Thought for today..

One day a man was sitting by a river minding his own business when a stranger walking by noticed the back of the man’s neck and decided to give it a slap theorising on what kind of sound it would make. The man clasping his now stinging neck, jumped up to hit the stranger back.

His attacker said “Hold on!  Answer this for me – what made the sound, my hand or the back of your neck?”

The man answered “When you have experienced exactly what I’m feeling now you will be able to work it out for yourself and see the value in your theory!”

(Paraphrased parable – exact source unknown)


Are you a Narcissist?

Take the test… 🙂



The Narcissist’s Club

Synchronicity is wonderful. The other day I was wondering what causes a number of people to act the way they do on various blogs and when I put the behaviours into a search engine, lo and behold! “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” came to the front. (As I started to do more research I saw one of our team had just posted a Narcissism test and Heather Martin had also just posted on this subject – great minds think alike!!)

Having done some research, what I found is set out later in this article (the reference sources are at the bottom of the page).

What started me off on the research was a number of what I considered to be strange behaviours. These are in no particular order of priority:

Refusal to accept responsibility or apologise. 

Vitriolic behaviour towards anyone who has the temerity to suggest that they may not be right about something/anything – this despite
professing to promote love and world harmony.

Absolute unquestioning support for some other people until either faced with irrevocable proof for the umpteenth time that the person is
false or more usually when they have fallen out with them over some issue.

Unbelievable arrogance in that only they know best and often promulgating that they are hugely important on the world stage. 

Incredible ability to forget/ignore the past. For example :
All those who forecast the end of the world in 2000 (and again in 2012 with added prophecies of mass “ascension”, the world splitting into two or three etc…) and then resurrect or re-invent themselves using various methods.
All the financial “Gurus” who have forecast the revaluation of the Dinar every week, month, year for the past decade who continue to say it is just around the corner.
Unbelievable inconsistency. For example:
One “high-up” financial advisor – on the one hand telling all his followers that the Dinar Scam is just that and people should not expect any “global reset” in the financial market then as soon as someone tells him that they have sold their Dinars telling the person they have made a mistake and
must immediately buy them back.



What all this tells me is that frustrating as it is, many of these people may genuinely have a Personality Disorder. Interestingly the professionals say Narcissism is not easy to treat (not least because the patients believe themselves superior to the Doctors treating them). Also interestingly, one of the papers I read advises that arguing with Narcissists is like “spitting into the Ocean” in terms of the difference it is likely to make to their behaviour.

Originally I named names, but after researching further into Narcissism I learned that it can be triggered by some kind of trauma in the past.  In that case it is unfair of me to add to their suffering. Ideally if someone recognised their traits I would be delighted if they sought medical help.

However, this article seeks to help explain what may be the underlying cause of some of the behaviours and inconsistencies of some and to recognise that instead of getting angry, perhaps we should be sorry for the individuals but at the same time be very wary of following what these people say/recommend.  Narcissists also think everything is about them.

Do not be influenced by others – especially not me! Do your own research – think and discern for yourself!

What Are the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
In many cases, people with narcissistic personality disorder:
1 Are self-centered and boastful
2 Have a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates
achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without
commensurate achievements)
3 Are preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance,
beauty, or ideal love
4 Believe that they are “special” and unique and can only be understood
by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or
5 Require excessive admiration and seek constant attention

6 Have a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance
with their expectations
7 Are exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends
8 Lack empathy, e.g., are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others or others viewpoints
9 Are often envious of others or believe that others are envious of them

10 Consider themselves better than others

11 Are easily hurt but may not show it

12 Set unrealistic goals
13 Expect that others will automatically go along with what he or she wants

14 Hypersensitive to insults (real or imagined), criticism, or defeat, possibly reacting with rage, shame, and humiliation

15 Cannot apologise or take accountability. They do not seem to
understand that saying one is sorry represents an expression of empathy
with the injured party irrespective of whether the hurt was intentional
or avoidable.

16 Are extremely critical of other people
17 Contradict themselves, lie and deny they have said and done things
18 Are naive and vulnerable and so disconnected from what other people are
up to, that they don’t recognize when someone is taking advantage of
19 Are totally and inflexibly authoritarian. In other words, they are
suck-ups. They want to be authority figures and, short of that, they
want to be associated with authority figures.
20 Cling fanatically to the opinions of people they regard as authority
figures as they’re trying to borrow that person’s strength/expertise.
21 Are hostile and ferocious in reaction
22 Are impulsive. They undo themselves by behavior that seems
oddly stupid for people as intelligent as they are. Somehow, they don’t
consider the probable consequences of their actions.
23 Their ability to convey criticism is equaled only by their resistance
to assimilating it. Frequently, they seem to have mastered the art of
deflecting blame.

Where we read:

An individual with narcissistic personality disorder has a hair line trigger to any criticism real or imagined, and cannot be ‘wrong’. This creates a highly abusive situation for a person in a narcissistic relationship, because the narcissistic personality will perform outrageous abusive crimes and will take no responsibility for his or her actions.


How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb?
(a) Just one — but they have to wait for the whole world to revolve
around them.
(b) None at all — they hire menials for work that’s beneath them.

© 2015

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The Untold Cost of the Cosmic Toll-Road


An Allegory by Bronte Baxter

Suppose you want to go visit the ocean, only you know of no road that goes there. One day you find one. It’s owned by a man who tells you you’re free to use his road anytime you like. He seems like a real nice fellow. After you use his road a few times, though, you learn he’s been stealing a dollar from your pocket every time you pass by. You don’t mention this, as it seems a small price to pay for the use of the road. Or maybe you do mention it, and he tells you that’s his toll-road charge. He took it without saying for your own good, because if you knew you had to pay you might have backed out of your first excursion and never would have had that wonderful experience. Now that you’ve been there, he’s sure you won’t mind paying the dollar. This explanation seems a little off, but you buy it. After all, what really matters is the great time you’re having at the beach.

After a while, the man announces he’s raising the toll. Now it will cost you five dollars every time you pass. You go to the beach every weekend, and it’s great, but the price for using the toll-road keeps getting higher. It’s very expensive now, hundreds of dollars a week. You inquire again if there are other roads that will take you to the sea, free ones maybe, but the man and your friends who use the road tell you this route is the only one .

So you keep going there and paying. But after a while, the beach isn’t such fun anymore. You’ve taken a second job to support the toll-road, and by the time you get to the sea you have no energy left for anything but a nap. You only go into the water on rare occasions. While you’re sleeping on the beach, goons who work for the toll-guy patrol the premises, picking the pockets of the sleeping sunbathers. You hear rumors among the crowd that someone is robbing people, but you don’t believe it. True, you’re missing some money, but you’re sure you left it at home and only thought you had it with you.

The fact that this starts happening every weekend doesn’t disturb you. You’ve been so spacey and foggy-headed lately – you can’t expect yourself to remember if you had your money when you got to the beach or not. All that matters is the sun and the sand feel so good. You’re so tired, and they are so soothing. You’ve forgotten about boating and swimming, picnicking and flying kites in the wind, all the things you used to enjoy in the early days when you would come to the oceanside, back when it was practically free. All that matters now is how good it feels to get to the beach and fall asleep. Yours cares dissolve away. You don’t think you could live without it.

One day you wake up from a beach nap to see a couple of people flying kites on the sand, in between all the snoring bodies. A couple more people are playing in the surf. It looks fun, and you call out and ask them, where do they get so much energy? They yell back that they’ve found a free road that takes them to the ocean and they don’t have to work to pay the toll-guy anymore. In fact, coming to the ocean energizes them now, the way it used to do back when the toll-road only cost a dollar or two.

You say, that’s impossible. Everyone knows this toll-road is the only route to the beach. No, say the others, the toll-guy lied to us. This free road has been there all along. It’s even older than the toll-road. In fact, it’s not even the only free road that will take you here. There are plenty of them. They just take a little work to find, and then you’re on your way.

You hear this, and you start to get mad. Who are these guys, coming in here telling you nonsense like that, and saying bad things about the toll-guy? If it weren’t for him and his generosity, letting you use the toll-road, your life would be empty. You never would have found the beach. You are eternally indebted to the toll-road guy for that.

You wonder why these kite-flyers and swimmers are lying, telling you all the money you’ve spent on the toll-road all these years was a waste. You simply can’t accept that. It would mean you’ve been a fool, and you won’t let anyone make you look like one. No, they must be lying. They’re just here to make trouble. You lay back down in the sand, tune out everything you just heard, and fall back into the welcome numbness of sleep.

© Bronte Baxter 2008

Comment: Superbly stated! 🙂

Something else to consider

Taoism – as lived by Pooh and Piglet

When considering current (and past) events, it’s quite important that we do not judge the behaviour of our nations too harshly. They are not evil, just immature and not yet well educated. They are like children playing, harsh and brutal at times but capable of social evolution. Nations, like children (and adults!), still need to learn caring adult behaviour.

It’s important that each one of us conceive of ourselves, of all of humanity, as a species emerging from its childhood and moving toward more mutually supportive, adult behaviour. Remember, what you visualise and expect has a powerful effect upon the world you experience. Your vision will assist all of us to grow up in consciousness.

One wonders, however, if there might be some effective way to accelerate the maturation process of the nations and governments of our planet. The need is large. If we continue in the direction we are currently headed, we may well destroy much of the life of earth and make it, for our descendents, more of a trash heap than a lovely place to live.

Hopi prophecy foretold that the white people would bring the “gourd of ashes” that would create great destruction and loss of human life upon the earth. They believe that gourd of ashes refers to the atomic and nuclear bombs. Speaking to the United Nations, Hopi Elder Thomas Banyacya said, “If you, the nations of this Earth, create another great war, the Hopi believe we humans will burn ourselves to death with ashes.

Various American Indian tribes (Cherokee, Lakota Sioux, Hopi) have prophecies relating that when our materialistic, greedy ways have gone too far and thereby endanger the health of Mother Earth, a rainbow family or rainbow tribe would arise. This group of “Rainbow Warriors” will defend Mother Earth from the ravages to which she is being subjected.

Taking up the flag of this cause, the environmental activist group, Greenpeace, named one of their ships “Rainbow Warrior”.

The opposing viewpoints of the establishment versus the Rainbow Warriors; the strict, formal, traditional, greedy, self-righteous, earth-polluting ruling class versus the caring, loving, nurturing, protecting simple working people are well depicted in the Chinese traditions of the Confucionists versus the Taoists. It is always challenging to objectively observe oneself or one’s own culture. By looking at similar conflicts in another culture, perhaps we can recognise ourselves and thereby obtain novel insights as to how to aright our ways.

After thousands of years of the rise and fall of philosophies and their followers, two Chinese traditions survived the test of time and are still active today, the Confucionists and the Taoists. Nowhere are they as well-described as by Benjamin Hoff in The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet.

Below, the story is told using extensive quotes from these two books. In classic Taoist style, Hoff uses storytelling to scathingly reveal the blunders and misuse of power by both individuals and especially by the ruling class in American and in Western society in general. And he uses Taoist principles to reveal a vision and provide practical solutions to the woes of modern civilisation. For brevity, I’ve left out many of the extremely humourous and illustrative stories, so be sure to read the original as well.

Near the beginning of The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff describes the difference between the three main philosophies of China by using a famous, often copied, work of Chinese art: The Vinegar Tasters.
We see three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and has tasted it. The expression on each man’s face shows his individual reaction. Since the painting is allegorical, we are to understand that these are no ordinary vinegar tasters, but are instead representatives of the “Three Teachings” of China, and that the vinegar they are sampling represents the Essence of Life. The three masters are K’ung Fu-tse (Confucius), Buddha, and Lao-tse, author of the oldest existing book of Taoism. The first has a sour look on his face, the second wears a bitter expression, but the third man is smiling.

To K’ung Fu–tse (kung FOOdsuh), life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out of step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of the universe. Therefore, he emphasised reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the Son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth.

Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about K’ung Fu-tse: “If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit.” This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism.

To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. In order to find peace, the Buddhist considered it necessary to transcend “the world of dust” and reach Nirvana, literally a state of “no wind.” Although the essentially optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism considerably after it was brought in from its native India, the devout Buddhist often saw the way to Nirvana interrupted all the same by the bitter wind of everyday existence.

To Lao-tse (LAOdsuh), the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at any time, but not by following the rules of the Confucianists. As he stated in his Tao Te Ching (DAO DEH JEENG), the “Tao Virtue Book,” earth was in essence a reflection of heaven, run by the same laws – not by the laws of men. These laws affected not only the spinning of distant planets, but the activities of the birds in the forest and the fish in the sea. According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble. Whether heavy or light, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour.”

continue reading at

Bisy Backson

“Ha!” said Rabbit, feeling quite happy again.”An-other notice!”

This is what it said:




Rabbit didn’t know what a Backson was—in spite of the fact that he is one—so he went to ask Owl. Owl didn’t know, either. But we think we know, and we think a lot of other people do, too. Chuang-tse described one quite accurately:

There was a man who disliked seeing his footprints and his shadow. He decided to escape from them, and began to run. But as he ran along, more foot- prints appeared, while his shadow easily kept up with him. Thinking he was going too slowly, he ran faster and faster without stopping, until he finally collapsed from exhaustion and died. If he had stood still, there would have been no footprints. If he had rested in the shade, his shadow would have disappeared.”

You see them almost everywhere you go, it seems. On practically any sunny sort of day, you can see the Backsons stampeding through the park, making all kinds of loud Breathing Noises. Perhaps you are enjoying a picnic on the grass when you suddenly look up to find that one or two of them just ran over your lunch.

Generally, though, you are safe around trees and grass, as Backsons tend to avoid them. They prefer instead to struggle along on asphalt and con- crete, in imitation of the short-lived transportation machines for which those hard surfaces were de- signed. Inhaling poisonous exhaust fumes from the vehicles that swerve to avoid hitting them, the Backsons blabber away to each other about how much better they feel now that they have gotten Outdoors. Natural living, they call it.

The Bisy Backson is almost desperately active. If you ask him what his Life Interests are, he will give you a list of Physical Activities, such as:

“Skydiving, tennis, jogging, racquet-ball, ski- ing, swimming, and water-skiing.”

“Is that all?”

“Well, I (gasp, pant, wheeze) think so,” says Backson.

“Have you ever tried chasing cars?” “No, I—no, I never have.”
“How about wrestling alligators?”
“No . . . I always wanted to, though.” “Roller-skating down a flight of stairs?” “No, I never thought of it.”

“But you said you were active.”

At this point, the Backson replies, thought- fully, “Say–do you think there’s something . . . wrong with me? Maybe I’m losing my energy.”

After a while, maybe.

The Athletic sort of Backson—one of the many common varieties—is concerned with physical fit- ness, he says. But for some reason, he sees it as something that has to be pounded in from the out- side, rather than built up from the inside. There- fore, he confuses exercise with work. He works when he works, works when he exercises, and, more often than not, works when he plays. Work, work, work. All work and no play makes Backson a dull boy. Kept up for long enough, it makes him dead, too.”

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

available to read here:


© 2014