Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do.
Think of the Queen Mary – the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be the trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.
(click on the combination lock)
Develop the confidence that there is something deeper within
and this confidence will unlock the secret hidden by our mundane life to reveal a heart jewel of infinite beauty.
We are already the ulitmate peace and joy which we continually seek.
Rest in the confidence of that and prepare for the divine self revelation
that you and the universe have always been one and the same
Being asleep is the root of our problems. Our ever-deepening crisis today is one of forgetting our inherent unity with the externally perceived universe. We have a deep sense of alienation from the external world and from other beings we perceive to inhabit this external world. That alienation leads us to fear death and live with the continuous suppressed anxiety surrounding our mortality. It leads us to build up defensive shells that separate us from our environment. And it leads us to distant ourselves with groups of people we feel threatened by.
Awakening to ourselves as what we really are is the beginning of the process of authentic personal and social healing. When we are able to manifest wholly integrated, we will begin our journey to unleash our incredible latent potential as human beings. It is the profound, non-verbal, non-intellectual and indescribable experience that melts all separation between perceiver and the external world it believes lay outside of it. It is first step to liberation.
As long as we are not awakened to the jewel within, we are like ghosts inhabiting a strange and eerie landscape, one in which we are alienated from our own nature.Our lives become a normalized schitzophrenia, a continuing self-created fiction in which underlying tensions are always bubbling up from the ether, signs telling us to fall back to our natural state.
As long as humans have existed, we have always debated our internal power and weakness. When confronted with overpowering forces of the universe, of the status quo, of a system that seems repressive and unchangeable, there have been ordinary humans amongst us who, through questioning our own helplessness, found the strength to become the pivotal players in change.
To become an authentic change agents requires a paradigm shift from seeing oneself as powerless to seeing oneself as the having infinite potential. The true power of democracy lay in this very recognition. Therefore, personal transformation is the very first step towards lasting social transformation. So without further adieu, here’s some inspirational quotes to get you started on your journey…
Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Meade
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi
We can choose to be affected by the world or we can choose to affect the world.
- Heidi Wills
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
- William James
I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
- Aldous Huxley
No matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.
- Buckminster Fuller
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
- Nelson Mandela
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everthing, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.
- Helen Keller
One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.
- Henry David Thoreau
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.
- Saint Catherine of Siena
No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.
- Albert Pine
Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.
- Minor Myers
In the power to change yourself is the power to change the world around you.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
- Mohammad Ali
Seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you.
- James Freeman Clarke
The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.
- Benjamin Disraeli
It is ever man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
- Albert Einstein
At this very moment, there are people only you can reach…and differences only you can make.
- Mike Dooley
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.
- Henry Ford
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world.
- Anne Frank
I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities…on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but your humanity.
- Bill Gates
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
- Kahlil Gibran
Giving is the highest expression of power.
- Vivian Greene
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
- Nelson Henderson
The time is always right to do what is right.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
You’re happiest while you’re making the greatest contribution.
- Robert F. Kennedy
The happiest people I know are people who don’t even think about being happy. They just think about being good neighbors, good people. And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window while they are busy doing good.
- Rabbi Harold Kushner
If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.
- Lao Tzu
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion.
- Abraham Lincoln
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
- Herman Melville
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
- Blaise Pascal
If there is any kindness I can show, any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
- William Penn
You are not here to save the world but you are here to touch the hands that are within your reach.
- Motto of Mission of Love (Kathleen Price)
If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a month – get married. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help others.
- Chinese proverb
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
- Dr. Seuss
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
- George Bernard Shaw
We know nothing of tomorrow; our business is to be good and happy today.
- Sydney Smith
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
- Mother Teresa
Be not merely good. Be good for something.
- Henry David Thoreau
Joy can be real only if people look upon their lives as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
- Leo Tolstoy
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’
- Brian Tracy
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
- Mark Twain
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.
The greatest crime is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world.
- Roger Williams
Ignoring your passion is like dying a slow death…Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated- what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than succeed. You will triumph.
- Oprah Winfrey
One can get anything if he or she is willing to help others enough to get what they want.
- Zig Ziglar
Awakening Consciousness Around the World
If you think awakening to your true nature is a myth or beyond you, then Buddha at the Gas Pump is a rich online website resource that shares the awakening experience of countless other ordinary people to inspire your own awakening. Host Rick Archer interviews the awakening experience of ordinary people and shares his library of interviews freely to aid in the global transformation of consciousness.
People everywhere are undergoing a shift to an Awakened state of consciousness which is transforming their understanding of themselves and the world. For some, this shift has been abrupt and dramatic. For others, it has been so gradual that they may not have realized it has occurred. Such shifts, or “awakenings,” are not new: Christ spoke of the “Kingdom of Heaven within,” Buddhists speak of Nirvana, Zen masters of Satori, Hindus of Moksha, but these traditions generally regard these states as rare and difficult to attain.
Many people are therefore skeptical of claims of higher states of consciousness. They find it hard to believe that apparently ordinary friends and neighbors might be experiencing something extraordinary. Maybe they expect Enlightenment to look as remarkable on the outside as it is reputed to be on the inside.
This show will attempt to dispel skepticism and misconceptions by week after week, allowing otherwise ordinary people to relate their experience of spiritual awakening. The terminology is tricky, because there are no universally agreed upon definitions to describe this experience. Also, enlightenment is not something that an individual person “gets”. It’s not even something that the mind can grasp. It’s an awakening to that which contains the mind and all other things. So it’s not surprising that language is inadequate to convey it.
Perhaps those listening to these interviews will become convinced, as I am, that genuine and permanent spiritual awakenings are not just a pipe dream, but are real and are becoming relatively commonplace. Feel free to pose and discuss questions brought up on the show, both in this blog and in it’s related chat group. I’ll invite interview guests to join so that you may chat with them directly.
Guest List (Click to watch interview)
- Allan Morelock
- Andrée Morgana
- Andrew Cohen
- Andy Schulman
- Angela Mailander
- Arjuna Ardagh
- Barbara Berger
- Benjamin Smythe
- Bentinho Massaro
- Bill Bauman
- Bill Farber
- Bob Nickel
- Brad & Pam Keene
- Burt Harding
- Canela Michelle Meyers
- Chris Hebard
- Christine Wushke
- Christopher Roberts
- Chuck Hillig
- Cynthia Lane
- Dana Sawyer
- David Parrish
- David Spero
- Deepakbhai Desai
- Doc Roberts
- Dr. Gregory Tucker
- Dr. Mark Dillof
- Dr. Rahasya Fritjof Kraft
- Eli Jaxon-Bear
- Eliza Mada Dalian
- Elle Collier Re
- Ellie Roozdar
- Ellie Roozdar 2
- Fali Engineer
- Florian Schlosser
- Francis Bennett
- Gary Crowley
- Genpo Roshi 1
- Gina Lake
- Greg Goode
- Hilary Jordan
- Howard Falco
- Igal Moria
- Igor Kufayev
- Igor Kufayev 2
- Ilona Ciunaite and Elena Nezhinsky
- Inelia Benz
- Isaac Shapiro
- Jac O’Keeffe
- James Braha
- James Swartz
- Jan Esmann
- Janet Sussman
- Jeff Foster
- Jim Flanegin
- Joan Tollifson
- Joel Rumbolo
- John Sherman
- John Speer
- Joi Sharp
- Jon Bernie
- Julie Chimes
- Karen Richards
- Karen Richards 2
- Katie Davis
- Kenny Johnson
- Khen Rinpoche Tsetan
- Kranti Ananta
- Krishna Gauci
- Laurie Moore
- Leslie Temple-Thurston
- Lisa Cairns
- Mandi Solk
- Mariana Caplan
- Martha Creek
- Mary Foster
- Matt Kahn
- Michael Baxter
- Michael Fischman
- Michael Hall, Ph.D.
- Natalie Gray
- Nick Gancitano
- Pamela Wilson
- Paul Hedderman
- Philip Goldberg
- Radhanath Swami
- Rafael Stoneman
- Rafael Stoneman
- Raven Mahosadha
- Reena Gagneja
- Richard Schooping
- Richard Sylvester
- Rick Archer
- Rick Laird
- Robert Augustus Masters
- Robert Forman, Ph.D.
- Robert Wolfe
- Rupert Spira
- Sandra Glickman
- Saniel Bonder & Linda Groves-Bonder
- Sarojini 2
- Scott Kiloby
- Scott Kiloby 2
- Sharon Landrith
- Stan Kendz
- Steve & Winifred Boggs
- Steve Winn
- Stuart Perrin
- Sue Berkey
- Sundance Burke
- Suzanne Foxton
- Swami G
- Swami Premodaya
- Takuin Minamoto
- Ted Strauss & Hillary Davis
- The Fosters
- The Gilberts
- The Signposter and Troy of Is
- Thomas Gates
- Tim Freke
- Tim Freke 2
- Timothy Conway
- Tom Stine
- Tom Traynor
- Tony Parsons
- Trip Overholt
- Wayne Liquorman
- Yogi Amrit Desai
- Zahir Khan
A Teaching by Maharshi
If there be a goal to be reached
it cannot be permanent
the goal must already be there
We seek to reach the goal with our ego
but the goal exists before the ego
What is in the goal
is even part of our birth
to the birth of the ego
Because we exist
the ego appears to exist too
If look on the self as the ego
then we become the ego
if it’s the mind, we become the mind
if it’s the body, we become the body
It is the thought which builds up sheaths
in so many way
The shadow on the water is found to be shaking
can anyone stop the shaking of the shadow?
If it should cease to shake,
you would not notice the water
but only the light
Simliarly, to take no notice of the ego and its activities
but only see the light behind the ego
is the I-thought
the true I is the self
Realization is already there
The state free from thought
is the only real state
There is no such action as realization
Is there anyone who is not realizing the self?
Does anyone deny his own existence?
Speaking of realization,
it implies two selves
the one to realize
the other to be realized
What is not already realized
is sought to be realized
Once we admit our existence
how is it that we do not know the self?
Oh, because of the thoughts, the mind!
It is the mind that stands between and veils our happiness
How do we know that we exist?
If you say because of the world around
then how do you know you existed in deep sleep?
How to get rid of the mind
Is it the mind that wants to kill itself?
The mind cannot kill itself!
So your business is to find the real nature of the mind
then you will know that there is no mind
When the self is sought
the mind is nowhere
Abiding in the self
one need not worry about the mind
How to get rid of fear
What is fear?
It is only a thought
If there is anything beside the self
there is reason to fear
Who sees the second?
First the ego rises and sees objects as external
If the ego does not rise
the self alone exists
and there is no second
For anything external to oneself
implies the seer within
Seeking it there
will arise no doubt no fear,
not only fear, all other thoughts
centered around the ego will dissappear one with it
This method seems to be quicker
than the usual one of cultivating qualities alleged necessary for salvation
All bad qualities center round the ego
When the ego is gone
realization results by itself
There are neither good nor bad qualities in the self
the self is free of all qualities
Qualities pertain to the mind only
It is beyond quality
If there is unity
there will be duality
The numeral one gives rise to other numbers
The truth is neither 1 nor 2
it is as it is!
The difficulty is to be in the thought-free state
Reality is simply the loss of the ego
Destroy the ego by seeking its identity
Because the ego is no entity
it will automatically and reality will shine forth by itself
This is the direct method
whereas all other methods are done
only retaining the ego
In those powers there arise so many doubts
and the eternal question remains to be tackled finally
but in this method the final question is the only one
and it is raised from the beginning
No sadhanas are necessary for engaging in this quest
Sri Ramana Maharshi
A Student’s Encounter with Maharshi
“Have you seen god?”, I asked and if you have can you enable me to see him? I’m willing to pay any price even my life but your part of the bargain is that you must show me god. “No”, he answered I cannot show you god or enable you to see god because god is not an object that can be seen god is the subject he is the seer.
Don’t concern yourself with objects that can be seen find out who the seer is. He also added “You alone are god” as if to rebuke me for looking for a god who is outside and apart from me. At the conclusion of his words, he looked at me and as he gazed into my eyes, my whole body began to tremble and shake. A thrill of nervous energy shot through my body. My nerve endings felt as if they were dancing and my hair stood on end. Within me, I became aware of the spiritual heart. This is not the physical heart it is rather, the source and support of all that exists.
Within this heart I saw or felt something like a closed bud it was very shiny and bluish. With the Maharshi looking at me and with myself in a state of inner silence I felt this bud open and bloom. I use the word “bud” but this is not an exact description It would be more correct to say that something budlike opened and bloomed within me in the heart. And when I say “heart” I don’t mean that the flowering was located in a particuliar place in the body. This heart, this heart of my heart was neither inside my body nor out of it. I can’t give a more exact description of what happened – a student of Maharshi
About Maharshi’s Atma Vishira Technique
The keystone of the Maharshi’s teaching is his self-enquiry or Atma Vishira – his infallible, direct path to self-realization coupled with total devotional surrender to god self or guru. Broadly speaking, Sri Bhagavan tells us that the immortal self, or Satchitanada or pure existence-consciousness-awareness-bliss is already there inherent in each of us. The difficulty is we do not recognize “that”, our “true nature” or essential “I-amness” because it is veiled and obscured by many latent tendencies and habits of the egotistic mind which acts as a mirror and project a dream of the world, the body and the mind. Our identification of the mind and body is the chief reason for our failure to know ourselves as we really are. Through persistent self-enquiry, devotion and surrender of the egotistic mind to god or the satguru in the spiritual heart this obscuration and identification is gradually and gracefully removed until the immortal self is realized. That is the full power of absolute consciousness and is known. The world is seen as real because the substrate is perceived to be as Brahmin.
Teaching by Maharshi
There is no greater mystery than this: Ourselves being the reality, we seek to gain reality. We think that there is something hiding our reality and it must be destroyed before the reality is gained. It is ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now. So, it is a great game of pretending? Yes! In Yoga Vishista it is said what is real is hidden from us and what is false is revealed as true.We are actually experiencing the reality only. Still, we do not know it. Is it not a wonder of wonders? The quest “who am I” is the axe with which to cut off the ego – Sri Ramana Maharshi
Averi and the Unknown
Words from the Author
The more I merge in the “I-am-that-I-am”, the deeper that I see I am beyond the “I-me and the I-self”“Averi and the Unknown” is a book written by Saraswathi, whose Indian name means “The Light Of Wisdom’
Saraswathi, interviewed on Conscious TV
There is no mother, no father, no brother, no sister, no husband, no wife, no child. There’s noone to support you. There’s only you.We can be permanently in a state of love. We’re never in judgment of them; they are a reflection of you. We’re never in demand of someone else. Nobody is required to complete you. Nobody has to tell you they love you because you love yourself. When others feel your love, their layers begin to shed.
The (thinking) mind has this incredible power and hold over us, to deny even flashes of awakened purity when they come. It’s so overwhelming for the (thinking) mind to come home to the heart, that within a millisecond of such recognition, we may retreat to our old way of seeing. In her life experiences, Saraswithi glimpsed the power of this habitual energy with people in her life. it gave her the insight that there is the potential that at least some of those in mental hospitals may be in the process of awakening and coming to their authentic self and their outward manifestation of disturbance is a reflection of the inner battle between old habits and the authentic self spontaenously arising. The walls become so dense and close in around this experience. Whether we are institutionalized or walking freely outside of them, we’re all in delusions to hide the purity of oneself to oneself.
Hope is the biggest illusion. We’re never inhabiting ourselves when there is hope so be hopeless and really live.
Two stories come together
Mandi Solk, and the Joy of No Self
Self-Enquiry is just a slow way to awakening, it’s the slow cooking method of awakening.If things come up and disturb you, find out where it comes from and resonate with it. Look for it and see where it is. The present holds the secret but how do we find the treasure in the present. Where is this “I”? We have been mixing it with a body but it is actually pure being. Initially, there is a lot of thoughts but after some time there is a shift. The center of gravity shifts from thought dominance to presence. Imagine you are a big stingray and they are all having nibbles and tickling you. Allow your thoughts to nibble at you. There’s only one thing that can stop this and that is not wanting this enough. It becomes an intense aspiration and nothing else matters. All mundane experiences become appearances that begin as concepts, then appear then dissappear. We learn to let go of these and focus on the sole aspiration of this intense aspiration to recognize what we are and what we are not.
Mandi Solk talks about the difference between Awakening and Liberation
Dr Robert Forman ‘Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be’
Dr. Robert Forman on Conscious TV
Consciousness is Asleep
If we are to awaken consciousness this presumes that, in some way we really aren’t conscious. Our consciousness is asleep and must be awoken. In other words, there is something about our reality that we are not cognizant of This sleep is obviously not the conventional night time sleep, it is a deeper, much more subtle type of sleep, one that in fact happens while we are in our normal “awake” state It is a strange kind of sleep in which we become dead to the wonder of the universe the wonder of appearances as they magically arise and the world appears, instead to be dull, depressing, disconnected, repetitive, uninspired One way to tell if you’ve been infected by this strange sleep is if you get easily bored Boredom is an indication that you are not able to be present to the universe as it is constantly communicating itself to you 24/7, nonstop, throughout your entire life Indeed, it is not to be able to see that the “universe” of which we speak is not just “outside” of you but includes you yourself This boredom is an energy that urges you to leave your present experience in search of another to replace it There is an inability to be here and now and a constant search for novelty and when that which was new becomes old the cycle perpetuates This constant searching is based on a delusion, a manufactured story that one appearance is superior and preferred over another and this masquerades a blindness that fails to recognize that behind all appearances is the same universal energy the same one that is, in fact what makes you, the observer As long as this delusion manifests one becomes restless with the present moment and jumps from one appearance in search of another There is a feeling of boredom, restlessness and a feeling of excitement of another thought or concept and then the desire to escape this moment to a future one Underlying ones actions in such a constructed world is an ongoing but subconscious search for “home” and as one continues to subconsciously search for “home” one’s search, in fact continually takes one away from it What happened to that wonder that you spontaneously manifested when you were a child? What happened to the feeling of the sacred? What happened to not having any sense of separation? Remember asking these questions? We have all embarked on a lifetime search for home yet with each novelty we occupy our time with we are filling our spiritual body with junk food…donuts, chips, soda pop and though it fills us temporarily it doesn’t have the proper nutrition our innermost nature craves We must stop and check to see if what we are doing with our lives really addresses our innermost needs What are these needs? They can be distilled into a few basic questions that we asked as soon as we were able to but we have long since forgotten…
Reminding ourselves of the Preciousness of Life
Life is the most precious gift of all We know that intuitively We know that the greatest loss of all is the loss of a life We see this in the news and we know it personally when it happens to a loved one Life is puzzling, a great mystery We don’t know why we are here We don’t know how it is that we have come to have consciousness, to be able to experience everything the way we do Why should I be? Why should I be able to think consciously? To speak? To sense the world? Why should physical laws take the form they do? Why is there birth? Why is there death? Why is there life? Life endsAs we are born our fate is sealed so shall we die These 3 facts about life every human has come to know since leaving the womb Yet, though we may know we do not appreciate we are no longer in a place of wonder as when we first left the womb
When we are too close to the trees, we cannot see the forest
We live in a time when extreme aberrations are accepted as normal. Religions are no longer able to provide answers to our deepest questions but the reach of science is limited. The gods of yesterday are replaced by the new idols of money & power today. Our education gives us shallow, intellectual knowledge but does not impart deep, satisfying wisdom. Our physical food is artificial and satisfies our hunger pangs but does not give us the lasting nutrition which the body needs. and our words, thoughts and emotions satisfies our basic need to connect but does not give us the lasting unconditional love and wisdom that our spiritual body needs. We spend our time sucked into a vortex of solitary cyberspace instead of authentic, intimate relationships with other living beings. We live in artificial walled enclosures instead of in the natural expansive space of nature. We manufacture too much of things we want and not enough of things we need. We aimlessly work and live our lives, without a vision and plan of a long term life goal. We fill our life with busyness at work, leaving little time for the real peace that work is supposed to give us We have vast communications infrastructure yet we don’t say anything meaningful, filling it with idle gossip. We create imbalances in the world, dualistic poles where the wealthy die of disease of excess and the poor die of disease of lack We play by the rules of a broken system so that we may survive and further propagate a system which we know is ultimately unhealthy We settle for impermanent surface beauty over deeper unconditional love We are impatient and easily bored, not able to appreciate the timeless beauty of the here and now. We fear death and that causes us to fear life and we experience both ourselves and others as mundane when in reality we are both sacred We act out of fear instead of love and we live in our minds but not our hearts. and we have lost respect for ourselves by living lives of compromise and self denial. We need an exit strategy from modern life, back into a whole one
The World Stands at a Crossroads
The world stand at a crossroads. Human ingenuity, based on rational, analytic thinking has created the marvels of the man-made world. However, the very success of industrialization has had an unexpected but profound negative impact on humanity. This thinking faculty, which has enabled us to create such a markedly different living environment is also the source of so much modern misery. We build technologies that save lives then we build ones that take them away, industries that allow some to become exceedingly rich, but only at the expense of everyone else. Human Beings occupy a strange space in the animal kingdom. Mastering tools and abstract symbolic thinking has enabled us to build marvels of engineering; structures that loom large over all other species. We are at the top of the animal pyramid. We are not intimidated by any other species and no longer have any natural predators. We dominate all other species, treating some species as food and all others species as insignificant. We build huge industrial systems to rear and slaughter other species for our mass consumption. All this leads us to distant ourselves from nature, In spite of such enormous displays of power, however we are still fundamentally animals. We are still born with these animal bodies and we must die in them. The awareness of the impending death of this body, is in fact, a thought so disturbing that we do not wish to be reminded about it. This fear of death, in all it’s myriad forms in the form of business and finance, power, fame romance, sports and technology dominates the subconscious underpinnings of this societyThe distance between our man-made world and the natural environment we come from is profound. Environmental science did not even come into being until two hundred years after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Industrialization is marked by a detached process which produces products for sale to consumer at the expense of almost all other factors: social, environmental and health & well being.
Industrialization is based on an antiquated model of limitless resources, an ecosystem viewed as an infinite sink and little environmental consciousness.The industrial revolution began with James Hargreaves’s Spinning Jenny patented in 1770. In 1893, Edison proved the success of mass production by using electric motors to process 20,000 tons of iron ore in one day with two shifts of 5 men each, that at a time when men were using shovel, wheelbarrows and small narrow railcars to each process 5 tons in a 12 hour shift. Henry Ford popularized mass production in his famous Ford automobile production plants in 1910. Today, less than 3 centuries after it began, the death of the industrial era is already dawning. Perhaps the biggest indicator comes from the US Military, who have announced it is preparing for Peak oil. In retrospect, it is clear to see that this path was far from a healthy one. The fathers of the Industrial Revolution could not have foreseen how wildly successful their model would become. Neither could they have predicted that the enormous scaling would have an equally enormous negative ecological impact it. Today, the millions of industrial plants around the world continue to consume the planets resources at unsustainable rates meanwhile spewing out a constant stream of airborne, waterborne and solid waste.
The world we live in is the proof of the untenability of the basic assumptions that the Industrial Revolution was founded on; limitless resources and ecosystem.The time for a fundamental shift is past due but industry is still reluctant to change because of the heavy perceived cost of environmental stewardship. There is a way to bring about the change, however….through the power which all of us wield, we the consumers. Manufacturing coexists with consumer society. Unsustainable production can only exist if there is mask hiding the reality of industrialization from the consumer base that supports it. For this reason, a non-holistic industrial complex needs to create a disconnected, non-holistic worldview in the consumer….a consumer who will say yes to all the products made. The world is now faced with a multitude of complex problems resulting from this disconnected approach to society building. Technology’s amplifying effect is daily increasing the problems and shortening the timewindow for solutions. Meetings after world meeting have failed to resolve the basic underlying issues because those who hold power are the very ones who embrace the non-holistic worldview…and they are unable to relinquish control. The momentum of the vast unsustainable infrastructure is another great challenge. Human beings prioritize their short term survival needs ahead of all else. Non-holistic and unsustainble work that pays the bills will trump any holistic ideology which doesn’t. It is up to policy makers to create the environment which makes sustainable practices competitive to unsustainable ones.
Awakening Human Potential
As the momentum of old habitual ways of thinking, unsustainable infrastructure, accelerating technology and population growth steer us towards a perfect storm of obstacles in the world, how can something as amorphous as awakening the sacred and human potential have any real impact? The world’s current growth is like a vehicle with its driver asleep at the wheel. When there is no awareness in the person in control then the vehicle can easily veer off the road. We are all “asleep at the wheel”. It is only when there is a critical mass of awakening that we will regain control. The meek will inherit the earth, but only if they awaken and empower themselves. As the meek are to the powerful, water is to a solid rock. A chinese proverb testifies to the power of water. Seeming so delicate yet when it seeps into the crevices of rocks and freezes and thaws, have the power to break hard stone in half. Water’s fluidity also allows it to flow around hard obstacles, like a river around rocks. All these myriad problems in so many fields: technological misuse, governance, poverty, starvation, disease, corruption, war, aggression, inefficiency, apathy, greed, pollution, overpopulation, dwindling resources….all have a common root. While the symptoms of worldly problems manifest in the material world, their causes lay in the fundamental way we view reality; our actions arise from thoughts which motivate actions which then leave an imprint on the material world. The awakening to the sacred and to the limitless human potential in even one person have influenced the course of human history: One Nelson Mandela changed the course of South Africa’s history, one mother Teresa changed the course of millions of poor, one Einstein changed the course of all science. Imagine the transformative power if we can design education so that it can awaken the potential in thousands, even millions of people.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life because almost everything falls away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.If thinking about death every day is morbid, then one can argue that Steven Jobs, who guided Apple to become one of the world’s most successful Tech companies is morbid. His message is simple and it echos the message of all great teachers throughout time; to realize the preciousness of life, we must appreciate it’s brevity. We must realize the profound implications of the knowledge that every single human being has a finite time to live. At one level, we all appreciate the value of life. The biggest news stories are often about people who have died. People who have lost their lives in accidents, famous people who have died of natural causes or people who have couragously sacrificed their lives…these stories all capture our attention. The fact that we are drawn to such stories shows us that at a superficial level at least, we do have some appreciation of the preciousness of life. On the other hand, we continue to live lives that continue to bring harm to others and this shows a lack of awareness of life’s preciousness. When we were young enough to speak, our hearts asked the most profound questions of all. Why are we here? Why do we die? What is life? But then, the questions were silenced because those around us could not answer them. It is time to rekindle these, the most important questions of our life, so that we may awaken our highest potential:
- Steve Jobs
- Awaken each person to the stark reality of our own mortality
- Guide each person to a healthy acceptance of death in order to awaken our appreciation of the preciousness of life
- Use that to awaken each person to the preciousness of the life of others; awakening our compassion
- Awaken the latent creativity associated with the above
- Look without bias at the basic functioning of the human mind and the assumptions and conceptual framework that underlies all human thinking
- Look at the relationship between the nondual and the thinking, linguistic mind that we are all familiar with
- Provide the support and resources to channel the awakened energy across a variety of fields for the benefit of humanity