Sunday, 29 September 2019

Don't Panic Mr Mainwaring!

Dear Reader,

Matters are moving-apace are they not? This past week has seen headlines on matters of concern, whether it's Greta Thunberg and the UN on Climate Change, or Trump being trumped or the face-up between Khan and Modi at the UN over Kashmir, or Boris Johnson and the Supreme Court on Boris's attempt at breaking Constitutional Law. 

And in their return to Parliament on Wednesday, we witnessed the worst of what our Parliamentarians can produce while under the full spotlight of people around the world who were interested to tune in, probably in anticipation of a riveting debate at the highest level. All they saw and heard were the worst - almost marketplace - accusations and counter-accusations, with only the SNP (as always) providing a speech of any calm maturity. Macho has no charm. Britain has gone down another notch as far as the rest of the world is concerned. The "home of all parliaments" showed itself to be a wasteland of conceit and party warfare and toxicity, at a time when constructive leadership was (and is) needed.

This has certainly been a week for sarcasm and denial, whether it's Greta Thunberg being put down by President Trump or described as "melodramatic" (by Piers Morgan, who is possibly a Trump agent). And then the Tory's Attorney-General speaking way over the top in putting down the very place in which he works (Parliament) before Johnson returned to the fray and earned no new alliances with his opponents - nor the rest of the country - by insisting his innocence while camouflaged by more blustering. Meanwhile, the Labour Party has condemned what has been happening in Kashmir and wants international support to enter the region, despite the fact that Kashmir is Indian territory - not a separate state. This is a matter that is worth a separate article.

The Left don't get it right, and the Right don't get it. And it's very noticeable that wherever you look (except in Pakistan and China) women are having an increasing influence in providing sound opposition to macho politics. Thank goodness.

See this short Greta Thunberg video about the importance of trees.

What I do, sadly, have an argument with Greta Thunberg about is the manner of her speech at the UN. Unfortunately, there is a tone of "you created this problem [i.e. the environment and climate change]" when, in reality, today's situation is the culmination of man's misdirection of his energies over many, many generations - not just by this generation. Today's people are only the children of their predecessors and what they taught them (and me). 

The suggestion has often been put that Greta has been manipulated by her cause-orientated parents, and perhaps there is some truth in that. But, aside from the manner of her speech and those that she addresses as guilty, it surely does not take away the veracity of the cause itself? After all, if your own home were to be threatened by fire or inundated by something else, wouldn't you want to take action? Let us consider Mother Earth to be our first home, for without her we could not build our own shelter.

In fact, I am by no means excusing today's world leadership, but perhaps we should consider that human consciousness has only now evolved to a point that it can (having been forced to see the futility of single-minded materialist thinking by its result) understand the wisdom of the ancients. For example the North American Indians, who lived in intelligent harmony with their environment, but were trampled down as "savages". Yes, "the ancients" did (and do) have a lot more wisdom than we, although historians often paint them all with the same brush as being as much self-seeking as ourselves.

It must be admitted that Greta's tone was not of the best form. Nevertheless, the wisdom of the great masters Jesus, the Buddha and others is coming closer to its fruition as a result of mankind's utter folly. Love (of all of creation) will triumph - and sooner than we might think. And it will triumph despite the goings-on in politics, and even Greta's work.

Though there is urgency, proper reflection within our selves - as spiritual beings - can, and will, reveal answers. Panic is not the answer. Greta's idea that mass annihilation is upon us may not be wrong, but what she should also have underlined is the kind of correction that is needed. We do have the capacity to stop and reflect on what we're doing. Only when enough people learn to stop and contemplate and have compassion will we know how to act and obtain peace. And a sustainable future. It only needs a swing of 5% to move in a different direction. I believe we're already moving that way.

However, I do not believe that the accumulation of wealth is immoral in itself provided that its ownership is combined with wisdom - that is, how should wealth be properly earned and used. Sadly, however, this very week our next-door (and ostensibly mature) neighbours were outside, happily taking snaps of their newly-acquired third motor vehicle - a third gas-guzzling vehicle. For them, it's as though the UN meeting on Climate Change was irrelevant! Just how can we relate to such people without anger? It's difficult, and they are not at all a rarity of that attitude in this locality.

The so-sad thing is that despite all the warning signs of ecological danger, there is so much waste - particularly in the Western world - with people still going on as though no adjustment is relevant to them. It is already past the time for them to wake up. 

They say that what goes around comes around. Indian philosophy calls it karma.

How to correct karma? Partly by correcting consciousness. 

As Albert Einstein observed:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
So, let's go and plant some trees in the deserts. With love.

Thank you for reading this.

Footnote: I wish to be excused to state that I am not a greatly-qualified academic, but in my early years I did study government, economics and constitutional law up to university diploma level, and also worked in local government legal offices until I changed tack and went into the computer industry aged 22, way back in 1966. Since when I ran my own small IT consultancy business for 20 years and for a time have been a community worker and have been involved in politics. I was brought up to take politics seriously, but it is a minefield and has lost its soul - if it ever had one. I also have a deep interest in, and am conscious about, British and European history (and other world histories) as well as - and especially - ecology and philosophy. I do not believe that you can properly study one of these subjects without also embracing at least two others.

So, while I by no means claim to know everything, I have devoted a fair amount of energy over 75 years on matters that have today become of central importance to the world, the main issue being how to apply compassion. I welcome open discussion on these issues.