Article 43


Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Age Hope


Whoever has ears ought to hear these words.
- Revelations 13:9

Let’s hope Dr Chopra doesn’t wear rose colored glasses.


Does Peace Have A Chance?

By Deepak Chopra
September 20, 2007

If the pundits and pollsters are right, the American public has tuned out the Iraq War. Its become a foregone conclusion that the conflict will grind on until at least Jan. 2009 when a new president takes office. The anti-war movement has been completely blocked, and grass-roots efforts against the war have become more or less futile. In realistic terms war remains a stubbornly unchanging policy controlled by the right wing. DOES THAT MEAN that the rest of us - the vast majority who oppose the war are left WITHOUT OPTIONS?

I think its possible to leapfrog beyond Iraq to consider the prospects for peace in the future. There is more hope on the horizon than people realize. Certain trends in the present could well become much stronger in the near future.

The American public, particularly young people, no longer support a freewheeling policy of militarism.

It’s generally recognized that Americas nuclear arsenal and massive standing army are not effective against insurgencies, civil wars, sectarian violence, and terrorism.

We are being pulled into a global perspective that extends beyond nationalism.

The right-wing military machine has lost public credibility.

Totalitarianism, the scourge of the twentieth century, has all but disappeared.

A huge potential enemy like china has resolved to seek commercial rather than military dominance.

The actual number of people dying in major conflicts has steadily decreased outside the Middle East.

These trends have not developed because of intelligent policy decision made in Washington. They have developed in reaction to terrible POLICY decisions, and they are rooted in REAL if invisible changes. Collective consciousness has shifted, at long last, against the model laid down in WW II. America, it appears, is willing to stop policing the world and dictating to other countries how to run their internal affairs. The U.S. has engaged in more covert and overt military operations since 1945 than any other nation. Fear of Communism created a bloated and now completely untenable state of readiness for war that never ends. Instead of seeing peace as the norm, this society has lived with a distorted norm constant vigilance against foes real and imaginary.

By stoking fear against terrorism, Pres. Bush played a card that has never failed in the past. But now there’s hope that a sizable portion of the American public will no longer react to the crude, cynical manipulation of fear. There are still some crucial tests to pass. Can we react with maturity to another terrorist attack as Britain has learned to do after years of IRA assaults? Can we stop trying to BULLY THE WORLD through MILITARISM? Most important of all, can the U.S. finally emerge from the shadow of colonialism? When Alan Greenspan said, much too candidly for comfort, that the Iraq war was basically about oil, he touched upon the last gasp of colonialism, which is economic.

America doesn’t seize OTHER PEOPLE’S LANDS in the old colonial way. Instead, the goal is to protect markets and remind the Third World that they are lower on the scale of value than the industrial West. In a sane world, the U.S. has no right to use gunboat diplomacy to bolster the interests of Haliburton and the oil companies. We aren’t entitled to protect our privileged lifestyle by using military threats against dispossessed societies barely struggling to survive. It’s not a national birthright to keep army bases around the world. No other country adopts such a nakedly intrusive posture.

Fortunately, larger forces have been moving history forward during the last eight years of right-wing regression. The world market has become a much more level playing field. The iPod and the Internet will do more to salvage American prestige than foreign policy ever could. Happily, the U.S. remains the country everyone hates and everyone wants to move to. Peace has a future on that basis, not on the basis of current military misadventures. Even the dire prospect of the Islamic bomb and a Shiite theocracy uniting Iraq and Iran isnt strong enough to reverse the larger trend toward globalization. As the Iraq war recedes into the rearview mirror, however slowly that happens, the rise of peace could be far more positive than anyone perceives at this dark and discouraging hour.



The Dark Side of the New Age

By Andy Drymalski
Healthy Beginnings

Sometimes spirituality is like a drug; you get high on your beliefs. They pump you up, ease your conscience, or provide simple answers to complex problems. But then one day you realize that the answers arent very good answers, and getting high feeds your ego more than your soul.

There is a trend, seen most strongly in New Age writing, to deny or ignore the dark side of human nature. New Age philosophy tells you that human beings are by nature loving creatures that turn bad only when they have been hurt in some way. If everyone was raised in an environment of unconditional love there would be no selfishness or violence, no greed, power struggles or illness. You are told that your true essence is divine and, indeed, that you are God. You come into the world perfect, and only poor parenting or hurtful life events cause you to behave in selfish or antisocial ways. Sin is nothing more than ignorance of your divine and perfect nature. The New Age viewpoint is that there are just two fundamental emotions in life: love and fear. All other emotions are derived from these two.

These ideas are attractive. They soothe your ego and defend against the unpleasant reality of evil. In the New Age, evil is an illusion and has no independent presence or activity in the universe. Hate and cruelty are ultimately caused by fear, not evil. In this respect, fear is the perfect fallback, as in: ғI know I shouldnt have raped that woman, but I was afraid of emotional intimacy.Ҕ

One problem with this belief system is that it sells you short as a human being. In fact, you are capable of far more evil than you probably give yourself credit for. And this capacity for evil isnt just caused by a lack of nurturance as a child, or out of a fear of success, or a fear of your divinity. You are capable of evil because you are human, and human beings arenҒt born whole, they are born unconscious. If you live life well, you become more whole through the process.

You are capable of evil because, like all people, you are egocentric. The more egocentric you are, the more out of sync you are likely to be with your soul and God. If you find yourself on a power trip, the cause isnt always to be found in fear or an unconscious “inferiority complex.” It could be that you just like the feeling of power. It is a high for your ego. You can be a glutton not because you aren’t getting enough emotional nourishment. Maybe you like being a glutton and have never felt that motivated to change your behavior. You may abuse alcohol or drugs not just because you are spiritually starved. In fact, it could be the other way around. Perhaps you are spiritually starved because you opt for quick and simple solutions, rather than those requiring sacrifice and self-discipline. You may have an affair not because your spouse has been emotionally unavailable. Your infidelity may have been driven more by the excitement you feel in breaking the rules. After all, your ego prefers to make rules rather than follow them.

Not only does evil arise from your human egocentricity, it also has a powerful and independent life of its own. Evil is the second-most formidable force you encounter in life, and if you take a Pollyanna view of it, you are that much more likely to become its instrument. Jung once said that “not knowing acts like guilt.” This is especially true of those realities which you should be aware of but are not. The painful truth, the truth you dont want to see, is that you collude with evil. You collude with it on an individual basis by choosing to remain ignorant of your shadow, or ғdark side. You collude with it by choosing not to explore the motives, methods and masquerades of your own egocentricity. You choose to remain unconscious.

You also collude with evil at a collective level. For example, as a nation we collude with evil by continuing to abuse and exploit the earth, or by building a huge national debt that we will leave for our children and grandchildren (better they suffer than we). You collude with evil when you allow your government to wage war on behalf of corporations, or ignore issues of poverty and social injustice. You collude with evil by accepting the pre-packaged and pre-analyzed news of the mainstream media, when deep inside you know that if you aren’t being lied to, you sure as hell aren’t getting the whole truth. You collude with ignorance in order to remain ignorant. You collude with certain spiritual beliefs so as to avoid a more humbling encounter with your soul and God.

This is the problem with candy store spirituality: it tastes good, but it does not nourish. It is not fun to look into a mirror and see a Hitler staring back at you. But, to not look into the mirror is to not own the whole of who you are; the beautiful and the repugnant, the blessed and the evil. You diminish yourself when you do not shoulder the truth of your larger being. You can do good, and you can do evil, and part of your job on earth is to figure out which is which.


Posted by Elvis on 09/23/07 •
Section Revelations
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