The outside and inside of packaging and content

The 14th Dalai Lama, a renowned Tibetan Buddhi...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m not a religious man so, the much commented on and impending retirement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is of little consequence to me. That said, much of his ‘hot air’ (in the opinion of some) has warmed the bones of this grumpy and despondent old git over the years, if only others could take on board some of his viewpoints, be they genuine or false.

Sholto Byrnes of The New Statesman was somewhat gleeful at the news when he bloggedGoodbye and good riddance to the Dalai Lamahe this morning.

Sholto suggests the plight of Tibet “would be served far better by a purely political leadership, not one whose “mystical” aura allows for next to no examination or criticism about its aims and its strategies”.

A good point however, we are led by politicians and look at the state we are in! And that’s before we even consider ‘cash for questions‘, any ‘fiddling of expences’, constant ‘Gulf War inquiries’ and hastily adapted party political views or change of heart about promises in party manifesto documents!

As part of his verbal assassination of HHDL, Sholto quotes Christopher Hitchens in the Salon Newsreal in support of his disdain. Hitchens rightly questions some of the issues purportedly supported by HHDL however, the section of his piece which I found of most use, and one which hits a social problematical nail squarely on the head was…

Salon Newsreal: “The greatest triumph that modern PR can offer is the transcendent success of having your words and actions judged by your reputation, rather than the other way about.” (Read more)

Individuals in our society (but mostly at the top and in power) have descended to disgusting levels of simply saying what they think we want to hear. They deliver Policies and mantra (adjusted and amended at the drop of a hat) which are based solely and simply upon PR spin and the resultant outcome of public popularity polls! The problems arise when we blindly and dutifully follow the words of any muppet, elected or otherwise, without thinking about and trying to understand, where the hot air is coming from, what is the reasoning behind it and most importantly, whether or not we agree with it.

It is insufficient to live your life with the mentality of some robotic cult follower; programmed to possess certain thoughts, beliefs or actions. Likewise, adopting a thought process that leads you to trot out; “I voted oddbod party, like my dad and his father before him, my family are oddbod through and through”, simply displays a total lack of any intellectual ability. You are little better than a forgotten tribe member and possibly on a par with your cousin the ape

“We need to make an effort to develop our inner values, irrespective of whether we are religious or not” (HHDL)

As I have previously said, on more than one occasion, I am NOT a religious person. I do however have the ability to listen to what others have to say, irrespective of their beliefs. It helps to formulate but doesn’t dictate my own. Some individuals are simply better wordsmiths than I. Therefore, I see no harm in a little social and ethical plagiarism from time to time, especially if it helps me to espouse where my ‘personal’ and ‘genuine’ viewpoint is coming from.

HHDL: If you have peace of mind, when you meet with problems and difficulties they won’t disturb your inner peace. You’ll be able to employ your human intelligence more effectively. But, if your mental state is disturbed, full of emotion, it is very difficult to cope with problems, because the mind that is full of emotion is… biased, unable to see reality. So whatever you do will be unrealistic and naturally fail. (

Over the years I have found quotations and passages that I have both agreed and disagreed with, some have helped me to express the person I am, whilst others have been ignored and dismissed out of hand. What you see and hear (much to the annoyance of some) is actually what you get. I don’t have a PR guru to shape my outward appearance or to provide fancy packaging to disguise the (hopefully) not too substandard content. Unlike many of our political, business, religious and social leaders, my heart is firmly affixed to my sleeve and thus far, it has remained mostly intact.

Why not try matching your inner content with the external packaging some time?

3 thoughts on “The outside and inside of packaging and content

  1. Such a pity that people cant just enjoy such beauty as buddhism and try to put in a materialistic, mainstream box, thoroughly suprised it doesnt fit!
    Read the teachings, take from it what you will and then leave it when you are done…well, thats my opinion! 🙂


    1. Like I said Therese; life is all about listening, reading, understanding and then formulating your very own direction, and most importantly, one that doesn’t have a negative impact upon others! A pity so many only have limited skills in this area of humanity. 😦


  2. I have seen first hand the ‘adulation’ which must be given to the Lamas – even the Chinese imposed one. I don’t like it. The outer expression of the inner is tricky in philosophy. Wittgenstein spent a lot of time doubting Descartes got any of this right. Norbert Elias wrote a lot on society being ‘mannered’ – and in anthropology we find lots of different forms of manners, some where open hostility is expected to be shown.
    You’re right, of course, that this PR and populist stuff is hopeless and destructive. Yet the problem is that it ‘works’. It is very difficult to know if the Dalai Lama speaks truth or is an elaborate con, though I like some of his messages.
    Tibet is about a quarter of China’s landmass and has a lot of uranium oxide – so is inevitably political. The Han Chinese have killed about one in nine people there, but the French may have managed this in Algeria post WW2. We killed 28,000 Indonesians in a war no one really remembers here, and was hidden from us at the time.
    We should have remembered the great lies of the Suez Crisis while Blair was lying to us about Iraq, but didn’t. Even assertions about splitting banks into high street and commercial ‘forgets’ this was done in the US in the depression and was about bent politics, not logic.

    You are right, but it’s very difficult stuff.


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