Comments on: Gun control, Gandhiji, bravery, and true peace Exploring life, spirituality, and contemporary cultural issues via "The Basket of Tolerance" and other guideposts Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:49:25 +0000 hourly 1 By: BoT Student Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:37:29 +0000 Hi Rick; thanks for sharing.

I used to think the NRA was one of the most evil and strange entities on the planet.

Now… well, now I can think of much worse things. And an asssociation of gun owners doesn’t seem that bad at all, really.

Regarding the notion “No one in favor of gun control [wants] all citizens turning in all their guns”… I hope you are right about this.

When the Chinese first came to Tibet, apparently they said “we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.” The Tibetans were like wtf, we didn’t elect you. Eventually there was forced disarming of the Tibetans and worse, though for a long time many Tibetans were in denial about how bad the Chinese were. (I’m basing this off Chogyam Trungpa’s book “Born In Tibet”.)

Some people say this Tibetan situation was a preview of what is likely to happen worldwide in our lifetime. If you don’t like those sorts of warnings, stay away from Adi Da’s book “Not-Two Is Peace”, I’m sorry to say, as it contains some chilling warnings – if I’m reading my scripture correctly.

Ultimately I don’t personally think guns are the answer; I think Gandhi’s first option is really the only solution. But for the purposes of this article I was trying to see things through the eyes of gun owners. Hard to practice cooperation or tolerance if I hold on to too many prejudices.

Thanks Rick for sharing your sentiments.

By: Rick Brenner Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:36:38 +0000 No one in favor of gun control is advocating all citizens turning in all of their guns such that only criminals will have guns. This is an extreme example that the NRA puts forth to further their agenda.

By: BoT Student Sat, 21 Jun 2014 23:37:14 +0000 Hmm, somehow this comment got lost. Yes, thank you for sharing this. The first video is called

MK-Ultra, CIA Mind Control & Brain Washing to Make Assassins

and the second is called


Looks very interesting with hundreds of thousands of views for each video. Certainly mind-control and assassins have been a major topic going back to the 60s, if not before. I think JFK was even a fan and friend of the filmmaker who made The Manchurian Candidate.

I would encourage readers to take a look at these videos and let us know what they think, give us a report.

By: Edu Tue, 17 Jun 2014 01:54:26 +0000 This hipothetical scenario does bring many questionings:

Would one rightously defend oneself and one’s loved ones if a true menace was present with the avaialable means, whichever may be?

Can one take the responsability of defend oneself and one family?

Is there something in our culture that prevent us from confronting evil when necessary and keep us spinning our wheels in ideological controversies?

Shouldn’t uncoditional love include self-love?

Can most people wield (ACTIVELY, not passively) the faith and spiritual forces necessary to stop violent agressors before trauma is caused to oneself or inocents? Can most send unconditional love energy from the heart chakra to the attacker during a situation of sudden stress? Do most even know about this possibility? Even after being raised for most years in an externally oriented, atheistic materialistic culture? Is this a realistic expectation?

Can severe trauma or violent death hinder one’s soul spiritual progress?

etc, etc, etc…

By: BoT Student Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:59:51 +0000 I got an email from someone who took issue with this joke, suggesting it encouraged violence.

Or maybe took issue that it was making fun of liberals.

I was going to write back, but I thought I would post my response here. Here’s what I wrote…

Liberals are not actually as non-violent as they might like to think, in my experience. As liberals (I used to be a liberal, and probably still am in many ways), we can be some of the most angry people on earth, only it’s usually hidden or expressed through covert means. We tend to have a glamorous self-image about *thinking* we are non-violent – like a proud nation that pretends to be virtuous – or we may take pride in being able to outwardly control our emotions most of the time. But then we might end up with passive aggression. Or another way to look at it is that, as liberals, our violence is expressed through our attitudes – even via suppressing our own bodily vitality, which is almost a kind of violence toward ourselves – rather than expressing violence overtly at others through our hands. But our default so-called “non-violence” is not necessarily loving or self-sacrificial in our actual interactions with people, in my experience – it’s more an idea, or an ideal, a way we want to see ourselves.

That’s why I found Edu’s joke funny.

As liberals, we don’t tend to believe that God or ego-transcendence are necessary – instead we are much more hopeful about additional legislation to control everything and everyone. We trust in man, not in God. (Actually we don’t even trust individual men, but we do trust collectives.) We’d like to evolve a more and more perfect society in which to idolize ordinary bodily existence. And to achieve this, we’re willing to use an idealized – but actually quite violent – bureaucratic system to enforce our will onto others, enforce our ideas of how everything should be.

I saw a man on Facebook recently expressing the idea that ALL private gun owners are paranoid and deluded and are claiming rights that they do not deserve. When someone asked him about this, he said he was just angry about the recent shootings in the news, being a father himself, and was looking for someone to blame it on.

While I sympathize with people being upset over publicized shootings, or being afraid for their families, I don’t know if we can bypass this trial of going beyond fear that Gandhi spoke about.

In a way, we’re getting into the actual inspiration for this article. Would Gandhi smile upon those of us who talk about non-violence while living comfy, cowardly lives in middle-class suburbs, having our comfortable lifestyle protected by large guns that we get to pretend don’t exist? It’s a question worth asking, I feel. Does true non-violence require a willingness to die, on the spot, even in a very physical and earthy way, for the sake of love and truth? Gandhi’s claim was that yes, genuine non-violence does require this willingness. The Mummery Book also seems to suggest that some kind of non-violent self-sacrifice – or acceptance of whatever happens when we disobey powerful evil forces – is required.

Going back to Edu’s joke about the violent man with the knife attacking someone’s family… As liberals, it’s my opinion that we DO in fact want this violent man killed or locked up or otherwise removed somehow (or best of all, written out of the story through intellectual argument, lol), but we want it done where we can’t see it, and done through a parent-like bureaucracy that takes responsibility out of our own hands. We don’t want a direct, earthy, participatory relationship with the man – we just want him removed from our otherwise spotless society, and placed under the parental care of some bureaucracy. Perhaps a mental asylum.

Edu’s joke could be seen as equally making fun of conservative people – but I didn’t get any conservatives sending me emails complaining about it. Are all conservatives heartlessly violent? Or anxious and jumpy with their trigger fingers? This is not my experience, at all. But as a joke I thought it was funny because it poked fun at stereotypes, costumes we could wear in modern society – liberal costumes and conservative costumes.

Anyway, I still think the joke was good because it helps provoke consideration and discussion. :)

By: Edu Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:33:17 +0000 See also:

“As an alternative, he suggested I read a book called “The Ultimate Evil” by Maury Terry and use it as a starting point for a conspiratorial novel. Maury Terry is a newspaper reporter who uncovered a coast-to-coast network of underground Satan-worshiping drug-smugglers while investigating the “Son of Sam” murders in New York City. The novel is written from the author’s point of view, and relates the facts in the order he uncovered them. Like a true reporter, he offers no theory to connect them. As I organized the events of his book, I was forced to do additional research – especially on the “Cotton Club” killers. After completing this task, all I needed to add were motives and a way to tie these “agents of chaos” to well funded political organizations that advocate industrial collapse.”

By: Edu Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:21:39 +0000 Well… …there some people in this world that have little humanity left, and they are very well self-concious of this. As matter of fact they chose it on purpose. People who respect nothing else other than actual power, be it spiritual or worldly.

see the “Franklin Cover Up”:

By: Paul Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:38:24 +0000 As I said before, the way the three options are framed seems very loaded to me. It’s obvious to me that violence is always a bad thing, both because of its effects on the one(s) to whom the violence is directed AND because of its effects on the agent(s) of violence. I feel a lot of the latter effects just through my “virtual” participation in violence through movies and television.

BUT in some situations, violent action might be the LEAST BAD option available. In my own case, I’d also have to take into account that I’m likely to be very ineffective in taking violent action.

Removing myself from the situation – which you seem to be denigrating as cowardly – might well be the best available option.

But if there were others involved who were (even) weaker than myself, it’s more likely I would try some other form of action, non-violent or even possibly violent. I don’t think we are very good at predicting what we would do even in a known situation, and the hypothetical situation is itself rather abstract.

One feature that is common in movies, on TV, and in U.S. foreign policy is dehumanizing the other people. Edu’s example (above) of “a dangerous looking man with a huge knife … running at you while screaming obscenities and his intent to cause you and yours harm” is an example of such a dehumanized individual. As he is portrayed, there is no possibility of mutual sympathy, negotiation, cooperation, etc.

I don’t believe that such beings actually exist or could exist. In the short term, someone might be the functional equivalent of such a being, but over any (perhaps even briefly) extended time I would think there would be the possibility of connecting with the humanity of the other person. Lynne’s story of the rapist is an example. So is the story of the drunk on the train that I linked to above,

And I don’t think you need to be a saint to connect humanly with another person, or even come up to “unconditional love” in the moment. We are all ALREADY in relationship with every other apparent being and we only need to acknowledge that prior reality and act on that basis, in whatever humble way we can, for that relationship to be made effective in the situation. It may not lead to a great outcome, but perhaps in some sense it may be the best one can do.

By: question everything Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:53:59 +0000 In case you wonder about the background of these “crazy lone gun men” and what medication has to do with it.