Thursday, March 01, 2007

A few good questions: And a Department of Peace

What can we do to help make this world a better place? This is a question that has come to us all. Working to understand our own abilities to change and transform is the most effective step. And also: creating change, real and healing change, out in the world: this is another wonderful challenge.

Last night at the library a wonderful start took place, a meeting of the evolving Sonoma chapter of a movement to create a Department of Peace as a cabinet level department in the U.S. government. This department would be charged with promoting peace locally, reducing gang violence and spousal abuse and the whole mess of frustrated lives spilling out into guns and knives and the wounding and maiming of other human beings. The department would also work throughout the world to bring peaceful solutions to issues that have been endlessly leading to war and conflict.

How it would do the international thing, I have no clear idea. But just the idea of the word
and the actuality of a
Department of Peace,
out in the world,
could be a very positive force.

That it could be of huge use in internal violence, I have no doubt.

For that reason alone I think this is a fine idea.

As I think about what it would take to create world peace I think of two things: happiness and a social system the was set up for equality and basic human dignity, so that clawing one's way to the top, and having more stuff, and getting more profit for the corporation, and having more goodies in one's life were no longer driving forces in the world.

How can that shift take place?

I don't know.

Does that mean that it isn't worth the effort?


As we say in the Feldenkrais work, the real satisfactions in life often come in making the impossible possible ( a frozen shoulder that can move), the possible easy ( now the shoulder moves well), and the easy elegant ( and now the formerly "frozen" shoulder moves better than it ever did).

World Peace is "obviously" Impossible, which means, we have an idea that it's impossible. And as we learn to ask in the Byron Katie Work: Is it true? Is it true that this is impossible?

I don't know.

It better not be.

We don’t have room for the global warming that war is creating, for one thing.

But: we have too many people on the planet.

What if Gurdjieff's creepy idea that some cosmic force eats dead people if not enough people are living lives of consciousness, and so all these wars are the sucking in of the cosmic need for food from a humanity that can't wake up. Can't wake up to the moment. Can't wake up to love.

Can't wake up to being good to the Earth.

And in a way: this is the root of war, this unconsciousness, this lure of the Enemy, that if we just kill enough of The Enemy then The Problem will go away.


This isn't so easy an issue is it?

We have almost every economic system in the world pegged to survive and thrive only by expanding, which is a drive for more stuff and more people, and more potential conflict over land and resources to get and control and use all this stuff.

We have armies and covert operations designed to help corporations keep the goods flowing. We have a whole new system of World Trade agreements that don't even let local farmers grow the kind of food that need for a local people to feed themselves. How can there be peace in this sort of world.

I don't know.

Is this impossible?

I don't know.

I believe, have a hunch, a feeling that humanity is pressing up to the edge of eliminating itself, and that waking up, and learning a new way to live, a way that doesn't demand so much from the planet, will be necessary for us all the survive.

Can people learn growing their own food instead of going to the mall?

Can people learn to be happy with a walk to a neighbors and not have to roar off somewhere in their car?

Can we have kids that are allowed once again to play in and lose themselves in and find comfort and learning in nature?

Can we come to enjoy sharing, and helping others, in real, life shifting ways, not just charity?

Can we learn to do the simple things again: walk, dance, sing, read, make music, make plays, make love?

Can we peacefully create a Department of Peace?


And how?

I don't know.

How do we make that shift?

I don't know.

Does that mean we shouldn't try?

Hell no.

Meet the good local people (Terry and Melissa and soon more to sit at the booth, I'm sure) who are starting up our small group to help
Department of Peace
at the local at the Farmers' Market on Friday mornings.

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