Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today's Consumption Disease: How All of this Stuff Makes Us Unethical, Unhealthy and Deeply Unhappy

People, we have to change the way we live. In 20 min, this little cartoon tells the story better than I ever could.

We can be happier, much happier. But we have to first see the system for what it is, then want true happiness for ourselves and each other and finally, with the courage of our convictions, resolve to stop this madness.


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Joyce Patterson said...

I had seen this video earlier this year - maybe about the same time as this post. While you are hopeful I was more pessimistic and expressed that pessimismin a post on my own blog: http://jlpinklings.blogspot.com/2010/03/our-next-war.html

It isn't apparent in what I wrote but the phrase "an inequity of the economic equation" in my post was inspired by this video's representation of how we do not truly pay for what we consume and we make the third world bear much of the cost.

Our standard of living is going to slide until some sort of global parity is reached. If we do not grasp the hope that we can voluntarily reverse our consuming behavior, then world economics will enforce it as more of our jobs go overseas and the environment deteriorates.

My fear is that, if we do not step up to the task voluntarily, Americans will succumb to playing the victim as the standard of living declines and then lash out at those they perceive as taking away their way of life. I fear that we will find a scapegoat.

It is good to read here about a hope to reverse our trends and to take responsibility for our actions and for our own salvation. I needed to see this more positive side. Maybe if we commit and work we can avoid the route of blaming others for our misery. Maybe we can avoid the next war.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ego's Relationship to Privilege

I was reading a bit of Cheri Huber last night (Zen buddhist teacher in the Bay Area) and in coming across the following mention of "privilege", I thought instantly of white privilege which in turn brought an interesting dimension to her wisdom:

It is difficult to own our freedom.

We are so privileged that we have to ignore vast areas of our lives in order to pick out just those that aren't the way we want them to be. This process of ignoring and selective perception lets us continue to see ourselves as victims of life circumstances.

We are addicted to being victims.

It is only by remaining victims ourselves that we can continue to justify victimizing others.

She then goes on to say that "in order to remain a victim, you can't know how to be a master" and discusses how ego systematically thwarts mastery in order to keep itself in tact. Much of her book (That Which You Are Seeking is Causing You to Seek) discusses how much we want to have problems (even though we say we don't) so that the world remains a dualistic place of good and bad and we can remain small.

The implication here is that ego has a vested interest in denying privilege. If I admit privilege, I can't play my victim role, which means I have to acknowledge enormous injustice (racial and otherwise) and my role in the systemic perpetuation of injustice. It also means mastery is available. Suddenly excuses drop away, there's a lot more freedom and responsibility and being a grown-up person (which who wants that?). I hadn't thought about how my ego might have an existential fear of seeing privilege.

In a certain way, it seems obvious but nonetheless, I was so struck (stopped dead in my tracks, actually), that I felt compelled to share. Does this grab anyone else?



At 11:27 AM, Blogger Spiritual gifts said...

Ego for me should be taken into consideration since privilege is not always an opportunity.-spiritual gifts


Monday, June 14, 2010

Corporate Responsibility on Display

This image, credited to Mark and Vicki Cipolle, was captured at a BP station in Ohio and published on The Rachel Maddow Show's Flickr stream. Words like "hyprocracy, hubris, flagrant irresponsibility, irony, contempt" just seem to spill out of the mind.


At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Roger said...

This is very scary Jan and hits home with me as a family member is seriously ill and we are dealing with horrid lack of communication by doctors about life-threatening conditions. I am so glad to hear your aunt got the treatment she needed before something more dire happened (though being in that kind of pain and living with the feeling that something is wrong for 2 days is pretty bad in itself).


Chief Arvol Looking Horse:
A Great Urgency

I've been struggling this past week with grief, anger and helplessness over the Deepwater Horizon spill in the gulf. I believe that many share some or all of these responses. The words below from Chief Arvol Looking Horse speak to me of the spiritual significance of this moment and to the need for political, economic and cultural change. Our actions and words really do matter. We can commit our minds if we begin with our hearts.

A Great Urgency

To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I
ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit
of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we
are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color,
which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As
I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened,
those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations,
eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The
catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the
bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we
cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with
the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will
continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of
in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers
for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as
Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to
allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.
As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to
assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the
winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in
repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we
make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that
what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along
with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World
Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural
site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us
make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our
children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe