Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Zaid Jilani — Trumpcare Is Dead. “Single Payer Is the Only Real Answer,” Says Medicare Architect.

Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a “single payer” health care system, where one public health insurance program would cover everyone. The U.S. currently has one federal program like that: Medicare. Expanding it polls very well.
One of the activists pushing for such an expansion is Max Fine, someone who is intimately familiar with the program — because he helped create it. Fine is the last surviving member of President Kennedy’s Medicare Task Force, and he was also President Johnson’s designated debunker against the health insurance industry.
Fine, now 91, wrote to The Intercept recently to explain that Medicare was never intended to cover only the elderly population, and that expanding it to everyone was a goal that its architects long campaigned for....
Could the GOP pick up on this?
After the death of the Senate healthcare bill yesterday, The Intercept reached out to Fine for comment about where Congress should go next. “Single payer is the only real answer and some day I believe the Republicans will leap ahead of the Democrats and lead in its enactment,” he speculated, “just as did Bismarck in Germany and David Lloyd George and Churchill in the UK.”
No way the presently configured GOP could ever pass anything like this.

61 comments:

Neil Wilson said...

Classic example of the old adage "The Americans will always do the right thing - after exhausting all other possibilities"

Matthew Franko said...

Best chance (with GOP) is getting the advance refundable monthly tax credits passed...

Noah Way said...

The DEMs won't endorse single-payer in any form any more than the GOP will.

Both parties know that it will be political suicide to cross their corporate donors.

Which is why the DEMs and even some in the GOP are now talking about "fixing" ObamaCare. Because insurers love it - guaranteed subsidized premiums for low-benefit plans and no messing with their real bread and butter.

Joe said...

Didn't the Republicans just draft a bill to privatize medicare by giving out vouchers?

To think the republicans would support medicare for all is just simply beyond the realm of possibility at this point. They are hell bent on giving everything to the wealthy and kicking everyone else in the teeth. The Democrats are the same except they don't rejoice in kicking everyone else in the teeth like the republicans do. Obamacare was a gift to the health industry and it also happened to incidentally help a lot of people. But we could never have achieved the latter without the former. That's basically the difference between the two if you're feeling rather charitable.

Matt Franko said...

Trump came out of their meeting at lunch and said single payer will bankrupt the country ....

Andrew Anderson said...

They are hell bent on giving everything to the wealthy and kicking everyone else in the teeth. Joe

Republicans, like quite a few here, can't see that our money and credit creation system provides a huge amount of welfare for the richer at the expense of the poorer. Thus, to them, it's the wealthy who are being kicked in the teeth, not everyone else.

Hint: "Ya can't cheat an honest man."

Schofield said...

Beware the UK's single payer healthcare where a right-wing government's imposing cuts because the government has to balance its books because its a household and ignorant voters vote for it.

Matt Franko said...

Scho, that seemed like part of Trump's point...

lastgreek said...

Tom,

This is probably a bit of a stretch, but here goes. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the US Constitution,

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States..."

"General Welfare" -- can it be argued (has it been argued in the courts?) that it includes Congress providing the funding for a universal healthcare system for all Americans the same way it provides the funding for the raising and support of a national army for the common defense? I mean, doesn't welfare include the health of a people?

Btw, constitutionalists like to point out that Congress must raise and support a national army for the common defense because it says so in the Constitution. And whatever it costs to raise and support such an army must never be questioned because Constitution says you gotta have army -- even if it means cutting back on other federal programs. So, just saying ;)

Neil Wilson said...

"Beware the UK's single payer healthcare"

We don't have single payer healthcare. It's a complicated mixed public/private system that allows the rich to reserve medical services for themselves is they have the money.

Tom Hickey said...

It's controversial in general as well as specifically, e.g., health care. Liberals and conservatives interpret it differently.

Specific cases are up to the courts to decide based on the text, precedent, and what is regarded as settled law. Courts are generally reluctant to reverse what is regarded as settled. Such cases would likely be appealed to the Supreme Court. SCOTUS can reserve itself and has done so on occasion.

Here is a summary of the issues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_welfare_clause#United_States

Matt Franko said...

Greek imo it will never be solved via

1. Constructs (how lawyers think)

Or by

2. Concepts (how philosophers think)

It's a technical problem... it has to be solved by competent technical people...

MRW said...

What are "technical people?"

Ben Johannson said...

What are "technical people?"

Someone's code-term for the supreme race.

Matt simply does not understand how out of depth he is in thinking simple "technical" fixes can be applied to adaptive systems like human societies which are defined by emergent properties and not by atomistic determinism.

Matt Franko said...

People trained in what is broadly termed STEM...

Matt Franko said...

"Supreme race" is just another useless concept...

Matt Franko said...

Ben you might as well get a new haircut and load up on hair product and join the alt-right...



Matt Franko said...

What is an "emergent property "? Don't tell me there are people out there who have evolved a 3rd eye in the back of their heads?

Matt Franko said...

Everything you call an "emergent property " is what I would call the results of technical change... results of technical progress... mankind hasn't changed at all...

Matt Franko said...

The main problem is that you have the people in the economics dept in the academe who are not trained properly.... they are unqualified...

Look at the subject here of medicine... we have the best technical training in medicine and best outcomes but for some reason the implementation part of the technology is all f-ed up as it is being left to the current low quality of people out of the economics department which is then where all the problems arise...

Is a technical problem...

Matt Franko said...

I still say "single payer" means "we're too stupid to figure it out so just pay them whatever they want!"

MRW said...

"Single payer" means you have public (government) healthcare insurance. What's wrong with that? It's stable and it's way way cheaper. Doesn't prevent private healthcare insurance companies from offering cadillac add-ons that people can also buy (Medivac when traveling, home nursing, home medical safety bathroom remodeling for the aged or infirm, complete eye and dental, no co-pays on drugs, etcetera).

Neil Wilson said...

"Doesn't prevent private healthcare insurance companies from offering cadillac add-ons that people can also buy"

That's the problem. In a system of scarce resources, if you allow the wealthy to buy 'add-ons' you very quickly end up with a system where the focus is on the add-ons, not the main job.

So you get consultants doing plastic surgery, rather than hip surgery.

The issue is one of limited supply side allocation. You have to make sure the rich depend upon the same system as the poor. That way they'll keep it up.

Tom Hickey said...

Greek imo it will never be solved via

1. Constructs (how lawyers think)

Or by

2. Concepts (how philosophers think)

It's a technical problem... it has to be solved by competent technical people...


It's all three.

First it is a philosophical issue involving "principles," chiefly whether access to health care is a right or a privilege, and secondly what constitutes equal access if it is a right.

Secondly, it is a technical issues of constitution of a program.

Thirdly it is a legal issue crafting the policy and technical program into law.

Passage of a bill involves further technical issues of admin.

These all have to come together to decide upon and implement policy.

Tom Hickey said...

What are "technical people?"

Today, people that code.

Tom Hickey said...

Human beings have changed a lot as shown by anthropology and sociology. There is no human nature other than similar hardware since the emergence of modern man. But even here, genetics is revealing that modern humans emerged from different lines of heredity and are therefore not even "the same" physically at the genetic level.

Fr the POV of most scientists, economics is emergent from anthropology and sociology. It emerges in different forms owing to many factors including technical knowledge and skill, and technological innovation.

For Marx, it is change in the means of production, that grounds changes in the social superstructure. That fundamental change is technical — knowledge, skill and the resultant shifts in technology. This leads to different social forms.

Others would say that Marx overemphasized this historically and that socio-economic change was the outcome of a convergence of a variety of factors.

Joe said...

"There is no human nature other than similar hardware since the emergence of modern man"

What did you mean by that? That's a quite strange thing to say nowadays. Like evolution stops at the neck...

MRW said...

Neil,

That's the problem. In a system of scarce resources, if you allow the wealthy to buy 'add-ons' you very quickly end up with a system where the focus is on the add-ons, not the main job.

So you get consultants doing plastic surgery, rather than hip surgery.


Maybe that’s the problem in England, but in Canada where I know one of the provinces has this setup, it doesn’t happen. Add-ons means increased coverage for things that would otherwise cost a patient out of pocket; things like nursing homes, long-term extended home care, 100% emergency medical coverage when traveling to other countries, things not covered by the basic healthcare program. But then not everyone needs these either.

In addition, the publicly-run insurance company—run by the province—pays $X for Y procedure or operation based on the seniority and skill of the doctor. Highly skilled specialists make a fair chunk of change. These expenses are regulated on a sliding scale, no differently than what private insurers do here, except that the private insurance company doesn’t have the right to deny medical care as they can here. That’s covered by the basic healthcare program, and the province assures that.

I doubt hip surgeons are doing plastic surgery on the side.

MRW said...

England, as I understand it, has what Americans sneeringly refer to as socialized medicine. Canada, on the other hand, has socialized health insurance. Big diff. Blue Cross Blue Shield operates there, but prices for its Platinum coverage is 20X less than what they can get away with here. Blue Cross had no option or it couldn't get a toe-hold. Obviously they can still make a profit or they wouldn't be operating there.

Tom Hickey said...

What did you mean by that?

Attempts to define "human nature" in a way that is consilient with science have failed.

The only "human nature" is biological similarity. Culturally, humans have differed widely in all other measures historically.

There is even significant genetic differences. Some humans but not all have Neanderthal DNA, for instance.

Ideologies are often based on claims about "human nature" and philosophical principles that can be derived from it. Political conservatism and liberalism, e.g., Burke v. Mill, are based on Hobbes and Rousseau's views on human nature, often characterized as brute v. noble savage, for instance, or original sin v. original blessing.

Most people involved in political debate don't realize that they are taking part in a dialectic that has been unfolding historically for hundreds of years in terms of very similar concepts and biases. There is no resolution since it is not decidable based on evidence, on one hand, and on the other, ideologues double down when faced with counter-evidence, owing to culture bias.

The problem is that such principles have no solid empirical foundation and they are also reinforced by deep-seated tradition.

This has been a longstanding debate in philosophy, and it has not been resolved scientifically. In this sense, there is no human nature from which a set of general principles can be derived. That's just doing speculative philosophy or repeating cultural biases.

The predominant scientific view is that of materialism, but that is also a philosophical position that cannot be established empirically either.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Matt Franko said...

Tom we already have the concept and the constructs established...

Constructs: You have "the coin " (Beowulf: lawyer) and/or the Humphrey-Hawkins... done...

Concept: Everybody should get healthcare... all sides agree with the concept...

Technical: Econ morons in control ...

Matt Franko said...

It's a technical problem...

Matt Franko said...

Tom you can't get there talking about different concepts it's mental masturbation...

Constructs can be written up after the technical solution is identified...

Joe said...

That's a peculiar concept of human nature... But to deny that there is a nature is incorrect.

"Culturally, humans have differed widely in all other measures historically." Factually incorrect, there's a lot of human cross-cultural universals that have persisted through time. The fact that we're a social animal that has culture is itself part of our nature. Many more examples abound.

We're biological creatures with various instincts and behaviors ie a nature. Much of which is not under our conscious control. Science certainly has shed light on the issue. Our biology sharply limits what's even possible in culture and society.

But yes, determining a political philosophy by arguments about human nature is more difficult as human nature is incredibly complex, but we do know a few things about it. Although a political philosophy radically at odds with our nature isn't going to fare so well, but determining that ahead of time would be difficult (you can't tell lions to behave like a gorillas, that's not their nature. You won't find a human society that operates like bonobo society, it's not our nature). I think I'm talking about human biology and nature more in general, and you're focusing on one specific domain.

Matt Franko said...

You guys are thinking that if we just choose the correct concept via philosophy or write up some construct the technical part will just magically take care of itself.... this is absurd nothing ever works that way...

Matt Franko said...

You guys think if we just agree on the concept that we would like to cross the river without getting wet, and then write a law that mandates construction of some sort of system to traverse the river that the system will just magically appear with no technical skills required ...

Get a grip...

Tom Hickey said...

@ Joe,

I am talking about a particular way of conceptualizing the world in terms of a framework that is based on essentialism, that is, the assumption that there are real essences that determine meaning of key terms like "nature." The assumption is that humans have a nature that is knowable through its essence, which is intelligible, and this knowledge is capable of being used to formulate self-evident first principles as the starting point of deduction.

In the Western intellectual tradition, this view originated with the ancient Greeks, especially Plato and Aristotle. This framework was incorporated into early Christianity, e.g., in the theology of Augustine. Augustine was chiefly a Platonist that accepted the framework of transcendental eternal ideas or forms as essence that material thing resemble and are patterned on. Augustine interpreted the Platonic ideas as the Divine Ideas that God employed in creation. The medievals, following Aquinas, tried to reconcile Augustine's Divine Ideas with Aristotle's essences as the "intelligible species" of things that the intellect knows directly through intellectual intuition comparable to and as an adjunct to sense intuition. For Aristotle and his followers knowledge is gained through the joint operation of the sense and intellect to know the specifics of a particular thing and simultaneously its essence that it shares with other things of the same type.

This was used to create a highly philosophical theology whose aim was to show that faith is compatible with reason in that the Creator is rational and this rationality is manifested in creation by the compatibility of intelligence of rational beings (humans) and the real essences or natures of objects in the world (creation). The rational element characteristic of humans is the soul, and the dignity and immorality of the soul is revealed by the ability to know essences, which are eternal, universal and unchanging, which in term reveals their ground in the divine.

continued

Tom Hickey said...

continuation

The Protestant Reformation broke the lock of dogmatic theology institutionally and the rise of science cast doubt on the whole theological enterprise. The Great Chain of Being framework of traditionalism began to break down and needed to be replaced.

Liberalism arose along with the rise of science. So there was a need for a new framework that was compatible with the prevailing culture and also the scientific enterprise. The result was the importation of natural law, essences as natures, etc., divorced from their theological underpinning as divine. Most of the cultural and institutional framework of social, political and economic liberalism is based on this framework. The link with science is obviously through "the laws of nature" of natural science and the "laws of thought" of logic.

However, this broke down too when the so-called laws of nature of classical physics were found to be a special case rather than descriptive of the universe at all scales. Moreover, advances in logic reveals that the so-called laws of thought were a special case with logic. Similarly, Euclidian geometry as the fundamental structure of space as continuum, which as considered solid intuitively, was shown also be a special case since non-Euclidian geometries also have application to physical space.

Evolutionary theory further blew out the framework based on "natures" and "natural law." The biblical story of God creating creatures having specific natures at some points in time was discredited as plausible scientifically based on abundant evidence and a solid theoretical explanation of causal transmission.

The upshot is that there are three major frameworks operative today. The first is the remnant of traditionalism, which is ancient. The second is liberalism which dates from the modern age. And the last is historical relativism, which was ushered in by 1) the scientific revolution, 2) more widely available historical data to dispel myths, and especially 3) evolutionary theory, which revealed the importance of randomness as a factor and also gradual change in previous forms.

Tom Hickey said...

You guys are thinking that if we just choose the correct concept via philosophy or write up some construct the technical part will just magically take care of itself.... this is absurd nothing ever works that way...

Where did you get that impression, Matt? The contention is that many factors and means are involved.

It would be like saying that management is all technical. It isn't. Moreover, many technical people are poor managers because they don't realize that and can't deal with it.

Believe it or not there is more to life than STEM alone, although a lot of nerds don't seem to get that.

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, we have a the technical knowledge to solve a lot of problems. A friend of mine who is a theoretical physicist with a degree from Harvard ran for president as a third party candidate and he did so because he correctly figured that it would get him in many doors to pitch his solutions.

He later said that just about everyone he talked in politics agreed with him that the problems were solvable based on existing knowledge that had been tested. And just about everyone said that it was impractical politically. Warren Mosler reported a similar experience.

In the US, the fundamental issue is a philosophical one relating to the size and role of government in a "free society." Technical solutions are supposed to come from the private sector through the market rather than from politicians and the government. Nothing will happen in the US regarding MMT without overcoming this philosophical obstacle that is endemic to the liberal mindset.

Moreover, it is not a simple matter crafting a bill into law that can pass the gauntlet of the factional political process. Laws also have to get through court challenges later on. There is a reason that lot of politicians are lawyers rather than engineers. They know how this process works and engineers don't.

Andrew Anderson said...

In the US, the fundamental issue is a philosophical one relating to the size and role of government in a "free society." Tom Hickey

There's nothing free about citizens not being able to use their Nation's fiat the same way banks do, via inherently risk-free, convenient accounts at the central bank itself or equivalent. Instead, citizens are enslaved to usury cartels or else limited to mere physical fiat while that option still exists.

What we have is the freedom of privateers to steal via government privilege.

Matt Franko said...

Warren also thinks "the deficit is too small..." the academic MMT people assert that QE is "just shifting USDs from the checking account to the savings account ". Etc.... these are not the A team...

Matt Franko said...

Wary asserted the banks "borrowed $29T.." etc...

Matt Franko said...

In the ACA, the Gruber people established an individual insurance scheme where in insurance industry the formula for premiums has the group size in the denominator, take any math lately?, etc...

Tom Hickey said...

Who is the A team?

Matt Franko said...

People who are trained correctly... people who have survived years of undergraduate mathematical rigor.... ....

Here look at this recent one:

Trump said in a tweet: "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/882560030884716544

then this person at the NYT disagrees with Trump on the "almost 40%" figure here:

"“It was not clear where Mr. Trump got his 40 percent figure,” Jane Perle wrote in a piece on China and North Korea. “China’s trade with the North grew 37.4 percent during the first three months of the year, compared with the same period in 2016, Chinese trade data released in April showed.”

so this person does not understand the relative difference between 'almost 40%' and '37.4%'....

These people ARE OUT THERE WALKING AROUND on the loose everywhere Tom... do not underestimate their incompetence... and it probably varies where this person at the NYT would be a fairly bad example but the issue she is evaluating is also pretty simple so she might be really dumb/unqualified ... as the functional relationships become more complicated, probably many more have to be disqualified...

Its a big technical problem, the econ depts are going to have to be completely redesigned and much more mathematical rigor is going to have to be imposed on the people who we put in there... they dont get enough math right now... this has to change... its going to take a long time...



Matt Franko said...

I would bet $100 that the NYT person who doesnt understand that 37.4 is almost 40 hadnt had a math class in her training since 9th grade...

Matt Franko said...

Maybe 8th grade if the school board allowed it...

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, since Samuelson (MIT), graduate study in econ is basically applied math and statistics. It's all about creating econometric models.

Matt Franko said...

Tom,


here is a concept: "we're out of money!"

here is another concept: "we're NOT out of money!"

Have at it... you will get nowhere ...

Tom Hickey said...

PIketty was a math whiz kid creating models at MIT. Then he realized it was mathematical masturbation and turned his attention to data. The rest is history.

Matt Franko said...

There is more to math than statistics/stochastic processes...

Undergrad in STEM you can have math or applied math probably 9 to 12 credits a semester for 4 years and only have one course in stochastic processes ... rest differential calculus, integral calculus, time/frequency domain analysis, diff equations, thick algebra, analytic geometry, etc..

Think Tiger Woods hit one golf ball per day when he was playing well? try 300 or 400...

https://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/learning-by-repetition-does-it-work/

"One way of developing a skill is to make it a stored routine in the students’ system. To make this happen, the most important first step is to bring the skill to a conscious level where the student is deliberately thinking about the activity (not necessarily the skill).
In other words, the student knows what skill they’re lacking in and focuses on doing activities that will help them build this skill. This can be termed as learning by repetition."

They dont get the reps...

"For example, in learning how to ride a bike, the more attempts a child makes, the more the brain reinforces the particular skills necessary to stay balanced and in motion. After some time, the child doesn’t have to stop and think about each part of the procedure to stay upright, balanced, and in motion, or how to stop without falling off. Every time the child rides, the skill is reinforced. Even years later, with no additional riding experience, it is possible for a person to get on a bike and ride because it was so firmly encoded in the brain. This is the power of learning by repetition."

It becomes permanent with enough training...

Matt Franko said...

DSGE? c'mon.. yes it is a waste of time...

We use a stochastic approach when we dont yet understand something.. its a tip-off...

Tom Hickey said...

Here is a list of recommended math course for econ study at Berkeley

Course recommendations
Math 1A-1B
Math 53 and Math 54 (multivariable calculus and linear algebra)
Economics 101A-B, the quantitative theory sequence
Economics 141, the more quantitative econometrics course
Additional math and statistics courses (linear algebra, real analysis, probability, etc.)
Additional economics courses that emphasize theory and quantitative methods, such as Economics 103, 104, and 142.
Upper-division math and statistics courses for those who are adequately prepared (in order of importance)

Math 110, Linear Algebra
Math 104, Introduction to Analysis
Stat 134, Concepts of Probability
Stat 150, Stochastic Processes
Math 105, Second Course of Analysis
Math 170, Mathematical Methods of Optimization
Stat 102/Stat 135, Linear modeling Theory and Applications
Stat 151A, Statistical Inference
Math 185, Introduction to Complex Analysis
Graduate math and statistics courses for those who are adequately prepared (in order of importance)

Math 202A/202B, Introduction to Topology
Stat 200A/200B,Introduciton to Probability and Statistics at an Advanced Level; graduate version of 101/102 sequence, not much more difficult, but harder than 134/135
Stat 205A/205B,Probability Theory; graduate probability, much higher level than 200A/200B

Tom Hickey said...

We use a stochastic approach when we dont yet understand something.. its a tip-off...

Statistics is necessary when it is not practical to measure accurately.

A big problem in econ and social science is measurement other than in particular (limited) cases.

This is a reason that business schools use the case method.

Joe said...

Interesting Tom, but to be honest, I didn't really understand much of that (I'm one of those technical people as per your definition, but I realize there's more than stem). But as long as you don't content that everything is a social construction, I won't object, because the blank slate doctrine is definitely scientifically untenable, and was quite silly to begin with.. And you still won't find a human society operating like bonobo society, no matter what conceptual framework you use. Cats behave differently than dogs, no matter if it's deducible from first principles or not. But I'm pretty sure none of that has anything to do with what you're talking about.

"However, this broke down too when the so-called laws of nature of classical physics were found to be a special case rather than descriptive of the universe at all scales." Not sure what that has to do with anything, reality has proven to be far stranger than we imagined. There's nothing really that intuitive about quantum physics or relativity. But there's no requirement that something be intuitive, deducible from first principles, or even possible to be understood by humans. It's entirely possible that we could gather evidence for the truth of a proposition but not be able to actually understand it directly.

jrbarch said...

Humans have an essence which is intelligence and a nature which doesn’t know itself (hence the personality flounders around with logic, creativity, emotion, sensation, materialism etc): - putting the two together is hard work.

Tom Hickey said...

"However, this broke down too when the so-called laws of nature of classical physics were found to be a special case rather than descriptive of the universe at all scales." Not sure what that has to do with anything, reality has proven to be far stranger than we imagined

The point is that that many people are still engrossed in ancient frameworks (various forms of traditionalism) or in "modern" frameworks characterized by 18th century ideas (many forms of liberalism) while the world has moved on.

Much of contemporary liberalism is base on the assumption there is a single human nature and it is the same as the framework of modern (18th c.) Western intellectuals, which is basically Protestant worldview minus the Christian theology that dominated the Western intelligentsia and lad to the American and French Revolutions.

Americans have a different view of liberalism owing to a different history in which revolutions produced a constitutional republic. Brits and continental Europeans have a different view of liberalism owing to their different history which was dominated by the French Revolution, Jacobinism, the Napoleonic wars, and the fall of the monarchies post WWI. So they are more skeptical than Americans.

Moreover, Americans and to some extent Brits are much more superficial thinkers than Continental Europeans and they bought into the 18th century conflation of naturalism with science more than European intelligentsia.

As I said above, there are three major types of framework operative now — traditionalisms, liberalisms, and historical/geographical relativisms. Some people fall into one of these categories. Others are either bi-conceptual or tri-conceptual. Many people can hold aspects of different frameworks simultaneously without experiencing cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive scientist George Lakoff has explored this in terms of the American political dichotomy conservative-liberal, explaining that there is no framework that characterizes the center. These are the bi-concepturals that hold some aspects of the liberal and some of the conservative frameworks at the same time.

Tom Hickey said...

Humans have an essence which is intelligence and a nature which doesn’t know itself (hence the personality flounders around with logic, creativity, emotion, sensation, materialism etc): - putting the two together is hard work.

This is a form of traditionalism.

It is a claim that has been around for millennia.

Liberalism imported the "essence" without the "soul" that has usually gone along with it.

Philosophically I fall into the traditionalist camp, politically into the liberal camp, and scientifically into the historical relativist camp. I don't see any problem constructing such a framework as a heuristic for dealing with experience.

Problems arise in constructing conceptual models with sharp edges when ordinary human experience is blurry and doesn't encompass the full range of potential experience.

jrbarch said...

I was just saying that kind of tongue in cheek Tom - the conversation gets so serious around here.

The analogy of beads strung on a thread holds true for me (as you know). Doesn’t matter if the beads are traditional, liberal, quantum physicists, technically competent, spiritual, or polka dotted with radar ears .... mind is mind and if there is no awareness of light within, that’s that. The really interesting bit is how that changes ...

jrbarch said...

Have been thinking about the above (philosophically, not personally) in terms of ‘superiority and inferiority’.

In the personality life we have the power to discriminate. For me, this means to recognise the ‘good, the beautiful and the true’ in the context of the imperfect; ‘reality’ in the context of illusion. Because humans do not in general know the Self, they confound ‘excellence, the good beautiful and true, reality’ with everything else. Only Hansa could separate the milk from the water.

The power to discriminate is hijacked and applied to everything on the outside. Everything is considered in terms of superiority or inferiority: - the king is greater than the peasants; the rich greater than the poor; the educated greater than the uneducated. Mind sneers, and looks down on everything that is not itself.

To the Self, this is ignorance, illusion. The same Self threads itself through all life forms; the bead (consciousness) strung on it is just in some stage of awareness – that is all. If that consciousness, no matter how exalted in the personality world or educated, has no knowledge of the Self within – then it is in the same darkness as everyone else.

On this website, mind is important. Mind finds superiority important ‘in the name of truth’. So minds jostle and fence with each other in pursuit of truth: - or is it superiority? In the mind there is the ‘I’ – and the ‘I’ wants to win. The mind can hold the philosophies and the technology and sciences of the Ages – but will it recognise truth? Is it even the tool with which to uncover truth?

The Ageless Wisdom says feeling is important. Learn how to feel. Discover that Self within you and let the mind be still. Let the ‘I’ dissolve, like vapour. Dive deeper and you will come face to face with your Truth. Then without a doubt, you will know – the touch of feeling will dawn as vision, the profound Silence, as the Self rises within. And the personality life will then make sense to you. A human being is a door. The human heart the threshold: - mind when it is still, focused, concentrated, without waves - just a child-like witness. We fall in love with so many things on the outside. Mind looks at Kabir aghast, when he says 'if you really love truth, even the hardnoses and philsophers, fall in love with the Divine'.