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on being poor or rich

the sense of being

poverty and richness: are not naturally occurring ways of life, but they are imposed conditioning. among all other creatures, the basic necessities of life are common among all. these children, like many millions of them are raised into poverty by design, not that their parents designed it for themselves and for their children; nor because they had taken vows of poverty like the christian monks or any thing like that. these children's parents didn't know better. they were taken advantage of. and because things around them were changed, their parents were outmoded, displaced from their very homes and surrounding.

once everyone lived in the socio-economic equality, and everyone's basic needs were provided by nature; people were farmers or dwellers of the woods as hunter-gatherers. then, may be, some one invented a better tool for hunting or farming, and instead of sharing it with others as people did, and still do in the rural communities, this person began demanding something in return. see the etymology of the word 'sell'

O.E. sellan "to give," from P.Gmc. *saljanan (cf. O.N. selja "to hand over, deliver, sell;" O.Fris. sella, O.H.G. sellen "to give, hand over, sell;" Goth. saljan "to offer a sacrifice"), perhaps a causative form of the root of O.E. sala "sale." One of the first things a student of Old English has to learn is that the word that looks like sell usually means "give." Meaning "to give up for money" had emerged by c.1000. An O.E. word for "to sell" was bebycgan, from bycgan "to buy." Slang meaning "to swindle" is from 1590s. The noun phrase hard sell is recorded from 1952. To sell one's soul is from c.1570. Sell-by date is from 1972. To sell (someone) down the river is first recorded 1927, but probably from slavery days, on notion of sale from the Upper South to the cotton plantations of the Deep South (attested in this literal sense since 1851). To sell like hot cakes is from 1839.

the word' sell' at first did not contain the meaning of getting something in return. but when the giving in return was required, the greed factor seeped in, and it was called profit. that is, requiring more in return for giving little. then it became a profession. and a business. then the inventor either sold his invention to another seller, or hired people to produce his thing. and before anyone knew it, it became the city of detroit, and its factory workers began to come from as far places as ireland. these people left their communities because they could not compete with the factories or could not meet the demands of the landlords. and, too, they had been affected with the bug of profit and seeming easy life of a factory worker than that of a farmer.

now every big businessman sets up a charity foundation, not because he is a charitable person. it is part of the business set up. it gives him tax break, and also free publicity. just look at the nobel foundation and where mr. nobel's money came from. these charitable foundations have sprouted the religio-political organizations, and to serve them, there are also the professional fund raisers who would sell their services for a handsome percentage. all these professionals work for the state approved 'cause', including helping the poor.

mother teresa went to india as a young woman with a religious fervent to help the poor. of course, as a 23 year old european girl converted to the catholic nunnery even at younger age would not have the foggiest idea of how there could be any one deprived of life's necessities right under the benevolent god's all seeing gaze. she was led to behave like jesus's little sisters of mercy. and she devoted her life to depict the christian mercy, with gobs and oodles of money (she is estimated to have collected upwards of 500 million dollars in charity in her lifetime). in the hush hush words in india it was said, that like gandhi, teresa was an expensive poor person of india. may be she did begin to doubt her work along with the existence of a christian concept of god, as expressed in her letters and diaries. for, despite all that money that was coming in, the gutters of kolkotta was never not clogged with the poor dying people. and she sensed why so. it was her donors who were dumping the poor so that they can give her big sums to pick them up and clean, all in front of the open shutters of the camera. and in spite of that, if there was a slack in the media attention, they had enlisted help of the likes of lady di and hillary clinton, who would spend a few moments with mother teresa's work, all prearranged with the media, cameras ready. this motherhood is itself a misunderstood label that non indians do not understand. in india, feeding and nurturing is associated with woman. so a street beggar would address a female giver as mother regardless of her age. and then teresa had a second qualification typical indian in nature. she belonged to the fair skinned ruling class. and she had landed in india during the height of the english raj. so fame was fanned like the wind swept fire.

of course, anyone who realizes that one is being used to do something that was harming the poor instead of helping them, and that, she was trapped into a belief that held no sway in a country that was flooded with so many dazzling beliefs, she would write in her notes what her church officials would want to reinterpret, in the same vein as they have jesus's last words on the cross: 'o god! why have you forsaken me?' people in terrible pain do not speak in metaphor. may be, jesus of the story, too, could not believe that god could let him hang on the cross like that.

besides, one has yet to see a christian missionary male or nun, in the garbs of real poor, and not in spotless, clean robe or habit. their vows of poverty do not require of them to be poor in thought, speech and deed. for, if it did, the church would have hard time recruiting the novices for the service, much the same, as any nation would have trouble recruiting soldiers to fight in wars without the “g.i. bill” and other enticements awaiting them there after. that is pretended poverty that even buddha practiced. this person had a dream-conversation with the buddha on this subject. the buddha had attracted only the affluent, elite of his time to his philosophy, for it offered them the change from the expensive norm. but even from them only few had joined his group during his life time. and these people, later on, modified the buddhist philosophy according to each one's own understanding as applied to each one's listeners' ability to grasp.

now in buddha's time, there were no poor in the gutters of the capitol of his father's little domain, even though there were the rich. the distinction was less in terms of the basic needs, and was prominent in exaggeration of the manifestations of forms of supplications. in this sense, it is no different now as before, when it comes to conducting life's many activities in the modern rich. since that buddha has passed away more than 2500 years ago, that conversation was only a monologue, as perhaps, this writing is only a sleep-writing.

it takes two to make sense or nonsense. take pol pot, for example. like this writer, pol pot saw, that, the second sensible person had never manifested in 2500 years time since the buddha, or as in christian terms, 'he is coming', but hasn't for 2000 years, may be the buddha's message was right, but not his approach. even all the western intellectuals seem to admire it, but only verbally. and as a young man, pol pot had spent some time in france, which ruled over cambodia then. and pol pot put one and one together. apply buddhist practice using the french mode of its implementation.

since the devout buddhist believer cambodians were not practicing their beliefs out of understanding its worth, force them.and force them he did. pol pot had also seen gandhi's cherished india dissolve into nehru's west invented india. so he was singular perhaps in initiating it, but nothing is one man show. not even hitler could have killed may be ten or twenty jews, before being caught as a serial killer. both hitler and pol pot had more supporters than it is comfortable for the succeeding generations of rulers to admit that.

theoretically, both hitler and pol pot can be labeled as evil persons only because they failed. had they succeeded, as did the english and french and spanish in spreading their notions of life in africa, asia and the americas, pol pot's classless society would have become the norm for the cambodians, and a nod to the thais, who are in agreement in belief with pol pot, but are forced to be “westernized “by decree of a military take over two generations ago.

so issue of poverty and richness is not due to the bad practice of commerce, but of the ruler and the ruled. and that's where darwin had goofed. for the fittest to be there must the 'unfit' be kept alive, too. for without the comparing element there can't be superlative. the commerce sector took the cue from this, and standardized the exchange rate between the various services performed among the members of the society. this separated the theoretical work – the idea, the design – from its producing work. the white collar from the black collar. the master and slave handler from the slave worker.

gandhi said: “i shall work for an india in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country, in whose making they have an effective voice, an india in which there shall be no high class and low class of people, an india in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. there can be no room in such an india for the curse of untouchable or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. women will enjoy the same rights as men. this is the india of my dreams.” look at these two pictures. all three are females, one a rich indian woman, and the other two are poor sisters from brazil. the indian woman is almost bare on purpose, so that she can show off the jewelry she is wearing. the little girls, are bare, but because they are poor.

and except for gandhi no known public figure, especially among his admirers like barack obama, who holds a sway, but only in thought, dares to practice non violence. And poverty is an extreme, and extremely elongated form of violence in which anybody who is not poor is currently helping the rich in keeping the poor poorer, knowingly so or unwittingly.


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culture and counterculture

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no-mind: nothingness and no thing-ness

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poverty : inflicted by others and self imposed

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on education and philanthropy