How We Can Counteract the Corrupting Influence of Power

Barack Obama seems to have both his feet on the ground but what about the rest of us? Because our cultures and their institutions have a disturbing tendency to define us and life in negative, often frightening terms, terms like “consumer, citizen, employee, lower class, middle class, upper class, worker, God’s children, basically bad, can’t trust ourselves, survival of the fittest, accident of nature, dog eat dog, devil take the hindmost, kill or be killed, eat or be eaten; sit down, shut up and do as I tell you because I know what’s best for you”, we have a tendency to worship authority, to depend on it to think for us instead of thinking for ourselves. This environment of fear and oppression produces many among us who love to foster dependence because it makes them feel like someone special and promises them a steady stream of customers, clients, constituents, fans and gun fodder for military operations.

By accepting the disempowering influence of a negative belief system, we set ourselves up for hero worship and dependency on dynamic leaders. Hitler’s Germany had its Brown Shirts; Maoist China, its Red Guard; and the Middle East, its Al-Queda and Taliban. And when great power is concentrated in one person or group, there is danger it will unbalance them and lead to abuse. Quote from Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Just as we have business, military, religious and political leaders who become drunk from the influence of money, power and privilege (money, power and privilege junkies), the public can become blinded and corrupted by mental laziness and hero worship. The corrupting influence of money, power and privilege affects us all and the only way to disarm it is to be aware of its corrupting influence, and develop ways to counteract it. Under the bright light of adoration it’s hard for anyone to think clearly, even someone as clear, balanced and loving as Barack Obama. We need to be aware of this and refrain from pressuring him for personal gain.


We can start by asking ourselves what’s going to work best for ALL of us, instead of what’s going to work best for ME. We can refrain from trying to corrupt one another with the promise of money, power and privilege. That makes us no better than the drug dealer hanging around the school grounds handing out free bags of cocaine, knowing how addictive it is. Once hooked, addicts will do almost anything for a fix and drug dealers know it. Wealthy and famous individuals, businesses and organizations know this as well, only their drug of influence is the promise of money, power and privilege.

Few of us have the clarity of mind, strength, wisdom or power to resist temptation when it’s closely associated with feelings of pleasure and survival, especially if we’re overly busy or buy into the belief that we’re basically bad and can’t trust ourselves. Ideas like these, if we choose to believe them, effectively disarm us. It’s time to understand we create our reality from the ideas we choose to believe. We are not bad, it is our ideas about who we are, what reality is and what the purpose of life is that can make us do bad things. It’s time to question the ideas we base our actions on because, how we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which in turn, forms our reality.

Barack Obama  promises to be a great leader but he needs us to take responsibility for our part in changing the world for the better. Part of that responsibility is to give him room to be himself, while we focus on becoming the next best version of who we can be. Change for the better? Yes, we can!


Pete –

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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No Responsibility, No Freedom.

We all want to be free to be ourselves and do what we want in life, don’t we? We want to be free of judgment and fear, criticism and condemnation. The question is, how can we be free to be and do what we want when we consistently act in ways that hurt ourselves and others? Why do we not trust ourselves and one another? The answer is simple and we know what it is; it’s our survival of the fittest, Law of the Jungle mentality. When we think we’re all separate and life is a matter of survival of the fittest, we become predators and each one of us becomes fair game for the other. It’s eat or be eaten, kill or be killed in the minds of many. By choice or out of ignorance, we create the need for oppressive government, religion and laws, external regulation and control, to protect us from ourselves. As Pogo profoundly observes: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The problem is not outside us, it’s inside us, in the form of beliefs. If we choose to believe we’re separate and there’s not enough to go around, we’ll see the need to “fight” for survival, and enough will never be enough. When we see ourselves as one, interdependent and separate, we’ll work together for survival. It’s all a matter of perspective! When we treat ideas about who we are and what reality is like sacred recipes in a cookbook, never questioning or challenging them, they control our behavior, not us. When we mindlessly stick to old beliefs, like old recipes, we create our reality by default, not conscious design or intention. We need to actively challenge both our personal and cultural beliefs if we’re not happy with the reality we’re experiencing.


Seat of Power

 We are not bad, it is our ideas about who we are and what reality is that are bad.

“Trust us!” say some business and political leaders. “Greed is good, and markets free of regulation will correct themselves.” We all want freedom but freedom to do what – rape, pillage and steal? In a speech given March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry convinced the Virginia House of Burgesses to commit troops to the Revolutionary War in America’s fight for independence from England and the colonies it controlled in America. The final and most memorable phrase of Henry’s speech was, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” New Hampshire’s state motto, currently, is “Live Free or Die”. Just before my discharge from the Air Force in 1964, I had an epiphany. I realized all I wanted to do was be me! Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all just want to be ourselves? But, how can we be free to be ourselves and do what we want if we don’t include that same freedom for everyone?

“Okay”, you say, “but how can I give freedom to you if all you want is to steal or destroy everything I value to enrich yourself? That won’t work!”

No, it won’t, if my world view is limited and all I ask myself is, What’s going to work best for me? 

Before we ask the question, What’s going to work best for me, we need to ask, What’s going to work best for ALL of us? By including everyone and all of nature in our calculation, not only do we acknowledge our oneness with (and separation from) everything, we cover all the bases. When we ask ourselves questions like What’s going to work best for ALL of us, in personal terms, and in terms of business, education, the environment and peace?, we are giving ourselves credit for being able to find good answers to these questions, whether they originate with us or not. When we ask questions like Who do I love to be? and What do I love to do?, we become conscious shapers of both ourselves and our reality, not mindless followers of established cultural and family patterns. Nor are we simply “reacting” to life.


During the course of everyday events we often forget the role of thoughts in the forging of our material reality. We get lost in the visible symbols, the material by-products of our imaginations, forgetting the invisible blueprints from which they, and we, emerge.

Pure energy, like money, its material equivalent, is shaped into matter and experience by thought. It can be used to lift up or smash down, to build character or destroy character, to express love or express hate, to beautify or make ugly.

The purpose, or challenge, of life is to learn how to use thought in its various forms to shape energy into a pleasing reality. The prize is a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of a job well done. And, like learning to walk or talk, it is a personal, subjective endeavor that requires creative aggression. It is a great balancing act, where one must accept falling down in the course of learning how to stand up.


Thoughts are “things” with a reality of their own and you, an artist. With thoughts in the forms of belief, attitude, value and expectation you paint the landscape of your life. CREATE A GREAT DAY!

“Reality” starts with the interaction of consciousness and energy, thoughts and emotions. What we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch with our skin, taste with our tongue and smell with our nose is the energy of our thoughts and emotions after they have condensed into matter or experience. What our bodies call the “present” is the past for consciousness and energy because new thoughts and emotions are already hard at work forming the next moment of our material experience. Just as a glass mirror reflects the image of our physical body, reality reflects the nature of our beliefs. If we see something in our lives we don’t like, we’re meant to change it. Obviously, some things we can’t change. For example, once we lose a limb, unlike some species, we can’t grow it back. When we see that our policies (beliefs and behavior) cause us and others, more pain than pleasure, more harm than good, we can and should change them.


Changing ourselves and the world for the better

“God”, or the consciousness and energy of All That Is, lives within us. Therefore, the best, least traumatic and most efficient way for us to change the world for the better is for each of us to change ourselves for the better. Otherwise, as our rich history informs us, others will take it upon themselves to do it for us and who knows what or how they’ll choose to do? Here are several ways we can change ourselves for the better:

  1.  We create our reality from what we choose to believe. For example, if we believe that all men are separate and life is a matter of survival of the fittest, we’ll create a world of fear, competition, violence and pain. If we believe that all things are both one and separate and that all life is interdependent, we’ll create a world of love, partnership, peace and pleasure. If we hate ourselves, we’ll treat ourselves and others badly. If we love ourselves, we’ll treat ourselves and others well. What we’ve done in the past is not important. What we do now and in the future is what’s important.
  2. We need to take full responsibility for creating our reality. In other words, don’t waste time blaming ourselves, our parents or society for the things we don’t like about ourselves or the world. The only reason we blame ourselves and others is because we’re not yet taking full responsibility for what we believe, for the ideas in our belief system that create our reality.
  3. We need to get clear on what works for us and what works against us. Each one of us is a unique, individualized expression of All That Is. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, there just Is. There is what works for us and what works against us, what brings us pleasure and what brings us pain.
  4. We need to take action every day! We need to ask questions, look for answers and keep a journal.  The more time we spend bemoaning the present, the less time we have to change our future. We need to take a survey of how we spend our time and energy. For example, how much time do we spend debating issues with other people to see who’s right or wrong, good or bad, smart or stupid, instead of looking for solutions that work best for all of us? How much time do we spend listening to news about the state of the world instead of doing something to change it? How much time do we spend complaining about life and making excuses for ourselves, instead of doing something constructive about the circumstances we find ourselves in? (We shouldn’t feel embarrassed about this either because cultural beliefs like “you’re basically bad, you can’t trust yourself, you’re the result of a cosmic accident”, and “genes control your looks, sex, sexual orientation, intelligence and behavior” program us to accept our fate and not question it. Ideas like these tell us we can’t change so why bother?)
  5. To start, ask questions like: Who are we? What’s reality? What’s the purpose of life? Who do I love  to be? What do I love to do? What’s going to work best for ALL of us, in personal terms, and in terms of business, education, the environment and peace? To get answers, use these questions as the title of a paper for school or for yourself. Hold these questions in your mind before falling asleep and write down any information you wake up with in the morning. Meditate on these and other questions you want answers to. Use the creative nature of All That Is to find answers and then challenge them until you feel certain the answer works for you and everyone. (See: Ask Value Questions and Listen for Intuitive Answers)
  6. Make the jump from a Value Judgment World (external value system) to a Value Fulfillment World (internal value system). The ideas we hold as beliefs serve as the building blocks for the creation of our reality. To the extent we fail to question or take responsibility for our own beliefs, we create the need for an external value system (which, in and of itself, can lead to abuse) to control our behavior for our own safety and the safety of others. In effect, we define ourselves as children who need “Big Brother” controls. To the extent we understand and apply the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you., we eliminate the need for external control.
  7. Say, “I love myself” to yourself until you actually feel it. By going through the process of repeatedly saying to yourself, “I love myself.”, you begin to see how good you are, how much you do, and how well you do it. This process serves as an antidote to cultural messages that seek to control who you are and what you do. The more we can love ourselves, the more we can love others. The more we can appreciate ourselves, the more we can appreciate others. Let’s stop being Master Fault Finders and start becoming Masters of Appreciation!

Without taking full responsibility for creating our reality, how can we grow and how can we expect to be free?


Evolution, not Revolution

The 21st Century serves as a natural timeframe for building a dream, a vehicle for life in the New Millennium that will help transport mankind through the next 1,000 years in peace and safety.

Roger Peterson –

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Why We Need Barack Obama

America has lost its balance, but we have an amazing, unique opportunity to restore that balance on November 4, 2008.

 If you want your children and grandchildren to inherit a world of war, elect John McCain.

 If you want to watch this planet lose its environmental and ecological balance through global warming, disruption of ecosystems, disregard for endangered species (and the list goes on), vote for John McCain.

 If you want to see a continuation of a dishonest, self-serving and criminal government, vote for John McCain.

 If you want to continue the global fight for oil, instead of embracing new and greener types of energy, vote for John McCain.

 If you want to pay for war and corporate greed with your hard-earned money, vote for John McCain.

 If you want to see more unemployment, poverty, homelessness and loss of personal freedoms, vote for John McCain.

 If, on the other hand, you want to change the above, vote for Barack Obama!

 If you think Obama’s head is in the clouds, look again; he also has two feet on the ground.

Sandra Peterson

Letter to Health and Human Services (HHS)

Is the Bush “Administration” (now there’s a kind term for you) attempting to redefine abortion to include birth control? It seems so. When reported this matter I just couldn’t help myself and let fly. Too bad the HHS only allows 150 words per comment because I could only include the first two paragraphs from the letter below. However, you get to see it all.

August 28, 2008

Subject: New Abortion Rules

Birth control pills (pregnancy prevention) are abortion? You’ve got to be kidding! Does this apply to guys who wear condoms too? Why not shove “abstinence” down everyone’s throat and take away individual rights at the same time?

The level of hypocrisy and stupidity in this administration is beyond belief! What’s the next step, arrest women for ovulating and guys for masturbating and “wasting” their seed? Babies are innocent and need protection but so are the grown babies we call adults. Young men and women in their late teens are perfectly fine to use as gun fodder by ideologues and profiteers but zygotes (a woman’s egg immediately after fertilization) in the womb are to be protected at all costs and under any circumstances. Have I got that right? Isn’t it time for “God’s children” to grow up?

Before retiring from bus driving, when I drove through Oakmont, a large retirement community in northern California, I used to watch how quail families reacted to the approach of my bus. The babies would quickly run at a right angle away from the bus while the parents would run around in circles in front of it, until the last possible moment. Does this sort of confusion and dumbing down happen to adult humans too? I don’t like to be sarcastic but, boy, some folks sure make it easy.



We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Visit The LifeSong Store where the world comes to shop for inspirational and life-changing ideas on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hoodies and more. Change the world for the better with POTS! (Philosophy On T-Shirts)

Changing Ourselves and the World for the Better

Life is a creative journey from beginning to end. We can choose to sit behind the steering wheel and consciously direct our own journey or sit in the passenger seat, leaving fate in control.

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