is no hope for the vast majority of people who must live without justice and equity.

"If you do not change direction you may end up where you are going."
Lao Tzu

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein
Sacred Economics, the book, traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme - but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being. Visit his website for more of his elegant work.

Partial video transcript: from 3:46
Economic growth means that you have to find something that was once nature and make it into a good or was once a gift relationship and make it into a service. You have to find something that people once got for free or did for themselves or for each other, and then take it away and sell it back to them somehow. By turning things into commodities we get cut off from nature in the same way we get cut off from community. We look at nature and say that it is just a bunch of stuff and that leaves us very lonely. And leaves us with many basic human needs that go un-met, and if you have money you might try to fill this hunger through purchasing -through buying things. Or through accumulating money itself. And of course now we're nearing the end of growth. The planet can't sustain much more growth, and that is why the crisis that we have today won't go away.

The Gift
We didn't earn any of the things that really keep us alive, or that make life good. We didn't earn air. We didn't earn being born. We didn't earn our conception. We didn't earn being able to breath. We didn't earn having a planet that can provide food. We didn't earn the sun. So I think on some level we have this in-born gratitude, because we know that we didn't earn any of this.

We know that life is a gift.
If you know that we've received a gift then the natural response is gratitude and the desire to give in turn. In a gift economy it is not true, in the way it is in our money economy, that everybody is in competition with everybody else. In a gift society, if you have more than you need, you give it to somebody who needs it. That's how you get status. And that is where security comes from. Because if you've built up all that gratitude, people are going to take care of you too.

If there are no gifts, then there are no communities. And we can see, as community has become more monetized, that society has disappeared. People long for it, but you can't just have community as an add-on to a monetized life. You have to actually need each other.

People desire to enact their gifts. And if they were free from money they would do it. Money is so often a barrier—you know people think: oh! I'd love to do this. But can I afford to do it? Is it practical? Money stops them. What beautiful thing would I do?
What am I called to do?
Would it be to set up big gardens for homeless people to take care of, and reconnect them to nature?
Would it be to clean up a toxic waste site? What would you do?
What beautiful thing would you do? And why isn't it practical to do these things? Why isn't there money in those things?
The Shift... etc

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral
by Aaron Freeman

You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy,so they will understand that your energy has not died.

You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed.

You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world.
You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.

And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energywill go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. 

And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure,that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time.

You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around.

According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.


"I am the standing ovation"

I Am Not Old

I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.

- Samantha Reynolds
More Daily Poems and Inspiration by Samantha Reynolds

Bryan Kavanagh's sublime vision for the future
As one of the world’s leading analysts on the inter-relationship between land and the economy, Bryan Kavanagh had this to say in an exclusive interview, which I conducted and filmed on 18 April 2008:

"When it comes to economics, the reintegration of the theory of land valuation is essential. It’s the new frontier—just as we sent Voyager out to explore space.

We're at a turning point where the economy is not working for us. There is a big discovery to be made, and this lies in an epochal change—the rediscovery of Resource Rent: Shifting—transferring taxes to Resource Rent is going to open the way for a whole new development for humanity.

The implications for humanity are greater freedom, more time for relaxation, for family, more time for the arts, and far less government control of our lives. These ideas might sound mystical, but they are the sorts of solutions that could be delivered to us, once we pass through this new frontier.

Its not just land rents we want to capture, we want to capture licenses for electromagnetic spectrum, aircraft slots, all forms of forestry and mineral licenses, all resources. These would supplement our charges on land values, and add to the enormous Resource Rent pot, that is now 285 billion—more than our current [Australia 2008] level of tax revenue.

We've witnessed the progressive loss of a sense of community, and land rents represent community. If we collected Resource Rent, we'd get rid of poverty.

We have a widening gap between wealthy and poor because the wealthy are capturing Resource Rent.

We've got to rediscover the land tax system.

This would open up enormous benefits. It would fund infrastructure, education, health, all of these areas that are crying out for funds, and this fund is sitting there, being grossly capitalized by individuals and causing us to ratchet up taxes to fund them. But if we decrease taxes, and capture more of the Resource Rent, we would be doing as nature intends us to do—using growing Resource Rent funds for public purposes."

Click here to follow Bryan Kavanagh's highly informative Blog

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