13 November, 2019

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It Is Time To Un-‘Develop’ Our Minds

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

We are a few hours away from the year 2013.  The world has not ended and the signs are it will not.  Strangely, the end of the world sometime in late December was the most looked forward to event of the entire year, beating by a fair margin the Olympics, the US Presidential Election and the T-20 World Cup.  Well, it looks like Doom’s Day prophets have called it a day. For now.

A calendar year is ending and a new year beckons.  It’s naturally a moment to look back and look ahead, to think about the what-have-we-done and also the what-should-we-do.  If the whole world’s-end hoopla taught us anything, it must be that we are collectively ignorant.  We just don’t have the ability to predict.  And if anyone is to be blamed it is ourselves.

Now it is not the case that the world has been spared natural disasters.  Earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, droughts, floods, famine, epidemics and such are not unknown to the world.  Our ancestors saw and suffered.   They also knew war. And the wars they fought, won and lost, were nothing like the conflagrations the world has known in the past century.  What they didn’t have then was ‘development’.

There was a time when we had seasons: when we knew when it would rain, for how long, in what quantity and where.  We knew about inter-monsoonal rains.  Again, our ancestors knew enough about rainfall and where the rain would fall and where it would not.  So they planned for drought.  They built sophisticated irrigation systems.  They knew enough about ecology to be circumspect in how they engaged with the natural world, especially since they were equipped with technological know-how capable of causing much destruction to ecosystems.

‘Development’ changed all that.  ‘Modernity’ changed all that. ‘Modernism’ and ‘Develomentalism’ changed all that.  Capitalism and Communism in their various articulations changed all that.  These things spawned hordes of profit collectors and do-gooders (some naïve, some now) who wanted to modernize and develop societies that were deemed to be archaic and underdeveloped.

Things that worked were called ‘traditional’ or ‘crude’.  Values and customs that built civilizations and sustained societies were tagged ‘heathen’.  Those who did not require salvation were sought to be ‘saved’.   And when it became clear that ‘the good life’ comes at a cost (environmental degradation to the point of ecosystem collapse and frenzied competition for resources resulting in wars), the do-gooders, so-called, said ‘people need to have choices’.  They should, in other words, be able to choose between 10 brands of footwear, each brand offering a range of choices for the ‘sophisticated’ consumer.  The consumer, at the end of the day, is much like his or her less needy ancestors, endowed with just two feet.

But everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell come with three tags: loba (greed), dosha (envy/hatred) and moha (delusion/ignorance).  They come with an invite: ‘Come, embrace and embrace tight!’  Delusion is a pernicious operative for it persuades us to destroy all that we have in the belief that this is a necessary condition for obtaining what we don’t have and didn’t need but have come to believe we must have in order to secure meaning in our lives.  We throw away what we have (traditional knowledge, climate-specific seeds, ethics of giving and sharing etc) to obtain membership in a throw-away society; so that we can be called ‘developed’ and ‘modern’, where the tag-giver deliberately leaves out the obvious suffix, ‘fools’.

The world did not end as predicted, but there are many worlds that are ending or rather are being ‘ended’.  That process should be stopped.  We have ‘developed’ for quite some time now and have very little to brag about.  Perhaps it is time to undo certain things. Perhaps it is time to un-develop.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com .

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    “But everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell come with three tags: loba (greed), dosha (envy/hatred) and moha (delusion/ignorance). They come with an invite: ‘Come, embrace and embrace tight!’ Delusion is a pernicious operative for it persuades us to destroy all that we have in the belief that this is a necessary condition for obtaining what we don’t have and didn’t need but have come to believe we must have in order to secure meaning in our lives.”

    For a moment I thought you were describing to the Brothers R – fits, doesn’t it??!!

    And then you end with, “That process should be stopped. We have ‘developed’ for quite some time now and have very little to brag about. Perhaps it is time to undo certain things. Perhaps it is time to un-develop”.

    How true!!!!

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    Apologies! That should have read “…For a moment…… describing the Brothers R – fits, doesn’t it??!!

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    At last realisation has dawned with the new year.

    Loba (greed)- BR, Mr 10% now increased to 15%, Divinesuma etc
    Dosha (envy/hatred)- GR, Arrest and Rehabilitate Tamils, Eat Pig Shit, White Van Syndrome, Hang him etc and
    Moha (delusion/ignorance)- MR, I am the greatest, I govern according to my conscience etc

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    We must Un develop our minds to be able to live in a lawless society How nice is our caste based tradition and there is Mihinda Chinthanaya to live by. We do not need judges, we have STF.

    Mike

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    See the holly wood people earn multi millions a year. Yet, they have dysfunctional lives and some are drug-addicted.

    Economic development or getting financially rich without any spiritual development will not work.

    So, the Sri Lanka is also going towards one direction financially and spiritually in the opposite direction.

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    Malinda may be referring to the racing cars and racing events.

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    It is the basic presumption that the Knowledge, wealth, and status or (the social class) go hand in hand and should be balanced.

    If one has more of two and less in one then…. they go astray……

    What happened to Raja Paula is the quick rise in wealth and status …..but lack of Knowledge…or Education…made them go crazy with Power and Pride.

    It is similar to a horse getting horns……or a Iguana (Katussa)…gatting a crown on it’s head.

    MARA too much power bloating could explode anytime.

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      perfectly said,
      they are buying doctorates, degrees, and spend public’s money and ransom moneys to up grade their ill acquired wealth and never had so called status.
      but how a blood sucking leach sleep on a mattress.

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    Malinda would have upset about the greed exhibited when racing cars taxes were cut and when the roads were blocked for few to enjoy the benefits of the development. He also would have witnessed how money was spent on the racing nights for the entertainment of the few, with Russian ladies dancing half dressed with beer flowing over the pavements in the night. I know he would have really been upset about what was happening in the name of development. No sane man cannot agree to this kind of extravaganza; and Malinda is sane. This is the time he would have thought to write this gem of an article. We should be indebted to his wisdom and understanding the futility of the so called racing in to development. Thanks, Malinda for a job well done. We knew that one day you would realize.

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      Ayanthe:

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of the Colombo Telegraph and our journalists/contributors to be published on our website. For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.
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    Development today is based on greed and excessive consumption. This model of development is bound to fail. While the west has understood this to a considerable extent and is albeit slowly towards an Eco-friendly , recyclable development, we are trying to copy a failed western model. I have always thought our relative under development is our greatest asset for the future. Our religious beliefs that promote austerity and renunciation are our yet untapped heritage. Enough of the basic physical needs for all and co-existence in a partnership with nature is what we are capable of offering o the world. Defining what is enough would of course be a monumental task.

    Malinda indeed has made many think.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Friends…

    Did you not know?
    That words,
    Are only for those who know silence

    We have fallen
    BELOW WORDS

    Myths reign
    In this state of nature

    Of what use are words
    That hide, deceive and distort?

    When we know the sordid reality
    In our hearts

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