Monthly Archives: March 2013

Truth or convention?

How much truth is in the use of the word “conventional”?

This is the word implying tried-and-true, trusted and assumed to be truth because it’s been in use for a long time by a lot of people, the conservative position to take if you want to be safe and well and don’t want to be risky or experimental.

A bit of etymology…..

“CONVENTION” (origin):

1375–1425; late Middle English convencio ( u ) n  (< Middle French ) < Latin conventiōn - agreement, literally, a coming together.

“CONVENTIONAL” (modern meanings):

adjective of “convention”
1. following the accepted customs and proprieties, esp in a way
that lacks originality: conventional habits
2. established by accepted usage or general agreement
3. of or relating to a convention or assembly

To me we are using the word “conventional” in a mixed-up way that is not true to its intended meaning.

What we NOW call ‘conventional’ medicine, agriculture, religion, education, culture and behaviour contain much that is toxic, harmful, risky, overly-complex, separative and stressful, much that is experimental conducted and enforced by the few for power over the many. But they take for themselves the label “conventional” to con us into complying and choosing them over the so-called ‘alternatives’ – which are often our established healthy traditions that would complement the new ‘conventional’ if allowed to. More fools, us.

Modern medicine

A great example of the abuse of the term ‘conventional’ is in modern medicine, which should properly be called ‘allopathic medicine’ as it is only one branch of medicine. It is continually using new methods and can hardly be called lacking in originality. Also, there is a trend of proliferation of new drugs and technologies that ultimately prove to be harmful, and are certainly NOT tried-and-true or free of risk. However it has become the accepted usage in developed countries, partly by supplanting what was once the globally accepted usage and still is by much of humanity, ie the so-called ‘alternative and complementary medicines’ which are actually founded on traditional or once-conventional medicines.

I dispute that the way modern medicine rules today is by ‘general agreement’. My feeling is that this ‘agreement’ has been increasingly pushed and enforced by a small elite of vested interests, to the exclusion of traditions that most of us would have preferred to continue to use in conjunction with modern medical technology. We have become so used to feeling that there is only one choice that we give away our power and responsibility to the medical system, sometimes to our detriment. We no longer discern what is right for us, nor strive to make changes to our lifestyles that include traditional forms of health and healing plus the new knowledge available in diet, nutrition, exercise, energy and self-mastery in various forms. When we try to, we come up against great resistance from the modern medical system. I’m not denying we have progressed technologically and we have many amazing inventions and treatments to help us survive the mess we’ve created for ourselves. But our truly conventional wisdom is largely missing from modern medicine, which is guilty of denigrating everything that falls outside its increasingly exclusive scope.

I’ve always been a great supporter of combining ‘the best of the old with the best of the new’ and throwing out the worst of both!

Let’s look at some more examples of supposedly ‘conventional’ practices….

Modern agriculture

Modern agriculture is now ‘chemical agribusiness’ and is very dehumanizing, toxic and destructive, precipitating unexpected consequences at an alarming rate. Not only that, it’s no longer about looking after people’s food supply; it’s about corporations taking ownership of land, food and water in order to control the global population economically, psychologically and physically. This toxic modern agriculture has imbued itself thoroughly with the idea of it being ‘conventional’ but check out just one example of this trap in this video.

Modern education

Modern education is largely toxic and damaging. Children are forced, pushed to exhaustion, made to compete against each other and their parents, and programmed to be nice little robots who comply with the other systems herein mentioned, while thinking we have infinite choice. Yes we have accumulated great factual knowledge, but, as in the case of medicine, we have lost the love and connection out of it, lost the sense of proportion, and lost the wisdom needed for its right use.

Modern religion

Likewise modern religion (‘modern’ here meaning the last few thousand years – it’s been in a mess for arguably longer.) It has kept us tied up in unwieldy, separative dogma, empty rituals, unequal power distribution, and controlled by fear and comparison. It’s become a political machine that keeps us worrying, fighting, denying, rebelling and feeling inadequate, disconnected from our inner divine selves, humanity, God and our planet. Those who rule religion know precisely what they are doing, beginning with the total corruption of the meaning of the word ‘religion’ itself!

Modern culture and behaviour

Modern culture and behaviour include the widespread habits of consuming toxic drugs like alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, chocolate and their illegal buddies; of many other forms of self-harm; of competing and ‘beating’ others in sports and games; of disrespect and violence in relationships and against the female gender in particular; of excessive consumption, waste and disregard of the Earth; of greed and selfishness, and of uncontrolled emotion.

Yuk to all the above!

Coming back to truth

By the original sense of the word, and coming back with honesty to what we know deep within is true, the ‘conventionals’ would change, being the best of the old and the best of the new (without the worst of either).

Modern medicine

Medicine would be holistic mind, body and soul, using on a great scale the choices we make for our bodies as medicine, complementary to and extended by the least harmful of allopathic technological medicine. We would return to our original awareness of connectedness and oneness, and our way of living as an essential part of healing and the maintenance of wellbeing. We would simply incorporate whatever truly beneficial new things come along, after discerning their integrity, safety and effectiveness.

Modern agriculture

Agriculture would be truly ‘organic’ and earth-friendly, meaning without the use of toxic chemicals that damage life. It would incorporate a complex ecosystem of humans living on their land and deeply understanding it. We’d be once again rotating crops, resting fields, blending the care of livestock, water and soil with wildlife and native vegetation together in harmony. Modern technology, as in the case of medicine, would only be incorporated gradually once proven safe for the health of all living beings on the planet and the soil, air and water on which we depend.

Modern education

Education would be having our children with us while they are young; loved and cherished for who they are not what they do, participating naturally in the entire life and activities of home and community. Modern knowledge would be an addition to, not a replacement for, the natural loving learning of children in a supportive environment.

Modern religion

Religion would be simple connection to our inner Divine truth and the joy of living in harmony and love with others and the planet. We would have no need whatsoever for the churches and their massive properties, investments, riches, rituals and bureaucracies.

Modern culture and behaviour

Culture and behaviour would be living in the above self-loving, humanity-loving, earth-loving ways, so there would be no overall differences among people anywhere in the world. There would only be differences in regional details fitted to the local land and climate. No one would denigrate anyone else’s way, as it would be sensible and logical for each group to live in their local way. And freely relating to and visiting others anywhere on the globe, taking our same level of loving, respectful livingness with us.

Some say I’m a dreamer, idealist or romantic, and scoff at me to ‘get realistic’. Well so-called ‘reality’ hasn’t been working very well has it? Label me and those who agree by whatever name you will. I feel that we all know these loving, harmonious ways within, they ARE our true reality, and how we have been living is not. Can’t you feel the shift? We are returning slowly but surely to our true selves, even if it is not apparent overall at this time.

Truth – create your own!

Truth and Pretending

Child games

Kids are great at truth. However, remember Bunglewazzerwhen you’re a little kid how you get together with other
kids and set up a game to terrify yourselves with?
My younger brother and I did it with a toy my
grandfather gave me when I was about 4 years old.
He had called it “The Bunglewazzer”. It was a weird-looking, wind-up, metal bird with red and yellow-striped legs, that made grinding noises as it walked. We would position it near the door of my bedroom pointed our way, wind it up, and then go jump on
my bed and hide under the covers gasping and screaming in (genuine) terror of this nightmarish
monster coming toward us. We were in such a state! We were really scared!

What we were doing was imagining and creating a
scenario but then switching into pretending that the scenario was self-existent and that we were victims
of it, and being thrilled and stimulated by the fear and other emotions arising from our reactions to that scenario. In short, we were purposely deluding ourselves in order to feel intense emotion.

Adult games

If you go back and look at many events in your life, as I’m doing now, not just childhood fantasy games but adult scenarios too, you find (if you’re honest) that we do this ALL THE TIME. We set ourselves up for emotional situations and then react and get stimulated, thinking we are victims of circumstances, not the creators of our own lives. We are like children, deluding ourselves, making ourselves not responsible for what’s going on. Worse, unlike children, we have conveniently “forgotten” that we do it.

So I ask myself, in my quest for Truth, is my forgetting that I already had it, a self-deluding creation? Was I so deluded that, unlike in the childhood games, I was not even aware that I was intentionally deluding myself? From where I’m standing now, I say: yes. I was deluding myself. I was unconsciously choosing to deny that I held the Truth inside me and knew all I needed to know, and instead I was creating a life of ups and downs, thrills and spills, of which I was the hapless victim or the happy recipient, depending on the tone of the circumstances and whether I’d convinced myself I had any control over the situations or not.

Living a lie

In this setting, even the Quest For Truth is a lie. Most of the things I tried, the places I went, the love affairs, the adventures, the excitement, the mind-altering substances, the spiritual practices, the intellectual pursuits, the poetry, the art, were the fantasy games of one self-deluded and not taking responsibility for expressing my own Truth. In my defence… no, crummy choice of words….. rather, to be fair to myself, everything I have done in my life has been based on a conscious awareness that I was striving, by my ethics, by my actions, by my choices, by my words, by my treatment of myself and others, to the best of my ability, to live and to be Truth, Love, and Service to Humanity. And often messing up and feeling awful and guilty about it. BUT the biggest problem was that the way I went about it, notwithstanding the best I could do, was a product of the materials available, in other words, a society that’s set up to NOT ALLOW anyone to know and be and live their INNER MOST TRUTH. So even most of my apparently good choices, were made in a way that meant they were doomed to produce problems down the track.

The answer: awareness!

Now at least, having become aware of this process, I can check my own agenda as I go, though awareness is always a work in progress. If I see myself running old patterns to spice things up, I can take evasive action!

My search for Truth – beginnings

When did my search for Truth begin?

Truth: my search began in every moment that I forgot I already had it. Forgetting must be a choice. And in that choosing to forget, I was setting myself up for a life of not-truth-fully searching, despite my intention to do so, and belief that I was.

And I was searching for…..? A truth that would stay true.

One time when my search for Truth consolidated in my mind was when I’d said:
“I dedicate myself to Truth.”
The year was 1997 and I was 42 years old, standing on a box in front of a big photograph of a deceased guru in his ashram in India. (How I came to visit there is another story.) It was during a workshop called “Transforming Power” about the victim-tyrant games that people play. Near the end the students were asked to get up onto the box, look at the photo, and speak out loud to dedicate themselves to the guru. I’ve never been into following gurus and was not about to dedicate myself to any! Plus it did not feel right, and I knew I was not going to say it. I got up on the box because I wanted to speak my truth. Uncannily the photo seemed alive, the eyes watching me, and I did not like the feel of that either. I spoke from my heart: “I dedicate myself to Truth.” After I got off the box things went from bumpy to even bumpier with the three facilitators. I had gotten on their wrong side during the workshop when I’d stayed true to my own healing path, not complying with everything they wanted me to do. Now they were noticeably cold and hostile. I found that pretty amazing, given that, if asked what would be their highest ideal and goal, it would probably be the quest for Truth!