Good question and a good read:
There have been several claims that COVID-19 is a virus manufactured in the Wuhan bio-lab. Indian scientists, for example, made this claim as early as January 2020.
In a recent interview, the French virologist Luc Montagnier repeats that claim explaining why he believes COVID-19 was spliced together with elements of the HIV virus in a research project in Wuhan looking for a vaccine for HIV.
“The Wuhan city laboratory has specialized in these coronaviruses since the early 2000s. They have expertise in this area,” he says. The professor explains having analyzed “in the smallest details” the sequence with his mathematician colleague Jean-Claude Perrez. “We were not the first, since a group of Indian researchers tried to publish a study which shows that the complete genome of this coronavirus [has] sequences of another virus, which is HIV, the virus AIDS”. (Nobel Prize Winner French Virologist Confirm COVID-19 HIV Study)
Montagnier won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his discovery of the AIDS virus.
Interestingly, IF COVID-19 is man-made, THEN it will probably be unstable, which means it will tend to break down after a number of reproductions in host bodies. And this means that the so far unexplained sudden disappearance of infections in Italy and elsewhere MAY be the result of the unstable virus simply breaking down.
And if this is so, we may be able to shelve the idea that the Wuhan lab deliberately created a bio-weapon. Instead, they had made a virus for research and were “only” sloppy with their contamination protocols.
But that does not let the CCP of the hook because the CCP, with help from WHO, covered up the seriousness and human transmissiblity of the virus for some six weeks. During that time, CCP allowed people from Wuhan to travel around the world knowing full-well they were infectious. During that same time period, CCP stopped travel from Wuhan to other parts of China.
See the link above for more on Montagnier’s interview and links describing the January paper by Indian scientists.
This is a very good interview, provides a lot of important information.
At this point, US officials are saying they have ruled out the possibility that the virus is a man-made bioweapon.
You cannot assume that because a bioweapon can be bred in a lab for “gain of function” and thus appear naturally evolved.
I say this because: 1) ruling out the virus as a bioweapon is not a good way to think; you can’t subtract a possibility like that at the outset of an investigation; and 2) I doubt they have ruled it out.
More on the US investigation here: US officials confirm full-scale investigation of whether coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab.
I hate to say this, but we should also consider the possibility that a second, even a third, virus will be released.
Stated more clearly: Culture is nothing more than the context of the languages we speak.
In this sense culture defines our words and phrases; and in this sense, our psychologies.
This means that if you think or feel something, you probably can find a way to speak about it unless you are trapped within the context of your language.
For example, just think of anything you are afraid or embarrassed to talk about.
For some of those topics, you may have a friend (or stranger) with whom you are able to speak. Very traumatic experiences can be exceptionally difficult to speak about because they tend to be unique or uniquely horrific; so normal language in almost all contexts won’t get you there. You will feel inhibited, tongue-tied, embarrassed, afraid, timid, mute, isolated.
Traumatic experiences are an extreme example of how culture/context is not able to overlay all of our experiences. This is a core reason we turn to professional listeners—therapists, clergy, etc—to deal with trauma, though often we are even afraid of them.
Artists also provide us with unique experiences set in unique contexts. If well-done, or more importantly well-publicized, art may change the culture/context for many speakers. In this area, goodness lives alongside propaganda and hype. Many speakers feed the frenzy and feed on it.
In Buddhism, speech is a vessel of delusion as well as enlightenment. Buddhism provides an excellent context for speech because it fully recognizes the meta-contexts of impermanence, emptiness, ignorance, delusion, and suffering.
If you have experienced trauma, as we all have (it’s relative), you are in a good place to understand that traumas can be very small yet agonizing. And they can repeat often, causing constant suffering, sleeplessness, helplessness.
If we can see that traumas, both small and large, are outliers from whatever culture we are in, then we can also see that the way forward is to make our culture into something that can speak about them.
When culture is as small as one person—you alone—you can be free in many ways but also will get stuck on your traumas. With no way to speak about them with others, they will distort your thinking, carry weight they should not have. Disturb everything you do.
When culture is as large as two people, great freedom is possible. Two people just need to realize this. If they do, it’s a small step to realize that profound cooperation solves their cultural “prisoners’ dilemma” better any other solution.
I cannot escape my trauma if I lie to you because my context will instantly become inauthentic, stultified fully as badly as my trauma always has been. So, I won’t do that. And you, my partner, are as smart as me so you won’t either.
Cultures are contexts for languages because cultures have rules. A two-person culture also needs rules. Best to figure most of them out for yourselves but also best to start with some very important basics. And these are: meta-cognitive rules that allow for accurate meta-communication.
Here is a set of rules that can start you off on a new way to communicate: How to do FIML.
At all times in most cases, cause of death is an educated guess. This is a medical fact. In the video below, Dr Annie Bukacek explains why this is so and how statistics on COVID-19 mortality rates are being exaggerated.
New facts may come to light and alter the picture we have today. But as of now, it does seem that China (CCP) at the very least deliberately concealed the seriousness of their COVID-19 outbreak, thus causing global pandemic.
What’s worse is it also looks, as of today, that they may very well have engineered the virus and released it deliberately or negligently. Either way, it’s bad. Of course, deliberately made and deliberately released is the worst.
Consider matters from the point of view of the CCP. On the one hand, if they honor the trade deal they signed with Trump, they are doomed to a slow death as the CCP cannot survive for long under the regimen they signed onto. On the other hand, if they renege on the trade deal, they will also be doomed and probably to an even quicker death.
This double-bind they are caught in—either way, we lose—is their probable motivation for unleashing COVID-19 on the world if that is what they did. And almost all signs point to some version of them having done that.
The least version of this scenario in their minds would be: “We are more used to adversity than the West/USA and we are better at controlling our population due to our authoritarian system. Therefore, we will survive this COVID-19 better than the West, so it is to our advantage to cover it up.”
The worst version of this scenario in their minds would be: “We have developed lethal viruses and we have vaccines for them. Now is the time to unleash them on the world. We will prevail and within a short time control the entire world. We will start with COVID-19 and follow up with a second or third virus as conditions dictate.”
I would be astonished if Trump and the Pentagon have not considered all of the above and much more. Thus, I must conclude that we are already responding to the threat.
Seizing CCP money in the West is one response already being discussed in public. What will we do about potential follow-up viruses? I don’t know. I do not see how a second or third bio-attack, if launched, can be prevented or contained since one could easily be initiated in thousands of places simultaneously.
After years of clearing up my mind, I noticed that my inner voice sometimes uses short phrases to bring negative trains of thought to an end. It was a habit I was aware of but had never given any thought to.
The phrases are not pretty; e.g. “I hate them all,” “fuck them,” “who cares about assholes like that,” etc.
My guess is this kind of inner speech is not uncommon. I was using it to end various lines of thought that had wandered into painful territory.
Having a clearer mind today or at least believing I did, I decided that when phrases or words like that came up again, I would not let them shut off my thoughts as I had been doing. Rather I would let the thoughts continue, explore what was there.
What I found is a bunch of old memories and emotions that were fairly easy to clean up. They were not so much repressed as not having been visited for many years. The nasty phrases were like labels in an old, unused filing cabinet.
About half the material was out of date and easy to toss. Another one-quarter was pertinent but was stuff I had dealt with in other ways and was thus redundant.
Only about a quarter of the material lying behind those nasty phrases deserved more thought.
In some of the most interesting cases, I realized that I was letting someone off too easy by hiding their behavior inside a neutral memory. They actually had been horrible but I had been too young to understand (narcissists, for example). Analyzing that stuff over again in a more mature mind was a bit of a chore, but the results have been good, even refreshing.
The process is ongoing. It does resemble cleaning an attic or an old filing cabinet. The stuff I found behind those nasty phrases was not all the stuff from my past. It was just stuff where I was blaming someone or feeling angry about something or had been harmed by someone. The bad stuff I’ve done is elsewhere in my mind.
I am struck by several things concerning those phrases and what lay behind them. One is a lot of that material dates back to childhood and early adulthood. It was not so much unconscious as not having been visited for a long time. Though most of it does not have strong emotional valence, some of it is very revealing because it brings together memories that had been disconnected, leading me to understand dramas or aspects of experience I had not understood before even though I had lived them. I also notice that it was just a few words that closed off those “files.” The power of words to command silence in the mind.
I had been dismissing all that material with just a few words whenever I didn’t feel like going there, which was every time. After not going there for many years, it was refreshing to poke around and rearrange those parts of my mind. I am quite sure I freed up some memory space and removed some snags in my thinking by dealing with that stuff. I also see new patterns within my general sense of my past, patterns with better explanatory power, both truer and more concise.
I see our minds as having a structure sort of similar to language or a forest. Trees of ideas, memories, and feelings grow and change. It’s good to remove some of them sometimes, put the space to better use. Buddhist practice is very helpful in endeavors like this. Rather than get all worked up with Freudian passions and delusions, we can simply observe, dismiss, refile, erase, upgrade, or reimagine as needed based on our capacities and understanding of what’s best.
Our bhavanga or “storehouse consciousness” contains memories, pictures, ideas, words., explanations They flow along with us, in many ways are us. When the mind is clear, a lot of that material can be rearranged for the better. There aren’t many rules for that. Just do your best.
A recent study shows that An insight-related neural reward signal exists and is more active in some people than in others.
This study also confirms the idea that “intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity.”
Some other findings that may be of interest:
…our findings suggest that individuals who are high in reward sensitivity experience the sudden emergence of a solution into awareness as strongly rewarding whereas individuals who are low in reward sensitivity may still experience insight as sudden and attentionally salient but lacking in hedonic content.
As lifelong autodidact, I wonder if others with this marvelous “addiction” can relate to feeling almost not alive unless there is something to wonder about or figure out. I recently read a biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein. One standout was his strong tendency to seek out simple or humble environments that stimulated his mind.
…Individuals high in reward sensitivity are more likely to take drugs, develop substance-abuse disorders or eating disorders, and engage in risky behaviors such as gambling. The fact that some people find insight experiences to be highly pleasurable reinforces the notion that insight can be an intrinsic reward for problem solving and comprehension that makes use of the same reward circuitry in the brain that processes rewards from addictive drugs, sugary foods, or love.
Getting lost in the woods or on a motorcycle ride, for me, is a highly enjoyable feeling. There have to be slight tremors of fear and agitation followed by finding my way again. I suppose others may experience similar feelings in social settings or as live performers.
…These findings shed light on people’s motivations for engaging in challenging, often time-consuming, activities that potentially yield insights, such as solving puzzles or mysteries, creating inventions, or doing research. It also reinforces the notion that intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity. The expectation of intrinsic rewards from comprehending and creating, rather than from an extrinsic source such as payment, is thought to be the most effective type of workplace motivation…
A society with universal basic income in which no one has to work unless they want to might bring about the greatest flourishing of human talent ever. Then again, maybe not. Inspiration does need a stick on the back sometimes and “joy has no children,” meaning happiness produces few inventions.
Here’s an article about the study: Aha! + Aaaah: Creative Insight Triggers a Neural Reward Signal.
The interviews below are better than most, providing in-depth insight into how and why the US government is acting as it is.
This interview with AG Bill Barr covers many fundamental legal and practical matters at home and also vis-a-vis China. Well-worth viewing.
EDIT: Part 2 added. In this section Barr makes it clear that U.S. Attorney John Durham is pursuing criminal charges against DOJ and FBI officials who abused the FISA process and whose actions “at least had the effect of sabotaging the presidency.” Barr calls those abuses “the greatest travesty in American history.”
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro discusses China, COVID-19, and the US response to both.
Since the whole world is now fundamentally at war with the Chinese Communist Party, I am supplying a PDF of Unrestricted Warfare. The text is roughly explained below.
Unrestricted Warfare (超限战, literally “warfare beyond bounds”) is a book on military strategy written in 1999 by two colonels in the People’s Liberation Army, Qiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗). Its primary concern is how a nation such as China can defeat a technologically superior opponent (such as the United States) through a variety of means. Rather than focusing on direct military confrontation, this book instead examines a variety of other means. Such means include using International Law (see Lawfare) and a variety of economic means to place one’s opponent in a bad position and circumvent the need for direct military action. (Link)
The CCP did not disclose human-to-human transmission of COVID19 until January 20 of this year. They have known of the virus since late November or early December of 2019 and have engaged in covering up crucial information about it ever since. Doing so ensured the virus would spread throughout the world.
Chang points out the obvious: that China’s covering up the seriousness of the coronavirus led to the worldwide pandemic. He also describes how the West is now being forced to accept that no relationship with China’s Communist Party (CCP) will ever turn them into fair-minded stewards of a once great civilization.
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.