Global Community: Tribalism and the New World Order

The intention of this writing is to envision a global village that is sustainable in the spiritual sense–as a haven where all members are loved and empowered, and which interfaces in a positive way with the world at large.

A global village understands the value of the individual–the individual must be empowered to be fully and authentically self-expressive, and hold his or her own truth and way of moving in the world. The individual is not limited for the sake of the tribe–the tribe thrives when the individual thrives. The desires of the individual and needs of the community are not seen as antithetical, rather, there is a self-organizing intelligence inherent to life which aligns the desires of the individual and the needs of the community. An empowered individual serves, because simply by following their joy and realizing their own nature they are naturally of service to the community.

Our modern world view is based on a separation between ourselves and nature. There are infinite examples in nature of harmony and co-ordination that for many suggest the presence of a creator. And yet, we too are part of that harmony, because harmony is simply the nature of life. It is the way that nature moves, where everything moves effortlessly with everything else. And yet, when we would limit others or ourselves for the sake of the whole, we are implicitly saying that we do not trust life, and do not believe that nature is ultimately harmonious. Rather, we separate ourselves from nature as something which can be threatened by nature and is compelled to control nature. This is absurdity, because we are nature! And yet, this absurd belief creates the very suffering it takes as its own evidence.

In this sense, freedom and trust are the foundation stones of a true global village. A global village in some ways does not recognize tribal distinctions: we are each a perfectly unique expression of nature, totally distinct from anyone else, past or future, and yet still parts of a greater body and propelled by the same mysterious life force. And though the tribe seems to be discarded at these ultimate extremes of perfect solitude and total unity, when we come to relate to others in this shifting world, tribal families and different webs of connection are inevitable. For some this means connecting with a spiritual tradition, for others it is a racial or cultural heritage, but ultimately the tribal links we have transcend genetics altogether. Call them karmic, cosmic, whatever you will–sometimes you just meet someone you feel as if you’ve known forever, because within you they live very near your heart.

In a global village, we understand that we are mirrors for one another. We are here to support each other and challenge one another–we are here to be so fiercely authentic that all others must face themselves and life. We must own our beliefs, emotions and experiences and acknowledge ourselves as co-creators of this life, not as victims of limitations created by others. If we wish to learn to live in a global community, we must learn not to take life personally, and own our own reactions. With all we have inherited, there is a lot of pain stored between all members of the human family. This pain has to be processed, but if we continue to personalize and assign blame to the pain that exists between us, we will never reach a space where we can allow that pain to heal. We must simply observe the pain and allow it to sing its song, and then release it forever. If we come into this agreement together, as a family, we can be members of a global village.

A global village inherits the wisdom of the past, the technology of the present, and a vision of the future. We are not rejecting the present in favor of the past or future. We are not rejecting anything. We are using all the tools at our disposal to move toward a vision of perfection. At the heart of this vision of perfection is an understanding that we are co-creating–giving and receiving. We know some of what we want, but we do not have the total vision. Our brothers and sisters have other pieces of the vision, but even together, we still do not have the whole picture. Only by coming together and synergetically linking our hearts and minds do we open the door to the highest possibilities. Our vision of the future necessarily has blind spots, but we are always aiming to create a world better than the one we found. We do this simply by aligning with the current of evolution, which is the natural tendency of life.

In a global village, all organizations are porous. They are not self-enclosed and defensive, simply acting for their own survival. They exist to serve the whole, as the village exists to serve the world. They are open and welcoming, because they have gifts to share. Families interface with one another, so that children can grow and experience beyond the limited patterns of their own parents. In the same way, businesses interface with one another, help and support one another, trade ideas and employees, for the benefit of the whole. No one stands to lose! Because there is co-operation, there is abundance. And because there is abundance, there is no need to fear theft or become protective.

Businesses interface with families. Businesses take care of children, provide education and apprenticeships, and simply become part of the fabric of life. Children learn by playing and interacting with old and young alike, and they learn by doing in those walks of life that they are attracted to. In a global village, everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student… and every moment is a learning opportunity!

In a global village, love is not an isolated phenomenon. Love is not spark of light in a great darkness. Love is the connective tissue between all residents. Love is the reality which is found at every hearth, in every workplace and in every meal. Love is the intention which goes into every action, and love is the perpetual question in every heart: “How can I bring more love into this world?”

A global village is radically inclusive, because it includes all of life. Life is accepted in its essence, which means it is accepted along with death. A global village is grounded in a sober perspective on life. Challenges and trials are bound to come. They are to be faced with courage and perseverance. All the while, life gives lovingly to all who give selflessly and create in love. There is a deep surrender to life, and this is what allows the members of a global village to come together and be intimate. This intimacy takes many forms, but ultimately it is a recognition of unity in those who appear to be most different. A global village is, and must be, a challenge to our perception of the world, which is rooted in separation. A global village is an ideal that asks us to live in a way that would allow it to exist. In this way, it is a leap of faith. Only our faith that it can exist will create the space in which it could flourish. It is a project we start today, not a reality we wait for in a murky future.

Well, what do you think? What is a global village to you? What would it take for humanity to live together in peace and harmony? Where is the human race headed? Is there an essence of life? Is it all survival and competition? Is life intelligent and harmonious? Or is it something altogether different? May these questions shake us awake to the mysteries and possibilities…

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Alcohol vs. Cannabis

For some reason this topic of alcohol and cannabis popped into my head and I thought I’d post some thoughts and reflections. I tend toward very abstract ways of looking at things, so to me any small issue is a doorway into a larger, structural issue. So my intention with this post is to use this topic as a window into greater social and spiritual insights.

I find that there is a certain dichotomy between alcohol and cannabis, similar to the dichotomy between coffee and tea. Tea and cannabis are for liberals, artists, under rather than over-achievers… etc. etc. Maybe we could go so far as to say that alcohol and coffee are masculine and extroverted, whereas cannabis and tea are feminine and introverted. So it’s interesting to me that cannabis is illegal whereas alcohol is legal. Both have negative consequences when they are over-indulged in. The negative consequences of alcohol are obvious and usually outwardly directed–crashing your car, getting in a fight, becoming emotionally abusive, and so on. The negative consequences of cannabis are typically more internal–losing sense of purpose, loss of clarity and sharpness… If we want to look at it in terms of masculine and feminine, over-indulging in the more masculine alcohol weakens the more feminine qualities of restraint, kindness, compassion, receptivity, and gentleness. Over-indulging in the more feminine cannabis weakens the masculine qualities of assertiveness, drive, purpose, clarity, insight, and incisiveness.

I don’t want to stretch this classification too far, but it seems to me that cannabis is illegal not because it is more harmful than alcohol, but because our mass consciousness still favors the masculine over the feminine, and is in many ways afraid of the feminine.

The other obvious issue is the issue of abuse and prohibition. I think many of us realize that prohibition makes abuse more likely. I think we can look at this as another area of imbalance between masculine and feminine–the feminine nature is to explore, taste life deeply, and know abundance. The masculine nature, on the other hand, is to set boundaries and limits. When it comes to an issue like abuse and how we set limits and boundaries around these substances, we first have to examine how we are relating to this issue in ourselves. If we feel strongly compelled to restrain others from exploring these substances, it must be because we ourselves are in some way afraid of them, and have limited ourselves. Both alcohol and cannabis can be medicinal and enlightening in certain situations at a proper dose. For someone who is very assertive and out of touch with their feminine side, it can be a great thing to get a little high and experience life in a different way. For someone shy and introverted, having a little alcohol can be a great way to get in touch with their extroverted side, and see the beauty of their personality when it is uninhibited by fear. Ultimately, it comes down to not being afraid of experiencing life through the lense of a substance. The trouble comes when there is some emotional or mental issue that we don’t want to confront and we use the substance to escape that issue. That’s when it becomes self-destructive… but the problem lies with us, not with the substance.

I feel that neither alcohol nor cannabis should be illegal. In low, recreational doses they can be experienced and appreciated and may even have some lessons to teach. It seems very unfortunate to me that there is such a hostile relationship between drug users and police, who have to enforce prohibition laws. It is unfortunate that there is so much misunderstanding and miscommunication between those who are in favor of legalization and those who oppose it. Of course there are dangers in these substances. But as I see it, the way to deal with this danger–and any danger–is not to try to eliminate its possibility, but to face the fear behind it with a clear and open mind and a strong intention. I feel our social attitude should be one that encourages people to explore life and not have too many pre-conceived ideas about what is right and what is wrong. After all, if there truly is an objective right and wrong, then we will only find it by exploring life with freedom and clarity. At the same time, I feel that we should encourage people to be clear about their intentions in everything they do and be real with themselves about whether or not they are meeting the intentions they set out for themselves. From my own experience with drugs, I know that quite often my intention was simply to escape a feeling of boredom or restlessness, and my use of drugs simply resulted in exchanging one set of problems for a new one. But when you use any substance you identify with using it, and quite often you will resent it if anyone points out issues with your lifestyle. So we have to be real with ourselves, explore life without being afraid of what will happen if we cross an imaginary line, but also be humble enough to turn back if we find we are on a dark road that isn’t truly serving us.

Those are my reflections, and here are the questions: what is the difference between alcohol and cannabis? Why is alcohol legal and cannabis illegal? What does this tell us about society and ourselves? How should we deal with the problem of substance abuse?

Thanks for reading, many blessings, abundance, joy, wisdom and clarity.

-Tom

The Nature of Blogging

I’ve been thinking a bit about my blog recently, about what it is, why it exists, what I’d like to get from it, and so on. My feeling at the moment is that this blog isn’t really a blog. I mean sure, it looks like a blog, but I think it misses the spirit of blogging, and that’s why I haven’t really been getting what I really want from this blog. So my intention with this post is to clarify to myself why this blog exists, and also explore my own perception of what this magical world of blogging is.

And yes, it’s a magical world. All worlds are magical. That is at the heart of why this blog exists. If I didn’t believe that blogging and this blog are magical, I wouldn’t bother. What is magic? Well, that’s way too much of a tangent to really dive into. But essentially, magic is a feeling of wonder that is really easy for kids and really difficult for adults. I would say that magic is a way of looking at the world as though you’ve never seen it before, and you’re totally open to being astonished by it.

So magic is really at the heart of this blog. This blog exists to share magic, but magic isn’t a one way street. It’s not that I have magic and you don’t so I have to give it to you. In fact, magic is born in the relationships between things. I guess you could say that magic is the simple fact that totally different things can get along with each other. And not just get along, get along really well!

So to share magic means to invite different perspectives, to open up discussions, to give and take. Right now I feel that there has been a lot of giving in this blog, but I’d like to shift it to being more of an invitation. I’d like this blog to be alive with comments and responses on other blogs, a nexus of connections and ideas and little inspirations. That would make me happy to come back to my computer and find that I’ve inspired someone or someone has something to inspire me. I’d like this blog to be more porous, more of an open, growing and evolving entity than a sort of static presentation of something that has already happened. It should be moving, natural, an eternal work-in-progress… like life.

That’s what I think blogging is really all about. It represents a shift in consciousness that we are creating but that is also creating us. It’s always a two-way street! This one-way dynamic of the artist and the audience is breaking down… now the audience is also artistic and the artist is listening to the audience. Now we are all equal beings in a network of creativity where we see that there are pulses of inspiration moving through this network–now you light up, then I light up, but neither of us owns the creative spark, it moves through us and uses us to bring us closer to one another, to bring us into a deeper communion with this great mystery called life. This is how it is, this is how it’s always been, and our evolution is just layers of mist gradually being removed, revealing what was always there.

So this is the intention. The intention is to share in magic through the invitation of difference. To invoke revelation through communion. An intention is beautiful, but on the flip side of an intention is a question. An intention is masculine, because it moves into the world with a trajectory and purpose. A question, however, is feminine, because it invites the unexpected. It is a vacuum which draws toward it exactly what it needs. And that may not be an answer! It will simply be an experience which deepens our wisdom.

The question, then, is what is blogging? Why blog? What do we hope to get from blogging? What does blogging tell us about this time we live in, our potential and our shadows?

I would love to hear your thoughts, intentions, questions, reflections, contemplations, and anything else you may have to share. Blessings to you all, and to all beings through you…

-Tom

Ode to a Tea House

~

Once upon a time

On a river boat

I sailed between the clouds

And began to float

~

A million lives unlived

Demand their resolution

And yet, I sit and drink

Let silence drown confusion

~

The writing on the wall

Is foreign to my eyes

Once it spoke to me

In words I thought were wise

~

I linger on my friends

The glow of memory

As change, that timeless friend,

Sings its melody

~

Faces in the jungle

Of happiness and pain

Arise quite unexpectedly

Only to vanish again

~

Once upon a time

On a river boat

I kissed the clear blue waters

And shuffled off my coat…

“What is love?”

A beautiful piece by local Santa Cruz artist, Bruce Harman

~

The wind is love

Brushing against all things

Sometimes lifting them high,

High into the air

But the wind does not cling to us

Saying desperately, you’re mine!

The wind moves in its own nature

In merry detachment

~

The stars, so distant and strange

Cradling planets in their greater bodies

Rather than consume all life and each other

In a fiery burst of passion

They burn bright within

And move in slow, deliberate coils

Organs of a greater body still

~

The river is love

Have you ever heard it complain

About the stones in its path?

Its very presence smoothes the stones

And their meeting makes that divine music

That reminds us life is ever-new

~

Crystals show the orderly side of love

Where everything is in its right place

Balanced, symmetrical, and stable

Capable of structuring the erratic currents

Of the life around them

~

Love is also wild energy

Twisting, leaping, utterly spontaneous

Birthing and destroying worlds in a breath

Shattering all that is familiar and comfortable

To reveal the vast, rich

Terrifying and intoxicating depth of life

~

Love is all these things

Love is all too often

Betrayed by words

Yet it demands to be spoken

~

Love is something that exists between people

It keeps drawing them together

Even in war, love is there

Refusing to let go

~

Love is a path

Each temporary love holds a key

A riddle, an invitation

Into a deeper love,

Which demands more

And offers more

Hinting at something eternal

That does not need to be created

Or maintained

But is simply found

At the very end, the very core

Right where any child

Would put it

~

This House is a Home

Merlin

~

This house is a home–

Yes, it has a history

Negative and positive lines

Criss-cross the globe

What becomes tangible

Is what you call forth

~

This house is a home

It is more than a function

It is an aliveness

It comes complete

With spirits and deities

It invites your dreams and dragons

Your desire to believe

Willingness to receive

~

This house is a home

It responds to the touch

It creaks and groans

It plays with your perception

This house is part of nature

Dispel the erroneous perception

That these walls exist

To keep nature out

These walls are permeable membranes

These windows are eyes

These doors represent unity

Not separation

~

This house is a home

And this home is a sanctuary

It is a nexus of love and light

It is a place to be safe

Safe enough to face fears

Safe enough to start a revolution

Within yourself

This home is a vortex

It is hungry for beauty

It calls your soul to it

It wants to heal and be healed

It is very much alive

And it is very much my home

~

~

I am so blessed to have this place as my home. May it provide a strong foundation to help me carry out my work in the world. May this home be a space of love, joy and awakening. May all beings benefit from what happens within these walls. May we all be safe and protected in this space.

Love,

Tom