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WAR & PEACE

On the day that England and Wales voted to leave the European Union, I am starting this group as a place for political comment. The aim is to create a space where all and any issue of current affairs in the world can be discussed from a spiritual perspective.

Members: 49
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Discussion Forum

WILL EU DEFY US ON IRAN?

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier on Tuesday. 2 Replies

This is a hugely consequential question. Iran's main trading partners are China, the EU, India, S Korea and Turkey. S Korea may have little option but to toe the US line. However, China, India and Turkey will not do so. This means that US sanctions…Continue

Iran has as much right to defend itself as any other country.

Started by David Brazier Jun 23. 0 Replies

However, if Iran drops out of the treaty and starts enriching uranium on a military scale there is a fair likelihood that Israel will try to destroy those facilities by bombing them. They must know that. Therefore, either they must maintain…Continue

THE FALL OUT OVER IRAN

Started by David Brazier May 11. 0 Replies

The world gets more and more complicated.America Decides Not to Honour a TreatyAmerica has decided not to honour its obligations under the treaty with Iran and to reimpose sanctions. The Americans say that this is because it is "a lousy treaty".…Continue

FAITH IN THE DOLLAR

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Apr 26. 2 Replies

Much of the world's trade is conducted in dollars. This fact is broadly connected with the idea that the USA is not a nation like other nations, but is somehow above the fray. It acts as world policeman and world banker. This is basically a result…Continue

CREDIT & MERIT

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Satya Robyn Apr 20. 2 Replies

CreditWe are commonly told in economic text books that first there was barter, then there was money, then there was credit. In fact, it was credit that came first. There has always been credit. People have always done things for one another and…Continue

SYRIA - WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Apr 17. 1 Reply

What is one to make of what is happening in Syria? In particular, what is one to make of the American position? The Russian position is fairly clear. They are helping their ally. It is important to them geo-strategically to have a strong presence in…Continue

SKRIPAL AND DIPLOMATIC POSTURING

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Robert McCarthy Mar 28. 5 Replies

I do find myself feeling very suspicious of the UK actions around the poisoning of Skripal. Of course, there is no way to know the truth of the matter, but it feels like a put up job. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. There seems to be no…Continue

RUSSIA'S NEW WEAPONS: What does it mean?

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Massimo Tomassini Mar 26. 3 Replies

THE ARRIVAL OF HYPERSONIC MISSILESRussia, it seems, now has missiles that can penetrate the North American defense shield. Deterrence is defense. Russia cannot afford a defense shields so it has developed new offensive weapons instead - a cheaer and…Continue

WHAT NEXT FOR TURKEY IN SYRIA

Started by David Brazier Mar 20. 0 Replies

A few years ago I predicted that Turkey would seek to occupy the Sunni parts of Syria. I am, therefore, interested to see what happens with the current Turkish incursion and capture of Afrin. When examining these international conflicts one has to…Continue

THE MIDDLE EAST IS STILL THE PIVOT OF THE 'GREAT GAME'

Started by David Brazier Jan 22. 0 Replies

As I predicted a year ago, Turkey in now involved in a genuine invasion of northern Syria. The Syrian war has brought about a stepwise realignment that has more than local implications. The main opponents of the Turks are America's allies, the…Continue

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Comment by Nati on July 15, 2016 at 10:44

With a great sadness and a heart full of tears, I pray for all of those families, and people directly involved in this disgrace in Niza. I also pray for all of us, who are sharing this world nowadays, that the Light  guide  our pace.

Namo Amida Bu

Comment by Michele Phelps on June 26, 2016 at 18:47

It is out of chaos that opportunity manifests...we just have to have the eyes to see it...

Comment by Marjolaine on June 25, 2016 at 9:15

I am unclear if democracy can be undemocratic. Hope they can mend and create wholesome answers to true issues. The old Europe is long gone, the current situation does call for pragmatism. Like the swiss never wanted to be in Europe, but managed a half independent Schengen consensus situation, understanding that their impoverished european clients will not be able to come with an expensive swiss currency. Buddhism really is the only answer to everything.

We need collective answers to terrorism prevention and maybe we are not all guilty of all the politics, problems from elsewhere tend to come over here. And we do not need more borders and walls, we need humanitarian answers and not be intimidated by guys like Donald Trump and their clubs.

They should inform instead of misinform and maybe the impression that Brussels rules our world is out of perspective. I do not believe that so called our territories will be any worse because of immigrant input in the future and we must agree on a humanitarian common ground. Name Amida Bu.

Comment by Marianne Jacuzzi on June 25, 2016 at 1:43

I feel shocked and saddened by the result of the referendum. Though I knew it would be a close vote, I really expected more from the UK. Europe certainly has its problems, but the way to deal with them is from the inside, remembering what the EU is about in its essence and how much has gone into its formation. The EU stands for a vision of peace and harmony. It was born out of the devastation of WWII, with countries broken from that horror looking towards a better future. I never thought Britain would turn its back on that vision. However, the result is the result, unfortunately. And though I believe it was the wrong choice, I’m heartened by the fact that nearly half the population voted to remain.

Being in California for the summer, I watched the results come in from beginning to end, glued to the BBC on my phone. As I listened to the refrains repeated over and over by the “Leave” side, things like, “We want our country back.  We want to govern ourselves. We want our borders back,” I could not help remembering that only a few generations back this was the country that felt it had some kind of God-given mandate to govern much of the rest of the world.  Those were the days when “the sun never set on the British Empire”, when borders were stretched to encompass more lands to control. Much of the trouble in the world today, in the Middle East and other places, has its roots in the problems created by European colonialism. The history is complex, obviously, but the connection is there. Now it’s all coming home to roost. 

I just hope the rest of Europe does not succumb to the far right, with its rhetoric of xenophobia and its desire to retreat into narrow nationalism. I see a similar phenomenon here in the USA too, with the popularity of Trump. Though his vulgar style sets him apart, his rhetoric mirrors much of what the “Leave” side stands for.  Rather, I hope the sad occasion of Brexit galvanises the rest of Europe to make our union of peace and friendship stronger and better than ever. We can’t let the vision die!

Who knows what might happen next???? Maybe Scotland will vote to leave the UK in order to stay in the EU.  Maybe Northern Ireland will too, joining with the Republic to form at long last a United Ireland. With both Ireland and Scotland strongly European, maybe Dublin will take over London’s role as the English-speaking gateway to the continent, becoming a major centre for international finance and business. Maybe the island of Ireland, with its forward-looking youth and its tradition of the 100,000 welcomes, will become a major player in a prosperous new Europe! Then a few years later, perhaps the bit of Britain still left will wake up and wonder if it all wasn’t just a bad dream. 

Comment by Robert McCarthy on June 25, 2016 at 1:05

I have been really distressed not only about our collapsing ecology, savage climate change and species cruelty but about how little concern people really seem to have as evident in how little change people make in their living or how passionately discussions are entered into.

Evoke nationalism and their is plenty of passion.  Although I was born in Australia and live there I hold contempt for our political institutions.  We shared in the English plunder of the world and very much serve the English speaking warmongering currently lead by the us. I do not identify as a member of any such alliance.

To me Britain has been used by the us as their deputy in Europe- To serve the us agenda of destabilising Russia primarily.  Europe may become more peaceable without Britain's presence; it may now grow much closer to Russia. A combined Europe and Russia is a far better prospect for world peace than what existed before yesterday.

A power vacuum is frightening to those who feel reassurance from seeing hegemony working. Much needs to be undone, almost all of our political and economic institutions.  Europe, like all the wealthy western power systems, holds peoples goodwill through the greed of surplus wealth creation. We need to let go of much of that and hugely simplify how we all live.

Comment by David Brazier on June 24, 2016 at 20:55

Regarding Cecile's comment that "the voters decision is always right", I appreciate that one must follow constitutional rules, but voters are, in fact, often wrong. Firstly, there are plenty of examples, like the election of Hitler. Secondly, the electorate can never be full informed, especially on issues of international relations. Thirdly, votes depend upon who is included. It does appear that if the voting age had been two years of age lower the vote would have gone the other way. Broadly speaking, young people voted to remain and older people voted to leave. the problem wioth democracy is that one part of the population imposes its will on the other simply on the basis of numbers. This is why it does not work in tribal cultures, for instance, where the biggest tribe automatically wins. Unfortunately, there is no perfect system. In UK we now have a peculiar situation where the electorate has a majority of one course and the parliament has a majority for the other one. It is difficult to see how this can be resolved without another general election or by the future of the country being negotiated by a minority group within parliament that does nor command majority support in the House. Very difficult.

Comment by Andrew on June 24, 2016 at 17:47
I think that a lot of people didn't understand the pros and cons. The people of the U.K. Have been let down by the politicians who should have been giving real statistics and arguments for staying and leaving. This would have empowered the people they are supposed to represent. A chance to give real choice where the democratic process could have been used to motivate and enable debate has been missed. It was replaced with egotistical career builders thinking of themselves. I hope that they may learn that to be a leader takes great skill and you must put the people you lead at the heart of what you do.
Comment by Nati on June 24, 2016 at 17:34

What a sad surprise!!...I also hoped that “Bremain” was the final result. It is really sad but it is also a sort of new that fits perfectly with the rest of things happening these last days and months everywhere…Problems with money and identity are exploding in our face. I feel our culture like a “waxwork”, with a solid appearance but also, with something old and tired burning inside, attracting chaos and turmoil.

I think that this feeling of separation responds to that strong ego struggling for money, security and identity, which nowadays is showing its most obvious face. War and Peace together are bringing chaos and surely this represents our own dukkha. From chaos, sometimes, something new appears, from dukkha an opportunity appears… It is a time of a great risk. Even here, in politics, a more hearted approach (or” full of heart”, I am not sure how it is said) would be needed

Thanks for the invite.

Comment by David Brazier on June 24, 2016 at 17:09

Responding to Annie's comment... I don't think that what I said is broadly inaccurate. It is generalised, of course, yes - what else could it be? However, I have been struck by the way that in the campaign there was hardly anything about the fundamental purpose of the EU which was to prevent war. How many people in Britain even know that the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? Very, very few.  The really big issues of alliance and international power were hardly ever mentioned by either side. Nearly all of the debate was about the economic prospects and immigration. Those on the leave side had more passion than those on the remain side. The latter were often somewhat apologetic. Almost nobody made speeches about the EU simply being a good thing. Of course, I am not saying this lack of understanding applies without exception to every English or British person - that would be silly.

Comment by Mat Osmond on June 24, 2016 at 10:53

Thank you for the invite Dharmavydia. So much dismay and gloom in the air here in UK, a good day for joining hands of friendship. A day of deep disbelief, too. We walked home from voting with a spring in our step, feeling the day would be carried, despite having had a nasty scare. I can't help, now, but draw parallels with the recent rise of Trump - who is arriving in the UK today, to make an already bad day a little bit worse. Many will see this as a triumph for democracy. I don't think it is. I think this whole business has been, in large part anyway, about the manipulation of people's fear, and of their less noble instincts. 'Your life hurts, doesn't it? I can tell you why it hurts. Its because of those people (whose hurt is altogether less important than yours) that it hurts.' So strange how the understandable urge to 'stick it to the man' is used to hand the man a bigger stick. Therein the parallel with Trump. My resolve this morning is to be less passive henceforth in UK politics. I've been both concerned and passive as long as I can remember, and thus I am myself a good example of one of the main problems we face. Liking and Sharing on Facebook is a pleasant pastime, but it isn't going to steer us away from the edge. Namo Amida Bu

 

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Blog Posts

Varlam Shalamov

Posted by Geeta Chari on July 16, 2018 at 0:00 1 Comment

From The Paris Review:

For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of those years enslaved in the gold mines of Kolyma, one of the coldest and most hostile places on earth. While he was awaiting sentencing, one of his short stories was…

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The Buddha, Season 1, Episode 1

Posted by Geeta Chari on June 29, 2018 at 9:21 1 Comment

I have been watching The Buddha on Netflix, and although I came well-prepared to scoff, there is a surprising amount of food for thought from a Pureland perspective. What follows is a review of the Pureland touches in the episode, coloured inevitably by my upbringing in India, although I have now lived in Britain for more than half my life.

The scene opens in the republic of Kapilavastu, depicted as a green and pleasant land, with the Himalayan mountains as a backdrop. (I was…

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Nembutsu Question

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 20, 2018 at 8:22 1 Comment

I found this in a book that I'm reading. It has challenged my current "understanding" of the Nembutsu. I tend to think of the name itself as salvation and the bridge to the Pure Land...

"...Nembutsu is not a means to gain salvation but a reflection of it. Shinran acknowledges there is nembutsu without true entrusting because he lived in an environment where nembutsu was recited for benefits and merit. By itself it cannot produce true entrusting. Nevertheless, they are inseparable as…

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Shinran and Ippen

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 16, 2018 at 8:00 0 Comments

On Saturday evening our regular study group met on Skype where we looked at and discussed material from "No Abode", a beautiful book about the life of Ippen, ancient Japanese Purland master and "The Essential Shinran" which documents the life of Shinran Shonin, one of Honen's most famous disciples. We had a very stimulating discussion which I enjoyed greatly. We will be meeting again on Saturday 19th May at 9pm British time. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to join us.…

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