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When some Native American tribes meet in council, they sit in a circle. It is understood by all that everyone has a voice and a right to be heard. And it is understood that when any object is placed in the center of the circle, everyone sees it differently, because everyone has a different perspective. And when any idea is placed in the center of the circle, everyone will have their own opinion, based on their perspective, experience, and personality.
Pete Seeger, the famed American songwriter, gave us a simple key to creating a harmonious society and world:
It’s a very important thing to learn
to talk to people you disagree with.
That in itself is the key to peace on our planet in our lifetimes.
World politics would transform instantly if we adopted this one simple principle:
Everyone deserves respect,
and everyone has a right to be heard.
This is the only way we’ll ever find lasting peace in the world. We need to sit in council with each other, giving everyone in the circle of humanity a voice. This is what it means to be a free person in a free society. We have a voice, we are respected, we have human rights, and we are free to do our best to lead the life of our dreams.
When we give others respect, we automatically start working in partnership with them. The only workable solution to the world’s problems is to live and work in partnership with the whole family of humanity. It’s not all that difficult to do, but it requires some changes in our habitual ways of relating to one another.
Here’s another great truth that can be expressed very simply:
The only way to a peaceful, prosperous future
is to live and work in partnership with others.
Rediscovering the Partnership of Intuition and Politics
We are finding new ways to live in the world, and new ways to relate to one another. This awakening comes at a critical time, for the old thinking that still dominates most governments, politics, and business as usual has created huge dinosaurs that are rapidly becoming extinct.
The culture as a whole, led by its most progressive thinkers and doers, is rediscovering its own intuitive, caring nature, which has been stifled, almost obliterated, by the culture of domination and exploitation that has ruled most cultures over the past few thousand years. But we are learning again to understand the power of partnership over the power of exploitation; we are learning to balance the rational with the intuitive. We are learning that science and politics don’t have to reject the intuitive, the emotional, or the spiritual.
As this intuitive awareness began to rise again to the surface of the mass consciousness, there seemed to be a huge schism between the intuitive and the rational, between the spiritual and the political or scientific points of view. The infant intuitive force couldn’t survive along with the fierce, intense energies of the political and scientific and so had to divorce itself from them, and nurture itself in private.
This intuitive awareness has now gained sufficient ground and strength that we’re seeing a unique blending of the intuitive and the scientific, and of the spiritual and political. Actually, it isn’t unique at all: Albert Einstein was an outspoken advocate of intuition in science, and Mahatma Gandhi success fully blended the spiritual and political many years ago — and Gandhi was in turn influenced by Emerson and Thoreau, highly progressive American writers in the early 1800s.
The schism is over. We no longer have to separate the spiritual and political. We no longer have to avoid certain areas of activity in order to protect our new awareness. The whole world is our playground and laboratory for the great experiment of our lives — the lives of a free people.
The Deep Meaning of Karma
The West is only now beginning to understand the meaning of the word karma. Even though it is a core teaching of Christianity as well as of Eastern teachers (“As you sow, so you shall reap”), somehow the concept of karma has been ignored and forgotten in the West. Our political leaders all too often have acted as though their negative actions would not have negative results.
Understanding the concept of karma is critical to having a good life. We must understand it and practice it, if we are going to continue to grow and be healthy as a society, and not crumble and decay.
The law of karma is simply the law of cause and effect: For every action we put into the world, we receive an equal and appropriate reaction. The law of karma explains why a thief will get ripped off, why an angry person lives in an angry world, and why a loving person lives in a loving world. We reap what we sow.
Karma operates in our lives individually, and it operates for the whole of humanity as well. The governments of the world's greatest powers have created enormous problems for the whole planet by being completely unconscious of the laws of karma.
Any attempts by a government to dominate and control others create endless anger and resentment. Violence leads endlessly to more violence. We have it summed up nicely on a magnet on our refrigerator:
Mom was right.
Fighting doesn’t solve anything.
It’s time for all of us to change some basic attitudes. We must all — every nationality, every race, every group, with no exceptions — ask for personal, clear guidance, for the understanding that will show us the how to overcome our past mistakes, individually and collectively.
We must stop fighting others. There are more civilized ways to resolve problems.
We all must learn to forgive, and accept others. Everyone has a right to be here; everyone has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We must take responsibility for the abolition, within our life times, of racism, sexism, starvation, poverty, and exploitation in our global community. It can be done, if we turn the power of our imaginations, the power of creative visualization, on these global issues.
Buckminster Fuller put it brilliantly. He offered this challenge to humanity more than fifty years ago: “To make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone.” He called this “The World Game,” and he added these insights:
For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. All humanity now has the option to become enduringly successful....
Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.
The single most important thing to remember is the teaching of one of the greatest masters to influence the West, one who understood karma completely, and taught it, and lived it:
Love one another, as I have loved you....
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you....
As you sow, so shall you reap.
What We Can All Do Right Now
We can all do something right now that has great power: We can make changes within ourselves. As more and more of us change our attitudes and behavior, more and more outer forms naturally emerge that help to solve the world’s great problems. A great many powerful groups have emerged already that are changing the world for the better.
We live in exciting times, times of change and growth. Some people are embracing the changes enthusiastically. Some people resist all the signs of necessary change until they fall and perish for lack of adaptability. It all depends on your karma — on the things you have done, and the things you think and do today and tomorrow.
Politics in a New Age: Creating Win-Win Situations
None of us lives in a vacuum. Everything we do affects others. It is time to help create a politics that fully appreciates and balances the interests of all people. Old-age politics and old-age business practices are on their way out — dying from their own lack of vision and adaptability.
By “old age” I mean any activity in which some people take unfair advantage of other people, where some are fattened to an extreme and others are deprived, where there is a win-lose relationship. At its extreme, old-age politics and business could lead to nuclear war — a total lose-lose proposition, fueled by insanity.
Politics in this new age creates win-win relationships that support everyone involved. There is no need to take advantage of anyone else. There is plenty for all, if we but see it, and create it. We can all live in abundance — every person on this planet — if we stop taking advantage of one another and work and live with respect for one another and for the planet that sustains us.
It can be done. It is already being done in many forms. It is up to each of us to create more of these forms, and to expand the existing forms until their impact is felt in the mass consciousness, and until we transform our world into a beautiful and supportive place for all.
So be it. So it is!
©1981, 2015 by Marc Allen. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library, Novato, CA 94949. newworldlibrary.com.
Tantra is usually thought of as sex with some kind of mysticism thrown in. Marc Allen goes back to the original meaning of tantra and shows how it can be applied to every moment of your life, excluding nothing. Within your way of life, within your everyday thoughts and feelings, are the keys to love, freedom, and fulfillment.
About the Author
Marc Allen is an internationally renowned author and speaker who studied Tantric Buddhism with a Tibetan teacher at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California. He is the author of I Deserve Love and cofounder and publisher of New World Library, one of the most successful independent publishers in the United States. He has also recorded several albums of music, including Awakening, Breathe, and Solo Flight. For more about Marc, including his free monthly teleseminars, go to MarcAllen.com. For more about his music (including free samples), go to WatercourseMedia.com.