A social contract of love

shining-light

When all your desires are distilled;

You will cast just two votes:

To love more,

And be happy. Hafiz

Whenever I meditate on the chakras – starting at the base and working up – as I reach the sixth chakra, I spontaneously let out an enormous sigh. ‘Ahhh! I’m home,’ exclaims the deepest part of me. Always an introvert, I have struggled with the noise of the world. This inner space is so soothing to my spirit.

As I child I lay in bed contemplating space, the vastness, the spaciousness, the stars and galaxies – where did it all come from? And what was there before that? And how can something come from nothing?

I’m going to ask that you take a journey with me. This journey for some of you will be already known, and for others will test the fabric of your sense of reality. All I ask of you is an open mind – which you obviously have to be reading this blog in the first place.

As far back as history recorded, humankind has sought authority from the Gods, from godlike Pharaohs and kings. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes suggested this was a social contract we make to ensure security from ‘state of nature’ – which he saw, rather pessimistically as rape, pillage, and plunder.

My feeling is that the top two chakras – the third eye and crown – are very much about you finding your own insights, your own spiritual truths, your true nature, and therefore the autonomy and responsibility that comes with that. Here I disagree with Hobbes, I think what you fear most is not the insecurity of lawlessness, but the responsibility to harness your own power. I think the social contract – the current version, that is – sells you short by abdicating your power.

Your true nature is not inherently competitive and violent. Assuming all animals are inherently cooperative – as they have to be to survive – there is no need to fear your own authority. What you fear is not lawlessness itself but the many ways humans act out when they feel disempowered. Caroline Myss says that all issues are issues of power, and all of life’s lessons are a process of discovering and taking responsibility for your own power – empowerment.

As Marianne Williamson so famously wrote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Hobbes was definitely onto something with the idea of a social contract, any sane society would agree that you should live and raise your children by an ethical code, however his assertion that you ought to submit to the authority of an absolute and unlimited sovereign power in order to do so, is based on fear and an inherent distrust of human nature. It’s time for a social contract based on love.

My last post focused on joy, and my next intention is love. I’m not going to go into that too much here, except to say that I believe joy and love are energetic signatures of the divinity you all carry within you. This is not about individuals – e.g. me – walking around in a heightened state of joy – although it’s a very pleasant by-product! My intention here is about what I am putting out into the world. The great hope for humankind is to learn to live from these vibrational states.

Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who are you than thinking. Eckhart Tolle 

Sounds hippy-dippy? Well think about this. Have you ever wanted to harm yourself or another when in a state of joy or love?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about soma-fuelled state of euphoria. I’m talking about a race of people with enough emotional maturity to encourage these states as desirable for a harmonious society, who teach their children – by practising themselves – meditation and acts of kindness as a way to enhance their compassionate outlook on life.

This does not mean ignoring or denying the suffering in life, or the difficulties inherent in living. It means learning to respond to those difficulties with love and compassion, and emotional maturity. You don’t have to hurt others because of your pain. You can learn to support and nurture yourselves and each other through pain and suffering, as an acknowledgement that you all share this aspect of life.

What kind of behaviour would the citizens of this world exhibit? Cooperation, compassion, and creativity.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein

This may sound lofty to some of you, but I don’t see it as lofty at all. For a start our survival as a race depends on it.

The change is easy, instead of spending an hour a week on Religious Studies in primary schools, teach meditation, mindfulness, and others skills to enhance emotional intelligence. Start and finish the school days with five minutes meditation. Make sure every school participates in social justice programs – many do already.

Imagination is more important than knowledge, because knowledge is finite. Albert Einstein

Why start with schools? Not only because children are the future adults of society, but children are also incredibly powerful. They are open to new ideas and influences, and they also have amazing marketing power, they influence the bulk of purchases and life choices made by their parents. I think if we get the kids on board, we’d have a critical mass of adults in no time. Also, schools are an early model of society for children. Currently most school curriculums encourage competition and conformity, imagine if they focused instead on compassion and creativity? I know many teachers and schools who already do try to this, but it is far from the norm.

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Margaret Mead

I ‘accidentally’ – serendipitously? – googled Thomas Hobbes and Caroline Myss and found her article on the dumbing down of the American education system, called Crimes against the Soul of America. It’s an old article but she makes many salient points – which unfortunately haven’t changed in the last 6 years since she wrote this.

I am not using the word “soul” within the context associated with the politics of right-winged religious fanatics. Rather, I am referring to the essence of what makes a human being truly human, the inherent part of us that is more than meets the eye.

Students on a path toward becoming high functioning human beings must be guided in matters of their soul, namely, how to recognize and respond to a moral crisis; how to formulate a personal ethical code and to withstand challenges to that code within a society that thrives on predator instincts; and how to form and maintain an honour code within a society in which any sense of honour is now held together by legal contracts rather than the integrity of a person’s word. Giving our students a common ground for discussions of their fears and insecurities concerning emerging into adult life and how to cope with those difficulties is as much a part of their education as is math and the liberal arts (remember those?). If this is not the role of the classroom, then what is?

It is through discussions such as these that skills of introspection are awakened and a foundation is put in place for the wisdom arts: personal reflection and accountability, discernment, personal virtue, and stamina of spirit.

There’s plenty of movements around on this same page, like the Global Love Project.The Global Love Project “is a platform for honouring and celebrating humanitarian love, with numerous initiatives, free resources, inspiration, and events.”

On the drive down to the beach this weekend I was listening to Caroline Myss, she shared this story, which blew my mind and brought tears to my eyes – a symptom I am learning to recognise as my heart engaging. It’s long, but worth a read, it gave me chills because I believe it to be true.

One story comes to mind that a woman shared with me… who had been in a car crash that had shattered her body. 
As a result of this collision, she had a near death experience in which she found herself suspended over the scene of the accident, viewing her limp and bleeding body held lifeless between the steering wheel and the driver’s seat. Suddenly, instantly, she said, she was aware of what the drivers in the cars lined up behind her smashed vehicle were saying: “Damn, this is just what I need – a car crash,” and, “I wonder how long I’m going to be stuck here.”

Then, she said, she noticed a bright, illuminated beam of light shooting out of the fifth car stuck behind her crashed automobile. As soon as she wondered, “What is that beam of light?” she found herself next to the woman in that car, who had instantly gone into prayer for her. And then she instantly became aware that the beam of light that was flowing directly from this woman upward toward the heavens seemed to cause another beam of light to flow directly into her. She wondered who this woman was and in that instant, she noticed the license plate number on this woman’s car and memorized it.

Then she heard a voice calling to her, an angelic voice, instructing her to return to her body because the time was not yet right for her to return home. She was still required to remain on the earth. She said it took her months to recover from the accident but when she did, she tracked down this woman who had prayed for her and went to her home with a bouquet of flowers to thank her for praying for her on that night when her body lay shattered on the ground.

I call it prayer, but I realise that word has religious connotations and may be off putting to some. Think of it as sending waves of love and light to another person, place or thing. This is more the realm of the seventh chakra, but in a sense the top two chakras work very much in unison – like all human action, prayer begins as a thought.

Your brain is wider than the sky. Emily Dickinson

This is a powerful example of ONE person praying for another. Imagine if a group of people were sending out that kind of power? Marianne Williamson has long been a proponent of sending group ‘love blasts’ to people and countries that need love and healing, and to the planet itself. Imagine if the evening news asked you to do this. “Terrorists holding hostages, let us take a moment to send love to the terrorists.”

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do. Mother Theresa

Now it is common for those so inclined to pray after such an event. Marianne Williamson asks you to imagine if you prayed before the terrorist took action. Imagine praying regularly for love to fill the hearts of the unloved? Imagine a world of people so empowered and love-fuelled that terrorism, and violence of all kinds, had no foothold, no place to take root?

Why do you say it’s impossible and continue to accept the unacceptable status quo, where a few people have so much and so many suffer?

It’s your beliefs, your vision that holds you back. People once thought it was impossible that the earth was round, that it gravitated around the sun, that it wasn’t the centre of the universe, that a woman could be prime minister, that a black man could be president of the USA. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, if enough people believe it to be.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere. Carl Sagan

The sixth chakra is all about this kind of vision. Anything IS possible in your imagination and then you can manifest that vision into physical reality.

I’d love to hear about your visions for the world. Feel free to share them here. It is by communicating your vision with others that you create change in the world.

Tom Shadyac’s film I Am is about the desire to change the world, and asks the significant minds of today – from Noam Chomsky to Desmond Tutu – two questions, ‘what’s wrong with the world’ and ‘what can we do about it?’

Shadyac talks about his awakening to ‘the disease of over-consumption’, how nothing in nature takes more than it needs – and if it does, it dies off. One of the people he interviewed refers to a book by Peter Farb, Man’s Rise of Civilisation, where he asserts that the accumulation of private property greater than your needs is a mental illness.

The key message of the film, is that our survival as a civilisation depends on us harnessing our gifts of empathy, love, and cooperation. That human nature, like all nature, is inherently cooperative not competitive. It’s a survival instinct.

The film is full of amazing and mind-opening examples of this. By far my favourite is the example of the deer herds. We have been taught that stags are competitive alpha males, right? A community of deers were studied to see how they made the choice to move from grazing grounds to the watering hole. The assumption was the the male stags would make the decision and the herd would follow – Hobbes’ sovereign power theory in action.

What was discovered was that when 50.1% (that is, the minutest majority) of the herd turned their heads towards the watering hole, the whole herd would simultaneously take off, and often the stags were the last to move. Like “Hey, where are you all going? Wait for me!” The point is, it was a consensual decision. Read more about it here.

Without exception the natural state of group-living animals is to cooperate, not dominate. Democracy, it turns out, is hardwired into the DNA of species from ants to zebras. And it includes all of the hominids from the great apes to Homo sapiens. Thom Hartmann

The film asks what is wrong with the world and ends up discovering what is right with the world…

The science of connection and unity; the universal nature of compassion and empathy, the mystery and magic of the human heart. Tom Shadyac

Now I am not naive, I know not everyone in the world has a heart full of love. I watched several episodes of True Detective on the weekend, and that was almost enough for me to feel insurmountable hopelessness. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a a fabulous series, it feels like a Twin Peaks for the new millennium. And I loved Twin Peaks. Back in the days before downloads and online TV, before my family even had a VCR, I used to lie on my tummy in front of our only TV set and enter the world of David Lynch for an hour each week. It’s a dark place though. These days my vibration is more towards the light, and I don’t indulge in dark themes so much. Even though I know it’s fiction, there’s something about that energy vibration that doesn’t do me any favours.

Don’t ask to understand the secrets of the universe but simply to know what this moment means. Caroline Myss and Peter Occhiogrosso 

It’s interesting to me how much people love being scared. Horror movies, true crime. Maybe it’s a way to control fear, you can press pause, look away, or stop reading? Or maybe it deadens you to reality, so watching the evening news is indistinguishable from Wolf Creek. It’s all surreal and therefore you don’t have to really engage with it. That’s a philosophical discussion for another day.

It is love that will save our civilisation, even love for our enemies. Martin Luther King

Anyway, the point it, there are plenty of people in the world who are rather dedicated to living out of hate and fear. In my opinion it’s not necessary for everyone to live from love, all that is needed is a critical mass, which last I heard was about 33%. That’s right, one (cohesive) third of the population creates “socio-cultural transformation,” wrote Hugo O. Engelmann, who asserts that “a group’s prominence increases as it approaches one-third of the population and diminishes when it exceeds or falls below one-third of the population.” Wikipedia, one-third theory.

One third of any population is still a big chunk of people, but it’s much more achievable than 100%, to my mind.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

So what of this journey I asked of you in the beginning of this post? To imagine – despite all evidence to the contrary – that you live in a social contract of love. Imagine that human nature is inherently cooperative, empathetic, and compassionate. Imagine you are the person who will be the tipping point of this critical mass into a consciousness of love. It’s all up to you.

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns it calls me on and on across the universe. John Lennon

Suspend your disbelief. Let this social contract of love inform every decision you make in the next 24 hours. You may do this already. If so, your mission – if you choose to accept it –  is to share this contract with others. I am asking you, dear reader, to be a part of the 33% needed to change the world. And I wouldn’t ask something I wasn’t willing to do myself, so I pledge to follow a social contract of love for the next 24 hours too.

This is my sixth intention: joy to the world.

Affirmations from Marc Allen at  New World Library and Spirituality and Health Magazine

By being calm and aware, I know intuitively the right thing to do, moment to moment.

I am now creating the life of my dreams, in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.

This, or something better, is now manifesting in totally satisfying and harmonious ways for the highest good of all.

The smallest action can make a difference. My life is important. I can change the world just by being here, right now.

I am relaxed. I feel the energy and current of the universe. I know what I am meant to do.

Luminous and productive energy flows through me

Bless!

 

Title image source: Litany of universal light

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One comment on “A social contract of love

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