Politics, anger, non-action

Tao Te Ching 48:

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.

Non-action. I think that is something to do with presence or mindfulness. Rather than consciously thinking about what I do, I can just do it. Washing up can be like this. It is a simple task. Often I would switch off and think of something else while doing it, but I can pay full attention to the task itself. Several times in the day I wash my hands: I can stop conscious verbal thought, and notice the scents, feelings, the look of it as my hands simply move. A novice golfer is thinking of their position and movement, a professional just does the stroke.

Politics is horrible now. What the BNP did to get votes fifteen years ago, and UKIP last year, the Conservative party is doing now, after the Brexit vote: as well as working to destroy the NHS, by depriving it of staff and funding, and privatising it. I hear of housing costs and my hackles start to rise, and if the speaker is angry I am likely to go off on one. Of course there has been extremism in the Tory party before; I may still have somewhere The Sectarian Song-book, written by young men deliberately trying to shock:

Burn the broad Left in their middle-class homes
Crush Wedgwood-Benn and make glue from his bones

Oh we’re saying goodbye to the Left
As safe in their graveyards they rest
[can’t remember, diDada diDada]…a regular army
the boot-boys of FCS.

The Federation of Conservative Students was replaced by the Conservative Collegiate Forum in a purge of leadership by the party hierarchy, before I joined.

Mrs Clinton’s record of lying is a disgrace. Politifact puts her at 10% false, 2% “pants on fire”. It is not enough that it is not as bad as Mr Trump’s. So, on politics:

I will tell the truth as best I know it.

I will permit my anger, but not get overwhelmed by it; to be calm and loving in action and demeanour.

I will hear the arguments of my opponents, and address them, rather than only my own side.

I will think of other things beyond politics. However I cycled to Swanston to the Independent Socialists meeting to hear Derek Wall and get his book Economics after Capitalism: A guide to the ruins and a road to the future. I may even read it!

The British drama 1990 has dated but its title sequence remains evocative. The world is beautiful and strange, and may be seen through a glass darkly.

dew-on-the-web

7 thoughts on “Politics, anger, non-action

  1. “I will tell the truth as best I know it.
    I will permit my anger, but not get overwhelmed by it; to be calm and loving in action and demeanour.
    I will hear the arguments of my opponents, and address them, rather than only my own side.”

    Noble.

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  2. Thank you for the introductory paragraph of this – just what I need to remember. Annoyed with child for (a) not wearing her new fleece to school and (b) taking all the labels of the two new fleeces I bought her so that I can’t take either back to the shop. I recall that I can simply allow her to accumulate a pile of clothes on her bedroom floor. She will pick them up soon enough. (Must tell the cleaner to leave them there tomorrow,) I cannot force her, but she may be reminded. Thank you! 😉 xxxx

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    • Calm, my dear. Patience. Acceptance…

      It is all of life, but politics in particular right now. (I wanted to share a line, do guess which one.) Taken simply as a one-liner, Mr Trump saying “I will recognise the result of this historic election- if… I… Win” is a great line. His pauses at the end, all the weight of the surprise on the last word- hear his crowd cheer as they hear it! But that line, or “I prefer people who don’t get captured”- or, presumably, people who don’t get STDs- is ignoble, dishonouring the discourse. It appeals to angry people among, what do I call us, the Little people, the middling sort, the Masses, who can fantasise about coming out with such a put-down even though Mr Trump himself hones his laugh-lines, and it coarsens us. We need an antidote.

      Liked by 1 person

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