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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: 51
Latest Activity: Aug 21

Discussion Forum

DOOM AND SMALL HOPE

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Aug 21. 6 Replies

I may be wrong. I am not an economist and even the experts cannot predict with certainty. However, as I have said before, I think we are on the brink of an economic crash. What is different about this crash is that we have not really recovered from…Continue

BREXIT - A POETIC APPRECIATION

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Massimo Tomassini Aug 11. 2 Replies

BREXITBrexit’s not a cereal to eat before your lunch; not a tasty, crispy treat that you can bite and crunch. Brexit is catastrophe that hits you in the wallet and if you are a business man you feel it like a bullet.It does not care for industry,…Continue

WOULDN'T IT BE NICE

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Massimo Tomassini Jul 3. 1 Reply

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world wherebig countries did not exploit and plunder weaker countrieswhen people have to leave their homes because of war, climate change or economic disaster, other people welcomed and helped themtorture and child…Continue

NOTES ON BRITISH POLITICAL PARTIES

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Dayamay Dunsby Jun 2. 3 Replies

The Brexit Party. This is the successor to the UK Independence Party. It is difficult to see UKIP ever becoming a significant force again while Nigel Farage leads the BP. However, despite its name, the BP is not a party, it is a business company.…Continue

SOME PESSIMISTIC THOUGHTS

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Feb 25. 2 Replies

It is notable how symptoms of social disintegration have been multiplying recently. The politics of the UK and of the USA have not been so turbulent for a long time; France is in the grip of rather chaotic public demonstrations the objective of…Continue

WHY THE BREXIT "NEGOTIATIONS" ARE A FIASCO

Started by David Brazier Jan 30. 0 Replies

A basic problem is that the British side is run by politicians and the European side by bureaucrats. As a sweeping generlisation, politicians do not mean what they say, are willing to vote tactically and to change allegiance when it suits whereas…Continue

REFLECTIONS ON OUR INABILITY TO CHANGE

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

The basic problem for the world at the moment is that we have had an economic system that has kind-of worked for several hundred years but is reaching its sell-by date, but, as yet, we have no credible alternative on offer. The fact of reaching an…Continue

TRICK OR TRUMP

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Jan 11. 2 Replies

Someone has asked me my opinion about the US government shutdown.Well, I have opinions, for what they are worth, about several aspects of this lamentable situation.1. Trump is not without justification. He campaigned on the issue of the wall. It was…Continue

PROPHESY

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by Mat Osmond Dec 26, 2018. 4 Replies

Naked we come into this world and naked we depart. All the sages remind us. Little Jesus in his manger received gifts from the Magi, but what use were the gifts to him, one might ask. Perhaps the Magi brought treasures from his previous incarnation…Continue

TROUBLE COMING: USA TODAY, EVERYWHERE ELSE TOMORROW

Started by David Brazier. Last reply by David Brazier Dec 22, 2018. 4 Replies

What is happening to the USA? On normal conventional headline statistics it seems to be doing well. Unemployment is at a low, profits rolling in. Yet longevity - perhaps the best independent measure of the wellbeing of a population - is actually…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

WEEP FOR OUR WORLD

Posted by David Brazier on August 20, 2019 at 21:38 2 Comments



At the moment I am feeling very sad for the state of the planet. As I write the great forests are being consumed by fire, both the tropical forest in Brazil and the tundra forest in Russia. The great forests are the lungs of the earth. I myself have lung problems. When there are parts of the lungs that don’t work anymore one can run out of energy. It can strike suddenly. We will probably not do anything serious about climate change or wildlife extinction…

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MY MEDICAL CONDITION

Posted by David Brazier on June 26, 2019 at 18:04 10 Comments

My medical condition continues to be a mystery. It is clear that I do not have any of the big nasty things - brain tumour, cracked skull, stroke, etc - as these have been ruled out by MRI investigation. Nonetheless I continue to have persistent, continuous head pain that varies in intensity and I become exhausted by the least effort so that I am functioning like an invalid incapable of doing very much. There is always a possibility that the whole syndrome is a…

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Grace.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on June 2, 2019 at 1:02 4 Comments

“Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark Valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us… Continue

Sit

Posted by Geeta Chari on April 26, 2019 at 22:13 3 Comments

This is a short video of a Buddhist monk and his family. 

It raised questions on parenting and Buddhism - does detachment (or perhaps quietism), as practiced here, lead to demotivation and disengagement with the world around one?

His children find the detachment practised by the monk disquieting. They appreciate the irony of detachment, which is supposed to…

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