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.

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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!

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Pete – http://diaryofamystic.com

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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Post on Education, Obama’s Change.Gov.Com

If we want to improve education, effectively deal with environmental issues, create meaningful jobs, improve health care and bring peace to the world, we can stop asking ourselves, what’s going to work best for ME exclusively and start asking ourselves what’s going to work best for ALL of us?

  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in personal terms?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of business?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of education?
  • What’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of the environment? And what’s going to work best for ALL of us in terms of peace?

Too often selfishness is disguised as altruism in a ME first environment.

When we ask ourselves life-enhancing questions like these we become consciously engaged in creating our own reality. From the time we start school, we’re told to “Sit down, shut up and do as you’re told because I’m the teacher and I know what’s best for you!” This message is conveyed to us in both words and actions. In Catholic school, we’re told, in both words and actions, “You’re basically bad because Adam and Eve ate an apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil against God’s express wish.” In catechism, we were also told “You can’t trust the flesh (your body) because it will always betray you.”

Wow, can you think of anything more damaging or mind-deadening than being given messages like these when you’re young? It’s especially damaging when these “commands” are delivered with great conviction from trusted “authorities”. If we believe we’re bad and can’t trust ourselves, how are we going to be inspired to learn and how can we become anything but self-conscious, inhibited and closed? As a former public transit driver, I can tell you that many students in public education are suspicious and distrustful of people in authority, even bus drivers. On the other hand, Montessori students and home schooled kids were the most open, curious and friendly. To them, I was just another person, another source of information for a curious and open mind.

Every idea is a suggestion and if we tell ourselves we’re bad, we’ll act bad. If we think we can’t trust ourselves, we’ll dis-trust ourselves and support institutions that oppress us. The way out of this morass is to question our basic assumptions and start asking ourselves good questions. This way, we become imaginatively engaged in learning and “growing” ourselves. It might even help to redefine success. Currently, success is defined by how much money, power and privilege we posses. What if we defined success by how close we are to being who we love to be, doing what we love to do? When all we ask is, what’s going to work best for me, we psychologically disconnect from others and life becomes competitive, a matter of survival of the fittest. A belief in separation and competition attracts associated ideas like kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, predatory concepts we see dramatized in life, work and art every day.

How we define ourselves and the world around us forms our intent, which in turn, forms our reality. Until we start asking questions and stop assuming we know the answers, we will continue to recycle tired old ideas like, “build new schools” or “pay teachers more money” and children will learn, not that we shouldn’t do these things. But, why not take advantage of natural passion in education? If we truly want to support our children and help them create a more pleasing reality than ours, let’s make learning fun by teaching them how to ask questions and listen/look for answers. When we  ask ourselves, who do I love to be and what do I love to do, we throw open our minds to every possibility and that, in and of itself, is exciting. And when we begin to figure out who it is we love to be and what we love to do, we have natural passion and spontaneity on our side, inspiring us to new heights of creativity and achievement . The desire to learn is built in to who we are. All we have to do as children, adults, parents and teachers is follow our bliss, be who we love to be and do what we love to do!

Pete – http://diaryofamystic.com

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Evolution

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (French Monk and Philosopher)

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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.

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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.

WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY

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.

Remember:

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.

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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?

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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 – http://diaryofamystic.com

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)

Open Letter of Concern to T. Boone Pickens

(Knowing that T. Boone Pickens is the Texas oil billionaire who funded the Swift Boaters against John Kerry in 2004, I find myself questioning his motives in settling on wind, sun and natural gas as the only alternative energy sources to oil. Wind and solar power are renewable energy sources but natural gas is not. I’m not an expert in any of these areas but it does concern me that Mr. Pickens’ plan depends on private and government land leases and tax subsidies for the development of his energy plan. He will need land use rights and new transmission lines to install wind power generators from the Dakotas to the Texas Panhandle and solar power sites from Texas to California, all of which will be owned by whom? T. Boone Pickens?

There are a number of alternative energy forms being developed. To get some idea, take a look at a list of the top 100 technologies now in development: http://peswiki.com/energy/Congress:Top_100_Technologies_–_RD. – Pete)

Dear Mr. Pickens,

What’s going to work best for ALL of us? You say your plan will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and most Americans agree that will be a good thing. You say yourself, “Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.” Who would pay for it?

In your plan at, http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/, you don’t mention anything about the cost of building solar energy plants from the Texas Panhandle to California and the transmission lines to distribute that energy to businesses and homes in America.  If we’re all going to participate in the creation and deployment of this new energy infrastructure, who’s going to own it, price it and control it, you? How does that serve America’s best interest? You have a good idea but we must all be included in the discussion to determine what’s going to work best for ALL of us. Until we include ‘ALL’ of us in our calculations, we’ll continue to go in different directions, canceling each other’s energy (no pun intended) out, with rare exception.

Keep an open mind:

Also, there are many new and promising technologies in the process of development. Too often, the money, power and privilege junkies among us, slam the door on anything that doesn’t profit them directly. I pray you are beyond this short-sighted mindset and encourage the people around you to keep an open mind as we seek to save ourselves from ourselves. After all, what better legacy can we leave behind than a positive and loving memory of the lessons we learned and the person we became in life.

Pete

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo

What would the world be like if, instead of competing for money, power and privilege, we cared more about becoming better people and changing the world for the better?

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)

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 MoveOn.org 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.

Pete

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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)