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.

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

There’s an Elephant in the Room

There’s an elephant in the room. This phrase denotes  the existence of a powerful and critically important fact that is being deliberately avoided or denied. When there’s an “elephant in the room”, people remain silent about an obvious presence that threatens the equilibrium of our lives.

Silence is affirmation. This phrase denotes complicit agreement in the absence of conscientious and explicit objection. In other words, if we actively advocate that justice be served, we are, by implication of our silence – complicit in injustice.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. This phrase denotes our tendency to replicate potentially harmful or destructive patterns by overlooking the warning signs due to our ignorance or willful denial of past events.

The dynamics suggested by these three phrases are now converging and require our urgent and immediate action as Americans and members of the human race.

Although the number is ever increasing, the most current and reprehensible “elephant in the room” is thousands of children – many of whom are infants and toddlers –  who have been systematically stripped from their parent’s arms and incarcerated in containment camps under the personal directive of our President, Donald Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy. Under the auspices of “border security”, families have been deliberately (and likely permanently) torn apart. On American soil, babies, toddlers and older children have been irreparably traumatized  – an act that would be considered criminal child abuse under any conditions.

Affirmative silence is very often the bi-product of our failure to learn from factual history. However, we cannot learn what we have not been taught. As a university professor over the last 24 years, I have been shocked by the degree of ignorance current college students display about critical events in our past. From the genocidal “founding” of this country, to the Holocaust to Jim Crowism, many students have little, to no, knowledge about the actual events that took place – and more importantly – the socio-political dynamics that led up to these gross crimes against humanity.

It’s no secret that the “sensitive” topics addressed in history and social studies texts in the United States woefully misrepresent, or exclude, the cruel and brutal facts of accountability – ultimately “white-washing” the blood stains from the hands of those historical figures who were primarily responsible for the egregious, inhumane treatment of others. This biased narrative creates a skewed and inaccurate understanding in the mindsets of the population and prevents our ability to recognize the signs that history may, indeed, be repeating itself.

For example, as the nightly news reports unfold, we are shown orchestrated, “government approved” film footage of the child containment facilities in Texas – with older male children playing ball, watching movies and engaging in other recreational activities – while news media are strictly denied access – along with the ability to report on or record independent footage of what may actually exist.

In 1943, the world was concerned about the containment camps established under Hitler’s rule. In an effort to appease and abate further negative scrutiny, “The Film on Theresienstadt” was produced and widely broadcast by the Nazi regime. Theresienstadt was a containment camp – with deplorable, inhumane conditions. However, when the Red Cross was “invited” to tour the facility and share its findings with the world, the camp was deliberately (and temporarily) “beautified” and filmed to depict a serene, comfortable – and even enjoyable – environment.

Other parallels to history are mounting in number. Nazi propaganda, in generating disdain for Jews, referred to them as “lice”. Our President, Donald Trump has now gone on record referring to South and Central American immigrants and refugees as “infestations”. Is it not obvious that both of these terms share the common connotation of vermin in need of removal, if not extermination?

In 1939, my grandparents fled to the United States, with my 6 year old father in tow, because they saw the “handwriting on the wall”. They saw the warning signs of impending devastation and implored their family members to join them. They were mocked and accused of being paranoid and reactionary. In the months after their arrival in the U.S., each family member that had remained was exterminated in Auschwitz.

While I’m not suggesting that our President, Donald Trump, intends to commit mass genocide – I am stating, very explicitly, that there is an Elephant in the Room that is ominously familiar. If we are to learn from history in order to avoid it’s replication, the time has come to break our collective silence.

There’s a fine line between the “handwriting on the wall” and the “point of no return” – as evidenced by history. If we value our nation’s pledge to democracy and human decency – any voice that is not immediately, actively and urgently raised in opposition to the human atrocities underway at our border – will stand in silent affirmation of this misconduct.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” If we fail to act upon the  most cruel, sadistic display of human indecency in modern, American history – then we may as well remove the inscription from the Statue of Liberty and concede to the autocratic, racist regime that is quickly becoming, or perhaps has always been, the hallmark of American ideology. At the very least, it would put to rest the hypocrisy and disconnect between what America claims to stand for – and what it refuses to stand against.

Posted in Dismanteling the Illusion, Mass Media Influence, Personal Responsibility, Political Unrest, Prejudice and Discrimination, Social Conflict in the U.S., Social Justice, Uncategorized, Unity Consciousness | 2 Comments

Written Words from a Speechless Heart

I’ve been described as a writer – a prolific writer. I’ve been told that I have a way with words and a talent for teaching others – the ability to translate complex concepts into accessible and understandable terms – in other words, through the use of words.

But these days, words have escaped me. My heart is full, but I can’t seem to find the words to adequately express the realizations, longings and clarity my heart embodies.

I’ve devoted my lifetime to teaching, living and breathing social justice. The recipe for social harmony and world peace is so simple, elemental and organic – yet remains elusive to the vast majority who by choice, or default, opt for hatred, complacency, willful ignorance, or hopeless apathy.

After decades of bashing my head into this brick wall of human psychology – and I would argue – human pathology – where does one possibly go from here? What steps can be taken that haven’t already been taken? What approach will lead to the key that finally unlocks the door to vision and clarity?

As a social psychologist, I’m able to identify the cognitive aspects that underlie the process of how we perceive and interpret information. I’m familiar with all the theories and applications. But at the end of the day, how does this knowledge translate into meaningful impact and human volition?

I am neither hopeless nor apathetic. I still care – perhaps too deeply. But I am also frustrated, discouraged and mystified by the masses who seemingly prefer a world of conflict, hatred and strife to one that embodies compassion, empathy and mutual love and respect.

Free will is a funny thing. A blessed gift bestowed upon humanity. This tool of personal choice is a double-edged sword. It can be used to better the world – or to destroy it. Are we really so short sighted, so self-absorbed and fearful that we disallow the whisper of kindness from entering our lives?

Some have spoken of the “Zombie Apocalypse” when the dead will rise and walk among us. Science fiction? Perhaps. But from my vantage point, it seems this Apocalyptic scenario is already underway. Not in terms of physical corpses roaming the streets – but in terms of the psychological and spiritual decay that constitutes society as a whole.

While running mundane errands, I watch people as they shop, drive and eat in restaurants – going about their daily lives on “auto pilot”. I watch students on campus, heads down, bumping into one another in the hallways of universities – transfixed on their devices – with little, to no, interpersonal communication. Zombies? Indeed.

As I attempt to engage others in dialog about the current state of affairs in the U.S. and around the world, I sense the reflexive recoil in others, as if to say, “oh no…better not get into that discussion”. It seems as though social withdrawal and avoidance have taken the place of social interface and the substantive exchange of opinions.

Yes, there are protests, and heated debates of political, religious and corporate pundits. There is no shortage of supply of talking heads on mass and social media outlets – each espousing the integrity of their chosen perspectives. But at the end of the day, life goes on as usual. After all, these “passionate” broadcasts are still regressed back to the average, materialistic lifestyle of McDonald’s and car commercials – so problems can’t be “that” serious…can they?

The name of my blog is The Power of Social Consciousness. I chose this title to convey the idea that changing our minds can change the world. Sadly, it seems, the opposite is also true. A failure to change our minds results in the failure to change the world, as well. As Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again – and expecting different results”. Do we really have the right to complain when we perpetuate destruction by fueling the fire of divisiveness?

The morale of this story is that the way we perceive the world has a tremendous impact on the trajectory of the human and environmental condition. Our individual and collective lives are vehicles that turn in accordance with our free will.

And so, speaking of will….when will you assume your rightful place in the driver’s seat on this journey? Where will you turn? How will you set the course of our collective destiny? In essence, what will your personal contribution be? And perhaps, most importantly, will these words make the least bit of difference?

 

Posted in Mass Media Influence, Personal Responsibility, Political Unrest, Prejudice and Discrimination, Social Conflict in the U.S., Social Justice, Uncategorized | 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?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

 

Posted in Peace on Earth, Unity Consciousness | Leave a comment

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