Friday, April 18, 2014
This comedic captioned photograph from Indian Libertarians's Photos would be funny if it were not a true representation of the contrast between the views of these two men.
Both perspectives fall short of the truth, although the Dalai Lama’s does not fall nearly as short as the Obama’s. Yet even the much fuller view of the Dalai Lama still falls short of the truth. While the statements that he makes are true statements, they are not the truth. The truth includes more.
Here is another example from the Dalai Lama:
Some other sources, such as Goodreads, attribute this similarly stated to Frank Zappa, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.”
But to the statement itself, while it is a true statement, does it tell the truth? The quote attributed to the Dalai Lama is less restrictive, saying “The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.” Yet if one examines even this statement it is found not to be the truth. In fact, it is not really even a true statement, but because it states a portion of the truth it sounds like a true statement.
The Zappa quote is completely false, for if a closed mind did not work, he would have no one to criticize for thinking with a closed mind.
The less restrictive statement attributed to the Dalai Lama speaks a portion of the truth, but not the truth.
A mind that is open can receive information and outside stimulation. However, an open mind is unable to focus and process the information that has been received. Focus requires a narrowing of one’s thinking. Processing of information requires closing one’s mind so as to begin analyzing what has been received. Furthermore, a mind that is open to all views or opinions is unable to perceive the difference between opinion and fact.
The Truth is not proportional. The truth is always whole. No part of the truth can stand apart from the whole. The truth is integral. If it is divided into separate parts it ceases to be the truth.
Even the analogy is not the truth. An open parachute does not work properly unless it is attached properly to the falling person or object. An open parachute does not work properly in a vacuum. An open parachute does not work for an object that is not falling. An open parachute does not function if it is upside down. An open parachute cannot be worn inside a cockpit or other close quarters, but must be carefully and meticulously folded so as to be worn and deployed at the appropriate time.
An open mind is not sufficiently focused to consider the facts but only applies vague or nebulous perceptions. While a healthy and well functioning mind opens to receive information, facts, questions, and even opinions, it also must close to the narrow evaluation process of assessing and acknowledging the truth revealed by these received data.
This fallacy carries into the major tenet of the Dalai Lama in the promotion of Religious Harmony. If one reads what he declares in this matter, actually hearing what he says, it becomes clear that harmony is not what he teaches. What he really espouses is dissolution and ultimate neutralization.
He says: “We must distinguish between belief and respect. Belief refers to total faith, which you must have in your own religion. At the same time you should have respect for all other religions.”
What does this really mean? It means choosing ignorance over knowledge. It means reducing one’s religion to mere ritual and sentiment and tradition.
He says: “If a harmonious relationship is established amongst societies and religious beliefs in today's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural world, then it will surely set a very good example for others.”
What does this mean? He concludes: “Therefore, it is very important to live in harmony and analyse where the opinion of the other lies. The best way to do this is to engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue.”
The essence of this is to target and bomb the dissenting parties with ignorance. “Engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue” is a longhand version of saying “Agree to disagree.” If a person steps back so as to close one’s mind to focus on what is really being said, this means to agree to believe nothing and to count nothing whatsoever as important.
So for the Dalai Lama peace means to drive discord out of existence by means of bombing the dissidents with nothingness and emptiness. So where is the truth? Where is common understanding ever actually pursued? Is this anything but another deceptive tactic?
How does the Obama define obtaining peace? He says peace is obtained by bombing with drones. Of course control of the media, invading the privacy of citizens, and blatant deception and lies are also among his favorite tools.
Perhaps the two are closer in their views than one may first perceive.
Does it really matter? It matters to those who believe that the truth really matters.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I went for my walk and was surprised by a very unusual display of friendliness. Something happened that I have not encountered in at least fifteen years. As I was walking, a police car approached on the same road, with two police officers: one was driving; the other, in the right front seat, seemed to be taking notes or examining something. As they drew near I looked at them and made eye contact and the one on the passenger side waved to me.
Wow! I have not encountered this in well over a decade!
In times past, I nearly always waved to the police. I counted the police officers as public servants, as my friends who devoted their lives to me and the rest of the community, serving to help keep us all safe. Twenty years ago I would not have thought it a wonderful surprise to have a police officer wave to me, especially not in response to my initial show of friendship and confidence. But that was many years ago.
Since then I have stopped waving. After about a decade of waving with no friendly response whatsoever from any of the officers to whom I waved, sometimes even encountering a scowl instead of the friendly smile and wave that I expected in return, I gave up waving.
In fact, I have actually become afraid of waving to them. Whereas I previously looked to the police with trust, I now fear them. I many times in the past ten years have called 911 to report people on the busy expressways who were in need of assistance. Since such busy expressways are not appropriate places for a person without flashing lights and the authority to redirect traffic to attempt such things, I have called for those properly equipped. But after a number of years of attempting to be of service as a good and caring citizen, I became aware that I was drawing attention to myself. I was making myself known to those who track such things.
An example is when a fellow had an extension ladder fall off his truck and block portions of the expressway. I wanted to stop and help clean it up, but knew that I would increase the danger by blocking the road with my vehicle and by adding another person to the scene. So I called 911. The response of the dispatcher made it clear that I was adding to the file that was being kept on me.
911 keeps track of every word. 911 asks for identification of the caller, and for the phone number, and many other bits of information that have nothing whatsoever to do with the incident. It makes me cringe even to think of the number of times that I am listed as a person who involves himself in things. Today this is a red flag. In times past such people were counted as good citizens.
The fear of red flags kept on me does not keep me from caring and from becoming involved in helping others. However, it does make me much more leery of the police and others who are keeping track of me.
So it was a delight when this police officer waved to me.
Yet it also left me wondering what this really means.
It is saddening to me to realize that our nation and society have become such that even an act of kindness or a show of friendliness, especially from someone working for the government, has come to be cause for suspicion. It makes me sad to know that my perspective has been thus affected. It makes me even more sad to acknowledge that such a change in perspective is largely justified.
Nevertheless, it is still a joy to report this instance of what at least I perceived as a kindly show of friendliness from one whom I have become conditioned not to expect to demonstrate such. It was a joy to see this police officer wave to me.
And yes, I did wave in return. I did so sheepishly and leerily, but also with a glimmer of hope.