What Can We Do?
October 13, 2001
Terrorism doesn't stop. It brings down everything. If anthrax is in 3 envelopes, it can be in 30, or 300, or as many as it takes to infect the whole postal system. Then there are oil pipelines, and the water supply, and on and on. Things are flying faster and faster out of control. My summer in England was in an extreme juxtaposition to what is happening now. I was with cows and sheep in rolling farmland dotted with ancient sacred artifacts, marveling at visitations from an intelligence that thinks like us, my mind and heart and soul dancing with the most far reaching possibilities of what evolution was bringing us. For an inspirational waft, have a look at my report. I hope at some point that this information will help get us out of our implosion.
So what now? We live in a fear that cannot be avoided. We need to tell the truth about that no hiding, no rationalizing, no sugar coating. And yet, underneath everything, there is this river of heart and soul, and at a significant level we are closer to that than we were before. Mighty Companions, my non-profit, which has been producing transformational events and project for years, was conceived as an incubator for the kind of heartful and soulful society we could become. All I know to do now is to put our heads together, where our like-mindedness might somehow create a force that's mighty enough to shift the idea we all hold of who we are. Could a light somehow dawn now, with enough wattage to overlight humanity with a glow that outshines the collective fog in which we are dropping bombs?
I've been active in email, grappling with what is happening, and I've posted up-to-date highlights of these exchanges, along with collections of five-star pieces and pointed quotes. There is a voice that I resonate to the one that always has fueled Mighty Companions and, if you're on that wavelength, you will find the comfort of others here. The more we cross connect the more I believe we create a field of new awareness, so if you want to rethink a strategy where war is an ordinary activity, if you can envision a world where the well-being of everyone matters, if you think it's more intelligent to transform deviants than to punish them, if you want to dissolve what holds us in separation and to invoke a world of oneness, chime in.
"Suzanne, your words remind me of Rabbi's Denise Eger's
most memorable words from yesterday's interfaith service:
'Today, fear is masquerading as justice.'"
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Tom Hurley, Coordinating Director of The Chaordic Commons, writes:
Reading your What Can We Do piece, I realize how impressed I am by the many ways you've served over the years we've known each other and continue to do so, with deepening dedication.
Second, the crop circle material is great. Thanks for keeping me and others abreast of developments there.
Third, I am obviously interested in the kind of conversation you propose. Here is another, inspired by the same intention, that you and your network might find valuable: http://www.bigmindmedia.com/CONNECT.
I'm in that CONNECT conversation. It has so far been disappointing. Perhaps it is the technology that gets in the way. Like you, we all are overwhelmed, and we pick and choose our possibilities.
On this site, I'm just following my nose, trying to translate into the Web what I've been successful at at my house, where people for years have felt happy to be in such a special ambiance. I think of it as an accumulation of coherent and compelling tidbits to supplement a core involvement.
Thanks for your views on the CONNECT conversation. I know the folks who launched it, but I haven't participated, so seeing it through your eyes is helpful. None of what you say surprises me. Your observations generally are pretty appropriate to our own attempt to catalyze some online conversations earlier this year. It's fraught with pitfalls, many of which we discovered. Yet I for one continue to think that we must learn how to use this medium effectively.
I read through your Five Star pieces good stuff! One of my personal favorites in the wake of September 11 is Wendell Berry's Thoughts in the Presence of Fear.
This Berry piece kept making me think that there should be a convening to design a new world. Where are the thinkers putting their heads together? There are many advocacies for more intelligent positions, and that's not nothing the ideas need to circulate. But what then? I was left somewhat frustrated reading this, as a laundry list of such immense proportion that I could hardly breathe at the thought of how far the world is from what it proposes. Is there anything being done to gather the brilliant thinkers? You people would seem to be perfect organizers, with every system being in need, as far as I understand what you are doing, of design along chaordic lines.
You know, in the newspaper that I produced in 1989, called "ECHOES," your article "Beyond the Modern Worldview," written about the conference at which we met is on page two of the second section. There is a box on page one with this: "The way we are, we are members of each other. All of us. Everything. the difference ain't in who's a member and who's not, but who knows it and who don't." It's one of my favorite Wendell Berry quotes, and you and he have been back to back here for 12 years now.
Re your comment, "Is there anything being done to gather the brilliant thinkers? You people would seem to be perfect organizers, with every system being in need, as far as I understand what you are doing, of design along chaordic lines."
We keep circling this idea, but so far it hasn't crystallized in a way that supports moving forward with it.
Jon Ward, Author of Unsettled Dust (one of our Five Star pieces) writes:
I applaud your continuing efforts. I don't know how to answer your big question, "what can we do?"
Regarding the bombing of Afghanistan, I feel it personally, because those bombs carry my signature the one I put on my tax forms. I was sad to read that only 8% of the population is not behind the current military campaign. Perhaps it is more valuable to question the war than to oppose it to set up a resonance of questioning because that is one thing people seem frightened to do. Opposition provokes resistance and polarization, but questioning is a game everyone can play. Perhaps we can promote simple questions that are easy for people to ask themselves as they watch the news.
Does killing innocent civilians make you feel better about those who died in New York and Washington? Will bombing Afghanistan make terrorism less likely in America? Will Afghanistan after the Taliban be less hospitable to terrorism? Will enraging millions of Muslims around the world make America safer?
I just spent a rich weekend on a meditation retreat with a Zen teacher. He made an interesting observation that people are suffering less from grief, fear, anger, etc., than from the strenuous effort to make a story that makes sense of the grief, fear, anger, etc. His primary question was, "Are you sure you believe that. Are you really, really sure you believe that?"
I love the crop circle phenomenon. It has the quality of sheer beauty, bestowed as an act of grace (whoever or whatever is behind it). At the same time, I'm more inclined to empty myself of stories than add new ones. From the emptiness, I believe something new and surprising can appear. (And yes, that's a story, too!)
I wish I could be more useful. Keep up your good work.
That's a very good point about opposition not being the right response. It is so natural to our dualistic thinking, but not the stuff of oneness. Today I was on a site that has an astonishing overlap of pieces I have on my site, Common Dreams, which talks about itself as being the progressive point of view. Alternative to saying we are anti-war, I could see the whole situation now talked about as a search for the progressive position it has a tacit assumption in it that the war is not the progressive/desired position, without ever setting up an oppositional dynamic. You're asking good questions, but I'm thinking we first need a label.
The underlying truth your Zen teacher was onto is not just that things don't make sense, but that the situation continues ongoingly. We are in it, not just mopping it up, and that is totally and absolutely unsettling. Who was the teacher?
I still can't turn off the TV. I even have a hard time tuning into Rumi. How was it to do your Zen thing?
Thanks for your email, and for the excellent web site address. The name of the Zen teacher I was with is John Tarrant. He wrote a book, The Light Inside the Dark it's the reason I went on the weekend. (The web site is Pacific Zen.)
What's happened for me is that I have found myself "at home" in meditation, which never happened before. I can't really explain why. I think it's related to current events, which have a concentrating effect. Also, Tarrant's approach just resonates well with my temperament. He ended the weekend reading aloud Neruda's fabulous ode to tomatoes. To embrace the deliciousness of life seems a good first step for any progressive journey, personal or political.
Today the airbus crashed on Queens. At the same time, the bombs continue to crash on Afghanistan. To hold in our attention so much suffering, and at the same time the riotous taste of fresh tomatoes, It seems we are being pushed to expand, whether we like it or not.
Boy, this is some image: "To hold in our attention so much suffering, and at the same time the riotous taste of fresh tomatoes!" There's a satsang at my house Thursday night with a non-duality teacher named David Spero somebody else's favorite, which often is how my house gets used. It will be interesting to be in a spiritual vibe, to see if I can relate to it at this time. It seems somehow like child's play, although I don't want to disparage time-honored spirituality. It just feels like an indulgence to me to be seeking that hook-up now. I don't know quite what to make of this, and I'm interested in how this is for other people. Please God we can be in a time when it feels comfortable to do as you say: "To embrace the deliciousness of life seems a good first step for any progressive journey, personal or political." It's too awful to think of the world too stressed to have such a humanizing perspective "pushed to expand" indeed.
Jon Tarrant looks great. It would no doubt be interesting to be with him now.
I very much appreciate your communications. I'm rather in retreat at present. My focus is more long-term than immediate. What does it take to produce a useable piece of writing? Lots and lots and lots of work. I've just started. I won't stop. The shoreline of my business life is receding behind me, and the ocean out here is beginning to get choppy. I'm absurdly privileged, to be free (at least for now) to spend my days reading and writing. As a novice or sorts, I don't expect to generate anything substantial for years. But I do expect myself to work for that, every single day. There's not a lot to say about it. As for the war, and the general barbarism of our times, I know that if I became active in any conventional sense (of activism) it would consume me so fast, the writing would stop. I won't pay that price. Is that selfish? I'll keep watching your site. I read the NY Times every day from end to end. I can't watch television news it's too saturating, too fast to digest, and anyway I won't have someone sitting in my house yelling at me like that. Does the work of writing produce anything but the writer's satisfaction? (If that). I don't know. I send bits of money to Doctors Without Borders and a few other destinations, thanking God for people who plunge themselves into the so much intractable materiality.
All success with your admirable projects.
"Is that selfish?" Good question. I just know that for me I am so aware that the world is at the brink and that we have gone back to shopping, that I am still churning too much to do what in fact I think could matter a lot, which is to get crop circles promoted so that the world sees we are being contacted. But the urgency of shaking a sleeping population still feels too great to me viscerally so I think I have the keys to the kingdom in the circle situation, but still every minute I want to shake us from our misguidedness. Who will read what you write if smallpox gets loose or if nuclear weapons are launched? This current situation seems so much more urgent than any of the other problems that have confronted us that I can't shake myself from an overwhelming concern. But, who knows, maybe I throw my life away this way. Could be. In the meantime, why don't you make TheConversation.org your default setting so it comes up when you get on the Net, and you can at least follow what no media not even the New York Times are delivering the straight scoop about. That has become shockingly clear to me. The place to find what really is happening is on the Net, and to the best of my ability I'm tracking that and making the site easy to follow as new posts go up.
What are you writing?
Re: What am I writing? I'd rather skirt the question - probably a maternal imprint. At home there was such a hoo-ha when someone opened the oven door before the cake was cooked, and it sagged in the middle. Generally, I'm dissatisfied with political or spirito-political polemic. It produces a vivid foliage, but with small roots. I'd rather be less direct, and hopefully extend the work deeper. If one is awake to the circumstances, they don't have to be forced into the content - they'll be present even in a book about Morris dancing. It should be enough to intend the text to function as a filter to the life-world. I'm currently running two screenplays, a novel, a volume of poems and a book-length philosophical essay. In other words, I've monstrously over-packed for the journey the effect of decades in self-imposed exile. As for nuclear catastrophe, perhaps, for those who survive, books will provide the cheapest and sturdiest access to civilization's remnants. And perhaps we are already living a version of that post-catastrophic reality, without realizing it.
Touché, Godspeed, mazeltov...keep me informed...
Best book in a long time maybe most important ever: "Seven Words That Can Change The World." Get on the Joe Simonetta Featured Conversation on my Website. If you can do it as well as Joe does, write fast. Worth talking about this book small group to change the world conversation.
Carol King writes:
What a wonderful communication! At this time when everything seems to be falling apart, what you say is just the voice and the prayer and the vision we need.
I will certainly save your e-mail. Such a positive note to be able to introduce when conversations become too dark and people are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Copthorne Macdonald writes:
I haven't been writing specifically about September 11 and its aftermath. I see terrorism not as something to be micro-managed and "solved," but as one more aspect of humanity's overall situation a situation that we must stand back from, investigate, and deal with holistically. Like resource depletion, environmental degradation, and economic inequity, terrorism is not an isolatable problem but is yet another aspect of an overarching "problematique" (to use that helpful term from Limits to Growth). My approach to all this is outlined in my forthcoming book, Matters of Consequence: Creating a Meaningful Future. You can find an overview of the book and an explanation of its basic thesis at mattersofconsequence.com.
As you'll see from that, the approach combines an outer, intellectual, experiential search for facts with the kind of inner work that can help us make optimum sense of those facts and understand the workings of our own minds thereby preventing us from being immobilized by reactive emotions such as fear and anger, and freeing us for appropriate action when the deep understanding process reveals it to us. This book is my contribution to the current discussion, and because it is germane to the terrorism issue as well as many others, Crossing Press is trying to advance the publication date from May to April or possibly even March.
You and I have some common pulse, looking to get the whole world moving in the right direction. But can we afford not to be looking for something to change things fast? We may not have time for the gears to grind slowly.
The only thing I know that might make such an impact is the crop circle phenomenon. No intelligent person of a good persuasion (we have our terrorists, i.e. hoaxers, too) who is paying attention to what's happening has doubts that we are being visited. It's been going on for hundreds of years, and the escalation in size and complexity for the last dozen years looks like something is trying to get our attention. The end result of humanity knowing there is another intelligence that is engaging with us would be to lift us all. We would be entering a new realm, where much smallness, in which we are pitted against each other, would be left behind. I am looking for openings to bring this info in. The book sounds great I'd love to get it. Happy to see Mighty Companions in such good company in the resource link.
Thanks for your comments, and I agree completely that you and I are two of a growing group these days who are "looking to get the whole world moving in the right direction." Moreover, for years you and I have both been "looking for something to change things fast." Neither of us lacks the desire to change things fast; the question is how? Today, you are saying, "Look at the evidence of high intelligence beyond our planet, and wake up humanity." I am saying, "Look at the incredible intelligence built into the primal reality, at the trends and tendencies inherent in the cosmic process, realize that we are that process and its ground, and wake up humanity." Unfortunately, both ideas run counter to the mainstream worldview, and as such are not an easy sell to people who have not explored these matters in some depth themselves. As we know, the worldviews of most people are NOT formed by intensive personal investigation, but by what they pick up by osmosis from the mainstream media. Fortunately, books, film, web sites and specialty cable-and-satellite TV channels are ways around the mainstream media's headlock on the minds of people. I very much admire your effective use of the Internet and your movement into film, and wish you well in what you are trying to accomplish.
One thing that really does help to change people's minds quickly is the adoption of new ideas by people and institutions they respect. For writers of books, the hope lies in reviews, endorsements, and forewords by respected people and reviewing organizations. In your case, it might be research by some highly-respected scientific organization, and dissemination of the results of that research through widely-respected journals such as Science and Nature. Einstein's totally off-the-wall ideas were quickly accepted once there were a few experimental results that fitted the predictions of his theory. Your reports indicate that there is some really interesting physical evidence that would be worth investigating in a scientifically rigorous way. Is anything happening on this front?
What I like about crop circles is that it's a happening, not a process. A click of recognition would be immediate for all of humanity. I'm with you, too, but whenever I grab for the thing with the biggest punch, the circles are what comes up. The fact that we're imbedded in intelligence is what we get looking from both perspectives, and that gives us maps for this human journey. And you're a perceptive observer, Cop, who always seems to be tracking the reality I know. For getting crop circles understood, it seems to me anyone that commands attention could do it. In fact, the situation is so interesting and so obvious articles already have appeared in scientific journals that all it would take is for attention to be paid. One well known person could get that to happen.
Your book arrived and I've been poking. It's chock full. How come you know so much about everything? I was thinking that book should be required reading for high school. Do you have thoughts like that? Also, because you've written such a cogent overview you take on authority to be in an elite who's issuing a call to collect others of like mind, who would jointly be looking to bring about the great planetary wake-up. We so need more alignment, and the book looks like your ticket to make that kind of noise if you want to. What are your objectives? Does this make sense?
Regarding the wide range of things I brought together in the book, it began when, as a 30-year-old nose-to-the-grindstone engineer, I raised my head, looked around, and opened up to life and inquiry. "What is this amazing adventure of life all about?" I asked myself, and set off on a journey to find out. That journey has filled the past 35 years. At first I was just "living the questions" as Rilke put it, but later particularly after exploring meditation for a few years I began to run into some answers. At that point I began to write about personal growth and social change. I have, in a sense, been living the "deep understanding" process I recommend in Matters of Consequence: combine inner (intuitive) exploration with outer (rational) investigation.
Your comment about the book and high school is interesting. I don't know whether or not the copy I sent you included Paul H. Ray's foreword, but in it he says:
What’s really important in life? What really matters in this world? What really deserves our scarce time and attention, beyond the crush of everyday demands that are merely urgent? As a college student, I kept asking these big questions, going to whole libraries of books in search of the answers. But the scholars of the time had trouble formulating helpful answers. Now, finally, after four decades, here’s the book I was looking for as a student. It says that surprising new answers are emerging, and that they can both excite and dismay us. Coming back to those big questions just after the turn of the millennium, I am aware just how much unwisdom drives modern society, and how in risky times, good books like this give a solid basis for serious action in the world.I definitely want to get the message to young people, and have been in touch with a prof at a liberal arts college in Florida who used another of my other books in one of his courses. He is trying to transform his college into one that focuses on turning out transformation-minded students, and the possibility of a course using Matters of Consequence as a text is real. It seems like a likely place to explore interaction between young people and these ideas.
You also said, "because you've written such a cogent overview you take on authority to be in an elite who's issuing a call to collect others of like mind, who would jointly be looking to bring about the great planetary wake-up. We so need more alignment, and the book looks like your ticket to make that kind of noise if you want to. What are your objectives? Does this make sense?"
The aim of the book is, of course, to facilitate "the great planetary wake-up," and I want to do what I can to help it make as much noise as possible. My objective is to use my remaining years as effectively as possible in the service of the wake-up task. Writing has been my primary vehicle to date, and I am already working on another, closely related, book. As I understand it, as soon as the publication date for Matters of Consequence is firm, the Crossing Press publicist is going to attempt to line up a number of West Coast promotional activities in which I will participate. Unfortunately, that date is not yet clear. The original plan was for May publication, but they are now trying to move that date up. My hope is that some sort of a West Coast tour will come to pass, and that in meeting people like yourself face-to-face, and kicking ideas around, some synergies will become apparent. Perhaps writing will continue to be my focus; perhaps something else. My aim is to use my remaining time as effectively as possible in the service of societal/personal/cosmic up-leveling and, as always, I continue to look for the most effective ways of doing that.
Sometimes it's useful to get a reflection from someone not close to your scene. It looks to me like you've carved out a position not just written a book. It seems so logical for you to be the hub of what the book delivers. It's context creation at a personal interactive level, not just as a delivery for people to learn from. Willis Harman had that kind of energy. It makes such sense to me that some non-existent alignment would greatly serve, and I can see you at some heart of the matter.
Paul Ray's impressive forward was there. I hadn't remembered he'd said that. Yes! Maybe the publisher would see if it could get into schools bigtime. I have a friend who coordinates a program for the best private high school in L.A., which does talking stick and feelings exploration sort of stuff. I'm going to show it to her.
If you come here to Los Angeles, I'll gather a few people to put heads together.
Many thanks for your thoughts, Suzanne. Your program coordinator friend phoned yesterday and we had a great conversation. The education of young people in both the realities of our time and the transformational perspective is so important. I hope we can think of a practical and productive way to get things going in that area.
I will pass your thoughts about getting the book "into schools bigtime" along to the publisher. Regarding your feeling about position, not just book, you may be right and within the next year the universe will no doubt have something to say about that.
Thanks for your offer to put heads together; I'll keep you posted.
I have some thought to give a few of us a focus to chew on together. Have a look at the Joe Simonetta conversation. He's saying something revolutionary. I'll have the publisher send you his slim book, Seven Words That Can Change the World. See if you think this could offer some glue for cohering a wisdom council of sorts that could go on to consider the work of the other originals, like yourself, who would comprise this little huddle. Blessings on the Net for making such a thing possible.
In your exchange with Joe you said:
"I am poking around with the idea of a wisdom council, and all the folks in conversation on my Website are people I'd put on it. Am thinking it could start with you all reading each other...??? At some point, I may just invite a pow wow at my house!"
I think this is a wonderful idea the getting together preceded by the reading of each other's work beforehand. Being intimately acquainted with each other's approaches and ideas before the get-together should make for a really productive/creative exchange. I will be checking with my publisher later this week to see how close they are to having bound galleys available.
There is a relevant section in the last chapter of Matters of Consequence entitled "Engaging in Social Invention." I have put it on the book's web site. As you will see when you read it, I feel that your idea is exactly on the mark.
We are always on the same page. Great if your book could get supplied to my short list like I'm doing with Joe's book, which will be sent to you.
Allan Savory, another person in one of my featured conversations, is a really interesting and original person who came to mind when I read about Doug Hall’s Eureka! Ranch. He, too, seems to be on to something very profound, that he calls Holistic Management you'll get the sense of it by the appreciations people have written, and then you can track back to what he does. Testimonials link from http://www.holisticmanagement.org/moc_clients.cfm?.
Thanks for filling me in on all the latest. I took a quick look at both the conversation with Joe and your main Conversation page. By all means, keep saying what needs to be said!!! I will be commenting when things lighten up here. In the meantime, I thought I should probably send a copy of the Matters of Consequence manuscript to Joe. Could you pass along his mailing address and perhaps his email address so I can alert him that it is coming?
Joe's book arrived a few days ago, and I read it with great interest. I look forward to delving deeper into the online materials and coming up with something of value to contribute to the discussion. Yes, Advancing the action...
Thanks for jumping in. I think your two works dovetail very nicely together what's it all about and what to do about it!
[Click here for conversation between Copthorne, Joe Simonetta and others...]
Robert White writes:
Thank you for including me.
When you say "We live in a fear that cannot be avoided. We need to tell the truth about that no hiding, no rationalizing, no sugar coating. And yet, underneath everything, there is this river of heart and soul, and at a significant level we are closer to that than we were before" even in the somewhat sterile environment of sitting in front of a computer screen, I feel myself vibrating and my energy expanding. You write so well and so clearly from the heart.
I saw your name when Joe Simonetta made mention of allies. I am excited about his book, Seven Words that Can Change the World. It is revolutionary at a time when we could use some radical new thoughts to get us out of our divisive and dangerous implosion. I'm floating the book amongst a few people. (Thinking they could float their books back.) Maybe you'd like to read what's been posted on my 9/11 site of what's gone back and forth between Joe and me, and get some 2 cents of yours in to start plugging into an anticipated interchange. I've got a conversation going with Joe and so far have two others (Allan Savory and Copthorne MacDonald) getting Joe's book. (Also have the book going to my buddies, Brian Swimme and Russell Targ.) For more of what I think about the book, you can read the review I wrote for Amazon.com.
Hope this gets you excited!
Suzanne writes to Geov Parrish, our featured columnist:
Thank God your piece, Independently Verified Pain, is moving fast on the Net. It may be a record breaker for how quickly it's getting to everyone. Brilliant! God, how can this refugee thing be happening? Can't we see that this brings the world down on us, not to mention how unspeakable it is for us as human beings to let this go on? We are all New Yorkers; we are all Afghanis. How can Bush be so dumb? The newly born statesman is a naked emperor. How can everyone be so dumb? And what can those who burn with higher lights do? God, Geov, the only thing I know is to come together. Somehow in one place we can become something that separately we aren't. Can we invite only people who are on fire to meet in cyberspace? We get some star power there Nobel Laureates, movie stars, whatever and maybe we can create a force to get us to change course.
I'm working on a "what we can do" column for workingforchange.com. [What Can We Do? It may take civilian-delivered food to prevent millions of deaths in Afghanistan.] I wish the solution was as easy as identifying the problem, but nonetheless, I may have a strong solution.
Suzanne replies to Geov:
I saw your piece. You are such a powerful communicator. You are a voice for the soul of humanity.
You asked in your column for ideas. Here are mine.
Alignment has a power get the greatest voices in a chorus. Each person speaking alone creates a slow build-up of pressure, but a coordinated voice is something else. That's the reason the Margaret Mead quote is everywhere there's something right about the idea of the power of that small band of thoughtful, committed citizens. I'd get Bill Moyers to link up with you in my first move. Then maybe Barbara Kingsolver. You get the idea. workingforchange.com and commondreams.org and zmag.org and tompaine.com and alternet.org, etc., could be the joint organizing auspice. What I'd suggest doing would be to jointly write a speech for George Bush. Modeling has a power. I was fooling around trying to float such an idea, and this is the rough draft I started with. I'm sure you could make it better.
[Click here for the draft of the speech and for some of Suzanne's other outside-the-box ideas...]
Suzanne writes to Geov:
Is this any news to you?
Smoking Gun in Enrongate Let the impeachment begin?
Yeah, it's been out for about a week. The sad thing is, nobody might care because it's not technically "illegal" it just stinks to high heaven. Which pretty much sums up the whole fiasco of the Bush folks' relationship to Enron; looking for legal hooks misses the point, that the criminals already wrote the laws so that their conduct wouldn't qualify as crime. Even though, under any normal person's sense of right and wrong, it clearly qualifies.
It smells to me like it's Watergate, not Whitewater we shall see.
Suzanne writes to David Loy, author of A New Holy War Against Evil, one of our Five Star pieces:
Blessings for your insightful piece, A New Holy War Against Evil. I am sending What Can We Do? to like-minded people who would appreciate your point of view, attempting to rally them so they can speak to one another.
Many thanks for your encouraging words, and keep up the good work. Some other Buddhist responses are now online at: http://www.bpf.org/loy-war.html.
You might also be interested in this article with photo! from the Japan Times, "Online: Buddhist Perspective on the New Holy War."
May our efforts contribute to ending this cycle of hatred and violence...
So happy to have you getting back to me. I think you perhaps wrote the most important piece to come out of all this a bottom line teaching that we all could learn. It's a coming home to who we are as the beings we were designed to be. It is such a pleasure to take in your intelligence virtually every statement is quotable.
"According to Buddhism, every effect has its web of causes and conditions. This is the law of karma. The solution to suffering involves transforming it into generosity, ill will into loving kindness, and delusions into wisdom." Would that the audience that booed Richard Gere could have understood that.
You have clearly articulated the path to the best outcome: "...if we begin to understand the intertwined roots of this evil, including our own responsibility, perhaps something good may yet come out of this catastrophe."
The basic paradigm that needs switching: "The Abrahamic religions emphasize the struggle between good and evil because for them the basic issue depends on our will: which side are we on? In contrast, Buddhism emphasizes ignorance and enlightenment because the basic issue depends on our self-knowledge: do we really understand what motivates us?"
I kept thinking you should be on a wisdom council only clear thinkers. What you write may have a Buddhist flavor, but there is a universal wisdom in what you say of course, that's why Buddhism took hold. I have a deep seated belief in the power of a small group of aligned people as expressed in Margaret Mead's famous quote and the need for such a thing in our world. Perhaps you knew my great ally, Lex Hixon, author of "Mother of the Buddhas: Meditation on the Prajnaparamita Sutra." He and I looked to convening such a thing, before his death in 1995. (He was a lineage holder in five different religions, so he was a whole council before we added anyone.) Does this ever occur to you? I am thinking about picking our a few potential participants and seeing if I could spark something.
I am honored to be in communication with you.
Thank you for writing back. I am intrigued by this idea, although I don't know what concrete form it might take especially since I am in Japan! [David is a professor of philosophy and religion at a Japanese University].
For more reflections I've written on the problem of good and evil, you can read: On the Nonduality of Good and Evil.
Thanks for your clear thinking. Would that we could understand the enlightened self interest in seeing "not a new holy war against evil, but a less dramatic struggle to transform greed into generosity, ill will into love, and ignorance into wisdom." Knee jerk retaliation is the only thing that makes sense in the simplistic dualistic way of seeing the world, but of course that just keeps what's bad in play. What a leap to go from getting our satisfaction from punishing aggressors into getting it from transforming them what a better world it would be if criminals learned to be lovers. This is so obvious at a certain level of consciousness and so inconceivable at another, and the yearning is to open those closed minds to a more intelligent way to see.
The reason I tout crop circles is that coming from a realm other than this one they stand a chance to get our sights off each other and on to what's transcendent. I wouldn't mind a helping hand from the great beyond at this point. Not any deus ex machina, but all we need do is grok the footprints of this other-worldliness to know we aren't alone a discovery we would make rather than any hand-out we'd get. I think of myself as a lucky person who happened to pay attention to this greatest miracle of recorded history, and unlucky in the frustration of not being able to communicate about it to make myself understood.
In the meantime, keep those timeless truths coming. At some point the tide has to turn...
Thank you...and I'm curious about your reference to crop circles, long since dismissed in the 'serious press.' Are there any good references online?
My astonishment at the awesomeness of this phenomenon is matched by my astonishment about how they are treated in the media. If you get on my site, my crop circle page has a lot of what you'd want to understand about what's gong on, including information about the disinformation campaign that seems very intentional on the part of some powers that be. For what was going on this summer, when there were dramatic developments, you can visit my 2001 Report. The Crop Circle Connector is the best all round site. There are good narratives about the history of the phenomenon at the Crop Circular site and at http://home.clara.net/lovely/history.html.
By the way, there is a very enthusiastic Japanese guy who brings people to England each year and does manage to get some responsible coverage not much , but some at least on Japanese TV. We here in the States have never had anything in the way of an accurate presentation. As you'll see on my site, I'm helping produce what I hope will be the first major documentary it's for theatrical release. Also, Disney has a fiction film by Shamalyan (who did "Sixth Sense"), starring Mel Gibson, that also will come out next year, so that hopefully people will at least know that something is going on. If all goes well, then they can see our documentary for the real story.
Have something to add? Chime in via email or post comments on our feedback page.
More posts will be added as the conversation continues...
For more Featured Conversations, click here...
Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts...they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun, but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric...
-Edna St. Vincent Millay-
Mighty Companions | TheConversation.org | Suzanne Taylor
WebRadio Show | Human Being Society | Lex Hixon | Crop Circles
Contact Us | Site Map