Tag Archives: Americas Debt Crisis


17 Jul

I begin this post with somewhat of an apology. This weblog is not a forum for political views, nor does it serve as a match stick to spread the fires of political turmoil. Having said that, I am sometimes astounded as to how this weblog writes itself. I have wanted to share the within fable with you for sometime; however, the context for the anecdote never truly presented itself. That is until this week. So, once again, I share with you an tale from the oral traditions of Goshin-Do Karate-Do. This time I do not share it merely as a means of hoping you will use it to enhance your life. I do that and also submit it as a call for our elected officials, OUR representatives, to be mindful of our collective interest.

The United States is presently enveloped in political turmoil, divisive party politics and in-fighting swirling like a monstrous whirlpool around our our Country’s debt ceiling crisis and federal fiscal budgetary dilemma. Headlines are replete with the private agenda of political parties, corporations and individuals which serve to dilute the process of resolving the crisis. Bi-partisan politics demand that the “other” political party be blamed, or “some-one else” should have to sacrifice. After all, according to the “party-line”, you can’t cut the tax breaks for the wealthy, or, you must cut federal spending, or cut back on social services, including social security. Such political agendas have all but destroyed the middle class. To this end, ALL of us, rich and poor, those that have and have not, including our elected officials need to sacrifice our individual agenda, abandon our self-serving ego.

Frankly all, but most particularly the politicians that purport to represent OUR interests, must – GO TO HELL! (as discussed below).

There is an ancient oriental fable about the similarity and difference between Heaven and Hell. Both Heaven and Hell are banquets with large tables that are laden with delicious food. Seated at opposite ends of the table are the hungry spirits of those who have departed this physical existence. In both places, the chopsticks are five feet long. Now for the difference. In Hell, the pitiful spirits try in vain to use the chopsticks to feed themselves. In Heaven, each spirit simply feeds the soul sitting across the table. (See Endnote # 1).

It is time that we all must be figuratively fed. Our Country is standing at the abyss of a crisis. To resolve this crisis our individual egos must be abandoned. We must help each other by having each and every one of us sacrifice for the mutual benefit of all. Those who have not sacrificed, or “sacrificed” in the most superficial way (no vacation this year?) must now join those that have sacrificed (those who are without jobs, hungry and without homes). It is about time that we realize that our individual self is responsible for our collective well-being. Further, if not through the process of osmosis and absorption, then through direct action, we must infuse our elected politicians with the sense of universal self sacrifice by ALL, not just certain political interest groups.

There is an innate problem with this ancient conception of Hell and that is fear. It is the fear that “If I feed another, will I be fed?”  Surrendering this ego-level uncertainty is the awakening of trust. We must trust each other that ALL will ultimately step up and sacrifice. There are no more individualized or corporate interest to protect. The sole interest is our collective well-being. Each of us need to take this to heart and then insist that our politicians equally do so. It is time for the politicians to stop the Hellish feeding of themselves and their special interests!

Until the next article, I remain, seated at the banquet of Hell with five foot chopsticks, any-one care to join me? If you think another person would benefit by going to Hell, then pass this link along to them, the more the merrier!

Sensei John Szmitkowski


1. The within anecdote of Hell is derived from the oral traditions and teachings of Goshin-Do Karate-Do under Shihan Thomas DeFelice. After a lengthy search I was able to find a literary reference on this view of Hell and the abandonment of ego as follows. Goswami, Amit, The Self-Aware Universe (GP Putnam & Sons New York, NY 1993) p. 240. It is an irony that Dr. Goswami attributes the source of the fable as Chinese mythology and the Chinese Government (the largest creditor of the United States) just cautioned our government that we must act responsibly as to our national debt.

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