What’s the point?


I still thank my lucky stars I was born in the UK, and I’m still so proud to be a Londoner!

We’re just about to have a free and fair general election and if they (whoever “they” might be) believe they can intimidate us Londoners into running scared they’ve got another think coming! Last week it was sympathy and sadness for Manchester, now it’s anger for London.

It’s taken centuries for our free democracy to evolve and our equal voting rights to develop and we still have many problems to solve. But despite the blandishments of our misguided political leaders, at least we are gradually progressing along a path of trying to solve them and work for a better, fairer society. Then this happens. How long will it take for all the people of the world to evolve to a higher level of consciousness?

There are so many questions. Can anyone please tell me, what is the point of this mindless violence? What does it achieve? If an innocent man, woman or child dies in London, does that really help anyone’s cause? I don’t get it. Have we lost all respect for one another in this so-called enlightened age? Is it really that difficult to learn to co-exist with our brothers and sisters, no matter what their religious or political beliefs?

It beggars belief but this, it seems, is what we have come to.


Talking is the only way

Sitting here post Manchester feeling really, really sad.

What on earth can we do to end the horrendous and seemingly endless cycles of violence going on all over the world?

How about starting by talking to each other? It’s the only way.

Is it really that hard for a Jew and an Arab to communicate? or an American and an Iraqi? Unless we learn to understand each other, tolerate each others’ differences and learn to co-exist on the same planet, we will never end violence and we will remain in a perpetual state of mourning.

I am so fed up with hearing about limiting immigrants to the UK, or building walls between the USA and Mexico. How will that help anything? It’s just postponing the inevitable. When are we going to learn to trust each other? It’s the only way.

The IRA and the UK Government managed it. The post-apartheid South African regime managed it. True, the latter has certainly not brought about and end to violence in South Africa, but it’s a beginning and it will take a long time and maybe many generations for wounds to heal and society to balance itself. Nelson Mandela and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and at least led by example.

Hey Donald – fancy showing some real statesmanship and giving it a go???

The third certainty in life

Benjamin Franklin I think it was said there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes. But if you lived with the woman I’m marrying on Sunday you’d know there is a third inevitable certainty – adventure. She’s not a woman to let the grass grow and I love that.

The late Indian guru Osho once said, “life should be a flow from the known towards the unknown,” and it certainly is that. Sunday we’re off into the unknown again, miles out of my comfort zone, and probably hers too. Who ever said life was dull? Certainly not me!

A friend said to me recently, “don’t worry, you’ve been living together for 21 years. Life will just carry on the same after your wedding”.

Of course it won’t. Life is constantly changing, hence the mystery and the endless fascination. “Bring it on,” says I.

What will Donald do next?

Every morning I turn on the radio and there’s more and more blah blah blah about Donald Trump.

I’m getting tired of the speculation – is he or is he not going to spark off World War III?

So far we’ve had reports of serious misogyny, racism (keeping out Muslims and Mexicans), allegations of election rigging, undoing the work of Obama, condoning torture, and all sorts of horrific policies too numerous to mention. It seems that Donald went to the bluster school of diplomacy. I think his idea is that if he comes out with a bold, outrageous and aggressive statement as his initial stance on an issue, he can then use that as an initial negotiating position and then row back from that to something only slightly less extreme in the belief that this will look reasonable by comparison.

Above all, Trump wants to appear strong, a character trait he shares with that other aggressive autocrat, Vladimir Putin, but instead he comes across as provocative, aggressive (and defensive at the same time), unstatesmanlike, insensitive and plain boorish.

Yes, plain speaking is unusual and refreshing in a politician, but Nelson Mandela managed to speak honestly without antagonising people. Attack might be the best form of defence, but I believe Trump is deluding himself if he thinks America is under attack. Of course there are threats and dangers (we can hardly forget 9/11), but most intelligent people would want to gather as many allies as possible under such circumstances. Trump’s way, unfortunately, inflames his opponents and creates even more enemies. And America, or any of us, needs more enemies right now like a fish needs a bicycle!

You may accuse me of exaggeration, but I don’t think I am over-egging the pudding or scaremongering when I say this is all horribly reminiscent of the rise of the Third Reich, Nazism and Hitler in the 1930’s, a time when the working people of Germany were convinced by a tinpot dictator-to-be that they were downtrodden and it was all the fault of the country’s ethnic minorities, and that the nasty little man rising to power would help them make Germany great again.

If you love democracy, with all its many faults, be very, very vigilant. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but I’ll say this much: people of the Western World watch out…

Build bridges not walls

Over the Christmas break the musical West Side Story was on the TV and last night I watched it, for the first time in years.

As you are probably aware it was a sad and shocking story of the violence that can happen when hatred and fear between two distinct ethnic communities, in this case white Americans and immigrants to New York from Puerto Rico, co-inhabit the same piece of turf and anger boils over and gets out of control. It also graphically demonstrates, through the character Maria, how easily love can turn to hate in the twinkling of an eye.

Does this ring a bell, Mr. Donald Trump, in your war against another Hispanic group, the Mexicans?

Can’t help feeling we would be far better employed were we building bridges, not walls.

Can you trust this guy?

The Americans, I am sure, are a people of above average intelligence, yet I have this niggley naggley fear that they could vote for Donald Trump as their next president. Surely, I say to myself, anyone can see through the bluster and bullshit of his aggressive, xenophobic and ruthless neanderthal behaviour and attitudes.

But I have to remind myself, these are the people who voted in George W. Bush – twice!

I have a feeling Trump’s popularity is in part a reaction to the Obama period. Obama is, after all, quite meek and mild in comparison, with a reputation, not justified in my opinion, for getting nothing done. But Obama has made silent progress on many issues, including getting gun control at least on the agenda. We must remember that deeply intractable issues such as that, and the reform of healthcare, may take several presidencies to properly achieve, as it was with the abolition of slavery.

I suspect the same is also true of Guantanamo Bay. With the best will in the world, it may take a long time to resolve that thorny issue too.

Usually I try to ignore matters I can’t influence or have any control over, as in this case (I have no vote in America), but I cannot help worrying about this guy. He’s volatile, impulsive, highly aggressive, bent on ego-aggrandisement and completely devoid of any diplomacy skills, and let’s not forget the US President is also Commander-in-Chief with his finger on the nuclear button. That makes him dangerous to the whole world.

Moreover, he has clearly demonstrated stongly racist beliefs and he appears to regard women with absolute contempt. He has to be one of the most unconscious and unempathic characters I have ever witnessed in the public arena. Would you trust him with your daughter?

As those of us who are old enough to remember the film Dr. Strangelove will realise, it would be all too easy for World War Three, and perhaps total annihilation, to be started “by accident” if we have a loose cannon in the White House.

I sincerely hope each American voter will think this through carefully before voting, and not just vote on a knee-jerk reaction or from generations of party loyalties. I suspect that’s what didn’t happen with Brexit here in the UK. Many of the voters didn’t think through the consequences before they voted.

You’ve done it! You’ve donated over £500 for Save the Children

AS you might be aware, we’ve been fundraising for Save the Children via our La Rochelle Challenge. I’m delighted to report that the good ship PRANA has donated the final 40 quid that takes us just over our target of £500! You can read the full story on www.justgiving.com/LaRochelleChallenge

To every one of our supporters: there will be many children (I don’t know who or where) who will be extremely grateful for your fantastic generosity. You will have certainly alleviated a lot of suffering and you may even have literally saved some lives. That’s what you have achieved through the spirit of giving from your heart. We’re declaring this year’s challenge over now and I promise I won’t be asking for money again until the next time (maybe next Summer) and this blog will from now on resume it’s role of posting pieces for people who want to live more consciously.

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