Alchemical Garden Forum

Please visit Entering the Garden and discover what are our sustaining roots. You may only apply with us if you agree and consent to our Community Vision and Purpose and Ethos and Ethical Guidelines.

The registration includes writing a letter of application in which you sincerely tell us why you wish to join.

essay A Clash of Cultures - Law Vs Law

Essay typically is a creative, free flowing, and self-contained complete article, but also a manner of unusually lively written interaction where formality is not a stifler.


" Discovering how virtues in fearlessness, non-attachment, and awareness show the truth. "

Yes, this looks like the place for this ;


I have a friend , a full blood , very traditional , 'Clever Man' and 'Culture Man' Aussie Aboriginal. That means he is an accomplished man in his tradition and all that implies , and he teaches boys to be men in that tradition , as well as 'environmental' and 'survivalist' it also requires vast cultural, magical, spiritual knowledge . Its a bit hard to encompass in words (well, English words ) . I have been out of contact with him for some time .

I recently found out why the other day , well why at least 3 of those years, he was not around . A mutal friend told me about it :

" So, ' F ' ( my friend ) is in town sitting at a table out side THE Cafe ( a popular hippy / alternative spot ) having a coffee and a chainsaw starts up across the road . The council has arrived and it looks like they are about to start hacking into 2 huge ancient old native fig trees ( a main feature of the park and the small country town ) . F. is, 'What the fuck ! They cant do that! No one has said anything about that happening ! " So he goes over ;
" Hey! What you doing, get away from those trees ! " They tell him to go away, all is in order and its official . He says, " Bullshit ! They are Sacred Trees ! They MY trees ! " They laugh at him and ask , who said so ?

" My Grandfather did ! He bring me here when I was little, he said I got to look after these trees, they are special , and he did it because his grandfather told him to do it . They been here before all of them and been here long before this town was here , " Of course they dont care and continue so F. puts himself between the chainsaw and the tree. So they move to another tree and he does the same . A bit of 'cat and mouse' . Then some dick grabs a chainsaw and approaches him (probably trying to scare him off ) ;

"I dont mind, I'll cut through him and the tree ." and approaches , Oooooo ... wrong move.F. 'goes him' , now tough guy is in a scuffle with a chain saw between them so he releases and runs for it . Then F. runs around, chases the workers off, throws the chain on the footpath to smash it , then walks across the road to his table and sits there sipping his coffee ( note , he does not run off or hide ) .

Now, here is the Law Vs Law part .

Everything in that town ran pretty smoothly, considering the vast differences in culture , and the previous devastations - but they had things worked out . It went like this ; If an Aboriginal caused trouble (say he drove through your front fence at night ) , you dont run outside and abuse them ..... you see 'Sarge' , Sarge sees the Aboriginal Elders , the Elders see the family concerned and they fix the fence , or whatever . If Whitey causes trouble for Aboriginals, they see their Elders, they see Sarge and Sarge sorts it .

But for some stupid reason the authorities that be decide that this breeds 'familiarity ' and start seeding these type of places with 'new cops' .... ( poor Sarge ! ... by now he is like an Elder himself ) .

Anyway, what happens ..... you guessed it , new idiot cop turns up at the Cafe ( and this is a place where people openly smoked dope for years , even though its illegal there ) approaches F. and " Are you the guy that stole the chainsaw and threatened council workers with it ? "

F. " Fuck off ! Who, the fuck are you ? I dont know you ! I'll talk to Sarge or the Elders ."

Cop: " I just asked you a question ! Are you the guy that stole the chainsaw and threatened council workers with it ? ... and what is that sticking out of your top pocket, is that a bag of marijuana ? "

F. " For the second time ... Who, the fuck are you ? I dont know you ! I'll talk to Sarge or the Elders . I've told you twice ! .... dont make me have to tell you a third time . "

Cop ; " Right ! You are now under arrest ! " he comes forward to grab F ( wrong move, again ) , he jumps up, a scuffle starts, F. reaches around, unclips, takes the cops gun and lets off 3 in the roof of the Cafe . Which makes cop back off and F. points the gun at him; " This is third time ..... I dont know you , go and get Sarge or the Elders . Now fuck off ! "

The Cop runs off, F. puts the gun down in the middle of the table and sits back drinking his coffee again . (Note; he still does not run or hide)

The Sarge turns up ; " Goodaye F. .... havin' a bad day ? Is that one of our guns on the table there .... my constable 'lost one' earlier . "

"Yeah that's it . " and he leans back and puts his hands behind his head (indicating : no, I have not gone crazy, I am still the person you know and I am not going to lunge for it as you try to pick it up ) .

Sarge : " Right .... I'll take this back to the Police Station ...... and , ummmm , F. ... ya know .... I'm gonna have to take you back there too ! "

" Yeah .... I know ."

Sarge ; " A message went out , the Elders will meet us there . "

So, new cop got his gun back and F. got 3 years . "


- why the hell are people that do not know what they doing allowed to mess up a good system with a 'new one' ( and I can assure you , if the idea to stop familiarity between citizens and police was based on fear of police corruption ..... it is not working ! ) .

another friend ( who does not know F. , nor any Aboriginals actually ) was listening ; " Urrk , some 'friends' you guys got . "

So I felt to explain something to her ;

" Everything he did was perfect , actually, for an intelligent person, he had no other choice ; he could not avoid his duty, which is Law for them, breaking Law for them is serious business , thats what holds everything together . He could not let his Grandfather down . Actually , one of those trees might be his grandfather now . And why should he go back to police station with strange unknown cop ? Maybe Sarge isnt there ? Maybe this guy will beat him to death there ... ( she instantly got that as she is an Aussie - for OS readers , Aboriginal deaths in police custody statistics are one of our biggest shames ) . He had to do his duty and he knew some 'other law' was going to punish him for it , but he wasn't going to give up just because of that . And yes, 3 years inside is crap .... but its better than being beaten to death in a police station cell . "

Thats how an Aboriginal 'clever' man has to operate 'down here ' .
Last edited:
  • Equanimity


I also thought to share this ;.

Another subject , a view into the world of a part of one of these amazing ancient cultures and people butting up against the modern world .

I'll start with my teacher's , home ground (one of them ) .... I have many fond memories of that time and place :

The part of this, the first part, shows a small section of a sacred site . This was allowed and made for a you tube , so its permissible public info . I have been allowed there , to experience it alone ...... wow ! Up past the 'no go' marker, the river turns a small concealing bend ( from downstream) - and opens into a wide rocky river bottom with channels, pools, rocks, whirlpools, still pools, spa pools , some with small river sand beaches. Its all grown through with various natives, that due to floods, have forms like exotic bonsai trees and shrubs . It was spring and they where flowering and different types of small birds where fluttering around and feeding; tiny honey eaters,


miniature kingfishers

. Its where ' Big Mum is having a rest ' ..... shhhhh .

It goes further of course , up stream to ' sacred source' , and down stream into the Big Snake - the main river that goes out to the sea .

( I was allowed on another occasion to take my friend's 3 small ( 5 - 7 yo) sons up part way . I coached them on their behavior while up there and explained, " Be very quiet and careful , no mucking up, up here , Old Grandma is asleep, resting. Also .... ummm , its sort of like she IS all of our Grandma and at the same time .... all of this . So be careful ." On the way back, the older boy slipped on a rock, grabbed a nearby branch instinctively, slipped on to his bum , slide a bit, the very end of the branch broke off in his hand ( a few flowering twigs actually ) and he slid into a little pool - all safe . Then he looked at me real upset ; " Oh no ! I broke some of the Grandma ! "


I said it was okay, she likes kids, maybe she was helping you with her hand . Then we left it on a rock to give her some nice flowers .

All was reported back at camp . The Boss smiled at them . )

Anyway , enjoy ;

Last edited:
  • Equanimity

Roots of Virtue

At Your Service
Staff member
Interesting topic, thank you @Corvus for starting it.

Some reports in Europe depict similar sounding situations where religiously self-conscious Muslim immigrants insist on having Sharia law on neighborhoods where they are the predominate population. I don't know if in these cases there ever existed any informal arrangements about the immigrant and native cultures having their community leaders acting in behalf of their people to sort out differences in a cordial manner.

When does religion and immigration become abusive? My personal view is that when the new and often invasive cultural and moral norms are forcefully shoved onto others. Religion without compassion lives through cold-blooded tyranny. In particular, the religious oppressors and hypocrites have always been fond of the saying "rules for thee, but not for me." Another persistent type of abuse, which can manifest through avoidance of responsibility and greedy opportunism, is the literal interpretation of the letter of law instead of understanding what is the spirit of law. In essence, should people serve the law or should law serve the people? Here we see the prospective collapse of civilization on the governmental level when the legal function, reconciliation between people, instead becomes an identity which only serves a nominal value.

As a related matter, here is a well-articulated Buddhist look on the topic of ethical views and their relativity:

The first training, ethics (also called ethical conduct or moral discipline) is crucial in developing the second and the third, concentration and wisdom, and as such is really the foundation for the other two.​
What is morally right and wrong is something that each of us feels intuitively, even when it is not taught to us by our parents or our teachers. Ethics must be based on compassion, not on some commitment that we follow simply because we are Buddhists and have been told to practice it. By understanding compassion, we see how ethical conduct is required, and as we develop compassion, ethical behavior will arise quite spontaneously.​
Nothing is intrinsically immoral from its own side. “Moral” or “immoral” can be defined by the way an individual person communicates with others, or how they mentally perceive others. So ethical conduct, practicing a moral life, is not something that can effectively be enforced from the outside but must grow out of a subjective understanding of what helps and what harms others. Therefore, whether something is moral or not really depends on whether others’ feelings and rights have been considered. That is where compassion comes in. If we live our lives taking into account others’ feelings, perspectives, and rights, then basically we are living an ethical life.​
— Geshe Tashi Tsering (2005), The Four Noble Truths, p. 126, The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 1, Wisdom Publications​

  • Equanimity