It is With Good Reason That Some Call Hopi-land in Arizona,
the Tibet of the West
Secluded in the Painted Desert of the Southwest, the Hopi are a private, but kind, indigenous Nation that have preserved one of the most ancient cultures in North America. They are essentially an oral tradition people which means that they have other ways of keeping their history than written words that includes dances, songs, and storytelling. They even have a word, ‘Navoti’, which refers to the information that can only be exchanged through the spoken word, it has to do with the silent space between words, the feelings and gestures that can not be transmitted in the written form. This why I am usually hesitant to write about my experiences with the Hopi (along with a history of cultural appropriation and misunderstanding from anthropologists and spiritual seekers from the ‘New-Age’). So rather than attempt to write about the Hopi culture, which I am not qualified to do, I am compelled to share a story from my 20 years of experience and friendships on the Hopi Mesas.
“Hope” is a video representation of Hopi Prophecy Rock
Tribal culture is often more focused on the community than individuals, and any wisdom that individuals posses is generally considered the collective wisdom of the tribe. This can be a sensitive issue when elders speak out beyond the village, or draw attention to themselves, but there are times when it is necessary. Famed Hopi artist, mythical archaeologist, and poet, Michael Kaboti once explained to me, “Sometimes, in order to keep a tradition alive, you have to break the tradition. For that reason we have clowns as the accepted tradition-breakers.”
Nature, the First People and the spirit of our ancestors are giving you loud warnings. Today, December 10, 1992, you see increasing floods, more damaging hurricanes, hail storms, climate changes and earthquakes as our prophecies said would come. Even animals and birds are warning us with strange changes in their behavior such as the beaching of whales. Why do animals act like they know about the earth’s problems and most humans act like they know nothing? If we humans do not wake up to the warnings, the Great Purification will come to destroy this world just as the previous worlds were destroyed.
– Grandfather Thomas Banyacya, speaking before the United Nations in 1992.
The elder who changed my life is not a clown, but he has always been a trickster in my life. With the exception of Thomas Banyacya, who was the first elder to share Hopi Prophecies with the world, he may be the most well-known Hopi elder to outsiders. His name is Martin Gashweseoma (left), and he is known as the Keeper of the Sacred Fire Clan Tablets. I first met him at an international gathering of indigenous elders called Belonging to Mother Earth in the late 90′s.
Many of the attendees had really hoped that Martin would come to the gathering but he had declined. On the second morning of the week-long event there was a sunrise pipe-ceremony held on the beach. During the ceremony, we were visited by dolphins who swam in a circle just a few feet from the shore during the whole ceremony. I instantly felt they were visiting us and aware of what we were doing though logic would say that it was a coincidence. Still there were no dolphins anywhere else along the beach but right in front of us.
Later that evening we received word at the gathering that Martin had called in and had changed his mind and decided to come after all. His reason? He said that dolphins had visited him in his dream and told him he needed to go to the gathering… Arrangements were made and he arrived the next evening.
I was at the gathering hosting youth activities and workshops all week with my company, Living Folklore. We had been invited because of our history working at schools and reservations using art, circus performers, stilt walkers, and clowns. Every tribe around the world has some sort of clown character, so mimicry, puppets, and playful games are a great way to entertain audiences from different cultural backgrounds that don’t all speak the same language. On the evening of Martins arrival, one of our performers was invited to a birthday celebration that a bunch of elders would be attending. Martin stole the show when he asked her, Giggly Sprout the Clown, to marry him. It was beautiful to see the power of laughter as a universal form of relating between all of these elders, many of whom spoke different languages.
During the next day Martin and his translator, Emory, shared many stories and prophecies to a small gathering of people. It was a profound experience and a great responsibility to hear this wisdom, but it was many months after the gathering that Martin began to work his magic on me. I had a recurring dream for weeks and in it was Martin laughing at me. Sometimes I could hear him laughing but I couldn’t see his face, other times he was looking directly into my eyes and laughing. At first I assumed it was just a strange dream and then I began to wonder what it might symbolize.
Martin Explains the First and Second Prophecy Rock
I went through a lengthy series of initiations that involved clowns and masked characters on various Hopi villages before I was told where Martin lived. After a while I visited him and was greeted at the door of his home with the same laugh that I had heard in my dreams. I asked him if he remembered me and he said that he always remembers his dreams… From this moment I actually began to believe that it might be possible for people to travel in their dreams and visit others. I have continued to study and work with dreams ever since.
Once, while showing me the Second Prophecy Rock, Martin spoke of the “technology that came from our DNA”. At the time I was not a fan of technology, I saw it as the source of so much destruction on our planet. I asked him, “You mean that computers, cell-phones, and internet can help humanity heal the planet?” He responded, “If only those with bad hearts use this technology, we will have big problems. We need people with good hearts to use this technology to benefit Mother Earth.” It is true that the technology we have came from our imaginations, our dreams, our DNA. Computers are nothing more than circuit boards made from crushed rocks and plastic from decaying fossils. Tools aren’t inherently good or bad, it is the intention with which they are used.
On a subsequent visit with Martin he told me that he had just returned from Japan. I teased him saying, “That isn’t very traditional for a Hopi elder to fly on an airplane.” He responded that indeed it was his tradition because they asked him to share the prophecies and that is his job. So I asked him what he told people in Japan and he responded, “I told them to leave before the tsunami comes.” This was over a year before the tsunami that crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant happened.
On the evening before the tsunami in Japan I saw Martin in my dream again. He kept appearing in different dreams saying the same thing. This time he wasn’t laughing. He said again and again, “It is time for these things that we have spoken of, it is time to wake up.” The following day Japan was hit with a devastating tsunami. Many will call this coincidence, or claim that it is a made up story. I do not believe that I have any special powers, I believe we all have the power to pay attention to our dreams. I believe we have much to learn if we do so. I believe that the earth wants us to wake up, I believe traditional elders have much wisdom for us should we choose to open our minds, our hearts, and listen. What do you believe?
Cetologists observe, document, and decipher evidence that points to a profound intelligence dwelling in the oceans. It is an intelligence that predates our own evolution as intelligent primates by millions of years. – Paul Watson
I had a profound experience while kayaking in Hawaii this past winter with friends. We were visited by a whale and there is no doubt that this majestic being was coherent, aware of us, and enjoying our company as much as we were enjoying his. We put our snorkeling masks on and jumped in and could easily see the whale gently make eye contact with each of us. With one thrust of his tail he could have left in an instant but he stayed with us for over an hour. A mammal with a brain bigger than ours and complex migration songs that change every year, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of thoughts could be going through his mind. The recent piece by Dawn Agnos on UPLIFT about a conversation with a horse shows that emotional intelligence and empathy are a language that many animals understand. It was only recently that terms like emotional intelligence emerged and it is interesting to consider that there are many different kinds of intelligence. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd makes a good argument in a recent Facebook post that perhaps humans concept of intelligence is anthropocentric and lacking in breadth.
Watson starts early in his essay with the bold assertion that, “Biological science is provoking us to shatter our image of human superiority.” Though indigenous wisdom has always considered humans a part of the circle of life rather than above it, that sentiment has almost been completely destroyed by generations of colonial indoctrination. The very roots of colonial indoctrination not only conclude that humans are superior to all other life forms, it also considers some humans as superior to others. Social Darwinism, a myth, was an effort to use science to validate the behavior of employing superior weaponry to oppress other humans. Though we owe much respect to western science we must also understand the cultural and religious backdrop from which this discipline emerged. We must also be willing to explore the assumptions within science if we are to evolve it.
Rupert Sheldrake attempted to do this during a TED Talk entitled, The Science Delusion and his presentations was banned. This is not to say that Sheldrake is right and all of science is wrong, that is too simplistic. It is merely an opportunity to open a dialogue about assumptions within science that the scientific community may or may not be willing to consider. I mention it in the context of considering the humble notion that humans may not posses the highest form of intelligence on the planet. If for no other reason than amusement, just open your mind and consider…
Mammals like us, who have been on the planet a whole lot longer than us, who also have larger brains than us, is interesting to reflect on. We humans pride ourselves on technology, on creating tools, gadgets and machines. Of course it is easy to consider that intelligence is based on technology. Then there is the idea of emotional intelligence which acknowledges a form of intelligence which is internal, can not be easily measured empirically but plays a major role in the success of an individual. Intuition, compassion, empathy are usually considered feelings, but these are skills, non-physical tools that we can use to ascend the social ladder. Meditation could also be considered a non-physical tool that changes our biology, reduces stress and opens the mind. We may be at the very beginning of understanding that tools do not need to be physical or easily measurable by traditional science in order to be valuable.
We willingly accept the idea of intelligence in a life-form only if the intelligence displayed is on the same evolutionary wavelength as our own. Technology automatically indicates intelligence. An absence of technology translates into an absence of intelligence.
Dolphins and whales do not display intelligence in a fashion recognizable to this conditioned perception of what intelligence is, and thus for the most part, we are blind to a broader definition of what intelligence can be.
Evolution molds our projection of intelligence. Humans evolved as tool-makers, obsessed with danger and group aggression. This makes it very difficult for us to comprehend intelligent non-manipulative beings whose evolutionary history featured ample food supplies and an absence of fear from external dangers. – Paul Watson
Again it is important to recognize how this attitude has not only been applied to animals, but also to indigenous people historically. How we define intelligence is restricted to our definition of intelligence. Are we willing to broaden our definition of intelligence?
Intelligence can also be measured by the ability to live within the bounds of the laws of ecology — to live in harmony with one’s own ecology and to recognize the limitations placed on each species by the needs of an ecosystem. Is the species that dwells peacefully within its habitat with respect for the rights of other species the one that is inferior? Or is it the species that wages a holy war against its habitat, destroying all species that irritate it? What can be said of a species that reproduces beyond the ability of its habitat to support it? What do we make of a species that destroys the diversity that sustains the ecosystem that nourishes it? How is a species to be judged that fouls its water and poisons its own food? On the other hand, how is a species that has lived harmoniously within the boundaries of its ecology to be judged? – Paul Watson
Watson gets very in-depth and cites the research which compares cranial capacity, and brain complexity between humans and sea mammals. At the very least this information is humbling. Paul Watson has given us a lot to think about, but probably the greatest gift in his essay can be summarized by this quote:
It’s not enough to understand the natural world, the point is to defend and preserve it. – Edward Abbey
Watson is not merely a philosopher, he puts his words and beliefs into action. For 35 years, Captain Paul Watson has been at the helm of the world’s most active marine non-profit organization – the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. I highly recommend reading the entire essay which is available here.
To even consider that we are not superior to other species is delightfully humbling. It can restore a child-like sense of awe for life which also inspires a desire to preserve our environment. Our tools are wonderful, our science is also wonderful, but it should be used to celebrate and elevate all of life. We must consider that the unconscious, disrespectful use of our tools and science can create unimaginable destruction for ourselves and other species. A healthy future includes humans who are aware of this and who live within the bounds of their ecosystem. We have the ability to create worlds or destroy ourselves. How do you want to live your life?
Each of us participates in limiting or liberating those around us
Recognizing this is key to expanding possibilities individually and globally.
The thing about the Collective Field is that we rarely consider it, or even know that it is there. It is the collective emotional, psychic energy that builds in the unconscious, just beneath the surface of our awareness and bursts into consciousness spontaneously as if it came out of nowhere. An awareness of this internal process can empower you to manifest your highest potential.
The Multiple Discovery concept describes the phenomena throughout history of individuals around the world working independently and without knowledge of each other making the same discovery at practically the same moment. For many years people thought it was impossible for a runner to break the 4-minute-mile. As soon as Roger Bannister did it, he gave dozens of other athletes ‘permission’ to do the same within the same year. What is apparent is that there is a collective field of thought/belief that dictates, to some degree, what is possible and these limits are continuously being expanded.
The term most often used is “emergent”, it describes the place where unconscious properties are birthed into the conscious realm. It is a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties. When we apply this concept to human social systems, we begin to recognize the importance of thinking collectively, as well as individually. This can be difficult in a world that emphasizes the power of the individual.
Vladimir Vernadsky used the term “Noosphere” to describe the sphere of human thought as a distinct realm that shapes the physical world and thus the life-forms that inhabit it. In Vernadsky‘s theory of how the Earth developes, the noosphere is the third in a succession of phases, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere.
With these ideas swirling through ones head in contrast to the immense global problems we are facing, it is apparent that a “mind-shift” is in order. We have the ability to bring about transformation and expand our notion of what is possible, but this will only happen when we begin to think collectively and with a balanced perspective.
We all know what it is like to walk into a room full of tension and anxiety, as pressure builds we can feel the potential for violence to break out. Likewise, we know what it feels like to walk into a room that is filled with safety and love. These vibrations, these emotions can not be seen, yet they are very contagious and contribute greatly to what is created within a given space. When people consciously focus their mindful energy together, simultaneously, towards increasing the vibration for positive outcomes globally, we can alter outcomes.
An analogy I love is about a bucket of crabs. Each time one reaches the top and almost escapes, the others pull it right back down into the bucket. We do this to each other when we let jealousy, competition, and pride rule us rather than wishing to lift up those around us. It takes self awareness to think collectively so that we can separate our own personal insecurities from our desire to see prosperity, success, healing for everyone. Clearly we have the potential to push each other down or lift each other up. What we do for or to others will always eventually come back to us, this is the beginning of understanding the collective field.
The noosphere is global, we are all in the same “room” and each of us effects the collective field.
The vibrations of fear and violence are powerful and mostly unconscious. The antidote is a conscious, mindful strengthening of the collective field with love, trust, and gratitude. This is not ethereal or mystical, it is a practical response to the situation we find ourselves in right now on the planet. Some say that humanity is doomed to self-destruct, but people also once said humans could not break the 4-minute-mile. Possibilities are endless, the wave of consciousness and transformation is contagious.
How we can move beyond our greatest challenges by taking a moment to reconnect and remember who we are?
Several years ago I was working on the screenplay of a large film project. During that time, I moved with my family to a small property in the rainforest to incubate the story and script. The project had raised a large chunk of development funding and galvanized an all-star team of story board artists, animators and visual effects specialists who were poised to suck up the story into their pre-production machine and take it to the next level. But in order to do this we needed a story and script (my job). The project was behind schedule when I was brought in, and for me as a writer, the stakes were about as high as they get. My family and I rented a quiet little spot in the hills of northern New South Wales, Australia with the romantic notion of building a creative buffer from the daily pressures of the project in order to write in ‘peace’, but along with the near-deafening sound of cicadas pulsing from the rainforest, the project deadlines began mounting on a daily basis finding their way through my peace buffer into my mind and my writing.
After several months, as we approached a seemingly insurmountable production deadline, I found myself teetering dangerously on the edge of total creative breakdown. I was hardly ever sleeping, I was absent from my life and I was beginning to feel trapped in this little cabin like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. I had come into the project feeling inspired and on fire, committed to making a huge difference in the story and the world, but as we came to the eleventh hour of a critical draft I found myself completely locked up. The climax scene was yet to be written and I couldn’t find my way through. I wrote for days, looking for a stroke of genius, but each pass I made on the scene seemed to arrive at a dead end. Finally in the very early hours of my deadline day, out of utter frustration and exhaustion, I pushed myself back from my desk and walked outside.
My bare feet hit the grass and the pre-dawn dew sent a shiver through my body. I took a breath and stopped, surrendering every ounce of effort. In truth, there was nothing left in me to give, so it was an easy decision. I didn’t know what I would do next, but I also knew that what I had been doing wasn’t working; so there was no point in pressing on further. For a moment, I just completely let go and I stood there breathing, taking in the quiet pre-morning sounds of nature around me… feeling what it is like to be completely empty.
I’m not sure how much time passed (maybe a couple minutes, maybe a couple days – just kidding!) but eventually something started to shift. I felt the grass around my feet growing warm and with it came a an opening in my mind and body. I took another breath and the feeling started to grow into an energy that I could literally feel rising up through my body, releasing tension, giving way to a sense of calm. Another couple breaths, I am feeling quite good just standing there doing nothing… and suddenly, out of nowhere, the entire scene I had been working on (unsuccessfully) seemed to land in my mind in a completed form. Lines of dialogue began emerging and subtle twists of character that I had never even remotely conceived of began to crystalize and percolate into form. I stood there watching the scene unfold for as long as I could take it before bolting back into the house and scribbling it down into my journal. Twenty minutes later the scene, which I had literally been working on for weeks, was written in perfectly-drafted form, ready to send. And I, in the process had learned an incredibly powerful lesson about the gift of surrender. Stepping back when we reach a point in any journey where the road appears blocked, and the wall too high to permit our passage.
Bharat Mitra and Amir Paiss share their experience of what becomes possible when we stop to connect and remember who we are
During the 2014 UPLIFT festival, one of the most powerful elements for many participants (and speakers) were the panel discussions in which several individuals of different backgrounds and areas of expertise were brought together to discuss key themes, issues and planetary challenges in a way that would otherwise rarely happen. One of the most popular sessions was one titled ‘Peaceful Co-existence’, which featured a handful of our planet’s greatest ‘pilgrims’ of peace – Each person on the panel came with profound experience of overcoming deep personal and/or cultural challenges to walk a path in life that had transcended their apparent circumstance to create an offering or gift of great service for the planet.
Among them, were ORGANIC INDIA and UPLIFT founder, Bharat Mitra. Israeli musician Amir Paiss, Lakota Cultural Specialist Loretta Afraid-of-Bear Cook, former Jain monk and long-time peace activist Satish Kumar and Choose Love founder Scarlett Lewis. At the climax of the session, a question was posed that has application not only to many cultures and systems of our planet at this time, but also to each of us as individuals, walking our own path of purpose and discovery in life.
The question: What do we do when we’ve reached our limit and we see no way forward? When the path in front of us seems impossible. When we know that doing more or better of what we have already done is not going to get us where we need to go. When we reach that endpoint where everything we know does not add up to the solution we want… what do we do then? Amir Paiss and Bharat Mitra were the first two to answer the question. Their responses (shared in the below video) powerfully articulated my own experience with writing, and describe in a personal and global sense a place we must each come on our own path of true connection and expression in whatever form in life. Watch the video below for their responses.
What do I do first? I stop. It doesn’t mean I stop the movement that I am in, but I stop the mode in which I am operating. I’m stopping, and I am remembering who I am. – Amir Paiss
The only significant change happens when are acting from being connected. When we are available for consciousness itself to be present and to inform our action. Just from being present, the direct experience of every single one of us is of interconnectedness and Oneness. And from Oneness, our actions are in tune and in harmony. It’s not a decision that we need, it’s not an agenda that we need to carry, it is the most effortless expression of who we are. – Bharat Mitra
Becoming a participant in the Restoration of Mother Earth
It isn’t often that I make a commitment which so profoundly impacts the way I live. The real gift of this discovery is that the more I give myself to this commitment, the more it gives in return.
When I first heard the Declaration to Restore Mother Earth being shared at UPLIFT 2014, my entire being was vibrating, fully attentive. I recognized the spiritual authority of where this transmission was coming from and realized just how much my heart longs for it to happen.
At the moment we were invited to make our own personal commitment, a ‘yes’ came from deep within me. Symbolic pieces of strings were placed in our hands, for us to infuse with our intentions and prayers for the healing and restoration of Mother Earth. These strings were then to be carried back by the representatives of the Original Peoples of the Earth in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; to show the Elders that there are indeed people in the World who care…
From watching Alan Ereira’s 1990 BBC documentary The Heart of The World: Elder Brother’s Warning and the 2013 release Aluna, filmed in co-operation with the mamos, or spiritual leaders of the Original Peoples of the Earth, I learned that for generations they have dedicated their entire lives to the safekeeping of the spiritual balance of the World. I also learned that the modern-day mindset creates an imbalance which is destroying both the physical structure and the thought structure, or ‘matrix’, underlying existence. Both quantum physics and ancient wisdom suggest there is evidence of the power of intention to affect the underlying field. So yes, we need to let Mother Earth know we care. We need to let the Elders know that we care, and we need to take care with what we are contributing to this field.
I believe, as do many others, that only a radical shift in consciousness will make a difference now. According to those who track the planetary boundary limits, we are already past the point of no return. We don’t have time anymore to sit through the debate of whether Climate Change is a real concern or not, or to wait for action to be taken through political and corporate tradeoffs.
To face the current state of our world can be overwhelming, and often gives rise to feelings of hopelessness and despair, especially when seeing the complacency, indifference and self-interest of our human condition. Yet somehow, making this commitment has given me a focus that amplifies another innate impulse – to care, connect and contribute.
As soon as the Declaration came online, I signed up and started encouraging everyone else to tune into the inspiration the Elders are sharing. Before long, I realized that the commitment is actually working both ways, and perhaps even more about receiving than giving!
As we link our intention to contribute to the restoration of Mother Earth, we are also connecting with the Elders, and the innate order that governs nature, to care, nurture, protect and uplift all of life.
The Declaration calls for us to be conscious of our imbalanced ways of living, and that it is time to reclaim our connection to the Original Constitution of Mother Earth. This goes way beyond ensuring we take responsibility to reduce our own personal carbon footprint; it is vital for us to heal the painful disconnection we feel, and be willing to let go of our own justifications for separation.
The teachings of the great Indian sage Ramana Maharishi so perfectly summarize what is called for, now more than ever:
Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.
– Ramana Maharishi
In the Declaration film ‘Message from the Mother’ the representative of the Original People of the Earth in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Nelson Caraballo, shares how important each person’s healing and commitment really is. By committing to align our intentions and actions, we are collectively participating in the Unification process becoming a reality. The Elders encourage us to live in harmony with nature, as the original people have done for thousands of years. They share how vital it is for us to care for the essential elements that constitute life, and to reactivate sacred sites so Mother Earth may return to her natural constitution, through our songs, dance, music, prayer and restorative ceremonies.
It is a powerful offering, to live with reverence for the simple things that actually matter most to us all. There are so many gifts: just to wake up in the morning and thank the sun for shining and be grateful to breathe fresh air and listen to the birds, to tend to the vegetable garden behind my house, to thank the seeds and the soil and the Earth for growing our food, and to nourish my family with care.
I have never been one for praying, but I am learning there are so many beautiful ways to bring to life our appreciation for Life itself, and how this inspires, empowers and aligns our will to act accordingly, to do what we can within our own sphere of influence. The prayer that most resonates with my heart is to dedicate the actions of the day to serving the restoration of Mother Earth so that we, and all our future generations, may have fresh water to drink and pure air to breath and healthy, wholesome food to eat.
This focus has served me well, to bring to life the sacredness of living simply, to prioritize where I’m giving my attention, and to get over the personal stories which simply don’t matter much after all. It is also radically changing my conversations, focusing on what will unite us rather than divide us, bringing enthusiasm to celebrating lifestyle choices for personal and planetary wellbeing, and supporting the initiatives I feel most inspired by, as well as engaging in community projects and at our school.
It was especially insightful to learn about celebrating the sacredness and significance of Water this World Water Day from those who led the worldwide #LoveWater ceremonies, and all the inspiring initiatives emerging!
I can’t imagine that Google knows my intentions, but I notice how my attention, even online, is becoming more selective of credible information I can share, and the inspired initiatives I can support with my voice and actions. These days, attention is being drawn to how best to serve the collective focus on Earth Day coming up on April 22 and how we can come together to revitalize our own environments.
The question I live with is: how to bring awareness to those of us who are no longer in touch with the understanding that they too are an integral part of the natural world? How do we care for more than just what works for ‘me,’ but to truly tune into what works for ‘us’?
May we all embrace and activate the Unification Process – for our health, our happiness, our prosperity, our future, indeed everything of value that comes from our relationship with the Mother that nourishes us all.
The power of social networks now allows good ideas to have self promotion built-in!
The profit-driven model of mainstream media has delivered the lowest common denominator of human potential. With a focus on fear, violence, division, and sound-bites that never delve into the deeper roots of issues, the news media exploits the symptoms of global issues without ever addressing the underlying cause. Meanwhile the masses are lured into watching these programs while advertisers remind audiences about their inadequacies and encourage them to buy things they don’t need. Real communities don’t work this way, and neither do the social networks that mirror natural human interactions. While gossip continues to play a role in social circles, the stories that stick most in peoples heads are always the ones that bring hope, inspire, and lift the community up. Peer to Peer Diplomacy lays a foundation for a process of undermining the exploitation of the fear, violence, and division propagated by the mainstream media thus allowing the peace, love, and mutual respect stories to go viral.
Imagine these 2 scenarios:
1. Give ignorant people weapons and feed them with fear, or
2. Put communications technologies in the hands of intelligent/compassionate people and feed them with inspiration.
It isn’t hard to imagine the different outcomes between the two! Option number one is very lucrative for certain industries including the military industrial complex, prison industry, mainstream media. Option number two works on a different kind of currency, social equity, that includes lucrative opportunities but is not solely driven by a desire for money. Creative inspiration and the desire for community enrichment are non-monetary forms of currency that provide incentive for innovation even when funds may be lacking. There is a growing movement of people who know and understand this concept. As this evolves, so will the opportunities for the financial success of compassionate action, social innovation, and creative problem-solving.
“Follow the money” is a great way to understand what motivates policy, wherever the greatest incentive is for profit, is usually where things go in our current system. In a recent article entitled, The Biggest Moneymaker Of All Time: Cancer, And Why The Profiteers Don’t Want A Cure, the author reminds us what happens when the financial incentives of not finding a cure outweigh the financial incentives for a cure. The same logic applies to war, and so many practices that are destroying communities, and the environment. What if large amounts of people allowed higher ideals to motivate them by embracing the concept of social equity as an incentivizing force? We are seeing this concept slowly take hold around the world aided by technology and fuelled through social networks.
In Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons, the author starts out by stating that “the revolution will not be centralized”. This article lays out the foundation for a very hopeful vision of the future inspired by the work of economist, Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin writes and speaks about the third industrial revolution in which there will be a reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life. Though this is a revelation when applied to modern systems and technology, this wisdom is inherent in the traditional values of indigenous communities where cooperation is central to village life. Charles Eisenstein is another pioneer in the realm of gift-economies, bringing the concept of community and sacred back into our understanding of commerce.
So how does all of this express itself when it comes to creating peace? Ronny Edry and Michael Tamir are applying this wisdom through multiple initiatives at The Peace Factory. If we are entering the Third Industrial Revolution, then the Peace Industry is likely a good place to buy stock! Where good ideas lack an advertising budget, they make up for it in people networks. Sharing inspiration makes you more friends and increases your social equity, plus it’s a whole lot of fun. Engaging your friends in a discussion about new concepts, hopeful solutions, and dreaming of a better world is central to the emerging paradigm. So what are you waiting for? Give it a like, give it a share, start an inspired conversation in the comments below and you will be adding fuel the fire that is transforming our planet into a more sustainable, healthy place to live for all of us.
Ronny Edry on the power of viral images to promote Peace