Category Archives: Reflection

Humankind: “be both!”

“apologies for type-os and grammar, just a novice ya’ know!”

“It’s human nature!”  This phrase seems to be the staple explanation for the ills of interpersonal relationships, institutional failures, and systemic dysfunction.  Consider the varying perspectives on the concept “human.”  Darwinist would say that what is “human” is merely the physical frame (our body) that is kin to the ape, just less hairy, standing more upright, with some skull and appendage variations.  Many modern biologists say what is “human” is defined in the functioning of our brain and it’s capacity to reason or drive our emotions by releasing various chemical cocktails based on the body experiencing specific stimuli.  Many evangelists and clergy say that “human” is a sinful creature born with corrupt intentions and “humans” must align themselves with a particular interpretation of redemption (the evangelists denomination or building) in order to achieve eternal salvation.  Many economists would call “human” a variable of the market that must be manipulated like machine parts to sustain the flow or currency of capitol to maintain the wealth or health of individuals and systems.  These explanations often contribute to the motivations or chief points of reference behind many peoples actions and beliefs, sources of the “nature” of human societies.

Here are some hypotheticals called “What ifs…”

– What if the Darwinist are right in the sense that our bodies are directly connected to the animal world and even driven by certain instinctual natures of the animal kingdom, yet that is the human animal and not the capacity of nor the intention of our humanity, a consciousness still waiting be fully explored.

– What if the biologists are right regarding the physiological and chemical processes of the brain body relationship, yet this stops short of investigating humanities’ consciousness of the “mind” which is aware and curious of stimuli beyond the phenomenal senses.

– What if evangelists and clergy are right in their witnessing of human error and many acts of corruption of truths, institutions, systems, and concepts including religion, yet forgetful that if they believe (esp. from the Judeo-Christian Islamic perspective) that humans were created in the image of the Creator, therefore they believe God is corrupt if we are made in that image and the concepts of “original sin and jihad” are meant to be metaphorical and spiritually symbolic of a humanity born into an internal struggle to do good or bad in a world that has been both corrupted and nurtured by humans.

– What if the economists are right in their thinking that humans are all part of system that functions like an organism or body with all parts contributing to its overall life and well being, yet manipulation of humans eventually robs the manipulator of their humanity in unimaginable degrees and forces those being manipulated to struggle to maintain their humanity due to the dehumanizing paradigm of viewing humans like “screws or nuts” to be turned or pushed around.

– What if we are all right and wrong simultaneously?  This gives us an opportunity to investigate the truth and take action with a humble posture of learning because no one group or discipline is absolutely right or absolutely wrong.  The Darwinist submit to the idea that physicality of humans is connected to the animal kingdom.  The biologists submit to the idea that human brain body relationship is organic with the world around it.  The evangelists and clergy submit to interpretations of holy writings that the life humans live is meant to be in tuned with higher power (called many names like Allah, Dios, Dieu, God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Hoda, Scientific Phenomenon, Wakan Tanka, Yaweh, etc. depending on the context and crowd).  The economist submit to a market and perspective that every human action, planetary activity, and event plays a role in the functioning of our material well being.

A path toward solution in this struggle of perspective may be found in the concept of submission.  And not submission in the sense that we bow down to some guy bullying us, but rather surrendering to the idea that we don’t have all the answers and the answers we thought we had seem to be making life great for a few on this planet while simultaneously horrible for many other humans, animals, insects, and plants.

So, I submit that I have been conned by an illusion of what I thought it was to be human.  I submit that I often feel powerless to change this perspective and “be and do” better with others and this world.  I submit that this great conn of humanity has drawn upon my animal instinct to survive or dominate and channeled these impulses into human prejudices of others because of the way they look, talk, believe, or be; this distortion has acted as a superstitious barrier to my learning from others and being humble enough to receive multiple perspectives on the simplest of ideas.  Everyone submits to something:  an addiction, impulse, or a conscious intention.

I propose that we have yet to discover our humanity, maybe it is the final frontier.  Perhaps our humanity is a consciousness beyond instinctual trappings, mental superstitions, corrupted institutions, and manipulative forces.  Our humanity manifests in little miracles all around us.  When a person goes out of their way for another purely for the joy of it with no expectations of payback or when spontaneously strangers interact in profound platonic experience of intimacy, these are little miracles of humanity.  I personally believe the human spirit is a magical power waiting to be channeled in all departments of this phenomenal existence.  If we submit to the infinite possibilities latent within hearts minds bodies and souls of humanity, we would have released a captive animating power that is kindred to the same power the created stars; the same power that created power.  Dreams are great, yet often dreams for a few are nightmares for many others, hence justice has yet to be fully actualized.  Therefore let us consider submitting to virtue:  truthfulness, kindness, humility, courage, assertiveness, unity, justice, love, peace just to name a few.  We can transform our animal instincts of vigilance to be mindful to not distort virtue and harm the spirit of ourselves and others.  We can build dreams that help each other and the Earth.  If just takes a willingness to be humble or maybe just a better human.  Humankind:  Be both, please.  “Justice, not only possible, inevitable.”

With love

calvin

 

Reflection on 4/20: at our best when it’s boring…

April 20th is a day that conjures many feelings and memories.  For some, it’s their birthday and that’s wonderful.  For others, it is a day to use marijuana (destroy some brain cells, contribute to possible paranoia, and fund community destruction).  This day is also the anniversary of Adolph Hitler’s birth, the Waco Branch Davidian massacre, the killings at Columbine high school, and on 4/19 in 1995 a terrorist bombing destroyed the Murrah building in Oklahoma City.  2012’s 4/20 was un-eventful in the destructive sense or was it?  Don’t get me wrong, we need to highlight the beauty and great things that happen as well, everyday.  For example, yesterday:

– Huge groundwater sources realized to exist throughout the continent of Africa deep beneath the surface click link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17775211

–  Central High School in Phoenix, AZ successfully engaged their campus of more than 1000 students, from throughout the world in World Peace Day activities and discussions regarding bullying, social justice, and sustainability.

– The first day of Ridvan began in the evening for the Baha’i world community.

These are great stories, that deserve recognition.  Yet, no major coverage from various news outlets or even local media.  When the horrific occurs by the hands of humans or nature, the news is buzzing.  That buzzing stirs emotions in the masses to count their blessings, cherish their loved ones, and even act spontaneously altruistic to strangers.  Here’s the point:

WHY SO OFTEN, DOES IT TAKE THE WORSE TO HAPPEN FOR THE BEST TO COME OUT IN PEOPLE?

Let us reflect on how we can be thankful, loving, generous, and community minded when it’s just “another day.”  I think if we save our grace for when the unthinkable happens, we are conditioning ourselves and the next generation to be a reactive community that is motivated by the worse to mobilize.  We have the power to shift this paradigm and be motivated daily to proactively mobilize our communities to do amazing acts.  A culture of protagonists that act to promote unity, justice, and peace is within us and can actually prevent the short term “shot in the arm” reactionary ways because the proaction would have prevented the painful acts.

With Love, calvin