Sunday, March 30, 2014


Good at times to just entertain ourselves with crazy stories


It all starts the way we remember the film, but we soon are going to be lost in translation, we are going to lose our memory and we are bound to loosen our minds into something that sounds like derangement. And we find out in the final “Lost and Found” that some lines were dropped along the way that would have made the surreal aspect even deeper, darker and bleaker.

A long bloody series of killings one after the other brings a federal Special Agent, a certain Dale Cooper, into the picture of this panoramic and flabbergasting mountain-scape from upland Wasington at the very border to Canada. And we wonder why a great film director decided to become the director – and creator – of a TV series. And we do not know, and we cannot know, and the concerned director could not even know himself. He felt the impulse, he needed some extra money, or he wanted to discover some new territory. But who cares anyway.

This series produced in 1990-1991 and followed by the film “Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me” in 1992 opened completely new territories and trails in TV art, because TV can be an art. First it completely dropped the autonomous episode syndrome and the whole series is but one story that cannot be considered as sliced up in episodes that would be autonomous one from the other. Each episode ends up with a strong at times melodramatic, most of the type pretty dramatic last touch that is supposed to create fear and to call for anxiety and expectation. And it is not simply what Stephen King recalls about the special teenage matinee films in the old days with one serial character, with one unified episode each week, and yet each one ending right in the most atrociously suspenseful event, like a cliffhanger just losing his grip two thousand feet over the firm ground at the foot of the cliff, but after concluding his business of the week just before.  

In the case of this series that suspenseful last touch is in fact opening a new can of worms that is an amplification of the very episode and yet forcing us to lose all our certainty about what has happened in this episode, hence throwing our minds into disbelief and doubt about the whole story line and what could come next. This suspense does not require us to suspend our disbelief. It creates in our consciousness absolute disbelief about any hypotheses or conclusion we might have come to.

And sure enough from a simple detective story, a banal crime story or even a lackluster serial killer story we move to a vengeance story, a ghost story, a supernatural story, a fantastic dark fantasy of a story that never stops going beyond the margin and limits of natural circumstances.

This series has had many descendants, many children and grandchildren, from “Lost” to “Supernatural” or all the mini series produced by Stephen King or other people in the same line. As such David Lynch has opened up a real can of real rodent bugs that are haunting us, gnawing at our guts and munching our vitals with teeth of steel.

The present Gold Box Edition is particularly welcome because the modern definition of our screens and the wide size of these screens being what they are, this product that was done for low definition and small screens becomes magical. The editor of the set goes as far as giving us, at the very end some small scenes that were deleted, supposedly lost and miraculously retrieved, precisely in the low definition of the time and we can remember the fuzziness of these pictures, though at the time it was less visible because the screens were so small that the pixels were nearly microscopic.

We thus can enjoy the rich setting slightly overcrowded with props and detail, the encumbered movements and actions that find all their power and force in today’s technical conditions, all for our best enjoyment.

But does it mean anything?

I am afraid not. I can’t really tell you the end, but let’s say it is becoming common today, especially after the last volume of the “Dark Tower” series by Stephen King in which the last page of the seventh and chronologically last volume is word for word the same as the first page of the very first volume. David Lynch is a lot more complex than just repeating the first scene of the first episode in the last scene of the last episode, but altogether it is the same pattern. Life is eternal because it repeats itself. Life is deadly, fatal, lethal, because it can start all over again just after death has struck.

The only deeper reflection you may get out of this series is that nature is beautiful, man, (and woman) is a dirty littering filthy polluting animal but deep deeper deepest in this world the polluter always gets it right bang in their faces. There is always a pine weasel that can bite your nose. Apart from that it is pure entertainment and story telling, even if at times the story telling is kind of twisted and farfetched.


Saturday, March 29, 2014


One has to comprehend why the Dalits are attracted by Buddhism.


An emblematic book from an Indian Dalit about Buddhism he converted to. The book, written in English, was published posthumously in 1956. The author was the first justice minister of the independent Republic of India. He played a role in the writing of the Indian constitution though he faced strong opposition on all issues concerning Dalits, particularly his idea of a distinct representation. Gandhi was one of the main opponents to that suggestion. We actually can wonder today why this solution was ever suggested since it would have reinforced the segregation against Dalits with a system comparable to apartheid in South Africa. It would have ossified the segregation the Dalits are the victims of. The subject of the book, Buddhism, is not a surprise since for an Indian Dalit the only possibilities in the field of religion were Buddhism and Christianity, particularly the Anglican or Catholic churches. Those were the only religious organizations that refused to reject Dalits in the name of the Hindu caste system against which they were. As we are going to see this is Ambedkar’s vision of Buddhism and some of his opinions are original.

The Buddha in the Making

The first chapters are about the younth of the future Buddha, that is to say the period of his life when he was Siddarth Gautama. Born in a royal family, rich indeed, married the way he was supposed to be and having given life to a son, he appears from the start very sensitive to the world the way it is, particularly poverty and misery in all their forms. But what makes him take the road he is known for is the decision of the council of his kingdom to go at war against their neighbors for a ridiculous, though important, dispute about the use of the water of the common river between the two kingdoms. He refuses to take part in the war as a conscientious objector and as such may be sentenced to death for treason, but it would have to be accepted by the superior king on whom this small kingdom depends, and they do not want that. The alternative is that he could be banished and his family’s estate seized. To avoid the misery that would befall his family he suggests he could leave the country right away as a mendicant ascetic, a Pavrijavaka. This compromise is accepted and that is how Siddarth Gautama became the character the whole world knows.

This version of this conversion is a lot more credible than the traditional tale about his night time visits to the poor neighborhoods of his city and the shock seeing poverty, misery and diseases would have caused in him. He decided to become what he is known for to protect his family from the consequences of his own decisions, and to save his life in a way by making it useful to himself and maybe other people, for sure by getting on the road of self quest and self improvement. That gives Siddarth Gautama some depth from the very start. And once a Parivraja, always a Parivraja.

Then Ambedkar follows him in his quest and in his various encounters. I will not enter detail there but the Buddha tries and is confronted to all possible solutions from being redeemed by some king as a member of his household to asceticism, via all possible philosophies and spiritual schools of his time, all identified as being advocated by particular spiritual leaders. None of them satisfies his project, ambition, desire. He keeps from them various elements and decides to build his own theory, his own spiritual vision centered on dukkha, the rise of dukkha and the extinction of dukkha. This can only be done by the concerned individual who uses his mind to reach that objective of getting rid of dukkha and protecting oneself against it. I will regret here the book uses the translation suffering systematically, though the author knows it is reductive, hence partly false. But that’s a point that is not fully explored by the book. Then Ambedkar speaks of the turning point in Siddarth Gautama’s life, when he finally finds enlightenment under a bodhi tree. Then he loses his name and becomes the Exalted One, or the Master, or the Buddha.

The Emergence of the Buddha

To become a Buddha, a Bodhisatta has to go through ten stages. Ambedkar calls them ten lives and it is interesting to quote them here, though the source mentioned by the author is declared unverifiable by the editors.

“First life: Mudita (joy) . . . Second life: Vimala (purity) . . . Third life: Prabhakaru (brightness) . . . Fourth life: Arcishmati (Intelligence of Fire) . . . Fifth life: Sudurjaya (difficult to conquer) . . . Sixth life: Abhimukhi (great wisdom) . . . Seventh life: Durangama (going far off) . . . Eighth life: Acala (immovable) . . . Ninth life: Sadhumati (vanquished or penetrated all dharmas or systems) . . . Tenth Life: Dharmamegha (infinite divine eye of Buddha). . .” (page 51-52)

We have to note the fact that Ambedkar uses the Sanskrit names that are normally used in Mahayana (and Tibetan) Buddhism (the Great Vehicle) essentially developed in China and around. This makes it difficult because, first of all the Buddha never preached in Sanskrit though he knew and read it since he criticizes and rejects the Vedas and the Upanishads, and second in the Theravada (Small Vehicle) canonical approach the language is Pali and, in this canonical approach, this process is seen as the acquisition of ten qualities, for example in the Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera ( this process is presented as the acquisition of the ten “paramī” = “pāramitā”: (perfection) ten qualities leading to Buddhahood:


“(1) perfection in giving (or liberality; dāna-pāramī), (2) morality (sīla-pāramī), (3) renunciation (nekkhamma-pāramī), (4) wisdom (paññā-pāramī), (5) energy (viriya-pāramī), (6) patience (or forbearance; khanti-pāramī), (7) truthfulness (sacca-pāramī), (8) resolution (adhiṭṭhāna-pāramī), (9) loving-kindness (mettā-pāramī) (10) equanimity (upekkhā-pāramī).

What is surprising in this approach is the use of the term “lives” instead of “qualities” because this seems to imply that the bhodisatta has to be reborn ten times before becoming a Buddha. Ambedkar is clear about this: he rejects the concept of reincarnation of any type. Rebirth is for him of a totally virtual nature. To define it he gives three examples: the light of a candle used to light another candle, the mango stone used to grow a mango tree that gives new mangoes and the poem a student learns from his/her teacher. The use of “lives” is in line with the Tibetan approach of Buddhism but not with the Theravada canonical approach nor with what Ambedkar himself says about reincarnation. He explains what he considers the Buddha’s own view on the subject and he both acknowledges the fact that since the soul is rejected by the Buddha there cannot be any reincarnation of that soul. Then he asserts that the Buddha believed the four elements that compose the body return back to the universe but as these elements and not in the process of a reincarnation of the individual whose body these elements composed.

“Did the Buddha believe in rebirth? The answer is in the affirmative. It is better to split the question further into two parts: ‘i) Rebirth of What; and (ii) Rebirth of Whom. . . according to the Buddha there are four elements of Existence which go to compose the body. They are (i) Prithvi [pathavi dhatu in Pali, solid earth]; (ii) Apo [apo dhatu in Pali, liquid water]; (iii) Tej [tejo dhatu in Pali, heat fire]; and (iv) Vayu [vayo dhatu in Pali, motion wind]. . . Do they also die along with dead body? . . . The Buddha said no: they join the mass of similar elements floating in (Akash) space. When the four elements of this floating mass join together, a new birth takes place . . . The body dies. But the elements are ever-living . . . What happens when the body dies? is: the body ceases to produce energy . . . death also means that whatever energy that had escaped from the body joins the general mass of energy playing about the Universe . . . The Buddha . . . believed in the regeneration of matter and not in the rebirth of the soul . . . Energy is never lost . . . “ (page 174-176)

In the same way he considers karma [kamma in Pali, merit] cannot transmigrate to another individual after death because otherwise that would bring the concept of soul back into the picture and the Buddha has rejected the concept of soul.

The conclusion here is that the elements that merge into the mass of similar elements in the Universe, and the energy produced by the body does the same when the body dies, can reassemble into a new birth but without the transmigration of neither a soul that does not exist or the karma of the dead person since the concept of soul is rejected. There cannot thus be any rebirth of any individual after death.

Buddhism and the mind

But what is essential here is the fact that this process of the emergence of a Buddha is entirely governed by the mind of the bodhisatta. Note here this last word is Pali and not Sanskrit. In other words Ambedkar is mixing Pali and Sanskrit and this makes the book difficult. In fact the editors should have unified the Buddhist language, and Pali would have been a good choice, and/or systematically offered notes with the Pali words when Ambedkar used Sanskrit words, and vice versa. But it is important to check what is said by Ambedkar on this mind, and he never uses Sanskrit or Pali words for it, which would have been difficult since the Buddha differentiates the mind as the sixth sense (mana) from the mental states developed by the mind in various situations (citta). But here is what Ambedkar says:

“. . . The recognition of the mind as the centre of everything. Mind precedes things, dominates them, creates them. If mind is comprehended, all things are comprehended. Mind is the leader of all its faculties. Mind is the chief of all its faculties. The very mind is made up of those faculties. The first thing to attend to is the culture of the mind. The second distinguishing feature of his teachings is that mind is the fount of all the good and evil that arises within, and befalls us from without. . . The cleaning of the mind is therefore the essence of religion. The third distinguishing feature of his teachings is the avoidance of all sinful acts. The fourth distinguishing feature of his teaching is that real religion lies not in the books of religion, but in the observance of the tenets of the religion.” (page 62-63)

We can see here that the mind is not defined as the sixth sense that processes the sensory signals from the five other senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, without forgetting that the whole body is a network of sensors that are assimilated to touch though they are most of them inside the body and they all manage the body’s behavior and equilibrium, both inside and outside) and abstract sensory signals from ideas, language, concepts, etc. The world can only exist in our consciousness through the senses and the mind, for sure, but the mind does not precede objects nor the world. It precedes the consciousness we have of the world, and this concept of consciousness is absent in Ambedkar’s book. In this quotation he seems to be a full idealist for whom the world has no existence outside the consciousness we have of it.

In fact the mind is given some kind of autonomy and precedence, which is surprising because Ambedkar insists on the rejection of anything resembling what most religions call the soul, that supposedly divine part of man. Yet this mind is not seen as part of the sensorial architecture of the body. In fact the shortcoming comes from the fact that this mind is not seen as a construct built by the brain in its processing of all sensorial stimuli within the circumstantial, existential, experiential, situational and phenomenological environment of the individual who uses his/her brain to make out some meaningful pattern or set of patterns in this reality, and what comes out of this confrontation is the mind, whose very first invention is a language to give names to the various codified entities and patterns, more or less static and/or more or less dynamic, that coalesce into some kind of permanent, though transient, conceptualized items or actions.

This leads him to an ethical approach of man’s behavior: man has to abide by some rules, has to cleanse his mind of all sinful ideas, has to avoid all sinful acts or ideas. The concept of sin is not Buddhist. It is borrowed from the Christian tradition. The Buddha condemns actions of any sort that produce dukkha in oneself or in others. Most of the time this dukkha is translated as suffering though it is in fact the dissatisfaction one experiences or one inflicts on some other person when an inner or outer balance is broken, when a justified vital need is disrupted, when one intend to privilege one’s interest and frustrate the others’ interest instead of sharing what is at stake. In a way Ambedkar reintroduces the soul that he had excluded before and yet this mind that precedes the existence of the world cannot transmigrate to another individual after the death of the body that contains it. And yet his negation of the soul should imply the world preexists the mind. That is a deep contradiction in Ambedkar’s approach of Buddhism that becomes a moralistic discourse afterwards.

Buddhism and the Extinction of Dukkha

Though the Buddha is not a Savior, is not a Moksha Data [mokkha datar in Pali, salvation giver], but a Marga Data [magga datar in Pali, way giver], he identifies salvation to Nibbana (note he uses the Pali word) and that salvation is the result of the implementation of the Dhamma (note he uses the Pali word) and this Dhamma is a set of objectives the mind is supposed to fulfill:

i-                     Three forms of purity, in body, in speech and in mind;
ii-                   Five weaknesses: taking life; taking what is not given; lustful, evil practices; lying; indulging in spirituous liquors, which cause idleness.
iii-                  Four arisings of mindfulness: contemplating the body as body, the feelings as feelings, the mind as mind, ideas as ideas
iv-                 Three failures: in morals, in mind, in view.
v-                   Three perfections: in morals, in mind, in view.
vi-                 Three ideas underlying Nibbana: the happiness of a sentient being as distinct from the salvation of the soul; the happiness of the sentient being in Samsara while he is alive; the exercise of control over the flames of the passions which are always on fire.
vii-                Three groups of passions: craving/attachment (lust, infatuation, greed, lobha), antipathy (hatred, anger, vexation, repugnance, dosa), ignorance (delusion, dullness, stupidity, moha/avidya).
viii-              The Middle Way, the Noble Eightfold Path, the eight “right”: right outlook, right aims, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. (page 123-128). It is also identified as the Path of Righteousness and its eight constituents page 70: Ashtangamarga [atthangika magga in Pali, the path leading to the extinction of Dukkha]: Samma Ditri (Right Views); Samma Sankappo (free mind and free thought); Samma Vacca (Right Speech); Samma Kamanto (Right Behavior); Samma Ajivo (earning one’s livelihood without causing injury or injustice to others); Samma Vyayamo (Right Endeavor); Samma Satti (calls for mindfulness and thoughtfulness, constant wakefulness of the mind); Samma Samadhi (positive, concentrate  and think of Good Deeds and Thoughts during concentration)
ix-                 The path of Virtue and the ten virtues or Paramitas (States of Perfection): (i) Sila (moral temperament); (ii) Dana (the giving of one’s possessions, blood and limbs and even one’s life for the good of others); (iii) Uppekha (datachment; (iv) Nekkama (renunciation of the pleasures of the world), (v) Virya right endeavor); (vi) Khanti (forbearance); (vii) Succa (truth); (viii) Adhitana (resolute determination to reach the goal); (ix) Karuna (loving kindness to human beings); (x) Maitri (extending fellow feeling to all beings). (page 72-73)

 But I would like to come back to the Noble Eightfold Path in its canonical presentation (Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera

magga: 'path'. 1. For the 4 supermundane paths (lokuttara-magga), s. ariya-puggala - 2. The Eightfold Path (aṭṭhaṅgika-magga) is the path leading to the extinction of suffering, i.e. the last of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca, q.v.), namely:
III- Wisdom (paññā)
1. Right view (sammā-diṭṭhi)
2. Right thought (sammā-saṅkappa)
I- Morality (sīla)
3. Right speech (sammā-vācā)
4. Right bodily action (sammā-kammanta)
5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājīva)
II- Concentration (samādhi)
6. Right effort (sammā-vāyāma)
7. Right mindfulness (sammā-sati)
8. Right concentration (sammā-samādhi)
1. Right view or right understanding (sammā-diṭṭhi) is the understanding of the 4 Noble Truths about the universality of suffering (unsatisfactoriness), of its origin, its cessation, and the path leading to that cessation. . .
2. Right thought (sammā-saṅkappa): thoughts free from sensuous desire, from ill-will, and cruelty.
3. Right speech (sammā-vācā): abstaining from lying, tale-bearing, harsh language, and foolish babble.
4 Right bodily action (sammā-kammanta): abstaining from killing, stealing, and unlawful sexual intercourse.
5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājīva): abstaining from a livelihood that brings harm to other beings, such as trading in arms, in living beings, intoxicating drinks, poison; slaughtering, fishing, soldiering, deceit, treachery soothsaying, trickery, usury, etc.
6. Right effort (sammā-vāyāma): the effort of avoiding or overcoming evil and unwholesome things, and of developing and maintaining wholesome things (s. padhāna).
7. Right mindfulness (sammā-sati): mindfulness and awareness in contemplating body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects (s. sati, Satipaṭṭhāna).
8. Right concentration (sammā-samādhi): concentration of mind associated with wholesome (kusala consciousness, which eventually may reach the absorptions (jhāna, q.v.). Cf. samādhi. There are to be distinguished 2 kinds of concentration, mundane (lokiya) and supermundane (lokuttara) concentration. The latter is associated with those states of consciousness known as the 4 supermundane paths and fruitions (s. ariya-puggala).”

Ambedkar misses the second level hierarchy that is not from beginning to end since it is III-I-II and he only keeps the first degree hierarchy from 1 to 8, thus flattening the hierarchy itself. We also must note this Noble Eightfold Path is split into two presentations in Embedkar’s book, hence cutting the path of Righteousness from the Noble Eightfold Path. In many ways this increases the moralistic and rule-giving approach that is entirely set under the sole responsibility of the individual’s mind:

“Mind is the only instrument through which light can come to us.” (page 70)

Here we can wonder what is first in this vision, the world or the mind, the world or the representations of it the mind constructs, and to reduce the mind to a tool is to miss the fact that this tool does not preexist the individual, does not preexist the world but is a construct produced by the brain through the circumstantial, existential, experiential, situational and phenomenological confrontation of the individual with his/her environment.

Buddhism, anicca, dukkha, anatta

These three concepts are the central concepts of Buddhism, but together and not in separate order. It is because of anicca that states every material, mental, spiritual or virtual thing is impermanent, transient, constantly changing that dukkha arises constantly since nothing is permanent. But here dukkha cannot be understood without its antagonistic double sukha. The latter is the satisfaction of any desire, want, need, wish or whatever man can have. But this satisfaction is absolutely normal in man, and the Buddha condemns any asceticism that aims at making the body and the mind suffer in order to become pure, to win their (the body’s and the mind’s that becomes the soul’s in this perspective) salvation. This satisfaction will necessarily end and bring forward the former because man is naturally getting attached to what brings sukha. This concept of attachment is not sufficiently insisted upon by Embedkar. It is tanha. It is necessary to insist here on the excessiveness of this attachment. Love for other people and for all living beings is set as fundamental in a Buddhist, but without tanha, without excessive attachment.

In the same way anicca makes believing in any permanent part of our being totally delusive and illusionary. We do not have a soul seen as permanent and as godlike since the concept of god is refused by the Buddha and since anything in us is seen as impermanent. In the same way then we do not have a self because at every single instant of our life we are changing, we are different. In the same way no idea is permanent and that should have been emphasized by Embedkar but he could not because of his inspiration coming from the Tibetan Great Vehicle Buddhism that has in many ways ossified the concepts. This concept of anatta is absolutely central to Buddhism. It is vain and useless to pretend even the most powerful concepts of Buddhism are permanent. They cannot be eternal since they were “invented” by the Buddha, but they have no permanence in them because the world is changing and the basic concept about the world is that it is a constantly evolving and transforming reality. I say basic not permanent, since we could even come to the contradiction of stating that this basic principle of ever-changing reality is itself changing and could become ever-lasting, permanent, at least in our own eyes.

Here we need the concept of samsara without which dukkha cannot even be conceived.

" saṃsāra : 'round of rebirth', lit. perpetual wandering', is a name by which is designated the sca of life ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous process of ever again and again being born, growing old, suffering and dying. More precisely put, saṃsāra  is the unbroken chain of the five-fold khandha-combinations, which, constantly changing from moment to moment follow continuously one upon the other through inconceivable periods of time. Of this saṃsāra , a single lifetime constitutes only a tiny and fleeting fraction; hence to be able to comprehend the first noble truth of universal suffering, one must let one's gaze rest upon the saṃsāra , upon this frightful chain of rebirths, and not merely upon one single life-time, which, of course, may be sometimes less painful.” (Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera

Note even in this canonical dictionary they use the word rebirth but it is clear that for them it is the rebirth of the fruit in the seed that will produce a new tree and new fruit. The world is an extremely complex unlimited and non-finite set of material, spiritual, mental or virtual entities and items that all have a beginning, a life and a death leading to a new beginning in a different way with a different definition. We are living in a maelstrom of constantly moving and transforming jungles of all kinds of beings that are all living but that are not all flesh and bone and blood but may be composed of none of the four basic elements we have seen, and thus may be virtual, spiritual, mental.

This should lead us to thinking that our thoughts, as soon as they find some material medium (speech, writing, images, or whatever) base their material dimension in the possible transmission from one person to another. Communication, education, transmission is the very materiality of all “non-material” beings. But as soon as one idea is captured in a way or another, produced, received or transmitted, by a mind supported by a brain supported by a body it becomes material, though virtual in nature (meaning not composed of the four basic material elements).

This reflection is constantly behind what Embedkar says but it is not entirely expressed, formulated. He keeps some contradictions at the level of the materiality of our existence and thinking, which makes him adopt an ethical, moralistic discourse of what we have to do to get rid of our sins, to purify our mind, to get on the path of righteousness and virtue. Embedkar remains an idealist at heart instead of seeing that there cannot be either survival or development if we do not accept the ever changing concepts of samsara, anicca, dukkha and  anatta as the material reality in which we have to survive and develop.

This leads us to a final concept Embedkar does not use enough because he states that the cause-effect reasoning is fundamental in Buddhism. This is partially false. The cause-effect affiliation of things does not correspond to the concept of samsara that implies another affiliation of things: dependent origination, paticcasamuppada.

paṭiccasamuppāda: 'dependent origination', is the doctrine of the conditionality of all physical and psychical phenomena, a doctrine which, together with that of impersonality (anattā), forms the indispensable condition for the real understanding and realization of the teaching of the Buddha. It shows the conditionality and dependent nature of that uninterrupted flux of manifold physical and psychical phenomena of existence conventionally called the ego, or man, or animal, etc.
Whereas the doctrine of impersonality, or anattā, proceeds analytically, by splitting existence up into the ultimate constituent parts, into mere empty, unsubstantial phenomena or elements, the doctrine of dependent origination, or paṭiccasamuppāda, on the other hand, proceeds synthetically, by showing that all these phenomena are, in some way or other, conditionally related with each other.”

If we consider the whole samsara the world is, any phenomenon develops when the surrounding samsara in which it is situated enables this very phenomenon to emerge. It is not a causation but the fulfillment of an emergence from a surrounding nurturing environment. It is subductive in nature, neither inductive or deductive.

Buddhism and the Dalits

This is the last idea I would like to insist on. The basic principle in this field is the refusal of castes and hence the refusal of segregation against the Dalits:

“The Sangh [Buddhist religious monastic order] was open to all. There was no bar of caste. There was no bar of sex. There was no bar of status.” (page 222)

This is clear when he considers Sadhamma (true dhamma). It is the Dhamma brought to perfection in one’s life by the implementation of several practical stances. One has to do with equality among human beings.

“Dhamma to be Sadhamma Must Break Down Barriers between Man and Man. (page 161) . . . Dhamma to be Sadhamma Must Teach that Worth and Not Birth is the Measure of Man. (page 164) . . . Dhamma to be Sadhamma Must Promote Equality between Man and Man. Men are born unequal. Some are robust, others are weaklings. Some have more intelligence, others have less or none. Some have more capacity, others have less. Some are well-to-do, others are poor. All have to enter into what is called the struggle for existence. In the struggle of existence, if inequality be recognized as the rule of the game, the weakest will always go to the wall. . . What society wants is the best, and not the fittest. It is, therefore, the primary reason why religion upholds equality. . . A religion which does not preach equality is not worth having. . . The religion of the Buddha is perfect justice, springing from a man’s own meritorious disposition.” (page 165-166)

The dichotomy of best versus fittest justifies all questioning and rejection of any social order that becomes in any way ossified and that considers human beings must fit this ossified order. This approach advocates the opposed point of view that social order is part of samsara and has to change constantly just the same way all human beings in their realistic differences but righteous equality in rights and duties are part of this samsara. Human beings constantly change and they must try to govern that change in the right direction, just the same way as society constantly changes and must try to govern this change in the right direction, and that right direction is equality in rights and duties for everyone to produce the best and not the fittest.

Anyone can see such principles are fundamental but at the same time change has to come on its own energy and not imposed by any decision from any one or ant body that has or takes the authority to do so. That’s the worst part of democracy: change has to come all by itself and not be forced onto any one individual or any none society.


Thursday, March 27, 2014


La censure est un mal qui ronge la France

Ici très ciblée catholique, la censure est aussi un mal laïcard pour ne parler que de cette autre forme de censure très française.

Je ne peux que diffuser, mais j'ai des réserves, comme je viens d'écrire à mes collègues du SNAC (Syndicat National des Auteurs et des Compositeurs) qui diffuse lui aussi ce texte pour examen.

Chers Collègues,

Je suis pour la signature de ce texte, et l'adhésion à cet Observatoire, même si j'aurais quelques réserves sur des points qui ne sont pas nécessairement de détail.

Il serait bon aussi de voir comment certains ont fait des promesses qui ne coûtaient rien et qui ne seront jamais tenues

« Pendant sa campagne électorale, le candidat François Hollande s’est publiquement engagé auprès de l’Observatoire de la liberté de création, le 2 mai 2012, à « revoir profondément la législation en vigueur », dénonçant les attaques et remises en cause de manifestations artistiques, et affirmant qu’il convient de faire « cesser » « les poursuites contre des commissaires d’exposition ou l’autocensure des élus ».
Il est temps de passer aux actes. »

Ma conviction est que ce sont les victimes qui doivent apprendre à se défendre avec le soutien de tous ceux qui le veulent bien. Il est peut-être nécessaire de se poser la question d'une attaque en justice contre des associations qui mettent en péril la liberté d'expression et de création qui est un droit constitutionnel. Il faudrait aussi parler de la liberté de conscience et de pratique de toutes les religions, qui sont aussi des droits constitutionnels, et là il faut dire que dans le champ laïque il y a aussi des extrêmistes qui en appellent à la démocratie de la rue et des foules dès que l'on montre un voile quelconque ou une kipa banale.

Je conseille la lecture du

Rapport au Premier ministre
sur la refondation des politiques d’intégration
1er février 2013

L'évolution sur ces questions est lente en France, beaucoup plus lente que dans les autres pays d'Europe, pour ne pas citer les USA ou le Canada. Et je le regrette.

Bonne soirée.


La Société des réalisateurs de films
14, rue Alexandre Parodi 75010 Paris
Communication : Hélène Rosiaux 01 44 89 99 65 /
= association de cinéastes créée en 1968
= plus de 350 réalisateurs de court et de long métrage
= mission : défendre les libertés artistiques, morales, professionnelles et économiques de la création cinématographique
= organise la Quinzaine des réalisateurs à Cannes (depuis 1969) & le Festival du moyen-métrage à Brive (depuis 2004)
diffuse le texte suivant

Contre la censure, aux actes !

Lettre ouverte de l’Observatoire de la liberté de création, dont est membre la SRF.
Il y a eu, en 2000, Présumés innocents, exposition au CAPC de Bordeaux dont les commissaires ont été poursuivies, a posteriori, au pénal, par une association s’occupant de rechercher les enfants disparus, la Mouette. La procédure a fini par un non-lieu, de nombreuses années après, mais elle a marqué les esprits et le retour de l’ordre moral qui n’a fait que s’aggraver ces dernières années.
En 2010, Le Baiser de la Lune, film d’animation de Sébastien Watel, montrait un poisson-lune qui aimait un poisson-chat. Il devait être diffusé à l’école dans le cadre d’une campagne de prévention contre les discriminations, mais le ministre de l’éducation nationale, Luc Chatel, l’a interdit. Christine Boutin, sous couvert de son parti chrétien, soutint que ce film privait les enfants « des repères les plus fondamentaux que sont la différence des sexes et la dimension structurante pour chacun de l’altérité ». Prévenir contre l’homophobie serait faire de l’idéologie.
En avril 2011, Immersion (Piss Christ) et Sœur Jeanne Myriam, deux œuvres d’Andres Serrano, furent vandalisées à la Collection Lambert d’Avignon à la suite d’une manifestation conduite par Civitas. Certains évêques s’étaient joints aux intégristes dans la dénonciation d’un prétendu blasphème.
Quelques mois plus tard, des représentations de la pièce Sur le concept du visage du fils de Dieu, de Romeo Castellucci, furent empêchées par des catholiques intégristes. Il a fallu que la police protège les théâtres, comme ce fut le cas ensuite pour la pièce Golgota Picnic, de Rodrigo Garcia. Le porte-parole de la Conférence des évêques dénonçait ces deux spectacles sans les avoir vus, encourageant ainsi les manifestants.
Le 21 novembre 2013, le Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Lorraine a été condamné pour la présentation des œuvres d’Éric Pougeau dans l’exposition Infamilles à la demande de l’Agrif, une association « pour le respect de l’identité française et chrétienne », sur le fondement de l’article 227-24 du Code pénal, dont l’Observatoire de la liberté de création demande la modification depuis 2003 (voir manifeste ci-joint). Les œuvres incriminées sont considérées par la justice comme violentes à l’égard des mineurs, et portant gravement atteinte à la dignité humaine. C’est la première fois qu’une exposition est condamnée judiciairement sur ce fondement. La cour d’appel est saisie.
En février 2014, le film Tomboy, de Céline Sciamma, a été attaqué par Civitas qui demande son retrait du dispositif d’éducation artistique « École et cinéma », et a cherché à s’opposer à sa diffusion sur Arte. Une candidate du FN à La Roche-sur-Yon dénonce Tragédie, spectacle chorégraphique d’Olivier Dubois, jugé « décadent » pour cause de nudité. Tous à poil !, livre de Claire Franek et Marc Daniau, est vilipendé au même moment par Jean-François Copé au nom du « respect de l’autorité ».
Les 28 janvier et 5 février 2014, sont remis en cause les visas d’exploitation du film Nymphomaniac Volume I et Volume II de Lars von Trier, par deux décisions du juge des référés du tribunal administratif de Paris. La délivrance de ces visas par la ministre de la Culture s’était pourtant appuyée sur une consultation de la Commission de classification. Le juge des référés est, par définition, seul. Il visionne et juge le film, seul. Et son jugement donne raison à une association (Promouvoir) dont le but est clairement confessionnel (« la promotion des valeurs judéo-chrétiennes, dans tous les domaines de la vie sociale ») et qui développe une stratégie d’actions contentieuses, administratives et pénales, contre les films et les livres, depuis 20 ans.
Les visas critiqués ont été délivrés par la ministre de la Culture après avis collégial d’une commission présidée par un conseiller d’État, nommé par décret, et composée de fonctionnaires représentant les ministères concernés par la protection de l’enfance et de l’adolescence, de professionnels, d’experts, dont des représentants de l’Union nationale des associations familiales (UNAF) et du Défenseur des enfants. Le film est désormais interdit aux moins de 16 ans (Volume I), et 18 ans (Volume II). Avec des conséquences lourdes sur sa diffusion, dont la portée est loin de ne concerner que les mineurs prétendument protégés par de telles mesures.
Le 20 février, le même juge des référés déboute l’association Promouvoir qui prétendait faire casser le visa du film La vie d’Adèle, d’Abdellatif Kechiche (interdit au moins de 12 ans), en faveur d’une interdiction aux moins de 18 ans. Le juge des référés ne répond pas favorablement, uniquement parce que l’association s’y est prise trop tard, ce qui laisse présager de la suite.
Il y a encore l’artiste Steven Cohen, arrêté en septembre 2013 au Trocadéro en pleine performance, pour cause « d’exhibition sexuelle », car il était partiellement nu, par les policiers du commissariat de la Faisanderie, proche du bois de Boulogne. Il sera jugé par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris, le 24 mars prochain, à la demande du parquet.
Il y a les pressions, exercées par des mouvements extrémistes, sur les bibliothèques pour censurer tel ou tel ouvrage, jugé par eux immoral ou scandaleux, demandant des comptes sur les politiques d’achat, de consultation et de prêt.
Il y a les mêmes anathèmes, lancés sur les manuels et les bibliothèques scolaires, les enseignants et les éducateurs, au nom d’un ordre moral qui ne s’autorise que de lui-même ou d’une rumeur autour d’une « théorie du genre », prétendument enseignée à l’école. Et cette fois, sont rassemblés les fondamentalistes de toutes les religions.
Ce n’est évidemment pas fini.
Ces faits devenus réguliers ont plusieurs caractéristiques communes alarmantes. Quelques groupes, très actifs et organisés en réseau, se sont érigés en arbitres et en gardiens des bonnes mœurs, selon des principes le plus souvent empruntés à l’ordre du religieux et de la morale. Ils s’attaquent à l’art et tentent d’empêcher la diffusion des œuvres qui leur déplaisent par tous les moyens : intimidation, rumeur, action violente... Les musées, les lieux d’exposition, les cinémas, les théâtres, les bibliothèques et les écoles, tous les lieux publics de culture et de connaissance sont devenus leur cible.
Or nous vivons dans une république démocratique et laïque. Il est temps de rappeler que la culture et l’éducation fondent notre pacte républicain, autour des valeurs de diversité, de tolérance et de dialogue. Le débat sur les œuvres est légitime et sain, chaque avis est respectable, mais rien ne justifie l’action violente. Une oeuvre qui respecte ce pacte ne peut faire l’objet d’aucune censure ni d’aucune forme de pression dictée par des minorités agissant au nom de principes communautaristes, ou d’arguments idéologiques, religieux ou moraux.
Le travail des auteurs, des artistes et des interprètes n’est jamais de dire une vérité unique. Une œuvre est une représentation, une fiction qui permet d’exprimer une vision du monde, et cette vision est et doit rester libre. La diffusion des œuvres ne doit pas être entravée par ceux qui n’en ont qu’une vision étroite, injuste ou déformée, et demandent une censure, parfois sans même voir, regarder ou entendre. Ce qui est en cause, ici, c’est le jugement que chacun peut faire librement des œuvres qui lui sont données à voir ou à entendre. Ce n’est pas seulement la liberté des créateurs que nous défendons, mais c’est aussi celle du spectateur. La censure porte atteinte à ce qui donne à chacun l’occasion d’exercer son intelligence et de questionner son rapport à l’autre ou au monde. Il s’agit de défendre l’expérience offerte à tous de la pensée et de la sensibilité, contre toute forme de puritanisme ou de catéchisme de la haine. Il ne faut pas laisser vaincre ceux qui tentent d’anéantir ce qui est un principe de toute vie démocratique. Si l’œuvre est polémique, elle requiert un débat, pas une interdiction.
Il est très préoccupant que l’Observatoire de la liberté de création ait à rappeler ces évidences. Il dénonce, depuis plus de dix ans, le dispositif légal qui permet aux associations d’agir contre les œuvres au nom de la protection de l’enfance, alors qu’elles n’ont aucun titre à le faire. Il dénonce les dispositions légales qui sont fort mal rédigées, et qui permettent des sanctions pénales contre les œuvres pour des motifs touchant à la morale.
Pendant sa campagne électorale, le candidat François Hollande s’est publiquement engagé auprès de l’Observatoire de la liberté de création, le 2 mai 2012, à « revoir profondément la législation en vigueur », dénonçant les attaques et remises en cause de manifestations artistiques, et affirmant qu’il convient de faire « cesser » « les poursuites contre des commissaires d’exposition ou l’autocensure des élus ».
Il est temps de passer aux actes.
Nous en appelons solennellement au président de la République, au gouvernement et aux parlementaires, pour procéder aux modifications législatives qui s’imposent, afin de garantir la liberté de création et de diffusion des œuvres, et modifier le code pénal.
Nous en appelons aux plus hautes instances de l’État, mais aussi aux élus locaux, pour protéger, autant de fois qu’il sera nécessaire, les œuvres, les artistes et les lieux de connaissance et de culture, par la garantie réaffirmée de la liberté de création et de diffusion des œuvres.
Membres de l’Observatoire :
- la Fédération des salons et fêtes du livre de jeunesse ;
- le Syndicat des artistes plasticiens (Snap – CGT) ;
- l’association des Auteurs-réalisateurs-producteurs (ARP) ;
- le Cipac – Fédération des professionnels de l’art contemporain ;
- la Ligue de l’enseignement ;
- la Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) ;
- l’Association du cinéma indépendant pour sa diffusion (Acid) ;
- la section française de l’Association internationale des critiques d’art (AICA – France) ;
- le Groupe 25 images ;
- le Syndicat français des artistes interprètes (SFA) ;
- la Société des gens de lettre (SGDL) ;
- la Société des réalisateurs de films (SRF) ;
- le Syndicat français de la critique de cinéma (SFCC).
Organisations signataires :
- l’Association des directrices et directeurs de bibliothèques municipales et de groupements intercommunaux des villes de France (ADBGV) ;
- le Syndicat des distributeurs indépendants (SDI) ;
- l’Union des photographes professionnels-auteurs (UPP) ;
- le Syndicat national des entreprises artistiques et culturelles (SYNDEAC) ;
- l’Association des auteurs réalisateurs du sud-est (AARSE) ;
- le Syndicat des professionnels de l’industrie de l’audiovisuel et du cinéma (Sipac – CGT)
> Retrouvez le manifeste de l'Observatoire de la liberté de création :http://

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Rencontrez le chaud lapin scootérisé

JOSÉ VALVERDE – VOUS AVEZ DIT « DEVOIR ??? » – Edition Sacré Rire – 2014  


Le destin est droit comme mon bras quand je me mouche
Droit comme la rue qui tourne
Entre la Porte Dijeaux
Et le Cours de l’Intendance
A Bordeaux.

Rue de la Vieille Tour
Tour de passe-passe
Tour de magie diabolique
On y entre puceau
Et on en ressort trépident et astiqué comme un sou neuf
Avec plus de coins et de coudes qu’un tire bouchon
A la queue de son cochon

Droit vous avez dit ?
Droit comme les points sur les i
            Comme les poings dans les yeux
                        Comme mon poing dans la gueule du destin justement
Droit comme une barre sur un t
            Deux morceaux de sucre et un nuage de lait s’il vous plait
Arrêtez de tourner en rond
            De monter des cendres à la chambre
            De descendre mon thé au salon

A chacun son droit fil
A chacun son profil
A chacun son biais droit en travers du fil

Ce n’est pas avec du croûte rouge
                        Qu’on fait une fondue
Ce n’est pas avec de l’Amsterdammer
                        Qu’on fait une potée
Ce n’est pas avec du Gouda
                        Qu’on fait le couscous

Et cela ressemble fort à un Néanderthaler
            En goguettes égarées
                        Dans une caverne de Cromagnon
                                    A en perdre Lascaux des fesses

Le Néanderthaler ne savait ni peindre ni pêcher
Le Cromagnon savait déjà pêcher en eaux troubles
            Pêcher dans le jardin d’Eden des autres
                        Pêcher contre le bien et pour le mal
Car il n’y a pas de mâle sans pêché
            Ni de femelle non plus d’ailleurs soit dit en passant

Qu’une boule d’Edam se prenne
            Pour une roue de Roquefort
                        Ou une tourte de Fourme d’Ambert
Il n’y a pas à prendre un air surpris à cela
Ils sont tous bien persillés
            Avant de se faire abondamment persifler

Alors le droit à une vie privée ?
Le doigt dans l’œil jusqu’au coude
Du bras qui se mouche

Pourquoi pas simplement
            La fidélité comme droiture de l’âme
                        Non merci
Je ne pratique pas les bonnes sœurs
            L’amour et non la concupiscence
                        Non merci
Je ne pratique pas les couvents à la Shakespeare
            Le repère orthonormé de l’hémisphère droit
                        Qui ne se laisse ni ne se lasse pas
                                    De débouler à droite
                                                En déboulonnant l’hémisphère gauche
                                    Comme on ferait d’une vieille statue en bronze
                        Partie pour la guerre sous la forme ultime
            D’un canon qui va assassiner Jaurès
En plein milieu de l’Afrique
                        Non merci
Je ne pratique pas la nécrologie
                                                            La nécrophilie
                                                                        La nécrophagie

Si vous préférez
            Vous pouvez toujours parler
                        De sphères entières
                        Plutôt que d’hémisphères mal latéralisés

De boules de cristal
            Dans le bercail des bijoux de famille

En voilà encore un qui sort du placard à balais
            En scooter vous dites ?
            Avec chauffeur CRS que vous dites ?
            Et un casque de moto que vous en rajoutez ?

Plus droit que moi tu meurs
            Et plus gauche que moi tu crève-cœur

Et l’enfant de chœur lève le coude
Qu’il a droit comme quand il se mouche
            Ou est-ce se torche le nez qu’on dit ?
Et il descend d’une seule goulée
Le vin de mousse qu’il amasse
Comme pierre qui roule tout droit
Du bénitier de gauche
A la grenouille de droite
            Qui s’agenouille
                        A la queue nouille
                                    Qui bafouille
                                                Qui crachouille
                                                            Qui cramouille

Oh Dieu
            Que la fête est belle

Oh Dieu
            Que la poupée est charnelle
            Gonflable et sensuelle
                        En selle gentilshommes
                        A votre manège des pulsions

Droit vous avez dit ?
Eh bien droit devant et en avant !
            Rien n’arrête le téméraire
                        Empêtré qu’il est
                                    Dans le tulle des voiles de la danse de Salomé

Et de trois maintenant révélées
Jamais deux sans trois ni trois sans quatre
La quatrième suivra comme les perles d’un chapelet
Il réussira bien à compléter le rosaire
Même si pour lui
            Le temps des rosières est bien passé
                        Vive le temps des rombières bien assaisonnées.


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