Mittakali: No Time for Heedlessness

Going forth through conviction
from home into homelessness,
I wandered this place & that,
greedy for gain & offerings.
Missing out on the foremost goal,
I pursued a lowly one.
Under the sway of defilements
I surrendered the goal
of the contemplative life.

Then, sitting in my dwelling,
I suddenly came to my senses:
I’m following a miserable path.
I’m under the sway of
craving.
Next to nothing, my life —
crushed
by aging & illness.
Before the body breaks apart,
I have no time
for heedlessness.

After watching, as it actually was,
the rising & falling of aggregates,
I stood up with mind released,
the Awakened One’s bidding
done.

link

Why South Africa the first country built on Critical Race Theory has failed

For decades, the South African economy has been shaped by a policy known as Broad Based Black Economic Employment. Despite the fancy sounding name, the policy is the same as that of activists in the United States.

BBBEE relies openly and explicitly on injecting racial preferences throughout the economy. Companies receive a BBBEE scorecard based on hiring black workers, elevating black management, and giving black South Africans a share of ownership.

Companies with high BBBEE scores are given favorable tax treatment and preferences in government contracts. Corporate actors are strongly incentivized to give contracts to high BBBEE scorers as well.

link to original

Papavagga: Evil

116. Hasten to do good; restrain your mind from evil. He who is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.

117. Should a person commit evil, let him not do it again and again. Let him not find pleasure therein, for painful is the accumulation of evil.

118. Should a person do good, let him do it again and again. Let him find pleasure therein, for blissful is the accumulation of good.

119. It may be well with the evil-doer as long as the evil ripens not. But when it does ripen, then the evil-doer sees (the painful results of) his evil deeds.

link

Narcissistic power trip

A core part of narcissism is the narcissistic power trip.

A narcissistic power trip is “the power to define other(s) and act on that definition.”

It is narcissistic because the narcissist defines others based on self-centered criteria and acts on that definition either with excessive cruelty or callous disregard. Or excessive “kindness,” rewarding the defined person based on their “supplying” the narcissist with what they want (praise, adulation, attention, etc.).

An important foundation of social and psychological understanding is knowing that pretty much all human behaviors exist on a spectrum that encompasses all people and all societies everywhere.

For example, using the definition of narcissism above, we should be able to say that all people and all societies define others. A narcissist is characterized by the degree to which they do this.

A glaring example of this is the NKVD Bolshevik officer who daily interrogated people who had been arrested for “offenses against the state.” This officer would demanded a signed confession from his victim after which they often would personally shoot the victim in the back of their head.

This process could have lasted a few minutes, several hours, or even many days. It always involved psychological torture and frequently involved physical torture.

It is narcissistic sociologically because the real reason for it was to terrorize the population while removing potential enemies. It is narcissistic psychologically for the individual Bolshevik officer because that officer knew the sociological reasons for what they were  doing. There is no doubt in my mind that a great many of those officers derived narcissistic pleasure from the power they held over their victims. In those days it was said you were drafted into the Red Army but you had to volunteer to join the secret police.

A minor example of a narcissistic power trip comes from someone I know. He is alcoholic and as with so many alcoholics also exhibits narcissistic traits. What happened was he asked a woman out on a date and she refused, so he slit her tires. Most people when rejected feel bad, maybe they will cuss out the person in their own mind, but only a narcissist will act vengefully on their definition of the other.

It is very important to recognize that narcissism is defined by the person going too far, by their being on a power trip. Just imagine psychologically torturing a frightened prisoner, knowing that you are going to kill them with your own hand once you have played with them long enough to satisfy your narcissistic rage. That really happened many times and not just in the Soviet Union. It was a defining feature of communism almost everywhere it was practiced.

Complex system are defined as systems with a lot of factors any one of which, no matter how small, can affect the entire system. Our minds are complex systems.

In this respect, notice that FIML practice focuses especially on small details to prevent partners from forming false impressions of each other or the world around them.

By removing false impressions or interpretations from our minds, we avoid many problems, not least of which is the narcissistic power trip.

first posted DECEMBER 22, 2016

Covid-19: Actual cases vs expected cases

A cursory chi-square analysis of Covid-19 cases vs. what we'd expect given population sizes shows obvious geographical patterns. Though this doesn't answer *why* we see these patterns, it brings us closer to the starting line.

Originally tweeted by StatSleuth (@StatSleuth) on July 11, 2021.

One hypothesis for these findings is China released a pathogen in 2017/18 that confers immunity for covid-19. A milder form of this hypothesis is that pathogen arose naturally in 2017/18 in China. ABN

California vote tallies show glaring violations of Benford’s Law, indicating Nov 3 results illegally reversed

Well-argued piece worth reading if you have some very basic math skills. ABN

The November 3, 2020, Presidential election data from California should set off alarm bells.

Election data generated by the natural voting process will closely match Benford’s Law predictions. (Benford’s Law, or the rule of leading digits, is used as an indicator of fraud in numerical data.) Of course, there can be exceptions, but Benford’s Law points to areas to investigate.

Benford’s Law predicts that for real, natural data, the frequency of leading digits (1 through 9) will occur at or near the following percentages of the transactions or tallies. Deviations from these predicted percentages should be investigated.  

Did Biden Really Win California?

How to understand why Buddhist rebirth does not require a self or soul

The basic reason no self or soul is reborn is neither exists independently of the mental universe that gave rise to our illusion of selfhood.

The mental universe within which we all exist is dynamic and so are we. In Buddhist terms, this dynamism is action or karma.

Buddhism does not say we do not exists. It only says that our selves are empty, that they do not ultimately exist. When we die our karma, the mental activity of this life, reconstitutes as a new being ensconced within the larger mental universe.

No one explains this better in modern terms than Bernardo Kastrup. In his essay Making Sense of the Mental Universe, he does not write about rebirth but rather about the conditions of our existence within the mental universe.

Nonetheless, his explanation of a “mental universe” shows precisely how rebirth can occur without there being any soul or pudgala or anything else that flies from the body upon death to transmigrate to another one.

I highly recommend reading the essay linked above. I have no idea if Kastrup is a Buddhist thinker. It’s even better if he is not, if his thinking arrived independently at a place consonant with original Buddhist thought.

Most Buddhists know that even Buddhists have trouble understanding how someone can be reborn without having a soul, self, or pudgala. What did the Buddha even mean by that? I know more than one university professor of Buddhist studies who explains Buddhist rebirth by saying, there is no such thing and neither is there such a thing as karma.

Those professors explain away karma and rebirth by claiming those fundamentals of Buddhist thought are nothing more than the Buddha “using the concepts of his day” to teach his moral doctrines and what amounts to his “atheistic Stoic” philosophy.

I mean no disrespect for the professors. It is hard to understand how something can be reborn and yet be empty of any perduring self or soul.

The essay linked above provides an excellent explanation of how that happens. I strongly encourage Buddhists or people who teach Buddhism or are interested in it to read Kastrup’s essay when you are in a good mood and want to learn something new and really interesting.

This essay can give you another angle on Kastrup’s thinking: Matter is nothing more than the extrinsic appearance of inner experience.

And here are some of my comments on Kastrup’s essay Making Sense of the Mental Universe.

first posted APRIL 2, 2020

Lockdowns, curfews, facemasks, stay-at-home orders. They’ve trained us well… for something…

Is this why they are also fomenting racial hatred, opening the border, defunding police, fencing DC, indoctrinating students. openly using National Guard, ruining the economy?

Can we expect a major false-flag (or false-grassroots upheaval) followed by martial law?

That will end election fraud being revealed, Trump returning to power, the people having free speech, valid information, or even a semblance of actual power. Is this what we are being trained for?

Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Ethical Skeptic does a fine slap-down on phony skeptics as does the Preliminary Assessment itself. ABN

From ES:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued its long awaited Report on the UAP phenomenon. Sorry UFO skeptics, but you lost this round of the argument. In addition, you were implicated by government and military officials for oppressive anti-science sociocultural impacts surrounding the issue. This Report was a spanking. Better get used to this happening over and over again.

…Despite what may be spun on the part of oppressive voices regarding the conclusions of this Report, nonetheless its implications are rather astounding and merit particular attention on the part of science. Although the document was deemed ‘preliminary’ in its release title, it also unequivocally identifies eight monumental disclosures within its structure – indeed six of an observational and two of an ontological nature.1

From: Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

From the report:

Disclosure #7: ‘Sociocultural stigmas’ (exempli gratia Social Skepticism) constitute a main obstacle to UAP research science. Risk of ‘disparagement and reputational’ harm ‘serves to keep many observers silent’. The Report stipulated that this suppression is waning, but also needs to be ended by means of formalizing a ‘recognized UAP reporting process’.

The ABN Declaration of Moral Obviousness: Banning effective medical treatments violates basic ethics

We do not need to have this view authorized or approved by anyone but ourselves. It is obvious and self-evident.

We do not need the Nuremberg Code or the WMA Declaration of Helsinki to support the above assertion—though both declarations do support it—we need only our own minds and consciences to see that it is immoral to deny effective treatment to people who are sick.

Furthermore, if the FDA rushes “approval” of covid vaccines in clear violation of long-established medical standards, their “approval” will most emphatically not mean that the “vaccines” are safe, but only that the FDA has completely destroyed what little was left of its moral and scientific credibility.

Bad information processing led to bad decisions on covid

My guess is most readers of this site already understand what this article explains in academic detail. At least skim the link to be sure you know what the main points are. ABN

Prior research has identified three main information-processing failures that can distort group decision-making processes and can lead to negative outcomes: (1) failure to search for and share information, (2) failure to elaborate on and analyze information that is not in line with earlier information and (3) failure to revise and update conclusions and policies in the light of new information. To date, it has not yet been explored how errors and biases underlying these information-processing failures impact decision-making processes in times of crisis. In this narrative review, we outline how groupthink, a narrow focus on the problem of containing the virus, and escalation of commitment may pose real risks to decision-making processes in handling the COVID-19 crisis and may result in widespread societal damages. 

Optimizing Decision-Making Processes in Times of COVID-19: Using Reflexivity to Counteract Information-Processing Failures

“Mutations show that the virus existed in China in 2018, Wuhan was just the last city to suffer an outbreak in China in 2019, then the rest of the world got slammed.”

direct link

This is important evidence that must be considered. It explains why China and surrounding regions had high prior immunity to covid. Click on the image above for a larger version that is easier to read. Click on direct link to go to the original Tweets.

UPDATE: Another interpretation of this data is not so much that Wuhan was the last Chinese city to suffer an outbreak but that Wuhan was the Chinese city chosen to stage a psyop (dead people in the streets, dramatic lockdowns, etc.) that fooled the world and led to dangerous imitations of policies that were not necessary and even counterproductive, thus greatly amplifying the bad effects of covid. ABN

Meta-Q vs IQ

We need the term meta-Q which means “general meta cognitive ability,” or the ability to see the meta levels of several arguments at once including nuance and branch arguments.

IQ generally connotes being good at taking a test of reasoning, language, and some sort of abstract thinking.

People with high IQs probably also have high meta-Q. The advantage of adding this term is it distinguishes how arguments are presented and considered, how they are analyzed.

For example, mainstream medicine has usurped the meta-Q of virtually all covid reasoning. Fauci at the top either determined or became the spokesperson for what “the science” of covid is and no other view has been allowed. Literally hundreds of millions of people have been forced to agree with the irrational dictates of an irrationally narrow covid meta-Q. Big Tech aided and abetted this mockery of reason by censoring and deplatforming anyone who brought complexity and nuance into the prison yard.

The covid example is roughly the same with other issues of the day, such as election fraud, the January 6 “insurrection,” Critical Race Theory, equality of outcome, and so on. The country is divided because the meta-Q of public discourse is so low there can be no mixing of ideas, no synthesis, no rapprochement.

Magnates of meta-Q usurpation are most of the famous public “thinkers” in USA: Michael Shermer, Cass Sunstein, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Bill Maher, Fauci, Lakshmi Singh, famous actors, etc. These people are supported by editorials, talking-heads, politicians, terrible academics (most of them), and so on.

In private conversations, discussions always go badly when there are too many voices with low meta-Q training or ability in the room. Arguments become simplified and nuance is rarely acknowledged. Meta-Q is the ability to “see over” a problem, to see beyond the words, to what an argument is, how it was formed, what it will result in, how it moves through time, and what alternatives there are.

I am pretty sure most people could be trained to increase their meta-Q considerably and surely to at least know when it is called for and who is doing it well.

Free will and divine intervention

Action in the physical world is a smaller set of options than action within the mind.

Thus, the locus of free will is the mind not the body or its actions.

We always have many options in the mind. Many choices are available for what we choose to think or how we choose to frame something.

A related idea that is not necessarily part of the above is if God or Dharma Protectors or some other being in a higher realm wanted to influence us, they would be most likely to do so by influencing our minds.

This influence could be a subtle guiding of our thoughts, actual channeling of their thoughts, or even a vision when we are alone.

When we are alone because in those moments the influence will be primarily on our minds not our bodies. Our eyes may see and our ears hear, but if no one else is there the influence will ultimately occur in our minds and remain in our minds as memory.

When we are alone because if another person is present and they see or hear the same thing, the influence will impact the physical world to a much greater extent.

It will not be contained within one human mind. Two people will be astounded by it, talk about it, share it with others. This extends the influence well into physical reality causing it to have a much wider impact.

Visions influencing more than one person have happened, but these should not be the standard of proof that events of that type do happen.

Indeed, it makes sense to assume that interventions into human affairs from higher realms happen to individuals far more often than to pairs or groups of people.

This also makes sense from the point of view that the locus of free will is in the mind.

A higher being can influence the mind and the will in this way without causing major distortions in the physical world.

first posted as Free will: its locus is the mind on JUNE 8, 2017