just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

A Perfect Moment to Move from the Reptilian Mind to Collaboration: DAPL

Published on 04/12/16
by randy


Our very survival will depend upon our capacity to move from the lower levels of brain function to the development of skills in the pre cortex. Some have tied this movement to the heart. It’s part of our spiritual journey and why so much of our deeper religious teachings speak to this. It’s that place where we can embrace uncertainty in faith to that which is bigger than us. It’s a place where we can move beyond our limited notions of thinking we’re right and others are wrong. It’s more about our willingness to sit in humble stillness to a deeper knowing, seeking understanding to that which we’ll never know, but we can forever challenge ourselves to know better. So how does this upgrade to higher function look?

The most obvious is found in the courage to live for deeper understanding with compassion to all living things. The temptation to divide and separate in survivalist thinking diminishes and our thoughts, emotions and actions are aimed to ‘not cause harm’ and to ‘bear witness’ to those places where harm is occurring. Today great harm is caused in our judicial system as we lock into didactic judgments of ‘guilty’ vs. ‘not guilty’. Higher function would add another category called, ‘we don’t know’. When we have the courage to embrace uncertainty we find our pure intention to dig deeper. In the justice system this takes the form of restorative justice. The party of complaint sits in open inquiry with the suspected causer of harm and they mediate a deeper truth about how to move forward. This justice relies on our faith that eventually truth comes up and moves away from the antiquated ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ thinking. Again, it’s what’s at the core of all major spiritual traditions. We all make mistakes. We all miss the mark. The mind can be an extremely volatile thing, and if we truly apply the Golden Rule we’ll work together to a healthy evolution of body/mind/spirit.

Holding on to our ‘notions of knowing’ would seem to be a dis on grace given. Our prefrontal cortex recognizes how little we know. Our reptilian survival mind locks into a closed thinking cycle and works to force a dominance on others from the poisons of greed, fear and anger. The mind of separation pushes to force others to fixed beliefs. Our suffering today is the result of our attachment to these poisons. Spiritual mandates focus upon not doing harm, living a life of simplicity and moderation, sharing, seeking depth in our living, generosity, forgiveness, curiosity and faith. Real faith surrenders in humility to what we don’t know. Real faith dismantles those antiquated methods of governance that support big money lobbyists, the perpetual war machine, and questions the callous push to disregard those in deep suffering from global conflicts and economic stress. Real faith recognizes we do have abundant resources to feed and house everyone when our greed to hoard material wealth is exposed. When we move from our separated reptilian mind to collaboration we sit together in search of understanding. Real faith moves with urgency to dismantle the 15000 nuclear warheads that serve no function but to stimulate other nations to create their own. Real faith recognizes this planet and life on it are a gift from the divine, an opportunity for us to smash our illusion of separateness. The reptilian mind, even when it knows the train is headed for a mountain wall, wants to speed it up with denial. Greed and fear denies that even use of one hundred nuclear warheads would end life on earth as we know it. Greed and fear proclaims the mantra of ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ ignoring the scientific evidence and spiritual mandate to steward the land, air and water we’ve been blessed with. Real faith would have our corporations valued not only by quarterly profits, but penalized or rewarded for harm/benefit to employees, customers, community, nation, international community and environment. Real faith and exploration of the stilled mind reveals our behavior today as similar to ants in the sugar bowel. Our fixed belief thought and mindless consumption are leading us from an awakening to a deeper sleep.
We do have a choice. We can fall into a deeper sleep or wake up. We can continue to exert our violent ways upon others, causing harm from our thoughts of ‘righteousness’, or we can open in curiosity to better understand the mystery. We can experience a deeper connection with this gift of life by dedicating to a practice of stillness, dismantling our fixed belief. We can teach our children to respect authority, but also forever question it. We can educate to deeper questions rather than fixed answers. We can balance our Dept. of Defense and State (War) with a Dept. of Conflict Resolution (Peace). We can open our limited spiritual beliefs to embrace diversity of all faiths, discovering the common truths they all carry, first and foremost, to love one another as ourselves because we are each other.

So we can continue as ants in the sugar bowel. Our new executive, legislation and judicial branches appear excited to exert their notions of ‘belief’ upon us. My reptilian mind wants to engage them in survivalist ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ debate. I’m tempted to elevate my sense of personhood, attacking their words and actions. Yet, too many years of living in conflict have shown this to not be helpful. So how do we move forward?

Just invite one another to sit. And if those we’ve invited can sit quietly, admitting they don’t know everything, then maybe, just maybe, we can climb out of that sugar bowel of greed, fear and anger before we rob life of the opportunity to participate. Today our news media has shown up to see what happens tomorrow with the Dakota pipeline issue. Their hungry ghost mentality is looking for what they think is a good news story. They love building conflict that ends in violence and deep suffering. I would love to see the Native American process of Council displayed for the world to see. Here we would have witness to the benefits of Native American elders in collaboration with key government officials and the key representative from the oil industry. Together, all would sit with an agreement to listen with curiosity, speak from the heart, release all attempts to persuade, and honor brevity of speech. This is really what our founding fathers were referring to in the Declaration of Independence when they called for surrender and reliance upon divine Providence. It’s what real faith looks like. It comes from our surrender to stillness, to that which is far bigger than we’ll ever know. It’s sourced from gratitude for the opportunity to be, feeding a sense of compassion and forgiveness. It’s what drives us together to solutions far bigger than we could have ever imagined from our closed minds. It moves us to a sense of stewardship, forever asking one another how harm is caused. It drives from a faith that breaks our illusion of difference and embraces our interdependence. Sometimes, this willingness to just sit with one another in clear intention to ‘not cause harm’ is all we need to keep from destroying one another. Sometimes the gravity of culture can cave to our spiritual mandate to care for one another. This is a moment in time that’s as big as any other moment that has pitted the reptilian mind against the mind of understanding and compassion.

Tomorrow will show us the play of power vs. force. The violent, forceful attempts to dominate another have so far shown to only grow the conflict to international awareness. This has been countered by the power capacity of Native Americans and supporters to ‘bear witness’ to the events. It has us asking how we can release the grasping mind to rest in our true nature of love and respect for one another and our planet. It’s played out against the horrific history we have with indigenous peoples and truly brings to light the hypocrisy of our current push to not allow in refugees who are facing issues of their very survival. The reptilian brain moves from the illusion of our separateness, creating multiple borders of belonging. The pre frontal cortex brain moves from the intention to break boarders, to move in compassion and stewardship to one another. The American Dream moves away from hoarding stuff and mindless consumption to a new era of care for one another, for our planet, for all beings. The weight, pain and suffering from the illusion of ‘having’ is exposed. A sense of spiritual purpose that’s larger than our violent limited beliefs feeds the new American Dream, the dream of opportunity for all. This is my dream, to sit together in stillness, fully surrendered from thought, filled with gratitude for the gift of life. If you’re willing to admit you don’t know everything, so am I. If you’re willing to move from the reptilian brain of righteousness to embrace uncertainty in humility to that mystery that’s far bigger than we’ll ever know, then maybe, just maybe we can steward a humanity to a spiritual awakening before it’s too late.

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