Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reading the Signs

Welcome to the "One World Alliance!" This message stared out at me from the welcome kit that confirmed me as a member of the American Airlines mileage program. It felt nice being referred to as a member of "one world." Never mind that I had to endure a couple of transatlantic flights and fill out a bunch of forms to be reminded that I belong to one world.

One World.

The "One World Alliance" is a group of some of the world's biggest airlines, including American Airlines and British Airways. Currently, many of these flights stand grounded at airports, unable to make the transatlantic journey due to a cloud of ash moving across Europe. Move aside One World Alliance. A volcano in Iceland has said it loud and clear - we're all members of one world. Whether we like it or not, Nature has brought the message all the way to our airports. All things are connected! What happens in one part of the world will eventually affect the other parts.

Do we ever stop and think about how connected we are as inhabitants of one planet? The volcanic ash episode is just one more glaring reminder that the "other side" of the world isn't that far away. That no one in this world can claim to function in isolation. There is, after all, a delicate system that Nature has put in place that links one life form with another. A link that ancient spiritual cultures understood and respected. We cannot fatally damage one link, and then expect life energy to continue flowing across the rest of the web, unmindful of the breakage. Because, as this recent episode has shown us yet again, we're part of a larger web called life.

The atrocities that humankind has heaped upon itself and the planet are unprecedented in the history of the world. And it doesn't look like too much has changed over the centuries. We still fight wars, only now we have deadlier weapons. We still kill each other over petty personal disputes. We still think our faith is better than the other person's faith and are willing to kill and condemn to prove our point. We have SUCH a hard time accepting people who make choices for the larger good as opposed to personal gain. We plunder the environment for material gain. We torture animals for food and sport. There are stories throughout history that tell us that such behavior has always existed. The question remains, are we okay with continuing to be the way we have always been?

While the whole global warming debate gets hotter each year, along with the summers, there is at least some token attention being paid to the need for us to get our act together before it's too late. Some say that it already is too late, that it's not possible for us to avert the doom that awaits the Earth.

However, I do believe that we can equip ourselves to deal better with the external (environmental) and internal (spiritual) changes that have already started to take place by changing the way we behave with one another and, most importantly, behave with ourselves. Do we really respect ourselves as spiritual beings who are contributing to the planet's consciousness, or do we believe we were put here basically to grab as much out of the material pie as we can for ourselves and our immediate family? Our self image determines how we percieve events happening around us, and in turn influences the way we behave with others. When we begin to act from a place of compassion, soul strength, and truth, rather than a place of "me, myself, and myself," the collective vibe of the planet will begin to rise. More and more people, corporations, and governments will be forced to make "evolutionary" choices rather than destructive ones.

The Universe is sending us strong messages. It seems to me that the messages have now escalated from little ones on a personal level, to ones that shake up entire countries and cultures, often the entire planet in a matter of hours or days. 
The ash from a volcano has the potential to bring great corporations and military powers to their knees. How misplaced then, really, is our notion of "progress"? Isn't it time we celebrated our material and technological advances in a spirit of humility rather than with a hunger for dominion? Isn't it time we didn't consider an "advancement" an advancement unless it helps the web of life regenerate and heal itself? How can something be termed as "advanced" when it contributes to the eventual destruction of life energy?

The Universe is asking us some tough questions. Are we listening as One World?


Swapna Maini said...

Beautiful! So relevant in today's time! Why can't more people think like this? It's about time we start respecting our planet and treat it with care and tenderness.

Jacqui said...

Well Sai, I was one of those travellers affected by the Volcano and it was a humbling experience.

I agree with you whole-heartedly on this post regarding a call for change. Materialism never has and never will bring personal or spiritual fulfillment or growth.

I think we have been conditioned to behave in certain ways and yet our inner most nature knows that there is more to this journey. It's a shame we don't listen to that voice more.

Sai said...

Swapna - thank you! I couldn't agree more with you, that we've really crossed the point where we have an option. If we're talking survival, things have to change. By the way, I love our "2012" conversations. :-)

Jacqui - I hope you made it home okay! I don't think the world ever imagined that Nature has the power to stop every flight over Europe, overnight. So true, what you wrote about the voice within. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

sanjeet said...

This is lovely,
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