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compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion

  Posted on Nov 22nd, 2009 by  martha
  A gazillion on a scale of 1 - 10 is how tired I am of being told--by my students, my
  friends, political quizzes on web sites, comments from media pundits--that I am a
  "socialist" or a "communist" because I believe that compassion is an important part of
  my life's work, that we are interconnected - (from our roots upwards), and that we
  have both needs to-- and obligations to-- help and support each other.

Please hear this: Communism--the central control of the means of production and most real property by the state in the name of the well-being of the masses--is a stupid system, and can quickly revert to brutish stupidity. If YOU like it, that's fine. I know we are free as humans to believe as we wish, because it takes great sensitivity to understand even a tiny bit of what goes on between the ears of another. By Design, it's your private business. The intent of this paragraph is not to "put down" communism (which does a real good job of doing that for itself), but to clarify my position.

Socialism, which I take to mean a state-directed economy, to the extent that this takes place at the consent of the voters, is just something that per se, I'm not interested in. But I don't think it should be linked in the mind of the average person to communism. The two don't necessarily sleep together. The key concept here is consent. Some countries (take a look at those in Scandinavia) implement "socialism" fairly well. But my point is--are we sure it's "socialism" that they're doing? Or have global corporate interests managed to exert a mind control so pervasive that we now feel obligated to label governments who help to implement social justice as "socialist" (and therefore vaguely dangerous and immoral and linked to communism)?

I prefer to think about my life in the terms of Ubuntu, the African philosophy that asserts "I am because you are." (Or "I am because WE (the community) are." Ubuntu is in dialectical conversation with "I think, therefore I am." Rene Descartes famously liked to stay in bed writing until noon by himself. Some say it was his introverted ways that led to his highly individual-level imagination about what it is, foundationally, to realize one's own humanity. I can't say for sure. But surely Rene would have been neither potty trained nor used language if someone hadn't taught him these things.

Ah, what is the human person at all without the influence of others?
A pathetic piece of meat shivering in the bush.

Our worship of "individualism" has truly run
amok. It serves us not. Global corporate interests are using the vestiges of Enlightenment thinking to play on our fears of domination so that they can dominate us. This is not a "philosophical argument" and I don't want to "debate" anyone. "Debate" is a concept emerging from the tired gospel of individualism. Which individual can prove HIMself more right, and whose prick is larger? I don't care at all.
However, if you can show me how there is a better way to think about us together on this planet than Ubuntu, I would deeply, from my heart, want to see it. Zen?  To me it's still based on the concept of an individual detached from others inside an individual brain looking out of individual eyes looking for enlightenment. It's wonderful if a person does it, but IF the next Buddha is a collective, then perhaps the practice of Ubuntu is how we sit: Together.
And in the spirit of exactly how I sit with these thoughts, I won't really know what I think about them until, dear reader, I hear from you.
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Michael : catalyst-producer
about 15 hours later
Michael said

AS I have often said elsewhere IT IS the MIS-interpretation and MIS-understanding, on the part of those in the past who have declared their own interpretation of WHAT IS, that has blinded those very people to the very fact that WHAT IS - IS - and sure ain't NO ISER; and that its not for them to tell others how to think but for each and every one of us to think for ourselves

by a process of disconnecting the mechanism of interpretation !

That WAS Buddha's message. Unfortunately the vast majority of his followers MIS-understood that message and through MIS-interpretation formulated a variety of buddhist mindsets which others now “connect” with ZEN.

In the context of your discussion here I would say that a non-philisophical interpretation of Ubuntu - IS - and as such sits in the same mind-space as ZEN but my own interpretation of ZEN, which I am willing to debate with anyone who wishes to do so, IS an interpretation which accepts that ZEN, as the mindset which Buddha alluded to, IS ONE which accepts that …

ZEN is TAO and NOT ZEN without TAO

is BUDDHA and NOT ZEN without BUDDHA

& BUDDHA are independent & of ZEN

is dependent on TAO & BUDDHA as ONE

ibso facto …

IF the next Buddha IS a collective …

then the practice of Ubuntu IS HOW WE SIT:

buddingspritelet : packing up and heading out
about 23 hours later
buddingspritelet said

nodding here, Martha :) It will come as no surprise to you that I am called these things too and usually the speaker has no idea the difference between socialism, communism, and just basic compassion and community with one another. I have read why the world benefited from individualism - along with the dysfunctions we also see - we have to move beyond this or we will continue to self-destruct.

I love the concept of Ubuntu and, in southern collequialism, I have come to sit with you for a spell :)

I look forward to what others have to add :)

Judi : Journeymaker
1 day later
Judi said

Well said, well, said, wildlygentle Martha. Words can sure catch us in a trap, can't they. Ubuntu – which is a word but in another language – is great because then I can just embrace the experience if the idea because I haven't really incorporated the word. Can we have a group hug? I really need one …

Amber : Smilemaker
1 day later
Amber said

Oh…. I like it, Martha! The only way to make it better would be to put everything you said into BOLD all caps as you already put the sticking points into italics… ~grin~

“I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!”

HummingBird : Joy
about 1 month later
HummingBird said

proudly south african [though far from unaware of the work still to be done!]

I am another you

martha : wildlygentle
about 1 month later
martha said

God, I hope you aren't as flatulent as I am, though.

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