Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Bien pensant certes mais contourné!



Ce n’est probablement pas un film ni génial ni chef d’œuvre. Un jeune Sénégalais se fait arnaquer de 5 millions de francs CFA, enfin sa grand-mère, par un autre Africain Occidental, bien sûr pas un Français, pour venir jouer dans un club de football français. Mais il n’a pas 18 ans et donc ne peut pas être sélectionné de la sorte.

Mais une fois à l’intérieur de la citadelle française assiégée il va faire ce qu’il peut pour trouver de l’aide et pour réaliser son rêve sans rentrer au Sénégal où sa grand-mère vient de mourir laissant derrière elle la dette qu’elle avait contractée pour son petit-fils. Ma dette et la honte.

Il réussira car il n’y a probablement pas de fées dans notre pays mais il faut bien rêver et un cas de ce genre est toujours éventuellement possible, même si à côté d’un comme ça mille autres finissent en immigrés clandestins sans papiers et sans travail. Le cas qui réussit fait vivre le rêve et surtout donne bonne conscience aux spectateurs qui demain verront les sans papiers qui balaient les rues ou dorment sur les bancs d’un nouvel œil : « Pourquoi ne font-ils pas un effort pour réaliser leur rêve ? Mais peut-être qu’ils n’ont pas de rêve ? » qu’ils vont, ces braves spectateurs bien pensants, se répétant le long des boulevards.

Le cas est touchant, et même attachant, mais le résultat est-il vraiment un soutien au développement de l’Afrique et des Africains ? Il y a là une idéologie que je ne peux que considérer comme au moins douteuse, sans compter que l’assistante sociale et le juge qui s’occupent de ce cas sont tellement humanitaires, alors que les flics de l’aéroport sont tellement revêches. A ce niveau on touche à la caricature plus humanoïde qu’humaine.

On se prend même des envies de devenir lion pour mordre les muscles du fondement des gens qui peuvent penser si « simplement ».


Monday, April 29, 2013


Batchelor puts too much Western religion in his Tibetan Buddhism


This is a fairly important book, more literary than theological, and this characteristic can be seen from the very first pages. Stephen Batchelor constructs his demonstrations with an enormous amount of quotations and quoted authors, something like fifty. These quotations, what’s more, come from all kinds of traditions. The various Buddhist traditions are justified, though they bare not differentiated and thus are treated as all equivalent, the canonical books of course, the Tibetan tradition, the Chinese and Zen tradition and a little bit of the Korean and Japanese traditions.

What’s more surprising is the vast corpus of authors from the Christian and western field. We can note quotations from Milton, Blake and most of the English romantic poets. But he heavily uses Baudelaire and some French authors like Roland Barthes, Blaise Pascal, Michel de Montaigne and Emmanuel Levinas. And then he quotes the Bible, both Testaments, quite often and constructs a parallel between Buddha and Jesus, between Job and Buddha. He vaguely speaks of the Zoroastrians of Zarathustra as a source of Vedic literature clearly implied as being behind the Buddha’s principles, but he does not push the Zoroastrian thought to the west as one essential source of the three Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the last one being mentioned only marginally.

Quoting is not proving. This patchwork of quotations from various horizons does not make the Buddhist vision explicit. Stephen Batchelor does not develop an anthropological argument about the universality of some Buddhist concepts. But that is a side remark that we have to keep in the margin of the critique.

The first idea is that the Buddhist vision is entirely based on the dichotomy of good and evil, Buddha and Mara. This Mara, identified as the Buddhist Satan or Devil, is omnipresent and is stated as being Buddha’s “shadow” and that leads Stephen Batchelor to a second couple when he identifies Brahma as the Buddha’s “charisma.”  This is clearly specified as being metaphors and it is based on a first one (p. 15): “Hell is a metaphor of desolation.” This metaphorical field is constantly mentioned and developed. He identifies five devils: “the devil of psychological existence; the devil of compulsions; the devil of death; the devil who is born of a god; . . . the devil of conditioning.” We can note the fourth one is not of the same nature as the others, but that is not my point here. By multiplying the devils you end up weakening your reference. I am not sure the concept of “hell” has anything to do with Theravada Buddhism, even if we can find traces of this concept in the Tibetan tradition, especially the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol).

When he states that “Satan is in perpetual rebellion against God; Mara is in ceaseless struggle with Buddha,” the parallel between Satan and Mara is weakened by the over use of it and Buddha is identified to God, making him into a god, or making god into a human being. Both ideas are unacceptable from any point of view. He finally gives his definition of the devil as being “the devil is the contradictionness of our nature.” Hence the devil is not anything at all, it is only a word to cover the duality of our nature, the fact that our nature is divided between good and evil, eros and thanatos and many other couples of that sort that have been used in the 20th century. He could have referred to many of the same couples the Buddha uses in the canonical books, like The Dhammapada, without bringing up this very folkloric personification of evil in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. He probably has it right, at the end of the book, when he says that the Buddha had to yield to his surrounding culture, and his surrounding Hindu environment made a heavy use of negative deities. But today this reference has become totally passé if not a sign of bigotry. The Buddha today would consider the real conditions of the modern world and would speak the language of that modern world, and the devil; satan and other malevolent semi- or simili-godlike creatures are better positioned in Hollywoodian films or TV series.

In the same line it is regrettable that he systematically uses Christian or Jewish words like “salvation,” “soul,” “Judas-like Devadatta,” etc. Especially since today Judas has been vastly reevaluated. Quoting Paul is not exactly a reference either since Paul is the Devadatta of James, one of the brothers of Jesus, the Devadatta of the early not yet called Christian followers of Jesus after his death. Note the author at this moment refers to this Devadatta as having tried to kill the Buddha, and later the author ,states that the Buddha was poisoned. This is givent to emphasize the schismatic atmosphere around the Buddha at the end of his life.

What is more important is his vision of “paticcasamuppada,” the renowned “dependent origination” amplified by Stephen Batchelor’s reference to “impermanence” (“anicca”) and to “samsara” (the cycle birth-death-rebirth) heavily present in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He does not quote “dukkha” that refers to the same cycle in the Theravada tradition and is reduced to “suffering” in western translations or the Tibetan tradition again. This “contingency” as he renames “paticcasamuppada” is based on violence, internal as well as external and his vision of life is absolutely apocalyptic:

“To be thrown into existence is painful and shocking. I was forced from my mother’s uterus to emerge bloodied and screaming, gasping for air in an alien world. I had no choice in the matter. As I learned to organize the chaos of the senses into an intelligible world, negotiate the labyrinth of language and signs, get used to hearing and telling my own and others’ stories, I discovered that I would be expelled from the world’s stage as unceremoniously as I was thrust upon it. Rather than face the contingency of my existence, I flee it. This existential flight is the diabolic undercurrent of human life.”

This vision in the first person reduces life to absolutely nothing and the whole process is rejected as “unceremonious,” which is really the wrong word as if a baby expected some etiquette after his/her birth and not love, attention and nurturing. This vision is absolutely romantic and the best illustration of this romanticism can be found in Victor Hugo:

Victor Hugo: This century was two years old

“This century was two years old! Rome was replacing Sparta,
already Napoleon was piercing through Bonaparte,
and already in many places the emperor's forehead
was cracking the stiff mask of the First Consul.
Then in Besançon, an old Spanish town, 
thrown like a flying seed to the mercy of the air,
was born to Breton and Lorraine blood
a child with no color, sightless and voiceless; 
so weak that he was abandoned by all, like a chimera, 
except for his mother,
and his neck, bent like a frail reed
made them build his bier and his cradle at the same time.
This child whom life was erasing from its book,
and who had not even one more day to live,
it's me.” (
Translation: Sedulia Scott, (CC) December 21, 2009)

This vision is a caricature of Buddhism. It is entirely dedicated to “the terror of contingency and change” (p. 52), “samsara” seen as “a devil’s circle,” “a vicious circle,” “addictive,” “anesthetic against contingency,” expressing the “ natural inclination to stability and predictable patterns” and realizing an “innate sense of being and self” (p. 61). This is based on a misread interpretation of modern neuroscience. He does not capture the gist of this scientific development that states and demonstrates that the “mind,” a word and concept central to Buddhism that Stephen Batchelor does not quote, replacing it at times with “soul,” is nothing but a construct of the brain, particularly the neo-cortex, under the bombarding of impulses coming from the sensorial organs (six and not five not to mention the internal physiological sensors) produced under the impacts from the real world onto the body.

This vision will remain dominant till the end of the book. Though after this first section he is going to open his vision, but he will come back to this negative vision in the end as the basic fundamental substratum of humanity. Life will be evacuated from his vision. In the very last paragraph he says: “To wander along the gaps allows the freedom to ask anew the questions posed by being born and having to die.” (p. 184) No life in-between and questions posed by having to live after being born and before dying.

But it is time to try to see what he hides behind “to wander along the gaps allows the freedom . . .”

This freedom when confronted to Mara, the devil, satan and samsara, is to get on the path, the eightfold path that is not qualified by this number here. The path is made secular and is not Buddhist any more. The path is just a real path in the world that we can start getting onto when we decide to get out of humdrum cyclical and jail-like samsara. We get out and meet the world. Then the devil and Mara are going to try to block our path, us on the path. What is surprising is that Stephen Batchelor does not consider the fact that there is NO path, at least NO ready-made or already-trodden path and that we have to blaze the trail and totally open the path which will have to be ours and only ours. This path is the result of our desire to get out of the vicious circle habits put us in and the motivation we have to do so.

This motivation is a mental construct on the basis of the fact that the human species is and has always been a migrating species. Some may not want to change, move, travel, wander, or whatever, but these are no longer human, and I believe that any human being somewhere, even in the slightest, smallest and most secret part of their brain, has a desire to discover and/or change and the motivation to do so, even if it is only in kicking a ball in the backyard or playing poker with some friends. NO ONE has been reduced to that vegetable state in which they would have no desire and no motivation to discover something new, to do something different. That makes him miss the point of the Buddha who explains his wandering is from home to homelessness. First “homelessness” contains a negation and these negations in Pali are always negative AND positive. The point is that the Buddha was a real human being because he was not reduced to what he was doing or where he was living but he was a wanderer who had no permanent home and could move from here to there and live in a succession of homes, which did not mean he forgot the old homes. To remember does not mean to go back, and to forget means to lose one’s roots, hence to become alienated since we would not know where we are coming from, we would be rootless.

And yet Stephen Batchelor has it right when he says the path is “a task,” “a gift” and “a bond” because our human perspective requires we get on the path of life and move, that’s the “task;” it always means that we are offered this opportunity to widen our experience and vision, that’s the “gift;” and it always brings us to new encounters and people, that’s the “bond.”  That’s what we have carried in our genes since Homo Sapiens appeared in Africa and was selected by his environment to survive till today. Our genes carry the unique injunction in our unique animal species that we are not only surviving (as for number just as many individuals as the environment can nurture) but also developing and that means using our neo-cortex, and developing it too by using it, and thus multiplying along with our expanding resources, then migrating and populating the whole planet, some day the universe, etc. The mind, that construct of the brain Stephen Batchelor never mentions, is the result and the tool used by Homo Sapiens to develop their mental-spiritual-ethical, then social-cultural-economic and lastly biological-neurological-physical dimensions both in each individual and in the species.

The Buddhists would never have existed, and along with them the whole humanity, if Homo Sapiens had not been able to do this. That brought pre-ice-age cultures and civilizations, and then post-ice-age Neolithic development: agriculture, cattle raising, towns, kingdoms of any type and political organization, religious systems of various kinds, sciences and technologies  Homo Sapiens was not a tribe of “large-brained, tool-making, language-speaking and itinerant creatures” (p. 89). Nothing of that was given to Homo Sapiens free and ready for use. Mutations and selection managed to retain this animal that was fit for long-distance running and no longer fit for tree climbing. The mutations necessary for that, and selected by the situation in which Homo Sapiens, were effective because they provided him with the possibility to hunt in the savannah, run away from most dangers, migrate long distance, hunt all kinds of animals with new weapons, fish in the rivers, etc. All that pivoted around the hand that was no longer very good for climbing in trees, the foot that was getting adapted to the upright stance and the running activity of this animal and the articulatory and respiratory systems that enabled it to develop human articulated languages and hence communication that amplified the hunting tactics and other survival and development strategies.

In that line, Stephen Batchelor’s remark about the fact that all religions that have survived in the global world of today started after the ice-age and all mention a path to follow and many other common elements deserves a lot of attention. Strangely enough he could have considered older mythologies that survived from before the ice-age and developed after the ice-age and he would have found out that many elements were common with the religious systems he was considering. What made these human societies, some of them with no connections at all among them before the fifteenth century, evolve the same ideas, similar concepts and comparable rituals, including human sacrifice and later the sublimation of this practice (present in the Bible for one example). Why is the concept of path so important in all civilizations? Why are the paintings in Lascaux mapped on the stars in the sky at the time when they were painted? Buddhism is one of these mental productions about 2,500 years ago, based on other mental systems that can be traced up to 2 or 3,000 years BCE. What was so common to all human societies even in distant continents for them to map their thinking on the stars, the cardinal directions, the wind, the mountains, the path of migrations, travels, journeys, or whatever else?

But what can Buddhism bring us today. Stephen Batchelor is both bringing suggestions and blocking some others.

His main contribution is this idea of the path that leads individuals to other individuals and societies, that leads to people meeting people and establishing contact and exchanges. He should have entered the concept of “dependent origination” because what he suggests can be found in this twelve – or ten – steps process: “contingency” for the whole process, “consciousness” as the third step and “empathy” from the sixth step onward. We have already mentioned the first one. The second is essential because it means the consciousness of the real situation in which we are, individually and collectively, at the levels of our immediate community, and then of all higher communities: nations, continents, the whole world. When we understand, are conscious of this real situation in which we are, we can start stepping back and reflecting on our experience, our desires, our motivations, our alienations, our trapped dependence. Then we can consider other people and then we can start building the essential ethical dimension Buddhism is speaking of: “openness,” to be open to other people and to welcome them in our mind and try to be welcomed by them in their minds. We are speaking of the trinity of “empathy-compassion-love” (p. 131). At the same time we are supposed to remain detached, but that does not mean cold. Stephen Batchelor does not discuss this point and does not quote “tanha,” this malevolent dimension of our minds that makes us stick to what we know, what makes us “happy”, satisfied in some simple and simple-minded dimension like thirst, hunger and other physiological needs that can become addictions.

He speaks of the three possible attitudes of a human being confronted to another human being he/she does not know.

First he/she can just lock him/herself up totally and ossify his/her personality. There is no communication, only casual meaningless or superficial exchanges.

Second he/she can be entirely taken by fear and he/she can run away, flee.

Third he/she can enter a relation of “empathetic interconnectivity” (p. 137) that has to lead to empathy of course, but then encounter and exchange, and finally some level of mental, spiritual or emotional intimacy. This level and only this level leads to important consequences.

1- To cultivate your awakening through meditation and just opening your mind to all kinds of new knowledge and experience, to free yourself from all kinds of limits just to be able to share all these new elements with these new people you have just met.

2- To avoid the danger of permanent closed communities of any type. We have to be on the move all the time and the modern world enables that with an intensity that has no antecedents. All these movements are supposed to enable exchanges on the basis of empathy. These exchanges today can be real in towns, in collective means of transportation, at the workplace and in all public spaces and places. And we have to still consider the telephone that is getting smarter and smarter. On the other hand these exchanges are developing very fast virtually with social networks, and all types of means and places on the virtual planet of the Internet enable all kinds of exchanges. And we are only at the beginning of this development.

3- Stephen Batchelor’s approach implies the rejection of any type of ossified or unchanging social organization or systems:: there is no exception here: all social hierarchies founded on segregation but also all institution, private or public, from schools to churches, from marriage to mosques, from family life to sports, from shopping habits to cultural events. Buddhism can be the best ideology to help millions of people follow the changing living conditions in our world. They can because their very first principle is that we have to consider the real concrete and spiritual conditions in which we are living in order to liberate ourselves and people around is from all kinds of shackles that may prevent us from reaching our real potential or potentials.

4- Buddhism is extremely well adapted to our modern democratic societies provided we do not ossify our thinking in any kind of dualistic rigid system like good and evil, or God and Satan, or Buddha and Mara, or secularism and religion, and so many other binary mental prison. The liberation is always on a third path and each situation has at least one third way, middle way as the Buddha used to call it.

I will not follow Batchelor who falls in the trap by reducing man to a Buddhanature and a Maranature and adding that the two are inseparable.  He even qualifies them further as being respectively responsive and reactive (p. 181). He does quote the concept of “appanada” and verse 21 of the Dhammapada but he misses the point because his translation does not capture the real meaning. And I would like to conclude with this verse and try to show how much more than the couple responsive-reactive it contains.

5- Keep in mind that the meeting of two people have these five levels of encounter and exchange on each side, and the more definitely the richer.

Let’s now consider the first line of the four line verse 21: “The careful do not die” as translated by Stephen Batchelor.

What he translates as “the careful” is in fact “care” (or it could be those who are careful), that is “appamado” but in fact you have here a negative term with the negative prefix “a(p)-“ and the term “–pamado” which is negative in meaning, hence “uncare” or “carelessness” or “those who are careless,” which brings the meaning of the full word to “non-uncare” meaning then “care” if two negations are equal to one affirmation. But this negation of negative notions is common in the Dhammapada. The negative notions describe the real world, the way it is without any Buddhist restraint or control, and a Buddhist has to negate these negative characteristics or attitudes to “become,” to be on the way to “”bhava” or “becoming,” the tenth step on the path of “paticcasamuppada,” the “dependent origination” we have already mentioned this fact leads, when it is completed, to the opening in your experience where you may start blazing the track of meditation to “nibbana” or “awakening,” which will make you a Buddha, an “awakened one.” In the same way what he translates “do not die” is in fact “amatapadam” compose of the privative prefix “a-“ attached to the past participle “mata” meaning “dead” which makes “amata” meaning “non-dead,” and finally the noun “pâdam” which is the nominative or accusative of the neuter noun “pada,” meaning “foot” and by metaphorical extension “way” or “path.” This first line means : “the non-careless [takes] the path to/of/for the non-dead.”

And one more remark is necessary for you to understand. The “non-dead” are those who have reached “nibbana”, who have stepped out of the “samsara” cycle of birth-life-death-rebirth and have merged into the energy of the cosmos, and hence are beyond death since they will not be reborn again. At this point we can see the meaning is really religious and Stephen Batchelor has made it secular by playing on the ambiguities of words and by neglecting the two negative prefixes applied to two words that are negative in meaning. The rest of the verse is similar to this first line.

I am quite sure we can have a secular reading of the Dhammapada, but this particular verse is not secular at all but contains a declaration that is in a way a real provocation to the Hindu religion as well as in contradiction with the Tibetan Buddhist school that believes that even the best Lamas are reincarnated like for example the Dalai Lama.

All in all an interesting book that opens some doors and requires a lot more research in basic Buddhist texts and practices and the clear distinction between Theravada Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, a distinction Stephen Batchelor never makes or specifically mentions in this book.


Sunday, April 28, 2013


Keep your sense of reality even if this book is beautifiul


The book is beautiful and the illustrations are often original and brilliant. The book tries to give a descriptive picture of what the Tibetan Buddhists think and do. Their version of Buddhism is explained in enough detail for anyone to understand, though at times it is not clear, like the number of Taras, the white and the green ones first and then the author writes “in addition to these two” and he states there are twenty-one representations. This would make a total of twenty-three and yet the illustration that follows on the next page shows twenty-one Taras around a single green one in the center, which makes twenty-two. There are several other cases like that. But those are details and the rest is generally very clear.

The second element is of course the acceptance of the official version of recent history coming from the exiled Dalai Lama. It is in many ways surprising because it does not do what the Buddha said has to be done before anything: examine the real situation in its real contradictory dimensions. The illustrations are not dated in the text itself and we do not know if they are from Tibet or from the diaspora. Some facts are given here and there that provide a bleak picture of what Tibet was before the expulsion of the theocratic power by Mao Zedong. One fourth of the male population was in the monasteries. Women were and till are non-ordainable in Tibet and have to go to Taiwan if they want to be ordained (note the Chinese connection in this fact: Tibet even in its religious dimension, cannot exist without China, continental or Taiwanese, and note the candidate to this procedure has to find the funding for it, which of course is difficult.). The Dalai lama, elected by no one and with no elected parliament of any sort, I mean here elected by all the people who are of age to vote in Tibet, concentrated in himself, and still does in the diaspora, both supreme religious power and supreme political power. The monasteries and the monks had to be entirely taken care of, provided with the means to live, by the surrounding population that was subservient and excessively forced to work the fields to provide the monasteries with the food needed by something like one eighth of the population that contributed nothing to the gross national product of Tibet. The only production ever mentioned is “tsha tshas” produced by some lamas and sold to the laypeople of Tibet, in other words a fundraising activity that produces no economic added value whatsoever.

The present situation is of course complex but there cannot be any kind of an independence referendum for the Tibetans because it is impossible to clearly state who could vote: all the people residing permanently in Tibet (including a vast increasing proportion of Chinese); all the Tibetans in China (including all the Tibetans that have left Tibet to have an education and an economic or social career in China, hence outside Tibet but inside the national borders of China); and all the Tibetans that have left China altogether and constitute the diaspora (including those who have abandoned their Tibetan nationality or rather their Chinese passport to get another passport from another country where they have become citizens.) The three solutions are problematic: the Chinese population in Tibet is increasing very fast. The Tibetan population outside Tibet in China has been integrated in the Chinese perspective of development. Emigrants who abandon their original nationality (without retaining a double nationality which is not possible in all countries in the world) in all other electoral situations also lose their right to vote in the elections of the countries they have left and whose nationality they have dropped. And in the diaspora there is the special case of the generations that have been born in exile: what is their status, what is their real national affiliation? The only possible solution is through direct negotiations between the diaspora and the Chinese government, with or without international help or supervision and then the problem of the representativeness of the Dalai Lama will come up fully. What’s more, the fact that the Dalai Lama speaks of “enemies” whenever he speaks and the necessity to demonstrate compassion for them is not encouraging. The Chinese in this situation are not enemies but at the worst, and for some the best, challengers of the feudal theocratic power that existed in Tibet up to 1959.

That’s the shortcoming of the book.

What is the best quality of it then?

It is the fact that John Peacock tries to explain the theoretical system that is behind Tibetan Buddhism without hiding the fact that they have integrated a tremendous amount of beliefs from the pre-Buddhist religions of Tibet especially the Bon religion based on extreme visions of the frightening, awful and always angry gods that required all kinds of sacrifices and offerings to be pacified, including human sacrifices with a religious folklore that has survived in some stories and myths, and they say some areas, at least symbolically with some practices. The Bon religion was performing human sacrifices and it was common to have some kind of “communion” or “sharing rituals” with the blood of the victims being served in human skulls and drunk from them. This morbid and bloody practice has disappeared, and probably disappeared with the arrival of Buddhism from India but we can wonder about some customs like the burial rites. The best burial rite is the “sky biurial” in which the body is dissected, then the bones ground and mixed with barley flower and served to vultures before the flesh itself. The second burial rite is the “water burial” in which the body is dismembered and then thrown into some river. The real interment is only for criminals, sick people so that they cannot be reborn, imposing thus a punishment onto these dead people and for some because of their sickness which is not really their responsibility. Cremation is kept for the aristocracy of this feudal theocratic society, the monks and the scholars, and the top of this aristocracy can be embalmed. In both cases the ashes of the embalmed bodies are kept in stupas. One of the latest embalmment was for Ling Rinpoche, the senior tutor of the present Dalai Lama. Thigh bones are used to make pipes that are then used in Buddhist orchestras performing in festivals and rituals. In the same way human skulls are used to make drums.

This morbidity has to be explained and it is the result of a strong warping of the Buddha’s teachings in order to integrate these Bon practices and thus in order to take the control of the local population when the Buddhist monks, all of them from India and of Indian origin colonized (that’s what it is called in all other situations of the type) the country, Tibet, not to speak of the period when Tibet was integrated into the Mongol Empire of particularly ill-repute as for its brutality.

The warping can be easily seen in two elements.

First the concept of “dukkha” is totally cut off from its antagonist concept of “sukha”. “Dukkha is systematically and exclusively translated as “suffering” (which is a mistranslation) and since “sukha is not mentioned the vision is entirely negative. Life is a valley of tears, a vale of suffering and nothing else. In Buddhist Theravada tradition, “dukkha” is connected to samsara, that is to say the cycle birth-life-death-rebirth. But the present book takes life out which is at least debatable in the Buddhist perspective. You need to live, hence grow first and then become old before dying. This long period between birth and death is reduced to some kind of “bardo” which means “in-between” and then “sukha” which is the joyful and positive side of life is dropped. The middle way of the Buddha is abandoned. For the Buddha there is happiness in life if you avoid the two extremes of attachment to material wealth and attachment to the rejection of the said material wealth with total asceticism. In fact it is this total asceticism in the form of the rejection of all material pleasures as inexistent, that becomes the main objective of Tibetan Buddhism, but within a feudal theocratic system that puts material wealth in the hands of the small upper fringe of the clerical aristocracy who controls as individuals or as the collective authority of the monasteries the land that is worked by the people who are nothing but serves since they are attached to their duty (and the land that carries that duty) to provide the monasteries with sustenance, the means to survive in comfort and security.

When this warping is done, the whole Biuddhist approach is also warped. Life is no longer the attempt to cultivate for oneself and for others some kind of happiness but it is exclusively the obligation to cultivate the actions that will enable you to be reborn properly, or eventually, for some and no more than some, to escape this cycle of samsara and hence get liberated into final nirvana (I prefer the pali concept of nibbana that can only be reached when dying, whereas in this case if this nirvana is final when you die, it implies that you can experience nirvana before death, hence in life for the very few who will be able to fulfill the eightfold path and reach Awakening. This by the way is in contradiction with the erasing of “sukha” since the Buddha himself experienced Awakening rather early in his life and could then live a long life afterwards in some kind of “bliss.” He always said that anyone can do it, even women and untouchables. In Tibetan Buddhism this is a privilege for the top fringe of the clerical aristocracy.

Of course then, and that’s my second argument; the main rite, based on a ritual manual, is that of “Bardo Thodal”, a long ritual that presupposes that the mind of the individual (note this mind was not defined in this book which leads us to believe it is some kind of “soul”) survives the material death of the body. Hence the important concept of “anatta” (non-self, no-self or not-self) is here clearly negated and only marginally quoted as “anatman” at the beginning of the book but as a side-effect of the concept of “emptiness.” Since the “mind” we are speaking of can survive the death of the body for three days first and then up to 49 extra days (7 cycles of 7 days) before rebirth or final nirvana, this undefined “mind” has its own essence and the individual could be defined as a “self” by this “mind” that survives and may be either reborn in a material vessel or liberated into something that is not specified. This “Bardo Thodal” is to be read in the ear of the dead person during the first three days after his death in order to help the person (by the way it is never said if women are concerned by this ritual) manage these eventual seven cycles of seven days that give this individual seven chances to reach final nirvana before rebirth. The excerpt of this “Bardo Thodal” given at the end of the book provides the text that is read and contains no real mention of the sex of the deceased person who is addressed in the second vocative person “you” though the author in his commentaries in square brackets and italics between the quoted excerpts speaks of the deceased in the third person as “he or she” but this cannot be from the original text, and sure enough in the standard translation by Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup that deceased person is referred to in the third person as “the deceased” in the links between the various passages. By the way the “priest” who is reading this “Bardo Thodal” in the ear of the deceased person can only be a man since women cannot be fully ordained as we have seen.

John Peacock is known for his lectures and books on secular Buddhism and this book reveals clearly why he would drop all the corpus of deities and godlike creatures. They are superstitions that blot out and even erase the most humanistic and progressive dimension of Buddhism. The Buddha was during his whole material life an opponent to all kinds of hierarchical and feudal power structures and a proponent of basic total and equal freedom for any human individual as for the possibility to get onto the eightfold path and reach awakening.

Tibetan Buddhism is in many ways the negation of this dimension. When Buddhist monks and monasteries in Laos work with UNESCO to enable the monasteries to become self-sufficient and sustainable thanks to the development of productive activities we wonder how long this feudal theocratic vision of human society can survive in the modern world? When we listen to the Dalai lama we don’t even wonder anymore because he does not advocate this religious vision but a more open ethical and even in many ways secular vision saying for example: “Religion is valuable but not necessary” meaning that we can develop good ethics and even good karma even if we do not believe in karma or samsara and rebirth. Buddhist ethics can be developed and advocated even without any reference to Buddhism. As John Peacock said in his seminar in California in 2011, “if I wanted to teach Buddhist ethics to young people I would first of all not even mention Buddhism but orient them towards doing things, acting.”

This book is a good introduction to Tibetan Buddhism but there is a tremendous amount of discussion to be started, distance to be built and disambiguation or clarification to be achieved if we want to make Buddhist social, cultural, educational, economic and even political ethics part of the universal human heritage. This means research and research is never respectful of petrified ideas and rituals.


Saturday, April 27, 2013


The Dalai Lama needs to integrate more science in his ethics


Though religion is declared to be valuable but not necessary, the whole approach is entirely molded in the metaphysics of the religion that is behind the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism. I do not pretend to go into a full analysis of this religion here, but I would like to make a few remarks on the main concepts of the book.

The first and surprising central concept is that of “suffering” which is never quoted in Pali, hence “dukkha,” but only in this English translation which is the worst possible translation. “Dukkha” refers to the cycle of “birth-life-decay-death-rebirth.” Thus it refers to death as soon as birth, even death in birth when reducing it to “suffering”. If you reduce it to “suffering” you do not understand the dialectics of Buddhism. “Dukkha” is the opposite of “sukha.” “Dukkha” is the fact that any event of life has a beginning, a period of existence (growth and decay) and an end to eventually be reborn like a plant from a seed. This is connected to dissatisfaction, the fact that the phenomenon we are dealing with does not exist before its birth and will not exist after its death and its birth necessarily leads to its death. In other words life is a fatal, lethal, deadly business. But there is sukha on the other hand. Before decaying any phenomenon has to grow and develop. Before dying any phenomenon has to be born and grow and then only decay. Reducing “dukkha” to “suffering” erases the joys and the happiness of life, or it makes them purely artificial since they require a voluntary, hence non-natural, hence not arising from the natural circumstances in and around the concerned human subject but from his ethical decision to follow a certain path that cannot be natural since it is superimposed onto the natural human being. Love, compassion and empathy are not natural in man but the result of ethical choices guided by some ideological choices.

This centering of the whole vision on suffering, what’s more, shifts the center of interest from the phenomenon itself to the individual experiencing this phenomenon, as if the phenomenon had maybe not no existence but at least no value outside the vision this individual may develop. This is very dangerous. The phenomenon exists and occurs outside any individual who may be observing or using it. In fact the phenomenon does not even need to be observed or used by any individual to exist and develop. The Dalai Lama would probably agree but some formulations are inadequate.

This reduction of “dukkha” to “suffering” has far-reaching consequences.

It does not understand “dependent origination” properly. Once again this translation of “paticcasamuppada” is reductive. We are dealing here with a vision deeply embedded in Pali (and before Pali in Sanskrit and hence in probably most if not all Indo-Aryan languages). It is what is called the “preterit participle.” This preterit participle builds “nominalized” clauses attached to main verbal clauses and they express the fact that a set of circumstantial elements, actions or events are fulfilled and that this fulfillment enables another element, action or event to develop, to arise. This construction does not exist in Indo-European languages. That is a main difference between the two cousin linguistic families. This does not mean there is a cause and then an effect. It is not a connection based on causality but only on circumstantial fulfillment. Of course we can consider rain and sunshine are the causes of the growth of plants but that is not what happens in the real world. When rain and sunshine have been or are fulfilled up to a certain level then plants may grow, and at times they don’t because another circumstance is not fulfilled like the proper temperature. It is not causation but it is a set of circumstantial fulfilled elements and when this fulfillment is reached then another element develops, arises. That sounds logical because behind the universe there is no philosophical thinking mind that dictates in a way or another the fate of the cosmos. Evolution is produced by haphazard mutations (that might though be influenced by the circumstances in which they occur) selected within a constraining circumstantial environment.

The second consequence is that the vision of the real natural world, of which man is an animal member, is entirely negative and then positive elements can only come from virtue, from a cultivated human dimension of this human animal. But this human dimension of the human animal is not really specified in its/his/her fundamental Buddhist dimension, the mind which is in fact two Pali concepts, “mana” and “citta,” the first one being the more or less abstract capability and the second the various states of mind a mind can develop in various circumstances. I insist on these two concepts because it clearly states that the mind is not something that exists ready made in man but something that is a double process: a process in the confrontation of man to his/her environment and a process in its being a constructed dimension of the brain, and I insist on brain here. The Dalai Lama insists on the voluntary and systematic constructive attitude and action of any human individual to build empathy and compassion, but he misses the point at the level of the mind and the brain. He does not see the fundamental existence of this mind as a construct of the brain confronted to the world through the senses.

Compassion and empathy are the result of the mirror neurons in the neo-cortex. These mirror neurons enable an individual to imitate what another individual does in front of him/her, but also to share the emotions of the other person and his/her emotions with the other person. This neuronal fact is the very basis of compassion, empathy and love. This is typically human. But it is a physiological fact supporting a mental and behavioral phenomenon.

In the same way the Dalai Lama misses the fact that our brain is both animal and human. Animal in what we call the old brain only based on instinct and first of all on the survival instinct that states the individual has to survive at all cost in front of any danger, and the best way to survive is preemptive attack. But the neo-cortex enables a human being to develop a mind and that mind is the reflection and the construction of the brain. It is hierarchical, it works in stages: from smaller features to larger items, and from discrimination to identification and then later from simple sensorial capture to recognition, when the item has already been identified. This gives the mind the capacity to conceptualize and to build some abstract thinking and thus control the behavior of the individual this mind inhabits after having been constructed (and that construction is never finished).by the confrontation of the individual (and his/her brain) with the circumstantial, existential and experiential situational environment through the six sensorial organs of this individual, the mind being the sixth sensorial apparatus of the human individual.

Hence we come to the conclusion that the initial reduction of “dukkha” to “suffering” leads to the impossibility to integrate the most advanced research in brain neuroscience which makes the very ethical principles the result of the very particular way human beings, as a species, can survive in their world by producing a conceptualized vision of this world in order to both survive AND DEVELOP, the second dimension being most of the time forgotten by the adepts of the survival instinct like Ronald Lafayette Hubbard or ethics. Then what the Dalai Lama states as a voluntary action would become a voluntary ethical choice among possible responses to the environment, responses and choice both arising from the mind of any particular individual. And that’s how Homo Sapiens when becoming the human species we are today, invented all kinds of conceptualized mental – and practical – systems – and weapons-tools-artifacts – to understand and control his/her environment: language, communication, arts, religion, philosophy, science and that process will never be finished since there will always be something more to understand.

Then education becomes essential, not to preach – or graft if not brainwash – ethics into the student’s behavior, but to develop ethics in the ever mostly-self-constructing mind of any individual confronted to any circumstantial, existential and experiential situational environment to which this individual has to respond.

In other words the Dalai Lama has it entirely right but on premises that are not correct because they are not in phase with modern science, and yet it would be very easy to build the correspondence between this philosophy and modern science, knowing that there cannot be two identical minds in this world, that some minds have developed positive values and some others negative values, and that at any step in life there is always a mental choice to make, hence an ethical choice to make. The motivations of these choices can be of any type, sort or kind from the most negative to the most positive, from pure hatred to absolute love.


Sunday, April 21, 2013






1- La propriété intellectuelle est une, personnelle et indivisible même si elle couvre deux domaines différents bien que similaires car étant tous les deux la réalisation de la créativité humaine :
a- l’artistique, le littéraire et la pensée spéculative générale ou appliquée des auteurs de toutes sortes.
b- l’industriel et le scientifique des inventions et des inventeurs.

2- Le droit d’auteur (patrimonial et moral), le copyright et les brevets sont des droits de l’homme fondamentaux, de tous et de chacun, à contrôler et bénéficier de son/leur travail intellectuel tout en faisant bénéficier la société des produits de ce travail intellectuel.

3- La propriété intellectuelle, sous toutes ses formes, est devenue le moteur de l’économie du savoir et de la société du savoir pour lesquelles le savoir et donc la propriété intellectuelle sont des moyens de production directs.

4- Ce savoir doit être à la fois partagé dans sa circulation dans le public concerné et protégé dans sa détention par son/ses auteur(s) ou inventeur(s) dans le cadre des traités OMPI et des pratiques de l’OMC.

5- Seule cette protection  peut assurer la pérennité des savoirs minoritaires et la diversité partagée. L’absence de protection entrainerait une loi du marché sauvage qui signifierait la mort à terme rapide de toutes les créativités, pensées ou/et cultures minoritaires par la disparition des créateurs qui produisent ces cultures minoritaires qu’elles soient techniques, scientifiques, spéculatives, artistiques ou culturelles.

6- L’exception culturelle doit être redéfinie comme la diversité pérenne protégée de la pensée et de la créativité humaine.

7- Les technologies modernes et à venir de « virtualisation » (qui n’est en rien une dématérialisation) des produits intellectuels et de leur circulation ne changent rien à la question. Si on veut à la fois un haut niveau de créativité et un haut niveau d’impact économique et social il est indispensable d’inciter tous et chacun à découvrir et accéder sans cesse plus aux œuvres de la créativité humaine et à développer sa/leur propre créativité. Cela implique la circulation la plus large possible

8- Mais il ne peut pas y avoir de créativité véritablement innovante et donc enrichissante pour la société si les créateurs et inventeurs ne peuvent pas bénéficier de leurs œuvres et inventions en vue simplement d’en vivre grâce à une protection et rémunération en fonction de la circulation et de l’utilisation de leurs œuvres et inventions. Sans ces moyens vitaux fondamentaux la créativité innovante deviendrait un vrai privilège seulement permis à ceux qui n’ont pas besoin de cette activité pour vivre.

9- L’Open Access ne change en rien ces principes. Il permet la circulation mais on doit veiller à la protection des droits de l’homme fondamentaux des créateurs, penseurs et inventeurs et à la rémunération de leur contribution à la créativité sociale et économique. L’open Access doit de plus être un choix libre et non une obligation.

10- Si les institutions et les financeurs publics veulent rendre obligatoire cet Open Access à ceux qu’ils financent ils doivent réaliser que cela doit être dûment inscrits dans les contrats liant ces institutions et les créateurs, chercheur et inventeurs qu’ils prennent sous contrat, ce qui reviendrait à priver  ces personnes de leur propriété intellectuelle, et ils doivent également réaliser qu’ils créent ainsi une logique de compétitivité faussée qui poussera les meilleurs créateurs, chercheurs et inventeurs vers le domaine privé où ils seront rémunérés en fonction des utilisations des œuvres et inventions dont ils détiennent la propriété intellectuelle.

11- Cela devrait sans faillir amener les entrepreneurs privés dans et autour de la recherche à exiger que la loi, le Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle, soit modifiée pour leur donner le même privilège sans contreparties pour les auteurs, créateurs, chercheurs et inventeurs. Cela reviendrait à imposer en Europe le statut de copyright le plus extrême, car dans les pays de copyright comme les USA et la Grande Bretagne, les auteurs de la chose écrite et imprimée conserve leur copyright. Dans la situation créée par cette nouvelle logique, même eux perdrait ce droit.

12- Le raisonnement proposé pour la « recherche » une fois accepté n’a aucune raison de ne pas être étendu à tous les domaines de la circulation des œuvres de l’esprit qui reçoivent des fonds publics : le théâtre, la musique, le cinéma, la télévision, la radio, les musées, et la liste n’a pas de fin, sans compter le risque de censure qu’une telle pratique impliquerait : ne plus produire avec des fonds publics que des choses que l’on « peut sans danger » mettre en Open Access pour le public sans limitation.

SNAC - 80, rue Taitbout - 75009 Paris - Tél : 01 48 74 96 30 - snac.fr@wanadoo.fr - www.snac.fr
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU - 8 rue de la Chaussée - 63880 OLLIERGUES - 04 73 95 59 17 - dondaine@orange.fr - http://drjacquescoulardeau.blogspot.fr/ - http://independent.academia.edu/JacquesCoulardeau
Document à consulter :

Saturday, April 20, 2013





Un film plus lent, plus silencieux, plus sans dialogue, plus sans intrigue, plus sans empathie, plus sans rien ça n’existe pas. Rien que pour cette raison cela doit être un chef d’œuvre. Ou au moins un anti chef-d’œuvre

Il est tout à la gloire négative de la famille Claudel, des intégristes catholiques si pervers et profonds qu’ils doivent se punir chaque instant du moindre sentiment humain car ils se veulent divins, et ils doivent punir quiconque de près ou de loin pourrait ternir leur renommée mondialement diabolique – oups ! pardon ! divine ! Alors ils se battent les chairs des deux mains à la fois tous les matins pour se punir de leurs rêves humides.

La pauvre fille Camille a osé avoir une relation « bizarre » avec Rodin, rien de bizarre en fait, mais comme c’est inacceptable pour ces mangeurs d’hostie, la relation est des plus anti naturelle, c'est-à-dire non divine. Alors elle paiera jusqu’à sa mort en 1943 et restera enfermée pendant près de quarante ans dans un asile qui sert de maison d’exclusion pour enfants de bonnes famille que leur famille ne veut plus que l’on voie. Et rien n’y fera. Elle ne sortira jamais.

Imaginez en plus ce pauvre Paul Claudel qui va développer ses émois sur la sainte vierge dans ses pièces de théâtre. C’est pour lui la façon qu’il a de se punir de sa propre lubricité car il a fait – on dira par accidents successifs non contrôlés car il doit être un adepte de la jouissance précoce – quatre enfants. Le cochon !!! Et il n’y avait pas encore d’allocations familiales, donc aucune excuse. Jusqu’où le diable peut-il se faufiler. Alors sa sœur paiera pour lui puisqu’elle a osé faire ce que le mariage ne pouvait pas sanctifier puisqu’elle n’était pas mariée.

Et on vous insinue que la pauvre Camille a un crime, la mort d’un enfant sur la conscience. Un avortement donc. Quelle horreur. Cachez ce prépuce que je ne saurais sentir !!! Que diable. Et cachez cette godasse de satin ou serait-ce de catin ? Que je ne veux en aucune façon voir de près ou de loin dans le voisinage de mes bonnes affaires et de mes pensées religieuses probablement sanctifiées par des donations sonnantes et trébuchantes. Et on s’étonne ensuite que Camille ait trébuché sur le premier Ro-n-din venu et ait été toute sonnée !!!

Il est dommage que le film soit aussi lent, aussi ennuyeux, aussi tant d’autres choses. Le sujet est un sujet de roi pour qui n’aime pas les intégristes, cathos ou pas d’ailleurs. Mais là on a fait dans le glauque demi-teinte, ni trop sombre, ni trop clair, comme cela personne ne comprendra. Qu’ils croient !!! En tout cas on peut espérer que quelques Américains pourront le voir sans comprendre.

Vivement que le Francis de Pape que nous avons maintenant nous libère de cet intégrisme vieillissant mais perdurant, plus pérenne que lui je meurs.



Reggae is part of universal human history


Jamaica is a mythic place in this world and probably in a few others too. I came across it a long, very long time ago when I was involved in the Harlem Renaissance movement and of course in the wider approach that was mine of the Black movement in the USA, after Africa mind you, I learned the Soucous and the Bouchez before I knew what the calypso and what’s more the Ska was or were. I must admit I had even twisted before and I was fully in what Leopold Senghor called “Les Arts Nègres”. I came back from Africa loaded with Rochereau and Docteur Nico and so many others.

After Africa I went to the USA and on the homecoming night of my high school in North Carolina, what was not my surprise when I found myself dancing alone to the music of the black band over there on the stage and all around me there was a ring of students, teachers, black and white interlaced to my pleasure and taste and they were all admiring my dancing not on the simple superficial rhythm that generally serves as the tempo to the singing, but to the deeper trance rhythm that was three or four time faster and if my arms were mostly following the slow rhythm my feet and the rest of my body was following, galloping along with the faster rhythm. When I finally realized what was happening, because I was in a total blizzard of blindness at this moment, I just did not understand at the time what was the problem, especially for the Black students around me. That’s how I had learned to dance to the various rhythms of African music, and especially to the rhythm that goes deep into your mind while the heart more or less follows the slower pace. At least for a while. When the heart gets up to the faster rhythm, then you see stars, you see the sky, you see God and his angels and you start believing that beyond that dull surface of everyday humdrum and monotonous life there is a world of beauty and light and happiness and love and love and love again and that love has no longer anything to do with sex because you are entirely in your spiritual and supernatural  mind and you have left your hormones far behind or below.

Then you know that there are no races in the human species, just one species and some various nuances, shades, hues that are in fact the beauty of the whole species, to be multifarious like an apple tree in spring when it blooms. It is all in pink and yet there are not two blooms that are exactly the same shade of pink.

Since then a lot of rum has flowed under and flown over the bridge of many noses and the world has changed. It was the time when decolonization was only granting independence to all the peoples who were not free. It was not an easy process and it took many leaders who were assassinated like flies, Lumumba, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and thousands of others, to move our species up to some kind of understanding that our Black brothers are not apes and that their white brothers are not necessarily the monsters some were, have been and still are. There will always be a Willie Lynch in all generations, even if the most recent couple in that line is two brothers from Chechnya, naturalized in the USA and turning back and biting the hand that had picked them from the mud of their ditch in the Caucasus and they just blew up a couple of bombs among peaceful people for no reasonable reason at all. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders have their reasons that reason does not understand.

It takes time for the Whites of this world to understand that all the shades of darkness and color are as beautiful as the rainbow after rain and for all the non-Whites of this earth to understand that they have to share their old traumas with those of the Whites and build another world. And yet it is coming and this collection of music is one of the most important testimonies of that period from 1950 to 1962 when it all tilted up and then down again after turning around and it was then ready to start moving forward again in some more realistic way than before, and with everyone trying to pull in the same direction. It would be though a folly to believe that at any time in history everyone can really be pulling in one single direction.

These twelve years in Jamaica corresponded to the twelve years during which all the colonized Blacks in Africa and all the segregated and discriminated Blacks in the USA and some other countries started to “decolonialize” their minds and to recapture their spirituality and their vision of the future of the human species as a vast field of understanding, exchanges and love, love, love, beyond hormonal pangs and yet without negating these hormones, the hormones becoming an option for those who felt them, an accepted option for all and by all (the government of the hormones by the hormones and for the hormones as it is said of the people somewhere else) and we are still far from the goal when we see how so many still believe that love has to be kept within some particular hormonal pulses, impulses and drives. For them, for those, same has to be the rule for these hormones if we are dealing with color and different has to be the rule if we are dealing with sexes and genders. Understand if you can? I can’t admit that contradiction as being human. It is purely ideological and it has little to do with religion, mind you, but a lot more with the old, very old, drive of Homo Sapiens towards conquering the immensity of the unknown and dangerous world around them. They had to multiply the legs, the arms, the chests, the breasts, the mouths and all that goes along with these elements, thoughts, languages, migrations, activities and so on to an end that is always as evasive, though not inoffensive, as the wind on a stormy day.

But we can only hear what is being born in this period from ska to calypso, from boogie to doo wop and so many other styles emerging from  the manure and compost of history.

It is so easy to reduce all that to some class or race or sex discourse in spite of the fact that it is the power of the deepest and most enduring anthropological force in the human species that is at work here. The road is going to be long and the Messianic destination is not yet reached. If you try to feel that music in that direction you will understand that you can be in love with Miss Jamaica and yet never rape her or be raped by her because it is love we are talking of and that Miss Jamaica is your mental doppelganger and life will decide what and who that Miss Jamaica will be. If she is a musician she might be our muse. If she is a thinker she might be our guru or our messiah. But she has no reason to be of any sex, any gender, any color. She has to be of the sex, gender and color you want her to be for your pleasure and your future.

If you can go deep down into your darkest layers of the foundations of your soul, you might come to realize that there are many rhythms in your body and that happiness is the coordination of them all in order to produce a controlled and regulated movement that we call life or dance. Then music is the language of the human soul and it is a purely human invention, universal in all its dimensions, even if the polyrhythmic power of modern music found its sources in the percussions of the African continent and survived all the lynching frenzy and brain washing hysteria our human hierarchical mind has imposed and still imposes and will probably always impose to some it considers as subhuman, non-human or just inferior, the human mind of those who are sitting on top of the wall. But they just forget, those higher up potentates, that Humpty Dumpty sooner or later has a great fall.

And it is going to hurt if you haven’t prepared your bones for the fall. Get into that music and grow some wings for the future. And remember even if someone is a bore and tries to dominate you, you can always be resilient and resist and follow the example of carpenters in France who sang all together in a workshop when the foreman was being a dictatorial dummy a song that gores back to the Middle Ages:

« Elle a cassé sa jambe
« Sa jambe en palissandre
« C’est en montant
« Sur les ch’vaux d’ bois
« Qu’elle a cassé
« Sa jambe en bois. »

(She broke her leg, her leg in rosewood. It’s when she climbed on the wooden horses on the merry-go-round that she broke her wooden leg.)

And then you just start all over again, and if you can sing, you can whistle, and if you cant whistle you can hum, even if it is out of tune, provided it follows the proper tempo, and it can last two hours, as long as necessary to kick the foreman out of the workshop. When I see the way the Blacks have resisted to the worst ever holocaust in human history, I really believe they were all carpenters and they all knew how to sing the worst devils into a deadlock. They had dreadlocks in their minds and they could hold on these to survive one more day and one more night to transmit one more recollection, one more heritage to those who will survive them and who will then one day turn these recollections and that heritage into the all absorbing spiritual tool that will become the soul of the whole humanity. Welcome to the antechamber of one of the universal souls, Reggae.


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