Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 533: Living What is Best For All

2. Living by the principle of what is best for all – guiding me in thought, word and deed to always in all ways direct problems to the best possible outcome for all

Today I am discussing this principle from the Desteni of Living, what it means, how I have lived it and how it has changed me.

First of all, the person who showed me what it means to live this principle was my dad, Bernard. He was the one who taught me to always question whether the particular path I was considering was for my own enrichment or for the enrichment of all life. For this I will be eternally grateful, for I am yet to meet a teacher who is his equal. His is the image I use to determine whether I am doing what is best.

So, what does it mean to live this principle? It may seem a vague and enormous concept, but in reality it is the most simple and direct principle that you will come across. Don't get caught up in "personal preference" in terms of what is good for one person may not be what another person wants. This point is about allowing each life form to develop themselves to their fullest potential. This may be hard to imagine given the diversity of cultures and even personalities; and bearing these in mind it is something that would take years to truly bring to manifestation. The one requirement for this principle to be implemented worldwide would be each person realising that the way they have always lived may not be best and that each person must investigate for themselves, without bias, what life and all that goes with it is about.

Doing what is best for all, or even one person, requires that you consider the possible consequences of every available choice to you. It means not accepting that things like opinions are valid excuses to justify abuse and inequality. It means making hard choices that may cause you to not be well liked by some, especially when it involves not allowing another to live in a self-enriching way that compromises others. It is the truest expression of love, as your actions are always to support another in being the best they can be, pushing them past their own limitations and calling them out on their dishonesty. It means creating a world in which each person's basic rights are met.

This is a difficult principle to live as most of us are taught to think only about ourselves most of the time and about others only in special circumstances. We are raised to value our own preferences above those of others, and even above the rights of others. To teach yourself to stop thinking about yourself first is difficult - it requires conscious effort and a persistent self awareness.

Whenever I am faced with a choice, the first point I consider is whether anyone else will be affected in any way by this choice. I then look at all the possible ways that others may be affected. I gather as much information as possible, investigate every possible path and the consequences of each of those paths. Once I am satisfied that I have done everything I can to make the most informed decision possible, I walk the choice. There may be times that new information presents itself after I have made the choice, from this I have no choice but to integrate this new information and re-evaluate my position. The point is that I do everything I am able with what I have in the moment - a good tool to investigate a particular path is discussing it with other people so as to gain alternate perspectives to your own.

Everything I do, I consider whether there will be any outflows or consequences for anyone around me. This includes evaluating their particular "personality" (which means tendencies, distinct thinking habits etc) as the consequences of your actions are not always immediately evident. Sometimes consequences will present days, weeks, months or even years down the line because one person reacted to your choice by participating in thoughts that stem from an energetic reaction. I consider how my choice will be seen by other people in order to evaluate whether I need to make a specific effort to discuss my actions with any person to ensure that my actions do not cause any unnecessary reactions within them.

I do not make any decision lightly. This includes the words I speak. I consider the nature of every word I speak, for at this point in time using just one word is enough to cause another person to react, simply because that word carries with it memories or emotions for them.

This is what it means to live this principle in every day life. There are of course also global aspects that I have not gone into, but that is for another blog and another day.

Living this principle has changed my life. I have become very patient, especially when interacting with another person,
as I realise that each person is walking an individual process and faces points that I may not have faced personally (for example). I experience far less conflict in my relationships with other people as I am now much more aware of the effects my words and actions have on them. I speak with discipline - meaning that I choose my words and do not allow myself to "blurt out" whatever is on my mind without considering what the consequences might be.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 532: The Desteni of Living - My Declaration of Principle

I hereby commit myself to live the following Principles:

1.       Realising and living my utmost potential

2.       Living by the principle of what is best for all – guiding me in thought, word and deed to always in all ways direct problems to the best possible outcome for all

3.       Living by the principle of self honesty – to ensure I am pure in thought, word and deed: that my within and without is equal and one. Who I am within is who I am without and vice-versa

4.       Self Purification through Writing, Self Forgiveness and Self Application – the action of realising I am responsible for my own thoughts, words and deeds, to forgive myself for transgressions and change myself to ensure I take responsibility for who, what and how I am and through this know that I can trust myself to always be honest with me and so others

5.       Living the principle of Self Responsibility – realising only I am responsible for what I accept and allow inside of me, my relationships and my outside world and so with this responsibility: only I have the power and ability to change that which I see is compromising who I am, what I live and how this affects others

6.       Realising that who I am in thought, word and deed affects not only myself – but others as well and so with Self Responsibility in thought, word and deed – I take responsibility for myself and so my relationships to be Self Aware in every moment  and live in such a way that is best for me and so others as well

7.       Living the Principle of Self Awareness – to be aware, to see, to recognize my own thoughts and Mind, to be self honest to the extent where I can take responsibility for when I see my thoughts / Mind is not what is best for me / others and commit to immediately take responsibility and change for myself and so for others

8.       With taking responsibility for myself, becoming aware of myself – take responsibility and become aware of others in my life, to assist and support them as I am assisting and supporting myself – to give as you would like to receive and do the extra bit every day to see where I can contribute to other’s lives and so my own

9.       Living the principle of self trust – as I commit myself to remain constant in my living of self honesty, self responsibility and self awareness, I stand as an unbending trust that I always in all ways know who I am no matter what I face and that in this I know, as proven in the constancy of my living that I will always honour and stand by what is best for all and so best for me

10.    Making Love Visible – through me not accepting/allowing anything less than my utmost potential, I support those in my life to reach their utmost potential, to love them as I have shown love to myself by gifting to me my utmost potential, the best life/living experience and show others as I have shown myself what it means to LIVE

11.    No one can save you, save yourself – the realisation that the tools and principles of Desteni is the guide, but I must walk the path myself. We are here to assist and support each other in this process from Consciousness to Awareness/LIFE and what it means to live – but the process itself, where you are alone with yourself in your own Mind: is walked alone

12.    Not waiting for anything or anyone to take responsibility for me and this world – but that I realise I have created who and how I am in this moment, therefore I have the responsibility to change who and how I am and so the realisation that we as a collective created how and what this world is today and so it is the responsibility of the collective to change how and what this world is today

13.    Honouring the life in each person, animal – everything from the great to the small of earth, that we expand our awareness and responsibility to creating the best possible life for everyone and everything and so ourselves

14.    Relationships as Agreements: individuals coming together using agreements as a platform to one-on-one expand, grow and develop as individuals in life and living to support/assist each other unconditionally to reach their utmost potential where the agreement is a coming together of individuals understanding what it means to stand as equals and to stand as one

15.    Sex as Self Expression – where sex is an united expression between individuals in honour, respect, consideration and regard of each other as equals, two physical bodies uniting in equality and oneness – a merging of two equals as one physically.

16.    Realising that by the virtue of me being in this world – my responsibility does not only extend to my own Mind / my own Life, but to the minds and lives of everything and everyone of this earth and so my commitment is to extend this awareness to all of humanity to work together and live together to make this world heaven on earth for ourselves and the generations to come

17.    I must in my thoughts, words and deeds – but most importantly in my living actions, become a living example for others in my world that is noticeable and visible when it comes to the potential of a person to change themselves and so change their world. So that more people can realise how we can change this world, by standing united in our self change within the principle of what is best for all to bring heaven to earth

18.    I am the change I want to see in me and my world – to bring heaven to earth is to bring into being, into living the LIVING PROOF of a PRACTICAL HEAVEN that can be seen and heard in our actions and words. We are the Living Heaven that must come into creation in this living world.

19.    Through purifying my thoughts, words and deeds – my inner becomes my outer, so I bring into creation me as heaven into earth, realising it is not enough to ‘see the change / be the change’ – for change to become REAL it must be a constant, consistent living of me through the words I speak and the actions I live visible and noticeable to all in every moment of breath

20.    Realising that my physical body is my temple – my physical body is the living flesh through which and in which I will bring into being and create / manifest heaven on earth as me in my thoughts, words and deeds and so I honour, respect and regard – nurture and support my physical body as I would nurture and support me as equals: my body is me

21.    We are the change in ourselves and this world we have been waiting for: and so I commit to dedicate myself and my life for each one as all to realise this, as nothing will change if we don’t change in all that we are, within and without

22.    The realisation that for me to be able to change myself in thought, word and deed to the most effective living being that I can be and become – I first have to ‘know thyself’ and so commit myself to investigate, introspect and understand how I became who I am today, to prepare the road before me into self creation of a responsible, aware, self honest and trustworthy person for myself and so for all

23.    The realisation that for me to be able to contribute to change in this world – I have to get to ‘know thyself’ as this world and so commit myself to research, investigate and introspect the inner and outer workings of this world and align the systems of today to present and give the best possible life for all on Earth

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 531: When Fantasies Turn Violent

A woman attacked with acid. A teenager stabbed to death. A woman raped and beaten. Women smashed in the head with bowling balls and glass bottles.
Those are real life examples of violence that women have experienced after they rejected the sexual advances of men — when they refused to flirt with them, dance with them, go on a date with them, or have sex with them — being collected by a new Tumblr page called “When Women Refuse.” The recent mass shooting in Santa Barbara, which was perpetrated by a young man who wanted to punish the women who weren’t attracted to him, is the latest example of a tragedy that fits this profile.
“We still don’t view gender based violence as a large cultural issue — we tend to think of these as isolated incidences,” Deanna Zandt, the co-founder of the digital strategy group Lux Digital and the feminist activist who started the Tumblr, explained in an interview. “We still don’t view it as a larger problem within rape culture.” - Think Progress

Our cultures have changed drastically in the last 200 years, and even more so in the last 50. Parents tell their children that they are fantastic and that they deserve anything they want - and that any person who doesn't want them is an idiot. Well, apparently if you keep telling someone the same thing over and over they start to believe it. Couple this with the ever increasing fantasy realities that we prefer over "the real world" and you are bound to get a few crazies who can't tell their fantasies from reality, or who go berserk when reality turns out to be different to what the rest of their entire life promised them it would be.

Is it any wonder that men who start watching porn from the moment they hit puberty treat women like dirt? Is it any wonder that some people have explosive reactions when their experiences in the world don't correspond with the fantasies they've been fed up until now? This culture is not confined to the privileged or to one race - it has become global. Horror stories come from all corners of the globe, from all walks of life.

Blockbuster films depict all sorts of things that are simply not real - they create an ideal that ends up being the thing that shapes young minds and entrances the young and old alike into a belief that life works a certain way, that YOU are special, that love is forever and will simply work on its own due to the mere fact that it exists. Movies and TV shows are especially proficient at depicting sex to be a certain way, when the reality is simply not so. The repercussions of this extend further than many realise, where we base our entire definition and idea of what sex is and what it should be on an ideal that simply doesn't correspond to our experiences. At the end of the day you are left wondering what is wrong with you for not feeling the way people seem to feel on TV.

We have been living in fantasy worlds in our minds. We are gradually becoming less capable of interacting with people and our environments effectively and in a way that brings pleasant feedback and experiences. Men think that women are here to please them. Women think that men are here to adore them. Children think that they will grow up to be royalty. All the while no one is paying attention to what is happening in the world, no one sees that because they are living in a fantasy world they are allowing the real world to exist in a state of chaos and despair by not participating in it with the goal of changing it. This state of fantasy extends even into the minds of political leaders, where their number one goal is no longer the betterment of the entire community, but the advancing of their own agendas and opinions.

Of course a fantasy world is much more pleasant to live in, chances are in there you are always right, you are the best of the best and you can be anyone you want. It does give you all of these things - the problem is that it's not REAL, and the moment you realise that, your world comes crashing down - this is when things happen that involve the destroying of lives other than your own, whether it is physical or mental - chances are you're going to want to take out your pain and anger on something. Where did you think domestic violence, animal abuse, rape, murder and all of those nasty things are born? They are born in people's shattered images of themselves, when reality doesn't meet their expectations.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 530: Motivation vs Self Movement

First of all, I need to say why my blogs have been few and far between: I am writing my (last ever) exams for my degree in Psychology. I will be done mid June and from then on all will be business as usual.

A point that has been milling around in my head and also in the general environment is the point of self movement - actually following through and doing what you decide to do/say you will do. Making choices is the easy part - doing the work is hard and is inevitably the only thing that actually matters. How does that saying go: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

In this Process we walk, this is certainly a point that we all face - and often more than once. You know exactly what you need to do, what you really should do - but when it comes to the actual doing part all of your motivation just fizzles away. Suddenly you feel soooo tired, sooo stressed, or you suddenly remember some arbitrary thing that you need to do that has become a few degrees more important than whatever you were going to do. Sure, you feel guilty, but the interesting thing about guilt is that it is a very convenient way for you to justify to yourself that you are still a "good person" even though you reneged on your commitment. At least the guilt makes you feel like you still care, and just the fact that you care is enough for you to feel a little better about yourself. Guilt is a funny thing - a negative experience may accompany it, but the positive (and hidden) experience outweighs that negative experience (most of the time) which is why guilt is very rarely enough of a motivator. Most people are not even aware of that positive experience that guilt brings.

Our society taught us from young that motivation is something that happens to you, something that is outside of you, something that requires a good reason or reward (do well in school to get academic recognition; complete a project before the deadline; do what your parents tell you to do) - we are not taught that we can actually move ourselves without needing motivation at all. We were never taught that self direction is far more powerful and effective that reward-based and other motivational schemes.

Self movement is the honouring of your commitments.

Self movement is the following through of your choices.

Self movement is doing that which you see will be best for all even though you may not want to and even though it is an inconvenience to your personal preferences.

Self movement transcends personal preference.

Self movement transcends "but".

Self movement is a directive action that you make, a moving through whatever resistance you may have. It is definitely easier to give up and watch TV, and that's exactly what you were programmed to experience.

Self movement is a transcending of your pre-programming.

Self movement is moving against the grain, against the norm of apathy and inaction. It is time for a new norm, where every person's word can be trusted (honouring all commitments) and where the inner experience is reflected honestly in the outer experience (Thoughts reflect words reflect deeds).

Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 529: Do Public Funds Belong to the Public?

The answer:  technically yes, but in practice...? Mostly not.

I am currently studying for an exam all about Ethics in Public Administration and I came across an interesting little fact today that we are all aware of, but that we just don't think about that much:

Public money belongs to the public.

This means that our governments are supposed to lay out budgets according to what we, the people, see as being most important. In other words, the national budget is public policy expressed in amounts of money. Obviously this would be in an ideal democracy, and most democracies simply do not seem to reflect this principle. This is still what a democracy "should" look like - what is interesting is what the spending and other policies and actions of governments are reflecting back to us.

The South African Constitution is a very good constitution. It gives the highest importance to basic rights for all ages, genders, shapes, sizes, colours, faiths and customs of people. But if you look at the government's actions and policies, these rights are not reflected as being the most important thing. In fact, all of the public services that are provided with the purpose of fulfilling the most basic of human rights like education, health care, housing, nutrition, etc are sorely inefficient in almost every aspect. Public schools and hospitals are underfunded, understaffed, mismanaged, unregulated and show no regard for those whom they are supposed to be helping. A large portion of the population live in temporary or dangerous houses that are more often than not severely overcrowded. The stipends paid by the government to those citizens in need (like the unemployed, pensioners, children of the unemployed) is nowhere near enough to provide even one person with the minimum nutritional requirements in a month - nevermind housing, education, electricity, clean water, or clothing.

These conditions reflect the reality of the government's position. The funds that go to the fulfilling of basic human rights and other public services are simply inadequate - and are often also mismanaged by corrupt or incompetent public officials. This reflects far more accurately the policy and "opinion" of the government elect than the words in the constitution.

What does corruption tell you about those people who are working in the government, who are supposed to be promoting the best interests of the people? When public funds are used for personal enrichment, how does this reflect on what these supposed "protectors" of the people actually think and feel for others and their country? How does this reflect on their regard for human rights?

So, in a country that's government is allocating and using funds contrary to the will of the people, can this government be regarded as democratic? If only 60% of the population that is legible to vote does so, can the government still be regarded as democratic or as manifesting the will of the people? If a government spends huge amounts of public funds on weapons and wars instead of fulfilling the rights of the people, can that government still be regarded as a democracy? If a government is blatantly operating in ways that are contrary to the will of the majority of citizens, should that government not be regarded as totalitarian? If a government misuses public money, or uses it in ways that do not reflect the constitution or the will of the people, can that government not be regarded as illegal? How many governments actually function according to the laws of the country they govern?

Remember, a government is made up of people - it is a collection of individuals and is not a separate entity that can be blamed for the abuses and wrong doings of its public officials. Those people working in the government are products of our collective society, so we can also not blame "them" (government employees) as being inherently evil people - they are people just like you and me and ni knowing this and knowing the nature of our society, there is a good chance that most people would do exactly the same if they were in that position. There is no way that we can claim innocence, there is no justification for blaming "everyone else" - there is only the reality that we must all work together to create a society that we can all be proud of.