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“A Vision of Human Prosperity…” pt 1

red leaf bud
Photo by Emily DeHoff

On November 22, a few people got together to Start a Vision Discussion. We began with the quote below and focused on really listening to each other and letting go of our views once we’d expressed them, offering them to the group as a whole. Essentially, we were practicing the art of consultation. There were so many wonderful thoughts shared, they won’t all fit in one post. So I’m sharing the first set of insights here. Stay tuned for the next set. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

“Throughout the world, immense intellectual and spiritual energies are seeking expression, energies whose gathering pressure is in direct proportion to the frustrations of recent decades. Everywhere the signs multiply that the earth’s peoples yearn for an end to conflict and to the suffering and ruin from which no land is any longer immune. These rising impulses for change must be seized upon and channeled into overcoming the remaining barriers that block realization of the age-old dream of global peace. The effort of will required for such a task cannot be summoned up merely by appeals for action against the countless ills afflicting society. It must be galvanized by a vision of human prosperity in the fullest sense of the term—an awakening to the possibilities of the spiritual and material well-being now brought within grasp. Its beneficiaries must be all of the planet’s inhabitants, without distinction, without the imposition of conditions unrelated to the fundamental goals of such a reorganization of human affairs.” ~ The Prosperity of Humankind, Universal House of Justice, 1995

Insights from the Discussion

Please bear with me—my fingers weren’t fast enough to capture all the transitions, just the main ideas. The conversation was much more fluid than these notes seem to indicate.

  • Prosperity is well-being. It’s about quality of life. Not just for us, but how we work in relationship. If it comes at the expense of someone else… Eventually you run out of people to exploit.

  • The original religious leaders explained this. They each described a part of the elephant and that was passed down for generations. Now we see the overlap of religions. There’s also a re-entrenchment of conflicts. A coming together and a tearing apart.

  • The 12 Steps program talks about how you must be conscious of something to change it.

  • We have one thing to focus on – to be mindfully kind.

  • Non-violence.

  • Humanity is like the chick coming out of the egg—we can’t go back into the egg.

  • There’s the butterfly and the imaginal cells. When it is ready to transform, the caterpillar forms the chrysalis around itself. Inside the caterpillar, there are imaginal cells that know how build a butterfly. But because they do things differently than the other cells, they are destroyed. Until there are enough of them and they come together. Then they build the butterfly. When it’s time to destroy something, you have to let go. Free up that energy to create something new.

  • Prosperity is usually equated with money. But that’s not true. It’s living a high quality of life. Then things show up. It’s time to destroy the old story about how things work. We are learning new ways of seeing things: that maybe we are given a trust of money when we are born.

  • We need to change the story. We’ve heard our history in a certain way. Now we need to tell a different story. Recorded history is one small piece of the truth.

  • Independent investigation of truth. History is what we’ve been told.

  • Our superpower is curiosity.

  • What you create in your world starts with your thoughts. Your words. Your actions. Your beliefs. Your patterns. The patterns can become dogma.

  • We don’t value failures in this culture.

  • David Korten, married to Fran Korten (editor of YES Magazine), talks about learning from natural systems. Nature is different in different climates. If we are talking about a global vision, it’s not one size fits all. Diversity.

  • Nature is cooperative dominance. We think of Darwin and we think of tooth and claw competition. But nature is synergy. The soil isn’t palatable to the tree. The fungus in the earth makes the soil palatable.

  • Man’s systems tend to be competitive dominance.

  • There was a speaker on the radio who is helping communities build community banking systems. He has a biological background. He talks about how nature works without our help. We need to set up systems that mimic nature. The tallest tree looks like it’s taking all the sunlight, but it’s also sending that energy down into the flora and fauna below. These beings are part of systems that are bigger than themselves and feed back into the community.

  • We have technical/mechanical systems. We don’t have biological/spiritual systems.

  • With aquaponics, using the available land on this planet, we can feed the equivalent of 9 planets. We have the capability to end world hunger.

  • Scarcity is taught. It’s a lie. Nature models abundance.

  • We are taught to see conflict. So that’s what we see.

  • The nurse log is indispensable to the forest. It gives back. A tree falls in the forest and as it decomposes, it becomes a nurse log, a nursery to other plants and trees.

  • Pharmaceutical companies are realizing that the base ingredients for the drugs they make come from the earth. Now they are talking to indigenous peoples in the rain forest about the finding these ingredients. The drugs themselves are becoming obsolete—we are developing an immunity to them after using them for so long. The drugs are not sustainable in the long term.

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