We should all know by now that the best way to live is in a state of mindfulness or grace. Mindfulness means being aware of all that is going on, instead of projecting your own selfish and naive plans onto everything and everyone, as this is full of blinders and trapdoors and self-delusions.
This is why pride ironically comes before a fall - because when we are not mindful, and are instead rampaging ideological reptiles, we subconsciously set-up the very monsters which will consumes us - because non-mindfulness is a CLOSED LOOP. There is scant room in there for a universe other than what is your so-called "good" - versus your most dire "evil" hiding in the shadows.
The desperate, fight-flight world is a world of fundamentalist opposites, one being perpetually denied, so long as the BS, power, money or denial hold out. Then - poof! Like magic! You become a pawn of something that was always bigger. Something you never saw.
What is grace? Grace is a dance through the subtleties that mindfulness sees. More than this, it is gratitude. An awe and thankfulness towards nature. A thankfulness to others. The healthiest way to live is to live with a spirit of gratitude. Like a big fat placebo, better than any autocrat, it fights cancer, and makes good things happen spontaneously. All indications are that the only thing that can wake the dead is love.
Gratitude is love. Gratitude is prayer. Gratitude is the spark. No matter how bad you have it, more than half the planet has it even worse. And all the dead people know this.
I don't have anyone around here whom I can thank - but I thank my dog! "Thank you for being my dog!" This lifts his spirits when he is feeling down. And I can thank my turkey before I prey upon it. I can thank the land that no black-snake oil pipeline has come through here yet. When you thank nature, you acknowledge the past - and its wider plan than you can know. In so doing, you respect and open up the future which grows from this. Gratitude helps set you back in line with the reality of life, here and now. Gratitude = happiness. It is a dose of foolish idiotic humility that will take you far in life. You're welcome.
From a society of bohemians and artists, a French guy goes to the Himalayas, studies Buddhism for half a century, and ends up studying neural plasticity with Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has a big picture in his brain. He has shown that, "compassion meditation," can actually alter and grown a person's brain, in a good way. And, by extension, this probably can alter your genetic predispositions, through epigenetic changes. Neural plasticity. Mind plasticity. A better ability to be mindful and gracious.
This guy, Matthieu Ricard, was featured on the second hour of the Diane Rhem show today, (a repeat). His central focus was on the power of ALTRUSIM. Altruism can help change the world, foolish though it has been deemed. The standard, classical Liberal, corporate-libertarian, supply-side, trickle down model of economics has NOT factored in non-selfish altruism. Individuals WANT to help others, including the poor, but profit-automaniac "corporations-are-psychopaths", along with other institutions, work against this.
Now, we have a globalising system where this mad, selfish-centered model of economics has given us unending wealth and power inequality! We notice this now because it is apparent that the exploitable planet is not infinite and perpetually easy. We have - by our naive, non-mindful system - locked ourselves into a CLOSED LOOP. And so, just as pride comes before a fall, we - the top predator - step blindly into a gaping crevice called, THE SIXTH GREAT EXTINCTION.
I have been shouting! Mind your step!
Matthieu Ricard: “Altruism” (Rebroadcast)
This fellow exclaimed that we are born to be cooperative creatures. If an adult drops a pen on the floor, 99.9% of children will go and pick up the pen, giving it to the adult. Thus, we are naturally altruist - and not always because we are self-interested, as most behavioural economic models would figure, if they figured.
Well, what does this mean? It means what I have been saying all along. EMPATHY is not learnt in later childhood. Empathy comes in at birth - maybe as an extension of the wide "narcissistic" cognitive conjoinment which infants experience with the world. Born trusting. While making assumptions that virtually everything is trustworthy may seem like one big mistake, unless you realise the reality of the genetics: Babies are born into the arms of caring parents, for the most part. Altruistic parents. Altruism is a hallmark of the mammalian kingdom!
And, would it not be a bigger mistake that babies would be born into the world TRUSTING NOTHING? Within hours, they would have instigated their own destruction, especially in a world which coincidentally did not include caring parents. And, so, I generalise to the worry that Americans, in general, are too trusting, as when it comes to dealing with potential terrorists. I think this is true, but I don't think it is aberrant. I think it is largely in accord with human nature, especially given the grand incubator this country has afforded.
When fighting terrorism - a play so easilly commandeered away by controlling powers-that-be - we must take care to respect and preserve our rights and abilities to be trusting, because that is the only glue our society has. Fear and anger are false prophets, ushering in only decline - so often products of our own blind avarice. Preserving these rights: This is why the movie, "Snowden," made me cry in honour.
And, I have long insisted that empathy exists in other animals, most certainly. My tag for this is something like, "animals - empathy" or "animals - altruism". You can have economic "selfish altruism" without empathy. This is like the congenial flair and manipulation and lies practiced by psychopaths, who end up getting our votes. Only existing to control. However, true altruism is largely under-girded by empathy. Or, sometimes, by ideas first generate by empathy.
Matthieu Ricard stated that the intention to be altruistic is not sufficient to the definition of that act as being truly altruistic. It may be selfish or manipulative instead. Rather, the definition of an act being truly altruistic depends on the element of MOTIVATION. Is your heart motivated to help?
Voila! This is a personal, private matter - not given to being measured by economics, yes? And, that is as it should be - for such is the secret of the quantum universe. Inner being, as opposed to outer beings. The inner daemon.
That is to say, this is a matter of EMOTION. Moti-vation is not all motive - it is primarilly generated by e-motion. And so, it springs from the heart - even from the heart of a child - or a penguin. As I have said, emotion exists throughout the universe, and is behind all information. These thoughts will one day be very important when we advance in the fields of AI and quantum computing - with associated questions of morality - and empathy towards robots!
Not mentioned in the radio interview was the subject of Game Theory. In the "Prisoner's Dilemma," (research), a failing strategy, when dealing with some kind of psychopath, is to always act altruistically. It becomes necessary to fight back, in sometimes random, sometimes extreme ways, as I have had to do vis-a-vis the crazy bald guy. Then, return to graceful altruism, until the crazy person eventually obliges, theoretically.
Now we are living in a world overpopulated and over-controlled by people with psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies. We can sometimes affect change through things like boycotts or protests, but the grip of the corporatist-cabals are too strong to allow fair change. We have seen #occupywallstreet defeated, partly by the very same person who helped start it, George Soros - and the old successful game of divide and conquer. (Nevertheless, I do not believe in being in the world without being of it. I do believe in active participation, and not navel-gazing).
In this world of accelerating wealth inequality, where altruism is worked against through economics, consumerism, propaganda, and divide-and-conquer tactics, pitting group against group, liberal against conservative, what do we do to express our altruism in a powerful way, that effects change?
Easy: Altruism in the voting booth.
Once again, we believed ourselves to be left with no other choice than between, "two evils." So, masses of people believed the polls, and believed the accusations, and believed the fear-mongering, and went along with the daft, conventional "wisdom" herd mentality, by voting for the, "lesser of two evils," JUST TO PREVENT THE OTHER PERSON FROM WINNING. This is not strategic voting, it is desperate voting.
It is not born of mindfulness or grace or altruism. It is born from the base emotions of fear and anger, like a baby born to trust nothing. It is the aforementioned CLOSED LOOP, by which pride is inevitably followed by a fall.
Voters are not in a prisoner's dilemma, because they are not prisoners.
They are only prisoners in so far as they make themselves so. Prisoners of polls, and politicos, and platitudes - and assumptions that one knows all the answers - not from mindfulness - but from the mere selfish fact that they are them. They are special and important. And under threat from monsters.
Following in the footsteps of their insane leaders, so many people voted as narcissists and psychopaths. Voting to manipulate and calculate and control, rather than voting according to their inner daemon: their heart.
The plain and simple fact is that there were other candidates available to be voted for. The argument that liberals MUST vote for Clinton in order to defeat Trump fell flat on its face. So - would they not have felt better about themselves and their future, had they ridded their heads of all the crazy talk-head chatter and simply voted for whatever other candidate they felt was best?
Would it not have been better if they had just stepped into the booth, voting like their vote WAS THE ONLY VOTE THAT MATTERED? Because: THAT IS WHAT DEMOCRACY IS FOR.
If the masses of people had voted their heart, instead of implicating themselves in decline, then from all these millions of individual hearts could have come a completely different winner, and a whole new party. This is not naive thinking. It is altruism - which has the power to change the world.
To worry about what other people think is just stupid reactivity - status quo stagnation. And, even if either Clinton or Trump had still won, then there would be a much stronger show for the alternate candidates and parties! That does influence policy! (Unfortunately, Sanders dulled his influence by falling back into the arms of the DNC, and stupidly fanning the flames of hate/fear towards Trump, instead of calling out Clinton, and running on his own).
Voting for the lesser of two evils, reactively, is voting for more of the same - another billionaire idiot, another corporatist psychopath. Another Clinton-Obama-Bush crime family child of Reaganomics, and the continuing silent coup of 1963.
You see, the whole reason why voting in privacy exists is so that people can be released from the very TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS that reactive "strategic voting" gets us into! For once in four years, you get a chance to be honest with yourself, and express your altruism, and feel good about it. One day, inevitably, the WILL of the people will gain momentum and make powerful change. In the mean time, roll with it - you are not president. You are you.
All of these things: altruism, meditation, grace, gratitude, mindfulness, privacy - they are all about one thing: Being honest with yourself.
Imagine a secret, mass-movement of honesty, versus a system of psychopathy and lies. Imagine not voting according to the psycho-phants. Next time, I hope one day you will join us.
Thank you for being my, and others', LJ friend. Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you:
FREEDOM FROM FEAR!
FREEDOM FROM FEAR!
FREEDOM FROM FEAR!
THE HABITS OF HAPPINESS!
LET ALTRUISM BE YOUR GUIDE!