This post continues with the same subject that I’ve been discussing on my blog, the Geopolitical Tectonic Shift (TGTS). I used the term myself (only privately), as did Putin and half a dozen or so commentators – each independently as far as I know. But that was about six months ago. I haven’t seen it since.
This is odd, because it’s hard to imagine a major tsunami rolling in and someone shouting the news to all the people nearby, who all shrug and go back to whatever they were doing. Paul Craig Roberts has a great word for that – insouciance, which refers to the most common response to the insane things that are happening. Kind of like saying “whatever” or that great mantra of Mad Magazine, “What, me worry?”
I have a friend who succumbed to clinical depression after Israel started the Gaza Genocide. This is a more human, more genuine response to that and so much else that’s going on, than insoucience – hundreds of millions of people choosing to stick their heads in the sand rather than face reality.
Everything that’s happening shares the same context, which is TGTS. It’s the underlying process and everything else is a plethora of symptoms, manifestations, consequences.. not to mention a mountain of outright silliness.
So what is TGTS? It refers to the final death throes of the 500 year old Western European Empire. The West is sinking. Meanwhile the East, the Rest of the World (RoW), the 85%, is rising, coalescing around the initiative originating in Russia and China, the BRICs+ – the multipolar world that is rapidly eclipsing the hegemony of the USraeli Empire, or whatever you want to call it.
The latter is also known as the Golden Billion, or the 15%. That world, which includes the Eurolemmings, appears to be committing suicide by drowning. When they can catch a breath one can hear them bleating America’s pathetic mantra, “Full Spectrum Dominance”. I think I just heard a voice saying something like “antisem..” or whatever. Glug, glug. Lots of luck with that.
I first became aware of all this in the early 70’s, the advent of post-modernism in the universities. Being a buddhist for some years already, I found it amusing. The nature of relative truth was a hot topic of discussion among Mahayana buddhists about 2,000 years ago. In the event, it was resolved that there were two kinds of truth, relative and absolute.
Of course, in the secular, materialistic, intellectual wilderness that currently prevails, the notion of absolute truth is rejected with contempt – sounds too ‘religious’. What the Mahayana buddhists mean by ‘absolute truth’ requires a bit of elucidation.
First of all, what is Relative Truth? What it boils down to is the distinction between This and That. Consider the origin of language. We can presume that the first grunts referred to danger vs ‘it’s OK,’ good to eat vs not good to eat, mommy as opposed to daddy and so forth. Eventually, full blown language evolved, a conceptual process we call ‘thinking.’ Along with that the cortex developed in order to keep up with the demand, so to speak.
The relative truth exists only in the realm of conceptual thought and it requires language. Its monument is Science. Science deals with that which is accessible to the senses, what can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched.
These various manifestations of the material world can then be analyzed, their constituent parts and forces identified and named. And, most importantly, everything gets measured – requiring the assistance of considerable mathematical legerdemain. The parts can then be reconfigured into whatever suits our fancy, the result of which is technology, which takes us Dog only knows where. I guess we’ll find out.
Life, though, consists of a great deal more than the aforementioned realm of science, which has very clear subject matter – in a word, ‘stuff.’ We speak of Body, Speech and Mind. Stuff, the domain of science, is Body. Speech refers to the realm of communication, emotions and relationship, while Mind refers to Space, which accommodates everything else.
As any lab student of behavioral psychology should be able to explain, any sort of stimulus will evoke a reaction, of which there are three primary types: attraction, aversion or disinterest. The colorful language of Tibetan (esoteric) buddhism uses the terms Passion, Aggression and Ignorance, the Three Poisons. This is the basis of ordinary, universal neurosis. The transformation of these emotional energies into the Three Wisdoms is the Path to Enlightenment, not to be undertaken lightly.
Having understood that an emotional reaction is prior to and gives rise to a thought (a process driven by habitual patterns) we can go back to what is prior to the emotional response. It’s referred to as ‘things as they are,’ aka the Absolute Truth.
Kant took a shot at it with his “Ding an Sich.” Being a philosopher, he managed to construct a whole intellectual edifice based on that thought, which, like all Western philosophy, is of interest only to other philosophers. The Glasperlenspiel and all that. Absolute truth, then, is reality as it is prior to the act of perception.
What the Path consists of is practice and study, undoing what is a necessary stage of individual development, the construction of the Ego, a process that is essentially completed around the age of seven. This allows us to develop a relationship with others and with the world, not to mention ourselves. Let’s call it the pupa stage.
It is a necessary illusion. The ego relies on a perception of ourselves as independent, autonomous, solid, continuous, permanent entities separate from everyone and everything else, as if we were encased in some sort of vacuum chamber, or perhaps like the daydream of the rich and powerful, which envisions – when the balloon goes up – taking off in a spaceship to the moon or Dog only knows where, an environment where there’s no longer anything actually life sustaining.
It is vital to point out that there is nothing that we can do to re-engineer TGTS, any more than we can prevent any large scale geological process like a volcano from exploding or two continental plates from rubbing against one another. What we actually can and, perforce, must do is the subject of Part 2, ‘What Do We Do about it?’ Coming right up..