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The never ending pursuit for truth.

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December 2016

Moral Superiority

There is a special pleasure in the irony of a moralist brought down for the very moral failings he has condemned. It’s the pleasure of a well-told joke. Some jokes are funny one-liners, but most require three versus: three guys, say, who walk into a bar one at a time, or a priest, a minister, and a rabbi in a lifeboat. The first two set the pattern, and the third violates it. With hypocrisy, the hypocrite’s preaching is the setup, the hypocritical action is the punch line. Scandal is a great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feelings of moral superiority while asking nothing in return. With contempt you don’t need to right the wrong (ad with anger) or flee the scene (as with disgust). And best of all, contempt is made to share. Stories about the moral failings of others are among the most common kinds of gossip, they are a staple of talk radio, and they offer a ready way for people to show that they share a common moral orientation. Tell an acquaintance a cynical story that ends with the both of you smirking and shaking your heads and voila, you’ve got a bond…..well, stop smirking. We are all hypocrites, and in our condemnation of others’ hypocrisy we only compound our own….
Each of us thinks we see the world directly, as it really is. We further believe that the facts as we see them are there for all to see, therefore others should agree with us. If they don’t agree, it follows either that they have not yet been exposed to the relevant facts or else that they are blinded by their interests and ideologies.

We judge others by their behavior, but we think we have special information about ourselves—we know what we are “really like” inside, so we can easily find ways to explain away our selfish acts and cling to the illusion that we are better than others.

From Chapter 4 of The Happiness Hypothesis

By: Jonathan Haidt

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.

 Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)

 

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Our Own Creations

The ego is the worst confidence trickster we could ever imagine because you don’t see it. The problem is that the ego hides in the last place you’d ever look, within itself. it disguises its thoughts as your thoughts, its feelings as your feelings, you think it’s you . Peoples need to protect their own egos, knows no bounds. They will lie cheat, steal, kill to maintain what we call ego boundaries. People have no clue that they are in prison they don’t know that there is an ego they don’t know the distinction. At first its difficult for the mind to accept that there is something beyond itself that there is something of greater value and greater capacity for discerning truth than itself. In religion the ego manifests as the devil and of course no one realizes how smart the ego is because it created the devil so you can blame someone else. in creating this imaginary enemy it made a real enemy for ourselves and that becomes a real danger to the ego. But that is of the egos creation. There is no such thing as an external enemy no matter what that internal voice is telling you. All perception of an enemy is a projection of the ego as the enemy. In that sense you could say that 100% of external enemies are of our own creation. Your greatest enemy is your own perception, your own ignorance, your own evil.

A Way of Living Differently

What we are trying in all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind. Not accept things as they are – but to understand it, to go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind with every thing that you have to find out. A way of living differently. But that depends on you and not somebody else. Because in this there is no teacher, no pupil. There’s no leader, there is no guru, there’s no master, no savior. You yourself are the teacher, and the pupil, you’re the master, you’re the guru, you are the leader, you are everything! And, to understand is to transform what is.

Jiddu Krishnamurti conversation with Dr. Allen W. Anderson
Feb 20th 1974 San Diego, CA

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Cogs in a Machine

One thing a Marxist might say is that capitalists, these people that control the means of production, (owners of corporations in our modern day) capitalists are always looking to make more capital.

How do they get more capital? Marx would say a convenient place to start and one that is a huge expense to most high production, profitable entities is employee wages. Employee wages can sometimes be 30-40% of your sales. So the capitalist tries to compensate for this, they respond and try to make things more efficient in the work place. Maybe they introduce technology to take over certain jobs. Maybe they lay people off, they have less employees do the same amount of work more employees used to do. They stagnate wages as profits increase. They do all this not because they are bad people but because they are operating in an intrinsic system where capital is an intrinsic good. What happens Marx says is that naturally when you are paying less people less money, capitalism begins to cannibalize itself. It ensures without intervention the rich will always get richer and the poor will always get poorer within a capitalist system.

One of the biggest criticisms Marx has of capitalism is that it alienates the worker from a sense of purpose or fulfillment. We have all had a job at some point or have at least known somebody who has had a job that is boring and unfulfilling it makes you feel like a meaningless cog in a machine.

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We have actually created an economic climate that is so efficient and so productive that in theory no one ever has to go without anything. What other economic system can claim to have done that? More importantly to Marx is we have more empty houses than we do homeless people, we have more cars in these unsold overflow dealership lots than we have citizens without reliable transportation. In fact we have the capacity to produce way more than we would ever need.

When we elect a president and beg for them to get America back to work, Marx would look at that process and see us as begging them to put us back in chains.

From the podcast, Philosophize This!

Wretched Existence

“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926), American Political leader

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In 2015:

  • 43.1 million people (13.5%) were in poverty.
  • 24.4 million (12.4%) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • 14.5 million (19.7%) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • 4.2 million (8.8%) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

Feeding America and ways to volunteer, click here.

 

Disposable People

“Since the 1970s, we have witnessed the forces of market fundamentalism strip education of its public values, critical content, and civic responsibilities as part of its broader goal of creating new subjects wedded to consumerism, risk-free relationships, and the destruction of the social state.”

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“Life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits.”

Henry Giroux

A Mistaken Idea of Freedom

Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose. The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us…

Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our Nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our Government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual…

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests…

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure…

Jimmy Carter

“Crisis of Confidence” Speech (July 15, 1979)

Jimmy Carter

Unchecked Consumption

When did I give so much meaning to my stuff?

What is truly important in my life?

When did I become so discontented?

Who is the person I want to become?

How am I going to define my own success?

 

If the entire world consumed like the United States we would need over 4 Earths to maintain our unchecked consumption. How can we as consumer driven American’s keep consuming like this? It’s pretty simple we go deeper into debt that’s how. Did you know the average American carries 4 credit cards in their wallet? 1 in 10 Americans has 10 or more active credit cards. The total consumer net of the United States is nearly $12,000,000,000,000. If you went out and spent $1 every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend a trillion dollars.

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Love people, use things.

The opposite never works.

Why are you busy?

  1. You are busy because you are running from something.
  2. You believe busyness equals business or success as opposed to executing your talent.
  3. You are busy because maybe you don’t really know who you are.

 

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  • The difference between talent and a gift?

A gift is our inherent ability to move the needle for somebody else, to make an impact in somebody else’s life.

  • Have you ever thought about letting go of what you don’t want and what doesn’t serve you?

You can let go of what you don’t want and you began to dream of what you do want for your life.

You can walk through this earth and execute your talents every single day and you can get the results but if you don’t find the space to execute it or let your unique gift shine, whatever your unique lens of your gift is. I do believe it comes at a price on two elements:

  1. Your soul doesn’t shine.
  2. People don’t get to see the best parts of you.

 

 

Philip McKernan, from the Podcast

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