One Truth ☮ Many Songs

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“All major mystical traditions have recognized that there is a paradox at the heart of the journey of return to Origin. Put simply, this is that we are already what we seek, and that what we are looking for on the Path with such an intensity of striving and passion and discipline is already within and around us at all moments.
 
The journey and all its different ordeals are all emanations of the One Spirit that is manifesting everything in all dimensions; every rung of the ladder we climb toward final awareness is made of the divine stuff of awareness itself.
 
Divine Consciousness is at once creating and manifesting all things and acting in and as all things in various states of self-disguise throughout all the different levels and dimensions of the universe.
 
The great Hindu mystic Kabir put this paradox with characteristic simplicity when he said:
 
Look at you, you madman,
Screaming you are thirsty
And are dying in a desert
When all around you there
is nothing but water!
 
And the Sufi poet Rumi reminds us:
 
You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!
 
We are so addicted, either to materialism or to transcending material reality, that we don’t see God right in front of us, in the beggar, the starving child, the brokenhearted woman; in our friend; in the cat; in the flea. We miss it..
 
This world is not an illusion, and the philosophies that say it is are half-baked half-truths. In an authentic mystical experience, the world does disappear and reveal itself as the dance of the divine consciousness.
 
But then it reappears, and you see that everything you are looking at is God, and everything you’re touching is God. This vision completely shatters you.

The Paradox of the Journey
 
Knowing that we are looking for something we already have (and are) does not, of course, mean that the journey is unnecessary, only that there is a vast and sublime joke waiting to be discovered at its end.
 
One serious explanation of this joke at the heart of the journey is, of course, that our essential self is hidden from us by what the Sufi mystics call ‘a hundred thousand veils of illusion.’
 
Placed in this dimension of time and space and matter, we forget who we are; we identify our essential nature with what surrounds us and with what our culture and society and parents and ordinary senses tell us about ourselves.
 
A massive journey is then needed for us to ‘dis-identify’ with everything we have falsely learned about our selves so that we can experience, with the ‘hundred thousand veils’ burned away, the glory of our true identity….
 
~By Andrew Harvey, The Direct Path ~
 
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Buddhist Anarchism – Gary Snyder, 1961

“Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion. Wisdom without compassion feels no pain. No one today can afford to be innocent, or indulge himself in ignorance of the nature of contemporary governments, politics and social orders. The national polities of the modern world maintain their existence by deliberately fostered craving and fear: monstrous protection rackets.” ~Gary Snyder, 1961

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Gary Snyder’s Buddhist Anarchism was originally published in Journal for the Protection of All Beings #1 (City Lights, 1961). A slightly revised version appeared in Earth House Hold (New Directions, 1969) under the title “Buddhism and the Coming Revolution.” This is the latter version, with the original title.

“Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love and compassion; acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one-“self” — because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up; and away.

In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and-desire to be given facts of the human condition.

Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings.

Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion. Wisdom without compassion feels no pain.

No one today can afford to be innocent, or indulge himself in ignorance of the nature of contemporary governments, politics and social orders. The national polities of the modern world maintain their existence by deliberately fostered craving and fear: monstrous protection rackets.

The “free world” has become economically dependent on a fantastic system of stimulation of greed which cannot be fulfilled, sexual desire which cannot be satiated and hatred which has no outlet except against oneself, the persons one is supposed to love, or the revolutionary aspirations of pitiful, poverty-stricken marginal societies like Cuba or Vietnam.

The conditions of the Cold War have turned all modern societies — Communist included — into vicious distorters of man’s true potential. They create populations of “preta” — hungry ghosts, with giant appetites and throats no bigger than needles. The soil, the forests and all animal life are being consumed by these cancerous collectivities; the air and water of the planet is being fouled by them.

There is nothing in human nature or the requirements of human social organization which intrinsically requires that a culture be contradictory, repressive and productive of violent and frustrated personalities. Recent findings in anthropology and psychology make this more and more evident.

One can prove it for himself by taking a good look at his own nature through meditation. Once a person has this much faith and insight, he must be led to a deep concern with the need for radical social change through a variety of hopefully non-violent means.

The joyous and voluntary poverty of Buddhism becomes a positive force. The traditional harmlessness and refusal to take life in any form has nation-shaking implications. The practice of meditation, for which one needs only “the ground beneath one’s feet,” wipes out mountains of junk being pumped into the mind by the mass media and supermarket universities.

The belief in a serene and generous fulfillment of natural loving desires destroys ideologies which blind, maim and repress — and points the way to a kind of community which would amaze “moralists” and transform armies of men who are fighters because they cannot be lovers.

Avatamsaka (Kegon) Buddhist philosophy sees the world as a vast interrelated network in which all objects and creatures are necessary and illuminated. From one standpoint, governments, wars, or all that we consider “evil” are uncompromisingly contained in this totalistic realm.

The hawk, the swoop and the hare are one. From the “human” standpoint we cannot live in those terms unless all beings see with the same enlightened eye. The Bodhisattva lives by the sufferer’s standard, and he must be effective in aiding those who suffer.

The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both. They are both contained in the traditional three aspects of the Dharma path: wisdom (prajna), meditation (dhyana), and morality (sila).

Wisdom is intuitive knowledge of the mind of love and clarity that lies beneath one’s ego-driven anxieties and aggressions.

Meditation is going into the mind to see this for yourself — over and over again, until it becomes the mind you live in.

Morality is bringing it back out in the way you live, through personal example and responsible action, ultimately toward the true community (sangha) of “all beings.”

This last aspect means, for me, supporting any cultural and economic revolution that moves clearly toward a free, international, classless world. It means using such means as civil disobedience, outspoken criticism, protest, pacifism, voluntary poverty and even gentle violence if it comes to a matter of restraining some impetuous redneck.

It means affirming the widest possible spectrum of non-harmful individual behavior — defending the right of individuals to smoke hemp, eat peyote, be polygynous, polyandrous or homosexual. Worlds of behavior and custom long banned by the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West.

It means respecting intelligence and learning, but not as greed or means to personal power. Working on one’s own responsibility, but willing to work with a group. “Forming the new society within the shell of the old” — the World War I slogan of fifty years ago.

The traditional cultures are in any case doomed, and rather than cling to their good aspects hopelessly it should be remembered that whatever is or ever was in any other culture can be reconstructed from the unconscious, through meditation.

In fact, it is my own view that the coming revolution will close the circle and link us in many ways with the most creative aspects of our archaic past. If we are lucky we may eventually arrive at a totally integrated world culture with matrilineal descent, free-form marriage, natural-credit communist economy, less industry, far less population and lots more national parks.”

GARY SNYDER
1961


 

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Bernie Sanders’ Revolution of Love

“We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human.” 
― Charles Eisenstein

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One doesn’t need to occupy a position of power to change the world. Think of some of the most influential people down through history- Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tsu, Rumi, Mozart, Van Gogh, Walt Whitman, Helen Keller, Gandhi, Maria Montessori, Einstein, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Malala, etc.

The most influential human beings rarely had power over others, yet their impact upon human growth, learning, culture and experience was tremendous. What they had was wisdom, skillfulness, imagination, vision and love. Which they shared freely, inspiring others, sparking new ways of thinking, behaving and experiencing life.

That’s how revolutions are set in motion. That is how the world is changed.

As we move forward past November, I think its a mistake to say that Bernie Sanders “lost” the US election this year. Far from it. Bernie Sanders may very well be one of the most important and influential politicians to appear in recent decades.

Bernie did not need to “win” in the normal way of thinking to set a global revolution in motion. He planted seeds of wisdom in our consciousness, insights that transcended traditional systems of political power and thinking. Now its up to those of us inspired by him to plant those seeds in good earth, help them to take root, grow and thrive.

Rather than mourn this year’s outcome, the question is: How can we help to bring Bernie’s vision for humanity into reality, how can can we work together with others to build a wiser and more loving world?

There’s no one answer to that. It will depend on the circumstances of your life, and what gifts you have to share. But I think for many of us it begins with an appreciation of the sacredness and preciousness of life. With the understanding that a world guided by compassion will depend upon daily actions both large and small. It requires that love is lived and applied, constantly put into practice.

This was the core of Bernie’s message, that healthy democracy transcends politics. It comes into being through all our relationships, by recognizing our interdependence with our neighbors, Nature and other nations. It takes shape with our consumer habits, our work, play, family lives, friendships, volunteer activities and social activism. 

Bernie taught us that democracy and politics must be guided by wisdom and kindness, not greed and selfishness. That we must realize how we are all connected, are a part of Nature, not separate from one another (or the planet that surrounds us). That true democracy begins with caring about people, having integrity, expressing our truth, respecting other cultures and putting love into action.

Moreover, that grassroots democracy does not require approval (or even leadership) from politicians in Washington. We are all leaders, and though we may have been taken advantage of in the past (and lied to), in truth we have never been powerless.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we have always had the power to chose the paths we wish to take, to organize with others, to improve our lives, grow our skills, transform our communities, to have our voices heard. To have politicians serve us, not the other way around.

There are many problems, many challenges in the world. Some of the old systems may be falling apart around us, this is true. The old institutions need to be changed. Many do not work, are dysfunctional or corrupted. Some systems in our world appear to be crashing and imploding.

But we do not need to fear this. Human beings are creative and social by nature. There is much we can do by joining with those around us, by recognizing the beauty that exists, by developing our innate potential for creative intelligence, wisdom and love.

We have a choice now, to focus on what’s falling apart (where we will continuously be feeling fearful and angry), or to come together to create a better world. 

This is the challenge (and opportunity) before us, to ignore the false narratives of fear that the media and governments will be sharing. To build grassroots systems of democracy, economics, education, alternative media, technology and cultural innovation that take root, like trees and gardens, becoming bigger (and more influential) in the coming years.

To create a new world for the human species, for our families, for the other species that exist in Nature and for all future generations. Some related thoughts from Charles Eisenstein.

“We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.”  ― Charles Eisenstein

“I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing. So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child, I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say “hey, this whole world is me, I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.” That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in.” ~Bernie Sanders

“It is time to forget we are human beings and remember that we are beings, souls. And we share this planet with other beings, although we behave as though the planet belongs solely to us. When you walk into your office as a soul, you will make decisions for the benefit of the world. You will sign on business deals that are eco-friendly, and that benefit animals, insects, the sky, trees, the desert, the sea, the fish.” ― Nejoud Al-Yagout, open letter to Kuwaiti Parliament

Creating a society that goes against human nature is what creates the suffering… We live in a completely unnatural society, that actually tramples on what it means to be a human being. That’s the essence of suffering, and there are so many ways in which our society does that.”  ~Dr Gabor Mate

“As a species, we are on the cusp of an evolutionary choice. Standing at the dawn of this perfect storm, we find ourselves at the beginning of a process of civilizational transition. As the old paradigm dies, a new paradigm is born. And many people around the world are already making the evolutionary choice to step away from the old, and embrace the new.”~Nafeez Ahmed

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The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell

“The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for, and it’s really a manifestation of his character. The way in which the landscape and the conditions of the environment match the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he’s ready for is the one that he gets.” ~Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (1988)

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The first stage in the hero adventure, when he starts off on adventure, is leaving the realm of light, which he controls and knows about, and moving toward the threshold. And it’s at the threshold that the monster of the abyss comes to meet him.
 
And then there are two or three results: one, the hero is cut to pieces and descends into the abyss in fragments, to be resurrected; or he may kill the dragon power.. But then he tastes the dragon blood, that is to say, he has to assimilate that power..

He hears the song of nature; he has transcended his humanity, you know, and reassociated himself with the powers of nature, which are the powers of our life, from which our mind removes us.

You see, this thing up here, this consciousness [points to brain], thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ; it’s a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

When it does put itself in control, you get this Vader, [Darthvader] the man who’s gone over to the intellectual [and mechanistic] side. He isn’t thinking, or living in terms of humanity, he’s living in terms of a system.

 
And this is the threat to our lives; we all face it, we all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now, is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity, or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes?
 
I don’t think it would help you to change the system, but it would help you to live in the system as a human being. Lke Luke Skywalker, not going over, but resisting its impersonal claims.
 
If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life, and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off-center; he has aligned himself with a programmatic life, and it’s not the one the body [and the heart] is interested in at all.
 
And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves. In my own life, I’ve had many opportunities to commit myself to a system and to go with it, and to obey its requirements. My life has been that of a maverick; I would not submit.
 
Our life evokes our character, and you find out more about yourself as you go on. And it’s very nice to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature, rather than your lower.
 
What you have done has been to elevate yourself out of the local field and put yourself in the field of higher power, higher danger. And are you going to be able to handle it?
 
If you are not eligible for this place into which you’ve put yourself, it’s going to be a demon marriage, it’s going to be a real mess. If you are eligible, it can be a glory that will give you a life that is yours, in your own way.
 
It’s the edge, the interface between what can be known and what is never to be discovered, because it is a mystery transcendent of all human research. The source of life: what is it? No one knows.
 
I think it’s important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery and of your own mystery, and it gives life a new zest, a new balance, a new harmony to do this.
 
I mean, in therapy, in psychological therapy, when people find out what it is that’s ticking in them, they get straightened out. And what is it that life is. I find thinking in mythological terms has helped people, visibly you can see it happen.
 
It erases anxieties, it puts them in accord with the inevitables of their life, and they can see the positive values of what are the negative aspects.. It’s whether you’re going to say no to the serpent or yes to the serpent, as easy as that…
 
The real dragon is in you. That’s your ego, holding you in. What I want, what I believe, what I can do, what I think I love, and all that. What I regard as the aim of my life and so forth.
 
It might be too small. It might be that which pins you down. And if it’s simply that of doing what the environment tells you to do, it certainly is pinning you down. And so the environment is your dragon, as it reflects within yourself.
 
How do you [slay the dragon within yourself]? My general formula for my students is, follow your bliss, I mean, find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.
 
If the work that you’re doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. But if you think, “Oh, gee, I couldn’t do that,” you know, that’s your dragon blocking you in. “Oh, no, I couldn’t be a writer, oh, no, I couldn’t do what so-and-so is doing.”
 
And in doing that, you save the world. I mean, you do. The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world is a wasteland.
 
People have the notion of saving the world by shifting it around and changing the rules and so forth. No, any world is a living world if it’s alive, and the thing is to bring it to life.
 
And the way to bring it to life is to find in your own case where your life is, and be alive yourself, it seems to me. If you have someone who can help you, that’s fine, too. But ultimately the last trick has to be done by you.
 
[There’s] a place in yourself of rest. Now this I know a little bit about from athletics. The athlete who is in championship form has a quiet place in himself. And it’s out of that that his action comes. If he’s all in the action field, he’s not performing properly. There’s a center out of which you act.
 
And Jean, my wife, a dancer, tells me that in dance this is true, too, there’s the center that has to be known and held. There it’s quite physically recognized by the person. But unless this center has been found, you’re torn apart, tension comes.
 
Now, the Buddha’s word is nirvana; nirvana is a psychological slate of mind. It’s not a place, like heaven, it’s not something that’s not here; it is here, in the middle of the turmoil, what’s called samsara, the whirlpool of life conditions.
 
That nirvana is what, is the condition that comes when you are not compelled by desire or by fear, or by social commitments, when you hold your center and act out of there.
 
The way… how should I get rid of fear? The Buddha can’t tell me how I’m going to do it. There are exercises that different teachers will give you, but they may not work for you. And all a teacher can do is give you a clue of the direction. He’s like a lighthouse that says there are rocks over here, and steer clear.
 
[Nature is consciousness.] There is a plant consciousness, there is an animal consciousness. We share all of these things. You eat certain foods, and the bile knows whether there’s something there for it to go to work on.
 
The whole thing is consciousness. I begin to feel more and more that the whole world is conscious; certainly the vegetable world is conscious, and when you live in the woods, as I did as a kid, you can see all these different consciousnesses relating to themselves. The whole planet [Mother Earth] as an organism.
 
If [we] think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than as being thrown in here from somewhere else, you know, thrown out of the earth, we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth, and this is the voice of the earth. What else?
 
All of life is a meditation, most of it unintentional. A lot of people spend most of it in meditating on where their money’s coming from and where it’s going to go, but that’s a level of meditation. Or, if you have a family to bring up, you’re concerned for the family.
 
These are all perfectly, very important concerns, but they have to do with physical conditions, mostly, and spiritual conditions of the children, of course.
 
But how are you going to communicate spiritual consciousness to the children if you don’t have it yourself? So how do you get that? Then you think about the myths. What the myths are for is to bring us into a level of consciousness that is spiritual.
 
Myths and dreams come from the same place; they come from realizations of some kind that have then to find expression in symbolic form.
 
And the myth, the only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that’s talking about the planet not this city, not these people, but the planet and everybody on it.
 
That’s my main thought for what the future myth is going to be. And what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all myths have dealt with: the maturation of the individual, [the way] to follow, from dependency through adulthood to maturity, and then to the exit and how to do it.
 
And then how to relate to this society, and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos. That’s what the myths have all talked about; that’s what this one’s got to talk about. But the society that it’s going to talk about is the society of the planet, and until that gets going, you don’t have anything.
 
[Looking at the Earth] you don’t see any divisions there of nations or states or anything of the kind. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating, and those are the people that we are one with..”

 
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The above text excerpts are from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, Episode 1: The Hero’s Adventure, the first episode from Bill Moyer’s interview with Joseph Campbell. Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television. Segments of this interview can be heard here:

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The Evolution of Human Consciousness

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See how you resonate with the 16 characteristics of this evolved level of human consciousness, as described by Ervin Laszlo…

1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am part of nature, and nature is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with all living things. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the web of life on the planet.

3. I am part of society, and society is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with my fellow humans. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the community of humans on the planet.

4. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and evolving in interaction with everything around me.

5. I am [an] evolved manifestation of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the universe. It is the same essence, the same spirit that is inherent in all the things that arise and evolve in nature, whether on this planet or elsewhere in the infinite reaches of space and time.

6. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions in this world, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent.

7. The separate identity I attach to other humans and other things is but a convenient convention that facilitates my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the organs of my body. My body and mind, my family and my community, are interacting and interpenetrating, variously prevalent elements in the network of relations that encompasses all things in nature and the human world.

8. The whole gamut of concepts and ideas that separates my identity, or the identity of any person or community, from the identity of other persons and communities are manifestations of this convenient but arbitrary convention. There are no “others” in the world: We are all living systems and we are all part of each other.

9. Attempting to maintain the system I know as “me” through ruthless competition with the system I know as “you” is a grave mistake: It could damage the integrity of the embracing whole that frames both your life and mine. I cannot preserve my own life and wholeness by damaging that whole, even if damaging a part of it seems to bring me short-term advantage. When I harm you, or anyone else around me, I harm myself.

10. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other.

11. The idea of “self-defense,” even of “national defense,” needs to be rethought. Patriotism if it aims to eliminate adversaries by force, and heroism even in the well-meaning execution of that aim, are mistaken aspirations. Comprehension, conciliation and forgiveness are not signs of weakness; they are signs of courage.

12. “The good” for me and for every person in the world is not the possession and accumulation of personal wealth. Wealth, in money or in any material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. Exclusive wealth is a threat to all people in the human community.

13. Beyond the sacred whole we recognize as the world in its totality, only life and its development have what philosophers call intrinsic value; all other things have merely instrumental value: value insofar as they add to or enhance intrinsic value. Material things in the world, and the energies and substances they harbor or generate, have value only if and insofar they contribute to life and well-being in the web of life on this Earth.

14. The true measure of my accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give. Not the amount of what I give is the measure of my accomplishment and excellence, but the relation between what I give, and what my family and I need to live and to thrive.

15. Every healthy person has pleasure in giving: It is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. Sharing enhances the community of life, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition, and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all the communities of life on the planet; the have-society is typical only of modern-day humanity, and it is an aberration.

16. I recognize the aberration of modern-day humanity from the universal norm of coherence in the world, acknowledge my role in having perpetrated it, and pledge my commitment to restoring wholeness and coherence by becoming whole myself: whole in my thinking and acting — in my consciousness.

If you had an “aha experience” while reading even just one of these ideas, you have the foundations of Akashic [Unity] consciousness. And if you had this experience all the way through, you already possess this crucial consciousness.

~by Ervin Laszlo~

Original source: Akasha Think (aka, Unity Consciousness)

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“Billionaires Have the Money, We Have the People.”

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“Politics is not a baseball game with winners or losers. What politics is about is whether we protect the needs of millions of people who are hurting.
 
The struggle to create a nation and world of economic and social justice and environmental sanity is not an easy one. The struggle to try and create a more peaceful world will be extremely difficult.
 
But this I know: despair is not an option if we care about our kids and grandchildren. Giving up is not an option if we want to prevent irreparable harm to our planet.
 
We are living in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.
 
I know the media is not necessarily focused on these things. But what this campaign is about is not Hillary Clinton, it’s not Donald Trump. It is the people of this country, people who are working longer hours for lower wages, people who do not have health care or are underinsured.
 
Income and wealth inequality have reached obscene levels, the threat of climate change is more frightening than ever, and the billionaire class is now allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy the candidate they want. And it is up to us to stand up and fight back. If we stand together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
 
There is too much shouting at each other. There is too much making fun of each other.
 
When you have kids that have no jobs and are not in school, too often they get themselves into trouble. So what we have got to do is invest in education and in jobs, something which I have fought for, rather than more jails and incarceration.
 
Trickle down economics is a fraud. Giving tax breaks to the rich and large corporations does not create jobs. It simply makes the rich richer, enlarges the deficit and increases income and wealth inequality. We need economic policies which benefit working families, not the billionaire class.
 
I am going to do my best to try to create a country in which children are not living in poverty, in which kids can go to college, in which old people have health care. Will I succeed? I can’t guarantee you that, but I can tell you that from a human point of view it is better to show up than to give up.
 
It’s time to make our government work for all of us… and not just the 1%. The greed of the billionaire class has got to end and we are going to end it for them.
 
No president, not the smartest, best human being in the world can do it alone. You cannot take on this, the power that is in Washington, to billionaires and lobbyist, the military industrial complex, all of this money and power, you can`t do it. You need a mass movement of Americans…
 
The point is change can come about, but it only comes about when millions of people are actively involved in political struggle. The billionaires may have the money, but we have the people.
 
I am extraordinarily proud of the campaign that we ran. The issues that we raised, the fact that we got 13 million Americans to vote for a political revolution…”
 
~Bernie Sanders~
 
2015 & 2016 quotes source
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The Art of Political Deception – Chris Hedges

“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.” ~Chris Hedges

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“The words consent of the governed have become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science and economics are obsolete. Our nation has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations, and a narrow, selfish, political, and economic elite, a small and privileged group that governs, and often steals, on behalf of moneyed interests.

This elite, in the name of patriotism and democracy, in the name of all the values that were once part of the American system and defined the Protestant work ethic, has systematically destroyed our manufacturing sector, looted the treasury, corrupted our democracy, and trashed the financial system.

During this plundering we remained passive, mesmerized by the enticing shadows on the wall, assured our tickets to success, prosperity, and happiness were waiting around the corner.

Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective.

This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick… We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes..

Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers.

We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.

Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret.

Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.

Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.

A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.

We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money.

They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”

~by Chris Hedges~

Source of Quotes

“Unfettered, or unregulated capitalism, is about societies that cannibalize themselves. When capitalism is the dominant ideology… it turns everything into a commodity, including human beings…” ~Chris Hedges

“As a species, we are on the cusp of an evolutionary choice. Standing at the dawn of this perfect storm, we find ourselves at the beginning of a process of civilizational transition. As the old paradigm dies, a new paradigm is born. And many people around the world are already making the evolutionary choice to step away from the old, and embrace the new.” ~Nafeez Ahmed

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