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Statue of Islam Karimov in Moscow.

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. Octavian says: • Website

    Regardless of one’s opinion of Karimov, an extremely attractive presentation. I like the patterned metalwork around the perimeter and trees integrated into the sculpture.

    When it comes time to have a statue made of me, it could be a lot worse than this.

  3. SIMP simp says:

    I’ll raise you this:

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
    , @tyrone
  4. g2k says:

    Zurab Tsereteli?

    • Replies: @Ano4
  5. Ano4 says:
    @g2k

    No, some British sculptor.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  6. @SIMP simp

    It’s not even an attractive species of dog.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  7. A123 says:

    Fox News announces their latest staff addition for Failed and Unbalanced Reporting:

    PEACE 😇
     

    • LOL: Rosie
    • Replies: @E. Harding
  8. I raise you with a statue of Heydar Aliyev in Belgrade

  9. A123 says:

    Also, this GIF that has no story or explanation…. It is just cool…

    PEACE 😇
     

  10. tyrone says:
    @SIMP simp

    Gotta give him credit, most muslims don’t like dogs..

  11. Since this has become a statue thread

    Is that a gun in bronze Cristiano Ronaldo’s pants, or is he just happy to see his real life counterpart?

    At least it was a better attempt than this:

    • LOL: Yevardian
    • Replies: @another anon
  12. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Since this has become a statue thread

    … i raise the new statue of Mary Wollstonecraft, founder of feminism. Stark naked statue, because this is what true woke feminism is about, isn’t it?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft

  13. And some good news:

    Q LIVES!

    Yes, Q is back! The usual cryptic messages that mean everything and nothing, fresh fodder to analyze and decode. Lots of work to do, mass suicide of Qanonists is averted.

  14. AaronB says:

    John Gray writing in the New Statesman-

    Even so, the US will remain the single most powerful state for decades to come. A unipolar global order under Chinese auspices is extremely unlikely. China may be recovering from the pandemic faster than any Western country, but it cannot keep up its previous pace of growth. The population is rapidly ageing, while the environmental costs of economic expansion have been enormous. Xi Jinping may be tilting towards abandoning the goal of integrating China into global markets in favour of building a neo-Maoist autarchy. But since the country has yet to graduate from an export-led to a consumption-based economy, it is still dependent on the West. China’s wolfish diplomacy has mobilised a powerful group of states – the US, India, Japan, the UK, Australia and others – against it. The US remains the most fertile ground for technological innovation anywhere. For all the deterministic predictions of inevitable Chinese supremacy, American anarchy will prove more creative than Xi’s suffocating totalitarianism

    China’s handling of Covid has convinced me it does not have the necessary element of anarchy needed to foster an intellectually creative environment.

    The Chinese people are plenty anarchic, which we see from the many videos of Chinese authorities having to brutally detain citizens to enforce Covid lock downs. No other citizenry seems to have protested so vigorously against authority and been dealt with so violently. But the government has quite a stranglehold on the people, it would seem.

    Poor, suffering China – it seems to me China is still dominated by Western thought systems developed in the enlightenment, first Communism and now total social control through technology.

    When will the old, Taoist China show its head again?

  15. Rosie says:

    Rumor has it that Trump is thinking about starting a media outlet. Maybe that is the point of these challenges: to solidify his standing as a populist hero who won’t back down. Maybe he can do more good with that. He probably should have done that to begin with, assuming he was/is sincere. Power flows from control of information and spin.

    https://www.axios.com/trump-fox-news-digital-media-competitor-25afddee-144d-4820-8ed4-9eb0ffa42420.html

  16. Ano4 says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Sure it’s not a goldendoodle…

    [MORE]

    Alabay breed is increasingly popular in the former USSR as a watchdog. It also has a great character and it’s rather smart.

    http://www.youtube.com/shorts/Hskeacoqhsk

    • Replies: @SIMP simp
  17. @A123

    To A. Karlin -since the New York Times has (finally) called all the states, it’s time to make a post scoring our election predictions. I did worse than you, but I’m glad to have gotten only two states wrong, and to have been one of the few people to have gotten Georgia right, and for good reason. I do admit, however, to having been too trusting of the national polls, and, thus, to have overestimated the Dems’ popular vote margin by some 2-3 points.

    A123- Here’s the current swing map of the 2020 presidential election. Pink is where Biden is doing better than Hillary Clinton by two-party vote. New York and Ohio are not done counting:

    Unless the fraud is happening literally everywhere, Trump must have lost fair and square.

  18. @E. Harding

    Congrats! I’ll have a separate post about that. Given current controversies, might nonetheless be prudent to wait until the electors vote to compare results.

    • Replies: @A123
  19. @another anon

    I don’t really get Q unless it is just an intelligence operation. Why would you bother starting a cult if you’re not going to enjoy the perks like having a harem and a compound?
    And that screenshot looks like it was taken from the steam forums? Is that Q’s new posting place of choice?

  20. Statue of Ulugh Beg in Riga:

    There’s also a statue of Ibn Sina but I can’t find a good picture. Central Asian states have been quite active in promoting this.

  21. Mikhail says: • Website

    White Russian anniversary:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2020/11/13/white-army-black-baron/

    ——————————————-

    Why Richard Stengel sucks:

    ——————————————-

    Dumb move by Cuomo:

    https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-bars-restaurants-gyms-liquor-license-1.50062952

    An earlier gym closing will accomplish two things which don’t help in curbing Covid-19.

    I. Some people prone to working out after 10 PM, will now arrive earlier, resulting in a greater congestion of people.

    II. Others who can’t make it down earlier, will not have the gym fitness option, at a time when such a regimen is especially beneficial for health and wellness.

    The Cuomos (Andrew and Chris) seem to be above the clouds and not so aware of common folks issues. The $6 Million dollar a year man (c/o CNN) Chris has nice state of the art gym options in his home or perhaps (more accurately put) homes.

    ——————————————-

    Sleazy Al Jazeera Show:

    Note the highlighting that Armenian officials declined an appearance. Meantime, there was no mainstream Russian representation.

    Matthew Bryza disparages Russian peacekeepers in the former Georgian SSR without notation that it was the Georgian side under the neocon/neolib preferred Saakashvili, which brazenly killed Russian peacekeepers and some other Russian citizens. Bryza rehashes questionable anti-Russian claims on how the 2008 war in the former Georgian SSR started.

    Bryza says that Armenia has just suffered its greatest defeat since the Bolsheviks. What utter BS given the genocide of the Armenians, which isn’t recognized by Turkey and Azerbaijan. My anti-Communism aside, the USSR provided Armenia with a republic.

    Prior to the USSR, Armenians were slaughtered largely on account of the belief that they favored Russia over Turkey.

    ——————————————-

    Differing views on the NK agreement:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/11/13/russian-diplomacy-pulls-caucasus-from-brink-of-disaster/

    https://theduran.com/azerbaijan-armenia-war-ends-russia-takes-full-control-of-caucasus/

  22. @another anon

    Is that a gun in bronze Cristiano Ronaldo’s pants, or is he just happy to see his real life counterpart?

    Today that part of the statue looks somewhat different than it did on its inauguration day

    due to a repeated “buffing” by adoring female fans:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/8102532/cristiano-ronaldo-statue-bulge/

  23. @Kent Nationalist

    And that screenshot looks like it was taken from the steam forums? Is that Q’s new posting place of choice?

    https://qalerts.app/

    What is it all about? See this post.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/maga-cope/#comment-4269214

    TL;DR: most probable explanation of Q phenomenon is pure scam, making money out of boomers. There is no 666D clever plan, there is nothing behind the curtain than plain old grift.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/Qult_Headquarters/comments/ifg7b6/this_tweet_thread_confirms_what_many_have_already/

    • Agree: Not Raul
  24. @Kent Nationalist

    And that screenshot looks like it was taken from the steam forums? Is that Q’s new posting place of choice?

    https://qalerts.app/

    What is it all about? See this post.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/maga-cope/#comment-4269214

    TL;DR: most probable explanation of Q phenomenon is pure scam, making money out of boomers. There is no 666D clever plan, there nothing behind the curtain than plain old grift.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/Qult_Headquarters/comments/ifg7b6/this_tweet_thread_confirms_what_many_have_already/

  25. @another anon

    I have the link to that ready to paste. I can’t find the image of a rather good statue summarising her life proposed by a male artist. Presumably turned down because he was male.

  26. @E. Harding

    since the New York Times has (finally) called all the states

    I read the US constitution and did not find an indication that NYT has the authority to call elections. Constitution does not mention CNN, WaPo, AP, and many others who claim the right to call elections. Did I miss something?

    US Federal Election Commission Chairman Says 2020 US Election Is Illegitimate Due To Widespread Fraud

    Details here:
    https://greatgameindia.com/us-elections-illegitimate/

    • Thanks: A123, Rosie
  27. A123 says:
    @E. Harding

    Where is the similar color map showing Trump 2020 receiving more votes than Trump 2016 in every state?

    What you are showing does not reflect actual DNC strength. Instead it is an intentionally biased artifact showing less than half the increased turnout.

    Such pitiful attempts at misdirection are painfully obvious. I am sorry that you need this much cope to deal with your Biden’s loss.

    PEACE 😇
     

  28. Passer by says:
    @AaronB

    This Gray guy is really in lala land. Good for laughs though. Will american’s function in the 21st century be to provide good laughs?

    Even so, the US will remain the single most powerful state for decades to come.

    In what exactly? In trade it isn’t. In manufacturing it isn’t either. In AI, 5G, 6G? Nope.

    A unipolar global order under Chinese auspices is extremely unlikely.

    No, it will be a multipolar world. Too bad for those who wish to rule the world but, they are out of lack.

    China may be recovering from the pandemic faster than any Western country, but it cannot keep up its previous pace of growth.

    But the pandemic decreased the gap between the US and China. Same as higher growth rate for China, but without the Pandemic.

    The population is rapidly ageing

    Even with ageing population Bloomberg estimates for China to be growing faster than the US up to 2050 and beyond.

    Xi Jinping may be tilting towards abandoning the goal of integrating China into global markets in favour of building a neo-Maoist autarchy.

    No, they are actually further opening up, and increasing imports, to replace the US market as being the key market for the world. But as part of their strategy, they will also seek self-sufficiency in some key technologies.

    The US remains the most fertile ground for technological innovation anywhere.

    Is this why the US is crying that China stole the 5G that it does not have and Russia stole the hypersonic missiles that it does not have? I guess China stole from the US that new 6G satellite it recently launched.

    Really, when you see someone whinning there is a good possibility that he is a loser. And the US has been whinning a lot these days. Not a good sign, i will say.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  29. @another anon

    Found a link. The male contestant’s view of the inventor of post enlightenment Anglo-Saxon feminism. What was going on? https://images.app.goo.gl/KwUFXoP8tvxzPHL97

  30. Remarkably, had the election been just three quarters of a percentage point closer, we would have gotten this merry election map:

    A. Karlin, your 269-269 troll maps were disturbingly close to reality.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  31. @AaronB

    The US has not been #1 in a lot of fields. Space, nuclear power, civil aeroplanes, cell phones/tablets, railways, road construction, pharmaceuticals to name a few. London has been #1 in finance. Russia is now #1 as a grain exporter. There is of course Hollywood, which compensates for much.

    MAGA did not address these issues.

  32. mal says:

    People wishing to vote for Giant Meteor may get their wish granted in 2068.

    https://phys.org/news/2020-11-apophis-asteroid-earth-thought.amp

    Apophis freaked everyone out back in 2004 but then scientists got better orbital estimates for it and everybody relaxed and went back to torturing Iraqis. Well apparently they didn’t take into account the Yarkovsky effect (thermal emission from the rock as it is being cooked by the sun) so it is back in play.

    Impact will deliver 1,200 megaton TNT equivalent, or about 24 Tzar Bombas. Not the end of the world, but if you have vacation travel tickets booked to the impact site, I would recommend canceling.

    Meanwhile on Earth, Musks’ Starship SN8 melted the Raptor engine. Also, Musk may have Covid. Not good.

    https://www.space.com/amp/spacex-starship-sn8-third-static-fire-problem

    Also, ‘Yarkovsky’ sounds Russian, so accusations of Russians trying to end the world will start in 3.. 2.. 1..

  33. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Nobody will exceed the US on gross domestic poz. Unfortunately, that is not the “GDP” we use, and it is not something to brag about either.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  34. @another anon

    FFS
    This is what happens when you when you let lesbians sculpt public statues. Get a grip man.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggi_Hambling

  35. A123 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If you are going to cover widespread issues, please make sure to include the corrupt Dominion application. It looks like software based fraud impacted millions of votes in 30 states.

    There really *can* be fraud almost everywhere.

    This is the same system that Democrats complained about in 2018-2019.

    PEACE 😇

  36. AaronB says:

    An intriguing passage from Life Against Death, by Norman O Brown –

    The doctrine that play is the essential mode of activity of a free or of a perfected or of a satisfied humanity has obvious implications for social reform. Over a hundred years ago the utopian socialist Fourier tried to work out the structure of a society in which work had been transformed into play; his influence can be seen in some of the early writings of Marx, which call for the abolition of labor as a necessary precondition for the emancipation of genuinely free and genuinely human self-activity. These utopian speculations have been laughed out of serious consideration by the realists, who apparently are made happy if they can prove, by their special interpretation of the doctrine of original sin, that their children and their children’s children are condemned to be as unhappy as they are. But history is transforming the question of reorganizing human society and human nature in the spirit of play from a speculative possibility to a realistic necessity. The most realistic observers are emphasizing man’s increasing alienation from his work; the possibility of mass unemployment….

    But the concept of play is not simply a tool for eschatological prophecy and social criticism; it has, like all valuable eschatological concepts, analytical applications to history and anthropology. Huizinga in Homo Ludens elaborated Frobenius’ definition of human culture as eines aus dent natürlichen Sein aufgestiegenen Spieles. He shows the presence of an irreducible nonfunctional element of play in all the basic categories of human cultural activity religion, art, war, law, economics. Huizinga suggests that the advance of civilization has repressed the play element in culture;

    If this is true, and I think it is, then the advance of civilization may be self-defeating. One wonders why buildings have become so drab and ugly. Because the element of play has been eliminated from our culture. Remove play, and culture disappears. No more beautiful buildings, no more art, no more great novels. As opposed to play, society invests all its energies into the grim task of survival.

    The beautiful buildings of Oxford, so wonderfully described by Dmitry as being built by a race of elves, are essentially playful. Elves are whimsical. Nor is there any survival value in a Beethoven symphony.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @Blissex
  37. In coronavirus news, Austria appears to be the worst-hit hotspot on the planet, with 1% of the country’s population population confirmed infected just this week (!!!), while Finland is the last country in Europe to get severely hit by the second wave. Ireland seems to be rapidly improving.

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?tab=map&zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-11-13&country=GBR~USA~ESP~ITA~BRA~IND~KOR&region=World&casesMetric=true&interval=daily&hideControls=true&perCapita=true&smoothing=0&pickerMetric=location&pickerSort=asc

    What’s going so right with Finland? It never had a lockdown and appears to be the Uruguay of Europe in regards to human development, corruption, and coronavirus.

  38. nickels says:

    US Army sizes Dominion servers in Germany.
    Sidney Powell will “release the Kraken”.
    Trump wins.
    Be prepared for target practice on the mobs.

    • Agree: SveVid
  39. @AaronB

    ‘China’s handling of Covid has convinced me it does not have the necessary element of anarchy needed to foster an intellectually creative environment…

    We really do need an ‘idiot’ button.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @AKAHorace
  40. AKAHorace says:
    @Colin Wright

    ‘China’s handling of Covid has convinced me it does not have the necessary element of anarchy needed to foster an intellectually creative environment…

    We really do need an ‘idiot’ button.

    You should have said this more politely, but yes, AGREE.

  41. @E. Harding

    What’s going so right with Finland? It never had a lockdown and appears to be the Uruguay of Europe in regards to human development, corruption, and coronavirus.

    Finland is not a corrupt pit at all – why the inference?

  42. melanf says:
    @E. Harding

    n coronavirus news, Austria appears to be the worst-hit hotspot on the planet, with 1% of the country’s population population confirmed infected just this week (!!!), while Finland is the last country in Europe to get severely hit by the second wave. Ireland seems to be rapidly improving.

    Apparently there are some hidden factors in the spread of Covid. Otherwise, it is impossible to explain the often extreme unevenness of the spread of covid In similar regions

  43. @E. Harding

    The likeliest result to me was a narrow Biden victory as suggested by polls, adjustment for shy Trump voters, and predictions markets. So yes, many small underestimates of how Trump would do relative to my baseline produced roads to 269-269.

    The UR commentariat has a major contrarian tilt, also its fair share of just plain ideologues/reverse SJWs, hence the majority of them overloading in favor of Trump just as neolib mainstream pundit class overloaded in favor of Biden. Also explains the autistic screeching over the MAGA cope post.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, dfordoom
    • Replies: @Ano4
  44. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    How then to explain the fact that at the moment Karelia, neighboring Finland, has approximately the same order of victims from coronavirus per capita as Finland, and for example the densely populated Belgorod region of Russia has less losses from coronavirus than Finland?

    Of course, official mortality figures are distorted everywhere, but in the case of Belgorod and Karelia, the overall mortality statistics confirm a relatively good picture

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  45. Ano4 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The UR commentariat has a major contrarian tilt, also its fair share of just plain ideologues/reverse SJWs, hence the majority of them overloading in favor of Trump just as neolib mainstream pundit class overloaded in favor of Biden. Also explains the autistic screeching over the MAGA cope post.

    High IQ cosmopolitan transhumanist urbanites vs based Rednecks:

  46. Yevardian says:
    @another anon

    Where is the bulk of this crap actually posted and shared? I tried a few days ago to look into it, but (predictably) Google censors all direct links and only displays critical articles about it, I tried Yandex but all I could find 1-2 almost totally broken websites.
    I don’t imagine Q-Anon’s main demographic visits the cartoon frog forums.

    • Replies: @another anon
  47. Ano4 says:
    @melanf

    What about the quality of health services in Karelia?

    https://regnum.ru/news/society/2984763.html

    • Replies: @melanf
  48. SIMP simp says:
    @Ano4

    If the guy wasn’t there the dog was a midnight snack. Wolves love eating dogs. In Romania we have 2 breeds of shepherd dogs that have been bred to defend flocks of sheep up in the Carpathian mountains from bears, wolves and lynx. Still, a sheep herd owner was complaining on TV that wolves killed a dozen of his shepherd dogs in a year.

    This autumn a wolf pack night attack near the Ukrainian border killed 40 sheep and scattered 150.
    Source in romanian: https://agro-tv.ro/stana-unui-cioban-distrusa-de-lupi-zeci-de-oi-ucise-si-alte-150-disparute/

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Max Payne
  49. @Ano4

    No, some British sculptor.

    Ha, I detect a tone that you think a British sculptor being commissioned to make a statue of an ex-Soviet leader is distasteful and you can’t even bring yourself to like it because of that.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  50. Ano4 says:

    Should the Americans trust the vote by mail ballot signature verification procedures?

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/opinion-columns/victor-joecks/victor-joecks-clark-county-election-officials-accepted-my-signature-on-8-ballot-envelopes-2182390/

    What about the Dominion Systems voting machines?

    https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/human-error-dominion-voting-equipment-fuel-false-fraud-claims-michigan

    https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/philadelphia-election-trump-equipment-stolen-usb-laptop-20200930.html

    https://nationalfile.com/arizona-maricopa-county-gop-chair-resigns-following-failure-to-check-voting-machines/

    Way back, in summer 2019, Ed Snowden, a well known Russian asset and Putin shill (sarc) had this to say about the US voting machines:

    And Texas refused certification of Dominion Systems voting machines also in 2019:

    https://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/laws/dominion.shtml

    This problem was well known, and yet nothing has been done to fix it.

    Because in the US of A mediacracy you vote and then they decide how you voted.

    It was the safest ever election (to steal)…

  51. Ano4 says:
    @SIMP simp

    Sure, 1 against 4 is a tough fight. But they usually prevail one against one. Even against 4 the dog stayed alive until its owner came. What I find amusing is that the guy didn’t even check if the dog was wounded. Must have been a really cold Kazakh night…

    🙂

  52. Ano4 says:
    @Europe Europa

    The future Alien Archeologists studying our civilization’s remains and finding this statue would certainly be puzzled by this peculiar representation of Lenin in front of a Central Asian landmark…

    What is really distasteful in British sculpture is:

    [MORE]

  53. Pericles says:
    @another anon

    Lol, just put it on the demolition list.

    If memory serves, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, sprang from the head of Zeus when he had a massive hangover. For this sculpture, it’s a post-op tranny springing from the head of what could be troll face. Perhaps a fitting symbol for our times, as will be its future destruction.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  54. melanf says:
    @Ano4

    What about the quality of health services in Karelia?
    https://regnum.ru/news/society/2984763.html

    I can’t say anything. But what does this message have to do with the relatively low (at the moment) losses of Karelia from the coronavirus? (By link tce-in the summer, the Karelian authorities were accused of not using purchased medical equipment. the Karelian authorities rejected this accusation)

    • Replies: @Ano4
  55. @Pericles

    I fear that in the near future, if the progressivism and far leftism will advance unrestrained in the western societies, they will start destroying old European churches and statues. Really, if there will not be a geopolitical change or some big crisis in the west. In 20 or 30 years there will be a time of new iconoclasm. For leftists and progressives such beautiful artefacts of the past are in direct contradiction with their beliefs, they are a constant and nagging reminder that the past was not all racism, sexism, patriarchy and oppression, that the people of the past had greater and more delicate sense of beauty and aesthetics than they could ever dream of. As long as the great monuments of the European history stand, so(or as?) long common people have a real and definite proof that things that leftists want to teach to the people about their past cant be completely true. Think about it! Even now the globalist and corporatist left wants a complete control of narrative, before or later if they go unstopped they will turn their ire towards the old European achievements….

    About the statues, sad that the Spring Temple Buddha of Henan statue is not anymore the tallest statue in the world. For that honour goes now to couple years old statue of Vallabhai Patel in India. The so called Statue of Unity. Which is odd, for its not proper, nor good taste to build such grand statues for common people, although he was an important politician for India and practitioner of non-violence, but still…

  56. melanf says:
    @AltanBakshi

    About the statues, sad that the Spring Temple Buddha of Henan statue is not anymore the tallest statue in the world. For that honour goes now to couple years old statue of Vallabhai Patel in India. The so called Statue of Unity. Which is odd, for its not proper, nor good taste

    This Buddha statue is also not a model of good taste.

    Here is a rare example of a successful modern sculpture (monument to the first tourist – Hercules, in the Crimea)

    But the vast majority of modern sulptures that I have seen in Russia or in Europe are monstrous

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  57. @AltanBakshi

    I like this more diminutive Buddha from Sichuan

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  58. @Thorfinnsson

  59. @Blinky Bill

    According to the agreement’s text, the naval logistics center will host up to 300 people. This figure includes both naval service members and civilian personnel. The base can host up to four naval vessels, including nuclear-powered ones. The Sudanese government will provide Russia with the necessary port infrastructure and a piece of land free of charge.

    Russia will be allowed to transfer “any kind of military equipment or munition, equipment or material” through Sudanese ports that are required for the center, the agreement read. The center will function under Russia’s jurisdiction, and the agreement will last for 25 years, with the option to renew it for another 10-year period.

  60. @AltanBakshi

    The Patel statue cost around $500 million dollars as well. Just another Indian vanity project. A very weird country, or rather I should say, a very weird national leadership.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  61. Ano4 says:
    @melanf

    You were comparing Karelia region with Belgorod, right?

    • Replies: @melanf
  62. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    I am surprised I have never heard about this; usually they complain (rightly) that we are giving India foreign aid when they have a space program, but this is even more egregious.

  63. melanf says:
    @Ano4

    You were comparing Karelia region with Belgorod, right?

    I compared Finland to Karelia and Belgorod

    • Replies: @Ano4
  64. Ano4 says:
    @melanf

    Why did you compare them and what were your findings?

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Gerard.Gerard
  65. @Yevardian

    https://qalerts.app

    Here you can read all Q drops, and, for extra fun, read the original chan linked threads.

    From the very beginning three years ago, when was Hillary Clinton secretly arrested and executed by secret military tribunal, and replaced by exactly identical body double.

    Nothing can stop what is coming! Trust the plan!

    https://qalerts.app/?n=1

    >>146981635
    Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM – 8:30 AM EST on Monday – the morning on Oct 30, 2017.
    >>147005381
    HRC extradition already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run. Passport approved to be flagged effective 10/30 @ 12:01am. Expect massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US to occur. US M’s will conduct the operation while NG activated. Proof check: Locate a NG member and ask if activated for duty 10/30 across most major cities.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  66. @melanf

    Range of -6% to +2% doesn’t really mean much. All we can say from that is that the first wave in spring did not hit them hard.

    Belgorod was long one of the tidier Central Russian regions, even during the 1990s and 00s, perhaps people there are more conscientious above distancing, masks, etc. than the Russian average. Or (more likely) it was some luck effect, e.g. not getting a super spreader event before the lockdowns began.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Philip Owen
  67. Ano4 says:

    Dmitri Orlov has posted another excellent (and outrageous) text on his blog.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/11/watch-this.html

    Referenced by UR commenter the Alarmist in the UR Newslink section. Duly thanked and acknowledged by yours truly.

    I am a great fan of Orlov’s writing, he has style, wit and substance. A very talented individual. Always fun to read his takes on our clown world of a reality.

    🙂

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  68. @melanf

    “for its not proper, nor good taste to build such grand statues for common people”

    A cartoon like Hercules as a proud PoC? How progressive, a fine example of intersectionality, clearly there is some hope among the Russians… Bad joke, but that statue isnt to my taste.

  69. @another anon

    From the very beginning three years ago, when was Hillary Clinton secretly arrested and executed by secret military tribunal, and replaced by exactly identical body double.

    I prefer to think that the original Hillary is hanging out with the original Kim Il-Sung and Tupac

  70. melanf says:
    @Ano4

    Why did you compare them

    To show that we don’t understand all the factors that affect the spread of coronavirus

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mikel
  71. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    perhaps people there are more conscientious above distancing, masks, etc. than the Russian average

    This is a completely improbable assumption for an ordinary region with low human capital.

    Or (more likely) it was some luck effect, e.g. not getting a super spreader event before the lockdowns began.

    This cannot explain the small losses of Belgorod from the Coronavirus in September-October-November

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  72. @Kent Nationalist

    I think our foreign aid doesn’t actually go directly to the Indian government, but to our own British NGOs operating in India promoting liberal values and whatnot, as well as the run-of-the-mill waterAid stuff.

    It was the “conservative” government under David Cameron that commited 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid.

    Anyway, I am sure you are aware of this farce, but for those that aren’t, the Daily Mail has good coverage of it here

    We also apparently send some foreign aid to China!

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
  73. @melanf

    Agreed on first part, was more just tossing it out there.

    We only have preliminary ZAGS data for October, and none that I know of for November, Russia doesn’t release weekly mortality data. Let’s see what the final death toll will be like.

    • Replies: @melanf
  74. Why are the English usually not considered to be Germanic, as in part of the Germanic cultural sphere? I guess it’s because English has a lot of French/Latin loan words which has detached it from its Germanic roots somewhat.

    Hindi and Turkish, for example, are full of Arabic and Persian loan words. Japanese and Korean are full of Chinese loan words. Yet no one says North Indians aren’t full Indo-Aryans because of that, likewise no one says the Japanese are basically half-Chinese and mongrels with no history or cultural of their own because every other word in their language is from Chinese.

    Yet I hear people regularly say the English are mixed or mongrels based mainly on language. I feel that the English have been denied an ancient heritage, the mainstream narrative is that we’re basically North Sea mongrels.

    Some of it it is propaganda, the leftist British establishment and media has carefully cultivated this myth that the English are people without a history and essentially mongrels, to promote the mass immigration agenda. “The English are immigrants any way” is a common leftist “argument” in Britain.

    I’ve also read it claimed that the anti-Englishness started as a way for the non-English/British royals to legitimise their rule, by saying that the English are immigrants too.

    • Disagree: Kent Nationalist
  75. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    It was the “conservative” government under David Cameron that commited 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid.

    I read in the paper this morning that thanks to Boris’ plain girlfriend, the Tories will be returning to governing in an (even more) ‘liberal, internationalist’ way with a focus on green issues. Not that Cummings was good, but things can always get worse

  76. Ano4 says:
    @melanf

    To show that we don’t understand all the factors that affect the spread of coronavirus

    I absolutely agree. However, if we look just at Belgorod vs Karelia. What is the situation with the health systems in these two regions? How do the ambulance/paramedics services compare? How does the availability of emergency unit beds compare?

    This is even more relevant because Russia has in a relatively recent past undergone an “optimization ” of its health infrastructure and services. The aim was to lower the cost. A lot of rural clinics were closed. Karelia is a rural and somewhat remote region (although its southern part is close to Leningrad overall).

    Perhaps, less health infrastructure was “optimized” in the Belgorod region?

    https://www.interfax.ru/russia/718446

    http://www.privatmed.ru/article/37/238/2527/

    This might explain some aspects of the epidemiology and lethality.

    • Replies: @melanf
  77. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    We also apparently send some foreign aid to China!

    Spent promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The most important type of aid there is!

  78. @Ano4

    Orlov is saying now things that are obvious to any reasonably intelligent and informed person, but he was saying the same things long before they became obvious. And yes, he writes well. Unlike Saker, he appears to read what he wrote before publishing it.

    • Agree: Ano4
  79. @Europe Europa

    Yet I hear people regularly say the English are mixed or mongrels based mainly on language. I feel that the English have been denied an ancient heritage, the mainstream narrative is that we’re basically North Sea mongrels.

    I dont know what happens in your weird and God forsaken island, but I have never heard in my life such accusations before. Also linguists have always categorized English language belonging to the West Germanic branch of the Germanic family of languages. Its an academic consensus that English is a Germanic language.

    “Low Saxon,” or Low German was the most spoken language in the Northern Germany just one hundred years ago, its much more similar to Dutch than Standard German and as we know Dutch is not so far away from English language.
    This map shows the linguistic situation regarding which type of Germanic language/dialect locals spoke in the year 1937. Orange is the speaking area of Niederdeutsch, Low German. Magenta or purple is the Frisian language, which is the closest relative of English in the Continental Europe.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill, Voltarde
    • Replies: @blatnoi
  80. @Europe Europa

    The English themselves are partly to blame. Because much of the Anglosphere is outside of Europe, many Englishmen have emphasised their cross-oceanic links over the continent, including the Germanic core countries. Brexiteers certainly never miss an opportunity to talk about a less eurocentric Britain, but they weren’t the first.

    In addition, so many of our conceptions are damaged due to WWII. The second world war was the ‘great leveller’ at which new national myths could be made or reforged. The French being castigated as bad at fighting or cowardly comes from this era. Completely unfairly IMHO, but there you are.

    In Sweden, there has been a concerted attempt to de-emphasise the links to Germany and instead the establishment went all-in on the UK first and later the US as our international cultural nodes of reference. This is driven by a willingness to forget that Sweden was cosying up with the Germans duing WWII, short of an alliance but not much shorter.

    More generally, I would prefer a Germanic union over the EU.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Pericles
  81. SIMP simp says:
    @Blinky Bill

    This base will do wonders to Russian-Saudi relations.

  82. @AaronB

    then the advance of civilization may be self-defeating.

    You assume that civilisation has advanced at all, and with it, progress has stalled or went into reverse. I would submit that progress has stalled precisely because civilisation itself is losing its vitality. It is striking that when innovation was at its peak (late 19th century) some of the most beautiful architecture and art was also created.

    Innovation goes hand-in-hand. When there is a broad decline in one area, it tends to be symptomatic of a deeper curse which affects all others. That’s what happened and is happening.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @mal
    , @AaronB
  83. @Blinky Bill

    True, a substantial part of the foreign aid budget is just a slush fund for instigating colour revolutions around the world.

  84. @Passer by

    No, it will be a multipolar world. Too bad for those who wish to rule the world but, they are out of lack.

    Will it really be? I am deeply skeptical of the notion that China will ever supplant the US or even match it. The problem for intelligent China skepticism is that utter retards like Gordon Chang has ruined the field. That’s the prior for most people.

    China will likely:

    – Match at the very least but not exceed the overall size of the US economy by very much at most
    – It will fail to build the kind of colonial puppet network that the US has done, because it is horrifically bad at soft power politics. The Chinese are intelligent and hard workers, but they are autistic introverts.
    – There’s not even good reason to think Beijing is any good at geopolitics more generally. Their self-immolation over the recent Himalayan spat with India was 100% a self-inflected wound that damaged the political standing of a leader who actively wanted to resist the clarion call of the US to contain China (Modi). Now they clipped his wings in that space. Monumentally idiotic.
    – Their economy is massively building debt. TSF (total social financing) is now close to 300% of GDP. China will add more leverage as it grows but it will hit the Japanese trap much sooner.

    There won’t be a big collapse, but rather a stable and sizable entity that is capable of frustrating the US Imperial machine in its vicinity but will fail to project power overseas like the US. Because it will fail to build a viable alternative to the US colonial puppet network (EU, Australia, Japan etc), it cannot economically overwhelm the existing order.

    This is the most likely future of China. A capable but ultimately non-existential enemy of the US imperial structure. Non-existential in the sense that it cannot overthrow the current order, only slow it down in its neighbourhood. A defensive state at best.

    • Agree: SIMP simp, AaronB
    • Disagree: Kent Nationalist
  85. melanf says:
    @Ano4

    What is the situation with the health systems in these two regions? How do the ambulance/paramedics services compare? How does the availability of emergency unit beds compare?

    I am not qualified to answer about medicine in Belgorod or Karelia. However, the main factor in reducing the number of coronavirus victims is measures against the spread of coronavirus. And the number of hospitals practically does not affect the spread of coronavirus.

    This is even more relevant because Russia has in a relatively recent past undergone an “optimization ” of its health infrastructure and services. The aim was to lower the cost.

    A hospital where 15 patients are kept in one ward, one toilet is designed for three wards, and there are antibiotics and a mercury thermometer for treatment – such a hospital is useless against the epidemic. A reliable indicator for evaluating the optimization of medicine is the number of ventilators, the number of computed tomography devices, etc. Such data is unknown to me.

    Although I can notice one amazing feature of the “common man” – in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the summer, they collected signatures demanding that the Governor of the city of Beglov be put on trial for building a reserve hospital with 2,500 beds, which was not needed (because the epidemic was on the decline). The Governor was denounced (for wasting “people’s” money on “unnecessary” hospital) by the same people who loudly shout about “criminal optimization” of medicine

    • Thanks: Ano4
  86. mal says:
    @Thulean Friend

    That would be the end of the frontier spirit for the Americans and imperialist expansion for the Europeans.

    Innovation requires expansionist mindset. People need goals, places to be, then they start figuring out solutions for how to get there and how to survive once they make it. This is also why wars are key technological catalysts (modern world was created by WW1, WW2, and preparation for WW3 tech).

  87. Max Payne says:
    @SIMP simp

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boerboel

    Get a REAL dog bred to tackle lions and baboons. Wolves? Pshhh, next you’ll complain about the kittens.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  88. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Jesus, that Tsereteli monstrosity is taller than the statue of liberty??

    • Replies: @A123
  89. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    The Patel statue is actually pretty cool. Very realistic, nothing distorted – neither made beautiful, nor made grotesque. A truly massive unadorned realistic statue of a typical-looking late middle-aged Indian man that dwarfs the surrounding landscape. Incredible achievement.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  90. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    We only have preliminary ZAGS data for October

    If the very low number of deaths from coronavirus in Belgorod in spring and summer correlates with low overall mortality, then we can assume that the low official figures for deaths from coronavirus in autumn are also relatively reliable

  91. A123 says:
    @AP

    The Statue of Liberty is actually fairly short (~150 ft). The base is slightly more than half the official height of the monument, which is 305 ft.

    PEACE 😇
     

  92. I am no longer posting much about coronavirus for reasons => https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1317227563157250048 (although I’ll have a summary one up soon)

    That said, looks like the Sweden strategy championed by Thulean Friend hasn’t worked out very well:

    It also doesn’t seem to have derived any strong economic benefits from doing so relative to its Nordic neighbors.

    OTOH, the Swedish (second) spike has yet to translate into significant numbers of deaths: https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Pericles
  93. blatnoi says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Interestingly, an area of Northern Germany is now considered to have the perfect dialect of German (Hochdeutsch). This is Hannover where Gerhard Schroeder is from. The name of the city is apparently from the language that was spoken there (Plattdeutsch? which I guess is Low Saxon) just a short while ago and meant ‘On the high bank’ or ‘Am hohen Ufer’ according to a Hannoveranian that I talked to about it by chance. A lot of people from Hannover are easy to understand and maybe that’s the perfect place to go to learn the language, but after comparing, it seems that the perfect dialect of German only exists on the news channels. Nothing compares to a news program host.

    English is very obviously a Germanic language from the grammar alone being so similar. A lot of the words are French/Latin and it’s too bad that the logic of German word roots was not kept there. It makes it harder to make logical connections when learning new words.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  94. Passer by says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Will it really be? I am deeply skeptical of the notion that China will ever supplant the US or even match it.

    It already supplanted it as the world’s biggest trader, manufacturer, energy producer, in GDP/PPP, 5G technology, AI, etc.

    In MER GDP it will reach the US level by 2030 and about 1,5 times bigger by 2050. While in PPP GDP it will be more than two times bigger by 2050.

    What will that multipolar world really be? A world of many powers. The first rising power is China, but later India is to have bigger economy than the US too. US will drop to number 3 economy. Africa is to reach 4 billion people, while muslims will represent nearly 35 % of the world population. The US and the EU will be on a long term decline.

    Some other countries, such as Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Pakistan, etc. will matter more too, as they are growing faster than the US and the EU.

    There are many studies that deal with that issue, look up studies about the world in 2100. Generally speaking, the West is on a long term decline, at least up to 2100, accroding to the big majority of the studies.

    China will likely:

    – Match at the very least but not exceed the overall size of the US economy by very much at most

    I would say that between 1,5 (MER) and 2,3 (PPP) times bigger economy is significant difference in GDP. Way bigger that the difference between Germany and France.

    – It will fail to build the kind of colonial puppet network that the US has done, because it is horrifically bad at soft power politics. The Chinese are intelligent and hard workers, but they are autistic introverts.

    They use trade to do that, recently nearly 50 states blocked anti-China initiatives at the UN. They rely on asian countries, Latin American countries, African countries, South Korea, Russia, Iran, even some european countries, such as Eastern Europe and Southern Europe.

    India

    Actually it is India that does not look in good position because: 1 was hard hit by the coronavirus, had one of the biggest GDP drops in the world.
    2. Worsened its relations with Iran, where China is supplanting it. Iran + Pakistan + Russia + China may block indian access to Central Asia if it tries to cause trouble, isolating it from Asia.
    3. Taliban (Pakistan) is on the verge of take over of Afghanistan.
    4. China, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, ANZ etc. just signed RCEP, the biggest trade agreement in the world, with Asia/Pacific countries. India is absent from it, which means isolation for India in the region and not a good news for the indian economy either.

    Their economy is massively building debt.

    China’s rection to the corona-crisis was prudent and with debt in mind. Its government recognized the debt problem. It tried everything possible not to increase debt. The markets like that, this is why the CNY is rising via the dollar. Thus, the market thinks that the big money printing will be in the US and not in China, and likes what it sees in China. The coronavirus crisis exploded debt levels in the US and the EU, but not in China.

    Basically chinese markets are rising (even before Biden, and right in the face of Trump’s trade war) because 1. Higher growth rate. 2. Lower debt compared to the West. 3. Higher interest rates, offering better returns. 4. More prudent spending policies. 5. Fixing the Coronavirus problem, unlike the West. The world likes chinese markets, especially now.

    the US Imperial machine

    The US Empire is already done. It lacks military capacity to threaten others – see Russia’s superior weapons. It is no longer central for real economic activity (China is now the biggest trading partner of Germany and Europe, and almost everyone else). EU rejected the trade war urgings by the US and moved on to negotiate a large trade deal with China, which is close to be signed. Japan and South Korea joined the RCEP trade area with China. Even the UK had to be bullied and forced on the 5G issue by Trump.

    The big issue with China is that it will empower other countries to be more independent from the West too. So it will empower Russia, Iran, Turkey and others to become more independent powers.

    This growing multipolarity will mean that he US will face many insubordination problems, from many directions, from many players. The NPT regime will be probably dead by 2030s and many countries will acquire nuclear weapons. The international institutions will change a lot too, with new players growing in influence. (See US lack of influence already apparent in the UN, WTO and the WHO).

    On the issue of US debts, it is enough to see US budgets up to 2030 to understand that the big empire is over, and this country is bleeding. By 2030, US military spending is to drop to all time low of 2,5 % of GDP from 3,2 % today. Non-military discretionary spending is to drop fro 3,6 to 1,8 % of GDP – an all times drop. That does not even take coronavirus debts, which will require additional 3-4 % of GDP cuts in the US budget.

    What this means is less money for the US military, less money for US education, less money for US infrastructure, etc. It is enough to see the budget numbers. Things in the US will be worse in 2030 than today. There is no money for wars either.

    So after 2030, we will have a world that we never had in the last several hundred years. A non-western-centric world, and a multipolar world, where US, EU etc. will be only be some of the players.

    Basically the share of western economies in the world economy is to drop from 64 % in the 2010 to 38 % by 2050, and to drop further after that, to 26 – 30 % by 2100.

    This is multipolarity in action. Big changes are coming.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  95. Dmitry says:

    Armenian ambassador now says that according to their government documents, there are 4750 Armenian soldiers killed so far. https://news.am/rus/news/613327.html

    So finally today, we started to hear more realistic sounding casualty claims.

    In the last month, we saw videos where there are over 100 bodies in a single pile, and drone videos which often show over a hundred Armenian soldiers killed uploaded by Azerbaijan in a day.

    This was the most violent postsoviet conflict there has been since we have been using the internet.

    In terms of drone videos, we have seen more videos of drone attacks in a month, than I believe I have seen in all previous conflicts combined.

    Twitter user “Oryx”, visually counted Armenian equipment losses from Azerbaijan’s YouTube videos.

    Claimed numbers of equipment losses are supposedly 40% of total combined of both Armenian army and Artsakh army’s equipment.

    Still, Armenian citizens were attacking their parliament in Erevan, and asking to continue war, and for Pashinyan to not sign for peace, and stealing his perfume – it shows how little information about the problems of the war seemed to filter into the Armenian public.

    So local Armenian public seemed to know less about the problems in the war, than random netizens watching the conflict thousands of kilometres away.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Mikhail
  96. @Anatoly Karlin

    Sweden is still doing decently well. On the other hand several eastern European EU countries who just who just a month ago had barely any deaths are now catching up to Sweden in deaths per capita. For example Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

    • Replies: @melanf
  97. Dmitry says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Sudan shows that “multi-vector” has become some kind of global fashion this year, rather than just something specific in the postsoviet sphere.

    “Multi-vector” is the fashion not only for Pashinyan, Lukashenko and Aliev – but even Islamist African dictatorships seem to be experiencing a peer-pressure that they need to “multi-vector”.

    Recall 3 weeks ago Sudan is signing normalization treaty to Israel, which was Trump’s final gift. So Sudan is suddenly friends with Israel, after being its enemy for 70 years.

    Then Sudan follows the new fashion in international relations, that if you create a new relation with one side, then you have to “multi-vector” immediately.

    It also confirms the trend for this that whatever the side can achieve, Russian diplomacy takes the larger prize.

    Russia will establish a naval logistic center and repair yard in Sudan under a new agreement signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Nov. 6 but just made public this week.

    According to the agreement’s text, the naval logistics center will host up to 300 people. This figure includes both naval service members and civilian personnel. The base can host up to four naval vessels, including nuclear-powered ones.

    The Sudanese government will provide Russia with the necessary port infrastructure and a piece of land free of charge.

    Russia will be allowed to transfer “any kind of military equipment or munition, equipment or material” through Sudanese ports that are required for the center, the agreement read.

    The center will function under Russia’s jurisdiction, and the agreement will last for 25 years, with the option to renew it for another 10-year period.

    https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2020/11/13/sudan-to-host-russian-military-base/

  98. @Passer by

    Nobody has yet provided a convincing explanation why we should expect a nation with human capital broadly equivalent to that of Japan or Korea to converge to Japanese or Koreans levels in the long term (that is, at least 1/2 in terms of nominal GDP per capita and 70% PPP-adjusted). One can site various reasons – debt (most of it domestic – China’s net international investment position is solidly positive), large % state ownership, etc. – but one can also rejoinder with advantages (e.g. the world’s largest scope for economies of scale by far).

  99. @Dmitry

    Undoubtedly a lot of damage was caused but I’d prefer a source that isn’t a cheering Turk. The Turkish pro-military twitter “community” is particularly delusional in my experience.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  100. Is there anything as cringe as ‘woke’ neoliberals?

  101. @Thulean Friend

    His analysis is a little inaccurate. They do not (just) support homosexuality/anti-white politics to cover up their other activities, the promotion of those things is part of and serves their other goals.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  102. @Passer by

    It already supplanted it as the world’s biggest trader, manufacturer, energy producer, in GDP/PPP, 5G technology, AI, etc.

    PPP = Poor People’s Parity.

    China is ahead in 5G but not in AI. Kai-Fu Lee has written an entire book on the topic. The US still leads in most areas except vision, but this was pre-tech war. More and more AI research is becoming dependent on specialised chips. You have TPU from Google and now even Amazon is trying their hand.

    China is very, very far behind in semiconductors. Steel self-sufficiency was a national-security imperative for aspiring Great Powers in the 20th century, then chips are for the 21st.

    Some other countries, such as Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Pakistan, etc. will matter more too, as they are growing faster than the US and the EU.

    This reminds me of the BRICS nonsense. Turns out the only two that really mattered were China and India, and really mostly China. Out of the countries you mentioned, the only one I am keeping an eye on is Indonesia.

    Turkey has grown faster than the EU, but their currency has crashed as it is “low-quality growth”. Pakistan is a perpetually collapsing shithole and Brazil just rode the commodities boom before it fizzled into mediocrity. It isn’t just the quantum of growth that matters but also the quality. This is a key lesson that eludes so many people.

    Recently nearly 50 states blocked anti-China initiatives at the UN. They rely on asian countries, Latin American countries, African countries, South Korea, Russia, Iran, even some european countries, such as Eastern Europe and Southern Europe.

    Irrelevant also-rans. China has no real friends of significance. Even Russia seems more like a frenemy than a true friend. Pakistanis can feel the loathing of them as inferior even from Islamabad. Laos and Cambodia are under the thumb of China but that is nothing compared to controlling Germany or Japan as the US Empire de facto does.

    Furthermore, even countries that have pro-Beijing leaders like the Philippines are mostly due to one-off artifacts of having a peculiar leader. If you look at Filipinos’ preferences in opinion polls, there’s a massive pro-American majority. So structurally, the US will benefit even in areas where it is temporarily impeded.

    China, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, ANZ etc. just signed RCEP, the biggest trade agreement in the world, with Asia/Pacific countries. India is absent from it, which means isolation for India in the region and not a good news for the indian economy either.

    Problem with RCEP is that almost all countries are trade-surplus countries. In a balanced trade union, you need deficit countries to balance the others out. Only tiny Australia can serve that role. They need an America.

    China’s rection to the corona-crisis was prudent and with debt in mind.

    China’s handling of the virus was certainly far superior to the US, but their legacy problem of debt build-up preceded the crisis and it will outlast it.

    As I said: China will become a Big Japan much earlier in their growth cycle.

    EU rejected the trade war urgings by the US

    This is completely delusional and out of touch will reality. The EU has rolled over like a turtle – which is its primary function as subcolonial entities of the US empire – and done everything its master has asked for.

    Huawei has been shut out. China is now a “systemic competitors” and there are increasing regulations to limit Chinese investment into high-tech industries. Leading European tech firms like ARM or ASML have complied meekly with Washington diktat to not sell to the Chinese.

    This is your definition of the EU having its own will? Nobody takes it seriously because everyone knows its a collection of puppet states. You want something done? You go to their master – across the Atlantic.

    This is multipolarity in action. Big changes are coming.

    .

    Big changes are only coming in China’s immediate vicinity. China lacks a colonial puppet network of real signifiance. Russia is the only half-decent member, the rest are collapsing shitholes like Pakistan or irrelevant literally-who’s like Laos. Their psychological profile prevents them from engaging with cultural domination, and their blunders with India already showed that they are vastly overestimating their current position in world affairs.

    China will not collapse. It will stagnate at or just slightly above the US in economic heft, but it cannot replicate the “force multiplier” of having a large subcolonial network of puppet states. Therefore it will always be on the backfoot against the US. It’s economy is also not as healthy as its propagandists claim nor as disastrous as its detractors.

    This is not a disaster for China. It will still be far more powerful than it has been for many centuries and can dominate, or at least give the US a real run for its money at worst, its own neighbourhood. I also expect them to largely succeed (but not exceed) their technological self-sufficiency goals given enough time. This may in fact be enough for the Chinese. They won’t seriously be threatened but will remain too weak to topple the US as #1 world hegemon. That could be enough for most of them.

    • Agree: SIMP simp
    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Blinky Bill
  103. @Thulean Friend

    That’s not the CIA though, it’s GCHQ in England.

  104. @AP

    Isn’t it odd to build such epic statue for someone like Patel? If religious figures like Krishna or Shiva aren’t suitable, India is still officially a secular state, then I would think that Gandhi or Nehru would’ve been better choices.

    Patel is best known for his successful negotiations with the rulers of autonomous Princely states, which were direct subjects of British crown, so that the Indian princes would give up their lands for annexation to the Indian Union. That’s why its Statue of Unity, and not Patel Statue.
    The Princely States are in yellow.
    But as you see, most Indian Princely States were situated inside the borders of India, or were patchwork of hundreds of small principalities, like those in Gujarat and Rajasthan, so in my opinion Patel’s achievement wasn’t so grand, especially when compared to Gandhi or Nehru.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  105. A123 says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Is there anything as cringe as ‘woke’ neoliberals?

    Welcome to the new reality. Trump fundamentally changed U.S. Politics by moving the GOP from Conservative to Christian Populist. He drove out:

    — NeoConDemocrats — By opposing their foreign interventionism
    — International MegaCorporations — By opposing their exploitation of U.S. Workers

    Invading foreign countries and serving Wall Street Banks are are now core SJW Globalist DNC values. The woke rainbow invasion could easily come to pass under Biden.
    _____

    To be honest… This trend started before Trump. He just locked in the results and made them permanent.

    Biden’s first choice for Desecrator of State is Samantha Power. Do you remember her ambitious goals for U.S. Manifest Density re-labelled as Responsibility to Protect [R2P]?

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @A123
  106. Ano4 says:
    @Max Payne

    It would freeze to death in Kazakhstan or Russia. But it is a beautiful dog for the global South. What about the Irish Wolfhound?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_wolfhound

    It is not the ancient Pictish/Celtic Breed that’s gone extinct, but the modern breed is still a beautiful animal and a strong one.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/iRcP4FNy1ZVM4bPh8

  107. A123 says:
    @A123

    Auto-Correct is My Frenemy!

    …Desecrator of State is Samantha Power.

    That was supposed to be:

    Secretary of State is Samantha Power.

    Though in 20/20 hindsight, what auto-correct inserted is actually pretty good.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: mal
  108. MIGAtard just became very real.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  109. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Looks interesting, although perhaps a little high in the sodium department (400 mg per a 2 oz bag). I haven’t seen them on my local grocer’s shelve yet, or at Wal-Mart and I’m not really interested in ordering them through Amazon?…

    Looks like you’ve found an acceptable method to drown your “Trump derangement syndrome” blues? 🙂 Have you given up all hope for his quick resurrection scenario? Hope to see more of your interesting comments here. I figure that you’ve been rather lax in commenting here because you’re probably busy putting the finishing touches on your version of “The Great American Novel”?

  110. 128 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well Taiwan has not converged with Korean or Japanese levels. So expect Fujian and Guangdong to have GDP per capita at the same level as Taiwan, with provinces like Anhui, Hubei, and Henan at 70 percent of that level. And by the way the interior provinces, or Manchuria show no signs of catching up with the richest provinces like Zhejiang. And before anyone trots out globohomo as an explanation for holding Taiwanese productivity back, Sweden and the Netherlands have per capita GDP exceeding Japan and Korea.

  111. @AltanBakshi

    But as you see, most Indian Princely States were situated inside the borders of India, or were patchwork of hundreds of small principalities, like those in Gujarat and Rajasthan, so in my opinion Patel’s achievement wasn’t so grand, especially when compared to Gandhi or Nehru.

    The elevation of Patel is primarily ideological. He was much more of a narrow nationalist than the grand idealism of Nehru, and far more amenable to Hindutva in particular. Patel’s economics were also more center-right, which endears him to various business houses which have traditionally been a deep-seated source of support and funding for various Hindutva causes. Even the most cosmopolitan of them all, Tata, famously stated that had Patel, rather than Nehru, been PM then India would have been much richer (questionable).

    You’re of course entirely correct that both Nehru and Gandhi supersede him in both intellectual firepower and influence on world history. But we choose the heroes we want for our own purposes. Mythology isn’t rational. Right now we’re seeing the myth of Patel being built, for its own internal ideological reasons.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi, Blinky Bill
  112. 128 says:

    How many people here have actually been to China beyond Canton, Beijing, and Shanghai anyway?

  113. @128

    I have, but I’ve never been to Shanghai or Canton, what’s there anyway?

  114. melanf says:
    @Shortsword

    Sweden is still doing decently well. On the other hand several eastern European EU

    This is not true. I read about the Swedes ‘ love of “social distance” long before the epidemic. This is a country with a low population density, the largest percentage of people living alone in the world, with the mass use of cars/bicycles (instead of public transport), with first-class medicine and advanced science. Sweden had all the chances to survive the epidemic with much fewer victims (on the model of Norway and Finland), but due to an erroneous course, this chance was lost.

  115. @128

    Well Taiwan has not converged with Korean or Japanese levels.

    Taiwan is short of South Korea.

    South Korea: $30,644
    Taiwan: $26,910

    I don’t like PPP because it’s another estimate on top of an estimate but the bump Taiwan gets from PPP adjustment is huge. So I will count Taiwan as having reached parity with South Korea.

    Taiwan: $54,020
    South Korea: $44,292

    South Korea and Taiwan emerged in the latter half of the 20th century. I don’t think it is fair to compare them to Holland and Sweden. Japan is just behind the UK and France.

    20 France 39,257
    21 United Kingdom 39,229
    22 Japan 39,048

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @128
  116. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    What’s the relevance about Turkish to my post? User “Oryx” seems to be a Dutch man Stijn Mitzer. He seems to be obsessed with counting things from videos and photos. Useful man – as it would be quite painful and boring to do that.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  117. @Dmitry

    I just assumed from that he tweets occasionally in Turkish, is very pro-Turkey and takes all official Turkish information as fact. But it seems that he is pro-Turkey from a pro-NATO standpoint now that I look at it.

    • Replies: @another anon
  118. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Agreed with Taiwan/Korea, disagreed with comparing to European countries, Japan after all has been developed since the 1970s when it overtook the UK.

    But its convergence stopped and in the past couple of decades it has been in relative decline, in fact Germany’s *total* GDP (PPP) is now at 85% of Japan’s level (80% if you insist on nominal) despite having 65% of the population.

  119. @Thulean Friend

    White genocide will save us from this shit. Only whitoid countries do this.

  120. @Anatoly Karlin

    One can site various reasons – debt

    There is a good discipline in reining in the debt. It rose from 297% to 303% only from early 2018 to early 2019. This shows the spigot wasn’t even turned on during the highest period of trade tensions during the Trump admin. Obviously debt shot up in 2020 to cure covid. It’s also historically noteworthy that in 1997 South Korea’s economy imploded due to debt but it recovered shortly and went on to cross the finish line sometime in the 2000s (becoming a developed country).

    rejoinder with advantages (e.g. the world’s largest scope for economies of scale by far).

    Any literature on this? Does large scale in itself boost growth?

    I predict Chinese GDP will reach 175% of US GDP by 2040. But I want to keep an open mind in evaluating disadvantages. Economically, will the lack of export markets relative to GDP in comparison to South Korea harm China’s growth prospects? Or does the continental scale domestic market compensate?

    There are disadvantages related to demography: aging and birth rate. With the aging population there are limited entitlements because old people can’t vote for them. The birth rate will be a catastrophe. The fertility rate does not show the full picture because China has had an abnormal sex ratio at birth for the last 30 years. The ratio has only gradually improved but it is still highly abnormal. Chinese people do not want to face this problem. Talking to people about it resembles AIDS in Africa during the 1990s. People will by and large deny the problem even exists.

    On the geopolitical front there is relief for the next 4 years. That means time to potentially grow the economy another 40%, putting China in a stronger position to defend against US moves if a right wing populist is elected again. The Quad situation has deteriorated with joint naval exercises announced involving all 4 countries despite Russia’s valiant attempts to help persuade India to keep Australia out of it. On a positive note the standoff in the Himalayas may come to an end soon. India has built up tens of thousands of troops in the border areas since 2009 and this year’s standoff is their first taste of major repercussions. Indians will face for the first time a significant permanent increase of Chinese troops. In the aftermath, India may back down from further buildups rather than drain the budget to increase military spending up to 4% of GDP to keep up with China. However, I have a feeling the root of the problem is still there. The high caste Hindu is still outlandishly confident about India’s future and overestimates India’s capacity over the next decades to compete with China so they will stay the course of increasing confrontation.

    Lastly, the US itself is getting weaker making catchup easier. From 1980-1999, US real GDP per capita growth was well over 2%. Over the next 20 year period, it was just 1%! It’s likely 2020-2039 will be even worse. Unlike South Korea, China will not have to catch up with a US that is still moving at a brisk pace.

  121. 128 says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    PPP is poor man’s parity, also the PPP adjustment for Taiwan looks suspicious, relative to the PPP adjustment for Japan and Korea. I have been to the Taiwanese cities and they look very run down, compared to say, Shanghai or even Xiamen, not someplace that would remind you of a per capita GDP equivalent to Belgium or Austria.

  122. 128 says:

    US per capita GDP growth is actually closer to 1.5% per annum.

  123. One can site various reasons – debt

    There is a good discipline in reining in the debt. It rose from 297% to 303% only from early 2018 to early 2019. This shows the spigot wasn’t even turned on during the highest period of trade tensions during the Trump admin. Obviously debt shot up in 2020 to cure covid. It’s also historically noteworthy that in 1997 South Korea’s economy imploded due to debt but it recovered shortly and went on to cross the finish line sometime in the 2000s (becoming a developed country).

    rejoinder with advantages (e.g. the world’s largest scope for economies of scale by far).

    Any literature on this? Does large scale in itself boost growth?

    I predict Chinese GDP will reach 175% of US GDP by 2040. But I want to keep an open mind in evaluating disadvantages. Economically, will the lack of export markets relative to GDP in comparison to South Korea harm China’s growth prospects? Or does the continental scale domestic market compensate?

    There are disadvantages related to demography: aging and birth rate. With the aging population there are limited entitlements because old people can’t vote for them. The birth rate will be a catastrophe. The fertility rate does not show the full picture because China has had an abnormal sex ratio at birth for the last 30 years. The ratio has only gradually improved but it is still highly abnormal. Chinese people do not want to face this problem. Talking to people about it resembles AIDS in Africa during the 1990s. People will by and large deny the problem even exists.

    On the geopolitical front there is relief for the next 4 years. That means time to potentially grow the economy another 40%, putting China in a stronger position to defend against US moves if a right wing populist is elected again. The Quad situation has deteriorated with joint naval exercises announced involving all 4 countries despite Russia’s valiant attempts to help persuade India to keep Australia out of it. On a positive note the standoff in the Himalayas may come to an end soon. India has built up tens of thousands of troops in the border areas since 2009 and this year’s standoff is their first taste of major repercussions. Indians will face for the first time a significant permanent increase of Chinese troops. In the aftermath, India may back down from further buildups rather than increase military spending to 4% of GDP to keep up with China. However, I have a bad feeling the high caste Hindu is still outlandishly confident about India’s prospects and overestimates India’s capacity over the next decades so will stay the course of increasing confrontation.

    Lastly, the US itself is getting weaker making catchup easier. From 1980-1999, US real GDP per capita growth was well over 2%. Over the next 20 year period, it was just 1%! I think it’s likely 2020-2039 will be even worse. Unlike South Korea, China will not have to catch up with a US that is still moving at a brisk pace.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  124. @128

    Taiwan looks suspicious, relative to the PPP adjustment for Japan and Korea.

    Because it’s a huge bump, it’s suspicious? Any more analysis?

    US per capita GDP growth is actually closer to 1.5% per annum.

    I use the World Bank’s Knowledge Base and look at 20 year periods. What is your period of time and source?

    • Replies: @128
  125. AaronB says:
    @Thulean Friend

    That is a good point, but I would submit that 19th century civilization was much less complex and organized than ours. The element of order – rules, regulations, beauracracy- was far less developed.

    Civilization means many things, but one primary meaning is complexity of social organization. So in this sense the advance of civilization may be self defeating, in that there may be an optimal level of social organization beyond which it becomes stifling.

    This would mean civilization flourishes best when a certain level of anarchy balances out the element of organization and order, and further, that every civilization- by its nature – has a tendency to become overly complex and organized.

    For instance, look at writing and architecture in the 19th century verses today. Victorian writing was famously ornate and elaborate and fanciful. The element of pure play – without purpose- played a much larger role in their intellectual life. Likewise architecture was fanciful – again, to no purpose but that of play. But how much richer was their intellectual and artistic life.

    What happened in the 20th century, was the development of beauracracy- rules, regulations, complexity, order – and the gradual squeezing out of the element of play. No one today reads poetry, because it is seen as unserious, as mere ornamentation. And really all art is seen this way, all fancy and elaboration.

    And this attitude may be killing science. Science was more original and fecund when it was more about free intellectual play. Today’s beauracratic science- not purposeless, playful science which leads to unexpected revelations and applications – bit directed science, is stagnating.

    China seems to have adopted the beauracratic model of science wholesale, which is why we aren’t seeing much from there. Ultimately, as David Geaeber points put, the explosion in beauracracy makes us feel safe by creating regularity and predictability and eliminating uncertainty and risk, imposing structure and order.

    But civilization and culture may need an optimum level of anarchy, risk, and uncertainty to flourish. In a sense civilization is declining because we have lost our nerve.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  126. @128

    How many people here have actually been to China beyond Canton, Beijing, and Shanghai anyway?

    Even if you count Suzhou as Shanghai (when I asked my Chinese post-doc what is Suzhou, he said “it’s just a suburb of Shanghai, with maybe 3-4 million people”), I’ve been in Xian.

  127. Who is Modi’s looksmaxx guru?

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @sher singh
  128. 128 says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    Because PPP is basically a bunch of rubbish in the first place? And I based it on the GDP growth of the Trump administration, less the annual population growth, plus the cost of living in Taiwan is only 20% cheaper than in Korea, which would not explain why its PPP adjustment would be so large vs. that of Korea.

  129. AaronB says:
    @128

    I’ve been to Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Giulin, and some other small towns.

    Did a trip from Beijing to the Vietnamese border, where I crossed into SEA.

    The moment Covid ends I am returning to China and other places in Asia to see whats going on.

  130. @128

    It depends on what you’re measuring. Even identical or close to identical products and services such as electricity, internet, heating, etc vary heavily between countries (and even inside countries as well). We could also compare something like education. For example, teachers in United States are paid significantly more than Polish teachers but the students still achieve worse results. Does the average teacher in United States really create more value than the average Polish teacher?

    • Agree: mal
  131. Dmitry says:
    @128

    Taiwanese cities and they look very run down, compared to say, Shanghai

    Building appearance, is not always a reliable indication of current economic development.

    Buildings can seem like the most concrete example of national wealth, but this wealth indexed to the historical epoch (relative to cost of labour and materials at that time) in which buildings were constructed. So, we see the magnificent wealth of Seville or Venice, but a very historically indexed wealth for those cities.

    Apparently most buildings in Taiwanese cities were constructed in 1950s-1970s when it was still a developing economy, and then frozen by the country’s legislation which requires all residents to agree before an old building can be demolished.

    Therefore, quite an economic productive area as Taipei, is full of third world 1950s-1970s buildings, that cannot be easily demolished without residents’ agreements.

    On the other hand, Lvov or Buenos Aires, which have been in a century of economic vicissitudes, have some of the most monumental bourgeois architecture, built when there was combination of low skilled labour costs, with a powerful bourgeoisie. And yet if you inferred the the economic conditions of ordinary 21st century citizens of those cities, from such luxurious 19th century architecture, we would be quite confused.

    There’s also cultural variation in how different countries choose invest in the buildings.

    For example, in Japan, where they love to demolish and rebuild, partly with the excuse of updated seismic codes. As a result, the Japanese city matches better the current economic level, than countries like Taiwan, but with a very “temporary” and unaesthetic attitude to architecture.

    Japanese see their buildings as something “impermanent”, and therefore rarely invest in monumental architecture. One of their most prestigious temples (Ise Jingu), is the one they rebuild every 20 years.

    There are also countries where the rulers in the 21st century who still use certain cities as a political “showcase” of their power and prestige. Most obvious example today probably is what we see happening in central Moscow or Baku, where there is self-conscious overinvestment creating an impression of wealth and success in the centre of the city.

    There’s also inverse of this in bizarre cities like Los Angeles, where rulers are happy to have central areas look as poor and underinvested as possible, while excess wealth of city is hidden inside peoples’ gated mansions on Mulholland Drive, secret from the public. (I don’t mean “bizarre” as an insult – I am a fan of Los Angeles, but there is something historically eccentric here that allows much of the city to feel almost third world).

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
  132. @Shortsword

    I just assumed from that he tweets occasionally in Turkish

    This is not Oryx, this is some Turkish fan translating his posts.

    https://twitter.com/oryxspioenkopTR/with_replies

    There is also Japanese version, for monolingual Japanese military nerds.

    https://twitter.com/oryxspioenkopJP/with_replies

  133. @Ano4

    Ano4 again- aka Mr POS / Elephant Man/ lovechild of Mr Hack and that Asian-American incel freak who did that mass shooting in a US college a few years before

    Just to remind you ( id*ot) that Russia’s infection and death rate for this “second wave” is much lower than every single important white country ( except Nazi German fakers) ….. despite our testing rate being much higher than all of them except Spain, and our air traffic with Turkey ( which hasn’t stopped being a so-called hotspot) very high, and this season always worse for us in respiratory illness than other countries.
    Second wave rates are a truer measure of the health systems ( relative uniformity in society behaviour and much lesser inter-state travel)

    Remember that…. pig.

    • Troll: Svevlad
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  134. @128

    I was planning to go this year

  135. @128

    Because PPP is basically a bunch of rubbish in the first place?

    I don’t completely reject the usefulness of PPP in comparisons of material quality of life because there are indeed differences in cost of living. I just think a lot of estimates are flawed. In the case of Taiwan, it’s PPP adjustment is so large, even if it were flawed, there is still margin to beat out South Korea. If Taiwanese have equal or better quality of life of South Korea than I consider economic parity to have been reached.

    And I based it on the GDP growth of the Trump administration, less the annual population growth

    I don’t think a 3-year period is enough data (2017-19) to predict 2020-2039. That’s why I average out 20 year periods without cherry picking the start date (1980-99, 2000-2019).

    Do you predict the US real growth per capita over the next 20 years will be 1.5% or under 1%?

  136. mal says:
    @128

    Because PPP is basically a bunch of rubbish in the first place?

    In an economy based on consumption of services (which is all advanced economies and increasingly all economies), PPP comparisons make more sense.

    For example, US spends ~$4 trillion USD nominal on healthcare (that’s your “GDP”) vs Russians who are what, $200-$400 billion tops? While US population health statistics in general are superior to Russian, they are not 10-20 fold superior. Never met an American who would be 1,000 years old with 30 children lol.

    Nominal GDP measures international market power in tradeable goods and services but those are increasingly obsolete. Total manufacturing output in the US is $2.3 trillion, which is simply not important in a $20+ trillion nominal economy.

    Payroll variations for American nurses alone will have greater impact on GDP growth than all the tradeable goods put together. And PPP is probably a better metric to capture the value of nurse care and haircuts and accountants rather than nominal for cross country comparison.

    I mean, it is possible to argue that Americans produce the best haircuts. But 10 times better than the rest of the world? That’ll be pushing it.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  137. Ano4 says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    Another psychotic outburst. A hormone swing perhaps? Honey, you need to adjust your pills…

    🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  138. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    BBC had a segment that included a young withdrawing Armenian soldier saying that had the war continued, his fellow soldiers and himself would’ve been killed, as they’re no match for Azeri numbers and advanced weapons.

  139. Passer by says:
    @Thulean Friend

    PPP = Poor People’s Parity.

    GDP PPP is quite useful to predict various measures of national power, for example military power. For example MER does not predict russian military capability at all, it is very poor at that. On the other hand PPP GDP predicts russian military capability much, much better. Not surprisingly IMF quota allocations are based on combination of 60 % MER and 40 % PPP GDP – because neither of them by itself does accurately estimate the economic size of a country. PPP for example includes non tradable activities, that are not measured by MER, yet they are also part of the economy.

    China is ahead in 5G but not in AI

    China is ahead in 5G but not in AI

    Well, Eric Schmidt just said they are pulling ahead. He is a more recent source. He said they that they are pulling ahead in “many, many things”.

    On semiconductors they are far behind. In other areas (such as being the world’s largest trading partner, or being the largest energy producer, or the largest manufacurer) they are ahead of the US. So right now the picture is mixed. But you can imagine what it will be when China is not 70 % of US GDP MER as today but 150 %. This isn’t to mention that a combination of PPP/MER gives you an even bigger advantage.

    Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan,Brazil..

    Yet these countries had far smaller share of the world economy in 1990 than today. Which means that they matter more and more. In rough GDP. And GDP always mattered. Their population ratios vs the West have increased too, they have younger populations too. So they gained both as share of world population and as share of the world economy.

    Asian countries, Latin American countries, African countries, South Korea, Russia, Iran, even some european countries, such as Eastern Europe and Southern Europe.
    Irrelevant also-rans.

    These countries are not irrelevant, they open up for Chinese goods and technology, thus helping the Chinese economy. They blocked various US anti-China initiatives in the UN. You can see the failure of the US to get the world to condemn the Hong Kong crackdown or the Xinjang uigur/muslim issue in the many countries blocking such US initiatives, including most of the muslim world siding with China. The World Trade Organisation recently ruled in China’s favor against the US. This was all achieved by many non-western countries supporting China against the US.

    Russia is pretty close to China now, they recently helped them to build anti-ballistic missile warning system. Both are actively working on increasing trade, energy flows, and dedolarisation. Trade between the two is increasing rapidly.

    Problem with RCEP is that almost all countries are trade-surplus countries

    China will be moving towards greater imports model. Moreover, it does not look like they need America that much, if their trade is already two times bigger with China than with the US and Asia is becoming the center of the global economy anyway.

    China’s handling of the virus was certainly far superior to the US, but their legacy problem of debt build-up preceded the crisis and it will outlast it.

    The market believes that the US has the real debt issue, thus the rise of the CNY and the chinese markets in face of the US trade war. Chinese debt btw is infrastructure debt, used to pay for itself.

    The market was very appreciative of the fact that China’s stimulus packages are used to further next generation infrastructure, such as 5G deployment, AI, robotics, big data and smart cities, instead of the US stimulus which was used to prop up consumption (of foreign goods).

    https://www.china-briefing.com/news/how-foreign-technology-investors-benefit-from-chinas-new-infrastructure-plan/

    China is now the only big fixed-income market in the world that offers positive real interest rates; it is the only major economy that will grow during 2020, and it is the only one to recover without drastic monetary easing.

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/09/all-signs-point-to-a-fast-rising-yuan/

    This is completely delusional and out of touch will reality. The EU has rolled over like a turtle – which is its primary function as subcolonial entities of the US empire – and done everything its master has asked for.

    It did not, China just became EUs largest trading partner, and the two sides are close to a new massive trade deal. For Germany it became the biggest export destination as well.

    On Huawei, it secured 47 5G commercial contracts in Europe. The UK is hoping that Biden will allow it to work with Huawei, which remains to be seen. Even if it ends up shut up from some contracts, this isn’t strange if one looks in the long term, considering that its 5G competitors are European and Europe will ultimately like to have its own 5G ecosystem. Huawei is not the economy and should not be mistaken for that.

    Simply put, for the EU, and especially Germany, China is too important. This is why many european countries agreed to enter BRI over US objections, as well as to join the AIIB. And this is why the EU and China pushed ahead with a large trade deal during Trump’s trade war, and constructed a joint WTO mechanism to bypass the US.

    China will not collapse. It will stagnate at or just slightly above the US in economic heft

    This is not what most economists say. China is to reach about 1,5 MER/ 2,2 PPP times bigger than the US by 2050, moreover to have higher growth rate than the US even by year 2050 too.

    Meanwhile US budgets show that US military and civilian spending is to drop to all time lows as % of GDP by 2030.

    Big changes are only coming in China’s immediate vicinity.

    No, the West dropping from 70 % of the world economy in 2000 to 25 % – 30 % at the end of the century, and the US becoming number 3 economy in the world is precisely that – big changes.

    As for Asia, it is becoming the center of the global economy, to account for more than half of the global economy by 2050.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  140. @mal

    Russia only spends just over 5% of GDP on healthcare so not even $100B. In nominal terms United States spends at least 10 times more per person on healthcare. It’s a good example on why nominal GDP sometimes isn’t that important. Healthcare services doesn’t get worse just because of currency depreciation. In dollars Russia spent more on healthcare in 2013 than now but people are certainly healthier now, that is perhaps mostly because of other more important factors than the quality of healthcare but nonetheless the fact remains that the healthcare didn’t get worse just become the ruble halved in value versus the dollar.

    • Agree: mal, Blinky Bill
  141. AP says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    I know your hormones are maladjusted, but:

    Just to remind you ( id*ot) that Russia’s infection and death rate for this “second wave” is much lower than every single important white country ( except Nazi German fakers)

    Average over last 7 days has Russia doing worse than Germany, all of Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark), Belarus, Canada, and of course Australia which has eliminated COVID. Bot overall Russia has been doing a good job.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  142. AP says:
    @Ano4

    When he/she refers to you as a pig he/she may be expressing an unhealthy interest in you:

    [MORE]

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Gerard.Gerard
  143. utu says:

    I recommend documentary “American Factory” on Netflix about Chinese factory in Dayton, OH. Good illustration of that we are facing alien, hostile and dangerous (because of being more productive) civilization.

  144. Mikhail says:

    An example of why Tucker Carlson has the number one rated US cable TV news show:

  145. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    Geraldina,

    There’s no reason for you to exhibit these unhealthy feelings of inadequacy, just because I’ve shown some interest in Ano4’s vast repository of knowledge. You’re a good malchik too, and from what I gather you’re an accomplished pianist. I received my 2nd installment of the Chick Corea 5 CD boxset yesterday – nothing but smooth sailing. I recommend both box sets to you, because I know that you’re the only individual within this blog that can truly appreciate musical genius (now I’ll probably get a message from Dimitry complaining that I’ve slighted him too). 🙂

    • LOL: Ano4
  146. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    O yo yoy! 🙁

    • Replies: @Ano4
  147. @Anatoly Karlin

    Rural Belgorod was already practising plague control over African Swine Fever. That may have slowed things down.

  148. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Classic scene in a classic movie. Also a tool for dehumanization of hillbillies and instilling fear and loathing of Rednecks into the minds of middle class urbanites.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  149. @blatnoi

    Perhaps English with Brythonic verb forms.

  150. Passer by says:

    On the issue of Futurology, here is the work of Pardee Center for International Futures, whose work is used in the Global Trends report by the US National Intelligence Council.

    COVID-19 is accelerating the power transition between the U.S. and China

    https://duckofminerva.com/2020/05/covid-19-is-accelerating-the-power-transition-between-the-u-s-and-china.html

    Global Power in the 21st Century

    View post on imgur.com

    Global Economy in the 21st Century

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Philip Owen
  151. A123 says:
    @Passer by

    Why Biden voters cannot cope….

    They can see the light…

    PEACE 😇
     

  152. Svevlad says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    And not just equivalent, but perhaps soon even above Japanese and Korean levels. They have the balls to do genetic modification on humans in broad daylight, who says they won’t start practicing eugenics, if they don’t already?

    Not that they need to tbh. India, Africa and Latin America needs a bit of selection more.

  153. Svevlad says:

    Heck, if we’re talking futurology why not entertain ourselves with Deagel’s forecast?

    https://www.deagel.com/forecast

    Seeing how America is like these days, shit, they might just have gotten it right.

  154. @Passer by

    Counting the wrong numbers. The EU is the economy to monitor, not Germany and upgrading the Ossis will put it ahead of the US. Oil is ending.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  155. This explains why most states are afraid to announce certification of fraudulent election results.
    Huge crowds in Washington, DC, protested against election fraud. A few scuffles broke out
    https://www.rt.com/usa/506749-trump-rally-crowd-videos/

    This is a sneak preview of what’s to expect later.

    Before last election most Americans believed that voting can change things the way they want them changed. Nov 3 elections showed that this is not so: massive fraud would yield whatever results the elites want. So, now many understood that the only recourse people have is violence. Too bad. The US was an OK country while the illusions lasted.

    BTW, lugenpresse did not report this. Guess why?

    • Replies: @Ano4
  156. @Philip Owen

    Oil is ending.

    A typical SJW illusion. Oil, gas, and coal will be ending for at least 50 more years. The only viable alternative is nuclear energy. The countries that do not build nuclear power plants are trapping themselves in a vary unfavorable situation. The residents of those countries have no one to blame: they are shooting themselves in the foot voluntarily. That won’t prevent their complaining that it hurts.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  157. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    I saw the film on a large screen at a movie theater in my youth and remember it vividly. I’m a little surprised that you and AP have even seen it.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  158. @AnonFromTN

    I agree with you about the nukes. I am disappointed that the UK plans 16 X 440 MW PWRs rather than Thorium MSRs but factory built PWRs will at least be cheap.

  159. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    It’s a well known movie. I watched it around 1989 on a VHS player.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  160. Ano4 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    BTW, lugenpresse did not report this. Guess why?

    The Art of subtle touches…

    Izyumin’s goal was to undermine freedom of speech in the U.S. from within and impose on American society the atmosphere of hypocrisy, fear, and lies that killed the Soviet Union

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/09/12/pelevins-new-novel-plays-with-us-russian-culture-wars-a67267

    (Just kidding)

    Seriously:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mediacracy

    (But perhaps the Mediacracy is also a Russian plot…)

  161. mal says:

    It looks like Bidens transition team is straight outta Lockheed Martin and he is looking to put the Libyan Wrecking Crew back together.

    Secretary of Defense – Michele Flournoy.
    Desecrator of State (totally stealing this one) – Susan Rice, potentially.

    So, given that Bernard-Henry Levi has already met with “Belorussian Opposition”…

    1. What will be the average selling price of an RT journalist on the Minsk slave market in the year 2022?

    2. Which orifice of Lukashenko is best suitable as a bayonet holder?

  162. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    It’s hard to believe that the film came out almost 50 years ago (1972). Here’s a really nice banjo tune, that I don’t think that you’ve ever heard before. Listen to it all the way to the end – it really gets going!

    • Thanks: Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
  163. Ano4 says:

    I am completely disgusted and really angry at what I have just seen about the leftist thugs attacking the conservatives after the pro-Trump march in Washington DC. These feral animals attacked elderly people, women, children. They have no honor. The American conservatives must organize in self-defense, otherwise they will be trampled upon by these subhumans.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @EldnahYm
  164. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    This is even more amazing…really! Enjoy!

    Tie up your camel/waterpipe is optional. 🙂

    • Thanks: Ano4
  165. Mikel says:
    @melanf

    To show that we don’t understand all the factors that affect the spread of coronavirus

    Stochastic processes (or processes with an important stochastic component) are fairly well understood. There is no reason to expect that, ceteris paribus, any two regions in the world will show the same behavior of the Covid19 epidemic at this stage of spread of the virus.

  166. @Ano4

    These feral animals attacked elderly people, women, children. They have no honor.

    The storm troopers don’t have any honor. Antifa is storm troopers, anti is a ruse, they are fascists.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @A123
  167. @Passer by

    On AI progress, it helps to look at the top tier AI talent.

    Data is from 2018, so it is likely that China will retain a greater share in the future due to stupid protectionism. Schmidt’s words should be seen in the same light as the scaremongering about the supposedly massive Soviet economic advantages during the earlier phases of the Cold War. More aimed at mobilising domestic resources than a sober assessment of reality.

    As for Turkey, Pakistan, Brazil. These countries are mostly bigger because their populations have exploded in recent decades. But big countries aren’t necessarily powerful. Nigeria is huge yet is an unstable shithole. Pakistan’s biggest export is cotton fabrics. Innovation output is close to zero.

    There’s an interesting debate to be had about the future of the so-called “emerging markets”. Count me as deeply skeptical of their long-term potential sans ASEAN.

    A useful proxy to understand my point would be to compare Israel vs Egypt. Israel is tiny compared to Egypt but is massively more innovative and can thus punch far, far above its weight not only militarily but also diplomatically. Quality beats quantity throughout world history. The British Empire ruled India with only a few thousands troops.

    China has not really moved much towards an “import model”. Their household consumption share as a percentage of GDP has barely budged in years. They have adjusted their CAB downwards, but most of this adjustment happened well over half a decade ago. Their trade surplus is the highest it is in years.

    Normally, in a world-wide depression, you’d think a country that got out of the crisis better than most (China) would be pulling in demand. Instead they’ve increased their trade surplus, a reflection that their unbalanced growth model remains unchanged despite the flowery rhetoric.

    I don’t pay much attention to what economists forecast. “Top” economists published drivel such as ‘The Great Moderation’ in 2006, just before the global financial crisis, whereby the theory was that we’d collectively abolished recessions. Almost nobody saw the crisis and even those who did mostly turned out to be compulsive permabears who were wrong about most other predictions (Schiff is a great example) and just got lucky.

    “Top” economists were largely supportive of the insane neoliberal shock doctrines in the 1980s and 1990s in LatAm/EE. The economist field is almost entirely dominated by the neoclassical growth model with rare deviations. Such concentrated groupthink never leads to intellectual dynamism.

    I’ll end the argument here. I’ll thank you for a constructive engagement. I simply disagree with the two dominant premises in Western discourse; a Sinotriumphialist narrative that presupposes that China will replace the US as the lodestar or a catastrophist scenario of Gordon Changesque variety. My contention remains that China will rise to match, or very slightly exceed, the US in total GDP but will fail to build a large colonial puppet network to match the Americans and as such will lack the “force multiplier” in geopolitics.

    China will be able to block US imperialism in their neighbourhood but not much outside as a general principle. It may carve out its own tech ecosystem but it will fail to supplant the US one as the dominant global alternative.

    I want to underline that I hope I am wrong. I would want to see genuine multipolarity. I agree with those that believes it will lead to greater peace/stability. I am just intellectually forcing myself to divorce my personal preferences from my dispassionate analysis.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Passer by
  168. Time for shameless advertising post.
    If you do not already know about this book, get it ASAP. Our esteemed host promotes it on his twitter, and I am promoting it here again, because it is important.

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/35-myths-debunked/

    Why is this book important?
    Well, for one thing, it explodes one pervasive myth after another about one of the most politically-significant research areas.
    For another, even in the hands of the layman, it’s a powerful weapon against the blank slate left.
    Let’s remember that the biggest vulnerability of the modern left is its unscientific blank slate foundation — the idea that all people and groups are born with equal ability and potential, with the only limiting factors being structural forces of “oppression” like racism.

    To me, nothing is more blackpilling than to see right and “alt-right” types shitting on science and promoting stone age obscurantism of all kinds like dirty hippies and postmodernists.
    There is no better way to shoot yourself to the foot and validate all unfavorable stereotypes about right wingers.

    Science is great.
    Science is awesome.
    We should all fucking love science, because science is on our side.

  169. 128 says:

    Actually, except for Japan, Taiwan and Korea also have low household consumption levels relative to GDP, at or below 50 percent, so basically all East Asian economies suppress domestic consumption in favor of investments and exports.

  170. Any update on the Moldovan election?

  171. It seems to me that anti-Muslim sentiment has largely replaced anti-Jewish sentiment on the right. Muslims and political Islam is now largely blamed for the problems facing white people, only a minority of right wing “true believers” and “purists” still promote the anti-Jewish narrative above the anti-Muslim one.

    It’s like how white nationalist Trump supporters seem completely unbothered by his clear pro-Zionist moves, like moving the embassy to Jerusalem, encouraging Israel to keep building on the West Bank in defiance of international law and manipulating Arab governments to normalise relations with Israel to the detriment of Palestinians.

    Most white nationalists support Trump in all this because ultimately they see Muslims as worse than Jews and a bigger problem and threat than Jews. There was a time when white nationalists/far-right types would have naturally supported the Palestinians over Zionist Jews, but I don’t think you would ever get that any more.

  172. Passer by says:
    @Thulean Friend

    AI

    Well the UN and the EU both say the US and China currently lead in AI, with China and EU saying that China aims to be the top world leader in AI by 2030.

    http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/2019-02-01/detail-ifzeerre7966214.shtml

    https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/monitor/sites/default/files/DTM_AI%20USA-China-EU%20plans%20for%20AI%20v5.pdf

    http://www.scio.gov.cn/32618/Document/1556735/1556735.htm

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/08/free-webinar-china-will-lead-in-ai-what-does-this-mean-for-the-us/

    As for Turkey, Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, etc. These countries are mostly bigger because their populations have exploded in recent decades. But big countries aren’t necessarily powerful.

    No one said that these countries are some great powers, but what is happening is that they are growing faster than the West from a long time, which is causing a catch up effect. They are also growing faster in per capita terms too.

    Do you understand that we will live in very different world if Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Indonesia etc. acquire nuclear weapons, for example? Which is no longer hard to obtain for most of the world. Do you understand that they change the balance of power within international institutions such as the UN, the IMF, the WTO, the WHO, etc? With those organisations turning on the US?

    And they are to continue to grow faster than the West for the foreseeable future. There is economic catch up effect where non-western countries are catching up to western countries, and this is changing the world. For example western markets matter much less today than in the 1990s.

    Not surprisingly this year ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner, beating the EU (number 2) and the US (number 3), thus decreasing the effectivness of Trump’s tarrifs war on China.

    The world has changed, it isn’t the 1990s anymore, where the US market dominated everything.

    >>China has not really moved much towards an “import model”.

    Not right now, but their leadership have clearly stated that it will move towards greater imports and consumption model via the dual circulation model, in order to decrease the importance of exports, and their importance have already dropped significantly compared to 2008.

    In 2020 btw chinese exports exploded because the country was not crippled by the coronavirus, allowing the countries producers to take advantage of the trouble of others. Plus social distancing/ people isolation policies during the pandemic favor China’s medical and IT exports – as people require more IT gadgets due to isolation.

    I don’t pay much attention to what economists forecast.

    Ok, but still the vast majority of estimates, whether western or non-western, point to China becoming 1,5 bigger economy than the US in MER and 2 times bigger in PPP by 2050. This does not need to be “Sinotriumphialist”, simply almost all of the studies point to that. Considering China’s still low per capita GDP, it is not that surprising. Moreover, this isn’t simply about China, as most of the non-western world is growing faster than the Western world anyway. There is shift of economic power from western to non-western countries and this isn’t simply about one country.

    Here is Bloomberg’s estimate for China, for example – (way higher growth than the US by 2050)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-01/china-s-growth-rate-seen-decelerating-to-2-9-in-2050-chart

    Or a Chinese estimate – (two times bigger by 2050)

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1202492.shtml

    Or an EU estimate

    https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/foresight/topic/expanding-influence-east-south/power-shifts_en

    In ending, the West dropping from 70 % of the global economy in 2000 to 25 % or 30 % by 2100 means that big changes are coming, for example western markets will not be central for anything anymore.

    It is one thing to be the big majority of the world economy, it is another thing to be a small minority.

    There are 5 billion people in Asia, which is also the world’s largest continent, this can no longer be ignored, as this region was always the center of the global economy, with the exception of the last several hundred years. All the estimates point that it will soon be again.

    https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/asia-pacific/the-future-of-asia-asian-flows-and-networks-are-defining-the-next-phase-of-globalization

    Thanks for the discussion too.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  173. 128 says:

    What is holding back AI research in the US and the EU are data privacy laws, and the lack of data for AI algorithms as a result, and privacy laws in general, if the government and private corporations were allowed more intrusive access to personal data then AI research would advance a lot more. In the US you can not even get accurate contact tracing data because of HIPAA laws, which self evidently, China does not have.

  174. @utu

    The only real counter to this is very strong protectionist measures, but the pro-globalisation head honchos do not like that and so we will have to compete with the highly efficient Chinese, while our countries are bled dry.

    Interestingly, this started during the days of the British Empire as English towns and cities had their textile industries devastated by outsourcing to British India.

  175. 128 says:

    Ironically, for those here complaining about China getting ahead of the US in AI research, it would immensely help the US and the EU keep its lead if sites like these were to require people to use their real names here (like Facebook), or at least ban users here from using VPNs, in order to help enable accurate data gathering for use in AI algorithms.

  176. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sardar-narendra-singh-modi-when-pm-disguised-himself-as-a-sikh-to-escape-arrest/articleshow/64746156.cms

    Modi disguised himself as a Sikh to avoid arrest.
    Modi’s underground activities during Emergency helped him grow his stature as a leader.
    “By the time Emergency was lifted, Modi’s vision had widened and from being an obscure pracharak, he was a ‘name’ in RSS circles.

    True symbol of India is Guru Nanak you just can’t build his statues 😀

    [MORE]

    Karni Nama

    While Guru Nanak was in Mecca and Medina, Qazi Rukan Din asked, True King, tell us your prophecy again. Tell us how you will unfold the future?. Your name is Nanak Nirankari and you are from the Nation of the Lord. What are the instructions for the future?

    I will have to return again to resurrect the Khalsa. They shall reside in the Punjab.

    I shall make people from all four corners into one. They will be in Majjha; They will raid Lahore.

    They will bring Potohaar to justice; They will take Peshawar.

    They will set up a cantonment at Attock and then open the Khyber Pass.

    They will establish a kingdom in Kabul and then take Ghazni. After bringing Hazaara to justice they will march on to Kandahar.

    After taking Balack and Buckaara, they will conquer Sindh and Baloch.

    After gaining victory over these lands they shall govern all the people.

    Mecca, Medina and Rome shall tremble. They shall gain victory in battle over south and west India.

    The Guru’s Army shall sit at the throne of Delhi. Umbrellas of kingship shall sway over their heads. All shall be content.

    From East to West all shall be conquered. None shall challenge the Khalsa. All humanity shall become one.

    In the kingdom of the True King, Satjug shall be established.

    The Khalsa Panth shall rule. The arrows of death shall not touch them.

    The Army of the Timeless shall grow and spread like locusts.

    All shall wear vestments of blue; no one else shall be seen. Listen Qazi Rukan Din, The Singhs shall rule.

    The Unholy Sheikhs shall be destroyed. Pirs and Mureeds shall be no more.

  177. @sher singh

    If somehow India as a whole were to take up Sikhism, the place would be much better. Probably the only sane religion in that region along with Buddhism.

    Although it is an ethno-religion is it not, like Judaism, and you cannot really convert to it?

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @sher singh
  178. Ano4 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    they are fascists.

    More like degenerates banding up together against normal people.

    But I wonder: where have all these dreadful American right wing militias gone? Shouldn’t they protect the conservative demonstrators against these scum?

    [MORE]

    During so many years right wing extremists have been accused of being the primary menace against the American democracy. Where are these terrible and armed to the teeth people hiding, while people they should naturally side up are beaten up in the streets?

    Have these warlike rightwingers been just another Hollywoodesque illusion?

    Makes me think of a discussion I had with a self-identified “Red Brown ” in Moscow in 1994. The guy told me that during the 1993 events, he and his buddies were armed, waiting in a forest camp in the Moscow oblast, ready to unleash a partisan guerrilla against Yeltsin regime. He told me that there were probably several similar groups. When I asked why they didn’t act, he replied: “we received orders to disband and go back home “.

    Same thing in 1917 when the terrible-horrible Black Hundreds did nothing to prevent the falling of monarchy. They probably did not “receive the fighting orders “.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    , @AnonFromTN
  179. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    ethno-religion

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-7JHX1FIs9/

    No.

    However,

    ਏਕ ਓਰ ਭਯੋ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਏੇਕ ਓਰ ਸੰਸਾਰ ॥
    The Khalsa stands on one side; the world on the other. ⁣

    ਗੁਰਸੋਭਾ, ਕ੍ਰਿਤ: ਕਵੀ ਸੈਨਾਪਤਿ (1708)

  180. editing broken. tldr Jatts keep Sikhi parochial, tribal and confined to Punjab.

    :shrug:

    Beyond discouraging inter-caste marriage, it’s universal.
    Also, ain’t no woman got a beard; it’s the hair on her head||

    https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17857499258230960/
    What’d you expect?

    Look here:

    http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/airyanavaeja.htm

    The description for Panjab:
    – Violence, rage and hot weather

    [MORE]

    Chaupai : The Guru asked his Singhs to ask for any kinds of territorial awards,
    He would grant them possession of vast territories and meadows.
    Whatever kinds of material assets they aspired to possess,
    He would ensure to make those assets available to them. (14)

    However, Singhs’ limited imagination could not grasp the extent of Guru’s assurances,
    They aspired to possess territorial rights over the Punjab alone.
    The Guru asked them to aspire for territorial rights over the superior Southern region, As well as the mountainous regions of the East and the West. (15)

    The Singhs retorted why should they leave for far off regions,
    Instead of living and ruling over their homeland of Punjab?.
    They asked repeatedly for their sovereignty over Punjab alone,
    Although this limited territory might lead to fraternal wars amongst them. (16)

    While the Guru urged them to aspire for a very large territory,
    And exhorted them to occupy as much territory as they wished,
    But the short-sighted Singhs preferred to remain confined amongst their own people, And aspired to settle scores with their own fraternal adversaries.(17)

    They preferred to settle in the vicinity of their own home,
    And wished to occupy the home land territory alone.
    These Singhs being the offsprings of the poor impoverished parents,
    How could they envision on a large vision and imagination. (18)

    Dohra : Since narrow fraternal ties keep people confined to their own family,
    The Singhs, demanded to get the ownership in the vicinity of Punjab.
    Although the Guru, wished to grant them sovereignty over distant lands,
    They lacked the imagination to aspire for a greater sovereignty. (19)

    Chaupai : Finally, the Guru told them in clear unmistakable terms,
    That they would remain confined to Punjab in communal brawls.
    But the Singhs who had joined the ranks a little later,
    They were directed to settle in other distant lands. (20)

  181. @Ano4

    Trump spent 4 years pandering to blacks and telling them he’s their best friend, while they stomp his supporters into the dirt.

  182. On the topic of who’s ahead in AI research, there seems to be a more or less rigorous answer to that: https://medium.com/@chuvpilo/ai-research-rankings-2019-insights-from-neurips-and-icml-leading-ai-conferences-ee6953152c1a

    1. United States — 1260.2
    2. China — 184.5
    3. United Kingdom — 126.1
    4. France — 94.3
    5. Canada — 80.3
    6. Germany — 64.5
    7. Switzerland — 59.3
    8. Japan — 49.4
    9. South Korea — 46.8
    10. Israel — 43.3
    11. Australia — 27.0
    12. India — 17.1
    13. Netherlands — 15.3
    14. Singapore — 13.2
    15. Denmark — 12.2
    16. Italy — 11.5
    17. Sweden — 11.3
    18. Russia — 10.6
    19. Finland — 9.6
    20. Austria — 7.4

    Of course, theoretical publications aren’t everything, but even in terms of “state of the art” practical AI development, people in the know estimate the top three to be:

    1. Deep Mind (US)
    2. OpenAI (US)
    3. Google AI (US)
    … with any Chinese entities only coming afterwards

    So I would agree with Thulean Friend that the US still has a pretty big lead in this sphere. It’s not very credible that China is hiding away multiple radical breakthroughs that have escaped academia, the corporate world, and even the rumor mill.

  183. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Sane no
    Better yes.

    Applies to anywhere||

    Shout to Rus||

    Ano4 time for drug discussion,
    here is how to solve TFR.

    [The consumption of opium and cannabis] enables digestion of heavy foods like milk, butter, clarified butter, etc, enabling their absorption to give strength.

    It strengthens and thickens semen.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CBURlMOFrmw/

    • Replies: @Ano4
  184. That said I disagree with TF on the trajectory of the Chinese economy, I am sure that by 2050 it will be 3x the US size by both MER and PPP.

    China has been rapidly gaining on the US in the Nature Index, no doubt a similar process will take place in narrowed subfields like AI. Extrapolating from Korean and Japanese per capita performance, I expect China to eventually produce 50-100% as much “elite level science” as the US. And that’s making the perhaps bold assumption that the US continues to successfully drain much of the world’s top scientific minds, I do not see the case for being very confident in that assumption.

  185. @Anatoly Karlin

    This is a good post and I agree with its conclusion. But to add nuance to the the discussion, who is really powering US advances in AI research. The actual brains behind the revolution. I present to you a typical engineer at Google AI.

    Brandon Tory, a senior software Artificial Intelligence engineer at Google and rapper, led a secret double life. Raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, a neighborhood known for crime and drugs, he lived with his family in a shelter as a teenager. Tory knew he wanted to be some kind of scientist, but also had a passion for music. He wanted to have a huge impact in both creativity and science.

    [MORE]

    At least his children are Chinese, for real, check out the video.

    • Thanks: Ano4
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Ano4
  186. 128 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    How much are data privacy laws hurting AI research, since data privacy laws prevent the collection of data needed for AI algorithms to work and learn.

  187. @Anatoly Karlin

    And that’s making the perhaps bold assumption that the US continues to successfully drain much of the world’s top scientific minds, I do not see the case for being very confident in that assumption.

    The flow of Chinese researchers will likely be stemmed in the coming years, as more of them opt to stay in the Motherland, but as your earlier link to the Medium article shows, the per capita output is as follows

    ***
    1. Switzerland — 6.97
    2. Israel — 4.88
    3. United States — 3.85
    4. Singapore — 2.34
    5. Canada — 2.17
    6. Denmark — 2.11
    7. United Kingdom — 1.90
    8. Finland — 1.75
    9. France — 1.41
    10. Sweden — 1.11
    11. Australia — 1.08
    12. South Korea — 0.91
    13. Netherlands — 0.89
    14. Austria — 0.84
    15. Germany — 0.78
    16. Latvia — 0.67
    17. Belgium — 0.44
    18. Estonia — 0.44
    19. Japan — 0.39
    20. Norway — 0.32
    21. Cyprus — 0.28
    22. United Arab Emirates — 0.26
    23. Taiwan — 0.22
    24. Ireland — 0.21
    25. Italy — 0.19
    26. Saudi Arabia — 0.15
    27. Greece — 0.14
    28. China — 0.13
    29. Czech Republic — 0.11
    30. New Zealand — 0.11
    ***

    So the competition will likely be to see who can hoover up the European researchers, I think most of them will opt for America for cultural reasons, that’s assuming America doesn’t become some Afro-Latino Commie nation by then of course.

  188. @Anatoly Karlin

    I am sure that by 2030 it will be 3x the US size by both MER and PPP.

    Typo?

    AK: Yes, type. Meant 2050. Not that big of a Sinotriumphalist.

  189. So Moldovan Presidential election today, Dodon against this Guaido-Tikhanovskaya-Soros-Khodorkovsky mutation bitch Sandu. Not quite a ceremonial job but still not too important
    ….. but it’s still essential that Dodon wins as the role is changing, and on point of principle.

    We have probably 1 million Moldovans in Russia, but 1st round was dominated by the fact that 15+% of the votes were outside of Moldova…… but nearly all of them were for Sandu and voted for in EU states, not in Russia!

    A farcical situation. We have more polling stations open than for the previous Moldovan elections, but its understandable why nobody can be bothered…… only total losers mass vote in foreign territory, not hardworking migrants who are too busy- which just shows how its some coordinated Soros/EU subversive activity that is making these EU Moldovans mass vote.
    No election should be decided by foreign-conducted votes at such high level…… particularly when the main land for foreign votes (Russia) isn’t contributing.

    Hopefully our officials are replying to these provocations by ensuring inflated turnout in Russia territory

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  190. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    Don’t know about opium, but cannabis is probably not too good for male fertility:

    Results: The strongest evidence of cannabis induced alterations in male fertility is in the category of semen parameters. Research supports a role for cannabis in reducing sperm count and concentration, inducing abnormalities in sperm morphology, reducing sperm motility and viability, and inhibiting capacitation and fertilizing capacity. Animal models demonstrate a role for cannabis in testicular atrophy, and reduced libido and sexual function but to our knowledge these results have not yet been replicated in human studies

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30916627/

    Of course cannabis is a very complex mix of molecules and this mix varies very strongly among the cannabis strains. Perhaps CBD alone might have very distinct effects from the THC alone etc.

    What Hindustani people might want to do is to revive the ancestral Arian soma/haoma recipe. It has been lost, but could be reformulated through ethnobotanical studies.

    Given the strong ancestral presence of cannabis, poppies and ephedra in the Central Asian steppe, I would believe that soma/haoma was possibly was a mix of these wild plants.

    [MORE]

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/IV7mF7nMLkWX0djsyIwML4xDiI9iGP1nrTKDU_iOwsSpUswPrxnuEciZah4hzOHNYgOskrOGxo257m0cung

    An interesting tangential fact about soma is that the person who compiled one of the early medieval recessions of the Lankavatara Sutra has written that he belonged to the “Soma tribe”.

  191. @AP

    FFS you cretin, shamelessly plagiarising rising MY JOKES about the film Deliverance and faking them as your own….. at myself! LOL.

    I practically patented this joke on Karlin’s blog about that scene and film… and have used it many times on my numerous (banned) accounts.
    You know this because most frequently I have directed this Deliverance insult specifically against Galicians/ Banderetards, you shameless tramp.

    Ridiculous

    • Replies: @AP
  192. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    It looks to me like there must be more “leisure time” in the European states where Moldovan immigrants have some time to catch their breaths and do their patriotic duty and vote. Those in Russia, as you put it, “hard working” individuals, need to catch a few winks of sleep in order to return to the the daily grind that they find themselves in. Any doubt where they’d go if they could let their feet roam freely?

    Your remedy then, to get the guy that you want to win, is to have Russian authorities inflate the figures to show more favorable results for Dodon? If it can be done in the US for Biden, why not in Russia for Dodon. 🙂

  193. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Ok, but:

    “The US and China obviously have taken a lead.” – United Nations

    “Right now, AI is a two-horse race between China and the US” – European Union

    China leads in actual AI implementation – 3,7 trillion $ gain for the US economy vs 7 trillion $ gain for China economy (European Union source)

    https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/monitor/sites/default/files/DTM_AI%20USA-China-EU%20plans%20for%20AI%20v5.pdf

  194. Ano4 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    This gentleman is clearly a very gifted individual. I think that here we have the living proof that crosses between black and white populations do not necessarily result in lower IQ compared to white populations. Genetics are complex and different combinations are possible. Would think that his kids will also be interesting people.

  195. @Ano4

    male fertility

    Black pepper changes the whole thing, that’s why the Guru instructed it||

    https://www.manglacharan.com/post/out-of-all-drugs-cannabis-is-the-best-guru-gobind-singh

    Bhang is v dif from hippy smoke
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BuVezTSHr7a/

    • Replies: @Ano4
  196. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    No soma needed to enjoy the music that I posted within comment #174. Pardon my persistence here, but I wanted to make sure that you listened to this piece of music and didn’t somehow miss seeing this comment. It’s a little long, playing for just over 11 minutes, but whomever I play it for is just amazed at its incredible vibe. If you like world music, especially with a Middle Eastern twinge, this tune should put a smile on your face. Sometimes, a good smile is necessary! 🙂

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @Ano4
  197. @Mr. Hack

    Tbh, it sounds like a breeze with some banging rocks & fly buzzing occasionally.
    Respect all music though,

    If talking classic then this tale of Jamel Phata of Chittorgarh is straight from Darbar of 6th Guru||

    Mughal Akbar came to Chitor to take the daughter of Jamel.
    When one brother was wounded it is said the other carried him on this shoulders
    Continuing the fight till immortality

    Chittor is famous for the many times Jauhar was committed
    The women & children embracing the fire
    The men smearing ash and embracing the Sword||

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾ।।ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ।।

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  198. Pericles says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Forget about WW2? Never!

    (Author: a certain “Aron Flam”.)

  199. Mr. Hack says:
    @sher singh

    Tbh, it sounds like a breeze with some banging rocks & fly buzzing occasionally.

    Well, this tune was played by a hippie “rock” band in the 1960’s. 🙂

    The mosaic of ever changing Middle Eastern melodies, all building one upon another, is what I think draws most listeners to the “7/8 suite”. What you’ve presented is a much simpler form of music that is interesting in its own right.

    I like black pepper and use it quite often. So, you’re saying that adding some black pepper (like to tumeric) is what makes it superior to just cannabis alone? Well, they’ve legalized recreational pot now in Arizona, so it I ever find myself within a recreational shop, I’ll look for the black pepper blend. Perhaps, “Sgt. Pepper was onto something? ?. 🙂

    • Replies: @sher singh
  200. AaronB says:

    More from the excellent book Life Against Death –

    Lord John Maynard Keynes: Purposiveness means that we are more concerned with the remote future results of our actions than with their own quality or their immediate effects on our own environment. The “purposive” man is always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality for his acts by pushing his interest in them forward into time. He does not love his cat, but his cat’s kittens; nor, in truth, the kittens, but only the kittens’ kittens, and so on for-ward for ever to the end of cat-dom. For him jam is not jam unless it is a case of jam to-morrow and never jam to-day. Thus by pushing his jam always forward into the future, he strives to secure for his act of boiling it an immortality.

    In contrast with the neurotic time obsession of repressed humanity, Nietzsche affirms the eternity of repetition: “Joy, however, does not want heirs, or children—joy wants itself, wants eternity, wants recurrence, wants everything eternally the same.” Nietzsche’s perfection, which is unrepressed life (joy), wants eternity, but it also wants to die. Eternity is therefore a way of envisaging mankind’s liberation from the neurotic obsession with the past and the future; it is a way of living in the present, but also a way of dying. Hence the ultimate defect of all heavens with immortality beyond the grave is that in them there is no death; by this token such visions betray their connection with repression of life. Anxiety about death does not have ontological status, as existentialist theologians claim. It has historical status only, and is relative to the repression of the human body; the horror of death is the horror of dying with what Rilke called unlived lines in our bodies. That perfect, resurrected body which the Christian creed promises would want to die because it

    In Asia, one notices much less pursuit of the novel and more repetition of past pleasures. I remember bars in Asia that will play the same music track over and over for years. Repetition does not mean lack of variety.

    Is Asia happier than the West? Is the creativity of the West a product of repression, neuroticism, and unhappiness?

    Will China, to become as creative as the West, need to become as neurotic and unhappy as the West, and as repressed? China is changing, and is visibly less happy than a decade ago. Commenters Daniel Chieh and Duke of Qin, and others, seem to represent a much more unhappy China than the past. They are gloomy and depressed people with a compulsive pursuit of the future.

    And the West is changing- will the West become happy and cease its pursuit of the novel?

    Let us be honest and admit that all pursuit of the novel comes from dissatisfaction, unhappiness.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
  201. Pericles says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Media should stop reporting on Covid because the war is lost.

    It doesn’t seem unlikely that you will get your wish now that the election is over.

    Regarding Sweden, there is considerable disorderly screeching on the TV but I can’t say I see much effect on the streets. Occasional face masks, like a handful seen per day, whereas there were none at all this summer. There is now Covid-testing available at the main hospital (only by appointment) but no positive cases found in anyone I know who got tested. I’m currently not in plague pit Stockholm, but my friends there seem relaxed about it.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  202. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yes this is an incredible band. On the level of Mahavishnu Orchestra . I am really surprised that I was not aware of it before and that it is not more widely recognized. But thanks to you Mr. Hack I am now. I will certainly listen to their other albums.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  203. Pericles says:
    @Europe Europa

    Aren’t the Palestinians more of a cause celebre on the European left?

  204. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    In your musical wanderings here, be aware that there were actually two “Kaleidoscope” bands that were playing music during the same time period. One English and one American. This “Kaleidoscope” band is the American version. Their “Beacon to Mars” album is also a good one too.

  205. @AP

    What part of “important white country” were you too dumb to understand the first time of reading?

    Canada…… LOL, the place without even its own international phone code is now “important white country”? Idiot. Anyway death toll since beginning of epidemic is at much higher rate than Russia. Infection acceleration in last week increasing higher than in Russia.

    Belarus….. they have already completed their mass vaccination program to eliminate coronavirus…… they call it mass opposition protests. I love Belarus and for me it’s an important country – but is it internationally important, high interconnectivity? No

    Scandinavia? I return to my original question you cretin. Anyway current Denmark rate same as Russia’s. All Russian regions with similar population of Nor/Den/Fin are annihilating them in performance against coronavirus. My place Tatarstan is probably the most successful on the planet, with Bashkortostan, in reducing coronavirus impact

    Australia has one of the strictest immigration policies on the planet and is in summer

    “Nazi German fakers”….. self-explanatory, and their infection rate, from much lower testing, is far higher than Russia’s, as clear in original post

    I was wrong on Spain testing….. it is lower than Russia’s, although US is higher though similar. For UK they say testing rate is high but nowhere near daily number claimed ( data is not physical amount of tests done but those “made available”)

    Poland is self-important, not actually important. Ukropia? Waste of time talking it with a pseudo-banderite…. but going very badly

  206. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    I saw the Mahavishnu Orchestra at the height o their glory in concert. At the time, I was a big fan of John McLaughlin. Not so much anymore. His music is way to avant guard for my tastes, and has soared right passed me…………….

    • Replies: @Ano4
  207. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    Every strain of cannabis is basically a unique phytochemical assemblage. The molecular assemblage of pepper is probably also variable.

    One must also look into the molecular interaction aspects and pharmacokinetics of the phytochemicals by different route of administration. But I agree that ingesting bhang is most probably better than smoking. The bhang mixture probably allows a gradual absorption of cannabinoids. Also the lower temperature of the bhang preparation ( compared to smoking) probably allows for the conservation of a higher proportion of carboxylated acidic cannabinoid forms and THCA has very different pharmacological properties compared to THC.

    Here is a fine paper about the cannabinoids diversity in a few strains:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30250104/

    There are hundreds of strains on the market. The diversity of molecular content in this species is mind blowing (pun intended). Cultivation also impacts on the phytochemical assemblage. We must theredore remember that when we ingest a plant extract, we ingest dozens of potential active ingredients and that each plant might be substantially different, even in the same species.

    Tl;dr : grow your own favorite strain, use it according to your favorite recipe and take care about the dosage. Moderation is best in all things.

  208. @Ano4

    During so many years right wing extremists have been accused of being the primary menace against the American democracy.

    “Have been accused” is the key here. The puppet-masters who assembled storm troopers (like Antifa, BLM, and other goons of their ilk) accused their opponents of doing this. As we know, offence is the best defense.

    The other historical parallels likely show the same thing: bandits accusing others of being bandits.

    • Agree: Ano4
  209. @Anatoly Karlin

    With Biden’s advancing Alzheimer, the US needs AI more than anyone else.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  210. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I did not listen to him for many years. But I remember the impression I had first time I heard Mahavishnu Orchestra and also his album with Santana. That was quite uplifting.

    One of the present day artists that I truly like listening to is Simon Posford.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucinogen_(musician)

    Although his music is nowhere as complex as the oldschool psychedelic, it is still quite good as a musical background to everyday life. He has different musical projects (Ott, Shpongle, Hallucinogen, Younger brother…) mainly ambient and trance music.

    [MORE]

    Here is one of his compositions:

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  211. AaronB says:
    @Europe Europa

    Muslims and political Islam is now largely blamed for the problems facing white people,

    Thats extreme. Muslims are blamed only for one set of problems, not the problems of white people.

    No one really supports the Palestinians anymore. Muslims really shot themselves in the foot and squandered the sympathy of much of the world. Its remarkable.

    I attribute it to their invincible narcissism. In the face of defeat and setback and breakdown, a well known feature of Muslim psychology is to retreat into fantasy. In the Six Day War, Arab armies were assuring each other they were inflicting crushing defeats on Israel.

    Commenters like Talha “assume a pose” of everything being healthy in the Muslim wotld, nothing to worry about, and even lectures whites on how to set up a society etc. Its quite surreal. Meanwhile the actual Muslim world is collapsing in dysfunction and violence.

    The recent beheading in France make the same point. Muslims act like they have far more power than they do because they can’t face reality. It’s why Palestinians act like they can demand maximum concessions from Israel. Its the retreat into fantasy. And why Muslim commenters here said things in defense of the beheading in France, astonishingly. Even though Europeans were the biggest restrainers of Israel, Muslims did not understand alienating them is a bad move.

    This invincible narcissism, let it be understood, is born of weakness, not strength. And it makes fixing your problems impossible and invites failure after failure.

    I think the Muslim world is bifurcating into a good sane half and a crazy bad half. Unlike the gold star Muslim commenters on unz, I was heartened to see on Twitter many good Musloms apooogize for and condemn the murders in France, shoeing a healthy and respect worthy embarrassment. These Muslims will be the source of progress in their world.

  212. @Ano4

    Soma has various meanings, its not just an elixir of gods in the ancient texts, but its also a name of a Lunar and medicinal deity. Therefore someone belonging to the Soma tribe means that one belongs to the Lunar race of Chandra, the god of moon. There were two highest and most esteemed lineages of Kshatriyas among ancient Aryans, those of the Solar race, Suryavansha, into which our historical Buddha was born, and Somavansha or Chandravansha, the Lunar race. Also Soma was a common name among the early Buddhists.

    There are many wild theories about the exact nature and composition of the Soma elixir, but it probably was just Mead, in Finnish language Mead is still known by the name of Sima, and Finns have retained many ancient Indo-European loanwords in their vocabulary, but in this particular case it was a loan from the Ancient Old High German “Seim,” which meant nectar in the early Middle Ages. And do you know what the honey is in Sanskrit? Its Madhu, so clearly a cognate of Slavic word for honey and Soma is often referred by the name of Madhu in Rig Veda! So the Soma is just Medovukha! But naturally such conclusion is not enough for Western hippies and intellectuals who want to imagine that Soma was some kind of Super Intoxicant made from Fly Agaric, Ephedra, Opium and Cannabis, when in reality Soma is just a drink made from honey!
    https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Seim

    Mead was a holy drink even for the ancient Vikings and probably for the ancient Rus too! We modern people just take too literally their poetic allusions and make radical conclusions about them. Its quite clear if one studies Rig Veda that its not a product of drug trips or trance like states, not at all!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead_of_poetry

    One thing about the Cannabis, Indian Weed has much lower potency than the European homegrown. It has not been artificially bred and selected multiple generations, and weed in nature cant even achieve same levels of potency, for the presence of the male and female plants leads to fertilization, which will lead to much lower concentration of THC. In my opinion the difference is huge, they are in no way comparable. Okay okay, there is the Malana Charas, but thats an exception.

    The opinion of Buddhist monks is that one should always try to refrain from intoxicants, but if thats not possible then the alcohol is much, much better choice than the weed. Tibetan Lamas have always thought and taught that the Cannabis messes ups ones wind or energy channels in a very bad way. The alcohol has its problem that it lessens ones minds internal heat, so if used often a person will be a more and more dependent on alcohol, for he lacks an inner sparkle/fire or heat, or so I would describe it in a metaphoric way, but thats a smaller problem. Even His Holiness has said that Cannabis is a very bad poison, but a layperson can use sometimes moderately alcohol. There is not one Buddhist Tantra where religious practitioner should use Cannabis or other such intoxicants, although there are some few where Alcohol is used in a ritualistic way, but there are Hindu Tantra practices where Cannabis is used in a religious context. Thats again one big difference between Buddhist and Hindu Tantric practices.Buddha and Hercules

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mikel
  213. @Thulean Friend

    Kai-Fu Lee has written an entire book on the topic. The US still leads in most areas except vision, but this was pre-tech war.

    China Has Caught Up To U.S. In AI, Says AI Expert Kai-Fu Lee.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/richkarlgaard/2020/11/12/china-has-caught-up-to-us-in-ai-says-ai-expert-kai-fu-lee

    The interview with Lee took place in early October.

  214. @Pericles

    Yes, they are. The European left, being the ethno-masochists that they are, view the Jews in Israel as a European colonial project, their entire rage stems mostly from the presence of the European Ashkenazi, and not the other Jews. Although to be fair the Israel Project is an Ashkenazi project, and wouldn’t have been possible without them.

    Anti-Zionism seems to have been very popular amongst the French for some reason. Zionism (both pro or anti) was never really an issue in British politics, except amongst the left. Occasionally the right wingers would use “Zionist” as a code word for “Jew” to circumvent hate speech laws but most didn’t seem to care.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  215. @Europe Europa

    The Palestine movement nowadays is an implicitly anti-White movement. Furthermore, outside of a major attempt by European right-wingers to hijack the movement for their own aims (drawing analogies between Palestinian displacement by mass immigration and the situation in Europe), the average right winger has no incentive to support Palestinians, because even if all the Palestinians went home, and the Middle East wars ended, non-Whites would still migrate to the West.

    Most Palestinian supporters in the UK for example are Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, as well as their leftist White enablers.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  216. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    outside of a major attempt by European right-wingers to hijack the movement for their own aims (drawing analogies between Palestinian displacement by mass immigration and the situation in Europe), the average right winger has no incentive to support Palestinians

    I support Palestinians because what the Jews do to them is evil, BDS is a headache for the Jews and because it exposes Jewish power.

  217. Pericles says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Somewhat gauche to, e.g., attribute Deep Mind (London) to the US. Except for the purpose of asset ownership, perhaps.

    Apart from who controls what, it would also be interesting to see how the authorial demographics fall out.

  218. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Zionism (both pro or anti) was never really an issue in British politics, except amongst the left

    Incidents were reported in West Derby (Liverpool, England), where a wooden synagogue was burnt down; in Glasgow, Scotland where “bricks were thrown through the windows of Jewish shops”; and in Liverpool City Centre, where “over a hundred windows belonging to Jewish owners were shattered”. The rioting was most intensive and longest lasting in Liverpool: For over five days the city saw violence and looting, and the Lord Mayor issued an appeal to the city “to assist the police in the prevention of attacks on property and shops supposedly owned by Jews”. In total over 300 Jewish properties were affected by the rioting in Liverpool, and the police made 88 arrests

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sergeants_affair#Riots

  219. @Kent Nationalist

    Yes, it was rather hilarious seeing the establishment abandoning BLM when their Twitter account put out a tweet in support of BDS earlier this year.

    The problem with the right nowadays is that it has bought into the counter-jihad narrative too much. As I said earlier, the current Palestine advocacy in the West has an anti-White undercurrent to it, so right-wingers hijacking it for their own ends would serve to neutralise this source of antagonism towards Whites.

    In regards to your comment about the Sergeants Affair, I believe there were some riot hit areas where graffiti of “Hitler was right” was seen. Ironically some of the British soldiers who had liberated Bergen-Belsen camp later found themselves under attack from Zionist terror groups as they were re-stationed to Palestine.

  220. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I know that Soma has also been used for moon, the beverage itself might have been called that way because of its opalescent whitish “moon-like”appearance. Sudzuki translated Soma in Lankavatara Sutra as moon.

    I am also aware about Madhu, and in most Ugro-Finnic languages the word for honey is meti. But the honey might have been used simply to sweeten the herbal melange and make it palatable.

    Zoroastrian priests have been historically documented using ephedra. A small bundle of ephedra twigs was actually one of their priestly symbols.

    The cannabis was used by ancient Scythians from the most ancient times. I agree that the local landraces of Cannabis in Central Asia are quite low in THC compared to the stuff sold today in the West.

    Given the description of Soma in the Vedas and the Haoma ritual of passage for the Persian kings, I suspect that this sacred beverage has been a strong psychedelic with stimulating and nootropic properties. I agree that the mushrooms don’t fit this description.

    But a mix of of different ethnobotanicals might well have been used as it was (and even is the case today) often the case in “primitive ” cultures. As I wrote in my comment above, ethnobotanical studies should be made to find out what might have been the possible composition of that mix, there are several psychostimulating botanicals in Central Asia.

    I also agree that cannabis is far from innocuous, it is clearly a comorbidity problem in psychosis and schizophrenia. It doesn’t work well for a lot of people. But these herbs were never meant to be used for recreational purposes, they were used by knowledgeable people in clearly defined ritual setting. The modern commercial use is a profanation.

    But we do live in degenerate times.

    [MORE]

    On a lighter note:

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  221. @Ano4

    There is very little of historical evidence of Cannabis use in a religious context in the pre-Islamic invasion India, to me it seems that the popularity of weed came with the Islam to the Indian subcontinent, its just that some westerners have ulterior motives, like justifying their own drug use, or desire to find parallels with their hedonistic society and so they input such motifs to other cultures.
    But there is a possibility that it was Ephedra, still it would be much milder than real psychedelic drugs, maybe somewhere between cup of coffee and amphetamines, and where in the Vedas you have found that Soma had psychedelic effects? Still there clearly was different groups of Aryans with divergent religious and cultural practices, those who mixed culturally more with the conquered natives and those who did not as much, or somewhere between. We must remember that ancient Iranic people came to the lands of BMAC and Elam and conquered them, who knows how much they absorbed religious and cultural influences from those cultures? Same with the Indian subcontinent, there was clearly a constant movement of small tribes and conquerors from the Central Asia and Afghanistan to India, a movement that continued all the way to the 18th century, until finally stopped by the Sikhs and British.

    Also ancient Arabs didnt smoke, but they ate Hashish, there is practically no evidence that people smoked Cannabis before the Columbian exchange. Even Herodotus just says that Scythians heated Hemp seeds on hot stones.

    “After the burial the Scythians cleanse themselves as follows: they anoint and wash their heads and, for their bodies, set up three poles leaning together to a point and cover these over with wool mats (περὶ ταῦτα πίλους εἰρινέους περιτείνουσι); then, in the space so enclosed to the best of their ability, they make a pit in the center beneath the poles and the mats and throw red-hot stones into it. . . . the Scythians then take the seed of this κάνναβις (kannabis) and, crawling into the tents, throw it on the red-hot stones, where it smoulders and sends forth such fumes that no Greek vapor-bath (πυρία) could surpass it. The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapor-bath”
    -Herodotus

    Seems to be some kind of herbal Banya to me and not gathering of stoners…
    Oh Banya one of the greatest joys of the life!

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Ano4
  222. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Interesting. An English friend of mine became a Buddhist a few years ago and I’m being told that she stopped drinking alcohol altogether because of that. What kind of Buddhism might she be practicing?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  223. AP says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    So you were writing about yourself before I wrote about you? Unlike you with regards to those whom you stalk , I don’t read the content of most of your posts.

    But it’s funny that admit that this movie scene has been on your mind for a long time.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  224. @Mikel

    I dont know what kind of school of Buddhism she is following based on just that fact. But every branch of Buddhism believes that its preferable for laypersons to abstain from intoxicants and for monks its part of the monastic code. Outside of the Buddhist monastic community we dont have strict rules like in Islam, so its more matter of personal devotion and morality how much we try to emulate the Buddhas example. There are many kind of vows that a layperson can take, but they are always voluntarily. So to make this clear, Dalai Lama did not advice that using alcohol is in anyway good, but its better to use alcohol in small amounts and moderately than its to use other drugs or even to smoke.

    We dont believe like some totalitarian systems or religions that by forbidding something you can just magically solve problems, like the Catholics with their stupid and fanatical opposition towards contraception. Yes, yes, from a Buddhist point of view free sexual relations and purely hedonistic love is not the most virtuous thing in the world, but its very small vice in comparison to abortion, which is killing of living being. So from Buddhist point of view its the best if people dont commit vices, but if they do its better that they commit small vices and not big ones, so better to drink little bit some times than shoot heroin, better to have sex with contraception than abort babies etc..

    And dont say now that something is forbidden from the Buddhist monks and the nuns, Buddhist monastics take voluntary vows, they are not forced into that situation, nor are they forcing anyone to live by that way. As long as they live by the vows they are monks, they break the vows and they are not anymore monks, simple as that! Although there is a difference between the great vows and smaller rules, its only when one breaks one of the greater vows, so called Pratimoksha vows that one loses his monkhood, smaller vows can be amended by various ways, confession of breaking of the vow, repenting, penance etc.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @AaronB
    , @Mikel
  225. @Anatoly Karlin

    I am sure that by 2030 it will be 3x the US size by both MER and PPP.

    giggles.. want to bet? 🙂

    Extrapolating from Korean and Japanese per capita performance

    Korea and Japan both got rich because they explicitly accepted being part of the US subcolonial puppet network. That gave them preferential access to the US market and Washington turned a blind eye towards pretty insane protectionist policies, e.g. Korea outright banned car imports in the 1960s in order to build their own car industry. Not to mention massive currency manipulation, which Taiwan continues with until this very day. There’s no free lunch in geopolitics, and the ‘East Asian Tigers’ knew that.

    The working assumption in the US was that China would follow the same path as them. That obviously did not happen, hence all bets are now off. Any assumptions based on extrapolating from them onto China is now irrelevant. The situation is radically different.

    As I keep emphasising, the US not only controls the foreign policy of its own nation but uniquely, that of most other advanced countries. Hence the bullying of Huawei, the investment blockades into high-tech companies in Europe etc etc.

    China cannot shut itself from the world and expect to be rich. It’s too poor to solely rely on its domestic market. A rich country like the US can. China cannot. Yet, this is the foolish path they are now treading. They can only play that game by leveraging up, but that too will run into the Japanese wall. And they’ll hit it at much lower incomes.

    Nevertheless, China will gain in power relative to the US over the next 10-15 years. But it won’t be enough to supplant it, let alone match its total power projection because any of these match-ups cannot only be viewed as US vs China alone. One has to factor the colonial puppet networks each can bring to bear. So many Europeans and Westerners in general are so thoroughly brainwashed by US propaganda that it is with trifling ease that US media can direct ire towards any given country and get a massive network effect across the entire West. As any Russian will attest to. That speaks to the immense sway the US has over its colonial puppets. China has *nothing* comparable, and likely never will.

    • Disagree: Kent Nationalist
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  226. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Even Herodotus just says that Scythians heated Hemp seeds on hot stones.

    Sorry Altan, but you are mistaken. See bellow:

    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaaw1391.full

    The Ruderalis variety of cannabis grows naturally between northern Volga and southern Siberia. It has a very low THC content and is probably the most ancient variety. The Afanasievo and Andronovo ancestors have probably used it even in the neolithic, as one of commestible plants. During their migrations proto Indo-Europeans introduced it everywhere they moved. Progressively, more potent psychoactive strains have been selected.

    The landraces native to the Indian subcontinent are among the most potent found in the Old World, especially true for the “Afghani” cultivars (actually the ones from the ancient Gandhara and Oddyiana) the ones growing naturally in the Hunza valley are specifically renowned for their psychotropic properties.

    As our Sikh friend above mentioned, the Indians use cannabis in bhang and have probably done this from times immemorial. They have also smoked charras resin since very ancient times.

    All the ancient cultures had their own psychedelic potions, for example the Megalithic Culture ritual sites in the Btitish Isles have provided evidence of the use of henbane.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfarg

    Bodhidhama on the opposite side of the world and 3500 years later also mentioned henbane and the visions it induced in his writings. And of course the usage of psychedelics in pre-Columbian America is well attested.

    The hippie and new age movement simply did some cultural appropriation and transformed sacred into profane. This is of course normal for Westerners, although some of them really moved into the opposite direction towards the truly occult and esoteric, but that is another story altogether.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  227. @Pericles

    I’m currently not in Stockholm, but my friends there seem relaxed about it.

    That is congruent with my experiences as well. Facemask usage is 1% at most. We have many more cases than we had in the spring, officially, but our testing is also far higher. I’ve been tracking the ICU numbers and they are still far below the peaks of the spring.

    All in all, I think life in Sweden during the pandemic has been better than in virtually any other Western country save perhaps a few other Nordic nations.

  228. @Thulean Friend

    giggles.. want to bet? 🙂

    See correction, it was a mistype, meant to write 2050 not 2030. I’ll happily bet even odds on China’s GDP (MER) being 2x+ that of the US come 2050.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  229. @AltanBakshi

    IIRC, didn’t the Buddha himself warn his followers not to treat him as a god but merely a human who ascended into nirvana. From my (admittedly shallow) understanding of Buddhism, he essentially wanted to stop any supernational worship because it would indirectly put barriers between him and his followers, preventing them to see the commonalities rather than differences.

    But, people being people, couldn’t stop themselves from treating him as a saint/god. I always felt that Buddhism was more a philosophy/way of life rather than a religion per se. Is that wrong? Spirituality is not enough in of itself to be a religion, it must contain the supernatural. But the message of the Buddha, as I understand it, is that there’s nothing supernatural about reaching nirvana. It requires no miracle or divine intervention. It is all within our grasp.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  230. Old Jew says:

    Karabakh ( in Turkish Karabag) Kara = black ; Dagh = mountain

    Similar MusaDag (famous novel The 40 days of Musadag) Musa= Moses Dag = Mountain

    A Brief History Of Musa Dagh Armenians

    Misc. Top Stories

    September 11, 2015

    mousadagh

    BY VAHRAM L. SHEMMASSIAN, Ph.D

    This essay is a brief account of the history of Musa Dagh Armenians from mid-nineteenth century to the present. Musa Dagh was situated by the Mediterranean Sea, in the Svedia sub-district within the Antioch district of the Ottoman Province of Aleppo. Presently, it is located in the Samandagh district in the Hatay province of Turkey. Armenians are believed to have lived in Musa Dagh since antiquity. To date, their origins remain shrouded in uncertainty. They spoke a dialect called Kistinik, meaning, the language of Christians. In nineteenth century, six main Armenian villages existed: Bitias, Haji Habibli, Yoghunoluk, Kheder Beg, Vakef, and Kabusiye, with a total of about 6,000 inhabitants. The original villages from which the others emerged were Haji Habibli, Yoghunoluk, and Kabusiye.

    The nineteenth and early twentieth century proved a period of change that transformed the Musa Daghtsis from an isolated, obscure, and ignorant lot to a conscious collectivity fighting for its very existence as part of the larger Ottoman Armenian community facing total annihilation by its own, Young Turk government. Several factors effected this transformation. A retired British diplomat by the name of John Barker, who had a summer residence at Bitias and other property in Kheder Beg, experimented with new vegetables and fruits acquired from around the world, improved the silkworm seeds for sericulture, the main occupation in the area, and introduced medicines to fight epidemic diseases. Equally important, foreign travelers visiting him exposed Musa Dagh to the outside world for the first time through their published accounts. American Protestant missionaries likewise made inroads in Musa Dagh beginning in 1840, leading to the establishment of Protestant churches in Bitias in 1857 and in Yoghunoluk in 1869-70. The direct or indirect teachings of the American ideals of equality and freedom must have impacted the people’s thinking to some extent. Then came Capuchin missionaries from Europe and established the St. Paul congregation in Kheder Beg in 1891. Their presence, too, must have influenced the locals in terms of European notions of human rights.

    Armenian clergymen, educators, and revolutionaries likewise stopped by Musa Dagh beginning mid-nineteenth century. When the Armenian National Constitution was promulgated in the Ottoman Empire in 1863, the Prelacy in Aleppo dispatched clergymen to its parishes in northwestern Syria to introduce reforms. As a result, the majority Apostolic community of Musa Dagh underwent some positive changes, albeit with difficulty. Similarly, as a consequence of the ongoing Armenian social, cultural, and political Renaissance across the empire, “national” primary schools were established in Musa Dagh, whereby youngsters began to learn about Armenian civilization with its accomplishments.

    Revolutionary societies penetrated Musa Dagh beginning in the 1890s. Outside activists belonging to the Social Democrat Hnchakian Party (SDHP) established there what they termed “absolute monarchy” from 1893-96. Many Musa Daghtsis, including large numbers of women, adhered to the SDHP, were indoctrinated, and underwent some military training. A degree of “racial “awareness” was thus attained. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) became interested in Musa Dagh during the Zeytun uprising of 1895-96. Agents were sent to Musa Dagh in the early 1890s to introduce the party’s ideology and platform. An actual ARF sub-committee was formed in 1908. The Reformed Hnchakian Party had a cell in Haji Habibli beginning in 1911, and a few followers in some of the other villages. All three parties smuggled arms into Musa Dagh for self-defense, although their respective quantities cannot be verified. The need for self-defense became more acute during the 1909 Armenian massacres in Cilicia and northwestern Syria. Musa Dagh was spared the carnage thanks to the self-defensive measures it adopted as well as the presence of a British warship that prevented the Muslim ruffians from assailing Musa Dagh.

    In late July 1915, when Musa Dagh received a deportation order, two-third of the population chose resistance, whereas one-third complied with the command and was deported to the Syrian city of Hama and environs. More than half perished as a result of exposure, malnutrition, and diseases. The defiant majority fought the Ottoman Army and Muslim irregulars for more than forty days, and was rescued by French warships monitoring the coastline and taken to Egypt, where they would stay for four years in a refugee camp on the eastern banks of the Suez Canal across from Port Said. The international press covered this heroic saga with editorials, articles, and pictures. Material assistance poured into the camp from around the world. In 1933, Franz Werfel, a Jew then living in Vienna, Austria, published a historical novel, titled The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. It was translated from its original German into numerous languages in subsequent years. Musa Dagh became a household name globally, and the saga itself was immortalized. It also inspired artists and intellectuals alike to create works that heartened especially oppressed people with messages of hope for survival. Unfortunately, a film project by the movie giant Metro-Goldwin-Mayer (MGM) was shelved due to pressure exerted by the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the US State Department. Fortunately, another film is currently in the pipeline.

    At Port Said, the refugees lived in tents, and were fed through bakeries, a kitchen, and a soup kitchen. Children attended the Sisvan (old name of Cilicia) school run by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). The infirm were tended to in a clinic-hospital supported by the Armenian Red Cross. Men and women alike worked in various industrial departments operated by the American Red Cross and the British Friends of Armenia Society. Some 500-600 youths in 1916 formed the backbone of the French Légion d’Orient, later renamed the Légion Arménienne. This force, augmented by Armenian volunteers from the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, fought victoriously against the Ottoman Army at the Battle of Arara in Palestine on September 19, 1918, thereby facilitating the Allied occupation of the rest of Greater Syria as well as Cilicia.

    In 1919, the refugees at Port Said and survivors at Hama repatriated to Musa Dagh. The following two decades witnessed reconstruction and the resumption of old professions such as comb, spoon, and charcoal making, sericulture, and farming. A new textile industry inspired hope for a better future. Bitias, in particular, became a popular tourism and vacationing center. The three denominations reopened their churches and schools. Voluntary associations sought to ameliorate religious, educational, social, and cultural life. The SDHP and the ARF vied for political dominance through local councils and regional legislatures, with the latter party succeeding to a larger extent. Unfortunately, all this would come to an abrupt end in the summer of 1939, when France ceded the Sanjak of Iskenderun/Alexandretta, an autonomous province in northwestern Syria encompassing Musa Dagh and other Armenian communities, to Turkey. The overwhelming majority of Armenians chose to leave the area for other parts of Syria, and Lebanon, fearful of Turkish rule so tarnished with brutality in recent memory. Only 6 percent of Musa Daghtsis elected to stay behind. They are now concentrated in the village of Vakef/Vakifli, which has been showcased in recent years as the only Armenian village left in Turkey.

    mousadagh2

    The majority that departed Musa Dagh encamped temporarily at Ras al-Basit, along the Mediterranean between the Armenian enclave of Kessab and Latakia. They were relocated to a place called Anjar in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Not only did the French High Commission of Syria and Lebanon purchase the land, but it also constructed the houses. With much difficulty, hard work, and perseverance, Anjar in due course became a vibrant rural community. Last year it marked its seventy-fifth anniversary. In 1946-47, more than half of Anjar’s population resettled in Soviet Armenia.

    Wherever they may be, the Musa Daghtsis commemorate their heroic feat of 1915 annually. Monuments have also been erected. The Damlajik monument on Musa Dagh itself was inaugurated on September 18, 1932 with pomp and circumstance. The remains of the eighteen fighters who lost their lives during the resistance were interred in a fenced cemetery nearby. In Armenia, a majestic monument and an adjacent museum stand on a hilltop in the town of Musa Ler (Musa Dagh), between the capital of Yerevan and the Holy See of Echmiadzin. In Anjar, a memorial complex is situated between the Harach College (high school) and the St. Paul Apostolic Church. In Cambridge, near Ontario, Canada, an edifice likewise attracts celebrants each September.

    On this centennial of the Musa Dagh resistance to the Armenian Genocide, challenges remain. How to preserve Musa Daghtsi identity? How to preserve the dialect? How to impart the history? How to raise future generations conscious of their roots? And so on. Leadership, vision, imagination, ingenuity, technology, and other innovative approaches are key to meeting those challenges. Relegation to oblivion is not an option.

  231. @Ano4

    Maybe Bodhidharma wrote something about henbane, but he definitely did not use it nor did advocate its use. If you claim otherwise then please show your sources.

    The amount of THC in the Hemp seeds is minuscule, how Scythians could get high from that? Also I know from experience that Indian weed is not at all potent when compared to European homegrown, I also know many other westerners who think so and have actually been disappointed when smoking Indian stuff. But I have a faint recollection that I once read that some ancient Chinese burned Cannabis in an incense censer, still using Cannabis in such way one would get much milder effects than by smoking from pipe or joint. Also you should remember that ancients did not keep female plants separated from the male plants, when Cannabis gets fertilized its potency drops immensely. So okay maybe in ancient times Cannabis was sometimes burned in censers or eaten as Hashish, but the potency of the drug and the way to administer it were a far cry from the modern methods.

    All the ancient cultures had their own psychedelic potions, for example the Megalithic Culture ritual sites in the Btitish Isles have provided evidence of the use of henbane.

    Quite a projection, “all the ancient cultures,” for suprisingly many people and nations alcohol has been enough, at least in the case of Tibetans and Mongols, yes there are fringes in every culture, but we are not leftists, who claim that the margins of society are somehow normative for the rest of the people! I say this as a guy who has tried quite many things in his youth, although I have never thought that one can gain any spiritual or philosophical realisations by the way of the intoxicants. I have never understood people who claim such things.

    in the volume entitled Vendidad of the Zend-Avesta, Bangha (Bhang of Zoroaster), cannabis is referred to as a “good narcotic” (7, 41)
    R. C. Clarke, M. D. Merlin, Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany (University of California Press, 2013).

    I need to check this, its very common that dubious western scholars mistranslate terms. Like with the Mahakala Tantra’s “Shana,” which means Sunn hemp, which is not a psychoactive plant, but there are few American scholars who claim otherwise, that it means Cannabis. Even though there is present and historical concensus among Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist scholars that it doesnt mean Cannabis. Also your link claims that Pamir region was a channel of cultural movement and communication between China and India and had the strongest weed, but Pamirs were historically least preferred route to go from China to India, the mountains there are almost unsurpassable, most people travelled thourgh Dzungarian gates or through Kyrgyzia, Pamirs have been a remote and backwards place all of the history till the present time. Even the Khotan-Ladakh route was better than through the Pamirs. But yes I believe your articles claims that people burned weed in braziers, I will now repeat myself, but still with fertilized cannabis that has grown outside, it couldnt been anywhere near the potency of nowadays homegrown extremely potent western strains. My theory is still that Soma was mead, at least originally but maybe it had some mildly psychoactive herbs like the gruit of the medieval era, before they started to add hops to beer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruit

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
  232. @Anatoly Karlin

    My position is clear: I do not see China having twice the size of the US economy up to 2050. The reasons why have been elucidated at length in previous comments.

    Let’s bet. We have plenty of witnessess for accountability.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  233. Passer by says:

    Guys, is the EU lying, or is it retarded? Why is it saying that we are undergoing a global power shift?

    European Commission:

    The diffusion of power among countries and from countries to informal networks will have a dramatic impact by 2030, largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750 and increasing Asia’s weight in the global economy and world politics.

    By 2040, the economic power of E7 (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Mexico and Turkey) could be double the size of that of G7 (USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Italy), from being the same size in 2015 and half the size in 1995.

    By 2030, no country will be a hegemonic power —nor the USA, China, nor any other large country. Enabled by communications technologies, power almost certainly will shift more toward multifaceted and amorphous networks composed of state and non-state actors that will form to influence global policies on various issues.

    By 2030, Asia might surpass North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, given its higher rate of economic growth, larger population, increasing military spending, and growing technological investment. China alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the United States a few years before 2030. Meanwhile, the economies of Europe, Japan, and Russia are likely to continue their slow relative declines.

    The economies of other non-Western states such as Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey, and others that are middle tier today could rise by 2030. Individually, most of these countries will remain second-order players because of the power of China and India. However, as a collective group, they will begin to surpass Europe, Japan, and Russia in terms of global power by 2030.

    The “Next Eleven” (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam) are projected to collectively overtake the EU-27 in global power by 2030. Combined with the growing influence of China and India, this intensifies the impact of geopower shift, as it might be reflected in the regional power transitions that will be ongoing by 2030—some of the more dynamic occurring outside of Asia, where China and India are already consolidating their regional positions.

    Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDE) enjoyed good growth over the last two decades. Their short-term growth rate is around 4%, while that of the advanced economies is less than 2%.

    In 2018, the share of world GDP (PPP) of the G7 countries decreased to just under 30%, while that of emerging markets and developing economis reached 60%, a trend that is expected to continue. China’s share alone reached almost 20%, while that of the USA was 15% and that of the EU 16%.
    By 2030, the middle class is expected to grow by 150% (to 2 billion people) in the BRIC countries and by 116% (to 730 million people) in the N-11 countries.

    Chinese state-to-state finance is the highest sovereign lending in the LAC region, surpassing that of the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank. China Development Bank and China Eximbank have provided over $140 billion in finance to LAC between 2005 and 2018.

    By 2050, EU’s share of global GDP might decrease to 9% (from 16% in 2018).

    By 2030, Germany will likely remain the leader of the EU countries because of its economic growth prospects, but will be challenged by an ageing population.

    https://ec.europa.eu/knowledge4policy/foresight/topic/expanding-influence-east-south/power-shifts_en

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  234. @Thulean Friend

    IIRC, didn’t the Buddha himself warn his followers not to treat him as a god but merely a human who ascended into nirvana. From my (admittedly shallow) understanding of Buddhism, he essentially wanted to stop any supernational worship because it would indirectly put barriers between him and his followers, preventing them to see the commonalities rather than differences.

    No this is somewhat false, every school of Buddhism believes that the Buddha is higher than any god, the highest possible being, a true ubermench. We dont have a lack of superlatives when describing the Buddha. This state of affairs in our religion has been reality for as long as we have historical evidence of the Buddhism, there are so called “Secular buddhists,” who claim otherwise, they are a modern western invention and heretical by the standards of all traditional or historical Buddhist schools. Hmm actually yes, you are partially correct, we should not treat him as a god because he has gone beyond all gods and men, he is is greater than any god. But yes all Buddhas were originally men and we all have that same potential in us.

    But, people being people, couldn’t stop themselves from treating him as a saint/god. I always felt that Buddhism was more a philosophy/way of life rather than a religion per se. Is that wrong? Spirituality is not enough in of itself to be a religion, it must contain the supernatural.

    There is nothing wrong to take some inspiration from Buddhism or Buddhist practices and improve ones life, even though one is not a Buddhist, in this way some Buddhist practices could be used for betterment of individuals life. But sadly from western secular point of view we are a religion, our doctrine would not make sense at all without belief in rebirth, Karma, different states of existence, enlightenment etc. Although by walking Buddhist road one will gain empirical proof about them, or will gain step by step greater and more nuanced understanding about such topics. Still in beginning one needs to trust Buddha, I think that secular westerner would perceive such trust as a religious faith. But the truth is somewhere in the middle, between faith and trust, in Buddhism we first test ourselves the basic teachings of Buddha in our life and little by little go further and further, if Buddhas guidance and medicine works, then it means that Buddha is trustworthy, if not then we are maybe not administering the medicine in the right way or we dont follow his teachings a right way, or that the Buddhism is wrong and we should to something other with our lives, or that we are just lazy!

    But the message of the Buddha, as I understand it, is that there’s nothing supernatural about reaching nirvana. It requires no miracle or divine intervention. It is all within our grasp

    This is completely true, its not an easy road, but then not trying to become enlightened is even harder, its like trying to hurt oneself and others in all possible variations for infinity.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Ano4
  235. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    However, Buddhist monks like Ryokan were famous tippers who wrote about their love of alcohol, and Chinese Buddhist inspired poetry is full of celebration of wine.

    As always, Chan is a bit different.

    • Troll: AltanBakshi
  236. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Buddhists believe God’s are still trapped in Samsara, the world of struggle and pain, so however powerful and pleasant their lives they are not free.

    Buddha’s are superior to God’s not because they are more powerful, but because they they are free from Samsara. The word superior here isn’t actually appropriate – Buddha’s are not more powerful than Gods, just free of that whole world where being powerful is important.

    Pure Land Buddhism functions essentially as a monotheistic religion with a God.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  237. I’m being told by rightoids all the time that I’ll be forcibly culturally colonised by the immigrants. Meanwhile:

    https://www.instagram.com/reel/CHX_edWhLaK/

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  238. Miro23 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    The RCEP is quite well integrated economically (raw materials/ manufacturing/ exports & imports). Also it doesn’t impose social policy – so it may work – maybe even follow the European Union and adopt a common currency. Asian dollar?

    Probably why the US hates it so much. Not only is it a threat to US dollar hegemony – it also detaches Australia and New Zealand from the US orbit.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  239. ਭਾਂਗ ਨੁਗਦ ਲੈ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਰ ਡਾਰੈਂ ਜਾਂਕੇ ਦਾਸ ॥ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਅੜਨੈ ਜੋਗ ਵਹੁ ਤੁਰਤ ਹੋਇ ਤਿਸ ਨਾਸੁ ॥39॥
    Taking the Name while throwing the Cannabis Nugdha at the heads of the enemy, the servants of the Gurus left the enemies with no other measure but to quickly die.

    Nughda is the fibrous husk left over from making Sukh Nidhan or Bhang.

    ਸੋਫੀ ਸ਼ੂੰਮ ਪੰਥ ਨਹਿ ਰਾਖਨ । ਕਿਯ ਕਿਸ ਦਾਰੁਨ ਕੇ ਅਭਿਲਾਖਨ |
    “I will not keep misers and teetotalers in my Panth, [my Singhs] will have the desire for vicious warfare.”

    ਇਨ ਕੇ ਦਰਸ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕੋ ਦਰਸਨ ਬੋਲਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗ੍ਰੰਥਾ
    To behold the Khalsa is to behold the True Guru; the Speech of the Guru is within the Words [Shabad] of the Guru Granth Sahib
    ਸਰਬਲੋਹ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ, ਭਾਗ 2, ਪੰਨਾ 496
    Sarbloh Granth, Volume II, Page 496

    For a Sattvic or purity based lifestyle like Brahmin or Sanyasi, drugs should be avoided.
    However, they are part of the Kshatriya Maryada of the House of Nanak.

    THC alone is nothing even few grams. CBD with THC even few mg you’ll be done.
    Ingest with pepper and no negative effects or tolerance build up.

    Regarding historic stuff, Khalsa is here today no need to worry about past or future||

    [MORE]

    ਵੇਦ ਉਦਧਿ ਬਿਨ ਗੁਰੁ ਲਖੈ ਲਾਗੈ ਲੌਨ ਸਮਾਨ ॥ ਬਾਦਰ ਗੁਰ ਮੁਖ ਦ੍ਵਾਰ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸੇ ਅਧਿਕਾਨ ॥
    The ocean of the Vedas, seems like salt water to one who studies without a teacher. [The same, when received as rain] from clouds that are the teacher’s words, is sweeter than nectar.

    اشر از بهر پاسبان ی شأن سرگرم وصف خوانی ی شان

    The ten avatars of Vishnu exist in order to watch guard over the Sangat; the four Vedas are lovingly engaged in singing their virtues.

    Nanak who was holiest of holy, whoever grasped
    the feet of holy Nanak, he attained such power.

    He made sparrows hunt hawks, lambs slay tigers.

    They who have hundred of thousands of horses and many thousand cannons, they who rule sitting on thrones, his [Guru Nanak’s] servants do destroy.

    The nugdha of cannabis, uttering the name [of the enemy] at who’s head his [Nanak’s] servants cast, he remains no longer capable of resisting and is destroyed right away. -Sri Gur Panth Prakash, Akali Rattan Singh Ji.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  240. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The storm troopers don’t have any honor. Antifa is storm troopers, anti is a ruse, they are fascists.

    You are 100% correct.

    The Fascist Stormtroopers of Antifa are the new blackshirts (1)

    Both Hitler and Mussolini were perhaps the original and most dedicated ideological warriors for social justice. But the German National Socialists and Italian Fascists represented more than a brutal force that sent stormtroopers and blackshirt thugs to shout down rivals, block free speech, break shop windows, throw tear gas at opponents, and bash heads. They also represented a nationalist, collectivist and Marxist-inspired ideology that sought a “socially just” welfare society by redistributing everyone’s wealth.

    You cannot have National Socialism without first having Socialism. Fascism is actually a form of far-left extremism. It is diametrically opposed to the fundamental concept of individual liberty that is core to the political right.

    The Fascist Stormtroopers of Antifa hate the idea of Constitutional Rights for individuals. To Antifa, all property belongs to the state. Invading and damaging personal property is consistent with their core Fascist belief system. Free Speech is also anathema to them. Those who dare to speak against their SJW authoritarian dogma must be silenced or coerced into conformity.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/lk-samuels/the-original-social-justice-warriors-hitler-and-mussolini/

  241. @AaronB

    As always Japanese are different. Find me one religious authority who is a Chinese ordained Buddhist monk who praises drinking! And not those Shaolin Kung-Fu Drunken boxing guys, they are outliers.
    If you continue this I will start to blabber about worst examples of Judaism. Constantly, I dare you!

    As always AaronB is an ass.

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AaronB
  242. @sher singh

    اشر از بهر پاسبان ی شأن سرگرم وصف خوانی ی شان

    The ten avatars of Vishnu exist in order to watch guard over the Sangat; the four Vedas are lovingly engaged in singing their virtues

    Is this Satpanth stuff? Because of the Arabic or possibly Persian letters?

    I would think that good soldiers would not smoke weed, if you dont want any psychotic accidents at least. Some guy comes shell shocked from the battle and you give him a blunt, I dont think it will do any good. But maybe Sings are made from a different stuff than rest of us…

    • Replies: @sher singh
  243. @A123

    Anarcho-Communists are the real Nazis!!!

  244. @AltanBakshi

    Tausīf o Sanā’ by Bhai Nand Lal Goya

    I mean Vedic Aryas carry pouches of Bhang & Opium since time immemorial.

    Al Biruni writes the soldiers of Hind do not know flight from battle||

  245. @Mr. Hack

    Just make ur own oil in a slow cooker, 1 oz will get you over a year.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  246. @AltanBakshi

    Sorry about the ass insult. Ill fix it.

    As always AaronB is like an ass when he is writing about the Buddhism.

  247. A123 says:
    @Europe Europa

    It seems to me that anti-Muslim sentiment has largely replaced anti-Jewish sentiment on the right.

    That is because as a matter of objective fact Muslims openly murder Americans in the name of Allah. Some examples:

    — Boston Marathon — 3 Christians dead & hundreds injured by Islam
    — San Bernardino — 14 Christians dead & 22 injured by Islam
    — Orlando / Pulse — 49 Christians dead & 53 injured by Islam

    As long as Islam is a physical threat to Christianity, for good reason no other message will move that aside.

    So the question becomes, “When will violent Jihadis stop killing Christians?”

    The Saudi money for violence against Christians was cut off years ago. Although, that did not deplete existing bank-rolls that were already smuggled out, such as Osama bin Laden’s.

    Stopping new Iranian funding for Muslim butchers killing Christians is an obvious choice. Barack Hussein’s pallets of terror money to the Ayatollah simply emboldened Shia Jihad against infidels (Christians and Jews).
    ____

    Violent Islam has convinced the world that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian God must stand together or die separately. Now that this alliance is unshakable, political Islam would be wise to offer a just peace in Jewish Palestine instead of the false hope of re-occupying Jewish land.

    Iranian al’Hamas Jihadists have destroyed the aquifer under Gaza. The lack of fresh water will necessitate the evacuation of 1.5MM+ non-Palestinian Muslims in the next decade or two. Taking that problem seriously, a Right to Return to Muslim Homeland, would be a huge step forward for political Islam if they want peace with Infidels (Christians & Jews).

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @songbird
  248. @AaronB

    Buddhism of the tantric variety seems especially fond of not only cannabis, but also of the deliriant datura.

    http://chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Psychoactive_Plants_in_Tantric_Buddhism

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: AaronB, Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AltanBakshi
  249. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    But it’s funny that admit that this movie scene has been on your mind for a long time.

    He/She is probably used to more opulent settings when engaging in the kind of activity depicted in the film. I don’t think that Geraldina is the type to be seen “roughing it” somewhere in the great outdoors?. 🙂

  250. @Thulean Friend

    What an unpleasant looking collection of women. I hope for Norwegian mens sakes that they do not ban the burkha.

  251. Mr. Hack says:
    @sher singh

    What exactly are you talking about? Is this a recipe for some kind of heady salad dressing to be drizzled over cannabis leaves and flower tops?

    • Replies: @sher singh
  252. @AnonFromTN

    With Biden’s advancing Alzheimer, the US needs AI more than anyone else.

    It might be interesting to see what difference AI could make in the future. In the meantime, I’d go for – common sense.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @AnonFromTN
  253. songbird says:
    @A123

    I seem to recall Pulse was some gay nightclub, and not some Christian seminary? Also, IIRC, one of of the woman killed at the Boston Marathon was from China. Probably not a Christian.

    • Replies: @A123
  254. A123 says:
    @Dieter Kief

    I’d go for – common sense.

    PEACE 😇
     

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  255. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Classic Indian Buddhism isn’t very friendly to Buddhism, you’re right.

    But when Buddhism migrated to China, it came under the influence of Taoism, which was already very similar to Buddhism to begin with, and Chan was born, which became Zen in Japan.

    Taoism is very friendly to alchohol. The classic Taoist texts use alcohol to draw an analogy to the ideal state of relaxation and self forgetfulness of the sage repeatedly.

    The Famous Seven Sages Of The Bamboo Forest, a classicand famous Taoist tale, has our sages wandering around aimlessly drinking gallons of alcohol and chasing girls and caring about nothing.

    I dont know of Chan authorities who favor alchohol, although I dont know for sure there aren’t. But many Chinese poets who write Chan Buddhist inspired poetry, often talk of drinking wine, and of course many Japanese.

    So wine is not so remote from Chan Buddhism, its part of the atmosphere so to speak.

    As for this being portraying Buddhism in a negative light, that depends on what you think of alchohol. I think its great.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @AltanBakshi
  256. @Dieter Kief

    In the meantime, I’d go for – common sense.

    If massive election fraud makes senile half-corpse “president”, common sense has no recourse except violence. It is hard to tell what would damage the US more: widespread violence or meek acceptance of the fraud. Either way, the road is down, much faster down the drain than would have been with common sense and Trump.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  257. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Altan, I ain’t gonna spend my time arguing about weed.

    😁

  258. A123 says:
    @songbird

    When the Avalanche is coming to crush you… Would expect safety by declaring, “The Avalanche is not real, I found one snow flake that cannot be on this mountain!” ?

    In certain hard sciences, like physics or mathematics, nitpicking can be virtue. In the real world, obsessing about trivialities is a good way to be run over by the Steamroller of Reality.

    I will not say that you hyper-nitpicking ultra-technicalities are wrong. However, they are totally irrelevant.

    PEACE 😇

  259. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    We dont have a lack of superlatives when describing the Buddha

    Sure, we have some pithy ones in Zen.

    😁

  260. Ano4 says:
    @widugastiR

    The Buddhist ruins of the Taklamakan oases feature frescoes showing preparation of large leafed plants in big pots. The leafs look indeed quite similar to the datura ones. I always thought: these guys clearly used datura, but had no proof to the nature of the plant. Could you provide a link? I would appreciate.

    • Troll: AltanBakshi
  261. @A123

    Oh, if common sense doesn’t do – there’s still common nonsense left! – No need to worry! It’s gonna be a bright blue sunshiny – future!

    • LOL: A123
  262. @AnonFromTN

    Intellectual self-pity. – Since there are always people supporting my point of view and opposing it, no matter whether what I say is right or wrong, I might as well not bother too much about the others – JWv Goethe said that.
    Just plow away. The field of possible insights is there. And it is real if you’re lucky – which, especially in important cases, can only be known in hindsight (GWF Hegel said that while contemplating the flight of the – – – night-owl).

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  263. @Dieter Kief

    Purely intellectual insights might be nice when you write poetry, philosophy, or do something else not connected with everyday world. Neither Goethe nor Hegel had their retirement savings tied up in a stock market and denominated in the US dollars.

    The Empire was going down for the last 20-30 years, but it was relatively stable, going down slowly. So, one could hope that for another 10-15 years stock market bubble and US dollar/US treasuries Ponzi scheme won’t collapse. Not any more.

    Massive fraud in these elections delivered several mortal blows to the Empire. First, it undermined Americans’ trust in the elections, so that at least half of the country (likely more) now is convinced that “elections” are nothing but swindle. In reality, there was always fraud, but never on this scale and never this obvious. Second, the fraud is likely to install senile half-corpse as “president”. What’s more, if the patient dies, the next “president” would be unpalatable to 90% of the populace. The puppet-masters who pull the strings of the half-corpse and will be pulling the strings of the “successor” are utterly deranged. Hence, both economic and military catastrophes are inevitable. The decline will accelerate dangerously.

    I guess the only person to gain from this train wreck is Obama: he was the worst president in the US history, but we are going to have one or even two “presidents” much worse than him.

    If you live in one of the imperial vassals, you are going to suffer at least as much as Americans: what you (or at least your elites) considered the pillar of strong support will turn out to be an unreliable pole rotten through and through.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  264. @AaronB

    ‘As for this being portraying Buddhism in a negative light, that depends on what you think of alchohol. I think its great.’

    shouns’ like u du.

  265. @AaronB

    ‘…Pure Land Buddhism functions essentially as a monotheistic religion with a God.’

    So one would assume. Isn’t that true of monotheistic religions in general? That they have a god?

  266. @AaronB

    ‘However, Buddhist monks like Ryokan were famous tippers who wrote about their love of alcohol…’

    You’re on a roll! How big were the tips?

  267. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    hostile ,

    I haven’t seen the film (although thanks for the recommendation).

    However, the fact China is investing in American industry, will make Cold War between China and USA less likely, rather than more likely.

    Imagine if in the 1960s, in the Soviet Union, we were putting our country’s external investments into Detroit automobile industry, or Californian agriculture. The investor now has a financial interest in an economic success happening in America. This is a type of globalization (mutual investments between countries) which creates incentives for peaceful relations between USA and China – to say something a bit obvious.

    facing alien,

    This will be surely changing and dependent on the generation of Chinese people we meet in the future, as China is rapidly modernizing from a low level.

    Mainland Chinese people seem quite inadequate. But the primitivism of the current Chinese people, does not imply an immutable or mystically “alien” Chinese culture. It is more a temporary result of the present stage of historical and economic development in China.

    China will culturally converge much more to developed world, after China’s economy progresses through middle income trap.

    Think of the souls of young people in China today – they are not far from their third world peasant grandparents. They are now uprooted and thrown into a dystopian second world industrial environment; living in anthills, and under a political system where you can easily destroy your life and future by thinking too different.

    China is recovering from an unsuccessful and violent 20th century. Economically, its peoples’ lives are fast improving, but they are still poor and distant from the wealth and luxury that the soft Western Europeans have had too much of for generations (to the extent of overdosing and becoming enfeebled).

    China’s vast population is experiencing a certain national excitement in its successful industrialization projects, while still under its very centralized system, that requires obedience to your rulers, and intentional mental compromise from its people.

    As China develops economically across the century, the authorities’ control over the people will loosen, and we could expect that its future generations will become culturally more like Taiwan people. Taiwan people today seem already much more a culturally normal people.

    • Agree: utu
    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @utu
  268. Dmitry says:
    @Ano4

    Of course, cannabis is not the problem. (And this discussion about testicular atrophy in mice is from studies where they inject 20mg THC daily into the mother of male mice during pregnancy).

    If Martians had looked at similar studies in alcohol, they would believe that alcohol was an incredibly toxic substance for humans – and would be surprised to learn alcohol’s real role in our life: a central component in the development of civilization.

    A problem for cannabis is not the mild properties of the drug itself, but of some people’s immoderate usage levels, and a culture which does not focus on concept of moderation and occasional use.

    There was already known in popular Greek philosophy: moderation was idealized as one of the most important virtues of a man, and activities (including sex, exercise and reading) was judged to be good or bad depending on the frequency and degree of use, rather than according to the activity itself.

    Cannabis can be good in moderation; destructive in immoderation. But same is also true of going to the library or drinking orange juice.

    It seems that the main wise things about the historical societies’ application of a religious or ritual connotation to drugs, was not that they were useful for religion or ritual – but rather that the association limits dosage according to calendar.

    In our life today, if we would all drink alcohol only on Sunday, or smoke cannabis only when there is fullmoon – then we will be attaining the virtue of moderation, and there would be no negative effect to health or psychology.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Disagree: Yevardian, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Ano4
  269. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    In our life today, if we would all drink alcohol only on Sunday, or smoke cannabis only when there is fullmoon – then we will be attaining the virtue of moderation, and there would be no negative effect to health or psychology.

    That seems rather to err on the side of dull sobriety.

    I would suggest drinking alcohol 3-4 times a week in reasonable moderation (anywhere from 3-6 drinks), and getting completely shitfaced at least once every few months. Occasional periods of craziness are needed to maintain sanity- clear ones head, so to speak. The Middle Ages had the Fools Carnival.

    One must be moderate even in moderation, and not be a puritan about it.

    50 years ago, average people drank 7 or 8 drinks daily. People would have a drink when they woke up, a three-martini lunch, and a few glasses of wine with dinner. It has been suggested that the decline in genius is partly caused by the decline in tobacco and alcohol use, both of which stimulate the mind and imagination. We are perhaps the first civilization that tries to normalize very low levels of intoxication, which is probably necessary for high culture.

    There is a stigma for regulating your mood with alcohol, but not antidepressants. That’s illogical. Alcohol might be a much better mood regulator than modern sssri’s, which have bad side effects on personality. Obviously, this isn’t the case for problem drunks who turn violent, but I suspect that has other social reasons.

    Interestingly, there is no stigma to heavy drinking in Buddhist East Asia. Japan scarcely has the concept of alcoholism, and heavy drinking sessions are common among people with serious jobs. Likewise South Korea and China. Getting plastered, not just drinking in moderation, is considered to be essential to true male bonding and developing trust and is a regular feature of the social scene. Acting ridiculous while drunk isn’t held against you, as it is in the West.

    They understand you have to balance the rigid rules of society with letting loose.

  270. Ano4 says:
    @Dmitry

    We had quite a roll of a discussion about pot today (pun intended). My personal conclusion about the matter is quite similar to yours with one important caveat: the endocannabinoid system is very important to human physiology, which is very complex and the cultivars of cannabis are quite diverse as phytochemical assemblage goes.

    Therefore, there are people for whom it ain’t a big deal because of their genetic complexion, and there are others for whom it is absolute anathema. And different strains will also yield different results in the same people.

    One has to know what strains (if any) benefit them and one has to stick to the right dosage. Moderation is of cause paramount. One has to remember that already the earliest mention of cannabis in the Chinese pharmacea described a plant that “taken in excess leads to seeing of demons “. And that were not the 30% THC strains that one finds on the market today.

    This been said, there are more than a hundred of cannabinoids produced by the plant. I think that the future pure cannabinoid pharmaceutical usage is shiny. As already demonstrated by CBD and other less prevalent non-psychoactive compounds.

    Now, time for music!

    (This tune is safe with most strains and very appropriate by the times going).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  271. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    Very relaxing and ambient music that puts the listener up on cloud 9. Reminds me a little bit of Tangerine Dream. Speaking of which, Can Atilla is a huge fan of TD. He’s branched out a lot since his earlier days and is what I’m listening to these days. His expansive Ottoman music is grandiose and breath taking. I found this little gem, somewhat different than a lot of his grand music, but very beautiful, contemplative music. I hope that you give it a listen and find it as peaceful and satisfying as I do:

    • Replies: @Ano4
  272. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Thank you. That makes sense with regard to my friend.

    What never made sense to me is why the founders of the big religions wasted their time imposing strict dietary and lifestyle restrictions that hardly had any beneficial impact on their followers but failed to recommend lifestyle choices that would have had a tremendous impact.

    It sounds like Buddhism is much more relaxed than other religions like Islam, Judaism or Hinduism when it comes to what you can eat, drink or do with your body. But surely the Buddha, having achieved such a degree of enlightenment that he was actually able to escape the cycle of life and reincarnation, must have understood such simple concepts as the existence of germs invisible to the eye that cause grave diseases.

    If he did, why did he fail to advise people to follow simple hygiene practices to avoid germs and communicable diseases? So much suffering could have been avoided in those ancient times.

    Likewise, in a previous conversation you told me that the Buddha was somehow aware of modern concepts of cosmology such as the multiverse.

    But then surely he must have discerned much more simple concepts of cosmology, like the Earth being a semispherical object orbiting around the sun. Why did he never mention these basic facts so that his followers stopped believing in totally wrong assumptions about the world around them?

    Doesn’t it look as if in fact he was just another man of his time with a primitive understanding of reality who however managed to have some religious insights that impressed some people and gave birth to another one of so many religions that try to placate human existential fears?

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @AltanBakshi
  273. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    Prosperity is still novel to the Chinese, but as that novelty wears off they will likely develop the typical modern dissatisfactions.

    People look at authoritarian Chinese governments and conclude that Chinese people are docile. But in fact that China can only be governed successfully by an authoritarian government is proof that the Chinese are an anarchic people. For the same reason, Arab countries need dictators.

    The reason Westerners can be governed with a lighter hand is because they are more docile and conformist, so they can be allowed more freedom. The common idea that Western democracy shows that Westerners are more anarchic is, as most common sense notions, superficial.

    It seems that there is an optimal level of anarchy. Too much, and you will need a strong dictator who will impose a high level of conformity on you, squelching your creativity. If you are less anarchic, you can be trusted with a higher level of freedom, and you can be allowed to be creative.

    China created the best book on anarchism, the Tao Teh Ching, and anarchy has been a running theme in the best Chinese poetry and art for China’s entire history. This shouldn’t be forgotten. Of course in Confucius China also created the foremost philosophy of conformity.

    But how anarchic Chinese must have been to need to create a Confucius!

    • Replies: @Anon99
  274. Ano4 says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Hindu-Norse wannabe Kardashian sisters?

  275. @Mikel

    Brahmins already calculated speed of light & circumference of Earth long ago.
    Part of general Dharmic practice is ritual baths, hand washing etc.

    You’re showing your own ignorance of basic cultural context

    Which reminds me:

    I am convinced that I could have a more rational, informed conversation with an Arab, an Indian or even a dark as night African than I could with a western European. There’s something about whites with a degree of comfort and stability that makes them so confident in their own ignorance and completely impenetrable to reality. I’ve yet to meet an asian or a hispanic (even a black guy!) whom I couldn’t get to doubt their own beliefs when presented with just the right amount of information.

    But not white libs and western Europeans. They can be told just how many people their beliefs have gotten killed and they will still insist that they’re right. They’re just such vile people. I can no longer bring myself to be concerned when one of them gets durka’d in the streets. May the slavs one day rule the husks of their once lovely countries.

  276. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is very beautiful. Two musical gems that you share with me in 48 hours Mr Hack. You must have an impressive collection of musical records. I personally still regret my vinyls, that I left go some 25 years ago.

    And yes, Tangerine Dream was greatly appreciated in my youthful psychedelic days.

    [MORE]

    (Somewhat related to our botanical conversation, it appears that there is now a cannabis strain named after them:

    https://www.wikileaf.com/strain/tangerine-dream/

    Not quite surprising…)

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  277. Targaleto says:

    National Review published a very based article today:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/11/a-new-agenda-for-the-gop/

    Far better than what came before in vague condemnations over the “focus on the market above all;” here are concrete policy proposals. Granted, most aren’t going to be new to UR readers. But few GOP politicos read UR, many read NR and this will be the first exposure they get to such ideas.

  278. Mr. Hack says:
    @sher singh

    I don’t use any cannabis products, and therefore don’t know how and why I’d use this coconut oil infused cannabis oil? I do enjoy cooking with coconut oil and like to use it when frying up pancakes or when sautéing chicken meat to be used in making some sort of Thai curry. How do you use it and what does it do to/for you?

  279. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    Can Attila is a Turkish composer and is mostly known for his spirited “Ottoman trilogy” CD’s. They’re quite a bit different from this album of which you’ve enjoyed this one piece, and I think that you’d like them too. Can Atilla was very much a fan of TD’s music and has put out some modern electronic music too. I like his “Turkish” sound better. I have a “modest” size library of CD’s of about 500. I say modest because I have had friends with thousands of CD’s (literally walls of CD’s, and vinyl records too). I hope that Dmitry and Gerald have been following our musical conversation and have gained some new insights.

    To prolong matters, are you familiar with a Ukrainian/Russian jazz guitarist named Roman Miroshnichenko? One of my heroes, Al DiMeola has said some nice things about him, but I find it difficult to find much of his music out there, at least here in the West?

  280. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    “Taiwan people today seem already much more a culturally normal people.” – Yes. My very positive experiences with Chinese from Taiwan lead to extrapolate it on all Chinese until the reality forced me to correct it.

    “we could expect that its future generations will become culturally more like Taiwan people.” – If this happens at all it will not be soon. They are infected with a nasty virus of nationalism, superiority and revenge seeking. If they were a small nation it would not matter but them being huge we better watch out. The documentary “American factory” clearly shows with what kind of animal we are dealing.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Troll: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  281. @AnonFromTN

    The success of Apple didn’t bring much for regular Americans and hardly anything for the regular US workers – at least not much for those of them not invested in Apple stock (=close to everybody ). I understand that – not least, because I’ve studied Hegel, now that I think of it: He pointed out, that it is not without consequences to be – now I don’t follow his wording for a moment, but just his insight – as dominant as Apple and the US economy (=Apple’s medium). dominance, Hegel said, tends to make first people and then societies lazy what leads to the uprising of those one dominated – that’s the relation between the USA and industrialized Asia in a nutshell.

    A key parameter is (industrial, mainly) productivity-, measured in world market terms, which means: Tradable goods/ per hour workmanship. – Here the US (and big parts of Europe (not all parts of Europe) are in decline: Not much tradable US-goods on the world market.

    Another measure is currency dominance, supported by military force and dominance of the financial markets. Here the US elite seems to be still strong. This implies the – relative stability of the stock-market – one of Trump’s points of reference. (As an aside, I do think, that Matt Taibbi and Steve Sailer and Nicholas Taleb are here onto something. Nicholas Taleb in pointing out how fragile this system is. A systemic point that surfaced lately is the low-interest rates. They work fine but – at the cost of stability – not least of a custom so to speak, which regular people were used to until lately in Europe – to save in everyday life in good times to have a reserve for bad times. This rational behavior is threatened by the very low interest rates – and to make things worse, there are now negative interest rates here and there already. Plus – the EU steering capacity is undermining because the floods of central bank money simply can’t be precisely enough applied to sectors that increase overall productivity and thus are in huge parts consumptive. –   An unsolved problem.

    A rough sketch.

    I too find the number of people who think the US elections are fraudulent stunning – but reasonable at the same time. A high-tension mix, I’ll admit that.

    Do you know Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai?

    I found that convincing, but know not enough about this stuff to trust my impression. What do you think?
    (I’m a bit astonished that this video does not get more attention. I did send it to a German number cruncher who is working on an article about voter fraud in the US – but he too was hesitant – no official numbers in Dr. Ayydurai’s findings. Nothing – real in his – maybe all too cautious approach?).

    PS
    JWv Goethe did work in government and science (without him, no Haeckel in Jena – and maybe no Zeiss and Frege either because he did lay the groundwork at the university of Jena while – developing it as the minister of the Duke of Weimar (he understood quite a bit of physics and economics too).

    • Replies: @utu
  282. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Why are you so obsessed with Indians? I’ve never heard of anyone who wasn’t one to take any interest in that culture except imbecile hippies.

  283. @Yevardian

    To be fair, two of those girls are Sri Lankan and the other one is Iraqi

  284. @Blinky Bill

    Have you read it? Stoddard predicted the threat from the Yellow Races to White world supremacy 100 years ago!

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  285. @Yevardian

    The average India fan vs. the average China enjoyer

  286. Ano4 says:

    Eric Coomer PhD is the person responsible for security at Dominion Systems. Eric Coomer is an Antifa sympathizer. He was directly involved with Antifa activists to whom he ensured that “Trump will never win, period. “. Eric Coomer explained during a presentation that the Dominion System allows the “partners who are deemed worthy ” to directly access the election data and rearrange them “for marketing and commercial reasons “.

    Eric had also this posted on his Facebook page:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Em6Nip5XcAE6aZx?format=jpg&

    This person was responsible for preventing (probably more of ensuring) fraud from (probably more to be) happening in these elections on Dominion Systems’ end.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/11/report-anti-trump-dominion-voting-systems-security-chief-participating-antifa-calls-posted-antifa-manifesto-letter-trump-online/

    The face of the man who won the elections for Biden:

    in the future Woke United Socialist States of America, statues must be erected to this humble hero who alone defeated Trumpism. (I am laughing sardonically as I write).

    With all of this surfacing, I have a very hard time believing that any sane and rational person would doubt the (lack of) integrity in the presidential election in US of A (sarcasm on my part).

  287. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Yes I have, the first time when I was 16 and again about four years ago.

    “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

    Funny you ask, I was first introduced to Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech at about the same time. Also read the works of Jeffrey Hamm and Henry Williamson in my late teens.

  288. @Thulean Friend

    The Chinese are intelligent and hard workers, but they are autistic introverts.

    You’d have to be Chinese to grasp the meaning of this. 😉

  289. @Thulean Friend

    The Chinese are intelligent and hard workers, but they are autistic introverts.

    No race which talks so incredibly loudly can be introverted.

  290. @Blinky Bill

    Jesus H. Christ, how hard would it be to just boycott Chinese goods, refuse to pay Chinese debts and bring manufacturing back home? Surely that $700bn annual military budget is for this exact purpose, what will China do if America refused to pay its debts?

    Economists just make everything more complicated than it has to be, as a cover for their scams.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  291. @Kent Nationalist

    I think insular and ethnocentric would he the better description, which might as well turn out to be a strength for them.

    The Chinese students at my university used to form ethnic cliques, refuse to work with outsiders and talk very loudly in Mandarin. Nevertheless it was fascinating having them study here, the closest I will get to interacting with aliens.

  292. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    what will China do if America refused to pay its debts?

    It’s not what would China do, it’s how the whole world would react. If the US reneges on its debt obligations, nobody would buy US treasuries any more, as they would be shown to be worth less than the paper they are printed on. Even now many countries do not buy or even sell US treasuries, including obedient vassals like KSA. If the US lived within its means, there would be no problem. But the US spends trillions it does not have. The borrowing was based on the assumption that the US acts in good faith and will honor its debts. If this assumption is proved wrong, the US would suffer a monumental financial crisis, with dollar losing its status and anywhere between 80% and 95% of its value. The US will be forced to live within its means. In fact, even now the situation is precarious: Fed issues treasuries, and having no buyers, “buys” them itself, i.e., prints money. If you don’t smell a rat when someone buys his own debt obligations, I have a bridge to sell you.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @AaronB
  293. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It takes two to tango…

    The authoritarian CCP Elite Class likes the exploitation economy, because it allows them to keep the boot on their own people.

    Exploitation based exporters like China would face massive recessions, or great depressions, if the U.S. stopped buying. Worse yet, allowing workers to obtain the fruits of their labour would catastrophically undermine CCP Upper Class oppression of the Chinese Working Class. Those who set and personally profit from export driven economic policy cannot allow that to falter.
    ___

    Why do you think the CCP Elites are so hysterically resistant to Trump’s efforts to decrease U.S. dependence on Chinese imports?

    If the dollar is so obviously doomed, why is the CCP not encouraging trade detachment?

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  294. AaronB says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The borrowing was based on the assumption that the US acts in good faith and will honor its debts

    The debts were never meant to be repaid, but to be pushed off indefinitely.

    The whole thing is a pretense. The system is meant to go on indefinitely and never be resolved. There will never be a moment when China demands repayment- and there will never be a moment when the US pays. Nor is there designed to be.

    Much of the economy is make believe.

  295. @widugastiR

    Strange that this is your only first and only comment here on unz.com?

    This chinabuddhismencyclopedia of your link is incredibly sketchy site. There are numerous wild claims without any basis in reality. Lets inspect some of them.

    By the late 1960s, counterculture rhetoric strongly associated psychedelics and Eastern mysticism. Alan Watts tackled the topic in his 1962 book The Joyous Cosmology; Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, and Ralph Metzner later wrote a guide to psychedelic experiences based on the fourteenth-century tantric manual Bardo Thödol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead.[2]

    So? They are not Buddhists or Buddhist authorities. Nor is Aldous Huxley, really some one has been real “try hard” with his drug addled lies on this site.

    In one famous legend, the guru Hāḍipā of the Nāth siddha lineage is said to have broken a five-year fast by consuming enormous quantities of hemp, Strychnos nux-vomica (Kucila, the “strychnine tree”), and datura.

    Naths or Nathas are a Hindu Tantric lineage, again what this has to do with the Buddhism?

    Oh well this madness and slander continues and continues
    It is mentioned in the Kāmasūtra (ca. 4th–6th century CE), which says: “If food be mixed with the fruit of the thorn apple (dathura) it causes intoxication”. [18] It also advises a man to anoint his penis with honey infused with datura and long peppers (pippali = Piper lungum) before sexual intercourse to make his partner “subject to his will”.

    Kama Sutra is a Hindu scripture, we Buddhist believe that the god Kama is a literal demon, so again what the hell? I just cant fathom what kind of deluded being has composed this internet page, as I cant fathom what kind of deluded beings gain joy from reading such falsehoods.

    Datura is associated with several Hindu and Buddhist deities. Vāmana Purāṇa, a pre-modern devotional text dedicated to Vishnu (date unknown), tells that datura sprouted from the chest of the god Śiva.[20] Its flowers are sometimes used as ceremonial offerings—a practice that continues to this day in Nepal.[21] Wrathful deities in tantric Buddhism are said to be fond of datura,[22] which is sometimes used as a ritual offering to placate these deities.ref>De Nebesky-Wojkowitz R. Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities. Book Faith India. 1996. p 346,489. References to datura in the pre-eleventh century Vajramahabhairava Tantra have been used to argue on behalf of an Old World origin of Datura metel.

    Vamana Purana is a Hindu text, Vajramahabhairava or just Bhairava is a Hindu god, but sometimes Nepali Buddhists worship him, still in his Tantra Datura is not ingested but it symbolizes deadly poison which is burned and offered to malevolent forces so that they would perish. Strange Tantra I cant find which school or lineage of Hinduism or Buddhism has practiced it.
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/23658487?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    The Guhyasamāja Tantra (ca. 8th century CE) is generally considered one of the earliest extant Buddhist tantras.[27] This key scripture describes the basic architecture of tantric practice and is venerated by several schools of Tibetan Buddhism—particularly the Gelukpas, who take it as the central tantra.[28] In the Guhyasamāja Tantra, Buddha Vajradhara gives instructions for undertaking the destruction of evil-doers:

    Making an image of the enemy with the excrement and urine of those who follow the great Dharma, wrathfully burn it in a fire of thorn-wood, and even the Buddha will certainly perish. […] So he said black mustard-seeds, salt, oil, poison, and thorn-apple (datura), these are taught as the supreme destroyers of all the Buddhas.[29]

    I myself belong to Gelug school and Guhyasamaja Tantra is our main Tantra, and I must say that I am quite puzzled, seems that writer of this text has been under a heavy dose of psychedelics and watched movies of Jodorowsky and mistaked it as a Guhyasamaja Tantra or something? So again lies and slander, or maybe the Gelug monks are in conspiracy against me?
    Here is good general overview of Guhyasamaja Tantra, the writer Alexader Berzin belongs to a same school of Buddhism as I, also there are translations in German and Russian.
    http://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-studies/vajrayana/tantra-advanced/what-is-guhyasamaja-practice

    Oh well this is enough, I dont have time to debunk all the lies on that site, but if one looks footnotes its quite clear that most sources are of dubious origin or intentionally taken out from their context.

    Still for the great joy of Ano4 and AaronB there has been some rare fringe lineages of hybrid Buddhist and Hindu Shaivite or Shakti traditions in India, which possibly used hallucinogens, but those fringe lineages were an exception and outlier of Buddhist religion, they appeared in the last centuries of Buddhism in India, during the chaotic era of 12th and 13th centuries, when Buddhism was disappearing from India and mixing and diluting itself with Hindu Tantric traditions. No living school of Buddhism has its origins from those lineages and they were always an exception, born from chaos and societal collapse. I know that there will be always people who will be like “hah I knew it, they were not as good as they claimed to be,” when finding some oddity in the margins of the Buddhism. Such people are like tourists who travel to a country, which is populated with nice people, who are courteous, kind, honest and well ordered, but then when they see somewhere one drunkard or pub they are like “oh I knew it, they all are drunkards, arent they?” For such deluded beings there will be never peace, their mind is poisoned to the roots, and poisons everything that they perceive. The Buddhadharma of the Buddha has always taught people that intoxicants are not good, such has always been the view of Theravada, Mahayana, both Chan and Pure Land, both Madhyamika and Yogachara etc.
    We mainstream Buddhists cant control every fricking movement through history which has used the name of the Buddhism. No movement is free from such threat, as an example people have made crimes in the name of Christ or liberty as we all know, still it doesnt mean that Christ or liberty obliges people to do such transgressions, simple isnt it? Or maybe someone now will claim that the policy of the Bush administration was representative of values of freedom and Christianity, but even stupid people have their limits…

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  296. @AaronB

    Classic Indian Buddhism isn’t very friendly to Buddhism, you’re right.

    Oh you are right, you dont make sense! Next you will claim say that “water isnt wet and Hitler hated Nazis!”

    But when Buddhism migrated to China, it came under the influence of Taoism, which was already very similar to Buddhism to begin with, and Chan was born, which became Zen in Japan.

    Taoism is very friendly to alchohol. The classic Taoist texts use alcohol to draw an analogy to the ideal state of relaxation and self forgetfulness of the sage repeatedly.

    The Famous Seven Sages Of The Bamboo Forest, a classicand famous Taoist tale, has our sages wandering around aimlessly drinking gallons of alcohol and chasing girls and caring about nothing.

    Taoism and Buddhism are very different from each other, they have different goals and different motives, they were born far away from each other, yes Buddhism employed Taoist vocabulary in its early phase in China, in a same way Buddhism now employs the language of psychology in the west, still one would be utterly delusional if one would claim that Buddhism is now come under the influence of western psychology. Sad, you dont have any real arguments so you bring up a different religion and use it as an argument. Do you know which two religions have much more common with each other than Buddhism and Taoism? The holy languages of those two religions are even linguistic relatives? The answer is Judaism and Islam! As the Medieval Rabbinic authorities tell us, they even have a same God! Mecca is quite near Jerusalem, so they even have a closely connected cultural milieu unlike the regions of Ganges and Yellow river.

    I had a flash of an anger yesterday and I thought that I will go on offense , but no, I will not stoop as low as you, its clear that you get a perverse joy from misappropriation of Dharma, you strangely lack compassion and understanding towards other religions even though you probably dont like when anti-semites utter falsehoods about the Judaism.

    You constantly praise happiness, relaxation and carefree attitude, its like an obsession with you, but to me it seems that you lack those things and because of that you maniacally repeat again and again how people should just let things to be and just chill, but if one uses little bit analysis – one perceives that you are not the person who just lets things to be or doesnt care, people who really dont care or who are carefree or relaxed would not bother arguing about those matters in such attached and grasping way as you do.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  297. utu says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Thanks for the link to Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai YT presentation. They might be onto something but first they need to demonstrate that the same phenomenon they discovered that Y-X vs. X is linear with a negative slope is not happening with Biden votes. The voters X – voting party ticket and voters Y – voting Trump but not party ticket are two different kind of voters and I do not see why Y/X being constant should be expected.

    So, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai needs to do similar analysis with Biden votes. Will the plots for Biden votes complement plots for Trump votes?

    One more thing: in their examples they make a mistake of assuming that absolute numbers of votes Y and X are the same. This is not true. Actually one may expect that when X is large, say 60% then the number of X voters is smaller than number of Y voter than when X is small, say 15%.

    Thew problem with most of YT persuaders is they put all their energy in persuasion.

    • Thanks: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @utu
  298. @A123

    Why do you think the CCP Elites are so hysterically resistant to Trump’s efforts to decrease U.S. dependence on Chinese imports?

    That’s for reasons you stated correctly: Chinese economy is export-driven and can become consumption-driven in maybe 20-30 years, not earlier.

    If the dollar is so obviously doomed, why is the CCP not encouraging trade detachment?

    Who else was stupid enough to destroy his own production capacity as much as the US? Who else can buy as much Chinese crap as the US? If the US does not buy it, a lot of their sub-standard crap would have no buyer. The US is in a unique position vs China, and China is almost as interested in not allowing the Ponzi scheme to collapse as the US. However, all your arguments only make sense while what China gets has value (that’s the answer also to #309 to AaronB). Chinese elites feel the danger and are frantically expanding into other markets, including European, taking advantage of the fact that European corporations out of blinding greed are doing the same thing as the US corporations did before: shifting production to China. Chinese elites will support the existing Ponzi scheme, but would avoid being left holding the bag. That “honor” they will leave to Japan, which, being an occupied country, does not have much freedom of maneuver.

    • Replies: @A123
  299. Blissex says:
    @AaronB

    «Because the element of play has been eliminated from our culture. Remove play, and culture disappears.»

    My impression is that play has been removed from the culture of the servant classes, but the master classes love to play around, with yachts, rockets, hyperloops, whatever.

  300. @Mikel

    If he did, why did he fail to advise people to follow simple hygiene practices to avoid germs and communicable diseases? So much suffering could have been avoided in those ancient times.

    He did not fail advise people on such matters, everywhere Buddhist monks travelled, they brought their standards of hygiene with them, bathing, shit sticks, ancient form of toilet paper, that one should wash often ones clothes and bed sheets, that one should not spit, urinate etc in the bodies of water like rivers and lakes. Many ancient ruins of Buddhist monasteries have baths and well made drainage and sewage systems.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit_stick

    I dont know if he spoke about the microbes, but there are occasions when he talked about minuscule beings.
    ” I was full of pity even for (the beings in) a drop of water thus: ‘Let me not hurt the tiny creatures in the crevices of the ground.’ Such was my scrupulousness.”—MN 12
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.012.ntbb.html

    I didnt find any Tibetan sources translated to English from the internet, but I can say at least that I have heard Tibetan prayers where monks pray that the food that they digest will nourish all the small creatures in their body. Hygiene in Buddhism, both mental and physical are major stuff in Dharma, maybe even majority of the rules of Buddhist monks are related to hygiene.

    But then surely he must have discerned much more simple concepts of cosmology, like the Earth being a semispherical object orbiting around the sun. Why did he never mention these basic facts so that his followers stopped believing in totally wrong assumptions about the world around them?

    We have much more nuanced view about such things, its complicated to explain, but that our planet is spherical or semispherical is for us only a one view among others, not ultimate truth, such knowledge is not necessary for the salvation according to Dharma. No we are not flat Earthers, but you could also claim that Earth is heap of aggregates or atoms, or that Earth is empty of its own inherent existence, or that Earth is just a conceptual designation etc, these and some other descriptions are mentioned in the Buddhist texts. Or lets just say shortly that there are innumerable truths, Buddhism is just occupied with truths that help with the solving of the problem of suffering.

    Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, “What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the simsapa forest?”

    “The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the simsapa forest are more numerous.”

    “In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven’t I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.

    “And what have I taught? ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress’: This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.

    “Therefore your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress.’ Your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’”

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Mikel
  301. @AltanBakshi

    Doesn’t it look as if in fact he was just another man of his time with a primitive understanding of reality who however managed to have some religious insights that impressed some people and gave birth to another one of so many religions that try to placate human existential fears?

    You are free to have your own beliefs regarding the Buddha and his importance, you in all likelihood have good reasons for your opinions, as we have for ours.

  302. @AltanBakshi

    widugastiR if you still claim that some Buddhist scriptures advocate Cannabis or Datura as intoxicants or that one should need to ingest them – you have the burden of proof, not me. Next time at least show citations from some real Buddhist texts and not some shitty and dubious internet encyclopaedia.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @widugastiR
  303. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Altan, whether early Tantrikas used sexual magick or entheogens is really not important. Tantra has evolved in many directions, some of them Buddhist. The Tantric Buddhist schools today do not (openly) advocate for the use of psychoactive plants or sexual magick. That is all that matters. The past is past, no need to get upset about it.

    And just to make things clear; I do not and have never advocated using psychedelics. I don’t think it is necessary for spiritual betterment. I was just replying to our Sikh friend who wanted to discuss the supposed benefits of cannabis and opium for male fertility.

    I have personally not needed to use any plants at all to become a father of four. Although I drink an awful lot of tea, perhaps this helps.

    (You know that tea drinking is an integral part of Ch’an/Zen practice, right? All this L-theanine is very enlightening… Just kidding).

    On a lighter note:

    🙂

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  304. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I’m sorry, I meant to say classic Indian Buddhism wasn’t very friendly to alcohol. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip 🙂

    I actually do have a lot of compassion for you. I think you suffer a lot, are angry and defensive, because you misunderstood Buddhism and take your nonexistent self very seriously.

    I’m also doing my bit for social reform. You’re right, I am not as carefree as I’d like, and that’s because society punishes you for daring to be free of their cherished illusions.

    But really, my considered opinion is that social reform isn’t possible, and doesn’t matter anyways. The point is to see through it all.

    So really, the only good reason to write is the pleasure of self expression, and maybe to help liberate one or two people capable of it. But the great majority must always remain fools.

    You do know that scholars of religion generally agree that Taoism and Buddhism have strong affinities, and that when the Chinese first encountered Buddhism they called it the Taoism of the west? Its not just my made up theory.

    Either way, its a fact that Chan was influenced by Taoism, and some of its looser attitude to alcohol came through.

    But for you to get so angry because I said some Buddhist sects have a looser attitude to alcohol! Do you really think alcohol is such a sinful and terrible thing? What a strange overreaction. I am afraid you are a Puritan 🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mikel
  305. Anon99 says:
    @AaronB

    Like how Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong and overseas Chinese are the most anarchic people in the world. Your “theories”…lol

    • Replies: @AaronB
  306. Mr. Hack says:
    @AaronB

    No, he’s stated in the past that he enjoys some high quality hooch and even Russian vodka on occasion. He revealed his hedonistic predilections when he mentioned that he also enjoys good Belgian beer (probably the type made by cloistered monks). 🙂

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AltanBakshi
  307. EldnahYm says:
    @Ano4

    The American conservatives must organize in self-defense, otherwise they will be trampled upon by these subhumans.

    I don’t recommend this. It would be better to just avoid Trump rallies. Trump has never had the back of his supporters, they shouldn’t put themselves in danger to show support for him. Of course MAGA people are too dumb to understand this.

  308. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    Take a “trip” with Tripzine. Love it. Reminds me of this Claritin commercial. Pop one pill and you’re good for 24 hours, everybody likes you too!

    • Replies: @Ano4
  309. AaronB says:
    @Anon99

    All those democracies are actually strict dictatorships. Singapore is very strict and disciplinarian.

    Why is Singapore so disciplinarian? Because it rules over a restive population.

    Only people who can’t be trusted with freedom need dictatoreships. Only a particularly unruly people would need to produce a Confucius. Chinatowns across the world are chaotic. Fistfights break out in the Taiwan parliament.

    The Chinese people resisted the Covid measures more fiercely than any other people. No other country had scenes of people being dragged kicking and screaming from their houses screaming and kicking.

    Look beyond the obvious. If a population appears docile, there may be good reasons for that.

    • Replies: @Anon99
  310. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    That was the idea. They made fun of the Big Pharma. Here’s another one:

    This one is my favorite, the mind over matter aspect being so dear to my heart (that’s a joke Altan should understand).

    😁

    • LOL: Rattus Norwegius
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  311. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Ah, thank you, I have a lot more respect for him now and am happy for him.

    Those Belgian cloistered monks also make really good washed rind stinky cheeses of various strengths- the best are really stinky and intense!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  312. Dmitry says:
    @Ano4

    one has to stick to the right dosage. Moderation is of cause paramount.

    Most problems with cannabis is clearly because a lot of people are using immoderately. I mean in terms of immoderate frequency of use, rather than large dose in a single session.

    This is people who smoke and eat cannabis everyday and still go to work every morning, but they waste many hours in their room living in a cannabis daze.

    Such a habit encourages some of their negative thinking patterns, re-inforcing some of this thinking for hours and hours.

    If a person has a paranoid sense that “everything in life is a trap” when they are intoxicated with cannabis (this is quite a common feeling when you intoxicated), then getting intoxicated 7 days a week, will transfer this paranoid sensibility to their daily personality.

    Although cannabis is less obviously toxic than alcohol, and daily cannabis users are usually less obvious and more hidden than alcoholics.

    Cannabis is of course a life-enhancer to the human race, in moderation and infrequent usage, and something absurd to ban for normal people, because a minority cannot discipline themselves to use it moderately, or because they have a genetic predisposition to mental illness.

    taken in excess leads to seeing of demons

    Yes but the “demons” of cannabis are precisely, the metaphorical use of the word. It encourages you to sit on the sofa for hours, thinking about your ex-girlfriend. Circling the same thoughts over and over.

    Then you try to watch television to distract yourself, and your mind is occupied by the “demons” of ultra-cynicism, and everything on television seems like pointless trash.

    In terms of the highest doses. At worst, you freeze to the sofa completely, and start visualizing the pictures you drew when you 4 years old.

    At the maximum doses, – you might start seeing fireworks everywhere with your eye closed. This kind of very visual and colourful “hallucination” – but quite formless.

    I always thought one way you see that cannabis is not too dangerous – at the highest dose you find yourself paralyzed, and cannot leave the sofa, let alone to do anything stupid.

    Rather, the dangerous thing is the people who smoke too frequently, and find the hours of thelife go to smoke like the character in the Chinese legend “Ranka”.

    And different strains will also yield different results in the same people.

    Yes it is not a single drug, and there is quite difference between the more indica and sativa.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  313. Anon99 says:
    @AaronB

    And what of the feudal systems that dominated “western” cultures for centuries? Even your current democracy is fake. You have the appearance of freedom but we know that is just a decoy to make you think you have power and choice. Your chutzpah to diametrically oppose what basically every other commenter is saying (that Eastern Asians are inherently law abiding) is astounding.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  314. Ano4 says:
    @Dmitry

    Yes but the “demons” of cannabis are precisely, the metaphorical use of the word.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6546656/

    I knew people who ended-up with a cannabis induced schizoid psychosis.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  315. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Perhaps there can be negative effects on the personality from the nationalism in China (and certainly from the authoritarian, centralized power).

    But I also wonder that a lot of the reason Taiwan’s people usually seem more sophisticated and polite when you meet them (compared to the mainland Chinese), might be partly a result of the longer length of economic development in Taiwan.

    For example, have you met Kuwaiti people? I’ve met some Kuwaitis, where they seemed mentally like a normal, Western business people (to my consciousness, Kuwaitis seemed not that different than talking to something like a Spanish person).

    But then the fact that Kuwaitis might seem more mentally like we are talking to a Spanish or Greek person, rather than the stereotypical “traditional exotic Arabs” – might be just a reflection of the development level in their society.

    Quotidian aspects of the peoples’ lifestyle, determine a lot of their mentality. And lifestyle is determined a lot by the country’s development. The development level is measurably more similar between Spanish and Kuwaitis nowadays, than between e.g. Jordanians and Kuwaitis.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  316. White lib v Brown culture war Toronto

    You can find the rest urselves|| :shrug:
    (the responses I mean) 😀

  317. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    everywhere Buddhist monks travelled, they brought their standards of hygiene with them, bathing, shit sticks, ancient form of toilet paper, that one should wash often ones clothes and bed sheets, that one should not spit, urinate etc in the bodies of water like rivers and lakes.

    Yes, all religions that I am familiar with have their cleanliness and purification rituals. But the fact of the matter is that to this day people (including some Buddhists, if I am not totally mistaken), keep bathing in the deeply polluted River Ganges and apparently thinking that that will purify them.

    From today’s perspective, it looks like the message should have been much more clear. Guys: there are invisible creatures that prosper in the filth and will make you very sick. You need to avoid them by washing yourselves often, drinking only spring or boiled water, keeping your living spaces clean and avoiding vermin. Many lives and terrible diseases could have been saved over the centuries, making people much better able to reach spiritual goals. All this was left to be accomplished by Western foreigners who didn’t believe in Buddha and had rather materialistic views instead.

    But, like I said, there are some other religions that deserve this criticism more than Buddhism. Take Islam, for example. An old friend of mine, a devout Muslim Moroccan once told me that all the restrictions Muslims torture themselves with (avoiding alcohol, pork, fasting during the day for one month, having a highly regulated sexual life…) come directly from Mohammad’s teachings.

    So it’s not like Mohammad was uninterested in the material aspects of his followers’ lives and only cared about spiritual things. He was deeply involved in both but, having allegedly divine levels of knowledge, wasted everybody’s time with pointless recommendations and failed to give really useful advice. People from Muslim countries are not known for being any more healthy than others and it was even worse before Western medicine reached them.

    What sense do Mohammad’s recommendations make? Is it not reasonable to suspect that he was just a fake “prophet”, like so may others that came before and after him?

  318. AaronB says:
    @Anon99

    Your chutzpah to diametrically oppose what basically every other commenter is saying (that Eastern Asians are inherently law abiding) is astounding.

    Most people are average. They think in an obvious way. They don’t penetrate beyond appearances. They take things at face value and can’t see that things may not be what they appear. The obvious thing satisfies the average person. Someone a little more curious will dig deeper.

    People would do well to develop greater intellectual curiosity and the habit of thinking out of the box. One of the most frustrating thing about the ongoing intellectual decline is the lack of out of the box thinking.

    People naturally develop compensations for their deficiencies. If a country can only be governed by great force and strictness, the obvious conclusion is that its population is very unruly. One has only to not stop at the surface, but reflect a little deeper, to see that this must be so. A docile and tame people would not need a strict government with many laws and harsh punishments.

    Feudal society is a good example. Punishments were harsh, and hierarchy and social life very strict, because people were indeed very close to barbarism. But Europeans become mellower over time, and no longer had to guard themselves so closely.

  319. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    A close friend of mine had a life long addiction to cannabis and he would literally go nuts if he didn’t have a few tokes for a couple of days. I mentioned his case once before here, where he would seem to go off into a trance and speak in some strange language that was unintelligible to others. He came to visit me once in AZ (he passed by and visited me while on the way to and back from CA to obtain the remains of his cremated brother) and I hadn’t realized how bad the addiction had become. He was sweating profusely and was very agitated. As I had quit smoking the weed long, long before, I didn’t have any and didn’t know anybody that did. He chain smoked camel cigarettes’ that helped calm him down a bit. I always thought that one couldn’t get addicted to weed, but now I know differently.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Dmitry
  320. Mr. Hack says:
    @AaronB

    I’m familiar with the “stinky cheese” syndrome, as my relatives used to make and send us some bryndza that was a strong feta style cheese made in Ukraine and Romania. When our Christmas gift came from the old country, I’d make sure to hide somewhere far away. The cheese smelled like the worse case scenario of unwashed gym socks that you can imagine. I didn’t eat much of it then, probably would give it a try though today. 🙂

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  321. This was last year:

  322. @Mikel

    The water has bacteriophages that prevent that||

    If it was that toxic people wouldn’t be living to tell the tale.

    You’re an example of the white liberal racist as pictured above.

    For that context they’ll pilfer funds to their areas and next time a health problem, blame the culture.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mikel
  323. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Weed is not innocuous to everyone. Some people really end up damaged. It probably depends on the serotonin receptor polymorphisms. There’s an interplay between endocannabinoid system and serotonin receptors.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390811000864

    And this might trigger unintended problems.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-017-0029-y

    Better drink green tea, eat dark chocolate and sit zazen. It’s way safer and you learn as much, perhaps even more about your own mind.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  324. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    It’s true that Ganges river water is highly concentrated in bacteriophages. Also, people who live nearby and bathe in it since childhood probably have a stronger immunity and a healthier microbiome.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @AltanBakshi
  325. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Bryndza is made all around the Carpathian mountains and alsi in Russia. It is really good. It’s just that Americans don’t know what a good cheese should smell like. I mean camembert or roquefort cheeses are kind of smelly, but they taste real good.

    😉

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  326. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Lol, actually the same bacteria that cause smelly feet are the ones that make the cheese stinky!

    But the taste can be deep, complex, earthy, and intensely umami. I’d recommend a ripe Alsatian Muenster if you like soft cheese, or a ripe Tete De Moine if you prefer hard mountain cheese.Yum!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  327. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yes a cannabis addicts exist, and they must feel some intense anxiety without the drug. (Like the nicotine addict).

    Although it doesn’t typically create the physical withdrawal symptoms that you see with alcohol, during delirium tremens.

    For example, alcoholics have such a physical withdrawal, with symptoms like unstoppable shaking. I need to find a way for AP to argue with me that this is caused by secret demons living in his hands.

    Shaking with alcohol is typically the result of withdrawal from alcohol. Although it can also seems be happening non-alcoholics who were just drinking for too many hours. I remember I saw a nonalcoholic friend was shaking convulsively while trying to walk, after too many hours of drinking.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  328. @Ano4

    Just eat pepper with it..
    I’d link “science” articles showing it takes away paranoia,
    but millenia of tradition + Guru Sahib is higher authority||

    People from all over the world go there,
    it’s just that each western group has it’s anti-Hindu screeds.

    Unity in Pagan hatred

    Hard left & Right hate Caste..
    Soft left & right have feminism & “hygeine”

    Neolibs have the ur oppressing Muslims.

  329. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Both alcohol and cannabis can be addictive to certain individuals, as pointed out several times by Anon4. You never know who might get bitten with the addictive bug ahead of time? At least for alcohol, I think that there is a gene that can identify such individuals, for marijuana, I don’t think so. Even so, how many individuals will test their DNA structure before having their first drink?

    From personal experience, when I was young (asI think that you are) I enjoyed smoking pot, at least for a while. It was interesting for me to have my consciousness put into another state, and I absolutely enjoyed listening to music, seeing physical dimensions seem different etc. Getting the giggles and eating a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies with friends was fun too. But after awhile, my social skills seemed to change for the worse, where instead of communicating with my play pals, I would withdraw more into myself and become quite introverted. Along with this introversion, came a sense of anxiety that grew and grew (not very uncommon from what I’ve read). I found it quite difficult to concentrate while reading and studying, as my mind was prone to wander off in a quite undisciplined manner. I pretty much gave it all up when I was in college, and have never looked back with any regret (at quitting). I hope that in your case, it’s just a phase too. You probably enjoy getting stoned and putting on a good pair of headphones and listening to some Beethoven or maybe some great Chick Corea jazz?. 🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  330. Mikel says:
    @sher singh

    The water has bacteriophages that prevent that

    Don’t delude yourself. No higher than usual amount of bacteriophages in a river will compensate for a flow of tremendous amounts of raw sewage like the one that accumulates in the Ganges River.

    The science of successfully treating sewage and polluted bodies of water is very old. Everybody has learned how to do it, when the funds and some cooperation from the local population exists.

    But, as Ano4 says, it is also true that Europeans have become unable to withstand levels of bacterial contamination that other populations live comfortably with. Hence the “Moctezuma revenge” that affects Western visitors to some Latin American countries.

    You’re an example of the white liberal racist as pictured above.

    Not really. Living long years in a certain country disabused me of the idea that all groups of people have the same innate behavioral tendencies. Sadly, this is not true. But I do not hate anybody. And in fact, I like Indians. All the ones I have met here in the West were cheerful and good natured. If anything, they looked more peaceful and well behaving than the average White. Ie, the exact opposite of you.

    Have a good day, anyway.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  331. Mr. Hack says:
    @AaronB

    I’m quite familiar with Muenster cheeses, however, I’m not familiar with the Alsatian sort. I find them to be quite mild, and if that’s what I’m looking for I prefer a baby swiss or even a Danish Havarti. My go to cheeses are usually Gouda cheeses, including both the aged and smoked varieties. My lady friend is trying to get me to expand my repertoire and has recently bought and fed me some gruyere and gorgonzola – nice, sharper cheeses. Never had “Tete De Moine”, I’ll keep my eye out for it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  332. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    There are two kinds of Buddhism, the religious kind, with rituals, and beliefs, etc, AltanBakshi is a good example of this kind of thing.

    Then there is the Buddhism that has no precise analogy among Western religions and is more like a psychology with metaphysics (reflections on the nature of the world as it appears to our senses, so really an extension of psychology). Zen/Chan in particular has dispensed with the religious atmosphere to a considerable degree.

    Many Chan and Zen texts read as excellent psychology manuals that counsel radical acceptance of both self and the world just as it is, and living a life of spontaneity not focused on some future purpose. There is almost nothing supernatural in them. Freud and psychoanalysis discovered the same insight, that man becomes neurotic – divided, innerly conflicted – as a result of repression of his instincts, and is perpetually trying to recover the primary satisfactions of his pre repressed life in the future, which creates history.

    Religious Buddhism obviously strives for reaching some perfect state in the future, or for perfecting oneself in the future, so is a very different thing. It is very solemn and lacks the humor and whimsy of Zen.

    Its fascinating how Buddhist writing has led to these two divergent, and quite opposed, paths. In the Chan and Zen texts they are constantly telling the religious Buddhists that all their practices and efforts are completely useless, and they only have to realize that they already are what they are searching for.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  333. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Oh, an Alsatian Muenster is a completely different beast from what goes under that name in America. Alsatian Muenater is a soft, Brie like cheese, with an orange rind. It is one of the stinkiest and most intense of all the cheeses. A really ripe one – and for me the riper the better – will blow you away. Its nothing like the mild, somewhat tasteless American Muenster.

    Gouda’s are very good cheeses, especially the aged ones. I do like them a lot.

    Tete de Moine is somewhat rare even in NY, but I’ve been seeing it more lately, so may be available in a good cheese store in AZ. Definitely worth it.

  334. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    One shouldn’t take Altan’s short temper too seriously. He clearly struggles to keep it under control and sometimes even realizes himself that he’s gone too far and feels the need to recant.

    I think that one should rather feel sympathy for him because, in spite of his obvious intellect and deep knowledge of multiple subjects, he has clearly not managed to abide by the precepts of the one thing that he seems to care the most about: his religion. From the Wikipedia article on Buddhism:

    Buddhist scriptures explain the five precepts (Pali: pañcasīla; Sanskrit: pañcaśīla) as the minimal standard of Buddhist morality.[224] It is the most important system of morality in Buddhism, together with the monastic rules

    …/…

    4- “I undertake the training-precept to abstain from false speech.” According to Harvey this includes “any form of lying, deception or exaggeration…even non-verbal deception by gesture or other indication…or misleading statements.”[272] The precept is often also seen as including other forms of wrong speech such as “divisive speech, harsh, abusive, angry words, and even idle chatter.”[273]

    In any case, I like your approach to Oriental philosophies much better than his rather dogmatic one. In particular, I think that you are on to something quite deep when you defend learning to not to take things very seriously, including ourselves.

    I imagine that someone capable of doing that must be close to avoiding the anguish we feel when we think about the temporary nature of our existence.

    But all of this is easier said than done. It sounds like a lot of mental work and self-suggestion. My best hope is that one day medicine will provide some drug or perhaps some genetic modification that will liberate us from those fears.

    In fact, and talking about cannabis, we already have remedies that pretty much have this effect. My brother spent the last months before his untimely death in a cannabis-induced stupor. It allowed him to avoid thinking about what was about to come and pass away without too much unnecessary suffering. Perhaps one day medicine will optimize treatments to make transition to death easy for everyone.

    PS- There is in my view a radical difference between the healthy fear of death that all animal species feel in one way or another and what my philosophy teacher called “existential anguish”. The first one can be controlled much more easily than the second one. I even enjoy activities than put my life at risk and I think that I feel less concerned than the average person when I confront those situations. With the second one, that only affects us humans, I’ve always had a much more problematic relationship. As a child, I couldn’t make up my mind about what was more scary: ceasing to exist altogether or a never ending life in that weird place called heaven that priests pretended to be so excited about.

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  335. @Mikel

    It’s a Hindu problem but we’ll still defend sanctity of Ganga & Dharma||

    German rivers were toxic till the 70s. :shrug:

    With whites it’s “developmental phase”
    Indian “culture” is issue in all other cases.

    Ur scared of death, u have no place to speak||

    • Agree: Ano4
  336. @Dmitry

    But I also wonder that a lot of the reason Taiwan’s people usually seem more sophisticated and polite when you meet them (compared to the mainland Chinese), might be partly a result of the longer length of economic development in Taiwan.

    Chinese of Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Singapore didnt have a Cultural Revolution, thats why. There was a quite a campaign for about ten years against traditional Chinese etiquette and manners in mainland China, agrarian/деревенский and proletarian behaviour was encouraged, it was even often dangerous to show some class. So no wonder if mainland Chinese are sometimes more noisy not externally always as well behaving and cultured.

    Big leap forwards was not Maos biggest crime, far from it, it was the Cultural Revolution, Chinese educational system was paralyzed for almost decade, although most famous temples and pagodas were left, big majority of smaller and less famous ones were destroyed. Practically many small village shrines, temples for ancestors etc. People burned their traditional books of their clans or familys lineage and history. 90% of Tibetan temples and monasteries was destroyed, the destruction was immense. Even the CCP acknowledges that the Cultural Revolution was a huge error and mistake. The death totals of Great leap were of course bigger, but this is very un-Buddhist opinion from me, people are renewable, ancient monuments are not. But surprisingly all that the Red Guards destroyed, the Tibetans have now built back. I remember when I was about decade ago in the Gannan prefecture of Gansu and there was a small shop where couple Hui merchants sold Buddhist artefacts that were looted or partially damaged during the Cultural revolution, pieces of old statue, Buddhist religious instruments etc, that kind of stuff. Got couple good but somewhat tarnished paintings for cheap, but should have bought more. Im not sure that they were from the times of the cultural revolution, but where else that kind of stuff would come? Some of the paintings and statues looked like they had been in a garbage dump for a sometime.

    The Chinese had a very different image in the 19th century, they were often described as a polite and serene people. Especially the Tibetans of those times had a very good opinion towards the Chinese. Mongols instead have had always a reputation of stubborn hotheads, funnily a Mongol in Tibetan is Sokpo, which means stubborn and a Mongol at a sametime! Sokpo by the way comes from the Scythian Saka, so Sak-po, Tibetans just continued to call people of the steppes by the name of the Scythian.

    I dont know much about Kuwaitis, but they have enjoyed being under a British protection for a much longer period than the people of Jordan, Syria and Iraq. So maybe it had some kind of Hong Kong -effect on them. By the way Kuwait is rightful Iraqi soil, its an artificial British construct!

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  337. @Mikel

    Naturally, there are some times when we need to take what on the surface appears to be harsh or tough action, but if our motivation is good our action is actually non-violent in nature. On the other hand if we use sweet words and gestures to deceive, exploit and take advantage of others, our conduct may appear agreeable, while we are actually engaged in quite unacceptable violence.

    -H.H. Dalai Lama

    Its the Spirit of Buddhas teaching whats important not the letter, but you both are so drenched in a Pharisaic and dualistic thinking that you see things that do not exist!

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  338. @Mikel

    Yes, all religions that I am familiar with have their cleanliness and purification rituals. But the fact of the matter is that to this day people (including some Buddhists, if I am not totally mistaken), keep bathing in the deeply polluted River Ganges and apparently thinking that that will purify them.

    First time I hear of this! Ganga is not important for us. Yes some minor deity for some small minority of Buddhists, but never I have heard that its some kind of Buddhist practice to bathe in the Ganga. By the way I too have bathed in Ganga, in Haridwar near the Himalayas, there the water is blue and clear.

    You constantly try to just find some small fault or mistake in our Dharma, and you know what you will sooner or later find what you look, religion is after all made of people, and people are quite faulty, arent they? Quite an obsession you have…

    We in Buddhism believe that rituals can be an useful tool, if we can reinforce our good attributes through the rituals and improve ourselves, then the ritual is good and needed, on the other hand if ritual is the most important thing in itself then its bad. Attachment in rituals has always been discouraged, actually attachment to rituals is seen as a fetter in the Buddhism.

    What sense do Mohammad’s recommendations make? Is it not reasonable to suspect that he was just a fake “prophet”, like so may others that came before and after him?

    For those who are not Muslim hes not the guide, for those who are Muslim he is a guide, simple as that! I dont have need to declare anything about Islam, I believe sincerely that there are many Muslims who are better people than I am, as there are many Christians, Jews, Atheists and Hindus who are better and live more morally and so on. For them their religion or philosophy has been a success story, as there are many different kind of diseases, so there are many different kind of afflictions that people suffer, as there is not just one medicine for all different diseases, so too there is not only a one solution to the various problems that individuals suffer.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Mikel
  339. @Mr. Hack

    Thank you Mr. Hack!

    But regarding the some comments about the pot that I made, I want to clarify that I have not smoked it for a very, very long time, and I have never been a casual or chronic user of it, I had such friends in my youth, but I never understood how they can smoke daily or even weekly. Even when I was young I perceived that even in small dosages of it tends to subtly dull the mind, and now some of those of my acquaintances who have smoked it for decade or two have maybe gotten some mental problems because of it.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Ano4
  340. @Ano4

    Water of Ganges is horribly polluted in the downstream, really horribly, its a shame!

  341. @AaronB

    “Freud and psychoanalysis discovered the same insight,” subversion much?
    Thank G-d that I know some genuinely good Jews in my life life and not such antisemitic caricatures like you. Sorry this was maybe too much, but still you should understand that its quite extremely radical and subversive to claim such things. Therefore I will not delete this part of the text but leave it to emphasize how derogatory and disrespectful such assertions are towards the Dharma.

    Its fascinating how Buddhist writing has led to these two divergent, and quite opposed, paths. In the Chan and Zen texts they are constantly telling the religious Buddhists that all their practices and efforts are completely useless, and they only have to realize that they already are what they are searching for.

    Everything that you know about the Chan is from the books, not from the living tradition and daily practice, you yourself are the problem that you describe.

    I actually do have a lot of compassion for you. I think you suffer a lot, are angry and defensive, because you misunderstood Buddhism and take your nonexistent self very seriously.

    If you believed that your analysis is correct and if you had genuine compassion then you would have, out of compassion, stopped agitating me, but you still did not. The difference between you and me is, that you claim to have compassion, which you dont have, therefore you are a fraud, but in my case I honestly dont have compassion towards you, but I know that if I would be a good Buddhist I should have compassion towards you. Thats the difference between you and me.

    Although if we go in deeper to Buddhist philosophy this kind of interaction is already a harsh or gross form of compassion, a compassion that has not yet been purified from the stains of the afflictions, but still thats not same as conventional meaning of compassion. Heck even eating other beings is a very gross form of compassion, Ha Ha!

    Religious Buddhism obviously strives for reaching some perfect state in the future, or for perfecting oneself in the future, so is a very different thing. It is very solemn and lacks the humor and whimsy of Zen.

    All Mahayana believes that we already have a perfect Buddha nature. Actually its always been a standard stuff generally in Mahayana that we should in some practices imagine ourselves already in the state of the Buddha.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  342. @AltanBakshi

    The precept is often also seen as including other forms of wrong speech such as “divisive speech, harsh, abusive, angry words, and even idle chatter.”[273

    That citation is from Peter Harveys book “An introduction to Buddhist ethics.” Harvey is a scholar of Theravada Buddhism, I dont have a time to read his book, but at cursory glance it seems that his book only deals with the Theravada Buddhist terms and concepts. In Mahayana its just lying and deception that are included in the precept. So your winning streak of unestablished claims continues! We in Mahayana think that its better to channel ones emotions constructively than its to supress them. Its not like an angry monk is any anathema for us, especially if monk has a good intention or motivation for his anger.

    Many westerners(mostly liberal Anglos and Ashkenazim) have still this innate desire for cultural imperialism, they just cant let other cultures and faiths be in peace, cant you AaronB? But the Millenarian and evangelical impulse still beats in their hearts. “All must be as we are.” “Our truths are the universal truths of everyone.” “They must be subverted.” Thank Perun, Indra and the Heaven that most Slavs, Chinese and Indians seem to lack such impulse, at least for now, maybe in the 1930s or 60s things were different.

  343. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Why are you scared of death?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  344. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I know some highly achieving family people, very structured and hardworking ones who smoke pot regularly (usually every weekend). It really is a case of genetic diversity in the neurotransmitter receptors. Also different strains have different molecular assemblages. So basically it is two very complex systems interacting. Like modern key and lock systems.

    For some people it is natural and they clearly derive some benefit, for others it should be avoided. People are different and so are cannabis cultivars. Looks simple, but it is complex.

    Cannabis is not something I would personally suggest to anyone, with the notable exception of high CBD strains. They are less psychoactive, while they retain somewhat relaxing and anxiolytic effects.

    [MORE]

    Just an example:

    https://www.cannaconnection.com/strains/mataro-blue-cbd

    It ain’t gonna get you stoned, just relaxed and more thoughtful. It acts as an antihyperactivity and antianxiety medecine, helps against insomnia.
    Probably good for PTSD (our Sikh friend might wanna try it). There are other similar strains. Cannabis is an ocean of molecules. Some are dolphins, other sharks.

    Again, it will only act that way if you have the right genetics to receive it in the proper way. It might probably still cause problems to some individuals.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  345. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Lol, what is subversive about saying Freud had a similar insight to Buddhism? Across the centuries many people have had similar insights. That just increases the credibility of Buddhist psychology.

    I’m genuinely puzzled. Are you claiming Buddhism is so uniquely superior that to claim anyone has ever had a similar insight is an insult? Thats quite insane. Even Christians, Jews, and Muslims agree their religions agree on many points.

    I’m clearly not saying psychoanalysis and Buddhism are the same, only that the theory of repression is similar to things in Buddhist psychology.

    And I fail to see the Jewish angle. Many people gave made comparisons between Buddhism and western thinkers.

    As for reading Chan and Zen texts as opposed to practice, the texts I read quite plainly say there is no need for practice whatsoever, and that practice actually increases your problems.

    In the classic Zen handbook, the Mumonkan or Gateless Gate, a student asks the master what one must do to come in accord with the Way. The master replies that making any effort to accord with it, one loses it.

    I understand this completely contradicts your religious Buddhism, but this is the kind of Buddhism that I think is most profound and that appeals to me.

    So if the texts say practice is useless, how should I regard it as a problem that I don’t learn from daily practice?

    As for compassion for you, I really do feel it. It is possible that you will achieve some breakthrough into insight the more agitated you get, but I’m not writing to agitate you. This is a public forum. We aren’t alone in a room together. I’m trying to clarify my own thinking and share with others the joy of liberation.

    • Troll: Ano4
  346. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    Yes, I agree that Altan is a sympathetic character and one shouldn’t be offended by him. I appreciate authentic people like him who don’t hide who they are.

    At the moment, he can’t help but be angry because he sees something he is very attached to being threatened. Yet the whole point of Buddhism is to become unattached, so that anger and defensive reactions in general melt away. That’s like the core of the message.

    Its remarkable that for him Buddhism has become another attachment and a source of defensive reactions.

    Yes, it goes against the grain of mainstream expectations, but not taking things seriously is actually the most profound philosophy man can have. It is basically to see as deeply as possible, to the bottom, through every illusion – even the illusion that you or the world truly exist as they appear.

    As for acquiring this point of view, I think the main difficulty is social opposition. The view itself can be picked up rather easily from a few books, and may even be our state in childhood. Freud thought in infancy we have a limitless oceanic feeling of oneness with the world. In such a state there is no fear of death.

    Living in a carefree, unserious manner in the face of intense social hostility is more difficult. The combined weight of friends, family, and respectable opinion will be intensely hostile to you. Civilization depends on anxiety and competition, and is threatened by anyone who has escaped the trap. This can cause loss of confidence in the philosophy if you’re not careful. Its not easy being alone in one’s views.

    Thats why the Taoist sages would always escape to the mountain. However, I think Zen points to a way of seeming to conform to social norms while inwardly not taking them seriously. It is more like an art, like dancing. Once you take nothing seriously, there is no reason to be a social revolutionary.

    As for substances helping us achieve this, absolutely. Alcohol and cannabis certainly can help. Alcohol in particular has a very esteemed place in Taoism. Alan Watts used to laugh at those who derided taking substances as a “crutch” by saying eating food is likewise a crutch to keep our bodies healthy. Obviously, substances in the outside world can help us. At the same time, I think one needs the right philosophy to really benefit from substances. A belligerent drunk is someone with a philosophy that impedes the power of alcohol to loosen him up.

    But people worried about “crutches” are those obsessed with being “superior” and still stuck in illusions.

    You make an excellent point about normal fear of death in animals and that existential “dread” that seems the peculiar curse of human self consciousness. In a sense Taoism and Chan/Zen want to restore to us the innocence of being animals, and the innocence of childhood. The socialization process needed to make us fit members of a civilization also instills in us an attitude that is very psychologically damaging, and this at least needs to be recognized.

    People only want eternal life because they’ve been denied a full human life in this one through repression. Someone who has had the satisfaction of being fully himself wants to die. As Nietzsche said, ripeness wants death. Frustrated and denied satisfaction in this life, we need endless time to find what eludes us.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  347. Ano4 says:

    what is subversive about saying Freud had a similar insight to Buddhism?

    Bwahahaha !!!

    😂😂😂

    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself…)

    ROFLMAO…

    • Replies: @AaronB
  348. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    Care to explain? I seriously don’t understand what you are objecting to.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  349. Mr. Hack says:

    A good friend on mine, who passed away a couple of years ago, would unexpectedly, perhaps once every 10 years, recite this great and humorous koan, that I will always associate with his memory (he knew it perfectly and would never make a mistake when reciting it):

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

    Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSeS6Gg1wbhOsak4F0dc6c0RmBsPetDnBMQQ&usqp=CAU

    I think that there was always some contemplative, psychedelic Moody Blues music playing in the background when he’d recite these words…

  350. utu says:
    @utu

    I have looked into it some more and I concluded that only part of my intuition were correct. After all Shiva might be right.. See my comment at Sailer’s:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/zeno-thou-shouldst-be-living-at-this-hour-making-big-bucks-as-a-die-consultant/#comment-4289863

  351. Mr. Hack says:

    A good friend on mine, who passed away a couple of years ago, would unexpectedly, perhaps once every 10 years, recite this great and humorous koan, that I will always associate with his memory (he knew it perfectly and would never make a mistake when reciting it):

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

    Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    https://hinessight.blogs.com/.a/6a00d83451c0aa69e2022ad3556e80200c-500wi

    I think that there was always some contemplative, psychedelic Moody Blues music playing in the background when he’d recite these words…

    • Replies: @Ano4
  352. AaronB says:

    I’m sure this can be interpreted various ways, but to me, it means life becomes sweet when you accept death.

    (This was in response to a comment by Mr Hack that has disappeared. Hopefully he’s just editing it)

  353. @AaronB

    Buddhists have never claimed such things, therefore you have the burden of proof, in my opinion before Ano4 will reply or not, you should make clear why you think that Freud had found same understanding or insight as the Buddhism, I hope that its not too much asked from you.

    Ano4 I have no interest to continue discussion with AaronB, but one should not go into his trap, thats why I interfered. If he claims something based on his reasoning, he alone then has the responsibility to prove his point, its not our job.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Ano4
  354. @Ano4

    I didnt disagree because of the Molly joke, not at all.

    • Thanks: Ano4
  355. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Its perfectly ok to think I’m wrong in comparing Freud and Buddhism, that I made an intellectual mistake, but I still don’t see why it would be subversive.

    The central theory of psychoanalysis is that man becomes neurotic and ill when he represses his instincts and true nature as part of the socializing needed to live in a civilized society. When man is not true to his nature, when he represses or distorts it, he develops neurotic symptoms. He thought the novelty seeking of the west – basically, history – was merely an attempt to recapture in the future the pre repressed state.

    Chan/Zen, as well as Taoism, say that enlightenment consists in being free, spontaneous, and unrepressed, in simply being exactly what we are without any attempt to cramp our nature, and that we should also allow the world to be exactly as it is. Zen is constantly talking about how ordinary mind is Enlightenment, that Enlightenment is nothing special, and that mountains, after Enlightenment, are just mountains. Since the world of separate things as it appears to our senses is an illusion, and there is only a seamless whole, nothing is ultimately serious or matters, and we have nowhere to get to because we already have Buddha nature.

    Now, Freud did not follow Chan in thinking we actually could be free. Freud was ultimately a pessimist who thought repression was necessary to live a civilized life. He thought ultimately true happiness was impossible, and at best one can achieve an ordinary level of misery as one learns to bring into consciousness that side of our nature that we repressed. Freud died a gloomy pessimist.

    I obviously agree with Chan much more than Freud, but his theory of repression was a great contribution to western thought, and in that, he developed a Buddhist/Taoist insight.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Dmitry
    , @AltanBakshi
  356. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is a very profound spiritual tale, but it is probably not an authentic koan from a koan collection such as the Gatless Gate that has been mentioned by our friend AaronB above.

    The koans are usually paradoxical and hard to interpret. The story above is quite easy to grasp. It is a very good story, which has a profound truth to it.

    Here you have the Gatless Gate for your enjoyment:

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Gateless_Gate

    I often recite the first koan to my two dogs. They usually look interested when I talk to them and I feel for a moment like a great Dharma scholar expounding profound truths to the audience.

    😁

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  357. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I enjoy reading AaronB’s comments. He truly is a kind of typical Jewish Tribeca new-ager. I think Seinfeld should have had a similar character added to his TV show lineup. That would have been truly hilarious.

    No I won’t try to have a serious discussion with AaronB, especially about Ch’an/Zen. I already tried when I was new to UR and he classified me among the crypto-wahhabites.

    Anyway, those who have some understanding of Ch’an/Zen do not discuss it. There is nothing really important to tell about it.

  358. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Aaron, you think too much. Just stop.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • LOL: Dieter Kief
  359. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    So the win-win solution is for:

    — U.S. to go to 0% China imports, rebuilding its manufacturing & industrial base
    — China to go to 0% U.S. exports

    The change will take time because eliminating some Chinese exploitation, like the Rare Earth element monopoly cannot take place over night.
    ____

    As we saw with Chinese steel, the EU is likely to copy the U.S. approach in practice. They need to avoid becoming the next Chinese dumping victim.

    I look forward to China trying to go it alone without an external enemy to blame for the poor conditions Lower Class Chinese Workers experience every day. There will be some very lean times for the Upper Class CCP Elites, if they survive.

    PEACE 😇

  360. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Why are you scared of death?

    I am not sure why you ask but it is in fact a very good question.

    The very short answer is because I am sane.

    But, as I tried to explain above, there are two totally different aspects to this question. One is the healthy, instinctive fear of death that nature has given all animals, including those of us in the homo genus. I raise animals for meat on my farm, I know about it. It is in fact a widespread and very useful tool of survival throughout the animal kingdom so the right question should rather be “how can one not fear death?”.

    But this instinctive fear of death is not so important in my view and can be overcome. BTW, I’d like to see some of the fearless commenters in this thread follow me climbing up a vertical cliff 🙂

    The second, uniquely human aspect to the question, is the realization that all you are, all you feel, all you care for, will one day come to an end and disappear forever. The realization of this dreadful fact of life arises at some point in everybody’s lives when you think about your existence so it is a fundamental part of the human nature.

    But why does this second feeling exist? I don’t know. Scores of brilliant minds spent their lives thinking about it: Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Nietzsche, Saint Augustine,… I am not aware that anyone arrived at a satifactory answer about the why. It just is. Humans are able to think and realize things that other animals are indifferent to so it’s probably an inevitable consequence of having that capability.

    The important thing perhaps in this discussion is that this second kind of fear of death is what is behind all religions. I am unable to imagine the religious phenomenon without it and it is sometimes easy to see (I believe we have some examples in this thread) how people become tremendously unsettled when you question their religious beliefs. It’s something much deeper than questioning a tradition that they inherited from their family and culture. It touches the very meaning of their lives: will things after your death not be what you hope for?

    I think that becoming an atheist, especially when you were brought up into a religion, is quite a hard thing to do. Your reasoning leads you to conclude that, unfortunately, death is final and you stop believing in ancient myths that help other people around you cope with that fact.

    Unfortunately, nobody here is returning me the favor of challenging my atheist beliefs so, being surrounded by very knowledgeable people, I am not going to learn much about how wrong I may be.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Dieter Kief
  361. A123 says:

    nobody here is returning me the favor of challenging my atheist beliefs

    How can one challenge the Atheist Faith system?

    You have Faith (not evidence) of exactly what lies beyond the sphere of known mortal existence. By definition, there can be no direct on point evidence.

    Atheists do not bear the burden of trying to defend a text either. For obvious reasons, there is no divine Atheist text that can be analyzed.

    My Faith in the God leads me to understand that you are wrong. But, if your heart is closed to God, there is nothing I can do to open it. Your burden is yours to bear because you chose it.

    PEACE 😇

  362. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    because I am sane

    How do you know this?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  363. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    I’m beginning to worry about our buddy Dmitry. I think that he may be hitting the bong a little bit too often lately – he often neglects the common courtesy of replying back to a comment. He seems to drift in an out of consciousness and may be entering a phase of extreme introversion, perhaps coupled with a modest sprinkling of forgetfulness (another common malady of cannabis usage, that nobody has even brought up yet at this thread), because I’m pretty sure as he doesn’t do this purposefully (he seems like too nice a guy to just ignore somebody). Oh well, I’m probably just overreacting, he’s probably using his time more wisely and finishing up some detailed research reports… 🙂

  364. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    In a sense Taoism and Chan/Zen want to restore to us the innocence of being animals, and the innocence of childhood.

    I am a bit skeptical about this. Small children don’t experience the different anxieties typical of adults because their brains have not yet experienced the natural development that makes some of those anxieties inevitable later on in life. So those disciplines would be trying to revert natural changes in the human brain.

    In any case, why keep following difficult paths to alter your mind that were devised in ancient times when there was hardly anything else available? Science today should be able to provide some mechanism to achieve similar goals more easily. While we wait for the transhuman singularity, I think that it is worth it to research on this. Existential angst is a real thing that has been known since time immemorial.

    It is true, however, that old age prepares humans for the big transition. But I think that this mostly happens through physical/mental decadence and suffering.

    And I fail to see the Jewish angle.

    Yes. And it gets soo tiring. This is one of the best corners of Unz with regards to the Jewish obsession but some people just cannot help themselves. You never mentioned his ethnicity so why bring yours up in a discussion about oriental religions and philosophies?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  365. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    For those who are not Muslim hes not the guide, for those who are Muslim he is a guide, simple as that! I dont have need to declare anything about Islam, I believe sincerely that there are many Muslims who are better people than I am

    No, sir.

    Those trivialities that you are saying don’t address the point I was making in any way. Regardless of how good people some Muslims are (which is true), one can perfectly evaluate how crappy their belief system is based on simple reasoning like the one I offered.

    Incidentally, I spent several days discussing this kind of topics with my Moroccan friend when we drove to Casablanca to stay with his parents. He liked the discussion and was much more open to my criticism of his religion than you. He had had his own religious doubts and had even become a Hare Krishna before reverting back to Islam.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AltanBakshi
  366. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikel

    Have you explored Orthodox Christianity? Even though I was born into the faith, my understanding of it only increased as I got older. I haven’t found a religion anymore generous towards its followers than one that opens the door towards ones own deification (Theosis). I use this short booklet to help me better understand my place within the Kingdom of God, perhaps it will help you too? Give it a read, it wont take you very long, and at the end you’ll find a “pearl of great value”.

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    • Replies: @Mikel
  367. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    Thats a good point. It may be just a function of the human brain, rather than a function of the peculiar way of thinking civilization teaches (rather than seeing the world whole, we divide everything into pieces).

    If a pill becomes available, certainly there is no reason not to take it.

    But what to do in the meantime?

    I hear your point about making a stremuous effort. In fact, that would be self defeating. If you dont care and take nothing seriously, why would you make a serious effort…?

    Strenuous efforts just build your ego, make you feel self important, and locks in that you take the world seriously.

    So you cant really make a serious effort to not care, as that is self contradictory. In the end, you realize there is nothing you can do or not do.

    What this leads to is an insight: you are not actually in control. There is no separate you that can change yourself.

    After this, you become just an observer. Or rather, you realize that’s what you always were. You no longer try and mess with your mental state. You let it be just as it is. Or rather, realize you have no choice in the matter. There is no separate you to be an agent.

    All strenuous effort would just be the delusive path of the religious Buddhists.

    The realization that you are not in control can be liberating. The realization that you took yourself as far too important and serious can be liberating. The realization that you were much less than you thought, that you are not tjis big ego that can cobtrol himself, can be liberating.

    But strenuous effort cannot succeed: it can only show you that you are powerless. And if you can see that without strenuous effort, without bashing your head on the rocks in vain, all the better.

    Yes. And it gets soo tiring. This is one of the best corners of Unz with regards to the Jewish obsession but some people just cannot help themselves. You never mentioned his ethnicity so why bring yours up in a discussion about oriental religions and philosophies?

    Yes, its very silly, but I think it also comes from existential anxiety. They seek an external cause for their anhedonia, so they need villains. And they need to fill their dread of annihilation by feeling self-important, so they need to believe in conspiracy theories that put them at the center of diabolical plots by powerful people.

    I’ve learned to see the Jew obsession, now that I understand the religious role it plays, with leniency.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  368. Mikel says:
    @Mr. Hack

    It’s funny that I read this comment of yours literally less than one minute after I politely said goodbye to two Mormon missionaries that just knocked on my door.

    But thanks for the link, I’ll read it. I know very little about Orthodoxy.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Mr. Hack
  369. A123 says:
    @Mikel

    Mikel,

    My comment up at #376 was intended for you but did not thread properly.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-127/#comment-4290579

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Mikel
  370. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    So in this analysis, you don’t actually achieve any result. You don’t successfully change your state of mind. This is not the path of effort.

    Rather, the essence of it is that you see that you were never in control; that you are powerless to achieve any state of mind; that you are not as important or significant a factor as you thought. You can only watch things with amusement.

    It is pure realization, not control or achievement of any kind. That’s the liberation involved here – merely the realization that you are powerless to save yourself. Freedom from futile effort. Freedom from belief in self importance. And freedom from responsibility, with the guilt and anxiety that entails.

    Ultimately, freedom from delusion.

    The Buddha started out on the path of strenuous effort. He became an extreme ascetic. Realizing he was getting nowhere, he abandoned effort and sat down under a tree. He then achieved Enlightenment. Such a self important word, but all he realized was that he was not in control, and that gave him peace and joy.

    So actually, Mikel, your attitude of abandoning all self-effort and waiting for a pill is quite in accord with this, and I’m willing to bet has given you a significant measure of peace and liberation. You do seem to be less tortured than most here. So I would consider your path, actually, a form of Buddhism 🙂 Your attitude is one of proper despair, whereas I was sinking back into superficial optimism about my ability to control my state of mind.

    It reminds me a bit of Pure Land Buddhism. In this sect, they abandon all self effort and merely trust in Buddha to save them. They believe the age is too corrupted for self effort to work. D.T Suzuki was impressed with this sect.

    And I want to thank you for help in clarifying my thoughts and pushing me back onto the correct path of realizing I am not in control and self effort is the problem. You have a better intuitive understanding of Buddhidm than I 🙂

    • Replies: @Mikel
  371. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikel

    Believe me it’s not a coincidence. Well, at least one of us got through the front door! 🙂

    I’ve been reading your comments here, and I just felt that you were stuck in some kind of nihilistic funk. This booklet always makes me feel good after reading it (even though its simple to understand, there’s a lot to it), I hope that it stirs more interest in you to delve in deeper.

  372. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    How do you know this?

    Didn’t you forget to add “my little grasshopper” at the end of the question?

    • Replies: @Ano4
  373. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    If you look at what Freud says to his patients – it is like some 19th century middle class Judaism, and often the opposite of some Buddhist monasticism.

    Freud usually (although not always, as when he recommended dangerous surgeries) just wants to give a very bourgeois “commonsense” advice, after an exciting kind of redirection through a hidden sexual drama.

    This redirection through hidden sexual dramas must have impressed the sophistication of his fin de siècle wealthy clients, but his advice is what you can expect from a middle class Jewish grandfather.

    So, for example – a woman has penis envy. What does this mean for Freud? Freud says to the women, that it means they need get married and give birth to children

    For Freud “penis envy” is in practical terms – woman’s desire for a baby, displaced onto the penis. It seems quite implausible (do women really see the penis as a hidden desire for a baby?), but the end advice is what the bourgeois Jewish grandfather can tell his granddaughter: get married and have children.

    His theories always twisted to result in this kind of bourgeois advice. What is Freud’s the solution for oedipal complex? That the boy needs to copy father, and disidentify with their mother, learn a profession, and then hopefully get a wife.

    What is Freud’s solution for hysterical women’s masturbation? They need to stop masturbating, and get pleasure only from vaginal sex with a husband (and hopefully this will result in children, resolving her general hysteria).

    There is some influence of Judaism in Freud’s advice. For example, Jews are not allowed to learn about mysticism, until they already are middle aged, married and have children.

    Although his concept of the patient confessing their sins, to the psychoanalyst, who they cannot see – is more trying to take secularized version of the role of Roman Catholic priests listening in a screened Confession Box.

    Freud was more like a rabbi in the sense that he had this very ordinary family life to counterbalance his metaphysical speculations, but he was taking a role of Catholic priest of his patients’ confessions.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  374. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    hope that in your case, it’s just a phase

    No I haven’t smoked cannabis for years.

    However, there is no reason to criticize cannabis, because some people are mentally ill, self medicating, or cannot manage themselves, cannot use moderation, etc.

    There are even millions of people who destroy their lives and kill themselves with beer every year, but we shouldn’t blame beer for it. Self-destructive people can use even such gentle life-enhancers as beer to destroy themselves.

    would withdraw more into myself and become quite introverted.

    Cannabis is not going to turn an extrovert into an introvert, or vice-versa.

    Surely, it can contribute to mental illness, in people who already have a mental illness, or pre-disposition for it.

    But so can many things. For example, if people have a predisposition to mental illness, then using the internet usage will contribute to their mental illness. I would not be surprised if internet use (and forums about Lizard conspiracies) is more dangerous for mentally ill people, than cannabis.

    . It was interesting for me to have my consciousness put into another state, and I absolutely enjoyed listening to music

    Lol it sounds like your life would benefit if you had some cannabis in the home.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  375. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    His theories always twisted to result in this kind of bourgeois advice. What is Freud’s the solution for oedipal complex? That the boy needs to copy father, and disidentify with their mother, learn a profession, and then hopefully get a wife

    .

    You are quite correct about this. Freud, as I explained above, ultimately took the side of bourgeois civilization against the insticts. He thought man can only be fully happy if he does not repress the instincts, but thought repression was necessary for civilization. He himself said that psychoanalysis will only cure extreme neurotic symptoms, and return one to the ordinary kind of frustration and unhappiness experienced by civilized. He didn’t merely recommend a return to normal bourgeois life – only after the repressed material was made conscious, although not integrated into ones lifestyle necessarily.

    His view of life was ultimately pessimistic and tragic. So in this he is not similar to Buddhism 0r Taoism. He merely shared one insight with them- that man bevomes sick when he tries to be other than he is. Just, Freud thought sickness was necessary.

    I would not however describe this as Jewish, just ordinary bourgeois, civilized life.

    Although his concept of the patient confessing their sins, to the psychoanalyst, who they cannot see – is more trying to take secularized version of the role of Roman Catholic priests listening in a screened Confession Box.

    I am sure confession was immensely therapeutic, but it was focused on sin. Psychoanalysis worked through free association without any specific focus. So ultimately it is more liberating. It is similar to the Taoist injunction to “let your mind think what it wants, let your eye see what it wants, let your ear hear what it wants”. Obviously a cure for the repressions of civilization.

  376. Dmitry says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Sure, this kind of historical disruption could cause loss of historical traditions of politeness and neighbourly behaviours. Millions of peasants are exiled from their intricate traditional social structure of the village, thrown into industrializing anthills, and then new untraditional rules and modes of social behaviour are imposed on them by a central administration.

    But it is something which would change quite fast in either direction. Why do Chinese people seem harsh today? Well, today China is quite a harsh place to live.

    Why are English bourgeoisie gentle and polite? Partly this can be a multi-generation tradition (perhaps more recently than we imagine though). But it seems more directly a reflection of their comfortable houses, green parks, and high socioeconomic levels.

    What would happen to Chinese culture, if the external conditions of the average mainland Chinese person, would be raised to that of English bourgeoisie? We could expect that the “harshness” of manners that we perceive today, would not survive many generations in a comfortable and unharsh environment.

  377. Mikel says:
    @A123

    I saw your comment but I don’t know how to respond meaningfully.

    I am not aware of any atheist “faith system”. I am just unable to believe in any religion, that’s all.

    And I don’t think that this is a choice. When I notice that the batteries of my remote control have run out I am not choosing to believe that. My senses and my reasoning abilities make the choice for me and I just accept it.

    • Replies: @A123
  378. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    Very good discussion. Perhaps I should think about writing a book on the true meaning of Buddhism 🙂

    I will meditate about that tonight while I drink my glass (or two glasses) of Cavernet Sauvignon.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Mikel
  379. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I

    t was as interesting for me to have my consciousness put into another state, and I absolutely enjoyed listening to music

    Lol it sounds like your life would benefit if you had some cannabis in the home

    Why? Does it appear to you that I somehow enjoy listening to music less today without the accompanying enhancement of cannabis? How about you, did you ever find listening to music more/less interesting when under the influence of cannabis?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  380. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    I am not trolling you, but if you prefer not answering it’s fine by me. Life and death are serious issues and ine should be able to question one’s beliefs. If you’re not willing to do so, then I won’t waste my time either.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  381. @AltanBakshi

    While you may (perhaps due to adherence to some monastic or pseudomonastic ideal?) find it abhorrent, there is no denying that the tantric tradition, including parts encompassing variants of Indo-Tibetan buddhism, is rife with low sorcery, cannibalism, orgiastic rites and ingestion of deliriant nightshades. Many such cases! I suggest you peruse the source material. One personal favorite that stuck out for me, is a passage in the Vima Nyingthik tögal text, where instructions regarding how to spray a brew of Datura directly into the eyes using a hollow eagle’s quill is recommended in order to accelerate the visions attained through the practice..

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  382. Why do prison sentences in Russia tend to be so weak? I’ve read many reports of heinous murderers and other criminals in Russia who only get like 10 years or so in prison or some other ridiculously lenient sentence, when in even most liberal Western countries they’d get much longer than that.

    People in Western countries tend to assume that Russian courts are very tough and that sentences are harsh, but in reality that doesn’t seem to be the case. Often the sentences seem to be so lenient and weak they would cause outrage in Britain if courts here were to pass as weak sentences as Russian courts often do for heinous crimes.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  383. Ano4 says:
    @Europe Europa

    10 years in a Russian “zona” is the equivalent of 20 years in an average West Europe prison.

  384. A123 says:
    @Mikel

    I am not aware of any atheist “faith system”. I am just unable to believe in any religion, that’s all.

    Inability to believe in a specific organized religion can lead to very different places:

    -1- Agnosticism — One cannot reach conclusions about what lies beyond.

    -2- Atheism — Replacing absolute “Faith in God” with equally absolute “Faith in the Absence of God”.  Atheism, like religion, cannot exist without Faith.

    -3- New Religion — Having a unique approach to God not found in any current religion. This is actually quite rare.

    -4- Reformation — Those who have been driven from their Churches by the “wokening” are still Christian By Faith. Refusing to attend a specific organized Church that has become non-Christian does not impact Faith in God. To me it looks like, a repeat of the situation that led to Martin Luther and the Protestant/Catholic schism.

    So the key question is, “What group are you actually in?” Many who think of themselves as Atheists are actually Agnostics.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Mikel
  385. @AaronB

    Chan/Zen, as well as Taoism, say that enlightenment consists in being free, spontaneous, and unrepressed, in simply being exactly what we are without any attempt to cramp our nature, and that we should also allow the world to be exactly as it is. Zen is constantly talking about how ordinary mind is Enlightenment, that Enlightenment is nothing special, and that mountains, after Enlightenment, are just mountains. Since the world of separate things as it appears to our senses is an illusion, and there is only a seamless whole, nothing is ultimately serious or matters, and we have nowhere to get to because we already have Buddha nature.

    I will take it slow with you. Listen now and listen well, and you too Ano4. This is very crucial and important what I will now explain to you. There actually has never been traditionally independent school of Chan from the rest of the Mahayana outside of Japan, as there has never been independent school of Tantra. Its true that in Japan there are such schools, but as I have explained you multiple times Japan is an exception and outlier among the Buddhist countries, their Buddhism is ultimately derived from the China, so one can say that China is the source of the Japanese Buddhism and all Japanese lineages derive their origins from the Chinese monastic lineages. Thus we can say that China is a better case study of the pure Chan, cant we?
    In China itself there are different monasteries and inside of those monasteries different Mahayana traditions and lineages flourish, its not unexceptional that one monk studies both Sutrayana, Pure Land and Chan. Hell(or heaven!) even I practice almost daily Pure Land practice! When someone has traditionally become a novice in Chinese monastery, they first ALWAYS take the precepts, take refuge in the Three Jewels of Dharma, then they start to do daily chores, study sutras, keep places clean and so on. They always have a master or teacher who they follow. This is fundamental and never there has been a master of Chan without a master, in China a master of Chan without proper lineage, without proper teachers, is an oxymoron. There never has been such cases. Now you blabber about “being free,” “spontaneous,” “unrepressed,”about our nature, or what is the ordinary mind or the Buddha nature, but its like you cant comprehend that freedom and spontaneity, or ones true nature have very specific meanings in Buddhadharma, especially in the Mahayana, you suffer Aaron from such spiritual delusion and pride when you think that Freudian freedom is same as freedom in Buddhism. You have your preconceived notions, that are very different from those that a novice monk has, a novice with a master who guides him to see his minds true nature. Remember in Chan Buddhism is Mahayana and a Bodhisattva vow is seen as undisputable requirement from those who will go on that path, all traditional followers of Chan have taken that vow, even in Japan they take that vow and think that its more important than the monastic vows. So lets return to our novice monk, for first years in the monastery he does the dull chores, chops the food, cooks, tends vegetable garden, cleans the latrines, washes the floors, does daily rituals, studies sutras, studies what freedom, spontaneity, Buddhanature and other such concepts, after sometime his mind starts to get attached into routine, maybe he even starts to think that the ritual itself and the statues of the Buddha are more important than true altruistic impulse to help others, maybe he has developed small errors in his understanding. After some such years his master will start to show him Chan practices, so that he could break the subtle fetters and chains that his mind has started to develop in the monastery, oh for many people such peaceful, quiet and ordered life with its daily routines will become a source of attachment and grasping. The Chan learnt from books is not a Chan, the books are just supplementary material, the root of learning in Chan is the Master-Disciple relationship. You can still argue against AaronB in your spiritual delusion, but whole history of Chinese Chan stands against you. From your point of view the monastic vows dont make sense, but they made and still make sense for the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean practitioners of Chan, from your point of view Bodhisattva vow as compulsory requirement for Chan studies in the monasteries doesnt make sense, but they make sense from the point of view of the real practitioners of Chan, from your point of view Master-Disciple relationship is not fundamental basis for understanding Chan, but from Chan Buddhist view its fundamentally necessary, from your point of view taking refuge in the Three Jewels is not necessary etc… from your point of view your American or Jewish notions of liberty, spontaneity, ones true nature etc are conceptually same as they are for a Buddhist monk who practices Chan, but from that monks point of view they are not the same.

    I am 100% sure that if you would time travel to China of the Song or Ming dynasty, and lets say that you would speak perfect Middle Chinese language of 700 years ago. Okay we have now imaginary scenario of you in China of Ming dynasty in the 15th century. You would go to local monastery which is known from its famous lineage of Chan practitioners, you go to the monastery and start to speak about your ideas about the Chan, you would explain them, so Im 100% sure that the monks would throw you out of the monastery and that if you would go second time they would beat you and if you would go third time they would notify the local prefect and you would be executed as a practitioner of Heterodox cults. But at least some locals would get some money by selling amulets made from the body parts of the mad barbarian who had no fear. But of course you would not go second or third time to the same monastery.

    This is for you Ano4, such idea as “Tantric schools” is purely western invention. All Mahayana outside of Japan has always practiced what is called Mantrayana, the way of hidden Mantra, magical Dharanis, rituals, visualization practices, secret teachings and so on, the only difference is that Tibetan schools have a greater emphasis on such matters. In japan there has been strange kind of sectarianism and the schools have diverged radically from each other, so there is the Shingon school, which is very “Tantric,” Soto, Rinzai Zen and others who preoccupy just with the Chan practices and those strange Japanese Pureland and Nichiren sects. In China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Mongolia, the Buddhism is much more eclectic, and there are various lineages, which still belong to the same school and often even masters of multiple lineages. In China its actually more common that monks teach and study Pure Land, Chan and Tiantai or Lotus Sutra at the same time. They all belong to the same Buddhist community, just that there are different individual preferences.

    In Mahayana we see that there are two vehicles for achieving the enlightenment, the so called Smaller vehicle or Hinayana and the Greater vehicle Mahayana. The root reason of Buddhism is that individual suffers, thats the whole point of Buddhism. The Hinayana asks how I can rid myself from suffering, but Mahayana goes further, it analyses and perceives that if we truly have no separate and independent self, then that means that only way to solve the suffering is to eliminate everyones suffering, thats the basis of the noble Bodhisattva path. So if we continue this analysis and notice that oh well my identity and my selfhood as dependent on other beings, they have same nature as I have and Im connected with them, it means that my true nature is my dependent nature, that I dont have my own happiness, I dont have my own suffering, I dont have separate existence, that that the true freedom is when everything that is connected with me is free from afflictions. But what afflictions are, where do they arise? They arise from mistaken deeds, mistaken thoughts, that arise from grasping that we have a separate self, a separate self which has its own happiness, its own needs, its own desires and gratifications, as long as one harbour such thoughts one cant realize ones own true nature. See AaronB what kind of implications there are about the freedom and spontaneity if and when one utilizes Buddhist analysis? They are very different from Freuds, I could continue this, but I think this is enough. You AaronB are a good guy and now you made much better case than before. I hope that you dont think that Im arrogant or rude, all that i have written is not my own, its from what I have learnt from my masters and studies, Dharma is never for bragging, never for reinforcing ones self of ego. As long as there is such affliction or delusion in ones mind, one can not understand Buddhism or Chan, but they are constant dangers, thats why practice is important, we cant momentarily understand and see the truths of Chan, like seeing glimpses of our primordially pure nature, but our memories and our past deeds come with us and they create again and again new ways for our mind to grasp and attach and makes us fall again and again in the Samsara. But if we practice we can make those moments of clarity more durable and persistent. If we practice we can make purify our mindstream step by step.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AltanBakshi
  386. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I understand all that.

    Yes, Chan monasteries did have rules and practices. Yet the canonical Chan texts say no rules and practices – that every effort you make takes you further from your goal, that you are already are what you need to be, that all you have to is let go and relax and be yourself and not strive. Late-stage Mahayana says the same thing like mahamudra and dzogchen. They say this again and again. They ridicule those who insist on practices.

    So how to square the contradiction? You say the texts don’t mean what they say, and it is really the practices in the monastery that are the true teaching.

    This does not strike me as very satisfying. It does mot actually solve the contradiction, but leaves it in place and sidesteps it. It does not show how these seemingly irreconcilable positions work together seamlessly towards one goal.

    I would propose a different scheme.

    First, the core of Buddhism is non attachment. Everyone agrees on that. Yet trying not to care is self-contradictory. So why would Buddhists tell their students to try the impossible? Why would they tell you care so much about not caring? Furthermore, Buddhidm teaches no-self. Yet all strenuous effort is based on the notion that there is a separate self that stands apart and thus can control events. Yet if there is no self, there is no agent that stands apart and can control. So why tell students to act “as if” they had a self when the core doctrine is there is no self, no controlling agent that stands outside events?

    The answer lies in the Buddhist notion of “upaya”- a skillful device that utilizes cunning to help someone achieve insight. Light is shed on the issue by recalling Blake’s saying “the fool who persists in his folly becomes wise”.

    The student comes to the master thinking “he” has a problem that “he” needs to exert himself to solve. Many times, the master cannot simply tell him “he” does not exist and there is no problem, it is based on a false premise. The student will resist. The master must use some cunning means. So he tells the student to go ahead and act “as if” he exists as an self who stands apart and can control himself. He should try with all his moght, and the master gives him hoop after hoop to jump through. Eventually – in a flash – the student gains insight into the truth. Action based on the premise that he is a separate agent who stands apart from events does not work, so the premise must be wrong. The notion of a separate “self” disapears in a flash, and the initial problem is – not solved – but dissolved. He is not in control.

    Thats why there is hope for you AltanBakshi – you are clearly someone with immense willpower who will expend tremendous energy in controlling your state of mind and “winning” Enlightenment for yourself. Precisely this will lead you to finally see that your actions were simply incompatible with the core Buddhist doctrines of no-self and non-attachment. Logically, it may seem obvious to an putsidrr, but you are blocked now.

    A secondary, and equally important reason Chan monasteries made a “public display” of having practices and strenuous efforts was to appease secular authorities who would not take kindly to an institution that publicly repudiated the anxiety and competition that is the bedrock of secular civilization. You can’t just openly defy the deepest held delusions of secular power and expect to remain unmolested.

    But forget everything I just said. Banish it from your mind, don’t let it sear your eyeballs Altan!

    Perhaps you are correct and the Chan texts simply don’t mean what they say. The masters who wrote them intended them to mean something completely different from the plain language of the words repeated over and over and withe the context not providing any reason to think they meant differently (iow, not taken out of context where they clearly mean something different).

    Perhaps.

    Then we can say that I am creating a new philosophy based on taking the plain meaning of the Buddhist texts at their word. It is derived from Chan and Mahayana texts, but isn’t what the Buddhist community as a whole agreed was their interpretation. So it would be a Buddhist heresy.

    And I am fine with that 🙂 Does that make you feel better?

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  387. @Mikel

    Yes. And it gets soo tiring. This is one of the best corners of Unz with regards to the Jewish obsession but some people just cannot help themselves. You never mentioned his ethnicity so why bring yours up in a discussion about oriental religions and philosophies?

    But being a Jew is not just an ethnic identity, you maybe disagree but majority of Jews in the history have thought otherwise. They are an ethno-religious community, a community, which has produced many distinctly Jewish philosophical traditions just like the Hindus. Many Westerners dont know this but just half century ago it was almost impossible to convert into Hinduism, one couldnt be a Hindu if one wasnt born as a Hindu, even Jawaharlar Nehru writes about this tradition in his book from the 1940s, the Discovery of India, and even nowadays many Orthodox Hindus think that its impossible to convert to Hinduism. So you did you know that Hindus have an immense history of trying to subvert the Buddhism? Really there has been for over a one thousand year numerous Hindu Gurus and Swamis who have tried to reinterprete our religion or just lazily claimed that our religion is just one expression of Hinduism and that practically all the insights and truths of the Buddhism are same as Vishnus or some other Gods or Hindu religious authoritys. Hindu even traditionally was a synonym for Indian. So what am I now anti-Indian or anti-Hindu? If one is “obsessed about Jews” by resisting Indian or Jewish subversion and revision of our religion, then okay by those standards Im an antisemite, whoopty whoop!

    Now that I have found that I am an antisemite I will join these guys, its now clear to me that the Chinese are not behind the problems of the Mongolian nation, but the Jews! (for those that are too thick to understand irony, no I dont think that Chinese or Jews are behind the problems of Mongolia, for those that are even thicker, no Im not joining a Mongolian Neo-Nazi gang!)

    https://images.csmonitor.com/csm/2014/09/mongolia.jpg?alias=standard_900x600nc

    No, sir.

    Those trivialities that you are saying don’t address the point I was making in any way. Regardless of how good people some Muslims are (which is true), one can perfectly evaluate how crappy their belief system is based on simple reasoning like the one I offered.

    Would you be happy if I would express that I think that Islam is shitty or something? You know what, I dont care much about Islam, and I dont think that people of Iran or Morocco will change for better if we all together start to criticize or insult their religion, I wouldnt care if they all would become Atheists or Hare Krishnas, their life, their choices.

    This is actually quite complicated topic, but for different reasons than you think of, I leave it for another time, and just express that you have in my opinion quite simplistic and black and white view about these matters. I can say this as a guy who is not any great fan of Islam. Still what the hell? You have a problem because I dont care to give my judgement about the Islam to you, what kind of cuckoo land do you live? Am I now somehow enabler of Islam or something, I just dont get your logic man? There are many different belief systems in this world, great majority of them dont make sense from my point of view, as mine doesnt make sense from their point of view.

    Incidentally, I spent several days discussing this kind of topics with my Moroccan friend when we drove to Casablanca to stay with his parents. He liked the discussion and was much more open to my criticism of his religion than you. He had had his own religious doubts and had even become a Hare Krishna before reverting back to Islam.

    Criticism? Criticism, wheres your criticism? Really , show me? You had two kinds of arguments, claiming something which we in Buddhism dont have or dont practice, or bringing up stuff that is irrelevant in regards of Buddhist philosophy.

    The important thing perhaps in this discussion is that this second kind of fear of death is what is behind all religions. I am unable to imagine the religious phenomenon without it and it is sometimes easy to see (I believe we have some examples in this thread) how people become tremendously unsettled when you question their religious beliefs. It’s something much deeper than questioning a tradition that they inherited from their family and culture. It touches the very meaning of their lives: will things after your death not be what you hope for?

    Unsettled? Tremendously unsettled? Questioning of religious beliefs? If you would go to a psychologist and start arguing about general theory of relativity or is earth spherical or flat, would you think that its somehow productive or smart way to behave? Or if some religious guy would come to you and claim that Atheists are followers of goddess Athena? Your points have been irritating, nothing else.

    Because some people are simple and can only understand through paragraphs. We are like two drunk guys, who have an argument, I am at kitchen drinking Vodka and arguing with you and you are like “I’ll punch you, take that,” but you are so drunk that you are hitting the walls, table and everything else than me, and Im like “Misha, hey Im here, you silly drunk, do you even know how to punch!” But with AaronB its different. Its like arguing with a guy about the nature of water and alcohol, but this guy has never tasted alcohol, his sense of smell doesnt work and he has never studied chemistry.

    So AaronB is like:
    “Hey Altan alcohol and water are the same,”
    and Im like, “no they are not, they have a different chemical composition.”
    “but Altan they both are fluids.”
    “Yes they are, but there are many other things that are also fluids.”
    “But Mr. Bakshi they both are clear and light can travel through them.”
    “Oh well, but their boiling point and freezing point are different, so even though they have superficial similarities they have many different attributes from each other.
    “But Altan you can drink both.”
    “Yes you can, but water can sustain life, but pure alcohol is poison for most lifeforms, so they are different, okay?”

    -Silence….

    “But they both are liquids, arent they?”

    And so our eternal cycle continues, locked in the madness of Samsara….

    The second, uniquely human aspect to the question, is the realization that all you are, all you feel, all you care for, will one day come to an end and disappear forever. The realization of this dreadful fact of life arises at some point in everybody’s lives when you think about your existence so it is a fundamental part of the human nature.

    At least you have some good points, excellent ones, to be honest about such things is good and praiseworthy. Most people who claim that they dont have a fear of death just lie or its not present in their thoughts, they delude themselves and think oh well I have so much time left that its not relevant yet, but are shit scared when it becomes relevant. This is complicated topic, but yes everything what we are what we love, what we think, or are attached to, will crumble, die and decay. This is a great truth of all existence, people who keep such thoughts on their mind are praiseworthy and admirable. If you would have brought up good counter arguments against our religion you would have said things like, “hey if you guys dont believe in self or soul, how you can then believe in rebirth?” Or, “what being is if there is no soul?” We are in Buddhism just heap of aggregates, a heap of compounded aggregates that is constantly decaying and one day will day, those people who are in future are not us, they do not have our afflictions, our dreams, our hopes etc, but unlike you Atheists, we believe that the mental aggregates, which produce our mind will not disappear out of existence, like the matter and energy they are under constant change and interaction, although this current configuration of mind and matter will decay and die, there will a continuum of cognition. Its very good to think about death, Im too coward for that, but even the blessed Buddha said that its one of the best practices to keep ones death in the mind, that all compounded things will decay and fall into pieces. Yes all that is this life and this world will crumble, even our religion will decay and die, that is the nature of things, but also the nature of things is that the forms change and that there is no final or permanent state for anything, be it for the objects of ones mind or concentration, or the configurations of matter and energy.

  388. @AltanBakshi

    I find the way different East Asian nationalists often hate each other quite odd. Mongolians forming nationalist gangs because of a Chinese “threat” would be like say Czechs or Greeks forming nationalist gangs because of a German “threat”, something along those lines which I think almost all European nationalists would see as an absurd notion these days, although it obviously wasn’t always that way in the past.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  389. @widugastiR

    Sorcery means probably witchcraft which aims to harm others, there are no such things in Buddhism, such thing cant be in Buddhism. That which is not somehow altruistic is not Buddhism, period. Cannibalism? We have legends of cannibals who became pacified through the powers of our Tantrikas. Orgiastic rites? We have Yoga practices which have normal heterosexual sex between male and female lay practitioners, how the hell such things are orgiastic, even ejaculating will spoil the ritual. Such practices are reserved for high level Yogis and Yoginis. Although I did know that before or later some wacko would bring this up! Ingestion of nightshades, please show me in which text?

    Vima Nyingthik tögal text

    There is no such text, Vima Nyingthik is a huge corpus of Dzogchen Agamas and Tantras, tögal just means a “direct approach,” practice, meaning when one tries to realise ones Buddha nature directly. There is quite strange stuff written in Tantras, but they are not meant to be taken literally, any more than the blood and flesh of Christ is taken in the Church, yes one should imagine in ones mind that they are real, but they are never meant to be done in a real life outside of ones mind. Also the very crux of the Tantric practices is Guru-disciple relationship, its even more important than in the other Buddhist practices. So there has never literally been Buddhist tantric outside of such context.

    I have read unz.com for couple last years, I started to comment here last summer when I noticed some gross false statements regarding Buddhism, but now this has gone out of the hand. Im not interested of propagating Buddhism here. I almost never start writing about Dharma here, I just react when someone tries to tarnish or twist my religion. But yes this has gone out of hand. There are too many mosquitoes swarming, and its irritating to swat them all the time, more concise and well established arguments, please, pretty please! Good and even cunning criticism is always welcome!

    • Replies: @widugastiR
  390. @AltanBakshi

    Sorry AaronB and Mikel, I think I have been very rude because of this comment. Thank you AaronB for your kind words, good that you are Buddhist “heretic,” I hope that you succeed with your philosophy and make many people happy through it!

    I would now delete my “two drunkards” and “alcohol and water”-analogies, they are quite insulting, but the Karmic misdeed has been already committed…

    Oh well a person who gets so agitated to write such diatribes is clearly very far away from enlightenment…

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  391. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Beautiful:

    Isn’t it?

    Each one of us walks at one’s own pace…

  392. @Europe Europa

    Oh I shouldnt clicked disagree, well I explain to you, the Chinese people have over hundred times bigger population than all Mongolians put together, so there is kind of existential dread. Also one should remember that Mongols and Chinese have had much greater civilizational divide than the Europeans from the each other. One has been for millenia the land of settled agriculturalists and other has been the land of nomad barbarians.

  393. Speaking of Islam, isnt it quite strange that the centre of their holiest place on Earth is the Kaaba, literally the Cube, and that the “Cube” is holy because it contains the Black stone of the Kaaba? They are always bragging about their Monotheism and how the one and only God is holy and that they worship only him. But the Holy Stone is like strange and alien like aberration midst of their religion? And that oddity is the very physical centre of their religion! It would be cool if Muhammed would have in reality met not with the angel Gabriel, but some strange alien that was stranded on Earth, or that angels are aliens. Actually its written in Quran that Muhammad was often cold and trembling with fear after meeting with the angel Jibril and the Islamic tradition even tells that the Angelic form of Gabriel was dreadful. Oddly Muhammad met Gabriel always in a cave alone, puzzling…


    (Dont take this comment seriously)

    • Replies: @Ano4
  394. @AltanBakshi

    As long as there is such affliction or delusion in ones mind, one can not understand Buddhism or Chan, but they are constant dangers, thats why practice is important, we can momentarily understand and see the truths of Chan, like seeing glimpses of our primordially pure nature, but our memories and our past deeds come with us and they create again and again new ways for our mind to grasp and attach and makes us fall again and again in the Samsara. But if we practice we can make those moments of clarity more durable and persistent. If we practice we can make purify our mindstream step by step.

    Fixed a typo.

  395. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Oddly Muhammad met Gabriel always in a cave alone

    Wrong.

    There have been instances of Muhammad meeting a person whom he identified as Angel Gabriel right in front of his followers His followers described this person in the Hadith, and interestingly enough, some of his clothing details fit those described for the Manichaean Elect. If one is interested, I had an exchange about it with an anonymous commenter on the First Millennium Revisionist second installment of his series on New Chronology.

    Re. Kaaba.

    It is only holly because its legendary origins are tied to the legend of Ishmael and his father Abraham building a fixed Tabernacle to be used as a place of worship. The Black Stone is supposedly a stone which fell from heaven to show the place where Adam and Eve must build their first Temple on Earth after being chased from the Garden of Eden. Ishmael and Abraham supposedly built the Kaaba Tabernacle exactly on the spot where Adam and Eve built their temple in the ancient times.

    The Black Stone itself has been desecrated several times, including by the Qarmatians who simply stole it and only gave it back after receiving a ransom.

    The Muslims do not worship this stone, although it is certainly an important relic for them.

    The Qarmatians have been radical enough to consider the Hajj pilgrimage itself as a remnant Pagan custom, advocated completely abolishing Hajj and replacing it with the “circumambilation of the Kaaba of one’s own heart”, which is actually kinda cool.

    😁

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  396. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Thank you, that’s very kind and generous of you. And please don’t become a generic milquetoast nice guy, although there probably isn’t much danger of that with you 🙂 The best thing is to be authentic, warts and all. Shoot from the hip, I always say.

    Our philosophies may be different, and we may think the other “got it wrong”, and we can fight a little, but a little broad minded tolerance, and acceptance of others, is good too.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  397. @Ano4

    But its just a Hadith? I wouldnt put too much trust into them, especially when dealing with such religion as Islam.

    It seems to me that Islamic historiography has bashed too much Qarmatians, maybe they were the guys who kept the original egalitarian ethos of Islam alive. At least if we look Oman. To me it has always appeared that early Muslims didnt much care what religion non-Arabs followed at least as long they had some basic ethics and most importantly paid their taxes. So maybe Oman is the only remnant of that kind of Islam? Sufis are a different case, but for some reason Im little skeptical that early Muslims were as much preoccupied with the esoteric and mystical, to me it seems that they arose as a movement when Arabs started to mingle with the Hellenes, Syriacs and Persians.

    What is your opinion regarding the Ishmaelis?

    • Replies: @Ano4
  398. Mikel says:
    @Mikel

    Cavernet Sauvignon.

    Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Apologies to all readers of this thread for the sacrilegious typo that I inflicted on one of the most noble cultivars of wine.

  399. Mikel says:
    @A123

    I think that you are confused. If you don’t believe in voodoo you are not agnostic about voodoo, you just don’t believe in it.

    To be honest, I don’t believe in Christianity or Allah any more than I believe in voodoo magic.

    • Replies: @A123
  400. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Sorry, I may have misjudged you.

    I think that this kind of one-line rhetorical questions fit very well in a Kung-Fu or Kill Bill movie where the Shaolin monk gives his pupil a lesson but perhaps they are not so well suited to a thread in a blog, especially when so much negativity has been expressed (including instances of violent death wishes).

    • Replies: @Ano4
  401. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Some of the Hadiths supposedly have a valid chain of translation, the one dealing with the encounter between Muhammad and Malik Jibril is one of them.

    [MORE]

    On the other hand you are correct about many Hadiths being not so reliable. When the author of Qalila Wa Dimnah (the collection of fables adapted from a Persian translation of a Sanskrit origial), Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa was going to be put to death by the Abbasid inquisition (Al Mihnah), on charges of being a crypto-Manichean Zindiq, he supposedly told to the audience of Faithful: “Instead of killing me, you should all thank me, with these very hands I added several dozen hadiths to your Sunnah”.

    About Oman, the Omani are Kharidjites like the dwellers of Tunisian Djerba island (which has also a very ancient and important Sephardic community) and the Mozabite Berbers in Algeria. These people have indeed a more community oriented form of Islam. The Kharidjites are actually well known for their highly organized and productive social life and also for their modern day pacifism. In their early years they were extremely belligerent and murderous against both the Sunnites and the Shiites, but they subsequently cooled down and are seen as among the most peaceful of different Islamic sects.

    The Qarmatians were proto Ismaili of the most radical kind. They were very much influenced by Shia millenarism on one side and the Neoplatonic greek philosophy on the other. This is of course normal for the Ismaili, but the Qarmatians were much more politically to the left of all other Islamic sects, were rationalists and had a strong anti-ritualistic ideology on top of it all. They basically tried to build the Islamic version of the Plato’s Republic. Of course the Faithful cursed them and nearly erased the very memory of their existence.

    The Ismaili started on the same spiritual bases as the Al Qaramita, but they kept it all more mainstream and less confrontational. Their great success was establishing the Fatimid Caliphate, which at its very heigh in the X century AD was an extremely evolved and functional society. Unfortunately less than two hundred years later it went down in a series of coups and dynastic squabbles (typical for the Islamic dynasties).

    Their Nizari offshoot, known under the name of Assassins isnof course legendary. I think they were highly dedicated and courageous people. I also think that they had an interesting theology which according to some scholars includes a secret belief in reincarnation. Today they are a very secularized , peaceful and prosperous community. Their Imam, the Aga Khan is well respected among the world leaders. Their Islam has been strongly reformed and simplified. A lot of other Muslims do not recognize their faith as genuine Islam, but see them as heterodox as the Druze who are actually an Ismaili offshoot.

    I think the Ismaili are a very interesting community. They keep a strong attachment to Islamic culture, but at the same time they do their best to become a highly successful community worldwide.

  402. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    especially when so much negativity has been expressed (including instances of violent death wishes).

    I don’t get it.

    Anyway, the impression I have after reading your comments is that you have a well entrenched opinion about many topics. Perhaps debating or discussing with you is useless. It is impossible to learn anything to someone who is already certain of knowing it all. And it is impossible to learn anything worthy from someone who thinks that he knows everything best.

    Be well.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  403. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Criticism? Criticism, wheres your criticism? Really , show me?

    The merits or demerits of my criticism do not have a lot to do with the way you respond to people (not just me) who question your religion. One only has so much eloquence and so much time to write some of the thoughts that come to mind when thinking about a religion.

    But I’m afraid that you totally missed the point that I was trying to make. I don’t know much about Buddhism so I used the help of Islam to try to raise a point (not necessarily the most important one) where I see all major religions fail. To be precise, I see scant to zero evidence that the Buddha was really a supremely enlightened individual. If he was (and the same goes for Jesus or Mohammad) one sees no evidence that they understood simple facts of material reality that we all now know to be true.

    In fact, your answer that in some text we can read how the Buddha made some ambiguous mention to the creatures living inside small interstices reminds me of the answer I got from my Moroccan friend when we were discussing salvation in Islam. I asked him how Allah could be so cruel to condemn to eternal torture people who didn’t believe in him through no fault of their own. For example, the countless people who had never been able to hear his message or were born before he sent this message to Muhammad. He thought about it for a while and then he also came up with some text that apparently exists somewhere in the Muslim literature talking about Allah having sent multiple messengers to all continents in all eras. OK, well, that was enough for him so I let it be but I was obviously unimpressed with this ad-hoc explanation that contradicts what Muslims tell us all the time.

    I also think that it is unfair that people feel free to criticize and deride practitioners of voodoo or silly superstitions that certain groups adhere to but then they find it taboo to criticize the big extant religions. These groups of people also derive spiritual comfort from their superstitions, just like Christians or Buddhists. And in my view the same rational approach that makes us deride these smaller groups should lead us to the same conclusions about the bigger ones if we are consistent in our rationality.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  404. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    I don’t get it.

    You probably missed some comments from out Sikh friend.

    I am willing and eager to learn new perspectives that may make me change my views. Believing that death is final for me and for all my loved ones does not bring me any joy, trust me. But it is true that I have given much thought to these matters (too much, I’m afraid) and at this stage I feel that I need to hear new and really challenging arguments.

    Be well yourself.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  405. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    You probably missed some comments from out Sikh friend

    I missed that part. He does this kind of warlike comments sometimes, but he is not a bad person. He is just short tempered and he smokes a lot of ganja.

    Believing that death is final for me and for all my loved ones does not bring me any joy, trust me.

    Death is not here to bring us joy or sadness, it just is. Death is a given. As soon as we were born we started moving to our demise. Whatever we as humans think of it, is as irrelevant as whatever we might think of gravity or speed of light. Are you also saddened by gravity, speed of light, the curvature of space, quantum entanglement and so on? I don’t think so.

    Therefore the question is: why sometimething so natural, inevitable and actually pure (death is a great purifier: it completely erases everything) does put you in such a saddening state?

    Care to explain?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Mikel
  406. Dmitry says:
    @Ano4

    Your genre of Zen comments, mismatches with your political comments a bit though. I’m not disagreeing with the Zen comments, but you still seem to write as if you were emotionally affected by nonexistent concepts and imaginary shadows of politics, that I would expect Zen to free you a bit from.

    Of course, we don’t have to be Zen monks, to notice that most of politics and history is people procrastinating by arguing about nonexistent nonsense, which does not have a consistency even on a conceptual level (what are things like “epochs” and “countries”?). I think my grandmother (who was no Zen monk) would know these don’t really exist.

    To paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, when we look at human history we can see only: “The empty pomp of processions, plays on the stage, flocks and herds, jousting shown, a bone thrown to puppies, morsels thrown into the fishponds, ants toiling and carrying, puppets dancing on their strings, the scurries of mice frightened by their own shadows”.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Ano4
  407. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Of course, you don’t need to smoke cannabis to enjoy music. But certainly enjoyment of music depends your mood, and cannabis can help some people to close their eyes and focus on music.

    (The simplest trick to focus on music, is just to turn off the lights in the room – if it’s completely dark, then you are usually forced to focus your attention to music).

    Cannabis can certainly be a life-enhancer in moderation. Especially for certain activities, like smoking with your girlfriend, or if you smoke before eating.

    On the other hand, in some activities, cannabis makes things less enjoyable, and is life de-enhancer. If you smoke before watching a film – I found you become hypercriticial and detached, and will enjoy the film less.

    It’s the opposite of alcohol. To drink beer while watching a film, or in the cinema – I think usually allows your mind to become more emotionally involved in a film. It’s surprising people don’t write this, but enough alcohol can make a bad film seem quite good.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  408. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    I have been guilty of the same thing as ano4, so I can’t judge him. To care very much about politics or history is not Zen.

    Politics, then, can be enjoyed, like any game, or any part of life. But to take it seriously…no.

  409. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Therefore the question is: why sometimething so natural, inevitable and actually pure (death is a great purifier: it completely erases everything) does put you in such a saddening state?

    I think that I answered this earlier. To paraphrase you, death is… and existential anguish is.

    Why does it exist? Probably because we humans can think and realize that we and everything and everybody we love are destined to extinguish themselves. Forever. If a cat could think and be as self-conscious as us it would probably also have the same feeling when thinking about this matter.

    But let’s not talk about my death. Let’s talk about the death of a loved one. The right question is: how could it NOT put me in a saddened state? The temporal nature of our existence is essentially different from the speed of light or the force of gravity. It affects us in a literally existential way. So your question does not make much sense as formulated.

    But part of the problem, and this is where I find AaronB’s thoughts insightful, is that we take ourselves too seriously. If we were able, in spite of our intelligence and our self-consciousness, of humbling ourselves to the level of animals or plants, we would be able to cope with our fatal destiny much better. However, we are what we are. I am skeptical that we can really change our minds so much. Certainly not without a tremendously tortuous process. A torture in the hope of preventing another torture.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  410. Ano4 says:
    @Dmitry

    Zen is not indifference. Zen is not passivity. As our friend Altan has perfectly noted above: Zen is just a peculiar form of Mahayana. The famous Vietnamese Burning Monk is a perfect demonstration of what Mahayana is first and foremost: Compassion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Qu%E1%BA%A3ng_%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Dmitry
  411. A123 says:
    @Mikel

    I think you are not understanding the actual meaning of the term Atheist. Do not feel bad, the term is frequently msused.

    To be an Athiest one must have “absolute knowledge” that beyond death that there is No God. This requires Faith, as by definition there is no tangible evidence in this realm of what lies beyond. You are not an Athiest.

    Technically, you are an Agnostic. You see no evidence of God in this realm, but you do not claim to have absolute Faith in the key doctrine of Atheism, “Beyond Death there is No God”.

    PEACE 😇

  412. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    death is… and existential anguish is.

    Yes but your existential anguish is not the product of death. It is the product of a certain manner of viewing life and death. When you see life and death as antithetical : life as presence and death as absence, and when you crave the presence and abhor the absence, then of course you will reject death. Reject the inevitable…

    Why does it exist? Probably because we humans can think and realize

    In fact the animals should be more afraid of death because they are unable of abstract thought and logic needed to overcome this fear. A human being is able to become fearless in face of death, an animal cannot. As noticed in Frank Herbert’s Dune, only a true human can master pain and overcome fear. An animal is usually (but not always) mastered by its reflexes.

    But let’s not talk about my death. Let’s talk about the death of a loved one.

    There is no difference. It is exactly the same situation: we will all be erased from this Reality.

    The right question is: how could it NOT put me in a saddened state?

    Here you have it: it is not death, but the supposed absence of the loved one that is the cause of suffering and rejection. Your pain, fear and despair are caused by you seeing life as a presence and death as an absence and both as being separate. Just like I wrote above.

    The temporal nature of our existence is essentially different from the speed of light or the force of gravity.

    No.

    It affects us in a literally existential way.

    What is it that “exists”? What are you exactly Mikel? Not who you are, but what you are? How is it different from everything else?

    Same quarks/leptons/gluons, same quanta of energy, same atoms? same laws of thermodynamics as everything else, same molecules, same biochemical reactions, and still you feel that you are something unique, something special.

    What is it?

    I am skeptical that we can really change our minds so much. Certainly not without a tremendously tortuous process.

    It happens gradually all by itself and without much torture. All one needs is open mindedness and time…

  413. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    On the subject of human unimportance, you might want to check out John Gray’s book Straw Dogs. Really good.

    Here is a book review of his that discusses death –

    https://www.newstatesman.com/node/154660

    • Thanks: Mikel
  414. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Are you saying that we can achieve a state of mind that would enable us not to feel sadness if our little child died of a cruel disease?

    I find that difficult to believe and it doesn’t even sound healthy to me.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    , @Ano4
  415. @Ano4

    I ain’t ever smoke, nigga.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  416. @Mikel

    Stfu, dog.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  417. @AltanBakshi

    Please see the following document for a list of sources: http://www.tantriklaboratories.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/The-Use-of-Entheogens-in-the-Vajrayana-Tradition1.pdf

    Note also the conclusion:

    >> When these sources are taken together, their combined weight leaves little room for doubt that Vajrayana has had a well-documented tradition of making use of entheogenic plants (especially datura and cannabis) for magico-religious and psychospiritual purposes. While this use may never have been particularly widespread, it is certainly significant.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  418. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    I know, you drink bhang. And you should add more pepper.

  419. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    The question should be how long can you stay polite and well behaved?

    🙂

    • Replies: @sher singh
  420. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    What is it that “exists”? What are you exactly Mikel? Not who you are, but what you are? How is it different from everything else?… and still you feel that you are something unique, something special. What is it?

    I think that you left your question as an open one, so I’d like to present an answer that presents the Orthodox Christian response to life’s most important question:

    “Externally, man seems to exist in a purely biological way, like the other living beings, the animals. Of course, he is an animal, but “an animal… which is in the process of Theosis* through its inclination towards God,”1 as St. Gregory the Theologian says in his characteristic way. He is the only being that is distinguished from all else in creation, because he is the only one which can become a god. The phrase “in His image” describes the gifts which God gave only to man in order to complete him as an icon of God, and not to any of His other creatures. These gifts are: a logos related nous,* conscience, and individual sovereignty, i.e. freedom, creativity, eros, and the yearning for the absolute and for God, personal self-awareness, and anything else which puts man above all other living beings in creation and makes him a man and an individual. That is to say, everything that makes man a person. These are the charismata by which we are formed “in His image. “Having been endowed “in His image,” man is called upon to be completed “in His likeness.” This is Theosis. The Creator, God by nature, calls man to become a god by Grace.”

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    • Thanks: Ano4
  421. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Are you saying that we can achieve a state of mind that would enable us not to feel sadness if our little child died of a cruel disease ?

    The short answer is yes. Of note, the disease is not cruel or kind, it simply is. The whole of the Universe is also neither cruel or kind.

    I find that difficult to believe and it doesn’t even sound healthy to me.

    Suffering is unhealthy. Not suffering is healthy. Everything that leads to unnecessary suffering is a disease. Everything that prevents or heals unnecessary suffering is healthy.

    You may love your child without being devastated with your child passing away. In fact, if your child suffered a lot because of the disease and there was no cure, you should want the suffering to cease.

    I speak from experience, when my youngest daughter was 3 years old she nearly died with an aggravated pneumonia. I remember the two weeks we spent at the hospital. In our case the cure was finally effective. Therefore our daughter is still with us.

    But in my wife’s circle of acquaintances a young girl was sick with an incurable type of cancer and spent nearly 3 years going in and out of hospital to die at the end. According to what my wife told me, the parents suffered probably more than the child who took it as a given because she was less burdened with adult preconceptions.

    Of cause we love our families, but we should not see them as a given and grasp onto their presence. They are impermanent.

    When conditions allow – phenomena appear, when conditions cease – phenomena disappear. Everyone and everything in this World is like that. It is impermanent, conditioned and bound to decay and cease.

    Yourself are like that.

    Nothing will change this.

    Question is: is it all there is to Reality?

    That’s an important question. And it is a lenghty exploring of a complex topic…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AaronB
    , @Mikel
  422. Mr. Hack says:
    @Ano4

    Suffering is unhealthy. Not suffering is healthy. Everything that leads to unnecessary suffering is a disease. Everything that prevents or heals unnecessary suffering is healthy.

    Thanks you for reminding me that I need to call a dentist to take care of an aching tooth that just started to bother me yesterday. 🙁

    (I can procrastinate with the best of them.)

    I’m not making light of your thoughts on this subject. They are really quite profound. It must be extremely painful to watch a child of your own die from an incurable disease, or even from an accident of some kind. The death of anybody close to you is painful enough. Even Jesus Christ was moved to a great depth of sadness when he encountered his friend Lazarus lying in his burial tomb. Being God himself, as part of the Holy Trinity, he raised him from death after 4 days!

    • Replies: @Ano4
  423. @widugastiR

    Some fringe site by the name of the “tantriklaboratories” is your source? I will not take you anymore seriously, or lets say that I will take you as seriously as people who claim that Christianity is a Jewish or Flavian / Roman conspiracy.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sacred_Mushroom_and_the_Cross

    Interestingly there have been also such false accusations made against Christianity. If I recall correctly there was a group of theologians or historians connected with Timothy Leary in the 60s, who tried to prove that the Early Christians ate pcychedelic mushrooms during the Eucharist, and in that way had visions of Jesus and heaven. Utter bullshit of course.

  424. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    In this existence we will know pain, it cannot be avoided. But suffering is not pain. Suffering is a kind of feedback loop that feeds upon and reinforces pain. Pain is a form of negative stress, suffering is the emotional amplification of this pain.

    Pain is mandatory, suffering is optional.

    A lot of suffering is simply a byproduct of wrong views. When you accept Reality as it is, a lot of unnecessary suffering fades away.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  425. @Ano4

    polite

    Not part of Maryada||

    • Replies: @Ano4
  426. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    When conditions allow – phenomena appear, when conditions cease – phenomena disappear. Everyone and everything in this World is like that. It is impermanent, conditioned and bound to decay and cease

    I know you don’t like me, but I would ask you a serious question.

    As far as I understand it, the idea of impermanence and change is a Theravada doctrine, whereas the Mahayana – and Chan and Zen – texts say that nothing exists to begin with, so nothing arises or ceases.

    The Mahayana texts repeat over and over that the world should be viewed as “a dream, a soap bubble, an illusion, a magic show”, and the Chan texts say repeatedly “fundamentally, not one thing exists” – yet iirc, they dont mention impermanence and change.

    As I understand it, Theravada Buddhism believes that while a unified self standing apart from the aggregates doesn’t exist, the aggregates do have real independent existence, and thus arise and cease. Therefore it stresses impermanence- which is a term relating to actual existence.

    The Mahayana extends the concept of no-self to all of existence. Nothing has real existence.

    The reason I mention this is because the idea of impermanence and change, while good, seems to retain the idea that bad things – from the normal human perspective- actually can happen in the world, and bids us a wise resignation to the universal Law. I respect this attitude, but it seems lacking in joy, and to retain a tragic dimension.

    The idea that the world is an illusion, and nothing actually exists to begin with, seems to remove the element of tragedy. There is no arising and ceasing of anything real. Nothing bad can truly happen. Instead of wise resignation to a tragic reality, noble as that is, there is a joyous sense of release, because in a world of illusion nothing is truly at stake, so you can relax.

    Ironically, the Mahayana is more “nihilistic” – it denies everything – and thus more liberating and joyous. A little nihilism leads to resignation at best, while a truly thorough going nihilism leads to release, and cheerfulness.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Menes
  427. @Mikel

    Have I claimed that Buddha should be for you a “supremely enlightened individual? He is only just for us Buddhists, we dont ask or demand anything from the non-Buddhists, okay almost nothing. We just demand that in lands that we inhabit have a freedom of religion and that people dont practice blood sacrifices. By monastic code a Buddhist monk is even prohibited visiting other lands without an invitation. Those points which you have made against Buddhas level of high spiritual achievement are not relevant from a Buddhist point of view, I dont mean that science or medicine is not important us, not at all, they are very important, but we leave such things to scientists and doctors. Buddha taught about the nature of our mind, what sources of happiness are lasting and good, and which are not, which kind of behaviour is praiseworthy and which is not. Its true that my example about the bacteria was ambiguous, I brought up it just because I thought that you specifically wanted to know if Buddha possibly has spoken about such matters. For you Buddha would be a supreme being if he would have spoken about the scientifical achievements of the future, okay that is good criteria, but its not a criteria that we Buddhists have. Psychology of course is not same thing as the Buddhism but it will serve well my analogy. What it would matter for psychology if the Earth is round or not? Of course everything is connected, but such matters are not critically important for the psychology or the Buddhism, nor do they need to have a fixed opinion on such matters, they both leave such things to scientists.

    Also you have evrry right to criticise any religion or doctrine, have I denied your right? I just often dont see it as very productive, and its my right to state that.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  428. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    In fact the animals should be more afraid of death because they are unable of abstract thought and logic needed to overcome this fear. A human being is able to become fearless in face of death, an animal cannot. As noticed in Frank Herbert’s Dune, only a true human can master pain and overcome fear. An animal is usually (but not always) mastered by its reflexes

    Fear of death comes from seeing the future. Lacking abstract thought, the animal lives in the present. When a threat arises, he fears it and runs from it. When he sees he cannot escape, he accepts his fate. He does not spend his days fearing death, but enjoying life. That is why we need animals to stay sane.

    Sure, humans can use abstract thought to reach this state, but dont the animals have by default what humans lack?

    Moreover, this attitude that humans are special and superior to animals, and can master their own fate, does this not increase our ego and self importance, and make us see ourselves as separate beings that stand apart from nature? And isnt this sense of self importance and separateness the source of our dread of death?

    Surrendering to nature, abandoning the notion you can can master your own fate and seeing yourself as part of a larger whole, seems to ease self-importance and anxiety about death.

    I know you will probably find these reflections unconvincing, but logically, it seems inescapable to me that your attitude builds a sense of ego, self importance, and a separate self, that i cannot square with Chan or Zen.

    It seems to me that the two paths mankknd can choose in the face of the dread of death is to build his ego or abandon his ego – or rather, to recognize the ego as a controlling agent separate from nature is a fiction. To build his self importance or realize he was as not important- or in control – as he thought.

    Most have chosen to build the ego. Buddha, it seems to me, came to tell us that was a mistake. And judging by tormented mankind lost in its dream of self importance, I think he was right.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mikel
  429. @Ano4

    For Ano4

    Peculiar? There is nothing new in Chan, same stuff as in the Sutras, only in more terse and laconic form.but sadly laconic and terse language is an ideal breeding ground for western misconceptions.

    For whom it may concern

    Some people try to find gold, but some people look for things that are outrageous, odd or shocking. It seems to me that some people here are like that regarding the Dharma.
    So dont worry, your search is over, I will reveal some such practices. Practices which make sense from the Buddhist point of view, but not from outsiders.

    1. Feeding oneself to animals, yes a Bodhisattva practice par excellence, although the Chinese version of feeding oneself to insects is a tad bit too extreme in my opinion, I think that the Indian way of feeding oneself to hungry tigers or lions is better. Reminder that this practice should arise from a genuine compassion and altruism and is only reserved for those who are far on the path, and when one has done it, he has perfected his generosity, the Paramita of Dana, but one fails in this practice if fear arises in his mind, or if his mind is agitated and clouded.

    2. Burning oneself for the Glory of the Dharma! Yes there is such tradition in the Buddhism, often not condoned by the higher monastic authorities, but there are examples in some Sutras about that, naturally one fails this practice if one loses his composure and concentration.

    3. Buddhist mummies, that some old monks self mummify themselves, by meditating and drinking less water, in China and Japan there are cases where monks have started to ingest such fluids like Camphor oil. Its believed that such self sacrifice pacifies the evil spirita and brings good luck for the local community.

    4. Relics, yes we have them and we revere them! Although Buddha taught that monks should not be attached to such things. So its okay for the laypeople.

    Are you now happy?

    For AaronB

    About the alcohol I want to say one thing, according to the Hinayana one should follow Buddhas teaching strictly to the letter, but according Mahayana the altruism is most important. Or the spirit of Buddhas teaching. Therefore in Mahayna if there is genuine altruistic motivation and cause for the drinking then its okay, but rarely there are such occasions. Of course one can deceive oneself… still its not a great vice for a layperson to drink, and at least for Tibetan monks, the breaking of the precept regarding the alcohol, does not automatically mean expulsion from monastery, it can be amended, but no proper Mahayana monastery outside of Japan is going to tolerate monks who repeatedly break their precepts, but many westerners dont know that there is always two main categories of monks. Their monastic clothing differs very little. The Sramaneras or novice monks and the actual monks or Bhiksus. The novice vows and rules are much milder and many monastics stay as Sramanera for all their lives.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  430. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    The Mahayana extends the concept of no-self to all of existence. Nothing has real existence.

    If you don’t exist, then whom am I supposed to reply to?

    😉

    BTW, stop your Jewish whining about me not liking you. This is not true. I like some of the very intelligent things you sometimes write, I also could relate to your comments about hiking in the wilderness.

    All I dislike is when you start your typical Jew York kvetching and sneering pattern. You see, I am the kind of earnest anti-Semite who gets perfectly well along with the Chosen People as long as they do not start kvetching and sneering too much.

    🙂

    • Replies: @AaronB
  431. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Again: you think too much. Your Monkey Mind is jumping from one banana tree to another. How will you ever achieve peaceful clarity?

    🙂

    • Replies: @AaronB
  432. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    There is nothing new in Chan

    And did I write that there was? Peculiar is not necessarily novel…

    😉

  433. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    Well, one must use thought to deconstruct thought. The Monkey Mind builds up thought castles in the air. It accumulates and hoardes ideas and opinions and clings to them The proper use of thought is to deconstruct these illusions.

    Ultimately, yes, the goal is certainly no-thought. But one must first go through a transitional phase of using thought to deconstruct thought, like Nagarjuna.

    Buddhism is like a raft. You discard it when it has served its purpose. After you’ve deconstructed opinion, theory, and idea, you live in the present, not according to a theory, but spontaneously.

    And even then one does not simply have a blank mind. As the Platform Sutra says, if a blank mind was the goal, even stones would be enlightened. Thought is natural, ideas are natural. The point is not to suppress them but to not take them seriously, to see through them, to not let them bind you and make you live by them, to see they are all partial and one sided, to see thought as play.

    That, to me, is peace and clarity.

  434. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    If you don’t exist, then whom am I supposed to reply to?

    Precisely 🙂

    The Diamond Sutra is a central text for Chan and Zen –

    Yet when this innumerable, immeasurable, infinite number of beings has become liberated, we do not, in truth, think that a single being has been liberated.’

    “Why is this so? If, Subhuti, a bodhisattva holds on to the idea that a self, a person, a living being, or a life span exists, that person is not a true bodhisattva.

    Bhikshus, you should know that all of the teachings I give to you are a raft.’ All teachings must be abandoned, not to mention non-teachings.”

    The Buddha asked Subhuti, “In ancient times when the Tathagata practiced under the guidance of the Buddha Dipankara, did the Tathagata attain anything?”

    Subhuti answered, “No, World-Honored One. In ancient times when the Tathagata practiced under the guidance of the Buddha Dipankara, he did not attain anything.”

    Subhuti, do not say that the Tathagata has the idea, ‘I will bring living beings to the shore of liberation.’ Do not think that way, Subhuti. Why? In truth there is not one single being for the Tathagata to bring to the other shore. If the Tathagata were to think there was, he would be caught in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span.

    All I dislike is when you start your typical Jew York kvetching and sneering pattern

    Ah, well, I will try and avoid my sneering and kvetching 🙂

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AltanBakshi
  435. Ano4 says:
    @sher singh

    Strong and polite is better than strong and impolite.

    Walk lightly and carry a big stick…

    🙂

    • Disagree: sher singh
  436. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I would agree with you that in Mahayana monasteries drinking doesn’t take place. Its not like they are these riotous drinking parties going on.

    Where alcohol shows up is more on the margins – wandering monks and poets, and hermits, who used to live in monasteties, will often celebrate drinking wine, and looking at the moon. Its quite beautiful.

    Similarly, the Muslim mystic Rumi says all he needs is a jug of wine under a tree, with his beloved, and that is paradise enough. Of course orthodox Muslims interpret this as allegorical, but in its spirit of carefree abandon and seeing through the world, it is quite in accord with liberated people and mystics everywhere.

    But the whole atmosphere of Mahayana is less strict than Theravada – that is why it is called the “larger” vehicle, it isn’t as narrow, but more loose and accepting of differing approaches.

    In the spirit of the Mahayana, I would say drinking alcohol would be fine not just for altruistic reasons but also if it helps your personal ability to achieve enlightenment.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  437. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    I am very skeptical that a human brain, operating as Nature designed it, can function in the way you describe. And that achieving that kind of functioning, if it’s possible at all, does not entail a tremendous effort with no guarantee of success.

    I would give it a try, though, if I knew where to start. But one of the problems I see is that you guys keep talking about very different schools of thought and argue among yourselves not only about the correct ones to follow but even about the deep meaning and objectives of each one (and I’m not even taking into consideration Mr Singh’s contributions to this debate).

    • Replies: @Ano4
  438. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Beings are non-beings. As simple as that. Shunyata isn’t empty. There is no contradiction between the three vehicles. It is just that your mind causes discriminations to arise because you are at a level between the icchantika and the shravaka.

    All these concepts are bananas to feed your Monkey Mind.

    Starve the Monkey.

    Sit and face the wall (of Avidya) until it dissolves.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AaronB
  439. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    What it would matter for psychology if the Earth is round or not?

    Psychologists don’t claim to be part of some Holy Trinity or having achieved ultimate levels of enlightenment.

    Big claims like that require big proofs.

    I am just a simple guy living in the 21st century. When I hear about some extraordinary individual having lived 2,000 or 2,400 year ago that had supernatural levels of knowledge, I try to apply some common sense and imagine how such a being would have interacted with the people around him, especially considering that I am also told that he gave these people concrete advice about how to follow their lives.

    If I see no evidence that this interaction followed the expected pattern from our modern-day knowledge, I conclude that in al likelihood we are talking about ancient myths. Even more so considering that multitudes of such beings, in one form or another, have been alleged to have existed across all eras and all human cultures, and their teachings and gran revelations were completely contradictory to each other’s.

    In the end, it all boils down to people choosing to follow this or that god/prophet as a means to placate their existentials fears.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  440. Dmitry says:
    @Ano4

    To be involved with meaningless political concepts that were created by power conflicts in modern history, is not “compassion”. I’m quite sure, that even any peasants of past centuries, were wise enough to know that “it’s just nonsense”.

    Of course, particular kinds of delusions can determine the behaviour of other people, and it’s important to understand that to the extent that it can affect you, and you can plan against it.

    But if your passion for Zen didn’t help to free you from obsession overly about things you cannot control, then you surely need a better meditation teacher.

  441. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Cannabis can certainly be a life-enhancer in moderation. Especially for certain activities, like smoking with your girlfriend, or if you smoke before eating.

    So if you “haven’t smoked cannabis in years”, it seems that you’re depriving your girlfriend of your charming stoned personality during intimate encounters, and yourself a good tonic before a meal?

    On the other hand, in some activities, cannabis makes things less enjoyable, and is life de-enhancer. If you smoke before watching a film – I found you become hypercriticial and detached, and will enjoy the film less.

    I can assure you that the “hypercritical and detached” feelings that you’ve experienced while watching a film, are feelings that can transfer over to general feelings of introversion related to general situations of social interaction. I say this as a person who have always had normal feelings of socialization amongst my friends, to one who would find conversing difficult and unpleasant with friends while being stoned. I never have had these feelings now that I’ve totally given up weed for more than 30 years now and I say this in reference to your questionable statement regarding how cannabis usage cannot make an extravert into an introvert. How sociable were you when you experienced some powerful cannabis that made it extremely difficult for you to “get off of the couch”? 🙂

  442. @AaronB

    Vajracchedika or Vajra Cutter Sutra is immensely important scripture in all Mahayana. I am now little burned out and tired of explaining, but later after couple days in the next open thread I will try to shortly explain its meaning, but really you are silly, all the masters warn of the dangers if one grasps such teachings in a nihilistic way. Of course my explanation will not be perfect, people study Vajracchedika for all their lives and if one would understand it completely and precisely, then one would be a Buddha.

    • Agree: Ano4
  443. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    If you tried a mindfulness meditation focusing on your breathing. Then stop and drink a glass of wine. And then try mindfulness meditation again after the alcohol.

    You will notice (if your brain is similar in this way to mine, at least) that the alcohol prevents you from maintaining the mindfulness.

    Buddhist monks are often devoted to meditation, like an athlete might be devoted to their bodily fitness. In either profession, alcohol prevents them from practicing.

    However, of course, in moderation, alcohol can be beneficial for man, and a life-enhancer. Nobody can say that drinking with your friends and family on special occasions, or New Year, is not good for your soul.

    Similarly, alcohol can at times help people to focus in some ways – for example, drinking alcohol while watching a film, eating a meal, or listening to music.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AaronB
  444. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    I am not preaching anything to you. No school, no philosophy, no religion at all. Whatever other people write on this thread is their own business. I don’t argue with anyone.

    It’s fun having humans arguing against each other, it’s lively, it is entertaining. It is something we enjoy as primates.

    Fact is: human minds create illusions all the time, each one of us is deluded. The question is: do you prefer being a deluded human that suffers or a deluded human that does not suffer anymore?

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  445. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    Fear of death comes from seeing the future. Lacking abstract thought, the animal lives in the present. When a threat arises, he fears it and runs from it. When he sees he cannot escape, he accepts his fate. He does not spend his days fearing death, but enjoying life.

    Absolutely true.

    The existential fear of death that so many philosophers and religious people have talked about through human history is not that of an animal. It does not come about when you suddenly confront death. On those occasions you are just too busy and don’t have the time to give deep thoughts to the meaning of life and death. As Ano4 said, that kind of fear can be overcome by humans.

    Existential fear of death comes at any time when you just think about your ultimate destiny. It actually comes about in the tranquility of your own thoughts, typically with no threat of imminent death whatsoever. This is a uniquely human experience, at least on this planet.

    But as Altan said, there are many people that choose to just not think about this and probably even more people who leave these matters to their local spiritual leaders and simply follow their guidance. This is in fact perfectly fine with me. As a matter of principle, I never try to dissuade this kind of people of their beliefs. It would be cruel and pointless. If they are truly able to believe that they are going to meet their dead relatives and friends in some sort of celestial party, more power to them.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  446. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    Okay, but I don’t quite think its about starving the monkey, but rather its about playing with the monkey 🙂 Joking around with him and not taking him seriously. Starving him seems like a very mean thing to do to him 🙁

    As the Sixth Patriarch said, it’s not about being like a stone and having no thoughts.

    Starving the monkey, also, seems like controlling my mind, but if I am not a separate self standing apart from my mind, this is impossible. The mind that needs to be controlled is the mind doing the controlling. But in the spirit of “upaya”, I urge you to act “as if” you were a separate self, and can control your mind 🙂 It can be an immensely therapeutic technique, to act on assumptions, and see where that leads.

    Sitting and facing the wall until it dissolves sounds good – it sounds like no longer taking self-action, but letting “it” do the work. It sounds like surrender to nature, surrender to my mind, and no longer trying to control.

    Anyways, thanks for your answer. I think we’ve exhausted this line of inquiry, but thanks for participating.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  447. @Mikel

    Existential and existential, actually it could be argued from a Buddhist point of view that the atheist world view is less scary and existentially dreadful, our philosophy believes that the whole universe is full of horrible suffering, that all beings have suffered infinite lifetimes, the materialist and atheist view is really less dreadful. At least the suffering wl end automatically for every one and there is no chance that it will continue pointlessly trillions of years, like being born as an insect again and again. Few learned Buddhists believe in Buddhism because they want it to be true, but because it makes most sense to us. It would be wonderful if especially Christians would be right.

    But you claim that sentience has a beginning and an end, our counter argument is that no one has empirical knowledge about his first moment of cognition or of being conscious. On the other hand we can empirically perceive that the are varying levels of concentration or being of conscious of the moment, like in the dreams or at the moment of deep sleep.

    Psychologists don’t claim to be part of some Holy Trinity or having achieved ultimate levels of enlightenment.

    Big claims like that require big proofs.

    Ahem strictly speaking Nirvana, or what is called in the west by the name of the enlightenment, does just mean that a beings mind doesnt anymore cling on concepts, the mind has ceased to fabricate or conceptualise stuff. I get it that you dont like religion, but your criticism against Buddhis is too much based on stuff in Abrahamic religion.

    Everyone of us is his own judge, for me his claims and proofs have been enough, and theres always a possibility that Im wrong.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  448. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    Yes, this is true. Thats why some people like to stay very busy, so they never have to confront thoughts of death.

    I doubt humans can, or even should, achieve quite the state of being of an animal. We have our own state of being that is proper to the human animal. We have conscious thought, for what its worth, and that too is nature. We are animals, of course, but of a certain kind, just as horses are different than dogs.

    Some Buddhists think you must suppress your thoughts, but the masters said this is not the way.

    The problem isn’t conscious thought, but when we make too much of it and treat it as absolutely real. When we take the world as it appears to our senses and mind as absolutely real. For instance, it can be shown logically that time is not real, its just a category of our brain, but when we take time as absolutely real, we feel dread of death.

    Likewise, when we take our sense of being separate egos as absolutely real, we suffer anxiety, concern for survival, and dread of death. We also experience anxiety when we see oursrlves as in control. Yet it can be shown that this sense of being a separate ego is a fiction, and we are not in control.

    But our everyday sense of time and ego are useful illusions, and the point isn’t to supress them, but to see through them, to see they are only one sided approximations of a larger reality, and to utilize them without taking them seriously and without being bound by them.

    In this way, we remain human but approximate the unselfconsciousness of the animals. We cannot abolish consciousness unless we die, but a consciousness that knows it isn’t the final word, that what it sees isn’t fully real, that doesn’t take it seriously, is liberated.

    To me, thats what Buddhist liberation means.

  449. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    the atheist world view is less scary and existentially dreadful

    That may be true in a sense but, at the end of the day, Buddhism also promises its followers an afterlife and the hope of salvation (through Nirvana). Like all religions: worry not, death is not final.

    our counter argument is that no one has empirical knowledge about his first moment of cognition or of being conscious.

    I think that there is ample evidence that what we call mental activity stops when the brain is damaged. Even people who have been in a coma or gone through anesthesia don’t usually remember anything. I don’t remember anything myself of the time when I was a toddler. Not surprisingly, my first memories are from later times in life when my brain had evolved enough to be more conscious of what was around me.

    You must be speaking of some sort of mental process for which no empirical evidence exists.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AltanBakshi
  450. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    To me, mindfulness meditation is not Zen and is not Chan, and the purpose of Buddhism is to release control, not exert it.

    Most of the great Chan masters did not speak of meditation. As you say, it is being like an athlete – this kind of effort has been shown in scientific studies to increase ego and self importance, and a sense of separation.

    Mindfulness was a mistake based on the idea that if you stop clinging to the past or the future, the only place left to be is the present. If you give up goals and regrets, by default, you are in the Now. Its an effortless and spontaneous thing.

    However, some Buddhists then decided this meant one must forcibly cling to the present as in mindfulness, but the best Mahayana masters say you should cling not to past, future, or present. And you will actually find in the Chan masters criticism of meditation.

    Wine relaxes us and makes focused effort more difficult – many Mahayana masters say you should have a sort of fuzzy and loose thinking, and let things be as they are.

    (Intellectually, wine also stimulates the imagination).

    Of course, there are times to be focused and sharp, and times to let go, and excessive alcohol consumption can be bad.

    • LOL: Ano4, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Dmitry
    , @Menes
  451. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    but rather its about playing with the monkey

    This is called (Monkey) mind masturbation…

    A waste of time.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  452. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Wine relaxes us and makes focused effort more difficult – many Mahayana masters say you should have a sort of fuzzy and loose thinking, and let things be as they are

    Behold, Aaron the Drunken Master!

    • LOL: AaronB
  453. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    What is consciousness Mikel?

  454. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    I think you misunderstood. Thoughts arise naturally. Instead of making an effort to suppress them, we can not take them seriously.

    We can play with them, understand they are illusion, and appreciate their aesthetician value and even their utility.

    I’m not saying we should make any effort to produce thought – its a natural, spontaneous process.

    As for wasting time, in an unserious world, time is meant to be wasted. Now I must go have my glass of Port…. (I just recently got into Port wine. I used to read in English novels how gentlemen would retire to their parlor before a cozy fire with a glass of Port, and it always seemed like such a cool and intriguing thing to do. I will spend my evening like an 18th century English gentleman. Port is delicious! Complex and deep. Whats more, Port is relatively cheap! I bought a 15 year aged port which was superb for $30, and 30 yo ones were going for $45. Well, this isn’t cheap, but compared to a superior 30 yo wine, its great value, and its good to treat oneself occasionally).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  455. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    Mindfulness meditation is calming and relaxing as well, at least in certain times of day.

    However, notice how incompatible it is with alcohol – if you drink alcohol, then it becomes difficult to try meditation for an hour or more. On the other hand, it is possible to meditate after smoking cannabis or drinking coffee.

    There’s something specific in alcohol which combines badly with mindfulness meditation.

    Wine relaxes us and makes focused effort more difficult

    Although a few months ago, you were obsessed with Japanese macha tea.

    I would have predicted that the next progression would be Yerba Mate.

    recently got into Port wine. I used to read in English novels how gentlemen would

    I have a bottle of “white port” in my kitchen, but I wasn’t curious enough open it yet.

    I think Port is the same as Sherry, just from Portugal instead of Spain.

    Port is popular in England, because there was a established low tax regime between Portugal and England in the beginning of the 18th century. So, today, the pretentious academics in England, are traditionally drinking Port.

    But in the native environment of Portugal/South Spain, this is what any workers and peasants can drink in the bar with some jamon.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AaronB
  456. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    if you drink alcohol, then it becomes difficult to try meditation for an hour or more.

    I wrote this sentence in the confused way. I mean it becomes difficult to try meditation for an hour or more after you drink the alcohol. (I couldn’t meditate for an hour or more).

  457. @Mikel

    nobody here is returning me the favor of challenging my atheist beliefs

    Our existential worries seem to be the answer to your “metaphysical rooflessness”, as Georg Lucas put it.  

    It’s the same with religion than with anything else in this realm: You don’t gain an insight without losing another.

    This is just how our minds (and our languages) work. You will never get rid of existential problems via language. Wittgenstein pointed this out. But he just kept trace of others in these traces before – like Heinrich Seuse, Jakob Böhme, Angelus Silesius, etc. pp.  (Wittgenstein cites Ferdinand Kürnberger as a distant echo of these voices and uses his words as the motto for the Tractatus.” …all that we know of and haven’t just heard rustling and roaring can be said in three words”).

  458. @AaronB

    If you are a fan of fortified wines maybe you would like then Madeira, Port is often too sweet…

    But anyways I have a question AaronB. You claim that you, yourself, without any traditional context, can understand the truths of the Mahayana sutras. But would you think similarly if someone, a some person would study Torah and Talmud outside a Rabbinical context, and would claim that those scriptures are demanding the Jews to destroy their enemies or ruler over other nations, would you think that such person would have a valid opinion? In my opinion you are validating such behaviour regarding the interpretation of the holy scriptures, that one can just read alone them and claim that now he has gained a proper understanding of them. As we all know, the Bible has many verses, that exoterically advice Jews to destroy the enemis of Israel and so on. But if you believe that a person will gain a better or proper understanding of Torah in Yeshivah or in a Biblical institute or something, than alone, and that such person who makes such conclusions based on the exoterical understanding of the text is deluded and lacks proper training. If you think so, then you have double standards.

    I think you misunderstood. Thoughts arise naturally. Instead of making an effort to suppress them, we can not take them seriously.

    We can play with them, understand they are illusion, and appreciate their aesthetician value and even their utility.

    I’m not saying we should make any effort to produce thought – its a natural, spontaneous process.

    Do you understand that the concept “natural” or that its “good to be natural” and so on, are totally western enlightenment ideas? I dont know what kind of translations you have read, especially if you and Ano4 read Suzukis books, who was a hack. But in Buddhism we have a very different understanding of natural. As joy and laughter are natural, so is the pain, anger, hatred, killing, delusion, lust etc, its totally neutral or slightly negative thing in Buddhism. Its natural to be stuck in Samsara, its natural to be under delusions, its not natural to realize ones Buddha nature. In Sanskrit or Pali Buddhist scriptures, they never use a word for nature or natural when describing the Buddha state, or the “Buddha nature.” Tathagatagarbha , which often is translated as “Buddha nature,” is in reality Buddha seed, or Buddha womb, meaning the potential which is innate in each of us, that kind manifest when the internal and/or external conditions are right. Another word that is also often mistranslated is the Buddhadhatu, Dhatu means many things, but practically it also means the potential that is in our mindstream.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AaronB
  459. @Mikel

    That may be true in a sense but, at the end of the day, Buddhism also promises its followers an afterlife and the hope of salvation (through Nirvana). Like all religions: worry not, death is not final.

    This current self of me and you will cease to exist according the Buddhism. These thoughts we hold dear will cease, our loved ones will die and we will never meet them again. Its true that I dont personally worry too much about the death, but thats because I am a lazy and no good Buddhist. Buddha himself taught that one should worry about the death, that ones life is short and that anything can happen. Really this is not the problem in the Buddhas teachings. He even claimed that its good to keep ones death in the mind for every moment of existence, which is really too hardcore practice for me! There is even specific practice for that, the Maranasati its called. Actually this not worrying about the death is quite universal and common problem among the mankind, at least for those who are not yet very old. So if you worry and it makes you more conscious and sentient about your life, then according to the Buddha this is very good and praiseworthy. There is no lack of contemplation of death in our religion, and our scriptures universally tell that its a shitty thing to happen, there is nothing nice about it, they very graphically describe all the various mental and physical sufferings that relate to dying.

    I think that there is ample evidence that what we call mental activity stops when the brain is damaged. Even people who have been in a coma or gone through anesthesia don’t usually remember anything. I don’t remember anything myself of the time when I was a toddler. Not surprisingly, my first memories are from later times in life when my brain had evolved enough to be more conscious of what was around me.

    You must be speaking of some sort of mental process for which no empirical evidence exists.


    As you see there is still somekind of activity in the brain, even if one is in coma or even in vegetative state. Its just extremely subtle, but something small and subtle doesnt equal non-existent, right?
    But before your brain “evolved” you were then less conscious, but it also doesnt prove that you didnt have some kind of rudimentary and subtle consciousness, right? Even science says that our brain is not totally physical but theres a electro-magnetic field. VHS or HDD can be overwritten, but it doesnt mean that the old magnetic field disappeared, its just weaker, okay bad analogy, but funny so I will leave it here. Still its a consensus in the science that current purely physical or material models cant explain where and how consciousness arises. There is even a serious theory that our brain has somekind of quantum field, and thats how we can explain consciousness, but thats way beyond me. Im not a scientist and I dont pretend to be one, but at least I know that there is no definitive or final materialistic explanation for what the consciousness is or where it arises.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18080043/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15066545/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10653619/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10372649/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9469655/

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mikel
  460. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Well, firstly, the concept of the natural is the core of Taoism, which has been massively influential across the Far East, so one can’t say its merely Western, much less a uniquely Enlightenment idea. The concept of the natural was also central to Stoics and Epicureans in the ancient world. I think its one of those basic ideas of mankind.

    The word nature is heavily used in Taoism – “tzu-jan”, which means “of itself so” (requiring no human intervention). Its true that nature isn’t heavily used in Buddhist writing, but describing a relaxed state, without human intervention, withput effort, letting yourself be as you are, is common in Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Chan.

    There is a fascinating progression in Dzogchen texts, where they start off urging you to see past the multiplicity of the world to its inner unity, and thus accept all, then they do a sudden, but quite logically inevitable, turn, and say seeing the multiplicity is itself part of the whole, so what need is there even to see past it? It is reminiscent of Nagarjuna who, after demolishing all positions, says even the position of empyjness should not be clung to.

    What is remarkable, and earns such respect, in these thinkers is their courage – their willingness to go to the very end. This is lacking in the modern world. There isn’t actually anything wrong with logic and science, just if we applied it to the very end, we’d see beyond them.

    Just as, when you apply the insights of Buddhism to the very end, you get beyond Buddhism, you demolish Buddhism. Buddhism was just a raft, a device to get to the other shore, not a place to settle down in. And the other shore is where you started, just seeing that you never had to go anywhere. This is because the nature of reality is the circle.

    I will agree with you that early Buddhism did indeed see the negative emotions as natural, and did see itself as in a fight against nature to some extent. But Buddhism underwent a curious transformation, starting in the later Mahayana and continuing into Chan. The Prajnaparamita Sutras already begin to introduce naturalististic concepts like the Buddha body. And then things like Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Chan completed this transformation.

    What happened is, ideas implicit in earlier Buddhism came to be developed. Naturalism is implicit in the story of the Buddha’s awakening – for years he had fought his nature through asceticism. Only when he abandoned the fight against himself did he awaken. The idea of the Middle Way which rejects extremes, means one does not take sides with one side of nature against the other. One sees all sides as legitimate. The Sixth Patriarch, in the Platform Sutra, counsels his monks that whenever they are having a discussion, whatever anyone mentions, they should respond with something representing the opposite theme.

    To reject one-sidedness is to reject the fight against nature, it is to see all sides of nature as in some sense legitimate when measured against the whole. That the so-called dark side was just as legitimate as, and a necessary corollary of, the so-called light side, was an explicit theme of Taoism, and later Chan. That opposites imply each other.

    The concept of the Middle Way is essentially naturalistic, and was espoused by the two great naturalistic systems of the ancient world, Stoicism and Epicureanism.

    A further refinement of naturalism in Taoism and Chan is that the destructive capacity of man, the jealousy and competitiveness, is developed by civilization, and is not his natural state. So it is a sickness – no doubt, sickness too is natural, and part of the cycle of health snd sickness. But one can at least recognize this, and oneself become healthy, even if vain dreams of total world health are a misunderstanding of the polar nature of existence.

    Yes, Samsara is natural – that is why Samsara and Nirvana are one, not two separate places. The same world – just viewed from different perspectives. And both are natural – that is why, achieving Nirvana, you do not abolish Samsara. You see both at the same time, and see that they are one. You see the world of multiplicity and unity, division and harmony, and understand that they are one.

    You are quite right that naturalism must embrace the totality of facts. If achieving Nirvana would mean abandoming the world of Samsara, that would be a fight againt one side of nature. But Samsara and Nirvana are one – we have them both, simultaneously.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AltanBakshi
  461. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I know that there is no definitive or final materialistic explanation for what the consciousness is or where it arises

    And this is precisely why I asked Mikel “what is consciousness?”

    There is currently no Theory of Consciousness. Nothing fundamental, only very diverse hypotheses.

    [MORE]

    I am a little bit aware of the different developments in the field of consciousness studies, although I am not professionally connected to neuroscience. But given my inclinations towards the Cittamatra way of seeing Reality, I am interested in consciousness studies for some time already.

    Around 10 years ago I had a great exchange about the nature of consciousness with Viktor Argonov, a Russian transhumanist musician, scientist and philosopher who is working in the field of the consciousness studies (among other topics).

    Viktor confirmed to me that a lot more is needed to be known about the basic principles of information organization and transmission, about the nature of information itself, to even try to solve the riddle of consciousness. This is specifically true about information organization in biological systems.

    https://vz.ru/information/2011/7/19/508363.html

    Altan, when you write about quantum field, you are probably close to an element of the solution. This is possibly the most basic form of information present in our Universe. This field can be modeled as pervading everything and present everywhere, even in the empty space between galaxies. In fact under this type of modeling, there is no “empty space”. Of cause quantum field is just a theoretical modeling in physics. But if it is true, then we are all swimming in a sea of information and are more or less closely “woven together” through causal structures. We are all waves in this ocean of information, moved through its currents and flows, arising from and ceasing into this ocean again.

    Hence my humorous answer to AaronB that “Shunyata is not empty ” and “beings are not beings”.

    This is of course just a Zen/Ch’an manner of having fun…

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mikel
  462. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Actually, as a young kid, I used to try and interpret the Torah without the input of the Rabbis, which would enrage my teachers 🙂 I think I’m just no respected of authority, and a heretic at heart 🙂

    But you make a fair point.

    Firstly, I must point out that when in my arguments with antisemites I point out the Rabbinical interpretation of texts, I do so in the context of them trying to claim the Jewish community took these verses at face value. I am merely pointing out that the Jewish community did not.

    So in that context, that’s a highly pertinent point.

    Secondly, they often take single verses out of context, where the context shows they have a diferent, often opposite, or a much more limited meaning. I dont believe I do that with Buddhism. Thirdly, they do not take into account all verses on a single theme, which creates a more nuanced position, and they don’t try and make a logical synthesis of contradictory statements, but use the ones that will make Jews look worst. They also don’t consider historical circumstances, like an upsurge in persecution, when evaluating certain sayings that are strictly local in time, but claim they are characteristic of all Jewish history.

    So in this specific context, evaluating the behavior and attitude of the Jewish community across history, they use bad logic and bad scholarship.

    However, if someone wanted to interpret things in the Talmud or Bible literally, even the worst parts, I would have no problem with it, provided he was honest about all the context, and was honest that the Jewish community thought differently.

    Finally, Judaism is concerned more with practice than belief, so I may disagree with a Rabbis interpretation, but accept the practice for the sake of communal cohesion.

    In my interpretations of Buddhism, I do not merely rely on the texts, but have read extensively in the commentary, not just modern authors, but ancient commentators as well. In fact Buddhist texts are rife with contradiction, and only long reading of many texts can provide an overview of its development and inner logic (not that any of this is necessary to benefit from its insights), and only then does it come to make sense as a logical whole.

    Furthermore, I try to apply a principle of inner logical structure. For instance, when Buddha says try not to care. How to reconcile, and what is the meaning of truly not caring – doesn’t that mean even not caring about not caring? So we have to develop a logical scheme that makes sense of everything. But when you introduce the concept of “upaya” it begins to make sense: it is a cunming device.

    So I do not merely make arbitrary interpretations, but seek to ground them in logic and the texts – of course, anyone is free to not find my logic compelling.

    And finally, I am quite honest that my interpretation differs in important respects from how Buddhism was interpreted by the traditional community. I offered several reasons why this might be so – the need to disguise a creed that demolishes the illusions of competitive civilization, for one. Of course, one is free to disagree with me.

    I will say, though, that while my interpretation is not mainstream, there are individuals and secrs within Asia that agree with me – see Alexandra David Neel, the Secret Doctrines of Tibet. And if course, a certain number of modern interpreters of Buddhidm, from whom I’ve learned.

    So certainly, my views have the stink of heresy upon them and are not quite respectable 🙂 But that is just as I would have it be, perverse as I am. I am not quite a respectable person.

    One final consideration – a view stands or falls by how well it accords with our inner truth, and with how well it liberal. The entire weight of authirity and tradition count for less than this.

    But this is but one man’s view-he who dislikes it is free to look elsewhere.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  463. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Aaron, this is all just a heap of words. Your mind produces interpretations, but Reality is beyond words and concepts. It is beyond human understanding. You will never understand or explain Reality to others through intellectual conceptualizations and words.

    But you can experience it right here and now.

    Being natural is simply being one with the here and now.

    It needs nothing more.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AltanBakshi
  464. @AaronB

    Madman, I know soon you will say that its okay to be mad or being mad is good, still you are a Tirthika with double standards. I dont get where Ano4 got Shravaka, being a Shravaka is immensely better, or even being a traditional Theist. Calling you Icchantika is bit too much.

    All Yanas or Buddhist vehicles are one. All Buddha’s teachings point to the same direction.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  465. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    I agree with everything you say.

    I am not trying to explain Reality, but to demonstrate that words cannot capture it. I am using words to go beyond words. To liberate. Thats why the Sixth Patriarch said, anytime one “takes a position” on Reality, show him the opposite position is equally valid. That is rooted in Nagarjuna.

    But to those who already see this, my words are unnecessary. And to those who understand my words, understand they can now discard my words. It is only a raft.

    Its just therapy, nothing more. And it works by removing [belief in] words, not adding them.

    Someone who is possessed by words – ideas and theories- cannot live in the now. First, he must drop his ideas. And there are various methods to see through ideas. One is the logic of Nagarjuna. Another is the “upaya” of acting as if one’s theory is correct and seeing where it leads.

    Some people it is enough to simply say, you are possessed by words and losing life. To some, this alone can provoke instant insight. If that’s your case, bravo.

    To each his own. But the goal is the same – the goal of no-goal, of living in the Now. The goal is to realize thrre is no Goal and to live in the now.

    The sutras and the Chan masters used words to eliminate words – they did not merely remain quiet. Although sometimes, to make the point, they gave a “lecture” where they remained completely silent.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  466. @AaronB

    Secondly, they often take single verses out of context, where the context shows they have a diferent, often opposite, or a much more limited meaning. I dont believe I do that with Buddhism. Thirdly, they do not take into account all verses on a single theme, which creates a more nuanced position, and they don’t try and make a logical synthesis of contradictory statements, but use the ones that will make Jews look worst. They also don’t consider historical circumstances, like an upsurge in persecution, when evaluating certain sayings that are strictly local in time, but claim they are characteristic of all Jewish history.

    You are literally doing this all the time.

    In my interpretations of Buddhism, I do not merely rely on the texts, but have read extensively in the commentary, not just modern authors, but ancient commentators as well. In fact Buddhist texts are rife with contradiction, and only long reading of many texts can provide an overview of its development and inner logic (not that any of this is necessary to benefit from its insights), and only then does it come to make sense as a logical whole.

    If you would have read one traditional commentary you would know that your viewpoint is false.

    Whatever..

    Hey man I think that your spinal energy channel is too tight, you know bud you should loosen up those Chakras, just chill dude…

  467. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Actually, there has always been a curious symmetry between the madman, the fool, and the sage 🙂 Didn’t you know that, with all your erudition? Both are beyond the ordinary standards of the world, one below one above. Indeed many Hindu and Buddhist poems say the sage often appears as a madman, a fool.

    By the standards of mainstream society, this is indeed a “mad” philosophy. But Erich Fromm thought society was mad.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  468. @Ano4

    Although the sources of confusion in our minds are innumerable as are the phenomena of Samsara. One such is that non-Buddhists often dont know that there is a difference between Nirvana/enlightenment and the state of Fully Awakened Buddha, Samyaksambuddha. This difference is recognized both in Theravada and Mahayana. Its much easier, although still very hard to achieve the Nirvana. Beings who have achieved just Nirvana are not Omniscient, for their compassion is limited, but Buddhas are Omniscient, yes I know Mikel will possibly now be “hah, I knew that they believe in some wacky and religiousy shit,” yes Mikel you are right. But anyway Buddhas have unlimited compassion and unlimited capacity to feel and share the sufferings of everyone, because of that they achieve the all knowing state, for their mind has no defining and limiting characteristics left.

    AaronB I will try maybe last time to shatter your misunderstandings. Sunyata is the referentiality of everything, it does not mean that there is nothing, but that there is No Thing, everything leads to other thing, everything is dependent on the other things. All the words I write they depend on numerous factors, like the interaction between you and me, the English history, our computers, keyboards, what we have felt and done today or yesterday, you see this is same with everything! No thing exists in vacuum, No Thing is itself something. Thats why there is no eye, no nose, no taste, no sensation, no enlightenment, no ignorance and no ending of ignorance. But probably for you its very hard to understand this truth. Sometimes you are close, but there is small but critical error in your view. Although I humbly admit that this is somewhat same as kettle calling the pot black, but with the crucial difference that I at least know where Buddha points, the general direction, even though I am a deluded being in Samsara. I hope that one day this barrier will break and you gain a greater insight than I.

  469. @AaronB

    Theres a difference between a madman who tells truths that no one wants to hear, or tries to wake up people by their contradictory behaviour, then there are madmen who are just madmen`and deluded in various ways, or do you claim that there are no such beings, that they all are secret sages?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  470. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    You are agitated. I’ve been where you are today, some 10 – 15 years ago. These “realizations” are illusions. Stop writing about Dharma you do not help either yourself or others. Look inside of your own consciousness, see where it begins and where it ends, life is such a short thing. If you continue like this you might find no place of rest before the evening of your journey comes. There’s nothing enjoyable in this mental agitation and all these verbal plays. Think about the moments of your hiking outdoors and how peaceful it felt sometimes, how grounded it felt. Isn’t it better to be that way instead of pushing endless theories on internet?

    Stop Aaron. Just stop. You don’t need all this and you know it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  471. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    Thank you, but I am not looking for rest, nor am I looking for peace, I am looking for fun 🙂

    I am looking for freedom from inner conflict, that kind of peace, yes, but so that I can release all that energy into – play 🙂

    There’s nothing enjoyable in this mental agitation and all these verbal plays. Think about the moments of your hiking outdoors and how peaceful it felt sometimes, how grounded it felt. Isn’t it better to be that way instead of pushing endless theories on internet?

    Well, I am not theorizing- I am destroying theory 🙂 And both are fun, the free play of ideas that leads nowhere, and hiking. Incidentally, why are there sutras, and why did the mastrrs write books?

    I don’t think I’m agitated – I do think my writing agitates you, and you can take it no more, so you are begging me to stop. I respect that- I dont want to puncture the cherished illusions that give peace to any man. I agree with Mikel on that. But we are on a public forum, alas.

    I am sorry.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  472. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    You don’t understand. I quit.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AaronB
  473. @Ano4

    But he is interesting as a case study, isnt he? Like how one definitely should not interpret Buddhist philosophy. Good reminder for us what trusting too much ones delusional ego can lead to, and everyone is at some point in such state.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
  474. Ano4 says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Altan, did you have a look at my comment # 476?

    What do you think of it?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  475. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    No, I believe there are genuine madman who cannot see the level of the normal, and the sage who “sees through” it.

    From the perspective of the mainstream, they are often indistinguishable.

    BTW, I am uncomfortable with the word sage. It sounds so grand and lofty, when all it means is someone who sees through life and self importance, and doesn’t take anything seriously anymore. True, he sees more widely, but what he sees is the unimportance of being superior.

    The opposite of superior – the giving up of trying to be superior.

    I am convinced Lao Tzu uses the word sage in an ironic, mocking, and subversive sense when he described the man who no longer strices for superiority as the sage.

  476. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    Well, thanks for trying to enlighten me, anyways. Youre not the first to try and impose mainstream normie values on me, and to fail, so don’t feel bad.

    Some people just walk their own path and will not join the herd – except in camouflage.

    As I have said from the first, I am essentially frivolous. I regard frivolity as the most profound philosophy, and myself as too unimportant to take seriously. Perhaps, then, you can understand why your offer of redemption and peace holds no appeal to me – I, who do not believe there is anything to be redeemed from, and for whom peace lies in play.

    But thanks for your time.

  477. @Ano4

    I didnt have anything to add so I just wanted to click agree, but couldn’t because of the limit. Yes quite boring reply…

    • Thanks: Ano4
  478. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Thanks for your answer.

    Just to be clear, I am not really obsessed with death. I follow your very same approach to the matter. I am aware of the big problem but try to forget about it as much as I can in order to enjoy life.

    What happens is that any time I take part in a discussion on religious matters I like bringing up the elephant in the room. I have found that if I don’t do it, religious people soon start going in tangent or circular lines. Without fear of the temporary nature of our existence, there is no religion that I am aware of.

    I still haven’t read the articles in your links but I think that this avenue of research is a dead end. The chemical and electromagnetic processes operating inside our brains are just similar to those of other animals. Surely, there must be some activity left for a time after we die and our brain cells stop receiving oxygen but it is a huge stretch to derive some sort of permanence of our selves through the eons based on that. Let alone our resurrection in other life forms.

    When I sacrifice my rabbits I first give them a quick blow with a metal bar that fractures their skull and makes them lose consciousness. Then I slit their throats and let them bleed. But still, they are able to respond to stimuli under that state and move their legs. Being just a sort of hippy, return-to-the-earth amateur farmer, these movements make me feel uneasy and I have lately decided to totally behead them before I start skinning and gutting them, just to be sure that they don’t suffer at all.

    I am confident that my rabbits don’t enter any esoteric dimension after I process them for meat. What’s left of their bodies decays like all matter and the electrical impulses under those synapses that remain for a while quickly disappear in the background. That’s what we can observe that happens to all animal species, including our own.

    It seems to me that Buddhism appeared at a time when people experienced the reality of death in everyday life much more frequently than we do nowadays so their attitude to this matter appears to be more realistic than ours. Sumerians also had a very based attitude. In fact, they didn’t believe in the afterlife. In my view, Abrahamic religions brought a regression of human thought on these deep matters. It is probably no coincidence that Europe entered the Dark Ages just after Christianity became prevalent.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  479. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Mikel, I am not writing from a religious perspective. Everything I write in this comment is simply a matter of fact:

    1) There is no adequate description of what exactly information is.

    2) Consciousness being a form of a complex organized information process , there is no established theory of Consciousness either.

    3) Everything we experience is mediated through our Consciousness.

    If we put the three points above together, we can easily see that we don’t understand the Reality in which we live. If we want to be entirely rational, we should suspend judgment regarding this Reality. We should also look for a manner to have the most direct experience possible of what this Reality is and what we ourselves are.

    As long as don’t have a direct experience of this kind, speaking of Life and Death is idle chatter.

    Buddha underwent such an experience, or at least this is what he personally thought.

    Many among his followers had similar experiences and came to the same conclusions as he himself did.

    As long as you don’t know for certain, through a direct experience, that Death is total annihilation of the information process that your Consciousness is, you shouldn’t have a final opinion on this topic.

    According to the understanding I have personally acquired during the many years of thinking and practicing, I have a very strong conviction that the information processes which we perceive as “beings” are very hard, perhaps impossible to erase completely.

    This is simply due to the fact that they are not isolated from the other information flows and aggregates that represent the whole of the Reality.

    To erase you completely, one probably would need to erase completely the multiverse that saw you arising as a “being “. The same is true about your rabbits, your loved ones or anyone else. The personality dies and disappears as a wave dies when it returns to the ocean. From the perspective of the ocean, no separate wave has been raised at all.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  480. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    I am sorry, I am not familiar with those consciousness studies that you bring into the discussion. I just use the word conscious in the everyday meaning of the term.

    But somehow I have the impression that this sort of discussion is a bit similar to that of morality.

    Our Catholic faith classes actually became quite interesting when we were in our early teens. The father superior was a very brave man, you have to be very brave to confront a group of unruly teenagers starting to understand adult life that will question everything you say and sometimes even mock you. He accepted our challenges with patience and tried his best to put the Catholic faith into our thick skulls.

    Some of the arguments that he used were really nutty but one that got me thinking for a while is the existence of morality. Why do we know what is good and what is bad? Is that not proof that we were all born with God’s commandments inside ourselves? Eventually, I dismissed the argument because morality is highly dependent on culture, it diverges among different societies (even the macabre stories of the Old Testament prove this) and besides basic morality principles can be explained as an evolutionary adaptation that made our survival more likely by having feelings of compassion and cooperation among us. Even rats have been found to be capable of compassion.

    Apologies if the analogy that came to my mind is off-track.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  481. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    I think I understand your analogy. But in our discussion we might completely remove the cultural aspect for the simple fact that our discussion is proof enough of the existence of complex information processes. Our discussion itself is one such process.

    Do you agree?

  482. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Sorry, it looks like our latest comments crossed each other.

    we can easily see that we don’t understand the Reality in which we live. If we want to be entirely rational, we should suspend judgment regarding this Reality.

    That sound a lot like science. Honest scientists are skeptical of everything by definition and only accept knowledge of things for which empirical evidence can be produced under controlled, repeatable conditions and that only provisionally, until a better explanation of the observable evidence becomes available.

    The important debate about this approach is whether the human mind can really have a full understanding of reality. My opinion is that it cannot, just like animals cannot comprehend things that for us are trivial. But this is not an excuse to return to ancient mythical explanations of reality that people thought of when they didn’t have our modern knowledge at their disposal.

    Some of the Buddhist concepts that I see you guys discussing remind me very much of the many-worlds interpretation of the observer phenomenon in quantum mechanics. Everything in this universe is governed by the Schrodinger equation and everything is interconnected. But I see that people that have a deep understanding of these concepts tend to be atheists. And the few ones that are not tend to keep the religious faith they inherited from their culture. I don’t see many theoretical physicists become Buddhist.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Menes
  483. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Indeed there are many similarities between some of the modern quantum physicists’ hypotheses and some of the notions described in the Buddhist texts.

    But this is not important. Let’s forget about any Religious system and just discuss entirely from from experience.

    Agreed?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  484. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    OK, agreed.

    our discussion is proof enough of the existence of complex information processes. Our discussion itself is one such process.

    Yup. So far, so good.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  485. Mr. Hack says:

    So close to #500, I can almost see it. 🙂

  486. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Okay let’s not get too technical and define information as any statistically significant pattern in the distribution of matter, energy or indeed information itself.

    Basically, a “signal” would be anything that forms a pattern which can be differentiated from the statistically complex “white noise” and that can then be detected by any type of receptor.

    Do we agree that our consciousness is made of this?

    Or perhaps should I write that everything we are conscious/aware of is made of this?

    That it is basically a complex form of integration, storage and processing of different sensory inputs we receive now or have received in the past?

    Any comment Mikel, anything to add?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  487. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    I am not sure about the first and third paragraphs but so far I don’t see anything much to object to in your reasoning.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  488. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    Okay. Now, if all we are aware of is this information, then where is this information coming from?

    I would think it comes from the different stimuli that our receptors recognize.

    Our receptors would be feeding us data as smell, taste, touch, view, hearing and also the mental information being integrated and “represented ” by the consciousness itself.

    Would that make sense or is there anything I am missing?

    If there’s anything let me know, let’s work on it together.

  489. Mikel says:

    I don’t think you are missing anything.

    Perhaps a consensus statement would be that our brain processes and stores information fed over time by our senses and that that is the basis of what we are conscious of.

    I may add that our brain does that task in the way Nature designed it to do, which probably is optimized for the survival of our species, with some random mutations also in our brain that don’t necessarily serve that purpose.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  490. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    I’m sure mindfulness is good for some people, but overall, I think its oversold, and I don’t think its Zen. But if you like it, there is no reason not.

    I still enjoy matcha. I am convinced that in enough dosage, it is a decent narcotic. There is a famous Chan poem by a monk, about the different levels of intoxication one reaches as one drinks cup after cup of matcha. By the 8th cup, one is beyond the world of Samsara.

    Every religion has its chosen intoxicant. For Judaism and Christianity its wine, for Islam hashish, and for Buddhism strong, psychedelic, tea. For Taoism and some Chan, its also wine.

    I hear about Port being upscale in England but a peasant beverage in its native region. But isnt all alcohol like that? Fancy craft beer started as the drink of German peasants, and wine is the drink of peasants in the Mediterranean.

    Class considerations aside, the issue is quality. My favorite, most complex cheeses are just peasant cheeses, and the best bread is coarse peasant bread. In today’s artificial world, peasant food is upscale. And it is delicious – peasant butter, bread, and cheese, is better than anything that comes from a factory, and commands a premium.

    Try your port! It is just a thick, sweet liquid, with an earthy and complex flavor. My next drink I’m trying is Mead, the honey brew of the Vikings. There is a Mead renaissance in America, and I want to see what thats all about. My local place didn’t have it, and I may have to go to Manhattan to get it. Next weekend.

  491. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    I don’t know about the brain, perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t. Ain’t that important for where I am heading to.

    Now, although the data are all integrated to give us a sens of a Reality around us, we still know that we hear something when we hear it and that we taste something when we taste it and we usually don’t mix the sensations unless we are unwell or drugged or something. That is, there’s something responsible for being conscious of hearing, something that is responsible for being conscious of seeing, same for smelling and so on.

    Sometimes one’s looking for something, let’s say in one’s kitchen, and everything’s in the right place except the thing one’s looking for. And then all of a sudden the knife is here in the wrong drawer. Didn’t see it first time. Actually didn’t recognize it.

    Therefore, not only there’s a visual, olfactory, auditory, palpate and gustatory consciousness “modules”, and the overall consciousness of us being aware of our own being, but there is a seventh type of consciousness: the integration consciousness “module ” which integrates everything in a whole. Creates a kind if image we call Reality .

    Whether it all happens in the brain is not really important, some ancient cultures thought it was in the heart that the whole thing is happening.

    But the question is: where’s Ano4 (or Mikel or Altan or Aaron…) among all these data and these “modules” and these integration mechanisms?

    Among these “seven consciousnesses” which one is the person.?

    How does it happen that there seems to be a person behind all this experience?

    Is it possible that there is something more here than meets the eye?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  492. Mikel says:
    @Ano4

    Among these “seven consciousnesses” which one is the person.?

    I am not following you here. Perhaps I’m not understanding you (this is the time of the day that I reserve for my Cabernet Sauvignon and the day of the week that I reserve to overindulge in it).

    The person is none of those “seven consciousness” that you have decided to categorize. The person is the receptor of those seven (perhaps more) types of consciousness, as I see it.

    And this is where living in this era comes in very handy because we now know that all those senses are connected to the brain through different types of receptors. So yes, it is the brain that processes and stores the information that it receives from the environment (regardless of what ancient cultures wrongly imagined about this).

    Destroy the part of the nervous system that communicates one of those senses with the brain and one of the “types of consciousness” that you mention disappears. This has been proven empirically countless times. I don’t understand why you’re saying that it doesn’t matter if it is the brain or not that is behind our consciousness. You’re denying yourself an essential piece of information.

    Is it possible that there is something more here than meets the eye?

    Absolutely. Neuroscientists themselves say that they don’t fully understand the mechanisms of our brain. Then there is the many worlds interpretation of QM and, on top of that, out likely inability to fully grasp reality.

    • Replies: @Ano4
  493. Menes says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Mahayana is more “nihilistic” – it denies everything

    You and your ilk project your own atheistic nihilism onto Buddhism. Buddhism is not nihilism. It is ignorance (or a lie) to claim that Buddhism “denies everything”.

    There is no Dream without a Dreamer; no Illusion without an Observer. Buddha is known as “The Awakened One” not the non-existent one. You are hell bent on denying there is a higher non-material reality that Buddha awoke to, which is our true self. In other words you are denying the core belief of Buddhism while posing as an authority on that religion. Sheer chutzpah!

    By the way, denying the existence of a higher non-material reality is as retarded as denying you are conscious. And no, consciousness is not a product of the brain as your fellow atheist-buddhist (aka fake buddhist), Sam Harris, claims. It is the height of illogic to claim that a permutation of objective, observable molecules can result in consciousness which is subjective, immaterial, unobservable.

    • Agree: Ano4
    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @Ano4
  494. Menes says: • Website
    @Mikel

    I don’t see many theoretical physicists become Buddhist.

    The physicists of today are a lesser breed than the physicists of pre-WWII. Just compare their accomplishments in their field. Many of those great scientists from a century ago were drawn to concepts from eastern philosophy and spirituality by their discoveries:

    Max Planck: “Consciousness , I regard , as a fundamental . I regard matter as derivative from consciousness . We cannot get behind consciousness . Everything that we talk about , everything that we regard as existing postulates consciousness .”

    Erwin Schrodinger: “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental.”

    • Agree: Ano4
  495. Mikel says:
    @Menes

    AaronB, how do you manage to wind people up so badly?

    This is becoming a mystery to me comparable to the deep meaning of consciousness or the ultimate meaning of the Buddha’s teachings.

    In fact, if I want to read your new comments I need to go back upthread. They even appear in a different color as everyone else’s (white vs blue). You have clearly managed to upset either AK or Unz or both. I almost feel jealous.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AaronB
  496. Menes says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Most of the great Chan masters did not speak of meditation…..you will actually find in the Chan masters criticism of meditation.

    Who are these “Chan masters” who criticize meditation? Chan/Zen is all about meditation. The very words Chan and Zen mean meditation. They are Chinese and Japanese pronunciations of the Sanskrit word for meditation which is Dhyan. What do you think Buddha was doing under the Bodhi tree? What was Bodhidharma doing in the cave?

    Wine relaxes us and makes focused effort more difficult – many Mahayana masters say you should have a sort of fuzzy and loose thinking

    You are such a stubborn and slippery bullshitter/troll. Who are these “Mahayana masters” who recommend drinking wine before meditation?

    It’s pretty obvious that meditation is not your cup of tea. You would rather be drinking wine, watching sunsets and having sexual intercourse……..while deluding yourself that is more spiritual than meditation. Lol. Good luck on your “spiritual” path. Just don’t call it Buddhist.

    • Agree: Ano4, AltanBakshi
  497. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikel

    Me too. How doe he do it? Maybe his impressions of reality are as pure as the driven snows? 🙂

    • LOL: Ano4
  498. Ano4 says:
    @Mikel

    And this is where living in this era comes in very handy because we now know that all those senses are connected to the brain through different types of receptors. So yes, it is the brain that processes and stores the information that it receives from the environment (regardless of what ancient cultures wrongly imagined about this).

    https://www.brainrecoveryproject.org/about/parents/brain-surgeries-to-stop-seizures/hemispherectomy/

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18539083/

    Although there is a specialization in the brain function of different anatomical brain features, there is also a high degree of brain plasticity to the point that people who have had a major chirurgical intervention of the sorts described above still have nearly normal cognitive abilities.

    This being said, the anatomy is “hardware “, what we have been discussing is “software ” so to speak. I have chosen to categorize this software according to the different senses that we broadly recognize, plus the general mental activity which allows these senses to be connected to each other and the broad mental state which integrates everything in a coherent whole.

    We both agree that until now there is nothing personal about any of these “modules ” that I described above and that there should be some “personal” storage of information that allows to give a sens of identity to the whole consciousness.

    This might be concluded from dreams in which we act as a person in an imaginary/virtual environment and from the conditions of depersonalization/derealization that occur in psychiatry when this functional “module” of consciousness is damaged.

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352911

    Let’s add this eight functional “module” to the list.

    Let’s call it the “Storage Consciousness “.

    Again this is just rough cognitive modeling and we do not try to understand the function of each neuronal synapse and each neurotransmitter receptor in our nervous system.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Ano4
  499. Ano4 says:
    @Menes

    Yes, but one needs to go through it in a skillful way, confronting doesn’t help. Upaya-kaushalya is needed here.

  500. AaronB says:
    @Ano4

    My, my, so many…..words 🙂

    • Replies: @Ano4
  501. Ano4 says:
    @Ano4

    Now, one might ask why do I describe the consciousness as subdivided in different functional modules. The answer is quite simple: if someone sits in meditation and analyses his sensory inputs and mental activities in detail, then this is a mental representation that he would probably come to.

    5 senses as inputs, 5 “modules ” of consciousness, one for each input, 1 “module ” for the interaction with mental objects (any thoughts and mental representations), one “module ” to integrate it all in a coherent manner and a final, the 8th to keep the data and provide a sense of “continuity ” and “belonging ” to a “person “.

    [MORE]

    Of course this is just a mental model, a representation, which is not attached to some anatomical feature in the central nervous system. With the exception of eye, ear, mouth/tongue, nose and skin/mucosal surfaces there are no correlated body functions at all. The fact that the mental integration “module ” is located in the brain is not mentioned. And that is due to an important reason: during meditation the feeling of one “thinking with his own head” often disappears, the consciousness becomes at the same time clearer and somewhat “removed ” to the “back” of the personal experience. This feeling if a “silent watcher” is broadly speaking distributed to match the contour of our body, not centered around our head

    Also, in a dream we see things, sometimes we hear things (music for example) and have tactile effects, but we don’t experience all this with our “head”. We experience all this into our own mind that during sleep does not really correlate with our body at all.

    Finally in some abnormal psychological states, such as depersonalization / derealization mentioned in my comment above, a person often feels its consciousness entirely removed from the body, and often emptied of any notion of personality. It becomes a kind of external observer. I personally witnessed someone who got to that stage after ingesting too much of psychedelic mushrooms. Later on this same person told me that it was one of the most profound experiences he had in his entire life. He still mentions it from time to time and this experience occurred to him nearly 25 years ago. In some cases of psychosis or psychedelic intoxication, the people under these conditions sometimes describe their consciousness being “attached ” to an external object: “I was that tree”, “I felt being that crow” a.s.o. Shamanic trance also comes to mind where a shaman “meets” or “becomes” a “spirit ” of some animal and “travels” under its “form”.

    As strange and uncommon the facts outlined above might seem, they certainly warrant thinking about the limits and the true contains of our consciousness: where does it originate, is it attached to a bodily form, where exactly does it seem being located.

    If you are still interested Mikel, I would go on. But it’s okay if you find it a protracted discussion and are fed up with all that.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  502. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    Lol, I dont understand it myself. People here are regularly infuriated by me. I don’t get it. And it ranges from commenters as different as Daniel Chieh to the various antisemites here.

    If you have any insight into this, please tell me. Is it my tone? Am I smug or smarmy or something? Still, lots of people are, so it makes no sense.

    I am one of the few regular commenters whose comments go into moderation on AK’s blog. That’s why my comments appear white. I don’t think its AK’s decision. One day, after a lengthy conversation on one of Ron Unz’s open threads with our resident Muslims – which was very polite and intellectual but critical of Islam- I found my privileges to publish on AK’s and Audacious E’s blogs withdrawn. Previously, like everyone else, my comments would appear immediately. I doubt the two bloggers coordinated, so its obviously Ron.

    To AK’s credit, he is swift to approve my comments. But he gets a salary from Ron, so he has no choice. I am also restricted to 2 comments per hour rather than the regular three, and 2 agrees per hour.

    But yeah, if you have any idea why I provoke such rage, any insight lol, I’d be happy to hear it. I realize I’m unconventional and I question things people tale for granted, but the reaction seems disproportionate, like with our two good Buddhists on this thread.

    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Mikel
  503. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    But yeah, if you have any idea why I provoke such rage, any insight lol, I’d be happy to hear it.

    You flatter yourself when you write about rage, it is more of annoyance and disdain. If these discussions were made face to face, no one would be angry enough with you to punch you in the groin, but a lot of people would simply shrug, turn around and walk away.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  504. Ano4 says:
    @AaronB

    Sure, some people need a lot of words to get the picture. Some others only need to sit down and face the wall long enough for their misconceptions to clear.

  505. Mr. Hack says:
    @AaronB

    I don’t agree with everything that you believe in, but I’ve never found anything that you’ve written about here to register as a provocation of rage within. I mean, all that you’re writing about are your own thoughts regarding your own experiences and ideas about religion, philosophy and life in general, and we should all be permitted to hold on to our own truths. I’ve never detected a strong strain of proselytization on your part, trying to make readers here accept you ideas as some sort of unimpeachable dogma. Folks here need to loosen up a bit, it’s not a wall upon which one needs to meditate. 🙂

    • Agree: Mikel
    • Thanks: AaronB
    • Replies: @Ano4
    , @AaronB
  506. Ano4 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Sure, it’s all fine and dandy Mr Hack. Except that our friend AaronB is usually spreading a completely wrong message regarding the two belief systems to which he most frequently refers.

    What he is writing about Buddhism and Taoism is utter nonsense. And he has been frequently asked to stop spreading falsehoods.

    But instead of doing just that he starts complaining of muh antisemitism. This is of course absolutely typical a behavior.

    What would you think of me if I wrote that Jesus Christ and Jerry Rubin attained similar insights about human nature and that both were more or less just peacenik rebels?

    You would rightfully think that I am an imbecile. And this is exactly what people think when AaronB writes that Buddha and Freud came to similar conclusions about the nature of human consciousness and were more or less just psychotherapists.

    But what if when corrected by more knowledgeable people, as you certainly are about Christianity, I insisted and doubled on it with an unrelenting narcissist chutzpah?

    You would probably think that I am a narcissistic imbecile.

    And you would be perfectly right about it. That is if I did something in that vein. But I never would, and that’s where people like me, Altan or menes are different from AaronB.

    We believe that there is Truth out there to be found.

    AaronB is simply fooling around.

    🙂

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, Menes
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack