No one denies that there are many problems in our world, but few people – stunningly few people – seem to be able to agree that it is humanity’s most sacred beliefs that have created a huge number of them.
Conversations with God made it clear years ago that “beliefs create behaviors,” asserting that it is humanity’s beliefs that are killing us, creating everything from the horribly unending disaster at Fukushima to the unending calamity in Syria to the unending stalemate in Washington D.C. and the unending terrorism around the world.
Now a new analysis, contained in an op-ed piece just published at www.NationofChange.org by author Robert J. Burrowes, places the responsibility for many of the world’s ills specifically on the foundational beliefs of its people.
In a sweeping indictment, the author writes:
“Fundamentalism, in a religious guise, is both widespread and problematic.
“For example, Christian fundamentalism plays a crucial role in shaping US domestic policies in relation to abortion, gay marriage and theories of evolution as well as US imperial and military policy, Jewish fundamentalism is a key driver of Israeli domestic and foreign policy including in relation to Palestine, Islamic fundamentalism (of the Wahhabi variety) drives attitudes towards women and foreign policies in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Hindu fundamentalism manifests as a form of religious nationalism in India, and Buddhist fundamentalism is driving the violence against the Rohingya (Muslim) population in Burma.”
Conversations with God long ago made it clear that it was our beliefs that are the cause of humanity’s ills. In the first CWG text to be released after 9-11, titled The New Revelations, God told the human race: “You think you are being terrorized by other people, but in truth you are being terrorized by your beliefs.”
And it is the most deeply and firmly held of these beliefs, God said, that are at the root of the problems — particularly the problems of violence — confronted daily by our species.
Author Burrowes appears to agree. He also outlines the nature of the problem as he understands it in the op-ed piece.
“Psychologically, a fundamentalist is a person with an intense fear of being ‘wrong’; that is, an intense fear of being judged to hold the ‘wrong’ view or to engage in the ‘wrong’ behavior,” he says.
“This intense fear of being wrong develops during childhood when one or both parents, and probably teachers, dogmatically refuse to listen to the child, thus denying it the chance to develop its own views and moral code (based on its own experience), while also terrorizing (by threatening and using violence) the child into believing/adopting a particular set of values and beliefs, and behaving in a particular manner.”
Virtually the same points are made in The New Revelations. When asked what humanity can do to avoid any new 9-11’s in its experience, God said: “Education, education, education.”
The dialogue points to how we are raising our children, and the beliefs that we have been instilling in them, as the chief source of humanity’s difficulties.
The op-ed piece by Mr. Burrowes puts it this way:
“It is the intensity of their fear of being judged ‘wrong’, and the violence they will suffer if they are so judged, that makes the child hold, with phenomenal tenacity, to the ‘approved doctrine’ with which they are presented.
“It is this intense fear of being wrong that marks out the fundamentalist from the person who is open-minded and/or conscientious.”
What is the solution? Mr. Burrowes says:
“Fundamentalism is a significant social problem, particularly in some contexts. And to fix it, we need to recognise its psychological origin. Unfortunately, however, this is not easy to do, because the terror that holds their value and belief system in place, and drives their behaviour, is deeply hidden within the individual’s psyche.”
Conversations with God also offers a solution. Says this dialogue:
“Your experience of yourself and your world will shift dramatically if you adopt, collectively, the Five Steps to Peace:
“1. Permit yourself to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.
“2. Explore the possibility that there is something you do not fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything.
“3. Announce that you are willing for new understandings of God and Life to now be brought forth, understandings that could produce a new way of life on this planet.
“4. Courageously examine these new understandings and, if they align with your personal inner truth and knowing, enlarge your belief system to include them.
“5. Express your life as a demonstration of your highest beliefs, rather than as a denial of them.”
CWG makes it clear that violence is neither an inevitable nor an unavoidable aspect of human behavior. “Your differences do not have to create divisions, your contrasts do not have to create conflicts, and the variations in your beliefs do not have to produce violence in your lives,” the dialogue tells us.
Yet how to stop the violence before it stops us? That will take a collective effort. A massive collective effort. And this is where the spiritual activism work of Humanity’s Team — a global movement based on the messages of Conversations with God — comes in.
“What is needed is a worldwide Evolution Revolution,” Nanette Kennedy, a spokesperson for Humanity’s Team and the Managing Editor of this online newspaper, has said. Persons who feel the impulse to join in producing such a revolution may learn more about it by clicking on the blue box in the right hand column of this newpaper.
As well, persons wishing to join another worldwide movement to end all violence, in whatever form it manifests, may sign online “The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World, Mr. Burrowes said in his op-ed.
A person posting as “AntiSocialSailor” in the Comment section beneath Mr. Burrowes’ article offered this additional observation:
“The author left out the most insidious and evil fundamentalists of all, Free-Market Fundamentalists. These are the fundamentalists that have caused the majority of problems for this country since the 80’s. They’ve infected our government to such an extent that they pose a far greater risk to the country, and the world, then all the religious nutcases combined.”
What about you? Do you believe that fundamentalist thinking — in politics, religion, economics, or any area of life — is a danger, or the bedrock of a civilized society, the bulwark against constant and destabilizing change? We invite you to share your own Comment below.
Editor’s Note: Robert Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent, and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence?
Did you know that there is a new book that identifies the 25 most important messages of the 9-installment Conversations with God series? It then offers practical suggestions on how to apply each message in every day life. Powerful and inspirational reading. To see the first seven chapters and hear a one chapter sample of the audio book, click here.
(This is Part VI 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 first step in becoming a spiritual helper is to:
1. ANNOUNCE OURSELVES TO EACH OTHER
The first thing we have to do if we are going to change the world is to let the world know that we are here. We have to tell each other about each other. We have to “announce” ourselves to each other.
One of the biggest reasons that people do not see themselves as “world-changers” is that they imagine themselves to be standing alone against overwhelming odds.
The earth is populated with people who believe that they are the only ones who think the way they do, who hold the viewpoints they hold, who want to do what they want to do. It is as if we are all living by some Silent Agreement. The Agreement is to keep our views largely to ourselves and to remain unknown to each other.
This is not an agreement that we are keeping because we want to. It is not even an agreement that we are keeping consciously. We are keeping this agreement unconsciously, without even knowing that we are doing it. We keep this agreement by “going along,” by “giving in,” by “accepting” life “as it is,” without raising a peep of serious protest.
This is an agreement that the human race is keeping by default. And we are keeping this agreement because we think we have to. We believe that it is the only way we can be happy—and maybe the only way we can survive.
Then, every once in a while, something fascinating happens. Every once in a while we chance upon a meeting, we hear of a gathering, we learn of an assembly or a conference of some kind, or we see a small write-up in the local newspaper about some group or association or non-profit organization that is focusing its attention on exactly what we have been thinking about—but about which we have said little or nothing to others.
And maybe we go to that meeting or attend that gathering, and we are startled to find that there are actually other people—perhaps many other people—organizing around just the ideas that we have been tossing around in our head. We find that someone agrees with us.
This is an important moment. This is the moment that real action can begin, that real progress can be made, that real solutions can be put into place.
My friend Kimberly gets all the guys and all the money while I’m always struggling to pay the bills and never meet any men I like. It’s not fair. I don’t get it! She always seems to find the best-looking, nicest guys, and if it doesn’t work out, she meets another one in no time. And she doesn’t have to work because she always gets plenty of money from her ex-husband, while I’m always slaving away, trying to make ends meet. I love her a lot but can’t help feeling jealous and it’s starting to affect our relationship. … Lori
Dear Lori… I can certainly understand why you are feeling frustrated in this relationship, but the good news is, I have a key that can unlock a whole new way of looking at this AND help you start to have similar experiences to hers.
You say you are feeling jealousy, so I invite you to work toward changing that feeling to envy. Here’s why: Jealousy is detrimental to our well-being, while envy is healthy and inspiring. Envy is one of the Five Natural Emotions. It’s what makes you want to do what someone else is doing, knowing that you CAN. It’s what makes you get back on the bike after you fall off, because others have demonstrated that they can stay on it! If we become resentful that they can stay on the bike when we can’t, that’s when we become jealous. Envy continually repressed becomes jealousy, a very unnatural emotion. If you continue to feel jealous and resentful of Kimberly, it may, indeed, undermine your relationship.
The key is simple: Change your thought from “It’s not fair that she gets all the guys and money she wants” to, “If she can do it, I can too!” Allow her experience of life to inspire you instead of depress you. Let it serve as a springboard for creating similar experiences in your own life, because the truth is, there is nothing you cannot have as long as you realize it. And if she really is the friend you say she is, I’m sure she will be happy to tell you how she does it! Even if she doesn’t fully understand the metaphysical reasons behind her money and men friend manifestations, I would bet that something she says when relating her experiences to you will light a spark of understanding that will help you not only no longer feel jealous, but will give you ideas about how you, too, can have all the men and money you want for yourself.
(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.
What do undershirts, boxer shorts, and athletic socks have to do with chickpeas, lemon, and garlic? Still thinking? Scratching your head? Yeah, me too. And so is small business owner, Yohannes Petros, founder and owner of Hanes Hummus, an emerging Canadian company which makes and distributes hummus to local food stores, and who is being threatened with a lawsuit by underwear manufacturer Hanesbrand, Inc., for trademark violation.
Petros’ growing business was born out of a delicious hummus recipe, a passion to pursue his dream, and the support of his local community. Naming the business “Hanes Hummus” seemed only logical and fitting to the man whose life-long nickname has been “Hanes.”
A cease and desist letter sent to Yohannes Petros from Hanesbrand’s attorney, Richard S. Donnell warned Petros, “The mark HANES HUMMUS is essentially identical and confusingly similar to the HANES mark. Your client’s mark incorporates the distinctive HANES mark in its entirety and the mere addition of the generic wording HUMMUS does not distinguish the marks.”
But Yohannes is not backing down to the boxer short baron’s request to immediately destroy all materials containing the words “Hanes Hummus” and is preparing to stand up to the oppressive and bully tactics of this multi-billion dollar corporation.
How many more mom-and-pop businesses and companies are going to be squeezed out by huge corporations with deep pockets and well-paid attorneys at their disposal? Most fledgling local businesses such as Petros’, with a staff of four, do not have the wherewithal or resources to face off to a company this powerful and many are confronted with the harsh reality of closing their doors in these situations.
So how do we combat corporate greed? How do we create a more even playing field when the rules, as they are currently structured, are designed to make sure one side always wins?
By talking about it, by spreading the word, and by supporting our local businesses. We can use our voices to educate and inform. We can use our dollars to make conscious choices and declarations of who we are. We can say no to the covetous corporations who undercut and overpower the creativity and spirit of the neighborhood dreamers and doers.
How much is enough? How much is too much? Is there truly enough to go around?
Maybe I am just simply missing something here. Perhaps Yohannes Petros’ small hummus business will cripple the highly successful undershirt maker with his tasty healthy treat. I guess it is possible that the name “Hanes Hummus” might confuse and derail the average consumer who visits their local department store looking for a comfortable bra into mistakenly purchasing some delicious hummus instead.
Does Hanesbrand, Inc., a company whose own press release anticipated net sales at $4.6 billion for 2013, have cause to be worried by the “Hanes Hummus” or the “Hanes Plumbing” or the “Hanes Pet Grooming” entrepreneurs of the world? Will they suddenly be forced to pay Michael Jordan only a small fraction of his multi-million dollar contract to promote their briefs? Will Hanesbrand CEO Richard Noll, who recently sold 30,000 shares of Hanesbrand stock for $2,064,000.00, be unable to survive on his remaining 621,163 shares in the company, valued at approximately $42,736,014?
When will we, as a society, stop supporting gigantic corporations with our money, big businesses who function from a place of greed and who engage in these arm-twisting techniques, just so we can save a buck or two?
(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
During a recent recovery training class I attended the teacher asked the following question: Who is the person that all addiction professionals have the hardest time helping? The answers were coming fast, and all were wrong according to him. Some said “meth-heads,” others said “methadone addicts,” and other answers consisted of bulimics, anorexics, over-eaters, cigarette-smokers, etc. The professor just kept shaking his head no. Finally someone gave the answer he was looking for: co-dependents. There was a collective sigh of agreement from the room when the answer was given.
The human ego is our outward expression of who we think we are. Ego is what we show to the world. A Course in Miracles defines ego as “nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself.” Of course, for the most part, our belief about our self is almost always very limited and oftentimes incorrect. Nonetheless, it is a critical part of who we are and how we experience life here.
So one of the most difficult things to get across to someone who has been affected by the behaviors of their loved ones is that they have been negatively impacted much in the same way that their loved ones are. When the topic of co-dependency comes up with a family member of an addict or abuser, the answer we get is almost always the same: “I am not the one with the problem; they are!”
It sure is easy to see it that way, too. The alcoholic/drug addict has clear and definitive symptoms. Their lying, stealing, scrapes with the law, loss of jobs and relationships directly relate to addiction. Yeah, addicts are pretty much out in the open with their disease, but guess what? They don’t see it themselves. And the same is true for co-dependents. They do not see the destructive nature of their behavior but, most people around them do.
For the outsiders, co-dependent behavior is baffling. Many say, why won’t she just leave him? Or how many chances will he give her? Or I can’t believe they put up with that kind of behavior. Rational people cannot grasp what keeps the co-dependent repeating self-destructive behaviors.
My heart goes out to the sufferers of co-dependency. The longing for love lost is heartbreaking to witness.
When an addict takes his first drink or drug, they have no idea they are going to become enslaved and addicted to it. At some level, however, we understand that what we are doing could have some serious consequences. When a person falls in love with an addict or an abuser or a person with a narcissistic personality, they are much more unaware that they have become collateral damage to the disease of addiction.
To some degree, addiction is contagious.
How can a person’s thinking not be affected by the unpredictable behavior of their loved ones? Our ego, in many cases, attaches ownership to our significant others. We feel responsible for their behavior and their public image. Soon we begin to lie to cover for them. Not to protect them. Usually by that point we don’t care much about them anymore. No, we do it to protect us. We don’t want anyone to see that we don’t have it all together.
This is the point our ego becomes the obstacle we must overcome. And sadly, many do not. If only we in the helping community could get the point across that when we have one finger pointing at someone else, there are always 3 pointing right back at us. Try it and see. No, the thumb doesn’t count!
What I would like to get across here in this blog and in my life’s work is that recovery from anything is really our human quest. Staying the same, remaining unchanged, attempting to uphold an image of perfection goes against what the human experience is all about. We are here to grow and experience all there is and as much of it as possible.
Sadly, what happens to all too many of us is that we end up experiencing the same things over and over again. After 50, 60, 70 years of that, many are so done with it they just wish life would end. I don’t feel it needs to be this way. I have met countless people now in my 26 years of recovery; and for the most part, these people are living and enjoying life again.
Being in a place of actively welcoming change into your life is a magical place. Breaking down the walls of ego and being transparent with your life is a gift from the soul. We can’t learn anything if we are always right. We can’t receive compassion from others if we hide our pain and sorrow. We can’t experience love others until we learn to love ourselves.
Co-dependency, like addiction, is not a derogatory identity to have. It is merely the path we have chosen to take on this particular journey through the physical. We have been here before; and undoubtedly, we will be here again.
If this article has struck a chord with you please feel free — no, feel inspired to comment below. Be the one who starts the conversation. Be the source of recovery from the destructive thought patterns that limit our experience here in the physical realm. This is your invitation.
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and auriculotherapist. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation. You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)
Below is the third installment of a continuing series of entries from the CWG book Tomorrow’s God. If you have not yet read this text, and if you have even the slightest interest in your future and the future of your children and your grandchildren, you will find the ongoing postings here to be of utmost importance. I invite you to return to this space often to capture updates in the ongoing progression through this remarkable book.
This book is a conversation between Neale Donald Walsch and God. The words spoken by God are in blue.
The Greatest Blasphemy
We need a new God.
No. I’m serious. We need a new God. The old God isn’t working anymore.
The old one never worked.
Some people think it did.
They were not looking at the world around them.
Not honestly. Not comprehensively. They were seeing only what they wanted to see.
They were not seeing the cruelty and the fighting and the killing that was going on in God’s name. They were not seeing the separation and the oppression and the fear and the utter dysfunction. Or, worse yet, they were seeing it and they played into it. They used it as a means of controlling the people.
In truth the old God, Yesterday’s God, might have made individual lives work here and there—perhaps even many of them—but that God was never able to create a just society or a joyful, harmonious civilization, to say nothing of a peaceful world. And that God can’t do that even today.
Even today, with all your powers of instant communication and total connection and advanced comprehension and increased awareness and sophisticated technology and marvelous miracles, you can’t produce the simple, humble experience for which humanity has yearned from the beginning of time.
You can’t produce peace.
You can’t produce lasting joy.
And the God in whom you believe can’t, either.
Why? Why? Why can’t all the best efforts of humanity and all the help we’ve begged for, and received from God, produce this result?
Because the God in whom you believe isn’t real. The God in whom you believe is made up. It is a God you created out of thin air, having nothing to do with Ultimate Reality.
Well, there’s a challenging thought. That’s just about the greatest blasphemy.
All great truth begins as blasphemy.
The time to challenge your most sacred beliefs is at hand. If you don’t challenge your beliefs soon, your beliefs are going to challenge you.
This book is meant to be challenging.
This book is meant to save the world.
That’s up to the world.
Why? Why isn’t it up to you? If you’re God, why isn’t it up to you?
Because my function is not to save the world. My function is to create it.
And after you create it, you don’t care what happens?
I care what happens as much as you do.
No, you don’t. If you care what happens as much as we do, you won’t let the world destroy itself.
You mean if I care what happens more than you do. If I care what happens as much as you do, I will let the world destroy itself, because that’s exactly what you are doing.
Since I care only as much as you do, the world in which you live may very well be destroyed. At the very least, life as you now know it could be irrevocably altered. And if that’s what happens, I will let it happen.
Why? Why won’t you do something to stop it?
Because you won’t.
We can’t. You can. You’re God. You can do what humans cannot.
Your statement is inaccurate. I can, and YOU can. But I will not, unless you do.
Why not? What kind of a God are you?
The best kind there is. The only kind there is. The kind who gives you free will, and who will never, ever interfere with that.
Not even to save us from ourselves?
If I saved you from yourselves, then you wouldn’t BE “yourselves,” but only a slave to me. You would not have free will. Your will would be free only until you did something that I did not want you to do. Then, I would stop the exercise of your free will and make you do what I want you to do.
Of course you would. If you were half the God that humans think you are, you would stop us from destroying ourselves. You would do what is best for us. You would make us do what is best for us.
By whose assessment, and by whose definition?
“Best” by whose assessment, and “us” by whose definition?
By yours. By your assessment. By your definition. You would define what is meant by the term “us,” you would decide what is “best” for us, and then you would make what is “best” happen for all of “us.” We depend on you to do this. That’s what God is for.
Really? Is that what you think?
Anyone reviewing the data is likely to conclude that there must be some mistake. It doesn’t seem possible that one out of twenty American families could each have made a million dollars since Obama became President, while the average American family’s net worth has barely recovered. But the evidence comes from numerous reputable sources.
Some conservatives continue to claim that President Obama is unfriendly to business, but the facts show that the richest Americans and the biggest businesses have been the main – perhaps only – beneficiaries of the massive wealth gain over the past five years.
1. $5 Million to Each of the 1%, and $1 Million to Each of the Next 4%
From the end of 2008 to the middle of 2013 total U.S. wealth increased from $47 trillion to $72 trillion. About $16 trillion of that is financial gain (stocks and other financial instruments).
The richest 1% own about 38 percent of stocks, and half of non-stock financial assets. So they’ve gained at least $6.1 trillion (38 percent of $16 trillion). That’s over $5 million for each of 1.2 million households.
The next richest 4%, based on similar calculations, gained about $5.1 trillion. That’s over a million dollars for each of their 4.8 million households.
The least wealthy 90% in our country own only 11 percent of all stocks excluding pensions (which are fast disappearing). The frantic recent surge in the stock market has largely bypassed these families.
2. Evidence of Our Growing Wealth Inequality
This first fact is nearly ungraspable: In 2009 the average wealth for almost half of American families was ZERO (their debt exceeded their assets).
In 1983 the families in America’s poorer half owned an average of about $15,000. But from 1983 to 1989 median wealth fell from over $70,000 to about $60,000. From 1998 to 2009, fully 80% of American families LOST wealth. They had to borrow to stay afloat.
It seems the disparity couldn’t get much worse, but after the recession it did. According to a Pew Research Center study, in the first two years of recovery the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%. And then, from 2011 to 2013, the stock market grew by almost 50 percent, with again the great majority of that gain going to the richest 5%.
Today our wealth gap is worse than that of the third world. Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.
3. Congress’ Solution: Take from the Poor
Congress has responded by cutting unemployment benefits and food stamps, along with other ‘sequester’ targets like Meals on Wheels for seniors and Head Start for preschoolers. The more the super-rich make, the more they seem to believe in the cruel fantasy that the poor are to blame for their own struggles.
President Obama recently proclaimed that inequality “drives everything I do in this office.” Indeed it may, but in the wrong direction.
The above article was first published at the website Common Dreams. Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.
Did you know that there is a new book that identifies the 25 most important messages of the 9-installment Conversations with God series? It then offers practical suggestions on how to apply each message in every day life. Powerful and inspirational reading. To see the first seven chapters and hear a one chapter sample of the audio book, click here.
(This is Part V of an extended series on being part of the change, rather than simply observing the change, that is occurring on our planet right now.)
I don’t want to take too much space here going over what has been said before in other CwG writings, but allow me, please, to just make this point over again, because it is vitally important that we all understand this, and because it sets the stage for everything else that is to follow in this extended series of articles.
Humanity has for centuries tried to solve its problems at every level except the level at which the problems exist. It continues to do so today.
To quote directly from What God Wants…
We approach our problems as if they were political problems, open to political solutions. We talk about them, we hold debates about them, we pass resolutions about them.
When nothing changes, we seek to solve our problems through economic means. We throw money at them, or withhold money from them, as in the case of sanctions.
When that fails we say, aha, this is a problem to give to the military. We’ll solve it with force. So we drop bombs on it. That never works, either, if a long-term solution is what anyone is looking for, but do you think we would learn?
Naw. We just start the cycle all over again.
The reason we keep running and getting nowhere like a mouse on a wheel is that no one dares to look at the cause of the ongoing condition we seemed fated to endure. Either we truly don’t know, or we are afraid to admit, that our biggest problem today is not a political problem, it’s not an economic problem, and it’s not a military problem.
The problem facing humanity today is a spiritual problem.
Once this is understood, the solution becomes obvious. Until it’s understood, the solution escapes everyone.
It’s what people believe that creates their behavior. Therefore, it is at the level of belief, not at the level of behavior, where behavior can most profoundly be modified. For decades we’ve been talking in psychology circles about behavior modification, or Behavior Mod. What we really should be talking about is Belief Mod.
So, if we are to change things on our planet we must all become Spiritual Helpers. Most of us agree on that. The question is, how? Well, in this space we are going to look at ten steps that can get us there. These steps are simple, but they may not be easy. Much will depend on how real is your desire to get where you say you wish to go.
You will be asked in these ten steps to rearrange your entire thinking. You will be invited to alter your previous perception of many things. You will be requested to read, read, read. For this will be a Short Course in Transformation 101. You will even be invited to explore a few personal growth programs and activities that could change your life.
So these ten steps are exciting. Some are unexpected. All are transformational. We’ll look at them one by one, beginning in our next installment here. Please return to continue your reading in this extended series of articles.
The ushering in of a new year is symbolic, a time for reflection, contemplation, and transformation as many people look back upon the events which took place during the preceding year. Some of these events made headline news around the world. And many of these headline news stories sparked heated debates.
Some of the more controversial happenings placed even the most agreeable minds at odds with each other: George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, the release of the activist film against SeaWorld “Blackfish,” the rolling out of Obama Care, the federal government shutting down, Pope Francis’s nontraditional stances, the legalization of gay marriage in many countries and states, and, yes, even the show Duck Dynasty had some time in the spotlight, just to name a few.
Our planet earth is a magnificently diverse home for all of us. And while it is undeniable that there are plenty of places we could improve on the way we interact with each other and treat each other and support each other, is there also an equal amount of room for us to understand and accept each other on a higher level? Are these hot-topic news stories only controversial because we box ourselves into one way of seeing things and then expect others to see that way, too? Do our differences of opinion create change or stifle it?
I’m just wondering, as we take our first steps into 2014 and think about what we want to accomplish, where we want to go, and who we want to be, if some thought might be given to recognizing that the stories yet untold and the events yet to be experienced will all be heard and experienced through the eyes of differing perspectives and filtered through the data of each individual’s unique past. How might that level of awareness impact the way we communicate with each other? The way we create with each other? The way we love one another?
Is life meant to be more of a plain vanilla experience? Are we really trying to get to a place where we all think and act alike? Or are the occurrences in our lives, personally and globally, providing us much larger opportunities here? Can we live peacefully and collaboratively within the shifting realm of our differences?
There are approximately 7,203,608,340 people in the world. And as I write these words, that number continues to expand rapidly. Perhaps the next time life presents us an opportunity to be “right” about something or we feel compelled to assert our knowingness upon someone with a differing point of view, we might consider the possibility that there is not only one side to any given story, nor are there only two sides; there are potentially 7,203,608,340 sides to every story. And might it be possible that, ironically, somewhere deep within that complicated kaleidoscope of multifaceted thoughts and feelings and experiences lies the one thing that humanity is longing for: peace?
(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at 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.)