Tag Archives: Karate Kid

Truth IS . . .

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson says, “Truth is the handmaiden of love. Dialogue is the pathway to truth.”

I say, “Dialogue may be the instrument of coming to common understanding between individuals and amongst groups. But Truth has many levels.”

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At the center of the Life Wheel, Truth partakes of the absolute, unchanging source. But ephemeral manifestations of truth depend upon the focus and direction of travel – the inward or outward pathway – within the Life Wheel.

These distinctions serve to solve much confusion. Understanding them simplifies and clarifies experience.

“Hard evidence” partakes of facts and data verifiable by standard research methods. It lives on the ephemeral surface of the Wheel.

The truth of subjective opinions and feelings/emotions is also subject to continuous change. They reside at the middle level.

Absolute, unchanging Truth rests within the innermost center of the Life Wheel. Several bible study blogs elaborate on Truth at this level:

If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations.  To do this is to look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves.  In essence, it means we are looking for God.  God would be truth, the absolute and true essence of being and reality who is the author of all truth.  If you are interested in truth beyond yourself, then you must look to God.

References include:

Proverbs says, “one who speaks the truth gives honest evidence. (12:17)

Truth is also a quality used to describe utterances that are from the Lord. The psalmist tells God to “guide me in your truth” (25:5); the psalmist asks God to “send forth your light and your truth.” (43:3)

Ultimately, Jesus said,”I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6)

Now, the absolute truth experienced and then described in scripture is unfathomable to most of us. As written elsewhere:

The bad news is, it’s like trying to explain what colors look like to a blind person, or how chocolate tastes to someone who’s never had any.

The good news, however, is that inner truth can be known by direct experience. And there are means and methods for getting from here to there.”

Were you to ask a Zen master how to achieve enlightenment, the simple answer you’d probably get is: “SHUT UP!”

In gentler form, the Yoga Sutras of Patajani offer the same solution.

As I’ve also written elsewhere, the path of a Truth is a two way street.

To know the truth, be quiet. “Shut Up.” “Be still and know that I AM God.” Travel the inward path from surface to center of the Life Wheel to reunite with the Creative Source experienced as Conscience.

If you want know the world, then reverse course. Move in the opposite direction. Extend outwards from stillness towards the manifest world on the hub of the Wheel.

Lao Tze puts it this way:

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Phoenix - sized

On another tack, in two separate posts, I’ve written about truth as game. Popular shows you’re probably familiar with include TO TELL THE TRUTH and TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES.

In Yes, AND. . . I wrote:

Bogus claims . . . remind me of the long-running TV game show, “To Tell the Truth.” In this format, three challengers are introduced to a celebrity panel, each claiming to be the featured guest. Impostors can lie and pretend to be the central character. Only the real one is sworn to tell the truth. Panelists are challenged to ask penetrating questions, see through deceptions, and correctly identify the truth teller.

In this game reality, the best liars are rewarded. But that’s not how it works in the real world. There’s nothing entertaining or ultimately rewarding about deceiving the public. Yet, at this stage of history, it’s nigh unto impossible for all but the most discriminating (in the positive sense) to tell the difference between imitators and the “real deal.” Shameless parodies of wisdom traditions abound.

As for Truth or Consequences, it may be well worth your while to check out the entire post. Here’s a snippet:

I remembered this experience while writing about Terry Silver’s three rules for winning an unfair fight. He advised Daniel-san, the Karate Kid:

  • If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.
  • If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.
  • If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.

Granted, I appreciate what the monkey prohibitions were getting at originally. It has to do with the meditative discipline of Stillness. If the bans are a warning not to get entangled in negative situations that poison mental clarity, not to speak impulsively or slander others, and not to project dark side urges onto others, then fine. Otherwise not.

 

Angel Calling

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Truth or Consequences

truth or consequences

Have you ever wondered what Truth has to do with TV game shows? I have.

Follow along, if you will, and I’ll entertain you with what I’ve learned.

It started with an earlier post using as its title the name of a long-running show: To Tell the Truth. I had to wonder, what did Truth mean in this setting?

There, celebrity panelists were challenged to identify one from among three guests. One was authentic, presenting personal facts correctly. The others were impostors who pretended to be the first. Their goal was to deceive the panelists about the Truth.

So Truth was being defined exclusively at the material surface level of the Life Wheel – accurate representation of the facts. Truth of the middle, energy level of the Life Wheel – honesty about feelings and behavior – wasn’t a factor. At a still deeper level, Truth -– meaning honesty about underlying motives — was irrelevant. For impostor guests, lying to hide one’s true identity was highly valued — an accepted part of the game rules.

If you recall, in To Be or Not To Be PC, I used the story-line of Karate Kid III as an example of why awareness on all three levels – three-out-of-three – is essential to survival. In that movie, until the end, Daniel-san fails to understand who is truly his best friend and who is, in fact, his worst enemy.

Judging only from surface appearances, Daniel is deceived into believing Terry Silver is teaching him how to win. What he doesn’t know is that Silver is acting as the agent of an old enemy. This false friend’s underlying, hidden motive is to destroy Daniel as a way to get revenge on Mr. Miagi.

Mr. Miagi, in contrast, appears to be unhelpful, but only because he has Daniel’s best interests at heart. His deepest motive is to protect Daniel, whom he loves as a son.

Now this is an important point for all of us, because the war between Truth v. Deception is pervasive and ongoing. First, we experience conflicts internally. Then, externalized, they are mirrored in the politics of personal relationships, and continue to expand with an ever-broader ripple effect into the conduct of national and global affairs.

I’m not finger pointing. Just saying: For those concerned with survival on any or all of the Life Wheel’s levels, it’s something to think about very very carefully.

Moving on, the second Truth-named game show I’m remembering was called Truth or Consequences. It started as a radio show in the 1940-50s, followed by several television versions into the late 1980’s.

As ominous as the game name sounds, content was strictly light-hearted entertainment, often with an emotional “feel-good” component. Contestants were asked questions of fact –-  usually ones with no clear answer. If contestants could not correctly tell the “Truth” in short time, there were “Consequences,” usually involving a hilarious or embarrassing stunt.

In many broadcasts, stunts included a heart-warming surprise for the contestant. It could be a reunion with a long-lost relative or with an enlisted son or daughter returning from military duty overseas. When the military person was based in California, spouse or parents were flown in.

So here again, the game concept of Truth was shallow and incomplete. The idea of Consequences was similarly given short shrift. (For those interested, the Essay on Consequences offers a comprehensive view.)

Next, please stay with me and I’ll take the notion of Truth or Consequences to the next level.

For this, I need to tell you a story from childhood. It images much the same lessons Daniel-san learned the hard way.

The year would have been about 1953. It was after my father died, but before Mom remarried. That made me between six and seven years old. For that short time, we lived in a run-down old apartment building on Buffalo’s show-case Delavan Boulevard.

The incident I’m recalling involved a neighbor lady who lived all alone in an attic-like room on the top floor. To me, she looked very old and seemed terribly sad. Being a friendly and curious kid, I tried to get to know her.

Not so easy. I pestered her with childish questions. She wanted no part of it. Instead of speaking, she diverted my attention, pointing to a chipped and faded plaster-of-Paris nicknack on her shabby dresser that said it all.

I picked it up and examined it closely. On the water-colored figurine sat three monkeys. The first covered its ears with its hands. The second held both hands over its mouth. The third held both hands over its eyes. This motto was carved into the base: “Hear no evil. Speak no evil. See no evil.”

Three wise monkeys

This childhood experience made such a powerful impression because it was loaded with contradictions that left me bewildered. I had no idea what evil was. Why did she feel compelled to point out non-verbally that recognizing it was taboo? Most importantly, why was she so . . . now it seems . . . yes, afraid.

I remembered this experience while writing about Terry Silver’s three rules for winning an unfair fight. He advised Daniel:

  • If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.
  • If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.
  • If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.

Granted, I appreciate what the monkey prohibitions were getting at originally. It has to do with the meditative discipline of Stillness. If the bans are a warning not to get entangled in negative situations that poison mental clarity, not to speak impulsively or slander others, and not to project dark side urges onto others, then fine. Otherwise not.

First off, humans are not monkeys. Unless drugged, lobotomized or otherwise incapacitated, the faculties of reason and intuition compliment and complete the animal part of our being.

Today, repressing the sensory faculties of awareness is proof of an increasing sense of helplessness. Looking back, I understand that my neighbor lady was telling me without words that her life was unspeakably difficult and painful. She survived by not being aware. The battered wife syndrome fits here, as does the slave mentality – passively accepting an unfulfilling life of toil and misery.

Second, genuine evil does exist. To deny that it does makes one powerless to deal with its effects, opening the door to a world of hurt. I’ve defined what I mean when I use the word elsewhere. Here are quotes:

Evil in Positive Paradigm context is defined as “destructive acts or intentions which violate the integrity of the whole, with the aim of destroying the life pattern itself.”

And again:

In Positive Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.

Tai Chi Tu - sized

One final point about Truth or Consequences. This article initially came to mind over concern for LinkedIn readers who gladly gobble up superficial articles written by polished prosperity-consciousness authors to promote purchase of their books. In one place, I was actually moved to comment:

I’ve found the formula for this author’s content. To make yourself popular and rich, tell people whatever it is you think they want to hear. End of story.

Was it unkind of me to say this? In the same way Mr. Miagi seemed unkind, maybe so. But I was motivated by good will. I have readers’ long-term interests at heart. I have, for a long time, had a survival issue with gurus who make themselves rich by selling abundance consciousness masked as spirituality. (Sketches below explain why.)

In essence, going full bore for whatever it is you want lacks realistic balance. In a natural world view, there is a time for every purpose under heaven: a time for gain and a time for loss, a time for prosperity in the cycles of history and times of inevitable adversity as well.

Remaining blind to the cycles of history – pretending everything can be however we want it to be because we really really passionately want what we want, is, well . . . unrealistic. In the real world, pretending everything is rosy even when it’s not is disempowering. Buying into the temptation to seemingly pleasant self-deception doesn’t change the way things are. It only renders those who choose to remain unaware at extreme disadvantage, unable to make situation-appropriate, effective decisions.

Put another way, positivity has become the new opiate of the masses. It prevents starry-eyed dreamers from seeing the world as the gravely dangerous place has become. It prevents them from recognizing and responding wisely to protect themselves and those they care for from genuine evil.

Bottom line: What I’m hoping you’ll gather from all this is: 1) Truth embodied as keen, alert awareness on all levels is life sustaining; and 2) today, in the real world, Truth or Consequences is NOT a game. Ignoring the facts as they are, refusing to hear warnings and failing to take positive action is having disastrous CONSEQUENCES.

If you’ll forgive me for repeating myself once again, human survival hangs in the balance. It is that serious.

Just saying. Food for thought.

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Although it never happened, I originally planned to expand thumbnail sketches into full chapters to include in a book called Essays on Positive Action. They were written in the year 2000, but are as relevant now as they were earlier. The following four address the prosperity-consciousness issue.

WHO TURNED NAPOLEON HILL UPSIDE DOWN & WHY? At Andrew Carnegie’s request, Attorney Napoleon Hill undertook a 20-year research project to discover the common denominators which explain the effectiveness of highly successful businessmen. The upshot, Think and Grow Rich, has had vast international influence and inspired a small army of imitators to build a lucrative “prosperity consciousness” profession. Perhaps coincidentally (perhaps not), his findings are reminiscent of occult teachings. An organization claiming to further Hill’s work continues to publish new titles using his name, including Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan. Something’s been seriously distorted in the translation.

NATURAL LAW VERSUS UNNATURAL GREED. A host of imitators jumping on the lucrative prosperity consciousness bandwagon, each selling seductive feel-good half-truth formulas for material success, are misdirecting pristine natural law into the twilight zone of insatiable greed. The ancient law is that every extreme changes to its opposite. In The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make and How To Avoid Them, Dr. Freeman correctly observes that “an overdose of positive thinking can produce negative results.” Economic euphoria driven by a misleading paradigm of science at end-century will inevitably cycle past unnatural expansion to opposite and equal contraction in the next millennium.

THE QUESTION DETERMINES YOUR RESULT. “Ask and it shall be answered. Seek and ye shall find” — but only what you have the heart/vision to ask/seek. Ask along with Dale how to win friends and influence people. Ask with Napoleon how to become a millionaire. Ask Deepak how to use spiritual laws to get worldly success. Ask Anthony how to awaken the giant within. But the will of God? To know it? Serve it? Who asks this? Who asks what is right? What is wise? Could current human condition be result of failure to ask wisely? Shallow questions yield paltry results. So in wishing, remember the law of karma and be very careful what you ask for. Long-term payback for greedy goals is frightful to behold.

NO MATTER WHERE YOU START, THE GOAL IS HERE & NOW. Though cultures East and West begin from opposite ends of the planet, in striving for wisdom they join as one at the center of life’s wheel. The financially rich at apex and poor at nadir of life’s arc are same in inner origin and ultimate destination. So also, those of every persuasion who do their best to live with uncompromising courage, heart, wisdom and strength find common home at day’s end. Like Job who endured unimaginable torment but remained steadfast in faith, like Noah who listened and followed through regardless of heedless/scornful contemporaries, those who hold to fast to center actualize promise of safe passage to new beginnings.

What’s Your Answer to Hamlet’s Existential Question?

The last post, How Do You Define GOOD, opened with a basic law of nature: in duality, every coin has two sides. “Whatever has a front, has back. The larger the front, the larger the back.” It  explains why surface appearances are often deceiving.

I bring the Two Sides Law up here again in answer to comments from a recent LinkedIn post, To Be or Not To Be PC? There, political correctness was defended:

PC is often viewed incorrectly, fundamentally it is a collective societal attempt to correct social inequity – the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

I responded:

Understood . . . As an Ed Admin grad student, I wrote a paper for a law seminar on Affirmative Action. I observed that, however worthy the goals, the legislation missed the point. Not only was it unenforceable. It would trigger backlash. Which in time proved to be a correct assessment. I recommended Positive Action as a viable alternative for achieving the legislation’s worthy goals then — and still do. The surface definition of PC is, of course, impeccable. But applications and abuses have drifted so far afield from the verbal window dressing and original intent as to be unrecognizable. “Good intentions . . . “

These days, when promises seem too good to be true, I instinctively know they’re a ruse — a cover for something opposite and equally awful. A Shakespearian observation captures the gist. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

“Change we can believe in?” “Social equity?” Methinks such slogans are market-tested veneer, engineered by behind-the-scenes puppet-masters to tap into and exploit our deepest desires and highest aspirations. They mask political agendas that have nothing whatsoever to do with seductive but empty wrappers. When politicians protest too much, you can depend on their front being a cynical cover for unacceptable, unspeakable motives.

To Be or Not To Be PC

Remember Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid? After Daniel wins the tournament, John Kreese, abusive Sensei of Cobra Kai, corners Miyagi in the parking lot and swings at him twice.

Miyagi simply ducks. Kreese misses, smashing first one fist and then the other through a parked car window, shattering the glass and lacerating both hands.

In Karate Kid III, Kreese calls on a Vietnam war buddy to act as the agent of his revenge. Treacherous but slick, Terry Silver, wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal corporation, confuses Daniel to the point of self-destruction. Daniel mistakes his best friend for his enemy, and vice versa.

“Have no mercy,” was Kreese’s creed.

Silver gives Daniel three rules for winning an unfair fight. First, “If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.”

Second, “If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.”

Third, “If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.”

That brings us back to the theme of an earlier post, “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game.” The progressive/atheist Rules of the Politically Correct Game prevent believers (along with those they try to control) from being able to see and take a positive stand against evil.

PC advocates confuse the public, presenting true friends of the people as enemies, and vice versa. Even the existence evil is cast into doubt. It’s quibbled away in double-talk speculations, relegated to the fringes of speculative theory – outside the “accepted” rules of what can be known.

By PC standards, the concept of evil is demeaned, presumed to be a moralistic, judgmental, prejudiced fiction. This is a Yes and No. But denying the existence of evil by an exclusively materialistic standard prevents believers from being able to see grave danger, name it and protect from it – much less fight intelligently and successfully against it.

Is there method to this madness? Take a moment to think about it. Who stands to benefit from this blindness? Who stands to lose?

This picture of the PC problem may help:

Can't See.sized

Here’s how the Motive/Purpose/Intent (MPI) standard – the Why/How/What – applies to Daniel’s situation. He sees the surface What of Mr. Miyagi’s refusing to train him for another karate event. He compares it to Silver’s sly What – an all-too-eager willingness to act has his trainer.

What Daniel doesn’t know because he can’t see them are the underlying intangibles. Mr. Miyagi doesn’t support the fight because there’s no worthy Purpose. His Motive is to protect Daniel’s best interests. In contrast, Silver has set Daniel up to fight, even pressured him into entering the contest. But his ulterior Motive (the Why) is to exact revenge. His Purpose (the How) is to defeat and humiliate Daniel as painfully as Kreese was beaten, breaking Miyagi’s heart in the process.

Details. But important ones. For lack of inner awareness, Daniel was steered into a world of hurt. As are we all in similar circumstances.

Here’s another example of confusions resulting from operating on limited and limiting PC rules taken taken directly from an ongoing LinkedIn discussion in the New Philosophy Network. The thread is called HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

I entered the discussion, thinking my viewpoint would be interesting, perhaps even helpful, by offering this comment:

I’ve written to this subject, so let me sum up a few basics from my perspective. First, morality is technically an ephemeral social construct at the surface of the Life Wheel, whereas virtues (compassion, including kindness, gentleness, courage, etc.) are inherent potentials residing at the middle level of the Wheel. Evil in Positive Paradigm context is defined as destructive acts or intentions which violate the integrity of the whole, the aim of destroying the life pattern itself. If there’s further interest, pictures and explanations are available online. Pls. see http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B (“How Bad People Become Leaders”).

There were two responses. One dismissed the definition as a bit obtuse. The other seemed like a back-handed compliment – condescending, perhaps flirtatious. Thanks Patricia, nice and simple for a simple mind like me to understand. I would love to read some of your books 🙂

Not sure what to make of this, I reviewed many of the 523 comments posted over the past 24 days. They were sickening, both literally and figuratively.

The opening statement, made by medical doctor and research scientist, is this:

Christians condem anyone who does not follow their beliefs to live forever in Hell ( the bosom of all evil) , Fundamentalist followers of Islam believe everyone who does not follow their beliefs are evil and condem them to death via evil attrocities, Other religions have gods to protect them against evil, and gods to explain evil. Society explains evil through Freudian concepts of psycopathy and sociopathy. It would seem that evil is perpetuated by intolerance of other peoples beliefs?
And is this not the basis of human conflict throughout all history? What are your philosophical views on this concept?

(Turns out, it’s the platform for promoting a forthcoming book.)

But a wide range of contributors — atheists, agnostics and theists – chime in. The first comment reads, Evil is just anything contrary to the norms of the one judging and no more. The concept rests on inauthentic or authoritarian thinking.

A “top contributor” takes it upon himself to moderate the discussion, repeating the same mantra, straight out of the PC progressive handbook – evil is what effectively undoes or blocks any progress to greater purposeful complexity and abundance.

Suffice it to say, the level of discourse quickly degenerates into a testosterone-saturated, contentious and extraordinary disrespectful exchange. “Childish” comes to mind. The troll word is thrown back and forth. On the defensive, one commenter states:

I would prefer your responses were less transparently hostile (and as abusive of metaphor as you have accused me of being, I suspect to win the point). : ) I am not a member of any sort of ‘guys’ and my pants are on.

One remark criticizes the self-nominated moderator: Your sarcasm is showing; you should at least try a little to be more balanced, your post is so one-sided and shows such negative bias you should be embarrassed at the lack of balance. It’s so unbalanced it reminds me of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. . . .

To some extent, I empathize with the deep, underlying frustration. They’re struggling inside the box of dysfunctional paradigms. Trapped as if in a Japanese wicker-woven finger-prison, the harder they struggle to get out, the stucker they get. They sense that somewhere, somehow, something is terribly wrong – but without a comprehensive paradigm, they have no way to identify the heart of the problem much less find positive solutions.

I’ll speak further to important issues from this heated discussion in the next post, “The Great Reconciliation.” But here, the subject remains defining evil.

In “How Bad People Become Leaders,”I offered another picture, defining “evil” as anti-life: intentionally shattering and fragmenting the creative pattern. In Positive Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.

In metaphysical circles, by the way, in addition to extremes of black and white magic, there are shades of gray and yellow, depending on the extent of harm done and degree of intentionality.

In Karate Kid III, the central villain runs a toxic waste disposal business – an apt metaphor for abusive defenders of toxic PC ideas and attitudes! Why do I take such exception to PC “ideologies?” Because misleading, dysfunctional paradigms are life-threatening, a danger even to human survival itself.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the procrastinating prince debates the suicide option: To be or not to be, that was his question. He waivers and philosophies right up the the 11th hour. As a consequence, in the final act, the stage is littered with bodies – not only his, but also others whom he might have saved.

If rules of the knowledge game prohibit the general population from seeing genuine evil clearly for what it is and if they inhibit us from standing firm against it, they effectively prevent us from protecting ourselves and those we love from it’s toxic, destructive effects. In the name of tolerance, PC progressives pretend to be the best friends of minorities and women. In practice, they function as worst enemies. As a first step, would-be survivors must restore a full-spectrum reality map that allows them to recognize who’s who, and what’s what.

To be or not to be, asked Hamlet. That is the question. Today, to be or not to be PC is the burning issue. Whether to commit national, even global suicide through ignorance, or to WAKE UP to existing dangers of Titanic proportion and take a positive stand – while there’s still precious time left.