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“A Vision of Human Prosperity…” pt 2

ripening blueberries in the sun
Photo by Emily DeHoff

This is the second (and last) post following the November 22 Prosperity Discussion, where 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 didn’t all fit in one post. The first set of insights was posted last week and below is the second 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. Here are the insights:

  • What if this world was actually a place where we are on vacation from another world, a world where we are powerful? What if this world is where we experience powerlessness so we can appreciate power?

  • How do we make choices that empower us?

  • When we are feeling powerless, ask nature for an answer. Connect with other beings that we can’t see, but with whom we have a relationship. The story we’ve told ourselves is that we are not connected to nature.

  • Will you be an imaginal cell or a cancer cell?

  • Ask cancer – what do you have to show us?

  • Our economy has focused on growth. We think growth is the answer. But we need to re-frame growth and think in terms of balance. What is our story around growth?

  • In Hinduism, creation is a cosmic joke. It goes like this: God creates everything. Then He gets bored and manifests Himself in everything. So when you go to the wise man in India and ask, “What is the meaning of life?” The wise man says, “Come off it, Shiva, I know it’s you!” We are God pretending that we are not, in order to have fun.

  • What do we want to imagine the world to be?

  • We operate by programmed thinking—we think money will bring us happiness.

  • Right now, the human race is “putting out fires.” Once people have food to eat, then we will have more healing. Then we can restructure education.

  • The most devastating experience is that of being not connected, of being alone.

  • If everyone was contributing to their capacity… but we are not allowing everyone to contribute.

  • Edwin Nichols, professor of linguistics, did a study where he gave men and women a set of 25 questions. Some of the questions all the men got wrong, but the women got right. Some of the questions all the women got wrong, but the men got right. If you leave out one group, you don’t have all the answers.

  • George Lakoff’s book “Don’t Think of an Elephant” talks about the think tanks that frame the American thought process.

  • Shamans in the Amazon dream a world into existence—”dream tanks.”

  • Retired people—this is the worst waste of resources. These people have all this expertise and experience and are not valued.

  • We have institutionalized community. We go from daycare to school to the corporate world to assisted living.

  • Don’t want to add burden. How do we receive the gifts?

    • Generational stories

    • Looking for other patterns to model—nature

  • What are other ways to tell stories?

  • We could create a Facebook group—share your role and where you took action.

  • We need to get over ourselves and get out of the way. There’s a flow to things.

  • We feel like the bad child, banished from the garden. We need to process that grief together.

  • As soon as we can label it, we can step into it.

  • We need to re-frame war technology into something else.

  • When we think and do things, good and bad, we contribute to the collective consciousness. If we care about anyone else on the planet, we need to be conscious about what we are contributing.

  • There are 9 people in this room today. It’s a mercurial number—it points to itself:

    • 9 x 9 = 81

    • 9 + 9 = 18

    • 8 + 1 = 9

  • For decision-making, 9 is the best size for a group.

  • It’s a big shift to be globally-minded thinkers committed to prosperity.

For the first set of insights from the discussion, see: “A Vision of Human Prosperity…” pt 1

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