I want to take a moment to recognize someone who I a power of example for me. Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself, or start thinking my load has become to hard to bear, I go to her page and I’m reminded how petty and trivial I can get sometimes. Believe me, this woman demonstrates a tremendous spirit everyday, sometimes every second. When even a glass of water sends you into prolonged agony, well… let me just leave it at that.
While I don’t usually tell her this, I have a lot of admiration for her. She lives much of what I merely write about. Lately, Nan’s hit some hard bumps, go by her page and leave her some love (click here).
I had a really deep, totally earth-shattering, insightful ::grin:: blog on states and stages of consciousness prepared, but I ran into an little journal article yesterday that sidetracked me.
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“Our purpose is to consciously, deliberately evolve toward a wiser, more liberated and luminous state of being, to return to Eden, make friends with the snake and set up our computers among the wild apple trees.”
— Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backwards
Deep down we all probably know that our true calling is some kind of spiritual evolution. An integration into the Universal Principle, The Godhead, into Love – wtf you want to call it. And yet we spend an enormous amount of energy suppressing that awareness because to make it conscious is to recognize that most of our manipulations, religious dogmas, personal ambitions, and financial plays are not merely counterproductive, but probably trivial. Our mission, whether we recognize it or not, is to do away with the trivial pursuits and take on the responsibility of the infinite, hard-won joy that comes from our psycho-spiritual integration. Or at least get to taste the perfect slice of pizza before we move on. ::grin::
We are now living at a point in time in which the choices we make will either lead us to certain self-destruction on one side and a miraculous evolutionary leap on the other. Sometimes my posts on personal liberation – what I call conscious evolution – make me feel self-indulgent. It’s winter in America and in this prolonged season of violence and war on every level, perhaps concentrating on self-improvement seems a wee bit trivial. But just maybe, taking a step back and looking at the world we have created with a light heart can help us see it more clearly. Perhaps with fresh eyes we can learn to respond more wisely to the crucial choices we have before us.
Do we continue in our trivial pursuits, or do choose to take on the primal and all-important task of sowing the seeds of joy and peace in our hearts, to use the uniquely human gift of reason to come up with meaningful solutions to the challenges that face us, act with wisdom to change the global climate of love. And in case you haven’t noticed, our previous choices have placed us on the ever-increasing endangered species list.
Sure, I know many of you are saying that you would love to have all these things. You want peace, a safer world, and you want to prevent our world from turning into ash. You might be saying that sure, you want world peace, but so does every political candidate and beauty contestant. You might tell me that the problems we face are too large and that nothing you do will make a difference. And my answer to you is damn skippy! I know how that feels. I know the despair that sometimes comes from trying to make a difference. But I’m dense, I will fight to the last, even if I knew my struggle was doomed and it wouldn’t make a difference, I refuse to bend over and take it up the ass without a fight.
Anywaaaaay… (LOL!) I came across these insights and perhaps they can be helpful to you, maybe not…
The first thing we have to grapple with is the possibility that our ideas about money, power, and dogma have outgrown their usefulness. In fact, all this competitiveness, self-righteous warring, in combination with technological advances used in the service to strengthen our status and satisfying our material desires, just might be making matters worse. Interestingly, the Dalai Lama has observed that in spite of tremendous poverty and disease, the people in the Third World seem happier , more peaceful, less stressed out, and less anxiety-ridden than those “more fortunate” citizens of the developed countries.
Perhaps this is a sign that we should be looking for another way of being and doing.
I think the crucial question is, “How am I personally contributing to co-creating the world we live in.” As a mental health practitioner, I know too well true healing comes from a sense of personal accountability. The key to personal transformation comes from self-responsibility.
We can take our cue from the environmentalists. In response to the climate crisis, environmentalists are asking us to re-assess our “carbon footprints,” by living differently and working toward making that footprint eventually disappear.
And this is where the concept of a “heartprint” can help us find answers to out questions. What is a heartprint? According to Karen Truheart, a heartprint is the impression made by every feeling, thought, word, and deed.
At every moment, we are generating heartprints. Anger, fear, ignorance, and hatred make heartprints. They literally leave their mark within us and are picked up by mirror neurons in others and oftentimes acted out unconsciously. They create a ripple effect expanding in ever widening circles. If we don’t feel these destructive emotions deeply, thinking clearly, and using their energy wisely, these heartprints cause much of the world’s pain and suffering, creating the emotional climate we live in. On the other hand, heartprints generated by love, compassion, and kindness, love, understanding affect our inner and outer climate, and we create those too.
According to Trueheart, what we need is an emotional climate change, a shift in the emotional atmosphere. By feeling deeply, thinking clearly, and acting wisely, we can create heartprints for humanity and all life on earth. I realize this sounds like too much for all you reality-TV-watching, too-cool-to-care ma’fuccas. I realize for those who have learned helplessness at a deep level, this may even sound impossible.
But the dogma and all the trivial shit down for one moment, STFU, and listen… for once.
One of my friends likes to reference butterflies as a defense to the drama he creates. I would like to borrow those butterflies for a moment for use in a different context. Perhaps you have heard of the Butterfly Effect. Actually, she’s another friend. LOL! In scientific Chaos theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil eventually affects the weather in New York City. Chaos theory recognizes the profound interconnectedness inherent in all existence. A real connectedness on a global scale. In addition, current scientific findings on the neurological basis of social intelligence, there is an emotional equivalent that is called The Heartprint Effect.
Climatologists have used the Butterfly Effect to help us understand our participation in global warming and have shown us how to understand our behavior. By understanding the Butterfly Effect, we can see how small actions like planting a tree, changing a light bulb, or dialing back our thermostats even a little really do make a difference.
Conversely, by understanding the Heartprint Effect, we can begin to internalize our importance to a movement that creates a more peaceful and sustainable world. We can generate our inner light to change our internal climate. And this in turn can create environments that can help others do the same. In other words, drop the Jesus talk and be like Jesus. Be the change you want to see in the world, Gandhi said. Understanding The Heartprint Effect could take something that seems impossible and help make it easier, or at least “doable.”
Think of it, with every movement of our hearts and minds, we contribute to the emotional and mental climate of the world. If you can take this premise as true, then you can make a difference for the better. If our mission is to do away with the trivial in favor of psycho-spiritual integration, then the Heartprint Effect let’s us know that even a simple act of kindness contributes to global change.
Sorry for the long post, today, it’s a challenge sometimes to put all this in one Word document page. For those looking to act, I have listed some resources below. I’ll leave you with the following:
In the Buddhist tradition, compassion is systematically developed through metta mediation. Metta meditation begins with the repetition of the following mantra: May I be kind. May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering. The point being that you progress through stages so that you’re doing metta for all sentient beings. In traditional practice, a student is not allowed to offer metta for others until the teacher is sure the student can make this offering, not out of need, but from a full and open heart.
Notice what brings you true joy and fills you with peace. Then notice how when you feel this way, your way of relating to the world changes.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning – to learn more about social and emotional learning in schools
Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education – promoting human values and a sense of oneness within humanity
Common Peace – center for the advancement of nonviolence
M. K. Gandhi Institute – inspiring and supporting individual and group efforts to end violence
Alliance for a New Humanity – to join with like-hearted individuals and groups
Mind and Life Institute – to learn more about the science behind The Heartprint Effect
The Network of Spiritual Progressives – an activist group
Humankind – Voices of Hope and Humanity – a public radio project
We the World – forming international networks of collaboration and action