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Intellectual Property

An evolutionary story

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Today intellectual property has become a big business and around the world every year, billions of dollars are spent and sometimes wasted in the protection of what are essentially ideas and arrangements of words or molecules. So when we think about defining intellectual property we immediately come up against some problems such as originality as opposed to a modification of a thing or an idea.

People generally equate intellectual property with original ideas and inventions but if we step back and look at the world, once intellectual property enters the public domain it becomes public property and people are free to use or modify it at will.

If we look at this graphic, someone invents a wheel and next thing everyone is making wheels. In society generally when someone comes up with a good idea, it is shared for the benefit of all and this has been the case for tens of thousands of years. Someone took the wheel and made a cart. Someone took the word "Ma" and extend it into "mother" and so on. Yet within the modern capitalist world the idea of sharing is somehow abhorrent because the principle of capitalism requires that those ideas be enshrined and profited from.

Human evolution was all about sharing, perhaps someone accidentally shattered a stone and discovered how to make an axe but then the idea was shared like the wheel so that everyone could make exes and some people became more expert than others raising their status within society. So while they were appreciated, they freely shared their ideas.

Some 12 to 15,000 years ago Lord Shiva shared the knowledge regarding the technology of how to be human, in other words he shared a collection of ideas that today we know as yoga that when combined with a holistic view of our history, have shaped our existence. This knowledge, a collection of ideas was given freely to the world. But there also evolved the tradition of expressing appreciation because that is a vital component of the human psyche.

At this point I'd describe the capitalists as being governed by a fear that causes them to want to not only hold on to their ideas and profit from them, but they don't even have the kindness of heart to appreciate the freely given ideas that their ideas evolved from. You see all civilisation is built upon the preceding intellectual genius and in many cases today, the fallibility of previous generations.

If we take our mind back to Lord Shiva, he freely gave a body of knowledge as intellectual material so that humanity could realise its potential and place in the universe. From that knowledge we have evolved language, science and technology that has enabled us to flourish to the extent that we have, but we have used that knowledge without due respect.

Of course much of today's intellectual property has grown out of paranoia and is about creating weapons of mass destruction which extends into the pharmaceutical and agricultural sciences with the express purpose of causing death to pathogens and weeds that have no clear purpose yet are a direct result of our misappropriation of intellectual property and a misunderstanding of our own intellects.

"As a teacher, as a lover of life I want everyone to explore and share my creations, my words as widely as possible that humanity may grow and prosper. To try and keep what I produce is selfish, foolish and ultimately fatal" NZYogi

Every idea ever formed has evolved from what existed before and if you think about that, you could go back to the Big Bang and the endless possibilities of what may have come before then. But what is of a more immediate precedent is your mother who like the other life evolved out of the earth. So all your ideas come to you thanks to your mother, the mother Earth and the entirety of creation.

So you see there is really no such thing as original intellectual property, it is simply a development, and evolution based on environmental factors. As this website is open source, anyone can copy and republish, but those of us who write hope that those who share this information will show the appropriate appreciation.

The modern world has become very capitalist, people have become so desperate they actually try and steal to profit from other people's ideas and in a way feed off the production of others without contributing (vampirism).  We must share what we have created because by holding onto things, we create suffering and death.

So in short, intellectual property as a possession is a nonsense because once it's out there and perceived and understood by others, it becomes a part of their intellect. So what becomes part of one's intellect can re-emerge in a slightly different way for a slightly different purpose than proposed by the original idea.

In a sense there are no individual or original ideas, they all go back to the seed of life and the creation however that may look to you. Your duty to yourself and to humanity is not to try and hold or restrict your ideas, is your duty to share your creativity so that humankind may continue to flourish. The modern attitude to intellectual property is a disease, a mental illness that can only be cured through a process of re-education through studying and learning to appreciate Dharma.

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