Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Are We Overpopulated?


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Fri, 29 Jun 2018 #1
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 187 posts in this forum Offline

Are We Overpopulated? - I have been engaged in a discussion with a facebook user who wrote: "The only hope for salvation is a rapid decrease in population back to long term sustainable levels - which i would put at about 15% of current levels."

But surely it is not the quantity of human life that counts but the quality of human life. One per cent of humanity is as rich as the other 99%. The US alone has a trillion dollar military budget (and that does not count the absurdity of a population fully armed with automatic weapons against itself). Could not these vast resources of wealth be better spent?

Yes, we are facing an extinction crisis, first in terms of many species we share the planet with and eventually of ourselves. But can't we break it down and look at each problem and come up with solutions? Do we lack the intelligence to do so or is something else getting in the way?

Carbon fuels: The sun's free energy is available to be harvested. It just takes a concerted effort to make it feasible.

Plastic: Alternatives can be found. Rubber was almost used up so plastic was invented. Plastic has become an environmental catastrophe so we need to either find an alternative of have a global recycling plan.

Forests: There are vast plains of deforested land in every part of the globe. They can be reforested without displacing people. It just takes the resources, the organisation and the will. This also goes for desertification.

Animal extinction: This can be stopped, given a firm intention. It's not for the lack of know-how.

One can go on. For every problem there is a solution. So, why aren't we applying ourselves? Do we really need to envisage an 85% reduction in humanity? And who would decide with whom to start? And if it were to happen, would we not multiply ourselves again in the space of a century?

If I had a carpenter's shop with ten workers and none clear up, pretty soon the shop would be full of sawdust with no room to work. Were I to say, "enough, nine of you have to go," would that be a proper solution? Would it be a solution at all? One carpenter can cause as much mess as ten, given ten times as long. Surely the answer is co-operation and organisation. So, what is stopping us?

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Fri, 29 Jun 2018 #2
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 38 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
So, what is stopping us?

We have the skill, the technical ability to turn the situation around 'overnight'. The situation as it is, with the enormous wealth of the few and the poverty of the many seems to me cruel, to say the least. What stands in the way of this getting 'better' before getting 'worse',I'd say, is 'greed'. Greed based on fear. Greed based on not understanding 'what' we in fact are and what our place here is. Greed that creates competition rather than "co-operation". If this is one of the major factors in perpetuating what is a 'nightmare' for so many, how does it dissolve or disappear?

My sense and what I believe to be the message of K. is that it can only 'happen' in me. If it can't happen in me as a human in all this, it's foolish to think it can happen in 'others'. So it starts in 'me' through understanding 'greed'.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 29 Jun 2018.

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Fri, 29 Jun 2018 #3
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 187 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
I'd say, is 'greed'.

Certainly, that seems to be a major factor. And from this greed we have created a social system based upon greed and motivated by greed. A non-greedy capitalist is a dead capitalist. The capitalist has to be greedy or else he will be relieved of his capital by his competitor. For him, accumulation is survival. And the world he protects and nurtures is drenched in his values.

We have tried to get rid of him through revolution but it is we who do not seem to be ready for the psychological changes that revolution necessitates. For the mass of humanity to be fully engaged in co=operation would require a total psychological revolution, as K said. Otherwise we fall back into the same groove.

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Fri, 29 Jun 2018 #4
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 38 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
but it is we who do not seem to be ready for the psychological changes that revolution necessitates.

And I see this "revolution" as 'empathy'. Without empathy, the seeing of the other as yourself, there can't be a radical change. As long as psychologically, we are all 'individuals' and do not see that there is one brain, the "human brain", empathy, except on a personal level, stays out of reach, remains subordinate to greed.

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Sat, 30 Jun 2018 #5
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 38 posts in this forum Offline

John Raica wrote:
K." The world is caught in illusion"

After just reading some of the 'hate mail' posted today here in the US on the Huffington Post's site, I felt sick and the word 'empathy' seemed like a joke.

So add 'hatred' to 'greed' for the reasons things stay as they are or get worse. But they are both just symptoms of some deep misunderstanding about ourselves, would you all say?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 30 Jun 2018.

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Sat, 30 Jun 2018 #6
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 187 posts in this forum Offline

So, I was having a discussion with this guy (I found out he was now a financial consultant in Moscow) who advocated getting rid of 85% of humanity to save the planet. I made the point that capitalism was a grave problem. How can a system based upon and driven by blind greed have an interest in the future? The only redeeming feature I could think of his absurd proposal was that with 85% gone (the global working class) they would have to pick up their own damned dog shit, fry their own burgers, wash their own rollers and fetch water from the well in a leaky bucket.

But the sheer pessimism of that narrow, capitalist point of view! Rather than get rid of capitalism they would get rid of people and keep private property. I'd call that the neutron bomb philosophy.

With the current system human greed has been perfected and industrialised, given 'free-market' reign and allowed to run rampant around the world destroying in its path everything that came before it. Yet we seem incapable of denying capitalism for it realises the greed also within us and makes it nigh impossible to imagine any alternative. The reformers hope to train capitalism, which means to train human greed, and keep it within certain confines but history shows this cannot be done. K called politics the "sphere of amelioration,' where conflicts are kept within reasonable bounds and when conflict cannot be so contained then war breaks out, which seems to be where we are again headed today.

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Sat, 30 Jun 2018 #7
Thumb_open-uri20171115-31086-13da1wu-0 Dan McDermott United States 38 posts in this forum Offline

Paul David son wrote:
Yet we seem incapable of denying capitalism for it realises the greed also within us and makes it nigh impossible to imagine any alternative.

In a way we have to turn our backs on all of it. (I mean our psychological backs..) It's all headed in an impossible direction. Here is what may be really at the bottom of what is going on. ( K.'s last posted dialogue approaches it). I'm looking at it this way: "There is only beginning". Everything in the world, in the universe is always only 'beginning'. This is a tremendous view. Life is a movement which is a non-movement in a direction which is no-direction...it is always 'beginning'. The senses when they are not 'corrupted' can be present (to the "presence"?). But thought has no place here. Thought is about beginning and ending. Thought is about adding and subtracting. It is always, in the psychological,looking for answers, solutions, accumulating, building, in 'time'. But there is no 'time', there is only 'beginning. There is a place for this thought/time. But it is out of place in the psychological because here there can be no accumulation, attachment etc.(here there needs to be 'emptiness'), psychologically holding on denies life, is totally out of step with life (which is not accumulative) and inevitably causes this human sorrow which results from the brain's attempt to overlay the 'movement' (beginning) of life with a static, artificial, 'past' and 'present' and 'future'. (?)

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 30 Jun 2018.

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Mon, 02 Jul 2018 #8
Thumb_screen_shot_2017-04-11_at_14 Paul David son Brazil 187 posts in this forum Offline

Oh, John's post disappeared. What a pity. It sometimes seems like the old TV series, Mission Impossible, "This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds."

I can't recall if it was in his message or another but someone said something like "The human mind is overpopulated."

In the Christian Gospels the character Jesus is said to have met a man who declared "My name is legion," (legion meaning 'many'). Yes, there are many inside each one of us. They are the patterns and their consequent wants and desires, each maintaining the position 'me,' no matter how contradictory each is with the other. This is something one can notice within oneself and which K called the fragmentation. The illusion is that the 'I' is 'on,' when it is many (legion), which I think was the point of the passage in the Gospel.

I am not sure however that the constant reproduction of humankind through procreation is an external effect of the internal multitude. Maybe there are other, more mundane, reasons.

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