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Open Mike 02/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 2nd, 2017 - 70 comments
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70 comments on “Open Mike 02/07/2017 ”

  1. Ant 1

    Are you SBNR? Yet another initialism! but believe it or not there are a growing number who claim to be ‘spiritual but not religious.’ Repudiating an anthropomorphic deity, indoctrination of children by zealous parents, wars waged in the name of religion and the host of belief systems based on fear, superstition and narrow-mindedness, SBNR’s hold a mind set open to a universe of limitless possibilities. Many subscribe to agnosticism, a perspective held even by Richard Dawkins, much revered guru of atheists. If SBNR adherents weren’t enough a web search for spiritual atheists turns up 750 000 hits.

    It is not surprising we seek the ‘other’ whether in terms of a deity, our higher selves, or simply the capacity to transcend the mundane, – as evidenced by the multi-billion dollar drug industry. Embedded within consciousness is the concept of infinity, – a troubling element that’s difficult to put to bed in a world where value is measured on finite scales of possessions and money. Will enough ever be enough? Seems unlikely, as symbolised by the state of our depleted earth and the ravages of wanton capitalism.

    “Ordinary experience” as lived out in our three-dimensional and temporal worlds can and must be left behind to still the dragon of inner longing. This has been recognised for millennia, and pathways to transcendence have been pointed out by great lights who disseminated the indications according to the evolutionary status of audiences of their time.

    Today, as ever, there persists an aspect of the psyche which when activated floods the mind with a revised attitude towards life and its values. In the past primarily equated with so called ‘religious conversion’, today many attest to its veracity via meditation, yoga, mindfulness and similar pursuits.

    This can easily be written off as emotional hysteria, based on need at a time of extreme stimulation; it is also possible to find documentation of countless lives that have been permanently altered for the better through it.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1

      What has actually occurred is a paradigm shift from being force fed a belief over to deciding for themselves what belief suits.

      When I hear people claim to be spiritual rather than religious I can’t help but think of Bert Potter (plenty of other examples) who would have no doubt referred to himself spiritual. My point is that the change in nomenclature doesn’t lessen the danger nor the ability to manipulate people.

      Enjoy your new acronym.

      • Ant 1.1.1

        Agreed, as advertising continues to manipulate millions to subscribe to the god of capitalism.

    • …believe it or not there are a growing number who claim to be ‘spiritual but not religious.’

      Oh, I can believe it alright. Rationalism seems to be decidedly unfashionable these days. That’s not a good thing.

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        I am an atheist but I really marvel at the interior of walnuts, and the clever survival of sparrows, and the transient colours of sunsets, and the crashing of the waves.
        Nothing to do with religion but it might be spiritual as in the uplifting of the spirit.

        • Ant

          Spiritual atheists would welcome you as a kindred spirit 😉

        • Psycho Milt

          I am an atheist but I really marvel at the interior of walnuts, and the clever survival of sparrows, and the transient colours of sunsets, and the crashing of the waves.

          Well, exactly. The actually-existing world isn’t short of marvels, there’s no need to go making stuff up.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.2.2

        Humans, and the world we inhabit, do not survive on rationality alone.

        The rational, the intuitive, the empathetic, spiritual, and creative capabilities need to be in a kind of balance, or bad things can happen.

        • Draco T Bastard

          What makes you think that empathetic and creative capabilities aren’t rational?

          Intuition is usually the result of unconscious thought based upon what people have been taught (of course, if the teachings are wrong then the intuition is wrong as well).

      • One Two 1.2.3


        Only exists inside ones own head

        That you believe it to be ‘unfashionable’, is only by the interpretation you put on it..

        Which counts for nothing..

        Except to you..which is all it should be…

        • McFlock

          “The Higgs boson is the continuity of formless sexual energy”

          • Incognito

            It is very fashionable to be ‘in the moment’ (the more sport-minded call it ‘in zone’) and rationally speaking sex is like the time before time existed and the orgasmic Big Bang. So, you’re bang on that the Higgs is the continuity of that formless energy.

      • Stuart Munro 1.2.4

        Rationalism has many virtues, the chief one being it can be used to curtail the excesses of enthusiasms.

        But, rationalism has no reason not to feed one’s deceased grandmother to the dog.

        • Psycho Milt

          Sure. But it does allow you to understand why you wouldn’t turn your dead grandma into pet food, without having to make a whole lot of shit up. Which in turn helps you with making assessments about which emotions it’s reasonable to act on (eg, “Of course you can’t feed dead grandma to your dog!”) and which it isn’t (eg, “This cunt needs the shit kicked out of him”).

          • Carolyn_nth


            It’s about the integration of rationality (which tends to dissect things into parts), and the “irrational”, intuitive, emotional, etc (which tends to see things more as a whole, integrated into the social and environmental fabric.

            • Psycho Milt

              I see it more as the manifold inherent dangers of irrationality being minimised by the application of rationality, most importantly in not making shit up to explain what you don’t know.

    • It is all just puny human words trying to describe the indescribable. Often sprinkled with judgments, bigotry and self serving sentiments. People believe shit – get over it, it’s all good, even the bad.

      • Ant 1.3.1

        “It is all just puny human words trying to describe the indescribable.”

        Certainly not. When asked about God Buddha replied ‘I’m not going to tell you whether there is God or not; if I say “there is god” you will go forth proclaiming it as truth, and it will make no difference to your lives whatsoever. If I say “there is no god” you will go your way exclaiming the Buddha says there is no god, and your lives will go on just as before.’ Urging his followers to be lamps unto themselves, his teachings continue to strike chords of hope to this day.

        • marty mars

          Yeah i asked jim about America he said whether I tell you about it or not won’t affect the quality of the burgers. Fucken deep that Jim all right, very fucken deep.

        • Incognito

          All the dynamic is between those two absolute positions.

          The stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. [Bertrand Russell]

          • Carolyn_nth

            Haven’t seen this quote before. Interesting one. My search brought up, among other things, this explanation of the evidence for the first part of the quote, and the limitations of the second.

            The Dunning–Kruger effect only implies that smarter people are more able to detect and correct their own mistakes. It doesn’t say that intelligent people are necessarily wracked by self-doubt, and certainly not that they lack all conviction.

            • Incognito

              Thank you.

              I tried to place Russell’s quote in the context of Ant’s original comment @ 1 and the most of this thread which is largely about being spiritual-religious and rationality. Perhaps the quote wasn’t entirely appropriate.

              Anyway, in the context of (spiritual-religious) faith doubt plays a crucial role and the not-knowing (for sure) ought to open one’s mind (and heart), and keep it opened, to new information and (full) experiences.

              In other words, it is a dynamic, not a fixed position, between faith/conviction & doubt.

              I’d like to think that this is consistent with Russell’s quote although I cannot be sure and it might have been stupid to even consider it but it did stimulate our thinking so I am now convinced I was dead right 😉

              • Ant

                Agreed. Once the rational aspect of the mind has exhausted the full range of laterally generated paradoxes it finds the fields of unknowing refreshing and intriguing. There are energies there not readily reducible to logic, formula or descriptive prose. It may be that the Nazarene’s “become as little children” refers to putting rationality in abeyance, rather than become childlike in faith.

                • Incognito

                  Neuro-anatomically rational and irrational function & behaviour are thought to be centred in different parts of the brain.

                  It is perhaps not surprising that people have tried to connect or integrate even quantum mechanics – truly weird and very complex stuff and sometimes called “spooky” – with Jung’s concepts and archetypes. It is quite possibly a realm where a strict or purely logic/rational (dogmatic) approach won’t get you far; I certainly struggle to follow the few who have made inroads here but as Mr Spock would say it all is “fascinating”.

                  Interestingly, archetypes are universal ‘bridges’ between the spiritual and material worlds and not taught or created by socio-cultural forces. So, we all share (and contribute to) them but in daily life they get ‘expressed & shaped’ by our personal circumstances.

                  Thank you for kick-starting this @ 1.

          • Sumsuch

            Arthur Balfour said something similar about the bold. Didn’t stop him promising something already promised.

    • Gabby 1.4

      I’m sure people’s eagerness to think they’re better than they are would strike John Bonifield as adorable.

      • Ant 1.4.1

        The many disadvantaged by drug-dependency, depression and suicidal thoughts surely need to think they are better than they are.

    • Sumsuch 1.5


    • Sumsuch 1.6

      How vital is rationalism. We see what the lack of it has brought us. The only thing it, vitally, lacks is evangelists.

      English socialism had them, modelled point by point on 19th century evangelical Christianity. My g.grandfather was ‘first to bring the word to Preston’ Lancashire. Not surprising rationalism requires both its warmth and its coldness so expressed. A narrative.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    Interesting point made by Richard A. Clarke – former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism, that Russia created thousands of false Facebook and twitter identities before the last election, micro-targeting people and shaping their opinion – “psychological warfare on a grand scale – they conducted the largest pyschological warfare campaign in history and they won” – Just as fascinatingly, he says the ransomware attack wasn’t even genuine ransomeware. It’s real purpose was to do what it did and that was to permanently erase files on computers. It was targeted at the Ukraine but slipped out of the Ukraine. He says the same thing happende when the US attacked Iran with its own malware which ended up going everywhere else as well

  3. savenz 3

    Very similar to NZ. Some of our companies may not be fully privatised but the SOE & COO model’s mean they are expected to operate that way. The National’s party’s quest on lazy immigration, fake degrees and our global housing and land sale strategy has ensured a housing shortage during a population explosion and expanded the high cost of housing and renting (as related to local wages). Yep now the taxpayers are expected to subsidise the clusterfuck through accomodation allowances, increase benefits to pay for power and water blow outs.

    Forget austerity, here’s who is to blame for your empty pockets
    Patrick Collinson


    • Hongi Ika 3.1

      Importing Asian House Farmers – National’s Growth Strategy

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Research this week by Santander blows the whistle on the ever-growing portion of our monthly pay that goes on largely unavoidable household bills. It looked at bills for gas, electricity, water, TV, phone and so on – and found they have escalated in price far, far ahead of average wage rises. Since 2006, average pay packets in Britain have gone up by 19% in pounds and pence terms (in other words, not adjusting for inflation). Meanwhile, the average gas bill has gone up 73%, electricity 72%, and water 41%.

      The general effect of privatisation upon a society. It simply makes it too expensive for the majority to live and thus causes the society to collapse.

      We cannot afford the rich

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      It suggests China’s official word cannot be trusted, whether the issue is Hong Kong’s (and Taiwan’s) continued freedoms, illegal regional military expansion, or investment in Britain’s nuclear industry, retailers and real estate.

      And we should already have learned that lesson from our own dealings with China.

    • millsy 4.2

      IMO Hong Kong, along with Macau, should have become an independent city’state, similar to Singapore.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        If the worlds nations stuck to the Charter of the UN that they’ve signed then Hong Kong would have the choice if they wished to be part of China or not. So would Taiwan. The Kurds would have the choice to make their own state.

        All indications are that the UN Charter has been a dead document for decades as the powerful simply do what they want.

  4. Q: Where’s James with his Sunday Morning Rugby report?
    A: In tears

    • The decrypter 5.1

      A: Shouting at, and kicking his cat.

      • mpledger 5.1.1

        To be fair the Lions had to win or they would have been a laughing stock. Not winning when playing 15 against 14 would make them look like no-hopers.

    • Mate it was good night nurse after they dotted down. All credit, it was a game of two halves alright but rugby was the winner on the day. Gotta tighten up the loose and losen up the tight – drive over the advantage line and make their presence felt. Great day they really grew another arm and leg and got the job done. Proud of ya boys onya beauty kinoath yeah nah.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.2.1


        The better team was the winner on the day. They dug deep, and played for the full 80 minutes. They tightened up on their discipline as the game wore on, played as a team to the conditions… yadda yadda yadda.

        • marty mars

          Yep they made some spot tackles and forced errors with solid defence and swung it wide for the flash Harry’s and glory boys to pop it under the post. The engine room chugged on as every man played for his brother and went the extra mile. Epic.

          • Craig H

            Full credit to the opposition and three cheers to the Ref!

            • In Vino

              At the end of the day I would like to point out to all those who used the phrase ‘on the day’ that the game was played at night-time. Obviously, a rugby calendar day has three halves: morning, afternoon, and night. This was not a game of 2 halves – it was a game of the third half. Just wanted to clear that up for people like James.

      • Nick 5.2.2


    • Andre 5.3

      Was there a game on? Who was playing?

    • Ed 5.4

      He is like many National people.
      Happy to bask in the glory of others when they are winning.
      AWOL when they lose.
      I actually question his support of sports teams except as a prop for his devoted National Party

    • KJT 5.5

      It was a good game and the best team on the day, won.

    • millsy 5.6

      Looks like there is going to be an actual contest for the 3rd match.

      Everything to play for.For pretty much all of the AB players, this will be the only time they get to play the Lions.

      Though I am picking we may not get to see another Lions tour, not in the form we are used to. The next tour here is due in 2029, but the game might change in that time.

    • Incognito 5.7

      I could have told you that wearing those red socks would bring bad luck.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Fabulous NZ country Mt White Station is Ed. Be great pity if foreign owners not only own it but block out NZers. Wonder if new foreign owners will farm it or just look at it?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      It’s no different from when Labour were in power and they really won’t be changing it much once they get in power – NZ will still be for sale to the highest bidder and thus making NZers poorer.

  5. Andre 7

    Oh goody, those tiny fingers aren’t going to stop any time soon – it’s “MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL”. Woe betide anyone who dares try to take that phone away.


    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Must be like some forms of art: Simplified, massively ugly and only liked in small echo chambers.

    • ianmac 8.1

      When history talks of life expectancy in say the 18th Century being only about 40 years this because the huge infant mortality rate kept the averages down, and many lived to 60 + years. Just getting past the birth and early years was the hurdle.

  6. JanM 9

    The Making of the English Working Class written by E. P. Thompson, a notable ‘New Left’ historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz
    If you really want to know how bad things can get, especially for the poor (and especially children) in an unregulated capitalist economy, this is a spine-chilling read.

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