Defend Stephen Sizer

by craig on January 12, 2013 9:41 am in Uncategorized

Stephen Sizer has been active for many years in areas of humanitarian concern for the Palestinian population. I was with him on my recent trip to Baghdad, and I am convinced he is a good man.

Stephen is a Church of England vicar. He is under huge pressure at the moment as he is under a formal complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Church of England on a charge of anti-semitism. This is very serious indeed and could lead to the loss of both his job and his home.

The essence of the long complaint is that he has posted links on his website to other websites which contain anti-semitic material. It is not alleged that he has linked to material which is itself anti-semitic; but that elsewhere on websites linked to there is such material.

That may or may not be true. But in the real world, the idea that in posting a link to an article you are endorsing every other article (which in practice you cannot have seen) on a website is nonsensical and would make much current blogging practice impossible.

That Stepehn is not an anti-semite and has not knowingly endorsed anti-semitism, I have no doubt. But what worries me is the growing bravura with which all critics of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians are charged with the – rightfully – damning slur of anti-semitism.

Just as the government of Israel has lurched to the far right, so “official” Jewish institutions in the UK have abandoned their once notable liberalism. The Board of Deputies used to deserve high respect and be a pillar of reason. It is astonishing to me that it has launched this absolutely unfounded attack on an Anglican priest. The Jewish Chronicle has lurched so far to the right as to be off the scale. There seems to be such a disconnect now between these institutions and the views of the Jewish people I know that I hope this state of affairs cannot last.

A list of those who have written in support of Stephen Sizer can be found here.

The formal process in which Stephen is now enmeshed is not only extremely unpleasant, it is also extremely expensive. He has to employ lawyers for his formal defence. A cardinal rule of this blog is never to ask for money, but I ask you now to donate for the defence fund.

Electronic transfers can be made to account name J Moodey, Co-op Bank sort code 08-93-00, account number 80407856. Cheques should be made out to J Moodey and sent to Mr S Leah, c/o York PSC, PO Box 423, York YO24 4WP.

It is important that we do not allow the victimisation of those who try to defend the Palestinians to proceed apace. Please do donate anything you can; if you feel able to add a comment saying that you have done so, that might encourage others.

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  1. Elizabeth Morley

    15 Jan, 2013 - 5:32 am

    Thank you, Craig, for giving us an opportunity to donate to Stephen Sizer’s defence fund. I have been anxiously wondering what is happening to him. My cheque is on its way.

  2. “but there is so much residual guilt from WWII preventing Western leaders from speaking the truth about Israel’s appalling behaviour.”

    A convenient nonsense.

  3. Another You Could Not Make It Up. A propaganda move from the European Friends of Israel (yet another ‘Friends of Israel’ group).

    Israel named “world humanitarian leader” in EU propaganda exercise

  4. “Well Field Marshal Fred, you didn’t really ‘listen’ to my complete comment, perhaps because you’re more used to speaking than listening, a finer, more sensitive art. My comment above makes it clear one doesn’t like conflict. Manage your ‘self’ as you will, its ‘your’ shoddy little affair.”

    Well they say every village has one and it looks like you’re it.

  5. Richard Armbach

    15 Jan, 2013 - 9:06 am

    Well done Elizabeth

    Don’t misunderstand me I am not getting ” holier than thou” and not claiming that I am above all this. I enjoy a good bicker as much as the next man. But Craig has pointed us in the direction of a way we can actually do something effective and make a difference, which might make a difference and which in turn might make a difference.

    There is an immediate job at hand maybe we might focus on it ? And there is much that can be done in addition to helping the funding or in lieu of helping the funding.

  6. LOL @ Richard Armbach (above). Some of the Honathan Joffman piece went straight over my head, but enough survived…thanks.

    Yo, Ben. Been having a break from politics, and right now not in the mood for a Fred/Mackie catfight. Laters.

  7. Right Said Fred:

    “Well they say every village has one and it looks like you’re it.”

    As if your lack of originality was required to be proved. Your ‘they say(s)’ prove you are a second-hand human being.

  8. La Zona Norte Respetable – the Israeli plan is to Annex Area C in the West Bank. They are putting that plan into action as we speak.

    Beyond that, they may hope for a final solution to the Palestinian problem as they see it. That may be a formal arrangement for the Palestinian ghettos that will comprise the less than 10% of Palestine that remains, encouraged emmigration, an expulsion to neighbouring countries, or just the de facto continuation of how things are.

    But removing hundreds of thousands of “settlers” is not their agenda – its clearly (look at all the facts on the ground) – Annex Area C.

  9. @ Mary – thanks for the Electronic Intifada link. In which the words (Israel)”has managed to inoculate itself against financial crises” occur. Really?

    Further developments in Ha’aretz…stormy waters here:

    Sadly Ha’aretz’ paywall and the apparent lack of any other coverage restrict access to more recent details of Israel’s economic triumphs, but a little digging might reveal the usual capitalist clusterfuck.

    Housing bubble: pump or *pop*? We feel your pain, Fischer.

  10. “You’ve received a lot of criticism for your comments, but I for one would like to give you a big thank you.”

    Well let’s not forget she does have a point to some extent. Just as she is wrong to say that all criticism of Israel is down to anti Semitism the converse is also true. Let’s face it, there are some people in the world who just hate Jews.

    It would be nice to think everyone is motivated by the same sense of natural justice and humanity but when I see people on this very blog arguing in favour of things like hatred and the taking of human life I have to wonder.

  11. Not (fully) reported in the Zionist-controlled corporate media. Some of the deaths have been reported but we usually have the ‘Israel says’ factor included and the Palestinians are usually referred to as ‘militants’. Until Boaden and her cohort are dismissed at the BBC, given the policy taken by the ‘Trustees’ nothing will change there.

    ‘Since November 22, 2012, 4 Palestinians have been killed and 75 Palestinians, including 14 children have been wounded by IOF fire in Gaza Strip.

    One of the wounded is a fisherman shot in the sea, while the others are protesters, workers and farmers shot in the areas close to the fence of the Green Line. The data is from PCHR weekly reports, unless otherwise mentioned. In almost all the cases, the victims are mentioned expressly as civilians. This is not a complete list of Israeli violations of the ceasefire, as it contains only the incidents which resulted in injuries or deaths.’


  12. “and right now not in the mood for a Fred/Mackie catfight.”

    Me either, and I apologize for finding myself in one yesterday; I like to believe that we are all here to seek, and perhaps even cast, light on issues of interest us, however that sometimes involves the exchange of views & opinions, which sometimes can generate more heat than light; but be warned, because apparently pointing out that if you find that somebody has been unable to articulate his/her viewpoints well enough, so that these end up coming across as a bit irrational, and you commit the sin of pointing this out, then it can be actually be taken by the other party as the equivalent as saying rude things about their mothers !!

  13. “Me either,”

    Then you shouldn’t have gone out of your way to pick one.

    I tried to be lenient with you because I figured you were the sort of person who probably spent most of their school days with their head stuffed down a toilet and never figured out why. I should have told you right away when you were trying to bully me into raking through old threads that I just didn’t feel like wasting my time trying to educate pork.

    Articulate enough for you?

  14. Indeed, Fred – I think we can see your position very well.

  15. La Zona Norte Respetable

    15 Jan, 2013 - 3:20 pm


    Agreed. I was pointing out that there is a snowball’s chance in hell of Israel pulling out of the West Bank.

    Seems like Israel will have to learn the hard way: No justice, no peace.

  16. Oh dear, all this abuse, I’m actually beginning to feel HATED !!

  17. Not one bullet wound but four to the head, chest and leg. Brutal extrajudicial murder.

    Medics: Israeli army kills teen in Budrus clashes
    Published today (updated) 15/01/2013 14:12

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager on Tuesday during clashes in Budrus near Ramallah, medics said.

    Samir Ahmad Abdul-Rahim, 17, sustained four bullet wounds to his head, chest and leg and died shortly after arriving at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.


  18. Richard Armbach

    15 Jan, 2013 - 7:25 pm

    I used to hate weever fish.I mean REALLY hate. And with very good reason. I mean nothing and no one has ever been hated as much as I hated weever fish, the horrible little silver bastards.

    Then I realised that a weever fish is just a weever fish. It isn’t to be hated, just not trodden on.

    That was a tough one Greg I had to borrow my daughters calculator.

  19. Re my post of perhaps a day ago on the uses of irony when in discussion with Jews/Zionists playing the old “ant-semitism” card, I fogot to mention another harmless little rhetorical device which always gives me great satisfaction and perhaps – who knows? – might go some way to deflating another hasbara trick if enough people employed it.

    It is this:

    I’ve noticed that there is an increasing use of the appellation “child of holocaust survivors” (NB- “child of..”, not “holocaust survivor”); this is presumably used to confer some sort of moral authority, or status, on the person concerned. In reality, of course – WW2 did end in 1945 as we all know – the person graced with this status may well have been born in the 1950s, 1960s or even 1970s.

    So I – as the child of parents who were alive when WW2 took place and who stayed alive long enough thereafter to give rise to me – always, when the occasion is appropriate or necessary, introduce or otherwise characterize myself as the “child of Second World War survivors”.

    After all, why should I be any less a victim?

    Deflation is ther name of the game…

  20. Try google lottery grant winners, Habbabkuk, and find out how many British children, now adults and OAP’s, of 1st. and 2nd. world war victims benefit from the poor, ever hopeful gamblers in this country, there are legions of children of world war survivors using this convenient cash alley to ‘remember’ and never forget the stupidities and lawlessness of war.

  21. “Oh dear, all this abuse, I’m actually beginning to feel HATED !!”

    Don’t be stupid, nobody would want to hate you, you are merely despised.

    We hated Hitler because we were afraid of him invading, we hated Stalin because we were afraid he’d drop a bomb on us, we hated Saddam because we were told he had WMD pointed at us, we hated Bin Laden because we were told he was behind 9/11.

    As Cyril Connolly said ““Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it”.

    You can sleep sound in the knowledge that nobody will ever be hating an insignificant little shit like you.

  22. A search for Yomiriam took me to the website of the Briar Press Museum of letterpress technology in New York. Maybe some kind of reference to the antiquated loom of Sleeping Beauty. Very cultural and sentimental. I hope that wasn’t the same Yomiriam that’s just been riddled with comment holes for sticking her head above the parapet on anti-Semitism.

  23. “Don’t be stupid, nobody would want to hate you, you are merely despised.”

    Oh, thanks, I feel much better for that !

    BTW I thinks there are better Hate quotes then the Connolly one, but quotes are like statistics in that they can be used to support any viewpoint.

    Here’s a couple on Despising that you may like, (or maybe not !);

    “We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often despise what we really fear.”
    Charles Caleb Colton

    “One does not hate as long as one still despises, but only those whom one esteems equal or higher.”

  24. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    15 Jan, 2013 - 11:12 pm

    “Yo, Ben. Been having a break from politics,”

    Yeah, I’ve resolved to quit smoking……and drinking……….and whatevs……..(Nevermore, quoth the Raven)

  25. La Zona Norte Respetable

    16 Jan, 2013 - 12:03 am


    – I’ve noticed that there is an increasing use of the appellation “child of holocaust survivors” (NB- “child of..”, not “holocaust survivor”); this is presumably used to confer some sort of moral authority, or status, on the person concerned. In reality, of course – WW2 did end in 1945 as we all know – the person graced with this status may well have been born in the 1950s, 1960s or even 1970s. –

    Thanks for raising this and keep up the good work. This is a blatant attempt to eternalise victimhood. It is pathetic but in the US it carries weight. You could be the dumbest loser around but the fact that your parents or your grandparents suffered Nazi persecution confers some kind of secular sainthood.

    But I must confess that I also found some of the prominent Jewish holocaust survivors unpalatable. Take for instance Tom Lantos, a former congressman from San Francisco. This man was a holocaust survivor and a holocaust denier. The holocaust he denied was the Armenian Holocaust. Why? Because for many years Turkey was a key ally of Israel so he saw as his duty to veto every attempt in the US congress to formally recognize the Armenian holocaust.

    There is more to say on this subject but let’s leave it there for now.

  26. This amazing lady was born in Germany in 1924. Most of her family did not survive. She has been villified for her beliefs and stand for the Palestinians.

  27. This “child of holocaust survivors”, understands that it’s Victims rathers than Victimhood, that matters most;

    “Every single member of my family on both sides was exterminated. Both of my parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. And it is precisely and exactly because of the lessons my parents taught me and my two siblings that I will not be silent when Israel commits its crimes against the Palestinians.”

    Norman Finkelstein

  28. @ Zona Norte : something I didn’t point out because I didn’t want to make my previous comment too long is the following : very often, in the expression “child of holocaust survivors”, the holocaust survivors in question are not people who were in the camps, or even necessarily persecuted, but simply people who were alive (or existed, if you will) during the historical period of the holocaust (and not even always in a country occupied or run by the Nazis. In other words, in those examples, it’s a purely chronological denomination, and that’s really rather cheeky IMHO!

  29. @ Macky and Fred : I love the definition game, but you’ve already done hate, so here’s one from G.E.Lessing on fear:

    “Die Furcht ist das auf uns selbst bezogene Mitleid”

  30. The senior director of St George plc who are building the 600 ft high The Tower, One St George Wharf where the helicopter crashed.

    So many company directorships!

    How does Wikipedia get updated so quickly?
    Prescott gave permission for the tower to be built.

  31. P 18

    The BBC have upheld the above complaint about their description of Al Naqba day last year.

    ‘The focus of the complaints – the BBC grouped together my complaint plus that of another person – was an introduction to a Radio 4 news report in May 2012 covering Nakba Day rallies in the West Bank. The announcer described Nakba Day as “the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of statehood, which resulted in thousands of Palestinians leaving their homes.”

    My original complaint pointed out that not only was “thousands” seriously downplaying the scale of the displacement, but that by concealing the coerced nature of the Palestinian exodus – and the fact they were all physically prevented from returning – the wording was “deeply offensive to those who lost everything as a result of ethnic cleansing.”’

  32. Here’s another Quote on Fear:

    “Fear of Ostracism can even Trolls tame.”

  33. La Zona Norte Respetable

    16 Jan, 2013 - 1:56 pm


    I have noticed a similar tendency with the word “hero”. Ever notice how everyone today who meets with mainstream media approval is a “hero” (with some notable exceptions, of course, like Palestinians who for decades have put with humiliation from Israel)? Children of holocaust survivors are a subset of this group. Ain’t we lucky to be living in the Time of the Hero!!!

  34. La Zona Norte Respetable

    16 Jan, 2013 - 2:00 pm


    Yes. Finkelstein will never be referred to as a “child of holocaust survivors”. He falls into the category of “self-hating Jew”, “apologist for terrorism”, and “left-wing extremist”.

  35. “He falls into the category of “self-hating Jew”, “apologist for terrorism”, and “left-wing extremist”.”

    Yes, but smears only used by people with obvious projection disorders.

  36. A correction to that piece about the complaint to thr BBC on Al Naqba day. pp 16-25

    Finding: Upheld with regard to Accuracy. Not upheld with regard to Impartiality

    They took ten pages in that Pravda-like publication to explain their findings. Outrageous and preposterous.

  37. ‘I love the definition game, but you’ve already done hate, so here’s one from G.E.Lessing on fear:

    “Die Furcht ist das auf uns selbst bezogene Mitleid”’

    I think Lessing was trying to explain a particular type of fear there, the irrational fear felt by an audience, the fear felt by someone watching a Hitchcock movie for example.

    I don’t believe he was talking about fear in general.

  38. @ Fred : yes, he came out with that as a dramaturge. But think about it – wouldn’t it do, to some extent at least, for fear more generally?

  39. @Macky (1.44pm) “Fear of ostracism can even Trolls tame” :

    Oh dear, I do hope I’m not going to disappoint you with my next comment!

  40. @ Mary (11.41am) : the link to the man’s directorships and the comment “So many company directorships”.

    He does hold a lots of directorships, but how is this relevant, generally or in particular, to the incident of the helicopter crashing into the crane?

    What exactly is your point?

  41. “yes, he came out with that as a dramaturge. But think about it – wouldn’t it do, to some extent at least, for fear more generally?”

    Well it could if you want it to but I don’t think that’s what he was saying.

  42. to even things up today, congratulations, Mary, on getting that apology out of the BBC.

  43. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 5:23 pm

    It is being surmised that a key reason behind DOJ’s relentless pursuit and egregious penalties, is that they believed there was a connection to Assange.

    Asking for help here, from our excellent researchers. There is an Assange interview. Cannot find it.


  44. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    Sorry…connection twixt Assange and Aaron Swarz.

  45. “I have no faith in the ‘justice’ system. Perhaps my actions today, and this letter, will send a stronger message to the public. Either way, I have lost control over this situation, and this is my only way to regain control.”

    “Remember,” he wrote, “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether I win or lose, and sitting in jail for 20, 10, or even 5 years for a crime I didn’t commit is not me winning. I die free.”

    No, not the words of Aaron Swarz, but of Jonathan James, a young computer hacker who killed himself in 2008 after being targetted by Stephen Heymann, the same overzealous Prosecutor who was after Aaron Swarz.

  46. How terrible Macky. I did not know.

    ‘Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another.’ John Locke 1689

  47. Jonathan James was suspected of being the person known as “J.J” who was part of a hackers group involved in the theft of dozens of credit card details and PIN numbers. No evidence was found and he was never charged although even his father thought he was guilty.

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

  48. Coming up…
    Israeli election
    Lord Sacks’ last visit to Israel before he retires as Chief Rabbi
    Eve Pollard
    A holocaust survivor

  49. Mr Pidgley, he of the 152 directorshipsm (why so many? inter-company activity?), the Tower at One St George Wharf, Berkeley Homes, and Tory donor, gave some of his time to help the United Jewish Israel Appeal, along with Gerald Ronson.

    UJIA Young Property Group an audience with…

    Thursday 24 November 2011

    Price: £400

    UJIA Young Property Group
    An audience with Gerald Ronson, Tony Pidgley & Stephen Hubbard
    Time: 7.00pm-10.00pm
    Tickets: £400 for a table or £45 a ticket
    There will be an appeal.
    This event has been kindly sponsored by Knight Frank and In London Properties

    Why they need his help is a mystery. They do after all have an income of over £12m according to the their Charity Commission entry. See the names

    and those running it in the UK

    PS Don’t mention Ronson’s £5m fine and spell in jail.

  50. Peter Oborne on Blair, the ‘peace process’ and a summary of his contribution as a Quartet representative. (Nil for the latter IMO)

    The piece is half cocked and not nearly condemnatory enough.

  51. Another shocking ‘Israel denies it’ from the BBC.

    From Medialens

    BBC refusing to cover killing of Palestinian

    Posted by junglefish on January 17, 2013, 1:12 pm

    I can’t quite believe the response I just got from the BBC…

    My complaint:

    Hi Despite my previous complaint two days ago BBC Online still has not covered the killing of Mustafa Abu Jarad, see articles below:

    Can you tell me please if you intend to cover this story and, if not, why not? Regards,

    The response:

    We mention this incident in this report
    The Israeli army has denied being involved in the death, which is unusual, so we are not prepared to go further than we have.
    Best regards,
    Middle East desk
    BBC News website

    Err.. what? I shall of course follow up…

  52. “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”

    Empathy obviously not one of your strong points.

    Two more links iro Aaron Swartzs;

  53. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Jan, 2013 - 1:03 am

    Thanks for the ‘unhandled’ link, Macky. It’s a treasure-trove of helpful links

  54. “Empathy obviously not one of your strong points. ”

    Just stating the facts. For the record I don’t think he deserved to die but your post gave the impression he was an innocent victim whereas there’s a possibility, a strong possibility, he was involved in a large scale theft. I think if the hackers’ group he was said to be associated with had emptied your bank account you might find your empathy evaporating rather quickly too.

  55. “Just stating the facts, etc”

    A rather contradictory comment, from which I can infer, that so you don’t think he deserved to die, but that if it was your account then your empathy might evaporate rather quicky ?

    (and why the “too”, were you a victim of hackers ?)

    Anyhow, like I said, empathy definitely not one of your strong points.

  56. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 12:14 am

    ” It’s not quite that bad here yet.”

    I see what you’re saying, there, Glenn. Hopefully, it’s not too subtle.

  57. Kempe

    “Just stating the facts”

    You’re not stating any facts; simply inventing lies.

    It’s always revealing that one invents lies to support a secondary position. It just means that you support the government’s objective of censorship without wishing to declare so openly.

    The only question then is why you support these objectives of government.

  58. REES: BDS campaign questions academics’ courage

    The Australian, referred to in the link, is a Murdoch paper needless to say.

  59. Fifth sitting of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly [PACE]
    Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 10 a.m.

    3. Free Debate:
    THE PRESIDENT* – Thank you.
    I give the floor to Mr Connarty.
    Mr CONNARTY (United Kingdom) – I want to speak about anti-sectarianism and the confusion that arises when distinguishing between people who criticise the Government of Israel and its behaviour and those who stand accused of anti-Semitism.
    I am against sectarianism of any kind, as is this Assembly. I am against anti-Christian statements and actions in Muslim states, against anti-Semitic statements and actions worldwide, and against Christian sects attacking other Christian sects. My life is blighted, as are the lives of many of my constituents, by sectarianism between Catholic and Protestant across Scotland and in many parts of the United Kingdom. I am against those things. As a humanist, although not an anti-religious person, I support and work with all people of faith, supporting the right to individual belief for all.
    I want to raise the case of Reverend Stephen Sizer, who is a Church of England priest and a humanitarian defender of the Palestinian people in Israel. He sent a link to an article criticising the Government of Israel, but it was not an anti-Semitic article. Unfortunately, the article was printed on a website that contained anti-Semitic statements made by others in the past, which Reverend Sizer did not know about. In fact, he has spoken very strongly against that, as a humanitarian and a person who is not anti-Semitic.
    Unfortunately, the Board of Deputies of British Jews raised a complaint against Reverend Sizer with the Church of England, which will end up in the courts. That could lose him his job and his livelihood and his ability to work in the job that he does at the moment across the world.
    This case has serious implications, particularly in respect of things we have discussed in the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. In an internet age for all, are those who link to one article to be held liable for every article that is hosted on the website where that one article is contained?
    I support the right of the Board of Deputies of British Jews – and that of any of the hierarchies of the churches across the world – to take on and challenge those who put sectarian and anti-Semitic articles on to a website, and to take on those people who host such articles. Of course, that is who the Board of Deputies of British Jews should be taking on – not singling out a humanitarian person who has worked diligently for the last 15 years, to my knowledge, in a broad and non-anti-Semitic way, to raise questions about the behaviour of the Israeli Government, as I do myself in my Parliament.
    We have a question here. If people link to a website, are they liable for everything on the website? I hope that the Council of Europe will look at this through the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media and try to get some common sense into this debate.

  60. Macky, im almost certainly having an early night tonight. So if i don’t respond immediately will assert my best endeavours tomorrow. Look forward to it. all the best

  61. (@Villager, just ready to post & just seen your message; enjoy your early night, and for what it’s worth, here it is);

    @Villager, I think where we left off was you providing the links to the Bernard Levin link with Krishnamurti, and I gave you a couple of introductory links on Joseph Campbell. However first a little recap; originally you had a brief dialogue with Vronsky in which he said, that Religion gave people the confidence to go out and do what they have to do, secure in the belief that they are invulnerable. It seems to me, that Vronsky’s “invulnerability” is based on the apparent certainty of these people’s convictions in their particular religion/ belief/moral systems, and for me this is nothing more than delusional arrogance, although others, including K, emphasize that these convictions are actually derived from a conditioning of “desperate uncertainties”. Well I agree with the “desperate uncertainties”, which I would simply term as the Predicament of the Human Condition, ie we are intellectually capable of understanding that we can never understand or rationalize any of the big questions about Life, the Universe, Time, etc, etc. , so obviously we as a species in order to deal with this, have created religious & moral belief systems, that subconsciously act as metaphors for our psychological need to live without knowing why we live. In a way “desperate certainties” or “fears” as others have termed this needing metaphors factor, is not actually different from my “arrogant convictions”, as my description pertains to the conscious & material effects of this needing factor, whereas the other descriptions pertain to the subconscious forming reasons.

    Your first posting on K, the UN address, resonated with me because he was also saying that the self-inflicted problems that besets & keeps dividing us & causing conflicts , are exactly due to these belief systems, religions , ideologies, nationalisms, etc. Anyhow, nicely supplementing the more profound aspects that you were mentioning in your posts to me, was the K interview with Bernard Levin, which was very, very interesting; the notion that Thought itself is a barrier, along with language and words, that hinder awareness & direct insight, does make a lot of sense to me; Levin kept asking how to achieve enlightenment, how to break free from everyday worries, pressures , and K’s answer was effectively to state that awareness itself resolves all these problems & conflicts; just like there is no point chasing after happiness, because happiness is merely a side effect of the awareness of what one is. Another insight was his response to “ doing good”, where he questioned the parameters of the action of doing good, and said that the “right” action is independent of time, which reminded me of Plato’s theory of Eternal Forms; his emphasis on love, compassion, intelligence, the Sacred, were spot on for me, as was his practical advise to “revolt psychologically”, and to be” a light unto ones self”.

    This is my much delayed promised feedback iro of that great interview; I apologize that it’s a bit rushed but I did commit myself to posting something to you for tonight, just hope it makes some sort of sense, and provides fertile ground for continuing this conversation.

  62. Thank you Macky and yes it makes imminent sense. There is nothing in your summary that i disagree with. Only the brain gets tired by this time to add further vitality, which i promise to do, i hope tomorrow evening. It is a pleasure. Sleep in peace and see you soon.

  63. Macky, as well intentioned as I am in taking this further, the yawns have started and am beginning to unwind. Through awareness i am working to catch the first sleep-train these days so that i can get the best quality of sleep in sync with Nature. Because of our heavy conditioning and the state of aggregate human consciousness, we have moved further and further away from Nature and therefore also our own essential Nature. That leaves us in a state where we live in fleeting moments of awareness (rather than in a state of awareness) and for the rest of the time, the large part of our day and lives we live in conflict with the attendant fear, anxieties, insecurities, pursuit of pleasure and so on. Some moments of peace, and ‘happiness’ are incorporated into this daily life, but there is very little of real joy and the experience of a sacred love, what Einstein called a Cosmic Religious Feeling.

    So we live our lives in disorder and add fuel to the fire which is all the mischief, violence and conflict taking place in the world first at the level of our own relationships as well as in the abstract of Society, whatever level one cares to examine that at. We therefore live as fragmented human beings, rather than Whole (all one, indivisible sane individuals).

    In our seeking, we then turn to others to find a solution. Some get lost in alcoholic solutions, some turn to religion, some turn to gurus and meditation, some bury themselves in philosophies on n no of philosophers, some turn to voracious readers of fiction or whatever–every one of these is an escape from understanding life ourselves directly.

    When it comes to philosophy, there is zero original thinking involved–it is essentially a process of oh i like that bit and i reject the other. But if one is to be a light unto one’s self, one must put aside every preconception and even if it means taking guidance from another, like K, the process involves understanding the matter at its deepest level, well beyond the intellect of the brain, so that it actually becomes a part of oneself, a part of who i am, an understanding so profound that i can feel it in my heart, my bones, my blood, my cells so that it becomes a part of my DNA. At that time a mutation occurs in the brain and results in a change in the way one responds and actually lives, and actually relates with others and relates with our environment. There are many strands to this and to eventually become whole one needs to examine every aspect seriously and live the learning so that the two are intertwined in an ongoing process.

    Don’t know if i am making sense. Also can’t recall if i have pointed you to k’s ‘core of his teachings’–looks very simple but its the pin-point tip of the iceberg of the conditioned human animal that we are.

    Have started to watch a two-hour interview with Iris murdoch and lets see if one finds the time to absorb it tomorrow, else the weekend. You can find it on youtube.

    Good health and may the night rejuvenate you.

  64. ” so that i can get the best quality of sleep in sync with Nature”

    Unfortunately I’m cursed with bad sleep, as I haven’t had a really good sleep since childhood !

    Anyhow not ready for a discussion post yet, but instead just a couple of Medialens lens links that should interest you; in the first somebody actually quotes K (are you “Everyman” ?), & the second is a nice exploration of Ego, as part of the Media Lens Editors “cogitations”;

  65. Hi Macky, thanks for those links. Nope, not me.ut i’m ploughing through those links and other comments–very interesting and encouraging.

    I tend to avoid K quotes and use my own words so that i can be aware of my own understanding and separate intellect from intelligence. I link stuff happily as pointers should people be interested. I appreciated reading that quote though. In my next post i’ll tell you more about a conversation i had y’day though, arranged synchronically.

    I’m concerned re your sleep–let me see if i can help you if you would like. Please go to and using the online resource figure out your constitution type. I have a hunch but will share that with you later.

    a couple of things can help. “Planning” early in the evening for an early sleep,ie arranging your timing so that you are in bed by 10 with dinner done at least 2 hrs earlier and preferably no tv or computer screens in the last hour. meditation as in some form of silence at least 20-30mins daily–its a form of self-hypnosis (K talked of another level of meditation altogether but that comes thru self-study rather than a ‘practice’. Daily exercise: swimming is great, walking is next best say 30mins to 45m a day. Ayurveda says exercise to half your total ‘capacity’. The first half of your exercise releases energy, the next half uses it up.

    Talk again soon–shall we move to another thread easily accessible? U choose if there is a quiet one….

    Sleep in peace!

  66. Btw have you ‘gone into’ it Macky about the roots of this from your childhood?

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