Prism Thinking – Design Your Mind

Posts tagged ‘humanity’

Judgments of the Non-Judgmental, the Spiritual and the Need to be Right

Have you ever heard someone make blanket statements about other people being judgmental while simultaneously insinuating their own judgmental attitude against “the Others” that aren’t like them?  In my experience these may be the very people who will tell you how wrong you are for being selfish, arrogant, stupid, greedy, rich, lazy, poor, unambitious, unloving, unspiritual and judgmental! All because you may not agree with their opinions or views.

I hear all too often from supposed non-judgmental people, “I’m spiritual, I don’t believe in organized religion like those religious nuts!” Or, “I care so much about people, not like those other kinds of people…”  While these are paradoxes, within the paradoxical labeling, lies the judgment. Frankly I don’t believe there is such a thing as being completely without judgment. If you have an opinion, you’re forming a judgment; if you have a strong opinion you may want to be careful about how you allow others to form theirs as well.

If I were to practice being non-judgmental, it would be to freely hear and understand all perspectives, in the hopes of learning something new so that I could form my own. Arguing would only lead to animosity and enforce the need to be right. I’d rather be educated and pay it forward. Folks can learn according their own merits and circumstances and are entitled to their views, whether or not I agree, I can at least respect.

So what of the self-proclaimed non-judgmental who are also usually the self-proclaimed spiritual, because for some reason these two go hand-in-hand.  There are those who are so uncannily threatened by opposing opinions, they become outright violent and abusive.  This of course, is a contradiction to their self-described character. Perhaps because they want to change the world to their perceived utopia and “the Others” get in the way. Perhaps it’s because they’re so non-judgmental that they want everyone to be so. Either way, it negates the commonly-accepted very quality of a non-judgment, doesn’t it?

Then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum. They say “live and let live”, often turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all kinds of, what “the Others” consider atrocities, injustice and sometimes even tragedies. But even that isn’t all conclusive, because by doing nothing, they form a judgment by default. Sure they can say live and let live on a global level and stay obliviously unaffected, but can they on a personal level?

So how do we all perceive of ourselves, and how do others on the outside perceive us? How do we perceive of others? Are we being fair in our assessment? Do we give others the personal right to express their opinions? And if we don’t share the same views, should we argue our point? Should we just shake our heads righteously and say, “Those poor things, not as enlightened as I am; not at my level; one day they will learn…” I’ve heard those sentiments quite often, but I can always tell the facial expression saying, “I’m not saying anything, but you’re wrong.”

I think the bottom line is we all have opinions, and it doesn’t matter what people say about being non-judgmental, I’ve found there is always underlying judgment somewhere in differences of views. Even when there is a visceral discord in the exchange of opinions, there will be judgment in the unspoken.  What we can do is to at least stay non-judgmental for the duration of the time it takes for us to form our own opinion. Whether something serves us or not, or whether it serves humanity or not, we can debate, we can stay on separate sides, we can change our minds about things, we can stay open. Above all we can gain perspective and we never stop learning.

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9-11 Remembered: Perspectives Gained Within Our Loss

Guest Blog

by Jeff Schoener

People world-wide are remembering 10 years later.

People are asking, where were you when it happened? 

On this a beautifully clear day, comfortable and pleasant, I walked into my office and sat at my desk.  Just two blocks away from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, I and my colleagues heard the first plane strike.  We were stunned as we went to the window, five stories up, where we could see the gaping hole and the flames lick the side of the building.  A manager went into the conference room in order to turn on the news.  We at the time thought it was a horrible accident.  Then there was another muffled explosion which blew out the windows on the other side.  A short time later, the second strike on the second tower.  It dawned upon us that this was no accident.

As an eye witness without a telephone, at this point e-mail was the only communication means for us cloistered in our office.  The police kept us here, where we were out of both harm’s way and out of the way of the First Responders.   On Broadway, where we saw ticker-tape parades, Firemen and Police squads marched in military fashion in order to set up for their work of rescue and restoration.

Before people in my office were wondering why, they were first wondering if what they were witnessing was true.  “Is this really happening?” 

For the people who never witnessed this first hand, the media ran the plane strikes into the towers on a seemingly endless loop.

I think that in the fullness of time, while remembering the importance of the day, on a personal note, consider the following:

 What have you lost?

Did you lose a job?  Have you lost a loved one? Did you lose your direction in terms of career, of have you and your family the innocence of faith?   I know many people who found the wherewithal to rebuild and to begin again.  Some even created support networks as well as not for profit organization to honor and memorialize.

 What have you gained? 

In light of the loss, have you gained compassion and hope? Have you gained and expanded your understanding of yourself, your neighbors and situations that are not always black and white?  Have you gained a new resolve and strength or have you gained a fearful existence? In the subsequent daysI went around my office getting people beyond their fear and back into the flow of life.

Many others have taken their ‘loss’ as a reason to create something that will help themselves while helping others.  Take this moment in time and begin to answer questions in the light of the day.  Take this gift of time to fill any void with something creative and positive.  With this memory in mind, offer something to serve and sacrifice to another.    This will become a suitable tribute for those who sacrificed on that day.

Out of the ashes - rebuilding One World Trade Center

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To Live ‘For’ or To Live ‘In’ the Moment?

I was recently talking to a lady I know about philosophical beliefs and the subject came to faith and religion.  My friend is mostly agnostic and professed to believing in goodness of humankind rather than in a Supreme Being. She said that if one believes that now is all we have, then we would make the best of our lives and do the best we can in all situations.  These are good ideals. However they are limited and limiting in the spectrum of our full potential.

Let’s take her belief that now is all there is. Now would that lead us to live for now or live in the Now? Is there a distinction? In prism thinking there is. In a tunnel vision they may seem one and the same.  Hear yourself say the phrases “live for today”; “live in today”. If we are to believe only in the inherent goodness of humankind, without it having to be cultivated, then we would assume that everyone would have the intrinsic aspiration to be and do the best you can be and do at all times.  So what really stops us? I perceive a slight kink in that particular machine.

When we think about living for now or for the moment, we think about wanting to do all the things that make us happy and fulfilled and as much of it as we can because we may not have another opportunity when the moment has passed, sort of like a “grab-n-go”.  While this could be true to some extent, could it also possibly lead to over-indulgence, a lack of mindfulness or maybe self-centered desires? Possibly. Remember that our beliefs become our truths and our truths become our reality.  What if someone’s reality was lack, desperation and disappointment? Would they also aspire to be all they can in that moment? Would they even want to? Would they have the ability to perceive changing their reality? What if you live for the moment and act out of desperation? Would that moment be unbearable? It is said that life is a series of moments.  Where you “spend” those moments may define the quality of your life.

Living in the Now

While living in the now may seem similar in ideals, think of it as being fully present – not being attached to dramas of the past and not being too involved in the “what-ifs” of future possibilities. I should mention here that it is important to mentally play out the different possibilities for decision-making and designing your life. While each moment has the potential to bring any possible future depending on how we act in the present, worrying about events that may not happen robs from us the gifts of the present.  What are these gifts?

In my experience of being in the present, I can perceive full awareness of everything around me (or at least to the fullest of my comprehension).  The best example I can give you would be my first experience with time-distortion I had learnt from Dr. Richard Bandler in a Design Human Engineering® Seminar, I attended and to which I was fortunate enough to staff.  I’ll never forget when Richard taught that when he slows down time, he is able to notice every movement, every gesture of every single person in the room simultaneously.  As Il followed in the exercise, I remember how amazing it was to actually see every gesture, movement; hear every cough, sneeze or throat-clearing, even smell different scents – all in slow-motion! Imagine being able to behold all these wondrous sensations and more, slowing down time, being fully present in the moment and experiencing everything that we would normally miss when we’re not really “here”! How many wasted moments do you think has been spent by millions of us dwelling in the past, worrying about the future or even living only for now? How much have we missed, living in our frenetic versions of “now”?

Oh, and should I also mention that being in the present gives us many additional gifts? Obviously distorting time that day at the seminar, slowing down time, afforded us ample time to finish our staffing paperwork duties, when just before, it seemed we were in a rush with not enough time to get it all done! I assure you, it’s an amazing thing!

Other gifts to consider when being fully present? How about you come up with a few of your own and imagine what it would be like to fully experience everything you wish you could but either don’t have the time or the opportunity.  Well it’s all happening Now! You just have to learn the technique and that’s no longer a secret!

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Are We Ready For the Freedom of Relativity?

While this blog offers perspectives that help open up our world, giving us more dimensionality, the theory of relativity is no longer a theory, but a reality we experience everywhere.  The universe is relative, Einstein told us, and true at that. Relativism, when embraced and realized gives way to literally mind-flipping possibilities.  Possibilities and potential that perhaps our Creator knew that while on Earth, the duality of our current state cannot be completely understood until we would have evolved into another state of being and thus of awareness and acceptance.  Quite an opener, isn’t it?

While the universe is relative as are we, there are laws on which it runs. At the same time we were also given laws for several reasons.  We have all heard of the states of order and chaos within the universe haven’t we?  The universe runs on laws to maintain order and avoid chaos.  Relativism offers us infinite possibilities which if rendered without responsibility will wreak havoc on our lives.  We see this more and more every day, whether or not you have noticed.

We as a species have grown and gained much over millennia, but have we enough? We seek today, to be our own lord and master, yet have we gained the infinite perspectives within our limited state to claim that in its entirety?  Can we fully comprehend the enormous scope of this knowledge of relativity? Do we understand that with the freedom that knowledge of relativity brings, comes also a vast responsibility in governing ourselves? Yes we may defy laws; we may rationalize about why they are unnecessary, who created them, we may make excuses that satisfy and comfort our ego. But let’s really face the fact that the universal laws we are required to live by help us maintain some aspect of order and balance.  We may attempt to defy some laws or at least defy within the frame-work, we may attempt to push the thresholds; but everything that we ultimately protest or abide in our lives reside within the spectrum between order and chaos – good and evil, right and wrong, positive and negative, light and dark.  We may also sometimes tend to swing the pendulum too far the other way, often forfeiting balance for our own ego’s irresponsible wants, sometimes placing inappropriate obligation, and sometimes relinquishing accountability, holding us even more hostage to our situations than the freedom that having relative perspectives truly offers.

Who are we then, to dispute the universal laws of balance, even as we perceive of ourselves as specks of dust in the primordial soup or as infinitely great as God itself? Without this responsibility, even the logistics of aerodynamics within the framework of the law of gravity would fail; if we don’t abide the rules within the movement of air, gravity will pull us down; and if we go too far we would float about aimlessly.  What would happen if the oceans of the world or the planets in our solar system decided that they didn’t need rules and laws just because it was relative to them and they had choices that their free-will compelled them to exercise? Take away the appropriate obligation and there would be chaos.

As with mighty empires that have fallen throughout recorded and unrecorded history, as worlds begin and end like the fabled Lemuria or even Atlantis, what if worlds as we knew them would end as we have forged on ahead of ourselves, so far ahead as to put ourselves in front of the yet unexplained or more appropriately, unfathomed mysterious forces which hold us together?  Are we to dispose of the pieces of hardware that came with the do-it-yourself piece just because they weren’t clearly indicated in the instructions? Someone who is familiar with the design and rules of carpentry might know better and help you put the pieces together.  Maybe we should be holding on to those pieces until we can understand how and where they fit, and always keep asking, “Is that all there is?”

Appropriate asked by the illustrious Peggy Lee…

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Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more—as should we all.

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Parody of a Paradox: Land Ownership

How Far Back Does One Go?

I’ve been reading a lot for a while now about the agendas of certain groups promoting their idea of what they believe to be fair-minded rightful ownership of land.  In this they have swept masses off their feet all in the name of defending the “suppressed”.  While this may be an accurate issue in some cases, the more prominent ones, upon further inspection, are factually inaccurate. Upon studying this, I’ve decided to present, as a fellow immigrant from another hemisphere, some humorous yet poignant perspectives to some of the premise they promote.

Rightful ownership – United States – Mexico – Native America – Israel – Palestine – China – Tibet – Australia – Aboriginals – ancestral lands –   these are some of the sound bytes chanted by many in demonstrations. You see these groups spelling Texas as Tejas, you hear schools being taught “new history” all based on personal filters and beliefs of those that teach, ultimately undermining actual historical events and indoctrinating the uninformed with a new backdrop. Who are the rightful owners? Let’s really break this down according to what they preach.

So we have groups of people coming together from all races, nationalities and walks of life chanting protests like “give back the land”, “free the so-and-so’s” in righteous indignation—wait just a minute… First of all, if you or I were to get actively involved in a campaign of sorts, I would guess we would have to first be so totally clear in our intent as to be completely committed and aligned to the cause. I would first have to examine my own heritage and roots and decide upon conclusion that based on where I have come from, do I really have the right to be here too? Or should I go back to my ancestral land (for as far back as I can trace) and then commit to my cause from there? Seems logical, doesn’t it? If you talk the talk, then walk the walk—as far back to your land as you can.

As we experience a flash of the past, do we feel connected to civilizations lost? Are they just part of history or do they seem real today?

So let’s use the Tejas example.  Since these groups seem to believe that Texas was taken from the Mexicans, then do the Mexicans have a right to Mexico? I mean, the Spanish influence in Central and South America clearly indicates the Spanish conquering, oppression and maybe—apartheid with the natives at one time? Could it really be? But then the Spanish conquered most of the land from the Mayans and the Incans, the Aztecs and the numerous native tribes that resided all over the Americas… Oh wait… some of them are no longer here—to whom on earth do we return the land rightfully?

So let’s say that I’m an activist on this issue and I am…of English decent, a 10th generation American. Do I really have the right to be living here? Shouldn’t I just go back and preach? But then, am I really English or maybe a blend of an inter-marriage… maybe I’m a product of pre-British Empire…the Roman Empire…Greek…Celtic… Oh God! What am I??? Where is my land? The scenario is ridiculous, isn’t it? As ridiculous as negating human migration which has been occurring since before the Tower of Babel!

In all honesty, unless the average person today has a clear concept about geography, ancient geography, history and geo-politics do we really have the right to be righteously indignant about this? Should we commit to an ideal only if we commit to learning everything there is to learn about it and more, and are therefore certain we know with what we are dealing? Laughably I have watched many a Jaywalking with Leno to understand that some average Americans think that the bordering countries of the United States are Australia and Hawaii…  In many surveys, the average person has not much of an idea of what race or nationality of people belong to which country and which country actually exists—today! Would I be considered absurd if suddenly protested the migration of birds during the year? But they’re not indigenous!

Not just tourists visiting the past, but residents who bridge the past to the present.

For the rest of us humans, indigenous or not, the traditions we may carry till today still connects us to our ancestral past, our people, heritage and land. We blend, we mix, we become a part of a greater society as a whole while still maintaining our heritage if that’s what is important to us as individuals as well as a community.  It may just be that our true identities, where we came from and where we belong is a tapestry of a wonderful blend of this wondrous planet. Migration has occurred long since pre-historic times, some of us have been around for a long, long time, some of us less—a product of the old blended with the new, migration along with expulsions and exiles.  We are a tapestry of our living Earth, and a witness to what has once been and what will be—we, her Human partner from the very start – in  the Beginning…or are we?

 

“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

**Note: These are just a few perspectives.  I have more as should we all.

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Love – Conditionally Unconditional?

We hear so many declarations about unconditional love it’s easy to get lost in the cliché without really understanding its scope and true meaning.  To many, the phrase unconditional love, I’ve noticed means to love completely without reservation.  What does this mean in the cosmic or the macro sense? When you are used to comprehending this in a micro view, does it change with a grander perspective? When we begin to grasp the concept of pure love in the macro sense through our prism view we may come to the realization that what we thought we understood about unconditional love is really more blind love within our limited understanding.

Because divine love is vastly different from earthly human love, the kind we can perceive—we, even in our purest intent to give and receive it can never really fathom it. Even in unconditional love, there is condition or there would be no growth within our own spiritual evolution.  Yes we believe that divine or universal love is total and infinite, and yes, even in our limited knowledge, it most probably is. God loves us anyway; the Universe loves us anyway—with all our flaws and limitations; love is all there is; love is all that matters; divine love is the most beautiful thing there is—we’re all familiar with these concepts.  In the soul-sense on the grander scale we are loved unconditionally.  Human-wise and in the earthly sense, believe it or not, we may suffer even though we are loved unconditionally.  When I say we may suffer, I mean in the sense of how we may suffer through mistakes and bad decisions, but we learn from them and we grow.  Sometimes within these trying moments of recovering or moving on from mistakes we may perceive it as bad fortune, punishment and may foster resentment and even hatred.  Harsh derivatives from something as pure as love, aren’t they?

Can we at all fathom that even when we experience the lows in our lives that we are loved infinitely divinely through all of it as much as when we are on our highs? Sometimes limited understanding of why things happen, why things are and are not, what we deem as fair and unfair block our ability to give and receive love.  Our version of love is a limited one, but only for now, only within this time and space. Yet we proceed to equate the Universe and its Creator with this version, in a sense what we are really doing is limiting God and our understanding of the Divine.

So is there really such thing as what we have termed unconditional love?  Even when you think of ourselves as being loved despite our flaws, there is condition there somewhere.  How do we expect each other to love humanity the way God does? Because to love responsibly, with regard to humanity negates loving with abandon, that is, the abandonment of our faculties of knowledge and understanding which are precursors to wisdom.  When you love and care for someone deeply enough there is condition—for you to raise the bar so that they can be raised and lifted too.  Would there otherwise be sense in loving blindly, despite their flaws, making no contribution to their progress and evolution? That would be a disservice, wouldn’t it? I especially am amused when I hear parents say they love their children unconditionally. Really?  So when you take care of them, teach them in order for them to be the best they can be, when you say no and when you say yes to them are there no conditions?

Throughout the ages when we are fortunate enough to cross paths with teachers or masters who transcend the minutiae of earthly lives, live elevated lives and seem to love their students and followers in a purer sense, what do we seek to do?  We can learn and emulate or we can set them apart as being special souls and ascended masters put here on this earth for a reason. The reason is to teach us that we too can transcend and ascend; we too have that spark that shines in its purest form.  Isn’t that what we as humans aspire to reach?  It begins with your own conception of love and if you’re willing to make your box bigger or remove the box altogether!

**Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more, as should we all.

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