Posted on July 2, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search for truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.”
– Lewis Mumford
And what is the real significance of the 4th of July holiday? One remembers the opening scene to “Born On the Fourth of July”, the Oliver Stone movie which takes a good hard look at the Vietnam War through the eyes of Ron Kovic – a Vietnam War veteran. The opening scene captures Ron when he was a small boy at the July 4 parade, where all the town’s veterans of war dress in their uniforms and march – because that’s always “the way it’s been” on Fourth of July.
This is the time when a lot of people travel to their hometowns and cities, taking some time off to visit with family and friends they haven’t seen since last summer, on an annual trip similar to the migratory birds that go from north to south and back north. Conversations frequently include somewhat obligatory coverage of where each is living and what they are doing for a living, what’s new, and other typical points of light discussion.
Perhaps one day, after the human race has made the decision to “study war no more”, all those veterans will have passed away, then it will be impossible for veterans to be found for the July 4 parade. There’ll probably always be some diehards when it comes to militarism, and even when war is no longer existent on Earth they’ll march with large photographs of veterans long passed away.
Perhaps in the not-too-distant future the parades will include those who’ve participated not in warfare but, walking side-by-side with the remaining veterans, in the reduction and elimination of war on Earth. At a certain point in the future, perhaps July 4 parades in America will find only living peace workers joining with the ones holding photos of extinct warriors – as humanity no longer has any veterans. Then the new and upcoming filmmakers like Oliver Stone will make movies about the turn away from war.
Is that a realistic image of the future? There are many ways to view an answer to that question. Some would say that there is no way that war will ever be eliminated and that the image of a world without mass murder is utopian thinking. Others will, just as the philosopher’s words Robert Kennedy quoted, “see the world as it is, and ask why” then “see the world as it could be, and ask why not.” Surely bringing about/creating a world without war can’t be as easy as changing the form of one’s question. There has to be a lot more to it than that.
What was the philosopher who Robert Kennedy quoted driving at, and what led him to begin his journey of potential and possibility? That thing called consciousness, or spirit, which is receiving some attention in the scientific community with regard to a previously held view consciousness is impossible to measure. But is consciousness or spirit really immeasurable? All one has to do to measure spirit and consciousness is going to any library and counting the billions of words written through history and they’ll find sure measure.
Every major religious/spiritual tradition in the world has its sacred texts. At risk of coming across as simplistic, those sacred texts – as well as the millions of writings on philosophy, spirituality, religion, love, near death experiences, etc – are scientific proof. Out of all the world’s compiled writings through history on consciousness-related topics, the ones which resonate most deeply with scholars and readers rise to the status of sacred.
Those are the writings which, when deeply studied, gives the reader a sense that there is something woven into these words that is real and moving on a high and profound level. That “something” is spirit or consciousness, and that something is what offers humanity the best chance of eliminating war forever. Mohandes “Mahatma” Gandhi was queried often where and how he found the wisdom to accomplish what he did when leading India to independence. His reply was that the wisdom the questioner is referring to is “as old as the hills.”
For Gandhi the Bhagavad Gita was his bible, and he always had a copy with him. Martin Luther King shared with Gandhi the study of sacred texts, so between those two men people can find evidence of spiritual substance and power. Both were advocates of non-violence and the real power of another aspect – perhaps the most powerful – of consciousness and/or spirituality: love. Each man studied deeply in the fields of philosophy and spirituality, then spoke to others literally in person and through their writings about the ideas and potentials they observed on their intellectual/spiritual explorations.
These men are known throughout the world for their actions while living, and they are admired by millions of men and women who acted in the same directions throughout history. In 2014, although many have been more hesitant to share ideas over the internet because of government spying exposed by whistleblowers, the internet is gaining power as a communication tool and source, and millions of men and women the world over are bypassing traditional news media for alternatives on the net.
If one can imagine the process that Gandhi, King and the millions of others went through on their consciousness/spirit journeys – or review one’s own – then compare that to the worldwide “awakening” enabled by the internet, one finds that humanity’s collective consciousness is rising to higher levels every day. This explains why there has been such a “pushback” against proposals by governments to reduce internet access or freedom. All over the Earth men and women are communicating in good ways and sharing ideas for improving living conditions.
For those reasons – better communication between people and combined efforts to solve problems like war, greed, hunger, pollution, etc. – more work should become devoted to providing internet access to as many of those who don’t have it as possible. In essence, the internet is the greatest problem-solving tool in world history. And, although consciousness and spirit are as yet “immeasurable” in the traditional science sense, the internet is leading humanity to collective higher consciousness and what many sages and spiritual masters called enlightenment.
Perhaps soon men and women will no longer feel the “weight of the world” on their shoulders as they’ve taken actions to solve problems and share the idea that all people are related and family. Perhaps soon the world’s people will experience that spiritual breakthrough on the largest scale, and it will become obvious that errors in spiritual perception have been the source of problems all along.
Then travelers on the road during the 4th of July holiday won’t feel any need of driving hundreds of miles to arrive at their true destinations.
All will know they are fellow members of the human family and the circle of friendship – on this Earth.
(Thanks to an amazing artist Beth Hart @ YouTube)