11. Complete Disenchantment|
Before you read this chapter make sure that you have found some sort of path because without the path to fall back on, this chapter could be suicidal. Do NOT read it without the path. Seriously do NOT read it without the path. Or at least read it together where you can help each other. No drugs in the house, just path.
Is it wise to do stuff that is a complete waste of time? So why don’t we apply that to political involvement? Consider Jeremy Corbyn who was always a bit trotty for me. But he stood the course of time with all his good work in Islington and became a left hero when he was voted as Labour leader. How effective has he been? None. Why? The 1%-satrapy won’t let him. He suffers abuse from erstwhile comrades, young people came out to support the popular genteel old man, yet now he is mocked. What about Harry Perkins, working-class socialist from Sheffield, the Labour leader in the 80s who was voted in on a landslide to bring about change, and the establishment got in the way. OK that was Chris Mullin’s excellent fiction, A Very British Coup. Not too dissimilar, Harry Perkins and Jeremy Corbyn – except Chris did not talk of the establishment weapon of the targetted calls of antisemitism. Electoral socialism just doesn’t work.
We are going to apply spiritual techniques to determine the validity of political involvement. Let us examine the political strategy of electoral politics. Embrace this strategy. Look with deep honesty at the possibility of 99% voting for a good person to have power, and more importantly how the 1% will allow their apparatus (media etc.) to let this happen. No chance. Can we ever overcome the systemic conditioning that accepts war and wage-slavery? No chance. Will the strategies of alienation ever work? Or will people be bought off?
If a good government for the people were voted in would the 1% allow policies that would take away their profit-making? No chance.
What about the state of Gaia? The planet is being destroyed with all its potential threat to humanity. Do the 1% work to change this for the better? No. the Kock brothers finance climate denial, and the biggest cause of damage, the US, now has a president who supports climate denial.
Look at any political movement, will it work? What about Wolfie? Come the revolution we will put the 1% up against the wall. Can that ever happen? Now the 1% can buy “security” (weaponry) that can destroy armies. Who are you kidding?
EXPAND Look at this Zandtao narrative:-
Is there any way that political process can change so that their narrative is this compassion narrative? No chance.
Look at every scenario. Can we win? Maybe …. Look again. Can we win? Maybe …. Look again. Can we win?
The answer is no. If you have not reached the answer of no, then are you looking clearly? Are you on the path? Have you been able to face the truth? Perhaps you should forget this and go back to chapter 1. And if you are forcing yourself to say no, stop, you will hurt yourself, give yourself pain. Stop. Perhaps you should go back to chapter 1 and learn more about yourself.
So you have reached the answer of no with full awareness, and you’re not depressed. If you are depressed, go back to chapter 1. Why are you not depressed? Because you are on the path. The path knows politically there is nothing to be done now. But the path knows there is much to be done because there is much suffering, it just knows that the political process just adds to the suffering.
Will our involvement in the political process bring about any of the zandtao narrative? The answer is no, and we need to be at peace with no. Are you at peace with no? Go back to chapter 1?
The point is politically we cannot win. Does that mean we curl up and die? Not at all, it means we follow the path. Because when we follow the path then we win. No system, no electoralism, no victory, no hope of success, we follow the path and win.
What’s the point of following the path and not winning? Shouldn't we be helping people? Isn’t the path compassion? And here’s the rub, winning and compassion are not the same. Maybe in some other universe?? In this world compassion and winning isn’t happening.
Maybe it could happen? Do we plan for this? No, because we follow the path and live in the present moment. We don’t give up on compassion, we live compassion in the present moment. That’s pathtivism. If you want to go on a rally and it feels good, go. Is it going to have any effect? No. Does the 1% respond to what the 99% do? Maybe. But only if they have to and they have calculated to make their profits elsewhere? Then they give you a token victory. Can we turn token victories into victory? No chance – complete disenchantment is the truth.
A rally is good community, that’s enough, it is present moment. Results, change, these are all attachments. There’s a phrase I hate – “make a difference”. That is such an ego phrase, me and my ego can make a difference. My conference (ref chapter wherever) made a difference but it was more for me than helping humanity. What about the Oxfam people who fought me? Did they make a difference? No, because of their egos. The path has no attachments – results changes, the struggle has no results. We follow the path because it is right action in the present moment.
Buddhism has a doctrine called anatta – no self, there is no self. We are conditioned to create egos, egos form a self that we identify as I, typically the fear self. If we don’t identify with ego, and then we don’t identify with the self then we are following the path. Ven Bdasa, as do many Buddhists I think, uses the 5 khandhas to explain the doctrine of anatta. If we attach our consciousness to any of the khandhas, rupa – body, vedana – feelings, sanna – perceptions and memories, sankharas – mental concoctions, then we are creating egos and therefore a self (or selves). When talking of detaching from the 5 khandhas he would say that we must make sure “there is no I or mine in the 5 khandhas”. How do we measure our compassion? Compassion is right action in the present moment, there is no attachment to the compassion. There is no I or mine in the compassionate action. This is path.
Restudy atammayata, and decide how atammayata applies to community action.
What about the pathtivist strategies?
Fit these into anatta.
There is no I or mine in pathtivism.
Look at Engaged Buddhism. Ven Bdasa started Dhamma Socialism. Is there aDhamma Socialism party? Is disengaged aversion. Is some engagement attachment to the political process. There is no I or mine in Engaged Buddhism.
The real hope for the movement is that at some stage the galactic guardians are going to come down to earth humanely restart the conditioned (those not on the path) and enable the world to be run on compassionate lines by those following the path. I hope (not really Mutley) for this dream, it is as realistic as any current political process enabling a compassionate world.
Complete disenchantment with all that is not path eg media. Eventually complete disenchantment with conditioning - focus on disenchantment with conditioning. Only emerging spirit or path can help. The conditions attract us. Increasing liberalism does not help when it is conditioned because of fear, not because liberalism does not have compassionate values. This fear is attached to comfort security – keeping the ego of fear, and these are egos that ar manipulated in the satrapy. The path has no fear, has no ego of fear, the path is not controlled by the satrapy. Suffering??
I have looked at how activism is too wrapped up in ego, lacking discernment, how we have basically become attached to political power. We have become attached to what the 1%-satrapy offers. All people, including activists, need to follow their paths, this is what I have called pathtivism in this manual. If more and more people become active as pathtivists it will change the nature of political power, and this can only be a good thing. How will it change? I don’t know, I have no crystal ball. But I trust the path, the path is from Gaia, it will know the way. There is no I or mine in path, there is no I or mine in pathtivism; this merits trust.