Monday, July 12, 2010

Selfless Action - a mindset.

I read about the 43 year old woman in Iran awaiting the death penalty by stoning. What she may or may not have done is immaterial. My question is how is it possible for mankind to be so cruel? How do we justify picking up a stone with the intent to kill another defenseless person? Whether it is murder or capital punishment - whatever the intention - do we have the right to take another life simply because we judged them and found them wanting - in our perspective? How we love to wield our power over another. How many of us who sit in judgment of others truly have the wisdom to determine absolute right from wrong? Much of what used to be wrong at one time is right today. What is wrong within the borders of one country is right just across it. What is wrong in my mind is right in another's.

It is our blindness towards Oneness that makes it possible for us to be this way. Imagine watching your mother being lashed ninety nine times in public. Is that painful to imagine? Why then is it okay for us to sit 6 thousand miles away and read about it happening to another and move on with our daily life? What is the real difference between her pain and the same pain inflicted on me? Separateness - it is just that I have no visible physical ties to this mother of two grown children who I have never met and so her pain has no lasting effect on me. I may cringe - only because for a moment I may imagine it happening to me but I feel nothing for her - really.

We are not this body - we are really the undying, unaffected breath of life. But the body does belong to this collective life and so deserves the same respect. Her body, my body anyone else's body or mind - when pained can only increase collective pain. We are all tied simply because we all come from the same source. Hypothesize with me - if it is true that we are all part of the One Whole then this pain inflicted on this one person must cause a ripple that will eventually reach you and me. How can I stop getting hurt by an act that I have not committed? No matter how much 'good' I may do the effect of 'evil' must reach my life shore. It is imperative that we bring immediate attention to the pain we the human race are inflicting on everything in our environment so we become aware of the immense harm we are causing to ourselves and to future generations. Fighting against anything is not the answer because of the very same reason. We must wage peace. We must bring about change with love, not fear. It will take a few generations for it to bear fruit but waging war will take us deeper into destruction.

Businesses are no longer the responsibility of the people owning them. We have made businesses individuals without a life so we can protect our personal life and property if we do wrong towards another. If we had continued to be liable for our own actions much of the economic evil would have had a different face. Business and ethics rarely share the same table anymore. The BP oil spill is causing people to boycott their gas stations. Really? Is that how people sitting at the top levels of organizations going to change their ways for the better? Many may now be figuring out how much more money they will need to throw at saving their own skin if there is a similar accident in their business. It is the common man who will suffer. The young man who pumped the gas, or the young lady who stood at the cash desk or even the independent owner of the gas station whose livelihood depended on us stopping by. They are the ones who do not have enough cash in the bank to pay rent if we boycott them. Most of the people in 'responsible' positions just bide their time till something bigger comes along and takes our attention away from them. The ripple of each of their foul actions and ours will only make it worse - not better. Instead, as a human race if we all rose to the occasion and did our part to help clean up the mess and support the organizations and people who are helping and those whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by this accident we can all get back on our feet faster and work towards bringing about changes that will have a positive impact overall.

The woman in Iran or the oil spill in the Gulf waters have the same effect on our collective lives. No one benefits in the long run. Life is not about winning or losing - it is about harmony, peace and prosperity for all. The Universe is infinitely abundant in these matters and we can all draw from it and enjoy all of it and still nothing would be depleted. There is ample proof of this. A mother of one can give as much love to her child as a mother of ten can give to each of hers and still have more to give. A teacher can share all of her knowledge with all her students and still gain and give more. We have all benefitted from the Universe in more ways than one and we continue to receive more each day. Is there a need for us to leave the neighbors portion of the lawn dry and water only 'our' stretch of the lawn? Why can we not see that the water flowing from 'my' hose on to 'my' lawn is really no different from my neighbors? Simply because I pay a monetary price for the water flowing out of 'my' hose I draw a line beyond which the water will not be allowed to flow! This holds true with everything in our lives. What is in it for me? Actually in the short term - there appears to be a material loss and we are short sighted enough to only see this loss. In the long run the stretch of grass that covers our lawns become lush and green together and nothing of the dryness that would have otherwise been across that invisible line encroaching 'my' portion can ever touch the greenery that is.

I am not talking about Utopia - because I understand that the world cannot be all good just as it cannot be all evil. So also I know that no one person is all good or all bad. That is the world of duality we live in and it brings balance. If it was all about good the world would explode and if it was all bad it would implode. I am talking about making a shift to the balance so we can slowly but surely spread the word about kindness and compassion so cruelty and selfishness are not the direction in which we cause ourselves to self destruct. Bringing presence and living life like we only have this moment does bring a different perspective to life and is a powerful way to bring awareness of Oneness into being. Coming into the moment, remembering source, questioning what if this is really the only moment I have shifts the dimension in which we find ourself. The woman in Iran and the people affected by the oil spill or the ones whose erred ways may have caused the spill are all here now with us. How can it be that their actions and thoughts are not affecting ours? How can it be that we cannot impact theirs?

No it is not the politicians, not the lawmakers, not those religious fanatics and pedophiles who are to blame for it all. We each play a part in the collective evil. We each have a role to play in the collective good too. There is more peace, more joy in good. Let us practice goodness in our daily lives. Jealousy, mistrust, hatred, doubt are stressful emotions. Let us stop being self absorbed and live a service oriented life. Selfless service for one hour a week from each person I know would be a good start. The key is selflessness. This service could be cleaning ones own home with love, expecting nothing from it - not even the joy of having a clean home. It could be giving a 100% of oneself at work without thinking about the sense of satisfaction it would bring. Selfless service is not about the Red Cross and relief funds alone it is a mind set that we need to develop. When we expect nothing we live in bliss - a good result of action is simply a bonus! The theory that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction - does not foretell whether or not you will like that reaction. The reaction is also an action that will have a reaction and this cycle will continue till at some point your initial action will come back to you in a form that is beyond recognition. That is the nature of the physical world. In the realm of the spirit you have full control. Your inner peace, your inner joy, your inner love is yours and will emanate outward from you at all times. They will keep you joyful inside and outside.

Can selfless action change the world? If living in the present is hard then think about everything you do today in terms of cause and long acting effect and write them down and see where it takes you. It was a revealing experience for me that has definitely changed my thought process. Just journaling a few thoughts and actions and a different world opened up to me. Being able to imagine the wonder of the circle that my thoughts can cause is a powerful motivator. Make sure you are thinking beyond yourself and out into the future. It will be a roller coaster ride - so keep it short!

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