Weapons of Mass-Reconstruction

 

Playing our part in world change

The Dalai Lama once said: "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try spending a night in a room with a mosquito!". And this is true. Mosquitoes suck your blood to reproduce and, before long, there are loads of them! But if one mosquito doesn't start the process, little happens. Yet a swarm of mossies makes even an elephant run for it.

Take the courage to start. It's not a matter of preaching, pushing and persuading others to join you. They will join by your example, inspiration and leadership. Yes, you - working in your own little area, with what you can do best.

It helps to do things that are 'in your growth'. It's a challenge, something to learn, something to do with what you are becoming. It's not what you get for doing it, it's what you become by doing it.

The more people who do it, the more the world changes. Practise good works, to the greatest benefit. The more that people withhold themselves and wait for someone else, the more the world is destroyed. It's that simple.


There are two key concepts here. The first is the Muslim idea of the Umma. The second is the southern African idea of Ubuntu. Both pertain both to wider social and political issues, and to personal behaviour.

For Muslims, the idea of the Umma, or 'the community of believers', means that, regardless of clan, nationality or background, a fellow soul is always to be treated well, respected, supported, protected and treated as one's own. This extends into a social and political philosophy of solidarity and cooperation. It leads to a 'generosity economy' and a sharing society. So it is both a personal mode of good behaviour and a social format for peace and mutuality. This idea needs to spread to the whole of humanity, Muslim or not.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: A person who had Ubuntu was known to be compassionate and gentle, who used his strength on behalf of the weak, who did not take advantage of others - in short he cared, treating others as what they are, human beings. If you lacked Ubuntu, you lacked an indispensable ingredient to being human. You might have many of the world's goods, and position and authority, but if you do not have Ubuntu, you do not amount to much.

The golden rule is to treat others as you would have them treat you. The key ingredient is to think and feel beyond yourself, to look after everyone's benefit, create win-win situations, reconcile differences and do things for the highest good.


Make use of events and changes in your life

 

There is meaning to the events that befall us - our inner and outer lives do connect up.

When fortunes or misfortunes come your way, do what you can to make the best use of them. Give thanks each evening for everything in your life. A failure well-handled is a success.

Misfortunes made good are in some respects better than good fortune. All events have an underlying meaning and challenge attached to them.

The key mechanism is the use we make of events. In real-life situations, patterns can be changed and life's deeper principles and threads are worked out. Our life-purpose presents itself through the events of our lives now. These constitute the nexus of progress.

We're so resistant that, sometimes, the universe has to trick us into doing things, through the agency of things 'going wrong'. Sometimes our instructions are given to us by someone walking in through the back door, or someone giving you a hard time. But events are meaningful, an agency of guidance.


This is a matter of attitude. We can either focus on all the problems life brings us, or we can look for the blessing, the advantage and the openings in whatever gets thrown at us. This is an exercise of the mind and heart to help us change our thinking.

Everything that happens to us has meaning, somewhere. We must ask ourselves: "In what way is this an answer to a prayer?" and "Where is the hidden gift in this situation?" This leads to the way forward.

There are no such things as problems - only situations. A problem is a mood, a way of seeing things. Even if someone is pointing a gun in your face, you have the choice to fear for yourself, or to see this as a potential blessing in disguise. If you choose the latter, it reveals possibilities that might include eyeballing your adversary, smiling and speaking calmly, and causing them to put down that gun. If you're afraid, prepare to meet thy Maker!

There is no right or wrong - there are simply outcomes. So choose the outcomes that are the very best to create - for everyone and for everything.

If you're struck down with illness, look for the gift in it. If you have no money, enjoy the simple things in life. If you feel you're just a Nobody, use this feeling to make yourself a Somebody within ten years. Taking such an attitude prepares you for service, and helps you help people and situations. You become a social healer.


You might already be doing it

 

...But not recognising it. And there might be more!

Look again at your life. In what areas do you bring benefit to others or to wider situations? How do you contribute to the resolution of issues and problems - right now? In what areas are you a catalyst of healing - where's your special gift here?

Take note of these and accentuate them. You might not fully realise the significance of what you're already doing. You might be a parent, feeling in a side-alley, but you don't know what your kids will be doing in the 2030s as a result of your inputs.

Life-purpose is not necessarily big and dramatic - even if you become president, it can be really tedious. If you do something small and local, it can have immense wider consequences.

It's better to do small things well than big things badly.


Your life-purpose starts with who you are - you don't need to become anyone or anything else. But there's perhaps more you can do about what you're already doing.

Strangely, our life's work often involves getting to grips with things in our lives and past experience that most hurt us. Pain and despair are the biggest of motivators.

Whatever has been hard for you is also a mine of experience from which to draw. It's something you know about, personally and uniquely. There are people out there who have the same experience but cannot handle it - and you have something to teach them. You're a specialist in your own pain.

And there are inherent gifts you have - gifts of character, inborn skills and competencies, and resource on which to draw. Instead of setting them aside, bring them out. These are your resources.

We're often taught to withhold our innate talents, to set them aside because, if we don't, we won't pass the test. But these are our deepest tap-roots, from which our life purpose stems.

So quit judging yourself negatively, and get on with what you are and what you can already do well. The rest will come.


Support something or someone good

 

Amplify your life-purpose by assisting others in theirs, or by backing chosen good causes that mean something to you, personally.

Whatever your life-conditions, there is energy left to support good projects or people, somehow. People carrying out good deeds often run on a shoestring, lack support, skills, contacts, office equipment or someone to talk to. Offer to sort out their mailing list, or give them a ream of paper, a tank of gas or a clap on the back.

Even if you are bedridden, poor or disabled, you still have time and attention available. Even if you have no time, you might have contacts, ideas, money or stuff in your attic.

Support those who support others. They need it. Help keep them on the rails. Add your skills. Facilitate progress. Make life easier for them.


Quite often, people on the frontline need support from the rear - and that might be you. It might also be a way of preparing yourself for frontline service yourself, later on.

Some people are pioneers and leaders, and some are supporters and facilitators. The main issue is that each does their bit well, and stays on the case. Often it's better to chip away at something over a period of time than to get enthused, make dramatic actions and then disappear from view.

The greatest of contributions to human progress involve a lot of boring, detailed, unappreciated hard slog. Edison: genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So get more practice in doing the spadework.

At the end of a big event, the people who clear up are the real stars of the show. The people who care for those on the edge of society are humanity's true saviours.

The people who do it anyway, whether or not anyone is looking or helping, are the people who make history. But it sure leverages their work if someone helps out.


Get involved with things that matter for the future

 

Get engaged with issues that stir you up or affect you, or your family, neighbours or peers. Things that concern the future - your grandchildren, and the end of the 21st Century.

Even if you focus on just one arena of attention, work at it, follow things through and do something that makes a difference. This might involve local community issues, specific wider national or global causes, letter-writing to officials or the press, standing up at a meeting, or contacting the Afghan embassy to make connections in Afghanistan.

Work on nature reserves, help grannies, be a child's adopted uncle or aunt, start or join a campaign - whatever it is, get engaged, even if you keep its duration or scope moderate.

Set time and attention aside, do the homework, get your hands dirty, make a difference.


The great breakthroughs of history were started in back-street places, starting with an idea or an urge, and developing from there. Even if things happened spontaneously and suddenly, the people who carried it through had gone through an unconscious preparation.

What drove them was a sense of the potential of the future, or the urgency to improve something - if not for now, then for future generations.

Or perhaps they just had a helpful and proactive attitude, which made them the most eligible person for the task when it suddenly presented itself.

So what, by the end of your lifetime, needs changing or improving in this world? Follow your dream, follow your pain, keep on working at it stage by stage, and good will come of it.

It takes time for a forest to grow, but it won't grow at all unless you plant the trees. Wars, conflicts and bad situations can go on for a dispiritingly long time, but unless someone has prepared for peace, no one knows what to do when they get there. They might slip back, because they know war more than peace.

So imbue your present with a sense of the future, and let that be a guiding light.

 


Talk to your children, parents, neighbours and associates

 

Come out with it and speak your truth. Bring out your magic spark.

It is unnecessary to convert others to your way of thinking, and zeal doesn't help. Just share your perceptions, beliefs and convictions, for the sake of truth and integrity. If you disagree with someone: "I understand where you're coming from, and I have another way of seeing it".

When you don't feel right about a situation, say so - and, if appropriate, make useful suggestions, or do something. If you're outnumbered or in 'alien territory', hold your position in peace, or let your light shine through - neither push your case nor hold back.

The main thing is to speak and demonstrate your truth rather than withhold.

If people don't take it up, that's okay - you said what you needed to say. Sometimes truth takes time to work through. Be patient, and stay with the process. This is a remedy for complicity and complacency.


This is more important than it sounds. It's about unravelling our slavery to guilt and fear. It's about negotiating your place in the world. It's about pushing the boundaries, moving things forward.

If you live in a family, work in a workplace or mix with people where your light and your viewpoint aren't welcome, or where you feel suppressed, you'll lose heart and join them in their rut. The choice is to leave, or to speak and live by your truth.

It's a matter of being diplomatic, firm and true, keeping things simple and straightforward. If you don't say it, people won't know. If someone is obstructing, harming or denying you, do something.

Speak to your children, your parents, your neighbours, or stand up at the meeting. At first it can take some guts, but the more you do it, the better it gets. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it.

If you find yourself in a conflict or negotiation, calm and centre yourself, be clear about your bottom line, your highest hope and the likely real outcome, and do your best to move things forward. Even if you cannot resolve it, you can agree to disagree, give it time, and express your appreciation for your adversary.

But this isn't just about speech - it's about action. 'By their deeds shall you know them' - yes, and it is the doers in this world that make a difference.

 


Withdraw and add support on crucial issues

 

One of the biggest problems of our time is complicity - the tendency to lock in to what the majority are doing, or the safe and lazy option, the urge to keep your head down. Everyone does it together, avoiding choice and awareness by commission and omission.

With the state of the world today, it is necessary to take a stand - so that you can live in integrity and perhaps have an influence in issues - even if only as one of a million.

If you believe in or feel for something, give it your active support. Tell people they're doing a good thing, give them a helping hand.

If you feel something is not right, withdraw or qualify your support. You don't have to be angry or protest. But it is worth explaining clearly why you don't support it, and suggesting what would make you change on that.

Don't get compromised, corralled into things you don't like, or driven over. Don't assume that someone knows you support them - indicate your support. They might be feeling isolated or unsupported. If you have a complaint, say or do something to encourage people first.

At times this makes a big difference. Compromise, silence and reluctant passivity are major negative forces, creating enormous outcomes worldwide.


People fear that, if they show their colours, they'll lose their job, position, reputation or the love of others. If this actually happens, perhaps it's not good to be involved with these people. If it doesn't happen, you were obeying conditioned fear, not prudence or care.

Withdrawing support means not buying the product, or writing a letter to speak your truth, or removing your presence and input from things you don't approve of.

For people laying themselves on the line, it is very important to hear expressions of support. For people who you feel are harming others or doing the wrong thing, it is important to inform them - and they'll take greater notice if you do so constructively and in fairness.

In UK in 2003, millions of people were against taking the country into the Iraq war - yet, in the years that followed, they paid their taxes and thereby financially supported the war - and thus were killers by proxy. They lost heart and kept their heads down, when actually there was something they could have done: stand up and speak out.

This creates collective shame in society. The price to pay is social ills such as obesity, criminality, mental illness, consumptiveness and collective powerlessness.

Withholding our personal power and influence brings large and complex consequences. 'Coming out' and actively supporting things or visibly withdrawing support makes a difference. This is democratic behaviour in action.

 


Live in community and work in groups

 

Individualism and nuclear family life are energy-inefficient, narrowing our spectrum of possibilities. Socially, it is actually a way by which the collective power of society is weakened.

Being good-neighbourly, living in communities and working in groups has its unromantic and trying side, yet group and community action allow possibilities that are unavailable to isolated individuals and nuclear families. They widen our relationship-spectrum and fulfil our innate tribal needs. They make available a whole spectrum of skills and assets.

Many believe that communities reduce and constrain individual freedom, but the opposite is generally true: living a relatively isolated life, each individual must deal with tasks and chores that, in communities, can be covered in a multiplicity of ways. This doesn't mean private space is given up: there are levels of engagement.


The essence of group and community work is cooperation. The power of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is a tremendous feeling when a group starts humming and synergising.

Sure, if there are nine people in a group, that involves 72 one-to-one relationships, and that can get complex. But the sumtotal of resources, ideas, gifts and assets is far greater, and possibilities and opportunities grow immensely.

It's not just a gaggle of individuals: a group becomes a bigger being of its own right, and its members find themselves engaging with possibilities that just weren't available before.

In Palestine they have lived without effective government for 60 years. The nation runs through clans, communities and families, in which everyone pools their strengths, skills and resources. It has enabled them to survive and have as decent a life as possible under difficult conditions.

To get through the 21st Century, world society will need to be reconstituted. It needs to become collaborative, and it's going to be 'all hands on deck' - a mobilisation to overcome enormous challenges.

 


Exercise your instincts and intuitions

 

These perceptual and decision-making devices are often trained out of us. They know things the brains do not.

They speak through our feelings and gut (or womb) instincts. They speak in very simple statements.

Instincts are an animal intelligence allowing animals to know what to do. Instincts simply say "get out of here", "something's not right", "just relax", "avoid that food" or "that person is correct".

Intuitions are more sophisticated: they might take the form of a strong bundle of ideas we wake up with in the morning, or a sudden unexplainable urge to turn left rather than follow our usual route. They bring revelations, hints, instructions, solutions, news, warnings or they make new connections.

We are trained to disregard or downplay these messages, when actually they are the stuff of solutions and miracles.


To study your instinctual or intuitive patterns, do this: when you get a 'funny feeling', note the feeling and the options it offers; your feeling might say "don't go shopping, you've got enough" while your busy mind might say "but I ought to get some cheese for so-and-so's sandwiches tomorrow"; note the option you choose to follow, carry it out wholeheartedly and, later, review the situation - were your intuitions or your rationales correct, in retrospect?

Do this for a year - keep notes. Examine the costs and benefits of following and not following your feelings. This will surprise you. Instincts and intuitions might not be logical, and rarely give explanations, but they can save you and others a lot of difficulty, save energy and resolve issues you might even not have thought could be resolved.

The rule is: the more you use your instincts and intuitions, the more they work and the more accurate and reliable they become. They make our lives easier and reveal opportunities.

But, be clear about this: they don't give reasons or explanations. It's necessary to trust your feelings.

All they say is "read this book", "go to Morocco" or "don't marry that person!". At times they take the form of events - a book falls off the shelf into your hands. Or you might cut your finger - what is this saying?

 

Forgiveness and self-forgiveness

 

Forgiving others does not mean forgetting what they did or ignoring things. It involves holding others accountable without lasting blame, resentment or ill feeling.

They did it, that's all. It's okay to change your relationship with a person in the light of what happened, but release the emotional charge - the hurt, resentment, regret, ill-feeling.

It helps to see things from the angle of those who have wronged you, whether or not you agree with it - it helps understand how the situation arose and what to do with it.

Forgiveness means "I see your dilemma - I don't agree, and it hurt, but it's okay, and we'll go on from here. And I can outline my own dilemma too, to help you understand".


Self-forgiveness is crucial too: feeling bad about who we are or what we have done helps nothing. It gets caught up with guilt and shame, self-undoing patterns that can cause us to make situations worse, carry unnecessary burdens or constrain our possibilities.

Instead of feeling bad, make a resolution to do things differently next time. People who learn are immensely forgiveable.

Self-forgiveness involves owning up, being straight with ourselves, using it as a self-truth exercise. So what, if you're a useless, low-down, rotten, abject failure? It's okay, and you're not alone.

Go speak to the people who are affected, or who affected you. There is no right or wrong, there are only outcomes - so choose the consequences you seek to create. If you screw up, keep working at it and get things right in the fullness of time.

By forgiving, relieving your or others' guilt, you and they move into a stronger position to take full responsibility. It liberates energy and provides an opportunity to make things good. This is deep.

 


Soul-pressure

 

In the world of today, a big question faces us. We know things need to change, but how can a movement of social and global change be jump-started? How can the denial, diversion, avoidance and dishonesty of our time be overcome?

It requires a collective choice and breakthrough that seems impossible. This has been building up since the 1960s - it's a deeply historic change.

The answer lies in shifts of public response to unfolding events, in seeing things differently. The problems of today's world exist because we collectively turn away from our deeper knowing and seeing. As a result we perpetuate what is actually destroying the planet and making our lives difficult and unhappy.

The momentum of change has not yet gone critical or overcome the braking forces in world society. But we are now entering times in which we have little alternative.


Such a shift in critical mass awaits the conjoining of three predominant factors:
- world events, with their symbolism, truth-revelations and challenges,
- a buildup of soul-pressure from within humanity, arising both from our need for a better life and our dread of things going horribly wrong, and,
- an escalation of the tension between events and soul-pressure, and the uncomfortable gap that is thereby exposed.

The chemical fusion of these three main forces creates change. The stakes are high.

It is easy to give in to a lurking feeling of depression and hopelessness. Yet humanity's collective psyche is primed for change more now than ever before. The darkest hour is just before dawn, and the apparent impossibility of world change is actually a symptom of standing on the edge of breakthrough.

The world has to be sure it wants change and that it is committed to it. The collective unconscious is sifting through its doubts, fears and reservations before it repents, owning up to the possibility that we're all seriously lost and in danger. The escape-routes, avoidance strategies, illusions and falsities must be eliminated.

 

Over the Waterfall

 

In a sense the world is in a worse state now than ever. The task is greater now than before. Yet, in this dangerous state, our potential for breakthrough is also at a high-point. We are not helpless, even if the change process seems to take a long time.

There is tremendous power in the action of contributing to bringing about change: it's a matter of ceasing to be part of the problem and instead adding to the solution.

There are things we can do to raise the change-stakes globally. In this section we have looked at a selection of suggested strategies which we as individuals can do.

But there is more. Complementary diplomacy: re-weaving the collective energy-matrix. Not only to solve specific world problems, but also to shift the energy-field of humanity and planet Earth.


We are heading for a critical mass situation. Awareness levels are higher than we believe - new ideas, modern life, travel, Internet and the media have helped that. And also, 'soul pressure' has upped the stakes within humanity - within us, our awareness has shifted, as a result of facing the ridiculous issues that modern life presents.

We need to move things forward ourselves. This has a magnetic effect. It's personally fulfilling too. If sufficient people are pulling in the same direction, a wildfire effect can start - a different way of seeing and dealing with events, a different atmosphere in society, the beginning of a mobilisation of humanity.

It's often called the 'hundredth monkey effect', where an idea or possibility catches on widely, after a certain number have made it reality in their lives.

'Critical mass' means that the power of change rises to a certain pitch and magnitude, whereby it overcomes the resistant power of inertia, denial and fear - and vested interests. But to do this we need to overcome the vested interests in ourselves.

It's time to start. And if you've already started, it's time for the next step.

 

NEXT:
Complementary Diplomacy