Individual's Living in Support of All Life
So, given the complexity of present life, what's an individual to do? The basic answer is simple: just act from one's heart, help where you can, and try not to hurt anything if you don't have to.
The next step is to do this in all one's decisions and interactions. One of the biggest factors in getting this to work is to operate from the perspective Think Globally, Act Locally. As individuals, we have great power if we act locally in a concerted manner. If this is done throughout the country, the force for change is great indeed -- and the entire country will be transformed into whatever global vision prompted the local action to begin with.
The easiest way to do this is to think in terms of WIN/WIN in all of our interactions with other life forms. Make sure that they benefit whenever we benefit. At the very least, think in terms of maintaining a balance or equilibrium so that whatever we do of damage has its counterbalancing benefit.
It helps if we address this on a case by case basis for the various areas of life that we interact with. These include, mineral life, plant life, animal life, and human life.
Supporting Mineral Life
I know, some of you don't thing of the mineral kingdom as containing life as we know it. However, this represents all resources that are inorganic. The bottom line is that they deserve to be treated with respect as does any life. These resources exist and they are part of nature -- so they're part of the web of life. This is especially true when we consider that without these minerals, our form of life would not exist -- nor would most others.
One area where we can have effect is in resource consumption and recycling. When we recycle resources, fewer need to be taken from nature to meet our needs. The Earth has sufficient resources to meet our needs if we are careful about what and how we consume and if we take the effort to recycle what we can.
Some minerals and crystals are precious in and of their own. In many cases, these are the minerals that most reflect and transmute light. In this era of transforming frequencies, it will be found that crystals are important components for a variety of new light transforming devices important as consciousness itself transforms on this planet.
Supporting Plant Life
Plants are an integral part of the web. The are required to regulate the level of carbon dioxide on the planet, and are a major food source for many animals as well as humans. They also have a psychological effect as well and are a welcome addition in many human habitats. Plants also provide the majority of pharmacological substances on the planet.
The way we support plant life is by treating it with the respect it deserves. We don't take actions that destroy plants if we can avoid them. If we take plants into our home, we care for them to ensure they get what they need. Further, we can regularly appreciate the incredible beauty of the natural world with all it's diversity and by happy for the abundance that it gives to us.
On a larger scale, we reduce our pollution output so that plant life is not harmed by the resultant products of our waste. We take action to repair damage we have already done; planting trees and cleaning rivers where we can. Also, we make consumption decisions that reduce the number of trees that are cut down for wood and paper products. It is time we act as the caretakers and stewards of life that we were designated to be by our Creator(s).
Supporting Animal Life
Animals are a very special form of life. They are our friends, companions, and teachers. They are part of nature, revealing to us great truths about the nature of life itself; not only theirs, but ours as well. Wild animals should be respected by giving them the natural habitats they need in order to exist. They have as much right to live on this Earth as we do. We can no longer tolerate the damage to animals or to their habitats that result in extinction. Each animal is precious, evolved by nature to its particular state of being. What we do to our brothers the animals, we do to ourselves. Their suffering and extinction are a sign of our decay as a society. A decay due to lack of respect and lack of responsibility for our actions. It is a very poor steward who allows that for which he is charged to care for to die. Very poor, indeed.
Domestic animals are even closer to us. They serve as mirrors that reflect back to us wisdom about ourselves. They should be loved and cared for with all our hearts. They have chosen to serve us and share their special consciousness with us. Whether the time is brief or long, there can be a special relationship established. Typically, this does not result in master/servant. The animals have an independence of their own, especially cats, but many dogs as well. They deserve our kindness, attention, and playfulness. Further, it's our responsibility to look after them and see that their needs are met. Of course, not just physical needs, but emotional ones as well. I haven't tuned into the mental or spiritual sides of animals yet, so I don't know what, if any, needs they have on those levels or how they might be addressed.
Supporting Human Life and Community
Finally, we get to deal with how humans treat humans. As you might guess, this is an important topic for living in the Aquarian Age. To start with we should remember the statement namaste, "I bow to the spirit within you". Further, we should use it regularly, with everyone we meet or interact with. This sets a tone of respect and reverence that should be present at all times in interactions among humans.
Do unto others and you would have others do unto you. The Golden Rule, this too is a basis for human interaction taught by all major religions on the planet.
Help whomever you are moved to help in whatever ways you are moved to provide that help. If you follow you intuition and the voice of spirit inside you, you will know when you have an obligation to help and when you do not. One cannot help everyone in need. Let your brother or sister help those whom you cannot. One is only expected to do one's share. Each member of the community must do the same thereby making the load lighter for all. Of course, one can take on more if that be one's chosen task. Some choose the road of Mother Theresa, but it is a tough road to follow unless you are specifically suited to it.
Note: One should not limit one's help to the "needy". Anyone in society can use appropriate help at various times. In particular, these times may provide perfect opportunities for education as well. Watch for where your special skills and talents can be of use, and provide them where you can. The benefit to society will be great, especially if many do this. You will feel great as well. Also, the society will be a much nicer place in which to live. How wonderful it would be if we could be thankful for rather than fearful of strangers. Even better, if there were no strangers at all, only brethren and kindred spirits. How wonderful, indeed.
Find others whom you can teach or train. Regardless of age, all adults should make time to teach what they know best to others. This should be treated as a sacred responsibility that they have to assure that their knowledge and unique skills are passed on to others. Since education is one of the highest priorities of society, it falls as a duty to everyone to support it in a personal way. This will only work if everyone does their part and does it well. Each individual is only asked to do this in a way that is comfortable and then only for those areas or things that they do or know best. Collectively, we have all the talents required for society to function well. All that is necessary is to share of ourselves with those who can benefit greatly from that sharing. What we share and how we do it are personal choices based on personal preferences.
Treat everyone with equality. Our true nature is as spirit, where equality is everpresent. That should be reflected here on this plane as well. However, it is recognized that it may take awhile to achieve this in physical terms. So be it. Realization will proceed at whatever pace is appropriate. At the very least, on a personal basis, we should treat people with dignity and respect. In our laws we should move towards equality as quickly as we can. Differences between people do not impact whether they are equal in the eyes of society. Equal does not mean that each can do what any other can do. We can all be equal members of society and still have our individual roles and responsibilities that are based on individual skills and talents. A person at 1, 10, 18, 40 and 80 years is the same person hence is equal to itself despite the fact that it has different abilities and knowledge at those different ages. People of different skills and talents can be likened in the same way to beings at different ages, only in this case, not physical ages but soul ages. One cannot tell anything about soul age from physical age, however. Nor can one tell anything about soul age from position or station in society. Rather, the distinction comes in how one lives, what one believes, and how one treats others.
Construct transactions as WIN/WIN whenever possible. This ensures that transactions are fair and equitable. This also requires that selfish motivation be eliminated or at least minimized. WIN/WIN transactions should consider all four levels of being: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. It is not necessary that all be included, but all four should be considered to ensure that nothing detriment results at any level.
Business interactions between people should be structured as WIN/WIN contracts that are for the highest good of all concerned including the parts of society that are impacted by the results of these interactions.
Prisoners and others who have violated the rights of others fall into a special category. By their actions they have demonstrated that they are not ready to live in society. Hence, they should be placed in an environment that does not have the freedoms of society. The level of restriction should be commensurate with the lack of responsibility that was demonstrated. Regardless of the level, a system should be setup that allows varying levels of rights and associated responsibilities. If responsibilities are not met or rights of others are violated, the penalty is further restriction of rights. As one shows that one can respect the rights of other and meet one's responsibilities, increased rights and level of freedom should result. Training should focus on getting individuals to fully understand rights and responsibilities and their obligation to society.
Community Living in Support of All Life
In addition to individual responsibilities, there is a community or society aspect to living in support of all life as well. This higher level aspect arises because groups or organizations are entities of their own with associated behavior that also has its impacts.
Adding an Environmental Component to Economics
One of the biggest areas detrimental to life is the area of economics. Currently, economic equations on which decisions are made fail to account for ecological factors. Al Gore discusses this in his book Earth in the Balance. This must be remedied to assure that environmental damage is properly weighed and accounted for. We need to make sure that business decisions are made in a manner that truly benefits society from a holistic standpoint. More and more, we need to make sure our business decisions are sound from the standpoint of their impact on the entire Earth and its peoples. Here too, what we do to others we ultimately do to ourselves.
Economics impacts our lives in many ways. When it is operating from sound principles, much about how our world functions will be able to operate soundly as well. Economics is one of the quickest ways to implement a value system in society. It's simple, just penalize harmful choices and reward beneficial ones.
Free choice can remain intact, but making bad choices more costly to consumers than good ones will quickly train people in accepted modes of consumption. Further, after a while, the bad choices can be eliminated as choices altogether.
As an example, meat consumption has been shown to be extremely wasteful of resources. If meat prices were to increase to a value more in line with the actual costs involved, while at the same time vegetarian or lower-in-meat alternatives were added, peoples decisions about eating meat would change quickly. If a hamburger cost $4 versus a veggieburger at $2, people would choose the veggieburgers as long as they tasted good. If we put the resources to it, this country should be able to make great veggieburgers and many other foods that would be nutritious and tasty. Further, it seems that the nutrition we need should be provided in the foods that society is encouraged to eat. Otherwise, we suffer from health problems and poorer production.
In the long run, this may require establishing price controls on any items that have negative ecological impact. Actually, on anything that has negative societal impact. This is one way society could exert its power over the economy. All it takes is proper regulation motivated by the right reasons. Of course, the lobbyists will not like this at all. But it's high time they did some real work for awhile instead of taking care of their special interests. We can't allow special interests to direct what gets done. We must hold firm to the eightfold path, and, in particular, the commandment of Right Action.
In our economy we have free choice, but this choice is constrained by the goods available on the market and by our willingness to pay more for better features or higher quality. Most people aren't very willing to pay for what are regarded as extras unless they are convinced they need them because of advertising, peer pressure, or plain competition with others. For the most part, we do not determine what products come to market. This is decided by people who are concerned about the bottom line of whether we will buy sufficient quantities to make the items profitable. What utility the item has to the consumer and its worth to society are seldom questioned. Further, their will be no incentive to even ask these questions unless they are forced on these companies by a public that demands better. As consumers, we have great power, but only if we band together in large enough numbers to make a difference to the companies who make their living from us. If we stop buying items, companies have no choice but to listen. If we tell them to do things in better ways and put our buying power behind our voice, you can bet that they will act in accord with our demands and wishes. Tuna and dolphins is a case in point. Now we have dolphin safe tuna. However, companies are slow to act on their own, especially if their competitors are acting in the same manner and there is a cost. In these cases, it is up to us to change the behavior of a whole industry. We can do this in other areas as well, but, it takes commitment and a united effort. Further, somebody has to do the research and analysis to be able to decide what issues are in the best interest of society.
Overall, we need to take a hard look at the goods we consume, their prices, and the true costs of producing the goods. From this, it will be obvious that some of the goods on the market cause more damage than they are worth, while others are clearly life-supporting. Those goods that have negative impact to life or to society should either be eliminated or taxed heavily so that their impacts can be mitigated and balanced through other actions.
Cooperative Interdependent Living
At some point, we need to make the leap to cooperative interdependent living. We are interdependent whether we like it or not. Very few individuals are able to survive in isolation. The struggle is just too hard. We live in a web of interdependencies, one that cannot be unwoven. It makes life a lot easier overall, because work is partitioned in a manner that allows each to do their tasks yet the collective accomplishes all the tasks that need to be done. This is what creates society to begin with. The burden on each individual is less because of the sharing and partitioning of labor.
Actually, interdependency takes this a step further by recognizing this essential quality of the way we interact, and expressing it in a more positive way. There is a struggle between independence, dependence, and interdependence. In independence, we are free and have no commitment between us. In dependence, their is an overriding relation between the parties where at least one must rely on the other for something. This gives one a position of superiority over the other. Sometimes this digresses further to co-dependence where both parties become dependent and support the dependence of each other. Interdependence brings this to a whole different level where we choose to recognize that as a society we exist as a whole with parts that are interdependent on other parts. It's not that one individual is dependent on one or more individuals, but that each of us participates in and is dependent on the collective whole.
We want to take this even further however, and choose to do this in a cooperative manner. There is nothing wrong with advocating change when we feel like it will benefit society. Cooperation involves working together in harmony. It involves being kind to one another, understanding one another, and acting peacefully toward each other.
Cooperative interdependence says that we are on the planet together, we being the entire world, and that we need to grow up and act like we truly are on the same spaceship -- all of us, for that is what our planet is, a ship moving through space. All people must be treated with respect as equals. It is not enough to do this for our country alone, because other countries could jeopardize our future through their actions. What affects the part also affects the whole. At some point this needs to be a worldwide activity. And time is running out. Global unity is goal that has been talked about. The time is soon coming when we must make it real or we may perish.
WIN/WIN Transactions Whenever Possible
One way we can support other human life is by conducting all of our transaction truthfully in a manner that is fair and equitable to all parties involved. This is tough to do unless distracting motivations such as desire, attachment, and greed are eliminated or at least minimized. Also, fair is usually considered to apply to a point of view. However, there is a higher sense of fairness that is impartial and understands what is required to achieve balance. Those people who naturally recognize this should be trained and used to assist in structuring transactions. All transactions over some amount should require involvement of these specialists to ensure people are not taken advantage of by others who might be inclined to do so.
Our transactions as a society should be done in this way as well.
There is no honor in treating one another unfairly or in a way that lacks balance. In our negotiations as a society, we should not be trying to get the best deal for ourselves. We should use our clout in a manner that ensures not only that our deals are fair, but that those of other countries who wish to deal with us are fair as well. We should be an example for the world of right action and right behavior for any nations that are to be part of the New World Order.
This requires some far-reaching thinking, however. Terms of contracts between parties at the present time are negotiated until both all parties come to agreement. This does not guarantee that the resulting contract is fair and equitable, it only guarantees that the parties accepted the final terms whether they were equitable or not. The principal of karma teaches that we are responsible for our actions in creating any imbalance, regardless of whether the other side accepted that imbalance. It is better to accomplish our actions in the right manner to begin with, and avoid having to right any imbalances latter. The objective both as a individual and as a society, is to act in a manner that minimizes the creation of new karma but we will get into that later.