Creating Sustainable Ideals
Five weeks into the new year and already my mind is cluttered with over sensory bombardment. All of it, my doing, of course. Time to take a deep breath and address where I feel I need to be putting my energy this year. For Christmas, my partner bought me a book, The Choice by Edith Eger, a holocaust survivor. It is the most amazing testament to hope, strength and commitment to love and forgiveness I have read in a long time. I haven’t cried so much, over a book, in years. But they were tears of joy as much as for another person’s pain and journey to love. However, I had to finish it fast before my asthma, triggered by my empathetic feelings of grief, kept me awake yet another night!
No sooner had I finished that book, my hand was drawn to another I had started a few years back but put down after thirty pages because I don’t do horror stories. It was Naomi Kline’s Shock and Awe, which filled me with more terror than Edith Eger’s powerful book.
What does our recent past tell us from stories such as these, whether they are personal or worldly tales?
It is clear that people only create change when forced or unhappy with their lot. This means that the desire for change always draws upon ideals, whether they are sociological, economic or political, propelled by a need to swing the pendulum, bound to ideas of revolution. So history shows how each new era seems to ping pong from one extreme to the next, driving the people, as mere pawns in all these leadership games, from one state of misery to another.
I feel a growing global demand for change, no more revolution, but evolution. In this age of information we, the general public, are becoming more aware of the twisting and rewriting of information we are offered as truth. Although it is probably the most confusing of times, with the Internet showing us as many untruths as truths, I live in hope that from the confusion will grow an understanding that we need to become discerning and more responsible.
Past ideals have, from these continual revolutionary style changes, shown that nothing from our known history has worked, that anything that creates divisive and wholly opposite mindsets can, obviously, never serve the whole of humanity. Daniel Schmachtenberger offered a beautiful concept in his talk about emergence, when he said that if you are happy in the belief that you will go to heaven while there is also the possibility that others may go to hell, then you have the mindset of a ‘psychopath’. That sums up my whole vision of how our society is working at the moment and has worked for the past few thousand years. It’s time for change.
Everything we have created throughout known history, seems to be based on a binary perspective, that there can only be one way or the other. We have socialism or capitalism, communism or fascism, left wing or right wing, and on it goes. We are all aware of the horrors and the death tolls created by so many corrupted leaders throughout history, culminating in the last century with Hitler, Stalin and Mao (the latter two with the genocide of millions of their own people) but how much are we told about the sadistic ventures of post American reaction to Communism and Marxism. The man who gave us Capitalism, Milton Friedman’s belief that he’d created a beautiful idea inspired the Chicago school of economics that fuelled the Capitalism that lies at the heart of the US policy at home and abroad. I won’t go into the story of the many regimes that US governments removed and installed in South America leaving it stricken with communities split apart with so many problems, the most obvious being division of those living in extreme poverty and those with shameless wealth. But this corrupt construct can be seen across many corners of the world. Of course, I am not saying that America was the first, but this self-proclaimed ‘land of the free’, - created out of those fleeing from persecution of the ideals of other regimes, has fallen, once more into the pit of extremism - perhaps needs a strap line - ‘only for the 0.5 per cent’.
For years, to me, Capitalism has always been a dirty word, one that seems to herald consumption, consumerism, greed and opposition. It felt exploitative and unscrupulous, led by the few to keep the wealth to themselves while the rest can go hang. Then slowly I began to realise that the socialism I had clung to for so long wasn’t perfect either and that maybe one could cherry pick rather than stand at opposite sides of the bench and throw stones.
Then, my horizon expanded and I heard about positive Capitalism and I realised there was some hope on its way. I saw that, like so many other ideas given to us, only part of the story was initially available. I was reminded of the gospels and how many of them were hidden because they told a different story to the one the founders of christianity wanted us to hear, or Darwin’s theory of evolution where only his theories on ‘survival of the fittest’ are handed down to us, when actually that is only mentioned a few times and love is mentioned over and over.
I learned that the Capitalism we have created, that only serves the shareholders and top echelons of the hierarchy, creates a system that is top heavy and unsustainable. I was to be presented, by a group called Conscious Business Initiative, a model that would transform my feelings and feel positive that there was a way forward without needing to rip up the program, create more devastation and rebuild (exactly how the Friedman Chicago Boys have worked for the past few decades).
Working with astrology, Gaia and now TreeSisters I have been learning for the last decade or so how nature is our mirror, our guide and our teacher. When we choose to remember that we are not separate from our environment it shows us the way. The torus is a mechanism or a model of the universe, now called the ring doughnut theory, that can be found throughout creation, from galaxies, to the Earth, to ourselves. I first heard about this in the movie Thrive. It is a universal geometric shape that generates a constant flow of energy. When we understand it metaphorically we can see how the Capitalism we have now, flies in the face of this universal lesson. Instead of a Torus we have created a pyramid, where the energy, money in this case, flows up to the few at the top and instead of naturally flowing back down to the many, it has stayed there, stuck in off shore accounts and other such accumulations of wealth.
Sadly, when we work against this way of nature, (in the fluid way shown by trees or our weather systems etc.) and stem the flow, more can be upset than the economies of a few counties. Now our whole ecology is at stake.
As we are now discovering, possibly too late, that all this is to our detriment, we need to find a way through this crisis. First, we need to accept that as an interwoven connected species we are all responsible for where we find ourselves. Portioning blame will not solve anything, it will simply add to the chaos and desire for retribution which will only fuel the fire of revolution. More than ever we need evolution, especially as we have to accept that it is not just ours, but the evolution of the whole Earth.
We need to feed the vision of our future; that a sustainable world is possible and that the desire for competition, fear of scarcity and attachment to money can simply slip away. However, I do believe that the road to change starts within for each individual. While it is impossible to think we can all do this inner work, I believe that enough can begin to remember that we too exist as a torus; the embodiment of the life force, love in motion. I also believe in the one hundred monkeys theory: that once enough of us have learned how to step into the new way, as we are all connected, we all step up together.
Creating the possibility for the pyramid to open up to the form of the torus, we can begin to heal and start to function as a society based on love and compassion. The vision of conscious capitalism works as a circle, where everyone connected to the business, be it the shareholders, the stakeholders the customers, the suppliers and anyone else involved, all need to be considered. Here everyone becomes part of the community, everyone is valued and brings their own diversity and uniqueness to the world. It is, of course, too simple for us humans who love to complicate everything with too many words and concepts. I am fully aware that I am part of that issue too!
We have to learn to trust and love and believe that we are all capable of working together in reverence for ourselves and the whole of our community.
Many years ago, when I was driving to Liverpool alone, I was guided to pick up a hitcher. (I would never have considered it without the inner guidance.) I retold the story to my friends explaining my delight when the young man who got into my car turned out to be just like me, a musician, a music teacher and a healer, almost my mirror. We had a very enjoyable encounter for just a few hours. I was chastised by some friends who told me it so easily could have gone the other way. I replied saying ‘yes it could but if everyone woke up one day and decided that everyone, including ourselves, was lovable and trustworthy the world could change over night’.