|Peace can never be achieved on any lasting basis without greater understanding between people. When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?---Eleanor Roosevelt|
August 21, 2004
The labels we have given ourselves are splitting this country into pieces. Hate is taking over. To hate is to be ignorant. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. The "right" hate the "left", the "left" hate the "right", conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans all hate each other (these labels do not deserve to be capitalized.) Listen to rush limbaugh sometime; if you can stand it. He has done more to split this country than any 100 men.
Frankly, I don't know what I am. I like money as much as the next man. Does that make me a conservative? I believe in saving the environment. Does that make me a bleeding liberal? I'm registered as non-partisan. Does that make me a traitor? I believe women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their bodies. I don't know what that makes me. I believe war is stupid and can be avoided. I can't stand to see young boys and girls slaughtered. And I believe when it says "Thou shalt not kill" that it means everybody. I really don't want to be labeled. I want to work with everyone. I don't feel like hating anyone. I never did, and don't want to start now. I am lost!!
Maybe I could start by hating the weather. Too damn hot, too friggin' cold. Or maybe I could hate cats, or hate dogs. That could be a starter. Then maybe in time I could learn to hate human beings. Then maybe I could get a label. Is the label that important? I guess it, is if it helps you hate. I like people, I don't want to hate them. I don't need a label.
Placing labels on people makes it easier to kill them. One of the headlines In The San Diego Union Tribune the other day read "Mexican Soldiers Kill 11 Rebels". What if the headline read "Humans in soldier uniforms killed 11 humans in rebel uniforms" Either way you put it, 11 human beings were killed by other human beings.
Life is our most precious gift, to take life away from any one individual is a crime against all mankind. At one time these "rebels" were born, had parents, were children, and then became adults, who wanted something better for their people, and they were willing to put their lives on the line for their belief. There was something wrong with the way they were being treated, and they wanted to change it. I am not making judgments, but isn't that they way our forefathers felt when they rebelled against their English government.
Rebels cause revolutions, revolutions cause change (good and bad). If the governments listened to the people and served the people instead of being so self-serving, would there be rebels? There may be criminals (another label) but no rebels.
Labels make it easy to hate, mistreat, rip off, and kill. When we see each other as human beings instead of labels we will be starting the biggest revolution in the world; human revolution. If we conquer hate, we will be the most victorious rebels in the world. Stop hate and there will be peace. Human beings will be victorious.
Hate is taught, we don't come into this world with hate. To teach hate is the most criminal of all acts against mankind. Teach compassion and soon there will be no reason to hate. So simple, yet so hard. It starts with you. Can you wear it?
Sam Younghans - August 21, 2004
December 23, 2004
In the beginning we were all humans, until we started labeling each other. Once we accepted a label, we wore it on our vest with pride, and woe to anyone with a different label. It was them and us - no in between - no gray areas. And we would not listen to any other opinion - our leaders word was the law. How convenient, we no longer had any need to think. People who think are dangerous. We had our leaders. Anyone who disagreed with the leader was a traitor.
But, back to the question, how do we return to being a human? The first thing, I would say, is to start thinking for yourself - don't accept what you are told as the gospel. Research it - seek the truth. You do have a brain - use it with pride. Do you really like being a sheep?
Next - start listening to others with different opinions. You donít have to agree, just open your self to other ways - new ways - different ways. It is exciting to do this. You open up a whole new world that has been there, waiting for you to wake up.
Youíre almost there. Next - drop all labels. See people as individuals not as groups, races, colors, right wing, left wing or any other label you know. Individuals are unique! They all eat, drink, sleep and feel with the same feelings you have. They are no different - they are all humans - if you take the time to find out.
I was fortunate to find that out at an early age. My grandfather was a bigot (also a politician). I heard his talk of the blacks. I lived in a part of town that had no blacks. The town as a whole had very few blacks living in it. In fifth grade, I joined the "Patrol Boys," a group put together by the chief of police. We had meetings every week and boys from all of the schools in my hometown met to learn about traffic and about directing kids across the streets. We also had special meetings to learn to drill. We were taken to other cities to march in their parades. It was a grand feeling. The Elks Club took us in buses to and from the cities. On one of my first trips I was seated next to a black boy my age. His name was, Stoney.
For some strange reason, I didnít remember my Grandfatherís talks, degrading blacks. I just saw another boy seated next to me that was doing the same thing I was doing - marching in a parade. We had a grand time, and after that parade we sat together on the ride home. After that first parade, every time we drilled, we would get together and when we rode the bus to another parade, always saved a seat for the other one. That made me un-eligible for the label "bigot" or "prejudiced." I would never become an Archie Bunker.
I ran out of time! More to come on this subject. WE have to all be humans soon!!!
A NEW LABEL
December 31, 2004:
My Mother attended the Methodist Church, which was my first introduction to religion. My Grandmother attended the Presbyterian Church, so that was included in my religious teachings. Then, through my playmates, I learned about the other religions. It was intriguing to learn the different ways people thought and lived. I loved visiting my friends on their holidays, of going to weddings, picnics in the summer, dances in their clubs, and also, going to their churches and synagogues. I guess this ruined me; I had no potential of ever making the elitist groups of prejudiced and dichotomous thinkers of the world.
Throughout my life I have had mixed feelings about religions. I practiced Yoga for quite a while; I joined the Ananda Marga Yoga Society, and I went to Yoga retreats, even turned our house in Sonoma, California into an ashram, where people came to meditate, meet and receive a mantra from a Yogi, Yatish Vera Ananda. We taught Hatha Yoga at the ashram and later, I taught it at a health club in New York City. While in New York, a friend, asked me to go to a Buddhist meeting, where they chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I told him I was satisfied with Yogi and didn’t need anything else. That was in 1968. We’ve remained friends to this day. You’ll hear more about him later.
Many of the experiences were about chanting for, and getting possessions. I felt there was much more to chanting than just getting possessions, that those people, who got into it for the possessions, would one day see the more spiritual values of it.
With all of the changes, I began thinking more about God. I saw God as a cosmic energy. Then I realized that God is everywhere - God is! God is in everything, including humans and everything that is in the cosmos. Therefore God is in me - in everyone - no discrimination. If this is so, and I believe that it is, then we should look on each other with love and caring. We may not like everything an earthling does, but we can still love the earthling.
About the same time that I started to practice Buddhism, I met a man, David St. Clair, who had written a few books on metaphysics. One of the things I remembered was about a daily exercise he did, regarding prayer. He had been told about this exercise from two different sources, the last being from a woman in the Peruvian mountains. He said that he wished he had taken the first person’s advice, but was glad that it finally became a part of him.
Then I remembered my exercise. I’m not sure any more how I began the exercise, or when I first started doing it, but it evolved into, "Thank you, God! Thank you for everything you brought to me. Thank you for making me aware that I am eternally one with you and all of the Universe. I bring the cosmic forces of God into my body and I ask for strength, protection, guidance, wisdom, compassion, good health and fortune (fortune meaning; being in the right place at the right time - not power or wealth.)" I put a white light around my family and loved ones and then prayed for individuals. The prayer was for their protection from harm and evil, and that we may all serve God.
If someone were to ask me how do I know that God is within all of us, I would have to I answer, "I feel it." For how do we really know anything about God? Do we have to be told by someone who sets himself up as a conduit - who says that the only way to God is through him and his beliefs?
THE DOVES OF PEACE
I see a scenario of a great battle that is about to begin. This is to be the battle of the century. Millions of people will view this event on their television sets. Thousands of armed troops line up on either side of a great battlefield, ready to go into battle.
Sam Younghans - December 31, 2004
I would like to thank Dr. Wayne Dyer for the use of his words; authoritarian and dichotomous.
Yes friends, it IS the same John Dean from Watergate.
Triumph of the Authoritarians
By John W. Dean
The Boston Globe
Friday 14 July 2006
Contemporary conservatism and its influence on the Republican Party was, until recently, a mystery to me. The practitioners' bludgeoning style of politics, their self-serving manipulation of the political processes, and their policies that focus narrowly on perceived self-interest - none of this struck me as based on anything related to traditional conservatism. Rather, truth be told, today's so-called conservatives are quite radical.
For more than 40 years I have considered myself a "Goldwater conservative," and am thoroughly familiar with the movement's canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon "imperial presidency" on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.
What true conservative calls for packing the courts to politicize the federal judiciary to the degree that it is now possible to determine the outcome of cases by looking at the prior politics of judges? Where is the conservative precedent for the monocratic leadership style that conservative Republicans imposed on the US House when they took control in 1994, a style that seeks primarily to perfect fund-raising skills while outsourcing the writing of legislation to special interests and freezing Democrats out of the legislative process?
How can those who claim themselves conservatives seek to destroy the deliberative nature of the US Senate by eliminating its extended-debate tradition, which has been the institution's distinctive contribution to our democracy? Yet that is precisely what Republican Senate leaders want to do by eliminating the filibuster when dealing with executive business (namely judicial appointments).
Today's Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik's classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham's guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in "conserving" this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.
Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede - usually only when not speaking for attribution - that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.
I started my inquiry in the mid-1990s, after a series of conversations with Goldwater, whom I had known for more than 40 years. Goldwater was also mystified (when not miffed) by the direction of today's professed conservatives - their growing incivility, pugnacious attitudes, and arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their thinking. He worried that the Republican Party had sold its soul to Christian fundamentalists, whose divisive social values would polarize the nation. From those conversations, Goldwater and I planned to study why these people behave as they do, and to author a book laying out what we found. Sadly, the senator's declining health soon precluded his continuing on the project, so I put it on the shelf. But I kept digging until I found some answers, and here are my thoughts.
For almost half a century, social scientists have been exploring authoritarianism. We do not typically associate authoritarianism with our democracy, but as I discovered while examining decades of empirical research, we ignore some findings at our risk. Unfortunately, the social scientists who have studied these issues report their findings in monographs and professional journals written for their peers, not for general readers. With the help of a leading researcher and others, I waded into this massive body of work.
What I found provided a personal epiphany. Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, "enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral." And that's not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades.
Authoritarianism's impact on contemporary conservatism is beyond question. Because this impact is still growing and has troubling (if not actually evil) implications, I hope that social scientists will begin to write about this issue for general readers. It is long past time to bring the telling results of their empirical work into the public square and to the attention of American voters. No less than the health of our democracy may depend on this being done. We need to stop thinking we are dealing with traditional conservatives on the modern stage, and instead recognize that they've often been supplanted by authoritarians.
John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel, just published his seventh nonfiction book, Conservatives Without Conscience.