Friday, April 19, 2013


Today is Friday, April 19, 2013. 

In Lak'ech
(I Am You/You are Me)

You are my other me.
If I do harm to you,
I do harm to myself.
If I love & respect you,
I love & respect myself. 

- Mayan Inspired Poetry

The ancient spiritual paths and many indigenous cultures of the world tell us that we are all connected, not only to each other, but to the earth and to God and all those Souls who exist in the worlds of spirit.  Now physicists are starting to come to the same conclusion. 

Many Native Americans and other indigenous people, encouraged by grassroots organizations such as Idle No More, are beginning to share the wisdom of their cultural worldview and spiritual teachings on the Internet, particularly on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, where their message finds a worldwide audience.  One of their most important messages these days is that all human beings must take a hard look at where modern technology is taking us, and how our need for natural resources to power our many modern devices is affecting Mother Earth. Compared with those of us who participate fully in the modern cultural milieu of the industrialized nations, many indigenous people are hyper-aware not only of the damage that is being done to the earth, but the damage we are doing to ourselves.  They know this is true because a belief central to their culture is that all life, all of Creation, is interconnected.

What does this mean?  

Well, for one thing, all of  Creation is energy.  This includes not only all heavenly bodies in the Universe, including our Sun and our Earth.  This includes the entire physical earth, as well as its atmosphere, all plants and the physical bodies of all animals and all human beings.  It doesn't matter if we are talking about a solid, a liquid, a gas, or a form of energy such as electricity.  All is energy.  As Soul, we are energy beings, as well, so we are energy both inside and out. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City wrote, "Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kind of cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe; we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us."

 Even more importantly, we can be connected in one other way, and that is by means of our thoughts. When our thoughts are in sync with each other, we are able to work together.  Our thoughts have the power to bring us together or keep us apart.  Our negative attitudes about each other's culture and beliefs underlie our unwillingness to work together for a common cause.  It has been said that we no longer have the option of not working together, if we wish to keep from destroying the earth to the point where it is uninhabitable.  

You may say that there is no danger of earth becoming totally uninhabitable in our lifetime, and you would be right.  But if we continue as we have been doing, the air, water and soil will eventually become so polluted that it will be difficult for our planet to sustain life.  At this point, Star Trek to the contrary, we have no place else to go.  It is up to each of us to take responsibility for the continuation of life on earth, to do what we can now, in order to create a future in which our descendants can survive and thrive.  Not one of us is excused from this responsibility.

The author of a page called Native American Spirituality and Thoughts, who chooses to remain anonymous, posted this thought the other day:  
"In this jet age when almost "instant there" is commonly accepted, the world has become very small. The days of remaining in one's own birthplace are near an end, and those who never dreamed of traveling have adjusted themselves to it quite well.

"And with shorter distances between us and our neighbors, it seems our worlds should find more opportunities for mutual understanding. But we must realize that even though our material worlds may be easily crossed, our thoughts are worlds apart. Until we can bring together a thinking people with the desire to create living conditions that are peaceful and full of kindness, fast travel can waver between good and bad.

"A British novelist and poet, George Moore, said, "It is thought, and thought only, that divides right from wrong; it is thought, and thought only, that elevates or degrades human deeds and desires."

* * * * *

In order to advance the process of understanding one another, we must begin by going within to achieve inner peace.  How can we do this?  The most important way is to learn how to quiet the mind and meditate.  There are any number of ways to do this, and no particular way is best.  Each of us is unique.  Find a way to meditate that is comfortable for you and that fits your lifestyle and your spiritual beliefs.  Another important skill is learning to rest.  When we take the time to rest, even for only a few minutes, we can relieve built-up stress that we have unknowingly stored in our bodies.  Many highly effective people know how to take a catnap, a very short period of sleep.

Here are some other suggestions for achieving inner peace. Take steps to simplify your life and learn how to do one thing at a time, rather than multitasking.   Take responsibility for your life, and take every opportunity to rectify mistakes when necessary.  Live in the present, without thinking so much of the past or the future, because your only chance to take action is the present moment.  Try to step back when you feel the need to judge someone, or when feelings of anger, resentment, fear, or worry threaten to overwhelm you.  Do whatever it takes to get your feelings under control before taking any action.  Learn to re-program your subconscious mind to resolve fears and old beliefs that limit your perspective and your parameters.  Cultivate gratitude, happiness, contentment, and love within yourself.  Act with courtesy, dignity, and respect at all times.  Let everything you do be for love and love alone.

When we cultivate inner peace, we find that our level of tolerance for others increases, and we are able to coexist with others in a state of harmony.  This is the point at which we can work together for a common cause.  

Many of us readily subscribe to the belief that all human beings were created by God, and yet we often act as if we haven't really internalized this belief.  If we are all children of God, how can we hate and fear one another?  

When we listen to each other, we begin to realize that our priorities in life are not that same as others' priorities.  In and of itself, that is fine, but it's a good practice to run through our own priority list every so often to update it.  Many of us are operating on a daily basis with an outdated set of priorities that were formed in the past.  Some of these priorities, these life goals, were passed along to us by our parents and teachers.  Some were established by our choice of religion or spiritual path.  Some were adopted wholesale from the societal "norms" of the culture that we grew up in.  

These days, there are many people who have stopped to assess their lives critically.  Many of these have made major career changes in order to "get out of the rat race."  Some have exchanged one "rat race" for another, but the fact remains that many people nowadays have taken steps, both large and small, to simplify their lives and live more consciously.  One of the most productive things we can ask ourselves is, "Why am I doing this?"  When we stop to ask this question, we are sometimes forced to realize that we are doing many things simply because we thought it was expected, or because we thought it would make us happy.  When we release ourselves from the expectations of others, the expectations of society as a whole, we are free to choose our own path.  When we realize that what we are doing is not making us happy, we are free to consider other goals in life that are more apt to give us a sense of peace, purpose, and pride of accomplishment.

Photo credit: Anamak Photography
I don't know about you, but when I re-assessed my priorities, I realized that what I really want is to live in peace and plenty. I want to work together with others to live in harmony with each other and with the earth.  I want to leave behind the mindset of competition, win/lose thinking, and artificially created lack.  I want to live in a world where all life is valued and honored, and where obtaining and accumulating money is not an end in an of itself.   I want to live in a world where hate and divisiveness is replaced by goodwill and inclusiveness.  I want to live in a world where people do not fear that which is different.  I want to live in a world where people approach others respectfully and resolve their differences peacefully. 

I want to eat nourishing food free from modification and  chemical additives.  I want to live in a clean environment that is not polluted by hazardous chemicals.  I want to find clean energy sources that will not harm the earth. I want to find modes of transportation that do not contribute to harmful changes in the climate.  I want to live in harmony with all life, and I want to leave a light footprint on the earth.   :-)

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