"If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there's a chance you may contribute to making a better world. That's your choice."
- Noam Chomsky
Friday April 10, 2020
ChangedMinds.org: Issues, ideas and invitations
Daniel Quinn has said that if the world is to be saved, it will not be by programs or policies, but by people with changed minds.
He's also said that there is one thing he is sure of: that any people living on the earth in 200 years will be people who live and think quite differently than we do today...
Because if the present human culture goes on thinking and living as we do, there won't be any people here in 200 years...
Most of us are addicted, in varying degrees, to the power, speed, pleasures, convenience and textures of our modern world -- its convenience foods and car culture, endless entertainment, instant everything and never-ending promises that we're gonna be better, brighter, thinner, happier, smarter, hipper, sexier and allergy-free... Someday.
One of the first steps in ending (or at least weakening) the addiction is awakening to recognize that all that stuff, and the anxiety that accompanies its presence in my life is killing me in more ways than I've considered.
Somewhere along the way, I realize that I am OF and not ABOVE the living world, that I am nature, and not a separate, isolated species who occasionally ventures out into nature...
I am inseparable from nature. I am a product of this Earth, not its master, and I am responsible for my impact, good and bad.
Just as the collective ignorance of our species has contributed to sweeping, frightening damage in the world, our collective healing can change the world for good, as each person heals in heart and practices living more consciously.
Seeing changes beginning to grow like grass
In spite of the endless flood of "reality" TV shows, suburban sprawl and look-alike shopping districts across the land, if I pay attention to little things, there seems to be a growing awakening throughout the world.
It's a quiet thing, like grass growing, and just as strong and sure, once it takes root. It's appearing in every culture and faith -- like little weeds of wonder, an opening to mindfulness, self-observation and practiced awareness.
Does one person really make a difference?
Can one changed mind really matter in the face of such frightening global issues as the world faces today?
It's all that does matter. The only part I can control is my own heart. I learn to observe my own mind and actions, and slowly, I learn to act in new ways.
And that is enough.
Think about it: A little light makes a BIG difference in a dark room.
Gandhi is proof enough that one person can have an impact on the world. One of his quotes goes something like this: "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would be sufficient to solve the world's problems."
It's true, don't you think?
HOW? How do we change? How do we begin?
Stop. Breathe. Look. Be still. Practice.
I learn to share my heart and experiences with like-minded people on their own paths. It's amazing to see so many people awakening and sharing their experiences with others.
Oral traditions of story-telling are strong.
Helen Palmer, teaches about the Enneagram in the oral tradition. Her work has helped so many to find the reality in their lives by simply enabling others to tell their stories...
Real change grows like grass. It's simpler and more powerful than what we've been doing... it is not moved forward by creating huge, resource consuming, slow-moving ego-embattled organizations to study, govern, guide, enshrine, legislate or "churchify" all human experience.
We must, as Gandhi said, be the change we wish to see in the world.
What kinds of change are you experiencing?
A hundred years ago, a person could live his or her entire life without having any basic beliefs seriously challenged. Today, we find ourselves exposed to new information and perspectives constantly, and an open minded person is likely to have to change a lot of beliefs about what had seemed so certain along the way...
What do you believe today? How have you found your beliefs changing, growing, affecting the ways you live in the world? What questions are you asking?
As our beliefs and ways of seeing, listening, sensing and thinking change, our actions follow.
How do you feel today about consumer culture, global business vs. local merchants, real community living, disposable everything, SUV's, local food, air & water purity, the human "footprint" on Earth, sustainability, wildlife and the future of our role in relationship with all of life on this planet?
Please share some of your stories here, with others.
We learn from our interaction, telling our stories and feeling the weight and wonder in those told to us by others...
You are invited to share something about your changing mind and life. This is a small, simple place. I hope it will be of some help to you in your own changing life. Our collective vision grows and deepens with the input of others on the journey.
Randy Weeks, for ChangedMinds.org