Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Comments on the pending Indonesian executions

Originally posted here:

1. Those of us who are truly against the death penalty don't like to see anyone executed whether they are a murderer or not.  I think it's best to give people a chance to achieve redemption before they die of natural causes.  Anyway, death may not actually be a punishment, for the afterlife may be far preferable to this life. 

Psychologically speaking, the death penalty just exists so the population doesn't have to deal with their own inner darkness.  Rather, they project it onto others and then "do away with them".  The existence of the death penalty is actually a sign of how immature a society is and how unable the people are of dealing with their own shadow self rationally.  "Evil" is a shared mental state and cannot be eradicated by destroying bodies- quite the contrary, as this only enhances evil as we see with the current situation in Indonesia surrounding the executions.  This has created a very dark atmosphere that is completely unnecessary, begun and fanned by the evil forces that control Widodo (and others) as their willing puppet, feeding on the negativity generated by his actions or lack of them.

Only the Indonesian people can lift this evil from their land by promoting wise, selfless and caring people into positions of power and abolishing the destructive death penalty which solves nothing but creates many problems of its own!

The hanging of Eichmann was wrong as are all murders of unarmed prisoners.  We are in no position to be anyone's judge and executioner, after all: justice is the Lords and he will repay.  Until then we will keep the truly dangerous ones imprisoned and the rest shall go free! 

As for "drug smugglers ruining lives"- we ruin our own lives by our own free will choices.  It is poor form to blame another for what we choose to do to ourselves!  No one forces an addict to stick a needle in their arm.  They do it because they want to.  And if they risk addiction it is because their quality of life is so poor that ruining it seems worthwhile for a brief high.  For that, blame an inadequate society, if you must!

Sharka Todd

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A "machine universe" needs a God, but...


Science tends to view the universe as a giant machine, but machines need someone to design them, build them and then a energy source to power their operation.  If the universe is seen in these terms- as consisting of inanimate matter that somehow arranges itself due to fixed laws- then clearly the need for a designer, builder and power source exists.

There is, of course, another way of conceiving of the universe that does away with the need for a creator God and that is the idea that the universe is a living, conscious, self-regulating entity, that is self-creating and functions from its own self-generated power source.  This would imply that the universe itself is intelligent and aware of its various functioning parts and able to create laws or patterns of behavior to support it's continued functioning.  This view is in opposition to the mechanical universe idea popular in the 1800's but losing favor since the advent of quantum physics in the early 20th century.

 Sharka Todd  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A comment about forest reserves

 Stoodley Forest- photo by Sharka Todd

Originally posted as a comment on an article about planned logging of the Lapoinya forest in Tasmania.

There needs to a balance between "working forests" and forest reserves preserved near communities for recreation.

Mick, in the comments above, correctly points out the amazing ability of nature to heal itself and regenerate.  But as a person who has spent a great deal of time in state and private forests throughout Australia I would have to say it amazes me that almost every square inch of the land has been rolled over and remade by heavy machinery- compacting the soil and generally degrading waterways and land.  Only remote and rocky terrain has avoided this treatment.

It's not a question of not longing logging forests but of achieving a healthy balance between areas preserved for recreation and areas open for logging.

And I wish to stress that recreational areas need to be preserved near communities so that the population can enjoy them freely and easily.  It's not enough to have reserves 50 or 100km away from population centers.  They need to be within easy driving distance (10-20km) and they should be of sufficient size so that you can get lost there and find some solitude.

Sharka Todd

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The difference between Buddhism and Hinduism, in a nutshell!

Buddhism teaches that the person or mind consists of ever changing content (thoughts, feelings, sensations) and that no permanent, unchanging self exists.  In contrast, Hinduism says that in addition to the ever changing content of consciousness there exists an observer viewing this content and remaining unchanged by it.  This observer is sometimes called Brahman, the "I" or the unchanging and immortal Self.  This Self is discovered by deep meditation with a focus on that part of ourselves viewing experience (called "silent awareness" by Gangaji, below) rather than the content of  experience, itself.  My own insight is that the self is awareness with a positive intent towards activity.

Sharka Todd

You may believe in Obama...

 but do you believe in yourself?

Sharka Todd