“1984” Today

One thought or moral to be drawn from the novel, “1984” is:

“Don’t let it happen. It depends on YOU!”

In today’s world is truth mutilated, language distorted, power abused and surveillance rampant?

YES, is the answer.


Remember Big Brother? It was a popular TV reality show that realized that even though people claimed to be worried about too much surveillance or control, a large amount of people would happily volunteer for it.


The phrase: “The War on Terror”, brought many restrictions on travel and movement, this reminds us of “1984” “Where every restriction is justified because there is a war on.”


Now the tyrant Putin has a watch word which is Effectiveness, which he describes as “Managed Democracy”. This mirrors “1984” but with subtle differences such as “effective control NOT total control.”

But Putin has brought back some “1984” features such as: Leader-Worship, Martial parades, mass arrests, show trials, language distortion and fake news.

Fake news is a distortion of Real News that is NOT to an authoritarian’s liking.

Fragrant lies become “alternative facts.”


21stCentury authoritarians don’t force people to believe Big Lies such as Black is White or War is Peace, instead they rely on Medium Lies which encourages their followers to engage with alternative reality such as fake news.

George Orwell wrote “1984” as a warning about the future of the world. The reality in the novel was unthinkable in 1948.

Now, our world has come to look similar to Orwell’s fictional one.

How similar? Well, take surveillance for instance.

In the USA and UK CCTV cameras are all over.

China wants to have 600 million cameras by next year.


Another similarity is the state of Perpetual War, like in “1984.”

It seems there is always some war or disturbance going on somewhere in the world.

We are continually fighting the War on Terror and it seems like it will go on indefinitely.

So Perpetual War never comes to an end BUT it seems to unite nations.


Take Newspeak—in “1984” it is a language where words are cut and shortened and then put together to create new words.

The intention is to get rid of words that allow people to think about rebelling against authority. Ex.—“Bad” would be changed to “ungood.”


How about Fake News?

Today digital social media is full of fake news or alternative facts.



Now, the scenes recently in Hong Kong are a scary reminder of “1984.”

Police beating back protesters, who are protesting China’s plans to extradite Hong Kong citizens to mainland China.

Hong Kong remembers Tiananmen Square when the state massacred the protesters who were against China’s Communist government.

In China remembering what they choose to ERASE from history is forbidden and punishable.

The Chinese President is now President for LIFE! That’s scary in itself!


China is using today’s high-tech tools, mass video surveillance, artificial intelligence and facial recognition to enforce the Party’s rules.

China wants to inflict mass amnesia on its people.

Remember “1984”?

“Who controls the past, controls the future.

Who controls the present, controls the past.”

The communists have taken the freedom out of the Internet.

They intimidate dissident bloggers and censor providers.


They have introduced facial recognition to impose conformity on its citizens.

At railroad stations entry is only allowed to people once their faces have been scanned and checked against a police database.


Now, China is trying to export its Surveillance and AI tech all over the world.

Would this be used as a way to SPY?

Hong Kong’s freedoms currently allow it to fight back by protesting and in ways that other parts of China can’t. But for how long?

China’s state control is increasing day by day.


Isn’t it ironic that someone like Orwell, who lived and died in another time, had the insight to identify the evils of totalitarianism and warn us.

But has the world unlearned the painful lessons concerning the fragility of truth in the face of power?

I hope not.

Mindfulness Study–One

What is Mindfulness?

It’s being attentive to one’s experience as it unfolds in the Present Moment.

Being aware of the present and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and body sensations.

Mindfulness helps us REWIRE our thinking and find calm in a frenzied world.

It’s learning to develop your mind so you can stop the need to control reality and also to accept reality as it is in this very moment.


What about the Mind?

Our minds have been said to be made up of consciousness, thought, memory, emotion, reasoning and imagination.

We tend to think of our minds at the center of our being.

The mind is seen as the basis of WHO WE ARE.


What is the problem with the Mind?

Our minds tend to gravitate to the Past or the Future and tend to avoid the Present, which is the only life we have.

In a typical day how much of you is really there?

Your daily routine is made up of habits which free up our minds to do other things.

We are mindless of the Present most of the time causing us much suffering.


So, we need to Practice Mindfulness—WHY?

Because we need to CULTIVATE a wholesome mind that will produce thoughts that will make us feel good.

We don’t need to live at the mercy of a wild, untamed mind!

Our minds are malleable and can be reshaped in ways we choose.


What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

It helps to KNOW YOURSELF better.

It helps you see how your mind operates.

It helps us deal with difficult situations—some that we can’t control of improve.

It shows us that by accepting WHAT IS lessens suffering.

It can help us ACCEPT our mortality and prepare us for the moment of death.

Reflecting on our death actually liberates us so we can live and enjoy the PRESENT.


What is Awareness?

It is paying attention to what is occurring within ourselves as it is happening in the present moment.


Is Mindfulness SECULAR?

Yes. Mindfulness is a non-sectarian practice that has to do with how we relate to our beliefs.


How do we live our lives?

We live in a SEMI-CONSCIOUS state, thinking about the future or reviewing the past.

You go through life on AUTOPILOT!

When you practice Mindfulness you show up for your own EXISTENCE—THE PRESENT.


What does Mindfulness NOT do?

It is unable to stave off a situation that cannot be changed.

But you can alleviate your suffering by ACCEPTANCE of the situation.

It also cannot stave off the demise of our bodies, each of us will die.

One of the most important lessons of Mindfulness is to reveal to us that life is ephemeral and denying this only causes suffering and unhappiness.

But by ACCEPTING the impermanence of life we are liberated to enjoy our PRESENT.



In the end, we will be separated from everything we have ever held dear.

We have to say goodbye to loved ones, to possessions, to our own dreams and hopes.

Mindfulness teaches us to prepare for loss and to ACCEPT it so we can live what life we have left fully.

You can’t hold onto things, if you try, you only SUFFER.

Mindfulness allows us to see this TRUTH and live in contentment.


This ends the first instalment of my Mindfulness studies.

I now know I have much to learn!

Meditation Class

I am studying Mindfulness. So I thought I’d go to a Meditation class to supplement my studies.

It was a great experience. I was one of 15 people, men and women, sitting in a semi-circle.

There were carpets and cushions in front of each chair, just in case you wanted to sit in the lotus position. The only one who sat in the lotus position was the chairman of the class.

We were instructed to remove our shoes so we could feel the floor with our feet.


We took some deep breaths and closed our eyes. We sat up straight and put our hands on our knees.

The chairman rang a bell and we started to meditate. The majority of the 15 minute meditation was going to be silent.

But to start off the chairman did some chanting, it got softer and softer until we were in silence.


I said to myself, “Keep calm and peaceful.”

As the minutes passed I felt like I was floating. I was almost in a thought free state when the bell rang to end the session.


It was really relaxing. I felt very loose in my body when I opened my eyes.

Then we had a session and discussion on generating compassion for ourselves and others.

The chairman told us, compassion is a sense of shared suffering combined with the desire to alleviate or reduce our suffering or of another.


We were told, when you look at the other members of the class, who are strangers because this was the first meeting, tell yourself:

“Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in their life.”

“Just like me, this person is trying to avoid or reduce the suffering in their life.”

“Just like me, this person has known sadness and despair in their life.”

“Just like me, this person is seeking to fill their needs.”


This exercise is to recognize what you have in common with others instead of always focusing on differences.

Then ask yourself what could you do to ease their suffering, even in a small way.

Give them a smile or a hug, or a kind word, or maybe just talking about a problem they have.


We also talked about, No-Fixed Self. This is about your identity, we identify with our family, our jobs, our hobbies, whatever.

But we are a changing process.

All our “identities” are “ours” for a short period of time, then they change, or we lose them, or they die.


We ended with another meditation session. When the bell rang and we left, I felt very relaxed.

I got a taste of meditation.

So now, I can incorporate what I’ve learned into my Mindfulness studies.