Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???

Changing the System Mindfully. Are we imprisoned by our unexamined concepts???
Humanity is imprisoned by a heartless monetary system, co-dependently arising from dichotomy of man and nature, self and society, ecology and economy, and public and private. How is the system fabricated? How do we awaken from our collective delusion and suffering? Please share this blog for Contemplative Social Action to Cultivate a Culture of Awakening! "Do everything with a mind that lets go" - Ajahn Chah

Friday, December 24, 2010

Euro 2010 Sovereign Debt Crisis and the Disease of Capitalism

 Update: As of January 31, 2011, the total Public Debt of the United States of America was $14.13 trillion and was 96.4% of calendar year 2010's annual (GDP) of $14.7 trillion.[1][2][3]  (wikipedia) Also see National Debt Clock

The Vietnamese Zen Monk and founder of 'Engaged Buddhism' talks about the deep spiritual crisis in the West and the need for living from our core spiritual values in a recent interview with UK Guardian. Thay talks about capitalism as a disease that has now spread throughout the world (even in countries that are home to Buddhism), carried on the winds of globalisation driven by mindless profit, production and consumption: "We have constructed a system we cannot control. It imposes itself on us, and we become its slaves and victims." [Guardian Link]. Thousands of students at UK protest rise in fees.[youtube]. For every US $1000 Africa receives in debt it owes $2300 to the World Bank and IMF [Link]

Can any Democratic Nation or any of her Citizen remain sovereign under debt-based currency? In early 2010 many countries in European union like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain (Known affectionately as PIIGS) and Belgium started experiencing soaring public debt resulting in a Euro 2010 crisis. On May 9, 2010 Europe's Finance Ministers approved a comprehensive rescue package worth almost a trillion dollars aimed at ensuring financial stability across Europe by creating the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

Here is an interesting image of the Euro Web of Debt, which appeared in NY Times, May 1, 2010 edition. Painful austerity measures imposed by IMF and EU upon these countries as a condition for rescue or bailout are not working. Iceland went under severe debt crisis two years ago and it had no option but to allow the private banks to fail and let its currency devalue. Iceland's president, Olafur R. Grimsson, spoke to CNBC about how the country is handling the debt crisis [More in Wikipedia].

Here in the US, the national cohort default rate on federal student loans is 7 percent for borrowers who entered repayment in 2008, which is comparable with the default rate for credit cards (8.8 percent) and home mortgages (9.1 percent). In fact, the total amount outstanding on student loans was $875 billion ($24K per graduating senior), which actually exceeded the amount that Americans owe on their credit cards. [Source IB times, 12/28/10]

Recently I came across this little known book called "Buddhist Catechism" written in 1908 by H.S Olcott

Question 55. Why does ignorance cause suffering?

Answer. Because it makes us prize what is not worth prizing, grieve for that we should not grieve for, consider real what is not real but only illusory, and pass our lives in the pursuit of worthless objects, neglecting what is in reality most precious. Col. Henry Steel Olcott


At the end of the interview Thay warns, "Without collective awakening the catastrophe would come". After a silence he adds 'we need many Buddhas, one Buddha is not enough".

On Liberation through Right (True) Realization
Owl said, “Then where does Right Realization come in?”
Brown Bear said, “Right Views! Right Views!”
Owl said, “What are Right Views?”
Brown Bear said, “We’re in it together, and we don’t have much time.”
from Zen Master Raven: Sayings and Doings of a Wise Bird
by Robert Aitken
[From Alan Senauke's blog]

2 comments:

Doug said...

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PBS Commanding Heights: Battle of Ideas for the World economy, Part 1 & 2