We may often feel engulfed in silence, but usually we live within a lack of silence (the sound of the washing machine, or a cooler, etc.).
We are nearly always interacting with sound waves and, at times, these waves come from others like us in the form of dialogue waves.
In case you haven’t realised this already, I am describing here a dialogue philosophy that attempts to introduce a basic norm of getting us out of the mess in which we find ourselves right now.
The current mess is different from past crises because
the numbers used to not count so much;
whatever the problem, it would have been more local.
Nowadays, a very small group of people seems to decide many things in a manner that is bound to spell disaster for nearly everyone on the planet.
However, this is not a conspiracy.
At the very least, it’s not a conscious conspiracy (We are not that smart, okay?)
Maybe there is some psychological human drive towards destruction, but I don’t believe this.
Perhaps at a given time, a certain society goes through such a self-destructive mood period, but that’s not everybody. We haven’t asked everybody.
This self-destruction-apocalypse mood is probably not shared by many Native Americans tribes (North American and South American “Indians”), despite their horrible experience at the hands of White, Christian people.
Then we got the (Black) slaves, hauled on ships from Africa, which is another depressing story…
Some horrible things have been done in the past, but thank God (=our good conscience) we managed to stop some bad things:
We abolished slavery.
When was slavery abolished in Romania, by the way? Do you know?
Slobozirea (“the emancipation”), right?
Do you know the year, or the century? Was it before the Blacks in America? Think 19th century, the second half.
What was the situation here, in Romania, towards Gypsies (=Roma people)?
What is the situation now?
We’ve come forward by putting some bad ideas away from our minds, through dialogues, by recognising the Others’ right to (equal) dialogue. We said
“Oh, okay, we’re equal, we can have a dialogue”
The idea that the Others are like animals, or things, different from us, essentially different, has been eliminated. Up to a point.
Remember that we have “self-fulfilling prophecies” which see in the current deplorable status of minorities the fulfilment of certain stereotypes projected unto them by the (White) majority.
See the case of Aboriginal Australians in the court system; Eades is the author you want to Google right now, and read a little bit, especially if you’re Australian.
I noticed that I have people from Australia sometimes checking my blog: Here’s some homework for you, in case you find some free time.
Australia… I have a special relation, a special dialogue with Australia, and New Zealand.
Lots of commonalities, lots of differences.
The biggest difference being that one had a Maori population, whereas the other had Aboriginals (when the Whites arrived). So the interaction style was different:
the Maori fought back much more organised, whereas the Australian Aboriginals didn’t seem to be able to fight back in an organised manner.
What does this tell us about our civilisation? The stronger (race) wins? That’s what everybody believed at that time, they thought it’s an evolutionary principle (eugenics), the stronger killing off the weaker. But then somebody stood up and said:
“Dude, dude, stop, because the more in-group you become, the more the genes get messed up, and it will be bad for us as well.”
So you don’t have to kill everybody. It’s better to have a dialogue with Them.
Let’s talk, let’s recognise each other as humans and see what the Others have learned, in this place, on the same planet.
What do you guys think?
What do you guys talk about?
How is your language?
What is important?
What is of value?
What is the Good in your society?
What’s the Good in Aboriginal Australian society? The Dreaming is good; read a little about the Dreaming now. Not the museum caption stuff, but just go into a slightly more profound understanding, in that
the Dreaming consists of songs associated with travelling a certain path, and knowing the songs, the verses for each spot, the names for things.
Think how complex it must have been to sing all these songs, to know all these songs, to pass down generation after generation all these songs.
Each song was about a sacred place in Nature, where we would go as tourists now.
They had songs about the Dreaming, right? But they didn’t have rules for property.
So, what happened? The Queen happened!
(Later: Actually, the King (George the 3rd) around this time: 1770.)
God bless the Queen.
The Queen claimed the land and the rest is History.
Who does the Queen represent? Us, Europeans, at least Western Europeans.
The Eastern Europeans were busy fighting each other or the Turks at this time. We (=Eastern Europeans) had our own thing, we were (usually) fighting with the Turks, the Ottoman Empire.
Romanian history basically starts with fighting (the Hungarians at the Battle of Posada, 1330); then we’re fighting the Turks, and then the Hungarians, then the Turks, and then the Turks, the Turks, so the Turks are pretty clearly our favourite sparring partners, although we sometimes sparred with the Polish.
It gets complicated for other people; it’s a small area where various groups were fighting each other.
It helps (if you’re an American or Australian) to think of it in Huntington’s terms (the Clash of Civilisations):
You have the Western (Catholic) Christianity versus Eastern (Orthodox) Christianity versus Islam (Ottoman empire).
All these civilisations come together in a place, which was often (on the current territory of) Romania.
So 3 giants and they fought for most of the Middle Ages until World War One.
The First World War One was not religious any more, but as late as 1877 it was still a lot framed in religious terms (following Samuel Huntington’s thesis):
Civilisations clashing at the edges, and the edges are often in (what is now called) Romania.
I don’t see how else we can make a change (towards the Good) other than by engaging in honest dialogue.
Where this is possible, of course.
Where evil exists (e.g., mass shootings), where you have these demented guys immersed so completely in a hallucinated reality, I don’t think you can have a dialogue with them because they would rather kill everybody.
That’s their one dialogue line: Boom, boom, boom.
Until they run out of choices (bullets, energy, victims?), and then they kill themselves.
Basically this is suicidal behaviour.
This happens in Japan as well, although the weapons tend to be knives (as opposed to guns).
These are deeply disturbed people, who just want to become famous for a minute and they take the short path because they have been living for so long in God-knows what psychotic world that they cannot tell what’s Real and what’s Good any more.
These are evil and these must be stopped, and that’s why we need aikido (Ki-Merging Path) as we need to learn how to protect ourselves against evil, which in Japan means crazy people with knives, mostly.
We don’t learn how to deal with crazy people with guns; it’s a question I hope I don’t have to ask myself. For Americans the meme of guns has developed into a huge thing, because all of the scenarios we see playing out right now (on the screen and in reality) are not of normal dialogues:
They’re scenarios of very short dialogues, with a very bad ending for a lot of humanity.
It’s just about survival, about the survivors.
This tells us that fear is the greatest enemy.
“Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration”
We’re talking about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The American fear of crime causes an increase of gun sales (meaning an increase in gun ownership)
- which results in more violence (including accidental shootings)
- which eventually confirms the original assumption that “We should be afraid”
- which triggers another acquisition of more (and bigger) guns.
To fully grasp how idiotic this behaviour pattern is, remember what happens with the Hunter going after the Bear with a big gun.
It’s suicidal behaviour:
Fear, fear, fear, which at some point evolves into paranoia and psychosis:
a belief in a reality that is so malefic that all we can see around us are objects of fear.
Well, you can try to live like that, but it will leave scars.
How big scars? Think “scars on the scale of amputations”:
You will lose parts of yourself because you deny yourself dialogue with those parts, with all these other people, all these other humans around you.
We’ve got to resist the fear. We’ve got to act rationally through dialogue (where possible) and act at a national level (where necessary) like Japan has done in terms of gun control.
People don’t have guns in Japan, you know? I read this piece of news the other day, about a teacher confiscating a gun from a student, who somehow got it from his dad. Anyway, the teacher (who confiscated it) was convinced that it was a fake, like a toy, and he accidentally fired it at a chair. Luckily nobody got killed or hurt.
Now, everybody (in the comment section) is going on about the teacher who was so stupid and careless. But my point is:
This is the kind of society you want to live in:
A society where people don’t know much about guns because there aren’t many guns lying around.
The only thing that gets shot is a chair.
How many accidental shootings occurred in America at the same time, on the day this guy shot a chair.
I want you (and this is your homework if you’re American), I want you to go and check what happened on this date (Nov. 26, 2013) in the US, look at the statistics for accidental shootings.
What’s the population difference? 100 plus million in Japan, 300 something million in the US, so divide by 3 if you cannot do it with “how many in 100,000?” as they do in sociology.
You might get a statistically significant difference, which might inform national policy about guns, as we have in Japan.
This is just a proposal of kaizen (Change-into-the-Good 改善) from Japan; I hope you can hear it.
The news for Americans right now is that Bob Dylan’s verses come true “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall”.
Masters of war have now taken control of what’s going on in the US, masters of fear and war.
Let’s remember the other Bob, the Black Bob.
Did Bob Dylan and Bob Marley touch zen? Did they partake of zen? As much as they insisted on dialogue and on pointing out the Bad, yes, they did, of course. But more so in the amazing shape they’ve given their dialogue forms with us; sometimes I wish I had their talent.
Sorry my song is lacking so much melody.