Vanity thought #1761. Weekly correction

It seems that if I’m not talking about Vedic Cosmology I complain about devotees not providing perfect answers to reasonable questions. It’s not that I’m better at giving answers myself – I’m terrible at thinking on my feet and it takes me a couple of days of mulling things over to formulate what I think is better answers or to find missing angles, and even then their value is questionable.

In fact, in a matter of questions and answers there are other considerations which are more important. People do not always know what they want and they do not seek all truth and nothing but the truth – they want to alleviate specific ailments of their minds first and foremost. Even if they are given the full truth in response they’ll ignore it and focus on their immediate problems instead. There are many other aspects of real life communications that are not expressed in printed words, too, and so people’s concerns can be addressed simply by a compassionate and understanding look or by attentive listening, or a glimpse of hope they themselves create in the course of conversation. Transcribing human dialogues does not catch the whole process of communication that is going on, nor does it correctly reflect the state of participants’ minds.

When I think about these questions I do not have the same pressure and do not address same concerns. I look only at the content and what interests me. I guess people who asked the question might look at my answer later on and dismiss it as beside the point. By its very nature internet filters a lot of mental and emotional content and they might not even recognize their own questions expressed in my words.

With this in mind I should not see myself as thinking up “better” answers but as using what I heard as a springboard for expression of my own vanity. I only hope I sometimes make valid points, too.

Let’s start with that clip of Donald Trump talking about women which started a feeding frenzy ever since it came out the previous weekend. It happened a decade ago on a set of his reality show and he wasn’t aware that the mike was turned on and what was his private conversation has now became made public. Everybody has got on his case for this and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then don’t bother, the content itself is not important.

Public reaction to this demonstrates how we routinely overlook relative positions of gunas in every phenomenon. This is what political spin does – take the issue and turn it around to hide aspects you don’t like and replace them with aspects that you do. In the process you flip the relations between gunas and replace main ideas with minor details or ignore the context and background.

What Trump was doing there was bragging, which we can ascribe to rajas, but sattva manifested itself as subordinate and added truth to his statements. Based on this truth, the correct representation of reality, Trump then proposed a course of action which was demeaning and offensive to women, which is when tamas took over, and that’s what everyone noticed and ignored the rest.

Due to this ignorance people incorrectly rewound the process and Trump’s correct observations were turned into false background that wasn’t even there, and then people angrily rejected this background and declared that if Trump gets elected it wouldn’t be the America they want to live in. At one point it got ridiculous – during presidential debate two days after the clip came out Hillary Clinton said that Trump gave women scores from 1 to 10 based on their appearance and then proceeded with her rhetoric to end with “We don’t want to live in that kind of country.” Trump didn’t invent scoring people’s attractiveness and there’s nothing Hillary can possibly do to stop it, by now it has become an integral part of American culture when it comes to dating and intermingling of sexes.

Trump himself didn’t offer anything in his defense other than “It was a locker room talk.” None of his advisers offered him what I think is a solid alternative – he was absolutely correct in describing the fact that once you become a celebrity then women in your posse will assent to almost any sexual advance and more often than not they will actually welcome it. This doesn’t make Trump a morally good person because he was bragging about it and because he was taking advantage of this vulnerability but, if Trump wanted to spin this to his advantage, he should have insisted that he was speaking the truth and this is the America everyone knows and loves, warts and all.

Like with giving scores to members of the opposite sex, Trump didn’t invent this phenomenon. Countless singers, rock stars, athletes – any kind of celebrity, really, have observed it for ages. Some might not have acted on it but plenty did, and many pushed the boundaries and suffered for it, too. Lusty Trump couldn’t contain himself when he was bragging about his personal experience of this and he wanted to impress his friend, and it was all wrong, but the discovery itself was true and I don’t think it needs any evidence of its existence. We all know its real and even in our personal lives we can’t be absolutely sure it wouldn’t affect us or our partners if we became close to and familiar with the right kind of celebrity. That is one of the reasons we should stay away from famous people as a principle.

When politicians spin the issues we could say they spin the public, too, making people confused and disoriented so that they start accepting minor details as major or ignore big policy proposals and concentrate on trivialities. There are many examples of this in media coverage of Trump’s campaign and he himself does not seemingly realize that he is being played. In their first debate last month he started an important discussion on the economy but Hillary successfully steered him away from it and everyone once again focused on what he did or did not say on talk shows back in 2003.

His proposal is to force American companies to return their manufacturing to the US and pay decent wages to American workers. It’s a big undertaking and I don’t think it’s possible to implement but the idea is solid because success of American companies is converted into rising standards of living for everyone but the US itself – China, Mexico etc. Of course paying American workers need to be paid significantly more then Chinese or Mexicans and that presents an obvious problem. One way to reduce this new financial burden on corporations is to reduce their taxes and that’s what Hillary pounced on. She said experts studied Trump’s tax plan but I seriously doubt they took into account the recycling effect of money staying in the country. AFAIK, injections of this kind (salaries) go through tax system seven times and so while the US might lose in taxes on corporations it might win in taxes on individual workers and on everyone they spend their money afterwards.

It is certainly an idea worth considering and discussing but it understandably is not what the corporations themselves want to hear because it threatens their profits. Corporations control the media (through advertising money) and we have good reasons to suspect Hillary Clinton won’t do anything to upset them either, hence complete purge of this idea from public consciousness and focus on Trump’s sexcapades instead.

Another example of spin is how e-mail leaks of Democrat campaign and its staffers are made to be all about Russia and not about the content of the leaks themselves.

Armed with the theory of Sankhya we can see how people turn existing phenomena into symbols, like “Trump is a sexist bigot – end of discussion”, and then create new phenomena by adding details to these symbols so that whole week we had women stepping up and turning Trump into a monster and a pervert and an “octopus”. The next stage would be starting sexual harassment lawsuits which then will be turned into a new symbol like “Trump is a convicted sex offender”.

We can also see how all this process could have been turned into a different direction if people driving it weren’t so concerned with defeating Trump at any cost and contemplated the future of the country instead. They could have noticed glimpses of correct representation of reality in Trump’s proposals but that would have required preference for truthfulness instead of winning – for sattva over rajas, and it clearly isn’t happening.

I’m sorry about making this post all about Trump, who is just as ignorant about gems hidden in his policies as everybody else. I thought it would take a couple of paragraphs at most but it didn’t, sorry.


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