My greatest hope for humanity in 2016 is that we move forward with greater clarity and presence, achieved through these two core ideas.
- Reason demands that we examine the Universe as it is in itself. “The word of God is the creation we behold and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.” – Thomas Paine
- Deep insights arise when we view reality from the perspective of eternity or, as Spinoza put it, sub specie aeternitatis.
Properly applied as a basis for our thinking, we arrive at the following insights:
- Existence is contingent and impermanent. We must be mindful of our attachments, relational and material, because we will lose them all in time. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
- We are each an inseparable and unique expression of the Universe and worthy of love, compassion, and respect. Namaste. In other words, the Universe in me greets the Universe in you. “Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
- Sentient life’s essential quality is experience, individual as well as collective. The greatest good lies in extending and expanding the quality of that experience. This insight should guide the intent of our every action, especially the way we treat and speak to others. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- All is interconnected and universal. Outside our collective human imaginations, there are no national borders or competing religious ideologies. “Under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different.” – Bruce Lee
- Be mindful. Maintain awareness not only of your material surroundings but also of the thoughts and feelings of yourself and those around you.
- Be present. Invest yourself wholly in the moment and what you are doing.
My deepest, heartfelt wishes for a wonderful 2016.
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