Tuesday 19 November 2013

The Emerging American Police State

For years I've been seeing these horrendous reports and videos coming out of the USA of police abusing their power.  Breaking into peoples homes, shooting pet dogs and preforming strip and cavity searches on innocent people by the road side.  The suggestion accompanying these is usually that America is descending into being a fascist police state.  Whist for many reasons over the past dozen years it has certainly appeared that way, I'm always also wondering if these kind of things have always gone on, it's just now everyone carries a camera around with them and abusive incidents find there way on to youtube, so we're all more aware of it.

Well according to lawyer and author John Whitehead the answer is no, these kind of abuses have vastly increased in recent years, as the police have been militarised there's been a three thousand percent increase in swat team raids since the early 1980's.  These can result in innocent people, and even children, being murdered in their own homes.  In this interview with Tom Wood's, Mr. Whitehead details some of the more extreme examples he's come across, including one of a man who was committed to a mental institution for writing anti-Obama posts on Facebook!  He also questions why exactly the Department of Homeland Security have felt the need recently to buy over one billion hollow point bullets. Scary stuff indeed.

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LBJ Killed JFK - Abby Martin Interviews Roger Stone

Roger Stone is a political strategist for the Republican party who worked on the Presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both of the Bush's.  He was at the centre of the infamous incident in Florida in the year 2000, preventing the recount that could have seen Al Gore elected President.  He spent thirty years at the heart of the American political establishment and has just authored a book claiming that Lyndon B. Johnson was the central figure in the plot to kill John F. Kennedy.

Whilst no one could accuse Mr. Stone of being a particularly honest or trustworthy man (just watch the interview to see why), given his position his views on the assassination of John F. Kennedy are certainly worth listening to.   His frank admissions of the dirty tricks that go on in U.S. Presidential elections is also eye opening to say the least!

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Sunday 10 November 2013

Meditation and Sleep

I've been away from blogging for a while working on some writing and other projects, also I ran out of things I wanted to rant about, but they've started to build up again so I'm back!

Let's re-kick off with this Conscious TV interview from 2010 with philosopher Timothy Freke.   Tim is discussing the exploration of consciousness through the practice of meditation and for me it's one of the most enlightening discourses I've comes across on the subject.

Tim describes meditation as the act of becoming 'conscious that you are conscious', turning awareness away from the world and back in on itself to become aware of the thing that is aware.   He then compares this to entering the relaxed and peaceful state of deep sleep, but doing so consciously.  And this is what the whole thing about watching the breath is for, by keeping some of our attention anchored in the world we don't fall off the cliff entirely into unconscious sleep.   

The relationship between the meditative state and the sleep state is one that I feel there's great value in expanding upon.   Everyone is already an expert at falling asleep and therefore it's a great starting point to explain meditation. There is also a paradox that I wrestled with for years regarding meditation, in that it seemed to me to be inherently contradictory that by sitting and doing something I could enter a state of non-doing.   But I encounter this same contradiction every night when I say 'I am going to sleep'.   Who is going to do this?   The 'me' that is carrying this task out disappears at some point into the darkness of unconsciousness.   And yet, this is a contradiction that I and everybody else is completely comfortable with!   It's only when we encounter the same contradiction in meditation that we trip ourselves up.

What I do now in my own practice is sit and spend a minute or so 'anchoring' myself in my breath or bodily sensations, essentially moving my awareness out into the world.   I then just allow myself to fall asleep, allow my awareness to sink back into that deep conscious place that feels like it exists in the back of my head.  When I feel myself sinking into that, I start to moment by moment alternate my awareness between extending forwards into the world and falling backwards into deep consciousness.   Between the dream and the dreamer.  I quite often do this by extending outwards on the in breath and falling backwards on the out breath.  It really does feel quite amazing, like being deep asleep and wide awake at the same time, having that relaxation but also an alertness.

This is distinct from the 'self enquiry' practices where one contemplates a question such as 'who am I?' in order to peel back the layers and reveal our still conscious centre.   I'm not against this practice, I think it really does shake up our concepts of self as being identified with thought, I find that I am not that!  But I find that by doing this I become aware of a deeper field of consciousness without really sinking into it, I still experience myself in the centre of my head look into this deep field.   What I'm talking about is letting go of the sense of self and falling into the deep conscious field where by identification with it rather than the cognitive mind automatically arises.   That could sound rather esoteric and difficult but not if I think of it as being just the same as falling asleep!

Note - I'm aware that this is probably not the clearest piece of blogging I've ever done, you'll probably need to know something of the subject matter already to have a clue what I'm going on about.  I'm hoping to write more in the future in a way that makes these kind of concepts more accessible

You can find out more about Tim Freke, his books and seminars at -
Many more such excellent interviews are available at the Conscious TV homepage -

Artwork courtesy of Kazuyo Yamada, her gallery is at -   http://kazuyo.exto.org/

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