Buddhism & biodiversity: woods, meadows & ancient ways
A Dharma talk given at the regular Friday morning service at Oasis. By Dharmavidya.
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Thank you again this has been on my mind...Namo Amida Bu
Remembering the meal table discussions that took place later in the summer, when I still thought that there was no way the U.S. election would result in what it did. Reading the New York Times is a bit like reading Mad Magazine.
There won't be a general election unless things get much worse very quickly. There is a serious attempt going on (initiated by Cameron) to have fixed term parliaments, but an unexpected spin off has been referenda which, in my view, are worse than having unpredictable election times.
I think that one major effect of the big demo not averting the war was not only that the public lost some faith in politicians, but politicians lost faith in the public. Each had certainty that what they were doing was right. This has produced a sharp divide that is still not healed or even papered over at all successfully and this is leading to a polarisation of politics such as we have not seen for a long time in UK. It used to be said (especially in the Blair years) that you could not tell one major party from the other, but now the divide is widening by the day.
A sense of certainty can be rather dangerous.
Regarding wars, the West did go on to destabilise Libya and tried it in Syria with disastrous results that we are still suffering. Iran would be a much tougher nut.
Regarding more referendums, it is an interesting speculation what will happen. The next thing is we trigger the process of leaving and there then follows two years of negotiation. Is there not then going to be a rather strong demand for the public to have its say about whether the deal negotiated is acceptable? What happens then? By then UK will still be a year or so away from a general election. I suspect there will be demand for a referendum on the terms. After all it will be a parallel situation to the last one, which was, essentially, a vote on the terms that Cameron had negotiated. Won't people wnat to have their say on those that May or Leadsom get? I agree that there cannot, politically, be another referendum immediately, but two years is a long time in politics. At the end of the negotiation it will be possible to see how much/little of what the Leavers and Remainers said in their campaigns turns out to be reality.
One difference it made was that the fact that so many marched and it seemed to make no difference to anything led to a decline in marches and demos for quite a while afterwards. Street politics seemed futile then and has only recently revived and, even now, not to the level that was common before.
Regarding 'apologies' for different kinds of polities: I'm sure there is no perfect system. Plato thought the best was a kind of benign despotism, and occasionally in history it probably has been. Democracy has the great merit of allowing change with little or no bloodshed, but is surely no better then most systems at producing wise outcomes, despite being one of the most expensive systems. War is usually popular, as is capital punishment. Would a referendum on going to war in Iraq have changed things? I really don't know, but am certainly not confident that the population as a whole would have voted for peace, especially if they had known that UK's cheap oil supply was in danger. Probably the best political systems have been transitional hybrids of one kind or another. Applications of pure ideology generally seem to produce unfortunate results. I do think that representational democracy is much superior to direct or plebicitic.
What is clear is that how one feels depends upon how one sees things and how one sees them is a function of what information is revealed and what remains out of sight. We are easily deceived and more easily so in the directions that we want to believe.
Thank you, Charlene
Thank you for a warm, sensible talk that points to the need to mature as spiritual beings. Personally, I am beyond all that...(oh wait a minute, I think I'm lying!) Your humour and compassion shine, David!
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Immensa e gentile Quan Shi Yin, dacci la grazia di conoscerti e riconoscerti, in qualunque forma tu ti manifesti: per la strada, in un negozio, al lavoro, nello svago;
Dacci il coraggio di riconoscerti nel piacere e nel dolore, nella felicità e nell’infelicità;
Dacci la saggezza di riconoscerti nelle tue innumerevoli forme, non solo in quelle che vogliamo…
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