MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech: 1964 Wisdom For 2018.

By Jerry Alatalo

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

  • MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. – Strength and Love (1963)

orn in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) would be 89-years old today – had he lived. One can only imagine what he might have accomplished had he not been shot dead in 1968 at the age of 39, in the decades of his forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties. People can only imagine what MLK would be saying today, days before the annual celebration of the national holiday Martin Luther King Day – Monday January 15, 2018.

Given certain current American developments and international events making headline news, it is especially fascinating to think about how the 89-year old MLK would react and/or respond. He was only 35-years old when honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, four short years before his murder in Memphis, Tennessee.

In a 1999 civil trial attorney William Pepper, a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. in the last year of his life, agreed to accept an invitation and represented the King family. American history books have yet to get it right by noting the 1999 Memphis civil trial where a jury concluded that alleged lone assassin James Earl Ray was innocent, and that government, military and law enforcement elements inside the United States were responsible for the political assassination of MLK.

People can get a very good idea what MLK would be saying today given the current state of world affairs by reading his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech … delivered more than five decades ago.

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Martin Luther King’s Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1964

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice. I am mindful that only yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, our children, crying out for brotherhood, were answered with fire hoses, snarling dogs and even death. I am mindful that only yesterday in Philadelphia, Mississippi, young people seeking to secure the right to vote were brutalized and murdered. And only yesterday more than 40 houses of worship in the State of Mississippi alone were bombed or burned because they offered a sanctuary to those who would not accept segregation. I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize.

Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace …

After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

The tortuous road which has led from Montgomery, Alabama to Oslo bears witness to this truth. This is a road over which millions of Negroes are travelling to find a new sense of dignity. This same road has opened for all Americans a new era of progress and hope. It has led to a new Civil Rights Bill, and it will, I am convinced, be widened and lengthened into a super highway of justice as Negro and white men in increasing numbers create alliances to overcome their common problems.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.” I still believe that We Shall overcome!

This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.

Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood. I say I come as a trustee, for in the depths of my heart I am aware that this prize is much more than an honor to me personally.

Every time I take a flight, I am always mindful of the many people who make a successful journey possible – the known pilots and the unknown ground crew.

So you honor the dedicated pilots of our struggle who have sat at the controls as the freedom movement soared into orbit. You honor, once again, Chief Lutuli of South Africa, whose struggles with and for his people, are still met with the most brutal expression of man’s inhumanity to man. You honor the ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth. Most of these people will never make the headline and their names will not appear in Who’s Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live – men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization – because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake.

… peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners – all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty – and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

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2017: The Philosophy Of Sri Aurobindo.

By Jerry Alatalo

“When men are unable to form an idea of distant and unknown things, they judge them by what is familiar and at hand. This axiom explains the inexhaustible source of all the errors about the principles of human nature. These errors are embraced by entire nations and scholars.”

Axiom 2 – Principles of a New Science Concerning the Common Nature of Nations (1720-1725)

– GIOVANNI BATTISTA VICO (1668-1744) Italian jurist, philosopher

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aurobindo-11Alphabet If sharing this information results in real positive, healing and beneficial effects for men and women anywhere on Earth, then the goal of this dissemination shall have been attained. For those unfamiliar with the renowned Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), this article focuses on his over-1,000 page writing “The Life Divine”, considered by most philosophical scholars as his greatest work.

For time immemorial human beings have raised questions, thought about and tried to describe their ideas on the ultimate meaning of Earthly existence. Such searching becomes particularly present during times of sadness, loss or grief, and at such times the highest works of philosophers through history provide true healing for the soul or spirit.

Philosophy has the following definition:

1. originally, love of wisdom or knowledge. 2. a study of the processes governing thought and conduct; theory or investigation of the principles or laws that regulate the universe and underlie all knowledge and reality: included in the study are aesthetics, ethics, logic, metaphysics, etc. 3. the general principles or laws of a field of knowledge, activity, etc. : as, the philosophy of economics. 4. a) a particular system of principles for the conduct of life. b) a treatise covering such a system. 5. a study of human morals, character, and behavior; hence, 6. the mental balance believed to result from this; calmness; composure.

May coming into contact with “The Life Divine” by Sri Aurobindo help genuinely answer those timeless, ever-present, supremely profound ultimate questions.

***

Excerpt from “The Life Divine”:

Chapter I

The Human Aspiration

She follows to the goal of those that are passing on beyond, she is the first in the eternal succession of the dawns that are coming,—Usha widens bringing out that which lives, awakening someone who was dead. . . . What is her scope when she harmonises with the dawns that shone out before and those that now must shine? She desires the ancient mornings and fulfils their light; projecting forwards her illumination she enters into communion with the rest that are to come.    Kutsa Angirasa—Rig Veda.

Threefold are those supreme births of this divine force that is in the world, they are true, they are desirable; he moves there wide-overt within the Infinite and shines pure, luminous and fulfilling. . . . That which is immortal in mortals and possessed of the truth, is a god and established inwardly as an energy working out in our divine powers. . . . Become high-uplifted, O Strength, pierce all veils, manifest in us the things of the Godhead.     Vamadeva—Rig Veda.

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THE EARLIEST preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality.

The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of  Wisdom promises to be its last, —God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.

These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and only to be attained, in their organised entirety, by a revolutionary individual effort or an evolutionary general progression.

To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,—this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution.

To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct contradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more deliberate view of the world’s workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature’s profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction.

For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened mind, and usually even his practical parts only escape from the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise.

For essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions. The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition, of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant (powerful; strong; mighty) order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour.

The accordance of active Life with a material of form in which the condition of activity itself seems to be inertia, is one problem of opposites that Nature has solved and seeks always to solve better with greater complexities; for its perfect solution would be the material immortality of a fully organised mind-supporting animal body.

The accordance of conscious mind and conscious will with a form and a life in themselves not overtly self-conscious and capable at best of a mechanical or subconscious will is another problem of opposites in which she has produced astonishing results and aims always at higher marvels; for there her ultimate miracle would be an animal consciousness no longer seeking but possessed of Truth and Light, with the practical omnipotence which would result from the possession of a direct and perfected knowledge.

Not only, then, is the upward impulse of man towards the accordance of yet higher opposites rational in itself, but it is the only logical completion of a rule and an effort that seem to be a fundamental method of Nature and the very sense of her universal strivings. We speak of the evolution of Life in Matter, the evolution of Mind in Matter; but evolution is a word which merely states the phenomenon without explaining it.

For there seems to be no reason why Life should evolve out of material elements or Mind out of living form, unless we accept the Vedantic solution that Life is already involved in Matter and Mind in Life because in essence Matter is a form of veiled Life, Life a form of veiled Consciousness.

And then there seems to be little objection to a farther step in the series and the admission that mental consciousness may itself be only a form and a veil of higher states which are beyond Mind. In that case, the unconquerable impulse of man towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality presents itself in its right place in the chain as simply the imperative impulse by which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond Mind, and appears to be as natural, true and just as the impulse towards Life which she has planted in certain forms of Matter or the impulse towards Mind which she has planted in certain forms of Life.

As there, so here, the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her different vessels with an ever-ascending series in the power of its will-to-be; as there, so here, it is gradually evolving and bound fully to evolve the necessary organs and faculties.

As the impulse towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life in the metal and the plant up to its full organisation in man, so in man himself there is the same ascending series, the preparation, if nothing more, of a higher and divine life. The animal is a living laboratory in which Nature has, it is said, worked out man.

Man himself may well be a thinking and living laboratory in whom and with whose conscious co-operation she wills to work out the superman, the god. Or shall we not say, rather, to manifest God? For if evolution is the progressive manifestation by Nature of that which slept or worked in her, involved, it is also the overt realisation of that which she secretly is.

We cannot, then, bid her pause at a given stage of her evolution, nor have we the right to condemn with the religionist as perverse and presumptuous or with the rationalist as a disease or hallucination any intention she may evince or effort she may make to go beyond. If it be true that Spirit is involved in Matter and apparent Nature is secret God, then the manifestation of the divine in himself and the realisation of God within and without are the highest and most legitimate aim possible to man upon earth.

Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of a divine life in an animal body, an immortal aspiration or reality inhabiting a mortal tenement, a single and universal consciousness representing itself in limited minds and divided egos, a transcendent, indefinable, timeless and spaceless Being who alone renders time and space and cosmos possible, and in all these the higher truth realisable by the lower term, justify themselves to the deliberate reason as well as to the persistent instinct or intuition of mankind.

Attempts are sometimes made to have done finally with questionings which have so often been declared insoluble by logical thought and to persuade men to limit their mental activities to the practical and immediate problems of their material existence in the universe; but such evasions are never permanent in their effect. Mankind returns from them with a more vehement impulse of inquiry or a more violent hunger for an immediate solution.

By that hunger mysticism profits and new religions arise to replace the old that have been destroyed or stripped of significance by a scepticism which itself could not satisfy because, although its business was inquiry, it was unwilling sufficiently to inquire. The attempt to deny or stifle a truth because it is yet obscure in its outward workings and too often represented by obscurantist superstition or a crude faith, is itself a kind of obscurantism.

The will to escape from a cosmic necessity because it is arduous, difficult to justify by immediate tangible results, slow in regulating its operations, must turn out eventually to have been no acceptance of the truth of Nature but a revolt against the secret, mightier will of the great Mother. It is better and more rational to accept what she will not allow us as a race to reject and lift it from the sphere of blind instinct, obscure intuition and random aspiration into the light of reason and an instructed and consciously self-guiding will.

And if there is any higher light of illumined intuition or self-revealing truth which is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there also we need not fear to aspire.

For it is likely that such is the next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the path of our progressive self enlargement into whatever highest state is humanity’s ultimate resting-place.

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Professor Kireet Joshi (1931-2014) was a highly influential educator, prolific writer, and respected leader in India. The 20-minute video below is Part 1 of 44 (approximately 15-20 minutes each in length) of a course he taught on “The Life Divine” – available on YouTube for those interested.

Description from YouTube channel – “KireetJoshiArchives”:  Our Endeavour is the dissemination of the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and to bring about a revolution in education as envisaged by them to build a resurgent India. Prof. Kireet Joshi has devoted more than 60 years to the study of the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and for the cause of education.  We invite all who are keen to build a New India to avail freely from www.kireetjoshiarchives.com

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To read eBooks, download (free) software – “Adobe Digital Editions”:

http://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html

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To download a digital/eBook version of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophical masterwork “The Life Divine” for free, visit:

http://www.auro-ebooks.com/the-life-divine/

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(Thank you to KireetJoshiArchives at YouTube)

Peace Message From Damascus.

By Jerry Alatalo

P1000889-1Alphabet United States representative to Congress Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii traveled to Syria recently along with former member of Congress (and candidate for President) Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. The current and former U.S. politicians went on a fact-finding four-day mission, visiting and discussing the tragic situation there with Syrians from all walks of life – including a personal meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The four young Syrian women Ms. Gabbard met in Damascus recorded in the video below were in the 12-14 year age range when the tragic violence, killing and destruction of their home nation began nearly (6) six years ago. Given the seemingly inestimable, endless levels of reconstruction which is going to become necessary once peace finally returns to the country, it is somewhat remarkable – a supreme irony, certainly – that two of the young women are studying architecture while another studies civil engineering.

One becomes hesitant to comment further for fear of detracting to any extent from the powerful message delivered by four kind and pleasant young Syrian women to the American people. Their heart-felt unanimous message clearly comes through loud and clear, leaving nothing else necessary to say…

“Peace”.

(Thank you to Vanessa Beeley at YouTube)

Will 43 Million Americans With Student Debt “Flip” The 2016 Election?

By Jerry Alatalo

cubsAlphabet If most Americans by now know the Chicago Cubs broke a seemingly unbreakable 108-year “curse” and won baseball’s World Series, how possible is it that 43 million Americans will learn (before election day, Tuesday November 8) of Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein’s proposal to wipe out student debt?

The Chicago Cubs’ remarkable sports accomplishment and story will no doubt become reported today by every corporate media outlet across America, the Cubs are today the talk around water coolers in every workplace, many of those employees, their family members and friends have student debt – but what percentage know about Dr. Stein (born and raised in Chicago, by the way) and her plan to free them of their education debts?

In contrast to Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson being excluded from the three (3) presidential debates (the “World Series” of politics?) between Clinton and Trump, one wonders how the people of Cleveland and Chicago may have reacted if their professional baseball teams were denied the chance to compete and make it to the World Series.

Only in the imagination – because the American people were denied the chance to learn of Dr. Stein’s student debt proposal by her exclusion from nationally televised debates – can one ponder whether her idea would have risen to the same saturating level as the Chicago Cubs today in the public’s awareness. The Chicago Cubs got their chance and accomplished what is judged by some as a “miracle” of sorts, winning the World Series, and now everyone knows about it.

Perhaps in the next five (5) days the American people will become as aware of Dr. Jill Stein’s idea on cancelling the student debts of those 43 million holding it across the nation, and, like the remarkable story of the 2016 Chicago Cubs baseball team, water cooler talk everywhere will have student debt cancellation as its focus. In the view of Dr. Jill Stein 43 million votes is enough to “flip” the 2016 electoral process, meaning she and Green Party Vice-Presidential running mate Ajamu Baraka would win the election.

If that miraculous “flip” of the 2016 U.S. presidential election were to happen, and if the legendary Chicago Cubs play-by-play radio/TV announcer Harry Caray were still alive, Mr. Caray undoubtedly would deliver his most memorable, famous line – “Holy Cow!!”

For 43 million Americans, cancellation of their student debts could produce the same ecstatic, jubilant effect as individual Chicago Cubs’ players, coaches and loyal, long-suffering fans felt after winning the World Series. In a sense, voting day on November 8 can become perceived by those 43 million Americans as their own personal World Series Game 7. The outcome is in their hands.

(Thank you to TruthDig at YouTube)