Now that we've completed the mind-boggling task of trying to Condense earth's ecology and its millions of interrelated life processes into two lessons, we can breathe a sigh of relief. In these three "survival" lessons, I found myself in a predicament: I wanted to be comprehensive enough to cover a wide range of environmental (and other) issues related to survival, but because of the overwhelming abundance of related subject matter and limited space.
I was forced to "dilute" a lot of material in order to keep things from getting out of hand! I also realized that many of us are already familiar with many of our earth's problems, and didn't want to overburden everyone with a deluge of "the same old" negative facts—but by summarizing them and viewing them as a whole (the only real way to look at them) we see them in a new and different way.
The more we perceive the broad spectrum of reality, the more enlightened we become, and the more we can share knowledge with others. Heroes, like the person who happens along at just the right moment to pull a drowning child from water, are everywhere—just waiting to be asked to lend a hand. There are few human instincts more beautiful than true heroism—without compassion, this would be a cold, hard world indeed.
Because potential heroes are everywhere, just waiting to help, our task is to start asking and to know what to ask for, to spread the word among the people. We must be sensitive enough to paint the picture truthfully, and strong enough to do so without such fear and gloom that peoples' psychic numbing mechanisms pop up to block everything out. Despite our aversion to bad news, most of us would appreciate being told we were standing in the path of an oncoming bus, and once people know they 're needed and what they must do, heroes will come forth one-by-one.
As destructive effects of our industrial age become more apparent, and as we see our once-pristine environment deteriorate and more deadly weapons accumulate among our green hills and valleys, places we dreamed of calling home are threatened, damaged or destroyed. We feel betrayed, and we're grouping together more and more to protect our lives and those of our children—our very survival now depends on this cooperative endeavor.
This lesson wraps up our discussion on survival and taking charge of our destiny, but of course by no means ends it—rather, it leaves us all with the ultimate challenge: the actual taking charge, the doing, the harmonizing of all our knowledge, faith, hope and love into a force strong enough to save our planet.
By survivalism, we mean the positive spirit of cooperation of all beings toward preservation of life. Let's make it clear from the start that our concept of survival in no way includes those of any so-called "survivalists" who advocate stocking up on guns and/or "survival" food. Nothing could be farther from our image of survival. A self-serving approach not only does nothing to help life on the planet or to clean up the environment so all life thrives; it is also based on the absurd delusion that one can "protect" oneself in the first place in a world where life itself cannot survive. We are the earth—it is our larger form, our larger body. If we are to survive, our earth must also survive. Our goal is total well-being, for only with total wellness can the parts themselves be well and flourish.
Those who plan on guns to "fight over what's left" would be sadly disappointed at the reality of such a world anyway, and would be like rats fighting over the last morsel of food in a cage: trapped together. Their fear and terror in the world they would create would far exceed any fear of hunger, or even death, that we could ever know. Even death in our world of life would be preferable to so-called "life" in their world of death. But let's reserve such thoughts for last-minute realities and resorts, because we must concentrate on survival of life instead!
If we were in a darkened room and the door were opened just a crack, the light would stream in, and even if the door were closed again, we'd never forget that light. So it is with truth. If we want to know what's on the other side of the mountain, we can wonder and speculate, or we can climb to the top and see for ourselves. It's more work, but well worth the effort. We don't even have to be "experts" to see truth for ourselves, nor to appreciate life and contemplate its wonder, even when our "knowledge" is limited. All of us have this special gift: wisdom, instinct and intuition don't depend on book learning!
It is not, therefore, "who" we are or how much we "know" that determine our ability to contribute—it's what we do with our thoughts, intuition and energy that matters as far as evolution and change are concerned. If you doubt this for a moment, take a look at what some so-called people of "wealth, influence, power or brains" do with their lives and for others—and at what they do not do. Some of them merely perpetuate the problems in our world.
Imagine being near a large fire and surrounded by people of knowledge, wealth, influence and power. The fact remains that the only things you really need to put out the fire are water and action.
Age-Old Excuses for Inertia
We've heard them all by now. These are but a few of our favorites:
- I overslept.
- I'm too busy.
- It's too late.
- I don't have time.
- I'll do it later (tomorrow, and so on).
- Someone else will do it.
- It's Monday (Tuesday, etc.).
- It's not my fault.
- It's not my problem.
- Call me when it gets really urgent.
- Don't call me, I'll call you.
- I need time to think it over and ask the "experts" more questions.
- I don't care.
- I don't know how to help.
- I can't ...
Human Nature: The Mind and Evolution of Consciousness
We may observe the brain in its physical form and learn about its function, yet much is still unknown about how our mental processes actually work, leaving many unanswered questions about our perception and states of consciousness, and how they evolve from the “convergence” and “merging” of our physical and nonphysical realities. Some of us are at least aware that a healthy body and mind go hand in hand, and that deviations from physical health promote deviations from mental health as well.
Some scientists say that the left side of the body controls the right side of the brain, and that this right hemisphere is closely linked to feelings; emotions; intuition; subconscious thought; instinct; innate artistic, musical, creative tendencies; and so on. The right side of the body controls the left side of the brain, which is linked with rational thought, analysis, conceptualization, logic, and cognitive (conscious) thought. The right relies on the left for speech; its messages are verbalized by the left. Studies of serious worriers show they have an overactive left side of the brain compared to nonworriers (worriers also exhibit a lower level of alpha-wave readings—a measure of how relaxed a person is).
Scientists are still not completely certain about all the specific areas of the brain; for example, the frontal lobes are still considered by many to be the most mysterious part of the human brain. Mild electrical stimulation of other parts of the brain makes people move a finger or hand, turn their head, or see flashes of light, but it is harder for researchers to link this vast, “silent” area to particular movements or sensations. When lobotomies were performed—by the 60s they more or less went “out of style” (thank goodness)—changes later evident in their victims suggested that the frontal lobes control such important qualities as self-awareness, initiative and the ability to plan to synthesize. The left frontal lobe seems to process information about shapes.
Eugene d’Aquili, a psychiatrist interested in the link between philosophy and neurobiology, says that strong feelings activate a certain part of the right hemisphere of the brain (“which instantaneously comprehends wholeness”), thus boosting our minds into a “separate” reality. He says some individuals report the altered state he calls “Absolute Unitary Being” in which “time stands still,” and they see only the totality of a given situation or psychological reality, and have a sense of absolute and complete unity—of self, of cosmos—caused, he says, by the “occipital parietal region on the right practically obliterating the rest of the brain, perceptually.”
He says this experience can result in a religious or agnostic feeling (depending upon individual interpretation), but that everyone who goes through it is absolutely certain that the transcendent, absolute realm of things does exist. He says “since most psychiatrists and medical doctors really know very little about mystical states;” they often refer people to him. For example, he sees people who “don’t seem to have actual thought disorders, but are unbalanced by a pervasive negative feeling, in which life and the universe are seen as purposeless; they aren’t clinically depressed or ‘disturbed,’ but they want relief, relief from their belief that the state they’re in is ultimate reality—their misery makes them wish to be taught to think it illusory so they can survive.”
According to d’Aquili, for those who have experienced “both” realities—the reality of the daily world/objective science and the reality of transcendent unitary being—the problem is not reducing one to another, since these people say they “know” both are real, but rather to “reconcile what they perceive as two drastically different perceptions of reality.”
We discussed states of consciousness somewhat in Lesson 90, and may want to review this section briefly before continuing here. It is precisely the wrongful perception of our physical, mental/psychological/spiritual/collective states of being as drastically “different” that has led to the intense confusion many people feel in today’s times of introspection and transition into greater awareness. Upon closer scrutiny we see that together they make up our total being and are parts of a unified whole, just as night and day seem “drastically different” but are linked inseparably into one complete cycle.
Until we understand and accept this concept of total unity, we’ll remain confused at our scattered feelings and find it difficult to integrate all our thoughts, feelings and experiences into some semblance of order and understanding—a sense of wholeness. Remember, integrating our thoughts isn’t necessarily defining or categorizing them; rather, it is allowing them to flow, synthesizing our impressions into an experience we can understand and view as a whole. It’s best to allow our intuitive subconscious much more freedom and space in our minds because our conscious thoughts so often crowd them full.
There is a subtle balance to be found, and the more complicated our minds become, the more we need to find this balance for ourselves, for our own peace of mind. It’s ironic with today’s constantly-increasing input of news, information, people, faces and other distractions, that the more dispersed we become, the more we also risk dissipating our precious life energy. Our “busy” nature can keep us out of focus if we don’t learn to deal with our accelerated lifestyles. Each of us has a different solution to juggling input and output, but we can all benefit from an overall simplicity, by learning how to get to the point of clarity so that we see the wholepicture through all the layers and layers of ideas.
As we said in Lesson 90, we must also avoid becoming so fascinated with “mental gymnastics” and so involved with analyzing our conscious, rational thoughts that our subconscious intuitive messages are unable to “penetrate” all the layers to reach us! We are sometimes so swept away by our passionate desire to “expand” our consciousness that we become wrapped up in the techniques themselves and can miss obvious truths amidst all the pomp and circumstance. It’s as if we have a luscious ripe peach in front of us, and we spend hours looking for a plate to put it on so that we can eat it when all we really have to do is put it in our mouths, so simply.
We often overlook the simple things in life because we’re dazzled by the so-called complex ones. Our world of gadgets and “scientific” facts and figures encourages us to expect complexity and to seek truth with fancy equations. We’ve come to expect much ado about nothing and everything, and it’s human nature to be curious—we all learn that famous word at about age 2: why? It is probably one of the most frequently-asked questions. We want to know.
Stanley Bass once said that early Life Scientists/Hygienists viewed life as encompassing the totality of a person’s being, including the mind and the spirit, but that in the 1920s the writers began to leave out more of the inspirational, “spiritual” (meaning of the spirit) aspects of Natural Hygiene because we were entering the “scientific” age, and Hygienic doctors didn’t want to be considered “quacks” or strange people. He felt that this was a shame because it is inspiration that makes people change, more, than facts in black and white.
Although I came across his above statements only recently, from the very beginning of my writings I’ve had an uncontrollable urge to include the nonphysical realm of our minds and spirits in our discussions, not only because they are such a strong part of everyone’s being and reality, but also because once the dietary truths we’ve learned have become a habit, we still need somewhere new to go. As we’ve said, once we change to a pure diet/ lifestyle, a growth in consciousness isinevitable, so the more we understand our minds, the better off we’ll be. There is a gap or void left when we try to attend “only” to our physical needs, and I’d be more than happy to try to fill it.
Curiously enough, most of us nowadays are up-to-date on political figures and movie stars, the newest car models, the latest in art or literature—whatever we happen to be interested in—but still relatively little is said (in comparison) about the psychic energy of our minds; and those of us interested in it often find a lack of information on this subject, in contrast with the wealth of facts available on television, airplane engines, or simple arithmetic, for example.
People hint at this energy, but there doesn’t seem to be much general consensus on “scientific” explanations of non-physical phenomena of the mind—psychic energy doesn’t seem to be taken for granted yet, at least not in the sense that something like television is taken for granted (although television also involves waves invisible to the naked eye and concepts beyond the physical reality that most of us are familiar with).
The reason we have television is that people shared their knowledge until scientific concepts and technological aspects were put together. Piece-by-piece, bits of information and parts were assembled until television became a reality. Until we share our knowledge about what goes on in our minds, our understanding will remain limited. It’s only when we synthesize knowledge that patterns emerge.
Perhaps we have experienced unusual intuition, precognitive dreams or other nonphysical phenomena, but don’t know who to share them with. After all, not everyone is open-minded; we may hesitate to speak about such things to just anyone. Until more of us open up and become aware that these phenomena doexist, and talk about our experiences, these phenomena will remain unrecognized or largely misunderstood. I doubt that the “cavemen” were already talking about tax reform, molecular biology or their blood pressure—most of the “reality” we take for granted in our lifetime has taken years to develop into its present “form.”
A car would be as unexpected and “miraculous” to a primitive person as extrasensory perception is to some of us today. As more individuals come forth with their stories, our understanding of nonphysical reality will be broadened and become “second nature” to us—we’ll consider it as normal and as basic a part of our being as breathing, eating, sleeping, and so on. Over the years we’ve gained a general understanding of how our bodies work; although many people are still off-the-mark nutritionally, most of us know some basic facts about physiology—for example, if we scratch ourselves and something red appears, we know it is blood from our veins, and the thump, thump we feel on our chests is a heart beating within. We take these things for granted now, but we must admit that our bodies and their contents would be very mysterious to us if we didn’t already have these years of knowledge behind us.
It’s unfortunate that pioneers of the mind, consciousness and the nonphysical realm have been mislabelled and misjudged so often, and that they have at times even mislabelled themselves because they didn’t understand their vision or unusual insight. Whenever a person has been different from the “majority,” s/ he has often been called abnormal as well, if not crazy or any other number of descriptions considered “fitting” by peers. If we weren’t so judgmental and concerned with comparing ourselves to others and others to ourselves, we could use the simple word “different” as a substitute for all these other words—it’s certainly a nicer way to say “eccentric.”
“You may say that I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one.”
We spoke of unusual dream experiences in Lesson 90, but might add a few notes on this dimension of consciousness, since it accounts for approximately 1/3 of our lives and is obviously much more than a “sleeping fantasy.” Just as people didn’t begin to explore the ocean until they had boats, and that vast watery mass remained a mystery, so too have we been limited in our exploration of our minds and dreams, for want of a “vehicle” to take us there, or more appropriately, the understanding we need to operate a “nonphysical vehicle” in a nonphysical reality. Dreaming is but one such vehicle.
Some of us have begun to cross the boundaries already, and are becoming more familiar with the mind’s “dimensions.” Others of us have arrived, but aren’t sure what “country” we’re in; some of us
are still looking for a parking place, or haven’t even left “home” (our physical body) yet. Just as gifted children are often assigned extra learning projects at school when their special intelligence is recognized, and go on to advance more rapidly than their classmates, so too must those gifted with exceptional sensitivity go into the uncharted territory of the mind long before others.
Just as any mathematical or scientific formula was first devised by one (or several) inventive mind(s), so too are we pioneers of the mind discovering new worlds beyond the physical, beyond the tangible things we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. If such realities, waves and energy—all quite invisible to the naked eye—didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have satellites, radios, microwaves, and so on. Before these realities could be “harnessed” for our physical world, someone had to have intuition and believe in what they could not see. We must transcend our physical world and believe in things we do not see with our eyes before we can expect to understand the nonphysical realities in our world.
In a “lucid” dream, a dreamer is actually aware that s/he is dreaming, and can sometimes even control or influence the dream. Most people don’t connect their waking and sleeping realities consciously, but lucid dreamers can do so. This has been verified in sleep labs by scientists studying dreaming and sleep.
Dr. Stephen LaBerge taught himself and others to wake within dreams, and believes that lucid dreaming can change the quality of our lives. (“Think of the value of being able to imagine vividly anything you can conceive of, and then to experience it,” he says. “That would free us from so many restrictions.”) LaBerge, who began as a student of chemical physics, first found references to lucid dreaming in the literature of Tibetan Buddhism—then, spontaneously, he experienced a lucid dream.
As he studied the limited scientific literature available on lucid dreaming, he realized he’d had such dreams as a six-year-old. After finding a “technique” that worked for him, he was able to recall about 21 lucid dreams a month. In order to prove that he was actually controlling his dreaming, he decided to send a signal with his eyes while dreaming. In the laboratory, he was wired to a complex research polygraph (a polysomnograph) and fell asleep prepared to send the prearranged Signal to the researcher monitoring the machine. The lucid dream came after seven hours, and he decided to give the signal.
The researcher saw the recording pens move on the polygraph, and this experiment was repeated successfully many times. However, because LaBerge knew that even the paralyzed muscles of active sleep twitch occasionally, he set up the polygraph to record the electrical activity of the muscles of his wrists. Then, during a lucid dream, he clenched the left fist of his dream body four times, the right fist once, and the left twice more. The polygraph showed the pattern: he had spelled out his initials, S.L., in Morse code—lucid dreaming became a scientific fact. Recent studies show that about a third of the population probably experiences at least an occasional lucid dream.
La Berge says the first step is remembering your dreams. Then, when you can succeed in incorporating a pre-sleep suggestion into a dream (if, for example, you tell yourself you want to see your hand in your dream and manage to do so), you have crossed the “boundary” and are able to connect both your waking andsleeping realities and states of consciousness. Those of us who don’t feel “disciplined” enough to use techniques to arrive at these experiences can be assured that if we are meant to experience them, we will—one way or the other! I’ve had lucid dreams and precognitive dreams on many occasions without “trying”—they just happened (probably long before I recognized them too!). Those who benefit from trying “techniques,” however, should do so.
LaBerge says dreams can be a workshop of creativity and growth. While dreams are often what he calls “repetitious melodramas” where we “confine ourselves by habit to a prison of self-limitation” (I suppose if we do so in our waking lives, well do so in our sleeping lives), lucid dreaming, he says, “presents a way out of this sleep within sleep.” For example, a lucid d reamer caught in a nightmare could choose either to escape it or to attempt to resolve the fears behind it. Neither choice is available in ordinary sleep. Many of us have experienced nightmares in which we wished so strongly to wake up that we did—these were lucid dream experiences too, because we were aware that we were dreaming at the time.
LaBerge says that lucid dreaming might also offer psychological support to the handicapped; while awake, the paralyzed can’t walk, but in their dreams they can dance and fly, helping them go beyond their physical handicaps in their inner lives.
As Stephen LaBerge says: “Your waking life is brief enough as it is. If a third of it must be shortened by sleep, do you want to sleep through your dreaming too?“
If we can learn to “combine” or blend our waking and sleeping realities, we have a whole new dimension open to us, a new opportunity for increased understanding and awareness. We can then make the conscious decision to go beyond our physical reality and bodies into the nonphysical realm, and potentially, find information there (as discussed in Lesson 90) that we aren’t finding in our normal physical (“awake/conscious”) world. We should use every tool we can, whether it be physical or mental, to increase our awareness. Dreaming is overlooked by many of us as an option for enhancing our lives, and as the wonderful flight from our bodies’ physical boundaries that it is: a chance to feel our (spirit’s) existence beyond our physical body …
“A Penny for Your Thoughts”
We also have a lot more options in our waking lives than many of us even realize. I’d like to share some excerpts with you from the May 1984, issue of Acres, U.S.A., from an interview with Dr. Phil Callahan (an internationally-famous entomologist and ornithologist who was also a navigation and electronics specialist in the 1940s). Several topics were covered, one of which was a brief mention of the circuitry of the brain. When asked about thought transmission and how it might take place between husband and wife or close relatives, Callahan says:
“You have, say, a mother in the U.S. and a son, say, in Vietnam, and suddenly the son is hurt or wounded and she knows it instantly. This has been verified in war after war after war. One of the best verifications of ESP (extrasensory perception), in my opinion, is case reports of things that take place during traumatic experiences in war. The son’s electric circuit brain is very much like his mother’s—he has 50% of her circuits. Therefore, his brain puts out a lot of energy. If you can scan the earth from a satellite with 10 to the -17 watts, there is no reason why your brain isn’t putting out much more than that: In fact, your brain is probably putting out, I would guess, 10 to the -12 watts and 10 to the -17 watts is less. Yet you can make a TV picture and turn something from a satellite into a TV picture with 10 to the -17, and that is a trillion, trillion, trillionth of a watt. Your brain putting out 10 to the -9 or something like that is certainly a stronger signal and would go around the world 40 times. Of course, signals do go around the world in nature. You have what you call Schuman Resonance. Schuman Resonance is when you have harmonics from lightning bolts that go around the world at about 8 to 20 cycles, and who knows what they are controlling. You have thousands of lightning bolts all over the world, and the ionosphere above and the earth below act like a big hollow cavity. So you get these frequencies trapped in this hollow cavity, and they go around and around. You can tune in to them. Nikola Tesla did this. He sent waves around the world. He was no doubt utilizing the Schuman Resonance to do it. He was ahead of his time. Schuman Resonance wasn’t even discovered until about 15 years ago, but Tesla was doing this back in the 1890s.”
Electroencephalograms measure the activity of brain waves; it is now obvious to scientists that these waves exist and show various levels of “energy.” Many believers in thought transmission/reception probably think that it depends on the level of sensitivity, awareness and receptivity of the individuals involved, at this point—recognition of thought transmission/receptivity may now depend on these things, but the actual transmission/reception most likely occurs constantly, whether we are “aware” of it or not—just as our blood moves through our veins whether we are aware of it or not, our thought wavelengths can move out through space independent of our realization that anything is happening at all! Believers have been aware of this phenomenon for ages, but many people are still skeptical; perhaps they don’t have firsthand experience with it or know someone who has—anyone who has experienced such things needs no convincing. I’ve recognized (and even experienced) verifiable thought transmission/ reception often enough to be a firm believer. Even when such an event happens once in a lifetime, it will alter one’s outlook on life as few other experiences can. Truth is self-evident.
We already know we can “harness” waves that we can’t even see to make a picture appear on a television screen, or to make songs come over the radio, but some of us still doubt that thoughts can be transmitted or received. Just because we can’t “explain or understand all the physics” involved—or don’t have enough awareness yet to control them ourselves to much extent—doesn’t mean that thought transmission doesn’t exist. We’ve already seen that many things exist outside our awareness of their existence. For example, microscopic life certainly existed before we saw it in microscopes!
Nowadays we readily accept the reality of TV waves, radio waves, telegraphic signals, microwaves, and so on, but a century ago people would have scoffed at such ideas (or perhaps labelled their proponents as “witches”); enlightened persons might have been open-minded enough to agree that these ideas were at least conceivable or perhaps possible “in the future,” with more knowledge available.
People today also readily acknowledge the following (and other) realities: that grooves on a record (or a thin, shiny tape in a cassette) will result in music; that X rays take pictures of things we can’t see with our eyes; that radar sensors pick up objects; that cameras “make pictures”; that laser beams can, among other things, burn holes in objects; that computer chips we can barely see will hold thousands of bits of information; that we can talk to people thousands of miles away on the phone; and that the power of the atom (also “invisible” to us) in nuclear power has the ability to destroy our planet! How’s that for an example ofimmense physical power in an element so small we can’t even see it!
In our waking, conscious lives we learn what we want to learn, and advance (or degenerate) at our own individual rates; so it is with mystical dimensions. Just as an infant sitting in a car (who may someday learn to drive) is content for the time being to fidget with all the knobs, buttons and switches at random (sometimes to the chagrin of Mom and Dad), so are we when it comes to our level of understanding and awareness.
We have a lot to learn, but the knowledge and insight we need to “grow up” are within us, as well as without. Remember too, that just as with any skill of any kind, abilities in interpreting “paranormal” reality definitely vary; some mistakes or errors in judgment are to be expected, even from gifted persons, and some charlatans can be expected as well, just as with any talent or creative ability. We’re taking our baby steps into the world of the psyche, finding out that our spirits aren’t limited to the physical realm, as our bodies are.
“Suspended in the physical, and yet,
I am beyond this skin, these eyes,
and cannot quite forget.”
We have but to imagine how free we can be in our spirits—we’ve only just begun. Just as a baby looks around at everything with that “so-this-is-where-I-am” look, we too are now in awe of our newfound dimension of consciousness and reality, and wonder how far we can go here. That we can contemplate life in all its marvelat all is proof enough that we are spirit—we’ve outgrown the limits of our physical state—being spirit and body, we’ve always been in the nonphysical state, even before we “realized” it.
Phil Callahan’s statement about the power of our brain waves to encircle the world “40 times” has some profound implications for us and adds a whole new dimension to our reality. Remember how many times we’ve thrown up our hands in despair to ask: “But what can I, as one person, do to change the world?” (Again, we’ve come to realize that the truth is, we’re all already doing it now). When frustrated and overwhelmed about problems we see, we often feel “so small” in this big world, and so alone.
Sometimes we even wonder if we’re the “only ones” who care. Rest assured that we aren’t—we share these feelings with one another whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Because we live in such volatile times (nuclear, ecological, etc.), the fact that we are still here at all is no small miracle. One of the things now holding the world together at this very moment (and since the beginning of the nuclear age) is our tremendous collective will to live and to survive (called our deepest, strongest instinct) radiating outward at every moment, criss-crossing the planet over and over again with its messages: we want to live in peace and tranquility.
That we are still here is the collective manifestation of the drive within us to evolve to new states of being, to progress and to grow, to explore our universe and minds and spirits. We are tired of wasting our precious time and lives in the futile efforts of war. Hatred, destruction, rebuilding, and starting over at the beginning again and again—we should have learned our lessons many years ago. These energy-draining activities only slow us down and keep us from the beautiful, evolved creatures/spirits of life that we will be when we work together and give peace a chance. We’ve had enough—we’re weary of having shadows of doom and gloom looming in the back of our minds, and concerned when our children say they don’t even know if they’ll grow up.
We must never underestimate the power of our thoughts Remember, just as with the atom, just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they have no influence on our world—thoughts carry their own energy too.
Our desire for peace spreads outward like ripples on a pond, renewed with every new thought of peace, being reinforced all over the globe by the network of souls who want to live and let live—ever-gaining strength. We should be very proud to be part of this network of light and of life.
This is why we can’t dwell on negative images of our world or future (beyond their imminent warnings), and get lost in our reactions, when it’s action we need. In dwelling on the negative, we literally radiate negativity on the negative “wavelength,” thus reinforcing the very thing we detest. When we radiate put on the wavelength of life and positive energy, we are joined with all the forces and powers of creation.
There’s no tangible profit to be made off higher consciousness—you can’t package it or sell it, and it results in people asking all those uncomfortable questions on “product safety” or “company liability for their damaged health,” etc. In other words, it seems that one of the last things we hear about these days in the media is nonphysical reality, the evolution of consciousness, and so on (when what could be more relevant and important for those of us who are restless within the limits of our physical reality?).
We certainly hear enough about ring-around-the-collar, squeezably soft toilet tissue or being part of the “Pepsi generation.” People oriented in physical reality buy physical products. What’s more, if they were to become true to their consciences and become their highest, most evolved, most moral selves, with a remarkable code of honor, they might no longer “have a price”—they might begin to care more about life and people than about things—and avoid obsession with material possessions that hinders their “non-material” growth and distracts them from higher pursuits. Why, then they might even refuse to pay for weapons that kill people and destroy life! In other words, “they might just rock the boat.”
If we could realize the strength and power—and the incredible positive force of creation and love—that our minds are really capable of, now and at every moment, we would challenge corrupt and unjust systems into which we’re locked for our physical survival, and we wouldn’t be as easily influenced/manipulated/brainwashed. But as long as we’re kept running a treadwheel, trapped like hamsters in a cage, locked in debt just to survive and make ends meet to pay for our physical needs, we’ll “stay in our place,” and many of us are too busy to find out about all our strength and potential (especially its collective force), or we’re just “loo tired to care” at the end of another hectic day.
British futurist Peter Russell thinks that we are now moving “from the computer age to the Age of Consciousness, the next step, an epoch when our minds will be linked by common goals, when humans will be creatures without ego, using their large brains to manage the affairs of the planet.” He believes that humankind is about to make an unprecedented leap in evolution, a jump beyond petty jealousy, virulent nationalism, unbridled greed. We are to become, Russell says, the nervous system that makes the whole globe tick, a kind of benevolent planetary brain linked by common consciousness.
The earth for Russell is a single organism, not just a spinning rock teeming with life, but a life form all by itself, an individual being. And we humans are going to become this organism’s brain. We are already the information processors of the planet, says Russell. We collect data, build libraries, museums and satellites. Information passes through national boundaries as if they didn’t exist. In 1944 there were only three computers in the world. “Now look,” Russell says. “We moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age with tremendous speed. Now 40 years after the first computers, we’re already starting to go beyond them, to consciousness and awareness.” Heightened consciousness, he says, is our inevitable next step. Individual consciousness will become group consciousness, and humankind will interconnect in a single vast cooperative of consciousness. “We are an evolutionary experiment,” Russell says. “And the question is, are we a good thing or not? Are we a cancer, a blight destroying the very fiber of life, or will we serve another purpose?”
Peter Russell is not alone in his vision of a living Earth. He studied theoretical physics at Cambridge University, but found himself drawn to Eastern philosophies; and when he went to India to pursue those interests, he “experienced a dimension of my consciousness of which I had never dreamed.”
Today, doom scenarios are popular, Russell says. “We are in a very dangerous time. But shouldn’t our large brains serve some greater purpose than self-destruction?” In his book he quotes1 inventor Buckminster Fuller: “The world now is too dangerous for anything less than Utopia.”
The Life Force
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing health and survival of life, and pondered the mysteries of our existence for some time now. What then, do we know about life itself! What is this amazing quality that can come and go, leaving an entity “alive” one moment and “lifeless” the next? Just as we can see and hear, whether we know we have “optic nerves and tympanic membranes” or not, or taste even if we don’t know that our taste buds are “small ovoid neuroepithelial structures that lie between the epithelial cells that cover the tongue,” so too can we live, once the life force is within us, whether we understand it or not—luckily for us!
All of our cellular groupings, organs, bones, and everything down to our Hyoglossus (a muscle that we’d better have between our hyoid bone and tongue if we plan on “pulling the tongue into the floor of our mouths” any time soon), are all part of an incredibly intricate life support system. Ask any car mechanic what’s involved in assembling his machine that moves through space—plenty—but well soon see that our bodily machine is infinitely more intricate. If you look at a book on physiology, you’ll see how many “parts” our machine has! Being a vessel of the life force is one thing—duplicating it, another.
Genetic “engineers” keep trying, and heaven help us, for we’re trying to exercise divine power (control life) before we truly understand what divinity is. Yet, as are so many things, I suppose that’s “in our nature,” too. Whether we knit, garden, build, or tinker, we are all imbued with the passionate urge to create something. In any case, it might be wise if we knew more about the life force before tinkering with it too!
When someone “dies,” we say the life force “leaves the body.” This is generally agreed upon, although what happens next is still open to discussion after all these years. Perhaps one of the reasons we have a hard time getting past these age-old questions is that we’re falling back into that same old trap of “trying too hard” (in this case, thinking too much) once again. Let’s face it, we have been wondering about some of these things for a long time now, yet we still seem to get lost somewhere between the question and the answer!
What’s our problem here? Aside from the fact that we often block our intuitive channels with “logical” reasoning, maybe we’ll also see our “abstract” predicament more clearly with a “concrete” example: imagine a primitive person standing in front of a computer, wondering what it is. Whatever the primitive person can conjure up in his mind to explain or comprehend this object, with his limited resources, will still not serve to explain its function. There is a “gap.” This primitive person probably has the innate intelligence to operate a computer, but until the gap of understanding is closed, it will remain a mystery. Just as the baby in the car must learn what the gadgets are before they will become “real” to him, so too, the more we learn about our mental abilities, the more meaningful they will be for us.
We often become impatient. Here we are, faced with our human physical mortality, bills due, and a mystery: what happens when we “die”? Like angry children, we demand answers to the mystery of life, but we’re still forcing the issue and overlooking the simple. We’re already in over our heads when we try to explain “supernatural” phenomena in our human terms and words. If we want to understand the life force, we must begin by realizing that it is “more” than a “human” event—intangible and invisible, it is an event of the spirit, encompassing far more than our limited human reality. Since we can’t see the life force in the first place, it would be presumptuous to assume that life dies just because a living entity “becomes lifeless.” This is pure speculation on our part. The life force itself doesn’t die when the entity “dies.”
Mysticism has always included some concept of “eternity”, eternal life, infinity. Somewhere along the line, some of our pioneer spirits found something, and began to pass it on: The story of eternity has undergone countless metamorphoses and versions throughout the ages. Some say we “go to heaven” (or, if not so lucky, to the ‘big barbecue pit’ in the sky?), and some say we’re reborn—but, although the accounts differ, enlightened people from all times have clung tenaciously to some common belief in some form of eternal life, or an immortality of the spirit, with absolute certainty that there was life “beyond” the physical form, that the body is like a vehicle that is abandoned after it becomes useless and can’t take us any further.
Once upon a time, long ago, someone died, and his friends stood around in sadness and tried to figure out what had happened. One minute he was moving, and the next … as best they could determine, this person was gone, finished, ended—and the concept or word “dead” was invented to explain this event. Thus came the conclusion that where there is “no life,” there is “death.” It sounds logical enough, and we’ve been saying it so long that we’ve pretty much taken it for granted by now, but one of the main reasons we say there’s no life when a person dies is because the person we knew doesn’t move anymore and bodily organs have ceased to function.
The word “death” may be useful in describing an event, but the notion of death as a finite, final event might have as many flaws in it as our old world-is-flat theory or current germ/contagion theories, held by so many as “absolute” truths. Since we have a profound lack of knowledge (even after all these years) of exactly what happens beyond what is visible to the naked eye when someone dies, we’d be somewhat naive to say that nothing else happens just’ because we can’t see it or don’t know what happens! Rather than being an end to life itself, death is just a process of change, a passage, transition, transcendence, metamorphosis, a new journey beyond the physical world of our bodies. Think about it. How can life be dead?
How can life not be alive. The pioneer spirits who first spoke of eternal life saw a simple answer to the complex question of what death was: a sort of evolution—life goes on, eternally, forever, endlessly changing form. The first thing we do when we die is change form: our body begins to decay, to “disappear,” to break down what it once built up—like a reverse-action film, it’s completing the “cycle.” The process of cellular decay is one of change, change, change—of metamorphosis as the body fades from the physical world. How can we define what is obvious activity as a “dead” (motionless) process, when this movement of molecular structure from one form to another is obviously a process of change (visible and invisible), and might better be defined as just another part of the life process itself!
When the body finally disappears from our visible physical reality, we can’t say exactly what has become of its atoms and molecules, for they have rearranged and changed structure from one form into another (or perhaps others). This transformation process of life (called death) is still very much a mystery to us!
People already give us “those” looks when we tell them we don’t eat meat or cooked food. Wait until we see the looks we get when we say “there’s no real death, only eternal life and change and metamorphosis and evolution …” Here we go again!
So, is that all there is to it? We’ve been saying this life force weaves its way here and there, as if we could be in the middle of a sentence, and … poof! We are fortunate enough to have been chosen by the life force as “containers” for its antics, but we too have choices to make. When life asks us to dance with it, we become its partners—we help determine its rhythm within us and the melody of our duet together—life is the voice—we become the words to its song. Studies with terminally-ill patients have indicated that the will to live, or the lack of the will to live, do have an effect on the length of our lives, and that a person can literally “turn himself off” at some point, whether consciously or subconsciously. (Another good reason to keep thoughts positive.)
If we become too tired or bored, sick, old, etc., to continue the dance, life will understand and move on. If we want to live fully, life will stay with us as long as possible, even until the dawn of our new day. In each moment, time stands still; in each moment, from whence we came and where we are going are all caught up in an instant of eternity.
Believe in life and its force and you already, know eternity. Eternal life is with us forever in this moment.
What Time Is It?
We discussed the concept of time in Lesson 90 and said that it doesn’t actually exist exactly as we define it in our human terms! There, and in our above discussion, we mentioned the eternal present: it is always now. Yesterday and tomorrow are actually “abstractions”: the only real time is “now.” There is no other time we exist in other than “now” (in fact, everyone who ever lived, lived “now”).
We say that moments (and time) pass from one to the next, but time isn’t moving—it’s always now—it is we living beings who move. We form a living chain of beings and we call those who lived before us “from the past” and those who are yet to come “from the future” and the links of this chain of life hold us together. We can assume that everyone was living (or will live) now at the time they lived (or will)—and we who are alive now are living now—so it appears that we’re “all living at the same time—now. “Of course that seems to defy the physical imagination, to say the least, but as much as it defies logical explanation, it is at the same time somehow “logical.” It’s also interesting to note that this might shed some light on the mystery of the gift of prophecy!
“Time Is of the Essence”
We’ve talked about some peoples’ ability to know things from the “universal mind”—an ability that defies logical explanation and goes beyond our usual “normal” channels for receiving knowledge. Not only that, but our “normal,” traditional notion of time is also open to question when we see that some people not only know things or receive information beyond their “normal” physical/mental reality; they are even able to know things (whether from the past or future) beyondthe so-called “physical time” in which they exist at that moment.
How can this be? How can someone know something that “hasn’t happened yet”? What does that do to our “normal” concept of the “future,” or of time itself? One of the better-known examples of person with prophetic gifts was Nostradamus, who lived in the 16th century. He is said to have foreseen numerous events that came to pass after his death (which he also saw ahead of time). In 1568, he published the following prophecy:
Century IV, Quatrain 67:
In the year that Saturn and Mars are equally firey
The air is very dry, a long meteor (comet)
By secret fires, many places shall be burnt with heat
There shall be scarcity of rain, hot winds, wars, blood,
thirst and famine (when the comet shall run).
The above quote and the following excerpts are from an article “When Solar Winds Blow Havoc for Mankind” by Jim Cummins, Acres, U.S.A., January 1985, which discusses the return of Halley’s comet, due again in our vicinity in November 1985, and to “stay in our backyard” until April 1986. Halley’s comet has a well-documented 76-year cycle, with records begun in March 239, B.C. Ever since this sighting, a worldwide three-year drought (and often resultant famine) has followed in its wake each time, (for details—a long list of other climatological, social and political upheavals throughout history that were on the heels or in the wake of a comet—please get a copy of the above issue.)
“How can all these things be attributed to the passing of a comet? Space probes have sent back data showing that the sun continuously ejects a million tons of gas per second, moving at a radial speed of 250 miles per second, with wind speeds past the earth at some 900,000 miles per hour, and extends to about four times the distance beyond the farthest planet Pluto. (A comet travels in its orbit to several thousand times farther than Pluto.) This solar wind carries chaotic magnetic fields along with it because the gas is ionized. The magnetic fields of the solar wind ruffle the earth’s own magnetic field as it passes by, hence, magnetic disturbances affecting communications, etc., at the time of increased solar activity (which is cyclical). Scientists have determined, for instance, a statistical correlation between the accelerations of Halley’s Comet and magnetic disturbances on the earth.
“The effects of the solar wind on every earthly activity, from health to markets, weather, and wars, is well-documented. The transverse motion of a comet at many miles per second across the movement of the solar wind blowing radially from the sun results in the i6n tail of the comet interacting with the high velocity of the solar wind in the same way that smoke rising from a smokestack interacts with moving air to produce a graceful billowy arch to the earth.
“Scientists now believe that each interstellar dust grain of comet stuff contains molecules of formaldimine, methyl alcohol, methyl cyanide, hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid, and some 20 others, including cyanogen and carbon dioxide. (My note here: we have too much CO2 already.) Many of the radicals they have determined to be the ‘smoke’ of comets cannot be isolated in a terrestrial laboratory, and are probably created by the rapid breakdown of the parent compounds by ultraviolet sunlight. The lingering, billowy arch of smoke falls slowly to the earth in the wake of a comet’s passing. Needless to say, no living thing on our tiny planet is made the better for it. We all breathe this cyanide: kings, presidents, common man alike think and act as though we have poison in our system (and we do) … and we eat the plants and animals which have breathed the same deadly gases … and the pale settles in for a season.”
As we have seen in our studies on ecology and the current world political situation, we’re already “teetering on the brink of extinction” in many ways, so we could certainly do without any “pales settling in” because we don’t need much pushing, this close to the “edge.”
“The advent of two important planets aligning at a crucial astronomical degree from the earth at the precise time that Halley’s Comet (with which Nostradamus was familiar) would make as perihelion (closest point of approach to the sun), would be an ominous occurrence, said Nostradamus, warning us in the only way he could, considering the Inquisition under which he lived. Such an event (this planetary configuration at the comet’s perihelion) has not happened/or over 1,000 years, but it is due in February 1986, and Nostradamus knew it!“
Here then is a verifiable example of prophecy: the dates of alignment of planets, in this case, Saturn and Mars, can be calculated and determined scientifically; the next such alignment is due in February 1986. How could Nostradamus know, in 1568, that they’d be aligned in a once-in-a-thousand-years configuration at a “crucial astronomical degree from the earth at the precise time (1986) Halley’s comet would make its perihelion”?
We do still have a lot to learn about the powers of our minds. Some people apparently “go beyond their physical lifetimes” in their minds or spirits, but in the sense that the eternal present covers all eternity, they really don’t even have to “go” anywhere. Apparently it’s because it’s always now that they can “see it now” if they have that gift of sensitivity.
It is interesting to note that gifts of intelligence, wisdom, insight, vision, enlightenment, clairvoyance, prophecy, and so on, are obviously not limited to people of any particular “time,” i.e., they aren’t limited to so-called highly-evolved or “civilized” people, nor are they always found in persons with exceptional “conventional” intelligence (ability to learn quickly, etc.). Throughout “the ages,” there have been individuals who possessed extraordinary insight, wisdom or extrasensory perception; such persons are “timeless”—they would stand out and excel in any time period.
One such person was Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher born in 570 B.C. who advocated vegetarianism, among other things, as the key to expanding consciousness and intellect. He was already talking about things Life Scientists believe in now; he was way “ahead of” most people of his day, and even ours. He even taught; that the world was round, long before Copernicus and Galileo came along after the 1400s.
Pythagoras was a mathematical and musical genius, a sage who travelled to many other countries (as far as Egypt and India, rare for people of those times); he was accepted by their wise men, who shared with him secrets often not divulged to their own public, nor to strangers. He accepted women as “thinking beings,” and included them in his discussions, being unique in his times in doing so. Space here doesn’t permit a detailed account of his life and gifts to humanity; suffice it to say, he was a rare person. Because of his diet, he was said to be in perfect health at all times, and of perfect, calm, harmonious temperament.
He had a vision of a changed society with no war, slavery or violence. Had his communities of followers been left alone in peace and allowed to thrive, we can only imagine where we’d all be today! However, as is so often the case when ignorant people form the “majority,” his enemies tried to destroy his books and temples, and enslaved his followers! We’re still waiting for people to see the light that Pythagoras (and many before and since him) saw already. It seems quite obvious that the “missing link” in the puzzle of our prolonged aggressive tendencies and low-life attitudes up to now is meat-eating.
Pythagoras was very specific in his admonitions not to eat meat; he wasn’t vegetarian “by coincidence”—he knew exactly what he was doing in avoiding it, and said so. Had we listened to his wisdom (and others’) we might have avoided another thousand years of human suffering and wars.
A March 1985 newspaper article on Einstein’s brain talked about recent studies of its brain cells: nearly 30 years after his death, Marian Diamond was looking at cells taken “from the 20th century’s most celebrated clump of human intelligence.” Before he died, Albert Einstein stipulated that his brain be preserved and used for research. “When we heard that Einstein’s brain was sitting in a cardboard box in Kansas, we saw a chance to study the most highly-evolved brain available in our lifetime,” Marian said.
Dr. Janice Stevens, staff psychiatrist at the neuropsychiatry branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, tells a story about the time researchers at Princeton did an electroencephalogram on Einstein. They were measuring the alpha wave, which indicates the brain’s “idling activity.” Alpha wave activity disappears with arousal or intense brain activity. The researchers started the EEG, and Einstein, so the story goes, was calmly solving quadratic equations in his head. His alpha wave, indicating mental idling, was very high. All of a sudden, the alpha wave went flat. Alarmed, the researchers rushed in and asked Einstein what was wrong. “I hear it’s raining outside,” said the world’s greatest scientist, “and I’ve left my rubbers at home.”
I wanted to include these excerpts (italics above are mine) to show how esteemed Einstein is in the scientific world, even though the article itself was going into details on his “glial cells” and so on (he had a higher ratio of glial cells to neurons compared with 11 other brains tested, with the most significant difference found in the sample from the left lower parietal lobe, the part of the brain most involved with higher mathematical and language abilities).
Einstein is considered a great genius, and he was also a vegetarian. Literature on vegetarians includes the following great thinkers from our history: Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Epicurus, Apollonius of Tyana, Plutarch, Seneca, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Ovid, Tolstoy, the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, Gandhi, Buddha, Voltaire, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer, and others; the artist Leonardo da Vinci was also a vegetarian— this list is but a sampling.
If we are interested in observing the mind and philosophy and the things of the universe, well do well to observe that some of the world’s most “famous” historical figures, those whose names came down to us from the past because they were such outstanding persons in their day, were also vegetarians.
“Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth?”
“Only living, fresh foods can enable man to apprehend the truth.”
“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”
“Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends. Man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity—that of sympathy and pity toward living creatures like himself—and by violating his own feelings, becomes cruel.”
—George Bernard Shaw
“World peace, or any other kind of peace, depends greatly on the attitude of the mind. Vegetarianism can bring about the right mental attitude for peace… it holds forth a better way of life, which, if practiced universally, can lead to a better, more just, and more peaceful community of nations.”
—U Nu, former Prime Minister of Burma
By changing our diets and lifestyles, we’ve already seen how closely they’re related to “who we are.” Very often the “personality” we think we are is totally different after these changes are made in our lives. The sum total of our diet/ life becomes us, talks through us. As we unburden ourselves more and more, we replace our former resentment of ignorant people and our contempt for their wrongful actions with understanding, even forgiveness. We have no place in our minds for wasted thoughts; they distract us and clutter our heads with more useless negativity.
We have no time for holding grudges or making judgments, for our time and our lives are precious. We’ve said it a dozen times, but it bears repeating: if we truly want to free ourselves, we’ll replace all our negative thoughts with inner peace and tranquility. People who become trapped in their emotions don’t see the diet/lifestyle connection; we know we don’t have to be slaves to our emotions.
It’s a Gift to Be Simple, It’s a Gift to Be Free
If we have optimism, humor, understanding, faith, hope, love, self-control and the ability to step outside ourselves into a universal, collective consciousness and into concern for others as well as ourselves; and if we have the desire and willingness to change (not just intent to change or idle talk about changing)—we will become filled with creative energy and vibrant life force, and yes, we will be free.
We will free not only our bodies, but also our minds and spirits. The more positive energy that emanates from us into the world, the more healing that will take place in the world. It keeps boiling down to the same thing: what the world needs now (and always) is love. Our positive healing energy is needed everywhere, especially in these trying times. So, we should ask ourselves, are our world leaders working to lead us toward Utopia or not? The answer is obvious.
Are we told the truth about the link between our food and lifestyle and our state of health? No. We’re told to drink Coke, eat sugared cereals, and spray poisonous chemicals on ourselves to “keep bugs off.” Let’s not expect to be enlightened by our “system,” for it is to the system’s advantage that the sheep stay in the herd, and not be “carried away” with wild ideas of freedom or notions of exceptional mental clarity or abilities, thus realizing their full potential as human beings. The system of centralized wealth prefers to homogenize its people into a nice, workable “arrangement” that best ensures the continued survival of its authority and power to keep things “under control.”
Funny, I was under the impression that the founding fathers (and mothers) of this country intended to govern themselves. What was that they said about government by the people, for the people, and so on?
Those of us of the technological age who’ve been spared certain survival necessities, such as having to walk miles to a well for water just to live, still have our own special challenges to meet. Our education and the media have given us more opportunity to view the broad spectrum of events and their consequences; “knowing” more, we have a deeper responsibility to truth and to life. The more we receive from life, the more we should give back in return. And, as the saying goes, “somebody has to do it.”
It is evident that each of us must explore our own mental capacities and strengths, and find the truths that are to be revealed, for we aren’t getting enough support from our world leaders in evolving to a consciousness of world peace and harmony. It is we, the people of this planet, who must demand a release from the bondage of weapons and war, and insist that production of instruments of death be stopped, once and for all.
The slaveholders of the past didn’t just wake up one day (until forced to do so) and tell the slaves: “Okay, you’re free now.” We can’t wait for our “leaders” to “free” us. We must be free now. We are supposed to be free already, but who are the real slaves today? Every living being that is bound by the chains of war and hostility and who lives under the shadow of potential nuclear destruction—every living being on this planet, to be exact. We are being held back from our true work and kept from evolving toward our higher destiny.
Ironically, here is an unusual situation in which even the slavemaster is enslaved—from now on, what happens to the slaves will happen to the slave “masters” as well. They now risk becoming victims of their own mistakes. While our “leaders” have at their “disposal” thousands of human hands ready (if not willing) for action, capable of making something immense in the spirit of cooperation, what do they do? They use our energy to create a system that could destroy us all, themselves included. Now does that make any sense?
We have years of struggle, suffering, joy, birth and creation behind us already. Let’s not throw it all way! We are free to choose life. What are we waiting for?
Just as fresh air, sunshine and healthy food are necessary for nourishing our physical bodies, freedom is one of our most precious treasures to be preserved in safeguarding our minds and Spirits. We need freedom for our mental health and well-being, as much as we need air to breathe. Although we’ve made progress in some areas, human rights in the world today cannot be taken for granted by most people. Just as physical illness reflects some imbalance in the body, the sad state of affairs in human rights reflects the moral decay so prevalent today. We are told we live in a democracy, but we must be ever-watchful and vigilant of what freedom we do have, and hold on to it with all our strength. It could even use some improvement.
Now that the computer age is here, we must be especially cautious of “world systems” and being numbered, catalogued and filed. The world economy is shaky; if transitions are made to a “cashless” system, necessitating numbering of citizens, a word to the wise … freedom as we know it could all but disappear in the “ultimate” system. Computers, like all our inventions, are tools—as useful or destructive as we make them.
There are three principal groups in the United States dedicated to ending human rights abuses: Amnesty International, Helsinki Watch and Americas Watch. Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, and has 150,000 members here and 500,000 worldwide. It also watches out for political prisoners, for the countless people suffering in jail whose only “crime” was to speak out against injustice—nonviolent people of conscience who tried to better the lives of others. A 1984 report from Amnesty International (“Torture in the Eighties”) carried meticulously-detailed accounts of inhumane treatment of prisoners in 96 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Amnesty tries to publicize abuses and pressure governments guilty of human rights violations. Now that the world is so small, we all have a vested interest in global human rights, in staying awake — the fox will come when the chickens are sleeping …
We Shall Overcome
More and more sanctuary movements have begun to take an active role in reaching out to refugees from other countries who are fleeing political persecution and violence at home, and they must often defy official disapproval (and, or risk imprisonment) in order to shelter these people. Even church members are getting involved, saying that what they are doing is providing sanctuary, a historical and religious tradition dating from the Middle Ages. Court trials have already resulted.
A statement issued by Austin Quakers said: “There is a law that binds us as one within the spirit, which cannot be made subject to laws constructed in response to national interests. We declare our willingness to provide sanctuary for these, our sisters and brothers, to hold them within the boundaries of our spiritual community, safe from pursuit and prosecution by the authorities.” Another group made this statement:
“We implore immigration officials and the court system to cease in their persecution of innocent people fulfilling their duty as Christians, and are proud of those who lay their reputations and lives on the line to protect, nourish, and care for the poor of other nations who seek nothing more than the same opportunity our refugee forefathers sought and obtained during the past two and more centuries.”
Matthew 10:16… “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
26: “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”
“Reaching out to touch someone”
With the growth of technology and industry worldwide, our world cultures have been brought from the “dawn of time” to “modern civilization,” sometimes almost literally overnight, in a single jump from “primitive” times to the 20th century. Just like the pizza people, we deliver, alright—for a price. There’s a trade-off, and many souls have been “sold” along the way.
But while our businesses are arriving in faraway lands to look for a good deal on cheap labor, less safety restrictions perhaps, and so on, and arrive to buy and sell weapons and war, there’s a parallel movement going on—one most of us have been part of at one time or another: the “world traveller’s association”—the realdiplomats-on-the-street of this planet. The next time we’re gazing from a hammock in a tiny, relaxed terrace nestled among lush vegetation in a tropical country, sipping fresh-squeezed orange juice, be assured that we are actually hard-at-work, as members of the real international Peace Corps, bringing ourselves to others, drawing the world closer.
People are travelling internationally as never before and that’s had a profound impact on world society as a whole: more and more people see each other now. Even the goatherder in Morocco gazes face-to-face into the eyes of the American family from Kansas—two worlds meet again. The more we see each other, the less we can be “strangers.”
Not only does this ever-broadening circle of international friends accelerate the quantum leap humanity is now making into collective consciousness; it also strengthens our chances globally to learn the truth more often. Whereas national leaders, newspapers or TV can (and do) lie or censor news, say what they want and try to shape everyone’s reality and conform society’s members, the fact remains that nowadays, many more people everywhere are also picking up the phone just to talk to a good old buddy or business associate on the other side of the world and they’ll ask “what’s new?”. So, stories come out here and there— much news is still shared in the “old-fashioned” way—by word-of-mouth. This international grapevine is unlike any there’s every been before in our recorded history—even gossip has gone international!
Much truth can leak through, because if there’s one thing people are famous for, it’s their ability to talk. Now that folks are chatting from Germany to Thailand to Timbuktu, a lot of truth can even leak through today’s “sophisticated” totalitarian efforts around the world to control what can be heard in the media! The net thrown out by our dictators now has many holes in it, and as fast as they can “fix” them, we can make new ones! This international network of friends protects all of us because it keeps real channels of communication open; it exists beyond the formal rhetoric of world leaders who communicate to us (and each other) only what they want us to hear. This real communication network functions on a global level and yet is still unstructured—it exists and is thriving outside “government control and regulation”—a loose network of individuals with no control from specific, visible leaders—independent.
The world community is apparently healing itself despite—not because of—government, which is the “drug” in this case that’s supposed to “cure” society. If the people “can’t take care of themselves,” they look to the government to play the role of doctor, to decide “what’s best for them,” to take the responsibility out of their hands, and the government is more than happy to do so. But even today’s tyrants will find that truth will still pop up “in the strangest places.” Just as some weeds are much hardier than domesticated hybrid plants, luckily for us, truth is one of the strongest weeds of all—stubborn and tenacious.
No matter how hard a ruler might try to keep people ignorant (and thus dependent) and uninformed, light still penetrates the darkness again and again. Trying to keep truth a secret is harder than trying to stop the tide of water at the ocean’s edge with your bare hands! Truth will surface again and again—that’s the beauty of it. Like a blade of grass that clings stubbornly to life in a crack in the cement of a hot city sidewalk, truth clings to us in hope of survival.
And the truth shall set us free.
We’ve already taken a bit of “license” in speaking freely of phenomena of the mind which we’re only beginning to experience, let alone understand. But lest the skeptical among us question the reality of anything in nonphysical “reality” too hastily, let’s refer to the following excerpts on the CIA‘s interest and dabblings in these phenomena. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we have to guard not only the freedom we expect for our physical bodies, but also the nonphysicalfreedom that is our heritage as spiritual beings.
Omni (10/80) reports: Declassified documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (one worth all our effort protecting) by the American Citizens for Honesty in Government revealed a 20-year CIA mind-control operation that experimented with everything from hypnosis and behavior modification to psychoactive drugs (such as LSD) and electroshock, all well-documented. “Less noticed among the esoterica included in the so-called Project Bluebird (later renamed Project Artichoke, still later MKULTRA) was another possible secret weapon: extrasensory perception.”
The agency’s dream was spelled out in an April 1952, memo: “If a number of individuals could be found in the U.S. who have a very high ESP capacity, these talented individuals could be assigned to intelligence problems. Such a problem as whether or not the (deleted) had a submarine pen could be attacked by ESP.”
It might be worth noting here that the media In the last few years has also given more attention to incidents of police departments using “psychics” to solve crimes, often with amazing success. If there were “nothing at all” to extrasensory perception, it is highly doubtful that such conventional organizations as the police department (or the CIA) would even consider such angles in the first place. Phenomena occurring out of our physical realities have been given little public attention in the media, but obviously some people know something that hasn’t been generally publicized, for evidence does exist that these phenomena are not only real, but being recognized more often, and as with everything else, are capable of being used for us or against us. This is another good reason to be ever-vigilant.
Of note is the fact that, after the early fifties, CIA documents are “mum” about ESP and PK (psychokinesis): “Perhaps the CIA dropped the idea. But perhaps it actually implemented an ESP cryptocracy, and perhaps the documents detailing it are classified. The latter possibility is raised (along with a few eyebrows) by this January 1952, statement: ‘If we are to undertake to push this research as far and as fast as we can … it would be necessary to be exceedingly careful about thorough cloaking of the undertaking. The CIA has declined comment.”
A later newspaper article (4/18/85) announced that the “Supreme Court recently gave the CIA absolute power to keep sources of information secret, even if the sources are not confidential and the information itself is not classified.” Congress in 1947 gave the director of central “intelligence” very broad authority to protect all sources of intelligence information from disclosure. The 1985 decision overturned a ruling by a federal appeals court in Washington—the CIA had said that ruling would “cripple its ability to gather intelligence because the agency would be forced to reveal sources.”
The case involves a 1977 suit filed under the Freedom of Information Act by lawyer John Sims and Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen Health Research Group. They sought the names of individuals and institutions involved in research under the CIA’s MKULTRA project (financed from 1953 to 1966 “to counter Soviet and Chinese brainwashing techniques”). It included “experiments in which researchers administered LSD and other psychoactive drugs to unwitting persons. At least two persons died as a result of the experiments. The agency had refused to reveal names of researchers of many of the institutions involved, citing the 1947 law.”
We need to keep a watchful eye on the activities of such groups designed to “protect” our interests, for just as parents can become guilty of Mild abuse, such organizations can easily become guilty
of freedom abuse! The reality that we are faced with is: every day we’re told that such things as vitamins, drugs, weapons, the government, and so on “protect us,” but we’re becoming increasingly aware of the fact that what really protects us are such things as truth and freedom. Most of the other nonsense we can do much better without!
Here are more excerpts on CIA-sponsored experiments MKULTRA, from Psychology Today, “Mind Control in 1984,” by Philip Zimbardo (psychology professor at Stanford University) 1/84:
“MKULTRA was its most notorious covert program designed to develop operational technologies for disrupting and then reprogramming an individual’s habitual patterns of perception, thought and action. Government research funds were funneled through universities and mental hospitals to encourage the experimental testing of LSD and other psychoactive drugs, as well as electroshock treatment, hypnosis and other exotic types of direct intervention in functioning of the human mind. The program was halted not because of the outrage of the citizenry (few knew of its existence) or the ethical concerns of turning American citizens into vegetables, but because it didn’t do the job. These potent gadgets and gimmicks could surely scramble anyone’s brain, but they could not direct a person’s action in pre-determined ways.”
One of the major discoveries of modern social psychology is that, under specified conditions, less social pressure can produce more attitude changes:
“The most profound and enduring changes in attitudes occur under two conditions: when people perceive they have free choice in deciding to believe in ways that are against their values, beliefs or motives, and when the force applied is just strong enough to accomplish the task. The pressure may be as innocuous as having the experimenter in an authoritative white coat say, ‘This is an important experiment…’ or touch the person’s shoulder and say confidingly, ‘do me a favor.’ People want to be good sports and team players. When people can be subtly induced or seduced into publicly behaving in ways contrary to their needs or usual standards, it produces an uncomfortable state of cognitive dissonance. The tension is particularly great when people believe that they chose the alien action freely, without external pressure. To reduce their feelings of discomfort, they become their own agents of self-persuasion. Since they can’t attribute the discrepant behavior to something outside themselves, they explain it in terms of self-generated processes. ‘If I chose to do it without promise of reward or threat of punishment,’ they rationalize, ‘I must have unknowingly liked it or wanted it.’ In hundreds of studies, when intelligent subjects were induced, through means of which they were not aware, to lie, cheat, suffer or hurt someone else, they invented personal reasons to account for this atypical behavior. People devise such personal attributions to make sense of apparently irrational actions, such as eating fried grasshoppers after saying they dislike them or accepting powerful electric shocks.
Although behavior can be controlled by powerful external rewards or threats, the person controlled will not also automatically believe in the trainer’s ideology; coercion creates conformists, but not true believers. When people think an external force is powerful enough to make them act as it wishes, they often yield to the power, but do not internalize the force’s ideology. Without at least an illusion of free choice, they become passive re-actors; they take no responsibility for their actions, but attribute them to outside forces.”
When Orwell wrote 1984 (in 1948), he saw the potential power an can be wielded by professionals “who intervene in people’s lives ‘for their own good.'” But, Zimbardo continues, “he did not foresee the extent and depth of that power, which is so evident in our 1984. When control is cloaked as cure, surveillance as a security service and repression as a rehabilitation program, civil liberties can be set aside and cherished freedoms put on hold without arousing resistance or rebellion.
When something is being done for you and not to you, it is difficult to complain without feeling the guilt of the ungrateful. Would-be mind controllers are springing up everywhere, unconstrained by Party allegiance. They pose more of a threat because their tactics are more subtle, their strategies more insidious and their influence more pervasive. They sell us, educate us, treat us, service us and minister to us—after first persuading us of the need to pay willingly and dearly for their product.” Let the buyer beware.
“In the end,” concludes Zimbardo, “we must individually and collectively challenge the Party line: There is indeed something called human nature that will be outraged by what is done to the least of our kind and will turn us against despots and dictators, demonic or benevolent. We defy Big Brother.”
Economic Freedom: A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned?
“When the whole property of this universe has been inherited by all creatures, how then can there by any justification for a system in which someone receives a flow of huge excess, while others die for lack of a handful of grains.”
—P. R. Sankar
Excerpts from John Hamaker’s Survival of Civilization, “Taxes, Freedom and the Constitution”:
“Fundamental change is required to save this nation from becoming a totalitarian state. Decay is evident in every facet of our society, but few understand the cause. Rightists simply blame it all on ‘communism,’ and Liberals frantically search their first-aid kits for palliatives to treat the most painful effects of the underlying cause. This essay tells why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and why centralization of wealth occurs.
“In the matter of economics, an exponential equation similar to population growth is destroying our economy and our democracy. It is the rot that runs through the forest. Benjamin Franklin willed $100 to the city of Philadelphia. It was to be kept at compound interest until it reached $1,000,000. The inheritance paid off in a little less than 200 years. If the million were kept at 6% compounded annually for 20 years, it would reach 3.2 million; in 40 years, 10.3 million; and in 60 years it would reach 33 million. At 3% it would be only 5.9 million in 60 years; but at 7% it would be 57.9 million. Long before Franklin’s time many people made business investments of much more than $100 and realized more than 6%. Those investments which were invested in the steady money-making businesses, and passed on through inheritance, now are valued in the hundreds of millions. Today these fortunes control capital now measured in hundreds of billions. Applying the 20-, 40-, or 60-year factors shows by inspection that the rate of increase of such vast sums has far exceeded the potential rate of growth of the economy. The growth rate of the centralized pools of wealth has exceeded the finite limits of the capacity of the economy to support it. This is particularly so now, because the growth of population is the primary basis for the growth of the economy. The population growth must be stopped.
“One dollar can be plotted as a series of curves using a different rate of interest compounded annually for each curve and plotting time on the abscissa against fund increase on the ordinate. The result is the accumulation of a single dollar—the factor to be multiplied by the amount of the initial fund to find its present value. It will be noted that the curves bend gently upward until half to one million dollars is reached. Then in a 50- to 100-year period, the curve breaks upward toward infinitely large numbers.
The number of years it takes to reach the break-point depends on the rate of interest (or profit). At 3% it takes about 450 years, at 6% about 220 years, and at 10% about 125 years to reach the break-point. After that point is reached, the rate of increase in funds reaches absurdly large rates of increase which have no relation to the rate of increase of real values in the economy. Therefore, the only way such fortunes can continue to increase is to expand ownership over everything in the economy which makes money. Because of the power of large fortunes to buy out or freeze out competition, they take control of the most stable and lucrative businesses. The theoretical end result is one fortune in possession of everything in the country. In practice, when a majority of people have been impoverished, there is a revolt and a wiping out of all debts. Historically, this has occurred every few hundred years, i.e., when the large fortunes in a country have reached the break-point in the curve and have transferred much of the ownership from the people to the pools of wealth. They then have the power to reach out for every real value in the economy. The more they take, the faster the process works until they have it all.
“One does not argue with the laws of nature. One either conforms or pays the penalty. The mathematics of compound interest is natural law. We are in the self-destruct stage. Our economy is at the break-point in the curve. If we continue to permit funds to accumulate, we are certain to have our economy destroyed and our people in revolt. Money, like everything else in the environment, must be recycled to prevent destructive pollution of the economic environment.
“Specifically, there is now about one and one-half trillion dollars in public and private debts. Most of these debts are owed to pools of money which annually grow by the amount of the interest (or profit) added to it. In 60 years, at an average of 7% interest, the value of the funds would be 58 times their present value. The total growth rate has far exceeded the real growth rate of the economy. The best-protected funds have passed the break-point. They are well on the way to owning the entire country. Senator Phillip Hart said, ‘200 decision makers control two-thirds of all production.’ Senator Fred Harris said that centralization of wealth and the question of how to redistribute it will be the major issue of this decade. It had better be, because the claims to ownership by those funds are going to try to double in ten years time. An awful lot of people and small businesses are going bankrupt. Inflation and government and personal debt will continue at high rates of increase. Super-wealth has a counterfeiting machine and a government to legalize its product. It can buy us all.
“The excessive rate of growth of large pools of money according to an exponential equation is responsible for virtually all the deficiencies of the present capitalistic system as follows:
- The constant growth of large pools of money in excess of real growth in the economy is highly inflationary. The avidity with which the holders of great wealth seek to multiply it leads to overexpansion of industrial capacity, overextension of credit to consumers, and vicious competition for ownership of all income-producing values.
- The inflationary ‘boom’ is turned into a ‘bust’ when a significant number of people have used up their credit, and when competition caused by overproduction has closed out the least competitive companies, further depleting consumer demand. Small savings are robbed by inflation. So great is the ever-ready inflationary capacity of large pools of wealth, that the cycle of boom and bust has occurred roughly every 10 years since 1840. In each one there is a transfer of ownership from those who fail to those who have larger funds subsidizing them at an exponential rate. Example: In 1935 there were 750 breweries, in 1970 only 140. The rate of bankruptcyand conglomeration insure that there will be a lot fewer breweries after this bust period. The power of the major funds now dominates the economy. Production has become centralized, leaving behind centers of poverty.
- Charity and government pick up the bill to feed people left destitute. If all present government and private debts were collected from the people tomorrow, most of us would be penniless or in debt. Almost everything in the country would be owned by about one-half of one percent of the people or the businesses in which they hold a controlling interest. Most of the people are broke. The wealth has become highly centralized. Inflation eats up the savings of older people, and they’re forced on welfare or social security. They’ve relied on fund growth for security. Insurance and private pension funds pay off about 40% and 10% respectively, and they pay off in inflated dollars. Social security isn’t an insurance fund. It’s a tax on present producers to feed older, less productive workers forced off the job by the fixed wage, fixed 8-hour day, maximum benefits concept. If social security tax payments had been funded at compound interest, inflation of the dollar would be far worse than it is, and the government would be well on the way toward ownership of the entire country. The $153 billion in private pension plans doesn’t help the 90% of contributors who get nothing back, but it sure helps the big corporations with their conglomeration plans.
- Because the people of this country have been largely separated from ownership of the real wealth, the pressure of the rapidly multiplying huge pools of wealth has moved toward exploitation of the people and their resources in less developed countries. To insure those investments, large sums have been spent since WWII to insure ‘friendly’ national legislators and administrators. The result has been the absurdly hopeless policy of ‘Containment of Communism.’ Meanwhile, the revolt grows within our nation.
- The forced flow of wealth from the people to the funds (directly and indirectly through taxation) reduces large numbers of people to poverty and the majority of the working force to the insecurity of having only the job (and in most cases one paycheck) between themselves and poverty. These demoralizing stresses induce crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other escape mechanisms to alleviate the pains, needs and wants that attend poverty.
“Poverty provides little market demand. The total national product must therefore shrink relative to actual need. This contraction means that more people enter the ranks of poverty: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Those who still work are heavily taxed to sustain the poor. Ultimately it’s the taxpayers who revolt.
“We are ruled by an exponential equation. Either we control it or we’ll join the two-thirds of the world’s population which have yielded to dictatorship for survival. Right now is the time to protect ourselves from the rule of centralized pools of wealth if we are to save our political freedom.
“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer because money ‘earns’ money at an exponential rate, whereas the economy expands directly with population and the technical ingenuity of the people. The difference between the two rates is the margin of power by which the owners of wealth impose poverty on everyone else.
“In the broad sense, taxes are government-enforced demands for a share of the consumer goods. Nothing has monetary value until human labor is applied to it. Thus a tax is forced human labor. Whether or not equal goods and services are given in exchange for the tax determines whether it’s a service institution or a means of enslaving the people.”
Hamaker says we can simplify taxes and increase our freedom by:
“outlawing all taxes ahead of the sales tax (taxes collected ahead of the consumer goods sales tax are added to the cost of goods sold and are therefore sales taxes, i.e., claims for a share of consumer goods). The burden of taxation can’t be shifted from consumer goods. A frugal person can more easily accumulate funds to start a business if taxation is deferred to the point of consumption of goods. Only when this freedom to use our national fund of ingenuity and initiative is established can we expect to eliminate the welfare rolls and withdraw workers from government into the productive economy. Then our tax burden will be lowered accordingly and this, too, is an increment of freedom. Also, if taxes were eliminated at the production level, politicians could no longer sell loopholes in exchange for campaign support. This practice has resulted in establishing economic advantages for the highest bidders— farmers, for example, can’t compete with agribusiness (which can lose money on farming and make it up elsewhere in the conglomeration where tax loopholes support it). Thus the big corporations would be less powerful and the government less corrupt. These are important increments of freedom for the people.
“Within the broad definition of taxes, there are three included in the cost of consumer goods which government says are lawful, but which are collected by individuals. When the inheritor of wealth goes to the marketplace for a yacht or a mansion, he brings no products or labor to exchange. The same thing is true of a land speculator who does nothing to increase the value of land, but whom the government allows to collect the increased value. The same is true of the stockholder, who by the grace of government and a stock split, finds himself in possession of a share of several years of company surplus earned by the ingenuity and effort of a good working force. He brings to the consumer marketplace no value which he’s earned if it’s profit above the true market value (rightful interest) of his original investment. These government-sanctioned private taxes have the same effect as government taxes: they increase demand without increasing supply and therefore inflate the price. They take units of labor without giving units of labor, which is slavery.
“This element of slavery is what makes possible the rapid conglomeration of companies and ultimately the centralization of the nation’s wealth. Man-hours of labor can be legally expropriated from, each person’s paycheck to obtain a pool of wealth with which to buy a new plant from which to hire-people from whom man-hours of labor can be expropriated to obtain a new pool of wealth, etc. When slavery is legalized, anti-trust laws have all the effect of a pea shooter against an elephant. It is these three something-for-nothing deals which, by means of the exponential equation, generate sufficient funds so transfer all ownership from the people to the funds. They are taxes collected directly by the property class and enforced by the government it controls.
“Taxes on savings, such as property taxes, can drive older workers with little income out of their homes, which then become properly of mortgage holders. The property tax is an excellent device for transferring ownership from the people to the centralized pools of wealth.
“Savings are stored labor. To take care of ourselves, we must be allowed to accumulate the results of our labor and use it to support ourselves over unproductive periods. The government that collects property or other taxes on stored labor is patently an institution of slavery.
“Another class of taxes are those used to control imports/exports. When we have obtained economic freedom, we’re going to be able to work a 4-hour day and have a standard of living and quality of living beyond most peoples imagination. Other nations can and will obtain the same results. But it can’t be done if we try to compete with technically-advanced nations overpopulated with wage slaves. We must therefore control our foreign trade to protect our own progress. As other nations turn toward freedom, we can establish free trade with them and operate as a single economy with a common standard of living. We have yet to establish one peaceful nation.
“Finally, there are special-use taxes based on the principle that if government performs a service for a particular group, they should pay for it. Gasoline taxes pay for roads, but the pressure group that results from pooling such funds has not led to intelligent environmental planning. Special-use taxes are no longer practical.
“One wonders why people have tolerated these burdens for countless centuries. The answer is two-fold: Those who hold power have always been those who have access to the unearned values. They have written the laws to suit themselves. Until very recent times they have kept the people illiterate. Even to this day, all preachers and most school teachers fear to discuss the three something-for-nothing deals. It’s only because these three causes of the centralization of wealth have brought us to the brink of crisis that the great power of wealth to perpetuate itself is slowly yielding to the force of necessity. For two-thirds of the world’s people, these ancient prerogatives of rulers have yielded to the force of bloody revolutions led by ostensibly altruistic dictatorships. Hopefully, an enlightened electorate will bring these institutions down in this country without the loss of political freedom won with so much blood through the centuries.
“What should be done to return these values to those who produced them? Inheritance and land rent value must be collected by the government. This will decrease the sales tax required. The privately-collected tax on the earnings of a working force in excess of interest is composed of increased technical efficiency, human effort, and product demand. Heretofore, this has always accrued to ownership simply because they have hire, fire and bribe control over the management. The unions now contend for this value, while the white-collar workers who had a good deal to do with the increased earnings sit or the sidelines and take whatever is handed out. Instead of the single inflationary force of profit-taking, we now also have an inflationary force from union wage demands. In monopolistic or near-monopolistic necessity industries, the reaching for profit and wages is passed on to consumers as inflated price. Of necessity, less-favored industries and unorganized workers follow along behind. This built-in inflation can be slowed by recession. It might be stopped by depression. But after recovering, it would start up again. The dollar is depreciating at a chaotic rate because we no longer have any semblance of a free market product evaluation. In order to solve this problem, we’re going to have to re-define the commodity called labor as human beings and redefine the investor as one enjoying the privilege of investing his savings at whatever interest rate the market will currently support. We must transfer the management of each company from the ownership board of directors to the working force. This will result in companies whose size rests solely on economic factors. No group of workers will remain in a conglomerate if it costs them money to do so. The better producers will pull out, and the massive pools of wealth that now dictate to government will be dispersed among small companies. We’ll have, for the first time since man left the barter economy, free market conditions. Of greatest value is the right of a working force to earn all it can earn. Under this incentive, there will soon be an abundance of goods in the marketplace. Since working hours will no longer be bound by the rigid (most profitable) 8-hour day, they’ll work when there is work to do and cut hours back when the demand declines. Technical improvements will be used to shorten hours instead of eliminating people from the payroll. The security (now based on the total payroll) of the individual and the company will both be vastly increased. Interest rates will decline to true market values. Since supply and demand are both relatively constant factors and the rigid artificial factors will be gone from the economy, the economic cycles will cease. Small business initiated and managed by one or two persons must be permitted to operate as they have been. These are some of the creative geese who lay the golden eggs. They probe all the diverse avenues for economic development. They develop products, services, and jobs. Of necessity, they must have full control over their initiative.
“Our economic troubles are man-made. They persist to this late, day in the history of civilization because greed has maintained institutions of enslavement. Even our Constitution contained a provision for the return of run-away slaves. In the intervening 200 years, human populations have covered and been compressed into habitable lands. The means of destruction of human life have been perfected. We are at Armageddon. Either good will triumph over evil or all or most of humanity will be destroyed.
“Every conceivable economic system except economic freedom has been tried without bringing internal peace to any nation, let alone between nations. It is time to test whether or not we, freed of our shackles, can find peace In the United States, the first step toward that end is the establishment of Constitutional basis for constructing a free society.”
Hamaker includes a “Proposed General Revision of the Constitution of the United Slates of America” at the end of his book Survival of Civilization. In conclusion he says “the capital goods and personal property must be dispersed among all the people if they’re to attain financial security and the independence of action required to initiate an economy of abundance to replace the present hand-to-mouth rat-race economy of scarcity. To accomplish this, 100% of both earnings and savings must be protected by law against the greed of those who hold power. The autocracy of ownership in the corporation must be broken to enable the people who work there to become a flexible unit of production responsive to supply and demand.”
“Politicians talk of tax reform as a matter of closing loopholes and/or confiscatory taxes at high levels of income. It’s nonsense. If they taxed 100% over $50,000 and closed all the loopholes, it would only accelerate the process of conglomeration of companies. Instead of taking profit, owners would leave it in the corporation where it can be used to buy more companies. The power of wealth, not spending money, is the prize sought. Railroad cars, yachts, airplanes, expense accounts, pseudo-retirement plans—all have been used by corporate ownership as private property exempt from personal income tax. The bill must be paid in the price of goods in the consumer marketplace.
“Politicians talk about inflation as a political argument at election time. Not one of them proposes measures which will get at the cause by stopping the flow of wealth away from the people, and the welfare government that sustains them, to the centralized pools of wealth which new own most of us. When they try to slow the inflation rate of the exploitative economy by arbitrarily raising interest rates, the result is decreasing credit transactions and throwing marginal producers out of work. So great is the inflationary pressure from government debt, national corporations, and national unions that only a serious depression can significantly slow the rate of destruction of the dollar.
“Politicians talk about unemployment at election time (between them they talk of welfare and make-work). Meanwhile, small businesses fall like dominoes at the rate of 10,000 a year. Economists in ivory towers have told politicians that free trade is the ideal international trade system. So politicians have authorized free trade because this is what their masters (the owners of the centralized pools of wealth) want. The expropriated earned surplus of numerous corporations has been used to ship whole plants and management personnel to countries where labor is cheap. The low-cost goods shipped back to this country have eliminated numerous industries. Even the steel and auto industries are finding they aren’t competitive. There’s been a large shift from production to service industries. In the process of going out of production, our real unemployment and underemployment has soared. The phony government statistic doesn’t give the true figure. The true figure includes the forced retirees over 50 and the 40,000,000 under the poverty level. The government picks up the check for everything, including the price of wars to keep the “free world’s” people and resources safe for exploitation by the controllers of our centralized pool of wealth. The government, of course, passes the bill to the people who do the work. This ‘free trade’ has become one more tool by which rich get richer and poor get poorer.
“Politicians say we can’t have a depression again. The fact is that the only thing that has held a depression in check since WWII was an expanding economic system based primarily on electronics, constant war production, and an expanding federal and personal debt load. Environmental costs here, and cheap labor abroad, move industry and capital to foreign lands where the costs can be evaded. We are fed up with the cost of war. Government and personal credit have about run out.
“Politicians have no answers because the exploitative economy doesn’t work. As long as history has been recorded, nations have failed every few hundred years. Before the industrial revolution, inheritance and land speculation were primary factors in bringing all the land into the hands of a few people. Those who owned the land had the power to run the government. To protect their ownership, they raised the land rent to raise armies and build castles. When the rent rose above 50% of the crop value, revolt and redistribution of the land always occurred. As trade developed, the profit system was developed and again a share of the labor was confiscated by ownership. As governments became more complex, they, too, learned to take a share of the labor. Thus the total tax at the point of revolt made up of the personal levies by ownership plus the taxes levied by the government which serves the ownership class. If we add up the total taxes in this country, we have approximately 35% taken by government plus an inexact amount represented by the burden of inheritors, land speculators, and profit in excess of a theoretical free market interest on money. The total tax is probably in excess of 50%.
“In 2 centuries, we’ve been sorely corrupted by a capitalistic system which included the 3 something-for-nothing deals, which in concert with an irrational exponential equation causes the centralization of wealth and power. By the simple expedient of making our capitalistic system honest, we can gradually disperse the wealth among the people. In the hands of the people, it will support an excellent standard and quality of living. It will never accumulate to sums whose rate of increase reaches toward infinite quantity and infinite power—and arrives at infinite weakness in that the whole system can be destroyed by a single dollar accumulating its interest for a long period of time.
“All the industrialized ‘free nations’ which now contain large fortunes and funds operating at high rates of interest have the same problem. The bonanza of productivity resulting from widespread public education has peaked. The ever-present ability of the pools of wealth to accumulate ownership is now the dominant force. Within 10 to 20 years the industrialized “free nations” will all either establish economic freedom under law or they’ll be under dictatorship. The something-for-nothing deals have brought the funds of wealth in this country to the point where they’ve caused a 60% inflation in the last 15 years. If given our economic freedom, we can work our way out of this mess. Without economic freedom, we’re going to lose our political freedom to some form of dictatorship because the economy doesn’t work.
“It is pure fantasy to believe that this economy can last for more than a few years without redistribution of wealth. About 15 U.S. manufacturers receive a total of 88% of all business profits. About the only money-making property left to take is the land, and they are gobbling it up. We mere mortals can’t compete with fortunes which enjoy the luxury of perpetual life. Nor can the monetary system withstand the inflation of funds increasing exponentially to become so powerful that they can fix profits and prices of necessities. Taxes must inevitably keep rising to pay for the palliatives used to soften the impact of the ever-more- numerous problems which arise as our nation and its environment degenerate. The working taxpayers, who inevitably pay for everything, will eventually want to demand radical change.
“People of rank who are saying they know nothing about carbon dioxide and acid rain aren’t stupid. They’re either lying or using evasive language. Such a massive conspiracy of silence is understandable when one realizes that ‘official’ announcement of our situation would plunge the world into a financial debacle. They would no doubt like to have more time to prepare an alternate financial system to replace the international banking system. The trouble is, they’ve been wringing their hands over this for a half dozen years; meanwhile our chance of survival gets weaker and weaker.”
In defending their desires for “more studies of the problems,” our leaders are stalling for time; no one wants to tell the public the truth, so by stalling, and “not looking for evidence,” they just won’t “have to admit” that evidence exists.
And The Pursuit Of Happiness
Human Interaction: It Takes Two to Tango
Survival has a twin called Need, and they’re always together. We learn from the start that we need more than air, water and food—we need others. Very early on, people depend on each other for survival; in fact, we’re all born completely dependent, as infants, upon someone. In Western society, a conflict often arises between our natural human need for others and our “quest for independence.” We have self-sufficiency, self-fulfillment, self-knowledge, self-mastery, self-control, self-indulgence, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-assurance, self-consciousness, self-defense, self-government, self-help, self-improvement, self-interest, self-pity, self-preservation, self-reliance, self-satisfaction and self-respect. We are self-centered, self-contained, self-evident, self-righteous, self-supporting, self-sustained and self-motivated!
In our world of human interaction, of Give and Take, closely-related to our twins Survival and Need are the triplets Power, Submission, and Opposition, although those of us who know Creativity prefer her companionship to that of the triplets. Most human interaction is related to survival/need, give/take, power/submission/opposition, friendship and/or creativity. We learn by trial-and-error to assert our individuality and begin to use our “power” as soon as we realize it’s there. Along with our needs, we develop wants and expectations.
Like fire and all forms of energy and tools known to us, our pride can be either a constructive or destructive force, depending upon how it’s used. Pride can be our incentive and motivating passion to do our best, to excel and to reach our highest possible achievements—or it can consume us and destroy us—it can become the biggest obstacle of all on our path to our higher selves, if we let it. If we can control it and use its powerful energy for good, we will be able to harness its tremendous force to our advantage and it will work with us—if not, it will control us (as with anger and all other emotions) and work against us, because pride without wisdom and insight is like a boat without a sail or a car without steering. We have but to look at human history to see what pride without direction, guidance and conscience has done to us—or, more aptly—undone for us. We can either indulge in our anger, false pride and other emotions, and let them grow, or we can find something better to do with our time.
Because we reap what we sow, we’d do well to spend our time in positive pursuits. When we let go of false pride, or anger, we free ourselves to do something that can help us. Negative emotions are like a big, huge wave that hits us at the ocean’s edge. If we’ve ever romped in the surf at the seaside, we know that the best strategy is to “duck and let the wave pass over us” so that it crashes onto the shore, where its force is shattered.
On the other hand, fueling our negative emotions (as with concentrating on symptoms of a healing crisis) lends strength to them, reinforces their control factor over our lives, making us less free. When we find ourselves thinking “so and so (or such and such) makes me so mad,” we must remember that it is we ourselves who make the decision on what to do with our anger. It’s ironic that we so often find ourselves thinking we don’t have “enough” time for this or that, but we’ll turn around and burn up twice the vital life energy in anger or other negative emotions—most illogical! Only positive action will help us to change things for the positive. We should use our emotions for fuel, not our life energy itself.
Peace on Earth, Good Will to All . . .
We’ve reached a point of stagnation on a planetary level, where international relations are concerned. We’re all posed and “ready,” weapons-in-hand, all trying to act tough and scare each other into peace (or whatever) by threat of possible force. If you’ve ever watched two tomcats nose-to-nose, making their growning, siren-type sounds, you’ll notice that neither one wants to be the first to back down at that point; they’re now stuck at this crucial point of a “final confrontation.”
We’re like these cats, making our most impressive, mean, scary threats, and we’re so deep into it that we’re afraid to trust one another. We’ve heard all the threats and made our own, and we’ve defined ourselves as “enemies,” when the reality is that we’d still be better off in the kitchen of a Russian family than with our local mugger here at home. The enemies we fail to recognize are often more dangerous to us in the everyday sense than those we’ve been told to fear. In any case, we’ve built the wall between us, and built elaborate “defense” mechanisms for self-“protection”; in fact, as we’ve said, we’ve done such a thorough job of building weapons that our self-“defense” now threatens self-destruction as well.
We’ve built the wall by a lack of understanding and lack of cooperation, by fear, mistrust, and refusal to communicate honestly. When we do communicate, our messages are often confusing: we stand with a loaded gun (so to speak) pointed at each other’s noses, and our voices are saying, “hey, let’s be friends and talk this over.” No one dares to be first to put the gun down, and our history of war and violence certainly doesn’t help to allay our fears. As long as we can’t believe each other and trust each other, the tension persists.
We’ve arrived at the last stop on this bus, as it were—the end of the line. It’s gone round and round in circles, and each time we’ve found ourselves back where we started; this route has had little to offer for our spiritual evolution as creatures of light. It’s time now to decide whether to get off the bus and make a transfer to a new journey, or whether to head once again for the “terminal.” A 1984 news item said “the world will spend $1 trillion for weapons other military purposes by next year,” (according to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency).
From “less” than $300,000,000,000 in 1972, spending rose to $820,000,000,000 in 1982, and was expected to reach $970,000,000,000 in 1984, thus heading for the $1,000,000,000,000 mark (I’m purposely writing these figures out with 0′ s because they make more of a visual impression than the respective terms “million, billion, trillion,” and so on). The weapons industry is obviously doing a booming business (if you can pardon a bad pun) in an age where funds for positive human endeavors are so often said to be “dwindling, lacking, unavailable, or whatever.”
Economies in every nation are involved in sales and purchases of these instruments of death, certainly not a wholesome foundation on which to base our economies. With nuclear, chemical, environmental and/or biological war now possible, what we’re seeing is global weapons pollution of the highest order, and the world’s increasing violence and power struggles are symptomatic of ailing minds and spirits that result from pollution of our human values of love and cooperation, worldwide.
Studies indicate that testing of these weapons has already taken its toll on innocent victims everywhere. Thousands of civilians have filed suits in Nevada and other areas, citing that they’ve been exposed to deadly radioactive fallout. Hundreds of atmospheric and underground tests have taken place (not all even announced)—we’ve been told not to trust “foreigners,” but it becomes obvious that we can’t even trust our health, lives and safety to our own government either. As just one example of the magnitude of potential and real danger of such tests, consider the following excerpt from Hamaker’s Survival of Civilization, page 75:
“In 1972 the Atomic Commission tested a 5-megaton bomb a mile below sea level on the Aleutian island of Amchitka. The Aleutian chain is a continental heater and the Bering Sea is slowly being raised to plateau status. The underground bomb test had the ingredients for a total change in the world’s weather. Fortunately a group of senators headed by Senator Phillip Hart persuaded the AEC to stop the testing.”
An underground test in Nevada (2/81) was the “568th reported at the Yucca Flats” (northwest of Las Vegas) and the “353rd announced since atmospheric testing was stopped (by the U.S.) in 1963.” Where does all this radiation go? A May 1984 news article talks of suits by Nevada residents who say the government knew or should have known the fallout was dangerous (atomic tests from 1951-1962) and was negligent in not protecting people downwind from the Nevada Test Site.
A January 1984 news article says “the Reagan administration has been concealing an unknown number of nuclear explosions at the underground test site in Nevada, signifying a break with a 1975 policy of announcing all explosions.”
Hold on to your seats for this one: An official at the Energy Department said “the policy of announcing only the larger tests was adopted a year ago for convenience. There was simply no reason to announce them all. The size of some of the tests was such that they didn’t even create a ripple. Nobody could feel them off the test site. It takes a lot of work to announce each of those tests. And it was information that was not germane to the general public.” There you have it folks.
Don’t fret—”what you don’t know can’t hurt you,” right? A ripple? (Just because a person doesn’t “feel” those little old cancer cells start to work in his body, doesn’t make them any less dangerous.) The article concludes in saying that since Reagan administration took office, the federal budget for nuclear ting has almost doubled, going to $388,000,000 (1984) from 201,000,000 in 1981.” Pacific islanders have borne much of the brunt of the nuclear age; over 200 weapons tests have been conducted in the region, and people exposed to the fallout have been plagued with high rates of thyroid cancer, miscarriage, stillbirth, leukemia and other health problems.
When the U.S. conducted its largest hydrogen bomb explosion at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands (March 1, 1954), hundreds of islanders, 28 American meteorologists, and 23 Japanese fishermen were exposed to high amounts of radioactive fallout.
Our weapons aren’t merely stockpiled in “safe little cubbyholes for some future use”—some have already killed victims. Physicians and others have banded together to warn the superpowers of the dangers of even “limited” nuclear wars: uncountable burn victims, too many to handle, and so on. We’ve all heard the details and are well aware of the dangers. Now we hear talk of “space” stations and “star wars,” of studies to determine feasibility of dumping nuclear waste in space—when and where will the madness end?
“Where never was heard a discouraging word, and the skies were not cloudy all day. . .”
Scientists have now alerted the world to the latest nuclear danger: that of a “nuclear winter,” with many of the negative consequences from increased cloud cover that we’ve already discussed in reference to potential global climate changes towards colder conditions due to excessive CO2 and other factors.
News of March 3, 1985, was that “the Pentagon has accepted as valid a theory that nuclear war could generate enough smoke and dust to blot out the sun and cause severe climatic cooling.” The 17-page report was the military’s first assessment of the theory that detonation of nuclear bombs could cause: “a devastating nuclear winter around the planet and drop temperatures as much as 75 degrees, first in the Northern Hemisphere and then southward as the smoke spread with the wind. Land and water would freeze and cause harsh global effects unrelated to radiation hazards. The upshot, they argued, would be the extinction of a significant proportion of the Earth’s animals and plants, possibly including the human race.”
An earlier news article (1/20/85) compares the cloud cover with those of past volcanic eruptions known to cause climate changes:
“We have established that volcanic eruptions have an effect on the climate, and enough of them happening at the same time, like exploding nuclear bombs, could have a significant effect. The most famous example of the effect of a volcano on climate was the eruption in 1815 of an Indonesian volcano (Tambora) which lasted three months, the largest eruption in historical times, producing huge quantities of ash and dust that were carried around the world in the stratosphere. The particles sufficiently deflected sunlight to produce what historians later called the year without a summer in 1816. In New England that year, there was widespread snow in June and frosts every month through the summer. Throughout the world it was unusually cold. Crop failures caused food shortages in Ireland and Wales; that’s the most famous example. It was the first time a relationship was shown between volcanoes and weather.” (Fred Bullard, geology professor, University of Texas.)
“Average annual temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere could be lowered to well below freezing for a month or longer,” is another description of potential climatic change. Other studies think extended periods of freezing would be unlikely. Again, everyone has a slightly varying opinion in these matters, but it should be obvious after our lengthy discussion in the last lesson on carbon dioxide excesses and their relation to the Ice Age cycles—plus indications of climatic extremes worldwide—that such cloud covers (added to our current excess CO2-generated clouds) could indeed produce dramatic changes.
Here’s another description: “dust generated by nuclear explosions still could block enough sunlight to drop summer temperatures to near freezing and destroy food crops for survivors of the initial blast and radiation effects.” Bullard said recent volcanic activity hasn’t produced anything like the Tambora eruption, but has “continued a general world cooling trend that started with the eruption of a West Indies volcano in 1902.
Dust and ash from the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington in 1980 didn’t rise high enough to enter the stratosphere or have much effect on world climate, although the dust still is circulating in the upper atmosphere. But dust from the eruption of El Chicon in Mexico in April 1982, did enter the stratosphere and is adding to the cooling,” he said. “It means,” he continues, “that frosts could come earlier than usual.”
The news source then says, “Carbon dioxide from auto pollution in the upper atmosphere often is cited as producing a warming ‘greenhouse effect’ by intensifying sunlight. But Bullard said the Earth actually is in a cooling trend because of volcanic eruptions throughout this century, generated by dust from the volcanoes in the stratosphere, and there’ve been a significant number of eruptions in the past few years to help it along. It’s really only since scientists began using computers to analyze the changes that we’ve noticed the effects.”
Calculations of the nuclear winter concept have been made independently by several groups of scientists in the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and by now, the theory (if not its details) is probably agreed upon by scientists in other countries as well.
“Into the eternal darkness, into fire, into ice.”
—Dante, The Inferno
Excerpts on the Nuclear Winter, by Carl Sagan (10/30/83):
“The results of our calculations astonished us. The amount of sunlight at the ground was reduced to a few percent of normal—much darker, in daylight, than in a heavy overcast and too dark for plants to make a living from photosynthesis. At least in the Northern Hemisphere, where the great preponderance of strategic targets lies, an unbroken and deadly gloom would persist for weeks. Even more unexpected were the temperatures calculated. In the baseline case, land temperatures, except for narrow strips of coastline, dropped to minus 25 degrees Celsius (-13 degrees F) and stayed below freezing for months—even for a summer war. (Because the atmospheric structure becomes much more stable as the upper atmosphere is heated and the lower air is cooled, we may have severely undererestimated how long the cold and dark would last.) The oceans, a significant heat reservoir, would not freeze, however, but because temperatures would drop so catastrophically, virtually all crops and farm animals, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, would be destroyed, as would most varieties of uncultivated or undomesticated food supplies. Most of the human survivors would starve. In addition, the amount of radioactive fallout is much more than expected; in long-term fallout, fine radioactive particles lofted into the stratosphere would descend about a year later, after most of the immediate, shorter-lived radioactivity had decayed. However, the radioactivity carried into the upper atmosphere (but not as high as the stratosphere) seems to have been largely forgotten, etc. Carrying of dust and soot from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere would thin the clouds some over the North, but then only making things worse in the Southern Hemisphere.
“In summary, the overall conclusion seems to be agreed upon: there are severe and previously unanticipated global consequences of nuclear war—subfreezing temperatures in a twilit radioactive gloom lasting for months or longer. If scientists have underestimated the effects and amounts of fallout, didn’t know fireballs from high-yield thermonuclear explosions could deplete the ozone layer and missed altogether the possible climatic effects of nuclear dust and smoke, what else have we overlooked? Nuclear war is now a theoretical problem for us, for it certainly isn’t amenable to experimentation! It is highly likely that there are even further adverse effects that no one has yet been wise enough to anticipate or recognize. With billions of lives at stake, where does conservatism lie—in assuming that the results will be better than we calculate, or worse? Many species of plants and animals would become extinct. Vast numbers of surviving humans would starve to death. The delicate ecological relations that bind together organisms on Earth in a fabric of mutual dependency would be torn, perhaps irreparably. There is little question that our global civilization would be destroyed. The human population would be reduced to prehistoric levels, or less. Life for any survivors would be extremely hard. And there seems to be a real possibility of the extinction of the human species. It is now almost 40 years since the invention of nuclear weapons … men and machines are fallible, and fools and madmen can exist and rise to power. Concentrating always on the near future, we have ignored the long-term consequences of our actions … fortunately it is not yet too late. We can safeguard the planetary civilization and the human family if we so choose.”
So, if we don’t already have enough reasons for not embarking into a nuclear war of any proportion, here we have another. Nature will insist that we see the truththat what we do to her, or to others, we do to ourselves: we could literally destroy ourselves in seeking to destroy another in any size nuclear war.
War is. indeed, hell—whereas peace is heaven on earth. Ever since time immemorial it has been our dream. Now peace is more than a necessity for survival: it has become a reality that is just within our reach. With just one more burst of evolution of human consciousness, we will grasp it and hold on to it for dear life. Our most precious treasure—world peace—will become a reality. In protecting everyone, we protect ourselves best of all, and the best protection comes in the form of peace. Because we are all one and interconnected, we arebeginning to realize that in destroying anyone, we destroy ourselves.
Einstein: ‘The bomb changed everything but the way we think.”
Our old ways of thinking of ourselves as separate and divided have become obsolete, and if we don’t change our tune soon, we’ll risk becoming obsolete with them. Our weapons systems are somewhat like a vicious watchdog that we’ve chained up to “protect” us, one that’s become so mean since it was full-grown, that we’ve begun to fear it ourselves, and don’t dare let it loose or touch it for fear of its bite. As long as it’s chained, we try our best to keep out of its way and ignore it, but we know it would attack an innocent person, or ourselves, if it were let off the chain. Some people might feel comfortable with such a dog, while others would see that we’ve created a monster.
War is our last link with the barbarism of our past. It is “the highest form of criminal acts, grave offenses against morality and social behavior” (David Stry); “when an individual kills another, the legal systems bitterly condemn such acts, but if done in a wholesale fashion by nations (artificial, political units), accompanied by marching bands, flags, uniforms, and propaganda, then medals and decorations are given out for bravery …” War is the ultimate use of force. Perhaps our outmoded belief that it can “solve” any of our problems is as foolish as our belief that medical drugs can force (“cure”) our bodies into health. Just as health alone produces healthful living, so too does peace alone (not war and weapons) produce harmony and cooperation, an environment in which life and all its creatures may flourish.
As long as our world “leaders” keep us separate and divided, as long as they encourage us to remain at odds with one another, they will succeed in holding us captive in warlike thoughts or endeavors. Only we can remove the final obstacle that keeps us from peaceful coexistence: this separation of human beings worldwide that keeps us from seeing one another as human. Once we see each other as human, we will do unto others as we would do unto ourselves. Pacifism isn’t a new idea. Although we’ve reached a crisis point in international world relations, in Psychology Today, June 1983, Erikson says:
“If you study the lives of very creative people, you’ll find that at times they all have a terrible sense of stagnation. And the interaction of such opposites is characteristic of every stage of the life cycle … I cannot help thinking of how nuclear weapons have done away with the boundaries of whole continents, and how, with their threat of global destruction, they call for the recognition of man’s indivisible ‘specieshood.’
Gandhi’s pacifists marched unarmed toward their attackers.
… In order for nonviolent behavior to be effective it must be shocking—it has to shake up the violent opponent peacefully. In that situation, what is more important: That you are an Indian? That you are a soldier? That you are an officer? That you are a human being? It has to come to the point where suddenly these other people become human to you. Then you can no longer keep hitting them. Incidentally, it’s amazing how American audiences are taking to the (Gandhi) movie, and these are not intellectuals. The movie about a great man’s use of nonviolent resistance reaches people who do not belong to special peace organizations, and it makes them thoughtful. That’s why it’s such an important film. I honestly believe that it focuses on something our Judeo-Christian culture has not yet quite understood and has not used, and will probably have to face: the invention of nonviolent tactics to get out of the nuclear dilemma.
“Human beings spend an awful lot of their imagination on defining just what others they don’t care for. The danger in rejectivity, that is, the rejecting of other people, other groups, or other nations, is that it leads to what I have called ‘pseudospeciation.’ People lose the sense of being one species and try to make other kinds of people into a different and mortally dangerous species, one that doesn’t count, one that isn’t human. Other groups are considered to be a different species, and you can kill them without feeling that you have killed your own kind. People aren’t conscious of doing this, and that’s why it’s so dangerous. The paradox is that pseudospecieshood as a sense of representing the best in humankind binds a group together and inspires loyalty, heroism and discipline, and the very existence of humanity depends on the solution of that paradox. What’s important now is a conviction that one’s culture and ‘system’ can go on living in a world that includes one’s former enemies.”
When asked if he thinks our odds of developing an identity that encompasses the whole species are any better than they were 15 years ago, Erikson replies: “Absolutely. After all, we are one species.”
Years ago, someone used force to get his way, and so began a long history of people getting what they could, when they could, if they could, because they could, no matter how they did. We could philosophize endlessly on the moral aspects involved, but the fact remains: we’re long overdue for a change in attitude. When Christopher Columbus set sail into the unknown, he had to take a chance. Every explorer, inventor and challenger of traditions has to take some risks. The Wright Brothers had to get up the nerve to take that first flight—how many of us would have found that courage?
As our world shrinks in size, there are fewer new horizons left to discover, yet we’ve seen in our discussions of the mind and consciousness (to say nothing of outer space), that there are many dimensions of reality left to explore, albeit intangible or distant ones. One such reality is that we can live together in peace, if we make the combined commitment to such a world. We’ve never even tried to explore this incredible dimension of human reality, so largely unknown to us in our history, and yet so fondly dreamed of and hoped for and sought after by so many! It’s time to really give peace a chance, to explore the unknown territory of working out differences in a new way. We have everything to gain in doing so, and everything to lose if we don’t.
Let’s finish our discussion of peace with a short story:
Once upon a time there was a big boy and a little boy. The big boy figured that he could do whatever he wanted since he was the big one. One day a little boy was walking down the road, and the big boy called out to him, saying, “who do you think you are walking down my road?”
“The same person who walks down every road,” replied the little boy, without even slowing his pace.
Well, this was too much for the big boy, of course, because people didn’t just walk down his road, especially not if they were little, because they knew what that would mean. It made the big boy angry just to think about it. In fact, the more he thought about it, the angrier he got. Every angry thought was a brick being laid in a wall just behind the big boy, but he was so busy looking at the object of his anger—the little boy on the road—that he did not see the wall that he would have to face when he would finally turn around, nor imagine how long it would take to climb over this wall once he had built it. His angry thoughts seemed like endless fuel for the fire burning within him, and he. stood in front of the little boy and refused to let him pass. “No one walks on my road,” he said.
“This is my road too,” replied the little boy. The big boy could not believe what he was hearing. He figured he’d just have to show that little boy whose road it was.
The little boy was thinking the same thing! Then he looked at the big boy, at the wall behind him, and at the look in the big boy’s eyes. Maybe there were bigger boys, boys bigger than this big boy, boys who could walk on this road without fear, boys who would challenge bigger boys. But he also saw that the anger became stronger, every time they all let it grow.
He knew laughter. Even the big boys liked to laugh, after all. He wondered what was funny to this big boy, the one whose eyes were empty of life, whose voice echoed bitterness, whose face was etched in lines of hardness, and whose very being seemed to defy all happiness.
“I choose to be your friend,” said the little boy, for long ago he’d chosen to become a peacemaker. Perhaps this would be a good joke for the big boy, and he would laugh.
“What would I do with a little friend? sneered the big boy.
“I am a mirror,” said the little boy, “and whoever looks into me will see himself,” for lack of anything better to say. Maybe this would be funny to the big boy—surely he knew that all roads went to the same place. Surely he knew that they were the “same person.” Maybe he would see the wall behind him when he looked into the mirror in the little boy’s eyes. Or maybe not.
Maybe the little boy could say, “look behind you!” and run by real fast when the big boy looked, well, true, it’s an old trick. A big boy might expect to see something big, though—perhaps his fears were
While the little boy was busy pondering what strategy to use, the big boy was beginning to get a little bored. It wasn’t easy to fight with someone who had no intention of fighting, but he wanted the little boy to get what was coming to him—and with this last angry thought, the final brick was laid on the wall. They had now reached the moment of truth.
The little boy grasped it in an instant and ran forward toward the light. The big boy was close behind, but he ran headlong into his wall!
“Hell is truth seen too late.”