Archive for February, 2009
There’s a lot of talk these days, both
pro and con (although admittedly mostly con) about the need, perhaps,
to nationalize the U.S. banking system in order to stem the economic
hemorrhaging. The word “nationalization” comes with a great deal of
baggage, both politically and socially, and so raises the specter of
fear in many. For some, it’s Socialism plain and simple. Politically
its seen as a giant step by those seeking to undermine the intention of
the Founding Fathers. Socially, it’s condemned as yet one more action
by the Federal Government, and the “powers that be”, which continue to
erode both the individual’s rights and the free choice of our citizens.
While I may have some personal thoughts on the subject, my
immediate concern is that the type of unity and “pulling together” we
need going forward during these challenging and transitional times
cannot be mandated or legislated by government, but rather must be born
in the hearts and minds of each of us as we realize what true unity
looks and feels like.
The unity of which I speak is
Oneness. It is the kind of experience we often have following a natural
disaster or upon hearing of the plight of a suffering people. It’s when
we, as individuals, intellectually comprehend and emotionally respond
to the needs of someone less fortunate or in dire need. It’s
compassion…the highest expression of Love.
It is said
that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. In fact, it
is just this argument that has been the basis for the passing of
massive amounts of spending in recent weeks since election of our new
President and Congress. And while there can be little doubt that we are
living through an extraordinary time, the extraordinary means must be
predicated upon where it is we want to go. As someone once said, “if you want to go to Santa Fe, you can’t get there on a road leading to Anchorage.”
Since I believe we, as a people, want to get someplace beyond where we were before
the economic crisis hit, I think we need to go down a different road
than the one that got us there in the first place. It’s not a return to
economic boom times that we seek so much as an aspiration to a better
quality of life that holds out more meaning, promise and passion.
Therefore, the extraordinary measure I suggest we take is to enter into a permanent state of Collective Compassion.
Let’s not need a tsumani, 9/11 or Katrina to finally grasp that we
are all in this together…that diversity of color or culture is
irrelevant to Oneness…and that without a commitment to the highest
good for all concerned we can ultimately achieve no more than the least
of us. Let us each know deeply in our hearts that “I am not so much my
brother’s keeper as I am my brother.”
Some may call me a
naive Socialist for proposing such a remedy. I would reply that
separation and difference, in the extreme, have gotten us where we are
today and that while we may have been able to attain and maintain a
high degree of material and technological successes for a time…we
have been unable to sustain them because what’s been missing is
the solid foundation upon which they must rest. That foundation is the
fact that all of the achievements are for no other reason than to
elevate the human condition and expand the human consciousness…for
While I would not ever want to take away our
individual right to live the life we choose and pursue the endless
array of possibilities we each hold in our individual
imaginations…these must be powered by a collective heart that feels the importance of working in unity and harmony in
every moment and by every action so that we bring no more fear or
violence into the world and instead plant the vibratory seeds of Love
Will it work?
I only know for certain that nothing else has so far so what, really, do we have to lose?
And just imagine what it will be like if does work.
When I was in the 6th grade I memorized a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “If.” It’s been one of those inexplicable occurrences in life that decades later I can still remember every word and have often quoted it throughout my adult life. In case you’re unfamiliar with it here are the first few lines:
“If you can keep you head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,…”
May I suggest you take just a few seconds and read those opening lines again because they hold the secret for how to get through the uncertainty and apparent difficulties we are now experiencing personally, nationally and globally.
By now most of us have begun to realize that all of the “experts” don’t really know what’s going on either and, therefore, are unable to “fix” any of it. In fact, it seems the more they try the more enmeshed we find ourselves in, what feels like, quicksand…or at least flypaper. The confident steed called “Change” that so many Americans rode into the White House on has begun to look more like a newborn foal, stumbling around the grazing field on obviously shaky legs.
Which is why Kipling’s “If” is prophetic and helpful.
Almost everywhere you turn, systems that have been in place for decades, centuries or even longer are no longer helpful in creating the ends they were designed to meet. And I’m talking systems that cross all disciplines: economic, political, even spiritual. This systemic breaking down, or ineffectiveness, is generating a lot of fear. Individuals feel powerless to do anything about the magnitude of the apparent chaos.
So what is it that we can do as individuals?
Go back and read Kipling again. Really. Read it for the third time. Go on, Just humor me.
The reason I want you to read it three times is to imprint it in your mind. It’s really brilliant. It’s a road map for traversing this rocky road we find ourselves on because what you can do… what you must do… what you are designed to do..is start small and trust your inner guidance.
What exactly does this mean?
Forget the big picture. Yes. Forget it. Stop focusing on the economy, the country’s problems, the world’s problems. Start focusing on what is closest to home, immediate in your life, and tend to those people and issues based upon what your inner guidance tells you …whether or not it’s what you’ve always been taught is the way to handle life. When it’s so obvious that no one seems to have the answers for how to travel this uncharted path, why would you listen to or follow anyone by giving them more credibility or more authority than you’d give to yourself and your own perceptions?
“If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”
During all of the current uncertainty and coming confusion stay grounded, inner-directed and heart-centered. There will be endless efforts to put the “blame” on various groups and individuals for all that appears to go awry and sometimes that target may even be you. Those are the times when it will be most important to “‘keep your head” and follow those three principles I just set down: staying grounded, inner directed and heart-centered.
“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,…”
Maintaining trust in your own capacity to make choices and create a life that is consistent with who you are and what you believe in will also be key. There will likely be more people than you care to think about who will want to tell you that your “way” is clearly wrong and theirs is right. Allow for the possibility that theirs may be right for them while at the same time holding on with confidence in the decisions you make for yourself based upon your experiences and inner guidance.
We are entering an evolutionary phase wherein each individual will come to realize she or he has the capacity and inner-knowledge to not only handle life’s dilemmas but also to blaze new and exciting pathways in creating a truly unique existence.
I love this story. A man named Henry dies and goes before God and God asks him how he lived his life. Henry replies ‘Well, I wasn’t as hospitable as Abraham and I wasn’t as brave as Moses and I wasn’t as loving as Jesus. Whereupon God replies: ‘I already had an Abraham, a Moses and a Jesus. Were you the best Henry you could have been?”
Every age of humankind’s development passes through some unique territory. We are passing through the Age of Personal Creation and Personal Responsibility. Creator has encoded each of us with the guidance and energy necessary to live lives that are bounded only by the limitations of our individual imaginations and capacity to love. That encoding has laid dormant for thousands of years but is now being activated.
With courage and the understanding that we are all personally responsible for both what we create as well as how we manage and respond to it, we can move into these times of apparent unrest and uncertainty with the exhilaration of explorers and adventurers embarking upon the only journey worth taking.
For a complete reading of Kipling’s poem, “If”, click here.