Treatise on Integrity

integrit paper.jpg“Integrity: That which shall be humanly borne and displayed as an essential aspect of truth.”

Well that’s my definition of integrity if no one else’s.

“To live with integrity is to be intimately aligned to one’s truth and core values.”

Again, that’s my take on it.

But I do know from personal experience that if you live your life with integrity and truthfulness, you will never be disappointed in yourself.

There will be others who might not be very happy with you at times, especially when your integrity blocks their intentions, but you will stay true to your own ideals if you maintain your sense of personal integrity and right-action focus.

So what does this mean in today’s integrity-starved world?

For one thing, you will definitely stand out from the crowd—you might even be the focal point of the crowd’s anger, which isn’t the most enjoyable place to be.integrit 2

For another, you will find yourself reaching very deep within for the strength and courage to keep your integrity untarnished amidst the constant deluge of complaints and insults slung in your direction.

Another possibility? You might lose a friend or two during the process of staying true to your own beliefs on the rightness of a situation or an action.

But the really strange thing about personal integrity is that nearly everyone believes that THEIR core beliefs and the courage of THEIR convictions are the only TRUE ones possible, which makes the rest of our efforts to maintain personal integrity questionable to them.

integrit 3As much as I value integrity and truth, and I definitely do value them, I also know that what I believe to be the ultimate TRUTH may not be the same as what others believe it to be. We don’t all think and feel the same.

Furthermore, in my rational mind I know that truth is often the perspective of whoever is holding that viewpoint.

But also in my being I know that what I stand for as a loving and compassionate human being is as strong and unwavering as any army’s professed allegiance to any person, place or belief.

Stubbornness is my finest trait or so I’ve been told, because to me integrity is a core value that is worthy of staking one’s integrit 1personal reputation on and/or career future. Holding one’s personal integrity firm and unbending can define us as compassionate human beings when others around us flutter in the winds of political change and collective opinion.

In the largest sense, our Nation was built on certain fundamental assumptions on rightness and fairness, on equity and justice; and when the integrity of any democratically elected official is in question or fluctuating toward non-democratic ideals, then further exposition and assessment of possible wrong-doing must be allowed to happen. The democracy that supports us depends on the integrity of those who lead it.

If we can’t at least rely on a leader’s integrity to do what is lawful and right as guaranteed to us by our U.S. constitution, then we have little firm ground on which to take a stand.

integ world

As I mentioned previously, maintaining one’s integrity is often a tough and lonely stance to take in the face of tumultuous, self-serving opposition, but sometimes it is the only stand we truly have before we are driven to our knees.

Overload

He should have come with a Users Manual and a RETURN POLICY.return.jpg

And on the very first page of that manual, in large BOLD print, it should have said, “WARNING: Frequent tweets of lunacy can lead to public overload with serious consequences for sanity.”

I think many of us about now are feeling the weight of not having that RETURN POLICY.

In fact, this whole situation would seem hilarious, if it weren’t so serious.

It would be even be comical, if it weren’t so dangerous.

And as each day mushes into the next, with verbal attacks on anyone and everyone who questions his statements and actions, we sit back—shell-shocked at the realization that this totally incompetent, petulant, moron has control of the nuclear codes that can instantly plunge the entire world into truth.jpgmass incineration beyond human comprehension.

But don’t worry.

Don’t believe the “lying press” who simply record and replay his every tantrum.

 

We know that “alternate truth” will win out in the end.

Murrow.jpg

It did for Hitler,  …..at least for awhile.

Where to Start?

meditate.jpgBreathe…..just breathe.

Close your eyes (after reading this and the next sentence of course) and bring your focus back to your navel area and simply hold it there for a full ten seconds.

Now breathe slowly in to a count of four, …. and then exhale slowly out to a count of four…….

Okay, ….now that you’ve re-centered yourself for the remainder of this posting, I’m sure that you like all of us are wondering ‘what the heck is going on in the world?’

peace.jpgIf you are almost afraid to turn on the television or watch news alerts on your phone, you are not alone. Not that the last two years have been that great, but this has been one horrific 2-month time period for humanity in general everywhere.

And today in America, the Republican National Convention starts spewing more bigoted, inflammatory rhetoric over the airwaves to fan the flames of hatred throughout the world.

So, ……what do we do?

Individually, we refocus, re-center, and pull our energies back to recharge them with the purest and highest frequencies of Divine Love and Light that we can call upon, and then we push those recharged energies back out into the world around us.  We hold our own space!Divine Love.jpg

We literally hold the Light so strongly and powerfully that no darkness can dim us. And there are enough of us now to make a genuine difference in the world’s energies.

This is WHY we came…to do this very thing:  To HOLD THE LIGHT FOR THE WORLD at this tumultuous changeover from the patriarchal, authoritarian rule to the matriarchal, democratic rule.

But it’s not going to be pretty while that change is happening because those in positions of power never let go of that closely-kept powerbase easily or gently—or gracefully.

prayer.jpgHowever, that is what is happening and will continue to happen throughout the world because it is simply the TIME for it to happen.

So don’t despair, …and don’t be afraid. You are a very important part of this major change in humanity.  Most of us won’t even have to fight for the change.  We simply need to hold the frequencies of Divine Love and Divine Light and let those energies create the necessary change around us.

Love always conquers fear. It always has and it always will.

You are okay. We all are.

 

Independence Day for All People

Patriotic music sets the backdrop, with eager crowds growing more restless by the minute, fireworks.jpguntil the first “whoosh” launches upward spraying sparks and colored contrails into the night sky.  After the initial blast, more rocketing whooshes split the night, followed by more booming and banging, and intertwining fingers of phosphorous flame cascade everywhere. The audience’s “ooohs”  and “ahhh’s” to each explosive burst above followed by the squeals of children’s glee.

Happy Birthday America!

While we aren’t alone in celebrating a national day of independence, yesterday happened to be our day. And it was loud and noisy as usual where families gathered together, friends laughingly reunited amidst smoking grills—it was a hot-dog scented afternoon with milling people and lawn tables full of food and beverages.

Yesterday individually, and as a nation, Americans celebrated our hard-won freedom from autocracy; and I do believe that most Americans wish that same privilege for every people of every land.

statue of lib.jpgWe as a group of freedom-loving people wish for ALL people to be able to celebrate their own freedom from oppression and tyranny, because freedom doesn’t come freely—it never has and probably never will be freely offered to the masses.

It requires the sacrifice and the dedication of one generation for the future one to initiate the movement; then it requires that the future generation do the same for the next generation following them. In essence, it’s a continuing process of constantly paying it forward.

I also think that most Americans do understand this generational compact, and that is one reason that most of us are willing to fight to maintain our national liberties and personal freedoms at any cost—even the ultimate cost—by giving our lives to keep ourselves and others free.

But the most important thing about this hard-won freedom is that it requires us to be respectful of those who have sacrificed prior so that we may enjoy this present. That respect should never be taken for granted or lightly cast aside for personal advancement.camus.jpg

ALL people have the right to be free. ALL people have the right to gather in common cause for support of common goals and societal advancement.

And ALL people have the right to live as free beings with equal and just consideration for their welfare and the welfare of all others.

It isn’t about fighting for the sake of fighting. It’s about fighting for the right to celebrate who we are as people and why we join together in common cause—for the sake of personal liberties and the right to determine our own fates.

Terrorism doesn’t stop freedom-lovers. Nelson-Mandela-Freedom-Quotes.jpgIn fact it is the very reason that FREEDOM-LOVING PEOPLE exist. 

Too bad anarchists and extremists don’t understand that simple key fact. All they are doing with their feeble attempts to destabilize our societies is to substantiate our resolve to maintain them.

Freedom doesn’t come freely—but it burns in your heart forever.

***

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree (the Tree of Knowledge). flag skyAll these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.”
~ Albert Einstein

~ Art “Our Banner in the Sky”  by Frederic Edwin Church

 

 

Anger Only Breeds More Anger

Fshirt.jpgor me the message on the sweatshirt says what I’m honestly feeling right now: “I’m practicing mindfulness, compassion and loving kindness so don’t piss me off.”

The latest homicidal lunacy in San Bernardino, California, Dec 2, 2015, conducted by a few misguided and deeply unstable individuals who were trying to find some sense of meaning to their lives by killing others and themselves in the process, is both heart-sickening and totally stupid. I mean, when is homicidal-suicide ever meaningful?

And since I don’t handle intentional stupidity well; especially the malevolent stupidity that brings harm to others, I get angry. But like the shirt mentions: I’m also trying to be loving and compassionate and not allow my anger to consume me, so that inner incongruity creates tension within me over this sad and senseless replay of group-inspired insanity. I’m sure many of us are feeling this same thing.

I mentioned November 16th in the posting on Assessing Terrorism that “Most people fear and powerwho use this “fear” tool are banking on the flight response more than the fight response.”

Do they not yet understand that freedom-loving people everywhere do not flee when threatened? We fight!

When we (who love freedom and the right to make our own choices about our lives) are threatened, we react immediately with anger not fear: Angry words, angry gestures, and anger-based counter threats at those wishing to harm us. Didn’t wars in Afganistan and Iraq show assaulters anything about how nations with epic arsenals react to homicidal attacks?

However sometimes there are those who may over-react to threats of being assaulted and use a very broad rhetorical brush to paint ALL members of associated religions or races for the homicidal intentions of only a angerfew individuals. That is unfortunate and equally stupid, and because I don’t handle “stupid” well, THAT makes me angry—again, the shirt sentiment.

With political campaigns in full swing, there is no excuse when idiots on podiums in front of television cameras use these incidents to inflame their vocal audiences with unified hatred and spewed bigotry.

The problem is that idiots are idiots, no matter the national origin or the party affiliation. And audiences who buy into their political messages of hate are just as malleable as the misguided recruits for homicidal suicide—they only hear what fuels their fears and their anger, because anger makes them feel more powerful.

So lehold angert’s all get a better handle on our OWN anger and let’s make positive changes in our lives and in the world around us. As I mentioned previously, I am far from a pacifist and I tame myself down daily in search of a solid, positive solution to the festering wounds of wide-spread racial tensions, religious intolerance, and opportunity inequality.

My premise is pretty simple: I know that I can’t help spread peace if I can’t hold it within myself, so it is extremely important for all of us to acknowledge our own anger at these senseless and misguided actions of individuals and groups bent on creating chaos and social anarchy.

Don’t allow it. Take a deep breath, and then another one, and say aloud:light

“I am love, I am light that outshines any darkness, and I am deeply at peace within myself as I spread this inner peace throughout the world now. And so it is.”

Don’t give in to your own anger, and for certain never allow fear to cloud your thoughts, but foremost above all else, recognize that only you can decide how you wish to react to any challenge you may face.

peace.jpgMy suggestion is to face it with grace and determination to make this a better and more loving world for everyone. That really is the only rational choice that we have here.

Assessing Terrorism: Homegrown and Elsewhere

paris peace signPretty hard not to be affected by the degree of homicidal mania throughout the world right now.

First and foremost, I want to offer my condolences to all involved in these violent acts everywhere in the world, and to pray that Divine Light and Love flows effortlessly into every affected heart lightening the pain and healing the gaping wounds left in the wake of such senseless destruction.

Secondly, my opinions on the matter are pretty inconsequential to any aftermath outcome, but I think there is something that needs to be said on it because this is not a subject I would normally write about, so I’m feeling Spirit-nudged to put my two-cents into this for what it’s worth.

Three words that come immediately into my humble mind to now address this terrorism assessment are: perspective, context, and overview. So I’ll address them one at a time.

  • PERSPECTIVE on the “WHY?”

Acts of violence and barbarism are initiated to create widespread fear in the populace because FEAR is a tool for controlling others. FEAR is the adrenal gland’s natural fight or flight trigger. We tend to simply react one way or the other when we feel fear.

Most people who use this “fear” tool are banking on the flight response more than the fight response. fear and powerIt is also likely that those who feel the need to use FEAR as a tool are the ones who would otherwise feel the most impotent and powerless without using it.

The IMPOTENT and POWERLESS category can be a large one and include people who feel isolated, disenfranchised, unappreciated, unsure, and generally hopeless about their lives changing for the better anytime soon.

So to counter their feeling of impotence they force a change, and they use FORCE to make that change happen. These are not really powerful people—they are people who want to FEEL powerful in some way by creating that same powerless feeling in others.

  • CONTEXT on the “WHO?”

Rosse quoteAttributing widespread acts of terrorism and genocide to any particular group of combatants is to trace the “fear” tool back to the earliest forms of human competition for limited resources and community security. It can be tracked century by century through the annals of recorded history as the means that any conquering group used to eliminate their competition in the region.

Add some ideology and religious fervor to it, and you’ve got that ignominious term “religious war.” Lots of those have and still are occurring in various places throughout the world.

Or in large metropolises it can be gang-waged wars for the same basic principles of competition for resources and security. A year of drive-by shootings can be just as deadly as one-time staged assaults on what security analysts call “soft targets” of gathered citizenry.

  • OVERVIEW on the “Aftereffects of Terrorism”memorial

Terrorist assaults can occur anywhere in the world whether by a mentally ill sociopath locally in a movie theater or a grade school, or by two or more individuals who claim a unified common-cause but kill others and themselves more so because they feel no sense of purpose to their lives and are easily manipulated by charismatic leaders who appeal to the lesser person’s festering humiliation and anger toward others.

The aftereffect of terrorism is the same: Other people take notice of those offending individuals and provide them with exactly what they want the most: attention and false feelings of momentary power—created by the best tool they have in their arsenal—FEAR.

fearlessBut do you know what is most discouraging and disheartening to those homicidal individuals we commonly refer to as “terrorists”?

What returns that offender’s momentary feeling of power back to his original feeling of impotence is when the community and society that has been so maniacally assaulted by him don’t give in to the FEAR that he tried so hard to create. His efforts were in vain. He was simply ineffective again.

When the community and society adopts that “refusal to be fearful” to barbarism and violence, then these so-called “terrorists” have lost their main weapon.

* * *

Personally I am far from a pacifist. I wish I were more loving and forgiving about the abhorrent actions of a few deranged or maladjusted individuals trying their best to destabilize communities and regions. But it doesn’t matter what my personal feelings are on this matter. What matters is that:

  • we never give in to fear.
  • We do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our families/communities, and
  • we work toward a better world where violence is never the answer to anything—where people actively engage in creating peaceful co-existence with their neighbors after finally realizing that basically we are all the same—
  • we are ONE PEOPLE—ONE WORLD.one love

In truth, fear is a weak motivational substitute for the overwhelming POWER of LOVE.