On January 24, a group of us got together to discuss another aspect of building a vision for the prosperity of all humankind: the oneness of humanity. We started with a passage from The Prosperity of Humankind. Using the human body as a model, this passage describes the concept of unity in diversity. Here are the results of that discussion. If you’d like to start a prosperity discussion of your own, here are some tips on getting started.
Prosperity Discussion – January 24, 2016
We discussed the concept of unity in diversity: that all of humanity is one organic whole, like a human body.
In a letter addressed to Queen Victoria over a century ago, and employing an analogy that points to the one model holding convincing promise for the organization of a planetary society, Bahá’u’lláh compared the world to the human body. There is, indeed, no other model in phenomenal existence to which we can reasonably look. Human society is composed not of a mass of merely differentiated cells but of associations of individuals, each one of whom is endowed with intelligence and will; nevertheless, the modes of operation that characterize man’s biological nature illustrate fundamental principles of existence. Chief among these is that of unity in diversity. Paradoxically, it is precisely the wholeness and complexity of the order constituting the human body—and the perfect integration into it of the body’s cells—that permit the full realization of the distinctive capacities inherent in each of these component elements. No cell lives apart from the body, whether in contributing to its functioning or in deriving its share from the well-being of the whole. The physical well-being thus achieved finds its purpose in making possible the expression of human consciousness; that is to say, the purpose of biological development transcends the mere existence of the body and its parts. What is true of the life of the individual has its parallels in human society. The human species is an organic whole, the leading edge of the evolutionary process. That human consciousness necessarily operates through an infinite diversity of individual minds and motivations detracts in no way from its essential unity. Indeed, it is precisely an inhering diversity that distinguishes unity from homogeneity or uniformity. What the peoples of the world are today experiencing, Bahá’u’lláh said, is their collective coming- of-age, and it is through this emerging maturity of the race that the principle of unity in diversity will find full expression. From its earliest beginnings in the consolidation of family life, the process of social organization has successively moved from the simple structures of clan and tribe, through multitudinous forms of urban society, to the eventual emergence of the nation-state, each stage opening up a wealth of new opportunities for the exercise of human capacity. ~ The Prosperity of Humankind, Universal House of Justice, 1995
Here are the insights:
We need all parts, the blood and bones. Every single person. It’s a great analogy. Because otherwise the system doesn’t work. We need ways to replace parts that are broken.
Being in a body that was perfectly healthy until multiple sclerosis kicked in, I experience it from the inside out. Two things come out of this quote:
Unity in diversity. There isn’t anything more diverse and unified than a human body.
For me, that’s the biggest need to heal. The insanity that’s displaying itself in the world…
When you think about how mankind has come through so many phases and so many stages on its way to the growth and technology that we have today. This is a brand-new country. It’s only a little over 200 years old. We are just now growing up. We haven’t worked it all out yet. We’re just starting to figure it out. How to be actualized and to be authentic human beings.
When we talk about the organization of planetary society, that society has to include more than just humans. We think of humankind as being more than or separate from the rest of our reality. Look at how tied in we are to other living beings.
The world looks different to different people at different times. It’s like having different pairs of glasses that only let you see one thing at a time: the men in the room, the women, the middle class people, and the poor people. We need the lens that lets you see all—not just all human beings, but all.
The analogy of the human body to the whole society, reminds me of my experience working with a massage therapist. My shoulder was binding up, but I didn’t realize it. She’d say, “Don’t ignore it. Accept it. Bring that part of your body back into your whole being. Remind it, encourage it to remember what it feels like to be healthy.” If we do this with global society and not ignore parts of society, accepting everything, everybody as is. And the encouragement for all of us to do our own work to get to a healthy spot.
I think there’s an element of courage required to really see. A lot of people don’t want to see.
When I had a lot of money, I had no idea these people existed (poor, mentally ill). I was cushioned. Now that I have the blessing of poverty, I’m one with them. But I’m also one with everyone else. As Native, we were taught from little kids on, that it’s the big circle and you sit in the center and it’s all… You’re part of the whole thing. If I’m not afraid of anybody or anything, then I’m not driving behind fear. Which is only going to pull in more fear.
Every part of my body needs every part to exist, which really is a good analogy for the world. Yet, I have auto-immune stuff, where my body just attacks itself for absolutely no good reason. I can certainly see that happening out in the world, where we have these wars, killing people over avatars of the same gods.
The perception is different. My sister and I grew up in the same house, yet when we talk about our childhood, we have completely different perceptions about what happened. That’s in my own home. How do you have a conversation with someone in Syria?
When I travel, I take my Western, white, middle-class ideas as if they are true. The only thing I can strive to do is let those fall away and be willing to pick up a different pair of glasses.
When I was in Taiwan, I couldn’t speak more than a few words of Chinese, and often I was with people who didn’t speak English, but there was amazing communication going on. As we let go and listen, we can hear the language of the human body. I don’t know the language of the liver cells, but I understand the body.
What I’m trying to do is let go of assumptions. Even if I have the best glasses in the world, I can’t really see inside someone else. You can’t really tell by looking. Keep that deeper, compassionate curiosity.
There was a woman who had to leave her job and move back home to take care of her ailing parent. And she didn’t even really like her mother. But she realized this was a call to compassion at a whole different level.
I was on the Police Review Board for awhile and one of the things we dealt with was rogue cops: guys that are so stressed out they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and shoot before asking questions. We looked at how the cops were trained to deal with those suffering from mental illness. They started training the cops to ask someone what’s going on inside them. The psychiatrist would sit next to the cop trainee and whisper the types of thoughts that a schizophrenic person would be thinking: “They’re going to come get you! They’re doing it.” She’d whisper this while he’s trying to determine what to do with the person in front of him. The trainees realized, “That’s what’s going on inside of these people? I had no idea!”
Grace shared this poem from The Zen of Recovery, by Mel Ash 1993 (www.melash.com/bones)
We Recover On the Bones of Others If you are here to read this, think of those who aren’t. Pray for them: good thoughts for those who lost their minds, love and years to compulsion, addiction and fears. Think of their great sacrifice. Read more…
It seems like all of this is already happening. The collective consciousness works very quickly as soon as we have that one, powerful thought. It’s as if we’ve uploaded it to the collective consciousness and it’s percolating for everybody. There are tons of things like this that are happening simultaneously.
Everyone’s tired of the bloodshed and the pain. We’re sick of it. We already know how pathetic it is to continue the immaturity of a military-based society. There’s nothing left to conquer.
We are finally grieving the loss of our indigenous tribes, the loss of valuable cultural things we tried to eradicate: the potlatch ceremony. That was where you partied at the end of the year and the wealthiest guy in the room reinvested his wealth back into his community.
The reason we create wealth is we are wicked smart. We do it for fun. But that amount of money sitting in the bank doesn’t bring us happiness. Only connection does.
Guilt helps you want to do better, to make amends. Guilt is “I’ve done something bad.” Shame is “I am bad.” We’re not bad because we made a mistake. We make mistakes because mistakes just happen. There’s a lot of accidents. But we’re committed to learning from those things and transitioning as quickly as we can.
We need a model somewhere in between collectivism and individualism, because we need both. And we’re working on it. We need to focus on what’s positive and keep talking about those things, rather than always focus on what’s not working.
That balance between individualism and collectivism… that model of the human body is such a beautiful pictures. You have individual cells. Each cell is in and of itself, but it’s also part of something else too.
What we are working on:
People shared the things they are already doing to help move the world toward prosperity.
more humorous, joyful, happy
stay open to Divine Inspiration
Amplify mindful kindness
Education & lore of plant life
helping people who are newly arrived in the area get connected with the proper resources
Creating Awakening Centers
imaginal cells of a transformed society
Finding path to authentic service where my true gifts and passion come together to build prosperity, community and connection
Influencing the direction of a retail business’ growth toward prosperity and sustainability
Community building on a local level
Teach robotics club at elementary school, especially girls
Transferred to online school
Facilitating conversation around prosperity
How do we help us help each other?
Several people had a request or an offer to share…
NW Academy and Outside-In (schools for kids at risk) – would love to see these creative programs at these schools
Donated clothing for Right to Dream 2
Review book chapters for science fiction book currently being written