In terms of practising the art of thinking for myself, I nowadays regard my years in organised Buddhism with ambivalence. On the one hand, there was the notion of 'developing as an individual', plus the sense that things were not to be taken on blind faith, but on the basis of personal experience. This was one of the things that initially attracted me to Buddhist practice: it did not present a bundle of dogmas that had to be swallowed before you could move on. Compared to orthodox Christianity, this was liberation indeed, a deep breath of fresh air. Just get on with your meditation practice, your Buddhist texts, your sense of ethics. At least, that's what I thought.....
As time passed, I became increasingly aware that I had aligned myself with a particular tradition which arrived, as many traditions do, with a whole package of notions and attitudes, sort-of beliefs, really, which one was expected to sagely nod the head to. Some were genuinely spiritual, others more historical and cultural; sorting the wheat from the chaff proved exceedingly problematic. There was also the idea that there were other people around, more experienced and advanced than myself, and that these lofty beings should be listened to very carefully indeed, on a whole range of topics. On several occasions I was exhorted to give these wise folk 'the benefit of the doubt', a crafty approach which had the effect of discouraging serious personal evaluation. Needless to say, the benefit of the doubt was granted by myself more frequently than I sit comfortably with nowadays.
Moving out of this eventually constricting atmosphere into the wider alternative/independent culture of today was another breath of fresh air, to rival the one I had taken thirty years beforehand on first coming across Buddhism. I finally gave myself full and free rein to explore whatever I wanted to, believe whatever I felt to be true, without any reference point other than my own sense of what is 'growthful'. A real sense of personal empowerment and self-confidence has been the result. Over the past five or six years, not to beat about the bush, I have flourished.
Nowhere is this spirit of confidence in the discerning intelligence of the listener/reader exemplified better than on Red Ice Creations. 'We present, you decide' is the key phrase of Henrik Palmgren, Lana Lokteff, and the others at Red Ice. What balm! What liberation! 'We're going to give you all sorts of stuff to consider, and we have confidence in you to make up your own mind.'
So it is in this spirit that I include links to a couple of articles relevant to the topics of weather and climate. One concerns the fraudulent, underhand nature of human-made global warming panic-mongering. Similar articles appear somewhere or other nearly every day, but this one is particularly clear and concise. The second presents a particular take on the flooding of the Somerset Levels in England this winter.
But, but, but..... I can hear the protests already. One article is gleaned from a website that could be characterised as right-wing, heaven forbid. And the other is written by a former mainstream journalist who now does shamanism. So what? I say. In these dodgy times, we are in no position to allow personal preconceptions to obscure the voice of authenticity, whatever its source. Such personal prejudices are a luxury that we can ill afford to hang onto. Our mainstream sources of information are themselves unreliable and untrustworthy, underpinned by programmes and unspoken agendas. I have railed on Pale Green Vortex particularly loudly against the BBC and the Guardian, especially because of the unthinking belief that too many people still cling onto with regard to these sources of 'news'. Treat them as Henrik encourages us to view Red Ice; they present, we decide. That's all. Believe not a word without doing some background research of your own, without listening to the voice of intuition, without picking up a clear signal from your unique antennae of authenticity.