Healing a World of Broken Systems

We live in a world of imperfect human systems. The political systems, economic systems, legal systems, and nationalist systems all end up failing countless individuals in many ways. One fundamental reason is: our systems are primarily driven by self-interest rather than love. Most human systems are built to protect one’s self or one’s group at the expense of other individuals or other groups. Capitalism is a clear example of this: it is a system that capitalizes on selfish motivation to produce economic output. It generates tremendous activity- but the motivation of the activity is often selfish rather than loving.

Love supports the optimal way that individuals can interact and support one another; selfishness does not.

Because the fundamental motivation is not optimal, the human systems themselves can never function optimally in support of the experience of their participants. The systems themselves are not the problem: the quality of our intent is the problem. The answer to the world’s problems is not a new leader, new laws, or even a new financial system. The answer is love.

Love means full individual accountability and commitment to act with loving intent (intent that supports others over the self) in all things- even (and especially) in how one deals with one’s own weakness, fears, and needs. While the universal application of loving intent would heal the world, it has also proven to be the very hardest thing for us to do. In fact, as a species we have a pretty long and dark history of how we have neglected one another, the animals on our planet, and the planet itself. But learning how to actually embody loving intent in such a constraining environment is not something easily mastered by any given individual, let alone a few billion of them! Indeed, the mastery of selfless loving intent is not something that typically can be experientially learned even in several lifetimes! Fortunately, all of us are beyond time, and have been graciously given all the time in the world to really grow up and get it right.

All the time aside, though, it is important to recognize that our power to grow up is happening right now. Our power to change the world is right now- by actively working on the quality of our intent towards being more loving with whomever is around us and by confronting our own fear and ego. Every single one of us needs to own the responsibility. Every single one of us can take a hard look at where we have been selfish and can strive to put another above ourselves. That step is a step toward healing the entire world! You are an incredibly important piece of the solution. You do have the power to advance the entire world one step closer to love by the choices you make! So next time you turn on the news and see something challenging out there, instead of worrying about it, look to yourself to take just one step toward grace and love. The power to heal the world exists- and it is through your love, right now!

Respect in a Capitalist World

In our modern society, when we succeed in making money, others tend to respect us. Our system of capitalism holds up those who can earn and spend material wealth. Collectively we tend to admire those who have been “successful” – note the word “successful” typically means “financially successful.” It is even the very basic tenet of Customer Service that the customer, who is controlling the money to be spent, is to always receive respect.

The entire capitalism system of our society exists within a reality of constraints. Physical resources are required for survival, and they are limited. We have evolved within a stark “kill or be killed” environment in which stealing food from the other guy meant survival and the success of one’s self and one’s progeny. Our capitalist system is a more sophisticated version of the same process of controlling resources. As the system pushes most individuals to work hard in order to acquire the resources they want and need, the total physical output is relatively great (great relative to living in the wild), and thus many can survive or thrive. However, it is still a system of force and aggression. It may be subtle force, but the lives of billions are very heavily influenced by this system’s power over physical resources. Since control of physical resources has historically meant success and survival, our culture has evolved to applaud it as successful.

Yet success in the larger reality has very little to do with material success. Indeed, we are not even physical beings, but beings of conscious awareness who can take many forms! Our success is not derived by the material possessions or even the bodily survival of any of the avatars that we play. Ownership of physical objects or the power to allocate physical resources is almost totally insignificant in the Big Picture.

True success goes much deeper, to matters of the being: to matters of selflessness, to the conquering of fear, to creativity, to Love. As we grow on our spiritual journeys, we should take note of this, so that we might gently re-direct what we ourselves value in our lives. As we all begin to do this, we will begin to respect each other for what matters- for Love- and not primarily for our ability to control the allocation of a bunch of transient physical objects.

Healing Trauma Through Feeling

We are integrators of experience. Here in the physical we have experience (receive sense data), interpret the experience (attach thoughts and judgments to the data received), and then react to our own interpretation (even if we’ve forgotten it’s our own interpretation). Through that process we grow as “successful experiencers of experience.”

Some experiences are more challenging than others. In general, this physical reality offers to us uniquely challenging constraints: the fact that this reality around us “stays firm” and appears to not yield when it pushes on us makes the “force” of the circumstances very strong. As the consciousness seeks to integrate such a challenging circumstance-set, the stress of the experience can potentially enable profound spiritual growth.

Alternatively, it can also potentially stress a consciousness to a “breaking point.” Psychological trauma cases are examples of where a personality has been “forced” to experience a constraint-set and resulting interpretations that are too severe for what it can handle in its current form. Often the consciousness “buries” the experience somewhere so that it does not have to fully confront what it felt as a result of the experience.

Yet in the long run the consciousness always seeks to integrate- always seeks to “assimilate” the experience and its interpretations- into its own “big picture” of experience. For trauma sufferers, the old fears, “unanswered whys,” negative self-perceptions, and pains may continue to come up time and time again- often very disruptively- in an effort to be “processed.” I myself have experienced this, and it can be unspeakably painful and challenging.

But ultimately, eventually, any experience can be fully processed and healed. In order to do so, though, we must be humble enough to admit our many weaknesses and negative self-perceptions, and we also must be brave enough to be willing to fully feel what we feel in the now. We must actually feel our feelings in the present moment, as they come up, no matter what they are, without judgment! Healing always takes place in the now; our power is always in the present moment.

You can always “now” decide to face and feel your old wounds- especially during the precious opportunities when those negative feelings have risen to the surface for you to process. It can take years, decades, even lifetimes to heal certain old wounds- but when you truly commit to undertaking such a process, the powers of the higher realms themselves come to your aid!

Following Life’s Natural Dynamic

There is a natural way that events tend to unfold. From the highest orders of magnitude to the lowest, life follows similar patterns of development at every level. Seasons, cycles of birth and death, cycles of development from low-complexity to high-complexity: patterns emerge and repeat under the ultimate direction of the universal laws that God has laid out in His incredibly deep wisdom.

Those laws include feedback mechanisms both “outside” of us and “within” us. When we listen to those mechanisms, we live life more smoothly. When we resist those mechanisms, we experience struggle and difficulty. Oftentimes we choose the latter, and we do so with great effort and resolve! We do this because we think we know in our minds what will be best for us. We deeply trust the intellect to lead us toward the situation that we believe, for one or many reasons, will be optimal.

In fact, we are far more than our limited human intelligence, and the knowledge and wisdom of the spirit from which we come is far greater than that of our Earthly intellect. Spirit has a much better vantage point.

Furthermore, the universal laws established per the will of God are ultimately perfect in their operation- and so, properly and honestly interpreted, they can be trusted.

Thus when making decisions in our own lives, it can be beneficial to recognize the “place” of the intellect- and instead try to listen to what life itself is telling us. We can always listen with the “being level” and turn to God for guidance. Oftentimes in silence and genuine humble surrender, the divine will indeed reach out to us. But even if we cannot hear it, we can still look at the “currents” in our lives for guidance. Which way is the current flowing? It might be easier to recognize than you may think: God’s way is the way of love, stresslessness, creativity, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, and joy!