January 17, 2011

Tolerance And Truth- 2012 Survival Kit Pre-Discourse

In the last post, I promised to tackle Lack, Fear and Masculine/Feminine Imbalance but I also touched on two subjects- Truth and Tolerance which I would like to explore some more before delve into the first human setback of Lack.

Tolerance will most likely be the defining theme of our century. Never before has there been so much energy and enthusiasm devoted to interpersonal relationships within a multi-cultural environment. How can we get along better in order to be peaceful and productive? How do we make fair laws that are both universal and effective? How do we safeguard personal freedoms without excusing social injustice or crimes against humanity? Where do we draw the line between freedom of speech and defamation, tirade or terrorism? How do we ensure we do not become overly sanitized, censured, sensitive and as a result intellectually impotent?

Political correctness gone too far: Mark Twain is probably turning in his grave as politically correct educators in the US seek to erase the word, “nigger” from the classic novel Huckelberry Finn even though it was used in a context by the author to demonstrate the inhumanity of racism. If we are so overly sensitive we cannot even look honestly at our dark past, how do we move forward in the light?

Trust Vs. Truth- Putting Religious Belief In Its Rightful Place

I am a strong advocate of every person being free to practice, switch and share their religious beliefs in forums where worship, expressed interest, mutual exchange and debate are relevant and appropriate. After all, I do it on my blog.

However, in our dealings with each other we must all come to the table with the universal understanding that our spiritual beliefs are well…beliefs. They require faith. This faith is more of a gut thing, not a cerebral thing; about 60% heart, 40% head and highly emotionally subjective. That does not make it inferior (and we will discuss more on why heart knowledge is valid in its own right) but it does make it highly personal and therefore inappropriate to mandate for another or for a country.

In a word, religious faith is basically- TRUST.

When you say, “I have faith that Ronaldo will come through for the football team,” what you are really saying is, “I TRUST Ronaldo enough to pin my hopes on him,”
The same is true for a holy book, a deity or belief system.

When you say, “I have faith Jesus died for my sins,” or “I have faith Gabriel spoke to the prophet Mohammed”, you are basically saying, “I trust that it is true enough for me to pin my hopes on and even risk my life defending.”

Of course, we already know you cannot prove the origin, translation, interpretation of ancient writings is absolutely true. It has never been done and those who still engage in such protracted apologetic discussions are not just wasting their time but often missing the deeper point which does not depend on their myths being literally true. These are often the first to become atheist at the first emotional or intellectual crossroads and the more zealous the believer, the more zealous their atheist alter-ego because fanaticism begets more fanaticism.

Okay, so you may not be able to prove miracles are true to anyone but yourself. However you TRUST that it is true and you really want it to be so. This is why you get so passionate and easily provoked about anything or anyone that seeks to rob you of that trust. It’s the same reason you would respond with hostility if anyone told you your spouse or beloved parent was an untrustworthy person. A great deal hinges on you trusting your Divine parent and whatever philosophy you believe came from that deity. For many that trust is the only thing preventing them from giving up on life. Now, just be honest about this!

Stop trying to argue that your belief is absolute truth and admit you cannot prove it is and your reasons for believing are based almost entirely on trust/faith for deeply personal reasons and rewards. If you are brave enough to be honest like this, then have just opened the door to tolerance.

If you are truly an honest, empathetic spiritual person you can understand how all deity doctrines; Elephant Gods and Gods that impregnate virgins to sacrifice themselves, are fantastic and difficult for someone to simply take a chance and trust without compelling proof or personal motivation.

For when you look at faith that way, as trust, you begin to understand how cruel it is to expect everyone to trust exactly what you trust when in fact, the factors that inspired your trust may not be at play in their life. Trusting a belief system where the proofs are largely intangible and emotionally experienced is basically like, “taking a chance,” on something. In most cases the trust is won by familiarity. We were born into a belief, raised in it and it becomes so much of a foundation in our lives, we grow entirely dependent on it and are unable to work up the courage to trust anything else, especially if there is fear of Divine punishment, civil punishment (like in Islamic countries) community or family exclusion.

It is the worst form of hubris and insecurity to cast aspersions on someone for rejecting your belief system when you also reject the beliefs systems of others FOR THE SAME REASONS they reject yours! Reasonable lack of trust because of (1) unfamiliarity- it just sounds weird (like how certain foods from other cultures seem weird or even disgusting) because of your upbringing and accepted knowledge (2) not enough evidence or valid argument to convince you it is actually true and the more educated you are, the more substantive the evidence you will require and the more stringently you will judge the validity of the arguments presented (3) absolutely no emotional need to take a chance on it despite (1) and (2) because you already have positive ways of filling any gaps in your life and they work for you.

The moment you tell someone, “God says…” and then have to pull out a book written by men to show them what, you are asking a mammoth amount of trust from them. We all know the physical laws that govern planet earth today are as relevant now as they were millions of years ago. They are what shaped our present existence. So when we start dealing with virgin births, talking snakes, flying chariots and a mob of men wanting to gang-rape two angels, you are asking a mammoth amount of trust as well. The moment a religious person steps outside the domain of,

“This is my faith-based belief from my understanding of this holy book, which I also believe to be holy and true based on trust,”
and claims,

“This is absolute fact and all must abide by it and be bound by its statements or they will not only face damnation after death but it is totally justifiable to pursue their defamation and disenfranchisement in this life!”...

then the proper thing for any responsible truth seeker, journalist or policy maker to do is demand proofs by the same standards we use to determine all truths, test all theories, approve all insurable medical treatments.

If human society is to advance to the next stage of civilization- living harmoniously in multi-cultural societies; capable of making intelligent decisions to positively impact our ever fragile eco-systems and maximize our scant natural resources while ensuring that freedom does not mean freedom to infringe on anyone's fundamental human rights, we must restrict religion to its rightful place.

The overturning of Proposition 8 shows that real debate on claims made by religious folk can happen. In this case, when held against evidence from years of study from respected, peer reviewed medical and sociological bodies who regularly submit to scrutiny, the anti-gay religious and traditionalist arguments all fell flat. They had no scientific, sociological, historic or even medical proof valid enough to substantiate their claims.

A person of his or her own, adult, free-will should be free to decide to hold himself to any religious standard that impacts his own life, health, freedom, education, family, peace and security. However, if they want to decide the rights decisions and lives of others, whether one person or multitudes they must establish an objective and scientifically true basis for doing so. If they cannot, their statements must come with a disclaimer.

Here is mine:

What I share is my opinion based on my life experiences and my spiritual path. I share it without condition or expectation that anyone reading it must adopt it. I believe we each must walk our own path. Scientific truth can help us walk with knowledge of where we came and project where we can safely thread next. Spiritual truths can help us better appreciate the scenery on the way and feel less fatigued by the journey. The former is as absolute as the air you need to power your lungs while you walk. The latter is as personal as your individual stride and pace. We all need air to walk but we don’t all have to walk the exact same way, in fact some are unable to walk and use wheelchairs. It does not make them less deserving of basic human rights. It is with that attitude I approach science and spirituality.

Now that I have made my position clear and I believe fair to all, I think I am ready to get into the thick of it with Lack, the first of the three major setbacks of human progress.

January 10, 2011

2011 The Year We Prepare

Every cycle of the earth around the sun has its own rhythm influenced by various planetary alignments. No two years are ever the same. I’m sure you’ve noticed how some years seem to drag while other years seem to race to the end. Some years start slow and finish fast. There are years that begin with total stability and end in chaos. Some are predominated by natural events, others dramatic human events. Some years feel victorious. Some feel laborious and others, tragic.

The major astrological discovery of 2010 was that the sun, like its stellar cousins, sings. Yes, it produces a constant beat, a key that reverberates through space. Adding to the symphony of this sound energy is the accompaniment of billions of stars interjecting their music and subtle variances. Every year has a distinct rhythm.

One of the key tactics of many spiritual seekers is to try to be in tune to the particular rhythm of a year. According to the principles of Numerology (for those who believe in the potent symbolism of numerals), 2010 was a Number 3 Year i.e.- 2+0+1+0=3 and it sure did feel like one.

Three is a very restless, uncertain numeral. It is indicative of huge creative leaps, shifts and growth. In 2010, laws that we never thought would get passed did- Health Care Reform, Marriage Equality and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the USA. California came very close to legalizing pot. Even more female leaders were elected around the world. Brave statements were made by various progressive groups challenging the status quo, economic paradigm and the established religious organizations. Can you believe the Pope actually said that condoms are okay for male prostitutes to avoid disease? But he did.

While last year did not feel very reassuring, all of these chaotic trusts forward are a sign we are still growing, learning, changing. That’s a good thing isn’t it? I am glad we are evolving and not stagnant. But we all know that growth hurts. Critical fluctuations in finances, health, foreign policy, interpersonal relationships and even the weather gave us all a lot of discomfort. I experienced the awesome and awesomely terrifying power of a real hurricane (Tomas in Saint Lucia) for the first time in my life.

This new year of 2011 is a number 4 year i.e.- 2+0+1+1=4.

Four is the number of earth, foundation, solidity, realness and stability.
Stability sounds like a really good thing now for many people who have been adversely affected by the uncertainty and rapid changes in 2010. However, if the kind of stability you are longing for in the upcoming Number 4 year ahead is political, economic, social, meteorological, seismic, environmental, well, the news is not so good.

Given the set up of 2010’s shift, there will continue to be some major natural “earth shaking” aftershocks in our man-made systems, values, societies, laws and relations. Seismologists predict a record number of earthquakes and climatologists predict a record number of storms. With all this seemingly never-ending, chaotic inconstancy in our natural and human world, how do we enjoy the foundation, solidity, realness and stability promised in a Number 4 year?
We enjoy it WITHIN.

Don't expect a break from the upheaval in 2011.

That’s right! The secure, comforting foundation of 4 stable corners and elements promised in 2011 is meant to be internally experienced.

If you were truly in tune with 2010, then you have already undergone a lot of growth deep down in your core and bravely submitted to the process despite the growing pains. You have sloughed off a lot of old baggage, useless or unhealthy friends, family or situations and thinking. If so, then you are more than ready to access the peaceful, solid certainty that will enable you to find the stillness in the eye of the storm that will continue swirling and culminate in an irreversible shift in 2012.
You already have in your hands, a survival kit and more than that, the key to open it and use what is inside.

Inside this survival kit are valuable lifesaving tools created by:

• All the universally true principles the human race has been taught by advanced souls around the globe, through the ages
• All that the human race knows is scientifically true based on pure, honest observation and deduction
• All the human race knows is ethically true from honestly examining our human history and human behavior free from any agenda and/or insecurity
• All your ability to honestly examine your internal and external factors and then creatively apply all of all of the above to enhance it.

The contents of this survival kit, skillfully applied can help you and our species survive and thrive. That is a comforting thing for those who have it and know how to open it.

Now if you missed 2010’s growth spurt, survival kit delivery and tutorial because you were distracted with unimportant matters, do not panic. In celebration of 2011, The Year We Prepare, I invite all who read my blog and any who stumble unto it to join me as I try to apply the tools that promise us connection to the still, stable, epicenter of our existence.

Consider this a crash course to tackle the three most crucial obstacles to perfection and progress we face. They are obstacles which the entire world will be forced to confront whether we like it or not or are ready or not. On the horizon is a soon-to-be-historic crossroad. When we arrive at it, we will be forced to choose to either drastically change our priorities and paradigms or stubbornly hold on to what is ailing our person and planet. At this moment, our very survival as a species will depend on overcoming:
1. Fear
2. Lack
3. Masculine/feminine imbalance.

These are the three areas that I will focus on using the survival kit. They have consistently been the priorities of genuine spiritual leaders from every culture in the world because to anyone who is even a little bit aware, it is so clear how they handicap our progress. Starting with…

Passive Manifestations- Apathy, regression, powerlessness, servitude/enslavement, stagnation, stress, sickness, addiction, deliberate ignorance/avoidance,
Active Manifestations- Prejudice, hate, clannishness, violence.

Spiritual, emotional, psychological and health gurus throughout the ages know that it is essential for us to evolve away from the primitive, powerless animal. Instead of reacting out of a desperate struggle to survive we need to shift towards proactive, powerful and purposeful living. Overcoming fear safeguards us from being exploited by the less moral people in religion, politics and commerce. It makes us able to listen to the nobler inclinations of our humanity: Forgiveness, Compassion, Curiosity, Creativity, Knowledge, Growth, without worrying about consequences.

Get your "Fear Shot" this year.

From Christ’s admonishment not to fear those who can only destroy the body but not the soul, to the Eastern wisdoms inspiring honor and dharma even in the face of death to the fearless non-violent surrender of great people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., the time has come for us to be able to prioritize truth, love and the fullest realization of the human spirit over rudimentary survival or mercenary ends. We will never be able to make empowered choices in our lives otherwise. Make 2011 the year you get inoculated against fear.

Passive Manifestations- Unworthiness, ingratitude, insecurity, disappointment, neediness (emotional & material), poverty (mental & material)
Active Manifestations- Envy, greed/gluttony/ meglomania, hubris

Like unfounded fear, here is another outmoded survival tool in need of a serious revamp. The need to hoard, fatten and grab to stay alive served us well but now it is time to temper it with perspective and sustainable preservation. Our competitive streak needs to give way to our compassionate streak in all aspects of our lives. It’s time to remove clutter from our homes and burdensome ego build-up in our hearts. Our feelings are too easily hurt. There is rampant discontentment and depression even when we have every reason to count our blessings. We are incapable of feeling happy about where we are, what we have and why we make decisions unless we can see someone else deprived for not doing the same or having the same. We seem unable to choose self-mastery over self-righteousness.

Take your Anti-discontentment Prescription against feelings of lack.

Contentment, gratitude and a deep inner self-satisfaction is more than just a spiritual benefit but science is now revealing it may very well save our lives and our planet. This year it’s time to access the antidote to discontentment which can be taken before or after envy, false pride, ego strikes at your heart and releases harmful stress and obesity causing hormones or triggers sordid greed-filled actions.

Masculine And Feminine Imbalance
Passive Manifestations- Low self-esteem, biological slavery, feelings of abandonment, infantilism, shame, powerlessness, fear of change/inconstancy/nature
Active Manifestations- Domination/conquest, repression, viral expansion, racism, homophobia, misogyny, violence.

The biggest war raging right now on our planet is not the War on Terror or the War on Drugs. In fact, all wars can be traced to the ultimate and original war- The Battle Of The Sexes. It is on this violent front that we need peacekeepers, more dialogue and resolutions on every level of combat:

• Between men and women on the front of the family, society, relationships, gender roles and human sexuality
• Spiritually and religiously where there is the destruction and continued denial of the Female Divine counterbalance to the Male Divine, resulting in a skewed society monopolized by the monotheistic, macho and machochistic imperatives
• Economically/socially- the predominance of the Omega societies/systems concerned with hierarchical order, material acquisition, expansion and domination over the Alpha communal material sharing, preservation and harmonization.

Get your gender issues back into balance this year.

The survival kit has the ointments, splints and bandages to repair the extensive damage caused by thousands of years of the primitive aspects of the testosterone factor being allowed to run amok. It can repair the damage of colonialism, religious fundamentalism, consumerism and many other “isms” ruining our planet. We can get in touch once more with our “Mother” whose absence from our lives is felt in ways that just might surprise you. We can help men and women relate better to one another and be free of sexual shame and sexual dishonesty. We can unite science and spirituality. We can balance the masculine and feminine within and in doing so, achieve Ishvara- spiritual and emotional freedom from biological/sociological gender limitations and the ability to walk the path of the higher genderless soul- our true identity.

The Gloves Are Off

I usually take great pains to be diplomatic especially when it comes to religion. I often run the risk of having my altruism and universality mistaken for weakness of position. You see, many fundamentalists rate conviction and accuracy based on the narrowness of your path and the unwavering passion of your protracted battles against “enemies” not your ability to establish common threads and consider new angles.

On the other hand, we “free-thinkers” never aggressively campaign against any “enemy” save ignorance, fear, hatred, lack in whatever form it comes, even if it is within our own cliques or belief systems. Therefore we cannot be as stalwart and unchanging. We are growing in knowledge. Things change and grow and so must the stances we take even if the core principles remain the same. We can never compromise our humanity for a belief system. If following a rule or principle involves harming another, we would rather break the rule. This is what separates us from the fundamentalists for whom any inhumane means justifies an end believed to be noble.

Today I will take the gloves off and say that fundamentalists who refuse to even allow the possibility of alternatives, even in a limitless universe and refuse to listen openly, change their mind and grow are a hindrance to the survival of our planet. It is time for us who bridge the gaps between secular and spiritual, science and sentiment, atheist and theist, human rights and human religion to make a firmer stand. We have many names. They call us moderates, open-minded, independent thinkers, truth seekers, new-agers, liberals, fair-minded.

Let this be the year they call us champions of the new world to come.

We who are open to seeing the THE truth about God/Universe, the human condition, our history, no matter how much it requires us to question, change, explore, examine, be open to listening to opposing arguments, research, experiment, change our mind, agree, disagree, find common ground, challenge it, change again ad infinitum must make a stand against people who claim to have absolute truth without submitting to the same process.

We who walk the harder more uncertain path of the spiritual and intellectual adult CANNOT continue to be cowed by spiritual and intellectual infants! Those who are incapable of applying truth processes and tolerance principles must be excluded from determining the future of our planet.

What do I mean by Truth Processes?- Is it scientifically true? Is it historically true? Is it universally ethically/morally true? If it is a personal/subjective truth then is it clearly defined as such? Anything you cannot prove by any scientific means or valid historical precedent you MUST share with open-ended, unconditionality. You never use coercion or deceptive tactics to prove a belief.

What do I mean by the Tolerance Principles- You never seek to inflict personal beliefs on others as absolute/scientific truth just to get validation, pass judgment or enjoy power over them. You never use your personal/subjective truth as a justification for infringing on another’s human rights, privacy, reputation, well-being and prosperity. You allow all their fair and free chance to choose self-actualization.

There are people on this planet who outright REFUSE to abide by these peaceful, fair-minded principles and it is for this reason, the gloves are off!

It may rock our peace-loving sensibilities to hurt feelings, crush egos and challenge comfort zones that make others feel so safe but where we find fear, lack, pride, greed, envy and dominion we must find the courage to speak up and out. Where you see untruth, injustice, ignorance, needless suffering, imbalance, denial of free choice, then your mission is clear regardless of cultural and belief differences.

We must stand firm against the “isms” and phobias that result in the opposite of encouraging curiosity and openness to learning, even if we find it in our own hearts, which from time to time, we will. I often uncover "isms" and phobias in my life where I least expect and only because I am open to having them pointed out by family, friends and my own conscience. Fundamentalists have no such conscience, checks and balances and the time has come for the world to be wary of them for this very reason. The subjectivity they accuse us of, is also a facet of their lives for they can never live up to their rigid rules either. Whether they like it or not, the human disposition is compelled to be flexible, open and changing and hypocrisy is the only way they can hide their human disposition while monitoring their neighbours' conduct.

Now is the time to grow strong, deep roots in the principles that enable inner peace, holistic health, sustainable prosperity and true spirituality. If there is merit to Numerolgy and all the predictions, then the Number 5 year of 2012 will bring potent chaos, confusion and seeming catastrophe for many.

Magical or mayhem? How you experience 2012 all depends on your preparedness.

It is my wish that there will be many friends, family, fellowmen who are rooted, fearless and open to true community. May 2012’s Number 5 to be experienced as the magical integer, the fifth dimension, the fifth chakra of creative power and universal expression that makes our ascension assured.