The Guise of Separatism

We have been alone for far too long. We’ve been living under the guise of separatism when, in fact, we are one. One with each other, one with nature, one with the universe.

At the present time, we’re undergoing massive changes and shifts – not only on the molecular level, but socially, politically, geo-physically, cosmically and spiritually.

The changes are divine and will culminate in the next step toward our intended destiny…our journey back home. But as any traveler knows, there may be many roads leading to a destination and we must choose which path to take. But will the choice we make really be an authentic reflection of our own free will? Or will it be a manifestation of what we’ve been conditioned, socialized and programmed to choose?

Most of the world is arguably unaware of the differences between the two – as the lives we’ve been “taught” to lead have led to the hard-wiring of our misperceptions, the legitimization of illusion and the propagation of deceit. So much so – that many of us may struggle with distinguishing the truth from the falsehoods.

While ignorance may appear to be bliss for those who are currently leading lives of luxury, privilege, comfort and ease – the vast majority of the world’s population is burdened with fatigue, stress, hunger, despair, disease and abuse. But even those privileged few, who believe themselves to be insulated and above such concerns, are too, caught in the web of illusion – as we’re spun into a Matrix-like, psychological infra-structure through which we view ourselves and the world around us.

Like tinted lenses, we gaze at our lives though the spectacle of contrived images, carefully and strategically constructed to maximize our ignorance, apathy, indifference and preoccupation with and dependency on senseless materialism.

It’s not so much that we’re told “what to think, but rather what to think about”. It is our mental and emotional focus that guides our actions and choices. And just like is said about leading a horse – if one can control the head – one can control the animal.

We’re conditioned by public and private schooling where we’re fed false truths about human history.  We are manipulated by the institutional control grid that insists on social conformity and compliance and the silencing of voices and ideas that deviate from the “status-quo”. Critical thinking is discouraged – and in its place – we’re rewarded for relegating our cognitive functioning to the simplistic and superficial hands of our mental “autopilots” – from safely within the comfort zone of the proverbial “box”.

We’re conditioned by mass media – in all its glory. From television, movies and video games to commercials, billboards and print media, we’re saturated with products, fears and anxieties and mindless forms of “entertainment” and “news” that distort reality and withhold the facts.

Because the majority of what we’re exposed to deliberately targets lower-order brain functions of hunger, thirst, sex drive and the fight (aggression) or flight (fear) mechanisms – thinking deeply and critically about ourselves and the world around us is not commonplace.

Many of us still think “inside the box” for a variety of reasons. Some are in denial, some are made timid by the social coercion that’s directed at those who think “outside the box”, and perhaps most sadly, there are those who think “the box” is all there is to think about.

Is there a reality outside of the “box”? Are all those who speak of things foreign to the box crazed lunatics? Might it be possible that life “inside the box” is nothing more than a narrowly defined, restrictive space that serves more as a jail cell than a comfort zone?

Could it be that the divine boundaries of our existence are so much more expansive than the box allows – and that our growth has been stunted, horizons limited and free choices curtailed – if not abandoned entirely?

Might it be that many boxes have been created, labeled and set apart so that we might emphasize our distinctions as a divide and conquer strategy that manifests a guise of separatism between us? These boxes are not our rightful homes… they are psychological containment camps meant to undermine the unification of humanity so the “powers that be” may continue to reign unchallenged and unconcerned.

We possess enormous individual and collective potential. Like separate glints of light dispersed through a prism, we dance in different locations but are comprised of, and dependent upon, the same Source.

We are one.We are not alone. We are not weak, feeble or helpless. And we are – most definitely – not in a box.

Posted in 2012 and Ascension, Dismanteling the Illusion, Mass Media Influence, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 4 Comments

Reflect, Recognize, Rejuvenate

In his April 17th post, (Resist, Resent, Revenge – Part 1/2 – Golden Age of Gaia) , Steve Beckow courageously shared his experiences of a painful childhood and the struggles of processing the difficult emotions that we all may carry with us as we move forward through our lives – resistance, resentment and revenge seeking behaviors.

It appears as though most, if not all, of us have incurred some degree of trauma in our lives – leaving us with varying degrees of residual anger, resentment, fear, sadness and helplessness. As a social psychologist, I may be able to shed some light on these issues and illustrate that, with understanding, mindfulness, and most importantly, self love, we can transform resistance, resentment and revenge into rejuvenation. Let me explain…

Self-Disclosure vs. Self-Presentation

The first point that Steve makes is that we develop strategies for a control agenda in order to manipulate and control others.  He describes this process as egoistic and self-serving – to obtain our own desired outcomes and personal rewards.

What Steve is describing is known as “self-presentation”. At any given moment, we all the choice of how to engage others in our social, personal and professional interactions. We can either engage in “self-disclosure” or “self-presentation”.

When we self-disclose, we are communicating our true, genuine and authentic selves to others – the good, the bad and the ugly. We are honest, direct and lay all our cards on the table. We are willing to reap whatever consequences might arise in terms of how others may respond to us. We don’t “change colors”, like a chameleon, based on our social contexts and exhibit a consistent personality regardless of condition or circumstance. But engaging in the self-disclose our sincere thoughts, feelings and behaviors necessitates a secure self-concept, positive self-esteem and, not least of all, strength of character.

On the other hand, when we self-present – we are showing others a constructed image of ourselves – a mask and pretense of what we want others to see. We are concealing our true selves and hiding behind a manufactured social face – much like an actor playing a role.

There are essentially two primary reasons why we engage in self-presentation. The first, as Steve describes, is out of our desire to control and manipulate others. We “pretend” to be something that we are not in order to win approval and trust from others – but, with the hidden agenda of shaping others to do our bidding. This is a deceitful and insidious enterprise and one that has been made into an art form by many unscrupulous politicians, religious leaders, advertisers, and individuals who lull others into a false sense of security in order to take advantage of them. In essence – wolves in sheep’s clothing.

But there’s another, less insidious, reason why people self-present. Many engage in self-presentation out of an effort to mask low self-esteem and internalized self-degradation and shame.  Sometimes, we pretend to be something other than what we truly are because we fear that our “true” selves won’t be acceptable, lovable, valuable or appreciated. In order to gain social approval and acceptance, we change our colors to be in line with what, we believe, others desire or expect. This doesn’t have a malicious intent. The agenda in these cases is to protect our scars, hide our skeletons deep inside our closets and bury our sense of shame from the light of day and the scrutiny of others.

When we experience physical and emotional abuse, neglect and trauma as children, we internalize these experiences as painful reminders that our “true selves” are not lovable or acceptable. We learn to expect that the repetitive pattern of rejection experienced in our homes as children will continue and generalize to all social relationships we engage in as we mature. In short – we learn that love is “conditional” and therefore, self-present ourselves in alignment with whatever “conditions” dictate.

The Cycle of Abuse

In his post, Steve describes the pattern of family dynamics that he experienced as a child. He recalled repeated cycles of inflicted pain – followed by the opposite extremes of exciting vacations and family outings.

What Steve has described is well documented and has been labeled the “Cycle of Abuse”. It’s the classic, textbook scenario that abusive relationships tend to follow. The abuser (parent, partner, family member, spouse, etc.) undergoes a repetitive pattern that cycles between 3 phases: tension building, abuse, and what’s been described as the “honeymoon period“. Once the honeymoon period comes to close – the patterns begins again with tension building and what results is an endless, vicious cycle.

The tension building phase is characterized by increased irritability, short fuses and irrational judgments. The abuser appears to be increasingly short tempered and can be set off by the most minor of incidents (dinner isn’t ready on time, a child’s toy is on the floor, etc.). These minor, daily annoyances turn up the heat on the abuser’s pressure cooker until it reaches a boiling point – and then – BAM! The abuser lashes out – hurting those who are closest (and weakest).

Following the abuse, the abuser experiences a temporary moment of regret and remorse. Not because he/she is empathetic for the victim – but because he/she does not want the victim to leave – thereby preventing future opportunities to exert control. That’s where the honeymoon period comes in. In an effort to lure the victim back into the lair – the abuser engages in lavish and exaggerated expressions of profuse apologies, promises that it will never happen again, and over-the-top gifts, surprises and commitments to seek help and change their ways.

The victims, hungry for love and acceptance, take the bait – and the cycle continues and typically worsens, becoming more severe over time.

Lack of Accountability

Steve discusses that those who attempt to control others lack personal accountability for their actions. This trait is also a classic, textbook characteristic of abusive individuals and groups. It’s only during the “honeymoon period” that false statements of taking responsibility come into play. On a grander scale – this is what political campaign season really is – a time to lure voters into the lair – but once there – all the promises go out the window.

Those that abuse others rarely take responsibility for their actions – hence the reference Steve cited in “See What You Made Me Do?”. No-one wants to see themselves in a negative light – so rather than acknowledging personal short-comings, wrong-doings and weaknesses – the abusers cast blame away from themselves. This is the primary reason why the cycle continues and the result is two fold: 1) it allows them to derogate their victim to validate future acts of abuse, and 2) it prevents the abuser from undergoing any concrete change for the better.

We’ve All Been Traumatized

The vast majority of people on Earth have been victims of trauma. From domestic abuse and violence to bullying, military duty and prejudice, most of us carry physical, emotional and spiritual scars inflicted by others.

Even in the rare cases of those who had loving homes, positive peer and intimate relationship and have never encountered discrimination – mass media fills in the blanks. Watching television, movies, video games, and especially daily news reports is enough to trigger feelings of fear, anger, hatred, resentment and feelings of wanting to “lash out” against the “enemy”.

Studies show that a large number of American children suffer from classic symptoms of abuse and post traumatic stress simply by watching violent television programming – whether fictional entertainment or graphic depictions of violence and unrest on the nightly news.

Reflect, Recognize, Rejuvenate

So, in light of such a bleak picture of the human condition – where do we go from here?

It’s important to remember that, despite the overwhelming exposure to social abuse, we still have free will – and therefore, a choice of how we wish to live our lives. Naturally, it is perfectly normal to harbor feelings of resistance, resentment and revenge. But these feelings to do NOT define who we are. In order to turn the tables in a more positive direction, we must do three things: reflect, recognize and rejuvenate.

Reflection

As painful as it may be, the first step is to reflect on the abuses you have experienced in your life and allow yourself to feel the full measure of it’s impact. Pull those skeletons out of the closet and lay them out before you – making them transparent in the full light of day. Feel their pain and suffering – your pain and suffering. Cry, meditate, pray, scream – whatever it takes. But know that without facing your inner demons – they will continue to grow in strength, magnitude and power over your lives.

Recognition

The word “recognition” is worth examining. The word “cognition” refers to :”thought” – so to re-cognize is to “re-think” the notions you’ve adopted about yourself and the world.

Recognize that the “Great Powerful Oz” – who has been such an intimidating presence in your life – is really nothing more than a little man behind a curtain pulling switches and leavers. Pull back the curtain on the illusion of power and control that you’ve been led to believe tethers you to victimization. Recognize that you are not the person that your abuser has insisted you are. Recognize the spiritual aspect of your existence – why you are here –  who you really are. Recognize that the abusers (whoever they are) are probably victims themselves – and struggling, no matter how destructively, to cope with their own inherent fears. Recognize that it’s not your fault. The blame, shame and accusations perpetuated by the abusers lack of accountability was their mechanism to control you and avoid themselves – not a reflection of who you are. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, recognize that power is not something people “hold” over you – it is something that is “given” to them by us. Once you recognize that you are in the driver seat of your own destiny – you can then begin to charter your course to the destination you choose.

Rejuvenate

One of the beautiful bi-products of abuse (yes, I said beautiful),  is that abuse has the power to manifest empathy. We can define empathy as our ability to recognize and experience what others are feeling. When we live a secure and sheltered life, we may fail to understand the abuses that others are undergoing. We lack a concrete awareness of what it’s like to be victimized. When we’ve experienced abuse, we can say that “we’ve been there and done that”. It fosters greater sensitivity, compassion and understanding  – attributes that are the breeding ground of peace and social justice.

I lost my father to suicide as young and only child. I was raised by an abusive, alcoholic mother and left home at 15 to get away from her. I entered a relationship with man who I believed would be my “knight in shining armor” only to find that, he too, was an abusive alcoholic who proceeded to beat me for the next 5 years of my life. My extended family was murdered in Nazi concentration camps, and the story goes on and on.

Once into adulthood, I realized that I had a choice. I could wallow in self-pity, lick my wounds and curse a cruel world  – or – I could reconstruct my perceptions of self and others and turn my life’s trauma into a beautiful thing – rejuvenation! I could use my experiences to teach and empower others. I could become fully “self-disclosing” and tell my stories to others so that they too, can rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of despair and go on to “pay it forward”.

I went from a terribly injured and traumatized high-school drop out to a Ph.D. holding Applied Social Psychologist and educator. I give seminars on domestic violence and present my research on social justice. And why? Because of empathy. Because I know how it feels. Because I don’t want others to go through what I had. Because I was able to empathize with the victims of injustice in terms of racism, violence against women, hatred and the abuse of power and control. Because I care.

So when you are in the process of rejuvenating yourself – consider the Native American fable about the two wolves which reads:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The choice is yours….which one will you feed?

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Peace on Earth

Today, February 14, 2015,  marks a global meditation on Peace. Where ever you are, at any time, at any place, for however long – there is a call to action to focus your consciousness on Peace. Visualize, in your heart and mind’s eye, that Peace has already taken place. Will it into existence.

As Jimi Hendrix said, “When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power – the World Will Know Peace.”

Overcoming – means that the number of people embodying Love in their hearts outnumbers the people who embody the love of Power. It’s up to us – so let yourself be counted. Now is your chance to make that energetic contribution and join with others from around the planet – to be counted.

Today is the day and the moment is now. Let your will and intent be felt.

Love is, and has always been, the answer.

 

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Enough is Enough!

When I first conceived of this site, I knew my practical purpose, my spirit’s mission, my heart’s intent. And although these energies flowed freely through me – the one obstacle I faced was what to “call” it. Words have energy and direction, and the choice of “names” was an important one. As I pondered, meditated and sought guidance from my center – the name finally emerged in an explosion of affirmation. An “aha” moment. It would be called, The Power of Social Consciousness!

This title resonates with the movement within me – as well as the key to the outer movement toward peace. It speaks to the power that we all possess – inherently, organically and without reservation. And this power, when combined collectively, is nothing short of what humans describe as magical.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, many of us look forward to expressing our love to those close to us. Yes, I realize that the cynical among us dismisses this “holiday” as nothing more than a merchandising scheme to line the pockets of an already obscenely wealthy corporate structure. But Valentine’s Day is something more than Hallmark cards and boxes of chocolates. It is an event that focuses the collective power of social consciousness on the energy of love.

Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth

On a recent trip to Florida with my family, we visited Disney World and Universal Studios. After 3 days at Disney parks – we went to Universal, where I immediately felt a dense, lower resonant energy surrounding me – surrounding everything. Just like Disney – there were rides, and shops, and restaurants, and street entertainers – but – there was something missing….happiness and a sense of peace.

I immediately collected my family and literally sped back to Disney. Upon entering the Magic Kingdom, I felt the soothing, peaceful warmth of higher frequency energies that surrounded and emitted from every person, place, nook and cranny. It was a cold, rainy night – but simply glowed in positivity. Why?

Could it be that the collective power of social consciousness shared by the visitors manifested into tangible experiences of peace? Unlike Universal Studios, where negligent parents texted on their cell phones while their babies cried in strollers – at Disney – I was hard pressed to find one unpleasant expression, emotion or gesture. And at the moment of the Wishes light show that occurs every evening – I was brought to tears as 50,000 plus humans stood, shoulder to shoulder, in peaceful awe – representing all nations, races, and cultures.

Perhaps, it’s due to the fact that Disney is mass marketed as the “Happiest Place on Earth”. Perhaps, it’s because everyone comes there with that expectation in mind – and therefore collectively manifests this happiness into tangible reality. Perhaps, the lesson to be learned from all of this, is that the power of social consciousness – especially when combined and focused in a collective effort – is, indeed, creating experiential reality.

Does the Bird Realize the Cage Door is Open?

It occurs to me that we are like a bird – intended to fly – but trapped inside a cage, to which the door is, and has always been, open. The bird, unaware that it only needs to focus it’s attention on the opening – stands perched, facing the wall – back to the door. It feels confined, unjustly restricted, hopeless, helpless and disheartened by it’s limitations.

One way to appease this feeling of dissonance is to decorate the cage with personal belongings – artifacts that reflect the inner spirit that remains unrealized. The “bird keeper” – in an attempt to restrain the bird, strengthens the bars, covers it with blankets in order to not “frighten” the bird during times of darkness – limiting it’s vision. The “bird keeper” may even electrify the bars to the cage as a strict reprimand – should the bird entertain notions of challenging it’s captor.

But regardless of how pleasant the bird keeper dresses the cage with food, water, toys and gadgets – the bird knows, in it’s heart, that it’s destiny lies beyond the cage. And regardless of how the “bird keeper” strains to fortify the cage – the door still remains open. The only thing that truly confines the bird is the direction the bird’s attention and consciousness is focused. If the bird focuses on the walls of the cage – it can not see the open door. But if the bird simply redirects it’s focus to the open door – the path to freedom and flight becomes instantly apparent.

Enough is Enough!

Are we ready to turn away from the walls of our cages? Are we yearning to be free to fly at last? Are we willing to turn the focus of our attention to the open door and combine our collective forces  – harnessing the power of our social consciousness on peace?

Remembering that birds tend to fly in flocks – it is time for us to flock together and migrate to the next stage of our human, planetary and universal evolution. There has never been – nor will ever be – a cage large enough, strong enough or desirable enough to contain the power of social consciousness – and so the time has come. This now moment – and every now moment to follow – the time has come to say enough is enough!

Posted in Dismanteling the Illusion, Peace on Earth, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 4 Comments

Having our Cake and Beating it Too?

Since my article entitled “The Fear Factory: The Manufacturing of a Violent Society” posted in September of 2013, the blood-soaked saga has continued to flourish – along with the steady media diet of gloom and doom. The tragedies du jour include the Ebola Virus, new threats of terrorism, and police violence.

It seems there is no deficit of boogie-men to fear – lurking under our beds – ready to attack at a moment’s notice. There also appears to be no deficit of public denial, indifference, apathy, self-centeredness and – oh, let’s not forget – perceptions of helplessness and fear.

For those readers interested in changing the world for the better in a concrete way – where do we begin? When going up against such seemingly insurmountable obstacles – how can we possibly measure up? Many kind-hearted, well intentioned souls choose their battles out of the plethora of available injustices that abound. The war on drugs, the fight against cancer, racism, sexism, global warming, poverty, unemployment, corporate and governmental corruption and the list goes on and on and on.

But to my mind – these factions of focus, albeit worthy causes, represent nothing more than a divide and conquer strategy that undermines the true power of our social and collective consciousness – wherein lies the key.

Facing the Contradictions

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated that, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And this sentiment is at the core of the perspective I am bringing to light. Can we reasonably expect to win a specific battle against injustice in one targeted domain while engaging in acts that reflect the very nature of that injustice?

During a recent discussion with a friend, she was passionately espousing the necessity of white Americans to take ownership of their actions against the Native American people. She was arguing that white Americans are “settlers” on U.S. soil. That through willful acts of violence and deceit, white ancestors robbed the Native people of their rightful place. And while I fully acknowledge the brutal injustices that occurred, and continue to occur, something else occurred to me as well. That perhaps this friend – as well intentioned as she may be – might be eating chicken for dinner. A chicken that was born, raised and slaughtered under brutal, inhumane conditions.

In mentioning this to her – she argued that animals don’t hold the same “status” as humans and, while the inhumane treatment of animals is objectionable, her foremost concern lies with injustices to humanity and that she has to “pick her battles”. Now my friend is similar to many others, who draw lines of distinction in the value of life. And it is precisely this type of mindset that the white settlers utilized to justify their violent injustices toward the Native people in the first place.

From slavery, to abuses against women world wide – people have had a ritual pattern of “dehumanizing” others prior to subjugating them to abuse. To the Nazis – Jews were heathens. To the slave masters – Africans were sub-human. To the white settlers – Native Americans were savages. And to carnivorous humans – animals are simply livestock – resources devoid of intellect, emotion, soul and, therefore, equal rights.

Justice as a Wheel – Not a Scale

When we view justice as a scale – we struggle to find a balance. This effort lends itself to endless acts of negative reciprocity. An eye for an eye. Give and take. And the pendulum swings on. But if we view justice as a wheel – we begin to recognize that the hub represents the oneness of creation from which each spoke emanates outward – enclosed by the outer rim that houses our interactions with and toward one another.

Drawing on this analogy, if each spoke represents a different aspect of social injustice – racism, sexism, poverty, terrorism, etc., and we focus our attention and efforts on only one spoke at the exclusion of others – we ultimately fail. We fail because we lose sight of the fact that all spokes are connected. As we exert pressure against one of the spokes – at the exclusion of the others – the wheel grinds to a standstill.

We must focus on the hub – not the spokes. We must bring into focus the big picture – not merely the segments. The title of this site is The Power of Social Consciousness. And if our power lies in our collective consciousness – our efforts become weakened when splintered off in numerous directions.

There is only one direction – Unconditional Love – the one, single and universal principle that is all encompassing. This means that no conditions, or preferential treatment at the exclusion of others, is possible. We can not advocate for an end to violence and then entertain ourselves with violent television programs. We can not become outraged at racism and then cut off another driver on the freeway. We can not support campaigns to end child abuse or domestic violence and then mindlessly scarf down a Big Mac at McDonald’s on our way home from work – denying the brutality of industrial farming.

All for One – And One for All

Perhaps the road to positive change in the world doesn’t rest in our endless struggle against each individual form of injustice. Perhaps, it’s as simple as broadening our conscious awareness to include all thoughts, all feelings and all behaviors toward a single alignment with Unconditional Love. In all situations, circumstances – big and small – align with energy that is Loving. Period. The rest will take care of itself.

To the extent that our thoughts are fragmented – so too, will be our effectiveness. If we were to all focus our thoughts – with laser precision – on Unconditional Love in every Now moment – the transformation we so desperately seek would organically manifest. Remember, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” (Buddha). So what have we got to lose? Isn’t it worth a try? Are we capable of purging the hypocrisies and contradictions that permeate our lives?

As Albert Schweitzer once stated, “until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace”. And so it goes…we simply can not have our cake – and beat it too.

Posted in Mass Media Influence, Mass Shootings and Violence, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 2 Comments

Your Leading Role: Changing the World is Easier than you Think!

It appears that over the past year, many of us have been incurring hardships, drastic life changes and many profound challenges. From the large-global stage to the more personal circles of family, friends and neighbors – it appears as though we continue to struggle through hardships of increasing magnitude.

The path of least resistance often manifests itself as feelings of helplessness – and at times, overwhelming hopelessness that these personal and societal challenges will ever cease.  Sometimes, it’s all we can do just to make it through the day with our head’s above water. We all know what it feels like – as if we’re sailing in turbulent waters in a sinking ship. And it’s all we can do just to keep frantically bailing out the water as quickly as it gushes in.

For many, this constant battle gives rise to  the popular (although defeatist) sentiment of “It’s all I can do to keep my own head above water. What can I possibly do to change the world”? But the answer to this question may be less daunting than we realize. Perhaps our individual roles in bringing about the changes we wish to see in the world and our own personal lives are, not only simple, but entirely doable.

We tend to think that changing the world necessitates bold, grandiose, styles of leadership. We tend to attribute change to religious, political and social activists that publicly assert themselves through laborious and time consuming efforts. This perspective often defeats our purpose and desires. We can’t envision how we, as individuals, could possibly take on such monumental tasks.

It seems that few of us recognize, or give credence to, the fact that simple, everyday acts of kindness are powerful beyond measure. We needn’t protest, march in the streets, run for political office or shout from our respective “soap-boxes”.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem – all we need to, in the words of Gandhi, is “be the change we wish to see in the world” – as individuals. Everyday, people cross our paths. Everyday, we interact with and engage others in a variety of settings. From home, school and the workplace, to our local grocery stores, gas stations and city streets – we encounter a myriad of situations and circumstances that cry out for simple acts of kindness.

The elderly woman attempting to cross a busy street. The stray animal shivering in the cold. The mother struggling to juggle her baby and grocery bags while boarding a bus. The list goes on and on and on.  How do you behave in these situations? Are you too busy or too preoccupied to extend a helping hand? Do you even take notice?

The power of a simple, everyday acts of kindness can not be dismissed or underestimated. When we take a moment (yes only a moment) out of our day to assist someone else – we are passing the flame of our candle to light another – bringing more light into the world. Being on the receiving end of an act of simple, everyday kindness has a visceral effect. It lightens the load, inspires joy, and renews a sense of hope in others. It has a warming effect that is contagious and motivates us to “pass it on” – to “pay it forward” (see the video link at the end of this article).

We all possess the power to share our light and express our humanity through acts of compassion and kindness. We can think of this as Heart Economics. Our need for connection and a sense of value and worth is the social demand – the spiritual requirement for well being. The willingness to extend ourselves to others is the supply – of which we have in abundance and unlimited quantity. The supply and demand of Heart Economics is, by its very existence, the love that makes the world go round.

Research has shown that helping behavior, not only breathes new life into the recipients, but also fortifies those that give. In the most dire of circumstances (such as concentration camps), people who found self-value in the assistance of others weathered the storm to greater degrees, were healthier, and experienced less stress and anguish than those who remained self-absorbed and downtrodden by their devastating circumstances.

So the next time that you’re feeling hopeless and depressed, angry and fearful or resolved that life is a hard and cruel taskmaster – stop, for just a moment, and look up from your life. Take time to notice those around you and extend a simple act of kindness. Even a smile can contribute a powerful message to a passing stranger that lifts them from feelings of invisibility. While we have no way of knowing what problems face the others that we encounter – the loving gesture of a simple smile can go a long way toward stoking the dwindling flame of their heart.

In this way, we can all assume leadership roles in transforming the world. And in terms of Heart Economics, the benefits will far outweigh the costs. After all, a simple cost/benefit analysis will quickly reveal that we have nothing to lose – and everything to gain. Again, in the wisdom of Gandhi, “A thousand candles can be lighted from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself”.

In conclusion, I’ll take it one step further. Not only will we not be diminished by simple, everyday acts of kindness – in fact, we will all become benefactors of a world where love is the only currency that needs to be exchanged – and the interest will compound daily!

Please take a moment to view this very compelling  (5 minute) video that speaks to this message and “pass it forward” to everyone you know. Changing the world is easier than you think…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRSIFmlJwgM

Posted in Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 6 Comments

The Fear Factory: The Manufacturing of a Violent Society

The day after the mass murder at the Naval Office Building in Washington D.C. on September 16, 2013, I spent much of the day listening to the talking heads on radio and television as they presented analysis after analysis and interview after interview in a repeated attempt to “make sense” of what appeared to be, yet another, “senseless act” of violence.

Many experts shared their “professional” opinions on the matter from a variety of perspectives – conservative, liberal, pro gun control, anti-gun control, mental health, social policy and the like. On radio talk shows from National Public Radio to Sirius XM stations, callers repeatedly questioned “expert” guests – challenging what can only be described as their rehearsed and stilted responses to the usual questions.

During Kathleen Dunn’s radio program on National Public Radio entitled, “State Gun Laws” (State Gun Laws ), I listened in utter amazement as caller after caller posed questions to her guests (Adam Winkler, Author of The Right to Bear Arms in America and Danielle Thompson, Press Secretary for the National Association of Gun Rights) that demanded responses to specific questions only to be met with replies that were either evasive or entirely off topic in relation to what had been asked.

Throughout the day, I recorded the sentiments expressed by media hosts, guest “experts” and concerned citizens and noticed a striking pattern that emerged. Citizens were either responding to this latest tragedy with alarm, outrage and concern for the future of American society, or they responded with a learned sense of helplessness, apathy and indifference, earmarked by reactions such as “here we go again”.

The media hosts, depending upon their political bent, framed questions that have, by now, become cliché. “Why does this continue to happen? What are we going to do? What laws have to change? Should we be looking at the mental health of these assailants?

By in large, the “experts” that were interviewed by these hosts simply churned out the same old rhetoric – regardless of their political or professional perspectives. Examples of their “expert” opinions included comments such as, “There are over 30,000,000 guns in the hands of the public. There’s no way to eliminate them. We have to strengthen our mental health programs to identify, diagnose and treat individuals who may become violent threats to our safety. We need to strengthen gun-control laws. We need more guns in the hands of the citizenry so that they can protect themselves,” and on, and on, and on.

It quickly became obvious that there is a media channel or site that caters to every political, religious, scientific or philosophical taste that may exist in the audience base – their consumer market. So no matter what take an individual may have in relation to this issue – there will be a media source that validates their personal perspective.

This issue, in and of itself, is just another branch of an already divisive social structure that strengthens and perpetuates our differences. If we don’t “like” what we’re hearing, seeing or reading – we need only to change the channel as a quick fix to our dissonance. This is far easier than engaging differing points of view and working toward a common solution to our collective problems.

I continued to listen hoping to finally hear a dialog that, at the very least, grazed the real issue of what is truly going on – but to no avail. And what occurred to me – with increasing alarm – was that the real tragedy facing us is not merely the repeated and increasingly frequent nature of mass murders in our society – but rather our complete unawareness of and/or unwillingness to acknowledge what is at the source of this violent, social dynamic.

Acute vs. Chronic Acts of Violence

If we were to seek medical attention for a physical ailment we were experiencing, such as a headache, our doctor would likely ask us if this was an isolated incident or a recurring condition. The reason this question is important is because if our headache only occurred once, or rarely, it would suggest a far different approach than if we were consistently plagued by this headache on a continual, repetitive basis. This is the difference between a condition that is considered acute (sudden and isolated) vs. chronic (ongoing).

The medical response to an acute headache may be to take an pain reliever and get some rest. In contrast, the response to a chronic headache would likely warrant further and extensive testing to get at the systemic cause of the pain (CAT scan, MRI, etc.).

When we look at the frequency and nature of mass murders in recent years, we see that they are occurring at an alarming increased rate of frequency, and as such, cannot be regarded as “isolated incidents” of an acute nature.

Since the Columbine mass murder in April of 1999, there have been 37 mass murders where, in each case, between 4-20 individuals have been killed with guns. As alarming as this may be, this figure pales in comparison to the murders that are committed on a daily basis involving fewer than 4 victims (A Guide to Mass Shootings in America | Mother Jones).

In each of these 37 cases, the murderer was a different person, in a different state, in a different setting, and with different targets (students, co-workers, shoppers in a mall, movie-goers, etc). So how on earth can any reasonably intelligent person conclude that the source of our trouble lies with the “individual” assailant?

Clearly, we are dealing with a chronic social issue that is systemic in nature vs. an individualized, acute case of poor mental health. Are we really this simplistic and narrow-sighted as to believe that identifying a “mental health issue” with Aaron Alexis (or any other individual assailant over the last several decades) will help us predict and prevent the next massacre?

Individual vs. Societal Mental Health

Clearly, the individuals who opted to open fire on masses of people were disturbed. But the real question is – what were they disturbed about? And how many more of us are deeply troubled in the same way – about the same thing?

The term “systemic” refers to a condition that is generalized – not specific. And I feel it’s safe to conclude that there appears to be a generalized problem within our society of which violence is only the symptom. In my opinion, we cannot and will not effectively address these incidents of mass murders until and unless we are willing to take a long, hard, critical look at the structure that governs our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in our daily lives.

Our society has become chronically ill and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify the reasons why. History has factually demonstrated that American society was founded on the willful violence toward, and the bloodshed and murder of others who we deemed as less “worthy” than ourselves. We have a deep and passionate connection to weapons of mass destruction – so much so, that we have devoted a Constitutional Amendment as a shrine to maintaining our rights to bear arms – with the sole purpose of taking lives.

In every aspect of our society, violence is promoted, merchandised and worked systematically into the hard-wiring of our thoughts, feelings and perceptions. And while parents dutifully teach their young that they should use words, not violence, to solve their social dilemmas, we, in no way, demonstrate this by way of example.

Quite to the contrary, we teach generation upon generation, that violence is the ultimate solution to perceptions of threat. We continually manufacture and market toy guns and weaponry to millions of children every year and validate the necessity of power, domination and control over others through our television, movie and video-game industry that frames our Heroes as those who can “kill” the bad guys.

We fund, to grossly disproportionate degrees, our own military industrial complex and flex our muscles of violence in wars of mortal combat. We have even worked the word “kill” into our social colloquialisms to refer to supreme accomplishments, as in the phrase “You killed it” – meaning you did an outstanding job.

We’ve come from a place of social inequity, racism, sexism, classism and political and religious opposition. We allow millions of our own citizens to go without health care, jobs and homes. We accept outrageous numbers of families to live in poverty while we line the pockets of corporations, world banks, and military operations.

The NRA is the most powerful and wealthy lobby in the U.S., while State after State has passed leniency laws since the Newtown massacre (only 9 months ago) making guns even more readily available and to a wider consumer market. I just learned that Iowa now has a law permitting legally blind individuals to carry a firearm in public. These leniency laws have also extended the rights to carry firearms in public to convicted sex offenders and now include, in some states, the rights to carry guns onto playgrounds.

What’s puzzling to me, if this weren’t enough, is why we question the occurrence of repeated outbreaks of mass murders. Those that we give our power to, the “decision makers”, clearly have no interest in lessening the instances of violence in our society. Quite to the contrary, the data clearly show that the current trend is one that, not only condones, but encourages continued violence as a fact of daily life.

What Appears to be the Real Agenda?

Regardless of one’s personal perspective on the “gun-control” issue, one cannot deny the violent foundations that founded and continue to permeate our society. But if we are serious about change, we must turn our focus to those entities that are in control of making decisions. They are, in effect, the drivers of the societal vehicles in which we travel through our daily lives. They are the cartographers, the navigators, the suppliers of our fuel.

Why are we simply agreeing to ride as passive passengers down the road to ruin and destruction? And more importantly, why are we being driven, by design, toward a destructive destination in the first place? The more information one collects and analyzes, the more it appears that there is a consorted effort to keep us in a perpetual state of fear, anxiety and struggle.  Could it be that there are those who benefit from such a carefully crafted design? Is it possible that a peaceful, loving and unified society would not be as profitable to those who benefit from their positions of power and control?

They say that “sex sells” – but so does fear, and to an even greater extent.
Because fear is the deepest primal instinct related to survival, as long as we’re kept in a constant state of fear toward a real or perceived threat, we will fail to evolve beyond our fight/flight mechanisms. After all, who has time to worry about corruption, greed, deceit and the well being of others if we’re led to believe that our personal lives are in imminent danger? And there in lies the irony: what we really need to be concerned about is the agenda of the Fear Factory and not one-another.

Perhaps the time has finally come for American citizens to start asking some critical questions.  For example, isn’t it an ironic coincidence (synchronicity) that the latest mass murder just happened to fall on the very same day that the Senate Hearing on repealing the Stand Your Ground law was scheduled to meet – and was subsequently cancelled as a result of the massacre?

From a social-psychological perspective, these events coinciding would easily strengthen the Fear Factory’s position of strengthening perceived imminent threat among the population at large, as concrete evidence of why we all need to carry guns to protect ourselves.

The Declaration of Independence Revisited

I have before me the verbatim transcript of the Declaration of Independence – the document that specifies the reasons why America decided to separate from England – and the document that outlines the very principles on which our nation was founded. I have provided the first few paragraphs below.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence – Text Transcript)

(While most American’s are familiar with the more cliché sentences included in this document, few have read it in its entirety. There is an extensive itemization of reasons why the “Founding Fathers” saw fit to sever their ties with England. Many of these same objections are present in our current system of government, but are overlooked by the populace either out of ignorance or indifference. It is highly advisable that you refer to the link provided above to familiarize yourself with the principles our governmental officials are sworn to uphold).

In this article, I have summarized the striking increase in mass murders over the last few decades. I have also summarized the many ways in which our current system of leadership (political, corporate, etc.) which I am referring to as the Fear Factory, continues to promote and encourage violence as an acceptable, if not honorable, way to solve personal and social problems. I have further presented a reasonable argument for why attempts to approach these problems by focusing on the individual assailant as an acute instance of mental illness make no sense in the larger scheme of things. In contrast, I have stated that our current social structure is plagued by a chronic preoccupation with violence in combination with a market flooded with easily acquired weaponry. And when viewed in conjunction with the rampant poverty, racism, sexism and obstructed access to vital resources, we are dealing with social time-bombs of mega-proportions that are exploding at record speed.

If we sincerely want to put an end to the violence and murder that has become an earmark of American society, we must revisit the founding principles to which we pledge our allegiance.  We must critically evaluate our current state of affairs and ask the hard questions that no-one really wants to address. Are our elected government officials meeting their obligation as outlined in Declaration of Independence?

Or, are we in dire need of a massive change – one that shifts the power from agenda laden leaders who promote fear, violence and social conflict to the hands of the population whose unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are being threatened?

I reiterate the last sentence in the quote above, whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

The truth is, we don’t feel safe. We don’t feel happy. And the reason is not that certain individuals among us are mentally ill. It is because the system that governs every aspect of our daily lives (The Fear Factory) decidedly continues to promote violence, weapons and social struggle in exchange for our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

As Einstein once quoted, “problems cannot be solved by the same minds that created them.” If we’re really outraged by the continuation of mass murders, then we, as individuals and communities, must be proactive and take back the driver’s seat en route to our future.

Einstein also stated that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting difference outcomes”. Therefore, we must stop focusing on circular arguments that lead us no-where. We must realize that it is our society that has become “insane”, as a collective. As long as we continue to point fingers at specific laws, individual psychologies, and social disagreements, we will continue to spin our wheels in the mud while victim after victim meets their violent fates.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that, “Peace is not the absence of violence – but the presence of justice.” So we must ask ourselves – is it just to live in a society where violence has become the steady diet of every American man, woman and child? Is it just that we live our lives in constant fear and anxiety over not only what violent attack we may meet around the next corner, but over our financial security and health?

In practice, The Declaration of Independence was, admittedly, a farce in it’s day, as it excluded anyone who was not a land-owning white male from it’s principles. However, in theory, this document clearly outlines a structure in which, if all are included in practice, will cultivate the soil of a beautiful future in which every seed has the equal opportunity to grow and flourish in pursuit of its life, liberty and happiness.

To this end, some may opt to protest, some may organize, some may write letters to officials and editors of newspapers, but in reality, all that is truly needed is to wake up and rise to a new level of conscious awareness that allows you to see through the smoke and mirrors. Just like a magician or illusionist, the tricks of the Fear Factory will no longer be spellbinding once you clearly see the slight of the hand.

The violence agenda relies on our continued fear, ignorance and indifference. But the fate of our future relies on our conscious awareness.

Namaste – We are One

Posted in Dismanteling the Illusion, Mass Media Influence, Mass Shootings and Violence, Synchronicity, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 1 Comment

Commitment vs. Conformity: The Social Sacrifice of Staying the Course

It has been my experience that, in the quest to remain true to my nature and committed to serving the mission of Oneness Consciousness, there has always been, and continues to be, a seemingly necessary sacrifice of social conformity to the “norm”.

Throughout history, those who have made the choice to “go public” with their assertions to the cause of Oneness, have become personal, professional and societal targets. From interpersonal relationships to wide-spread media campaigns – those who plant their feet on the soil of Oneness Consciousness appear to invariably find themselves socially challenged, ostracized, ridiculed, shunned and marginalized.

In smaller personal and professional circles, this often translates into compromised relationships with others who are steeped in the “illusion program”. Those who walk and talk the path of Oneness Consciousness are assigned the label of persona non grata. And in extreme cases, those who manage to gain wide degrees of public exposure – amassing a “following” (if you will) – often find themselves threatened, bullied, intimidated and/or killed.

When viewed historically, we have no shortage of examples. From prophets to politicians – entertainers to writers and social activists – we see the same pattern replicated over and over again and the message is loud and clear. Buck the “system” and you’ll pay the price. The translation of this dynamic is simple and to the point. Either conform to the Illusion Program or find yourself excluded, shunned or dead.

Because humans are social beings – we have a powerful need for affiliation. And of course, this makes perfect sense. After all, we are, in reality, One. Therefore, in our journey through the outer illusion of separatism, it’s natural to feel alone – so we seek out the company and validation of others as a reflection of our self-worth. But when viewed with our inner sense, we come to realize that we are never truly alone, as we are inseparable parts of the grander whole – Oneness Consciousness.

The question is – are we willing and able to make the social sacrifices necessary to remain true to this cause? Or, will we continually compromise the authenticity of our hearts to appease and acquiesce to the normative demands of the status quo? I’ve come to the conclusion that – at least up to this point – remaining committed to the cause of Oneness and conforming to social norms and expectations are in diametric opposition to one-another.

As the new, enlightened and more expansive Oneness Consciousness manifests – the clash between the old paradigm of competitiveness, ego and social exclusivity is unavoidable but necessary for change. These perceived conflicts should not be cause for undue concern – as they are vital catalysts that activate our progress forward.

In my work as a university educator, I have always remained committed to teaching my courses from the standpoint of Oneness Consciousness. While not an explicit part of my lectures – my approach, conduct and application has been to highlight the many institutionalized, social barriers to unity. Over the years, I have consistently received exemplary evaluations from my students and have been honored by student nominated teaching awards. However, the way that I am regarded by my colleagues is quite a different story. Despite my effectiveness as a teacher, I find myself an out-cast not worthy of inclusion – let alone direct eye contact when passing co-workers in the hallways.

Had I only been concerned with my own personal achievements and climbing the corporate ladder of academic “success” – I would have changed my ways years ago. I would have reined myself in, toned myself down, and curled into a fetal position in the hopes of not drawing undue attention to myself as one dedicated to the unity of the planet and her inhabitants.

We all must arrive at this difficult decision eventually. Will it hurt? Yes. Will it feel uncomfortable and frightening to “walk the walk” in the face of social opposition? Most definitely. But ultimately, we are faced with the choice of either betraying our hearts by “going along to get along” or drumming up the courage to be authentic, genuine and sincere representations of our personal truths – and letting the social chips fall where they may.

In the words of Marieanne Williamson:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Posted in 2012 and Ascension, Dismanteling the Illusion, Mass Media Influence, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | Leave a comment