Extinction Rebellion

stillness

I find it hard to criticize any of the aims of Extinction Rebellion. Almost all of what they advocate accords with my own deeply felt convictions on what is wrong with our world.

I have no experience of “activism” and instinctively I have steered clear of trouble all my life. Not for me, banner waving in Parliament Square. Let alone getting mown down by a fireman’s hose or injured by a rubber bullet. But someone has to do the job I suppose.

I am greatly opposed to violence in any form but these people profess pacifism. I have always been a fan of Mahatma Gandhi.

I am only peripherally aware of what Extinction Rebellion has achieved so far. I don’t know the people involved and can not judge their sincerity or true motivation. But what I can do is to admire their vision. And to wish there was a political party I could vote for whose agenda included these aims, so close to my own heart.

Take a look at their vision. Can there be a man of any religious conviction at all who could quibble with these stated aims? Can there be a woman of any decency who can deny that all of this and more is needed to create a just world of which we can be proud?

Is any of this achievable in practice? The naysayers, the cynics, the greedy will deny it. But denial does not make such aims foolish or impossible. It would of course require a complete reversal of our evolutionary instincts but we can not grow as a species without abandoning vicious Darwinism.

Without further ado, let me quote some of my favorite passages.

We catch glimpses of a new world of love, respect and regeneration, where we have restored the intricate web of all life. 

We rise in the name of truth and withdraw our consent for ecocide, oppression and patriarchy. We rise up for a world where power is shared for regeneration, repair and reconciliation. We rise for love in its ultimate wisdom.

We live in a world of fear, where dog eats dog and man’s insatiable lust for power and material possessions runs unchecked. We live in a world where the likes of Donald Trump are allowed to preach racism and violence. We live in a world where almost half of the richest nation on earth voted for a man of ignorance, deceit, and violence as their leader.

Our world values something we call “economic growth” above anything else. A world where beauty and natural resources are trampled and destroyed so that titans of industry can accumulate ever more. So that corrupt politicians and their supporters can continue to fill the troughs out of which they gorge themselves.

We need to bring about a world where we aim for growth in happiness, not the economy. An environment where what we care about is the eradication of poverty and suffering above all else.

My detractors will trot out well worn tropes, the trickle down effect being chief among these. But try trickling down to the people in Grenfell Tower. Try trickling down to the victims of Robert Mugabe or the human detritus so despised by the American presidency.

I am not a believer in Christ, but try reading the Beatitudes and see if you can spot any similarities with the aims outlined by Extinction Rebellion.

Take a look at the Eightfold Noble Path and dare to tell me I am wrong to feel the way I do.

For thousands of years good men (and women) have seen the “truth”. For thousands of years we have ignored and trampled such people underfoot.

If we are to rise to Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point, it is time to start listening. And time to act. Peaceably, but decisively. NOW.

64 Comments

  1. Well said! And yes I wholeheartedly agree that the principle drive behind ER are both just and the right direction in which folks should get behind.

    I am gravely concerned over liberty erosion with the likes of the Coronavirus Act and what that means and I too have turned quite biblical. I see the 10 commandments as UK common law (there or there abouts) and no one could really deny that those “guidelines” were and are out of order.

    It’s clear the main political parties don’t sign up to the same, so what options are there besides the creation of something new.

    Labour is fractured right down the middle and will never align with itself never mind the voters.

    There are also cracks in the Tory party and I have bizarrely been siding with some of their backbenchers recently (post-modern Hesseltines).

    Quite what has happened to the Greens I’m not sure, and I don’t have anything to say about the Lib Dem’s (probably as much as they say themselves).

    So there is a gap in the market in my opinion for real change, but the real problem is that those that want change are so fractured and unaligned, there is no real hope unless they come together as one.

    I’ve attended a few protests this year and some even clash on the same day by different groups at different location, one common cause.

    Keen to see what happens with our political landscapes over the coming months and years, and I’ll put my X more carefully next time.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. The real fear and danger with such a movement is that the very people behind it become the new tyrants, the new politbureau, inhabiting the lush dachas they have pinched from the rich and replacing one form of political and economic tyranny with another. But I guess we need to take that chance.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You are right. I’ve seen some of the speakers and they are very aggressive and anti-establishment, bordering on anarchism, the population wouldn’t get behind such a movement.

        So we are a bit fooked really aren’t we 😀

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Indeed. The power and control some of them seek to overthrow is something they crave for actually.

        Rewatched the Hunger Games trilogy recently and it’s the same. Here have a rebellion leader, leading a workers revolt, only to assume presidential powers once the tyrannical government were overthrown, only to rule in a similar vein.

        It’s a big teenagery, but the similarities and undercurrents are worthy of a watch on a rainy day if you have nothing better to do

        Liked by 4 people

      3. There is talk of a Great Reset (World Economic Forum) and the UN have 17 “commandments” or sustainable development goals that if followed through in every country, would turn the world into a better place.

        Reading them no one would argue (much like your ER piece), but how can 195 nations who have signed up for it truly deliver on those with such blatant cronyism and corruption going on pretty much everywhere.

        The mayor of Liverpool is looking to do a stretch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure some time soon (which I applaud) for being as bent as a dogs hind leg for giving out dodgy contracts and intimidating citizens into signing pieces of paper, so it’s real and close to home.

        I think the only safe option (in the immortal words of Corporal Hicks), would be to “nuke it from space, it’s the only way to be sure”!

        I’ve applied to be Ships Technician – Third Class (in charge of unclogging soup dispensers) aboard The Goodship Lollipop before it buffers off, you in?

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Ha ha ha…totally excellent. Joking apart that is why I began to write that nonsense – at least we can all DREAM about living in the Culture. But personally I would prefer to ascend (Sublime using Ian Bank’s language) and leave physical reality and the Mayor of Liverpool to go f**k themselves. Obs!

        Liked by 3 people

      5. You mention getting all “biblical”. i do the same even as a convinced atheist. Perhaps it is because you never see decency and hope set out anywhere except in the manifestos of a half decent religion. My god, look at the beauty of Rumis poetry. And the other Sufis and mystics. And then look at what the thugs of modern Islam have achieved (not). God know what to do.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. What have we said in comments, “some chose to see the ugliness in the world, the disarray, I chose to see the beauty”

        Religion for me is that, central tenets of morality and guidelines on what good looks like, yes it has its bad bits too but take the good and push the bad to one side.

        I make it a point when travelling abroad to visit places of worship (churches, mosques, temples) and they are all beautiful buildings with such a sense of peace, from the building itself and the congregation when present, and when chaos is all around, they are a sanctuary

        Liked by 4 people

      7. I do too. I do exactly the same. I spent a year in Tokyo and spent much time in temples. Even the Meiji Shrine had its magic – I remember some sort of glorious “christening” ceremony there one day. I did the same during my time in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The founders of such religions must have been wonderful people. And I am sure some of the current practitioners still are. But you are right. “See the beauty”. Pity it is so difficult to “ignore” the rest!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I tend toward your view. But I’d note that Gandhi was a complex figure. Yes, he did regularly advocate nonviolence. But he also argued that violence sometimes had a place in the struggle for justice. Violence was always preferable to injustiice and cowardice. Here are some less well known quotes from Gandhi:

    “I am not against violence; I am against injustice. In fact, I have done my part in the World Wars, thus being a willing party to the warfare.”

    “I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race.”

    “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.”

    “I want both the Hindus and Mussalmans to cultivate the cool courage to die without killing. But if one has not that courage, I want him to cultivate the art of killing and being killed rather than, in a cowardly manner, flee from danger. For the latter, in spite of his flight, does commit mental himsa. He flees because he has not the courage to be killed in the act of killing.”

    “I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.”

    See fuller context of quotes here:
    https://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/phil8.htm

    Still, his strong preference was for nonviolence, as is mine. But it must be understood that Gandhi’s nonviolence would probably have been poltiically ineffective if it hadn’t been backed by the threat of generations of violent uprising against British oppression. The same was true of MLK’s nonviolence that followed generations of similar violent uprisings, including all-out race wars. Even MLK carried a gun sometimes.

    https://theconversation.com/the-forgotten-violence-that-helped-india-break-free-from-colonial-rule-57904

    Putting that aside, if we are to avoid further violence, how are we to do as Gandhi advised in ensuring moral action, rather than passivity? If injustice and cowardice is worse than violence and death, how are we to move forward as a society?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree that the practical difficulties of a non violent revolution seem overwhelming. As is the danger of creating a society where the same pushy thugs climb to the top and seize all the goodies and the power all over again. As they have done in all communist experiments we have ever seen.

      The other fact of course is that nobody has any idea in practical terms how to bring such changes about and what should replace the political and economic systems we are currently saddled with. I’m not sure anyone has a practical agenda.

      The threat of violence always brings with it the reality that real violence could result if one’s demands are not met. Personally, I could never condone real violence and would rather live the way we are than see Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin take centre stage once again!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Part of Gandhi’s preaching nonviolence was based on belief and principle. He thought that the greatest courage was in nonviolence, particularly in the face of death. That was a noble and worthy way to die. But he thought it was better to die fighting and killing others in defense of justice than to live in cowardice by running away.

        His ultimate idealizing of nonviolence was as much practical. He was hoping to not only end oppression but to create a free and fair society. Violence wasn’t likely to achieve that end. Then again, cowardice would also create a horrific society. He was seeking balance between injustice and cowardice.

        Considering the present state of Indian, it wasn’t a clear victory. Oppression under Prime Minister Modi is more oppressive than were the British during Gandhi’s life. If Gandhi were around today protesting in India, Modi would have his goons kill him or otherwise make sure he was disappeared. It was what Gandhi feared would happen.

        https://theprint.in/opinion/why-modis-india-looks-eerily-similar-to-the-one-under-british-after-1857-revolt/328936/
        https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/delhi-riots-news-narendra-modi-muslims-hindus-jammu-kashmir-trump-a9365376.html

        Liked by 4 people

      2. It was certainly not clear victory. India is no land of milk and honey. but perhaps while we can look at the past and learn from the mistakes which were made, we should concentrate on new tricks, new endeavors, new horizons for the future. It is no good relying on mere precedent. We must work out how to achieve a better world now, not look to the failures of the past. And above all in this new utopia we must prevent the mistakes of communism and indeed capitalism. We must preserve ideals and prevent tyrants from seizing power. We must eschew violence however much some may say it is necessary. We should look at the world afresh and not be bound, enslaved by what has happened in the past or by what people have said in the path or what they have forecast or opined on. Precedent is all very well, but it will never renew the world. We need new thinking, new methods, better humans. Better ideologies which we should not let become swamped by the venal and the vicious. In short, the Beatitudes should be put into practice. Somehow.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Here is the issue in context of Gandhi’s thought.

        Most Americans are not inherently violent. Even most protesters are peaceful and desire peaceful ends. But the American population is also passive and cowardly in the face of injustice. If given a choice, most would run away to allow injustice to continue, rather than fight for justice.

        We don’t have the kind of authoritarian government that is likely to kill us, even for daring to be nonviolent. But the powerful have found ways to make protesting largely impotent. Yet we go on accepting notonly injustice but true horrific depravity.

        Right now, there are millions of people sick and suffering, dislocated and dying because of US policies and military actions around the world. Not to mention hundreds of thousands in prisons for victimless crimes with studies showing 3-8% likely being innocent of charges against them.

        Most of us neither protest nonviolently nor fight violently. We simply remain safely in our cowardice, as observers on the sidelines or watching it all safely behind our screens. We are not following the examples of either Gandhi or MLK. This includes me.

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Your point is well made and no doubt entirely correct. I too am guilty – all I do is write. But at least I do write, at least I do think, at least I do something. I will never “fight” but I should consider becoming more politically “active”. Not in terms of running for parliament but in trying to flesh out some practical aspect of making a better world. It is one thing to praise the Beatitudes – quite another to propose how they might be put into practical effect!

        Liked by 4 people

      5. Like you, I’m but a mere writer. I do what I feel able, even as it’s not enough.

        I must admit that I can get moralistic, sometimes righteous. I was raised by conservative Christians and spent my youth in an idealistic liberal church.

        A strong moral impulse was instilled me, not that it helps me to know what to do about it. But I love the strength of conviction heard in the words of the likes of Ghandi and MLK. I find it inspiring.

        What do you think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? He gives a real world example of someone struggling between their moral principles of pacifism and horrifically violent political evil.

        Liked by 4 people

      6. “Can there be a man of any religious conviction at all who could quibble with these stated aims?”

        Yes! Me! I’m disappointed. You seem to be taking your eye off the ball. “Let the dead bury their dead” a great spirit is quoted as saying. That axiom was as meaningfully valid then as it is today, more than any Extinction Rebellion … For mystics and seekers, much more meaningfully evolutionary creativity is going on than has ever been left to mere human stewardship.

        Keith.

        Liked by 4 people

      7. Ha ha ha…I was wondering what you would make of this post Keith! I agree that improvement of the lot of the world’s miserable and oppressed is not something likely to happen any time soon. And I am certainly not going to be able to better anybody’s life. But you and I are firm believers in Buddhism. I would go so far as to say we are both probably Buddhists. And is it not true that those who achieved enlightenment would often return to improve the lot of the starving and miserable masses, rather than remain in Nirvana? I have, you will be glad to hear, abandoned polemic. Caustic and destructive as that is. But I will (must) allow myself to point out some of the “GOOD” things happening in the world. It may well be that the leaders of ER are venal and corrupt – or would become so if they ever seized power. But heir stated ideals at least are wonderful. Nonetheless as you probably rightly say, this world is some sort of bizarre (and perhaps cruel) experiment. Perhaps as you have so often suggested all is in fact well. But somehow or other if I see people spreading a “Gospel” of peace and love, I can not help congratulating them on it. It is better than my being my usual dismal self and moaning about what a terrible world we live in. Perhaps (in the unlikely event) I were ever to reach the promised land, I would return as the Buddha did. I’m probably far too selfish and want a peaceful life – Nirvana would suit me fine. Just saying though! All best wishes, A

        Liked by 3 people

  3. “And is it not true that those who achieved enlightenment would often return to improve the lot of the starving and miserable masses, rather than remain in Nirvana?”

    No! This doesn’t apply to those that buddhism identified as having mystic experiences of Reality spontaneously without any benefit of reading or being taught about the phenomena They call them pratyeka buddhas – silent buddhas who most definitely do NOT teach , evangelise, proselytise, or, I will add, interfere with humans and their artificial cultures and problems of their own making . I don’t think any buddhist sect, of which there are many with all kinds of human trappings and digressions, would accept this pratyeka as one of theirs any more than this pratyeka would accept them as being much more spiritually relevant than the human ideology of religion.

    Best wishes,

    Keith.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I must say I thought dear old Siddhartha Gautama had tootled around teaching for years after his enlightenment? And part of what he taught was presumably the “right actions” and the rest of the Noble Eightfold Path? Perhaps the manifesto Of Extinction Rebellion could be considered in line with “right action”? In which case, perhaps there is not such great harm in giving it publicity? But as you say, perhaps it does not apply to silent Buddhas. Personally though, I feel our Sid was a good egg and that it was pretty beneficial that he shared his views on the world. In a sense that is what ER’s manifesto does – tries to tell us how to live better. If Siddhartha Gautama had not stayed around and taught and his disciples had not scribbled it all down then one must assume Buddhism would not exist. Rather like the Beatitudes could not have been scribbled down by the writers of the gospel without JC having done a bit of teaching? Or am I missing the point? Best, A

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, my point is that you give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and the rest to Reality. Most religions certainly do the former with only morality and ethics as their main teaching because they don’t know any better, haven’t experienced MER. We are all human and have human duties, human moralities and human ethics, even the semi human Seekers and Mystics, but Seekers and Mystics have been given other priorities to pay attention to their development through the unique way of Reality. Anything else is a digression.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Ah! Well you have my full and entire agreement then. Indeed it is only morality and ethics which concerned me when making this post. Certainly that is all I was talking about ~ and of course these people at ER (happily!) make no claims to godhood or any other metaphysical claims. But yes, you make my point well for me: we all have human duties (unfortunately) and I would prefer politics to be along the lines of the ER manifesto than that (by way of example) of Trump. All I am really saying in this post is “thank god someone, somewhere is at least talking along the right lines”! As we all know, little good will come of it and you are very probably right to say we should simply ignore it. In any event, as I have agreed in answers to others on this post, if these people ever got into power they would probably turn out to be Stalinist thugs! But you are right. Ignore them. I wasn’t planning to join them Keith!
        Best, as ever, A

        Liked by 3 people

  4. The only problem with ER, as far as I can see it, is the people behind it.

    Very rich people. The world’s richest. And if that doesn’t ring alarm bells, it should. It’s the same people who shored up their power in recent decades behind corporations that have been bent on continuous warmongering & environmental destabilisation in the name of profit.

    It’s not so surprising that those people know the time’s rapidly approaching where that game is over. It should not be surprising that they would be trying to find the best way to shore up their own power. We shouldn’t be so quick to jump on whatever they package up for us as the solution.

    Or, we should. But throw them out on their arses. Because they should not be trusted, nor should we so readily trust the environmental NGOs they’ve surrounded themselves with and funded.

    I don’t want green capitalists determining for us the extent to which we can go, while all the while holding onto the power they have as the ones with all the toys. ER appears to be the environmental PR arm of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset proposal, which is also chock-full of excellent ideas except for the bit where they would effectively be running the show that we get to live in. The end of that particular scenario will be the very rich having built up the Internet of Things around everything we do. Kinda like being in a game of The Sims. Watched and monitored and prodded in whichever direction will allow the rich to continue to have power over the masses.

    We simply must not allow exceedingly rich people, who have proven their sociopathy over decades, to continue to run the show.

    We must take back the rights that have been stripped away mercilessly from us over the last 500 years to be the ones who determine our own futures.

    The jury is out on whether we are going to be able to do that. It’s difficult when the strings being pulled are invisible. So many people don’t seem to wish to examine power structures. I don’t get it, TBH.

    Independent journo Cory Morningstar has been writing about this stuff for years. Her writing requires a bit of loin-girding for what it uncovers, but it’s worth it. Eg, a collection of stories around Greta Thunberg, ER and what she calls the nonprofit industrial complex: http://www.theartofannihilation.com/category/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-political-economy-of-the-npic/

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hello Sue
      I was only thinking recently that I had not seen any articles on your blog Discombobula, and meant to write to see how you are. I am deeply disappointed by what you have pointed out and will look at the question more deeply. Pretty depressing!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. In days not so long gone by, violence and brute force was how people acquired wealth. In some parts of the world and among criminals, this method still survives. Witness the Norman conquest and so many countless other historical examples of rape and pillage for the sake of acquisition. The Viking invasions, communism in Russia and so on endlessly. One bunch of thugs steals property land and woman from another bunch and makes such goods and chattels and land his own. It seems to have been mostly done by men. Politics in the past has been largely the same. The ancient Greeks and Romans are laughingly referred to as “civilizations” and yet they relied on slavery, brutality and violence to cement their rule and subjugate the masses.

      And so to the Industrial Resolution and the profit motive. A new form of slavery emerged as the lumpenproletariat were corralled into dark satanic mills and chained to the production line in return for their miserable survival. Children were sent to die in the mines along with their fathers. Violence continued to rule but in a sublimated fashion.

      And thus it continues to this day. Amazon carries on the time honored tradition and sells trinkets to the natives, paying its drivers a wage which barely enables them to survive.

      Would the Buddha or Jesus have embraced modern capitalism? Did they admire the ancient tyrannies of their own day? What is it that Christ would really have liked to render unto Caesar?

      I do not find the profit motive an acceptable way to organize modern society. Or any society. I do not believe it letting the market be the final arbiter of who is to live and who is to die.

      I believe in co-operation and love not competition and ruthless Darwinian struggle.

      I have no idea as to the reality of the ER movement. I am very disappointed if it turns out to be a sham – their mission statement gives out such hope. Equally I am very disappointed should they turn out to be a bunch of violent self centered thugs.

      Even so, their message is right. I am a non violent and definitely non political animal. My manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount and the Noble Eightfold Path. Even if such teachings are never put into practice they are the right teachings.

      It is wrong that a minority are allowed to dominate a small rocky planet and enslave the majority.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sue is very bigoted and prejudiced against the rich! Surely no observer of society today can make such ignorant, untrue generalisations. How depressing. Clearly she has no idea of governance, economics 101 or where and how our democratic laws emanate and no idea of how this system is ruled by Montesquie’s separation of powers (ie. Parliament- police – judiciary- each of which are not allowed to encroach on the other). Clearly Sue doesn’t have any real grasp of democracy and how it works despite us.

    Sue clearly has never come across the statistics that show in Canada at least, so I suspect in other developed and developing counries, that 90 per cent of Canada’s wealth is created by two cent of the population, 80 per cent of the population pay (or cause?) 80 per cent of all taxes to be paid. Capitalist democracy has reduced world poverty by 50 per cent, IN MY LIFETIME.. It has provided individual rights never heard of in human history, created education and freedom of expression, right to congregate and illegality of slavery etc., etc.,ad infinitum.

    All Sue’s attributes are thanks to these institutions, even down to the clothes she wears. How much will she or her family or families to come contribute to this trend of improving world peace and trade? Humanity’s never had it so good.

    Best wishes! Keith.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The United States is a banana republic ruled by a plutocracy, not a functioning democracy of any kind. It’s also a corporatocracy with big biz aligned with big gov, not a functioning free market. Industrialization has been happening across the world for a couple of centuries now, both in the West and outside it, both under capitalism and non-capitalism. Afghanistan was more advanced and developed when it was allied with the USSR than it is now. It wasn’t always a rubble but was bombed into rubble.

      The United States bombs, dislocates, injures, kills, and orphans millions of people a year around the world. Also, there are more slaves in the world today than at the height of slavery in the 19th century. There are also more blacks in US prisons than there were US slaves in the past. American imperialism has come at a tremendous cost of lives, stolen resources, and ecological destruction. Not to mention all of the democracies the US has overthrown, the terrorists funded and armed, and on and on. It’s not so clear this has been a net gain for most people in the world.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. My dear Keith, no.

      I am less than ever interested in the human world since, despite endless prophets saying the right things and thinking the right thoughts, their message has inevitably been intercepted, perverted and used for evil rather than as it was originally intended.

      My only interest in ER was that they seemed almost to have had a vision which would have pleased any mystic. A vision of joy and oneness. A vision of plenty and care. A dream where kindness, humility and caring would take the place of conventional business and politics. From what I now hear, yet again a vision befitting an honorable prophet has been subverted and channeled into selfish gain for a few, rather than plenty for all.

      I too often point out bad things in this world and too seldom see any good. It may indeed be highly likely, almost certain, that humanity is an irrelevance in the scheme of Reality. And I have now shut myself off again to the world. Back to contemplation of the eternal and better things. Better ways of existence.

      But I do not regret for an instant having drawn attention to a doctrine which is so clearly “good” in a moral and humanitarian sense. Unfortunately I am as yet stuck in this world, much against my wishes. And if I see somebody or some bodies trying to put wrongs to rights, I applaud them. Even though I lack the conviction or energy to bother to join in their struggles. Maybe that better explains my position? I wish people well. I wish all sentient beings well. I wish an end to their suffering as the Buddha did.

      All best wishes, as ever
      A

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Hello Anthony,

    What I read is, “My dear Keith, no , BUT …”. as you go on in four plump paragraphs to look over your shoulder at what some Sufis describe as a Seeker’s receding mania for “manmukh” – mammon! (The dwindling sound of receding camel train bells – old Sufi teaching story).

    Never mind, you’re back! It takes time and spiritual discrimination to get the emerging chrysalis effect right. Thankfully, our Vocation never lets up on us, in my experience.

    Thankful regards,

    Keith.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Wonderful, congratulations.

        So far as humanity is concerned, the adage that “Those who live by the sword die by the sword” can be converted to, “Those who live in but are not of the world never die.”

        Kindest regards, Keith.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. We all have our degrees of involvement and battles we can win. For me, Christian contemplation is the definitive answer. Some think that contemplatives are “selfish” but they just don’t understand that looking to God is kind of like a chain reaction. Everyone on the chain benefits. A spiritual “trickle-down,” if you will.

    We both know we hold different beliefs about Christ but I love that we can respectfully disagree. 🙂 Thanks for your continued support at Earthpages, especially with those more ‘difficult’ topics I sometimes cover. It takes a person of integrity to stick their necks out a bit for something they believe in.👍

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, I believe it is a universal dynamic. And to call it a trickle-down is a bit of a simplification because we all are imperfect, so carry one another at various times in various ways. This cosmovision opens up great possibilities for interfaith dialog. And also relates to those of no particular religious leaning. We’re all sparks created by God.

        Whenever I get too high and mighty with my Christianity, it’s some Muslim, Jew or Hindu who bails me out, spiritually speaking. Still, as Mother Teresa said, I love all religions. I am in love with mine.

        I’m certainly not in love with the seedy side of Catholicism. But the spirituality for me is home. 😇

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Hi, Anthony. Thanx for following my blog. Yours, in turn, seems interesting to me, though we differ significantly on our view of Jesus. I am a Christ-follower, but with the caveat that God is not finished with me yet. Someday He will complete the work He has begun in us, but there’s still a long ways to go for most of us! 😉
    Short on time just before Christmas, but afterward I will look more carefully into The Extinction Rebellion. Their commitment to non-violence is vital in our times of polarized politics. As one of ours on our side of the Pond said, “”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I highly respect any movement that focuses on non-violence for its methodology. Here in the states, too many are gaining a perspective that rioting and property destruction get their politiciam acquiescence. However, an excellent fiction piece to put some of Extinction Rebellion’s concerns in perspective is State of Fear, one of Michael Crichton’s last novels.
    Overall is Jesus’ instructions for us to “Love your enemy, do good to those who persecute you…” reflecting the ancient Jewish teachings of Moses. Far too many who claim to follow Jesus seem to have not read Matthew 5, 6 or 7! 😉

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    1. I agree with you. Vehemently and wholeheartedly. The New Testament presents a fine blueprint for leading our lives as do the Buddhist Scriptures. The Tao is also a wonderful doctrine. It is sad that we have had such wonderous thoughts for so many thousands of years and that we are still unable to put them into practice. May better times come.

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  10. I applaud your motives. As a Christian, however, I believe that man inherently has a “sin nature”. For that reason, all governments are flawed. Civil unrest all too often tends to devolve into violence. We will never achieve Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point on our own. We need a Savior in the Person of Jesus Christ. That does not mean we should stop working for peace and justice.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Anna. It is good of you to read my ramblings. I quite understand your reasoning since I was brought up in the Church of England, baptised and confirmed. That I am an apostate does not stop me appreciating and sympathising with those who believe. If your views on Original Sin are correct (Augustine of Hippo’s doctrine) then I can see how ascension to godhood might be difficult unaided. In any event, with or without the existence of a deity my belief is that our economic and social systems need radical reform. Violence (or rather its avoidance) is key. I am of course and idealist, a utopian. But perhaps we need a few of those in our damaged world!

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  11. I volunteer for XR. Like yourself, not brave enough to be on the frontline but they need lots of volunteer admin and marketing help, they need help with contacting MPs, so there are other ways to support them. If all fails, you can support them with money 🙂

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    1. I very, very much admire your efforts. I am afraid I am all mouth and no action. Somebody reminded me of the system in Bhutan the other day. Those guys can show us a thing or two. Incidentally I was not displeased at the recent losses caused to the rapacious hedge funds in the US. Profiting from short selling is about as immoral as you can get.

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  12. I recently watched a bunch of extinction rebellion activists cycle into the city and wondered where their cars were stashed. I wondered how their devices were charged and hoped they weren’t wearing shoes made from the hides of methane farting cows. I look forward to having them cycle to Melbourne airport. They can spread themselves across the tarmac and block the planes from lifting off. I doubt they have time to work and wonder who pays them to protest.

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      1. My children made a conscious decision to become vegan when they were adults. Not at the same time, they are individuals who believe in being an influence for good through personal action not through preaching or force. They haven’t used leather accessories or worn leather shoes since ‘converting.’ That was a couple of decades ago.

        When I was a young working mum there was one vegetarian restaurant in my city. If you went to a function and requested a vegetarian meal, people wouldn’t know what to do so you’d end up with steamed vegetables on a plate.

        Carbon dioxide emissions fell in 2020. No one was driving, no one was flying. It’s obvious that all of those protestors riding in on bikes was a stunt. It takes the courage of your convictions to live the way you expect others to live. That means no flying or driving for a start. Protesting on a tarmac would quite effectively make your point. Of course you’re more likely to be pulled off and hauled away than walked over, but people would take notice. Then again there’s the danger that some journo might turn up a passport and call you out.
        ER’s ideals may be noble but living them would be far more convincing and ER would earn more respect than it has so far.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is of course of paramount importance to practice what you preach. I am afraid that I am an “ideas man” only. I never bother to look in any depth into the practicalities of any particular matter and hence have no real idea as to whether the people behind any given movement are genuine or merely pursuing an agenda for the usual human motives of power, money and greed. Needless to say, I agree with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m critical of certain environmentalist actions or how they are co-opted by big biz interests. But my criticism comes from the perspective of being a left-liberal who has always supported environmentalism. A dismissive attitude, to my mind, is a moral and intellectual failure. The paranoid conspiracies of right-wing reactionaries, in particular, are the complete opposite of helpful.

    Besides, research shows that those who perceive Machiavellianism in others admit to Machiavellianism in themselves. So, it just ends up being projection of their own unresolved and untreated mental health issues. Such people assume others have evil intents because that is what they’d do if the situation was reversed. But that isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of people conspiring toward various agendas.

    It’s just I wouldn’t dismiss everyone who disagrees with me as an agent, paid or otherwise, of powerful monied interests. I hold the same attitude toward many MAGA supporters and QAnon conspiracists. I despise what their movement stands for and think they represent something dangerous to a free society. I have my own fair share of cynicism, which I’m biased to believe is justifiable.

    Yet I don’t doubt the sincerity of the MAGA/QAnon crowd and I don’t doubt that I’d share some of their genuine concerns, such as about corruption. I’d been happy if Trump had actually drained the swamp, but of course that was always bull shit. I reserve my greatest ire not for those being manipulated but for the social dominators and demagogues who manipulate them. It is those attacking democracy who are our common enemies.

    As I like to repeat, most Americans are to the left of the media elite (across the political spectrum) and to the left of the political elite (in both parties). Even the majority of those on the ‘right’ are often quite far ‘left’, when one looks at the actual polling data. Most Americans, ‘left’ and ‘right’, agree that we need stronger environmental policies and actions. So, there really is no public debate about what we need to do, if we could only get rid of the manipulators on all sides.

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