Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ME, and the World

EGO, is the self-constructed false hope of permanency, our vain and chimerical search for immortality. It appears as attachment to manifestations and objects which have no intrinsic reality or permanence.
Oriental philosophy terms this as spiritual and cultural "ignorance".

Consigning the concept of "here and now" as a quality too "narrow" for considerations of human destiny is a false viewpoint constructed by the ego. Fundamentally, the here and now is the only reality. The past is gone, and the future is totally uncertain.
Living in the now, interconnected with everyone and everything in the universal continuum, is a happier alternative.

Check out Oriental philosophical and psychological secular teachings. They offer true happiness and spiritual peace not found in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic cosmos.

Aristotle and Eastern wisemen identified the search for happiness as man's pre-eminent goal. Western civilization seems to have answered this search by settling on the nostrum of material progress.
In doing that it has missed the mark. There is no peace or surcease from ego-satisfaction which creates only relentless hunger for more of the same.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The socialist bogeyman

Some agitated writers-in reveal ignorance of exactly what “socialism” is. They see social benefits as tantamount to state socialism. Theirs is a bogeyman projected through a skewed prism.

Civilized discourse requires closer knowledge and intelligent comparison of that system to current political events.

Socialism is state ownership of industry and capital. Neither we nor the Europeans are even close to that. Our business activities function in a market economy. Goods are freely traded. Most industries are owned by shareholders. Their securities trade in Stock Exchanges without much government interference. Millions of workers are privately employed. Private property and free enterprise prevail.

Minds fevered by political paranoia tell us that the bailouts and needed systemic reforms are really Obama’s Trojan Horse to smuggle socialism through the gates. Hardly. Health care, Social Security and public services exist in most civilized nations that embrace capitalism. We are catching up.

Worshippers of the cult of “Enlightened Selfishness” or “Rational Egoism” seem to be closer to the law of the jungle as practiced by 19th Century robber barons who thrived on laissez faire. Today that kind of individual grab bag is an anachronism.

Our rise as a nation was not simply the product of individual effort, but the result of much cooperation and self-sacrifice in times of peace and war. Our Constitution begins with, “We the people…” and that defines our national collective identity. Its idealism is for the ages. Its altruism aims at the highest hopes of mankind.

It is more than just a license to get rich.