Architects of a New Dawn

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

Ok let’s face it all forms of government have failed to perform. All
organized religions have failed. Economics, the money system works
bass-ackwards. The idea of survival of the fittest is not how the
universe operates. The forms of organized religion and governments have
damaged the planet and allowed the majority of the population to live
in squalor and misery. The rich have been miserable too, because living
prosperously when others are suffering will not ultimately lead to a
fulfilled life.
So what principles can we establish by which to create an ever
expanding life? How can we turn things around? If we were to “go back
to the drawing board” and start over, what could we do?

This idea came to me many years ago when I thought about personal
responsibility inside of corporations. Ultimately, there is no “passing
the buck” in life, even though “chain of command” has created this
preposterous idea: that if someone is my master or boss, and they tell
me what to do, I have no responsibility for my actions. This is worse
than a lemming mentality. For example: my boss gets an idea that it is
a good idea to jump off a cliff, so he tests the idea by telling me to
jump off the cliff. He’s my boss, so I have to do it. What happens, I
die, or am severely crippled for the rest of my life. Now in truth both
of these possibilities are not as bad as we think. In fact, at least in
this world, they can lead to great demonstration. However, the point of
argument here is, just because my boss made the decision, am I not
responsible for the action?
What happens to my boss, maybe he doesn’t die, but in a way, hasn’t he
suffered a worse consequence? Isn’t that how it really works? That if I
benefit at the expense of another, whether it be another person,
another life form, or the planet, I ultimately lose out much more –
because like the law of giving is multiplicative, so is the Golden Law,
the retributions for ignorance, especially intentional, will come back
around, multiplied. Cosmically, or some would say karmically, I will
pay a price, some day. But this too is “bass-ackwards”, for the reason
“not” to do something is not about saving my own hide.

However, beyond the potential benefits gained from passing from this
life, or the powerful demonstrations that can come from people who
overcome physical and mental challenges, the question remains did we
come here to Live or to Die?, at least in this physical form. If we
could learn the lessons of Love, truly, I believe that we would have to
answer that we are born to Live, period. This conclusion is what Albert
Schweitzer referred to as “will to live”. His simple but profound
realization, that all life forms are born and have the creative
source’s (ONE, God, Krishna, etc.) inherent aim “to survive”, to live a
full life, then led him to realize the fact that, to live in absolute
harmony with other beings, and ultimately with himself, he needed to
establish a foundation, or “ethic” for his existence. His epiphany he
called “reverence for life” – and that means all life – including
insects and plants.

"So what is the point here?", you ask - "I don't see the 'How to Live"
'in this" and "where is this all coming from?" I don't know, but it
feels like inspiration. I woke up this morning, after a wonderful
Facebook chat last night with a high school friend Tom Dooley who has
been on a similar life trek as I. It’s as if he and I ventured out
walking from Ames, Iowa, as high school acquaintances, to experience
the world and life in all its trials and tribulations, and through some
set of serendipitous circumstances found that our wandering, weaving
paths, ended meeting squarely head-on again after 30 years.

I found myself all last night dreaming, but also half-dreaming, about
some of Tom’s experiences and insights that he has come to. That
Everything is only ONE! Everything is a mirror! But also as I was
dreaming, and half-dreaming, I was scripting a message to Tom about my
admiration for his journey. Acknowledging his accomplishments and
dedication in pursuit of “the Truth”. And I’m not talking about the
Christian truth, or the Buddhist truth, or the American Indian truth,
or the United States truth, etc. – I’m talking about the One Truth –
the One Truth that I think Christ realized, that Siddhartha realized,
and that Tom Dooley realizes. There is only ONE thing here.

I also told him at one point that I have now realized that I had
profound epiphanies when I was young. He said "Like what?" And on the
spot I didn't remember this one about "personal responsibility", but
this morning I did, and I became inspired to write this essay.

But what does this mean - the idea that there is "only ONE thing here"?
How can this Truth, which many call love, which isn’t what it really
is, because love is only a word, that has been tremendously
misunderstood, but it comes as close as any word, be realized? How does
one go about day to day, to make decisions in a backwards world, to
move toward a world that reflects the Love of the ONE? How do we move
from the world of wars, of suffering, of disease, of disharmony and
pain to the world of love and harmony and peace and understanding? How
do we move away from the “status quo” where people are searching for
the truth outside only, instead of inside and then reflecting the
beauty that they discover to the outside and then have it reflected
back? How do we move out of the existing world we live each day where
the economic system seems to be designed to destroy the very thing
where the bounty comes from? “Modern” economics kills the geese that
lay the golden eggs. And we blame it all on “greed”. The basic premise
of Adam Smith’s economic model of scarcity, is the catalyst for greed
which feeds “fear of lack”, that puts us in the modality of “get what
you can for yourself and your loved ones, but damn the rest of them”.
Who is responsible for all this stuff – these ideas, these theories,
these beliefs, these excuses? We are! Each one of us. As individuals,
we collectively contribute to the continuation of all the things we say
or believe are bad. So that is where the solutions to these “apparent
dilemmas” must begin. At the individual level. One person at a time.
And the amazing thing is, that if I change my mind about these things
that something magical happens: I will see the world differently, and
subsequently the world will change!

These ideas of what is wrong or who is to blame are all based on a
cop-out. If we say these things are “reality” we’ve given up: given up
some of our greatest attributes and capabilities such as, imagination,
agility, and adaptation. It’s not even about corporate greed or
government’s incompetence or political corruption. Because in the end
corporations, governments and political systems are composed of people,
supposedly created and designed to serve the people. I think it comes
down, basically, to personal responsibility. That I need to take
responsibility, to the best of my ability, for every thought, action
and deed. I would say simply that the world would change significantly
if we guided our thoughts and actions by Love. At some level that
should be enough. The seven "virtues of the heart" (ps): admiration,
compassion, forgiveness, humility, gratitude, understanding and valor
provide a wonderful “acid test” of our thoughts, actions and behavior.
But how does that convert to practical methods? How do we convert the
wonderful “ideas” of the seven virtues into a “practical technique” –
maybe just by asking ourselves a few questions.

I suggest this list as a starting point:
- am I being asked to do something that I would do if I had to take personal
responsibility for the action – or if I were to receive the negative repercussions?
- have I given some thought to how others might or might not benefit? – and this
means as comprehensive a list as possible.
- am I keeping secrets?
- am I telling lies?
- do I think I can pull the wool over someone’s eyes and gain personal benefit at their
expense?
- of all possible choices of action, is my action the best choice for other people, to
nature, the planet, and myself?
- am I constantly challenging myself to do better? This includes helping others raise
their awareness of this level of personal responsibility?
- if I were being watched by a sort of “quality overseer” would I feel ashamed of my
efforts, or would I feel that I have done my best?
- am I trying to justify my actions or explain with excuses?
- am I expecting someone else to clean up my mess? (this means in every aspect of my
life).
- am I willing to consider the application of “Reverence for Life”, in my life?
- am I willing to take time to measure my thoughts and actions against the seven
virtues of the heart: admiration, compassion, forgiveness, humility, gratitude,
understanding and valor

And finally, do I realize that there is One infinite Loving presence
that is overseeing all of this? So really there are no big deals. And
all that I have written here doesn’t matter much at all, in the whole
scheme of things, but at least I did my best.

Of course all of these things roll into the “Golden Rule”, which I
believe is really The “Golden Law”, but this short list of questions
provides a practical way to evaluate any given action. The fact of the
matter is, that inside each one of us, is the mechanism or guidance
program that will answer each of these questions – perfectly – that is
if we are clear with our feelings. It’s been called “our conscience”,
but it speaks to us through feelings – anxious, angry, painful or
fearful (bad) feelings mean we’re making a mistake. Smooth calm, happy,
comfortable feelings mean it’s a pretty good decision. The program
associated with our heart feelings will guide us with absolute clarity,
if we take the time to notice what they are saying to us. The questions
provided here are intended to establish a means by which to measure the
viability of each decision.

March 26, 2009

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