A 'conscious' revolution

Being alive does not mean simply going through the motions. One must learn to live consciously and i

Gnosis aspires to restore inside each one of us the capacity to learn how to live consciously and intelligently. This is not possible if we do not work on ourselves, if something does not die in us (we are referring to the mystical death). The three factors for the revolution of the consciousness are birth, death and sacrifice.

In every authentic transformation there exists death and birth simultaneously. Each one of us has a mistaken creation in our interior; it is essential to destroy the false, so that a new, truer creation may arise.

"If the seed does not die, the plant can not be born"; when the death of the "Ego" is absolute, that which must be born is also absolute. We must, therefore, destroy the causes of ignorance so that authentic wisdom is born within us.

The mystical death refers to the death of the psychological egos. Egos are defects in human psychology and cause negative behaviour in human beings. The negative energy of the egos manifests in this world in the form of hatred, greed, jealousy, lust, envy, gluttony and laziness.

The egos cause unsocial actions, selfishness, crimes, wars etc. We need to observe ourselves objectively to find out what is negative within us and what needs changing. Change is not possible without internal observation first.

Once a mistake has been recognised we can begin to eliminate it from our psychology with personal effort and help from our Inner Being. Nobody can change us, we need to change ourselves.

If after some time one does not understand the Doctrine of the Many “I’s”, it is due exclusively to a lack of practice in self-observation. When somebody gradually practices interior self-observation, he discovers for himself little by little a crowd of people, a lot of selves which live in his personality.

The Birth of a human is initiated with the creative energies of a loving couple. The creative energies are powerful. They do not only create a human but also regenerate us physically and spiritually.

It enables us to experience the reality of other dimensions beyond the physical world. Everybody can learn how to use and control the creative energies. This requires conscious management of the energies, and love and honesty which come from the heart.

Sacrifice means working for humanity, and this is for instance represented by the work carried out by the Gnostic Institute of Anthropology, the members of which receive no renumeration for the delivery of the esoteric teachings, but nevertheless sacrifice their time and effort to do so.

Giles Oatley lectures in forensic statistics, data mining and decision support systems for crime detection and prevention. He has also worked in the care sector for several years with adults with challenging behaviour and severe learning difficulties. He chairs the Gnostic Institute of Anthropology.
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Britain cannot shirk its duty to defend Hong Kong from China's authoritarianism

Arrests of pro-democracy activists show China is breaching its commitments to the “one country, two systems” agreement.

When Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in June that the Sino-British Joint Declaration no longer has any “practical significance”, shivers were sent down the spines of those who want democracy to flourish in Hong Kong.

“It is not at all binding for the central government's management over Hong Kong. The UK has no sovereignty, no power to rule and no power to supervise Hong Kong after the handover,” he said.

Going by the British government's failure to respond firmly to the jailing of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow for standing up for democracy, it appears the UK agrees.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, was committed to the “one country, two systems” principle, making Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region of China but ensuring a range of freedoms, which future British governments would ensure were upheld.

China’s creeping influence over Hong Kong’s legal affairs and freedom of speech are not new. Earlier this year, Amnesty International said the human rights situation in Hong Kong was at its worst since the handover in 1997. That assessment followed the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers, later found to have been in the custody of the Chinese police, with one describing having been blindfolded and kept in a tiny cell. In other instances journalists have been attacked by police. 

But in Hong Kong, resistance is on display in familiar scenes on the streets. Tens of thousands of people have marched through the financial and legal hub in protest at the jailing of the three pro-democracy activists for their role in the Umbrella Revolution in 2014 – a fundamentally peaceful movement.

It was a moment where people came out to fight for universal suffrage, which I continue to support as key to safeguarding the island’s stability and prosperity (and something Hong Kong’s Basic Law secures by stating that the chief executive should be selected by “by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures”).

For showing courage in fighting for universal suffrage, Wong has already served 80 hours of community service and Law 120 hours. Chow received a three-week suspended prison sentence a year ago. Yet now Wong has been jailed for six months, Chow for seven months and Law for eight months.

Wong was even summoned again to court today for an ongoing contempt charge related to the 2014 "Occupy" pro-democracy protests.

Perhaps more importantly, Wong is now not eligible to stand for the legislative council for five years due to his six-month jail sentence, while Law, who was a member of the council, was removed from office.

This all comes after a 2016 order from Beijing for Hong Kong’s government to dismiss officials thought lacking in their allegiance to China, which led to six legislators being banned from holding office.

Many, including Hong Kong’s last Governor, Chris Patten, have suggested Wong, Law and Chow's sentences were a deliberate attempt to prevent them from taking on these legislative positions.

Patten added that he hopes friends of Hong Kong will speak out, having previously written the UK is “selling its honour” to secure trade deals with China, letting down pro-democracy activists who have been trying to fight to maintain freedoms that were guaranteed during the deal that ended over 100 years of British rule.

The prising open of the case by the Hong Kong government to push for tougher punishments reinforces concerns about Beijing’s willingness to interfere in Hong Kong’s democracy. As Amnesty International stated, seeking jail terms was a “vindictive attack” on freedom of expression.

China’s enthusiasm for subverting democracy has recently been on show in its attempts to censor Cambridge University Press (CUP), which initially complied with a Chinese request to block access to more than 300 articles from the China Quarterly, a leading China studies journal, including articles on Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Following public pressure CUP have now reversed their position.

But while freedoms granted under the Joint Declaration may have contributed to Hong Kong becoming fertile ground for those supportive of democracy and critical of China, it does not free the United Kingdom from its responsibility to uphold the “one country, two systems” principle, which promises extensive autonomy and freedoms to the island, except in the area of foreign relations and military defence.

Read more: The dream deferred by Chris Patten

The Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty. It is registered with the UN and is still in force. As the UK is a co-signatory, it should be doing all it can to make sure it is upheld.

Yet, in late June one of Hong Kong’s most respected democracy activists Martin Lee described the British government as "just awful. I’m afraid I cannot find any kind words to say about that.”

It is not for either China or the UK to unilaterally decide the Joint Declaration is null and void. The people of Hong Kong understand that and are standing up for democracy in the face of adversity. Our Government has a duty to stand by them.

Catherine West is the Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green