In order to move ahead…

View to the west from Mt. Erie, Fidalgo Island

I woke up this morning with thoughts racing through through my mind around every important relationship I’ve had. All at once. What could have been better, what didn’t go well, what would be the right thing to have happened, who did what, etc., etc. Then all that business just sort of evaporated. I am someone who has spend a lot of time and energy into studying human behavior; thinking about such things has been an ongoing process within me beginning in early adolescence. The thing about that process is that it’s full of traps of judgementalism. In a culture filled with such thinking, it’s easy to fall into them and start blaming, or feeling “cheated”. It’s easy to be trapped in our thoughts about the past, to get hung up in the “what if’s”. And while exploring the “what if’s” of our past actions/events may offer some exercise in constructive thinking, getting too caught up in it can also keep us from fully realizing the “what if’s” of our present.

We have to realize our parents, our friends, our lovers, our spouses, our siblings, our children, our neighbors, everybody including ourselves, we’re all on a learning curve. We’re all trying to utilize the tools, mental, emotional and physical, which we have at any given moment as well as possible. And sometimes we make a mess of it. And then sometimes it seems we’re simply handed a mess. In the latter case we may, as a knee-jerk response, just want to angrily fling blame…rather than look for what there is to work with. The best we can do is learn from the past, forgive the shortcomings, forgive the “mis-takes”: both on the part of others and those we brought into being, and move forward. Rededicated (or dedicated for the first time) to living wisely, caring for ourselves, others, our communities, our planet.

We are complex beings and, as a species, we’re finally accruing enough knowledge about our make-up, our needs, our faults, and our potentials to truly work together to engineer a world we can all not just live in, but flourish in. Let’s get away from the adolescent “it’s all about me” mentality humanity has been languishing in for a few decades. Let’s realize our interconnectedness, celebrate both our kinship and diversity, and act out of love to turn this place into the amazing home for humanity and other living things which it has the very real potential to be.

We need…

It won’t matter much if we have women’s rights to their own bodies or bans on abortions, gay rights or no gay rights, equal pay for women, if we finally rid our country of racial discrimination, looser or tighter immigration laws, prayer in schools or no prayer in schools, a lot of today’s social issues just won’t matter much if the legalized piracy, and that’s what it is, piracy, of inordinate amounts of the capital in the world by the ruling elite continues along the pattern it has been the past few decades.  A pattern which has recently been escalating dramatically.

The economic/sociologic trend we’re seeing in America is that life expectancy is decreasing.  Our communities are seeing ever increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, hunger, unaddressed physical and mental illnesses.  Infrastructure is deteriorating.  People seem to be worshipping greed, which is truly a psychological/spiritual pandemic destroying lives and communities.  The idolization of the ways and means of those who are capturing the wealth of the world is on par with idolizing a deadly plague.

We don’t need people to be scheming and hoarding hundreds of millions and billions, even a trillion dollars’ worth of the capital which we, our parents and grandparents, and ancestors back centuries, have worked to develop and produce in the world.  We need better governance than what we’ve been receiving which not only allows such inequity but encourages and subsidizes it.  We need the resources of the Earth to be cared for and distributed in a way that all people have their basic needs met:  housing, food, education, medical care. 

And, yes, we need all people to be contributing to the care of our world and communities.  We don’t need a welfare state. That’s not good for the psychological and spiritual well-being of people.  With the rise of technology taking over so many labor jobs, we need shorter work weeks, job sharing:  but all with a living wage.  We need to be paying for services which do not produce a financial profit but are necessary to maintain healthy, viable communities.  That is true profit:  healthy people within healthy communities.  A world which nurturers the wellbeing of and the development and progress of humanity.  Progress in the arts, sciences, and greater understanding of our shared spiritual reality.

We need people to take reproductive responsibility within the reality of our world and finite resources.  We don’t need men and women making babies which they cannot and have no genuinely viable plan of adequately caring for.  Would-be parents should have a plan which demonstrates consideration of and responsibility for one’s family and the communities we all live within.  We need social programs which provide a temporary “life-boat” for people hit with unexpected hardships.  But living on welfare is not a socially, nor even a personally, responsible plan for supporting a family. However, in order to have a job, jobs need to exist, and when a parent can have more money coming in from welfare than the jobs which may available to them, something is wrong with the economic system.

We need to see the stock market abolished.  We need to see giant corporate farms broken up and an increase in smaller, ecologically responsible, farms.  We don’t need a corporate or national mentality of “saving” money, or of not funding needs in one area only to spend exorbitantly in others:  we need a mentality of the wise use of money.  The same way our bodies do not “save” blood and nutrients it carries, but keep it in circulation throughout the entirety of the body for the health of the whole. 

And, to be healthy and to have healthy communities:  we need truth as truly as we need healthful air, water and food.

A house divided against itself…

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(c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

In our attempts, our efforts, at building a viable, vital society, we can learn much by observing and understanding the functioning of our own bodies.  There is a saying attributed to Hermes Trismegistus:  “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”   This is often shortened to “As above, so below, as below, so above”.  This concept, or the observation of the nature of our reality, provides us with an understanding, which, if applied to our efforts at creating and maintaining a human culture, can do much to guide us toward what will be in harmony with the natural world.  The natural world which we are working with and within and therefore toward a more vibrant, stable and enduring culture.

Our bodies are miracles of design.  They are self-repairing, self-renewing, and they offer us multiple senses, or avenues of interface, with our environment.  They provide us with much enjoyment and pleasure.  And provide us with discomfort and/or pain to let us know when we’re not supplying them with what they need, or too much of what they don’t need.  Ultimately what makes the whole thing work is the the organs, the cells, within the body work together to keep the body, the whole, alive and well.  One of the serious threats to the health of our bodies is the occasion when some cells become sickened and engage in a pattern of runaway duplication (growth) and a voracious appetite for energy.  One could say they get greedy for resources and want to take over.  They behave more competitively than cooperatively.  Of course, as our ancestors knew centuries ago:  Mark 3:25, Jesus states, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  

Now really, just think about that last statement for a minute, it’s not rocket science.  It’s something that immediately makes sense both intellectually and emotionally.  I think this is one of those truths that people just innately know, that comes with birth.  Yet it is one many people quickly turn their backs on when the world dangles some bling in front of them and says:  Go now and compete.  Within human cultures around the world that is the genesis of a cancer that is destroying our cultures with the same certainty that an untreated malignant cancer destroys a human body.  I can imagine someone thinking, but isn’t that just exercising personal freedom?   Yes it is.  And freedom is an essential aspect of a healthy human culture.  However, it is also just exercising personal freedom to take an automatic weapon to an elementary school and start shooting students.  Freedom is a double edged sword and is only an asset to humanity when it is combined with wisdom.  Such as the wisdom that if we aren’t all working together, cooperatively, for the good of the whole of humanity, the body of humanity, we are in the process of destroying that body.  And just as the cells of a body cannot survive for long once the body as a whole becomes unviable, no matter how adept a survivalist one might think they are, human beings cannot survive indefinitely outside a viable human culture.

All my life I have heard Charles Darwin exalted as one of the, effectively, high priests of the natural world.  I don’t think it’s possible to think of Charles Darwin and not think of the phrase survival of the fittest.  That is the phrase those most industrially disseminating information within popular culture have locked onto regarding Darwin.  But today those who are seriously researching Darwin’s ideas and adaptive strategies are saying friendliness and cooperation is the most successful strategy for survival.  This is just one more example of how spirituality and science are converging in the world today.

If we are to survive as a species on this planet we must recognize our oneness, our interconnectedness and interdependence.  Not merely within cities, or nations, but as global body of humanity.

The most important battle going on.

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(c) mrdoggs http://www.fotosearch.com

 

This post is essentially an invitation to watch a documentary which was produced in 2010.  However the subject matter of the film is timeless.

Whether you’re watching FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc., you’re being fed bullshit. But it comes in different flavors, because those controlling the news know, everyone doesn’t like vanilla. However there are certain constants no matter what channel you tune in to. Some of them are:

1. Accumulating vast wealth is good.
2. We should all admire those who have accumulated vast wealth.
3. Be afraid, be very afraid.. Depending upon what channel you’re watching, what we’re supposed to be afraid of can vary. But it’s never the extravagantly wealthy, nor war.
4. War is a necessity.
5. We need to spend more on war.

It is important to those busily accumulating wealth and power, regardless of the effects of their actions upon the majority of people in the world, or the planet itself, that we, the masses, believe these things. They are constantly endeavoring to engineer consent for their actions. Our continued belief of these concepts enables them to maintain and advance their agenda.

All we need to win this war is to realize our kinship, our innate interconnectedness. To love one another as we love ourselves. And to love the universal creative spirit that gives us life. To respect the creator, respect the creation.

The most important battle going on is to control our perceptions of what is going on. The battle to control our thoughts.  This documentary provides a clear picture of history and nature of this battle.  Click on the link to be taken to the full video on YouTube:

Psywar

“The only devils in the world are those in our own hearts.”

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(c) mrdoggs http://www.fotosearch.com

Mohandas K. Gandhi is quoted as saying:  “The only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts. And that is where all our battles ought to be fought.”

Is this true?  Or are there spiritual forces originating from outside us which bedevil us?  Sometimes I perceive that there are spiritual forces present around us which do try to exert influence upon us.  To push us this way or that.  However, in order for them to succeed, we have to be providing them with the opening, the thought/feeling processes, which they can then add impetus to within our minds, our hearts.  In other words they can energetically “nudge” us the direction they desire us to take.  Sometimes possibly more strongly than others.

Even if this is true, it in no way lessens import of Gandhi’s statement.  Because if we are paying enough attention to our own mind, our own thoughts, our own feelings, we can own our own direction.  Truly be the Captains of our own ship.  If, on the other hand, we do not pay enough attention to our own thoughts, feelings, we can be exposing ourselves to being manipulated via “handles” we didn’t fully realize we were subject to.

By engaging in a process of paying attention to our own thoughts and feelings, we can provide ourselves with true autonomy.  True freedom.  We can decide if we really want to be kind, considerate, empathetic, or rude, inconsiderate and heartless.

On our path to such a state of autonomy there are challenges we face.  Most, if not all, of us have been through traumas, times when we have been hurt bodily, or emotionally.  We can have gone through times of chronic stress, anxiety.   Or times during which we have had certain thoughts, feelings, values imposed upon us by others.  Those times leave an imprint on our psyche.  Those imprints can influence our lives, our behavior for years, decades, after the condition or event which resulted in the imprint has past.  These types of imprints can be some of the hardest challenges we face.

Often, to us subjectively, these imprints can be so deeply imbedded, and/or so old, have been with us so long, we may not recognize them for what they are.  We may consider the thoughts and feelings stemming from such imprints as “normal”.  We may believe that everyone carries a similar orientation as a part of their innate being.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

If we have, somehow, had fear, hate, a judgmental orientation toward something, maybe a people or a place, or a behavior, deeply ingrained within us, we can truly believe that the thoughts and feelings we experience when we are exposed to those people, places or behaviors are entirely normal.  That they are truly an innate part of our being.  And being such, they are from the source of our life.  From God, divinely ordained.

How much suffering, how many wars have stemmed from exactly that illusion being mistaken for reality? 

And it isn’t just that carrying around such imprinting may cause us to harm others.  Carrying around such imprinting can also result in our regarding ourselves in an unrealistic, negative, derogatory manner.

Engaging in an ongoing practice of examining our own thoughts and feelings can be difficult.  We may not like what we find.  Sometimes these revelations can be emotionally, even physically, painful.  Yet, even when that is the case, there is cause for gratitude:  because we have found it.  When we have found it, we can enter into the process of changing it.

One thing we should all know about such processes of change is that they usually (always?) take time and repetition.  Deeply ingrained feelings/thoughts tend to occupy networks inside our mind, our spirit.  We will find ourselves facing the same, old, thoughts and feelings over and over.  They gradually emerge out of the nooks and crannies of our mind.   We need to endeavor to be aware, as often as we can, of what is happening and to consciously intervene in our own lives at those times.  We need to edit, replace the old thoughts with those we want to replace them.  By doing this, over and over, gradually we will retake ownership of our own lives.  We will have “cleaned house”, so to speak.  Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes more.  But it is inevitable once we make the firm decision to mindfully take back the control of our own life.

 

 

 

 

We Can Heal Our World

IMG_1010My life from early adulthood has been focused on learning what I can about mental, physical, and spiritual health.   I’ve managed to accumulate time in 5 colleges, earning 3 degrees.  I’ve accumulated countless hours in workshops, seminars, trainings, not to mention all the I’ve time spend reading studies and research reports.  I’ve traveled a good deal, seen a lot of different cultures both within and outside the U.S.  Also, I’ve spent time in 4 different jails and 2 maximum security prisons (one in the U.S., one not).  I’ve spent time with people from all walks of life:  doctors, shamans, people holding high governmental office, engineers, rocket scientists, writers, outlaw bikers, priests and ministers, drug dealers, prostitutes, psychologists, veterans and draft dodgers, bankers and bank robbers, persons inside the intelligence community and the mob.  Hippies (I’ve experimented with many psychoactive substances), wealthy “straights”, a lot of musicians, the homeless and some with multiple residences, murderers, artists, bartenders, hermits, socialites, social workers, nurses, people from every race, sexual orientation and religion.  At one time I have sat across the table from and had a conversation with a cannibal (we weren’t having dinner).  I could go on, but even I am getting weary of the list.

Where I am going with this is:  all of these people, all of them, are much more alike than dissimilar.  

This is our reality.  We are all so similar; it’s like we’re all from the same, very large, family.  This being true, how have human actions and interactions gotten so fucked up?  You would think after all those experiences I might have encountered some answers.  And I have.  Why do we so often mistreat each other and destroy what we need?  The reasons all come back to something one of the shaman I spent time with shared with me: All sickness is sickness of the mind.”  I know, what about germs:  bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.?  Yes all those things exist and all of those things, and more, can and do affect us.  Yet, when we track it all down to the least common denominator, to the source that saints and prophets, spiritual leaders have been informing us about for centuries, and which quantum physics is now confirming, the instruction I was given by the shaman back in the early 1970’s is absolutely correct:  “All sickness is sickness of the mind.”  As a matter of fact, what is becoming increasingly clear, is that all that is, is of the mind.  But for now, for this post, I’m going to try to stick to sickness, and health.

It took me a surprisingly long time to realize that the inverse is also true:  All health is health of the mind.  Now, that is something to weigh into.

That includes your or my personal sickness or health, our families’ sickness or health, and up to and including the sickness or health of cities, nations, and the world.  Whatever the case may be, the origins of it are in our minds.  Does this mean that all the doctors should just send their patients home with prescription that says:  “Think Healthy”?  No, although positive, healthful thinking is never going to hurt the situation.  Our reality is a little more complex than that, our minds are more complex than that.  But on the most profound and inclusive level of our being, it is that simple.  We get to decide a lot about how things are going, both within our personal body and, collectively, within the body of humankind.

Let’s heal our world!  There are three criteria necessary for us to heal our world.  That’s all.  With these three criteria met, we can build a world which can be a nurturing, supportive, exciting, wondrous home for all of humankind.  And a much more hospitable world for all other living beings, and species, upon this planet we call home.

These three criteria are:

  1.  The Resources Needed to Create and Sustain It.  In spite of all the doomsaying about depleted and disappearing resources, we have enough to handle the population of the world, and then some.   Our problems have never been about insufficient resources, not on a planetary scale.  Our problems in this area have all stemmed from our management, or mismanagement, of what we have.  For one thing, we have allowed various resources to become like pieces on a game board for certain players to capture and hoard.  This is a horribly dysfunctional manner in which to manage the precious resources of our planet.  Another horrible aspect of our mismanagement to date is the quantity of resources we have allowed to become unusable due to our too often  cavalier regard of them.  This includes polluting our precious natural resources in the name of monetary profit.
  2.  The Knowledge to Engineer the Reality.  There also is no deficit in the knowledge needed to heal our world.  Again, not on a planetary scale.  Today, too often the most potentially beneficial innovations and inventions are often shoved into a closet.  Effective treatments and cures for illnesses, which aren’t the potential money makers for those who currently control and monopolize healthcare and pharmaceuticals, are either ignored, suppressed or somehow co-opted.  Realizations about better, more efficient, cleaner energy resources are ignored by those in power in deference to the money being applied by those controlling the archaic, dirty, systems which have managed to monopolize world industries.  If we were to measure the what, when, where, how and why of the resources and methods we employ in our day to day lives by the yardstick of human well-being, we would find we have all the knowledge we need to create and sustain a culture which provides for all of us, with food, housing, education, jobs, medical care, opportunities, and with abundant, exciting wonders to go around.
  3.  The Will to Make it So.  One might think this would be the most readily available of the three criteria.  Who, in their right mind, wouldn’t want a healthy, thriving, prosperous, exciting, wonderful world for themselves, their loved ones, friends and neighbors?  Especially as we’ve already seen centuries of what the alternatives are:  war, death, illness, suffering, hunger, homelessness, hopelessness, depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, trauma, abusiveness, every plague; physical, mental and spiritual, known to human kind.  We get to take our pick.  The will to make it so is the only criteria which is the stumbling block right now.  Are we going to opt for the sickness or the health of it all?  

It is easy for anyone to look at these three brief descriptions of the criteria needed to heal the world and think:  but that’s not enough details.  We need more details!  The reality is that all the needed details are readily available.  All it takes is looking to find them.  Articles, videos, books, information detailing innovations which provide all the materials, engineering, health related and sociological knowledge needed to heal our world exists.  It is waiting for us:  online, or in the libraries and, most importantly; the minds of people around the world.  It’s all there, ready to be accessed.

Just to “prime the pump” of awareness a little, start looking at the possibilities available if only we would optimize all the uses of hemp.  Look at the health benefits we would reap if only we would clean up our environment, eat organic food, lower the toxic burden on our bodies.  Imagine the benefits of increased nutrition, education and health care, along with decreased stress.  I’m telling you, it’s all here, now.  All we have to do is want it enough to make achieving it, bringing it into reality, the organizing principle in our thoughts and actions.  If we do that and truly act it out, treat each other how we would genuinely like to be treated, we’re there.  We’re home.

Too idealistic, too utopian?  That’s the sickness which has crept in and set up housekeeping in your mind talking to you.  That kind of thinking has kept humankind involved in all manner of war and other inhumanities for centuries, millennia.  Negativity, egoism, jealousy, envy, greed, self-defeating thoughts, grudges, apathy, depression.  These are a few of the common psycho/emotional stumbling blocks we have to overcome to realize that which is actually our birthright:  a bright, incredible future.

We have a birthright!  The primary reality it is incumbent upon us to understand, to embrace, in order to realize our birthright is this:  we are, all of us, children of the Universal Creative Spirit, the Divine, God.  We are family; we are interrelated and interconnected.  When we learn to treat each other not only with equity, trust and civility but with love, then, as a global community, we will be opening ourselves to the full benefits of the divine and transcendental nature of our being.

I feel it’s important to interject here that a global community and a one-world-government, are not one and the same.  Throughout history diverse people have managed to more than just “get along”.  Very different cultures, races have prospered together.  Today, more than every before in history, people’s lives are made richer, more enjoyable through experiences of other culture’s food, art, music, dance, science, medicine and more.  We don’t need a one-world government, but we do need people from around to world to share a few basic values.  Such as mutual respect, honesty, fairness.

This moment in history, when the world is “smaller” due to advancements in communication and transportation, and when the world is more vulnerable than ever due to the destructive potential of modern weapons of war, learning how to co-exist, to live in harmony is more imperative than ever.  If all people would adopt a few basic, user-friendly values, we could all enjoy our diverse cultures, experiences, and do so in harmony, rather than in conflict.  It is so logical, so available:  all we have to do is desire it, will it, then act in our own best interests.