❅ Nun gives a grave warning regarding the depopulation agenda, and calls out the Pope as the spiritual leader of the evil globalists behind it all

❅ Nun gives a grave warning regarding the depopulation agenda, and calls out the Pope as the spiritual leader of the evil globalists behind it all.

Continue reading “❅ Nun gives a grave warning regarding the depopulation agenda, and calls out the Pope as the spiritual leader of the evil globalists behind it all”

Or brains. Being wrong is not good but also common. Being wrong and also harsh about it is a deeper level of bad. All Buddhist practice falls into one or more of the following Three Trainings: 1) morality/ethics; 2) concentration/mindfulness; 3) wisdom. We all remember those days and the harshness of even some family members. Notice that the worst of them went against each of the Three Trainings, essentially going against every major focal point of Buddhism. Notice also how few of them have apologized. From top public figures to old friends, how many have said they were wrong and are sorry about it? I am not trying to be holier-than-thou. Just trying to point out a deep, pernicious aspect of what is happening in USA. ABN

Signals and morality

A valuable and basic definition of morality might simply be “clear signaling.”

If I harm you, I am messing with your signaling, making it less clear. If I deceive you, I am doing the same.

If my own internal signaling is unclear, confused, or contradictory, I am probably going to cause harm to others whether I mean to or not.

If we see humans as signaling networks at various levels of clarity or confusion, we can remove terms like self, personality or ego. “I,” then, am a system or network of signals that interfaces and interacts with other signaling networks.

By extension, there is no need for terms like “narcissist” or “abusive personality” or any of the other many, many words we normally use to describe human signaling networks.

For example, we can see that each human does social management within their own signaling system and as that system interacts with other human signaling systems. We compose a signaling system that we want others to see and then display it.

When a person often uses social signaling to manipulate, control, or deceive others, we can say they are doing malignant or immoral signaling instead of saying they are “narcissists” or “abusive personalities.”

The advantage of removing those traditional terms that assume an intentional personhood (narcissist, etc.) is we can see much more clearly what is actually happening.

With respect to narcissism,  we can clearly say what a “narcissist” is. When narcissism is redefined as a signaling problem, we can also see that many narcissistic acts are done out of ignorance more than “selfishness.” People believe that they are supposed to be selfish or secretive or withhold important information simply because they do not know another way to act or have had long experiences with others who signal in those ways.

Of course, all of us manage our signaling systems to put us in a good light, at least to some extent. Refraining from gross behavior at the dinner table is a form of manipulating the signals you send to others. Since that is objectively a kind act, it is not narcissism.

Signaling integrity between adult friends is rarely perfect or even very good. Not because many of us don’t want that, but because we don’t know how to do it. Rather than make virtually all signals clear through a technique like FIML, we are forced instead to use off-the-shelf cultural norms to communicate our “personalities” to others.

Besides the few crude markers like punctuality, basic honesty and reciprocity, basic pleasantness, etc., it is very difficult to know another or even oneself without detailed control over the signaling we do with them.

If morality is seen as fundamentally a signaling issue, then the soundest ethical position would be to make our signaling clearer, more honest, less manipulative. Clarity depends on detail. In this light, we can say that there is a sort of moral imperative to do FIML or something very much like it.

first posted OCTOBER 24, 2014

Is the greatest emotion taking pleasure in correcting our own mistakes?

Surely it’s in the top few.

In the Buddhist tradition, shame is sometimes called the greatest emotion because shame makes us open to changing for the better.

But shame can also be felt and avoided or hidden or misdirected. Shame here generally means something bothers our conscience.

Correcting our own mistakes often follows shame but not always. Someone may tell us of a mistake that does not make us feel ashamed.

Taking pleasure, even delight, in correcting our own mistakes is very close in time and psychology to actually making the correction.

Whether it is the greatest or not, the emotion that accompanies self-correction is well-worth cultivating.

first posted APRIL 1, 2018

Ithaca College follows other schools in futile attempt to ‘dismantle white supremacy’ by segregating white staff

Here is an article about it.

At the heart of all of this lies semiotics and semiotic codes. You cannot work out some vague problem of “racism” by dismantling and clashing an assortment of semiotic codes. In Buddhist terms, this is like two delusive selves battling each other for uncertain goals, or many delusive groups (which resemble delusive selves) battling each other for uncertain goals. If the goals appear somehow certain, they will undoubtedly be idealistic which means nothing more than based entirely on simplified semiotic codes, often projected into the future. Ideologies based entirely on simplified semiotics, like communism or equity, always fail because they are not only wrong as is but also grossly oversimplified. As such they are fantasies that enthrall individuals and groups that have a poor understanding of group semiotics. Notice that the allure of such ideologies often becomes passionate and violent. These emotions are strong semiotic signals that replace reason, logic, clarity, and practicable goals. Semiotics are not easy to understand. Semiotic codes are even harder to understand because it is hard to stand outside of them. In many ways, trans ideologies, confusions and fantasies are similar to racial ones. In extreme cases, when trans fantasies go beyond harmless playfulness, the biological semiotics of sexuality are harmfully altered–even in children–to fulfill a delusion. Should we try that with races? ABN

Belief, knowledge, and well-being

Belief means you are mostly convinced but not completely sure. Knowledge is more certain. These two words can be used as follows—I believe the universe probably started with the Big Bang, but I know the earth revolves around the sun.

We derive a degree of intellectual well-being from the beliefs and knowledge afforded us by modern science and engineering. But knowing that the earth revolves around the sun or that the Big Bang is the most likely explanation we now have does not provide us with very much emotional or psychological well-being.

We need more, or we need something different, to achieve a deep state of emotional well-being.

To achieve a deep state of emotional well-being we need to know that we can really believe at least one other person. That person should be our primary interlocutor, the person we deal with the most. If we cannot believe that person and/or they cannot believe us, we can’t achieve a deep state of emotional well-being.

To the best of my knowledge, there exists no common communication system (or even uncommon one) that allows us to deeply know and believe someone else, except the FIML system.

The reason this is so is all other human communication systems rely too much on implication, interpretation, and assumed shared beliefs.

When you do any of those things with your primary interlocutor you will necessarily make mistakes and/or be uncertain about what they are saying or how they are understanding you. Mistakes and uncertainty create shadowy feelings and wrong or multiple interpretations in the mind. Rather than have a clear knowledge of what your partner thinks or understands, you will be guessing.

Even if you are right every time you guess (and this is not possible), you will still have no way of being certain. You will not know if you are right or not. And your partner will have the same problem with you.

Emotional well-being depends on the quality of our communication with our primary interlocutor. There are substitutes—careers, religions, political causes, money, power, sex, etc.—but none of these will ever equal the emotional well-being that comes from very high-quality communication with your primary interlocutor. To have high-quality communication, you and your partner must have a system that removes doubt and uncertainty and replaces them with knowledge and belief.

first posted JULY 12, 2012

FIML from a Buddhist point of view: What is it and what does it do?

FIML is fundamentally a communication technique with wide-ranging implications for many other aspects of being human.

FIML removes mistakes from communications between partners. FIML reduces or eliminates neurotic feelings. FIML encourages honesty, integrity, responsibility, and many other virtues. It greatly improves communication. It transforms beliefs in a static self, a personality, an ego, or a set autobiography to a more realistic understanding of the dynamic nature of being, speaking, listening, remembering, functioning. FIML skills are useful when dealing with people other than the FIML partner. FIML greatly reduces the need to rely on external standards (public semiotics) for self-definition and/or communication. FIML elevates consciousness in the sense that FIML practice is done consciously and improvements are made in partners’ consciousnesses. FIML works directly with partners’ experiences and thus is a deeply experiential practice that generates experiential understanding.

FIML greatly supports Buddhist practice and though FIML is not specifically a traditional Buddhist teaching, it does not contradict any core Buddhist teaching. For many people, FIML may be a very good tool to use with the Dharma. This is so because FIML allows each partner to identify kleshas (mistaken interpretations) the moment they arise and to correct them with input from their partner. FIML also helps partners experience the reality of no-self, impermanence, emptiness, and dependent origination. When these truths are experienced together with a partner, both partners are able to deeply confirm the validity of their insights as both share in this confirmation. Both partners will notice kleshas being eliminated and both will be able to confirm this to each other, through explicit statements to each other and also through observations of each other.

FIML practice also helps partners understand and experience how the First and Second Noble Truths actually operate in their lives. When one partner discovers a klesha through a FIML query, they will see very clearly how their mistaken interpretation, if not corrected, could be the source of suffering. When they correct their mistake, they will see how eliminating a klesha is liberating and how it produces a bit of “enlightenment” (Third and Fourth Noble Truths).

FIML practice encourages honesty between partners and many other virtues. FIML partners will directly experience the importance of being honest with their partner and treating them with the utmost respect and integrity. This strengthens partners’ understanding of the Buddha’s teachings on morality (sila).

FIML’s emphasis on fully understanding the roles of language and semiotics supports the Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech (for language) and wisdom (for semiotics). In the Prajna Sutras, “dharmas of the mind” (laksana) very closely correspond to the modern English word semiotics as that word is used in FIML practice. By focusing on this word and concept and experiencing with a partner how semiotics affect everything we think and do, partners will gain great insight into the kind of consciousness described in the Diamond Sutra—a consciousness without the “marks” or “characteristics” (laksana, semiotics) of a self, a human being, a sentient being, or a being that takes rebirth.

FIML accomplishes most of what it does by being a technique that is called up quickly, the moment it is needed. FIML queries almost always lead to long and interesting discussions, but the basic technique must be done quickly. The moment either partner feels a klesha arising, they should stop and query their partner about what is/was in their mind. After hearing your partner’s honest answer, compare it to what you had thought. The better data from your partner should eliminate that particular klesha after a small number of its appearances. Remember, your partner’s data is better because you asked them quickly enough for them to be able to recall with great accuracy what really was in their mind during the moments you were asking them about. If you wait too long or get into long stories or theories, or become emotional, you will miss the chance to catch that klesha. When you do catch a klesha, feel good about it. That means there is one less hindrance in your mind.

Non-Buddhists will experience the same results from FIML practice as Buddhists, though their understanding of these results will be framed differently. We have discussed FIML from a non-Buddhist point of view in many other posts. Interested readers are encouraged to browse some of those posts for more on that angle.

first posted as “What is FIML and what does it do?” on MAY 16, 2012

Semiotic codes

Simply stated, semiotic codes are the conventions used to communicate meaning.

Codes can be compared to puppet masters that control the words and semiotic bundles that people use when speaking and listening. For many people, semiotic codes are largely unconscious, functioning mainly as limits to communication or as givens.

Some examples of codes might be the ready-made formulas of politics or the ordinary assumptions of any culture anywhere.

Codes work well in most cases when we do ordinary or formal things, but they inhibit thought and communication when we want to go beyond ordinary or formal interactions and behaviors.

Unconscious, unexamined, or strongly-held codes can be a disaster in interpersonal relations if one or both (or all) parties are rigid in their definitions and understanding of the codes being used. These are the sorts of conditions that lead to absurd exchanges at the dinner table and are one of the main reason most of us learn never to talk about politics or religion at most gatherings.

Gathering for dinner itself is a code. On Thanksgiving we are expected to break bread without breaking the code of silence on politics or whatever else your family can’t or won’t talk about. There is not much the individual can do to change this because the harder you try—no matter how good your intentions—the more it will seem that you are breaking the code, being aggressive, or threatening the (probably fairly weak) bonds that hold your dining unit together.

Many years ago, Charles Berger and Richard Calabrese proposed a theory about communication known as the Uncertainty Reduction Theory. This theory deals with how people initially get to know each other. It proposes:

…that, when interacting, people need information about the other party in order to reduce their uncertainty. In gaining this information people are able to predict the other’s behavior and resulting actions, all of which according to the theory is crucial in the development of any relationship. (Source)

The basic idea is that we humans need to reduce uncertainty in order to understand each other well-enough to get along. If we succeed at reducing uncertainty sufficiently, it then becomes possible to continue to develop relations.

The theory works pretty well in my view, but the problem I see with it is reducing initial uncertainty is much the same as feeling out semiotic codes, discovering which ones both (or all) parties subscribe to. As mentioned, this works well-enough for ordinary and formal relations, but what happens next? For the most part, most people then become trapped in the codes they seem to share.

What happens next can even be seen as sort of comical as people over the weeks or months continue to reduce uncertainty while confining themselves even more. Very often, if you try to go a bit deeper, you will be seen as breaking the code, disrupting convention, even threatening the group.

This is the region in which intimate relationships can be destroyed. Destruction happens because the parties involved are trapped in their codes and do not have the means to stand outside them and analyze them. Obviously, this leads to either reduced or turbulent speech.

I think the Uncertainty Reduction Theory might be extended and amended to include a stage two theory of uncertainty reduction. FIML practice would constitute a very reasonable stage two as FIML is designed to remove uncertainty and ambiguity between close partners.

Notice that FIML itself is not a semiotic code. It is a tool, a method, a procedure that allows partners to communicate without using any code at all save ones they consciously choose or create for themselves.

It seems clear to me that all established interpersonal codes are ultimately limiting and that people must find a way to analyze whatever codes they hold or have been inculcated with if they want to have truthful or authentic communication with their closest partners.

Most codes are public in the sense that they are roughly known by many people. But all of us have idiosyncratic ways of understanding these public codes and all of us also have private codes, idiosyncratic codes that are known only to us.

Sometimes our understanding of our idiosyncratic codes and/or idiosyncratic interpretations of public codes is not all that clear to us. One reason is we do not have good ways to access them. Another reason is a good many idiosyncrasies are sort of born in the dark. We muddle into them privately, inside our own minds with little or no opportunity to share them with others. Indeed, as seen above, to try to share them all too often leads to disruption of the shallow “certainty” that adherence to the shared code has provided.

What a mess. We need codes to learn, grow, and communicate with strangers. But we have to go beyond them if we want to learn, grow, and communicate with the people who are most important to us.

FIML is a sort of stage two Uncertainty Reduction Practice that allows partners to observe and analyze all of their codes—both public and private—in real-time.

Why is real-time analysis important? It is important because codes can only be richly and accurately analyzed when we see clearly how they are functioning in the moment. The “psychological morphemes” that appear only during brief moments of communication must be seen and analyzed if deep understanding is to be accomplished.

first posted NOVEMBER 28, 2014

Contretemps and FIML

In FIML practice, we use the word contretemps to indicate a mix-up of meanings between partners. When partners are thinking, speaking, and/or listening from incommensurate perspectives, they are experiencing a contretemps. This causes mental confusion and can quickly lead to emotional reactions that are out of proportion to the situation. As we have seen in other posts, when you do not resolve a contretemps to the satisfaction of both partners (and to the satisfaction of what is true), you will cause a division, however, small in your shared understanding of each other. You cannot fully resolve a contretemps without doing a FIML dialog about it.

Some of the common ways that contretemps are generated:

  • you are dealing with a new subject
  • you are dealing with a different aspect of a familiar subject
  • one of you is saying something close to but not the same as what the other is hearing
  • one of you out of curiosity wants to revisit a subject but to the other it sounds argumentative
  • one of you is not getting sufficient confirmation from the other about what you said, so the point gets repeated

Notice that the origin of all of these contretemps is mental; that is, not terribly emotional. Once the mind becomes confused, however, even if only slightly, it begins to mishear and misspeak, thus compounding the problem while adding emotional elements to it. This happens because interpersonal communication is a complex system. By complex system, I mean it is a system that changes very rapidly and which is characterized by initial starting points not providing sufficient data to predict later outcomes.

Once you understand these points, it should become clear why interpersonal relationships can be so difficult without FIML practice. In non-FIML speech, even very simple contretemps can, and often do, lead to deep frustration and strong emotions. Whether those emotions are expressed or not, they exist. Partners may feel resentment, anger, blame, self-blame and so on due simply to a mix-up of very trivial meaning.

Let me give an example. This morning I noticed that we had very few clean dishes (of a certain type) in our cupboard. They were all in the dishwasher. In my memory, that was the smallest number of clean dishes of that type I had ever observed in our kitchen. I felt curious about it and asked my partner why she thought there were so few. She said it did not seem unusual to her. I asked again, she repeated her answer and we went on to other matters. Sometime later, I became curious about the dishes again and asked her again if she knew why we had so few clean ones. This is where the contretemps began. When she answered, either she had an unconscious tone of impatience or I mistakenly heard a tone of impatience (neither of us is sure). Whatever the case, I thought she was probably feeling that I was blaming her and so my voice rose slightly with the vague intention of putting out a fire before it got going. I wanted to emphasize that I was just curious. Of course, that tone did not work at all but only made matters worse. At this point we began a FIML discussion and within a few minutes established a mutual understanding that was satisfactory to both of us concerning what had just happened.

The basic type of contretemps that led to that discussion was the second-to-last one of the bullet points listed above: one of you out of curiosity wants to revisit a subject but to the other it sounds argumentative.

I hope it is clear to readers that even small stuff like that can cause problems. And I hope it is also clear that you really have to take the time to figure it out with a FIML discussion. If you don’t, both of you will draw wrong conclusions from the incident or at least be vague about it. If we had done as most people do and just dropped the subject when it got a little out of control, I might have concluded that my partner was mad at me for being petty or blaming her for something when, in truth, I was only curious about a small domestic anomaly. She might have thought I was angry about something else and was using the dishes as a way to get in a dig. Even more to the point, neither of us would have had any way to be sure we understood each other or the incident in question. Most couples would probably go on about their day, ignoring the issue while waiting for positive feelings to arise again.

But that doesn’t work so well. It’s an OK way to go once in a while and for some situations, but if you do that a lot, you will develop deeper and much more serious contretemps in the way you relate to each other. In engineering, I believe, there is a saying that cracks never get better but only worse. In interpersonal relations, contretemps similarly don’t usually get better because they almost always lead to further mistaken interpretations. She is too sensitive. You are too argumentative. Etc. Fill in your own blanks. Once the contretemps develop and are not addressed through FIML practice, at least some of them will get worse.

To repeat: almost any particular contretemps is in itself trivial. But if we do not figure it out and resolve it, it stands a good chance of having deleterious effects on our relationship. Interpersonal communication is a complex system. It is dynamic and moves very quickly. We ourselves are often not aware of why we said something, let alone why our partner did. If we do not deal intelligently with those levels of communicative reality, we will run into problems, many of which will not later be soluble.

I can’t think of any other way to successfully deal with the complexity of interpersonal speech than FIML. Even if we have a video and a perfectly accurate transcript of what was said, when we play it back or read it, there will not be any way we can be sure of what was in someone’s mind as they spoke. The really deep and true—the most valid—level of interpersonal communication can only be accessed by quickly recalling the few seconds of speech that have just passed. Then, these few seconds must be discussed using FIML techniques. With practice, slightly longer time-frames can be accessed, and narrative and episodic memories can also be accessed and used, but that can be difficult and won’t work if the basic FIML technique is not part of your interpersonal foundation.

This is one area where I have a fairly serious disagreement with the way Buddhism is often practiced today—with it’s overly strong emphasis on being inoffensive when we speak. If I had done that when I became curious the second time about the dishes, I probably would not have said anything. But if I had not said anything, I would have not done so because I was falsely assuming my partner was overly sensitive and I would have been falsely assuming that my curiosity was somehow wrong or that I would not be able to make myself clear to her. That would have constituted a silent contretemps, a crack in our understanding of each other. On some later day, secure in my conclusion that my partner is overly sensitive, I might have widened the crack by withholding something else from her.

The preeminent virtue in Buddhism is always wisdom, not compassion, not being inoffensive, not necessarily being silent when you aren’t sure. I think FIML gives us a way to do wise Buddhist practice with our partners without resorting to external semiotics or judgements, or misapplied slogans.

By the way, the example of the dishes is a pretty good example of something that might prompt a FIML discussion. It was a trivial incident that, like so many others, might have seemed to be of no special importance. But it was also sort of a trap, one half of which was the incident and the other half of which was our, we humans, poor abilities at speaking, feeling, and thinking. If the incident is so trivial, it ought to be easy to figure out, right?

first posted JANUARY 30, 2012

French General Christian Blanchon praises citizens who refused the experimental covid “vaccines”

[Everything below is a reprint of the letter, which has been widely circulated in Europe and elsewhere. UPDATE: Comments under the linked article say the letter was actually written by Spanish biologist Fernando López Mirones in July. ABN]

Even if I were fully vaccinated, I would admire the unvaccinated for standing up to the greatest pressure I have ever seen, including from spouses, parents, children, friends, colleagues, and doctors.

People who have been capable of such personality, courage, and such critical ability undoubtedly embody the best of humanity.

They are found everywhere, in all ages, levels of education, countries, and opinions.

They are of a particular kind; these are the soldiers that any army of light wishes to have in its ranks.

They are the parents that every child wishes to have and the children that every parent dreams of having.

They are beings above the average of their societies; they are the essence of the peoples who have built all cultures and conquered horizons.

They are there, by your side, they seem normal, but they are superheroes.

Continue reading “French General Christian Blanchon praises citizens who refused the experimental covid “vaccines””

An Independent Councillor from Belfast, who criticised Islam, could face up to a five-year ban from standing in future elections

She is the first councillor in the U.K. to be suspended while the outcome of an investigation is pending.

Last week Jolene received a letter from the Local Government Commissioner for Standards inviting her to a hearing review meeting later this month, the commissioner will make their decision on her case in a matter of weeks.

As she is no longer an elected councillor, they can’t suspend, this leaves them two options. Drop the case or ban her from standing in election for office, for 5 years. 

Jolene said “I don’t think there is much doubt as to what the outcome of this ‘witch-hunt’ will be… The complaints lodged with the Commissioner against me were made by a cable of Far-Left activists, Socialists and Irish-Republicans.”

list

If something like this ever happened to someone for criticizing Buddhism, I would be the first defend them. Why would anyone respect a religion that cannot be criticized or questioned? ABN

A quality apology from Cee-Cee following her Halloween mask-wearing in a preschool setting

source

The article does not say how old Cee-Cee is but she is clearly quite young. And yet still she has the moral fiber to provide a well-spoken public apology for her behavior. From a Buddhist point of view, her apology is perfect. She explains what happened and why without making excuses for herself. She takes full responsibility for her own behavior. She apologizes profusely and asks for forgiveness. She vows never to do it again, or words very close to that. I doubt Cee-Cee is even one-third of the age of Fauci but she is morally his elder and superior by a million miles. Same goes for Collins, Birx, and many many more who have not and probably never will offer even a smarmy, low-grade apology for their atrocious behavior. I don’t mean to steal Cee-Cee’s thunder but the contrast is glaring. If only the high-and-mighty in our country had her decency, everything would be better. I hope the good people of Mississippi and USA will accept Cee-Cee’s apology fully and with respect, and allow her to move on with a clear conscience. ABN

UPDATE: I posted the video without noticing The Daily Mail had called Cee-Cee’s apology “groveling.” This, to me, highlights much of what is wrong with USA/West. Her apology is really good. In the many years of running this site, I cannot remember a better one that made mainstream news. When we disparage the person who sincerely apologizes and makes amends for their mistake, we all but force fewer people to apologize. In light of this, Cee-Cee deserves even more praise because our culture does not know how to accept an apology and allow for full expiation. We pay dearly for this fault as our public figures virtually never apologize for their mistakes or misdeeds. At most, some celebrity will go into expensive rehab for two weeks (thus hiding from the public) and blame it all on drugs and alcohol, often implying they are the real victim due to bad parenting or a bad marriage (which may be true, but still the core issue that prompted the whole thing is never addressed clearly or properly apologized for). I guess the the heart of this problem is it is simply difficult to apologize, even for practiced Buddhists. Humans seem to be born with an instinct to deflect blame along with one to cast stones. ABN