Social Awareness


Chameli and I have spent the last several weeks on the Greek island of Corfu, leading our annual Deeper Love retreat there.  Couples and single people gathered from all over the world to dive into an exploration together of a love beyond the usual confines of  personality habits.

Every few days we’ve been getting concerned messages from friends and family.  “You are in Greece?  Maybe you should leave early?  Are you going to be alright?”  Every now and then we open up Google news, and discover that we are, apparently, sitting right in the middle of the fatal crack in civilization.  “Why Greece may take us all down,” read one headline.  According to the news, we are trapped in the epicenter of a devastating financial and political disaster.

I write this to you from a cafe in capital city of Kerkyra. As I look around me, I can see, unfolding before my very eyes, a picture of global civilization coming undone.  It is a Sunday night, and the streets are packed with people.  These are not the usual tourists, but local residents, out in droves on this warm evening to express themselves with passion.  Let me see if I can paint you a more vivid picture. (more…)

The word “other” is commonly used in English as both an adjective and a pronoun. As an adjective: “born on the other side of the tracks.” As a pronoun: “if it’s not one thing, it’s the other.” Today I’d like to submit for your consideration the word “other” as a verb.  Examples?  “Dude, don’t other me,” and “she was in a terrible mood, othering everybody the whole evening.

Here is my proposed dictionary entry for the next Merriam Webster:

other |ˈəðər|
verb
1.  to attribute qualities onto another person, often a celebrity in the news, so as to avoid acknowledging these same qualities within oneself:
[as verb. ] hey, don’t other Clinton, most married men  have done stuff like that  | I went to a meeting with the Dalai Lama.  It was great but people tend to other him by putting him above them.

For the last ten days, our latest “otherfest” has focused on Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose name made him a larger-than-life-Disney-cartoon disaster waiting to happen.  Republicans are having a field day, of course, and even the members of his own party are calling for his resignation.  Now don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not advocating sending snaps of your private parts to women you hardly know.  I don’t condone lying, or emotionally abandoning your recently pregnant wife.  Probably everyone, including Rep. Weiner himself, agrees that these actions were stupid, immature, and  hurtful to other people.

We can learn from this and many other current events, however,  by shifting our attention from “what that terrible, despicable, lying rotten good for nothing over there did,” to “why are we getting so upset about this, and giving it so much attention?” (more…)

What does the latest publication of leaked secret documents by WikiLeaks.org  (now wikileaks.ch)  have to do with you and me and the rest of us?

Nothing, you might say.

And everything, you might also say.

The state department’s response has been inevitable and predictable. The same questions get asked every time embarrassing information is leaked.  Who divulged this information?  How can we stop it being spread any further?   How can we prevent this from ever happening again?  Not prevent the two faced lying and encouragement for diplomats to train in espionage.  No, that’s ok.  How can we prevent ourselves from getting caught next time? (more…)

I decided to do something a little different for my blog this week. Usually I write a lot for you, but today I wanted to connect with you a little more more personally.

Is it possible for one human being to heal wounds they did not personally cause?  Could a German today apologize to a Jew for the holocaust, and create healing, even though it was decades ago and the actual perpetrators are dead?  Could a conscious man today apologize to women for burning witches?  Is this a form of healing or creating toxic shame? Watch this video and PLEASE POST YOUR THOUGHTS !!! …

You can read The Manifesto for Conscious Men on Facebook HERE.

I just got back a few days ago from what feels like the most incredible week of my life.  I was attending and speaking at the Integral Spiritual Experience conference in Asilomar near Monterey, California.

Wow, wow, and wow.

The conference was attended by over five hundred people from 33 different countries.  Unlike many conferences of its kind, it followed an evolutionary path.  It traced the development from personal story: the circumstances of our birth and conditioning, to the development of personality, or what the organizers called “false self.”  From there the conference moved into awakening: the  shift from personality based living to the realization of our true nature as limitless, unborn, undying and the source of everything.  (Guess who facilitated that part?!)  And from there we moved into uncharted territories: what Ken Wilber describes as an evolutionary emergence.  We explored how the more we rest in true self, in limitless consciousness, and subjectively experience emptiness, the more other people experience the flow of a unique gift.

This is the paradox. By resting in oneness we deepen our uniqueness, and in the cultivation of unique gifts we deepen oneness.

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Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

Carolyn Anderson and John Zwerver, the founders of a UN-affiliated organization called Global Family, call this model of people working together “co-creation.” Anderson is the co-author of The Co-Creators Handbook. She defines co-creation as “co-participating consciously with the laws or patterns of life itself, conscious alignment with the essence of others and with nature.”

Anderson and Zwerver offer several other examples of co-creative businesses, where the CEO or president has come to a position of stewardship, drawing out and giving voice to the innate wisdom of the collective. For as long as we can remember, Iago-based business has used a dominator model.  Decisions are made by the CEO and senior management, who are retained by investors to represent their interests: to make as much money as possible. The dominator model of doing business may make money, but the hidden cost is high. First, everyone in the company, from middle management down to the shop floor, is placed in a position of subordination. Divorced from their own vision, their integrity and inspiration become entirely irrelevant in this ask-no-questions environment. If you want to keep your job, you don’t question company policy. People feel used. Absenteeism and job turnover rise, since those doing the hands-on work feel little or no loyalty to the company, to its reputation, or to what it produces.

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realization1Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

As a child, Michael Barnett went on vacation every year with his family to Broadstairs, on the southeast coast of England. On the beach, there was always a Punch and Judy show, a small tent with an opening like a stage at the top. A puppeteer would hide inside the tent and control his puppets: Punch and Judy, a husband and wife who were constantly fighting. One year, when Michael was about seven, he went to the beach with his brother, David, who was a few years older. The two boys got separated near the tent. Young Michael forgot about his brother as he wandered on his own, past all the other shows and entertainments. But eventually he returned to the Punch and Judy show, looking for David. This time he approached from the back.
“I saw a man kneeling in a box, his hands in the air. On one hand was Punch, and on the other was Judy. With my beloved Punch and Judy as gloves, he was creating the whole show, all by himself. I stopped, open-mouthed. I was absolutely shocked — it was like realizing that Santa Claus does not exist. I thought, ‘My God, it’s all a game! And what’s more, Punch and Judy are the same person! From the front, they are fighting each other. From the back, it is one man playing out a struggle, pretending a war between a man and a woman. What are they arguing about, why are they attacking each other? They are the same! Punch and Judy are the same person. This guy is both.’
“Of course I didn’t interpret it then as I do now. This is the truth I have discovered, that we are all Punches and Judys . . . husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters — we are all playing Punch and Judy, ultimately. But every Punch-and-Judy in the world is the same person. When you argue with your lovers and your friends, you are all the same person.”

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listAs another year approaches, imagine looking over a list of the things you’ve accomplished and other goals not yet attained.  In reflecting back over your year, the things you’ve done and the challenges you’ve faced, can you see on your list the undertaking of a life-changing spiritual journey?   If not, I would like to personally invite you to mark off a few days from your calendar to begin this journey on the Pacific Coast of California with me and the Integral Spiritual Experience teachers, along with hundreds of like-minds and friends from all around the globe.
I am honored to have been invited to be a part of Integral Life this coming December.  We will be looking at what it means to lead lives of deep and essential spiritual practice in the 21st century.  Often our lives are hectic and leave little time for us to do this sort of reflecting on our growth as human beings, our truest longings, and the gifts of our heart that we want to share with the world.  Attending the Integral Spiritual Experience is a second chance to add to your end-of-the-year list of accomplishments. We will be meeting new people who share our visions, learning about our unique self, loving and celebrating the New Year as a symbolic renewal of the amazing life we have been given.  We will be celebrating this yearly rebirth on the Asilomar property wildlife refuge right on the Pacific Ocean.  During this time there is a gray whale migration and the monarch butterfly, which the area is known for, is just beginning to hatch.  It will be an exquisite unity of nature’s offerings and our inner gifts that will be coming forth for this time together.

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Hands framing

It has become a cliche these days to hear sayings like “in this economic climate,” or “in these difficult times.”  And of course it becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy.  Are these statements the whole truth about today’s economic climate?  First, people selling gizmos of various kinds, people who run restaurants, and folks in service industries, will tell you that customers are spending less money.  Why?  Because they are making less money.  Why are they making less money?  Because their customers are spending less money.  Why is all this happening?  Because of difficult economic times!  It is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The more we believe it, the more it becomes true.  The other thing that is true about these times is that it’s not longer so easy to make money from having money.  Back in the 90’s you could buy a house for $200,000 and, if you played your cards right, you could put 5% down ($10,000).  If the house went up 50% in value (which many houses did over just a few years), it then became worth $300,000.  You just made $100,000 on an investment of $5,000.  That is a 2000% profit.

The same thing could be done at that time in the stock market, or just lending money to start-up businesses.  Why?  Because everybody had the opposite belief as we have now.  It was boom time!  People were using worlds like “great opportunities” and “leverage.”  Everybody believed that story together, and it became another self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Please enjoy the following except from an interview I did with Jennifer Hough of Soul Talk radio:

Bliss

Jennifer: Arjuna – I’d love for our listeners to hear – how do you describe how you distinguish that there are things in life that happen that can appear really, really serious, and how do you marry what you just said with those kind of experiences?

Arjuna: Right, right.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Well, first of all let me clarify that of course there is a very, very, very strong tendency in all of us to get very enmeshed in the realm of birth and death, you know, of things being born and dying.  I don’t want to mislead anybody.  I’m not speaking as a human being who is beyond all that.  I mean I’ve got two beautiful boys who are now teenagers and, you know, of course if anything – if a hair on their head was harmed, I would be beside myself with concern.  And I’ve got a wife I adore, and if anything happened to her I’d be…so of course it is completely, completely natural to be sad when someone is hurt or dies.  It’s natural to be sad when 230817206_e6a509864d_msomeone leaves you, and of course if you are having a struggle with money, as a lot of people are today, it’s very, very natural and understandable to feel anxious.  So I’m not by any means advocating or claiming any sort of absolute state of immunity to the human condition.  The human condition is what it is and it’s got its triumphs and it’s got its defeats.
The thing is that what we are discovering now, is that there is a way of waking up to a (more…)

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