To receive 'Daily Pickings' sign up for the email.

Follow us on Twitter: @FCriticalThink

Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
We welcome comments and interaction on Daily Pickings through Comments.
Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

The power of love

It is hard to reconcile the violence, malice and horror regularly exposed in Daily Pickings with notions of universal love. However, we should never lose sight of the fact that we've been conditioned into a state of fear and enmity; it is not our natural proclivity.

Radical Business – The Power of Love by Giles Hutchins
‘We have created a sufficiently strong propensity not only to make divisions in knowledge where there are none in Nature, and then to impose the divisions on Nature, making the reality thus comfortable to the idea, but to go further, and to convert the generalisations made from observation into positive entities, permitting for the future these artificial creations to tyrannise over the understanding.’ Henry Maudsley
With this come out-of-kilter perspectives that bring us out of conscious attunement with life’s rhythms and wisdom. We begin to find it harder to align with our deeper sense of self-other-Nature. And so our relations warp from the inherently empathic, biophilic, compassionate nature of Homo sapiens into portraying only the self-absorbing egotistic-traits of selfishness, greed, competition and narcissism. So caught up in our own self-reflexive ego-chattering illusions we become, that we increasingly numb ourselves from embodying the deeper intrinsic inter-relational reality of life.

Daily Pickings has referred to Giles's writing in the past in the context of the illusion of separation - everything is connected as are we as human beings. Once we recognise this, we're on the road to a better world.

Gullible Goyim

Daily Pickings has referred to Gilad Atzmon's explanation of how Israel hijacks opposition to its land grab and genocidal war on the Palestinians by controlling the debate.

Israel has been working assiduously to cultivate the "left" in order to weaken the hitherto effective Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) movement which hits Israel where it hurts, in the wallet. How best to neutralise and win over the left? Appeal to Owen Jones's vanity; Jones is the left's current "darling" and poster boy for the traditional working class - no matter that he's never "been down pit", worked on the railways or done any sort of work involving wealth creation. He's another pied piper for the gullible Goyim.

How the Israel lobby is using Owen Jones by  Asa Winstanley
“The instigators must be singled out from the other groups, and handled uncompromisingly, publicly or covertly,” the Reut-ADL report states, according to The Forward, which obtained a copy on condition it not publish the entire document.
The Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel organization within the UK’s main opposition Labour Party, appears to be on board with this strategy.

Israel's ambition goes way beyond conquering Palestine and much of its plan has been accomplished with the destruction of Iraq and Libya. Syria is "work in progress"; NATO/Israel's proxy army, ISIS, has done considerable damage and destabilised yet another flourishing secular nation in the Middle East. Meanwhile, both right and left across the US, Europe and UK are confused and conflated by the constant PR onslaught to diffuse opposition to Israeli/NATO war crimes in Syria. The BBC plays its part in keeping the Goyim onside.


Watergating Trump

Jon Rappoport's narrative gives a timely explanation of the denouement of Richard Nixon. The Watergate affair was just too pat to make sense - it smelt like a set up, perhaps not immediately but on reflection, the bungled break-in at the Watergate building was all too convenient.

Nixon was an easy target and once David Frost put his imprimatur on the "Nixon story" his place in history was sealed. In view of the layers of deception that invariably surround the actions of the "deep state", it is time to revisit Watergate. Nixon was elected US President with the support of the "usual suspects" and was a compliant puppet for a while but then "strayed off the reservation". Nixon's vanity or something made him stubbornly persist in his recalcitrance and he paid for it.

Donald Trump wasn't meant to win the election but his property interests and status make him vulnerable to manipulation. The Structural Elite will work with what they have but if Trump's vanity and ego make him too much of a liability, he too will be brought down, one way or another. Assassination isn't the only answer.

Trump, Watergate, Nixon, Rockefeller: the real lesson by Jon Rappoport
Trump, Watergate, Nixon, Rockefeller: the real lesson
- Two very different men, two very different presidents, Trump and Nixon; but the real reasons for attacking them are the same -

Many of the characters implicated in the Watergate affair are still around today and some were likely involved in subsequent shady operations. There is reference to Watergate (c. 32 minutes into the video below) in the curious case of the "suicide" of Deborah Palfrey, the Washington DC madam who supplied high-class hookers to the "great and the good".

Shakespeare's dramas exposed deviousness, depravity and corruption at the heart of power; why should human nature have changed?

Salacious stories are all very well but these are real people with real victims; the evils of concentrated power touch and implicate us all.

We support this corrupt system of power; it's time it came to an end.

Who am I?

At last Wednesday's Critical Thinking session, the question of our existence was raised: Why are we here? What is our purpose? It is a question that few have considered important or relevant which came as a surprise to those who've been preoccupied with such questions for much of their lives.

The question who am I? may seem tangential to the work of Critical Thinking but we talk about the need for a shift in human consciousness, a realisation that we are interdependent and that much of our thinking and perceptions today have been inculcated with a deliberate purpose, not least to deter us from asking this fundamental question.

If the world is going to change for the better, we need to explore our motivations and reasons for living; the question is central to changing the world. We cannot impose our views on each other but we can attempt to identify whether we are sufficiently motivated to want to understand ourselves in order to work for the benefit of humanity.

Without seeking to claim knowledge or insights, Daily Pickings puts forward these three articles as being relevant to our journey of self-discovery:

The Odyssey as a Psychological Hero Journey
Heroes, as depicted in literature, often undertake the most difficult tasks and place themselves in mortal danger in order to bring back, for themselves and their societies, both knowledge and treasure. Their stories follow what Joseph Campbell calls the “Hero Journey.” The Odyssey , as the epic story of the hero Odysseus, follows closely the complete cycle of Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey, both as a physical and as a psychological undertaking. The Hero Journey, used as a framework for both Odysseus’ physical and mental journeys, serves to bind the two together. Each of Odysseus’s physical difficulties can be viewed as a metaphor for a psychological hardship that he must overcome, and by overcoming these hardships, Odysseus matures—achieving a more complete understanding of himself and his place in the world. At the conclusion of his journey, Odysseus is a better person, having conquered his own psychological restraints, and he returns home to use his new-found self-understanding to be a better king, husband, father, and son.

Sex and death in Homer
Just as men of my generation grew up hearing about the Second World War, and about its heroes and villains, we know that Telemachus and his near-contemporaries, the suitors, grew up hearing about the Trojan wars, and its heroes – Achilles, Ajax, Agamemnon, and, of course, Odysseus. How often they must have heard the bards sing of these great men. How much their imaginations must have been filled with them and their exploits. How much they must have wanted to be like them – to be them. It is this, I think, what the poem offers as an explanation for why the suitors are so young, and why they want Penelope. They are young because they are the next generation – the ones that did not fight in the Trojan Wars. They want Penelope because she is the wife of Odysseus. They want her because having her is like being Odysseus, stepping into his shoes, ploughing the furrow he ploughed. Even being in her aura, even simply hanging around Odysseus’ palace, brings them closer to what they want to be. They stay because their identities as Odysseus wannabes are underwritten and sustained there.

Encountering the Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Young Man’s Search by David Ulrich
“Above all, you must feel the need to know yourself. You are something and you don’t know it. You have to acknowledge that you do not know who you are, and that you need to know it. This opening is the most important step.” - Jeanne de Salzmann