Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

...whether they were seen or not, and they listened, trying to understand Jonathan Seagull.
He spoke of very simple things -- that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.
"Set aside," came a voice from the multitude, "even if it be the Law of the Flock?"
"The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other."
"How do you expect us to fly as you fly?" came another voice. "You are special and gifted and divine, above other birds."
"Look at Fletcher! Lowell! Charles-Roland! Judy Lee! Are they also special and gifted and divine? No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it"
His students, save Fletcher, shifted uneasily. They hadn't realized that this was what they were doing.
The crowd grew larger every day, coming to question, to idolize, to scorn.

"They are saying in the FLock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself, " Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Spreed Practice, " then you are a thousand years ahead of your time."
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. "What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?"
A long silence. "Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anybody who wanted to discover it; that's got nothing to do with time. We're ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Presidential Vision

In the wake of a new presidential election coming up, it causes me to wonder, what would the ideal presidential vision be? I don't really follow politics that much, but I do hear sound bites in the news. Most all of the candidates talk about "change". And the more liberal candidates such as Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton (Johnathan Edwards seems good too, but often overlooked) talk about ending the war in Iraq. I suppose these are good position so have, but change is all to nebulous and non-specific. And ending the war is all about -- well -- the war. What would be truly extraordinary would be for a presidential candidate to talk about peace. That's right, where is the candidate that is talking about world peace, countries and peoples living in harmony with each other sharing resources and solving problems together? This idea seems to escape the political arena: a true vision of world peace.

The current prevailing image is so stuck in the mud of a sorry reality of what's possible, as we see emphasized on television each night. We are told over and over again of war and destruction, the impending economic disaster and the stresses of modern day life in America. Our newspapers are full of it and talk goes on and on echoing the drumbeat of the horrific reality that we have become convinced that humankind is only too inept to create. The more this is reported in our media, the more the reality sinks in to our consciousness, to our subconscious minds and collective conscious. It would seem to me that our world is becoming quite ill. It is a nightmare that we all need to wake ourself up from. Where is the light of hope in our society? Where is the vision of peace, heaven on earth?

Perhaps it would be viewed as too polyannish, impractical and too good to be true. But from my point of view, there is no better way to change the world than to put a vision out there that is radically different from the way this diseased and distressed world is now. That vision includes world peace, harmony amongst peoples and nations. A true leader of great example will have to arrive on the scene to even get this image out there as a possibility. There is no doubt in my mind that if we redirected all of the resources and money in the world for war, we could easily feed everyone. There could easily be no want of anything for anybody. I believe there are infinite resources available for everyone, if only we were to attune ourselves from the leadership on down to an understanding of the possibility and reality of well-being. Well-being can flow from our leaders on down through our societies creating happiness, wellness and abundance for all people, if only that vision were there, fostered, nourished and supported.

We indeed live in dark times. Our national leadership supports war and a scarcity mentality which believes in controlling the world's resources by whatever means necessary. Perhaps it has been such a long time that we have forgotten. Perhaps it is time to reawaken to the light, to bring a new dawn to the possibility of living on a planet that is ruled by wise leaders of justice and compassion. May we find now an opportunity to look up to our leaders as examples of fairness, justice and light. May we now find leaders of compassion for all people and love for our earth.

The vision is the important starting point. Spread the seeds of the vision. Hold the vision for this greater reality to begin to take root. As more people begin to have thoughts of a higher reality, that reality begins to come true. It opens up the possibility that without the vision it could not come into being. Soon the cloak of darkness that currently binds our hearts and minds will rip open. The truth of all goodness and well-being will prevail once again.