Archive for the ‘consciousness’ category

Shifting from Fear-Based Authority to Love-Based Respect

March 6, 2010

Lately I have been contemplating how our historical societal beliefs in a strict, judgmental authoritarian God have influenced just about every aspect of our lives, from marriage, to parenting, to schools, to the workplace, to government itself.

When you view the Creator of the Universe as a gentle Loving partner and guide, as something truly inseparable from us all, that is a paradigm shift with profound effects on how we view relationships and leadership in general.

In marriage, some may be surprised to know that there are still many people who believe the husband should be in a leadership role, based on their beliefs, although how they interpret their beliefs does indeed influence how much of a partnership exists in marriage, as opposed to the husband taking on a strict authoritarian role. I have explored this topic online in the past, with interesting responses on all sides. In fact, it was one of the most popular posts I ever created on the Oprah forum, with almost 23,000 views and over 200 replies (Let’s Discuss What the Bible Says About Women). I learned a lot from that thread regarding how marriage is gradually evolving towards more of a respectful partnership, even very subtly in conservative circles (though many women still disempower themselves daily). There are some who are attempting to re-assert the authority of men in marriage, but I believe such attempts will ultimately fail, as more and more women claim their truly equal status in marriage and in society.

As a parent, when a child behaves inappropriately, it is easier to lay down the law in an strict, authoritarian way, than to act as a gentle guide. Yes, younger children require more direct intervention, if they are about to run into the street, for example – however, HOW you go about this is very important. James Dobson and “Focus on the Family” still advocate authoritarian methods of parenting, even physical punishment. However, many parents are now evolving towards a different model altogether, as indicated by the popularity of “Love and Logic” parenting classes.

A strict authoritarian approach does not truly teach a child. All it does is instill fear of punishment, just like strict, authoritarian depictions of God. Fear may be a motivator, but it’s not a truly productive one, and ultimately this is why children choose to rebel. And directing anger or physical correction towards a child only tells a child that reacting in anger, or even worse, with physical violence, is perfectly ok. When you view parenting as a partnership, particularly as children become old enough to understand, when you use your creativity to lead via influence, not authority, when you gently guide a child towards appropriate behavior in innovative ways, THAT’s when lifelong lessons are truly learned. Threats and punishment may have a short-term effect, but the lasting effect is more harmful than good.

School districts which deploy “zero tolerance” approaches are essentially modeling the behavior of a strict, authoritarian leadership structure, indeed subtly modeled on the concept of a “zero tolerance” God, though we may not realize this is so. Such approaches are based on fear, not on reason. Children are punished severely, even when there is no intent to commit an offense. I believe all such approaches in school administration will ultimately fail and be replaced. In the old days, even corporal punishment in public schools was allowed. Now it is almost universally frowned upon. Society has evolved, and society will continue to evolve towards a model which treats children with the loving respect they deserve, while still creatively guiding children to appropriate behavior. This is NOT the easy path – it is much easier to lay down the law in a strict authoritarian way, but we are capable of creatively devising the solutions to make it happen. And the result will be children who actually listen and become the balanced, loving citizens of Planet Earth we seek to create.

And now we come to the workplace. Authoritarian structures run rampant in just about every workplace environment today. We all know the difference between a good boss and a bad boss, and generally the bad bosses are the ones who do not know how to treat their employees with the respect they deserve, who choose not to listen to those they lead, who have forgotten that a true team is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Where did we ever get the idea that it is ok to yell at employees in the workplace? Yet such highly disrespectful, disempowering scenarios occur daily, with many workplace environments resembling abusive parenting households more than true teams. We must have the courage in business to lead with gentle influence, to take the road less traveled, to innovatively find ways to motivate those we lead, and to treat even the people on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder with the respect they deserve. People with good bosses already know why this works. Indeed the term “boss” itself has authoritarian implications. A true leader is not a “boss” at all.

And then we come to the ultimate authority structure of all: government. Our criminal justice system is failing us. That’s because it is based on punitive, often unreasonable, vengeance-based, fear-based foundations, not on the intent to truly understand and seek to rehabilitate those who fall into its clutches. We see our impulse for vengeance in the punishment of accidental crimes, or of the mentally ill, or in punishing offenses based on the results, not the intent. Even when clear intent exists, we would rather slam the door shut and throw away the key, rather than seek to heal what caused the crime to begin with. Once again, our impulse in society to follow the strict, punitive path is based on age-old beliefs in an authoritarian God who does much the same.

Embracing a new form of enforcing the laws of society will require a huge paradigm shift, and it is not the easy path. Yet we will begin to treat people with the respect they deserve. And when it comes to leadership in government, we are finally evolving as a civilization beyond the kingship/emperorship/dictatorship model. Many of us are beginning to realize that government cannot rule with an iron fist, even if that’s the apparently easy path (not really, since it ultimately leads to strife and dissolution). But still, we have a long way to go before we figure out how to define the government of a society based on true respect and influence, rather than authority.

There is an ultimate solution. It is evolution. The old fear-based approaches are based on survival-level existence, where fear is inevitable, where God is something to be feared, not simply Loved, where authority appears required just to survive. I truly believe our quantum leap to a new level of Consciousness holds the lasting key. And that is once again where peace not only becomes possible on Earth, but in every aspect of society.

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Our Quantum Leap is the ultimate Answer to “politics as usual” (and while we’re at it, Peace on Earth”

January 29, 2010

As I observe the ever-widening political divide in the U.S., I realize that we can no longer abide the continual cycle of bouncing back and forth from one party in power to the other. How does it serve us to continue in our seemingly endless and irreconcilable differences? Yet the opposite extremes become ever more starkly polarized.

Even our Supreme Court is so obviously NOT impartial and driven by idealogical agendas. If our Supreme Court was truly impartially interpreting the law, then you would NEVER be able to predict how a particular vote might proceed or a particular justice might vote. There would be no predictable 5-4 split on controversial issues. The outcome would be virtually random. The party in power when a justice is nominated would be completely immaterial. There would be true impartiality. Yet the justices bring their politics, personal preferences and idealogies into the courtroom with them. This is not impartial justice. This is something else altogether. And the proof is in the votes themselves.

So how do we heal the ever-growing chasms appearing between us?

The old, highly honored traditional way would be to patiently seek common ground, and of course it is the natural and noble impulse of many of us to do so. Yet those of us who have lived on both sides of the fence, observing the fierce commitment of the factions, also know that in many cases, there simply IS no meaningful common ground to be found. Except a change of mind.

Is hammering a particular agenda through, just because you have the political power, an answer? That’s actually the worst and most divisive approach of all, with endless reverberations, starting the vindictive vicious cycle of back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, all over again.

So let’s take a step back and examine this situation in an entirely new Light. While we’re at it, we might as well expand our focus to ALL that divides us, not only in the U.S., but the world. The polarization on Planet Earth grows ever more severe, the more extreme extremists become, with each contingent feeding the fear-based fires of the others. The only difference now from the centuries prior is that we do have the ability to destroy ourselves in the process.

As spiritually awakened citizens of Planet Earth, I fully believe the time is coming when we must realize that our true agenda must be HUMANITY’s agenda. Even nation-states, a system of organizing ourselves that I truly believe will one day be as transient as feudal fiefdoms once were, cannot allow their often fear-based self-serving, isolationist and protectionist impulses undermine the agenda of HUMANITY. This too is a difficult leap to make, virtually impossible, completely contrary to everything we have known and held in esteem. Until we go QUANTUM.

I have said many times that I fully believe that the Consciousness of Mankind is expanding. What exactly does this mean? It means that although we will still treasure our individuality on the planet in a non-divisive way, including sentimentally treasuring our national and cultural origins, a time is coming of TRUE common ground, and that common ground is one of shared Consciousness. The chasms of fear and confusion will be distant memories. Extreme polarization will no longer exist, for it can’t exist in the presence of telepathically shared understanding. Humanity’s dark secrets will no longer be hidden, but fully revealed, understood and forgiven. We will simply know that we are many, yet One, not only on the planet but One with All That Is. That’s HUMANITY’s agenda and our only viable future.

Yes, true revolutionary change IS possible. QUANTUM change. This change begins within, not without, a quiet revolution in the stillness of the mind. And for every person who experiences the shift, it will be that much easier for the next, and the next, and the next, accelerating at quantum speed, until we find we have arrived, taking the leap TOGETHER. It is only then that “politics as usual” (and “vengeance as usual” and “secrets as usual” and “religion as usual” and “war as usual” and “fear as usual”) will be over. What will remain is simply Love. And that’s when Peace on Earth begins…

Why we are drawn to “Avatar” again and again…

January 24, 2010

I have now seen James Cameron’s “Avatar” twice, and I will no doubt see it at least one more time during its theatrical release. Why is it that so many feel this movie calling them back to theaters again and again? Is it the special effects? Perhaps, for some. But I think for most, it is something far more profound. It reminds me of how we lined up for “Star Wars” again and again and again in the 1970’s. That wasn’t all about special effects either.

Some have claimed that the storyline of “Avatar” is simplistic, but the greatest messages of humanity are often delivered in simple packages. I realize in retrospect what a remarkable impact “Star Wars” had on me in my sheltered youth, despite its simple story. The themes behind the story, exposing many of us to the concept of expanded Consciousness in a subtle way, were what gave “Star Wars” its true power. And the “Avatar” phenomenon is the “Star Wars” of the present day, both in special effects and more importantly, Consciousness effects.

We are at a point in our history where “the little people” will no longer tolerate being disempowered by those who claim authority over us in unethical, insatiable ways. That’s because we finally realize we are not “little people” at all. Corporate greed and power plays are being exposed for what they are. The ignorance of selfish, war-hungry arrogance, such as what led to the utter desolation of many indigenous cultures on this planet, is rapidly falling out of favor. Religions claiming fear-based, violent, authoritarian “gods”, veiled with a veneer of privilege and conditional love, are losing their resonance. Fear itself is losing its grip on the planet, though it may not seem that way at times.

The Voice of expanded Consciousness is speaking to us through “Avatar”. The Voice of true transformation. We are fully capable of connecting to the planet, the Universe and each other, even more readily than the fictional Na’vi. We can already “see” into the hearts of others and All That Is, if we simply open our eyes. We can finally release our fear of death and even connect to the voices and the hearts of the past, once we realize Life is never-ending.

“Avatar” is leading many to ponder whether the supposed glories of our technology are truly worth the price. The sarcastic, atheistic snickering quietly explored in “Avatar” reveals just how arrogant, vacuous and destructive the strictly materialistic mindset can be, when taken to an extreme, in light of TRUE reality. Ultimately I believe technology will become one of many tools in a much grander toolset, until it is one day rendered obsolete by Consciousness itself. Technological evolution is not the answer for mankind. That path, when pursued at the expense of all others, only leads to emptiness, unbridled greed and utter destruction. The real answer for humanity is our quantum leap in Consciousness.

Dawn is breaking, after a very long night. Can you “see” the Light?

We are ALL “avatars” dreamwalking on this planet we call Earth. Our true Consciousness resides in Infinite Love.

I See You.