Netstorms

Conscious Creative Community

Category: Consciousness (Page 1 of 3)

A Certain Perception

I wrote the following as a comment elsewhere and (as is my wont) I’m reposting here:

The IHRA ‘definition’ has it that:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non- Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The proposition here is that antisemitism is not equivalent to antipathy towards Jews (though it may be expressed as such) it is a ‘certain perception of Jews’ but that perception is not described and therefore has no gives no information and therefore cannot define anything.

Nevertheless this ‘definition’ has been adopted by the Labour party. Since it is empty of meaning examples were necessary to give it any utility. I understand that the NEC found four of the eleven IHRA examples problematic and made ammendments. The four examples are: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

To take just one of these examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” This is problematic because it could be taken to deny expression of a legitimate interpretation that the founding of the state of Israel, by priveliging one ethnic group over another and through its implementation was a racist endeavour. It could also be taken to deny expression of the thought that the current policies and practices of the state of Israel are racist. It might be argued that the wording does not deny these expressions as it concerns itself with the existence of the State of Israel not with its founding or its policies and practices but what expression does it then deny? Mere existence cannot be said to be an endeavour at all let alone a ‘racist endeavour’; existence is a precondition to any endeavour. Phrasing such as this can be taken to mean very little or very much. It is correct to say that the definition with its examples is not fit for purpose if that purpose is sanctioning antisemitic racism while protecting the right to speak freely against oppression and injustice wherever and by whomever it is perpetrated.

It is the right of any autonymous organisation or community to determine how, subject to national laws, it is governed internally. It is the duty of such organisations to apply due diligence to the adoption of guidelines. To abrogate that responsibility to outside bodies would be a dereliction of duty on the part of elected officers.

Always Be A Unicorn

To be a unicorn is to acknowledge that you are magical and that the world is magical. And, since this is true, being yourself is being a unicorn.

Being magical doesn’t mean that the world is always safe or that things magically go your way, it’s just that you know that even in the darkest of times, a light abides, and everything turns out well, even if you die.

Unicorns represent purity and the unicorn’s magic is only present to the extent of your purity. This is not intended to be moralistic, I’m not suggesting that you have to be an unsullied virgin or anything like that but you definitely need to be in harmony with yourself. As the song says ‘guilty feet have got no rhythm’, and magic is all about sensing, and weaving, harmonies and rhythms.

Be yourself. Be a unicorn.

Notes on June 2017

I’ve not posted here for a while but I have posted a lot to Facebook. June has been an eventful month.

June 5th

In the early hours of the morning we heard a short series of loud bangs but thought little of it. Going downstairs a little while ago I noticed that the window pane above the front door was broken. I went outside. Most of the broken glass had fallen there rather than inside. A short stretch of the road including my house is cordonned off by a tape on one side and a police van on the other.

I spoke to a police officer who said that people were trying to get into a house a little way down from us and the method they used caused reverberations that had damaged glass on a few properties. He said he could get a company to board up the window but that we would have to pay for it. Although the officer did not say this directly I suspect that it was the police who used this method to break into the house he mentioned. The fact that he apologised for the damage reinforces my suspicion.

I tried to find out more about what had happened but the officer did not seem willing to give further details. He said that there was nothing to be worried about and it was not what I was thinking. Since I was not thinking about anything much at the time beyond what to do about the window there must have been a fault in his mind reading techniques.
This is a minor inconvienience and I hope a minor expense but I want to know if anything similiar has been happening elsewhere in Newham – especially given the police incident in Barking Road yesterday.

I posted the above to Facebook. Only later getting more of the story from the Newham Recorder website.

June 9th

Congratulations to the people of the UK. We have passed the collective intelligence test.

Congratulations to all the Labour Party members and supporters who have worked so hard for this result.

Congratulations to the awesome Jeremy Corbyn who contrary to all of the negatives that have been said about him has been a dream of a leader.

We may have lost on points, but when everyone expects you to be bleeding on the ground and you’re still standing and the ‘winner’ looks in a worst state than you are, that’s a victory in my book.

Let’s take a moment to clean up, have a modest celebration, and then start preparing for the rematch.

Never lose the momentum!

June 11th

A reflection –

It was the first time I had done this. Standing outside the polling station on Thursday handing out leaflets for the Labour party or any party. I had joined Labour in 2015 as a registered supporter specifically to vote for Jeremy and joined as a full member within 24 hours of him being elected. I joined the pro-Corbyn group, Momentum and attended ward meetings. Earlier this year I became secretary for my ward.

What attracted me to JC can be summarised in three words. Honesty, Humility and Humanity. I think that is what attracted most of us and what is still attracting new members.
I’ve heard some people say, since this whole thing began, that Jeremy is a nice guy, but he’s not a leader. I’ve heard them say that he has no charisma. Which is really weird because I can’t see how it can be said of someone who pulls the crowds and inspires the near adoration that Jeremy does, that they are not a leader and are not charismatic. I can only suppose that a lot of people just see leaders as having characteristics that are quite opposite to Jeremy’s. They believe that leaders must be, of necessity, mendacious, arrogant and cruel. This is surely why Theresa May’s boast that she would not hesitate to launch a nuclear strike that kills hundreds of thousands is treated as normal while Corbyn’s refusal to say that he would do this is presented as extraordinary by the press and even disqualifying for a leader.

But Jeremy Corbyn’s personal characteristics and socialist beliefs and his persistence in them, are just one part of the Corbyn phenomena. Something deeper is at play. The crowds that are drawn to Corbyn, his supporters on many Facebook groups, the people giving the thumbs up and smiling and crossing fingers as they leave the polling station. It is as though they are part of a conspiracy of hope, indeed a conspiracy of hope, faith and love. Corbyn has become a catalyst for a change, not just political change, but a change in consciousness.
Many people have commented that Jeremy has maintained a campaigning schedule that would overtax even a much younger man. While he is undoubtedly robust and fit for his age there is something else at play here that is actually quite obvious. He is feeding off the energy of his supporters even as he feeds them inspiration. Preaching to the converted? Of course he is. It is exactly what Corbyn needs to be doing right now and it’s what we need in order to cohere as the political community that we need to be. He may be preaching to the converted but the converted are coming together in larger numbers all the time and we are all converting others. We all have stories of family and friend we have brought onboard.

One day the movement will grow beyond Jeremy and I think beyond its current host, the Labour Party. That day is not today and I pray it is not in a near tomorrow. Whenever that day is we will not go back to a leadership that is mendacious, arrogant and cruel. Corbyn’s legacy and ours will be that we have redefined leadership as being essentially about honesty, humility and humanity, about being a servant rather than a master of the many.

That we did not win a majority of seats on Thursday is not, for me, a disappointment. We have won a significant moral victory. The path forward is full of obstacles but we have a sense of our own strength now, we know who we are, we know who our adversaries are and they know who we are. Things are clearer now.

June 15th

The BBC Website gives the facts about the Grenfell Tower tragedy

June 16th

Rapper Lowkey witnessed the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Akala says “The people who died and lost their homes, this happened to them because they are poor.”

It is impossible to deny that they died because they were poor, because our leaders did not care enough to care about their job of protecting all of us, serving all of us.

June 18th

Jonathan Pie talks about ‘cladding over poverty’.

“It is a bold decision and one that affords Mrs May the opportunity to become as dominant a figure on the political stage as Margaret Thatcher was 30 years ago… she is right to call an election.” – Daily Telegraph editorial, 18 April

“It was always a gamble to call a snap election and Theresa May’s decision to do so was particularly surprising in view of her innate caution… Rarely has a prime minister made such a calamitous misjudgement.” – Daily Telegraph editorial, 10 June

This is a delicious article. So is this.

https://medium.com/@josholdham/the-media-were-wrong-dce593caeaff

They underestimated Corbyn and they also underestimated the British people. I did not. A confession. I bet £20 that Labour would win. I lost. I also bet £20 on no overall majority. I won £300. Not advocating gambling though.

June 21st

Negotiations on the country’s exit from the European Union have now started in Brussels, but Theresa May’s government does not seem to have the first clue about its objectives and how to reach them, according to several European columnists.

Source

This article basically says that we’re in a mess with Brexit and have no idea what we’re doing. Britain was doing okay under the amiable lightweight Cameron until he threw it away with the referendum; now we have a speaking robot and Boris Johnson. We have no plan and should be grateful that the EU negotiators are looking out for us more than we are looking out for ourselves.
My own feeling is that when faced with a seemingly binary either-or choice, a neither-and choice often appears, as in ‘I choose to stand paralysed between these unacceptable choices’ or ‘I will take both please’. Although we may seem paralysed at the moment, this is not an option. It is however an option, as in any relationship, to say something along the lines of ‘while we cannot stay together with things as they are, it is possible to change things in ways that are mutually beneficial but that we never explored because we didn’t seriously think it would come to this’. Negotiations are then framed as being about redefining the relationship rather than about leaving or staying. Effectively negotiations have to be about this anyway but framing it in a way that is cooperative rather than competitive means that we are more likely to get a result that we want rather than one that nobody wants. Oh, and something else, before going into any negotiation, cooperative or competitive, it’s a really good idea to know what we want. We don’t. We should tell the EU we need time to ‘get our head together’ and then have a second snap election in autumn where parties keep their current manifestos but prepare a ‘Renegotiating Europe’ manifesto. Then, and only then, will any party have a clear mandate for a clear vision.

June 23rd

NATO to be sued by Serbia for the use of depleted uranium during the illegal bombing of that country in 1999.

I don’t know anything about Horstel or his other policies but it is rare to hear a western politician speak the truth about Syria as this man does.

June 24th

Paul Mason speaks to Progress. Seems about time someone was clear that some things are simply incompatible with the values a decent Labour Party should have, supporting illegal wars is definitely one of those things.

“If it’s important to you to have a pro-Remain party that is in favour of illegal war, in favour of privatisation, form your own party and get on with it!”

Kate Tempest at Glastonbury telling concert goers the social truth in her own uniquely passionate way.

“Stop stability. Meanwhile suicide is increasing, more rough sleepers, ugly words in public places, fear and doubt and all the racists have come out to show their faces. Under May there is a gulf that separates us and it seems to get a little wider every day.

“Now watch her pray on every tragedy. Divide, divide and frenzy up the nastiness….

“If this is strength then we are all f***d.”

Jeremy Corbyn’s reception at Glastonbury is simply amazing. Corbyn is unique as a politician. He can be seen as the manifestation of a collective will to create a better world.

Kate Tempest’s Progress

Jo Cox

I was shocked and am really saddened by Jo Cox’s death. A few weeks ago I and others were angry at her public remarks about Jeremy, but now I feel regret, not for the disagreement but because the potential for her continuing to work with us has been taken away forever. However dysfunctional it is at times, the Labour Party seems more like a family than a corporation. When a family member dies we regret arguments we may have had and harsh words said and it no longer matters who was right or wrong, we remember the great things about them, and for a while at least we remember that we are a family.

I don’t know much about Jo but I know that despite her differences with Jeremy she was one of the handful of MP’s who nominated him in order to ‘widen the debate’ and without that choice we would not have this remarkable leader. I will always be grateful to her for that.

Jo clearly had a commitment to open debate and an ability to listen to opinions differing from her own while wanting to state her own robustly. If there is any lesson to be learnt from her death it must be that we need to be tolerant of views that diverge from our own, we need to make people feel safe in expressing those views knowing that while there may be robust challenge it will always be in the form of ideas and arguments rather than invective and violence.

Donovan Livingston’s Speech

A Deeply Immoral Rogue State

I think this is very important .. Here is a former British diplomat urging Scots to vote for independence. I don’t believe that this would have been a good thing but the reasons that he gives are worth listening to. Murray unequivocally labels Britain a ‘deeply immoral .. rogue state’. He says:

“I as a British diplomat saw all the internal memos that went through that decision. I used to be the head of the FCO unit that monitored Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. I know for certain I can tell you they knew there weren’t any. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a lie…

..I’ve seen it on the inside. It’s almost always about control of resources.

…The system stinks. Westminster stinks. British Government is deeply, deeply immoral. They don’t care how many people they kill abroad if it advances them.

..[Britain is] a rogue state. A state prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy.”

The war launched on Iraq was based on obvious and known lies, as was the campaign against Libya and the support for terrorists in Syria. These actions have caused the death of millions and a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions in the Middle East but we still think our government is morally credible.

We should not define and divide ..

We should not define and divide ourselves by where we live, by race, religion, gender or sexual preference. No book is ‘holy’ or ‘infallible’, no people are ‘chosen’, no nation is ‘indispensable’.

C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

SOUFFLE DE BIRAGO DIOP
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des ancêtres.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire
Et dans l’ombre qui s’épaissit.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans l’Arbre qui frémit,
Ils sont dans le Bois qui gémit,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui coule,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui dort,
Ils sont dans la Case, ils sont dans la Foule :
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres morts,
Qui ne sont pas partis
Qui ne sont pas sous la Terre
Qui ne sont pas morts.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans le Sein de la Femme,
Ils sont dans l’Enfant qui vagit
Et dans le Tison qui s’enflamme.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans le Feu qui s’éteint,
Ils sont dans les Herbes qui pleurent,
Ils sont dans le Rocher qui geint,
Ils sont dans la Forêt, ils sont dans la Demeure,
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres.
Il redit chaque jour le Pacte,
Le grand Pacte qui lie,
Qui lie à la Loi notre Sort,
Aux Actes des Souffles plus forts
Le Sort de nos Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Le lourd Pacte qui nous lie à la Vie.
La lourde Loi qui nous lie aux Actes
Des Souffles qui se meurent
Dans le lit et sur les rives du Fleuve,
Des Souffles qui se meuvent
Dans le Rocher qui geint et dans l’Herbe qui pleure.
Des Souffles qui demeurent
Dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire et s’épaissit,
Dans l’Arbre qui frémit, dans le Bois qui gémit
Et dans l’Eau qui coule et dans l’Eau qui dort,
Des Souffles plus forts qui ont pris
Le Souffle des Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Des Morts qui ne sont pas partis,
Des Morts qui ne sont plus sous la Terre.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

BIRAGO DIOP
“Spirits”
“Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the sighs of the bush;
This is the ancestors breathing.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in the darkness that grows lighter
And in the darkness that grows darker.
The dead are not down in the earth;
They are in the trembling of the trees
In the groaning of the woods,
In the water that runs,
In the water that sleeps,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Listen to things
More often than beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sighing:
This is the breathing of ancestors,
Who have not gone away
Who are not under earth
Who are not really dead.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in a woman’s breast,
In the wailing of a child,
And the burning of a log,
In the moaning rock,
In the weeping grasses,
In the forest and the home.
The dead are not dead.
Listen more often
To Things than to Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind to
The bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors breathing.
Each day they renew ancient bonds,
Ancient bonds that hold fast
Binding our lot to their law,
To the will of the spirits stronger than we
To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,
Whose covenant binds us to life,
Whose authority binds to their will,
The will of the spirits that stir
In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,
The breathing of spirits
Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.
Spirits inhabit
The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,
The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,
The water that runs and the water that sleeps:
Spirits much stronger than we,
The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,
Of the dead who are not really gone,
Of the dead now no more in the earth.
Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors, breathing.”
–Birago Diop

Goodnight.

It is strange to write about something so profound as my mother’s death on a public website. I have said little so far, only the statement I made on Facebook on Friday 9th October:

The passing of my mother in the early hours of this morning has left me with a sense of loss that will deepen over the next few days and weeks as I am reminded of her by the absence of our familiar routines. Nevertheless I feel enormously blessed that she was such an important and positive part of my life for so long, that her illness was brief, her suffering slight and that I was present to see her off on her journey home. I am grateful too for Sandy who by my side throughout, for family and friends who shared the loss and to those on FB who have offered condolences after seeing Sandy’s posts.

I’m posting this here because I can’t write deeply about the non-personal and less personal without writing about or at least touching upon what is deep in my personal life. Right now I can’t do more than touch on my feelings and I wish to say and share no more in public than this ‘goodnight’.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén