Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

I have been wrestling with a problem with myself and it’s very much to do with this herd identity. This is very damaging as it creates a superficial ‘self’ to buffer against the trials of reality without denting the inner and often hidden True Self.

I remember in the 60s when the Hippy Movement first emerged. At the time, I was an art student. That meant that not only did I study art, but I also wore the clothes that art students of the time wore, listened to Art Student music, held Art Student views and so on. There were frequent clashes between ‘Mods’ and ‘Rockers’ (if you’re unfamiliar with these tribal groups, Google them as there isn’t the space here to explain). As an Art Student, I felt rather individual because I identified with neither faction. Of course, I hadn’t taken on board that the term Art Student didn’t just indicate what I studied but defined a specific group ideology to which I conformed to the letter.

With the rise of the Hippies, there seemed to be a general trend among art students to embrace this new culture. This I did recognise as ‘herd identity’ and decided that I did not want to conform to an idiosyncratic ideology… so I became a beatnik to show how individual I was. Such is the logic of a young man who wants to be ‘different’ but doesn’t want to be alone.

Until very recently (since joining AOAND, in fact), I regarded myself as an atheist on the strength of the fact that I do not believe in the traditional theological view of God. I’ve described much of this in a discussion on here about atheism. In that discussion, I relate the fact that I kept receiving unsolicited emails from what was described as a “growing atheist community”.

Now, this is interesting. It’s an ideology that has a number of followers yet the only thing that bonds them is not what they believe but what they do not believe. I realised that, by identifying myself as an atheist, I was setting myself in opposition to anyone who feels differently.

Somewhere within all these superficial ‘club’ identities lies the person that I am. I make no claim of having stripped away all the posturing and pretenses to reveal my True Self and I can’t honestly be sure that I ever will. One thing is for sure, however, I won’t find it among “like-minded” people. I might find the “like” but the “minded” remains elusive as ever.

So why am I writing on AOAND? Good question. I’m glad I asked myself that.

I am a rather opinionated person (perhaps I’m part of a growing Opinionist Community) and relish every opportunity to publish my views on any site that accommodates user input.

Why? Another good question (I’m so glad I’m playing such an active part in this). Because I want feedback. Opposing views can often help me look at things from another viewpoint. I might not agree, in which case, it doesn’t matter because this is not about who is right or who is wrong. But I also crave approval. I want someone to say “Yeah! Right on!”

What would that matter? If someone agrees with me, it doesn’t confirm that I am right. It simply confirms that I am not alone. It comes back to that old security of the herd again. The more people who share my views, the less I stand out and the greater the chance that I won’t get eaten.

I’ve read quite a number of discussions on AOAND. There are some I agree with, some have been enlightening, some I’m not sure about and some I take issue with.

Some, however, I feel simply seem to use the language of the New Age without saying anything that drifts beyond the boundaries of what has become (whether you like it or not) the New Age Ideology.

I feel there is a common purpose here but I also feel that it is being diluted into the herd identity. There is a tendency to be mysterious and liberally use terms that are not clear in meaning. When I read about ego, it is invariably from someone who has transcended ego. I want to read about someone who’s still struggling with it because that, I can relate to.

If we are going to be facing some huge, significant change that is going to affect our perception of reality, are we really ready for that? When we say we are one, what precisely do we mean? More to the point, do we really mean that? Being as one must surely be more than a chant of the New Age Movement. If it is to have any substance to it then surely that glittering prize of the Universal Singularity cannot be found by simply joining together. That’s just coagulation, isn’t it?

Being One with All must surely be something we can only arrive at alone because it isn’t something we attain but something we truly realise. We can’t become One with All. We can only discover that we are and always have been. Being One with All begins with being One.

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"OK. I've just channeled this message to Humanity from Ghandi. He says:

"Bugger off! I've done my bit! You sort it out... I'm dead!"

Oh well... it was worth a try."

Yeah, yeah, yeah---I thought Ghandi was above the victim mindset---Just because he's dead doesn't give him the option to opt out!
My two cents...................a little late, but what the hell.

I am fundamentally alone. Once I interact with the world from a perspective of aloneness I see very clearly what I want from the world, and it is connection. That may sound contradictory, but it is in the awareness of my aloness in which the very real desire for real connection arises. Not connection to the herd, but to other individuals. This connection does not need to create a herd, as I choose to enter and leave these connections of my own volition, based on my needs and desires. If the others I am connecting with are unable to accept my unwillingness to protect their emotions, based on their issues, that have them begging for validation from my actions and words, it becomes quickly apparent that there is simply no need to continue that specific interaction unless it can be brought back to a real place with real communication.

It should be noted that I have my share of days where it is my issues that corrode communication, and I may not even realize it. Hopefully it is pointed out to me by another individual, and we can then connect in a meaningful way for a period of time, and then move on to integrate/disregard what we shared. Sometimes it cannot be reeled in, and my issues or ego if you want, are/is too active to be condicive to connecting. It is these times that I feel I have slipped back into the herd, as I will often go off on some diatribe about enslavement, or energy, or light. I have noticed though that the aspect of myself I slip into when a new round of issues surface, is continually growing in knowledge and awareness of not only the issues but awareness of itself as a place I go when I am feeling insecure. This knowledge and awareness of what I subscribe to, to protect myself as I wrestle, seems to make each trip back to the herd more tolerable, shorter, and rewarding when I can once again free myself to walk alone in search of connection without ego.

One might then say I am not comfortable alone as I am looking to connect, and I would say this is essentially true. Fundamdental aloneness is the state I feel we all exist in, and our mechanisms to avoid this knowledge are thick. It is not a desireable state, but awareness of it as our current state is where reconnection to a whole begins, at least for me. This awareness allows me to see the dysfunctional behavior I have used to avoid this knowledge, and form superficial, dare I say, immature connections. Acceptance of this knowledge is not easy, and for most superficial connections will suffice as a way to avoid the burning ascetism it takes to truly admit at one's core that our world is so disconnected that everyone we have ever known, even our parents, from whom many of us define love, did/do not have the capacity to connect with us in anything but a superficial way. This blows apart our personal map of the world, and leads to a state of confusion so utterly discombobulating, that it is simply not worth it. For me though, I am alone, I share thoughts that are mine based on the integration of thoughts I have had shared with me. I am not right, none of us are right, but there are times now when I connect, so deeply that it is indisputable, for me, that I am not wrong.

Be well,
I've always had a fixation about being stranded on a desert island. The reality, of course, is that I'd hate it but the fantasy is that I'd love it. My inclination to seek solitude has often been an issue with my family. It's not that I don't love their company but there are times when I really need to be on my own. I've never really known why this is but it may be my subconscious' way of telling me that I need to be searching within myself for something. It's a bit of a paradox.

As for being right: I think we put far too much importance on being right in a universal sense (ie; everyone recognising that we are right). I've learned to settle for creative ways of being wrong :o)

There is occasionally that sense of 'rightness', however. It's not about being right but the rightness of the moment. On these occasions, it is indeed indisputable.
Hi Ron, I, too, have rebelled against "new age" anything. When I helped start a speaker/workshop series a few years ago, I said please not something "New Thought" or "New Age", and so we came up with "Wisdom of the Ages."

My two favorite studies recently have been Vipassana meditation which was started by Gautama Buddha 2500 years ago or so. "...Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any 'ism'. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when the wisdom arises-the wisdom of observing reality as it is-this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action-action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others." S.N. Goenka "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation".

The other ancient tradition I have studied which goes along with the "Loving Kindness" meditation taught by Buddha is called Ho'oponopo, and it was created by a "Kahuna" woman ("Morna", I think) a long time ago. I spread a video about it all over the groups, so look it up if you are inclined.

Ron (which means "Teacher of Wisdom" in one of the ancient languages - Hebrew possibly?), I come from a scientific background, and the wisdom I study and practice has to be verified scientifically and even rationally, and Quantum Physics verifies both of the above. I also come from the Somatic field, and Buddha's work is definitely body-based. I even call Vipassana Meditation "whole-body Consciousness Meditation and is partly pure "Sensory Awareness." I have a masters in Somatic Psychology, and I fill like I am getting a Ph.d.(not that I care at my age) studying Vipassana. I recently attended a ten day Silent Vipassana Meditation retreat which may be the best thing I have ever done. There is a "Discussion" Section under the banner of the Meditation group, if you are interested. No Mistake, ron

My teacher Byron Katie when heard "nemaste" as a greeting thought she was hearing "no mistake" which is perfect for this dialogue you have started.
Yes. We do sometimes forget that Buddha was not a Buddhist and Jesus was not a Christian. They stood alone and spoke their truths. We must draw what we can from these icons of wisdom but not be drawn into thinking that their truths must necessarily be our truths.

We get a little too hung up on The Truth. I don't just mean a truth like "I chopped down the cherry tree", but The Truth with a capital 'T'. As if there is a singular, definitive Truth. When we say we want The Truth, we mostly mean that we want a lie. Not just a lie, but The Lie; the Lie that confirms our own beliefs and theories and sometimes our delusions. We want the Lie that confirms we've been right all along. For many of us, it's the only truth we'll accept.

Truths reside in the heart and lies reside in the head. Apart from that, there's little difference between them, which is why we keep getting them confused.

I have come across Ho'oponopo but I can't claim to have studied it. Anne (my wife) has been studying it and she's talked to me about it. I quite like the concept of taking responsibility for all that we experience. It seems to me to be a very grown up philosophy. I think maybe I'll look at it closer and see what my heart soaks up.

"I have a masters in Somatic Psychology, and I fill like I am getting a Ph.d.(not that I care at my age) studying Vipassana."

Someone once told me (I think it was probably a quotation) that education is wasted on the young. I don't actually agree with that but I'm inclined to think that youth is wasted on study. Young people study in the same way they catch a bus... with the destination in mind; grades or a degree or whatever. When we get old, study becomes more like a cruise than a bus ride. The emphasis is on the journey. We study to absorb, understand and resolve. When young people study, they're looking for answers. When we old timers study, we're looking for new questions.
"I have come across Ho'oponopo but I can't claim to have studied it. Anne (my wife) has been studying it and she's talked to me about it. I quite like the concept of taking responsibility for all that we experience. It seems to me to be a very grown up philosophy. I think maybe I'll look at it closer and see what my heart soaks up."

Very adult response, Ron. Thanks, I am copying it and adding it to my Ho'oponopono wisdom, respectfully, ron
Perhaps this simple message can help here a bit:

Maharaji opened his address by talking about human beings’ innate thirst for peace. “Even a long time ago,” he said, “when people wore their skin for clothes, you can imagine a man or a woman standing under the stars on a beautiful evening. And what do they ask? ‘Who am I? Why am I here?'

“Now, fast forward,” he continued. “Here we are. Cell phones. Airplanes. Television. Blu-Ray. High definition, low definition. More books than you can imagine. More religions and variations of religion than you can imagine. The Web, the information portal. And we still ask, 'Who am I? What am I? What am I doing here? What is the purpose of my life?'

Read more:
[Maharaji opened his address by talking about human beings’ innate thirst for peace. “Even a long time ago,” he said, “when people wore their skin for clothes, you can imagine a man or a woman standing under the stars on a beautiful evening. And what do they ask? ‘Who am I? Why am I here?']

I think maybe the Maharaji is a bit of an old romantic on the quiet :o)

I'm not ready to rule out the possibility that we once knew who we were and the question 'why am I here?' was irrelevant. Perhaps we have, over time, forgotten who we are and this void has been filled with the delusion that we have been 'put' here for a purpose above and beyond the purpose of an amoeba.

I am certainly in no position to say the Maharaji is wrong and I am right and I wouldn't dream of suggesting such a thing. I don't know if either of us are right and, quite frankly, I think that, too, is irrelevant. However, I can say with conviction that to consider myself of no more significance to the Great Scheme of Things than an amoeba is very liberating. I feel that we have an unhealthy fixation with a sense of purpose.
Wow...very, very interesting. So, now you have me thinking here. You have a great mind Ron, as do the responders. What all are saying is a scary truth indeed. We probably aren't far from being numbers. Our identities are being ripped apart daily for sure. Corrupt governments, (ours included) are out of control in my opinion. Mods, rockers, greasers, etc. all had herd mentality for sure. But we do need to belong, we do need to choose to a certain degree. I think what I find compelling here is the drive and spirit of those who join this group AOAND and at the very least what they are trying to put out. Collaborative spirit is a force to be reckoned with for sure. Will anything positive come out of it other than the comfort of knowing individually, that we are being heard? Don't know. Positive vibe? Yes, but does it mean anything beyond that? I know this, I like the spirit and input that I have witnessed in my short 2 days as a member. People like you make us think a bit beyond our statements. Kind words are a start. These are tough times we live in. Those of us who have lived through the 50's to the present have experienced more changes in society than at any other time. My hope, my dream, is that more thinking like this, more discussons like this, that engage us to respond based on people like you who speak fairly, honestly and with much wisdom obviously, is a great place to start.

"If Wars Were Fought With Music"

Thank you Ron,

Billy Gear
"If wars were fought with music" ...well, they wouldn't be wars, would they? They'd be gigs...

"Collaborative spirit is a force to be reckoned with for sure"

True but we must always be wary of this. The collaborative Spirit that brings about revolution tends to become a liability to the reformation. We need to keep a close eye on history and proceed with caution. If those who actually bring about the desired change then become the leaders, we could be in for another power trip. We don't really need leaders. We need coordinators.
Ron said: "If wars were fought with music" ...well, they wouldn't be wars, would they? They'd be gigs..."

I am copying that one into my favorite quotes page.
Truth - what is truth? To me, Ron - truth has to be a whole body experience, and I have to be the one who experiences it.
I have to feel it in my physical self. I have been a yoga teacher. I have studied Somatics in graduate school, and now as I have mentioned, Vipassana meditation is my newest practice. Here is more about Vipassana, and the eternal truths it deals with -

"It is a process of self-purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind, and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering, & egolessness. This truth-realization by direct-experience is the process of purification. The entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems, and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be practiced freely by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community, or religion, and it will prove equally beneficial to one and all."
from the tract "Vipassana Meditation" as taught by S.N. Goenka

The "universal truths of impermanence, suffering, & egolessness" have all been proven scientifically now which is important to me also as a trained scientist.

If you really want to see the results of Vipassana, I suggest renting or buying the documentary: "The Dhamma Brothers"
It is about the ten day silent course being taken into the worst prison in Alabama and working only with convicted murderers. That documentary is why I went to take the course myself and hope to facilitate getting teachers into S.C. prisons, especially where my nephew will be residing for a few years now. Also, I have ordered a book called Letters from the Dhamma Brothers.It is about the same prisoners and what they are experiencing a few years down the line.

I proudly call myself a Dhamma Brother now! I am still struggling with my "monkey mind" during meditations, but I have had momentary hints of the calming inner peace as a result of the purification. and I have joyous expectations to experience the "aliveness" felt by older students like Jeanne here - see the
"discussion Vipassanna" on the Meditation group here on AAOAND.
'Thanks for inspiring serious helpful dialogue here, Ron No mistake, ron

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