Category Archives: Philosophy

Love of wisdom.

A love of revolutionaries

 Revolutionaries change the world.

This swan was happy to express its revolutionary nature against humanity by attacking a group of canoeists infringing its territory in Colchester.

This swan was happy to express its revolutionary nature against humanity by attacking a group of canoeists infringing its territory in Colchester.

Two thousand years ago a woman called Boudicca became a revolutionary, leading the people of my town of Colchester in a full revolt against the Romans that burned London to the ground.  Over a thousand years later a priest called John Ball, who lived in Colchester, became the spiritual head of another revolt, leading revolutionaries from Essex and Kent on a march on London that nearly brought down the corrupt English king, church and aristocracy.  John Ball led the revolt in relation to an unfair tax called the Poll Tax.  Margaret Thatcher, who at one time lived a few streets away from where I live in Colchester, forgot her history, introduced the Poll Tax again, and the people of Colchester rioted along with most of the British nation, causing her downfall as Prime Minister.

I love revolutionaries, the people who lead movements against injustice.  An inspiration to women everywhere is Joan of Arc a peasant girl in France who against all odds convinced the French that God sent her to help defend the French against the English.  Joan appeared when the French was facing total defeat, with one last city about to fall to the English.  Joan of Arc rallied the demoralised French, showed tactical genius, and defeated the English in battle, setting in motion events that resulted in the French recapturing France from the English.  Captured, Joan of Arc defended herself on her own against a biased judge and jury with eloquent grasp of law and argument getting all but one charge thrown out against her.  The English tricked Joan in her prison cell on a legal technicality that resulted in her being burned to death for wearing male clothes.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus was a revolutionary: he rejected the Greek gods and superstition; he publicly condemned his own people; he abdicated kingship in favour of philosophy; he attacked Homer, so beloved of the Greek people; he publicly revealed Eleusinian Mysteries, an act that should have had him executed; and right to his death he expressed his opinion the dead is no better than being thrown out as cow dung, covering himself in the same and dying.  Even today, Heraclitus in my opinion is the best of the philosophers in the West of this world, equivalent to Lao-Tzu the founder of Taoism in the East of this world.

Revolutionaries are brave, they lead by example and create new paths of thinking and doing against conformity and opposition, breaking the boundaries of injustice liberating others to follow in their footsteps.  A hundred years ago women in Colchester and other towns took on the establishment in the Suffragette movement against the social and political barriers of their time to win the right of women to vote, and won.

Going beyond the machine

Using machines in moderation is desirable.

The bike is a machine I like because it balances out the need for speed to get to places with health of cycling.

The bike is a machine I like because it balances out the need for speed to get to places with health of cycling.

The machine has become king in this world, but it is desirable that the human is king, the machine is the servant.  How sad that the human is the slave to the machine.  Do I hate machines? No, I hate the slavery of humans to machines.  I love machines for their making our lives easier and in certain ways healthier.  Machines are a tool, used intelligently and with wisdom, the machine is beneficial.

I visited my bank manager this week to discuss credit to expand my business.  I spent four days frantically preparing business plans and accounts for the meeting with the bank manager, he never asked to see them.  The bank manager sat in front of a computer, a robot, unable to make his own decisions, following prompts on the computer screen in processing me.  Both I and the bank manager were no more than impersonal objects enslaved to the dictates of a computer, which made the decisions and asked the questions.

The Bank no longer trusted its own human bank managers to make the decisions and deal with customers as human beings with their own unique situations and needs; most business interactions with the Bank today in the UK is a sales pitch and a relationship with a central computer; the staff and customer depersonalised slaves to machines.

My dealings with the UK taxation authorities is the same as the Bank; automated with all the local tax offices that used to deal directly with the public now closed in favour of a centralised call centre.

I love to walk and cycle everywhere, but most people are dependent upon the car, which whilst convenient, denies the individual exercise and a robust mind due to environmental experiences such as walking in the cold and rain.  Cell phones are a great tool of communication, but when your cell phone dictates your actions every hour of every day in every situation, you have a problem.  The bank manager I was speaking to was coughing his lungs out because of the technology of his bank air conditioning system.

There is a need for moderation, finding a balance where the machine becomes a tool of beneficial liberty rather than an enslaving harmful monster. The choice always is the individuals on how they like to live their life in relation to machines, the choice is king or slave, the choice is always yours.

My cat liberates me from the machine

Technology often separates rather than brings people together.

I wrote this blog post whilst being hassled by my cat Pebbles, who is going nuts for the juicy meal I am eating and sharing with her.  Machines can never beat relationships with a living being.

I wrote this blog post whilst being hassled by my cat Pebbles, who is going nuts for the juicy meal I am eating and sharing with her. Machines can never beat relationships with a living being.

The cat stood on my laptop, then curled up, went to sleep.  I was working at that laptop until that moment.  I looked at the contented sleeping surreal furry thing that ended my ability to work at my computer moments before.  It was cold and the animal used the laptop as a warm place to sleep.  Rather than tapping at plastic keys I was stroking the fur of a living creature.

The sleeping animal on my laptop offered to me an opportunity to reflect upon our love for technology against our relationships with living people and creatures.  The dependency for social media to connect seems to drive people further apart, a growing attitude that relationships separated and run through a gadget or website, managed, controlled and run at the individuals own convenience is now considered normal.

Modern society drives families, friends and communities apart, glued together by a text message, Facebook page and Skype, monitored, recorded and then used against everyone by government and corporate to control and manipulate society.  Gone are the days of letter and telephone to connect loved ones, such actions involved intimacy and work, too much for many people who run their relationships on the fly between the events of their fast paced daily life, now it is instant, public, with little thought or work involved.

Few people experience liberation from the machine by their cat sitting and falling asleep on their laptop, but for me the sleeping cat offered me a reminder, which I shall never forget, that the relationship with living people and creatures is more interesting than through machines.

Achieving a calm mind in life

The Autumn Equinox brought with it disaster and miracle.

In a crisis keep calm and carry on.  You achieve positive results from staying calm.

In a crisis keep calm and carry on. You achieve positive results from staying calm.

You die, life carries on.  It is true, friends of mine died, the world never stopped, the living carried on with life.  Why waste time in fear or anger when life demands living?

The Autumn Equinox in the North of this world marked the equalisation of night and day, before death and hunger falls over the sleeping land of Winter.  This Equinox brought me challenges: the toilet broke; I lost my hard-drive; one of my oak saplings snapped off, perhaps by Helix the cat chasing birds or the squirrel again.  In crisis we British drink tea, the saying is stay calm, carry on.

Pebbles the cat started life abused and neglected, eleven years later the psychological marks of her mistreatment remains: easily stressed; flighty; anxious. I have known Pebbles a year, she is grumpy, neurotic, sick on the carpet and sometimes annoying, but I have treated her calmly and kindly.  Pebbles came to trust me and likes to position herself near me.

In the last few days as I worked on the laptop Pebbles would sit watching me over the laptop screen, it was highly distracting.  Pebbles would sit on or position her head on the laptop to go to sleep making it hard to work.  On the Equinox Pebbles did something she had never done before with a human and jumped into my lap; the first attempt was a disaster as her claws were in my legs; the second attempt with help of blankets she delighted on being on my lap whilst clawing the blankets.  The miracle of this cat sleeping in my lap made up for the disasters of the day, the result of treating the cat with calm kind tolerance.

This morning I recovered my hard drive; rain started as I was walking home soaking me; the chain linking my USB memory stick and my key ring broke, answered by a cat jumping on the table for attention.  Working at my laptop, Pebbles sat on it, and managed to turn the laptop off.  I think Pebbles is hungry.

Why localism is sustainable and effective

Empowering the individual and community for positive change.

Localism is tied closely to sustainability in a time of diminishing food, water and energy resources.

Localism relates closely to sustainability in a time of diminishing food, water and energy resources.

The world cycles through times of plenty and then scarcity, often due to climatic and geological changes in nature.  In times of plenty the focus is size and strength, large dinosaurs like the T-Rex or the powerful sabre-toothed cats of the Ice Age.  When environmental conditions change resulting in less available food, the energy hungry size and strength becomes a disadvantage, such beasts become extinct, replaced by energy-efficient beasts who favour smallness and speed over size and strength; thus the Dire Wolf dies replaced by the Timber Wolf, the Neanderthal replaced by Homo Sapiens.

Experts reckon that by the end of this century the current seven billion human population will grow to 11 billion.  Already there are strains on food, water and energy resources leading to environmental wars.  Climate is changing and global society behaves with wasteful consumerism.  Practically all nations, businesses and individuals drown under excessive debt; the new currency traded, gambled and seen as a tangible commodity is debt.

Against this background of diminishing resources and growing pressures on available resources is the current obsession on size and strength: big business; global brands; huge political entities such as NATO, EU, UN, IMF and many other dinosaurs, so ineffective that they could not collectively bring about a fast recovery of the bodies of victims of the Malaysian plane crash in the Ukraine.

Despite the Scottish rejection of independence the UK political establishment has started a conversation about devolving powers to the grassroots.  The global movement towards localism favouring smallness and sustainability is now relentless and unstoppable.  The notion that empire, central control and top down decision-making can resolve global challenges is unworkable and delusional.  I see this in the coming election battle in Clacton near my town of Colchester where the nationalists who want the UK to leave the EU and close the borders to immigrants will win a stunning victory.  People all over the world at the local level are becoming afraid because they are experiencing the pain of competing against outsiders for an ever diminishing pool of resources they and their families need to survive upon, so that this causes a rise of forms of tribalism such as nationalism and a desire for localism where they can take control of their own resources and decision-making.

Leaving wild animals alone to co-exist with us

Having detachment is better for wild animals and humans

During my meetings with Amber my garden fox I kept a distance even if it proved inconvenient at times.

During my meetings with Amber my garden fox I kept a distance even if it proved inconvenient at times.

A wild fox is visiting my garden in the night, though I have yet to know if this is Amber, who has been elusive or missing for at least two months.  During the time I knew Amber I kept a distance, she became used to me so that I could take many good photographs; sometimes I talked to her to calm her if we came upon each other by surprise, but I never interfered with her, fed her or attempted to touch her.

People forget that wild animals are no pets, and they are capable of looking after themselves.  Providing animals with opportunities such as wild birds with a water bath and feeding stations is good, but wisdom needs applying so that both humans and wild animals suffer no harm from dependency or over familiarity.  Feeding a fox chocolate for instance would kill it, the wrong type of food is giving hedgehogs diabetes.

This video on YouTube shows an ignorant human coming across a sleeping baby deer in a cemetery.  This supposed cute video shows a baby deer that the human awoke, showing evident distress and running away.  The human is oblivious to the situation they are creating by becoming too involved with a wild animal, driving an animal off so making it harder for its mother to find it, risking an attack on the human from a mother deer if it is in the vicinity.

Enjoying wild animals from a distance whilst they express their wild nature in a liberated way free from human interference is a blessing, and is the best way for humanity and wild animals to co-exist in harmony in nature.

The question of liberty, control and censorship

Using choice expresses liberty rather than censorship.

Amber my garden fox enjoyed the liberty of choice to come and go from my garden, but there are conditions, such as not eating the cat.

Amber my garden fox enjoyed the liberty of choice to come and go from my garden, but there are conditions, such as not eating the cat.

Because Facebook is happy to host content involving the torture of animals I closed my Facebook account, a subject I wrote about on Liberated Way here and here.  Paul Handover of Learning from Dogs indicated he was closing his Facebook account over the content on animal torture on Facebook, and said why in his own article, suggesting readers might consider doing the same thing. Patrice Ayme in his WordPress article condemned me and Paul Handover as supporting censorship by closing our accounts with Facebook, which brings me to my views on censorship, liberty and control.

Censorship is an action associated with the filtering or blocking of information of any form.  Censorship is a tool, it is neither good or bad, but people use censorship for beneficial or harmful purposes.

As an individual I am making no attempt at control of Facebook, neither telling it how to behave or what to moderate.  I am invoking the liberty of personal choice to disassociate myself as a consumer or user of Facebook because its policy on showing content of animal torture are against my personal values.  I and my corporate business has policies that reject association with those that mistreat or promote animal mistreatment.  Paul Handover and others like him have their own reasons for closing their accounts with Facebook, but they are all invoking liberty of personal choice.

The individual has two key powers of change in this world, one is by setting an example, the second is by making active choices of what we will support.  Those people or groups with no support die, the power I and others invoked by choosing to close our accounts with Facebook weakens it, and if lots of users abandoned Facebook then it will panic and consider a change of direction.  Taking responsibility and making positive choices as to what the individual will support is liberty instead of censorship.

My business has intervention policies which means it does not intervene in forcing control on individuals, groups, communities, corporates or nation states, but it will invoke choice never to associate with them if they for instance mistreat animals or indigenous people such as the Sami.  The policies form a business contract with my suppliers, investors and customers so that they are clear in their minds that in order to do business with me there are values I expect from them.  In the same manner Facebook could change its terms and conditions to ban content of the torture of animals; rather than a form of censorship, the users agree a business contract before posting to Facebook so they understand in order to use a business service that such content is unacceptable. Potential customers of my business retain the liberty of personal choice, if they mistreat animals they will have to go elsewhere to do business, I do not control anyone, they agree a set of values in a business contract or don’t do business with me.