Posted December 5, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
Young girls and boys are everywhere compiling their “wish lists” for all the stuff they want from Santa for Christmas. It’s kind of interesting to remember those early years of our lives and the magical aspects of experiencing the Christmas traditions. Of course we see the over-commercialization of the season, which has the feature of distracting people from the essential spiritual message of the messenger Jesus. One probably shares a feeling and wish with a great many when one prays that humanity soon embraces the message of Jesus as well as all the spiritual teachers who have ever walked the Earth.
Any man or woman with any compassion, empathy, or concern for their fellow brothers and sisters will feel the hurt and disappointment of those who do not have the financial wherewithal in these difficult economic times to buy their children, family members, and friends all the gifts they would like. Compassionate people in every nation share involvement in efforts of all kinds to create conditions on Earth which reduce or eliminate poverty, leading to greater feelings of hurt for people unable to fully take part during this season of giving.
Many have a hard time understanding the message of Jesus to “give everything you have to the poor” if you want to be considered one of his followers. To spend a thousand dollars on gifts for Christmas is an acceptable action for those who can spare that amount. But, to give away the entire nest-egg, as well as all one’s possessions to the poor, the orphans, and the widows is a steep, steep hill to climb.
“There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow, reap and fill my barns with fruit, I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear”. – The Gospel of Thomas
There is nothing to compare to death for intensifying one’s focus. No matter if a man ends up on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world – a man will find no possible way, even with the finest accountants and lawyers money can buy – to take those accumulated billions with him when his time to transition inevitably arrives. I have never been a billionaire, and it would be a safe bet to say that no-one reading these words has ever experienced being the owner of a billion dollars.
This thought leads one to wonder what the billionaires of the Earth are thinking about in the weeks before Christmas. I have no issue with billionaires who have come to their fortunate financial position without harming others in the process. There are billionaires who have “gained the world as they sold their souls”, begging the question “what does it profit a man?”, a deep, deep philosophical thought that could help solve the problems humanity faces now in 2013.
Wealth inequality has become a growing phenomenon in recent years. Those who have read about reincarnation may have come across a theory that everyone has lived every form of life imaginable – poor, rich, sinner, saint, man, woman, war-monger, peacemaker, royalty, pauper, etc. – we have each lived through many incarnations, experiencing it all. If one accepts such a theory then it is harder to judge the so-called 1% – because in past lifetimes we have been part of the “élite” of that lifetime’s generation.
Reincarnation is an interesting concept, accepted as normal by billions of men and women, predominantly people in the Eastern regions and nations of the Earth. In The Secret Book of John, one of the gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, Jesus may have indicated reincarnation when he said: “In those people the artificial spirit has grown strong and they have gone astray. Their souls are burdened, drawn to wickedness, and cast into forgetfulness. When they come forth from the body, such a soul is given over to the powers created by the rulers, bound in chains, and cast into prison again. Around and around it goes until it manages to become free from forgetfulness through knowledge. And so, it eventually becomes perfect and is saved”.
Regarding reincarnation, I forget the name of the person who expressed that if we accept the fact that we incarnate once, should it be a leap to accept the fact that we may live more than one life. I have no idea why I have gone into reincarnation here. Perhaps we can consider it an impulsive turning off of a vacation route to explore and visit an unplanned small town, just for something unique to experience.
So, humanity wants concrete solutions, an end to abstract thinking, as Vandana Shiva says in the video. I agree with Ms. Shiva, because she comes across as a very sincere, thoughtful woman who has a broader vision of the great potential humanity possesses to literally create a new world. The same could be said about Jane Goodall, whose reference to the seventh generation philosophy, where people are focused about how present actions affect those who are going to live in generations to come, as her thoughts make an intuitive, great amount of sense.
Both Ms. Shiva and Ms. Goodall are talking about a different and new way of living on Earth that is closer to nature, that cooperates with nature in ways that benefit all people and all living things. I suppose, going back to the idea of reincarnation, that these two women have attained knowledge, and are near to achieving human perfection and being saved. For certain spiritual traditions this means that the soul has achieved enlightenment and has escaped the wheel of birth and rebirth.
Be that as it may, my views are in accord with Vandana Shiva and Jane Goodall. It is time to stop playing god through manipulation of life forms with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), geo-engineering of the environment with dangerous applications of metals spraying, chemical technological “fixes”, and destruction of natural resources. It is time to allow the Earth to rest and recover from all the damage humanity has done to her.
This is perhaps not a new way of living for humanity, but a return to the original, simple ways of living the human race lived before environmental destruction began. A return to what the Native American Hopi people call “the original teachings”. In Hopi writings we find the words, “The most important factor we were instructed to watch is mankind because he will become the most mindless and heedless foe of Earth and nature”.
Perhaps Vandana Shiva, when she speaks of concrete solutions, is simply articulating what all people feel in their hearts. There are better ways of living upon this Earth. Ways which are more aligned with natural processes, and with much less harm to people, animals, and plants, the food which every living thing needs to live. Ways that are much less harmful to the water upon which all life depends for survival. Ways that allow people to see clearly and wisely what actions are in the best interests of all people and all life. Ways that allow for true sharing of the great abundance offered from the Earth – sharing between all without exception.
For humanity, it could mean the best Christmas ever.
(Video source: Democracy Now – YouTube)
- Vandana Shiva & Jane Goodall on Serving the Earth & How Women Can Address Climate Crisis (democracynow.org)
- Vandana Shiva On Resisting GMOs: “Saving Seeds Is a Political Act” (yesmagazine.org)
- Women of the World Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change (ecowatch.com)
- What is the gospel of Thomas? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Words From Christ – The Nag Hammadi – The Nag Hammadi Library (streetdemocracy.wordpress.com)