May your New Year
be filled with health,
and the joy of fresh possibilities.
(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)
I would encourage people to look around them in their community and find an organization that is doing something that they believe in, even if that organization has only five people, or ten people, or twenty people, or a hundred people. And to look at history and understand that when change takes place it takes place as a result of large, large numbers of people doing little things unbeknownst to one another. And that history is very important for people to not get discouraged . . . . History is instructive. And what it suggests to people is that even if they do little things, if they walk on the picket line, if they join a vigil, if they write a letter to their local newspaper. Anything they do, however small, becomes part of a much, much larger sort of flow of energy. And when enough people do enough things, however small they are, then change takes place.Amen!
As a spiritual practitioner you are more committed to caring for others than you are to a side or a cause. Caring for others doesn't mean caring only for the ones you are sympathetic to; it means all others. If it's only some, then you're gong to end up being aggressive toward the others who seem to behave unjustly toward the ones you care about. And aggression breeds aggression. You might win with aggression, but there is always backlash, and pretty soon you lose. I have seen this many times. I am convinced that only real, heartfelt nonaggression works in the long run. And this isn't something you can just decide you are going to feel. It is challenging to be genuinely caring and loving. It takes spiritual work, psychological work, meditation, cultivation. But there is no doubt that, for me, this is the only way.Wow, what a challenge. But it really is the only way. And it is the necessary foundation for the next step. More on that next week.
[She] told me that we were soulmates -- that our energies complemented one another, and that when we were together, we were truly One. I questioned her: I thought one was supposed to find a soulmate here on Earth? She chuckled, and said most soulmates are not together in the same lifetime.She continued, saying that the reason he was having so much trouble finding a mate in this lifetime was because he was still searching for her. She said to let that go. She visited him several times after that, but he was able to let go of his obsessive search for her and to find a new type of woman in his life. A redhead.
Peace is active, not passive. You can't sit back and wait for peace to come to you. You must work for it. You must shake off your apathy and demand it. This is not always easy in a culture of war, such as we have in the U.S., but it is necessary.
It is clear that war makes great demands on its participants. We need to think of peace in the same way. Peace is not the absence of war or the space between wars; it is a goal to be achieved by actively demanding that the world's governments find nonviolent means of settling disputes.Go forth, peace warriors.
The time has come . . . to resist the impulse to control, to command, to force, to oppress, and to begin quite humbly to follow the guidance of the larger community on which all life depends. Our fulfillment is not in our isolated human grandeur, but in our intimacy with the larger earth community, for this is also the larger dimension of our being. (Thomas Berry)
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. (Albert Einstein)
The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life -- the sick, the needy and the handicapped. (Hubert H. Humphrey)
Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. (Horace)
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.
Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.
Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.
We've had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues -- I see the world is rotten because of silence.
Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.This mystic, not well educated, hardly able to read or write, thin as a rail, still took the command from her Lord and from her heart to speak to the injustices of her day. I would encourage all of us to follow her example. The world needs us to show courage and speak up for justice and equality. Claim your power. Speak up!
It is a spiritually impoverished nation that permits infants and children to be the poorest Americans. (Marian Wright Edelman)and:
How can we even begin to disarm greed and envy? Perhaps by being much less greedy and envious ourselves; perhaps by resisting the temptation of letting our luxuries become needs; and perhaps by even scrutinizing our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced. (E. F. Schumacher)
We live in the richest country in the world. There's plenty and to spare for no man, woman, or child to be in want. And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have a been a great, true principle -- the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of that start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars -- and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat. (Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter)and:
Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. (Buddha)
Your soul can occupy two bodies. There is more than one version of you. This turns the whole belief in one soul, one body upside down! What else do you believe that may not be true? It's time to expand your concept of reality. If you are honest with yourself you must accept there is more going on than you could possibly imagine from a linear perspective.My understanding of her point of view is that every "road not taken" results in an alternate reality, like a parallel universe, in which you also exist, living out those choices not taken in this reality. So, there may be more than two, or four, or even a hundred, versions of you. I still need to ruminate on this, but it is an interesting concept.
Ideally both men and women aspire to develop the balanced self, which is the full expression of the divine feminine and divine masculine in either sex. It is conveyed through the physical expressions of compassion and receptivity on the female side, and the expressions of balance, order, and power on the masculine side. Each of us is called to this balance and will continue to encounter all of these aspects until we have achieved mastery through this balance.She believes that achieving the balance of the divine feminine and masculine is key to achieving peace and justice in our society, and healing of our world.
We all must remember one thing: that civil movements create change. We need to be involved in these movements, whether they be environmental, anti-corporate, animal rights, or any other progressive cause. In this way we have managed many times to create change: women's right to vote, civil rights, saving endangered species, cleaning up polluted rivers -- the list is impressive.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, but we need to remember that all of these [economic] systems rest on the compliance of millions of ordinary people like you and me. If we withdraw our consent, if we stop feeling isolated and helpless and start reaching out to friends and neighbors who feel the same way, then we have enormous power.
One of the key ways these institutions take away our power is by making us think our voices are small and worthless. It's an important political and spiritual act to say, "My voice is worth something." We have to take civic responsibility and not be stopped by fear or a sense of powerlessness. Democracy is like a horse: you can't keep it healthy when it's locked in the barn; you have to exercise it regularly.
'Most importantly,' he said, 'this museum must celebrate the other lesson history has taught us -- that tyranny and oppression are no match for compassion . . . that the fanatical shouts of the bullies of the world are invariably silenced by the unified voices of decency that rise up to meet them. It is these voices - these choirs of empathy, tolerance, and compassion -- that I pray one day will sing from this mountaintop.'Amen to that.
No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country . . . and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level -- I mean the wages of decent living.
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
We are in the midst of an evolution of human consciousness, and empaths are the path forgers. A sacred responsibility comes with our sensitivities, which demand more of us than simply retreating into isolation. It's vital we learn how to avoid feeling overwhelmed so that we can fully shine our power in the world. Empaths and all sensitive people are pioneers on the forefront of a new way of being for humankind.
You are part of Generation S, for Sensitivity -- those who salute compassion and loving-kindness. You represent a vital opening for humanity to grow into more heart-centered and intuitive awareness. You can model for others how to be sensitive and powerful.And:
I love when the environmentalist David Orr says, "The planet does not need more 'successful people.' The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane, and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture defines it."
Empaths are pivotal to manifesting this shift. Sensitivity is the path to nonviolence. We can be the healers and restorers and seers and lovers if we keep our sensitivities open and stay centered in our power. We don't have to be afraid of who we are. My advice to you is to do good and be good -- the rest will follow. A commitment to this goal is critical because there is a quickening in the world now, a speeding up of time that mystics say will bring a reckoning of the light versus the dark on our planet. We need to take a loving stand. The more empowered you become, the more you can embody the change that the world needs.Amen, and amen.
Real change never takes place from the top on down. It always takes place from the bottom on up. It takes place when ordinary people, by the millions, are prepared to stand up and fight for justice. That's what the history of the trade-union movement is about. That's what the history of the women's movement is about. That's what the history of the civil-rights movement is about. That's what the history of the gay-rights movement is about. That's what the history of the environmental movement is about. That's what any serious movement for justice is about. (Bernie Sanders)And:
In the final analysis, a democratic government represents the sum total of the courage and the integrity of its individuals. It cannot be better than they are. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Principles invite us to do something about the morass of contradictions in which we function morally. Principles invite us to clean up our act, to become intolerant of moral laxity and compromise and cowardice and the turning away from what is upsetting: that secret gnawing of the heart that tells us that what we are doing is not right. (Susan Sontag)And:
We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education, or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent, because American can do better, because America has no choice but to do better. (Thurgood Marshall)
Being a Christian does not mean hating or belittling the non-Christians. Being a Muslim does not mean hating or belittling the non-Muslims. Being an atheist does not mean hating or belittling the religious people. In a civilized society, diversity in religious orientation should be the reason for celebration, not the cause for hatred and differentiation. (Abhijit Naskar)
Skip religion and the politics, head straight for the compassion. Everything else is a distraction. (Talib Kweli)
Kindness is the mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith. (Muhammad)So, keep practicing love. Every day. For every person, place, or thing you meet. It matters.
Normally we divide the external world into that which we consider to be good or valuable, bad or worthless, or neither . . . For example, our habitual way of categorizing people as friends, enemies, and strangers depending on how they make us feel is both incorrect and a great obstacle to developing impartial love for all living beings. Rather than holding so tightly to our discriminations of the external world, it would be far more beneficial if we learned to discriminate between valuable and worthless states of mind.Whew!