Karma Yoga: Spontaneous Action Free from Attachment and Desire

“Nothing matters but the soul. Nothing counts in the long run but service.” Alice A Bailey/Master DK
All the world’s religions emphasise the importance and value of Karma Yoga or service – to others, the community, the world. In The New Testament (which is littered with such references), Mark recounts Christ teaching: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all;” and in Philippians 2:4: “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Satya Sai Baba extolls us to “love all, serve all”, and the great Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita has a whole chapter (3) dedicated to The Yoga of Action: “In this world there is a two-fold path taught by me long ago: [the path of] knowledge…and [the path of] action, the yoga of the yogis. Of these two ways, Krishna maintains that “he who by the mind controls the senses, and yet is unattached while engaging action’s organs in action [Karma Yoga], is superior.”
This “action” that Krishna describes is action of a particular, rarified type and tone, it is what Krishnamurti called “correct action”. But what is this action or service, what does it mean “to serve all” as Sai Baba puts it, or anyone for that matter and why is it so important in the quest for liberation and self-knowledge?
The dynamic will of the soul
Service cannot be limited to any specific type of activity and it has nothing to do with occupation, role or position; simply because one happens to work in an area of social need e.g. does not necessarily equate to a life of service. Nor is service based on good intentions, which are widespread, or being thoughtful or kind. Positive as these human qualities are, acts of kindness are not necessarily demonstrations of service or karma yoga; neither is service determined by motive (the desire to “do good” e.g.).
The desire to serve itself comes from the source of all goodness in man – the soul, anchored in the heart; the effectiveness or otherwise of an type of service is directly related to and dependent upon the degree to which the soul is directing and infusing the activity. If, after responding to the soul’s initial call to act along a certain line, action is dominated by the personality or ego (we are using the term “ego” according to Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s definition: ego he says, “is nothing other than the false sense of “I”), the effectiveness and impact of the work will be limited.
Service or Karma Yoga is action consistent with the dynamic will of the soul. A necessary factor in any such action is therefore self-sacrifice; sacrificing the lower self (ego/personality) for the so-called higher (the soul); becoming consciously aware of and laying aside self centred/ego-centred wishes, ideals, images and constructed objectives of, e.g., the result or aim of action along any particular line.
Ego (self) is conditioned and deeply attached, attached to that which it finds pleasurable or comforting; to a belief system, a person, or persons, a place, a book or series of books, anything in fact that is familiar. Actions undertaken from such a limited source are polluted from the outset, and, rooted in ignorance, will inevitably add to the prevailing discord, no matter the area of activity, the motive, hope or intention – however noble.
Despite its protestations and assertions to the contrary, ego, being conditioned, does not know what “correct or right” action is, as Krishnamurti called it, and as such it cannot truly engage in service/karma yoga, or claim to serve. Although ideals, such as brotherhood, unity, peace, tolerance etc, which emanate from the soul and are consistent with “divine intent”, are fondly spoken of, due to the dominance of the ego, they remain unrealised and instead of harmony destructive self-centred patterns are repeatedly set in motion – karmic streams of force, in which we flounder again and again. As Bhagavan Ramana states “The fruit of karma passes. But action [by the ego] leaves behind the seed of further action [and therefore karma] leading to an endless ocean of action and not at all to moksha (liberation/freedom).”
“Correct action” is action free from the production of karmic seeds; incorrect or self-centred action, rooted as it inevitably is in conditioning, attachment and desire, will by contrast always lay “the seeds of further action”, and often leads to chaos.
We see the fruit of this pattern in the world around us. In all areas of life, individually and collectively, separation and conflict, selfishness and greed characterize modes of living and systems of governance. From economic, social and political inequality to religious intolerance, poverty and environmental injustices to terrorism and war, the world, as devised by mankind, is deeply divided, and in many ways, dysfunctional. The external forms within which our daily life takes place are expressions of the collective consciousness of humanity – the root or initiating impulse from which activity and forms take shape and advance.
“Give and ask naught”
The personality/ego may believe in the ideal of service (mind loves an ideal – peace, brotherhood, love) and see the goodness of selfless action; it may form an image of service and seek to live up to that image, and indeed some good may be achieved, but like all images it will be a conditioned limited view and to some degree will form an obstacle to correct action. Freedom from the inclinations, the desires, fears and attachments inherent in the life of the ego, will allow such restrictive tendencies to be overcome, right action to take place allowing a true server to be born.
As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, He, “who controlling the senses by the mind, O Arjuna, with the organs of action without attachment, performeth the yoga by action, he is worthy.” Non-attachment is essential; the great Indian sage, Nirsargadatta Maharaja taught that, “Discrimination will lead to detachment; detachment will ensure right action; right action will build the inner bridge to your real being [the Self].”
Such “right” action is the action of the soul – action free from choice and the time-bound rumination of thought. The soul does not choose and act, there is no “weighing things up” and eventually deciding; from a position of vision, unconditioned knowledge and pure love, the soul simply acts. as the Master DK (writing through Alice A. Bailey), puts it in a letter to a disciple, “you need to acquire that divine indifference which leaves the soul free to serve – untrammelled by personality reactions.” This is truly right or correct action, karma yoga or service; rare indeed in the world.
Action that precipitates unhindered from this holy source will always be harmonious, even if disruptive to, for example, the existing socio-economic system, or destructive of a civilization that has run its course. Such clean (unpolluted) action is the hallmark of a true human being; someone who does not identify with the ego and knows beyond doubt that he/she is part of a united whole. As the great Indian avatar Anandamayi Ma, revered as an incarnation of the feminine principle, and known to millions simply as Mother, put it; in service, “you will come to know by direct perception that the person served, the one who serves, and the act of service are separate only in appearance.”
The handicap to ‘correct’ action or service then, is the identification of the “I” with the personality/ego, from this identification grows the idea of individual doer-ship. This is a powerful factor in the obstruction of soul action, and is inevitable as long as the notion of an individual “I” or ego persists. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains: “the one who perceives that all works are done by the powers of material Nature truly understands and thus does not consider oneself as the doer.” Furthermore, “Surrendering all actions to Me [Krishna or soul], with thy thoughts resting on the supreme Self, from hope and egoism freed, and of mental fever cured, engage in battle [action].”
Freedom from this idea of individual doer-ship and the inflated image it creates is not accomplished through abstaining from activity, but through the negation of ego, through non-attachment and the overcoming of desire/fear. The Master DK points to the sustaining action of the sun as an illustration of the attitude required: “Lord of my life, how can I do the duty of this day yet seek detachment? Meet every need yet free myself from ties and bonds? God said: the Sun draws near and vivifies the Earth. Naught can it take from out the Earth. Live likewise. Give and ask naught.”
Such action, which is free from reward of any kind allows for spontaneous or effortless action (something Krishnamurti repeatedly spoke of) to occur. Spontaneous action is the opposite of conditioned, reward-based action, and is a central element within Taoism and Zen. The idea of “non-doing” is central in Taoism. This does not mean absence of action, but the negation of doer-ship and imposition, not trying to assert one’s own will on the natural movement of life but “going with the flow”. Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism) taught the importance of being quiet and watchful, tuning within to become aware of what Helena Blavatsky called the Voice of the Silence.
Zen also teaches what we might call The Art of Action; moving from forceful action to spontaneous action, which is a form of unrestrained freedom experienced through the application of intense discipline as awareness or choiceless observation, as Krishnamurti called it. Not freedom to do as we want irrespective of consequences, but freedom from attachment, from desire and fear. Such is the pure action of the soul in which no sense of separation is experienced; as the Master DK says, “To stand really free is to stand in the clear unimpeded light of the soul, which is basically and intrinsically group consciousness,” that is, without any sense of individual doer-ship or separation.
In order for the soul to act free from limitation, the mind needs to be still, quiet, uncluttered, detached. As Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly [correctly], once your mind is quiet.” Stillness and therefore purification of the mind – the “root cause” – is essential for actions to be wholly “correct”; and it is only “correct” action that can create the forms, structures and modes of living required to bring about peace and usher in a civilisation rooted in goodness.
This is why Krishnamurti and other great teachers have emphasized that lasting fundamental change in society is dependent upon the individuals within society changing: “to change it [society/the world] you have to change yourself. When you begin to change yourself, you begin to change the society.” Because, as is clear “You [we] are the world, and the world is you [us]. Therefore you [we] have a tremendous responsibility.” A “responsibility” to the world, a responsibility to serve the needs of the time as we understand them, and at the same time a responsibility to free oneself from the obstacles to “correct action”, a responsibility to get out of the way. All else will follow naturally and spontaneously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Nothing matters but the soul. Nothing counts in the long run but service.” (MasterDK DNA Vol1)
All the world’s religions emphasise the importance and value of service (to others, the community, the world) or Karma Yoga. In The New Testament (which is littered with such references), Mark recounts Christ teaching: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all;” and in Philippians 2:4: “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Satya Sai Baba says something similar, extolling us to “love all, serve all”, and the great Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita has a whole chapter (3) dedicated to The Yoga of Action: “In this world there is a two-fold path taught by me long ago: [the path of] knowledge, the yoga of the Sankhyas, and [the path of] action, the yoga of the yogis. Of these two ways, Krishna maintains that “he who by the mind controls the senses, and yet is unattached while engaging action’s organs in action [Karma Yoga], is superior.”
This “action” that Krishna describes is action of a particular, rarified type and tone, it is what Krishnamurti called “correct action”; and is also known as  sevā in Sanskrit, or service. But what is this action or service, what does it mean “to serve all” as Sai Baba puts it, or anyone for that matter? How does it manifest and why is it so important in the quest for liberation and self-knowledge?
The dynamic will of the soul
Service cannot be limited to any specific type of activity and it has nothing to do with occupation, role or position; simply because one happens to work in an area of social need e.g. such as a medical professional, a carer or social worker, a teacher or aid worker, an artist, musician or writer, does not necessarily equate to a life of service. Nor is service based on good intentions, which are widespread, or being thoughtful or kind. Positive as these human qualities are, acts of kindness are not inherently demonstrations of service or karma yoga; neither is service determined by motive (the desire to “do good” for example), or the level of benefit any action may or may not bring to another/others.
The desire to serve itself comes from the source of goodness in man – the soul (or jiva), anchored in the heart; the effectiveness or otherwise of an action of service is directly related to and dependent upon the degree to which the soul is directing and infusing the work, or not. If, as is common, after responding to the soul’s initial call to act along a certain line, action is dominated by the personality or ego (we are using the term “ego” according to Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s definition: ego he says, “is nothing other than the false sense of “I”), then the quality of service will be poor, the impact weak and largely ineffective.
Service or Karma Yoga then is action consistent with the dynamic will of the soul. A necessary factor in any such action is therefore self-sacrifice; sacrificing the so-called lower self (ego/personality) for the so-called higher (the soul); becoming consciously aware of and laying aside petty self centred/ego-centred wishes, ideals, images and constructed objectives of the result or aim of action along any particular line.
Ego (self) knows nothing outside the inhibiting patterns of thought it has been subjected to, has accumulated and now believes in. It is deeply attached, attached to that which it finds pleasurable or comforting; to a belief system, a person, or persons, a place, a book or series of books, anything in fact that is familiar. As Bhagavan Ramana explained, ego relies on attachment to forms (including thought forms) for its existence:“Holding onto [grasping and attaching] form it [ego] rises; holding form it remains; holding and feeding on form it thrives. Leaving one form, it takes hold of another. When sought, it takes flight. Such is the ego ghost [phantom self] with no form of its own.”
Actions undertaken from such a conditioned, and therefore limited source (as the overwhelming majority of actions are), are polluted from the outset, and, rooted in ignorance, will inevitably add to the prevailing discord, no matter the area of activity, the motive, hope or intention – however noble.
Despite its protestations and assertions to the contrary, ego does not know what “correct or right” action is, as Krishnamurti called it, and as such it cannot truly engage in service/karma yoga, or claim to serve – to be the one that serves.
Although ideals, such as brotherhood, unity, peace, tolerance etc, which may well emanate from the soul and be consistent therefore with “divine intent”, are fondly spoken of, due to the dominance of the ego, destructive self-centred patterns are repeatedly set in motion – karmic streams of force, in which we flounder again and again. As Bhagavan Ramana states “The fruit of karma passes. But action [by the ego] leaves behind the seed of further action [and therefore karma] leading to an endless ocean of action and not at all to moksha (liberation/freedom).” “Correct action” is action free from the production of all karmic seeds.
Incorrect or self-centred action, rooted as it must be in conditioning, attachment and desire, will always lay “the seeds of further action”, and often leads to chaos, because that is the nature of the source from which it springs. We see the fruit of this pattern in the world around us. In all areas of life, individually and collectively, separation and conflict, selfishness and greed characterize modes of living and systems of governance. From economic, social and political inequality to religious intolerance, poverty and environmental injustices to terrorism and war, the world, as devised by mankind, is deeply divided, and in many ways, dysfunctional. The external forms (socio-economic-political structures) within which daily life takes place are merely an expression or reflection of the interior world of humanity, the collective ego or consciousness; the root from which activity and forms take shape and advance; this is the source, the initiating cause.
The illusion of security
In its purest form, service or karma yoga is not possible within the limitations of the ego’s constructed sense of self. It may aspire to serve, it may believe in the ideal of service (mind loves an ideal – peace, brotherhood, love) and see the goodness of selfless action; it may form an image of service and seek to live up to that image, but like all images it will be a conditioned limited view and, instead of facilitating service it will add to the obstacles or illusion of correct action.
As long as identification of the “I” with the body (physical, mental, emotional) remains, the focus – more or less – will be the satisfaction of desire (including the desire to serve if such a desire exists), the avoidance of pain and establishing security, which is impossible but unacknowledged; as Krishnamurti said, “there is no such thing as security, this restless demand for security is part of the observer, the centre [ego], the monkey….[but] it can never find it [security]….the desire for thought to be secure is the way of uncertainty, is the way of insecurity.” In the recognition of this fact, he concludes, lies security. In other words, give up desire and the attachment to that which creates the illusion of security (all forms), turn within and the certainty one yearns for will be known. It is the desire for security and the habitual tendency of looking for it (and happiness) externally (in “the world”) that creates fear and perpetual discontent, because like all desires it moves the mind outwards away from the inner centre where peace, and the source of correct action lies, and into the world of fluctuating forms and empty images.
Desire, fear and attachment form the Trinity of Entrapment and Inhibition; a crushing force that either poisons totally or limits in varying degrees the quality and tone of action. It is only when there is freedom from these stifling tendencies that the ego will fall negative to the positive influx of energy from the soul, and in all radiance a true server will be born.
As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, He, “who controlling the senses by the mind, O Arjuna, with the organs of action without attachment, performeth the yoga by action, he is worthy.” For service to be, non-attachment is essential; the great Indian sage, Nirsargadatta Maharaja taught that, “Discrimination will lead to detachment; detachment will ensure right action; right action will build the inner bridge to your real being [the Self].”
Such “right” action is the action of the soul – or the action of the man/woman free from ego, free from all attachment; action free from choice and the time-bound rumination of thought. The soul does not choose and act, there is no “weighing things up”, looking at pros and cons and eventually deciding; from a position of vision, unconditioned knowledge and pure love, the soul simply acts. This is truly right or correct action, karma yoga or service; rare indeed in the world.
Service or Karma Yoga, then, is the soul in action; the very act of taking incarnation by the soul is itself an act of service, one that involves a specific sacrifice. Not “self-sacrifice”, in the sense of the ego giving up its desires and habitual inclinations – something it will never willingly do – but soul sacrifice: the sacrifice of what we might call the eternal peace of “the higher”, the realm of soul consciousness (Manasic plane), for involvement in “the lower”, the physical plane.
Free from attachment, fear and desire, soul action proceeds, not from the conditioned mind, but from the heart/mind. As the Master DK puts it in a letter to a disciple, “you need to acquire that divine indifference which leaves the soul free to serve – untrammelled by personality reactions.”
Action that precipitates unhindered from this holy source will always be harmonious, even if disruptive to, for example, the existing socio-economic system, or destructive of a civilization that has run its course. Such clean (unpolluted) action is the hallmark of a true human being; someone who does not identify with the ego and knows beyond doubt that he/she is part of a united whole. As the great Indian avatar Anandamayi Ma, revered as an incarnation of the feminine aspect of deity and known to millions simply as Mother, put it; in service, “you will come to know by direct perception that the person served, the one who serves, and the act of service are separate only in appearance.”
“Give and ask naught”
The handicap to ‘correct’ action or service then, is the identification of the “I” with the personality/ego; with the mind, which is constantly filling and re-filling itself, moving outwards into the sensory world, into agitation and away from the Silence of the Real; and attachment to the contents of the mind – which, from the standpoint of the personality, is consciousness. From this identification grows the idea of individual doer-ship. This is a powerful factor in the obstruction of soul action, and is inevitable as long as the notion of an individual “I” or ego persists, whereas, Karma Yoga or service is action free from any sense of (individual) doer-ship.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains: “the one who perceives that all works are done by the powers of material Nature truly understands and thus does not consider oneself as the doer.” Furthermore, “Surrendering all actions to Me [Krishna or soul], with thy thoughts resting on the supreme Self, from hope and egoism freed, and of mental fever cured, engage in battle [action].”
Freedom from the ego and this idea of individual doer-ship and the inflated image it creates is not accomplished through abstaining from activity. As Krishna makes clear. “Man winneth not freedom from action [karma] by abstaining from activity, nor by mere renunciation does he rise to perfection [freedom from ego]. Nor can anyone, even for an instant, remain really actionless; for helplessly is everyone driven to action by the qualities [gunas] of nature.” Here He is also pointing to the impersonal, impelling source of activity. The sustaining action of the Sun is perhaps the model of such an ideal, as the Master DK says writing through Alice A. Bailey, “Lord of my life, how can I do the duty of this day yet see detachment? Meet every need yet free myself from ties and bonds? God said: the Sun draws near and vivifies the Earth. Naught can it take from out the Earth. Live likewise. Give and ask naught.”
Action purified, freed from the limitations of the self, rests upon awareness; becoming aware through observation, of who it is that is acting at any given moment. Observation with honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and crucially, detachment, as indicated by Maitreya the World Teacher and head of the spiritual hierarchy.
“Non-doing”
The source from which actions flow constitutes the means of action, and as Krishnamurti explained, the nature or quality of the ‘end’ is contained within the means; there is in fact only the means. Cause and effect are tightly interwoven – effect is tied to, conditional upon its cause. Hence the need to “perform thou right action,” as Krishna stated; “right” or correct action, “correct under all circumstances”, is something Krishnamurti repeatedly talked about.
The world in which we live is not an expression of “correct” action; its forms, structures and modes of living have been constructed by fragmented acts flowing from conditioned mind/s, corrupted by attachment and desire. And Krishnamurti made clear that, if the mind is attached to “an idea, to a concept, to some value, or to a person. Action springing from that [point] must always be corrupt.” He further explains that our (self-centred) actions are based on the past [conditioning], on our accumulated ideas, beliefs and hopes, and as such there is “no spontaneous action.”
Spontaneous or effortless action (something else Krishnamurti repeatedly spoke of) is the opposite of conditioned, reward-based action, with its fear-inducing inhibitions. Spontaneous thought/action is also a central element within Taoism and Zen.
The idea of “non-doing” is central in Taoism. This does not mean absence of action, but the negation of doer-ship and imposition, not trying to assert one’s own will on the natural movement of life but “going with the flow”. Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism) taught the importance of being quiet and watchful, tuning within to become aware of what Helena Blavatsky called the Voice of the Silence.
Zen also teaches what we might call The Art of Action; moving from forceful action to spontaneous action, which is a form of unrestrained freedom experienced through the application of intense discipline as awareness or choiceless observation, as Krishnamurti called it. Not freedom to do as we want irrespective of consequences, but freedom from attachment, from desire and fear. Such is the pure action of the soul in which no sense of separation is experienced; as the Master DK says, “To stand really free is to stand in the clear unimpeded light of the soul, which is basically and intrinsically group consciousness,” that is, without any sense of individual doer-ship or separation.
Pure or “correct” action will naturally take place when that which obstructs and distorts is overcome; that troublesome entity is the ego, or false “I”. A construct of the mind, which is determined to assert its own separate will, and is, as Krishnamurti makes plain, the “root cause”, the “creator” of all the chaos in the world. So, “Having found the root cause” he asks, is the mind “capable of dissolving the cause and therefore bringing about a different action in life;” action that is correct “under all circumstances.” Mind is described in the Ageless Wisdom teachings as an intermediary sitting between the soul and the brain, in the same way that, on a higher turn of the wheel, the soul is described as the “divine intermediary”, between the mind and the Monad/Atman or Self.
In order for the soul to act unimpededly, the mind, which as we now know it, is nothing other than a bundle of thoughts, needs to be still, quiet, uncluttered, detached. As Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly [correctly], once your mind is quiet.” Stillness and therefore purification of the mind – the “root cause” – is essential for actions to be wholly “correct”; and it is only “correct” action that can make manifest the forms, structures and modes of living required to bring about peace and usher in a civilisation rooted in goodness.
This is why Krishnamurti and other great teachers have emphasized that change in society is dependent upon the individuals within society changing: “to change it [society/the world] you have to change yourself. When you begin to change yourself, you begin to change the society.” Because, as is clear “You [we] are the world, and the world is you [us]. Therefore you [we] have a tremendous responsibility.” “Responsibility” to act correctly, to purify the “root cause” of action; to free oneself from the constraints of conditioning, from all forms of attachment and the false identification of the “I”; to get out of the way. All else will follow naturally and spontaneously.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Multiplying Hatred and Division: Humanity at War With Itself

Whatever our differences, beliefs and prejudices we can all agree that peace is a good thing, can’t we, don’t we? All rational decent human beings would, I’m sure, nod enthusiastically, and who among us would admit to not being rational or decent…..even the despots believe they are – rational, just misunderstood. So why are human beings in constant conflict, why are there wars and the like at all, whether it’s in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan etc., etc.?
Fighting, violent conflict, heated arguments, all bad, harmony and peace good; it’s simple, obvious, right? Up to the point when someone somewhere attacks the rational decent men/women, in some way. Insults their family, belittles their religion or political ideology, criticizes or denigrates their country, burns their flag. At that moment, while peace is, theoretically at least, still cherished, it is forgotten, laid asunder, trampled underfoot. Heads locked, anger and rage unleashed, escalation is swift, intransigence immediate, forgiveness unthinkable. And, in a world of quick judgements and rabid tribalism, to not fight implies cowardice, moral weakness, leaving one open to abuse and exploitation.
Humanity is at war, not just with rival groups or nations, but within relationships, with the planet and with ourselves. Conditioned: psychologically and sociological conditioned, into war, into nationalism, into isms of all kinds, into competition and selfishness. And from this conditioned center action proceeds, action that is fragmented, ridden with desire and self-serving motives. The inevitable result is the world around us, chaos, violence, destruction and division. A harmonious peaceful world rests upon humankind being in harmony with itself;
Some will argue that human beings are innately violent (in the same way they say that man is born to compete); we’d like to be peaceful and kind, but, they claim, we just can’t help ourselves. By this fatalistic and false logic the men of war – the politicians, generals, terrorists, criminals and lovers of violence everywhere (including Putin) – could propose that some uncontrollable instinct forces them to fight, torture and kill; an ancient instinct rooted in tribalism, self-protection and fear, a dark shadow of man’s ancient past when right and wrong were unknown and survival was all.
Well, laying aside such spurious, albeit convenient nonsense, we can all agree that war is forever wrong, abhorrent and ugly on all levels, including the attack on Ukraine (ditto US attack on Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam etc); a brutal act of aggression taking place within a historical and geo-political context, which, whilst not in any way justifying the attack, is relevant. Repeatedly laid out by commentators and analysts in recent weeks, including John Mearsheimer in his interview with The New Yorker, this context includes NATO expansionism, in spite of US commitments to Russia that no such expansion would take place; the US/West arming Ukraine and supporting the overthrow of the government in 2014, and in the months leading up to Russia invading, agitating, virtually demanding a war. Constantly prodding The Russian Bear, egging him on, daring him to attack with various threats – ‘there will be serious consequences’ and so on. Mainstream/corporate media functioned as the megaphone of political agitation and aggression.
Putin would probably have attacked anyway, but the constant screaming from the touchline certainly wasn’t designed to deter an invasion and foster peace, tolerance and understanding.
Western leaders, particularly the bumbling fumbling Johnson (desperate to be seen to be relevant), and bewildered Biden, repeatedly praise Ukrainian heroism and armed resistance. President Zelenskiy echoed Churchill in his address to the UK parliament, declaring that the people of Ukraine would battle on relentlessly, “We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.” For this fighting spirit and steadfast ‘leadership’, which the media lap up, Zelenskiy is praised, hailed as a hero. It’s an approach that suits The West well, particularly the (US-dominated) arms industry; but by encouraging people to fight he is condemning more Ukrainians to death, because, having committed himself and his troops this far, Putin will not withdraw, on the contrary the bombardments will only intensify, causing more suffering and destruction until a deal is agreed.
Stop fighting and reduce the carnage; never surrender, resist fiercely and consistently, but stop fighting and allow the Russians to do the same. The Stop Fighting Keep Resisting approach, is not pacifism or weakness and does not imply giving up, acquiescing; non-violent resistance is a powerful force against aggression and injustice of all kinds. It is also the method recommended by enlightened teachers throughout the ages. Christ, for example, in His inspired Sermon on the Mount, said: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28), and taught that if “someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” (Luke 6:29). He, Christ, is not suggesting a passive, weak-kneed response to a cruel bully, but a resolute one – defiantly standing one’s ground with pride, but not reverting to violence and hate.
This compassionate non-violent response was also taught by the Buddha 600 years prior to Christ; in fact Buddhism, like Jainism, rejects any type of violence to all forms of life. And within the Upanishad (the oldest philosophical text known, and basis of Hinduism) a similar approach is found: ‘Non-injury’ as the Hindu might term it.
Not responding to violence with violence weakens the forces of hate and fear that impels and empowers the aggressor; as Dr. Martin Luther King said, “returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In this materialistic cynical world such statements, and they are statements of truth, are totally disregarded, laughed at.
Love, whilst superficially cherished, has been reduced to crass sentimentality, to a warm comforting ‘feeling’; replaced by desire, distorted and corrupted. To even suggest that the demonstration of love, which is a dynamic creative energy inspiring all that is good, might be a solution to conflict, a requirement and facilitator of peace, is to be dismissed as a deluded dreamer. As, then, is Christ, whilst still being worshipped (something He never wanted or asked for incidentally), ditto the Buddha, the Ancient Rishis of India and others. It matters not it seems what the source of such wise advice and guidance is: no matter how enlightened, humanity ignores and laughs at it; labels the speaker as naive, someone ‘not living in the real world’.
But, in order to live peacefully together, love and the qualities of goodness that flow from it are essential. Not romantic love, weak idealism or religious rhetoric, but love as a living force animating our actions, influencing the design of socio-economic-political systems and institutions, inspiring social justice; love shaping values and behavior and purifying, quietening thought, unifying communities and peoples, allowing peace to naturally come about.
Although there are (decent) people living ‘good’ wholesome lives in every corner of the globe, this common-sense image, which I’m guessing all would applaud and many long for, is a long way from the current world in which we live, a utopian fantasy almost. Competition, nationalism and selfishness dominate world affairs and many personal relationships, and form the structure of the socio-economic Ideology of Greed and Division; conformity, noise and intolerance abound; short-term pleasure sold in place of lasting happiness.
These are the methodologies and values underpinning an approach to life that has poisoned the planet, created societies of unhealthy men and women and fed an atmosphere of conflict and violence. It is an ugly cynical way of living based on false conclusions and ignorance that has denied all wonder and mystery while strengthening reductive self-centred constructs (rooted in a belief in separation) about who and what we are. It is an approach to life that, if we are to save the planet and create peaceful societies made up of contented, heathy men and women, indeed if we are to survive at all, must be rejected totally.

“Open Your Hearts and Act”: African Youth Activists on Climate Apathy

It’s November 2021 and hordes of dignitaries from around the world are assembled in Glasgow, Scotland for the annual Conference of the Parties (COP), number 26. Billed as the last chance to do something to slow down climate change and reduce the vandalism being inflicted on the natural world by mankind, it proved to be yet another opportunity lost.
The catastrophic impact of climate change is detailed in the latest IPCC report, described as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”, by António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations. The report once again asserts that human induced “Climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting billions of lives all over the world….with people and ecosystems least able to cope being hardest hit.”
Its the second of three reports to be published by the IPCC since Glasgow (the first was descried as a “code red for humanity), and constitutes another impassioned plea for urgent action. Almost half the worlds population (3.5 billion) are currently living in countries vulnerable to climate impacts – mostly the poorest people in the poorest nations, the report says. If the impact of climate change is to be limited it is imperative that global warming does not go above 1.5°C (over pre-industrial levels), which requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and net zero by 2050. But based on current commitments, António Guterres says,“global emissions are set to increase almost 14 per cent over the current decade. That spells catastrophe.”
One of the key aims of COP26 was to encourage countries to “come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.” But, although some baby steps were taken little of real substance was achieved by the men and women in suits. They talked a lot, to one another, in the plenary, at various side shows, but, curtailed by self-interest, a political-economic ideology rooted in limitless consumption, and overtly influenced by corporate power, did, have done and will no doubt continue to do nowhere near enough: Cowards all, our political leaders are cowards, unprincipled, dogma-ridden, duplicitous cowards; and mainly white.
Inspiration and Hope however was present in Glasgow. On the streets The Young and not so young, but lots of The Young, assembled, and in the hall, where delegates sat laptops whirling, mobile phones dinging, young climate change activists from Africa and elsewhere pleaded with the powerful to act.
Elizabeth Wathuti, from Kenya, made a powerful, deeply moving speech, which summed up the feelings of many of us:
“I have done a lot of soul searching about what to say here today….My truth will only land if you have the grace to fully listen. My story will only move you if you can open up your heart….your will to act must come from deep within. Over 2 million of my fellow Kenyans are facing climate related starvation. In this past year, both of our rainy seasons have failed….our rivers are running dry, our harvests are failing; our store houses stand empty; our animals and people are dying. Please open your hearts.
This is not only happening in Kenya. Over the past few months, there have been deadly heatwaves and wildfires in Algeria and devastating floods in Uganda and Nigeria. By 2025, in just four years time, half of the world’s population will be facing water scarcity. And by the time I’m 50, the climate crisis will have displaced 86 million people in Sub Saharan Africa alone.
Please open your hearts. If you allow yourself to feel it, the heartbreak and the injustice is hard to bear….it is our responsibility to ensure that the children have food and water……The decisions you make here will help determine whether children will have food and water. I believe in our human capacity to care deeply and to act collectively. I believe in our ability to do what is right if we let ourselves feel it in our hearts. So for these next two weeks, let us feel it in our hearts. The children cannot live on words and empty promises. They are waiting for you to act. Please open your hearts and then act.”

 

The seed of hope

We all need to “open our hearts and act”, especially those of us in the rich developed nations.
Those most at risk from corporate greed and western apathy are the developing nations of the world. They have done virtually nothing to cause the environmental emergency, but are feeling the impact most acutely and receiving barely any support. As Elizabeth Wahuti said, “Sub Saharan Africans are responsible for just half a percent of historical emissions. The children are responsible for none but they are bearing the brunt.”
It’s totally wrong, unjust, unfair, immoral; climate change injustice is one more shameful, violent example of The West’s indifference, arrogance and racism — it is no coincidence that most of those being sacrificed to climate change are black or brown: in this divided corrupt world, some lives are demonstrably of less value than others.
The rich industrialized nations of the world have caused the mess, and have what is routinely referred to as a ‘historic responsibility’ – (in 1900, more than 90% of emissions were produced in Europe or the US; by 1950, they accounted for more than 85%). What is not so often mentioned is that they, particularly the US, also have a massive contemporary responsibility; for, while it’s true that China produces more greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) in total than any other country, America tops the chart of GGE’s per capita.
In addition, it is western values of materialism and relentless consumption, that have now been aggressively exported throughout the world, that, with every shopping spree and irresponsible lifestyle choice (eating animal produce e.g.) are deepening the crisis day after day.
Climate change anxiety, and outrage over racial capitalism and Colonial Exploitation (and all are connected), including Covid vaccine injustice, has inspired an army of environmental activists across Africa.
Oladosu Adenike, 27, started the Nigerian “Fridays for Future” campaign. She was in Glasgow and made the point that environmental degradation and social instability are closely linked, telling VOA, “the peace and stability in this region (the Lake Chad region, the Sahel) depends on when we are able to restore the lake [so that] people can get sustainable livelihoods, [and] for them not to be….vulnerable to join armed groups of people. And this will likewise improve democracy in the region.” The Lake Chad Basin, which covers almost 8% of the continent has shrunk by 90% since the 1960s because of drought; the resulting competition for resources has caused poverty (10 million people are now dependent on humanitarian assistance) and conflict.
Another young African voice stirring the Glasgow malaise was Kaluki Paul Mutuku from Kenya; “We are constantly in the fear of losing our family members, losing our communities because the climate is dry — it is worsening by the day — there are droughts, there is extreme rainfall, and communities cannot bear it.” Some of the poorest communities in the world “cannot bear it”; communities that have done nothing to cause the problem — this fact cannot be stated too often. It is the greed, complacency and arrogance of the wealthy nations, in particular the richest members within those nations, that are overwhelmingly responsible. But, insulated somewhat from the most intense impacts of climate change, they care not and refuse to alter their lifestyle of excessive, irresponsible and largely unnecessary consumption.

 

After the weakness of COP 26, and the selfish short-term indifference of governments, including the ultra nationalist Modi regime of India, which is simply the latest in a line of such tragedies, it is hard to be hopeful (hope based on action not sentimental wish making), particularly for those living in Africa and other developing regions. But these powerful voices and the many other young activists in Africa and across there world offer a ray of sunlight in the grey; as Kaluki Mutuku said, “We cannot afford to lose hope. And as long as young people, grassroots, and our front-line communities are leading the decade of change, then we are in the right trajectory.”

We must all hope and pray that he is right, and, whilst the major actions needed to combat the environmental emergency rests with governments and corporations/business, all of us individually can play our part to minimize the impact on communities that simply “cannot bear it”; communities in our own nations and in parts of the world that may be thousands of miles away. As Elizabeth Wathuti said, we must begin to “care deeply and to act collectively.” Therein lies the seed of hope.
 
 
 
 

The Keep Africa Poor and Dependent Project

Exploited and abused for generations by white colonial powers and manipulative economic structures, there is a growing feeling of solidarity within parts of the African continent, as exemplified by the #NoMore movement. Covid vaccine inequality and environmental injustice, together with recent events in Ethiopia have galvanized people.
Ideas of African unity and rage against former imperial forces are nothing new; the chain of suppression and exploitation of African nations is long, running from slavery and colonialism (including colonial extraction) to wealth and climate inequality, racial capitalism and now Covid vaccine apartheid.
Despite the fact that many would say Africa was united long before Europe – family to tribe, tribe to nation, nation to continent, with 54 countries spread over a vast area – establishing a defined Union of Africa seems unlikely, if not impossible. Standing in solidarity, rejecting western intervention, challenging the exploitative status quo and reductive notions of development based on a defunct western model is not; indeed, if African nations are to prosper and create vibrant economies allowing its burgeoning young population to fulfil their enormous potential, they must.
Poverty amidst abundance of resources
Blessed with rich environments and vast natural resources, Sub-Saharan Africa should certainly not be poor. But for huge numbers of people across the continent grinding poverty and hardship are the norm.
According to the World Bank report Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa, while those living in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 a day) has fallen in the last twenty years, the number of “poor people [living on $5 a day or less]…has increased from 278 million in 1990 to over 413 million” Over 80% of those living in stifling poverty are found in rural areas where education and health care are scarce.
Natural resources dominate many African economies and, along with agriculture, are central to the livelihoods of the poor rural majority. African natural resources that are owned by multi-national mining companies, dug out of the ground by grossly underpaid local workers, are exported for production in goods that are sold in the rich developed nations. This has been the role of Sub-Saharan Africa for generations, and is fundamental to the prosperity of advanced countries: they need the raw materials and they need them to be dirt cheap.
The handful of conglomerates that dominate, collude in enabling monopoly buying structures. Contracts agreed at national levels are administered by middle-men, often corrupt, in the pockets of the corporation; the local workforce have little choice but to accept whatever ‘terms of employment’ are offered; poverty entraps and silences rebellion.
It is a crippling model of suppression and exploitation; a form of wage slavery – that holds not just the workers in its suffocating grip, but the nation and continent. It is one of the main reasons African nations that are overly dependent on raw materials, whether cotton or oil, coffee, diamonds or Cobalt, are poor. Poverty is political, the result of short-term political and economic decisions taken in The West by duplicitous corporate-controlled governments.
The other reasons that ensure Africa remains poor and dependent are historical and economic: Colonization, which persists as economic and cultural imperialism, together with a certain mind-set of superiority/inferiority. A mind-set that maintains consciously or unconsciously that some people (black, brown) are worth less than others and, as Covid vaccine inequities demonstrate, can be sacrificed. The economic structures, global institutions and economic ideologies championed by abusive self-centered governments and promoted in the business schools around the world are all designed to ensure Africa remains poor: Imperialism never ended, it just changed form.
When colonial powers withdrew from the global south they needed new ways of maintaining the enslavement of Africa and Africans. Three interrelated weapons where used to create dependency: Aid, debt and the toxic Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), the overarching umbrella of control.
In the 1980s SAP’s where introduced; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) gave highly conditional loan packages to African nations in order to aid their ‘development’; in fact the loans/SAPs, which destroyed African economies and agriculture, were simply forms of debt entrapment. Once a country is indebted it becomes easy to control. SAPs hollowed out national economies and incorporated Africa into the global political economic system, dominated by the US. It’s economic warfare: the rich countries set up these unaccountable institutions and systems to control the poor nations.
The IMF, WB, World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), were given enormous political influence/control of African governments and economies. Funding for public services (e.g. education and health care) was slashed to repay loans; countries were forced to ‘liberalize’ their economies, and privatize, selling off key areas like utilities to western or western-backed companies.
In his book Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, John Perkins designates this process of economic terrorism as ‘Predatory Capitalism’: he describes how in an earlier period, during the 1950’s the IMF, CIA and US State Department set up a faceless bank to lend money to African countries that were producing raw materials; any national President that refused the loan was at risk of being handed over to the ‘Jackals’, as Perkins describes the CIA thugs that accompanied him.
At independence, many African countries were self-sufficient in food production and were in fact net exporters of food; SAPs and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, changed all that. Countries were forced to withdraw State subsidies to agriculture (while farmers in Europe and the US receive huge subsidies); farmers suffered, food prices increased, food insecurity was created, dependency on aid and Western benefactors ensured and with it control by the US and her puppets, of Africa, its direction and ‘development’, or, as these paranoid selfish states would have it, its non-development.
‘Development as Westernisation
Within the narrow socio-economic paradigm that dominates global affairs, ‘development’ and perpetual economic ‘growth’ are regarded as all important. Dominated by quarterly national GDP figures, it is a reductive model designed by ‘donor’ nations to serve not the people of Africa or Asia, but western corporations and the unjust, defunct Ideology of Greed, so beloved.
The very idea of development, has become synonymous with ‘Westernization’, including the way of life, the values, behavior and attitudes of the rich, ‘successful’ nations of The West: a hollow, deeply materialistic way of life rooted in division, selfishness and conformity that has poisoned and vandalized the natural environment, created unhealthy, unequal societies of anxious suppressed human beings.
In order to develop economists maintain Africa must industrialise and manufacture – no country has ever ‘developed’ without manufacturing. All this is true, and some African nations, like Ethiopia, which has a vibrant leather industry, are beginning to do just this. But this is only true within the suffocating boundaries of the existing model of extreme capitalism based on unsustainable consumerism.
There must be another way; perhaps as we sit at this transitional time, not just for Africa, but for the world as a whole, the opportunity presents itself to re-design the socio-economic structures, reimagine civilization, and in so doing save the planet. And perhaps Africa, unburdened, energised and dynamic can play a leading role; working with the West, but rejecting the model of conformity and exploitation, the conditionality of support.
The existing development paradigm sits within the overarching political-economic system, a system of global monopolies, centralized control, massive inequality, grinding poverty, financial insecurity and stress. Not only should this model of development be rejected by Africa, and it would be were it not for the Noose of Debt, and the fact that it is presented as the one and only show in town, but the poisonous spring from which it flows – Market Fundamentalism as some call it – must also be radically dismantled.
It may appear impossible to challenge, but there are alternatives to the current unjust political-economic system. And as the environmental and social impact of the Neo-Liberal experiment becomes more apparent, as well as the economic pain of the majority, more and more people around the world, especially within Africa, where the environmental emergency has inspired powerful movements of activism, recognize the urgent need to reject this way of organizing life and are demanding change.
Western powers (dried-up imperial forces) do not want Africa and Africans to flourish and become strong, this is clear to all. Africa’s destiny must rest in the hands of Africans, in particular young Africans (the median age in Africa is around 20, Europe is a greying 43, US a complacent 39), who are increasingly standing up, organizing, particularly in regard to the environment, and calling for change.
But what should that change look like? Not a shadow of Western nations, but a creative evolving movement of development in which the people have a voice; social and environmental responsibility are championed and lasting human happiness sit at its core. Unity is essential, African unity is essential; together, not necessarily under some defined structure, but coordinated cooperation and support through the medium of the African Union and civil society.
The first and most basic step towards establishing a less brutal, more just system would be the equitable distribution of the resources of the world – the water, land and food; the machinery needed to build infrastructure; the skills, knowledge and expertise.
The world is one: We are brothers and sisters of one humanity. And if we are collectively, within Africa and the world, to establish An Alternative Way, this basic fact needs to form the foundation and provide the touchstone of new systems and modes of living. Only then will we begin to build a global society in which the values of unity, compassion, tolerance and sharing, which are found in tribal societies all over Africa, may flourish.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/02/18/the-keep-africa-poor-and-dependent-project/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Observation is Awareness: Intro Text and Exercise

“Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, find out what remains.” Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.
Self-investigation is the tool to discover That.
The single most important question to ask oneself is Who Am I? It is not a question to be positively answered; one can only say what I am not. The only thing we can say with certainty is that I am, to say I am this or that is to believe in a false, transitory sense of self; a construct of the mind.
What is it that is lasting, permanent within us, indeed is there anything permanent and how would we begin to find out and discover it?
We identify with the body, the emotions and any passing thought in order to create a sense of being. By doing so we strengthen the very thing that denies direct moment to moment experience of who and what we truly are  – and we suffer thereby.
We believe in our thoughts instead of asking who thinks them. Who is the thinker, and is there a difference between the thinker and the thought, between the observer and the observed, between the subject and the object? Is there a thinker when and if there is no thought?
Man is really threefold in nature: Self/Atman/Monad, Soul/Jiva, Personality (also threefold – mental, emotional and two fold physical – etheric and dense). The One permanent reality is the Self, the I, Atman or Monad, the ‘Spark of God’. As Helena Blavatsky explained in The Secret Doctrine, “life we look upon as the one form of existence, manifesting in what is called matter; or what, incorrectly separating them we name spirit, soul and matter in man. Matter is the vehicle for manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by life which pervades them all.”
It is the soul that takes incarnation again and again as it seeks to carry out its part in the Plan of Evolution. The soul in its becoming is a perfect reflection of the Self, its nature is consciousness; the soul is consciousness. In esoteric literature soul is described as the divine intermediary between the man or woman in incarnation and the Real I. The Self as it is known in the literature of east.
The ‘return journey’, from identification solely with the body/personality and its petty desires to awareness of and ultimate realisation of the true ‘I’, which is the only I (there are not two I’s), comes about through the renunciation of the personality. The ‘death of the ego’, the anhiltation of the experiencer. For this meditation in the form of self-enquiry, or observation is given. Earnest, committed meditation and selfless service together are the royal way out of bondage.
The primary aim of all meditation, whether realised or not, is to establish contact with and eventually at-one-ment with the soul. Strictly speaking meditation is not a practice at all, it is a state of being – unmediated relationship with ‘what is’, this is true meditation. When there is no meditator, then there is mediation; when the observer is the observed, then there is meditation. The object of the ‘spiritual path’ is to extinguish the one that appears to stand between the Real and the unreal, to shatter totally the false sense of I, which is maintanied by the mind.
It is the mind that initially meditates and investigates, and what is the mind but a bundle of thoughts, without thoughts is there a mind as we currently know it, at all? The mind is the intermediary between the brain and the soul, a silent mind is th aim of meditation. As the agency of thought mind is constantly in a state of agitation, moving either into the future or regressively into the past; thought is never within the Eternal Now.
In order to begin to be free from thought and liberte the mind, we must learn to focus the mind, to ‘hold it steady in the light’, and to this end ‘meditation’ is essential. It is not actually meditation though it is concentration, a very important stage, but not meditation in the pure use of the term.
All of the sitting, so-called ‘meditations’ are simply means, more or less effective, of quietening and focussing the mind in order that observation of the self can begin and so that mediation can, at some point, spontaneously come about.
Thinking is the natural activity of the mind, without it we would not be able to function in the world; the aim is not to suppress thought, but to ignore it. To be aware of the movement of thought and allow it to function efficiently – intelligently; but thought should not impact on the psychological state or be mistaken for what we in truth are. Watch thought, be attentive, observe the movement of thought but do not identify with any particular thoughts. Simply observe and ignore it.
Awareness
The realisation of freedom and peace comes about through awareness (cosniousness without a subject), which is the nature of the Self and is limitless and infinite. There is no ‘way’ to truth, because Truth already and forever IS – take away the obstacles to its realisation and Truth remains; negate everything that is not love (attachment, desire, fear etc.) e.g., and love IS. Awareness and observation are synonymous, – in acute observation there is awareness.
Awareness creates mental space, and allows one to respond to life consciously and dispassionately, not unconsciously and with fear, as is the case most of the time. Life comes at us relentlessly, and mostly we react habitually – unconsciously with our own particular conditioning (social and psychological conditioning). Observation brings about detachment, and allows conscious responses and action free from motive, right action, to occur.
Self-awareness allows the brain to rest, and re-order itself. Mental harmony free from time bound agitation is the result.
Observation is an all day affair; the aim is to be in a constant state of awareness. Disciplined regular ‘practice’ periods are important to establish a new, fresh way of being and living, and to set in motion a momentum of steady withdrawal and focussed awareness. Instead of constantly looking without, one must learn to turn within. To look at oneself, to be aware of oneself only.
Observation without an observed object (thought feeling etc.) allows for the silence within to naturally come about, and when held long enough without any forcing, free from desire or effort, this silence will draw unto itself the Great Silence of which it is a reflection.
Observation Exercise
Simple exercise performed twice a day, for fifteen minutes or so – whatever is comfortable. Discipline and consistency is important, it is a very dynamic process. Try to stick at it: “Intention and effort, plus the power of persistence,” are, the Master DK states in the Alice A Bailey teachings,  the essentail requirments for spiritual practice.
Sit quietly in the same place every time so as to magnetise the space: Master DK –  “If wise, [the disciple] he/she will always seek the same spot [for meditation], for he/she will there build up a shell around it that will serve as a protection and make the desired higher contacts more easy. The [physical] matter of that spot, becomes then tuned to a certain vibration (the persons own highest vibration, reached in consecutive meditations) which makes it easier for him/her each time to start at his/her highest and so eliminate a long preliminary keying up.”
Optional Pranayama: Breath deeply into diaphragm (eyes closed maybe) through alternate nostrils: – close one nostril with thumb, breath through the other a slow count of four, hold breath for same count, close first nostril with index finger and exhale through other nostril. Repeat other side. Maybe three times either side.
Slowly look around the room – the external environment, be aware of looking, simply look. After a few minutes close your eyes and watch the activity of the internal environment. Simply watch the thoughts, be aware of the constant activity of the mind – just watch it without judging or choosing. And be aware of the emotional reactions in your solar plexus. Watch it all – like you would watch a film at the cinema.
Inevitably and ceaselessly you will be pulled along by thoughts, you may drift off into reverie and find you are no longer observing. Just start again. Don’t try to control the thoughts, just watch them and ignore them.
The more you observe and don’t identify with the thoughts – thereby strengthening them – the quieter the mind will become, a mental space will open, giving the possibilty for meditation as a state of being to take place.
Close with a prayer (say out loud with focused intent) perhaps.
Maitreya The World Teacher has given out ‘A Prayer for The New Age’. It is a prayer of affirmation and will help to shift identification away from the ego to the Self.
Say out loud with fixed intent – attention focused at the ajna centre (between the highbrows):
I am the creator of the universe.
I am the father and mother of the universe.
Everything comes from me.
Everything shall return to me.
Mind, spirit and body are my temples,
for the self to realize in them My supreme being and becoming.
Om Shanti
Or if you prefer use the oldest prayer in the world:
“Lead us oh Lord, from darkness to light; from the unreal to the real; from death to immortality’
You can think of the Lord in this context as the soul. The unreal is the personality/ego life, the Real is the life of the soul/Self, the darkness is simply ignorance of the Self, of the ever present ‘I’, and when there is awareness of That there is no death – it is only the personality and the body with which it identifies the self with that dies.
 
Om Shanti

Western Lies and False Narratives About Ethiopia

War is big, loud, significant and attracts an audience; media likes it. Foreign wars (commonly Middle Eastern or African) distract from domestic chaos and reinforce a long-held prejudice of savagery and race, and the opposite, equally false notion of western superiority.
In all conflicts mainstream media plays a crucial role, often inflammatory, feeding the discord through a particular narrative. Western media claims it is independent, but this is fallacious; corporate owned or State sponsored, it is conditioned by a particular world-view, ideologically/politically, nationalistically, historically.
After war erupted in Ethiopia in November 2020 western media have played a major role in spreading mis-/disinformation and, occasionally, outright lies. Together with foreign powers led by the United States, international human rights groups and elements within United Nations Agencies, they attacked and undermined the Ethiopian government.
Statements are issued and regurgitated in various outlets: BBC, CNN, France24, Al Jazeera, etc., seemingly without verification; the more often something is repeated, the louder the drumbeat of insistence on its truth (currently Ukraine where Putin has no intention of invading), no matter how incredible it may be. In November 2021 e.g., media carried the totally untrue story that TPLF forces were “200 km, or 400 km away from the capital Addis Ababa and could take the city in weeks”. Was this story spread in all innocence by the media; why would a responsible editor publish such information without checking it?
Such stories sensationalize events, build tension and attract public attention. In Ethiopia they falsely portrayed the terrorist Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) as an ascendant force, the Ethiopian government as cruel and desperate, their forces deflated and inadequate.
The war was triggered by the TPLF’s preemptive attack on Federal Army bases on 4 November 2020; uncounted soldiers were killed, arms stolen. This fact (and the terrorist nature of the TPLF), is routinely disregarded by international media, and western governments, despite various TPLF spokespeople admitting it.
Imagine the outrage if such an assault took place against a western military base: there would be widespread fury, a sharp retaliatory response – or a protracted “war on terror” – unanimous support from allies, and wall-to-wall anger across the media. But, instead of condemning the terrorists, the US attacked the Ethiopian government, legitimized the TPLF, demanded PM Abiy Ahmed enter into negotiations with it. Again, would any western government be expected to negotiate with a terrorist gang that had carried out an act of treason? The hypocrisy, condescension and, yes, racism of the “international community” (the US and her bedmates), former or decaying imperialists, knows no limits.
Manufacturing Consent
An influential voice in the build-up to the conflict and a regular voice of media dis-/misinformation once fighting started, was the International Crisis Group (ICG). In a report published May 2021, Disinformation in Tigray – Manufacturing Consent for a Secessionist War, New Africa Institute (NAI) detail that, ICG “played a critical role in driving the world to believe that TPLF had the upper hand in any ensuing conflict”.
A week before the TPLF attacked the Northern Command ICG published, Steering Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis Away from Conflict, stating, Tigray’s “well-armed regional paramilitary force is led by former national army generals. It also boasts a large militia full of war veterans. TPLF leaders say that many officers in the units of the Northern Command…would not be likely to support any federal intervention, and some could even break and join Tigray’s forces.” Such material, it is believed, emboldened the TPLF to launch their deadly attack, plunging Ethiopia into chaos.
NAI detail the extraordinary level of falsehoods, distortions and errors perpetrated by media; the dis-/misinformation campaign, they make clear, was an attempt “to manufacture consent for an unpopular irredentist, ethnic secessionist war that could not be justified in the eyes of the international public through honest reporting.” For Ethiopians it has been devastating, but within the halls of western power – Washington, mainly, but also London and, though less so, Brussels, it appears it was welcomed. A chance to destabilize not just Ethiopia under PM Abiy Ahmed, seen as too independent and potentially influential, but the Horn of Africa more broadly. The US and co. supported the TPLF politically, diplomatically and, many believe, militarily from the outset; mainstream news outlets obediently followed suit.
Media may refute the assertion of a conscious campaign of support for the TPLF; however, given the breadth of material published that either attacks the government, misleads the public or supports the terrorists, it is hard to deny.
Initially, a common excuse for the appalling coverage was the “communications blackout”. The Washington Post went as far as to blame the government for the dis-/misinformation, saying, “by blocking communications and access to Tigray, the [Ethiopian] government helped create conditions where disinformation and misinformation can thrive.” They only “thrive” if journalists/editors don’t do their jobs and check their material.
The menu of mis-/disinformation varies from the seemingly innocuous, e.g. describing the forced retreat of the TPLF to Tigray in December 2021, as a “withdrawal” (similar to reporting of the 2021 Gaza assault by Israel, in which BBC said X number of Palestinians had died and Y number of Israelis had been killed), to false accusations of “massacres, mass rape and sexual violence, looting, extrajudicial killings, genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes.” Savage portrayals of Ethiopian and Eritrean forces – drawn into the conflict after the TPLF bombed the capital Asmara – that NAI make clear “draw on old colonial tropes of Africans.”
The oft-repeated media claims of rape and gang rape by Ethiopian Federal Forces and Eritrean soldiers feed into this perverse notion of primitive Africans. Sexual and gender based violence was highlighted in the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), joint report, 3 November 2021. Premature and partial, it is full of generalized accusations of criminality.
Whilst admitting it is not an “exhaustive record of all relevant incidents”, its authors asserted that violations were committed by all parties to the conflict, including rape/gang rape. Assertions disputed by the Ethiopian government (which has said it will investigate) and refuted in Eritrea, where there is no culture of rape/gang rape, among society or the military. Within the TPLF however, rape/gang rape is part of its modus operandi.
TPLF military/para-military committed rape in the Ogaden region e.g., over a 25 year period of suppression of the ethnic Somali population. The same abuse took place against Oromo women for decades, and long before the conflict started in Tigray rape was a serious problem throughout the region; in 2019 a leading activist, Meaza Gidey tweeted: “rape culture is ubiquitous in Tigray oftentimes stigmatizing & shaming female rape survivors into marrying their rapist.”
While Tigray was in total chaos, on 11 February, 10 prisons in the region were emptied of all inmates. EHRC report that paperwork on the prisoners was destroyed, making, “Tracking major offenders nearly impossible and that it is one of the causes for the substantial increase of … major crimes.” The increase was so pronounced that the TPLF-mouthpiece Tigrai Media House (TMH) admitted that, “TPLF itself was responsible for the rise in crimes.” NAI report the TMH statement: “When news broke out that the Ethiopian army was making its way to Mekelle, the Tigray regional police forces and the prison forces disbanded abandoning their posts. As a result of this, the prison doors were left open and all the hardcore criminals escaped into the community.”
None of this information was reported by western media; misrepresentation through omissions, like this, has been widespread throughout.
Another example is the absence of coverage or condemnation of the Mai Kadra Massacre, one of many such TPLF atrocities. In November 2020 the village of Mai Kadra was the scene of a brutal attack by TPLF militia, the Samri and Tigrayan special police forces. The EHRC found that, “Samri, …local police and militia….killed hundreds of people beating them with batons/sticks, stabbing them with knives, machetes and hatchets and strangling them with ropes.” This atrocious, ethnically motivated attack, EHRC states, “May amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.” The massacre was largely overlooked by mainstream media and ignored by foreign governments; after all, those slaughtered were savages – poor (black) Africans, murdered by other poor (black) Africans.
Mai Kadre is included in the OHCHR/EHRC report, though estimating the deaths at 200, in contradiction to the 600+ Amnesty International say were murdered. To “balance” this appalling atrocity the report refers to a highly disputed incident by the Ethiopian Defense Force (EDF) in Axum, where it is claimed more than 100 people were killed. Despite the fact that there is no evidence of such an attack and no bodies have ever been discovered the story was all over mainstream media.
Then there is the oft-repeated claim that the Abiy government blocked humanitarian aid to Tigray. In January 2021 The Economist announced that food was being used as a weapon by the government, and quoted that the US run Famine Early Warning Systems Network, saying that, “parts of central and eastern Tigray are probably one step from famine.” There was no famine (terrible hardship as in all war zones, yes), and according to Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission, by May 2021 all 4.5 million Tigrayans in need of food had received assistance, 70% of it subsidized by the government.
The whole area of UN humanitarian work was polluted by TPLF moles, including within the World Food Programme (WFP). In October 2021 whistleblowers from UN Ethiopia revealed that the “TPLF……. have networks within UN system.” In an attempt to purge the organisation of TPLF infiltrators on 27 September the Ethiopian government expelled seven UN officials for, “Dissemination of misinformation and politicization of humanitarian assistance;” the “diversion of humanitarian assistance to the TPLF; Transferring communication equipment to be used by the TPLF;” and, unbelievably, “reticence in demanding the return of more than 400 trucks commandeered by the TPLF for military mobilization and for the transportation of its forces since July 2021.” None of this was reported by international media or commented upon by the US administration, or any other western government.
The spirit of unity
The examples of betrayal and western media dis-/misinformation over the course of the conflict are endless. The sources of material and the way stories evolve and become disseminated is often convoluted, facts ignored, evidence found wanting, or manufactured entirely, as with the so-called “Axum massacre”, examined in detail by NAI. Various players, including Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA), where it apparently originated, and discredited ex-BBC Africa journalist Martin Plaut, contributed to a concocted narrative, accepted by Amnesty International and forming the basis for a human rights report.
A positive consequence of the west’s betrayal has been the heartening community spirit engendered among Ethiopians. Divided for decades by manipulative TPLF ethno-policies, Ethiopians, at home and abroad, have united against this group of self-supporting interconnected adversaries: The terrorist TPLF, “The West”, specifically the United States and the international mainstream media.
And now, as the fighting subsides and the country collectively draws breath the work of reconciliation and healing must begin.
To this end, in the hope of facilitating “national reconciliation”, PM Abiy announced the extraordinary step, which angered many Ethiopians, of granting an amnesty for some of the country’s most high-profile political prisoners and parliament has established a “Commission for National Dialogue”, “to pave the way for national consensus and keep the integrity of the country.” Despite the TPLF and their partners in crime, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), refusing so far to participate, this is encouraging.
Ethiopia has suffered terribly over the last year or so, and it will take time to recover. But, if the sense of national unity that has been created over the past year or so is maintained, healing will come more readily and this wonderful country will emerge stronger than ever.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/02/04/western-lies-and-false-narratives-about-ethiopia/

The Fundamental Law: Cause and Effect

Making sense of the events of our lives and the world around us is often impossible to do. Why do certain things happen? Why do some people get sick and die and others live; why do some survive accidents while others suffer life-changing injuries? There appears to be no logical explanation to such questions; there is, however, a general recognition that a connection exists, however vaguely understood, between behaviour (including thoughts words actions) – individual or collective, and events; an acceptance of the biblical teaching that, “Whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6, v.7, New Testament). If someone is cruel, dishonest and selfish, for example, there is a belief that he/she will suffer the negative consequences, although this does not always seem to happen within the life span of that person, which adds to the confusion.
According to the Ageless Wisdom teachings and Eastern Philosophy more broadly, two basic laws underlie the cyclical manifestation of life. The Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect or the Law of Karma, described by writer and artist Benjamin Creme as “the fundamental law, the basic law of life”.
While recognizing that there is, or may be a relationship between cause and effect, and acknowledging (to a degree) that our thoughts, words and actions, have consequences (an acknowledgement easily polluted through self-deceit and manipulation), for the most part humanity is largely ignorant of these two interactive laws, and certainly doesn’t acknowledge that the Law of Karma is the “basic law of life”. But, as we move into a new time and humanity has the opportunity to play a conscious, cooperative role in the implementation of the Plan of Evolution, and work in partnership with Those who know and administer the plan, these divine laws will need to become better understood.
Interwoven patterns
The Law of Karma could be described as the inevitable working out of a certain cause or series of impelling forces; causes, which in turn trigger a further round of effects, until that particular ‘Karmic flow’ is stilled, or resolved. This Current of Consequences we might picture as a chain of complex interwoven patterns or threads, each moving towards resolution. Separate but existing within the broader karmic paradigm, whether that pertains to the individual, the group or that broader collective which is humanity.
In Esoteric Healing, by Alice A Bailey, who was the amanuensis for the Master DK for thirty years, it says, “everything that is happening in the world today and which is so potently affecting humanity…are aspects of effects, initiated somewhere on some level at some time, by human beings, both individually and en masse…karma is therefore that which man [mankind]…has instituted, carried forward endorsed, omitted to do, or has done right, through the ages until the present time.” (p. 262) The expression of karma is, we might say, the action and eventual resolution of certain patterns of energy, initiated at some point in time, in the recent or more distant past, effects that are enacted to ultimately bring about our liberation.
Benjamin Creme explained (2010, talk in New York) that, “As we think, moment to moment, and as we act, moment to moment, we set in motion causes, the effects stemming from these causes make up our lives, for good or for ill, both individually, socially and globally.” Therefore, he goes on to say, “Whatever we think [and say and do] has to be harmless.” Harmlessness though, is not simply being “nice”, whatever we take that to mean; harmlessness can only exist where there is detachment, freedom from motive, freedom from selfishness and freedom from dogma.
To create harmless relations between individuals and groups, cooperation is needed, understanding of another’s viewpoint and tolerance of difference(s). Such qualities are scarce (but growing), and, while people are full of “good intentions”, attachment to cherished ideals and firmly held positions strengthens notions of separation, contaminates relationships and tramples on harmlessness. Karmic waves of entrapment are the result. For whatever else karma does, it holds the person within its time-bound current.
Thoughts and actions rooted in separation cause conflict and invite karma; separation from ourselves, from one another, from the natural environment, and from That which we call God. Referred to as ‘The Great Illusion’, separation is an illusion rooted in the powerful identification of ourselves with the body (including emotions and thoughts); in truth there is only One, and we are That – the changeless ground upon which all transient time bound happenings, thoughts, feelings, experiences, pass. Thus we all share in and are responsible for collective or group karma; by the same token as we free ourselves, through service, meditation and detachment, we lighten the shared load and contribute to the freedom of humanity as a whole.
In The Light on the Path (an ancient text translated by the Venetian Master and dictated to the Theosophist, Mabel Collins by the Master Hilarion), rule number 5 says: Kill out all sense of separateness. The Master Hilarion then adds the following illuminating note. “Do not fancy you can stand aside from the bad man or the foolish man. They are yourself, though in a less degree than your friend or your Master. But if you allow the idea of separateness from any evil thing or person to grow up within you, by so doing you create karma which will bind you to that thing or person till your soul recognizes that it cannot be isolated. Remember that the sin and shame of the world are your sin and shame; for you are a part of it; your karma is inextricably interwoven with the great Karma.”
Karma and Free Will
In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (Alice A. Bailey) the Master DK tells us that: “the law of karma is the most stupendous law of the system.” (p. 798). It is, He says, based on causes inherent in matter itself and on the “interaction between the atomic units”, whether that be “an atom of substance, a human being, a planetary atom, or a solar atom.”
Given this complex series of causal patterns, the question of free will arises. Do we as individuals have control over “our” lives, or are we simply the victim of certain karmic inevitabilities? Certainly in relation to death, DK in Discipleship in the New Age, volume II (DINA2), makes clear that “the time of your liberation is set by karmic law; this ever determines the demise of the real man within the body,” (p. 697) although, He continues, “if the physical body is unduly nurtured, and if it becomes the recipient of undue care, it can hold that real man in prison in defiance of karmic law.”
The great Indian sage Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi suggests that the free will of the individual is extremely limited. In 1896, aged 17, Ramana Maharshi (known then as Venkataraman) left his home in Madurai, and travelled the 350 km to Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu by train. Two years later, in December 1898, his mother tracked Him down to a cave on the sacred hill, Arunachala. At the time Bhagavan was not speaking, but in response to her anguished pleas he wrote a brief and illuminating note: “In accordance with the prarabdha [destiny] of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain.”
Discussing karmic certainties, the Master DK in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire says that despite the impact of a range of karmic forces, “within limits, man definitely does ‘control his destiny’, and can initiate action which produces effects recognizable by him as being dependent upon his activity along a particular line” (p. 807). These “limits” however are significant, as Bhagavan illustrated, and vary depending upon the evolution in consciousness of the individual.
The more “advanced”, the greater the “control”. Advanced” meaning the more in-tune with purpose, the more fully aligned with will, with the Plan – with the intention of the soul. The less evolved, that is the stronger the hold of the personality, with its selfish desires and fear-induced attachments, the greater the “limits”. DK makes this clear when he outlines the three “divisions” that karmic law manifests through in a “man’s own life”.
In the early stages (of development) “the centre of attention is the physical body…. during the second stage…. karmic influence turns its attention to the working out of desire and its transmutation into the higher aspiration.” And in the third stage, karma functions through the mental nature. “This is the shortest stage but is also the most powerful.” He goes on to say that, “when the will and purpose of the Ego [soul] is realized by man in his waking consciousness in the physical brain, then the law of karma in the three worlds is becoming neutralized, and man is on the verge of liberation.”
The key, then, to freeing oneself, or “neutralizing” karma is for the personality construct to be negated, to die. Then the soul, which is a direct reflection of that timeless Self which we are, can be fully expressed. Benjamin Creme repeatedly made clear, that the symbiotic means by which contact and eventual at-one-ment with the soul is established, is through meditation and service.
The Master DK in DINA2 adds a third tool for union, stating that gratitude (which He relates is greatly valued by the Masters), “is the hallmark of an enlightened soul and the basic releasing agent [from karma] from an occult and scientific angle” (p. 676). Why this is so is not explained, it is perhaps related to humility, the quelling of desire and the negation of the sense of doership. Consistent selfless service and right meditation draw in soul energy, quieten and subdue the personality self and enable karmic “neutralization” as DK calls it, to take place’ add in gratitude and a powerful trinity of release is created.
Within the silence of the Eternal
At the end of The Light on the Path there is a sublime essay on karma, written by the Venetian Master. In this poetic piece He draws an image of the individual life as a densely braided length of rope and says that, “What is necessary first to understand is, not that the future is arbitrarily formed by any separate [karmic] acts of the present, but that the whole of the future is in unbroken continuity with the present, as the present is with the past.”
This illustration reveals how disharmonious, harmful, actions – thoughts, words, deeds – occurring in the so-called “past” impact on the present and colour the future. It also shows how, seeing the whole movement of time as it in fact is, within the Eternal Now, Maitreya is able to make forecasts of world events, as he did starting in 1988 and continuing until 1993. It is “neither in the present nor the future”, where the aspiring disciple is advised to anchor him or herself, but within the silence of ‘the Eternal’. A timeless state of being beyond the reach of karma.
The Law of karma cannot, the Master DK explains, be understood by average man/woman, and as He Himself says somewhere in His writings, “who of us is not average”. The Venetian Master echoes this point, saying, “the operations of the actual laws of karma are not to be studied until the disciple has reached the point at which they no longer affect himself,” i.e. when he is free totally. At such a point, “he has become a recognised portion of the divine element and is no longer affected by that which is temporary”, and karma is temporary, relating to and operating within the confines of time. “He then obtains the knowledge of the laws which govern temporary conditions.”
The Master closes by saying, “Therefore you who desire to understand the laws of karma, attempt first to free yourself from these laws; and this can only be done by fixing your attention on that which is unaffected by these laws.” That which is “unaffected by these laws” is the Soul, and, beyond even this divine intermediary, the Self; That which Maitreya (and other great teachers) affirms we are: “the Self alone matters” He says, you are that Self, “an immortal being.”
We may not be able to understand the mechanism of divine justice inherent in the movement of karma, but what we can do is to take total responsibility for our lives; seek to live in a detached, harmless way, to meditate and consistently serve, and thereby make every effort to constantly align oneself with the soul. Of course this is not easy; the demands of life are many and great, personality resistance is strong. Earnestness is key, intent and sustained effort. In A Treatise on White Magic, DK states that, “Intention and effort are considered by Us of prime importance, and are the two main prerequisites for all disciples, initiates and masters, plus the power of persistence, ” (p54). The more successfully and consistently these qualities are built into the life, the stronger the relationship with the soul will be, allowing the work of ‘neutralisation’, as the Master DK describes it, to take place.
Share International Magazine: January/Febrauray 2022
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Johnson Does Downing Street: Booze, Lies and Playacting

It’s hard to think of another time when a buffoon of Boris Johnson’s stature would have been elected Prime Minister of the UK. He lacks completely the intellectual and moral capacity for the role, and while politicians trade in duplicity and deceit the world over, Johnson is a serial liar.
Partygate may fill the airwaves and front pages, but the prohibited gatherings are simply the latest in a line of lies and illegal acts undertaken by Johnson and his cronies since they took office in July 2019. They appear to believe they are above and beyond laws, international agreements and parliamentary conventions.
The Prime Minster and the Tories have presided over a Covid Catastrophe, with 150,154 deaths (at time of writing), the seventh highest in the world; he is a laughing stock around the world and his government an incompetent backward looking gaggle.
While the revelations of illegal social gatherings in No.10 Downing Street and across government departments are shocking, they are resoundingly unsurprising and Johnsons response expected. The PM’s denials and evasions are part of a pattern that goes back decades. From misrepresentations made and repeated throughout the (Brexit) Vote Leave campaign, to lying to the Queen over advice he gave her on the prorogation of parliament. The supreme court ruled the suspension to be unlawful
Johnson is part of a privileged cozy class (Eton to Oxbridge to Whitehall) that feels themselves exempt from moral duties, social obligations and legal restrictions. He knows nothing of the struggles and worries of the majority of the population, and cares even less. And yet, like Trump’s 2016 victory, it was the working class/lower middle class – so-called blue-collar workers – that voted him and the Conservatives – the ‘Nasty Party’ – into office in 2019, and with a huge parliamentary majority of 80 seats.
Their success was part of a global movement of extremism, which, whilst waning, persists. It has enabled a posse of parties and narcissistic leaders to take political office. Some have gone, such as Trump and Netanyahu, but many remain in office, e.g., Brazil, where Bolsonaro reigns, India under the Hindu Nationalist Modi, as well as in Poland, Italy, Hungary and Australia.
The populists wrap themselves in their national flag, proclaim themselves to be the friends and guardians of the masses whilst reinforcing systematic controls – economic, social and democratic. They rule from a narrow stand point of intolerance and fear; immigration, suppression of freedoms and the relentless presentation of misinformation form the backbone of their doctrine.
Johnson’s Conservative government is part of this poisonous force; electoral success is all that matters to politicians the world over and this is no more true than with UK Conservatives, many of whom are born believing in their right to rule. They credit Johnson with the 2019 election win, and as a result, despite the fact that many MPs and cabinet ministers cannot bear the man, he has kept his job as PM – for now at least, although his days appear numbered, as veteran Conservative MP David Davis put it in the House of Commons, “In the name of God, go.”
The great tragedy is that people grant legitimacy to such groups, indeed to all and any government, virtually without question. Their lies, divisive policies and propaganda are accepted, believed, as are the values and ideological conformity that is pumped into the minds of everyone from birth. It is this conditioning that allows this crushing status quo to continue, a mode of living in which concentrations of power and vast social, political and economic imbalances are allowed to exist.
Information is everything, and throughout the world it is politicians who, through mainstream media, control the flow of information. Not just the subject matter that is promoted, but the presentation and interpretation of material, the socio-political slant, to the extent that a great deal of material or news coverage is little more than propaganda. Alongside the corporate/state-owned media, education is the key area of sociological and psychological conditioning, followed by the perpetuation or reinforcement of inculcated ideals and values by family, friends and work colleagues.
And so an interconnected system of control and inhibition has been built in which the masses, who (did they but believe it) hold all the power, have become subordinate to a tiny group of men and women – the entitled controlling the marginalized. That power does not reside in the ballot box, but flows from the streets and the weight of collective action. The ‘controllers’ are far from free themselves of course, they are little more than puppets of a narrow ideological construct, which serves their corporate masters, and which they no doubt believe in.
Politicians like Boris Johnson have no legitimacy, despite an electoral victory, because elections are never free and fair – people are manipulated and conditioned. The system that allows such men to ascend to power is corrupt and unjust; distorted by the perpetuation of sociological/psychological conditioning that promotes and maintains the idea that some are born to rule and some to be ruled.
It is time that not only Johnson and his like were thrown out of office, but that the whole pack of cards was challenged, and a new and vibrant form of democracy based on true democratic principles of participation, equality and responsibility was inculcated. Only then will systems of governance and representatives within diverse streams of involvement emerge that will allow social justice and freedom in all its forms, including freedom of thought, to emerge, and democracy worthy of the name to take shape.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/21/johnson-does-downing-street-booze-lies-and-playacting/
 
 
 
 
 
 

Signs of the Times and The Emergence of Maitreya

Yanis arrived in the UK twenty years ago after fleeing gang violence in his homeland. His wife and four children were deported, he doesn’t know where they are and cannot contact them. Unable to legally work, he has no income, is prohibited from claiming state benefits and has been rough sleeping for eight years. As a result he suffers from severe mental health illnesses and epilepsy.
When will this cruel world change and people like Yanis, and there are millions of such, be treated with respect and compassion? I asked a colleague. When Christ returns was her immediate, rather surprising reply.
Well, Julia, according to artist and writer Benjamin Creme (1922 – 2016), the one Christians long for is actually in the everyday world now (since July 1977 in fact), patiently waiting for the optimum moment to emerge into full public view.
Its an astonishing claim to make, one that many will no doubt instantly dismiss, regarding it as pure fantasy; cynicism prevails, ancient history has been forgotten, the wonder and mystery of life has been laid aside in favour of consumerism and pleasure, imagination squashed, hope banished. But imagine if it’s true, and why couldn’t it be? Given the level of need, we could certainly use the help.
Benjamin Creme spent over thirty-five years travelling the world sharing his information that the World teacher, Maitreya, is once again in the everyday world. He spoke about the existence and externalization of the Spiritual Hierarchy (broadly unknown in The West). A large group of perfected men described by Creme as “our elder brothers”; Masters of Wisdom (their disciples) and Lords of Compassion; men and women who have simply “gone ahead of us”; they are the promise of our destiny.
 
Maitreya is the head and leader of the Hierarchy, embodying in His Being the Christ consciousness, the energy of Love – He is The Lord of Love, the planetary Christ: In message 10 (of 140 given between September 1977 and June 1982), He says, “Nothing separates you from Me, and soon many will realise this. I am with you and in you. I seek to express That which I am through you; for this I come.”
Creme’s revelatory work follows sequentially from teachings given out by a series of quite brilliant women: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who co-founded The Theosophical Society and wrote The Secret Doctrine (published in 1875), an extraordinary text, in which she made known the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy. Then came Helena Roerich, another Russian, who worked with a number of Masters and gave out the Agni Yoga teachings. This preparatory phase was followed by a compendium of detailed works (including a volume on The Reappearance of The Christ published 1948), written by Alice A Bailey, who was the amanuensis for one of the Tibetan Masters for thirty years from 1919-1949.
“Krisis”: The turning point?
The coming of a World Teacher is extraordinary but normal, routine actually; all major religions hold out the promise that at some point, a wise one – their wise one, will appear. The various teachers (Krishna, Christ, Maitreya Buddha, Imam Mahdi) looked for, are, according to the Ageless Wisdom, simply different names for Maitreya, the World Teacher, The Coming One for all humanity.
Throughout history and beyond, a teacher (emerging from the senior ranks of the Hierarchy) has appeared at specific times, always. In the Bhagavad Gita (Book IV, Sutra 7, 8), Krishna makes this clear, saying, “Whenever there is a withering of the law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest Myself. For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth age after age.
As Krishna states, the coming of the teacher inevitably occurs at a time of global crisis, and this is certainly such a time. Interrelated issues unprecedented in scale confront humanity, issues that the present socio-economic–political structures and ideologies are incapable of overcoming.
A crisis is generally regarded negatively, but as the name suggests (from the Greek krisis: turning point) it is also a time of opportunity and change. And among other things of significance, Maitreya comes to inculcate and inspire change – fundamental lasting change, so desperately needed. As He said in message 1,“There is much to do, much that needs changing in the world. Many hunger and die, many suffer needlessly. I come to change all that; to show you the way forward —- into a simpler, saner, happier life —- together.”
Within the spectrum of crises the most pressing is the environmental emergency, though the underlying crisis is humanity itself, the attitudes, values and beliefs that condition and corrupt behavior. It is this conflicting space, this ground from which all decisions and actions flow that Maitreya will help to liberate, inspiring a fundamental shift in thinking and attitudes. In message 42, He says, “My Coming means change. Specifically, the greatest change will be in the hearts and minds of men.” A change of heart that rejects selfishness, greed and division and inculcates the light of cooperation, understanding and tolerance, dispersing the suffocating fog of separation and prejudice, revealing the truth of man’s essential unity – with himself, his neighbor, the natural world and with that which, understanding little, we call God.
Movements of Change
For the eagle eyed and curious there have been countless “signs”, manifesting concurrently, suggesting that something amazing is afoot: Signs of The Times.
There’s the explosion of unexplained phenomena or “miracles” – “impossible happenings that happen”, as Benjamin Creme expressed it, all over the globe. These range from crosses of light appearing in poor households, patterns of lights on buildings, weeping (olive oil usually) deities to religious murals cleaning themselves and stone/metal Hindu statues supping milk as in the global extravaganza that was the Hindu Milk Miracle.
In parallel over the last thirty years there has been an even more important ‘sign’, a powerful indication that something is moving. A popular awakening expressed in the unprecedented worldwide protest movement, and the galvanising of people everywhere, to act, to march, to organise, to demand change, freedom, justice and environmental action. And thirdly there has been an intensification of polarisation, most clearly seen in the political sphere, in the rise of nationalism, popularism, the rabid suspicion of ‘the other’ and a hardening of views and opinions.
While this trend is negative and harmful, it arises in response to the same impelling force. It is a fearful reaction to the positive contrary movement towards greater tolerance, unity and understanding, which is consistent with the times and will gradually come to dominate human affairs. None of these “signs” “prove” that Maitreya is in the World, but they do illustrate, if proof was needed, that we are living through unique times; demanding times of great tension and deep concern, but also times of tremendous opportunity and potential change.
These popular movements for change are collective responses to the natural, and growing movement of the time. Predictably resisted by the reactionary ideologically imprisoned forces of the world, but powerfully sensed and acted upon by the young, the open-hearted, the down-trodden; lovers of justice and freedom, by all those who have been exploited and ignored, by men and women everywhere who value the natural world; by, in short, the vast majority of humanity.
Current ideologically rooted methodologies work to divide people, its easier for the architects to maintain control that way; the natural order however is unity. Maitreya will emphasis this truth and make plain that if the issues of the day are to be faced and if social harmony is to be established, all that divides us – competition, nationalism, intolerance, prejudice, fear, must be laid aside, and new inclusive, cooperative modes of living fostered.
Our hopes and concerns are Maitreya’s: Establishing peace, saving the planet, creating social justice; establishing social harmony and ending poverty and hunger. In message 11 He makes this clear: “Throughout the world there are men, women and little children who have not even the essentials to stay alive; they crowd the cities of many of the poorest countries in the world. This crime fills Me with shame. My brothers, how can you watch these people die before your eyes and call yourselves men?”
He will teach and guide, offering solutions to the problems of the day. But remaking civilization, saving the planet and creating a global society rooted in principles of goodness, that will be up to us; if there is a World Savior, it is Humanity. We have created the chaos, and it is up to all of us to do whatever we can to clean it up and bring about the changes that 99.9% of people around the world crave; changes that will allow everyone to live dignified, fulfilling lives free from exploitation and persecution, a New World, as Maitreya describes, “in which men can live in peace; can live free from fear of themselves or their brothers; free to create from the joy in their hearts; free to be themselves, in simple honesty.”
https://www.nationofchange.org/2021/12/26/signs-of-the-times-and-the-emergence-of-maitreya/
 
 
 
 

Ethiopia: Historic Battle for the Mother of Africa

The outrage felt by Ethiopians at the Western-backed terrorist attack on their country is spreading across the Horn of Africa and parts of the continent more widely. A great movement of solidarity is emerging as Ethiopia’s neighbors, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya join hands, standing together against terror, imperial interference and mainstream media lies and misinformation.
In sight of US duplicity and subterfuge the warped, destructive relationship that exists between African states and pernicious imperial powers has once again been revealed. Pre-existing feelings of mistrust and anger are being strengthened and the realization of an old truth, that to become truly independent, nations within the continent must unite; only then will exploitation, manipulation and injustice be brought to an end.
As Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana famously said: “If we [African nations] do not formulate plans for unity and take active steps to form political union, we will soon be fighting and warring among ourselves with imperialist and colonialists standing behind the screen and pulling vicious wires to make us cut each other’s throats for the sake of their diabolical purposes in Africa.”
The US supported assault by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) on Ethiopia, – “for the sake of their diabolical purposes in Africa” – is not only an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government and install the terrorist TPLF, it is a bid to unsettle the entire region. The Horn of Africa is of great strategic importance, and Ethiopia sits at its heart – destabilize Ethiopia and impact the whole region; install a dictatorial ethnocentric regime (TPLF) and sow division, poison the atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation that is being built within the region.
Central to regional cohesion is the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Recognizing this fact, immediately after taking office Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed worked to end the twenty year long border war – instigated by the TPLF with US support – with Eritrea; for this unifying work, which was largely overlooked by western media at the time, Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2019.
Shocking US violation
From the 3 November 2020, when TPLF forces committed treason and attacked the Northern Command Base in Ethiopia (an action that many suspect was sanctioned by the US), killing federal soldiers and stealing arms, the Biden administration has stood firmly behind the terrorists. It has consistently tried to tarnish the reputation of the government and has imposed a series of potentially devastating economic sanctions against Ethiopia, including advising US citizens against travel to Ethiopia, thereby impacting tourism, which is a major growth sector. Other countries including UK, Germany France, happy to add to the fear mongering, have predictably followed suit.
This shocking violation of one of the poorest countries in the world, by the most powerful was at first bewildering to many. It is however, a copy book action, one that the United States (referred to as “The Godfather” by Noam Chomsky) has followed many times around the world when it wants to assert itself.
If the government of a developing or middle income country embraces democracy, dares to act in an independent manner and works to establish socio-economic policies that will benefit their own people over the ideological demands of America and US corporations, the US rarely hesitates. PM Abiy, who has enormous support in Ethiopia, and the democratically elected government has made clear that it’s primary concerns are the well-being of Ethiopians, the prosperity and unity of Ethiopia and the integration of the region and the continent. Such independence and blatant defiance of “The Godfather” is unacceptable in Washington, no matter the creed or presiding officer.
The US method of dealing with such troublesome governments is clear, consistent, and has been employed in dozens of countries: In the name of ‘democracy, human rights and civilization’, destabilize the country, violently overthrow said government – either directly or by arming a group of thugs to carry out the dirty work; spread misinformation in order to create an environment which allows the slaughter to go ahead virtually unopposed, and regime change to occur.
This violent practice has killed hundreds of thousands of people in dozens of countries over the last 70 years or so, making the United States the leading, most brutal terrorist group in the world, and, according to various polls the country most widely and consistently regarded as the greatest threat to world peace.
In Ethiopia, the thugs (widely hated across the country including inside Tigray), are the TPLF. A terrorist organization that ruled with an iron fist for thirty years; ignoring human rights, embezzling funds, fueling ethnic divisions and committing Crimes Against Humanity in various parts of the country. Such details however are irrelevant to the US administration, their sole concern is power – regional and global, the perpetuation of colonial capitalism, and ensuring a government is in place in Ethiopia that will not interfere with US demands and regional policies, but will actively facilitate them.
The conflict in Ethiopia, then, is not simply an assault on a sovereign state by a terrorist coalition (the TPLF now with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)), it is a fight for independence and democracy; a fight for freedom by an ancient nation against an adolescent imperial force, and as such, is a historic battle; one that Ethiopians, united and enraged, are determined to win.
Assault on Africa
Imperial interference and exploitation throughout Africa is long, stretching from slavery and colonialism to wealth and climate inequality, racial capitalism and now Covid vaccine apartheid. Power, greed and control are the animating forces of this evil, coupled with a perverse sense of entitlement based on a deluded sense of superiority/inferiority, which maintains that some people – black and brown people – are disposable and can be sacrificed in the pursuit of wealth and dominion.
This is aptly demonstrated by the way rich nations and western conglomerates have withheld Covid vaccines, refused to share patents and destroyed supplies rather than giving them to Africans before they expired. Whilst western nations have vaccinated on average 65% of their populations and are now administering booster jabs, a mere 7% of people across Africa have so far been vaccinated.
Vaccine injustice is but the loudest, most recent display of the immorality and abuse of Africans by the global north. It shows that while gunboat colonization has been consigned to the past, not only does economic, social and cultural colonization continue, mental colonization (among former colonizers and no doubt some in Africa), which is perhaps the most pernicious form of indoctrination, persists.
Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been colonized – something else that no doubt infuriates the US and Co. As such Ethiopia occupies a unique place within the continent, and for decades has served as an inspiration and beacon of hope for other African nations. In acknowledgement of this fact, and of Ethiopia’s status within the continent, President Uhuru of Kenya, Speaking at Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s inauguration on 5 October, said, “Ethiopia is the Mother of African independence……for all of us on the continent, Ethiopia is our Mother.” And, referring to the TPLF, “As we know, if the Mother is not at peace the family cannot be at peace.”
People within Africa, particularly the Horn region, as well as diaspora groups throughout the world, are rallying to “Mother” in this time of crisis. They are unified against the TPLF and furious at US interference and the corporate media (CNN, BBC, New York Times, Al Jazeera, etc) coverage; lazy “hotel” journalism, disinformation/misinformation and the use of prejudicial, slanted language has created a misleading picture of the conflict, and presented a corrosive narrative of criticism against PM Abiy and the government.
Thousands have mobilized, attending protests in cities across the world. NoMore is the collective cry of the people – Ethiopian, Eritrean, Sudanese, Somali, Kenyan, and friends of Ethiopia; “NoMore” media lies and misinformation; “NoMore” TPLF; “NoMore” colonialism; “NoMore” sanctions, designed to deter foreign investment in Ethiopia and Eritrea; “NoMore” US meddling and duplicity. Hands off Ethiopia; hands off the countries of the region; hands off Africa, is the demand, loud and clear made upon the US administration, her puppets, and the mouthpiece for war, the western media.