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

From Survival of the Fittest to the Common Sense of Cooperation and Collaboration

Published on 10/03/09
by randy

Where are you on your thoughts of creation? This seems to be the core of much of our global malcontent. The neo Darwinists carry a belief in survival of the fittest. On the other end of the spectrum, those believing in creationism and intelligent design hold that a God ‘out there’ made man in final form in a ‘likeness to God’. Both extremes are dualistic in nature and encourage collaboration as long as we believe what they believe. Yet, today we find our advances in science evidencing our interconnection with everything. Our current global economic crisis is dramatically highlighting the fallacy in thinking the most wealthy and famous will always be the most fit to survive. Wall Street is collapsing from years of pushing for higher short term quarterly profits at the expense of a moral conscience. As we face radical adjustments in our felt sense of security, our basic belief systems become more and more challenged. Do I raise my fear from a perspective of others coming to get my stuff? Do I lose my sense of worth when I lose my job? In effect, how do I language my thoughts and speech through this rapidly increased change in our understanding and experience of the world? Who and what do I trust? Those holding to a strong religious belief carry a ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude in their belief in second hand information about ‘making it to the promised land’. There’s a linear thought system that has worked well for the churches of different religions. It says that if you ‘do this’ and ‘believe that’ you’ll be rewarded in eternity, unlike those who miss this golden opportunity and continue suffering through eternity. It carries a strong notion of being right, judging others, and often carries a command to get others to think and believe the same things without any first hand experience. Again, who do you trust?

We’re now facing a massive paradigm shift in our thinking. Notions of superiority, of being the ‘good guy’, and offering help to fix things when help has not been asked are being turned upside down. The neoconservatives of the Bush administration repeatedly implemented policies from a sense of ‘rightness’ at the expense of curiosity. Unfortunately, a strong sense of ‘knowing’ kills the cooperative/collaborative experience. This resulted in massive military expenditures on false information that now contribute to a failing economy. The failure to transparently ask deeper questions about the nature of preemptive unilateral war, violations of our humanitarian treatment of prisoners, refusal to dialog and mediate with other countries, and a continued religious belief agenda permeating our legal system dramatically reduced our progress to cooperation/collaboration.

After 9/11, we had a rich opportunity for global cooperation/collaboration in our attempts to step beyond the toxicity of religious dogma. Unfortunately, we stepped up the battle on whose God is the ‘right’ one as fundamentalist Christians battle fundamental Islamic peoples in ever increasing numbers. We just endured our most expensive political election with all parties claiming a strong Christian belief system. While we made major strides in breaking intellectual, gender, age and racial prejudice, will it take another forty years to break religious prejudice? Will it be too late before we start cooperating/collaborating in slowing global warming? Will our justice system and political system crumble from our lack of cooperation/collaboration? Will our health care and education system continue to entropy as we cling to our fixed notions of us vs. them? Will we continue to suffer immensely from our current global economic correction? Or will we use this as a rich opportunity to once again touch the ancient spiritual commands to cooperate and collaborate?

Some questions to ponder?

Is the dramatic increase in gun sales the last frontier in our transformation to love, gratitude and forgiveness?

What concrete steps are we making to simplify our lives, reducing the harm we cause others, things and our planet? (In travel, diet, general consumption, relationships, etc.)

In the face of crisis, of rapid change, am I moving more and more to appreciation of the present moment and sharing my resources or further from the moment in anticipation of increased suffering in the future, hoarding what I have and mourning my loss of recognition for past achievements? In effect, am I ‘feeling’ harmony and rhythm with life’s interconnection, or am I disharmonic, numb to what ‘is’. Am I moving from compassion or fear? Am I moving from a desire to fix and be recognized or a desire to connect and collaborate?

Are my comments from curiosity and increased desire to listen or from ego’s desire to persuade? Is my language and presence energy gaining or energy draining? Am I free from complaint, in gratitude for the opportunity to participate in what ‘is’, making room for more new to come in? Am I filled with anxiety, complaint, and fear about losing my ‘stuff’ and my approval from others for what I’ve done and what I’ve accumulated?

Am I burying my head in the sand, just hoping things will get better? Am I increasing my awareness to what is through increased stewardship to body, mind, family, community, nation and planet?

Who and what can I trust? Where is God? Who am ‘I’? What do I really, really, really want? What do I really, really need? What commitments must I make to move in this direction?

Science has substantiated the mystery of our interconnectedness. Ancient spiritual texts from most religions and indigenous cultures have commanded us ‘to do what’s best for all with harm to none’ in stewardship to our healthy evolution. How can I minimize harm with mindful, energy gaining speech, curious listening from the heart, watered seeds of positive thought and emotion, and ever increased ‘felt’ sense of our oneness?

Can I surrender my notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in deep curiosity to explore the mystery further? Can I hold love for my perceived enemy, in full allowance to their different life journey, free from my need to ‘change’ them? Can I serve as one who connects, who is an energy enhancer, practicing movement to a higher vibration? Am I practicing movement to a higher thought of cooperation and collaboration?

Am I sharing my background and resource from the heart, free from ego’s desire to be recognized? Am I strong enough to weather the storm of silence when others decline my assistance? Can I hold humility to the gifts of my life experience and training, offering my willingness to participate only when others have consented to my contribution?

Am I forever willing to drill deeper into the question or have I stopped the exploration in notions of my correctness?

That's it. What Next?

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