The wise people of all traditions have admonished us to see humanity as one family, to honor the sanctity of life and creation, to nurture love and compassion and to apply the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated ourselves.
The future is not to be foretold, it is to be created. It can be decisively formed by every human being endowed with both consciousness and conscience. Asking fundamental questions is a vital step in the awakening of wisdom, as they help us see and experience the essential link between our consciousness and its immediate tangible effect on our life. These questions awaken higher, more integral forms of intelligence that can initiate the solution, dissolution and resolution of the problems we all currently face. We must cultivate wisdom as the highest priority for our time through various means, including the posing of some fundamental and far from obvious questions that bring into prominence glaring inconsistencies, paradoxes, dysfunctions and pathologies in our individual, institutional, and cultural milieus. It affirms that our mindset, and the way we use the many facets of our mind, shape the reality of the world around us. THE BUDAPEST DECLARATION, Wisdom at the Tipping Point
Enemies are essential within the imperial consciousness that pervades our culture. So Jesus commanded us then as now to love our enemies. He understood that otherwise we will become like the enemies we struggle against. Mary Jo Leddy in her soul-searching book, The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home, makes a convincing case that strangers and outsiders stretch our ideas about poverty, justice, and human rights, and the meaning of freedom. They help us to see the indifference and cruelty of large institutions and systems that treat outsiders shamefully.
Building with the sacred in mind enables those who come to rediscover themselves, their own sacredness, and the sacredness of the planet and of the world they live in. When we lose the sense of sacredness, it becomes less important whether you destroy it or not. Any principle which can help rediscover the intrinsic value of sacredness is bound to be of value to mankind. Keith Critchlow
Only a consciousness that is stuck in the illusion of separation can construct a life of unconscionable wealth without a thought for the suffering of the world. our deepest suffering is caused by hedging our bets and resisting where our soul wants to go. Sometimes it takes a lifetime before we relinquish the fantasies and illusions of our small and frightened selves. Bruce Sanguin
Both reason and passion have their proper place. Though passion is what gives life much of its vivacity, and is—in a sense—the fount of freedom, reason must be the final arbiter, simply because actions are objective. In light of Milton's (Paradise Lost) views on freedom and Virtue, he seems to believe the fall was inevitable—because men are not perfect, they are bound to make some mistake sometime, even if it is in the name of freedom or Virtue. And any time a mistake occurs, it is because of some forfeiture or another of the proper place of Man's tools of cognition, creating the schizophrenia of the soul. Productivity is definitely a virtue, but if it is gained by selling one's soul then it ceases to be such. Like Voltaire's Candide, Milton's work argues that one must till one's own soil, cultivate one's own garden. However, in doing so, in making the most of one's Life, neither reason nor passion should be sacrificed—rather, the two should be integrated into a proper view of the world in which we live. Through the Narrow Gate
Gayatri Mantra Om Bhuur Bhuvah svahah Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhiimahi Dhiyo Yonah Pracoda Yaat
We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal. I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal initelligence. We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.
Salutations to that sacred sound present in the earth, the heavens, and that which is beyond. May the glorious splendour of that Divine life illuminate our meditation. translation by Russill Paul
Om saha naavavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viiryam, karavaava hai tejas vi naa vadhiitamastu maa vid vishaavahai
May the Great Spirit protect and bless us. Giving us strength to work productively together. Help us so that we do not turn against one another. May we find peace in sharing and continuing on the eternal path together. Upanisads
Can music and dance be weapons of peace? Here are the stories of people who committed their lives to promoting change. From MALI, where the music of Tuareg resistance rises from the desert, to BURMA, where monks acting in the tradition of Gandhi take on a dictatorship, moving on to BRAZIL, where musicians reach out to slum kids and transform guns into guitars, and ending in PALESTINIAN refugee camps in LEBANON, where photography, music, and film have given a voice to those rarely heard, CULTURES OF RESISTANCE explores how art and creativity can be the ammunition in the battle for peace and justice.
This is a story of an innocent and loving husband with heartbreakingly pure faith in humanity. Challenged by discrimination, prejudice and the inhumanity rife within society, it is a lesson in humility in an environment unwilling to accept it. Right never quite triumphs over wrong and small gains are overshadowed by huge losses. Honour is pitted against greed; love against suspicion, contempt and hatred.
When we go through a debilitating negative experience it trigger intense emotional reactions of being flooded, in between being numb and unable to feel fully alive; it keeps reinforcing non-thriving negative beliefs about you and life. The natural reaction to fearful circumstances is to defend or escape, so the body goes into a fight-or-flight response. Whenever the mind assumes that somebody or something is going to attack you, harm, or insult you, the body immediately reacts. This also occurs whenever the mind feels frustration, feelings of failure, anxiety of unknown situations as well as financial worries, resentment, or guilt. The body immediately reacts and consequently suffers, slowing down or switching off its protective immune system. The whole body is in a state of shock. if you run away, the problem will be there following you everywhere and waiting to be resolved. How can we come to terms with such circumstances in our life?
We live with broken hearts and broken lives but still that is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances. Leonard Cohen
In memory and honor of the late Lhasa De Sela, recorded on April 11th, 2009 at Patrick Watson's Loft in Montreal. Rising
Preparing to deliver my personal testimony, I discussed some of the most horrific and desperate moments of my life – the details of those who threatened me and stripped me of everything I owned, how desperate and degraded I felt trying to cope with the injustices I witnessed and experienced during that time.
As the day of my testimony drew near, I began to experience all of the old symptoms of my emotional injuries, my post traumatic stress. I was anxious, my skin tingled, I was quick to anger and cried over everything. I could feel all of the rage welling up again, and the fear … of... everyone and everything. As told to Robert Matas
Show me the place, help me roll away the stone. Show me the place, I can’t move this thing alone. Show me the place where the word became a man. Show me the place where the suffering began. The troubles came I saved what I could save. A shred of light, a particle away. But there were chains so I hastened to behave. There were chains, a lot of chains like a slave. Leonard Cohen
We’ve seen that it’s in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it’s in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it’s in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another. Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.
It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow. Forgiveness can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. Relationships that years ago were once so strained have through sorrow and forgiveness blossomed into long term friendship. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. Queen Elizabeth Christmas 2011 Message
The knowledge organized by property and transaction records plays the same role in credit (and trust) that DNA plays in biology: it stores the long-term, measurable information that governs how the different cells of the body come together. Economic activity has been allowed to cross from the rule-bound system of property, where facts and interests are recorded and built into useful knowledge, into the incomplete (and highly manipulated) legal space of global finance, where arbitrary interests trump facts and paper swirls mindlessly. HERNANDO DE SOTO
Listen to this tale arising out of the ney flute as it tells of its separation: "Since I was cut out of my reed-bed home my sad cries have caused humans to weep. I seek out the lonely and downhearted, then tell them my tale of heart longing. Everyone wants me to be their friend but only as they see me therefore the majority miss my inner secret. I am melancholy in any crowd yet the joyous and depressed both seek me. All who remain distant from their origins will be reunited once again. The ney music is of fire, not of air. Who lacks this fire is not real. The fire of Ashk (Devine Love) makes the wine ferment. Ashk's exhilaration flows in the ney. A ney speaking of this path of blood and of the love story of Majnun. Moulana Rumi
Dvine love (Ashk) often filled Rumi and he was inspired to compose poems as he whirled. Before the souls came into the world in the place of Alastu they had no bodies and yet they met with each other. The semazens (those who make sema) gathering together in their pure white clothes are likened to these 'innocents'. The human form being the dress that the soul takes on when entering this world of forms. In Sema one meets oneself and knows one's humanity and eventually encounters Allah much as is described by Rumi in his writings. Through this an understanding of the purpose of creation and acceptance that Devine Love is behind the Universe one reaches a point where you and I no longer exist and everything becomes Hu! Hu is the essential breath of the Divine that we are born on and will dies to this world on. This allowed for the transformation of the Nafs or ego personality into Ashk or Divine Love.
Dance, dervish dance, bring the face of God before you. Only love can lift the heart up so high that its true color is restored by the sun! See him near and clapping, that perfect one who fathers divine rhythm. O dance, dervish dance, and know you bring your master happiness whenever you smile. Last night so many tears took flight because of joy that the Sky God crowded and complained when I discovered God hiding again in my heart and I could not cease to celebrate. Hafiz
Sister Valsa John, living in self imposed exile, was one of the remarkable breed of Indian religious figures who are grassroots social activists, who immerse themselves in the most marginalized and impoverished communities and work on literacy, basic health care and human rights. Sister Valsa thought the aboriginal people – known in India as adivasi or "tribals" – about their rights to their land. Stephanie Nolen
In the highlands of Northern Columbia the Ika live a strenuous and isolated life, economically dependent on small gardens and a handful of domestic animals. They are thought to be descendants of the Maya who fled from the turmoil of Central American High Civilizations warring states to the remote valleys of Colombias Sierra Nevadas. Their lives are filled with a multitude of tasks, which they perform with a rare dexterity and purpose. Their labors, the practical and the spiritual, contribute equally to the well being of everyone. Both days and nights are long and arduous. Ika Hands
Could they continue to resist the compelling alternatives offered by a ubiquitous modernity?
Master don Benito Qoriwaman,is one of the most authentic Q'ero Indians (direct descendants of the Inkas). He is passionate about fulfilling the Andean Prophecy where people live more empowered lives possessing greater harmony within oneself and with nature as a physical representation of the Divine.
Some Quechua terms: Apu = the energy spirits of nature that live in the mountains. Ayar Auca = the present age of iron and war. Ayni = the sacred art of reciprocity (exchanging of energies). Hoocha = heavy energy created by humans. Inka = (ancient meaning) one who shines or glows and who also is able to gather power and living energies and distribute them to wherever and whomever needs them. Kausay Pacha = the energy universe. Kausay Poq'po = aura or 'energy bubble.' ñust'a = the energy spirits living in water. Pachakamaq = a title for the mystical God-Creator of all that is. Pachakuti = an overturning of time and space. The end of an era and the beginning of a new era. Hanaq Pacha = superior world; a realm of refined energies. Kay Pacha = material world and consciousness; a mixture of refined and heavy energies. Ukhu Pacha =interior or lower world; within the earth and each individual;heavy nergies
Violeta Parra opened the gates for the new Chilean song. She rescued the forgotten traditional culture, traveled through Chile from north to south to meet its voice, uplift it, and save it from stereotypes. Then she reinvented it, creating musical master pieces, and release them to the country and to the world. "Create from what there is" was her slogan.
In an interview she was asked if she had to choose only one means of expression between poetry, painting, music or another of the many disciplines, she replied: "I would choose to stay with people, because they are who inspire me."
For a long time, Violeta waited to bring her message to the Chileans, a message of universal sensibility that today raises her as the artist with roots in popular tradition, a genuine representative of folklore and source of inspiration for generations of popular musicians.
Violeta Parra went ahead of her time and through her guitar she protested, denounced and condemned social injustice and her own personal experiences. She began to speak through her chant. Her songs with social and political content aroused the hearts of young people.
Nothing is more foundational to our culture than the concept of Justice. History void of Justice is an unjust history, and justice robbed of true history is an injustice. If "History" is simply put as "Telling what happened" then to be honest you must tell the truth if you want a true history. Telling the truth, or being honest is a basic foundational principal of "Justice."
Three girls, oneboy, loosing faith with the world. Step by step, moving towards the end. Little indian man, walking to back to. Lost in reary, loosing faith with the world. One by one, moving towards the damn. One by one, moving towards the dead. Little childs walking all alone, lost and lonely, loosing faith with my world. Robert Mirabal , little indian girl.
“I realized she was looking for a spirituality, that in these woods there are ancient voices that maybe remind us that there are alternatives to the way we are living, and I think that’s the message you can take from her later work.” Director Michael Ostroff. Winds of Heaven: Emily Carr, Carvers, and the Spirits of the Forest
“I have undertaken a labor, a labor out of love for the world, and to comfort noble hearts: those that I hold dear, and the world to which my heart goes out. The world that bears together in one heart its bitter sweetness and its dear grief, its heart's delight and its pain of longing, dear life and sorrowful death, dear death and sorrowful life. In this world let me have my world, to be damned with it, or to be saved.” GOTTFRIED VON STRASSBURG
I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Brimingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us.
How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.
Was not Jesus an extremist for love "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Was not John Bunyan an extremist "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King
In solitude, when we are least alone. Lord Byron, in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
La Noche de Los Pobres (The Night of the Poor) painting by Diego Rivera
'Never say that you have reached the very end When leaden skies a bitter future may portend; For sure the hour for which we yearn will not arrive Arid our marching steps will thunder: we survive'. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising