Zen Mischief

Yin Yang
Lao Tzu
Dalai Lama
Zen stones

My Personal Beliefs

I've said elsewhere that I don't do deities. So what do I believe?

Over the years I have come to the following as my modus vivendi ...

Personal Responsibility
Each of us is personally responsible for our own beliefs and our own actions. No-one should be able to tell us what to think or do, whether directly or though intimidation, whether we are adult or child. We must be true only to ourselves. That puts an awful responsibility on parents and leaders not to be didactic without (appropriate) explanation.

Freedom of Thought and Speech
Everyone is entitled to freedom of thought and speech at all times and in all places. Remember that if others say or think things you disagree with, they are merely exercising their right to freedom of thought and speech and they are as entitled to do so as you are. This implies no censorship in any form or under any circumstances.

Respect for Others
Treat other people with respect at all times. This goes beyond freedom of speech and thought. Other people are entitled to be able to make up their own minds, to have the freedom to do so, and to be able to live according to their own beliefs. Live and let live.

Be Ethical
Treat all things and all people, at all times, ethically. That basically means: treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, ie. with sympathy, honesty and fairness.

Honour Your Enemy
You forget, at your peril, that your enemy is also a human being, and is acting only according to his/her beliefs. If you must have enemies (and pragmatically we all do), then pay them the same respect you would others. Do them the honour of allowing them freedom of thought and belief; a kind and peaceful death; be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

All Men are Equal
Everyone is equal. There should be no "upper class" who are automatically supposed better than the "lower class". We are all the same; we have the same bodily functions and the same ability to think. Why should you be considered better than me? You may be more skilled at sawing a piece of wood to make me a table, but I may be more skilled at catching fish to feed you! Who is to say which is actually "better"? If one acts ethically and treats all men as equals, this makes political correctness and positive discrimination a totally unnecessary anathema.

All Animals are Equal
And while we're here: all animals are equal, too. We should treat all animals, all plants, and the environment with the same respect we should be treating each other. They have their place and purpose on this planet just as we do; we are all the children of Nature; without them we wouldn't be here and couldn't continue to exist. This means no hunting for the sake of the kill; by all means hunt for food, but not otherwise. If we have to keep and kill animals for food (and, sadly, we do) then let's do so as ethically and humanely as we possibly can.

Democracy
Everyone is entitled to their say in how their town, state, country, tribe etc. is governed – even if you don't like the decisions they come to!

Compulsory Voting
I'll admit this is one of the few areas where I feel prescriptive. Voting in elections should be compulsory, as it is in Australia. Many (and not just the Suffragettes) fought bloody battles for the universal franchise. We should be grateful, and respect them, by using what they achieved for us, by expressing our opinion. That doesn't mean you have to vote for one of the candidates if you don't like any of them; there is nothing to stop you spoiling your ballot paper in protest. In fact there is an argument that all ballot papers should have an extra box, "None of the above", allowing a positive abstention.

Religion and Politics
Religion and politics go hand-in-hand as two of the most divisive works of the Devil. If people didn't believe in the Devil they wouldn't need religion to save them from him. And politics is only another religion: the politician and his policies is the god, and the opposition the Devil. Religion has caused more wars and more bloodshed than probably all other causes combined throughout history. And why? Because religion is only one manifestation of imposing a lack of freedom of thought, speech and action. Think about it. Every religion and every political system, however benignly, says "I am right. You are wrong. You must follow the only right way: mine."

Ban Political Parties
All members of parliament, counsellors, mayors etc. should be independent. They should stand for election only on the merits of their personal beliefs, their personal actions and their personal ability to get things done.

Forget Etiquette
Etiquette is bunk. It was invented by snobs to catch out and exclude their apparent inferiors. Why be forced to wear a tuxedo if you don't want to? Why should you have to put on a tie to go to a restaurant? Why must we drink white wine with fish if what we prefer is red? Etiquette really has no place in our egalitarian world.

Nudity is Natural
Nudity is normal and natural. Nature made us that way; after all we're born nude. There is nothing dirty or depraved about a nude body except what is created by your mind. Nudity should be accepted just like any other belief and lifestyle choice and should be permitted in all public and private places as a basic human right.

No Sexual Taboos
Sex (heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian and solo) is as natural as nudity and should be appreciated as normal, natural, enjoyable and good for you – provided only that it is between consenting adults. If you want to do it in the nude, in public, why shouldn't you; animals do and our ancestors would have done! If you want a good example of alternative thinking and lifestyle look at the rock group Rockbitch – don't just dismiss it; read it; think about it; and give the authors credit for having thought through, very carefully, their beliefs (even if they're not your beliefs); they make a lot of sense even if you decide they aren't to your personal liking. To put it in the words of my wife's uncle: "If you see anything God didn't make, throw a brick at it".

Man is not Monogamous
Neither the male nor the female of the human species is naturally monogamous. Both will, and do, choose a variety of mates given the opportunity. Just as animals do – and scientists are coming to realise that even the apparently most monogamous of animals almost all "have a bit on the side" whenever opportunity arises. As is now being acknowledged by scientists, this makes evolutionary and genetic sense. So let's stop pretending we don't also "have a bit on the side" – we all know it's a lie.

Orgasm Responsibility
We alone are responsible for our own orgasms and our sexuality. Both are what we make them, not what someone else does to/for us.

Be Natural and Be Comfortable
Treat nudity, sex, bodily functions, illness and death as a natural part of everyday life and not as taboos to be hidden. If people are brought up to be knowledgeable about, and comfortable with, their bodies and bodily functions there would be great health spin-offs as we would be much more comfortable discussing important matters with our partners and doctors. We would soon see fewer people with serious illness which goes undiagnosed through fear; a much lower rate of sexually transmitted disease and a decline in teenage pregnancy (see several recent surveys comparing the low teenage pregnancy rates in free-wheeling Holland with the high rates in guilt-ridden America). That in turn would save a lot of money in healthcare.

Legalise Prostitution
Prostitution is a normal part of a healthy society. It should be recognised as such and legalised. This would allow prostitution to be sensibly regulated with health benefits for both the prostitutes and the punters, and this should reduce crime too. Moreover, if it is legal you can tax it! Remember: nobody says you have to be, or use, a prostitute if you don't want to; but why should such employment, solace and enjoyment be denied to others?

Legalise Cannabis
And while we're at it, let's legalise cannabis as well. It seems likely it is less harmful than alcohol and certainly much less harmful than tobacco. And today neither alcohol nor tobacco would be approved as therapeutic drugs. Again, once it is legalised it can be taxed! And also again, you don't have to use cannabis if you don't want to, just as you don't have to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.

Ban Fertility Treatments
All fertility treatments should be banned. If a couple are unable to have children, Nature probably has a good reason. Should we really be playing God like this?

Trust Nature
Nature is a lot wiser than either you or I ever will be; after all she's had many more millennia in which to learn. If we aren't certain of the effect on Nature of some action then we'd better not meddle. Ignore or abuse Nature at your (and our) peril.

Heaven and Earth Contain more than we Know
There is a huge amount in heaven and earth that we not only don't understand but don't even know we don't know about. We know, for instance, that dowsing and healing work although no-one can explain why, beyond the Eastern philosophical concept (now being supported by science) that all things are interconnected. Reincarnation is at least plausible – whether souls are reincarnated in whole, or fragmented to be reincarnated in many recipients – although no-one can be sure or can formulate a plausible mechanism. People have premonitions, see manisfestations; but again no-one can formulate a plausible mechanism or logic. While Science purports to explain everything in a mechanistic way, it seems unlikely things are quite so simple, at least in terms of current knowledge. In Medieval times they couldn't see that the Earth revolved around the Sun, let alone even conceive the possibility of sub-atomic particles. So why should we be any different now – there will be known effects which we have misinterpreted and there will be many things in Heaven and Earth of which we have no inkling – and we need to be receptive to them.

Be yourself
If it harm none, do as you will.

 


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