Sometimes the battles inside your body can provide many insights on the battles of the world. The last couple of weeks have been a struggle – a battle between my head and heart over what the two of them inside my body are going to do with this precious gift of life. In the midst of the battle I spiraled down, my mind clouding over with external events and voices sending it into confusion, depression and despair. My heart was speaking to me strongly but it is easy for the power of fear to overcome the power of faith. Faith has the power to trump yet the strength and courage to listen to your heart over your head cannot be underestimated. And even with the strength, doubts manage to creep back inside, tempting you again and again to choose the easy way out, the safest path, choose the most logical option – all of which are reasoned through the common thought structures of our society. What we so easily cease to realise is that outside the thought patterns of our Western-culture are new ways of thinking, new ways of listening, new ways of acting – new ways of living that prioritise one’s heart over one’s mind.
Similarly in the world today it is the battles between short-term interests lacking long-term visions that drives the heads of the world to a fear-driven system, ignoring and suppressing the call of the heart to care for our planet and for other people. Although without such a long-term vision we are condemning ourselves to a hellish future with insufficient water, food, energy, and the death of billions that will surround.
Where is the vision? These threats are imminent.
Governments are still patterning and planning using international relations theories based on defense and security. They aim to trade and enter relationships with other states in whichever way will increase their profits hence increase their weapons supply and increases their power as well as the well being of its citizens (or at least of the citizens in the groups that have the most bargaining power over them)… in sum, governments are still living in the past. Globalisation calls for global citizens. The well being of people in all countries now affects the well being of people in our own. We would be idiots to think populations can go into the billions in some countries and have a mere 20 or 30 million occupy others. All humans share a common fate. And at the moment, with all humans aspiring to lead consumption-driven lifestyles with cars and dishwashers, that fate is not looking so promising… if everyone lived like Americans and Australians we would need six planets. We have one.
Businesses are not yet investing money or time to reduce their carbon emissions. It all depends on Copenhagen’s decision (Climate Conference of world leaders from 6th till 18th of December) – clearly, unless governments place strict requirements and high taxes, no business will lead the change.
But will a tax and carbon restrictions be enough? Even if we decrease our emissions by our targets, will this prevent the planet from warming? Is a tax going to prevent billions of “poor” people from slowing adopting the frivolous lifestyle of the “rich”? No. And if it did, would that be at all fair? In the last 100 years the “rich” have be frivolous enough for everyone, ruining the planet and losing their sense of self in the process.
The mind of the world wants its cake and to eat it too. Only thing it hasn’t quite realised yet is that it’s already done it. The world has eaten its cake and is beginning to gnaw at its own limbs. It can not be denied or ignored that we are on a suicidal path. Really. I’m not exaggerating. I’m studying the scientific, economic, political and social literature on this stuff – this is the daunting and depressing truth. Something has to change. Now.
The heart of the world calls for a return to our collective purpose – placing people before profits, valuing relationships over money. But the economic system dictates profits as number one. You can’t blame businesses for their wastes – they are only fulfilling their programmed purpose – to earn profit for shareholders. Even if the individuals running the business want to put people first, if they want to keep their job and progress their career then they must put their shareholders needs first. And even if shareholders care more about people than profits, they invest their money in businesses to make more money so they can live without doing any real work. So… what is wrong here? Something is definitely wrong. Something needs to change. But what????? Somehow the rules of the game have to change. Is it unreasonable to request for Business Law to change from a Company’s responsibility being first to society and the environment over and above their commitment to profit for shareholders? Are any of you wonderfully smart lawyers reading this? If so please let me know your thoughts… how does one go about changing such a law?
It seems that these battles of the head and heart run deep through the centre of the universe, from inside each one of our bodies, to our world systems and beyond.
The watermelon picture I headed this post with was taken in Nasca, Peru. Mmmmm was that watermelon sweet! The Peruvian people seem to live a far simpler life than we do in Australia. And you wanna know something, it seemed to me that they are also far HAPPIER than people in Australia too. Why? Could it be that they are heart-driven people who prioritise their community, rather than us mind-driven people driven by individualistic pursuits of money? I don’t mean anything personal by this statement, it’s just my cynical observation of our Western worldview.
My heart won my most recent battle. My head feels light and free. I’m no longer depressed but have returned to my usual excitement about life. I know who I am, have a vision of where I am going and letting my heart and soul lead the way. I have let go of my coffee coping mechanism, I don’t feel like a beer at the end of the day, I’m eating healthy, teaching pilates again – spiraling upwards in positivity. Although the war is probably not yet over I hope that in the long run faith can overcome fear – both inside my body and in the body of the world. Fear produces fear and faith produces faith. Everything is a spiral. Do you think it is possible for the world to listen to its heart and spiral upward in faith?