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The Wesak Festival
27 Apr 2021
© Malvin Artley

Greetings Everyone!

A dog’s life: Life here in Rovereto is slowly beginning to take on a sense of normalcy, at least on the surface. The weather is warming, people are outside in greater numbers at bars and restaurants, our trees are finally flush in their foliage, the house cleaned of its accumulation from the past year, especially of memories of being locked within its walls off and on for the past 12 months. Even our dogs are newly refreshed, having had to endure dog-washing day. It is always a big event here. Our English setter takes it on the muzzle, stoically, apparently not minding the ordeal too much. But the other three dogs? – well, there are dramas galore at bath time. They don’t take to the water very well, kind of like some children who loathe taking baths. Afterwards it is funny to watch them, though, running frantically through the house and rubbing themselves furiously on the throw-rugs, as if to try to rub off that just-washed smell – dogs, not kids. Once they settle down they all get a treat, and then off to dream-land, another trauma surpassed. But with dogs, spring brings on another unwelcomed task – checking for ticks, which are abundant in the woods where we take them walking. Vigilance is the price of freedom, from ticks as well as from tyranny. On the whole, though, a new vision for the path forward is emerging here in Italy, and in other parts of the world, too, which we will address later in this letter. And amidst all the dramas, we still all chop wood and carry water, all the while mindful that every mundane task carries a moment of divine potential on one’s spiritual path.

Amidst all the dramas in the world today, the fear-invoking squawking of media and rumors of war and immanent destruction in parts of the world, it behooves us all the more to take time for ourselves, to sit in silence and the get a sense of what is actually taking place, what is real and what is mere bread and circuses, and to see what is truly important for us in these times. It is not easy, but we in the West have a specific challenge to do so in the midst of all the clamor taking place around us. And that requires being able to take ourselves out of attachments to outcomes and what might seem to be a pre-ordained course of events. Insight can come even while washing a dog, for instance, if we are focused in the act of service rather than the annoyance of barking dogs. And there are many dogs barking around us in these days.

Censorship: Speaking of barking dogs, you may or may not have heard about the recent ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine, with all the pundits throwing their weight in on when they think the war will start and its likely outcome. The proverbial ‘dogs of war’, yes. Well, don’t count on it – war, that is. I have written a post on it, with all the reasons why there will probably be tensions for a time, without a large conflict, and then a slow draw-down. But this brings up an issue, which is concerning for all of us, and that relates to the growing censorship coming out of the US, UK and parts of the EU regarding Russia and China. The US has recently sanctioned several web sites that have been cited in these letters in the past years and often in my blog posts. Those sites are branded as ‘Russian disinformation sites’, and they are banned on US social media. This sends two messages; 1) a few establishments in the West are very concerned with their loss of influence regarding Russia and China and, 2) those establishments do not want people to know the truth about what is going on wherever said parties are active.

I have fact-checked the sites cited in these letters and find them to be accurate on the whole. Nobody is perfect, of course. In the past such censorship was often practiced when preparing a people for conflicts. We hold the thought that is not the case today, but censoring those sites shows a relative weakness across the Western establishment and a growing anxiety about the rapid rise of Asia, which the West can no longer control. A strong nation can handle free speech and has no need of censorship. And just so you know, the sanctioned/censored sites are South Front, Strategic Culture Foundation and New Eastern Outlook. There are probably a few more censored. Two of the sanctioned sites I have not cited previously are InfoRos and News Front.

Regarding the censorship, that is the reason I no longer load my blog posts onto US social media platforms as in Twitter and Facebook, unless those posts are about matters not pertaining to geopolitics. We see similar censorship regarding COVID. But such censorship by the powers that be is dangerous because it deprives people of different points of view and informed debate and keeps them locked into an echo chamber supporting an established narrative. Whoever controls the narrative controls the populace. So, here is a question to ask: What is it they do not want you to know, and why? We will look at this more in a bit. But what is being censored also points to an emerging path forward, which the establishment would also rather you didn’t see. And that brings us to our consideration of Taurus for this year, relating as Taurus does, to the ‘Light of the Path’.[1]

Taurus: There are three considerations regarding Taurus which we shall examine in this letter, and those are the relation of Taurus to ‘the Path’, the transit of Uranus through Taurus, and the nations and capitals ruled by Taurus. Just to quickly mention, the three nations said to have Taurus as an emerging soul expression are China, Poland and Canada. The two capitals with Taurus as soul ruler are Moscow and Rome. And finally, only one place has been given as having Taurus in the personality, and that is Great Britain. Note the latter is not listed as the UK. Ireland is left out. There are rather interesting developments taking place in the UK regarding the latter, with Northern Ireland being particularly troubled again since Brexit and the pandemic have taken hold. There is also a problem with organized crime there. That Taurus rulership of the nations and cities just mentioned bring them into close relationship, for good or ill, and with Taurus transmitting the 1st ray via its esoteric rulership, those places are bringing forward some powerful events.

Regarding Taurus, Uranus in Taurus and paths, unless one follows independent, open source news,  we would have barely noticed, if at all, that several events which have taken place since the last letter (Aries) have signaled a definitive shift in the direction of geopolitics and which will see fundamental changes taking place across the planet. If all goes well, though there will be many bumps in the road along the way, we are well positioned to see a more peaceful world by the 2025 index date.[2] What this means will be outlined after we look at the full moon for this Wesak period. In the Year of the Rat on the Crossbeam (2020), the main theme was that the time for decisions had come. Across the world last year, decisions were indeed made in all nations about their way forward into the immediate future. This year those decisions have been finalized and set in motion. The main theme for the Year of the Ox on the Road is the need for ‘a change of environment’, which will bring health, further noting that adequate precautions will prevent future calamity. With that said, there are a few key nations who have taken that advice to heart and are moving on it, thus changing the world environment and preventing the possibility of future calamity befalling them. That, too, will be addressed after our look at the full moon. The idea of paths becomes quite important for our considerations this year, then, leading into our discussion on Taurus, starting with the Path and paths.

The Path and the Paths: What are we talking about with ‘the Path’ as is mentioned so many times in spiritual groups and in the many books on spiritual practice and esotericism? Essentially, it involves actively practising in life that which leads to liberation from the karmic necessity to reincarnate and thereafter to full enlightenment. Every religion has their ‘path’ to the ‘heart of God’. Buddhism gives us the graded stages of that path as a practice, known in Tibetan Buddhism as lam rim. It is worth noting Buddhism is not a religion. It can be practiced as an adjunct to or within the context of any religion. Buddhism is, in its essence, mind training, albeit a very powerful and rigorous process of such training. It, too, leads to liberation in its lower forms (the Shravakas/’Hearers’ and Solitary Realizers) and full enlightenment in its higher forms (Mahayana and Vajrayana). But there is no central deity in Buddhism. There is instead the buddha nature, which is the goal and which is attained at full enlightenment. But overall, what we are talking about with ‘the Path’ is any of numerous methods which lead us to full enlightenment, which is inclusive of liberation. There is a difference between the two – full enlightenment and liberation, which is explained in a bit.

In the books of Alice Bailey, ‘the Path’ is described as the graded process of the five human initiations (expansions of consciousness) that are steps on the path to full enlightenment. The process of initiation is peculiar to our planet and is achieved through dynamic tension in meditation. Alice Bailey equates each of the major episodes in the life of Jesus with the five human initiations, from birth to revelation – birth, baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion and revelation. These have their correspondence in the Five Paths of Buddhism – purification, accumulation, seeing, meditation and no-more-learning – which are outlined in Appendix 7 of my Full Moons book from 2014.[3] In addition to the Buddhist Five Paths, there are also the Ten Grounds, entered upon at the Path of Seeing, or the 3rd initiation/transfiguration. In Tibetan Buddhism there is a course of study, sa lam, which explores these five paths and grounds. So, although there is the one Path, there are also five paths therein. Liberation takes place on the 4th Path, 4th initiation or crucifixion, whereas full enlightenment is achieved at the end of the 5th Path, 5th initiation or revelation. At the culmination of the 4th Path, one achieves the Great Renunciation, as called in Buddhism, wherein the initiate could leave if they wanted to, never to return to earthly life, but they instead renounce their achievement and return, as an act of service. It is a choice, not karmically mandated. All along the way, we go ‘from darkness unto light’ in graded, gradual steps. It was the Buddha who outlined the five Buddhist paths, codified for Tibetans by Atisha in the 11th century and expanded upon by Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa lineage.

We tend to think of a path as having a direction and as something that leads us to a destination, physically considered. Going on pilgrimages are symbolic of ‘stepping onto the Path’ In a recent conversation with my wife, who has been on many pilgrimages, she made the observation after coming back from one of those that one did not need to go on a journey to do a pilgrimage. Living one’s life is itself a pilgrimage. As a symbol of the Path, we begin our ‘pilgrimage’ on the Buddhist Path of Purification, which involves living an ethical life and study. We are ‘born again’. The aim there is to become ‘pure in heart’. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”[4] Without that as a fundamental, ultimate success on the Path is unattainable, i.e., full enlightenment. It is the foundation stone of all spiritual practice. And for that, the beginning stages of meditation begin in the heart:

“Through meditation, which is the exemplification of the basic yoga aphorism “energy follows thought,” all the unfoldments and developments which the aspirant desires are brought about. Through meditation, the heart centre, which in undeveloped man is pictured as a closed lotus turned downwards, is reversed, turned upwards and unfolded.  At its heart is the light of love. The radiance of this light, being turned upwards, illumines the path to God, but is not the Path, except in the sense that as we tread upon that which the heart desires (in a lower sense) that path leads us on to the Path itself.

Perhaps clarity will come if we realize that part of the path is within ourselves and this the heart reveals. It leads us to the head, where we find the first portal of the Path proper and enter upon that part of the path of life which conducts us away from the body-life, to the fullest liberation from experience in the flesh and in the three worlds.”[5]

We begin our pilgrimage when we can sit in occult silence. From there, we see the light of the path, first upwards to the head, and then through the graded stages of the Path. Between the 2nd and 3rd paths we build the antahkarana, the ‘rainbow bridge’, yet another path, but this one an energetic one, which gives a clear ‘pathway to God’ from our brain consciousness. From there, it is a simple process – if it can be described as ‘simple’ – to persist in the practice, to ‘keep walking’. It is a vast study, this study of the paths, with all their intricacies. Involved in all that study are energetic pathways, paths of study and instruction, from one plain (plane) to the next, encountering fellow travelers and teachers on the way, having our passing experiences with them and then moving on. The first ‘step’, taken in Aries upon what we call the ‘reversed wheel’ in esoteric astrology, leads to the vision of the way forward in Taurus. In esoteric astrology, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on. We can stay on the common, clockwise wheel around the zodiac and eventually, after long periods attain our enlightenment. That is the easy way out, or so we might think. Or, we can ‘leave the house’ (our worldly concerns) and begin our pilgrimage ‘back to the Father’s house’.

With each step we take, from one path to the next, new revelation comes. When we step onto the first path, we organize our physical lives and our thoughts, cultivating virtue and building resolve. Stepping onto the 2nd path, we begin to dispel our glamours, and it is this path which is occupying the minds of many people today. What is true, or not? What is essential, or not? What is purposeful in life, and am I living up to that purpose? Taurus is intimately connected with this 2nd path, because it involves purpose. “The entire secret of divine purpose and planning is hidden in this sign…”[6] This path marks the preparation for a greater vision, one we achieve at the third Path, which sets us firmly upon the paths to liberation and enlightenment. From that point onward, there is virtually nothing that can stop the progress of the ‘pilgrim upon their way’. And it all begins by ‘having our hearts in the right place’. There is much to say here, but there is much more to cover in what follows. We leave our discussion of the Path and paths with the following:

“And so, I would like you to establish a clear point of view toward all disappointments. Should one be terrified by the destruction of illusions? Each broken illusion is another step of knowledge. True knowledge is austere, as is the spiritual path, and only the spiritually strong can hope to approach the path of accelerated spiritual development. Moreover, this path can never be eased, since only suffering, only personal tension can transmute our energies and give them the necessary balance. But blessed is he whose heart is aflame with the exaltation of heroic achievement; supernal joy becomes his lot. Thus, kindle all the fires of your heart, and exaltation of the spirit will be yours.”[7]

There would be quite a lot to unpack in the preceding little paragraph, too. But for now, we move on to the full moon, the energies of which will influence the entire year, and then look at what has been set in place for the world in the immediate years ahead. From here, we begin a new pilgrimage in international relations and in our home nations.

The full moon takes place at 03:31 UT on the 27th of April (1:31 PM AEST). This is a supermoon, the first for 2021. Next month will be a supermoon, too, at the full moon. Next month will be the largest of the supermoons for the year. This one is known colloquially as a ‘pink moon’, thought to be named after the creeping pink phlox flower, just so you know. But this full moon will bring about change through instability in old orders, which will produce conflicts – hopefully not too violent – that will solidify positions especially throughout Asia. There are three main factors in the chart that indicate the instability and changes:  the Sun/Uranus conjunction, Mars out-of-bounds and the midpoint Saturn=Mars/Neptune. Any time Mars is out-of-bounds tensions run high and hot, and this time has been no exception. Added to that, Mars has transited over an eclipse point at an Aries point (on the 23rd) which saw the missile strike near the Dimona reactor in Israel, some of the largest protests against COVID measures yet seen in Europe, the Jewish violence in Jerusalem, the Russian airstrikes in Syria that took out over 200 Daesh fighters, Putin’s ‘red lines’ speech, the Czech spy scandal that wasn’t, and now the terrible fire in the COVID ward in a Baghdad hospital. Mars out-of-bounds has produced spectacular, if deadly effects this year. Mars activations of eclipses stay in effect for a week on both sides of the eclipse point.

The midpoint just mentioned in particular is associated with epidemics and came into effect on the 22nd, lasting through the first part of May, and which has seen the COVID crisis in India spike to the highest levels seen yet in the pandemic, wholly avoidable, and aggravated by Modi’s intransigence and poor policy, involving also the privatization and the financialization of India’s economy, badly affecting its hospitals. India has a pronounced fascism now, fascism being examined shortly. This goes to the reading of the midpoint: “…Instability, feelings of inferiority, misdirected energy. – Unfortunate consequences as a result of a weak will, lasting weakness or illness…” The keynote for this full moon then? – change, with a new vision on the path ahead and a greater intensity of ‘Light on the Path’. That brings us to our world view for this Wesak period, and it is showing a capacity for change not seen in a while. There is one particular area where this is being focused, and it relates primarily to economics, trade and finance, all Taurean manifestations and all about to undergo some very significant changes, in line with the Uranian transit through Taurus.

The third freedom: We base our look at Taurus this year on the third of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom from Want. We discussed Roosevelt’s four freedoms in the Libra letter from last year. In fact, that third freedom is expressed in the transit of Uranus (freedom) through Taurus (desire and supply, or ‘want’). In real terms, any wise government is going to work diligently to secure this third freedom. Otherwise, if the people are left wanting, it breeds discontent, unrest and ultimately upheaval of the state if left to go on for too long. History supplies us with ample examples of why freedom from want is so important to a free and fully functioning society. And in the West, we have periodic examples of why freedom from want is considered to be so important and determinative of governmental success, because economic concerns are most often the decisive factor in the outcome of elections. For the same reason, sanctions are a powerful ‘soft weapon’ in exercising influence over other nations. Regimes who use sanctions as a weapon will claim that said sanctions are levied only against the leaders of targeted nations, whereas in fact, the sanctions deprive average citizens of the sanctioned nations from income, thus destabilizing said nations. There are several current examples, as in Syria, Venezuela, Iran and even NATO member, Turkey. Sanctions as a tool against governments will soon be a thing of the past.

Sanctions can also come in the form of trade restrictions and punitive tariffs, as we have seen recently against China and even US partners, levied by the Trump administration. Trade wars often lead to hot wars. These are frequently used for domestic politics, too, as we see between Australia and China at the moment, where the government in Oz is increasingly ‘on the nose’ with the Australian public. The spat with China provides political capital for the Morrison government. For one, I have my doubts the trade dispute Australia has against China is due to any sort of courageous action on the part of Scott “ScoMo” Morrison, Australian PM. Instead it more likely has its origins in pressure from Washington, who definitely have plans against China and wants Australia as part of ‘the Quad’, an anti-China alliance. That leads into our longer investigation for this letter, which is about the changing world economic structure, and which is the real reason we see the strident anti-China narrative that has risen sharply across Western media. There is a video which explains it well. And Australians in particular will want to see the section of that video from 6:24 to 8:40. Remember Gough Whitlam when you watch that segment. Australians will get the point.

Before we get to the main body of our investigations a few words about Australia and New Zealand are in order. The Australian government is being called out by Rex Patrick of South Australia for its lack of transparency, especially since the start of the pandemic. The COVID-19 commission is stacked with officials from the gas industry, for instance, and is handling conflicts of interest in its economic recovery plans. This sort of thing is a long, ongoing problem with Australian governments, consistent with Australia’s Capricorn personality. The spat with China distracts from such concerns. Yet, China is singled out for its growing ownership in Australia, with sentiments against China constantly whipped up with nonsense about ‘China taking over’. How many Australians know China ranks 9th in foreign ownership in Australia? The two biggest investors in Australia are the US and the UK by far. Yet China is singled out. This is not to defend China, but to get to the truth of matters. Who, then, has more influence in Australia, then – China or the US?

Which nations have the biggest foreign influence in Australian foreign affairs, or New Zealand, for that matter? Why are these two nations being used, along with India and Japan, as an alliance against China? What good does it serve? For reasons to be outlined, it is a wasteful, futile and even dangerous exercise. Governments play on people’s fears to affect domestic political aims. Australia’s current rhetoric about China coincided closely to the period when Mike Pompeo made <the visit> to Australia when Trump was pushing his China trade war, and Australia followed along thereafter with the calls for independent investigations into China’s alleged role in the pandemic, ‘alleged’ being the operative word. For its part, New Zealand has a stronger sense of sovereignty with regard to the US and to China:

 “…new foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta…said earlier…that she did not want New Zealand’s complex relationship with China to be defined by Five Eyes. She suggested that New Zealand needed to “maintain and respect” China’s “particular customs, traditions and values”. At a joint press conference with her Australian counterpart Marise Payne…she was more explicit still. Mahuta said: “The Five Eyes arrangement is about a security and intelligence framework. It’s not necessary, all the time on every issue, to invoke Five Eyes as your first port of call in terms of creating a coalition of support around particular issues in the human rights space.”

Well said. But for her statements, New Zealand has been labeled as the weak link in the Five Eyes network. History tells us it is easier and far more manageable to restrain states, if that is what is desired, through alliance and friendship than by active opposition. This applies to the West’s attitudes toward Russia especially, but to China as well. Opposition can lead to war, but as stated in the linked article, “war sometimes just happens; peace is always caused.”

Machiavelli’s ghost: In calling out the attitude of the United States in its foreign policy, in the Aries letter this year mention was made of the Machiavellian nature of the Washington establishment (topic: ‘Saturn and the US’). The linked video, preceding, states the matter clearly in plain English. On the Machiavellian scale, the think tanks, establishment factions and bipartisan political class in Washington all score highly. From the video, Mearsheimer, the man in the video, is a leader in US political thought. Comments I have read over the years by DC insiders and historical evidence confirm his statements. He doesn’t necessarily believe all of them, but he accurately gives the state of play in Washington in terms of foreign relations. He also castigates the liberal world order, having correctly forecast its current malaise and decline, blames NATO policy for the current crisis in Ukraine and the Russian actions in Crimea, but sees the world as anarchic, rather than as an emerging cooperative effort. That the world is currently anarchic in many respects is true, but the subjective/esoteric view is that such a world is evolving toward a greater sense of order out of the current chaos.

Mearsheimer does make a comment, though, that is particularly relevant to this letter, in that he says the biggest threat to the US and Europe today (the seat of the liberal world order) is income inequality. In other words, the decay of Roosevelt’s third freedom is at the root of the turmoil we are seeing in the West, evidenced in the large protests we are seeing now in relation to the COVID restrictions, which have resulted in large-scale unemployment, closure on a scale not seen in recent memory of small businesses and loss of personal income due to lack of government support or preparedness. And it is pointless and counterproductive to blame that state of affairs on other nations, since the root cause of the problem is within our own borders. Those root causes will be outlined as we go along here, keeping in mind that ‘human rights’ is not the issue here. That is the cover story for what is actually taking place in the great power competition – who so controls trade and finance controls the nations.

China, China, China…: The West is flush now with anti-China propaganda. With China’s Taurus soul, it would be appropriate in this letter to examine the nature of the propaganda against China – but we won’t except for a few brief statements. Attitudes are too hardened now, old hatreds too pronounced. And given what we have heard and all the horror stories, it is probable that what follows will simply be dismissed as ‘Chinese propaganda’ or as one-sided. All I will say is that unless one looks deeply into historical archives – archives instead of news articles – or speaks with people who actually know the regions and travel to those places frequently or live there, the truth will seem fantastic or otherwise false. That goes for anything else we hear or read in the news these days. And I would also point out that many foreign people I have spoken with who hold up the US as a kind of gold standard are somewhat dismayed when I tell them about costs, infrastructure, social programs and work in the US, having heard all the American myths instead of traveling and seeing for themselves.

The West has trotted out specific issues with China relating to human rights and so forth, mostly relative to the following areas – Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Taiwan. The vast majority of such bad press for China is untrue, but is instead manufactured for domestic consumption in an effort to turn people away from China, to try to show China’s economics as somehow inimical to ours and to perhaps even go so far as to try to manufacture consent for a war with China. Our interest in China in this letter is not about human rights, but goes far beyond that, and goes to the real reason why we are seeing all the stops being pulled out in the West’s attempts to ‘push back’ against China. Only a brief mention will be made with links to the aforementioned regions, debunking, demystifying and exposing other views of those regions. Via the links as a starting point, you can investigate these matters for yourselves, if you so choose.

I will say at the outset what follows is not to paint China as a shining light in world affairs. No  nation is perfect, all have problems and all nations would do well to have a good housecleaning. The United States is called out frequently in these letters for its actions and misadventures, as is the UK, for instance, and need to be, given what will be apparent about them after our look at China. Most readers would probably agree the US and UK need to clean up their own back yards. To be plainer about the approach taken in past letters in the past regarding nations, the focus has been on the trajectory of nations relative to their soul expressions, nearly as those can be ascertained, examined over the course of time and historical precedent. That said, our interest is not on the present moment, but on what is evolving out of it, based in the past with a mind to the future. And with respect to the latter, China takes a very long view and is not hemmed in by election cycles.

But there is a greater reason why these nations have been continually brought up in recent letters, and it relates to historical precedent. The reason the rise of Russia, Iran and China has been so fast and notable is because they took leaves from past books of the US, UK and Germany regarding economic growth and now invest in their infrastructure, their industry, technical and scientific innovation and most importantly, in their people. An incentivized, positive people make a nation great. This is what the aforementioned Western nations used to do and which made the West the powerhouse of the world and the seats of technical and social innovation as well as industrial might, as well as very desirable places to go and live. That disappeared in large part as neoliberal or financial capitalism took over. So, the nations of Asia – Russia, China and Iran – are held up in these letters not because they are exemplary (though in some respects they are), but more as a reminder of what we once had, and can have again. That day is coming, and unless something untoward happens, we will probably have at least a start by 2026 toward reestablishing what we once had in the West. And we can see the faint beginnings of it in, for instance, Biden’s talk of reinstituting wealth taxes on unearned income, which will be used to finance his infrastructure initiatives. That will be interesting to watch, as the battles in US politics will be no-holds-barred. But until the West deals decisively with its oligarch problem, freedom from want for the public will be a fleeting dream.

When we look at individual nations regarding their issues and challenges, it should be born in mind we are looking primarily at their governments and their policies, not their general populace. But when it comes to China and Russia especially, we in the liberal West have been so poisoned about those nations via media and government actions over many decades, and have been given so little factual information about them, that it is understandable why we in the West want to believe those nations are evil and commit malign activity throughout the world, all the while being told and wanting to believe, “We are the good guys!” Well, are we, meaning our governments? Or is there willful ignorance and misinformation about other nations being promulgated to reinforce the belief among the people that said nations are out to get us, out to ‘conquer the world’ or other nations, or are just generally malign actors? And if the latter, why would that be? That is the question to be asked and one which I question daily myself.

If there is a bottom line here, it is that every nation to greater or lesser extent will act to secure its own interests and security. On the other side, some nations are rightly concerned about the status of the planet, the geopolitical situation and do genuinely want to help other nations, cooperating with other nations on an equal footing, all the while needing to contend with their own internal challenges. With these caveats in mind, and dispensing with the ‘human rights’ issue, what is the truth about some of the apparently most concerning areas of China, then? And why do those matters even concern us? We will simply link sources that give another view of what we are told about China’s ‘evil intent’ with a brief statement and then move on to what is more pressing – the changes in the world power base and economics indicated by the transit of Uranus through Taurus. But as we go on, keep in mind we are told the peak of the cycle for stimulation of the East will not be reached until the middle of this century[8], meaning China’s and other Asian nations’ rise is only set to continue, and has been in progress already. It is producing turmoil in people who wish to hold on to the old order and Western dominance. It is producing misunderstanding and conflict, as we see today. That will only increase over the next few years. Moving on, then, and speaking of regions where Chinese influence is specifically cast in a very dark manner, we have:

In considering the above links, I will say that I have great respect for Tibetan Buddhist scholarship and the essence of their practices. I know many expat Tibetans, some of them monastic, others not. Most of them talk about and long for a ‘liberated Tibet’. But for the majority of Tibetans still in Tibet it is doubtful many of those who survived those earlier years would want a return of the supposed ‘Shangri-La’ of pre-1960 Tibet. This is an example of getting mixed stories. The expats I know are too young to have known what Tibet was like before 1960, and they don’t talk about the history of Tibet. I doubt many of them actually even know.

  • Xinjiang: To ask an uncomfortable question, why is it that all of a sudden our governments claim to care so much for a few million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang when our same governments have committed genocide, have bombed and maimed millions of Muslims and are currently allowing tens-of-thousands of Muslims to starve in Yemen, Syria and in other places? The so-called ‘genocide’ and ‘internment camps’ in Xinjiang along with most all of the remaining horror stories about the region are a fabrication, to manufacture outrage at China. It appears to work with Western audiences, even though the stories are, shall we say, a little short in the truth department. These stories are reminiscent of the old ‘babies in incubators’ story that had liberal and conservative alike in the US clamoring for war against Iraq in the 1st Gulf War. See also hereherehereherehere and here. If you don’t believe the links, go have a look for yourself. You can travel freely in Xinjiang. And all the kerfuffle about Xinjiang cotton is just that. There is no forced labor in Xinjiang cotton fields, for instance. That was in the past in other nations, and one in particular.
  • Hong Kong: The protests there over the years, but especially last year, have been aimed at turning Hong Kong away from the mainland toward the West, in contravention of the one-country-two-systems treaty that was signed at the handover of the ex-British colony. There were clear signs of foreign intervention at the latest protests, in what amounted to a color revolutionIt didn’t succeedThe protests were never really about ‘freedom and democracy anyway.’ The British wanted to keep their secrecy locations there and the West in general wanted to keep Hong Kong as a Western-leaning outpost on China’s border.
  •  Taiwan: This is a developing story and a real hot spot now, given the heightened animosity toward China out of Washington and London. If there were to be a war with China, it would likely start over Taiwan. The One-China policy is the sticking point here, and Trump had sought to agitate for it to be rescinded. In fact, the West is agitating for Taiwan to assert more independence and to cut off chip supplies to the mainland. There is far too much to go into here, but the Chinese mainland wants a gradual, political solution to what they see as a separatist part of the mainland, while the Western media feeds us constant stories about how the Chinese are ready to seize Taiwan militarily. The only way they would do so is if Taiwan tries to declare independence. Otherwise, Americans need to think twice about our aggressive actions in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. America has only very limited options when it comes to defending Taiwan. And the truth be known, the US would lose in a conflict with China in China’s territorial waters. Other Quad members would suffer the same fate. To Americans, that’s called ‘home court advantage’. Such a conflict would produce extreme hardship in the world’s economy, too.
  • Myanmar: Myanmar is included here due to its proximity on China’s southern border, and due to what appears to be yet another color revolution developing there. The latter is part of the larger effort by the West to disrupt the Belt and Road and the economic corridor that runs through Myanmar to China, which serves as a bypass to the Malacca Strait. There again, the protests are not a simple matter of a fight for ‘freedom and democracy’. China would work equally well with either the elected government or the military, and has done so throughout Myanmar’s short history. The current conflict was precipitated by the elected government seeking to oust the military from government, thinking it could govern the nation without military involvement, thus threatening the established order. The strategy of the NLD was premature and not well thought out. The aim by foreign powers there is to keep Myanmar destabilized, it would appear, at least in the interim.

Why bring up all the preceding points, then? They illustrate a growing sense of urgency in the halls of power in the West, as we note most of the above points have been particularly activated in the past few years, if not in the past few months and are on the increase. And they go along with the hard stance the previous US administration took toward China. The reason the tropes about Xinjiang and so forth are being rolled out so heavily now is because of a few recent actions by the Chinese and other Asian powers which have the capacity to and indeed already are reshaping the world order and geopolitical power base toward a multi-polar order and state sovereignty, while the West is left stagnant and dealing with its own serious internal issues. There are four main areas that greatly concern the establishments in the US and UK, and which were brought clearly into light by the pandemic and then the Ever Given incident. They are:

When expressed rightly, Taurus exhibits as a steady, persistent and determined influence, informed by a long vision into the future, as evidenced in the Taruean soul expressions of Moscow and China. This is something of which the current thinking in the foreign policy establishments of the West have little comprehension, so it would appear. Or perhaps they actually do recognize the long-range planning of Moscow and Beijing, which is what has them so up in arms. Either way, there is little hope for those foreign policy think tanks to effectively stop the progress being made in Asia.

The evidence of the concern in the West is further illustrated by US efforts now to re-enter the  JCPOA (which would tie Iran closer to the SWIFT system and thus to Western control), the increasing Ukrainian fandango (read the update first) which has many people afraid of WWIII (Put the latter to rest. Russia has dominance there and the situation has already deescalated.) And we have the latest foolishness of Britain sending two warships to the Black Sea to ‘bolster Ukrainian confidence’. The latter is the British ‘John Bull’ Taurus personality in action. The Americans had better sense and recalled their ships to go and vacation in Cyprus. And now there is the growing possibility that Bibi Netanyahu will be ousted, Iranians now enriching uranium to 60%, and this after the sabotage attempt at Natanz, with consequent retaliation at Dimona by the Axis of resistance. That was an interesting event, but it has the Israelis quite disconcerted now that their air defenses failed to intercept the ‘errant’ Syrian missile. Expect very quick and secretive negotiations in the region as a result, as Israel is essentially undefended from missile attacks. Russian warships are now escorting Iranian supply ships to Syria. Russia is also sending wheat to Syria, enough to supply it until the middle of next year. These efforts come ahead of the elections in Syria, taking place in a month, seeing Assad no doubt reelected.

The Ever Given incident has also given a big push for China to use the Russian Northern Sea Route for transit of goods to and from Europe, thus avoiding all the strategic straits to their south and west. And for comparison, the Northern Sea Route is three times faster than transit through the Malacca Strait and Suez Canal. That would also largely leave the Five Eyes alliance, except for Japan, dangling in the wind. Why would China choose to ship to Europe and points west through the southern straits when it can do so three times faster around the top of the world? The incident also gives an increased impetus to develop land routes through Central Asia, especially now that American combat troops are rumored to be leaving Afghanistan (We’ll believe that when we see it.). Russia has a fleet of 53 icebreaker ships, with 18 more on the way. The US has no such ships. Even China has one, as it is beginning to actively explore and develop that route, and has desires to see it turn into an ‘Arctic Silk Road’, along with joint efforts with arctic Western and NATO countries. We hear virtually nothing about these developments in the mainstream news, except for the threats or aggressions they supposedly represent.

Simpatico or contempt from familiarity?: Considering the Taurean nature of the nations and cities mentioned previously, why are some of them drawn to each other and others so antagonistic in their interrelations? Moscow and China, for instance, draw ever-closer in their relations and both are seeking to express their Taurean souls. This would seem to be a natural development, especially when one considers the largest part of the land mass of Russia lies in Asia. Russia’s soul motto is to link two ways[9], and we see that in its very early stages in attempts at a greater Eurasian integration, among other developments. Both leaders of those nations have expressed similar statements to that effect in recent speeches. Putin’s address to the Russian National Assembly was almost wholly devoted toward domestic development, especially to its poorer regions in the East. Yet, reporting on his speech in the West focused almost wholly on his final words in closing regarding Russia’s red lines in international relations and how Russia will respond, and on the small protests on the day of his speech in Moscow with figures on the numbers and importance of those protests being greatly exaggerated in the Western press.

Di sciacalli e di iene. Putin cita Kipling.And there is zero coverage in the West of the thwarted coup plot against Lukashenko in Belarus, but instead, an explosion in the Czech Republic in 2014 that has handily been attributed to the Russians, with the subsequent expulsion of Russian diplomats on dubious charges. Ex-President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic said he was ashamed of the behavior of the Czechs, saying the accusations against Moscow “mirrored that of ‘a tiny pooch barking at a huge dog.’ He went on to say he thought his country, “…was incapable of having any sensible foreign policy at all.” His thoughts have echoes across many Western establishments. The hidden message in Putin’s speech is that Russia has had enough of the US and EU and is pursuing its own development, without the  West if need be. There was also a veiled warning to the British in particular with his reference to Rudyard Kipling, with “…all sorts of petty Tabaquis [jackals] are running around…like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.” As a note of interest, the British, French and Turks fought the Crimean War against the Russians, Greeks and Kurds during the stage of weakening of the Ottoman Empire.

The Crimean War was noted for its “incompetent international butchery”. Whether one finds Putin’s Kipling reference insulting or factual, the message is clear enough: Russia will no longer tolerate the actions of Western powers in efforts to destabilize or marginalize her. His reference to the British writer also brings in the Taurus personality of Great Britain, which views Moscow with contempt and has done so off and on for at least a few centuries, even though Russia was conveniently used as an ally in WWII, only to be scorned once again by Churchill and Truman after the war’s end. And that current scorn is largely due to current economics. As a final point of interest, Kipling also wrote a little-known poem, “The Last of the Light Brigade”, about Britain’s poor treatment of the surviving members of the Light Brigade and its veterans in general at the end of the 19th century. And it is also at that period that Germany and the US were challenging the economic dominance of Britain, those challenges contributing strongly to WWI in Europe. Those tensions are mirrored today in challenges to Western economic and trade dominance by China.

Xi Jinping also just gave a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021, a pan-Asian development conference. He stressed multilateralism. At one point he stated, “Diversity is what defines our world and makes human civilization fascinating. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more clear to people around the world that we must reject the cold-war and zero-sum mentality and oppose a new “Cold War” and ideological confrontation in whatever forms. In state-to-state relations, the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual trust must be put front and center. Bossing others around or meddling in others’ internal affairs would not get one any support.” China, too, rejects the unilateralism of the US. Both nations – Russia and China – have begun to give Washington a taste of its own medicine, the Chinese in Alaska and the Russians via Putin’s speech. What does this mean, then, if neither Russia nor China will any longer allow the US or its allies to talk down to either nation? Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov summarized it succinctly:

“The United States has declared limiting the advance of technology in Russia and China as its goal. So, we must reduce our exposure to sanctions by strengthening our technological independence and switching to settlements in national and international currencies other than the dollar. We need to move away from using Western-controlled international payment systems.”

And there you have it, or at least one manifestation of it – Uranus in Taurus in action – a decisive shift away from the one area where the West still has control over the world’s economy, and the initial stages of a multilateral world payment system. Once that is in place we can expect rapid changes in the world’s power structures, away from Western dominance – specifically, US/UK dominance.

Zero-sum and win-win: Why is there so much animosity toward China, then? To start, the West has a zero-sum mentality when it comes to trade and finance, meaning there must be a winner and a loser. That is so engrained in the American mindset it is well-nigh unshakable. Competition takes pride of place over cooperation. As a personal example, I had a supervisor once who confidently expressed that sentiment, extoling the ‘virtues’ of competition to me, all the while knowing the team I was on did better than all the others – because we cooperated with each other and the other departments. The other teams all competed with each other for pride of place and stayed within their own small areas. Our team was happy when the others all went home, watching all the in-fighting. Trump was exemplary of the zero-sum mindset. And that mentality guides American foreign policy. Zero-sum thinking is also prevalent across the West in varying degrees. China and much of Asia, on the other hand, work more on a Confucian-Taoist philosophy. Business deals must be win-win, or mutually beneficial. The pandemic has given us a sharp definition of what zero-sum thinking brings, as in the hoarding of supplies, price gouging, politicizing of everything, the advantages of being rich (one can ignore the rules everyone else has to live by) and so forth. We see it in the vaccine wars, for instance, where Europe and other Five Eyes partners have been pressured to use only American vaccines, with rich countries lobbying against lifting intellectual property rights on mRNA vaccines and so on.

The zero-sum system is exploitative and colonial, evidenced in the sprawling, exploitative Western empires of yesteryear. That system still applies financially, via the World Bank, the SWIFT system and the IMF. Because we in the West are so steeped in the zero-sum thinking it is easy to convince people China is trying to take over the world, for example. Because China is so successful, they must be doing other nations over, right? Not so fast. It’s a questionable narrative. So, staying with the Taurus soul theme and China the question is, who is doing over whom?

The big sell-out: Here’s an inconvenient fact, especially for readers in the US, UK and the other Five Eyes countries regarding current relations with and public sentiments in the US and other nations toward China:

“It wasn’t China that sold out generations of yet unborn Americans to feed the military industrial complex to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars/year. It wasn’t China that bailed out the criminal bankers for trillions more dollars – money taken from the tax-payers and given to the banks to lend back to the public at interest. Nor is China responsible for America’s crumbling infrastructure, or its failing school system. The culprit is a corporate culture that believes the world is full of winners and losers, and to that system, if you are not a greedy corporatist, you are just a loser.”

The preceding quote bears quite a lot of thought and reflection. Who is the enemy, really? Why is China seen as the ‘bad guy’? We can ask the same about Russia, or Iran, or any of several nations. No, it is not China’s or any other nation’s fault we are in our current state of affairs. People complain about China buying up infrastructure and housing. Instead of blaming China, here’s a thought: Why are all those assets even offered to them? Who sold out our industries and shipped them off to Asia and points south? Who told us we had to open up the markets and privatize everything? Who told us we didn’t have the money to pay for things, all the while the rich get richer and we spend colossal sums on arms and stock buy-backs? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t the Chinese who stood up in our legislatures and called for neoliberal ‘reforms’, or any other nation. Some readers may not like to hear the preceding points, but once one starts to gather all the facts, the truth is difficult to deny – our own leaders have sold us out, either through ignorance or willful intent. This brings us to a fascinating if not disturbing phenomenon we had heard increasingly lately, one which has us rightly concerned because of what it produced in the last century: Fascism.

 The rise of fascismWe have heard comment in recent years in independent media about creeping fascism across the West. This is lumped in with nationalism and autocracy. But fascism is a familiar phenomenon. It was introduced recently largely by Reagan and Thatcher in the West, being labeled as something else, under the guise of freedom and the need to do away with big government. Government, we were told, was the problem. All we had to do was do away with the regulatory powers of government and the markets would solve our financial woes for us. The ruse worked for a few years, but then people started to notice the erosion of their hard-won gains in the workplace, their buying power and cutbacks in government services. Protections for the public were removed, often by stealth and through misinformation. We have historical examples, as in Italy and Germany at the last quarter of the 19th century and the turn of the last century. And we are lulled into thinking such a turn of events, as in the return of fascism, cannot happen in our nations, yet it is already upon us. It has a new term now, becoming more known in popular culture: techno-feudalism. In the US, for example, we were warned about the latent fascism of the United States[10]. Here is how it evolved in the 20th century, and how it is reemerging now:

Italy and Germany in the early years of the 20th century had social programs that were the envy of the Western world, until WWI came along and took a wrecking ball to Europe. It also wrecked the social programs in those two countries. What did they have, which most Americans and British would like to have today, by the way? They had nationalized basic infrastructure – rail lines, telecom, life insurance – and they had robust workers’ rights. Germany had free schooling for children, child labor laws, rent control laws and so forth. In the post-war period, due to the costs of the war and in Germany especially due to the punitive war reparations and money printing in the Weimar Republic, austerity took over. Unemployment was high, inflation rose. Social programs and government were seen to be the problem. Social unrest became extreme. There was not enough money to pay for their programs, so the people were told. Nationalism was on the rise and there were sharp divisions in society. These factors were seized upon and promoted by reactionary forces in Germany and Italy, leading to the rise of Mussolini and Hitler. So, what did they do? They privatized everything, stripped workers of their rights and converted the economies to a war economy. Private corporations took the place of government institutions. Profit became the prime directive. It was far worse in Germany than in Italy, but the actions of the fascists in Italy and Germany have strong reverberations across the West today. There is an article which outlines these events clearly and is well worth reading, but there is one takeaway line from it which explains what the pandemic has displayed in the West in bold relief:

“Fascism isn’t the merger of corporations and government. That is too vague, and too easy to confuse. Fascism is government functions being replaced by private corporations. Fascism is when the public good is replaced by private profit.”

This is what we have seen increasing in the West by stealth over the past few decades – privatization of all infrastructure with a resulting decay in services and rising costs, no worker protections, high rental prices, high insurance costs, medical services as big business, working longer hours in a gig economy. There is much more, but perhaps the picture is clear enough. This is most pronounced in the US and the UK. And any move toward reining in corporate power is automatically tarred and branded as communism, or socialism, as well as ‘infringement of rights’ because tax dollars have to go toward funding those programs – taxes which industry and the wealthy could rightly be said to owe to society. Such a statement would see me branded as a communist or socialist. However, there are alternatives. And we had such under FDR’s policies, as did Italy and Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And just to note, those were capitalist societies, but with mixed economies. That system is also called industrial capitalism. Neither capital nor labor ruled. People expected the government to provide for certain infrastructure via taxes and protections, while at the same time with people being left to pursue their own wealth and well-being for their own and their family’s future.

Financialization of economies, unchecked, ruins states. It also leads to fascism, the growth of a financial aristocracy, oligarchy and the replacement of government by finance and industry. The final nail for the US was driven in under the Clinton administration, although blaming Clinton for it ignores all the people in Congress and the financial interests who were pushing the agenda forward for years. But the financialization of the American economy was ensconced in three acts as the Clinton administration was leaving office: the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, and the accession of China to the WTO, the combination of the three acts enabling the industrialists and financiers to ship American manufacturing off to China and other points in the Global South. The rest of the West quickly followed suit. Joe Biden was in the Senate and supported those acts when he was a senator, but then so were many Republicans. There is a 25-minute video explaining it all, well worth watching. Again, people want to blame China for buying up property and infrastructure in the West, not knowing the Chinese had to make many concessions to their own economy before being allowed into the WTO. But it was our own politicians, financial and business interests who pushed for the reforms which have made that possible. The financial and banking interests in the US wanted and pushed for China’s membership in the WTO, seeing the advantages to them China’s membership would bring and thinking they could just as easily pull the same trick with China’s economy they tried to do with Russia’s in the ‘90s. They were about to get a big surprise.

But there has tended to be one activity which has typically brought ruin to such enterprising between the public and the state, and that is war. War ruins nations, too, whether kinetic or hybrid, whether aggressor or recipient. I probably don’t need to point out which nation spends more on the military than all nations on Earth combined, and where the words ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are most feared and hated. And just so you know, I would advocate a return to FDR-style capitalism, otherwise known as industrial capitalism with public protections, but absent the war economy, a.k.a. the military-industrial complex. There are a few nations who practise such a model, and they have featured consistently in these letters in recent years. Yes, we are talking about Russia, China and Iran especially. That being said and repeating, these are not held up as exemplary states, but rather to remind us of what can happen when capital, labor and the state all cooperate. Their rise has been rapid, their infrastructure solid and admirable, their national pride high. This is what we saw in the US, Germany and Italy as outlined previously, when the economies were mixed and the public took a big interest in how their governments were run. And the people were actively educated. Given all the preceding, and the crisis of governance and finance in the West the pandemic has illustrated for us, where does that leave us, what is emerging and what are we being told, or not?

What are we not told?: How many people have heard about the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Iran and China, much less what it means? How many have heard about plans for a similar partnership on the cards between Iran and Russia? Have we heard about the low-key and  furtive first talks now taking place between Iran and the Saudis and what that would mean? How about the digital yuan and cross-border payments and what that means? What about the recent coup attempt in Jordan, or the recent ballistic missile attack on the region of the Israeli Dimona nuclear facility that Israeli defenses failed to counteract, or the continued advances by the Houthis against the Saudis? Missile strikes on US bases in Iraq and Syria? The Ramadan celebrations taking place in Xinjiang? Navalny receiving treatment in Russia after ending his hunger strike? The large protests taking place increasingly against lockdown measures across the West? Instead, we hear about things like the Great Reset as a way out of our problems. In effect, it is just another form of fascism. It will also fail to even get off the ground.

The Great Reset: From what we have seen thus far, a ‘great reset’ has already just occurred. But it is not the Davos vision of one. That so-called ‘Great Reset’ is a fantasy. What is Davos, really, but a big party for the capitalist elites, where they gather in their private echo chamber, forgetful or incognizant of the world that exists outside of their gated communities, in an Alpine setting, beautiful as it is, where they get to spin yarns with celebrities and throw around their rhetorical and very wishful dreams on how they plan to reshape our world? They fantasize themselves to be un passo dal cielo – one step from heaven, or so they think – yet they forget they were made from the very same stardust as are we all. Like Tantalus, for eternity tantalized by but never receiving fruit or water, the heaven the Davos crowd seeks forever evades them. And their dreams are about to turn into their very nightmares. So, why is it we should all forget about Schwab’s ‘Great Reset’, and instead work on our own communities and nations? Here are a few points:

  • The public in every nation has had quite enough of austerity. They want the 3rd freedom returned to them – freedom from want – and they are starting to organize for it.
  • The rich will rarely if ever voluntarily part with their wealth ‘for the common good’, unless they can see some return in it for them.
  • Asia has categorically stated what they think Schwab should do with his Great Reset.
  • People find real value in work and accomplishment, and they rightly feel they deserve meaningful and lasting employment instead of constant movement and insecurity.

Probably the most reasonable take I have heard on Schwab and Davos is as follows:

“If any real good is ever to come from Davos, it will come only when the gods throw away their badges and come down from their Alpine chalets. In Buddhist folklore, it was only when Prince Siddhartha left his father’s palace and saw for the first time poverty, sickness, and death that the way was opened for his awakening. Similarly, the capitalist class will not awaken until they come down from their twilight sanctuaries, their doomed Valhallas, and say, as the Dalai Lama says of himself, “I am no one special.” And you know that is never going to happen. The gods are used to placing wagers, and they say, “The world may be burning, an angry mob may be at heaven’s gate, but I’ll take my chances up here…”

The Great Reset is not a master plan for reform; it is just another enemy that capitalism has created in its own image and for its own convenience. It likes to be the home team playing the opposition within “friendly confines.” The elaborate moral edifice created by Klaus Schwab is a threat to no one. It is not a preamble to justice or freedom; it is just another “prisonhouse of language,” in Fredric Jameson’s telling phrase. [It amounts to]…Davos and QAnon: weasels fighting in a hole.

Or, to put the matter more succinctly, implementation of some Schwab-esque grand Great Reset comes down to this:

Our elites couldn’t ‘reset’ a wall outlet, let alone the global economy.”

There is ample evidence of why the elites are so incompetent. It has especially evident in the mishandling of the pandemic, in foreign policy that does the exact opposite of what those elites desire, in the rising and more fervent discontent against the measures that are being foisted on us across the West and the falling faith in government we see across the West in general.  Why dismiss the Great Reset out of hand, then, given all the hysteria around the idea in some quarters? It is very simple, really – If you want to see what will work and how to rebuild an economy, look to places where there is long-term planning, the political will to implement those plans, and most importantly, where the lives of the general populace in those places are improved as a result the implementation of said plans, and where the public feels engaged in outcomes. This latter statement presupposed two things: 1) A government that is not held hostage to short election cycles, those cycles based in how much money a candidate can raise, and 2) an economy that is not based in debt.

S/he who hath faith: In a post from a couple of years ago the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying that within five years he thought there would be sweeping changes within China. Some readers may take that to mean the CPC (Communist Party of China) would be falling, and with some hopefulness. I wouldn’t be holding my breath for that, and quite the contrary. And if you want to know why the CPC will probably be quite robust over this decade, have a read on this link about how the Chinese handled the coronavirus in China, their foreign relations, but most especially how the people view their government and their sense of social responsibility. The CPC in China had an approval rating of around 95% in 2016 – an astounding figure for faith in government these days. The polling was conducted by a Western outfit over years in China and it is probably still within that range.

The people of the West – we – by contrast and led by the US, have little faith in our governments. This wasn’t helped by leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher standing up and stating it is government that is the problem and that markets have the solution to our problems. Well, we could say it was in fact and in hindsight, their governments who were indeed the problem. Look at who they favored and represented – big business, corporate interests and financiers, who had been lobbying for deregulation for years. Their fortunes skyrocketed after the markets took the reins of power in governments, gave tax cuts to the wealthy and deregulated finance, along with giving political power to the rising aristocracy. As a result, the stock markets have risen sharply, economic bubbles and subsequent crashes have become commonplace, while real wages have stagnated, job security is a thing of the past and industry has been shipped overseas in the name of maintaining high profit margins for stockholders. All the while we are constantly told robust stock market numbers indicate the economy is doing well. How much do you actually have in savings and how much interest is that money drawing? And how interested in that are we? We have been lulled into a false belief that markets determine our financial health. Those market numbers show the wealth of  the rich, not us. To quote Carlin again, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the Big Club.” We may not like the language, but it is behind and expresses a rage that is growing in our societies. How do we fix it? Well, it won’t happen until we organize. And in the protests we see across the West and in economically strained nations, we see the beginnings of organized publics. And that has our elites quite worried.

The conflict between East and West, unnecessary as it is, was recently described as a conflict between financial rentier capitalism (neoliberal) and mixed-economy, industrial capitalism:

“China and Russia are existential threats to the global expansion of financialized rentier wealth. Today’s Cold War 2.0 aims to deter China and potentially other counties from socializing their financial systems, land and natural resources, and keeping infrastructure utilities public to prevent their being monopolized in private hands to siphon off economic rents at the expense of productive investment in economic growth.

The United States hoped that China might be as gullible as the Soviet Union and adopt neoliberal policy permitting its wealth to be privatized and turned into rent-extracting privileges, to be sold off to Americans. “What the free world expected when it welcomed China into the free trade body [the World Trade Organization] in 2001,” explained Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr, trade advisor in the Reagan administration, was that, “from the time of Deng Xiaoping’s adoption of some market methods in 1979 and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 … increased trade with and investment in China would inevitably lead to the marketization of its economy, the demise of its state-owned enterprises.”

…the major conflict between the United States and China has been the role of government support for industry. American industry grew strong in the 19th century by government support, just as China is now providing. That was the doctrine of industrial capitalism, after all.”

The conflict has nothing to do with human rights at all, yet we are told these industrial economies routinely violate human rights, are autocratic and are constantly up to no good, spreading ‘malign influence’ everywhere. And people just accept the media propaganda as gospel. Here’s a clue: If we had the sorts of economies that invested in people, industry and infrastructure, we wouldn’t be concerned with China or people like Bill Gates or other oligarchs, because there would be very few of the latter. We would have had the infrastructure and financing in place to deal with the pandemic and would not have had to endure the sorts of measures we have faced and still do in the West. The more fascistic economies, like Ukraine and India, have had a very harsh time with the pandemic and still do. And Europe still flounders about, unsure of where to turn next. So, do we really need to worry about China or Russia? Yanis Varoufakis recently schooled a typical uninformed liberal on the matter and on Chinese trade practices, telling that person there was no need to worry about China, much to their astonishment. He ought to know. He has had to deal directly with the Chinese. So, we have covered a lot of background here. Where does it leave us?

The inception of the path: In the Taurus letter last year mention was made of Taurus having a connection with the inception of the Path. Taurus is said to “forge the instruments of constructive living”. It is also said that the influence of Taurus is very pronounced in humanity at this time, leading many people to a fiery aspiration to forge a more spiritual way forward for our planet. Taurus also, “…forges the chains which bind or creates the key which unlocks the mystery of life; it is this forging process, with its consequent clamour, which is going on at this time in a most potent manner. Vulcan controls the anvil-like processes of time and strikes the blow which shapes the metal into that which is desired, and this is true today as never before.”[11] Though the words were written decades ago, they are still very much in evidence today.

 Poland, Great Britain and Rome: China and Poland, both with Taurean souls, went through terrible destruction last century. Moscow, the head center of Russia, also saw European Russia almost totally overrun by the Nazis, and then saw the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then the neoliberals, Western and Russian, almost brought Russia to its knees. The collective suffering of the Poles, Russians and Chinese has been immense, not to leave out other nations who suffered similar fates. But we are speaking here of nations with Taurean influence. The UK, too, has borne its share of suffering at various times. Such suffering also draws out the souls of people and nations. And both Moscow and China have moved to secure their land, their people and to give their people freedom from want, having learned some very difficult, painful and valuable lessons under Vulcan’s hammer. Their experience has toughened them, given them resoluteness and determination and given them a long outlook. And because they have rejected our ‘rules-based order’, our elites do everything in their power to undermine them. All it has done instead is to push them into ever-closer synergy. Our foreign policy is run by elites who live in their own echo chamber, believing what they tell themselves, but disconnected from the reality that is the wider world, yet failing to believe or even look the their world view is at fault, and that Russia and China just want to be left in peace, with any nation who chooses to cooperate with them on shared interests and on common ground. In sympathy or antagonism with them are the other three places who we are told are influenced by Taurus – Poland, Great Britain and Rome.

Poland’s soul has yet to awake, from appearances, still mired in its Gemini personality, which links it to the US and UK, torn between the West, the Gemini personality of the US and soul of Great Britain, and with the latter two currently antagonistic toward Poland’s fellow soul in Moscow. Poland’s soul motto was not given, implying its work lies into the future. The Polish people, if they could realize it, are in an impossible quandary, being tied to the EU and UK, with the 5th largest economy in the world to its east, and growing, much as we are told Russia is collapsing. The Poles must soon decide their path, which is likely to become painfully obvious over the next few years. When NATO finally fades to irrelevance, where will Poland stand? Will it try to hold to the Gemini of the US and UK, or will it begin to heed the call of its soul?

It is for Poland to recognize the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union, nor is Russia out to get them. Neither the US nor NATO would stand behind Poland against Russia anyway if a war were to break out in Europe. And it would not be the Russians who would instigate hostilities. They have no intention of invading Ukraine for instance, instead preferring to leave the EU to deal with the Nazi problem, where there was just a march in Kiev dedicated the Waffen SS Division Galicia, and the broken state it has created. Russia has been rather passive and reactive militarily, actually, and really wants only security and peace, truth be known. But they have protected themselves and will state in no uncertain terms the outcome should such madness be instigated, as we have just seen in Ukraine. And yet, John Bull (UK) is amenable to doing just that, sending advisors to train Ukrainian troops and the latest jaunt by the British Navy to the Black Sea.

Then, there is Rome. Rome has good relations with both China and Moscow on the whole, whenever the Atlanticist factions there get out of the way. The US has six military bases in Italy, the largest being the naval base at Napoli. Italy has close relations with the US and Australia in general, with the largest voluntary emigration of any nation in documented history. The biggest diaspora are in Brazil, Argentina and the US. Looking at the diaspora of various nations gives a clue as the ray and astrological qualities of nations not listed in Alice Bailey’s Destiny of the Nations. Italy also has large diaspora across virtually all of South America, Canada and France. The reason for the two largest waves of emigration was economic. That brings up a window into the future: Where will Italy turn when neoliberalism collapses and NATO becomes redundant? The answer would appear to be rather obvious. Italy has recently signed on to China’s BRI. It has a large Chinese diaspora in the northern industrial regions of Italy, with busy personal and economic traffic back and forth. The latter is one of the reasons why the pandemic had its start in those two nations, regardless of the origins of the virus. Italy has significant business interests in Russia. San Marino, the tiny republic in the heart of Italy, has large numbers of Russians as tourists every year, and has business ties with Moscow. If the US and UK can ever get over their hatred of Russia, Italy should do quite well trading with both West and East. Otherwise, Italy will be constantly pressured by the other Western powers to shun Eastern investment and trade. The Sputnik vaccine was used extensively in San Marino, with nearby regions also requesting it.

Canada has its own problems with mixed emotions regarding the West and the East. Having the same astrological rulers as China, it has a large Chinese diaspora, over 1.3 million, in fact. The biggest Chinese diaspora is in the US and Southeast Asia. Myanmar has a Chinese diaspora on the order of that of Canada. Australia’s Chinese diaspora is somewhat less than that of Canada, but still large. Canada also has quite a significant Russian diaspora. These diaspora cannot be discounted in the current world polarization. Sometimes they side with their parent nation, other times they are antagonistic. Yet, the natives of the host nations are often antagonistic to the diaspora, regardless. The US has quite a large Russian diaspora. Canada also has a long history with Ukrainian immigration. Since the start of this century, Canada’s relations with Russia and China have taken a downward slide, now at their lowest point in years. This is partly due to Canada’s relations with its neighbor directly to the south and its relationship with the UK. Liberal governments have a tendency to be more antagonistic to Russia and China, ostensibly for human rights concerns, but actually more about economic realities. Canadians, like the Italians and the Poles, find themselves being pulled in two directions. Business leaders in all these Western Taurean-based nations want good relations with the East, with the exception maybe of Poland. But even that is changing. All of the aforementioned Taurean outposts will be an important factor in the immediate way forward as the multipolar world continues to take shape.

In summary, given all the background of the preceding, what are we likely to see in the few years immediately ahead? We have had to cover all this background in order to understand what will emerge as the path forward for international relations, which will lead into the next letter, the Goodwill letter. We have the following, most having become evident since the last letter:

  • The Russian and Chinese tightening synergy and their announcements they will no longer be spoken to from a perceived position of strength by the Western powers. In other words, the Western powers will from here on be getting a taste of their own medicine. This will lead to a temporary collapse of dialog politically, with both of the Eastern powers turning to address their own internal development. This will leave the West to deal with its own problems. Perhaps this is needed in this immediate period.
  • The Iran-China strategic partnership will lead to large development of Central Asia and expansion of the BRI. That partnership has already signaled a change of face in the rivalries of the Gulf States. The Saudis and Iranians have begun to sort out their differences. Whereas Trump had tried to build a kind of ‘Arab NATO’ against Iran, the reality of China’s inroads to West Asia have instead brought the two main Sunni and Shia powers to the table for talks. As stated in the article, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. If true to form, the US and UK will do everything they can to interfere with the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement. There will be sweeping changes in the Middle East over the next few years, with waning Western influence and a breakout in peace. That will also force existential questioning for Israel.
  •  The rollout of the digital yuan, currently in its testing phase, will be the end of US hegemony in world trade and control of financial transactions. That yuan will be used for cross-border payments for participants in the BRI, not so much for domestic payments in China. This is the single biggest thing that has Washington mightily alarmed. Digital currency is coming. Prepare yourselves. In fact, it is already under our noses.
  • The missile strike near Dimona and the military factory explosion in Israel have sent a clear and sobering message to the Israelis: Desist in your strikes on our territories or suffer the consequences from here on. The entire ‘Axis of Resistance’ is now on war alert. Iran is holding firm in the JCPOA talks in Vienna. The US re-entering the JCPOA, if it happens, will be incentive to the Saudis, Israelis and other Gulf States to make peace with Iran. It will also reignite a search for a solution to the Palestinian impasse with Israel. Along with that strike there are increasing attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria.
  • The coming Iran-Russia comprehensive strategic agreement. This is pretty much a fait accompli, one which will raise serious issues and choices for India, the Caucasus region and NATO in general. Effectively, such an agreement will secure Asia militarily and greatly enhance its development, along with Iran’s agreement with China. Such agreements also largely nullify US and European sanctions on Iran over the long term.
  • Biden’s apparent pullout from Afghanistan by 9/11 this year. Many commentators doubt it will happen, given Afghanistan’s proximity to China. But what else can the US do, in reality? The Taliban will take over the country again. Iran and Pakistan, meaning also China, will make inroads. Russia has interests there, too. Afghanistan needs peace and development, desperately. The nation has been destroyed by NATO intervention. It is time for the West to go, especially seeing that there have been no real gains and quite a lot of wasted blood and treasure. The US has no hope of any long term influence in Afghanistan.

What all the preceding points to is the solidifying of Asia’s rise and development, at the same time shutting out Western meddling in Asian affairs. And why shouldn’t Asia rise, according to its own customs and means? It has been home of some of the poorest and most backwards regions on Earth, along with Africa. The peoples of the nations of Asia have known little freedom in the past few centuries. Roosevelt’s 3rd Freedom is the bedrock of the other three. Watch for very great changes throughout Asia in the years ahead, with an increase in all their freedoms, as well as their growing prosperity. But those freedoms will come on their terms, in their own time and may appear to be different than ours on the face of it. Taurus is exerting a strong influence in that region of the world, giving Asians a vision of new paths forward, and has been for many decades now. We may see many of the nations there as autocratic, but that will change, both in our perceptions and in the realities of the peoples there.

A prosperous and educated, well-informed populace will demand their freedoms in all respects. As we see ours on the wane in the West, we watch those of Asia rise. At some point, maybe not in our lifetimes, a balance will be achieved, in line with the waxing Libran influence as we enter fully into the Aquarian age. Libra governs the balance between the East and the West, governs the rule of law rather than the rules-based order, and the former is consistently invoked by Russia and China in international relations. Libra rules China’s personality anyway, as well as those of Canada and London, and in that too, we see the conflict, a litigious attitude and also connections between London, Canada and China. Along with the waxing influence of Libra, we are reminded there is no need for real anxiety on the turning of world affairs. As Varoufakis stated in a previous link, we should not worry about China, or Russia for that matter, much as we are told they are grave threats to ‘our security’. Well, with regard to letting go of anxiety, I have stated many times we should not be worried about war, with all I have investigated in that respect, and with every passing event in recent years, we see the statement about Libra and losing our anxiety increasingly confirmed. So long as better sense prevails in our Western leadership, we will eventually find our balance with Asia without any dire consequences.

Instead of China or Russia, we in the West must deal with our oligarch problem as well as our  elites. That has been made abundantly clear in the last year and a bit. The elites have lost touch with the public, and would rather not deal with it. They need to be reminded. We also have to deal with our Big Tech problem, too, but that goes back to the oligarch problem. The latter controls the tech and the media. They also hold the reins of government to a large degree. The rise of fascism in the West is not a conspiracy. It is fact. In the past it has led to war between nations. Now it is leading to class war. We no longer have the industrial capacity within our own borders to be able to prosecute a war in the time frame needed to effectively win one against a near peer rival. And why would we want that anyway? Well, we don’t. This isn’t the 20th century. We no longer have the efficiency or the political will in the West, at least by appearances, to build industrial capacity like we had in our nations in the last centuries. We have shipped a large part of it overseas. And people are tired of war. There has to be another way to return real prosperity to Main Street, and it will mean things like taxing wealth, rent controls, government intervention in finance and banking, and so forth. Do we think it will happen soon? Probably not, and Republicans may just sweep the midterm elections in the US, given the new census and gerrymandering. There is no easy path forward for the United States, nor for the UK given the overwhelming Tory majority in Parliament. And those two nations are the seats of the neoliberal order. There is no viable true left in either nation, of the type that would ensure the changes needed to advance the cause of Roosevelt’s 3rd Freedom in the US and UK. Unless the Democrats in the US push through their programs now, as in the stimulus and infrastructure plans, the future is not so sunny.

The past decades are leaving us wanting. Our infrastructure gets low marks from the civil engineers these days. We need to strongly ‘suggest’ to government that the oligarchy and corporate interests be made to pay into state coffers. They will not do it voluntarily. We are going to see big fights in politics about taxes and entitlements across the West in the immediate future. We may even see a ‘Western spring’, as in a wave of revolution. Government is not the problem. It is part of the solution. But we need good governance. We are obviously not getting it from Etonian and Harvard/Yale graduates. Just because a person comes with an Ivy League diploma doesn’t mean they are smart or have good sense. Just look at wallpaper-gate and Boris Johnson in the UK, his ‘Marie Antoinette moment’. These days it more often than not means the elites are highly indoctrinated and feel they are entitled to positions of power and influence. We see this all the time in foreign policy decisions where real skill in diplomacy is replaced with barking about human rights and ideals and pointing fingers. Where are all the statesmen these days? In the East? Our real statesmen have been consigned to independent media, like some of the banned ones mentioned at the start of this piece. What we get instead in media are ‘experts’ who really have no idea what is going on in the real world. I don’t think I am being harsh. Such people seem to have no other vision than what has been parroted to them. But the encouraging thing for the future is the people out in the streets, who no longer believe the mainstream media or the government narratives about other nations or about their domestic policies.

The Great Rebalancing: In closing, what we are witnessing is a long-needed rebalancing in world affairs. There is nothing to fear in it. If there is to be fairness and adherence to the rule of law, as outlined in the UN Charter, then errant states must be called to account, or they will be pulled into compliance kicking and screaming. Three guesses who the errant states are. The pandemic will be gone in another year or so, and what then? People have short memories. If we go back to ‘normal’, nothing much will change. The powers that be are counting on that. But ideas like vaccine passports, seasonal lockdowns and some sort of Great Reset in the West simply will not fly. People will not accept those things over the long term, as we see now, because they represent austerity and restriction of freedoms. The lost income for airlines and the tourist industries worldwide will see the cancelling of plans for required vaccination for this virus before travel, for instance. Governments will have to cave on such programs, as we just saw here in Italy. There were big protests in Rome recently over restaurant shutdowns. A week later the restrictions were lifted.

 Economics determine election outcomes, and therein is a saving grace for the Western public. Human nature shows us that people can only be manipulated along any line for just so long before they wake up to it – until the next catastrophe comes along. And as for all the ignorant dogs in our legislatures barking for war, tax cuts, increases in ‘defense’ spending and ‘pushing back’ against so-and-so, howling about threats to our security, it would be best for us to wash them out of power at the next election, take a cold shower and have a sober look at who really is threatening us. The answer is found within. Interpret that any way you like. When we organize, we overcome. Let us find our common vision and set aside non-essentials. Our way together is not so hard. When we are divided we open ourselves to abuse from those in power. That applies to nations as well as people. We need goodwill between nations if we are to face our more pressing problems, as in food security, climate challenges, military spending, health challenges, misinformation, censorship and so on. Most of all, we need to live our lives with purpose, and with the fire in our hearts needed to build toward what we know is possible, based in past experience but with our eye to the future. Stay safe, stay well and stay focused.

Wishing you all a purposeful year,
Malvin
29 April 2021
malvin@malvinartley.com

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Picture credits:
Buddha with chrysalis: courtesy of Rona Elliot, taken at the recent gathering of monarch butterflies in California
Dogs of war: From Punch, 1876. Public domain
Bull by the hornshttp://lessconversationmoreaction.com/2010/03/05/leadership-grab-the-bull-by-the-horns/
Two pathshttps://www.mixcloud.com/premanosh/spiritual-path-vs-worldly-path/
Fire in hearthttps://aleteia.org/2019/06/28/set-your-heart-on-fire-with-gods-love-with-this-prayer/
Rockwell four freedomshttps://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/blog/2020/for-freedoms-congress/norman-rockwell-the-four-freedoms/
Nanaia Mahutahttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/19/new-zealand-uncomfortable-with-expanding-five-eyes-remit-says-foreign-minister
Great Wall: https://www.getyourguide.com/great-wall-of-china-l525/
Simpsons in Tibethttps://twitter.com/karl_was_right/status/1379858537166204928
Taiwan:  https://asiatimes.com/2019/05/will-us-go-to-war-with-china-to-defend-taiwan/
Donbass monument: https://bontryp.com/know-better-the-city-of-donetsk-ukraine-by-virtual-tour/
Shere Khan and jackalhttps://www.maurizioblondet.it/di-sciacalli-e-di-iene-putin-cita-kipling/
Zero-sumhttps://myheartsisters.org/2019/04/07/womens-health-zero-sum-game/
Crony capitalismhttps://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/economic-fascism/
Iran-China partnershiphttps://www.rt.com/news/519382-iran-china-strategic-agreement/
Davoshttps://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/19/business/davos-world-economic-forum/index.html
Carlinhttps://thefreethoughtproject.com/george-carlin/
WWII deathshttps://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/c92h1x/minimum_world_war_ii_deaths_by_countryterritory_oc/
Boycott Huaweihttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/world/canada/china-huawei-meng-wanzhou.html
Digital yuanhttps://www.wallstreetcina.com/insider-pro/guerra-e-valute-la-cina-sta-riducendo-gli-asset-in-titoli-del-tesoro-americano/attachment/digital-yuan/
Oligarchshttps://www.thebalance.com/what-is-an-oligarchy-pros-cons-examples-3305591
Rome protestshttps://www.voanews.com/europe/rome-restaurants-and-other-small-businesses-protest-covid-19-restrictions


[1] Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, (1951) Lucis Publishing, NY, NY, p. 329
[2] Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 530
[4] The Bible, Matthew 5:8
[5] Bailey, The Light of the Soul, p. 295
[6] Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 376
[7] Roerich, Helena, The Letters of Helena Roerich, Volume II: 1935-1939, Agni Yoga Society, NY, NY, 1 Oct 1935
[8] Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 1080
[9] Bailey, The Destiny of the Nations, p. 61 The entire page is worth reading.
[10] Bailey, Esoteric Healing, p. 662
[11] Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 375

2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.

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