[From an email sent in January 2009]
As we conclude another lap around our magnificent star in our living-organic-spaceship, I’d like to bring to your attention, beloved family, beLOVED commUNITY, how grateful I feel to know you all and to connect with you all at the SOULlular level (as dad Azim Khamisa says).

I just wrote an email to some teachers and suddenly I felt the immense urge to expand my love field and share the message with you all… hopefully you will get, at least, one photon of love… 😉 So please accept this triplet of pragmatic/ideas as a gift, and use your discretion to extract what resonates with your mind/heart/soul:

1. Embracing Abundance in the CommUNITY.
[The origin of the word “community” comes from the Latin munus, which means the gift, and cum, which means together, among each other. So community literally means to give among each other. Therefore I define my community as a group of people who welcome and honor my gifts, and from whom I can reasonably expect to receive gifts in return.]

This is an excerpt from the 1997 interview “Beyond Greed and Scarcity” made to Bernard Lietaer. If you are not yet convinced that evolving from Consumerism to CommUNITY is the answer to many of our problems (as we mentioned in the Project to Unify the Progressive movement), here is some horizontal power + feminine divine for you, from the same interview: Today, we are experiencing “technologies that enable us to replace hierarchies with networks.”

In other words, we are enabling horizontal power, as hermano Michael Nagler says:

“Ultimately the creation of a new paradigm in the contemporary society is not about putting the right kind of people in power, but the right kind of power in people.”

2. Finding TRANSLATIONS Through Empathic Eyes: a Way to Connect and to Inspire.
As many of you might know, I grew up in a secular environment and I’m an Anarchist and a Gandhian to the bone. Gandhi often encouraged people to embody Ahimsa and the best of their humanity, either Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Huichol, Dakota  or any other belief. His words were along the idea of: if you are a Muslim, be the best Muslim you can be; if you are a Christian, be the best Christian you can be; if you are a Hindu, be the best Hindu you can be. He said:  “I love Christianity, Islam and many other faiths – through Hinduism.”

Well, I love Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Huicholes, Dakotas and followers of other faiths – through secularity. In recent years I’ve been inspired to be the best “secularist” I can be (it has been a _very_ slow process!) to honor all the people who don’t follow any religion but who live a spiritual life. Let’s say that the religion of these people is kindness (as the XIV Dalai Lama says). This is the way in which I embrace my secularity in this round country without borders.

From my perspective, in any philosophy of life, it is not healthy to superhumanize anyone. I believe that there have been extraordinary human beings who are examples of the potential that resides in each one of us. In my point of view Gandhi, Einstein, Vinoba Bhave, Emma Goldaman, Martin Luther King Jr., César Chávez, Jesus, the Buddha, Patanjali, Mohammed, Lau-tzu, Krishnamurti, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mother Theresa, Paulo Freire, Gurdjieff, Salvador Ayende, Errico Malatesta, Krishnammal and Jagannathan, la Comandanta Ramona, the XIV Dalai Lama… are all people, like you and me, who have walked this Earth to harmonize relationships among human beings (and no-human beings).

In my opinion, the best way to honor diversity at the surface level and unity at the heart level is to find translations. For example, when it comes to deep communication, that is, at the SOULlular level 😉 these are my most useful translations between the religious and the secular worlds:

  • When people say “Faith” = I hear Positive Thinking

  • Prayer” = “Contemplation or Meditation” -> (the DNA of the Kindness Revolution)

  • Spirituality” = “Kindness, Forgiveness, Generosity, Creativity, Happiness, Courage, Respect

  • God or Creator = The Cosmos” “The Unknown AND “The True-Self (the best human beings we can be).   [Given that from the secular perspective these concepts are not the same, when I talk to religious siblings I found very useful to discern between “The Cosmos + Unknownand “True-Self“. Then suddenly we are talking the same language.]

The wonder of the Cosmos transcends everything that divides us, because Cosmos and justice are synonyms with beauty.

3. The “Right” Companionship.
With our own translations in mind, I’d like to conclude with an inspiring pragmatic/idea from the book Conquest of Mind by Sri Eknath Easwaran:

[Spiritual friends are what Buddha would have called “right companionship.” Everything we do, he reminds us, either adds or subtracts from our own image as human beings. What we give our time and attention to, what we talk about, what we read about, the people we are close to – all these contribute to either a higher image of the human being or to a lower one.

Cultivate time with people whose companionship elevates you. We can seek out goodness in people. We can seek out what is noble in human character. We can look for goodness and nobility in choosing our friends, in choosing to whom to give our attention and our love. It is especially helpful to spend time regularly with others who are basing their lives on the same spiritual values.

When you are trying to change your life, you need the support of others with the same goal. If you have friends who are meditating along the lines suggested here, you can get together regularly to share a meal, meditate, and perhaps read and discuss your spiritual reading. Share your times of entertainment too; relaxation is an important part of spiritual living.

One of the best forms of spiritual association is to work together for a selfless goal like relieving hunger or protecting the environment. Wherever people work like this, without expecting any reward or recognition, their individual capacities are augmented and enhanced. They are unleashing an irresistible force which, though we may not see it, is going to change the world.]

This doesn’t mean we are excluding siblings with different philosophies of life than ours, rather we are getting more strength to broaden our circle of compassion so beautifully described by Albert Einstein:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Muchas gracias spiritual herman@s for enriching our lives. You are what we need more of in this New Renaissance of Humanity!

Please receive all my solidarity and secular blessings.
I love you all. Yes, because Love is the breath of the Cosmos and poetry is the Science of the soul.
We are making a living not a killing.
¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
¡Si se puede!
Have a ONE-derful day! 🙂
If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both.

PS: If I had to re-write the etymology of the word community” it would be something like: Common Unity  😉

About pancho

To live in radical joyous shared servanthood to unify the Earth family.
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