1 Listening Links http://daveatch.blogspot.com/2013/12/listening.html
2 Disappeared via facebook! http://daveatch.blogspot.com/2013/10/disappeared-care-of-facebook.html
for wordpress see 2
MONBIOT ON THE CORN
the blog http://houseduties.tumblr.com/
tumblr dashboard https://www.tumblr.com/settings/blog/houseduties
Gadgets Turning Me Into an Idiot, CounterPunch/Facebook 8/29
“For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
15. Shoun and His Mother
Shoun became a teacher of Soto Zen. When he was still a student his father passed away, leaving him to care for his old mother. Whenever Shoun went to a meditation hall he always took his mother with him. Since she accompanied him, when he visited monasteries he could not live with the monks. So he would build a little house and care for her there. He would copy sutras, Buddhist verses and in this manner receive a few coins for food. When Shoun bought fish for his mother, the people would scoff at him, for a monk is not supposed to eat fish. But Shoun did not mind. His mother, however, was hurt to see others laugh at her son. Finally she told Shoun: ‘I think I will become a nun. I can be a vegetarian too.' She did and they studied together. Shoun was fond of music and was a master of the harp, which his mother also played. On full-moon nights they used to play together. One night a young lady passed by their house and heard music. Deeply touched, she invited Shoun to visit her the next evening and play. He accepted the invitation. A few days later he met the young lady on the street and thanked her for her hospitality. Others laughed at him. He had visited the home of a woman of the streets. One day Shoun left a distant temple to deliver a lecture. A few months afterwards he returned home to find his mother dead. Friends had not known where to reach him, so the funeral was then in progress. Shoun walked up and hit the coffin with his staff. 'Mother, your son has returned,’ he said. 'I am glad to see you have returned son,' he answered for his mother.
‘I’m glad too,' Shoun responded. Then he announced to the people about him: The funeral ceremony is over. You may bury the body.’ When Shoun was old he knew his end was approaching. He asked his disciples to gather around him in the morning telling them he was going to pass on at noon. Burning incense before the picture of his mother and his old teacher, he wrote a poem: For fifty-six years I lived as best I could, Making my way in this world. Now the rain has ended, the clouds are clearing, The blue sky has a full moon. His disciples gathered about him, reciting a sutra, and Shoun passed on during the invocation.
Dec '14, truthout state terrorism
CIA and abstract art http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html
"The journey of Jagannath from India to Egypt: The Untold Saga of the Kussites"
By Bibhu Dev Misra (IIT, IIM)
Misra's blog http://bibhudev.blogspot.com/2014/08/hercules-balarama-and-institution-of.html?showComment=1407512623527#c4109889427953696000
Aryans didn't destroy Indus Valley Civ?
opposite views and very poor composition "The Northwest expansion of the inhabitants of Indus Valley was prevented by of Hindu Kush Mountains. Whenever the plain dwelling Hindus attempted to cross these mountains, they met death due harsh terrain and heavy snow. That is how these mountains were given the name Hindu Kush by mountain dwelling Caucasian tribes."
Mysteries of Ancient Egypt, youtube
End of Aug 2014
3/29, pub'd 3/5 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/03/global-economy-not-looking-too-great-right-now
3/21 Capital vs. Labor in the US and Great Britain
Chap 2, LASCH
about Heider http://books.google.com/books?id=o-1lTbMczNoC&pg=PA210&lpg=PA210&dq=heider+john+psychologist+%22lawrence+kansas%22&source=bl&ots=ePHxICmV5n&sig=FPJDqSGMarquCH3ehrvrDdas7Kw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_pgCU7n9JsOCyQHHsYDgDw&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=heider%20john%20psychologist%20%22lawrence%20kansas%22&f=false
Amazing. I watched it while really weary. Was there a distinct phase that portrayed events in the paragraph that begins "In 1940, the OUN split into two parts, with the older more moderate members supporting Andriy Melnyk (OUN-M) while the younger and more radical members supporting Stepan Bandera (OUN-B). Both groups were enthusiastically committed to a new fascist Europe." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_Ukrainian_Nationalists
More on the subject http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/cas-mudde/new-order-ukraine-assessing-relevance-of-ukraine%E2%80%99s-far-right-in-eu-pers
rape of russia https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2714-The-Rape-of-Russia-by-Anne-Williamson#.UzPLBKhdU2A
Ukraine, dem now! 2/20/14 Matlock http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/20/a_new_cold_war_ukraine_violence
"...when the US media adopted Washington’s narrative that almost everything President Boris Yeltsin did was a 'transition from communism to democracy' and thus in America’s best interests. This included his economic 'shock therapy' and oligarchic looting of essential state assets, which destroyed tens of millions of Russian lives; armed destruction of a popularly elected Parliament and imposition of a 'presidential' Constitution, which dealt a crippling blow to democratization and now empowers Putin; brutal war in tiny Chechnya, which gave rise to terrorists in Russia’s North Caucasus; rigging of his own re-election in 1996; and leaving behind, in 1999, his approval ratings in single digits, a disintegrating country laden with weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, most American journalists still give the impression that Yeltsin was an ideal Russian leader." http://www.thenation.com/article/178344/distorting-russia
crowd control Lapham https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/17-3
Parry, Mainstream media lost https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/17-2
Rall 3/4 what media won't tell you https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/04-0
I can see it as sort of fascist in that he's putting this "solution" out there, but not saying didley about what's...harder to say. I mean he's offering this as the way out, but the real way out will have to talk about things we've been programmed (lately) not to dig...like fixing infrastructure and gardening and smaller farms (again). The weird thing is all this was right there in the zeitgeist out of which his heros arose. No one will talk about it, but I will. I guess it's because everyone who comments in places like this has to purport that folks everywhere need only "write" insightful opinions, and play along of course with whatever gold-plated pork barrell "product" [usually not labor intensive, not sustainable, & usually requiring tons of petro products] the captains of industry happen to be intoxicated with at the moment (like, for instance, another Walmart over yonder [I think of the resources going into these bldgs like the trees the Easter Islanders cut down to roll their statues along]). No, but get down here and deal with the marginalized, and strung out, and developmentally disabled...and then you will see how useless (and divisive) this meritocratic symbolic-analyst vision of a nation has become [ignorant as well].
Find myself resonating very much with this essay and the overall orientation expressed in the share prior (but I've been in line with the previous share's direction almost all my life). Whitehead's ideas by their nature are probably not ideas that will lend themselves any time soon to "pop" versions. On the other hand, I'm finding most overviews sort of encased in epoch-bound styles. It's great IMO that this essay was at the top of this page, cause it's definitely not. The Great Spirit being "outside time" has, for an extended period, not set well with me (nor predestination). I can't see any other plausible outlook other than that the Great Spirit enters whatever time flow the Great Spirit chooses...ours for instance, or any black hole's.
Apparently, as one gets older memories become vivid, valuable, and awesome in terms of their functioning. Perhaps I bumped into the "actual occasion" concept, or prehended it out there, because it's an aid to this overpowering awesomeness. Rupert Sheldrake talks about realizations descending [that's my word] out of the morphic field...basically ideas whose times have come. That to me sounds like actual occasions (but Sheldrake says surprising little about Whitehead in "The Presence of the Past"). Likewise it makes sense that samskaras could involve (or be) collections of actual occasions. I believe the Great Spirit interacts with our "4 dimensional realm" at times, but not in each and every one of our decisions. Because of the infinite genius manifested in biological life forms alone, for instance, I tend not to believe S/He is in need of improvement. Perhaps Whitehead's material will be only a help to me in terms of things like memories and samskaras, because I cannot equate or restrict the Great Spirit to the creativity-force or the novelty-force in our cosmos...even half the time.
I am seeing a lot of posts claiming Obama is some kind of wuss. People holding forth on this need to get squared away on what's going down in their world. Let's look at things prior to when we sent in the meddlers to pry Ukraine away from the Russian orbit. Syria had a relationship with Russia. There are now leaks out there demonstrating we were trying to get dissent going in Syria as far back as '06. Forget any idea it was about human rights. It was about our piece of the Syrian pie, just like it is for a bunch of nations surrounding Syria at present. In 2012 Putin offered to ease al Assad out. We weren't up for it. Why? Later Obama wanted to go in with guns a'blazin. At that point Putin wasn't up for that. Since Russia wouldn't tolerate it....well, we struck back with the coup in Ukraine, the stupidest move probably the US has ever made. Here's an article that purports to show how Obama tried to save our butts. The problem with the TPP IMO is that it's gonna usher in plagues. Our 1% offshored our jobs. Now to keep any skin in the game corporations are drafting up TPP (congress persons were kept out weird as that has been). TPP is gonna mean bad crops (which could fail) and out of sight and mind medical costs for all of us. That's the price to keep us viable. Evaluate the approach for yourself. The problem is the old system of industrial consumerism. The BRICS orbit and the west BOTH needed to change the whole pattern of where they put their investments (resources). But it's getting late.
Myth, Meth and the Georgian Invasion
August 27th, 2009
By Alexander Cockburn
This article appeared in the August 31, 2009 edition of The Nation.
In June of this year, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel ran a piece, seemingly based on a reading of a draft report by Heidi Tagliavini, who heads the European Union's fact-finding commission on the Georgian war. Despite the subsequent stentorian denials of a much-embarrassed Tagliavini, Der Spiegel's editors stood by their story: "The facts assembled on Tagliavini's desk refute Saakashvili's claim that his country became the innocent victim of 'Russian aggression' that day." …To avoid causing any embarrassment to the United States and its allies on the anniversary, the EU report was withheld and will be published in September, shorn--so staffers confided to Der Spiegel--of unpleasing disclosures. Two British monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe corroborated Der Spiegel's and Russian accounts of Georgia having fired the first shots.www.thenation.com/doc/20090831/cockburn
The Nation: Myth, Meth and the Georgian Invasion.
By Alexander Cockburn
A year ago, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili sent Georgian troops into South Ossetia on a murderous rampage, with civilian casualties put by Irina Gagloeva, the spokeswoman of South Ossetia, at 1,492. Much lower numbers have been offered by Western sources. Georgian soldiers butchered their victims with great brutality. Kirill Benediktov, in his online book on the invasion, reports that these soldiers were equipped--so subsequent searches of bodies and prisoners of war disclosed--not only with NATO-supplied food packages but with sachets of methamphetamine and combat stress pills based on MDMA, aka the active ingredient of Ecstasy. The meth amps up soldiers to kill without mercy, and the MDMA derivative frees them of subsequent debilitating flashbacks and recurring nightmares. Official use of methamphetamine and official testing of MDMA in the US armed forces have been discussed in news stories.
There was never any serious doubt that Saakashvili, with covert US encouragement and military training and kindred assistance, started the war. In June of this year, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel ran a piece, seemingly based on a reading of a draft report by Heidi Tagliavini, who heads the European Union's fact-finding commission on the Georgian war. Despite the subsequent stentorian denials of a much-embarrassed Tagliavini, Der Spiegel's editors stood by their story: "The facts assembled on Tagliavini's desk refute Saakashvili's claim that his country became the innocent victim of 'Russian aggression' that day."
Large numbers of Russian tanks were nowhere near the border of South Ossetia on August 7, 2008. According to Tagliavini's draft report, as cited by Der Spiegel, "The experts found no evidence to support claims by the Georgian president that a Russian column of 150 tanks had advanced into South Ossetia on the evening of August 7. According to the commission's findings, the Russian army didn't enter South Ossetia until Aug. 8. Saakashvili had already amassed 12,000 troops and 75 tanks on the border with South Ossetia on the morning of Aug. 7." To avoid causing any embarrassment to the United States and its allies on the anniversary, the EU report was withheld and will be published in September, shorn--so staffers confided to Der Spiegel--of unpleasing disclosures. Two British monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe corroborated Der Spiegel's and Russian accounts of Georgia having fired the first shots.
From the opening minutes of the five-day war, the BBC, CNN, Fox News and the other major networks bellowed in unison that this was a case of Russian aggression. Republican candidate John McCain, whose chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was also a paid adviser of Saakashvili, ladled out vintage cold war rhetoric and proclaimed, "Today we are all Georgians." Candidate Obama was not quite so abandoned, at least in his initial reactions, prompting some to think--erroneously--that this particular Democrat might be more rational and pacific in his foreign policy. Voices of sanity in Congress were, as usual, almost inaudible. Representative Dana Rohrabacher was a spirited exception. "The Russians were right; we're wrong," he said. "The Georgians started it; the Russians ended it."
Here we are, a year later, the windowpanes still rattling from Joe Biden's speech to the Georgian Parliament on July 23--whether assisted by a combat envelope of methamphetamine we do not know--proclaiming, "We, the United States, stand by you on your journey to a secure, free and democratic, and once again united, Georgia." In other words, the United States remains implacably opposed to South Ossetia's desire for independence and committed to Georgian claims: "Divided, Georgia will not complete its journey. United, Georgia can achieve the dreams of your forebears and, maybe more importantly, the hopes of your children." Thus did Biden express US policy in linking hands across the decades with Stalin, who forced unwilling South Ossetia and Abkhazia into an enlarged Georgia.
Biden also told the Georgian Parliament that the United States would continue to help Georgia "modernize" its military and that Washington "fully supports" Georgia's aspiration to join NATO and would help Tbilisi meet the alliance's standards. This elicited a furious reaction from Moscow, pledging sanctions against any power rearming Georgia. The most nauseating moment in Biden's sortie to Tbilisi, where he repeatedly stressed he was a spokesman for Obama, came when, on accounts in the New York Times and Washington Post, he brazenly lied to schoolchildren, claiming Russia had launched the invasion. Not two weeks later, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon repeated this lie in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
We should note here that from Clinton-time forward, Georgia has been regarded by the United States as strategically vital in controlling the oil pipeline to Azerbaijan and Central Asia, bypassing Russia and Iran. Also, Georgia could play an enabling role if Israel decides to attack Iran's nuclear complex. The flight path from Israel to Iran is diplomatically and geographically challenging. And Georgia is perfectly situated as the takeoff point for any such raid. Israel has been heavily involved in supplying and training Georgia's armed forces. A story in Der Spiegel remarked that "Georgia had increasingly made headlines as a gold mine for Israeli arms dealers and veterans from the military and the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency." President Saakashvili boasted that his defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, and also Temur Iakobashvili, the minister responsible for negotiations over South Ossetia, lived in Israel before moving to Georgia, adding, "Both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews."
In light of the foregoing, do you think McCain could have been worse, even as the war in Afghanistan escalates?
Alexander Cockburn, The Nation's "Beat the Devil" columnist and one of America's best-known radical journalists, was born in Scotland and grew up in Ireland. He graduated from Oxford in 1963 with a degree in English literature and language. After two years as an editor at the Times Literary Supplement, he worked at the New Left Review and The New Statesman, and co-edited two Penguin volumes, on trade unions and on the student movement.
A permanent resident of the United States since 1973, Cockburn wrote for many years for The Village Voice about the press and politics. Since then he has contributed to many publications including The New York Review of Books, Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly and the Wall Street Journal (where he had a regular column from 1980 to 1990), as well as alternative publications such as In These Times and the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
He has written "Beat the Devil" since 1984.
He is co-editor, with Jeffrey St Clair, of the newsletter and radical website CounterPunch (www.counterpunch.org) which have a substantial world audience. In 1987 he published a best-selling collection of essays, Corruptions of Empire, and two years later co-wrote, with Susanna Hecht, The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon (both Verso). In 1995 Verso also published his diary of the late 80s, early 90s and the fall of Communism, The Golden Age Is In Us. With Ken Silverstein he wrote Washington Babylon; with Jeffrey St. Clair he has written or coedited several books including: Whiteout, The CIA, Drugs and the Press; The Politics of Anti-Semitism; Imperial Crusades; Al Gore, A User's Manual; Five Days That Shook the World; and A Dime's Worth of Difference, about the two-party system in America.
Tags: georgia, the nation, war
statue by itself
Garvellachs Grey Dog The Grey Dog tidal flow
Brendan statue from back
The Relation of Jung's Psychology
to Meister Eckhart and Jakob Boehme
"A year ago, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili sent Georgian troops into South Ossetia on a murderous rampage, with civilian casualties put by Irina Gagloeva, the spokeswoman of South Ossetia, at 1,492. Much lower numbers have been offered by Western sources. Georgian soldiers butchered their victims with great brutality. Kirill Benediktov, in his online book on the invasion, reports that these soldiers were equipped--so subsequent searches of bodies and prisoners of war disclosed--not only with NATO-supplied food packages but with sachets of methamphetamine and combat stress pills based on MDMA, aka the active ingredient of Ecstasy. The meth amps up soldiers to kill without mercy, and the MDMA derivative frees them of subsequent debilitating flashbacks and recurring nightmares. Official use of methamphetamine and official testing of MDMA in the US armed forces have been discussed in news stories." Alexander Cockburn 8/31/09 issue of The Nation
GOOGLE ADVANCEDED SEARCH
School daze across my land. BTW, "Today’s Sunni/Shiite regional war is the direct product of the Bush/Blair war on Iraq." Ahmad Samih Khalidi
Neuroscience. This blog is drunk on ism's theories & recent notions of one or another paradigm/key to the universe...but interesting on right brain (painful memories held there it says)...the Great Bait & Switch...also Dunbar 150 max Hutterites, and Drake Bennett (biz wk) says "company"????
Politics of God & the Politics of Man http://books.google.com/books?id=st7XLbluPD8C&pg=PA23&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
Tao Te Ching ontology & Whitehead
reality of souls
possibly too post-modern? can't remember; husserl & sacks mentioned
3. music links, Return to Spirit, & other items to read
n reference in 9th para beginning "The early arc of "House of Cards,' which.."
Shaw in court
minorities & Arab uprisings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40a3-_4x-B8
longer Cole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE7EzGfklUw
juan cole uploaded recently re Iran http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQY4ErhsguY
This phenomenological approach to the political partakes of a more general revaluation or reversal of the priority traditionally ascribed to philosophical conceptualizations over and above lived experience. That is, the world of common experience and interpretation (Lebenswelt) is taken to be primary and theoretical knowledge is dependent on that common experience in the form of a thematization or extrapolation from what is primordially and pre-reflectively present in everyday experience. It follows, for Arendt, that political philosophy has a fundamentally ambiguous role in its relation to political experience, insofar as its conceptual formulations do not simply articulate the structures of pre-reflective experience but can equally obscure them, becoming self-subsistent preconceptions which stand between philosophical inquiry and the experiences in question, distorting the phenomenal core of experience by imposing upon it the lens of its own prejudices. Therefore, Arendt sees the conceptual core of traditional political philosophy as an impediment, because as it inserts presuppositions between the inquirer and the political phenomena in question. Rather than following Husserl’s methodological prescription of a “bracketing” (epoché) of the prevalent philosophical posture, Arendt’s follows Heidegger’s historical Abbau or Destruktion to clear away the distorting encrustations of the philosophical tradition, thereby aiming to uncover the originary character of political experience which has for the most part been occluded.
One key distinction emphasized in Ideas 2 contrasts the “naturalistic” attitude, as the theoretical attitude within which natural science is practiced, with the “personalistic” attitude that characterizes personal and social experience in the world of everyday life—the “lifeworld” (Lebenswelt), the cultural world that is the province of the cultural or human sciences. Within the personalistic attitude, our intersubjective encounters are always experienced as embodied encounters, and our ongoing practical life is already an embodied one. Thus, for example, we greet one another with culturally specific gestures such as shaking hands; we communicate with others, responding to their facial expressions, gestures, and tones of voice; we use tools in practical, goal-directed actions; we rely on bodily capabilities and develop new skills that improve with practice or grow rusty with disuse; and so on. In other words, what we come upon are others embodying themselves in particular ways (serenely or impatiently, adroitly or clumsily, buoyantly or dragged down by pain or fatigue, and so forth): we immediately see embodied persons, not material objects animated by immaterial minds, and the immediacy of this carnal intersubjectivity is the foundation of community and sociality (with culturally specific “normal” embodiment playing a privileged role as the measure from which the “anomalous” and the “abnormal” diverge). Similarly, we make immediate use of the bodily possibilities at our disposal, which serve as the “means whereby” we carry out our everyday activities, without having to appeal to psychophysical explanations: I simply reach for my cup, pick it up, and drink from it, without ever giving a thought to the neurophysiological processes that allow me to keep my balance as I reach, move the cup without spilling the liquid, and swallow without choking. And even if my abilities are compromised by illness or injury, the lived experience of “I can no longer do it” is qualitatively different from the physician’s causal explanations for my condition.
For the most part, Husserl himself provides passing examples, rather than extended analyses, of embodied experience in the personalistic attitude. Yet if we recall that his aim is not to carry out concrete cultural-scientific investigations but to clarify the philosophical bases of the cultural or human sciences, we can see that his critique of naturalistic presuppositions about the body both secures a theoretical foundation for work in such areas as nonverbal communication (as well as other sorts of studies of embodiment carried out within phenomenological psychology, phenomenological sociology, and so on), and anticipates more recent concerns with socially shaped patterns of embodiment (including, for example, issues of gendered embodiment, as contrasted with the biological “sex” of an individual—although even the medical assignment of sex at birth may display, in certain problematic cases, social/cultural assumptions and priorities).
Husserl’s discussions of the “personalistic” attitude in Ideas 2 are echoed in his extensive discussions of the lifeworld in the Crisis, and several further points concerning embodiment can be made in this connection. First of all, for Husserl, the “prescientific” world of experience is more basic than the “objective” world constituted as a correlate to scientific practice in the naturalistic attitude; for example, natural-scientific investigation of the body as an object presupposes a functioning bodily subjectivity on the part of each of the scientists concerned, for whom their own lived bodies tacitly serve as organs of perception, communication, and action, even while they are engaged in carrying out detailed research into, say, the neurophysiology of motor behavior. At the same time, however, scientific assumptions and constructs “flow back into” everyday lifeworldly language and experience, so that, for instance, I may refer to my own body in anatomical terms as a matter of course, or offer causal explanations (rather than experiential descriptions) of my own bodily condition, even in a casual conversation with a friend. Thus although there is a functional priority of the personalistic over the naturalistic attitude, the former is ongoingly shaped and reshaped by the historical acquisitions of the latter—as well as by its unnoticed philosophical presuppositions and its habitual abstractions. Moreover, despite their important differences, both the naturalistic attitude and the personalistic attitude fall within a more general attitude that Husserl terms the “natural attitude.” In the natural attitude, not only are we typically straightforwardly directed toward objects rather than reflecting on the structures of our own subjective experience, but entities such as “bodies” (whether these are taken as “psychophysical realities” or “embodied persons”) are given as ready-made realities within a pregiven world; even the experiencer for whom such entities are given is him/herself taken as one entity among others in the world. And the natural attitude is both all-pervasive and anonymous—it is so taken for granted that we are not even cognizant of it as an “attitude” at all. But when we do become aware of it, still further insights into embodied experience become possible.
Re an ancient novel I found very late in life on mom & dad's shelves [and read]... this comment from Greg Deane at Amazon on "The Golden Ass of Apulieus": "The story offers insights into the lives of ordinary Romans and Greeks rather than the rulers and patricians and plutocrats, and is in the tradition of the plays of Plautus and Terence, but is original in its similarity to a novel, and a work that is more focused on amusing rather than edifying with uplifting role models. But the work still offers reflections from an esoteric, religious, if not pious, and philosophical mind, as Lucius strives to reverse the black magic that has enchanted him, and gain access to the realm of the Elysium."
Don't read the following if you don't want the tale somewhat spoiled--> Lucius finally finds solace in a local branch of the Isis sect.
indian beliefs that migrated to egypt
tons of information on from the eastern mountains
link above came from this search re from the eastern mts
I am writing from the U.S. Just now I found your rundown on SATYA PRAKASH SINGH, your prior professor (charoka.com gave me some information, which led me to your description of Satya Prakash Singh on facebook). I've read much of his book on Aurobindo and Jung, which has made the most sense to me bar anything; though an approach to issues via comparing these two minds seems strangely rare. The copy I found is rare around here too. So, I am glad now to have found someone who knew this enlightened author. The copy I found had fairly "bad" printing quality, non-acceptable grammer, and there were misspelled words. This I found REAL PARADOXICAL as what Singh wrote was just about the most profound thing I had ever read! It was almost a nice experience, as I could imagine that whoever translated was working hard and felt the message needed to get out there willy nilly. Dave Atch is not my real name.
Swami Maheshvarananda · 1,244 followers
November 28, 2013 at 10:24am ·
A BRIEF ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PROFESSOR SATYA PRAKASH SINGH
(My revered Teacher who taught me to walk in the field of scholarship)
PROFESSOR SATYA PRAKASH SINGH (b. April 4, 1934 – d. 27th June 2013) was born in Jaunpur Distt. Uttar Pradesh; was one of the original prolific writers and scholars of India, who had in depth understanding of the Indian tradition.
An alumnus of Banaras Hindu University; where he studied up to his Ph.D. A D.Litt. from Aligarh Muslim University and was former Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Aligarh Muslim University.
He contributed in the field of Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga, Tantra, works of Adi Sankaracharya and Abhinavagupta, Eastern and Western Philosophy and Psychology.
His one of the major works in the field of Tantra is the first complete English translation of Abhinavagupta’s Tantralok and other Minor Works along with the translation of important chapters from Netra, Svacchanda and Malinivijayottara Tantras as well as translation of Vijnana Bhairava and Siva Sutrain (in 9 volumes) as well as first English translation of Mahartha-manjari of Maheshvarananda.
He devoted more than 55 years in studying and unveiling the symbolism of Vedic Samhitas. Streamlining yogic systems right from the Vedas and also was a devout practitioner of yoga.
FIELD OF SPECIALISATION:
Vedic Studies, Yoga, Tantra, Philosophy – Eastern and Western, Psychology, Culture and Religion.
1. Lecturer Department of Sanskrit, Aligarh Muslim University from February 1, 1962 to October 31, 1983
2. Professor, Department of Sanskrit, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh from November 1, 1983 to June 30, 1994
3. Chairman, Department of Sanskrit, A.M.U. 1986-89 and 1992-94
4. Dean, Faculty of Arts, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, 1992-94
5. Director, Dharam Hinduja International Centre of Indic Research, Delhi 1996-2000
6. Senior Fellow and Director, Vedic Research Centre, MSRVVP, New Delhi
7. Editorial Fellow in the Centre for Studies in Civilisations, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, New Delhi
8. Senior Fellow Centre for Studies in Civilisations, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, New Delhi
HONORARY POSITIONS HELD:
1. Director, Vraj Academy, Vrindavan, 1986-96;
2. Member (Expert), Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan;
3. Member, Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Academy;
4. Chancellor’s Nominee for Universities of West Bengal;
5. Chancellor’s Nominee for Universities of Bihar
RESEARCH GUIDANCE: Guided successfully more than 25 Ph.Ds and 10 M.Phils.
1. “Consciousness in the Veda” a Project Work done under the aegis of Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratisthan, Ujjain;
2. Aryan Problem in New Perspectives;
3. Relevance of Vedic Knowledge to Contemporary Problems
4. One of the contributors in the making of Yoga Film: History of Yoga by Deepika Kothari and Ramji – a 2 hours documentary.
Preview of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgHM9DxByEU
1. Ganganath Jha Award of Sanskrit Academy, Uttar Pradesh, in 1978;
2. Rajaji Literary Award of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay in 1984 on Sri Aravinda Darshanam (in Sanskrit on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo);
3. Swami Pravananda Best Book of the year award in Psychology in 1986 on Sri Aurobindo and Jung: A Comparative Study in Yoga and Depth Psychology;
4. Banabhatta Puraskar of Sanskrit Academy, Uttar Pradesh in 1995 on Guhavasi – Cave Dweller (a Sanskrit novel on spiritual.);
6. Vedic Scholar of Eminence Award of Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, in the year 2000;
7. President of India’s Award of Scholar of Eminence in December 6, 2005.
1. Sri Aurobindo and Whitehead on the Nature of God
2. Sri Aurobindo, Jung and Vedic Yoga
3. Upanisadic Symbolism
4. Vedic Symbolism
5. Life and Vision of Vedic Seers: Visvamitra
6. Life and Vision of Vedic Seers: Dirghatamas
7. Vedic Vision of Consciousness and Reality
8. Yoga From Confusion to Clarity (5 Volumes published 2010 and coming soon next 6 volumes)
9. History of Yoga
10. Life and Vision of Vedic Seer: Kavaña Ailusa
11. Life and Vision of Vedic Seer: Dadhyan
12. English Translation of Mahesvarananda’s Mahartha-manjari
13. First complete English translation of Abhinavagupta Sri Tantraloka and Other Minor Works (9 volumes), which includes the English translation of Tantraloka and 13 other minor works of Abhinavagupta and also Netra Tantra (Selected Chapters), Malinivijayottara Tantra (Selected Chapters), Siva Sutra, Svacchanda Tantra (Selected verses) in press.
14. Handbook of Yoga, Vol. 1 and 2 (Coming soon)
15. An Overview of Dhirendra Brahmacari’s Suksma Vyayama (Coming soon)
16. Arvind-darshanam (in Sanskrit) on the philosophy of Aurobindo and comparative study with Kashmir Shaivism
17. Guhavasi (Cave Dweller) – award winning Sanskrit novel on search for spirituality.
18. Philosophy of Dirghatamas
Apart from the above publications, he contributed more than 300 papers at various conferences, journals and seminars.
REVIEW AND OPINIONS:
1. “Dr. Singh’s book, comparing Sri Aurobindo and Whitehead on the Nature of God is brilliant. The publication is an event, for it is one of the more excellent research attempts in philosophy and comes at a time when it is becoming more and more embarrassing to speak of Indian scholarship.”
The Times of India, Feb., 11, 1973
2. “The author of `Sri Aravinda – Darshnam’ is truly a master of this most expressive language and has adopted a very lucid and easy style to deal with a difficult subject. … Satya Prakash Singh ahs dived deep into the ocean of Sri Aurobindo’s supreme light and successfully endeavoured to restore Sanskrit language to its role as the speech of the heart and soul of India.”
Mother India (Pondicherry), Aug, 15, 1976
3. “Professor Singh has produced authoritative account of the Philosophies of Sri Aurobindo and Whitehead vis-à-vis the nature of God as well as of Sri Aurobindo and Jung vis-à-vis yoga and Depth Psychology. The book under review promises to place him in the galaxy of the paragons of Vedic-Upanishadic Scholarship.”
Ritam (Lucknow), July 1986
4. “Professor Satya Prakash Singh is a profound Sanskrit Scholar and is also deeply interested in Western thought. He has afforded us an illuminating study on the vast and profound field of the human psyche.”
Dr. Indra Sen, Sri Aurobindo’s Action, (Pondicherry), Oct., 1986
5. “I was enormously pleased to find your book on Sri Aurobindo and Jung at a bookshop in Sydney, albeit 5 years after it was published … It struck a deep cord with me and I have written to a number of Jungians world wide directing them to your writing … I have read every word of your excellent study and return to it often for insight and understanding.”
Leslie A. Stein
Professor of Law, Law School
The University of Western Australia
6. “We acknowledge herewith gratefully your permission to translate into German language and publish your work.
“Sri Aurobindo and Jung”
We are sure that the publication of this book will be a valuable contribution to the field of spirituality and psychology of German speaking public.”
Neu Welt Verlag/New World Publications
Swami Maheshvarananda's photo.
Swami Maheshvarananda's photo.
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SOME OF MY POSTS & UNLINKED QUOTES FROM OTHERS
Jim, I meant all two quotes in Norman Macbeth's "Darwin Retried"! [author's occupation was lawyer, and he got into a study of the question during a period of sickness or injury, I forget which]
And, of course, it's been great to exchange ideas with you, as we used to do in this season. I never had more than two days off [twice] in this particular one, so tommorow I will face the end of my last segment of pretend r&r. Thus, sadly I will have to be brief. Thanks for the quotes. "Ideas" strike me as things like Sheldrake's notion of templates in the morphic field. Maybe there's a negative morphic field, and in it there's a template for an unfit idea...a notion of natural selection in which Darwin's emphasis on love of family is not included...that figures in the back of Trump's mind, for example.
I've been thinking about Aurobindo's idea of evolution and involution over the years. I suppose according to it, karma advances entities (by means we cannot understand) during the evolution stage, so that they're ready for the involution chapter. Whether it's an eternal cycle or not...neither one-time or eternal appeal to my mind more than the other. Find myself wondering what's the purpose in eternal sometimes though.
Speaking of books, I found a rare one that blew my mind. Paradoxically, the print quality and translation (grammer) were so bad that it was indeed like finding some medieval manuscript. To end on what might seem like a real hoky note (sorry)...I finally found a rundown on the author...in facebook!!! It's this guy's book on Aurobindo vs Jung. https://www.facebook.com/mukesh.veda/posts/656241281063456
Dwelling on it might be mentally denying a really big dust bowl headed for anglos and previous Afro-American achievers...which none of us gave a hoot'n a holler about til it started hang'n round close to home.
Who's the goat and who's the scaper is relative, Look at the mindset Powell defaulted to, or check out the Slav/Mongels interaction. What stayed the same amidst human phenomena on Earth for a long time was the psychological/societal "need" for scapegoats. There has been change, but change hasn't taken over the whole ball game. The roles are especially relative in modern "meritocracies." But if you wanna prove Euro privilege, read "Open Veins of Latin America." It'll blow your mind as much as "The Butler."
If American citizens don't examine "meritocracy" together...and a little revolutionary anthropology together...yeah, we'll for sure arrive in that dust bowl that won't hit Germany and China so bad. But then you have the separation of N vs S hemisphereic weather (Fukishima).
My white vote counts? Why did I have to create a ruckus complaining my touch screen was registering a Pub when I was touching a Dem? Meritocracy.
I returned to this old debate because I was thinking (as I always used to think) that "the published" tie the world's meaning to obscurantist anamolies that we proles have not the time for. Guess I'm ending up a little confounded, cause the debate seems fairly central after all. I must not have been thinking about it hard enough "back in the day." The following seems to agree with Rene Girard's rundown (in important respects...I MAY TAKE OUT MATERIAL IN PARANTHESES AS THE STUFF IS DENSE, AND I AM LEAVING QUOTATION MARKS EXACTLY AS THEY ARE IN <a href="http://www.psyartjournal.com/article/show/holman-on_the_aesthetic_structure_of_sublimatio">THE TEXT IN QUESTION</a> AT PSYARTJOURNAL DOT COM)...
<blockquote>Marcuse argues, however, that the alleged natural fact of scarcity is in actuality the result of a specific form of production and a deliberate organization of scarcity – the calculated distribution of scarcity designed to serve the interests of domination. The difference between basic and surplus repression, though, is always historical. When technological development reaches a certain nodal point quantity turns into quality, basic repression becomes surplus: “The same and even a reduced scope of instinctual regimentation would constitute a higher degree of repression at a mature stage of civilization, when the need for renunciation is greatly reduced by material and intellectual progress – when civilization could actually afford a considerable release of instinctual energy expended for domination and toil” (Marcuse, 1966a, 35). Repression is thus always relational, defined relative to the historical possibility of freedom. What constitutes the repression of the performance principle, when evaluated in light of current states of “material and intellectual” knowledge, can only be seen to be surplus, repression beyond that required to guarantee the individual a ‘good human life’...
...Marcuse’s detachment of concepts from their clinical basis opens them up to an infinite field of potential interpretations, interpretations that need not necessarily be related to Freud’s intentions. It is the lack of concern with the technical aspect of psychoanalysis which renders the modified concepts immune to criticism: the “philosophers” are “‘free’ to make fantastic constructions precisely because they have no empirical knowledge against which to check their speculations” (Fromm, 1970, 27). According to Fromm, Marcuse distorts the concept of repression because of this. Marcuse loses the significance of the concept by transmuting it into a dynamic phenomenon that covers both unconscious and conscious processes. To Freud, repression refers simply to a process by which something is lost or removed from consciousness. Repression, thus understood, cannot be equated with Marcuse’s social definition of repression as oppression or domination. Marcuse “plays on the double meaning of the word ‘repression’, making it appear as if the two meanings were one, and in this process the meaning of repression in the psychoanalytic sense is lost – although a nice formula is found which unifies a political and psychological category by the ambiguity of the word” (Fromm, 1970, 28).</blockquote>
Here I don' find the last sentence accurate. Fromm wrote and spoke on craziness in general terms too. And somehow these comments of his ended up more pertinent than all kinds of other comments.
<blockquote>How are we to assess Fromm’s critique? He is certainly correct on a least one count: Marcuse himself maintains that he has no interest in contributing to the further explication of Freudian concepts, but is concerned more with delineating their philosophical and sociological implications (Marcuse, 1966a, 7). Fromm, however, is attempting to evaluate Marcuse’s appropriation of Freud in narrow terms, unconnected to the larger philosophical and political project of which it forms a part. As Marcuse well understood, his analysis would be a failure if evaluated according to the standards of conventional Freudian theory. We must recall, however, a fundamental principle underlying immanent critique: any theoretical orientation that believes that access to truth is established through its internal processes alone is bound to develop into an ideology (Horkheimer, 1974, 184). For Marcuse, Fromm and the neo-Freudian revisionists perfectly represent this degradation. By neglecting the problem of domination and holding to the belief that therapy alone can free individuals, they strengthen the system of social relations that produces unhappiness.</blockquote>
Mourning and Melancholia
By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Although Derrida utilizes the death of a friend to illustrate reflections on other thinkers, the text primarily illustrates the double bind we find ourselves in when those close to us die, as illustrated in Freud's "Mourning and Melancholia" as well as in Holderin. We find ourselves making an impossible decision. We may repair our memories inward like a "tomb", a "bad object" incorporation resulting in an inward flow of libidinal cathexes, leading to a dead, incorporated otherness and a narcissistic and deadened state, or retrieve our libidinal investitures from our deceased friend, resulting in a sense of betrayal. A timeless human dilemna illustrated beautifully here. I suppose a third choice is a healthy dose of therapy. Maybe M. Derrida should have called on his buddy M. Lacan when he had the chance, like M. Althusser? At any rate, I can't comment on De Man's political activities prior to his Yale appointment because I don't know. I suppose I'm just an irresponsible intellectual. Nonetheless, "Memoires" is worthwhile for those initiated in continental thought and some of the nuances of presentation.
Finally, in regard to F’s primary notion of the Libido, such a notion of a “sexual energy” is just nonsense scientifically as opposed to Jung’s notion of Libido as a generalized psychical energy. Indeed, Jordens essay on Libido and the Prana/Atman identity in Harold Coward’s “Jung and Eastern Thought” provides one of the many pieces of evidence supporting my identification of the Atman/Prana with the underlying activating energy of the brainwaves of the brainstem Reticular Activating System. This ties in with Jung’s ideas of generalised energy as the RAS is simply that, the energy underlying all gross brain activity and the brainstem Reticular Formation is the only structure essential for consciousness. Thus whilst undermining more serious philosophical ideas, my RAS brainwave/Light of Pure Consciousness correlation also undermines the nonsensical Freudian myth of an underlying Sexual libido!”
The war of all against all that Rene Girard writes about. Amber waves of grain. There are some water wave aspects, but all in all they won't work completely. I think of these waves of grain as animated like those Disney mops, in what cartoon/movie? I think of mimesis crises in societies as such waves but alive. So, there are thrusts toward a center, a place where the plants want to be. Waves of imitation. Circular pulses toward the center. The center plants dig all the attention. But then arises annoyance amongst the central ones, as they see that somehow the movement toward the center is causing their admirers to master all their characteristics. So then begin push-waves out from this center. And where they pass, it seems, there spring up internicene squabbles. Oh the revered ones are saying we don't make the mark, so let us condemn the poor imitators in hopes of meriting the center's approbation.
The center is insightful analysis. And the symbolic analysts (as the wave passes) are left with no ability to recognize what it is anymore...and left only with the desire to appropriate the status/trappings for I-me-mine...the trappings they have been programmed to associate with those heralded as on-the-money symbolic analysts.
Giroux's beyond what mainstream recognizes as insightful analysis.
I could maybe agree with you...on more interest in the song of creation. First, some other items. You've got the wrong notion of power with respect to Abraham & Moses. Re the sword & flame, you're only right if society stays on the road to its own destruction. Here's a post I put up today at New Cafe, which might be relevant (1 pt eg being that a guy like Erich Fromm did more than offer comfort; he advanced us toward a comprehension of where we are & where we can go)--->
Returned to this old debate because I was thinking (as I always used to think) that "the published" tie the world's meaning to obscurantist anamolies that we proles have not the time for. Ending up a little confounded, cause the debate seems fairly central after all. Must not have been thinking about it hard enough "back in the day." The following seems to agree with Rene Girard's rundown (in important respects...I MAY TAKE OUT MATERIAL IN PARANTHESES AS THE STUFF IS DENSE; AND, WITHIN MY QUOTE MARKS, I AM LEAVING THE AUTHOR'S QUOTATION MARKS EXACTLY AS THEY ARE IN THE TEXT IN QUESTION AT PSYARTJOURNAL DOT COM
"...Marcuse argues, however, that the alleged natural fact of
scarcity is in actuality the result of a specific form of production and a deliberate organization of scarcity – the calculated distribution of scarcity designed to serve the interests of domination. The difference between basic and surplus repression, though, is always historical. When technological development reaches a certain nodal point quantity turns into quality, basic repression becomes surplus: “The same and even a reduced scope of instinctual regimentation would constitute a higher degree of repression at a mature stage of civilization, when the need for renunciation is greatly reduced by material and intellectual progress – when civilization could actually afford a considerable release of instinctual energy expended for domination and toil” (Marcuse, 1966a, 35). Repression is thus always relational, defined relative to the historical possibility of freedom. What constitutes the repression of the performance principle, when evaluated in light of current states of “material and intellectual” knowledge, can only be seen to be surplus, repression beyond that required to guarantee the individual a
‘good human life’...
"...Marcuse’s detachment of concepts from their clinical basis opens them up to an infinite field of potential interpretations,
interpretations that need not necessarily be related to Freud’s intentions. It is the lack of concern with the technical aspect of psychoanalysis which renders the modified concepts immune to criticism: the “philosophers” are “‘free’ to make fantastic constructions precisely because they have no empirical knowledge against which to check their speculations” (Fromm, 1970, 27). According to Fromm, Marcuse distorts the concept of repression because of this. Marcuse loses the significance of the concept by transmuting it into a dynamic phenomenon that covers both unconscious and conscious processes. To Freud, repression refers simply to a process by which something is lost or removed from consciousness. Repression,
thus understood, cannot be equated with Marcuse’s social definition of repression as oppression or domination. Marcuse “plays on the double meaning of the word ‘repression’, making it appear as if the two meanings were one, and in this process the meaning of repression in the psychoanalytic sense is lost – although a nice formula is found which unifies a political and psychological category by the ambiguity
of the word” (Fromm, 1970, 28)."
Here below I don't find the last two sentences relevant these days. Fromm wrote and spoke on craziness in general terms too. And somehow these observations of his have ended up more pertinent than a giant raft of many others.
"How are we to assess Fromm’s critique? He is certainly
correct on a least one count: Marcuse himself maintains that he has no interest in contributing to the further explication of Freudian concepts, but is concerned more with delineating their philosophical and sociological implications (Marcuse, 1966a, 7). Fromm, however, is attempting to evaluate Marcuse’s appropriation of Freud in narrow terms, unconnected to the larger philosophical and political project
of which it forms a part. As Marcuse well understood, his analysis would be a failure if evaluated according to the standards of conventional Freudian theory. We must recall, however, a fundamental principle underlying immanent critique: any theoretical orientation that believes that access to truth is established through its internal processes alone is bound to develop into an ideology (Horkheimer,
1974, 184). For Marcuse, Fromm and the neo-Freudian revisionists perfectly represent this degradation. By neglecting the problem of domination and holding to the belief that therapy alone can free individuals, they strengthen the system of social relations that
Yes indeed, the 'manufactured fatalism' will prompt its minions to bloviate their airs when confronted with the truth. Yeah, let's take down truth for its style. Your whole thesis here, shol, is that a developed mind can't abide the style. What poser crap. Once again we humans are sitting listening [reading] PC sophist austerity gibberish just as, no doubt, many luckless Greeks experienced, what, 24 hundred years before Hegel?
Great speech for a protest. For me the many-sides approach to the problem reads without any annoying repetition [yeah, I'm adding this sentence after Rd's comment above which was later than this comment]. This is what they said about Ellul; he wasn't systematic enough. But many hypocrisys manifest with this kind of authoritarianism. Most figure in lots of lives, but we don't have time to reflect on all of'em. So, perceptive writers help us out. And a sort of headache goes away for a moment.
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NnoNno theCrowdisUntruth • 18 days ago
Just below are very new things from the first 2 wks of Dec 2013 that may include "watching items" and articles for reading
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
Kohlberg’s stages of moral development
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development
Jane Loevinger’s stages of ego development
m eckhart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxh2MHzEc3g
click steve b http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/11/the-purpose-and-design-of-life-11/
a number of youtubes, reality models
string theory and m theory
swallowed by bh
dark matter and dark matter particle, universe's expansion around 30 min
Relevant to search link below
all words - youtube
phrase - measuring mimesis
any words - sociological critical theory
LISTENING ONLY OR MOSTLY
Blyth lectures site
Reading corner of listening post
Juan Cole- Iran, A Nexus of Issues of Peace and War
Charts below borrowed from spiritsong dot org (inclu another here disassociated for time being)
Involution involves differentiation, separation into finer and finer distinctions of form-in-existence. The Hindu tradition spells this out in terms of the separation between consciousness and matter (represented in their story by Shiva and Shakti respectively) followed by the emergence of 25 tattvas (potentials or archetypes) which are then translated into observable forms.
These 25 tattvas or fundamental principles follow:
1. Purusha - The Spirit, Divine Person, Pure Consciousness, represented by Shiva
2. Buddhi - the intellectual faculty, ability to discriminate.
3. Ahamkara - self-concept, ego.
4-8. Tanmatras - rudimentary or subtle elements (sound, touch, sight, taste, smell)
9-13. Mahabhutas - the five gross elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth)
14-18. Buddhindriyas - the five organs of sense or perception (ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose)
19-23. Karmendriyani - organs of action (voice, hand, foot, anus, genital)
24 . Manas - the intellectual mind
25. Prakrti - the primordial element out of which everything comes, matter in general, represented by Shakti
One of these levels of creation is particularly interesting and relevant to this chakra. That is the archetype. An archetype is a deep structure of the subtle realm that serves as a pattern for the form that is modeled upon it (cf pp. 178-190 and the chart on p. 191 in Shadows of the sacred for more details. We can think of it as a potential within us. It is the level of essence. The Divine Essence crystallizes Its inner nature to create an archetype. It is a higher order differentiation, one of the first forms manifested by the Creator. It comes before the gunas that are the attributes of form, so we could call it gunatita (beyond gunas). Another word for it might be tattva. A tattva is an essence of something, the thatness or essential beingness of something, an emanation directly from the One.
Note that these 25 tattvas are not all on the same level of differentiation. For instance, tanmatras are potential energy at the sensory level that can use the forms of the five organs of sense & perception. And the mind, while seen as a sixth sense, also uses the organs of sense and action as its instruments to function in the world. Figure 3 is an attempt to spell out the levels of generality in this process. So we have a rough model for creation.
Evolution is the return process which requires that all forms be dissolved into the original Creator. This is return to Spirit. And the Ajna chakra is the point at which most of the return has been accomplished. A choice between death or Bodhisattvahood is the final step. We will look at the details of that later. What is important here is that the choice point between final dissolution or mergence of the soul with the divine One vs the commitment to continue reincarnating to help others as a Bodhisattva lies at the top of the Ajna chakra. So we are looking at either the total annihilation of all physical and mental forms, or the continuation of reincarnation with life in a series of bodies. Both are without karma, beyond karma.
Dissolution is the process we have been engaging since Book I. It begins with self-examination and proceeds through a series of renunciations and practices to gain control over the mind, ego and personality. These activities are symbolized by the chakra system and various scriptures from extant spiritual traditions. Spiritual evolution involves withdrawing all forms into the One. So we begin with the body, then work with the energy, then with the mind, in that order. The Eight Rungs of Yoga indicate the progression. Yamas and niyamas train the personality and ego, hatha yoga trains the body, pranayama trains the breath, pratyahara trains the senses, dharana, dhyani and samadhi train the mind. This is the model for enlightenment or liberation.
Hindu mythology follows this pattern of evolution. Shiva represents conscious-ness and Shakti represents matter. In her energetic activity, Shakti is called Kundalini and she lies asleep at the base of the spine separated from the One as represented by Shiva. And she is asleep as most of humanity is. When Kundalini is awakened by spiritual practices, she tries to ascend through the chakras to rejoin her lover, Shiva. When all the chakras are open and free, this is possible and the ecstasy of ananda or bliss occurs at their reunion. But opening the chakras is another order of difficulty because they have been closed by our socio-cultural child-rearing and educational practices, so we no longer even know who we really are.
Read chapter 8 in Shadows of the sacred. Why does Vaughan say enlightenment is a myth? How does she define it? What is the perennial philosophy? Do you agree with it? How does it fit with other traditions with which you are familiar? Make some notes about how Vaughan describes the unitive or mystical experience. How is this distinguished from magic? What is the specific definition of non-duality in this chapter and how is it related to liberation? What is prajna and why do you think it is and important concept? Does her discussion of Absolute vs Relative reality fit with what we have been studying?
Power and Life
The interactions of Shiva and Shakti are analogous to those of power and life. Shiva is power and Shakti is life. Shiva is the One, whole, purely conscious Being, the goal of evolution and dissolution. Shakti, on the other hand, is the myriad, differentiated facets of the manifest universe all imbued with the spirit of the Creator, involution at its sacred culmination.
In the diagram of the Ajna Chakra, one of the key symbols is the Itara Lingam that represents Shiva or Purusha. You will remember from Figure 3 that Purusha and Prakrti represent the first division to emerge out of the Ultimate Reality. These two entities symbolize consciousness and matter respectively and are analogous to Nada or the first thought of the Creator. They are not yet formed but hold the potential for formation. Shiva, as we will call the symbol of consciousness because that is the form it takes in the Ajna diagram, is potential power, the ability to move things. As the seed of consciousness, he is represented by the male phallus.
Table 6-1. Power and Life
Two of Shiva’s signatures are lightning and fire. It is a hot, unpredictable light that is magnetic, dynamic and electromagnetic. Swami Radha said it is the cosmic fire that burns up tail ends [of ego agendas]. It is a Cosmic Light that is capable of lighting up the whole of one’s life or even life in general. You could think of it as a spark of life that comes directly from the Creator. However, it is unmanifested energy. It needs another entity that is capable of manifestation in order to come into form. So it attracts Shakti and together they create life as we shall see later on. Hence we have the symbol of intercourse in our diagram to represent involution or coming into form. This is an image that every adult can use as a reference point to understand the creation process.
So creation depends upon the electric tension between the parts of a duality – twoness. Opposites attract, so we have a male and a female, yin and yang, a dance of magnetism and attraction. The feminine side of this pair is Shakti or Prakrti. [The images are to help our minds to represent the process, so we can understand it.]
Levels of Power. There are three levels of power: self-mastery, concentration-contemplation, and pure consciousness. Keep in mind that these powers are all without form because we are talking about energy.
Self-mastery means control over the mind, ego and personality. We have to subdue the passions, quiet the mind and quell the ego. Ultimately, that means going back to the Source or what we call evolution. In a very real sense, we recapitulate the creative process in our return to Spirit, but in reverse. So if I want to become enlightened, I must explore the whole process of how I came to be who I am, not only my body but also my mind, personality and ego. This is called self-examination or self-inquiry, and it is the groundwork of every spiritual and mystical tradition.
Concentration-contemplation. The next level requires learning how to focus the mind and to open it to higher levels of consciousness. Here we are talking about control over the mind. The practice most often used to accomplish this is meditation. However, chanting and other spiritual practices work well and may be used selectively by the seeker. One important result of spiritual practices is single pointedness of mind. That means the mind is still operating, but it is directed toward a single object much like laser light. The mind needs an object or it tends to spiral off on its own erratic journeys. So the first step in training the mind is to teach it to focus on something and not to wander.
When the mind can do this, the next step is to get it to quiet down and stop all activity. When this is accomplished, it can open out, like a flower receiving the sun, in order to connect with the Ultimate Reality. We call this contemplation. It is the situation we find ourselves in when mindlessness and egolessness is achieved.
Pure consciousness is the natural condition of Being. This is who we are. In this state, we are awake and aware, but nothing is happening. There is no self, no mind, no ego, no action, no motivation, no urges, no passions. It is Satchidananda: Being, Consciousness, Bliss. This is our Shiva.
In our return to the Source, we are able to reclaim our power, the unmanifest power of Being. However, it will not be made available to us until such time as we have done enough work on ourselves that we will not misuse it. If the ego is not sufficiently subdued, it is likely to use the power for its own agendas and thus get into serious trouble. So the powers, or siddhis, are usually withheld until a high level of spiritual advancement is achieved.
There are several deities who represent the primal force of life and creation. Prakrti is the most elemental, Shakti is the image of Divine Mother who is the mate of Shiva. She is life itself or prana. All life is Divine Mother.
Kundalini is a personification of the manifest creative energy that strives to achieve unity with the unmanifest energy. This could represent the yearning for the Divine One that inspires us to make the spiritual journey and to persist until it is completed. It is seen as feminine because of its ability to manifest or take form, i.e., become embodied. Kundalini is often represented by a serpent because serpents symbolize the duality inherent in neutral energy as well as wisdom or temptation. Because snakes shed their skins as they grow larger, they are also symbols of transformation and transcendence.
Creation is a two-way street. We have seen that involution and evolution are the two mirroring events. Involution is the process of embodiment, the descent of Spirit into a body. This involves differentiation and division into multiple forms and varieties. It begins with the first thought of the Creator and proceeds through many levels of manifestation until it reaches the forms we recognize in our daily lives. Evolution is the return journey and is a process of transcendence in which each form is dissolved into the one above it in increasingly abstract forms until all is finally united into one, formless Being.
In thinking about this in the sixth chakra, we are dealing with creativity on a purely spiritual level. All forms are being dissolved into the One – evolution.
Exercise: Life and Death
Read chapter 3 in Shadows of the sacred. Would you equate death with Shiva? If so, why; if not, why not? Why does Vaughan say we cannot know our shadows without confronting sex and death? Do you have a shadow around either of these ideas? Why is death anxiety seen as a fundamental fear? Do you agree? Are you afraid of death? What about annihilation of the ego? What does the sacred marriage represent and is that the same thing as the union of Shiva and Shakti? What is “beyond death” and why do you think so? How would you like to end your life? Make some notes in your journal about this and let someone close to you know what you want to happen at the end of your life.
If you can bear with me, I’d like to summarize and update our information on embodiment and how it operates. You may remember an initial diagram (Figure 2-1) early in this series of a set of concentric circles or sheaths that represent the human being. The physical body was in the center surrounded by the astral or etheric body, lower mind, higher mind and higher self in that order from the inside out. Figure 3 in Book I shows roughly how those levels play out in manifestation.
Now, usually, we think of God as being within us or in our hearts, so it may seem strange at first to think about it the other way around. However, if you consider it, God is rather large to be contained within us as are consciousness and mind. It is more likely that our hearts contain a connection to the Higher Power rather like a cord connects a fetus to its mother. So that is why I have reversed the usual order of containers. In this explanation, I am going to refer to the physical, subtle and causal bodies only because the two levels of mind and the etheric body are all part of the subtle body.
The physical body is pretty obvious and our educational, medical and pharmacological institutions have pretty well informed us about how the body is put together and how it functions, so I do not need to go into that here.
You can think of the subtle body as all of the person that is driven by energy. This includes the etheric or energy body and two mental bodies. People who are clairvoyant are able to see these distinct bodies. The etheric body is about four inches larger all around than the physical body and contains it. It wavers rather like heat coming from a hot roadway, and it contains colors that reflect the condition and health of the individual’s energy system.
The mental bodies are larger and may extend out to about fingertip length from the physical body. As a whole, they are called the antahkarana. This includes the memory, sensory-motor mind, higher mind, intuition and ego. All of these fall into the domain of psychology for research purposes, at least in this culture. It is only in the last two or three decades that the etheric body has come under investigation. And the study of intuition is still on the cutting edge although it is a legitimate aspect of mind.
The causal body is even less well known. It seems fair to say that it is the intention to create a body. Soul is a part of the causal body. Again, we are used to thinking of the soul within us, but it makes more sense to view it as larger than the physical and subtle bodies and as containing them since it is always viewed as transcendent to them. If so, it would fall into the domain of the causal body. This is sometimes referred to as the celestial realm.
In Hindu psychology, the causal body is the body of bliss, joy and ecstasy; i.e., beyond all the woes of embodiment. It may also be termed Prakrti which would be the first level of creation or matter in general. This does not feel correct to me since Purusha (consciousness) and Prakrti (matter) in the Samkhya tradition are portrayed as being on the same level of development, or manifestation to be more exact. Rather I would call them noumenal and postulate a next higher level for them which could be called consciousness.
In other words, there would actually be five levels of beingness:
1. The Void out of which everything comes or Ultimate Reality
2. The Noumenal or Pure Consciousness or awakeness, the first level of creation, Satchidananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss), first thought, Word of God, Purusha and Prakrti, the initial separation of the Creator from the Void
3. The Causal body which would include intention to create, the Universal Mind, tattvas, soul and the gunas or attributes; the outermost sheath or Bliss or the Celestial body
4. The Subtle body or antahkarana + etheric (energy) body; the two mental and etheric sheaths
5. The Physical body
Some theorists would combine # 2 and 3. Noumenal means an object of purely intellectual intuition according to the dictionary. So you could think of the first thought or image of creation in the Creator’s Mind as Noumenal and the following intention to create as the Causal, and I think that would be close. The diagram in Figure 3 distinguishes the mental from the higher subtle bodies in order to explain the levels of antahkarana more coherently.
Hopefully, this gives us a context in which to understand the dynamics of the Ajna chakra. But let us look at some components of embodiment in more detail.
The chakras are situated in the subtle body, and specifically in the etheric body, though there is interpenetration of all the bodies, of course. This body consists of 72,000 nadiis or channels through which pranic energy can travel. Many of these are familiar to acupuncturists who call them meridians. There are eight primary nadiis with which we will be concerned. Four of these are nested in concentric order in a central channel called the Meru Danda, and four others are outside of the central channel. [You can see a diagram of six of these in your Johari book, p. 25.]
The outermost central channel is called Susumna. It travels from the base of the spine in the first chakra to the Makara point in the Ajna chakra. It is the channel most likely to be used for a kundalini rising. The next one in is the Vajra nadi. This goes from the first chakra to the hamsa pita and is an unstable cul-de-sac. The next is chitrini nadi which goes directly from the first chakra to the Brahma-randhrawhich is a more direct route, but a rising through it is very rare. The innermost channel is the Brahma nadi which goes from the first chakra directly to the pinnacle at Bindu in the seventh chakra. This kind of rising is the most direct and unimpeded, but it is extremely rare.
Two other channels through which Kundalini can arise are the Saraswati and Lakshmi nadiis. Both of these are dead ends, and a rising through either of these must be rerouted or the process fails.
The other two nadiis of note are the Ida and Pingala. Ida is the left nadi and represents receptivity, coolness. It has a yin quality and is associated with the left nostril dominance of the nose. Pingala is the right nadi and represents activity, heat, yang and the vagus nerve. It has a yang quality and is associated with the right nostril dominance. There is cross dominance here with the cerebral hemispheres. Right nostril dominance means the left brain hemisphere is more active and the reverse. These dominances can be changed and/or balanced by alternate nostril breathing.
Vayus are the major vital energies that support life functions. Prana vayu, or the flow of life force whose vehicle is breath, is a vibrating field of subtle energy and vitality. It is also the vehicle of Consciousness (Harrigan, 2002). It moves through Ida and Pingala and also through Susumna. which serves as a balance point between the opposing energies.
The chakras are energy centers or vortices in the subtle body that arise at the intersections of nadiis wherever they cross or touch each other. Chakra means “spinning wheel.” It is a radiation of vayu function in a certain area. When the vayu is activated, the associated chakra opens and vibrates. Barbara Brennan (1988), who is clairvoyant, has seen these chakras and pictures them as a hornlike projection that encloses several other hornlike tubes (p. 65). Hindus call them lotuses because when they are open they look like lotus flowers opened. And, interestingly, the seed pods of a lotus look very much like the picture Brennan offers us. Chakras are responsible for bringing energy into the subtle body and distributing it. There are many chakras in the body, but our discussion is limited to the seven or eight primary ones on the vertical dimension of the body.
For Kundalini to rise, all the chakras must be open and functioning. To open them requires removing the obstacles created by our social conditioning. Hence, the need for self-examination and spiritual practices.
The tattvas are dominant in each of the lower five chakras, and we know them as a combination of the bhutas: five gross elements of earth, water, fire, air and space; and the tanmatras: subtle elements of smell, taste, sight, touch and sound. Both sets of elements are found in the chakras respectively, as listed, moving from the first to the fifth. We have met these before. Each tattva has a seed sound or bija associated with it (Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham). Chanting these sounds tunes the chakra and helps it to open. Corresponding chakra diagrams can be found in each guidebook.
Table 6-2. Tattva Relationships
We have reviewed all of this material by way of introduction to the Ajna chakra because it is here that the transition is made between the subtle body and the causal body. So we need to understand how all of the nadiis and chakras work and come together at this point in evolution. The Makara point in the Ajna chakra is the launching pad, so to speak, into higher consciousness and the celestial realm.
Find a quiet time and space and sit for meditation. Plan to stay for at least an hour. During this time, see if you can quiet your mind but still remain conscious. If, after about 20 minutes you are not able to quiet your mind, try concentrating on an object such as a flower or a candle keeping your mind focused and steady.
If you lose consciousness, when you come out of it do some self-reflection right away in your journal trying to remember just exactly what you experienced, when you lost consciousness and what brought you back to it. Consider whether there is a relationship between deep sleep, samadhi and unconsciousness. Are they the same thing? Are you conscious in your deep sleep? in your dreams? In your life? That is not a silly question. Most people are not really conscious but are moving around in a waking dream. If you experience samadhi, what is it like for you? How do you identify it?
“The fruit of the path is the capacity to live in objective reality.”
A. H. Almaas (2002, p. 61)
A. H. Almaas (2002, p. 61)
Objective reality in the quote above means being able to see life as it really is rather than shrouded by numerous veils of maya and ego defenses.
In 2002, A. H. Almaas published a book called Facets of Unity. His is another way of looking at Beingness. In it, he outlines seven holy ideas based upon Gurdjieff’s enneagram. Holy ideas are forms in which the unity of the universe manifests. There are presumably nine rays projected by the Divine One, and together they make up the pleroma. The pleroma is the spiritual universe as the abode of God and is made up of the totality of the divine powers and emanations. You can see the relevance. Almaas says that our essential nature is ontological Presence that is pure Being, and Being is the essence of soul and the cosmos. Enlightenment shifts one’s identity from personal to universal. Evolution.
Soul loss is loss of clear knowingness and the ability to see clearly. This loss is due to disconnection from the Source. It makes the soul unconscious which gives rise to the development of ego. Ego then throws up defenses and creates fixations that block our perceptions of objective reality. We can easily see how soul and ego might find themselves at opposite and warring poles (cf Chapter 2 in Vaughan, 1995).
Holy ideas, on the other hand, are objective views of reality that are seen from different perspectives. They depend upon basic trust. I want to quickly sketch out the Holy Ideas, so you can think about them. We will return to them in more detail in a subsequent unit. All of these little summaries are dependent upon the establishment of basic trust for their fullest expression.
The numbers are out of order because they are each part of a triad, and there are three triads. Each Idea represents a position on the enneagram, which has nine points, and corresponds to one of the personality types of the enneagram. Each of the triads samples one of each of the following three perspectives: 1)How Reality is, 2) Functioning from a non-egoic perspective, and 3) Relationship of the human to Total Reality. The unnumbered ones are subsumptions and expansions of the ones above them. Incidently, on the enneagram diagram the numbers go clockwise from about one o’clock around the circle.
A. First Triad
8. Holy Truth is the unity of existence. Presence which is self-existent and boundless. Non-duality. Being is the universe, the Absolute is All. Various dimensions are facets of the Absolute and interpenetrate each other. Sound familiar?
2. Holy Will is unified functioning. Reality moves with direction and according to fixed laws or patterns. Unified functioning is an organic unfoldment of living, conscious Presence.
Holy Freedom occurs when we see ourselves as co-creators of the universe. Our will is harmonious with the Will of the universe. To end the struggle, one must surrender to inner truth.
5. Holy Omniscience is the multiplicity of existence within the unity, differentiations within unity. The focus is on discrimination. Everything, however, is interconnected in a kind of horizontal Oneness.
Holy Transparency is the human perception that we are an inseparable part of the whole. We are supported by the totality and are an extension of it. Personal Essence as Being manifesting in a life. Individuation.
B. Second triad
1. Holy Perfection means reality is perfect as it is. So is your Essence and fundamental nature. All is pure, neat, immaculate, beautiful and luminous.
4. Holy Origin means everything is unfolding Being. Essence is the nature of the soul. Being is the ground from which all manifests. Creation and dissolution is all Being differentiating itself into phenomena of experience. Vertical Oneness. We are the origin. The Source is us.
7. Holy Wisdom sees that the transformation is happening according to a specific design. It is seeing reality in relation to the passing of time. Real life is intelligent presence unfolding according to its inner laws and harmony.
Holy Plan is a specific universal design, the perception that unfoldment is not chaotic, but has a meaningful, lawful pattern. The universe is intelligent and spontaneously self-revealing expressing pure Spirit.
Holy Work is evolution itself [in the scientific sense], transformation with direction; unfolding existence in successive moments, being in the flow.
C. Third triad
9. Holy Love means reality has heart, is loving. There is a quality of existence that makes it lovable; intrinsic goodness; non-localized preciousness of Being. Bliss.
3. Holy Harmony means all movements, changes and actions form unified, harmonious, patterned flow with inherent intelligence and optimizing thrust toward truth. Inner guidance.
Holy Law is self-aware, dynamic Oneness and functioning Logos. Unity of all change and flow of Being, continuous creation.
Holy Hope is perception of the truth; harmony draws to itself; Reality guides us to Enlightenment. Everything is all right and open to unfoldment.
6. Holy Strength is the perception that the inner nature of humans is Essence. Direct experience of the strength of Essence; its truth, lovingness, perfection, support.
Holy Faith is a sense of trust, confidence and care that comes from the realization that Origin is our inner nature. Satchidananda. The conviction is integrated and transforms consciousness.
This section will give you a feel for how the various spiritual disciplines support and relate to each other in their views of how things are.
Exercise: The Holy Ideas
Draw a large circle on a sheet of paper and divide it into nine equal points. Number these from one to nine beginning at about the one o’clock position. (Hint: circles have 360 degrees, so each inner angle, if you connect each point to the center of the circle, will be 40 degrees.) Have number nine at the top of the circle. Insert the name of each Holy Idea at its proper number. Next connect the triad numbers (1:4:7 and 2:5:8 and 3:6:9) with straight lines to form three triangles. Then shade the portion of the circle designated by the numbers 1:8:9. This is “How reality is.” Then shade the portion designated by 2:3:4. This is “Functioning from a non-egoic perspective.” Then shade the portion designated by 5:6:7. This is “Relationship of human to total reality.” Label each of these areas on your diagram. Now you have a diagram of the Holy Ideas. You should have one point of each triangle in each of the three shaded areas.
"Iraq is the fault line between the Shia and the Sunni world and everything which happens in Syria, of course, has repercussions on the political landscape in Iraq." Kobler also claimed that many Iraqi Al-Qaeda affiliated groups are now operating inside Syria.
However, Al-Qaeda affiliated groups have suffered a series of setbacks in Syria, which includes being expelled by Assad's forces and its allies from certain towns and villages. To counter these losses Al-Qaeda groups have attempted to ignite a wider regional sectarian war. Within Syria, Sunni Muslims who live near Homs and the border region with Lebanon have expressed "fears" that the al-Assad regime is attempting to cleanse them from the region. These fears were expressed after reports circulated that the Homs real-estate registry office had been burned down by the regime — destroying documents proving Sunni land ownership in the local areas...Apart from apprehending the bombers, Iraqi politicians need to calm sectarian tensions and not allow local political parties to exploit it. Otherwise, instead of a civil war, we could be looking at a regional war, which would cause death and destruction beyond the unfathomable amount the Middle East has already seen." http://www.policymic.com/articles/57069/think-the-syrian-civil-war-is-bad-wait-until-iraq-falls-totally-apart-too
Juan Cole 11/15/13 "What do the Middle East exporters do with the revenues they receive from the US and its allies? Saudi Arabia spreads an intolerant form of Islam, first the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, now more recently the so-called “Salafis” in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, who have agitated against human rights, women’s rights and secular principles...Likewise, oil millionaires in places like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, who are not government figures (in fact they may be anti-government) are also supporting disturbing movements. In northern Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Succor Front (Jabhat al-Nusra)– both al-Qaeda affiliates– are said to receive monies from the Salafi billionaires of Kuwait.
Iran also uses its oil income to promote Khomeinism, an intolerant form of Shiite Islam, in places like Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan." http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/gasoline-fundamentalism-violence.html
"They’re not competing; they’re trying to develop the best technologies — wind, solar, everything. Why? Because they know something we’re in denial about. Oil is running out. That’s a fact. The planet’s warming up. That’s a fact. You can call it Climate Change Chicanery if you want; but you’re not paying attention. The Germans don’t believe any of that stuff, and they know we’ve got one shot, and one shot only. Whoever figures out how to make sustainable green tech in the next 30 years gets to sell it to everybody else for the next 1000. That’s what they’ve figured out. What are we doing? We’re shutting down our engineering. We’re hollowing out our skills. We’re closing down our options. The Germans are going to have our lunch. The Chinese will be in for the appetizers, but the Germans are going to take the main." "http://www.radioopensource.org/mark-blyth-8-how-germany-gets-to-eat-our-lunch/"
Mapping Syria's rebellion
Usman Butt 7/31/13 "To counter these losses Al-Qaeda groups have attempted to ignite a wider regional sectarian war. Within Syria, Sunni Muslims who live near Homs and the border region with Lebanon have expressed 'fears' that the al-Assad regime is attempting to cleanse them from the region. These fears were expressed after reports circulated that the Homs real-estate registry office had been burned down by the regime — destroying documents proving Sunni land ownership in the local areas...Apart from apprehending the bombers, Iraqi politicians need to calm sectarian tensions and not allow local political parties to exploit it. Otherwise, instead of a civil war, we could be looking at a regional war, which would cause death and destruction beyond the unfathomable amount the Middle East has already seen." "http://www.policymic.com/articles/57069/think-the-syrian-civil-war-is-bad-wait-until-iraq-falls-totally-apart-too"
Text here temporarily for personal reading--> "Syria: The Assads Have A Victory Plan That Is Working
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November 8, 2013: The Assads are having greater battlefield success in the last three month mainly because of the foreigners, who are there mainly because of Iranian cash and advisors. Iran has recruited an army of fanatic Shia men, mainly from Iraq and Lebanon, to revive the combat capabilities of the Assad forces. That, plus the growing divisions among the rebels, has allowed Assad forces to defeat the rebels in many areas. There are dozens of separate battlefields in Syria, and on most of them the rebels continue to hold their own. But in key areas like Damascus, Aleppo, and the Lebanese and Jordanian borders the Assad forces are pushing the rebels back.
Despite its own cash flow problems at home Iran continues to supply crucial support for the Assad government and those efforts are succeeding. Iran has not put a lot of Iranians into Syria, but there is a constant supply of cash (in the form of dollars and euros), very effective military, security and other advisors, and some equipment and weapons. The cash and personnel tend to arrive by air on several night flights a week from Iran. These flights cross Iraq, which tries to pretend they don’t exist, but American radar operating in Kuwait and aboard ships in the Persian Gulf can spot these flights, but complaints to Iraq continue to have no effect. There is still a lot of trade between Iran and Iraq and some of the trucks from Iran continue all the way to Syria. This is a dangerous route because western Iraq (Anbar province) is largely Sunni and full of Islamic terrorists. The government has nearly 30,000 police and soldiers in Anbar and thousands of men in pro-government militias. This is keeping al Qaeda from taking over Anbar and the violence there is increasing.
The Assads, with the help of Russia and Iran, have been trying to depict the rebellion as an effort by al Qaeda to establish a new base in Syria. While this is true, the Islamic terrorist groups are a small part of the rebel force and often more disruptive than helpful to the rebels. The Assads see the rebel lack of unity and coordination as an opportunity to put down the rebellion. To this end the government is deliberately making life miserable for pro-rebel civilians (the majority of Syrians) and has succeeded in driving most of them out of the country or their homes or cutting their living standards considerably. The UN estimates that over nine-million Syrians (40 percent of the population) are in need of food and other aid. A third of these people are still in their homes but cut off from food and other supplies. This is largely the result of a deliberate Assad strategy of cutting pro-rebel populations from supplies. The goal is to make continued rule by the Assads preferable to supporting the rebels. Lately the government has been making progress, aided by a foreign army of Shia fanatics organized (and paid for) by Iran and continued supplies of weapons from Russia. Iran also provides a lot of cash to keep the pro-Assad civilians living much better than the pro-rebel civilians. This sends a message, which more and more pro-rebel civilians are noticing.
Another measure of success for the Assad government is the change in the exchange rate for the Syrian pound. It is currently 115-120 pounds to the dollar. That’s up from 160 a week ago, 220 two months ago, and a peak of 300 three months ago. Inflation is still running at about 200 percent a year, and that will continue until the economy can be restored. The exchange rate was 50 pounds to the dollar before the rebellion began in 2011. The change in exchange rates also reflects the failure of the rebels to make much progress in the last few months. Aid from Russia and Iran has kept the Assad government and the Syrian Air Force going. Russian banks are also risking retaliation from the U.S. by helping the Syrian government get around sanctions.
American pressure on Iraq to block Iranian access (by land and air) to Syria has not worked and the Iraqis blame their lack of an air force or much anti-aircraft defenses. So Iraq is pushing the U.S. to hurry up with deliveries of F-16s and the training of Iraqi pilots and maintenance personnel. The Iraqis are also trying to make the U.S. understand the pressure Iraq is under from Iran, which has millions of supporters in Iraq and several armed and willing militias that are quiet now but could be ordered to attack the Iraqi government (run by more moderate but very corrupt and inept Shia).
Despite American promises last June to provide military aid for the rebels, not much has shown up. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies continue to be the main source of rebel weapons and other military supplies. Some of this stuff gets to Islamic terrorist rebels as these groups continue to be the most effective fighters (they are fanatic and willing to die, even if often less skilled than moderate rebels). The Saudi solution to this unfortunate (in Saudi eyes) lack of American action is to try and form a well trained and equipped rebel “army” in Jordan. American and NATO trainers have been helping out, but the number of volunteers has not been great. The Saudi plan was to create a trained rebel force of 50,000 men, but so far only a few thousand volunteers have been obtained.
The Islamic terrorist rebels depend a lot on high-profile battlefield successes to keep contributions (especially cash) and volunteers coming. Sometimes the press releases backfire. Such was the case when the Islamic terrorist groups recently claimed to have received public pledges from tribal leaders in eastern Syria. Some of these tribal chiefs openly denied any such pledges. Most of the tribal leaders in the east are willing to work with the Islamic terrorist groups but not become official allies. The tribes know from what happened in Iraq that getting too close to the Islamic terrorists can be dangerous for tribal leaders. But the Islamic terrorists are accustomed to raising cash and using the black market and smugglers to get their weapons and supplies.
The major rebel problem remains a lack of unity. The major divisions are ideological and ethnic. But there are also lots of tribal and political factions. The three major groups of rebels are seculars and Islamic moderates (about two-thirds of the armed men), Islamic terrorists (10-20 percent), and Kurds (10-20 percent). The Islamic terrorist rebel groups continue to get lots of foreign volunteers, especially from Arab countries. This includes Palestinians and Arabs living in the West.
The major disruptive force are the Islamic terrorist groups, especially the ones from Iraq. These guys have a problem with Kurds and believe Syria should be part of an Islamic “Greater Iraq.” The Iraqi Islamic terrorists have been largely responsible for the rebel violence against the Syrian Kurds in the northeast and have been trying to force the Kurds to obey orders from Islamic radical groups. The Kurds have resisted this and, as they did in Iraq, have defeated the Islamic terrorists in most clashes. The Iraqi al Qaeda have long had a hostile relationship with Iraqi Kurds and have been unwilling to put that aside for the sake of rebel unity. The Syrian Islamic radicals are more conciliatory with the Syrian Kurds, and this has caused some fighting between Islamic terrorist rebels. There is also a nasty feud going on among Islamic terrorist rebels over strategy and control of the Islamic radical agenda in Syria. This has been getting worse since June, when the head of al Qaeda (bin Laden successor Ayman al Zawahiri) declared the recent merger of the new (since January) Syrian Jabhat al Nusra (JN) with the decade old Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) as unacceptable and ordered the two groups to remain separate. The reason for this was that the merger was announced by ISI without the prior agreement of the JN leadership. The merger formed a third group, ISIL. That was the problem, as many JN members then left their JN faction to join nearby ones being formed by ISIL. JN leaders saw this as a power grab by the ISI and most of the JN men who left to join ISIL were non-Syrians. Many of these men had worked with ISI before and thought they were joining a more powerful group. But ISIL was just an attempt by ISI (which has suffered over a decade of defeats in Iraq) to grab some glory, recruits, cash, and power by poaching JN members. JN appealed to Zawahiri for help and got it. That did not settle the dispute and ISIL continues to exist and violent clashes with JN continue to happen.
This was not the first time al Qaeda has had to slap down misbehaving Iraqi Islamic terror groups and it won’t be the last. But it’s not a problem unique to Iraq. This sort of factionalism never ends well. It destroyed the Islamic terrorist coalition in Iraq back in 2007 and recently did the same in Mali. It’s got Islamic radical factions killing each other in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Syria the Syrian led Islamic radical groups are not actively fighting the Iraqi led factions, but they are leaving the Iraqi terrorists to fight the Kurds by themselves, and the Syrian Kurds have united their own factions, and over the last few months this had led to a series of defeats for the Iraqi led Islamic terrorists. The government has tried to take advantage of the fighting between the Kurds and al Qaeda but both rebel factions will still turn and go after any government forces that show up. Meanwhile, the Assad government is offering a $3,600 reward for each foreign rebel captured.
The UN has determined that it would be easier to move Syrian chemical weapons out of the country (by truck, ship, and then truck to foreign chemical weapons disposal facilities) rather than building chemical disposal facilities in Syria and destroying the chemical weapons where they are in Syria. The most likely foreign disposal facilities are in France, Belgium, and Albania. There have already been demonstrations against this in Albania, which is in the midst of dismantling large quantities of Cold War era munitions. But Albania is the closest and a sharp boost in foreign aid would be attractive to the Albanian government. Hundreds of additional jobs would be appealing to people living around the current disposal sites there.
Meanwhile, Russian efforts to get peace talks going are not working. Neither side is really interested in serious discussions, not yet and maybe not ever.
November 7, 2013: A hundred kilometers north of Damascus (halfway to Homs) rebels captured a large weapons storage depot and Syrian troops promptly counterattacked to prevent all the weapons and ammo there from being taken away.
Outside Damascus troops, pro-government militias, and foreign Shia (especially Hezbollah) gunmen cleared another suburban neighborhood of rebel fighters. This is the third such neighborhood to be cleared like this in the last month.
November 6, 2013: In the south (Swaida) a suicide car bomb went off outside an air force intelligence compound, killing eight air force personnel. In Damascus a car bomb went off outside a railroad station killing eight people.
Turkish police seized a truck carrying 1,200 RPG rockets. This happened 200 kilometers from the Syrian border because the Turks have increased surveillance of all the roads leading to the border in an effort to halt all manner of smuggling. Turkey will allow official weapons shipments that are going to moderate rebels groups. But the Islamic terrorist groups tend to reply on smugglers.
November 4, 2013: Turkish police seized three tanker trucks carrying industrial chemicals (sulfer and such) after the drivers failed to produce the proper documents and fled into Syria, abandoning their vehicles.
November 2, 2013: Rebel leader colonel Abdel Jabbar Ukaidi resigned from his job as a senior FSA (Free Syrian Army) commander in Aleppo. He blamed lack of cooperation from FSA and Islamic terrorist rebel units and lack of support from outside Syria (mainly supplies of weapons, ammo, and medicine). Ukaidi said he would continue to support the rebellion but had had enough of trying to exercise command.
In Damascus a car bomb killed ten people.
October 31, 2013: Syria met the deadline for destroying their chemical weapons manufacturing facilities and chemical weapon equipment that did not contain chemicals.
An Israeli air strike near the Syrian naval base at Latakia destroyed a shipment of Russian SA-125 missiles being shipped to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This was the sixth Israel air strike in Syria since 2011. The 1970s era SA-125 (NATO called it the SA-3 Goa) surface-to-air missile system has a basic design that is old but it has been frequently updated since its introduction 40 years ago. The two stage SA-125 missiles weigh nearly a ton and carry a 59 kg (130 pound) warhead against targets 35 kilometers away (and altitudes as high as 18,000 meters). There is also a smaller missile, weighing closer to half a ton, with a range of 15 kilometers. Having two different size missiles for the same system is a common practice with the Russians (and some other nations as well, like the U.S. Patriot system). Users have upgraded or modified their SA-125 missiles and radars themselves over the years. The most notable example of this was in Serbia, in 1999, where a missile battery commander used SA-125s to shoot down a U.S. F-117 stealth aircraft. He did this by using human observers a lot and his radar rarely. Since the SA-125 can be controlled (flown) by a ground operator, once the F-117 was located, an SA-125 missile was launched and flown manually to the target. This was simple and effective and largely immune to countermeasures. This feat gave SA-125 sales a shot in the arm, and the Russians opened a new factory to meet the demand (worth over $250 million). But nations don't buy the inexpensive, and reliable, SA-125 because one took down a stealth fighter. No, the missile provides basic air defense against neighbors who don't have high-end air forces. The SA-125 provides basic air defense and keeps aerial smugglers, and secretive users of UAVs, nervous. The SA-125 would not halt Israeli air operations in Lebanon but would require more effort to take out the SA-125s before major air attacks."
Crisis in Yugoslavia: Interview with Ramsey Clark
Founder of the International Action CenterOctober 6, 2000
Former United States Attorney General
New York City, U.S.A.
[The following interview was translated and published in DAN, a daily newspaper published in Montenegro, Yugoslavia. DAN was also the publisher of the Serbo-Croation edition of the IAC's book, NATO in the Balkans.]
- After the destruction of the bipolar structure of the international community the USA has played the main role on the world political scene. What is the essence of their political strategy towards Europe, and what is the role of the U.S. in the events now unfolding in Yugoslavia?
The policies of the U.S., since the end of the Cold War are complicated and vast. They involve an intent to dominate and the use of international organizations to advance U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. They also include the conversion of NATO into a surrogate military police force for globalization and U.S. world economic domination.
- Which factors were prevailing in the dissolution of Yugoslavia - internal or external ones?
The great tragedy of Yugoslavia in the last decade of the 20th Century has not been one of individual leadership. It's been the deliberate dismantling of Yugoslavia, which is one of the few countries in the world formed on an idea. Most are formed on a purely power basis. But the idea of Yugoslavia was that with all the diversity, with all the human problems and poverty, only in unity--through federation--could you have sovereignty, and independent economic development based on local interests rather than on foreign exploitation.
Yugoslavia showed it could work, even under extreme difficulty during the Cold War and between World War 1 and World War 2. It's probably the only thing that can work for the welfare of the people there.
Yugoslavia was deliberately dismantled. It continues to be further broken apart by U.S. and other foreign interests who want to divide and conquer the country economically. They want to exploit its resources, its people, its markets; and the consequences have been a human disaster from Slovenia to Macedonia.
What's needed is a larger Balkan federation that includes more than just the six former republics. But what you have is the disintegration of even those. Ninety percent of trade, commercial and economic activity of the six republics was internal in 1990. No republic is sufficient by itself to survive as a strong independent sovereign nation or people.
The breaking up of Yugoslavia is a tragedy from many standpoints and the tragedy isn't over.
- What was the role of the Pentagon in the destabilization and final dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
The Pentagon is the military arm of U.S. policy. It doesn't dictate policy but implements it. Both policymaking and the means for implementing it are considerably bigger than the Pentagon.
One the most direct roles of the Pentagon was the genocidal bombing of Yugoslavia. Those were Pentagon planes up there. A few of them might have been British or from some other NATO country, but the Pentagon was overwhelmingly responsible for the planes and the targets chosen, as well as for the destruction and many people killed.
Washington wanted NATO in there as an umbrella to deflect anger at the U.S. They wanted young people from the European NATO countries to be the enforcers on the ground. The Clinton White House doesn't want U.S. soldiers to come in harms way--it could cause protests in the streets. Because of this the Pentagon was able to carry out the aggression against Yugoslavia and cause great destruction with virtually no U.S. casualties.
It's easy when your planes are flying so high that it become hard to get hit. You don't ever set foot on the soil but you send missiles and planes that bomb away overwhelmingly at civilian targets.
It was a staggering disaster for Serbia and Montenegro and the Kosovo area of Serbia. It was a disaster for all the peoples there--all of them suffered.
There's been a deliberate policy--and the Pentagon played a role in this--to set Muslim against Orthodox Christian Serbs. The idea of having Slavic peoples and Muslim peoples--even though the Muslims in Yugoslavia are Slavs--fight each other is something that we've seen and its one of the great dangers. When you think about Bosnia the Muslims and the Orthodox Serbs suffered terribly, and they didn't benefit at all in Kosovo.
This policy has gone a long way. There were 25 million people in Yugoslavia in 1990 and now within Montenegro and Serbia you have just around 11 million. And now within Serbia itself you have attempts to divide the nationalities into three or four different sections by external forces that are pressing them to divide and spin off.
- What do you think about the expansion of the NATO alliance to the Eastern European countries and also to the former Soviet Republics?
NATO itself is one of the most dangerous international organizations that exists. Before any expansion into Eastern Europe NATO involved the great colonial powers. It involved rich countries and almost totally white Caucasian young men who are still a very small part of the world's population.
The NATO countries have by far the largest and richest armies and the most advanced weaponry and technology, primarily from the U.S. NATO is a threat to the vast majority of the population of the world--the beautiful darker-skinned people, and others. They seem to be natural born killers when you look at the insensitivity with which they unleash their technology.
I remember a New York Times columnist talking about the bombing last year. I think he reflected exactly what the Pentagon or what NATO was saying: "Surrender or we'll destroy you. If you want to be bombed back to 1990, 1750 or 1372 we can do that, pick your date. You'd better surrender or we'll level you."
- Is there any justification for the aggression of the world’s most powerful countries against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
Of course not--not against Yugoslavia or any other country. If we can't find countries that will stand up against such aggression our situation and our future is going to be a human disaster. Look at how long it's taken other countries to begin to stand up for Iraq.
Yugoslavians know better than others what it's like to have a high tech all-out aerial bombardment of your country. Iraq was devastated by 110,000 aerial sorties--88,500 tons of bombs, which was the equivalent of 7-1/2 Hiroshimas, but most countries didn't really stand up for Iraq. Only now within the last few weeks have foreign countries started to break the blockade, which has killed a million and a half people.
The blockade against Iraq--though more severe--was the same type of sanctions that were imposed on Yugoslavia. U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright has already said that the sanctions on Yugoslavia will not end, even with a change in the government there, until every demand of the U.S. is fulfilled
It's been ten death-giving years in Iraq and finally we now see France, the Russian Federation, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates flying food and doctors and supplies to help relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people.
We have to reach out to nations everywhere, particularly the poorer nations of the world, to unify against this type of aggression.
- What is your opinion about the proceedings of the International Tribunal for the War Crimes Committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the Hague?
The indictments of Milosevic and other Yugsolav officials were before the same International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia--a body that is unlawful. If you want a world based on principle and law it has to be abolished.
The U.N. Charter doesn't provide for an international criminal tribunal focused on a single country or a number of countries. The Security Council has no power to create such a court, which is used primarily by the U.S. to pursue its enemies. That's war by other means, pure and simple.
The countries that convened the U.N.--particularly the victorious nations from WWII--would never have formed it if they dreamed the U.N. would have an international criminal tribunal in which they could be held accountable. They don't mind prosecuting others, but they don't intend to be prosecuted themselves.
That's why the U.S. refuses to join in the treaty currently in process. A treaty is a current agreement--any nation can agree to one. But if there's to be an international criminal tribunal the U.N. can't create it. It has to be done by the agreement of nations--by a treaty which nations have the power to make. The U.S., however, won't sign such a treaty. It has refused to even consider it.
- Mass public hearings of NATO war crimes against Yugoslavia have taken place in cities all over the world. Can you tell us something more about the aims of those actions?
The IAC in New York was the sponsor of a wide-ranging series of evidentiary-gathering hearings all over the world about war crimes against Yugoslavia. The U.S. was charged, along with the United Kingdom, Germany, and other NATO countries that participated in voting for NATO's involvement or in providing arms or airbases or other logistical support for the assault on Yugoslavia.
The evidence was gathered from all over the world, including Yugoslavia. It was considered by judges from many nations--non-governmental lay people. All of the defendants were found guilty of all charges. They included Nuremberg Principle violations of crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. They also comprised Geneva Convention prohibitions against assaults on civilians-- making civilians the direct objects of attack--assaults on facilities that are essential to civilian lives, and assaults on inherently dangerous facilities. They were found guilty of virtually every war crime on the books.
- Is there any way to stop the process of international lawlessness that we are witnessing today?
There's obviously no easy way, but that doesn't mean the struggle is hopeless. There's rarely been in history such a concentration of power in the hands of such a comparatively small part of the world's population, particularly the U.S. There's never been such a concentration of power and monopoly of military technology and sophisticated weaponry. This includes nuclear arms and the capacity to destroy whole populations.
There's also never been such a monopoly of the means of communication. The U.S. government's control of the international media is in fact unprecedented. This can be devastating because people don't know what to think--they're not encouraged to think, they're not given the facts. The U.S. can reach into a country and brainwash people everywhere.
Someone can be demonized without being heard in their own defense, and the truth can never be found by looking at a television screen. So we live under this terrible monopoly of power and communications, and economic power too with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
It's going to take enormous courage and sacrifice, as well as great imagination and discipline in forms of organizing and unifying. We have to struggle with all our might to unite worldwide resistance to domination and exploitation. Power is in the people. The question is one of will, understanding, courage, commitment and sacrifice. If the people can unify we will overcome.
- What was the role of the media in the Yugoslav crisis?
The U.S./NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was devastating, but the function of the Western media has probably been more harmful. The power of the big-business media to shape opinion internationally--in the U.S., in Western Europe and other parts of the world--is just astounding in how effectively it was used to demonize Slavic peoples, especially the Serbs of Yugoslavia.
It takes a long time to unlearn prejudices. Once they are implanted they become hard to root out. We implanted huge racial prejudices in the U.S. to justify slavery, and we still find it's a lot harder than weeding the garden to get the racists out.
People of African descent in our country have been demonized like the Serbs, and the racists are still everywhere. The media create prejudices and "demons" by simply repeating stories night after night on television and radio, in the newspapers and magazines, and every place else.
Within Serbia and Montenegro you can see how divisive the media was and how demoralizing it can be to see what others are saying about you. Before the bombing I was there. I could see the effects of the sanctions, coupled with the effect on the people of seeing on foreign television the prejudices being stirred up against them.
It makes you feel like you're alone in the world and nobody loves you. But many many people love Yugoslavia. We love the people there; we remember how courageous you've been. We know and are inspired by your fierce courage and strength, how you resisted the Nazis and what a price you paid for it. The media can make you doubt even your own soul and inner strength, but that doesn't mean their divisive tactics will always continue to work.
- How do you evaluate the role of the United Nations in the framework of the so-called new world order?
We hope that the U.N. will become independent and act more objectively, since we need it. Right now it's pretty much the captive of the U.S., but it doesn't always have to be that way.
It's harmful to every human being on earth for the U.N. to be that way, including the people of the U.S. This is true because when you realize what your country has done, and continues to do around the world, it destroys your own spirit if you don't resist. It also puts you in jeopardy since it's getting harder for U.S. citizens to travel abroad. We're not received with open arms in many parts of the world.
We have to work to make the U.N. more effective even though, as we saw with Yugoslavia, it was more independent than NATO. The U.S., in fact, didn't go to the U.N. because it could not, as it did with Iraq, unite that body to support the aggression on your country.
It did that easily with NATO, but in doing so it caused NATO to violate not only the North Atlantic Treaty but also the U.N. Charter. Nevertheless, the U.N. should not have permitted that. We need an independent reformed U.N. that abolishes the Security Council and that empowers self-financing. As long as the U.N. is dependent on contributions from countries like the U.S. it will be hard to function since it will never know whether its going to get its money or not.
- How would you define the policy of sanctions and complete international isolation of those countries that want to find their own way to the future, and what are its consequences?
Comprehensive general sanctions that impact on the economy of a nation need to be seen as a weapon of mass destruction. They hit poor people hardest and first, and they're genocidal.
If that can't be seen from the history of Iraq then we can't see anything. Sanctions have killed more than a million and a half people there--mostly children. The second largest age group was the elderly. The people who are most vulnerable to sickness and weakness and who need nutrition are the ones who die first.
Control through the threat of sanctions exceeds any control achieved by the actual application since you can terrorize a country just by threatening sanctions. This is because people don't want to suffer as they've seen others suffer.
It's therefore imperative that we abolish the use of economic sanctions. When you think about it, you can't sanction a rich country because they'll laugh all the way to the bank. They'll have plenty of food, oil, soap powder--whatever is needed. You can't sanction a country that has the physical power to transport the goods and services that it needs from other places. Only "weak" countries--those that can't resist militarily or compete economically--will be victimized by sanctions.
- Does FR Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia and Montenegro, fit into the new political concept of the so-called international community regarding relations in Southeastern Europe?
Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia and Montenegro fits into the geopolitical plans of the U.S., and to a lesser degree NATO countries, because it's there, strategically located, and this has to be addressed.
U.S./NATO plans involve the division and subjugation of countries in the region. Dividing them makes them more easily controlled and exploited, and the future will be greater poverty.
The per capita income of the six former republics of the SFRY is today less than half of what it was ten years ago. They're half as well off collectively. Serbia and Montenegro are even worse than that.
The same is generally true though with most of Eastern Europe, so we shouldn't be mislead. Bulgaria today is worse off economically. Poland seems to be doing better to many people, but per capita income there is 40% of what it was, maybe less. The Russian Federation has around 30% less per capita income than in 1990. This has been a real human disaster.
It's clear that the new concept for the Balkans is to divide, exploit and further impoverish. The idea that there will be more real aid once a country conforms to the demands of the U.S. and its International Monetary Fund is contrary to everything that's ever happened after they intervened. This is true whether it's little Grenada, Panama, Viet Nam, Nicaragua, or any other country. They have been continuously harassed, or kept under direct and/or indirect sanctions and further impoverished.
- How do you see the demands of the leadership of Montenegro for a "redefinition of relations” in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
Basically, only the people directly involved can decide the details of their relationship. What I passionately believe is that without a strong federation not only of Montenegro and Serbia but of the six former republics and beyond that, the region will remain poor. It will remain foreign dominated and become more so economically.
It will be afflicted with violence particularly between Muslims and Slavs. There are more than a 300 million Slavs in the world, and we've seen the deliberate fomenting of violence between Slavs and Muslims who number one billion. We've seen it in Afghanistan, Dagistan and Chechnya and in some of the larger predominantly Muslim republics on the southern tier of the former Soviet Union, and of course in Bosnia, Kosovo and throughout the Balkans.
Without unity, as we said in our revolutionary war, "we'll either hang together or we'll hang separately," even though, since then, we have gotten "too big for our britches." [Transcriber's note: this could be translated as being too big and arrogant. Britches mean, literally, "pants."--PC]
- The problem of Kosovo as a factor of destabilization of Yugoslavia - has it had, in the last two years, an internal character or was it created by the USA and Germany?
The entire disintegration of Yugoslavia has been caused overwhelmingly by external forces. They are numerous, but the two principal violators are Germany and the United States, and the consequences for the region have been a human disaster.
Kosovo itself, which is now under NATO occupation, had every opportunity to expect to live in peace, grow in prosperity and develop its peoples and resources for its own good. This was true until foreign influences set the people against themselves, and today you can't find anyone who has benefited.
You may think at the moment if you're KLA that you might be on top, but on top of what and at what cost? How many members of your families did you loose? How many homes did your friends loose? How long will it take you to get back to where you were if you ever do, and is this a humanely acceptable way to do it even if you could?
Tens of thousands of Serbs, Roma and others have been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo, under the watchful eyes of the mighty occupation armies. This shows that NATO didn't intervene there for humanitarian reasons and that this claim is hypocritical.
- Was the Rambouillet agreement an acceptable solution for the Kosovo problem? Do you think that by accepting it, FR Yugoslavia could have prevented the aggression against it? What is the main effect of the Dayton agreement? Has it solved the problems in the Balkans or has it meant the establishment of U.S. domination on the territories of the former Yugoslavia?
It's sad to see countries or peoples bullied into agreements that are on their face moral outrages.
When I think of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian people who are suffering from violence today even more than the Yugoslavs, it breaks my heart. Since the Oslo Accords there's been nothing but deterioration politically, socially, and economically for the Palestinians. Yet a coalition of powerful interests forced them into it just as they forced Yugoslavia into the Dayton Accords. These accords, including the Rambouillet scheme, were unnatural "agreements" that would foment violence. They also violated the idea of peoples' independence and the sovereignty of their nations.
Any country that has a large foreign military population on its soil is not free--that is a truism. And both of those accords contemplated foreign troops on Yugoslav soil. But they ought to be out of there, just as U.S. money ought to be out of politics there. If the future of Yugoslavia is to be determined by the financing of political parties by the United States, then you might as well give up and deed the country over to General Motors, Coca Cola and Burger King.
- What was the role of the USA in the military strenghtening of Croatia, in Operation Storm, which had as a consequence a massive exodus of Serbian people from Krajina?
In time we'll know a lot more, but we know from Richard Holbrook's autobiographical account of that period that while Washington was saying to Croatia "don't do it," Holbrook and others in Zagreb were saying "drive the Serbs out." How much protest did you hear internationally in what was the biggest single ethnic cleansing in the last 50 years in the Balkans? None! The cleansing from Krajina of the Serb population was in fact ignored or applauded internationally. So it's another interplay between media presentation and the use of force for the West to have its way.
- The Twentieth Century has been marked by many different ideas, but a majority of them have not been confirmed by history. Why do you think?
Populations everywhere are manipulated by ideas that often have no validity. There's a French saying that I've always liked, "Nothing is so cruel on Earth as the murder of a beautiful idea by a brutal gang of facts." If we look at the facts you'll see that many of the fictions that have been imposed on people are false and harmful.
Let's talk about democracy, which is a difficult concept. People think the U.S. is the greatest example of democracy. But the U.S. is not a democracy at all; it's a pure plutocracy--a government of wealth. Elections here have nothing to do with the will of the people. They are in fact a minor contest between representatives of the plutocracy vying for power; the poor of the country are left out.
I'm not talking about just the billions of dollars that have been spent on political campaigns. The U.S. has spent almost as much on the election campaign in Yugoslavia as it has on its own presidential campaign this year. That's an economic fact that ought to be investigated. You're not free if a foreign power is buying your elections. The same is true of us in the U.S.; we can't be free as long as rich capitalists continue to buy our elections, and of course that's exactly what they do.
You might not have heard of the presidential candidate Ralph Nader. He has worked in the interests of consumers, poor people, and the ecology for years. But he doesn't get to participate in the debates, and he won't get a significant vote. If by democracy you mean government should follow the needs and interests of the people then the U.S. is not a democracy even with elections held here periodically.
Washington has, moreover, used elections to take over other countries. They basically stole Nicaragua from the Sandinista government by pumping in money to the opposition, unifying it, and sending in death squad terrorists--not unlike the KLA. They were trained and financed to destroy villages and kill Nicaraguans. The U.S. then told them that if they wanted peace and "prosperity" they had to elect the opposition. In the meantime, the media was given over to the opposition and they were given money and other communications resources. It worked, the opposition won, and now the Nicaraguans are living in abject poverty.
We also tried to steal Angola through the ballot box--through an abuse of democracy. We told the Dos Santos government that they had to have an election. Then we told them they couldn't hold the voting until they dismantled two-thirds of the army. They did it and the government won at the polls. But the U.S.-backed opposition led by Jonas Savimbi immediately attacked with an enormous military force and overran two-thirds of the country, which the government is still fighting to win back.
We're told that there's only one idea in economic life that works and that's capitalism. Every country has to convert to capitalism and do what the World Bank and the IMF says. You've got to privatize--open up to "free trade." But the countries that have done that have been absolutely devastated.
In the former Soviet Union, for example, the people there had jobs, homes, medical care, education, a decent economy, but now they've lost all of that. They have no health care system, and their schools are falling apart. They have few jobs, lost their homes. They have had to sell their private possessions just to make out. The country is an economic basket case.
The Ukraine is worse, and the same is true of countries in the Western Hemisphere. We take a country like Peru and we tell it to borrow money from the IMF and privatize--to do what the World Bank says. But the poor have gotten poorer there, and President Fujimori sits on the necks of the people with his economic policies, and police and military power backed by Washington.
We have to examine these ideas for ourselves and decide what's best for the children. But we have to do it in the face of a media that tries to tell us there's only one way--and with nuclear intimidation and the threat of starvation from sanctions hanging over our heads.
When the U.S. government can't manipulate elections--and they are masters at it--they'll instigate a military coup like they did in Guatemala in the 1950s, in Chile in the 1970s and in Haiti in 1991, to name a few places.
- What did the 20th Century bring in terms of the development of human civilization, especially for the peoples of the Balkans?
The 20th Century has brought the most uncivilized and violent acts of human history. There has never been before such disasters caused by human conduct. There were the two world wars, and the Cold War arms race, which impoverished people. There were also the bloody fights that came from the neo-colonial drive to divide and conquer Africa, Asia and the Balkans.
The Balkans had many problems in the 1900s. But the culture was still intact in most places despite the history of oppression by the Ottoman Empire, the Austrio-Hungary Empire and all the rest. These were rich cultures; people knew what and who they were. They loved their traditions, had their own art, music, literature, meaning to life, religious faiths. They had their own philosophy, and could sit around in the evenings or on a bridge across the Drina to talk about life and love and things.
Today there's chaos, the disintegration of institutions, random violence, impoverishment and insecurity. But you have your strength, your people and your history of resistance. If you unite you have a part of the earth that's beautiful, that provides abundant food, natural resources and other essentials of life. If you organize it can be used for your own well being. Your future is largely in your hands, but without unity you will be turned against each other.
- What can we expect in the 21st Century?
What we're seeing is the spread of fomented violence by those who want to divide and weaken. Just look at India, with all its history and more than a billion people, with the Tamils in the south and the terrible violence that's going on there. This 70-million strong population of Tamils is struggling for survival from Sri Lanka up into southern India.
If you go north you find the Casmiris and Pakistanis and the Indian government fighting in some of the most spectacularly beautiful countries in the world. It's hard to find a region there where you don't have conflicts between Muslims and Hindus, Tamils and Buddhists. You can see conflicts all over the world.
In South Africa we hope there will be unity. The government there still faces terrible risks, but under the current leadership--with its many heroic figures--they've been able to hold their country together.
In West Africa you see bloodletting everywhere much of which is promoted from abroad. We all know about Rwanda and the Hutus and the struggle for the Congo.
It must be recognized that if you let foreign governments choose your leaders you will be in for bad times. That's exactly what has been happening in the last half of the 20th Century.
The U.S. chose the Shah for Iran; he was literally imposed. The CIA said it was their greatest accomplishment. The Shah reigned for 25 years, but the people finally rose up and threw him out when they couldn't stand it any more. Over 35,000 people were killed by the Shah's U.S.-trained soldiers and secret police. That's what letting the U.S. choose their leader did for the Iranis after a democratically-elected government was overthrown.
In the Congo, a huge country with enormous natural resources, Patrice Lumumba was elected after independence from a colonial power. But he was soon murdered. His body was found in the trunk of a CIA car. Mobutu was then put in power, and from 1962 until 1997 the people of the Congo were ravaged. Today, you have armed soldiers from 12 different countries fighting in the Congo, some of them in the interests of U.S. big business.
In our hemisphere Salvadore Allende was elected president of Chile. He was a medical doctor who wanted to heal the sick in a country that never had a rural health care program. He started to install them and to make other progressive changes when the U.S. overthrew him in a coup that led to his death. Allende was replaced by General Augusto Pinochet,, one of the major petty tyrants of recent history. More than 5,000 Chileans were killed under the U.S.-backed dictator.
Then there was the elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemanala, who was overthrown by the U.S. government. Tens of thousands died as a result, many of them indigenous people of Mayan descent.
It's imperative that people overcome the differences in their communities and regions and unite to protect themselves from foreign domination, which will only mean more violence, suffering and poverty.
- What would you like to say to the people of Yugoslavia at this moment?
This time is critical to the future of the heroic peoples of the former Yugoslavia and the entire region. You are peoples with deep and rich cultures who are being eaten up by foreign powers that are skilled at fomenting internal and external violence.
The imperative need for your children and the survival of all that your predecessors and ancestors brought to you depends on the ability to unite and resist foreign intrusion and domination.
It's an extremely difficult time, but you have to resist with all your strength the efforts by rich countries to control your destiny, such as the U.S., Germany, and some of your richer neighbors in Europe.
Stronger ties are needed with your immediate neighbors and the poorer countries in eastern Europe as well as the Slavic people who resisted the U.S. in the Cold War and who today remain the enemy of the U.S. and other NATO powers.
With such unity you can triumph and inspire us all.posted 9 Oct 2000
The Nation: Myth, Meth and the Georgian Invasion.
By Alexander Cockburn
The term panentheism goes back to 1828. In the 2nd half of the 20th century it gained more popularity through the process thought of Alfred North Whitehead and his follower Charles Hartshorne. However, some others, including Chrisrtian "Creation Spirituality" theologian Matthew Fox, have also adopted the term. The unitarian Christian New Thought advocate C. Alan Anderson is another who uses the term.
Theistically, Panentheism differs from Pantheism in that according to Pantheism God is all things, whereas according to Panentheism God is in all things. One description of panentheism is that God has the same relationship to the world as the soul has to the body. Panentheism is not recieved very happily in modern Christian thought. However it serves as a venerable current in Hinduism, in that the Qualified Monistic Vedanta of the great Hindu theologian Ramanuja is Panentheism through and through
Monistically, Panentheism differs from Acosmism in that Acosmism e.g. the Advaita Vedanta of Shankara , denies the ultiamte reality of the phenomenal World and affirms that the Absolute Reality is transcendent only, whereas Panentheism, such as the monistic Tantra of Kashmir Shaivism affirms the Reality of both the Unmanifest Absolute and the Phenomenal World in all its diversity. To me this is a far superior philosophy
It is a significant fact I feel that there is plenty of information on Theistic Panentheism on the Web, but nothing on Monistic/Emanationist Panentheism. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to present a new definition of Panentheism:
Panentheism is the view of Reality according to which the Godhead or Absolute not only includes and is the Cosmos (as in Pantheism) but also transcends it (as in Acosmism). The Godhead does not reside dualistically or even holistically in the universe as a soul in the body (as Ramanuja and other Theistic pantheists assert), but rather monistically as the universe itself. Therefore (contra Shankara) the Cosmos is absolutely real and and of the essnce of the Supreme, as it is the real (not illusory) transformation of the Godhead. But the Godhead in its transcendent absolute nature is infinite, eternal, unchanging, etc, and hence it is also beyond the Cosmos. That is the paradox of reality, that the one and same Reality can be both and equally unchanging, infinite, eternal, etc and also changing, finite etc. This paradox is reconciled through the fact of emanation - the one transforms itself into the Many, while not diminishing its status as the One. The best, clearest and most lucid example of this sort of Panentheistic philosophy is the Indian monistic philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism
Panentheism is not however confined to the East and to modern philosophers. In mystic Judaism The idea was first examined by Moses Cordovero (1522-76), in his Pardes ('Orchard'), a description of the Jewish Kabbala. He stated that the Infinite is present in every part of the finite, which, in turn, is itself but a phase or 'mode' of the Infinite, and that "Nothing exists outside God". "God is all reality, but not all reality is God." Spinoza is said to have been indebted to Cordovero for leading him to the Pantheistic view that God is Reality.
One could possibly go back even further with Solomon ibn Gabirol, born 1021. He wrote Mekor Hayyim ('Fountain of Life')" stating that Matter is not corporeal but spiritual, and any corporeality that attaches itself to matter is not the property of matter itself as such, but the result of its distance from the source. Indissolubly united with matter, and standing to it in relation of attribute to essence, is Form. The source, infinite and unchangeable is Supreme Being, one and unknoweable. By an act of His Will, there is produced a World Soul composed of universal matter and universal form. Inspired Jewish Kabbalists 13th century. (ref: Judaism by Isidore Ebstein).http://archive.today/wcny5#selection-41.0-6.24
Mohammed Omer is a Palestinian journalist having reported for numerous media outlets, including: the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; Al Jazeera; New Statesman; Pacifica Radio; The Nation; Inter Press Service; Free Speech Radio News; Vermont Guardian; ArtVoice Weekly; the Norwegian Morgenbladet; and Dagsavisen; the Swedish dailies Dagen Nyheter; and Aftonbladet; the Swedish magazine Arbetaren; the Basque daily Berria; and the German daily Junge Welt; and the Finish magazine Ny Tid.