Saturday, July 31, 2004

Hearing Is Not Believing (Is it?)

It is rather easy for a person to be rocked about in their psychological and spiritual boat by every passing wave of occurance, statement, or belief system unless they're keeping their course and siting on a point that's beyond where forces (those waves of discombobulation) are seeking to draw their attention (seeking to keep them focused on exactly where they are in the storm tossed sea).

So, it's wise to recall there is a destination if we desire to head that way. It is wise to consider carefully statements made by individuals that may have a nice "sound bite" but lacks a sound foundation, and, indeed may be a deliberate deception that keeps us too confused to find a way out of the storm.

Let's take George W. Bush's July 30th address for example in which he sought to sway people from giving serious consideration to Democratic Presidential Nominee, John Kerry:

  • According to news reports (I'm reading MSNBC), George Bush declared: "They're (the Democratic ticket) going to raise taxes, we're not." -- That may sound quite disturbing to the public, and he came across sounding so definitive while rattling people's fear, didn't he?
    However, it's incomplete. If we add what the John Kerry ticket has really said and which George purposely left out, how would it sound now as a soundbite to the American public: "They're going to raise the taxes of people earning over $200,000 and we're not." Hmmmm....
  • George W. Bush's speech that he was not turning back and that "results matter" was widely quoted. How many people heard the Kerry rejoinder, though, which was that "results do matter" and pointing out that Bush's policies have led to record deficits, skyrocketing health care costs, lower quality jobs, a military that is stretched too thin, and a nation isolated from its allies."

    Hmmm...Well, every single person's focus and results can cause disaster - or wellbeing - for others. That's why it is so important to know what you desire in life and participate in creating only that. So, what is each candidate mirroring of own beliefs and desires and which results would you rather choose?
  • George Bush said that Kerry and Edwards "consistently oppose reforms that limit the power of Washington and leave more power in the hands of the people." Let me see, now, we have the Patriot Act that now allows the government to scan over my library book withdrawals, a desire on the part of the Bush's party to add a constitutional amendment defining what is done or not in a bedroom, a President who became President not by the Popular Democratic Vote (he lost that) but by a count of the electoral college (just try explaining that one to people overseas!); and there's plenty other areas of government oversight that could make your head spin.
  • How does that phrase go: America, "government by the people and for the people." Now, if indeed there was a significant move to take control out of the federal government's hands next week, would you bet that George Bush would not vote for reforms limiting the power of Washington and placing more power in the hands of the people. So, it seems that in statements such as that previously quoted, he's just reading the script of the "spin doctor" and marketing managers. It's best to ignore political marketing and get to the heart of the matter.
  • Bush stated that Kerry had not demonstrated any experience in reforming education or health care. Question: Did/has/does George Bush? Think so? You may have a difficult time proving that since President Bush neglected to specify his stellar numbers and actual accomplishments on an overhead projector for all to see. So, if we hear it, do we believe it?
  • Bush stated Kerry would erase gains made during the last four years in the economy and security. Since Bush has been steadily employed these last few years and earning over $200,000, I can understand how he would feel confident in the economy (and a little shaky about that tax hike on the wealthy), though the underpaid, unemployed and under-employed, the hungry, the sick citizens might not be able to relate. As for security, Kerry's too big a military man himself to start unscrewing things. (Wish we COULD get a non-military guided man/woman in office one of these days. Ooops, did I say that?).
  • As for Bush's assertion that he has a "clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to this world," it has not yet been presented though there's some thousand dead "coalition solders," a few thousand dead Iraqi citizens (latest news is that U.S. and coalition forces have already killed more innocent Iraqi citizens than the number of people who died in the World Trade Center so some people are wondering if we can perhaps bring our troops home now?) , an irate Iraqi citizenry, a couple "pre-emptively invaded" countries in turmoil and a vision that is glued only to a path of war - and war has never led to lasting peace.

This seems a perfect time to quote Einstein that it is impossible to simultaneously prepare for war and peace; and that it is impossible to solve a problem from the same frame of reference that created the problem.

In war people are actually attacking the results rather than seeking to know the causes and ultimate solutions to the original unrest, and it's not until you widen your peripheral vision and expand your scopes distance that more can be seen and considered.

Hearing is not to be believed.

So whereforth art thou focus? What is your vision? How will your choices, your discernment, your beliefs impact others? What will be created? Whose vision are you living? What else might be done?



Friday, July 23, 2004

Peace Is Misunderstood - Terror Compounds Terror

Peace Is Misunderstood
If peace were understood by individuals we would be living peace-filled lives. We have been regularly taught, sometimes blatantly and most often subtly, that to be peaceful means we must be passive. Passive, we’ve been taught, means to do nothing, go limp, allow ourselves to be stepped on. So“Why would we want that?” is the next obvious question then. “If we go limp, they’re gonna get me!”

Even people who abhor war often misunderstand peace and voice confusion about what “doing nothing” offers. Peace, however, is a potent energy that’s assembled in a certain format and structure. Just as some atoms are structured to create the image of a tree, others may be purposely structured to create destruction, as witnessed by the nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, among numerous other acts of terror perpetuated throughout history by nations in every part of the world.

The distress call that was heard around the world on 9-1-1, September 11, 2001, calls us all to structure ourselves differently.

As a noun, the word “peace” is synonymous with amity, harmony, and accord. The articulation of “peace,” as an adjective, is recognized as calm, tranquil, and untroubled. In its action state, though, “peace” is synonymous with being at peace, making peace, and keeping the peace. We are thus, mistaken when we believe peace is exemplified by a lack of action, or, perhaps, by a personal calm that blithely ignores “reality.” Peace is, actually, an energy of creation that can be and has been utilized through principles recognized in quantum physics.

For most of us, though, the major reason we fear peace is not a fear of someone else “getting us.” Instead, it begins as a deeply imbedded fear of who we might become if we begin to think, behave, and live on peaceful principles. What will we be called upon to do and say and how might that radically alter our individual worlds? At a deep, deep level we understand that our relationships with our own person, and our relationships with our family, our fellow employees, our jobs, country, and our present commitments, which all frame the basis of our known security, will be up for major shifts if we choose to live peacefully. What we do not yet consciously realize of this deep, deep truth is that in changing, we gain, not lose; in changing, new opportunities arise, new choices and creations become available to us. When we follow this deep, deep truth we are following our soul’s call to be who we truly are.
When we believe that someone else must make the first move, we're living out of fear and setting ourselves up for failure in subtle and obvious ways.
Terror Compounds Terror
Like creates like. Let's consider the world stage. In the "first strike" attack upon Afghanistan and then, with a "shock and awe" military campaign upon an indefensable Iraq (Were you shocked or awed that both as a government as as individuals we were willing to and continue to feel a responsibility to bomb, maim, and kill innocents?) we rained down upon others what we most deeply feared happening to us. The U.S. had, as a people and as a nation, had felt fear for the first time. Yet it was the nation that responded, and then the people, galvanized by the press, fell in lock step. Now, as more information comes out about how mislead the people were, the people's steps are beginning to falter.
Terror it seems becomes real to people only when they experience it, yet terror has existed daily in nations on many continents and the individuals of the U.S. have felt immune from it. Genocide exists today in nations on the African continent, for example, and yet we as a world people and as nations have not galvanized behind it, invaded it, stopped it (as, for example, the U.S. nation has used as one excuse for invading Iraq), because there has been no involvement of gain for us. Neither personal security nor potential profit (from, for example, oil) exist in such places on the African continent. Yet the daily plague of war and suffering and maiming and killing and orphans and disease exist for the people there. Could you deal with that?
There are other kinds of terror, do you define terror? When the British were trying to squelch the American Revolution, several commanders of the British forces had horror tales to tell of these Americans who would rain terror down on their troops by shooting from behind trees then disappear into the brush (so unsporting for civilized people who were supposed to understand that the rules of the game were that forces of opposing armies meet out on a plain and face each other in combat). The colonists didn't play fair, we didn't care that we weren't giving their soldiers a chance to defend themselves!
Recently two individuals were talking in my office and stated "Terrorism is just the way things are. There's no escape from it. It's part of life." They acted as though this type of terror, fear, uncertainty of when the next bomb was going to drop (on our U.S. heads), had been with us forever. Yet, it has not been a daily living situation for the citizens in most of the "civilized world" (excluding the old Soviet Union and China terror campaigns against its own people, for example) and certainly NOT in the U.S. Yet their language revealed that they have both (and many others) come to accept this cloak of "existing terror" as having been ever present.
However, the nation of the U.S. has been the instrument of terror for people in claudestine spy, political and financial activitites in South America, the Middle East, Iraq, etc for decades and that has birthed children who grow up fearing and/or resenting American interests, and that is something that people have yet to grasp. In actions that have not hit the pages of the press (but are often part of freedom of information act releases), people in other countries have been oppressed in the name of "goodwill" and "American interests." We've assassinated leaders, derailed "democratic" elections, set up or helped utilize "non-existent" prisons of torture, and thus helped to create unease, fear, resentment that has birthed terrorism into a new definition of something that WE now have come to fear/defend ourselves against.
Breaking the Cycle
When people are willing to break the cycle and accept our own complicity by acknowledging that, for example, those people we are bombing in the name of government policy are no different than our family, don't deserve this, and we can no longer justify such actions; or that, for example, it has been our policies of the past that have contributed to the resentment that would unleash bombs upon us and begin instead addressing policies from a new perspective that strikes at the core of people's concerns wholeheartedly (let's address safety, food, clothing, health, education survival type issues), we will be addressing (and healing) the core issue rather than attacking symptoms.
Peace takes a stand for core issues. Being on the forefront of peace can be a (seemingly)dangerous place to be, yet how many millions of soldiers and civilians have died/continue to die as a result of a lack of belief in peaceful solutions and policies.
Individuals, not governments decide these things. We decide it in our choices. We decide whether we will follow manna or our soul's directive. We decide whether living in accordance with the policies of a leader, a nation, a boss, a spouse, etc is more important than how our Source/God/Creator desires us to live.
Are you, am I, living in accordance with a Higher Authority?