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What Ray’s reading right now:
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)
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Today’s affirmation is:
“I am transforming judgment into understanding. I am the source of change in my life, in my group, and in this world.”
How you see the world is really a matter of perspective. Your absolute conviction in the truth as you see it, can be absolutely rejected by the next person with the same absolute conviction. When these views collide conflict often ensues. That is, when we insist upon our way or no way.
The fact is that we are beings living in a world that none of us completely understands. We can hide that fact beneath layers of belief in some ideology, religion, or even scientific certainty. The fact remains; we never have all the facts to pass the judgment we are often too ready to pass upon others.
In a world being shrunk by technology and proliferating civilization ending weapons, we might be wise to take stock. Given our permanent state of uncertainty, maybe, just maybe, we should think about giving the other guy a break.
This can be as simple as, “live and let live.” You don’t have to agree with the other person. You don’t have to endorse their behavior. You simply have to understand that you can never completely understand his or her perspective and he or she can never completely understand yours.
The world watched this week as Slavic nationalism was stoked by the declaration of independence in Kosovo. Turkey has become emboldened to start a low-grade war with the Kurds in Iraq. We have the ever-present monotheistic struggle for dominance in the middle east. The problem shows itself everywhere.
Narrow-mindedness and tribal group-think were luxuries humanity has lived with, despite the brutal consequences, throughout its history. We have reached the point now where it is about to the break budget for our survival on this planet.
Saddest of all, there are forces on this planet who have powerful control over information outlets and government who thrive and profit by stirring the conflict that generates wars and foments hatred. They have played the masses like a fiddle to keep us divided and powerless. For our world to take the next steps, the people must see the manipulators for who they are and negate their ability to lead us around by our collective noses.
The alternative, should we persist in our unwillingness to take this approach in world affairs, is the destruction of us all. Who will be right then?
Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, “The world’s problems will not be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” We are a world in desperate need of a new level of thinking. We need a level of thinking that is not so sure of our group’s perfection and the other group’s evil. We need a level of thinking that sees people as the human beings they are and not subhumans summed up by the term “them”.
We have the power to change our perspective and mend our ways. We can and we must! We have it within us to say, “enough”. It all begins with “live and let live”. Until we are willing to do it, we walk on dangerous precipices.
Back in 2003, I wrote the following simple dialogue between a student and his teacher to illustrate this point to a friend during a discussion. I used a non-human thing to take the emotion out of it and help focus on the concept.
Student: Master, why do people not seek truth?
Master: People do seek truth, but they confuse personal truth with universal truth.
Student: Master, what is the difference?
Master: Do you see the rock over there?
Student: Yes, Master, I see the rock.
Master: How are you different from the rock?
Student: Master, I have intelligence and wisdom. I can change and grow. I offer more value to the world than the rock.
Master: So you are more important than the rock?
Student: Yes, Master, I believe I am.
Master: What do you think the rock thinks of you? Do you think the rock sees its place in the universe as more important than yours?
Student: Perhaps, Master, but that is the rock’s point of view.
Master: Ahh, your truth puts you at the center of the universe. The rock’s truth puts it at the center of the universe. WHOSE TRUTH IS CORRECT?
Student: Master, I know not.
Master: When you have attained universal truth you will no longer be concerned with my question. You and the rock will live in harmony rather than conflict; he with his truth and you with yours.
Be Peaceful Be prosperous!
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