DREAM TRIP TO CHINA

DREAM TRIP TO CHINA

May 19 – June 9 2012

Souvenirs

This dream trip was conceived as a kind of pilgrimage, going back to the sources of Taoist culture to visit the places where it grew and flourished.

We were a group 36 people from many different countries, but we were driven by the same objective, to get directly in touch with this spirituality that we all live with.

Of course, we didn’t miss the major tourist attractions, but the trip was centered on temples and sacred mountains where famous ancient sages reached achievement.

Here are some pictures together with some comments.

Beijing

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Tian Tan Temple in Beijing is the place where the Emperor came once a year to receive guidance from Heaven about governing the country.
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The Forbidden City
One often comes across mind-blowing achievements in China. Here for example, the stone pavement of the Forbidden City is said to be made of 15 layers so as to make it impossible to dig a tunnel from the outside.

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White Cloud Temple in Beijing
People burn incense as a way of praying.

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Praying to a deity

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The temple gardens are imbued with peace and serenity.

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Monks taking a break to relax

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Gallery ceilings are heavily decorated

The Great Wall of China

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9 Qigong Primordial sur la Muraille

Our group practicing Primordial Qigong on the Great Wall

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Dragons in Beijing airport

Hangzhou, West Lake

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West Lake, an original boat for tourists

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West Lake, Hangzhou, peaceful water scene

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Gardens in West Lake

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A door to Paradise? The way is open

Ge Hong Temple
Ge Hong was a famous Taoist sage.

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The incense burner’s shape evokes an alchemical cauldron where the body’s energies mingle and are transformed into a spiritual being destined to become immortal.

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Ge Hong Temple, Dragon on the roof
Master Ni Hua Ching explains that the dragon is a symbol for yang energy, i.e. any powerful natural force. A violent storm, a strong fire, or a powerful wind are all examples of Dragon energy, which early people were able to understand and to manage.
A person expressing “dragon” energy must possess all four yang virtues to have a plain and normal, smooth and joyful life. These virtues are being positive, creative, progressive and perseverant.

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We form a group of joyful pilgrims.

The Great Water Show

As a kind of special treat, we attended a magnificent Water Show on the lake. It was devised by the artist who had produced the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics a few years earlier.
Here are four samples of this show:

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18 water show

19 water show

20 water show

21 water show

HUANG SHAN

Back to our Taoist pilgrimage…

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Huang Shan, Yellow Mountain, offers impressive vistas as well as shelters to rest or meditate.

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Many surprising rock formations

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Huang Shan, the Cobra

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Huang Shan, the Immortals’ Bridge that spans a deep gorge, is also a symbol for a demanding and audacious passage from one world to the next.

Sanqingshan

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Sanqingshan means the Mountain of the Three Pure Ones. They stand for the powers in Heaven, and also the stages in our own spiritual cultivation (body, mind and spirit).

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The mountains where Taoist spirituality has flourished have become national parks highly appreciated by ordinary tourists.

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Sanquingshan, a shrine in the woods

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Sanqingshan, an age-old site for prayer or temple

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Sanquingshan, this ancient well offers pure and beneficial water

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Sanqingshan, this old temple (11-12th century) has remained in use ever since

The atmosphere felt sacred in this age-old temple. A nun offered us small red medals engraved with a hexagram design.

The Taoist culture was discreetly maintained throughout history in times when it faced severe oppression. It now remains fully alive even though it is not formally valued in modern day China.
In fact, it is one of the most valuable human traditions. Its spiritual achievements loom gigantically, on a par with the material monuments in Chinese history.

It is probably the most profound, most ancient and most complete of world traditions.
Taoist culture began in prehistoric times, even before complex language emerged.
These human beings were able to perceive the energies around them intuitively, and they knew how to make good use of them.

There are records of stone awls for healing – an early form of acupuncture needles. Primitive shamanism connected human beings to their environment, and especially to the stars.
Human beings’ relationship with the stars is still a theme in today’s Taoism, in particular in the shamanic Qigong form based on the Great Bear. In the West, too, engravings of stars can still be seen on the ceilings of some prehistoric caves.
After the prehistoric and shamanic period, human beings continued to develop, refine and perfect their knowledge over the millennia. This was achieved through patient, perseverant study, gathering ever more new knowledge in ever widening fields.
Taoist culture thus perfected a deep understanding of the universe and human destiny. This understanding did not arise from speculation but empirical practice, meaning that it can be put to use, and proving its true value.
Initially, this spirituality gives a clear understanding of the world, making harmonious personal development possible, which can lead to immortality through internal alchemy or other practices.
It also involves an extraordinary medical culture that is practiced throughout the world (e.g. acupuncture, Qigong, herbology). Anyone needing personalized treatment for chronic, complex diseases that are difficult to treat can visit a specialized hospital online; one of them can be found at www.tcmtreatment.com.
However, this comprehensive and universal body of knowledge also concerns other fields such as astrology, divination using the I Ching and other techniques, geomancy (Feng Shui), nutrition, the art of war, various martial arts and so on.

The remarkable thing is that this mass of knowledge forms a single whole. It is the expression of a single culture, a single civilization, a single language and a single philosophy using the same symbols, built up in uninterrupted continuity over the history of time – one could say throughout human presence on Earth.
It is unlikely that such vast, in-depth knowledge can be found elsewhere in such continuity. It is also remarkable that it continues to develop in the present day.

This means that everything humanity learned before modern intellectual knowledge has been preserved and can still be used. This preserved knowledge is exactly what our modern world needs to avoid drifting off course, as it has begun to do.
This is why we were especially moved when we visited the sites pictured above. We trod the path that our distant ancestors had followed, and their subtle presence seemed to accompany us.

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Evident respect for every creature’s right to live

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Primordial Qigong in the village of Sanjingshan

Jinhua, the Temple of the Golden Flower

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A Taoist has a very ordinary outward appearance with no indication of his hidden abilities or perceptions or the spiritual level he has reached, apart from an impression of benevolence

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Jinhua Temple (Golden Flower)
A major spiritual event took place in this modest temple. First, we attended a ceremony

36 cérémonie à Jinhua

Ceremony, traditional music

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Jinhua Temple. A ceremony during which each member of the group was presented with a talisman

38 Le thé à Jinhua Temple

We were given tea in the Jinhua Temple

In the Jinhua Temple, we were offered a beautiful ceremony and graciously presented with talismans, and we were given tea and biscuits – but that wasn’t all… The Head of the temple also presented each of us with a copy of the Tao Te Ching, which is, as far as I know, the most important book in the world.
It was strange, the copies were printed in characters that we could not read, but we decided to keep them as a precious souvenir of this spontaneous gesture of generosity, and in the belief that this gift would surely bring us good luck, as though the incomprehensible characters written from right to left, from the top of the page to the bottom, had a secret power…

And still, that wasn’t all…

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I sensed something very special in this place, and the others might well have shared this feeling too. It was an impression of transcendent peace and harmony, the impression of sharing the conscience of the nuns and monks here, the serenity of their souls, in other words, a feeling of spiritual development accomplished, the goal achieved, like a heavenly joy.

Thinking about the generosity they showed us, I said to myself, they also sent us a dose of Tao.

Obviously, we’re pretty backward in these matters, but this is how they showed us the way. This is the ineffable happiness that you should reach – keep the memory of it in your heart until you have achieved it.

Dan Fang Retreat

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A pavilion at the Dan Fang Retreat (House of Alchemy)

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A pavilion at the Dan Fang Retreat – the edges of roofs slope upwards to stretch towards the heavens

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A shrine to a divinity, probably Quan Yin, goddess of compassion.
Out of compassion, after becoming immortal and therefore divine, she chose to remain at the service of human beings exposed to suffering.

The faithful burn incense and bow down before a statue in wood, stone or plaster, giving a strange impression of simplistic idolatry, but obviously it is an invocation to the divinity’s spiritual but authentic presence in this place.
The tangible symbol connects heaven and earth, the visible and the invisible.

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Picture of symbols dating back to Antiquity (over 5000 years ago)

The Ho Tu and Lo Shu pictures have enabled the meaning of the world to be unraveled.
The many articles on the internet show the extent to which they arouse great interest as well as the extent to which deciphering them offers a wealth of meaning.

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The Tao (abbreviated spelling), this mysterious energy at the origin of everything.

In Taoist thought, this invisible, inaudible, intangible power, without definition and without name, the supreme Unknown, is what begets the spirit of creation, the essence of matter and vital energy, in other words, the origin of God, of the world, and of human beings.

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The cave used for meditation by the Immortal Huang.
This simple goatherd realized himself in the 4th century of the Common Era.

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Inside the cave, where we had the privilege of meditating for half an hour in the dark, but not without the presence of Huang.

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Leaving Huang’s cave

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Inscriptions outside the cave. Don’t ask me what they mean!

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The Immortal Huang

Spirituality does not depend on religion, doctrine or theology. Discovering one’s spirituality means achieving one’s destiny, in other words, becoming conscious of the energy within us. Developing this until one can feel the energy is pure happiness, pure harmony, pure positivity.
This is what meditation reveals.
In this way, one can fully become this energy and become immortal.
It is discovering our deepest nature. It is pure benevolence (sometimes called universal love), the same as that of the high spheres of the universe.
It is the best way to communicate with the Origin, with all creatures and all human beings.

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Dan Fang Center, a place which celebrates Huang’s memory

Xian, former capital of the Empire

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The Muslim Souk in Xian, the end of the Silk Road

53 Souk à Xian

54 Night bazaar

The bazaar (souk) at night

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China, a modern country with a rapidly-growing economy

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Concrete apartment blocks have sprung up like mushrooms

58 Night sight 1

59 Night sight 2

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Night views

Terracotta Army
Xian

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Thousands of hollow terracotta sculptures of soldiers accompanied their emperor into his tomb. A game among visitors consists of trying to find a face resembling their own because all the figures are individual and different.

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The lump on the sage’s forehead represents wisdom, but it probably also contains the spiritual being created by his work with alchemy, the mystical child who survives him in other dimensions after his earthly demise.

Mount Huashan

68 Téléphérique Huashan

Luckily, half the ascent is by cable car, as it was for the two other mountain ranges we visited

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There are thousands of padlocks tied onto the guardrail with red ribbons, probably signifying a wish or an attachment – a locked padlock like solid love that holds fast

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The remaining ascent of these granite peaks is exhausting, but we climb enthusiastically, borne by the site’s high energy

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73 Hua shan a pics vertigineux

The vertical cliffs of the Huashan Mountains rise over 2000 meters with vertiginous precipices

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We climbed all this way!

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The ascent is an amazing feat, like climbing interminable stairs up 300 flights without an elevator

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We use our hands as much as our feet…

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The descent isn’t much easier!

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Absolutely everything is carried by porters

The acrobatic promenade along the planks above the void

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Descent to the promenade

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Your traveler finds himself on a narrow plank above a gulf of several hundred very sheer meters

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The boardwalk is not really dangerous, but highly-charged emotions are guaranteed and we were very proud to have achieved this little exploit.
(Joke: it is also to experience directly what “the void” means)

Mariage1

It was also on Mount Huashan that we experienced the most moving, most dignified moment of the entire trip, the Taoist wedding of our tour organizer Michael Winn and his beloved fiancée Jem.

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The simplicity of the ceremony and the majesty of the site left us speechless with emotion – on a summit of the Earth, yet bathed in the evening sky that enveloped us like the precipices around us.

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Michael Winn’s website is an abundant and varied source of information about Tao:
http://www.healingtaousa.com/
As happy events are rarely isolated events, the blissful wedding of another couple from the group had been planned on the sacred mountain the next day!

Huan Shan is Chen Tuan’s Mountain

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Huashan Mountain means “Flower Mountain” as it has 5 peaks, to the north, the south, the east and the west, and one in the center, forming the petals of a flower

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The meditation cave of the hermit Chen Tuan, a renowned alchemist and sage who refused any honors and made this his retreat (871-1089)

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Chen Tuan is famous for having carried out his meditating by sleeping for several years which enabled him not to be disturbed when people came to look for him

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West Peak Monastery, (17th century) that gave us accommodation for several nights.
Conditions are quite tough in the monasteries. Beds are made of mattresses 2 centimeters thick on a wooden plank… sleeping rough!

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Decoration in sculpted wood in the monastery

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A huge cellar carved into the granite – we are no longer surprised by what we see after a while!

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Qingkeping Monastery, run by women and dedicated to Quan Yin, the goddess of compassion. The last monastery to receive us for a night during our descent.
The hospitality is warm but Spartan – no hot water, apart from a few bowls to have a quick birdwash

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The last picture of these sacred sites permeated with happiness.
The trigrams are in pre-heaven order.

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He (or she) came to wish us goodbye

Conclusion

At the Dan Fang Retreat hang banners reading “Carry Forward Taoist Culture! Serve a Harmonious Society”

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94 banderole harmonious society

We have experienced at first hand how this culture lives in peace and harmony rooted in both the material world and the spiritual world.

It is clear that they possess the keys to evolving towards a better world simply because they know the way.

But Taoist culture does not claim ownership of the way; it is universal. In their caves and their monasteries, hermits and monks have learnt fundamental facts that are crucial for our world.

These facts belong to everyone, just as the discoveries made by scientists in their laboratories become universal and are owned by everyone and just as medical knowledge is shared.
Instead of seeing only a tradition attached to its symbols and its spiritual vision, these days it is better to see that this Way is the Complete Way for humanity, and that it belongs to all of us.

We felt the extent to which this path, this WAY, corresponds to the nature of our soul, which is the nature of the source of the universe.
Discovering our true nature means going beyond a world of animal competition and becoming true human beings, entering the dimension of universal benevolence.

The way that this tradition offers us does not involve stirring up revolutions, but instead consists of spiritual self-development. This is the fundamental way to improve the future of humankind.

People who manage to change their own lives bring hope for everyone else.
We felt this in the spirit of the nuns and monks we met.
Let’s hope that this benevolent mission living without ostentation in the forests and caves of the sacred mountains we visited can spread beyond all the political, mental and ideological borders to connect with what is happening elsewhere in a similar vein.

Amen, as they say.

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It is time to close our book.
What we experienced will remain with us forever.

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The Way for Mankind Book Two, sample 3

The Way for Mankind

BOOK TWO

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

Book 2, Philosophical Intimations on Political and Cultural Issues

ISBN: 978-2-9537218-6-7

http://www.thewayformankind.com

Chapter 14. The Law of  Energy Response

The qualities of the universe emanate from its spiritual nature. Our spiritual nature is the same as that of the universe. The values of beauty, good, truth and the sacred are already a part of the creative force which generates the world. It is not we who put them there – it is we who receive them.

These connections are neither emotional nor sentimental; sentimentality belongs to the human realm alone. Heaven and Earth are not sentimental.

These connections are as real on the mental level as they are on the physical level; they react to our acts and thoughts.

This truth is called the subtle law of energy response.

The law of energy response (or attraction)

The subtle law of energy response is a universal spiritual principle that says that any energy attracts an identical energy.

This means that positive behavior attracts good friends and good quality of life; negative behavior, on the other hand, attracts hostile relationships and danger.

……

All the energy we carry has a specific vibratory frequency that reacts to energies of the same frequency and attracts them. This is the law of cause and effect, carefully explained in certain traditions under the name of karma. (1)

……

We do not depend on a personal God with particular preferences. There is no vengeful or wrathful deity. Original energy is neutral; its reactions are therefore absolutely impartial. The energy that governs the universe does not intervene in human affairs—it merely transmits the movements that flow through it. It is more like a natural reaction, much like the harmonics which accompany a musical sound, or the reply of an echo in the mountains. (3) This law of energy response is not linked to any social moral code.

Chapter 15. Mysticism

The world’s problems are the external projection of our individual inner tendencies. Were we more evolved – if we thought in a more universal way – the world’s problems would not exist; nor would our inner problems, such as anxiety, dissatisfaction, excessive ambition or ignorance that is unaware of its own existence.

Our problems stem from our own lack of spiritual development. We create these problems because we live like intelligent animals that have learned to use all the advantages for their own benefit, even if it means depriving others or destroying our habitat. This self-centeredness is indeed the mark of an intelligent animal who knows how to manage all he does to his own benefit, with little or no thought to the consequences of his actions.

……

Quelle sorte d’animal sommes-nous ?

What kind of animal are we?

An intelligent one, no doubt, though rather destructive, limited in our awareness and incapable of seeing any meaning to our life and destiny. That’s about all we know about ourselves.

Evolving beyond the state of intelligent animal is no longer just an entertaining option—it is a necessity.

……

In addition, relying exclusively on the rational mode of thinking restricts the sciences’ field of exploration to the rational domain, while our need to understand greatly exceeds this closed arena.

“But reason cannot arrive at any final truth because it can neither get to the root of things nor embrace their totality. It deals with the finite, the separate and has no measure for the all and the infinite.” Sri Aurobindo (1)

Objective thought! But it is precisely by being objective that it finds itself limited to describing objects. It stands apart from its object, isolates it, cuts itself off from it and is therefore unable to get an in-depth understanding its object. This is like trying to understand and explain everything about garlic without actually tasting it.

We need a broader way of thinking, one that does not stand outside the object but instead penetrates its essence. This is intuitive thought.

……

Chapter 16. Finding the Path

The mysticism we are talking about here has nothing to do with trances or frenzied raptures, nor is it about seeking out revelations, visions or hallucinations and neither is it a question of projecting our own personal spiritual impulsions or imaginings on spirituality itself. Those who devote long hours to meditation may sometimes experience visions, but the teachings tell us not to pay any attention to them as they, as we well know, are merely images from our subconscious.

……

Physical matter is energy, life is energy and spirit is energy. There is nothing else in the universe.

The answer, then, is obvious. The three orders are a continuum created by a single energy that takes on different aspects according its function but which is the same, and so the solution is to follow our energy. We must develop ourselves from within without losing ourselves in external beliefs. When we build a house we start with the foundations, not the roof.

……

A quiet, unoccupied mind

Practising quietude, serenity and mental peace can become an excellent habit.

Emptying the mind is a way of cleaning it. It happens when we meditate, but on various occasions throughout the day we all try to clear our minds. We can also try keeping an unoccupied mind in a more methodical way, unlike our normal habit of letting our minds chase endlessly after every passing thought. An unoccupied mind is receptive and will be able to provide faster, more precise answers when called upon to do so.

Chapter 17. Meditation

When our primate ancestors became superintelligent human animals, they received an extra share of spirit, in other words, awareness. The main part of their existence shifted from a biological, instinctual level to the rational human level. It is now our turn to take a similar leap and move forward from our human domain to a more spiritual sphere. We still need awareness; this time, however, it seems that it is up to us to procure this extra share of spirit for ourselves. It is a decision that depends entirely on us.

……

The paths of mysticism in the world: integral development

 

Every religion has a mystic branch that practises meditation with the aim of total self-realization and direct contact with the divine.

What is particularly remarkable is that beyond their seemingly distinct appearances, the methods are exactly the same: the suspension of mental activity and contemplation in vacuity.

……

This emptiness is the absolute; it is the original, neutral energy of the primal Oneness that comes before any manifestation.

This emptiness that is everywhere, even right under our noses, is energy. It is the universal energy.

Zero stimulation point is when we stop looking for anything. We are aware and vigilant but seek nothing as we stay in the pure mind. Once we free ourselves from preoccupation, we leave our world behind, and with it the circumstances where everything is relative—a bit more this, a little less that. We abandon the outer self.

Point zero is the original One, the everything where there is nothing.


……

Sri Aurobindo describes it this way:

“So too at first soul in man does not appear as something quite distinct from mind and from mentalised life; its movements are involved in the mind movements, its operations seem to be mental and emotional activities; the mental human being is not aware of a soul in him standing back from the mind and life and body, detaching itself, seeing and controlling and moulding their action and formation: but, as the inner evolution proceeds, this is precisely what can, must and does happen,–it is the long-delayed but inevitable next step in our evolutionary destiny.” (3)

18. Epilogue

Humanity’s Evolution – How to Stop Ourselves Drifting off Course

Excessive use of the rational mind cannot but lock us into materialism. We limit ourselves to thinking about objects. And yet, these objects—which also include abstract concepts—belong to the realm of things that have a form; they are linked to matter.

We are objective; we now only think with regard to the object and this disconnects us, making us believe that we are some kind of overlords, free to act as we wish. In truth, once we are no longer connected to the whole, we are overcome and consumed by our ideas and passions. What we call “progress” in knowledge is merely the one-way engorgement of rational learning if it is not combined with intuitive, holistic thought.

……

The wisdom that comes from personal development spontaneously brings with it the virtues needed to help the world progress.

……

BOOK TWO

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

The book is available on Lulu.com

http://www.lulu.com/shop/jean-marie-paglia/the-way-for-mankind-book-two/paperback/product-18700372.html

Also available cheaper on Smashwords as ebook (epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, etc.…)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/95858

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The Way for Mankind Book Two, sample 2

 

The Way for Mankind Book Two, sample 1

Posted on August 12, 2012

The Way for Mankind

BOOK TWO

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

Book 2, Philosophical Intimations on Political and Cultural Issues

ISBN: 978-2-9537218-6-7

http://www.thewayformankind.com

 

Chapter 7. More Than a Hint of Madness

The environment may also be altered over the long term by the accumulation of unmanageable waste. Every natural human activity generates waste, but it is naturally recyclable – nuclear waste is not.

We still don’t know how to store this waste definitively and safely. Nowhere in the world is there appropriate storage of highly radioactive waste.

A reactor produces more than 20 tons of used fuel per year, and 200,000 tons have already accumulated. This highly radioactive product remains toxic for tens of thousands of years. (4)

How can radiation or infiltration possibly be controlled and neutralized over such a period of time?

Highly radioactive waste remains harmful for more than 100,000 years. Plutonium, the most toxic element, remains dangerous for 500,000 years. One microgram, a millionth of a gram, is an invisible but potentially lethal dose. (We generate tons of it every year; it is transported along our roads and railways. A single reactor produces over 20 kilos of plutonium a year). (6)

A small dose is contaminating for geological ages. If it passes into the immediate vicinity, this small dose does not disappear – it enters into the food chain and the atmosphere, but it does not disappear. It remains harmful for 500,000 years. During this entire time, it has to stay isolated from the surrounding environment.

 

This is the legacy we have decided to leave thousands of future generations. It is the legacy which, in some ways, defines who we are on a moral level, in other words, on the level of the awakening of all our mental capacities. If our children do not suffer from mutations or regressive evolution towards idiocy, they will, no doubt, bear a grudge.

 

Chapter 8.  Giant Cities

 

A New Creature?

 

Because it is so huge, modern society generates anxiety. An excess of people struggling to survive unavoidably generates ever more tension and competition, and anxiety is born of this constant tension.

It is inevitable then, that in the long run Man should be mentally altered by his environment, unless we try and claim that we are really made to exist in the incessant stampede and whirlwind that characterize modern city life.

It is only to be expected that, as a result of living in this omnipresent turmoil, human creatures transform in order to adapt. Careful observation may reveal that we are no longer Homo Sapiens.

 

To describe the new creature emerging, the term Homo Multitudinis has been suggested, Man of the Masses, but Homo Turbidus is probably a more accurate reflection of the reality.

The dictionary tells us that turba is the trouble caused by a large number of people; the tumult, the disorder, the confusion, the agitation, the perturbation, the noise, the disturbance, the din, the quarrelling, the disorderly crowds, the herd. This best describes the environment we live in.

….……

This fits the new creature which is emerging to replace Homo Sapiens, the Man of the Crowds and of Anxiety. Cramming inexorably gives rise to anxiety in each and every member of the crowd. A teeming environment is the fundamental characteristic of modern life.

This is how the new species, Homo Turbidus, appears in its cultural productions: confused, aggressive, agitated, anxious and violent. This is the present and future human creature.

 

 

The Ultimate Goal

 

Can the ultimate goal of evolution, which has been underway for millions of years, really be that human beings end up in a subway tunnel thirty meters below ground, crammed together more tightly than cattle in a truck? It is at moments like these that human beings may well ask themselves the question.

…………..

 

We put all our faith in scientific thinking even though it is only a partial method. It’s a very useful way of thinking, but a very limited one too, severely restricting what should be human awareness. Putting all one’s faith in scientific knowledge is mental self-mutilation – it’s another form of blinkers or obscurantism if we can’t break through its boundaries. We are pleased with it since it allows us to remain in comfortable materialism which doesn’t require us to make any effort to move forward. Our partial development does not get rid of our flaws and brings us to a standstill. All the pieces of our great knowledge are scattered like confetti and cannot prevent us from heading towards disaster.

 

This failure is due to fundamental aspects within ourselves which we have put aside and not developed. Science, culture and knowledge are not enough to satisfy all our human aspirations. They only offer partial answers and very limited and restricted knowledge.

 

 

Chapter 10. Religion and Evolution

 

Religion is an obstacle to natural human evolution

 

Religion has shown itself to be guilty of very serious abuses; gruesome cases of intolerance such as the Inquisition, the burning of witches and heretics, executions, forced conversions and persecutions have sporadically flared up in every part of the world.

Religion can cause wars:

Throughout history, without interruption until today, religion has been the cause of armed conflict in crusades, wars of religion, and internecine fighting often between people faithful to the same God! It is tempting not to believe this, but it’s true. There has been and still is fighting between Catholics and Protestants, Sunnites and Shiites, Hindus and Muslims, etc., etc.

God is always on both sides as he is above contradiction and opposition. So how could he send his followers on one side to massacre those on the other side?

Here we touch upon religion’s fatal flaw – its teaching is a human construct with the errors and limitations peculiar to the human mind.

…………

 

Religious power leads to subjugation.

Religion prescribes, orders and directs, often in a way that is limiting and disempowering.

The moral constraints it imposes destroy people’s rights and responsibilities in their private lives – an example of this is the condemnation of contraception.

If religion could limit itself to a purely spiritual sphere, it would be content to advise rather than give orders. The desire to extend control in order to increase strength is a fault peculiar to human organizations.

 

 

Chapter 11. Understanding the World

The third phase is the emergence of the tangible universe

 

Let us go back to the moment when the primordial Oneness divides and the two forces are created:

“Energy differentiated into a light, pure breath which ascended and formed Heaven, and an opaque and heavy breath which came down and formed the Earth.

The nature of Heaven is to be pure and mobile; the nature of the Earth is to be opaque and stable.”

By harmoniously blending, the intermediate breaths produced human beings.”

 

Creative energy:

 

When the tangible world emerges, the first force to get going is the creative force, the first term of the heavenly Trinity. It is a subtle and constant vibration, expanding continually like successive waves in every direction and inducing the emergence of every phenomenon. (That would be the moment of the Big Bang – creative energy is also ‘fire and thunder’).

Its movement creates time and space and leads to the transformation of things in the manifest world (while also remaining outside of time and space and within the spiritual Trinity).

Originating from and synonymous with the primal energy, this force generates itself without being created. It could be confused with an individualized God, but it cannot be reduced to a conceptual limitation. It generates everything that exists.

….

The Earth

 

As soon as the creative force takes effect, its movement causes its polar opposite to appear since the two forces generate each other. They exist through each other and within each other. The first creates, and the second, in reaction, structures, completes and maintains.

The complementary force of creative energy is the Earth, in other words, all the matter of the universe.

As creation materializes, vibration differences occur in the current of the universal energy. That is to say, as the vibratory frequencies decrease, the energy takes on gross forms – in other words, concrete, visible forms. The further the energy moves from the original source, the more the vibrations slow down and the more manifest the energy becomes. This is why we say that everything in the universe is vibratory energy and that the phenomenon of the universe is the continual manifestation of this same energy, from the most subtle state to the    crudest.

This is similar to what modern physics teaches us. On a subatomic level, the solid particles which form the foundation of matter do not exist. What emerges at the foundation of things are links, connections and relations of energy. Matter is composed of a web of relations between various parts. This means that physical entities are in fact made up of immaterial energy. (3)

 

 

Chapter 12. Spirit and Matter

The body

The essence (i.e. energy) that forms our body and creates shapes and objects is passed down from our parents; it is expressed in our genetic code as well as in sexual energy. It can be found everywhere in the body—in each and every cell.

The body produces energy through nerve connections, muscular strength and gland secretions. Vital energy, on the other hand, is another thing altogether. It is a subtle, invisible, impalpable force.

Vital energy is what brings to life the matter of which we are made. It performs our body’s and organs’ functions. Our body, of course, is not entirely material; it is also made of semi-spiritual particles—those elusive particles that are not subject to physical laws of which we have already spoken. And it is these particles that create the link between mind and matter—the ones of which we are made and, more specifically, of which our mind is composed.

We have just made the leap between body and mind.

Semi-spiritual particles are the cornerstone of the mind. It is absurd to talk about the mind and body as two separate things because they exist together—one the extension of the other.

 

The mind

All living beings – even at animal level – have three aspects: physical form, a mind that incorporates desire and consciousness, (this level is half physical, half spiritual) and finally a purely spiritual aspect devoid of any materiality.

This is also the composition of the human creature.

The semi-spiritual particles are the mental level; they are our bodies’ souls (inseparable from vital energy) and our mental function, because they are capable of thought, feeling, emotion, etc.

This is our mind (our normal, everyday mind); we could call it our earthly spirit.

It contains all the knowledge that we have to learn down here.

It starts forming after we’re born. It is the conceptual mind – that of reflection – meaning it uses words and therefore belongs to the world of things with form. (5)

This mind of ours is made up of numerous activities – emotion, imagination, memory, thought (reflection), intelligence, ideas, sleep and knowledge. It also plays a role in our senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell). In fact, it is known as a sixth sense.

It also the manifestation of the consciousness of the self.

In short, our earthly mind makes up our personality – our sense of self, our feelings, emotions and thoughts. (6)

 

The original spirit

We are decidedly complex creatures. We are endowed with a mind that is innate in our bodies and a celestial spirit that inhabits the mind just as the mind dwells in the body.

This celestial spirit, which existed before our birth, is a spark of consciousness that lives on after our death—its residence is in the brain, the seat of the “Third Eye.”

In this case it is pure spirit, which is essentially celestial consciousness—the original spirit that comes from the primitive oneness.

This intuitive spirit acts without concept. It possesses all knowledge instantly. It is a phenomenon without physical reality, substance or form, and yet, it is our presence.  It is the spirit that manifests itself without manifesting itself, like a vacuum—an emptiness that is not nothingness, which sages commune with during meditation, because they know it is our deeper nature—our fundamental being.

 

Chapitre 13.Between Heaven and Earth

 

How duality works

 

Duality is created through movement, which starts by creating a feature – positive, for example – and then its opposite – negative, for instance (in this case, negative does not have a pejorative connotation; instead it refers to a complementary, contrasting quality). The movement then returns to the positive aspect, then the negative, etc. All things, thoughts and events go through stages of emergence, realization, possible error, continuation and end. It is a cycle. It is clear, then, that the manifestation occurs as a cycle.

A good illustration of this is the cycle of the seasons, which has four contrasting phases, opposed two by two – growth, plenitude, regression and dormancy, whether for light, heat or vegetation. We could say that there are two seasons of expansion and two seasons of regression. The cycles of the day, human life and all other cycles that follow the laws of time and space follow much the same pattern. These are the four fundamental forces in the world, plus the fifth which unites them, prompts their transformation and keeps them in balance.

….

Sages see this harmonious functioning as evidence of the universe’s inherent virtue. They say that the universe’s virtue manifests itself by its constancy. In the absence of constancy, the universe would be reduced to inefficient confusion. All phenomena are in constant transformation, but this endless circle occurs in dynamic stability.

We have here the most basic principle in the universe – the principle of balance.

 

 

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The Way for Mankind Book Two, sample 1

The Way for Mankind

BOOK TWO

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

Book 2, Philosophical Intimations on Political and Cultural Issues

ISBN: 978-2-9537218-6-7

http://www.thewayformankind.com

Chapter 1. Our Top Priority

We will be able to leave conflict behind us by transforming the human psyche. Consciousness must first progress on an individual level, and then evolution will naturally appear in the collective consciousness.

Militarism, which blithely suggests destroying the world or a few million lives here and there, is an expression of demonic forces. It is the human soul locked in bondage by evil energies waiting for their chance — a pact with the devil. The devil is the tendency towards negativity that we bear within ourselves.

“But ’tis strange.

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths,

Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s

In deepest consequence.”

 

Where do we stand now?

The answer came on February 15th 2003 – one of the most important dates to be written into the history of humanity.

At the time, there were a few leaders of a large country who were preparing to go to war to invade another country, and, under false pretexts, take over its wealth and help out a few friends at the same time – a great deal, then, and not to be missed, for just a few hundred billion dollars spent and just a few hundred thousand deaths, with guaranteed impunity in both this world and the next, for those leaders were very religious men.

An appeal from the World Social Forum led to a planet-wide protest demonstration against the war on February 15th, which exploded like universal fireworks.

Millions of people demonstrated in nearly 800 cities. Between six and ten million people protested over the weekend in around sixty countries – other estimations put this figure at eight to thirty million demonstrators. (9)

Present were almost every country in Europe, both large and small, the Americas from Canada to Argentina, the Middle East, Asian and African countries, without forgetting Oceania, Australia and so on, and even a polar base! A universal kaleidoscope of races, language, peoples, continents – us! Humanity, united for once, gathered together in a huge demonstration of conscience.

Chapitre 2.Imperfect Democracy

The concentration of wealth in these large corporations gives them power which is increasingly pervasive.

By controlling the mainstream media either directly or through the intermediate of advertising, these corporations are capable of shaping public opinion and even society’s way of life in their own interests.

They can influence public policies in various ways, especially with pressure groups and electoral contributions. Dozens of lobbies representing the main branches of industry participate in fundraising for candidates for presidential elections. Their favors will not be forgotten afterwards.

Often, they can get grants, tax advantages or changes in regulations so that their interests are protected. Such grants represent billions of dollars.

For example, it has been pointed out that when oil companies stash away fantastic profits linked to variations in the price of the barrel, no additional tax even touches upon the profits.

Large corporations may also resort to blackmail. This happened in 1999 when some of the most powerful German automobile and financial corporations protected themselves from tax increases simply by threatening to relocate up to 14,000 jobs. As a result, taxes fell, and a government adviser concluded that the industrial giants were quite simply “too strong for the elected government.”

Chapitre 3. Managed Democracy

The Mental and Cultural Control of Society

Just after the Second World War, the evolution of society can be observed as follows (3):

Capitalism and its institutions used modern psychology to serve their interests. Society had to be instilled with a degree of desirable conformity to create a stable and predictable basis for the political economy. Large corporations used psychological research methods to analyze people and their predictable behaviors so that they could be encouraged to buy the products on offer while having the impression that by buying them, they were freely expressing their individuality.

“This support for individualism was seen as very valuable because it was a form of subtly imposed social control, whereby it would individualize people in a way that would remove or loosen the strong political and social activism, as people would turn inwards to themselves only.”

“A group of people who were once concerned about social issues were largely transformed into exploring and fulfilling their individual desires through the purchase of material goods.”

“This shaping of people’s choices and opinions came from the pressures and skills of big business, to which now even governments had to succumb to gain power… The drive for individualism had made people feel unique and not driven by big government or big business in their lives and choices, and yet it was big business that had been able to influence deeply both individuals and governments; people’s desires were being listened to, but people’s democratic rights and broader powers were being undermined.”
We have a long way to go to achieve true freedom of thought. We have seen the extent to which information is manipulated and biased, but the subtle mental control of society goes even further than that – it forbids thought in certain fields. There are no-go areas into which we do not venture, and that constitutes the key to society’s evolution, the key to solving its problems.

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman develop this point, revealing the tacit process involved.

Chomsky: in the 1920s, “those in power sought other ways of manufacturing consent. The PR industry produces, in the true sense of the term, consent, acceptance and submission. It controls people’s minds and ideas. It is a major advance on totalitarian rule, as it is much more agreeable to be subjected to advertising than to torture.

… And here and now there are tyrannical organisations – big corporations. They are the closest thing to a totalitarian institution. They are, to all intents and purposes, quite unaccountable to the general public or society as a whole. They behave like predators, preying on other smaller companies. People have only one means of defending themselves and that is the state. Nor is it a very effective shield because it is often closely linked to the predators.

…My conception of socialism requires, at least, democratic control of production, trade and other aspects of human existence.” (7)

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” [Italics added]  (8)

Chapter 4. True Democracy

In true democracies, the media play the role of democracy’s guard dog, and they should be quick to bark if they sniff out any transgression.

Investigative journalism and the independent media can thus provide the necessary elements to point popular opinions and choices in the right direction.

In reality, however, the main media groups are their master’s dogs – dogs which drive the herd and keep it where it should be.

The media obediently manage opinion to the advantage of those in power. Information is selected, opinion is prepared to lay the ground for initiatives in the pipeline, explanations are given for what must be understood, and facts are presented without putting what they really mean into perspective, etc.

The Fifth Power

There are five fundamental forces in nature, and five forces in equilibrium can be seen naturally in political society. Two restraining forces, executive and judicial, counterbalance two creative and productive forces – legislative and informative. But these forces surround the fifth power in the center – the one which gives life to the four others and enables them to exist; the one which creates the field of action in which the others play their hand.

The fifth power is the citizen, in other words, opinion, unions, the people and the street.

Chapter 5. The Need for Personal Development

The Characteristics of Personal Development

The studies of the psychology of human potential show that those who manage to fulfill their potential all display the same characteristics.

They have a clear awareness, accepting the realities of the world without turning away from them; they see things objectively; they can judge people and events accurately and can detect dishonesty.

They can accept others and accept themselves simply, without deluding themselves about their faults and qualities. They are not self-satisfied but are concerned about understanding what is right within themselves and around them.

They are naturally spontaneous.

What’s more, they usually have a subtle, good-natured sense of humor.

They are motivated by their desire to fulfill themselves and grow, and in order to achieve this, they are interested in solving problems which are external to themselves. Moving beyond selfish preoccupations, they devote themselves to ethical tasks and make sure that they use ethical means to accomplish them.

They are self-sufficient enough to be able to detach themselves from the fray and appreciate solitude. This emancipation enables them to find the source of their actions and decisions within themselves, without relying on their cultural surroundings.

Their moral code is independent from external authority.

They deeply appreciate the simplest pleasures of life.

Yet they also experience moments of mystical ecstasy and intense emotion which transcend the ego, allowing them to commune with a boundless spiritual world.

 

BOOK TWO

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

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The Way for Mankind Book One, sample 2

EXCERPT from chapter 6

6. The Quest for the Highest Profit

…..
It is becoming clear that the pursuit of the highest profit, currently taken for granted, represents a moral degradation of economic activity. In fact, this principle changes the nature of economic activity and perverts it. The nature of economic activity consists of responding to needs – our own need to earn a living and build up family assets as well as responding to the needs of others by providing goods and services. As soon as the main goal is no longer to meet needs but instead to amass wealth, economic activity finds itself veering off-course.
Anthropologists and historians have explained that the sense of self-interest as distinct from the
collective interest did not exist in so-called ‘primitive’ societies; even in Europe up until the 18th century, communal moral values took precedence over individual radicalization.
“Although we tend to view the profit motive as universal and rational […] anthropologists have discovered that it is not traditional to traditional societies. Insofar as it is found among them it tends to play a very circumscribed role, viewed warily because of its tendency to disrupt social relations. Most pre-modern societies make no clear distinction between the economic sphere and the social sphere, subsuming economic roles into more general social relationships. Pre-capitalist man “does not act so as to safeguard his individual interest in the possession of material goods; he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social claims, and his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end.” (1)
…..
We have evolved in the wrong direction. This evolution shows us for what we are, as it expresses a way of being which is self-centered. In acting in this way, we take our self-interest to be the sole and unique code of conduct. As for the rest – it’s very simple – we cannot see anything else. This exclusive egocentrism is part of our nature; it is the principle of survival. If we remain fixated upon our own profit without limitations, however, it becomes a form of addiction, just like any other biological excess, alcohol or drug abuse or perversion. It creates a mental condition where one is no longer concerned with the rest of the world or other people, but simply oneself in an exclusive way, ready to let everything fall to pieces for the sake of intimate self-gratification.
A long time ago, Confucius observed “Where there is justice, there is no poverty.”
…..
Greed is glorified by those that profit from it, but it is, in reality, one of the main causes of social suffering. The pursuit of profit leads to all kinds of excess, both visible and invisible, and it is responsible for the main problems of our world. Under-development, poverty, the decline of moral values in a consumer society, ecological degradation on a planetary scale – all these things originate from a vision of human activity founded on the principle of narrow-minded self-interest.

EXCERPT from chapter 7

7. Dinosaurs

When we observe the behavior of multinational corporations, we often compare them with modern- day dinosaurs, roaming all over the planet and devouring everything they see around them, crushing anything that gets in the way of their primitive animal appetite. What, exactly, can they be blamed for?
They can be blamed for doing whatever they please. The facts and figures in this chapter mostly come from the website Global Issues. (1)
Firstly, this is due to their size and their power. We know that among the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are multinational corporations and 49 are states. A good example is that the annual revenue of Motorola is said to be equal to that of Nigeria.
…..
Corporations directly influence our lifestyles, encouraging a model based upon consumption. Advertising teaches people to believe that the main goal in life is to consume.
Corporations also influence the way in which the media presents things; either they own the media directly, or they support them through advertising. They have direct control over the ideas people have.
Corporations influence governments through lobbying, pressure groups and campaign contributions.

We could claim that our behavior is Nature’s way, as Nature is organized so that one half of creation feeds upon the other half. Once digestion is finished, Nature returns to a state of perfect unity and perfect harmony☺. But this is only true to a certain extent, and we ought to try and go beyond this as it is in our conscious nature to do better. Making competition the norm for economic relations between human beings implies living according to the law of the jungle. We want to make a profit, a considerable one – a fast buck – and we grab it as best we can, and in doing so, we devour a part of our partners’ existence. Who said that cannibalism was over? We blithely rob each other as we ourselves have been robbed.
But does that not mean that we our heading towards our own extinction?

EXCERPT from chapter 8

8. The Growth of the Masses

The Industrial Revolution – the visible face of capitalist culture’s expansion – and the distinctive social structure it produced occurred at the same time as another phenomenon – an extraordinary explosion of the human population.
To have an idea of the teeming, proliferating masses who did their best to survive in the most abject poverty, one only has to think back to the exodus of the peasant families (who, until that time had been living self-sufficiently) from the countryside into the sprawling cities the industrial age had spawned – or reread the social novels from that period. Today, the same scenario is unfolding in the big cities of the Third World. It is the same phenomenon, the same development mode – amassing wealth in the hands of a small minority while generating poverty for the masses.
One only has to visit the luxurious manor houses the large industrialists had built for themselves, modeled on the palatial mansions of bygone years. Rhode Island has plenty of such ostentatious homes, but they can be found in many other parts of the US and Europe too.

…..
There is a direct link between poverty and the growth of the masses. Poor people see a large family as a better chance to get by. They have many children – far too many – because they have to. It provides the opportunity to have more wage earners in the family as well as some guarantee for their old age. A large family means security. Above all, it’s an instinctive defense reaction when faced with a destiny they can no longer control.
The economic conditions which create poverty, then, are also the source of the appalling demographic imbalance rampaging across the world.
…..

…..
Our society is running off-course and we are heading towards a dead-end, creating a world which is more and more difficult to live in, and this can be seen in every aspect of life – environmental, demographic, economic, political and psychological. If we continue along this path, sooner or later human society will destroy itself.

EXCERPT from chapter 9

9. A Cancer-like Growth

…. Let us take a look at what a few authors among the many from various backgrounds have to say:
“… The current size of the human population has wreaked unprecedented damage on the biosphere, and is going to accelerate that damage. Millions of plant and animal species have been driven to extinction. … A billion people are hungry, morning, noon and night. The ozone layer is thinning, with consequences that are lethal for every living organism. The air, water, and soil across the planet have been fouled. The forests in many countries are gone or nearly gone. And the mammary glands of every mother on Earth are now infiltrated with DDT and other harmful chemicals. These essential facts — truths that distinguish this century from any other in our history — are all the byproduct of uncontrolled human fertility and thoughtless behavior.” (1)
….. It is time that we reconsidered the basic principles governing the Earth. This is an account by Frank
Brunner in an article on-line, “The Internal Logic of the Common Good”:
“Wherever life is observed, organization for the common good can also be seen, so that each element of an organism contributes to the prosperity of the others. In this way, the various organs are complementary, and each benefits from the smooth functioning of the others. This organizational principle can also be seen in a biotope, where vegetation, herbivores, carnivores and carrion eaters perform complementary functions.
On the face of it, each one of Creation’s organisms could be organized in a specific way due to chance. It is, therefore, interesting to understand why everything in Nature is organized according to a logic of common good.
If the organism’s various organs, or even one of its cells, functioned in an anarchic way, instead of completing each other in a logic of common good, the organism could not live. It would be fundamentally deprived of coherence. Cancer is an example of a cell multiplying anarchically, without adhering to the logic of the common good. The cancer dies along with the organism it destroys. By going against organization for the common good, it brings about its own destruction. This principle of organization for the common good is obviously a vital one […]
….
This is how, in society just as in biological organisms, malignant growth occurs when the surrounding safety checks which ought to prevent the error no longer function. There is no longer any regulation – quite the opposite – the harmful activity no longer encounters any restraints, and by developing, acquires new capacities to proliferate, progress and resist any form of control.
…..
The human masses and GNP are two agents which stimulate each other and form a single, prolific growth just like millions of anarchic, unthinking cells which cannot stop multiplying and consuming energy. An ever increasing population is required to create more growth, and ever greater growth in order to meet the needs of the population; more and more markets for more and
more profit, more and more wealth…and then we have to create a still larger population in order to generate a little more wealth.
…..
“Even though every species – and each individual within every species – is exclusively concerned with its own self-interest, all these self-interests are interdependent and coordinated by a logic aiming to promote the common good […]
For example, if we consider the life of a tuft of grass, some elements soak up solar energy, others soak up water and others soak up nutritive elements from the soil, but each of the elements with their specialized functions participates in the prosperity of the tuft of grass as a whole. There is a general system, as though designed to coordinate self-interest within a logic of common prosperity; a logic of the common good. We can see that none of the cells which make up the tuft of grass, from the roots to the tips of each blade, is excluded from the “benefits” of this organization for the common good. This organization for the common good is, by its very nature, undiscriminating. Each of the combined cells derives a selfish profit from this common prosperity and thus, egotistically, it is in its own interest to participate in the functioning of the phenomenon. The blade of grass benefits from the activity of the root while the root benefits from the blade’s activity.” (4)
….. As Frank Brunner writes in “The Internal Logic of the Common Good”,
“The more we analyze this logic of the common good, the more fascinated we become by the extraordinary coherence of its conception. We see that this logic of the common good implicitly contains notions such as solidarity, fairness, freedom, etc […]

EXCERPT from chapter 10

10. A Matter of Conscience

As David Loy explains, the world’s crisis is a crisis of values; a crisis of conscience:
“The ecological catastrophe is awakening us […] to the fact that we need a deeper source of values and meaning than market capitalism can provide […] It is intolerable that the most important issues about human livelihood will be decided solely on the basis of profit for transnational corporations […]
More or less everybody now knows that market systems are profoundly flawed […]
The spiritual problem with greed — both the greed for profit and the greed to consume — is due not only to the consequent maldistribution of worldly goods […] or to its effect on the biosphere, but even more fundamentally because greed is based on a delusion: the delusion that happiness is to be found this way. Trying to find fulfillment through profit, or by making consumption the meaning of one’s life, amounts to idolatry […]
We are beginning to realize that if everyone consumed as much as we do in the West, it would require five or six planets like this one. That gives us a bit of a headache. We are drunkards waking up after a binge. We have consumed such a vast amount, and consumed really badly, and now we have very serious hangovers.

….

EXCERPT from chapter 11

11. The Principles for Change


From Individual Consciousness to Universal Intelligence

To some it may seem obvious that intelligence, or the mind, or light, already existed in the universe and that they were there before mankind appeared. It would seem that the universal mind strikes the animal consciousness of the self and is reflected as in a mirror. Or it could be said that in humans, the primary consciousness of the body takes on the role of picking up the universal mind just as a mirror picks up light. Our eyes and ears and bundles of neurons are radars which pick up and reflect external intelligence. This external intelligence then becomes both external and internal to human beings.
…..
We are bathed in a universe of intelligent energy surrounding us, just as fish bathe in their watery world, but we are no more aware of it than a fish is aware of the water around it. Nonetheless, this intelligence is all around us, from the adaptation of the most basic cell through to the most complex organic formations (isn’t it just fascinating to observe flowers?) to the movement of the celestial spheres, and this intelligence governs the universe. Yet we believe ourselves to be set apart from this intelligent environment in which we live and of which we are a part. Mind exists as much within us as around us. What could be more subjective than mathematics? The intellect determines that two plus two makes four, and this is just as true outside of us as in our conception; there is continuity between our intellect and that of the world. Beyond the consciousness of personal existence which our precious brains gather from physical perceptions, these same brains act as instruments to receive the mind surrounding them.
When a scientist jumps up in his bath shouting “Eureka!” it’s because a new connection has been established with the universal field of the mind.
…..


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The Way for Mankind Book One, sample 3

EXCERPT from chapter 12

12. For the Happy Few

There is another way to broaden consciousness, which, rather than learning, involves developing profound knowledge, also known as wisdom.
This way consists of heading not towards the object, but towards the spirit, or towards oneself, the inner self, towards the center. Science stops with concepts, but this other way goes beyond that, where science cannot go, towards a perception that is unitive rather than dissociative. Instead of making intelligence work by means of ideas, it entails allowing the intuitive vision to grow. It entails developing consciousness and the spiritual level, not through reflection but outside any reflection.
In order to develop consciousness through meditation, one has to turn towards the mind itself. Consciousness is pure spirit, present unto itself and prior to any content. You can’t see it under an electron microscope or in a particle chamber. It is spirit without any other subject but itself, no object but its own presence, its own vigilance. It cannot be reduced to a concept, as it is there before concepts, sensations, emotions or feelings are formed. This original spiritual energy, the emptiness which is something within the void, is neither wave, nor particle.
…..
Meditation should not be seen as an abnormal or artificial practice. The resulting benefits and well- being are natural reactions. During meditation, it has been observed that the brain’s electrical waves alter to lower frequencies (those of relaxation, of consciousness with no external activity) while the level of endorphins temporarily increases, suggesting a rise in neuronal transmission and therefore reception.
In reality, all of us enter a state of meditation spontaneously, for example when we are working in our vegetable gardens or taking the time to knit or draw or paint a picture, or when we pause for a while in silence contemplating a beautiful landscape and then realize that we haven’t noticed time passing. We have remained aware, but have lapsed into absence without realizing and have made an unexpected detour outside time. Meditation simply activates and boosts a normal process on the path to our evolution. It can be done without any religious commitment – and besides, it is strongly believed that some animals meditate.
With meditation, we gain perspective on our motivations: we sharpen our awareness and strengthen free will. Thus, when it comes to making economic decisions, decision about our livelihood and consumption, we can better resist compulsions driven by fear, craving, and pride and choose instead a moral course that aims at true well-being. In this way, we begin to see how mental factors form the basis of all economic matters, and we realize that the development of this kind of mental discernment leads the way to true economic and human development.” (1)

EXCERPTS from chapter 13

13. The Ways in Which Change Is Occurring

Living systems evolve of their own accord. They devise the transformations they require as the need arises. The same thing happens with global society.
A living system’s evolution is activated when internal fluctuations have driven it to a state which is far from being well-balanced, reaching a critical point which demands further adaptation.
For over half a century, society has been stirring with movements to initiate its evolution. The social unrest and student movements in the 1960s, counter-culture movements such as the hippies, consumer groups, feminists, ecologists, anti-nuclear protesters, pacifists, human rights groups and NGOs, and, more recently, organizations for economic justice, anti-globalization and pro-fair trade are all movements which seriously call the system into question and contribute to changing it. We can add to this list all the demonstrations against wars of which people do not approve, trade union demonstrations against delocalization and political demonstrations against injustice for minorities or forms of apartheid, as well as social forums. These movements are varied and dispersed, but they are also connected by countless local and international networks. They are part of an active, established and permanent phenomenon. Through these movements global society is looking for a way to evolve. This growing awareness is shooting out in many different directions and will eventually give rise to the birth of a global society founded upon new economic and intellectual principles.
…..


Economists were very happy to borrow Darwin’s idea that our world is a place of brutal struggle where the only fittest survive. Competition is at the heart of business; internal competition to ensure high performance and external competition to seize a share of the market.
But it turns out that those ideas are now completely out of date. Admittedly, competition has a role to play to maintain healthy businesses, and challenge can encourage creation and innovation. But this is not as fundamental or universal a factor as has been made out. There is, of course, competition in Nature, but it is incorporated within a more general framework of cooperation. Modern science proves that cooperation or symbiosis is the most universal principle in living systems’ organization, from single-celled organisms right through to the higher forms of life. It is thanks to the partnership between several species and also within the species itself that life has been able to continue and evolve.
The essential principle with regard to maintaining and developing life is not competition but cooperation, not cannibalism but mutual assistance. As early as 1902 Kropotkin showed that the driving force behind evolution was not principally competition within a species for limited resources, but instead cooperation within the species to increase the chances of survival when faced with harsh external conditions. He claimed that when circumstances put a community (human or animal) in danger, it reacted by increasing its communal cooperation. Exactly the same thing is happening in today’s world.

EXCERPT from chapter 14

14. Observing the Changes

Movements such as the microcredit movement in Bangladesh which began in 1976 are appearing spontaneously. …..
“Once we learned that hunger results from antidemocratic political and economic structures that trap people in poverty, we realized that we couldn’t end hunger for other people. Genuine freedom can only be won by people for themselves.” (1)
During the 1980s in Latin America (where entire sections of the population were excluded, which naturally drove them to invent ways to survive), various types of solidarity-based economies sprang up and are continuing to grow.

…..

EXCERPT from chapter 15

15. Solidarity Economics

The solidarity economics movement defines its motivations and aims very clearly:
…”Our proposal is a socioeconomy of solidarity as a way of life that encompasses the totality of the human being, that announces a new culture and a new form of producing to fulfill the needs of each human being and of the entire humanity.”
This is a Copernican revolution involving a qualitative leap which testifies to a growing moral awareness. Deciding to go from dependence to autonomy, from exclusion to independent integration, means transforming not only working conditions but also how we all relate to everyone involved, and therefore transforming the social environment by adopting new values. The solidarity movement does not mean depriving oneself of one’s personal advantages for the benefit of an anonymous community but instead extending limited self-interest to encompass a larger whole. It involves exceeding the limitations of one’s blind spot to see the bigger picture and seeing one’s self- interest as part of the good of the community. It means forgetting one’s obsession with personal greed. It is a moral revolution.
…..
When someone asks the big question, “so what’s the alternative?”, solidarity economics answers not with a Big Scheme (a “third way” beyond the Market or the State), but with another question: By what means, on whose terms, and with what guiding ethical principles will we collectively work towards new economic structures and relationships? This is an economic process, not a plan; it is a strategy for economic organizing that starts with our already-present practices…”
…..
Polanyi, (quoted by David Loy in “Religion and the Market”) (3) observes that when capitalism reduced labor to a commodity, on the one hand, it led to a fantastic accumulation of capital, and on the other, a radical collapse of traditional community life, as the new economic forces drove villagers off their land.
“To separate labor from other activities of life and to subject it to the laws of the market was to annihilate all organic forms of existence and to replace them by a different type of organization, an atomistic and individualistic one.” Such a system would very soon “annihilate the human and natural substance of society.”
But it is precisely this human and natural substance of society that solidarity economics has started to recreate by repairing the breakdown caused by market economy.
These bonds of solidarity – ethical and human bonds – will recreate global society along new lines.

EXCERPTS from chapter 16

16. Entrepreneurial Concepts

Even though people have gone to great lengths to discredit or ignore Marx’ analysis, it nevertheless remains totally valid. It is still true that capitalists possess the means of production, and therefore they are able to pocket profits and determine working conditions. The two parties to the contract, i.e. the employer and the employee, are not in an equal position of power, and consequently, the employer can continue to reap the benefits of the employee’s labor, and continue to accumulate wealth. The issue of the sharing of profits remains a fundamental moral problem in society as the acquisition of wealth is established in an exclusive monopoly.
…..
Can capitalism be reformed?
While the system pursues its excesses until it makes itself sick, at the same time we can see the efforts capitalism is making to clean up its act.
Is it possible to imagine a balanced form of capitalism?
Some companies which provide jobs and pay a decent wage would have to close shop if they were forced to do even better.
But in prosperous companies, employees remain in an archaic situation:
“Workers have no choice but to rent out the strength of their arms and the intelligence of their brains to those who have capital. Capital does not produce anything, it simply buys creative ability.” (3)
It is said that in business, each person receives their share depending on what they bring to the company, but this share is very difficult to evaluate. We should bear in mind that it is not capital that creates wealth, but labor. Capital plays a passive role – we could call it ‘inert capital’ – while labor could be considered as ‘active capital’, without which nothing could be created. Obviously, inert capital can create the conditions for a company to exist, but it is unjust that inert capital should have an excessive advantage over active capital. Labor is not a commodity; it is act of creation.
“Capital does not generate value in itself, and can only grow if it is valorized by productive labor. Yield from capital is therefore always taken from the value created by the workers.” (4)
Studies into finding solutions to replace capitalism generally settle on a democratic, participatory, solidarity-based, self-managed economy. (5)
Basic facts
Betsy Bowman and Bob Stone have written an essay which ought to become one of the new books of the Bible for modern times – “Cooperativization as Alternative to Globalizing Capitalism” Geo, October 2005. (6)
Using Mondragon as an example, their realistic and soundly-documented study shows that cooperativization constitutes the ideal remedy for the ills of this world.
With 30,000 employees and $5 billion in annual turnover, the Spanish cooperative of Mondragon remains the most impressive success story in this field. Here are a few extracts from their arguments:
“Can we construct a better world than that of globalizing capitalism? Yes! Through cooperativization. We claim that first-world networks of worker co-ops – like the one around Mondragon, Spain – if re-oriented so as to solidarize with the alter-globalization movement, could almost fully replace capitalism by a democratic economy […]
“Productivity and profitability are higher for co-operatives than for capitalist firms […] Studies of job creation, worker compensation, and job security yield similar results […]
The productivity advantage of democratic production stimulates cooperativization. This advantage is likely due to harmonizing of conflicting imperatives. Absent rewards, workers in capitalist firms withhold their skills. By contrast workers in democratic firms, no longer pitted against each other, have strong incentives to share skills. And since effectively exercising collective creativity is pleasurable, management supervision is less necessary, a big savings. Also lifted is the even greater burden of supporting absentee shareholders. Co-ops thus have a flexibility, financial buoyancy and re-investment potential lacking capitalist firms. Members are not resentfully slow, care for equipment, avoid waste, and minimize downtime and absenteeism. Large-scale production still needs skilled managers, but direct market feedback, freed of “noise” from managers with inimical interests, allows faster remedy of management errors […]
Betsy Bowman and Bob Stone point out that Europe generally is having a worker co-op boom. There are up to 83,000 companies of this kind in 42 countries, providing 1.3 million jobs – twice as many as 20 years ago. There are cooperative networks in Japan, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela etc.
In the meantime, we should take capitalism at its word and allow companies which are run according to new standards to enter into the game of free, peaceful competition.
May the best man win!!

EXCERPTS from chapter 17

17. Balance Is Well-Being

Taking Stock
…..

Economy is divorced from morality, although the fabric deep within us is woven from morality. In this material world were we live, nothing which can be done or thought by a human being may be dissociated in any way from its moral aspect. Our moral nature is not a merely an accessory, or a cultural coloring – it is part of our very nature – and not our intellectual, emotional or mental nature, but rather our more essential and profound being, our intangible, spiritual nature – the nature about which we know nothing, but which is always present, silently observing everything.
Man believes himself to be complete, but he is not. We are imperfect beings who must continue to evolve. Believing oneself to be complete is a form of blindness…

Looking Towards the Future

The answer that we come up with is that those problems can only be resolved by developing our individual conscience. Evolution occurs on a personal and conscious level. This enables us to tackle the conditions of economic activity in a spirit of fairness and freedom. The solution can only be found along the path of liberation, the path of autonomy and responsibility, in other words, the freedom of each person in his work. While one person remains oppressed or precarious in his or her material resources, this has not been accomplished. The first step towards the joy of living and quality of life lies in equal prosperity for everyone. It is up to us to act; up to those of us who are suffering to undertake these changes. When the spirit evolves, practical solutions may then be found.
We have recently observed that perfectly adapted responses have begun to emerge, and this is very encouraging – there has been an evolution in perceptions and a new form of adaptation. This is particularly true of the principle of solidarity-based economy, which is not sentimental philanthropy, nor simply an appeal for voluntary self-sacrifice, but rather an understanding that it is in everyone’s best interests.
The solution gives us the capacity to take our destiny into our own hands, making us independent and responsible both towards ourselves and others. Economic activity is moving onto a different level, becoming part of a vision with a broader conscience.
Then, external proof with external aims will follow. The best kind of satisfaction is not maximal satisfaction (which is an illusory and contradictory concept), beyond which we trip up and out troubles really begin, as we all know.
Happiness established in solidarity and cooperation is profound and enriching. It opens up to others;
it opens up one’s conscience and becomes happiness based on trust, giving access to more profound, more sustainable, truer perspectives. This is why achieving true well-being may be defined as what enables real human development.

Determining our Path
…..

Personal evolution is the key to the world’s salvation. This occurs naturally with the evolution of the collective conscience, but ancient traditional methods of personal development such as meditation may also provide crucial support. Simply practicing energetic, gentle gymnastic techniques such as Yoga or Qigong can result in profound personal fulfillment; they enable us to draw what we require to progress directly from the surrounding field of energy. They give us the possibility to draw directly the physical, mental and spiritual energy we need to establish sound health and a firm basic happiness, and, in the long term, to advance along the path of our evolution which consists of further awakening our conscience.

Let’s enjoy ourselves!

Let’s take a moment to enjoy ourselves imagining this Utopian world which is not yet born, but which is entirely within our reach, if we could only realize it.

Let’s visualize the radiant future which we have the means to achieve; a world where everyone has enough to eat; a world where the most advanced knowledge is evenly distributed; a world where prosperity is a fundamental reality for everyone.
It is time to recognize that material values and moral, spiritual values are inextricably linked, and all elements of the same reality. It is time to recognize that it’s moral values which should be guiding our evolution. It is time to appeal to enlightened individual consciences, rather than just ignorant self-interest as before.
The road will be long, but there is no other way.
As a first step forward, the way for humanity consists in achieving material liberation. If we manage to attain this liberation, the path to a beautiful future will be guaranteed for the rest of our human journey.

End of Part I

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The Way for Mankind Book One, sample 1

The Way for Mankind


BOOK ONE

Jean-Marie PAGLIA

Book 1, Philosophical Intimations on Social and Economic Issues

ISBN :  978-2-9537218-1-2

http://www.thewayformankind.com

Foreword

In the times we live in, most of us must seriously be wondering about the way the human race is going. We are faced with a mound of major problems for which we seem to have no solution, and there seems to be no articulated or agreed idea for defining our way forward, as though we were steadily and resolutely moving towards our goal, without having any goal whatsoever.
The following pages express the bewilderment and the reflections of the common man; not an expert, and not someone who is ever consulted. Nevertheless, the ordinary man thinks, gathers information and listens to many different points of view because he would very much like to understand, and shape his own destiny accordingly. Let us enter his thoughts, follow them and develop them, for they are your thoughts – our thoughts – and we may be surprised at how similar our ideas turn out to be. The thoughts expressed here come from all kinds of different horizons and are addressed to every person living on this Earth. But we will have to be brave to go all the way, for the road ahead is arduous.

Let’s take a look at where we stand now, tracing the thoughts of those who have been observing the world’s problems.

First of all, in this volume, let’s examine the situation in economic and social terms.

What do we see?

EXCERPT from chapter 1

1.  A Quick Glance at the Planet

Let’s look at Mumbai. Here are a few details from an article in Le Monde Diplomatique : “India’s City of Gold.” (1)

“Many slum dwellers have built two or three lofts atop their hovels and rented them out. On average 10 people live in a single hut of about nine square meters. No one can estimate how many people live on Reay Road, but every single day the headcount increases and with it the chaos. To be honest, no one can even confirm how many people live in the city overall. Official surveys show that there are 12 million (more than Greece) and that half of them are homeless. But because of the endless stream of immigrants, the slum population, the hundreds of unregistered children born every day, it may be closer to 16 million […]

Many have come from far to settle in the City of Hope, convinced they would find jobs […] So they survive here, on the road, day after day, despite the pollution, heat, malnutrition, dirt, trucks and cars whizzing by, accidents, diseases, huge rats and crows, stinking gutters, the disgust of better-off passers-by and the monsoon floods […]

It takes a while to realize why it continues to attract so many outsiders who hope to make their fortunes here. It is overwhelmingly huge, hot, cramped, polluted, suffocating, crowded, traffic-choked, with appalling sights and smells of poverty and sickness. If you are poor, you live in inhuman conditions; if you are rich, the mafia bothers you. If you are middle-class, just leaving your house every morning is a struggle – fighting with traffic, negotiating potholes, trying to ignore tiny begging hands scratching your car windows.”

This account could equally well describe hundreds of cities around the world.  It is evidence of the sorry state of our planet.

We are regularly kept abreast of the general state of the world. Here are a few examples from websites keeping an eye on the world’s problems – there are many sources of information at our disposal. Most of the figures quoted in this chapter come from the Global Issues website (2), which offers a very thorough analysis of the social, economic and political problems affecting our planet. Here is a brief rundown of the overall situation, a reality far easier to contemplate when it’s reduced to statistics:

Two billion people suffer from malnutrition, and 18 million starve to death every year.

Millions of people die each year from curable or preventable diseases.

1.3 billion people have no access to drinking water; 3 billion have no sanitation and 2 billion do not have electricity.

Poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, appalling sanitation and illiteracy haunt a large proportion of the world’s population. We could flesh out the description of this world of ours by mentioning child labor (25 million children are exploited in unacceptable working conditions), the terrible conditions for many women and the lack of respect for basic human rights.

It would be interesting to try and understand how we have managed to make such a mess of our existence and our dignity.

We human beings are real idiots.

The genesis of this global tragedy is largely……….

EXCERPT from chapter 2

2.  Neoliberalism, the Principle of the Global Economic Order

The fundamental economic rules governing our planet are well known, and are laid down by the most powerful nations who thus ensure they can obtain the best for their national self-interest. Over time, economic principles have evolved to some extent, while naturally remaining basically the same.

The neoliberal theory is based upon the idea of the greatest possible economic freedom within a system of triumphant capitalism.

The fundamental principle of free trade sees in a totally free market a magic wand capable of providing all the benefits one could possibly hope for; freed from state intervention, excessive regulation, price controls and the weight of the unions, free trade spurs on the economy. The free movement of goods, services and capital requires sustained growth.

The privatization of public companies ensures that they are efficient and profitable.

Free trade develops global commerce and enables every country to develop in turn. It guarantees the most just and most efficient distribution of resources.

Competition gives the system magical energy – healthy competition between countries, companies and individuals within companies encourages the success of the best and stimulates innovation, lowers prices and gets the best results. This sacrosanct competition is at the very core of every personal preoccupation – it is an expression of the survival principle, the ancestral expression of human activity.

What could be better than that? ………..

We could even go so far as to say that Neoliberalism is a factor in causing social disintegration. If it is taken for granted that economic dynamism should reward company shareholders and that other benefits for the workers or the rest of society are of secondary importance, then this economic dynamism can only occur at the expense of the social structure. It amounts to aggression with regard to social values, swindling the social organization. This is clearly shown in the measures imposed by capitalism. Just as during the Industrial Revolution, when farmers and small, independent craftsmen had to give up their independ­ent means of subsistence and become working-class masses dependent on capital, today we can see the same damage being inflicted upon the social structure by the measures dictated by Neoliberalism – reduction of the role of the state, deregulation, the greatest possible freedom for businesses, the privatization of public sectors, reduction of the power of the unions, labor flexibility, precarity which puts employees at the mercy of their employers, cuts in social protection – all these elements demon­strate the economic masters’ aggression towards the social strucyure for their own gain.

The most obvious aspect of this way of doing things is that the decisions which affect society as a whole are taken by a very small number of people, all with ulterior motives.

It is also obvious that this same mechanism has now spread over the entire planet.

In the same way as it generates workplace relationships based on heedless exploitation and competition, Neoliberalism puts a strain on the environment and the world’s resources, causing further degradation. The “free-for-all” principle, a primitive, “dog-eat-dog” battle is placed at the very heart of the social contract, and cynicism becomes the moral foundation of our world. It estab­lishes a moral deficit in our world which earlier societies did not experience to such a serious extent, and endorses the degradation of conditions for humankind on a planetary scale.

EXCERPT from chapter 3

3.  A Quick Glance at Developed Countries

There are hundreds of reports and studies highlighting the persist­ence and even the rise in significant levels of poverty in developed countries. We can get an idea of the situation by quot­ing just a few of them….
The most noticeable differences between rich and poor are observed in the richest of these countries. In the United States, the top 1% of the population amasses more money that the 40% of people at the bottom end of the scale, and this inequality has been increasing constantly for 70 years.
In the United Kingdom, the 50% of people at the bottom of the scale possess only 1% of the nation’s wealth. In 1976, that figure was 12%. Poverty can be said to affect half Great Britain’s population if welfare benefits are not taken into account – a sorry result for a country which for centuries has endeavored to be a standard-bearer for civilization.
Could this be called progress? Is this fair distribution of wealth? Is this economic efficiency? ……

However, the sudden appearance of homeless people became noticeable at the beginning of the 1980s. “By the mid-1980s, seemingly out of nowhere, for the first time since the Great Depression, large numbers of individuals and families were living in the streets. “The homeless” is a social phenomenon usually associated with countries like Bangladesh, but has now survived as a visible urban fixture in this richest of countries.”  (4)

Inequalities in the distribution of wealth:

At the very top, 5% of Americans possess 57% of personal wealth while the 50% of the population at the bottom of the scale possess only 2.8%. What’s more, the gap has been widening constantly over recent decades. (5)
Movements for social justice are active, but America is being described as the richest of the Third World countries, and it is said to be drifting towards a society of economic apartheid. Poverty continues to grow, and inequality is reaching new heights. (6)
“Real wages are declining; in fact, the share of the GDP that goes to wages and salaries has reached a 59-year low, while the share going to corporate profits is at a 40-year high.” (7)
The current reality is that the wealth is ending up in fewer and fewer hands. For the majority of U.S. households, the real story of the 1990s was not an expanding stock portfolio, but the plummeting of personal savings, stagnat­ing wages, longer work hours, and the escalation of consumer debt. […]

EXCERPT from chapter 4

4.  A United World for Better or for Worse

It is clear that our economic order is not keeping its promises, and is proving incapable of establishing a fair and prosperous society in developed countries, where such a society should already have existed for a long time. On the contrary – we have just seen how poverty is becoming more widespread and we are still a long way from a harmonious state of affairs.

Mila Kahlon’s article describing Mumbai (Bombay,) which was quoted in the opening chapter, continues as follows:
“[It is] without doubt the wealthiest [city] in India. More than half of India’s income tax is paid here. It is also India’s most corrupt city: more than half of the black money in circulation is generated here. It has more millionaires than the other metropolitan cities put together. It hosts 90% of India’s merchant banking transactions and has two stock exchange towers; 80% of India’s mutual funds are registered here, where the capital markets are located […]
Real estate means money – property is more expensive than in New York and Tokyo (a posh apartment could cost up to $2m). This city indulges in speculations, lotteries, horse races and cricket. Advertising hotshots are better paid than doctors, as Mumbaikars shame the consumer society of the United States. The city attracts the best skill pool in India, multinational giants, investors, artists and intellectuals. […]
In this city you can buy French champagne for only three times the average middle-class salary, but millions cannot get a drink of clean water. Dharavi is the biggest slum in Asia, where 600,000 people are squeezed into less than two square kilometres, its air thick and sticky with the smell of human waste. […]” (3)
This illustration reveals much about the general state of the world as a whole – a situation in which the same universal pattern appears, to a more or less extreme degree, which globalization has established everywhere, with an extremely wealthy minority possessing all the rights and all the advantages, then the middle classes, who strive to maintain the modest prosperity that the labor of their forefathers has left them with, in circumstances of great effort, uncertainty and stress, which does not make for an ideal existence – and finally, in every country in the world, the laboring classes struggling to survive in difficult conditions which are, at times, getting even worse, and which are never going to disappear.

EXCERPT from chapter 5

5.  The Law of the Market

The law of the market is the sacrosanct principle governing the world.
This principle has met with universal success, to the extent where it is being compared with a religion – a stunningly successful system of values (1). It might even be compared with the most extreme aspects of blind faith, and can be seen as some kind of fundamentalism. (2)
…..The market is not a fundamentally just mechanism – it relies on a relationship based on power and is often far from fair. The following observations by John Ikerd, professor at the University of Missouri, highlight the system’s basic flaws.
“Economics assumes that trade always takes place between two people or groups that are equally competent and capable of pursuing their own self-interest. Sometimes this is a valid assumption, but often it is not. Economics ignores the fact that the world is filled with people (and countries) who are inherently unequal in competence and capabilities. It ignores the fact that giant corporations are capable of totally dominating conditions of trade with smaller busi­nesses or individuals. […]
Any trade that is legal is generally accepted as free trade by economists. Economics ignores the fact that the strong may pressure the weak into trading by simply threatening or withholding benefits, or protection from harm, upon which the weak has become dependent. Since the strong are not legally required to provide these benefits, no law is broken.
When trade occurs between the strong and the weak, particularly when motivated by profit as economists assume, the weak are invariably exploited by the strong. As long as the outcomes for strong and weak added together end up in a larger dollar and cent total, economics concludes that there have been gains from trade — no matter that the weak are now even relatively weaker and more vulnerable and the strong are now even stronger and more dominant. To the economist, justice and equity are just empty words because they have no means to address them.”  (4)

The Market is neither a law nor a principle – it is an event that occurs….
When all is said and done, it is the very mechanism of the Market that generates inequality, with wealth on the one side and scarcity on the other; by keeping as much as possible for oneself and giving as little as possible in exchange; by paying the lowest wages possible and keeping as much of the profit as one can. All the inequality that exists in our world stems from the dictates of the Market. The Market is a mechanism which breeds inequality whenever it can. That is not its goal, but it is a consequence that lies hidden in our basic lack of awareness, and whose long-term effects unbalance human society.

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