US Presidential Elections

Now it's ... 2016

Please, Mr. Trump! Dispel the rumors. Have your head examined by a qualified non-partial medical professional so we can have the assurance going forward that you are qualified and have your head on straight. 

Oh, yes. Mr. Cruz, while you are having the Supreme Court decide on your eligibility as a candidate, perhaps your mother can show her birth certificate. Mr. Obama ... we're still waiting.

Now, for some fresh meaty ... Wrambling ...

The election when I was first eligible to vote for the President was 1964, Goldwater (R.) versus Johnson (D. Incumbent). 

I voted for Goldwater. That's right. Who would admit that? At the time I figured that if we were in a war we should be all in, and Barry was talking like he would get over there 100%. Happily that didn't materialize. 

But, since I come from good blue collar working class auto union roots, I have leaned Democratic ever since.

In the 2008 election it seemed to me that the writing was clearly on the political wall, and — after Bush fils with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Wall Street mess — no way was any Republican going to win the Presidential election. It looked like the party higher ups gave a last hurrah to that old soldier, Senator John McCain. How in the hell Governor Sarah Palin fit into that picture is still a mystery to me. I'd like to get the Senator in a room and hear what he really has to say. But, as in all things, he took it like a man. 

And, it still is. A mystery, that is. Palin? Most recently we have that Lady — who I would call a bimbo except that it would be politically incorrect. Idiot. Fool. Crazy Bitch. Those too. — coming out in high fine style and endorsing Donald J. Trump. Who I would call a whole arm's-length list of not so "nice" names except, again, that would be politically incorrect.

Here's what mystifies me. I seem to live in a world where from my vantage Mr. Trump looks like a bombastic fool. I didn't say that. I've heard others say it. I don't know if it's true. But, if it is, that's a problem. So, it is a problem by definition. Someone said it was a problem. Not me. But, now me. 

I think Mr. Trump should get his head examined, and once and for all dispel the rumors that he is a pumped up, narcissistic, proto-fascist bully and bloviator whose main claim to fame is that he knows how to win ... apparently. Again, not my words. People are saying. Lots of them. 

Mr. Trump, let's clear this up now so that if you do win and become the President of the United States of America it won't show up in the way you manage the affairs of State. Which, if it did, we would all be wearing classy armbands and doing that new dance sensation, the "Goose Step". Let's do the "Trump Tromp". Really classy. 

Of course, The Donald never loses, so it would be a win for him and for the US of A. Right? I think even I can stop thinking now.

Never mind that running a democratic government is different from running a corporation(s). You know those entities who are persons, and where you leave democracy behind as soon as you come through the door. 

So far, he seems to be running on the sole strength that he is a winner. Which, no one can deny. Oh, I guess it would work if I thought of him as Big Daddy, who will go out and do what needs to be done to win for you and me average citizen. I wonder how a man who is pretty much used to having his orders followed unquestioningly will do in the actual political reality of being head of state. Oh, I forgot. He always wins. He'll be great. Enough said.

Are we having a King's New Clothes moment?

I digress.

The thing is I find myself in what seems to be on one side of an issue. There are clearly lots of folks who see Donald J. Trump as the man for the job. I don't get it. How they see that. And, those folks I would bet big don't get how I don't get that. Feels like being on either side of an impenetrable wall. So, then, who paid for that?

That is what I am puzzled about. How could two sets of people be so diametrically opposed in their thinking. Of course, we live in a dualistic world and, as a scholarly friend once advised me, no matter what you say [think] someone can prove you wrong. 

That's the world for you. You can't win. And, after all that ... you die.

I do think I'm on to something about the political divide-wise. I had a sister-in-law once who was from the Bible South. For example ... Eve ate an apple. An actual apple. Period. End of story. No discussion. Not even the slightest interest in having a discussion to understand another point of view. Keep on closing, like a Jehovah's Witness. Right as rain. This apparently does not deter her from eating actual apples, but I think the statute of limitations on that prohibition is probably over. Probably. Wouldn't it be a kick if in her certitude and righteousness she gets turned away at the Pearly Gates for having eaten an apple. And, not just one, but lots. Talk about a rude awakening. And, when it's too late.

Yes, Eve at the apple. Not a scintilla of shading, or metaphor, or meta-meaning. Just a crunchy apple. I assume ... Crunch. The Good Book doesn't go into such aesthetics on that forbidden fruit. It's color, or eating properties. Or, if it would be good in a pie. 

Just saying, we drove over one hundred miles last Fall to buy heirloom apples. One place we stopped at did seem a little hellish.

No. No further discussion needed. Thank you very much. For some it's a clear cut right or wrong proposition. And, when you have God on your side, being right is not just an option, it's a duty. Keep your ammo dry, while you're at it. 

Political-wise then, I think we're looking at something like this. On on side at the extreme end of its spectrum is a group of people with not a trace of irony or appreciation for subtle nuance or deeper meanings. Flatlanders, in the debate over whether the Earth is round.
Only one level of perspective. Can't even imagine any other. And, on the other, those who are given to what's called a more open minded approach. Those who can hold more than one opposing thought in their head at any one time. But — alas — on their own extreme end of the scale they can err in being susceptible to an anything goes Post-Modern relativism. Well, that's what I think, anyway.

So, if you are for Trump, chances are you have stopped reading this way long ago. If you fancy yourself to be progressive ... Vote! "Whatever" is not the kind of political position to stand on when there is a lot of real doing to be done. 

And, as Senator McCain recently suggested, it would be good to hear how Mr. Trump intends to accomplish his goals. And, to be fair, Mr. Sanders ... just how are you going to go about overhauling the system so radically? As necessary as I agree it needs to be. You should know by now that folks to the far right tend not to want to engage in discussion. We've had eight years of Mr. Obama and those who would disagree, obstruct, and negatively criticize him even if he made pizza free to all. Lots of beer too, of course.

There's a book. It's title is "Priests and Politicians ... Mafia of the Soul." While we're being sold on a better future and debating what that future should look like, there's the Present. Right there plain to see. The beauty part is that it is plain to see for everyone. And, it's the same. Truth, as it is said, is true. Needs no proof. No explanation.

Try it. Meditate before you vote. Meditate after. And ... continue. Living in the Present. Now there's a truly radical notion. 

Here's from Noam Chomsky on pretty much the same thing.

Sarah Palin
Here she comes, here she comes. . . Again!


Shade begins to steal the light
Confusion throws another mystery
It's out of focus with the eye
So now you wonder is this just a dream
Here she comes, here she comes
She's gonna cause a sensation now
And just between you and me
I think she'll soon have you temptation bound
Here she comes, here she comes
It's the moment you've been waiting for
See the face and see that smile
You've never seen the likes of her before
Suppose-who knows
She's not above suspicion
Is she-maybe
On some kind of secret mission-better listen
There's still some pieces missing
I sense-I feel
Trust my institution ... don't rush into your decision
Now here's a riddle in a rhyme
If she's the same how come she's different now
The same old eyes but not the shine
You know you're certain but you're full of doubt
Now here she comes, here she comes
She's gonna have you at her beck and call
So why refuse, yeah why contend
When all resistance is impossible
This lady's serious make no mistake
Face to face and eye to eye
She'll cast a spell that you may never break

Chatral Rinpoche, Sangye Dorje

The revered Tibetan Buddhist Master Teacher, Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, passed away on January 5, 2015.

Thomas Merton referred to him as the greatest man he had ever met. In his most movingly glowing homage Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse spoke about the accomplishments of so many others, and yet how “… [They] have achieved next to nothing compared to this man who appears never to have done anything except for keeping his meditation mat from ever getting cold.”

I am contemplating how in a world where such things as doing demonstrably great things, garnering incredible wealth, doing wonderful works of charity, loudly decrying the atrocities being perpetrated, earnestly going about making the world a better place, making that significant difference … that these values go without saying, unquestioned and unexamined, and … how all that stacks up to the kind of greatness which is merely to “… keep[ing] his meditation mat from ever getting cold”.

One wonders whether, on the passing of such a man, the platitude “He’s in a better place” is applicable, or even comprehensible. Or, whether to use the term “RIP” …  should it not be considered woefully inappropriate?

Words of Advice from Chatral Rinpoche

The world lost one of its greatest Tibetan meditation masters and teachers in the past few days, Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, at the age of 103 or 104. Chatral Rinpoche was a teacher’s teacher — a bridge between the great teachers [of] the 19th and early 20th centuries to the teachers of today. His list of students is a Who’s Who of some of the most brilliant and accomplished teachers, mostly in the Tibetan tradition, but beyond it as well — it was he who Thomas Merton referred to as the greatest man he had ever met.

Announced on January 5, 2015:

Another sad news: Chatral Rinpoche, Sangye Dorje has passed away. He lived for over 100 years and was one of the last living disciples of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, Vimalamitra in human form.

He was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. In addition to his relationship with Khenpo Ngagchung, Chatral Rinpoche also studied with some of the last century's most renowned masters, including Dudjom Rinpoche, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, and the famed dakini Sera Khandro. Rinpoche was one of the primary lineage holders of the Longchen Nyingthig, and in particular the lineage that descends through Jigme Lingpa's heart son Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu and then on to Patrul Rinpoche.

He advocated vegetarianism and had a yearly practice of ransoming the lives of thousands of animals in India. In addition to his emphasis on the union of view and conduct, Rinpoche also stressed the practice of retreat. He has established numerous retreat centers throughout the Himalayas, including in Pharping, Yolmo, and Darjeeling.

The highest tribute.

Source: Nyingma Teachings Facebook


I laid on a dune I looked at the sky
When the children were babies and played on the beach
You came up behind me, I saw you go by
You were always so close and still within reach.

Sara, Sara
Whatever made you want to change your mind
Sara, Sara
So easy to look at, so hard to define.

I can still see them playing with their pails in the sand
They run to the water their buckets to fill
I can still see the shells falling out of their hands
As they follow each other back up the hill.

Sara, Sara
Sweet virgin angel, sweet love of my life
Sara, Sara
Radiant jewel, mystical wife.

Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
Drinking white rum in a Portugal bar
Them playing leapfrog and hearing about Snow White
You in the marketplace in Savanna-la-Mar.

Sara, Sara
It's all so clear, I could never forget
Sara, Sara
Loving you is the one thing I'll never regret.

I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells
I'd taken the cure and had just gotten through
Staying up for day in the Chelsea Hotel
Writing "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for you.

Sara, Sara
Wherever we travel we're never apart
Sara, Sara
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart.
How did I meet you ? I don't know
A messenger sent me in a tropical storm
You were there in the winter, moonlight on the snow
And on Lily Pond Lane when the weather was warm.

Sara, Sara
Scorpio Sphinx in a calico dress
Sara, Sara
You must forgive me my unworthiness.

Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore
You always responded when I needed your help
You gimme a map and a key to your door.

Sara, Sara
Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow
Sara, Sara
Don't ever leave me, don't ever go.

Yasuhiko Genku Kimura (Writing on Facebook)
December 31, 2015

A conversation with someone on the subject of victimhood reminded me of an article I wrote in 2009 based on the lecture I had given on forgiveness. Before starting the new year, before starting a new chapter of your life and a new phase of our history, let us forgive and free ourselves from our past:

On Forgiveness

December 20, 2009 at 7:04am

Question: I understand the importance of forgiveness but I find it difficult to forgive some people and myself. How can I forgive?
Answer: The spiritual action that is forgiving is a transformational movement of human consciousness. Forgiveness ultimately means to attain to the state of consciousness in which the act of forgiving as such is rendered unnecessary.
When you are unforgiving, you are simultaneously playing the victim and the judge. You feel convinced that you are right about your judgment and justified about your victimhood. When you feel convinced that you are righteous and justified, it is well-nigh impossible to give up your position of a victim-cum-judge, for you do not see any compelling reason or feel any impelling desire to give it up.
The only problem is that you are bound to experience suffering. Although you feel self-righteous and self-justified, suffering is inherent in unforgivingness because it contains emotional pollutants such as anger, resentment, and sorrow, which beget unceasing internal friction, conflict, and disharmony.
When the victim is the righteous judge who decides the verdict, the verdict is a foregone conclusion—that the perceived perpetrator is guilty and to be condemned. When you are unforgiving of yourself, you feel victimized by your own victimhood and therefore the real perpetrator exists ultimately elsewhere outside you and is other than you.
Victim consciousness is the default mode of human consciousness while ego-logical consciousness is the default program. The human ego thrives on being self-righteous. Hence forgiveness is for many people extremely difficult. They would rather continue to suffer from anger, resentment, or sorrow so long as they can derive an egological pleasure from feeling self-righteous and self-justified.
You have not yet forgiven yourself or others because in your subjective scale the pleasure that you derive from the state of unforgivingness outweighs the suffering that you experience. In fact, as G. I. Gurdjieff used to say, suffering is the last thing that people (are willing to) give up, for the human ego subsists on generated internal friction and no human experience generates internal friction more than and as surely as suffering.
For this reason, militant feminists have never forgiven and never want to forgive men-qua-victimizer and themselves—womanliness as such and womanhood-qua-victimhood. Race-conscious black people have never forgiven and never want to forgive white people-qua-victimizer and themselves—being black-qua-being a victim.
The other side of the story is that men are made to feel guilty or that white people are made to feel guilty. Thus the perceived victimizers become victimized by their victims, and out of their guilty consciousness they do things to appease their guilt and please their victims.
“Politicians” from all walks of life—governments, the media, the academe, the entertainment industry, and the religious/spiritual community—cleverly exploit this psychology of victimhood to achieve their self-serving goals in the name of “compassion,” “empathy,” “social justice,” “(racial or gender) equality,” “the rights,” or “altruism.” This is why I say that politics is “poly (many) ticks (small bloodsucking parasitic bugs, many of which transmit febrile disease).”
What does it mean to forgive? To forgive means to give up your self-righteousness for what is truly right. To forgive means to give up your victimhood for self-responsibility and authenticity. To forgive means to give up your psychological dependency or codependency for spiritual independence and sovereignty. To forgive means to give up the negative pleasure of your suffering for the positive joy of living.
Forgiveness requires a transformational shift in attitude. Forgiveness involves a transformative breaking of karmic patterns and breaking free of samsāra. On “karma” and “samsāra” the great Buddhist scholar Herbert Guenther writes in From Reductionism to Creativity: rDzogs-chen and the New Science of Mind:
In responding to a challenge, an individual not only reacts to, but also acts on, the given situation. This reacting-to and acting-on has been given the code name karma. There is reciprocity between karma and affective processes. The latter severely restrict an individual’s actions and any attempts to restructure his world view. They trap him in samsāra, a term that very aptly suggests running around in circles. Karma reinforces the affective processes, which then quickly decide which actions they will support and perpetuate. It is this combination of headlong actions and affective processes that makes us live out the program termed “a human existence.” It does not, however, leave room for the possibility of individual self-transcendence, which requires a radical change in attitude.
We say that we want to forgive but in truth we don’t want to forgive, for with forgiving we have to give up the presumption as well as the pleasure of moral self-righteousness and existential self-justification—two of the primary pillars that support the evanescent edifice of the human ego.
Therefore, unless you self-generate a will to transcend an egological human existence, which is condemned to the confines of samsāra and karmic repetitions, you will stay unforgiving for the rest of your life to the degree to which your ego demands for its subsistence.
Forgiveness does not imply condonation or consent. When someone commits an unjust action upon you or your loved ones, in forgiving him, you are not condoning or overlooking his responsibility nor are you consenting or acquiescing to his action.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with thoughts and actions of others but only with yourself—your authentic, higher self which is the seat of love and is your inner heaven. Forgiveness arises when you gain the light of insight that so long as you remain unforgiving, you are bound to condemn yourself to the inner hell of your own making.
The spiritual act of forgiveness comes from the state of spiritual independence, sovereignty, and freedom. Forgiving implies knowing that your authentic self is, independent of and free from thoughts and actions of others—understanding that your inner well-being is, uncontaminated by and immune from any kinds of negative external influences—and innerstanding that your higher truth is, untouched by any illusions or delusions.

Ultimately to forgive means to hold the whole of humanity within yourself as yourself. To forgive means to hold the whole world within yourself as yourself. To forgive means to hold nothing as external and uphold everything as internal to yourself. Therefore to forgive is to be free.
The world, it holds thee not;
thou art thyself the world that holds thee, in thee, with thee,
so strongly captive bound.
Angelus Silesius
“How can I forgive?” This very question reveals a division, a dichotomy, a distance, between a “you” who wants to forgive and another “you” who does not, and between “you” and another human being of whom “you” are the victim and against whose action “you” are the judge. No resolution, no forgiveness, is possible for the “you” who asks this question from the level of consciousness on which this dichotomy exists.
The “you” who is held in the world by the world will remain imprisoned in samsāra and condemned to circular karmic repetitions of unforgivingness and of incomplete and inauthentic forgivingness. It is when you experience real suffocation in merely subsisting in samsāra, utter boredom in your endless karmic repetitions, and total disillusionment with your egological existence that you will begin to self-initiate the development of a trans-egological will. Then, only then, you will begin to see Reality aright beyond your egological construct.
Reality is That Which Is. Reality is that which is eternal, immutable, and unchanging. Everything else is simply an appearance. To misconceive appearance as reality is delusion and the secondary universe that is created by and from delusion is illusion. Reality thus defined is another name for Heaven or Nirvana; illusion thus defined is another name for hell or samsāra.
Forgiveness becomes an issue only in the world of delusion-illusion—of samsāra. In Reality there exists no evil or sin, and therefore in Reality there exists no perpetrator or victim. In Reality there is absolutely no one whom you ever have to forgive. In Reality eternal Love-and-Light alone gives forth (fore-gives), which is the very Life of your authentic higher Self.
You are forgiven; all is forgiven, already and always. Wake up to Reality and rejoice in Life.