Archive for January, 2013

71 – “Our hands shake …”

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Our hands shake as we try to construct you,
block on block.
But you, cathedral we dimly perceive –
who can bring you to completion?

What is Rome? It crumbled.
What is the world? We are destroying it
before your towers can taper into spires,
before we can assemble your face
from the piles of mosaic.

Yet sometimes in dreams
I take in your whole expanse,
from its deepest beginnings
up to the rooftop’s glittering ridge.

And then I see: it is my mind
that will fashion
and set the last pieces in place.

Note: While on vacation I would like to share this beautiful poem from the “Book of Hours” by Reiner Maria Rilke (translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy). Next regular post will be published on February 1, 2013.

70 – A World Without Dogma …

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Humanity is facing a Crisis of monumental proportions: Ecological breakdown impelled by our unsustainable population growth. But under the greed for Power and Control of religious, economic and political dogmas, most of our leaders refuse to engage in any discussion that insinuates the urgent need for change or to accept the fact that what they believed to be Progressive in the past is today threatening our survival.

Amidst the imminent signs of an Environment in crisis they stubbornly continue to reinforce a Paradigm based on:
1. Economic doctrines of unlimited growth and consumerism which disregard the fact that Humanity is completely dependent on the limited resources of the planet,
2. Political doctrines with no other vision that dominance by brute power instigating conflict and turmoil,
3. Religious doctrines that deceive and divide and promote their supremacy through ignorance and hate.

This Paradigm is engulfing us in dread, fear, violence, fanaticism and destruction. It is derailing the fundamental purpose of Science and Education which is not to perpetuate unsustainable consumerism and growth, but to foster the freedom of the Human Mind to aim for a world of peace and greater self-knowledge.

I would like to borrow an example from a presentation in November 2012 by Ernesto Sirolli in TED.com. It is reminiscent of our dilemma. In 1860 a group of experts gathered to assess the future of New York City. They came to the consensus that the City had no future; it would not exist in a hundred years. In order to mobilize the increasing number of its inhabitants they would need to bring in millions of horses and, as it were, they were already buried in manure. Those experts were dealing with a dirty technology that would eventually overwhelm the feasibility of the City. It never came to their minds that the automobile would soon come into the picture.

We are at a similar point in our History. Our ‘experts’ see reckless consumerism, unlimited growth, dominance, deception and division as our only Future.

But if Education and Science abandon their submission to our current Paradigm and … supported by their immense wealth of knowledge and by the powerful ingenuity of the Human Mind … take instead a leadership role in the formulation of a New Paradigm, we can have a world where Politics, without dogma, is the advocate and guardian of a Vision for Humanity based on Freedom, Knowledge and Moral Principles; where Economics, without dogma, is the promoter of sustainable and responsible Progress; where Religion, without dogma, is the guiding force towards tolerance and the liberty of the Human Spirit.

It has never been done before, but we have done a lot of things that we never did before; it is thus we have come to be … as far as we know … the most incredible creation of Nature. Let’s not destroy ourselves!

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