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Ghost tree

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022, 14:36

scan of painting, links to a place where one can download high quality scan for free (-:

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Strange virus

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022, 21:57

I am feeling better today, but my son is still unwell with COVID. He is seventeen, so am suprised he has had it much worse than I have being middle-aged. It is a strange virus how it affects everyone differently.

I read that the USA has been developing a chimera version of COVID by mixing it with the original SARS, to create a more deadly and aggressive form of the virus. In fact they may already have created it. The reasons for doing so are not very clear. Apparently it is dual-purpose, but I suspect one of the purposes is for the military. Madness. Such research should be banned worldwide, as if it isn't bad enough we have nuclear weapons of mass-destruction, now we are creating biological weapons of mass destruction. We really are doomed as a species if we carry on the way we are.

I also read an article about how the so-called 'Life sciences' are creating technologies to kill off entire species of animals and plants that are considered pests. I thought the Nazis had been defeated, but it seems they are still alive and well and still playing with science. I wonder if this is a consequence of operation paperclip, where Nazi scientists where whisked away to the US, Britain and Russia. Given new identities and amnesty if they worked for those governments. Some went on to occupy high positions in NASA and the CIA, and God knows where else in society. Quite a chilling thought as many of them where insane unpleasant people.

I don't think using life science to wipe out entire species that we consider a nuisance is a good idea. The Chinese tried to get rid of sparrows believing them to be a pest that was damaging their crops. So they wiped out loads of them, but an unexpected thing happened, they made things worse, and the harvest got ruined by caterpillars that the sparrows had been eating.

This looming future with our new Life science technology is something that gives me the creeps, honestly the amount of arrogance and ignorance we humans show to nature and the other beings and eco-systems around us is going to be the end of us as a species I think. We are like kids playing with loaded guns, no, we are kids playing with weapons and technology of mass destruction. We have not evolved much in terms of the mind whilst playing with science that could destroy everything on the planet.

We are even in the middle of the sixth mass extinction event and still we are creating weapons of mass destruction and technology that has the potential to make things worse. We are building more nuclear power stations while we are still clueless about what to do with the nuclear waste.

We talk about war, but our biggest threat is the mass extinction event happening around us.

War is like two humans who have jumped off a cliff and are shooting at each other as they fall to their deaths.

This human world is madness.

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Wisdom of the sangha

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021, 18:28

This is a tough module I am studying (M269). Spent hours trying to understand and answer a question on the TMA. I tried so hard, but had to quit in the end and submit the assignment, leaving the last parts of the question unanswered, I will lose a lot of marks, but I did try my best. I am honestly wondering if I am going to pass this module, it may be that I'll have to resit it again next year if I don't. 

After submitting the assignment, I sat in Zazen over Zoom. I was feeling stressed about a lot of things during the meditation. And felt quite dark in mood while sat there. I was worrying about the assignment; but also anxious about the state of the world and all the crazy stuff happening just now. Sad and mad about seeing species go extinct, something I am witnessing with my own eyes. 

 Then there's the homelessness crisis, in part due to banks kicking people out of their homes due to missing their mortgage payments, not their fault either, these familes lost their income because of the lockdowns. The government is so keen to save lives by treble-vaxxing everyone, yet I can't help but feel if they really were trying to save lives, why don't they help these poor folks trying to survive on the streets in the middle of winter? Why don't they help the old and vulnerable dying in care homes due to staff shortages or dying in NHS hospitals because relatives can no longer afford to pay for their care. I feel afraid of the huge poverty that is coming from the fallout of this pandemic. Why are they doing nothing to help these people who are at risk of death from extreme poverty?

 I also feel so sorry for the refugees. it was horrifying to hear on the news about that large fishing boat that purposely put itself in the way of drowning refugees and the lifeboats trying to save them. How could they be so heartless and cruel. I cannot understand why people can become like that. 

And I am sick to death of all the happy clappy fake plastic smiley corporate advertisements. Sick of all the celebrity bullshit, blah blah blah so what. All this being broadcast while the Earth is in a major crisis right now. I wish the governments of the world would show more enthusiasm, effort and coordination over reversing the sixth mass extinction event than this mass-vaccination campaign. If they can put so many resources, logistics, academics and energy into vaccinating everyone, surely they could do the same for turning this terrifying mass extinction event around, and also help all those suffering from poverty and homelessness. The governments are so fake, them and the media.

I spoke of all my concerns with the Zen group today (one can stay and have a discussion with the group after meditation). They were all very kind and said a lot of helpful things to cheer me up and help me feel better. Reminding me there are lots of good people out there. And although it all seems futile at times, whatever small way we can help others means something to those we help. That one needs to fight back with compassion. They advised me to read about someone called Joanna Macy, saying she was someone who may be a kindred spirit for me in these dark times, and might help me feel some hope and rekindle love and compassion in my heart.

 I also stated to my friends in the sangha that I had made a vow to never take my life no matter how hard things get. After confessing to them that I had felt like doing so. Mainly because I couldn't bare the thought of seeing any more species go extinct, or witness any more refugees drowning at sea, any more war, poverty or suffering, I didn't want to live in the Orwellian, dystopian world we seem to be heading towards. They were happy to hear that I have made a vow to never commit suicide. I feel publicly making this vow and the painting I made to seal it is a kind of protection for me. Because the thoughts do constantly whirl around my head at times, but seeing my painting and remembering my words can help me stay alive I think.  

One bit of advice that stuck out for me was to try and see my negative mood cycles as like being in a womb, a state of becoming. A time to retreat, nurture and take care, not get too overwhelmed with the sorrow of the world, but care for it with a tenderness like one would a growing baby, and all that sorrow can give birth to something beautiful if one is patient and gentle with it. It can become love and compassion instead of anger and hate. The bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshivra has many many hands and eyes, and those who have taken the bodhissatva vow are her many eyes and hands in this world.

I was so glad that I sat with them today and that I stayed to chat at the end. I nearly didn't, my mood was so negative I didn't want to bring it into the online zendo, but at the last minute I decided I would sit with them. And it did help, not just me, but the other people there were grateful for the discussion we had at the end, as the words of wisdom shared by the different members of the group seemed to help everyone. 


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Sour times

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021, 16:40

It is a horrible experience being alive. One is just born in a body with whatever genes one is given, and this body just grows by itself and life gets increasingly more complicated and one is stuck with whatever personality and DNA they are born with and expected to just get on with living in a cold and often cruel world. Noone gets to choose who they will be, what they will be good at, what kind of body they will get. No-one can help being who they are; and yet we get judged for it and made to feel guilty if we aren't up to the task of fitting into this bloody difficult world. Being a human sucks. Being any being on this planet sucks. Being alive sucks.

 I can only seem to meditate when I feel good. Meditation when depressed is not helpful at all. It just makes me feel worse. I am trying my best, but I keep failing catastrophically. I can't generate any joy at the moment, I am trying but it is like an engine that has run out of fuel and won't kickstart. 

I am also feeling broken hearted as well. Particularly for the local wildlife. So much life has disappeared at the local beach. Tangled up in the seaweed are the bones of seabirds that have starved to death from lack of food. The beach here used to be teeming with life of all different kinds, it was magical, but now it is like a watery graveyard, an oceanic desert. The sea here is dying and nobody else seems to notice or care. I read that now one in four species of bird in the UK are on the endangered list, and insects have been steadily disappearing, every summer there's fewer and fewer.

 Then there's refugees drowning at sea escaping all kinds of different horrors in the world caused by the greed, hatred, and delusion of the West; while the super rich just compete to be the first to reach outer-space so they can colonise dead planets, their rockets like penis extensions, ignorant of the poverty and environmental destruction their greed has caused. 

And the government is determined to vaccinate everyone, is obsessed with it; but if they really cared about saving people's lives why don't they help those who are now homeless in the freezing cold of Winter after been kicked out of their houses by banks who repossessed their homes after lockdowns destroyed their incomes. And why don't the government help the old people abandoned and dying alone in care homes and hospitals? I thought all this pandemic and vaxxing was to save their lives, but it seems to be more about destroying them.

I am sorry for the rant dear reader. I feel so unhappy just now, sometimes writing it out of my system is the only relief I get. (Albeit temporary.) I wish I could feel hope and write something uplifting, but I feel there is something terribly wrong with the world just now.

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Follow the money

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 3 Dec 2021, 21:37

This might make me a bit unpopular, but I have been trying to understand this big push for vaccination. Especially as politicians and the media keep supplying misinformation about them. They use the argument one should be vaccinated to protect others, but the elephant 🐘 in the room is these new COVID vaccines don't work that way. The only person they protect is the one who is vaccinated, not anyone else. If I get vaccinated, I can still catch COVID and spread it. Therefore vaccinating myself does not stop me passing it on to someone else and therefore does not protect the old and vulnerable. If politicians really cared about the old and vulnerable they wouldn't be leaving them to die alone in under-staffed care homes. 

I also fear mandatory vaccines could become more sinister in the future, and things could get more dystopian, what if they insist on vaccinating us against extremism for example, or add things to them to make us all more docile and obedient, (as a way of controlling us.) If vaccines are compulsory nobody would have the right to decline them. Which is why medical procedures like that should never be made mandatory, it grants too much power to the state and corporations to interfere with our bodies. Any medical procedure should always be with the informed consent of the person undergoing the procedure.

What I think is happening here is the pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits. Moderna for example just announced a $40 billion profit from its sale of COVID vaccines. And I imagine giving everyone regular boosters has got them very excited, it is a big Kerching! for them, which is why they are lobbying governments to keep giving us boosters and make them mandatory because then they will make guaranteed regular profits. They also have nothing to lose, because if anything does go wrong they are not held liable, so do not have to pay compensation to anyone, as the governments have indemnified them. 

I know for a fact pharmaceutical bosses have been meeting with governments. They recently met with the UK government and shortly after the government announced they would be buying more boosters for everyone next year. It is all about money, follow the money as someone once told me and you will learn the truth of what is going on. 

The cynic in me thinks that is what is happening here. I heard a pharmaceutical boss being interviewed on the radio and questioned about the huge amount of money they are making from these vaccines, they just shrugged and said so what? They tried to make it out to be a good thing, that it will encourage more business to make vaccines and new medicines. But I disagree I think it will end in disaster. Doing things out of greed is wrong view. No good can come of it, eventually something will go terribly wrong. Greed is not a good motivation or foundation to build anything on.

My view will always be that I will not be coerced into having an experimental medical procedure or any kind of experimental medicine, I won't be a human guinea pig for pharmaceutical companies, especially because if something does go wrong and it causes me long term damage and disability there's no compensation. I'm on my own, with a damaged body caused by an experimental vaccine/medicine that nobody can be held accountable for; all while pharmaceutical companies announce record profits. 

Greed is wrong view. And only bad things can happen when the world is dominated by wrong view.

I wish instead of putting so much resources into vaccinating the world against a relatively mild virus that looks like it is about to go endemic and become fairly harmless with the omicron variant. I wish instead they would muster all that energy and resources into sorting out the awful pollution and environmental destruction happening on the Earth, and turn this mass extinction event around. Did you know that one in four birds in the UK are now on the endangered species list with red status?

 I also wish they would sort out poverty and stand up to these big corporations and make them pay their fricking taxes to help support the countries they suck the wealth out of. It is time to go after the Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world and demand they pay corporation tax, as their greed is destroying economies and making the world poorer. And Amazon needs to treat its warehouse staff better, the way that company treats its workers is inhumane - shame on them. 

This idea of the trickle down economy is horse shit.


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Extinction

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 26 Nov 2021, 11:42

The life in the ocean is dying. I've lived here since 2003, and when we first moved here, the local beach was full of life, teeming with it. There where hermit crabs, crabs of all different types and sizes, fish, sandeels, starfish, shrimps, coral, sea anenomes, shellfish and seabirds of all different kinds. Now when I walk along the beach, look in the rockpools and the water, there's hardly anything there. I am lucky if I see the occasional tiny crab, even the shellfish are disappearing at an alarming rate and there's no more hermit crabs or sandeels to be found anywhere. The seabirds are fewer, and many species have gone completely, even the herring gulls are growing fewer. What can be causing this worrying loss of life? I don't know. I am guessing it is a combination of the horrible destructive practise of dredging, salmon fish farms, pollution and over-fishing. It breaks my heart man.

How is one supposed to feel any joy in this world?

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New blog post

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Sunday, 12 Sep 2021, 14:00

Sorry for all the spiritual stuff. I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but then noone has to read this.

 I guess I just don't feel much hope for the future. Feels like the world is ending. The oceans are dying, the forests are burning, the insects are dying, many species are going extinct. The rise of the right wing fascists and the surveillance state. The loss of welfare and worker's rights, loss of human rights next, and the misery of low wage crap jobs, working long hours in sweatshop conditions, suffering from lack of sleep, and despite working so hard having to survive on food banks is the experience of many. And when the shit really hits the fan, there will be a refugee crisis unlike anything the earth has known, worse than the one even now. 

I don't feel much hope for this world, and it causes me to want to escape and look deep within for solutions and freedom from all this madness and oppression.

This world is so fucked man. Our poor kids having to inherit this hell.

The only positive I can find is that this amount of suffering makes the incentive to become enlightened much more appealing. A grand opportunity to become awakened for everyone in these times, and there's so much spiritual knowledge at our fingertips, more than at any other time in history, that is something at least.


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March 1st 2019

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Thursday, 30 Sep 2021, 22:13

Not feeling too great today. My self confidence is a bit low. There's this part of me that is constantly putting me down, making me feel inadequate and stupid. I have been doing OK so far with the Open University, but there's always this voice in the back of my mind telling me it won't last and I just am not smart enough to do a degree. The human psyche is such a complicated place man. I try not to hate that part of myself. I am gently working with it, attempting to re-train those neurons to be put to some better use. It is a part of me that has seen a rough part of reality and it will take time to re-programme myself. Yeah this world is a hard place for many of us. Sometimes wonder what the point in any of it is. There are so many different pressing problems coming together just now globally, that it feels like the end of the world and worrying about career and stuff just seems irrelevant when we are currently in the Earth's sixth mass extinction event. There is so much war and violence in the world. So many refugees and so much homelessness. So much depravity among many of the wealthy, much like how things may have been before the collapse of the Roman empire I guess.

Pretty much every generation thinks the world is going to end; perhaps it is time to create a better world where future generations don't feel like that. A world that isn't oppressive, violent and lacking in love. Human society doesn't have to be this way, there are alternatives. The people who keep telling us there is no alternative are the ones who profit off the status quo. Change can happen and is still possible, but I fear there is not much time left now for that change to happen before everything around us collapses. I think any humans that manage to survive the looming collapse could find themselves living in another dark age, but one far worse than any that have happened before. If land and oceanic eco-systems die it will be a bleak and harsh world to try and survive in, it is possible humanity may not even survive this time.

The odds don't look great just now; but I am trying to keep hope alive in my soul. There is evil in the world; but there is also good.

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