Tag Archives: a new earth

Martin Luther King Day

 

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Martin Luther King has given me a day of rest from my busy job today – a chance for quiet reflection instead of busy productivity.  Though this neglects to say what his greater legacy to us all has been, it does at least allow us a moment to consider it.

Martin Luther King’s voice spoke out at a time when his message was unwelcome to many.  This fact alone serves as an example of courage still very much needed today:  Courage to speak what needs to be spoken no matter what others may think, no matter what the personal price may be for having spoken out.

Each of us may never know what the effects of our own lives may be on society as a whole. The smallest word or action that we might make could possibly have the most effect. How our lives affect others and affect the whole always remains a mystery to be unraveled only in hindsight or perhaps not at all.

Thank you Martin Luther King for my day of rest today, and this moment’s reflection on the value of one life.  Nelson Mandela’s life stands out now too, through the fact of so recently having come to an end, and can be seen in such a similar light.  These men’s examples of what one life can do, can inspire us to use every moment of the life that we have been given as fully as we possibly can.  My life may not stand out to others as theirs do, but in another way it is no less significant in terms of the possibilities that it offers each one of us to serve as an example, an inspiration to the lives that intersect our own.

Knowing this to be true for each one of us sheds light on the power that we all hold and so often ignore.

Thank you Martin Luther King

For showing us what is possible,

For each one of us

Every day,

For each moment

We are here,

Full of life

And ready to take up

Our part in the great dance

Whatever it may be.

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Building a New Earth and Connecting with Others

eckhart_tolle.jpgThere is getting to be more and more support available recently for finding one’s place in the building of a new earth. Initially the process is internal, but there seems to come a time in each individual process where we may begin to look for what our outer contribution might be. Each individual’s inner transformation brings a way of living that naturally leads the individual into a flow we act in resonance with life as a whole and we follow that flow kind of like just letting ourselves be taken by the current of a river.

On the planetary scale, what is being seen is that the dilemmas presented by our world situation and by modern living in general are a part of a transition. We are transitioning from the old ego-driven way of living into the next evolutionary step for humanity. We are moving forward into whole new ways of being and interacting in order to survive the critical issues of the day and leave a more promising world for our children and grandchildren.

One organizing focus point that is forming is called the Shift Network. This new network seems to be growing out of the Institute of Noetic Sciences amongst other organizations and numerous public figures. They are starting to offer online courses that are aimed at “bringing us into alignment with an intention to accelerate a shift to a peaceful, sustainable, healthy and prosperous world”. Click the link below to find out more about them. At this time the offer an online course, which I will talk about in a minute, but also they offer an affiliate program for those who wish to help them spread the word about their work.

The current course they are offering is a summation of the life work of Barbara Marx Hubbard. It is called The Sacred Way of Conscious Evolution: Evolutionary Spirituality For Our Times and it is an eight week long online course beginning on April 28th.

Here is the link for The Sacred Way of Conscious Evolution Course.

Eckhart Tolle has also launched a new initiative called Eckhart Tolle TV where you pay a monthly fee for access to ongoing video support from him for building a new earth. It looks great! I haven’t joined myself but I can wholeheartedly recommend most anything Eckhart might do. 🙂 Check it out below.

Eckhart Tolle TV: Creating a New Earth Together

There is also a lot of free video on Eckhart’s site. I thought this was an especially good one (below). He’s answering someone’s question about what it means to be of service to life, and he’s telling his own story about how The Power of Now got written, which I never tire of.

Eckhart Tolle Video

Eckhart’s popularity in the 90s started something that seems to be getting rolling now with many people coming together and forming support networks, including the Wide Awake Living network. I would like to encourage everyone to find what resonates most fully with you, and put no expectations on it, that this flow be something different than what you are already doing. Just give appropriate focus and awareness to this inner movement of awakening that can be called The Shift or called so many other things depending on the background of the speaker, and then go where life takes you.

It can take you right back into your previous life functions, or it can take you off in entirely new directions. There is no way to know. The trick is not trying to know. Just let the river move you. Then start to connect with others online or in your own local communities who are working in their own ways. There are as many ways to be a part of this evolutionary movement as there are people.

Blessings,

Alice

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An Evolutionary Movement at Hand

An excerpt from Alice’s upcoming book:fog.jpg

“Although there is a lot of argument about the word evolution regarding the origin of the humanity (evolution versus the other creation stories) we will stand aside from the fray here and look at the subject a bit differently.

“If we consider human evolution in terms other than purely biological (such as in terms of our ability to learn new behaviors in order to survive) it is easy to see the movement of it all around us in our individual experiences. We are developing new thought processes, behaviors, skills and capacities as we go through whatever our lives bring us, both individually and collectively. This is the kind of human evolution that plays an integral part in our daily lives, only it shows up in such small increments that we rarely bring it into focus.

“We are taught in school about ‘natural selection’ and ’survival of the fittest’ in regards to evolution, but giving some focus to the ‘adaptation’ involved is a broader and less biological way to explore the relevance of evolution to our everyday lives. Adaptation is the capability we and other organisms have to adjust ourselves to new conditions when they appear in our environment (in order to be naturally selected or to survive). It is the ability to alter our way of life, our habits and our behaviors when it is necessary to do so for survival or for other things that matter to us. It is about our ability to meet each moment freely and creatively and to let go of old habits of thought or behavior.

“This world situation that we are facing is inviting us to let go of old fear-based thinking habits that have in the past formed our ways of thinking about the world and its problems. Our old ways of thinking have brought us to this point – a point beyond which they are no longer able to help us survive and thrive. Through seeing ourselves and the world from a perspective outside of our old filters and frames, our perceptions are altered and we naturally are freed from old outworn thinking and behaviors that no longer serve us. We are then able to adapt ourselves to the new environment presented by the times we live in, and become creative in our relationship with it.”

© 2010 Alice Gardner from her upcoming book “Making Sense of Tumultuous Times” (working title).

First book: “Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice” available on Amazon, as a kindle book, other ebook, or at your local bookstore by request.



Stay with Oprah

I just wanted to let folks know that although Oprah and Eckhart are finishing up with their ten week webcast next Monday, there is still time to download all ten of the videos, either as ipod video format, larger video format or just audio. Whatever works for you. They are really lovely and 100% free. You can get them all if you go to the itunes store, and click on podcasts. It is on the most popular list. Or you can go to oprah.com and get them, but you have to join her book club to get them there.

The other thing I want to say about what Oprah is doing is that she is having something on her same online classroom that is called the “Soul Series” and they will continue on Monday nights. The night after Eckhart finishes, so that would be May 19th, she is having Jill Bolte Taylor on there. She is the brain-scientist who made that wonderful video about right and left brain about her stroke. I gave you the link to it a few weeks ago. After Jill, she will have a series of awakened teachers of various sorts–I’m not sure who, but I bet it will be worth watching for sure.

Report from the Road: Vermont Still Waiting for Spring

I thought that I would be able to write more often on this trip but it has been an extremely full time. The Chicago experience was amazing. I arrived a day earlier than I needed to, to attend the Oprah Winfrey show about A New Earth, and what happened in that day (besides resting up) was the filming of two hours of conversation with Richard Miller who has already made 24 of these conversations with others for Chicago Public Television. Richard is creating a wonderful archive of conversations with spiritual teacher types of people and they are available to all if you go to video.google.com and search “Never Not Here”. It is a wonderful resource for all and I will put a link to it on my website when I get home.

The Oprah Show the next morning was an amazing experience, but they didn’t ask me to say anything at all. The entire audience consisted of people who were related to the A New Earth webcast in some way. Many of them were people who had written in asking questions. The show itself was 100% on A New Earth, and was already pre-orchestrated with 8 chosen participants Skyping in who had experienced major shifts recently from reading A New Earth. One was a soldier in Baghdad who was currently experiencing incoming rockets and having to periodically hide underground to protect himself from the enemy fire. His mother was in the live audience. So was Elizabeth Lesser and a woman who was a Catholic lay minister. Each person of the 8 Skypers had a particular story about a recent shift and they all fit together beautifully. My favorite was a woman in Ontario who was in late stages of cancer. She was so inspiring the way she talked about how she had been so negative and angry and now she was living in the awareness of how precious and beautiful every remaining moment of her life was. The show will air on Wednesday April 9th in the regular Oprah Winfrey show time-slot in your area.

As soon as the cameras would shut off, Oprah was so personable and talked to us all as if over a cup of tea in her kitchen. She told us a couple of remarkable things in those commercial breaks and afterwards. She traced the whole trajectory of her career with us and ended up making the point that ALL of it seemed to her to be directly leading to and making possible this work that she is doing with Eckhart Tolle. She says it is the most important thing she has done in her life. She also said that she intends to hold off naming any more books to her book club for at least a year in order to keep the focus on A New Earth and see what the year brings. Isn’t she something? I’ve really got to hand it to Oprah. What an amazing woman. What an opportunity she is giving the world.

Now, a few days later, I am writing from Vermont. I am staying with a dear friend in Guilford Vermont and there is still 3 feet of snow on the ground at her house! Vermonters are still waiting for spring, and looking forward to it very much after one of the longest and snowiest winters in a very long time. There are still 20 foot piles of snow here and there on the north sides of big barns and places where the sun doesn’t often reach.

I have already done two evening book events/groups and both have gone wonderfully with about 25 to 30 people attending. The event in Amherst Mass takes the record for length, having started at 7:00 and the last people not leaving till almost midnight. There was also a radio interview on the local station WKVT with local DJ Steve West who did a wonderful job interviewing me about the book, and has given me the recording on a disc, so I will be able to post it on the website at some point in the near future. There is one more event this afternoon in Westminster West (Vermont, north of Brattleboro) and then a lot of visiting around with old friends. This is the area where I have lived for most of my adult life and raised my family. I lived around here right up until moving to California in 2004. On Monday night I will visit the woman who created the beautiful cover that you see on Life Beyond Belief, and on Tuesday I return to see more of my parents who live in a wonderful Senior Community in Exeter New Hampshire called RiverWoods. Because of the Chicago adventure, I arrived to see them at the beginning of this trip just in time to borrow their car and leave again. So Tuesday through Saturday will be the time to be a better guest than that, and to enjoy and be with them until my return to California on the 12th.

Synchronicity and Being an April Fool

Early tomorrow morning I will be catching a flight east that I bought several months ago. My job at Stanford came to a finish last week, and I planned to visit family and friends in New England. It just so happened that there was a plane change in Chicago in the middle of the trip. Just a few days ago I received a big surprise! I was invited to come be in the audience for an Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago that will be focused on A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

I know almost nothing more than this still, but the synchronicity of the invitation to come to the show at the same time when I just happened to be in Chicago anyway made it hard to say no. So I will be stopping in Chicago on my way east and will let you all know what that is like on this blog when I have the chance. I had been talking by email to Joan Tollifson, who has lived in Chicago for years and is planning to move to Oregon, and so asked her what hotel to stay at in town. Well, that night she just happened to have dinner with someone who is one of the subscribers to the Wide Awake Living newsletter and who evidently has a very nice guest room where I have now been invited to stay during my time in town. Oh my goodness. It sure looks like life wants me to go to Chicago! I am not someone who ordinarily would ever see the inside of a TV studio. It’s funny how when you let go of the reins of your life, you really had better mean it, because you might just end up doing things that you never would have done otherwise. This has a similar feel to it as the experience I had of being “moved” from Vermont to California. The context it falls in is one of having numerous job applications and interviews for my next position at Stanford, and nothing coming of it so far. Interesting. Mind wants to know what’s going on, but it just doesn’t know. I’m just doing the next obvious thing all the time and seeing where it goes. Maybe if life doesn’t give me a job, its an opportunity to put a lot of focus on writing the next book. But what’s up with this Chicago thing? I know better than to try to guess.

Spring

 

Eckhart Tolle & Oprah: Changing the Focus of our Life to the Present Moment

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On the second web-cast of Oprah Winfrey’s phenomenally large online class with Eckhart Tolle, the stand-out for me was when Eckhart talked about making the present moment the focal point of our lives. Eckhart has a wonderful way of saying inspiring things using such plain language that we can all get it, no matter what our spiritual or religious background might be. We can see into the meaning of his simple words, and connect with the reality that they are pointing to.

We heard in his earlier book “The Power of Now” about the importance of the present moment—about how the past and the future are not real in the same way that this present moment is real—past and future are just ideas that are programmed into our minds. This must have resonated with many of us, because the Power of Now has been on the best seller lists for so long. Now Eckhart has written A New Earth and it has already sold 3.5 million copies, even before Oprah started this class. We must have an abiding interest in this message! And we want to know—after exploring our interest and enjoying these wonderful books, is there a way that we can actually experience this reality that Eckhart is talking about in the midst of the commotion of our busy daily lives?

What would it really mean to change the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and to stay living in the world? If we are willing to really have that happen for us, what would it mean for our lives? The content in each of our lives is different obviously, so the exact details of what would change would be as unique as we each are as people. On the other hand, there are universal patterns about this inner shift that Eckhart is referring to. One of these is expressed so succinctly by the description he uses of having a space develop between our sense of self and our thought processes. This space occurs and expands as we disidentify with our thought processes, and relate to them instead as a wonderful tool that we (an identity outside of them) use. In our lives up to this point, we have been fused with these thoughts that go through our minds, as if our ideas about ourselves are actually equivalent to who we are. When we stay in the present moment and notice that our thoughts are arising and are something quite separate from who we are, then a space is appearing. At first it may seem vague and fleeting, but over time if we keep giving this our attention, the space seems to widen and become permanent and “normal”. We notice our thoughts as if from a slight distance, as only being thoughts and not having anything to do with who we are. We no longer look to our thinking processes to provide us with crucial information about who we are, and so are freed in a wonderful way from reliance on our thoughts, feelings or circumstances conforming to our preferences. They no longer affect us in the same way.

This lack of reference to thinking for clues about our identity, doesn’t leave much possibility for using the past and future as focal points for our daily living. Past and future turn out to not exist outside of our thought processes. We can watch our thoughts creating both. Meanwhile it is all happening in a present moment that seems to be pregnant with possibility and vitality. When we stay with it enough to recognize the incredible beauty of the life force expressing itself around us in a myriad of forms, it can feel quite overwhelmingly and radiantly beautiful, no matter what the content of it is.

If what we are going to do today or how we are going to behave in a particular situation has been a compulsive recreating of the past (making today be much like yesterday and projecting that into tomorrow) we become freed from that. Although such freedom from the past is generally felt to be wonderful, what is sacrificed to get there is the knowing of what will be happening in the future. To the mind, this tends to be a profoundly unacceptable situation because of its need to control life, and mind may be making noisy complaints about that. The noise, however, is occurring on the sidelines of awareness once we are experiencing the space that we have been referring to. It is just mind doing what minds do, making noise and being a tool that is trying unsuccessfully to retain control over its rightful master, you. It no longer is needed for that particular job. You already know who you are.

As we allow the present moment to be the focal point of our lives, we are freed from the domination by our thoughts that has been the normal human condition for thousands of years. We are freed to live our lives without compulsive referencing to ideas about what is possible and the world opens up to us. We use the mind to reference practical things—we don’t want to forget our phone number or forget how to cook dinner. Mind is the most amazing and practical tool when it comes into its rightful place of serving something beyond itself. And when it is not needed, it can rest. What is here in this focal point of the present moment then, is the simple yet vitally alive world that surrounds and includes us. We feel the wind in our hair again. We see the incredible vitality in the world around us—we see God (or call it Life, or Love) peeking at us out of everything. We experience the joy that every birdcall has all along been offering us. The veil of thinking has been lifted off of the world, and life as it is, including our own, can now be experienced.

Experiencing the world in this way is such an overwhelmingly wonderful experience that once it is felt, it forever remains as a motivation for the sometimes time-consuming process of learning to live it in the midst of everyday life. At first it may be that even little disturbances like a harsh word or a traffic jam with jump-start mind into such compelling noise that the experiencing of the present moment may not be possible until that event is long passed. But gradually over time, with steady attention to who we really are, we are able to stay conscious in the little things and only more charged and potent events can throw us. Gradually we come to live our whole lives in this new world. We have changed the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and our world reflects back to us the incredible gift of the Life that we have been given and that we are.

© 2008 Alice Gardner
Author of Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice”

 

Eckhart Tolle & Oprah: Changing the Focus of our Life to the Present Moment

poppy.jpg

On the second web-cast of Oprah Winfrey’s phenomenally large online class with Eckhart Tolle, the stand-out for me was when Eckhart talked about making the present moment the focal point of our lives. Eckhart has a wonderful way of saying inspiring things using such plain language that we can all get it, no matter what our spiritual or religious background might be. We can see into the meaning of his simple words, and connect with the reality that they are pointing to.

We heard in his earlier book “The Power of Now” about the importance of the present moment—about how the past and the future are not real in the same way that this present moment is realpast and future are just ideas that are programmed into our minds. This must have resonated with many of us, because the Power of Now has been on the best seller lists for so long. Now Eckhart has written A New Earth and it has already sold 3.5 million copies, even before Oprah started this class. We must have an abiding interest in this message! And we want to knowafter exploring our interest and enjoying these wonderful books, is there a way that we can actually experience this reality that Eckhart is talking about in the midst of the commotion of our busy daily lives?

What would it really mean to change the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and to stay living in the world? If we are willing to really have that happen for us, what would it mean for our lives? The content in each of our lives is different obviously, so the exact details of what would change would be as unique as we each are as people. On the other hand, there are universal patterns about this inner shift that Eckhart is referring to. One of these is expressed so succinctly by the description he uses of having a space develop between our sense of self and our thought processes. This space occurs and expands as we disidentify with our thought processes, and relate to them instead as a wonderful tool that we (an identity outside of them) use. In our lives up to this point, we have been fused with these thoughts that go through our minds, as if our ideas about ourselves are actually equivalent to who we are. When we stay in the present moment and notice that our thoughts are arising and are something quite separate from who we are, then a space is appearing. At first it may seem vague and fleeting, but over time if we keep giving this our attention, the space seems to widen and become permanent and “normal”. We notice our thoughts as if from a slight distance, as only being thoughts and not having anything to do with who we are. We no longer look to our thinking processes to provide us with crucial information about who we are, and so are freed in a wonderful way from reliance on our thoughts, feelings or circumstances conforming to our preferences. They no longer affect us in the same way.

This lack of reference to thinking for clues about our identity, doesn’t leave much possibility for using the past and future as focal points for our daily living. Past and future turn out to not exist outside of our thought processes. We can watch our thoughts creating both. Meanwhile it is all happening in a present moment that seems to be pregnant with possibility and vitality. When we stay with it enough to recognize the incredible beauty of the life force expressing itself around us in a myriad of forms, it can feel quite overwhelmingly and radiantly beautiful, no matter what the content of it is.

If what we are going to do today or how we are going to behave in a particular situation has been a compulsive recreating of the past (making today be much like yesterday and projecting that into tomorrow) we become freed from that. Although such freedom from the past is generally felt to be wonderful, what is sacrificed to get there is the knowing of what will be happening in the future. To the mind, this tends to be a profoundly unacceptable situation because of its need to control life, and mind may be making noisy complaints about that. The noise, however, is occurring on the sidelines of awareness once we are experiencing the space that we have been referring to. It is just mind doing what minds do, making noise and being a tool that is trying unsuccessfully to retain control over its rightful master, you. It no longer is needed for that particular job. You already know who you are.

As we allow the present moment to be the focal point of our lives, we are freed from the domination by our thoughts that has been the normal human condition for thousands of years. We are freed to live our lives without compulsive referencing to ideas about what is possible and the world opens up to us. We use the mind to reference practical thingswe don’t want to forget our phone number or forget how to cook dinner. Mind is the most amazing and practical tool when it comes into its rightful place of serving something beyond itself. And when it is not needed, it can rest. What is here in this focal point of the present moment then, is the simple yet vitally alive world that surrounds and includes us. We feel the wind in our hair again. We see the incredible vitality in the world around us—we see God (or call it Life, or Love) peeking at us out of everything. We experience the joy that every birdcall has all along been offering us. The veil of thinking has been lifted off of the world, and life as it is, including our own, can now be experienced.

Experiencing the world in this way is such an overwhelmingly wonderful experience that once it is felt, it forever remains as a motivation for the sometimes time-consuming process of learning to live it in the midst of everyday life. At first it may be that even little disturbances like a harsh word or a traffic jam with jump-start mind into such compelling noise that the experiencing of the present moment may not be possible until that event is long passed. But gradually over time, with steady attention to who we really are, we are able to stay conscious in the little things and only more charged and potent events can throw us. Gradually we come to live our whole lives in this new world. We have changed the focal point of our lives to the present moment, and our world reflects back to us the incredible gift of the Life that we have been given and that we are.

© 2008 Alice Gardner
Author of Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice”

 

Eckhart Tolle and Oprah: What does life want with me?

When I was a youngster, John F. Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.  This inspired a generation into a more creative approach to lifea movement from an attitude of entitlement into one of service to something greater than our own personal well being. On last Monday night, in a web-cast with Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle (which has, 6 days later, already been listened to by 1.5 million people) we were asked to expand this inspiration beyond nationalism, beyond looking out for the good of our country above other countries. This naturally follows in a world where one of the main forms of conflict is between countries. Our world is now being brought together through technology and communications, and by individuals noticing a unity in which we are all connected.  In this web-cast, and in his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle specifically is suggesting “Rather than asking, ‘What do I want from Life?’, a more powerful question to ask is, ‘Life, what do you want from me?’”

It is a crucial time in the human history where we are confronting a world situation that has the possibility of causing at least mass destruction if not self-annihilation in the long run.  It seems that maybe life is experimenting in the way it is developing the human race. It seems that for some reason it has been important that life include the amazing cognitive abilities that humans have developed and continue to develop, as a part of itself.  The risks of this experiment are the intractable issues that we see all around us in the modern world. Our cognitive abilities are running amok in a sense. Our ability to conceptualize, to have thoughts and ideas as we know them, has created in each of us a false sense of self as being someone separate from all other lives.  This in turn creates self-centered behaviors that happen, often out of fear, and without reference to what is good for the whole. If each of us stays simply looking out for our separate personal selves in the way that we have been doing for thousands of years (relating to life as the mind-constructed version of ourselves), we may not have much of a future any more. 

The world situation and all the intractable problems that modern society is presenting us with are a wonderful pointer towards the possibility and necessity of awakening out of this bundle of ideas about who we are and into living a life that is an expression of what Life wants, not what we personally want.  This is also so beautifully expressed in the Christian tradition as “letting go and letting God”.  Whether we use Christian or other religious terminology or not, this shift is an essential step that needs to be taken, if we value our survival as a species and the survival of our beautiful and precious planet.  Religions have been pointing to this for a long time, and it is our generation for whom it is now becoming the critical issue behind all of the other issues that plague our world and disturb our personal lives by doing so.  In these circumstances life seems to be saying to us, “awaken now”. This is the time to come finally into the fruit of the religious teachings of the many traditions, and to stand in the radiance of the one life that shines through them all and through each of us.

© 2008 Alice Gardner

www.wideawakeliving.com
Author of Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice”

20-percent.jpg

 

Eckhart Tolle and Oprah:What does life want with me?

When I was a youngster, John F. Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This inspired a generation into a more creative approach to lifea movement from an attitude of entitlement into one of service to something greater than our own personal well being. On last Monday night, in a web-cast with Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle (which has, 6 days later, already been listened to by 1.5 million people) we were asked to expand this inspiration beyond nationalism, beyond looking out for the good of our country above other countries. This naturally follows in a world where one of the main forms of conflict is between countries. Our world is now being brought together through technology and communications, and by individuals noticing a unity in which we are all connected. In this web-cast, and in his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle specifically is suggesting “Rather than asking, ‘What do I want from Life?’, a more powerful question to ask is, ‘Life, what do you want from me?’”

It is a crucial time in the human history where we are confronting a world situation that has the possibility of causing at least mass destruction if not self-annihilation in the long run. It seems that maybe life is experimenting in the way it is developing the human race. It seems that for some reason it has been important that life include the amazing cognitive abilities that humans have developed and continue to develop, as a part of itself. The risks of this experiment are the intractable issues that we see all around us in the modern world. Our cognitive abilities are running amok in a sense. Our ability to conceptualize, to have thoughts and ideas as we know them, has created in each of us a false sense of self as being someone separate from all other lives. This in turn creates self-centered behaviors that happen, often out of fear, and without reference to what is good for the whole. If each of us stays simply looking out for our separate personal selves in the way that we have been doing for thousands of years (relating to life as the mind-constructed version of ourselves), we may not have much of a future any more.

The world situation and all the intractable problems that modern society is presenting us with are a wonderful pointer towards the possibility and necessity of awakening out of this bundle of ideas about who we are and into living a life that is an expression of what Life wants, not what we personally want. This is also so beautifully expressed in the Christian tradition as “letting go and letting God”. Whether we use Christian or other religious terminology or not, this shift is an essential step that needs to be taken, if we value our survival as a species and the survival of our beautiful and precious planet. Religions have been pointing to this for a long time, and it is our generation for whom it is now becoming the critical issue behind all of the other issues that plague our world and disturb our personal lives by doing so. In these circumstances life seems to be saying to us, “awaken now”. This is the time to come finally into the fruit of the religious teachings of the many traditions, and to stand in the radiance of the one life that shines through them all and through each of us.

 

© 2008 Alice Gardner

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