The First Key

I suggest that there are 2 fundamental rules one should live by.

1. Seek to understand the nature of the reality we find ourselves in.

2. Act with compassion.

As free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, all actions are permissible. There are, of course, consequences. As we delve into the layers of knowledge and meaning, we find more and more that much of what we think and do are programmed into us by our society. Much of this is used to control and manipulate us for the benefit of others. We, as social animals, go along willingly with the bulk of this. To be accepted as part of the troupe has a certain comfort, whilst bucking the cultural restrictions can lead to ostracization, and in the extreme, a violent and unpleasant death.

Thus we are somewhat discouraged to seek the "truth". It at times is analogous, and the image is often used, to the summiting of alpine peaks. The view is stunning and beautiful, but there is danger from the cold and the rarefied atmosphere. However, as with the mountaineer, we are able to ascend safely to the heights if we choose appropriate techniques.

Choosing Happiness.

I suggest that the pursuit of happiness is just this technique. This may at first sounds glib and trite.

But with all things there are layers of meaning. As we contemplate Happiness and the conditions that bring it about for us as Individuals, we come to realise that the secret of happiness is to Choose to be happy. As "free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe" happiness is not a right. We live in a storm of consequences and seemingly random events that impact us in ways that cause us to experience realities ranging from the bliss of love to the horrors of war and disease and the darkness of despair. This does not have to be the case.

We have within us the ability, when developed, to apprehend Happiness despite the circumstances of life.

First; one needs to See that Happiness can be chosen and is independent of circumstance. Here we come to the reasons why the pursuit of Happiness is so effective in the understanding of Reality. To achieve this independence from circumstance, one needs to cultivate the abstract mind that is able to stand back from action and analyse the given situation. Often called the Higher Mind. To apprehend and develop this facility we come back to rules 1 and 2 from above. These 2 rules, when applied to a given line of development, have a tendency to create a feedback loop. Pushing the Mind into progressive Realisation.

We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are raised to the Summit and can see Forever

Second; one needs to do that which is required to achieve and maintain Happiness. Here we not only need the clarity of thought of the Summit, but also the abandonment of fear and the attachment to those things that stand in the way of our Happiness. We need to be able to let go of the Toxic. The abusive relationship, the addiction to food or drugs, the Need for wealth and status, whatever it is that holds one back. Again we use rules 1 and 2.

We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are freed of Gravity and cannot Fall.

Third; one needs to remember to practice the choice of Happiness. To maintain Happiness at all times, one must choose Happiness at all times. This brings about the apprehension of time and the role of time in our lives and the nature of Reality. Life is not a series of snapshots but a Sea. Our consciousness is a wavefront propelled by the past into an unformed future. One needs to achieve Perspective. To hold the pastand possible future in mind whilst being in the present.

So it's all process, there is no destination, there is only the Journey. This contemplation of time and its role is the real challenge. The first two steps are relatively mechanistic in operation. Cause and effect. Not easy, but if followed, will lead to Happiness. These are operations of the Individual in the mundane circumstances of our lives. But to expand into the contemplation of time in this way pushes our consciousness away from our Individual circumstances and begins to show us our true position in the Universe. Even at our present primitive abilities, we can see that the Universe is incomprehensibly large. This is just spatially. What about the time line, what about the more subtle energy manifestations of this Universe, some of which we are starting to study, others yet to be discovered. What about the Small. The Cell, The Atom etc etc etc.

As Free Beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, one can see that we are effectively nothing. Our lives, even the most dynamic and influential, for "good or ill", disappear into time on this planet, and are totally unknown elsewhere. This can be scary, it can also be freeing. This brings us back to the assertion that all things are permissible, because in the totality of the Universe, all our actions are meaningless. Yet, to the Individual Mind, I am all there is. I am that which experiences the Universe. What was there before I became aware of it? What will there be when I am no longer? Thus I am the Universe experiencing itself. All things are permissible.There are consequences to all action, and all inaction, for of course there is no such thing as inaction.

However we want to cut this. It still comes out that all things are permissible and that there are consequences. We could go off and do all sorts of stuff that advantages us as Individuals, but unless we act with Compassion, we cause unnecessary suffering of others and ultimately ourselves. Thus we cannot achieve Happiness and we fall into delusion. We become a casualty of the climb to the Summit.

We need to not forget, in pursuing Happiness, that we also exercise Compassion on ourselves.

OK, that's what this Blog is all about. I suggest this stuff for contemplation, and as the"spirit moves" I'll add more in the way of clarification.

Choose Happiness Now!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Irrational Taxation Debate

In this, and many other countries, we have a situation with taxation that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
The people have needs that are being met, or at least someway to being met by government service provision. This of course has to be paid for by taxation.
So what is tax? It is the fee we have to pay as citizens for the services we require. If this taxation is to be fairly weighted, then the higher wealth citizens would pay more, as they, as a rule get to use more of the services and benefits provided by Government. In a compassionate society this is a necessary subsidy.
There is an onus on Government to use these funds wisely. This is a matter of quality of management.
Unfortunately, there is a mindset that has crept into the debate over taxation, that taxation should be minimised. To do this, services are cut, or allowed to drift into an underfunded position as inflation eats up their budgets. Same result. I have no problem with reviews into wasteful practise and previous pork barreling.
The reality is, if we require these services then we have to pay for them. If we do not have them provided by the public sector, which I support for many reasons including the cost effectiveness as there is no need to put a profit margin on top of the cost of provision, then they have to be provided by the private sector. This is a less than ideal situation because of the aforementioned profit margin, the drive for that margin leading to aggressive cost cutting that degrades the quality of service. This is understandable from the perspective of the private (corporate) entity, as their prime motivation is profit. However it is not good for the recipients of the given service. There is their other option which is to increase the price that consumers have to pay. This is often by those least able to.

Now we come to the crux. Under the private provision of these services there is no subsidy,unless some special deal has been struck, and therefore the wealthy avoid their societal responsibility of helping those less fortunate. Many of those that whine about having to pay a little extra for the health care of the old and sick, fail to take into account the welfare that they receive through child support and education (even private schools are subsidised by the taxpayer) etc. The well to do also get to use the infrastructure more, as they have a higher level of activity. Then there is the welfare/subsidisation of business, both private and multinational corporates. Fuel subsidies, special provision of infrastructure, and all sorts of handouts.

So why do our politicians have this pathological fear of raising sufficient taxation for our needs?
It's actually even worse than that. Whilst degrading many services because of the undefined "need to cut government spending", they hand out tax cuts. (mostly biased to the well off). We see even in the situation of the current flood crisis, when the possibility of raising a bit extra to help the recovery was floated, the chorus of " cut spending instead" was wheeled out again. How cutting services in one area to pay in another is overall effective, is beyond my comprehension. These people need help, and the general population seems keen to provide it. The politicians once again turn the needs of the hurting into a cheap plastic football. Shame on you all.
Lets look at the US situation at present. They are running huge deficits to pay for the previous administrations tax cuts to the wealthy and their aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, whilst handing over large sums to the banking industry and trying to stimulate the economy after the GFC. Now the people that set up this debacle are trumpeting spending cuts, not to their military adventure I might add, and tax cuts. How one stimulates an economy by applying the brakes, I don't know. It seems to me that the current problem is reduced activity caused by fear. Admittedly some have reduced ability to participate at previous levels, but many do have the ability and don't. You can't increase activity with borrowed money for too long without ending up in a debt hole that will take forever to get out of. This appears to be the US situation at present.
The solution. Raise taxation to fund increased activity. No debt, no interest, and the money ends up going around and ending up back in tax receipts. The funds dispersed by Government through increased service provision end up in the hands of the people( we won't go into the imbalance now), who then spend it etc etc etc. Each step of the flow is taxed.
I suggest the wealthy and the super wealthy should be the prime benefactors as they have the ability to put funds aside, which to an extent chokes the flow, whereas the less well off spend every cent they get which keeps the flow running. Some say that taxation chokes the flow, but this is a misunderstanding of energy dynamics. Provided the money is returned to the flow through provision of services, it is not the case. It is taking it out of the flow that chokes the system.

We have to remember that Money does not exist as a discreet entity. It is an abstract symbol that represents the energy flow through society.


  1. I thought I would join you on your site (your territory). This might put me at a distinct disadvantage but I am happy to be involved. I should have realised that you had done some serious thinking on corporations verse government and taxation. I enjoyed this post.
    I basically support your ideas here (as I did elsewhere) but I feel you are slightly misguided on the role of private enterprise(here I mean small and large business).
    Profits are not evil and are a necessary component of business (if companies are to survive).
    I would like to suggest that companies (making a profit) may be more efficient and effective at delivering certain services (say to the public). The increased efficiency could adequately compensate for the inclusion of a profit component in a company's P&L.
    I suggest (as you would) that profit levels need to be sensible and reasonable and if being taken from the provision of a public service might need to be "controlled" or at least agreed upfront.
    Government can learn a lot from private enterprise and this is a primary reason to encourage cooperation and the sharing of responsibilities in service provision to the public.
    One area (of interest to me) where good habits could rub off on government is "Innovation".

  2. Hi Dassa,
    I actually have no problem with profit in the private sector, provided it is resonable.I have owned a number of businesses over the years as well as worked in the Bureau of Statistics(a while ago) As you say, business needs it to survive. Private enterprise in it;s simplest form is the sole trader, and the profit is the wage. As the enterprise gets larger that relationship does breakdown somewhat as the wages are taken as costs and the profit is on top of that.
    The only reason that private enterprise could be more cost effective, for equal service quality, is management. There is no reason why public enterprise can't be managed as well as private enterprise, and if so would be more cost effective by way of no need for the profit margine and tax, which I forgot to include in the original critique.
    My main thrust in this debate is to try and negate the fuzzy thinking bought about by Ideological entrapment. I guess I may be a little guilty of Ideology myself in that I work from the basis that we should act with compassion as our Primary and ruling motivation.
    My main crtisisms of "private" and "corporate" enterprise is the design of the regulatory structure. The Pty Ltd company has been somewhat bought into line, the directors are now more liable for debt etc and therefore need to conduct themselves in a more responsible manner, but this still doesn't stop the shonkies putting everything in the wifes name and trashing the business so they don't have to pay out on debts. As we know , this sort of behaviour is fairly common in the building industry.
    In the "corporate" sector, this avoidence of responsibility is even more extreme, and when the company is a multi-national with it's head office in another country, we as a society have very little ability to reign in bad practise, especially as some of these have greater wealth than many counties.
    This design fault of course is mostly neutralised by good and responsible management, we we see all the time that these "corporate don't always act in this manner.

    I personally don't care that much if services like banking and utilities are provided by the private and corporate sectors, though I think we have been badly done by in some of the sell offs. But when it comes to the "caring sevices" Health, welfare, education,I think the profit motive is a dangerous component, leading to dimunition of services.
    Have you ever looked into the horrendous state of health care in the US. They also have a pretty poor public education system. We see the results all the time of that.

  3. AN addition.
    I think it could be quite beneficial if the public service recruited more from private enterprise. I've been out of the service for a long time, but in my day there was a lot of dead wood that needed trimming, so I don't know if that's been dealt with properly. I get the impession that it is probably not as bad these days

  4. PPS
    The other BIG problem, especially with the large corporations, is the power that they wield in society with no Democratic input.

  5. Synaps
    I may be looking at government from a different perspective to you (I think). Perhaps I am tainted a bit by my experiences with local government over the past few years. I have been involved in helping Councils (from the inside) sort out the mess they are in by virtue of their poor asset management in the past.
    Management is the issue!
    Yes Councils could (should) employ more people from private enterprise, but their pay structures basically preclude this (or at least for attracting the numbers they need).
    The asset management debacle is a classic case of poor management and poor planning (not "putting money away for a rainy day").
    Some reports put the "obligation" for asset renewal across all Australian councils (450+) at some $150B. Some councils are in more trouble than others (generally representing smaller communities), in that they will not be able to maintain services at current levels with the amount of "renewal" funding required to bring assets back to an appropriate level.
    There is no quick fix and the primary infrastructure (supplying the services) is not assets that corporations want to buy (necessarily). There are services at the local government level like playgrounds, parks, libraries etc that councils (some form of government) need to deliver.
    How do we do this?
    Councils need to be more innovative. Councils need to understand and practice innovation to provide mechanisms for generating new ideas, leading to new practices and new solutions that fit within realistic budgets and provide social well-being and social good.
    What can deliver this necessary reform?
    But there is a long way to go to realise the ultimate "dream" - but it is achievable.
    An initial step has been made to introduce "innovation" to government (in general) but specifically to local government. A compilation of what is happening globally is being put together.
    Visit the Innovative Council web site.
    Any constructive input to the debates here would add value and be greatly appreciated.