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Few people have been able to achieve what this man has. His tireless, unflagging commitment to freedom and justice carried him through the hardest of times, from nearly 28 years in prison to the Presidency of his country, the first black man to ever be President. And along with it, he helped to dissemble one of the most destructive, if not the very most, legal (if horribly immoral), socio-political and of course economic structures in recorded history: apartheid, that had been in place for way too long (formally since 1948 and informally since the Dutch arrived).
Nelson Mandela, influenced by Gandhi, after all, the whole world was, but unlike Gandhi, took up arms at specific moments to further the cause of freedom, as he and his comrades were being shot at by gun-toting government oppressors. And most people do not understand the significant role that U.S. business played in the continuation of apartheid long after the world was screaming out to stop it.
Take a look at a clip of a film about Mandela directed and produced by Danny Schechter, (http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/6/filmmaker_danny_schechter_the_anti_apartheid) who was a guest on A Better World Radio talking about his film Plunder, another perspective on the crime scene on Wall St. in September 2008: http://abetterworld.tv/?s=danny+schechter&cat=13.
Nelson Mandela is so well-loved and hailed as a leader world-wide that everyone wants to claim as ‘their own’. This is so much because Mandela is truly a symbol of freedom and justice. Many have and do commit their lives to these value and are so commendable for this, yet Mandela has also had a level of leadership which was recognized early–probably what led to his lengthy incarceration–but also possibly, at the right moment for the white leadership, led to his eventual release.
We are grieving as a globe at the loss of Nelson Mandela, and simultaneously, we are grateful that a man with such backbone, such dignity, such integrity, could have been here to model in this world what that looks like. We are also having to shoulder and carry on ourselves what path he has cut to fulfill these values for future generations.
What Mandela accomplished emotionally and spiritually as a man who forgave those who incarcerated him for nearly 28 years and set up the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, is an accomplishment all of us could learn so much from. Instead other so-called world leaders still operate out of revenge and vindictiveness, where Mandela soared above these in the depth of his humanity.
We at A Better World are deeply grateful for Mandela’s commitment to humanity and the highest values we work to embody and fulfill. We thank him for a life of such commitment, understanding, virtue, forgiveness and compassion.
Indeed we do. On so many levels. Our willingness to be conscious and aware of ourselves, and to examine who this ‘self’ is, leads us to a sense of humility in the face of humanity, in the face of Life and the Universe themselves. This state of mind is fertile for change as it is open, ready and willing. Neuro-plasticity, one of the leading discoveries in neuro-science, helps us understand that the mind is mutable because the brain is, the interpretation of experience through the mind of the nervous system is mutable. If the hard-wiring is mutable, surely the soft-wiring is!
Funny as it may sound, no matter how much we dream of a New Age, an Aquarian Age, of The Ascension or Shangri-la, life on planet Earth has as its fundamental reality, dynamic tension. And its neighbor is conflict. What? I thought we were all going to just love each other unconditionally and sing Kumbaya all the days! Well, sing what you want–hope you change it up a bit–and love each other unconditionally for sure. But, as a psychotherapist, stress management consultant and coach for many years, we see that at root of all relationships, yes folks, all, is one form or another of tension. There is stress.
The questions become: is it manageable tension and stress? Enjoyable tension and stress. Distressful? Destructively distressful? And, do I know how to free myself from the stress, and work with the dynamic tension? Do I know how to release the judgment which is typically present, do I know how to release the emotion: anger, anxiety, fear, what have you, quickly, or do I loll about in the judgment and pain, called suffering? I would say that the answers to these questions distinguish a mature person from one who is less so. Any useful enlightenment is happening within this context, not without.
There are ways to work with our experience and our interpretations of reality so that they’re much kinder, much more full of love and less grit, God knows! But it’s work and it involves, ultimately, dis-engaging certain, often long-patterned neural networks and replacing their electro-chemical charge with novel ones which are self-originated, where you are forging your own brain, shaping your own mind, distinct from the one just inherited. You use what’s good from the inheritance and release what doesn’t serve. Interesting? Awesome. And this is the kind of work we do in my coaching/counseling sessions, sometimes with the help of bio-feedback, addressing the energy fields of a person themselves.
And with something we use as a stand-alone, without any counseling, is the Harmonic Energetic Balancing Program, which shapes the energy field per one’s own affirmative statements and declarations in language one wants to shape oneself with. It’s like being an artist with words and thoughts, mixed with frequency, shaping a hologram we call you. For more detailed information and a request form go to: http://abetterworld.tv/the-harmonic-energetic-balancing-program/
Our guests this week are both skilled in different ways to help us go deeper into our process, our experience, and then see and shape ourselves consciously. Very cool. Thomas Huebl, some of you will remember, was on the show when he first came to New York and to the U.S. for his first more formal tour. Interestingly, In fact, he’ll be here next week: http://www.thomashuebl.com/en/events/details/319-nyc-event.html. As life would have it, I wasn’t aware of his coming to NY but randomly, oh? synchronistically, from our pretty vast archive, ‘happened’ to pick my two interviews with Thomas to help close the year of 2013 out with, and voila, here he is!
Lee McCormick has been on this path for a long while too. Coming to us through the shamanic tradition of the Maya and other Central and South American influences, his own life has been shaped considerably by their gifts to him. I am now reading his book Dreaming Heaven, and am seeing his grounding in the tradition and in the Now, free of any tradition, really, and his from-the-heart voice, speaking of his experience and guidance for others.
Both shows this week offer a lot to us all for learning as we move toward completion of another year at a time when every moment counts toward our awakening. It always counted, but now, due to our long-term slumber, due to an excessive pathology called greed and narcissism by a small pack of wolves called the 1%, so much damage has been done to our eco-sphere and noosphere that life on the planet itself is in jeopardy of becoming the 6th Extinction. Make no mistake–this is where we’re heading, unless we can more significantly wake up and read the tea leaves. This isn’t just “let’s go on a spiritual journey”, this is called “wake up to survive as a species”. In this light, we will be having Bill McGibben on of www.350.org very soon. Weather patterns have seriously altered, Climate Change is rocking our boat, hundreds of thousands are now ‘climate refugees’, having to flee their homes due to desertification or rising sea levels, across the Earth.
We live a life of relative luxury, but hundreds of millions and billions are without. No water, no shelter, no real food, no electricity. Big oil is again trying to destroy the most bio-diverse forest emitting 30% of our oxygen, in Ecuador. The Pachamama Alliance has been working assiduously to turn this situation around. I attended a luncheon of theirs this past week at The Boathouse in Central Park and got the latest on what’s happening. Please do tune in, and if you can make a donation, please do. http://www.pachamama.org.
Yes, the good, bad & ugly.