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A Change of Times – Trust is the root of Power. June 7, 2014

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, faith, Singapore.
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Catherine Lim is a very gutsy lady. She has just penned in the change of times. Her open letter to the #Singapore prime minister, BG Lee Hsien Loong could be found here

http://catherinelim.sg/2014/06/07/an-open-letter-to-the-prime-minster/

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I have been tied to my own problems pretty badly at home to be really far behind in what is happening now. But fortunately the internet is able to help me record and do the catch up later, though quite late, thinking of the problems and solutions we have here. Just this year alone, we have quite a bit of happenings from the ground. I doubt it will stop from all these telling signs. If they aren’t acknowledged positively, I can see a storm arising. Lessons? Trust is loosing ground. Solution? Should we retain the hard handed style? My answer is NO. I have also attended the Buddhist convention last month end which Venerable Jing Kong had come to visit Singapore for an hour. The teachings of love and peace came in at the right time. But one needs to truly listen and put it to practice. Shaking hands with the venerable is only the start, the actions are more important. Trust comes in the form of sincerity. The harder the hammer hits, the larger the cracks will be. – Karen Fu.

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Are the principles of justice and the nature of values under threat? November 8, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in environment, ethics, faith, human quality, Justice, life challenges.
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This is a question Penny Ramsden is pressing to know. Though I am not asked to reply, I feel obliged to make a comment though I honestly think it needs a good draft before publishing it. It’s a difficult subject area to write. But it is definitely a very relevant question to ask. My reply was done in context to a video called ‘The Mind is Flat’ <video is found in the previous reblogged post.>

I will paste my reply here for crit:

‘Firstly, I don’t totally agree that the mind is flat to begin with.
The Prof mentions the mind is flat because there is no mental depth and the mind is unable to hide inner feelings. Something that goes against what I have always been thinking that the mind has a 4th dimension. However, I do agree with the points that People’s minds are unstable and are always inferring mental states by looking at their own behaviour, inventing a perceived preference. The mind is considered flat despite its infinite depth.
I could see how value perception works. Value is perceived by the buyer or the consumer. It is fixed by the product image set by the seller (or the product designer). If I have a perceived set of value, I would decide how much I would pay despite the amount of money I have. Value is of essence here. What is added to the dimension is the amount of money the consumer or the buyer has in order to determine how much to pay.
Policies are national and regional based. To be flatly honest, even if we chose to set a guide, any entity that is huge enough and powerful enough can ignore by simply jumping out of the set guides. That’s where the behavioural psychology comes in. People ‘will cook up’ their reasons for doing so. Especially so when issues have extremities. That I can agree with. I can see why the Prof says the mind is flat because the depths are unreal. Then again, I could say that the mind is multidimensional which is why there are so many facets of deceit and lies, over textured by different contexts. The mind is as difficult as it can be called cunning.
Bentham’s aspiration for human freedom and justice is admirable. Quote from his’ The Principles of Morals and Legislation’ via wiki,
‘Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think ‘
I thought his choice to preserve his corpse was itself a pain more than a pleasure. Something I cannot quite understand why people could do something that is contradicting to what they preach (?) unless they don’t see that as a pain like I do.
IMHO, in search of happiness, pain must be experienced and understood. The lives of the poor and the destitute must be empathised. The mind isn’t flat as i think it has complex dimensions. The triangularity concept sounds convincing but there are certainly hidden parts of the mind that cannot be seen.
Can justice be totally done? I think the scary answer could be no. But we can mitigate it the situations to make the world a peaceful place.
So the principles of justice and the nature of values cannot be fully practiced due to the negative nature of human behavior of many people. But with knowledge of such situations, we can adjust the situations. And rest assured that justice be done by Mother Nature if we still refuse to heed her calls.
Small little thoughts from a non psychology major grad.’
to add, triangularity is 2D, hence it is said to be flat. However, to me, the mind is a tetrahedron — a 3D. A 4th dimension comes in or even a 5th because I believe the mind is Highly mutatable and morphable. Hence the high complexity that cannot be resolved. A 2D one is a far simpler configuration to solve. Perhaps I have misunderstood the video. It’s 2:30 am here, and I haven’t managed to return to complete reading the online comments….- Karen
add note 9/11/2013: the alpha version will be good to see the whole picture by Prof Nick Chater. The mind is shallow for people who are small and short of intelligence. I doubt the mind is that shallow in general. So many permutations talking about. Then again, I am just rambling as a layperson having my own mind….. – Karen Fu

4 elfin lessons learnt from Teresa Hsu Chih March 9, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, ethics, faith, human quality, life challenges, Singapore.
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I’ve just introduced Hsu Chih to an overseas student and I got terrified by the reaction. Apparently, she thinks Hsu Chih has wasted 100 years in hard work and that may well be the result from bad karma from her previous life. I wonder how she thought but I had the intention of ‘brainwashing’ her to think more about sharing. Not that I expect this student to follow all the virtues of giving all to the poor; but I was hopping that she would come to her senses about being smart doesn’t have to mean you corner your opponent to the brink of total ruin. It is a worrying sign and I often wonder if this were the common trend these days. Maybe it is. But that’s another seperate topic to bear in mind.

I am also told I am pretty dogmatic in the way I believe in what maintains harmony. But I really adore Hsu Chih’s simple, happy and positive attitude. Her undying guts fearing nothng is rare. Her genes do play a part, but I also believe the nurturing part where her life experiences has taught her the essence of life. The positive lifestyle fuels her life & together with healthy living habits, her life is long though she lives in utter ‘poverty’. Apart from learning from her life experiences, I thought a couple of points could be highlighted from the so-called layman terminologies for peace:

1. Have a gutsy belief  that is even bigger than the Universe against whatever that is bad + live with passion & compassion

Learn not to fear, live your life in peace where everyone is a brother/sister. The essence of  emphathy and sharing is fundamental to maintaining global peace. If everyone were to listen and share, bring down walls by self reflection and sensitivity to how others feel; the UN can fall. The wall of terror could fall. And definitely all kinds of barriers would fall. We wouldn’t have war at all.

2. Shrink the imbalance between the have’s and have-not’s. Remember to share. Don’t over buy anything that you probably only use a few times.

The rich consume way too much beyond the realm of the poor. Many times with the lack of sensitivity for the poor.  In times of knee deep recession, when many are struggling to make ends meet, it is always wise to keep luxuries low.

The luxury of physical consumption, where people in certain parts of the world enjoy air-con habitats with designer brands goods; where world class chefs cook their meals, and chauffeurs send them to anywhere they desire –surely we do not need an extra computer, over hyped designer wear most of the time. Neither is the extra couple of alcohol at the PUBs would do any good to your health. The money spared could be given off easily to fit other deserving people who are having financial difficulties.

3. Charity by monetary/ploughing your way through. It should be ingrained without looking for side rewards from doing so.

Our idea of charity should extend to the point where we do not require any kind of orgainsation to tell us what to do. It should be ingrained within our social strata, where people see and feel, where people could just give and share what they can afford to offer. When the poor are filled and when the the sad is happy; is when peace could last. Ideally it shouldn’t be done because it offers a certain prestige or tax exemption.

4. Over power those CCTVs! : Redefine happiness. improving trust with all peoples. ( Ideally full trust with all.)

The definition of happiness and entertainment usually focuses on certain self values. In her version, there is not ‘self’, an almost impossible mission these days.

The number of security measures that we have put in place is actually an ineffective way of maintaining soical security. The best way is actually the most natural way that is the least expensive. Every time I see the numerous clusters of CCTVs around, and the numvber of security guards around; it first reminds me that the world is getting to be an awfully distrustful place where trust is binded by legal documents; where peace is maintained through the police force.

Conclusion

We could just change the way we think about life and success and about what consumerism and materialism is. Not that I urge we all live in the same plain bowl of rice/potatoes; but more rather finding a common ground for mutual understanding. We needn’t be that complex. The reason why we are so is because we choose to let negative feelings of selfishnes, jealousy and domination over others to get what we want. And often we practice double standards. No one likes double standards. And believe me, everyone has an eye to see the truth. When we are insincere, people know it. There is no such thing as hypocrisy pays ‘cos it simply isn’t. If people cannot find one flaw with your character now; they will find it out in due course. And the ending wouldn’t be pleasant.

What I really admire Hsu Chih is that she didn’t care about letting others know. If she did, it wouldn’t take a century for us to discover her. From other viewpoint, one could say that life has treated her badly. I think when you start to think how exploitative people live — often in a sad way in terms of family life and health conditions; then she harbours the blessings that most people lack.

Anyway, I was supposed to stick in a pic for this post. But it’s past 2am already, and I really should log off for now. — Karen Fu