Wednesday, June 30, 2010


THE SHIFT

It’s true humanity has been adrift,
Off its true course for most of history;
Yet now, if only for necessity,
We need to chart our way and make a shift.

In doing so we must be sure and swift,
For now our power stands at its apogee,
And its abuse forebodes catastrophe—
Our planet cannot stand a seismic rift.

We’ve tried dominion, conquest, and harsh rule
But only recently democracy,
And that not well; it’s still a clumsy tool:
Competing interests seek supremacy.

When we cooperate, forgive, resolve,
We’ll see at last humanity evolve.



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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


RISE AND SHINE

How could this keen, exquisite consciousness
We own arise spontaneously from matter,
Or was it here originally to bless
All being with its grace? I think the latter.

The Logos or the Big Idea behind,
Beneath, above, around, infusing all
With levels of cognition is the Mind
Of God, or Spirit, wherein we rise or fall.

Our challenge is to grow in cognizance
And realize potentialities
Of consciousness within this cosmic dance
Entrancing us with dreams and fantasies,

For only when we come at last to know
The Logos in our being shall we glow.



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Monday, June 28, 2010


BEING

Though we may never solve the Mystery
Of Being, we still can learn how best to be:
From folly and stupidity to rise
From bestiality to being wise.



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Sunday, June 27, 2010


ALIGNMENT

Could he sustain always the glow of love
Within his heart and never let fear shove
His consciousness from equanimity
Or anger mar his serene harmony
Or busyness distract him from what’s wise,
He might attain what sages realize:
Composure and perspective rare to find,
Alignment of the spirit with the mind.



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Saturday, June 26, 2010


MISSING THE POINT

If Jesus is the finger pointing out
The Way we all must travel through our lives
(As does the Buddha and Lao-tzu), a scout
To lead us toward a consciousness that thrives,
Then let’s be on our way and not malinger
Or grow confused by worshipping the finger.



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Friday, June 25, 2010


SPIRIT, MIND AND MATTER

You say that spirit’s nowhere to be found;
I say that it is everywhere around.
How is it, then, that spirit’s to be known?
If not within the mind, then in the bone.

I say it’s no epiphenomenon
But in the heart of matter, whereupon
Foundationally it rests and then arises,
Taking those forms that matter realizes.



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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


DESCARTES’ CURSE

The Rational Empiricist can’t know
The mysteries that spiritualists see
And fathom by divining far below
Or far above materiality.
What Descartes severed from the modern mind
By limiting our science to our senses
Has made us more adroit but left us blind
To visions that no matter recompenses.
What those who weigh and measure cannot reach
Is what all human hearts must comprehend,
But who these days knows what or how to teach
Those visionary skills to apprehend
The soul of this mysterious universe
And lift the dismal veil of Descartes’ curse?



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


HERE AND HEREAFTER


The breath of spirit shows that I’m alive,
But when it stops and I no more respire
And body cools, will anything survive,
Or is my spirit nothing more than fire?

A fire cannot exist when there’s no stuff
To be consumed; so may it be with breath
That cannot last unless there is enough
√Član vital to burn and hold off death.

Or is that vital energy a force
That never ceases and cannot be lost,
That emanates eternally from a Source
Of providence and bounty at no cost?

Whichever way, I hope to be inspired
For many years, and afterwards admired.


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Monday, June 21, 2010


WISE VALUES

While recognizing the vast diversity of cultures developed by human societies around the world, in this era of globalization and ever-increasing interaction among the world’s peoples, it is prudent to determine the commonalities of value that all people can share, for the sake of increasing harmony and well-being worldwide.

What then are the wisest values and principles by which all human beings ought to govern their lives?

Here are two such valuable principles:

1. Respect for the right of every human being to live and flourish in dignity to the greatest extent possible. For specifics, see the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights (1948) and A Global Ethic (1993)

2. Recognition of the responsibility of each person to provide for his or her own sustenance and flourishing, as far as is possible, and to provide likewise for legally dependent persons; but also to contribute to the well-being of others within a community of interdependent persons.

Are there others?



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Sunday, June 20, 2010


HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS

The highest consciousness that I’ve achieved
I happened on when I was just eighteen,
A kind of visitation I received
One night alone that left me keen, serene.

I felt aglow with panoramic love
And thought I saw the heart of everything
Throughout the universe—the worlds above
And all below—in one remembering.

This sense of unity and knowing all
In some essential way receded soon,
And in days following I could recall
None of that symphony, but just a tune,

The merest melody of that great choir,
Which left me ever longing for what’s higher.



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Saturday, June 19, 2010


ENLIGHTENMENT

There is a Higher Consciousness I’ve tasted
And known from early days noetically,
Though most of my long lifetime has been wasted
On lower planes with lesser sights to see.

The ordinary world of stress and strife
That captures my attention and concern
Diminishes the luminance of life
Turning me from those lessons I must learn.

Until I can expand and raise my mind
To levels of awareness I sustain,
Exploring heights for which I am designed,
I’ll always stay unholy and insane,

For human health and wholesomeness depend
On brightness from our birth until our end.



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Friday, June 18, 2010


THE PRINCIPLES OF GLOBAL WISDOM

Intelligent, self-reflective life like us is implicit in the evolutionary nature of the universe; otherwise we’d not exist.

Therefore, given the vastness of this universe, the likelihood is strong that other such beings have evolved or will evolve elsewhere, developed well beyond our present prowess.

But Earth’s history alone teaches us that Homo sapiens v. 2010 will not be the summit of human evolution (unless we abuse our amazing technologies and destroy our species).

Rather, our species will evolve further, not merely to “fit a niche” (in the old Darwinian manner) but to relieve the itch we’re born with to explore, expand and extend ourselves upwardly—to rise in consciousness, comprehension and capabilities. Because our survival and thriving require it, we will wise up.

Assuming that much, it behooves us now to envision the wisdom we’re evolving toward, a Global Wisdom incorporating the best of the provincial wisdoms produced by our sundry societies, from indigenous to industrial. And that is the very project many visionaries today are collaborating to produce: a manifesto of the principles humanity must subscribe to so as to thrive on a thriving planet: The Principles of Global Wisdom.

Let us compose that now.



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Thursday, June 17, 2010


THE HUMANITIES

To study the humanities is to learn about what distinguishes us as human beings as a species; about how we have behaved, what we have accomplished, what we have made of our unique potentialities; and about what more we might become and do.

To be a student of humanity, a humanist, is to be curious about human capacities, to seek out the full range of what we have experienced and made of our experiences, as well as what we have not yet manifested of our latencies, for we are not merely human beings but human becomings.

Other species are far less adaptive than we, since our unique intellect affords us hindsight and foresight, and produces technologies of enhanced comprehension and control.

We are born to quest and question, and what we ultimately seek is how to thrive, how to make the best of our tenuous and wondrous lives, pressing ever forward into the frontiers of our world and ourselves.



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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


SELF-CENTERED

Self-interest needn’t be a mortal sin
Depending on which self your interest’s in:
The lower self encased in ego’s skin
Or Higher Self where all creation’s kin.



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THE BIG PICTURE

Reality is more than we construe,
Yet what we call The Truth will have to do
Until we fabricate a wider frame
Through which to picture the whole cosmic game.



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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


FICTIONEERING

Why am I, a professor of literature, devoting attention to the subject of human potentials (or what I call “human frontiers”)?

I answer: to think about and attempt to envision the future is a kind of fictioneering, a making up of something not existing, but yet plausible and maybe probable, which is what the writers of stories and dramas do.

As many futurists today like to say, they are trying to tell the New Story we humans need to live by so as not to continue wreaking havoc on ourselves, each other, and our Earthly biosphere.

We live by myths and stories embodied in our various cultures, a body we inhabit habitually, unconsciously, by early and continuous conditioning. Yet as we come to understand the arbitrariness of our enculturation, we see that as we intentionally reshape the stories that shape our minds and behaviors, we may reshape our lives and environment accordingly—consciously, creatively, cooperatively.

I believe that as human beings we need to ask ourselves: “What is the best that we can make of ourselves, individually and collectively?” Our answers will then constitute the cultural stories that can guide us toward our goals.



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Monday, June 14, 2010


“THINKING MAKES IT SO”

How we think determines what we see. More precisely: how we apprehend and comprehend and respond to the world is a function of our state of consciousness, which varies.

More generally, the data of all our sense organs is always filtered through and interpreted by what we call our consciousness, that function of our human mentality which “makes something of” the in-flowing stream of sensory data.

When sensory information impinges upon us, our “What do we make of this?” question is answered, more or less effectively, by a mental function we call “consciousness” that aims to “make sense” of what we sense—to construe it into a sensible construct: “Oh, that’s a butterfly, not a leaf; that’s a fog horn, not a train; that’s yogurt, not ice cream; that’s turpentine, not gasoline; that’s rayon, not silk.”

It therefore behooves us, all life long, to develop, expand, and refine our capacities for consciousness, for awareness, for discernment—if we wish to realize all that a human being can know.

And if we possess latent “extrasensory” senses, capacities for apprehending information by means other than our five physical senses—by “intuition” or “precognition” or “spiritual guidance” (as some allege)—then those potential capacities should also be enhanced.

“As a man thinketh,” so shall the world appear.



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Sunday, June 13, 2010


HOMO ABERRANS

The species destined to stray from its course,
Forgetting both its purpose and its Source,
Humanity has grown inhumane,
Who should have been both virtuous and sane,
Who had the intellect to comprehend
And rise, but chose to falter and descend,
Seduced by its false shadow of a mind
To take for vision what indeed was blind,
Seeing only what its hollow eyes could see,
Not what is ultimate reality—
Which only may be seen by sight of soul,
A vision that alone can make it whole.



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Saturday, June 12, 2010


FIAT LUX


What is the purpose of a human being?


To realize as fully as possible the transcendent potentials he or she possesses, potentials for positive growth and development toward higher consciousness and health; toward a sanity, wholeness and goodness exemplified by our greatest saints and sages.

Such exalted souls are marked by their compassion and kindness, as well as by their intelligent enterprise exercised to benefit and elevate others toward their own transcendence.

We are born to wake, to rise, and to shine.



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Thursday, June 10, 2010


THE GOAL

Above all other goals for which one tries,
The highest human aim is to be wise.

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YOUR ASSIGNMENT

Let’s say that you’ve come to a brilliant recognition that it’s time now for you to wise up. But not you alone.

Your sudden realization has revealed to you that most of the world, including most people in your own culture, are leading wayward and reckless lives, misled by values and aspirations harmful to the planet and to their own highest potentials. If not utterly foolish, from an enlightened perspective, they are far from wise.

Your revelation urges you to probe this issue and find out more clearly and distinctly how the prevailing values in our society (since it's better to sweep our own doorstep first) need to be altered to develop a saner, more humane culture.

You are looking to define the values and mores of a wise person in a wise society, as well as to envision those societal policies that will institutionalize that wisdom.

As you look about you, what do you see that needs wising up? And how do you advise achieving that goal? Write about that.



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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


SUCCESS

If you’re perplexed and wondering what to do,
I’d say the first thing is to reconstrue
The way you look at things and comprehend
The principles on which you most depend.

What are the values guiding how you live?
Is your priority to take or give?
Is it your goal to rule and dominate
Or be a partner and cooperate?

Are you just looking out for Number One
And aiming first to maximize your fun,
Careless of others’ needs or higher goals,
Ignoring summonses to better roles?

If so, in your oblivious bliss, take heed
Lest, aiming at this nothing, you succeed.



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Monday, June 7, 2010


EARTH 1.0

Too many people—broken, bent and marred—
Inhabit this poor planet—lost, ill-starred,
And fated for implosion, not by nature
But by the ravages of its own creature.

Implicit in the course of evolution,
Humanity was destined for confusion—
Too fallible in its rapacious drive,
Too complex and too potent to survive.

It seemed at first the noblest species yet,
But proved in folly nature’s gravest threat:
Its intellect, inflamed by lust for power,
Preening itself, made other species cower.

The second time around, nature may seek
A different principle: Exalt the meek.



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Saturday, June 5, 2010


DIALECTIC


SELF / OTHER

(Darwin 1 / Darwin 2)

egotism / altruism
domination / partnership
eminence / equality
acquisition / distribution
single-handedness / cooperation
looking out for #1 / caring for others
power / love
I-it / I-Thou
right hand / left hand
conservative / progressive
Old Testament / New Testament
Yahweh / Jesus
Yang / Yin



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Friday, June 4, 2010


DOGMA AND KARMA

So much of what we ardently believe,
Not based on truth but what we just conceive
Supposing so, to which we blindly cleave,
Will soon deceive and lead us thence to grieve.



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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

AS ABOVE

Inclined to be as stupid as he’s wise,
Oxymoronic man will fall and rise
Throughout his fateful history until
He can at last his destiny fulfill,
Which is to grow in consciousness of love,
Discovering here below what dwells above.



SO BELOW

Whatever may be going on Above
In realms of Higher Consciousness and Bliss
Beyond my ken, I claim to know but this:
That hate and fear, right here, are lulled by love.



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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


THE ASCENT OF MAN

The future’s ours to fashion and decide—
Or must we just relax and ride its tide?
The former way’s my choice philosophy,
Most fitting to the wise humanity
For which we’re named—Homo the sapient:
Our nature is to make our own ascent.



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