When you look at the state of the movement now it has to make you angry how ineffective it is. No matter how great the forces stacked against the movement it is totally ineffective as a response. And what do we get as a solution? Some wishy-washy deliberations about narrative. If they were worried about what the movement was doing the 1% would be licking their lips and saying “wankers”. In one sense they are worried, they know that the only threat to their profits is a mobilised 99%, but at the moment they don’t have to be concerned because none of that mobilisation is about raising awareness of ego the major tool the 1% uses to defuse any mobilisation.
I have to begin however with a narrative because the political will have had some negative reactions to what I have said so far. The political will have some vague recognition of the word ego but will claim that analysis and discipline is what overcomes the personal. Show me, politico, where this is working now. The narrative is that we live in a neoliberal system whose objective is to increase the accumulation of the 1%. A politico will analyse this statement take it to a far greater depth, maybe analytically describe it as naive, but hopefully they will agree – as far as it goes. That is sufficient for me so far. For the spiritual this assessment will not ring true because they will talk of compassion or other such human values, however I say to them that this statement “we live in a neoliberal system whose objective is to increase the accumulation of the 1%” is a fundamental insight that your ego deludes you into not accepting, and this delusion occurs in many ways.
Zandtao narrative:- we live in a neoliberal system whose objective is to increase the accumulation of the 1%.
Basically the politico calls me naive and the spiritual are dubious that I call this Zandtao narrative an insight assuming perhaps that I don’t understand the meaning of insight. But I am promoting what I describe as pathtivism, look at “3) The path of compassion, insight and creativity.” This is an insight that I claim comes from my path – a spiritual insight. So my question to the spiritual at this stage, is the problem my ego or yours?
I wish to expand a little on my narrative but it is important not to develop an extensive narrative as this is both unnecessary – mental proliferations or sankhara shell, and leads to division – the ego in action.
Zandtao narrative – The 1% accumulate wealth through wars for profits.
Zandtao narrative – The 99% have been indentured as wage-slave consumers.
This next narrative statement I don’t like padding out my narrative with but it is an important delusion that needs debunking so I have included it.
Zandtao narrative – The world is a 1%-satrapy, our governments are their puppets.
When I write I like to throw in personal anecdotes, why? Because I am human. Whilst what I write comes from my path, I like personal interaction; I don’t want dry dogma. This leaves me open to egoic attacks from all sides. Good, bring it on! Why? Because this is an egoic battle? No, because divisive thoughts arise from the ego all the time, and we must know this if we are to control it. Zandtao is writing personal crap again, pops up the thought to the dedicated activist stop wasting my time, get on with the meat. I’m human, I have an ego, I can watch it and then let it go – I can be personal. Is your anger dividing us if you see my personal as wasting time?
I have only come across the word satrapy once. I helped a political teacher of mine with speeches back in the early 80s. He was African, from the Cameroons, and he liked to use unusual (rarely used) words to attract the attention of the people he was addressing. At the time he described his country as a satrapy – I make no comment specifically about the Cameroons now as I have drifted from the analysis of that time.
In the narrative bullet I have used the words puppet to describe governments, when I write blogs I refer to the Trump-puppet because that is what he is. His rhetoric has fooled his supporters into thinking he is making the decisions, and his fan-base (mainly MAWPs – Male Arrogant White and Privileged) buy into his arrogance. But the truth is he has taken the flack whilst the 1% have changed regulations to enable their profits - described eloquently by Chomsky here.
In our lives through our upbringing and education we have been conditioned – I discussed conditioning in Ch22 of the Treatise, and I will be discussing it frequently in this manual because fundamentally to be activists we have to move beyond all our conditioning. And to move beyond it we have to understand what the results of our conditioning are, and the answer simply is ego. For the politico conditioning is restricted to manipulation by the 1% to increase profits. But what is the extent of the conditioning, what is the extent of the ego, and most importantly for the politico we have to examine conditioning that is not simply political to become aware of what the ego is. As explained in Ch22 being conditioned is part of human development. As children and young people we are conditioned through instinct. Instinct is nature’s way of guiding us and nature’s way of protecting us, as we become adults the mature drop away this instinctive learning that has become our egos. The mature move beyond conditioning, move beyond the ego that instinct creates. The mature activist also needs to move beyond their ego, recognise what is instinctive learning and develop mature learning as part of their activism.
The 1% did not “create” the ego, did not create instinctive learning, did not develop conditioning; this is how nature teaches us. But what they did do is turn the conditioning process to their advantage over time. Over time is an important learning tool. What has happened over time? This is a good way of understanding. One of the most popular delusions is that we live in democracies. How can we say that? Even the most celebrated democracy was predicated on slavery. We “won” the vote. How did we win the vote? Did the government get defeated in some battle which then led to us “getting the vote”? Or did the governments then recognise that giving people the vote over unimportant matters would give them the delusion that they are not actually slaves. In the US how can an election between Trump and Hillary actually be a choice for ordinary people? They are neoliberal choices, whoever wins perpetuates the neoliberal system, perpetuates wars, perpetuates our indenture.
It is worth considering here recent political developments – Sanders and Corbyn. Both these candidates offered the voters a choice they wanted, they promoted platforms that benefitted the 99%. Ignore the ego. The ego is saying they are pipedreams, it is not financially possible. The ego says these candidates cannot run economies, all those traditional delusions. And if you want to talk about pipedreams. Never in his wildest imagination could Henry VIII envisage having the fortunes of the 1% without having to personally fight wars. Nor could he have envisaged a population of slaves who would be willingly adding to his wealth on a daily basis.
If you doubt the narrative about wars for profits look at second millennial history. Starting with Spain there was colonial expansion for gold, war in Europe for that gold, and then colonial expansion using that gold. Until the start of the 20th century one of the smallest countries in the world had amassed the greatest wealth. Then Europe fought to regain control, and when they destroyed themselves the US stepped in creating the current economic hegemony that is part of neoliberalism.
If you doubt the narrative about indenture look at history. To begin with – first millennia, empires expanded based on enslaving those captured in wars – or local battles. Amongst these slaves some were given land becoming serfs, providing for their landlord first then having a little left for themselves. And now we have wage-slaves. We are given a choice of slavery known as careers. We give to the 1% as taxes through their satrapies and we give to the 1% as profits through consuming.
And when has government been free from the power of the wealthy. Landowners controlled government then finance controlled government. Now we have the 1% controlling the world ravaging the world through profiteering destroying Gaia for their own profits, and governments do nothing. Why? Because they are satrapies.
Zandtao narrative – Living in this global economic system is destroying Gaia - Mother Earth.
For the politico this narrative goes without saying but quite often it goes without action. For the politico activism is concerned with organising and the building of the mass movement. They target injustice pointing at the undeserved colossal wealth of the 1%, and ask why can't that wealth be redistributed. This short-sighted approach does not address this ultimate problem that we are destroying Gaia. We cannot continue to appeal to the greed of the movement without addressing the underlying destruction of Mother Earth.
For the spiritual these narratives can be a problem. For the spiritual we are asked to consider the compassion in human nature so how can we accept that human beings can go against the survival of Gaia and humanity – ask Chomsky? Some people such as Icke actually describe these as aliens because they display such inhuman characteristics. But the 1% have developed what I call an apartheid ego. Their ego is so strong, so much in control, and they have developed mechanisms that prevent their human compassion from coming through. They live in this apartheid state of ego that prevents discourse to enable that compassion.
For the spiritual meditate on these narrative insights. In the same way as you might meditate on a religious truth. Meditate on these insights, see the truth that is in them.
For the spiritual we are encouraged to develop compassion, and the world we live in is not compassionate. It is a nasty hurtful place and in the outer much suffering stems from the politics and political systems we live under. We want to detach from this hurt. Understandable. But detachment does not mean that we hide away from the truth, the truth of our political systems, our wealth, our excessive consuming, our standard of living, our freedom to be spiritual is part of this system. It is not detachment to take the benefits and detach from the rest. It is our spiritual duty to work for compassion, and that means compassion in politics as well because the politics pervades through every aspect of life. It is aversion to politics – an emotional egoic reaction that enables some spiritual to detach from politics, to ignore their natural spiritual duty. Detachment is participating in our spiritual duty whilst not allowing our emotional ego to become attached – control us through our egos.
For the politico it is “I agree with the narratives but ….” And then along comes analysis with endless mental proliferations. But what happens then? There are details. The ego attaches to those details, and those details start to matter more than the broad narrative. Different egos focus on different details, and we have division in the movement. We are supposed to all be fighting the power and influence of the 1%. We are supposed to be fighting the 1% and their neoliberalism that puts profits before people before Gaia, but we end up allowing our egos to fight each other.
And these egos are so easily manipulated through the Dark Money Network. They finance the details. The egos become invested in the details, perhaps the finance is enough that they don’t have to work. So egos spout what the money wants, they spout the details and we have division. In neoliberalism we need money so if we can almost do what we want to get that money then we can compromise. Because my particular detail is also against neoliberalism I will focus on my detail – maybe identity politics. Someone else focusses on a different detail because it suits their compromise, and the Dark Money Network has used ego to divide us.
This focus on detail is an intellectual division, and is part of the egoic shell that divides us, that comes from the mental proliferations and ideas that we attach to – I call this the sankhara shell (in Theravada Buddhism sankhara is one of the 5 khandhas), a part of ego. For the politico I ask you to question why your analysis becomes so divisive, why so many activists are divided against each other, why they spend their time demanding that such-and-such happens within their organisations whilst the 1% are profiting from wars that comrades are conditioned to be soldiers in, whilst the 1% force the 99% to kill each other so that they can increase their accumulation. Why are you focussed on each other when this is happening? Ego.
Maybe, politicos, meditate on your need for details because if you don’t meditate it will be so much harder to get rid of your egos.
What I want you to get from this description of narrative is not that there is a new narrative but that you cannot dissociate the narrative from ego. Narrative maybe based on objective analysis but it is people who have to accept this narrative and use it for political change. These people all have egos. Parts of the movement cope with ego by enforced discipline – party democratic discipline, but whilst there might well be an individual acceptance of this approach the ego will react to this collective authoritarian censorship. Learning to control the ego makes this straightforward.
For reference and a guide I will be using this Zandtao narrative but it is not a tablet of stone:-