Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Changes

I huli i ke ola, e huli i ke ola
In order to change your life, change your life

(Hawaiian proverb created by me)

Creation, however, whenever, or if ever it began, was and is a process of change. Mythologically, we can speak of the First Wave created by the mating or merger of W√§kea, Chaos, and Papa, Order. That first wave gave birth to all other waves, and all of Creation is composed of waves (at least according to this story).

Regardless of whether you believe that, what we do know is that everything we are aware of is in a constant process of change, whether we call it waves, vibrations, frequencies, or whatever. If it exists, it moves. Water, stone, fire, wind, plants, animals, humans... they all exist in a state of change. Everything that we call stable, or solid, or even dead, is still moving, and therefore changing.
In order for change to produce any kind of experience, it must partake of the qualities of both chaos and order. This results in movement within a pattern, what we usually call waves, vibrations, or frequencies. Another way to say it is that there must be both movement and resistance to movement to produce a pattern.

It's easy enough to see this operating in the physical world, especially at the level of electrons, atoms, and molecules. It's also evident in Nature with the changes in earth structures, the passing of seasons and days, and cycle of birth, growth, and death in plants, animals. and people. It's evident as well in the physical changes in our human bodies. When there is too much movement, as when water gets too hot to remain a liquid or when human hearts beat too rapidly to sustain life, there has to be a change of state--water becomes vapor or human beings die. When there is too little movement, as when water or humans become too cold, there also has to be a change of state--water becomes ice and human beings die. In between, everything has a range of movement or change in which it can maintain it's viability as an entity or organism.

The concept is just as valid, although not as evident at first, in the thinking and behavior of human beings. In order to exist as human beings we must keep changing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to some degree. In order to thrive as human beings (which is not the same at all as merely existing) we must grow to the utmost of our potential. When we have outgrown the possibilities afforded by one current pattern of living, and if thriving is our intention, then we must change our pattern of living. The time will come for all of us when we have outgrown our individual possibilities for life on earth, and then each one of us will transform into something else. Until that happens, though, we still have the choice between existing or thriving.

When you outgrow the possibilities of any lifestyle, in order to thrive you have to make a major change and a whole new phase of growth takes place. When that becomes stale, you have to change again. I will never forget, after living an incredibly exciting life in West Africa for seven years, the last time I spent an evening with the Berbers of Mauritania in the Sahara, sitting on a carpet on the sand at sunset outside a tent while the men in front of me prayed to Mecca and the women prepared a meal behind me and the camels made their gutteral sounds while they chewed their cud and the stars began to fill the sky. It was wonderfully exotic, and I felt bored out of my skull, because I'd done that too many times. That's when I decided to return to the States, not having any idea of what I would do or how I would take care of my family. Was it easy? No. Was it exciting? Not always. Sometimes it was pretty scary. Did I thrive? Oh, yes.  

Since then I have made many more changes, in where I lived and what I did and how I did it, each time driven by the desire to thrive instead of exist. And I expect to make more changes and thrive some more.

Change will happen, because life is a wave. We can either ride the wave or be pushed by it, but change will happen no matter how much we wish it wouldn't. What will happen? Where will will it take you? How will we cope? We have no idea. When we don't know the answers to those questions and we're determined to thrive anyway, that's called adventure.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." So says Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew 5:9 by the King James version of the Bible. Like many good sayings in the Bible, however, it needs clarification.

What exactly is a peacemaker? This is a very important question because there are some seriously distorted views roaming around the planet.

In the Wild West of the late 1800s in the United States the term "Peacemaker" was applied to a .45 caliber Colt revolver based on the logic that the way to create peace was to kill whatever disturbed it. Unfortunately, this kind of logic is still applied when nations send "peace-keeping" forces to other nations to quell unrest. While this may be a political necessity at times, it is really "conflict control" rather than peace-keeping.

Peace is a harmonious state of mind, body and society in which conflict is either absent or resolved without violence and in which relationships are mutually empowering and cooperative. A peacemaker, then, is one who facilitates this kind of state.

That means we can find peacemakers in the healing professions among nurses, doctors, faith and psychic healers, traditional and neo-shamans, and therapists of all sorts.

There are peacemakers among spiritual advisors, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists.
Peacemakers exist in the ranks of management consultants, negotiators, government agencies and businesses which foster peace by providing the means for it through technology and services.

Politics makes strange bedfellows and some of them are true peacemakers. Believe it or not, the military services also have real peacemakers.

The test of a peacemaker is not his or her profession or avocation, but rather the the intent, the approach, and the results.

The intent has to do with what you are trying to accomplish. If, as a healer, your intent is only to kill a virus or prove the effectiveness of a technique, you are not a peacemaker even if a state of peace in the patient comes about. If you negotiate the best possible deal for your company and peace happens to occur between the companies, you are not a peacemaker. You become a peacemaker when creating peace is the framework for your activity.

The approach refers to the means you use, because the means determines the end. Violence may stop or suppress other violence, but there won't be peace without a switch to peaceful means. A war can be "won" with arms, but peace has to come from cooperation.

The results are a matter not only of skill, but also of persistence. A particular application of skill or technique may not work in a given situation, but it is more important that you keep on trying to find a way toward peace that does work.

So you may already be a peacemaker without realizing it; you may decide to alter your life and become one; or you may know that you are one now. Whatever the case may be there is nothing greater you can do.

You may ask why I say that. Instead of a long explanation I'll give you a short Hawaiian proverb:

He ali'i ka la'i, he haku na ke aloha
"Peace is a chief, the lord of love"
(where peace is, there love abides also)