The Most Important Question Facing Humankind Today

Ripples 1For most of my life, the U.S. has been involved with one war or another.  My young life was very much affected by the Vietnam war.  I remember when it was over.  I thought maybe sanity would have a chance to take hold of the world.  It looked like it might, for a while.  But that was only an illusion afforded me because I had no idea about what was taking place in the private rooms of the power-brokers of the world.  Other plans were being laid.

There were a few involvements here and there, Granada, Lebanon, and others.  However it still looked to me like maybe we (the people of the world) were on our way toward a more harmonious existence.   I do believe that is what the majority of the people in the world, the common people, want.  When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, that seemed confirmation that a positive trend was indeed happening.  But again, that illusion was only afforded me, and in retrospect a lot of other people, due to ignorance of the plans the rich and powerful had in mind.

As time has gone on and I have learned more about what has precipitated the wars of my lifetime, I have learned the leading cause can be summed up in one word:  greed.  Of course if any country tries to fly the banner of “greed” to enlist the support of the common citizenry, it probably won’t go very far.  Nope.  So other banners have to be flown.  The favorite ones seem to be “freedom”, “ending terrorism”, “human rights”, “democracy”.  Stopping communism from spreading was the rallying cry during the Cold War, but we don’t hear too much about that anymore.  Except connected with the Presidential election cycles.  I think a while back those who have been able to construct an economic matrix which funnels the vast majority of the world’s wealth into their hands, realized two things:

1.  It was/is important to not let the manipulations and inequities of the system being developed to become a mainstream issue.  This means finding/inventing reasons which direct the public’s attention in other directions.  One of the ploys has been to create a faceless entity “the economy” as a peg on which, with little or no grounding in the day to day world of the general population, explanations for financial conditions can be hung.

2.  It is important to keep the attention, the dissatisfaction, of the general public directed toward issues which drive a wedge between different factions.  (And away from the reality of what is happening with the wealth that is being produced.)  Racial, religious, ethnic, gender, along with a few other issues of the moment, have lent themselves well to keeping the public’s eye off of the wholesale looting of entire countries that is going on.  By widely and repeatedly publicizing aspects of these issues on which there is disagreement within factions of the general public, and framing the news coverage in as inflammatory a manner as possible, a great distraction can be achieved.

So here we are, facing a world which is on the brink of a war chasm as deep and dark as any humankind has faced in recorded history.  With the possible exception of the Cuban missile crisis and one or two other events of the Cold War, we have never been this precipitously close to a potentially nuclear war.  However, there is one important difference in place this time that wasn’t in place earlier.  One of the national leaders is unpredictable and apparently actually in favor of starting war.  Kennedy didn’t want war, Khrushchev didn’t want war.  Nor has any leader of a major world power since that time exhibited such a fascination, (suicidal fascination?) with war and a unilateral use of power as is exhibited by Donald Trump.

In his defense, it’s not just Donald Trump.  In some ways he is a product of his environment the same as all of us.  The past few decades there has been an underlying, insidious, movement within the worldly “powers-that-be”.  A movement away from organizing principles such as unity, equity, fairness, compassion, kinship, and toward more divisive ones:  individual identity, competitive acquisition;  a winner-take-all ruthlessness that regards others as little more than abstract entities to be used, and/or discarded depending upon the agenda of the moment.

The cultures of the “developed” Western world have had a lot to do with this unfortunate evolution.  One major contributor has been the emphasis on individual wealth, fame, power that has been increasingly pervasive since the post WWII period.  It is interesting that such a development would take place on the heels of a period in which unity, combined effort, and a worldwide recognition of mutual interests, had played such a critical role in preventing the conquest of the world by ruthless, authoritarian powers.

Considering the current world situation, the current values being exercised, it is enough to cause one to wonder who did win WWII?

Right now we, the people of the world, have been lied to about a lot of things for a long time. We have been lied to by governments, industries, religious leaders, even those from medical science and other sciences. We have been so programmed with lies and half-truths, that for any of us to think we actually know all the details about what’s going among the powers-that-be in the world, well, that is an absurdity.  A whole lot of them probably don’t know.  Yet we get caught up in the storm and fury.  Usually coming from a place of caring about something in the world which we see threatened, we throw our perspectives back and forth at each other.  And our perspectives on world events, even national events, are often based upon the half-truths and lies the “authorities” have shared with us.

What do we want to be the defining value of our world?  Individual aggrandizement or collective well-being?  That seems to be a dichotomy today’s conflicts all revolve around.  It’s not a matter of whether or not to have a one-world-government, a one-world-bank, an economy based in free enterprise, capitalism, or managed as democratic socialism.  It’s not even whether or not to have a democracy or a monarchy.  The question on which everything going on in the world hinges upon is none of these things.

The question, the question which determines how viable any system is or isn’t is, how viable any culture is or isn’t, whether there will or won’t be wars, is this:  how do we regard one another?   

What do we think about one another?  How do we feel toward one another?  How do we treat one another?

You know what we are aren’t hearing from our leaders in governments, industry and even too rarely from the leaders of the world’s religions?  That we are all brothers and sisters and we should be loving one another and treating each other right.  If all of us would do that, if we will turn our backs on all the urgings from all the different sources that we should fear, hate and attack one another, we will be fine.  All of us.   

We have the resources and the knowledge, as never before in recorded history, to do what is beneficial for humankind and this beautiful planet we call home.   All we need is the will to make it so.

It is probably unrealistic to think that everyone, all around the world, can forget about, let go of, all the hateful, fear-mongering propaganda we’ve been being fed for decades.  But unless some of us do, unless enough of us do, the future does not look bright for humankind.

A beautiful aspect of this reality is that it doesn’t take a college degree, it doesn’t even take a high school diploma, for us to know how to treat each other right.  All it takes is for us to first be honest with ourselves about how we would truly want to be treated in any given situation, and then working to treat others in that manner.  To have empathy.

One key, which is absolutely essential to this effort, is for us to know the answers we accept, for how we want to be treated and then how we intend to treat others, are based in love.  If they aren’t based in love, they’re based in a falsehood.  

 

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.

What makes a country great?

IMG_1010While “Make America Great Again” is a political slogan in the U.S. right now, the fact is, every country wants to be great.  Every country, every person, wants to be prosperous, safe, healthy.  Who wouldn’t?  So how can it be done?

In the U.S. the de facto message being sent out by those currently in charge of our country’s government and industries, and which has been sent out for quite some time, is that having a very wealthy upper class is what makes America great.  That and having lots of exorbitantly priced weapons to attempt to instill fear in everyone else in the world.  In the U.S. we have heard and still hear that our enemies hate us because of our freedom.  Honestly, I can’t think of anything more ridiculous.

It is a fact that has been learned from the study of human behavior that primarily we try to kill what we fear, not what we hate.  Therefore, the goal of instilling fear in one’s neighbors is not a good foreign policy.

But back to the original question, what makes a country great?  Is it having a wealthy upper class whose wealth is comparable to the wealth of other countries’ upper classes?  Does it all work like a game of Monopoly?  The country with the richest upper class wins?  (Wins what?)

Almost every country in the world (every country?), has within it the edifices, or the ruins, of the temples and mansions/palaces built in the past by a very wealthy ruling class.  If having some few very, very wealthy people in it, with everyone else serving those few, is what makes a country great; then there have been, a lot of really great cultures in the world.  Which leaves us with the question:  If these cultures were so great, why did they all disappear?  Were they too good to be true?  I highly doubt that.

A widely ignored piece of truth in the world is that each country, like every person, has a spirit.  A healthy spirit goes a long, long way to maintaining a healthy body.  An unhealthy spirit portends the decline of the body it inhabits.  The health of the spirit of a country is determined by the health of the entirety of the population who live within that country.  The entirety of the population making up the ambient spiritual/energy system.  There is a great spirit present when a group of happy, healthy people are singing “America the Beautiful”.  It doesn’t quite ring the same when those people are hungry, depressed, fearful, sick, homeless.  Honestly, does that reality surprise anyone?  The same holds true for any country’s anthem.

What makes a country great?  The simple answer is that it is those thoughts, actions and conditions that contribute to making the spirit of a country healthy.  What fills a country with citizens who care about their communities, their country?  What makes them want to work, to want to invest their energies into the country?  The answer is, again, a simple one:  when they feel cared about and invested in by the culture, the country they live within.  Like so many other aspects of human relationships, it’s a two-way street.

When the inhabitants, the citizens of a country feel ignored, abandoned, or even betrayed by the government, the industries (the dominant cultural powers) of the country they live within, how much love do you think they’re feeling for that government, those industries?  And if that government and those industries have been promoting the thinking that it is they themselves, the government and industries and their actions which define the country, that country is in serious trouble.

In all cases, without the indispensable contributions, the blood, sweat and tears of the citizens, their parents and their grandparents any government or major industry would not, could not, exist.  It is all the people who have invested their minds, bodies and spirits, their work, their lives, into building something they hoped, they expected, would be there to help sustain themselves, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Their hope was that the institutions; the government and industries they helped make possible, paid taxes to, and quite possibly fought for, would contribute to improving their lives and their descendants’ lives.  That reality exists deep and pervasively within the spirit of America and every other country on the face of the Earth.

The fact is, there is no industry, no wealth that exists in America today that doesn’t have it’s foundation in the work and industriousness of the common people of both the present and previous generations.  It has taken every contribution by every person who has contributed for any greatness that exists in America, or any other country, to come into being.

If the top of a pyramid decides it no longer requires the health, the good regard, of the base of the pyramid, what is going to happen?

Indeed, the wealth that was built by many has been captured by a few.  It may have been done legally.  After all, legality is subject to those who control the making of the laws.  It may have happened because too many common people weren’t paying attention.  It may be that very many of the common people lust for the opportunity to do likewise.  All those things may be true.  However, is that what is going to make America, or any country, great?  The unequivocal answer is “no”.

A necessary, indispensable, key component to making America, or any country, great is the recognition and honoring of the spiritual reality that pervades the entirety of the country and the people within it.