Spirituality * Culture * Self-Expression

Month: May 2013

The Purpose of Humanity

starchild2In the forests of the world, the humble ant plays a significant role in the ecosystem. Ants clean the forest floor of dead and dying insects and even larger animals; they clear away the debris of fallen leaves and brush; they help circulate the nutrients in the soil by tunneling under and building up their ant hills; they allow for better soil irrigation and basically act as recyclers and pollinators helping the earth stay fertile and preparing the ground for new growth. Ants have a very specific and important purpose in the life cycle of the planet.ants2a

Squirrels also have a special purpose on Earth. They bury a variety of seeds and nuts in the ground to be eaten later. But they tend to bury more then they eventually eat. This means the seeds stay planted in the fertile ground prepared by the ants and, thus, are allowed to grow into plants and trees.squirrels2

The trees that grow in this way have their own special purpose. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and purify the air while releasing oxygen back into the world. Since ants, squirrels and other animals – including humans – need oxygen to live, we see that trees serve a vital function in the maintenance of life.

Everything in nature seems to have a special purpose – perhaps even a mission in life.

But is this really the case?CLF - Olmstead Parks

It is highly unlikely that ants, squirrels and trees have any idea of how they interact. They don’t choose their actions, nor are they concerned with the consequences of their behavior. They just do what they do with no concept of a mission or purpose and no regard for how they might benefit others.

The only thing that makes their actions seem meaningful or relevant is human perception. Only humans are inclined to interpret some occurrence as having a function or purpose in the greater scheme of things. It is only humans that even have a concept of “the greater scheme of things.”

But in this, it seems we can find the specific purpose of humanity: humans give meaning to everything else. Humans strive to make sense of the world and in doing so fill it with meaning and purpose. Humans are basically meaning making machines. They look out at the world with all its intricacies and beauty and insist on finding patterns, structures, plans and systems. As author James Gleick observed humans have a need and potential to “create islands of meaning in a sea of information.”mother naure

The Universe and all it contains is completely meaningless without us – at least from our own perspective. And this perception and valuation of existence might be all we bring to the table of life. After all, we seem to destroy more of the land than we cultivate; we consume more than we produce; and we often suck the very life force out of nature itself. But at the same time we fill the world with stories and connections that explain, define and rationalize everything. This central facet of human nature has always been acknowledged if not actually understood by spiritual philosophers and mystics. In the Book of Genesis, after God created Adam, He paraded all the other living things in the world before Adam so that he could name and classify them. This is our uniqueness – the thing that links us to divinity.

look at the stars2Look up at the night sky. See the billions of points of light. They are just random stars. They just exist. But humans have given them all names and connected them with patterns that form pictures called constellations and each star and constellation is given a colorful story and history. This is what humans do. If humans have a purpose it is to bring meaning to the world. Someday we will travel out to those stars and when we do we will bring meaning and purpose to the entire universe. If the ant’s purpose is to till the soil, the squirrel’s is to plant the tree and the tree’s is to fill the world with life sustaining oxygen then the purpose of humanity is to link all these actions, explain them, define them, give them value and significance and bring meaning to all creation. This purpose might make us as physically close to divinity as it is possible to get. Milkyway

10 Reasons to Get Out of Bed


depressionEven I get the blues sometimes. It’s hard to keep on working through all the slings and arrows life aims at you without occasionally feeling discouraged. I mean, here I am, generating superhuman, paranormal efforts, almost single handed trying to stave off a zombie apocalypse and what does it get me? Does anyone even care? Despite my actions the zombie population is clearly on the rise. I see them everywhere – on the streets, the subways, in offices and work sites, in the schools and especially in government – so what’s the point? Why should I keep working?zombie_bank

It’s not like anyone is even reading these blog posts or anything. Well, OK, maybe a few people read them – maybe a few people scattered across the World Wide Web are getting some benefit. But are those few reason enough for me to keep up the fight?

I think so – after all is said and done – yes it is worth it.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Starfish and the idea that if even one person gets the point of all this stuff and finds a way out of the darkness – then a difference has been made.Starfish on Beach

It’s not really the best motivation but it is something. And sometimes all we need is a tiny impulse to push us into action again.

So, OK, I’ve accepted it. Thoughts of the futility of my actions might slow me down from time to time -but I think I won’t let those thoughts stop me. I’ll keep sending my tiny beams of light out into the void and hope for the best.lighthouse

With that said, here is my new post:

Ten Reasons to Get out of Bed

(and get into action)


1/  Whatever problems or difficulties you’re having can be better solved by taking action rather than giving up. Whatever hopes or aspirations you have can be better achieved by taking action rather than lying dormant.choose-to-take-action

2/  It’s just as easy to feel hope as it is to feel despair – but hope leads to better results. Taking on the challenges of life at least gives you the chance for success.

3/  The nature of the universe is possibility and potential. Anything can happen. The problems of the world could all be solved today. You never know. There are more scientists alive and working right now then in all of past human history combined. The big breakthroughs can come at any moment and you can be a part of it.scientists

4/  Even if the big breakthroughs don’t come today, they could come very soon; certainly within our lifetimes. Life expectancy right now is longer than it has ever been. And there is an excellent chance we will double the human lifespan in the next 20 years. And old age is not what it once was. People are healthier and fitter now well into their 90’s than they have ever been. With all those scientists at work, disease and all manner of human illness and disabilities can soon be eliminated. Today can be just the start of a long and productive life for you if you make the effort to be in the game.healthy age

5/  Not only will old age and disease be eliminated in the near future, but it is possible for humans to be modified – evolved- to be more intelligent, aware and spiritually motivated. Think of the possibilities that will generate. We could be on the verge of eliminating poverty, war, violence, social inequality, and all the other plagues of mankind. We could solve the problems of energy and economic tension and open up access to space migration and galactic exploration. Imagine if the world of Star Trek were real – but it actually can be-and sooner than the pessimists of the world can imagine.star_trek

6/  With increased intelligence, longer lifetimes, and the elimination of social issues – we could put an end to all the drudgery and monotony of labor and work struggles. Imagine the real freedom of being employed only in the tasks you want to perform. Technology could take over all the thankless jobs and humans could be free to create, explore and basically enjoy their lives. This is becoming ever more possible with each passing day.

7/  And how about a more off the wall reason to get out of bed and get into the game of life: what if space aliens are out there just waiting for enough of us to wake up and get involved with the greater adventures of life so they can contact us and welcome us into the galactic community? This isn’t so off the wall as it sounds. Scientists are finding new planets every day: more and more all the time. It is very possible that there are hundreds of billions of planets out in space right now. Not all are earth-like or capable of supporting life as we know it – but certainly there are a few hundred or even a few thousand. All we need is to encounter one friendly alien race to change everything about our lives for the better.E.T.

8/  If nothing else, we can agree that there is a lot of tension in the world right now. Tension leads to crises, which leads to change. World tensions will eventually force a change in the human condition and I believe that it will be a change for the better, a change in a positive direction that will make all the other items on this list a reality.

9/  Our attitudes and opinions make a huge difference in how the world appears to us. If we believe crappy things will happen, then they probably will. But what if we believe that good things are possible for us and we take action to encourage those things to happen? Surely they will happen. If we just believe in something positive, get out of bed and get working on that belief, there is a great chance we will actually experience that positive world.ItsYourWorldChangeIt

10/  Finally, even if you continue to believe the world is crap and life’s problems are just too powerful for you to overcome – think about this: we need you.we need you The world needs you and other people to keep it going. The world needs you to sustain the future.  Get out of bed and get into action – if not for yourself then for the rest of the world.  Get out of bed for all the people who have ever lived and hoped for a brighter future; all the people that kept up the dream until they died. And get out of bed for all the people that will live after you. We need you on the side of hope and action if any of the dreams of the past, or of the future are ever going to come true. You don’t have to do anything great or particularly important; you don’t have to do anything terribly brave or difficult. All you need to do is get up and be yourself and move in whatever direction life calls you. Just doing that will make all the difference.   we can do itsmall actions

How to Find Enlightenment

dalai-lama1Enlightenment isn’t about being super good or kind all the time. It doesn’t mean you have to be all brooding and silent like some golden statue of the Buddha. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to suffer in any way. In fact, Enlightened people never suffer – they might experience great pain from time to time – but they never suffer. Enlightened people are simply free of the pressing need for material satisfaction. And Enlightened people are among the happiest most joyful people in the world.

There are also many paths to Enlightenment and no one group, religion or school has a monopoly on the process. The path to Enlightenment exists within each of us. Our task is to look within ourselves and awaken to our true and natural identity. Enlightenment makes us born in the Spirit. It reveals our authentic self.

With Enlightenment we are free of the burdens of the material desires. We are free of fear and free of the imagined limitations to achieving are greatest self. With Enlightenment we come to know and understand reality and the nature of the universe – we come to know and understand ourselves.meditation-enlightenment

So how does one find Enlightenment?

1/ First we must accept that the past, and any mistakes we feel we’ve made in the past, or any hurts we feel we have experienced in the past, should remain in the past. What has happened has happened. All we can change about it is our attitude towards it. Living in the present – in the here and now – is the first great freedom we can claim.

2/ Associate, as much as possible, with others who are also seeking Enlightenment. Read books, watch movies, listen to music, participate in society all with the aim of experiencing the Enlightened state. The various lists found on this website can be helpful in this practice. Begin to immerse yourself – gently- in a world of enlightened ideas and images.enlightenment

3/ Give yourself the space and opportunity, on a regular basis, and as often as possible, to open yourself up to living a fully conscious, wakeful life.

4/ Learn to relax, cleanse yourself of stress and worry and simply notice how good it feels to be calm and at peace.

5/ Allow yourself the simple pleasure of experiencing different scents, colors, sounds, tastes and feelings. Start to become more and more aware of your surroundings and expand your awareness beyond the mundane world into the cosmic world that is the true basis of authentic living.Yoga-Enlightenment1

6/ Meditate. There is no getting around this. In the entire history of enlightenment no one has achieved the favored state without meditating.  How they meditate and what they call the practice differs from culture to culture, century to century. But all who are Enlightened meditate. Find a simple method first and let the practice grow with you over time.

7/ Make every day and every action you take, however simple, a part of the Enlightenment process. Act as though everything around you is a special message that urges you to experience your full capacity for living – your full capacity for life. The Master Jesus said that with Enlightenment, with full wakefulness, you will have Life, LIFE IN ABUNDANCE.

Enlightenment is a natural part of the Human experience – we are meant to be AWAKE, if we are meant to be anything at all. There is really nothing to ATTAIN; it’s just a matter of rediscovering our authentic way of being. But getting caught up in the mundane, material world is so easy we tend to forget that there is another way of being. The world of material existence encourages us to remain asleep and content with our condition. Most of us learn at an early age that the systems of Government, Religion, Education, Industry and even family life prefer us to stay asleep and unconcerned with the greater world outside our tiny sphere of activity. You rarely hear of a fully conscious person who frets about the price of sugar, oil or gold. Enlightened people have other things on their minds and tend to define power, glory and riches in ways the so-called “masters of the universe” fear.

To find Enlightenment you should be aware of it and go looking for it. Look within yourself, for, if it is anywhere to be found it is there. Open yourself to the possibility of wakefulness and embrace your authentic life to the fullest.spiritual-enlightenment

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