Preview the new CWG book What God Said now at www.WhatGodSaidbook.com. Released Oct. 1, this book explores and expands on the 25 most important messages of the 9-installment Conversations with God series and offers practical suggestions on how to apply each message in every day life. To read the first seven chapters and hear a one chapter sample of the audio book, click here.
(This is Part II of an extended series on being part of the change, rather than simply observing the change, that is occurring on our planet right now.)
The questions we asked in our last entry here won’t wait. These are, again, not: Will there be massive change in our future? The questions are: What will be the nature of that change? And…What role will you play in creating it?
These questions are going to be answered, because the rush of events and the speeding up of time is going to require that they be answered. They are going to be answered by decision or by default.
Which one is up to you.
Years ago the questions would wait. In the time of my great-grandfather, change occurred very slowly. In fact, my great-grandfather lived his entire life without seeing even one of the major underpinning thoughts in his belief system challenged in any serious way. Things were they way they were, and they pretty much stayed that way.
In the time of my grandfather, the speed of change had increased to a crawl. He could live 50 to 60 years of his life without seeing any of the major underpinning thoughts in his belief system challenged.
For my father, that time was dramatically shortened. Cut in half, in fact. He could not live through 30 years of his life without seeing the major underpinning thoughts in his belief system challenged.
In my lifetime (and I am 70 years old at this writing), the speed of change has increased again, cut by more than half. I have not been able to get though 10 years of my life without seeing my major assumptions challenged and overturned.
My children have witnessed the rate of change increase exponentially yet again. They have not been able to move through more than 2 or 3 years over the past two decades without seeing everything they thought they knew about how things are challenged, and in some cases completely dismantled.
Now, as we move rapidly toward the second half of the second decade of this New Millennium, the rate of change has reached dizzying speeds, like a downhill roller coaster. Science, medicine, technology, philosophy, even theology—that slowest of all tortoises—bring us new mental and physical constructions, new realities, every year, sometimes every month.
What we thought we knew for a fact just a breath ago now cannot be counted on. There is no reliable past data anymore. We don’t even have the luxury of seeing where the changes that are occurring are taking us, because the Changers and the Changed have become one. This means we have to decide, now, not only Who We Are, but Who We Choose to Be, both individually, and as a species.
And in our next installment here I’ll ask you to consider the possibility that your arrival here on the earth at this time is no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. Nor is it happenstance or chance…
DON’T MISS, IN THIS ISSUE…(click on the headline to link to it):…..If you could make only one more statement to the outside world before you died, what would it be?….Is “advertising” making us forget Who We Really Are?….AND…How you can do something now to slow down the Alzheimer’s scourge.
SOMETHING TO TAKE NOTE OF: Are you aware that there is a posting of fresh material about Conversations with God — a new video, a new audio, new in-depth articles — every single day, seven days a week at CWG Connect? This is the new global community that is forming around the CWG messages. Check it out by clicking on the CWG Connect button in the navigation bar at the top of this page. If your life has been touched in a positive way by Conversations with God, you’re going to find this new resource invaluable.
Can the people of our world transform and “shake free” the consciousness of the past and enter into — through the creation of it — a New Era for Humanity? Can we do it before it is too late? The remarkable essay on the life and times John F. Kennedy re-printed in the current What Others Are Saying column of this online newspaper from a blog at Tikkun.org, concludes with the asking of that piercing question.
Its author, Peter Gabel, who is the editor of Tikkun magazine (an online publication of enormous intellectual and social value), offers us this observation, among many…
“There is no way for the forces of good to win the struggle between desire and alienation unless people can break through the gauzy images of everything being fine except the lone nuts, a legitimating ideology that is actually supported by our denial of the pain of our isolation and our collective deference to the system of Authority that we use to keep our legitimating myths in place.”
In other words, nothing’s going to change unless and until we let go, at last, of our collective notion that “everything is fine” in our world except for a few crazed people or groups who just don’t ”get” how to behave. The fact is that nothing is working. I mean, nothing.
It’s time to be honest here: Not a single major system that we have put into place on this planet is functioning correctly. Not our political, not our economic, not our environmental, not our education, not our social, and not our spiritual system. None of them are producing the outcomes that we say we want.
In fact, it’s worse. They’re producing the outcomes that we say we don’t want.
And not just on a global scale. It gets down to the personal level. It gets right down to you and me. All but the tiniest percentage of the world’s people are caught up in struggle. Daily struggle. Struggle not merely to be happy, but to survive, to get by, to just stay afloat.
And now, it has gone past even that. Because now, even those people who are living the “good life” are not having a good time. Not even them. Personal happiness seems mysteriously and frustratingly elusive. And even when people achieve it, they can’t hold on to it.
Now that’s the greatest clue, that’s the biggest hint, that’s the surest sign that something’s amiss. When even those who should be happy by any reasonable measure are not, there’s got to be a serious systemic problem in a society’s culture. You can tell that a social formula is askew when even if the formula is working, it’s not; when even if everything’s going right, something’s desperately wrong.
That’s where we are today, and I think it’s time for a New Message to guide humanity. I think it’s time for a brand-new cultural story to be embraced by our species.
The question is, what will that take?
It will take the combined energies of all of us. It was take nothing less than an Evolution Revolution. It will take you. And me. And all of us. Each becoming involved directly, each participating in a visible way.
To learn more about how you can become part of this global shift, click on the blue box on this front page labeled EVOLUTION REVOLUTION. President Kennedy died 50 years ago this week. Isn’t it time that we stepped into the “opening of desire”, as Mr. Gabel so wonderfully put it in his essay, that John F. Kennedy created in the hearts of all humankind?
I remember, to this day, stirring words which President Kennedy’s included in his inaugural address, in which he placed before humanity a new vision for a new kind of world:
“All of this will not be accomplished within the first 100 days. Nor within the first 1,000 days. Nor perhaps within our lifetime. But let us begin…
“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”
If God’s work truly your own? Then consider finding out more about The Evolution Revolution, and joining in that effort today.
November 22 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and virtually all major TV channels, magazines, and other media outlets are planning specials, documentaries, articles with historical analyses and personal retellings of where people were at the time of assassination.
Also, Oliver Stone’s 1991 Oscar-nominated film JFK challenging the conventional theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman and suggesting that there may have been a conspiracy to kill Kennedy will be shown this month in over 250 theaters nationwide.
To put the Kennedy assassination in a historical perspective that is both spiritual and political, we here reprint Peter Gabel’s brilliant article on the subject, “The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality),” originally published in Tikkun in March/April 1992 in response to the original release of Stone’s film. Gabel’s piece is an example of the kind of historical analysis we are trying to develop in Tikkun—locating the critical event of JFK’s assassination in the context of the repression of our collective spiritual longings for a loving world that characterized the 1950s, and what he calls the “opening up of desire” represented by JFK.
In defending Stone’s film against its critics, Gabel also shows how the conflict between hope and fear, between the desire for an erotic, loving, and caring world and the forces seeking to deny and contain that desire, is central to understanding the meaning of historical events. His analysis also implicitly helps explain why this month there is such an outpouring of memory, pain, longing, and loss in recollecting the assassination fifty years later.
— Rabbi Michael Lerner
The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality)
Oliver Stone’s JFK is a great movie, but not because it “proves” that John F. Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. Stone himself has acknowledged that the movie is a myth — a countermyth to the myth produced by the Warren Commission — but a myth that contains what Stone calls a spiritual truth. To understand that spiritual truth, we must look deeply into the psychological and social meaning of the assassination — its meaning for American society at the time that it occurred, and for understanding contemporary American politics and culture.
The spiritual problem that the movie speaks to is an underlying truth about life in American society — the truth that we all live in a social world characterized by feelings of alienation, isolation, and a chronic inability to connect with one another in a life-giving and powerful way. In our political and economic institutions, this alienation is lived out as a feeling of being “underneath” and at an infinite distance from an alien external world that seems to determine our lives from the outside. True democracy would require that we be actively engaged in ongoing processes of social interaction that strengthen our bonds of connectedness to one another, while at the same time allowing us to realize our need for a sense of social meaning and ethical purpose through the active remaking of the no-longer “external” world around us. But we do not yet live in such a world, and the isolation and distance from reality that envelops us is a cause of immense psychological and emotional pain, a social starvation that is in fact analogous to physical hunger and other forms of physical suffering.
One of the main psychosocial mechanisms by which this pain, this collective starvation, is denied is through the creation of an imaginary sense of community. Today this imaginary world is generated through a seemingly endless ritualized deference to the Flag, the Nation, the Family — pseudocommunal icons of public discourse projecting mere images of social connection that actually deny our real experience of isolation and distance, of living in sealed cubicles, passing each other blankly on the streets, while managing to relieve our alienation to some extent by making us feel a part of something. Political and cultural elites — presidents and ad agencies — typically generate these images of pseudocommunity, but we also play a part in creating them because, from the vantage point of our isolated positions — if we have not found some alternative community of meaning — we need them to provide what sense of social connection they can. We have discussed this phenomenon in Tikkun many times before, emphasizing recently, for example, the way David Duke is able to recognize and confirm the pain of white working-class people and thereby help them overcome, in an imaginary way, their sense of isolation in a public world that leaves them feeling invisible.
In the 1950s, the alienated environment that I have been describing took the form of an authoritarian, rigidly anticommunist mentality that coexisted with the fantasized image of a “perfect” America — a puffed-up and patriotic America that had won World War II and was now producing a kitchen-culture of time-saving appliances, allegedly happy families, and technically proficient organizations and “organization men” who dressed the same and looked the same as they marched in step toward the “great big beautiful tomorrow” hailed in General Electric’s advertising jingle of that period. It was a decade of artificial and rigid patriotic unity, sustained in large part by an equally rigid and pathological anticommunism; for communism was the “Other” whose evil we needed to exterminate or at least contain to preserve our illusory sense of connection, meaning, and social purpose. As the sixties were later to make clear, the cultural climate of the fifties was actually a massive denial of the desire for true connection and meaning. But at the time the cultural image-world of the fifties was sternly held in place by a punitive and threatening system of authoritarian male hierarchies, symbolized most graphically by the McCarthy hearings, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the person of J. Edgar Hoover.
In this context, the election of John F. Kennedy and his three years in office represented what I would call an opening-up of desire. I say this irrespective of his official policies, which are repeatedly criticized by the Left for their initial hawkish character, and irrespective also of the posthumous creation of the Camelot myth, which does exaggerate the magic of that period. The opening-up that I am referring to is a feeling that Kennedy was able to evoke — a feeling of humor, romance, idealism, and youthful energy, and a sense of hope that touched virtually every American alive during that time. It was this feeling — “the rise of a new generation of Americans” — that more than any ideology threatened the system of cultural and erotic control that dominated the fifties and that still dominated the governmental elites of the early sixties — the FBI, the CIA, even elements of Kennedy’s own cabinet and staff. Kennedy’s evocative power spoke to people’s longing for some transcendent community and in so doing, it allowed people to make themselves vulnerable enough to experience both hope and, indirectly, the legacy of pain and isolation that had been essentially sealed from public awareness since the end of the New Deal.
Everyone alive at the time of the assassination knows exactly where they were when Kennedy was shot because, as it is often said, his assassination “traumatized the nation.” But the real trauma, if we move beyond the abstraction of “the nation,” was the sudden, violent loss for millions of people of the part of themselves that had been opened up, or had begun to open up during Kennedy’s presidency. As a sixteen-year-old in boarding school with no interest in politics, I wrote a long note in my diary asking God to help us through the days ahead, even though I didn’t believe in God at the time. And I imagine that you, if you were alive then, no matter how cynical you may have sometimes felt since then about politics or presidents or the “real” Kennedy himself, have a similar memory preciously stored in the region of your being where your longings for a better world still reside.
In this issue, Peter Dale Scott gives an account of the objective consequences of the assassination, of the ways that the nation’s anticommunist elites apparently reversed Kennedy’s beginning efforts to withdraw from Vietnam and perhaps through his relationship with Khrushchev to thaw out the addiction to blind anti-communist rage — an addiction that, as he saw during the Cuban missile crisis, could well have led to a nuclear war. But for these same elites, the mass-psychological consequences of the assassination posed quite a different problem from that of reversing government policy — namely, the need to find a way to reconstitute the image of benign social connection that could reform the imaginary unity of the country on which the legitimacy of government policy depends. In order to contain the desire released by the Kennedy presidency and the sense of loss and sudden disintegration caused by the assassination, government officials had to create a process that would rapidly “prove” — to the satisfaction of people’s emotions — that the assassination and loss were the result of socially innocent causes.
Here we come to the mass-psychological importance of Lee Harvey Oswald and the lone gunman theory of the assassination. As Stone’s movie reminds us in a congeries of rapid-fire, post-assassination images, Oswald was instantly convicted in the media and in mass consciousness even before he was shot by Jack Ruby two days after the assassination. After an elaborate ritualized process producing twenty-six volumes of testimony, the Warren Commission sanctified Oswald’s instant conviction in spite of the extreme implausibility of the magic bullet theory, the apparently contrary evidence of the Zapruder film, and other factual information such as the near impossibility of Oswald’s firing even three bullets (assuming the magic bullet theory to be true) with such accuracy so quickly with a manually cocked rifle. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist, nor do you have to believe any of the evidence marshaled together by conspiracy theorists, to find it odd that Oswald’s guilt was immediately taken for granted within two days of the killing, with no witnesses and no legal proceeding of any kind — and that his guilt was later confidently affirmed by a high-level Commission whose members had to defy their own common sense in order to do so. The whole process might even seem extraordinary considering that we are talking about the assassination of an American president.
But it is not so surprising if you accept the mass-psychological perspective I am outlining here — the perspective that Kennedy and the Kennedy years had elicited a lyricism and a desire for transcendent social connection that contradicted the long-institutionalized forces of emotional repression that preceded them. The great advantage of the lone gunman theory is that it gives a nonsocial account of the assassination. It takes the experience of trauma and loss and momentary social disintegration, isolates the evil source of the experience in one antisocial individual, and leaves the image of society as a whole — the “imaginary community” that I referred to earlier — untarnished and still “good.” From the point of view of those in power, in other words, the lone gunman theory reinstitutes the legitimacy of existing social and political authority as a whole because it silently conveys the idea that our elected officials and the organs of government, among them the CIA and the FBI, share our innocence and continue to express our democratic will. But from a larger psychosocial point of view, the effect was to begin to close up the link between desire and politics that Kennedy had partially elicited, and at the same time to impose a new repression of our painful feelings of isolation and disconnection beneath the facade of our reconstituted but imaginary political unity.
Having said this, I do not want to be understood to be suggesting that there was a conspiracy to set up Oswald in order to achieve this mass-psychological goal. There may well have been a conspiracy to set up Oswald, but no complex theory is required to explain it. And it would be absurd, in my view, to think that the entire media consciously intended to manipulate the American people in the headlong rush to convict Oswald in the press. The point is rather that this headlong rush was something we all — or most of us — participated in because we ourselves, unconsciously, are deeply attached to the status quo, to our legitimating myths of community, and to denying our own alienation and pain. The interest we share with the mainstream media and with government and corporate elites is to maintain, through a kind of unconscious collusion, the alienated structures of power and social identity that protect us from having to risk emerging from our sealed cubicles and allowing our fragile longing for true community to become a public force.
The great achievement of Oliver Stone’s movie is that it uses this traumatic, formative event of the Kennedy assassination — an event full of politically important cultural memory and feeling — to assault the mythological version of American society and to make us experience the forces of repression that shape social reality. The movie may or may not be accurate in its account of what Lyndon Johnson might have known or of the phones in Washington shutting down just before the assassination or of the New Zealand newspaper that mysteriously published Oswald’s photographs before he was arrested. But the movie does give a kinetic and powerful depiction of the real historical forces present at the time of the assassination, forces that were in part released by the challenge to the fanatical anticommunism of the fifties that Kennedy to some extent brought about. Through his crosscutting images of the anti-Castro fringe, the civil-rights movement, high and low New Orleans club life, and elites in corporate and government offices who thought they ran the country, Stone uses all his cinematic and political energy to cut through the civics-class version of history and to bring the viewer into sudden contact with the realities of power and alienation that were present at that time and are present in a different form now.
I say this is the great achievement of the movie because no matter who killed Kennedy, it was the conflict between the opening-up of desire that he represented and the alienated need of the forces around him to shut this desire down that caused his death. This struggle was an important part of the meaning of the 1960s, and it provides the link, which Stone draws openly, between John Kennedy’s death and the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. There is no way for the forces of good to win the struggle between desire and alienation unless people can break through the gauzy images of everything being fine except the lone nuts, a legitimating ideology that is actually supported by our denial of the pain of our isolation and our collective deference to the system of Authority that we use to keep our legitimating myths in place. Oliver Stone’s JFK brings us face-to-face with social reality by penetrating the compensatory image-world of mass culture, politics, and journalism. And for that reason it is an important effort by someone whose consciousness was shaped by the sixties to transform and shake free the consciousness of the nineties.
Peter Gabel is editor-at-large of Tikkun. His new book, Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture (published by Quid Pro Books) is available from Reach and Teach and Amazon. The article reprinted above, “The Spiritual Truth of JFK (As Movie and Reality),” also appears in The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning (Acada Books, 2000).
Copyright 2012 Tikkun Magazine. Tikkun is a registered trademark.
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A NOTE FROM NEALE DONALD WALSCH: Tikkun magazine is one of the most intellectually opening, exciting, and worthwhile reads you will find anywhere. If you are looking for information that matters because it has to do with our life today on this planet and looks at it in a remarkably clear and stimulating way, I hope you will allow yourself to subscribe to this publication, available in both hard copy and electronic form. You may also find it extremely worthwhile to tag with daily with the blogsite that Tikkun places on the Internet, with new and striking obsevations daily. It’s found here.
My wife called me crying because of a couple she found in a laundromat. I found out later they were homeless but chose to live their lives in the streets. My wife wanted to help them so we bought them food and gave them blankets and pillows. (I had tried to get them a room in nearby motels but they were well known and had created such a mess and “smell” before that the motels had to throw everything away.) Other people had paid cash for a room and then put the homeless couple in there without the manager being aware. In other words there was “no room in the inn.”
Because of my background in law enforcement I found some police officers and spoke to them about a homeless shelter. There are none in the city and there are up to 25 “couples” they are aware of living in wooded areas within the city limits.
I now feel I would like to help with love, money, and time, to help these people but do not have a clue where to start. Any suggestions?… Mickey
Dear Mickey… How about soliciting help from the churches in your area? Perhaps you can put together a meeting with area church leaders asking them to help you implement a program called “Room In the Inn.”
The homeless people can sleep in the church’s fellowship halls, taking turns on different nights so that it wouldn’t be overwhelming to any one church. If you can get 7 churches to commit, each church would have one night per week. If you can get 14 churches to help, that’s just one night every two weeks.
The members can volunteer their time helping with meals and clean-up and have a couple of men from the church designated to stay overnight. The ladies can bring in potluck dinners and breakfasts.
How’s that sound? Think how great you’ll feel if you get this going! And your sweet wife won’t have to cry anymore.
(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com
(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)
An additional resource: The CWG Helping Outreach offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services. The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions. What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God. It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.
How many of us have played the “if I had a million dollars” game? You know the one where you imagine what it would be like to find yourself the lucky beneficiary of a sudden windfall of $1 million and then opine on the ways in which you would spend it?
Well, let’s up the ante a little bit here, shall we?
What if you had a billion dollars? Or more? Would that change anything?
Would you invest it? Buy a big house, or two? Travel? Finally own that fleet of luxury sports cars? Eat at the finest restaurants?
Would you be willing to give the majority of it away to charity? Just simply give the bulk of it away without receiving anything in return?
That is exactly what billionaires and renowned philanthropists Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are asking the wealthiest people in the world to do by inviting them to take what they’ve called the “Giving Pledge.”
According to the Giving Pledge website, the pledge “is an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will. The Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving.
“The idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are inspired by the example set by millions of people who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.
“Initially, the focus was on the wealthiest families and individuals in the United States. Since there have been enthusiastic responses to the Giving Pledge around the world, the pledge now includes people from a mix of countries around the world.”
To date, according to the website, there are 115 people who have publicly taken this pledge since the concept was first introduced in 2010. See the list here.
So what holds these tycoons’ feet to the fire when it’s time to actually follow through with their hefty promises? Nothing. Participation in the program is entirely honor-based.
Sure, it may be less of a fiscal pinch for someone to give away $12 billion when they still have a nice comfy cushion of $8 billion in the bank for them to live luxuriously on. But I felt compelled to recognize and talk about this handful of extremely wealthy and influential human beings who have chosen to declare themselves as active participants in creating positive change in our world.
Are their altruistic gestures dampened by the fact that, even after their significant contributions, they still remain in the powerful 1%, without any negligible or obvious sacrifice to be had?
Do we need to see some level of personal sacrifice or hardship in order to appreciate the efforts of another? Or does this type of movement signify a start, a beginning, a step in the direction that so many of us have been yearning to see, the ultra rich letting go of a bulk of their empires to better the lives of someone else?
According to the Forbes website, in the current year, 2013, there are 1,342 billionaires in the world. 115 of them have stepped forward to voluntarily participate in the Giving Pledge. Not a large number, but definitely something to notice. What do you think it would take for the remaining 1,227 on this exclusive list of those who have billions, potentially more money than they could spend in one lifetime, to choose to give it away?
What do we have to change in our world to pierce through the illusion of “not enoughness” and to alter harmful ideas of superiority? Are we demonstrating what we desire to see from others in our own life, through our own actions? Are we each giving of ourselves financially, energetically, and physically as we move through each moment of our day-to-day affairs?
Perhaps today is the day for us all to make our own “giving pledge.” What might that look like for you?
Are you willing to say yes to that invitation?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
All of our thoughts are creative. We have countless numbers of thoughts in our head daily, yet we only give special attention to some of them. Most of us tend to spend our time entertaining the same thoughts day in, day out. In this way our life and reality never seems to change. Doors we wish would open remain impenetrable. Feelings of lack of purpose and fulfillment follow us in all we do.
What were to happen if we simply tried to pay attention to another thought about our self, our life, and our God? What if we intentionally begin each day conjuring up a positive, expanded, grand perspective of what life is really all about?
Is anyone willing to try this? How about giving it seven days? Wake up and tell yourself that life is conspiring in your favor, and events are lining up to bring your reality to a whole new level. Try repeating it seven times looking into your own eyes in the mirror.
Are you having a hard time manifesting something? Is it sobriety? Is it happiness? Is it true love? Is it passion? Is it desire to make an impact? What would you really like to manifest in your world?
I cannot promise you that you will end up with a BMW or house of your dreams overnight. What I can tell you is that you can improve your state of mind, your health, and your energy by consciously directing your thoughts in a direction that is counter to your current thinking habits.
Have you tried making “I am” statements? The universe will move mountains to see to it they are realized. Are you looking to improve a health condition? “I am healthy.” Do you wish to be happy? “I am Joyful.” Do this seven times a day for seven days and see if anything changes.
Do you want to see these things become part of your reality quicker? If so, do the things that a healthy person or happy person would do. Healthy people exercise or choose healthy foods. I find for me that simply purchasing organic foods makes me feel healthy. Happy people greet other people with a smile or kind words. Happy people go out of their way to share their happiness with others. They know that by doing so they get to experience their own happiness because people will always reflect that back to them.
If this article sounds like a pep talk it is because I have been practicing this myself and it works. Just today I was greeted by a person who seemed grumpy and irritated. My first reaction was to shut him out and just get my job done. But a little voice in my head told me to open up and start a conversation with him. By the end of our time together he had put his hand on my back and his other out to shake my hand wishing me a good day. It was a complete reversal of attitude from 30 minutes prior.
So many times in life we are tempted to respond to others with the same energy they give us. When we look to rise above our initial thought and step into a state of being that is engaging, it never fails to produce harmony. We have the power in every single interaction to control, to some degree, the level of vibration.
Will you take the seven and seven challenge? Seven times a day for seven days, decide ahead to be different, to be creative, and to be powerful. You can be in alignment with the universe simply by staying focused and committed.
My Dear Friends…
It is not possible to look at our world today in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and not contemplate the meaning of life (and death), the purpose of events (be there any at all), and the function and intention of God (if there even is a “God”).
Is life, after all is said and done, just a series of random events, having no particular or specific Cause…no “reason” for occurring?
Are we, in the end, really and truly limited to standing by and suffering “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Shakespeare put it?
Should we, as he asked, “take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end…the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to…”?
Even if we could, can we end them? Certainly we can change our basic human behaviors. We can create an end to war, bring a halt to violence, put a stop to poverty and hunger and man-made suffering. We don’t seem, as a species, to have the will to do so, but surely we certainly have the ability to do so.
But how can we have any effect at all on natural disasters? We have nothing to do with those...
…or do we….?
Has human behavior had anything at all to do with the creation of the worst storms this planet has ever seen?
We’ll look at that in just a moment. But first, a word of compassion and a plea for help and healing for those caught in the grip of this terrible typhoon. Our human family members need help right now in those areas struck by this calamity. Please see the story on our front page headlined EMERGENCY!, and do what you can do. Right now. Today.
And let us offer a collective prayer:
Dear God of our Highest understanding: Bring succor, comfort and healing to our brethren around the world who suffer today in the aftermath of this terrible disaster. Bring them the strength to endure their indescribable losses, to rebuild their lives in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever they held about Who They Are. Help them today, Dear God, with your mercy and compassion, giving them strength to endure the unendurable, that they might experience at this hour the indestructible nature of the human spirit — which is your spirit, Dear God, flowing through them. Amen, and amen.
And now, the question that this moment begs: Has human activity had anything to do with this cataclysm?
Haiyan has been called the biggest storm to hit landfall in the recorded history of Earth. It slammed the Philippines with 200+ mile-per-hour winds, flattening entire villages and killing an estimated 10,000 people. (By contrast, those winds had died down to “only” 74 mph, killing 13, by the time they had reached Vietnam.)
Has global warming done anything — anything at all — to create the conditions that are now spawning more and more violent storms at sea? Meteorologists and environmental scientists don’t even question this anymore. They know the answer.
Weather on our planet — producing, in cycles, heat waves, droughts, winds, torrential rains, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, tidal waves — has become more disastrous for a reason.
Yet there are those in our world community who continue to insist that “global warming” itself is the false cry of earring-sporting, Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging environmentalists; that it doesn’t even exist.
Or that if it does exist, human beings have had nothing to do with creating it.
The important thing is jobs. We’ve got to protect the economy, not the ecology, of the planet, these folks insist.
All attempts to control or limit global warming by calling for the altering of industrial and commercial activities that may add to the conditions that create it are roundly criticized and angrily and summarily rejected by those who declare that livelihood comes first in our world.
This, however, seems so shortsighted as to defy belief. Can the human species be so blind to the long-term effects of what it is doing? Can nothing save us from ourselves?
If something can, what might it be? Your ideas please, below. We’ve no time to lose. Your ideas, please.
Every day, an estimated 20,864 people die from hunger-related causes in our world, according to statistics provided by The World Bank.
Some 80 million people, around 43% of America’s working-age adults, didn’t go to the doctor or access other medical services last year because of the cost, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
And while it is difficult to pinpoint exact numbers, a study of homelessness in 50 cities found that in virtually every city, the city’s officials estimated the numbers of homeless people greatly exceeded the number of emergency shelter and transitional housing spaces. And of the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are an estimated 640 million (1 in 3) without adequate shelter.
The average annual income for school teachers around the globe spans anywhere from a meager $10,604 in Egypt to $45,755 in Singapore (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
At the same time, in Limburg, Germany, Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst was busy renovating his lavish residence to the tune of $43 million dollars, an indulgence that has earned him the nickname “Bishop of Bling” and which also led to his suspension from his Bishop duties by Pope Francis. By the way, interestingly, the Vatican’s wealth has been valued to be between $10 billion and $15 billion.
On another note, just two years ago, people from around the world excitedly turned on their television sets in order to catch a privileged glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s extravagant $34 million royal wedding.
And let’s not forget to include in our observations the number of golf fans who continue to be mesmerized by Tiger Woods’ extraordinary ability to sweep the floor with his competitors, which earns him a cool $78 million a year.
In addition, we have billionaire timeshare mogul David Seigel, who is continuing to move forward with construction of what is being touted as the largest home in America, measuring a whopping 90,000 square feet and costing upwards of $65 million upon its completion.
I know, I know. Don’t judge. Love what is. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps. Suck it up. Everyone has the same opportunities and choices. Oh, and I almost forgot the best one of all: When life gives you lemons, made lemonade.
Well, those spiritual and motivational platitudes are easy to roll off the tongue, but I’m not so sure they are particularly helpful to someone whose last meal was yesterday or perhaps the day before or maybe even the day before that, nor are they soothing to the elementary school teacher who holds down an additional part-time job in order to pay her bills, nor are they useful to the homeless person who has been sleeping on the streets for a longer period of time than most of us could ever possibly imagine doing.
Does everyone truly have the same opportunities in our current system the way we have constructed it? Are we all afforded the same pool of choices from which to choose? As we all know, with money comes power. And with power comes the ability to be the rule-makers. And the end result is not surprising — those who get to make the rules tend to do so in a fashion that benefits them.
In a world with enough inherent resources to take care of the needs of all of humanity, why is there not enough to go around? How is it that “enough” is not actually enough?
I guess the answer to the “why” question may be easier to answer than the ensuing question: What can we do to change that? Surely, there must be something. Is there a way to account for and then distribute the planet’s natural commodities in a way that would more evenly benefit all human beings?
How far back do we have to unravel the current paradigm to begin rebuilding a system that works for more than just a few? What will it take to create a world where grotesquely huge houses and disturbingly overpaid athletes will be a thing of the past because they will no longer represent who we know ourselves to truly be?
When will “enough” actually demonstrate itself to be enough…for everybody?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)