1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

A basic income guarantee – a dream or a future reality? August 18, 2010

The idea of a basic income guarantee is getting popular. In case you have not heard about it yet, a basic income guarantee (or basic income) is a proposed system of social security, that periodically provides each citizen with a sum of money that allows the receiver to participate in society with human dignity. In contrast to income redistribution between nations themselves, the phrase basic income defines payments to individuals rather than households, groups, or nations, in order to provide for individual basic human needs. Except for citizenship, a basic income is entirely unconditional.

In Germany they speak about 500 or even 1000 € monthly unconditional income for everyone.

 What are the arguments?

One of the arguments for a basic income was articulated by the French Economist and Philosopher André Gorz:

The connection between more and better has been broken; our needs for many products and services are already more than adequately met, and many of our as-yet-unsatisfied needs will be met not by producing more, but by producing differently, producing other things, or even producing less. This is especially true as regards our needs for air, water, space, silence, beauty, time and human contact…
From the point where it takes only 1,000 hours per year or 20,000 to 30,000 hours per lifetime to create an amount of wealth equal to or greater than the amount we create at the present time in 1,600 hours per year or 40,000 to 50,000 hours in a working life, we must all be able to obtain a real income equal to or higher than our current salaries in exchange for a greatly reduced quantity of work…
Neither is it true any longer that the more each individual works, the better off everyone will be. The present crisis has stimulated technological change of an unprecedented scale and speed: ‘the micro-chip revolution’. The object and indeed the effect of this revolution has been to make rapidly increasing savings in labour, in the industrial, administrative and service sectors. Increasing production is secured in these sectors by decreasing amounts of labour. As a result, the social process of production no longer needs everyone to work in it on a full-time basis. (more…)
 

POLL: can you see Spirituality becoming popular with the mainstream? July 18, 2010

 Traditionally, religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience. Many do still equate spirituality with religion, but declining membership of organized religions and the growth of secularism in the western world has given rise to a broader view of spirituality.

Secular spirituality carries connotations of an individual having a spiritual outlook which is more personalized, less structured, more open to new ideas/influences, and more pluralistic than that of the doctrinal faiths of organized religions. At one end of the spectrum, even some atheists are spiritual.In contrast, those of a more ‘New-Age’ disposition see spirituality as the active connection to some force/power/energy/spirit, facilitating a sense of a deep self. For some, spirituality includes introspection, and the development of an individual’s inner life through practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation. Some modern religions also see spirituality in everything: see pantheism and neo-Pantheism. In a similar vein, Religious Naturalism has a spiritual attitude towards the awe, majesty and mystery it sees in the natural world.

Whatever we may call it, the question is whether you are observing the increase of interes to Spirituality worldwide? Since I have readers from all over the world here, would be really interesting to get their valuable insight!

MANY THANKS AND MUCH LOVE
axinia

 

The true human rights July 8, 2010

The absolute value of individuals lies in the fact that they share with God an innate capacity for creative work and love.

The relative value of individuals depends on the level they have reached in their spiritual ascent, on the sum of efforts—both their own and Providence’s—spent on the attainment of that level, and on the degree to which they manifest in their lives those gifts for divine creative work and love…

The older religions judged the relative value of individuals by the degree to which they obeyed the prescriptions of a given religious-moral code. Religions with ascetic leanings believed the highest stage to be sainthood, defining it as either pure monastic service or as martyrdom for one’s faith. In so doing they relegated love to the background. A monk’s or martyr’s self-denial were performed not out of love for humanity or for all living beings but out of a yearning to merge with God and to avoid the torments of hell. I am, of course, referring here to the predominant tendency, the prevalent attitude, and not to such astonishing individual apostles of love as St. Francis of Assisi, Ramajuna, or Milarepa.
Monstrous though it may seem to us, even the eternal suffering of sinners in hell did not arouse in the majority of adepts of those religions the desire to enlighten the world’s laws, including the law of retribution, or karma. Eternal punishment for temporal sins appeared to them a just act of God or in any case (as in Brahmanism) an unalterable and absolutely immutable law. Buddha burned like a torch with the flame of compassion, but he, too, taught only how to free oneself from the wheel of iron laws and not how to enlighten and transform those laws. As for creative work, its intrinsic nature was not recognized at all—such a concept did not even exist—while little importance was attached to concrete forms of creative work accessible to ordinary people, with the exception of religious works in the narrow sense of the word: acts of charity, theology, missionary service, church architecture, and religious service.
Other religions that are not given to asceticism, such as Islam and Protestantism, modified the ideal of sanctity, broadening it and, at the same time, lowering it, making it more accessible, more popular, even going so far as to require the observance of commandments vis-a-vis God, the state, one’s neighbor, one’s family, and, lastly, oneself. It should be emphasized that neither one nor the other group of religions set themselves the task of transforming society, let alone nature.

It was only natural that such tasks were finally advocated by secular teachings, though in an extremely simplistic form. (more…)

 

Highly insightful: why it’s so hard to become happy, what is dramatically wrong in our child-care and how to overcome it June 23, 2010

There are very few books that can deliver some truly fresh, insightful information. Most of the things have been repeated for ages. One of this rare, uniquely insightful books is “The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost” by Jean Liedloff. (1975)
 
Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is.
And that is:
  • the aggressiveness is NOT in a human nature, and even children may never fight! “Not only did they not fight, they never even argued. This is not at all what we have been taught human nature is — boys will be boys. So I thought well maybe, boys won’t be boys.”
  • every human being is born as a happy, confident, stable personality. “Society is unpleasant, dangerous, unhappy, alienated, and unstable because in childhood our nature — being confident, joyous and loving — has been undermined and we simply live the way we are expected to. What we believe is what we make our experience into. And what we believe is what we have been taught to believe by our parents and our experiences.”
Jean Liedloff claims that it all our problems can be traced back to the general misconduct of child-care and upbringing. We’ve got disconnected to the natural/true method ages ago, no wonder the evolution has taken a somewhat weong track…
She discovers that the basic difference in what the indigenous people do and we don’t – is the so called “in-arms period”: from the birth till the baby starts crawling, a mother carries it 24 hours a day on her body (including sleeping in one bed). A child gets an enormous dose of security and happiness, since there is nothing more important and beautiful for it than the mother.
 
 Let’s have a look at the common practice in the modern Western childbirth and child-care. A baby experiences: (more…)
 

Human beings are programed by evolution to believe in some super being March 19, 2010

Human beings are programed by evolution to believe in some super being, because it gives them a better chance at survival, researchers have claimed. This conclusion was arrived at by Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University after an extensive study as quoted by the Times.

An unusual experiment, conducted by Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Bristol, demonstrating that even the most rational people behave in irrational ways, became one of the star features at this year’s British Association Festival of Science. Professor Hood conducted the experiment to argue that scientists’ efforts to combat ‘irrational’ beliefs are ultimately futile.

To demonstrate his theory, Professor Hood asked members of the festival audience, if they were prepared to try on an old fashioned blue cardigan in return for a £10 reward. After receiving no shortage of volunteers, he then told the volunteers that the cardigan used to belong to Fred West, the mass murderer. On hearing this most of the volunteers put their hands down. Though a few did try it on, others moved away from them. In fact, the cardigan had not belonged to Fred West. The experiment demonstrated that the belief that it had, made even the most rational of people feel uncomfortable.Professor Hood said: “It is as if evil, a moral stance defined by culture, has become physically manifest inside the clothing.”

“Similar beliefs, which are held even among the most sceptical scientists, explain why few people would agree to swap their wedding rings for identical replicas. The difference between attaching significance to sentimental objects and believing in religion, magic or the paranormal is only one of degree. These tendencies are almost certainly a product of evolution. The human mind is adapted to reason intuitively, so that it can generate theories about how the world works even when mechanisms cannot be seen or easily deduced….Because we operate intuitively, it is pointless to get people to abandon their belief systems because they operate at such a fundamental level that no amount of rational evidence or counter-evidence is going to be taken on board to get people to abandon these ideas.” (more…)

 

The vision: The Rose of the World as a new global social system February 25, 2010

There exists an entity that for many centuries has proclaimed itself the lone, steadfast unifier of all people, shielding them from the danger of all-out warfare and social chaos. That entity is the state. Since the end of the tribal period, the state has been of vital necessity at every historical stage. Even hierocracies, which attempted to replace it with religious rule, simply became variations of the selfsame state. The state bonded society together on the principle of coercion, and the level of moral development necessary to bond society together on some other principle was beyond reach. Of course, it has been beyond reach even until now, and the state has remained the only proven means against social chaos. But the existence of a higher order of moral principles is now becoming evident, principles capable not only of maintaining but also of increasing social harmony. More important, methods for accelerating the internalization of such principles are now taking shape.

In the political history of modern times, one can distinguish two international movements diametrically opposed to one another. One of them aims for the hypertrophy of state power and an increase in the individual’s dependence on the state. To be more exact, this movement seeks to bestow ever greater power on the person or organization in whose hands the state apparatus lies: the Party, the Army, the Leader. Fascist and national socialist states are the most obvious examples of such movements.
The other movement, which appeared at least as far back as the eighteenth century, is the humanist. Its origins and major stages are English parliamentarianism, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, German social democracy, and in our days, the struggle for liberation from colonialism. The long-range goal of the movement is to weaken the bonding principle of coercion in the life of the people and transform what is largely a police state defending race or class interests into a system based on overall economic equilibrium and a guarantee of individual rights…
History has also witnessed examples of novel political arrangements that might appear to be hybrids of the two movements. Remaining in essence phenomena of the first type, they alter their appearance to the extent expedient for the achievement of their set goal. This is a tactic, a deception, but nothing more.
Nevertheless, despite the polarity of these movements, they are linked by one trait characteristic of the twentieth century: global ambitions. The ostensible motivation of the various twentieth century movements can be found in their political blueprints, but the underlying motivation in modern history is the instinctive pursuit of global dominion….

Taking advantage of that fact, despotic regimes systematically actualize the principle of extreme coercion or partly camouflage it with a cunning blend of methods. The tempo of life is accelerating. Monolithic states are emerging that earlier would have taken centuries to erect. Each is predatory by nature, each strives to subjugate humanity to its sole rule. The military and technological power of these states boggles the mind. They have already more than once plunged the world into war and tyranny. Where is the guarantee that they will not do so again in the future? In the end, the strongest will conquer the globe, even at the cost of turning a third of the world’s surface into a moonscape. The cycle of wars will then come to an end, but only to be replaced by the greatest of evils: a single dictatorship over the surviving twothirds of the world. At first it will perhaps be an oligarchy. But, as often happens, eventually a single Leader will emerge. The threat of a global dictatorship—this is the deadliest of all threats hanging over humanity… (more…)

 

Who needs an extra dose of oxytocin? February 19, 2010

 

Another interesting discovery helps us to realize that the roots of many problems may totally differ from our ideas about them.

If you dislike most people you meet, it may simply lay in… the lack of oxytocin! Check out what a study says:

“A chemical best known for cementing the bond between a mother and her newborn child could also play a part in social behaviour. A new study shows that men and women who inhale a whiff of the hormone oxytocin rate strangers as more attractive.

When oxytocin courses through our blood, “we are more likely to see people we don’t know in a more positive light,” says Angeliki Theodoridou, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who led the new study.This effect adds to the hormone’s known role in human relationships. One study found that oxytocin levels spike after new mothers look at or touch their newborns and may help bonding.

Other work has hinted at the importance of oxytocin in social situations between adults too. People administered the hormone make overly generous offers in an economic game that measures trust, while men who got a dose of oxytocin proved better at remembering the faces of strangers a day later, compared to subjects who got a placebo.

In the latest trial, Theodoridou’s team tested 96 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. After participants got either a spritz of oxytocin or a placebo, they rated pictures of 48 men and women for attractiveness and 30 for trustworthiness. (more…)

 

 
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