Archive for November, 2007
> Barack Obama is running against Hilary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Surprisingly, he would appoint her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to a position in an Obama Administration in “a second” because “there are few more talented people” Obama is quoted as saying in a recently released TIME magazine article.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg met yesterday with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel and today met with Barack Obama. There is speculation that Bloomberg, with his extraordinary personal wealth, is considering running as an Independent for the Presidential nomination in 2008 and is picking his Vice Presidential running mate now, or strategizing, to set forth what the “total package” would be.
What’s going on? Feel like you’re falling through the looking glass? What’s going on is called “change” and it’s very, very good
I watched the Republican YouTube debate two nights ago. What a farce and disappointment. Actually, not so much different that the Democratic debate a few weeks ago. And I know my feelings represent the way most Americans feel about our government. It’s corrupt, it’s too big, it’s self-serving to the few, in disregard of the many, and populated by insiders who perpetuate all of what I’ve just mentioned. So, it’s a little exciting, and should stir hope in your heart, that Barack Obama would cross a line and flatly state that he would appoint not only an ex-President of the United States but his opponent’s husband to a position if elected because the man is talented.
Sounds to me like merit-based, instead of patronage-based employment.
As for the aspirations or intentions of Mayor Bloomberg, well yes… he is white, male and wealthy so there’s a lot of “Old Guard” and “Old Boy” there..but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Bloomberg is obviously trying to think outside the box, in one direction or another, and that’s the only way we’re going to pull ourselves up out of this mess. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see where all of this is heading.
Personally, I believe there are enough of us out here ready to make the jump, in a new direction in terms of leadership, if only those leaders will step forward who have the courage to speak not only truth to power but to us as well. We absolutely do know when we’re being manipulated and when we’re being respected. We’ve always known. It’s just recently, however, that we’ve awakened to what our responsibility is in making sure that we are treated with integrity and respect…and we each definitely have a part, as well as a duty, in assuring that outcome.
I had a little locally-based but related chuckle yesterday around this very issue. The newly elected Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, has pledged to clean up the Philadelphia Parking Authority, recently identified as a bastion of corruption and improper use of funds. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Randell also pledged to look into the matter and seek both clarification and resolution. My chuckle came from the fact that 31 years ago I was an appointee to City government in Philadelphia during Mayor Bill Green’s Administration and it was common knowledge that the Parking Authority was both corrupt and a patronage stronghold. It always has been. So this is a perfect example of how the way government has been “leading us” changes nothing and institutionalizes less than integrity-based behavior.
Which is why I welcome mavericks like Obama and Bloomberg. I’m not a Pollyanna and I don’t think any of them will “save us.” But a few good men and women, willing to break some molds and take some risks, can do wonders. Take Socrates, Joan of Arc, the Colonists, the Founding Fathers (and Mothers), Rosa Parks, or Mother Teresa.
Perhaps in the not so distant future I’ll be able to write, “Take Barack Obama or Michael Bloomberg….”
> I’ve written about my love of animals before. Those who know me well are aware that it borders on the irrational at times. I don’t know why I have such a sensitivity to their plight, particularly their suffering, but I do know that because of it I have always panicked somewhat in the face of an injured animal and, because of that panic, been of little practical value in bringing relief. So, it was with shock that last week I saw a cat hit by a car and stopped to assist the animal.
It was Thanksgiving Day and I was off to the store to pick up a forgotten cooking ingredient when I passed a cat laying in the middle of the opposite oncoming lane. It had just been hit by a passing car.
Without giving it any thought, I made a U-turn, pulled over to the side of the road, put my emergency flashers on, and got out of my car. As I approached the cat I bent down and tried to determine if it had any signs of life, but it didn’t. A passerby slowed and asked if I was all right and I said I was so he continued on. I gently cradled the cat in my arms and looked around.
There were many houses lining the roadway. I approached the one closest to where I was standing and a teenage girl answered the door. When I asked her if she knew whose cat this might be, she replied “I think it’s mine.” Her look was one of disbelief and confusion, so I asked her if her parents were home and she said her mother was inside. I asked her to please get her mother to come to the door. When the mother arrived at the door she confirmed, also with disbelief and a look of confusion, that it was their cat. With the cat still in my arms, the mother said, “I can’t take it. My husband died two weeks ago. Forty-four years old. He just died and we don’t know why. And now this. How can it be? He isn’t even an outdoor cat. He was just in my bedroom. How can this be?”
Of course, I instantly understood the looks of disbelief and confusion on their faces as they had each come to answer the door. Sometimes Life seems to pile on just a bit too much at once.
Inside I was grieving for this beautiful, young cat…but I was also asking myself what could I possibly say to alleviate the suffering of this family. I began to speak to the mother about my beliefs around death and how we never lose anyone and the ever-present Soul…all the while continuing to cradle this sweet animal in my arms.
After sharing my beliefs, I asked the mother if she wanted me to help her bury him. She said no, that she just wanted to hold him for awhile then they would bury him. As I passed his body over to her arms, we both wept. Then the mother looked at me with a puzzled look and said, “Who are you? What’s your name?” I told her my name and through her tears she lovingly replied, “Thank you. Thank you so much. You did the right thing.”
We embraced each other, the cat in her arms and warm against both our bodies. She continued to weep so I whispered into her ear, “You will be fine. You are strong. You have a daughter who needs you now.”
I got back in my car and went home.
I could not continue on to the store that Thanksgiving Day after what happened. I returned home and sat outside with the trees and the birds in my backyard for awhile and fully allowed myself to feel the sadness and suffering I had just passed through. I thought about whether or not my efforts of consolation were of any value at all, or just my egoic need to see myself as helpful. Then I remembered the mother’s words. “Thank you. Thank you so much. You did the right thing.”
changed in my life that allowed me to stop instead of panicking that day are three important
realizations. First, living in the present is all there is. Secondly,
an understanding of how we are all connected as One. Thirdly, handling
what shows up, without judgment, is what Life is about and what gives it depth of meaning.
This morning someone said that as a practicing Christian he “rarely gives charity to individuals but instead gives it to organizations because as a Christian he believes in the order and perfection of things and organizations are in a better position to help in a methodical and meaningful way.” I could not disagree more.
Every day we are each presented with opportunities to be of assistance to another, other life forms, or the planet in general. Those opportunities are ours alone for a purpose. We are each Creator
experiencing Itself repeatedly in ways that are uniquely you and uniquely me. I don’t believe we are to turn over or abdicate our personal responsibilities, or opportunities, as they show up.
My view on all of this may be right for me but not for you. You may choose to agree with the Christian who expressed the views he did.
But I can tell you this.
How I now see Life allowed me to stay present and focused in the face of what would have previously been my panic…and to figurative as well as literally embrace and become One with two people during a time of suffering.
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
> This week the International Tracing Service, administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, unsealed 50 million pages of documents collected by the Allies near the end of WWII chronicling the atrocities committed during the Nazi era. The documents are housed in the German city of Bad Arolsen where it’s index references 17.5 million people in 16 linear miles of file space.
This is not a good day for Holocaust deniers (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be sure)…although that’s not the focus of this entry.
The more difficult topic to address is the Nazi within each of us. Just writing that sentence causes me to wince.
It’s not easy, or pleasant, to think that it might be true…that each of us is capable of doing what the Nazis and the German people did. And while I do believe that under the “right” circumstances each of us is capable of morally reprehensible acts, I do not mean to say that each of us is capable of committing the same acts committed by the Nazis. Rather, that we each have a propensity to rationalize and justify hurtful behavior…even morally reprehensible behavior…in the misguided belief that such behavior is key to our own survival and, therefore, somehow excusable and acceptable.
It’s often said that Hitler’s psychological strategy played upon the disgrace and humiliation suffered by the German people following WWI. He gave them hope and, what’s key here for our purposes, he also gave them an excuse for their unhappiness. That excuse led to the oftentimes brutal deaths of 13 million people. No matter, it was justifiable (not to mention vengeful).
We all do it, you know. I can tell you I do.
I have a disagreement with my husband and while it remains unresolved from my perspective, it’s seemingly resolved for him. Rather than accept the non-resolution, I harbor ill feelings around it and him. At some later time, that harbored ill feeling turns to anger. When an opportunity arises (related or un-reacted to the original disagreement) to express that built-up anger…I let it rip. Of course, my justification is that he hurt me by ignoring or refusing to see what was of significance to me
And so the beast is fed.
You may be thinking that my personal anger at my husband hardly rises to the level of Nazi genocide. But be careful, for what exists within the microcosm of our personal lives is but a fraction of what we project, and therefore create, within the macrocosm of our culture.
I read an eye-opening quote yesterday in “Writing Spirit” by Lynn V. Andrews.
“Your Einstein searched and searched for truth,
and finally, it came to him. If he would have
misused that wisdom he could not have conceived
of it. All great scientists agree on that. What
lesser people do with that knowledge is some-
thing else. No one who has abilities and has
grasped higher laws could ever hurt anyone.“
So, whether it’s genocide or a marital spat, the intentional infliction of pain (mental, emotional, physical or spiritual) upon another is the shortcoming of the one causing it. It is our own limited understanding of the highest laws of the Universe that not only causes us to behave in such ways but also to justify our behavior in the name of self-survival.
The reality, and the irony, is that with each hurtful act perpetrated upon another person or thing, we eat away at our own flesh and assure that the path to enlightenment and God remains obstructed with the refuse of our own misguided actions.
Next time you have the opportunity to be angry or disappointed with someone else, go deep within yourself instead…drop the story you are telling yourself about their behavior, and ask yourself what you can do to break the chain of pain.
I can assure you from personal experience that you will garner much more progress with that approach than with any other.
You can ask my husband and me.
>While there are probably as many advantages as there are disadvantages to the internet and related technologies, I think the one that causes the greatest stress, and does the most damage, is the one least talked about. The media, through technology, constantly brings into our personal lives events and news that are not actually occurring in our lives in real time. The damage that results from this onslaught is not only constant, it’s repetitive.
Take, for example, the daily events in Iraq. While it’s true that we are at war, and equally true that the ravages of war occur on a daily basis, they are none-the-less not occurring daily in our personal lives. Yet through the internet and television our own lives, which are already overloaded by stressors much closer to home, have the added burden of needing to process tragic events not immediately relevant to the tasks we have at hand.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about events and suffering occurring outside the perimeter of our immediate lives and environments. Compassion is the hallmark of an enlightened Being. What I am saying is that all we can handle at any given moment is what is immediately in front of us in that given moment. And while the internet and TV are a great example of how we get distracted and seduced and manipulated by fear, they are both just external manifestations of what we do to ourselves internally within our own minds.
When we linger in negative thoughts of the past or long for imagined futures, we too are distracting ourselves from the only thing that matters…the moment at hand…by living in realities that are no longer a part of our immediate and present experience. There is so much value in the adage that “the past is gone and the future is not yet here.” Unable to change the past or participate in the future before it’s time, what a waste to miss the infinite potential of this moment mired in one or the other.
Our tendency to be past or future oriented has to do with discomfort. The past is known and the future can be anything we imagine…but this moment is the true unknown. It’s the unknown that makes us so uncomfortable. Just look at how we respond to differences in race, culture, gender, or the whole subject of death. We react with our defenses up and our denials fully turned on precisely because what we do not know makes us uncomfortable. Yet, we all have one thing in common. We all run from the very thing we want most, for it’s only in the unknown potential of the moment that connection, unity and a sense of oneness can be fully experienced.
So, whether it’s too much time on the internet, or too much TV, or longing for days gone by, or wishing for days to come…all are escapes from and avoidance of the sense of purpose that can only be had by fully living in the moment.
Funny thing about the moment. It’s followed by another moment and then another and another. So, once you can perfect living fully engaged in each moment as it is occurring, you will find yourself alive in the way you were created to be…in the image and likeness of a power and source that endlessly recreates and experiences itself and all we are… moment by moment.
> Sometimes it takes a while for the truth to surface…but it always does. That’s the beauty of the truth. It inherently rises upward. Two of the most recent examples are 1) the disclosure by Scott McClellan, former Press Secretary to President Bush, that McClellan was deliberately fed misinformation by the President, Vice President, Karl Rove and “Scooter” Libby regarding the “outing” of the identity of Valerie Plame and 2) the recent arrest of three young men in Aruba in connection with the disappearance and apparent death of American high school graduate Natalie Halloway. It’s taken awhile, yes, but in both cases the truth is being outed.
We are living though a transition in human consciousness that effectively “removes the masks and veils” that have for so long obscured our ability, and our choice, to know and confront the truth. Previously, deceptions and manipulations either went unnoticed or were readily accepted by most in order to maintain the status quo.
In case you haven’t noticed, those days are over.
Whether in your personal life or in connection with more public matters, it will now be increasingly difficult and in some cases impossible to see, and know, anything but the truth. Many of us have been experiencing this reality for some time now in our personal and professional lives. Old ways of doing things that lack integrity are no longer working. Integrity means not just truth telling, but a commitment to the wholeness of an idea or action, not just the self-serving aspects of it. Integrity is proceeding from an internal knowing that all living beings and all outcomes are connected. To deceive another is to deceive oneself…not figuratively or philosophically…but literally.
Many of us lament the world in which we find ourselves. We find it nearly impossible to keep up with the pace of things, are disillusioned by the endemic dishonesty all around us, and frustrated by our inability to affect change. But each of these challenges, and their cures, begin with how honest we have been with ourselves and in our dealings with the world and others.
The outer world in which we find ourselves is but a reflection of our own inner worlds. When we are willing to stop the rushing, competing, denials and quest for more and more having…and face the truth of what we know in our hearts, then and only then will the quality of our outer world change.
Many people are now stepping up and turning off the repeated messages that have been programmed within them to consciously alter their behavioral patterns in order to create a more harmonious and truth-based world. Those who are waking to this challenge and opportunity will, in fact, ride the wave to that higher vibration.
Those who choose to remain in a world run by manipulation and deception will effectively miss the wave. As with everything else, the choice is yours.
While you are pondering which path to take, imagine yourself today to be Valerie Plame or Natalie Halloway’s parents now that those truths are surfacing.
Then imagine how liberating, and satisfying, the truth can be.
>With Thanksgiving just a day away, I’m thinking about how the holiday provides a time for us to STOP and give thanks. What a wonderful change of pace this is to the endless “make and consume more” mode most of us find ourselves mired in. Now, if we take this thought just a little further we arrive at a less obvious and more insidious mode.
Every minute of our lives is an opportunity to STOP the endless mental chatter that goes on in our minds as we worry over, plan or anticipate past and future events that are either long gone or likely never to occur. What captivates us, and hold us captive to the mental chatter, are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and our lives. It’s in these stories that we get caught up and lose sight of the fact that we are not our stories…but rather the consciousness or awareness behind them. Once you remove yourself from the story…with all it’s drama…you also remove the stress and pressures that accompanies your stories and are more able to be grateful and joyful in the moment.
Just for a moment, think about what causes you emotional pain or suffering. Now, take away the story you thought about to generate the pain or suffering and just experience the emotion itself. What soon becomes apparent is that without the story the emotion quickly loses energy until it’s gone! So while it is, at times, important and necessary to deeply “be” in the negative emotions you are feeling…it is never important or necessary to replay the story around those emotions and thereby perpetuate your pain and suffering.
When you STOP telling yourself and others your stories, what you create is an opening in the present to fully experience whatever is available in the moment instead of living in the story of your past or as yet to be future.
STOPing is not supported in our society. We live in a world where doing and getting and advancing are exalted…where motion is the prized activity. But motion is too often our escape from emotion. It’s in fully being present in our emotions as they are occurring that makes us capable of truly knowing ourselves and others.
The trick is to STOP when you are having an emotional experience and, without either reacting to it or running from it, fully experience the depth and breadth of what you are feeling. Trust that whatever that emotion is, and however powerful it’s intensity, the pure experience of it is the very thing you are likely both looking for in your life…and running from, as well.
So, not just on Thanksgiving, but on every day of your life, STOP and express gratitude for your ability to deeply feel…for it is through your feeling self that you have the most direct path to knowing the Oneness of It All.
> Some blogs are more personal than others.
Recently I visited my 91-year-old mother who lives in Florida alone and, for the most part, still independently. She is quite fit physically, although her cognitive skills are deteriorating more rapidly as of late. While there is much written on the challenges of caring for the elderly, and especially those with decreasing mental capacity, I prefer to make a somewhat different observation.
What was most striking to me about my mother’s behavior was that it has become pretty much a “microcosm” of what used to be a “macrocosm.” By that, I mean that while she now spends her days and nights mainly in or just outside her condominium, the things that matter to her and how she spends her time have not changed, they have simply gotten smaller and more intense in scope.
For example, my mother was always straightening up our house as I was growing up and so now she is still straightening up her “house”…even though there is virtually nothing to straighten. (She has a professional cleaning woman weekly). She also watched a lot of television, as I recall, so now the TV is on every waking hour, whether or not she is watching it…and she watches it hours on end. She was always insecure about her ability to manage her personal matters and paperwork, and so she daily reviews the mail scrupulously and repeatedly…even bulk mail. She was always mistrustful of others and so she shreds every envelope into narrow strips so no one can steal her name or address. And, sadly, she always had difficulty being close and intimate…or making conversation…so for three days we did lots of task oriented chores, watched TV, and spoke little.
Interestingly, I saw this same macro/micro transition in my father the year or two before he died.
Which brings me to my observation.
As we age, unless we have spent a great deal of time open and committed to change and the willingness to confront our personal demons, we will likely end our lives mired in the same patterns in which we lived them.
The good news is that there is a way out of this cycle of patterns. It’s called self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is an ongoing, spiritual practice of moving more and more inward towards the Truth of who we each are. It seeks neither justification nor explanation, excuse nor escape…but rather silence, relentless honesty, and a fierce desire to receive the gift of knowing that what we spend the most time running from is the very thing we seek: Oneness. It’s the realization that every attachment is a loss waiting to happen and the only thing that’s real and eternal is who we are beyond our bodies and beyond our attachments.
Who you are is the awareness that is reading this blog. Not the eyes that are seeing it, or the mind that is processing the message, or the body that is sitting in the chair, but the awareness that you have eyes, a mind, and a body.
I feel so blessed to know this much about my life with time still to live it. I wish it could be different for my mother, but she has made her choices and held on to her patterns as she has…and I suspect there is a certain amount of comfort for her in having done so.
I seek growth, not comfort, and growth does not come without the tension created by expanding boundaries. I hope I remain focused on this inner journey throughout my life.
I also hope that if my daughter writes a blog some day about the last days of her mother, it will be about how until the end I was surrendering to Truth and embracing change.
> Suzanne Lafrankie is a talk-radio host on “The Big Talker” 1210AM out of Philadelphia. In full disclosure, I need to say right up front that I wanted her job. Actually, I contacted the producer of the show before 1210 had a woman on the air and suggested the line-up (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity, etc) could use one. The producer, a woman herself, was dismissive and condescending, telling me I needed more experience and besides, they didn’t need a woman host. Shortly thereafter, Lafrankie was hired.
I’ve listened to her on a few occasions but, honestly, our view of the world is so different that it’s of little benefit for me to do so regularly. This morning, while listening to another talk-radio program, Lafrankie had a one-minute promo for her show that spoke to the celebration of Thanksgiving.
I can’t let this one go unnoticed.
Ms. Lafrankie’s point was that we don’t “owe” the Native Americans any thanks for the holiday, we owe thanks to God. She was explicit in making the point that she did not care that she was being “politically incorrect” by either dismissing the Native Americans or overtly mentioning gratitude to God.
It’s not the God part that I find misguided…its her dismissal of Native Americans and all they tried to gift us.
I understand that it was the colonist governor William Bradford who said we should give thanks to God for our bounty and George Washington who made it a national holiday. But to focus on the legalities while ignoring the intent is to miss the point altogether.
Before we, the descendants of Anglo-Saxon Europeans, arrived in the New World and for some time thereafter, Native Americans were planting and harvesting crops with consciousness while educated European adventurers were sailing the globe…pillaging and destroying the cultures and lands they “discovered.” Each of the Native American tribes had a cultural understanding of and profound respect for all of Nature and Her creatures. It was with gratitude that they planted, with gratitude that they reaped, with gratitude that they hunted, and with gratitude that they consumed. They had an inherent knowing about the connectedness of all things…as well as an appreciation for the part each plays in the overall balance and harmony of our world.
Beginning with those first explorers and settlers, right through to today’s advanced technological society, we have failed to accept the gift Native Americans tried to pass on and, instead, banished them to a footnote in our minds as well as in our history books.
Life is a continuum on the way to eternity and, sooner or later, all things come ’round again. So here we are.
Having raped the land, squandered natural resources, devalued animal life and desecrated the environment all in the name of progress, enlightenment and a more civilized culture, we none-the-less continue to question how this imbalance came to be.
If I had gotten the job I suggested, instead of Suzanne Lafrankie, the promo for my show this morning would have conveyed a different message, for sure.
I would have said that Thanksgiving is one day, of a possible 365 days, when we can literally stop the “needing” and the “getting” to express our sincere gratitude for all of the wisdom gifts we have been blessed with and to reflect upon all of the ones we ignored in the name of progress.
My hope for a Thanksgiving message is that we learn to recognize what matters in the moment, rather than in hindsight. However, because it really is “better late than never”…my heartfelt gratitude to the Native Americans who endured great hardship for shining a light upon the path we were too blind to follow.
History cannot be re-written but the Now is full of possibility.
> Last night I watched the Democrat Presidential debate from Las Vegas and listened to CNN’s media commentary immediately following. This morning I am reading media accounts of it and, all told, am convinced that there are at any one time alternate realities operating.
The choice is ours as to which one we want to participate in.
CNN’s coverage following the debate included Andersen Cooper, David Gergen and J.C. Watts. Their astute observations and conclusions can be wrapped up in one sentence: Hilary regained her ground, Obama and Edwards missed an opportunity to stay on the attack, and the first 10 minutes of the debate that were frought with petty infighting were the best.
This morning, other media analysis follows suit, with the Republicans choosing to stay on the attack of Clinton’s “inconsistent” statements on various issues as they continue to think she is the horse to beat in this race.
I, on the other hand (or should I say in the other reality) watched a remarkably uplifting and encouraging debate among several intelligent and informed individuals who, after a few minutes of going after one another, gave it up in order to passionately address in as much specificity as time allowed the issues that matter to us…the American people.
What a change!
Change is good.
What the candidates did, led I might say by Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, was to cut through so much of the “political speak” and parsing of words to talk straight from the heart and shoot straight from the hip, showing us they finally hear that we don’t trust them anymore.
This is a very good sign.
Some even threw caution completely to the wind…and it may cost them. Bill Richardson said “Human Rights are more important than national security” which will hurt him and give the Conservative Right Wing glee and fodder for their canons. I suspect that Richardson was trying to say the two were inextricably bound and that without demanding and enforcing human rights at home and abroad we negatively impact our credibility and security. In fact, the other candidates who had time to reflect on the question tried to say something along those lines. But look at Richardson’s courage in bringing human rights to the forefront and giving it the status it deserves. Bravo!
This was not your usual meaningless, controlled, cautious political debate scripted for mass appeal.
This was the Democrat Party coming alive again, the party I grew up with and remember. This was the passion and speaking truth to power I want to see in leaders of the 21st century.
Yes, they’re still not perfect and there’s still a lot of gamesmanship and manipulating of the facts going on. But be assured. Last night the pendulum swung back toward the truth and the momentum shifted. That momentum is fueled by We The People, and now having moved in a new direction, will not cease it’s path. We The People have demanded quietly, and now more vociferously, that business as usual must go and be replaced with a system and a paradigm that support growth, integrity and human dignity.
That’s the reality I’m living in and hope you join me here. The media and the Republicans may choose to put a more controlled spin on what occurred last night but I’d advise them to beware.
We The People are speaking…and they better be listening… because the Democrats are.
>In Bangladesh, 1100 people have died from a cyclone with 600,000 people fleeing from their homes with the possibility of more flooding on the way. Last week extreme weather off the coast of Russia was the cause of 10 ships being sunk, one an oil tanker that spilled 1.5 million gallons of oil. The Southeast United States is in the middle of an historic drought with no end in sight.
Do we really think that the greatest threat to our continued existence is Al Qaeda or the Taliban?
While there is no doubt that radical militant groups pose a threat to world peace, there is a less obvious but more important issue that we need to address. It’s the imbalance within Nature and its effect upon the planet.
I am not saying that humankind’s behavior and seemingly endless appetite for and consumption of natural resources are the direct causes of this imbalance, although a pretty good argument can likely be made for the case that they are. Personally, I think that what we are witnessing is more the natural environment’s reflection of where we’ve allowed ourselves to drift.By drift, I mean the way in which we so willingly abdicated responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions for the past several thousand years. You simply cannot act with disregard for your own integrity while living in denial regarding the connection between that kind of behavior and outcomes.
Just as I believe we get the leaders we deserve, so too do I believe we get the reality we deserve, or perhaps, the reality we support.
Among spiritualists, and mystics of all religions, meditation is the practice of going inside yourself to focus upon breath or God or Oneness to reach a higher or broader view. But what happens when the meditation that is practiced daily is constantly putting thoughts upon achieving more…acquiring more…winning at at all cost…having the newest car or the biggest house? This too is practicing a form of meditation. If where you put your thoughts and words and actions for most of your waking hours is upon such things, then this is your meditation and the reality you’re supporting.
So much of our time and energies in both the West and the East are devoted to acquisition and consumption, or control and conquest, that we have created a “view”…a reality…that is out of balance. Where are the thoughts, words and deeds that bring us together, foster peace, create harmony and teach respect for all forms of life? Where is the balance?
We are the determining factor in the world in which we live for we have been gifted both the ability to reason as well as free will. When we use these gifts unwisely and create a reality that is out of balance, that mis-creation can be seen in reflection by peering into the natural world.
Earth is also a living thing and it too requires harmony and balance. Lacking both, it responds by upheaval and with extreme acts such as cyclones, drought and wildly brewing seas.
Can we learn, now and finally, that we and Nature are partners, arm in arm? That while we may subdue Nature, we may not destroy it…for in the face of its own destruction, it will gather its own forces and by so doing, make Al Qaeda and the Taliban look like child’s play.