Monday, October 20, 2008
This is why there are poets:
Why wonder about the loaves and the fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into the many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don't worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it was all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.
-- Mary Oliver
(Why I Wake Early)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
How many teachers, in how many ways, how many times...have to tell me this, said so precisely on this particular occasion by one of my key teachers:
"If you are determined to stick to what is really important in life, then from day to day you will see that the unimportant pastimes, the distractions that lead you away from your purpose, will gradually weaken their hold.
"On the list of priorities, first and foremost is meditation. It will clear your eyes and bring the detachment and discrimination we all need to make wise choices. So right at the top of your list should be the resolution to practice meditation, and not to let anything come in the way.
"Not even the greatest of worldly achievements will satisfy us completely. Nothing finite can ever satisfy us. Sooner or later, all the vitality that has gone into pursuing countless goals in the outer world must flow into one huge desire to discover the divine presence within. This supreme discovery is what matters most in life. We are all born to seek the supreme truth."
-- Eknash Easwaran
Thursday, October 16, 2008
As usual, Sri Easwaran says it so well:
Have few desires."
-Ė Lao Tzu
"Detachment from likes and dislikes, habits and opinions, is not a sign of weakness. It is an enormously strong and positive quality. Nor does freedom from likes and dislikes mean that life is insipid for us, but rather that we are not driven compulsively by rigid ways of thinking. Even if we donít get what we want Ė or if we do get what we donít want Ė we can still function cheerfully and efficiently.
"Detachment from habits does not mean that we have no habits. Good habits can be very useful to cultivate in life. But we should be able to change our habits gracefully, or drop them altogether when necessary, especially if we learn that they are harmful to us or are not exactly endearing us to those around us. If we are used to a cup of coffee every morning with our breakfast and one morning we discover that we are out of coffee, we donít say, 'I canít function without my coffee,' and go back to bed. We should be able to say cheerfully, 'Iíll have tea instead Ė or soy milk.'"
-- Eknath Easwaran
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I sit in deep reflection tonight...I have just returned from walking in the moon's light. It's beauty immersed me in my sadness and disappointment in myself. I spoke to Sister Moon; I begged and beseeched her to intercede with the goddess to guide me back to my Self...to control of the monkey mind, always running here-and-there, so hard to corral, to master. The 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita echoes within in my angst:
6:5 Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.
6:6 To those who have conquered themselves, the will is a friend. But it is the enemy to those who have not found the Self within them.
6:7 The supreme Reality stands revealed in the consciousness of those who have conquered themselves. They live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame.
This is my heart's desire; may I reclaim the energy to begin again, to move toward greater consciousness and become the master of the mind, as I conquer my will.
As Sister Moon is my witness, I will prevail.
Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted in a profoundly sick society." --Krisnamurti
This is in stark contrast to my prior blog entry. Though difficult, this information is so important and extremely radical, but it needs to be contemplated deeply. In watching I wanted to say "NO!;" I wanted to reject the premises and fall back into the comfort of known, conditioned thinking...but I KNOW in the deepest part of me that the status quo is very, very sick and needs to be healed. So I watched on.
These two video links are NOTHING if not totally mind-blowing. And then the long text below is based upon the Venus Project, the utopian *dream* of Jacque Fresco.
Discussing the monetary system and the downward spiral of society...and a radical solution.
The first work, also deeply thought-provoking: Zeitgeist --
THE VENUS PROJECT
The Goal -- The Means is the End
We intend to restore the fundamental necessities and environmental awareness of the species through the avocation of the most current understandings of who and what we truly are, coupled with how science, nature and technology (rather than religion, politics and money) hold the keys to our personal growth, not only as individual human beings, but as a civilization, both structurally and spiritually. The central insights of this awareness is the recognition of the Emergent and Symbiotic elements of natural law and how aligning with these understandings as the bedrock of our personal and social institutions, life on earth can and will flourish into a system which will continuously grow in a positive way, where negative social consequences, such as social stratification, war, biases, elitism and criminal activity will be constantly reduced and, idealistically, eventually become nonexistent within the spectrum of human behavior itself.
This possibility is, of course, very difficult for most humans to consider, for we have been conditioned by society to think that crime, corruption and dishonesty is "the way it is" and that there will always be people who want to abuse, hurt and take advantage of others. Religion is the largest promoter of this propaganda, for the "us and them" or "good and evil" mentality promotes this false assumption.
The reality is that we live in a society that produces Scarcity. The consequence of this scarcity is that human beings must behave in self preserving ways, even if it means they have to cheat and steal in order to get what they want. Our research has concluded that Scarcity is one of the most fundamental causes of aberrant human behavior, while also leading to complex forms of neurosis in other ways. A statistical look at drug addition, crime and incarceration statistics, finds that poverty and unhealthy social conditions comprise the life experience of those who engage in such behavior.
Human beings are not good or bad... they are running, forever changing compositions of the life experience(s) that influence them. The "quality" of a human being ( if there was such a thing ) is directly related to the upbringing and thus belief systems they have been conditioned into.
This simple reality has been grossly overlooked and today people primitively think that competition, greed and corruption are "hardwired" elements of human behavior and, in turn, we must have prisons, police and hence a hierarchy of differential control in order for society to deal with these "tendencies". This is totally illogical and false.
The bottom line is that in order to change things for the better fundamentally, you must begin to address root causes. The current societies system of "punishment" is outmoded, inhumane, and unproductive. When a serial killer is caught, most people jump up and down and scream for the death of that person. This is backwards. A truly sane society, which understands what we are and how our value systems are created, would take the individual and learn the reasons behind his or her violent actions. This information would then go to a research department which considers how to stop such conditions from occurring through education.
It is time to stop the patchwork. It is time to begin a new social approach which is updated to present day knowledge. Sadly, society today is still largely based on outmoded, superstitious dispositions and resolutions.
It is also important to point out that there are no utopias or endings. All evidence points to perpetual change on all levels. In turn, it is our personal actions everyday of our lives that mold and perpetuate the social systems we have in place. Yet, paradoxically, it is also our environmental influences which create our perspectives and hence world views. Therefore, true change will come not only from adjusting your personal understandings and decisions, but equally from changing the social structures that influence these understandings and decisions.
Protest/Political movements are dead; the elite power systems are little effected in the long run by such means at this point in time. We must move beyond these 'establishment rebellions' and work with a tool much more powerful:
We will stop supporting the system, while constantly advocating knowledge, peace, unity and compassion. We cannot "fight the system. Hate, anger and the 'war' mentality is a failed means for change, for it perpetuates the same tool the corrupt, established power systems use to maintain control to begin with.
The Distortion and Paralysis
When we understand that all systems are Emergent and constantly in a state of evolution, along with the reality that we are all Symbiotically connected to nature and each other in the most simple yet profound way, forcing the realization that our personal integrity is only as high as the integrity of the rest of society, we then see how twisted and backwards our social establishments are and how their perpetuation is largely the cause of the social instability in society. For example, the Monetary System has been long deemed a positive force in society due to its claim to produce incentive and progress. In actually, the monetary system has become a vehicle for division and totalitarian control.
It is the ultimate form of "Divide and Conquer" for at its very core are the assumptions that (1) We must fight each other in order to survive. (2) Humans must have this reward "Incentive" to do anything meaningful.
As far as Number 1 (We must fight each other in order to survive.), this characteristic of 'competition' in the system guarantees corruption in society on every level, for the basis is "us against them". Many argue that the "free market system" is good... but it is corrupt in the modern day due to bad policies, favoritism, bailouts, etc. They assume that if a "pure" free market was allowed to flourish then it would be okay. This is false, for what you are seeing today IS the Freemarket at work, with all its differential advantage and corruption. No laws will ever stop the insider trading, collusion, monopoly, labor abuse, pollution, planned obsolescence or the like... this is what the competition based system produces without fail, for it is based on the premise of taking advantage of others for profit. Period.
We must begin to transition out of these oppressive ideals and move towards a system which is "designed" to support human beings... not force them to fight in order to survive. As far as Number 2, (Humans must have this reward "Incentive" to do anything meaningful.) this is just a sad and an incredibly negative perspective of the human being in general. To assume that a person must be "structurally motivated" or hence "forced" into doing anything, is just absurd. Think back to when you were a child and had no idea what money even was. You played, were curious and did many things... why? Because you wanted to. However, as time goes on in our system, that natural curiosity and self-motivation is striped away from people, as they are force to conform to the specialized, compartmentalized, nearly predefined labor system in order to survive. This, in turn, often creates a natural rebellion within the person due to the forced obligation, and this is how we came up with "leisure" and "work" separations. The laziness assumed to exist by the monetary system proponents (who claim it produces incentive) do not recognize this. In a true society, people would follow there natural inclinations and work to contribute to society not because they are "paid" for it, but because they have a greater awareness which recognizes that contributing to society helps them just as much as everyone else. This is the heightened state of awareness we hope to communicate. Your reward for contributing to society is the well being of that society... which, in turn, furthers your well being.
Now, putting things into perspective, it is important to understand that our world is currently run, undeniably, by a small group of dominant men in high positions of those institutions which are most dominant in society- Business and Finance. The establishment of government is in tandem with the influence and power of corporations and banks. The life blood is money, which is, in fact, an illusion that now has little relevance to society and serves as a tool for manipulation and division along a kind of social organization that guarantees elitism, crime, war and social stratification.
Simultaneously, individuals are taught that being "correct" is what creates their value as human beings. This state of being "correct" is directly related to the prevailing values of society itself. Therefore, those who accept and support the social system's views are considered "normal", while those who disagree are considered "abnormal" or even "subversive". Whether it is the dogma of a unique social tradition, or the alignment with a worldwide establishment religion, the basis is the same: Intellectual Materialism.
As we realize that knowledge and hence our institutions are always evolving, we see that any belief system which claims to "know" anything, without allowing for dispute, is a failed perspective. Religion, with its foundation in faith, is the king of this distortion, as it claims to know something definitively about the most complex and elusive origins of human kind, and this simply is not possible in an emergent universe.
That being said, it is then realized that equally as dangerous as the Establishment Power Structures, are the people who have been conditioned to completely accept the static understandings put forth by these systems... therefore becoming: "Self Appointed Guardians of the Status Quo". This applies to every system, especially political, financial and religious systems. Since people's identities become associated with the doctrines of a Country, Religion or Business ethic, it often becomes very difficult for a person to change, for his or her identity has become combined with the ideologies which have been imposed upon them. Therefore, they perpetuate the doctrine of the institution, simply to maintain their personal integrity, as they see it.
We must break this cycle, for it paralyses our growth not only as individuals, but as a society.
The Truth and Transition
Once we understand that the integrity of our personal existences are directly related to the integrity of the earth, life and all other human beings, we then have our path predefined for us. In turn, once we realize that it is science, technology and hence human creativity which creates progress in our lives, we are then able to recognize what our true priorities are for social and personal growth and progress. These points denoted, we can then see that Religion, Politics and the Money/Competition based Labor system are outdated modes of social operation, which must now be addressed and outgrown. Our avocation is to achieve a social system which operates without money or politics, while allowing superstition to work itself out as education flourishes. It isn't the right of any person to tell another what to believe, for no human has a full understanding of anything. However, if we pay attention to the natural processes of life, we then see how we can align with nature and thus our path becomes more clear.
For example, many people are worried about population growth on the planet, while very spooky comments by despotic figures like Henry Kissinger claim that some kind of "reduction" is needed. This is, of course, very scary. However, the real question remains: Is population growth really that bad? The answer is that from a scientific perspective the earth can handle many, many times more people if need be, once high technology is harnessed. 70% of our planet is water and cities in the sea ( one of many projects by Jacque Fresco ) are the next step. In turn, education about life operations will inform people as to the ramifications of their reproductive interests and population growth will naturally slow as people begin to realize how they are related to the planet and its carrying capacity.
In fact, the only true "government" that can possibly exist is the earth and its resources. From there, all possibilities can be assessed. This is why an intellectual unification of all countries is needed, for the most important information we as a species can have is a full, highly detailed assessment of what we have on this planet. Just as you would examine the land and resources of an acre of land to see what you could do or grow on it, this is what needs to happen with the planet in order to optimize what we are capable of as a species, resource wise.
Of course, many who consider the ideas presented above will often ask: "How can we do this considering the distorted value systems which are currently in operation.? How do we make such a move or transition?" This is, of course, the most difficult question. The answer: We have to start somewhere. There are many things that can be done by a single person or community that can begin to shape this vision. The most important step is education.
On March 15th 2009, ( or "ZDAY" as it was called in 2008 ) there will be a worldwide action day to expand awareness of this sociological direction. Our hope is to have regional meeting in as many cities, states & countries as possible. We here at thezeitgeistmovement.com will work to provide materials in every language we can, while doing whatever we can to help each subgroup. We will never ask for money. We are here to help, for we understand one central truth that has been lost for a long, long time:
The more you give- the more you get.
Thank you for your help.
-- Jacque Fresco (industrial designer and social engineer)
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